The problem with being a woman is that it is sometimes frowned upon to take the initiative. Don’t get me wrong, I know that it can work, but it is all about not looking too pushy or too desperate. I must admit that we French remain quite conservative, and we still expect men to talk to a woman first. In short, as far as I am concerned, it is all about making it look like he took the initiative when in fact you have subtly paved the way. I know that it all sounds a bit complicated, but it is all a question of strategy. Over the years, I have come to the conclusion that any woman can go out with a guy she fancies if she trusts her instincts, and manages to read him a bit. If you don’t believe me, just go back to your French classics and read Dangerous Liaisons again. Just to clarify, I am not saying that any woman can get a guy to marry her on the spot, but that igniting a spark is, in fact, easy. Let me break it down for you. First, you need to observe him, and try to figure out what makes him tick. How is he dressed? What does he drink? What are his hobbies? Do you know any of his friends? You need to gather as much information as possible, sometimes in a very short time. No pressure, but it all depends on how you are going to play your cards. Then, you need to be confident. This is actually part of the reason why I am not sure that women need pick-up lines as badly as men. Men are very visual and they will notice a flattering outfit or sensual body language. They will notice a confident woman and will not care much about what she says. If a woman catches a man’s eyes, he will go out of his way to approach her. Except if he is very shy of course. Or too British, come to think of it. In which case you might have to help him a bit. But fear not: I have compiled a few tried-and-tested options: 1. Be nice and pay a compliment. It can’t hurt, right? But do not pay a random compliment like ‘You are so handsome!’ – that’s a bit too general – it has to be sincere. For instance if you have set your eyes on a British banker, I strongly recommend saying something like ‘Oh I love your cufflinks, where did you find them’? 2. Smile a tad nervously and make it look like you are looking for something. Men usually love to help. Chances are, he will talk to you to find out what you seem so desperate to be looking for. Then it is up to you to start the conversation. 3. Maybe you have a friend in common or you know the person he was talking to. In which case you can casually join the conversation. And if there isn’t such a friend, just make one up and then apologise for being confused. There you go. You have managed to talk to him. 4. You always have the option to be a bit more direct and simply say ‘Can I buy you a drink?’. That said, I recommend adding something like: ‘It’s just that I hate drinking on my own…’ You have cleverly reversed the situation: you are asking him out, but that’s because you need help. You have made him help you. Then, you must play it casual. Make him feel at ease. Just enjoy his company and make this negative little voice in your head simply shut up. You know, the inner voice telling you that it will never work/he is out of your league/whatever other excuses you might think of. Yes, that one. Shut. It. Down. Why don’t you just go with the flow for once? Chances are, he is starting to warm up to you. We women tend to make things a lot more complicated than what they need to be. Just relax, and see what happens. You might discover that you actually like him. Inspired to try out ways to make the first move and get the guy? Check out our first moves and pick-up lines section