The ultimate guide to getting a date without going online!
This guide will walk you step-by-step through the three key phases of how to get a date in the real world:
- How to Attract the Right Guy Like a Magnet (without saying a word)
- Key Scripts to Break the Ice + Ignite a Convo (even if you’re shy around men)
- How to Get Him to Ask You Out (and have him think it was his idea)
Question for you – any of these thoughts popped into your head lately…
How can I meet quality guy in real life?
What signals can I give to have him to approach me?
What do I say to him? I always clam-up around guys I’m attracted to!
How do I get him to ask me out?
If you’re a single woman, if any of those resonate with you, and if you’d rather eat a bar of soap than go on another awful Tinder date, this ultimate guide is tailor-made for you.
It’s a truly unique piece on a truly unique topic that no one else is talking about yet: Offline Dating.
No apps. No profiles. No matchmaking.
Just tons of authentic tips, techniques and skills to naturally meet + date men in the real world.
And this guide will walk you step-by-step through how to do all of it in 3 simple steps:
- How to Attract the Right Guy Like a Magnet (without saying a word)
- Key Scripts to Break the Ice + Ignite a Convo (even if you’re shy around men)
- How to Get Him to Ask You Out (and have him think it was his idea)
“I tried applying just a few of your tips, like smiling and not looking at my phone – and it worked! I sat at the bar, and in less than 20 minutes someone walked up and asked to sit by me. 10 minutes later he asked me out. Your advice works like a charm in Israel too!”
Table of Contents
Here are ALL the details you’re about to learn in this guide…
- Who am I – and why did I write a guide on how to meet men IRL?
- Three quick notes to avoid “ultimate guide overwhelm”
- Essential warm-ups to instantly boost your social confidence with everyone
- Here’s where all the quality men are hanging out – and how to spot them
- Tip #1: The powerful 10-second ritual to do before heading out
- Tip #2: Men are visual creatures and this is what triggers them
- Tip #3: He’s PETRIFIED of approaching you – unless you do this
- Tip #4: The instant antidote to Resting Bitch Face
- Tip #5: The split-second move that shows him you’re interested
- Tip #6: When you DON’T do this, it’ll make it much easier for him to approach
- Your Magical “How We Met” Story, Part 1: Attraction Amongst the Apples
- How to respond to his icebreaker (and why it’ll be super random)
- The most common icebreaker topics (and how to handle each)
- 9 ways you can break the ice with him (without risk of rejection)
- The crucial next step to keep the convo going
- The powerful tip to showcase your natural curiosity (and never run out of questions)
- Your Magical “How We Met” Story, Part 2: The Subtle Segue into Meaningful Convo
- The one phrase that will instantly get him to ask you out
- How not to miss it when he asks you out (because it may be super subtle)
- What to do if you DON’T want him to ask you out
- Your Magical “How We Met” Story, Part 3: A Shared Love Leads to Dinner Plans
“Aside from dating, your classes have helped me open up to better connections not only with guys but with women as well. I’m becoming friends with more co-workers! Feeling more comfortable around people in general is a great feeling.”
Who am I – and why did I write a guide on how to meet men IRL?
Hi, I’m Camille!
I’m an offline dating expert and coach who loves helping singles like you ditch the apps and get the skills and confidence to meet your match in the real world.
Hi! I’m Camille
After growing up painfully shy and socially awkward, I’ve spent more than a decade pushing past my introverted nature to master the art of meeting, engaging and authentically charming people in the real world.
In the process, I watched the number of times I was asked out by men climb well into the triple digits – without ever going online.
Other women kept asking for the secrets behind my dating and relationship successes, and my business Master Offline Dating was born!
I now coach single women around the world to get the same results through boosting social confidence, creating genuine connection, and exuding natural charisma so they can find lasting commitment – and have a lot of fun in the process!
“I had so many breakthroughs while working with Camille…it almost felt like I was cheating on my therapist with her! She knew exactly what I needed and catered her coaching to my specific needs. It was like having a personal trainer for my relationships.”
And I’ve been featured in dozens of international media publications, podcasts, and radio like Bustle, GrowthLab, YourTango, Elite Daily, Social Confidence Mastery, and WGN Radio to name just a few.
I’m passionate about helping people feel less lonely + isolated in our tech-obsessed world – whether it leads to making a new friend, getting a hot date, or sharing a smile with someone in passing.
That’s why while I create material with single women seeking men in mind, but most tips and techniques will get you results regardless of your gender or sexual orientation.
Because when it comes down to it, we’re all just humans who want love and social acceptance – and no matter how you identify, this guide will give you the skills to add much more of both in your life.
And I’m excited to show you how to do all of that – and much more!*
*Note: this guide is very tactical – but tactics are useless if you’re not in the right mindset to meet someone. In my private coaching program Confidence Connection Charisma, I work with clients on a much deeper level to build a strong foundation of self-confidence and mastering your mindset so you get the absolute best results possible when you finally apply the tactics.
Interested in learning more about Confidence Connection Charisma and what it can do for you?
Three quick notes to avoid “ultimate guide overwhelm”
1. There’s a LOT of information in here, so don’t get overwhelmed!
Read everything as you have time – on your morning bus commute, at the gym, or download to your desktop at work and read on your lunch break.
2. Start with applying just one or two tips from each step in your own life.
You do not – repeat, do NOT – need to apply every tip in order to start seeing amazing results.
Start small, find what feels natural to you (and slightly uncomfortable in a good way) and go from there.
3. Download the guide as a PDF to read at your convenience.
Let’s be honest, the chance of you reading through this entire 11,000+ word guide on your internet browser and actually applying the tips are slim to none.
And what good are all these tips if you don’t apply them?
Essential warm-ups to instantly boost your social confidence with everyone
Before we dive into all the tips on attracting the right guy, it’s important to get your social confidence muscle warmed up.
What the what?
It’s true, confidence is like a muscle: the more you work it, the stronger it gets.
Unless you’re an extrovert extraordinaire who’s already comfortable chatting-up anyone, you’ll want to start slow by having conversations with people you’re comfortable with.
This could mean trying a new activity (like a painting class) or event (like a concert) with a girlfriend so you can practice talking to people who have a common interest.
