The 4-Step Guide For Girl On Girl Flirting When You're At The Bar

By Rocky Merchant

Picture yourself in this classic situation: You're having a night out. You know you look hot. You're at your favorite spot, your friends are all around you and everything feels just right. In this moment, you're the sh*t.

Then, you see her. She's gorgeous. She's just your type. She's right over there.

But something stops you from walking up to her. When your friends ask you why, you might say, “Well, I'm just not that type of person.” Maybe you'll lie to them and say, “Well, I have you guys, so I don't want to talk to anyone else.” Or maybe you'll admit, even if it's just to yourself, “Well, that's just a really scary thing to do.”

But let me tell you this: Sometimes, all you need to do to be brave enough to walk up to her is learn how to put one foot in front of the other. Here are your instructions:

1. Create your invitation.

Everything starts with good eye contact. If you're not fully confident in your ability to make good eye contact, don't read any further. Go home and practice smizing in the mirror until you're sure you can hook someone with a look.

Once you've spotted someone you're interested in pursuing, look to engage her for about two to three seconds with solid eye contact. Connect and smile: It's simple.

After the first few seconds, break eye contact. Turn away to engage someone else and chat with a friend, call over the bartender or take a sip of your drink. Do anything that will burn about four to six seconds.

After the break, look back. Lock eyes again.

But this time, give her a stronger positive affirmation. You can smile a little wider to give the signal that you are, indeed, looking. You can (as I do) raise your drink to her and see if she raises her glass back. If you're feeling coy, run your fingers through your hair and give it a small, playful flip, in order to give her a sense of your flirty side.

If she gives you a bigger smile, a muted laugh or, most importantly, if she's still looking, she's definitely interested. You've created your invitation to approach her.

2. Initiate contact.

Once you've created your invitation, you have a very short window of time to go up to her. It's actually less than 10 seconds long, for a few key reasons.

First, don't give yourself enough time to reflect. Only give yourself enough time to act. Approaching someone you don't know is scary. You don't need more time to remind yourself of that.

On the same note, this is not a moment for self-reflection. With self-reflection comes the risk of self-doubt. Don't give yourself enough time to think you might not be cute, smart or cool enough for this person. Don't give yourself any time to overthink; just do.

It's also a little weird if you wait too long to approach her, even if you wait just a few minutes. If you let too much time pass between the invitation and the approach, your approach might actually become a bit weird.

If you wait and let, say, 10 minutes pass, she could start thinking, “Maybe she wasn't looking at me. This person is hovering quite a bit. Why hasn't she said hi to me yet?”

If you approach too late, you might even be greeted with, “So, who are you again?”

You are always facing competition. If you find this person attractive, chances are, someone else may find her attractive, too. If you wait too long, someone else will beat you to the punch. When you do approach, how you start the conversation is key. Aim to open with a neutral and open-ended question, something that can't be answered with a "yes" or "no."

You could go with something as simple as, “How's your night going?” or “What are you out for tonight?” If she's with other people, go with something inclusive. If she's interested, those questions will segue into a conversation that pertains to just you and her.

If you want to go for something more personalized, try commenting on something unique about the atmosphere, like the bar decor or on something she might be wearing. This shows you're paying attention.

For example, if she's wearing something to stand out – jewelry, unique clothing or a princess tiara – comment on it. The conversation will probably go as follows:

Me: Hi, how's it going? That's a really interesting necklace. Where'd you get it?

Her: Oh, this? Yeah, I got it downtown. I think by Houston Street? I got it at a street fair. It's actually one of my favorite pieces.

Starting out with an open-ended question is actually a bit unexpected. Most people don't expect it from someone they don't know. Because it is surprising, she is more likely to give you an honest and engaging answer. She's probably not asked these things all the time.

It's also important to not start a conversation by complimenting her. When you compliment her, you automatically make her the subject of adoration. This could work, but it bares a few key risks.

First of all, it's more difficult to expand a compliment into a longer conversation. Finding something to say beyond “thank you” can sometimes prove to be an awkward transition.

Also, when you compliment someone, you skew the power dynamic out of your favor. The intrigue that comes with “the chase” will become a little less thrilling for her. Approach quickly and neutrally. Before you know it, you'll have knocked out the scariest part of flirting.

