When you first walk into a venue, or onto the streets, or wherever you go to practice approaching women and starting conversations – you’ll likely feel cold, unsocial, and this will be hard. Very hard if you’re completely inexperienced. You’ll feel a lot of pressure, and that pressure can consume some guys. They go out with the best intentions, but then proceed to sink further and further into their heads, getting more and more paralysed. Anyone who’s experienced in this, knows all too well that that first approach is always the hardest.

Warming Up

One of the most important things that you’ll learn on this path is to be more in control your own emotional state. And an effective way to do this here is by warming up. Yes, warming up. That’s to say, I want you to consider your first couple of approaches of any session – day or night – to just be warm ups. They don’t count for anything. Their only purpose is to get you going, to get you into a chatty, flowing state, and to get you over that initial speed bump. When you essentially force yourself to chat to one or two people, even just briefly, there are changes, both physiological and psychological, that take place. There’ll be a release of some of the tension and pressure, and you’ll start to feel more comfortable and enthusiastic about talking to people. You’ll feel that little bit more confident. This doesn’t apply to everyone – some guys find it incredibly easy to socialise and to get going from the start, but others (most), find it tough to get started. And some loosen up after one or two approaches, for others it takes longer. Ironically, even if these warm up approaches go badly, they generally have the same positive result. And once you’re warmed up and are in this more comfortable state, approaching women and having better, longer conversations, will be much easier.

As you get more advanced, this won’t apply to you anywhere near as much. You won’t have to be always be chasing this ‘state’ nor will you have to warm up in order to talk to a woman. You’ll have done it enough in the past to be more confident with it, and you’ll naturally be more in control of your emotional state. But when you’re new and inexperienced, and especially if you already struggle socially, this will be absolutely essential.

These warm up approaches can be very short. They can be only one line if you like – a comment, a compliment, a question, whatever – and you have no expectation from them. You don’t want or need any outcome, you’re just asking how someone’s night is going at the bar, or what they’re drinking, or asking a simple question during the day, and then generally leaving. You’re just getting over that initial speed-bump. You might not even be interested in the girl or the group. It’s perfectly ok to warm up by chatting with women just because they’re there, even if you aren’t attracted to them. A lot of new guys only want to talk to the attractive women. They get their egos involved and they don’t see any value in just chatting with anyone at the start. For this reason alone, they tend to stay in an unsocial state of mind all night, and don’t get anywhere.

Examples of Warm Up Approaches

At night, this can be simply saying “Hi how are you?” to the woman standing next to you at the bar. It could be holding your drink up and saying “Cheers” to someone walking past. It could be asking if someone is there for the same event as you. It could be approaching a couple of women with “Hi guys, how’s it going over here”, asking how their night is going, before saying “Great stuff. Have a good night!” My first interaction of this past weekend was started with simply “You look warm” to a girl standing next to me at the bar, wearing a fur vest. Remember, you don’t need a reason to talk to women in bars, it’s socially acceptable and normal to just approach and start a conversation. That’s the beauty of bars, you can literally walk up to a group and say “Hi, I just wanted to come and say hello. How’s it going?”

Through the day, I see some guys warming up by asking directions or asking the time, but personally I wouldn’t recommend this (who asks for the time in 2017?). Nor would I consider talking to women working in stores as good warm ups. Some people would disagree with me on that, which is understandable, but I believe that even warm ups need to be a little tough – that’s what’ll give you that nice little burst of energy afterwards. I consider directions/time/women working in stores to be just too easy and lacking in any real intention. Some people find them helpful – great. If that works for you, do it. But I feel that you’ll need something resembling an actual approach in order to get you over that speed bump of hesitation. Chatting to the lady at the counter of the supermarket, although it’s lovely to do, just isn’t going to push you enough in my opinion and won’t kick you out of a flat state. It’s too safe, too easy. Through the day, I would look to do more observations, comments, compliments, direct approaches.

Obviously if a warm up goes really well, don’t leave. But the point of a warm up approach (I actually hate that term, it’s killing me to write it repeatedly, but it gets the point across), is that there’s no pressure on you to do anything. The thing is that most guys actually don’t have as much anxiety about the approach as they do about what comes after the approach. Most guys are more worried about what to say after the opener, than the open itself – “What is the approach goes well … THEN what do I say!?” This little exercise of warming up can help you get over this by focusing on just the approach, just the opening line, just that first little first step, and not what comes after it because you can leave immediately if you want to. The idea is to take all the pressure off what comes next. You go in knowing what you’re going to say to start, you say it, and then you can just bail out. There are no expectations, you need nothing from them. I personally would recommend even expecting them to go pretty roughly. Just go in knowing that you will likely get blown out and be ok with this (making it ironically less likely to happen).

