* and when to ignore this rule
“Can I buy you a drink?”Those six words have launched more pickup attempts than anyone could count. They might even be the world’s oldest pickup line. Your caveman ancestors used to try to hook up with hot cavewomen by bringing them gifts of food and drinks. Even if our biology hasn’t evolved much, society and culture have. It’s 2013, and it’s time to retire that line—at least when you first meet a woman. (Buying her a drink once you’ve already started talking to her is a different story—we’ll cover that below.)
Buying her a drink puts her on a pedestalIf the first thing out of your mouth is an offer to buy her something, you’re implying that you need to give something extra for her to be interested in talking to you. You’re not equals. She’s above you. She’s out of your league. Like we’ve covered before, if you imply that she’s out of your league, she’s not going to disagree.
Buying her a drink reminds her of men she’s not attracted to
Even if you happen to be a very cool and awesome guy, I can tell you with almost complete certainty that most of the men she’s met before who have started with “Can I buy you a drink?” had no idea how to talk to women. So right away, she’s going to have her guard up.
Buying her a drink shows your interest early, but in a weak way
One thing we teach at Love Systems is that when you approach a woman, either “go direct” or go under the radar.
If you go direct—something like “You are absolutely stunning. I had to come over and see what you’re like. My name is [name],”—you’ll get credit in her mind for having the balls to do what most men pussyfoot around. She still might not be attracted to you, but at least you took a shot.
If you go under the radar, you might ask a woman for her opinion on something: should your friend cut his hair short, do drunk I-love-yous count and so on, and extend the conversation from there and give her a chance to get to know your good qualities before you make your interest clear.
Buying her a drink falls in between these two approaches. It has the disadvantages of both without any of the advantages.
When should you buy her a drink?
Once you’ve already been talking for a couple minutes and you feel like having a drink, by all means offer to get her one too. It’s polite and it’s the traditional “male” thing to do. It can also be a good excuse to separate her temporarily from her friends if she’s out in a big group and the conversation is going well. Say something like “Hey, I’m going to grab a drink, come keep me company at the bar,” and take her hand.