Big Flirting in the Big Apple
How to respond to getting hit on in the city that never sleeps
I just got my dating mojo back. This happens every time I leave the safety of sexy Los Angeles (land of the lost when it comes to men) for exhilaration of gritty NYC (where eligible men blanket the sidewalks more densely than street meat carts).
I’ve got to figure out a less expensive way to recharge my love life than flying across the continent. But for now, it seems to be working.
Maybe it’s me, maybe it’s Manhattan, maybe it’s the reprieve from the soul-sucking smog of L.A. But the moment I set foot in New York, my dance card fills up faster than Kate can berate Jon plus eight.
I don’t mean to sound like a Braggy Betty. Let me assure you that in L.A., I’m quite the wallflower. But for some reason New York men see me as a prize to be won. And what’s a girl to do but let them risk it all (or at least risk a smile) for me?
Because I’m not accustomed to all this flirting, I have to remind myself that it’s not enough to merely bask in the attention. I’ve got to pull my weight as well. Coaxing that first little love spark into a flame — without burning your skin off – takes effort and skill.
In the spirit of sharing the love, I thought I’d list the flirting lessons I learned from each of the “suitors” I met on this trip.
Smile, damn it.
I met Guy #1 on the subway. He was wearing a vintage t-shirt that said, “Archaeology: Can you dig it?” I am a nerd, so this catchphrase tickled me in very inappropriate places.
I noticed the would-be archaeologist making eyes at me (told you I was a nerd), so I bravely grinned back. “Like my shirt?” he asked. “Like mine?” I asked back.
Quick as a whistle, he asked for my number. All because I wasn’t afraid to smile at a stranger. Just make sure your stranger is wearing a hip and/or subversive t-shirt.
Give him an opening.
I shared an elevator with Guy #2 and two of his friends. They were having a woe-is-me dating conversation. Instead of minding my own business, I announced that because I was a dating columnist, I had a professional interest in their romantic lives.
It was the perfect opening for Guy #2, who’d been checking out my sleek new summer sheath, to ask me advice on “getting a cool girl like you.”
Happy to be of service, sir. Happy to be of service.
The point is – guys are often clueless about how to approach you. So shove the door wide open for them.
Keep ‘em laughing.
Guy #3 hit on me at a comedy show at the UCB Theatre in New York. It’s long been my belief that comedy shows are the best places on earth to either meet guys, bring guys for a date or have a grand time all by your lonesome.
Think about it – everyone’s laughing and no one’s having to do any work. Comedy shows are like the spooning of dates. You’re both getting a lot of satisfaction with very minimal exertion.
I got asked out by Guy #4 after walking into a classic Manhattan hotel bar all by myself. The place was filled with suited men. I was looking fervently for a friend I was to meet (who was running very late). That’s when Guy #4 swooped in, waving as if he knew me and insisting that he was the one I was looking for.
I know this is a hard one for those of us who watch a lot of Dateline programs. But walking into a busy, classy bar or restaurant all by your lonesome can be sizzling attractive to men. (Just don’t leave the bar with strangers, and tell someone where you gonna be, got it?)
“Who is this mystery woman?” men wonder, dreaming up all sorts of exotic identities for you. The faintly tragic curiosity and confidence of your independence will make you absolutely irresistible.
If you really want to reel them in, pretend you were supposed to meet a guy but that he stood you up. Men love a chance to come to your rescue. And this one gets ‘em every single time.
To be continued.
I know this may be hard to believe, but I had even more interesting encounters with flirty guys in NYC – including a shoe fetishist, a musician and a drunk. I’ll be sharing these stories and more tips for getting asked out next week.
In the meantime – What’s the best flirting (either giving or receiving) you’ve ever experienced?
Read Carrie’s last blog post: Sorry Guys, Size Does Matter