10 Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love

July 2, 2012

My recent post describing the importance  of a woman escalating emotionally to draw a man in and create attachment has hit a nerve. I’ve heard from several women readers who have tried out some of the suggestions with positive results. In addition, several readers both male and female have expressed curiosity about which gestures worked.

I’ll describe the ones I’ve learned about, then let’s share ideas! I’ll follow hurricane naming conventions to protect privacy 🙂

1. Adelae and Andrew had a second date planned for Saturday night. Andrew had gotten a dinner reservation at a place they both wanted to try, but he’d had to settle for 8:30. Adelae suggested he come by for a drink first. She went to the liquor store and picked up a six-pack of the microbrew he’d ordered on their first date. When he arrived and she poured it for him, he was pleasantly surprised. He asked, “Wait, is this just coincidence or did you know this is my favorite beer?” She said, “I remembered that you ordered it on our first date.” 

2. Brendan and Becca had plans to grab dinner one Friday after work.  After most of Brendan’s coworkers took off early for the Hamptons, he was stuck holding the bag when a last minute request from a client came up. At 9:30 he called Becca to apologize for missing dinner. He said, “I know it’s late, but we could still get drinks if you want.” Becca asked him if he’d eaten, and when he admitted he hadn’t, she said, “Listen, why don’t you just come over. I’ll make you something, and we can relax with a glass of wine. You sound like you need to put your feet up.” Brendan said, “That sounds awesome. I’ll be there in 15.”

3. Caitlyn really values the small affectionate gestures that Charlie makes after sex. Little kisses, stroking her hair, running a finger down her arm, or touching her face while looking into her eyes are the moments where she feels something real happening between them. She decided to initiate some of these gestures herself, even though she knows that guys aren’t that emotional  about sex. One morning, she fell back onto the pillow and turned toward Charlie. She caressed Charlie’s face, ran her thumb along his jaw and chin, then stroked his cheek. She smiled and kissed him gently on the lips. He was right there with her – the emotional energy between them was intense. 

4. Daphne and Dylan agreed to meet for drinks one evening. They hadn’t been dating long, and Dylan has not yet let Daphne pay for anything. When she arrived at the bar before him, she requested a table, and ordered drinks for both of them. When he arrived, he saw his scotch and grinned. “You got me.” 

5. Emily had a great first date with Edward. She’s used to getting thank you texts from guys…”Hey, thanks for coming out tonight, I had a great time.” When she got home, she decided to initiate the text this time. She said, “Thanks so much for dinner, I really enjoyed our date tonight. I would love to do it again if you’re down.” Edward texted back right away, “Haha you beat me to it. I’d love to. Let me give it some thought and I’ll call you this week.”

6. Felicity’s ex was very sensitive to her getting attention from other guys. On a few occasions, drunk guys had walked up to them while they were out and stated that she was too hot to be dating him. Since he was very cocky and dominant, (though not particularly handsome), Felicity had welcomed these interventions as small triumphs, a reminder to him that he had done quite well for himself. 

Now, though, she was single again and had been dating Frank for a few weeks. Frank seemed to be a genuinely good guy, and she wanted to emotionally escalate with him, without worrying about having the upper hand for a change. When they went to a ballgame with friends and then out to a nearby bar afterwards, Felicity kept her attention firmly focused on Frank. After one beer, she told him that she couldn’t wait to be alone with him, and was ready to leave whenever he was. On their way out the door, with his hand on the small of her back, she avoided eye contact with strangers.

7. Greta had only been on three dates with George when his birthday arrived. She wanted to celebrate without presuming too much so early. She told him that she’d like to cook dinner for his birthday, on whatever night worked best for him (she assumed he would spend his actual birthday with family or close friends). She put a lot of effort into the food, music, candles, etc. and bribed her roommates to stay out for the evening. 

8. Henry called Hannah in a terrible mood. After 20 minutes of complaining about his work, he suddenly said, “Hey, I’m sorry. You shouldn’t have to listen to me complain like this.” She said, “Don’t be silly. It sounds like you worked really hard and didn’t get the credit you deserved. We all need to vent sometimes, I don’t mind at all. So what did your boss say next?”

9. Isabel hoped to see Isaac over the weekend. An associate in banking, he knew he would probably have to work both days. On Saturday evening, his only free time, he took the train out to his parents’ home for dinner. Isaac apologized to Isabel for not having been more available. She said, “I love how close you are to your family. It’s one of the things I like most about you. I’m sure your parents were happy to see you.” Isabel told me that it’s important for her to remember that Isaac has very little free time, and she can’t expect to hog it all. She said, “In the end, his schedule may mean this isn’t going to work, but it isn’t fair for me to pressure him or make demands of him. The last thing he needs is more stress from me!”

10. Jack and Jessa’s first time included his carrying her to bed, Notebook style. *Swoon* Jessa isn’t the sexting type, but she did text him later to inform him that she was having difficulty concentrating at work all week.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9z3_gwyCjg

Guys:  What do you think of these moves? What would you love to have a girl do to ramp up the emotional piece?

Girls: What have you tried that has gotten you very positive feedback from the guy you’re into? What are some other ways of escalating emotionally?

  • OffTheCuff

    Some of these made my hearts pound, triggering great memories of Mrs. Cuff at 18. Wonderful stuff. If a man doesn’t like this, he may not have a soul.

