Perception is Everything in Dating
For years everything I did around women was meticulously planned. I couldn’t send a text message unless I’d triple-check it first. I made sure every word, behavior, action, and thought aligned to what I was learning was “attractive” to women.
While I almost made myself neurotic, I also attracted way more women than when I just did “what felt right.” Even though my new behavior felt unnatural at times—and even awkward—it was an improvement leaps and bounds above my former chumpy ways.
Yet, I couldn’t help but notice guys who broke all the “rules” I was so studiously adhering to, and somehow still attracted women. These guys were putting in less effort, and achieving more success. What gives, I wondered.
And indeed, this is a frustration echoed by many students and followers of dating advice. It’s the ultimate mind-fuck when you watch a guy act needy, “beta,” and awful around women…and yet still attract them.
If you, too, have ever wondered, “What gives,” then here’s your answer: perception.
Bobby Rio and I often discuss the power of perception. Or, as Bobby likes to describe it, “the lens through which she sees you.” The oft-cited example is the “player versus nerd” binary, where a woman either sees a man as being something of a playboy or she can only imagine him drowning himself in a collection of Playboys.
I can you tell from personal experience, having been on both ends of the binary, that this lens is why some guys can get away with “needy” behavior while others certainly cannot. Because if a woman believes that you’re already good with women, and that there are plenty of other women chasing you, then needy behavior will actually help you.
Conversely, if a woman sees you as another nerd with a crush, anything you do that could even be construed as needy will sink your chances—every time. This is where knowing some dating advice is extremely helpful because it helps to change her perception of you. If she second-guesses the lens she sees you through, you may be able to seduce her. If, however, her perception is reinforced (by you displaying needy behavior), then her legs are locked. Point, set, match.
It would seem then that managing a woman’s perception of you is really all that’s needed to master the game. This, however, is wrong. Not only is “managing a woman’s perception” manipulative, but it’s also pointless. It’s a mistake to try to make a first impression of “alpha,” “badboy,” or any other “attractive” archetype.
Instead, you’re better off “playing it where lies.” That means, her perception of you doesn’t matter (even if it’s negative)…but how you play to that perception does. For example, a girl may think I’m either a player or a nerd (it really doesn’t matter), and, once I determine what lens she sees me through, I’ll adjust how I treat her accordingly. If she thinks I’m a nerd, I’ll probably act edgier, cooler, and less affectionate. Should she think I’m a player, I can be warmer, more complimentary, and relaxed.
The reason most guys can’t do this is because most guys can’t be objective. Most guys don’t know how to perceive themselves, so they can’t read a woman. Either a guy thinks he’s “too cool” or he’s just a Debby Downer who’s always lambasting himself. His clouded perception of himself is essentially cock-blocking his success with women.
So, to master the art of perception, which is really mastering the art of seduction, learn to step back and analyze the situation through an objective lens. I’ve written extensively on how important “objectivity” is in dating—and especially learning to become better at dating. Most guys make the mistake of sees everything through a subjective lens. Let her worry about the “subjective lens”…concern yourself with knowing how to play TO that lens.
Here is another article related to the subject: https://www.tsbmag.com/2017/11/27/6-quotes-from-the-art-of-seduction-to-up-your-dating-game/
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About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.