The Jealous Girlfriend Opener

The Jealous Girlfriend opener is one of the first openers that most people test out after first reading The Game.

Behind every opener or conversation starter, there is a principle. It holds true whether you know what you’re doing or not. It holds true regardless of gender, sexual orientation, or the environment.

To start a conversation with strangers, the person who makes the approach must get the individual or group to feel comfortable. No one likes to be around a person who makes them uncomfortable and everyone has a relative threshold of discomfort.

Neil’s openers from the game, like the jealous girlfriend opener, include several key elements that create comfort from the moment you approach. 

It’s part of the reason they work so well, and still hold up 11 years later. 

Here they are: 

The root. It provides context for the question.

The question. It arouses curiosity and keeps conversation going.

The time constraint. It lets them know that you’re going to leave soon, which relieves some of the anxiety in the group.

Here is a word-for-word transcript of the Jealous Girlfriend opener, one of the most tested openers in the world – it includes a time constraint, root, and question.

Style: Hey guys, let me get your opinion on something. I’m trying to give my friend over there advice, but we all know him so we’re pretty bias.

Group: What?

Style: Okay, see that guy over there. Well, he has been dating a girl for three months. And she just moved in with him. Now, this is a two part question. So, imagine you’ve been dating someone for three months. And he is still friends with his old girlfriend from college. How do you feel about that?

Group: Well, that depends. Are they just friends or is there something more going on?

Style: Yes, they’re just friends. There’s nothing else going on. They talk like once a week at most.

Group: I think it’s fine/I don’t think they should be talking/Etc.

Style: Okay, it’s a two part question. Now let’s say that he has a drawer in his apartment. And in that drawer he keeps all of his old photographs and letters.

Now, some of those letters happen to be from ex’es and some of the photographs happen to be with ex’es.

Group: Hmm.

Style: It’s not like he ever looks at them. They are just there, like old souvenirs and memories of his past.

Group: I think it’s fine/ He should put those in the closet/He should burn them, then bury the ashes.

Style: Okay, the reason I’m asking is because his girlfriend says doesn’t want him to talk to his ex from college at all. She wants him to cut it off completely. And she wants him to destroy all of his old photos and letters from ex’s. She says it’s just holding onto the past, and he should let go of it now. Personally, I thought it was extreme and a bit insecure.

Remember, the goal of an opener is to start a comfortable conversation.

The opener is simply used to spark the first moment of contact. Once you’ve given your opinion and they’ve given theirs — it’s time to move on.

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4 Comments on “The Jealous Girlfriend Opener”

  1. Alex

    Love this. I sometimes forget the root and just roll right into my routine stack so it’s nice to be reminded of the fundamentals every once and a while.

  2. Joey B

    Time constraint was in the email. He said “Hey, I can’t stick around long, but I need a female opinion on something.” Or you can say, “I’ve got to run in a minute but can you help me with this?”

Leave a Reply to Joey B Cancel reply