Moral Disclaimer: This information is written and designed to assist you in meeting, courting, dating, and maintaining a relationship. If you use this to bag women for other reasons, I don't really care, but keep in mind that these guidelines are much easier if you are actually being honest.
Section 1) Let's cover some absolute truths in the world of courting.
Rule 1: There are no leagues; there are personalities.
If you see an attractive blonde standing at 5'2" with an athletic build, you probably won't feel comfortable going after that. At the same time, you probably don't want to, because you feel that she'll be arrogant or demeaning. This is a reflection of personality that is derived from looking like this. It's strictly a social influence, but the odds of a girl being off-putting because of looks are slimmer than you think.
Rule 2: Personality is an attraction that overwhelms appearance with time.
Attraction is really important, especially in the early phase of a relationship, but it is not at all the catch-all that you may think. Keep in mind the differences between appearance and attitude. Seeing the way someone walks is on the side of personality, because it's a measure of confidence. Anything that is controlled or influenced by disposition is considered a personality trait. This ratio will be listed out below.
Rule 3: Quirky is fine, too!
There is a relationship between how quirky a personality is and how likely someone is to find a relationship, as well as the quality and duration of that relationship. That being said, you should not change the nature of your personality if you're socially awkward or timid, but you should develop how that characteristic is perceived. This will be covered in-depth later.
Rule 4: The Gentleman Wins
Gentleman antics are near-extinct, but they overwhelm women for the same reason. These are absolute actions that should never, ever be missed. This is the absolutely easiest, 101 method to improve your relationship with women.
Rule 4b: Appreciation Governs the Concept
You've probably heard that you shouldn't throw pearls to swine. This concept applies to being a gentleman. This will also give you a really good idea of the personality of whom you're with. If you are with a girl who isn't impressed with Rule 4, then you are likely wasting your time.
Rule 5: Probing Techniques are crucial.
Probing is a very important part of meeting women. To sum it up, probing is the act of invoking a response that can be used to measure disposition. Probing techniques vary from certain body language, to various lines, static or dynamic. For example, innocent lines such as, "It's a nice day out today," can measure interest from someone. Just a "yep" in return is a negative probe, while hearing, "It really is. I can't believe the weather we've had today," or something similar, is a positive probe, because she is more open to conversation, whether she's just friendly in general or because she finds you appealing. Either way, it's positive.
Section 2) Today's Vocabulary
Probing: The act of invoking a response that can be used to measure disposition, whether via a spoken line or body language.
Open-Social Environment: An environment in which it is commonplace to approach strangers and engage in conversation.
Closed-Social Environment: An environment in which it is commonplace to engage in conversation among already-known peers, but is slightly taboo in meeting new people.
Entry Line: A spoken line designed to develop into a comfortable conversation.
Exit Line: A spoken line designed to end a conversation.
Section 3) Ratios of Personality versus Appearance and the First Four Stages
Stage 1 - The First Encounter: 80% Appearance vs 20% Personality
(Walking by, first glance)
There are two cardinal rules to the first encounter: walk straight and purposefully, and make friendly contact via a confident, eye-to-eye glance and a slight smile or nod. You have very little control over this portion, so what you do have control of needs to be solid and meaningful. If within speaking distance, a confidently spoken, "How's it goin'?" is always a reliable line. If they are further away, you can probe by making brief eye contact (roughly two seconds) and a soft smile (that is, no teeth). If you wave, keep it a brief wave with your ring finger and pinky slightly curled in as though you were holding a baseball. Do not exaggerate your wave or drag it out, and do not ever wave if you are within hand-shake distance. A nod will do if you need some body language.
Stage 2 - Breaking the Ice: 60% Appearance vs 40% Personality
Your palms are a little sweaty, you have a nervous feeling in your chest, and you think there's no way you could just blatantly speak to someone new without sounding stupid. If you were better with women, you wouldn't have this feeling. Well, that is dead wrong. No matter how many women you talk to, whether you really care how it turns out or not, you aren't going to get rid of all of those feelings. You will still get nervous, maybe fumble of a few words, say something ridiculous. You will most likely always say something that you will later think over and say, "I should've said that instead." It's not a big deal! That is not a sign of weakness or inexperience. And remember this: women love that they make a guy nervous, but that he is still willing to talk to her. This is a sincere form of flattery in disguise.
