02/22/2012 09:43 EST | Updated 04/23/2012 05:12 EDT

Pick-Up Tips: 5 Steps to Making the First Move

So, you notice someone from across the room. You look at them and they look right back at you. "Aren't they cute," you think and wonder if they're single. Inevitably you talk yourself out of approaching them, and you let the opportunity pass. Unbeknown to you, they were also checking you out and wishing you hadapproached them.But never the two shall meet and you both go your separate ways. This is guaranteed to happen at least once to everyone in their lifetime -- two eyes lock, there is a brief moment of attraction and neither party makes a move. But this doesn't have to be the case!

1. Smile.The power of a smile should never be underestimated. It is the language of happiness. A smile symbolizes youth, vitality and health. It also has the ability to be an instant magnet for attraction. It is inviting, it shows you're approachable and it is also seriously contagious. If that someone has caught your eye, smile at them. This simple action almost guarantees you a smile in a return and your invitation to approach them.

2. Approach & Make Small Talk. This is your chance to get a temperature on how interested someone is into you. So with the inviting smile, approach your person of interest and engage in a very light chat. What you want to do here is play a bit of catch and release -- be witty, ask non-intrusive questions and see if they are actually participating or blowing you off. Small talk isn't rocket science. It's all about paying attention and asking a non-probing question based on your observation. Is he drinking coffee? Is she reading a book or working on something? Is he killing time? Is she hanging out? For example, you're waiting in line and you've exchanged smiles with a girl ahead of you ordering food. Try telling her, "You look happy, what did you order?" Obviously, you should stay away from pickup lines, or being funny when you're not. Both wreak havoc and can make you seem corny... and that's definitely not attractive.

3. Introduce Yourself. If someone is responding and giving you the time of day, run with it. They're into you! So, introduce yourself. Now I know it might sound incredibly intimidating, but you really have nothing to lose. Furthermore, it shows you are assertive and confident -- very attractive qualities for most people. By not introducing yourself, you're definitely not ensuring you have a chance to get to know this person, and the worst thing anyone can ever tell you is that they aren't interested in you. Comparatively, they could also say yes, and before you know it you could be walking down the aisle with your soul mate. The returned smile is an acknowledgment and an invitation, so take it. If someone's not interested, they'll like look away and definitely not return the smile. And while you're introducing yourself, don't forget to ask their name as well.

4. Exit on a Compliment. Through your short chat, be sure to compliment and let a person know that they got your attention. Now I know this might seem very forward, but if done correctly it can place you in the winner's circle. The compliment should be genuine and maybe something the person doesn't often hear. For example if he is playing catch with you, let him know he's witty and that he's been fun, or a good sport to chat with.

5. Place the Ball in their Court. Now that you've tested the waters, played catch and exchanged introductions, you want to place the ball in their court. Asking someone for their number or email can be a little forward in a coincidental encounter. A safer approach is to give them your contact information, coupled with a compliment and an invitation to chat another time over drinks. Very smooth, inviting and attractive. If you are able to exchange business cards, that is a bonus. In that case I'd suggest following up in a day or so, reminding them of your brief encounter and your invitation for drinks.

I know approaching a person of interest may seem life threatening at times, but it really is an illusion. Often people are a lot friendlier than our imaginations allow us to believe. The sad thing is often too many guys and girls miss out! Don't be that person! In the words of the famous poet Horace, "Carpe diem!" Really seize the day and the moment, because you just never know where a friendly hello could lead you.

Your Non-Relationship Expert,