I’m a 27 year old female. I’m three years into my PhD studies in civil and environmental engineering, I have hobbies, play team sports, and participate in philanthropic activities. Oh yeah, and sometimes I go to bars, alone. I never go with the goal of finding a man, but usually to see a show, perform at an open mic night, or to just relax with a drink in a way that is not entirely anti-social. Maybe I’ll have a nice conversation, make a new friend, maybe I’ll run into someone I know. Maybe I’ll have a nice conversation and learn something useful. Maybe I’ll dance or play pool. I consider it to be healthier to relax in a social environment than alone. I’m an extrovert and this is how I function best.
Sometimes, guys talk to me, and that’s just fine. As long as a guy is not completely obnoxious, I’ll talk to him: it’s polite. I can push him away if he over-steps his bounds. Again, this is when I’m alone and meeting men is not my primary goal.
So a while back, I had a conversation with a male friend (who has relatively little sexual experience) about picking up girls. When I told him that certain techniques of the pick up artist community were in fact, perfectly reasonable, and even preferable to some techniques ‘nice guys’ use, he was horrified. Here are the techniques I like, and why I prefer them.
1. Approach a woman. No, I don’t want to be stared at. Say hi. If a woman shuts you down before you say anything, she was not worth it anyway. Worst that can happen is that she can reject you, and if you stare creepily from across the room, she’ll probably do that anyway. Don’t put a stranger on a pedestal, she’s a human being you can talk to.
2. Have a good opener. Don’t start a conversation with “Hi, I saw you from across the bar and I want to buy you a drink.” Say something interesting or insightful. Ask for an opinion. If you tell woman you’re physically attracted to her, and she’s not attracted to you, you’ve already alienated her. Try a conversation. If she rejects you, presumably, you’ve gotten an interesting conversation and have gauged how she thinks. Also, saying something interesting sets you apart from the rest. I was once approached by a guy at a party. “I don’t remember you,” I said, apologizing.
“How do you not remember me? I’m Josh! I’m from Texas! We met 6 months ago at the Marlin!”
“Well, Josh from Texas, what did we talk about, remind me about yourself.”
“I’m Josh! I’m from Texas! I can’t believe you don’t remember me!”
The exchange was uncomfortable for both of us, I think I then wandered off to pour myself another drink. Now if Josh from Texas remembered an interesting conversation we had had, maybe we would have been able to have a nicer conversation.
3. Make sure the girl is having fun. As I said in my opening paragraph, I don’t go to the bar to get picked up, I go to have fun. If I’m happy to play pool, don’t try to corral me to the bar so you can buy me a drink. One Friday night I found myself at a bar with a girlfriend, and we played pool with her friends. An outside sidles beside me, and tried to start a conversation. Normal, non-creepy things “What’s your name?” “Where are you from?” “What do you do for a living?”. Every time he spoke to me, I had to stop thinking about the game, and lean in to talk to him, and then move away when it was time to take my shot. “Can I buy you a drink?” he asked. “No thanks,” I said, “It’s nice to meet you, but I’m playing pool.” The man became indignant. “Why not?” he asked.
“Because I’m happy here,” I replied. I had no interest in leaving my friend and my chosen activity so a man could talk me into a date I did not want.
4. If a woman is not interested, move on. So this is not exclusive to the pick-up community, and in fact, it is probably the advice your grandma would give you. While the pick-up community advises you not to get hung up on one girl because it is bad for your game, you should respect women who tell you that they are uninterested. Or women who play games with you. Ignore everything romantic comedies have taught you, and don’t talk to women who don’t seem interested in you
Apart from the above examples, many pick-up techniques are admittedly, manipulative and deplorable. Some techniques involve breaking down a woman’s confidence so that she tries to prove herself to you. Don’t do that. Present yourself as a confident, interesting person, and good women will find you themselves.