A few weeks ago, I was out with a couple of our coaches, and we ran into a guy who had been attending our free Dating Foundations Series classes for several weeks. He approached a woman and they seemed to hit if off. They chatted for a few minutes, during which she was laughing and touching his arm.
But then he made the ultimate newbie mistake. After she gave him her number, he left and went back to his buddies.
He thought he had played it super solid. His buddies congratulated him and patted him on the back. He played with his phone a bit, I guess to look at the number in triumph, or to back up the number on iCloud in case he lost his phone.
The next week, I saw him again in our lecture. He lingered a bit after the class, so I asked him what had happened with that girl the previous weekend.
He shifted his weight a bit. “Oh, I texted her a couple times, but she didn’t respond.” He tried to brush it off like it was no big deal, but I could tell it bothered him.
He made a very common mistake: he thought that getting the woman’s phone number was the goal of the interaction, when in fact a phone number is just a bridge to a second meeting.
I explained that unless there is a real obstacle–for example her friend meets her who she hasn’t seen in years and they want to catch up–he should get her number, but then progress the interaction as far as possible while she’s physically in front of him. This builds investment and makes it more likely that she’ll respond to his texts.
More importantly, why would he try to set up a date via text later that week when they could have an instant date right then and there? With that said, sometimes I can’t or don’t want to spend the rest of the night with one woman. If it’s early, I might want to go back to hanging out with my friends or meet more people.
In these cases I take her number, but only because I can’t or don’t want to progress the interaction then and there and I want a bridge to do so later on.
I make this clear to the woman by suggesting something specific we can do together in the near future, and using this as a reason to get the number, as opposed to just taking the number for the sake of taking it. I find that making a specific plan makes the number exchange go smoother and gives her something to remember me by when I text her later.
This last bit is very powerful.
Several years ago, I was visiting my parents in California and met a girl at a concert. The band sucked but they were on a national tour, so we joked about her moving to New York and starting a band with me. I was with my old friend though and couldn’t spend all night with her, but suggested we hang out again, so she added me on Facebook and that was that.
Two years later she actually did move to New York. She sent me a Facebook message asking if we were going to follow through with starting a band. Two weeks later she wrote on my wall, “When’s band practice already??!!”
We didn’t start a band, but we did date for several months. That she was new in town certainly made her more assertive. But the band plot line–that we had a specific plan–gave her a good reason to reach out.
Your plans can be much simpler than this. If you meet a woman and she agrees to meet you for coffee the next day, that will provide a reason for you to communicate in the future–”When’s coffee??”–that will make setting up the date much easier.
This method for getting numbers and dates works better than anything else I’ve ever tested, and I’ve tried almost everything.