Last week I wrote an article entitled Why Day Game Is The Secret Sauce You Need to Consistently Meet and Attract Women. In it, I introduced the concept of day game, explained its benefits in comparison with night game, talked about reasonable expectations you should have going in and the kinds of skills you’ll need to get good. This week I go deeper into the topic by discussing “openers”—what you should actually say when talking to a woman you’ve never met for the first time—and tackle the age old question of whether it’s better to go direct or indirect.
What Is An Opener?
Picture the scene. It’s 11:30 am and you’ve just snuck out of the office to walk around the block and clear your head after staring at spreadsheets for the last three hours. As you head for the coffee shop on the corner, in your peripheral vision you register a vision of beauty—long hair, slim waist, and tapered legs revealed by a short pencil skirt. You turn to look at the girl. Indeed, her face is as beautiful as you had intuited. You feel a strong biological pull, right down at the level of DNA. Ancient forces are drawing you towards her. But fear roots you to the spot. You could never simply just go and talk to a girl like that. After all, what would you say?
You pause for a second, observing her as she passes. And now the moment has gone, as it always does. Regretful and a little sad, you go to pick up your latte before returning to your desk. I suspect that all of us have encountered something like this at least once in our lives. For me, memories of girls who “got away” can linger for months, sometimes years afterwards. But what causes our reticence in these situations? In my view it is a combination of fear and lack of an opener—that is, something to say to a stranger without coming across as weird or creepy.
First a quick note about fear. Due to ancient bio-evolutionary factors that are of very little relevance in the twenty-first century, the sight of an exceptionally attractive women appears to instill a “fight or flight”-style mentality in most men that prevents them from approaching her. While this is instinctual and beyond our control, it is also completely unnecessary and counterproductive. As Roosh notes in Day Bang, a 100,000-year old impulse designed to protect us from dangerous enemies and predators has little use on today’s dating scene. Think about it—if you go up and talk to that cute girl in the gym, what is the worst that can happen? Probably that you will have a few second’s innocuous chit-chat and then she’ll politely excuse herself and go back to what she was doing before.
It’s hardly armageddon, is it?
Still, approach anxiety can be challenging, and for some completely destabilizing, at least at first. Really the best way through is simply to “feel the fear and do it anyway”, but Roosh has some great visualization tips in Day Bang that have really helped me over the years.
Now we come on to the meat of the topic—the opener. What exactly do you say to an attractive woman you’ve never met before but would like to get to know when she’s walking down the street, picking up her dry cleaning, or browsing the philosophy section of the local book store? In essence there are only two ways you can go, direct or indirect.
A direct approach means that you go up to the girl and make plain your romantic and sexual interest in her. An indirect approach is where you go up and talk about something else—usually something situational—as a means to initiating a conversation and hopefully getting her phone number in the process.
Direct and indirect each have their good and bad points. In the next sections I give you examples of both methods as well as discussing their advantages and disadvantages. Be aware, though, that there is significant debate among men about which approach is better. Only you will know what works best for you depending on your aptitudes and the particular situation in which you find yourself.
A direct opener is when you walk right up to a girl you’ve never met before and make your intentions plain immediately. Examples of direct openers I’ve used are: “Hey, you’re beautiful. [Holds hand out to shake] I’m Troy”; or “I noticed you walking by—you’re really cute so I had to come over and say hi.”
Advantages: There’s something very masculine about being unashamed and open about your intentions and desires. A man who has the balls to walk right up to a woman sober and tell her he thinks she’s hot is rare, and therefore attractive. Just by making the approach you’ll go up a couple of points in her estimation, particularly if you give the impression that this is something you’ve done before with good results. It also has the benefit of separating the wheat from the chaff—you will very quickly filter out time-wasters and it’s very difficult to get put in the friend zone when you’ve made your interest explicit in this way
Disadvantages: Direct is a high-risk, high-reward strategy. If a girl is even a little favourable to your look or vibe and you approach her directly then it will blow her away, and you’re likely to get a phone number and a date out of it. But other girls may reject you right off the bat, whereas had you gone in a little more “under-the-radar” with indirect you would have had time to build up the attraction over a longer period.
Approach a girl in whom you are interested and talk about any other topic apart from the fact that you are attracted to her and you’re opening indirectly. In day game encounters, indirect openers tend to be situational. So you might for example ask a passing girl where the nearest pet shop is, or how to get to the train station as a way of initiating a conversation.
In Day Bang Roosh advocates what he calls “elderly openers.” One major difference between day and night game is that during the day you should be a lot lower energy and less cocky-funny. In fact, a better strategy is to err on the side of being a little dull in the early stages of an interaction so as not to “scare the cat.” An elderly opener is where you imagine what an elderly person might say to a stranger while striking up a conversation and using something similar on a girl. So for example if you meet at an airport you might ask her where she got her luggage from, how durable it is, whether she finds it suitable for long and short haul trips and so on.
Please note that such chat is not intended to get her panties wet and will not in itself land you a date with her. What it will do though is begin a conversation and give her the opportunity to demonstrate that she is open to talking. You can then transition on to other topics.
Advantages: Going indirect usually gives you more time time to demonstrate your personality (“deliver your value”) and thus to build attraction and rapport. Phone numbers obtained through solid indirect approaches can often be less flakey than from quick direct approaches. This is because if you’ve talked for longer on neutral topics the girl will be more likely to feel that she “knows” you when you ask her out for a date; whereas the “heroin shot” of a direct approach where you reveal your attraction can wear off quickly, leaving her with the accurate impression that in fact she has no idea who you are.
Disadvantages: Transitioning from a conversation about luggage to something more flirtatious can be tricky. Plus, if you’re not that experienced you might find yourself being put in the “friends” box more often than not.
Roosh has an obvious preference for indirect game and discussed his reasoning here:
Many say direct game is “better,” but unfortunately we’re not able to conduct scientific studies to prove either side. Even my conclusions are based only on experience and anecdotal evidence. The main problem I have with direct game is this: it shows your cards right away and forces the girl to make a decision before you build up any value besides your appearance and confidence. That’s not enough for the majority of Western girls. You’re not giving her the time and information she needs to weigh the pros and cons on sleeping with you. Instead, immediately after the opener, you force her to decide right then and there if she wants to get involved. She’ll bow out (“Sorry I have a boyfriend”), or just be nice to you for the flattering attention.[…]
The more value you have, in terms of looks and status, the more direct you can go where you can approach girls saying they’re beautiful and bang that night without problems. But if you’re a random guy off the street who needs to study game to get the girls he wants, chance are you don’t have that initial value where you will be rewarded for your direct opener.
Wherever the indirect vs direct argument stands, the truth is that you’ll have to try both and measure your results. Some men, based on their appearance and vibe, will do far better with one than the other. If you’re new to day game, don’t take the experts word for it: try each one 50 times and measure your result.
Look out for next week’s day game article, where I’ll be talking about how to maintain a conversation once you’ve opened, and how to go in for the close.
Roosh has some great tips on how to develop your day game in his classic book Day Bang, home of the “elderly chat” strategy and the now infamous “pet shop” line. Day Bang, which I will be referencing throughout my day game series, is a 201-page book that solely focuses on approaching women during the day. Using dozens of examples, it teaches you how to meet girls in common daytime venues like the coffee shop, retail store, street, bookstore, and grocery store, among others. It’s available on paperback, Kindle, or ebook. Click here to learn more about Roosh’s book.