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.
Not sure what to say? Read the 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.”
Read on to get the full list for how to get a guy to like you.
2. Take inspiration from your surroundings.
The classic “you dropped your pencil” line works outside the classroom, too. Look left, right up and down for anything that sparks a creative line to blurt. UT-Austin freshman Stefany Alarcon found herself at a Starbucks near a nice boy from her school. And her line definitely beats an awkward tap on the shoulder. Alarcon said, “Hey, sorry, but you owe me a drink.” Her target asked why, of course. Alarcon’s response: “Because when I looked at you I dropped mine.” You can use this virtually anywhere with drinks—a coffee shop, a bar or even the dining hall. “I don’t think it’s the funniest pickup line but needless to say it did get me a couple of dates,” said Alarcon. Hey, at least you know it works.
3. Talk to his friend.
You need the courage to walk up to the cutie across the room. Why not work out the awkward small talk while talking to his friend first? Maybe he’ll wonder why you didn’t try talking to him. His curiosity will push him to butt into your conversation with his buddy and find out what’s making you giggle so much. Long story short, playing up the jealousy a bit won’t hurt. And if he doesn’t even bat an eye, you might find that his buddy actually seems like the better choice, anyway.
4. Say something so cheesy that he’ll have to laugh.
Weave your way into your potential bae’s heart through his funny bone. “If I see someone I like, I usually try to get in their vicinity and then find a reason to talk to them and hopefully make them laugh,” said UT-Austin freshman Malikiya Kela Thomas. The cheesiest of romantic statements will make him laugh, not roll his eyes, and maybe even convince him to buy you a drink. Thomas still needs to test this theory out, but maybe you can try it for us. “I’ve never used one, but I would trip and then hopefully they try to catch me. And I would say sorry I was just falling for you.”
5. Dare to talk politics.
If you can’t date someone whose political beliefs don’t align with yours, figure it out now rather than later. Better to stick with global politics, though, since U.S. politics tend to be interesting these days, to say the least. Nataliya Dudar, a freshman at UT-Austin, listened to a painful but hilariously political pick-up line. “This one guy walked up to me and said, ‘Are you from Russia? Cuz you’re Russian my heart rate.’” The kicker? “It totally did not work because I’m actually Ukrainian and there’s the whole conflict going on right now,” Dudar said. “In the moment, I freaked out, but now I think it’s pretty funny.”
6. Ask where the bathroom is.
Most people say not to talk about your bowel movements to potential #bae. Break with tradition. As he stands across the room huddled with a group of insanely tall guys, you need some kind of icebreaker to break him away from his friends. “If they’re in a group, I might try to ask them if they know where the bathroom is or something like that not to seem too obvious,” said UT-Austin freshman Sydney Swayzer. Once he leads you to the restroom, say you don’t need to go anymore. That way you can get some alone time without awkwardly breaking him away from his squad.
7. Strut like you mean it.
Yes, I quoted Cheetah Girls 2 with that opening. “When I see someone I’m interested in, I will casually strut past them a few times… and then I’ll walk up to them and introduce myself,” Dudar said. “Typically, the introduction is way less smooth than the strutting, but I can usually make a joke out of it.” Let your walk do the talk for you to get those sparks flying.
8. Give them some direction.
Make the first move, and then throw the ball in his court. “[I] say my name, what I am doing in the specific location, why I’m over there talking to them, and if they like what they see/hear, I’ll be over there *insert location* and casually walk away,” said Swayzer. Your air of confidence and mystery will lure him to wherever you told him to go. And if he doesn’t show up… then I guess you have your answer.
9. Feed his ego a bit.
“Wow, that shirt makes your muscles really stand out,” sounds like something he only dreams about hearing. Make his dreams come true and give him a compliment he can’t resist. And at least this way, you broke the ice and he can save his breath from using a pick-up line he found on Google. “My best friend has this pick up line that he uses: When you get hurt and a cute girl asks ‘if you’re okay,’ you say, ‘No, I’m about to drop dead from how gorgeous you are,’” said Alarcon. “I’ve seen him use it about three times… it still hasn’t worked to this day.” So definitely avoid that pick-up line and brainstorm new, genuine compliments.
10. Say anything. Who really cares, honestly?
He should feel #blessed enough that you deemed him worth your time and effort. Feel confident in your abilities to land any guy you want—as long as he deserves you, of course. Before I settled down and got (almost) hitched, I used a motto for myself, and now I tell my friends to use it for themselves: “I am a princess, and I should be treated as such, but I should not act like a princess.” So walk up to him, give it your best shot, and see what happens. At the end of the day, he’s the loser if he passes up the opportunity to get to know you.
Or 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.
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.
Divide and conquer.
Who knew that smaller groups of two or three are much more approachable than a group of seven 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:
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.
We survive hookup culture to hope we thrive in a relationship. Make sure your boyfriend knows exactly what you want to open up as a present so you don’t need to fake a toothy smile.