  • OffTheCuff

    *Heart, I promise I am not an alien with multiple hearts.

  • J

    LOL. Fast learners these girls! I particularly like the A example. It’s lowkey, but it very individualized as she remembered and acted on a particular taste of his. Buying a drink or making dinner is nice, but anyone can do it. I think little stuff like remembering what beer he ordered makes a big impression.

    Wow. That scene from The Notebook was amazing. They shouldn’t have cut it. It makes a really haunting counterpoint to the death scene–the young passionate couple starting out vs. the old contented and devoted couple checking out.

  • mjay

    Wow. Be nice. Be fair. Share.

    Why are these basic issues so hard for women to come by in America?

    • Wow. Be nice. Be fair. Share.

      Why are these basic issues so hard for women to come by in America?

      In this era of combat dating, I think it feels risky to both sexes to demonstrate interest in an emotional connection. Everyone fears they’ll be taken advantage of. That’s why these kinds of moves are only useful if you’ve selected a worthy guy. (And for guys, you’ll only see them from a worthy girl.)

      For example, Felicity would have gained nothing by focusing on her ex that way – their dynamic was adversarial. It wasn’t until she met someone who she thought would appreciate her loyalty that she saw the potential benefit of laying her cards on the table pretty early.

  • I think little stuff like remembering what beer he ordered makes a big impression.

    I do remember two things I did when I was dating my now husband. He told me his favorite brand of coffee and that they didn’t sold it on USA anymore and he hasn’t had it on 5 years. It took me like a month to find it on Ebay from a guy in Indonesia (or was it Thailand?) but I sent him a pound (it was too expensive for me to sent more) and I know he shared with his at the time roomates, he still has part of it I guess as a souvenir. The second was his favorite rum I found a liquor online store in California that had it and I continued to sent it to him for Christmas and his birthday at the beginning given that he usually requested it. So it looks like this worked for me too. Is funny that I totally forgot this, at the time I was in a “one mission quest to find this things from him” I still do it like I mentioned about looking for new songs and artists and also made him nice nerdy T-shirts with his favorites MST3k movies in it. 😉

    • OK, so you all know my husband is a big Beatles fan. He also loves clothes, and early on he told me that he would love to find a tab-collar shirt like the one George wears on the cover of Beatles VI:

      tcs

      This was in 1982, before the Internet. I decided I had to find this for him for Christmas, and I figured NYC would be my best bet. I took the train up from Philadelphia one Friday and headed to Soho where, sure enough, I found one. The saleswoman asked me what size I needed. I said, “15-35.” She exclaimed, “Wow, you got yourself a tall skinny fella!”

      Boy, did he go crazy over that shirt. He wore it until it fell apart. But what I remember most is how much fun I had hunting for it, and how psyched I was to bring it home with me that day. I couldn’t wait until Christmas came around so that I could give it to him.

  • Chris_in_CA

    “Everyone fears they’ll be taken advantage of. That’s why these kinds of moves are only useful if you’ve selected a worthy guy. (And for guys, you’ll only see them from a worthy girl.) ”

    That’s an important distinction to make. A worthy woman would seek to escalate like this.

    This does NOT mean every woman who emotionally escalates like this is worthy. Just on their own, these actions can be (and are sadly often) used as a smokescreen. Other behaviors can better determine a woman’s real character. We men must watch for them and judge accordingly.

    Games on one side, games on another.

  • J

    Nice gifts on both occasions, Ana. Thank God for the net; it makes it easy to find things like that. A couple years ago, I found some out-of-print books DH wanted and thought he’d never find again.

  • Nice gifts on both occasions, Ana. Thank God for the net; it makes it easy to find things like that. A couple years ago, I found some out-of-print books DH wanted and thought he’d never find again.

    God bless almighty Internet indeed. 😀

  • Underdog

    Susan:

    “Felicity would have gained nothing by focusing on her ex that way – their dynamic was adversarial.”

    I think she would. Just because a guy is cocky/confident doesn’t mean he likes it when his girl welcomes other guys’ attention. Maybe their dynamic wouldn’t have been so adversarial if she cared a little more about what his sensitivities?

    • Maybe their dynamic wouldn’t have been so adversarial if she cared a little more about what his sensitivities?

      Fair point. It’s hard to say what that relationship was about – I don’t know them. The fact that she considered these attentions a sort of “I’ll show you” made me think he took her for granted, but it could as easily have gone the other way.

      In any case, she’s learned a lesson and is trying to demonstrate loyalty and faithfulness early on this time around.

  • Lokland

    I’m with Cuff these are all excellent. I have quite a strong fondness for the A section. Any woman who remembers your beer after one date is a god send.

    Second, F is an excellent strategy.

    Third, H is a cool girl. Occasionally a bitchin session about the idiots you work with is necessary.

    Last, The G’s are similar to an event in my life. Our first date was exactly one month before my birthday. She came over to my place, made dinner the whole bit. Even better when your on the opposite side of the continent from family.

    One that the lady did and does for me is an Instant Coffee from her home country. I went there, had it and it has been my morning brew since. I have been recieving a box of 100 every three months on the dot for the last 2 years.

    One other thing she has done for a previous birthday was stick a chapters giftcard in the back of a photoalbum before she went home for a year. She meant to give it to me on my birthday but my adventurous self found it early. That was very touching.

