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In his popular Love Systems dating bootcamps, famed pickup artist and dating coach Nick Savoy has taught tens of thousands of men how to attract and seduce the women they desire. Now, after watching countless interactions between the sexes-and hearing what men really think about women, dating, and playing the game-Savoy is sharing his best-kept secrets and ...
In his popular Love Systems dating bootcamps, famed pickup artist and dating coach Nick Savoy has taught tens of thousands of men how to attract and seduce the women they desire. Now, after watching countless interactions between the sexes-and hearing what men really think about women, dating, and playing the game-Savoy is sharing his best-kept secrets and proven pickup tips with today's single women.
HERE'S WHAT MEN WILL NEVER TELL YOU... UNTIL NOW. Why he won't return your calls. Why it's too soon to send a text. Why you never seem to meet the right guy. What he really thinks about you and your BFFs. You'll learn all this and more in this indispensable guide to the other side of dating. Discover how to:
They come from miles—sometimes thousands of miles—away. They enter a hotel conference room unsure and nervous about what is going to happen for the next three days. They hope that their life is about to change for the better. They have come to find the answers to their dreams.
At a Love Systems bootcamp.
There’s an excellent chance that you never knew these bootcamps existed before you opened this book. You probably had no idea that on every weekend of the year, groups of men come together to learn your secrets from professional pick-up artists and dating coaches. Or that these men regularly spend thousands of dollars for three days and two nights of expert training on the art and science of meeting and attracting women—with a success rate of over 99 percent.
If you’re not shocked yet, don’t worry; it gets better. A large portion of each bootcamp is taught “live”—at bars, nightclubs, coffee shops, malls, and anywhere else where attractive women can be found. Instructors approach and pick up women to demonstrate how the system works. Clients watch and learn, and then they’re the ones approaching and picking up while instructors observe and coach them.
In other words, those guys who hit on you at the bar last night or who flirted with you at the mall last weekend—those might have been chance encounters. Or maybe these men were practicing Love Systems on you, while others watched and prepared to critique their every move. Now you know. Don’t you feel better?
Actually, you probably should. I’m not telling you any of this to make you paranoid. In fact, the reason why I’m letting you know about it is also one of the major reasons I decided to write this book. There is so much misinformation about how dating and attraction really works. As I’ll explain in the next few chapters, what people think they want and what they think they respond to in a romantic and/or sexual context is not always what they actually want and respond to. You’ll probably be shocked by some of what we tell men to do to succeed with women—not because I’m deliberately trying to shock you, but because a lot of what actually works can be quite counterintuitive. You won’t find the stuff we teach in most men’s magazines or mainstream books. But it is effective.
We didn’t deliberately set out to challenge conventional wisdom—it’s just where reality led us. Love Systems was developed through trial and error on a massive scale. We had no preconceived ideas. We’re not troubled by what “should” work or what would be “nice” or really anything other than what actually helps average guys to attract the women who interest them. I want to share some of these techniques with you, because I think if we can unravel how and why attraction works—without flinching and without political correctness—both men and women can make better decisions about how they approach dating and relationships. And I think that will improve everyone’s dating life.
Bootcamps are three days long, usually Friday through Sunday. All three days begin in a hotel conference room with instructors teaching the Love Systems approach. During this seminar time, we run a lot of drills, like “Approaching and Transitioning,” “Teasing and Bantering,” and “Body Language.” These interactive exercises—which are all more or less what they sound like—allow clients to practice their skills and make corrections in a low-pressure classroom-type situation. But we need to get clients up to speed quickly, because they’ll be going out with us on both Friday and Saturday night for several hours of live infield training. This is the part of our bootcamp during which—if you happen to be at one of our infield locations—you might be approached by Love Systems clients and/or instructors, who will flirt with you and try to pick you up in order to practice or demonstrate Love Systems techniques.
These programs are held every weekend, in multiple cities around the world. They all follow the same structure, with slight variations. (For example, Day Game programs do their infield training at malls, coffee shops, and pedestrian areas.) A typical program has between six and twelve clients, a set of instructors—at least one for every three clients—and usually some instructors-in-training.
