10 Things Guys Need To Stop Doing When Trying To Pick Up Girls

I’ve heard people say there’s no wrong way to pick up a girl (or guy), it just depends on the person you’re trying to pick up. I say: nice try! but no. These 10 pick-up tactics are horrendous no matter how you look at them.

1. “I don’t usually do this…”

Tell me you don’t usually do this and I will literally hear “I do this all the time.” “I don’t normally do this…” he says. Really? Because—I don’t know, call me crazy—something tells me you DO normally do this. It’s like saying, “I will not excuse myself in 6 minutes to drop a turd in the toilet.” Umm, really? Because something tells me you WILL. Otherwise, why bring it up? See, guy, you’re not fooling me, and frankly it’s offensive that you thought you could fool me with this trite remark in the first place. And lastly: I don’t care. You see, you’re saying this because you think it’ll make you look better in my eyes when in reality it just makes YOU feel better about putting yourself out there. Telling me you don’t normally do this is like telling me that you tried putting pickles on your sandwich today instead of tomatoes. I = don’t care.

2. Acting overly modest

Men: from the moment you get a girl’s attention, you have 30 seconds to a minute to win her over. Remember, you don’t know her. You don’t know what she’s up to, where she’s off to, or what’s on her mind. The other day I was running to Chase Bank in the rain at 10:30pm on a Monday. As might be expected, I was not happily running to Chase Bank but rather reluctantly running to Chase Bank, seeing as it was getting late on a Monday night and I have a comfortable bed. But “eeerrmmmm, errr, errrrm, ex—excuse me?” went the dude as he began tapping my shoulder from behind. When I turned around, I was face-to-face with a dude, just standing there, 5 feet away, saying nothing. “Yes?” I asked. “Um. Well, you see, I—I don’t normally—I, I saw you walking on the street and well…” Uh, uh, uh…FUCKING SPIT IT OUT ALREADY, GUY. Except unfortunately he didn’t, and as he continued on I first grew irritated, then angry, and then all of a sudden I was overcome with a sense of pity. Maybe he has a stutter, I thought. Maybe he has Asperger’s! Awww, he’s autistic, the poor thing, I began convincing myself until he pulled a fast one with “I swear, I’m not crazy. I’m just…nervous.” And then it hit me: he’s pretending. He thinks that coming off as a stuttering, nervous young man will make him seem more appealing. When the truth is, I’ve never wanted to kill someone more. By the time he was able to spit out “So, um, what I’m trying to say is, I was wondering if maybe sometime—not now of course, hehe—I could buy you a drink…?” I had had it. I was drenched, tired, and entering a maddening rage. So I told him I have a boyfriend and walked away.

3. Taking dry humor too far

Dry humor is sort of compulsory when it comes to the men I date. I consider myself a very dry lady, with an immensely high threshold for sarcasm. Frankly, I never thought someone could “cross the line” with me when it came to dry humor until the other day, while I was on a date with a dude. As it usually goes, I began to overheat and so I took off my sweater. “So you’re—what—an A?” he immediately asked me. I laughed; but then, after my laughter soon subsided, I was left at a loss for words. Not knowing how to respond, I tried answering it as a legitimate question: “Um, actually, I’m a double A…?” After that, the date just wasn’t the same.

4. Compliment the butt part of pants

Don’t be a creep. I mean if you are, fine, but at least try to keep your outstandingly creepy thoughts from surfacing. At a café the other day some dude smirked at me and told me he was “digging the heart.” It took me about 2 minutes to realize he was referring to the embroidered heart on the butt pocket of my skirt, at which point I thought: you’re a creep. Men: don’t do this. Because—I don’t know—something tells me it’s not the pocket, heart-shaped embroidery that you “dig,” but rather the butt underneath. Which will make any woman feel slightly exposed and definitely uncomfortable.

