A friend introduced me to The Game by Neil Strauss a couple months after my first serious relationship ended. I remember the exact moment when I became hooked on the pickup artist community. Neil Strauss talked about his first day-game approach. It was near UCLA in an Office Depot. Neil had memorized a handful of openers and routines. He was ready to make his first approach. He spots a beautiful slender woman and opens her. He uses a canned opener, then negs her about her teeth. He ends up finding out that she’s a professional model. The chapter ends with him getting her phone number and email.
I needed a break after reading that story. At the time I was 24 years old and had never approached a girl. I felt like I had made an unbelievable discovery. All I had to do was memorize some openers and routines! So I bought every book on the subject, I bookmarked every pickup artist blog and forum I could find. After weeks of research I had memorized at least a dozen routines and openers.
I was ready to make my first approach.
A friend and I decided to hit some local bars to test our material. The first bar that night was empty except for a few people near the bar, one of which was a woman sitting by herself. I was incredibly nervous. I almost talked myself into going home but I remembered the routines I had memorized. I felt I had something that was guaranteed to work.
I ended that night with a total of 3 approaches and 2 phone numbers.
It took me a few years to realize it wasn’t the openers or routines that helped me with those first attempts. What I said that night didn’t matter. In fact, in my second approach I opened with a simple, “Hi.” The canned material worked because I was confident. Too many guys think scripts will do the work for them. Routines and openers are like training wheels. You’re supposed to use them to get you accustomed to speaking to women. After you get some experience under your belt you can ride without the training wheels.
A few months after that night I stopped using routines completely. Instead I worked on my delivery. I made sure I had fantastic posture, made eye contact, spoke confidently and clearly. Once I had that down, it really didn’t matter what I said. I opened countless sets with some pretty stupid and cheesy lines. A friend and I would open sets by asking which was better; bacon or ham?
So if you’re someone memorizing lots of canned material, that’s fine. It’s great for someone starting out but remember to work on how you say something and not just the material. Communication is 93% body language and tone of voice.