12 Flirty Conversation Starters For Women

By Christine Baumgartner for YourTango.com.

Often when coaching single female clients, the topic of talking to men comes up. In particular, talking to men they’ve never met before or men who seem interesting.

I’ve noticed these women’s answers tend to fall into two camps:

  • “I’m OK talking to him if the man starts the conversation.”
  • “If the man starts by saying something embarrassing or awkward, I’m not OK with talking to him.”

I tell these clients that there’s a third thing to consider, which is: did you know that, in general, men are quite flattered when a woman talks to them first? Men are usually the ones who walk all the way from the other side of the bar to approach a group of women (we’re always in groups) to ask one of the women to dance. And after that, the woman has to confer with all her friends about whether she should accept. Perhaps it’s not surprising that men feel relieved to be approached!

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But then the question comes up: How do you start a conversation with a man who is a complete stranger? You’d be surprised how easy it is to overthink this one. Here are a few simple ideas to try when you see a man close by who seems interesting.

Compliment him (on anything that’s true):

  • Do you like something he’s wearing? Say, “Nice shoes! Where’d you get them?”
  • At a conference or workshop, you notice him because he asked a great question. Seek him out on a break, tell him that his question was interesting, and ask what he thought of the answer he was given.
  • At the gas station, when he’s getting gas at the pump next to you, tell him you like his car and ask why he bought that model. If it’s racy looking, ask him how often he stays within the speed limit.
  • In an elevator, ask him to push the button for your floor. Then say something like, “You must add this talent to your resume — because you did such a great job — what other skills do you have?” Another good question: “If the president got in the elevator what would you ask him?”

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Just say “hi”:

  • I know this sounds too simple. But every man I’ve said “hi” to was quite flattered.
  • This just doesn’t happen to men very often so they’re usually surprised and caught off guard and happy to answer back.

Ask him a question about what’s going on:

  • You’re out country line dancing with a girlfriend. Ask him what dances he’s familiar with. If you don’t know one of the dances he mentions, ask if he’ll teach you.
  • You’re on the beach. Tell him if you had an empty bottle what message you’d put in it — and where you hope it would eventually land. Ask him what he’d put in a bottle and where he’d like his to land. Then ask him if he found a bottle on the beach what he’d like to discover inside.
  • You meet him at a party. Ask what route he took to get there. Why did he pick that way? This conversation can have lots of possibilities, such as (1) if there are two ways to get somewhere, do you have a favorite or do you alternate between the two or (2) what do you think about the gridlocked streets in that area or (3) do you really think government money should be spent on that particular road construction? This last one could turn into a heated debate, so be aware!
  • At a sporting event. Ask him which athlete in which sport he’d like to practice with and why. Another great question: if you could have two super powers as you play a sport which ones would they be? (Lots of men say flying so it’s fun to ask them for two.)

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Tell him something you know and ask his opinion:

  • In the grocery store you could say, “I like the Roma tomatoes because they have a better flavor for sauces. Which ones do you like?”
  • At a coffee shop you could say, “I’ve heard that even when you ask for decaf coffee there can be residues of caffeine in it.”

In closing… a couple more thoughts for you:

Always smile when you’re talking to a man. This lets him know you’re open to speaking with him and enjoy his company.
Here’s a bonus question which is fun in any setting: “I’ve been thinking about the Nobel Prize lately. What do you think you should win the prize for? And why?” (Ladies, be prepared with your own answer to this question)!
Let me know if you use any of these and how they work. Ladies: send me lines you’ve used that worked. And men: tell me what lines would work for you!

And if you’re feeling stuck, then let’s talk. Click on the What’s Holding Me Back From Love survey on my website.

Christine Baumgartner
Dating and Relationship Coach
YourTango Expert

This article originally appeared on YourTango.com: Get His Attention: 12 Conversation Starters For Women.


Sian R.
Sian R2 years ago

I used to get accused of 'flirting' and couldn't understand why. This article has made everything clear - and I don't like it one little bit.

Just talking nicely to someone of the opposite sex is 'flirting'?
THAT's where I've been going wrong - treating people of the other sex as people too.
because if I see someone wearing something nice of course I'm going to compliment them. They made the effort, they deserve the feedback. At least, that's what I've always thought.
The same goes for other things, too. If someone does something nice they deserve a 'Thank you'. If they look sad, a smile. etc.
I think it's very sad that interactions between people of the opposite sex should be so misinterpreted.

But now I'm an old lady. And thank God I don't get accused of 'flirting' any more. it's so, so, liberating. :>))

Fei W.
Lana L3 years ago

Most of these tips are bad

Jordan G.
Jordan G4 years ago

Hi is always nice to hear, equally easy to offer, easy to respond to, and doesn't require any artifice.

Kathy Johnson
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

Some good. Some bad. I just say what's on my mind :)

Jeffrey Stanley
Jeff S4 years ago

These are the same kinds of conversation starters given to men to talk to women. All it really takes is, hi, my name is... or a compliment about something they said, are doing, or wearing. Anything genuine with a smile goes a long way.

Rhonda Bird
Rhonda B4 years ago

Be friendly, but cautious.

Jane R.
Jane R4 years ago

Most of these lines were so stupid! Also, most guys don't wear wedding rings so you might be starting a conversation with a married man who would be happy to meet you for coffee or drinks hoping it will lead to something.
If you are shopping for something you know little about, (tires, lawn mower etc.) you could ask for advice. Which does he think is best, etc. Just use caution.

Corinne M.
Corinne M4 years ago


Dennis D.
Past Member 4 years ago

Waaayyy back when I was a younger man... Much younger. All woman needed to say to me was, Hi..

It is how I met and my ex wife and how I met met my wife. Nothing fancy. Just two people meeting for the first time. Then going from there.

Ashley heffner
Lady Suki4 years ago