6. The Mid GameFrom Opener to Hook Point to Rapport
You now know how to approach. You can start a conversation with a woman and get into a conversation. Now what? What do you say? How do you prevent those dreaded awkward silences? The answer lies in a simple set of conversational skills and comfort-building techniques that can be easily mastered so that you can move your interactions from the opener to the close. I call these the “skills of the natural.”
Any close—whether it’s a number close (where all you do is get a girl’s phone number), a kiss close, or a sex close—requires a certain degree of good rapport and connection. With the skills of the natural, you can learn how to easily achieve rapport with a wide variety of women. For anyone who wants to become a natural with women and feel like he’s always had that innate ability, this is the chapter to pay special attention to.
I used to be a terrible conversationalist. I was boring on dates, useless in groups, a terrible public speaker, and unable to hold people’s attention. Now I game like a natural. This means that I’m able to break down exactly what’s necessary to be a naturally good conversationalist and to generate attraction. What’s more, I can give you exercises to practice this skill on your own.
During the first minute of an interaction, you need to do most of the talking. Anything that puts the conversational pressure on the girl you’re interested in is something that she could use as an excuse to end the interaction. When she is comfortable and committed to the interaction (which could be instantly, but generally takes longer from a cold approach), you can start putting some of the conversational burden on her.
The Art of Small Talk
Women are sick of boring conversations with men. They’ve had the same ones over and over and over. If you can be different, you’ll stand out hugely and quickly generate attraction. But first, what shouldn’t you do if you’re a good conversationalist?
Avoid These Common Mistakes
I’m willing to bet that a lot of these mistakes will sound familiar to you. We’ve all made them!
Many women are approached and immediately put on the spot to answer a series of questions. The man’s only response to her answers is usually, “Oh really, so …” This quickly gets boring, and any woman who puts up with this for long must either be really attracted to you or be very, very polite (or desperate).
Don’t ask a series of questions. Ask one and connect on that point; then ask another. For advanced-level skills, try to elicit the answer without asking the boring question—make an assumption or guess about what she does, where she’s from, or what food she likes. You get the same information, but it’s more interesting for her.
What kind of conversation do you have with a hairdresser, a person in line at the post office, or the aunt you see once every six months? It’s probably boring and shallow. As in, you have the conversation but aren’t really listening and don’t really care, and it’s entirely unmemorable. Likewise, when you meet someone totally new they typically say things like, “What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “Do you like films?” Blah, blah, blah.
We all hate answering these questions over and over, yet we ask them of others! For attractive women who get approached regularly, it’s even more of a turn-off.
Stating the obvious
If a girl has pretty eyes, she’s probably been told that five thousand times. Find something more specific to say to her, preferably not about her appearance. Or don’t compliment her at all. It’s fine to give an obvious compliment with feeling when you’re already together, but in the early stages it’s not what she wants.
The above methods of eliciting information may either put conversational pressure on the girl or else they’re boring. Here’s what you should be doing instead. The following are some ways to elicit the standard information without asking boring questions:
Ask Leading Questions
Instead of asking, “Where are you from?” say, “Are you Swedish?” Make some kind of personal guess that shows you’re paying attention to her.
Make Assumptions and Funny Guesses
Instead of asking what she’s doing, say, “Okay, so you’re waiting to meet Steve. He’s a guy you met on the Internet, and you’ve no idea what he looks like, but he’s going to be wearing a red shirt.” She’ll laugh and then tell you what she’s actually doing—or even better, she’ll play along with it and you’ll have a fun moment. Make up a silly scenario: What’s she going to do with her friend? Why is she in your town?
Another example (depending on whether you’re at a bar or a Starbucks) would be: “Let me guess—so you’ve been shopping all day, bought loads of stuff, and now your feet are killing you, so you’re going for a coffee or beer together.” This kind of thing also gets you in the habit of focusing on women, making observations and cold reads. Over time, this skill develops and you can usually guess correctly!
Connect via Conversational Links
A “link” is a transition point given to you by your conversational partner that you can use to extend the interaction without starting a new, unrelated topic. Every time a woman opens her mouth, she’s giving you a link. It might be her accent, the words she uses, or the information she gives you. If she tells you she’s Brazilian and studying English in the States for three weeks, you have three links that you can feed off (Brazil, studying English, here for three weeks). Once you’ve established a connection by responding to a link in the conversational chain, you can then ask another question or elicit another link.
Your goal with each link should be to connect in a positive way, enhancing the likelihood of rapport. The best way to do this is to talk positively about her. Less effective ways are to relate the point to your own experience, to be clichéd, or to be negative. Let’s look at the three levels of evolution in this area:
1. Conducting a high-pressure interview
You: What do you do?
Her: I’m an artist.
You: Cool, so … where are you from?
You: That’s nice. What do you do in your spare time?
Her: I like going to movies.
Put yourself in the girl’s position here. She’s constantly under pressure; the spotlight is always on her and she’s being asked to contribute a lot of information while getting nothing in return. Regardless of her answer, you move straight on to the next question. This is because you’re already thinking about the next question as she answers, instead of trying to use what she gives you in a unique way depending on her response. Unfortunately, this is how most guys try to connect with girls.
2. Self-obsessed relating You: What do you do? Her: I’m an artist.
You: Cool, my brother is an artist; he makes these sculptures out of tin foil. He made one the other day of a fish that’s really cool. So… Where are you from?
You: Oh great! I have a Swiss watch and I like Swiss chocolates. My friend went to Switzerland on holiday, said it was great. What do you do in your spare time?
Her: I like going to the movies.
You: I love watching films too. I saw that new one with Johnny Depp; that was cool. I want to watch that other new one coming out next week, forgot the name…
What’s going on here is that you’re using the link, taking the pressure off the girl; so it’s better than the interview. However, you’re not making a
connection; in fact, you’re putting up a barrier. You’re saying, in effect, “Anything you say I will relate to my reality, and I won’t try to understand yours.” When someone is talking about himself, it’s less interesting than when he’s talking about you. In this kind of conversation, the girl won’t want to give more to the interaction because you haven’t shown empathy or understanding.
