In "Time Efficiency Done Right," Michal asks the following about how to be unpredictable:
I can't stress enough how your site helped me and opened my eyes. I feel you spend less time on projects because you have great analytic skills and you come up with solution pretty fast while others take hours to think it through.
I have been thinking, could you write a post on How to be unpredictable/not to be predictable? It struck me the other day when I was talking with a female friend - I am too predictable. So I used search and I only found some shattered information here and on forum too. I found on other sites that good technique for this is Push/Pull which you already wrote about. But you said that push/pull is only to increase attraction, not to build it. I know the core of the issue (being predictable), it kills attraction, they are not excited and you are slotted as a boring person. But I dont really know what should I do about this. Make her guessing? And how? Like not saying things outright? Tell her "Ah, now I know why your pink skirt does not seem right to me". She asks why and then I should say like.. "Maybe if you behave good today, I will tell you." Should I start saying "Maybe" more? And answering with: "Maybe I will, maybe I won't" And what other things should I keep in mind? Because I feel it's what women want in a man among other traits - to be able to surprise them even after 5 years in a relationship.
Push-pull and hinting at things while not fully revealing them build intrigue, which contributes to unpredictability. These are good. And yes, I do use the word "Maybe" quite a lot with women. It's a great answer when you're being pressed for details on something that doesn't help you to answer, and you can add in all kinds of sexual undertones.
But there's a good bit more to unpredictability than these tactics.
This one's an especially interesting topic for me, largely because I love strategy. My favorite computer games were always the ones that demanded the most attention to being strategic - games like Age of Empires and StarCraft were at the top of my list. And my favorite board games likewise - Chess and Risk reigning supreme for me there.
Unpredictability has a very large strategic component to it - because, in learning how to be unpredictable, one must also learn the limits: how much unpredictability is enough?
How much is too much?
Because in this respect, your degree of unpredictability is much like your driving speed: too little compared to someone else and you're a snooze, too much compared to someone else and you're a mad man.
A man walks into a bar.
Asks the first woman he sees if she wants to get out of there.
"I was here first," she replies. "Why should I be the one to leave?"
We enjoy unpredictability because it shakes us out of running in autopilot and forces us to pay attention and think. Unpredictability rivets us back into the real world, thinking and feeling and sensing as if for the first time.
The more familiar with something you become, typically speaking, the less you enjoy it. As the patterns become familiar to your brain, the brain spends less and less time and energy trying to decipher these new patterns, and everything is something it's seen a hundred times before.
This is a big part of why chase framing works so well at establishing attraction and intrigue with a woman... it isn't expected, and it flies in the face of what she's learned with time normally happens when she talks to men.
Usually, they pursue her, and she gives chase.
When a man breaks this mold, it's unpredictable, refreshing, and amusing.
It makes her think and feel.
And the more familiar a woman is with the standard repertoire of being approached and courted, the better able you must be at doing and being unfamiliar enough that she is intrigued... but not so unfamiliar that she is put off or finds you unrelatable.
Most Men: Too Predictable
In "Turn On Your Girlfriend with Raw Sexual Enthusiasm," I talked about the standard pattern many men follow with women they're seeing:
- She comes over
- They talk for a while
- They eat dinner
- They relax and watch a movie
- They get ready for bed
- Just before falling asleep, they have sex
There's nothing exciting about this; it doesn't make her wonder what will happen, or try to guess at what time which thing will occur.
Instead, she quickly learns exactly how things are going to go, and intrigue quickly wanes.
And what happens when the same script gets followed again and again and again?
And boredom is the complete opposite to attraction.
You're better off if she hates you than if she's bored with you. At least hate is an emotion... we can work with that.
With boredom, there's just nothing there.
She feels nothing.
Nothing except, "Someone please save me!" that is.
Not only do most men not know how to be unpredictable, but most men don't even try. The most most men do to be unpredictable is to buy their girlfriend flowers every once in a blue moon.
How uninspired, and cliché.
Some Men: Too Unpredictable
At the other end of the spectrum are the men who are totally unpredictable. These are the guys who are professing their undying devotion to a girl one day, and then they're running off for a vacation in Rome with an Italian girl they just met at the train station the next.
They say they're going to pick a girl up for a date, then flake on her and don't even bother to text her they won't show up. Then later when she texts them about this, they call her back apologizing profusely, with dramatic-sounding reasons for why they missed the appointment.
