How to Talk to Girls 03
Mar 04

How to Talk to Girls – The Ultimate Guide

By Marcus Neo | Dating Advice for Men

She’s your ideal girl and you feel nervous… you stutter on your words and you finally screw it up big time. Talking to an attractive girl can be intimidating. Yet, it can be learned. This is true be if you’re chatting up a stranger at the shopping or out on a date. This means being able to generate conversations out of mid air with a girl that doesn’t involve you looking like you’re an interviewing her.

How to Talk to Girls – The Ultimate Guide

Some times I get questions on how do I go about talking to women that are complete strangers. I simply say it’s ’empathy’. They often give me confused look. Empathy? What’s that? How does it even look like?

Fundamentally, empathy means putting yourself in someone else’s shoes and imagining how he or she feels in that particularly situation.

Empathy also means should also be aware of her body language. If a woman looks shocked and slightly taken a back, you can take tiny step back and give her more personal space. Here’s a tip: a light smile helps a lot. Such subtleties are different for every woman. It’s also different for different girls you talk to. Girls who are more shy are going to be a lot more taken a back from girls who gets talked to regularly.

Starting out, you’re going to be really worried about lines, techniques, your body language, tonality, eye contact and etc. That’s normal.

However, as you progress. You’ll also find that connecting with women isn’t that difficult after all. The majority of girls aren’t going to slap you in the face.

How to Lead in Your Conversation

One core principle of talking to girls is the ability to lead in conversation.

Fear of running out or words? Fear not.

This can be accomplished by learning the skillset of cold reading. Cold read is the art of generating statements out of cold air. Cold reading can also help you avoid looking like an interviewer. Over the years, I realised questions are inevitable in certain cultures. Just making statements isn’t going to help. The general rule of thumb is to make a statement before asking her a question.

Cold reading isn’t just enough to form a deep conversation with a stranger, you’ll need to know how to:

“You look like you’re on the way to school. Nice shoes by the way. Let me guess, you must be a business student.”

She’s going to either correct you or agree with you at this point of time. It doesn’t matter. It gives you conversational material to work with.

“I study accounting, I don’t really enjoy it, but the practical side of me says that I got to do it, what about you, you’re passionate about business or you’re just following the path of a Singaporean girl?”

You should also attempt to tease her early on in the interaction to lighten your interaction up.

‘You’re probably going to lose money for your company. You totally don’t look like a business student.’

Note: do it with a smile of course.

This is an example talking to a girl after approaching her, coupled with the cold reading skillset, sprinkled with a light compliment. Light compliments and teasing help ease the interaction.

Following up on her response, you can continue asking her questions or statements. This requires free association and conversational improvisation skills. This requires practice. You can’t script or prepare humour. Here’s a mental shortcut: I find useful to stick to general principles such as teasing her about her stereotype that she fits into. If you’re still confused, I created courses as a dating coach that has helped people all over the world succeed in their dating life.

The Art of Story Telling: How to Tell a Story

Can you come off as charismatic when talking to anyone? Starting conversations is an important skill. However, learning how to continue them in a dynamic manner is also equally important.

Ever know someone who went on and on and on… you can’t help but quietly look away hoping he gets the signal that he’s being too too long-winded? Or maybe you know someone who awkwardly attempts to fit in a joke in his conversations?

Human beings, by nature, are enrapt by stories. People in power, businessmen, priests (erhem), comedians, and politicians all use the art of storytelling to explain, persuade and influence others to their way of thinking.

In the dating advice for men community, memorising stories and routines are popular methods. Whilst this might work in the short run, there’s going to come a point of time where you’re going to run out of words. Hence, I advocate understanding the principles of what makes a dynamic conversation and apply them using your own life stories and experiences.

Learning how to tell a story in a structured, and interesting manner will make you a good conversationalist and every great story has a rough three-step process.

  • The Set Up

The set up gives context to the conflict of the story. It’s the general setting, such as the location and brief details of the story. The set up should be as short as possible. But it’s necessary to give the initial context and foundation for the follow-up of the complete story.

If you don’t set up your stories, you’ll come off to others as random in your conversations.

One simple one lined example of the “set up” would be this:

“I was attending my school orientation the other day. Whilst watching the orientation games, there was this girl that tripped and fell. I was an asshole about it and laughed a little.”

It’s descriptive and gives background to the story.

  • The Conflict

The conflict is the part where you introduce the majority of the story. This should be the part that causes tension and expectancy. The content of the story needs to be captivating and hook others into wanting to know what will happen next. If there isn’t much conflict in the content of your stories, you will get the feeling that you ramble on a lot and others are not paying attention to you.

To continue to story from the set up:

“One of the most attractive girls in the whole of the camp took me by surprise and gave me a smack on my arm. I actually froze up! I froze up and walked away like an idiot! I should have just said something out of my mouth or smacked her back. But I didn’t. I retardedly froze up and walked away.”

“However, I never really felt right, that’s because I didn’t want myself worth to be judged on how many girls date, or anything like that. I also felt I wasn’t experienced enough to coach guys that might be twice my age.”

  • The Resolution/ Punchline

The resolution and the punchline are where you insert ‘the moral of the story’, the ‘punchline’ and the ‘joke’ to end of the story, or just closure for a generic story. People who don’t conclude their stories properly will often get blank stares when they’re finished speaking, or people will ask them “Yeah, and…?”

To end off the story with a punchline:

“Lesson learned! Never ever stand beside an attractive woman during orientation games.” (Joke)

“Nonetheless, I’ve decided to give it a shot, as long as I do my research, and stick to my values, and business values, I’m sure it’ll turn out alright.”

