Boys Will Be Boys

The other day, Private Man suggested we both answer a question from one of his readers. His responses are in italics. Mine are in bold.Online-dating-doesnt-have-001

Okay so if you go on a date with a woman and it seems to go pretty good, what are good techniques for the following:

1 – Ending the date.  I know to end it on a high note before any tedium sets in, but what’s a good way to make the exit.   Knowing that on the date in question a first date bang ain’t happening but in all other respects things went well.

PM – As the man, you should certainly be the one who ends the date. You can end it by checking your watch or cellphone and say something like “I’ve got to run, it’s been great meeting you.” Don’t tell her why you have to run, maintain a bit of mystery.

MOXIE – If you’re interested in her, enjoy the evening. Don’t sit there and think you have to end things by a certain time. Let the date run its natural course.  I wouldn’t recommend a marathon date, but if the vibe is there and you two are enjoying each other, don’t end the date because you think you’ll look too eager if you don’t. When you feel things are winding down, that’s when you step in and say that you have to get going home. (Even if you’re not going home, say you are even if you’re meeting friends somewhere.)  Don’t say “it’s been great meeting you.” It’s a date, not an interview. It sounds clinical and kind of negative. You walk her to her cab or the subway or to her building, ya smooch her good night and tell her you want to see her again.

2 – What verbal enders are good like – “Call you in a few days”  bleh.

PM – “You can expect an email from me.” “Look for my texts”, etc. Don’t say exactly when.

MOXIE – Jesus. Why doesn’t he just send her a tape recording that says, “Your Mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go out with me again.” Then have it explode 5 seconds after listening for effect. At the end of the date you say you want to see her again and that you’ll contact her to make plans for X day. You don’t have to say when to contact her. I don’t think it’s bad to play it cool. Just don’t make douchey statements like, “Look for my texts.” It just makes you sound so odd and controlling. Also? Please realize that more and more women are attuned to Game lingo.

3 – What’s the “rule” on follow-up contact – I’ve heard everything from wait two days, a week, etc. before you follow-up and setup another get together.

PM – Between 24 and 72 hours after the date has ended. Any more than three days (72 hours) and that will throw off your online dating website review schedule (see my answer below).

MOXIE – I agree with PM here. 24-72 hours is an appropriate amount of time. I’d say wait at least half a day and then follow up.

4 – If you met her online, is it poor form to be seen back on the dating site the next day, yet you are not contacting her? Since we know she can see that you logged on, and we know she is going to check – giggle. Anyway, seems kind of obvious that you are just waiting the obligatory two days or whatever since she has a timestamp of when you were online.   I’m thinking it best to just stay off of course, but if you are also working other fish….on the other hand, being seen back on the dating site, but not contacting her might make hamsters turn the wheel, or it might make you look desperate.  I dunno.

PM – Tricky business this. If you would like to see her again, don’t log in until after you have sent her the follow up communication. Then wait for a period of a few hours as if you’re waiting for her response (which you are). If you’re working other fish, you should be communicating via email and not through the dating website’s internal messaging system.

MOXIE – If she’s going to monitor your dating profile, that’s her choice. Frankly, I think it’s a good idea to let her see you online. Lest she get a little too comfortable. Don’t go out of your way to make sure she sees that. But don’t hide because you’re afraid she will. You’re indulging her possible need to over-analyze and obsess. I think PM is encouraging you to put way too much thought in to what’s going on in her head. You’re making what is supposed to be fun and possibly lead to the sexy time into a chess game. There is such a thing as over-strategizing.

5.  Finally, if you met her online, went back and forth a bit, did the phone call, did the date, should follow-up to set next meet up always be phone call?  I’m thinking yes.

PM – A phone call is best but you can text her in advance with “I’m going to call you soon” to test her response. A “looking forward to it!” or something similar is a good sign. No response means she’s not that interested in you and the phone call may be a useless exercise.

MOXIE – You could do either. I’d just send a text. I don’t think a phone call is required. Plus, once you set that precedent she’ll hold you to it.



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63 Responses to “Boys Will Be Boys”

  1. Saj Says:

    - You can end it by checking your watch or cellphone and say something like “I’ve got to run, it’s been great meeting you.” Don’t tell her why you have to run, maintain a bit of mystery. –

    That looks like a blow off. A bad impression to leave her. She’ll be sitting here dazed thinking, “That was rude.”

    – You can expect an email from me.” “Look for my texts”, etc. Don’t say exactly when. –

    Sounds too impersonal and business like. Doesn’t leave a good impression either. A better gesture would be to say I had a great time can I email you tomorrow? (this way if she isn’t interested she doesn’t have to do a full blown rejection to his face but can save it for the email tomorrow or otherwise set up a second date. Also there isn’t the game playing of making someone wait by the phone to create false interest. Girls are hip to that crap.

    • BruceWayne Says:

      Agreed. And I can’t believe a guy would be comfortable saying those things.


      “I think PM is encouraging you to put way too much thought in to what’s going on in her head. You’re making what is supposed to be fun and possibly lead to the sexy time into a chess game. There is such a thing as over-strategizing.”


  2. Angeline Says:

    I think a lot of the game stuff is about providing a script and a timeline for people who are inept and awkward at dealing with people, reading cues – giving them a chance to level the ‘playing field’ with the suave, smooth talker. And of course, in online dating, you don’t have any cues or nuance. “It was great meeting you” has become kind of a kiss-off line, and just reading it, it looks flat and un-interested, unless you can put some emphasis in it in person. “I’m sorry to cut this short, but I have to go – It was *great* meeting you and I’d like to call you to set up another date.”

    “Look for my text.” LOL. I might be *more* inclined to cut someone a break who used that, if I knew more about the Games lingo, I might at least think, “aw, he’s working a script here.” Rude is rude. It sounds very dismissive, and I realize that’s the point, but if you are actually interested, it’s counterproductive. “I’ll text you to set up a time that’s convenient to call” sends the same “I’m going to forge ahead manfully here” message, but also sounds interested at least.

