Whenever a new girl appears in my social circle (a sport class I attend, for example) and I find her attractive, I immediately want to ask her out on a date. And if I don’t do that, I think I will lose any chances and get friendzoned.
I’m beginning to think that I got the wrong idea from reading and watching too much about pick-up artists.
What would be a better approach?
It seems like you’re facing a few problems when it comes to dating, and they are around time. The timing between asking someone out, the timing around escalation, and the time you’ve spent on reading and watching pick-up artist techniques. So let’s talk about your timing.
You are right in thinking that sometimes you will lose your chances with a girl, but the “Why” of why you might lose your chance with a girl is a bit off. There’s always the possibility of meeting a girl you’re attracted to and missing your shot because you didn’t ask her out, but it’s more likely that will happen if you wait a few months to ask her out, not a few days or a few weeks. The ones you might encounter who you could potentially miss your shot with are usually the girls who are already dating someone casually and things are just now becoming more serious. Odds are good that you “missed your shot” before you could even take it.
Now let’s talk about the timing of your attraction. I’m all for finding people attractive and wanting to ask them out but based on your statement, it sounds like you’re rushing to ask girls out based solely on their physical attractiveness. It’s fair to say that most people want to find someone they find physically attractive, but I would urge you to first take time to figure out if you find their personality attractive. In the future, when you encounter a girl you will see again (because she’s in your social circle) give it a week or two before you decide if you’re compatible before you ask her out. If it’s someone you might never see again dive right into asking her for her number. If it’s a friend, friend of a friend, or anyone you know you’ll encounter again, give it some time to figure out if you actually click.
Now as for the pick up artist stuff, well, I’ll try to be as tactful as possible. I don’t think you wasted all of your time watching and reading the PUA (aka pick up artist) content out there, but I do think you wasted SOME of your time. A lot of pick-up artists teach basic social skills and techniques that are useful to people from all walks of life. You should make eye-contact when you speak, you should speak with confidence, and you shouldn’t let fear hold you back. A lot of it, however, is misogynistic trash, or worse, encourages predatory behavior. Depending on the person teaching it and their techniques, you’ll get a lot of advice that says things to the effect of “disregard her rejections and physically force or coerce her to touch you, make out with you, or give you her phone number”, which is terrible advice. I’d avoid reading PUA stuff and try to read things that are focused on basic social skill building. I’m a huge fan of Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People and I can tell you honestly that this book would do way more for you than reading a PUA book. I’ve podcasted about applying the lessons learned from How to Win Friends and Influence People and you can listen to that episode here: The Secrets to Dating Success. I honestly want you (and daters in general) to succeed at finding love and happiness, so if you take any of this advice at all to heart, know that I’m NOT trying to sell you a pick-up method for profit (as many PUAs do). The reason I’m recommending that you read the book, and listen to the podcast, is because I genuinely think it’s better to learn social skills as opposed to pick up artist skills. The advice in both the book and the podcast is honest and practical and will cost you about $10 for the book, nothing to listen to the podcast except 15 minutes of your time, or you could spend $3000. The choice is yours of course, but I know what I’d do.
For the actual “how-to” of how you should approach escalation, well that’s simple. I’ve written about escalation before in the post “I suck at getting physical. Any way to get better at it?” and also in the post “When And How Should You Escalate To Sex?” but I get the feeling you want to learn how to escalate from stranger to potential date, and you’re less concern about the sex part for now which is great, because escalating in dating is actually pretty easy. If she’s someone you’ll encounter again, get to know her a bit, ask her out, go on a first date somewhere casual, not crowded, and chill (i.e. not a club, not a rowdy sports bar, not the sketchiest dive bar imaginable). Your second date should also be somewhere casual, not crowded, and chill, and just build on your conversations from your first date. Your focus on dates should be building connections, so focus on learning things about your dates and building on what you learn. If she tells you she’s doing an event inbetween date one and date two, ask about that date on date two. Keep in mind that you can only escalate if she’s into you. It doesn’t matter how by-the-book you are about escalation if she doesn’t want a second date.
Just be patient when it comes to asking out the girls (if you can afford to be patient), date with honesty and sincerity, avoid the majority of the PUA techniques, and go out there and date people whose personality you find just as attractive as their body.
Good Luck Out There.