Today, I’m going to analyze an interaction with a woman (“Heather”) I first met three weeks ago, from start to finish. This is the first time I’ve ever done this – because people know who I am, I don’t post “field reports” or talk about the women in my life.
In this analysis, you will see what I said and thought at every step on the way, and you will see each phase of the Emotional Progression Model from Magic Bullets being used, even the relationship phase, since we’re still sort of seeing each other. You will also see her perspective and my comments on that. She knows and is fascinated by what I do, and is sitting beside me as I write this. So the “she said” portion is my rewriting her answers to my questions.
When you read this, keep in mind that I do not have any special powers or any particular advantage over other men. I’m not especially naturally good looking. I’m tall, have bad skin, have to dress to hide that I’m slightly overweight, and I’m pale from lack of sun. I don’t do magic and I’m not famous. Everything that I can do is because of the techniques taught by Love Systems. None of it should be any more difficult for the vast majority of LSI members than it was for me.
To illustrate this, I will reference key techniques and decisions in my interaction with Heather to two fundamental resources: Magic Bullets and the Interview Series. Pretty much everything I did with Heather could have been learned there, and anyone who studied them could have had the same success with Heather that I did. She disagrees, of course, and says that I’m special, but that, to me, is just further proof that Love Systems works. By the way, we’re not even talking about what we teach on the Bootcamps here, which is the ultimate training for guys who are serious about their game. All of our instructors were former Bootcamp students – and not always particularly good ones at that – so we know the training works.
Anyway, this will make the “he said” section longer than usual, since I will document where everything I did comes from just those two resources – Magic Bullets and the Interview Series.
The Interview Series in particular is an amazing resource. Anyone who has a complete collection of previous interviews has been at the forefront of new breakthroughs. For example, transitioning, and the new qualification model both got a lot of attention recently. Interview series subscribers had already raised their game monthly beforehand after listening to the interviews on Opening and Transitioning and on Qualification respectively. Each interview has at least two top instructors exploring a topic at a level of you won’t see anywhere else outside of our bootcamps, with tons of real-life examples and tactics you can start applying instantly.
In meeting Heather, you’ll also see that I made some mistakes. I’ve left these in.
A friend from Toronto was in town. After checking out a new restaurant, we went to a neighborhood dive bar to have a few drinks and watch the basketball game. It’s playoff time. I wasn’t really in the headspace to meet women, but my eyes lit up when I saw someone come in who totally fit my type. She had long straight blonde hair, beautiful skin, curves, and a fashion sense other than the Hollywood uniform of designer jeans and a little black top – not the type of woman I’d expect to see there. She came in with three men and one other woman and they all sat a nearby table to get a good look at the TV.
My friend knows what I do and knows my type, so when we both saw her, he shrugged at me as if to say “don’t take forever, but go for it”. He’s a good guy. The first couple minutes after you see a woman you like are crucial. That’s why we grouped all of the things you need to be doing into one mega-interview called The First Five Minutes, where we sort out what is and isn’t important to accomplish right away, and how to do so. One insight from that interview is about situational awareness. So I was mentally prepared for a mixed group, with potential “obstacles”, a group that is sitting down, and a woman who was so beautiful that I was certain she gets approached all the time, probably to the annoyance of her friends who I could expect to be overly protective of her. I also noted that the venue was casual and not a “scene”, so I could expect people to be a bit more friendly to strangers, but also a bit less tolerant of anything that sounded like “pickup”.
I walked over to the bar, ordered two more unnecessary drinks, and on the way back to my table, I casually stopped by their group and delivered an opener straight out of the Obstacles and Mixed Groups interview: “Guys. Man to man. Is it cool to date your ex-girlfriend’s best friend?” Here’s what it normally accomplishes:
Implicitly denies interest in the women in the group with the phase “man to man” and talking about women you date and have dated.
Demonstrates Pre-selection (one of the 8 value triggers from Magic Bullets) by showing that you have women who are and have been interested in you, and implying that you have sufficient value that a woman would want to date you even though you are her best friend’s ex-boyfriend.
Asks a question that the women won’t be able to help answering, even though you specifically did not ask for their opinion. This usually gives you lots of opportunity to tease them.
Did you notice that I bought two drinks at the bar instead of just one? Buying one and then cruising around the bar screams “pickup artist.” Buying two implies that I’m on my way back to my friend (and it is an implicit false time constraint). Establishing the false time constraint is an important part of the The First Five Minutes.
Now it’s Heather’s turn.
I met Savoy (without knowing who he was) after a movie. I saw him look at me, but I didn’t think anything of it until he showed up at our table and interrupted our conversation, which was kind of rude I guess, when he was asking us a question about his ex-girlfriend. He was talking more to my friends than me and I didn’t say much until he suddenly stopped and pointed at me and said “you talk too much.” I laughed but I didn’t know what to think of him, he seemed different and confident but that’s all I remember thinking at the time.
Heather thought that interrupting her friends’ conversation was rude. That’s okay. Approaching requires you to interrupt a group’s conversation and draw all of the attention to yourself. This helps demonstrate social power and brings other people into your frame. Frame control is crucial with socially experienced beautiful women, for whom framing and reframing is second nature and who generally have much more practice at it than most men.
The line “you talk too much” is from The First Five Minutes, and is my default response when I approach a group and the woman I like isn’t talking. It’s not original, but it works.
Heather noticed me checking her out before I approached her. That shouldn’t have happened. I blame Mr. Vodka for that.
