Cold Approach VS Social Circle (VS Tinder): Strategies

Cold approach, warm approach via social circle, or Tinder?

Which one should you choose when it comes to meeting and approaching women?

This article shows you the pros and cons, together with techniques to use each one of them the way we like it: more effectively, and higher in power.

1. Cold Approach

“Cold approach” is defined as:

walking up to a woman who is a complete stranger, with no social ties and no social trust, and with the intention of getting sexually and/or romantically involved with her.

PROS:

  • Empowering: knowing you can go out randomly and approach women you like is empowering both at a mental and inter-personal level
  • Empowering Independence: with cold approach, you can rely on yourself and yourself alone
  • Empowering Freedom: you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, and can meet new women just by walking around
  • Quantity of options: if you live in a large city, there are countless options
attractive woman with shopping bags
Higher-end shopping streets and stores are some of my favorite places for cold approaches
  • You can leverage the law of large numbers to find a mate: go out every day for a month, approach 5 women a day. If not, just make it 2 months. Or 3. And… You see where I’m going.
  • High power (for more average men and women): a good cold approach sends a strong message of confidence and social power.
    Exception: This does not apply to exceptional or famous men -who gain more power by being approached or introduced-
  • Can empower men entering LTRs: it empowers him if she knows he can easily find a mate anywhere . That makes it easier for him to maintain attraction and power in long-term relationships.
    Note: there are no downsides for high-status and/or attractive men if he met her via social circle, since she also knows he can find other women no matter how they met.
  • Opportunity for personal growth: cold approach can be an opportunity to face your (social) fears and learn more about people, body language, social dynamics, and nonverbal signals
    Note: there is a threshold effect. Once one has overcome the fear and done enough cold approaches, doing many more can become a time sink (see low-powered PUAs roaming the streets and doing little with their lives)

Overall, cold approach is a tool of freedom.
And that’s what I love about it the most.

To enjoy the empowerment of cold approach you don’t even have to cold approach.
It’s just the knowledge that you can that is empowering and will give you the same benefits.

CONS:

That’s some impressive list of pros there.

However, how about the cons? And how about effectiveness?

Let’s see:

  • Many top women are not in the streets: many top-caliber women are rarely out and about in the street. They use taxis or private drivers.
    As a rule of thumb:
    • The more dangerous the city, the fewer top-caliber women walking around
    • The more elitist the city, the more the top calibers women hide in high-society (balls, galas, country clubs, art exhibitions, etc.)
    • The more inequality in the city, the more top caliber women shun the streets
young melania trump
A young Melania Trump: you don’t meet these foxy ladies in the street, but at exclusive parties and clubs
  • Low power when approaching top caliber women: Approaching first inherently communicates you want something from the woman. And it suggests you probably don’t already have a great abundance
  • Can be tough on ego: In cold approach, success is a statistical fluke. A string of rejections can sink someone’s confidence and self-esteem.
    Note: However, this shouldn’t be the reason to stop you, and only happens to men who haven’t worked on themselves -see: “growth mindset“, and “antifragile ego
  • You can’t easily overcome stereotypes: it’s harder to overcome a negative stereotype by just walking up to someone cold.
  • Looks and first-impressions matter more: in cold approach she knows nothing about you, except how you look, and how you come across in the very first minutes -or seconds-.
  • Potentially low returns on investment: not particularly attractive and/or skilled men will have to go through a lot of interactions to find some good prospects.
    Just look at some of the few honest videos on YB (James Tusk, for example).
    Fix: you can mitigate this factor by only going about his life and approaching when he sees an attractive woman
  • Opportunity loss: Trawling the streets take time. Time that will not be spent building careers, businesses, or reaching mastery, status, and/or fame.
  • Fragile interactions, one mistake and you’re out: Early interactions are fragile. But you can go for quantity rather than quality.
  • Reputation risk: Cold approaches done over a long time can be a risk to some men’s reputation.
  • Inherently flakier: Without social ties, you also have little social capital. And unless you can have a longer interaction/instant date, you rely on fleeting emotions. This is especially true with:
    • Risk-avoidant women
    • Reserved women: Cold approach can work with more reserved, shier, or “sexually restricted” women -I’ve personally dated plenty of those-. But those women are more likely to be overwhelmed by cold approach and exit the interaction. Or never come out to meet you.
      Fix: “tone it down” and read below

The Issue of Risk-Avoidant Culture

As I experienced different places and cultures, I realized this:

One of the variables that most impacts sexual dynamics is the risk appetite of the local women.

