Let's be clear here: This is not just a list of places to go to pick up women, and if you take it that way, it's not going to be very helpful. Rather, these are ways to conduct yourself so that you'll be more open to meeting people -- specifically, women -- and will then potentially have the chance for those relationships to become something more.
As a general rule, women are more approachable and less suspicious when they meet guys through the course of a regular day and in an atmosphere when they feel at ease, as opposed to when a guy introduces himself in a more typical setting (bars or clubs, for example). For a lot of women, anything with a meat-market vibe is not ideal for meetin men, and if you go through this list motivated only by a slavering desire for sex, women will detect that insincerity, and you'll fool exactly nobody. Don't look at these as pickup strategies; just think of them as generally positive habits that happen to have an added benefit.
Plan Your Weekend Social Activities Mid-Week
Regardless of whatever proactive habits you have, meeting people requires you to get out into the world once in a while. When you do, It's better to be out with friends than out by yourself. That said, it sometimes takes real effort to get a routine-bound group of friends to do anything different or to get a lazy group of friends to do anything at all. Get people involved early in the week instead of waiting until the last minute.
Sign Up For Classes
Whether you're pursuing a degree, going to classes because they'll help your career, just interested in learning something new, or developing a skill, taking a class gives you an unparalleled opportunity for social interaction. Interaction is often mandatory; in fact, and you'll never have a better excuse for talking to someone than if you and she are literally required to critique each others' analysis of Whistler's Symphony in White.
Hit The Gym
Just to make this point again: The goal here is not to stroll up and hit on someone mid-workout. That's tactless, and it sends the wrong message. But going to the gym puts you in a situation where you're pursuing an admirable goal (physical fitness) in a visible way (visible without conspicuously preening and flexing and trying to stand out -- anyone who's interested can already see you, buddy). The rosters for classes at a typical gym are almost always primarily female.
Remember Stories/Discussions That Resonate
Most of us have at least a few go-to stories, ones we've told plenty of times knowing that they're exciting and likely to provoke the desired reaction. These are useful, because they take some of the pressure off what could be an awkward conversation, and they give you the chance to watch and react to your audience. Expand that inventory when you can. Always stay open to new stories or even just engaging discussions to file next to your "Lost in Vegas" and "Attacked by Bears" classics.
Figuring out the right time to introduce yourself depends on the situation. Ideally, you should be responding to some kind of acknowledgment from the woman (typically eye contact), and you probably shouldn't walk up and interrupt her when she's in the middle of something. But when you do, the important thing is to strike a balance between confidence and relaxation -- smiling, self-assured but not pushy. If this part is hard for you, well, that's why it's a habit you should start working on. It gets easier with practice.
Part of the motivation for this list is that meeting women can and does happen just about anywhere. You never know where and when you're going to run into someone absolutely stunning, but you'd better believe it'll happen on the one morning you skip your shower and stagger to work looking like a grungy failure. Taking care of your appearance shouldn't be something you only bother with when you're going out; it should be an indispensable part of your routine.
Use Dating Sites And Social Media To Fill Up Your Calendar
One of the most significant roadblocks to a vibrant social life is falling prey to regularity and routine; you're not meeting as many people as you could if you do the same thing every night and every weekend. It's important to branch out and do new things when you can. Facebook is instrumental in letting people publicize parties, shows and events, but don't stop there; something as simple as meeting up with people through Foursquare can be rewarding, and dating sites like OkCupid and Zoosk are surprisingly viable options.
Offer Help And Be Courteous
We're not trying to suggest that holding the door for someone with an armload of groceries or giving up your seat on the bus to an old lady is a way to meet women, and besides, it hopefully doesn't take the lure of sex to convince you to be a gentleman. But keep in mind that not doing those things is a pretty good way to look like an ass. And if it does take the thought of social repercussions to convince you to act like a decent guy, then consider that a beautiful woman could be watching every time you don't tip a waitress or cut off a driver.
Find Causes You Care About And Volunteer
It's important for you to actually care about whatever cause you decide to champion (although you really can't go wrong with anything that involves animals). Spending your time in service of some greater goal demonstrates that you're a decent human being, and on top of that, passion is an attractive quality. Just be genuine here, and don't pick some cause you're ambivalent about. Faking concern over social issues so you can pick up women isn't a plan that should cross a healthy mind.
The rest of this list is pretty useless if you're afraid to seize the opportunities you're presented with. When you've got the chance to get to know someone -- or if you've already gotten to know her, and you want the relationship to develop into something more -- you can't expect her to do the hard part for you. Confidence is like any other personality trait; you can improve it by working at it, and if you don't, you're not just going to spontaneously grow some confidence someday. Take initiative, and don't waste the opportunities you get.
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