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The Quintuple Axel of Girl Game!

mrmrsAfter numerous requests and a very timely email from a reader, I’m launching a new feature: Hooking Up Smart Success Stories! (HUSSS!)

I agree with you that relationship success stories are very inspiring, especially when they contain lessons the rest of us can learn from.

Understandably, I get more requests for advice than reports of brilliant success based on lessons learned here. It’s human nature to seek advice when we want to solve a problem, and most of us aren’t great about circling back to offer positive feedback after the fact. Sometimes, though, I wake up to an email that reduces me to a puddle of tears and reminds me why I continue to write the blog. 

This is one such letter. Ashley, a yearlong reader and doctoral biology student, shares her story below.

[Read more...]

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Tight Girl Game, One Month at a Time

Here’s a great (and quick) TED talk on making small life changes in 30 day increments. That’s the amount of time experts say it takes to form a new habit. 

I’ve used this approach with great success, and I think it’s a great way to improve your Girl Game. How about doing one of these things every day for the next month?

  1. Make eye contact with an attractive male and hold it for three seconds.
  2. Smile at a cute guy.
  3. Chat with a stranger.
  4. Do something nice for a male.
  5. Compliment one male every day.
  6. Say yes.
  7. Write down three attractive things about yourself. 
  8. Write down three reasons you deserve a great guy.
  9. Walk 10,000 steps.
  10. Wear more makeup.
  11. Wear less makeup.
  12. Show some cleavage.
  13. Dress more modestly.
  14. Walk in a feminine manner.
  15. Give up a white food: flour, sugar, potatoes or wine.
  16. Do skin care morning and night.
  17. Experiment with your hair.
  18. Name three things you are thankful for in your life.
  19. Reach out to a friend.
  20. Sleep 8 hours.
  21. Make your own lunch.
  22. Learn one new thing.
  23. Laugh out loud.
  24. Say “I love you” to someone.
  25. Don’t hook up.

After 30 days, if it’s working for you, keep doing it and add something new. If not, ditch it and try something else.

Help me out here – what else?

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The Best Way to Let a Guy Know You Like Him

By popular demand! HUS TV! 

Meghan likes a guy but has no idea how to figure out if the attraction is mutual:

 

Readers, what can you add? Have you successfully navigated this terrain? Or do you have an amusing catastrophic failure you’d like to share? :P

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Dating As Extreme Sport

In my recent interview at HuffPost Live, I described the One-Night Stand as a “high risk maneuver” when used in hopes of procuring a relationship. That got me thinking – we generally expect greater risks to yield greater rewards, but we forget that few risky strategies ever pay off at all. For every Olympian who embraced enormous risk and was rewarded with victory and fame, there are thousands who took the same risks and failed. As David Epstein writes in The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance10,000 hours of practice helps, but our individual genes define the ultimate limits of our achievement. 

Similarly, our wiring, including our comfort with risk, defines our mating strategies in large part. A recent study found that 19% of women (of all ages) have had first-date sex lead to a relationship at least once. We don’t know what percentage of women wanted that sex to lead to a relationship, but based on other research we can safely estimate that many women were disappointed by the outcome when ONSs fizzled. 

On the flip side, one can also play it too safe by adopting risk-averse strategies. In my view, the best example of this is the woman who enjoys the benefits the Women’s Movement has delivered, but still believes that men should do all the asking and paying when it comes to dating.

Each one of us must find the approach that works best for us, given our tolerance for risk. We’re likely to benefit from a diverse portfolio of strategies and tactics, with some play-it-safe approaches, some willingness to put ourselves out there, and the occasional high-wire act. [Read more...]

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Matthew Hussey On Female Beauty

This is the second post in an occasional series about Matthew Hussey’s new book Get the Guy.

playful womanWe spend so much time talking about how visual men are – how a woman’s looks are the only thing that matters when it comes to attracting them. Certainly beautiful women turn men’s heads, and may create a spark of attraction. Yet the story doesn’t end there. Often the spark of attraction develops over time, even for men. 

