Ever found yourself treading ground with new people, talking about the weather or some equally arbitrary topic of conversation? With no known common ground it is difficult to relate to someone you've just met, especially if that person is an attractive member of the opposite sex you've only just managed to pluck up the courage to approach.
Something I find extremely useful in this type of situation is to create a novel, fictional, scenario for you both to experience together. This not only adds humour and excitement to the conversation but allows both parties to participate as a team, getting to know about each others' personalities without the awkward 'interview mode' questions such as where are you from? or what do you do?
Take the following example which has been transcribed from a conversation I had on the dating website Tinder, running from initiating the chat to closing out her phone number:
Want to join my adventure? We're recruiting a first mate for an expedition down the Amazon and you'd be perfect!
Yes I am game! I have all my girl guide badges
Awesome. Ship sets sail tomorrow. Will be good to have some eye candy on board. Do you have the "fend off crocodiles with bare hands" badge? That could particularly come in handy
How exciting! Oh I don't know about that! Unfortunately I don't but I have the 'how to become friends with a group of otters' badge and 10 otters vs 1 crocodile is a fair battle so we'd be safe enough
Otters are adorable but I can imagine they've got a vicious streak... they are also very good builders so could help construct camp. Good thinking :)
Is there anything I need to take? I have a canoe but it's become quite unreliable recently.
If it has holes in the bottom I'd leave it at home. Apart from your pretty smile I'd say all you need to bring is an open mind and a love for the unknown... potentially some bug spray as well :P P.s. 3D Computer Animation sounds like potentially the most interesting degree ever!
Yeah probably for the best! We're good to go?! Excited! Haha it's actually good fun! What do you do? Apart from being the top explorer in Scotland obviously
We just need to have our pre-expedition briefing. How about over coffee on Wednesday?
Can we post-pone to when my flu goes away? I'm a moving disease!
Of course tiger. make sure you get the required vaccinations for the trip then. What do I do? I write, play the guitar, am a voracious reader, cook, meditate and travel.
Does this affect our schedule? Wouldn't want to ruin your trip by delaying! A man of many talents it seems!
Ah now I hope you're not under the assumption I'm good at all these things :P It's OK, you're an interesting person, we'll sort something out.
I see I see, well how do we move forward if we cannot improve? Hahaha so I passed the test? Sounds like I've just been interviewed and I don't quite have the qualifications but there's just something there and you're like mmm okay let's see what we can do.
Very philosophical! Haha damn you realised it was a test :P Well the results are in and you passed with flying colours. If you want to move to the next stage I'll have to get your phone number please.
I know the ways of the wise! Wooo failure is never an option! Hahaha you are so smooth, definitely up there with the best lines! Is that a genuine request? Because I'm not sure if it's e-mail they usually deal with or house phone?
Yes that was an actual request... mobile phone! I know a really quirky bar you would enjoy :)
07: 57 Girl:
Haha okay! 075######## :)
You can see that the girl was hooked from the start, the scenario allowing for a fun and playful vibe to be created. Indirectly I was then able to layer in some more sexual tones whilst teasing her slightly to keep interest levels high. Once the 'adventure' had run its course I was then able to go directly for the number with the confidence she would respond. This doesn't solely relate to picking up girls however, despite it being very effective.
Next time you're sitting in a backpackers bar or hostel common area try deploying the adventure frame when meeting fellow travellers, especially if alone. Who doesn't want to be whisked away into an alternate reality where anything is possible? From pledging to form a rural community of hunter-gatherers with cannibalistic tendencies in Papua New Guinea; to planning a trek through the Sahara from Casablanca to Timbuktu in a rickshaw pulled by robotic kites; to reindeer riding across the Arctic Circle wearing superhero costumes and carpet slippers, these creative schemes will suck people into your world. Never again will you be that boring person tucked away in the corner, staring at their smart phone screen. Adopt the adventure frame, take the initiative, and you'll find it scary how easy rapport can be created with complete strangers in such a minimal amount of time.