Now let’s break it down…
We usually start bootcamps by asking clients what they’re looking for out of their dating life. As we’ll cover in more detail later in this chapter, most men express one of three broad goals. Some have never had much luck with women, so they’re looking for that initial breakthrough. Others are looking for more options and better options. And others still want to improve their sex life and be able to go out any night and take a beautiful woman home. On a typical program, there may be one or two clients from the first and/or last group, with the majority usually made up of the “more options and better options” set. These initial conversations let us personalize the training program.
Once we’ve established goals, we introduce the overall Love Systems framework, called the Love Systems Triad. The Triad is based on what works with women in the real world—not what works in movies, TV, or romance novels. Not what would work if the world was a nicer, fairer place and everyone gave everyone else a chance. Not what well-meaning people say should work. We teach what our observations of over 100,000 approaches, pickups, and attempted pickups (more on this later) have shown gives a man the best chances of success.
It’s called the Triad because it is set up according to the three fundamental building blocks of dating or pickup success: Emotional Connection, Physical Connection, and Logistics. Each of these can be further divided into subcomponents, sub-subcomponents, and so on (see figure on page 7). The Triad is a powerful teaching tool because it is flexible: it can be used at a very simple level to get a man started with Love Systems, or it can be used at a very detailed and advanced level to troubleshoot issues for even very successful men. You can read a quick overview of the whole system at www.LoveSystems.com/Triad.
Infield training is what makes Love Systems different from just about everything that came before. Not only do clients learn the system, but they also practice it live under the eyes of expert trainers and instructors. They watch and listen as instructors demonstrate, also live, how to use individual techniques. The infield component holds Love Systems accountable, since a client who doesn’t make significant progress during his bootcamp is likely to take us up on our full money-back guarantee. We put our name and our reputation on the line every night of every program.
Infield sessions usually start around 10 p.m., when we all meet up in an area of town where there are a lot of bars and nightclubs. There is nothing special about bars and clubs in the Love Systems methodology; we use them on bootcamps because they provide large and anonymous environments in which groups of men can practice Love Systems without running into the same women over and over. The training is equally applicable to any environment in which men and women can meet each other. As noted above, Day Game programs take place in malls, pedestrian districts, parks, and coffee shops, while one-on-one training can happen anywhere.
For the next few hours, both instructors and clients will approach women using the techniques taught at the seminar that day. Women don’t tend to go to bars and clubs alone, so this usually means approaching you and whatever friends are with you. If you are out with male friends, no problem—we’ll still approach you. If you’ve made yourself utterly unapproachable—surrounding yourself with aggressive-looking guys in the corner, for example—then it’s even more likely we’ll approach you, because clients will want to see instructors demonstrate such difficult pickups.
Many clients have what we call approach anxiety, or a fear of approaching a woman whom he doesn’t know or have any reason to know. This is an instinctive, almost primal feeling that we’ll talk about more in chapter 6; for now, it’s enough to know that approach anxiety has nothing to do with confidence and success, or lack thereof, in other areas of life. We had a highly trained paratrooper by the name of Edward at one of our programs a couple of years ago who told us that he actually felt more nervous about approaching a group of beautiful women in the corner of a bar with everyone looking on than he ever did jumping out of an airplane. This is a man who has seen combat—not someone who normally lets fear rule his life.
While approach anxiety can seem like it’s an insurmountable obstacle to many men, an experienced instructor can get even the shyest client confidently approaching women within an hour or two. Then the fun begins. Instructors watch clients approaching attractive women and give coaching and feedback: sometimes from a distance and sometimes up close to hear everything being said. An instructor might join the conversation, usually by introducing himself as a friend of the client. He might even take quick cell phone video clips so we can illustrate a specific point to the client later—usually a body language issue. But don’t expect to catch us doing any of this next time you’re out. We’ve mastered the skill of remaining inconspicuous while we work—and that’s the only secret I won’t be sharing in this book…
When instructors do approaches, another instructor is often nearby with a group of clients, just out of the woman’s earshot. This positioning allows him to do a play-by-play of everything that is going on and explain what the instructor is doing at every key moment and why. Such training is invaluable for most of our clients, who have never had successful pickups broken down in this way.
Did I say successful? Most are, ending with a phone number, kiss, or more. Some aren’t. Sometimes, a woman just isn’t going to be interested in a man, no matter how skilled he is. That’s part of the realistic expectations we share with our clients. But over the course of the night, most such instructor demonstration approaches, or “demos,” will be successful and there will be plenty for clients to observe and model. By the end of the first night, many clients will be having successful outcomes as well.
