How to: flirt on public transit.

I’m sure we’ve all noticed an attractive member of the opposite sex (or same sex, whatever your preference) on the bus or skytrain that we would like to become better acquainted with. This is all fine and well, except the question then becomes how do we go about getting better acquainted?

To be honest, I am perhaps not the best person to answer this question as I have yet to pick up an eligible bachelor on the bus or skytrain – but I’m pretty sure the answer involves flirting. Although I am far from an expert on the subject, I have been hit on a few times and witnessed a few ‘love connections’ on public transit in my day – and based on how those experiences went, I have learned a thing or two… but I have to admit, the title of this post is slightly misleading, as I am more familiar with how NOT to flirt on public transit.
Regardless, here are a few tips I’d like to share:

1 – Don’t sit down waaaay too close to a girl (or boy for that matter) so that you’re practically sitting on her lap – this is incredibly off-putting even if you’re hot, more so if you’re not (this however, is acceptable if there legitimately isn’t much room to sit).

2 – Don’t then proceed to stay sitting that close even after the person on the other side of you has vacated their seat and you are free to move your ass over an inch or two.

3 – Don’t comment on how the chapstick the girl you’re crammed up against just pulled out of her bag “smells so good.” That’s creepy.

4 – Don’t proceed to then refer to it as “kissable.” That’s creepier.

(yes folks, the above tips are all the result of a recent experience I had – deelightful!)

5 – Do bathe, use deodorant, brush your teeth and generally maintain some sort of personal hygiene routine.

6 – Don’t smell like smoke, booze, BO or urine.

7 – Don’t underestimate the power of simple conversation or a simple smile.

8 – Do try to be approachable when there’s a hottie in sight – it’s pretty hard to flirt with someone who has headphones on or is absorbed in their phone.

9 – Conversely, don’t try to flirt with people who has headphones on or are absorbed in their phone – odds aren’t good that they want to chat.

And my final tip for flirting on public transit is…

10 – do it. (this is just a good tip in general – take note Vancouver boys)

What do you all think? Any tips you can share? Do you think people should even flirt on the bus or sky train – or is it too intrusive to your daily commute?


About Lauren W

I am a combination of contradictions and approximately 18 kinds of awesome.
This entry was posted in Bus, Fellow Transit Riders, Happy riding, Skytrain. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to How to: flirt on public transit.

  1. Speaking as a straight guy here, I think flirting on public transit is awesome. I haven’t done too much of it but have definitely caught an eye or two while PTing it around the GVRD. Having not been single for a long time it mightn’t have occurred to me as much in the recent past but as a blow-in to this fair city, I find it amazing that local guys aren’t more forward with ladies. They should all go to Latin America and get a lesson from those boyos.

    That said, not all Vancouver guys have that kind of drive in them to just talk to a woman on the bus or the train. I have heard that a much easier approach is to talk to a woman or for a woman to talk to a man she sees every day on her route, e.g. someone who gets on at the same stop as you. You have more ground in common (literally) and your tendency to take a bus from the same place increases the probability that geographically it would work out. Having said that, if it all goes tits-up and your fellow bus-stopper turns out to be a creeper, you’re probably going to have to find another way to work/school/play…

    • Jen S says:

      I never read this until tonight, and oddly enough I was just having a conversation with a friend visiting from Germany who was talking about the club scene here and the actions (or lack thereof) of men in Vancouver. He had a friend throwing herself at guys and none could even figure out how to flirt back. Funnily enough, she was European (Irish as well) and he made some great observations about women from Europe vs. from Vancouver. Basically, men and women are both to blame in our fair city and the lack of dating opportunities, but he put more of it on the men (perhaps because he was sitting with two Vancouver women?).

  2. Hmm says:

    Not much info to be shared or learned here with the exception of reallypround. His suggestions seem to be spot on. Like the author of this blog wrote, her comments are quite misleading and of no value unless you are a caveman from those Gyko commercials in the USA.

    • Lauren W says:

      First of all please note that this blog post is obviously tongue-in-cheek – as I said I am by no means an expert on how to flirt on transit. I am however a pretty good judge of how not to flirt on transit. All the ‘tips’ come from personal experience being hit on during my commute, witnessing other girls deal with unwanted advancements or rare cases of successful flirty conversation whilst in transit.

  3. laurel says:

    Can I just say (in response to #9) that while “What are you reading?” is in theory the perfect on-transit pickup line, when put into practice it is scientifically proven that it has a 0% success rate. First of all, if you ask me what I’m reading, me answering you means that I no longer get to be reading whatever I was just immersed in (which is strike 1 against you.) I like reading, don’t interrupt me while I’m doing it. Secondly, this is generally used only as a convenient ice-breaker and then I have to endure anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour of you hitting on me and/or awkwardly trying to tell you that I’m not interested in giving you my number. Not my ideal bus ride.

    So let it be known that unless I look absolutely miserable about trying to read what is obviously a textbook, or unless you can already tell what I’m reading and have read it yourself and would like to discuss the novel/author in question, please for the love of Whitman don’t ask me “What are you reading?” Because if you don’t actually care, then I probably don’t want to sleep with you.

  4. Annnnd Laurel’s attitude is why Vancouver men don’t flirt with Vancouver women!

    • laurel says:

      Oh please, I hardly claim to represent the entirety of Vancouver women. I was merely agreeing with the author that not everyone is always looking for romance.

