A word about relating to her

by GK on June 19, 2009 · 3 comments

It’s mailbag day, boys and girls. Today’s question is brought to me by Jude, who shares a problem he’s having lately: telling a woman how he can relate to her:

“Lately my game has been doing good except for one little thing: relating in emotion. I do get closes though but after doing some (open-ended questions) there are times I just can’t find anything to relate, and other times when women just lose focus while I’m trying to relate to them.

I’ve done the exercises about relating an emotion to a life experience but it is still pretty hard.
So would you say it’s something that I’ll get used to and calibrate with more practice or am I missing something here?”

I’m not the first to say this, but relating to women’s emotions or statements resembles the tonsils of our method — it’s a small part that you don’t need, especially in the early stages. Somewhere along the way, people gave relating a lot more importance than Wayne Elise ever gave it, though our more recent instructors have done a great job of fixing that. Personally, I avoid the topic altogether with students and stick to the Big Four.

I have strong thoughts on this subject because I was one of those guys trying to relate to what women said and looking for “deep rapport” after my bootcamp in ’06. The result of this was that my interactions were too safe, and not sexy enough.

For guys like me who are already the sensitive sort — and many of my students fit this category — relating to emotions can be absolute death. In the search for deep rapport,  they ask too many questions and come off as approval-seeking and soft. 

Look at this from a woman’s perspective (I know, I’m not a woman, but humor me). What would she think of a guy who keeps insisting he’s just like her? Imagine she just met this guy in the produce aisle, and he starts asking her questions, trying to find something to relate to:

Guy: So how’s your day going?

Girl: OK, I’m a little stressed out I guess. I have a lot of work today.

Guy: Oh, I can relate to that! I was stressed out when I was trying to decide what to wear to my friend’s wedding. But I was so in awe of the grandeur of the wedding when I looked at all the people there, and I felt a deep bond of kinship with him at that moment. But I like that you keep busy, I find that sexy about you. What’s your passion?

Girl: My what?

Guy: Your passion in life?

Girl: Um, I don’t know what my passion is. I’m just trying to shop here.

Guy: Yeah, um, I can so relate to not knowing something. I didn’t know what to order at the restaurant the other day …

OK, you get my drift. Perhaps this is an exaggerated example, but I’ve seen guys try this exact strategy — questions followed by him relating to something she said, done over and over again — and get nowhere fast with it. This is what my former mentor Rob called “passive game.”

Active game, on the other hand, includes having the guts to put ourselves out there first and get her to relate to me with statements. This is a lot more believable and attractive to a woman, and Wayne calls it “Nostradamus Theory” because we’re talking enough about ourselves that she’s bound to relate to something and ask us questions. I like what Wayne says about relating: ” When a guy approaches a woman and tries to relate, she becomes suspicious. It just doesn’t ring true.  It’s much better if you allow connection to find you.”

This isn’t to say I avoid relating to women entirely. I can think of great times to relate to someone. But when I do relate, it’s more of a subconscious thing and we’ve already established a connection by then. And I long-ago abandoned deep rapport for fun rapport when I’m meeting someone.

So bottom line, if you’re still on the beginner’s path, I strongly suggest focusing on making yourself relatable, not relating to her.

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Whether it’s under the Transamerica Building or the Empire State Building, San Francisco and New York are two of America’s most flirt-friendly cities. But how do they differ when it comes to meeting women? I gave our New York instructor, Eastside Mike, a call to discuss it on the GK Shares Game podcast.

Mike talks about how he handles the more aggressive scene in New York, and I touch on the importance of being blunt with San Francisco women about our interest, even if it requires a sledgehammer. We also mention favorite daytime pickup spots.

(By the way, one term you’ll hear a few times in the podcast is “AMOG.” For the uninitiated, it’s an industry term to describe aggressive guys who try to out-alpha the other guy when they’re talking to the same girl.)

And if you have your own thoughts on these two cities or your own, I’d love to hear comments on it. Enjoy!

Podcast with Eastside Mike

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A song for summer flirting

by GK on June 15, 2009 · 1 comment

The Monday after a bootcamp, especially one after I’ve traveled as I did this past weekend, is a day of rest for me — a chance for my feet and voice to heal and to get my mind off attractive women for just a few hours.

So today, as I often do, I’m relaxing over some music, and I thought I’d share a track with you. I think I’ll be a music critic in my next life — I spend more time than I should scouring for obscure tunes online. This one is a remix of a recent song called “Love the Nite Away,” and it’s seven minutes of heart-on-sleeve seduction.

