I saw this phrase a few weeks ago, and it made me think.
Never treat someone like a priority when they treat you like an option.
I remember when I was young and just starting out in terms of trying to improve my life with women, when I used to have women cancel or “flake” on dates quite a bit. This was a big issue for me and for a lot of the other guys I hung out with back then. Nowadays, I get flaked on very rarely, and I think it all comes down to an attitude shift – changing my attitude towards dates from treating them like priorities, to treating them like options.
What Dictates A Successful Date
Cool people who have stuff going on in their lives don’t treat dates like priorities. Beautiful women don’t pull out their blackberries and write “Tenmagnet, 8pm Thursday” into their calendars when I invite them out, and they don’t expect me to do so either. Even if you’re a really cool guy, and she really likes you, chances are any plans you make together are still options, not priorities. And that’s fine with me, because I don’t expect to be treated like a priority, and I don’t really even want to be treated like one anyways.
So what is the difference between a priority and an option?
A priority is when you mark a date off in your calendar, cancel your other plans, and start tidying your apartment just in case she comes back to your place. A priority is when you presume that the date is going to happen in a certain way, at a certain time, and you get fixated on that. Implicitly, when you treat a date like a priority, you’re presuming that the other person is treating it like a priority too. And most importantly, when you make something a priority, you get disappointed when the plans change or get canceled.
Options or Priorities, That Is The Question
An option, on the other hand, is much more flexible. An option is simply the possibility of doing something, with real plans to be decided. When you have an option open with a woman, there’s no pressure, there are no real plans, there’s just an agreement that you like one another and will hang out as soon as your busy schedules work together.
An option is when you have plans for Thursday, but you call her up on Wednesday and say “let’s grab a pint tonight.” Options are not real plans, they only become solid plans a few hours before the event, when you call up and say “Hey, it’s Tenmagnet. You still down for some Vietnamese food in the market?” They are emotionally driven – we will meet up when it feels right, and we will do what we feel like doing at that time. Any plans are really only guidelines for what is going to be an emotionally-driven activity.
Of course that does not mean as a man you should just leave everything to chance and not have plans. The difference here is having ideas on the back burner and materialise them when you or she feels like it… rather than setting a deadline and keeping it even if both of you are not really feeling up to it. Consider things like these fun third date ideas which can be pre-thought of and ready for the taking when you feel the time is right (you do not have to use the date idea right away).
Many say variety is the spice of life, but I say add spontaneity into the mix and you cannot go wrong. It’s often felt that spontaneity cannot involve an element of planning, but they are wrong! You can plan ideas and leave them hanging in the air ready for spontaneous taking if and when the conditions are right… and that, to me, dictates a perfect date!
The great thing about treating dates as options is that they’re low-pressure, comfortable, and make you look like an easygoing, busy guy who doesn’t care too much about the interaction. By treating dates like options, you’re preventing the logistics of the situation from interfering with the emotions of the situation. As long as the emotions are good, as long as she’s attracted to me and wants to meet up with me, then you can be confident that the logistics will work out eventually.
The other thing about options is that they’re easy. Easy come, easy go, easy to reschedule. Because I never treated the option like it was a big deal, I don’t care if she reschedules or cancels. In fact, I usually have several options on any given night (either with women or with friends or other activities) so there are always backup plans. And of course, everyone I have an option with is treating it like an option too, so I’m not leaving people high and dry.
Damaging The Emotional Momentum of A Date
If you treat a date as a priority, or worse, try and make her treat your date like a priority, you’re going to damage the emotional momentum that is driving her to want to meet up with you. If you’ve treated the date as a priority, and it doesn’t work out, you’re going to be disappointed. And if you’re disappointed, chances are it’s going to come out in your voice or in something you say, and all of a sudden, the emotions of the interaction have changed. Maybe she’ll think you’re lame, or maybe she’ll just feel guilty for bailing on you, but either way, attraction and excitement has been replaced with something else. Your emotional momentum is lost, and it will be much harder to get her to meet up with you again.
Two simple rules to follow in order to keeping your emotional momentum going:
- Don’t treat your date as a priority.
- Don’t make your date treat you as a priority.
If you try to make her treat your date like a priority, you’re probably going to come across like a tool. Some so-called gurus advocate calling women out on their flakiness. That’s a great idea if you don’t care about talking to her again. Likewise, trying to pressure or guilt a girl into going on a particular date with you is a great way to ruin attraction and ensure she doesn’t answer the phone when you call next.
To quote Magic Bullets, the standard reference book on succeeding with women:
If she cancels or flakes, don’t be upset. Don’t lecture her… All that punishing her will do is associate yourself in her mind with negative emotions, and momentarily make her feel badly. But don’t worry, she’ll feel better when the next guy gives her attention. (Magic Bullets, page 195).
The fact is, unless you have tickets to a specific one-off event or something similar, it’s really lame and needy to expect a woman to treat your casual date plans as a priority.
Treating dates like options can sometimes be a bit of a pain. Sometimes, you have to wait a week or more between getting a woman’s number and meeting up with her. You can’t plan really complicated dates, and you often need to have some decent phone game to keep the emotional momentum going in between meetups, but in the end, it’s a much more effective strategy. Eventually, as long as she’s attracted to you, she will meet up with you in the end. And the hard-to-get, busy women are usually the most fun anyways