A few things you need to remember is that women are very complex, emotionally driven creatures. For that reason, a good strategy for picking up women needs to include a variety of techniques to help her feel several emotions while she is interacting with you. Approaching women is only the first step is beginning this emotional journey together (the pickup), while there are long standing debates about the best way to approach women you've got to remember that's only the first step in a process that includes emotional, physical, and logistical progression. Let's break it down and talk specifically about how to approach girls to start.
When trying to pickup girls there are literally hundreds of ways a guy could approach. However, developing a strategy that you are comfortable with will go a long way to making you more confident on the approach. First let's talk about the differences between approaching women directly versus indirectly.
A "Direct Approach" is when you begin talking to a woman while stating your intent pretty much immediately - leaving her without having to wonder whether or not your intested. For example if you said to a girl in a bar or nightclub "You look cute, are you fun?" to start the conversation, she now already knows why you're talking to her (direct) and is also communicating that it's going to take more than her looks to win you over.
Direct Approach does not hide your interest in her. E.g., “Hi, you look interesting. My name is XXX.” (Nothing special about this opener; it’s just a quick example)
Indirect Approaches on the other hand is where you hide your interest in her at first. Instead, you start the conversation with a pretext such as “Hey, we need you to settle an argument I was having with my friends. Do drunk “I love you’s” count?” Many guys find this method "easier" because it can take a bit of the pressure off of you for a few minutes while her/her friends discuss the topic you presented them with.
And the winner is…neither.
The simple reason is that 10-20 minutes after meeting her, you should be in the same place in the conversation whether you had approached Direct or Indirect.
When you're trying to pickup women, you should be in that place is one where you both are feeling attracted to and curious about each other. Once you've approached the girl using either a direct or indirect approach, now it's up to you to push the interaction forward, making her feel attracted to you, qualifying her, and ultimately building comfort. The next step is to solidify that attraction through Qualification. Women FEEL attracted all the time, a lot of what we do in Qualification or Comfort is making her want to ACT on that attraction.)
An indirect opener has both less risk and less reward than a direct opener.
A direct opener puts it all on the line. It shows that you are at least a little bit interested in her. If she doesn’t reject you right away, then she is accepting the FRAME that this conversation has a romantic/sexual interaction. If that frame is established, then of course it’s normal for you and her to talk and get to know each other.
Remember, an indirect opener has less risk and less reward. Most women will answer a question like “drunk I Love You’s” above. But unlike a direct opener, the mere fact that she stays in the conversation does NOT establish the frame as romantic/sexual. In fact, it does not establish a conversation at all. She would normally expect the conversation to be over once she answers your question.
To put yourself in her shoes, imagine walking down the street and a random woman (not one you are immediately attracted to) asks you for directions. You’d probably think the conversation was over after you gave her directions, and it would be weird if she followed up by asking your name and where you’re from.
That’s why Love Systems came up with the concept of Transitioning. A transition turns a single-subject conversation into a normal conversation. There are a few different kinds of transitions that I describe in my book, the Magic Bullets Handbook, but my favorite is the Cold Read. This is where you “spontaneously” notice something about her, cutting her off in mid-response, and changing the frame of the conversation. E.g., “You look like you’re a schoolteacher,” “Are you a tourist?” or “You’re an artist of some sort, aren’t you?”
It doesn’t matter whether you are “right” or not. The point is 1) to extend the conversation to a new topic before the old one runs out, and 2) to change the nature of the conversation for her, from “some guy asked my opinion on X” to “chatting with this guy.”
For more on how to use Cold Reads in Transitioning, Attraction, Qualification, and Comfort (they’re amazing to have when you can’t think of something else to say to keep the conversation going), Love Systems veteran The Don and I put something together on this. Click the link below to start listening to the first 10 minutes (no charge) – the full thing is $39.97: http://www.lovesystems.com/audio/vol-23-cold-reads-savoy-the-don
Now, back to our original topic. As you can see, the transition puts you at the exact same point as if you’d started with a direct opener. In other words:
Direct Opener = Indirect Opener + Transition
So again, it doesn’t really matter.
All that being said, SOMETIMES it is better to be either direct or indirect. But the most important factor is probably NOT what you’re thinking. It’s got nothing to do with her or the situation. It has everything to do with you and what you find most comfortable.
For example, I tend to use indirect openers most of the time. When I was learning game, I had a lot of approach anxiety, so I much preferred indirect openers. I relied on them and got very good at using them.
For me, a direct opener is like “game on” from the first second. Whereas I prefer to be in a bit more control, starting with indirect, and then picking the right moment in the first couple minutes to turn the switch and make it a more obvious pickup. I like to use the minute or so it takes to get through the opener to figure out where I’m going to move her to, to watch her friends’ body language, and a million other things that let me plan ahead.
I’m still pretty darn good at Direct Game of course, and will use it once in a while, but my default is always indirect.
In contrast, some of the best guys in the world, like Braddock (voted the #2 PUA in the world last year) or Future (#3) seem to use a lot more direct game. And of course their results and successes speak for themselves. They’d be just as good using indirect openers, but they have a preference and style that fits direct really well. So…the next time a know-it-all tries to tell you that you have to go direct here or indirect there, tell them to stuff it. They’re not helping you. Either can work, and it doesn’t really matter.
That being said, if you’re equally comfortable in both and you’re the type that likes to play the percentages, in some situations, it can be SLIGHTLY better to be indirect or direct. None of these factors are as important as your comfort, but if you genuinely don’t care and want to maximize your chances, this checklist might help:
Again, none of those reasons are more important than your own comfort. So use what you like.
If you haven’t got twitter yet, this is a perfect reason to start. I usually tweet a couple of bite-sized pieces of dating advice every day. Follow me @lovesystems. Plus, I’m on Facebook a lot more these days. I’m going to be posting some videos and advice there that won’t be anywhere else, and I’m also pretty good at answering short dating advice questions there. So let’s make friends…https://www.facebook.com/LoveSystemsPage/
The Magic Bullets Handbook is an award-winning eBook and the “bible” of dating and seduction for men today. It’s been translated into more languages than I can count, and it seems that not a week goes by that a major publisher doesn’t want to put it in bookstores. (I’ve always refused. Magic Bullets has always been my baby and I don’t want some publisher dumbing it down for the mainstream.)
We first released Magic Bullets as an eBook because there was so much demand for it and it was the quickest way to get it to out to people. And a lot of people like it as an eBook – it’s easy to print, view on your computer, transfer to a smartphone, whatever.
But if you’re a bit old-fashioned like me, you like paper books. You like to be able to make notes. You like to have something physical to carry around with you that doesn’t need software.
[First – if you’re not exactly sure what’s in Magic Bullets or what it will do for you click here for the description. The paperback books are the same, but the eBook description is more detailed.]
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