Or if you’re comfortable doing things solo, try different approaches to engage people:
Start with striking up a conversation with women, then move on to doing the same with men you aren’t attracted to – maybe elderly gentlemen (which they will absolutely love).
Watch people’s faces light up when you give them a compliment, or hold the door open for them. Positive reactions like this will be the fuel and motivation for you to keep doing them, even when they’re uncomfortable at first.
Making someone else feel good is contagious – it’s impossible not to feel great yourself!
Start by giving someone a compliment and watch their face light up – it’s addicting
Also, chat up-people in the service industries. They’re paid to be nice to you and having you acknowledge them as a fellow human (i.e. not public servant) will be so refreshing.
Say “Thanks!” and flash a big smile to the bus driver as he’s letting you off.
Ask how your waiter’s day is going and then genuinely listen to his response.
As his company’s name suggests, Derek is an off-the-cuff personality that gets straight the point – and he loves creating reactions in people by disrupting social norms.
So his “practice on people in the service industry” means changing-up what you say.
That could be giving the person a genuine compliment, commenting on the price of something, or adding in What?! It’s discount Tuesday?! just for the hell of it.
Sidenote: I bought a course from Derek’s company and he reached to me personally via Facebook to see if I had any questions!
I was blown away – especially because I was early in my business, and this personal touch from an uber successful person felt amazing. I now model the same with my readers and clients with the same personal reach-outs.
Derek takes customer service seriously – I admire that, and have modeled it in my biz
Bottom line, it’s not about what you say, but just making the effort to connect and acknowledge someone.
All of these small actions will start rubbing off on you and begin building your confidence as “I’m someone who can make other people feel good” – which is easily built upon to eventually realize “I’m an awesome human being with a lot to offer someone.”
One last note…
Don’t save these skills just for people you’re attracted to. Or when the time is “just right”.
People have tendencies to think in “all-or-nothing” ways, like “I’m going to go to the gym every day for a month – or not at all!” or “I’ll save up this massage certificate for when I really, really need it!”
Life isn’t always about saving for a rainy day – especially when, honestly, it can be cut short any second.
So, permission granted to spray on your best perfume when you head to the grocery store, wear your Saturday night sexy dress to pick up your dry cleaning, and use that massage certificate right now (right, Mom?!).
When you allow yourself to indulge in the small joys of everyday life – including being open to interacting with people you come across – you’ll start realizing that every time you go out in public you have the chance to meet someone who could change your life.
Now, let’s go over some of the best places to try out those skills…
Here’s where all the quality men are hanging out – and how to spot them
This is one of the top questions I get asked: Where can I meet a good guy?
There’s no magical land of quality single men. BUT I do have an answer: good men are everywhere you are!
Think about all the errands you run (grocery store, coffee shop, laundromat), your commute to work (bus, train, walking, parking garage, taking the elevator), grabbing food on your lunchbreak at the deli, meeting your aunt for dinner, bringing your dog to the dog park, running a 5K, taking a cooking class….
Good men are everywhere, usually when you least expect it – just look around!
The good, single men you want to connect with are doing these EXACT SAME THINGS!
And honestly, it’s SO much better to meet someone as you’re simply doing stuff like this and being your natural self as opposed to trying to “save up” all your best outfits, flirting moves, and techniques to attract a guy only when hitting up bars on the weekend.
A few examples of “unconventional” places I’ve been asked out by men, just to get the ball rolling on some of the possibilities:
• Airport bar
• Grocery store
• Volunteering at an animal shelter
• Set of a TV show
• Walking down the street
• Greeting card aisle of the drug store
• Charity event
• Bus stop
• My high school reunion
• My apartment building lobby
• Visiting friends out of town
• BBQs, picnics, weddings, concerts, birthday parties, any type of gatherings!
Think of some places you frequent – I’m willing to bet there’s an opportunity to meet a guy at most of them.
OK, so single men are everywhere. Now, how do you spot them?
Simple. You don’t.
You let them spot YOU.
Whether they’re aware of it or not, single men (and, unfortunately, ones who aren’t happy in their current relationship) have a high tendency to constantly be looking around. It’s just in their nature.
I’ll watch a woman walk into a new space (lobby, room, bus, wherever) and within seconds be able to tell which men are single based on how they react.
The single ones will not only be looking around, they’ll actually stare much longer – while the (happily) committed guys, even if they looked up to see who this new human in their presence is, will almost immediately go back to whatever they were doing.
It’s really funny to watch, especially since they don’t know that they’re actually the ones being watched and it’s such a universal pattern.
And because most women aren’t paying attention when they walk into a new place, they totally miss it.
So when the guy who was instantly attracted to you as soon as you came into the room actually approaches you, you’re totally caught off-guard because you never even saw him coming.
My motto? “Be prepared, not scared”.
Every time you walk into a new setting, take two seconds to look around you and see which men make eye contact with you.
Not only will you be able to spot them, but it’ll make it 10 times easier for you two to interact from that moment forward, knowing that you’re both aware of each other.
Now that you have some ways to warm-up your social muscle, know where to find quality men and how to spot them, read on to learn how to attract them to you like a magnet…
“I love the ways in Step 1 to be more open to approachability. They automatically put me in a great mood and actually DID lead to two different fun, random convos (in a grocery store no less – more proof it works :)”
Most single women would love to have a “we met at a coffee shop!” type of encounter – but a lot of those would-be stories get unintentionally blocked, missed, or totally fumbled before they can ever happen.
Example: you’re sitting outside a coffee shop, cappuccino by your side, laptop open.
You sense someone looking at you… but you’re really into an article on great places for solo women travelers, so you ignore the feeling.
He’s clearly trying to get your attention – do you know what to do next?
Curiosity eventually takes over and you glance to your left – immediately locking eyes with a handsome, foreign-looking guy whose big smile is clearly directed at you.
Ack! You spin back around and pretend to be reading the article as your heart rate starts increasing and you start thinking What do I do now??
He looked like a cool guy – and was clearly trying to get your attention. And you always loved the idea of meeting a guy in a coffee shop…
But do you know what to do next?
Like how to confidently meet his gaze again?
Or give him the signal you’d like him to approach you?
