As more and more people get vaccinated, we’re starting to see the world take tentative steps toward returning to normal. This also means that people are taking equally tentative steps toward socializing and dating again…
…and a lot of folks are looking forward to making up for lost time.
But as various people are predicting “horny summer” or “roaring 2os”, one question remains: what is the best way to start getting busy once you’re vaxxed, waxed and ready to relax?
Is it time to just meander out into the streets and hope that wandering hordes of sexed-up former-shut-ins catch you up in a Bernoulli effect and try to draft on the mist of wine coolers and Astroglide? Now that we can leave our houses again, has the twilight of the age of Tinder and video dates truly begun?
Well, about that…
One of the mistakes a lot of men make when they want to go out and meet potential partners — whether for love or for sex — is that they assume that the cold approach is the way to go. Despite the fact that a plurality of straight couples1 meet their partners in person through shared activities rather than random encounters with complete strangers, the notion of picking people up at bars or going about their day is still seen as the predominant way to meet people.
But the truth is that cold approaches are incredibly inefficient… doubly so if you are attempting what the seduction community calls “day game”: meeting women going about their day or walking down the street. One day game enthusiast broke down his numbers from over the course of three years on his blog (all numbers are approximate):
- 1700 approaches
- 180 numbers
- 19 dates
- 6 sexual encounters
That’s an approach-to-date ratio of 1 percent. It’s even less than a percentage point if you filter to dates that lead to sex.
Now to be fair: this is understandable. You are attempting to convince a stranger that they want to consider a romantic or sexual relationship with someone they have literally just met — often as recently as 20 minutes ago. Now while that can and does happen, and cold approaches are a valuable and versatile skill to cultivate in general, it’s not the only, or even the best way to meet potential partners.
Instead, I want to teach you a better way to meet amazing women without getting on the apps. A way that will set you up for success. A way that will bring amazing women into your life almost effortlessly and give you advantages that other people won’t have. This is a method that will take what many people believe to be a weakness and turn it into your secret weapon instead.
It’s Time to Embrace The Friend Zone
The most efficient and effective way to bring amazing women into your life is almost deceptively simple. You stop fearing “The Friend Zone” and learn to embrace it instead. In fact, having a robust social circle that includes incredible women makes it far, far easier to meet the women you want to date. After a year and change in isolation, now is the perfect time to not just reconnect with friends and loved ones but to build a new social circle that will not only help you become someone women want to date, but also make you a happier, more confident and socially well-calibrated individual.
However. This isn’t about trying to get with the women you hang out with. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Here’s the thing that the most romantically and sexually successful men have in common: they have female friends. Not just exes or former FWBs, nor women they’re keeping around in hopes of banging some day. One of the biggest reasons for their success is simply because they have amazing, accomplished and attractive women in their lives who are strictly platonic friends… and they’re happy about this. They aren’t future partners; they’re part of genuine and meaningful friendships that enrich each other’s lives.
In fact, it’s not much of an exaggeration to say that having amazing women as platonic friends is critical to having romantic success.
After all, having amazing women in your life — who you don’t look at as potential relationship material — is a huge advantage. One of the first and foremost reasons is glaringly simple: being genuine friends with attractive women means that you’re much more comfortable talking to women in general.
One of the most common issues I hear from guys is how often they assume that they have to impress or prove themselves to the women they meet when they’re out and about… and they don’t feel they can do that. They simply don’t believe that they have enough “value” to be worth anyone’s time.
But… why? What makes that particular woman — whom you just met — so much more valuable than you? The only thing you know about her is that she’s attractive, which is great… but that’s not the same thing as being “higher value”. You know literally nothing else about her. For all you know, her favorite food is barbecued kittens in orphan sauce. She might think corgis are an abomination in the eyes of God and man. Or she might be looking for a guy just like you. After all, “value” is highly subjective; what makes one person valuable may be worthless to someone else. You don’t know. All that you know is that you’re too intimidated to talk to her.
By having attractive female friends, you’re able to be comfortable talking to beautiful women. You know that they’re just people, as wide, varied and weird as everyone else. Being able to relate to women as people, rather than romantic antagonists you have to overcome turbo-charges your confidence, because you aren’t caught up in the idea that being good looking is the same as being different or superior.
At the same time, those socially successful men have strong male friendships too. Part of why so many men struggle socially is because of how much we isolate ourselves. Men, in particular, tend to be bad at cultivating and maintaining their social connections, leaving them with little support or validation. And because we are so frequently taught that emotional intimacy is equal to sexual intimacy, our friendships with other men tend to be shallow and less fulfilling. We look to women for our emotional needs and — as a result — easily confuse friendship and emotional fulfilment for love and attraction. Cultivating stronger relationships with other men helps make us more emotionally intelligent and resilient.
