Comparing different types of Game

It’s important to be consciously aware of what kind of game one guy is going for, in order to calibrate accordingly. The above table summarises, in my opinion, the differences across some key parameters between different types of Game.

Barrier to initial approach: the difficulty in making a move to establish an initial contact (i.e. swiping right on a profile in online dating, stopping a girl to ask for some information in indirect street cold approaching, etc).

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: after the ice has been broken, the difficulty in having the girl’s full attention and transitioning into a brief interaction (i.e. matching with the girl and have her reply to your texts in online dating, have the girl stop and listen to you after the indirect street cold approach, etc).

Difficulty in escalating: once in a mutual conversation, the difficulty in escalating in a calibrated way (especially at the very beginning, guys tend to approach to show courage rather than to actually seduce, and this may result in some uncalibrated approaches/escalations with a lot of social pressure on the girl and very low probability of success).

Possible reputational risk: more the awkwardness on both sides after a rejected escalation, rather than a “risk” in the typical sense of the world.

Turnover of girls: how many new girls are available to hit on in a specific environment over time.

Online Dating – Dating Apps

Barrier to initial approach: zero

This is what keeps guys on dating apps even if they are fully aware that those apps are a complete waste of their time: on dating apps, expressing the initial interest/making the initial move is effortless and free of any immediate feedback in terms of rejection. Literarily, the initial approach consists just in swiping right on a few profiles and then waiting for those likes to transformed into matches (that can be a long wait though, very long…).

It gets even better than that, since the ideal case a typical guy fantasises about is girls swiping right on his profile while he’s not even using the app, and then him casually swiping right on a few profiles and converting all the likes received into matches. Hardly a realistic scenario, but the carrot keeps dangling in front of the guys who use online dating, and this is how they either keep forever wasting their time on those apps, or maybe they quit but then proceed to re-create a profile, despite having previously sworn to themselves to never do it again.

For a very limited number of guys, the only real barrier to approach on dating apps could be related to the “reputational risk” of being seen by female friends/acquittances who use the same app. If you are one of those guys, worry not my friend: back in the day, Tinder had a paid option allowing guys to have their profile shown only to girls they had previously right-swiped on. Hence, the barrier is zero even for the more privacy conscious guys.

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: high

For most people under most circumstances, getting matches in the first place is a real struggle. And of the very few matches most guys have, having the girl reply to the first few texts in a conscious way (rather than in bored autopilot mode) is an extra challenge.

Even if on dating apps the immediate feedback of rejection is absent, the long-term pattern of not getting any dates is very much evident instead. But the carrot of a better future “just one swipe away” keeps dangling in front of most guys, and this is how they get trapped and accept to participate in a rigged market where they are in clear disadvantage.

Difficulty in escalating: low

After having established a conscious mutual interaction with the girl, it’s very simple to ask her out for a drink by the third message. You break the ice with the first message, and if she doesn’t reply within a couple of days you proceed to unmatch her, since double texting is not allowed under any circumstance. Then, depending on her response to your initial message, you either directly invite her for a drink in your second message, or you ask a light question in your second message and invite her out in the third message. If she doesn’t accept your invite straight away, she’s out. Simple as that, since those apps are infested by timewasters, and it’s important to screen them out very quickly. If she accepts your invite, you take her phone number and proceed to set up the logistics over text. She doesn’t want to give you her phone number? She’s out.

This is how I have always done it with all the girls I’ve met from dating apps, both in Europe and Russia. No need to drag the conversation endlessly. No need to entertain the girl or validate her through your attention, since you aren’t paid to offer that service.

Possible reputational risk: zero

See first point.

Turnover of girls: high

The number of profiles in most apps is endless. Some (most?) of the profiles are not active anymore, but surely quite a lot of girls on those apps are active, only for the guys they are interested in though (see here).

Online Dating – Social Networks

The only differences compared to dating apps are:

Barrier to initial approach: low

The initial contact here is via a text message rather than through a swipe, but it remains extremely easy to do considering that the interaction is remote rather than in person, hence the guy doesn’t need to worry about things like rejection, body language, tone of voice, etc, and can re-read his message hundreds of times before sending it if needed.

