by Gil Rio
One of the greatest recent advances in dating science has been making interactions more organic and natural. Questions about this process come up often among our students. I hope this article helps clarify the issue.
If you were around the dating community a few years ago, or if you consult some of the older sources, you’ll notice that interactions tended to be broken down in rigid phases. Build attraction, then qualify, then build comfort. The problem is, most social interactions don’t work like that, so structuring your conversation in this way comes off as unnatural.
If you’ve had girls tell you that it feels like you’re going through a checklist, or that things feel weird, this may be the underlying problem…
Formal and informal conversations
A rigid structure is typical of professional settings. A business meeting, for example, has an agenda. You discuss topic 1, reach some conclusions, move on to topic 2, etc. It’s designed for productivity. But informal conversations (with a friend, family member, girlfriend, etc.) are mostly unstructured. You talk about whatever comes to mind and jump freely from subject to subject.
If you talk to a girl using a blocked structure – attraction, THEN qualification, THEN comfort – and don’t transition smoothly, you may get through your checklist, but it will feel like a corporate meeting. Not exactly arousing for her…
If you’ve read Magic Bullets, you’re probably thinking, “but Attraction DOES come before Qualification, which comes before Comfort!”. And you’re right.
There are (good) reasons the stages are ordered that way. But if all you do is joke and tease for a while and then suddenly switch to low-energy qualification (as prescribed by old-school game), the interaction won’t feel natural.
The solution is to subtly blend the phases. In the first 5 minutes you typically use more attraction elements (joking, teasing, role-plays, etc.) than later on, but those elements never stop completely. They just become less frequent. The same goes for qualification and comfort – they’re always present, but their proportion gradually changes.
When you go on a bike ride, you don’t try to build momentum for the whole trip by pedaling as hard as you can for the first few feet and then just coast the rest of the distance. You pedal hardest when you take off and once you gain momentum you pedal just enough to keep moving steadily. If you stop pedaling altogether, you slow down and eventually stop. Same with attraction. You give it a little boost at the onset, without overdoing it (a guy who truly has confidence with women doesn’t try hard to impress), and then keep topping up as needed to maintain cruising speed.
Qualification starts early (something as simple as asking her name is an initial qualification step – she wouldn’t tell it to a beggar…) and gradually intensifies. It peaks as the attraction elements become less frequent, but you can (and should) keep sprinkling attraction and comfort as you qualify her deeper and deeper. Similarly, you should keep qualifying her throughout the interaction (in fact, throughout a whole relationship). Qualification never ends.
Finally, after the peaks of attraction and qualification, you focus on comfort – while periodically sprinkling in attraction and qualification.
In addition to feeling more natural, this “smoothed over” structure provides you with a calibration tool. Early qualifiers serve as compliance tests. If she doesn’t jump through your hoops, keep building attraction and comfort and pinging for compliance. On the other hand, if you have a woman super-attracted and eager to comply, continuing to tease mercilessly is a mistake. When you get a green light, drive through it before it turns red again.
Finally, realize that there is significant variation from girl to girl. The organic game “bar code” (shown in the figure) will vary depending on the woman and the circumstances. Some girls require you to build a lot of attraction before they qualify themselves, others very little. With experience you’ll learn to sense the blueprint of different girls and calibrate in real-time. Don’t let your fear of rejection hold you back from taking chances; it’s ok to mess up. Sometimes you’ll lose her interest because you didn’t build enough attraction, others because you stayed in attraction too long. It’s a process of continuous fine tuning. You HAVE to make mistakes to find out where the line is and become good at walking it.
For more information on Gil Rio visit his blog or follow him on Twitter (@LS_GilRio)