Esquire Magazine states, “Pick-up lines are corny, rehearsed witticisms that say as much about the nitwit charmed by them as they do about the amateur employing such desperate tactics.” Not a great endorsement from the home of “Man at His Best”. As a woman on the receiving end of many of these lines, I have to agree with the experts.
Yet there is this one line that I've always appreciated. It’s refined, friendly, and promising.
“Do you want to dance?” a guy asks with a smile and an extended hand. Now that’s good. So good, in fact, I've hardly ever turned it down. What I love about it is how much it tells me about the other person. He’s fun, confident, and wants to do things that I want to do. Immediately, he’s off to a good start and I want to now more about him. But first,we’ll just share a dance. So I take his hand and let him lead me to the dance floor.
I like the innocence behind the question as well as the possibilities it opens up. It’s innocent because people with no romantic interest in one another can dance together,which makes it a truly low stakes request. Yet it’s not a total freebie.
Depending on the setting, pulling this approach off requires some skill and tact. Whether it’s salsa,country, or swing, we both need to be able to do enough together to get the dance going.
There’s a moment of anticipation on the way to the floor for that very first dance together. We wonder what this little adventure will entail. Will we pull it off together? Will one of us be better than the other? Will we make fools of ourselves? Will we be great together? It’s exciting to find out!
Then, once we start moving together, the potential opens up. As we listen to the music together,we use body language to communicate with each other. We do the pre-set steps we know, a conversational pattern that’s easy for us to slip into. Now… is there more? Flirty eyes? Laughs? Sometimes the sparks start to fly right off the bat; other times, the dance is just a friendly and sweet beginning. One thing is for sure:the ice is broken.
After the dance is over, we may dance again or we may choose to sit and talk together. We may go our separate ways for now, keeping track of one another out of the corners of our eyes. If the connection is there, it’ll stay there between us... binding us together in a sort of dance at a distance throughout the evening and beyond. The suspense will linger until the next encounter.
So that’s why “Do you want to dance” is such a great way to spark up a romance. The wholesomeness makes it endearing while the physical element makes it tantalizing. With rising heart rates, we experience a sensory experience with one another that leaves a lasting impression.
For the sake of argument, let’s consider the alternative. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that no one is considering, “You must be tired because you've been running through my mind all night long.” A canned line like is a bad omen. If he opens up with a bad joke, he’s likely to have a whole bunch of them in store. So unless I want to listen to bad, worn-out jokes all night, I’ll pass.
“Can I get you a drink?” is no match either. That’s because it makes a bad first impression. Its just a little sleazy and suspicious. Does he want me to let down my inhibitions and display poor judgment? Does he think I need to drink to enjoy his company? How long does he expect me to talk to him? I might not want to risk it.
OK, so let’s go back to the dance scene. Now, it’s gotta be in the right setting. Bus stops and grocery store lines aren’t going to set the scene for romance. Yelp has good info on local dance clubs with recommendations on which nights to go.
Guys need to know what they’re doing once they get out on the floor. So if you don’t know how to dance, watch some youtube videos or take a couple of dance classes. Start with something easy like merengue, two-step, or swing. If you need a confidence boost, ask a female friend to practice with you.
And go easy on yourself. You’ll learn as you go, so you don’t need to know much to get started. Once you make it to the club,you can see what the other guys are doing and mimic them. Don’t worry—no one will challenge you to a dance-off for stealing their moves. Everybody copies each other. In fact, outgoing people will often teach you a move—breaking it down for you right then and there.
Alright, gentlemen… Give it a try and let us know how it goes!