How to pull

Want to know how to approach that special someone without looking desperate? We spoke to Matt Whyman, advice columnist and regular on Radio 1's Sunday Surgery, to work out how on earth you pull.

men stand at a bar having a conversation.

You don't always need a chat up line or a joke to talk to someone you like.

So, how do you pull?

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

Yes, it’s that simple.

But what question?

Just so you know asking ‘do you come here often?’ won’t work.

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 know immediately 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’ve already got a boyfriend/girlfriend.

“It’s flattering when you show interest, whether they fancy you or not,” says Matt, “and it starts a conversation so that you can see where it leads.”

Swooping in with a well-crafted (but insufferably cheesy) chat-up line, on the other hand, is terrifying not only for you, but your unfortunate victim as well. And it rarely works. Try to get to know them instead, work out if you have common interests and whether there’s a spark.

And don’t assume it has to be guys coming up to girls, whatever your gender or sexual orientation, you can ask someone a question.

I’m scared of asking people out

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

Of course, 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 ask them whether they’d recommend the food they’ve ordered, that’s not that embarrassing. The worst thing that could happen is you have a quick conversation, then part ways.

However shy or confident you are, you can think of a question and ask it. And if there’s something there, the conversation will develop and you’ll feel less shy.

Remember, “The safest way, is not the big show-off way,” says Matt. “That’s a turn off anyway.”

How do I tell if they’re interested?

From a distance you probably won’t be able to tell if someone’s single, whether they’re into guys or girls, or if they’ve sworn off relationships. You’ll only know if you talk to them, and going in with a question gives you a chance to figure this out before humiliating yourself.

“You can work out through body language and what they say whether they’re interested or not,” says Matt. So if he’s standing like a proud peacock or in a cowboy pose with his thumbs sticking out of his pockets there’s a strong chance he’s into you. And if she rolls up her sleeves, flicks her hair and fiddles with her jewellery there’s a pretty good chance she’s into you. And if you can’t take your eyes of each other, well, it’s pretty much in the bag. “But if you get the sense that they aren’t interested, finish your drink and move on.”

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.
  • Relate is an affordable relationship and sex counselling service. 0300 100 1234
  • Chat about this subject on our Discussion Boards.
  • Need help but confused where to go locally? Download our StepFinder iPhone app to find local support services quickly.


flirting| pulling


Updated on 17-Nov-2015