To get faster rapport and connection, you need to learn to have conversations like this:
3. Taking things deeper
You: What do you do?
Her: I’m an artist.
You: Interesting! I like that: I imagine you must see the world in a different way than most people; you must be able to appreciate beauty in more things. Where are you from?
You: You don’t look like it, but I’ve heard that people from Switzerland are quite conventional and really stick to rules and things. You look more like a bit of a rebel—just look at that hairstyle! What’s a hobby of yours?
Her: I like watching movies.
You: I guess that, being a creative person, you must enjoy seeing other people’s creativity. But when you look at art, perhaps you always see the technical aspects as well, so it must be nice to go to a movie and just enjoy the experience.
The above dialogue uses snippets from a real conversation, but in the actual conversation I didn’t jump around the topics in that way, because I was talking with and about an actual person. Because I was making an attempt both to understand her and to get things right, she opened up easily, jumping in and expanding things, and the conversation got deep very quickly.
This final example, showing how even relatively boring questions can be used effectively, reveals that learning to relate to a woman’s reality is a very powerful technique.
Can you pick up girls on the dance floor? If you can’t, you’re limiting yourself severely. There are tons of girls who love dancing that you won’t be able to approach. My philosophy, back when I was first learning, was that I wanted to be able to pick up a girl I was attracted to at any time, in any place, and in any situation. As someone with two left feet, I felt uncomfortable in clubs and was very self-conscious; dance-floor game didn’t come easy. Now I can dance a little bit—at least I’m on the beat—but the main thing is that I’m not self-conscious and I have fun dancing. Yes, I actually enjoy it!
There are a few ways to pick up a girl on the dance floor. It will always be more of a numbers game because it’s non-verbally direct, but with a bit of practice you can up your odds.
The first thing you need to do is differentiate yourself from the other guys on the dance floor. They’re doing a couple of things that you should not do.
Do Not Do This
Stand around the girls, checking themout while not dancing yourself.
Make a sad attempt to dance without being into the music, just trying to get near the girls.
Grind on a girl’s ass.
Have fun dancing around, without trying to get near the women. Enjoy yourself; enjoy the music. When you’re a man having fun on the dance floor, you’ l immediately stand out froma l the other men. The women wil move away froma l the other guys (who are drooling over them, or trying to grind on them) and
gather around you.
You can then mirror a particular girl’s dancing in an exaggeratedly funny way, get eye contact, and force interest. Initiate a “dance-off” with the girl where you gesture to her to watch your moves; then bust a sily little move and point at her expectantly.
On the edge of the dance floor with girls who aren’t quite dancing, you can say, “Do you like dancing?” If they say yes, say, “Do you salsa?”—and, as you say it, take themand start salsaing.
Tip: You need only about four salsa lessons to be able to do the basic steps, which are all you’ll require. Trust me, you can quickly kino- escalate from the salsa opener. It works pretty much each and every time.
Structure of a Dance-Floor Seduction
The tips above illustrate a few common mistakes men make on the dance floor. In addition, sometimes men attempt to communicate too verbally, which doesn’t work because of the sound level. Other times they end up simply dancing opposite their partner and don’t escalate from there, so she walks off.
Here is the process for a dance-floor escalation, from seeing a girl you like to kissing her:
1. Open nonverbally (hip bump/eye contact/gesture/other nonverbal acknowledgment).
2. Dance opposite each other for twenty seconds or so, maintaining eye contact at least 90 percent of the time.
3. Step in closer, introduce yourself, and have a very brief verbal exchange (twenty seconds max). This will tell her that you’re now in an interaction; now she won’t just leave, because she knows you’re interested and confident enough to talk to her.
4. Dance opposite her again and, after a short time, offer your hands; continue dancing, holding her hands in a push-pull fashion, introducing spins if you feel comfortable with them. Maintain eye contact.
Now we have some progress, but to get to the kiss close we need to slow things down. Clubs don’t generally play music that has a seductive rhythm; their tempo is much too fast. That doesn’t need to stop you. You’re leading the dance at a certain speed, so you can gradually slow it down and get a little closer, while maintaining complete eye contact.
To escalate from this position to the kiss is easy, since 90 percent of the work is already done. It requires only a step or two more. You can try running your fingers through her hair, or kissing her on the cheek and then moving onto the lips. Alternatively, if you can see that she’s ready, just go directly for the kiss.
Whether you make contact on the dance floor or use your new small-talk skills to chat up a woman at the bar, at some point she’s going to want to contribute to the conversation. When she starts to ask you questions, you want to be ready. Here’s how to keep things moving in the direction you want, no matter how good her questions:
Have Interesting Answers to Standard Questions
There are certain questions and conversational paths that occur again and again for each person. Think about what yours are and make your input more interesting. If a conversation gets boring because the girl starts asking boring questions, she won’t realize it’s her fault—she’ll just know she’s bored! The obvious one is, “What do you do?” Either make your job interesting or describe it with passion; if it’s undeniably dull, be brief and switch to something more interesting, like a hobby—“But anyway, that’s work; what I really like to do is ….”
Avoid These Topics
Contentious political issues
Bad past relationships
Talk with Passion
If you can talk with passion about things you care about, your energy draws people in. If you enjoy something, let it show: be expressive, using visual and emotive language. People will get caught up in it and start to feel good too. When they feel good, they’ll want to talk to you more.
A Midgame Case Study
Let’s put it all together with an example of the natural and situational opener. The following interaction was a real demonstration for a student. I recorded it on MP3, and the transcript runs below. There are many techniques used that you can continue to refer to; you’ll see more each time you look.
A girl stands alone in Leicester Square, London, with arms crossed, looking pretty unfriendly.
Me: Hi! You’re crossing your arms and I study body language, so I could say that’s because you’re closed or in a bad mood; but I was noticing a lot of people standing like this recently, and either people are more closed at this time of year or more people are cold! (Laughs.) So are you in a bad mood or are you just cold?
