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, with the intention of getting sexually and/or romantically involved with her.
- Empowering: the knowledge that you can meet a woman you like (almost) any time you see one, is empowering both at a mental and inter-personal level. It empowers you to only accept great and collaborative relationships, to draw your fair boundaries, and to refuse any crap, abuse, and manipulative games some women play.
- Empowering Independence: with cold approach, you can rely on yourself and yourself alone. It’s great to get all the help you can get, but if you don’t get any, it’s tremendously empowering to be able to find your own women.
- Empowering Freedom: you can go wherever you want, whenever you want, and can meet some new women just by walking around.
- You can leverage the law of large numbers to find a mate: go out for a month straight, cold-approach 5 women a day, and chances are good that you will meet someone you like and who likes you back. If not, just make it 2 months. Or 3. And… You see where I’m going.
- High power (for more average men and women): if the initial approach was well executed, it sends a strong message of confidence and social power. On the other hand, if he muddled through, there is no real power-upside.
Exception: This does not apply to more exceptional and/or famous men -who gain more power by being approached- and women -who are used to pursuers and various weirdos-.
- Can empower men entering LTRs: if they met via cold approach, she knows that he can go out and meet another woman the same way he has met her. 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.
- Quantity of options: if you live in any large city, there are tens of thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of attractive mates within your cold approaching reach.
Higher-end shopping streets and stores are some of my favorite places for cold approaches
- 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.
- Many top women are not in the streets: this the truth that some PUA dating coaches fear the most. How much this applies to you also depends on the type of city and environment you live in, but many top-caliber women are rarely out and about in the street. And many of them don’t do the 9-5 from home to office. 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 are not be seen in certain areas and districts
A young Melania Trump: you don’t meet these foxy ladies in the street, but at high-society parties and events
- Low power when approaching top caliber women: the act of approaching first inherently communicates you want something from the woman. Plus, it suggests you probably don’t have a great abundance and/or ease of meeting women somewhere else. That doesn’t matter with average, cute, or even attractive but overall “normal” women. But those considerations matter when we’re talking about the highest-value women.
- Inherently flakier: Without social ties, you also have little social capital. And unless you can have a longer interaction/instant date, you rely on her liking you. Such as, your rely on emotions and feelings, which are fleeting. Later on, once she’s away from you, she’ll wonder “do I want to meet this random guy again”? And the answer is not always “yes”.
- 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.
So, for example, a black man cold-approaching in China, will face lots of rejections out of pure inborn reflex.
- You can’t as easily work-around looks and first-impressions: in cold approaching she knows nothing about you, except how you look, and how you come across in the very first minutes -or seconds-. Hence, cold approach overplays looks and first impressions, and downplays all your other qualities.
- 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: if men spend too much time cold approaching, they might lose out on opportunities to fix their lives in ways that would make them more attractive. For example, building careers, businesses, or reaching mastery, status, and/or fame.
- Fragile interactions, one mistake and you’re out: early interactions are fragile. And that’s mostly true for online dating and, to a slightly lesser extent, cold approaches. You get some more leeway when the girl is very into you from the very first moment.
- Reputation risk: cold approach can be a risk to a man’s reputation. Men who don’t care about it, or who are in professions where they don’t need reputation, can ignore it. Some other men should take this into account.
- Lack of social trust means many women will not follow through: social trust can make the difference between a girl who likes you and meets you, and a girl who likes you but never replies to your texts, or never comes out to meet you. The problem is bigger with the following two categories of women:
- Poorer with risk-avoidant women: Many women consider men who cold-approach them as higher-risk. So, naturally, cold approach works better with risk-taking women. There is an overlap between risk-taking and “easy”, albeit they’re far from the same:
- Slightly poorer with more reserved women: more reserved, shier, or “sexually restricted” women are more likely to be overwhelmed by cold approach and exit the interaction. Those who are more likely to stay and ride into the sunset with the cold-approaching men are the more sexually liberated. This can be a plus or a con, depending on the man’s preferences.
Fix: “tone it down” and put them at ease
The Issue of Risk-Avoidant Culture
This is a new concept in seduction literature.
