Direct vs Indirect

Just wrote this for the LSI -- you should have all gotten this in your inbox this morning. If you did not, please let me know.

When do you use an “indirect” opener? When do you “go direct”?

* Direct does not hide your interest in her. E.g., “Hi, you look interesting. My name is XXX.” (Nothing special about this opener; it’s just a quick example)

* Indirect is where you hide your interest in her at first. Instead, you start the conversation with a pretext. E.g. “Hey, we need you to settle an argument. Do drunk “I love you’s” count?”

And the winner is…


Why it Doesn’t Matter

The simple reason is that 10-20 minutes after meeting her, you should be in the same place in the conversation whether you started Direct or Indirect.

(That “place” by the way is that you should both should be feeling attracted/curious about each other. The next step after that is to SOLIDIFY that attraction through something we call Qualification. Women FEEL attracted all the time; a lot of what we do in Qualification or Comfort is making her want to ACT on that attraction)

The more detailed explanation is that an “Indirect” opener has both less risk and less reward than a “direct” opener.

A direct opener puts it all on the line. It shows that you are at least a little bit interested in her. If she doesn’t reject you right away, then she is accepting the FRAME that this conversation has a romantic/sexual interaction. If that frame is established, then of course it’s normal for you and her to talk and get to know each other.

An indirect opener has less risk and less reward. Most women will answer a question like “drunk I Love You’s” above. But unlike a direct opener, the mere fact that she stays in the conversation does NOT establish the frame as romantic/sexual. In fact, it does not establish a conversation at all. She would normally expect the conversation to be over once she answers your question.

To put yourself in her shoes, imagine walking down the street and a random woman (not one you are immediately attracted to) asks you for directions. You’d probably think the conversation was over after you gave her directions, and it would be weird if she followed up by asking your name and where you’re from.

That’s why Love Systems came up with the concept of Transitioning. A transition turns a single-subject conversation into a normal conversation. There are a few different kinds of transitions that I describe in my book, the Magic Bullets Handbook but my favorite is the Cold Read. This is where you “spontaneously” notice something about her, cutting her off in mid-response, and changing the frame of the conversation. E.g.,

“You look like you’re a schoolteacher”

“Are you a tourist?”

“You’re an artist of some sort, aren’t you?”

It doesn’t matter whether you are “right” or not. The point is 1/ to extend the conversation to a new topic before the old one runs out, and 2/ to change the nature of the conversation for her, from “some guy asked my opinion on X” to “chatting with this guy”.

For more on how to use Cold Reads in Transitioning, Attraction, Qualification, and Comfort (they’re amazing to have when you can’t think of something else to say to keep the conversation going), Love Systems veteran The Don and I put something together on this. Click the link below to start playing (no charge) – the full thing is $39.97:

Back to our original topic. As you can see, the transition puts you at the exact same point as if you’d started with a direct opener. In other words:

Direct Opener ≈ Indirect Opener + Transition

So again, it doesn’t really matter.

But what if it DOES matter?

All that being said, SOMETIMES it’s better to be direct or indirect. But the most important factor is probably NOT what you’re thinking. It’s got nothing to do with her or the situation. It has everything to do with you and what you find most comfortable.

For example, I tend to use indirect openers most of the time. When I was learning game, I had a lot of approach anxiety, so I much preferred indirect openers. I relied on them and got very good at using them.

For me, a direct opener is like “game on” from the first second. Whereas I prefer to be in a bit more control, starting with indirect, and then picking the right moment in the first couple minutes to turn the switch and make it a more obvious pickup. I like to use the minute or so it takes to get through the opener to figure out where I’m going to move her to, to watch her friends’ body language, and a million other things that let me plan ahead.

I’m still pretty darn good at Direct Game of course, and will use it once in a while, but my default is always indirect.

In contrast, some of the best guys in the world, like Braddock and Future, seem to use a lot more direct game. And of course their results and successes speak for themselves. They’d be just as good using indirect openers, but they have a preference and style that fits direct really well.

So…the next time a know-it-all tries to tell you have to go direct here or indirect there, tell them to stuff it. They’re not helping you. Either can work, and it doesn’t really matter.

That being said, if you’re equally comfortable in both and you’re the type that likes to play the percentages, in some situations, it can be SLIGHTLY better to be indirect or direct. None of these factors are as important as your comfort, but if you genuinely don’t care and want to maximize your chances, this checklist might help:

· She’s alone: MORE DIRECT
· It’s the daytime: MORE DIRECT
· You have approach anxiety: MORE INDIRECT
· You’re approaching a group of women and you don’t know which one you’re interested in yet: MORE INDIRECT
· It’s really loud or distracting where you are: MORE DIRECT
· You want to give your wingmen the best chance with her friends: MORE INDIRECT
· Your body language and non-verbal communication is good (see Beyond Words for examples): MORE DIRECT
· You have to go out of your way to approach her and she is going to notice this: MORE DIRECT
· She is in a mixed group (men and women): MORE INDIRECT
· Etc…

Again, none of those reasons are more important than your own comfort. So use what you like.