The #1 Theory to Enhance Your Dating Life – Guest Post by Ryan Stephens

Editor’s Note: I was blown away by the response and diversity of opinions on my post last month: Dating – Do You Go For Quantity or Quality? With 43 responses, it was by far my most commented-on post to-date. Beyond the comments, the post sparked MANY conversations over email, phone, and in my head. I know, I’m weird like that.

I’ve run several guest posts from guys on dating (Low Stakes First Dates by Benjy Feen and The Golden Rule of Dating by Jeremy Orr). Given that dating is a team sport (okay well it at least involves two people), I really appreciate the additional perspective – particularly from the opposite sex – that guest posts provide. I’m sure there will be more to come!

The following is a guest post from Ryan Stephens, master of the universe – okay, well for now, the Top 10 Gen Y Blogs list and his marketing blog. Speaking of which, if you haven’t yet voted for your favorite Top 10 Gen Y blogs for October’s round-up, click here to read the ballot and submit your vote by choosing five blogs via email (ryanstephensmarketing[at]gmail.com). The deadline is Monday, September 28.

The #1 Theory to Enhance Your Dating Life – By Ryan Stephens

I don’t even know if I’m qualified to write this piece. I don’t read pick-up artist material (with the exception of The Game because I think Neil Strauss is an awesome storyteller and writer), though I’m familiar with some of the theories on dating and game that people subscribe to.

I’m not a serial dater, and I don’t sleep with countless women, but I have my own dating strategy – one that has worked for me on numerous occasions – and I’ve probably had more luck “dating up” (girls more attractive than me) than I should have. Also, everyone (both male and female) that I’ve shared this strategy with has increased their “luck” as well. What follows won’t necessarily work 100% of the time for everyone – but if your current approach isn’t getting you the results you want, hear me out.

So what’s my secret?

I like to call it the “Pretend You’re In a Great Relationship Strategy.” (Please think of a better name for me).

If every night that you go out to the bar, coffee shop, grocery store, art gallery, etc. you pretend you’re in a relationship it immediately takes away all the apprehension. Instead of being nervous and trying too hard to impress the opposite sex you relax, be yourself, and let everything develop naturally.

Besides, if you’re anything like me, you know that you get hit on way more often when you’re actually in a relationship. Why do you think that is? It’s because you’re happy, you’re smiling, and you’re not stumbling over your words or acting fidgety. You’re in a relationship, you’re happy, you don’t care!

Scenario #1: I haven’t kissed a guy I’ve liked in 6 months
(This works for BOTH male and females, but I didn’t want to do two additional scenarios and make this post so long you don’t read it.)

You’re at the bar with a couple of your friends and a guy is staring at you from across the room. You keep exchanging glances with him, and you see him get up to approach. You begin to feel your palms sweat, and you get nervous. He comes up to the group and introduces himself to everyone. He’s chatting with your friends and not paying you too much mind.

You wonder why he’s not paying attention to you since he’s been staring at you seductively all night long and start to get antsy. You interrupt him and he’s talking to your male friend, and you go on an incessant nervous rant asking him if he’s from around here, and what he’s up to tonight.  He smiles, asks your friends if you’re always like this, thanks everyone politely for the conversation and wanders back to his table.

It’s driving you nuts, so just as the lights are coming on you act like you have to go to the bathroom, scurry over to his table and take one more shot. You up your “flirting” game even more. He acts aloof and indifferent, but takes your number. You think you’ve succeeded, and wait the entire next week for him not to call.

Scenario #2: My ridiculously hot, smart, wealthy, witty boyfriend is waiting for me at home

Same scene, but this time when he approaches you lock eyes, smile, and turn your shoulder away from him. After all, your boyfriend back home probably wouldn’t appreciate you talking to this guy who’s been staring you down all night. Discouraged you’ve been paying attention to him all night, but not now when he’s trying to make his move, he taps you on the shoulder.

“Hey there. I was just asking your friends’ opinion on something, and you’re the tiebreaker. Do you mind?”

“Oh, I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there. You’ve got 30 seconds before my bladder busts.”

While your pseudo boyfriend back home would be glad you’re taking yourself out of the situation, this guy is baffled that you’re not interested after the two of you have been exchanging looks half the night. You’re in control. Flustered, he spits something out semi-clever.

“Interesting. I’ll have to give it some thought.” You turn to go to the restroom, and say calmly over your shoulder, “It was nice meeting you.”