As you should know from Magic Bullets, the key point in starting a conversation isn’t the first thing you say; it’s the second. The first thing you say is the opener, and it’s usually about one specific topic. The second thing you say (other than chatting about the opener) is what turns your one-topic interaction into a “normal conversation” where you have the social freedom to introduce unrelated topics. We call this the transitioning phase.
Assuming you have Magic Bullets, you’ll know from the transitions chapter that there are four primary ways of transitioning. I chose a phrasal transition, since observational transitions can be awkward in larger groups and I hadn’t set anything up or been offered anything that would have helped make a content transition work. So after one of Heather’s friends said something about women and jealousy, I jumped in with:
Yeah, that’s just like my buddy’s girlfriend (pointing at my friend). She’s a beautiful girl, but kind of insecure. I see that a lot in LA, where a lot of my female friends are gorgeous, and most guys are too intimidated to even talk to them, which is kind of silly, because inside they’re just as human and sometimes insecure as anyone else. Actually, with really beautiful women, they often have more insecurities or sometimes feel like a scared and nervous girl in the big bad world. Anyway, so my friend’s girlfriend Carmen – she was a twin – and her twin sister had a boob job. Not dramatic, like a B cup to a big C cup. But then Carmen didn’t want to be the small-breasted twin anymore, so she did the same thing.
Notice a few things about how I said this:
I didn’t make “Carmen” my ex-girlfriend. The opener was about an ex-girlfriend. Making the transition about an ex-girlfriend would have implied that I’m hung up on previous relationships.
The boob job part of that routine (credit Style, I think) could have been packaged in a different way to work as in the Opening phase, or in Attraction, or even in comfort. We go over in Using and Creating Routines how to build routines for different phases of the Emotional Progression Model.
I pointed at my friend when I mentioned “Carmen”. This makes the story feel more grounded and real as opposed to abstract and invented. I knew that my friend would have been quick enough to play along if this came up later in conversation. This goes to skills in being a good wingman (which is Chapter 19 in Magic Bullets and covered on the Advanced Winging interview on the Interview Series).
The part of the routine that begins with “She’s a beautiful girl” and ends with “big bad world” is obviously unnecessary, but is a good example of subcommunication. It implies that I am not intimidated by beautiful women – in fact, that I have insight into their world and I don’t make them feel awkward by putting them on a pedestal.
This transition routine gave them something to respond to, and, crucially, led to one of the guys asking me a question about Carmen (I think it was how old she was). This gave me an excuse to sit with them. With groups that are sitting down, I like to provoke the group into asking me a question before I sit. Then, in response to the question, I deliver another false time constraint “I can only stay for a second, I don’t want to be rude to my friend” while sitting down, and then answering the question and starting another conversational topic. This brought me into the attraction phase.
“Locking in” to a physical position - like sitting with the group - that you can carry on the conversation comfortably for an indefinite period of time in the future, is another crucial objective of the The First Five Minutes. So is establishing the false time constraint. As well as asking the people in a mixed group know each other (so you can learn who is whose boyfriend, brother, date, etc.)
When Savoy told me I talk too much, I started to pay more attention since that came out of nowhere and caught me by surprise. I thought it was funny and cute and my friends seemed to like him. I do have to say, I didn’t believe you when you said you could only stay for a second since your friend was just a few feet away, so I knew you wanted something, I just didn’t know what it was you wanted. I definitely didn’t think you were hitting on me.
Heather’s comments illustrate that it’s dangerous to go on autopilot, which is what I did. Normally, sitting and delivering that exact false time constraint is the right move when dealing with a seated group. In this case, in a nearly-empty bar, with my friend by himself and probably within earshot, it probably wasn’t. I ought to have established a bit more rapport with the guys in the group, and then invited my friend to meet them. It would have been easy to do, especially since both my friend and Heather’s friends were watching the basketball game and cheering for the same team.
On the other hand, it didn’t really matter. You can cause momentary “blips” as long as your overall game is strong. It’s like how I talked about Using and creating routines in my interview with The Don. Even if mess up a bit at the beginning, don’t worry about it. No one will remember how it started, if it ends well. This applies equally to phone game, dates, or anything else.
Now I was sitting with the group. Having completed the Opening and the Transitioning phases, I knew that I had a couple minutes of the group’s attention in which to make strong first impression conveying value. There are a number of ways to do this – Chapter 7 of Magic Bullets covers them all in detail. In this particular situation, judging by the low-key environment and very casual behavior from the group, I opted to keep things simple. I was going to concentrate on demonstrating humor and on implying social status. At this stage, I was still far more concerned with Heather’s friends than with Heather. Since most of those friends were men, I wanted them to see me as someone cool to hang out (Humor) with and someone who had things going for him (Status).
I have a decent sense of humor that I’ve consciously developed from going to comedy clubs and acting class. A few months ago, I polled the approximately 43,000 members of the Attraction Forum to find what things men had found to help their sense of humor in the real world, and you can check out the results here.
To demonstrate status, I first asked a couple of the people at the table what they did for work, and chatted about that for a little while. This baited them into asking me the same question, which allowed me to roll out my story about how I got to be where I am today.
You cannot get, or if you can get, you cannot hold, a highly desirable woman without a coherent, consistent, and convincing identity that is both interesting and attractive to her as well as congruent with who you really are.
