Congratulations! You've resisted the urge to cancel your plans and stay in, you've successfully put on pants and maybe even a bold lip, and now here you stand — at a party. (If you're the kind of person who doesn't think twice about heading out to party-hop all night, congratulations to you in general.) As you chitchat with your friends, sip your drink, and scan the room, let's say you spot a cute stranger. Now what? You might find yourself staring into your drink, wondering how to talk to someone at a party. Unless the answer is written at the bottom of your Solo cup, (or your actual glass glass if you're fancy,) you're probably going to need a few ideas.
We live in a world where we generally more comfortable with introducing ourselves to a stranger digitally via an app, text, or email. But since you've already decided to leave your apartment, you might as well start a conversation IRL, old school style. While it may seem daunting at first, one obvious upside to this face-to-face interaction is that instead of waiting for a message or text back, you're going to know pretty quickly whether or not this is someone you'll want to keep engaging with. And who knows? The story of this party might be an anecdote you and your soulmate will work into your wedding vows one day. So read on for a few easy ways to chat up that cutie at a party.
Starting a conversation with an observation can be a more chill way of eliciting a response from a person than just asking a straight up question. I'm not talking about an obvious observation like "Today is Thursday" or "You are a human person," but something a little more specific and playful. Pro tip: keep things positive and avoid negative observations like "I hate parties."
- "I like your Lakers hat. Congrats on LeBron." (This can be tailored to any sports-afiliated attire, but this is literally the only sports thing I know about sports, #sports.)
- "There are adults here playing beer pong. I'm trying to decide if I should show them how it's done."
- "I just noticed everyone here is gorgeous."
Compliments are like gifts: most people love to receive them — but can also tell when a gift could have been given to any random person or was bought specifically with them in mind. So try to compliment something about the cutie in your crosshairs that's specific to them.
- "I really appreciate that you're drinking whiskey neat."
- "That's a great shirt/dress/hat/bag. Is there a story behind it?"
- "I just thought you should know you've got a great laugh." (Make sure they have audibly laughed recently or else this will come across as creepy.)
Telling someone a quick story is a great way to get their attention and hold it for a moment. The key is making it quick, making it funny, and keeping it light. This is a party after all, so save the story about your childhood pet bird's funeral for, say, date number four.
- "So I Uber Pool-ed here and you'd never believe the fight this couple had right next to me..."
- "The craziest thing just happened and I need to tell someone..."
- "This song just reminded me of this one night freshman year..."
This may seem obvious, but consider just going up to the person you're eyeing and saying hello. I know you're reading this for interesting insights to chatting up a cutie and you're like "Hello? I could've come up with that," but the classics are the classics for a reason. So make like Adele and say hello, but not from the other side (of the room).
When all else fails, what are friends for? Go ahead and enlist a friend to break the ice for you. Grab your buddy, head over to the person who caught your eye and have them make the first move. Just be mindful that if they do this, you will likely find yourself doing the same thing for them some time in the future.
Regardless of how you initiate a conversation with a cute stranger at a party, making the first move is ballsy — and something to be proud of. The worst thing that could happen is that they brush you off, but you will survive that like the resilient gem that you are. You never know: they just might be standing across the room wondering how to approach you. So go say hello! After all, you didn't put on a red lip for nothing!
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