10 Ways To Start A Conversation With Guys


When you’re shy, nervous, and single, it can feel impossible to meet someone you connect with. Striking up a conversation with a stranger is hard enough, but finding something to talk about with a guy you’ve got a crush on feels even more daunting. 

What if you could approach a guy with effortless confidence and ease that leaves him craving to get to know more? With these simple tips, you can. 

Here’s how to talk to a guy (even if you’re shy) in ANY situation: 

How to Start a Conversation With a Guy

Whether you’re looking for a fun date night or a long-term relationship, interesting conversations are the fuel to any romantic attraction. Even the most physically attractive people often struggle with what to say to the opposite sex. 

Starting a conversation with a guy comes down to two main parts: confidence + action. First, build up your confidence behind the scenes. Then use some of these straightforward methods to initiate a discussion. 

You could be one conversation away from a new love interest. Or you could simply meet a new friend or business contact. What do you have to lose? 

#1 Be bold and make the first move

A lot of women wait for guys to approach them. Some societal norms may have deemed it “unladylike” to initiate a date, or maybe that guys “enjoy the chase.” But, modern surveys show it’s quite the opposite

A 2005 study in the Journal of Sex Research found that 72% of men prefer for women to make the first move. Similarly, a 2017 survey on Singles in America found that 95% of men prefer a woman to ask for their phone number. Even more surprising, most men want the woman to initiate the first kiss or sexual encounter. 

Most ladies simply aren’t aware of these preferences. Although every dude is different, the modern shift away from traditional gender roles and courting rituals means that females have a new upper hand in the dating game. 

While most women are waiting for guys to make the first move, you could be the bold one that sets yourself apart. Men are often pleasantly surprised and even impressed when women take the initiative to start a conversation. 

Approaching a guy in public shows you are confident, attractive, and willing to flip the switch on standard dating “rules.” 

Here’s how to turn on your effortless charm and approach him with confidence:

#2 Make eye contact with him

Before beginning a conversation, eye contact lets you test the waters to see if someone is interested. 

  • Start by glancing in his direction. 
  • If he returns your gaze, hold it for a few seconds, then look away. 
  • After a few minutes, make eye contact again. 
  • If he returns your look, it’s a good sign he may want to talk to you.

Prolonged eye contact triggers oxytocin release in the brain, which links to increased attraction and arousal, even in strangers. You can use this to your advantage when initiating a conversation with a guy you’re interested in. 

Just be sure not to stare for longer than 3-5 seconds at a time. Otherwise, you may seem socially awkward or a little creepy. 

Pro Tip: Since eyes are the windows to the soul, it helps to understand eye contact cues as much as possible. Learn How to Read People’s Eye Direction and Behavior with the 34 most common eye cues. 

#3 Exchange a warm smile

Studies show that men are most attracted to smiling women. Men perceive a smile as a flirtatious signal that you’re interested in them. 

Before you walk up to a guy to initiate a conversation, send him an easygoing smile with both corners of your mouth raised evenly and your teeth slightly showing. 

If you’re afraid of looking uncomfortable or forcing a grin, it helps to think of something that makes you happy or excited so that your smile appears more natural.

Pro Tip: Take at least a half-second to form a slow “savor smile.” A quick, most see flashed smile as inauthentic or fake. Learn more about the science of smiling and 9 Tips to Smile Better so you appear warm, relaxed, and genuine.

#4 Read his body language

Once you’ve used eye contact and a smile to demonstrate your interest, it’s time to double-check that he is receptive to having a conversation in the first place. Whether you’re across the room or adjacent to each other at a bar, pay attention to his body language as he responds to your cues.

Signs He Wants to Talk To You (Approach!)Signs He May Not Want to Talk (Don’t Approach)
Holds your eye contact for more than 1-2 secondsAverts or avoids eye contact 
Returns a grin when you smile at himFrowns or has a tense facial expression
Turns to part of his body to slightly face you (feet, torso, or head)Turns away from you or starts a conversation with somebody else 
Relaxed arms or open, visible palmsCrossed arms or hidden hands (unless it’s cold, then he might just be keeping warm)

Remember that every guy has different preferences and cues he uses to show interest. Often, men are just as nervous as you are about dating and starting conversations. If you’re getting mixed signals, approach him anyway and see how things go. Worst case scenario, you get another practice run under your belt.

#5 Use these techniques to reduce anxiety

There’s no doubt that approaching the opposite sex can be crazy nerve-wracking. Sweaty palms, an elevated heart rate, and flutters in your stomach are all your body’s way of responding to the discomfort. Thankfully, there are also some proven ways to reduce stress so you can feel calmer and collected before a conversation. 

Try these techniques to keep your cool before approaching him: 

  • Deep box breathing: This relaxation technique can quickly reduce your stress levels and heart rate. Deeply inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, then exhale for 4 seconds. Repeat as many times as necessary (in the bathroom or while still at your table in a public place) until you feel more relaxed.
  • Hydrate: No, this doesn’t mean you should gulp down another cocktail. Research shows that simply drinking water helps reduce your heart rate, making you feel less stressed and nervous at the moment. 
  • Self-affirmation: Internally repeat your favorite affirmation 3-5 times to boost your confidence and remind yourself what an empowered, beautiful woman you are. You can do this in the bathroom mirror, in your car, or before walking to a guy. 
  • Laugh: If you’re out and about, try to get in a lighthearted mood before approaching a guy. Ask your girlfriends for a confidence boost or a goofy joke. Maybe call your grandma or your best friend to have them remind you of a super hilarious moment. Laughter can help you feel relaxed and ready to share your best smile. 