  • Ramble

    But what I remember most is how much fun I had hunting for it, and how psyched I was to bring it home with me that day. I couldn’t wait until Christmas came around so that I could give it to him.

    Right around last Christmas NPR ran a story about some study that had been done about how we genuinely react to gift receiving and gift giving (they did this, I think, with brain scans).

    Well, it turns out that it really is better to give than to receive and that, in general, we prefer less expensive, more personal items than expensive ones.

    Humanity is a good thing.

  • Abbot

    “That’s why these kinds of moves are only useful if you’ve selected a worthy guy. (And for guys, you’ll only see them from a worthy girl.”

    Its very natural and easy to let go when the other person has been deemed worthy [per whatever criteria used]

  • Why do all of these moves “work?” Simple: The woman is being vulnerable, and men are not used to that.

    For a mature man, a woman who sticks her neck out and risks ridicule/rejection/criticism from the sisterhood is a breath of fresh air. You know up front that you’re dealing with an adult who will not play games, as well as someone who is a “giver” and not a “taker.”

    Last [type]: The Root of Your Dating Issues

    • @Permanent Guest

      Why do all of these moves “work?” Simple: The woman is being vulnerable, and men are not used to that.

      The word vulnerable pretty much says it all. Girl Game (to the extent that it exists) is Vulnerability Game. Game (as used by men) is Invulnerability Game. This isn’t surprising, since feminism made men vulnerable and women invulnerable.

  • Marie

    This post made me depressed. Thinking about the guy I was dating carrying me to bed, cuddling for 3 hours in the morning and all of these things I did for him. And it unraveled into nothing with no explanation at all. Sigh. Sorry to be a pessimist, I’ve just reached a point where I feel like everything’s 100% unpredictable no matter what you do. Given up at 22.
    Will wait around for a post about a woman practicing revenge or something else to lighten my mood 🙂

    • @Marie

      It’s important to keep this in perspective. Of the ten stories here, most will not end in marriage. Most likely, some of these relationships will fizzle early, some will take hold and last 2 or 3 years, and 1 or 2 will go the distance. That’s OK – you only want to marry once and you want it to be with the right person. Your ex was not the right person. The fact that he could disappear on you with no explanation indicates either extreme immaturity, low empathy, or both. Not a keeper.

      You know what they say – living well is the best revenge. Live your life and in time be open to meeting someone new (don’t have a rebound fling!). 22 is very, very young. I had a dry spell for a couple of years at your age. As long as you select carefully, and filter out men who will waste your time (not to mention your youth and beauty), you will do fine.

  • J

    @SW

    Great story!

    @Ramble

    Well, it turns out that it really is better to give than to receive and that, in general, we prefer less expensive, more personal items than expensive ones.

    I’m not surprised at that. When DH and I were going together, he showed me a newspaper article that said there was no difference in happiness between people who made $20K/yr and those who made much more. Recently, I showed him a similar article on the net but the figure quoted was $40K/yr (Inflation!) It really is the little things.

    You know up front that you’re dealing with an adult who will not play games, as well as someone who is a “giver” and not a “taker.”

    And that’s what mature people look for in relationships.

  • Abbot

    “Will wait around for a post about a woman practicing revenge or something else to lighten my mood”

    Unsure as to what would be beneficial but the Jaclyn Friedman approach certainly will not do any woman any good…

  • J

    Sorry to hear about your breakup, Marie. 22 is way to young to give up. As painful and unexpected as this may be, having had one successful longterm relationship really does indicate that eventually you will have another. Give yourself some time to heal, and don’t jump into a rebound relationship. Don’t preoccupy yourself with trying to figure what happened. Many men dodge that conversation because they’re uncomfortable with breaking up. There may have been no real reason for the breakup except for the dopamine rush drying up on his part.

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    Excellent post. All examples would definitely go a long way toward winning me over.

  • J

    The Jaclyn Friedman approach ?? Yikes!

    Don’t worry about that goop on your screen, Abbot. It was just my head exploding.

    Srsly though, JF’s approach to her issues is really indicative of a larger problem that she should seek help for. It is dangerous mentally and physically.

  • I have an example from early days with my husband that I think showed him I was into him.

    We met in World of Warcraft, which has its own virtual currency called gold (which mostly represents time investment). A few days after we started talking, he mentioned that he didn’t have enough gold to get an important skill (flying) for his second character. I happened to be a compulsive saver even in video games, and I decided to give him the gold. Back then several thousand gold was considered a lot, and I think that gave him the clue that I liked him on more than just friendly basis.

    I think the reason why gift-giving works for women is that guys don’t expect it, especially at the beginning of courtship. It shows heavy investment on her part even if it’s not a big gesture. Guys want to feel special, too, and they know if a girl is spending effort on gifts to him, she is not likely to give the same kind of attention to other men. It’s sort of the equivalent of an “early decision application” to a college, where that college knows you haven’t applied to anywhere else. It’s the opposite of shopping around and playing hard to get, so it does carry a larger risk, but the return on investment is also greater. 😛

    • @Hope

      I love your gifting your gold! That is a story you will definitely tell your children. 🙂

      It’s sort of the equivalent of an “early decision application” to a college, where that college knows you haven’t applied to anywhere else.

      What a brilliant analogy. If you’re pretty sure you like this guy (school) why not offer the commitment up front? If he (school) doesn’t want you, you’ll know quickly and you can continue your search for a better match. If he does reciprocate, you have just saved yourself a whole lot of work and trouble.