Double Bonus: A punny tank that will break the ice instantly
10 College Girl Tested Tactics:
“I wore a little pink crop top when I met Derek, and it was new so I felt very cute when I was wearing it. Derek and I did the usual handshake greetings when you meet someone and then talked about how we both lived in Allison this year, and we’re both from Illinois. I remember we bonded a lot over the DJ at the party because he kept on playing jams from middle school, and Derek and I were loving the music. Also, the DJ looked like he was in his 40s and was wearing a button down Hawaiian shirt but it wasn’t buttoned, so we talked about that too. The next day Derek even used the DJ as his opening line when he first texted me.”–Andrea Zuleta, Northwestern senior
“It’s as simple as touching his hair or giving him a compliment on his hair. Guys love that.”–Rachel Samson, Northwestern junior
“I’m huge into theater, but I was never a huge fan of going to cast parties. A friend had dragged me along to one for my junior year musical in high school. I ended up getting so nervous because of the neighborhood (I lived out in the country most of my life, and the house was in a less than friendly part of town), I had a panic attack. One guy found me and spent about twenty minutes trying to calm me down. We ended up becoming best friends and started dating about a year later. We’ve been together for two years. “–Krissy Nommensen, UW-Milwaukee sophomore
“I’m just more about friendship first, and if it’s supposed to turn into something more, then it’ll happen naturally.”–Amber Luczak, Northwestern sophomore
“I met this guy at a music festival. Cute, kind of drunk (weren’t we all) and he came up and made a Star Wars reference which he then morphed into an innuendo. I asked him about other favorite fantasy/sci-fi series and shared some of my favorites which really got the conversation rolling. We ended up dancing like uncoordinated idiots and hanging out and making out for the rest of the festival. Don’t be afraid to share the things you think make you weird because it gives the other person permission to do the same. This cute guy got 10 times cuter for gushing about the Wheel of Time series.”–Kim Schadrie, University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate
“You can definitely use eye contact. You can see a guy across the room and if you look him in the eyes long enough he’ll probably come over to you. And if you’re talking already, you can look him in the eyes and smile at him.”–Rae Thomas, Northwestern junior
“Dancing more loosely with your body always helps, and also singing along to a song always works because then you guys can connect when you both know all the lyrics.”–Tiffany Anderson, Northwestern junior
“For me a party is always a good place to try out a fun outfit, something that makes you look and feel good. If you feel confident, I think that draws people to you. A personal favorite of mine is high waisted jeans, because you can dress them up or down as much as you want. Plus you can pair them with any cute crop top or a longline tunic.”–Nica Assana, Marquette junior
“There’s this guy I had a thing with on and off and usually at parties we’d rekindle our relationship. I would usually avoid him in the beginning of the night and as the night went on I’d drop flirtatious hints and get more social with him. So to get the sparks flying I’d usually wait until we were alone and make some kind of move, like lean my head on him or sit on his lap obnoxiously. I would be persistent throughout the night after deciding how I wanted it to end.”–Margo Mummau, currently on a gap year
“My now boyfriend and I were already becoming friends and had started to get to know each other. We hadn’t really had much time together, though, outside of brief conversations about our classes and other commitments. When we went to the party with our friends, we finally had time to escape the constant preoccupation with assignments and meetings. We had the opportunity to relax and actually get to know each other as people. We quickly realized that we really liked each other and that’s when our relationship finally started.”–Marina Porter, Northwestern senior
10 Creative Ways to Get a Guy’s Attention at a Party
Writted by Maud Purinton
Still need some help approaching that cute guy at a party? Look no further. Read on for some tried and true ways to get the chemistry going if those one-line puns are just not doing the trick. But first… you’ll need some ingredients to begin: a banging outfit, a whole lotta confidence (fake it till ya make it!), great perfume and of course some self-love.
Keep reading for 10 Creative Ways to Get a Guy’s Attention at a Party.
1. Truth or Dare/ Would You Rather
Not just a group game with excessive drinking and shouting —go up to that guy and ask them a funny truth or dare or would you rather question. You can also make this creatively flirty or humorous! Truth: Who do you think is the cutest person at the party? Dare: Staring contest. OR Would you rather: find true love and be poor or never find true love and be rich? You can really personalize this one and it will undoubtedly spark up a longer conversation.
2. Offer up an Activity that Gets you Alone
Parties can be busy and loud, so one of the best strategies for showing a guy you are interested in them is offering to do something with them alone. Ask to have a tour of the house or if you’re feeling super creative just say, “let’s go on an adventure.” This one you may have to make up on the spot, but it is creative and unique if you can pull it off. “Make up something outlandish so they know you’re interested,” said University of St Andrews junior Jenna Martin. “Men have a hard time taking a hint so the stranger the better. For example, I once asked a guy at a party if he thought my coat was in a bathroom, despite never having gone in the house, he took the hint and we ‘looked’ together.” Going somewhere a little more…private really does do the trick, because just as Jenna points out, people sometimes have a harder time taking a hint.