This time, he’ll be the one wandering back looking for you near the end of the night, and you can play it how you want. Tell him it’s late and you need to get home but that he’s welcome to call if he wants to hear your answer later. This time you won’t have to wait. He’ll call.

Using Your Newfound “I’m Taken Approach”

This is the first time I’ve ever penned relationship scenarios so try not to criticize them for their validity, and trust in the underlying message I’m trying to get across. Pretend you’re in a solid relationship when engaging with the opposite sex and you’ll have significantly more luck.

  • Oh my gosh he didn’t call. Who cares?
  • She blew me off after I bought her a drink. Duh. And why would you buy another girl a drink if you’re in a relationship anyway? (Buying girls’ drinks is a lame strategy.)
  • He was a great dancer, why didn’t he try to kiss me? He was probably scared. Your imaginary boyfriend will kiss you when you get home.
  • I can’t talk to her, she’s a 10. You can talk to anyone you want without getting nervous because you’re already in a great relationship.

The most important thing to remember:

Unlike most “gaming techniques” this isn’t about manipulation or playing games with someone else’s emotions. It is about playing a game with yourself. You ARE that person, you’re just employing a mindset that allows you to relax instead of getting nervous, uptight, and stumbling over your words. You’re not being a phony, you’re empowering yourself to let things happen.

You can’t fake it either, you genuinely have to convince yourself you’re in a solid relationship and none of ‘this’ matters because you’re going home to that person at the end of the night. Think about it from this perspective: Anything worth having is worth working for. I’d venture most of us want someone who is self assured, confident and proud of who they are. Ideally this strategy ensures both!

What do you think? Could this strategy work? Am I full of it? Give it a genuine try (field test anyone?) and see what you think. If it works, I want to hear your success stories. If you crash and burn, tell me I’m full of it. That’s okay too. This is the first time I’ve ever shared dating advice, but if there’s any demand for it (tell us in the comments), maybe Jenny will let me share stuff like this with you more often.

***

More about Ryan: Ryan is the Director of Community for a Sports Media firm by day, and business consultant by night. He writes about relationship marketing, the cultivation of conversations, and the spread of ideas at Ryan Stephens Marketing. He likes to play any sport, drink cold beer, listen to live Texas Country music, get dominated by p90x, and is way too critical of movies. Sometimes he mistakes himself for a ladies’ man.

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

MoneyEnergy September 24, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Great to see the focus on it not being a manipulating game but a “game with yourself” – I think you’re on to something, will keep this in mind;)

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 3:18 pm

That’s an important point of emphasis I think. Personally, I don’t really have a problem with the other “games.” The truth is people wouldn’t play them if they didn’t work. Think of this strategy as using a technique that should work for you without resorting to “mind games” with others.

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MoneyEnergy September 24, 2009 at 6:57 am

Great to see the focus on it not being a manipulating game but a “game with yourself” – I think you’re on to something, will keep this in mind;)

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 7:18 am

That’s an important point of emphasis I think. Personally, I don’t really have a problem with the other “games.” The truth is people wouldn’t play them if they didn’t work. Think of this strategy as using a technique that should work for you without resorting to “mind games” with others.

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Jamie September 24, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Ryan – I’m going to a get together tonight for other expats in Rome. I’m going to employ this strategy tonight. I’ll report back, chief.

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 3:16 pm

@Jamie – Most definitely. Let me know how it goes, and if we need to tweak the system a bit.

One of my best female friends jokes that another friend of ours must have beer come out of her boobs because guys are always around. When I asked her about it, she said she guesses it’s because she just doesn’t care, but that she doesn’t pretend she’s in a relationship. But guess what? If you’re in a relationship, you wouldn’t care. More evidence it works?

R

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Jamie September 24, 2009 at 6:59 am

Ryan – I’m going to a get together tonight for other expats in Rome. I’m going to employ this strategy tonight. I’ll report back, chief.

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 7:16 am

@Jamie – Most definitely. Let me know how it goes, and if we need to tweak the system a bit.

One of my best female friends jokes that another friend of ours must have beer come out of her boobs because guys are always around. When I asked her about it, she said she guesses it’s because she just doesn’t care, but that she doesn’t pretend she’s in a relationship. But guess what? If you’re in a relationship, you wouldn’t care. More evidence it works?

R

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ChaChanna September 24, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Okay, I’m in. This weekend I am going out and I will see how this works. I have to admit that I think you are definitely on to something here Ryan. I remember when I was in a relationship men were coming out the woodwork but now that I’m back out there no one is paying me any attention. Now, darn it they will.

Thanks for sharing!

