How to Say “Hello”

Best practices for meeting Mr. Right Now  

There I was just a-walkin’ down the street singin’ do-wah diddy… I locked eyes with a cute stranger for a full 45 seconds then continued on my merry way without looking back. A simple “hello” in that situation would’ve sufficed to save myself 24 hours of shoulda coulda woulda. I’m a firm believer in things working out as they should, so there is no real loss here… only a lesson in taking a chance when the opportunity presents itself.

It’s tough enough to put yourself out there in a social situation. What more when you’re in a public place that isn’t natural for opening up to conversation? As with most things, practice makes perfect. Especially if you aren’t one to strike up a conversation with just anyone, start small.

Start by forming a habit of friendliness.

I lived in a building where 75% of the residents did not really acknowledge each other in passing. A friend of mine always waved to his neighbors, and when he stopped by my building once he said “hi” to one of mine. Saying “hello” to your neighbors is a good first step. Then start acknowledging people you pass daily… smile at the person in front of you in the coffee line or the one you pass on the street, ask a person in a particularly long grocery line how their day is going, ask your server what their favorite dish on the menu is. Working on the ability to reach out will make it easier to do when it “counts.”


Get up off that thing.

You can take advantage of an opportunity, but you can also make one. After a long night of partying, ordering food in is too easy. After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is meet friends for a quick drink. Whenever you face the choice to get something delivered or take the extra time to leave the house, get up off that thing. It’s much cozier to work from home in your pajamas, but choose to park at a neighborhood cafe instead. You never know who you might run into.


Be present and intentional.

Get. Off. Your. Phone. Focusing your attention on your little screen is the #1 way of missing… life. After you make the choice to leave your house, take in your surroundings. (A good tip for being aware and alert any time as well.) A gal who’s seemingly engaged in her environment is much easier to approach.


Just say hello.

Once you make a habit of it, it will feel like a lot less risk to say “hello” to an attractive stranger. Put yourself out there. Keep in mind my tips for talking to strangers, but let your personality shine through. Worst case scenario: you never see him or her again.


Remember to use your best judgment when interacting with strangers. Your own safety should always be your priority. If a situation is going south, check out my tips on how to let them down gently.



Catherine Abalos is founder and editor of The Single Diaries.

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