We’ve all had it happen: you’re in a coffee shop, minding your own business, and a really good-looking person gets behind you in line. They are gorgeous, and you have to pick your jaw up off the floor so you don’t trip over it as you move toward the cash register. You wonder if you should say anything, and then tell yourself you’ll look like a fool if you do.
But why the hell shouldn’t you?
Students wait in line at the Laughing Goat coffee shop in the Norlin Library Nov. 4, 2010. The CUI's Hannah Morrison suggests that you try being a bit more spontaneous and talking to that person behind you in line. (CU Independent File/Paul Sampson)
I think people have forgotten the art of being brazen. Nowadays it’s defined as being “pushy.” If a guy walks up to a girl and starts talking to her, he’s considered a player. If a girl chats up a guy at the movie theatre, she’s considered desperate.
There is nothing desperate or player-esque about genuinely wanting to talk to someone.
Let’s face it – trying to get to know people in high school (particularly when you found them attractive) was a complicated ritual of Mayan standards. There was the right time, the right place, the right way to compliment them, the right way to ask for their number – it’s like you needed an instruction manual just to function in a social setting. Well, toss that manual away. You’re an adult now – it’s time to learn a little thing I like to call spontaneity.
Let’s go back to that cute person in the line behind you. First off – breathe deeply. Calm yourself down. Approaching a stranger in a hot-and-bothered state is not conducive to getting to know them. That is where cheesy pick-up lines were born. Inhale deeply through your nostrils, exhale through your mouth and relax. Remember that you are an amazing individual and you are capable of anything, including introducing yourself to someone you don’t know.
Now, it’s time to approach said attractive person. The easiest thing to do is to flash them a smile. Smiling is the universal signal that you are friendly and open. Relax your shoulders and straighten your spine. Act with radiance, even if you’re not quite feeling it yet. Exuding confidence is a huge turn-on for both genders. If it helps, imagine someone you admire and how they would act in this situation.
Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation. If you’re waiting in line at Starbucks, ask them what they’re getting. Comment on something they’re wearing – maybe they have a kick-ass pair of Sperrys on or that new Burton jacket you saw online last week. Everyone responds well to compliments. It helps to be observant. Notice if they’re tapping their foot to the music playing over the speakers and ask them about it. If they’re reading a novel, ask them about it.
Okay, now for the tricky part. Let’s say they’ve responded positively to you (who wouldn’t?). The conversation is flowing well, and you’re both laughing and smiling a lot. Be honest. Tell them you think they’re cute and you’d love to go out with them sometime. Ask if you can swap phone numbers or add them on Facebook. Yes, you only just met them. But honestly, think about it: if someone came up to you dripping with confidence, told you they thought you were really cute and they’d love to buy you coffee, wouldn’t you say yes?
I thought so.
Granted, sometimes it just doesn’t work out. If they tell you they’re flattered but they’re with someone, then smile and say OK. Walk away with your head held high. Don’t be angry with yourself or feel like an idiot. It was just bad timing. Don’t let that stop you from trying again.
Remember that the goal of this is not to meet your soul mate, although it could happen. Even so, there is something extremely rewarding about knowing that you can be courageous. It’s worth a shot – who knows, you might meet someone who changes your life.
Contact Independent Staff Writer Hannah Morrison at Hamo7004@colorado.edu
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