First of all, don’t call it ‘picking up chicks’, call it ‘meeting women.’ Fortunately, I can only offer you advice from my own life and my own observation. I feel it’s time to share my wisdom with the world. I’m a big fan of playfully messing with social norms and seeing how people respond, especially in settings like bars, day parties, clubs, and pregames. Why? Because everyone’s getting drunk with similar hopes and expectations; to have fun, to laugh, to lose themselves to dance, to have a story to tell their coworkers come Monday morning.
1. The 21st Century Woman
The game has changed. In our social media world of overexposure, we can creep on a person’s profile to learn a little about them before we engage in conversation. Ironically, social media has made meeting new people ‘strange’ – or worse – ‘creepy’. This means women have their Creep Guard turned up to the max, and if you have no mutual friends who can vouch for your sanity, it’s like starting a basketball game ten points down.
In order to recover from the deficit, you need to establish you’re normal/sane/down-to-earth within the first 10 seconds. After you introduce yourself, she’s holding her breath hoping you’re not a total creep, waiting for that sigh of relief. If I had to overly define this process, I’d say it should happen on the third ‘beat’ of the conversation:
You: “Establishing normalcy”
There’s a variety of ways to establish normalcy, but the best way is to be honest.
2. Be Honest
Women are more emotionally perceptive than men and it’s been proven by countless studies, so if your facial expression and tone of voice don’t match the contents of your words, her Creep Guard rings to warn her you might be full of shit.
If you start exaggerating or lying about your life, if you have a scripted conversation ready and aren’t listening to her, if you just spent ten minutes in the bathroom getting into character, you’re fucked. I think when women say they’re attracted to ‘confidence’, it’s confidence in your knowing who you are, not confidence that you’re the shit and have life figured out.
I tried lying to a woman once…
I was crashing on a female friend’s couch after a night class, so when I got there late she was in her pajamas. I hadn’t eaten, but I already decided if she asked I’d lie because I didn’t want to inconvenience her:
“Are you hungry?”
“Oh, no. I’m fine, thanks. I stopped on the way.”
I laughed because I really thought I sold that, and it was such an innocuous lie. She insisted on making some incredible mac and cheese because she’s a saint, and I insisted on doing the dishes because I’m a fan of reciprocation. If I can’t get away with that lie, you sure as shit can’t get away with telling her you’re Justin Bieber’s cousin. Why would you even want to?
3. Don’t Fear Rejection
I have two sisters, several female friends, a couple ex girlfriends, and I had a female roommate in college, so you can trust me when I say men and women aren’t that different. Try and view the situation from her point of view. It won’t turn you gay, I promise. As you’re approaching her, she’s thinking several things, but they’re probably something like this:
“I hope he’s normal…I hope he’s nice…I must look good tonight…I wonder what he’s going to say…I hope he’s not awkward when I tell him I have a boyfriend…”
The majority of the time I think women give us the benefit of the doubt. Humans are social creatures, and as women are more sensitive than men, they’re not going to shoot you down so hard the entire bar erupts in laughter at your expense. Unless you deserve it or she’s a sociopath.
It’s like when you watch an embarrassing moment in a movie and you almost look away, women don’t want to be the cause of that emotional distress because then they’ll feel it too. And who’s gonna want to approach her after witnessing that?
She knows you’re putting yourself out there because you think she’s attractive, and even if she doesn’t let you buy her a drink, you should be happy knowing you made someone else feel good about themselves.
4. Be Super Random
Let’s get deep real quick; human interaction is guided by social norms which serve as general outlines for ‘appropriate’ conversation and behavior. When meeting someone for the first time I think these guidelines are the strongest, and thus we have rehearsed answers for:
“Where are you from? What do you do? How do you know the host?”
You’ve answered these questions so many times it’s become an unconscious routine, which is boring and tells you little about her. Break her expectations and break out of that routine. Ask her something she doesn’t see coming – something for which she has no scripted answer. Why? Because it’s memorable, hilarious, and tells you more about her. Here’s a random example of how it might go:
You: Hi, I’m ______
Her: I’m ______
You: What’s your favorite Britney Spears song?
Her: Britney Spears song?
You: Ya, like if you had to pick one.
Her: Ooooh…that’s tough…
You: So you’re a fan, too.
Her: Umm…I don’t know, you go first.
You: No no wait, I’ll make it multiple choice; Oops I Did it Again, Toxic, Everytime…One of those answers is a deal-breaker.
Her: I didn’t know we had a deal.
You: Well, there’s a 33% chance we don’t.
There’s lots of funny stuff happening in this conversation. She definitely didn’t see it coming, you’re talking about Britney Spears which breaks gender stereotypes, she’s overthinking a stupid question, and somehow one of those answers is a deal-breaker. Once you laugh off how ridiculous that intro was, you have an established level of comfort, which allows you to find out more about her.
5. Try These
These are some random conversation starters I’ve tried in the past. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, that’s life. If you don’t try you’ll never know what could’ve been; what if she’s your future wife? Remember that one scene in ‘Back to the Future’ where Marty McFly has to convince his dad to dance with his mom or he’ll cease to exist? Should you take each approach this seriously? Absolutely not.
“Hi, I’m _____”
This one’s great. You’re talking to your friend at the bar and as soon as you lock eyes, ignore your friend and your surroundings. Move towards her like she’s magnetizing you. No one exists except for you and her, and your face has an expression like you’ve just seen god. As you make a slow, dazed approach, her mind is racing, “Oh my god, what the fuck is he going to say?” and then you simply introduce yourself. She bursts out laughing and you laugh, too. When you laugh and break from your dumbstruck look, she’ll know you were creating dramatic tension for a funny, and you’ll have a great start. It’s simple, but you have to sell it.
“My heart’s beating really fast right now, I forgot what I was gonna say.”
This one shows an immediate honesty and vulnerability. You’re being real, because your heart really is beating fast and she was expecting you’d try and be suave with some cliché line.
“Oh no, pretend you’re talking to me right now, please, please…”
It has to be abrupt and you have to look scared, then keep talking and darting your eyes back and forth. Run through the typical questions: “What’s your name? Where are you from? Do you like turtles?” After a couple seconds, look over your shoulder and say something like, “Ok, they’re gone. Thanks, you just saved my life…” Now you can make up some bullshit about a creepy girl who wont leave you alone or some dude who wants to fight you. Even if she doesn’t believe your bullshit, she’ll admire the effort in getting her attention.
“Hey the bartender accidentally gave us an extra drink, do you two want to play rock-paper-scissors for it?”
I’ve saved the best for last, my personal creation and favorite. You and a friend position yourselves next to two girls at the bar, order three drinks, and really sell that this was an accident. The part about the extra drink doesn’t even matter at this point because you just asked her to play rock-paper-scissors against her friend.
Think about it from her perspective; there’s almost no way she’s thinking this was planned, she’s never played rock-paper-scissors in a bar, and if she declines she’s kind of boring. If she declines a ‘no strings attached’ game with a 50/50 chance of winning a prize, you must smell terrible or something. I’ve seen this play out where the girls go back and forth seven times before a winner emerges, which makes them laugh, you laugh, and breaks the ice like no other.
Now go forth with confidence. Be yourself, make her laugh, share your life with her, inspire her belief in herself and she’ll do the same. Grow together, love each other, make babies, love those babies, love those babies’ ba…ok I’m done.