There’s no way we can do a reasonable treatment on identity here, and it’s both unnecessary and impossible. Unnecessary, because the theory has been amply covered elsewhere – partially in Magic Bullets, but also very much so in the Identity interview. Impossible because your identity has to be congruent with your own personality; duplicating my identity routines would be counter-productive. This is why we reserve a portion of the third day of our bootcamps to work with individual students on choosing and conveying their unique identities. (Identity can also be covered in individualized training or phone consultations; contact us for details)
As a piece of shorthand, ask yourself two questions:
Does every group you meet know “who you are” within the first five minutes of meeting them, and do you have a plan to ensure that that happens?
Is the question “what do you do” one you try to deflect, or do you see it as a fantastic opportunity to convey multiple attributes of who you are?
You know what the answers should be. If your answers are different, fix this aspect of your game.
It was during this conversation that Heather jumped in and asked me what college I went to (it’s part of my identity routine, and I deliberately make it sound vague. Quick summary: Leave some details out of your story so the listeners have to ask about them – it makes them more engaged. Do this especially in the attraction phase. Of course, for Heather to have jumped into the conversation, she had to have been hearing it. So I made sure I was loud enough for the entire group to hear.
When she asked this, I took it as a sign of interest, or at least curiosity. It gave me the chance to be a playful with her and build up some attraction. I told her that she looked like a fortune teller woman I met, especially her hair (which is a slight tease, since fortune tellers are not generally thought of as beautiful), and that she should be able to guess. She tried, and I pretended to deduct “points” from her for guesses that I arbitrarily decided were silly. That she was willing to do this was another sign of attraction. And then came one of my favorite lines “actually, you can’t be a fortune teller, I just saw that you have no line of fate on your hand” and immediately segued into a conversation - with the whole group again, especially the guys I was talking to earlier - about palm reading, why it’s real, and how it relates to my history. She asked me to tell her more, but of course I (playfully) refused and teased her again for trying to hog all of the attention.
That’s a pretty dense paragraph, but if you break it down, what I did was:
Baited her into joining my conversation
Not answer a direct question from her
Teased her a little bit
Had her jump through my hoop with the guessing (testing to see if she was willing to follow my directions)
“Seeded” a future conversation (about palm reading and a line on her hand)
Released the 1-1 tension that we’d built up by being the first to turn the conversation back to the group
You can see that there were some small indicators that she was interested in or curious about me. She wasn’t jumping up and down telling me “I want to bear your children,” but it doesn’t have to be like that, and it would be out of place in that environment with her friends around.
Savoy just seemed to breeze into our group. I hate to admit it, but I became more curious about him the more he didn’t seem to be paying any specific attention to me. I don’t remember if I was attracted to him at first, I think I was just curious about what college he went to, but his answer and little game was kind of fun. I wouldn’t say that I was totally into him or anything and I wasn’t really thinking that way it was more like he’s interesting and not a loser, but I was pretty casual about the whole thing.
This actually was going on at one point during Part III, but I separated them for simplicity. Combining Groups isn’t a stage of the Emotional Progression Model from Magic Bullets (the three parts before this represent the first three parts of the Model: Approaching, Transitioning, and Attraction). In this case, where one group is made up of my friend(s), it’s more of a “wingman” tactic, and is covered in Chapter 19. Still, it needed to be done, and relatively soon. I’d already been with Heather and her friends for a few minutes, and they were going to start wondering why I’d left my friend alone. One of the crucial rules from the chapter on winging is that you must treat your friends as high-value individuals and give them precedence over any woman or group you’ve just met.
Now, if my friend had studied Magic Bullets, he would have known to come over to my new table after a few minutes and introduce himself. But he hadn’t, and just sat there, watching the basketball game. I could have called for him at any time, but doing so too early could have demonstrated a lack of Social Intuition, since it’s not terribly normal to join a group of strangers, hang out for a couple of minutes, and then invite your friends. More importantly, it would have implied that I’d joined their group for the long haul (settling my friends in, etc.), which would have destroyed the ambiguity over how long I was staying. This ambiguity is important because it changes the question in the group’s mind from “is this guy fun?” to “do we really want this guy with us for the rest of the night?” It’s easier to get a “yes” to the first question than it is for the second.
So when I asked the people at the table what they did for a living, I started looking for a commonality between any of them and my friend. If I didn’t find one in a couple of minutes, I was simply going to say “hey you guys should meet my friend” and invite him over. But I was able to find a commonality (they both play rugby), which allowed me to say “yeah, my friend played for a club team in Toronto. Hey [name], come meet these guys. Darren is a rugby player”. This got my friend into the group, and gave him someone to talk to and something to talk about.
I noticed when your friend came over, but I wasn’t really paying attention to how.
Heather’s reaction was exactly what I’d been hoping for. Changes to logistics (moving somewhere, adding or separating people from the group, moving to a 1-1 private conversation, etc.) are like referees in sports. If they’re doing a good job, you don’t notice them. There’s an analogy here to the concept of state breaks in the Seduction phase, which we’ll get to later. If I’d acted like getting my friend into the group was a big deal, then it would have become a big deal and people would have noticed and questioned in. I didn’t, so they didn’t.
It’s the same principle as in the Seduction phase, when you want to avoid state breaks. Casually driving a woman so that you end up at your house alone at the end of the night is great, but isn’t something you should draw a lot of attention to or make into a big deal. Doing so creates a state break.
According to the Emotional Progression Model from Magic Bullets, I was in the “attraction” phase.
