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by The Don
A lot of students are confused about the reasoning behind the Qualification process. (If you don’t know what Qualification is, check out this refresher on the Emotional Progression Model from the Love Systems’ Publications Library). Some who blindly attempt to follow the model end up creating awkward moments by haphazardly throwing out qualification questions at the wrong moment without understanding the purpose behind them.
The main reason we qualify a woman is very simple - so that we can tell her we like her.
The objective is not to interrogate her or put her on the spot. It’s not about the question really - it’s about the statement of interest we give her afterwards.
Admittedly, an added benefit of using a qualification question is that we create the impression that we have standards and are screening her, but that is just the icing. We should always be creating the sense that we are challenging and have standards throughout the interaction, not just in qualification. In terms of the main objective of qualification and moving things forward productively, it is the act of telling her that we like her that is the actual cake.
For those who are new to this, qualification is the result and culmination of attracting a woman to you. It is a moment when, after having noticed multiple indications that a woman is interested in you, you can then ask a challenging question to her such as: “What are three reasons I would want to get to know you better?”
If she is interested in you, she will likely make an effort to answer the question and impress you. This is when you can give her a Statement of Interest (an “SOI”) based on the quality of her answer. Qualification succeeds when a woman makes a strong effort to answer the question thoughtfully. It fails when she makes a weak effort or refuses to answer at all.
A key point to note here, for novices and experienced guys alike, is that qualification comes after the woman has shown that she is interested in you/attracted to you. For guys who are having trouble getting qualification to work, the problem may not actually be in the Qualification phase, but rather in the Attraction phase. Qualification doesn’t work if she isn’t attracted to you. If your attraction game isn’t working, qualification will not work. But fixing that problem would be another article. In the meantime, to check that you’ve got Attraction down, I recommend the following:
Assuming you are running good attraction game, are seeing women give you signs that they are interested in you, and getting good responses to your qualification questions, it is now important to focus on delivering great statements of interest. The best statement of interest is a real statement of interest – simply telling her what it is that you really like about her. And that doesn’t mean her rack... So, equally important, make an effort to figure out what qualities she wants to be recognized for. Most beautiful women would much rather be known by their lovers for being smart, funny or kind than for being “hot.” When your SOIs are based on non-physical attributes that show you like her as an individual, not just as another hot woman, she will take you more seriously as someone who isn’t just out to get laid. If she’s attractive, she’s used to men gawking at her just for her looks. Be the man who notices her inner beauty and makes her feel unique.
“You know what? I’m actually really impressed by you. You’re making my belly laugh and that’s not easy to do. I’m a comedy snob. You’re a keeper. We’re getting married and your job is to tell me jokes all day... Well, tell me jokes all day and support me while I pursue my mime career.”
“I think that’s awesome that you chose to do that with your life. Of all the things you could have chosen to do you chose to help people. That says something good about you. There needs to be more kindness in the world... I like you. If I had a gold star sticker I’d give you one right now.”
Notice that you can reduce any awkwardness on the delivery of an SOI with a joke or tease at the end. This effectively lightens the mood and reduces any tension it may cause. Throwing something at the end of the SOI like, “... too bad you’re such a dork,” or “... despite your very mediocre first impression,” are good examples of this. Use your imagination. Sinn covered this extensively in his groundbreaking interview on Qualification.
To the legions of novices who are obsessed with “negging” and other forms of rapport breaking, this may be a paradigm shift of sorts. After Qualification and throughout Comfort, which is the vast majority of the Emotional Progression Model process, we are going to focus on rapport building and positive reinforcement. This will be mixed with a smattering of rapport breaking and the occasional “take away” to create scarcity, but the focus is on the “pull” part of “push/pull.” The objective of seduction is to create a connection, not to play games. We only need to “game” as long as it takes to make a connection.
Telling her we like her is the first powerful step that helps shut the “gaming” down. I can’t tell you how many skilled students I see ruin perfectly good approaches by over-gaming. They stay in the Attraction phase too long, over-disqualify, never switch gears and become a real person to her and end up missing the window of opportunity to escalate things to the next level – to the real level. If you tell her you like her at the right time and elicit her to do the same, you avoid unnecessary work and accelerate things powerfully and clearly into the Comfort phase, which is where you really want to be. Lingering unnecessarily in Attraction forever is for amateurs. If she is interested in you, pull the trigger and let her know that you’ve decided you like her.
This also helps in the long run by preventing the “Let’s Just Be Friends” scenario from developing. You’ve ostensibly thrown down the gauntlet. The nature of the interaction is no longer ambiguous. You aren’t talking for the sake of pleasant conversation. You are a man, she is a woman, and you are interested in her in an intimate way. A real man goes after the things he wants and isn’t afraid to voice his desire - especially when she has non-verbally demonstrated her desire first. This isn’t coming out of the blue. You are simply steering things in the right direction with purpose and confidence.
A new and equally valid way to deliver a statement of interest is to skip the qualification question altogether and just give an SOI directly. This should generally be done in cases when the attraction on her part is clear to you and the vibe is very “on.” At that point, stop being gamey and say something like, “You know what, you’re a really interesting person. I don’t generally meet many smart, interesting women at places like this. I’m actually really glad we met.” That’s the waypoint we are trying to get to.
However, using the qualification question is the safest way to approach the SOI because we can gauge where her attraction level is more certainly. If there is an insufficient amount of effort in her answer due to a lack of attraction, we spare ourselves the indignity of overextending with an SOI too early. It’s a matter of style, really. Some of us like to take risks and go out on a limb. Others are more reserved. But regardless, just remember that in qualification it is the statement of interest that trumps everything else.
I hope this helps people better utilize the qualification/statement of interest phase in their game. For more advanced guys I recommend experimenting with eliminating the qualification question altogether and working only with statements of interest for a while. See how hugely effective it can be at speeding up escalation. For beginners, continue to hone your attraction game to insure that your indicators of interest are real and polish your qualification phase with strong and genuine statements of interest.
And remember, the whole point of this art is to draw the women in, not push them away. Think of qualification as a pivotal moment in that direction.
The Don is the author of the hit PUA Routines Manual, featuring hundreds of routines from the best and most talented professionals in the field of dating science. He is also a contributor to our Interview Series, discussing these topics:
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