The Indirect Opener

I don’t love ‘PUA lingo’ or terminology, but certain terms do make a lot of sense to use. “Opener” is one of them. If you want to date a woman, you need to start the interaction somehow. Whether it’s by swiping right on Tinder, saying hi to her on the street, passing her a note in class (not recommended), or asking a seemingly innocuous question at a bar, all accomplish pretty much the same thing: start the interaction. All can be referred to as “openers”. Easy, concise, and pretty self explanatory.

Direct Openers, Indirect Openers, Online Openers

The openers we described above are all openers, but each has its own qualities. Swiping on Tinder, and the initial message if you match, is referred to, naturally, as an “online opener”. We’ll talk a lot about online openers in future articles.

Outside the online dating sphere, there are many different ways you can approach and start an interaction (open) women. You can go right up to her, introduce yourself, and tell her you think she’s pretty and want to get to know her better or take her out on a date. That’s a very blunt and direct approach to getting a woman on a date. This type of opener is naturally called a “direct opener”. 
More precisely, a direct opener is any opener (initial interaction) where you make your intention known– you’re talking to her because you have a romantic interest in her– and you’re letting her know it.

An indirect opener, on the other hand, is when you start the interaction without expressing obvious or even any romantic interest. Consider sitting next to a woman you’re interested in at the bar waiting for a drink. Whereas a direct opener might be: “Hi I’m Dave, You caught my eye, …” an indirect opener might go something like: “Hey, is that the Bird of Paradise drink?”

Why We Prefer Indirect Openers

Both direct and indirect openers have their benefits and drawbacks. Direct openers show confidence and avoid confusion– if you use a direct opener, the woman you’re speaking to knows full well you’re interested in her romantically and she can respond accordingly.

Indirect openers help make her more comfortable and makes her more likely to let her guard down. Attractive women are constantly bombarded by men hitting on them, propositioning them, or worse. An indirect approach, which doesn’t make it obvious, is a welcome reprieve for many women.
So, why is our preference flying under the radar versus approaching confidently? There are several.

Under the radar buys more time

When you use a direct opener, you’ve expressed your interest before you’ve really had much time to show her anything more than your looks, confidence level, and occasionally, some wit (depending on your opener). That might be enough to pique the interest of some women, but unless you’re very good looking, it isn’t going to be enough to pique the interest of many really high quality women.

With an indirect opener, if you open with something interesting that isn’t sexual and isn’t expressing interest, you have more opportunity to engage in conversation and build some intrigue and attraction with more than just your looks and an opening line.

They work better on more attractive women

Very attractive women are hit on all the time by men. They’ve been approached in countless ways, including many direct ways. Being approached, even by a good looking guy, isn’t something new to these women. Because they are constantly bombarded, they also have their guard up the highest. They’ll reflexively reject many men without even giving them the chance to get a word in edgewise if they even suggest they are romantically interested by their body language.

Indirect openers help avoid some of these problems by purposefully not opening with anything that expresses romantic interest. Sure, a lot of women are well aware that indirect openers are a thing, but, plenty of women are also nice reasonable human beings who aren’t going to tell you to f-off if you ask them if the drink they’re having tastes good. (There are way better indirect openers than that, but just an example). The reality is, most women want to have engaging conversations, even with strangers, they just don’t want someone being creepy and overly aggressive.

They are easier

Many men struggle building the confidence to go up to a woman and even say hi. I know I struggled with this for many of my younger years. An indirect opener makes the approach process much easier. Using our (admittedly relatively weak) “what’s that drink” indirect opener really requires virtually zero courage or confidence to execute. Would you be afraid to ask a bartender a question if she was attractive? Or a receptionist? Of course not. Indirect openers are not much different. When you detach the romance/attraction element from the equation, it’s just regular conversation. However, engaging regular conversion is sexy and attractive in itself, and that’s what you’re trying to achieve with any opener.

Best uses of indirect openers

I generally use indirect openers–I feel they are easier to execute, more successful, and easier to display wit and humor with. However, there are situations where indirect openers are especially successful–I would almost never use a direct opener in some of these situations.

  1. She’s extremely attractive — forget about direct openers, every guy has already tried. Go indirect, under the radar.
  2. You’re unattractive — First of all, you’re probably more attractive than you think, but, similar to (1), if there’s a big “looks delta” (she’s much more attractive than you), indirect approaches are your friend. With a direct approach, looks matter more, so if you don’t have the looks, don’t use an opener that benefits the most from looks.
  3. You have time — If you don’t have much time with the girl of interest, you’ve got to act fast, and a direct approach might be more suitable. However, if you have time, for example. you’re at a house party and are going to be there a while (and so is she), indirect openers are preferred. Don’t “blow your load” with a direct opener when you have a long time to build attraction.
  4. You are a novice at dating — Direct openers are more challenging to employ successfully. If you’re starting out in the dating scene, indirect openers are easier to use, less likely to result in hurtful rejection, and more likely to gain you valuable conversation experience.

If you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of indirect approaches. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re like me, an average looking guy, a novice, or simply someone who’s tired of approaching the old fashioned way, give yourself best chance you can with an indirect approach.

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