It's Not Your Investment in Her; It's Hers in You
One of those reminders it's good to have every now and again.
Good model for some things... but NOT for attraction.
Doing for others up front does not attract you:
- Business partners
- Paying customers
- Fans of your art
... and it doesn't land you women.
In fact, when people see you doing stuff for them for free, unsolicited, or uncompensated, their thought is never, "Wow, what a great guy! I should repay him in spades!" but rather, "Oh, that's nice - it's nice having nice people around like this who give me stuff. Thanks, nice person!"
But this doesn't just apply to pushover white knights.
You'll see even men who are normally good with women slip into doing this from time to time - they start overinvesting themselves, trying to win a girl over (or win her back) by doing more and more and more for her.
Investment's relationship with attraction is a bit more nuanced than
these men doing these things might realize, however. And more
investment from you does not
necessarily (or even usually) mean more attraction from her.
When I first learned how investment worked, I was inexperienced with women, and my natural inclinations were to do as much for a woman as possible without ending up a platonic guy she was just friends with. But here I was, learning that it's her investment in you that counts... not the other way around.
So, I'd run my interactions in a way that maximized the level of
investment women put in, and minimized mine as much as possible without
sending them into auto-rejection. It went against
my instincts, but I made myself do it anyway. I'd bait them into asking me things
that I wanted to talk about with them by weaving a web of intrigue; I'd
prompt them to start escalating on me by touching them gently and
lightly, in romantic, provocative ways. I'd tell them we could meet up
now, or some other time, and it wasn't a big deal, and they'd have to
step up and say, "No, let's meet now." And I found that this worked;
attraction went up. And my instincts changed to adapt to this new
found, better working way of doing things.
And I'd run my relationships in a way that maximized the level of investment women put in, and minimized mine as much as possible while staying out of auto-rejection. It went against my instincts, but I made myself do it anyway. A girl would ask me to come meet her friends at some gathering, and I'd decline, knowing it was just something where I'd be putting on a performance for her friends to impress them and make her look good. Instead, I'd have her come over to my place later, and bring some food. She'd want to take a road trip; I'd ask her to plan it. She'd want foreplay and hours of sex, and I figured out how to make women orgasm in minutes from sex so I could leave them more satisfied in a short amount of time than I'd be able to do in hours of licking and stroking and thrusting. And I found that this worked; women in relationships became crazy attached to me (so much so that I had to learn how to get women less invested later on to prevent them having such strong emotions toward me). And my instincts changed to adapt to this new found, better working way of doing things.
That was all well and good once I'd made it through the emotionally trying early stages, where I did what I felt wasn't the right way to win a girl over, forcing logic to prevail over emotion. But all the while as I was learning it, when experience had yet to bear out logic as the correct one in this case, I remember this sinking feeling in my gut, that it couldn’t possibly work... How can you invest less in a woman, and still beat the competition, all of whom are investing far more in her than YOU are?
Competing on the Wrong Measure
I think this "other men are doing way more for her than I am!" fear is one that gets you when you're inexperienced. I mean, if you're NOT investing in her... what's to stop her going and being with a guy who WILL invest in her?
Who will take her nice places?
Buy her nice things?
Let her moan and whine and complain without telling her to knock it off?
Why would she stand for you NOT doing these things, when she can easily have a man who WILL? After all, she's asking to go nice places... asking you to buy her nice things... and she clearly likes to complain about things to you... won't she be unsatisfied and enervated if you keep saying "no"?
But that's not how respect works, nor is it how attraction works.
Imagine a man you have immense respect for. He's a really strong, powerful, likeable man; perhaps you're even a bit intimidated by him. Maybe that's your father; maybe it's a teacher you've had; maybe it's a present or past boss. Maybe it's a friend and mentor you look up to and are learning tons from right now.
Pick someone who seems really powerful and almost unapproachable to
Do you ever whine and complain to this man?
Would you ever ask this man to buy you anything?
Would you ever ask him to take you somewhere?
No, not really, right?
He's going to smack you upside the head if you do, or maybe even cut you off and quit wasting
time on you if you try, isn't he?
But if you had a friend you thought was an okay guy, but you didn't view as especially high and mighty, might you ask him to pick something up for you at the store if he's going over there anyway, and you'll pay him back later?
Might you complain to him about that annoying thing that keeps happening to you lately, or that one girl who won't leave you alone even though you told her you aren't interested?
Might you tell him, "Come on, we're going to Argentina, man," and
just expect him to come?
You might, right?
That guy's cool and all... but he's hardly an authority figure for you.
And when women are selecting mates, what they're most often selecting for are not men who will wait on them hand and foot - men like that are not sexually exciting.
They're looking for powerful men... men who make them feel that same kind of intimidated, awe-like respect you hold for a powerful man in your life.