They'll be having a nice conversation with her in a café one day, then suddenly erupt into a string of obscenities at the waiter for getting their order all wrong. Then they'll calm back down, thank the waiter, and go back to the conversation.
Women have different reactions to this kind of personality. Some are completely put off by it immediately... others find it initially vexing, and intriguing; a challenge to be overcome. A wild stallion to tame.
These men are too unpredictable. They'll often have brief, tumultuous relationships, but never anything stable, and never anything that lasts all that long.
Their lives are long series of fiery, passionate trysts that flame out with anger, accusations, hurt feelings, and finger pointings.
Often they wonder why they can't maintain anything longer term, or yearn for a girl who'll "stick around" even though they themselves won't.
If you're reading an article about how to be unpredictable, chances are this isn't your problem. However, it's worth being aware that it absolutely IS possible to have too much of what's normally a good thing here, and that while you're tweaking your predictability to be a little lower than what it is right now, swinging too far to the other extreme isn't all that desirable either.
Her Life is Boring
"Life's always an adventure when you've got me around."
This is something I tell to the women I date (usually after something crazy / incredible / ridiculous has just happened). Among the women I have longer relationships with, I usually end up getting a, "Yes, life certainly IS a lot crazier with you around."
My Peruvian ex was great at expressing mock exasperation at whatever my latest outlandish adventurers were... "Ay, Chasito!" she'd say, followed by a slow shaking of her head and a skeptical look of her own.
I've had guys sometimes ask how you can feel "good enough" for a woman... this is one of those things I struggle to answer, because I've personally never felt like I wasn't "good enough" for a girl.
The only women who've ever told me, "I would NEVER date a guy like you!" are the ones writing pissed off notes in the comment sections of a few of the articles here, who don't know me and have never met me and have an inaccurate picture of me in their heads, culled from a very small segment of my writing on the site.
(my ex-girlfriends sometimes tell me they'd never date a guy like me too)
But I suppose one thing that can help you to realize one of the core forms of value you can offer to a woman's life, if you haven't realized it already, is this: most people - beautiful women included - lead dull, unexciting, uninspiring lives.
And if you can do anything to spice that up in a way that isn't entirely negative, you're almost always doing them a big favor... and becoming one of the most memorable people of their entire lives.
"I'm never completely sure what to predict with you, except that I probably won't be able to predict it."
That's the kind of thing you want women thinking around you.
I think if you don't have much experience being unpredictable, you tend to assume wrong about what this means, though.
It doesn't mean you lurk behind a corner waiting for her to walk by, then lunge out at her like a mad Jack-in-the-box.
That's not the kind of unpredictable we're talking about here.
Rather, the kind of unpredictable we are talking about is the kind that breaks routines and shatters autopilots; you bring newness, excitement, exploration, and intrigue, instead.
How to Be Unpredictable
It's impossible to be truly unpredictable all the time, unless you have a pretty serious personality disorder (like, say, schizophrenia).
However, you can add a large degree of what appears to be unpredictability to your life by following several life rules that differ from the rules that most people follow for themselves, and that they have difficulty understanding the mental model behind, and thus difficulty predicting your actions via.
Here are mine.
Being a "yes man." Ever see the Jim Carrey movie Yes Man? It's about a guy with a sad, empty existence who changes his life tremendously for the better by deciding to say "yes" to every invitation extended to him. I saw it for the first time recently and had a big smile on my face throughout, because that was exactly the philosophy I adopted myself to break myself out of a similar rut. I didn't go quite as extreme as he did (e.g., I'd still turn down sexual advances from, say, particularly large or unattractive women - I'm all for lowering your standards to level up in skill, but within reason), but it was pretty much the same, and has been.
In fact, learning to say "no" again in moderation was rather difficult; it's much easier to be a "no man" (like I was for the first two decades of my life) or a "yes man" (like I was for the third decade of my life). But if you want an easy way to become unpredictable, start saying "yes" to every not totally insane request or invitation you receive. Just when someone thinks she has you all figured out as an accountant or a computer programmer who plays it safe, you run off to go skydiving and she throws up her hands and says, "There, see! Totally unpredictable." The truth was, one of your friends just invited you, and you - against your better judgment - just said "yes."
