Whether you're trying to plan the best first date or trying to date more women and improve your dating life, in this issue we asked dating coaches to cover many of these topics!
Dates Continued (and how to avoid flakes)
We received quite a lot of overwhelmingly positive feedback on the previous article on Dates and Dating. We love getting testimonials, and here's one I wanted to share:
“That was the best article yet. I used to take girls to dinner over and over. They were just using me for money or had nothing better to do. Last Wednesday, I did exactly what you said. Nora (I changed her name to protect the not-so-innocent) works in the coffee shop in my building, and I invited her out to see my friend’s band. She met me at my condo, we drove together, I took her to meet the guys afterward, and I could completely feel the power shift. She was in my world. I didn’t even need to think about what to do next, because I knew the odds were in my favor, and I was able to relax and let my personality shine through. At the end of the night, of course she needed to come back to my condo to get her car. I invited her in to lend her a book I’d been talking about, and the rest (after a bit of LMR) was history. Thank you Love Systems!”
- D. K., Alexandria, VA
It’s amazingly rewarding to change lives like this.
Because of this and other feedback, I’ve decided to break with tradition and do a more advanced article and build on last week’s topic. So, apologies in advance if you’re new – we’re going to get into some intermediate-level theory here.
Previously, we discussed how to turn a Date into a sexual relationship. Now we’ll discuss how to make sure she shows up in the first place and doesn’t “flake.”
First, ask yourselves this:
- Have you ever made plans with a woman and she didn’t show up?
- Have you ever gotten a phone call earlier that day telling you that she “has to work” or “isn’t feeling well?”
- Have you ever made plans with a woman and then she told you to “call to confirm?”
If any of that applies to you, you need to really pay attention here. This will banish flakes forever.
First, let’s review the first four phases of the Emotional Progression part of the Triad Model:
Meet Her (Approaching)
Attract Her (Attraction)
Qualify Her (Qualification)
Build Comfort (Comfort)
The biggest mistake most men make in terms of Dates is going for the phone number as soon as she is attracted, and not pushing the relationship forward. Then they assume that the woman will meet them again, and they can continue where they left off, only to get “flaked.” They never meet up.
Why? Let’s look at the situation from a woman’s perspective:
She goes out to a restaurant with her friends. While waiting at the bar, an interesting man approaches her. 3-5 minutes later (about how long it should take to get some attraction going), he asks for her number so they can “hang out sometime.” At that moment, she genuinely would “hang out” with this man “sometime”...
... but it doesn’t turn out that way.
See, going out “sometime” is different from going out Thursday night. To see her “sometime” all you have to do is be more interesting than doing nothing. That’s a pretty low standard, so of course she’ll agree to it. And, if she has nothing else to do, she might actually see you. However, most worthwhile women rarely have “nothing else to do.”
So, to see her at a specific time, you need to be more interesting than anything else she could be doing, like friends, hobbies, work, other dates, or relaxing at home. That’s a tough standard to meet in 3-5 minutes. Especially since over the course of the night she met a bunch of other men. Did you think you were the only man to notice her? She likes all of the attention and flirting, but she doesn’t have time to go on 9 dates this week.
A woman is going to look for reasons NOT to go out with you.
Remember, meeting up with strange men is scary for a woman. First, there are issues of physical safety. If she’s not comfortable with you, she may feel the risk of date rape or worse. Less dramatically is the hyper-developed fear that many women have of being in awkward social situations. Women do not generally go by themselves to interact socially with strangers. So, they bring a friend. To a man, the idea that you might not have a great time with this woman is irrelevant. Maybe you will, maybe you won’t. Maybe you don’t care, because she’s beautiful. Either way, you’ll never know if you don’t meet up. Worst case scenario is you cut it short early and go home. Men don’t agonize and worry over whether it will be socially awkward or not. But, many women do, and we need to take this into account.
It should be clear by now that a quick interaction leading to some basic attraction and “we should hang out sometime” is rarely going to lead an exceptionally desirable woman into seeing you again. She fears safety, she fears social awkwardness, and who is this guy anyway? She’s busy and she only met you for five minutes. If she’s really trying to convince herself not to show up, she’ll wonder why you’d even call her when you only met for a few minutes and you know so little about her (after all, you spent that time attracting her as opposed to learning about her). Are you desperate? Or are you a player?
To fix that mistake, make sure you get into Comfort during the first meet.
I don’t care if you only have 10 minutes. You just have to play faster. You need to qualify and get into Comfort for your “time bridge” (seeing her again) to stick. If you qualify and get into Comfort, you minimize ALL of the objections we just discussed.
- By the way, if you don’t remember how to qualify, you need to study up in Magic Bullets. Advanced sources of Qualification techniques include Interview Series volumes Qualification with Sinn, and Issues in Qualification with Mr. M, Braddock, and Sphinx.
- If you don’t remember how to build comfort, hit the original source on dating science, Magic Bullets.
The second biggest mistake you can make is to go for the date unnecessarily.