3. Test the chemistry.

Once you're in conversation, try to segue into a subject you have some deeper knowledge about. Now, leading the conversation to a personal area of expertise may sound tricky. But with a well-directed question and some forethought, it's definitely doable.

For example, whenever I meet someone in New York City, I always try to bring the conversation back to New York City geography. As a native New Yorker, I know how to talk about any neighborhood in the city in a way that expresses confidence and charisma. This gives the conversation high potential to find common ground. My conversations usually go like this:

Me: Hi, how's it going? That's a really interesting necklace. Where'd you get it?

Her: Oh, this? Yeah, I got it downtown. I think by Houston Street? I got it at a street fair. It's actually one of my favorite pieces.

Me: Ah, I love that area. I just went to brunch around there at Jack's Wife Freda. Have you been around that area a lot?

Her: Yes, actually. My best friend lives on Spring, and we eat around there quite a bit. Have you ever been to The Jane? I love that place.

At this point in the process, make sure to take a step back. Ask her questions.

This is the point where you can be more discerning about what the chemistry is like between you two. You can read for physical chemistry in her body language. As you're speaking to each other, pay attention to whether or not she develops a natural turn in your direction.

As you're testing for this chemistry, try your best to talk about nothing. Keep the conversation light and playful, but don't inquire about anything too indicatively personal, such as what you both do for a living or what you're strongly passionate about. If you can get away with it, try not to exchange names. See if you can keep this going for about seven minutes.

I like to think of this as a “road trip test.” If you go on a long road trip with someone, you only really spend about an hour or two talking about the serious stuff: your core values, childhood and personal aspirations. The rest of the time, you usually play the license plate game or sing along to random '90s hits on the radio. Essentially, you'll spend most of your time with someone you like talking about nothing.

If you're with the right person, you'll remember how much you loved having that conversation, even if you can't remember what it was about. So, in those seven minutes, try to get a sense of whether or not she'd ever be the person you'd want to be on that trip with.

Up until this point, I've outlined the steps by assuming both of you are interested. Everything's going swimmingly.

In reality, things don't always work out so smoothly. You may realize you don't really like this person, she may already be involved with someone else or, in the worst case, she says she was actually looking at the person behind you when you first locked eyes.

As you move through the four steps, give yourself enough room at each step to gracefully bow out if you do not (or should not) pursue her further. A way to bow out is to wait for a pause, give her a kind smile and cheer politely with a “Good to meet you. Have a nice night.” Return to your home base with your friends, brush yourself off and revert back to the first step with a new prospect.

4. Touch.

If, after approaching the seven-minute mark of your conversation, you feel there's something to explore between you and her, make some key final moves.

First, keep the conversation short. Even if it's going really well, exit early. You will leave on a high note and create a sense of urgency. This will leave her intrigued and wanting a bit more of you. At this point, you must also declare your interest with the most important signal: touch.

If all has gone well, she's probably already leaning toward you. Keep it light and friendly. Just place a few fingers lightly on top of her forearm, shoulder or – if you're very bold – the small of her back. This will send a flattering and unequivocal message you're romantically interested in her.

From here, you're looking to say goodbye and exchange phone numbers. I like to always give a light touch on the arm and reaffirm, “I've had a really great time talking to you.” From there, consider saying the following, depending on your plan for the night:

If you're staying at the bar, say, “I have to get back to my friends over there, but let's exchange numbers. I hope you find me later tonight.”

If you're leaving the bar, say, “My friends and I are headed over to another bar, but we should exchange numbers. Why don't I text you Monday to see if you want to grab drinks sometime next week? Maybe The Jane?”

If you're leaving the bar, but see the potential for a late-night rendezvous, say, “My friends and I are headed over to another bar, but we should exchange numbers. If you're up to it, you and your friends are totally welcome to join us. Why don't I text you in an hour or so?”

If you've gotten this far in the process, never balk while exchanging numbers. Be assured you wouldn't have gotten this far if she didn't want to give her number to you.

Now that you know how to be brave, go for it. Walk up to her.