We’ll usually try to limit approaches to half an hour or so, since we have a lot to teach and there’s only so much time. But clients often have a will of their own, and it’s happened more than once that one of our trainees decided to hang out with his new love interest instead of finishing the night in the program. Some clients have even married women whom they first met on a Love Systems bootcamp.
By the second night of infield training, you can really see the transformation. Clients’ approaches tend to be crisper, more confident, and more polished from having already had over ten hours of seminar and five hours of live training under their belts. They’ve gained a better understanding of what women find compelling, and they’ve learned how to project aspects of their own character and personality that are most attractive. Usually they will end the second night with phone numbers, dates, and/or someone they’ve made a great connection with.
So… what do you think of all this? If you’re like most women, your reaction is probably some combination of “That’s fascinating and fun,” “That’s offensive and obscene,” and/or “Are you serious that men take classes to become more attractive to women?” Whatever your opinion, it’s undeniable that Love Systems works; the method has been tested, proven, and documented more times than I can count. What we’re telling men about women is accurate, and these secrets about attraction and dating have powerful ramifications. You deserve to know—starting with the very next chapter—what these secrets are, so you can use them to your advantage to get the love and the relationships that you want.
But before we dive into the specifics, I want to look at five common misconceptions about men, dating, and bootcamps. It would be easy to make assumptions about what kind of clients attend these programs, or how they are taught to see and treat women—especially since some of the more common assumptions are reinforced by the media as well as unsuccessful Love Systems imitators. The point isn’t to defend these bootcamps—some aspects of how we teach them do bother a lot of people, and I won’t shy away from those—but rather to let you know exactly how we know what we do so you can put our conclusions in context.
Men come to Love Systems to improve their success with women. Some say they want more sex. Others talk about wanting a long-term relationship or marriage. In reality, most single men are open to either possibility and to various points in between. Even the most jaded player can meet his perfect match, and even the most hopeless romantic can enjoy a night of passion without things going further. It depends on how he’s feeling, the woman he’s talking to, and the overall situation. My guess is that many of your single male friends think this way, too. And, for that matter, most of your single girlfriends as well.
On the other hand, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire—or at least something that explains where all that smoke came from. We do teach men who want to improve their sex life how to be more sexually desirable. We show them how to be more seductive, and we share with them our best strategies on how to get you wanting to go to bed with them. As long as a man is honest about his intentions with the women he meets, it’s fine by us.
We also share with our clients that whatever a man’s long-term intentions with a woman are, he should usually try to sexualize his relationship with her—even if he is totally focused on long-term romance and marriage. A man has a better chance of becoming your boyfriend (if that’s what he wants and if he knows what he’s doing) as your regular hook-up partner than as the nice guy who takes you to fancy dinners and is “dating and waiting.”
By the way, there’s nothing about being seductive that has to mean being dishonest, sleazy, or manipulative. We all know that sex is a normal and healthy part of human relationships as well as of our physical and mental well-being, and that there are a lot of men and women who are unhappy with their sex life. But somehow, the dominant media narrative is that it’s weird or sordid for these people to actually want to fix what’s lacking in their lives; I suppose that they’re supposed to just accept their fate. These puritanical echoes are hypocritical to be sure, but anyone who challenges this point of view is asking to be cast in devil horns and a pitchfork.
A TV interview I once did provides a great example of this dynamic. After a long setup, the interviewer proudly pulled out his best “gotcha” question. He had evidence that our seminars included expert techniques to get “same-night lays.” Everyone hushed. The cameras moved in for a close-up. The interviewer smirked. When I happily confirmed that, yes, this is one of the things we teach men how to do, it was like I’d admitted to drowning puppies. The interviewer stared at me in disbelief, and we settled in for a long, awkward silence. I wasn’t going to apologize for it, and he wasn’t going to explain why it was wrong. It was just one of these things that you can’t say on the news.
There isn’t even a grain of truth to this one. We don’t teach men to lie; in fact, we teach them not to, though not strictly for moral reasons. While I personally believe in honesty, clients come to me for practical skills, not ethics lectures. The simple fact is that being honest works much better for most men than being deceptive.
