You cannot make pick-up lines less lame
But since when did being lame ever stop our advice-minded friends at MSN? Today, they provide a valuable service of telling guys the brand-new non-pick-up line pick-up lines they can use to pick up women without picking them up. And they suggest that jazz is smooth, which is an insult to good jazz.
Changing your game
The phrase "pick-up line" implies that you're trying to lift an object (a woman) and transport her from one place (a bar) to another (a bed). Let's ditch that phrase and the mentality that goes with it.
Instead, make your goal to meet a girl you could actually date.
Possibly the greatest lie that we flatter ourselves with in this culture is the one where we tell ourselves that there are one-night stands and people you "actually" date. One night stands sometimes turn to love, my friends. And if you don't think someone that would be picked up in a bar is worth dating, then how can you justify to yourself that you are worth dating, since you pick people up in bars?
Anyway, the not-at-all-lame pick-up lines.
1. Find a common denominator
"I was wearing a shirt with some band's name on it when a guy came up and asked if I was a fan," says Celia, 28, "It actually was my roommate's shirt. I'd never heard of the band, but we got to talking and now we're dating."
This is finding something in common? What did he find out? If he liked the band, he found that she didn't even know who the band was. If he didn't like the band, then he did find something that they have in common, but he is also a freak. Asking someone if they like a band when they are wearing the T-shirt is a moronic question. Outside of this girl, when someone wears a band T-shirt, that's usually what they mean to express--that they like the band.
2. Keep it simple, stupid
"I've found that a simple 'Hello' works best," reports Paul, 31. "I just give the greeting, and the conversation flows from there." Warning: Paul bears a remarkable resemblance to Matt Damon, which may explain his unusual success.
You'll see this advice a lot, and while I admire the spirit of it, I can't stand behind the substance. In spirit, they are trying to explain that being yourself is always a good plan and coming up with some bold and clever line just makes you look like an asshole. In reality, when a guy hits on a girl by just saying "Hello," nine times out of ten, she'll say hello back and keep on her way. Some kind of follow-up would probably be useful.
3. Revise a classic
"My brain shuts down when guys ask me, 'Haven't I seen you somewhere before?'" opines Kirby, 35. "At least make your lines more specific. Something like, 'Don't you work out at the local gym?' or 'Didn't you model at the last [designer] show?'"
"Even if it's just a line," Kirby adds, "at least it's a flattering one."
Didn't I see you at the garbage dump? I have never been anything but annoyed when someone tries to get me to brainstorm with him where we know each other from when he knows for a fact this is the first time he's seen me. It's not cute. Dressing it up won't change that fact.
4. Play the name game
"I'd much rather a guy just come up and ask me my name than use some cheesy pick-up line," notes Lisa, 27.
Note: There's still a big difference between "What's your name?" and "What's your sign?" Despite what you may have heard, don't go there.
Again, this is the sort of advice that sounds good, but if some strange guy just walked up to me and asked my name without fanfare, I would be scared.
5. Keep it real
"'You look just like Jennifer Lopez,' can come off as a pathetic pick-up line," advises Filona, 19. "Especially if I know I don't look like the celebrity you're referencing."
"Some guy actually told me once," reveals Shelley, 27, "that I looked just like a favorite pet he had growing up. He meant it as a compliment, but that was a little too real for me."
How stupid, really, do they think guys are? False flattery is a bad idea for anyone.
6. Listen ... then listen some more
"There's nothing worse than when a guy who brags about his car, his job or his video game collection," says Beth, 32. "Remember, guys, show an interest in the girl and she'll reciprocate. You can stand to hear about her pet Chihuahua for a few minutes."
This is that nefarious good advice that they always slip in. Listening to people is in fact the best way to get them to like you, of course. But it's not surefire.
8. Play off your surroundings
"The problem with bars is that they offer no outlet for conversation — besides alcohol," says Roberta, 48. "If you're dating online, you can ask questions based on what a guy wrote in his free profile. If you're at the zoo, you can talk about the zebras. If you're at a strip club, well ... you may want to revert to basic pick-up lines."
They forgot #7, but have nine hints, bringing the total to the promised eight. They seriously need editors.
Anyway, there is pretty much nothing you can say to a stripper to get her to go home with you. If you're always hitting on strippers and no one else, that might be why you never get a date.
9. Know somebody
"My friends have my back," says Tracy, 34. "If one of my friends introduces you, then I know you're definitely someone I want to meet."
Plus, if you have friends, you seem less like some scary, friendless, lonely person. So if you are friendless, hire some new friends. Or join a frat.
I sat there and mulled for exactly 3 seconds over the dilemma this article presents--if the "old" lines don't work and the "new" lines don't work, what lines work? This sort of advice leads people to believe there is a magic set of words that will make someone swoon over you and do what you want them to. But the truth is that if someone likes you, they'll overlook a somewhat clumsy greeting, and if they don't like you, nothing you say will persuade them otherwise.