This is a tricky concept, mainly because quite a few guys tend to dismiss the “old-fashioned” common sense on this matter in favour of the more alluring and more “alpha” nonsense present online.
Fact is, there is a fine line between acting like a cool guy with an abundant mindset, and acting like an uncalibrated guy who doesn’t get it.
To the first guy, each girl is unique in her own ways, meaning each girl is unique in terms of her personality, her interests, the way she interacts with him, her physical traits, etc. But then, in terms of being a sweet and feminine cute girl, she’s just one of the many. When talking with the first guy, a girl can feel that the interaction is genuine, and that he sees her as a person rather than as an impersonal object. At the very same time she can also feel that he doesn’t need her, and this is a turn-on for her.
To the second guy, girls are all mono-dimensional entities evaluated on a single and objectifying parameter, the way they look. When talking with the second guy, a girl can feel that the interaction is fake, and that he sees her more as an impersonal object needed for him to reach an objective (e.g. notches, flags, etc.), rather than as a person. She feels treated like a commodity during the interaction, since it seems the guy is just going through a routine while talking with her, and this is a turn-off for her.
The principle is clear: on one side there are genuine and personal interactions (good), on the other side fake and objectifying interactions (bad).
Just to be clear, I’m not saying that on one side there are guys who do the right thing 100% of the time, while on the other side there are guys who are just lost causes. No. What I’m saying is that on one side there are guys who have gone through a journey, guys who surely have made some mistakes and then learnt the relevant lessons from them, guys who have understood the importance of transmitting genuine interest when interacting with girls. Those guys understand the principle, even if they don’t apply it 100% of the times.
On the other side there are guys who most likely lack introspection, who never step back to assess if the way they are doing things has any margin of improvement, who dismiss common sense in favour of the online “alpha” nonsense, and who probably have a basic understanding of the principle, but for some reason refuse to acknowledge it as relevant – either because they perceive it to be “weak”, or for some other self-defence mind hacks that their ego has put in place.
I’m one of the guys who has done a few mistakes along the way, and then learnt the relevant lessons from them. We’ll go through those lessons in this post.
And just a caveat before we get started: I’m naturally attracted to sweet and emotionally healthy girls, and I strive to spend my time with them only, steering clear of the drama-seeking and emotionally broken women. As such, all the conclusions I reach below are applicable to girls who can be considered as “normal” by my standards.
I was in Moscow, having a drink with a girl somewhere in the city centre. It was our first date, and for some reason we were looking at my phone, most likely because I was showing her some photos (she could speak very good English, hence no need to use the phone to communicate). I had met her through Tinder, and while we were both looking at my screen, a Tinder notification appeared on the top of it. She immediately rushed for her glass, and proposed a drink to… me!
За тебя! [za tibyà = to you]
I had the clear impression that she felt under pressure when she saw that notification, since it signalled to her that I was “in demand” and that she had competition, and she immediately felt the need to take my attention back.
I was still in Moscow, with another girl this time around, going down the escalator together to get the metro. Once again we were looking at my phone, when at some point I received a notification from the text messaging app. For a split second the name of the sender appeared at the top of the screen, and it looked something like:
Moscow Tanya 25
The girl I was with didn’t say anything, but she didn’t look particularly impressed either. I felt the same way actually, I felt that it would have been better for that notification not to appear while we were looking at my screen.
So, what was different in this case compared to the Tinder notification in the example just before?
In the case of Tinder, it was a matter of me being in a certain environment, the same one where me and the girl I was having the drink with had met in the first place, and being at the receiving end of some positive attention (e.g. a message, a match, a like, etc) without actively looking for it. In the second example, the notification from the text messaging app signalled two things: first, that I was actively acting on my interest towards the other girls (and up to here it’s still part of the game, but being more “tactful” and less “transparent” about it would have been a better choice); then, that I was filing girls’ numbers on my phone in the bureaucratic and commodifying “city–name–age” format. Not good.
