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This is where people seriously bullshit. Pickup artists tell stories about phenomenal success rates – one in three or four – but the truth is much less impressive.

Here is how it works. If you get women into comfortable conversations – conversations in which they feel your interest but feel no pressure to consider you a romantic prospect – and then ask for contact info, guess what? You’re going to get it because it’s so comfortable for them to keep talking to you that it makes it all the more uncomfortable to say no.

But the truth is this: those numbers are worthless. That’s where the illusion comes from. Some pickup guys are great at this little game of collecting worthless phone numbers and this is what makes it look like their success rate is so high.

Numbers don’t count. Dates do. Glenn once told me something that I think is very accurate. Game aside, he asked me what fraction of women I thought I was compatible with. He pointed out how small that number must be. I realized that he’s right.

Just from my own perspective, if I stand on a busy street corner counting pretty girls in the approximate age range I want, I’m surprised by how many, on average, pass by before I find one who I think is physically attractive. And I live in New York City!

That’s just my physical interest in women. What about their interest in me? And then we get into emotional, intellectual, and lifestyle compatibility. (For example, if she’s not a reader, she’s not for me.) Attractive women are equally picky.

Why am I getting into all of this? I’m just pointing out that, even for seasoned pros like me, those numbers are going to be pretty low. 1 in 10 is a pretty good ratio. At my very best – when I gamed every day – I was one in seven for getting a date from an approach.

What should be the numbers for someone new to the game? It could be as low as one in a hundred.

The good news is that approaching two women every day, means you’re going to get one date every two months or so. And the numbers quickly improve from there. One in 20, a reasonable success ratio for most guys will get you a date every week and a half. After six months of this, guess what happens? Your repeat dates start to dominate your schedule and you start becoming more slective, choosing to forego dates with women you previously would have pursued.

And then, one day, you will be at a party with some friends who’ll introduce you to someone you really think is special. I know this isn’t what most men think of as a pickup. This is more of social circle game, but the reason I mention it is this. Before game, you would never have able to play this right. You’d have been nervous as hell. Only by approaching all those women cold are you able to bring yourself to this state where you can react well to every opportunity, no matter when it  presents itself. And that’s when game really pays off.