Tuesday, June 27, 2006

BF "Social Proof" David

It has been said that you are never as attractive to the opposite sex as you are when in a relationship. I've always found that frustrating. I hate to think of human nature as driving people to gravitate toward what they can't have. The "feast or famine" nature of the dating world can also be maddening. As a matter of pure etiquette, I also think there's something rather rude about flirting with someone who you know is in a relationship. Especially when her boyfriend is right next to her.

At the same time, that's the way social proof works. If you're with a good-looking and charming person, it raises your esteem in the eyes of others. I mean, there must be something great about you to attract a person like that, right?

There's also the "it happens when you're not looking" adage. When you're not trying. When are you not looking and trying less than when in a relationship? Not to mention that people having sex on a regular basis tend to have a happy, relaxed glow to them.

It all makes sense, and yet I was still surprised when, over the weekend, several guys acted a tiny bit too friendly with my boyfriend in the vicinity.

One of the guys was a regular at Bar K, there celebrating his birthday. True, we were all toasted (hours of drinking at a previous bar had been going on at this point) and there was a festive atmosphere at the place. Nevertheless, I had talked to Bar Regular on a number of prior occasions and he never flirted with me. That night, however, he smiled, stared, complimented how I looked, and hugged me for a little too long. All with BF David a foot or two away.

It was a nice ego boost, but made me a tad uncomfortable, so I made it more obvious that I was there with my boyfriend. A few smooches later, Bar Regular got the hint.

"You two make a great couple," he told us.

"Yes, we do," BF David and I nodded.

"Have fun," he said to BF David as we were heading out, giving him a significant look.

"Oh, I will."

Another incident took place on the subway on Saturday night. BF David and I were heading to my apartment and took the lengthy ride to catch up on some reading. He was finishing up the last few pages of The Game, while I indulged in a gossip rag.

"Excuse me, but is that a Neil Strauss book?" A guy sitting near us asked.

"It is," BF David held it up to make the cover visible.

Subway Guy then started talking to BF David, talking about how he used to live next door to Neil and how Neil tried to hit on his sister.

"So what's the book about?"

BF David and I smiled, knowing the conversation was just beginning. We told him.

"Do these pickup artists really exist?" Subway Guy asked.

"Honey, why don't you answer that one," BF David gestured for me to take it away.

I talked about PUAs for a bit, and Subway Guy was riveted. The conversation then turned to dating in general and online dating specifically.

"I just got back from an online date, actually," he said.

"Yeah, we're both online dating veterans," I commiserated.

His eyes lit up. "What's your profile name?"

"Oh, I took down all my profiles before I even met this one," I pointed to my boyfriend.

"But what were the names?"

Puzzled as to why he'd ask, I told him, adding, "They're hidden now, though, seeing as I have no use for them." What did I have to do, give BF David a blowjob to get the message across?

Subway Guy was very outgoing and pleasant to talk to, but I was relieved when he got off the train. I got this odd feeling that he may have been flirting with both of us, though BF David said he was definitely flirting with me. I don't know. After all, he didn't even begin the conversation by talking to me. Which is when BF David pointed out that the cluelessness about PUAs might have been a ruse, and an indirect way to get my attention.

"Isn't one of the tricks to ignore the target and get her to start talking to you?"

BF David was right. All this time in the seduction community and I failed to notice one of the primary techniques.

Was subway guy hitting on either of us? Was he a bit more aware of the PUA world than he let on? Perhaps. Was Bar Regular simply friendlier because of his state of birthday inebriation? Could be. Was one of my guy friends from the same bar outing being sweeter than usual because he's been getting some, too? It's possible.

However, BF David has been getting more attention, too. Women are smiling at him left and right.

Where were all of these people when we were single? Probably smiling and flirting with other people in relationships.

Looks like being unavailable has made both of us more appealing.


pookalu said...

woo hoo! am i the first commenter?

so, i think, given how long i've been single, i must be completely unattractive to the opposite sex. i think i need to go out with a wing man. or maybe i have to go out.

but i have a theory -- not just the "attractiveness" factor of which you speak, but also that you, in the relationship, come across as a lot more open to being talked to because you don't have that weird thing at the back of your mind thinking whether or not that person is into you or not. the uncertainty breeds uncertainty.

and maybe BFD as well as you -- not just confidence, but the comfort in your own skin.

theory two -- you happen to get hit on by a lot of men, therefore, i don't think it's any different percentage-wise pre-BFD and post-BFD. you just know you don't want to reciprocate any attention...

rambling on....

