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How to Talk to Girls

Let me tell you a little about how I learned to talk to girls. Yep, that’s right – I was never a smooth talker (I still am not), and talking to a girl always got me all nervous. It’s not that I was shy; I simply didn’t know what to say to them. Sophomore year was particularly hard because that was when we boys were getting pretty interested in girls.

There was a girl at school I had a massive crush on. Junior year came and went, and before we knew it, we were at the end of Senior Year. Soon we would be out of school, and I wouldn’t see her again. I had to talk to her – It was now or never. I at least had to let her know I existed. Now there were two ways I could do this – pretend to be this cool dude who wanted to impress or just be my usual nerdy self. Here’s what I learned from the experience.

10 unique ways to start a conversation with her—how to talk to girls

—How to talk to girls!

Personal hygiene is critical.

According to studies, women can detect how biologically compatible a man is by the odor they give out. Girls might tolerate you if you are a jerk, but they will likely run a mile if you lack personal hygiene. Trimmed eyebrow and nose hair, short nails, brushed and flossed teeth, well-tailored clothes, and a daily shower all go a long way in ensuring your first conversation with a girl is off to a good start.

According to a group study on ResearchGate, titled: What Do Women Want? A Qualitative Study of Dating that consisted of 45 young adult women, the importance of personal hygiene was specifically agreed upon by all the participants. They all agreed that being clean, wearing clean clothes, having clean teeth, having clean hair, and smelling nice were all very important.

Gauge the situation

How to start a conversation depends a lot on where you are. For instance, if you’re both at the library, you can walk up to her and suggest a book you’ve read and liked. Try to stick to the genre she’s browsing. For example, if she is looking up romance novels, try suggesting a romance novel, not a thriller or non-fiction one. Or, if you’re at the park, you can probably comment on the weather.

Read her body language

Before you start a conversation with her, make sure she is interested in having a conversation with you. Read her body language. Some signs that she might be interested are: she holds eye contact with you, plays with her hair, has relaxed arms, smiles at you, faces you, and leans toward you. Some signs that she is not interested are: frowns at you, turning her body away from you, avoiding eye contact, quickly walking away, and folding her arms toward her chest.

Be nice

Most girls like nice guys who exhibit traits like trustworthiness, honesty, and respectfulness. So, the first rule to start a conversation with her is to be honest and respectful and build trust.

Don’t be a jerk

If you know you can come off as a jerk – obnoxious or disrespectful, it would be a great idea to work on your social skills. Having said that, some women are attracted to jerks. Jerks are associated with living the ragged life of fun and adventure, so don’t be surprised if you come across a woman who likes you for being a jerk.

Introduce yourself

Concerning introductions, if you want to chat with her, it’s your prerogative to introduce yourself first. It’s the right way to do things, but also timid girls may feel intimidated talking to someone whose name they don’t know – a stranger. Introducing yourself displays confidence and trustworthiness and allows her to feel less intimidated.

Once you’ve introduced yourself, ask her name and then repeat it after she has told you. Repeating a name is a symbol of recognizing her. Using her name during your conversation will also help hold her attention.

Make eye contact

Research shows that shifty eyes signify dishonesty, and looking down at your feet shows you lack confidence. So, don’t be afraid to make eye contact when you chat with a girl. With eye contact, you give her the attention and respect she deserves, but did you know that prolonged eye contact can also increase attention? And if she holds eye contact with you in return, it is a vital sign that she is interested in talking to you.

Complement her

Now, while this is on my list of 10 unique ways to start a conversation with a girl, I suggest using this only if you really have something genuine to compliment her about. The idea is to be genuine. Having said that, it’s also crucial that you don’t go overboard with showering her with praise. Telling her that she is so gorgeous when you don’t have a personal relationship with her can come off as creepy. Hold off on the adoration and admiration and focus on something more general.

Ask her opinion

Everyone has an opinion about most things, and asking her opinion about something is a fantastic conversation starter. It will allow you to engage in conversation while simultaneously getting them to notice you, open up to you, and even share some helpful information with you. For example, if you are in the library, you can ask her, “what’s the most interesting book you’ve read lately?” If you are at a gift shop, you can ask, “what’s the best give you’ve ever gotten?” At a conference – “what kind of conference would you hate to miss?

Pick up on something and then go with it

Pick up on a thread of the conversation and take it from there. It’s a sure-shot way to keep a conversation going. To do this, you must be a good listener. Listen to what she is saying and then pick up on what she says to continue the conversation. Here’s an example from a Quora member:

a conversation you should have when you want to learn how to talk to girls

3 steps to talk to a girl at a party—how to talk to girls at parties

The good news is that a party is a social event – a gathering of people for recreation, socializing, and conversation! So, starting a conversation with someone is only natural. The trick is to get to spend enough time with her without hogging all her attention. Allow her to enjoy the party and talk to others (unless she is happy spending the entire party with you).

