My Current Opener

Recently I put out my standard tweet asking for post ideas and Roderick was kind enough to respond. In fact, he’s going to get three posts for his efforts. The first one, today, is the opener I’m currently using, which I’ve pieced together over the years from numerous sources (check my Recommend Reading), and I’m going to focus on the structure and timing which underlies it.

To start, these are just the words, with a typical tease:

“Excuse me, stop, hi. I wanted to tell you something. I thought you looked cute, but that’s not what initially caught my attention. When I saw you I thought, with this red coat, that you looked just like a little strawberry.”

That is the tip of the iceberg, and on it’s own, could take five seconds to say. Now let’s break that down now and describe the entire first ten to twenty seconds of this hypothetical set, including what happens beforehand:

I’m walking down the street and see a girl coming towards me who I’d like to approach. Once she’s about five metres away I’ll make direct eye contact with her to see if she will give me an IOI. In this case I would count an IOI as anything more than polite, regular eye contact (think about how your own eyes look around as you walk). If she looked at me, then away, then back to me, I’d count that as a strong IOI, as well as, of course, if she maintains eye contact as we walk past each other. It’s important to keep eye contact up to the point where she’s passing you, if you’re looking for an IOI, because she might give you a sly side-glance as you come abreast. Girls are aware of eye contact and its meaning and so if you approach off the back of more-than-polite eye contact then the sexual frame of the conversation is already set (pun intended). I’d recommend leaving the IOI unsaid, however, as it is more covert and contributes to the I-know-that-you-know vibe. I don’t want me acknowledging her IOI to raise her ASD. If she doesn’t give me an IOI then I have to make an independent decision as to whether to approach her or not.

Regardless of whether she did, let’s say I am going to approach. I count off one second, turn straight around, and come back up the street arching around in front of her using whichever side has more space. This is my post on stopping, for reference. As I am walking back towards her, I’ll fix my tease in my mind for two reasons: to ensure I do actually tease her, and to add to the conviction in my words. I usually have stock teases in my head which relate to whatever colour she is wearing. In this example, it’s red, therefore the word that comes to mind is “strawberry.” Don’t think that your teases have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the better. Just have a few in your back pocket and fix them in your mind as you walk up to her.

Now comes the actual speaking, with comments in square brackets:

“Excuse me, stop, hi.”

[As per the post on stopping, I’ll continue saying these kind of “stop” words until she physically stops moving]

“I wanted to tell you something.”

[This will immediately grab her attention because it is an open loop regarding her. I don’t bother with saying “I was walking along and I saw you and I thought to myself – (pause) – …” because I immediately want her to have some interest in what I’m going to say. It doesn’t matter what you think, it is what she thinks of herself.]

“I thought you looked cute, but,”

[I leave the “but” hanging so that she knows there is more information to come. Lots of guys give a girl a compliment and then stop talking, or start stacking, and all it telegraphs is “I find you attractive, please talk to me.”]

“But that’s not what initially caught my attention.”

[This is more of the same. I’ve dangled the extra information in front of her and am making her wait for it. Remember when you were in school (or perhaps nowadays if you’re like me) when you would offer something to someone then draw it back once they reached for it. This is just like that.]

“When I saw you… I thought… that with this red coat on… that you looked just like a little strawberry.”

[I won’t string out the final part of the opener as much as the rest because I don’t want to annoy her with the slowness. Some Daygamers take the “speak slowly” element too far and it makes them sound like they are trying to remember a script (which they might well be). In practice, consider there to be one second pauses between each line, and that each ellipses here represents half a second.]

And from there she’ll either laugh or banter back at you, if she likes you, or start to edge away or excuse herself if she doesn’t. If you did all of that, at a measured pace, with the pauses, you could probably get all the way to 20 seconds, which is more than enough time for a girl to decide whether to filter herself out or not.

Now, even though this was just about opening, there are a couple of lessons to be taken forward into everything you say to a girl. The first is that you can create open loops, but more generally: never tell her everything, straight away. You can always build suspense into what you say by delaying the flow of information. The second is that girls (just like every human) are primarily interested in themselves, and not what you think or say.

Yours unfaithfully,

Thomas Crown

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