Only, in women, respect is mixed with something else, too: respect is mixed with attraction.
Respect and Attraction
One of the weirdest things for me to realize was when I'd see older men that young women around me found very attractive was how closely associated attraction is with respect. I talked about some of these men in my two-part series on dating younger women; the one thing that all these men have in common is that they are men that I as a man hold in high esteem - they're men I respect as "powerful men" a great deal.
For women, this respecting a man as a powerful man is manifested as well as attraction.
Actors are an easy example, and one just about everybody is familiar with and can compare notes on. Sean Connery, Harrison Ford, and Morgan Freeman are three off the top of my head that I've heard described by attractive women in their teens and twenties as "very attractive" or "sexy." They're not men I'd normally think of as "sexy" - perhaps in their youths, but not now. But I would think of them as extremely composed, strong men, and men who command scads of respect.
It's not just actors, either. When I've held positions of authority
over women in school as a teaching assistant or later in the workplace,
I've watched some pretty rapid attraction develop toward me from women
who were "under" me - attraction that, in many cases, evaporated quite
quickly if the authority position was forfeit. Just about any man who's
held authority over a woman at some point or another can attest to this
phenomenon - call it the "man in a uniform" phenomenon.
To women, these two things - attraction and respect - are interchangeable.
Note that we are discussing a very specific kind of respect here. There are plenty of men who inspire a kind of respect, but not this same kind of "powerful, composed, intimidating" respect, and as a result also don't inspire women's attraction. One good example, when compared against the powerful, attractive older man, is that of the grandfatherly older man; women refer to this man as "cute" and "adorable" - the same words they use to talk about kittens and puppies. Not attractive.
And it's the same with younger men, too. When on occasion you run into a young man who's clearly powerful and composed and commands respect as a man, that man is invariably very attractive to women as well (and usually labeled a "jerk", an "asshole", or a "bad boy", all things said usually with subtle endearment and excitement). Conversely, there are plenty of men women think are "cute" and "adorable" and "really nice guys" whom they will tell you they "respect", but this is a very different sort of respect.
Effectively, you can break down women's categories of "respected men" into two quite different categories:
Men they respect as men because those men are powerful, mighty, intimidating, and attractive - these men they may well fantasize about sexually
Men they respect as friends or supporters because those men are pleasant, polite, thoughtful, and considerate - these men they find the idea of sex with quite off-putting, disgusting, and creepy
Both men are "respected", but the kind of respect each is afforded are worlds apart.
And the problem that so many men have with investment starting out is that they have not realized that only one of these kinds of respect is of interest to the man who seeks to be of interest to women.
Grandfathers and Emperors
In older men, you might think of the powerful, respected man as an emperor, of sorts, and the kindly older gentleman as a grandfather.
Emperors are for awe, esteem, and making powerful babies with. Grandfathers are for good feelings, kindly smiles, and support in living a better life and help taking care of those babies.
In younger men, you might think of this as stud vs. buddy. If you're an inexperienced man with no experience being "the stud", you won't be able to conceptualize what it's like to be this man, nor will you understand what it is that women see in him.
And because you won't be able to either imagine what it's like to be him, or to imagine why women might possibly be attracted to a man like him, you're going to tend to write him off as a weird anomaly that doesn't make sense and isn't worth thinking about.
Therefore, you see only one road to success with women: show them what a great guy you are.
Win by out-competing all the other men on the only thing that counts: how invested in a girl you are.
But then that girl you've invested so much in goes and picks a stud or an emperor instead, and you're left holding the bag wondering why all that work you did to show her what a great guy you were was for naught.
Where in reality, the reason was perfectly simple: you competed to
win her respect as a friend
and supporter, where he
competed to win her respect as a powerful,
mighty man... and an attractive
Think fast: a buddy gives a girl $400 worth of designer clothes for her birthday that are in her size (he knows it, because he's gone shopping with her many times). A stud she's seeing casually as her secret lover presents her with a neat little trinket he picked up for a couple of dollars at a flea market that she can wear around her neck, and he tells her a charming little story the seller told him about where the trinket came from and how it came to be. Which man and which gift does the girl value more highly as a result of this gift giving?
You see, it's not that life is unfair to the guy who's the buddy. Rather, he's reaping what he sows. He's bought into the notion that the path to a woman's heart lies through piling as much time and money as he possibly can onto a girl, even if he's sandbagging it or doesn't really have a clear purpose for that time or money.
The stud only does things that he knows has a good reason behind them, because his time and his money are precious. Either he doesn't have much of them, or he has a lot of options about what he can use them on. Either way, he's judicious in how and where he decides to spend each.
And women know this.
It's not that the stud doesn't count. It's not that he doesn't invest in her at all.