It’s not just a killer mid-tempo dance song, but also a vivid portrayal: a dance party, I’m guessing in summertime and on the beach, where a guy takes us through his encounter with a woman, and all the excitement, anxiety, unpredictability and joy that comes with it. My hunch is that back in the States they’re both uptight young bankers, but they’re letting their hair down in the Bahamas.

“Got this magic in the air / Will it last or is it gonna be a one-time love affair?” Our deep-voiced narrator doesn’t know, but either way sounds fun. Sure, it has some cheesy lyrics too, but the women I’ve been with can tell you I like my romance with a side of cheese.

Above all, I like this song for reminding me how universal the fun of meeting someone is. This stuff  isn’t some secret that those of us who have studied attraction are in on. It’s something teenagers and old people and everyone in between yearns for or remembers fondly. And with the weather heating up, the song is a hell of a summertime call to get out there and make something happen.

DJ Kaos — Love the Nite Away (Tiedye Mix)

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OK, so it wasn’t quite the ending to “Kill Bill, Vol. 1”, but I did leave you on a bit of a cliffhanger with Part I of my guide to girls with boyfriends. Here’s the rest:

Do not diss the guy. Even if she’s doing it. He is still her boyfriend, after all, and if you ridicule him, you may be ridiculing her taste. I won’t sing the guy’s praises, either, but I’ll just stay neutral on him. What I might do, and this is a little devious, is use a little “marble theory” — that is, relate the cracks in her relationship to ones I’ve had.

For instance, the obvious crack with the law-school girl from my previous post was that her boyfriend lived 3,000 miles away, and I could tell she was unhappy about it. Otherwise, she said she was into the guy and had never cheated, so this was no easy case. I went ahead and talked about my past long-distance relationships (I made none of this up), and how difficult they were.

Be patient if she makes you wait. I respect a girl who doesn’t want to cheat on her guy — that could be me someday, after all. And for a high-quality woman, I’m OK with waiting a little while. Even though the law school girl and I left the club together the night we met, I made no physical move on her that night — or the following time we hung out — because even though she found me attractive, she said we could only be friends.

While you’re being patient, keep a spark lit. Guys dread being put in the “friend zone” by a woman, but this isn’t necessarily the kiss of death. Sometimes, it’s just a way to keep you around until she makes up her mind.

The trick is to never lose that flirty vibe you had when you met her, even if you’re friends for the moment. This is a great time for sexual barriers. In my case, I made sure she knew I was still interested, which was easy to do because I was more attracted to her than I’d been to anyone else in years. Also, we had a great outlet: dancing. From the moment we met, we had a sexual chemistry on the dance floor, and it gave us a way to be intimate without even kissing. Eventually, the tension became so sexually charged that we couldn’t resist.

In fact, when I asked her later why she did give in, she gave two reasons: my interest, and our dancing. (Funny, she made no mention of my karaoke singing.)

Keep your distance, and keep your ego in check. On the other hand, the girl may give you no resistance at all. But either way, as long as you’re still her No. 2 and not No. 1, don’t get delusions of grandeur. Make sure she understands that you’re not going to call her every day or try to see her on Saturday nights if her boyfriend is around. A woman’s life is a delicate china shop, so don’t trample it.

It was a blow to my pride that I had to wait — she even knew I was an instructor! — but the experience made me more comfortable with being humble. There was a moment of true honesty, before we’d finally hooked up, when I was having drinks with her and being quiet, and she asked me what I was thinking. “I’m wishing you didn’t have a boyfriend,” I said. And to those who say I was “demonstrating low value” by saying that, I say you have much to learn.

Know when to let her lead. Because her logistics are trickier, it will sometimes be up to the woman to propose a place or day to meet. And if things haven’t escalated yet but you’ve made your interest clear, she might help you to do this. If she proposes going to your place for a cup of tea, for instance, she probably has something more on her mind.

Be prepared for any outcome. She may leave the guy for you after you’ve hooked up, and she may not. Women have all kinds of reasons for staying in relationships, and love isn’t always one of them. On the other hand, you might want to maintain the status quo while she wants to get serious, in which case you’ll probably need to move on. With my recent experience, I knew all along she was likely to move away, and when it happened, I wistfully accepted it.

But I consider it like any other experience with women: we’re better off enjoying the song than wondering what’s next on the playlist.

