A reader writes in a comment on the post about building emotional connections:
"This worked great with a beautiful young lady I was interested in. We had many things in common. She got presumptuous and began whining & nagging about her car repairs. I was a gentleman throughout yet she felt perfectly entitled to tool me!! How would you treat her inappropriate request? Oh I forgot to mention this demand was asked of me after the third date..."
That's an unfortunate outcome for our reader, losing a girl he had a great connection with to presumptuous requests, but it's all too common a scenario, and it's one that gives us an outstanding jumping off point for getting into a meaty topic: dealing with dating situations where women complain, try to get stuff from you, and push to use you.
For the relationship equivalent of this phenomenon, check out "Women and Drama." What I want to talk to you about today is dealing with this when it happens on dates -- and how you can sidestep, shut down, and otherwise flummox women's attempts to get favors and "gain the upper hand," so to speak.
I think you'll find it invaluable.
Audacity or Autopilot?
Our reader is rightly frustrated at the attempts of this young lady he'd begun dating to get help with her car repairs. He feels that she's trying to "use" him; he even goes so far as to call her behavior "presumptuous."
But is this behavior on her part due to her simply being incredible audacious... or is something else going on?
Whenever you're dealing with other people, it's helpful to keep in mind that most of the time, people are running on autopilot. They continually sense and check and scan and assess others' behavior, and they adjust their requests and expectations accordingly.
As it were, if a woman senses that a man's desirability as a mate has decreased, but that he retains some value as a potential provider of other services, she'll begin pushing for him to help her instead of for them to get together.
As you know if you've been following this blog a while, I'm a staunch proponent of moving fast with women. I'm firmly a believer these days that if you haven't slept with a girl by the end of the second date, it isn't likely to happen at all. In fact, I think the odds of sleeping with a girl drop so precipitously after the first date that if I've failed to make it happen myself by that point, I'll quite usually give up the ghost and move on to more promising prospects.
Basically, what I'd say is, if you find yourself on Date #3 and the vibe is anything other than, "It's so ridiculously on that the instant we're alone we're going to be tearing each others' clothes off," then you've probably (unfortunately) found your way into the friends zone.
And once you're in the friends zone, women start treating you very differently.
Gone is the respect and deference a man gets when he's viewed as a potential partner. Instead, he becomes someone clearly in pursuit, and someone the woman calls the shots with and actively "extracts" value from.
Being "friends" with girls often isn't very nice.
But this isn't because women are mean or manipulative. To the contrary; they often don't even consciously consider their actions. They just act. They're running on autopilot.
So, when a girl finds herself on a date with a tennis instructor, and realizes she isn't terribly attracted to him, she's going to ask him for free tennis lessons. If he says yes, well, that's awesome -- she's just gotten some free lessons! If he says no, well, no loss; she wasn't all that interested in him anyway.
Men, sensing this imbalance in power, quite often capitulate to these requests and give women what they ask for. This is something referred to on this site as supplication.
Our reader sensed that this power shift had occurred -- early on, his girl had been attracted to him, and the two of them had successfully bonded emotionally on a variety of topics.
Then, suddenly, things changed. She began complaining about problems she was having, and fishing for his help in solving them. All because this happened:
As too much time went on without the two becoming lovers, attraction gradually declined down to next-to-nothing. Simultaneously, as happens with most reasonably accomplished or interesting men, our hero's utility -- or usefulness -- to this girl steadily increased.
And eventually, his usefulness to her outranked her attraction to him, and he became more appropriate to her as someone to fish for favors and resources from and to bring her complaints and problems to than as someone she'd take on as a lover.
Remember, attraction has an expiration date -- it almost always starts dropping within 10 to 30 minutes of having first met a girl. There're tons of dating instruction manuals out there proposing to teach you how to "ramp up attraction" you're getting from women, but this thinking is really flawed.
Getting girls isn't about making them more attracted. It's about doing something with the attraction you first get initially.
Can you increase attraction? Yes, certainly. In most cases, will you be able to? No.
Learning how to rebuild attraction when it's been lost is certainly a valuable skill to have. But it's sort of like learning how to rebuild a lead in a race after you've lost it -- better first to learn how to keep the leads you get and turn those leads into victories.
What it turns out being is that most of the time when you get women complaining and whining and nagging and requesting favors and seeming like they're trying to get one up on you or "tool" you, it's because you've passed the point where your utility to a girl has exceeded her attraction for you.
Things That Increase Utility... At Attraction's Expense
Back in November, I had a date with a girl I met on a bus. We went to a grocery store near my house, she bought a lot of food to cook me a meal, and we headed back to my apartment. We had a very strong sexual vibe between the two of us; I was pretty certain this one was in the bag. When we got back, she cooked me food, and we sat and talked.