  • Abbot

    “JF’s approach to her issues is really indicative of a larger problem”

    Yeah, that larger problem is consumer culture reaching so low as to manifest itself into unrestrained misguided cheaply thrown about female sexuality, really bad parenting notwithstanding…

  • Abbot

    Vulnerability is inversely proportional to N

  • J

    My understanding of her problem is that she is stuck in the rut of trying to restore a feeling of control over her sexuality after (depending on your point of view) either having been raped or taken advantage of while drunk at a dorm party in college. I really don’t care to debate whether or not she was truly assaulted, “asked for it,” or whatever. No one here was there to witness it. My point is that she has written that her Craigslist “dates” are “therapeutic.” She is trying, in the most self-destructive way possible, to exorcise some demons–while actually making her situation worse. If I knew her IRL, I’d worry for her, but her pattern of neuroticism strikes me as a personal problem as opposed to a societal one.

  • Just1X

    @Marie
    I’m sorry but 22 is too young to give up, you’ve got decades before your soul needs to be crushed. Nihilism takes work, effort, years to perfect…why not have fun in the meanwhile?

    Presumably the sun is out where you are? Go have a drink with friends in the warm sun.

    The weathermen have basically said that the UK is shagged; no summer this year. For the forseeable future it will rain. Bye bye Olympics, so long Wimbledon. The joke is on them, we already had a couple of nice weeks earlier in the year, and the water reservoirs are now full – no more drought warnings and hosepipe bans. See, the glass is at least half full

  • Abbot

    “her pattern of neuroticism strikes me as a personal problem as opposed to a societal one”

    But it is highly unlikely that this pattern would have included the manner employed if not for the societal de-shaming of saying “yes” on this or that whim.

  • Jonny

    Fall in Love? Or Fall in Bed? They are all sexy examples. Not sure Love and Sex are the same things.

    To give us an example of Love, you need to have long-term examples of 3 to 6 months.

    • @Jonny

      To give us an example of Love, you need to have long-term examples of 3 to 6 months.

      Agreed, the behavior should be consistent over time, not just an early effort to win the guy over, followed by a withdrawal of special treatment. I agree with Abbot that N is a good predictor here, to the extent that you can suss it out.

      However, the emotional escalation strategy is one that women should deploy early – as I said in the previous post on this, women should go all in early to reduce the guy’s risk and promote emotional attachment. Research shows that we all like people who like us. Demonstrating affection and caring for someone increases the odds quite a bit that they will like you back.

  • Valentin

    “Guys: What do you think of these moves?”

    I’d go insane trying to contain my adoration. “Fortunately” I don’t meet women like that so… phew? No seriously: I’m jealous and feel almost vindicated atleast some girls finally “get it”, even though I’m not and will probably never be on the receiving end. Good for you and points to Susan for doing such great work. 🙂

    • @Valentin

      Hey, it’s so good to see you, it’s been awhile!

      I confess I am so gratified to hear from women trying to do this, and finding that men respond well to it. They act like they’ve discovered some elusive secret, but it’s simple. And yet it took me three and a half years of blogging before I hit on this idea!

  • J

    Maybe, maybe not. The current social climate certainly makes it possible for her to write about her acting out with Craigslisters and have a following that’ll enable and defend it as a “lifestyle choice,” but in other times, she’d still acting out. It would look crazier to those around her though. She wouldn’t write about it or have public support. She would still probably have a cadre of similarly damaged friends.

  • Underdog

    Hope, I’m glad being a chinese farmer got you a husband. I kiiiiiddddd.

  • Tom

    The Felicity comment was insightful – it showed she was interested in clawing back power in the relationship which she gave away. If the ex was such a cocky dominant type – was that why she married him? (and we are not talking about dating – she married him). There are plenty of women who use that stick to beat their husband with – “See, I can replace you. You should be grateful (more submissive?) that you have me.” Now imagine a guy thinking that about his wife – “Yeah, you are getting kinda dumpy after kid number three – I can replace you….” When a woman does it to a man, no one challenges her feminity. But the man? “What kind of man are you?”

    • @Tom

      If the ex was such a cocky dominant type — was that why she married him? (and we are not talking about dating — she married him).

      Um, no. She didn’t. However. I hear what you are saying. You are objecting to the female “instilling dread” in the male, and that is a fair point. I don’t know anything about Felicity’s prior relationship, it sounds rather dysfunctional.

      It sounds like she has realized the value of ignoring, or even preventing, attention from other males.

  • pvw

    7. Greta had only been on three dates with George when his birthday arrived. She wanted to celebrate without presuming too much so early. She told him that she’d like to cook dinner for his birthday, on whatever night worked best for him (she assumed he would spend his actual birthday with family or close friends). She put a lot of effort into the food, music, candles, etc. and bribed her roommates to stay out for the evening.

    PVW replies:

    I met the husband while I was in graduate school and I knew fairly early that he was not a “cad,” so I went all in. Winter break (Dec. to Jan.) was upon me, so we agreed to keep in touch while I was gone. We really developed a sense of emotional intimacy, calling each other while I was gone, ie., I’d call him, he’d call me. A short time after I got back from winter break, it was his birthday.

