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Non-Creepy Ways to Start a Conversation With a Stranger Today

Non-Creepy Ways to Start a Conversation With a Stranger Today

Meeting prospective partners doesn’t only happen in bars and clubs. Most people, when told they can meet new people whilst getting their daily latte, buying fruit and veg or on a trip to the library to get your holiday reads would recoil with visions of creepy pick up lines and awkward street encounters.

What if I told you there is a way to spark conversations with strangers in a non-creepy way? Would you take those earphones out, look up and notice the opportunities for meaningful and interesting conversations you could be having today? Well... here’s how you do it!

I asked some of the world's top dating experts just how to spark conversations with strangers in ways that really work.

How to Get in The Right Mindset

  1. Almost everyone likes sharing their expertise. Be more interested in them than trying to appear interesting yourself. Genuine curiosity is attractive. Rebekah Beneteau, Pleasure Evolution
  2. Speak to them the way you would if you wanted to be their friend. Nicole Richardson, Nicole Richardson Counseling
  3. Often, what makes starting a conversation seem creepy is when the person is MUCH younger than you. So my tip is to be realistic about the people who would be interested in talking to you before you approach. Rebekah Beneteau, Pleasure Evolution
  4. Having a solely sexual agenda is creepy. Wrap your mind around trying to make friends and seeing what develops. People can sense your intentions better than you think. Rebekah Beneteau, Pleasure Evolution
  5. Focus on being positive, friendly, and inquisitive. Eric Resnick, ProfileHelper.com

How to Spark Meaningful & Interesting Conversations

  1. Ask open-ended questions. Not yes or no questions. You'll open the door to lively conversation that's meaningful and interesting. Rosalind Sedacca, Child-Centered Divorce
  2. When you’re open to meeting someone new, always make eye contact and smile. Dr. Colleen Mullen, Coaching Through Chaos
  3. If the person holds the gaze for a moment and then smiles back, this is a sign that they have acknowledged you and may be open for a conversation. Dawn Michael, The Happy Spouse
  4. If you are walking up to someone in store or the library, it can be very awkward if you are just coming over to talk. It's better if you can ask them about something they are looking at or shopping for. Eric Resnick, ProfileHelper.com
  5. People, particularly men, will rise to the challenge with a ‘do you know’ question. They like to help out and will give an answer. Cheryl Lazarus, Founder of Zengalove

How to Start a Conversation in Everyday Places: Tried & Tested Conversation Examples

The Supermarket

“Do you think it pays to spend twice as much on organic spinach?” Rosalind Sedacca, Child-Centered Divorce

“Have any tips on the best way to pick a pineapple?” Rebekah Beneteau, Pleasure Evolution

“What would you serve that cheese with?” then “How did you decide on that?” Dr. Colleen Mullen, Coaching Through Chaos

“Do you know what a Persian Melon tastes like? I tried Googling it but didn't find an answer that was clear for me.” Rosalind Sedacca, Child-Centered Divorce

“I use that detergent too, and I love the smell of it.” Dawn Michael, The Happy Spouse

“What are some of the challenges you've been up against when de-boning that fish?” Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child, parenting, and relationship psychotherapist, author, The Self-Aware Parent, and co-star, Sex Box, WE tv.

“Tell me how you've been cooking that banana squash.” Dr. Fran Walfish

A Shop

“Is it worth the cost of getting Netflix? I've heard good things about their original shows; have you?” Rosalind Sedacca, Child-Centered Divorce

“I don’t suppose you know the difference between these _insert product types here_?”

“I don't know about you - I swore I would never say this... but between 300 jelly choices, and 5,000 Netflix choices, I really miss 1995 when there was only grape or strawberry, and only eight channels on a TV.” Kendra Davies, Stellar Life Coaching

A Park

“What kind of dog is that?” Rebekah Beneteau, Pleasure Evolution

“Do you know of any good running routes?”

“How did you decide on a _insert breed here_?” Dr. Colleen Mullen, Coaching Through Chaos

“Are there any nice walking tracks around here?”

A Library

“What’s the last book you read that left an impression on you?” Dr. Colleen Mullen, Coaching Through Chaos

“I’ve always thought about picking up a book by _insert Author here_ but then put it back on the shelf, why I should try this author?” Rebecca Perkins, Author of Best Knickers Always: 50 Lessons for Midlife

Do you know where the non-fiction books are located? Cheryl Lazarus, Founder of Zengalove

A Coffee Shop

“This is my first time here, what is their best coffee?” Nicole Richardson, Nicole Richardson Counseling

Do you know where I could find a good place to eat nearby. Cheryl Lazarus, Founder of Zengalove

“Have you ever tried a particular blend or flavor.” Tyler Turk, Crated with Love

What Not to Say or Do!

