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Online Dating Magazine > Columns > Dating Triumphs & Tragedies > Pick Up Lines

Dating Triumphs and Tragedies
by Nicole Roberge

Pick Up Lines:
To Use or Not to Use

I recently had the good fortune of having a guy say to me:  “Hey, you look familiar.  Oh yeah, I read about you in a dictionary.  You were the definition of ‘fine.’”  Wow, I’d hate to read what that definition said.

Needless to say, that line didn’t work.  I mean, what’s so bad with a normal, “hi” and then some nice conversation.  Do people really think pick-up lines still work?  It seems so.

I decided to investigate a little by checking in with some of my friends.  After all, I have met a plethora of guys who have said weird things to me, so I was sure, and hoping, that some of them could enlighten me with any awful, or good, pick-up lines that they had received in the past, or even used themselves.


It turns out that not all pick-up lines are bad.  If they are lame, then yes.  Because the person should know better, and are just hurting themselves.  It’s about being honest with the person and themselves, and not trying to use some cheesy line to try and talk to someone.  Sometimes, however, a person can come out with a line so endearing and original that it does catch the other person’s attention and make them want to talk to them.  It’s all about creativity.  Let’s see what my friends had to say.

First, there is “Michelle.”  Her real name is Nicole, but if I used that, we’d all just get confused.  And no, it’s not me, it really is my friend Nicole…ahem….Michelle.  So Michelle’s personal favorite is:  “I really like your boots.  They look like something Bea Arthur would wear.”  Yowza.  She was in a bar at the time, and hopefully, the guy was drunk, because otherwise, why would any guy say that to a girl?  (I’m sure they were quite sassy boots, Michelle.)   He then asked if he could buy her a drink, and being the sassy gal she is, she replied, “No thanks, I am no Blanch.”  He then got the point and left her alone.

While she had the guts to say something, others don’t and will just sit there and listen to these guys comments over and over and suffer through it.  Some do it for that free drink, but trust me, it’s not worth it.  She also once got:  “There is a rule, if you sit in that bar stool you have to kiss me.  Sorry, I didn’t make the rule…” This did not work either, she tells me, and if I were Michelle, I would not have been sitting in that bar stool.  Or better yet, I would have sat there and ignored him, just to piss him off.  Then flirted with someone else.

People think it is just a good idea to use pick-up lines because it will initiate conversation, but usually, it puts a negative spin on the person.  Yet, they do it anyway.  When I talked to my male friend Reilly, however, he had a different take on pick-up lines.  “I tend to stay away from pick-up lines, but I do have a few questions that I frequently use to start a conversation that I find work better than, “you’re hot,” or “some weather we’re having,” he told me.  And being someone inventive and quirky has helped for him.  Instead, he asks things like, “Do you like your kitchen,” “What’s your dream place to live assuming you could get a job there? (which is quite interesting, because it makes you think more about it), and “If you could have any one servant that a king or queen of olden days would have (example: jester, bodyguard, or wench), who would it be?”  As fun as those are, he tells me the most popular is “Do you think your parents still smoke pot?”  That one will either get them thinking, laughing, and get conversation rolling—where the conversation leads to, who knows?  “These questions sound stupid, but trust me, they always succeed in starting a conversation, and then once the conversation has begun, it doesn’t matter what you started off talking about!”  Well done, Reilly!

I then had a chat with my brother-in-law…who gave me a list of somewhat generic pick-up lines, but assured me that he never used “most” of them.  They include such lines as: “Can I borrow your phone?  I promised I’d call my mother when I met my future wife,”  “Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk by again,” and “If I told you that you had a nice body would you hold it against me?”  Hmm…I have heard of these...maybe in middle school?  Sorry, Tom.  Maybe that’s when he used him.  I told Mr. Innocent that he probably used worse, and then joked that his main pickup line was to my sister, and he said:  “Hey, I love your house on Garfield Street.”  It’s probably only funny to me, but that is where she lived in college, and where he probably drove by a lot until he got the nerve to ask her out.  (They recently celebrated their 1st anniversary.)

Then I heard the most interesting pick-up line, and that was from my friend Palm.  As a guy approached the Starbuck’s cash register, he simply said, “Excuse me…you’re in my way.”  Now, he was either just being rude, or thought he was being witty and trying to get her attention.  Starbucks is quite the place to meet people.  I’ve had 10-minute long conversations with people in there, usually prompted over how long the line is, or standing in line, but once it was because we each offered each other the chance to go first in line, then realized it didn’t matter.  But never had I heard, “you’re in my way.”  Maybe I should try that.

The thing is that pick-up lines are risky.  You never know if someone will think it’s cute, will be bold and make fun of you, will come back with their own, or will simply get up and leave.  All in all, it’s better to be yourself and if you need to use a line to initiate conversation, then be witty and creative and come up with your own.  Here’s one for starters:  “Can you believe people still use pick-up lines?”  That’ll get the ball rolling.  


Dating Triumphs and Tragedies is published every Sunday by Online Dating Magazine columnist Nicole Roberge. She can be reached at

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