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4 Bad Pick-Up Places


Think anywhere you see a pretty woman is fair game to chat her up? Um, no. Learn from these guys’ mistakes.

by Elsa K. Simcik

here are many places where single people are expected to pick one another up: parties, bars, clubs, even poetry readings. And then there are always the more impromptu experiences—waiting for an ATM to open up, or while perusing the mums at the local nursery. In fact, few places are off-limits when it comes to chatting up a potential love interest. But notice that we say “few places” and not “no place.” Allow us to tell you about those places where some intrepid guys have gone in search of a love connection—and why you’re probably better off not following their lead.

It’s a waiting room, not a mating room
“I was in the waiting room of my dermatologist’s office and a guy asked me if I was there to get Botox,” admits Monica Mason. “I was so insulted. I should have told him I had contracted a highly contagious rash.”

A doctor’s waiting room? That’s the wrong place and the wrong time.
Lesson learned: That’s an example of a bad line and a bad place. We might not be able to help this guy. When a woman is at a doctor’s office, she could be embarrassed, scared or just plain sick. The whole “What are you in for?” approach is never going to work, but more importantly, she’s just not in a flirty frame of mind.

If she’s grieving, you should be leaving
“I actually had a guy hit on me at my grandmother’s funeral,” says Tanya Richter. “He said ‘Hey, what are you doing after this?’ I told him I didn’t think my grandmother would appreciate me skipping her funeral reception for a date.”

Lesson learned: When you attend a funeral just remember to put on your black suit, put on a serious face and never put on the moves. The poor girl is mourning (and you should be too).

Don’t turn the meeting into a meat market
“I buy media for an advertising agency so sales people often make presentations to me,” explains Meredith Harrison. “At the end of one meeting, a sales rep said in front of
When a woman’s trying to work, don’t work on her.
everyone, ‘And if you go out with me this weekend, I’ll give you an even better deal.’ Needless to say he didn’t get me or my business.”

Lesson learned: Basically, when a woman’s trying to work, don’t work on her. Acquiring a reputation as a bimbo isn’t a career-booster in any woman’s book.

Avoid shopping for women at the mall
“I was shopping for a bathing suit at the mall so already, I wasn’t in the best mood,” says Tricia Crawford. “This guy came up to me while I was looking at bikinis and said, ‘That one would look great on you.’ I didn’t want his shopping advice—or a date with him.”

Lesson learned: Guys, you wouldn’t believe what women have to face at the mall: unflattering dressing room lighting, obnoxious sales people, never finding anything in the right size. If you see a woman looking stressed out while shopping, you probably won’t be able to brighten her day. Just grab your Banana Republic shirt and be on your way. Now if she’s having a beer in the food court, that’s another story.

Some quick pick-up pointers…
So where should you go to meet women? OK, there’s not a list of pre-approved places, but some are more conducive to romance than others. Bars are still a top spot according to the women I’ve interviewed. Think about it: Everyone’s relaxed, carefree and no matter how much girls try to act like they’re just into chatting with their girlfriends, they’re all there for the same purpose—to meet guys. Or better yet, to meet you.

Really, a lot of public places are up for grabs—from museums to your house of worship. You just have to assess the situation: Is she in a hurry? Is she distracted? Not ideal for courting. But if an opportunity presents itself at, say, the grocery store…then go for it. Yes, you may still get turned down but as long as the place is appropriate and you have a good attitude, a smart plan and fresh breath, your pick-up success rate is sure to soar.


Elsa K. Simcik is a freelance writer in Atlanta. Her work has appeared in newspapers and magazines including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Dallas Morning News, Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine and CNN.com.
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