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How to Meet a Stranger (Without Looking Like a Lunatic)

How to meet a stranger without looking a lunatic is not an easy trick, especially in this day and age. You’re more likely than ever to be hit with a restraining order if you don’t go about it correctly. Stalkers seem to abound everywhere, but you certainly don’t want to be classified as one.

Of course, if you’re Meg Ryan and he’s Tom Hanks, it seems like stalking is considered okay. The first time I saw Meg Ryan creeping around across the street as she watched Tom and his son play in “Sleepless in Seattle,” I just thought, “Okay, now that’s just weird. Does anyone else think this is kinda weird?”

TriStar Pictures / Sleepless in Seattle / Fair use screenshot

Turns out, there’s a whole contingency that does. So if you’re thinking of ditching your life and secretly stalking some stranger clear across the country? Don’t.

Instead, take some of these hints for how to meet a stranger without looking like a lunatic. And don’t forget to let us know how your story turns out! We love a juicy love story!

In the Store

Girl shopping for clothing
StockSnap / Pixabay

Back when we were all wandering the aisles of our VHS rental stores, I often wondered why more people weren’t hitting on each other. I mean, what better way to meet a stranger than when you’re both standing there, reading the same movie box, or looking for the same 70s cult classic movie? The situation just begs for one person to invite the other person out on a date. But no, in my movie rental store at least, everyone just ignored everyone else. And that was before we were all busy texting with our noses in our cell phones.

But let’s just say you are willing to put yourself out there in a store. There are a few ways you can meet a stranger without looking like a lunatic.

Ask if they’ve been helped.

This is a good one. They’ll assume you work there and start talking to you about their needs. After they’re all done describing the product they’re looking for, you can explain that you were just asking because you wondered where all the salespeople were. You can both have a good laugh and then, just as you’re walking away, one of you can ask the other to go for a coffee/drink.

Take their cart.

After you choose something off the shelf, put it in their cart accidentally and then go rolling off with it. When they come chasing after you, obviously laugh about your mistake, but then make some comment about something in their cart, like “Where did you get those canned tomatoes? Can you show me?” If you have good luck, and the person’s interested, this will lead to more conversation. Otherwise, if they just take their cart and go, assume they’re either already in a relationship or they’re just not that into you.

Pretend you already know them.

That’s right. Just make up a name and call them by it. “Reginald, is that you? How have you been? It’s me!” They’ll correct you, and tell you you’ve made a mistake, but this is your chance to be charming and introduce yourself after you tell them how they look exactly like your friend (who doesn’t really exist).

On the Street

Free-Photos / Pixabay

Okay, so you’re walking on the street and there’s that person again whom you see everyday on your way to work. They must live around here because you keep seeing them. So how can you meet this stranger without looking like a lunatic?

Here are three ideas:

Bump into them.

You don’t have to knock them on the ground, but just nudge them a little as you walk past. Say, “excuse me” and get some good lingering eye contact going. The next day, do it again. At some point this person will get the hint and either let you know they’re not interested, or start talking to you.

Ask for directions.

Yes, this simple little tactic has worked for years, and it still works. Just ask directions to some place (any place) and see where it takes you. They might respond by offering to bring you there in person, or they might not. But at least you tried.


Admittedly, this works better if you’re a woman. Most people will respond favorably to a damsel in distress. If you can manage a little trip, you might get a lending hand from that person you’re so enamored by. The rest of the story will be up to you.

Ready to Meet a Stranger?

strangers becoming friends
StockSnap / Pixabay

Yes, some of these techniques for how to meet a stranger without looking like a lunatic are a little dubious as far as honesty goes. But at least you won’t be hiding behind trees like Meg Ryan. And what’s the harm in trying a few unconventional methods?

What are some of the things you’ve tried to get the attention of a stranger? We’re interested to hear!

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