In the era of swiping, the cold approach is becoming a lost art among many. However, as Tinder and other dating apps continue to inflate the egos of both average-looking and cute girls, making them pickier and pickier with who they swipe right on, I can see the cold approach making a comeback with some as the quality and quantity of matches a man receives decreases as the years go by and the Tinder effect continues to exert it’s influence.


The cold approach is defined as starting a conversation with a girl you’ve never met and have no connection to. It differs from a warm approach as that usually involves a mutual friend introducing the two of you.


These approaches often take place in bars and clubs, but also can take place during your normal day-to-day routine.


The conversation starters below are specific mostly to bars and clubs. If I can’t think of something clever off the top of my head (which is pretty often in loud bar) then I usually fallback on one of these.


“Hey didn’t we match on Tinder?”

I have no clue if I’ve actually come across the girl on Tinder, but I say this to get a witty banter going back and forth. She’ll normally respond that she doesn’t think so but the key here is to gauge her reaction after you ask her this question. Is she smiling or kind of laughing and giving you a look like she doesn’t mind the fact that she’s talking to you? Or is she giving you a straight face with an unamused tone? If she seems amused, insist that you’re pretty sure you matched but you deleted Tinder because of stalkers. Then move the conversation to another topic.


“Hey I have a question. I don’t go out in this area much. What’re the best bars here?”

This obviously works if you’re travelling, but it also works in your own city. Even if you do go out in the area a lot just play dumb and see what she thinks of the local bar scene. Ask her if she’s more into the chill bars or loud and crazy clubs. Talk about your favorite bar and your least favorite bar and why you like or dislike them. Remember to show laughter and positive emotions and give her a quick touch on the arm as you talk about the beloved bars that you frequent.  Ask if she only had one night to go out in X city, where would she go? Remember the conversation can lose steam if you’re not energetic enough and you don’t move on to something else after a few minutes. Point at the bartenders and comment how you think it’s funny that you’ve noticed all the girls get served immediately while the guys stand around for 5 minutes waiting on a drink. Then say, “I bet I can get served before you. I’ve got skills.” I usually don’t buy a girl a drink, but I’ll buy shots for the two of us. Buying a round of shots for the two of you has a different vibe than buying a girl a drink (which you should generally avoid). “If you had to guess which kind of shots I like most, which would you guess?” Then guess which kind of shot she likes best. Tell her she seems like a jagerbomb kind of girl. Bantering around a bit is better than saying, “So which kind of shots do you like?” Which seems too eager to please.


“Hey I have a question. If a girl says I love you for the first time and she’s drunk, does it still count?”


I saved this for last because I’ve had the best experience with this one. This one is my old faithful. Pretty much every girl will entertain this question and will give at least a semi-thoughtful answer. It almost guarantees a 5 minute conversation which will be enough time to tell if she’s down or not down.


Here’s how I carry this one out. I see a girl I want to approach. I take my phone out and look at it or act like I’m texting as I get near her. I turn to her and say the line as naturally as my acting skills will allow. They seem to answer no to the question about 60% of the time and 40% of the time they’ll say yes and tell you that a drunk person’s words are a sober person’s thoughts or something to that effect. She’ll naturally assume that you’re asking about your own girlfriend so when this comes up just tell her, “It’s not about me, my best friend just texted me and asked. Apparently his girl just said that to him drunk.” I’m careful not to outright say that I don’t have a girlfriend myself because I want her to wonder and ask. I’ll spend a couple minutes going back and forth on the topic. If she says no it doesn’t count, I’ll say, “Well you know they say a sober person’s thoughts are a drunk person’s words.” If she says, yes it does count, I’ll say “What would you do if that happened to you? That happened to me a few years ago and I was kind of caught off guard.” After a few minutes I’ll transition off to another topic.


A few years ago I was in Savannah, GA for St. Patrick’s Day and used this conversation starter on a girl visiting from University of South Carolina. I was sitting on a barstool and leaned with my back against the bar and tapped this girl on the shoulder and asked her the question. She put her hands on my thighs and said something like ‘I’m sure your girlfriend loves you she’s just drunk.’ I informed her that I was asking for a friend who had just texted me. The girl was all over me and was being very touchy-feely. We were making out about 3 minutes later. She was wasted but hey still counts.
I would encourage you to experiment with different ways to start conversations. Get creative and try out your own and don’t get into a routine where you just repeat the same thing over and over. You’ll get bored. Sometimes I’ll just tap a girl on the shoulder, point to my buddy, and say “Hey this is Brad” or something and then just go from there. Or have my buddy do the same for me. Sometimes the best way to teach someone to swim is by throwing them into the pool. Remember that your energy level and your delivery is more important than the actual words that you’re saying. Your energy should be slightly higher and slightly more positive than hers so it rubs off on her. But not so much that it seems like you just crushed 3 adderall tablets into a fine powder and snorted them in the bathroom.  When it comes to approaching and what to say, the important thing to remember is that it doesn’t really matter what gets the two of you talking. The most important thing is that you just end up talking.

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  • Jack

    What percent of all men do you think actually do cold approach? I do it (day-game) but most men I know probably have done less than 100 approaches in their entire lives… (I’m at 300+ and have basically stopped counting, I just continue to do them and learn as I go). Some just settled for wives or had a high school sweat-heart. Other’s just beat it. I’ve seen maybe five other men in my entire life do cold approaches during the day. Online seems to be the new norm as you say

    • If we’re talking about single men, I would say maybe 5-10% of them will cold approach from time to time.