If you answered “nope”, that’s ok. We’re about to learn right now…
The quickest way to attract a guy to you?
Being approachable enables someone to comfortably come up to you and / or continue engaging with you.
Super simple, yet incredibly effective.
There are a lot of ways to catch someone’s eye and show you’re open to engaging – but for now, we’ll just focus on six of the best tips.
The next time you’re heading out in public, try practicing one or two – or heck, all of them!
They’re easy to incorporate into your life, and you’ll likely experience a big change in your interactions with other people.
And hey, you may even get a date for the weekend! I’ve had dozens of ask-outs just from following these simple tweaks.
And the first tip starts before you even leave the house…
The foundation of being approachable lies in having an open mindset.
Show me a woman who naturally attracts men to her, and I’ll show you a woman who’s resolved to consistently keep an open mind.
Going a step further: before stepping out, think about who you’d like to meet and why.
It doesn’t always have to be “get a date” – maybe you’re just getting back into the dating scene and want to get your feet wet with talking to strangers.
In that case, think of this as a practice run and set an easy intention like “make two people feel good today”.
That could involve giving a genuine compliment, asking how someone’s day is going, or just flashing an authentic smile to someone who looks like they could use it.
Take a breather and set a quick intention – make errands day your dating playground!
Setting an intention will get your thoughts aligned so the universe knows what you intend to attract and will help make some magic happen!
It’s true: when you look good, you feel good.
When you wear something you feel confident in, that confidence spreads to other parts of you too, like your posture and conversation skills.
And let’s be honest, people tend to be more attracted to others who are confident, and who put a little effort into their appearance.
I mean, who’d catch your eye more: a guy in a ratty t-shirt or one in a nice, fitted button-down shirt?
Don’t just save that little red dress for Saturday night out – wear it to the grocery store!
On the style note, after studying abroad in France for a semester in college I’ve become obsessed with the French culture – especially as it relates to style, dating and relationships.
I even interviewed my French friend Géraldine Lepère of Comme une Française about the difference between how French women flirt versus American women (and as you probably guessed, there’s a big difference).
Click here to watch our full interview of French vs American flirting
When it comes to dressing for confidence, I love how simply Geraldine puts it as “Be your best self. Take care of yourself all the time, even when you’re doing the grocery shopping or even taking the trash out.”
She also points out “In France, we don’t have our ‘comfy clothes’ as you do in America. We don’t have yoga pants, it doesn’t exist here – everything is more about being elegant and attractive, everywhere you go.”
Sound advice from one of the sexiest and stylish cultures in the world.
Speaking of flirting, my course You Can Flirt! 30 days to unlocking your natural charm + becoming the most charismatic woman in the room (even if you’re shy) will be launching soon.
Sign-up for my list here and be first to hear when it goes live!
Ok, back to men being visual creatures.
Another important tip is to dress not only for confidence, but also to spark a conversation.
Now, think back for a sec… have you ever had a random guy comment on something you’re wearing, like your earrings or your bright red dress?
Chances are, that was his (possibly one and only) way of starting a conversation with you.
Men are visual creatures, so if they want to engage with you, there’s a big chance they’ll comment on something you’re wearing.
So why not make it super easy for them?
Try to include at least one unique accessory or bold color in every outfit.
It could be anything: a necklace, a bracelet, earrings, a scarf, a hat, your shoes… whatever feels right in the moment.
Choose something that shows off your mood or personality a bit.
Then when the compliment comes, it’s almost like he’s complimenting YOU (what a great way to start off a conversation!).
As you’re out in public sporting your piece, be on the lookout for comment drive-bys.
A good rule of thumb: if a guy approaches you in any way, assume he has some level of romantic interest in you until it’s proven otherwise.
That way, you’ll always assume the best and never miss another one of those opportunities.
As style expert Kimberly Seltzer of Elite Image Makeovers puts “image is the way others perceive or see you and determines how they will treat you.”
Kimberly Seltzer of Elite Image Makeovers
I met Kim at a conference and absolutely loved her tips on how to dress for confidence with meeting and dating.
Of course we want someone to like us for who we are on the inside – but let’s be honest, the first impression you give people is always going to be how you visually present yourself.
Kim goes a step further and says your presentation will actually influence others and either encourage / discourage them to:
- Comply with your requests
- Trust you with information
- Give you access to decision-makers
- Pay you a certain salary
- And more..
Some tips she has for finding your own personal style include shopping without buying, getting inspired (and even making a vision board) by icons, magazines, friends and celebrities, and picking clothes that work for your coloring, personality and lifestyle.
Another tip: find a celebrity or icon with your coloring and body type and look for patterns across their different outfits that flatter their specific figure.
One of my personal favorites? My gold ballet flats!
The Jackpot of women’s shoes: classic style, unique color and comfort
Again, dressing up does NOT mean you have to wear lipstick every time you step foot outside.
Just start with something that shows off your personality and gives you an extra little boost of confidence.
Let’s start with a fundamental offline dating truth: Alone = Approachable.
According to Dr. Phil, the #1 fear of men is rejection.
If there are other people around, the prospect of public humiliation becomes even scarier for him.
And I don’t blame him!
It’s really hard to go up to a random person, think of something clever (yet not sleazy) to say, and wait to see if you’re going to be accepted or made to feel like a total creeper.
Especially with other people watching you.
Most of the times I’ve been approached by men were when I was doing something solo.
Being alone REALLY increases your chances of having a guy approach you
It made it that much easier for them to make a move because fear of public rejection was lowered, there was no group of girlfriends to wade through, and they clearly weren’t interrupting a conversation.
Like the time I had a dinner date with a friend at an Italian restaurant and (purposefully) showed up about 20 minutes early.
I headed to the bar and strategically sat between two guys who were both clearly there by themselves.
My first move: keeping my phone in my purse – and this step is essential.
I know it’s hard to do and can feel like we’re losing an appendage, but it’s totally doable.
People did it all the time up until 10 years ago!
Not sure where to look or what to do once your phone is away?
Try talking to the bartender, watching the TV behind the bar, or simply enjoying a quiet moment to yourself after a long day at work.
