How often do you wish that you could meet women without having to work at it? What about if new and amazing women would just be a part of your life, with barely any effort on your part? Odds are you’d be pretty down with that idea, wouldn’t you? After all, one of the hardest parts of meeting women is, simply, doing so in a way that feels authentic to who you are. Not everybody is going to feel comfortable going to bars or clubs after all. Many may have a hard time just approaching strangers. Cold approaches are a valuable skill to learn – and one I highly recommend – but they’re not the only way or even the best way to meet women. Even online dating, for all of its convenience, can be difficult for people.
But it is possible to meet women in a way that feels authentic and utterly effortless. With a little preparation on your part, you can live a life that will bring amazing women into your orbit in a way that is as natural as breathing.
Ready to get started?
Get Out of Your House
I know. This sounds like a cheap gag. But I’m being serious here: the first step to building a life that will bring the women you want into it is to get out of your house. If waiting at home for the universe to drop a woman into your lap worked, we wouldn’t be talking right now.
The biggest impediment people have to meeting women is that they don’t do anything. Their lives consist of the same basic cycle of existence: get up, go to work, come home. There is no point in their day to day routine that puts them in contact with new people – especially not people that they’re looking for. You need to build a life – one that brings others into it and makes them want to be part of it. That’s not going to happen at home.
Our lifestyle is our filter; the actions we take every day become ingrained in our brains and affect how we see the world and how we interact with it. The way we live our life reflects our values and outlook on life and our lives respond accordingly. When our time is spent alone, we turn inward. We make it harder to connect with others because, like a muscle atrophying with disuse, we let our social skills deteriorate. We find it harder to simply relate to others because… well, we’re so used to being on our own and on our own terms that it becomes harder to open up, to empathize and to find those commonalities that bring us together.
Isolating yourself leaves you out of phase with others because you’re in the wrong headspace. Like a runner trying to finish a marathon after a week of bed rest, you’re simply not ready. Your brain is in the wrong place. You’re trying to make a hard shift in the way you think and interact with others and that will leave you feeling contrived and inauthentic. You may know intellectually what to do, but the rest of you won’t perform the way you want.
Just as importantly though is that staying home robs us of our motivation. Emotion has a momentum and psychic inertia is difficult to overcome. An object at rest wants to stay at rest… and that includes you. The longer you hermit up at home, the harder it is to break out of those habits and routines and the more energy is required to go out and stay out.
And no, being online isn’t going to help you. The women you want to meet aren’t on Facebook, they’re not on Twitter, they’re not on Twitch or YouTube or Instagram. Not in any way that’s going to be meaningful. Social media is great for keeping in contact with people. It’s less useful for bringing people into your life… at least, right now. But for our purposes, being online is of limited use. It’s a substitute, something that gives you the feeling of being social without actually doing so. It’s the lifestyle equivalent of being on the treadmill; you’re going through the same motions, but you’re expending energy in order to stay in one place rather than go anywhere.
It’s not that time spent at home isn’t valuable or even enriching. It’s not that being at home is bad. Home is a refuge. It’s where you recharge and relax. However, it is counterproductive to being able to meet women. If you want women to come into your life in a natural and effortless way, you have to become outward oriented. You have to live your life in such a manner that brings you in contact with others and that can’t happen at home. You have to collect stories, have adventures and new experiences.
This is why the first step to building a life that lets you meet women effortlessly is to start developing the skills that will bring people into your life.
And the best way to do that?
Practice Your Social Skills
One of the hardest parts of trying to meet women is how awkward and unnatural it can feel at times. This is often the biggest stumbling block that men face when they want to find amazing women; because it feels so incongruous with who you are, you feel awkward and unsure of yourself. This is doubly true if – as I said previously – you spend most of your time on your own. Forcing yourself from an isolated mindset to a social one can feel like you’re trying to shift from first gear to third with no notice. You may get there eventually, but you’re gonna be stopping and shaking as you play “find it and grind it”.
The other problem is that in-person social skills are like muscles. If you don’t use them regularly, they get stiff and harder to force into action. It’s much easier to meet women if you’re better able to slip into a social mindset and keep those skills loose and limber.
Even if you’re otherwise chatty and social with your friends, talking to strangers is a different skill entirely – and one you’ll need to cultivate. Part of what sets off people’s approach anxiety is simply the lack of practice. Because they’re unused to approaching strangers, the anxiety and worst-case-scenario vision kicks in. The more experience you have with talking to new people, the more it becomes just part of who you are. The more it’s just part of who you are, the more confident you become.
