We walked into the venue. There were two women standing at the corner, and plenty of space next to them. I immediately approached, and leaned against the bar with my back angled towards them. Then ordered a glass of water, and said to the bartender, “I’m not sure how long I’m staying. I’ll get a beer in a second if I decide to stick around.” I said this loud enough so that the girls would hear.
Once I got the water and tipped the bartender I turned my head over my shoulder and said to the girls, “Hey, I have to ask you a question. I’m leaving town tomorrow morning. This is my last night here and I’m looking for a good bar to hit up while I’m in San Diego and I’d like to get over there soon since this place is dead. Do you two have any suggestions?”
This opener was made up but followed all the principles of a good opener: (The principles I use are from Neil Strauss’s Rules of the Game book.)
1. It led to follow up conversation.
2. I displayed part of my identity.
3. It did not make them feel uncomfortable.
4. It aroused curiosity.
Also, it included a time constraint and a root.
The girls hooked quickly and turned to face me. Then began to ask questions like:
- “What kinds of bars do you like?”
- “What kind of music do you like?”
- “What kinds of drinks do you like?”
I simply used something I call the “identity exercise” to explain to them exactly what I liked and why.
For instance, when they asked, “What kinds of bars do you like,” I responded:
“Well I like bars with good bartenders – like mixologists. We have this place in LA that I take friends to when they’re in from out of town. The bar is called Harvard and Stone and they have a little back bar with a mixologist who has to design 4 new drinks every time he’s there. They never serve the same drink again. One night only. I bring friends there to have a memorable drink for a memorable night. That’s the kind of bar I want to find. Something memorable.”
Eventually they asked about my reasons for being in town. I told them about Skittykitts, a card game that The Sneak created and I helped produce.
I showed them the cards and told them a little about how the game worked, without getting too technical.
I revealed the cards at the end of the routine, because I want them to hear the story leading up to the cards. If I give them to the girls right away there’s a good chance that they might not be paying attention to the DHV story, because they’re shuffling through cards.
After they looked through the deck, I took the cards back, and told them I’d show them how to play later.
While I put them away one of the girls asked, “How old are you?”
I responded, “I’m a Sagittarius.”
“I said ‘how old are you,’ not ‘what is your sign?’”
“Weird, I heard ‘what sign are you?’ It must be the music. So, what signs are you?”
“Guess.” They both said.
I guessed, “Leo? Taurus?”
They shook their heads – letting me know I was wrong about both. Not a problem. The point was to segue to the next DHV in my routine – Astrology. I explained that I got into it years ago and really enjoyed studying it.
My target says, “I think its bullshit.”
So I respond, “Yeah, but you’re into psychology, right?”
She replies, “Yes.”
“Great, so most psychology is about categorizing human behavior. Well, so is a lot of astrology. I think in many ways it was an early form of psychology and some of it’s pretty right on. I mean it’s over four thousand years old and every culture has had some form of it. That’s a lot of data, right?”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
It was at about this time that her friends came in. A few girls and a guy. My target immediately introduced me to the friends.
This was an IOI. She could have left me at the bar and gone with them. Instead, she invited me into the group. Her friends congregated around a nearby table and The Sneak went along with them. Alex began conversing with my target, while I spoke with one of her guy friends.
The guy was a little down because his car had just been broken into. I tried to empathize with him, by saying, “Yeah my car was broken into about two weeks ago.” One of the girls said, “Oh my god, mine too.”
The truth is it got broken into about a year ago, but I needed it to be two weeks ago in order to make the story feel more relevant and timely.
Her guy friend sat down with me, my target, and her girlfriend. I made sure to focus all my attention on him; talking to about what had been lost from his car. After a few minutes I bought him a drink.
The guy was really cool, and it turned out he was dating one of the two girls that I was sitting with. Lucky for me, it wasn’t my target.
A few minutes later, the guy and his girlfriend left to sit at the table with all the newly arrived friends. It was on to the next DHV.
A bar-con. Which I bombed. Worse than ever before. She actually came up with a way of winning that I hadn’t thought of before – which I will be implementing in the future. I gave her props for coming up with such a clever way to win and offered to buy her a victory drink. Instead, she decided to buy me a shot even though I technically lost. Second big IOI. She could have made me buy the drink, after all, I lost the bet.
