Meeting someone new can be intimidating, no matter how confident you are. But if you’re shy or just haven’t had much opportunity to meet new people, it can feel all that much tougher. And whether you’re dating online or you’re out with friends and see a woman who catches your eye, you may feel at a loss on how to proceed. Don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Let’s go through how to introduce yourself to a girl, step by step.
First: Remember, Everyone Gets Nervous
Whether you’ve got a healthy dose of shyness or you’ve had your heart broken in past, introducing yourself to a girl (hint: if they’re adults, they often prefer to be called “women”) may feel impossible. You may run through what-ifs and assume rejection from the start, but as the adage goes: You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.
Everyone gets nervous. Don’t let that stop you. Live in the moment. Take a deep breath and go for it.
Second: How to Start a Conversation Online
Obviously, strategies for starting a conversation with a girl vary based on the setting, and introducing yourself online goes a little bit differently. Let’s start with the online conversation, as that’s likely much less intimidating.
First, you should know that women on dating sites get lots of messages, but very few that say anything more than “hey.” While it’s verrrrrry annoying for girls who have to clear those types of messages from their inboxes, if you’re willing to add a few more syllables, you’re already much farther ahead.
In many cases you can skip all of the swiping and search for keywords in people’s profiles. Try searching for one of your own hobbies or a favorite movie. It’ll give you something to discuss from the start. Read through their profile, write a sentence or two about your mutual interest, and tell them you’d like to talk about it some more. No need for a novel—you want to show that you can hold a conversation, not monopolize one. Check for typos, take a deep breath, and hit send.
If you do go with the normal photo-swipe, wait until you find a woman you think is attractive, then repeat the steps above. If a girl is attractive, she’s probably been told that a lot. Again, look for mutual points of interest and open with those.
Not every girl will respond, and that’s okay. While it may feel a little rude, it’s actually polite not to respond when you’re not interested in a person when you’re online dating. Think about it: wouldn’t it get your hopes up to see a notification on your screen, only to find it’s a polite “thanks, but no thanks?”
If a girl responds and the conversation goes well, feel free to ask her out or give her your phone number—but not too quickly. There’s no need to play games, but making someone feel comfortable and unpressured is important. If the conversation peters out, that’s okay too. Follow up once, but that’s it. At this point, the girl is still a stranger, so following up excessively can be taken as overbearing, even if you’re just enthusiastic about keeping the conversation going.
How to Start a Conversation in Person
Your heart may race at the idea of introducing yourself to a girl you don’t know, but again: everyone gets nervous. Social cues can be hard to read, but there are a few consistent pieces of advice that will help you plan your next moves.
First, you and she make eye contact, smile. It’s okay to keep the eye contact for a second or two, but any longer can be interpreted as worrisome. If you and she make eye contact again, take notice of her reaction.
Does she look back at you and smile, or does she turn away? Don’t be offended if she looks away—it’s not about you. She may be dating someone, or having a serious conversation with a friend and it wouldn’t be a good time for her to break away and flirt. Again, don’t jump to rejection as the default.
Some girls (women) will take the initiative and come over you to say hello. This is great! She’ll also likely take the initiative to start the conversation. Follow her cues, but don’t take spend too much time on the first conversation.
You can either wait until she gives signals she’s ready to end the conversation, or you can leave on a high note after about 5 minutes—try “Well, I have to get back to my friends” or “I was just about to head out, but I enjoyed talking to you.” Make it clear that you enjoyed the conversation.
This is where things can get uncomfortable and awkward: the phone number. Again, she may take the initiative and suggest you continue the conversation later, or she may outright ask for your number. If she doesn’t, there’s no harm in asking for hers. Some people have grown up with the idea that the man is supposed to take the lead, so she may wait for you to ask.
Again, don’t fear rejection. If she wasn’t interested she probably would have ended the conversation much sooner. Be sincere, and tell her you enjoyed the conversation and you’d like to talk to her again sometime. Feel free to be direct and ask for her number.
She may offer it up willingly, or she may say something evasive like “I’m sure I’ll run into you again soon!” or slip in a reference to a boyfriend she hasn’t mentioned before. Take that as a cue she may have enjoyed your company but she’s not interested in dating.
That’s fine! You may be disappointed, but if either of you find you didn’t feel a spark, there’s no reason to get the other person’s hopes up.
Even with our step-by-step tips for introducing yourself to a girl, you’re still likely to feel nervous. One last time: that’s totally natural! You may feel it every time you introduce yourself to someone new. That’s okay! Over time it will start to feel a little more natural, and you’ll get a better sense of peoples’ social cues.
