It is high time we take our destinies in finding mates into our own hands. No more relying on the virtual world alone, or parties that friends set up. Your potential mate could be anyone, anywhere, anytime....
This article is dedicated to the Diwan Guy from five years ago, my perfect match to whom I never spoke because I was too shy...And stupid.
Let’s face it, it’s becoming ridiculous how no one chats anyone up anymore. You have two polar extremes: on the one hand sleazy guys come up to girls with gross chat up lines (sober or drunk or drug driven), and on the other you have people who are potentially attracted to each other, ignoring one another and moving on with their lives, never experiencing the actual potential of what might have happened.
Now in the animal world, to which we belong by the way, this would never happen. A potential mate is a potential mate and is treated as such until proven otherwise.
How many men and women a day catch your eye, as they move on into the chaos of the city where you are more likely than not, to never cross paths again? In my opinion this is bullshit.
In order to overcome our social handicap, we moved on to the virtual world of social media, and very limited dating websites and apps, which are not very successful in Egypt for many reasons that are not the issue of this article, but can be summarized under the generic headline of Egyptian Social Malfunction.
Now let’s take a look at the very rich mating grounds everyone overlooks. There are two categories. The first, which is the more obvious one, is something you do on a regular basis, that the other person also does on a regular basis, like working at the same company but in different departments or taking a regular yoga or dance class. Of course if that’s the case and you never talk to each other, shame on both of you. We’ll still help you nonetheless.
The second category is talking to someone completely random at some random place and random time. Both categories can intertwine and advice listed applies to both.
Overlooked Mating Grounds Examples:
The gym/sports venues
Bars and clubs
The street (yes, literally the street)
(Although mating potential can be found in many other places, let’s just play on these main fields for now.)
What To Do
1- Think like an animal
Spot potential target. Evaluate the situation quietly and subtly. Are they alone or with someone who will tear you to pieces? Is the person they are with a mate or a friend? Ignore body language for now. Crossed arms do not necessarily mean they’re being defensive, it could be comfort, or feeling cold, or just a habit. Body language does not apply all the time.
2- Make the first move (like an animal)
Make your presence known. Animals do that with pheromones and sound and sometimes shape shifting tactics. You need to do that before you ever leave your house. Always be clean. None of that ‘I don’t use deodorant'/organic/’save the environment’ bullshit. Always dress in the way you wish to be seen. Never ever leave your house dressed in a way that makes you wish you don’t run into anyone that day. Now back to the scene, you’re there…they’re there…and you need to make presence known. Walk past them. Try to establish eye contact. Don’t look away too quickly and shyly. Hold it, and try to muster a small friendly smile.
3- Let the Human Brain Take Over Now
Take note of everything in a quick scan (gets easier over time). What are they wearing? Tattoos? What are they drinking? Reading? Playing? Nike or Reebok? Branded t-shirt? Driving? Are they walking a dog? Two dogs? What breed? Scan all information and process it quickly. Sometimes you’ll get red flags, telling you not to approach. For example, you hate brand names, and they happen to be branded head to toe. Ignore that red flag. It is not a red flag, it’s a god damn judgment and prejudice. A red flag would be someone kicking a cat in the street, and you’re an animal lover. Re-evaluate your pre-judgements, and pre-conceptions.
You won’t lose anything by approaching. Think of it as practice.
4. Mantras to help you approach
- Approaching does not mean making a lifetime commitment. If you don’t like their breath you can always say ‘have a good day’ and walk away.
- Approaching does not make you seem desperate or a stalker. (It is the way you approach that counts…more on that below)
- At this stage you are just as good as anyone else; the way they react to you is their problem not yours. So be confident, don’t take rejection as a strike against your personality.
- Rejection will not be harsh. Most people will be nice and let you down softly if they are not interested. If they are harsh it’s their bad not yours. Move on considering yourself a winner walking away from a bitch/asshole.
(Yeah, this shit won't work)
- Don’t be sticky
- Don’t be persistent. No means no. (Although it must be said, some people have had success with persistence in the past)
- Don’t be overtly sexual.