In this case, that meant deepening her curiosity about me into attraction and starting some touching between us. Physical touching is crucial to successful pickups. We cover this in Magic Bullets, but in more detail in The First Five Minutes (which explains how to get touching started) and Physical Escalation and Kissing (which is an overview of the whole physical process).
Touching wasn’t going to be easy in the way we were sitting, with Heather across from me and separated by one of her friends. So my next big move was to order a pitcher of beer for the table (we were watching the basketball game after all). When it arrived, I “noticed” that the table had become crowded with me and my friend joining the table and a pitcher and several glasses arriving. This allowed me to suggest moving another table alongside, which in addition to giving us more room, broke up the current seating arrangement. As we moved our chairs around, I made sure that I was sitting next to Heather. I tried not to make it look obvious, but I was willing to risk it being obvious rather than continuing to sit so far from her. In the end, it worked without causing too much distraction.
These kind of logistical moves depend on situational awareness. This is the type of thing we teach on our bootcamps. While every situation is different, they fall into broad patters (e.g., two women standing at a bar dressed for a night out, a group of casual-looking men and women in their 20s sitting and drinking beer, etc.) and the bootcamps are a great place to see how the masters address different types of groups.
Once I was seated next to her, if anything I ignored her for the next few minutes even more than I had previously. I wasn’t teasing her at this point or making a big deal of ignoring here – I was polite, outgoing, and fun, but just apparently more interested in her friends and in the basketball game than in her. There were a couple of reasons for this:
I was actually interested in the basketball game. This conveyed that I have interests and hobbies and have enough going on in my life that it doesn’t change around just because there’s another beautiful woman around.
I knew I could take things slowly. In a normal interaction, there is no way that I would be about ten minutes in and not talking to her much. In a normal interaction, you don’t know how much time you’ll have. In this case, I knew that the group had come together, to watch the basketball game, so it was reasonable to assume that everyone in the group would be staying for at least a good chunk of the game.
To solidify attraction, I used every time Heather said something to me as an opportunity to make eye contact and touch her in a friendly way while responding, and then immediately turning back to her group.
Everything I’m talking about here, by the way, is covered and explained in the new version of Magic Bullets.
I hate to sound so passive, but I was really just letting things flow. I thought he was interesting, and when he sat beside me, my friend Lauren and I definitely shared a look, a kind of “hmmm, what’s going on here?” kind of look. From your description of what happened, I want to say that you weren’t being unfriendly or anything, you were being very social and doing your thing, but without paying all that much attention to me.
I started to really feel the chemistry after we were sitting together. Every time we looked at each other it was like there was a bit of tension building up, and that’s sexy.
The most important thing Heather said here was about the “tension” we had. The element of sexual tension is crucially important. It’s a tough thing to describe. Imagine you’re about to kiss a woman for the first time. You turn to look at her, you make eye contact, and neither of you say anything. The atmosphere that surrounds that is sexual tension. Learn to recognize this feeling, as it will appear in a variety of situations and most successful “pickups.” With practice, you’ll be able to recognize and feel sexual tension as if it were tangible.
This tension is your friend. It’s builds attraction and is arousing to women. Often men make the mistake of allowing this tension to dissipate. Kissing a woman is a perfect example of this. There is a world of difference between the type of kiss that continues to build sexual tension and the type of kiss that “gets it out of your system” and results in a drop of interest for each other. We cover this in Sinn and The Don’s interview on Physical Escalation and Kissing as well in great detail in chapters 12 (Social Circle) and 17 (Kissing) of Magic Bullets.
Many men make the mistake of deliberately dissipating sexual tension (credit Juggler for this thought). Tension is created through anticipation and fantasy. A woman can be freer to enjoy the temptation and anticipation of being passionate with you if there are barriers to it actually happening. For example, there is tension between me and my friend’s ex-girlfriend, who was my friend before they started dating. She’s free to indulge in fantasies about me because she knows that she is off-limits. We have plenty of sexual tension. If I ever went to her and told her that I didn’t see any reason why we couldn’t date, it would dramatically diminish the tension. She may or may not still be interested, but an element of the passion would be lost, at least temporarily. Crediting Juggler again, successful men often deliberately create barriers that would “prevent” themselves from getting together with a woman, so as to allow the sexual tension to build up, only to allow it to be released in a situation where they could follow it to its logical conclusion.
The attraction phase merges into the qualification phase (and if you don’t understand what I mean by this, click for a refresher in the Emotional Progression Model). We once thought that there was a sharp line dividing the phases of the model, but this isn’t really true – it’s more of a general progression with a lot of merging. So, while in the attraction phase, I was hoping that she would say something that I could “notice” about her as a “reason” to become more interested in her. This would begin the qualification process. If she didn’t say anything like this, then I would have to subtly help her find something for me to qualify her about.
This is a much more complex and subtle process than we have time to go over here. Fortunately, qualification theory is explained step-by-step in great detail in two different places (and from two different perspectives, so both are valuable): Chapter 8 of Magic Bullets and Sinn’s audio interview on Qualification.
I was in the middle of telling a story about watching a basketball game in Israel when Heather asked me where I went when I was there. A question like this implies that she’s been to Israel too, which allowed me to get really excited comparing travel notes. This naturally allowed me to talk to her 1-1, even within the context of the larger group. Once in a private conversation, I could find out whether she was adventurous, compare future travel plans, and “test” her to see if we’d be good traveling companions.