5. Bank flirting

I realize men find it hard to turn down an alluring opportunity when it crops up right before their eyes, but really, one quick survey of your surroundings wouldn’t hurt too. For instance: you see a cute girl; you want to talk to her. So far so good. Except, wait, you’re standing at an ATM. In a bank. And she’s entering her pin, while visibly trying to conceal it from onlookers, at the ATM next to you. Do you go for it? The answer to that, my friends, is no. No, you don’t. When this happened to me the other day I learned that it’s always startling if any stranger tries to talk to you in a bank, but exceedingly more startling if they whisper to you “nice ass…” It’s like, do you want my number? My pin? Because it’s unclear.

6. Santa Con proposition

Now, rarely is this ever a good date idea. But it’s an even worse proposition if you use it on someone who has expressly stated her distaste for Santa Con. (Drunk buffoons dressed as Santa in MY city? Santa CON. Tim Allen in The Santa Clause? Santa PRO. You get it.) I wrote an article recently entitled “All I Want For Christmas Is For Santa Con To Die”—a pretty direct, to-the-point headline, I thought, that clearly stated my opinion of Santa Con. Unfortunately, however, that didn’t stop a Santa Con enthusiast from contacting me, first voicing his love for this event and then asking me to join him.

I will admit I was intrigued, but only by the prospect of taking frightened-looking selfies at Santa Con. And then murdering this kid.

7. Taking rejection poorly

Asking someone out means, by its very nature, that you are putting yourself at risk of getting rejected. So if you do happen to get rejected, deal with it. One time a dude asked me out, I said no, yet he was persistent, and so I began to ignore him. However instead of walking away, resigning himself to his fate, he went on to send me weirdly passive-aggressive texts like “Or not…”

Um, hey, dude: you just gave me glimpse into what it might be like to date you. And guess what? It looks awful.

8. Being an overly persistent barista

There was a barista at the Coffee Bean by my old apartment who apparently believed I still got it…and wanted it. At first I couldn’t complain; I was getting free cups of coffee up the wazoo. But as the free cups started to wane, the true colors of such a crush began to shine through.

I started seeing him outside of Coffee Bean, chilling on my block late at night. He’d always find a creepy, startling way to say hello to me as if popping out of the woodwork of the buildings that lined my block. I soon realized that I do not like my baristas and the men who hit on me to overlap—it’s just too close to home. Because, first of all, my baristas see me at my worst—in my marijuana leaf-printed PJs, with crusty eyes, and emitting rancid-smelling morning breath. And what’s more, I don’t need to feel like I’m being dragged on a rollercoaster ride every time I want a goddamn soy latté. Will he give me a free cup today?…Will he not? It’s just too much pressure financially.

9. The ol’ “Smile!”

“Why you no smile?” said every single man who sells newspapers in the city to me, all the time. If I’m not smiling—if I’m giving a stinky face, pouting, or even frowning—um, how do I put this…THERE’S USUALLY A REASON. Perhaps I was just told some really traumatic family news; maybe I just got into a horrible fight with my boyfriend; but more likely than either of those is that I display this “fuck you” countenance simply because I don’t want attention from men like you.* And same goes for “You look tired!”—another line that men who work at newsstands like to employ. I know how I look when I’m tired: one eye is more open than the other, I have acquired 8 more wrinkles than usual, and my face glows like a meth addict’s bony, bruised-up knee might glow after being shot up multiple times. So, essentially, what you’re telling me is that I look like that. And you wonder why I’m not smiling…

*Things that make me smile/proof that I do smile: Puppies, jokes told by Louis C.K., a naked Chris Farley, my friends.

10. Acting like an effing weirdo

I love these guys, if for no other reason than that they give me so much writing material. I also LOVE a good sext. Don’t get me wrong—I HATE sexting, I just enjoy receiving and making fun of sexts sent to me in earnest. Recently, a dude asked me if I wanted to meet up with him and watch him jerk off. I commend his honesty and forthrightness and, I wont lie, it was the best pickup line I’d gotten yet. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Writer at Thought Catalog. Follow me on Twitter.

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