Men say a lot of stuff while they’re trying to find their way into a woman’s heart (or bedroom). Sometimes it works. Sometimes it’s just plain stupid. Sometimes it works even though it’s just plain stupid. The bottom line is that our basic social interactions often depend on this possibly idiotic banter.
Here are 10 of the top things guys say while flirting, along with what we really mean when we say them.
1. “You have beautiful eyes.”
Translation: “I want to tell you that I think you’re sexually attractive but in a less creepy manner that you’ll take as a compliment.”
Men are always looking for a way to tell attractive women that they’re hot, complimenting a woman’s eyes, hair or smile is a much safer way of doing this than going for pretty much anything below the neck. This makes it a go-to for polite and respectful guys who don’t want to scare women off.
2. “We should go get coffee sometime.”
Translation: “I’m not willing to commit to having an entire meal with you but would like to show you that I’m interested enough to potentially spend time with you and/or see you naked.”
There are an awful lot of guys out there who use this line pretty regularly despite the fact that they don’t even like coffee. In some dialects, “coffee” is also a euphemism for sex, but we think a lot of guys just believe that a Grande Mocha Frappuccino might be the best way to a lady’s heart.
3. “You should smile more.”
Translation: “I’m concerned that you’re losing interest in me because of your facial expressions. Also, I’m probably a creep.”
If a woman was having a better time, there’s a good chance she’d be smiling more. Telling her to smile will probably do the exact opposite. There’s something vaguely inappropriate about the sentence that makes it seem a little unclean and unsafe as well, like a fraternity house.
4. “What’s your sign?”
Translation: “I’m either a big believer in astrology or totally into using cheesy pickup lines from decades ago.”
We’re not sure how many people even still use this anymore, but the ones who do should probably stop immediately. It makes us picture a guy with a creepy mustache, and that’s not doing anyone any favors. Some things should never become “retro.”
5. “Do you have a piece of gum/lighter?
Translation: “I’m attempting to use an everyday request as a means to strike up a conversation with you. I also may be in dire need of chewing gum or a means to light a cigarette.”
Being asked for gum or a lighter seems like it would probably bother a person in the first place, so we can’t say why men would use it as a means of flirting. Sure, it’s an easy foot in the door if she’s willing to spare a piece of gum or happens to have a lighter, but do you really want to start things off by asking for something right off the bat?
6. “Come here often?”
Translation: “I’ve never spoken to you before but I still would like to know whether you frequent this location more than occasionally and I have nothing better to say to attempt to break the ice with you.”
Is there a situation in which this question actually leads to a good conversation that ends in romance? Maybe if you’re a foreigner and it’s the only thing you can say in your sweet Italian/French/English accent, but otherwise, there’s got to be something better to open with. It’s one of those lines you think only gets asked on television until you hear some poor dude use it in real life.
7. “Damn, look at that/those [body part]!”
Translation: “I think that you might respond positively to me objectifying a part of your body as a way of showing my attraction to you. Also, I probably have nothing remotely intelligent to say.”
This approach may work on a very small portion of the population, but it’s pretty likely to offend just about anyone else. The good news is that the guys who use lines like this generally aren’t terribly worried about offending people, and often use the “machine gun flirting” approach of “shoot at everything until you hit something.”
8. “You got a man?
Translation: “Is there someone aside from you who may attempt to stop me from being romantically involved with you?”
There are plenty of theories on if and how guys should ask ladies about their current relationship status. We tend to think it’s better to wait for the woman to mention it, but if you must bring it up, try to do it with a little more subtlety.
9. “So what are you into?”
Translation: “I’m desperately grasping at straws to find some common ground to talk to you about because I can’t deduce what you might want to talk about.”
This question changes over the course of time. When you’re 18, it’s “What kind of music do you like?” At 21, it might be “What movies do you like?” In our experiences, it’s better to make an educated guess on what kind of things the woman might be in to instead of just outright asking her. She might give you some points just for the effort, and it doesn’t make her come up with an answer on the spot.
10. “Can I buy you a drink?”
Translation: “Are you single and willing enough to spend the next few minutes with me in exchange for a $5-15 alcoholic beverage as I try to figure out what I’m supposed to say?”
How did this become the norm for a guy’s basic flirting line? It’s literally an offer to pay for the woman’s time, which is kind of degrading on all sides when you get right down to it. After you’ve been talking to each other, then drinks can be purchased, but let’s stop using this as an introduction. We’re all better than that.