Should You Cold Approach? (5 reasons why you shouldn't)

April 18, 2023

Cold approaching can be a fantastic tool for those capable of utilizing it. However, it's very easy for guys to go into it way over their heads and be unable to get anywhere with it. 

Should you cold approach?

If you're not ready for cold approaching, it can do more harm than good.

We'll go over several key factors why this may be the case for you, helping you decide whether you start doing them or not.

In addition, we'll also talk about how to know if you're ready to start, and what you should be doing if you're not.

If you want to learn some of the basics, check out Does Cold Approach Work? (+ How To Actually Do It).

1. You Need to Improve Your Looks

Your looks are the strongest indicator of whether or not you'll have success cold approaching.

If you don't look good, there's no reason to start approaching, as you won't get anywhere.

I'm confident 90% of guys can improve their appearance a lot (to the likes of going up at least a point on the ten-point attractiveness scale) with a few changes they can make in a day.

The only guys I would suggest holding off are those who are significantly over or underweight.

Check out my ways to look your best for some ideas on what quick changes you can make.

2. You Have Little Experience With Dating

Making cold approaches is a relatively advanced and challenging thing to do.

You're going to get turned down a lot.

For most, they'll only be unfazed by rejections if they had the experience and success with dating to back it up.

Remember, when starting, the goal is the approach itself and the reduction of approach anxiety (not the numbers you get). Therefore you'll have to do many of them, and you need to know you can handle it.

You don't need to be suave and smooth with the confidence from hooking up with dozens of women, but you'll need to know what you're capable of.

If you already have women in your life and can get new numbers through means like dating apps, then rejections shouldn't affect you nearly as much.

3. You Can’t Play the Numbers Game

You need to ideally have a couple different places you can visit to approach a lot of women.

The mall and colleges are likely your best options for places you can consistently and reliably approach. Don't approach at your own school though, as you don't want to gain a reputation for it. As discussed in How to get laid in college, there are better options.

Making progress won't be easy if you don't have an easy way to approach a lot of women.

Unless you have very high confidence, you will need to make a lot of approaches (at least one or two dozen each time) to eliminate approach anxiety.

a young man and woman talking in a mall

4. You Have a Lack of Confidence

This can tie into the lack of experience, but it's its own point due to its importance.

Cold approach is unique because of how unconventional it is while having the means to change your life.

On the one hand, you're doing something that doesn't exactly follow everyone's social norms. It's an odd experience and can make anyone feel a bit uncomfortable in the beginning.

Yet on the other, you're opening yourself up to a world of opportunities.

Many women, if not most, don't use dating apps. Their pool of potential partners throughout their life is entirely determined by their social or work circle.

The competition is so much lower than online dating.

This means not only are there not 100 other guys competing against you, but on average, you'll be able to meet better-looking women.

This is why you need the confidence to actually make a large number of approaches. At the same time, all the rejections can exacerbate any self-esteem or social anxiety issues.

Ensure you can handle it (primarily by gaining prior experience with dating).

As my cold approach tips guide mentions, asking for the time or directions is an excellent way to start and ease into it. These are practice approaches that help you get comfortable with the process.

5. You Have a Lack of Time to Approach

Cold approach is difficult. Getting to the point where it becomes relatively easy requires a significant time commitment.

Exposure and repetition, followed by success, is the key to reducing approach anxiety.

The end goal is to reach a point where you never actually go out to make approaches but can make them when you see an opportunity.

To get to that point, you need to take it seriously. You need to become comfortable with the uncomfortable.

This can only be done with enough time and effort invested.

cartoon illustration of a young man talking to a young woman

How to Know You're Ready to Cold Approach

You'll be ready when you know:

  •  Your appearance is maxed out and you look good: sleek fitted clothing, fresh haircut/style, tan, etc. 
  •  You understand large amounts of rejections are normal and part of the process.
  •  You play the numbers game, going to places where you can easily make 10- 20 approaches each time.
  •  You use apps/online dating and are experienced with dating in general.
  •  You don't take failure/rejections personally (this may happen sometimes, but you persist anyway).
  •  You already have a sex life and don't "need" the approaches to go right.
  •  You don't have crippling social anxiety.

Cold Approach Potential

About half the women I've met and hooked up with were through cold approaching, including one now I've dated for many years.

I don't know exactly what it was, but the girls from cold approaches seemed different than those I met from PlentyofFish or OkCupid. It was a bit of a different time, whereas Tinder had only briefly existed, so it wasn't mainstream yet.

Maybe it was just the difference in competition, or perhaps it was just in my head. But outside my social circle, they were the only girls I liked enough to date.

Perhaps this doesn't hold as much weight anymore, but I would bet it still holds true to some degree.

It's another advantage of cold approaches, and I encourage everyone to either start or work their way up to doing them. It's a real game-changer.

If you are ready to take the first step- I have a list of the best cold approach openers to get you started. While I explain in it how "situational openers" are ideal, always having something in mind to default back to is essential.

Lastly, knowing the average cold approach success rate is essential. This way you know what to expect and if it's worth sounding the alarm yet.

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