The first step of the game plan is the opening. When you see a girl you want to get to know you approach her or her group. To get the conversation going you deliver an opener. By appearing as if you have to leave soon you disarm their initial objections. As they open up to a conversation with you, you sit down to join them and stack forward into other routines. In short, A1 consists of the following five steps:
- Approach – Approach the group.
- Open – Open with an indirect opener.
- FTC – Throw in the false time constraint.
- Lock in – Lock yourself into the group.
- Stack forward – Transition into other routines.
Attractive girls are seldom found alone in social venues. They will usually be found in groups of three or more people. When you approach a group you are going to have to address the whole group and not just your target girl, otherwise her friends may cut your visit short. Talking to her group is also one way of demonstrating confidence. Furthermore, once you have befriended the girl’s peer group getting her approval is going to be much easier.
Interacting with a group is not necessarily harder than talking to a single girl. You can use the same topics and routines. A group setting does however present some additional social dynamics that you need to be aware of. For example, if it is a group of two girls you may have trouble isolating your target girl without the aid of a friend that can occupy the other girl. Likewise, if there are guys in the group you need to make sure the girl you want is not in a relationship with any one of them.
If the girl is alone, chances are she has friends in the venue. Nevertheless, that is an opportunity to engage her without having to engage her peer group if that is your preference.
The most consistent way to approach a girl or her group is to come up beside them and open over the shoulder. Facing slightly away from them with your body, get their attention and deliver the opener. If you walk straight towards them, facing them directly, you are showing a lot of interest and it will make them less comfortable. After the opener do not turn in towards them immediately. Instead, wait until they turn towards you to turn in as well. It puts the girls in the position of the pursuer and women love that. It shows that you are a challenge.
It is a bad idea to hover around the group waiting for a pause in their interaction. That is low status behavior. You should go in immediately, as if it is completely spontaneous, and position yourself next to the group. If it is a single girl and she does not notice you, tap on her shoulder to get her attention, and then deliver your opener. Do not wait for her to acknowledge you to start talking, because you may not get it. If what you are saying is interesting she will turn. Being in your own reality, you do not need to wait for the girls to acknowledge your reality.
Attractive women are approached in one way or another all the time. They must disqualify men fast. There is no way that they can afford to spend time with all the men that are interested in them, and so to make things easy women will make instant judgment calls and give the cold shoulder to most of the men they meet.
Out in public most women are in judgment mode. If you as a man walk into that game as one of many players you are going to lose. To get past the initial screening process you have to communicate both verbally and non-verbally that you are different, that you have value and that you are there to offer value to them, not to take value from them.
Your value is communicated through your high-status body language, tonality and attitude, and you offer value by making the girls have fun. You achieve this through your routines and also by approaching the group with a slightly higher energy level than they are currently having. By making them have a better time than they were having before, they are going to like you and want to be around you.
The opener is a routine used to initiate a conversation with a girl or her group. In contrast to a pickup line, the opener is more social and does not come across as you trying to bring them back for sex. The opener should be short, canned and indirect.
- Short – Do not open with a long routine. You have no value yet so her attention span is very short – 30 seconds is plenty.
- Canned – Know what you are going to say and exactly how you are going to say it.
- Indirect – Do not hit on her when you approach. Focus on communicating your personality instead.
Most men feel like they need to say something original to get the woman’s attention. When they do that unfortunately they usually end up saying something that is very common. If you instead learn a good opener, even just a simple one, it will usually work much better than if you try to think of something interesting to say on the spot.
Find a single good opener routine to use or create one of your own: one for singles and one for groups. Just a short one to get your foot in the door. Here are a few examples of the first line you can use to construct your openers. Singles first:
- Hey, what’s up?
- Hey, I really like your style.
- Hey, you seem to have a really nice energy.
- Hey, you’re pretty cute for a short girl.
Saying “Hey” is a high status way to get their attention. For groups you can start your opener with “Hey guys”, which is disarming. By treating them like guys it suggests that you do not want anything from them. Here are a few example opening lines for groups:
- Hey guys, I need a female opinion.
- Hey guys, how is your day/night going?
- Hey guys, I’m out meeting people tonight. How you doing?
- Hey guys, first impression of these sunglasses?
After the first line, wait for their input to get them to start opening up for a conversation. Then you continue the routine, for example by telling a story that grounds your opener, such as, “Hey guys, having a good time? <Yeah> I am having an unbelievable day. Get this, I’m …” and you transition into a story as part of the routine.
Before the A3 phase, you need to provide most of the conversation. You cannot expect the group to be able to contribute much since they do not know you yet. Follow the 90/10 rule, which means you provide 90% of the conversation and they contribute 10% as illusionary input. This means you provide much of the material for them by giving options, for example with yes/no questions. This makes it easier on them as they do not have to contribute a lot at this stage. You need to keep the ball rolling until they are on your team.
Keep in mind that what you say is not as important as how you say it. Your body language and tonality communicates more than your actual words. As long as you approach with confidence it does not matter much what you say. You do not need some slick line. You are just an awesome guy who is passing by to brighten their day.
False time constraint
When approaching a group their initial thought may be how to get rid of you. To get that thought out of their minds you should perform a false time constraint (FTC), to make it appear as if you have to leave soon anyway. That way they can relax and listen to what you have to say.
