In this issue, dating coaches dissect an interaction to show you what to say to women.
He Said / She Said (Part I)
In the past, we've occasionally used the "he said / she said" format (it's been one of our most popular features and we're always getting requests for more). First, I describe a dating situation from a man's point of view, and then look at the same events from a woman's perspective. Then we look at "what really happened" and break down the man's successes and failures. These examples usually raise a lot of issues, so the "what really happened" section usually includes references for more information on specific topics.
Some readers have found it useful to read through the "he said" portion of these and try to evaluate what the man did right and wrong before reading the conclusions. It's up to you.
I was having drinks after work with a few friends, and I saw someone I was interested in at the bar, with another man. I waited until he went to the bathroom and then approached her. I used an opinion opener to start the conversation. Because I knew I wouldn't have much time before the other man came back, I cut off that conversation quickly and went into some transitioning and attraction material. She seemed really into me, so I got her number quickly before the other man came back. She seemed a bit hesitant, so I told her that I promote a lot of high-end social events in the area and I wanted to add her to the list. It worked! The people I was with were really impressed and high-fived me when I got back to my table. I was "the man" for the next couple hours. I loved it.
I stopped to have drinks with a friend on the way to a show. Some guy approached me out of nowhere and he was pretty funny and interesting. He said he was a promoter, which was cool, so I gave him my cell phone number so he could add me to his list for local events. I thought it was weird that his friends seemed to be cheering him on afterward, but maybe they were celebrating something else.
What really happened:
Let's start with what Michael did right. He had the guts to approach the woman (also known as opening) as soon as he saw an opportunity. He was able to open correctly, and he followed the appropriate path of Approaching, then Transitioning, then Attracting (if you don't know what these terms mean, you need to review the structure of the Emotional Progression Model). He knew enough to move out of the opener as soon as he saw an opportunity (this is a really good habit). He seemed funny and "interesting" to Maria. Those are all good things – Michael has a very solid foundation of skills.
Michael made a couple of big mistakes. The first was getting a phone number that will probably be useless. Maria thinks that Michael is a high-end promoter, so presumably he would have access to many beautiful women and probably wouldn't be spending time chasing someone he talked for a couple of minutes at a bar. He didn't learn much about her or qualify her, so there's nothing there to justify his interest. Second, it's weak to get a woman's number under false pretences – if Maria even answers the phone when Michael calls, she will likely be very surprised and less attracted that he used a "ploy" to get her number. These factors don't mean that Michael's courtship would necessarily be unsuccessful, but he's certainly made things far more difficult for himself than they need to be. He will have a lot of work to do in "Phone game" – Magic Bullets has a breakdown of phone game; the key elements for this type of situation would be the section of that chapter entitled "Phone Game Outside of Comfort" – when you get a phone number so early that you still need to build mutual attraction on the phone.
A second mistake was trying to make everything fit in a quick time window when the male friend was in the bathroom. It's true that meeting women when they have men around can sometimes be tricky, but the "wait-and-pounce" approach usually won't give you enough time to build mutual attraction (attraction & qualification) before getting her phone number. It simply doesn't take most men that long to go to the bathroom and come back.
Some more minor mistakes: If Michael was really pressed for time, there was no need to use an opinion opener. Opinion openers are usually long, and often require a transition before leading into attraction. When a woman is alone, you are often better off with a direct or screening opener. If the different types of openers and discussions of transitions are confusing to you, they are covered in Chapters 5 and 6 of Magic Bullets, which happens to be two of our free chapters. You can download them for free on the Magic Bullets page. Finally, Michael should have made sure his friends didn't act like 14-year olds. Never celebrate an interaction when the woman can still see or hear you. Never celebrate a phone number, ever.
I was having drinks after work with a few friends, and I saw someone I was interested in at the bar, with another man. I approached them and used an opener that was suitable for a mixed-gender group; I think it was about movies. I chatted them both up for a few minutes and they told me that they were killing time before going to a concert. I made them both laugh and told a few stories, but couldn't really qualify her in front of the other man, because I didn't know if he was her boyfriend or anything. But I was clever enough to get both of their phone numbers because we all like the same sort of music, and we were going to check out some other concerts sometime. Then I left to get back to my table – I didn't tell anyone I got her phone number to make sure that my friends didn't act weird. I think it went great – they kept looking over at our table for the next hour or so before they left!
I stopped to have drinks with a friend on the way to a show. Some guy approached us out of nowhere and he was pretty funny and interesting. We talked about music for a while and then he went back to his friends, I guess. It was cool but also a bit random.
What really happened:
Michael fixed some of his old problems (getting the phone number of everyone in a group when you are unsure about people's relationships to each to other is a nice touch) but added a bunch of new ones. He made five significant mistakes:
- He didn't find how the two people knew each other. You have to do this in any "mixed" group, and it's also not a bad idea in a group of only women. A hint about this: always ask the woman, not the man. It's really important to do this, because how you would treat a woman out with a platonic male friend is very different from how you would go about attracting a woman who was with her boyfriend (if that's the kind of thing that what you want to do).
- He still didn't qualify her. Qualification is so crucial to the process. You need her to feel that she has won your interest through something other than her looks. If Michael knew that Maria and the other man were just friends, he could have qualified her. Even if Maria was with her boyfriend, it is still possible to qualify. Instead of complimenting her verbally, he would do so with body language while making sure to pretend not to be taking her seriously, and talking more to the man than to her.
- It seems that the conversation was focused around one area of mutual interest – music. It's a good thing to talk about subjects that are important to both you and the woman you are interested in, but it's better to connect over a variety of topics than to go deeply into one and not into any others. Michael has good conversation skills and a good sense of humor – it's obvious from Maria’s reaction – and these are crucial skills. Now all he needs to do is take advantage of them properly.
- Probably the most important mistake Michael made was in not inviting the two of them over to his table with his friends, given the way the rest of the interaction unfolded. Maria mentioned that they were "killing time" so they couldn't have been in much of a hurry. In fact, this is probably what led directly to Maria saying that the whole interaction was "random" and why the two of them kept looking over at Michael's table. Think about it from her perspective: someone approaches her, talks for a few minutes, and then goes back to his friends and leaves them. Why did he approach them? If he was just being friendly, why did he leave them after a few minutes? Why get someone's phone number to hang out at some future time when it's easily possible to keep hanging out at that moment? This is not to say that Michael had to invite them to join his friends – but if he was not going to, he should have said something like "I'd love to stay and chat, but we're here on a work thing and I don't want to be rude."
- He's still just getting a phone number instead of trying to move things forward with a woman or even suggesting plans. He's going to have a lot of work to do on the phone – if she even answers when he calls.
Do you want to see Michael actually get the girl? He inevitably will in the end, but rather than make him do everything perfectly in the next example just because we're running out of space, we'll continue this in the next installment. It will give us a chance to talk about merging groups, how your friends can help you or hurt you when they're part of your group, and how to deal with a woman's male friends who don't want you to succeed.
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