    As an older (53) woman who is pretty old-fashioned and hasn’t dated a lot since way back when, all the rules and timelines make me impatient with the whole dating scene as it exists today. I’m actually pretty sympathetic to mens’ plight in dating – having to appear aggressive, but not *too* aggressive, the out of kilter paying for dates, the hoop jumping over ridiculous things like whether to text or call, being expected to come up with unique, romantic, expensive plans, and the fact that a lot of the advice from women on how to attract women is crap. But not everything in the PUA schtick is golden. Some of that is crap, too.

    If the goal is to get laid as much as possible, then carry on. If it’s to find someone to be with who isn’t like fingernails on a chalkboard, then realize that some (maybe a lot) of the gamesmanship is going to weed out the sane and leave you with the needy, low self-esteem ones who fall for the facade.

    • Selena Says:

      Adding: Since everyone in America is familiar with the concept “He’s Just Not That Into You”, these show -disinterest -to- create- interest gambits are likely to have a fairly high failure rate. The women who aren’t needy/have low self-esteem will assume guys who use these tactics are genuinely NOT interested and charmless as well.

      • D Says:

        The point of these tactics is not to show disinterest. It’s to convey the sense that you are a little mysterious, the subtext of which is that there is a whole lot more about you the person would like to know if they get closer.

        • Selena Says:

          Okay. But I don’t think ending a date abruptly by checking your watch, or cell phone then dashing off with a quick ” Gotta run. It’s been nice meeting you!” without an explanation is conducive to creating a little mystery in the hopes the woman will want to get to know you more.

          As a woman, if I thought the date had been going well up to that point – I’d now be thinking, “Guess not”. That he really wasn’t attracted to me if he ended the date like that. I might also think, because he took off so quickly after checking his watch, or phone it was because he had to get back to his wife/girlfriend at home before she became suspicious. Not cool at all.

          I understand “Be Yourself” is not the most the most helpful dating advice – but behaving uncouth is going to turn off women who might be open to getting to know you otherwise. An example many women use on the internet is how turned off they are by a guy who is either rude, or too flirtatious with servers.

          • D Says:

            Like anything else, it depends on the execution. If you just look at your watch and leave, yeah, that’s something a shy guy would do. But if you pull her close for a big hug while you do it and smile & wink, it’s not uncouth at all. It’s exciting.

            What’s not really being conveyed in all this discussion is the importance of creating an emotional connection — chemistry — which has a lot to do with body language. You can’t convey that in text.

  3. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    “You’re making what is supposed to be fun and possibly lead to the sexy time into a chess game. There is such a thing as over-strategizing.”

    Maybe not a chess game but a poker game. The when-to-log-in question is really a nice example of how online dating is different and how so much is “communicated” to dating prospects both intentionally and unintentionally. if you have a knack for it, I think it makes sense to put effort into what you’re communicating to the world via the online internet sites, It’s not so much “overstrategizing” as it is not being willfully blind. I often stop logging on for a bit if I think a woman I’m dating would be sensitive to it. Not logging on doesn’t always communicate that you’ve given up dating other people- many times it communicates the opposite – that you have a lot of stuff going on offline.and don’t really need a date. Depends on the guy you are in real life.

    I’m wondering someting about this Game thing, I admit that I’m not really a student so my question may be obvious to some, but it seems to me they have this theory that there are distinct types of men – the alpha and the beta. What I’m wondering is that does their theory also contemplate that there are distinct types of women too? They seem to recognize the nuances in male personalities but all the female “characters” are two dimensional and the advice flowing from that seems to suggest that all women share certain common characteristics and will all respond in the same way. It’s very Tolkein-esque.

    I don’t think women are more and more “on to the game.” As I’ve said before, I think “game” practitioners are really few and far between. Most guys are just doing their thing and either succeeding or failing without much thought, and most women are doing the same. I think “game” may be useful for giving advice to men (i.e. women will respond x if you do y) as private man is doing but I don’t think it’s useful for analyzing a situation (i.e. the reason a man did y is because he must have believed that woman would respond x.”)

    • ZLX1 Says:

      It’s not so much that all women are the same, it’s more that there are some universal things that all women (99%) find attractive such as: confidence, decisiveness, able to carry on a conversation that is engaging, presenting yourself well, having something going on in the career department, some passionate interests outside of work, avoidance of social fumbles, etc. You know, masculine traits and behavior. There are definitely things that men can do that will increase the odds in his favor of generating a sexual response or sexual interest from a woman. Only a fool would believe that the feminine is not attracted to the masculine.

      It’s quite the uphill battle to “nice guy” your way into a woman’s bedroom. Nor is it the recommended method to keep a woman interested by acting like her best girlfriend.

      Here’s a hint: Women refer to this as “chemistry” or “feeling it”. If she thinks there is no chemistry – then it ain’t happening, ever. You could be a good looking guy with a decent job, but if you do something against “the rules” with a particular woman or even worse of the sin of shyness,wham, you’re “Nice, but not my type.”

      A lot of game theory is helping guys who are maybe a bit socially awkward or shy to polish up this specific element of dealing with women and avoid common F-ups by learning from other guys who are more experienced or more polished.

      Most of the guys learning “game” aren’t doing so to bang 1000 women. They just want to find a nice girlfriend without getting blown out by women just for trying or saying “Hi” to them. There are of course hard core gamers out there who want the opposite. I know men who are smart, good looking guys, have a nice career, etc. but are just a touch socially awkward so they get passed over. Why shouldn’t those guys seek to self improve and learn from the experience of other men?

