Thursday, December 11, 2008

If she is interested keep going

One mistake I have seen many men make as they start learning to become more confident with women is that they make some progress with a woman and then stop. Perhaps the conversation stalls momentarily after they have some strong initial interest. Or maybe you start trying some methods of communication that are new to you, i.e. humorous banter, being more teasing and challenging to the woman and they are working but then you slow down or stop doing what was working. The advice I have is if things are going, then KEEP GOING until you get to a point where you can’t go any further and then wait until that point and then stop.

This is where playing it “safe” can really be a problem in part because you have lost sight of your goal. Assuming your goal is to have a sexual relationship with a woman that you are attracted to and have started talking to it might be tempting to stop at some point and ask for a phone number. Depending on the logistics of the situation this might not be a bad thing. For example you meet at a coffee shop or some other time where one of you has to go for some reason that can’t be changed, i.e. getting back to work etc. However if you could have continued the interaction you are better off doing it right then while you are in a good state and she is also in a good state.

One concept that I think is very important in any area of life, but especially in your communication with women is momentum. If things are going well, let the good times roll. However if things are interrupted you do have rebuild some of the emotional states that you have established before. This advice is not meant to be universal, sometimes you do need to stop because of logistics or circumstances, however being resourceful and focused on your end goal will keep you on track if you want to keep it going.

Another important concept is to be determined to do what works. I don't mean this in a way in which you are compromising your values or doing anything deceitful. Rather I mean do things that are getting results rather than doing what you are familiar with if it was not working in the past. Changing the way in which you communicate with women won't always be easy or feel comfortable, but if you are committed to pushing the envelop then you have a chance of getting results that might go beyond what you ever could have imagined was possible.

Be Observant - Demonstrate awareness and understanding of her reality

One key to building rapport and to leading a social interaction is the ability to demonstrate authority and understanding of what is real in her world. By authority I don’t mean the kind of authority that involves dictating what someone can and cannot do. The kind of authority I mean is to demonstrate understanding and awareness of who she is as a person, what her current situation is and what she is probably thinking. By real I mean that each person's reality is uniquely different. This includes what is going on, what is important to her and how she responds to what is going on around her.

A technique for building this understanding and authority is to verbalize what is happening in the present moment with her and her surrounding environment to demonstrate understanding. One thing you can do is to “call out the elephant in the room.” For example if something happens that is obvious that she noticed or that is distracting, such as a bar fight where the bouncers roughly escort someone out of the room then you should mention this. Another example would be to make a humorous observation on some guy trying to hit on a friend of hers.

Demonstrating awareness of the surrounding environment can be used as a way to get her comfortable with following your lead. For example, wow there’s a big fight over there, let’s take a few steps over this way. Basically any observation that is used to pace her reality can be an opportunity to lead and see if she will follow your lead. Even simply moving a few steps from where you are presently standing can make a difference in terms of getting her to begin to follow your lead.

Or you could make an observation about her body posture, how she carries herself, or her facial expression and turn it into something akin to a cold read. Right or wrong the fact that you noticed something about her besides physical attraction. the current environment like, “it looks like you are out with your friends for a girls night out. Perhaps we should hang out some other time when there are not all of these other things going on.” Whether the observation turns out to be true or not it is another way to get an idea of what kind of logistics you are dealing with without asking it as a question.

By verbalizing your observation, it gives her the opportunity to explain how she knows the people she is around and it gives you a way for you to figure out the logistics to plan your night. For example she could say, “I don’t really even know most of these women, and came here separately.” Or she might say “yeah, I haven’t seen these girls in awhile, but I’d love to talk to you some other time.” That way you know early on in the evening whether you should build toward taking her home that night or if you should build some rapport but know that you’re better off angling for a phone number or schedule another time to meet.

Putting Women on a Pedestal

One thing that men do and especially those who haven't had as much success with women - is they tend to put a woman on a pedestal based on their attraction to her physical appearance. This crush gets compounded if he mistakes polite friendliness for sexual interest, without ever getting to know who she is as a person or establish if she is actually attracted to him. The phenomenon of projecting positive characteristics on to someone because they like them is known as the “halo effect” in psychology.

Making a woman "perfect" in your mind completely screws up how you would pursue a potential relationship with her. A much better approach before you project too many positive qualities onto her is to talk to her with an open mind while actively looking for and screening for the non-physical appearance qualities that you desire in a woman. Before you project things onto her talk to her with an open mind and see what you see about her. You might find that while she was physically very attractive to you at first that it fades when you learn more about her. Observe and see how she responds to you and to what you are communicating. Is she attracted to you or just being friendly and polite?