These are all true stories by the way.

Learning how to tell stories in a dynamic and interesting manner is a conversational habit has helped me over the years with strangers, sales and persuading others in my business and dating life. Learning how to structure your conversations is going to be helpful for everything from sales presentations, networking events, casual conversations and other forms of social interactions. It can also make or break a romantic interaction when you’re expected to lead in conversation.

The Art of Qualification: Deep Appreciation

Mark Twain was quoted saying: “really great people make you feel that you, too, can become great.”

When was the last time someone took notice of something about you and appreciated that aspect of you? You see, appreciation is as aspect that’s left out in our culture and conversations. That’s because it genuine appreciation requires vulnerability.

The secret desire is that everyone desires to be appreciated and to be admired. The art of qualification is the art of appreciating someone for their values or personality. The way to get good at this is to step outside one’s initial judgments and ask yourself why someone behaves the way they do.

I also don’t mean complimenting someone for the sake of complimenting them. You got to convey your compliments in an authentic manner.

For example: the guy who seems fearless in his entrepreneurial pursuits, selfish with his time, demand and uptight about his schedule isn’t actually being an asshole. He could be working on a huge project that may help his family financially.

Someone who is extremely financially motivated might not be money minded. He might be doing it because he had a negative experience financially when he was young.

I choose to write about social skills, dating and relationships because I essentially care about this area of my life. Writers make choices. It must certainly mean something to me. So does everyone, with whatever they choose to pursue.

The world is mired in advertising, societal narratives, family, friends telling you and everyone else that they aren’t good enough. If you’re able to dig beneath the surface, figure out why people do what they do and appreciate them for that, you’ll stand out from the norm in their lives. It’s only when you find that gold in someone, appreciate them for that, and watch them lit up like a Christmas tree.

How to Build a Deep Emotional Connection with a Woman

You and I all have an inherent emotional need for connection and significance in our relationships. Modern society often shames us for expressing what you really feel or think. Hence all of us grow up to hold back our thoughts, desires, and feelings, whether be it consciously or subconsciously.

If you’re going to connect on a deeper level with a woman and merely talk about the weather, gossip on your mutual friends or nerd out about politics, then you aren’t being truly vulnerable. If all you know about someone is merely the superficial facts about her, then you don’t really know her at all.

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Men tend to converse through information, fact and theories. On the other hand women connect through relationships and emotions. The majority of men pay attention to the “WHATs” of life: their job, their cat’s name and where they live. They rarely peer into the WHYs. Note that facts are mere superficial details of the emotions experienced. You want to relate to the underlying emotions behind the facts.

Conversing through stories and emotions will not only help you connect with her on a deeper manner, but it’ll also help you connect on a more meaningful level. Deeper friendships and romantic relationships aren’t merely built by the number of experiences two people share together, it’s also built upon share values. If you haven’t figure out by now: values are why we do and act on our life choices.

No matter how unique you may think you are, every individual in the world has gone through some form of success, failure, hurt, disappointment, anger and lost. If you wish to connect with her emotionally, you got to open yourself up and relate through these universal emotions and experiences.

I often tell people that I’m quite a good judge of character and their motivation. That’s because I pay attention to the undercurrent of what that person is saying, as opposed to the superficial layers. Emotional connection is built upon empathising and relating to each other’s WHYs in life.

You need to pay attention to the motivations behind pursuits and behaviours.

Here’s an example of going into the WHYs:

Her: Wow, what inspired you to be an entrepreneur at such a young age?
Me: I pursue business I want to be financially free because I felt financially suffocated during my teenage years as my family went bankrupt for a period of time.

That is a ‘why’.

Here’s another way to relate in a deeper way:

I was once a competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and currently I’m an entrepreneur. The feeling before a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition is the same pressure before a giving a business pitch.

They are both some sort of competition in some way. One of them is trying to overcome a physical challenge whilst the other a financial one. The Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competitor is risking failure, success, and embarrassment just like how the entrepreneur is.

Never thought how a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can relate to an entrepreneurship uh?

Like I mentioned, everyone on this planet shares a handful of universal emotional realities: ambition, shame, alienation, loneliness, achievement, regret, hardship, friendship, love, heartbreak. You and I have all experienced it. The facts change, but the feelings stay the same.

It’s merely how well and willing you are able to express yours. This will in turn inspire others to share theirs. This requires a degree of vulnerability. It’s true that many carry themselves in a superficial manner in order to fit in with society. However, everybody has it somewhere in them. It’s your job to dig it out and connect with that part of them. That’s where the real magic happens.

To do this you need to be self aware of your own life stories and motivations.

Be Aware of Your Own Life Stories and Motivations

The rule of thumb here is to always go first. If you share a vulnerable part of yourself, it’ll inspire her to share. However, to do that, you first have to be firstly aware of your own emotions, motivations and life story.

This includes:

  • Your passions and favourite things to do
  • Your dreams, ambitions, life goals
  • Best/worst thing that has happened to you
  • Your childhood, family life and upbringing

You can initiate these conversations by a simple cold read: you look like someone that is close to your family.

This is where majority of men fail at this. Men tend to discuss technical know-hows and superficial details rather than be introspective about their own emotions.

Here’s a reframe: by being alright with sharing any part of yourself, you can become truly confident. The majority of guys suck at talking about themselves. They think talking about themselves is ‘weird’ in some ways. Women, on the other hand are super engaged when they are talking about themselves (or each other). This is why women enjoy gossiping, creating drama or people watching.

Here is an example:

I always wanted to be a psychologist growing up because I had a lot of problems growing up as a rebellious teenager. I was always angry, apathetic and under performing. I ended up being hooked onto self development due to a horrible break up with my ex-girlfriend. I was addicted to the fact that I could have a control over my dating life and social interactions.

