Airport Acquaintances

Posted by Beth Darling on Jan 8th 2024

Airport Acquaintances

Dear Beth,

I saw a good looking woman without a wedding ring in the airport the other day, but didn’t know how to ask her out without. I hear women complaining about cheesy pickup lines and don’t want to be that guy. 

Any advice? 

Shy Sheldon

Yay Sheldon!

Kudos for wanting to meet new people, especially in an airport!  There are so many unique people and stories! But I hear you on not wanting to be the guy with the cheesy pickup lines. Let me help you approach this smoothly.

Timing's crucial, especially in airports. If she seems busy or in a hurry, keep it short and sweet, like, “Hey, couldn’t help but notice your smile. I’m Sheldon, a tax lawyer from Dallas. If you're single and interested in a conversation, here’s my card. Please text me asap so we can chat.”

Note, the only way that can happen is if you’ve got your business cards (with your cell number) handy. You should always have them available to be handed out quickly without fumbling for them while she runs to her flight.

This might seem silly, but anytime you meet someone new, think of it like meeting a new dog. Move slowly, give them space. A quick smile, warm hello and light eye contact work wonders. No staring or getting too close.  Nobody likes feeling cornered.

When it comes to chatting someone up, be ready with a few icebreakers that make you feel comfortable so you don’t have to waste time trying to be clever. These icebreakers should:

1. Be casual and relevant like, “That book looks interesting, would you recommend it?” or “Oh, your coffee looks good. Wish I had time but the line was so long. Crazy what we have to do for our caffeine fix, right?” If you’re truly confident, you can get away with something bold as long as it’s said with warmth and humor. The best intro I ever heard was “Is your husband or boyfriend sitting here?” This was perfect because it made his interest clear, and gave me the opportunity to set the record straight immediately. (My answer was that I didn’t have either but was accepting applications from qualified applicants. His interview lasted for the rest of my vacation and more.)

2. Pro tip: Share a little about yourself in your opener. It's like letting a dog sniff your hand first, making you seem more approachable and less intimidating. It can be subtle as in the real life example above, or it can be highly personal such as disclosing a fear of flying.

3. Oh, don’t forget to introduce yourself sooner than later.. A casual “By the way, I’m Sheldon,” opens the door for her to share her name.

4. This is key...Instead of worrying about whether she likes you or not, just go for it. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Plus, practice is always a good thing.

5. When it comes to your ask, always make a specific invitation. Instead of a vague “How about dinner sometime?”, try “Would you like to have dinner this weekend? I know a great spot.” It shows you're genuinely interested and makes it easy for her to counter with an alternative right then and there.

6. Once you’ve put the invitation out there, don’t panic. If she’s hesitant, give her a minute to consider things. It could be that she’s interested in you but nervous about giving her contact info to a stranger. You can find out by backing off a bit without shutting things down. Offering your contact info with an invitation for her to take the next step can work in your favor. (Eg. “I get it if you’re nervous about sharing your info with a stranger, but here’s my card, I hope you’ll text me so we can chat more and I can take you to dinner next weekend. Feel free to stalk me online first so you see that I’m an upstanding citizen, lol.”)

7. Lastly, if she's brave enough to give you her number, text her right away. Show her you’re serious and keep her thinking about you.

Above all, be yourself and be respectful. A genuine, confident approach, plus a dash of courage, will really set you apart.

So go forth, be bold and make the most of all future airport encounters! Sending hopeful hugs,

Beth Darling