Forget the chat-up lines! Finding the right words to impress a girl isn’t easy, so let’s start with a process of elimination...
1 - “You’re really pretty!”
Why not: If she is really pretty, she’s heard it before. If she isn’t, don’t fib.
She hears: “Blah-blah I wanna have sex with you.”
Instead: Five minutes’ conversation is all it takes, then say, “That’s an amazing story” — a true compliment that she won’t get from every jerk.
2 - “Can I tell you something?”
Why not: It’s usually followed by a lame line like, “You’re really pretty!”
What she hears: “I’m nervous about wanting to have sex with you.”
Instead: If it’s that pressing, just tell her. Only, if it’s “I wanna do stuff to you — heh,” best keep it to yourself.
3 - “This is my mate Mick. He’s just been inside, but don't worry, it wasn’t a violent sex crime”
Why not: First rule of wingman-ing: together you are strong, alone you are losers harassing girls. Don’t spill secrets.
What she hears: “Run!”
Instead: “This is Mick. He’s, uh, in the security industry. And he’s a legend.”
4 - “And that was the second time I tried to kill myself…”
Why not: Don’t offload all your crappy baggage on her.
What she hears: “I’m an immature psycho who needs a mother.”
Instead: Keep it upbeat.
5 - “Thank you”
Why not: It sounds like she’s doing you a favour.
She hears: “My self-esteem is so low, I assume you’re doing this out of charity, and I think of you as a free hooker.”
Instead: “That was great. Let’s do it again some time. Like, say… now!”
6 - “Your ‘boyfriend’?”
Why not: If you like the no-strings hook-ups, don’t get the s---- when she reveals she has a boyfriend.
She hears: “I’m gonna find him, fight him and ruin your life.”
Instead: Give yourself a mental high-five for fulfilling her needs better than her chosen partner, and enjoy the ride.
7 - “You’re so much better than my ex…”
Why not: You mean it as a compliment, but to her it cheapens the deal.
What she hears: “I’m using you as a replacement for my ex.”
Instead: Tell her about her. We all like to hear about how good we are, and you’ve probably got some material.
8 - “Same time next week?”
Why not: It sounds like it’s routine. And just because it’s not serious doesn’t mean she won’t get hurt if you take her for granted.
What she hears: “Thanks again, meaningless sex vendor!”
Instead: “So, when are you free next?”
9 - “Now that you mention it, you have put on a few kilos”
Why not: She knows she’s gained weight, you know, and the springs in your bed definitely know. She’s asking to be lied to, and that’s your duty.
Instead: “No. You’re beautiful.”
10 - “You’re so like your mother!”
Why not: Everyone dreads becoming their parents, everyone does in the end — and everyone hates having it pointed out.
What she hears: “You will die a neurotic, emotionally shrivelled husk of a woman.”
Instead: Find a less psychologically damaging way to deliver petty criticisms.
11 - “I cheated on you, but it meant nothing”
Why not: She doesn’t need to know.
What she hears: “I cheated on you with the specific aim of hurting you.”
Instead: Just keep your mouth shut.
12 - “Your [guy] friend wants you”
Why not: She won’t believe you.
What she hears: “People are only interested in your body. All people. Everywhere.”
Instead: “Your [guy] friend is awesome. I want to hang out with him more.” After all, where do you keep your enemies? That’s right: close...