The low barrier to approach in online dating (both dating apps and social networks) is not an “opportunity” (corporate buzzword alert) but a real issue instead: every guy and his dog can remotely swipe on a few profiles or send a few messages through a “social” platform, and since many guys actually do these things, girls become overwhelmed by attention and validation, they can afford to become extremely picky, and guys end up becoming commodities as a result (see here). Not good.

Possible reputational risk: low

Slightly higher compared to dating apps, since in “social” platforms people are at the very minimum vaguely connected through acquittances etc, but still.

Nightgame – Bars, Lounges

Barrier to initial approach: medium

Let’s keep in mind that the ratings are averages across the typical spectrum of guys, and they are more based on the comparison between different types of game for a typical guy rather than absolute standalone values.

Here we are talking about approaching girls stone sober in a cocktail bar, where the lights are low but not too low, there is some music in the background but it’s not too loud, there are a few people in the venue but most people can see everyone else in there, etc. It’s pretty much the same scenario described when we covered the nightgame openers. Approaching in these conditions is easier than direct daygame, but more difficult than online dating or nightclub game (where guys are a bit tipsy and “protected” by the darkness, which make sure an eventual rejection goes unnoticed by most other people in there).

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: medium

Most girls will react at least politely, if not warmly, to your calibrated indirect opener in bars and lounges at night (I don’t recommend using direct openers in these venues, but feel free to do your own experiments). To increase the odds of having a warm reaction, improve your Fundamentals.

Difficulty in escalating: medium

I am convinced that the best approach in bars and lounges is indirect, but YMMV (for guys having a different idea, just make sure that your conclusion is based on some real-life experience, and not just on theoretical considerations). Even if you open indirect, the underlying interest is clearly implied, especially if you have the right vibe. But still, the transition from a fun & light conversation to start moving things forward (by expressing some direct interest as a first step) takes a little more work than say direct daygame, since the objective is to maintain the interaction smooth at all times, and to remain socially calibrated all the way through.

Possible reputational risk: low

If you live at least in a medium-sized city, you are unlikely to meet again any of the people you interacted with during your night out in some bar (unless you take a solid phone number and go on a date with a girl, of course). Hence, no need to “worry” about what could happen after an immediate rejection or after a rejected escalation.

Turnover of girls: high

Corollary to the above point.

Nightgame – Nightclubs

Barrier to initial approach: low

Rejections are not a big deal since the lights are very low, the venue is crammed, and the music is loud: as a result, most people just won’t notice it when a guy gets rejected by a girl. Some alcohol is available to boost courage, and guys hitting on girls is expected in these venues.

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: high

In general, when the initial barrier to approach is low, must guys go for it. Accordingly, a girl keeps being hit on over and over in that specific environment, and her own barriers get higher and higher as a result. This is certainly the case in nightclubs, like it is the case in online dating. As a man, it’s very easy to end up being commoditised in those environments.

Difficulty in escalating: low

Considering how difficult it is to have any conversation with the loud music, all a guy can do after breaking the ice is to start escalating things. Some dancing together and then going for the kiss (this is was I was doing when I was very young), or some dancing together plus trying to isolate the girl and build some sexual tension somewhere else. Guys starting to escalate things after establishing an initial contact is the standard expected scenario, and this is why girls are ruthless in allowing that initial contact or not.

Possible reputational risk: low

Same as bars and lounges.

Turnover of girls: high

Same as bars and lounges.

Daygame – Direct street cold approaching

Barrier to initial approach: high

This is as difficult as it gets in terms of making the initial move, especially if the girl has not seen you and your approach is completely cold (and this is why you should always pre-open the girl, which means making sure she has seen you before you start talking to her).

Let me be honest with you: I don’t like direct daygame cold approaching, because it’s the quickest way to give out validation for free while getting many direct or indirect rejections in return. Not an ideal thing in my book.

Still, direct cold approaching “has its merits”, rejection “is part of the game”, and more of this hamstering… You can go on with that feel-good male hamstering all you want, but pragmatically speaking, it’s essential to put in place measures to make direct daygame work in a not-too-displeasing way for you. Finding the right mindset, following the right strategy, and using the right opener are extremely important things based on what your sticking points are, and I will cover the tweaks I applied in my personal case in some future posts.