But as I experienced different places and cultures, I realized that 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.
Cold approach works less with more risk-averse women and in more risk-averse societies.
You know you are in a risk-averse society when you see and feel obvious signs of attraction, but many of those attracted women will still not come out to meet you.
As I write this article I’m staying in Korea, which was for me a great example of a “risk-averse sexual marketplace ™”.
These are just some of the examples of strong attraction signs where the woman still didn’t come 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
This is not to say that cold approach “doesn’t work”, of course. But cold approaching in risk-averse cultures you will end up more often with a certain type of woman.
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 Korea, 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).
Cold Approaches Are Best For:
Overall, cold approach works great for attractive men, and in more risk-taking cultures.
Cold approach works best for:
- Attractive men
- Well-groomed men
- Men who can act confident / high-power
- Socially intelligent men: this is about calibration
This is not to say that only those men can get results with cold approach, but it means that they will get the best results and the biggest bang for the buck.
Cold Approaching Pro Tip:
More than once I’ve seen groups of PUAs.
Most often, they all lined up in the most crowded spot in the city, either a subway exit (Seoul’s Gangnam Exit 5), a busy crossroad (Shibuya in Tokyo), or a central and touristy square (Berlin’s Alexanderplatz and surrounding streets).
In crowded places, women have higher defensive shields to climb, and are more likely to reject strangers as default responses
From a numbers’ point of view, it makes sense: more women are passing by, so there are more opportunities.
But it doesn’t make sense from a psychological point of view.
People’s instinctive defenses tend to be higher in transition and crowded spots, and women tend to instinctually exit, or to write men off after the interaction.
It’s best to pick slightly less crowded places, instead.
Who Needs to Be Careful With Cold-Approaching
As a rule of thumb:
Anyone with a reputation to uphold should be a bit more careful about cold approaches.
There are two myths perpetrated by the pick-up community:
- Myth 1. Nobody cares about what you’re doing: many people are curious, actually. You can care little about random folks, but the most curious ones are also those who matter the most to you: the people you do know.
- Myth 2. The social fear of cold approach is totally 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
Even when you are simply pursuing a woman, or dating someone but without being committed yet, her seeing you cold-approach or talk to other women can cause issues.
See here an example:
Even if you’re not “official” yet, cold approaching can still invite drama
Drama can harm or outright break relationships -as it happened to me in that first example-. So men who are happily dating should be most careful with cold-approaching.
Sometimes it’s not even about your girl directly seeing you, but it’s about her friends as well. And you know that a jealous guy friend would be SO happy of “reporting” 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 stop the cold approaching 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 might even consider leaving that place and go 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 reputation is not about what you and I agree on, it’s about what most people, and society at large, thinks.
And men who randomly cold-approach women tend to lose some status in society as you get branded as a “skirt-chaser”.
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 to control their narrative
Sometimes you just don’t want people to know that you’re cold approaching women, even if you don’t care about others.
It’s a question of having the power to control your narrative: the more people know -or think they know- about you, the less you control your narrative and reputation.
- Men who want to keep their reputation as “high-power”
“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 still 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”.
Don’t Overblow The Risks, But Minimize Them
If you got a reputation to take care of, do this:
- Approach only women you really like, which lowers your number of approaches
- Approach farther away from your home/workplace
- Make your approaches more natural-sounding and natural-looking
2. 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.
- Gala events
- House parties
- Business conferences
- Entrepreneurs’ meetups
- Seminars and trainings
- Language exchanges
- Airbnb events
- Travelers’ meetups (Couchsurfing, Facebook, etc.)
- Meetup events
These events are social in nature, but plenty of people also attend them with dating in mind.
Personally, I love the opportunity to mix dating with socializing.
As a mix between cold approach and social circle, you get many advantages of cold approach, plus a few nice bonuses.
- Socially skilled men can showcase social dominance and leadership skills -and women love leaders–: When groups are forming, it’s a once in a lifetime chance of showing off your confidence, social skills, self-promotion skills, and power dynamics awareness. Women love men who can quickly move to the top of the hierarchies, and doing it real-time is the ultimate honest signal.
- 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, which is often enough to make even the shier and more reserved type of women feel comfortable.