Know that if you attempt to buy her things or be “nice” without her first having accepted that she is attracted to you it will be seen by her as attempting to buy or beg your way into her pants. Women are used to men doing things to try and win them over, and while it might make them feel good it does not build feelings of attraction or respect for the man who is attempting to buy her affection. A strong, valuable guy does not need to buy anything because he will desired by her just because of who he is. Some women might take advantage of what is being freely given toward them, drinks, gifts etc. but have not have expectation of giving themselves in return.

If you proceed to do or say “nice” things without doing anything to establish that you are interested in her for reasons besides her physical attractiveness (qualifying her) then she could easily conclude that her physical attractiveness is the only thing you are interested in, rather than who she is as a person. If you intrude too much into her space or her time, physical touching when she is not attracted to without her being attracted to you if will tend to drive her away and you will be seen as “creepy.”

Friday, December 5, 2008

Continuing to be a challenge: 6 tips that apply to developing and maintaining a longer-term relationship

As your interaction progresses with a woman, past the first 15 -20 minutes and possibly developing into a longer-term relationship where you see each other on a regular basis you need to be able to keep up the challenge and keep things fresh. Here are 6 tips that apply to developing and maintaining a longer-term relationship that go beyond the ones mentioned in the other post “Be a challenge.”

Part of being a challenge is not just knowing how to challenge her but to be a man who challenges her just by your way of being and living. Are you someone that she can learn from? Do you know how to engage her intellectually, emotionally and sexually? Are you a dynamic person who has goals and is expanding and developing the kind of person he is? Many of these tips naturally follow from being a person with an interesting and dynamic life.

1) Physical Scarcity/ having limited time
Another situation which creates a challenge is when there are barriers to how often you could meet up if ever again. Perhaps you have had this kind of experience before, where you were traveling and you hooked up with someone. Or maybe it was the reverse situation where the woman you met was the one who was traveling and you hit if off and things turned sexual very fast because it was now or never. This type of situation can also exist with time and distance scarcity if you make it clear that you have a very busy work and social schedule with time being scarce, live in another city and/or are frequently traveling for business. If the two of you are seeing less of each other than you would like it will intensify the desire.

2) Emotional/ committed relationship scarcity
Another way of stating this would be to keep deeply emotional statements along the lines of I love you or are we in a relationship conversations from happening too soon. Too much emotional availability too fast can be seen as needy, or just too much and can scare off a woman who is worried about being with a needy guy or who sees emotional commitment as a threat to her self image as independent and non-needy. Some women will even directly say that they are not looking for a relationship, as I discuss in the article “What if she says she’s not looking for a relationship.” One interpretation of that statement from her is that she doesn’t want the emotional side of the relationship to be forced on her, she needs to feel that she is reaching for it when she is ready. However you want to balance this scarcity and “going slow” on the relationship front with being unavailable to the point of just not being able to be there when she is ready for it and it is appropriate. Being unavailable at this point (usually after 6 – 10 weeks of consistent interaction) will drive many women away too, except for those that really want an emotionally unavailable guy to chase with little chance of success which is usually not a good thing.

However by saying early on the interaction (preferably before sex) that you are not looking for a relationship is one way to create a challenge for the woman to overcome. You are not a person who NEEDS a relationship to fill their time or fill a void, you are a person with many competing interests that could make you a great person to be in a relationship with, but that has to be earned over time by a woman based on the relationship that develops between the two of you and not given away to try and get her to like you or have sex with you. While saying you are not looking for a relationship may drive away some women, if you clarify the meaning as I just described a confident open-minded woman that is secure in her desirability and her desire for you will be that much more motivated to win over your heart. And if you really want that then you can let her be successful and she will feel that much more accomplished and secure in a resulting relationship knowing that you weren’t just going to give yourself away.

3) Challenge her self-knowledge
Another way to challenge her is to ask questions that require her to think at a deeper level. For example if she says she is a teacher, ask her what about teaching that she finds most challenging/ fulfilling. This will get her to think in ways that are different, stimulate more interesting conversations that go beyond the normal small talk that people are used to having. It will also give you important insight into how she thinks and what is important to her.

4) Intellectual Challenge
For example suppose you have established a certain level of rapport the first time you have met or maybe the second time when you are at a place where it’s easier to talk without distractions. If she is a more intellectual person, who likes to discuss theories and ideas then talking about topics and ideas that engage her mind and challenge her views and opinions are good. The key is to be able to have discussions where you and her can learn new things rather than have arguments where one person is trying to prove the other person wrong, or that they know more than the other person, or get them to change deeply held political or religious believes.

