Social Question

submariner's avatar

What are the dos and don'ts of flirting with strangers in public?

Asked by submariner (4145 points ) November 28th, 2010

I’m not talking about bars or clubs. I mean places like bookstores, cafes, grocery stores, or laundromats.

My question is for both the “hunters” and the “hunted”, so to speak. If you’ve successfully approached an attractive stranger in a situation like this, how did you do it? If you’ve been the recipient of overtures from a stranger, how did you respond and why?

If you are unattached but would still prefer not to be approached at all in places like these, your view would interest me too.

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15 Answers

john65pennington's avatar

My history of flirting is very limited, since i flirted big time with my now wife and that was 45 years ago.

Before this, i was the type person that did not beat around the bush. i would walk straight to this person, reach out for a handshake, and introduce myself. saggitarians are like that. it worked for me. i never used the old line, “don’t i know you”?

Blackberry's avatar

I used to be shy and just not talk to any women lol. But I take JohnPennington’s approach because I’m older, more confident, and don’t have time for childish games lol. I say things like ‘Hi, how’s it going?’ If I just happen to be standing next to them, or simply hello. Or if the right situation arises, like you see the person reading a book you have read, tell them it’s a good book and introduce yourself. All my friends were right when they said, “The worst thing that can happen is she says no”.

Rejection hurts, but it’s worth it when it works lol.

zenvelo's avatar

I am not a successful flirter; my few successes have been because I noticed what the woman was looking at or had in her hands, and made a comment about it. and so I usually have my best luck in bookstores.

BarnacleBill's avatar

Asking for advice in the grocery store works much better than a pick-up line in a bar. Offering to share a table in a coffee shop is good, too.

Brian1946's avatar

I was at a Blockbuster video store in January, 1991.
I saw an attractive woman.
I noticed that she was wearing a restaurant uniform and a pin-on button or two.
I asked her about the buttons, she smiled, and then told me that she was a waitress at Coco’s.

I segued from that to what we were looking for @Blockbuster, to some other pleasantries, and then to asking her if she’d like to go out sometime.

For me, learning something about the person that you find genuinely interesting (I like Coco’s, especially their pies, and I have a lot of respect for restaurant servers), and expressing that in a nice, respectful manner really helped, although it didn’t always work.

However, usually when I’ve acted amorously, I’ve meant it, so my flirt rating isn’t much more than 0.

wundayatta's avatar

I never picked up any stranger. I had to get to know a woman before she would become interested in me. I’ll flirt nowadays, but not very much, and not with an eye to finding anything further. It would be nice if it seemed like it could go further—my ego always needs a stroke, but it can’t go anywhere so I just leave it and maybe have a little fantasy later on.

My sense is really what I hope for more than anything else. I don’t want there to be games played. I want people to be honest with each other about what they want and what their situation is. I don’t want anyone to “get over” on someone else by playing them or by pretending to be someone they aren’t.

I want people to be respectful to each other. I want people to accept no as no. I want people to have fun, but not make it into some kind of high stakes game about taking it or giving it up.

These are real people and they have real strengths and real problems. I want people to truly care for each other, so they don’t take advantage of weaknesses. I want people to see beyond surfaces, and to be interested in seeing and being seen—beyond the surface.

This is what I wanted for myself when I was single, and this is what I wish for others who still can flirt with strangers and mean it.

KatawaGrey's avatar

Do not, I repeat, do not flirt heavily with retail workers. I work in retail and it is supremely awkward when someone flirts with me because I can’t leave or diffuse the situation properly. It is also my company’s policy to not allow workers to exchange contact information with customers. However, if a retail worker responds to light flirting, I’d say you could ask when he/she gets off work. The trick is being able to figure out when he/she is sending you subtle signals in either direction.

gememers's avatar

Don’t pursue anyone if they give signals that they are not interested. Don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

ratboy's avatar

I know several approaches that don’t work. Don’t expose your nasty parts. Don’t be too coy.

Cruiser's avatar

Learn body language and study about “space” and non-verbal cues.

From_The_Ashes's avatar

If you’ve just met a girl don’t walk up to her and say, “Excuse me my dick just died, may I bury it in your ass.” They tend to get offended at that. Also when you’re at church don’t say, “Are you Jesus? Because I sure want to nail you.” Silly girls, they get all touchy over things like that.

(Just for laughs)

Haleth's avatar

I met a guy on the train who I dated for almost two years. Our first conversation was light and casual- no real flirting at all, just talking about shared interests. Usually I’m on edge in public places, but he didn’t make my alarms go off because he didn’t seem like he was trying to flirt with me.

By the way, here’s a really sweet video about meeting someone on a train. Stalker-ish, but sweet.
A Thousand Words

lovable's avatar

Strangers seem to put pick up lines on me all the time, but I usually don’t want them. In that case I usually experiment with there pick up line or compliments. Like if they say I am the most beautiful thing they ever seen I would say “oh” or if they ask me for a cell number I would say “1–800-wish-you-had-this” Things like that.

MRSHINYSHOES's avatar

Don’t go up to a seemingly beautiful girl with long hair from the back, because you never know “she” might turn around and you find out “she” is a long-haired guy! Ugh. :(

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