How To Introduce Yourself to A Girl You See Walking By
We’re going to tackle the toughest scenario first. If you can introduce yourself to a complete stranger, absolutely every other scenario will be a piece of cake.
Everyone has been there—you’re out and about, minding your own business, when someone passes by and catches your eye. You don’t say anything, and then you spend the next few hours trying to think of what you could have said to turn her head. Don’t worry about memorizing pickup lines. Focus on real, authentic communication instead of something she’s heard a hundred times before.
But before the conversation starts, remember to keep context in mind. If she’s deep in conversation with friends, or has her earbuds in, it might not be the right time to make your move—especially if she keeps her earbuds in. She’s signaling to everyone—not just you—that she’s not in the mood to make conversation. Respect that. If it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen. You can try to low-key catch her eye, and if she smiles and makes a motion to come over, take that as a sign.
Sometimes a simple “Hi, I’m [name]” will get the conversation started. If that fails, ask her about the book she’s been reading or what she might have been listening to. If you don’t know much about the topics she’s covering, say so. Feel free to ask her what she likes or doesn’t like. If you do know a little about what she’s talking about, great! Feel free to join in and have a good back and forth. Steer clear of tossing in too many “did you know”s or monopolizing the conversation completely. That’s called mansplaining, and it’s really rare for a woman to appreciate it.
Likewise, you may have heard of something called “negging.” This is a dating strategy where you give a woman a backhanded, negative semi-compliment in an attempt to get her to work harder to win you over. It’s manipulative and disrespectful. Just don’t do it.
Finally, pick up on social cues. If she seems to lose interest, acts uncomfortable, or suddenly mentions a boyfriend, that’s your cue to say adieu. This doesn’t mean you can’t offer your number as you go (as long as she hasn’t mentioned a boyfriend), but don’t be hurt or surprised if she doesn’t ever text you. That’s fine—it’s really rare for the first woman you meet to be the woman you spend the rest of your life with.
How To Introduce Yourself To A Girl At Work
The biggest piece of advice here? Tread lightly!!! “At Work” implies that she’s required to be there, and whether you’re a customer or coworker, allowing a woman to feel comfortable in her workplace is vital. You may feel a friendship developing with someone at her workplace.
Here are two things to keep in mind: First, a woman being cordial at work is expected. Whether she’s being a good coworker or she’s the cool barista at the local coffee shop, she’s paid to be there, and paid to be friendly to the people she interacts with.
That doesn’t mean she’s not interested in you. It just means that at work, a paycheck is her priority. Avoid situations that may make a woman feel trapped or like she may have to be polite when she’s uncomfortable. Asking someone out when you see them on a regular basis is something to be very gentle with.
The best thing you can do in this situation is to let her take the lead. If you’re a customer and she lingers after you order your coffee, don’t monopolize her afternoon, but talk for a few more minutes. If she’s just as friendly the next time, that’s a good sign. But if she cools off, give her the space she needs. She is at work, after all. If you’re a coworker, let the matter drop—but don’t make it awkward. If you’re a customer and you plan on coming back, make your purchases and don’t linger.
How To Introduce Yourself To A Girl On A First Date
Introducing yourself to a girl on a first date is simultaneously the most straightforward and most anxiety-inducing way to meet. Whether you’ve flirted in past, met online, or have been set up by friends, a first date can feel next-level and maybe even make or break if you really like what you already know about her. Just remember—the hard part is over.
When you meet for that first date, make sure to make a good impression. Clean clothes, haircut, fresh breath. Put in the same effort you hope she does. You likely don’t know much about each other, so start by asking her a little bit about herself. Or take what you do know and expand from there—you know she likes to travel, so ask her where she’s been lately. Don’t grill her, but don’t monopolize the conversation, either.
Here’s a controversial question: to gift or not to gift? Some guys will bring flowers on a first date. This can be sweet, but for some women it will seem a bit too much. Gifts in general are a roll of the dice, but especially avoid overly personal gifts like clothing or jewelry on the first date. It sounds like a no-brainer, but it happens more often than you’d think. In short, this is one of the few times in life where not bringing a gift can be the right move.
How ever you meet the woman you’d like to introduce yourself to, remember these few simple facts: it’s tough to get over nerves, no matter who you are. Not every girl who’s friendly to you is interested in dating, and that’s okay. Finally, you’ll need to make a few introductions before you meet the girl for you, but it’s definitely worth the wait.
Want to read more? Check out our guide on how to greet a girl on the first date. It is chalked FULL of more helpful tips and tricks to make your first date that much more awesome.