A few weeks back one of the readers here requested I get up an example of how a typical conversation goes for me with a new woman, and how I engage her. I tried to put a few conversations to paper over the past few weeks, but each of them was less than a great example – either because the girl engaged me a little too aggressively herself to be all that useful to beginning and intermediate guys, or because I knew the girl already through social circle so it wasn't a completely fresh connection, or because there were multiple people involved and I was juggling other men competing for a woman while I built a connection with her.
So rather than post up one of those messy examples, which might be useful in some ways but less-than-useful in others, instead I'll put up a made-up example conversation to show how you can use conversation to engage a girl who's moderately interested. Note that this is all stuff I use with real women and I've structured the girl's response to reflect how women typically respond to these conversational topics.
Two things that're definitely not conveyed are expressions and tonality. Think of Sean Connery's or Pierce Brosnan's self-assured tone and half-smile as they banter with women as James Bond, or Ryan Reynold's more overt tones and expressions as Van Wilder. I tend to go between these two styles.
All you need is a moderate level of interest to build a connection. If you have a large amount of interest from a girl, she'll do all the work. If you have little or no interest, you might be able to make something happen, but it's going to be tricky and by no means a sure thing. A moderate level of interest, though, is manageable, so let's run with that.
Here's how a typical conversation for a guy who's skilled at being a conversationalist and knowledgeable in the way of deep diving will go. I'll give notes throughout. Let's place our hero in a lounge in New York City.
Him: I saw you standing here, and I just had to come tell you you have the most striking sense of style I've seen all day. I'm Joe.
Her: Hi… I'm Tina.
Him: Hi Tina. How's your night going?
Her: Okay. How's your night going?
Him: It's going all right. So tell me, New York native or you come from somewhere far away?
So far, pretty standard conversational fare. You can see we start to use more interesting words and phrasing; you want to capture her interest with your unique choices of words and phrase structures.
Her: Nope, I'm New York, born and raised.
Him: Ah, all right. So you know all the secret places the tourists and I can only guess about.
Her: Where are you from?
Him: Right now or originally?
Her: Um… right now.
Some intricacies of conversation here. After she says where she's from, our guy builds up her value without really advancing the conversation, thus putting social pressure on her to move things forward herself. If he simply let it hang without building up her value, she might be inclined to leave; since he's built her up and made her sound good and knowledgeable and he's self-deprecated himself somewhat, she's going to feel obligated to build him back up and show interest by asking a question.
Thus, even with girls who are only moderately interested, you can use this to begin structuring things so they are chasing somewhat.
Next notice how when she asks a question, we throw it back to her and ask her to be more specific. Because of the simplicity of the request for clarification, she'll comply, and thus is putting in greater effort to find out an answer from us – in other words, she's chasing again here too.
Him: Right now I'm a New York native. Well, not native, but I live here, if that counts for anything.
Her: How long have you lived here?
Him: That's a good question, how long have I lived here? Umm… I guess about two years, yeah? What do you do here in the City?
Her: I'm a paralegal.
Him: Oh cool, cool. Does that mean you aspire to be a lawyer someday, or you see how much work your boss has to do and say, "Never for me?"
Trying to find out her feelings about the job here and her future plans for herself.
Her: I might be a lawyer someday. Actually, I do more work than he does, and it's all the hard stuff, too.
Him: You like it?
Her: It's okay.
Him: Okay, well, why are you doing a job that's just okay? Why not find one that's amazing?
More deep diving on the job.
Her: [laughs] There are no amazing jobs.
Him: There's got to be an amazing job out there somewhere.
She doesn't get to control that frame and claim there are no amazing jobs. There are amazing jobs; and he's going to show her.
Her: Like what?
Him: Like… well, I don't know. If you could do anything else in the world and get paid the same as what you get paid now, what would you do instead?
He avoids the trap here. Instead of answering, and trying to figure out and list what kind of job he thinks she will find amazing, he instead throws it back at her and asks her what she'd rather do instead.
If he started listing jobs, she might very well reply with, "No, that job's not amazing!" or, "That's not a real job," things like that to defend her position of "There are no amazing jobs" (trust me, been there plenty of times). So, he chooses not to list examples and instead asks her to do so.
Note the subtlety there: she says there are no amazing jobs, he says there are, she asks what jobs are amazing, and he asks her what job she'd liked to do in place of what she's doing now. So in effect, he changes the question: now it's not "Why aren't you doing a job that's amazing?" but rather "What job would you rather do?"
Her: Hmm, well… maybe I would work as a vet.
Him: A veterinarian?
Him: Wow, that's different from being a paralegal. What, you signed up for the wrong school or something by accident?
Her: [laughs] No, I just thought there was more opportunity to make a better salary in the law.
Him: I see. Think you'll stay in the legal profession forever?