Girl: I’m cold.
I’m bantering without putting conversational pressure on her. This is necessary because I have no indication of interest and she looks unapproachable.
Me: See, people take this body language stuff too seriously. They need to put more disclaimers in these books. People crossing their arms are closed, unless they also might be cold. People stroking their hair are attracted to you, unless their hair is in their face and they can’t see anything. (Laughs.) You look like you’re waiting for someone?
Girl: Yeah, I’m waiting for my friend.
At this point I don’t immediately ask another question, like “Who?” or “What time were they meant to be here?” or “What are you going to do together?” This would be natural, but not very interesting. She has given me another link that I can feed off, so I should use it. Her body language is opening up, and she’s receptive to the interaction.
Me: I hate waiting for people here. You can’t call them because they’re on the subway, and there are so many people here you keep thinking, “Is that them? Is that them?” The time goes way slower than when you’re waiting somewhere less hectic. So let me guess, it’s your old school friend and you’re meeting for the ten-year reunion dinner?
Girl: (Laughs.) Well, it’s my friend from college, but we’re going for a coffee. What’s your name?
This is a big sign of interest. She’s asking a question of me. It isn’t related to the topic and it’s personal, which means she wants to know more about me and extend the interaction.
Me: Richard, and you?
Girl: I’m Anna.
Both: Nice to meet you. (Shake hands.)
Me: Wow, your hands are cold. (Takes other hand too, and squeezes them both. I’ve quickly done a quite intimate thing that jumpstarts a sexual frame.)
Me: So is your friend cute?
Girl: (Laughs.) She is, actually.
Me: Cool. So we can all go to coffee together, but we can’t stay long; we need to be somewhere. Tell her I’m your fiancé, that we met last week
—it was a whirlwind romance—and that we flew to Vegas, got married by Elvis, and came back yesterday. (Both laugh.)
Practice your new conversational skills on your social circle. See if you can make the women feel good and get a deeper level of connection than you normally do. You’ll notice that you get a much better reaction from people and can even use these skills at work.
The technique I call “push-pull” involves mixing up an interaction. The push part is when you get closer to her and become more friendly and intimate and complimentary. The pull part is when you move away, break the connection, and seem a little disinterested or distracted.
Push-pull is great because it accomplishes a couple of things:
It establishes you as high status—other guys wouldn’t dare do this!
It gives her an emotional ro lercoaster ride, a necessary ingredient for a great pickup. (Push-pul works especia ly we l on sassy girls—the tougher and more confident and testier the better. It can fa l flat on the sweet, innocent type, so don’t use it on every girl you meet.)
Here are some examples of lines you can use for this effect:
“You’re like my bratty little sister.”
“Do you have hot friends?”
“Would you like me to buy you a drink?”
“You’re too young/old for me.”
“Wow, you ask loads of questions. Do you want my résumé?”
“You’re a nice girl with bad-girl mannerisms.”
“You’re a bad girl with nice-girl mannerisms.”
“Norma ly I’d be rea ly attracted to you, but I think you’re just acting cool so I’ l buy you a drink.”
“Your first impression kind of sucked, but actua ly you’re …”
“You’re the coolest girl I’ve talked to … in the last fifteen minutes!”
“You’re cool… you can help me pick up chicks.”
The Hook Point and Indicators of Interest
The hook point is that moment when a girl shows interest in extending the interaction. She’s clearly happy for you to stick around and talk more. You can tell you’ve reached the hook point when:
She asks you questions.
She asks your name.
She gives extended answers to your questions.
Her body language becomes more open.
Once you’ve reached the hook point, you should look for indicators of sexual interest. You’ll know she’s sexually interested when:
She strokes her neck when in conversation with you.
She looks at your mouth.
She tilts her head to the side when speaking to you.
Her pupils dilate.
She laughs too much at your jokes, even when they aren’t funny.
She seems happy listening to you, even when you’re talking rubbish.
She holds eye contact with you and doesn’t look around the roomor at her friends.
Note: if she’s nervous, or if it’s just not in her character to hold strong eye contact, she could still be interested.
She’s comfortable with your touching her and invading her space.
She shows wilingness to leave her friends and stay with you.
She laughs and hits you on the shoulder when you tease her.
She looks at you in a dreamy kind of way.
She asks if you’re single.
She’s comfortable with pauses in the conversation.
She uses your name in conversation.
She leans into you.
The Rapport Phase: Strengthening the Connection
In talking about the skills of the natural earlier in this chapter, I wrote about how to make connections with a woman. This continues now in the rapport phase. The difference is that the goal has become finding a reason to see her again and discovering mutual interests.
Here are some tips to help you build rapport with a woman you’ve connected with:
Notice things about her appearance (clothes, accessories, hair, nails, jewelry). Women usually put a lot of time and effort into the way they look; her bag, for example, might have been chosen to match her shoes, belt, earrings, and dress. Most people don’t notice such things, so she’ll be happy if you do.
Furthermore, jewelry and accessories also often have a story behind them, which means they may mean something special to the girl. If you ask about that beautiful old cameo she’s wearing, she may associate you with the warm feelings she has for the grandmother who gave it to her.
Talk About Things That Evoke Passion and Feeling
What is she very passionate about? It might be anything from friends and family to travel or ballet. Connect on these points by showing that you
understand why she feels that way.
I’ve told you to avoid asking the usual boring questions. So what kind of things would it be okay to ask? The best questions build comfort and create a connection that elicits emotion. Here are some good examples:
Do you remember your first day at school?
This is something that she probably won’t have talked about for a long time, but it has strong emotions attached to it. To ask a question like this, you can’t just say, “Where are you from? What do you do? Do you remember your first day at school?” You need to root the question first, leading into it smoothly. You could do this by saying, “You know, I was walking down the street this morning and I passed a bakery and smelled freshly baked apple pie. It immediately took me back to when I was six years old, and I spent the next thirty minutes walking around like a kid with a silly expression on my face because I was remembering my childhood so vividly. What about you, do you remember your first day at school?”
