How to Get Sparks Flying with a Guy at a Party

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I won’t lie and pretend to be an expert at boys and (trust me) college has done little to change that. Last year was a series of unfortunate events with the opposite sex. I was wildly self-conscious and too shy. I thought I’d get a guy to flock to me (aren’t wallflowers everyone’s type?). I thought a friendly conversation was the end goal. I thought having eight girls around me with my back against the wall was the best strategy. Silly, stupid Anna.

Here are simple and college girl-tested ways to get a guy at any party.

Looking on the bright side, all that embarrassment has taught me what works and what doesn’t work at getting (and keeping) a guy’s attention at a party. Worst case scenario? You embarrass yourself in front of a boy you’ll probably never see again. So play on, player.

Pre-party:

Wear a confidence booster.

Look good, feel good– we know already. What I’m saying is wear something that makes you feel like world domination is within your grasp. I swear by a black tank top (any V-neck will do). My friend swears by fake eyelashes. For my sister, it’s anything red (lipstick, tank top, doesn’t matter). Wear something that makes you feel like day student you is taking a knee and charming party you is now on stage.

The approach:

Divide and conquer.

Who knew that smaller groups of two or three are much more approachable than a group of 7 giggling girls? Just don’t branch off and stand around; pair up with a mission in mind. Need a refill? Go approach the yummy guy at the keg together. At least you know she’ll laugh at your jokes.

You be the brave one.

This is the 21st century. You can’t count on men for anything. No, but seriously, why do we always wait for the guy to make the first move? In the name of female equality, take one last swig of whatever is in your hand and approach the sexy guy in the Matt Nathanson t-shirt.

Setting the trap:

Be observant.

Whip out your detective skills. Is he wearing a club lacrosse shirt? Ask about that. Is he wearing a Bears shirt? Sweet! You’ve been to Chicago. This just got so easy: “Bears fan?”

Talk about them.

People love talking about themselves so keep asking questions. If he starts asking questions about you, you’ve stumbled your way into a conversation. If he’s blowing you off, then move on. He clearly doesn’t appreciate GOLD when it’s right in front of him.

Crack some jokes.

Humor is so sexy. Carry on a little banter and he will be the one feeling in over his head. She’s beautiful, nice, AND witty. Oh God, I’m talking to Jennifer Aniston.

Don’t worry about saying just the right thing. Say… whatever.

Get weirdly honest. Ask bizarre questions. This is my theory: Maybe you’ve talked to a perfect human being (like Ryan Gosling look-a-like) who adorably admitted something like he pocket dialed his mom during class the other day. Then you had this moment of recognition like, wait a second, he’s not God. He’s human. In my opinion, you have to be willing to embarrass yourself. It just brings you down to earth.

Apologies, but these last three are all about drinking games:

Play a drinking game. Any drinking game will do.

What is a more solid excuse to strike up a conversation than needing a drinking buddy/partner-in-crime? If you show up and the guys are playing some ridiculous game like Murder ball, go up and ask the blonde one to explain the rules to you. Beer pong already set up? Ask the dime on your left if he wants to get in on the next round. If there’s a crowd standing around, start chanting for a wild game of Slap Cup (and make damn sure the sexy guy is to your right).

Trash talk. Then trash talk more.

Most guys love a good round of trash talking. Remember that sex god standing to your right during Slap Cup? Start teasing him that you’re about to get him good and drunk. Your Slap Cup game (like your trash talking game) is off the charts. The only thing that could hold you back is a bad audience (and if they’re not willing to participate in some verbal friendly fire, who needs them?)

Make the most of your skills.

My suggestion: get really, really good at drinking games. All of them. Can’t really start up a huge game or trash talk if you have no skills to back it up. But, if you are one of those people with horrible hand-eye coordination, never fear. Back-up plan? You suck, but you not only admit it, you call yourself out. Pull a classic damsel in distress: “Hey, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: I’m terrible at this game. Would you like to form an alliance and destroy (this person) instead?”

Bonus: Chin up and YOLO

Most importantly, remember that every cute, well-built and charming guy is just a guy. One guy on a campus that’s literally crawling with other gentlemen. It doesn’t matter if he’s uninterested or if during your approach, you trip over LITERALLY nothing. We’re all just trying to survive in a hook-up culture.

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Top 10 Things to Say to Get a Guy to Like You (or at least look your way)

1. A pun, any pun, will do.

Tired of hearing lines like, “If you were a chicken, you’d be impeccable?” Turn the tables on your crush and throw out a solid pun that will make him rethink all of his pick-up line choices. “I think the most memorable line I’ve used was at a party —I was dared to do this—towards one of my classmates at the time. The line was ‘I’m not drunk, but I’m intoxicated by you,’” said University of Texas at Austin freshman Fernanda Loya. “It kind of worked, since it broke the ice and he’s my best friend. I’m always using them to throw him off too.”

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Andrea is a sophomore English major at Boston College. She enjoys binge snacking, psychoanalyzing her friends and saying medium instead of grande just to piss Starbucks employees off. Friends and cute boys call her Anna.

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