In the past year and a half, I’ve gone out a lot to meet girls. During this time, I’ve come across guys who have been going out longer than I have, but are still struggling to attract and connect with women. I’ve noticed that they often have trouble enjoying themselves, and frequently have negative beliefs about nightlife and girls in general.
I remember one time, I was out winging with a couple of guys at a local bar, and I noticed that they were scanning the crowd, like security guards looking for suspicious activity. Their faces were serious, and their body language was tense.
When I suggested going to the dance floor to approach a pair of cute girls, one sternly said, “We don’t dance.” They made it clear that they hated loud music, and bars and clubs in general. I know that their behavior and negativity affected my night, so I can imagine how it tainted their interactions with the girls they were trying to meet.
Something else I’ve seen is guys who get upset or offended by girls who don’t react the way that they hope they will. If they approach a girl, and it doesn’t go well, they blame her for ignoring, rejecting, or insulting them. They take these reactions personally, instead of looking within and trying to figure out what they did wrong or why their approach failed. I remember one guy justifying, “They’re not nice to me, so why should I be nice to them?” Another guy would often refer to girls as stupid.
Through these experiences, I’ve developed five principles that have made building social momentum easier and more enjoyable when I’m out meeting girls. Internalize these principles before you go out, because not having the right mindset can easily lead to frustration and discouragement, which will negatively affect your social experiences.
1. Have Fun!
This may be the most important principle, but it’s easier said than done, especially when you’re first starting out. Before getting into building my social and dating skills, I had only been to nightclubs on a few occasions. At the time, I was clueless about how to approach women, so I would end up just walking aimlessly around the dance floor.
Considering how socially isolated I was for so long, I found bars and nightclubs extremely intimidating. I wanted to have fun, but I just couldn’t. I was so anxious and tense that I couldn’t relax enough to start enjoying myself. But I overcame this anxiety by putting myself into these environments until I got used to them. It also helped to repeat this simple statement when I was out: “Have fun!”
As a general truth, a happy, fun guy is always more attractive than a serious, boring guy, which is why it’s important to make sure you’re smiling when go out to social environments to meet girls. However, this requires a certain amount of social calibration; the secret is to appear natural, not forced.
The first time I went out with the intent to smile more, I noticed that I was getting weird looks from some of the people I was smiling at. Thinking back, I was smiling too much, in a way that appeared fake and forced. It’s important to smile, but not constantly, and not with a cheesy full-eared grin. A great smile is both relaxed and confident.
Something else I’ve noticed is the serious-looking guys in the club, with what I call the “tough face.” I used to experiment with this when I first started going out, thinking it made me appear more manly, but I soon realized it didn’t help me to meet girls. If you’re just starting out, it’s important to make sure you’re giving off a happy and fun vibe and creating positive emotions.
When women are out in the nightlife scene, they want to have fun. They respond to how others make them feel, so a guy having a great time will automatically catch their eye and appear more attractive.
2. Be Positive
This principle is similar to the previous one, but relates more to your conversation content. Being negative is generally not fun (unless you make it into a satire or comedy), so it’s best to keep your conversations positive. People go out to bars and clubs to party and have fun and forget about their problems and stresses. Approaching a girl for the first time with a negative or complaining attitude will likely get you a quick rejection. Think about how you would feel if a girl approached you in this manner.
If you frequently find yourself in a negative state of mind, a common remedy is to take on a positivity challenge. The challenge involves going a certain number of days (7, 10, or 30 if you’re feeling really ambitious) without thinking or expressing any negativity. Instead, focus on happy, positive thoughts, things you are thankful for, etc. If you catch yourself thinking or speaking negatively for more than a minute, you have to start over from Day 1. Going through this challenge helps you become more aware of your thoughts and words, and will cultivate a habit of positivity, eventually replacing your base state of negativity.
I’ve also discovered that what you put into your mind affects how you feel. Consume positive, uplifting content in the form of books, podcasts, videos, etc. Comedy is another great thing to watch. Aim to get at least 10 minutes of laughter every day. It feels good and it’s beneficial for your physical health too.
If you have trouble smiling, purposely do it when you’re in private. I make it a daily practice to smile for at least five consecutive minutes (usually in the morning when I’m showering and getting ready for my day). Smiling relaxes the facial muscles, and creates a neurochemical effect in the brain that releases stress-reducing hormones. Do this exercise, and you’ll immediately notice an improvement in the way that you feel.
Finally, be aware of the people you surround yourself with. Are they pumping you up or bringing you down? Emotions are contagious, so if you find that you’re often in negative, pessimistic company, reduce the time you spend with these people and actively seek out more positive people.
3. Stay Active
When going out to meet girls, it’s a good idea to stay socially active and avoid going long periods between conversations. If you’re out mulling around by yourself, and suddenly you see an attractive girl, it will be much harder to approach her than if you had just talked to several other people in the last 10 minutes. Even if you do approach her, the conversation will probably not flow as well as if you had been building social momentum beforehand.
When you’re out, talk to everyone. Don’t limit yourself to just talking to girls that you’re attracted to. This might seem counterproductive, but talking to other guys, and other girls that you wouldn’t normally date, builds social proof and social momentum, and makes the next group that you approach more inclined to talk to you.
You might meet some new friends and expand your social circle in the process, and who knows, one of them might have a cute friend that they can introduce to you! It’s almost always better to be seen interacting with someone rather than standing by yourself.
