Landing a date on the NYC subway is not a myth, it actually happens. Thousands of people from different backgrounds and culture commute everyday on our MTA lines, and yet, dozens of singles exchange stares, smiles and even small talks but don’t find the courage to go further.

I have, personally, never dated anyone met on the subway. I guess I never took the time to or never wanted to nourish a conversation starter. However, I know it is totally possible to meet a decent and nice mate on the subway… I witnessed it…

I agree… It’s hard to get a person’s concentration or at least attention nowadays as everyone is focused on their Ipod’s music, their last James Patterson’s sequel, or just in a hurry. Plus, people are often wary of contact with strangers in that context.

Subway romance can happen like in any other places (lounge, coffee shop …).

Here are some advice about the attitude and approach you should have when trying to woo a person in the NYC subway.

Your Attitude

  • Be confident in yourself and your possibility of getting the mate of your dreams while riding the subway.
  • Open your eyes. Look around, look at people. If you’re reading a book or playing on your phone, lift up your chin from time to time.
  • Don’t look inapproachable with sound-proof earphones, an over-covering hoody, crossed arms, a much-too serious face etc… Open yourself to your surrounding environment.
  • Dress nicely. Women are more inclined to engage in a conversation with a man in a suit. Ladies are also more attractive for men, when they wear an outfit enhancing their figure and inner beauty.
Author: - Via Flicker

“Joy On The Subway” Author: Randy Wick- Via Flicker cantchangerandy/3058701051/

First Approach

  • Make eye contact intermittently. Don’t make persistent eye contact though (it could be perceived as awkward!).
  • Smile. Show a soft, gracious smile that express friendliness.
  • Wait for your target to notice you and smile back or shyly pretending to ignore your stare

Ice-Breaker Moves

  • Be bold enough to strike a conversation in a natural way. (It’s now or never)You canMake a comment on something happening on the subway (Read the body language to see if your “target” likes it or not) (Great dancers, Talented musicians …)Compliment the outfit or accessories they have onMake a comment on the song they are listening to (If you can hear the sound out of the earphones)Find any convenient reason fitting the moment to strike up a conversation
  • Ask a question about a poster you are commonly looking at
  • Compliment their foreign accent and ask where it’s coming from
  • Make a comment about the book they are reading or ask if they had read a book of the same style or author that you have read
  • Ask for directions
  • Offer your seat (This works from a gentleman to lady)
  • A casual “Hi!” also works like a charm, but needs to be followed

Once you have started to link up, it’s now up to you to keep the interest going. Be smart and intuitive.

Keeping in touch

Now that you got the devoted attention of your target, play it smooth to make sure you’ll both see each other again.

The easiest and most efficient way is to get off prior to his/her stop.

  • Ask for the email address instead of the phone number
  • Give your business card or a piece of paper with your name and phone number

Those “tactics” are less intrusive.

Extra Tips

  • Ask open questions (as much the connection allow and rather than closed questions (answered by yes or no))
  • Be more interesting than their book or smartphone game. Give them a reason not to shut you off and get back to what they were doing.
  • Be genuine and real
  • Don’t approach a person who seems in a hurry
  • Don’t be intrusive (like getting in a conversation or asking for the phone number)
  • Make a connection but don’t ask for a date right away
  • Be discreet. You don’t want the whole car to know you are trying your “pick-up moves” on your target
  • Make sure not to cross the line between a subtle approach and a creepy personal space invasions.
  • Don’t try to strike up a conversation if person who sends all the signals that she/he doesn’t want to be bothered or is wearing a wedding ring
  • The best setting is if you’re both standing or sitting. Avoid to place your bottom or crunch in his/her face, and keep a minimal distance.
  • Off-peaks hours and weekend commute are best. Subways are less crowded, people are less stressed and more open to conversation
  • Don’t follow your target. That’s just creepy!
  • Finish up with a wink, when leaving. That’s heart-melting!
  • Go with your guts!!! Your sixth sense is your best ally here… My advice is just a help guide but can be adapted to the situation. (Let’s say if a gorgeous lady, in a crowded subway, has been staring at a sweaty man in a running outfit because she is into runners. He should definitely engage with her!)


To finish well, here is the story of my friend, Helene, 26 from Forest Hills. Helene has met her boyfriend, Liam, while riding the E line a few months ago. She was talking in French to a friend over the phone. He smiled at her and when she hung up, he confirmed with her that she had just spoken French and told her that she had a beautiful accent (not to say sexy…). From there, they went on and on about how romantic Latin languages are, the beauty of the French language, his 6-month stay in France and his pseudo-fluency in French.

Source. Adam E. Moreira

Author: Adam E. Moreira via Wikipedia Commons

They got off the train at the same stop and continued the conversation. Despite the fact that it wasn’t her style and has never done it before, she told him she was heading to a small restaurant (which she had already planned!) and invited him to join. She was coming out of work, exhausted, not in the mood to cook anything and she could a nice company; plus, she was loving the conversation. At the place, they talked for another hour and both exchange business cards the end of that quick dinner. They both paid for their parts of the meal. (He didn’t want to be too forward). They casually met three times within the following month and, then, started meeting on actual dates. They been a couple for 3 months now.

Putting their first encounter in retrospection, Liam said Helene was wearing a regular ring on the supposedly wedding finger (He wasn’t sure what that meant) but he knew that if he didn’t initiate the conversation, he may not have seen her again. From her side, Helene found it was a bold move and he was smooth and appropriate. It was not the first time, she was asked about her native language or her accent, but she had the intuition it was ok to trust Liam’s intentions.

To conclude, trust yourself. You might be meeting the ONE. So be quick and decisive. You just have a few minutes and a one-time shot.


Have you ever dated a person met on the subway? If yes, tell us your success stories, the worst pick-up lines you heard etc….

We’ll be happy to hear from you. Feel free to share at