6 Ways To Make The First Move

How can you come off like a charming gentleman instead of a lonely bar fly?

By Maryann Hammers

ou spot a lovely lady across the room, are immediately smitten, and want to make a move. But what do you say?

“Choosing the right line on a woman is like choosing the right wire to pull when you’re diffusing a time bomb,” says Ron, a product
“People who are just themselves are far more successful.”
manager. “It only works in the movies. Surprisingly, not all women take kindly to aggressive lines and a swift pat on the backside.” So what’s your best approach? Here’s a guide:

Make eye contact
Before you make a move, make eye contact. Smile. Wink. “That shows attraction — and the woman doesn’t feel she’s being pounced on,” says Janine, a customer service manager. “The guy can get a feel if the attraction is reciprocal, so he knows if he should bother approaching.”

Be upfront
The problem with lines is that they are, well, lines. “I’ve heard a million pick-up lines, most of them lame,” says Kathleen, a travel writer. “People who are just themselves are far more successful.”

Mary, a communications consultant, is also suspicious of lines. “I hate anything sleazy or suggestive and run the other way,” she says. “But I like if a guy makes a remark related to where we are. For example, at an art exhibition, he could say, ‘What do you think of this piece?’”

Use humor
Wittiness wins over women. Here are some good examples: “Can I buy you a drink — or (shrug), a condo?” Bonnie, president of a Web site company, says when that line
It’s what he’s got to offer after that, that’s important.
look like a natural blond to you? I’ll take the condo.”

Brad, a healthcare lobbyist, says he’s had some luck with this one: “I’m sorry; were you talking to me?” When the woman says, “No,” he says, “Well, then, please start.”

Take caution with compliments
Karla Erovick, author of the book Love to Date, Date to Love, suggests you avoid complimenting a woman on her body — no matter how great she looks. “It’s better to say something like, ‘you seem happy’ or ‘you have beautiful eyes,’” she says. Or compare her to a gorgeous movie star. “I like when someone says I look like Helen Hunt because she’s stunning,” says Jennifer.

Avoid mean and selfish comments
Cynthia, a banker, still gets mad when she remembers the guy who thought he was being cute when he told her that she looked like a bobbing-head dashboard dog. And guys who make mean comments about others in the room turn her off. “That indicates he is small minded,” she says.

Kathleen hates lines that try to hook her with some material possession. “Am I supposed be impressed by ‘want to see my Ferrari?’ It’s insulting that they think I am so shallow that it will work on me,” she complains. In their efforts to woo women, many men only anger them. And that’s the worst thing you can do, says Karla. “If she feels insulted, you’ll lose any opportunity to talk to her."

Make your move
So... back to you and the babe across the room. If you want to make a move, here’s what to do: Move! “Most anything with a speck of truth and delivered with a smile will get my attention. But if he wants me to linger,” Bonnie says, “It’s what he’s got to offer after that, that’s important.”

Maryann Hammers is a freelance writer who contributes to Happen.
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