- Great opportunity for self-promotion: smart men can subtly show off and display deeper SMV values like resources, life achievements, lifestyle, as well as dating success without bragging to the girl -big difference- (see the course for examples on how to do this)
- Great opportunity to become a famous star (“localized fame”): imagine you’re at a training or presentation. If you speak in front of everyone, even just disagreeing or asking smart questions to the speaker, people will remember you and you become a “famous” in that environment”. A friend of mine once volunteered to sing a song at a tourist party. Little later, two women in quick succession approached him, and he later proceeded to bang one of them (the story is here).
- Easy for introverts: there are no obligations with one-offs events, and you can leave or re-enter at any time.
- Sexualize from the very beginning: club nights, balls and parties are all lukewarm environments since it’s expected for people to mingle, flirt and, potentially, find new lovers. So it’s also possible to sexualize the interaction from the very beginning.
The movie “Eyes Wide Shut” is all based on sexualized lukewarm approaches:
- Very attractive ming in high-society & exclusive events: the quality and amount of women vary widely depending on the event. Normal Meetup events often don’t have the highest quality of women, but higher-class events have almost only attractive women.
- 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, so they are also an opportunity to increase your social skills, which will serve you well in all areas of life.
- Men can retain their power: Since you can start talking about anything, you have the possibility of not showing interest right away. That allows men to retain their power and make her invest and work for it as well.
- You can get women chasing you: if you acquire high status in the group, you can get some women chasing you.
I remember once sitting at a table, an aspiring actress to my left was talking about Italian food, so I turned around, joked a bit and then asked if she knew any good place. She said that “maybe she could take me there”.
- Limited quantity: you’re 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, except for clubs, then events might not provide you as many opportunities for quick and successive approaches.
- Potential for high competition when men outnumber women: in some events, there might be far more men than women. When that’s the case, the dynamics help women to “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 effectively meet her as equals, without chasing.
- Socially skilled men
3. 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 games 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 whom:
- 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.
- 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 by just meeting one new person.
- With high status you can get women chasing you: women respond powerfully 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: it’s harder to move fast in social circle, but the other side of the coin is that you also got far more time to get together with a girl when there is mutual attraction.
- Looks matter less: since people spend time together, you got the chance 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 was nice enough to 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, and this is also true in dating and attraction (Swani, 2015). In social circle, there is that feeling that “we’re somewhat alike and get along with each other well”.
- 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.
Got professional going places in their industries? Then you have the power to make valuable introductions to anyone. Are there attractive women in your social circle? Then you can make an intro, and/or get invited to all cool parties.
- 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.
This POS forced or cajoled many women, but I’m pretty sure countless also willingly slept with him because of his power and position.
- A cool social circle helps you meet and seduce women: if your friends are cool, that rubs off of you. And If you have cool and attractive girlfriends, they work as a powerful preselection tool. Plus, good friends will help you by talking well about you.
- Good screening tool: you can get gather intel, get references, and observe well how she behaves. That helps you avoid low-quality women, jealous boyfriends, drama queens, and random pushers like this one:
Social circles help you avoid lady-pushers, too 🙂
Myth-Busting: Social Circles Are Not Necessarily Limited
Some authors scoff at social circles saying they are limited and small.
But that’s not true. Only socially unskilled folks trap themselves within the confines of their circles.
Social circles overlap, with new members periodically coming or going. Socially skilled men can join new social circles at any given time, just by inviting new people, and/or befriending a single gatekeeper of a different social circle.
I call these successful social circle guys the “connectors”.
- 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.
At the extreme, think of a shy a software developer with male colleagues and no friends. His social circle is useless for dating.
- 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. If you prefer traveling, doing your own thing, or not owing anything to anyone, social circles can become a burden.
- Risk of being friend-zoned: some women don’t wanna get romantically involved with those whom they perceive as friends.
Explanation: this is a false problem. The problem is about being a low-value friend, because women are still attracted to their high-value friends.
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: friends and girlfriends overlap and feed into each other. 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.
Explanation: this does not have to be a bad thing, and worrying about this is an example of defensive mindset.
