I know a lot has changed in the dating world since the Covid-19 pandemic, and we’ve got a whole guide on how to navigate the dating world since this.
But one thing that hasn’t changed is your conversations with women, and the fact that most guys struggle while talking to girls they like.
“How do I keep the conversation going?”
“Things will be going alright, but then I’ll run out and then I have to excuse myself, or she leaves.”
One of the main reasons your interactions are suffering like this, is because there’s no intent, no desire, no “I want.” You’re hiding it all, which means the conversation lacks a context – and there will be no felt experience on her side.
I cover this in the “Ask John” article, where I show you a simple exercise to create more impact in your interactions from the get-go, by defaulting to your authentic desire.
However, today we’re going to go more into the nitty-gritty of conversations.
Before we start, one thing you will come to learn from my coaching, is when it comes to social dynamics, I boil everything down to its fundamental level. Instead of teaching random arbitrary techniques, where you don’t know where they all fit in, I show you the roots to it.
When you understand the roots to it all, you simply need to live from this place, and everything unfolds accordingly.
Which means any techniques you use, will be unconscious and simply an expression of coming from those core fundamentals.
I cover this more in the article: “Why you should learn principles not techniques”
Inventing vs. Discovering
Where things are likely to be going wrong for you, is that you’re trying to INVENT a conversation, instead of DISCOVER a conversation.
Inventing is when you are constantly trying to engineer something new. Build something new. Such as a smartphone, car, watch. These are all examples of inventing.
Discovery is the process of exploring that which is already there. Like when they first discovered gold. It wasn’t invented, it was ALREADY there.
What guys tend to do in their conversations is be in a chronic sense of inventing. But rarely ever in sense of discovery.
They may think they are discovering, by asking questions, using assumptions, showing through body language that they are curious and interested – but these are almost always just deployed as techniques to try to engineer the conversation. So any supposed discovery, is merely masquerading as discovery on the surface but really invention underneath.
That’s why so many men glitch and short circuit in their interactions with women. They see conversation as cobbling together a brick road, each slab painstakingly laid down, one in front of the other. You see this magnified in early forms of game where it used to be A1 to B2 to C3 etc. Build comfort then build attraction then break rapport. What a load of nonsense!
Humans are not maths equations!
You could also look at this way of viewing an interaction as painting by numbers. Or a dot-to-dot drawing. Remember this when you were a kid?
True mastery is when you become the artist. The artist does not know the outcome yet, but trusts in the process. They still lead, but they can be moved in the moment, and steered in a new direction, and that new direction and outcome is welcomed.
Try starting a dot-to-dot then choosing a different path, half way through, or accidentally moving the pen to the wrong number. You’ve messed it up. Start again!
Instead, what does it feel like to be unprepared and sit in that chaos? To allow words and feelings from her to come to you, which provoke you, change you, challenge you, inspire you….
And then instead of talking TO her, you RESPOND.
INVENTING is engineering words (talking)
DISCOVERING is receiving and responding (conversation)
Discovering in conversation:
She speaks, you receive by actively listening. It affects you, it brings up ideas and thoughts for reflection, you then put back in, she does the same and a natural conversation is blossoming.
Discovering, is when you are comfortable in the unknown, and can go into an interaction completely clear, like a blank canvas and allow the co-creation of the two artists to be the strokes on the canvas.
That’s a REAL conversation.
“It is not what you say, it’s how you respond.”
Anyone can prepare a killer line, but the moment she responds, with something you’re not prepared for. Then What?
At this point, I want you to think of the difference between a stand-up comedian and a TV talk show host. Take one of my childhood hero’s Bill Hicks, for instance. A true renegade – a genius. On stage he has his material perfected, and if you watch his live set in different cities, every movement across the stage is near the same, the execution of every line the same.
