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Sucker moves to avoid when dating women

This post is NOT about about communicating your Alpha-ness, it’s not about gaining the upper hand with women, and it’s not about winners and losers.

It’s tempting to think in those terms when we’ve been burned by women. Nobody wants to play the fool (even though there’s a great song about it). We would rather win than lose.

It’s just that with enough experience in this game, a man reaches a there-is-no-spoon realization: As long as you spend your time only on women who treat you with common courtesy, and you call out those who don’t, you can’t lose, no matter the result.

And while that may sound a little new-agey, there is also the very practical fact that you’ll get more women — and better ones — this way. Because they’re more likely to respect you if you respect yourself.

Here are a few examples of bad behavior you shouldn’t let women get away with when you’re first going out with them. They’ll help you screen out the good ones from the bad and guarantee you’ll be a playa, not a sucka:

The only time she can see you is while she’s out with her friends: You wouldn’t like it if you booked a five-star hotel and found out it was a hostel, would you? So beware of this logistical bait and switch.

Her friends might be funnier than the cast of “Bridesmaids,” and I might enjoy meeting them. But that’s not the objective here. On a first or second date, I want some one-on-one time to see what she’s about and possibly enjoy some physical rewards if we get along well.

All of this becomes much tougher with her friends distracting her, and usually the kind of girl who would put you in that awkward spot is someone who is socially inept or not taking you seriously. If I wanted to be treated like a secondary friend, I’d go on Facebook.

The smart move: One girl tried this with me after I’d patiently attempted to see her a second time. When I told her why meeting her at a club with her friends wasn’t a good idea, she texted, “Good job of calling me out!” I didn’t end up seeing her again, but that’s the point, isn’t it?

(Parenthetical note: I also apply this sucker move to girls who you’ve already gone out with but are only willing to see you again during day hours or at a venue that isn’t near either of your homes, assuring that nothing sexual can happen.)

She picks out a restaurant and expects you to pay: It’s cliche by now in the advice-giving world that guys shouldn’t take women out to dinner early on. I happen to agree with that cliche, unless you actually enjoy taking women out to restaurants you like and you don’t mind paying. And some women do offer in advance to pay, which is cool too.

Just understand that when a woman suggests dinner, or even drinks, and still expects you to pay for all of it, you might as well just let her reach into your pants and extract your wallet and testicles. Because she already owns them.

Check: How to leave a casual relationship

The smart move: I cook most of my dinners anyway, so on the rare cases where this comes up, I’ll simply say I have food I need to eat before it spoils, and I’ll make a counter-offer. If she’s interested in me and not the pan-seared halibut, she’ll go along with it.

Even you need to put the phone away, Charlize

You’re out with her and she won’t put her phone down: This one is becoming an epidemic in the pickup/dating world and needs to be treated as such. I’m as hooked on my iPhone as the next person, but if a woman really can’t stick her phone in her purse for an hour without reaching for it reflexively, she doesn’t need a drink. She needs some Ritalin.

The smart move: Don’t get angry or lecture her about it, but do call out her faux pas. Perhaps joke that you’ll confiscate her phone if she doesn’t put it away. Only a clueless or rude woman won’t feel guilty once you’ve done this. And at that point you can pick up your phone and call her a cab.

Letting her flake twice in a row: It’s tempting to be stricter and write her off after she cancels once. I find flakes to be like cockroaches in an apartment: where there’s one, there are probably others. Almost all of my best experiences have been with women who never flaked.

However, sometimes women will have legitimate excuses, just as I’ve had to occasionally cancel for being sick or facing some emergency. So a single-flake with an apology is fine. But to double-flake is simply disrespectful of my time, and I’d rather waste it by watching “Tree of Life.”

The smart move: Tre Tre dealt with this very well a while back. After a girl flaked on him a second time for no good reason at the last minute, he responded with a friendly text letting her know that his time is precious and that he couldn’t let her mess up his plans again, but that maybe he’d run into her sometime at the bar where they met. Of course, she reacted by practically banging down his door for a date, but Tre still refused. He could see the drama that would have awaited.

She rejects your ideas for where to go, without a good reason: I’ve had very few bad dates in my illustrious career, but a classic first date involved this girl who, as it turned out, would only drink Champagne … as in, it had to be from the Champagne region of France. She practically threw a fit at the first bar because they didn’t have it, and she turned down my ideas for other venues for the same reason.

This is an extreme example, but I find that if a woman repeatedly says no to a guy’s ideas and doesn’t offer a good one of her own, this doesn’t bode well for how well-adjusted she’s going to be.

The smart move: It took me longer than it would now because I was still inexperienced, but later that night I told her she seemed more interested in the Champagne than me, and I practically jumped out of the cab we were in. Standing up for yourself is sweeter than any bubbly drink.

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