Most Guys Don’t Understand This Concept

I really believe that the main reason why 90% of the guys that you see out in bars are inevitably just standing around not talking to any women, is because they don’t understand this fundamental concept of starting small and getting the ball rolling (i.e. warming up). Most guys can’t let their ego go, so they stand around all night waiting for that one hot girl to come, and then when she does, they can’t approach her because they’re still in a cold, non-social state of mind. They can’t go from 0 to 100 when it matters. Again, more experienced/confident men can absolutely walk into a bar and approach the women that they want to and be in a good state from the get-go. That’s the ideal place to get to, but it’s just not a reality for most new guys.

Be Ok With Starting Small

So step one of any session is to warm up. Very often guys mistake not being able to approach with simply not being warmed up. If you’re wandering around unable to approach or talk to anyone, find something that you can do. Find the smallest, easiest of approaches. Nothing is too small when you’re in a cold, negative, afraid state of mind. This is how you get started. It’s a decision that you make before you head out – that one of the first opportunities that you see to talk to someone, you will. I’m not saying to desperately run after the first woman that you see, I’m just saying that something like “Excuse me … I just wanted to say that I love your hat” (or whatever) is not below you when you’re starting out. I don’t care if it’s the crappiest approach imaginable, I don’t care if it’s with a woman that you would never date – just do it, and then be proud of your small step.

I couldn’t count the amount of times I’ve seen a guy out who is super stressed because he can’t approach – “I’m just not feeling it tonight” – so I help him find a woman or group that is easy to get started with, he goes in with a simple compliment or question, and then returns with a completely different energy. All (or a lot) of the stress has melted away. Sometimes it takes just one approach, sometimes it takes a few, but again, any ‘failure’ is getting you closer to success, while teaching you so much about yourself and your emotions in the process.

So don’t wait all day or all night for the perfect girl or the perfect opportunity to present itself. Don’t look at a girl and debate if you will or won’t talk to her based on if you’d date her or not. Discipline yourself to push through your own bullshit. Everyone wins here – you and the girl. You’re here to do things differently to how you usually do them. I know that some of you reading might be already thinking “What the hell kinda world have I entered? This isn’t me!” – but you may have to be open to doing things that don’t feel very ‘you’ if you’re sick of what you’re getting (or not getting). You must be ok with potentially messing up approaches, you must be ok with failure, you must be ok with a couple women potentially thinking that you’re weird. Again, if you think highly enough of yourself, this won’t bother you. Also, you must be ok with this not being all about you. Good game and being good with women is not just all about you getting dates – it’s also about contribution and making others feel good too, which is why I hope that you read how to deal with approach anxiety.

Homework

1. Imagine No Date Ever Again

Take a moment now to imagine that your dating life stays exactly as it is right now, for the rest of your life. Imagine that nothing changes and nothing improves. You stay exactly as you are now, with exactly what you have or don’t have, until the day you die. The same amount of dates, women, connection, confidence – forever.

Now, I want you to come to terms with this future. I want you to come to peace with it. I want you to ask yourself how you’d find happiness in this hypothetical future, if it did happen. I feel that this can be an incredibly powerful exercise. We can get so addicted to a future that we make up in our heads, a future that we’re aspiring to, working towards, a future that we think will be better. And sometimes we want and chase that so much that we actually strangle our progress, and prevent what we want from coming to us. Or when it does arrive, perhaps it’s not in the exact form that we’d imagined, so we miss it because we have horse-blinkers on, pointing at this specific ideal future.

Sometimes in order to get more positive results, you just need to just let go and accept life as it is. In my coaching, I’ve seen many men and women who want a girlfriend, boyfriend, love, validation, marriage, etc. so badly that they just don’t allow it to come to them. Often the lessons are right there in front of them, but are missed, because he/she is so focusing on getting exactly what they want, when they want, and exactly how they want it.

So really take a minute to think about this. Even note down something in your journal if you like. How would you live? How would you find happiness if your situation never changed or improved? How could you still enjoy life without finding that wife? Take it to the extreme and imagine that you’ll never have  a date ever again – how would you find peace within that? What would make you happy? What would your life have to look like?

A popular self-help idea is to imagine a shitty future and use that as leverage to take action now. If that works for you, great, but personally I think that it’s much more powerful to come to complete peace with the worst case scenario possible. That’s true freedom in my opinion. And then any action coming from a place of pure acceptance is going to be much more powerful. Like I said previously, the hardest guys to coach and the ones who struggle the most are the ones who are obsessed with being “fixed” or “getting there” right now.

If you’re thinking “It would completely suck and life would not be worth living!” then I’m concerned for how well you’ll do in this. I feel that a better answer would be something like “Yes, it really would suck. But I live in a great city, and I do like my job. I could still work on my health and my financial freedom. I could maybe travel the world. I’d hate not being able to share that with someone, but I think that I could still find peace and happiness in life itself.

You can use this on whatever goal you are working on – just imagine a life without the thing that you really want, and find peace within that. Then come back to reality and continue working your arse off for it. You might also like reading how to live a happy life and make a promising career.