We started talking about philosophy for about a minute before the friend came back over and said, “You should come sit with us.” I would have been willing to move over there and sit with them, but my target had different plans.
My target said, “Nah, I’m going to stay here with Evolve. We’re having an interesting conversation.”
Another big IOI – she decided to sit with me and not her friends. The conversation was awesome. She knew a ton about philosophy. I qualified her by cutting her off mid sentence and saying, “Hold on. Before you continue, this is the only conversation I’ve had in a bar about postmodernism that wasn’t just me lecturing. Thank you for this. You’re a badass.”
The reason I qualified her here is because I already had three IOIs from her – it was time to show my target that I was interested in her.
We continued to chat about philosophy, then anthropology, and eventually history for about 30 minutes. Then her friend came back over and asked us to sit with them. This time we agreed and moved to the table. Most of her friends had left the bar at this point. Now it was just me, my target, the guy and his girlfriend. I started by telling them that their friend was awesome. Then I told them a story about the time when I got in a fight with a pimp in China.
They loved it. The responses I got were:
- “Dude, that’s amazing you, should make that story into a short film.”
- “You’re the most random, adventurous guy I’ve ever met.”
- “You’re hilarious.”
To the three of them, I said, “Man, you guys are great. I think I’ve had more interesting conversation with you, in a bar, than almost anyone I’d met.”
They thanked me.
They were a group of actors and actresses. Who eventually were planning on moving to LA. I told them a few stories about my time in LA then let them know they could all crash at my place if they came down to visit. Rooting it with a story about how I host couch surfers – and linked it back to the story I told them when I opened them about the bar that only serves drinks once.
It was during this conversation that a group of guys bumped into me while I was talking. Then turned and apologized drunkenly.
I said, “Dude it’s no problem. I was telling a story and there was a moment where I needed emphasis. You’re bumping into me was
While I explained to him what was going on his friends swarmed my target. This was actually helpful, because the average guy is terrible at hitting on girls, and tends to make them feel uncomfortable. If I let them make her feel uncomfortable for a few minutes, then jump in and rescue her, then I become an even more positive influence on her by contrast.
Those guys being drunken and uncharismatic allowed me a perfect excuse to take her away/isolate her and to continue building attraction.
So I let them chat her up, put their hands all over her, until I started to see just how uncomfortable they made her. Then I jumped in, “We should go outside for a smoke.”
“Yes.” She said, pushing the guys out of the way.
I turned to her friend and told her I was taking my target outside. The friend said she wanted to come, which fucked up my isolation. Regardless, the guys were out of the picture, I won my target’s friends over, and had built even more attraction.
When we got outside my target noticed that I wasn’t smoking and remarked, “Aren’t you going to smoke?”
“Nah, I don’t smoke.”
She laughed, “Why did you want to come outside.”
“Come on, I’ve been a guy in a bar long enough to know what it looks like when girls are made to feel uncomfortable.”
“That’s awesome,” she said.
We continued chatting, while her friends smoked. The guys who were bothering them had given up and left without a word. As soon as they were gone I said, “Let’s go inside its cold.”
“I agree,” she said.
We walked to the back of the bar, where The Sneak and Alex were playing pool with some girls. We talked for a while, and she told me the history of Michael Jackson’s moon walk.
After the story, my target’s friend came in and told her that they were leaving in case she wanted a ride.
Unfortunately, said she had to go, because she needed to wake up in the morning. I told her to stay.
She thought about it, and then made the responsible decision to go home. She hugged me said, “bye.” She took a few steps toward the door and turned around and hugged me again, and said, “bye.” Again. Then she walked out the door.
Once she was outside, I turned to talk to Alex and explained what was going on. A moment later, I turned to see my target marching back through the door.
She walked right up to me, grabbed my face, and kissed me. I grabbed her, pulled her in, and kissed her back. Then she said, “I really thought you deserved that. You’re awesome. I’m going to come stay with you in LA, in next month. I just didn’t want you to forget me.”
I didn’t say anything else. I just started walking her outside. We made out again on the sidewalk and right before leaving she said, “Damn it. If I didn’t have to get up in the morning I’d take you home with me.”
I told her, “It’s okay. See you next month.”
Then I walked back in the bar.