Her: Ehm… maybe like five to ten years.
Him: Then what?
Her: I don't know, that's a long time from now. What do you do?
Finds out more about her future plans, and brings up the subject of school to see if she'll talk about it. She doesn't go into that, but she does let him know that money is the major motivating factor for her having taken the job she has over the job she would've probably enjoyed more.
Remember that building a connection with a woman is all about getting her to tell you things she views as personally significant. Her rationale for choosing a job she doesn't like over a job she does is pretty personally significant, and probably not something she talks about all that much with all that many people. The combination of its significance and its rarity as a conversational topic for her make it more impactful in building a stronger connection.
Him: I'm an artist; do some creative stuff.
Her: Like what?
Him: Paint, mostly. Take some photographs. I'd like to get my own studio up.
Her: Really? I love photography.
She's actively seeking to bond with him over his artistic pursuits.
Him: Oh, no way. You take pretty good pictures?
Her: No, I'm terrible! I can't even use a digital camera.
Him: Ah, you can't be that bad! You must have at least some good pictures.
Her: No, really. All my pictures suck!
Him: [laughs] Well, sometime I'll give you some pointers. What else do you do creative?
Rather than challenge her or tease her, as many beginners and intermediate guys may do, he recognizes vulnerability here in that she sees him as being more advanced than her in a specific area, and takes the opportunity first to build her up by telling her she must take some good pictures, then by making a small offer to give pointers at some indeterminate future date. Then, he rewards her by assuming she's creative (a good quality) and seeks to find out what else she does.
Her: Not really anything.
Him: There must be something.
Her: No, really! I'm the most uncreative person on Earth.
Him: Well, you do a lot of hard work for a law firm. You've got to get creative to get some of it done sometimes.
Again, he won't let her win this frame battle. Of course she does something creative. He might have to get creative himself to paint her as a creative person (in this case, implying that grunt work at a law firm is creative), but he's doing it to build her up, so it's okay.
If you let a girl "win" by implying she doesn't meet a standard you've set, you lose. You can't stick around and continue showing as much interest in a girl who's failed your screen. Thus, you refuse to let her fail and find a way to help her pass. She sees this, and views it as you really being on her side because you're trying to help her win you over. Does all kinds of good for you.
Her: Maybe. Well, I do draw. More like doodle. Does that count?
Him: Of course. Millions of ways you can be creative.
Her: So do you make money through photography?
Him: No, actually, I'm kind of a struggling artist. I have a day job, which is what I lean on for the bills, but I don't like being defined that way so I'll always say I'm an artist.
Her: What's your day job?
Him: I manage projects at a company downtown.
Her: Oh, that's good.
Him: No way! It's boring as hell. I want my photography to take off so I can stop riding a desk all day, falling asleep in front of my computer.
Now we find out more about this mysterious stranger, and he's fleshed out a bit. He has a day job after all, so he's not just some rogue, starving artist. But, he still defines himself as an artist, and quickly moves the focus off his job, so she doesn't see him as some stodgy project manager who's boring and worthy only of a relationship. He's an artist; that's romantic. And romantic-seeming men are the men women want as lovers.
Her: [laughs] I do that too.
Him: Yeah, seriously. How'd we end up trading our time for money? I wanted to be James Bond and go travel the world, killing bad guys and seducing beautiful women.
Her: [laughs] You'd be great at that, I think. Let me know if you do that, maybe I'll go with you for a few missions.
Him: You can be my Bond girl.
Him: Too bad the Bond girl is different in every movie. I kind of like you.
Him: Maybe I'll lobby the writers to keep you around for two movies. Like, a sequel or something.
They're bonding here. He uses roleplay to imply that he's a little hard to get but still working to help her get with him. See that? He's hard for her to get, but he's on her side and he's trying to help her be with him despite how hard a guy he is to get. If he's too hard to get, she'll close up and go cold. If he's trying to help her get him but he's not hard to get, she'll think he's too easy and get bored. If, however, he's hard to get, and gunning for her and trying to help her succeed… well… now she's intrigued.
Him: Hey, let's grab a seat before we get run over up here. There's a couch right over there.
[the two go and sit]
He moves her, following a high point when they're both bonding heavily and really enjoying the conversation. This gets her to commit to being with him.
Him: So tell me about yourself; I don't know anything about you.
Simultaneously challenging her ("I don't know anything about you"), expressing interest in her (wants to get to know more about her), and demanding compliance ("Tell me about yourself"). This is a very dominant thing to do and plants you firmly in the driver's seat of the interaction. It throws her off balance a bit, so you'll want to be a little nice after you use it and guide her toward answers.
Her: Okay… what do you want to know?
Him: Well, for one, do you travel?
Her: No. Do you?
Him: A little bit.