3. Say a Hot Take or Make A Joke
This one can be super funny and will undoubtedly start a conversation lasting longer than just a few words. “I think Friends is a horrible TV show” is my go-to hot take. Make it personal; it gives them a little more information about you and you can hear their opinion which will probably be passionate. Puns work great, too. Pull from your surroundings or make a pun out of their first name. An example: an Adam and Eve pun, this one is straight forward and works extra well if your name is Eve or his name is Adam.
4. “Biden” Them
If you haven’t seen New Girl and are not familiar with the term “Bidening” someone, you’re missing out. In all seriousness though, the essence of “Bidening” someone is to always be around the person. Winston in New Girl shares his strategy with Jess at a wedding for getting someone’s attention: “Be there. No matter where he goes, be there. He gets a drink, be there. He talks to his friends, be there. At the end of the night, be there.” Maybe you stay in their line of sight for most of the night or in proximity. If you linger around for a while, they probably will start off conversation. “We were at a small pregame and I saw that cute guy I liked, I decided I was going to ‘Biden’ him,” said William and Mary senior Eliza Quinn. “I was constantly around him, talking to his friend, getting a beer when he did. I was always in his line of sight, and he eventually came up to me started a conversation and then we ended up dating for two months.” Using this tactic works very well if you don’t know the best way to start a conversation, being constantly around him will urge him to come up to you, the ball is now in his court.
5. Look at Them
This one is the oldest trick in the book; if you give that certain someone intense eye contact and they notice, they will be intrigued. Look at them when dancing or playing a game, and if you do end up getting into a conversation, then remember the importance of eye contact. “I was on the dance floor and made eye contact with a girl across the party. We kept exchanging glances and I could tell that she was interested,” said William and Mary senior James Liddy. “I raised my eyebrows and she immediately came over, we hit it off instantly.” Eye contact and consistent stares for the win. Another crucial part of your body you can use to your advantage is your lips. An interesting study done by Doctor Geoff Beattie says that “lips represent the most sensual aspects of a woman’s body and play a critical role in human attraction.” Who knew that lips are one of the most crucial factors of determining initial attractiveness? Let’s use this to your advantage and maybe put some lip gloss on before you make that first move.
6. “Lose” Your Phone
This one requires some sneaky moves. Put your phone on a random surface and go up to that cutie and say, “Hey I lost my phone, can I call it from yours?” Once you search around a little bit with them and find your “lost” phone, you can easily get into a conversation since you got the initial startup out of the way! Also, a bonus score: you just got their number. If you were able to have a good chat, then you can text them a flirty thanks the next day. Another tactic that works every time: asking for a phone charger. “Asking to charge my phone in the boy’s room has always worked for me,” said Johnson and Wales junior Meagan Filkowski. This also gets you some one on one time outside of the party!
7. Make Up A Story
This one can create some of the funniest conversation starters. Pull from your surroundings and try and guess other people’s narratives at the party. Are those people in the corner dating, about to hook up or absolutely hate each other? This is also a fun thing to do with just friends. If you use it on your party cutie though, it’s a good way to get both you and him involved in creating a funny scenario.
8. Offer to Shotgun a Beer
Disclaimer: you do not have to be good at shotgunning beers. I repeat you do NOT have to be good at shotgunning. This tactic shows a guy that you are a ~chill beer girl~ and works the best on hyper–masculine frat dudes. They will be surprised that you offer it in the first place. Plus, guys love a little flirty competition.
9. Be bold
This technique may come off as a little bold and you obviously want to check for consent before, so you don’t completely misread the vibes. If you start chatting and things get flirty, the best way to show your interest in a guy —sealing the deal with a physical action. “I asked ‘what would you do if I kissed you right now’ and then kissed them,” said University of Vermont junior Ivy Johnson. Let’s be honest, sometimes subtle flirting just won’t cut it. Taking a bolder step may be intimidating, but confidence is sexy; men are statistically attracted to more confident women so use this to your advantage ladies!
10. Combine These!
Although some of these options work on their own, a combination of them can really do the trick. It may be more common than not for ladies to start up the conversation at a party, so just try some of these methods out—they may work!
Parties can be some of the best places to meet someone, but that does not mean you’re going to luck out every time. Even if they go over poorly, they make a hilarious story to tell your friends, or at your eventual wedding if you end up hitting it off. Most guys I asked said the best ways a girl can make the first move is if they seem confident in what they say or do. Moral of the story: confidence is key, even if you have to fake it till you make it.
Updated by Meghan Gresk on Monday November 21, 2016 to include 10 College Girl Tested Tactics.
Updated August 18, 2017 by Celina Pelaez to include “Top 10 Things to Say to Get a Guy to Like You (or at least look your way).”
Updated on October 30, 3030 by Maud Purinton to include 10 more creative ways to get a guy’s attention at a party.