Game designer helps men find love

Jessica Lee

There is no cheat sheet for mastering the dating game, but Dominic German is doing what he can to help the less skilled find success.

German, a 25-year-old video game artist, knows what it is like to be rejected. Only two years ago, he was the guy in the bar who could not pick up a girl. Using those past experiences, German began to analyze his mistakes with the help of a few mentors. He figured out what he was doing wrong and eventually became the guy who is playing the game the right way.

“I had an Italian father and from day one he was teaching me how to talk to women,” German said. “The difficult part was not getting punched in the face by her boyfriend.”

But now he is trying to help others who have trouble talking to women.

“When a guy gets rejected by a girl, he feels like he wants to quit,” German said. “What I do is I say, ‘There is a problem here. Let’s find what that problem is and come up with a goal to reach.’”

His free weekly meetings on Mondays at 9 p.m. at Crown and Anchor Pub last only about 30 minutes because according to German, the most important part of picking up women is actually going out there and doing it. At the pub, the men talk about their problems and experiences. German gives some advice and listens, then the group heads out to put German’s advice to the test. After each pick-up attempt, German critiques the men.

UT communication professor John Daly notes that if there is one rule in successfully talking to women, it is to avoid being creepy.

“Don’t push too hard,” Daly said. “That scares people.”

According to German, there are two rules to follow that will help any guy avoid the creep factor. First, if you make eye contact, do not stare. Second, if you see a girl you are interested in, get in her field of vision, make eye contact for no more than two seconds and then say hello to her as well as her friends.

“Some men come at girls so intensely that it’s almost as if they are hunting,” German said.

The men that German helps all have different problems, but one common thread ties them together: They need help learning to talk to women. A common problem tends to be when a man is too touchy-feely with a girl. German tells men to simply have a casual conversation with a woman before lightly touching her hand when the moment feels right, and she feels comfortable.

Many have only tried Internet dating and only know how to communicate via email. When a physical woman is placed in front of them, that suaveness found in their email exchanges is suddenly lost in real life.

“With computers, men are becoming so isolated,” German said. “They are just isolating themselves with games and social media networking. It takes a kick to get out of your chair and just experience life.”

Daly warns that simply approaching a woman for no reason tends to not go over well. He suggests men get involved in activities that way there is a reason to talk to women. Once men begin talking to a girl, Daly said the key is letting the woman talk about herself.

“Be genuine,” Daly said. “You want to be interested more than interesting.”

German believes that the approach is different for each man. He feels that some men do have the ability to just walk up to a girl, be forward and she will be interested. Others lack that ability.

“Human interactions are complex,” German said. “Everybody is different, and you have to find the solution that fixes your particular problem.”

The method a man employs when approaching a woman also depends on the city he is in, German said.

“Austin is this unique bubble where women don’t care about status and money,” German said. “If you go to Dallas, it’s the complete opposite.”

German sets himself apart from other pick-up artists because he is willing to teach anyone. Rather than judging the person that wants to learn from him, German attempts to set all judgments aside and does his best to do what he can to help. Usually, this just involves taking the time to listen.

“We live in this conservative society where you aren’t allowed to talk about your feelings,” German said. “There isn’t enough therapy out there in the world.”

But being a pick-up artist comes with plenty of criticism. While putting up fliers advertising his craft, German has been laughed at in the face by critical passers-by. And yet, German keeps doing what he is doing.

“I like helping guys get through experiences that are rough,” German said. “It just really makes me feel good to know that I helped someone else.”