Step 1: Talk to everyone at the party – don’t just focus on her.

Walk around the room, talking to the people you know and introducing yourself to those you don’t. That will help you get the party’s vibe and boost your confidence. You might also catch her attention when you make the rounds around the room.

You might even want to try this Quora member’s recommendation:

what to say when you're trying to hit on a girl

Step 2: Approach her with a smile and introduce yourself

Approach her with a warm smile – not too wide (or that’s going to come off as a grin). If she is in a group, introduce yourself to the group and then ask each one their name. If you know someone in the group, you can start by talking with them and then ask them to introduce you to the group.

Talk to everyone in the group – looking in her direction and making eye contact with her ever so often. You want to assess her body language – if she shows interest in talking with you – making eye contact, brushing her hair, facing you, and using the same body gestures. If she does seem interested in talking with you, you can single her out and get into a deeper conversation with her.

Suggest moving away to a quieter place where the two of you can continue your conversation. But avoid very secluded locations — you don’t want her feeling vulnerable or scared. You can offer to get her a drink, take a walk around the pool, etc. Once you are sure you guys are hitting it off very well, you can suggest that the two of you have your own private party – like heading off to a nearby pub or maybe even back to your place. If you really like her, it’s essential that you ensure this night is not the last time you see her.

Step 3: Listen—A Key Part of How to Talk to Girls!

While you might be dying to tell her all about yourself, you must give her a chance to contribute to the conversation as well. That is where your listening skills come in handy. Don’t feign interest – women can sniff out anyone who only pretends to be interested. When you truly listen to what she says, you will be able to follow up with questions – showing that you are interested in what she has to say AND prolonging the conversation.

I especially like this Quora member’s suggestion about avoiding interrogating her:

how to talk to girls

If you find that she does not like talking about herself, don’t push it. Instead, focus on more general topics and ask questions like:

  • Are you into the music they are playing tonight?
  • What would you be doing just now if you weren’t at this party?
  • What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?

Five ways to start a conversation with a girl at the gym—how to talk to girls at the gym

The fantastic news about talking to a girl at the gym is that you already have a common interest— fitness, workouts, and exercise! But, like always, rules and etiquette must be followed –even at the gym!

1. Starting a conversation isn’t about talking

As controversial as that sounds, it’s true. Unlike a party, where you are expected to converse and socialize, people visit the gym to exercise. That’s a solo activity that requires very little or no conversation. So, finding a way to get her attention without actually talking is crucial. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Work out close to her but without disturbing her.
  • Get her attention by following proper gym etiquette.
  • Don’t try to impress her by working out more than you can handle.
  • If you both want to use the same machine, be polite and let her use it.

2. Please don’t start a conversation with a compliment about her workout or her body—how to talk to girls and be respectful

While you might think it’s alright to compliment a woman’s body at the gym, do not – I repeat, do not compliment her body. Yes, she is there to get fitter and a more toned body, but complimenting a woman’s body – even at the gym – can be creepy. Here’s what some gym-goers gave to say about receiving compliments from strangers:

So, what can you say at a gym? A simple “hey,” should suffice to begin with. You can stick to a simple “hi” and a friendly smile for several days. Do that over a couple of days, and she might even smile first and say “hi.” If you notice her smile broaden when she sees you, take it as a sign that she won’t mind you chatting her up. If, on the other hand, she avoids your eyes, looks the other way, or puts her head down – pretending like she hasn’t seen you, she is not interested in talking to you, and the best thing to do would be to leave her alone.

3. Conversations that go beyond a “hi.”

Once you’ve both gotten familiar with seeing each other around the gym, if she hasn’t started talking to you as yet (beyond the occasional greeting), you can start a conversation that goes something like this:

You: Hey, that was a great workout today.

She: Yea, I enjoyed it as well.

You: I’m John, by the way. What’s your name?

She: I’m Rachel.

You: Nice to meet you, Rachel; see you at the next class.

With the initial introductions out of the way, you can start a casual conversation about fitness, exercise, or even the weather whenever you meet her. Keep in mind that women and men like to talk about very different things. For example, one research shows that women like to talk about people while men like to talk about things.

4. Choose the right time to talk with her—how to talk to girls when the time is right!

When it comes to talking to a girl at the gym, timing is everything. She’s there to work out, and talking to her during a workout is inconsiderate. If you take a combined class, you will distract her and the rest of the class. There are better times if she’s late for class and has to rush up the stairs. If she appears tired and drained after a particularly strenuous workout, she probably wants to be left alone.

