If you’re a guy that finds yourself not knowing what to say to women in a variety of situations, this post is for you. From starting the conversation, to running out of things to say, to escalating interactions, struggling to find the right words is a very common sticking point and area of frustration for a lot of men. Rather than giving specific routines, this post is about understanding the importance and usefulness of routines.

A routine is essentially a story or conversational piece that is preplanned and used in conversation.

This is different than having a spontaneous conversation, telling a story, or having an exchange with someone that is not preplanned. A routine can be memorized word for word, or the main points of the routine can be memorized and the wording can be adjusted and modified in the moment.

A routine “stack” is just a combination of different routines that are ready for use.

What is the purpose of a routine? It sounds a little disingenuous doesn’t it?

Like many things in life, routines can be misused. Memorizing lines and routines because they are useful in accomplishing some end goal is manipulative. A manipulative guy may take certain lines that he’s used in the past and use them repeatedly because he knows it provokes a response that is conducive to what he wants out of other people. This is not why I advocate the use of routines.

Routines are a vehicle for becoming a better conversationalist and learning to have spontaneous and effective interactions with women.

Let’s look at an analogy to further understand how routines should be used…

When first learning to play the guitar (or any musical instrument) an aspiring musician will learn different chords, notes, scales, riffs, and songs that were written by other people. Improvising is taking bits and pieces of those chords, notes, scales, riffs, and songs, and assembling them in different ways that are spontaneous and unique.

When you a see a group of musicians at an open mic night that have never met before pick up their instruments and start jamming together, this is an example of improvising. They are pulling from chords, notes, riffs, scales, and songs of others that they’ve learned in the past and are putting them together in a new form. They’re also taking bits and pieces from riffs and songs that they previously came up with and are using those in the moment where they see fit. Experienced musicians can sound like they’ve been playing together for years when, in fact, they’ve never met.

At an extremely high level, an experienced musician is operating almost purely on intuition. He’s practiced so much and jammed with so many different people that he can jam with hardly any effort or conscious thought.

It’s important that each musician in a jam session is capable of adjusting what he’s playing to mesh well with the others in the group. A guitarist that only has a few riffs in his arsenal and that isn’t capable of improvising and being spontaneous will stick out like a sore thumb with a group of experienced musicians that are operating on intuition and spontaneity.

Think of learning routines and developing a routine stack as learning your basic chords, scales, riffs, etc. You should have different openers memorized that you can start conversations with, stories about your life that you’ve prepared, and interesting things to talk about

Ideally, you should have certain main points and general ideas memorized, but you should be capable of adjusting your wording in the moment without having to repeat routines word for word.

If you find that difficult then you may have to start by memorizing your routines verbatim.

Applying routines and testing them out in the real world will help to shape and mold them and will teach you how to use them in a flexible way.

You can’t just sit at home coming up with routines and never test them out.  See my post on the 90/10 rule.

You are not being disingenuous by developing routines as long as you are using them as training wheels to improve your conversational skills.

Ultimately, you want to get to the point where your routines are something that you can fall back on as a last ditch effort if a conversation is stalling out with a woman that you’re really attracted to. The more you can freestyle and improvise in the present moment with a woman, the more she will recognize you as someone that’s fun to talk to and that has good people skills.

As previously stated, it’s only through real life application of your routines that they will become solid. Practicing a speech for a class at school or for a presentation at work is very different than actually getting up in front of the audience and delivering. Make sure that you balance time spent preparing your material with applying it in the real world.  This can’t be overemphasized.

Developing a routine stack is a stepping-stone and a vehicle for becoming a more intuitive conversationalist. It is not for manipulating women and there’s no magic combination of words that will work on any woman just like there’s no magic combination of notes that can be used in any jam session by a guitarist.

If you struggle to have intuitive, spontaneous, free-flowing conversations with people, particularly women, then you need to focus on developing routines, testing them out in real life scenarios, and then pushing yourself to freestyle and improvise.

Just like everything else, there is no overnight fix to knowing what to say, when to say it, and how to say it. You’re going to have to practice, learn from your failures and successes, and make adjustments as you observe feedback. There will be times when you feel like you’re making a lot of progress and times where you feel like you’re making no progress, but progress will come through patience and practice.

Nobody picks up a guitar and starts shredding without putting any work in.

Do not feel bad about developing routines as long as you are using them for a good purpose. If you struggle with finding the right words and carrying on conversations, developing routines and a routine stack is a great way to blast through these sticking points. Remind yourself why you are learning routines: To make yourself a better conversationalist that will ultimately bring more enjoyment to the women you interact with.

*Other aspects of routine development will be covered in future posts. This post is meant to serve as a foundation for understanding routines and what they’re used for.