    I recall several emotional escalations, ie., sending him a nice birthday card, explaining that I really liked getting to know him and wouldn’t mind taking things further. Perhaps as part of that, if I remember correctly, his birthday was that February; I invited him over for some home cooking, a main course, salad, appetizer (?), birthday cake for dessert. I gave him the leftovers to take home, I believe; the cake, at least.

    We were exclusive a short time thereafter. But the dude made me wait for the sex, though! Until he was ready and took me a way for a weekend trip (all on his expense) up in ski country….

    Hmmm……

    • @PVW

      I recall several emotional escalations, ie., sending him a nice birthday card, explaining that I really liked getting to know him and wouldn’t mind taking things further.

      Whoo hoo! I like that move! That’s really going all in – saying outright that you want things to get more serious. Higher risk, but higher reward, or at least sooner reward.

      We were exclusive a short time thereafter. But the dude made me wait for the sex, though! Until he was ready and took me a way for a weekend trip (all on his expense) up in ski country….

      IIRC you said he had spent some time celibate, is that correct? I respect this so much – a man withholding sex. Talk about discernment!

  • Red

    My boyfriend was known by his friends (and various nameless former lovers) as unemotional bordering on asshole-ish with girls. I think he was rather enjoying the (stringless) benefits of being a handsome and confident single man. At 24, I’m his first girlfriend.

    On our third date, he told me that he was very effected by meeting me, and that I was different than other girls. I was very skeptical about his intentions because of his history, but we’ve been dating for almost 6 months and he’s never so much as ignored a text message.

    I’m not sure exactly what I *did,* but I’m certain that being generally nice didn’t hurt. I just tried not to be intimidated by his high sexual market value, and be sweet (read: vulnerable). I offer to cook when he’s tired. I mended his favorite shorts. I wrote a note on his cereal box to wish him a good day at work.

    Last weekend, he took me to a black and white movie, and surprised me by walking me in to one of the most expensive restaurants in town, “Because I looked too beautiful for anywhere else.”

    • @Red

      Welcome! And well done, it sounds like you played your cards right. I love hearing the success stories. 🙂

  • Mike43

    I’ve been married for 33 years, and what I’ve learned is that all of the above examples include one common denominator: thinking.

    When my wife and I first met, it was about 5 months to my birthday. She got me a pocket watch that I had admired when we were window shopping that summer. (My birthday is in October.) That thoughtfulness, combined with her regard for my feelings, told me that she considered my feelings, thought about me, and was concerned for my happiness.

    Pretty much sealed the deal. We married the following summer.

    Over the years, I’ve tried to replicate that consideration, to some success. I’ve learned that thoughtful gifts or gestures, are the most fun to purchase, like Susan stated.

    • @Mike43

      That thoughtfulness, combined with her regard for my feelings, told me that she considered my feelings, thought about me, and was concerned for my happiness.

      Pretty much sealed the deal. We married the following summer.

      What a powerful message to send someone – no wonder men respond with affection and commitment. You’ve been married even longer than I have – I think women today feel these things just as strongly, but are far less likely to lay their feelings on the line. And of course, men are far less conditioned to expect such affectionate treatment.

      Which makes this a great strategy for women. If few women are behaving in this way, it’s a competitive advantage.

  • Underdog, well, my husband does call me his Chinese gold farmer. 😛

  • wavevector

    “3. Caitlyn really values the small affectionate gestures that Charlie makes after sex. … She decided to initiate some of these gestures herself, even though she knows that guys aren’t that emotional about sex. ”

    I think women should be a bit careful in projecting what they like on their male partner. The dynamics of hetero sex are usually not symmetrical, nor are the gestures that accompany it. Male gestures of affection often express caring, but also protectiveness and a certain benevolent dominance. Female gestures, on the other hand, often solicit caring by conveying a willing submissiveness.

    For example, after sex my wife often snuggles up to me and rests her face on my chest, while I put my arm around her, caress her and stroke her hair. Her gesture is submissive and solicits care, while mine is dominant and demonstrates care.

    If a woman uses typical male gestures, the man may feel she’s trying to top him. Now some men may like that, and assume the submissive role. Others may be turned off by it because it challenges their dominant role. And others may take it as an assertion of equality from the woman and back off their own protective and caring gestures so as to be more egalitarian and not exhibit undue dominance.

    I suspect that none of these responses is what Caitlyn is hoping for.

    • @wavevector

      For example, after sex my wife often snuggles up to me and rests her face on my chest, while I put my arm around her, caress her and stroke her hair. Her gesture is submissive and solicits care, while mine is dominant and demonstrates care

      Good point. I agree – after sex it is always good to snuggle in, to be enveloped by, the male. I do think that Caitlyn made a smart move, though, to gently caress his face, and kiss him. Her feminine touch on his masculine jawline – I think that’s a winner. But as you say, perhaps that is just projection, IDK.

  • Ceer

    The first and most basic thing is to make your attraction explicit.

    For early stages, a good tactic is to find something that you like about the man and explain why you like it. Once you complete this, you can usually come in for a little close contact.

    For later stages, find out what he likes you to do. Whether it’s cooking, back scratching, massage, eyelash batting…all guys have an attraction trigger that is action based. Most know themselves well enough to know what that is. Later on in a relationship, if you haven’t figured it out, it’s acceptable to ask.

  • @tom#34:
    Careful tom; your comment just might disappear for the foul offence of daring to notice an inconvenient truth…

    O.