#6 Roll back your shoulders and walk calmly over to him

Once you’ve gotten solid signals that he’s interested in you and relaxed your mind, pay attention to your body language as you approach him. This helps set the stage for an excellent first impression and gives you momentum to start a good conversation. 

Even if you are shy, you can still “fake it ‘till you make it” with body language. 

Here’s how to radiate confident body language as you approach a guy: 

  • Relax Your Body: Stand up tall, roll your shoulders down and back and try to stay relaxed and expansive. 
  • Keep your hands visible: Try to hold only one item (like a purse or drink glass) and keep the other hand free. Visible palms are a social sign that you are trustworthy and calm. This also makes you appear more organized and “put together.”
  • Walk the walk: Don’t look like you’re in a rush to get over to him. Instead, portray casual confidence by moving with ease and grace. Find a speed that is relaxed yet deliberate. Allow your hips to sway naturally and embrace your feminine charm.
  • Take slow deep breaths: Be aware of your breathing as you move. Slowly breathe through your nose and relax your body. 
  • Know where you’re going: If you are approaching a guy, you want to look poised and purposeful in your walk. Decide if you’ll walk up and stand next to him, sit at an empty bar seat, or casually lean over the table when you get over to him. It helps to survey the surrounding social setting ahead of time. 

Pro Tip: If you accidentally trip over your feet, stumble over your words, or do something embarrassing while trying to approach a dude, don’t sweat it! Believe it or not, making a small mistake and laughing at yourself can make him like you more

The Pratfall Effect explains why people can be perceived as more attractive when they make small mistakes or clumsy blunders. In a dating setting, it can be endearing to see the little imperfections in someone who may at first seem intimidating or superior.

As a woman, laughing at your small mistake makes you seem more down-to-earth and less “stuck up.” Just try not to trip and fall down any stairs in the process! 

#7 Simply introduce yourself and ask his name

Some things never go out of fashion: introductions are a timeless way to transform a stranger into a friend. Once you know each other’s names, interactions get a little smoother.

You can reach out your hand for a handshake, hold your glass up for a “cheers,” or just nod your head and say a simple opening line like:

  • “Hey, I’m Logan. What’s your name?”
  • “How’s it going? I’m Britney. Nice to meet you.”
  • “What’s up? My name’s Vanessa. What’s yours?”
  • (After a short discussion) “By the way, I’m Bianca. What’s your name?” 

#8 Use a conversation starter 

It often seems like a continuous stream of small talk around us. 

“Where are you from?” and “what do you do?” are a little boring. If you want to have a memorable interaction, there a plenty of more unique ways to initiate a good conversation:

  • What was the highlight of your day today?
  • Have you ever been to an event like this before?
  • How do you know the host?
  • Working on anything exciting lately?
  • How’s that drink/appetizer/artwork/game (whatever they are holding or doing)? 

Having great conversation skills can be one of the best ways to connect with a guy. Knowing what to say is one element, but knowing how to continue a conversation and end it on a high note is a skill you can take with you for life. Here’s how!

Communicate With Confidence

Do you struggle with small talk? Do you often run out of things to say or feel awkward and self-conscious in social situations? Our Conversation Mastery Course teaches you the secrets of master conversationalists and gives you the skills you need to have confident, engaging, and captivating conversations with anyone, anywhere.GRAB THE COURSE

Pro Tip: Guys love the sound of their name. After asking a conversation starter question, try adding his name at the end to show that you remember it. For example, “what’s your story, Kevin?” or “so, tell me about you, Sebastian.”  

#9 Ask for his recommendations 

Who doesn’t like to share their opinion? When you ask a man for his advice or recommendation, you instantly demonstrate that you are interested in what he says.

  • At a restaurant: What’s your favorite thing on the menu? Have you ever tried the [menu item]?  
  • At a bar: Have you ever tried the Montana mule? What’s your favorite thing on tap here?
  • At work: Where do you like to go on your lunch break? Do you know any good coffee or sandwich spots? What’s your secret for making so many sales? 
  • At school: What’s been your favorite elective class this semester? Do you have any study tips for this upcoming test? 
  • At the gym: What’s your favorite supplement for building muscle? What do you think about HIIT training? Are you more into weight lifting or cardio? 

#10 Comment on your surroundings

Psychologists have found that people feel more connected when they have a sense of shared experience. Long before you know if you have anything in common with a guy, your surroundings are an instant source of similarity. 

You and this guy happen to be in the same place at the same time, so use that to your advantage by mentioning: 

  • The ambiance of the coffee shop
  • The drinks or food at the bar
  • A mutual friend or acquaintance 
  • How crowded it is 
  • A nearby building or artwork
  • Wildlife (a particular plant or bird)
  • A sign or menu item in a cafe

Pro Tip: With the right conversation tactics and psychological tricks, you can master the art of approaching guys in public. Learn more about How to Talk to Strangers Like a Pro and Avoid Awkwardness.

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