Yahoo, one of the most MSM-y of the MSM outlets, has a dating advice column that lifts techniques straight from the game literature. In order to stay ahead of the PC police, the author couches it in terms of attracting either men or women, but the reality well-known to those who are actually out there mud-deep in the scrum of the sexual market is that these courtship tactics are more effective when used on women. (Ladies, the only techniques you need to attract men for sex are the following: look hot. To attract men for love, you’ll need more than a young pretty face, but that is a discussion for another day.)
Flattery strategy #1: Get specific with your praise
Since daters often feel like they’re just one amongst a parade of people having coffee with you, demonstrate some genuine interest in the next one you meet to help erase that fear. “We studied the relationship between reciprocity and romance and found that if someone thinks you’re attracted to him or her, it increases that person’s attraction to you,” says Eli Finkel, Ph.D., a psychology professor at Northwestern University. [Ed: This is misleading. The studies on reciprocity clearly indicate that while women are attracted to men they think are attracted to them, women are *more* attracted to men for whom they are uncertain about the men’s attraction to them.] On the other hand, “If someone’s attracted to you but getting the sense that you’re attracted to lots of other people, he or she will tend to dislike you.” The upshot? Prove you’re picky (and that this person fits your high criteria). Then you’re well on your way to making this potential amour pick you, too. Reread his or her profile right before you meet up and tell your date exactly why it stood out from the rest and what you noticed first. And nix any mentions of past bad dates or other negative experiences, which can make it inadvertently seem like you’ll give anyone the time of day.
Game concept stolen: Qualification.
Flattery strategy #2: Create insider info between the two of you
You don’t have to be old friends to cultivate a comfortable rapport with someone. “Make references to things you’ve discussed or emailed about,” says dating coach Annie Dennison, Ph.D. “It creates a sense of intimacy and shows your date you’re really listening.” To really drive home that you find your date fascinating, ask for more information on details he or she mentioned in passing (“I know you like Jay-Z. Which album of his do you think I should download?”). Or tie together stories (yours or your date’s) with a follow-up line like, “Wow, that reminds me of what you were telling me about your trip to Costa Rica/your overbearing boss/football obsession.”
Game concept stolen: Secret world. (Most of the attendant advice in this paragraph is shitty, but the core concept is spot on.)
Flattery strategy #3: Congratulate your date
If you want your sweetie to really beam, show you’re impressed by a feat that he or she is especially proud of. “We did a study and found that when people told others about something good that happened to them and the person responded positively, it improved the whole experience,” Shelly Gable, Ph.D., professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. So don’t just say “Cool!” when your date mentions a win like getting into grad school, finishing a 10K, or just getting an amazing deal at an outlet store. Get into it and ask what he felt when he got the news, how she reacted, which person he told first, or how long she’d been hoping for it to happen. Answering the questions will let your date relive some of the excitement — and associate you with an unexpectedly happy buzz.
Game concept stolen: Emotional connection. (Ignore the part about congratulating her. Just ask leading questions that get her emotions traveling in the right, i.e. sexual, direction.)
Flattery strategy #4: Compliment qualities that are unrelated to [her] looks
When you admire a not-so-obvious trait that your date has, it makes you seem super-insightful. An easy place to start is by connecting his or her job to a quality you appreciate. Tell an accountant that you’re always especially envious of detail-oriented people; tell a teacher you’re in awe of those who can motivate others. If you like what your date is wearing or how this person decorated his or her home, “don’t compliment the ‘thing’ — anyone can buy a thing — but call out what it says about him or her,” says Susan Rabin, author of Lucky in Love. Instead of the tie itself, praise the person’s individual style; instead of muttering “nice couch,” say you’re wowed by people who have an eye for color and design.
Game concept stolen: Ignore her beauty. Women want to think you are an exceptional man because you notice things about them most men don’t. A more cynical explanation: a man who isn’t affected by a woman’s looks is an alpha male who likely has lots of experience bedding women. And chicks dig preselected men.
Flattery Strategy #5: Emphasize your date’s name in your verbal responses
Game concept stolen: N/A. This advice only matters within context. Don’t blurt out a girl’s name until she has earned your recognition by asking you for your name first, and using it within a sentence.
Flattery strategy #6: Playfully tease your date
If you saw The Departed, you probably remember the scene when Matt Damon asks his date something like: “What makes you think I want a second date with you?” — then bursts out laughing. It turns out those childhood playground tormentors (“Ewww, you have cooties!”) were onto something. “Thinking someone is attracted to you is great, but our research also suggests that not being sure about it actually heightens the excitement,” says grad student Paul Eastwick, Finkel’s research partner at the Northwestern Relationships Lab. Hearing that kind of rejection can spike feelings of anxiety — then fill you with relief when you realize it was a gag. So if you’re sure your date has a good sense of humor, give him or her a little ribbing first: “Oh no, you’re an Aquarius? Shoot, I have a rule about that.” Not only do you get to have an instant inside joke, it sends a subtle message that you’re into your date enough to be comfortable joking about it. Just make sure you don’t tease about something the person’s sensitive about — that’s not flirting; that’s an insult.
Game concept stolen: The neg.
Welcome aboard, MSM! Glad to see you are reading sites like this blog and imbibing its wisdom. Who knows what you’re capable of now! Perhaps an honest look at the negative externalities of mass third world migration. Or tough, no-nonsense reporting about innate sex differences in athletic program participation and upper management representation. The world is your oyster.