Through years of failure, today, I feel much more in control of my dating life. I took an interest in psychology that partially inspired my entrepreneurial projects.

However, if you talk about how you FEEL about your experiences, then you can relate to how she FEELS about her experiences. It’s never the experiences themselves that make the difference, it’s the similar underlying emotions of those experiences that you relate to someone that makes a difference.

Here are some examples:

She studies really hard to get into law school because she was brought up by a single Mum and she wants to be self-reliant and independent. That’s driving her. You can relate to her by saying that you had a distant upbringing with your family and you always had to rely on yourself emotionally to get by.

When you open up about yourself and can relate to each other’s emotions and experience, you’ll elicit them to to open up about themselves. The more this goes on, the more personal stories become and the deeper the emotions you connect with. The harder it is to talk about it as a subject, the more genuine and attractive it potentially can be. For example, topics such as childhood, upbringing and family life are often hard for someone to express, especially so in Asian culture.

Emotional connection occurs only through exposing yourself to a certain degree. It cannot be faked.

Confrontation and Boundaries

Confrontation is necessary to build a deeper emotional connection. Think of it as a parent who sits you down, says something that you don’t want to hear, but know that you should hear. You hate it at first, however, you appreciate that after awhile because deep down you know they are saying so because they care for you.

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Confrontation can be painful and vulnerable. The majority of people avoid confrontation in the fear of rocking the boats in a relationship. However, it is necessary. Confrontation was something I started to get more comfortable with as I grew older. This is especially so with close relationships.

Confrontation from a dating and relationships standpoint can be as simple as calling a girl out for being half an hour late into a date. These conversations are almost often downright uncomfortable, but necessary. However, it is only through confrontation that an authentic and deeper relationship is formed.

Recently, I confronted two good friends. I was feeling really upset on their unreliability and a host of other issues. I kept it in for months. However, it finally felt inauthentic to be around them without expressing those issues. It didn’t feel like a genuine friendship anymore. It felt like I was holding back my thoughts and desires in fear of losing the relationship.

Should You Memorize Lines for Conversations?

Some times I get the question if you should memorize lines for conversations with girls. Personally, I never felt right memorising lines. It has never turned out well for me. Furthermore, you don’t want to be some robotic person repeating what somebody wrote on the internet.

There’s no need to memorize anything, I’ve started conversations with girls all over the world with this simple line: “Hi I’m Marcus, I just wanted to say Hi, you look like…”.

I haven’t had a drink splashed on me yet.

I recommend understanding the underyling principles of how to converse with a girl by using your own unique life stories and motivations. This will serve you much better in the long run. Social interactions has many variables that are out of your control and cannot be completely boxed and quantified like a formula.

However, if you’re starting out, I guess you can memorize one line jokes or some of your own life stories as training wheels.

Putting it all Together

When you combine multiple conversational skillsets of cold reading, making statements over questions, humour, storytelling, improvisation and deep emotional connection, you’ll eventually find yourself in being able to direct and control the flow of any conversation. This is actually easier than it sounds. You are probably already using different parts of these skillsets in your daily conversations.

When I was seventeen years of age, I was the biggest countercultural hippie. I listened to John Lennon, dropped out of Junior College and proclaimed that all you need is love. I declared that life was all too short to be worried about the practical things in life.

I was with my ex girlfriend and we sat at the playground near my house. I went off about how societal expectations were ridiculous and gave a mini-lecture quarter baked lecture on the universe and the impermanence of reality. I told her how amazing it was to exist as a tiny speck of the universe. I ranted passionately for a good hour. She listened. And she listened well.

I then caught myself rambling and stared into her eyes.

I said: “Were you even listening, did you understand what I just said?”

She said: “No, I don’t. But I just love the way you say it.”

I got annoyed because I wanted her to understand my quarter baked theoretical lecture. She didn’t. However, years later, looking back, she probably loved how I expressed it. It was my passion, my values and storytelling at it’s finest. That was because those stories demonstrated my vulnerability.

Fast forward years later and I found myself dating another girl at this bar near my home. I had gotten into competitive martial arts and was preparing for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. I ranted off on about how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is similar to the game of human chess. I told her Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was akin to facing death.

I explained to her that by being submitted in a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu match, it is the equivalent of dying. You’re either choked out, or risk suffering a major limb broken which will lead you to a huge disability continuing the fight. I then went on about how Brazilian Jiu Jitsu teaches everyone to be humble because getting into a physical altercation in reality always pans out differently from the movies.

Guess what? She loved it. She just stared at me like my ex girlfriend did, mesmerised at how I went on passionately about something I cared about.

Complete different people, and completely different stories. Nonetheless, the same universal emotions. The facts often get shifted around, however, the feelings are always same.

Dec 22

How to Reject Someone When You’re Not Interested

By Ellen Orton | Self Improvement and Social Skills

It’s impossible to create and maintain relationships with everyone we cross paths with. True, being rejected is a bottom-tier feeling, but it doesn’t mean the other party is excited about it. So what happens when someone you’re not interested in starts making advances? How do you reject someone without causing a backlash?

How to Reject Someone When You’re Not Interested

Bring It Up

In most cases, ignoring the situation and your pursuer only tends to complicate and strain the existing relationship. That is because your admirer believes you are yet to notice them or their advances, or you are just shy to reciprocate. Dragging on will only make it worse for them, and there is really no need to torture them with ambiguity. Bring it to an end as early as you can, especially if it’s a friend.