  1. Do not try more than twice to engage the same person. Kendra Davies, Stellar Life Coaching
  2. Don’t try and come up with something that will sweep them off their feet. Be genuine and natural. Tyler Turk, Crated with Love
  3. Compliments, particularly about their looks can set people off because they feel objectified. Rebekah Beneteau, Pleasure Evolution
  4. Getting too close to someone comes off as creepy and can create a large amount of discomfort. Tyler Turk, Crated with Love
  5. If they have headphones on, do not approach from behind, because it can feel like an attack. If they are clearly on a mission to get their stuff done and get going, leave them be. You'll just be considered a pest. Eric Resnick, ProfileHelper.com
  6. Avoid general compliments such as you are so beautiful/handsome they come off as insincere. Instead try to find something that is unique to them and be specific you have lovely eyes, or that is a great laugh. They are more believable, less creepy, yet still demonstrate a clear interest. Kendra Davies, Stellar Life Coaching
  7. Don’t ask things like “What is my best feature?” Nicole Richardson, Nicole Richardson Counseling
  8. Don't simply ask, “How are you?” You will likely get a quick response of, "Fine". Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills child, parenting, and relationship psychotherapist, author, The Self-Aware Parent, and co-star, Sex Box, WE tv.
  9. If you cannot read their body language or verbal cues then assume they are not interested. Kendra Davies, Stellar Life Coaching
  10. A situation only gets creepy when one person does not know when to stop... If you are not receiving a clear YES then assume it is a NO. Kendra Davies, Stellar Life Coaching

How to Handle Knock-Backs

Detach from the outcome. The greatest way to demonstrate self-confidence is to not be attached to the outcome of the interaction. Whether it clicks or they move on - be ok either way. Kendra Davies, Stellar Life Coaching

When starting a conversation, don’t be afraid to fail and don’t expect every person to seem interested. You aren’t looking for everyone, you are looking for the one. You are simply having a conversation with that person and letting a connection build naturally. Tyler Turk, Crated with Love

Bonus Tips By Experts

Smile! Seems simple, but believe me, there is an art to it. The trick is to use that smile as an icebreaker. If you and the person you want to talk to lock eyes, give them a kind, genuine smile and hold it for just a half second longer than normal. This step is crucial! You don’t want to freak them out with a super long smile, you simply want them to think twice about the smile. In their minds it could be as simple as, “that was long smile”. Either way, what you are doing is separating yourself from everything else around that person. So when you go up to talk to that person, you will have already had a personal moment. In some respects, you have already met, only with your eyes. Starting a conversation then will be much easier. Tyler Turk, Crated with Love

If the response is curt or brief, it can indicate the person is not available. If it's nice and polite, it can indicate they are open. From a woman, the next step is to smile warming, look into his eyes, then compliment him for his knowledge. For a man, the next step is to say, thank you, your husband is a lucky man. If she says, thank you move on. If she says, she's not married, then the game is on. Dawn Maslar, Biologist and Writer in the science of love

Starting a conversation with someone you don’t know can be very uncomfortable. Being talked to by someone you don’t know can be even more uncomfortable. Because of this, you want to ensure that you offer the safest and most relaxed scenario. For example, if you are in the supermarket, avoid dark aisles in the back of the store where no one goes. Seems like common sense, right? Even so, the emotion of love can make us think irrationally at times, so it’s important that you are aware of your surroundings. Tyler Turk, Crated with Love

Success Stories!

At the supermarket - and this happened to a friend in France - ask what they’re planning to cook with the vegetables they’ve just picked up - yes it takes courage but my friend went out on a couple of dates with exactly that line! Rebecca Perkins, Author of Best Knickers Always: 50 Lessons for Midlife

At the park, this is easy if you’re dog walking! You can talk about the dogs. One of my best friends and I met via our dogs, not a romantic relationship but a lifelong one for sure. Rebecca Perkins, Author of Best Knickers Always: 50 Lessons for Midlife

I was looking through some steaks and a lady asked me if I knew how to grill a really good steak. I said yes and after a few back and forth questions and answers she said, "I have a better idea, how about I buy the steaks and you come over and teach me." I said yes, we dated for 5 months. Phillip Petree, Author, The Man Puzzle

Hi, I’m Lucy. I am a freelance writer, blogger and mum of two. I like wine, soya lattes and spending far too much money on my kids. My writing is r...Read More