“Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again?”
“I hope you know CPR, because you just took my breath away.”
“If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put “U” and “I” together.”

Sound familiar? I hope not! If lines like this are regulars in your flirting repertoire, keep reading. When I was on the singles scene, I can’t tell you how many times I tried to keep a straight face while guys tried similar verbal scams on me. Bad pick-up lines come in all shapes in sizes, but most are cheesy, creepy, or gross! When girls gossip over their male misadventures, this topic typically makes the rotation. “How is it possible that guys think this stuff works?” Jackie asked me last weekend. I agree with Jackie so much that I’m taking her advice and sharing the worst pick-up line offenders as well as some alternative, practical flirting tips for men that I guarantee will work better than “Come here often?”

The Cheesy Pick-up Line

Sure, many girls say they wish that guys acted more like a leading man in a romantic comedy. But the truth is, if the first words you utter to a potential date sound like you borrowed them from the silver screen, you are likely to appear insincere and even manipulative. Drippy words of love are best saved for true lovers, not strangers.

– Flirting Alternative: A Sincere Compliment

Ditch the sap and instead approach her with a simple and sincere compliment. Does her sweater bring out her eyes? Is she tearing up the dance floor? Did you notice her infectious laugh? A humble and sincere compliment is often a pleasant surprise, which is far better than a sappy verse that provokes doubt and dis-trust.

The Creepy Pick Up Line

If your opening words suggest that you have been closely observing the object of your affection, you can bet you will scare her, not seduce her. I’ll let you in on a foundational first date tip; steer clear of ice breakers that probe too deeply into your new acquaintance’s private life. A meet-and-greet is not the time to shock, dismay, or invade the other person’s comfort zone.

– Flirting Alternative: Non-intrusive Icebreaker Topics

You can certainly get to know a new person in your first exchange without passing their personal limits. General questions about career or subject of study are non-intrusive and allow you to gain a lot of information about a person’s lifestyle and interests. You can also strike up a conversation about common local topics like sports teams, seasonal events, or hometown anecdotes. Keep conversation light and respectful in order to gain your potential date’s confidence instead of creeping her out.

The Gross Pick-up Line

Mentioning or alluding to sex in the first few exchanges with a woman is a dating mistake that can leave her feeling vulnerable, uncomfortable, and taken advantage of. Sexual references and jokes are in extremely bad taste when you are introducing yourself to a woman. If tawdry humor is part of your personality, wait to feel out your potential date before springing sexual anecdotes.

– Flirting Alternative: G-rated Jokes

Laughter is not only the best medicine, it is also a little known flirting tip for men that works like a charm, as long as it’s appropriate for any audience. Some of my girlfriends have a sassy sense of humor and don’t mind a dirty joke or two, but they unanimously agree that they’re never ready for red light humor when a guy his making his first impressions. Crack her up with a joke she can tell her mother when she gossips about meeting you, instead of editing it out when complaining about the jerk that hit on her with a sexy pick up line!

As far as pick up lines are concerned, I think I took care of the worst offenders. And as for dating tips for men, I will be back with more of those in the future. In the meantime, I’d love a guy’s perspective. What are your flirting “Do’s” and “Don’ts”?

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