Back to the story of sitting between the two guys at the bar…
After tucking away my phone, I ordered a glass of red wine from the bartender and happily zoned out, while still being aware of the men sitting next to me.
Within seconds, the guy on my right started talking to me about construction at the park across the street (i.e. his random icebreaker), which I eventually transitioned into the topic of weekend plans, and a flirtatious conversation had begun!
Quick tip: 20 minutes is the perfect amount of time to show up early somewhere and have this happen to you too – whether in a bar, restaurant, lobby, anywhere people are.
It gives just enough opportunity to either strike up a conversation with a random person, or – worst case scenario – allow you to enjoy a quiet moment to yourself.
I mean, how often do we get those?
Best of all, you have a reason for being there. You just “happened” to arrive a tad early 😉
If you’re the shyer type, grab a friend for support as you try out some of the other tips.
Just make sure you’re allowing room (in both mindset and body language) for others to approach both of you.
Speaking of body language, my favorite body language expert Vanessa Van Edwards has a really fun (and informative) quiz you can take to reveal just how good you are at reading body language.
I met Vanessa (and her awesome colleague / certified body language expert Jose Piña) at a meet-up in New York recently, and she’s just as warm and friendly in person as she in her videos and writing.
Me, Vanessa, and Jose in NYC
Vanessa and I have a few mutual friends who gave her a heads-up I’d be coming to the event – but I didn’t expect her to remember my name since she’s incredibly busy and it was a fairly big meet-up.
And yet, when I introduced myself to her the first words out of her mouth were “Camille? Oh I know you!”
How’s that for a personal welcome from someone I’ve admired for years and hadn’t even met until then!?
She just came out with her book Captivate, which is loaded with authentic yet tactical ways to make a great first impressions, establish trust, read facial expressions, and more. Highly recommended if you want to know more about any of those.
Jose is a Houston-based expert on all things body language and facial expressions – and he’s damn good at teaching it too. Plus he’s just an incredibly great guy.
His passion is all about fine tuning ourselves to have verbal communication match nonverbal (body language, microexpressions) so everything’s aligned and you’re giving people the absolute best representation of yourself.
Check out him and his “non-verbals” on Twitter and Instagram (@JZyncd for both) where he tweets out interesting articles, tips, and other fascinations!
Ladies and gentleman, Jose Piña!
Sometimes a smile is the only thing a guy needs to know that you want him to engage.
Seriously, that’s it. Smile and done.
You can never, ever go wrong with smiling
Try flaunting “The Secret Smile” – thinking of something you’re proud of or that only you’re privy to, and let that natural, slightly mysterious smile appear.
Heck, the secret could simply be that you’re doing “The Secret Smile”!
Not feeling so smiley? Just breathe through your mouth!
I know, it’s weird, but just try it right now – open your mouth just slightly so there’s a small space in between your lips.
Feel the features of your face soften up? That’s what we’re going for.
There’s something about having that tiny space that relaxes your jaw and makes you look more open and inviting – i.e. the antidote to Resting Bitch Face.
Just look at magazine covers of women celebrities, they’re almost always either smiling or have their lips slightly parted for a very “come hither-esque” look.
Want to create instant allure? Make and hold eye contact.
This may seem a little scary if you’re not used to it, but it’s 100% possible to work your way up to getting comfortable with it.
And nothing can replace the feeling you get after locking eyes with a mysterious and attractive stranger.
Eye contact can be scary at first, but with a little practice you can absolutely master it
One subtle way to master eye contact is just pretend like you’re looking around for someone.
As mentioned, whenever I enter a new space (lobby, bus, store aisle, etc.), I always do a quick scan around it.
Doing this provides me with two key advantages:
One, I know what type of situation I’m walking into – a benefit for simple safety and awareness purposes.
Two, it gives me a chance to catch a person’s eye just for a quick moment of acknowledgement – and that makes it ten times easier for one of us to approach the other because we’re now clearly aware of each other.
Don’t forget single men are naturally inclined to be looking around for women, even if they aren’t aware they’re doing it!
A few other ways to warm up before going in for the look:
Have a staring contest with billboards and magazines that have people facing you. Heck, talk to them if it helps you get comfortable.
You can also note the eye color of everyone you talk to; it will just help you look a little deeper into their eyes and feel more at ease with that.
Headphones add an extra step (i.e. barrier) to someone who wants to engage with you.
I totally understand that on your train ride home after a long day at work, you just want to pop those ear buds in and zone the heck out.
You can still listen to NPR with one headphone – and talk to the cute guy next to you
But try leaving just one of them out… maybe the one on the same side as that cute guy.
You just made it that much easier for him to engage with you!
Ok, we just covered some key ways to naturally attract a man by becoming more approachable. Now, let’s see how we can apply them in real life…
Imagine you’re in the grocery store, standing in front of a fruit stand and rummaging around for the perfect Honeycrisp apple.
The seed for love can be planted anywhere – even in the grocery store!
Searching through the stack, you feel eyes on you – and before even looking up, you know exactly what’s about to go down (I love a good pun).
Nope. Just properly prepared.
First, you already have an open mindset about meeting someone new, because you’d set an intention before leaving the house to manifest a date for the weekend.
You’re also dressed to impress, so that you‘d be feeling confident whenever that manifested date conversation actually happens.
Plus, you actually spotted this guy a few minutes ago as you were walking into the produce section, because you always do a quick scan when entering a new place.
No flustered feelings for you right now.
So, feeling pretty great about your approachability factor, you look up and confidently lock eyes with the mystery man across the stand, flashing a smile at the same time to let him know you were ok with him checking you out.
He smiles back – and mutual interest is instantly established.
Boom! You just set up an easy and comfortable opportunity to engage.
So what’s next?
In Step 2, we’ll walk through the art of the random conversation, giving you a play-by-play breakdown of how to start and carry a conversation with anyone!
“Your life experience shows, Camille. Coaching women to ask a question to keep up the conversation – I love it. Instant reward for approaching.”
– Ed Baxter, Founder, Genuine Attraction
Here’s a little psychology tidbit about conversations: when someone throws out a question or comment to you, it’s less about what they said and more about their desire to simply connect with you.
It’s actually called a “bid to connect” by social scientist John Gottman.