      Learning from each other and observing the cause and effect is a very male thing. It’s how men are able to do things like build empires, send men to the moon, win World War II. Not to mention that doing those things tends to get you a lot of female attention as a side effect lolz. Let’s see what does an Emperor, Astronaut and War Hero all have in common as a fringe benefit if they want it? Think real hard…


      As Angeline said, it’s the women that make up all these courtship rules about when you called too soon or too much or this or that or whatever. Screw it up once within the first couple dates, and no matter how great a guy you are, you can just hang it up and move on to the next attempt. You’re in the “creep” or “dork” category at worst, the “let’s just be friends” category at best.

      Now a very funny thing is that many women and some guys will immediately pounce on this idea of “gamer” and make fun of those guys looking to work on themselves and improve the way they interact with women. So, if the guy is naturally a little clueless with women – he’s a creep. If he seeks some information and does some trial and error to improve his methods and increase his chances with the girls – he’s a creep.

      It’s hilarious in that women really seem to get pissed that guys, who are generally very goal oriented and point A-B focused anyway, dare to work out strategies or share information like – “Hey man, don’t say things like that or do that, it’s poor form.” As if the very thought of a less than suave James Bond type slipping through the gates and getting laid makes their insides turn.

      Also I’ll add that a lot of Alpha/Beta is really a euphemism for doing things in a masculine way versus non-masculine. Society spends a lot of time in TV commercials, shows, movies, magazines, etc. promoting the idea that men/boys are dumb and helpless. It takes some rethinking to undo that training. The terms alpha/beta are shorthand for that.

      Women also aren’t always aware of the way men use these terms. For a woman Alpha=a guy I find attractive. Beta=a guy I don’t find attractive. For guys the terms have wider implications beyond dating. It’s more about taking charge of all aspects of your life. But since, we’re men, the ladies are on our mind of course, so you see a lot of advice in that specific realm. If you look closer you will also see a lot of bloggers and books advising guys that the most important thing they need to do is continual self improvement in all areas.

      Alpha and Beta way of doing the same thing:

      Alpha: “I’d like to take you out, are you free Friday night?”

      Beta: “I think you’re really cool, do you think that maybe we could hang out some time?”

      Alpha: “Don’t talk to me that way again, it’s disrespectful.”

      Beta: “It really makes my feelings hurt when you say things like that to me.”

      Alpha: Man hold his woman close, her head resting on his shoulder.

      Beta: Man holds his woman close, lays is head down in her lap like a little boy.

      Alpha: Stays in shape and works at his career.

      Beta: Plays video games, works part time and looks like 250 lbs of chewed up bubble gum.

      Alpha: Sees a woman he’s interested in, pursues, approaches, talks with her, even if on the inside he’s a little anxious.

      Beta: Stands in corner of room talking to no one thinking that someday God will drop a hot little chick into his lap that will recognize all the good qualities he has.

      Alpha: Understand that dating and sex is a competitive marketplace and it pays to market your assets in the best way possible. (Note – women know this too, that’s why they spend billions annually on cosmetics and clothes)

      Beta: Thinks that when the time is right, it will “just happen.”

      Alpha: Calls girl, she’s not home, he leaves a message. Moves on with his day.

      Beta: Calls girl, she’s not there, too afraid to leave message, or calls like 5 times that day trying to catch her on the phone.


      • Saj Says:

        It seems strange to me that someone looking for something long term would try to learn from guys selling tactics to gain the short term. Many of these PUA sites are rife with misogyny and that is horribly unattractive. There also has to be a healthy amount of suspicion that they ARE selling you something. They want you to buy their books, seminars, visit their blogs to gain your money and will tell you what you want to hear to get it.

        If I were having trouble with men I’m not sure I would go to seminars from women who were professional serial daters on how to get a relationship. On top of that they also have a healthy hatred for men and seek to manipulate them. (Which funny enough ARE the ones trying to profit in the advice business). So you get it from both genders.

        When we were talking about this and my boss walked in my co worker asked him what do you think of the nice guys finish last concept. My boss said I think that is actually really insulting to the nice guys who do get what they want and the relationships they want.

        Girls are afraid of telling the guy the truth of why they don’t want them. Nice is the term they use to his face but not the true term. They don’t want someone who is timid, passive aggressive and unattractive.

        What girls like when it all is broken down is someone who is comfortable in their own skin and attractive (this means shooting in your league). If the nice unattractive guy is mad that the cheerleader keeps passing him up it’s not because women are twisted but it’s because he’s ignoring the girls he could get if he could just bring himself to want them (both genders are so guilty of this) If a guy has to constantly manipulate a girl who doesn’t find him attractive by her insecurities to keep her in a relationship that relationship is doomed to fail as soon as he gets tired of pretending.

        • WO7 Says:

          The game is focused on making sure that you can approach women and get them to like you.

          This is a necessary step for the short OR long term. So your assertion that the game is only meant for the short term is false.

          For informational purposes, I have studied up on the game, but have never tried to implement it.

        • Joey Giraud Says:

          Saj, that misogyny you’re talking about is the sound of anger and resentful spite resulting from continual rejection, sexual frustration and shame.

          Ugly stuff, and it pretty much shows these guys aren’t the men they pretend to be.

        • JS Says:

          I think the misogyny comes when the new PUA realize that these “tricks” (which is just social grace broken into a formula so that socially awkward people can learn/understand what naturally socially graceful people know intuitively) work well on women and are suddenly getting the PUAs success…they start to think “wow, chicks are dumb; they all fall for this crap.” What they fail to understand is “the crap” is what they were supposed to learn naturally from age 3 to 25. The crap is what most people already know: joking, flirting, bantering, gentle ball-busting is fun to be around, is socially attractive and shows confidence.

          As for the nice guys finish last….I think a LOT of people think that nice = weak and bad = strong. It is not that nice guys finish last. It is that weak men finish last. I know plenty of nice, strong (inner strength) men who do great with women. I’ve known bad, stong men who do great with women. Also nice and good are not the same thing. I have known some really GOOD men…men who always do the right thing, have integrity, etc but they’re not always “nice”….they dont refrain from calling someone (man or woman) out and saying your behavior is messed up and I’m not putting up with it.