Preserve their Dignity

The goal is to let them down easy, not to tear their heart out or humiliate them. If you’re looking for how to reject someone nicely, it means that they are not bad or shameful people to associate with. If anything, their qualities are what make this tough. 

Even if you once met a boring person, you should not further limit yourself in communicating with others, look through dating sites and risk going on a date. 

Assume Responsibility

This might seem tasking and unnecessary, but when planning on how to politely reject someone, it is only fair you relieve them of any fault. To reject someone is a brutal task, so it would be kind to take fault. If possible, suggest that you share mutual attraction; it’s just that you want to protect their interest and feelings. You just seem to notice the flaws from your standing point should your relationship develop further.

The Friend Zone

Social media has somehow managed to turn friendship into the ugliest bonds, especially when one party harbours deeper feelings for the other. However, offering your friendship means you did not reject them as a whole, and you would like them to be in our life.

Some people make better friends as opposed to lovers, and friendship is not a consolation prize.

Using Cues and Hints

In most cases, not everyone can hold such a conversation or have the guts to be straight up about their lack of interest. So what happens now? If you’re looking for how to nicely reject someone without being upfront, then you should try sending cues instead. There are several things you could do to get your message across. Here are a few tips on how to politely reject someone.

Tips on How to Politely Reject Someone

  • Say You’re Seeing Someone Else

Even though lying about your relationship status is ill-advised, sometimes it is the only way to go. This is especially helpful if your pursuer is insistent on their advances. Telling them you’re already in a committed relationship makes it less awkward and personal. If you’re the witty kind, it won’t hurt to look up funny ways to reject someone, but be careful with your delivery.

  • Suggest Hanging Out in Groups

Inviting other friends to hang out with you means that you are not interested in them that way, and you had not considered going out with them in the first place. If anything, friends act as buffers to prevent awkward situations and topics.

  • Say You Have Plans

Now, you can’t use this card more than twice, but it can really save the situation. Someone who likes you will want to spend time with you, so choosing your plans over them gets the message across. The goal is how to reject someone nicely, so please don’t go posting about how bored and lonely you are.

  • Ask to Introduce Them to Someone Else

It’s only fair you learn how to reject someone over text, especially if you don’t meet often. Thanks to texting, it is less awkward rejecting someone, and you can always change the topic.

You can ask to set up your pursuer with a friend. This will prevent them from being hung up, and it also helps to shift the attention away from you. Of course, you want to ask the said friend first to avoid them being rejected twice.

  • Steer Away from Jokes and Sarcasm

The point is to avoid being a jerk, so be very careful with your choice of words. Even when working on how to reject someone funny, be careful about the jokes or quotes you use. They might seem funny or witty to you, while your pursuer might feel insulted.

If you’re trying to keep light on rejecting someone nicely via text, keep your sarcasm in check. It will help from further complicating the situation. Naturally, when someone is being rejected, their response will not be reacting to humor.

  • Be Careful With Your Lies

Naturally, a poker face will complement your lies perfectly, but that doesn’t mean you have to lie about everything. Keep it minimum – it is easier to sell a smaller lie. You can be blunt with your lies as well, especially if your pursuer is insistent. You can use your religion/culture card to get out of most situations. Some lies might be petty, but they will get the message across.

Don’t Leave Room for Uncertainty

Lastly, you will want to ensure that you leave no wiggle room in the situation. Establish your boundaries. Some people make advances because they misinterpret your actions and behavior, meaning you might be sending out mixed messages.  Rejecting someone is not a pleasant activity, and some will want to put it off as long as they can. Be sure that this will make it any easier for the people involved, so be done with it as soon as possible.

Dec 02

The Virtues & Downsides of Online Dating

By Joseph Bryson | Relationships

If you think about it, the fact that a huge number of modern relationships start on an online dating app isn’t really that surprising.

The internet has allowed for us to be more connected than ever before. We’re using it for business, we’re using it to shop and we’re using it to communicate with our friends and family, so why wouldn’t it also be used for romance? It makes sense considering it motivates out actions perhaps more so than anything else.

It’s not a new thing anyway when you think about what the actual function of it is. The internet has made it easier, but this sort of thing has kind of been around for over 300 years.

Even some 17th Century newspapers had personal ads for those seeking romance, and is that really any different from modern online dating? So really, it’s an entirely expected result of the internet becoming more advanced and more widely used.

Some people think it’s the best thing in the world and has made finding someone much easier, and others think it’s a waste of time and some believe that only the most desperate among us would resort to that.

Now, those who call it desperate are obviously just being jerks, but there are points to be made from both sides of the argument. Let’s have a look at some virtues and some downsides to online dating.

 

Virtue: The Options are Endless

You know the feeling when you’re single and you walk into a bar expecting to find someone you could potentially date or at the very least go home with for the night. Even if you’re confident, there’s only so many women there.

Even among the ones that are actually single and are looking for someone to meet that night, there’s still going to be many that you’re not compatible with. And as for the ones you are compatible with, are you going to talk to them that night?

How can you be sure that’s going to happen? Are you going to talk to every single woman in the bar? You won’t be able to, and that will turn what should be a fun night into a very stressful one. Online dating is not like a bar that has fifty women in it.

Now, there are over 30 million people in the United States alone using online dating sites and apps. That’s three times the population of Sweden. Let’s throw out a rough estimate here and assume that in your area, there are 5-10 thousand women on dating sites that you could potentially talk to.

That’s more people than you’ve spoken to in your entire life. And even if you are only genuinely compatible with a fifth of that number, that’s still a thousand women. Under what other circumstances are you going to find a thousand potential partners?

Online dating is unquestionably the path that will give you the most options.