  • Pip

    Beatles blather for Susan…

    I took a Russian course at A&M taught by one Olga Cooke. She is related to Richard Cooke (niece? cousin?) who was mocked by John Lennon in “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill.” She was apparently in India as a girl and present during the events loosely described in the song.

  • What a brilliant analogy. If you’re pretty sure you like this guy (school) why not offer the commitment up front?

    This is a good perspective my husband is the first man that I was ever willing to be this open and generous with. My experience before was that if a man thinks he is a God’s gift to women he wouldn’t appreciate a lot of this because for him he deserves it thus you are not doing anything special just recognizing his greatness, entitlement and narcissism traits. My cad friends and my sociopath of a brother had all sorts of women doing nice things for them and they wouldn’t hesitate on treating them as disposable because they knew they will “put up” with it, because they showed their cards early on.
    So I think this is both a way to escalate and a test of character if after all this he doesn’t move forward, tries to reciprocate or react with escalation on his part then chances are you are better off moving on quickly, YMMV.

    • @Anacaona

      So I think this is both a way to escalate and a test of character if after all this he doesn’t move forward, tries to reciprocate or react with escalation on his part then chances are you are better off moving on quickly, YMMV.

      Yes, definitely. I mentioned how important it is to select a worthy object of affection. That man will appreciate the emotional escalation and respond with signals of attachment. (Or he may appreciate the gestures, but not reciprocate the feelings, it happens.) It should be a dance – each party responds in turn, creating a series of beautiful moves.

  • Abbot

    “She wouldn’t write about it or have public support”

    IOW she might be just as desperate to normalize her behavior in order to feel better about it but would have to just sit and stew, fists clenched, rocking back and forth into the night…

  • SayWhaat

    Sorry to be a pessimist, I’ve just reached a point where I feel like everything’s 100% unpredictable no matter what you do.

    Girl, I am with you. This post made me ‘WTF’ in a serious way. I have done almost all of these things (or things similar) and STILL ended up getting seriously burned by guys!

    Examples of emotional escalation I have done:

    – cooking up an Indian meal for the both of us
    – taking him out to his favorite restaurant for dinner and buying him a birthday card
    – whipping up a batch of “spicy” brownies because he had a penchant for sweet and spicy things mixed together (then again, this one probably doesn’t count because he dumped me before I could share them with him)
    – posting links of jokes to his FB wall that only he would understand/texting inside jokes
    – texting him to tell him how I had a great time on our date, and that I hoped to see him again soon

    That does it. Men in New York are officially spoiled brats. I am spending the rest of my life warning younger women to stay the fuck away from the dating scene here.

    • @SayWhaat

      That does it. Men in New York are officially spoiled brats.

      The technique is only useful on quality guys! You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear!

      Ideally, one filters before emotionally escalating, but if not, the emotional escalation itself will separate the LTR guys from the spoiled brats.

  • SayWhaat

    But what I remember most is how much fun I had hunting for it, and how psyched I was to bring it home with me that day. I couldn’t wait until Christmas came around so that I could give it to him.

    I absolutely love giving tailored gifts. One of my closest friends and my dad are both Khaled Hosseini fans. I found out that Hosseini was doing a book signing at the local Barnes & Noble and went and got two books for each of them. The look on their faces when they opened it at Christmas…loved it. And for the Secret Santa at my office, I gave a framed black & white picture of Frank Sinatra because I knew the guy was a fan. He loved it too, and it’s been sitting on his desk ever since.

    There’s such a joy in giving gifts you know the recipient will love!

    • There’s such a joy in giving gifts you know the recipient will love!

      It’s true. I can say that giving my husband (then boyfriend) gifts and having him say Wow was more gratifying than having some CEO say wow at a presentation when I was consulting. No comparison! Obviously, this depends on what you consider important in life…

  • Sassy6519

    @ SayWhaat

    Wait, did you and your boyfriend break up?

    If so, I’m sorry. I know what that’s like.

    You wouldn’t believe the large acts of emotional escalation that I did for my ex-boyfriend, and you know how that turned out for me.

    Some people, both female and male, don’t appreciate such acts.

  • Mike C

    Why do all of these moves “work?” Simple: The woman is being vulnerable, and men are not used to that.

    I can’t find where I read this just recently, but the author made the excellent and absolutely correct point that a source of great female power over men is demonstrations of vulnerability and softness. This of course is 180 degrees away from trying to ape male aggression and assertiveness.

  • SayWhaat

    No no no, BF and I are still together!!! And he’s great. Lol.

    I was referring to emotional escalation on previous dates with OTHER guys.

    Sorry for giving you the wrong impression!

  • Mike C

    On our third date, he told me that he was very effected by meeting me, and that I was different than other girls. I was very skeptical about his intentions because of his history, but we’ve been dating for almost 6 months and he’s never so much as ignored a text message.

    I’m not sure exactly what I *did,* but I’m certain that being generally nice didn’t hurt. I just tried not to be intimidated by his high sexual market value, and be sweet (read: vulnerable). I offer to cook when he’s tired. I mended his favorite shorts. I wrote a note on his cereal box to wish him a good day at work.

    Red, you did a lot to differentiate yourself from many of your peers. How many 20-somethings do you think can actually mend shorts?

  • Sassy6519

    @ SayWhaat

    Oh, okay.

