Published on February 14, 2013 | by Jonny Perrin & Florinda Ratkoceri


Did it hurt when you fell down from heaven?

A couple trying out chat-up lines.

Are chat-up lines a good way to break the ice this Valentine’s Day? [image: Alastair Johnstone]

It is that dreaded time of year when nobody wants to be single. Before heading out to find your Valentine, take the time to think about your approach.

Striking up a conversation with a stranger is hard but are chat-up lines really a good way to break the ice? We sent two of our writers to find out.

Jonny’s experience

Valentine’s Day is the most ‘loved-up’ date in the calendar – you can’t seem to avoid happy couples and smiles all around. Yet for singletons, it is not all heart-shaped chocolates and single red roses.

Still, it gives me the chance to slick back my hair, put on some aftershave and go and scare some women with awful chat-up lines.

When people think of chat-up lines they think of corny, overused phrases uttered by people who don’t know the meaning of the word ‘charm’.

It seems people see them more as a joke than as a serious attempt at seduction, but making people laugh is a good start.

Dressed to impress in boots, jeans and a thick coat – containing a small hip flask of whisky for liquid courage – I began my journey at Elephant and Castle tube station where a cute young lady was looking at the transport map. Casually strolling over I asked if she needed any help:

“If I said my name was pogo, would you jump up on my stick?” Jonny Perrin

“Oh, erm… I am ok. I’m just trying to figure out how to get to Angel.” Perfect. “Oh, um, that’s funny because that’s where heaven is…” Damn, I fluffed it.

This chatting-up business is difficult. But I swallowed my pride – washed down with whisky – and walked away from the poor woman who seemed confused about what just happened.

Arriving at London College of Communication, I asked another pretty woman for a lighter in the smoking area. Game on: I complimented her on her hat. She said thanks. Here we go: “Is your surname Jacobs? Because you are a cracker!” She replied slowly: ”Umm, okay.”

That was as far as I got, because I was not entirely sure what to do after saying something that ridiculous to a stranger. So I laughed along with her, before quickly returning inside feeling foolish.

One last go at the LCC Darkroom bar. I strolled in, ordered a drink and saw a girl reading alone.

“I complimented her on her hat. She said thanks.” Jonny Perrin

“Is this seat taken?” A polite answer: “No.”

“Thanks. What are you reading?” I did not hear her response because I was gearing up another line, and listening would have stopped me gathering the necessary confidence in my final attempt.

“Oh cool.” Deep breath. “If I said my name was pogo, would you jump up on my stick?”

Needless to say, it did not work. I frantically explained that I was doing research for an article, before her confusion became anger.

So guys, if you are feeling brave go ahead and turn on the cheese, but be sure to avoid the punches that may get thrown in your direction. It did not work for me, but it was interesting to say the least.

And ladies: I am so sorry.

Florinda’s experience

As a girl, the thought of ever using or hearing a chat-up line is one of the most mortifying experiences I could endure. However, after trying some out on unsuspecting victims, I can assure you it is not as bad as it you think.

With a bit of Dutch courage and some persuasion from your friends you will be using the most ridiculous chat-up lines in the book within minutes.

Surprisingly some of these lines will receive compliments, a telephone number and if you are lucky, a date – that you’ll probably never go on.

For the 21st Century man, chat-up lines are probably one of the biggest social challenges they may have to face. Avoiding rejection, laughter and pure embarrassment are key in succeeding to ‘pull’ a girl through the awkward art of cheesy chat-up lines.

To get a fair result it was only right for me to try three chat-up lines in two different locations.

“Are you Harry Potter ‘cause I hear your wand is quite magical?” Florinda Ratkoceri

As a first timer, I found it best to start with an easy line to break the ice.

“Do you believe in love at first sight or should I walk past you again?” I asked a guy fumbling for his lighter at El Camion – a bar in Soho.

He responded, “Are you being serious?” and laughed, which resulted in us smoking two more cigarettes and getting a drink at the bar. I would consider that a success.

Feeling relieved and optimistic from the response, I continued to find my next victim, this time I thought I would take the comedic approach.

An awkward male and female couple were having a conversation by the door. Approaching them tentatively I asked, “Are you Harry Potter ‘cause I hear your wand is quite magical?”

The girl pointed out – quite aggressively – that he was taken. But how was I supposed to know that, considering she was a four-out-of-ten and he was an eight?

“Are you Jamaican cos’ you’re Jer-makin-me crazy?” Florinda Ratkoceri

Third time lucky: while waiting for my taxi home I spotted a boy walking by and – quite confidently may I add – enquired, “are you Jamaican? because Jamaican me crazy!”

Just when I thought he had not found it funny, I ended up with his number and a text from him the next morning.

On the second night I tried my luck at Maddox – a more sophisticated nightclub in central London. I tried out my Harry Potter line again but this time it did not get the same reaction.

The guy was rather abrupt with his response: “Is that what girls feel like when I do it?”

Whether it is just to approach someone that catches your eye or to make a lasting first impression – why not give chat-up lines a try?


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