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What’s Your Pickup Line?


The other day I was walking through the mall during my lunch hour. As I headed toward the door of a department store on the way out to my car, I heard whistling. Not a shrill, catcall-like whistle, but a warbling, birdsong-like whistle. After a minute or two, I turned around to see a guy walking about ten feet behind me.

“It wasn’t me, I promise!” he exclaimed, raising his hands in apology. He then quickened his stride, caught up to me and said, “You have a nice set of eyes.”

I literally did not know how to respond. I wasn’t sure I heard him correctly, so I lamely said, “What?” He repeated his statement. “Oh, thanks!”, I replied, and bolted off like a frightened rabbit.

As I walked to my car, I thought about this encounter. He seemed like a nice guy. I gave him points for boldness. Thankfully, I hadn’t responded rudely. But I didn’t know what to make of it. How had he expected me to respond? Did he think I’d return the compliment, strike up a conversation, give him my number? I find it hard to be balanced in situations like this. On the one hand, I’m flattered and impressed. On the other, I’m uncomfortable with the assumption that this is a perfectly acceptable way to meet women. Should I have asked him to join me at Orange Julius so I could inquire after his faith, character, marital status (necessary, I’ve found) and ability to support a wife and family? Maybe I could’ve gotten his email address and immediately filled his inbox with Boundless articles on dating and courtship?

A few years ago, I had a key made at Ace Hardware. The guy handed me my newly-minted key with his phone number wrapped around it. I botched that connection by staring at the slip of paper and blurting out, “Why did you give me your number?” A less awkward incident happened in the Wal-Mart card aisle. A guy approached me and said, “Can you help me pick out a card for my mom?” What girl doesn’t want to be helpful in situations like these? I said, “Sure,” and he used the opportunity to strike up a conversation. I thought that was pretty smooth, and in that instance, I didn’t end up acting like a total freak. It seemed more natural and normal. The guy asked me out, but after some pointed questions from me, admitted that he was in fact married. Yikes (see above).

What’s your experience either getting or giving pickup lines, and do you think this “cast the net” approach is ok, especially for Christians? If we’re all griping about the lack of eligible dates and mates in our churches, should we instead be trolling the checkout aisles, gas pumps and dental waiting rooms that we frequent?

I have girlfriends who are so frustrated with their lack of dates, they think a numbers game is in order. They’re willing to talk to a bunch of guys in hopes one of them will turn out to be a Christian. And single. And emotionally healthy. I’ll admit, I’ve heard of Christians who met their spouse on the train, in a Starbucks, at a baseball game. It works! The sovereignty of God seems to occasionally include pickup lines.

So what do you think? Opinions needed. And perhaps some advice for me in these situations is warranted, too.


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About the Author

Lisa Anderson

Lisa Anderson is the director of Boundless and young adults at Focus on the Family and hosts The Boundless Show, a national radio program and podcast. She loves connecting with single young adults and strategizing how to better equip them for life, relationships and a faith that goes the distance; she does not love managing budgets or signing contracts, but realizes that’s part of her job, too. Lisa can often be heard at conferences and on radio and TV, getting worked up about dating, relationships, faith and hip-hop. She grew up in San Jose, California, is a graduate of Trinity International University in Chicago, and spent a good chunk of her life in media relations before joining Boundless. She runs to counterbalance her love of pastries and chicken tikka masala, and often quotes her mom, who’s known to say outrageous things. She’s the author of The Dating Manifesto: A Drama-Free Plan for Pursuing Marriage with Purpose (David C. Cook). Follow Lisa on Twitter @LisaCAnderson.


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