Does Cold Approach Work? (+ How To Actually Do It)

February 20, 2023

In today's age, meeting someone solely by randomly approaching them may seem too difficult (or risky). It's not easy to do, you may worry about how it's interpreted, and the infamous world of "pickup" doesn't help.

Cold approach does work. Approaching women in this unsolicited manner can be a viable option for meeting new women. Success depends on how attractive you are and how many approaches you make. Being someone a woman wants to be approached by is essential.

Everyone has been in a position before where they thought someone was cool/attractive, yet (from nerves) didn’t try to meet them. This is why learning how to approach someone and seeing the signs of who may be interested is one of the best things you can do.

You can also open yourself up to many women who may have trouble meeting guys, whether from social circle limits or just not finding online dating appealing.

Does Cold Approach Work for Everyone?

While the ability to approach anyone anytime may seem enticing, it's not ideal for those who lack experience with dating. For one, frequent rejections are more likely to be taken personally and act as a deterrent to continue.

Secondly, many young guys are more likely to make mistakes like neglecting their appearance or lacking the social skills to achieve the desired outcome. Having a few dates can help build confidence, and online dating is an excellent initial step.

Suppose you're new to cold approach and don't need a significant investment in your appearance. In that case, success with 1 - 2 women out of every 20 is reasonable. I've tested this and can back it up through my own cold approach success rate.

A cold approach at a party.

How to Cold Approach a Girl

You cold approach by saying hello, having a small chat, then asking if they would like to hang out sometime. If she's available and finds you attractive, that's all that's needed. If starting is difficult, you can practice by approaching and asking for directions first.

You'll want to go in public where there are many people (mall, library, college, etc.) and at least a couple times per week for meaningful progress. As for the actual approaches, the key is to keep it simple and short.

Follow these 3 steps for making a cold approach:

  1. Saying hello and introduce yourself. Mention you thought she seemed cool and that you wanted to say hi. Apart from her response, gauge her body language to detect any interest.
  2. Ask what she's up to. You may be able to ask a more specific question relating to where you're making the cold approach.
  3. Suggest hanging out and offer your number. You'll want to do this quickly since she may seem interested, but she's just being polite. Offering her your number is ideal as it's more comfortable for her.

Another option is to use a situational opener. These are much more effective as it relies on using a natural excuse to talk to her. You might make a comment about the store you're both at, something she's doing, or just anything unique about the situation you're in.

For a more detailed breakdown of what to say, check out the Best Cold Approach Openers.

Cold Approach vs Warm Approach vs Online Dating

A warm approach is asking out someone in your social circle, at work, or through a mutual connection.

All three (cold approach, warm approach, and online dating) are useful in their own right. You should take advantage of each as best you can, but you may figure it's worthwhile to prioritize one over the other.

Cold Approach Pros

  • Lower competition. Women you meet through cold approach may only rely on a small social circle for who they date. There's much less competition than those using online dating.
  • It's a fresh start. It's great to meet someone you have no previous ties with. You may be introduced to an entire new social circle of future potential friends.
  • It helps builds confidence. Every guy in existence has seen some girl during his day that he really wanted to go talk to, but couldn't. Cold approaching significantly builds confidence in and outside your dating life.
  • There are unlimited opportunities. Not only are there endless women you can approach, but you can reach a point where you can just talk to anyone you like in your regular day-to-day life (no need to go "approaching").

Cold Approach Cons

  • There's a high rejection rate. You'll get rejected a lot, possibly more than online dating. Rejections can affect you a lot more when they're in person.
  • It's very challenging. Your brain is doing everything possible to stop you from making even a single approach. It's difficult to overcome what's awkward and uncomfortable.
  • It's requires a lot of time to excel at. Even if you're the smoothest and best-looking guy, it will still take a lot of time and experience to make approaching easy and quick.

Warm Approach Pros

  • It's easy to initiate. You may already have their number or at least have the chance to get it through a colleague or mutual friend.
  • It comes off more natural. There's no rush since you know you know you already have contact with them.
  • It's simpler to gauge interest. You can give subtle hints of interest and monitor their response much easier and at your own pace.

Warm Approach Cons

  • You're limited by your options. For most people, there's only a small handful of opportunities for women you like, who like you, and who are single.
  • It can be awkward if it doesn't work out. Whether they turn you down or it ends after you date for a while- it can put a divider in your group of friends.
  • Some women prefer to date outside their social circle. Even if they like you and find you attractive, they may only date guys they don't know for the same reasons as above.

Online Dating Pros

  • It's effortless to set up and do. You can meet women and set dates relatively quickly and easily through your phone.
  • There's always at least someone willing to meet you. Although you may have to lower your standards compared to other methods, at least some women are always willing to go on a date with you.
  • It's a great resource for gaining dating experience. You can learn and become comfortable with the entire dating process. This is invaluable as it can build your confidence in all aspects of interacting with women.

Online Dating Cons

  • The competition is massive. Every girl gets a lot of messages from a ton of guys.
  • You need great pictures to have a great success. You need to stand out among all the other guys. This isn't easy, and you can't only use mirror shots and selfies.
  • You will likely have to lower your standards a bit. Due to the high competition, you likely have to lower your standards to some degree (at least compared to your social circle or cold approach).

Does Cold Approach Get Easier?

Cold approach can be exceptionally difficult. With how challenging it can be to make even a single approach, you may not want to do it if it always requires much effort. Fortunately...

Cold approach does get easier over time. How easy will depend on the amount of approaches made and your success with it. Success helps you push through mental blocks as you've proved to yourself it's worthwhile. Practice helps make you more comfortable with approaching as it becomes more familiar.

Check out 6 crucial tips for dealing with cold approach rejection to help you overcome the initial difficulty spike of your first approaches.

A man cold approaching at school.

How Do You Eliminate Cold Approach Anxiety?

You're working towards the end goal of being able to naturally approach in public when an opportunity presents itself (and not having to frequently go approaching).

You can eliminate approach anxiety through experience and exposure with approaches. This means approaching frequently- at least doing it 20 times per month. Framing success as experience gained instead of the outcome is essential. Furthermore, making sure you look great will help your odds.

The first few times you try is just to prove to yourself that it's not as scary as you think. So, don't be upset if you didn't accomplish much. It's also okay to be nervous or a bit awkward. It doesn't mean she wouldn't like you for it.

If you're struggling- start with the approach anxiety program to help you ease into it.

How Do You Master Cold Approach?

The ceiling for mastering cold approach is quite high. 

Mastering cold approach relies on your success, attractiveness, and experience. Attractiveness is the most challenging, as you don't have complete control over it. Fortunately, there's still much you can do like working on your physique, wearing well-fit clothes, choosing a proper hairstyle, and more.

I have more of these quick appearance improvements listed in How to Look Your Best Every Day.

A cold approach being done on the street.


It's all rather simple, though still easy to complicate. Realize you should be a guy that a girl actually wants to be approached by. This may mean you must invest time into the gym before starting, as your appearance is everything.

Cold approach does indeed work, despite its heinous reputation. Breaking the previous-held limits of who or how you meet others is liberating and certainly not something you should be afraid of doing. Few things help self-esteem more than looking great and being able to cold approach anyone anytime.

Don't wait around for women to approach you, take the initiative to do something so many are scared to do.

Cold Approach Benefits

  • You're competing with fewer men than with online dating
  • It offers a fresh start with no previous social ties
  • The opportunities are only limited by where you approach
  • It reduces social anxiety as you build confidence with success
  • It builds a resiliancy towards doing what's uncomfortable
  • You can approach at nearly any time or place

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