How to pull

Whether you’re trying to work out how to pull a girl, a guy, or someone who doesn’t identify as either, all of us human beings tend to be pretty similar in how we respond to flattering and unflattering approaches. So, you want to know how to approach that special someone? We spoke to Matt Whyman, advice columnist and regular on Radio 1's Sunday Surgery, to get some tips for how to pull.

Two young people are sitting at laptops. They are wondering how to pull. This is a wide-angle image.

So, how do you pull?

  1. Go up to someone
  2. Ask them a question
  3. Listen to the answer

Yes, the answer to how to pull is really that simple. Just be a nice human, and you’ve already won like 100 brownie points.

What questions can you ask to start a conversation?

The steps for how to pull a girl, boy or person of any gender are pretty basic. But first, let’s mention what NOT to do. Leading withdo you come here often?’ won’t make them swoon. In fact, it’s likely to be a conversation ender rather than starter.

What you ask depends on the situation. Keep it simple, like asking whether their cocktail’s nice, or if they’re enjoying their book. They’ll probably figure out that you’re more into them than their actual answer, but you’re just asking an innocent question, so what? No one can get offended by that. Even if they’re already taken.

“It’s flattering when you show interest, whether they reciprocate or not,” says Matt, “and it starts a conversation. From there, you can see what happens.

Swooping in with a well-crafted (but mega cheesy) chat-up line, on the other hand, is terrifying not only for you, but for the person on the receiving end of it. And it rarely works. Try getting to know them instead. That way you can work out if you have common interests and whether there’s a spark.

We should also mention that these tips aren’t just for guys googling ‘How to pull a girl’. Whatever your gender or sexual orientation, you can ask someone a question. If you want to start something, don’t wait around – just go for it (in a respectful way, of course).

What to do if you’re nervous to ask someone out

“It’s a question of confidence,” says Matt. “Ask yourself, what’s the worst that could happen?

Pro tip: if you go in wearing a novelty top saying ‘I’m horny’ and ask if it hurt when they fell out of heaven, you’re going to be pretty embarrassed when they walk away. But, if all you do is talk to them about the food they’ve ordered, things might go your way. Worst comes to worst, you have a quick conversation, then part ways. No red face necessary. 

However shy or confident you are, you can always think of a question and ask it. And if there’s something there, you have nothing to worry about. The conversation will develop naturally and you’ll soon find yourself chatting up a storm. Struggling with shyness? We have an article on how to overcome shyness which may help.

Remember, “How to pull? Not the big show-off way,” says Matt. “That’s actually a major turn off.”

How do I tell if they’re interested?

From a first glance you probably won’t be able to tell if someone’s single, what their sexuality is, or if they’ve sworn off relationships. The only way you’re gonna figure that out is by talking to them. Going in with a question really helps your chances of sussing out their vibe; they’re likely to give all sorts of clues in their answer. Try to make eye contact when you talk to them so you have an opportunity to read their response and the signals they give off.

Usually body language tells you whether they’re interested or not,” says Matt. So if they’re standing like a proud peacock or in a cowboy pose with their thumbs sticking out of their pockets there’s a strong chance they are into you. And if they roll up their sleeves, flick their hair and fiddle with their jewellery, that’s another good sign. If you can’t take your eyes off each other, well, it’s pretty much in the bag. “But if you get the sense that they aren’t interested, make sure not to push it. Just finish your drink and move on.”

Got some tips for how to pull? Share them with the community on our discussion boards.

Next Steps

  • Brook provides free sexual health and wellbeing services for young people in the UK. Brook's services include local clinics and online digital sex and relationships tool.
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flirting| pulling

By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 31-Dec-2021