After a few minutes, I told her, with genuine feeling, that she’d be a really fun person to travel with and we’d have so much fun, and I described the things we’d do in detail so she could imagine herself with me…if only she wasn’t such a princess (the last bit delivered in a different, joking, tonality). This princess comment is known as a “release” in qualification.
By the way, the idea of being able to have a private conversation (“isolating”) without actually leaving the group is discussed in Chapter 9 on “Comfort” in Magic Bullets. In many situations, isolating is just fine. In others, like this one, it could have been socially awkward. And sometimes either approach would work.
Qualification is much easier if you’ve been paying attention to a woman and have some ideas about what to qualify her on. I’d learned that Heather was pretty articulate, had a career and career goals, and was surrounded by friends who also seemed to be educated and professional. This is one of the things that made me interested in her, and it also gave me a decent path to qualify her again. Intelligent, professional women tend to a read a fair bit. I told a funny story about setting up a book club in Los Angeles, which I hoped she would comment on, but she didn’t. Maybe I guessed wrong, and she doesn’t read for fun? It was still worth a shot to pursue. So I asked her whether she likes to read. She said yes. I asked what kind of books she liked. Unless you are ridiculously well-read, don’t ask “what’s your favorite book?” or “what’s your favorite author?” It will inevitably be one you’ve never heard of. You can be specific with music, but not as much with books.
She mentioned liking a few different genres, the only one of which interested me was psychology. So we ran with that for a while. I told her what book we were reading and that she could come to our book club, without offering or taking contact information. This seeded the idea in her head that we could see each other again, without appearing too eager.
It also gave me a backup plan to make sure I got this contact information. When you go out as much as I do, you realize that random annoying things happen all the time that will mess things up. My friend might have eaten a bad chicken wing and needed to go home. 10 of her friends might have showed up and disrupted the night. The TVs in the bar might have gone off. And so on. If you’ve ever been in a bar at closing time when her friends are dragging her away, you know that feeling of having left planning a future encounter (or the next event in the night) too late.
If I all of a sudden had to take my friend home, it would be weird and awkward if I paused for two minutes to talk about seeing her again. But having seeded the book club idea, I could, in such a situation, say something like “I really have to go but hey write your email down and I’ll let you know the next time we’re getting together for the book club”. As you know from Magic Bullets, this would be far from ideal as a way of making sure I saw her again, but it would be better than the alternative. As you get more advanced, you should not only be thinking about the situation at hand, but also planning for multiple contingencies.
Fortunately, in this case, the chicken wings were all good.
The “do you like to read” question came out of nowhere and I wondered what he meant by that. It seemed like it was something he really wanted to talk about, which is different because most guys don’t. You didn’t mention the story you told about working in a bookstore when you were in high school, which made me laugh. I liked talking about traveling together, that was fun, and the way he ended it was just perfect, even though I knew he had an agenda, I couldn’t help laughing and enjoying it all. Truth is I liked that he had an agenda, but he’d taken the time to get to know me first.
Most guys are really serious, I liked that he had a lot to say but wasn’t taking himself or our conversation too seriously.
The qualification process here was pretty textbook. Remember, you don’t need to qualify her on every topic you can think of. In this case, two was enough. We’d organically developed a rapport from just chatting and sharing the table and getting along with each others’ friends. So I wasn’t going to draw this out. You only need to qualify a woman enough so that she feels that you have genuine reasons to be interested in her, beyond her looks. You don’t have to go through your entire checklist. You’re looking for reasons to be interested in her, not assessing whether you are going to marry her. The most powerful justification for being interested is what you built together – the shared experiences, values, and rapport. This mostly comes in Comfort, which is where we’re going next….
At a tactical level, there’s a lot more explaining what I did and why in Chapter 8 of Magic Bullets and the interview series on Qualification. At a more fundamental level, a lot of this was about Frame Control. The best material out there on Frame Control can be found in the interview series with myself and Sinn on…you guessed it….Frame Control.
The situation was favorable to building comfort. Heather’s friends were genuinely cool and interesting, we were in a relaxed atmosphere, the basketball game provided an external source of entertainment, and we were all having a couple of drinks.
Other than being relaxed and social, and periodically refreshing her attraction and qualification levels (Chapter 9 of Magic Bullets), my goal was to make sure I saw her again. I didn’t try for the same-night lay for reasons I explain in the “what really happened” section.
I started by dropping “bait” about interesting things that I was doing or thinking about doing in the coming week. Either Heather was being deliberately difficult, or I was fishing with the wrong bait. I mentioned going to check out the movie festival. No reaction. We talked about how we like trying new foods, so I mentioned an Ethiopian restaurant that just opened. No reaction. I mused aloud about how fun it would be to go see a movie premiere. She said “yeah.” As Future explains in the interview CD on Dates and Time Bridging, I didn’t just run these one after another; I left some space in between.
Since none of that worked, I had to be more direct. After a few minutes more of talking with her friends, I started a conversation with her about acting, and my acting class. After a bit of talk, I mentioned how I have see a certain number of shows every semester and was going to go that week, so she could come keep me company, maybe Tuesday.
She agreed. So it was time to get her number. Since we were in front of her friends (even though they liked me and she was confident and secure), I wanted to do so quickly and unobtrusively. I pulled out my phone to “look at a text message,” asked her number, texted her something with callback humor, and then put it away. Phones save outgoing texts, so I knew I could put her number into my phone later. And she’d have my number from receiving the text.