Kind of like they’re hitting an imaginary tennis ball to you and asking if you want to play a game.
But unless we already know the person, most people will just respond to the question or comment and the chat ends there.
They don’t hit the tennis ball back.
They kind of just watch it fly past and wonder why some random stranger just hit a tennis ball at them.
Here’s an example…
It’s a gorgeous Saturday afternoon.
You throw on a sundress and head to the park for some fresh air.
Choosing a bench in a busy area, you’re enjoying the people-watching scene when suddenly the guy on the bench behind you turns and says…
Hi there, your dress is beautiful.
He just complimented your dress – what can you say to keep the convo going?
Do you know how to confidently accept the compliment?
Or how to steer it into a conversation?
Or the most comfortable way to get him to ask you out?
No clue? No worries.
As Kevin Hart would say right now: You gon’ learn today!
When it comes to icebreakers, expect the unexpected.
If a guy wants to talk to you, he’s probably going to use a topic that’s easily relatable in the moment.
This could be anything from asking where the nearest pizza place is, to commenting on a sports game, to complimenting your nail polish (all of which were used on me – and led to an exchange of digits).
Even something as simple as nail polish can be a conversation starter
Let’s pause for just a second and recognize all the well-intentioned men who’ve ever approached a woman.
It’s not easy, and I know even the most confident and attractive of men who’ve been totally shot down in public.
To shake it off and try again with another woman is really commendable.
Ok, now back to you.
Random icebreaker has been initiated by him – now it’s your turn.
First, acknowledge the topic he introduced and tell a little something unique about it; give him a little taste of your awesome personality.
Maybe he complimented your necklace, and you could respond with Thanks! It was my grandma’s – I have a thing for vintage jewelry.
Or he asked if there was a decent coffee shop nearby, so you throw out Actually there’s one right around the corner, best hazelnut lattes ever!
But – and this is key – you can’t just stop at the icebreaker. Eventually you will have beaten it to death and need to segue onto another topic to keep the convo going.
So first, have a look at the most common icebreakers and how to respond in the section below.
Then keep reading to learn how to steer the conversation off the small talk and into something more meaningful (which also naturally sets the scene for him to ask you out).
There are some standard go-to icebreakers that always come up (like the weather), so I’ve compiled a list of the most common ones and how to respond to each.
But first, let’s watch an example of how they’re applied.
Dating and social strategist David Wygant and I created a video together on this topic. And hey, sometimes it’s more fun to watch a video than read, so check it out:
Click here to check out our 5-min video on how to successfully break the ice
Sidenote: David is one of my absolute favorite dating and relationship experts.
Beyond just being a great guy, his direct, no-BS perspective on dating and social norms is refreshingly honest, hilarious is seriously contagious.
And finally, here’s the list of standard responses to icebreakers to have in your back pocket, to avoid being caught off-guard:
Day of the week
- Icebreaker: TGIF!
- Follow-up to icebreaker: Heck ya! How’s your day going?
- Icebreaker: Happy new year!
- Follow-up to icebreaker: You too! Any resolutions for this one?
- Icebreaker: Amazing weather, right?
- Follow-up to icebreaker: It’s awesome. Any plans to take advantage?
- Icebreaker: Was that guy just humming Bohemian Rhapsody out loud?
- Follow-up to icebreaker: He definitely was. I once saw a guy wearing socks on his hands instead of gloves – people can be so weird, right?
Big sports game
- Icebreaker: Go Hawks!
- Follow-up to icebreaker: Ha! To be honest, I’m kind of a fair-weather sports fan, like during playoffs. Sounds like you’re a big fan though?
Clothes / Accessories
- Icebreaker: I like your watch
- Follow-up to icebreaker: Thanks, it took me forever to find it. I was actually looking at your awesome necklace – what’s that symbol?
What if a guy who catches your eye isn’t aware of you, or it doesn’t look like he’s going to make a move?
Go get ‘im girl!
First, close the gap: get within a relatively close (but still natural / casual) proximity to him.
And then, choose one of these nine ways to comfortably break the ice with him yourself.
Key tip: You can’t hesitate. You just have to go for it.
Every second you waste trying to think of the “perfect line” (there’s no such thing), will make it scarier for you to say it because it won’t be natural.
So as soon as one of these methods pops in your head, take it from your mind to your mouth immediately.
Say it differently
Stand out from the crowd by changing up your response to the typical questions we get asked every day.
It’ll instantly spice up an interaction simply because it’s not boring.
Instead of saying Thanks! Say Gracias! Who cares whether you actually speak Spanish or not.
Respond to How are you? or How’s your day going? with Fantastic! or Absolutely fabulous – how about yours?
A few years ago, I walked into my condo building, gave a smile to Patrick my doorman, and saw he was chatting with another guy who lived in the building.
As I was getting my mail behind around the corner, I heard the guy say: “Yeah it was such a bad date”.
Immediately my ears perked up.
“Oh, I love bad date stories! What happened?” I asked about my favorite topic, unabashedly (hey, don’t have a convo in public unless you want other people to hear it).
He started filling me in, I agreed it was a really bad date, we both laughed along with Patrick, and then the guy turned to me and said “Hey… wanna go grab a drink?”
And immediately someone else’s bad date turned into my good date.
Give a compliment
You can’t go wrong with this one. Literally everyone loves a genuine compliment.
So as soon as you see something you like on someone else, don’t keep it in your head – share it immediately (again, no hesitating ladies).
You: I love your watch
Guy: Thanks! I got it in on a trip to Switzerland last year.
You: Sounds amazing, how was the trip?
Say short quip during a shared moment
Last Halloween I was riding the bus to meet a friend and it was the strangest bus ride I’ve ever been on.
From the old lady ranting at herself, to the guy trying to hit on the bus driver, to all the weird costumes people were wearing.
I needed a little validation I wasn’t the only one noticing it was crazy central, so I turned to the woman next to me and said This is the weirdest bus ride I’ve ever been on.
She responded with relief and said I know, right!? What is going ON?! And at least we knew we had each other to cling to as possibly the only sane people amongst the madness.
Share community / global good / bad news
This works especially well if you’re into sports (which I’m not, but hey to each their own).
