As last year wound down, I had been working a lot and trying to blog more regularly, which ate into some of my social time. There’s a social threshold below which a guy doesn’t really have any functional game at all because he’s not being social or active enough to:
- Meet people (make friends and display social dominance)
- Meet women (and meet enough women to leverage the abundance mentality)
- Create a lifestyle into which to invite a woman
I was done with retiring to my badger hole. Among other steps I took to kick-start my social life was to engage in the 100-Approach Challenge at the start of December. Inspired by this intrepid blogger at http://approach100.wordpress.com, I had until the stroke of the New Year to approach 100 women (approaching being the game verb for initiating conversation with a woman; the noun of “an approach” refers to a conversation with a woman).
- I must do 100 approaches before the end of the year.
- I must do at least one approach per day.
- If a woman hears my opener, it counts as an approach (if she chooses not to respond it’s her loss, not mine)
- If a woman opens me, I must respond in earnest (i.e. actually escalate the conversation) to count it as an approach
- If a woman has been opened into me (e.g.via mutual friends) or is a clerk or someone otherwise obligated to talk to me, it doesn’t count as an approach until I unload some chick crack, kino or verbal escalation
Of my 100 approaches, probably 70 were “closeable” – single women of reasonable age and SMV who I might want to see again. The rest were flirty waitresses, clerks in airports I’d never see again, saleswomen at mall kiosks (got one of them to massage my hands for free), and a demure middle-aged Chinese wife I approached while she was carrying a bottle of Martinelli’s back to her table at a dive bar.
Of those 70 approaches, I got seven numbers and a business card, four of which I saw at least once more. 10% close rate, 50% Day-2 rate from closes. I know some guys do better than that, but that’s a reasonable starting rate of return for me in my first enterprise of day-gaming like it was my job.
I got almost nothing out of my first 50 approaches (the first twelve days or so). Nerves, flutter-voice, self-consciousness, and low-percentage targets meant that I got very few approaches to the point of a close at the start. But I was building skills, making mistakes and learning from them, and learning to be comfortable with the rush that comes with talking to an attractive woman. My night game approach anxiety has always been very low, but approaching in a coffee shop, bookstore or grocery store took a bit of work to get over.
In the last 50, I really started to hum. Part of it was as I got more confident in the ability to cold approach, I was choosier about who I approached. In other words, I lost the scarcity mentality that “I have to approach this woman because I’ll never meet another attractive girl.” I realized if I really didn’t feel like approaching or didn’t really fancy the woman in question, there’d be another woman to approach soon after. So the approaches I did do were done in a better mood. As long as you’re approaching on the regular, you can pass up some chances and not feel like a hopeless omega male.
80% of my sets were in the daytime or otherwise not at a self-styled “pickup” environment. I had good success in the grocery store, at a sports bar during a bowl game broadcast, at a museum, and on an airplane (where I ping-ponged between two women and closed them both on the way out of the jetway).
The accountability of the Challenge forced me to get out more – not in the sense of drinking and clubbing, but the sense of living a lifestyle that put me in contact with approachable people. It was “I need to stock up on toilet paper and get some Tylenol one of these days…if I stop by the store tonight, I can do that AND do a couple of approaches.” Or “How about I go out for an evening Manhattan tonight and see who I might meet?” So it helped reorient my life to a place where I was out in my neighborhood and meeting new people on the regular instead of going to work, coming home late, blogging a bit and collapsing – and I don’t care how good your inner game is, that’s not a lifestyle that’s going to bring a lot of women into your orbit.
I used variations of a small number of openers – primarily:
- “You look like you’re having the most fun of anyone here.” (Best used at night, sarcastically, when a woman looks bored. Thank you, Roosh for this winner!)
- The clothing neg (a valueless statement about her sartorial choices, like “that’s a very colorful scarf for the winter” or “your dress is very yellow.”)
- Elderly openers: “Hey, is that a good [phone/laptop/book]?” or “hey do you know if this [food item] is any good?”
- “Do you mind if I say hi to your dog?” [dog game is huge, a great way to indirectly approach a woman by showing social dominance and nurturing traits to the dog. A warning though, dogs can sniff out weakness almost as well as women can, so don't approach an active dog unless you're sure you can Caesar Milan it.]
