How to meet women was the question plaguing Richard La Ruina, a young man raised without his father in London, England, who all through high school had never held hands with a girl, much less kissed one.
La Ruina saw himself as deathly insecure, ugly and an outsider, until one day in his twenties, “out of sheer desperation,” he set out to improve himself with the view to finding a girlfriend. His first book, The Natural Art of Seduction, sold 30,000 copies in the U.K. and launched his career as, in his own words, Europe’s top pick-up artist. His new book, The Natural: How to Effortlessly Attract the Women You Want, offers advice for single men and is the result of La Ruina’s personal research, “night after night, day after day—working endlessly to figure out what works, and what doesn’t.”
Step one was to write down his problems and address each issue. For his shyness, he taught English as a foreign language in Spain. “It forced me, as I hoped it would, to be the centre of attention and stand up in front of a class of people for an hour at a time.” He advises other shy men to do the same, or to take a public-speaking course.
Step two, fix your look. Out with the baggy jeans and dirty running shoes, and in with stylish loafers, a sports jacket and a good haircut. “I bought at discount outlets,” he writes. Another tip: “Go to an expensive salon for a free consultation, find out what would be the best cut for your face shape, and then get the actual cut done in a cheaper place.” Clean your fingernails and remember brown shoes go best with blue jeans.
You must also model the behaviour of alpha males. “Women want a man who is confident, powerful, socially savvy and high in status,” writes La Ruina. “What I’m talking about right now is not pretending to be someone you aren’t in order to ‘trick’ women. Instead, this is about using an understanding of human behaviour, psychology and biology to consciously change the ways you act.”
For instance, La Ruina observed that alpha males are decision-makers who lead the pack. Start small, he urges. Practise on your male friends. “When your friends start grumbling about being hungry, make a decision. Say, ‘Let’s go here!’ with total certainty. Don’t ask if this is okay with everyone. Assume it is.”
With women, remember to maintain your status. “Don’t ask her a lot of questions when you’re facing a decision together.” And don’t seek approval. “Don’t say, ‘Is this okay?’ or ‘How’s my jacket look?’ ”
Step three: desensitization. There is no easy way to get over the fear of the approach, he writes. “However, I can tell you the most painless way possible: in my experience, 30 approaches will be enough to free you of crippling approach anxiety.”
Here’s what to do: start asking random women for the time. “Don’t try to pick them up. Just say, ‘Do you have the time?’ Then say, ‘Thank you’ and leave.” Next, try it on beautiful women. A male fashion photographer isn’t sweating when he talks to models because he’s used to talking to them. To get comfortable, “go to places with a high concentration of very beautiful women, like exclusive department stores, or countries such as Latvia, a small nation in Europe with amazing women everywhere.”
Step four: go to a bar or a Starbucks and try to make eye contact with a woman. Don’t stare at her or look nervously away. “Provoke a response from her by pointing at her, waving, raising your glass, making a funny face or poking your tongue out,” he writes. A male buddy likes to do a childish peekaboo. “It sounds stupid,” admits La Ruina, “but the results speak for themselves. If you get a positive reaction, you can immediately approach without thinking of anything clever to say.”
When you do approach, simply say, “Hey!” then pause for a moment. La Ruina’s book provides a list of openers to get the conversation going. Humour is important. To a group of girls, La Ruina suggests saying, “Are you girls making mischief over here?” “This one is funny,” he writes. “Suspicion mixed with playfulness works well.”