October 25, 2009


Routines and Multiple Thread Theory - Tips For When You Run out of Things to Say

One of the biggest sticking points guys have once they have learned how to open/approach is awkward pauses when you don't have anything to say or a way to move the conversation forward. Nothing destroys your ability to create attraction faster than this.

From my experience teaching literally hundreds of men at our bootcamps, I see the same two underlying causes for these pauses over and over.

Often, men don't have good command of "material" or routines (specific things or stories to tell). I am consistently amazed and dismayed by how many guys want "more material" but don't learn the fifteen or so highly-successful attraction routines I teach at every workshop. Many men seem to think that they need 300-odd polished routines to go from opening to the beginning of a sexual relationship and that these have to be learned all at once. A better way of learning material is to focus on one routine at a time and use it in every approach. Then add another one. That may sound like a long process, but if you are approaching 12 groups in a night, that's enough to get a new piece of material polished every time you go out. The best source of routines out there is the Love Systems Routines Manual, but you can also check out The Attraction Forums and my interview with The Don on using and creating routines.

Some guys have the even greater self-imposed challenge that they think that they "don't use routines." This is just silly. Everyone uses routines. Like I said above, a routine is simply a piece of material that is polished for the occasion and can be used repeatedly. Your uncle Marcel has probably never heard of Love Systems, but when he tells the same story at every family reunion about his ice fishing trip in Manitoba, he is delivering a routine. You already have certain stories or things to say that you've rolled out more than once in a conversation. Guess what? You're using routines.

My point is that if you're going to use routines anyway, you may as well use good ones. And you may as well use routines consciously. Not preparing routines will put you at a major disadvantage, especially as you're developing your game. When you're using a routine, you don't have to worry about what to say. You can focus on the much more important stuff, such as body language, tonality, touching, and movement. When you get these elements down, then you can lay off the routines a little bit, especially if you learn to think on your feet. This is just basic tried-and-tested info on how to develop your game, and why we have so much confidence in our teaching. We have a system, and it works. We know how to "get good" at dating science, because we've helped so many men through the process... including ourselves. Pretty much every one of our instructors is a former student.

By the way, routines are not about "tricking" or "lying to women." No one is telling you to repeat, word-for-word, the comic book routine or my stranded-in-Paris story. You can if you want for practice, but many routines are not about personal experiences (e.g., interesting observations or third-person stories). In any case, from using the masters' routines, you can learn what they key elements are and how to make routines that do reflect your own life and experiences. This is something we cover in a lot more depth in the Routines Manual.

Not only do routines save you from having to worry about what to say next (and the threat of an awkward pause if you can't think of anything), but they also narrow the field of likely responses. I've used some routines hundreds if not a thousand or two times and in most cases, there are only a couple of likely responses that a woman or her group will give. Then you can practice dealing with these specific responses. You'll eventually find a routine that best advances the interaction based on her specific response. This is the beginning of a "routine stack" where instead of having just one routine, you have a couple in a row, in the right order, with contingencies based on her responses.

If you are against routines or don't have routines at the beginning of your journey and you don't have vastly above-average social skills, you are shooting yourself in the foot with a bazooka.

Now, let's say that you are using routines, but you still end up with awkward pauses. This is where multiple thread theory can help.

Multiple threading was introduced to the dating science community by an Australian man who uses the pseudonym Toecutter, who in turn modeled it from the comedian Billy Connelly.

The basic idea of multiple threading is to pause your material at some arbitrary middle point and start another conversational thread (i.e., a new topic of conversation). If you think about the way you talk to your friends, you naturally do this. You don't generally have a conversation about the weather and if another subject comes up ignore it because you're still talking weather. Instead tangents pop up and some "stick" while others don't.

Not every routine or piece of material will have its desired impact (anyone who says otherwise is deluding himself; there are millions of factors that impact the success of a given piece of material at a given time, many of which are beyond your control). However, if you are running multiple threads, enough of the material will have a strong impact.

Moreover, the effective use of multiple threads will give the woman and her group a sense of friendly familiarity as well as a feeling that "we have a lot to talk about."

Now that we have an understanding of what multiple threads are, we can start to talk about how to use them:

Here's a quick review of the five basic ways to Transition from Magic Bullets:

  • Set up multiple threads by pausing and starting a new tangent. The way to do this would be simply to use a transition to move from one subject to another.

    1. Content transition. The group says something that allows you to change the subject. For example, the girl says that she was a gymnast as you are telling a story, you can transition by talking about gymnastics.

    2. Observational transitions. You simply make an observation then discuss it.

    3. Mini cold reads. You simply call her a brat, powderpuff girl, Nancy Drew, etc. out of nowhere and start role-playing.

    4. Phrasal. You simply say something along the lines of "It's just like when" or "That reminds me of" and change the subject.

    5. No transition. You simply start a new story out of the blue.

  • Hooks. Hooks are simply unanswered questions or unfinished thoughts. They are also called open loops. Here's where you say something like "I was on stage and..." which will provoke the question of what you were doing on stage. By responding with something like "I'll get there in a second," you've set up another conversational thread that you can come back to. We also call this process embedding and it's a crucial part of storytelling in general.

  • Foreshadowing. By saying something like "I have to tell you guys about the time I hid in a storm drain as the war passed by ahead" you are foreshadowing a story to tell when you are finished with what you are saying now.

  • Background information. By pausing a story to say something like "the reason it was a storm drain is important because I ended up finding some buried treasure and..." you allow yourself to add info on what happened before the present in the story.

  • Character info. "I was with my friend Ernie drinking and smoking the hookah, and the thing about Ernie is he's a kleptomaniac. This one time he got caught at Saddle Ranch; what happened was..." This allows me to start a new story to explain who the characters are in my current story.

That's enough to get you guys started. One of the major reasons why the pros are good is that they use multiple threading to avoid awkward pauses which lead to trying too hard to keep the conversation going and losing value.

Ideally you want to aim for having 3-5 open conversational threads in every interaction. That way if for some reason either of you have to leave abruptly, you can get a phone number by saying "we still have a LOT to talk about..." And then you’re into phone game!

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Nick Savoy
Nick Savoy


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