Downside: Face to Face Communication is Always Better

It’s great that we are well past the days when if we wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t in our immediate vicinity, we had to send them a letter and not hear a response for possibly weeks. We can now write a message and have someone on the other side of the world respond in a matter of seconds.

Nobody will deny that this level of connectivity is indispensable and very useful for making new potentially romantic connections, but humans communicate most effectively when we are actually face-to-face.

This probably dates back to the earliest humans who could only communicate in person but it’s not like we’ve evolved past that, body language, tone of voice and facial expressions are still a huge part of how we express our thoughts and feelings.

And you get none of that in text form and even if you’re talking on Zoom you’re still not getting it entirely. So if you spend a lot of time communicating with someone through text before actually meeting them, you won’t know what they’re actually like.

You might end up with unrealistic expectations of them that they can’t fulfil. Or conversely, you might think that someone isn’t right for you, when you would feel the opposite way if you had initially met them in person.

Virtue: More Upfront information

Whilst it does generally depend on the app or site that you are using, you are going to have access to more information about the person you’re talking to. Some people will say that this is actually a downside, but I personally find it difficult to agree with.

Yes, there is a certain excitement to mystery and if you already know a lot of stuff about someone then it leaves you with less to talk about and discover, but at the same time, the more you know the better you can judge the likelihood of you actually being compatible.

You could have a conversation with someone and not realize until you’re an hour deep that they have a view which you find bigoted, or go on a couple of dates before realizing that you want completely different things out of a relationship. Online dating makes this less likely.

Downside: Cat fishing

You meet someone in person, you can see them and hear their voice. Online they could be anybody. They could be a different gender who is afraid to openly admit their sexuality or someone old and lonely who feels like they’ve missed their chance at love.

Sometimes cat fishing is very sinister and predatory, and sometimes it’s just a case of someone using older pictures of themselves or lying about their age, career or level of fitness. Either way, you don’t truly know who you’re talking to until you’ve met them.

That’s a downside for sure. Hell you might even be tempted to do this on some level yourself. But that’s not fair, you should be truthful and the stuff you feel compelled to lie about probably isn’t as big of a deal as you think anyway.

But if you do feel like you’ll get more responses if you were more in shape, get some exercise equipment and get to work. Or if you feel like you’re in the wrong line of work, start exploring your options. Don’t waste your time lying because the truth will come out eventually.

The most important thing to remember, is that online dating is not the only option. If you feel like the downsides are more significant, then meeting someone in a bar or through your friends or a hobby hasn’t gone away. You can still take that path.

These days, millions and millions of people are using online dating, and you can basically guarantee that you’ll be able to find someone through that method. So even if you are skeptical, it’s worth looking into.

Nov 18

The Difference Between Love and Affection

By Joseph Bryson | Relationships

Love and affection are two words that are intrinsically linked. They are of course similar in many ways: they are both feelings that we harbour for those of us in our lives who are most important to us. 

The Difference Between Love and Affection

Most of us don’t really think too deeply about it when it comes to these kinds of words, and we do have a tendency to just use them interchangeably. But they are actually quite different from each other in definition.

Although they are just words and we can kind of use them as we choose and be a bit liberal in our personal definitions, but when we look a bit more deeply into these actual sensations, we can see that there are two distinct feelings and that the different words are warranted.

This doesn’t mean that you are using the words wrong or that you should alter how you express your personal feelings, but it is interesting to note why we feel a certain way towards certain people and differently towards others.

Both of the words are expressions of endearment, and positive sensations which are based around strong relationships, so what exactly is it that differentiates the two from each other?

It’s somewhat complex:

Love is perhaps a word that we all use a little bit too liberally. We throw it around like it means absolutely nothing, when in truth, love is a feeling that means a whole lot, and that should be reserved for our deepest inclinations.

There are different kinds of love of course. The one we think about most is the love that we have for romantic partners, and the interesting thing about that is it’s the only one with which the use of the word is deemed very important.

When it comes to love that we feel for our family, our friends, or even for things that aren’t human or aren’t living, we don’t make any kind of big deal about saying it. We tell our family we love them from the first moment that we can speak.

We tell our friends that even if we don’t necessarily mean it, and that’s okay because a friend isn’t really a lifelong commitment or an obligation. We even say it about food. “I love Peking duck, even though I only tasted it for the first time five minutes ago.”

And that’s all fine, nobody really questions it, and if they do they’re kind of just being a pedantic jerk. But for your partner, when you choose to say the words “I love you,” it’s intended as a turning point in your relationship.

It’s the moment that it goes from something that’s primarily based around discovering shared interests and personality traits, going on dates, doing fun things together and probably a whole lot of sex, to a genuine commitment and an expression that you’ve fond something you want to last.

And all of us are capable of feeling that, though for some of us it takes a bit longer to find it. That all depends on a few different factors, like maybe it’s just because you like playing the field more than you like settling with one person and that’s absolutely fine.

Or maybe it’s because you are more guarded with your emotions and you struggle to let people in and that’s also not something to be ashamed of. But regardless of any of that, it’s a word that has power in romantic relationships.

Unconditionality

And why is that? Well that brings us to what I believe sets love apart from other feelings such as affection, and that’s that it is reserved for something that is unconditional. What are you really saying when you say that you love your partner?

You are telling them that you want to commit to them, that you feel strongly that if you share your life with them, you will be happy. And going a little deeper, you are acknowledging their flaws, insecurities and whatever differences you have and accepting that you can look past them.

Love takes you over those hurdles, it gives you strength to resolve problems that you might face in the future which you may not be able to resolve if you didn’t feel so strongly for the person. It is constant and impossible to shake no matter how hard you try.