By building a vibrant social circle, not only do you help create this balance in your life, but you create an attractive lifestyle that makes it almost trivially easy to bring new and amazing people into your life. People who you will want to date and who will want to date you.
Start By Finding Your People
I can already hear you saying: “ok, great… so where do I find all of these amazing folks who are going to make my life so awesome?” After all, making new friends gets much harder after your college years are over.
Well, I’m glad you asked, convenient rhetorical device. The first step is actually fairly simple: you want to find your people. And not just the folks who share your interests, but who you vibe with, who impress you and whose presence encourages you to step up your game. In an ideal world, you want to meet the people who inspire and encourage you to be better.
The best place to start is to follow your passions and your interests. As the world continues to open up, there are more and more opportunities to meet like-minded folks in person again. Classes, Meetups, various interest groups of all stripes are a perfect place to meet folks who would be Your People. You especially want to prioritize events that encourage talking and socializing — ones that make it harder for you to just hang back and not take part. Yes, after all this time in isolation, it’s easy to have forgotten how to human. Don’t worry; most of us have. We’re all semi-feral cats staring at the food bowl and trying to relearn how to people. The adjustment curve is built into the expectations. Choosing groups that put an emphasis on being social helps flatten that particular curve.
However, it’s also important to get out of your comfort zone and try groups or interests that you might have otherwise skipped over, previously. The lockdown has made lots of folks question their priorities and decide to make changes. Now’s the perfect opportunity to put that desire into practice. This is the perfect time to try new things and take on new challenges. It’s a chance to explore the road not taken and try things that aren’t your norm. An amateur sports league, a dance class or group exercise program all make great opportunities to expand your horizons and meet people you might never have encountered otherwise.
If you can find activities where you’re expected to work together, then all the better. This helps make it easier for you to get to know people. Having to work with others helps get you past that initial hurdle of starting the conversation. You can’t hang back and hope you get adopted by an extrovert when you’re on the same pub trivia or kickball team.
Regardless of what activities you choose, this is important: you want to focus on being a regular. It’s ok if you don’t see a plethora of single women; that’s not what you’re there for. You’re there to participate and make friends, not just find dates. That comes later. Yes, this can seem counter-intuitive, but people hate the dudes who cruise these events like horny sharks and use them as pick-up bars. That’s not you; you’re there for the events themselves. This has the advantage of making you outcome independent. Because you don’t have expectations besides “have a good time”, you won’t be stressed about “impressing” people or charming them. You’re simply curious and friendly, ready to get to know people and see if they’re your kind of folks.
Part of what makes group events like these better is because they serve as a bonding activity. You all have a shared interest and you’re coming to it in order to enjoy it; sharing the time together helps you connect with one another. And because you’re outcome independent, you’re in a better headspace to give people a chance, even if they’re not necessarily people you thought you could get along with.
In fact, that’s possibly one of the most important things to keep in mind: you want to spread your attention around. It’s very easy to focus like a laser on the people you find attractive… or less intimidating, for that matter. But just as you’re expanding your horizons and getting outside your comfort zone, you’re applying that same outlook to people. You’re pushing past your assumptions or worries, learning that you’re capable of being friends with folks you might never have expected and — importantly — having a good time.
Which brings us to the next step…
Be The Planner
One of the reasons why people trying to expand their social circle may fail is because they stumble on an important step: they have to be the one to make the move, plan an event and invite people.
Now to be fair: this can be hard. A lot of people aren’t used to being the one directing the group. It’s easy to fall into a group dynamic where you follow along, rather than being one of the people who makes things happen. It’s easier to rely on others to be the dynamic ones who make the plans and do the work. There are also people who carry the fear of friends not reciprocating, or who worry that if they weren’t making the first move, they’d be forgotten.
If that’s you… well, I can sympathize. But the harsh truth is that you’re going to have to get past that fear. Taking an active role is vitally important to building a new social circle. Just allowing others to be the prime mover and shaker won’t help; in fact, this will work against your overall goals. It just means that you’re becoming part of someone else’s circle, not building your own. And while there’s nothing wrong with this, it does leave you in the position of having less agency over both the group and who you meet. That makes it much harder for you to take an active hand in bringing people into your life.
It’s only by being willing to embrace being the planner that you’re able to shape your outcome and direct who will become part of your social circle. Relying on others to do this work will make it virtually impossible for you to progress. Being the active participant means that you are not only deliberately crafting the experiences and events, but your reputation.
And yes, that is a part of the overall goal.
Yes, I get that it can seem scary, even overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be.
Here’s the thing: If you want results, you have to be proactive By being an active participant — someone who makes things happen, instead of who has things happen to them — you build the muscle memory that will play out in other areas of your social life. Such as, say, taking women out on amazing dates that will have them wanting to see you again. If you can’t make plans that you can invite friends to, you aren’t going to be able to ask people out on dates. These are the same skill sets, simply applied to different goals.