Being a mirror. People learn to deal with people in specific ways and expect specific results. For instance, this person loves socializing with large groups while this person prefers one-on-one; this person prefers to talk about literature, while this person loves sports, and this person is all about politics. This person is conservative, so he'll tend to be defensive in a confrontation rather than offensive; this person is impulsive, so he'll tend to go on the attack to get what he wants, but isn't so good when put on his heels.
My philosophy is, be a mirror. Reflect back to each person how she is with you. On the positive side (connecting, doing fun things, etc.) people will find you incredibly relatable because you mirror their own interests back to them - then be amazed at how you're able to talk to anyone else about anything else and connect fluidly with them, too. On the negative side (arguing, fighting, etc.) people will be surprised when instead of responding with the customary response to their attacks (e.g., the way people usually respond to whatever attack they use), you fight fire with fire and hit them back with their same exact strategy - which they're used to using on others, not defending against. Being a mirror is a very easy way to appear unpredictable - all you do is reflect back to someone how he or she is with you. Most people expect you to react to them, rather than reflect - reflection is nearly always unexpected.
Being averse to wasting time. This one's funny, but the more you dig yourself out of a "I have time to spare" mentality, the more unpredictable you become to most people. e.g., you'll be driving, and someone will say, "Oh, I just heard that I-95 is completely gridlocked right now," and you'll pull off the highway and turn onto the back roads - "Let's not wait in traffic," you'll say. Or a girl you're talking to says, "We can go in a few minutes - let's just talk to my friends first," and you, knowing that your chances of pulling drop dramatically if she reengages with her friends, first say, "Okay," so it isn't a fight, then, after taking a few steps, say, "Actually, wait - let's sneak into this alcove over here for a moment. We can go talk to your friends just after," and then you make out with her a bit to try and excite her and get her mind off talking to her friends and pull her sooner.
The more religious you get about being efficient and not wasting time on things, the more "unpredictable" you'll start to seem, because other people who aren't thinking that way won't immediately understand why you're doing what you're doing (to save time), and it will see unexpected and surprising to them - and, often, refreshing, since no one likes having her time wasted, but few people are aware enough of this that they proactively guard against it.
Not talking about personal interests. This one really befuddles people, especially if your interests are substantially different from most of your friends (which tends to happen when you are a "yes man" and surround yourself with people who will push and pull you into trying things you wouldn't have tried on your own). Most people only do what they want to do, and assume that you are the same - so when they see you doing things, they assume those are the things you want to do, too. Then they think they have you pegged.
Then they'll try to predict what you'll do in the future, or in a certain situation, and they assume they've got you all figured out... and then you do something completely different. Or, they'll find your puzzling because what they learn about your personality doesn't seem to match up with some of the things you do. The pieces don't fit all nicely together like they do with most people - who are you really? What do you really want? They don't know, and can't tell. This tends to intrigue them even more - you become ever more Byronic, with ever more masks to peel back.
Periodically trying "exotic" sex. This means new sex positions, locations (e.g., at the beach, in the back of your car, at the top of a waterfall, etc.), fetishes (e.g., bondage, S&M, etc.). You don't have to do these a lot - in fact, you really only need to try them once. Try it once, and it will stick in a girl's head. When she thinks about sex with you, she'll remember, "The sex is usually pretty good.. and sometimes it's CRAZY! Remember that time we had sex in a Ferris wheel??" A few crazy sexual experiences is usually all you need for her to think you're an at least occasionally-unpredictable sexual maniac... even if you usually just do the same 3 positions over and over again 96% of the time.
None of these things constitute true unpredictability.
Anyone who really knows you completely to the core will still be able to predict your actions.
However, when you:
- Say "yes" to all kinds of opportunities from all kinds of different people,
- Mirror people's actions and behaviors toward you back toward them,
- Hate wasting time, and constantly look for ways to cut out time wasting, and
- Talk with other people about their interests but don't bother mentioning yours
... people quickly come to view you as wild, crazy, and unpredictable.
"You're going mountain climbing? I didn't know you did that!"
"That's because I haven't done it yet... this weekend I will."
Being Unpredictable with Women You've Just Met
Easiest way to be unpredictable with women you've just met?
