Entries in pickup lines (18)
“Roses are red, violets are blue; when I’m around flowers I’m more attracted to you!”
Whether it's red roses for Valentine’s Day or a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers as a bride walks down the aisle, flowers are inextricably linked with relationships. But can the mere presence of flowers influence actual relationship behavior? To test this question, a French researcher randomly assigned female participants to watch a video of a male discussing food while participants were either (a) sitting in a room decorated with three vases full of flowers (roses, marigolds, and daisies), or (b) sitting in a room decorated with empty vases.1 Women who sat in the room with flowers rated the male in the video as sexier and more attractive, and they were more willing to date him.
In a study of 70 undergraduates, researchers tested whether attractiveness and mating strategy (short vs. long term) influence receptivity to pick-up lines. Replicating previous research, women preferred men who took the innocuous “Do you have the time?” route, or those who used direct pick-up lines – e.g., “…I’d like to meet you. What’s your name?” Cute or flippant lines -- “Can I get a picture of you so I can show Santa what I want for Christmas?” -- continued to strike out. But women preferred attractive men for short-term relationships, regardless of the type of pick-up line he used. For long-term relationships, women preferred men who used direct or innocuous lines. Even though flippant lines made men seem outgoing and humorous, they also made them seem less trustworthy and less intelligent. Men who used direct lines were seen as the most trustworthy and intelligent.
Senko, C., & Fyffe, V. (2010). An evolutionary perspective on effective vs. ineffective pick-up lines. Journal of Social Psychology, 150(6), 648-667. doi:10.1080/00224540903365539
“Hello. I think you’re really pretty, and I was wondering if you would give me your phone number.” How would you respond to this request? If you’re a woman, your response may depend on the weather. French researchers found that undergraduate women responded more favorably to a male’s request for their phone number on sunny days compared to identical requests made on cloudy days. Importantly, the temperature and perceived attractiveness of the male did not influence phone number giving behavior. Is sunshine the hidden secret to women’s receptivity? Probably not. It’s more likely that anything that puts women in a positive mood will increase the likelihood of giving out their phone number.
Have you ever read The Game1 or seen the VH1 series The Pickup Artist? Even though The Game is no longer topping the New York Times bestsellers list and The Pickup Artist has long since left the air, the pickup community is alive and well. In fact, in my hometown of Austin, Texas, there are at least three major pickup companies and dozens of independent instructors, all willing to provide (expensive) one-on-one lessons designed to teach the unlucky-at-love how to play the game. As someone who enjoys the nightlife arguably more than she should, it was only a matter of time before I stumbled across the local pickup community and, as a result, met some of the biggest names in the seduction industry (yes, I have met Neil Strauss. No, he did not make a pass at me—and no, I’m not disappointed).
Makes us wonder if this penguin is in any way related to the ScienceOfRelationships penguin. If so, we should name our penguin Muffins.
Have you ever been out at a bar or at a party and had someone try a pick-up line on you? These lines can be corny (“Hey, how much does a polar bear weigh? Enough to break the ice”) or straightforward, (“Do I know you from somewhere? You look really familiar”). Researchers refer to these types of pick-up lines as “opening gambits” or “relationship initiation strategies.” (Editor’s Note: If you use either of those terms in public, you probably won’t be picking up anyone).
For the sake of historical accuracy, we should note that this come-on was not originally posited by Einstein. Instead, it was developed based on the work of Galileo and Newton.
Traditional flirting strategy tells us that a woman attracts a man’s attention by impersonating an immovable object and smiling in his direction. Smiling is good. Smiling is an approachability signal that beckons “come hither”1 to the object of our desires and is perceived as being attractive.2 Unsurprisingly, women smile more when interacting with a man they find attractive.3 While she displays her expensive dentistry, what is his modus operandi? Again, traditional flirting strategy would dictate that he saunters over to her and says, “You must be a parking ticket, because you’ve got fine written all over you” But, do men and women have such different ways to show interest and attraction?
When trying to seduce a woman, men often use assertive strategies such as insulting, teasing, or isolating women. Two studies of over 1100 participants examined men’s use of these strategies and women’s responses. Men used assertive strategies if they believed women are inferior (i.e., hostile sexism), or when they easily distinguish between sex and love (i.e., high sociosexuality). Women were more receptive to the assertive strategies if they agreed with men’s sexist beliefs.
Hall, J. A. & Canterberry, M. (2011). Sexism and assertive courtship strategies. Sex Roles. doi: 10.1007/s11199-011-0045-y
Evolutionary theories of partner selection suggest that whereas men look for partners with signs of youth and fertility, women seek out partners who will be good providers (i.e., males with status, power, and/or wealth). So, what’s a guy to do if he finds himself lacking when it comes to these highly sought-after characteristics? Employ deception!
A few years back, Neil Strauss published a book entitled The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pickup Artists. The book chronicles Strauss’ journey from “chick repellant” to a master of seduction, a feat he accomplished by hiring a very expensive pickup “expert” to teach him the tricks of the trade. Among the things he learned was a technique known as “negging,” which essentially involves belittling a woman upon meeting her. The idea is that by lowering her self-esteem through a mild insult, she will be more easily seduced. In other words, if you can undermine her confidence, she’ll be more likely to settle for you instead of holding out for a better guy.