          But men who are nice AND weak will always do poorly. Just as a bad man who is weak will also do poorly. Men like to say that women like bad boys and dont like nice guys. It is not true. Women like strength, confidence and kindness. The problem is that many bad men have the strong, tough, unshakeable, confident thing going on and women see it right away…it takes them awhile to see that in addition these men are not nice/kind. But a nice/kind man who has the strength and toughness…well those men tend to be 1) rare and 2) already married to some woman who nabbed them at an early age.

          (fyi: I am a woman and single and in NYC…definitely dont have it all figured out but I did finally the learn the difference between nice and good; nice and strong; bad and strong, etc)

          Just my two cents…

        • D Says:

          There are a lot of good thing to be learned from PUA. Yeah, there’s some misogyny, but most of what I’ve been drawn too is not about that at all. Rather, it’s about how to be more attractive. I personally have gained a lot from it and it most certainly does not apply just to women with low self esteem.

          There’s no shortage of man-hating in certain quarters of feminism. Does that mean all feminism is bad? of course not.

          • fuzzilla Says:

            >There’s no shortage of man-hating in certain quarters of feminism. Does that mean all feminism is bad? of course not.<

            THIS. Why do so many people not get that?

            I also get taken aback by the misogyny on PUA sites, but I do think "do I see plenty similar comments aimed at men in sites I hang out at? Would a man feel the way I'm feeling now to read that stuff? Yeah…" Like you said, I don't think the women I know who complain about men truly hate them but are just frustrated, burned by bad experiences, scared to date and making excuses for why they're not happy that circumvent them having to take personal responsibility. In one particular dating forum I often seemed to be the only one ever talking about actual dates. I'd be like "is no one else trying, or do they just keep their mouths shut about it, or what?"

            A lot of the most successful daters aren't necessarily the hottest or most successful (though that never hurts). They're simply the ones who know how to read people, move on quickly from dead-end situations, maximize their assets, minimize their deficits, etc. I thought ZLX1's comment about "game" helping guys to do this made a lot of sense. (I recommend the article "Seduction Tips For Men" on Easily applies to women, too).

    • Joey Giraud Says:

      You know that scene from Star Wars where Obi Wan says “the force has a strong influence on the weak minded?” That’s the way I see PUA game; works great on weak minded women, stronger minded women are much less susceptible.

      • D Says:

        Disagree, I’ve dated lots of strong minded women, and I know for a fact that some of the things I learned from PUA made me more attractive to them. In my experience the most confident women are also the most interested in learning more about how attraction works.

        • Joey Giraud Says:

          “Strong minded” doesn’t mean intelligent, or ambitious, or stubborn. It means not letting your natural urges do your thinking for you, and not acting out whatever you feel.

          And PUA’s aren’t really seeking attraction, they’re looking to get laid ASAP.

          That’s the reason “game” was devised.

          • D Says:

            That’s one opinion. You seem to be saying that any woman who responds to game tactics is a zombie who can be hypnotized. That’s just foolishness. Guys respond to things women do too. In fact, a big part of game for me is just understanding when a women is attracted to me. All those “hints” women like to drop? Most men are terrible at picking up on them. I count myself among those who were terrible.

            (Which is not to say I was a loser before. I had plenty of romantic success in the past, but it’s just so much easier now, less confusing and angst-ridden.)

            • Joey Giraud Says:

              That’s a ridiculous misinterpretation, zombie or hypnotized is way overboard.

              Guys respond to things women do too.

              If you’re talking ice cream or bags of cash, sure. But what’s really foolish is to imagine that men and women respond to the same things in each other.

              If you’re the super-successful, owner-of-three-businesses-at-the-same-time guy, not much point in trying to explain more. You’re way too pragmatic to bother understanding things.

              • D Says:

                Of course men & women don’t respond to the same things. Men tend to respond more to visual cues – ergo the fashion and makeup industry. Women to clues about character.

                I said hypnotized because you brought up natural urges as if they are something that should be overcome. Tell me, do you feel like you should overcome your natural attraction to beautiful women?

  4. Howard Says:

    I don’t care for the game, but it’s a necessary evil. The problem with the game is that it sometimes leads us into the side of a person we may not like in the end for a long term relationship. There is something called player’s disease. In spite of all the women they bed, they are still running around like crazy never satisfied. The more weakness they see in other human beings, the more immune they become to commitment and vulnerability, hence never experiencing one of life’s greatest treasures, the ability to care deeply. The sweetest part of romance is the feeling we have inside, more so than the adulation the other person gives us.

    As humans we are all complicated. We seem to have multiple programs running at the same time: Good girl mode, church girl mode, party girl mode, insightful girl mode, nurturer mode, materialistic mode, star struck mode, insecure ugly duckling mode, slut mode, ambitious girl mode, good friend mode, attention craving mode, and on and on. Guys have a similar list.

    So who is the real person? That is a serious philosophical question. Maybe the Buddhist scholars are right, and none of it, is really us, just contrived bullshit to function in the crazy world we live. But this is a dating and relationship advice site, so let’s not get too heavy. In the end, each of us has to figure:

    What are our prime modes of operating, and if those are concomitant with what we really want?
    How do we get past the negative modes we have, that cause us to go in distracted directions?
    How much of the game we want to play; how and when to get real; and how to go back and forth?
    How to decipher what the prime operating modes of another human being really are?
    How to recognize the people who function in the modes we desire most?
    How to attract those people? What types of behaviors and skills do we exhibit?
    How do we keep them attracted?

    And it’s all so overwhelming at times, and that’s why we are single!

    • Joey Giraud Says:

      The more weakness they see in other human beings, the more immune they become to commitment and vulnerability

      The more human weakness they see, the more generally misanthropic they feel.

      One of the dangers of cynical knowledge.