It's that what he does invest is little... but it is also meaningful.
The buddy showers her with investment; but for the most part, it is "cheap" investment - it's not like he really has other things he could be doing that are much better with his time or his money, and it's not like he has women knocking down his door. His investment is not meaningful... and therefore, not valued by her, either.
She Invests, She Wants
The stud knows something else about investment that the buddy doesn't know, too.
Yes, it is necessary for him to give her some amount of investment before she becomes his, falls in love with him, or does anything else with him.
However... it's not this investment itself that unlocks those emotions.
Rather, this investment is what he does to give her just enough that she feels safe investing with him.
Because what the stud knows is this: it's not your investment in her; it's hers in you that causes her to feel increasing amounts of attraction.
Investment works like this:
The more invested you are in her, the more attracted to her you will be
The more invested she is in you, the more attracted to you she will be
You need to give her a little before she'll lower her guard and begin to pursue you and invest in you; this is what the attractive man does - he gives people only enough that they have something to work on, and feel encouraged to do so.
That's how that man or those men you hold tremendous respect for deal or dealt with you: they'd give you a little advice, or some small task, and tell you to get to work. Then, you'd do the work. And you'd come away holding them in higher and higher esteem.
That's also how it works with women, too. If you chase her down and throw investment after her, that's going to make you feel pretty darn attached (and, soon, unable to stop thinking about her), but it's not going to do a lick for her emotions because she isn't investing.
Give her just enough to undam the waterfall of her investment, and expect to watch her attraction for you soar through the roof.
It All Comes Back to Value
How do you value another human being?
In fact, it's so difficult to do, that there are no objective measures.
It's why you might meet a girl while poorly dressed and feeling
terrible one day, and she'll brush you off tout de suite... and then you meet
her twin sister a week later, while dressed well and feeling great, and
score a date with her and take her to bed and make her your girlfriend
and she's crazy about you. Your value as a mate was exactly the same to both girls; but
she was forced to judge it (as every single one of us does) in an
instant based on the trifling amount of information she had at hand
(that is, the information you presented to her with your appearance and
It's why you might meet a guy and think, "This guy seems like a schmuck," and then find out he went to a really good school, or hear he owns his own yacht, or see his gorgeous girlfriend, and then you think, "Huh - maybe there's something to this guy."
As people, we are constantly assessing and reassessing our value judgments of other people, and one of the ways we do that is by assessing our own levels of investment in them.
The more you invest in a person, the more your brain reasons this must be a very valuable human being... otherwise, you'd not have invested so much of your very valuable time and emotion. Again, subjectively assessing value, using only the information at hand - things like:
- "Does this individual have social status?"
- "Is this person strong, powerful, and composed?"
- "Have I bought in and committed to interacting with this individual?"
- "How thoroughly am I invested in him / her?"
Investment's a big one, too. Just like it's difficult to walk away from a hobby or project or career you've invested a great deal of time in, or to view that hobby or project or career as not worth your time or not that good without facing some very painful, identity-level questions about your own self-worth or direction in life, so is it difficult to walk away from an individual you've invested a good deal of time, energy, and emotion into.
In fact, in relationships, one of the primary reasons I try to reduce drama as much as possible is not only that it's annoying and a distraction... but that the very act of causing drama, then sticking around, makes a woman more invested in you - she's plowed all these powerful emotions into your relationship, which she knows she wouldn't have bothered to do with a lesser man (she simply would've left him before she got to that point); thus, her brain reasons, you must really be an incredible man - and she falls even more deeply in love with you.
Getting Women Invested in You
It's also one of taking action, and getting the things you want. If a woman isn't pursuing you, that doesn't mean you just let her go on without doing anything; sometimes you must chase some at the outset and switch to having her take on the role of pursuer a little later down the line.
The easiest way to get investment is by asking for it, or by telling women to give it to you. If you're unfamiliar with getting compliance, or haven't given it much thought in a while, these articles will help:
In relationships, Ricardus's piece on making women fall in love does a nice job of teaching us how to build up women's investment levels here:
Investment's a balancing act. The less you can invest while still keeping her excited and maintaining forward momentum, the better.
The italicized portion is quite important there. Just because you see no way to do things effortlessly is not an excuse to not do things, unless you're already so damn good you don't need to improve anymore. Very often, doing things in a not-quite-perfect way this time helps you to figure out how you can do them in a far more effortless way the next time around.
Ultimately though, the rule holds - it's not your investment that determines her interest in, respect for, and attraction to you.
So before you slip up and get a little crazy trying to prove your merits by investing in her, just bear in mind what the real objective is: getting her to invest... not you.
She'll be bored if you're doing all the work and she's just sitting around, too. How much fun does a woman have with her doting nice guy friends?
Yeah - exactly.
Make her work for it a bit.
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