And you can feel this for your friends in a way that’s non-romantic and built on a foundation of trust and companionship, and you can feel it for a piece of entertainment or a work of art in a way that makes you feel like you can appreciate the beauty and enjoyment of it over and over again.

So in a way that is unconditional, but it doesn’t have the responsibility of a romantic relationship. You can drop friends you thought you loved if you don’t feel like they’re a positive presence in your life anymore, but that’s not as easy with someone you have a family or a home with.

In that way, it’s understandable why the word love is so much more powerful when it’s attached to romance than it is when used in any other context. And this brings us back to affection and what differs here.

Because affection is not unconditional. Affection is what you feel in those early days of a relationship that we discussed above when it’s not about all of the commitment and compromise that comes with a truly loving, romantic union.

Affection is light and fun. It’s hugs, it’s flirtation, it’s a one night stand after a few too many drinks and it doesn’t have to mean anything. That initial attraction you feel when you’ve been talking to her for a few hours and you want to reach out and hold her hand or make a joke so you can hear her laugh.

That’s affection, and that’s not unconditional. You want to hold her and kiss her but if you leave the next morning and never see her again, you won’t be hurt by that. And if you have an argument, you don’t feel an incentive to work through it. 

That’s the real difference here, and it’s important for you to be able to separate these two feelings in your own mind. Love is lasting, patient and resilient in the face of adversity, whereas affection is spontaneous, energetic and can slip through your fingers with little consequence.

Oct 28

How to Get Your Ex Girlfriend Back without Being Desperate

By Marcus Neo | Dating Advice for Men

I get a lot of: “how to get my ex-girlfriend back” questions and requests. The majority of them don’t eventually end up being a client. The majority of these clients coming in, they’re actually looking for a short-term solution when they are outrightly asking “how to get your ex girlfriend back”. I’m going to address this in this article of firstly how to get your ex-girlfriend back, and secondly to have the right mindset about this.

How to Get Your Ex Girlfriend Back without Being Desperate

These clients probably got dumped out of the blue and now they’re trying to get their ex-girlfriend back. There are solutions to this, short-term solutions that will rely on game theory and short-term psychology tactics. The first short-term strategy you can use is actually using the pick up artist concept of: changing the frame. When you change the frame, you are changing the underlying meaning of the interaction between you and her.

So firstly right, let’s assume that you are the one being dumped.

Let assume you are the one chasing her, trying to get her attention back, trying to get her back in your life, and almost pleading with her. The underlying frame of the interaction is you are being dumped and you are chasing her back.

So Marcus, what do you mean by changing the frame? When you change the frame you’re actually reversing the rules. This means, demonstrating that: we have broken up, I’ve moved on with my life and I have better things to do, and I’m going to lead a life with or without you. This is what I mean by the underlying meaning behind changing the frame.

This can be demonstrated when you’re texting, this can be demonstrated on social media, this can be demonstrated when you speak about each other within your social circle assuming that you have mutual friends.

Of course you know in Asia it’s pretty … a tightly knitted society so news do get around. So yes, one of the most simple ways is to actually, you know, demonstrate that you are actually doing well in life without her. So that can be easily demonstrated on social media unless she blocks you (read: which is a pretty smart thing to do.)

I know so many couples that have broken up, they still text each other for some inane reason, and normally there is always one partner that’s trying to get back the other. Or there’s like some level of resentment and they are still trashing things out. Or both sides are being really reactive and there’s a whole, you know, rollercoaster dynamic right there, so one of the best ways to actually change the frame through a texting perspective is to actually give neutral responses, right?

Instead of pleading or trying to get her attention or trying to bribe her over with money, compliments and all of that. It’s better to give neutral responses in your text messages.

For example, if she’s trying to get some validation from you or she’s trying to initiate the conversation, or maybe she’s asking you:”do you ever see us getting back together?” You can actually reply by giving a neutral response which would entail something like, “I don’t know, but I wish you the best and you know, I’m pretty busy with this, I’ve actually tried out this new thing,”

It’s actually kind of going back to the days where you just met and trying to kind of demonstrate value again. Let’s be honest, a lot of people break up for different reasons, and one of the reasons is because the male or the female has actually, you know, gotten lazy in maintaining that relationship.

Compare this to the time when you guys first just met and both sides are actually putting in effort to put your best foot forward so that you can get her as a girlfriend or she can get you as a boyfriend. Hence, the short-term solution is change the frame, change the underlying meaning of the interaction between you and her.

However, I want to talk a little bit about the long-term solution, I want to talk about something that is not commonly talked about. This is the psychology of getting over your ex girlfriend. That’s because if you do not apply these processes, after the breakup, you’ll find yourself chasing that approval, your old traumas are being triggered, your abandonment issues are being triggered.

5 Stages of Grief and Loss: How to Heal from a Break Up

It takes time to heal from an affair and completely understand your ex’s infidelity. Unlike all other dating coaches that tell you to just ‘man up’, I am going to tell you it’s very normal for everyone, men or women, to go through a grief process of loss. This is researched in psychology: the five stages of grief.

The five stages are anger, denial, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. These five stages literally roughly mean those words. They do not come one after another and are an interconnected process where you can jump stages or you can experience this stage before that stage.

This was true for me from my own experience. When I was a teenager and I got dumped over just one text message. I was in denial. I was in denial for months until when I enlisted into the Singapore military and that’s where it all hit me. I was angry and I was sad all at one go. It all hit me and I broke emotionally. So this is why we need to heal. We need to grieve.