    Thanks for telling me. I was worried for a minute there. I’ve been gunning for you and your boyfriend since you two became an item.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Mike C

    Red, you did a lot to differentiate yourself from many of your peers. How many 20-somethings do you think can actually mend shorts?

    *Raises Hand*

    I can mend clothing.

    One of the many things I did for my ex-boyfriend was that I mended two of his shirts that he had large tears in. I stitched them up, by hand, and used a loop stitch so that the mending would be barely noticeable.

    That prick didn’t deserve half the kind things I did for him, honestly.

    I was born in the wrong decade, clearly.

  • pvw

    Susan:

    Whoo hoo! I like that move! That’s really going all in – saying outright that you want things to get more serious. Higher risk, but higher reward, or at least sooner reward.

    PVW:

    Quite true, sooner reward! I admit, I was shy about it, so I sent him a birthday card by mail; I recall seeing him the first time after I sent it…nice memory, sweet moment.

    Susan:

    IIRC you said he had spent some time celibate, is that correct? I respect this so much – a man withholding sex. Talk about discernment!

    PVW: Yes, he was celibate, and I respected it quite a lot. We didn’t have sex until around 3 months of dating. A lot of discernment on both our parts, it was really intense.

    • @pvw

      A lot of discernment on both our parts, it was really intense.

      One thing young people today often miss is the power of anticipation. Short-term gratification just isn’t as sweet. For me, sex when in love is exponentially more gratifying. I know most women feel that way, and clearly at least some men do.

  • Susan, I have gotten rejected doing emotional escalation before, but it’s so much better to know than to waste time!

    Before I met my husband, I really liked this other guy, and I confessed my feelings to him and was very serious about it. He was dating several other girls and didn’t reciprocate. It hurt a lot at the time, but if that hadn’t happened, I never would have met my husband. Consequently, I feel lucky to have gotten rejected. 😛

    As for the guy, much later, after my husband and I got married, he told me that he had thought about me and what I had said, and even somewhat regretted his decision, because he was finally at a point in his life where he was thinking seriously about a family. I politely exited from the conversation and didn’t talk to him again. But I think this does show how powerful it can be.

    • @Hope

      Before I met my husband, I really liked this other guy, and I confessed my feelings to him and was very serious about it. He was dating several other girls and didn’t reciprocate. It hurt a lot at the time, but if that hadn’t happened, I never would have met my husband.

      Yes, emotional escalation is a real time saver! Although the most narcissistic guys won’t hesitate to lap up the attention without reciprocating, most guys will either be into it or make it clear that the affection is not requited.

      I’ve known women to go a year or more without knowing exactly what the relationship meant to the man – which invariably means it didn’t mean much. Remember that story about Tom and Jane 🙁

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    That does it. Men in New York are officially spoiled brats. I am spending the rest of my life warning younger women to stay the fuck away from the dating scene here.

    From what I’ve heard from friends in NYC, you couldn’t pay me enough to attempt to try to find any kind of serious relationship there.

  • I am spending the rest of my life warning younger women to stay the fuck away from the dating scene here.

    This reminds of the Myers-Briggs Type thread in which we noticed that a lot of us have similar letters and still ended up in the same place without any strategy in the part of Susan to gather us (or at least that I now off ;)) so I think NY and some other cities have environments that probably attract the asshole type. My guess is that if you study group dynamics specially in this time and day were people can move around easier than on ancient times we are going to find a lot more of this social bubbles. Again “If you find yourself kissing a lot of frogs you might be living on a swamp”, YMMV.

  • Infantry

    @ Chris in CA

    This does NOT mean every woman who emotionally escalates like this is worthy. Just on their own, these actions can be (and are sadly often) used as a smokescreen. Other behaviors can better determine a woman’s real character. We men must watch for them and judge accordingly.

    Sadly, yes. Just like men supplicating and throwing dinners at girls, some of these things could be ploys to get a man to commit. I could see narcissists and gold diggers escalating like this. That said, these actions should be enjoyed and taken as a very good sign.

    Just don’t use their existence in isolation as proof you don’t have to run any screening.

    • @Chris in CA, @Infantry

      Just don’t use their existence in isolation as proof you don’t have to run any screening.

      Cosign. Men should have filters for women seeking commitment or resources without love. It always makes sense to test congruency in behavior, as well as seeking signs of real emotional vulnerability.

  • Infantry

    @ SW

    Ideally, one filters before emotionally escalating, but if not, the emotional escalation itself will separate the LTR guys from the spoiled brats.

    Yes. Its the same with guys, but our escalation happens much earlier.

    Unfortunately like some of the girls here have found, escalation is no guarantee of success. But you DO need to escalate to have success (in general). It sucks because I hate the idea of girls’ natural femininity and energy being stunted by negative experiences with men.

  • anonymous

    A story similar to #4 is one of the reasons I fell in love with my favorite ex-girlfriend.

    Stories similar to #1, #2, and #7 are among the reasons I’m in love with my wife.

    Stories that are the *opposite* of #8 are the reason why that latter love isn’t as unreserved as it should be.

    Not sure if a fake email address will make it through the comment filter, but for obvious reasons I’m not putting any identifying information into this post.

  • J

    LOL, Abbot, you’re enjoying that image a little too much–but yeah, quite possibly.

  • J

    Good point. I agree – after sex it is always good to snuggle in, to be enveloped by, the male.