It's as simple as this:
Don't do what every other guy does
Don't tell her what you're going to do
Keep escalating things, move fast, and make headway
If you need a slightly more detailed breakdown, here it is:
Don't do what every other guy does. This is why things like walking up to a girl and saying, "Hi, I'm Calvin," with anything other than the most drippingly sensual tone of voice and matching facial expressions don't work with women and lead to blow outs and massive attraction drops: they're entirely predictable. "Oh," she thinks, "he's exactly like every other man who approaches me. Now he's going to ask me my name... then tell me how pretty I am... then ask if he can buy me a drink..." Instead, be different. Surprise her and tickle her senses. I won't go into all the different ways to do that; this website is chock full of them, and you won't have any trouble finding them if you're looking. But, do look. And don't be the same.
Don't tell her what you're going to do. Again, the exception here is if you're utterly oozing sex out of your pores and she's already pretty much made up her mind that that's what she wants with you. Otherwise, "statements of intent" and things of the sort (e.g., verbally telling her 'here's what I'd like to have happen with you') shows all your cards and makes you too predictable. The only time this works is when you tell her you're going to do one thing... then you do another. For instance, you meet a girl at a park, and tell her, "Tomorrow night, I'm going to take you out and wine and dine you." You then stand up, extend your hand to her and say, "But right now - come with me." Then take her somewhere she knows not where. That can work. Otherwise, keep your plans (if you have any) under wraps.
Keep escalating things, move fast, and make headway. Most men's approaches have a predictable level of either them bumbling around, missing girls' signals, and not doing enough to move things forward, OR a predictable level of them charging ahead regardless of whether the girl is interested or not and trying to move things forward at all the wrong times. Instead, you want to be escalating at the right moments, when she's ready for things to move forward, right away. How's this unpredictable? Because most men either 1) wait way too long after a woman signals she's ready for progress, or 2) don't wait for her to signal at all and go bombs away on escalation even if the girl isn't ready for it yet. Don't be like them - read the signals, then act. You'll be refreshingly unpredictable - even though you're merely doing what you should be doing (to get a girl in bed).
You could sum this up the same way you could sum up the section right above this one: don't be boring.
Add a Little Unpredictability to Her Life
Being unpredictable doesn't mean being random. It's not about being zany and erratic and insane. It isn't bouncing off the walls and doing magic tricks and getting into fights with people who look at you funny and then buying them a beer afterwards.
Rather, unpredictability is mainly about doing things that break a girl's mental model of what she thinks you could, would, or SHOULD do - ideally, breaking these predictions in fun, attractive, and stimulating ways.
You can achieve this unpredictability through following some standard procedures - the very antithesis of true unpredictability.
But true unpredictability isn't what we're after here. Only the perception of unpredictability.
Over the short term, being unpredictable means you:
- Don't do what every other guy does
- Don't tell her what you're going to do
- Keep escalating things, move fast, and make headway
Over the long term, being unpredictable entails:
- Being a "yes man"
- Being a mirror
- Being averse to wasting time
- Not talking about your personal interests
- Periodically trying "exotic" sex
These items will keep you having just enough new things going on that people are continually surprised (and often impressed) by you, without you having to burn mental cycles trying to figure out new ways to be impressive - instead, unpredictability becomes a natural part of your life... it's built in.
Most people are "no" people. They say "no" to things they aren't familiar with or don't already like.
Most people are not mirrors - they just are who they are, and never take the time to understand others and adopt their own traits, behaviors, and arguments.
Most people don't mind wasting time - they might say they do, but they'll still go the long way or avoid shortcuts because there's too much uncertainty to deal with.
Most people love talking about their own interests and helping others to understand them better and predict what they want and need more.
Most people fall into patterns and routines with sex, with meeting strangers, and with how fast they move things that border on the conservative and the uninspiring, or the "too much" and the inattentive.
It doesn't take much to do things differently than most people.
You've just got to change your reaction to a few different common scenarios, like people asking you to do things you maybe at first don't want to do, or summoning up the courage to try a new shortcut that you aren't sure will get you where you want to go, but saves you buckets of time if it does.
If you can do that - if you can change your standard responses to a few kinds of scenarios, in ways that bring novelty, speed, and uncertainty into your life in ways that few people allow themselves to experience - you will very quickly become a surprising, originally, and unpredictable individual to almost everyone you meet.
And one of the few things they can reliably predict about you, they'll come to tell you, is that you're always doing something different.
Your life will be a lot more interesting for it, too.