March 28, 2012

10 Tips for Talking to Ladies & Gentlemen.

The Non-Douchebag’s Guide to Getting Laid.

(For Ladies & Gentlemen)

Are you a lady, and too-often too shy to talk to that cute stranger (lady or gent)?

Are you a gentleman, and too-often too shy to talk to that cute stranger (gent or lady)?

Are you too tasteful to read books about the Game or the Art of Seduction?

Are you too self-respecting to join a dating site?

Are you too decent and kind to be a douchebag, and just sleaze your way into that cute wo/man’s life?

Well now there’s help!

elephantjournal.com is your home for Nice People who Don’t Have to Lose.


Here’s my painstakingly compiled Tips for (Wo)manning up and Talking to that Total Stranger.

1. First of all, let’s stop comparing our (lack of) success to that of players. We don’t want to be a player, a douchebag, that sleazy guy (or girl) who’s always pushing his or her self on everyone. We don’t want success without authenticity. We want both. Because it’s only those real, connected, fun, genuine connections that are more than a complete waste of time. So next time you see player on a date with a hot girl or guy, feel sorry for both parties, and move on.

2. Take care of yourself. If we don’t 1) meditate in the morning, 2) dress well (or simply, or stylishly, which isn’t always the same thing), 3) exercise, we may not be that desirable, present, or confident. Take care of your body and mind in the way you’d hope that whomever you want to be with takes care of their self. Too often friends complain about being lonely, but do little to make themselves confident and attractive and sane. If you actually want to be with that somebody, get yourself to the meditation cushion, the gym, on a bike, to the climbing gym or yoga class. And buy some clothes that make you feel elegant, fun, you. I recommend secondhand shops for stylee and affordable (and eco) clothes that have character—character will help you break the ice…

3. I have just about no idea how to talk to random women (or in your case, perhaps men) I don’t know. I would, instead, encourage focusing on community. Where do you hang out, spend time? What are your interests? If you’re well known in a particular community—parties/barbeques, dancing, riding horses, school, an open mic night…meeting people, being introduced to people will just happen. And then, while you may not know that cute somebody, at least you’re be one degree more familiar, “safer.” So forget that random cutee you see in the grocery store, and get more involved and active in your own life. Then, meeting people might just happen (of course, this is coming from a guy who has been alone for most of the last three years—and one of the two meaningful relationships I did have was, by a factor of 1,000, the worst I’ve ever had in my life. The other one was wonderful.)

4. What’s that? You want to know how to talk to that lady/gent you see in line in the park, at the cafe/or at the grocery, anyway? Well, obviously, do 1) and 2). If you have, then, the main thing is to just breathe deep and go for it. As Buddhists say, have confidence to go beyond hesitation. Bravery, even awkward bravery—is attractive, or at least cute. But if you’re so insecure you mess it all up, don’t worry, the worst—as my mom used to say, “It never hurts to ask,” in a different context—is that you’ll be right where you started. Alone. Failure isn’t anything to worry about. They may have a boy/girlfriend. They may not be in a place to be interested. We have zero control over yes/no. All we can do is be ourselves and ask. If you do go for it, just keep it simple. Say hello. Talk about something that’s happening—the weather, what he/she is wearing or doing, make fun of yourself. If you have friends or acquaintances around, talk to them first, slightly loudly but not too-loudly, first. Give him/her a chance to see that you’re safe and have friends and that they like you. Give him/her a chance to see that you’re decent, confident, and you know how to smile.

5. Speaking of alone, make friends with yourself. Do things you like to do on your own. Start enjoying being alone, and you’ll stop feeling ashamed about being alone. Maitri is key, here.

6. Get a dog. Not original, but effective. Dogs have a lot of energy. Dog have to pee. So that means no matter how you feel, how busy you are, how crappy the weather is, if you’re a decent dog-loving dog owner, you’ll have to go outside and get them tired. And outside, not in your room staring at your TV or laptop, is where we meet people. At the very least, outside is exercise and fresh air. That said, if you think your dog will be a “chick magnet,” you’re mistaken. Dogs are a magnet for chaos, generally. And chaos, as Trungpa Rinpoche says, should be regarded as extremely good news.

7. Don’t go for men/women based solely on looks. That might sound meaningful, but it’s not. Be hyper-critical of any weird vibes you get from someone: .00001 percent of people are craycray—bad news. Don’t be a sucker. If they are sane, it’s still not good to just chase looks. Remember beautiful men or women are just plain old humans inside, too. Don’t objectify based on looks. Keep it real and personal and human. Ignore looks, once you’re talking with someone, and just talk to them as a human being.

8. Beware the Friendzone. I “went out with” a girl for months, this winter. I put “going out with” in quotes because, though we went on “dates,” and “did various things together,” she rarely failed to fail to text or call or email or Facebook me back, promptly. She said she was interested in me, but her actions proved otherwise. If you find yourself adrift in friendland, call her/him on it. If you aren’t being treated with common courtesy, talk it over. If things don’t change, give up. Bow out gracefully, respectfully—and quickly. Life is short.

9. If you don’t like calling, don’t. Everyone out there will disagree with me on this, but I don’t see text or email or messaging as inferior to good ol’fashioned phone calls. I see phone calls as an imposition. You’re doing something, and suddenly your phone is ringing, bullying its way into your present moment. If, as Sun Tzu would agree, you’re most comfortable communicating in person or texting, do it. Play your game, not someone else’s rules.

10. Speaking of, let’s not play games. Be charming. Be coy. But be honest. If we feel a certain way, let’s just say so. If we want to go out to dinner with someone, let’s just invite them. Read fewer Top 10 Lists and skip the how-to books or videos. Let’s just do our thing. Be brave. Be silly. Go out there and make a little trouble. And remember: the journey is the goal. Our goal is not sex. Even if we think our goal is sex, our goal is not sex—because we will fail to reach that goal if we don’t walk the path every step of the way. Walking the path, in this context, means listening, talking, smiling. Simple things.

Let’s come back to the present moment, and ride it into Loveland. The present moment will get us “there.”


This is just a rough list off the top of my head. I’m the furthest thing from an authority you can imagine. If you have advice or tips for how to meet good folks and have genuine relationships, please contribute in comments below.

For more like this, “like” Sexy or Relationships.



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