This grieve process is not spoken about. This isn’t addressed properly enough in especially Asian culture where the “man” is supposed to actually just be the tough guy and just take the loss. “Just take it on the chin”, and just move on! Let’s not address it, repress it and push it down. Only to find it boiling up after three months, half a year, or a year. Then you might end up going  into a fit or do something silly.

The Psychology behind 5 Stages of Grief and Loss

It’s that psychological loss will only heal if unnecessary containment such as unreasonable guilt and resentments can be worked out through. This plays out by trashing it out with your ex and achieving closure. This is why initially when you first break up, it’s quite important to trash it out and to lash it out.

Yet again, there are cultural narratives that says; “you’re not supposed to show your emotions”. You’re not supposed to feel, you’re not supposed to trash it out. Let’s not be angry, right? It’s very evident in Asian culture. How many times have you heard growing up: “just be the good kid, do not throw a fit, behave yourself!”

The second method suggested is to help the individual be prevented from feeling isolated and help to feel connected to others.

The third one is having a positive outlook.

So let me expand on these two last methods. So assuming that you’re going through a breakup process, you are still in the process of healing, of grieving. It’s important to get support. This can come from your community, from friends, from coaches and from therapy: through a clinical psychologist or through a licensed therapist.

I recommend therapy because especially when we’re young, our friends are not actually matured enough to actually guide us to the correct direction or to actually feel with us or sympathise or empathise with us.

This was true for me when I was a teenager. I remembered that after I broke up like for two weeks, my friends were at that point of time having a meal with my ex-girlfriend and posting it on social media. I felt butthurt about it. Getting psychologically support from friends might not be the best option.

The thing with relationships and breakups and psychology is that a lot of things can get messy. There’s a lot of nuances and weird things. The opposite party across you might be judging on it. Relationships are messy, people break up for all sorts of reasons, for irrational reasons, for weird reasons.

This is why I actually recommend looking into psychotherapy, into getting a therapist to actually guide you through the process. These people are usually much older than you, they are licensed, they have six years of clinical training to actually practice as a psychologist. You’re also dealing with science in a clinical setting and decades of research. Sometimes, I would pick that over having friends’ advice or friends’ support. Unless you have a really good friend who’s highly empathetic and highly sympathetic, and is able to truly empathise with you without judgment.

The Long Term Solution to Getting Your Ex Girlfriend Back without Looking Desperate

Here is where I want to get into the long-term solution.

Some clients when they come through my marketing funnel when they’ve just broken up, they’re actually looking for a short-term solution which is trying to get an ex-girlfriend back. Trying to find out a strategy, a way, or learn ‘game’ just to get a ex-girlfriend back, as a control strategy against hurt and abandonment trauma and emotional growth.

The long-term solution is to actually understand the psychology of your breakup, of why you ended up breaking up in the first place. For one, rollercoaster relationships are a huge reason why people break up in the end, because you were leading an unhealthy relationship with her.

I recommend looking at attachment theory. There’s decades of research on anxious and avoidant attachment. The dynamic between anxious and avoidant attachment is where one person is chasing and the other person is avoiding and it just flips to and fro. This is an example of a relationship that I somewhat experienced when I was a teenager. I was avoidant and she was anxious and then we just flipped around where I chased her and she chased me and it was never ending to the point where it just got too frustrating for both sides.

Psychologists theorise we experience romantic love similarly to how we experience love from our parents when we were a kid, and we tend to confuse the two where we think that the love that we are getting from our partner is akin to our parents.

This is why when you break up you’ll feel super triggered and you’ll feel like your life is ending. That’s because as a kid it’s your interest to survive and you need that love from your parents. Now that you’ve grown up but your psychology is not matured enough and now that your girlfriend or your boyfriend has dumped you, this is akin to your parents abandoning you and going against your needs for survival.

You’ll require emotional awareness to actually differentiate the two.

Hence, a long-term solution is to actually understand rollercoaster relationships, understand the psychology of why you guys actually broke off right. And whether it is a healthy relationship in the first place.

Closing Thoughts

I was in a mess after my ex-girlfriend dumped me over text message. I remembered spending the next three months in a living hell in my head trying to get her back, trying to get her on the phone. I emotionally broke down all alone on a military island. That was the point where I realised that I really didn’t have it down right.

I used to think I was a tough guy. I did martial arts in my teens, I got into street fights, and I used to think I was tough. That was what got me to repress my break up. I could tell you exactly what I felt at that point in time, I was like: “screw that bitch I’m going to go into the military. I’m going to be a military officer. I’m going to achieve my way through this pain”.

On the contrary, within eight days into the first 14 days confinement in the military, I broke down and everything just went haywire. I wasn’t even motivated to actually achieve in the military. This is why I want to stress: emotional health, understanding the psychology of relationships and dating is extremely important.

Lastly, this concept isn’t addressed enough in Asian culture. It’s something that’s not spoken or actively discussed in Asian culture. I hope everyone reading this took something away something and actually maybe start valuing your dating and relationships life and understanding your own psychology.

May 17

The Push and Pull Technique and Method – Steal my Lines

By Marcus Neo | Dating Advice for Men

The push pull technique is an old and OG concept that arose from the old school pick up artist community. The idea of push and pulling simultaneously is to create interest and ambiguity that women find attractive. It can be expressed verbally or non-verbally. You can “push” by demonstrating more attention and interest. You can “pull” by disqualifying yourself as potential partner.

There are different degrees of push and pulling. You can do it verbally, non verbally or a combination of both. If you wish to use it effectively, then understanding when you need to push and when you can pull is going to contribute a lot to your success. If you do it right, you can even get women to push on you hard.