I'd just broken up with my girlfriend of a few months, and I was somewhat off my game and moving a little too slowly. At the same time, this girl from the bus asked me what I did -- and I made the mistake of telling her in a little too much detail.
As it turned out, I worked in an industry that she needed assistance in very much and where quite typically consultations cost a great deal of money. She began pressing me for my help, complaining how hard it was to succeed on her own, asking me to use my services for free.
"You can help me," she told me, "and in exchange, I can cook you some good food! Okay?" she asked.
I was a little taken aback. "Uh, sounds great," I said half-heartedly.
"Okay!" she exclaimed. Instantly, I realized I'd dug my own grave.
Still, I figured what the heck, let's take a shot regardless. I let a few minutes pass so it wouldn't feel like my actions were tied to her enthusiasm, and then I leaned in and pulled her toward me to kiss.
"No!" she yelled, then jumped up, smiling. "It's time for me to leave," she said. She quickly gathered up her things, then headed to the door and slipped on her shoes. "Call me when you can help me, and I will cook you some food!" she ordered me, and left.
Needless to say, I never talked to her again, but I didn't kid myself about it -- that was my fault. I'd moved too slow, sacrificing attraction -- and I'd raised my utility to her too high. In the end, I was more useful to her as a connection than I was as a potential short-term lover, so the chance we had to get together got quashed.
The moral of that story though is that even where there's strong attraction, if you raise utility enough, it can supplant attraction as the dominant value you have to potentially provide to a woman's life.
Here are some of the ways you can end up being useful to a woman other than as a lover:
- Being a great, supportive friend
- Providing insider knowledge, tips, or support
- Being the guy who puts the party together, or knows where it is
- Becoming a fixture in her life / someone who plays a role in her life
- Providing gifts, trips, or other free stuff
- Offering to help her with something important in the future
There's one other terrible combination of factors when it comes to the attraction-utility scale, too: that generally, as a woman spends more time with a man without him taking her to bed, she becomes increasingly "acclimated" to him and accustomed to him as a man she isn't intimate with, leading to a decline in attraction, while simultaneously she gets to know him more and more, discovering ever more ways he can be useful to her.
In other words, the longer you know a gal, normally, the less attraction she'll feel for you and the more useful you'll appear to her.
Yet another reason why -- if I'm not beating a dead horse by saying it here -- you've got to move fast.
4 Ways to Stop Women Complaining and Using You
So how do you stop a girl from complaining about the problems in her life, pushing you to help fix them, and trying to use you as her problem solver -- instead of take you as her lover?
I'm going to list out a handful of things you can do here that will each make a noticeable difference -- and will collectively, provided you implement them all, virtually stop complaining, nagging, and pushing dead in its tracks. Instead of women pushing you to do things for them, you'll end up with women pushing you to do things to them.
Each of these tactics falls on one or the other side of the attraction-utility scale: keeping attraction up, or keeping utility down.
- Stop talking about your skills, career, and accomplishments. This one falls on the "keeping down utility" side of things. Using humbleness to make yourself seem like a more powerful, attractive guy also avoids giving a woman the things to latch onto to start seeing you as a useful one.
- Get good at thread-cutting. Mentioned in the post on being a conversationalist, thread-cutting is a conversational technique that allows you to change topics on the fly. So the instant a girl starts lamenting how tough it is trying to learn how to design a website and how great it would be if someone would help her learn, you can say, "It is kind of tough, yeah. What kind of creative things are you good at yourself? Drawing, painting, stuff like that?" and you're talking about something else.
- Be too busy to help. Obviously, this needs to be handled in a socially shrewd way, but when a girl says something to you like, "Can you help me with putting together this new furniture I got?" and you respond with, "I wish I could, I'm just swamped right now and don't really have any free time," you sidestep getting shunted quickly off to the "useful guy" area. Additionally, women usually just complain about problems and angle at things obliquely to try and elicit your offers for help without them outright asking you for your help. So, pretend you don't notice them angling for you to offer help, and instead, just continue on with your conversation as planned, and...
- Take girls to bed fast. Why? Because you get them ideally while their attraction is still high and they're still fantasizing about being with you, and while utility is still low and they don't know much about how you can help them. You succeed at wrapping up both aspects of the spectrum together.
The cool thing is, for the most part, these instructions are all easily applicable right away. With an exception for some guys of getting girls to bed fast (e.g., beginners who really aren't ready for that stage just yet), these adjustments can all be made right away and attraction can start being preserved while utility is effectively thwarted. This'll stop complaining, lamenting, and pleading for help in its tracks -- and allows you to save attraction at the expense of being a useful but attraction-free fixture in someone's life.
Talk to you soon.