5) Be interesting, introduce her to new experiences
Other ways you can be challenging are to be an interesting person who introduces variety into your life, and introduces her to new ideas and experiences. This can include going to places and events where you do interesting things. This could include everything from a hike to a museum to a kinky fetish club, it all depends on who you are and what you think she might be open to.

6) Keep things interesting and intense sexually.
You don’t have to do anything too crazy, sometimes even slight variations in technique or in the romantic touches you put on the evening can add much to the experience. The key is to make things really good for her, and she will feel the challenge to reciprocate back by learning new things herself.

So there were 6 more ways that you can continue to be a challenge that go beyond first moments of meeting her, that can also apply to developing and maintaining a longer-term relationship.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Be challenging

One key element to attracting a woman and keeping her interested over time is to be challenging to her. However there are many ways in which you can be challenging and the ways that you will be challenging will change over time as you interact with her and on the personality of the woman you are interacting with.

Before I discuss different ways in which you can challenge her, let’s talk about why you need to be challenging. Most women who are even moderately attractive get a lot of attention from guys even if they might complain about not getting enough. They have gotten used to the idea that most men are interested in them just because of looks alone. However they are often most attracted to the guys that they are genuinely interested in who they are and that they feel they have to work for and pursue at least a little bit. As a general rule, the more attractive a woman is, or thinks she is, the more of a challenge you need to be to engage her interest.

Another reason for a challenge relates to a woman’s self-esteem, generally a woman with higher self-esteem and goals will need more of a challenge to get her interest and keep her interested over time.

As far as the kinds of challenges that you need to provide: when you first meet a woman one of the ways in which you can be a challenge is to actively demonstrate that you are not entirely interested with her until she has done some things to demonstrate that she is an interesting person besides being physically attractive.

1) Scarcity/ Physically unavailable

When you first meet a woman one of the first things you will want to do things that test and challenge her to find out what kind of person she is. There are many ways to do this, one way is to provide what is often called a false time constraint, i.e. “I can only stay a moment and then I have to get back to my friends,” accompanied by body language that shows you do not intend to stick around. A false time constraint does many things, although one of the reasons it is effective at generating interest is by making you a challenge, which will make them know that they have to be friendly and demonstrate interest in you or else you will not stay.

2) Tease her/ demonstrate disinterest mixed with interest
Another way to challenge her, especially during the first moments after meeting her is to playfully tease her and she will probably tease you back. The reason for this is to show that while you may be interested you are not just going to fall for her just because she is physically attractive and that you do not need her approval. The key here is to adjust and calibrate your teasing to her personality so that you are not hurtfully insulting her. A good guideline is to tease her about something that she would consider to be a strength rather than something she would be self-conscious about. Or do things like compare her to a little sister or friend. This challenges her to make you want her romantically and sexually.

3) Challenge her on qualities that do not involve her physical appearance
Other ways to be challenging include challenging her self-image in a way that includes presenting a personal quality that you look for in a woman. For example you could say something like “I like adventurous women, what is one of the most adventurous things you have ever done?” Some things to look for in her response include how much is she trying to impress you, as well as how genuinely interesting she seems to be. Some women might feel put on the spot and not know what to say, in which case you could share one of your stories first and recalibrate.

Remember to smile or mix in with a compliment when you tease. This will soften the impact of your words and convey a mixed message that is playful and positive while also keeping her guessing. With practice over time you will get better at this and also adapt to your personality and adapt to the personality and the mood of the woman you are talking to.

That is all for now in terms of initial challenges. I will also discuss more challenges that you can use later in the interaction as you escalate the interaction emotionally and sexually. Also learn how to be challenging in the context of a relationship too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

What if she says "I'm not looking for a relationship"

Q: How do I adjust my approach to a woman who says she is not looking for a relationship? I am in my mid 30s and have gotten past the stage of chasing women just for one-night stands. I have come across some women that say early on in the conversation that they are not looking for a relationship. How should I interpret and respond to what they are saying?

A: There could be a couple reasons why the women you are talking to are saying this depending on the context. First things first, I will say that while a woman might say that she is not looking for a relationship, and may believe to be true about herself that can change if she meets a man that she is attracted to that lets her pursue him in a way that she doesn’t feel pressured about the relationship.