Opening conversation can have a few factors, but the most important is the environment. If they are a co-worker (or if you simple work near them), there are a handful of lines that don't come off clichè. One I use often to probe with is, "I'll trade you jobs!" This line is considered open, because it doesn't limit response and typically leads to further line of conversation. A common response is, "I don't know about that. It's not so easy doing this either." This is an ideal response. I have just been handed a free pass into a conversation that looks nothing more like a typical interest in someone's job. "Why do you say that?" works right along with, "What exactly do you do?" The rest is just following the conversation and listening. Pay attention, maintain eye contact, follow the conversation, nod while listening (not too much), and, if you have problems keeping it along, think of questions relevant to what she said last.
If the environment doesn't directly support your efforts, you can probe your way through by using a non-aggressive entry line. In an open-social environment (bar, religious gathering, etc.) where meeting people or talking is commonplace, one could easily get away with an introduction. "Hey, I'm John, I have (or haven't) seen you around here. Just thought I'd introduce myself." This is a great tactic for the easily embarrassed, because it can be cut short if the conversation starts to develop awkwardly or die. "Alright, well I'll let you get back to it. Good to meet you!" You just made a smooth exit out of a bad situation.
Environments that are less social have some riskier entry lines, but you have to press through the nervousness. A closed-social environment (coffee shop, restaurant, public places such as parks, etc.) requires a moderate amount of courage, but gives you an advantage in your personality. Most women already know how intimidating it is to approach someone, especially if they're among others (dealing with a woman in a social circle complicates situations and will be covered at a later time), but this serves to your needs. Even if you end up flat lining, you walk away with brownie points for even having attempted. These lines are rather blunt, but they work effectively: "Hey, I couldn't help but notice you, and I thought I'd introduce myself. I'm Sam." This one is to the point, and does not come off as clichè as it sounds. From here, you don't have much control. You will most likely receive a friendly response via body language (a smile, blushing) along with a, "Hello, Sam. I'm Lauren." From there, you have an easy conversation starter based on what she's doing. If she's reading a book, ask about it. If she's just sitting, a nice little, "Do you come to (parks, restaurants, etc.) just to relax?" You can carry it from there. On the opposite side from reaction, you could get an awkward, "..Ok," to which she could resume doing whatever it is she's doing. If this happens, she could just be nervous (pay attention to body language: twitching, blushing, etc.). If she's just nervous, you can non-aggressively attempt to start a conversation with some softball questions, but don't expect her to carry it along much (not necessarily negative). If she absolutely seems uninterested, make an exit. This is a good opportunity to practice your confident exits. "Alright, well that was only slightly more awkward than I thought. You have a good day." Using humor in this manner as an exit line makes for a seemingly smooth end and acts as a "last chance" probe. You may get a response something along the lines of, "I'm sorry, I didn't mean to seem so shy. I wasn't really expecting that," or something similar that allows for a conversation.
Approaching co-workers is a slightly more complicated process and will be covered at a later time.
Ending this stage is a challenge if you don't see her on a recurring schedule (once-a-week meetings, for example), but you can probe that without much trouble by saying, "What are the odds you think I'd see you again? I'd like a chance to get to know you." Based on her reaction, you can go for the phone number or plan a meeting. Keep in mind, you do not need a phone number to see her again. Planning a place to meet later on in the week with a simple time and place is old-fashioned but effective! Doing this skips some portions of stage 3.
Stage 3 - Getting Familiar: 45% Appearance versus 55% Personality
This is the most important stage of a relationship, because it is truly the pivotal point in which the personality has a stronger influence than appearance. At this point, you may feel slightly nervous when talking to her, but you're confident enough to greet, talk to, ask questions, and so forth. This is also the point in which you start specializing your conversation around character, so there's more of a dynamic feel to it. If you thrive on your sense of humor, be sarcastic, witty, or whatever you desire.