      • D Says:

        For me it’s been the opposite. I feel like I can “see the matrix” much better when I interact with people. The truth is that most people are a little shy and a little scared. Being able to pick up on those cues and put people at ease is really useful in all areas of life, not just getting laid.

        • Howard Says:

          That is pretty much what we have to do, interract. It’s really the best way to increase your chances with whatever your goals are. The more interviews you go on, the better you get at it and the greater chances of getting a job.

          The key though is to constantly assess, because you don’t want to devolop the bad habit from continually doing something wrong. It’s not so much second-guessing and beating up on yourself, but constantly reflecting and thinking about how you could have done something slightly better or in some cases completely different.

  5. dimplz Says:

    My only knowledge about this game stems from the guys who bought it when I worked part-time at Barnes and Noble, and that awful reality show with Mystery that I can’t believe I’m about to admit I watched. I think if you have to use tactics to get and keep a person, you aren’t being genuine, and the reason most relationships fall apart is because people try to be someone they are not.

    My advice? Be yourself. That way you will never have a woman call you after your breakup and cry to you about how you’re not the person she thought you were.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “My advice? Be yourself.” The guys in question have tried being themselves and women weren’t interested. That’s why the PUA stuff is so attractive!

      Of course, if those changes are merely superficial, most women will eventually see through it and dump the losers–but the guy was still getting laid in the meantime, which is better than he was doing before. And that will just feed his natural desire for variety anyway, saving him the trouble of dumping them when he has an itch for something new.

      More importantly, if the changes aren’t superficial, if he actually becomes a more confident and socially graceful person, then he’ll be able to keep the one he wants to keep when he eventually finds her.

    • D Says:

      “Be yourself” is the most common, least useful advice women give. The truth is people have multiple selves: the work self, the family self, the self when you’re feeling confident, the self when you’re feeling down. PUA teaches you how to be your best self and put that self forward in the most attractive light.

      • Saj Says:

        Pua also teaches you how to make women feel bad and passively aggressively insult her and call it flirting.

        • fuzzilla Says:

          This is true. I once had a guy tell me “there are prettier women, there are smarter women, there are funnier/friendlier/more personable women…but I’ve never met anyone with a better combination of all of the above than you.” Later I realized it was some PUA bullshit because who starts a compliment out with “there are prettier women…”?

          I really get why you’re hesitant to see the “good in game” because you don’t want to sign off on the icky misogynist parts. Also a lot of PUA types seem to view women not as people but as vessels to provide them with what they want. I think what D and other people are trying to say is that PUA stuff can be useful as a specific tool for a specific purpose – getting your “foot in the door,” so to speak, to go from not being given a chance to being given a chance. What the guy does with that chance…well, that’s where his true colors come out. Sort of a “people shoot people, not guns” argument, I guess.

        • D Says:

          I must have missed that lesson. Girls who go out with me have a great time.

          • D Says:

            To clarify, if you make a girl feel bad, you’re doing it wrong.

            • Howard Says:

              It’s not so much about making a girl feel bad, but saying the hard truth, in a humourous way. PUA’s call it the neg. The problem is that some guys don’t really get how to do it, so its all comes off as a guy making a girl feel bad.

              Sometimes its couched as the rollercoaster as fuzilla gave above: “there are prettier women, there are smarter women, there are funnier/friendlier/more personable women…but I’ve never met anyone with a better combination of all of the above than you.”

              The key there was the punch line at the end. All these strategies are designed to get a woman emotionally involved. PUA’s will tell you it’s better that a woman hates you than feel nothing. And unfortunately, I have seen that play where women will go to bed with guys they say they hate.

      • dimplz Says:

        In my experience, people don’t really change that much. I have many doubts that a PUA program will help a man who has low self-confidence. But, really, if they want to waste their time with these techniques, it really doesn’t matter to me. I obviously have no stake in their success or failure. I’m just stating what has worked for me.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “What has worked for [you]” is irrelevant since you’re not a man.

        • D Says:

          Confidence is situational. Many men are extremely confident in their work but less so socially (think of a brilliant computer programmer who is awkward at parties). Learning how to draw on that confidence in various situations is a skill that can be learned.

      • Angeline Says:

        I believe the “be yourself!” advice is given to men by their sisters and friends, because they see the actual man, comfortable and at ease, not the shy awkward being he becomes around a woman he wants. They don’t realize that the man they love and admire turns into something else entirely when he’s not in the comfy environs of friends. I do not think it’s meant as a sabotage, just a real misunderstanding of both their friend and dating.

        The descriptions of PUA here in this thread, and what little I’ve read on dalrock’s and PM’s (and athol’s) blogs *was* very encouraging and fascinating, and as Moxie says below, long overdue. It is a sad thing what’s happened to masculinity in the last few decades, but maybe it was a necessary journey for us all to appreciate it. I know I’ve stated things on this blog like “try to forget dating and just make a good life, make yourself into the best person you can be (to the cartoonist fellow) and that’s how I tried to approach it myself. But it is excruciatingly hard to do, when you just want to find someone to be with and love. We all have a friend, or have been that friend (raises hand), saying, “wtf am I doing wrong?” We should all strike the phrase, “stop looking for it and it will happen” from our brains, and say instead some version of, “make your self and your life into something that people want to be a part of.” Which is a more specific way of saying, “Step up.” Not, “oh honey, you’re just *fine* the way you are!”

        The “mysterious” pose is still not going to work if the actual human in front of you is sending a thousand and one non-verbal cues that he is *very* interested. It’s going to be disconcerting . Yes, a good number of women will churn and stew and wait for that text. The kind of behavior that we hear from men drives them nuts. Because she’s going to churn and stew and endlessly analyze everything else too. That’s why that particular line is getting negative attention here. To grit your teeth and grumble about (admittedly annoying) behavior, and then embark on a plan of action guaranteed to select for that behavior, is puzzling. That’s what my criticism for that sliver of the post is about.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “say instead some version of, ‘make your self and your life into something that people want to be a part of.’ … Not, ‘oh honey, you’re just *fine* the way you are!'” Yes, yes, yes! More specifically, people (both men and women) need to understand that, if they’re not successful in dating, it’s because what they bring to the table will not buy what they want. There are two solutions: improve yourself or aim lower. Doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result, is the definition of insanity–and that’s what crap like “be yourself” encourages people to do.

