Guest Post: Talk to People in Public. Oh My.

Lines. I've been waiting in them all week thanks to Sandy. My usual commute of 2 trains has transformed to a half hour walk over a bridge to a train or a boat to a bus, or a bus to a train to another train. I've seen a lot of handsome men in these post-superstorm lines and wonder if/how/what to say. 

In the end I just stare, try to memorize their beautiful faces, and then go about my business never to see them again. Maybe if I had some this post below (substitute girl for boy and take a chance).

Thanks, Lynn!

Gas line in Brooklyn

Making Connection With People In Public Places


Lynn Reid

Making a connection with someone in public is not an easy thing to do. In today's world, everyone has their attention focused on something at all times of the day. Whether it is a mobile phone, tablet, MP3 player, or even a good old-fashioned book, most people give off the impression that they don't want to be bothered. But if you want to meet someone, you need to take the chance. Who knows, maybe small talk at the train station could lead to finding your true love.

Not all interactions need to take place at the bar. In fact, you have much more opportunities on a daily basis than you do the one or two nights a week you frequent the bar. Get used to making small talk wherever you are. Make a comment about the train or bus being late. Say something about the weather while you're waiting in line for you coffee. These may sound a little cheesy or lame in your head, but you need to say something if you want to get the ball rolling. If the girl you are talking to is responsive then at least you know that she could be interested in taking the conversation further and girls know when you are feeding them a line or saying something that isn't genuine.

If the girl is friendly and interested, this can be ground-breaking. Just make sure not to overstay your welcome. At the first lull in the conversation, ask for a number and make your exit. If you stay too long and things get awkward, that will likely be the end of it. Get her number and make plans. If you feel like directly asking for her number is too forward then you could ask her if she is on a social network and if you have a mobile devise then you could even find her then and there. This is another good platform to make a date from via messenger service.

Of course, just because you can meet other people on your daily routine doesn't mean you shouldn't talk to them at bars. However, you need to separate yourself from all the other people there doing the same thing you are. For starters, don't drink too much. A beer or two may loosen you up enough to talk, but more than that will kill your chances of ever getting a call back from anyone you meet.

Begin by walking up to the person you wanted to get to know. Then you need to figure out what to say. You can't just say "hi" as though you are long-time friends. You also shouldn't offer to buy a drink because that can start things on the wrong foot if she thinks you are looking to get her tipsy. Say something genuine, make eye contact, and if all else fails, go for a cheesy joke. The classic "Do you come here often?" can make someone laugh if you say it like it's meant to be a joke. That can be enough to break the ice a get a real conversation started.

In order to make whatever you say work, you need to say it with confidence. Even if it is a lame joke, say it like you know it's lame because that's how you meant it to be. This can also be seen through body language. Stand confidently and remain alert to whoever you're talking to. She deserves your undivided attention.

Be sure to read her body language as well. If she turns towards you, she's probably comfortable with the situation. This is a good sign for you. If she's shifting her eyes or squaring her shoulders and hips away from you, she is not interested and wants to leave. Don't push it. Take note of what went wrong and try again.

Making connections with people in public isn't easy, but it's necessary to build a relationship. Don't be afraid to take a chance.

Lynn works as a dating adviser for

Lovestruck Hong Kong.

She has been advising expats on the cultural differences when dating in Hong Kong for over 5 years and as learn a lot about relationships on the way.