The rest of the night was casual. The game ended, we stayed for a last drink, then as the energy was dropping, my friend and I left, with smiles and handshakes all around.
I called her the next day (Monday). It’s generally good practice to call the next day, though having spent a lot of time with her, when she was reasonably sober, I could have waited longer. But if I figured I’d call on Monday to see about the Tuesday date possibility.
Notice that Tuesday is a “date possibility,” not a date. Women often make on-the-spot dates without feeling committed to them later. So when I got her on the phone, I didn’t start with organizing a time and place. If I’d done that, it was have implied that I was fixated on seeing her again, and that might have cost me value at this stage of our interaction. The concept of value and how even the smallest things can raise or lower it, is covered thoroughly by Future and Tenmagnet in our newest interview, Value.
I went through the standard phone game structure (false time constraint, re-attract, raise buying temperature – all of this is covered in the Phone Game and told her conversationally about a couple of things I had planned later, and asked what she was doing this week. She didn’t mention anything about Tuesday (either about our plans or about doing something else), so I asked if she still wanted to keep me company and catch a couple of shows. She did, we set a time, and I told her I’d text her my address and directions.
Then we chatted a few minutes more, and I got off the phone first, leaving her on a high note. Textbook.
Everything I’m talking about here, is covered in the “big three” phone/date resources:
Magic Bullets, chapters 9 (Comfort), 17 (Dates), and 20 (Phone Game)
Savoy and Sinn on Phone Game
Future and Ajax on Dates and Timebridging.
I wasn’t going to home with him that night. That would be way too soon, whether or not my friends were there. I wouldn’t have cared if he’d asked me my number in front of them, and neither would they. But this was fine.
I had no idea you were expecting me to jump in and suggest doing something together when you were talking about fun things you were going to do. Do other women do that? That’s just something I wouldn’t do.
So much thought and planning for a simple phone call! Sometimes guys are lame or have nothing to say when they call, so at least that didn’t happen. I thought we had plans for Tuesday and I wasn’t expecting to cancel, but I might have if I didn’t feel a connection on the phone.
When you meet a woman you should decide what your goal is. Your strategy can be flexible, but the broad decision is whether you are going for the same night lay or the future plans. These are not entirely different paths. For example, it’s often a good idea to get her alone or move her to another venue even if you’re planning to close with future plans.
The “right” goal will depend partly on what you want, and partly on her logistics. If it’s her last night in your city or she’s attached (and this doesn’t bother you), a same-night lay is usually your best bet. If she drove with her friends and they expect her to go back with them and her friends are not interesting in staying out, then you often have to make future plans.
Too many men don’t even consider the same night lay or don’t make a realistic attempt at it. As Brad P and I talked about in the new interview on Taking Chances, you’re rarely going to get “more” than you go for. So if you don’t try for the same-night lay, it won’t happen. We get same-night lays because we try for them. We fail sometimes, we have to adjust course sometimes, but we succeed a lot, and that’s what counts.
In any case, my intuition was that Heather wasn’t up for a same night lay. This has nothing to do with what she just mentioned in the “she said” section. Women often have no intention of going home with man, until “it just happened”. Rather, the situation was stacked against me. She was with a bunch of friends on a casual Sunday night, in a non-“party”, non-sexual atmosphere (the bar was not full of attractive people interacting with each other). She’d driven with one of her friends. And there was nowhere obvious to move her entire group to. We were eating and drinking at the bar, so I couldn’t move her group anywhere for food or drink. An “after party” would be odd on a Sunday night after a couple of beers at the dive bar, especially since they all had to work in the morning. I had my own friend with me who was visiting; not only did I not want to be rude to him, but I’d have to account for him somehow, and he was monogamous with his girlfriend. So I focused on making sure I’d see her again.
The phone call itself was so textbook from the “big three” resources that it’s not really crucial to go into it here. If you’ve studied Love Systems, you know why the false time constraint is important on the call, why you have to re-initiate attraction, how to probe for open days on her schedule, why texting directions is better than giving them over the phone, and how and why to get off the phone first. In terms of the date itself, you’ll know why it’s a good idea to have her come to your house to begin the date.
I didn’t call or text at all on Tuesday “to confirm”. There’s no point in texting here. Calling can be good to solidify the plans, but I was busy. I did think about what I’d do if she cancelled (not what I’d say to her, but what I’d do instead). This is an inner game issue for me. I was raised to keep commitments and respect other people’s time. A lot of people in California see “flaking” as being socially okay. Fighting this gets me nowhere. So I adapt. I just arrange my life so that if someone flakes, it’s not a big deal. I nearly always have backup plans for nights when I have a first date. I nearly always start the date at my place (this is not only for good game reasons, but also so if she’s late, it’s not a big deal). In the past, these things used to frustrate me. They don’t so much anymore, and this has made me both happier and better with women.
In this case, Heather was on time. Hug and a kiss on the cheek to greet her. The date itself was pretty straightforward, pretty much following the exact script from Chapter 16 of Magic Bullets (I find Future and Ajax’s interview on Dates and Timebridging useful too).
We took a taxi to a nearby comedy club, which gave me the opportunity to hold her hand while leading her to the taxi and to our table and to initiate more playful touching during the comedy acts. Going to comedy clubs, by the way, is a great way to develop your storytelling skills and your sense of humor; I think this is mentioned in Sinn and Future’s interview on Storytelling and Humor as well as Magic Bullets.
