How to Get a Number

We know how difficult it can be for young professionals in search of love or a hot make-out alike to “play the game.” We recently outlined how to spot the singles at places commonly frequented by YPs. But once you spot one, how to you go in for the kill? After all, the end prize is a number, BlackBerry Messenger PIN or email. We consulted a group of late-twenties YPs of both sexes to determine the least creepy and most effective ways to score contact info from that captivating stranger…

At a Bar
Once an intense eye contact or smile invites you over, the key is to spend the least time to make your best first (and lasting) impression and leave with the other person’s information. The single YP is likely at the bar with friends or co-workers and there is nothing more annoying for a wing man or woman than standing patiently by a friend’s side while they get either stuck or engaged in a 25-minute conversation about everything under the sun. With that said, the best number-achievers are the ones who are able to break the ice in a witty enough manner to make a good impression, but have a personal and comfortable enough conversation so he or she actually feels comfortable sharing their contact info with you. 

One seasoned YP prowler said: “Don’t offer to buy a drink right away – you don’t want to have to bribe people to talk to you and you will feel like a jackass if she accepts the drink (oh, and one for her friend as well) and walks away once it reaches her hands.”  Have a conversation with them first, and gauge his or her reaction before you offer to buy a drink. It isn’t about the drink; it’s about the conversation. 

Charity Event
We often cite charity events as a great place for singles because fellow young professionals who are social and share common interests are in attendance. Luckily, most young professionals tend to stay at charity balls for longer than they would at the typical bar, so you have more time to make your move. The same rules as in the bar apply, but you can open the conversation with talk of the charity, the party features or the importance of events like the one you are at. We found that charity events are a good way to meet other young professionals for business, social and romantic interests because YPs are more likely to network and are open to talking to others than at a bar. With that said, you may approach the introduction from a professional angle and see where it leads; at very least, he or she now has your business card. 

On the street
Hey, it happens in romantic comedies, right? We are going to bet there has been a time or two in your life when you have exchange a lingering glare with a sexy stranger, perhaps even looked back and caught the other doing the same….then kept walking, never to see him or her since. If you think there is actually a chance to get it from someone and don’t do it, you will regret it afterwards. If you go for it (and do it properly) you have nothing to lose. 

You can’t really make any assumptions regarding common interests when it comes to spotting a captivating single on the street. Before approaching anyone on the street, it is always advised to keep in mind that this can border on creepy, especially for born and breed urbanites who grew up weary of the friendly banter with strangers that is characterized of small towns. If it is a case of the aforementioned situation, where a lingering stare or sheepish smiles are exchanged, this may be an open invitation. The other person likely isn’t doing anything about it because he or she feels as awkward as you. You may want to start with a something like a harmless “how’s it going,” and see where the conversation leads – even if it is met with a quick “good” and head turn. 

The other street situation is trickier, especially if you seemingly come out of nowhere and startle the person. If you spot someone on the street who you just have to talk to, start by asking a seemingly innocent question like for directions, where they got that frozen yogurt or protein shake in their hand, or where the nearest Starbucks is. One YP recalls scoring a female’s number by guessing what drink was hers at a Starbucks. Either way, once the initial ice is broken, go with the flow (being very mindful not to creep him or her out) and gauge their reaction before going in for the number kill. Word of advice: if he or she looks frazzled and in a rush, count your losses and let him or her walk on by.

We generally advise against approaching a fellow YP at a gym. For some, the hour spent there may be the only time he or she has in a day to focus entirely on him or herself. If, however, for months on end a sexy stranger has caught your attention, and perhaps made eye contact a few times, go for it. The easiest thing to do is ask about a class, instructor, or perhaps even their running shoes (after all, most come in male and female versions). If it feels right, ask if he or she would like to hang out outside of the gym sometime. What’s the worst that can happen?