It’s hard to pretend to be someone or something you’re not. Flip through a few TV channels and you’ll see as many unconvincing acting jobs as successful ones. These actors are usually trained professionals, who are often cast for their role based on their perceived ability to believably portray the character in question. They have the benefit of a script that everyone is going to follow and that was written to reinforce their characterization. They probably benefited from frequent rehearsals and retakes. And still, so many actors fail to be believable. If professionals can’t count on being convincing with all of these advantages at their disposal, then most men shouldn’t have much luck trying to act their way into your bed.
Obviously, some men do successfully use lies and manipulation to get women to have sex with them. But these guys (usually well practiced and psychopathic) are not generally found at a Love Systems bootcamp. The women they seduce tend to be more naïve and socially inexperienced. These women may be wonderful people, but Love Systems clients want to be able to succeed with the women they truly desire, not just the ones who are easy to seduce.
Contrast lies and manipulation with the type of “inner game” that we teach men—straightforward confidence (but not arrogance), comfort in one’s own skin, and passion for life and its possibilities. These qualities are more attractive to most women than even the most exciting tall tales. However, this attitude is impossible for most men to pull off if they’re building on top of a foundation of compartmentalized emotions, dishonesty, and deception. Moreover, most Love Systems clients (we’ll talk about them in a moment) do have interesting lives. They don’t need to invent anything; what they need to do is to present themselves in a way that women find compelling.
In other words, Love Systems is not about pretending to be someone you’re not. It’s also not about doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result, as implied by the well-meaning but useless advice to “be yourself.” Rather, Love Systems teaches men to be their best selves. Love Systems clients learn and use what Tyra Banks called “the secret and unwritten rules” of attraction after we taught them on her show. Some men naturally internalize these rules—expressed through their instincts, habits, and behaviors—and some learn from older friends and relatives. For those who didn’t or don’t, there’s Love Systems.
An advantage, yes. But unfair? Admittedly, Love Systems is powerful—exponentially more so than anything else that’s ever been available to men. The methods are based on years of testing and experimentation on a tremendous scale, including over 100,000 approaches and pickups or attempted pickups involving men and women of every age, background, appearance, taste, lifestyle, and geography.
This isn’t Bob telling Joe what worked for him at the bar last night. This isn’t another trumped-up study on the science of attraction based on a small and unrepresentative sample of twenty-two college students somewhere. When a Love Systems instructor comes up with a concept or technique, we’re all going to try it. These guys range from five foot two to six foot five, from their twenties to their fifties, from ugly to reasonably attractive, from introverted to extroverted, and they cover every major racial group. Their lifestyles and tastes and preferences in women vary equally widely, and they have taught in over fifty different cities on every inhabited continent. When such a diverse group acts as a testing lab, it’s very easy to determine if a given technique is universally applicable, or if it only works for certain types of men or with certain types of women or in certain specific situations. Understanding how a technique can be applied is crucial; far more men read our books or watch our videos than are able to come to train with us live, so we need to be clear about when certain techniques should and shouldn’t be used.
Although no one has ever put this much real-world dating experience together before, it doesn’t mean there is anything unfair about it. It’s important to remember that we’re talking about adult women in social situations like parties, bars, and coffee shops. You might find someone trained by Love Systems to be interesting and attractive and engaging to talk to and flirt with, but you won’t find yourself losing your free will. You’ve been attracted to men before and know that it’s up to you whether you want to act on that attraction. All we’re doing is helping men make the most of what they have, which has the result of effectively increasing the supply of desirable, interesting men out there for you.
Which leads me to my next point: presumably, you want men to find you attractive and to try to make themselves attractive to you. Everyone tries, or should try, to make the most of what they have. I thought Dr. Phil put it well when he had us on his show; when one audience member criticized Love Systems, he asked her to explain why men learning conversation or flirting skills was more deceptive than a woman wearing a pushup bra or makeup. She couldn’t.
Also worth considering is that women share advice about dating and relationships far more than men do. Think about what you read the last time you picked up a women’s magazine. Think about what you’re reading right now. Think about what you talked about the last time you were out with your girlfriends. As we’ll see in chapter 3, a lot of the advice you may get from your girlfriends will be wrong, but at least most of them are trying to help. At best, a man can expect jokes and gentle mockery if he talks to his male friends about his love life in any kind of depth, and in any case, such friends are likely as clueless as he.
