There you are, settling in to a window seat with your almond milk chai latte, when you spot a vision across the cafe. You’re not actually certain you’ve ever seen such an adorable creature IRL, and when the barista calls out their drink order, you discover that you have the same signature drink. It’s fate, obvi. You’re dying to talk to them, but what would you say? There are many ways to get someone at a coffee shop to notice you. Ultimately, it all comes down to whether you’d rather take a subtle approach or a bolder one.
“Lots of people use the coffee shop as their mobile office, or a place to start their day, relax, hang out and people watch, study, make new connections and take a break from the day’s activities,” says Greene. “Plus, at a coffee shop there is so much to talk about — the background music, your go-to drink, the baristas, the other customers around you, the food, the environment, and your reason for coming there. The coffee is the common denominator and it is a wonderful icebreaker.”
Greene also points out that a coffee shop isn’t thought of as a traditional place to pick someone up (like, say, a bar), so there’s a level of comfort and a slightly more casual vibe. Not only that, but you're bound to find a wide range of types of people there as well, with diverse jobs, interests and backgrounds.
Still, it can be nerve-wracking to approach a total stranger to strike up a conversation. That’s why Greene’s top piece of advice is to never leave home without a prop.
“Props are natural conversation starters,” she explains. “They encourage conversation. The best props to get someone to notice you are cute dogs, kids, out-of-the-ordinary or attention-grabbing jewelry, a captivating scent. Another great option is an article of clothing that points to a passion of yours, a school you attended, or a place you have been. Also, an interesting book, magazine, or newspaper can provide talking points.”
Also, keep an eye out for any props that your object of interest has that may inspire natural conversation. For example, if they’re reading a book you keep hearing about, you can ask them whether it’s living up to the hype. Or, if they’re wearing a hat for your favorite sports team, you can ask them if they saw the game last night.
Still, while chatting that cutie up is obviously a phenomenal way to flirt, there are other ways to let your interest be known.
“Your nonverbal behavior speaks volumes,” explains Greene.
Green recommends making eye contact with the person who’s caught your attention. Make sure to smile, and let your gaze linger for a few seconds. (Just don’t stare for too long — Greene notes that looking for longer than four seconds can venture into creepy territory.)
“Smiling is contagious,” she adds. “It will make you so much more approachable. You will be a people magnet!”
While you may consider talking to yourself to be a no-no (in public, anyway), Greene says it can actually be a solid tactic for getting someone to notice you — when executed well. For example, softly asking yourself aloud, “Fruit salad or brownie?” might inspire your coffee shop crush to answer.
If you feel too awkward talking to yourself, you can also take a straightforward approach. For example, you could open up the line of communication by asking if they’ll save your seat or watch your laptop while you order, or asking them where the bathroom is. Greene also suggests asking them if you can get them anything while you’re up. Once you break the ice, it’ll be a lot easier to continue chatting when you return to your seat.
“My favorite conversation starter is giving a stranger a compliment,” Greene tells Elite Daily.
Compliments can range from something they’re wearing (“Nice kicks!”), reading (“You clearly have great taste in books!”) or their overall appearance (“Has anyone ever told you that you look like Liam Hemsworth?”). Keep in mind that according to Greene, the most important thing is that your compliments are coming from a place that’s totally genuine and sincere.
If you feel anxious about flirting with someone in a coffee shop, Greene says not to fight those nerves — but rather, embrace them.
“Feeling nervous can be a motivator — because one of the best ways to get rid of the jitters is to take action,” she explains. “Worrying and ruminating about when and if to make the approach will only intensify your anxiety. Always stay in the moment and don’t project into the future. The more you stay focused in the here and now the greater your chances of making a meaningful connection.”
Also, she notes that it can be helpful to remind yourself of the worst case scenario: the person you’re interested in doesn’t reciprocate your flirtatious vibes. You know what’s far worse than that? Wondering what could have been.
“Remember: nothing ventured, nothing gained,” says Greene. “You never want to have any regrets.”
There are so many different ways to get someone to notice you at a coffee shop, and how you go about it will likely depend on your personality, and the situation. Striking up a conversation with some random cutie may feel nerve-wracking at first, but after you take the plunge, that anxiety is bound to turn into exhilaration. Remember — the outcome is irrelevant. Maybe you hit it off and walk away with that stranger’s digits. Maybe you don’t. Either way, you can sip on that cappuccino with a smirk knowing that you just bravely flirted with a perfect stranger — you well-caffeinated minx, you.