And women’s risk-appetite impacts cold approach the most.

You know you are in a risk-averse society when you have signs of attraction, but many of those attracted women will still not come out to meet you.

These are just some examples of women who showed signs of attractions but who never came out to meet me:

Risk-averse women will often either not meet cold-approaching guys, or get cold feet and cancel, even when they like them

To generalize, in risk-averse sexual markets, cold approaches yield a higher percentage of dates with more sexually unrestricted or “crazy” women.

It’s not a coincidence that in my dating experience in more sexually restricted countries, I had a relatively high percentage of crazy women. It’s because those were the ones most likely to follow through on cold approaches (see in the forums one example here -psycho girl section-, one more here, and one more here, with heavy early sexual frames).

Solution: Making cold-approach work in risk-averse culture

See “Seduction University”.

Best For:

Overall, cold approach works great for attractive men and men looking for quick volumes.

Cold approach works best for:

  • Attractive men
  • Well-groomed men
  • Men who can act confident / high-power
  • Socially intelligent men: this is about calibration

Pro Tip: High-Volumes, But Not Overcrowded

More than once I’ve seen groups of PUAs.

Most often, they all lined up in the most crowded spot in the city.
For example, a subway exit (Seoul’s Gangnam Exit 5), a busy crossroad (Shibuya in Tokyo), or a shopping road / central square (Berlin’s Alexanderplatz).

picture of a place too crowded for cold approaches
Women have higher defensive shields in crowded places, and are more likely to reject strangers as default responses

From a numbers’ point of view, it makes sense: more women, more opportunities.

But it doesn’t make sense from a psychological point of view.

We didn’t evolve to move around hundreds of strangers and hop on and off subways, so people’s instinctive defenses tend to be higher in transition and crowded spots.

Cold-Approaching & Reputation

As a rule of thumb:

Anyone who’s finished university and with a reputation to uphold should be a bit more careful with cold approaches.

There are two not-so-true mantras in the pick-up community:

  1. Myth 1. Nobody cares about what you’re doing: some people are curious, actually. You can disregard random folks, but the most curious ones are those who matter the most to you: people you do know.
  2. Myth 2. The fear of cold approach is baseless and counterproductive: it’s true that most overblow the risks. But that doesn’t mean the risks are necessarily zero.

So let’s review a few cases in which cold approaching can pose some risks:

Men who are seeing someone must be careful with cold-approaching

If you’re not in a committed relationship, then fair game.

It can still cause some unnecessary issues though:

risks of cold approaching text example
Even if you’re not “official” yet, cold approaching can still invite drama

Sometimes it’s not even your girl seeing you, but her friends. And you know that a jealous guy friend would be SO happy to record you and “report” you.

Doing lots of cold approaches in the same spot can also ruin a previous good cold approach you had.
In one instance, a woman I had cold-approached and agreed to meet again saw me doing another cold approach. She then walked up to me and straight-up told me: “delete my number”.
My respect for that woman shot up. But I had ruined it with overdoing the cold approaches.

So, as a rule of thumb, if you had some really good interactions, it can be a good idea to either pause for the day, or to at least change location.
If it’s in a bar or club and it was a really good interaction, you can also consider going somewhere else.

Men who care to keep an impeccable reputation

I know what you’re thinking.

This is a stupid mindset, there is nothing wrong with cold-approaching!

And I agree with you.

But getting a reputation for a “skirt-chaser” can still harm the reputation of certain people and professions.

It’s also important not to blow this risk out of proportion: it’s not the worst reputation you can have. But some of your enemies might use this small quibble as their beachhead to launch their defaming campaign.

Men who want a high-status, high-power reputation

“Chasing skirts” is considered low-power in society.