        • Selena Says:

          I believe the “be yourself!” advice is given to men by their sisters and friends, because they see the actual man, comfortable and at ease, not the shy awkward being he becomes around a woman he wants. They don’t realize that the man they love and admire turns into something else entirely when he’s not in the comfy environs of friends. I do not think it’s meant as a sabotage, just a real misunderstanding of both their friend and dating.

          I believe this. We don’t know what our male relatives/friends are like on dates, or how difficult it may be for them to approach women they are attracted to. When we suggest “be yourself” it’s because we genuinely believe these guys are pretty good “as is”. Not meant to sabotage them in any way.

        • D Says:

          Angeline is correct. “Be yourself” applies once you reach a certain level of intimacy. Men are taught that they should restrain their natural selves from an early age (women too, but not as much IMO).

        • Howard Says:

          They key is to interract and constantly assess, so you evolve. Some women like Moxie are doing their darnest to get that word out to women too. They are the female version of the PUA’s. People have to learn to take the good from a thing rather than constantly be doing the “I don’t need that crap”

          That’s how inventions and discoveries happen. Experimenting, Constantly thinking of ways to do things better. About be yourself – I don’t know of a talented singer or dancer or athlete who is just doing that. No, they are constantly practicing and trying to be more than themselves. This nonsense about things set in stone and just be yourself is the type of thing that would have kept us in the caves.

    • ZLX1 Says:

      “Be yourself” is only applicable if the woman in question already finds the man attractive. Then why of course, he should be himself. If however a man find himself in the position of not getting the female attention he desires, then he has no choice but to not be his current self. He must improve himself.

      Not under the delusion that that particular woman will suddenly have a change of heart, she won’t, but so that the next time he is out and about town he has the means to improve his chances of getting the female attention, sex and yes love that most men want. Things that all human being desire, even if we go about it in odd ways sometimes or even if we say we don’t to keep up a tough front.

      You also have to understand that there are different schools of thought and objectives for every man. To be sure there are club and bar game skills designed to zero in on likely prospects and maximize opportunities for quick sexual access to women, sooner rather than later. To the guys that specialize and focus their endeavors on that I say, game on friends.

      Sure beats the stuffing out of sitting at home another Saturday night with a box of tissues and some German porn DVDs. The early game pioneers like Mystery specialized in this club game. However, if all you know about game is Mystery and PUA then you’re not seeing the whole picture and that there is a more diverse group of men with different objectives out there.

      These days many in game circles beyond their early twenties in age are concerning themselves with a more holistic approach not merely about women, it’s about all aspects of a man’s life. To truly develop “game” the best advice is to improve career, health, wealth, social circle, wardrobe, interpersonal skills and awareness of social dynamics. That’s lifestyle game.

      As you improve these elements the rewards will follow. It’s not just about women, That just becomes a fringe benefit of making as an exceptional life for yourself as you can within your abilities and talents. And by God, that sounds like the American Way!

      A man should seek to maximize all areas or his life and minimize his weaknesses. It’s not pretending. It’s continual self improvement. Bit by bit, by learning from mistakes, by learning from other men’s mistakes and building on his own successes he elevates his “game” to improve his life. It’s not fake then is it? He’s self made into a new man through the sweat of his brow to be the best man he can be. That’s not something to berate, that’s something to applaud.

      If he has done these things, he’s not tricking anyone, he’s actually become or in the process of becoming what he wanted to be, a success in his professional life and a success in his personal life. He’s stacked the deck in his favor and now has access to a quality of woman he would not have if he had spent his time vegetating.

      Women shouldn’t be upset at men learning holistic game. After all, what woman can seriously have a gripe with a sudden influx of men onto the dating market that have their act together and are in fact offering to them better potential matches? Or at the least more interesting and sexually stimulating company if that is all either party is looking for at the moment. If more men are clued in better on women’s buttons and the dynamics of male female interactions it sounds like a win, win.

      Since we know that the majority of these guys are not going to be serious notch collectors but guys looking to attract a decent girl for a relationship, it’s not like they are going to go on a one night stand rampage and ruin all the women of Manhattan. Only a very few men will be able to “play” at that level because they just naturally have the smoothness or ingrained social intuition to pull it off. And remember they can only pull it off because the women are more than willing to play.

      I think the only gripe a woman could have with a man learning “game” is if she didn’t keep pace and is upset that a guy she wouldn’t look at twice six months ago now won’t give her the time of day. Hey, in the sexual market place if you snooze you lose.

      Or, some women may not take kindly to guys in general saying “Okay ladies, here we are, we’ve done our part, but we find you a bit boorish and a bit lacking now, your turn to step it up a bit.” Frankly, no one likes to be told something like that but newsflash – it’s something men hear in the media and from women all the time. Men have a right to just say, no thanks if what’s on offer isn’t up to par or of comparable value,

      If you mock these men for spending so much time concerning themselves with improving their lives and seeking the company of women, would you rather have the opposite? That they simply decide today’s woman is not worth the trouble and they retreat to the basement and the X-Box where they know for certain they will at least have fun with their friends and not have to risk a public humiliation at the hands of a shrewish bar rat? Judging by all the mainstream media articles trying to cajole men to “man up” I would hazard to guess that no, that’s not what the ladies want, at all.

      Ladies, if you want quality men, you’re going to have to be a quality woman, and instead of crapping all over guys seeking to improve themselves, it might not hurt to constructively get engaged with these men from an intellectual perspective out here on the Internets and real world.