But again: this is the perfect time for you to change your stars and explore new sides of yourself. It’s your chance to evolve into the sort of person you always wished you could be.
As you get to know people and build those connections, you want to start getting people together for interesting events or meetups. This is very simple: “hey, I’m doing $COOL_THING this weekend, and I think you’d dig it. You should come check it out.” Alternately: “I’m planning on hitting up/checking out $OTHER_COOL_THING on Saturday. You should come!” Don’t treat this like this massive imposition that you preemptively apologize for. Don’t hedge it based on other people’s availability or schedule. You’re doing X, they should join you. Your vibe is equally simple: you’re doing this thing, regardless of whether they’re joining you or not. It’d be more fun with more people, but you’re set either way. If they aren’t interested, that’s cool; there’s always next time.
But odds are good that many will be intrigued. Plus, after they’ve gone and had a good time with you, they’ll tell the others, who would want to come when you arrange another shindig.
Now, there’re a number of avenues this can take. You might keep up on local events, festivals or street fairs and plan an outing to check it out. You might host a potluck or barbecue, a regular poker game or a board game night, where people come together for drinks, snacks and bringing their favorite tabletop games.
As you get more comfortable hosting these events and people take part, you might take things to another level — hit up the local tourist traps and activities that you never do because hey, you’re locals. Host a pillow fight or Nerf battle in the park — the crazier or more over-the-top dart-throwers the better. Maybe you and some like-minded folks will go check out wine, beer or whiskey tastings or take in some culture at a gallery opening. Maybe you’ll decide to do something offbeat like visit local obscure or strange landmarks that appear in the margins of Google Maps or do a social-media photo spree and find the cool places in town for Instagram fodder.
These don’t have to be grand affairs or massive blowouts of dozens of guests. Small get-togethers of just a few people work just as well; the more important part is the planning and regularity.
Don’t worry about how close you are to folks yet. While there’s always that vague anxiety of “are we good enough friends to do this yet?”, making friends requires embracing weak or shallow ties. Hosting or planning these events isn’t as friendship-level dependent as you may fear. These are presumably folks you have a decent connection with and are comfortable talking to and hanging out with. That’s a strong enough basis for inviting them to do stuff.
The specific activities don’t matter so much as the overall goal: hosting or planning regularly scheduled fun, unique and off-beat get togethers for folks to come to. You want to plan things that are unusual, that people might never have done before, that stand out or tie into your shared interests.
There are three reasons for this.
First, planning events on a regular schedule means that you have more chances of getting people to go; if they miss it one time, they’ll hear how fun it was and come the next time you arrange something. Having these events on a regular schedule also means that when you meet women in other ways — through apps, chance conversations with strangers, etc. — you have something you can invite them to.
Second, seeing people regularly is how you build and maintain a friendship. Seeing people for a couple hours each week means that you have more opportunities to hang out, get to know each other and strengthen those bonds. Getting people together is an easier lift than getting people to hang out just for the sake of hanging out… at least at first. The more you see each other, the more you’ll want to get together specifically to see each other and enjoy everybody’s company.
Third, hosting these events serves to establish you as the cool, fun and interesting person you are — not just in your social circles, but theirs as well.
Which is actually an important part of the process…
Build Your Social Proof
So remember what I said about shaping your reputation? This is where things begin to pay off.
One of the hard parts of meeting new people is showing them just how awesome you are so that they are more interested in getting to know you. How much easier would it be if they already knew you were awesome and worth getting to know? You would be in a better position to flirt and build that chemistry, instead of trying to raise their interest from nothing.
For that matter, how much more would you be interested in meeting someone if your friends told you how cool she was and how you and she would get along famously? Probably pretty much more-so than if they were just someone you saw at the periphery of your social circle.
These are moments where a person’s perception is changed by getting information from a person they trust; they (or you) are persuaded to see someone in a different manner because of what someone else said. It’s something that we all do; humans are pack animals and we often look to others of our pack to judge how to proceed with a situation.
This propensity to trust or rely on the word or behavior of others to guide their expectations and perception is what’s known as “social proof”. No man is an island; we all rely on the input of others to help us make decisions, even if we aren’t aware of it. Our friends telling us how much they enjoyed a particular movie makes us more likely to see it. We take other people’s opinions into account when we check product reviews on Amazon or ask for advice or recommendations on Reddit. If we see that it’s hard to get reservations at a particular restaurant, we assume that it must be good. And if we see a line of people waiting to get into an event, we assume that it must be popular and worth pay attention to.
That same psychological process applies to our social lives. Hosting these events means that your new friends will be telling their friends about the cool stuff that they got up to with this guy they know. That, in turn means that their friends might ask to come next time you host an event. Or, if you invite your friends to bring folks, they’re more likely to check it out. And any new people who come give it a try — or who see you when you all are out and about — will see lots of folks having a good time… a good time that you arranged. That sense of fun and good times is attributed to you, rather than the activity per se. That means that they’re going to want to get to know you because it seems like you’re really cool and interesting.