This is why it’s important to practice your social skills on a regular basis. Fortunately your daily life brings you multiple opportunities to develop your skills, just as you go about your business. The barista serving you coffee, the person standing with you at the bus stop, the bartenders and waitstaff serving you drinks and food… these are all openings for a little social practice.
The key to taking advantage of these moments – and not psyching yourself out – is to realize that all you’re doing is making brief small talk. How is their day going? Did they see that thing that happened over there? That’s a very cool $THING they have, what’s the story behind it? You’re new in town, can they recommend a book store? What about a place to get Thai food? Keep things light and friendly; your only goal is the conversation itself. These people don’t need to be your new BFF’s; you just want to get in the habit of talking to people.
Not only do these brief practices help keep your social muscles limber and warmed up, but they also de-mystify making approaches. You’re not trying to recreate the Twelve Labors of Hercules, you’re just starting a conversation with somebody. There are no stakes, no real risk. If they don’t want to talk to you, then it’s no big deal. It’s a part of how you put yourself into a position to meet women.
But if you’re going to do so, then you need to make one critical choice:
Put your fucking phone away.
While I’ll freely admit to being as stuck to my phone as everyone else, having your phone in your hand at all times is going to create a barrier between you and the people you might talk to. Yeah, standing around and checking Twitter or texting may feel less awkward when you’re around strangers, but it keeps you from actually engaging with them. You won’t take that step if you know you have your social safety blanket instead. Putting it away means you’ve made a conscious decision to talk to people instead of getting lost online. Standing around, alone in a crowd, just ensures that you won’t be building the skills or the connections you need to bring women into your life.
And that’s important because our next step is…
Build Your Network
One of the biggest questions when it comes to meeting people is simply: where do you go? It’s easy enough when you’re in college; you’re surrounded by people who’re in the same stages of life as you. You have places that you know where you will find your people. Even if they’re not just like you, you have enough commonalities that you feel connected. You feel part of something larger.
This social safety net (as it were) goes away post-college. It becomes harder to find that easy, instant connection with others. This is why one of the most important things you can do – something I’m always recommending – is to find your passions. Having something that you live for not only makes you interesting but it also gives you direction and a place to start. Finding a MeetUp, a book club, even just becoming a regular at a bar or hang-out can be a way of finding the community that shares your interests.
Just beware the mistake of setting your sights too narrowly. The more niche or specialized, shall we say, your passions are, the harder it is to find your community. Finding something that’s adjacent or related to your passion may be more feasible – and in some ways, more desirable. The more you engage your intellectual curiosity and broaden your horizons, the greater the opportunities you have to meet people. You may not love that specific thing, but you love the things that are related to it and you’re open to exploring something new. This gives you points of entry into worlds you may never have realized you love.
Engaging with your passions and the things that you love helps bring back that initial starting point – the shared connections. The commonalities. Even the confidence of knowing that, though you may be strangers, having this thing in common makes you part of a larger whole. You may not be going to a place where everybody knows your name, but they sure as hell will at least get you. And because you have your passion – that thing you love – to be your base, you can feel more relaxed and at ease than if you were surrounded by complete strangers. You have reasons to be hanging out together besides just trying to get somebody’s number. It feels more natural, more authentic, more you. You feel empowered to start conversations because hey… you’re all here because you enjoy this thing.
However you don’t want focus like a laser on the number of women in any event or group you join – single, desirable or otherwise. This is a mistake many people make, and it’s short-sighted. While finding women in the group right off the bat can be awesome, the goal isn’t to find a date. You’re building a social network.
The people you’re meeting and connecting with may be awesome on their own, but they’re also an entry point into other groups, connections to more people. Building those connections and establishing yourself as someone who’s cool and good to know gives you access to their networks as they bring you into them. Joining their network connects you to more people and more opportunities. This is why you want to cast your net wide and make broad connections, even if they’re shallow.
And you need to maintain those networks. This isn’t a “fire and forget” situation; you want to stay in touch and in their awareness after all. It takes approximately one in-person encounter every two weeks to maintain a friendship. So once you’ve started building those networks, put some effort into staying in touch. Arrange regular events to inspire people to get together. Host a kick-ass party and introduce people from one of your networks to another.
Just remember: the long-term goal is to build a life that brings in women, not necessarily find them immediately. The people you meet at the tabletop night may not be your future wife or girlfriend, but they may be the people who introduce you to her.