There is nothing in Love Systems or the Triad Model that mandates meeting her again at a different time (a date). Sure, you may have to, like if you meet her on your lunch break and have to get back to work, but a lot of guys are used to thinking of getting a woman’s phone number as something special. It’s not. Phone numbers do not lead to happy social lives; relationships do.
A phone number is a tool. It’s not a goal. It’s not even an intermediate goal. Don’t ever feel proud of yourself for getting a phone number.
In a way, a phone number is an admission of failure, even if it’s sometimes an unavoidable failure. A phone number says “I am not trying to move this relationship forward right now. I am taking the risk that she will flake and am hoping to continue this later. In the worst case, I lose the relationship with her. In the best case, she meets me for the date and I’m more or less where I am now.”
Make sense? A phone number never gains you anything. A date never gains you anything. All it does is give you another chance to push the relationship forward if the logistics weren’t right to do so when you met her.
Here’s an example from the bootcamp in LA last weekend. We took the guys to a lounge in Hollywood and one of them was deep in conversation with Suzanne, a very fit Asian woman. Suzanne’s friends were happy for her to talk to our guy, because he had already won them over in Attraction. It was about midnight. There was no time pressure. But when our student “ran out of things to say” he took her phone number and rejoined us.
This was a bad decision. All the phone number was going to do was help them meet up again to spend time together. However, they were already in the middle of spending time together. Psychologically, he wanted to “lock in” what he had “gained” so far: her willingness to give him her phone number. That’s a rookie mistake.
Of course, we didn’t let him leave Suzanne. We led him back to her with instructions to escalate until rejection. When the lights came on an hour later, they left to get pizza. And then to go home together. There was no need for a time bridge.
He made dozens of mistakes in picking up Suzanne. We were watching him the whole time and went over them the next day. However, because he had the guts to go for it, and because he did enough things right that he’d learned that day in our seminar, he got the girl.
Ready for the good news and the bad news?
The good news is that now that you know this, you’ll never make these two mistakes again.
The bad news is that you’ll still need dates, and you’ll still get some flakes. To banish flakes entirely, you need to use these ADVANCED tactics:
- Have something specific to do. She should plan to help you shop for your niece’s birthday on Saturday, not “hang out sometime.”
- Bait her into suggesting the date. Let her chase you. Drop little hints (“I’m going to X” or “I’d love to do Y”) and see if she tries to become part of those plans.
- Don’t make the date (or the phone number exchange) the last part of your interaction. That feels like a pickup. Stay at least 5 minutes afterwards.
- Engage her friends. When she goes home, her friends should be excited for her that you guys are meeting up later and not wondering who that creepy guy was. To a woman, her friends’ approval for the men she dates is very important - much more important than peer group approval is for men.
- Focus on the date, not the phone number. The phone should be an afterthought (and isn’t always necessary, although you take a big risk by not getting it). If she’s all excited to come see you at a book reading you’re going to be at the next night, you don’t need her phone number. If she likes you, she’ll come.
- Set up call back humor. If you have a running joke during your interaction where you have a nickname for her, and later you phone her and call her by that nickname, it often triggers a reversal to the previous emotional state. She’ll be back in the world of being out, having fun, and meeting men, as opposed to whatever mundane thing she was actually doing when you called.
- If she’s drinking, address it. Tease her that she won’t remember anything because she’s drunk. Pretend that you guys would have so much fun together, but she had to ruin it by being drunk and making it so it would be weird when you call. Bait her into convincing you that she’s not all that drunk, that she’s really into you, and she can’t wait to hear from you. After she’s said that, it becomes a lot harder for her to be flaky. Warning, don’t do this unless the girl actually IS really drunk. It will annoy her if she’s just had a drink or two.
While you’re learning all of this stuff, you’ll still get flakes. Here’s what to do when she calls to tell you “I have to work tonight.”
- Don’t be upset. Don’t lecture her. She doesn’t care. All you’ll succeed in doing is making her momentarily feel badly. She’ll feel better once the next guy gives her attention, and she’ll associate negative feelings with you. Remember, she’s cancelling because she’s not that into you yet. [99% of the time, this is the case. Would she be cancelling if it were Brad Pitt?] Making her feel badly is only going to make her less into you.
- Just in case that wasn’t clear... You planned to meet a girl at 6? You had to leave work early? Fight traffic? Cut your workout short? Miss your favorite show? Tough. She doesn’t care. That’s not her problem. If you tell her all of this, you just look like even more of a tool because you rearranged your life for a date with her.
- Act like a guy who has lots of women interested in him and pursuing him. If that was you, and a girl flaked, your reaction would be “Okay, cool” because you have lots of other girls who would love to see you and more than likely whatever it was you were going to do was something you were going to be doing anyway with cool friends. If you don’t think you have that attitude down properly, try cancelling the next time you set up a first date with a random girl. Listen for her casual reaction. It didn’t ruin her day. It shouldn’t ruin yours.
- A phrase I’ve had a lot of success with is “No problem, I’ll invite someone else.” Obviously don’t use this on a third or fourth date, but when it’s still casual, it’s perfect.
Flaking sucks. I want you guys to banish it forever. Your social life will improve dramatically.
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