In fact, before I started with Love Systems, I was someone who could have really used some help with my dating life, but I kept coming up empty. I read and tried everything I could. The final straw for me came when I went to my city’s biggest bookstore, found the self-help section, and picked up the featured book of dating advice for men. The author was described as being in his fifties, single, and living with his dog. His writing credits consisted exclusively of books about computer programming. This wasn’t necessarily the author biography I had in mind when I went to the bookstore, but wisdom often comes from unlikely places, and I was desperate enough to give Mr. Programmer a chance.
I opened the book to a random page. It was headed “Nightclubs” and consisted of a single paragraph, which told readers to avoid nightclubs altogether because many men go there and the competition can be hard. Gee, thanks. Another random page was part of a chapter about restaurants. Here the author told me to go to restaurants alone and approach women at their table saying: “A beautiful woman like you should have a beautiful evening. Do you mind if I join you?” If being interrupted in the middle of dinner with your friends by a strange man with a cheesy line wanting to join your table would ever work with you, then put this book down. We obviously live on two different planets.
Given what used to pass for dating advice for men, Love Systems can hardly be said to provide an unfair advantage; at most, it redresses the balance. But “advantages” and “balance” don’t provide a good lens with which to look at dating and relationships because we’re not talking about a battle of the sexes here. If more men could be charming and interesting instead of harassing you with awkward lines when you’re trying to eat your dinner, everyone would be better off.
Moreover, Love Systems is effective only to the extent that women actually respond to what we teach—otherwise, our approach wouldn’t work and we’d get refund requests instead of referrals. Blaming Love Systems for supposedly giving men an unfair advantage is like blaming a restaurant for serving delicious meals. It’s a compliment, not a criticism.
A small number of our clients could probably be described as stereotypical losers. They have low social skills, many fears and limiting beliefs, and a history of rejection and failure. What these men have in common is that they are human beings who are lonely and sad. What sets them apart from their peers is that they refused to give up on themselves and refused to give up on the chance to be happy in life. Instead, they put their remaining ego and self-confidence on the line to get the help they need. I was one of these men once, and I’m proud to teach them now.
I’m even more proud when these men come out of their shells, get over their hurt, and take their first steps into a world where they have happiness, excitement, companionship, and something or someone to look forward to each day. And I’m most proud when I hear from them months or years down the road, when they’re so excited to tell me about their dates and girlfriends and wives—women they’re thrilled to be with, and who are in turn equally thrilled to be with them. Just last week as I was finishing this book, I was invited to my former client Jesse’s wedding. When I first met him on a bootcamp, he was twenty-four and had never had a second date or a girlfriend.
That said, 95 percent of our clients don’t fit the loser stereotype. Many (female) journalists have commented on this fact after sitting in on Love Systems programs:
Although I was prepared to be grossed out by mouth-breathing nerds, most of the boot-camp attendees were relatively good-looking and seemingly socially adjusted.” (Emily McCombs, Asylum)
The guys who attended the winter seminar in Boston were unsettlingly normal, men you probably know or work with. Most were thirty-somethings in business jobs. They weren’t ugly. They seemed nice enough. (Meredith Goldstein, Boston Globe)
In fact, it’s not just “unsettlingly normal” men who can improve their dating life and relationships with women. Doctors, lawyers, athletes, and even the occasional celebrity have all been through Love Systems training—there’s even a TV episode where the popular hip hop band the Streets trains with a Love Systems instructor. The members of the band had no trouble connecting with women after their shows, but they weren’t as used to meeting and attracting women in the daytime before they learned Love Systems.
Does it surprise you that such men come to Love Systems? Many women don’t know how confusing and difficult the dating ritual can be for men. It’s even challenging for those men, like many of our clients, who appear to have everything going for them: a good job, a good education, a stable lifestyle, and so on. I’ll save you the trouble of asking the question you’re probably thinking of, since it’s the same question they get asked almost every time they start talking with a woman: why don’t you have a girlfriend?