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ChaChanna September 24, 2009 at 7:20 am

Okay, I’m in. This weekend I am going out and I will see how this works. I have to admit that I think you are definitely on to something here Ryan. I remember when I was in a relationship men were coming out the woodwork but now that I’m back out there no one is paying me any attention. Now, darn it they will.

Thanks for sharing!

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Sheema September 24, 2009 at 3:33 pm

As someone who hasn’t had much luck in dating, I’m going to try this technique out! You’re right, it’s not about manipulation, it’s about allowing your confidence and personality to shine without letting nervous feelings take the best of you.

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 3:41 pm

@Sheema – This is something that I wished more people realized. Sure there’s tons of aficionados out there on dating (particularly PUA’s teaching guys to get women. What most people don’t realize is that most of the techniques and stuff aren’t really designed to do anything other than give the guy a chance, and increase his confidence in those types of situations. Like anything else, the more you practice it, the better you’ll get it at! I like this approach because it works great for both sexes.

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Sheema September 24, 2009 at 7:33 am

As someone who hasn’t had much luck in dating, I’m going to try this technique out! You’re right, it’s not about manipulation, it’s about allowing your confidence and personality to shine without letting nervous feelings take the best of you.

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 7:41 am

@Sheema – This is something that I wished more people realized. Sure there’s tons of aficionados out there on dating (particularly PUA’s teaching guys to get women. What most people don’t realize is that most of the techniques and stuff aren’t really designed to do anything other than give the guy a chance, and increase his confidence in those types of situations. Like anything else, the more you practice it, the better you’ll get it at! I like this approach because it works great for both sexes.

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ESPERANZA September 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm

basically….True Confidence is a turn on.

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ESPERANZA September 24, 2009 at 7:34 am

basically….True Confidence is a turn on.

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Akirah September 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm

I agree with this. Anytime I’ve worried too much about whether a guy has liked me or not, it’s never worked out well. Only when I decided to not sweat it as much did I find love. It’s weird, but one day I chose to be confident and not stress myself out waiting for guys to call and text and email. Whenever my current boyfriend would treat me the way I deserve to be treated, it was a nice surprise that I was able to truly enjoy. Three years later, we’re still happy.

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Akirah September 24, 2009 at 8:05 am

I agree with this. Anytime I’ve worried too much about whether a guy has liked me or not, it’s never worked out well. Only when I decided to not sweat it as much did I find love. It’s weird, but one day I chose to be confident and not stress myself out waiting for guys to call and text and email. Whenever my current boyfriend would treat me the way I deserve to be treated, it was a nice surprise that I was able to truly enjoy. Three years later, we’re still happy.

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Grace Boyle September 24, 2009 at 5:21 pm

Ah, the game. Sometimes I feel like I’m on point and have my ‘game face’ on but sometimes, I wonder can’t we just organically meet each other and not have to play these games? Am I naive? Haha!

I really like the idea of acting like I’m in a relationship. It’s all really a mental game, so when you feel happy and “taken” then I think whomever you’re pining for can pick up on it. Easier said than done, but I think it’s a good technique to use. I’ll report back after this weekend when I use my new Ryan-game :)

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Grace Boyle September 24, 2009 at 9:21 am

Ah, the game. Sometimes I feel like I’m on point and have my ‘game face’ on but sometimes, I wonder can’t we just organically meet each other and not have to play these games? Am I naive? Haha!

I really like the idea of acting like I’m in a relationship. It’s all really a mental game, so when you feel happy and “taken” then I think whomever you’re pining for can pick up on it. Easier said than done, but I think it’s a good technique to use. I’ll report back after this weekend when I use my new Ryan-game :)

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Jenny September 24, 2009 at 5:43 pm

Money Energy – I agree, I like that this is more about mindset than manipulating someone into liking you (though it does have hints of the latter which make for a fun experiment).

Jamie, Sheema and ChaChanna – I’m so with you! Going to field test this weekend too. Case in point – last weekend I go to bars with friends. Hot guy starts talking to me. Immediately gets distracted (and enthralled) by my taken friend (in a 4+ year relationship). At the end of the night when she refuses to give him her number b/c she has a boyfriend? He wouldn’t take no for an answer – literally LATCHED onto her so she wouldn’t leave the bar!

Akirah – It’s so funny how that works. And there’s no way to “intellectualize” that confidence and self-assuredness. It has to come naturally (like Ryan said).

Grace – I totally hear you. At first I read this and thought, “here we go, another game.” Then I realized that it’s more about a mindset – and it doesn’t really matter how you get there. I’m going to try the “I have a boyfriend” method – but I’m also just working on my overall self-confidence and happiness.