Maybe your team just won, or had a great play, or suffered a loss.
Share the news with someone you see, especially if they’re wearing something affiliated with the team.
Do something nice
From flagging down the person who unknowingly just dropped their glove on the ground to putting your umbrella over the elderly man walking in the rain and walking with him to his destination.
Instead of overthinking and wondering if you should do it, just go for it. People will appreciate it (even if it initially catches them by surprise).
Try the “Hi! and ignore”
This one’s fun and can be used when you and a guy spot each other and start exchanging looks…. And neither of you are sure where to take things from there.
So, just flash him a smile, say Hi!, and then turn away a little / continue doing whatever you’re doing and let him come to you.
This not only breaks the ice, it lets him know you’re a nice person and open to engaging.
All with one simple word.
Ask a question
Such an easy one. If you’re at a restaurant or bar, ask the person next to you what they’re eating / drinking and if they recommend getting it
If you’re at an event, ask someone what their connection to it / the host is.
Use the things and environment around you to become naturally curious – and possibly strike up a conversation with an attractive stranger.
Ask for a favor
Similar to asking a question, but this one is a little harder for many independent women. Which, by the way, is all the more reason for you to try it.
Stop and ask someone for directions, even if you know where you’re going.
Or ask someone to get something out of reach for you at the grocery store.
Or to flag the bartender down for you.
So those are nine ways to start a conversation. Pick just one and try it out. If it doesn’t feel natural, either practice it more or try a new one.
Dating expert Adam LoDolce of Sexy Confidence has a great video on this topic – how a woman can approach a guy without taking the lead (or him even knowing that you’re approaching him!).
Click here for icebreaker examples you can use at Starbucks, a bar, even a crosswalk
Adam is hilarious and has TONS of YouTube videos for his business Sexy Confidence, where you feel like you’re getting expert advice from a close guy friend (one who wears wigs to prove a point).
Adam and I share the philosophy that it’s up to both sexes to make the most of everyday moments of opportunity, but the approach for each is a little different – and that sometimes guys need help from you to create a window of opportunity.
After you initiate your ice breaker of choice, give him some space to come to you – a happy balance somewhere in between staring him down and totally running away.
Just remember, it’s totally cool for you to break the ice – but he should be the one to take the plunge and ask you out because most men enjoy taking the lead (and most women enjoy that too).
And now, here’s what to do to steer things toward a less random and more meaningful convo…
After you respond to the icebreaker topic, follow up with a personal question or observation that makes it easy for him to then expand on (and gives him the signal you’re open to chatting).
So for that necklace compliment, tell him a few sentences about your grandma and your flare for vintage – then ask How’s your day going?
This gives the other person the chance to respond with as little or ask much information as they want to share with you – and you’ll see if that ice breaker was intended to engage you, or if that guy really did just want to know where you got that fabulous pink scarf.
For the coffee shop question, pause after you give him your recommendation, then ask him Looking for any special kind of drink?
Heck, offer to walk him to the place (because you were totally headed that way anyway… or at least now you are).
Best case scenario with offering to walk him there?
If he’s even remotely interested in you, that gives him an opportunity to invite you to join him.
Worst case scenario?
You spot his wedding ring en route.
So what? You took an extra 10 seconds to help out a stranger.
Ok, let’s say he accepted your offer to walk him to the coffee shop and he’s not wearing a wedding ring.
You start heading over there together, keeping the chat on the hot beverage topic.
Great conversation over a latte – this morning is off to a good start
Stopping at the entrance, you flash a big smile and throw out something like Well it was so nice chatting with you, enjoy your coffee! and then sloooooowly turn around to leave.
That’s a sentence just long enough to give him time to get the courage up to ask if he can buy you a cup inside.
Why, yes – yes he can.
Now that you’ve steered off the ice breaker, you can get off the small talk and into a more meaningful conversation.
(as an introvert, I try to get to this step as quickly as possible.)
The best way to do this is to give the other person your undivided attention and authentically listen to them.
As they’re describing something, picture it in your mind so you have a visual and can stay engaged.
Then, go a step further and insert yourself as them in their story.
Yeah, this one’s up there with the mouth breathing tip of “it’s weird – but it works.”
I didn’t even realize I was doing this – or rather, that other people don’t do it. Because it’s extremely powerful and will enable a conversation to continue for hours if you want it to.
Yep, hours. Even in the middle of an airport. But that’s a story for another time.
Anyway, back to inserting yourself in someone’s story. Imagine yourself as them, and ask questions where you need more information.
For example, say the other person starts off with I was at lunch today and overheard the weirdest conversation.
Now, picture yourself at lunch, like they were.
Wait a second, where are you at lunch?
What restaurant, what’s the atmosphere like?
Who are you with?
You need to know these in order to get an accurate picture of where “you” (and the storyteller) are so you can stay with them throughout the rest of the story.
So, ask them those questions!
Ohhhh I love weird conversations! OK first, where were you at lunch? Were you there with a coworker or a friend?
Get the full picture before they move on so you’re staying with them step-by-step through the story and questions are naturally popping up.
Eventually you’ll have all the logistical answers you need to know to have a clear picture of where you are, what you’re doing, and with whom.
And then, you can start asking more open-ended, hypothetical, or emotion-based questions.
Like if that overheard weird conversation was about someone who proposed to their girlfriend on a unicycle, you can ask the storyteller Is that something you’d ever consider doing for your girlfriend?
Or I actually think that’s kinda cool – if you were going to propose, how would you do it?
Or maybe the overheard convo was about a woman who just found out she’s officially cancer-free and is determined to live out her dream of living in a castle in Ireland.
You can ask the storyteller something like If you found out you only had a month to live, how would you feel – and what would you do with that month?
If you’re not used to asking detailed questions like this, it can seem intrusive.
But when asked with natural curiosity and the intention of learning more about the other person and their story, it will come across that way and show them a level of attention and warmth that few people in this world have the skill to do.
But if your intention is to be nosy or judgmental, that will come across.
Instead, simply listen, understand, and appreciate that another person is sharing a part of their life, I don’t care how small, with you in this moment.
I use this “empathetic listening” technique not just in coaching my clients, but with almost everyone I talk to.