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If there’s one thing I’ll say about dating in San Francisco, it does present dilemmas and opportunities that a guy is unlikely to find in other big cities. In some future post, I’ll discuss how incestuous the dating pool is here — not in an Alabama kind of way, but more in a “Real World vs. Road Rules” kind of way.

But today’s topic is girls with boyfriends, which is another common ingredient in our singles scene, and perhaps yours as well. If you’re following the Big Four that I teach at my bootcamps, then you know the importance of learning a woman’s logistics. I teach guys some simple and direct ways to find out a woman’s situation, which in case you don’t know is very valuable information when meeting someone. (Just try getting a girl to answer the phone if you haven’t found out she has a boyfriend.)

But let’s say you’ve done all that  correctly — you spotted the stunning redhead, you have a great interaction going, you’ve shown her some sexual interest after she impressed you with her knowledge of “Anchorman” quotes, and now you ask the big question: “What’s your relationship situation?” And alas, you don’t get the answer you’re looking for.

This happened to me earlier this year with a beautiful law school graduate who I met on a dance floor. And although the ending was ultimately a sad one (she moved away to live with her boyfriend), we had some fun in the meantime. Here’s a basic guideline to consider when you face this conundrum:

Calibrate to your environment. Meeting someone who lives in your town is one thing. But if you’re partying in Vegas or she’s visiting your town alone, and she’s looking to fool around, she’s probably not going to want to talk much about her situation back home. Women will give a brief synopsis — “Yeah, I have a boyfriend but it’s no big deal” — and I’ll focus on just having fun after that.

Be honest about your disappointment when she tells you. Sure, you can protect your ego by saying something cocky like, “Wow, I don’t know how you found a guy!” But I think that just comes off as weak. My standard response is to not cry in Kleenex over it, but to simply say in an upbeat tone, “That’s bad news for me.” Because, it is, so why hide it? And on a more selfish note, if I genuinely flatter a woman who’s taken, she just might make an exception for me.

Whatever you do, don’t copy this guy’s technique.

Respond by talking about your situation a little. This follows the “talk about yourself” portion of the Big Four, and it humanizes me a little. Now I’m not just a horny stranger, but I’m a single guy who has had girlfriends in the past and misses having someone to pillow-fight with in bed, but who is also enjoying the freedom of planning a New York trip on a whim. This is likely to make her more comfortable telling me more about herself. Speaking of which …

Find out if she’s happy with him. You can save yourself a lot of time here. I just toss out a neutral question like, “How’s the relationship going?” Before I’d tried that route, I was skeptical — no way a girl’s going to tell a strange guy if she’s unhappy with her boyfriend. But if you haven’t tried it, you might be surprised at how honest women are on this subject.

If she tells you she loves him and is happy with him, I suggest you stop. Do not pass Go. There’s very little chance she’s going to cheat on him, and aside from that, I do have a conscience sometimes. I believe in karma and I don’t want to wreck a good relationship, and that’s why I rarely pursue someone who’s taken. I’d prefer to make friends with her — having hot female friends is a good thing, by the way — and possibly get introduced to one of her attractive friends.

On the other hand, a woman who’s unhappy with her boyfriend and is looking to upgrade will often be honest about this. At that point, it’s a matter of how comfortable you are with going for it. For me, I only want to chase that bird if she seems like someone really special, and she’s more than just a one-time fling. My law-school student passed that test, which is why I was so persistent with her.

Look for Part II for the rest of my tips on this matter.

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The death of phone game

by GK on May 21, 2009 · 2 comments

My favorite comedy of all time is probably “Swingers” — I dare you to find me a better guy movie — though I find it unfortunate that just 15 years later, it’s sadly outdated. Swing revival is long over, “Vegas baby” is played out, and that oh-so-painful answering machine scene would likely never happen today. Mikey would have texted the girl.

I’ve handled lots of questions from guys about calling girls, and this forum thread is an example of my advice. If no one has said it yet, allow me to be the coroner and declare it: phone game, as singles knew it for decades, is dead. Technology may have killed my beloved newspapers, but it has given men greater options to contact the women we meet, and calling them is rarely necessary anymore.

For guys like me, who have stared at the phone for hours before leaving cringe-inducing voice mails, this is great news and a time-saver. Of the many dates I’ve had this year, most of them have been arranged by simply exchanging a text message or two. Some were even made over e-mail or Facebook. And perhaps two were done over the phone as well.