After she has given her response, you should connect on it. You could say, “I can just imagine you with your My Little Pony lunch box, skipping to school.” Next, you should relate your own story.
If you can connect like this on a few emotional topics, then you’ve built a deep connection in a short amount of time. You’ll already have talked about stuff that’s not normally talked about until you’ve dated a girl for three months or so.
If you could wake uptomorrowanywhere in the world, where would it be?
This is another good question, and it replaces boring questions such as, “Do you like travel?” and “Did you go on vacation this year?” This one doesn’t need so much rooting; it could simply be, “I need a vacation—let me ask you, if you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would it be?” Connect on her answer—“Yeah, lying on the beach, with the sun beating down, the sound of the ocean …”—then relate your own dream vacation in vivid detail.
Are your friends mostly men or women?
This gets her talking about people she cares about, and her response will tell you something about her character. The question is an unthreatening one with no right answer, so she’ll feel comfortable responding openly.
What’s the one thing you can’t say no to?
This is a good way to find out something she really enjoys. It could be chocolate—perhaps fresh orange juice. Whatever it is, it should make her eyes light up. You can then connect by describing how good it is to eat that chocolate, how it feels when you put it in your mouth and taste it as it melts. Do this and watch how you can lead her into a desiring state.
What talents do you have that would surprise me?
This is a great question and a challenge. Early on in an interaction, she won’t feel any need to answer challenging questions. By the rapport phase, though, she’ll feel some pressure to respond to a question like this to prove herself to you. Remember that she’s likely to ask the same back to you, so have something ready.
Have you ever been in love?
Ask this, and then dig a bit deeper about the times she has been in love. Don’t ask what happened—this would focus on the breakup! Make her want those feelings again; since she’s with a cool guy, she’ll probably be imagining them with you. This is a great one for a couple of reasons: first, it brings out the emotions and memories connected with love; second, it starts her imagining a relationship with you.
When you’ve done this, you’ll already have a deep connection with the girl. On numerous occasions, girls have told me that after just a few hours they feel like they’ve known me for months. The reasons are:
I’mcompletely comfortable, open, and relaxed with the woman.
I’m making her as comfortable as she norma ly feels after three months.
She’s feeling things that she would norma ly only feel within a committed relationship.
She’s talking about things she would only norma ly talk about with very close friends, family, or a long-term boyfriend.
Build Attraction by Breaking Rapport
Breaking rapport is one of the most powerful things you can do to build attraction. When you add it to your game, you’ll see a dramatic improvement.
Breaking rapport involves disagreeing with the woman you’re trying to seduce on a particular point, or expressing a contrary view. To exemplify its importance, imagine being a hot woman for a moment. You are being approached by a string of smiling, nodding men, and you feel as if you can’t do or say anything wrong. You could say you love cats, and they’d say they love cats; you could say you like torturing cats, and they’d say, “Cool.” Okay, maybe that’s going too far, but we all know that the natural thing to do when with a beautiful woman is to go into “me too” mode, where you agree with her on everything and try desperately to connect. You assume that similarities will bring you closer. This might generally be true, but the “me too” approach is what 99 percent of men do, and you’ve probably realized from reading this book that it’s what 99 percent of men don’t do that brings you success.
Imagine being that beautiful woman again. Men will agree with you on everything and think everything you do is just great. You know there are things they shouldn’t like about you, but they don’t express those dislikes. This means you won’t fully trust them: you’ll think they’re after one thing only, and so their compliments won’t be worth as much.
The answer to this is to break rapport—but you mustn’t do it on big things that have an emotional connection for her. Don’t call her passion for painting lame, but you can break rapport on casual interests like Harry Potter books, independent films, etc. When you say that something she likes sucks, it makes it twice as powerful when you later say that you appreciate something about her.
If you say, “Oh, I love Harry Potter too,” “Oh yes, I love musicals,” and then say, “I have a good feeling about you; we should meet again,” you come off as fake. Better to say, “Harry Potter—I couldn’t even get halfway through the first book,” “I caught The Lion King but wouldn’t see another musical anytime soon,” and then, “I love your laugh.” The compliment has a much stronger effect in this latter case, because you’ve shown that you say what you mean and mean what you say.
You don’t want to break rapport too early, though. Do it after the hook point, and just enough to show that she can do something wrong and lose you. The point is not to lower her self-esteem or make her feel stupid; it’s just to show that you can disagree and that you have your own views and opinions. If you do break rapport, the best thing to do is quickly change the subject, to avoid turning your conversation into an argument.
Don’t be afraid to tell the truth: it actually increases trust and connection as well as dialing up attraction. Trust and honesty are keys to gaining people’s respect. Breaking rapport is a way to be honest without hurting people’s feelings. If you notice yourself “me-tooing” and not getting as much attraction as you’d like after the hook point, try breaking rapport combined with genuine compliments—and also try challenges.
Challenges are ways to establish that you’re “the selector” (a.k.a. the high-value person in the interaction). You chose her, not the other way around. Most guys will passively let themselves be selected, so if you can challenge a woman, it’ll be uniquely attractive. You need to have earned some value, however, before she’ll respond and try to meet your challenges.
Some examples of challenges you can issue are:
“If everyone looked the same, how would you stand out?”
“Can you cook?”
“Are you rich?”
“Beauty is common, so what do you have to make me more and more attracted as I get to know you?”
“There are three things I look for in a woman. The first is (insert quality—e.g., confidence), the second is (passion), and the third is … no, I’m not te ling you. (She will almost certainly follow up with a question: “Why not?”)… You might fake it.”
The above examples communicate that you’re picky and won’t date just any girl—looks are not enough. This makes you more attractive because you’re telling her, in a way that comes across subconsciously, that you’re high-value. This is the outer-game way to challenge a girl. It’s a tricky business, though: if the thoughts in your mind are about how much you want her and how you’d do anything for her, there will be conflict between your nonverbal and verbal communication.