- Don’t touch the person in any way unless you’ve been talking back and forth for an hour (use your judgement), or you’re just tapping gently on the shoulder/arm in initial approach.
- Don’t try to address their insecurities. That’s just cheap.
- Don’t be awkward or self conscious.
- Don't use the same pick up line every time. Especially if you frequent a certain mating ground. It is better to establish a reputation for being the friendly talkative person, than the intellectually challenged weirdo who uses the same line on everyone.
- Don't think of a failed attempt as rejection. There's just no chemistry. Move on...for however long it takes, even if takes years to find someone.
- Be confident/at peace with yourself.
- Just be normal. Normal is good for first introductions. You can be weird later.
- Be sensitive enough to determine whether they are just a little shy/surprised or totally disinterested. Sometimes it’s a very thin, indiscernible line between the two.
- Be quick about it. Don’t hover over them for ages then make a move. It’s creepy. Make the move as soon as you can.
- Be presentable. Don’t be a hobo and expect positive results.
- Be casual and light. Don’t make it seem like a big issue. Make it seem like this is part of your everyday life, chatting people up.
- Send out positive vibes.
- Make this a lifestyle.
- Keep in mind how awesome you are for support, and don’t think of your insecurities. Turn them off for now.
To be honest, this is the easiest part of the process although it seems undoable to you. The hard part is the above. The issue is you. If you know who you are, where you stand, what you want, you should be able to approach people with just a little bit of anxiety, not a full fledged panic attack. Even if you’re an introvert.
Now let’s play.
- ‘Hey, that’s such a cool tattoo where did you get it? Did it hurt? So do you like (insert tattoo design) that much?’ Then introduce yourself confidently by name, and say something about you related to the person…such as “I’m a big fan of (insert tattoo design).” Keep the conversation going for long enough to pick up momentum, and to establish if the person is interested or not, and to give them a chance to find something interesting about you, if they don’t pick up on it straight away.
- ‘Hey can you help me out with this butterfly press? I’m not sure which part of the body it works on. Do you know?’ Usually female asking male. Please put aside your feminist issues. This question does not undermine you in any way or make you less of an independent woman who knows her shit. It will not establish future dynamics of the relationship if it does happen. Get over yourself and cool it. This is flirting. It’s just a simple chat up line.
- ' Hi. Can I say hello to your dog?’ Any dog person, unless their dog is bat shit crazy aggressive, will welcome this. Ask about dog’s name, age and type. Then introduce yourself, and get the conversation going. Is the conversation going well? Give them your number. Tell them if they’d like company walking their dog you could happily join in. Always offer your number as initiator, don’t ask for theirs. If they offer their number of their own accord, make a note to pat yourself on the back and high five yourself later.
- ‘I love your t-shirt/shoes/hairdo/beard/dress/the way you dance.’ Use that as an opening line and follow up with a question that requires an answer.
- At the supermarket, check out someone’s trolley and start a conversation based on contents. “Looks like you’re having a party. You know what’s an awesome party idea (insert random idea that you improvise on the spot)." Alternatively “Looks like you love chocolate…I’m an addict myself. Hi, my name is (insert name) and I’m a chocolate addict. Are there meetings for people like us?” Or, “Wow, are you vegan? I want to be vegan so badly but don’t know how to do it. Can you help?” “Looks like you know what you’re doing. I’m totally hopeless. Hi I’m….”
The point is you can make a conversation out of literally anything from the information you gather as you do a quick scan. We are all human and we have things in common. Even if the person does not turn out to be a potential mate for whatever reason, which is highly likely, you’ve established human contact with someone else, and gained practice in talking to strangers, which will help you eventually inevitably meet someone somewhere sometime.
- Use your common sense with all of the above. If you have a problem with common sense, you might want to address that issue first before you embark upon Mission Chat Up.
- Your intentions whether you're looking for a fling, a life companion, a one night stand, are irrelevant in the way you approach someone. The approach is the same for all. However, don't mislead someone. If you score a first date, make your intentions clear from the very beginning. Try to tune in to their intentions too. Don't make the mistake of being dogmatic about your intentions. Be flexible. See where things take you so that you don't die alone.