Josh Sway
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/ 6 Principles of Target Selection

Approaching every girl at the bar can get tiring after a while. Here's how to make your approaches count.


Mystery, one of the "founding fathers" of the PUA lifestyle and early contributor to the development of most seduction theory out there was a major proponent of the "approach, approach, approach" method of meeting women. The overarching theme is that seduction is essentially a numbers game, and therefore, the more women you approach, the more likely one will be into you. This all has merit: seduction isn't a game of percentages, it's a game of number of hits. The goal is to get women you find attractive and interesting; and whether you have to approach 100 to meet a handful or ten to meet a handful makes little difference (other than one method being a bit more work than the other).

But it's not what naturals do

Ironically, most men who are naturals, those men who were always good with women seemingly from the day they left the womb, rarely approach every and any woman they see. Even a high number of the leading dating coaches and "PUA's" don't do this anymore. For example, I know I don't blindly go up to every girl I see at the venue, and I know my good friend Rob Judge (of Magnetic Messaging fame) sure doesn't either. We both CAN open every girl in the venue with little to no fear, and sometimes we do, but it just isn't our go to method anymore. Again, this isn't because it doesn't work to just approach everyone, it does. However, it simply isn't the way many men who are highly successful with women go about it. "Naturals" often use extremely well refined target selection to focus their energy on the women they have a high chance of getting in the first place, because let's face it, when you are high value and have a lot going for you, it's just too much of a hassle to go to bat 100 times a night!

Target selection skills in "naturals"

Men who are naturals with women seem to have a "sixth sense" when it comes to knowing whether or not a girl is interested. It goes well beyond the IOI articles TVJ and I have written. (Such as 6 Common IOIs, 6 Strong IOIs, and more). Naturals "just know" whether or not a girl is going to be receptive. Sometimes they are just born with the Ryan Gosling Crazy Stupid Love gene. Other times it's evolved from a long history of success and the subconscious learning process.

Target selection is learnable

I told you how "naturals" gained target selection skills. But it isn't how you have to gain them. You can LEARN target selection skills, and in this article I'm going to give you the 6 main principles of target selection that you can start applying today.
1. Seek out eye contact
One of the best Hollywood examples of target selection is Vince Vaughan's character Trent (no relation to our man Trent Van James) in Swingers. At a house party in the hills, Trent immediately spots potential interest in a short haired gold dressed babe by the fact she looked over in his direction. Trent didn't just go up to any random girl at the party; he specifically waited for eye contact from a potential target to make his move, and once eye contact was established, he made his move right away. Seeking out eye contact is by far the most important tool you must use in target selection. Mostly because it is one of the only tools you can use without being in close proximity to your potential target.
2. Proximity
Many men select their targets based on the proximity principle. Yea, you may think the girl all the way across the bar is hot, but your social proof is where you are with your friends, probably not all the way across the bar, and more importantly, girls who are close to you are much more likely to be interested in you, especially if they are close to you for no logistical reason. Women will, like men, try to be physically close to men they are potentially interested in, so any time you notice a woman "unusually" close, it's a good sign. It's a sign that most experts in target selection capitalize on right away. One technique you can use is to simply move closer to women you want to test for interest and see how they react. Be sure to do it in a completely coincidental way while avoiding looking at them or even knowing of their existence as best you can.
3. Looks Delta
As I wrote about in my article about the differences in getting Perfect 10s, looks do impact approachability. You are much more likely to be successful with a woman whose looks are on par or lower than your own. For good looking men, this could still mean a very large pool of women. For those of us who are not as good looking, it's not as effective a technique unless you are just trying to get laid without much regard to standards, but going after women who are not much better looking than you is a key target selection strategy many men use.
4. Loners / Appropriate group size
A big mistake many men make is approaching hopeless targets. It's not always easy to tell what a hopeless approach is, but a lot of times if you are one guy, approaching any group larger than two is going to be a challenge. Men with good target selection skills are always approaching groups of the right size. A single or a "two-set" if they are alone, or a group that is a similar size to their group if they are with wing-men. The other appropriate group size to approach when you are alone or in a small group is a very large group, where the girls don't expect that they won't break off given their group is too large for that to be realistic.
5. The bored girl
Another good target to approach is "the bored girl". If you see a girl seems to be bored; her friend is occupied, or maybe she is alone, don't hesitate, simply go in. I'm not going to say this always works: many times the "bored girl" is actually the "annoyed girl" or the "don't you dare fucking talk to me girl", but when not, your odds will increase dramatically.
6. The girl who opens you
Of all target selection principles out there, by far the most powerful is going for those girls who are going for you. If she is hitting on you, your work just went from having to put in effort to simply not screwing it up. Not screwing it up is still a skill, but it's easier than attracting and seducing "from scratch".
Don't use target selection as a crutch
Improving your target selection skills is a great way to optimize your time out. You can go out with your friends and have a great time without leaving them every two seconds to go talk to women. It's also an ego boost for some: a higher hit rate will probably make you feel better even though it isn't particularly important. But, the only thing I'd caution about target selection is the propensity for men to use it as a "crutch". If you are constantly using excuses like: "the eye contact wasn't there", "the group is too big", or "she isn't close to us" to avoid approaching, you aren't using target selection skills to your advantage, but to your detriment.



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