Women are sensitive and will pick up on things subconsciously; they might not mention them or even consciously know that they’ve noticed, but they’ll be affected positively by friendly challenging. You can start with artificial challenges such as the ones listed above, but you should aim very quickly to use natural challenges—things that grow out of the conversation.
Natural, genuine challenges do far more than simply establish you as a high-value man: they draw out a woman’s character and preferences. Before I started using challenges, I got into a few relationships that were just plain wrong for me. One of the very first girls that I dated was totally unsuited for me. At first things seemed perfect because I was so happy to be in a relationship with a pretty girl (well, with any girl). We had romantic picnics in the park, she stayed over at my house many times, and I stayed at hers. She introduced me to her friends and I did the same. On the surface, and in my mind, things were great. But after three weeks, she became difficult to get ahold of on the phone and sent me an email saying that she thought we should just be friends. She dumped me!
We were very different: she smoked cigarettes and weed and I didn’t; she liked different food, enjoyed different music, and had a different outlook on life. Instead of being solid in my own reality, I showed her that I would change for her. I downloaded the music she liked to my MP3 player, and even said I’d smoke weed with her. I called her every day, and this became a problem. I was always available. She dumped me after three weeks because I liked her more than she liked me; I looked at her like I loved her, and she felt stifled.
The funny thing was that, a few months after she dumped me, I found a recording on my MP3 player; it was the last conversation we had on the last day that I saw her. My player must have accidentally switched on and been recording in my pocket. I could barely listen to it—not because it
brought back sad memories, but because of how weak, needy, and unattractive I sounded. I was seeking approval, validation, letting her take charge, asking her to “please stay longer,” asking when we could meet again. It was sickening. I was breaking all the rules I’d learned and knew very well. I was doing what so many men do. Women become so important to us that this is how we act when we finally get one. The knowledge I’d learned wasn’t enough to stop me from making the mistakes men have been making for centuries.
Get a pen and describe on paper your ideal woman. What character attributes does she have? Does she smoke? Does she keep fit? Is she a leader or follower? Is she kind and generous? Can she dance? Can she sing? Is she sharp? Is she educated? Does she read poetry or celebrity gossip? Does she like Disney films or action flicks? Does she like sushi? Is she well traveled?
Once you have your list, when you go out to meet women some interesting changes will take place:
First off, you won’t be as intimidated by a girl’s looks, because you’ll be looking for something more—for particular traits and skills. If you can work questions that address the attributes of your ideal women into an interaction, you’ll flip the dynamic. Your conversational partner will have to start qualifying herself to you. You’re positioning yourself as the selector and seeing if she matches up to your requirements. Ninety-nine percent of men don’t do this, and you’ll see how women start chasing you if you do.
Second, this technique will help you avoid bad relationships—the kind that are doomed to fail from the start, but that you force to work for a while because you really want a girlfriend or because this particular girl is really cute. When you understand what you really want, you’ll know very quickly whether a woman is girlfriend material, a cool chick you can party with, or a girl you might have a sexual relationship with but nothing more.
After she dumped me I was crushed for two weeks. I thought that every time I was in love with a girl, she’d dump me. But then I decided to take action: I sat down and figured out what I needed to do to not have this happen again. I never did make the same mistake; and if you complete the preceding mission, you’ll avoid it completely.
Isolate for Deeper Rapport
To “close” a girl, in most cases, you need to “isolate” her. Have you ever noticed that conversations with large groups are very lightly topical, compared to one-on-one interactions where the subject matter can go very deep? Which conversation is more likely to bring out emotions, to help you get to know someone better and form a bond? That’s why we need to isolate.
My definition of isolation isn’t that you’re the only people in the location, but that the two of you are the only people in the conversation. Her friends could be three feet away, or even closer—as long as they’re not involved in the conversation.
For me, the easiest way to isolate a girl is to turn her away from her group. She doesn’t need to leave them completely and walk away with you, just as long as she isn’t looking at them.
A student once asked me to open a girl who was part of a group of six. Now, I could have opened the whole group, bantered for a while, won them over, and then tried to isolate the chosen woman from there. But there are two reasons why I don’t like doing this:
First, I don’t always want to exert enough energy to entertain a huge group in a noisy location. Second, my problem in the past has been that if I involve myself too much in the group, they all want to talk to me, and isolating one girl then becomes difficult—she feels social pressure as well, because all eyes are on her.
So in the above-mentioned case I wanted to isolate the girl “under the radar.” Having noticed that the group had pretty much split in half, I approached, quickly established physical contact with her (turning her around by the shoulder before saying a word), introduced myself, and—lo and behold—we were isolated as soon as she turned away from her two friends.
With a pair of girls, isolation is very difficult. Generally speaking, you need a wingman in this situation. For a group of three, my simple isolation strategy is to open everyone, reach the hook point, and then deliver a personal statement to the girl I like (example: observation about her jewelry). The key here is to speak your isolating statement at a lower volume and break eye contact with the others. They will typically then engage each other, while the eye contact and attention you’re paying the girl should ensure that she continues it with you. You next sidestep slightly around the girl and away from the other girls, so she has to turn to face you. You’re now isolated. Wasn’t that easy?
Leading to Isolate
When it comes to moving from the hook point toward the close, you generally want to be leading the girl at all times. “Let’s go dance,” “Let’s sit down,” and “Let’s go get a drink” are all ways to lead and isolate. Others include, “Come over into the light” and “Let’s go over there; it’s less crowded/noisy/smoky.”
Take It One Step Further: Deep Rapport
Use this technique with caution. I call the closes I can get with this method “GF-closes” (short for girlfriend). I’m careful to do this only with girls I genuinely feel something for. It’s wrong to use it on those I would only consider for a casual relationship. Deep rapport is a way to get a soul-mate- level connection with the girl and go beyond anything she has ever felt before.
Achieving deep rapport is a simple two-stage process. Once mastered, it can be done on the fly with any girl. The steps are:
1. Elicit emotional content.
2. Give feedback and connect.
First I’ll explain the process and then I’ll give an example that illustrates how to apply this technique.
