Also known as your “mid-game”, transitioning is the process of moving from your opener to real conversation.

Transitions are intended to keep the flow of your interaction smooth so you can quickly develop rapport with someone you’ve just met.

First, let’s backtrack a little – you’ve already summoned the courage to approach her and opened with a statement or question.  Now you have her attention but it can evaporate quickly if you get nervous, which is all but guaranteed, at least early on.

Better to have a plan to fall back on when the nerves invariably hit.

The first tool you can use is linking.

Linking is using something she says to extend the conversation without having to raise a new topic.  It’s a very effective way to build rapport without disrupting the flow.

Here’s an example:

You: You’re not from here, are you?

Her: No, New Orleans.

You: NoLa!  What a great city.  The home of rich food and Jazz.  I know they have Jazz Fest every Spring.  I heard the Neville Brothers usually make an appearance.  Have you ever been?

Just by saying she’s from New Orleans, she opens up a variety of things you can comment on.

What do guys usually do?

Either say “cool” or “great” and then churn out another question on a different topic.

Not good.

That leaves her feeling like she’s being interviewed and makes the conversation “choppy’.

What else do guys do?

Share THEIR experience of what she said (“I loved New Orleans.  Had a blast last time I was there.”).

Also not good.

You want to keep the focus on her, at least initially.

Linking is a great way to keep the conversation going and avoids those “pregnant” pauses.

Try this out on a friend or acquaintance, preferably a female.  Listen for “link” words you can grab on to so you can keep the conversation going.

Another technique that works well is making assumptions or guesses.

In the example above, notice that you did not start with “Where are you from?”.  Instead, you made an assumption – “You’re not from here, are you?” – which is a nice change from what she’s used to hearing.

Making assumptions or guesses conveys a sense of playfulness, which will put her at ease and increase your chances of continuing the dialogue.

Another important technique is maintaining the context from your opener.

Here’s an example:

You: I noticed you staring at me so I thought I’d save you the trouble and come on over.

Her: I wasn’t starting at you.

You: It’s ok.  You can admit it.  It happens to me all the time but rarely do I walk over.

Her: Oh really.  Why this time?

You: That’s a good question.  I just noticed my feet starting to walk over here on their own and couldn’t stop them.

We can go back and forth like this for a while.  See my post on improv for more tips.  The point is, you can leverage the initial context of your opener to transition into further dialogue.

It will feel very natural to her and put her ease while also allowing you both to be playful.  Of course, you have to be smiling and convey that playfulness in your tone of voice but it will allow you to effortlessly extend the dialogue.

Transitioning is an important skill in developing rapport with a woman.  While nervousness will almost always surface during your opener, feeling confident in your ability to transition should really help.

Linking, making assumptions and using the context of your opener are all ways of continuing the conversation.

By having those in your back pocket, you will feel more confident during those critical moments when you first meet someone.

And that can make all the difference in developing rapport and, hopefully, landing a date!

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