- “You look like you’re really enjoying yourself over there.” [if a woman is reading a book or looking at her phone and laughs]
On two occasions, I ran Roosh’s Day Bang script to the letter. The first time I got a number after opening a woman in the salad dressing aisle, asking her if the dressings were any good, having her pick out a bottle for me and passing a huge shit test when she asked why I was asking so many questions (my reply: “well, you just don’t meet that many interesting people in the salad dressing aisle.”) The second time I opened a girl by asking about which chocolate chips to buy, and she launched into an unprompted soliloquy about how she was going to make cookies for the doctors she worked with. When I closed her she said she had a boyfriend; at that point I had neither the time nor inclination to probe if it was a shit test, so I just wrote it off as a good approach that didn’t work out.
The goals of the challenge motivated me to get serious about closing when possible. But at the same time…
Approaching without feeling the need to close calmed my nerves considerably and led to better conversations (and thus a greater chance of a good close). I mentioned this in another post, but it bears repeating. This attitude requires you to abandon the scarcity mentality. I went with the Yohami mindset of “she seems like she’d be cool, let’s go over and find out.” But it also went both ways, there were times when I would approach a woman and be glad when the approach ended early, because I could count the approach-notch but not have to go through the full effort of a total approach.
Approaching becomes a habit. I stopped thinking about “I should approach so I can count it in the challenge” and just approached without rational motivation.
The challenge coincided with me upgrading my wardrobe, but one became the other – I became more conscious of dressing decently as it became a habit to meet new people at any time. I didn’t want “I’m not dressed well” to be a rationalization-hamster excuse to wimp out. Well-fitting clothes will boost your SMV and signal good woman-friendly attention to detail, especially if you’re in good shape.
The game slows down. One of the interesting phrases applied to quarterbacks in football is that “the game slows down” as they improve…they are no longer driven into a blinding adrenaline surge every time the rush comes at them, they begin to think as they act and even predict what’s going to happen before the ball is snapped.
The same happens as you get skilled at approaching. You no longer get caught up in the mere act of opening conversation with a woman. The opener becomes automatic, even if you’re ad libbing it. You gain an appreciation for the improv aspect of the art, that it’s fundamentally unscriptable and reactive to the moment. You start to think about the big picture, the mood she’s giving you, where to take the conversation (no more desperately seeking any line at all to blurt out of your mouth lest you risk her walking away), and how and when to close.
I needed every hour of the month. I was about five shy of 100 come December 31, and got my last approach in about ten minutes shy of New Year’s Day. Coincidentally, when I turned away from her, she smacked me on the ass.
Conclusions and Lessons Learned
I am the 1%. Maybe that’s an exaggeration, but most guys will not approach on the regular, or even just approach the women they’re interested in. I do (for the most part), not because I have some magical personal skill that makes me impervious to failure, but because I’ve made approaching a habit and so I’m not flummoxed when a really good opportunity presents herself.
Don’t forget about game. After all my huff and puff about just doing it, “just talking to her like a fucking human being” is not going to get the job done. You need to remember to tease, ramble, imply mystery, be cool, sidestep shit tests, escalate if given the chance, and close when you can. Don’t think you can just be a chatterbox and expect the ripest fruit to fall at your feet. Structured game helps – having a handful of openers, chick-crack questions and indirect DHVs at the ready is a great way to supplement spontaneous conversation so you can make sure you don’t get into an intellectual discussion with no sexual value and leave with her mentally stimulated but viscerally uninterested.
Sacrificial approaches are key. In a night-game environment, you can’t get hung up on the one girl you want to talk to. Open a few girls you’re not that interested in on first sight, and get your game warmed up. This keeps you from oneitis, and also helps get the girl you want excited about you, because…
Approaching boosts your social value. Unless you get a pyrotechnic rejection (I got zero during the challenge), women see you chatting with other women and find you more sociable and interesting, and also wonder “why isn’t he talking to ME?” A polite rejection from a pretty girl, taken in stride, can get you preselection points even though she’s technically de-selected you. Related…
My friends were blown away. They were amazed at my seemingly single-minded drive to chat up girls in public without looking like a creeper. Some of them became overt or accidental wingmen. It was surreal to tell them it wasn’t that difficult, you just have to do it.