    Especially if you can get yourself enveloped BEFORE he rolls over and falls asleep. (I keed, I keed.)

  • J

    Sorry to be a pessimist, I’ve just reached a point where I feel like everything’s 100% unpredictable no matter what you do…..Girl, I am with you. This post made me ‘WTF’ in a serious way. I have done almost all of these things (or things similar) and STILL ended up getting seriously burned by guys!

    Doing these things won’t really make a man fall in love with you. What they will do is let a man know that you’re emotionally attracted. If he is too, then he will be encouraged. If not, then you should slow down the escalation or move on. In fact, any escalation by women whould be very gradual with the woman testing the waters as she goes. You don’t want to over-invest in a man who doesn’t love you back.

  • Infantry

    Sorry to be a pessimist, I’ve just reached a point where I feel like everything’s 100% unpredictable no matter what you do…..Girl, I am with you. This post made me ‘WTF’ in a serious way. I have done almost all of these things (or things similar) and STILL ended up getting seriously burned by guys!

    There’s no guarantees in life. All of these things won’t be enough if he’s physically not that attracted to you or if he has no plans of settling down.

    When I was younger I was that guy. I’ve had girls come over to cook for me or with nice expensive shirts as presents. I just wasn’t attracted enough to them or I wasn’t at a point in my life where I wanted a committed relationship.

    I feel like a bit of a dick now thinking back about those times..

    But yeah, you’re not going crazy. Girls need to know that they can do everything on this list, be doing all the right things, and still not have things work out. You’ve got to manage your expectations and try not to get into the ‘I did all this great stuff for you and you still don’t like me? Asshole!’ mindset. When you think about it, that’s exactly what passive aggressive ‘nice guys’ do. Its better if girls can do these things without expectations.

    • You’ve got to manage your expectations and try not to get into the ‘I did all this great stuff for you and you still don’t like me? Asshole!’ mindset. When you think about it, that’s exactly what passive aggressive ‘nice guys’ do. Its better if girls can do these things without expectations.

      +1

      Emotionally escalating is only going to produce a result as good as the raw ingredients. In no way is this post about how to flip a player. You start with the raw material of a high quality guy who is open to a relationship with the right woman, and then you go about demonstrating you are that woman.

      One more thing. Yes, emotional escalation is a strategy, but it’s not meant to be used as a series of tricks or tactical maneuvers. It’s about being feminine, nurturing and seeking opportunities to signal you genuinely care for this man. And perhaps most importantly, it is the area where the woman must take the lead – as I said in the previous post, I recommend going all in and making it clear you want this man and only this man. If he doesn’t feel the same way, the rejection stings and you move on.

  • Deli

    If you want examples, I got a small one:
    I am fond of putting individual lines from lyrics (sometimes from very obscure songs) into my Facebook status. (yeah, I know people think it’s cheezy )

    My ex used to google these songs and then occasionally show, that she heard them: dropping some other line from the same song in the conversation a week later, or independently posting picture, that would relate to the song, on her wall.

    It was fun.

    • My ex used to google these songs and then occasionally show, that she heard them: dropping some other line from the same song in the conversation a week later, or independently posting picture, that would relate to the song, on her wall.

      That is really sweet. That is exactly what I’m talking about!

  • Marie

    @ Infantry “Its better if girls can do these things without expectations.”

    Well, yes, but easier said than done. I don’t snuggle in bed with a man without expectations – if we’ve slept together, I have expectations (provided it’s not a random hookup, but in the scenario I mentioned, it was clearly not). I think Susan has talked about “surrender”, that at some point you need to go all in and put our heart on the line. It’s necessary for a man to fall for you, but you risk getting hurt. At that point you have expectations, I wish I could give out shares of my affection to various men while keeping my heart for myself and see which project shows the best potential before investing. But it’s not that simple, perhaps it is for men, but not for us (me).
    I try to avoid labeling a man as ‘asshole’ if he simply doesn’t like me enough. But it is easier if I can look back at our time together and see there were signs, or if he was clear about his preferences or if he ended things in a clear way. Sometimes you see those things when your head is clearing up. But I look back, and I seriously don’t. He took me out on great dates, introduced me to friends, cooked for me and could lay with his head on my lap for 3 hours. He asked if he could come to my home country with me. I was unavailable to see him for a couple of weeks, when I suggested to meet up again, he didn’t get back to me for a week. I gave him the chance to give a brief explanation over facebook (He didn’t even have to call! Dating etiquette has changed), and he just gave me the usual “when can I see you?”. It was clear his affection had disappeared, but he couldn’t come out and say it. And he’s 27. When do they reach that age where they can be upfront? It took three days from he called me on the phone and went on about me being an amazing girl till he didn’t reply to my text. You don’t fall out of it in three days. Either something significant happened (back with his ex) or he faked his entire affection for me to get what he wanted. If it’s the latter, I do feel a right to be kind of angry about that. I’m a cuddly and affectionate person – he knew I cared about him.

    Sorry rant. Don’t man to derail the thread. It’s hard not to get cynical, because I can’t say I ‘ignored the red flags’ – I did honestly believe he was a good bet as he did most of the emotional escalation and personal talks.

  • obmon

    I have chosen to MGTOW because I do not have any hope of finding a woman like the examples here anymore.. shame.. a few of these brought tears to my eyes.