StrangerInTheseParts said...

Could be that people feel much more free to hit on people in relationships because there is less risk. People know in advance that their flirtation is likely to get rejected for a reason that has nothing to do with them per se. Easier to take a chance when the rejection can be deflected away from yourself.

Alternately - don't forget how much people are stimulated by comptetition. Nothing is so attractive as when someone else finds it attractive as well. It's not that the person seems more attractive because someone else likes them, it's that people look for that opponent to turn them on.

SecondarySight said...

Hey Dolly,

First post here... I've really enjoyed your blog. I have been extremely impressed at how open minded you are about the seduction community. I can understand why some people condemn certain practices or mindsets in the community, but when someone condemns the community as a whole, I can tell that they don't really know anything about it. In contrast, you have realized that not everyone in the community can be lumped together, and there is a wide range of goals, motives, and mindsets.

Part of the problem is that when many people hear words like "pickup" or "seduction," their brains seem to shut off and all they can think of are greasy guys with too much chest hair showing, wearing gold chains around their necks, who have the sole goal of "conquering" as many women as possible with false promises of love. The problem is, that there is no value-neutral term for what a male does to intentionally induce a woman to want to have sex with him, by arousing her desire and making her feel comfortable. Something like that is what I mean by "seduction." I think the lack of positive terms for men learning how to interact with women sexually says a lot about our culture's attitudes towards sex and towards men.

Furthermore, I have been interested in how you have been applying principles from the community when you are female, and figuring out which of those principles work for you and which don't. Rock on!

Which is when BF David pointed out that the cluelessness about PUAs might have been a ruse, and an indirect way to get my attention.

That's quite possible. I know that whenever I am in a conversation about the seduction community, I don't advertise my involvement in it until I can tell that they will be cool with it and not judge me to be some "male chauvinist pig" who "objectifies women" and is only looking for notches on his bedpost.

(Especially if I am talking to a woman, because many attractive women have trouble relating to the kinds of social and romantic difficulties that so many shy, introverted males can face. This is not because attractive, extraverted women don't have romantic difficulties; they just have different difficulties, such as dating strings of guys who are horrible for them, or hooking up with guys who turn out not to want relationships with them, while introverted, socially-inexperienced males have trouble getting any female to pay attention to them in the first place. These women often have trouble understanding why a guy would have such a goal-directed attitude towards sex, instead of waiting for it to "just happen." Yet most guys are goal-directed about sex because our culture says it's their job to, and because if they sat around waiting for an attractive woman to pursue them, they would be waiting a very long time.)

I usually just say that I've seen some of the PUA stuff around the internet. I've told a couple of my female friends about my involvement in the community, but not until they knew me well and I had already passed a few ideas by them (and one of them had read The Game).

jo said...

in that case those of us who are truly available haven't a chance in hell haha!

NotCarrie said...

That's so interesting. I think I've done that before-been attracted to someone taken. I think it's bc I figured if she liked him, I might, too. (Not that I hit on any of them, I didn't.)

And the BJ in the subway would have been hilarious.

coasta said...

many girls I know date guys until the relationship eventually fizzles, at which point they might meet someone new....so, in that light, I pay no mind to a girl who says she has a boyfriend. If she somehow details how serious it is, then I'll think otherwise.

K said...

I think it's just a matter of knowing that if you think someone is attractive, and they have a boyfriend/girlfriend, then your attraction to them is justified somehow. Like when you like a pair of shoes and no one likes them, even the strongest of us start to waver that maybe they are weird. But if you like a guy, and other people like him enough to snap him up as a boyfriend, then hey, he really is desirable. An insecurity thing maybe.

CoatMan said...

It is intriguing; perhaps people in a relationship are more confident? Confidence, as no doubt you know, is one of the most attractive characeristics that there is.

dianne_lone said...

i think that is somehow true.. when you are married or taken, you get to be more attractive.. many say you look sexy when you are taken.. haha. But for me, I just look sexy.. lol! Its obvious, I have my webdate inbox loaded of messages from admirers..haha! You might want to message me in webdate too.. lol!

Cassandra3383 said...

Being single sucks! I used to be so alone for the longest time but thankfully I found my favorite site, webdate_dot_com and I never looked back! I love online dating!

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