Remember those lines you used on potential “Prince Charmings” in your 20s? “Those probably won’t work anymore,” says FOF Dating Coach Cheryl Savage.
“When you’re in college, everyone is single — you are exposed to thousands of single people on any given day,” says Cheryl. “In our 40s and 50s, we are not exposed to as many single people as we were in our 20s and 30s. You have to intentionally go out to places where there are a higher number of single people, and you have to use an opening line that will gauge whether or not someone is available.”
Last month, Cheryl took FOF Sharon Nord on a dating outing to show her first-hand how to approach men. Sharon moved to New York City just over year ago, after she and her husband split.
“I haven’t had much luck meeting men in New York City–it’s difficult,” says Sharon. “My insecurities about meeting men are: getting turned down, ignored and laughed at. I was married a VERY long time and haven’t dated since I was a teenager. I’m still getting used to being more assertive.”
Cheryl and Sharon headed to Stone St., a popular post-work hangout for stockbrokers in the Financial District of Manhattan. To quell her jitters, Cheryl gave Sharon these 3 foolproof openers to use when approaching FOF men:
1. “You’re looking awfully cheerful. You must not work on Wall St., do you?”
Why it works: “This is what I call ‘the art of the question,'” says Cheryl. “Depending on where you are, your question is going to vary. In this case, we were around Wall St. on a day the stock market plummeted so it was appropriate, but you can tailor your question to your location or the specific man you want to talk to. Remember, the whole idea behind approaching a man, is to find out if he’s interesting to you. His answer will help you determine that.”
2. “My friend and I are having an argument about your nationality… are you Greek or Italian?”
Why it works: “Again, this falls under the ‘art of the question,'” says Cheryl. “Always ask an alternative-choice and not a yes-or-no question, so you can continue the conversation to find out if he’s interesting. At a golf event, you might ask: ‘What brings you and your friends to the golf event? Do you live in this area or are you just here because of the event?’ If you are somewhere more non-descript, like a bar, you might say, “My friend and I were debating whether you guys are brothers or friends. What is your relationship to one another?” Jump start the conversation to find out if this guy is interesting.
3. “What a great shirt! Does your wife shop for you?”
Why it works: “This is what I call “the art of the compliment,” says Cheryl. “To compliment a gentleman on his clothing is just nice. However, it should be a sincere compliment. By asking, ‘who shops for you? you or your wife?’ You can determine if this man is married or not. If he answers, ‘My wife,’ don’t freak out, extend the compliment and say, ‘wow your wife has great taste,’ and move on. “The whole idea of a dating outing is to find a man that might be interesting, find out if hes married and find out if he is in fact, interesting. That’s all. As woman we tend to overstress and over-analyze.”
Did these lines work? Using Cheryl’s openers, Sharon initiated conversations with 3 FOF men. “I did give my number to one gentleman,” says Sharon. “However, I never heard from him, oh well, his loss – now onward!”