[My daygame opener]

I think the overwhelming majority of guys has never done one single direct daygame approach, so if you have even at least tried, you are doing better than most guys already.

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: medium

Especially if the girl hasn’t seen you prior to you opening her, chances are there will be an element of resistance, suspicion and defensiveness in her initial reaction. Just like when someone comes to talk to you out of the blue in the middle of the street, since you aren’t sure of what their intentions are, and you assume they just want some money, a signature, etc. This shows even more how important pre-opening the girl is, unless your objective for the day is to amass a big number of rejections in a short amount of time, of course.

It’s also very important to project the right relaxed vibe when approaching the girl, otherwise she will feel creeped out.

Once you have gained some experience, having a girl to stop and listen to what you have to say without acting defensive/bitchy/dismissive isn’t that difficult overall. At the same time, you won’t ever be able to completely eradicate those few dismissive and bitchy looks followed by an immediate rejection.

Difficulty in escalating: low

Since you have expressed your interest through a direct opener, it’s only natural that you start escalating things (e.g. proposing the girl to meet up again) after building some comfort. And this is the main reason why I prefer direct openers to indirect openers when cold approaching.

Indirect openers have some excellent applications in situational daygame, but when it comes to cold approaching, the transition from a random conversation (i.e. the indirect opener) to asking the girl out can be extremely unnatural and uncalibrated.

Possible reputational risk: low

Unlikely to meet again any of the girls you have stopped, and even if this happens (it happened to me a couple of times), you are just two strangers walking on the same street, no big deal.

Side note: nothing is ever a big deal, and if you are deeply convinced of that, it will show through your body language and your actions; accordingly, the other people around you will adopt the very same no-big-deal mindset.

Turnover of girls: high

Corollary to the above point.

Daygame – Indirect street cold approaching

Barrier to initial approach: medium

Stopping an unknown girl and asking her for some information is much easier compared to executing a direct approach, because by going indirect you don’t basically ask the girl to make a snap judgement on you, like it is the case instead for direct approaches.

Some girls may react dismissive and bitchy even when you ask a genuine question without any secondary aim whatsoever, and this specific case just shows how impolite, entitled and miserable some of the girls out there are. Not all of them, of course, but some of them: they are frustrated about their own life, and are just waiting to mistreat a few guys to feed their fragile ego. Those bitches are a minority, and it’s good to be able to identify them from the distance, so that you can avoid them completely, in order not to let them ruin the perception you have of women in general. Experience and reference memories are your friends in this screening process.

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: medium

Even if the surface-level intentions behind whatever you are going to say on the approach are completely different compared to a direct approach, the girl doesn’t know that when you open your mouth. You are still an unknown man starting a conversation pretty much out of the blue, and her initial reaction will be the same as the one we saw in direct cold approaching.

Difficulty in escalating: high

This is my main issue with indirect daygame cold approaches, and the reason why I never use them.

In situational cases, both during the day and in venues where you can talk to girls at night, I recommend indirect approaches. In those cases your underlying interest is implied to start with, and since there is an element of social pressure on the girl either through their friends or through people within earshot, by using an indirect opener you remain very much socially calibrated when you approach her. She won’t be “forced” to reject you right off the bat just because of social pressure. Then, if there is at least some interest on her side, literarily one thing will lead to another, and before you know it you have agreed to meet up again or to spend some time together there and then.

For all this to work, the initial approach must be indirect in terms of words, but fairly direct in terms of Vibe. An indirect approach in a situational scenario is natural, since you are just a sociable guy who happens to be in the same place as the girl, and the situational background gives you a very plausible reason to break the ice smoothly: you are not actively approaching a girl, you are just making a casual remark or asking a casual question. So far so good with indirect approaches in situational scenarios.

On the other hand, when you stop a random girl who is walking somewhere with an indirect opener, say you ask for information on where the closest post office is, the moment you change gear and start escalating things it will feel extremely unnatural for her (and for you as well, if you are at least a little bit socially calibrated). And unless she is completely into you from the get-go, she won’t be too impressed about your deceitful manoeuvre.

And considering that, in daygame cold approaching, I perceive the switch from the indirect opener to start moving things forward with the girl as completely unnatural, I never use indirect openers in that scenario.