      • Nobody claims that you claim to represent the entirety of Vancouver women, but we do claim that you are a great example of what we are trying to avoid. We don’t want to creep women out, and we don’t want to offend. It’s that simple.

        There’s never a good time, and there’s always something wrong.

  5. Joe Cooper says:

    It’s funny because after moving here a year ago, I find it much more difficult to meet women but this blog really opened my eyes. I never thought about the actual etiquette to approaching women on transit. I take transit every day and always seem to see a woman that I’m attracted to but think to myself how I have no idea how to approach them. Maybe this is what people are talking about when they say that Vancouver men and women don’t know how to flirt on transit… or maybe I’m just one of the sad cases lol.

    Either way, thanks Lauren!

  6. Panda says:

    The whole comment section is a good study. I have been using skytrain for over 7 years and everytime I found a guy or a girl trying to flirt publicly tells me how desperate they are. Vancouver boys gets laid pretty easily thats why they dont put any effort for little extra romance or flirting. Damn last time I tried to flirt with a girl sat next to me she moved her ass to a further seat and gave me a meanie look that still remained as my nightmare..flirting on transit? Good luck fellas!

  7. Kati says:

    I met the love of my life on the bus! We’ve been together three years this November! We’ve also been living together for over 2 years and have never looked back! There is hope Vancouverites!

  8. SageMag says:

    I’ve had so many horror stories of being the one approached but this is a great don’t guide!

  9. Brett says:

    It’s also a good idea to bring a couple of small weights with you on the bus. While in transit, if there’s room, I like to show women on the bus how strong I am by lifting the weights and performing a variety of exercises. I met my first 2 wives this way.

  10. Kieran Quinn says:

    I thought one of the smartest things I ever saw was the other week when I saw this girl wearing some shirt that strongly implied by way of the text on it that she was single (I forget exactly what it said, but google “I’m single shirts” for examples). Now I’m not single and I wouldn’t have been interested even if I was single since she just didn’t look my type, but I was seriously impressed by the smarts and gutsiness of it. Would I have said something had I been single and she did look my type? Maybe not that time, but the more times I’d seen the person I’d say the better the chances would be.

    Now you probably don’t want to wear a shirt like that every day of the week, but once every two weeks or so I think you could easily get away with it. Some might feel broadcasting your availability like that is tasteless, but I say forget that kind of thinking. If you’re looking for love then go for it. Having that special person means so much that it’s worth it to take some risks in putting yourself out there a bit.

    Some might also think it pathetic that we need invitations like this to say hello, but who hasn’t themselves or at least seen someone get shot down? It’s terribly uncomfortable even if you’re just a spectator so it’s no wonder it doesn’t happen more often. If you’re practically invited to talk to someone like this, however, then at least you think you probably won’t feel end up feeling too bad about trying to strike up a conversation. I like to think it’s just good manners on our part not to want to make others feel uncomfortable, but if you’re practically told, “no, it’s okay to talk to me” then you don’t have to so much worry about making them feel uncomfortable.

    Relatedly, I’ve found that any type of unique or at least odd type of jewelery or clothing, especially those with great colours, will easily allow me to strike up a conversation with someone. And, of course, just generally having a happy-go-lucky look to you is so important. Just a simple smile is amazingly inviting. Cute pets are still by far the #1 conversation starter, but please oh please just don’t be suffocating or over-heating them in a bag of any sort.

  11. Pingback: Transit Crush | Tales of translink

  12. Walt says:

    I think getting to know a stranger on public transit is neither an insurrmountable task nor is it a piece of cake. It is somewhere in the middle. It all depends on the variables in a partcular situation (i.e ones mood, body language, smells,the weather: lets say it how it is when its Spring or Summer with the incomming warmth and sun its really uplifting, having no worries, not being immersed in your hand held deviced) that affect both you and your potential counterpart’s ability to effectively and willingly connect.

    I am from Toronto, but from my own personal experience and having travelled frequently to the States and UK, I found it much easier there to engage in public flirting. For all their ills and faults (yes their tremendous lack of knowledge of geography, their unwavering -uncrictal patriotism lol), I noticed our American cousins are still much more open minded and easy going when it comes to meeting strangers in public spaces, then we in Canada are ( including my home town Toronto which isn’t only frigid celsius wise lol). I have seen this many a time in New York, Boston, San Fransciso etc and compare this to Vancouver-Toronto.

    Why is it so I wonder ? Anyway it baffles me that Vancouver, with its inviting city-landscapes ( amazing beaches!!) isn’t a place where men and women ( regardless of racial and cultural divisions) feel free to get to know more about one another, its a real real shame.

    Anyways, I have done this occassionally, and I think if you really like someone, as uncomfortable as it seems, if you get an inital smile from someone , and exchange a few glances (from within a distance ), you might just as well walk up (without being arrogant or cocky about it) and say “Hi” with a smile, what is there to loose ? Even if the other person seems cold or dismisses you or what you said, its their problem not yours, dont bother with it then. We have to be confident about who we are and not get overhelmed about meeting this or that expectation. We create alot of tenseness, and imagine what if this or that would happen, and this ruins and destroys natural connection.

    I think if each of us, keep a relatively open mind, approachability shouldn’t be as cumbersome as appears to be :) Hope everyone gets too meet someone compatible and amazing via transit some time soon, hopefully B4 summer :)

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