- Can’t ghost / soft-next them: Ghosting is often the weasel’s way of ending things. But, in some specific circumstances, 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 your personal life.
Example: Once a girl I was seeing from social circle saw an embarrassing laptop search of mine. She immediately told the “funny” story to her friend -and mutual friend- of ours.
- 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.
Seen an example here:
- 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
Who Should Be Careful With It
Guys with poor and average social circles should be careful with using only social circle.
The problem with doing social circle only within small social circles is that guys with small social circles and average social skills acquire a defensive mindset.
And they lose power.
Since they only interact with a few women they are attracted to, they tend to tie their fortune on those women, which makes them defensive and emotionally dependent.
A new guy enters their social circle?
They are defensive and scared.
And you don’t wanna be that guy.
4. Online Dating
You heard these before:
“Online dating doesn’t work”
“There are only average girls on Tinder”.
If you read around here, you know I can’t f*cking stand generalizations.
I don’t know where the folks who say the above are swiping in, but I see plenty of attractive women on dating apps.
And because it didn’t work for them, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for anyone.
So let’s get down to the advantages of online dating:
- Time-effective: you can swipe while commuting, while waiting for your food, or even on the toilet -where many women do it-. Since it’s so low effort and looking at profiles can even be fun, you can swipe as a way of chilling at the end of a long day.
- Easy to schedule hookups (if you’re top 20%): many women do online dating to find boyfriends, but a good chunk do it for sex as well. So IF you’re high enough SMV and are in a risk-taking sexual marketplace, it’s easy to schedule hookups.
- Wide choice: if you’re in a big city, you have near endless profiles to swipe from.
- Mo’ money, mo’ matches: premium features and boosts give you the chance to be seen by more women.
- Low investment of time: unless you fall in the trap of perusing profiles for hours and hours, online dating can be very time efficient.
- Low emotional investment: swiping is easy and easy for everyone to do. That can be an advantage, but also a disadvantage (as we will see)
- The 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. The quantity of matches you get, as well as the “match-score” you get on apps such OkCupid is a good indicator of how successful you will be in person
- Meet women you wouldn’t otherwise meet: some women don’t party, some work night shifts, and some rarely set foot in the street.
I once had a good time with one of those girls that today would be referred to as “e-girl” -in this case, almost literally-.
This lady made a good income broadcasting on camera and collecting gifts from her admirers (simps). But she avoided being outside to avoid the “fans”, so… She’d never leave home. Hence, you could only meet her with online dating.
- Many in-demand women are not 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 might be exceptions, as for everything, but that’s the general rule.
- More sexually promiscuous women are over-represented: as online dating becomes more normal, the general population will be well-represented on dating apps. But as of today, some more conservative women with real-life options might still be put off by it.
- 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 in real life, you also meet countless of non-sexually available women. As a matter of fact, the percentage of available women is far higher in online dating apps.
Works Best For:
- Attractive men: online dating is mostly about looks. The good news though is that it’s as much about your real 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 surely won’t hurt.
- Men reaping sexual marketplaces imbalances: ie.: white men in locations where white men are prized; rich men showing off money in poor locations.
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.
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:
- Is he biased because he wasn’t personally successful in any of the other methods?
- Is he biased because he is selling one specific method?
What’s “best” for you depends on your personal strengths, lifestyle, station in life, as well as your environment and the type of sexual marketplace you live in.
Cold Approach VS Social Circle
Since most PUAs sell cold approaches systems, social circles have either been shunned, or gotten a bad rep.
I don’t like generalizations, and what’s best for you depends on your strengths, preferences, as well as your environment.
In terms of pure power and effectivness, some dating 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. If the guy in her social circle takes action on her attraction and knows what he’s doing, it’s the guy in her social circle who has an advantage instead.
But if we were to pitch two completely identical high-value guys that she both likes the same way -and 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.
We reviewed the different strategies to approach and meet women.
As you can see, there are pros and cons to each.
The healthiest option is always a mix of them all.
And the healthiest options almost always stay away from the extremes. You don’t wanna be the guy who spends hours and hours every day in streets or clubs, as much as you don’t want to be the guy who only relies on a small social circle to date a woman.