Dear Bubbies: How Do I Break The Ice With Someone In Real Life?

Bubbies give the best advice.

June 27, 2019

Welcome to our new weekly feature 'Dear Bubbies' where a salty and sweet crew of Jewish grandmothers answer your most pressing, funny or downright embarrassing questions with real-life advice. They're sometimes tough, always right. Don't know what to do? Go ask your Bubbie.

Hi Bubbies, I'm a 31-year-old male tired of online dating and the swiping phone apps.  I'm eager to meet people in person, but I'm absolutely terrified to approach a complete stranger. I have no trouble starting up a chat online, but in-person? Forget about it! Not to mention, anytime I'm at a bar or event, most girls are out in groups, which makes me even more nervous. How do I break the ice with someone IRL (in real life)? 

From: Shy Guy


Dear Shy Guy:

First of all, if you approached Erin and the Bubbies at a bar, we would love to talk to you.

Now we think it's just meshuga (that's crazy, in Yiddish) that young people are stuck on their phones these days.  What’s with all the swiping left and right?  Enough already.  We are getting dizzy with all this swiping.

Back in our day, a gentleman would ask a lady to dance, and just like that, you were going steady. Look, the Bubbies know that honesty is always the best policy. If you're interested in meeting someone, walk on over, say hello, and introduce yourself.

We know.  We know.  It’s easier said than done, so we asked Erin, the Bubbies Know Best hostess with the mostest, to weigh in.  As a professional wingwoman, Erin does quite a bit of introducing people in-person. So this is what Erin said …

In this high-tech world of online and app dating, the art of meeting new people in-person has been lost - just like me when I attempt to drive anywhere without a GPS these days.  As much as we need technology these days, there's nothing like connecting punim-to-punim or face-to-face! 

Nowadays, breaking the ice in-person takes a lot of chutzpah, especially since so many of us have our guards up. To strike up a conversation, being yourself is key.  Being witty or even complimentary can’t hurt. Asking for directions or a recommendation can open doors.  And speaking of doors, you better still be opening doors for people – or I am going to sic the Bubbies on you.

Now I have found a fool-proof method of approaching a group of girls. Stir up a friendly debate, like “hey, my friend and I made a bet.  He thinks it’s okay to wear brown shoes with a black belt, but I say no way. What do you think?”

I am also a personal fan of silly word puns.  Once at a coffee shop, I ordered a “flat white” and then turned to the cute guy next to me and said – “hey, you know what they say … you are what you drink, right?” Yes, Bubbies Know Best Hostess with the Mostest is a proud 32A.

We know breaking the ice can be scary, especially when it comes to approaching a group. There is always the risk of rejection, being completely ignored, or worse -- receiving a nasty comment in response. But remember, the reward for approaching someone new far outweighs the risk.  As hockey great Wayne Gretsky says, “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.”

You can watch Host Erin Davis and your favorite Jewish Grandmothers - Bubbies Bunny, Linda and S.J. - on Bubbies Know Best on Jewish Life Television, JLTV, Mondays at 8:00PM. In the Detroit metropolitan area, JLTV can be found on DirecTV Channel 366 and Spectrum Channel 178. If you would like to ask the Bubbies a question, you can email them at