Looking at things from a different perspective, the first case would be equivalent to being at a party where people actively mingle, and receiving some positive attention from women just by being sociable, without needing to actively work for it. This kind of positive attention is “not your fault”, since you are “just being sociable” and those girls “can’t help themselves”. Good. The second example, on the other hand, would be equivalent to being in a bar where people don’t mingle, hitting on a girl there, taking her number after a good interaction, and then hitting on the girl just nearby. The so-called “normal” girls don’t react well to this kind of behaviour, and this is why the Nightgame Quick Turnaround Method exists!
And by the way, the lesson learnt from the second example is simple: when going through these days of multiple dates with multiple girls, and especially when you foresee that the two of you may look at your screen together during the date, mute all conversations except the one with the girl you have the date with!
In every Russian city have been, there have been multiple times when I had three or four dates in a single day. Days with three dates were fairly common, while I can only recall one single day with four dates (i.e. one in the morning, one mid-afternoon, one late afternoon, one after dinner – see how I never go for lunches and dinners). Such intense days are typical of when you are doing first dates and checking which girls you click better with, then as you move towards the second and third dates you want to leave more time between dates, especially if you feel that the girl is potentially open to the idea of intimacy (and by the way, traditional Russian girls are not “easy”).
Multiple times a date lasted more than I had anticipated, and I had to go to the toilet to text my next date that I would be late. Multiple times the girl wanted to go for a walk somewhere after the tea/coffee we were having, or wanted to show me some more of the local attractions, and I had to explain that I needed to go back, either because “I was feeling a bit tired” or because “I had some work to do”. Etc. I was literarily jumping from one date to the other, from one girl to the other, and on the surface there is nothing more commodifying than what I was doing. But, and this is the key, each date was genuine, and each girl had my full attention while we were together. I never looked at my notifications, nor did I ever reply to my incoming messages in front of the girl, etc. Sure, I was nonchalantly keeping an eye on the time, but I never rushed any date to an abrupt end, and the very few times I eventually had to cut it short it was when the date had already significantly overrun, and I always had a “compelling reason” for why I had to go back to my place. All girls were happy to see me again, and none of them ever mentioned anything about feeling treated like a commodity/like routine.
One girl once asked me if I was in contact with other girls there, and our conversation was something like:
I need to ask you a question if you don’t get offended by it.
Are you in contact with other girls here in [name of the city]?
Yes, I am. And I imagine you are in contact with other men as well.
Yes, this is normal.
And that was the end of it. No reason to discuss the point any further, and nothing to be jealous of for any of us. We had met through Tinder, hence it was normal that both of us were in contact with other people as well (by the way, she was one of the two Pearls I met in Russia).
Let’s now imagine the case where one guy has three dates in one afternoon, the first one is running late, and he wants to signal to the girl that he has options and that he is “in demand”:
I need to go now, I have two other girls to see this afternoon… It was good meeting you, see you soon :)
Seriously, how socially uncalibrated would that be? How would you feel if the situation was reversed, meaning if the girl cut the date short and specifically mentioned that she had two more guys to see for the day? Hardly impressed I would say, since you would feel treated like a commodity.
Let’s look at a real-life example now. I was in a secondary Russian city, on my first date of the journey there. Me and the girl had quite a nice walk in the city, she showed me some of the local attractions, there was a lot of snow which I love, and the overall vibe was pleasant. I know a little Russian, hence at times we were exchanging in Russian, and at some point she said:
You are the first foreigner I meet who can speak some words of Russian :)
Surely it was intended as a compliment, but I found that statement to be commodifying and I was hardly impressed by it – just the opposite of what she wanted, I assume.
I was at the supermarket once, sorting out my items on the moving belt just before paying. One female sales assistant was working at the till, and another female staff member was standing up next to her. The two of them were talking and seemed not to have noticed me in the slightest, never mind displaying an Indicator of Attraction to me. Fine. Those two girls were of the aloof type, if you know what I mean.
I started putting my items on the belt, and the items started to move towards the till. At some point, the girl who was standing up looked at the items on the belt, and saw that I was buying some make-up remover pads. At the time I was using the Clinique Men product line for my basic skincare routine, and as part of that routine there was an exfoliating tonic I had to use, so those make-up remover pads were for… ehm… me!!