But only if they like you. That’s why you need to…
Put Your Best Self Forward
The nice thing about meeting more people and broadening your social networks is the way that they can become self-perpetuating. When people think you’re cool, then they’ll want to introduce you to their friends. But to get to that point, you have to be the guy that people want to introduce to their friends.
The first step is to simply maximize the impact of attention that you get from others. If you want to meet women, you can’t blend into the background. You have to stand out and be noticed. You want attention; after all people aren’t going to want to date the invisible guy. If people are going to notice you, then you want to make sure they notice for the right reasons. This is why you need to focus on your presentation. You want to dress well, maintain your grooming and keep good posture. This doesn’t mean that you have to be club-ready at all times, but you do want to make sure you put care into your looks.
If you’re leaving the house, then look your best. Yeah, you’re just wearing a polo and chinos, but the polo fits perfectly, your shoes are shined and your slacks don’t look like the Grandpa special. Even a t-shirt and jeans can look spiffy with the right fit and care. These are little things that have huge benefits. Think of them as passive buffs; a little prep work at the beginning of the day gives you a constant boost to your charisma.
You also want to make sure that you’re the person that people feel good around.
Consider the cautionary tale of That Guy.
Most of us have encountered That Guy. You know the one: he’s the guy that everyone feels that they have to apologize for. Technically he’s part of the social circle, but not really. He’s at all the parties but nobody knows why. He makes people uncomfortable. Nobody really likes him, but he’s part of the group because nobody is willing to confront him either. Meanwhile… people will actively avoid him or change plans if they think he may be at the event. It’s not even that he’s a creeper. He’s just… unpleasant. He may be the complainer. He might be the sullen guy or the leech. Sometimes he’s the Snob or the Arbiter of Taste.
Regardless of the cause, he is the party event horizon, absorbing good times into a dense core of negativity from which no fun can escape.
You don’t want to be That Guy.
Fortunately, it’s very easy to avoid being That Guy. You don’t have to be the most out-going guy or bouncing with energy. You just have to be pleasant. A generally positive attitude and a willingness to express that positivity will make you far more desirable than the guy holding court with withering putdowns and bon-mots. He may get attention… but that doesn’t make him someone people want to spend time with. Sarcasm and cruel jokes about others may get laughs, but not popularity. The snarky, abrasive guy has few friends. Too many people will be waiting for him to turn that razor wit on them.
It’s easy to be convinced that you have to be flashy to be popular. We focus on the most visible people and assume that they’re the route to being liked. The good news is that there are many ways to be a welcome presence at any event you go to. Can you validate people, make them feel appreciated? Can you make people feel good? Then you’re on track to being liked. There are any number of ways to make this work to your personality; some people are funny and outgoing. Others are serious but heartfelt. Some people are the Van Wilder – the centers of attention while others are the Mercy or Lucio – the support making sure everything’s going well.
The simplest route to being the guy who will be welcome is to be the guy who knows how to listen. Can you make people feel interesting? Then people will like you. Tom Cruise remains my go-to for this because – even if you think he’s a couch-jumping nutjob – he makes people feel as though they’re fascinating. Learning how to generate that feeling in people will change your life… and set you up for the next step.
Change Your Outlook on Meeting Women
Everyone has heard the inevitable advice of “it will happen for you when you stop looking for it.” It’s as obnoxious a fortune-cookie slice of advice as one can find… but it’s not wrong.
One of the things that trips guys up is that they become incredibly outcome oriented when they try to meet women. They treat each interaction like quicktime events, where a single slip-up is an instant failure. Every word has to be carefully measured and weighed, every look parsed. If things don’t go perfectly, then it destroys them. Because they’re so focused on the outcome – getting a number, a date, even just “impressing” someone, they lose the appeal and advantages they have. They come off as stilted, awkward and inauthentic.
The best thing you can do if you want to meet women in an effortless and natural way… is to stop trying to “meet” them. Instead of focusing on the goal – impressing them – focus on just enjoying yourself. Let the interaction be the goal in and of itself. Don’t focus on being “cool” or “impressive” or “high-status”, just connect with people. Get to know them, find the things that make them interesting. Showing someone you find them fascinating and making them feel incredible will make them want to impress you. Let your natural, awesome self shine through with the confidence and ease it deserves.
This article originally appeared on Dr. Nerd Love
Photo credit: Getty Images