After a few acts, we went for dessert. The Comfort phase is the time to solidify in her mind who you really are (and vice versa). While the concept of identity is important, and I gave her a taste of my identity early on in the attraction phase, you have to confirm this and deepen her understanding of you (and yours of her) in Comfort. It’s easy to stay on the “surface” level during dates and the comfort phase, but it won’t often help you. With many women – including Heather – she has to feel that she’s gotten to know someone before sleeping with them.
How to flesh out your identity is covered in the interview on (you guessed it) Identity. Equally important is the interview with myself and The Don on Using and Creating Routines. You have to be really careful if you’re using someone else’s Identity material, and the ability to build your own key identity routines (like your grounding routine) is crucial. We go over each phase of the Emotional Progression Model and discuss specific routines that work well as well as how to develop your own routines for them.
At the dessert place, she went to the bathroom. I waited a minute, and then made a phone call. When she got back, I was talking to a friend of mine about doing some promotions for his band. This was a real call, but of course I timed it for her to overhear the end of it. Not only did this support my identity in a convincing way (since it was “accidental”), but it illustrated the principle of subcommunication. Not only was I subcommunicating that I had things going on in my life, and I wasn’t staring at the bathroom door willing it to open, but I also was able to subtly reinforce my identity.
After desert, we went to a jazz bar near my house. We hit a high point in the conversation and I seized that opportunity to kiss her. A couple of drinks later, I walked her back, and told her she could only come in “for a second.” This is textbook stuff – bring her through multiple different venues, so she feels that she’s known you for longer, and then take her back home while telling her she can only come in for a second. This is a powerful move, since it subcommunicates that you’re not ridiculously into her or desperate for sex. If I’d done that, it would have implicitly lowered my value.
Once we got home…well, we’re into the end game here…
I thought the date was fun and different. I don’t think I’ve ever been taken to a comedy club before and I can feel how it’s good for guys; you get your date all happy and laughing. It worked with me! I wasn’t in the mood for dessert but the place was nice, truthfully you did better with the comedy club and the jazz bar they were both darker and more romantic.
Yes of course I need to feel I need to know someone before sleeping with them. I don’t usually sleep with someone on the first date either! [This is where she asked “do your friends read this?”]
The kiss took me by surprise but it was a good time for it and it wasn’t weird, and some guys are weird or nervous about it. You stopped at just the right time too.
A lot of key moves here (which is why they say “the game is played in Comfort”). I’ll list them in bullet points:
“Hug and a kiss on the cheek to greet her.” Started the touching early.
“We took a taxi to a nearby comedy club”. Comedy clubs make great dates. We’ve already pointed out where you can learn this.
“At the dessert place, she went to the bathroom….When she got back, I was talking to a friend of mine about doing some promotions for his band.” The tool here is subcommunication, and the goal here is solidifying my identity.
“We hit a high point in the conversation and I seized that opportunity to kiss her.” You don’t want to delay the first kiss too much, because you risk that becoming the climax of the night. The climax of the night should ideally be...well, a climax.
“You stopped at just the right time too.” Use kissing to build, rather than kill, sexual tension. This is a pretty advanced subject, but an important one.
Listing the resources is starting to get repetitive, but hopefully you get the idea A) that everything that happened is something you could have done, and B) what specific resources can help you fill in any knowledge gaps you might have.
Once we got back to my house, we were in the Seduction phase. I kept talking most of the way home to distract the logical side of her brain from addressing that we were going back to my house and that sex was a reasonable possibility there.
Once inside, I kept up the same playful conversation. I wanted a few minutes for her to be comfortable in my environment before I took things in an overtly sexual direction. At the same time, I made sure that our touching continued and felt natural. I wanted to avoid an awkward situation where I’d have to “make a move.” Increasing touching and making it sexual should be a gradual, almost imperceptible, process.
Thus, I made sure we were touching each other as we were talking, I leaned in to sniff her hair, I had her give me a hand massage, and so on. When we kissed again, it was a natural progression from this.
I took my time with kissing – don’t underestimate the value of being a good kisser. Kissing can either increase or totally dissipate sexual tension. The kissing has to go on long enough to arouse her, but not so long that it becomes boring. I try to break up lip kissing with sensual kisses on the ear and/or neck.
We were on my couch as the kissing started to arouse her, which is when I usually escalate things further. I decided to stay on the couch rather than trying to move her to my bedroom. She was wearing a skirt, which meant that, technically, I didn’t have to remove a single item of her clothing. I had already taken her shoes off, which is nearly always a good idea early in the Seduction phase. It’s also a great indicator; if she won’t take her shoes off, this often means that she isn’t comfortable with sexual touching.
Without getting too explicit, she was okay with the sexual progression until I tried to raise her skirt up above her hips. She said “no,” so I stopped. I went back to her breasts, tried again a few minutes later, and got another “no.” I tried to reach under her skirt to arouse her that way, but she wasn’t having that either.
There are a bunch of potential solutions to this sort of roadblock– the one I ended up using was simply to “whip it out.” Doing that and moving a woman’s hand there, while continuing to kiss, touch and arouse her, can sometimes diminish a woman’s resistance to whatever else you are trying to do. Like, in this case, getting the world’s tightest and most annoying skirt above her hips.
Like I said, I don’t usually have sex on the first date. I’m not a prude or anything but it just doesn’t go down that way. I don’t know what the point of talking a lot was, it wasn’t something I noticed at the time, but I was pretty sure that when we got to your place that we’d be doing at least some playing.