But this social proof goes beyond just bringing more people to your shindigs. Remember what I said about the benefits of being friends with women you find attractive? Just as people having fun at your events serves as social proof of how you’re fun and interesting, women who genuinely like you and enjoy spending time with you are also a form of social proof. Their presence with you is a sign to others that you’re a good guy. You’re being vouched for as worth getting to know, by somebody who is a reliable source of information. Whether she’s telling her friends about this cool guy they’d get along with or other women are seeing you all having fun, she’s demonstrating that you’re safe, cool and someone people should be interested in. That means they’re much more likely to be receptive to talking to you and more open to spending time together.
Social proof can be incredibly powerful. Much like a first impression, social proof sets expectations and affects how people see you. Being known as the guy who throws cool events means people will assume your awesomeness before they even meet you. This means that they’re more likely to see you through the lense of “this person is cool”, which will influence them to see what you do in a more positive light. Your female friends talking you up to others helps prime them to see your good points and view you in a more attractive way.
But here’s the thing: it has to be genuine. If you aren’t enjoying your events or you’re planning get togethers you don’t actually like, other people aren’t going to enjoy it. Throwing events just because you think other folks will think they’re “cool” means that they’ll lack the sincerity that makes them fun. Similarly, being friends with women just in hopes of what they can do for you works against you. Women aren’t stupid; they know when someone has an agenda, whether that agenda is sex or using them for a social in. Being someone’s genuine friend is the key; they’re more likely to want to help when that’s not your goal.
But speaking of the end goal…
How to Automate Meeting Amazing Women
So at this point I imagine you’re wondering how this brings women into your life. Here’s how this works.
As you host these events, solidify your social proof and build those weak initial ties into firm friendships, you are building a network. The overlap of social circles means you have access to their network as well. Because they’re having fun at your events, and because you’re a cool guy, they’ll start inviting you to parties or events they’re hosting or that they’re attending. Or you may decide to throw a bigger bash than usual and ask them to invite some of their friends. In either case, you have an opportunity to meet and get to know their friends, make new connections and expand your social circle. You may go on to make friends with some of them as well. Or they may become regulars at your events and you can invite them to bring a friend or two.
And that, in turn, means you start to gain access to their network of friends as well.
This is why it’s important to not try to treat those initial meetups or classes where you first encountered your friends as a pick-up joint, or worrying about the number of potential dates. You may not meet your girlfriend at that hip-hop dance class, but you may well meet the person who could introduce you to her. Focusing too intently on the short term means missing potential medium and long-term opportunities.
That network bridge that puts you in contact with others works to your advantage as well. The fact that you have a pre-existing social connection in the form of your mutual friend is its own form of social proof. It sets up what’s known as a warm approach; you’re not a total stranger, you’re a friend of a friend. This means you’ve been pre-vetted, to an extent; if you weren’t cool, your mutual wouldn’t be friends with you. That, combined with the reputation you’ve been building at the get togethers you’ve been organizing, means that they likely know a little about you already… things you want them to know about. This makes it easier to build rapport and focus on establishing mutual interest.
At the same time the work you’ve been doing means you’re more likely to meet awesome women over your day to day life. With the same muscle memory you’ve developed making friends, you’re better able to approach and connect with women you’d want to date. You have events to invite them to — low-key opportunities to get to know each other with less pressure than a formal date. And if they happen to bring a friend… well, then your network continues to expand and you have more opportunities to make new friends and connections.
However, it’s important to realize: even with a regular series of shindigs and hangouts with friends — even when your friends are bringing their friends — you can’t be complacent. You still have to start conversations, help the newcomers fit in, introduce people and help make connections. You can’t wait around and hope that your friends invite people to your events; it’s up to you to make sure they know when you want them to. Similarly, you can’t wait for your friends to realize you’re single and looking and introduce you to their single friend. Your friends aren’t mind-readers.
Whether it’s telling your friends that you’re single and ready to mingle and wondering if they know anybody you’d click with or asking them to introduce you to folks you want to know, you have to speak up for yourself. If you don’t ask for what you want or need, your friends have no way of knowing. And while building a strong and vibrant social circle has rewards in and of itself… if you want to bring in amazing women, you have to do your your part. You have to direct the scene yourself.
But by creating a social circle of awesome friends and cool people who love hanging out with you? You will be creating more opportunities for your yourself — romantically as well as socially — than you will have ever had before. And that great life you’ve been building, full of good friends and fun, fulfilling activities?
That’ll be a life that women would love to be part of.
- dating apps became the predominant way gay couples meet their partners almost as soon as modern smartphones hit the market [↩]