I’m realizing more and more how important banter and having fun is to approaching women. By banter, I mean talking in a fun, playful, silly, silly way that puts women at ease. With banter, women can feel that I’m a fun person – and that made our interactions go so much better than with a pure direct approach. Banter is also better than a pure indirect approach because banter allows you to show interest in the woman but in a friendly, non-threatening and fun way – critical to avoiding the deer-caught-in-headlights look. PickUpPodcast has a couple of great podcasts that explains banter in more detail.

The biggest realization about the importance of banter came after this approach – we ended up just having fun – chatting, laughing, connecting and flirting – most of it AFTER she told me she has a boyfriend. This was a very important approach in my ongoing development.

Fresh from my bantering with the bookstore clerk after my last approach at the cooking section, I was feeling better and upbeat. I walked around the store and spotted a definite babe (7), by herself looking around the philosophy section. I decided to move to the aisle next to the one she was in so because she looked like she was scanning and I wanted her to come to my aisle so I can open the conversation. But she stopped at the end of her aisle. Then a male store clerk comes over to help her.

“Can I help you find anything?”
“No, thank you.”

He goes away and I spring into action. I pretend I work at the bookstore and put on a tone of mock authority:

“Can I help you find anything?”

She looks at me – I’m obviously not a store employee so she smiles and the interaction begins:

“No, thanks you. Wait a second… you don’t work here!” (big smile)
“How do you know? Maybe it’s my day off.”
“Yeah, right. You don’t look like you’re the type to work here.”
“Oh, really, so now you’re making judgments of me. I was going to help you out but now forget it – you lost your chance.”

I start to walk away in mock anger and she starts to laugh. We continue this interaction for a few more minutes. Then she introduces herself to me and brings out her hand – Melissa. That’s never happened to me before. Usually, I’m the one that initiates the introductions. We spend the next half an hour bantering, flirting and just having fun. At one point I tell her:

“I don’t know why, but I’m drawn to you. It’s not just because you’re good looking – because there are other good looking women around. But there’s something more there.”

She replies with a sarcastic “thanks” about the backhanded good looking compliment but I’ve definitely got her interest and I can see she’s still smiling and really involved in our interaction.

OK, I have to admit – I stole that last line from a video of a pick up artist named Mystery (it’s towards the end of the video). I’m experimenting with banter right now – it’s like a whole new world beyond the boring “resume” questions (e.g. What do you do? Where do you live? What do you like to do?)

We continued talking and bantering till the store closed – it was great. First I helped her find her book then she followed me to the section that had my book. If you saw us, you’d think we were together – seriously. And yet we didn’t know each other at all less than an hour ago. Amazing. A whole new world of possibilities is opening up for me.

There were a few times when we casually touched, too. When we were both looking for her book on a shelf, our hands brushed against each other. Or when I was joking around with her and touched her elbow for added effect. Here I was touching a woman that I just met and she didn’t mind and wanted to continue interacting. A whole new world is opening up to me 😀

I suggested a few times throughout our banter that we should go and grab a coffee – I think too many times to be perfectly honest. I should have played it more cool and just gone with the flow. She refused all three times but continued to stick around – she was obviously enjoying herself but didn’t want to commit to going for coffee. After all, she did say she has a boyfriend.

As the store is closing, one of the store clerks is helping me find my book while Melissa went to pay for her’s. She comes back to me and wants to say good- bye. I get this exaggerated disappointed look on my face and then suggest one last time that we go hang out for coffee. She says she can’t but she had a great time. She puts out her hand and I shake it and then give her a big embrace. She’s really into the hug, too – it’s not one of those pity hugs that women sometimes give (I really hate those). I think we really connected. And with that, she walks out of my life.

Things I Learned

  • Opening the conversation with something fun and non-threatening really worked! I didn’t do a straight “I find you attractive and had to talk to you.” I also didn’t do a lame “Do you have the time?” type of approach. It’s like there’s this magic sweet spot in the middle – between fully direct and fully indirect.
  • Don’t ask her out so soon. I did the same thing when I picked up Anna at the bookstore who also refused to go for coffee but stuck around to talk until the store closed. I asked Melissa to go for coffee three times – way too much. Sends a needy vibe to her that was totally unnecessary. Instead I should have just continued the interaction and only suggested we do something at the very end, when the store was closing. The great thing is that because we were having so much fun bantering she stuck around even though she mentioned having a boyfriend and after turning down my multiple coffee requests. Women like to feel comfortable being accepting a coffee date. It was safe for her to continue talking to me in the bookstore but going for coffee would have increased her commitment to the evening – something that she would feel comfortable doing after we spent more time bantering. Just by bantering she introduced herself first instead of me having to do it. That’s a sign to me that she felt comfortable and was having fun and wanted the interaction to continue.

List of All My Pick Up Approaches

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