Liquor Is Quicker

I'd like to meet girls when out in the local watering holes with my mates. Since I'm an introvert, that's when I'm feeling most social. But nearly every girl I see appears to be having a great time talking in her group of guys and girls; I never see a girl alone—or just a couple of girls—giving eyes to guys around the room. I'm genuinely having trouble believing that these attractive girls who are laughing and enjoying the presence of these normal-looking, and apparently personable, guys want to meet someone.

I don't need to be told to avoid creepiness ("I've been staring at your boobs all night, and I think I want to marry them"), and I'm able to engage in lighthearted, intelligent, and playful conversation once we get through those first few minutes. (I'm not looking for a confidence booster.) Do people find it normal for a stranger to approach them and their friends and begin telling everyone funny stories or talking about fashion faux pas or favorite restaurants, etc.? I'm newly out of college and looking for understanding of the social scene.

Oh, and I'm not going to try online personals. Every girl I've met online has been terribly unspunky. Besides, I have great shoes and there's no way to show that off online.

Afraid of Interrupting

I hate to go all mom on you, but I'll bet if you just act like yourself, you'll do fine. (Heh, heh. Kidding.) My biggest problem with meeting men in bars is that most of the guys I've hooked up with from bars turned out to be alcoholics. But I think it's safe to say that most people who frequent drinking establishments aren't chronic boozehounds; I just seem to have a particular flair for sniffing them out.

Personally, I'd also find the idea of approaching a gaggle of giggling girls very intimidating. (BTW, ladies, I hope you're listening here—going out with large groups of girlfriends is not the way to pick up boys.) And if there are guys in the mix, well, how do you know they're not boyfriends? Answer: You don't. And that could lead to trouble.

I suppose my own social retardation is why I became such a fan of online dating. Though this is probably shocking news (ha!), I'm definitely not the chick that guys flock to at the bar. Those girls tend to be bubbly and perky—all the things I'm not. I have friends who can turn it on like a switch, but even when I was on the market, I couldn't manage that. So I prefer to get to know someone a little bit before I force myself to be social. Plus, online dating eliminates that noxious cloud of ambiguity because both parties know going in that they are out on an official, honest-to-goodness date and hopefully behave accordingly.

Did you read Neil Strauss' guide to picking up babes? It's called The Game, and if it can get a schlubby little leghumper like him laid, I'm guessing it'll work wonders for a spunky, well-shod fella such as yourself.

Strauss and his posse of pussyhounds worked out a complicated strategy wherein you first insult (!) the target of your tumescence and then show off some magic tricks (à la Criss Angel). I know. Sounds dubious to me, too. And though I'm summarizing here, it doesn't make much more sense when you plod through the whole book. I have to assume the kind of ladies who fall for this line of crap aren't exactly brainiacs.

The most important thing to remember is that if you're going to date, it's inevitable that you're going to make an ass of yourself at some point. Probably more than once. Believe me, once you come to peace with this eventuality, life will get a lot easier. I've always found that a good way to approach winsome strangers is with a no-frills "hi." If your initial greeting gets an OK reception, move up to your A-list material. Then again, you could always yank a page out of The Game, tell her she's fat, and pull a quarter out of her ear.

Share your magic. Write Dategirl at or c/o Seattle Weekly, 1008 Western Ave., Ste. 300, Seattle, WA 98104.

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