I wasn’t sure how far it would go, and at first I was pretty sure I wanted to keep it above the waist. But then I didn’t care and let you do what you wanted because I was turned on and I was comfortable with you and didn’t think you’d judge me. And if you did, it would have been your loss!
I want to start by addressing the physical buildup. I said “I made sure we were touching each other as we were talking, I leaned in to sniff her hair, I had her give me a hand massage, and so on. When we kissed again, it was a natural progression from this.” This is textbook physical escalation. It’s vital to understand how this works and to be able to escalate physical touching “under the radar.”
I’m a bit concerned that I might not have given issues around physical touching their proper importance in the whole Heather saga. If anything, they are just as important as the emotional phases, and just as crucial to manage. Ask yourself if you are consistently touching (and increasing the intensity of touch) the women you interact with in a way that they are generally comfortable with. If the answer is no, this part of your game needs to be fixed.
Turning to the emotional side, Chapter 10 of Magic Bullets explains how the Seduction phase is all about avoiding “state breaks”. A state break occurs when something causes a woman to logically address the possibility that she might be putting herself in a situation that could lead to sex.
One of the tools from Chapter 10 of Magic Bullets is the “avoid:blur:distract” model. We don’t have space to do justice to it here. As a quick summary, avoiding, blurring, and distracting are the three major tactics that can be used to deal with potential state breaks. Here’s one example of each:
“I kept talking most of the way home to distract the logical side of her brain from addressing that we were going back to my apartment and that sex was a reasonable possibility.” – distraction from a state break
“We were on my couch as the kissing started to arouse her, which is when I usually escalate things further. I decided to stay on the couch rather than trying to move her to my bedroom.” – avoidance of a potential state break
Doing that and moving a woman’s hand there, while continuing to kiss, touch and arouse her, can sometimes diminish a woman’s resistance to whatever else you are trying to do. Like, in this case, getting the “world’s tightest and most annoying skirt above her hips.” – blurring a potential state break with another activity
There are several other examples of getting past potential state breaks in this story. Using the model and Chapter 10 of Magic Bullets, you should be able to find these.
For a comprehensive treatment of both the emotional and the physical side of the seduction phase, you need to check out star instructors Sinn and Tenmagnet explaining their approach to getting a woman to “yes” in the Seduction interview.
I’m cheating a bit by only starting to talk about the relationship phase now. In reality, as explained in Magic Bullets, it begins in the Comfort phase. But that would make reading and understating everything that was happening much more complicated.
I was pretty sure as I got to know Heather that she was someone who I wanted in my life on an ongoing basis. However, I’m not looking for something exclusive, at least not right away. So using the Relationship Management model from Chapter 11 of Magic Bullets, this meant that my relationship goal was either a multiple relationship (where we date each other but are free to have equally or even more important relationships with others) or a dating/undefined situation.
This required me to establish during the Comfort phase that I had a genuine and legitimate interest in her beyond the “here and now.” The techniques of Breakthrough Comfort are invaluable here. So is just generally being a high-value man who is prepared to be vulnerable to her. For a recap on what being “high-value” really means and how this works, there is no better resource available than Future and Tenmagnet on Value.
The second part of the equation is communicating to her that I wasn’t looking for something exclusive or monogamous. I’d stayed away from implying any hint of boyfriend-girlfriend status in the previous phases, and had even lightly sub-communicated that there other women were in my life, or at least had been recently. I did this a bit through the stories I told, which occasionally involved things like “dates” or “a friend who came over to cook me dinner”.
Heather is a smart woman who knows what she wants – and my job was made a lot easier by the fact that her own preferences easily allowed to accept my relationship goals. When she did not react oddly to the fact that we didn’t see each other for a few days after this date (though of course I called her the next day and used all of the other crucial post-sex techniques from Chapter 11 of Magic Bullets), I had a good sense that we were close enough in our perspectives that we could make our conversation explicit. And we did, and explained to each other that we will continue to date while we date other people and we will “see what happens.” It’s a cliché but it’s true: honesty is crucial in relationships.
It’s true, I could have gone either way on this, still I’m fine with the way things are now and I really respect that you were upfront about what you wanted from me. It’s strange how a lot of guys seem to think that all woman want commitment right away; most of my friends don’t have boyfriends and don’t want a boyfriend right now.
Be careful with sub-communicating that you’re not looking for something exclusive. If you overdo it or do it in a way that displays low social intuition, it can actually kill her attraction to you. This happened a couple of times when I was developing the whole relationship management model.
This phase is probably the only exception to the principle at the beginning that more or less everything I did to get to where I am now with Heather was something that could be learned from the OAP or specific TMM products. That’s mostly because our comprehensive offering on Relationship Management isn’t quite ready yet (it is in development).
Relationship management is a topic that doesn’t get covered very often or very well by many dating coaches. Chapter 11 of Magic Bullets covers the subject in great depth; it’s one of the longest chapters. It’s a related but different skill set.
Over the previous nine parts, we’ve from first seeing Heather with her friends at a local dive bar to establishing a non-exclusive relationship with her.
Pretty much every step of the way could have learned from a combination of Magic Bullets and the interview series audio course. I’ve mentioned before that you pretty much should have Magic Bullets by now – you’re missing out on some pretty fundamental skills if you don’t.
I hope you enjoyed this series. Feedback is always welcome.