And, in a way, for understandable reasons.
Lots of skirt-chasing is a time-sink, so people think that you “have nothing better to do”, or that you have no bigger goals or priorities in your life, which is an indicator of low-quality in a man.

If you approach once, and do it low-key and make it look natural, it’s OK.
But the moment someone sees you approaching twice, then you’re already entering the “skirt-chaser” category. 

Needless to say, you lose even more power and reputation if people see you approach a girl who ignores you or rejects you.
That’s true in bar and clubs as well. But, in the street, you could easily move from “skirt-chaser” to “light-harasser”.

How to Preserve Status & Reputation

See “Seduction University”.

2. Online Dating

You heard these before:

“Online dating doesn’t work”

Or:

“There are only average girls on Tinder”.

I don’t find either of those to be true.
Because online dating doesn’t work for those saying it doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for anyone.

So let’s get down to the advantages of online dating:

PROS:

  • Time-effective: you can swipe during down-times of your life -commuting, waiting in que, or even on the toilet, where many women do it-. You you can swipe and reply as a way of chilling at the end of a long day.
  • Easy to schedule hookups (if you’re top 20%): If you’re high enough SMV and are in a risk-taking and libertine sexual marketplace, it’s easy to schedule hookups.
  • Wide choice
  • Mo’ money, mo’ matches: premium features available for more chances
  • Travelers’ secret weapon: you can line up dates before you even set foot in a new location. Hit the ground… Banging.
  • Market penetration intelligence at the fingertip: dating apps can be used to scout your best sexual marketplaces before deciding where to go (bonus section)
  • Meet women you wouldn’t otherwise meet: some women don’t party, some work night shifts, and some rarely set foot in the street.
    Example:

I once had a great time with an “e-girl”.
She made a good income broadcasting on camera and collecting gifts from her admirers (simps). She’d rarely leave home and was afraid of being seen around her fans.
Hence, you could only meet her with online dating.

pictures of an e-girl

CONS:

  • Not all women are online: all women say they’re not Tinder, or they just downloaded “for curiosity”. Still, some are telling the truth.
  • Some of the most in-demand women don’t do online: the more real-life options, and the more high-quality men she has around, the less likely it is she will be online. There are exceptions, as for everything.
  • More sexually promiscuous women are over-represented?: Question mark there. Frankly, I have no data and I’m not sure
  • It’s a winner-take-all game: great news for top of the pyramid guys, but not for all the rest. If you’re not getting great results, don’t despair, because that’s how it is for the majority of men.

But this is NOT a con:

  • Some women are there for validation: sure, a few women are there just for the validation. But I don’t think it’s anymore than in real life.

Best For:

  • Attractive men: the good news is that it’s as much about your looks, as it is about the quality and angles of your pictures.
  • Rich / famous men who can show off their value: pictures with supercars, yachts, jets, or famous people won’t hurt.
  • Men reaping sexual marketplaces imbalances: ie.: white men in locations where white men are sought after

Personally, online dating is highly environment-dependent for me.

It works little in some sexual markets, including in some markets where I didn’t do badly in person.
But it’s worked so well in some other places that I barely needed to meet anyone in person.

3. Social Events (Lukewarm)

I defined lukewarm approaches as:

Walking up to a woman who is a complete stranger, but in a situation where talking and meeting to new people is both normal and expected.

Lukewarm approaches often take place in pre-planned social events that are about mingling, talking, or networking.
They include:

  • Gala events
  • House parties
  • Churches
  • Business conferences
  • Meetups
  • Seminars and trainings
  • Language exchanges
  • Airbnb events
  • Travelers’ meetups (Couchsurfing, Facebook, etc.)

These events are social in nature, but plenty of people also attend them with dating in mind.

PROS:

As a mix between cold approach and social circle, you get many advantages of both.

  • Socially skilled men can showcase social dominance and leadership skills -and women love that-

This is the biggest advantage and the reason why socially skilled must do some social events to take advantage of their strength.