Well, why don’t they? Some are the classic nice guys. They have female friends but haven’t figured out how to present themselves to women romantically or sexually. Maybe you’ve had a friend like this, who is nice and sweet but you don’t see him as more than a friend. This guy comes to us because women consistently rule him out. He’s not a misfit. He’s simply someone who has yet to learn how to show you that he’d be great as more than a friend. He’s frustrated, but he’s smart enough to seek help.
Some men work in careers that demand long hours. Phil, a new doctor and a former client at a bootcamp we held in Atlanta, is a perfect example. He’s not bad at flirting or attracting women; he just doesn’t meet enough of them. He doesn’t want to date at work and he has limited time for a social life. So when he does meet a woman who interests him, he wants to know how to make the most of the opportunity.
Other bootcamp clients are recently divorced and haven’t been dating for a while. These men often feel awkward about reentering the dating scene. Our methods help them get back in the game as painlessly and effectively as possible.
And so on.
That said, a lot of men don’t have a reason or an excuse to come to Love Systems; they just want to enjoy their dating life more. There are exciting people, experiences, and possibilities that might be open to them if only they knew what to do. One client (Peter, a bank employee in London) described it as wanting “more options and better options.”
Some of these men don’t lack for female attention as it is. The idea of these men perfecting their skills at a Love Systems bootcamp sometimes rubs women the wrong way. “He’s always dating someone new and has lots of women interested in him already,” one of my female friends said when she heard that our mutual friend Stephen was going to a Love Systems bootcamp. “Why do you have to teach him Love Systems?”
Although I don’t agree with this feeling, I can relate to it. In college, I had a crush on my friend Cathy. One day she won a radio contest for a date with a local celebrity. For the next week before going out with him, she worked out religiously, ate nothing, tried on 192,284 different outfits, and spent more time on her hair and makeup than most brides do for their wedding. I was upset that my friend was being so superficial, and that she was valuing fame over substance. At least that was what I told myself at the time; in reality, of course, I was jealous. She wasn’t valuing fame over substance; she was valuing him over me. Worse, it felt like she was moving further out of my league, and that I wouldn’t be able to compete with the type of men she found more attractive. When I figured out what was really going on in my head, I resolved to improve myself so that she’d see me as being on her level instead of trying to drag her down to mine.
We can’t deny people their ambitions. It’s long been socially acceptable for a woman to work hard on herself to be able to attract the kind of man she wants. Until recently, the only obvious avenue for men to improve their dating life was to make more money and buy nicer toys. That’s a very imperfect, often awkward, and borderline-sleazy dating strategy. Men like Edward, Jesse, Phil, Peter, and Stephen want and deserve better.
I get it. It’s not ideal that Love Systems bootcamps involve men practicing their flirting skills in conversation with women to whom they may not actually be attracted. There are good teaching reasons why our programs have to be set up this way, and clients need to be able to practice and to see instructor demonstrations in real live situations. But these reasons don’t change the fact that some women are hurt when they get interested in a man who never calls—because, for him, getting her phone number was practice or training.
Still… do we really want to go back to a world where flirting carries an implied obligation to take things further, lest you be accused of leading him on? Have you returned every phone call from every man you’ve met and made time to go on a date with him? In my experience, more women than men flirt purely for fun, validation, attention, or for reasons other than genuinely exploring romantic and/or sexual possibilities with someone. This kind of behavior wouldn’t be appropriate in a situation in which the other person could reasonably assume that your motivations are straightforward and sincere—like at a singles’ mixer or on a blind date—but when we’re talking about adults in social situations like nightclubs, you probably already know to leave your expectations at the door.
Now that you know exactly what does (and doesn’t) go on at a bootcamp and how we’ve come by our knowledge of dating and attraction, it’s time to get specific. What have we actually learned from doing these bootcamps week in, week out? We’ll begin with some of our most consistent observations in the next chapter: “Five Secrets of 100,000 Pickups.”
Love Systems has been around in one form or another since 2004. In that time, our instructors have witnessed and/or participated in more than a hundred thousand dating interactions between men and women of almost every social class, race, culture, and type of physical appearance within a wide range of ages. We have paid very careful attention to every one of these pickups and attempted pickups. As a result, we have accumulated a tremendous amount of research into what women actually respond to in a man, via the most reliable method: observing and testing out in the field. This large sample size allows for some strong conclusions that go far beyond the anecdotal. We’ve been sharing these conclusions with our male clients for years to help them attract and date the women they want; now I’m going to share some of them with you.