1) One possibility is that the woman feels she is getting the idea that you are looking for a relationship right now from you and/or what you are saying, is not attracted to you and is looking to disqualify herself as a way of rejecting you in a polite and non-confrontational manner. Depending on how the interaction is going you could just take this as a cue to move along or reset the frame and continue.

2) Another possibility is that she has recently gotten out of a relatively long-term relationship and has not been actively pursuing men or accepting advances from men when she normally would for some period of time, ranging from as little as a week or two, to maybe a few months. Since she does not think she is ready for a relationship, she wants to let you know that and see if you are ok with continuing the interaction.

I think this is a potentially ideal situation because you can have a friend with benefits type of situation that may turn into a relationship or it might turn into a close friendship where she introduces you to and helps you with other women.

In my experience this has often been an indicator of a woman who
1) Is not as emotionally needy and has a life that is already pretty full.
2) Is fiercely independent and prideful, might describe herself as a feminist, may have been raised by a single mother or views her mother as having been a strong woman and expects to be actively and equally involved in any relationships that she gets into.
3) May have had relationships before that started based on sex and then later became more of a relationship. She may take a little longer to completely open up on an emotional level and is comfortable with her ability to keep sex and emotional attachment separate.

So how should you respond? Simple agree with her. There are a couple different ways you can do this depending on your personality and the vibe that you have with her. You could be direct and seriously relate with her say something like, great, neither am I and just go on with the conversation. I often continue by saying something that agrees with them and demonstrates understanding or you could be funny and bust on her about talking about a relationship when you are not already going that direction. Just say something like, “I know, sometimes you are just not looking for a relationship and are already happy and your life is already full between work, friends, and hobbies. But a person’s still got needs …”

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Have interesting engaging conversations

One of the biggest problems I have heard guys mention is that it appears a woman is interested in them but the conversation becomes boring and then dies out. There can be many reasons for this, however the solution is learn how to lead and direct dynamic interesting conversations that build attraction and an emotional connection. To develop an interaction with a woman in a romantic way you need to be able to capture and lead her emotions and that also engages her in a challenging way. This is where it helps to have stories and routines prepared to help get past the period of initially getting to know each other and establishing some basic rapport. Having an idea of what you can say also helps you relax and pay more attention to her without worrying what to say next.

Some good routines include handwriting analysis, which is easy to learn to use and implement using a product called the grapho deck. Other routines include tarot cards, magic tricks, the cube and many more. Knowing one of two routines gives you something to do with the woman which involves her active participation, is emotionally engaging, and challenges her to prove herself in a way that goes beyond her physical appearance. Depending on the kind of routine it can take anywhere from 5 – 20 minutes early on in the conversation and it will introduce topics and reveal things about her that can provide hooks for other things you can talk about.

Another technique that you can do is ask questions that get require a deeper level of thought for her to answer them. For example if you ask a woman what she does for a living and she says that she is a teacher you can then add some depth to the conversation by asking a question like, so what is it about teaching that you find most interesting/ fascinating/ compelling. This will get her talking in a way that gets her thinking about and talking about deeper more meaningful concepts. You can then continue to build rapport by actively listening and by building upon what she says with your own stories.

Another conversational style is to have humorous banter. This is a conversational skill that you can learn to build by being cocky and by busting on her in a funny way that is challenging and shows that you do not take her too seriously. If you have a sarcastic wit you might do this naturally with friends and others that you are already close to. The key is to realize that you can talk to someone you have known only a brief period of time as if you have already known them for a longer period of time. This can build feelings of comfort and familiarity as well as create an atmosphere where you are not taking her too seriously or trying to be too nice, something that many men instinctively do when they are talking to an attractive woman.

So there you have a couple tools and approaches to creating interesting conversations. Stay tuned for more tips and techniques that develop this concept.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Be a Great Listener

Another part of being fully present is in being able to listen to what others have to say and allow them to really feel heard. One of the biggest complaints that women make about men is that they aren’t good at listening. However it has been my experience that a man who demonstrates that he is a good listener while at the same time being strong and masculine is always in demands.

While being a good listener is a powerful way to generate rapport and build an emotional connection with a woman, there may be some situations as you are first meeting a woman where fully demonstrating those skills may be limited. For example there are times when you are initially getting to know a woman before you have established the seduction frame where you want to take care that you don’t come across as too needy. However once you have established an initial degree of attraction and value for yourself you can quickly transition into establishing a connection with your listening skills.

