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The scariest part of talking to someone new, particularly when trying to pick up, is how to approach. But your opener doesn’t matter to her as much as you might think.
You can walk up to her and say pretty much anything
Short of announcing that your best friend just died, it’s hard to go horribly wrong when approaching a woman. The main thing is that you approached at all. It’s great if you have a strong opener, but it won’t ruin your chances if you get nervous and can’t think of anything witty to say.
If you approach her and your mind goes completely blank, don’t try to subtly run away until you think of a line to impress. Try asking her how she is today. Comment on the weather. Talk about what made the front of today’s paper. It doesn’t matter how banal it is, as long as the conversation that follows picks up.
What you say is not as important as how you say it. Be confident in yourself and friendly towards her and you will leave a good impression, even if all you have done by way of approach is introduce yourself.
This is why some of the best openers seem so normal
Openers can be showy and fun — take any pick-up line popularised by Neil Strauss’s The Game, for instance. Or you can start a conversation with a woman you’re interested in in much the same way you might start talking to a friend, colleague or your grandma, keeping it casual and friendly. The big plus of a crazy stand-out line is, of course, that you set yourself apart from others who are approaching her. The downside is that if she has heard that kind of line before and is not receptive to it, you could blow your chances. You could also come off as a complete weirdo if your delivery is off.
A direct approach is easier to do as you don’t have to think of what to say and rehearse it. You won’t get as nervous because it’s harder to mess up. It will come across as more natural, unless you have a particularly boisterous personality.
It’s all about the conversation
Too many guys focus far too much on their approach and forget to work on the rest of the exchange. Better to have had a mediocre opener followed by a kick-ass conversation than to start high then have it all go downhill. If you have your opener down pat, but then disappoint in the interaction that follows, you’ll finish on a low and that’s what she’ll remember. If you can keep her interested in the conversation and make her laugh, then she will quickly forget the lacklustre line you approached her with.
You also need to be able to close the conversation well, if you are planning on ending the exchange for a short while, to leave her in suspense. This is more important than your opener as it is the impression she will be left with.