The best ice-breakers

 Real people reveal their most effect techniques for chatting up attractive strangers.

Real people reveal their most effect techniques for chatting up attractive strangers.

The charmer
“If I see a girl I like the look of I focus on the one thing I really like about the way she looks and then pay her a compliment. I know it sounds simple and maybe even a bit cheesy, but it only works if you’ve genuinely studied her face and found an attribute that you really like. You’ve got to say it like you mean it, not like it’s just some line. It could be something obvious like her eyes or lips or subtle like her dimples when she smiles.”
-Kit

The white knight
“Public transport woes are a ready made excuse to break the usual commuter silence and talk to a (hot) stranger. I was on the way to work one morning when the tube was suspended and we were all chucked off at King’s Cross. I’d already made eye-contact with the girl sitting across from me and managed to elicit a smile. She looked a bit lost as we all bundled out of the carriage so I offered to show her where to get the bus from and we got talking. Before I left, I gave her my number. We’ve just celebrated our third wedding anniversary.”
– Damian

The advice seeker
“Asking for advice is the easiest way to start a conversation. For example in a restaurant I’ll ask the cute woman at the next table what she’s having and if she’d recommend it and let the conversation flow from there. Simples.”
– Nate

The attention seeker
“When me and my mates are out at a bar and spot a table of fit guys we usually get the waiter to send them over a round of drinks from us. When they come over to thank us we invite them to join us. Job done!”
– Sara

The long distance flirt
“I’m a regular at my local pub quiz and have recently discovered that a bit of friendly heckling can work wonders with the opposite sex. It’s an ideal way to flirt from a safe distance and instigate some cheeky banter. It also primes them nicely for when I wander over afterwards and offer to buy them a drink with my winnings – or insist they buy me one with theirs.”
-Nina

The book worm
“I check out which book the object of my desires is reading and then ask a question about it. It’s easier if I’ve read it myself, but if I haven’t I just say something like. ‘I hope you don’t mind me interrupting but I’ve been meaning to read that – is it any good?’ It’s a really effective way to get them to enter into a conversation with you.”
– David

The serenade
“You’ve got to be pretty confident to pull this one off. Luckily I’m a drama student and a bit of a show-off so this one’s easy for me. When I clock a fit girl on the street, I embarrass her (and myself) by serenading her with a love song before asking for her number. It works!”
– Leon

The supermarket smoothie
“I once found love in the breakfast cereal aisle of my local supermarket by simply offering some advice to a handsome young man on which muesli he should buy. In general I think offering advice or help is the best way to break the ice with someone new. It shows you’re a good and kind hearted person.”
– Claire

The cringeworthy one-liner
“The line my boyfriend used to pull me was so awful, I’m a little bit embarrassed to admit it worked. We were in a bar and as I walked past him he blurted out ‘Jean Claude Van DAMN you’re hot!’ really loudly. I couldn’t stop laughing and let him buy me a drink. It wasn’t so much the line that did it, but the fact that he had the guts to use it that made me take a chance on him. I’m living proof that cheesy one liners do sometimes work.”
– Janet