However when he’s invited onto a UK talk show with Clive Anderson, Clive is asking him the usual questions, and in Bill’s attempt to be funny – he delves into his stand up set and answers each question with a line from his stand up material. Clive starts to become aware of this and at the end of the interview, throws him a curve ball about Montreal. Bill short-circuits. He doesn’t have a joke or response from his Rolla deck of material.
Clive jokes ironically:
“Anyway Bill I’ve GOT to stop you!”
Clive: “We’ll end it there because let’s face it, we’ve RUN OUT.”
Bill was used to inventing as a good stand up comedian does, and then broadcasting that out to people. But here, the dynamic had changed and he wasn’t able to adapt.
If you’re seeing an interaction with a woman like rehearsing and executing a stand up routine then you’re inventing and you’re doing it all wrong.
You want to be less like the stand up comedian and more like the talk show host who can improvise, adapt, ebb and flow within the conversation, and is always in a sense of discovery and thus responding.
Look at Clive Anderson, Jonathan Ross, or Johnny Vaughan when he was on “The Big Breakfast”, as great examples.
Ever got stuck with someone you really can’t stand from work, and you’re forced into a conversation with them, in the kitchen area, or say a work do etc.
Neither of you want to DISCOVER the other person, so instead, you both INVENT;
“Err, Did you have fun at the weekend?”
“What are you doing this weekend?”
“This week is going so slow isn’t it?”
You feel awkward, they feel awkward, and IT’S awkward.
Question: Why do we invent?
Answer: We are trying to get it RIGHT
Most guys are so fixed on a result with women they like, that there’s only success or failure. Those are the only two options. So of course they will work to avoid failure and the pain and sense of despair that goes along with it.
That’s why these guys rely on tried and tested MATERIAL. Tried and tested techniques, lines, routines, and gambits. To optimise their ‘performance’ and force that result home.
It comes from a feeling of inadequacy and lack of trust in ones own character and what we have to offer.
Question: Why do we Discover?
Answer: We want to explore potential
We are comfortable in our own skin, and we don’t worry about winning or losing. We don’t worry about getting it “right” every step along the way – as there is no “right”!
We understand that the conversation is like sailing a ship on the ocean. You can’t control the waves but you can ride with the waves. You flow with it.
The moment you think about trying to get it “right,” you reduce a conversation capable of infinite potential and possibility, down to a binary outcome system of Yes/No (Right/Wrong).
It’s like moving from a quantum computer to an 8bit Commodore 64 computer from the 80’s!
So how do we change this, with let’s say someone we want to interact with….
Listen, really listen. That means not just what they’re saying but how they’re saying it. That means with your eyes, your ears and your heart.
Be curious – actually want to know the answer to her questions, because you want to know her. If it’s coming from a place of inventing and just filling the space – she’ll feel it, and will be repelled by you. And so she should!
Then it’s important to let go, relax, and allow yourself to dissolve into the conversation.
For e.g when you smile – you don’t DO a smile, a smile does you. Or think about when you breathe, you’re not doing a breath, you are being breathed in each moment.
That’s how it should be in conversation, where you’re not DOING a conversation (inventing), you are being breathed into by the conversation itself.
You dissolve fully into it and genuinely enjoy it. Revelling in the excitement of what’s been co-created and what’s being co-created.
If you start panicking about what to say, or getting things “right”, then you’re no longer PLAYING, you’re inventing towards an outcome (see article: How to be a PLAYER)
Then my friend, only then, will you start to truly discover her, and create a powerful connection.
We cover this in the Ultimate Dating Program in great length, where we leave no stone unturned.
But for now, hopefully that’s given you a light-bulb moment, showing you where your interactions have been falling down, and how to shift it with one simple yet profound idea…
A simple shift in your fundamentals from inventing to discovering.
Until next time,
John Cooper is a world-renowned coach and pioneer in the dating community. Having trained men and women since 2009 he forged his own coaching method which focuses on being the social artist rather than the pick up artist. This culminated in his bestselling book – Game Over (2015).