But the girl didn’t know that, she assumed I was buying those pads for my girlfriend, and as soon as she saw them she started fixing her hair instinctively. This happened two years ago, and I remember that scene as if it was yesterday, because I found that unconscious reaction fascinating to some extent. And that, my friend, was preselection in action.
Shortly before that episode I was looking for an apartment in my new city. I had access to a relocation company through my work, and that relocation company had assigned an agent to me. She was a fashionable middle-aged woman of the Diva type, the kind of woman who commands a certain degree of attention wherever she goes, and we spent one day together looking at the apartments she had selected for me. We were finished around mid-afternoon, and we sat outside a café to have a drink together. We had our drink, then we stood up, shook hands, and we both left in opposite directions.
There was a girl sat with her friends in a table behind me, and as soon as I turned around, she looked me straight in the eyes and gave me a smile. Fact is, in my experience girls don’t do that, they are much shier than that: they steal glances, they have their vibe perturbated, they display some Indicators of Attraction looking straight in front of them, etc, but they don’t look me straight in the eyes and smile so confidently, especially if they are with their friends. I had the clear impression that she was so eagerly smiling at me because she had seen me with the fashionable woman, and this was preselection in action once again.
Let’s assume a guy enters a bar, strikes up a conversation with a group of two girls, and takes a phone number. The interaction was good, the two girls were warm and receptive towards him, and the guy seemed to know what he was doing. So far so good. He hugs the two girls before saying he will text them soon, and moves away from them to get a drink.
There are other two girls there, who were spending time watching what was going on in the bar since they didn’t have much to discuss, hence they saw the guy hitting on the two girls and taking their number. The guy now starts hitting on these two other girls as well, but they react bitchy and they dismiss him quickly. He’s confused, did “preselection” just stop working there?
Fact is, this example has nothing to do with preselection and everything to do with social retardation (of which I’ve been guilty at times myself). For normal girls the behaviour displayed by the guy is commodification at its finest, since it’s the personification of the “piece of meat” mentality.
Back in 2017 I was in a supermarket once, and that was the time when I was expanding the corners of the envelope, testing how direct and how fast I could escalate things with girls during the day. I saw a cute girl looking at some items on a shelf in an empty aisle, and I went talk to her:
Are you single?
She smiled at me as she replied to the question, but she looked puzzled.
Good, I would like to invite you for a drink.
She was still smiling, but her discomfort was clear, since I was basically treating her like a commodity.
How is that for a direct opener and a quick escalation?!
It was clear that she was attracted to me, and it was clear as well that I was being socially retarded for talking to her like that.
This is another quick approach which I did, but I was successful this time around. And the message is – you can still take a solid phone number in less than 60 seconds, but you need to remain socially calibrated to achieve that.
Once I was on the bus in the city where I live here in Europe, and I could hear two girls sat down somewhere behind me speaking in Russian. I didn’t turn around to look at them, I just heard them talk. I decided that if we were getting off at the same stop, I would go talk to them. Otherwise no big deal.
My bus stop was approaching, and it was one of the main stops, so it was likely they too would have got off there. I stood up and moved towards the middle door, and at that point I turned around to check if they were getting off as well, and also to have a look at them. They were reaching for the rear door.
On the sidewalk I stopped them:
[in Russian] Hello, do you speak English?
[in Russian] Hi, yes.
Cool. Do you live around here or are you here for tourism?
We both live here.
Ok. And where are you from?
I am Russian, she is Ukrainian.
[in Russian] Nice to meet you, my name is […].
[in Russian] Nice to meet you, my name is […].
[in Russian] And I’m […], nice to meet you.
And you, where are you from?
I’m from […].
Do you live here?
Yes, I do, and I would like to invite you for a drink all together so that we can speak some more Russian.
I took the phone number of the girl I interacted the most with, and after a few days we went for a date together. She was 19, and of course she came out without her friend for our first meet-up following that brief conversation.
The interaction was extremely short and to the point, but it wasn’t commodifying at all, this is the key. And by the way, in my experience these brief interactions have higher probability of success with groups of two girls rather than with girls on their own.