The study Familiarity Does Indeed Promote Attraction in Live Interaction at Northwestern University found that familiarity does breed attraction:

The more participants interacted, the more attracted they were to each other…These conclusions follow from the many studies, both correlational and experimental, that have supported a link between familiarity – defined as the degree of exposure that one person has to another person – and attraction to other persons. 

…Familiarity, or repeated exposure, creates opportunities for interaction. All other things being equal, as mentioned above, positively toned interactions are more common than aversive interactions, suggesting that such opportunities are more likely than not to lead to rewarding social experiences and favorable impressions.

This means that by interacting with guys over time, you can generate attraction by revealing much more about yourself than your looks. Matthew Hussey agrees:

There’s a huge difference between objective beauty and perceived beauty.

Objective beauty is not constant and changes over time. Looks go in and out of fashion, decade by decade.

…Perceived beauty, which creates visual chemistry, occurs when one becomes attractive through behavior. How charismatic you are in conversation, how you carry yourself, your ability to exude both confidence and playful energy, and how comfortable you are in creating sexual tension – these behaviors are what creates the perception of beauty.  

None of these qualities have anything to do with how objectively beautiful you may or may not be. No one can influence the cultural standards of objective beauty, but we all have massive influence over our own perceived beauty.

…Possessing objective beauty is sometimes useful for gaining initial attention, but if the spark a man feels is to grow into a flame, much more has to be going on…You can’t build a successful long-term relationship on initial attention.

…What [a man] superficially thinks he wants and what actually creates real attraction are two entirely different things. Attraction is emotional, not logical. Attraction is created by hundreds of small behaviors and actions over time, behaviors that can be learned, practiced, and put in the service of creating chemistry with a guy you like.

Regular readers of HUS know that this is the source of my own success with men throughout my life. Many women have wondered how I got a certain guy or kept him, feeling that they were more deserving because they were more beautiful. What are those behaviors and actions that intrigue men and make them want to know more?

Hussey:

1. “It’s important to express sexuality in the early stages.”

A desirable woman doesn’t disguise her ability to be comfortable with her sexual self, and she is able to express it. This expression can be subtle. You express  your sexuality in the way you move, in your willingness to throw a seductive look out now and then, in being able to playfully touch a guy with confidence.

2. “It’s also about being comfortable with allowing an atmosphere of sexual tensions.”

3. “Playfulness is the essential ingredient in conveying your desirability.”

Confidence and certainty form the foundation of interactions, but a woman’s ability to drop her professional persona and have fun helps create a spark in the conversation.

Personally, I have always found that playful teasing is the most powerful ingredient to making oneself memorable – to get him thinking about you, to want to know more about you. Don’t keep him guessing about whether you’re interested – he’s likely to bail. But do keep him guessing exactly what you’re thinking. After 28 years of marriage, I still do this. My husband never knows when I’ll surprise him, tease him,  or say something unexpected. I’m just a little bit unpredictable, and that keeps the energy between us fresh.

Always hold 10% of what you are feeling and thinking in reserve.

It’s the pilot light for an undercurrent of sexual tension that can last forever. 

Hussey offers one gambit that I think is quite good:

A great approach is to use a line about how something drives you crazy and he must stop immediately or suffer the consequences. Works really well. You offer a compliment and then rescind it. By being sexy he is breaking the rules. So of course he will want to break the rules.

“Hey, I can’t resist guys with leather jackets. Take that off right now.”

Note: Do not try this at work.

As you can see, this requires confidence and a bit of boldness. Hussey explains that visual chemistry will quickly fade without sexual chemistry to support it:

A guy wants to feel as if he can imagine having wild sex with you, which is easy to do with a girl who laughs and teases him, who’s passionate and seems comfortable with her body, or who shows that she is willing to be naughty and take herself less seriously…If he doesn’t feel that pull of sexual energy from your teasing, flirting and challenging him, the initial visual chemistry he felt peters out. 

If you find someone attractive don’t throw in the towel before you give him a chance to see what you’ve got going on inside. If you practice treating men with less seriousness, and taking yourself less seriously as well, you can throw off rejection more easily, and as a result you’ll experience less of it. 

It works. Trust me on this.