If you are particular into more extreme senses of humor (racial humor, mental illnesses, etc.), then that is absolutely great if the person you're talking to is also on that level. Sometimes the shock value is also an attraction. Luckily, it's relatively easy to sense whether someone will go along with your humor or not. Even if it's somewhat offensive, it doesn't necessarily mean you lose brownie points. Just remember one thing about using humor that ends up offensive: don't argue. "Hey, how could you say that? Down Syndrome is not funny!" Even though it is pretty funny, just laugh and say, "Oh ok, my bad." Most women have a sense of extremely offensive humor they like, so just search for it.
If you two have a common interest, this is also the time to run with it, but in moderation (unless it is an extreme interest or hobby). Asking how her day-to-day experiences with her poetry (how typical) is a great way to instill a connection between you two. If she has a large interest that you've thought about, this is a ridiculously easy opportunity to move to stage four.
When you make the move for a number or a going out, watch your wording, and aim for lunch. Asking, "So when could I steal some of your time and take you to lunch?" hints at a date. That is, you will pay. However, I really discourage this. Instead try, "So what do you think about meeting up for lunch some time?" This is a more casual, comfortable offer for the both of you.
Stage 4 - The Meetups: 30% Appearance versus 70% Personality
(First meet and dates)
At this point you can throw looks out the window. It may affect how quickly things will move in the long term of this stage, but it doesn't do much more, though that doesn't mean you don't need to shower and dress nicely before you go out.
At this point, make sure you listen, adhere to Rule 4 (and 4b for that matter), and make confident, constant eye contact. When you make eye contact, do not glare! Always focus your vision so that it comes off sweet and innocent, lest you look like you have rape eyes. The rest is all you. Do not be afraid of silences, awkward glances or smiles, or whatever else may come your way. It's all part of a good time.
Keep in mind that you paid attention to your wording at stage three when you asked her out. If you went with the more comfortable approach, you will be splitting the check. Do not think that the first lunch is going so well that you should pay to take it a step further. Always split the check! If she offers to pay, deny it and say that she can get it next time. As an important side note, if you plan a date or outing (bowling, drinks, etc.) and it was your idea, you pay! If she tries to blindside you by pulling out her purse and offering or insisting to pay, tell her she can pay when she comes up with a good idea (say it friendly and humorously, of course, but be insistent).
Section 4) The Gentleman's Code
a) a women should never, ever open her own door. If she goes to do so, insist that you will be the one to open the doors (humor is key here: "So, if we're going to hang out, you at least got to let me open the doors). No matter what the situation (car, restaurant, house, etc.), always get it. If she doesn't like this, you don't really want a feminist, do you? (i.e., see rule 4b)
b) allow her to walk ahead of you when need be (seating at a restaurant, location she's more familiar with, etc.), take her coat at restaurants, pull out her seat, and slowly slide it in as she bends her knees. Look, you don't see this crap anymore, and if you don't do it that often, you will be nervous to do it, but screwing up trying to be a gentleman loses you some smooth points, but that is completely outweighed by the points for effort. You need to learn these things.
c) do not argue with emotion. If she wants to debate a topic, go read some philosophy and debate basics so that you are sure you can argue with logic and reason. Argumentation is not necessarily a bad thing, as it will give you an idea of if you really want to continue dating this mentality, but you need to be careful.
d) watch your ego. Do not over-insist. If she really, really wants to pay for something (insists 3 times or more), then let her have it. You don't have to feel like a man by throwing money around or making her feel subordinate. Women who try to push these things aren't necessarily always going to. They're often more comfortable with letting you be the man if they understand that you are accepting of that role without forcing it.
e) voice over text. Texting is our generation. It is the easiest method of communicating without the nervousness attached to it. Don't use it. Break the ice (for phone conversation) through a phone call. Keep it brief, but you don't have to force her off the phone. Let it run, and when it feels like it's slowing down, let it go. Some people say you should only call to make plans or something of that sort. That's absolutely fine, but I don't agree with the "end the conversation before she does" ruling. If a conversation sparks, go with it. If she texts you from the start, you can text back, but call to make arrangements.
This is going to conclude the first entry. Some of these rules may be altered in the near future, but I'll try to include those simply in a later entry. I appreciate the visits.