As for testing Ryan’s theory over the weekend – maybe this is actually his way of working into our subconscious so that ladies across the nation think about RYAN all weekend. Just sayin’…. 😉

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 6:15 pm

@Jenny – Well who do you think I had in mind when I said picture your perfect boyfriend at home? Of course… I wouldn’t be at home. I’d be out at the sports bar with the guys.

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Grace Boyle September 24, 2009 at 8:06 pm

Haha, too funny! I’m laughing out loud.

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Jenny September 24, 2009 at 9:43 am

Money Energy – I agree, I like that this is more about mindset than manipulating someone into liking you (though it does have hints of the latter which make for a fun experiment).

Jamie, Sheema and ChaChanna – I’m so with you! Going to field test this weekend too. Case in point – last weekend I go to bars with friends. Hot guy starts talking to me. Immediately gets distracted (and enthralled) by my taken friend (in a 4+ year relationship). At the end of the night when she refuses to give him her number b/c she has a boyfriend? He wouldn’t take no for an answer – literally LATCHED onto her so she wouldn’t leave the bar!

Akirah – It’s so funny how that works. And there’s no way to “intellectualize” that confidence and self-assuredness. It has to come naturally (like Ryan said).

Grace – I totally hear you. At first I read this and thought, “here we go, another game.” Then I realized that it’s more about a mindset – and it doesn’t really matter how you get there. I’m going to try the “I have a boyfriend” method – but I’m also just working on my overall self-confidence and happiness.

As for testing Ryan’s theory over the weekend – maybe this is actually his way of working into our subconscious so that ladies across the nation think about RYAN all weekend. Just sayin’…. 😉

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 10:15 am

@Jenny – Well who do you think I had in mind when I said picture your perfect boyfriend at home? Of course… I wouldn’t be at home. I’d be out at the sports bar with the guys.

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Grace Boyle September 24, 2009 at 12:06 pm

Haha, too funny! I’m laughing out loud.

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Sam September 24, 2009 at 8:02 pm

Jenny-thanks for showing us a different side of Ryan! Ryan-very interesting theory, you explain it well. I’m like Akirah, when I stopped looking for love is when I found it. I’ve been with my boyfriend for more than 4 years, so I won’t be testing your theory anytime soon. But, I can support the fact that people who are in a great relationship do get hit on more. It’s ironic in a way, but it makes total sense. People can sense your happiness and positive vibes.

The one thing I would caution people about regarding this theory is mixing it with alcohol. A few too many drinks and you might let the cat out of the bag :)

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Sam September 24, 2009 at 12:02 pm

Jenny-thanks for showing us a different side of Ryan! Ryan-very interesting theory, you explain it well. I’m like Akirah, when I stopped looking for love is when I found it. I’ve been with my boyfriend for more than 4 years, so I won’t be testing your theory anytime soon. But, I can support the fact that people who are in a great relationship do get hit on more. It’s ironic in a way, but it makes total sense. People can sense your happiness and positive vibes.

The one thing I would caution people about regarding this theory is mixing it with alcohol. A few too many drinks and you might let the cat out of the bag :)

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Jackie Adkins September 24, 2009 at 8:52 pm

As I’m not single, I can’t exactly field test any of this, but I can add to the conversation with this article I found online today titled “The top 20 reasons you’re single.” Enjoy! http://www.manolith.com/2009/09/23/reasons-youre-single/

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Jenny September 24, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Jackie – that link was hilarious! So many of them are SOOO true. I’m sure we could add in a few for women (and perhaps subtract the World of Warcraft reference, LOL) – but they generally apply to both. From a blogger’s perspective, I also liked how he made his points (all concise) with pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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Jackie Adkins September 24, 2009 at 12:52 pm

As I’m not single, I can’t exactly field test any of this, but I can add to the conversation with this article I found online today titled “The top 20 reasons you’re single.” Enjoy! http://www.manolith.com/2009/09/23/reasons-youre-single/

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Jenny September 24, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Jackie – that link was hilarious! So many of them are SOOO true. I’m sure we could add in a few for women (and perhaps subtract the World of Warcraft reference, LOL) – but they generally apply to both. From a blogger’s perspective, I also liked how he made his points (all concise) with pictures. Thanks for sharing!

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Carlos Miceli September 24, 2009 at 10:16 pm

I think I agree with most of what you say, you know, on the attitude. The only thing I’d like to tell the ladies is that (at least in Buenos Aires) acting as if you don’t care or have some other dude won’t improve your success. We will persist if we really want you, but not because you are playing hard to get.

