The Ins and Outs of the Pub Pick-Up

Lady Friday shows you how to make one of the most difficult parts of modern courtship a total breeze.

bar-pick-upimage via pinterest

Look. I’m an assertive type. (Like you hadn’t guessed.) If a guy’s standing in a hypothetical bar and I like the look of him, I’ll simply go over and talk to him. This doesn’t happen often, because I rarely a) go to bars or b) like the look of the men in them, but still, my game plan goes something like this:

Notice person.

Wait until he’s separated from his herd of onlookers.
Strike up conversation, usually with a funny line.
If he’s not interested, move along. No hard feelings – it’s his loss.

This is partially just my personality, but it’s also what comes of being absolutely hopeless at the subtler arts of flirting. I will admit freely to being about a 2 out of 10 at the eye come-ons, sleek smiles, hair-flicks and across-the-room elements of attraction. I like my method better, and it makes me more comfortable.

Thus: the number one key to approaching men in public places is to know your strengths.

Mine is straightforwardness. A friend of mine, by contrast, is essentially Jessica Rabbit made flesh, and can reel men in with an implicated flick of her hip in the right direction. Another somehow makes the entire bar aware of her presence, even if it’s just the low, sultry way she says “thank you” to the barman.

If you’re more into being pursued than pursuing, learn the tricks of attracting pursuers. Make eye contact, smile slowly or shyly, then look away. Be involved, but put yourself on the edge of a group, so that any approaching man won’t need to negotiate girlfriends. Playing with your fingers and licking your lips is schoolyard stuff – just have a damn good time and smile at whoever might take your fancy.

Another tip: be positive and make your body language inviting. Looking like a sad sack works if you’re Kate Moss or a 13-year-old emo girl, but otherwise, be upbeat, fun and sociable. If that’s an effort, save it for another night when you’re feeling a bit more self-confident and cheerful.

Also, remain self-aware. Sophia Loren once saw Elvis (whom she’d never met) in a hotel bar, and ‘introduced’ herself to him, meaning that she sat on his lap, mussed his hair, and kissed him on the lips. If you’re not Sophia Loren (which I assume is most of us), you may want to try a more subtle approach.

Being assertive is not ‘scary’ and making the first move is not ‘slutty’: let’s make that clear right now. Based on what I’ve seen, it’s actually sexy as hell. However, sometimes women can get caught up in the idea that flirtation is a challenge to retain male attention, and do slightly desperate things as a result (dancing wildly, baring 75% of their skin, grabbing, getting incredibly drunk).

There are two problems with this. One: flirtation is just as much about them retaining YOUR attention as the other way around. You’re a prize – remember that. Two: dignity is important – no dude in a bar is worth sacrificing it.

One last thing. Always be gracious. While it may feel like a piranha feeding frenzy, it’s just a bar. Never put down either your suitors or your competitors – and you’ll come out the winner all over.

Lady Friday xx

Taking the pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday.


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