Ask out strangers: How to start a conversation with your real-life crush

Michael Baggs

Michael Baggs
13 February 2018

We are warned as children not to talk to people we don’t know, but as adults we all wish we could ask out strangers.

It’s all too easy to slide into someone’s DMs when you see him online. But how do you approach that hot guy who serves you coffee? Or the one in the gym who makes you go weaker at the knees than pushing your personal best on leg day?

We can’t answer that for you, but maybe some of those guys can.

That gym crush who makes you forget your reps

It’s easy to get distracted on the treadmill when your gym crush is in the room. Drooling can also set back your fitness goals, big time. So perhaps it’s time to finally say hello.

“A good ice breaker is just to ask someone about a certain piece of equipment. Ask how many sets they have left and then following it up with some kind of comment,” personal trainer Bjorn Thomassen tells Gaydar.

“If they’re doing an exercise that looks slightly unusual you could ask them about that.

“Talk about what they are doing and try and relate it back to yourself, try and get a conversation going from there.”

Bjorn claims no one has ever made a move on him in the gym. But he says he wishes he’d acted on his feelings when he had gym crushes in the past.

And since everyone in gym has similar goals, Bjorn says this is key to finding confidence to start that chat.

“Everyone has different goals but everyone is there doing the same thing, so you have that to fall back on,” he says.

The hairdresser you wish would give you more than good hair

Awkward small-talk is all some of us can offer our barber but what happens when you want to take things further?

Hairdresser Stefan* says the first thing to do is look for signals your barber might be interested before asking him out.

“Asking what someone is doing in their spare time is good way of seeing if the person is interested,” he tells Gaydar.

“Try to read the right signals and see if your hairdresser is just being professional and nice or if there is more there.”

And if you’re feeling confident, he says often the most direct way is the best.

“Ask what the hairdresser is doing later, ask whether they want to go for a drink.”

“If you want to be very direct if your hairdresser ever does home visits and offer to cook dinner after you have your hair cut. But that’s very direct.”

And it’s worked on Stefan, who admits he’s dated a number of people who have asked him out at work.

The barista who you’d like to steam your milk

Do you feel oddly attached to whoever sells you your morning coffee? East London barista Harrison Laird knows thinks he knows why.

“Baristas can catch customers at their most vulnerable,” he says.

“The first coffee in the morning is when people are on their way to work. They are still not quite awake so you get people chatting about things they wouldn’t usually tell a complete stranger.”

But after you’ve massively overshared in your local coffee shop, Harrison says making your move is all about timing.

“Going about it is all about choosing your moment well,” he says.

“If you’ve got a queue full of people waiting for their drink and someone’s asking for your number, it can be tricky.”

Most encouragingly of all, he says baristas chat about who they fancy as much as customers talk about their favourites.

“You chat about who you fancy quite a bit,” he says.

“When that person walks through the door, the other baristas will give you an eyebrow and say ‘your mate’s in’.”

Good news: PTs and barbers chat about who they fancy too

And both Stefan and Bjorn say barbers and personal trainers fancy clients as much as they are into them.

“I see male PTs obviously chatting people up and taking full advantage of the fact they’re a PT,” says Bjorn.

Stefan just laughs.

“Oh yeah we talk about hot clients – totally, absolutely.”

*name changed by request

Michael Baggs

Michael Baggs

Michael is our fabulous new Editor. His passions include music, pot plants, and gin.

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