Basically, he’ll call if he liked you because you gave him your number, not because of how you acted. I don’t think there’s a need to be a bitch the whole time, “princesses” are boring. Be fun.

But this is very useful for men though, agreed Ryan 😀

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 10:35 pm

As far as I can tell most men in the states aren’t as aggressive as men in some other countries.

Jenny was worried that this might be way more applicable to women, but (like you) I genuinely think it’s better served for guys. And again, don’t take the scenarios too seriously. Being “taken” and being a bitch are two different things. Acting semi-indifferent while carrying on fun conversation and having “fuck off” (SORRY Jenny’s Grandma) stamped across your forehead are two different things.

If you really know what you’re doing you can break through “bitch” anyway. And getting “princesses” to come out of their shell isn’t as hard as it looks, but we’ll save those for later.

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Carlos Miceli September 24, 2009 at 2:16 pm

I think I agree with most of what you say, you know, on the attitude. The only thing I’d like to tell the ladies is that (at least in Buenos Aires) acting as if you don’t care or have some other dude won’t improve your success. We will persist if we really want you, but not because you are playing hard to get.

Basically, he’ll call if he liked you because you gave him your number, not because of how you acted. I don’t think there’s a need to be a bitch the whole time, “princesses” are boring. Be fun.

But this is very useful for men though, agreed Ryan 😀

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Ryan Stephens September 24, 2009 at 2:35 pm

As far as I can tell most men in the states aren’t as aggressive as men in some other countries.

Jenny was worried that this might be way more applicable to women, but (like you) I genuinely think it’s better served for guys. And again, don’t take the scenarios too seriously. Being “taken” and being a bitch are two different things. Acting semi-indifferent while carrying on fun conversation and having “fuck off” (SORRY Jenny’s Grandma) stamped across your forehead are two different things.

If you really know what you’re doing you can break through “bitch” anyway. And getting “princesses” to come out of their shell isn’t as hard as it looks, but we’ll save those for later.

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Elisa September 25, 2009 at 12:39 am

Oooh, I was very on the fence on this til the end when you noted that the game shouldn’t be played with others, the game should only be played with yourself.

It IS a mental block, putting yourself out there and trying not to sound like a blabbering idiot. The more you think/realize you sound like a blabbering idiot, the more you end up sounding like and becoming a blabbering idiot (kinda like this comment is making me sound!)

The biggest takeaway from your “secret” (BTW…oh dear!) is the idea that when you are meeting people you should be confident in who you are. Let’s be real, no one likes a bitchy girl. (Unfortunately, however, I know far too many women who fall all over themselves for the guy who won’t give them the time of day.) But if you are confident enough to realize that you don’t need someone else to dictate your happiness, that’s sexy on just about anybody!

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Elisa September 24, 2009 at 4:39 pm

Oooh, I was very on the fence on this til the end when you noted that the game shouldn’t be played with others, the game should only be played with yourself.

It IS a mental block, putting yourself out there and trying not to sound like a blabbering idiot. The more you think/realize you sound like a blabbering idiot, the more you end up sounding like and becoming a blabbering idiot (kinda like this comment is making me sound!)

The biggest takeaway from your “secret” (BTW…oh dear!) is the idea that when you are meeting people you should be confident in who you are. Let’s be real, no one likes a bitchy girl. (Unfortunately, however, I know far too many women who fall all over themselves for the guy who won’t give them the time of day.) But if you are confident enough to realize that you don’t need someone else to dictate your happiness, that’s sexy on just about anybody!

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tomasz September 25, 2009 at 2:00 am

Great strategy however lets move back one step.

Why are most people so desperate of finding someone else? Someone else that will give them happiness.

Thats not right, we should be happiness ourself, and not search for it in others or outside of us.

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Ryan Stephens September 25, 2009 at 3:59 pm

I don’t know that this necessarily implies that people should seek happiness in others. I think people can be completely happy with themselves, and still, at the end of the day, want someone to share their happiness and experiences with.

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tomasz September 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm

Great strategy however lets move back one step.

Why are most people so desperate of finding someone else? Someone else that will give them happiness.

Thats not right, we should be happiness ourself, and not search for it in others or outside of us.

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Ryan Stephens September 25, 2009 at 7:59 am

I don’t know that this necessarily implies that people should seek happiness in others. I think people can be completely happy with themselves, and still, at the end of the day, want someone to share their happiness and experiences with.