Pick Up Artist Theory: Push and Pulling

Yes, push and pulling is an effective framework for beginners to understand the dynamics of flirting. In theory, you push if she’s pulling, you pull when she’s pulling. You can also implement lines that ‘push and pull’ as a means of teasing. I used to think that you only need ‘passive attraction’ to get women to be attracted to you. However, I take a middle ground these days, by actively implementing push and pull lines/ methods, you can make things happen in your interactions.

In general, you should always be pushing and pulling simultaneously. You only push when you feel you’ve pulled too hard and you don’t want to lose the interaction. If you think of interactions on a power scale, pushing gives up power and pulling successfully gives you more power. If you’re only demonstrating interest outrightly, you’re telling her that she can have you at any time. This is why that, in general, you should be demonstrating intent whilst disqualifying yourself at the same time. This way, you’re ‘balancing the power scale’ as much as you can.

The Push Pull Method: Understanding Where You Stand in Her Eyes

The ‘power scale’ is a means of understanding where you exactly stand in any interaction with a woman. Is she interested and should continue to push and pull? Or are you pushing too hard and you need some investment from her end (and you need to pull). Or is she already interested and you can pull to generate even more investment to get her to chase?

  • If you haven’t gotten her attention or her interested, then you can try to ‘manufacture it’ by pushing and/ or pulling.
  • If she’s pulling, you can push by ‘giving up some of the power in the relationship’, by outrightly demonstrating affection or interest.
  • If you’re over reaching to a girl, she’s feeling suffocated, you can ‘pull’ to balance the dynamic of the relationship.
  • You can also pull when she’s pushing to attempt to generate more investment when she’s pushing.

Teasing a girl one of the most effective and easiest manner to demonstrate interest and flirt. In theory, just about any cheeky tease can be considered a push and pull. A tease is negative verbally. However, it’s a positive non verbally. Hence, it’s a ‘push pull’.

Think about it, you only tease your old friends. You tease them ‘negatively’, for example, for their childish or slobbish behaviour. However, you also do it as a means of affection. They are alright with it, everybody laughs and it leads to further bonding.

Examples of Push Pull Lines – Steal my Lines

There are lines you can use in text and/ or in person:

“You’re so adorably annoying”
“You look interesting” (ambiguity, what the hell is interesting? Is that good or bad? This implies a push pull)
“You were attractive until you said X”
“That’s a great looking dress, I’m not too sure about the shoes though”
“We totally should not be doing this” (done whilst escalating physically on her)
“You’re so hot, but thankfully I’m a moral rock ;)”
“We should totally grab coffee, provided you’re not a psychopath”
“I should totally take your number, provided you’re not a secret psychopath that’s going to text 27 messages past midnight”
“Aw, you are ridiculously adorable”

Pushes are generally any demonstration of interest and affection. Pulls are generally any demonstration of disinterest or the fact that you are willing to lose the interaction. You get the idea. There are positives and negatives in your actions and statements. You can also combine outright pushes or pulls when the right time calls for it.

How to Push Pull Physically

There are ways to push and pull whilst flirting physically. This is what pick up artists call ‘calibration’.

You can show direct interest with direct body language and attention (push) and then disqualify using negative body language (pull) and alter them to different degrees depending on where you are at in the interaction.

You can push pull by escalating physically but disqualify verbally.  Saying “I should not being doing this” whilst you’re making out with her is a push pull.

Taking her to your place and saying outrightly that you’re going to kick her off your bed, is a somewhat a push and a pull. You’re pushing for sex and simultaneously disqualifying. Groping her intimately and then saying you are “not suppose to be doing it” is a push pull. In this example, push pull can be used as a means to set the right frame for sex to ‘just happen’.

Using push and pull physically can be as simple as flirting with her physically (increasing the frequency of touches) and then suddenly dropping it (using negative body language), then escalating it and dropping it. Push pull ultimately can be used as a means to build sexual tension.

How to Get Good at Push and Pull Naturally

So, how can you push and pull in the moment without relying on memorising lines? To get good at pushing and pulling, you need to get good at the art of improvisation.

This means taking an interest in language and appreciating comedy. You can take up stand up comedy classes, watch comedians on Youtube or take up improv classes. There are improv tools on the internet where they generate random words and you’re forced to improvise off that.

I started bettering my conversations by taking joining improv classes and sooner or later push pull became natural to me. There’s also no need to go crazy on this. In the most fundamental manner, teasing a girl is the most basic push pull. You’re saying something negative but your intentions are positive.

Limitations

However, there are limitations. I used to over rely on wit and came off sarcastic in my interactions. You cannot rely on words alone. In the art of seduction. You need guts. Yes you can calibrate. (if you see her feeling uncomfortable with your advances, you reel back with a ‘pull’). However, there’s no technical replacement for taking genuine risk in your interaction. You can’t push and pull your way into kissing her. Kissing her is mostly a matter of just pulling the trigger.

Furthermore, just relying on push and pulling is a horrendous manner to build a genuine and deeper connection. You need to have other conversational skills outside of teasing and coming up with witty push pull lines. Furthermore, you and I are all here to have awesome relationships with women, it’s not about proving who’s more quick witted.

Push Pull

Conclusions

Understanding the push pull dynamic and how to implement the lines are only about 10% of the entire equation. These days, I only use them as a means as an end, as a means to spark attraction or generate and interest. I always tell my dating coaching clients that I don’t really pay attention to memorizing lines consciously because once you get good at improv, teasing and flirting comes naturally to you. However, nonetheless, it’s a good model of understanding where you stand in a relationship.

There are many other facets to generating grounded, lasting attraction such as being able to connect on a deeper level to attempting to better your life. You can’t replace and attractive identity with only push and pull lines.