A beauty queen’s guide to chatting up fit girls

It’s not okay to try and flirt with someone in the street


Remember life before Tinder? Back then, the dating process sort of went something like this:

1. Work out whether you like boys or girls.
2. Find specific boy or girl you like.
3. Woo them.
4. Babies.

Remember that? The days when you had to meet someone in real life to get to know them seem so long ago now, so long in fact that sometimes I see someone hot on the street and legitimately think to myself “Man, I’d right-swipe that”.

Due to being a child of the internet generation (It’s so great: you can order a lobster roll, find a boyfriend and book a wax all from the same screen! And never leave your sofa!), I’m probably not the greatest person to write about flirting in real life, because I usually do so by spilling drinks, nervously laughing and – when conversation runs dry – telling the dude about the time eight-year-old me shat in a pool and it had to be shut down for a fortnight. But, regardless, I will try.

If you’re in a club, bar or pub

No one meets his or her soulmate in these places. This is a lie sold to us by early noughties films and rom-coms. Why is it a lie? Because I’m too sweaty for you to fall in love with me across a dancefloor. Even if I did meet my soulmate in a Wetherspoons I’d be like “HOLD UP! Can we change location real quick?” to make sure I have a decent story to tell my grandchildren.

Clubs are for dancing and cry-calling your ex, bars are for instagramming artisan cocktails but wishing you’d stuck to a mojito, and pubs are for sadlads and saddads. However, if there’s someone you quite like the look of, do the smooth thing. This has happened to me approximately once and it was INCREDIBLE. If you’re in a bar or pub, send them a drink. Don’t take it to her, get the waiter to give it to her and tell them who sent it over.

I only ordered this because it was pretty for the 'gram

Look how much happier I am with a drink in my hand

It’s perfect: they don’t feel like they have to talk to you, or have any sort of all night-dancing-near-you commitment sort of thing, yet it still shows you’re interested in them. It’s way more subtle than just asking to buy a girl a drink in an attempt to talk to her, and it saves you the embarrassment of getting straight up rejected to your face.

Monica Heisey says it best in her book I Can’t Believe It’s not Better: “I’m turned on by a stranger buying me an expensive, bourbon-based cocktail and not being weird about it or making me talk to him, just dropping off a boutique Old Fashioned and walking away”. This entirely puts the power in the girl’s hands.

If you’re in a pub, your only hope is she smokes. And if you don’t smoke: suck it up, accept inhaling cancer fumes and go be cold in the smoking area.

Clinging onto my female friends for dear life and being one step away from the clearly fake lesbian kiss stage

Clinging onto my female friends for dear life and being one step away from the ‘clearly-fake-lesbian-kiss stage’

If you’re on the street

NO NO NO NO. This is the worst. It’s the equivalent of an unsolicited dick pic, or getting a “You awake?” message at 3am. I promise you, no one has ever got laid by catcalling a woman. Once a guy beeped at me and shouted out of his car window so loudly I dropped my phone and smashed the screen. NB: as if I even have to say it, I did not want to bang.

Similarly, I’ve been made late (not to mention extremely uncomfortable) when approached on the street for my number, with one dude holding up crowds on Oxford Street to demand a hug and ask for my number. Even worse, he then tried to ring the fake one I gave in front of me.

If a woman has made an effort to be up, dressed and outside, she has somewhere to be and sure as shit doesn’t need your lame fuckboi ass all over her. Leave her alone and hope you’ll see her somewhere else more appropriate to talk to her in the future. In the words of late 2014 plastered-just-about-everywhere-Disney: Let. It. Go.

If you’re on the bus or tube

I’m still trying to figure out my stance on this once. On the one hand, I’ve fallen in love so many times on the Jubilee Line. The dude reading Nabokov at Stratford, the bearded guy in a suit and an Apple Watch (before Apple Watches came out) at Green Park: I wish you’d stopped peeking at me from behind the FT and spoke to me instead. We could have had beautiful technologically advanced children by now.

But also, on the other hand, if I hadn’t been interested, it would have been an awkward three minutes until the next stop. This is exactly what the Metro Lonely Hearts thing was made for. Do that instead. I still check for your message every day, Apple Watch suit dude. Every day.


Lonely Hearts ads like this won't work though, don't be an idiot

Don’t do this though, this is disgusting

If you’re back at yours or theirs

Congratulations: new level unlocked! I guess you’ve either taken my advice from the previous sections, or you’ve somehow skipped four months of gallery trips, coffee dates and nearly buying condoms at Boots on your lunch break before deciding it’s too presumptuous, dumping them in the meal deal chiller and getting some Listerine on special offer instead.

However you managed it, don’t fuck this up. Remember, just because they’re in your home or you’re in theirs, it doesn’t mean a one-way street to pound-town. People can still change their mind, and if they start acting hesitant or weird, either leave or let them leave.

Once I went to a dude’s house, swiftly wanted to go home and made every excuse under the sun (including the lamest one: “But I don’t have any spare underwear for tomorrow”) and he still wouldn’t let me leave until the panicked tone in my voice probably rang some alarm bells in his head. Don’t let it get to that stage, or you’ll never hear from them again.

However, if you’re going to do it, do it. Skip the candles, not the condom. Congrats, have fun and if this guide helped secure you a bang, name your imminent child after me/tweet me a post-coital selfie.