In Online Chat-Up Lines, the Lips Have It

“You have beautiful lips.” If you want to chat up someone online, skip some of the more tried and tested compliments, and try this instead. A study shows it might just work.



“You have beautiful lips.” If you want to chart up someone online, skip some of the more tried and tested compliments, and try this instead. A study shows it might just work.

Badoo, which styles itself as the world’s largest “social dating” service, has analyzed the opening lines of some 193,000 online flirtations carried out on its network in 10 languages in one month. That’s a lot of linguistic love, but Badoo was looking for something in particular: The lines that were the most successful, eliciting the best response rate.

The most commonly used line–an absolute classic–is “you have beautiful eyes.”


Most folks rolled their eyes at this however, as the line that delivered the best response rate was “you have beautiful lips.”

Badoo’s calling it the “holy grail of flirting,” but we’ve not road-tested it yet in a bar to see if they’re right. It’s certainly unusual, and likely to elicit a response along the eyes of “really? I’ve never heard that before,” even if your target isn’t an Angelina Jolie or Sebastian Sauve (look him up).

But going for the lips is just the most effective line across the entire world. Different nations have their own foibles. American, Italian, and French women react better to compliments about their clothes, while German women prefer skin compliments. Portuguese women, for reasons best known to nobody, respond best to ear-centric comments.


The full list is reprinted below, for your amusement.

  • U.S.A., France, Italy: “You dress beautifully”
  • Canada: “You have beautiful skin”
  • U.K., Turkey: “You have beautiful legs”
  • Spain, South America: “You have beautiful hair”
  • Portugal, Netherlands: “You have beautiful ears”
  • Sweden: “You have a beautiful figure”
  • Russia: “You have a beautiful nose”
  • Poland: “You have beautiful arms”

Finally, here’s a Photoshop tutorial on how to touch up the lips in a photograph. After all, it’s online flirting we’re talking about.


Image via Flickr user vmiramontes.

To read more news on this, and similar stuff, keep up with my updates by following me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.


About the author

I'm covering the science/tech/generally-exciting-and-innovative beat for Fast Company. Follow me on Twitter, or Google+ and you'll hear tons of interesting stuff, I promise. I've also got a PhD, and worked in such roles as professional scientist and theater technician...thankfully avoiding jobs like bodyguard and chicken shed-cleaner (bonus points if you get that reference!)


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