      It wouldn’t hurt either to clean up your side of the house and police your own ranks. I think we’ve all seen enough “empowered” twenty something girls with bachelors degrees fighting in bars, cursing like men of low class and puking on the streets to last a lifetime. It’s bad enough when the young men do it, but I have to believe this was not what equality of the sexes was all about. An arms race to the bottom of the behavior barrel. It’s to your benefit and that of your future daughters and sons to work on solutions.

      Bottom line, men and women, for the most part, the greatest part of the bell curve that is, are looking for some warmth, affection and love from the opposite sex. It’s hardwired. Girl Game and Guy Game are two means to much the same end because they both seek to deliver up to potential buyers in the sexual market that which they are looking to purchase.

      It would be nice if we could put the weapons of venomous words and crass behavior down and approach it from a position of compassionate understanding. It would be nice if we could just recognize and not criticize that each sex wants something different yet the same from the other, and as luck would have it your Yin or Yang is able to deliver it to you. If you let them, and if you are willing to reciprocate in equal measure.

      I remain a jaded and cynical idealist. But I still have slivers of hope.

  6. The Private Man Says:

    This is a comment on my blog from ZLX1 and it’s dead-on accurate:

    “For a man it is a bit of a chess match and a minefield one false step… The reason the girls don’t get that is because all they have to do is show up for the match, it’s pretty difficult for them to make a wrong play aside from being an outright bitch or gross to the point where she starts to fail the boner test.”

    A woman merely has to show up to a date and just go with the flow so – through projection – she thinks men simply have to do the same.

    The man shows up and he’s on an audition and he’d better bring his best Charisma with him even if that involves conscious tactics to increase his attractiveness.

    We can quibble about the nature of PUA but such back and forth is a diversion from the essential truth that men and women are vastly different in regards to dating and forming intimate relationships.

    Very few women can give good advice about dating because most women don’t date other women. Most women simply don’t understand men (nor do they want to, I am convinced) or worse, don’t have enough respect for men to even care. Moxie is mostly an exception and women are advised to pay attention to her.

    Dating 2.0 is the landscape in which women are encouraged to actively look for reasons to reject a guy and men are encouraged to understand how female attraction can be turned off and on through deliberately controlled behaviors.

    And let’s revisit the most important part of the dating/mating game:

    The masculine attracts the feminine (Be men, guys)

    The feminine attracts the masculine (Woman up, girls)

    • D Says:

      Agree 1000%. Men are expected to be charming and charismatic. Those are skills that can be developed, but like any talent some are naturally better at it than others.

      No guy ever said “I didn’t initially want to sleep with her, but she was so charming!”

  7. Saj Says:

    Sigh can we play video games instead? All this manipulation makes me sleepy.

    If guys bemoan drama how is acting in a play and calling it dating any different?

  8. Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

    Everybody is assuming that these blogs (Private Man, Badger, etc) are PUA blogs. They’re not. They’re blogs that were created to combat and discuss the perceived devolution of masculinity that has occurred due to the economy, the job market, radical feminism, etc. These blogs aren’t about peacocking and negging. If you bothered to read them, some are actually quite pro-marriage and family. (Dalrock especially.)

    I’ve been saying for a very long time that all the chatter and white noise out there on blogs and other websites that were calling men creeps and cowards and losers where going to cause a backlash. This is that backlash. These blogs came about to help men regain their place in the dating and sexual marketplace. Not to help them get laid or meet chicks. There’s a whole other movement out there called Men Going Their Own way who are forgoing relationships entirely. It’s not as simple as “man writes blog about meeting women so it must be a PUA blog.”

    The reality is that a lot of men have lost their confidence. Not only that, but a lot of women have incorrectly over-estimated their value in the marketplace simply because they are women in a time when men are no longer the breadwinners.

    The approaches that PM suggests might not work on some of you (though I’m betting they would despite all your protests) but I can assure you….there are women out there who might act offended at being told “look for my text” but who would run to her girlfriends or a blog or Twitter and manage to analyze said behavior for days. Proving that the approach worked to some degree. It’s a bunch of bravado. Women take such false confidence in their supposed “empowerment.” I wish I could link to blogs written by single women who LOVE to talk about how sexually empowered and self-sufficient they are, and how they totally value themselves yet get stuck on and fall for the most obvious of players.

    • DrivingMeNutes Says:

      As a guy, I’m not so concerened about whether the blogs are promoting frivolous relationsips. If they have insights based on experience then more power to them. I just wish they would be more succinct and stop repeating plattitudes. Jesus, just make your point. Not speaking necessarily to the blogs you cited but, in general, this whole “I teach men” thing reads more like Charles Atlas or some multi-level marketing scheme. Also, these guys seem unnaturally preoccupied with other men. That’s actually a more feminine quality – the need to impress members of one’s own gender.. It seems to me a real “alpha” wouldn’t really give a shit about other men. And, he certainly wouldn”t need to announce he was “alpha” that he was one or to convince anyone else. Frankly, the alpha probably wouldn’t write an Internet blog under an anonymous handle because he’d be too busy with his real business and his relationships. Who knows, maybe times have changed.

      I think most guys who would have success with these ideas are already attractive in the first place. They may be lacking confidence and style, so maybe this type of advice helps with that. But, I don’t think it’s really going to help someone who is truly failing with women to begin with.

      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Also, I’d like to add this. I think a lot of this supposed “game is a way for men to find relationships not just sex, aren’t we dreamy” is more disingenuous bullshit being used to immunize men from the kind of criticism that I’ve gotten here for being honest. If you want to make a point to women, you can’t come off as a cad, and that’ what these blogs are trying to avoid. Men, in general, have NO PROBLEM finding a relationship. It’s THEIR mantra. Remember, men are gatekeepers of relationships, women are the gatekeepers of sex. The logical and necessary implication of that, whether it offends you or not, is that men are looking for sex; because, for men, relationships are easy You don’t need to read a blog or take a class to learn how to get a girl to want to marry you.

