All of us have heard a bad chat-up line or two – and some of the worst offenders can make you cringe.

But thankfully, help is at hand, as scientists have come up with what they believe is the ‘perfect’ chat-up line.

Speaking exclusively to Mirror Online, Professor Viren Swami, an expert on the psychology of romantic attraction from Anglia Ruskin University, explained that there are ‘simple guidelines’ to follow when using chat-up lines.

He said: “Although there’s no formula to ensure success there are some simple guidelines to follow to help get the conversation started on a first date or possible romantic encounter.”

Previous studies have found that people make up their minds about a potential partner in just thirty seconds.

Professor Swami said: “With such little time to make a good impression, it underlines the importance of how we approach a potential romantic partner. “

Rather than using cringe-worthy chat-up lines or jokes, like ‘get your coat, you’ve pulled’, Professor Swami suggests that the best opener is in fact ‘what’s your favourite pizza topping?’

He explained: “At first glance it may not seem like a great romantic invitation but this statement is impossible to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to.

“This style of open question is underpinned by the idea of reciprocity.

“Reciprocity is a key tenet of social psychology and, put simply, it means responding to a positive action with another positive action.

“In this way it’s possible to build exchanges and thereby relationships. This type of initial open and light-hearted question prompts creative, personal and interesting responses – and the person is highly likely to return the question too – leading to a natural conversation.”

In contrast, Professor Swami suggests that other tactics should be avoided.

He added: “A really bad chat-up line is ‘I really like reading’.

“Stating a fact or making a closed statement doesn’t invite any reciprocity and is much more likely to signal a swift end to any potential romantic chat.”

Professor Swami will be speaking at the upcoming British Science Festival in Hull.

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