Pick Up Techniques

The weekend rolls around and your friends decide to hit the bar for TGIF drinks. In between kicking back and catching up with the squad, a girl across the room catches your eye.

Maybe she’s with her friends, or she’s chilling alone with a book and a drink. But she’s gorgeous and you don’t know how to talk to her.

If you’re a dude who is an idiot around girls, here’s a comprehensive guide we ZULA girls made on how girls actually want to be picked up.

1. Approach only if she makes eye contact

Before you approach someone, make eye contact. Exchanging glances is a non-verbal “Oh, I see you” which signals to a girl senpai has noticed her.

It’s important to make a woman aware of your presence. If you catch her off-guard when you make your move, there’s a good chance she’ll go “Who dis” and be more wary of the uninvited interaction.

Instead of staring at your object of affection with desperate longing, throw her occasional looks and a slight smile. If she avoids eye contact (or quickly looks away after making eye contact), isn’t smiling at you, or constantly on her phone, try your luck elsewhere.

2. Ways to open the conversation

Ask if she wants conversation

One way to approach with caution is to ask, “Hey I see you’re by yourself, would it be okay if I sit by you?”

The straightforward opening question puts the power in her hands and her “Yes/No” answer will save you time figuring out if she’s interested.

Don’t ask for her name straight off the bat

Usually, when two people introduce themselves to each other, it’s an indication that they want to know each other better.

But for shy, introverted girls, being asked “What’s your name” straight off the bat can be intimidating. The question feels personal and puts them in a spot; they don’t have time to consider if they want to give their own name.

So either allow the conversation to go on for a while or wait for her to introduce herself. If she doesn’t offer her name after ten minutes of chatter, politely excuse yourself with a “Great talking to you”.

Be funny if you can be funny

I have a friend who would cheekily ask girls at the bar to buy him drinks. I thought it was a good opener because it was out of the ordinary, showed he had confidence, and a sense of humour.

Humour and creativity—these are the two values girls find attractive.

That’s why contrary to what most bros would say, avoid cheesy pick up lines. From personal experience, I find most pick up lines to be poorly executed because guys get nervous. It also reflects a lack of creativity because you’re probably recycling a joke from the internet.

However, if the dank meme lover in you insists, use the one-liners in a humorous way.

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For the guys who feel like they’re not funny or clam up when talking to girls, know that you are funny. If you’re a well-adjusted human being, you probably joke around with your friends and make them laugh without putting much thought into it.

Consider you might only be afraid of talking to girls because you’re not used to joking around with strangers. So channel that confidence and crack a joke; after all, strangers are merely friends you haven’t made yet.

Just say “hello”


If downing five shots of tequila still doesn’t fuel your courage, just say “Hi” and follow up with a casual question or comment.

Here are some safe starters:
-“Hi, how’s your night going?”; follow up with “I’m glad you’re having a great time. I’m actually out with my friends celebrating XYZ, how about you?”
-“Hey what are you drinking?”; follow up with “Oh that sounds better than what I’m drinking. I’m having a beer/wine/whatever.”

It sounds too simple, but really, you don’t need much except sincerity and a calm confidence.

3. Set a time limit

So now you’ve made your introduction and got the conversation flowing. She might be smiling but she’s probably wondering “Oh my God, how long will I be stuck here for”.

Take the pressure off by slipping in a casual, “Hey I’m with my friends, but can I buy you a drink?” By imposing the time limit of one drink, it creates an opening to ‘escape’ in case the conversation doesn’t go well.

If there’s no chemistry, you can say, “Well my cup’s empty. Nice meeting you!” Likewise, if she isn’t vibing with you, she could go, “Thanks for the drink, it was great” to cue you to leave.

4. When making conversation

Keep the topics casual

Stick to genuine questions and don’t worry about messing up. My mum always says, “If a guy comes up to you and he’s super smooth, you should be worried. It means he’s had a lot of practice or he doesn’t really like you because he’s not nervous.”

Ask her if she been to the bar before, what her favourite drink is, ask if her favourite colour is the same colour as her dress, or comment on the music playing. The key is to ensure she doesn’t feel like prey.

Give her a compliment

While every girl loves hearing she’s hot or has the prettiest eyes, she’ll probably prefer if you said something nice about her choices, not her body.

By highlighting what’s unique about her, it shows you put thought into the compliment. So point out how you noticed her effort to match her lipstick and nail colour, or how she has an amazing laugh because it lights up her whole face.

Read her body language

If she turns her body to you, laughs and smiles at you, or tries to continue the conversation, those are good signs!

But if her feet and shoulders are turned away from you, or if she doesn’t maintain eye contact, she’s too polite to ask you to leave.

Do not insult her if she rejects you

And if she cuts the conversation short, do not say “Well you were ugly anyway” or “You’re not very interesting to talk to” before storming away. That’s some fake nice guy behaviour.

5. When it’s time to leave

Most people use their phones to exchange numbers, but holding up your keypad and expecting her to key in her digits puts pressure on her. I know some girls give guys their number just so they’d go away, and ghost the guys when they text later.

So after your drink is finished, write down your number on a napkin or a coaster, say “I’d love to hang out sometime”, smile, then leave. This way, she isn’t put in a position where she might have to hurt your feelings/pity you/feel awkward by saying no. And after you leave, she can enjoy her night, guilt-free.

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Picking Girls Up

Those with a respectful approach and a calm-laid back attitude have the best chance of succeeding. Ultimately, you should make the girl feel like they have the power to talk to you or not. If they want to, they will. Good luck!

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