Aside from tackling approach anxiety, I coach a lot of guys on how to keep women once they’ve started dating.
We’ve all been there. You finally garner the interest of a woman you actually like. She was hard to come by but she can be even harder to hold.
If you haven’t read it yet, a good place to start is my article Advanced Tactics to Turn Back the Tide. But here are a few more thoughts and tactics.
Let’s say the you’re more into her. She’s unsure of you, as a lot of women are at the beginning of the relationship. You’re stepping on the gas pedal. You don’t let up. You’re always there when she texts. You pick up the phone first ring.
She’s going to end up slowing things down by throwing a few wrenches in the machinery. She’ll be unavailable. She’ll respond less to texts, etc.
However, if the you are throwing a few of your own wrenches in the machinery, it can take down her levels of resistance because she won’t feel like she has to be the one constantly throwing wrenches in the machinery.
I had a girlfriend who told me a story about when she was in high school. She was super into a guy. She pined over him. Thought about him all the time.
One day she was sitting in the living room watching TV with her dad. The phone rings. She picks it up. It’s the guy she likes. He asks her if she wants to go out sometime. She says No.
I asked her why she said no if she was into him. She said she didn’t know why. She just felt like she had to say no.
It was because she needed to add resistance once there wasn’t any resistance on his part.
But Eric, I don’t want to play games! Doesn’t there come a point in the relationship where you can stop playing games?
The answer is that there is never a time in the relationship when you stop “playing games.”
Yes, the games slow down a lot.
But you always want to maintain some air of mystery.
There always has to be some tiny bit of doubt in her mind about you.
When you begin to trust each other, those games start to become sparser and sparser to the point where you rarely need to do anything.
But if you all of a sudden start to act like you don’t need to do anything to maintain that mystery and intrigue, she’ll start to get bored–particularly at the start of the relationship.
Here are some tips to keep the intrigue going or to spark it back up if you feel you’re losing her.
As always, this requires calibration. Sometimes a little goes a long way. If things are going well, you don’t need to throw too many spices in the pot.
But if you’re losing her, you might want to add a lot.
Be ready to call it quits. No matter how great this woman is, if she’s your only option and you treat her that way, she’ll feel it. Desperation is the worst cologne. Keep your options open if you aren’t yet exclusive with her. Keep going out and talking with other women. Keep dating other women. You don’t need to tell her about it, but you’ll feel much more confident and less clingy if you feel like you have other options. Of all the ‘tactics’ here, this will most naturally change your behavior to make you feel and act less clingy. If your mindset is completely focused on her, no matter what outward tactics you use to try to get her to change her behavior, your desperation will seep through and she’ll feel it.
Watch how much initiative you’re taking. Taking initiative means that you’re the first one to text her that day, that you’re the first one to invite her out when you are texting, etc. Let her take some initiative. If you text her out of the blue one day, wait for her to text you first the next day or the day after. If you are the one to always invite her out, let her invite you out sometimes. If she doesn’t, it’s a huge indicator that there’s not enough there to go on.
This ‘tactic’ is not just a tactic. It is also a gauge of her interest in you. If she’s not interested enough in you, you’ll want to call it quits. To hang on to a woman who’s not interested enough in you can waste weeks, months, years of your life as you chase your tail. Every guy, no matter how good he is with women, has to cut his losses sometimes and move on. If you don’t move on when it’s time, not only will you waste valuable time, but your confidence will slowly be crushed and it may take years to recover.
Watch your time in returning texts. Calibrate your time in responding to her first text. Sometimes you’ll want to respond right away to a text. Sometimes you’ll wait 5, 10 or 15 minutes responding. Sometimes an hour or two or six. Be unpredictable, especially at the start. Once you start texting, you can sometimes text back quicker, but as a rule of thumb, don’t text back quicker than she does.
Don’t write too much in a text message. Take a careful look at how much you’re writing her in every text. If she’s writing three words and you’re writing three sentences, pull back. Don’t write more than she is.
Avoid questions in text. Another rule of thumb I have when texting is to consider what the effect would be if she didn’t respond to your text. For example, if you text, “Hey, do you want to go out on Friday?” and she doesn’t respond at all, it’s devastating to your position. It could take weeks to reel her back in from something like that. Instead, try texting, “Friday. There’s some fun brewing” or some other statement rather than a question.
Leave her wanting more. If possible you should always be the one to end interactions. You are far better off erring on the side of ending the date too early than too late. You can always pick it up another day. If you sleep with her, you should be the one to kick her out that night or in the morning. Give her a slap on the ass and playfully say, “Okay, I’m kicking your ass out.” If you’re talking on the phone, be the one to end the phone call first.
If you’re texting, the rule is the opposite: You want her to text last. That leaves her wondering if you liked her text or if you still want more from her.
Be unpredictable and mysterious. You should sometimes be unavailable. Once in a while, take a lot longer to return a text or wait until the next day to reply. Be mysterious about why you can’t hang out sometimes. Instead of saying, “I can’t hang out Thursday because I have to take my mother to the doctor,” say “Something came up. Can’t hang out Thursday.” This may go against your instinct to care for her feelings, but over-explaining destroys mystery.
If you are going to step on the gas pedal, you are usually safe being sexual. As I stated in Advanced Tactics to Turn Back the Tide, avoid validating her. Don’t compliment her too much. If you do rarely compliment her, it should be for something she does, rather than her looks. But even then, if you are losing this girl, don’t compliment. The one big exception to this rule is being sexual with her. You are almost always safe being sexual rather than emotional with her. You can ask her, “Are you wearing something cute today?” and “What are you wearing underneath what you’re wearing?” If she doesn’t respond to sexual overtures, you usually haven’t lost much. Obviously, you don’t want to overdo this but it won’t make her feel as crowded as when she rebuffs emotional overtures.
In general, the newer the relationship, the more fun and light you want to keep things. Banter a lot. Use cocky funny (“Did you miss me? How did you survive without me?”). Don’t get mushy with her. Don’t tell her ‘how you feel’. Don’t do relationship type things like invite her to a family event. Let her do those things first and even then, be very cautious to reciprocate. A guy can much more easily turn a woman off by showing too much interest than vice versa. This is because for her, confidence, status and self-sufficiency play a much larger role in her attraction for you than it does in your attraction for her.
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