Just Get to the Point

As promised, this is post two of three based on Roderick’s request. Today will be all about getting to the point.

The best way to approach this problem, in my opinion, is to simply speak/message less. If you say “the more we wrote, the faster the conversation died,” then isn’t the blindingly obvious solution to be “write less?” Don’t underestimate the power of silence, especially if you’re someone who speaks too much, which can make you appear overeager. Roderick seems to be having a problem of using too much comfort, and not enough escalation. He’s getting numbers but they are dying out. Instead, those numbers should become dates, and then lays. And so let’s look at how he can say/do less, to achieve more.

Putting first things first, let’s start before the number, with the set itself. The common wisdom goes that a typical set is five to ten minutes long. Sounds fair enough. But if you’re doing ten minute sets, why not nine minutes? If you’re doing five minute sets, why not four minutes? As Krauser often mentions, he thinks more about having a checklist in his head which he ticks off during a set. I agree with this approach. So after getting my opener out (and she’s still standing there, implying she has some level of interest and availability) I’ll want to touch her in some way – by commenting on a piece of jewelry or clothing, for example – and go over three topics of conversation, which are usually where she’s from, what she does for work or whether she studies, and what she’s doing right now. Once that’s ticked off, I’ll go for a number close, which leads to an average set time of three to five minutes.

“But you’re not doing enough comfort” or “but you didn’t ground the set” someone might say. My belief is that “grounding” a set is a bit of a myth and that as long as you don’t literally go from the opener straight into the close, you’ll be fine. If she needs something to remember you by then you can be “the guy who approached her on the street.” And in terms of comfort, do you really think that discovering whether she prefers cats or dogs is going to be the marginal point of conversation which leads to the lay? It doesn’t really matter.

Now, I’m not saying cut her off mid-sentence so that you can number close her, of course; if you’re having a good conversation then let it flow and then end the set at the next natural cut-off point. What I am saying is that those extra few minutes aren’t doing you any good. You’re just risking the conversational vibe taking a nosedive because you went on for too long.

That’s it for the set, now for the texting. My general rule is that I send my date requests once I get investment from her, whether that’s because she sends me a message with high interest (long messages, fast responses, emoticons, exclamations, questions, etc.) or if she is still messaging me the next day. In the latter case, I assume that since the bubble has burst and she’s still messaging that she wants to meet, even though her interest has seemed “medium” so far.

Here are two example timelines. One:

  • Me: feeler
  • Her: high interest response
  • Me: ping to check the high interest wasn’t a fluke
  • Her: high interest response
  • Me: date request

And number two:

  • Me: feeler
  • Her: medium/regular response
  • Me [next day]: ping
  • Her: medium/regular response
  • Me: building into date request
  • Her: medium/regular response
  • Me: date request

And from there I’ll just ping her on alternate days until the date.

On the date, I wouldn’t consider rushing things with escalation, since if she’s there to meet you, you can assume more interest, and can filter less. But if you’re having a problem with dates to nowhere (but you had a “great conversation”) then consider implementing a formulaic escalation ladder for a month or so. Just promise yourself you’ll do three pieces of verbal and three pieces of physical escalation on all your dates for the next month and you’ll see what works.

And overlaying all of this, I’d recommend anyone suffering from this problem to ask themselves why it is that they over-talk or over-message. Is it because you’d rather settle for mediocre results rather than pushing for the win? One of the key mindset shifts from beginner to intermediate is that you should stop considering it a success when you perform basic tasks. You should have your eyes on (figuratively) larger prizes now. And so just having a nice conversation or having her respond to your message, is no longer a success. It’s just part of the process that leads to success. It can feel nice to push that dopamine button and get a girl to respond to your ping, but in the end you’re just treading water and not going where you really want to go.

Yours unfaithfully,

Thomas Crown

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