Tonight I approached two women at the bookstore. Here’s the story…

On my way to a meeting with a female friend of mine, I took the subway and ended up chatting with this guy who was playing a game on his cell phone. I just started the conversation by asking him about the game he was playing, after about a few minutes of sitting next to him and observing him playing. We had this great talk about video games and he was very open and friendly. He admitted that he was bored which is why he was playing the cell phone game and we reminisced about older video games that we used to play. As I mentioned in previous posts, I’m talking to more people in general, not just women. This whole “pick up” skill development is making me more of a social person.

I met up with my friend at a coffee shop (not the one close to my house) and we ended up having this great time just catching up and reconnecting since the last time we got together. She’s in a serious relationship so there was no “what if” tension between us which made the evening that much more relaxed and laid back. I knew she had plans for later that evening and I planned on checking out the bookstore and practicing my pick up skills, if the opportunities presented themselves.
After the meeting with my friend, I headed to the bookstore. I walked around the store, casually looking at the books but also checking out if there were available women to approach. After a few minutes, I noticed an attractive female around the history section. I went over to the section and started looking at the selection of books – not really interested in anything I was seeing. I didn’t want to start talking to her right away since I’m trying to learn from last time and establish some familiarity with women first before starting to talk to them. Unfortunately, after about a minute, she just walked away.

Pickup Attempt #1 – By the Wedding Planning Section

After a few more minutes of walking around the store, I spot a cute woman in the wedding planning section and I’m thinking “why not”. Maybe she’s getting a gift and isn’t the bride. I make my way over to the her section and start perusing the books – wedding planning… what guy would be perusing wedding planning books?!?! I open with something about how there are just so many books on this subject (the actual content of what I say doesn’t matter so much, it’s the way that I did it that’s more important – friendly, open, and matter-of-factly). She responds in a very friendly way saying how she feels overwhelmed by the selection. We continue talking and it turns out that it really IS her wedding. Damn. But I figure why not continue to practice with her anyway. She asks me if I’m in the wedding planning section because I’m getting married as well and I tell her pretty honestly that no, I’m not and that I just came over to the section because I saw her there and thought it would be interesting to talk to her. We talk for a good 10 minutes – she tells me about her wedding planning experience and we have this fun conversation – easy and relaxed. I’m wondering if she’d maybe like to go for coffee (there’s a coffee shop connected to the bookstore) to just hang out more but she says she can’t because she’s gotta meet some friends. So we wrap up our talk and I bid her good luck with her upcoming wedding.

Pickup Attempt #2 – By the Cooking Section

I keep going around the store and looking at different books while noticing if there are any women that would be interesting to talk to. I pass by the cooking section and notice a nice looking woman reading sitting down on the carpeted floor. I’m thinking “why not” and go into the section. Besides, I’ve been meaning to get some cooking books anyway… She’s got her feet lying across the aisle of the section and she apologizes and takes them away as I get closer to where she is. I reply with something friendly like “hey, don’t worry about it, I wasn’t planning on going past you anyway, I’m just looking at these books here”. After that it was really easy to get the conversation going – I just made another comment about the books, saying I didn’t know which one to pick and that I was looking for a really simple cook book. We got to talking about the book she was reading, then about the type of cook book I was looking for and again we ended up chatting for a good 10-15 minutes. After I feel a good sense of rapport with her I say, “I don’t usually do this, but would you like to go and get a coffee?” She then replies that she has a boyfriend who’s coming to meet her in a few minutes at the bookstore. Ah well… either she was lying to get out of having to say no or she really has a boyfriend but failed to mention him during our entire conversation. It doesn’t matter cause I honestly don’t care – the main part for me is that I actually initiated the conversation with her and we a fun time interacting. So I bid her farewell and get ready to leave.

Other Interesting Notes

I ended up befriending one of the staff women in the store – I asked her about books that she could recommend to me and we had this nice 5 minute conversation about different books that she and I like. I wasn’t going to ask her out because she was a little young for me but it was still all good practice in connecting with another person.

I ended up finding a diamond earring on a bookshelf! I was in the business section and put back a book I was perusing and suddenly I noticed this diamond (or at least it looked like a diamond) earring on the bookshelf. I ended up reporting it to the manager so they placed it in a safe but he told me that if no one claims it by the end of next week, it’s mine.

Right before I was getting ready to leave I bump into one of my closest friends, Ed and his girlfriend Emily! What a pleasant surprise! We end up going to a nearby bar and catch up and just chill out. I end up flirting with our waitress and I’m noticing how easy it’s becoming to strike up conversations with people all around me. Waitresses are super easy to talk to because they’re supposed to talk to you so you don’t have to open the conversation at all, just continue the interaction by joking and asking questions. For instance, I ended up having this nice exchange with our waitress after I told her how the bathrooms didn’t have a properly working paper towel dispenser. It said it’s automatic but you had to physically press the sensor button to get any paper towels to come out. I put on my serious tone and told her it was of the utmost importance that this matter be dealt with and that she should report this to her manager – it was like our little inside joke because she played along with me and pretended like it was this ultra important emergency. I’m realizing more and more that it doesn’t matter as much what we talk about as the manner in which we talk about it – fun, easy going, relaxed, curious, flirty – all makes for a great time talking with women that you just meet.

Things I Did That Worked Well

  • Stayed relatively relaxed and upbeat about each approach with a feeling of curiosity of what might happen – a feeling of “why not?” and “this could be fun”.
  • Established some familiarity first before starting to talk with them. They knew about my presence before I said anything so I wasn’t startling them unexpectedly.
  • Connected with them first before asking them to continue over coffee – in other words, it wasn’t a “hi, wanna go out” type of approach. We first had fun talking.

What Did I Learn?

The bookstore is more conducive to starting conversations than coffee shops. In a bookstore, people are free to move around and get within close proximity of each other without people feeling it’s weird. Also, you’re free to let the conversation lag a bit while you’re looking at the different books on the shelf. So you can come in and out of conversations and you can even use the books as conversation pieces by commenting or talking about them.

I’m beginning to be relatively relaxed about approaching women in public. Granted, it’s not always easy – some places (like a busy subway car) are definitely harder than others (a bookstore where she’s the only one in the aisle). But overall, I’m feeling positive about my progress – there’s a lot more to learn but it’s kind of fun and many positive things have happened that aren’t directly related to picking up women – bumping into my good friend Ed last night, bumping into my sexy neighbor at the coffee shop a few days ago, finding the diamond earring that someone had lost and just being more of a social person.

I know there are going to be guys out there that think that I make it sound easy and that they can’t do it. Believe me, this is something I haven’t done before and used to think was too much for me to do. But I keep reminding myself that it’s not a big deal, that in 100 years we’ll all be dead anyway and that this might be fun. I also think that starting small is the way to go. As small as you’re comfortable with. If that means saying hi to the guy you get your newspapers from and just talking to him for a few seconds longer than you normally do, then that’s where you start. Start small and build from there. I’m realizing more and more that pick up is nothing more than talking with more people in general. Sure, you have to flirt, too, and build up a sexual tension, but that comes after the initial conversation starter. The main hump that most guys have to overcome is to start the conversation in the first place.

And by no means am I saying I’m an expert at this – far from it, I still have way more I need to learn, but I just wanted to share what I’ve learned so far with the guys that want to start approaching women they see in public.