Here are a few tips to practice to help develop your listening skills which you can practice with anyone. Developing these skills will in turn help you when it comes to meeting women and help build an emotional connection with them. As you allow the other person to feel heard your own words and communication will become that much more accepted by the other person and that they are more open to your suggestions (which can be a very good thing).

Pay attention to the person who is speaking

1) Maintain eye contact and allow other people to kind of fade into the background such that the person who is speaking to you seems to fill your field of vision. For people who aren’t used to this it might feel a little uncomfortable at first but it is effective at directing your focus and allowing the other person to feel that they have your full undivided attention.

2) Quiet your own thoughts that would distract you. This can include your rebuttal to what they would say and also any other thoughts that you may have had outside the present moment. A good way to do this is to repeat back their words in your own voice and allow yourself to create images and feelings to bring to life what they are saying.

3) Pause before replying to what the other person says, taking a breath is all the time that is usually necessary. This reinforces that you are actually listening to what the other person is saying and gives them a moment to stop and prepare to listen to you.

4) Use open body language when talking to the other person. In other words make sure that your arms and legs are uncrossed and that you are looking directly at the other person.

5) As you listen summarize and repeat back what you have heard to make sure that you have heard it accurately and to establish commonality. This can also include repeating back the words that they emphasize or lean on. You might also ask open ended questions to continue the line of thought For example she might say that a trip to Africa “expanded” her awareness of the world and of herself. You might say “so this trip really taught you a lot about yourself and how you interact with other people.” What are some other experiences that you would say have really “expanded” your awareness of the world?

6) Contribute your own interesting stories or experiences to build upon what she has said and continue the conversational topic. i.e. I also had an experience awhile back while traveling, although mine was in Europe… Or you can acknowledge what she has said and smoothly transition the conversational topic from one approach to another, i.e. I have found that in addition to traveling I have often had experiences where I can really expand myself in various ways.

Be open and non-judgmental

1) Maintain open body language, to show receptiveness to what they are saying.

2) Be aware of the other person’s body language too, are they uncomfortable talking about some things. Notice and acknowledge what they appear to be feeling. This will build rapport and give them an opportunity to share what they are feeling and change the conversation if they want.

3) If you disagree with something that the other person says always allow the other person to finish without interrupting.

4) If you disagree with them and it’s not important to you, just nod and change the subject. Or if you do disagree and think it is important to express it, do so respectfully in a way that doesn’t make them feel stupid or invalidate them as a person. Differentiate between your disagreement with the idea and your respect and acceptance of the other person.
Use softeners like “I understand where you are coming from/ I respect your opinion/ See how you could think that way, however I respectfully disagree / in my experience/ I see things this way/ have a different opinion/ disagree with that approach or idea …”

5) If you find yourself having a strong emotional reaction to something that someone has said, ask them to clarify what they said. i.e. “Ok, when you said that did you really mean to say that all men are stupid …”

So there are a few things that you can do to develop your skills as an active listener and conversationalist. You will notice that if you focus on 1 or 2 of them every day your conversations with other people will tend to become more interesting and meaningfull.

Being fully present and aware in the moment

One thing that I have noticed over the years is that the times I have been most successful at finding a woman I could really bond with was when I was fully present in the moment. By being fully present, I mean the ability to have your thoughts and awareness be of what is going on the in the present moment around you with people and events. It is common for people to be thinking of ideas in the past, the future or of something different than what is going on right in front of them with the people around them.

Not being fully present also has an impact on your awareness of what is happening with others around you. You might miss subtle social cues, including slight shifts in voice tone or body language that can cue you in on what someone is thinking or feeling. Other people might also interpret your lack of being present to disinterest.

Another possibility is that you could respond inappropriately to things that other people are saying because of the mood that you are in or the experiences that you have recently had.

While there is an abundance of information out there on the spiritual and interpersonal aspects of living in the moment and being fully present, here is an exercise you can do to help improve your overall awareness and intuition.

Pebble in the Pond exercise. Before you go out at night, imagine that your field of vision is the surface of a calm pond. Notice what happens if you drop a pebble in the pond and watch the ripples radiate outward from the center of the pond toward the outside. As the ripples radiate out toward the edge of your field of vision, notice all of the things that are going on in your peripheral vision, notice the different sounds that you can hear, how does the air feel, the fabric of your clothes. Later on in the evening when you first enter a venue do this again, the more you do this exercise the more observant you will notice you are becoming to the present environment of any place that you go to.

Another technique I will discuss another time that is goes hand in hand with this exercise is active listening. There are many things this involves but being able to focus completely on what someone else has to say and non-verbally acknowledging what they have to say is a good place to start.