It seems like I've been beating up on the pick-up community a lot lately... but I've learned a lot from them. And I'm grateful - they've helped me solve a lot of the difficulties that I had in developing a relationship.
One of them? The chemistry problem.
Before I started to educate myself, my dates went pretty predictably. I'm pretty good at having conversations with people... but, after an evening of pleasant conversation, I wouldn't get a second date. The usual? "You're a really great guy... but I just can't see you as a boyfriend."
It was clear. I needed to make changes. And I made a lot of them.
I can't talk with authority here. There are people in the community who are much more experienced than me. But I can talk about some of the key things that made a difference for me.
Set expectations during the first phone call
Typically, during my first phone conversation with a woman, we talk a little bit about our eHarmony experience - it's something that we have in common from the start. One thing that I say is that I've met some great people through the service... but just didn't have chemistry with that many of them.
And there we go. I've set a subtle expectation. If she wants to stay with me... she's got to work to hold my baser instincts at attention, too. Otherwise... we're just friends.
Get comfortable with playful touching
This was another problem that I had - after all, when I returned to the dating scene, I hadn't physically flirted with another woman for over ten years.
I was uncomfortable. Awkward. Afraid she'd slap me away, and that I'd blow it completely.
Well... I was dead wrong with that last sentence.
Most women have had uncomfortable physical advances. And they've learned how to politely turn away. Unless you're doing something really boorish... you're probably going to be okay. Even if you're a little too aggressive.
But if she's starting to show subtle signs of interest, and you're not initiating physical contact... it's a fast track to the friend zone.
There are tons of guides on the internet about initiating touch. A google search on "kino escalation" (the pick-up artist's term for this) will probably turn up some good articles. Or, maybe some experienced pickup artists can leave a comment with an article they found helpful. Find them, read them, and learn.
Keep the suspense alive
A lot of guys end the date by relieving tension. Saying they had a good time. Asking for the next date, right then and there. Ending when you're kind of happy, but exhausted and running out of things to say.
You may be satisfying some short-term urges. But you're removing tension.
You want her to wonder if she's meeting your standards.
First of all, keep the first date a little short. You want her to wish it had been longer.
Next, when she gets home, you want her to be nervous about when and whether that phone will ring. Because, if you don't... she'll be spending her time worrying if a relationship would work out. And she'll start analyzing the date for "red flags". And no one passes that test.
If she asks if you're having a good time? Give a polite yes.
If she asks about the next date? Be vague. Say that you need to check your calendar, and that you'll call her. (That's girl talk for "I'm thinking about it.")
How soon should you call back? Experiment.
For me, personally? If a girl is interested, she'll usually call before I call her. Many pickup artists talk about waiting 3 or more days... but waiting that long hasn't worked well for me, personally. Two days has been the "sweet spot" for me.
So, for me, when I started to display that I was rating her on "chemistry", and left her in suspense about my judgment... I've found that women will try hard to please me. And they'll do it with physical play, once I started to get the ball rolling.