I'm hooked on the Interview Series! Savoy and The Don on Using and Creating Routines opened my eyes. Every day I try to replace one "canned" routine with one that is from my life or that has some meaning to me and you guys are right, people react better. It's like they know what's real and what's not. And using my own routines is a lot more fun too! I didn't really understand it though when Savoy said that you use fewer routines the longer you talk to someone. Why is this?
- E.A., Albany, NY
There are a couple of simple reasons for this and a more complex one:
The simple reasons include the fact that at the beginning of a conversation I might be talking 90% of the time, which is essentially a series of monologues, and later I might be talking 50% of the time, which is more of a dialogue. Most, but not all, routines are either monologues or essentially function as monologues (where her input does not generally change the direction of the routine). Another reason is that earlier in an interaction, women are especially looking to be entertained, which lends itself to routines more than connection, trust, curiosity, shared values, and so on. People in social environments are generally entertained by the same sorts of things. So a good entertaining routine will do. Whereas people feel the more complex psychological states of trust and curiosity in different ways. So even if I am going to use a routine, I will want to calibrate it to her.
This is related to the more complex reason. Let's say I meet someone, get to know her, and am at a certain point where the emotion that I'd like her to feel is one of commonality and being connected to me. Sure I have routines - stories from my life - that generally make people feel connected to me. My desert hot air balloon story is a good one here, since I can lead her on the same emotional journey that I took. The basic human emotions I felt - and can talk about - are ones that she can feel too. Any person can, which is why it's a good story (or routine), especially if I don't know much about the person I'm talking to.
But, I can usually do better than that after I've gotten to know a woman. Let's say that I've learned that we both love sailing. I'll probably tell her a sailing story from my life, even if it's not a polished routine. Or I'll create an imaginary future where we are both sailing together, and describe the scene full of so much descriptive detail that it will be real for her - and me - and we can share that psychological experience and connection together. This should resonate more with her because it is personal to her psychology, than would a routine that is designed to resonate with her because she is a human, or because she is a woman.
Put another way, I would rather do something that gets outstanding results with the woman I'm talking to - even it wouldn't work with anyone else - than do something that I know gets very good results with most women but outstanding results with none. As Voltaire said "the enemy of the good is the best."
If I can end a letter about routine structure and dating theory by quoting Voltaire, I'm going to. So let's move onto the next one.
I don't get it. You have 8 guys on a bootcamp and one instructor. How does anyone learn anything? I subscribe to your Interview Series and it has helped me a lot, but how does your instructor keep track of so many people at night when he's supposed to be watching you and correcting your mistakes?
- J.S., Austin, TX
I agree. I don't see how 8 students and one instructor would work. And our reviews would suffer. I don't let people stick around as instructors if their reviews aren't outstanding.
I'm not sure where this information comes from, but we always ensure that we have at least a 3:1 student:instructor ratio, and usually much better. For example, even though a bootcamp in Vancouver might be led by Tenmagnet, others will also be there. That's why a lot of the guys on our instructors' bio page don't appear to be teaching programs on our schedule. In many cases, they are active instructors, but have not yet reached the level of Mr. M, Tenmagnet, The Don, Braddock, or Soul where they are set up to be lead instructors.
The lead instructor is the one responsible for the overall performance of the workshop, and is also the one doing most of the in-class teaching. Also, we don't usually have 8 students. Our capacity is usually set at 6, 9, or 12 students, depending on the city, and our programs generally sell out. That's why we have a waiting list for some cities.
A little secret is that we actually like what we do and we like working with students. So even when an instructor doesn't have a program on a specific weekend, he may still come to help out at a program. Last year I popped into several of our instructors' workshops and frequently they return the favor. It's fun to go to other instructors' bootcamps, we all like each other and learn from each other, and we like meeting students and helping them meet their goals.
Thank you so much for what you do. I know you hear this all the time, but you changed my life. I'm seeing a girl who I'm pretty into. I've known her for about two months and now I'm getting to know her family too. Her sister is really, really cute (like, cuter than my girlfriend but I think my girlfriend's personality is better) and I think I'm getting signals from her. I'm really curious how you guys would play this. I don't want to lose my girlfriend, but I'm wondering how I can get her sister too? Should I even be thinking like this?
- E.M., Reno, NV