Possible reputational risk: low

Turnover of girls: high

Daygame – Situational

Barrier to initial approach: medium

Like in indirect cold approaching, in situational daygame (indirect by definition) the initial conversation isn’t about you expressing interest straight off the bat, but rather about you making a comment/asking a question on something related to the situation. Hence, the mental block to doing that is much smaller compared to direct daygame, where there is immediate feedback on you after you have delivered your opener.

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: low

The background around you (e.g. bus, supermarket, museum, etc) makes the girl more comfortable to start with, the initial interaction will be perceived as more natural by both of you, and this translates into less initial defensiveness and less initial suspicion on her side.

Some weird looks are always present, but in this case they just signal that there is something profoundly wrong with the girl, not with you (assuming you were fairly calibrated when you started talking with her).

Difficulty in escalating: medium

Since the conversation started in a more natural and “just happened” way, changing gear and proposing to meet up again will come out naturally if the vibe during the interaction is right.

Possible reputational risk: low

Turnover of girls: high

Daygame – Routine Circle

This is my signature game, and I will discuss it in my next post. I made up the name by myself, and I don’t even think there is an “official” name associated to it.

[Introducing Routine Circle Game]

Social Circle Game

My experience here is zero. Still, these are my thoughts on the matter.

Barrier to initial approach: low

Since you and the girl you want to talk to are part of the same social circle, going and talking to her for the first is effortless, since you are just a sociable guy talking with his friends and friends of friends.

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: low

You are between friends or friends of friends. She can’t deny you at least some quick small talk, but she may eventually cut you short or “go to the toilet” if she’s uncomfortable with the conversation.

Difficulty in escalating: medium

I don’t do social circle game, at all, but I would imagine it’s not as straightforward to execute a calibrated escalation, taking into account things like the social pressure on her, the equilibrium in the social circle itself if your escalation is either successful or unsuccessful, etc.

Possible reputational risk: very high

Things can get fairly awkward for both of you after a rejected escalation.

Turnover of girls: very low

In your extended social circle there could be some turnover, but the girls are pretty much always the same in your immediate circle of friends.

Expat Events

Barrier to initial approach: low

If you have ever been to an Internations or MeetUp event, you will have surely realised that talking to people there is as easy as it gets. People go there to get to know other people, and during those events everyone is expected to be happy and to joyfully interact with other attendees. Nice-Guy-Land indeed.

During the expat events there could be some cringeworthy episodes, like you are talking to a girl, a guy appears next to both of you, with the most cringeworthy Nice Guy smile on his face and his arm towards you, and goes something like:

Hi there, I’m Mr. Nice Guy!! :) :) Nice to meet you!! :) :)

Cringeworthy and completely uncalibrated, but those events aren’t representative of the real world anyways. I may write a post about my experience there in the future, but the short summary is to avoid them.

Difficulty in establishing a mutual conversation: low

See above. People are expected to be happy and socialise with other attendees during the event.

On the plus side, you can practice being bored and wanting to escape the conversation while at the same time needing to pretend you are interested, and this can give you some interesting insights into the daily struggles of a very beautiful girl.

Difficulty in escalating: medium

It’s not rocket science: if the vibe with a girl is right, at some point you propose to meet up again with an excuse. If you are really shy, you can message her through the platform after the event to propose the same thing.

Possible reputational risk: medium

There is a core group of people going to these events on a regular basis, but worst-case scenario you just stop going and you aren’t going to see any of them ever again.

Turnover of girls: medium

Conclusions

We have compared different types of games across some key parameters, without overcomplicating things. When trying different types of game, it’s important to understand what to expect in terms of the key parameters that we have analysed, in order to calibrate accordingly.

Most guys only tend to game in environments where both the barrier to initial approach is low, and also the very fact of guys hitting on girls is expected (i.e. online dating, nightclubs). There are some clear issues there, starting from the fact that most men are commoditised in those environments.

At the end of the day, I recommend going for the type of game you like the most, but this choice must come from personal preferences in terms of the environment itself and the overall dynamics in that specific environment, rather than from fears and approach anxiety.

Related Posts:
• Introducing Routine Circle Game

The Essentials:
• Fundamentals
Game