Reversing the scripts
There are girls who look bored and unimpressed, girls who don’t seem very much into you but are still willing to come out on dates with you and may even be open to your escalation. Some of these girls will check their phone all the time while on the date with you, some others will have a perpetual blank expression on their face, etc. I am allergic to this kind of behaviour, and as soon as I notice this attitude within a girl, I end things with her immediately, since I like to spend time only with girls who seem genuinely interested in me.
On the other side of the spectrum there are girls who are desperate for some male attention. I mean, not for your attention, just for the attention of a somewhat presentable man. Once I stopped a girl because I was looking for something, no ulterior motive whatsoever. As soon as I said, “excuse me” she turned around with a complacent smile, and after quickly answering my question she started escalating things with me. She started to ask me some personal questions, and every time I replied she was like, “ohhhh” to add emphasis to my answer and make me feel special, but her fake behaviour was a big turn-off for me. I took her number but never contacted her again. She was a bit too eager a bit too quickly, and she was not sweet & submissive but rather calculating & too forward, which is a bad combination.
So, we have just seen two extreme cases, what do they have in common? In cases like those, whether the girl is over-eager or just bored, almost any man will do for her. And since I find that mentality commodifying, it makes me lose interest for the girl pretty quickly.
Some more examples
When I was still advertising my blog on Reddit, I had the opportunity to read what guys just getting started were going through.
One guy was explaining how his date went nowhere, and said that all of a sudden the girl went “inexplicably” cold:
At some point I said, “I heard people from your country are good kissers” and then I went for the kiss, but she turned the other way and then she went cold…
No wonder she went cold, since that statement is commodifying (i.e. it says that he expects her to be the same as any other girl from her country in terms of kissing) and also she has everything to lose by kissing him (i.e. if she is a good kisser that’s just what he was expecting, if he doesn’t like the way she kiss she “just” falls behind the rest of her entire country pretty much).
Another guy was explaining how the approach he did was not successful:
At some point I said, “you are beautiful I would like to see you again” but she…
She was not impressed by that, was she? That sentence signals to her that the only thing that counts for him is her beauty, and that her personality and her achievements are not part of the equation. This may or may not be true, but one thing is for sure: as long as she feels treated like a commodity, she won’t react very well to you.
The importance of Screening and Qualification
Let’s go back to one of the approaches discussed above, the one in which I asked the girl if she was single in my first sentence, and I then invited her for a drink in my second sentence. Yes, the one where the girl declined my offer with a facial expression which betrayed her internal conflict between the fact that she was attracted to me, and the fact that she felt treated like a commodity. If we were to summarise in one simple and concise sentence what went wrong in that approach, what would that sentence be?
My approach felt like routine.
Elaborating the point a bit more, in those sort of cases the girl has the impression that any girl will do for you, and that you approached her just because she happened to be there, but any other decent-looking girl would have be just as good. Simply put, by acting like that you make her feel like a commodity, and she won’t be pleased by that.
And this is why it’s extremely important to show some genuine interest when approaching a girl, as well as having a genuine interaction and acknowledging her at individual level. Before people started assigning a name to everything during the Information Age, what I’m about to discuss could have been referred to as “just being normal”. Now that there is a specific name for everything, let’s have a look at why Screening and Qualification are so important.
Let’s assume that after the “are you single?” opener and before the “let’s go for a drink” offer, you start asking the girl a few questions:
Are you from here?
What brings you out today?
Do you like this city?
Maybe these questions are actually part of your standard routine, but it doesn’t matter if you appear to be genuine during the interaction. Fact is, by asking those sorts of questions, you will start “screening” the girl, and this will actually reassure her, since it signals that you have standards and that “not any girl will do”.
When she replies to your questions, and you then ask a follow-up question or you elaborate on her reply a bit, based on the standard seduction terminology you are “qualifying” the girl.
In my vocabulary, all this is included in the “being socially calibrated” concept. And when you are socially calibrated, you may have already talked of the very same things with 10 other girls already, but then you approach another girl which sparks your interest, and you still manage to make her feel unique and to have a genuine connection with her.
To me, it’s essential to make girls feel valued and appreciated when I talk with them, and the best way I achieve this is by only approaching girls I’m genuinely attracted to, both in terms of their looks and also in terms of their sweetness (see: Female Attractiveness Scale).