Staying physically active is also important in nightlife venues, especially if you feel nervous and tense. I used to make the mistake of standing around on the edge of the dance floor and staring at girls. This comes across as creepy, and other people at the venue pick up on this vibe. If a girl sees you standing around doing nothing, and then suddenly you approach her to dance, the chances of her being receptive will be less than if she saw you dancing around and having fun beforehand.
Dancing and moving around is also a great way to release anxiety, loosen up, and get you into a more fun and energetic state of mind. And don’t feel like you need to be a professional dancer to dance in public! Most people in nightclubs haven’t taken dance lessons; they’re just moving around and not caring about others judging them.
Some quick tips for learning the basics of dance are observing other guys dancing in the venue and using some of their moves, or looking up videos online on how to dance in the club and practicing the basics before you go out. But ultimately, having fun and letting loose is more important than having the perfect moves.
Being non-reactive entails possessing a strong frame of mind and not allowing yourself to be affected by every little thing going on around you. It also includes not taking things personally and not being easily offended by others. I find that a lot of guys have trouble putting this principle into action.
Having a strong frame of mind in an interaction is important because it conveys confidence and intent. Possessing confidence and intent enables you to lead, and a girl usually looks to the guy to lead the interaction if she’s attracted to him.
For example, if you approach a girl and start talking with her, and she becomes anxious, and you allow her energy to make you uncomfortable, then you will end up making her feel more anxious. However, if she becomes anxious, but you remain confident and add some humor to loosen things up and make her laugh, she will feel more relaxed, comfortable, and confident in being with you.
At some point, you might come across aggressive guys in bars and clubs who challenge or insult you. Responding properly prevents someone’s negative energy from affecting you, and defuses the situation or the intent of the other person to bring you down. Some examples of having a strong frame of mind include responding calmly to anger and aggression, responding to an insult with wit or self-deprecating humor, or simply ignoring it altogether. Obnoxious behavior is often just an expression of insecurity, so remind yourself not to take anything personally.
Realize that in a bar or club environment, some women will act more aggressive or meaner than they would in normal everyday situations. Don’t be surprised if you get blown out or insulted. In certain situations, they might be frustrated with the other men who have approached them, or things that are out of your control. Even women that are attracted to you will often test to see how grounded you are. Responding properly will convey higher value and increase your attractiveness.
The best way to respond to blowouts or insults is to just laugh them off or respond with a bit of wit or humor. Getting upset, replying with an insult, or defending yourself conveys reactiveness and a lack of confidence. Responding in such a manner encourages people to mess with you more because it shows them that they can affect you.
Essentially, how you feel, and how you express yourself will dictate how people treat you and respond to you. There is a great quote by Gandhi that applies here: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” If you want a girl to feel comfortable with you, then you need to feel comfortable with yourself and communicate that to her.
5. Be Natural
Being natural can be hard to explain, but I think the best way to define it is to act spontaneous and not pre-planned. I’ve come across guys who have trouble creating spontaneous conversations or have trouble approaching girls in a way that way that doesn’t come across as pre-planned. When you first start going out to meet women, coming across as natural is super important, but difficult to put into action.
Regarding conversations, you generally don’t want to rely on opening with canned pickup lines, because you might give off a phony vibe, and more importantly, you won’t learn how to carry the conversation beyond that. If the line doesn’t elicit the response you expect, then what?
Some girls might find canned lines cute or funny, and it depends on how you say it, but a better strategy is to focus on your surroundings so you can start a conversation off something interesting that you observe. You can also simply go in with a basic greeting like, “Hi!” Then introduce yourself confidently, and go from there.
I also find that a lot of guys, including myself, get caught up with direct vs. indirect openers. I suggest trying one type of opener a certain number of times (10 or 20, for example), documenting the responses and receptivity, and then moving to another opener and repeating the process.
Doing this will help you discover what approach works best for you. It usually depends on the person, the situation, and how you are feeling, so don’t just blindly stick to the same approach every time. Ultimately, it’s not about what works best for you, but what works best with her, and this instinct develops with experience.
Don’t overthink what to say when you approach a girl for the first time. I used to worry about this a lot, but after several months of going out consistently, I started to realize that what matters more is how you say things, the energy you give off, and your body language. Now, I rarely ever think about what to say to a girl before I approach; I just go in and start talking. The less overthinking you do, the more easily the conversation will flow. Once again, you will develop this skill set with time, the more you go out and socialize.
I also find that guys have trouble coming off as natural when approaching girls during the day. A lot of guys into pickup tend to meet up in malls or at parks and stand around in big groups, looking around, and waiting for girls to pass. Not only does this not look natural, but it also looks suspicious and weird.
When meeting girls in the day, you want to be doing things that you would normally be doing. It’s always better to walk around, talk with a friend if you go with one, and make it seem like you are there doing errands, or at least something other than going out with the sole intention of trying to pick up girls. You want it to seem like you are busy with your daily routine, and then just happen to spontaneously meet her along the way.
But if a girl asks if you’re just walking around talking to girls, don’t express shame or embarrassment. Admit your intent by saying something like, “I’m always up for meeting a cute girl!” Say it confidently, like you own it, or in a humorous way, and the girl will usually respond positively.
Internalizing these five principles will help guard against the emotional distress that might occur if you go out with a bad mindset. It will enable you to enjoy the journey of building your social and dating skills, push past negativity, frustration, and doubt, and start realizing success at a faster rate. Now get out there and get social!