The right time to talk to her would be between sets or after a workout. If you both happen to walk into the gym together, that’s a great moment to catch up for a few minutes.

5. Ask her out

In my opinion, you will never get far with a woman if you limit your conversations to when you meet at the gym. There’s not enough time or scope. Once you have had a couple of light conversations, it’s time to ask her out. Remember to be polite and confident. You can simply say, “I’d love to take you out to coffee sometime; would that be okay?”

Or, if the two of you find something in common – books, movies, or even fitness, you can say something like, “I’d love to talk more about this over a coffee. Would you like to go out with me?” Wondering how that will turn out? Here’s what one gym-goer has to say:

Talking to girls online – 3 ways to do it over text—how to talk to girls online or in apps

Online chatting is a whole different ballgame. Internet chatrooms allow you to chat with people from around the world – people of different races with different interests, hobbies, desires, and goals. There’s a lot of scope for conversation with online chatting, and here’s how to get it right.

1. Get information from her profile

I hate it when a girl starts a chat with a question that has already been answered on my profile. I expect any girl who approaches me online to read my profile thoroughly and understand who I am and what I’m looking for – my likes and dislikes before they start chatting with me. It’s the same with girls.

There have been a couple of instances where I have directed texted girls without going through their profiles, asking them questions answered in their profiles, and they have come back with, “Didn’t you read my profile before messaging me” or, “dude… it’s on my profile.” Profiles have more than just pics of the girl – they have information about her pics, hobbies, etc.

Related: Flirty questions to ask a guy

2. Try a guessing game—a fun way to talk to girls!

Based on everything you’ve learned about them from their profile, you can try guessing some facts about them. Keep it fun and simple – the idea is to initiate a light conversation with her. You want to attract her — you don’t want her to think you are a stalker.

So rather than saying, I’m guessing you bank with (name of the bank), which can be terrifying, try something like, “From what I’ve read on your profile, you seem to have all the traits of an Arian. Is that your star sign?”

You can also make an unexpected assumption about her that will make her wonder why you thought of that. For example, if she loves eating healthy and working out, you could make an assumption that she is a fitness coach. Stop there. Please don’t make an eerie prediction that she is a fitness coach at a particular gym.

Related: Hinge conversation starters

3. Don’t be hesitant to flirt—how to talk to girls and be yourself!

If you hit it off with her, don’t be afraid to flirt with her online. Remember that flirting is not the same as hitting on someone. Flirting is about keeping things light-hearted and cheerful. It should make both of you feel young again. Here are some tips for flirting via text:

  • Be confident – it’s the key to any type of flirting.
  • Keep it short and sweet – you don’t want to scare her away.
  • Listen – you can make a snappy and intelligent callback to something she mentioned about herself in the past.
  • Ask playful questions. It keeps the conversation going.
  • Be complimentary – we know women love compliments, but keep yours genuine.
  • Get personal – but know your boundaries; you don’t want to scare her away.
  • You could give her a fun nickname. Don’t be predictable or boring.
  • Show her you are intelligent and serious – welcome deep conversations.

Five best ways to start a conversation on dating applications—how to talk to girls on dating apps

The advantage of a dating app is just that – it’s a dating app. That means you are expected to ask a girl out. Many men find it easier to approach a girl on a dating app than in person. Plus, with dating apps promising to find people compatible partners or even genetically compatible partners, more and more people tend to rely on apps to find love. Here are five ways to start a conversation on a dating app.

1. Start with a hi—how to talk to girls in a really simple way!

Saying “hello” is simple and effective. Want to add a bit of wit to your message? Try “Hello from the other side” (taken from Adele’s song Hello) or “Hello, is it me you’re looking for…” (from Lionel Richie’s song Hello). Girls like wit and humor, and if you are lucky, the girl you say this to will instantly get the connection.

A simple hello is a great way to start a conversation for another reason. It takes a little time to send the message. If she replies, you can take the conversation forward; but if she doesn’t, you haven’t lost any time writing out a long introductory message.

See also: Bumble conversation starters

2. Ask open-ended questions

Once you get a reply to your “hello,” it’s like you’ve got the green light to move ahead with the conversation. Now’s when you introduce yourself. But along with an introduction, ask her a couple of open-ended questions. These questions warrant more than a “yes” or “no answer.” Some excellent examples of open-ended questions to ask her are:

  • What is the weather like in your part of the world?
  • How did you discover this dating app?
  • What’s your experience been like on this dating app?
  • What are your hobbies and interests?
  • What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
  • How was your weekend (can be asked at the beginning of the week)?

