The Warm Approach
Approaching women you’ve never met can be an effective way to date. But in all likelihood, you’re doing it wrong, if you’re doing it at all. The key is not in what you say, or how bold you can be, but how you read the situation before you even attempt. Here are four things to keep in mind.
1. Don’t make cold approaches. Make warm approaches.
The idea of the cold approach is that the woman has had zero interaction with you. This is a bad position to start from. A cold approach is based solely on your physical attraction to her, which from her perspective, can sometimes feel dehumanizing. But you can rehumanize your approach without much effort, vastly improving your chances, and also making the interaction far more natural.
If you see a woman you’re attracted to on the street, in a cafe, in the library, at the gym, even at a bar or party or dance club, and she doesn’t see or acknowledge you, leave her the hell alone. If her eyes are fixated on her homework, her workout, her friends, or her drink, and not wandering the room looking for a handsome man, then she’s probably not looking to begin with. She might, in fact, actually be studying, working out, or having a night out with friends. Many women find it satisfying to do things that are not centered around your penis. Write this down if it will help you remember.
Moreover, you want that the first time she see you, it be at a distance. If the first moment she sees you is when you’re standing right behind her, smelling her hair, it’s probably going to feel to her more like an assault than an approach. Let her first impression of you be “that cute guy over there” rather than “the creepy stalker/sexual predator”breathing down her neck.
On the other hand, if she does see you, you absolutely must smile. Always keep a smile gassed up and ready on the runway, because you only have a half-second to launch it. Even try practicing smiling at strangers you’re not attracted to, just so you learn to be quick about it. If she smiles back, it’s a good sign. If she turns away without smiling or quickly turns back to her work/friends/drink, leave her alone. I don’t care how hot she looks in that low-cut top. Stay away or you’re an ass.
I also recommend doing this sober, or as close to it as possible. Liquid courage might help you make the move, but it will also cause you tomiss her signals, and you’ll waste a lot of time. If you’re not fit to operate heavy machinery, you’re not fit to flirt.
By reading the signals carefully BEFORE you approach, you save yourself a lot of time and energy, and avoid harassing pretty girls who just happen to be out-of-doors, a kind of behavior that makes meeting women so much harder for everybody else.
2. Don’t get too cocky.
The secret to being brave when you’re nervous is to not be brave and to just let yourself be nervous. Nerves feel awful but they can’t actually hurt you. The man who can confidently stride right up to the girl with no nerves whatsoever is the guy who does it all the time, and chances are the girl will be intimidated. Being nervous works in your favor. Women know approaching strangers is incredibly intimidating. They know because they’re even more terrified than you are to do it. Therefore, you can’t wait for her to approach you. There is a huge double-standard here, where men are still expected to do the work. I don’t like it, you don’t like it, but that’s how it still is. Women put up with even worse double-standards from men, so you need to handle this one.
For me personally, there was a time when my mind would recoil at the idea of approaching a woman I didn’t know. But I could trick myself. Even though my mind was terrified, I could still operate my legs, so it was only a matter of making myself walk up to her. Then, I’m standing right in front of them and I have to say something. You’re going to feel awkward, but just be awkward. It will make her feel less threatened to see you sweating a little. After all, you wouldn’t get so worked up over a girl you didn’t think much of. Your nerves are a compliment and hopefully she will be flattered.
3. Just say anything. It doesn’t matter…much.
Probably the first thing people worry about is that they won’t know what to say. The secret, to those of us who are good at this, is that there is no secret. You just speak your mind. You make goofy observations about whatever. If they’re witty and interesting, great. If not, it may not matter. If she’s out and about and interested in talking to a stranger, she will. If not, it never mattered what you said. I once approached a very tall and elegant lady after an informal fashion show, after she had glanced my way a couple times (note: the warm approach). Running up to her I blurted out the asinine “Are you a model?” It was idiotic, but she didn’t care; she was ecstatic I had bridged the gap. (The answer? No, she wasn’t a model. She was just doing it that night for a friend. Didn’t matter. I got a date!)
You know what works great in these situations? Try the following:
If you’ve already done your reconnaissance and made a warm approach, she will smile and say hi back and you can go from there. You might even offer a simple compliment if you can’t think of anything else. Compliments are always appreciated, but please keep it simple, believable, and not creepy, and then move on. Humor helps if you can swing it. Not sure? Just stick to her sense of style. Don’t mention body parts. That’s creepy.
Good: I like your shoes!
Bad: You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life.
Even worse: You are the most beautiful woman I’ve seen since lunch.
Good: Cool haircut!
Bad: I could stare at your legs all night long.
Even worse: I have been staring at your legs all night long.
Good: Great jacket. Is that real snakeskin?
Bad: Wow, you remind me of my mother.
Even worse: Wow, you remind me of my ex.
The ultimate goal is to reach a point where you’re having a normal conversation, like friends do. If the conversation feels like work, then you’re trying too hard (more on this next week).
4. Try again. But don’t be an idiot about it.
Unfortunately, failure is always an option when approaching strangers. You’re going to be rejected most of the time, or at least run into dead ends. It’s not you, it’s just the reality of the world, and you will need to remind yourself of this many, many times or risk being overwhelmed by sadness.
HOWEVER, if you’re out at, say, a bar, and the girl you were interested in doesn’t respond to you, don’t turn around and immediately start flirting with another girl. There’s a good chance she saw you hitting on the first girl, and nobody wants to feel second to a guy who’s behaving like a player. Go back to your friends, go back to your homework, or just go home. Try again another night. Life is long.
Next time: Talking to a woman you just met.
Be sure to check out Christopher’s original guide to meeting women with dignity and respect, How to Date Online (Without Being a Tool) –>