View Full Version : A Guy's Opening Line: What Does It Mean?

02-02-08, 01:16 PM
When a man first sets eyes on a woman that he likes and decides to make an approach, he's in for the emotional equivalent of an "American Idol" audition.

He's got mere seconds to make an impression and hope that his crush-object (you) will send him onto the next round - for more conversation, a drink, a number, and perhaps a first date.

He needs to do all that with the looming fear that the judge - you - will be harsher than Simon after the five-hundredth awful rendition of "I'll do it my way."

So how does a guy manage the risk? Typically, he'll pull out one of these four tricks from his arsenal. Here's what these strategies may say about him:

When he offers a compliment...
He's been instructed that the way to a woman's heart is through a well-constructed sentence about her eyes, hair, shoes, and fashion sense. So an opening of "great boots" is, of course, his initial tactic for conveying the message that he's a man who will appreciate everything you are, and everything you do on his behalf.

You can judge the intelligence of a man by whether he compliments something you control, like your second sense for accessorizing, or something you don't, like your eye color. The smart man compliments the woman's conscious choices, not the gifts of DNA (or the cosmetic surgeon).

When he tries a one-liner...
All of them are cheesy. All of them are unoriginal. All of them work about as well as lobbying reform in Washington. So why does he insist on asking if you're lost (because heaven is a long way away)? Because he's banking on the slim chance that you'll crack a smile.

He knows that women overwhelmingly want men who have a sense of humor, and since he doesn't have the seven hours to prove that he can offer witty banter, he presses the "play" button on his seven-second comedy routine to see if you'd like to sample some more of his material. Yes, it's a desperate measure, which often can imply a desperate man.

When he buys you a drink...
On the surface, it's just an $8 drink - and a fairly conspicuous bribe ($8 is worth 10 minutes of convo, isn't it?). But more than that, he wants to send the chest-thumping message that he can provide for you.

It's an old favorite, but the smoother and more confident man may just go ahead and order it up in hopes that you'll come to him, rather than asking if he can buy you a drink and risking that you'll answer in the negative.

When he ask you a question, any question...
He's feeling his way. A man can't always read the signs a woman gives off. So his main goal in the initial approach is to buy time ... time to talk, time for you to get interested, time for him to deliver his best material - during which time you're judging him in SO many ways, as this great article on the 10 ways women judge men shows! The question - if it's a good one - is his ticket in.

Surely, you can tell something about the man depending on the originality of his question. The trick for a man is to try to find the middle ground between the stupidly superficial ("crazy weather, today, huh?") and the needlessly provocative ("who are you voting for?"). If he can do that, then I hope you'll at least give him an answer - and a shot at asking a few more questions.

Here's what she's thinking when you start to flirt
In the dating game, I want you to win. But I fear failure. Yours. Mine. Ours.

When it comes to dating, women are judge and jury, but the testimony we hear—mostly from our hearts, but also from our Greek chorus of girlfriends—will all take place out of your earshot. The rules are unwritten (until now), but they are set in stone. Give us a really good reason, however, and we'll toss the tablets aside, along with most of our clothing and inhibitions.

We hear every message you send—intentional or not. So your attitude is nearly everything. We want you to show a certain degree of eagerness, but not desperation. We want you to believe in yourself and demonstrate why we should believe in you, too. We want you to be spontaneous, but also a man we can count on.

The list below will show you how to handle all the objections we might have.

1.The Signals
I've already sent you the Zoolander eye lock, the eyebrow raise, and/or at least two smiles (full, open-lipped, teeth smiles). Come over here and talk to me already. Caveat: There's a small chance I just think you're funny looking, but go ahead, have some balls. I'm worth it.

2.Say Anything
Convince me (quickly). Once you have the green light, it doesn't matter what you say first. You now have 5 minutes to convince me to keep talking. Make the most of it. Don't strain for a joke, don't feed me a line, don't try to impress me with a compliment or intellectual insight. Just talk to me like a person, which is what I am.

3.Get Her Number
Give me a reason. If you want my number, say something simple and direct. "You're fun. Can I give you a call?" works. Pound the number into your cellphone, or borrow a pen from the bartender. (It's your job; you're the asker.)

And later, ask me, don't "e" me or text me. Don't be a wuss. If you want to see me, pick up the phone. E-mails can wait for later.

4.The Phone Call
Obey the 2-day-rule. If you call within 24 hours, you'll seem desperate. If you wait 3 days, I'll be annoyed that you purposely waited 3 days. So call on day 2. One of two things will happen:
a. I'll pick up. You say, "Hey, Lisa Jones, this is Will—the guy you danced to 'Blue Monday' with on Saturday night. How was the rest of your weekend? I want to see you again. Are you available on Wednesday? There's a new tiki bar/restaurant/museum exhibit I've been meaning to check out."
b. You'll get my voice mail. Identify yourself and your intentions. Then make sure to say these crucial words: "Sorry I missed you. Give me a call back. Otherwise, I'll try you again, and we can make plans." This allows you to call back without wondering whether I got your message.

5.Your Plan
Remember, a man plans ahead. If you want to see me this weekend, call me by Thursday, please. If you want to see me naked tonight, call me before you're drunk at 1 a.m.

Don't ask me to "hang out." When you ask me to "hang out" and it's just the two of us and you don't have a girlfriend (or boyfriend), I assume it's a date. To avoid confusion, say, "I'd like to take you out" instead of, "Wanna hang out?"

6.Quitting Time
If you call me twice and get no callback, game over. Don't keep calling, e-mailing, or sending flowers. In Meg Ryan movies, or when Keanu Reeves performs them, these gestures say "bold romantic." In reality, when you do them, they say "stalker."