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Samantha Karlin

Ms. Karlin is a nationally syndicated dating columnist and coach. She started in the "love" field as the creative director for America's top matchmaker, meeting regularly with the richest love-starved people of America. She then moved onto an Executive Position at Meezoog.com, penning the popular "D...

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The Dating Diva

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03/14/2011 12:30am
How to Approach a Girl

At the Bar
The hands down best pick-up line at a bar, agreed upon by pretty much all women except the Mormons (and even they would like to be asked) is “Can I get you a drink?”
Girls do not want to buy their own drinks. They want a boy to buy them a drink. Call this chivalry, call this whatever you want, I call it fact. Even if you don’t use this as your opener, make it happen shortly. The bottom line is if you don’t offer to buy a girl a drink within the first five minutes of talking to her, she will start to make eye contact with her friends, signaling to them “this guy is a loser, get me out of here.”
You say, “Well, what if I buy her a drink and then she ends up not being interested? Or worse, walks away? Then I’ve just wasted $7!” First of all, a girl who walks away immediately after you buy her a drink has zero manners and even less social skills. Thank god she walked away because you wouldn’t want to talk to her anyway. At least now you know and you can stop fantasizing.
Also, if the girl isn’t interested in you but is a cool girl, she’ll stick around to talk to you for at least a little while. And just because you are in a bar doesn’t mean that there isn’t networking potential. You could end up being in the same industry and be a resource to one another. And you never know, her friend might emerge from the bathroom two minutes later- and turn out to be your soul mate.
And then there is the ideal situation- You buy her a drink, she ends up being the girl of your dreams, and you have already started one step ahead of the game because she thinks you are a gentleman. Then your seven dollars was well worth it.
Also, hate to be crass girls, but if you are a guy just out looking to get some- you pretty much quadruple your chances of anything happening by getting the girl intoxicated.
Facebook – You friend her. If you have a friend in common: Use the friend when you send your message that accompanies the friend request- “Hey, how do you know so and so? We went to summer camp together. Did you go to Camp Okinawa too?” She will then look at your profile and decide whether she likes your profile and picture enough to respond back to you. She’ll know that you are hitting on her, but if you do it in a friendly way and she likes you on paper, she will play along. If she does, then you are in- you can handle it from there.
If you have no friends in common: this is tough, because you can easily look like a face book stalker. Not kosher. So here, casual and as uncreepy as possible is key.
Something as simple as “Hey, how’s it going?” is just fine. Or, “I see you went to Northwestern- I’m from Chicago- how did you like it?” Again, she will evaluate and respond accordingly.
Oh, and if you are going to hit on a girl on face book, for the love of god remove the pictures of you doing keg stands- you want to look fun, but not like a complete frat boy.
Online Dating Website: Here, you have access to her entire profile before you message her. You can make up at least a thousand funny quips from one profile. Therefore, a simple opener is less effective, because you have the resources to say something much more clever. Yes, it may be convenient to use a “Hey, what’s up?” in this situation, or send her a flirt or a poke, but you will not stand out this way- you will blend into the thousand other boring uncreative guys online dating who “like music and spending time with their family.” Find a way to make your message stand out: “You went on a safari? That’s pretty awesome. See any crazy snakes/something cool and African?” Show in your message that you have actually taken the time to read her profile.
The subject line should also be creative, and match whatever you are saying in your message. Whatever you do, do not let your subject line read “Hey.” Every single guy uses “Hey.” Be specific. A much more effective subject line says “African Safaris,” or “Blueberry waffles,” or ANYTHING besides “hey.”
My friend Bill said to me the other day,


dating, relationships
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