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
- 2. Online Dating
- 3. Social Events (Lukewarm)
- 4. Social Circle (Warm)
- Which One Should You Go For?
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.
- 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 and dense city there are countless options
- You can leverage the law of large numbers to find a mate: go out every day for a month, approach 10 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 well-executed cold approach can send a strong message of confidence and social power.
BUT: most cold approaches are not high-power
- Can empower men entering LTRs: it’s empowering to him if she knows he can find a mate anywhere. That makes it easier for him to maintain attraction and power in long-term relationships.
Note: that’s not to say that high-status men cannot enjoy the same benefit even if they meet via social circle
- 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
Overall, cold approach is a tool of freedom.
And that’s what I love about it the most.
To enjoy some of cold approach’s benefits, you don’t even have to cold approach.
The knowledge that you can is empowering in itself.
That’s some impressive list of pros there.
However, how about the cons? And how about effectiveness?
- 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
- Limited potential outside of big urban cities: proper day game requires bigger cities. Even more than that, not to make it a time sink, it requires densely populated big cities, and densely populated with the type of girls you like.
Anything less than, you can approach when you see something good, but you’d waste too much time going out only for daygaming.
- 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.
- Opportunity loss: Trawling the streets takes 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 anyone. It’s just that certain types of women, such as sexually unrestricted and risk-takers, are more likely to go for it.
Fix: “tone it down” and read “Seduction University” for the how-to.
- Potentially low power: Approaching first inherently communicates you want something from the woman. And it suggests you probably don’t already have a great abundance
In terms of “Straight Line Seduction“:
Be Warmer With Risk-Avoidant Women
As a highly observant world traveler, I realized this:
To maximize results it’s important to tailor your approach to the “risk appetite” of the local women.
And women’s risk appetite matters the most in cold approaches.
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:
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 and “unrestricted” 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
You want to increase your warmth to come across as safer.
And that’s also a good idea in most other places as it won’t harm you.
See “Seduction University” for more.
Overall, cold approach works great for attractive men.
Cold approach works best for:
- Attractive men
- Well-groomed men
- Men who can act confident / high-power
- Socially intelligent men: this is about calibration
- Men who live in high-density urban areas
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 station), a busy crossroad (Shibuya in Tokyo), or a shopping road / central square (Berlin’s Alexanderplatz).
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 with a reputation to uphold should be a bit more careful with cold approaches (also see Tom Torero tragedy).
See more issues and solutions in Seduction University.
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:
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 by 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.
2. Online Dating
You heard these before:
“Online dating doesn’t work”
“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.
Online dating works great if you’re in the top-tier category of men.
Hear it from Ben Altman of Charisma on Command:
Ben: Before tinder, I was putting effort in dating, going to bars, talking to women in the street. Now I put less time into dating but I date as much, maybe a bit more. It’s just easier.
So let’s get down to the advantages of online dating:
- Time-effective: you can swipe during down-times of your life -commuting, waiting in line, or even on the toilet, where many women do it-. 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 land, hit the ground… Banging.
- Market penetration intelligence at the fingertip: you can use apps to scout your best sexual marketplaces before deciding where to go (see Seduction University)
- 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 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 worried about being seen by her fans.
Hence, you could only meet her through online dating.
- 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 aware of any available. But it’s certainly possible.
- It’s a winner-take-all game: great news for top of 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 it’s the same for real life
- 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: supercars, yachts, jets, or better yet, 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.
- Gala events
- House parties
- Business conferences
- 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.
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 men should do some social events to take advantage of this important 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 Seduction University 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 are 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.
Example: Seduction University.
- Sexualize from the very beginning: the smoothest seducers sexualize in social circles and extended social circles, without ever going too direct or crude (think George Clooney style).
The movie “Eyes Wide Shut” is all based on sexualized lukewarm approaches:
- 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: when there are far more men than women, 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.
- Socially skilled men
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.
- 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 room 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 naturally gets attractive women around them. Think of club promoters, movie producers, model agents, but also model photographers.
- A cool social circle helps you meet and seduce women: if your friends are cool, that rubs off on 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
- Most “normal guys” have poor social circles for dating: social circle dating only works 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:
- Friend zone: 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: 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’s 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 your 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?
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.
- 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 in 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:
- 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 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 comes 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.
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 events, 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 common
- 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.