Okay, so how do you do that first step of eliciting emotional content? It’s not that hard, actually. These subjects typically have emotions attached to them:
Passions and interests
Memories (e.g., of childhood)
Future ambitions and dreams
People close to us
Let’s use the example of passions—the first item listed—but remember that what follows applies to all of the above. Your goal should be to get down to this deep emotional level and connect. Every person has things they’re passionate about. These aren’t critical “must do” activities, but things that provide a sense of joy, achievement, or simply being fully alive.
Some examples could be:
Dancing (either watching or doing)
Going to the theater
Checking out museums
Playing an instrument
Reading or writing fiction
Reading or writing poetry
Co lecting something
These all share common elements: they are ways that people choose to spend their time—you have passions, I have passions, and the girls you meet will have passions.
Let’s look at some typical ways that passions are dealt with in conversation:
Girl: Actually I practice ballet. I’ve done it for ten years.
Guy: Cool, you must be very flexible.
Or, in response to the girl’s same comment about ballet…
Guy: Cool, I saw Swan Lake. Or…
Guy: Ugh—my mom made me do it when I was a kid. I hated it. Or…
Guy: I’d like to see you in your tutu.
Guy: Me too! Or…
Guy: Cool, I like football.
This covers a lot of the common responses to ballet or any other passion.
Let’s think about this for a second. The girl has revealed to a guy—let’s say you—something that she’s very passionate about. She’s done it for ten years, purely out of a personal sense of commitment. And yet in all the above examples, her offer to you has been rejected. You might as well have asked if she likes oranges, because you’ve treated her passion in a superficial way. If you’re going to take any of these approaches to things that matter, you might as well stay on superficial subjects.
Don’t dismiss her passion in any of the above ways. Connect with her on it. You could lie and say how much you love ballet. I don’t like to lie, so I wouldn’t do this. What you can do even if you hate ballet is be empathetic. Imagine why she loves to dance, what she feels when she dances. By expressing that empathy, you show that you understand why she loves ballet without saying that you love it. It’s something she’s probably never heard before from a guy, and it establishes the soul-mate connection.
My answer would be made up on the spot following the guideline of seeking to empathize as to why she might love ballet:
Me: Wow, that’s so cool. You must be very dedicated to have kept it up for ten years. I mean, when you’re young it’s easy, but as you get older you get more and more commitments.
This is a standard connection for any long-term committed passion. Or…
Me: So you must really love dancing. Most people have their nine-to-five jobs and come home and watch TV. It’s refreshing to find someone with a passion that’s expressive and artistic.
This is standard for any artistic or creative passion. Or…
Me: People might think that dancing is just learning steps and performing them, but I think it really brings out the soul in someone. You can dance robotically by perfectly learning the steps, but it’s when you really feel them that you become great.
I also imagine that it’s a way of expressing your feelings through the movement of your body, like an artist does on canvas or a musician does through an instrument. When you’re in the moment, you’re expressing yourself through the way you move. It must go back to before we communicated with speech and used dance and ritual to express our emotions.
I’d love to see you perform sometime.
You can see why this is so powerful. It can be applied to any passion, whether you empathize with it or not.
Listed below are some things that you probably don’t do yourself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t connect with people who comment about their love for these activities:
Fishing is about being with nature, experiencing serenity (being alone with your thoughts), and enjoying anticipation mixed with excitement when you catch something.
Stamp collecting is about a sense of achievement. Each stamp has a memory attached because it’s from a different time in your life. Your stamp book is like a book of memories.
Going out and getting drunk on a Friday night is about how you’ve been stressed at work all week and are finally able to be yourself with your friends, completely in the moment. It’s about just feeling the enjoyment without a care in the world—that sense of release from it all.
Overview of Conversational Skills
You may be feeling swamped about now, awash in techniques and approaches you need to remember. Take a deep breath. None of this is rocket science; it’s just not that hard. If you can carry on a conversation, you can get a girl.
Before we move on to using touch as a tool to take you to rapport and beyond, let’s see if we can’t consolidate the needed conversational skills.
Step One—Mastering Eye Contact
Let’s start with eye contact, that most basic form of communication. Most guys either break eye contact nearly all the time, or break it at exactly the time when they should maintain it. A small number of guys have a creepy, weird, or just generally bad form of eye contact that makes a woman uncomfortable. Instead of avoiding eye contact (as experience has probably taught them to do), these guys need to work on their problem.
A few things dictate how your eye contact comes across to another person:
Whether you blink the usual amount of times. (You should!)
Whether your head is pushed forward, ahead of the rest of your body. (It shouldn’t be!)
Whether your eyes are opened more than seems natural—as they might be when, say, you’re surprised. If you’re trying hard to hold eye contact, you’ l end up staring, which may cause this excessive opening to happen.
Whether your intent is positive and affirming. If you hate women and just want to fuck them, some of this wil come through in your eyes and women won’t like you. If this is you, you don’t need PUA Training, you need a psychotherapist. Your intent should be as healthy and sincere as possible.
If a guy has generally good eye contact, he’ll still likely break it in the following way:
Him: Hey, do you like pizza?
Him: (Breaks eye contact; then allows two-second pause.) Umm. (Looks back.) Right, so what food do you like?
This exchange might sound fine, but it’s actually a conversation killer. Let’s look at why.
In the early moments of a conversation, we’re trying to establish various important connections, including the following types that eye contact can help with:
Try the following: First, get someone to look at your foot and talk to you. Then look away and think about how it feels. Now make that person hold eye contact and talk. Look away again. When you looked away the first time, you probably didn’t feel drawn back to them. The second time, you were aware that they were looking you in the eye and so you did feel drawn back to them.
It’s important for the girl you’re talking to to be looking at you, which is my definition of holding her attention. If someone you’re talking to looks away, then her eyes will notice other things, her attention will wander, and she won’t listen as fully. (It’s like when you’re typing emails while talking on the phone—you can still respond, but you aren’t really listening.) A girl whose attention you’re not holding will soon become bored and want to leave.