        • Crotch Rocket Says:

          “You don’t need to read a blog or take a class to learn how to get a girl to want to marry you.” Any guy can get a girl to marry him, or sleep with him for that matter, but he can’t necessarily get the girl he wants to do either. So, this is really about improving what a guy brings to the table so he can get a better girl than he can today.

          • DrivingMeNutes Says:

            “this is really about improving what a guy brings to the table so he can get a better girl than he can today.”

            Absolutely, to get a better girl. For sex now, and perhaps a relationship later if she maybe, kinda fits the bill, and we’ll see. That’s the truth. So let’s cut the Ying and Yang crap.

            • Crotch Rocket Says:

              “to get a better girl. For sex now, and perhaps a relationship later if she maybe, kinda fits the bill, and we’ll see.” That’s a very cynical view.

              When I see the proverbial gal from across the room, all I know with any degree of certainty is whether I want to have sex with her, which is necessary (but not sufficient) for me to be interested in a relationship. It is not until after we’ve had a few dates (including sex) that I can figure out if there’s long-term potential. However, I will not get those dates unless I have some game. And, unlike you, I am looking for a LTR.

              • DrivingMeNutes Says:

                Well, no one was accusing you of being a cad. I’m just saying there’s a reason these guys are all anonymous.

            • D Says:

              Go read the deduction threads at Reddit. There are men posting there who are still virgins at 25, 28 even 30 years old. Some guys really are mystified by women and would kill to have a relationship.

          • The Private Man Says:

            “Any guy can get a girl to marry him, or sleep with him for that matter, but he can’t necessarily get the girl he wants to do either. So, this is really about improving what a guy brings to the table so he can get a better girl than he can today.”

            This, in spades.

            If a man knows how to increase his attractiveness to women, he should use that for whatever goals he wants. For the younger guys, increasing his attractiveness can easily come across as manipulative and caddish. But I see that no differently than a woman wearing a push-up bra, make-up, and high heels to increase her attractiveness to men.

            The PUA stuff is controversial and even offensive to some because certain truths about women have been revealed and those truths make women look just as human as men. Frankly, PUA smashes the pedestal.

    • Selena Says:

      I think part of the problem is that on dating forums, there ARE guys promoting techniques such as negging, aloofness, questionable manners and honesty in order to get women into bed. And ONLY into bed. So it’s refreshing to see posts like ZLX1’s on the topic. I don’t think most women actually expect to date a James Bond – they are attracted to someone who is comfortable with who they are and where they are in life. If male-to-male advice promotes working toward that – great for all of us.

      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        “on dating forums, there ARE guys promoting [being assholes]” On other forums, perhaps. It’s pretty rare here, and most of the guys here respond just as harshly to that as the gals do.

        • Selena Says:

          Agreed. I wasn’t speaking specifically of this forum. It’s not too common here – perhaps because this forum seems to draw a more middle-aged crowd rather than twenty-somethings.

  9. T. Says:

    If you all know so much and have so many opinions why are you spending so much time on a blog?

    Saj, aren’t you married with a child? How does your husband feel about the fact that you devote so much time to reading blogs related to dating and puas?

    When was the last time anybody here had a relationship that involved more than once a week play dates?

    • D Says:

      I’m here because I find psychology in general to be fascinating. This particular forum deals with dating, but for me it also includes other interest areas such as leadership, behavioral economics and marketing.

  10. offensivedan Says:

    I don’t agree with almost all that private man recommends. It assumes women are not at a male’s level and will just fawn all over us just b/c we took them on a date. No. Women are evaluating you every second of a date and they have most of the power. Your job,a s a man, is to figure out if she wants to see you again and not waste time. So these are my recommendations:

    1) You–the man–should end the date. You can tell when it’s time. Maximum–3 hours.
    2) Offer to take her to different places. In other words, don’t stay at one place the whole night. If she leaves with you in your car that means she is comfortable with you which is half the battle.
    3) End the date with a kiss. Alway! Why? Well, if she pulls away or seems not to be into the kiss there’s your answer is there– she will not want to see you again. Thus, you don’t waste your time. Plus, it’s funny when you suprise her with a kiss and she does not expect it. But, trust me, women love to be kissed as long as you are not too ugly. :)
    4) Call within three days and just leave one message. Or you can text her a funny joke or thing that happened to you before asking her out again. That works extremely well. Women like to laugh. Problem is coming up with material.
    5) In any event, call or text once. And, yes, she did gt your message or tect, but she did not respond b/c not interested.

    • ZLX1 Says:

      offensivedan – you have recommended textbook “game” strategy for a first date. Start a blog friend. :-)

      • offensivedan Says:

        I know a lot of women hate PUA types. However, their techniques are effective at instilling confidence, meeting women and getting laid. I think that’s why women hate them; it levels the playing field somewhat and empowers men. PUA techniquesshow men not to waste time on one woman, play her games or strictly be friend zoned and give her all the attention she wants at no cost. For example, say a woman rejects you, so what? The PUA artists show you there are so many other women out there. No girl is special and that’s the metality you must have. The ony negative is that PUA’s do not teach you how to have a relationship once you meet the girl you want to commit to. Also, you start wanting to meet as many girls as possible and hookup as much as possible.

        Also, for those wome who wrote on this blog how they hate “Mystery” I’m sure he does not care as there are plenty of women who like him. In conclusion, I highly recommend to all men– are not naturally successful with women– to learn PUA techniques from Roosh and Mystery. I don’t advocate disprescting women but I, for one, will not play their b/s games no matter how hot they are.

  11. The Reluctant Monogamist Says:

    Just want to say that I LOVE this article! Hope you and Private Man do more tandem questions in the future. I think seeing the two perspectives side-by-side is fascinating and starts a good dialogue between men and women.

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