  • Social trust makes shier & sexually restricted women feel safer: if social circles score 10 in trust and cold approach scores 0, you’re at around a 6 or 7 here, enough to make shier and more reserved women feel comfortable.
  • Great opportunity for self-promotion: you can display deeper SMV values like resources, life achievements, lifestyle, as well as dating success talking to the group or to someone else, without bragging to the girl you’re interested in -big difference- (see the course for examples on how to do this)
  • Great opportunity to become a star (“localized fame”): If you speak in front of everyone at some seminar or event, even just disagreeing or asking smart questions, people will remember you and you become “famous” in that environment. A friend of mine volunteered to sing at a tourist party. Little later, two women approached him, and he had sex with one of them (the story is here).
  • Very attractive women attend exclusive events:
  • Can combine dating with socialization: even if your primary goal is to meet women, you can still meet some cool guys. And who knows, either make a new good friend, or a business partner.
  • Social skills training: events are a far better way of learning socialization than cold approach
  • You can retain power: talking and approaching is normal, so you don’t signal interest like in cold approach
  • You can get women chasing you: if you acquire status in the group, some women chase you.
    Once at a meetup I had an aspiring actress to my left talking about Italian food. I turned around, joked a bit and then asked if she knew any good Italian place. She said that “maybe she could take me there” (and later just followed my lead for where to go instead).
  • Sexualize from the very beginning: it’s also possible to sexualize the interaction from the very beginning.
    The movie “Eyes Wide Shut” is all based on sexualized lukewarm approaches:

CONS:

  • Limited to the attendees’ list: and if there is none you like, you can’t do much about it.
  • Not as time effective: if your goal is only to meet women, events might not provide the opportunity for quick and successive approaches.
  • Potential for high competition when men outnumber women: in some events there might be far more men than women, and women automatically “become the prize“. However, if you come across as cool enough, you can use “strategic ignoring” before finally making your move and, if she preferred you, you meet her as equals.

Best For:

4. Social Circle (Warm)

Your social circle includes:

  • Your old friends
  • Your current friends
  • College and university colleagues
  • The people you go out / party with
  • Your extended family
  • Your neighbors -as long as you at least say hi to them-
  • Your colleagues and coworkers
  • Anyone who attends your same activities

Social circle game is defined as:

To meet or pursue women with whom, because of social ties, context, or repeated exposure, it feels natural and socially normal to start a conversation with

It’s a fuzzy definition, so social circle game includes meeting women who:

  • You know yourself
  • You know through friends or acquaintances
  • You see often (barista at your favorite bar, for example)
  • You’re already friends on social media
  • You share some striking similarities with

Social circles can be differentiated into:

  • Core circles, with the guys and girls you really know well
  • Peripheral circles, with friends of friends, acquaintances, and people you see and “know they exist”, but don’t really talk to.

Core circles dating is more for providers and relationships. Peripheral circles can go both ways.

PROS:

  • Shier / sexually restricted women feel safest: there is the highest in-built social trust.
  • Best for relationship-only women: women who swore off hookups respond better to social circle men.
  • A potentially endless chain of new people: you can move into new social circles with just one new person.
  • With high status you can get women chasing you: women respond to power and status (hypergamy). So if you have or acquire high status in the group, you can get women chasing you.
  • More rooms for mistakes: women tend to provide more leeway to social circle men they like.
  • Attraction has a long expiration date: you have more time to get together with a girl when there is mutual attraction.
  • Looks matter less: you have the time to show your deeper qualities and to “grow” on women. My first “serious”, girlfriend wouldn’t have given me the time of the day if I had stopped her in the street (and she let me know that, which of course was a “value me more power move“)
  • You can leverage the “similarity effect”: people like people who are like them (Swani, 2015). In social circle, there is that feeling that “we’re somewhat alike and get along with each other”.
  • Social circles = network = power: social circles go beyond dating. People and connections are power, and that adds value to your whole life, not just dating.
  • Lifestyle approach to seduction: a few men can build a lifestyle around social circles that that naturally gets attractive women around them. Think of club promoters, movie producers, model agents, but also model photographers.
weinstein example of low quality man
He used his social circles poorly, but more skilled men could have slept with the same women, without being slimy
  • A cool social circle helps you meet and seduce women: if your friends are cool, that rubs off of you. And If you have attractive girlfriends, they work as a powerful preselection tool
  • Good screening tool: you can get gather intel, get references, and observe how she behaves. That helps you avoid low-quality women

CONS:

  • Most “normal guys” have poor social circles for dating: social circle dating only work for guys who have good social circles, or who can create them.
  • Poor option for introverts: Introverts are not as effective and willing to develop and tend to social circles.
  • Poor option for freedom lovers: social circles must be tended to, and come with social obligations.