I should probably warn you that you may not like or want to believe everything you read here. That’s okay. I’ll even acknowledge that not everything in this chapter will necessarily apply perfectly to you—any model that treats three billion women as a single group will inevitably have exceptions. But there are also good reasons, which we’ll cover in the next chapter, why what people respond to is often very different from what they think they respond to. One hundred thousand approaches don’t lie, and the observations and conclusions I’m going to present in this chapter all represent very strong tendencies—strong enough that we’ve used this information to build the methods that we teach our clients, and our clients are very successful at employing what we teach them.
Phil—a doctor and former bootcamp client—was and is a bright and affable guy. Popular and well respected at work, he had limited time and energy for a social life, usually preferring to relax with a book or a trip to the gym. When we first met, he definitely came across as highly intellectual and intelligent, but not as someone who anyone would think of as being cool.
At the beginning of his bootcamp, Phil was able to approach and introduce himself to women, but couldn’t get much of a dialogue going. These women politely answered Phil’s questions, but tended to return quickly to their original conversation and even forget that he was there. A few minutes later, Phil would slink back to our group, having generated zero interest. He was confused; most of the women he’d met in his life had been friendly. But the women he was meeting tonight were making no effort to talk to him or get to know him after he introduced himself. That just seemed rude.
One of the instructors took Phil aside and explained to him that he was displaying a lack of Social Intelligence. Phil’s behavior was more appropriate for a cocktail party or a work social event, where people wouldn’t be more than a degree or two of separation from each other. In such environments, people are generally inviting and sociable; you probably have mutual friends or interests in common (which is how you both ended up at the same event to begin with), and, at the very least, you wouldn’t want to offend whomever invited you by being rude to other guests. But on the bootcamp, the women he was approaching were complete strangers, and Phil did not have any value to them simply by being at the same nightclub. As such, these women felt no obligation to draw him into their conversation. They already had people to talk to, and having Phil standing nearby awkwardly alternating between silence and get-to-know-you questions was not adding anything to their night. Further, he was ignoring social conventions around dating and attraction. If a man approaches a woman, she usually expects him to have something interesting to say and to be able to carry most of the conversation at first. By treating a nightclub as if it were a friendly cocktail party, Phil was projecting a lack of Social Intelligence. The women he met weren’t being rude; they were just reacting to this awkwardness.
Phil understood. He got up from our table and approached a group of three women chatting casually near the dance floor. He made a funny comment about the DJ and then started telling them about a dating dilemma he’d just helped a male friend navigate through. He asked the women their opinions and joked with them about some of their advice, even lightly teasing one who particularly caught his eye. Another man who’d had too much to drink started interrupting them and hitting on one of the women; Phil was polite and friendly, but maintained control over the conversation and eventually the other man slunk away. One of the women was impressed by his presence and energy, and invited him back to their table; after making a good impression on everyone in the group, Phil soon found himself in an intimate conversation with the woman he was most attracted to. If not for our strong suggestion that bootcamp attendees avoid spending the entire night with one woman, Phil might have left the club with her that evening. As it was, Phil made an excuse about why he had to get back to his friends, but not before making plans to see her again.
What turned Phil from a nonstarter to a very attractive catch? His ability to display Social Intelligence. A man with Social Intelligence is someone who can smoothly operate in a variety of situations. He never looks awkward or uncomfortable and never makes anyone else feel that way, either—unless the situation genuinely calls for such measures, in which case he would do so effortlessly. He’s the kind of man who always knows the right thing to say and would never embarrass you in front of anyone else. His social skills and understanding of social dynamics let him achieve his goal, whether it’s charming the maitre d’ into giving him a desired table, smoothly shutting down an annoying interloper, or… meeting you. Women often want to be picked up but don’t want to feel like they are being picked up. A man who can use his Social Intelligence to break the ice, defuse any awkwardness, and make her and her friends comfortable has a huge advantage over men who can’t. Even outside the context of first meeting you, Socially Intelligent men tend to be attractive to women; these men tend to be connected to more people, have access to more interesting events, and simply tend to live more outsized lives than socially awkward men.
