April 16, 2013

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The Dos and Don'ts of Dating a Friend

Play your cards right, and you'll score a great girlfriend. Screw it up, and you might need to find a new circle of friends.

Read the Men's Fitness article here.

Dating expert Nick Savoy of Love Systems is here to help with five crucial dos and don'ts.So, you’re attracted to one of your female friends. Play your cards right, and everything will work out. Screw it up, and you could be in for a lifetime of embarrassment–or even need a new circle of friends.

DON’T hook up without setting expectations

No one wants drama. But you have only yourself to blame if you wanted something casual and she’s seeing wedding bells the next morning.

If you’re just looking for fun (we’ll cover more serious relationships in a second), communicate this before you hook up. But how? You’ll insult her, and kill your chances, with something like, “You know this is only for tonight, right?”–even if she wants something casual, too.

A great technique for telling someone something indirectly is by teasing. Playfully accuse her of being the “What are we?” girl. If you’re joking around, she won’t get offended, but she will understand your meaning. If she wants something casual, too, she’ll insist that she’s not. If she doesn’t, she might back out or want to talk about it–which is still better than drama.

(If you want something casual) DO show her that you can be discreet

No woman wants to get a reputation, especially among her friends. Reassure her that you’re not a blabbermouth. But just as in the last example, you can’t just say it directly. Try, “By the way, if we hook up later, I’m not going to tell anyone."

Instead of teasing, we’ll use storytelling in this example. Tell her about a friend of yours who hooked up with someone and then told everyone. Say how lame you thought that was, and how you value discretion and privacy.

A side benefit is you’re subtly setting expectations that you expect her to be discreet as well.

(If you want a relationship) DO get physical

Have you ever been told that if you want a relationship with a woman, that you shouldn’t try to take things physical too early? My guess is that you’ve heard this mostly from women, and it’s bad, bad advice. (No, it’s not a conspiracy–read my longer post on why women generally give bad dating advice). In reality, the man who is hooking up with a woman has a much better chance of becoming her boyfriend, if that’s what he wants and he knows what he’s doing, than the guy who is “dating and waiting.”

The grain of truth comes from the fact that some women will assume that you just want to hook up, if you’re all over her before you know anything about her. But that still doesn’t contradict what we just said.

In any case, in a friendship situation, this advice is worse than useless. You and her already know each other. Now you have to take things to the next level. So do it.

DON’T act differently toward her in public

Whether you’re friends with benefits or a committed couple, it’s not going to last long if you get jealous when you go out, and she’s her usual friendly self with other guys in your circle of friends. If you start acting controlling or less fun, or make her less fun, then all of her friends are going to work to sabotage whatever is going on with you two. You really don’t want to be up against that.

Similarly, make sure you’re alone with her when you make your move. Find some excuse for you to pick her up (and therefore drop her off) when you all go out, or vice versa. Or if that’s not practical, ask her to come shopping with you.

DO start at the top

I fully realize that this is obnoxious, but I’m going to say it anyway. Most circles of single friends have an informal social hierarchy, and with women it’s often correlated with attractiveness. I’m generalizing here (the psychology of this gets a bit complicated).

If the woman who catches your eye is a potential soul mate, go for it no matter who she is. But if you’re attracted to a couple of different women in your social circle, go for the hottest one first. Whether you’re successful or not, when it’s over you will have a much better chance with other women in your circle than if you’d started at the bottom.


Nick Savoy
Nick Savoy

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