This is it. You’ve done it. You’ve plucked up the courage. Perhaps you’ve even followed the ‘3 second’ rule and gone up to her as soon as you spotted her. Whatever. You’ve made a direct approach. You’ve said ‘Hi, I think you’re kinda cute, I’m Troy.’ You’ve got over the very first hurdle that 95% of other guys wouldn’t even contemplate attempting. So here you are, standing in front of her. Now what?
If you break down approach anxiety, if you really analyse its constituent parts then it becomes apparent that it’s not actually the approach itself that guys are scared of. Of, to be more accurate, if we are scared of the approach it is because of our uncertainty around what comes immediately afterwards. After all, we know what we’re going to say when we open our mouths. It’s not too difficult to decide on a line, memorise it and then go and deliver it.
(Okay, I get that some guys are hyper-shy and find even that difficult, but you know what I mean. In principle we can all decide to say a particular thing then open our mouths and say it).
What guys are most intimidated about when they approach is what happens directly afterwards. We’ve delivered our perfect line in all it’s glory. If things stopped here, if all you had to do was walk up and say ‘Hey, you’re cute’ for her to say ‘Cool, let’s go have sex’ then no man would have any problem doing it and all game writing would be unnecessary. But it’s not like that. The trouble is, you went and spoke to a sentient human being. A stranger you know nothing about. And the ways in which she could conceivably react to you are in theory infinite.
That’s what makes approaching scary and exhilarating. We have no real idea what’s going to happen before we do it. The girl could be a complete loon. She could start shouting the place down, call the cops, throw a pint of water over your head, anything. On a more prosaic level, (and more realistically) she might rebuff your advance, say something cruel about you, laugh, or simply ignore you.
These things are unpalatable for most men because of our egos. We don’t like the idea of being seen to be shunned by a woman in public. However, if you are to become proficient at meeting and attracting women then you need to become resilient.
The most likely thing to happen when you cold-approach a girl you don’t know, in particular if you do a direct approach where you lay your cards on the table and tell her you like her straight-off, is that she will be somewhat skeptical, perhaps even cold, for the first couple of minutes of the conversation. It is here that you need a strategy. The worst thing you can do is simply walk off. Too many men give up too early and lose out on opportunities that could have paid off. No: what you need to do in a situation such as this is to plow.
‘Plowing’ is an old-school term dating back to Mystery method which describes the process of pushing through what might be an initially awkward interaction. If you do it proficiently then what often happens is that the girl will eventually loosen up and become friendly, chatty and generally open to you.
On Friday I approached a cute girl in a restaurant. She was sitting at a table alone, but right next to her were her two friends. Effectively it was three-set then. To add a little additional social pressure I asked my friend to film the encounter on my iPhone for me.
I decided to go direct. Going indirect in a restaurant in my view stretches believability a little too much (‘Hey, I couldn’t help notice you have the linguine. What sauce have they given you with that?’). I opted for a high-cheese strategy, basically satirising chodey romantic comedy films.
‘Hi guys,’ I said, addressing all three girls. ‘I’m sorry to intrude like this while you’re eating but I had to come over because I’ve just fallen madly in love with your friend.’
This was divisive. The girl I liked blushed and laughed and put a hand to her mouth. The two friends looked distinctly unimpressed and smiled weakly.
‘But I’m in a restaurant. I’m eating,’ said the girl.
Now, having had time to compose herself and no doubt to observe the demeanor of her friends, she was looking at me challengingly, as though I had committed some social faux pas. Which technically of course I had.
It’s Plow Or Die
In a moment such as this it really is plow or die. I’d already made an unusually flamboyant social gesture. Now the girl was testing me in front of her friends (and the other diners) to see what I was made of.
Put on the spot it might have been tempting to have backed down. ‘I’m sorry. Well, have a lovely dinner. It was nice to meet you.’ But had I done that I would have achieved precisely nothing.
Instead, I used another old-school game technique. I agreed and amplified.
‘Yes. It was incredibly rude of me. I don’t know what’s come over me. I’m not normally like this. You know us British men [the girls were Russian]. We tend to be very formal and afraid of our emotions. But when I saw you sitting there something in the universe paused, just for a moment. It was as though the planets stopped moving. As though all of the birds in the trees stopped singing, just for a second. As though all traffic stopped, all conversations, all the fish in the sea. And I knew at this moment that it was real love, love that could not be contained by the normal petty, empty social conventions that exist to hold us back, to tether us, to prevent us from expressing our true feelings . . . ‘
Etc. etc. etc.
I continued with this bullshit for a minute or so, until the girl started laughing and even her friends were cracking smiles. Of course, it’s all in the delivery, and with mocking eyes I made it clear that it was all ironic. It worked.
‘I’m a lucky girl,’ my target said. The ice had been broken. I pulled up the chair in front of her and we began talking normally. Now there was no resistance from her or the friends, who chatted amongst themselves. After ten minutes or so I left with her phone number.
How To Plow
The above is an example of a very particular form of game that I sometimes use—fake romanticism. If you haven’t done it yourself it’s worth a try—it’s a lot of fun. But the key thing I want you to take away about plowing is that it doesn’t really matter too much what you say, you just need to keep talking.
The most important thing about the speech I made in the restaurant wasn’t its content, but the fact that I made it at all. Let’s think about the subcommunications for a second. For one, I wasn’t intimidated by either the girls’ slightly frosty reception of me, or of the wider social situation. Two, I was able to talk fluently and at some length (even though what I was saying was bullshit). Three, I was humourous. Four, I had balls. Five [bonus point on content] I was socially savvy enough to parody stereotypical romantic conventions. In other words, just by continuing to talk I was able to raise my value in the eyes of this girl.
I am not recommending that you too should use ‘fake romanticism’ if it doesn’t suit you. I am recommending that you plow when you approach a girl that you like and she is standoffish. If you can just keep talking for a minute or so without her having to say anything then you will be surprised how likely she is to warm to you.