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How to Pick Up Someone on the Subway

By Serena Solomon | July 29, 2014 11:27am | Updated on September 16, 2016 1:46pm
 Terri Trespicio, a dating and relationship expert, advised to use subway oddities like a loud mariachi band as fodder for conversations with a commuter crush.
Terri Trespicio, a dating and relationship expert, advised to use subway oddities like a loud mariachi band as fodder for conversations with a commuter crush.
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DNAinfo/Serena Solomon

NEW YORK CITY — The subway commute is a necessary evil for many New Yorkers, but if you're single it's an opportunity to spark a new relationship.

"It's exciting. It's unusual," said Art Malov, from NewYorkDatingCoach.com said of rush hour flirting on the subway. "It exposes you to different personalities, a different everything."

DNAinfo New York asked four New York City dating experts for their advice on how to get a fellow commuter's attention and seal the deal.

1. Watch Your Body Language  Chris Luna from Craft of Charisma

Body language is key in any situation and it only becomes more complicated in a crowded subway, according to Luna.

"You can be within a stranger's personal space if you are not facing them," he said.

A person will appear less intimidating and less aggressive if they angle their body away from their crush and talk to the person from slightly over their own shoulder, said Luna, who coaches both men and women on their dating life. If the conversation warms up, the initiator can shift their body to face the crush.


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2. Make Eye Contact and Smile Tracey Steinberg, a dating and flirting coach

Establishing eye contact is a crucial step toward developing a connection with a stranger. Women can be at a particular advantage when trying to get the attention of a man, according to Tracey Steinberg, a former New York City attorney turned dating expert.

"As women, we have the benefit that men are not afraid of us," Steinberg said. "You can be the leader."

If the target briefly lifts his or her eyes up from his phone, take the chance to flash him or her a big and obvious smile.

"You want him to feel confident that if he started talking to you, you will engage with him," Steinberg said.

3. Be More Interesting Than Whatever's on Their Phone Art Malov, from NewYorkDatingCoach.com

There isn't much else for straphangers to do other than fiddle with their phone or read a book. That means the person approaching is "playing catchup" for the attention of their target, according to Malov.

"You can't just say 'Hi, how are you?' on the subway, since it's not interesting and she doesn't know you," he said. "You have to be more interesting than whatever they are doing."

Start with a regular greeting, wait until she makes eye contact and say something that has a tone of playfulness and observational such as "This is the second time I have seen you, and you never say hi," Malov said.

4. Make a Meaningful Conversation Out of the Shared Experience – Terri Trespicio, a dating and relationship expert

Use any bizarre subway happenings — "A mariachi band comes on at 8:30am in full regalia. A crazy person starts singing opera on the L [train]," said Trespicio — as fuel for an exchange.

Conversations must move fast on a subway commute. You never know how much time you have, so try to get past idle chitchat as soon as you can, Trespicio said.

"Remember, the goal here is not to have restaurant reservations or know [a] life story before you reach 72nd street, but to establish some kind of connection so that you can be in touch once you part ways," she said. "That and that alone is the goal of an en route meet-cute."

5. Pick Up on Cues Before Asking for a Phone Number — Art Malov, from NewYorkDatingCoach.com

Don't let your crush get away without giving or getting contact information. Be attentive to those subtle body language cues that indicate that they need to get off at the next stop.

If a woman's subway stop comes up too quickly, she would have already subconsciously indicated to the approaching person that she is interested by a warning such as "My stop is next," said Malov. This is the perfect segue to get the phone number.

And remember to keep trying even if you fail at first, said Trespico.

"The city is teeming with people looking for love, and almost all of them end up on a train at one point."

Has anyone tried to pick you up on the subway? Tell us some of the worst pick-up lines you've heard, and any that have actually worked in the comments below.