Playful women are much more fun to approach. A woman who gets butthurt because you interrupted her silent shopping experience or took note of her scarf is not worth continuing an approach with. She’s either an alpha-chaser or just no fun. Learn to be selective on this point, let her have her cats or her carousel of alphas who never commit, and DON’T fall in to the obligation masculinity/rom-com myth that it’s the man’s job to “break down” the woman’s heart of stone. Don’t view women as problems to be solved and game as a tool to solve them; instead view your game as a way to have fun while discovering whether someone else is interesting and interested in you (along with game as a tool to escalate and close when the time is right).
People don’t owe it to be nice to strangers all the time, but the magnanimity of a woman is a good harbinger of her LTR fitness and nurturing attitude. It goes to an aphorism I like, “the measure of a woman’s character is how she treats a man who has nothing that she wants.” If she sneers because you dared ask her where the history section is in the bookstore, she’s probably not someone you want mothering your children in the future or representing your family name. (Ladies reading this, take note – being nice to children, animals and guys who don’t make you tingle lights up commitment boners from coast to coast. Guys want to know you’ll be good to them even when they’re not at their most attractive.)
Guys who don’t feel they have enough options should do the challenge. The girls are out there, you just have to go find them.
IOIs are different during the day. At night you can stick to the script of the typical PUA indicators of interest (hair/body touching, asking your name, leaning into you, letting you into her personal space, etc). In nightgame, you’re essentially tapping into and reading her hindbrain directly, an operation aided by the alcohol, semi-anonymity, and fantasy mindset of urban nightlife.
In daygaming (and sans alcohol), social conventions take over and you have a very small chance of kissing or even touching a woman without setting off red flags among her and the people around you. Instead, you have to read it through the lens of “people out during the day are trying to get things done,” and taking time and attention away from that to give to you is itself a sign of interest. So if she’s talking to you at all, if she’s even just listening to what you’re saying without walking away, that’s an IOI. At night, she may talk to you just because she’s bored or has to pass the time while her friend gets hit on by someone else.
Roosh’s Day Bang model has developed the idea of the personal question (from her to you) as a major IOI that indicates you have a good shot at getting her number. When she starts asking for elaboration or personal details, you’re hitting the peak of the conversational energy and should shift the conversation to close mode.
“Close well or close ugly, but CLOSE!” If the conversation is going even halfway well, close it at a high point and suggest another meeting. Some in the Roosh circle recommend you get a number at night only after an attempt to !close her has flagged out. By contrast, daygame leads seem more reliable in my experience, partly because they have to be – you just don’t go nearly as far, there’s nothing to regret the next day because she’s not making out with a random guy in the grocery store, you have a lot more mystery to play off of from a fifteen-minute casual conversation that makes her want to find out more.
But in daygame, she’s probably not going to give you forward, panties-on-fire signals that you should get her number and set up another meeting. You just have to make a leap of faith and do it. I’ve found the line “why don’t we continue this conversation later?” is good at calmly expressing your sentiment. (You don’t want to set off her beta detectors by being too formal about going on a “date.”)
The good news about daygame is that the sets are typically about fifteen minutes long, so if she turns you down you aren’t losing nearly as much opportunity cost as when you’ve gamed a girl for two hours at a bar outing, to the exclusion of other prospects, and she says “well I’m going to leave with my friends, it was nice talking to you” and bolts.
Just do it. Seriously, all this discussion about game tactics is pointless if you’re not putting it into practice. And it’s the “long pole in the tent,” so to speak, the thing that’s holding back their game, for a lot of the more introverted and/or workaholic guys out there.
Add “approach regularly” to your lifestyle. I don’t use targets, and I don’t go out with the expressed intent of meeting women and getting numbers. I go where women are while living my normal life, and take advantage of the opportunities to talk to approachable women. Understand that lots of approaches are practice, but they will prepare you for the approach that really goes somewhere – and keep in mind you might approach a lukewarm prospect only to learn in conversation that she’s fascinating, freaky and totally into you.