Ask questions you would be comfortable answering if they were asked of you – which they probably will once you’ve asked them.

3. Take it slow—how to talk to girls politely!

It’s going to take time to get to know someone and their intentions, so take it real slow. I asked a girlfriend of mine with dating app experience about what freaks her out about the guys who message her. Her answer was plain and clear. She said she hated the way men expected her talk to talk about sex less than 20 minutes into their first conversation. Her main grouse was that men didn’t see her as an intelligent, educated woman and treated her like a dumb woman looking to get laid. She said she missed vibrating, stimulating conversations that would make her think.

Women, like men, want to be treated with respect. With online dating, knowledge of the other person precedes bodily attraction. Get to know each other before making forward advances.

4. The to-and-fro game—how to talk to girls the right way!

One of the most successful ways to keep a conversation going is to ask questions. If the woman you are chatting with asks you a question, you must respond and then ask a question back. It could take time to build a connection with someone online. You only have words to go by, so use them well. Keep the momentum going by replying to messages as soon as possible. If you wait too long to think about what you’re going to say, she could lose interest in you. Once you’ve got a good to-and-fro rhythm and you guys hit it off well, it’s time to ask her out on a date.

5. Be careful about what you divulge

According to an article on ResearchGate, online dating is now a mainstream social practice, but deception is rampant in online dating and dating apps. So, don’t divulge sensitive information to someone you meet online until you know them better. Sensitive information is any personal information like your real name, where you study or work, address, and phone number. Intimate details about your family, daily schedule, and other social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts, are all classified information.

Mistakes to avoid when talking to girls—how NOT to talk to girls

Remember the girl at school that I started this article with? I learned a lot about talking to girls from my interaction with her. Many other girls, too, came and went from my life. Every interaction taught me things I should and shouldn’t do when talking to girls. Here’s a list of things I’ve learned a guy shouldn’t do when talking to girls.

Constantly looking at your phone:

Don’t constantly look at your phone when talking to a girl. Give her the attention she deserves. Put away your phone, or simply turn it off.

Talking all the time:

Listen more and talk less. Listening is as critical as talking. You can learn a lot about a girl – her opinions, likes, and dislikes – only by paying attention.

Worrying about saying the right thing:

You don’t have to worry about saying the right thing all the time. She is human and has flaws, and she will respect you more for being flawed.

Being too nice:

Girls like nice guys, but nice guys only make nice friends. If you want to get into a deeper relationship with a woman, let her know you are attracted to her. You can use humor, a bit of flirting, and even sexual innuendos to get her attention. But again, don’t be a jerk. There’s a fine line between being able to attract a woman and turning her off completely with what you say, and you have to find that right balance.

Forgetting to attract her:

If there is a room of attractive men and women, there is a chance that all the men will be instantly attracted to all the women. There is a lesser chance that all the women will be attracted to all the men. Women are not from our planet. While physical attraction is enough for us, for most women, attraction happens when our personality, behavior, and emotional traits attract them. So while you might look like you walked out of the cover of a men’s fashion magazine, here’s a look at who bags the pretty lady because they took the time to attract her.

Yes, that’s the modern man for you. He’s the one who’s got everything she wants in a man. So if you think your suaveness and prowess are all that’s needed to attract her, think again.

Using foul language: If it’s one thing nice girls hate, it’s a guy who uses filthy language. Leave the cussing and swearing for when you are with the boys.

Final thoughts—how to talk to girls

Talking to girls is rocket science for most of us guys, but it doesn’t have to be. I’ve learned a lot about talking to girls – most of which I’ve shared with you here. But then again, you just might come across that one girl who will disprove everything I’ve mentioned in this article. So the bottom line is this: Take it slow, but not too slow – you want to get into bed with her at some point and not simply end up being her best friend.

Be confident, be polite, and be respectful. We’ve moved on from the medieval age, but women still insist on chivalry, so let’s give them that if it’s going to make chatting with them any easier. You don’t need good looks and charm to get you the most gorgeous girl in the room. You just need to know what gets her ticking, and she is all yours.

Inside this article

Fact checked:
Board reviewed by Marianne Tomlinson, LCSW (Couples and Family Therapy). Content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Learn more.

About the author

Ryan Sanderson (LCSW) Ryan is a game and relationship enthusiast who enjoys all things quizzes, games, fun, love, relationships, and family. He's a licensed social worker and helps families, couples, and children in need. He's spoken about love and relationships on Salon.com, Forbes, and Mirror, to name a few.

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