How To Conquer A Stranger


1. Make First Contact

Find your object of affection at a cafe, library, or dorm — anywhere really, as long as you’re somewhat confident you can encounter it again. Feel motivated, intimidated, and aroused. Be confused but feel unable to resist [object’s] pull. You must conquer it. Feel like this could be the 21st century equivalent of love at first sight or biblical lust — and the confusion of the two is what makes it exciting. Don’t engage it in conversation. Take the most vivid mental snapshot you can and add it to your brain’s ‘stalk later’ folder. Know that you’ve got a difficult road ahead of you, but given the right tools and techniques you can conquer it. It’s just a matter of resourcefulness, execution, and shameless resilience.

2. Acquire a Name

Acquiring your object’s name is important, but not because it humanizes it or adds to its attractiveness. It’s a reference — like logos on products you don’t want or the title of a book you have no interest in reading — to be utilized later via Internet research. Consider going back to where you saw it the first time. Tell yourself it’s only truly shameful if someone finds out. Go back once or twice. Hesitate about asking mutual friends for fear of your intentions being discovered, or worse: competition. Act detached when you impulsively mention [object] to your friends. Make it clear that [object] isn’t even worth a friend request or drunken make-out, or try coming off like you and it have an ambiguous history that’s too shitty and traumatizing to disclose. Hope they’re either unaware [object’s] existence, or can offer an insightful “yeah, [acquaintance] hooked up with [object]” anecdote. Listen attentively. Continue to ask yourself if [object] is down to fuck? Be unaware that you’re leaving out the ‘me’ out.

3. Perform Market Research

Begin your research between 10 seconds and a few days after contact. Feel comfortable, and know that this is the only part of the process that can be completed in true secrecy. Type [object] into Facebook. Check its relationship status (not that it matters), networks, and photos. The sloppier the better. Be quick and efficient; you don’t want to learn too much about it. Feel euphoric and like it’s within your reach. Think that all it will take is the right combination of a conducive environment and social lubrication. Debate whether to ‘friend’ it or not. Don’t. Maybe do it if you have a reasonable amount of mutual friends, or if you’re part of the same ‘network.’ Don’t do it. Feel ashamed, but know that you utilized the ‘power’ of anonymity while you could.

Consider checking its Twitter, or maybe even its Tumblr — but know that reading [object’s] tweets and reblogs may humanize it much more than you can handle.

4. Plan Your First ‘Real’ Contact

Prepare for your shame resilience to be tested — it only gets harder from here on out. If you have mutual friends, consider revealing your intentions to them. Be judged harshly or supported like a good parent does for their overly-ambitious child. They might even have [object’s] number and can harmlessly inquire about its plans. Don’t worry about your friends seeming desperate or giving [object] the wrong impression. Feel like tonight’s about you and your goal, but do everything you can to not come off that way. Ensure your night-out friends are all on the same page. Hopefully most of them will have their own objects to conquer. Meticulously plan the evening and repeatedly ask, “At [time] we’re going to [object’s predicted location], okay?”

5. Make Final Preparations

Start the night. Consume social lubricants. Be unaware of how badly you want this — how your obsession with conquering [object] has dimmed every other responsibility and anxiety in your life. Feel some sanctity in that. Fabricate every potential narrative of the night until you’re convinced you’ve imagined every possible outcome. Think you might be in love with [object]. Think all you need is a chance to be vulnerable around it (via post-coital conversation).

Know that you have to get to it first. Consume more social lubricants. Judge your confidence and conversational ability. Feel your mood and self-image sway schizophrenically. Continue to regularly confirm plans with your friends. Don’t be afraid to literally push them out of the door when it’s time to move on to [object’s] supposed location. Go. Affirm how badly you want it.

6. Perform and Latch

Be aware of your stride as you arrive. See it. Experience minor chest pain and an adrenaline rush. Feel self-conscious about wine-teeth, liquor breath, and other minute-yet-deal-breaking sensual flaws. Scrutinize your appearance. Touch your face and hair. Stare. Feel your palms sweat as you debate your approach. Wait for the ‘ideal’ moment — when [object] seems ready to interact with a fresh body. Know that you must obey the impulse to approach. Think something cliché and motivating like “now or never” or “I’ve got this.”

Be acutely aware of your gestures and positioning as you reach [object.] Exaggerate them. Act drunker and a little vulnerable. Try to look like you’re not trying. Try harder. Gauge what it’s looking for — it could be a condescending remark about the party/venue or a rowdy yell displaying your engagement. Utilize your proficiency with every possible nightlife discourse. Time eye contact. Smile meekly. Touch [object]. Continue to read, react, and perform until it’s permissible not to do so — until you and [object] have fully synthesized your malleable and drunken identities. Latch.

Congratulations, you’ve conquered [object.] Your options are now limitless. Continue to enjoy [object] for what it is or fish for a true ‘connection.’ Have a great rest of the night.

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image – Sreejith K