"Did it hurt when you fell out of heaven?"

"That dress looks great. It would look even better on my bedroom floor."

Whether cheesy or amazing, almost everyone knows a few pick up lines. You may have used them, had some used on you, or just seen someone use them in a social gathering. Many pick up lines are considered cheesy and the worst are often used as humour in movies and on television. But, despite the poor quality of many pick up lines, the reason that they are so common place is that they actually have some value in dating.

When used right, a pick up line is an elegant way to make an introduction and indicate that you are interested in a romantic relationship at the same time. Good pick up lines help avoid awkward verbal and social engagements where you and another are trying to determine whether you are both interested in dating. Of course, bad pick up lines are pretty much a recipe for never starting a relationship in the first place.

It all comes down to knowing how to use them, when to use them, and what lines to use.

You Only Get One Chance

Much like a first impression, if you say something that sounds like a pick up line, you only get one chance to get it right. And, in general, "get it right" means one of two things:

  • You made the other person laugh
  • You said exactly the right thing to spark the other person's interest

Humour is easier to pull off because even bad pick up lines can be funny if used in the right way. Consider this classic pick up line:

"I forgot my phone number. May I have yours?"

It is cheesy, but amusing at the same time. Like many good jokes, it intentionally misunderstands a conceptual idea to make the humour work. It probably isn't the best way to start a conversation, but if you end a conversation that way, it may increase your chances of actually getting a phone number.

Saying the right thing to spark interest is a lot harder. It pretty much requires luck. If you are really stuck for an idea how to approach someone, and you don't mind potentially striking out, pull out something direct and not too cheesy and go for it.

The Online Pick Up Line

Not all pick up lines are used in bars or at social gatherings. If you are engaging in online dating, you can effectively use a pick up line in a contact message.

Online pick up lines are slightly different than face to face ones because you have more information. Take advantage of your potential partner's profile information to craft a pick up line that will appeal to their interests.

For example, if you see that someone enjoys football, you might try a line like this:

"Instead of watching football this weekend, you should come to my place. I'm just like a football game. I can play for 90 minutes straight without needing a break."

You can get away with something slightly cheesier when you tie it into something the other person enjoys.

Offer to Buy a Drink

The most common pick up line is one that most people don't actually think of as a pick up line. Whenever you offer to buy someone a drink or food at a bar, you are engaging in a pick up line.

It is a pick up line because it expresses your interest in a non-direct way. And it tends to be effective because it puts all the power in the hands of the person you are speaking to. It doesn't hurt that you are offering to pay for something they probably wanted anyway.

This particular type of pick up line is so effective, you should look for ways to expand on it beyond just pubs and coffee shops. See someone in a book store that interests you? Consider offering to help them find a good book. The important thing is the time you spend in their company, not the exact offer.

Know When to Be Direct

A pick up line may seem direct to some, but it is still basically an indirect approach. Sometimes it simply is best to just directly express interest in dating or going on a date. The phrase, "Would you be interested in going on a date with me?" is surprisingly effective if you offer a specific date idea and a specific time.