This is NOT a con:

See here an example of a “high-value” friend who has his pick of women:

That’s a guy who’s taken social circle game a high level

  • Status and dating will be interrelated: if you got a high status, that will help you get girls, and if those girls say good things, that will boost your status. But it cuts both ways. If you chase hard, if you get spurned, if your relationship tanks, if the girl gets hurt and talks badly about you… Then you will also lose social status.
    Fix: Just don’t worry about this, it’ a defensive mindset
  • Can’t ghost / soft-next them: ghosting is often the weasel’s way of ending things. But, in some cases, avoiding someone instead of having “the conversation” is a valid option. But you don’t have that in social circles.
  • You move slower: not always but, on average, women care about their reputation if you know their friends. And even more so if you are her friend. So they might move slower with you just to protect their reputation.
  • Potential for personal details to leak out: when you get in a relationship with someone from social circle, her girlfriends will hear much of you personal life.
  • Potential for awkwardness after a breakup: when your exes remain within your social circles not only your dirty laundry has the potential to leak out, but the dirty laundry stays there.

Funny example from “How I Met Your Mother”:

Ted: We dated for, like, a year. But now we’re just friends. It’s not weird.
Victoria: No, no. Why would that be weird? I mean, if you hung out every day, that would…
Ted: We do.
Victoria: …still not be weird. Boy, I’ve never known anybody that hangs out with their ex every day.
Ted: Well, Barney does.
Victoria: Really? Who’s Barney’s ex-girlfriend?
Ted: Robin.
Victoria: Your Robin?
Ted: Mine and Barney’s, yeah.
Victoria: You don’t all three hang out together?
Ted: All the time.
Victoria: And we have weird.

Best For:

  • High status and high power men
  • “Cool” guys: who are liked and respected by others
  • Men with “deeper layers value: such as, men with attractive traits that are not obviously visible on first approach

Avoid Depending on Small Circles

See “Seduction University”.

Which One Should You Go For?

There is no general “best” that applies to everyone and in all situations.

When someone is too adamant in recommending one against the other, you should ask yourself:

  1. Is he biased because he wasn’t personally successful in any of the other methods?
  2. Is he biased because he is selling one specific method?

What’s “best” for you depends on your personal strengths, lifestyle, station of life, as well as your environment and the type of sexual marketplace you live in.

Cold Approach VS Social Circle

Social circles have received a bad rep in the dating industry.

Personally, I think it’s a question of self-serving interest.
Since most PUAs sell courses and ebooks based on cold approaches, it pays to denigrate social circles (and online dating).

I almost always disagree with generalizations.
And what’s best for you depends on your strengths, preferences, as well as where you live.

In terms of power and effectiveness, some coaches say that cold approachers have an advantage over guys in her social circle.
But that’s only true if you’re comparing a great cold-approacher VS a poor social circle guy. Otherwise, the final advantage always come back to “who’s higher value”, independently of how she knows him.

That being said, if we were to pitch two completely identical guys that she both likes the same way -an almost impossible proposition, by the way-, then the cold-approacher might have the edge if she wants a one night stand, while the social circle guy might get the edge if she seeks a relationship.

Summary

We reviewed the different strategies to approach and meet women:

  • Cold approach is to walk to a woman you have no social connection with, and strike up a conversation.
  • Lukewarm approach: is to attend event, mixers, as well as bars and nightclubs where people are expected to talk and interact.
  • Warm approach through social circles is to pursue or meet women whom you already know, or that you meet through something or someone in comm
  • Online dating is to meet women through dating apps. Easy and super-effective for top 10% folks.

And we said that the best approach is to mix all of them.

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