Some anthropologists think women’s attraction toward men with high levels of Social Intelligence dates back to the earliest days of civilization. In ancient times, the people with the best social skills gained widespread trust and established a place of importance in the community. Those with poor social skills found themselves ostracized and left out of the loop. The former got ahead and provided for their families in a big way. The latter wound up in situations where they couldn’t provide for anyone. Generations of natural selection and cultural reinforcement have taught women that men with high levels of Social Intelligence are likely to offer a good, safe, and affluent life for them and their children, while those with low levels of Social Intelligence will not. The geeks may inherit the earth some day, but they’re still probably going to go home alone at night.
Unless you’re a rare exception, you are probably attracted to men with strong social skills. In contrast, you probably don’t feel butterflies in your stomach the first time you talk to shy and awkward men—as much as Hollywood tries to convince you otherwise with an endless diet of movies in which the lovable loser gets the girl at the end. In the next chapter we’ll talk about why dating and attraction is depicted so oddly in popular culture; it’s not solely due to postadolescent wish fulfillment on the part of screenwriters who themselves usually resemble a Steve Carell character more than they do Brad Pitt.
A man walks into a club (I realize that this sounds like the beginning of a bad joke), skipping the line outside and being greeted warmly by the otherwise stern-looking bouncer. People stop to look at him, and the bartender calls him by name and serves him his favorite drink without his having to order. By the time the man turns away from the bar to check out the scene, several people, both men and women, are coming over to talk to him. There’s an excellent chance that this man is going to hook up tonight.
A different man in that same club doesn’t know anyone there, and he’s having the kind of miserable night he often has. In another venue, though, he’s the king of all he surveys. His job as an advertising executive regularly puts him in front of crowds at media conferences where he speaks with authority about his numerous successes. Afterward, attractive women—of which there is no shortfall in the advertising industry—are always coming up to him and finding excuses to flirt or spend time together.
Both of these men have considerable status within specific settings. The guy at the club is a big deal there, even though he might be stuck in a cubicle at work. The advertising executive is low man on the totem pole at the club, but if you put him on a stage, the women in the audience swoon. If you see either of these guys in his best environment, you’re likely to become curious about him and why everyone is giving him respect and valuing him highly. If he makes eye contact with you, you’ll probably smile before you even realize you’re doing it. But if he were some guy hanging out at the bar and looking lost, or if he were some wannabe in the audience instead of the leading figure on the panel, you’d be much more likely to dismiss his advances, if you even noticed them at all.
Status can also be determined by the society and culture in which you live. There is some variation between cultures, but similarities generally outweigh the differences; for example, most cultures value doctors, lawyers, entertainers, movie producers, athletes, and so on. High-status people and events can also confer status on others. If I’m at James Cameron’s birthday party, I have status no matter who I am. If I’m hanging out with Jay-Z, I’m cool even if we’re hanging out at Denny’s. While high-status men often have wealth and power, neither of these elements is necessary. Even the lead singer of a mediocre band in a dive bar has a certain amount of status because he’s up on stage and everyone, including you, is watching him perform.
Some women are uncomfortable saying that they are attracted to high-status men, because they don’t want to be perceived as superficial. Yet there are obvious reasons why a woman might prefer a high-status man. Such men—and their romantic partners—have access to people, events, places, and situations that others simply don’t. Moreover, it’s often the case that the personality traits that led them to develop status in the first place—ambition, social intelligence, confidence, etc.—are themselves attractive.
Status has an immediate and powerful effect on many women: so powerful that it can completely reverse how a man is perceived. My friend Stephen had a lot of success with women even before his bootcamp and was perhaps a little bit too eager to show off his skills on his first night infield with us. As soon as we entered the nightclub, he took off from the group in order to “check out the club and see where all the women are.” By the time he found us again, most of the instructors were in the middle of demos, so he went to the bar and had a couple drinks by himself, while looking around for people to talk to. He was completely oblivious to how his behavior was making him look. He was alone and no one knew him at the club, so he just came off as lonely and desperate—not exactly high-status.
Excerpted from It's Your Move by Nick Savoy Copyright © 2013 by Nick Savoy. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted December 12, 2013
All this guy did was drone on and on about helping MEN become pick up artists, throwing in the occasional bit about how to make yourself approachable and shunning the idea of approaching a man yourself. Garbage.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 4, 2013