Science to a Successful Chat Up Line

“Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?”

“Do you believe in love at first sight? Or should I walk by again?”

“I’ll put my item in your baggage area”


No matter the content, pick up lines have been effective ice-breakers for years. Approaching someone is always the hardest part of dating and having a guaranteed successful line up your sleeve will make any situation easier.

This is because first impressions matter – it’s well known that those opening lines will make or break an interaction. In fact, what is first said to a potential partner can say a lot about the future of the relationship. Often sexually-loaded remarks are said to find an “easy” partner; whereas character-revealing openers are often used to attract long-term partners. The nature of a pickup line should be mastered in the dating game, and fortunately for you psychologists have studied what makes a chat-up line successful.

In the 80’s Chris Kleinke and his colleagues analysed the effectiveness of 100 pickup lines in a various settings. Their study determined that these lines could fall into one of three categories:

  1. Direct gambits – honest and right to the point (e.g. “I’m sort of shy, but I’d like to get to know you”)
  2. Innocuous gambits – hide a person’s true intentions (e.g. “What do you think of this band?”)
  3. Flippant gambits – involve humour in a cheesy way (e.g. “Do you have any raisins? No? Well then, how about a date?”).

The results concluded that cheesy chat -up lines were least effective (what a surprise…) amongst both men and women. However, women most preferred innocuous lines and men preferred honest lines.

This pattern is all thanks to trait perception. Naturally, when people don’t have direct access to someone’s traits, they infer characteristics based off behaviour. Studies show that those who use innocuous lines are perceived to be smarter and sexier than those who use funny lines. Another study found that women assumed men who used flippant pickup lines were social, funny, and confident but less trustworthy and intelligent – two make or break traits for long-term relationships.

As much as science helps us, there is never one path to dating. Pick up lines depend on the situation and the emotional state of a person, but the main thing is making the first interaction. You aren’t going to win if you don’t try! That’s why here at HelloYou we are all for starting the conversation, no matter what line you use.


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