A pick-up line is a conversation opener with the intent of engaging an unfamiliar person for romance or dating. Overt and sometimes humorous displays of romantic interest, pick-up lines advertise the wit of their speakers to their target listeners. They are most commonly used by men on women.
Pick-up lines range from straightforward conversation openers such as introducing oneself, providing information about oneself, or asking someone about their likes and common interests, to more elaborate attempts including flattery or humor.
Pick-up lines based on humor tend to fall flat—but, they do get the speakers rated as relatively funny and sociable, and aren’t disfavored by women seeking brief liaisons,
a new study suggests.
Corwin Senko and Viviana Fyffe of the State University of New York – New Paltz conducted the research to assess why women respond differently to pick-up lines.
“Flippant pick-up lines, so often used
by men to impress women, often backfire,” the researchers noted. The study focused on remarks men make to try to initiate contact with women, rather than those used by women on men, as women are
“more often the recipients of pick-up
lines,” and “are often more discriminating” in mate choice, the researchers wrote.
In a survey, they asked 70 female university students how favorably
they would respond to various approach lines from men under different circumstances.
Previous research had shown this type of survey to yield results that line up well with women’s real-life reactions to pickup attempts in bars, Senko and Fyffe said.
The pair studied the effects of “flippant” lines such as “can I get a
picture of you so I can show Santa what I want for Christmas?” Women
rated men who used such opening gambits, opposed to other types, relatively high on humorousness and sociability, but low on trustworthiness and intelligence.
“Women rate the latter qualities more essential than the former ones in a long-term mate,” the researchers
wrote. Humor might not ordinarily signal low intelligence, they added, but the type of canned humor usually found in pickup lines could.
Two types of non-“flippant” pickup lines were also used in the survey
One type was the “direct” line, such as “I saw you across the room and knew I had to meet you. What’s your name?”
The other was the “innocuous” sort that conceals romantic intent, thus making rejection more bearable. An example: “You look really familiar. Have we taken a class together?”
The survey results saw the “flippant”
lines scorned by women who were asked to imagine themselves seeking a long-term mate. But for
women asked to think of themselves seeking a short-term mate, the type of pickup line didn’t matter, the researchers found: instead, the man’s perceived attractiveness was the key factor in the woman’s receptivity.
“Direct” pickup lines gave the best results on average, but the outcome
differences between them and the “innocuous” lines weren’t statistically significant, Senko and Fyffe reported.
The findings overall support past research showing that women seeking long-term relationships look
for qualities that make “good dads,”
while those seeking short-term flings
show greater preference for genes signaling good health, they noted.
“Given the modest link between physical attractiveness and health,”
they added, “attractiveness may be one such signal.”
Next time you’re chatting up a woman, open with humor. It’ll go over better than you may think. Turns out men have a hard time knowing how women respond to different pickup lines.
That’s according to a recent study from the University of Edinburgh. In particular, the study said men can’t guesshow well humor and sexual innuendo will go over with women.
Humor works. I’m not talking Carrot Top prop-comedy. Think dry wit, like Noel Coward. And if you have to look him up, that’s great — you’ll have something to talk about with her.
The best pick-up lines are the ones that are just so stupid you have to laugh, and that laughing will hopefully turn into an actual conversation.
Sexual talk, on the other hand, doesn’t work — though many men continue to think so.
Here’s a short summary, through the prism of Lisa Daily, a dating expert and author of Stop Getting Dumped! Being funny “gives” women something (a laugh), while sexual innuendo implies you want to “get” something from women (sex) .
Here’s how the study worked: Men and women were shown 40 situations in which a man tried to start a conversation with a woman. The men and women rated each
situation on how likely they thought the woman would be to continue the interaction.
The lines that the men tried fell into four categories: sexual, humorous, complimentary, or something that indicated he was a “good mate — such as discussing a painting at an art gallery or asking a female jogger who tripped if she was okay.
Turns out that men and women rated the scenarios differently.
Men overestimated how successful sexually explicit lines such as the candid, “Look, we get on pretty well, and I was just wondering if you want to have sex with me tonight?” would
And men underestimated how positively women would react to comments that displayed positive traits like kindness, wealth, and honesty.
Women also gave higher ratings to humorous approaches (“Excuse me, I just noticed you noticing me and I just wanted to give you notice that I noticed you too. . . “) than men thought they would.
Most sexual pickup lines don’t work because they indicate you only want one thing— and that’s not what women are looking for. Women don’t like to be sex objects. Men are very visual, and they see sex when they see a woman. It may be on your
mind, but keep it off your mouth.
Being overly confident that a woman wants to sleep with you is a turn-off. With most women, sexually explicit pickup lines have the opposite effect of what you’re hoping for— they repel women. Tone down the sex talk and you’re likely to get more action.
Women also tend to think that men who use these types of pickup lines have no depth.
They’re just a penis looking for a place to land.
Sometimes a compliment is the best way to approach a woman. But not something cheesy such as ” Your eyes are blue, like the ocean. And baby, I’m lost at sea.” Be sincere and specific, and avoid commenting on physical attributes.
Compliments work if they are honest, relatively unique to us, and not sexually charged. In other words, compliment her shoes, her wit, or her knowledge of kickboxing or the stock market. Not her fantastic lips and definitely not her fabulous body. Save those for when you know us better — a lot better.
Calling us beautiful is not bad. Calling us the most beautiful girl you have ever seen is terrible.
We are not in denial. We check out other women. No matter how good a girl looks or thinks she looks, she knows that there are hotter, more beautiful chicks around. Don’t lie to us!
No woman ever wants to feel like she is simply a target for sex. Most
women want to be with a nice guy – if you give us a glimpse of this in the beginning, you’ll have us hooked.
It’s far more intriguing to discover the sexy side of a nice guy than it is to learn that the all-about-sex guy has a ‘nice’ side.
You can show off your good qualities
by taking interest in whatever she’s doing. Asking a woman at a bookstore about the paperback she is looking at and talking to a woman at an art museum about
the painting she is admiring go a long way.
This doesn’t mean you have to start reading Shakespeare or studying Monet to attract a woman. In fact, namedropping in the wrong situation — such as quoting Byron in a bar
will most likely make you appear pompous instead of intellectual.
Don’t underestimate the power of humor. It’s easier for somebody to accept you or to continue the
conversation when you initiate it with a laugh. Say something funny that’s
relevant to where you are and what you’re doing. But, avoid sarcasm because it can put us off.
If you’re trying to make us laugh, you’re making an effort, which can
be immensely appealing. Don’t try this approach if you’re not funny. If you’re not getting real laughs, or if you find yourself saying ‘Get it?’ even once, it’s time to switch strategies.
Do a little long-distance flirting first, to see if she might be interested . If she smiles, holds eye contact, flips her hair, or exposes her neck, turns her body towards you, she probably has at least some interest.
Then move about half the distance between you and see if the flirting continues. If she looks longer or smiles more, make the move to
Smile. A smile is always a great approach. It’s the universal flirting skill, and it diffuses negativity.
Appearing distracted and angling herself towards her friends? Not so good. She’s shutting you down. She wishes you’d go away. You might want to move on.