If you search online for what to say to a girl you like, you’ll usually be told to show how much you and the girl have in common: “build rapport”, “find commonalities”, “share experiences”.
Well this might work well if you’re looking to become a counsellor. But if you’re looking to get a girl interested in you, you’re better off doing the exact opposite.
Instead of trying to fit in, play up your differences and play down your similarities.
I know this all sounds a bit abstract, so let me illustrate what I’m on about with a story about my friend “Blue”.
The Fireman Poet
My friend Blue (who featured in an old post about how to talk to girls at parties) is a published playwright. He loves dandified clothes and gourmet coffee and evenings at the theatre. He’s one of the most cultured men I know.
Blue is also a fireman from Essex. Now this combination (as well as being just about every girl’s fantasy) allows him to present himself as anywhere on the spectrum. He can play the cultured man of letters if the situation demands it. Or he can focus on his East End fireman pin-up side.
When I first met Blue, I assumed that he chose whichever aspect was closest to that of the girl. I assumed that the posh girls got the playwright and the party girls got the fireman. But he actually does the opposite.
Blue’s genius is that he shows the side of himself that is the furthest away from the girl. He doesn’t play down their differences – he exaggerates them.
If she’s a posh west-end girl he’s chatted up on Kensington high street, he’s a bit cheeky, a bit cockney, a bit of rough. That way, this public-school girl can have the thrill of going out with a fireman from Essex, and probably shock her parents in the process.
If Blue goes back to Essex for the weekend and meets a girl in his local, he’s a poet from London, sat in his Kensington flat surrounded by books and bohemian friends. How thrilling for her! How much more exciting than another tough guy downing pints and cheering on his football team.
How to Be Romantic
Think of all the great love stories throughout history. They all have some sort of conflict: Romeo and Juliet from warring families, Edward and Wallis Simpson tearing a king from his crown, the pirate Han Solo and the Princess Leia.
We can’t always create conflict (nor would we always want to). But we can appeal to difference. So when you’re next wondering what to say to a girl you like, consider saying whatever will enhance your differences, rather than what will minimise them.
Let me give you an example. We get a lot of e-mails from guys who want to date women younger than them. They ask us to to minimise the age gap, how to seem younger, how to make light of the differences. But they’re missing the point.
If you’re a bit older than her, don’t play it down! Don’t try to sound young and hip. Don’t refer to the latest music and celebrity gossip. Be even older! Have some fun with it. Talk about “the wireless” and “The Great War”. Invite her back for a sherry.
It’s fun for a girl to flirt with an older guy. It’s fun to flirt with someone from a different culture or a different background. Don’t undermine one of your greatest weapons by trying to fit in.