They are a crutch. Sure I’ve used them, and sometime’s they’ve worked. I don’t discount them for the precise reason you say you use them, to get a laugh. However, it’s low hanging fruit. It says to them, “I have nothing else better to offer so I give you this.” I know it’s not true, but that’s what it can be interpreted as. So yes, you’re doing the right thing by going for a laugh/icebreaker, but there are better ways to go about it. Tell a dumb joke. People love dumb jokes. Here’s my favorite. Has honestly opened conversations with huge groups of people and is a great ice breaker. “Okay so I’ve got a dumb, but not good joke for you. (Underselling it a bit to create interest. Plus, like I said, who isn’t game for a dumb joke?) What does a fish say when it runs into a concrete wall? Damn. (Wait for it. Sometimes it takes them a second.) Creates the same mood, laughter, but makes it seem like you don’t need to rely on a cheesy pick-up line. Is a joke a crutch? Could be. But at least it doesn’t make a girl cringe.
For the most part, it’s all kind of “hanging out.” For instance you and your roommate go to a party and meet some people, guys, girls, etc. You start going to parties and calling each other. At each new party you meet other people, flirt, talk, drink, have fun. Then you see them again and again and eventually you may start going home with each other or hanging out outside the group. The “group” is going to be your first urban family. They are who you will go through a lot of the same things and frankly a lot of firsts and emotions. So firstly, like the Mob, don’t talk shit about your family. Meaning, especially with all the social media, try as hard as humanly possible to not talk shit about other, guy or girl, because it will get back. So if you date Mellissa and it doesn’t work out, no matter who you talk to, other than your best friends, you don’t bitch. Because maybe that person has someone they want to set you up with but if they hear you are bitter and depressed…mmmmm….not so much. It’s not easy, but man it WILL come back and bite you at some point. Other things, pretty much what I’ve said in my other answers. Become interesting. Do you like interesting people? Of course! So does everyone, it’s your job to become interesting.
As far as relationships go, this sounds clichéd and old-school, but man….communication. Just talk. One, if you’re a guy that can learn to talk about what they want, you’re already ahead of the field! But so many landmines could be avoided if people just talked! Did you see LOST? Breaking Bad? How many times were you like, “Man! If they only just talked and told the truth, we wouldn’t be in this mess!” Yes, the truth will get you in to trouble sometimes. But it will also open some amazing doors that make you forget all about those troubles!
Good luck brother! Keep me updated!