It’s fun and is almost like giving the other person a gift – true acknowledgement and understanding.
Because honestly, how often do we really get that from other people?
When he feels your genuine interest in him, he’s much more likely to ask you out.
But wait, there’s more!
Want to add a dash of charisma to that genuine connection you just formed?
My friend (and women’s leadership coach) Felicia Spahr wrote a fantastic article for Business Insider giving you 6 ways to use charisma to be a stronger leader in your everyday life.
Fel’s got Charisma down to a “T”…, or rather “C” 😉
I love Felicia’s suggestions because they’re simply, natural and authentic – and so subtle and authentic that the other person won’t even know you’re purposefully turning on the charm spigot.
They’ll just know that they love talking to you!
Here are the 6 ways:
- Captivate immediately with better questions (e.g. “what” instead of “how”)
- Touch the other person to emphasize a point
- Make them feel like you’re one of them by authentically mimicking
- Mesmerize with stories
- Make and KEEP eye contact
- Keep a calm, composed demeanor
For all the little details on each of the 6 ways, check out the full article here.
I love the story of how Felicia and I met. I was actually introduced to her by two different mutual friends, just a few days apart, and right in the middle of the holidays.
I reached out to set-up a call for us to chat, and knowing she’s extremely busy / it was a hectic time of the year, I suggested we get in touch in a few weeks after the new year.
“That’s so far away – how about tomorrow?”
I felt like such a special snowflake.
Felicia is charming, helpful and incredibly insightful on human behavior, particularly in the coaching realm.
She makes you feel acknowledged and special, and gives fantastic tips on how you can do the same.
Now, let’s pick up where our grocery store flirtation story left off and apply your new random conversation skills.
Ok. You’re in the produce section looking and feeling great, in the right mindset for a random romantic encounter – and you just exchanged brief eye contact and a smile with that good-looking fella one fruit stand over.
And pleasant (but not total) surprise: he starts walking over to you.
You pretend to be totally enthralled in the apples as you feel him approach.
You got this. Here we go…
Him: Any good ones in there?
[Icebreaker initiated. You know he doesn’t care about apples. But, you go with it.]
You: Tons! Just overwhelmed with choices. Do you like Honeycrisps?
[Great follow-up. Stayed on icebreaker topic but asked a personal question.]
Him: Hmm, I’m more of a Fuji apple guy myself.
[He’s not afraid to disagree with you, in a playful way. Confidence is sexy.]
You: Oh well, we’ll never get along then!
[Showed him a preview of your witty humor style. And nailed it.]
You exchange big, flirtatious smiles with each other… and then silence.
Luckily you know exactly where to take things from here.
He did the hard part breaking the ice, and now this has become a team event.
So you help the guy out with the one line that comfortably gets you off the icebreaker and into a more meaningful conversation…
You: So, how’s your day going?
[Allow him to answer with as much or as little information as he wants to.]
Him: It’s great! Kind of a crazy week at work wrapping up a project I’ve been working on for the past few months, but I’m really excited to see it put into action.
[Perfect. He shared some details that show he’s capable of holding a conversation (as opposed to giving an awkward, one-word response) yet were still vague enough that you can ask any number of questions about it.]
You: Very cool! What type of project?
[Rockstar! You didn’t go for the obvious and standard What do you do for work? but instead asked a unique question that will still elicit that answer. Bonus: You’re talking to him casually just like you would a friend. Instant rapport has been created.]
And you two are now knee-deep in a meaningful conversation about his passion for his work as a child welfare advocate, and your desire to make a career change sometime in the near future so you can have better work-life balance and spend more time on your jewelry-making sidehustle business.
Make it a point to let him know you’re an interesting woman doing interesting things
In Step 3, we’ll walk through how to naturally steer this conversation into having him ask you out – and having him think it was his idea!
“I went to a bar to apply your tips from Step 3, talked to a guy and he asked for my number! That hasn’t happened for me in a long time.”
Want to know the single, most magical phrase you can say that will have any guy who’s remotely interested in you practically begging to take you out?
Ask a question about his interests or any immediate plans he has!
Something like What do you like to do on the weekend? or What’s your favorite restaurant in the city? are perfect.
Then, show genuine interest and excitement when he says something you like too, or are at least open to trying – whether it’s an Ethiopian restaurant, playing tennis, or volunteering at the food bank.
That’s the perfect set-up for him to respond with Well, we should do that together sometime! – and BINGO, you made it comfortable for him to ask you out and do an activity together that he knows you’ll both enjoy.
He’ll also love the fact that it was “his idea” 😉
You’re in that coffee shop with hazelnut latte guy, both sitting in big comfy chairs and sipping your drinks.
You’re asking him questions about his activities and interests, listening to his answers and sharing your own until you get to something actionable that you both enjoy.
OMG you have a thing for gourmet hot dogs too! you say as he tells you his favorite restaurant is Portillo’s. Your face lights up and you playfully grab his arm in a genuine rush of excitement.
Guys like girls who can eat – so if you enjoy a good hotdog, let him know it!
We should totally get some together – there’s a Portillo’s right down the street from me! he says, as a pleased look comes on his face that he just scored a date with a super cool gourmet hot dog-loving girl.
You readily accept and a date has been set.
Voila! You just turned a random drive-by coffee shop question (which may not even have been about coffee in first place) into a date for the weekend.
Yep, it’s really that easy.
I did something similar when first meeting a guy at a party, who eventually became a boyfriend.
He mentioned a place that had good brisket on the south side of town and that he hadn’t been yet.
After I showed my genuine excitement with a Yum, I love barbecue! it made it super easy for him to follow-up with Well, we should go sometime!
Guess where our first date was.
My friend (and fellow dating coach) Clayton Olson and I did an interview on exactly how this “ask out” process can work:
Click here to watch Clayton and I walk through how to get him to (naturally) ask you out
Clayton and I met at a conference awhile ago, and really hit it off with our different yet similar approaches to serve singles.
Don’t let his svelte frame fool you – this man can devour a giant hamburger. I’ve seen it.
He specializes in NLP (Neuro-linguistic Programming), which is a super cool approach to decoding human behavior.
He also has great YouTube videos that cover specific topics like “3 powerful ways to make him chase you” and “5 unusual things men need to feel from you.”