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Norcross September 25, 2009 at 2:04 am

I’ll chime in as the married guy. When I was in the dating world, this was exactly how I acted. Not as a game or anything, but because I was happy with who I was and dammit, if she wasn’t into me, better know it now than after I spin my wheels going after her.

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Norcross September 24, 2009 at 6:04 pm

I’ll chime in as the married guy. When I was in the dating world, this was exactly how I acted. Not as a game or anything, but because I was happy with who I was and dammit, if she wasn’t into me, better know it now than after I spin my wheels going after her.

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Marc KS September 25, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Awesome post – On a side note don’t go grouping all PUA into one big manipulating group. There is a whole school of thought within that community called “Inner Game” which is all working on your inner mental stuff when you try to meet someone.


I do have a concern with your “trick” in that it relies on you lying to yourself for it to work.

The basis of your “solid relationship game” is to essentially set your mental frame to a “I don’t care about the outcome of this interaction, because I have someone I love at home” place. Problem being that you don’t really have someone at home, you are internalizing a lie and trying to force yourself into believing it.

It is difficult to completely compartmentalize our pysches and once you start lying to yourself in one part of your life, that practice will start to spill over into other parts of your life. If you are going to internalize a lie, it had better be a lie that if internalized permanently makes you better in some way.

For example, instead of saying to yourself “I don’t care about the outcome because I’m in a relationship”, why don’t you tell yourself “I don’t care about the outcome because I know that I’m worthwhile and if this interaction doesn’t work it is no big deal because another one will come soon enough”. Rather than lying to yourself, you are affirming your belief in your self-worth. I guess if you don’t believe in yourself it is a lie – but at least if you start believing that lie all the time it’s a good thing.

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Ryan Stephens September 25, 2009 at 3:57 pm

@Mark – Certainly my intention wasn’t to group all PUAs as manipulators. Again, I’m not close enough to that/those communities to know (or care) about their approaches to be honest. I’m sure there’s a little of both that takes place.

I think you bring up a valid point with respect to the “trick/technique” in question. Certainly, the alternative you mention is the better approach at the end of the day. I liken it to losing weight though. Sometimes you can’t just tell people to eat less and work out more. Sometimes there has to be a ‘quick fix,’ and once they witness that starting to work the latter will often start to take care of itself (at least in my experience.)

Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Great comment!

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Marc KS September 25, 2009 at 8:10 pm

My concern with crutches is that when you find instant success using them it becomes really easy to start depending on them.

Quick fixes inevitably have downsides (which is why they are quick fixes and not permanent ones) – Liposuction/Drugs can be very effective quick fixes for weight loss, but is the downside worth the risk? (In my opinion the downside is often only worth the risk for the extreme cases – Someone with strong social anxiety might need a crutch to help themselves… most of us just need to quick making excuses and go for it)
If you aren’t willing to give up your limiting beliefs, maybe you just plain aren’t ready to see the benefits of not having those beliefs.

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Marc KS September 25, 2009 at 6:50 am

Awesome post – On a side note don’t go grouping all PUA into one big manipulating group. There is a whole school of thought within that community called “Inner Game” which is all working on your inner mental stuff when you try to meet someone.


I do have a concern with your “trick” in that it relies on you lying to yourself for it to work.

The basis of your “solid relationship game” is to essentially set your mental frame to a “I don’t care about the outcome of this interaction, because I have someone I love at home” place. Problem being that you don’t really have someone at home, you are internalizing a lie and trying to force yourself into believing it.

It is difficult to completely compartmentalize our pysches and once you start lying to yourself in one part of your life, that practice will start to spill over into other parts of your life. If you are going to internalize a lie, it had better be a lie that if internalized permanently makes you better in some way.

For example, instead of saying to yourself “I don’t care about the outcome because I’m in a relationship”, why don’t you tell yourself “I don’t care about the outcome because I know that I’m worthwhile and if this interaction doesn’t work it is no big deal because another one will come soon enough”. Rather than lying to yourself, you are affirming your belief in your self-worth. I guess if you don’t believe in yourself it is a lie – but at least if you start believing that lie all the time it’s a good thing.

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Ryan Stephens September 25, 2009 at 7:57 am

@Mark – Certainly my intention wasn’t to group all PUAs as manipulators. Again, I’m not close enough to that/those communities to know (or care) about their approaches to be honest. I’m sure there’s a little of both that takes place.