Her: Where have you been?
Him: A bunch of places. Well, tell me this: if you could go anywhere you wanted in the world, where would you go?
Note that he does not get sucked into bragging or showboating about the many places he's traveled when she asks. She doesn't travel, so if he talks about all the places he's visited, she's either going to be bored to tears, or blown out and shut down, the vast, vast majority of the time. Instead, he's vague about where he's been, and quickly puts the spotlight back onto her.
Her: Umm… Europe, maybe?
Him: Like, where in Europe?
Her: Spain. I think Spain would be so romantic and wonderful. And I love Spanish food.
Him: And Spanish men, perhaps.
Her: [laughs] Spanish men are a little too lazy for me.
Him: Ay caramba.
He finds out what she likes, where she wants to go, and teases her a little, implying that she chases after men (setting the frame that she pursues men, which is helpful to his cause).
Him: I haven't been to Spain, but I have been to Italy. Definitely could be described as romantic and wonderful… oh man, the food there is so good. And the people… everyone is beautiful. Even people in their forties and fifties – it's not like over here, where everyone over thirty-five is fat. There, even if you're fifty years old, you're still thin, and dress well and in bright colors, and live well and take good care of yourself and look good. And the buildings, and the architecture… what a beautiful place.
Notice that now we have this, five to ten minutes into the interaction – our first story. And it's short, it's not really about him at all, directly – rather, it's about this beautiful, romantic, wonderful place, Italy. The story conveys a lot of strong, positive emotions about him: that he loves and appreciates beauty, that he loves good food (men who love sex tend also to love good food, and most women instinctively are aware of this), and of course that he's been somewhere she probably wants to go (but isn't bragging about it because he's showing appreciation only very briefly, then moving off of it).
Her: It sounds amazing. I want to go!
Him: You will. Maybe Italy will be where we do our James Bond mission.
Rather than saying, "You should," which almost sounds like a dismissal ("Ah, get out of here. Have fun overseas by yourself!"), he instead structures his response as something they could do together, reusing the roleplay from earlier.
Her: The first one or the second one?
Him: Well, let's plan for the first one; I'm not sure if the writers will let me have the same girl in two movies yet or not.
Again, he's hard to get but on her side.
Him: So you're not much of a traveler. What do you do for fun?
Her: I play board games sometimes.
Him: Oh my god.
Him: Seriously though.
Her: Well, you know… hang out with friends, go to movies, eat at restaurants. Clubbing sometimes…
Her: [laughs] Yeah, well. Not that much…
Him: Just four days a week.
Her: [laughs] No! Maybe a couple times a month; that's it!
Him: I believe you. You probably know every bartender and doorman here. They're like, "It's Tina!"
Just having a little fun here to keep things light so they aren't too heavy. It's good to have moments of lightness to buoy up the "feel" of the interaction so it never feels overly serious.
Him: What else do you do?
Her: Umm… that's about it.
Him: Okay, cool.
Her: What do you do?
Him: Mostly just chill. My life is pretty boring and uninteresting; I just like to make it sound exciting. Can't even remember the last time I had a near-death experience…
Her: [laughs] Oh my god…!
The joke about his last near-death experience is actually designed to subconsciously make him sound more exciting. If he just said his life was boring, the statement would be… well, boring. But if instead he says his life is boring and he can't remember his last near-death experience, it makes it sound like nearly dying is a fairly common thing for him, even though it's a joke. It makes him feel a bit more exciting than he otherwise would.
Him: Family live in the City still?
The last conversational thread had run its course and there wasn't really anywhere else either party could have taken it, so he begins a new thread, seeking to find out more about her family.
Her: Mom and dad are in Queens.
Him: Brothers and sister?
Her: One brother; he moved out to California.
Him: Smart man. He likes sunshine and fake boobs, I'm guessing.
Her: [laughs] That sounds about right.
He's a naughty guy because he mentions fake boobs, though it's just in passing and it's mentioned along with something tame and "pure" (sunshine). He also implies he likes sunshine and fake boobs too, because he opens the comment with "Smart man."
Him: How is it growing up as a precocious little girl in NYC?
Now he's asking her to tell him about her childhood. Once again, the more meaningful stuff she tells you about herself, the more connected to you she feels.
All in all, this conversation takes place over maybe ten minutes. It's very fast. By ten to fifteen minutes in, he knows her better than all but her closest friends do. He can quite possibly pull her in ten to twenty minutes, depending on the circumstances. Even if she was only moderately interested at the outset, maybe give it twenty to thirty minutes, then go for the pull, and I'd bet, at this rate of conversation, he succeeds a third of the time at least.
Go out and repeat this with four or five girls in a night, and you've got one to take home. Conversation doesn't have to be long or tedious – it can be light, meaningful, fun, and fast!