I no longer have to worry about games of phone tag, in which the vibe can cool off if we don’t speak soon enough. I don’t find the flake rate to be any worse than it was when I was making calls. As long as our in-person connection was good, the dates usually stick.

Of course, for you purists who prefer the phone, there’s no need to fret — you can stick to the old-fashioned way and still make it work. It really doesn’t matter whether you text, call or use smoke signals — as with everything else, technique takes a back seat to charisma. Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • I recommend that guys send a text message within 24 hours after they first meet a woman. During that meeting, you should have made it clear that you want to see her again, and ideally you’ve already discussed your first date. This way, your contacting her is merely a formality.
  • If you made a good connection with the girl in person, she’ll be more likely to respond whichever way you contact her. But if you see that she’s quick to respond over text, you can safely presume she’ll make plans over text as well. At this point I simply propose a time and place for us to meet, and that’s usually all it takes.
  • Don’t get caught up in silly texting games. Just because a woman talks dirty to you over text doesn’t mean you’ve hit the jackpot — if you don’t set concrete plans soon after you meet, you may simply become her text-flirting buddy, which is not a good place to be.
  • I’ve made post-first-date plans over Facebook, but unless you’re in college or hip with technology, I don’t recommend using social-networking sites initially with a woman. Once you become one of her 523 Facebook friends, you could get lost in the shuffle. And do you really want her seeing that pic of you at the porn convention?
  • If you’re still clinging to that three-day rule from “Swingers,” it’s time to let go. You should be reaching her right away, while the iron is still hot. It won’t make you look needy unless you really are needy.
  • If a woman will only give you her e-mail address, get her to step up, or walk away.

The bottom line is this: whatever way you prefer reaching a woman, you should not be using it to “game” her — the heavy lifting should have been done in person. I consider the phone a means to an end, with the end involving the two of us in person. Just be able to lead her to that — ideally to watching “Swingers” at your place.

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When I first heard that fellow Charisma Arts instructor Greg (yes, we have two Gregs) had entered an exclusive relationship with a girl he met at a video store, my first reaction was the same as anyone else’s: people still go to video stores?

My second reaction was to get him on the GK Shares Game podcast, and we had an exchange that I think you’ll enjoy, whether or not you’re thinking of finding a girlfriend. Greg takes us step by step through his relationship, from the initial meeting (he was feeling sick and she was at the store with her friend) to the day they decided to go steady.

We cover several common questions raised by guys interested in long-term relationships, such as how often to see her initially, how to avoid coming on too strong, and how the game changes after you get exclusive.

A warning for those with weak stomachs: Greg does gush over his girl a lot. Be prepared.

Podcast with Greg

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On being in the moment

by GK on May 12, 2009 · 4 comments

A lot of guys worry about what to talk about with a woman … hell, I remember the dark ages of my mid-20s, when I would write down conversation topics before a date and keep a cheat sheet in my pocket. Somehow, it didn’t help.


Her milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

I don’t worry about that anymore. Sure, I’ll hit some occasional dead spots with a girl, but that’s natural, and even something for the two of us to laugh at. (I often tell her about this scene in “Pulp Fiction”). Wayne Elise, my boss, talks a lot about being in the moment, and I’m a big believer in that. Why plot out conversation topics beforehand when you can just look around you?

Case in point: I was on a second date recently that had gotten off to a slow start. Don’t tell her this, but I think it’s partially because I’d been with another girl earlier that day. Sometimes, that sort of thing throws off the chemistry — I forget which inside jokes were with which girl. But I got my date back on track by observing another date with her.

Seated on the other side of our couch was a couple that didn’t seem to be having fun. I don’t read too much into body language, but the girl had her arms crossed almost the entire time. So my girl and I started having our own “Mystery Science Theater” and pretending to know what the two were saying to each other. Call me a vulture, but I used the death of one date to give life to my own, and we had a lot of fun the rest of the night.

I’ve played out similiar exchanges many times. I might play “name that tune” with her based on what the bar is playing, or I might look around at other groups and debate with her about whether they were popular in high school. One time we looked at other women, and if they were wearing high heels, we decided they were looking for men. The list goes on.

I think it’s important to have a personal conversation where we get to know each other — without that we can’t connect. But by focusing on the present, we’re doing things together, which is where adventure is made.  

I’ll be sure to add more examples of being in the moment in future posts.

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