I think you bring up a valid point with respect to the “trick/technique” in question. Certainly, the alternative you mention is the better approach at the end of the day. I liken it to losing weight though. Sometimes you can’t just tell people to eat less and work out more. Sometimes there has to be a ‘quick fix,’ and once they witness that starting to work the latter will often start to take care of itself (at least in my experience.)

Thanks for contributing to the discussion. Great comment!

Reply

Marc KS September 25, 2009 at 12:10 pm

My concern with crutches is that when you find instant success using them it becomes really easy to start depending on them.

Quick fixes inevitably have downsides (which is why they are quick fixes and not permanent ones) – Liposuction/Drugs can be very effective quick fixes for weight loss, but is the downside worth the risk? (In my opinion the downside is often only worth the risk for the extreme cases – Someone with strong social anxiety might need a crutch to help themselves… most of us just need to quick making excuses and go for it)
If you aren’t willing to give up your limiting beliefs, maybe you just plain aren’t ready to see the benefits of not having those beliefs.

Reply

Jenny September 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm

Sam – Thanks! I thought it was fun to see another side of Ryan too – or rather, the same confident/awesome/funny side – just applied to the dating world 😀 I love the story about you and your boyfriend – very cool that you found someone so compatible…and without looking for it.

Carlos – I’m with you that “princesses” (and likewise assholes) are boring. ALL of us deserve more than that, and it would be a waste of our precious time to spend time talking to or pursuing those types at the bar. Part of what I think is appealing about this mentality is the feeling of “I’m worth it.” I have a great boyfriend at home because I’M GREAT (in an understated confidence kind of way, not the bitchy kind).

As much as I generally dislike games, sometimes a little hard to get upon first meeting DOES make it more fun…for both the pursuer and the pursued.

And Ryan, don’t worry – grandma doesn’t read the comments, so you can drop all the F-bombs you want 😀

Elisa – I had the same reaction for a split second, then came to the same realization – it’s all about learning new ways to develop happiness that comes from the inside. Sometimes, GOOD LORD that is easier said than done. So I like the fact that Ryan gives us a little “booster” trick here. If nothing else, it will make me laugh the next time I’m at the bar, picturing my boyfriend waiting at home (it’s Vin Diesel by the way, in case any of you were wondering).

Tomasz – I don’t think it’s desperation, I just think that as humans we are programmed to want to be around other people. I believe that whether dating or in relationship, part of what MAKES us human is connection with others, and ultimately sharing love (with family, friends and significant others). I think it’s a balance between being open to new relationships (from a place of inner happiness) and being totally fine alone too.

Norcross – Amen. As someone once told me, “The first time somebody shows you who they are, LISTEN.” Same goes for pursuing a relationship – the first time someone shows disinterest or disrespect, move on! Life’s too short. And while I have you here, great job on Elisa’s website!!

Marc – You bring up such a good point. I’ve been reading a lot about subconscious thinking in Brian Tracy’s book, Maximum Achievement. He says something similar to you, which is that our thoughts create our reality, and that you shouldn’t manifest or think thoughts that you wouldn’t actively wish to be true.

I like the way you rephrased the thought to “if this interaction doesn’t work out I know there will be many more” – much like Ryan’s strategy, that seems to also take the pressure off. And, I think as Ryan points out, maybe the “fake boyfriend” thought can still serve as a temporary step for those who have a hard time jumping right to complete inner confidence. I do agree that it’s probably not a great long-term practice to internalize false information (which I don’t think Ryan would recommend either). Great comment – really got me thinking. Thank you!

Reply

Ryan Stephens September 25, 2009 at 7:09 pm

Though I have internalized the fact that I am hotter than Brad Pitt, Paul Walker and Channing Tatum combined. It’s a complete lie and utterly blasphemous. I’m hoping if I keep lying to myself it will manifest itself in the flesh.

Reply

Marc KS September 25, 2009 at 7:57 pm

If only… if only

Reply

Jenny September 25, 2009 at 8:23 am

Sam – Thanks! I thought it was fun to see another side of Ryan too – or rather, the same confident/awesome/funny side – just applied to the dating world 😀 I love the story about you and your boyfriend – very cool that you found someone so compatible…and without looking for it.

Carlos – I’m with you that “princesses” (and likewise assholes) are boring. ALL of us deserve more than that, and it would be a waste of our precious time to spend time talking to or pursuing those types at the bar. Part of what I think is appealing about this mentality is the feeling of “I’m worth it.” I have a great boyfriend at home because I’M GREAT (in an understated confidence kind of way, not the bitchy kind).

As much as I generally dislike games, sometimes a little hard to get upon first meeting DOES make it more fun…for both the pursuer and the pursued.