You can follow his YouTube channel here.
Here’s a sad but common scenario: you’re chatting with a guy, there’s clearly mutual interest, you just KNOW he’s going to ask you out… but as the conversation naturally dies down he says some equivalent of Well, see you later! and leaves without getting your phone number.
Ok, I’m going to share something with you. But only if you promise not to kick yourself too hard for it.
Here goes: he probably did ask you out – and you missed it.
I see this with my private clients a lot when we do “wingwoman” sessions and hit the town together to practice their skills with meeting men.
The crazy high fear of rejection everyone is worried about applies to both genders. So think about that from his perspective: he’s talking to this nice woman (you), she seems interested, but he’s not sure, so he’s going to play it somewhat safe and hope she gets the hint.
Something like So when are we hanging out?
Or Do you like [specific restaurant / music type / destination]?
Or responding to your questions of What are you up to this weekend? With Hanging out with you!
These are some subtle (or not so subtle) examples of what guys have said to my clients that, unfortunately, went right over their heads as they blushed and smiled and immediately asked another question because they weren’t sure what else to do.
If he says anything that infers getting together or introduces a specific destination of some type and asks how you feel about it (type of ethnic cuisine, hobby, neighborhood, anything), jump on it!
This doesn’t mean you have to take the lead, but let him know that whatever he said is something you would gladly do with him by responding with something subtle.
Or maybe not so subtle – like I’ve never been there but I’d love to go!
Or Oh, we’re hanging out this weekend huh? What cool things are we doing together? with a big smile.
Dating is a two-way street – a team sport. And when you team up together as partners, you both win.
So whenever possible, help a brother (or a sister) out by keeping your eyes open for the subtle ask-out and giving it some genuinely enthusiastic encouragement so you can both go home happy – and with a hot date!
Hey, it happens.
The guy in line behind you at the movie ticket counter seemed cool at first when he complimented your bracelet.
But a few minutes into the conversation you realize he’s clearly still hung up on his ex (being that he’s mentioned her twice already to a girl he just met).
If you’re getting the weird (not in a good way), creepy, aggressive, or player vibe – or something just seems off – below are a few ways to get out of the conversation.
But remember, only shut him down if there’s a legit reason – i.e. not because you’re nervous!
If he keeps talking to you and you want him to stop:
I’ve had a horrible day and I just need to be alone right now
My boyfriend loves that [sports team/state/beer type/whatever]!
If you can bolt quickly (e.g. no tab to pay off):
Well it was nice chatting with you, I’ve got to run!
Good luck with that big meeting tomorrow – see ya later!
If he asked you out:
Thank you, I’m flattered but I have a boyfriend.
If he persists after you’ve made it clear you’re not interested:
Sorry, I have to get home to my five cats and dress them up Lady Gaga-style!
I’m going to move seats if you don’t stop bothering me.
No matter what approach you choose, just make sure to lead with kindness.
As international dating guru Matthew Hussey put it “men are watching you to see how you treat others – you’re on show for the rest of the room”, and the guy who you want to approach you is watching how you reject other men.
I love the mentality he says to adopt of thinking “if a guy I liked was watching me, how would I want him to see me behaving?” (the answer is: classy and kind).
Click here to watch Matthew give the guy’s perspective on how to let him down easy
Also, if you’re doing all the talking, close up shop and end the convo.
He could already be in a relationship, just got fired, his dog died yesterday. You have no idea what he’s been through.
Assume it’s something that has absolutely nothing to do with you and don’t take it personally – he hasn’t even had a chance to get to know you!
A special note though, always try and err on the side of being open and giving a guy a chance before you blow him off.
Unless you’ve met thousands of men this way and have an acute sense for accurately determining his personality and qualifications in mere seconds, be open to him showing you what he’s got – especially now that you know how to get out of the interaction whenever you chose to.
You and handsome Fuji apple guy are still chatting away in the middle of the produce section, when the conversation turns to asking about each other’s plans for the evening.
It’s now time to create convert this flirt into a date.
You (with a big smile): I’m [your name] by the way.
Him: I’m Jackson. So nice to meet you!
You: You too. Any fun plans for the evening?
Him: Headed to the gym, then drinks with a friend at our favorite dive bar. How about you?
You: I’m making an apple pie for some girlfriends tonight; I’m a little nervous, I’ve never made one from scratch.
[In one sentence, you just let him know (1) you’re not cooking for another guy, (2) you’re up for trying new things (3) you’re ok admitting you don’t know everything.]
Him: I love apple pie. I have a huge sweet tooth.
You: Yeah, me too. What’s your go-to place for a good dessert around here?
[Steering the conversation towards an interest / hobby / local location for potential date ideas. Well done.]
Him: I have a few favorites, but was actually reading about this little Italian restaurant that just opened a few blocks away. They’re supposed to have amazing tiramisu.
You: I love tiramisu! I’ll have to add that to my list of places to try.
[Found a mutual interest in a local place. Letting him know you’re going to take action with the advice he just shared.]
From apples to tiramisu, things are heading in a delicious direction
Him: Well, I was actually going to check it out this weekend… care to join me?
[Having picked up the clues that you were open to chatting, may not have a guy in your life, share an interest in tiramisu, and there’s a place close by that you’ll probably enjoy, he felt super comfortable asking you out.]
You: I’d love to!
Him: Great! Let me just get your number…
Well, there you go.
In a matter of minutes, you just went from a flash of eye contact to getting a date for the weekend.
Sounds like something out of a movie, right?
I promise, this actually happens in real life – and with a little practice, it can happen in yours too.
And that’s a wrap! Congratulations on finishing all 3 steps of the guide.
Now, how’re you doing on the implementation front?
Applying the tips?
Seeing amazing results?
Getting a date??
Don’t let all the valuable content in this guide just disappear as soon as you close the browser window – results only come with repeated action.
And I want you to get RESULTS.
Results like feeling totally confident interacting with men, getting asked out in random places, and creating your own magical “how we met” story with your forever partner.
That’s why I created the option to not only download the guide as a PDF with clickable links to each section, but you’ll also score a cheatsheet for the guide with the key points all listed out for easy reference.