There are verbal and nonverbal FTCs. Your main nonverbal FTC is to keep your legs in the “I’m just about to walk away” posture. If necessary, you can complement this with a verbal FTC, such as “I can only stay a minute, cause I have to rejoin my friends”. Later you can explain this away. Even if you are out alone it is a good idea to suggest that you have friends in the venue since that helps raise your social status.
Within the first few minutes you need to lock yourself into the group. There are two reasons for this. First, it allows you to lean back, relax and get them to commit more to the conversation. Second, if you do not do this you can be locked out of the conversation when they turn to talk amongst themselves.
If they are standing you can slowly step back towards the nearest wall. They will be drawn towards you to hear what you are saying. As you lean back towards the wall you are now surrounded by the group. Their attention is focused on you and they will not be easily distracted by the rest of the room.
If they are sitting down you should grab a seat and join them. In a loud venue you have the urge to lean in to hear what the others are saying. Do not follow that urge. Leaning in is low status behavior. You should do the opposite. Slowly lean back while you are controlling the flow of the conversation. That way they will lean in towards you, placing you in the high status position. The girls will also feel more comfortable moving towards you than with you moving towards them. Be sure to talk loud enough for everyone in the group to hear you.
Stacking means to move from one routine to another. After you have delivered the opener you should transition out of it and onto the next routine in A2. In the beginning, keep your routines short before moving on to longer ones. You can, for example, stack a number of opener routines to get them to warm up to you.
Female approach invitations
It is exceedingly rare that a girl who is attracted to a guy will dare to approach him. What girls may do instead is to drop approach invitations, for example by looking at him and smiling. Girls want a guy who is confident enough to walk up to them, because they are afraid to do that for themselves.
Men have the advantage in that they get to pick and choose which women want to talk to. If you walk into a room and there is a woman you want to meet, you can approach her without any restrictions. It does not matter whether she is checking you out or not. If you want to meet her it is on your terms and it is completely irrelevant what she thinks of you. Of course, if one of the girls you are interested in is already signaling that she is attracted to you she will be more receptive to your approach, but this is not a necessity.
When you approach women it is a good strategy to always expect the best. Expect that girls will find you attractive, will want to meet with you and take things physical. See the best outcome coming, and if things do not work out – whatever – shake it off and move on to the next. Having this attitude can lead to a lot of success just by itself.
It is important to do reality checks sometimes, testing the boundaries of what is real and what is make believe, but do not be too concerned with finding limitations for why the interaction would not work. Most girls are open to talking and will be flattered by your approach.
For the most part, if you are friendly and just having a good time your approaches will go pretty well. However, some girls will instantly disqualify themselves. When you open a girl, pay close attention to her and her responses. If she is anything but friendly and receptive to you, you may want to consider letting her go right then and there. You do not have to dismiss her at the first sign of resistance, but if the girl shows that she has issues even at this stage of the game that is not a good sign.
Qualify her based on her response and, if she is not what you are looking for, then eject. Say, “It was a pleasure meeting you” and move on. You need to be willing to walk away from any woman who fails to meet your standards. You have high standards and you should let the girl know that. If she behaves in a way you find unacceptable, for example if she is rude or offensive, then call her on it – “That’s strike one. Three strikes and you’re out.” You are the prize in the interaction and you want her to know it early on. Teach her that you do not accept second-class behavior.
Ejecting may also be necessary at later stages in the game plan. This may happen for any number of reasons – for example if you are outplayed, run out of material or if the conversation is spiraling downwards and you are unable to recover. You may also eject because you find that the girl is not someone you want to spend more time with. For instance, you find out that she is taken, gay, has a bad attitude, or does not want to meet someone new on a romantic basis. Or perhaps she just plain does not like you. Any one of these may be reason enough to disqualify her and end the interaction.
When it comes to getting good with women, the approach is the step most guys struggle with. More than any other factor this is what holds guys back from getting the women they want. They just do not approach. To illustrate, if you ask a guy if he could approach a girl he finds attractive, most guys would say yes. But if you ask him to actually do it, he will come up with any number of reasons why he cannot or will not approach her. Motivation is not the problem. Men want that feminine energy and affection in their lives, just as women want that powerful, masculine energy. The problem is that guys attach excess meaning to the encounter. They care too much.
When you approach a girl do not put any great importance on that specific encounter. Just focus on having a fun interaction while you practice your skill. Realize that if this interaction does not work out, there are a hundred other women standing behind her waiting for you. There is no scarcity. It is not worth getting upset over. You can only learn, at worst, and these lessons are priceless. You are just there to see what she is about and to give her a chance to meet you – nothing more, nothing less.
You can give any girl a chance, but if she does not want to play you do not force her. You just need to eject. There is no loss in the approach, there is only potential for gain. For an investment of a couple of seconds, you have the potential of having an amazing time with a great woman. Sure it may hurt to be rejected, but that is the price you need to pay to live the life you want. Accept it. The experience will always be worth more than the pain it takes to approach.
Keep in mind that if you go out without approaching any girls, your chances of hooking up are pretty slim. On the other hand, if you talk to 5, 10 or 20 girls, you might just find a few who are interested. As you get better the percentage goes up, but you will not get there without practice.
Handbook of The Game