Builda connection andbuildattraction
Our eyes are the most beautiful parts of our faces—arguably, of our entire bodies. They are attraction builders in a range of individualized colors. So picture the following two versions of the same scenario:
In the first, a couple on a first date aren’t talking to each other and aren’t looking at each other; they’re looking around the room and at other people.
In the second version, they’re still not talking, but they’re looking into each other’s eyes.
Do you have experience with the second version? It can be a dramatic moment, if connection and attraction are being built without words. The eyes reveal all. So when you’re talking and holding good eye contact, you’re achieving two things simultaneously:
1. Holding attention.
2. Building a connection and building attraction. (As noted above, this is also true to a similar degree when you’re holding eye contact but not talking. So at all times you must be either talking or holding eye contact.)
If we look again at our “Do you like pizza?” scenario, we can see that by simply replacing the break in eye contact and the “Umm” with a pause that maintains the eye contact, the connection is maintained and the girl’s attention is held. A side benefit of this is that she might elaborate or ask you a similar question in turn, a positive by-product of holding eye contact, which means you actually have to do less work in the conversation.
If you feel the need to break eye contact, you should do it when you’re the one talking and she’s looking at you. In a multiperson set, spread the eye contact evenly, but direct it to one person in particular if she starts to break eye contact and look away.
Step Two—Developing Self-Awareness
Next we need to focus on removing nervous tics (tapping your fingers or toes, touching your face, playing with your watch, etc.). For you to do this successfully, you’ll need to either make yourself completely aware of your body when you’re in a stressful situation, or do one of the following: videotape yourself or have someone you trust observe you and be brutally honest in telling you what you do. I’ve tried all three over the years and have gone through the step-by-step process of:
1. Becoming aware of the nervous tic
2. Realizing when I’ve just done it
3. Stopping myself as I’m doing it
4. Stopping doing it altogether
Step Three—Having a Comfortable Conversation
Next we have to work on the actual conversation. If you’re starting from a position of silence, the first step is to say something. Most people won’t make a direct statement (“That’s a nice shade of red you’re wearing”), but will ask a question (“What do you do?”). When I watch a guy who’s had no training talk to a girl who’s behaving naturally, the conversation will normally run as follows:
Guy asks question. Girl responds. Guy says, “Cool,” or, “Right,” or “Okay,” and then asks another question. If there’s more detail required, the question will be on the same subject: “What do you do?” Study. “Cool, what do you study?” Psychology. “Oh right, what year are you in?” If there isn’t much detail to gather, then he’ll normally um and ah, and then switch threads: “Do you have any pets?” No. “Umm. Ah. Have you been on vacation recently?”
There are many problems with this structure:
Althe pressure is on her; after a l, it’s easier to ask a question than answer it.
She’s being asked to reveal information before she feels ready to invest in the interaction; more often, she won’t want to do this and wil give as little as possible.
When she does give the guy—say it’s you—some information, she doesn’t feel she’s receiving any reward for doing so, or that you’re rea ly listening and interested. Alyou say is, “Cool,” and then ask another question.
You’re not connecting with her at a l. You could have emailed her your questions beforehand and picked up the answers later!
Genera ly, the conversation doesn’t deviate froma predictable, prescripted sequence. You don’t fo low any of the new routes suggested by her answers.
She’s had this conversation hundreds of times before.
So what you need to do is:
Take some of the pressure off.
Reward her for giving you information.
Make an attempt to connect with her on as many points as possible.
What you should in fact do is connect, go deeper, every time you elicit a piece of information. Remember our earlier discussion of links? You should be trying to produce a link and then using it to extend the interaction by making a statement. Every response she gives is a link. You need to be able to make a statement or observation, if possible in the second or third person, about what she has just said, and then follow it with a question.
Here’s a good formula to remember:
You speaking = 90 percent statements,
10 percent questions.
Step Four—Making the Conversation Interesting Without Running Out of Things to Say
Keeping the conversation going is a problem for most guys. Generally we run out of stuff to say and go blank. You might ask, “Have you been to Miami?” She says, “Yeah, years ago, when I was a kid.” You say, “Oh, I might go there soon,” and she says, “Oh, cool.” Then that thread has gone dry and you need to switch subjects. There’s a pause and you’ve run out of stuff to say. It happened because you connected at the lowest possible
level, at the least interesting level of speech—talking about yourself in relation to a subject she doesn’t have much to say about.
Area of Conversation
If you’d directed the conversation to a more fertile area—one that connected with her—you would have gotten a much better response from her and thus had more to say in response.
If you do run out of things to say, you always have two options to fall back on—dropping down to a lower level (talking about yourself), or switching threads.
A Note on Storytelling
Guys often ask me how they can improve their storytelling, because other popular pickup theories place a strong emphasis on it as an important part of a seduction. Personally, I don’t like storytelling as a tool for pickup, because I don’t believe that a story allows for connection and therefore it doesn’t help a close. Women can get great stories from books and movies, but not necessarily a sense of connection and understanding. For the most part, no story is as interesting as meeting someone you feel completely connected to and understood by.
It’s worth noting here that talking about yourself is fine once a connection or attraction has been made. A girl could sit and listen to Johnny Depp talk about himself all day and enjoy it, because the attraction and interest are already there. When someone feels connected with you, she naturally wants to find out more about you; however, too much self-referencing should be avoided in the early stages, before that connection is established.
Step Five—Leading the Conversation to Solidify the Close
When you’re talking to a girl, you generally want to lead the conversation. This means that you have a conscious idea of which way you want to direct it. But there are bad—unproductive—conversational areas that you want to avoid:
Talking about yourself a l the time
Talking about dark subjects such as war or violence, which I cautioned against earlier
Addressing sha low subjects—generalities like the weather, television, or sma l talk about work
If you talk about shallow subjects, the best you can achieve is to have her think of you as comfortable, confident, interesting, and maybe possibly funny. This is great, sure—but she can find other guys who have those qualities. To take it to the next level, you need to connect with her.