And Ryan, don’t worry – grandma doesn’t read the comments, so you can drop all the F-bombs you want 😀

Elisa – I had the same reaction for a split second, then came to the same realization – it’s all about learning new ways to develop happiness that comes from the inside. Sometimes, GOOD LORD that is easier said than done. So I like the fact that Ryan gives us a little “booster” trick here. If nothing else, it will make me laugh the next time I’m at the bar, picturing my boyfriend waiting at home (it’s Vin Diesel by the way, in case any of you were wondering).

Tomasz – I don’t think it’s desperation, I just think that as humans we are programmed to want to be around other people. I believe that whether dating or in relationship, part of what MAKES us human is connection with others, and ultimately sharing love (with family, friends and significant others). I think it’s a balance between being open to new relationships (from a place of inner happiness) and being totally fine alone too.

Norcross – Amen. As someone once told me, “The first time somebody shows you who they are, LISTEN.” Same goes for pursuing a relationship – the first time someone shows disinterest or disrespect, move on! Life’s too short. And while I have you here, great job on Elisa’s website!!

Marc – You bring up such a good point. I’ve been reading a lot about subconscious thinking in Brian Tracy’s book, Maximum Achievement. He says something similar to you, which is that our thoughts create our reality, and that you shouldn’t manifest or think thoughts that you wouldn’t actively wish to be true.

I like the way you rephrased the thought to “if this interaction doesn’t work out I know there will be many more” – much like Ryan’s strategy, that seems to also take the pressure off. And, I think as Ryan points out, maybe the “fake boyfriend” thought can still serve as a temporary step for those who have a hard time jumping right to complete inner confidence. I do agree that it’s probably not a great long-term practice to internalize false information (which I don’t think Ryan would recommend either). Great comment – really got me thinking. Thank you!

Reply

Ryan Stephens September 25, 2009 at 11:09 am

Though I have internalized the fact that I am hotter than Brad Pitt, Paul Walker and Channing Tatum combined. It’s a complete lie and utterly blasphemous. I’m hoping if I keep lying to myself it will manifest itself in the flesh.

Reply

Marc KS September 25, 2009 at 11:57 am

If only… if only

Reply

tomasz September 25, 2009 at 10:11 pm

Jenny,
Me and you may not feel desperate for love because we have other priorities and more important goals to achieve and love comes after it.

However, for the majority of people, that is the reality.
Look around, how many of your friends are struggling with their life?
How many families do you see that you can classify comfortable? Very few.

I’m not sure what you meant by balance. But in my opinion, you can’t balance out both things at the same thing. Well you can but you will not grow to its full potential with either case.
As opposed to you focus on your career for 10 years say, and then you are set and then you look for a family.

It may not work for everyone, and most will not do it.

Reply

floreta September 27, 2009 at 7:20 am

simple reverse psychology! i love it. never actually thought of it, but i think it probably works. my problem though is i NEVER got hit on when i was in a relationship. though, that could account for the fact that we never went anywhere. hum..

Reply

floreta September 26, 2009 at 11:20 pm

simple reverse psychology! i love it. never actually thought of it, but i think it probably works. my problem though is i NEVER got hit on when i was in a relationship. though, that could account for the fact that we never went anywhere. hum..

Reply

Leaflet Distribution London July 7, 2011 at 3:31 am

Why not.. I’m going to try this one..
Thank you for sharing. 

Reply

Today November 1, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Correct me if I misunderstand, but this seems like you are in fact playing mind games with the other person. Comparing the two scenarios, wouldn’t you still be open to a courteous conversation with someone even if you do have a boyfriend/girlfriend back home? In scenario 2, it sounds like you blow off the other person. I’m not saying to flirt with the other person, but I’m not sure if the other person will be too interested in continuing the conversation.

Also, even when I actually did have a gf, it was still difficult to talk to people “normally.” They’re still human beings, not random entities not worth my attention. Just my thoughts.

Reply

tomasz September 25, 2009 at 2:11 pm

Jenny,
Me and you may not feel desperate for love because we have other priorities and more important goals to achieve and love comes after it.

However, for the majority of people, that is the reality.
Look around, how many of your friends are struggling with their life?
How many families do you see that you can classify comfortable? Very few.

I’m not sure what you meant by balance. But in my opinion, you can’t balance out both things at the same thing. Well you can but you will not grow to its full potential with either case.
As opposed to you focus on your career for 10 years say, and then you are set and then you look for a family.

It may not work for everyone, and most will not do it.

Reply

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