We’ve all heard them. Those first few words uttered by an interested suitor that make us inwardly (and outwardly) cringe. The reason we have all been exposed to the overly used liners and boring small talk questions is that it is extremely hard to come up with something to impress. Especially when you are dealing with so much competition and distractions from other suitors, multiple dating apps/websites and those super-charming people who can score a date at a parent-teacher conference.
An opening line can make or break whether the person on the other side of the counter, computer or country will engage and return the ball of interest you lobbed over the net. Whether face-to-face or via a date site match, it’s difficult to be funny, witty and interesting with a limited amount of characters with someone you know very little about. In fact, more often than not, all you may know is their name (or handle), location (city or event) and what they look like (face-to-face or profile).
So, how can you grab their attention without turning them off? Well, here are a few tips to help you with making the first contact:
1) Skip Opening Lines
Avoid predictable and stale opening lines like “Where are you from?” OR “Do you come here often?” OR “What do you do for a living?” Those questions are boring and more suitable for being stuck in an elevator. Take the dialogue up a notch with questions that engage, are interesting. If their profile mentions taking a class in the Psych Behind David Lynch’s films, asked what inspired them to join. The key here is to insert a bit of their personal interests rather than relying on the generic.
2) Observe First, Approach Second
Take in the scene. See what it occurring around you. Remark or comment on what is happening at the wedding, conference or bus stop. Seek inspiration by what you see for that is a common ground.
3) Flattery Works
Guys and gals work on their appearance, wardrobe and style. They love to be noticed for their unique necklace, awesome bowling shoes or dice cuff links. Offer a compliment and then explain why you like it. Again, we are going for something beyond “you’re hot” and more personal. (Hint: Notice the theme yet?)
4) Seek the Common Link
If you are at a company function, engagement party or backyard barbecue, you already have something in common. Ask about how they know so-and-so or what made them join this particular volunteer group? Everyone has a story to tell. Ask them for it.
5) Be Yourself
Be friendly and smile. The confidence and warmth you exude when you approach someone online or in person will shine through – no matter what. Shake off the nerves. No matter how much you stumble or stammer, you are doing 100% better than if you never tried.
As I mentioned before, the more personally you form your opening/first introduction, the better your response will be. Don’t copy and paste the same question to various dating profiles. Take a moment to really think about what you would like to know about this person. After all, that is what dating is all about — getting to know someone better than you do.