To stand out from other guys, I try to cover the following areas:
Anytime your conversational partner says something, think about how it might relate to these three areas. Let’s imagine you just found out that she moved to your town from Europe. Instead of sticking to your usual thought process, try to filter that information through these three questions:
1. What type of person would do this? (Character traits: extroverted, adventurous.)
2. Why might she do this? (Motivations: money, following a dream, seizing an opportunity.)
3. How might she feel about this? (Emotions: apprehensive, excited.)
The fact is, most people like to be touched. Hugs feel good. Someone touching your arm when they offer their emotional support offers more than just words.
That said, a lot of guys are afraid of touching a woman in a bar because they’re scared of being perceived as creepy. Yes, women hate being grabbed by drunk guys at the bar, but if they’re talking to someone they like, they want to be touched!
Kino-escalation is the process of going all the way from incidental touches to sex. Obviously the first time you touch a girl generally can’t be when you kiss her; that’d be weird. You need to get her comfortable with your touching, and there are lots of ways to do this.
Intent. Women can sense the intent behind kino. An armon the shoulder fromsomeone thinking, “Okay, now I’mgoing to escalate by putting my armon her shoulder,” wil make her feel weird. She’ l subconsciously know the difference between creepy touching and nice touching because she’s been touched by a lot of men! When she’s attracted to you, you can get away with anything you like, but until that point your intent should be pure. When you touch her, make it part of your natural movements; touch her in the same way you would touch a friend, and keep the intent behind it positive and natural. Don’t think sleazy thoughts! Later, when a woman is attracted to and interested in you, you can have a sexual intent behind your kino that wil be completely accepted.
Speed. The faster the kino, the more you can get away with, because it becomes harder to object to. The brain doesn’t have time to register the hand on the shoulder if it’s there for just a second.
Eye contact. Do not look at the part of her that you’re touching; that draws attention to the touch and feels “icky” to women. On the other hand, don’t go for ful eye contact either. When you go to escalate kino in a major way, maybe by putting your arm around her, eye contact wil make it an intensely high- pressure moment. If you’re looking away when you make this move, it’s much more comfortable and acceptable. Use the looking-away trick when taking a girl’s hand or doing anything else that seems potentia ly too intimate at the time.
Excuses to Touch
Making use of existing excuses to touch solves the problem of kino-escalation for anyone not used to touching strangers in conversation. Below are some nonthreatening ways to kino-escalate:
Don’t shake her hand when introduced; hold it for about three seconds. It’s long enough to notice, but not long enough to object to.
Use high-fives when you find something cool about her.
If she goes to the gym, exercises, looks tough, or whatever, ask to feel her muscles. Flex your armand point at her to do the same.
Check out her jewelry. Hold her hand to see her rings or bracelets. Move her hair back to check out her earrings. You can use many excuses to check out her hair. “Ever wear it up?” “Is that your natural color?” “Ever had it long/short?”
Take her pulse.
Ask if she salsas, or does any other dance, and dance with her. Don’t ask if she wants to; just lead.
If she gives you any shit, take her hand, put it on your chest, and say, “Oh, you’re breaking my heart!”
Try arm-in-arm leading as you move frombar to table or dance floor.
As you tease her, try friendly poking, prodding, tickling, play-fighting, nudging—a l great, playful ways to kino-escalate.
Sexual Tension Techniques
Here are some techniques for heightening sexual tension that are purely physical. Others that are verbal, or a combination of verbal and physical, appear in the “Sexual Spikes” subsection, below.
Finger playing. When you’re holding hands, play with the woman’s fingers and see if she reciprocates. This is surprisingly sexy and a great test.
Hand squeezing. Squeeze her hand and see if she squeezes back. This is a great indicator that the kiss close is definitely on.
Triangular gazing. This is a method of making her think in a sexual way. Look at her left eye, then the right, then the lips. One second on each. Repeat.
Playful Escalation vs. Sexual Escalation
You can escalate kino in two ways, sexually and playfully. The best way to escalate with a friend or a girl from your social circle is to playfully test out her receptiveness, instead of making a high-pressure move to sexually escalate. Sexual escalation, as the name implies, has a sexual intent behind it. Playful escalation seems safer to girls who already know you because it’s what brothers and sisters do. But it’s also what boyfriends and girlfriends in a comfortable relationship do, so it’s a great way to escalate and trigger enjoyable feelings of sexual tension.
Often, you can physically escalate the kino to get a girl primed for a kiss close. But you can also use verbal escalation to get her in the mood and bring in some sexual tension. Most guys won’t do it, or at least won’t do it smoothly. Here are some routines and lines that can be used:
“Cool, you’re my new girlfriend.”
“You look like you’re imagining kissing me.” This is a good one, because it isn’t asking if she wants to kiss you, but if she responds positively the kiss is on. If she wasn’t imagining kissing you already, she wil after this. Watch her look at your lips! Then you can say, “Okay, now you are.”
Take her pulse. Then say, “I knew it: you are attracted to me.”
When you’re having a conversation, stop and look at her breasts. Check them out blatantly. When she asks, “What are you doing?” or ca ls you on it, put a finger up to signal “Wait,” then look up and say, “Okay, carry on.” It’s very funny.
“What’s your favorite fruit?… Wow, I’ve never eaten (strawberries) off a naked woman before!”
“The other day, I heard a girl get hit on by the craziest line. A guy said, ‘Imagine me going down on you a l night.’ Now I don’t know about you, but…” “How much would you like to kiss me?”
“On a scale of one to ten, how dirty is your mind?”
“If you were in kissing school, what grade would you get? Let’s find out!”
The Kino-Escalation Process
All of the physical and verbal steps discussed in this chapter can sometimes be skipped and you can go straight for a kiss. That works sometimes. But to smoothly lead into a kiss, you need to ramp up the kino bit by bit.
The process below shows a smooth path from nothing to kissing. You can also combine this physical progression with some verbal sexual escalation (see “Sexual Spikes”):
Take hand (using excuse)
Touch hair (using excuse)