December 12, 2014 / 3 Mistakes You’re Making With Comfort
It's why she'll kiss you, but she won't go home with you.
In my previous article I talked about the importance of comfort, and why it’s important with women. To quickly recap my points:
1. Comfort is a very underrated and misunderstood part of the theory of attraction.
2. Comfort is essentially a combination of connection and trust.
3. Women generally won’t kiss guys they’re not attracted to, but they also usually have sex with guys they’re not comfortable with. Building attraction without comfort will limit your sexual escalation.
Today I want to follow up and talk about some common mistakes guys make with comfort. So let’s jump right into it.
Mistake #1: Isolating Too Soon or Too Late
Comfort begets more comfort. When you approach a woman, imagine the next steps as a narrative flow, like a series of movie scenes. She steps away from her circle of friends and talks to you. You lead her to a booth on the other side of the bar so you can talk more privately. Then you suggest sharing a cab back home. Next you ask her up to your place. In the last scene, you’re with her in your bedroom.
All of these scenes indicate a woman who is feeling progressively more comfort. But what I see a lot of guys do is essentially fuck up that narrative flow. So consider whether you have a tendency to do this. Do you skip scenes, like suggesting to her to go back to your place after talking for ten minutes) Or do you add in unnecessary ones, like taking several rounds of shots with your friends and hers, and getting too drunk in the process?
If your narrative flow is a good one, the key element is isolation. Comfort is what opens the door to more isolation, which in turn means a more intimate environment to escalate. But isolation means trusting you. You should be actively gauging whether it’s time to set up the next scene, or whether you should still spend more time on the current one. You should think, "Does she trust me enough to move on to the next step in this narrative flow? If not, what can I do to make her trust me?"
Too many guys are not nearly self-aware as they should be about this, and as a result miss their chance with a woman that’s otherwise very attracted to them.
Mistake #2: Failing to Build a Connection
As I said, comfort is connection plus trust. If a woman is attracted to you, she’s going to want to feel a connection to you. She’s going to feel like you "get her," and that there’s "chemistry," and some sort of ephemeral force have drawn you too together. And if you don’t give that woman a reason, you’re success with her will be limited.
Here are the three most common ways I think guys fail to build a connection:
Mistake #2A: Ignorance of Pop Culture
Pop culture isn’t "pop culture" unless it’s popular, which may seem like a pointless tautological statement. But one of the easiest ways to build a connection is to have similar interests, or at least be familiar with those interests. If you aren’t familiar with pop culture, that means you’re not familiar with things most people like, which is really going to limit you in your conversations.
Here’s an example of a conversation I had recently. I was at a club, had just approached a girl and we were talking for a few minutes, and the DJ started playing the song "Scream and Shout."
- Her: Oh, I love this song!
- Me: Haha. You a Britney fan?
- Her: Oh man, when I was younger I was like obsessed with her. I went to like four of her concerts.
- Me: She does some show in Vegas like every weekend now, doesn’t she?
- Her: Yeah! But I haven’t been to Vegas in like almost two years.
- Me: Think about how disappointed Britney must be you haven’t seen her yet. If I were her I’d say that’s pretty weak. [unrelated, but worth mentioning: this is a good example of disqualification]
- Her: That’s not fair, I’d go but most of my girlfriends are lame and have lame boyfriends now.
- Me: You should hang out with some new people then.
- Her: That’s why I’m talking to you!
Look, I don’t listen to Britney Spears or any other pop/dance music. But I know enough about pop music to know that song featured Britney Spears, and that Britney Spears is basically the new Celine Dion in Vegas. Which allowed me to avoid this conversation:
- Her: Oh, I love this song!
- Me: Cool.
- Her: [goes off to dance with her friends]
You may think, "yeah, but do I really want to talk to some girl who’s obsessed with Britney Spears?" Well, the girl could have easily made a comment about, say, Breaking Bad, or some other part of pop culture considered "in good taste." And if you reply "I don’t really watch TV," then you won’t look like the arbiter of good taste, you’ll just look like someone basically out of touch with society.
You don’t need to immerse yourself in pop culture, but you should be familiar with it, and recognize its importance in building connections in human interactions.
Mistake #2B: Failing to Utilize Identity Statements
If you haven’t yet, I strongly recommend you read my article on identity statements.
Back? All right then. So hopefully it’s clear why identity statements are important in building a connection. It allows you to propose subjects for those connections. You can also tie this to my earlier point about being familiar with pop culture. That familiarity makes it easy to form identity statements that the girl can relate to. It allows you to say things like, "Yeah, Game of Thrones is so good, I love that show. Probably had the best series ending of any TV show I’ve ever watched. What do you think?"
That’s a much stronger conversation than just saying, "yeah, Breaking Bad was so good," and then awkwardly stirring your drink. Using identity statements lets you provide fertile soil to find common ground.
Conversely, don’t hesitate to utilize that common ground if she uses identity statements, whether it’s pop culture or anything. You shouldn’t pretend to like the things she does. But when she’s offering you pieces of her interests and her life, don’t just let them pass by unacknowledged.
Mistake #2C: Turning Your Conversation Into an Interview
Here’s an easy rule of thumb: never ask two of any these questions in a row.
- What do you do?
- Where are you from?
- Where do you live?
- Where did you go to school?
- What did you major in?
These are interview questions, and they suck. They suck because they’re boring and they lend themselves to boring answers. You ask the girl where she’s from, she says, "oh, around here," and… now what?
I’m not saying never ask these questions. They’re pretty basic questions, and maybe you’l find out your from the same state or had the same major in college, and you can build common ground and a connection that way. But more often than not, they just kill the conversation. And asking two of them in a row will almost definitely kill the conversation entirely.
If you want some good examples of what we call "bridge questions," to avoid sounding lik you’re interviewing or interrogating her, then I’d recommend you read The Art of Sway, Josh’s book on approaching women.
Mistake #3: Signaling an Attraction Imbalance
I saved this section for last, because it’s probably the most complex subject.
An "attraction imbalance" occurs when it’s clear you like the girl more than she likes you, or vice versa.
A lot of readers of JoshSway.com are probably more likely to have a problem with the former situation, so let’s talk about that first. Essentially this kind of attraction imbalance occurs when you provide too much comfort and not enough attraction. You’re not threatening. You’re generous. You’re attentive. Doing this will make her feel like she trusts you and has a connection to you, but doing only this will ensure that connection is completely non-sexual. It’s a one-way ticket to being categorized as a Companion and ending up in the friend zone.
However, if you’ve improved your game and find yourself becoming successful at building attraction with women, then you may actually have the opposite problem. You can build so much attraction that the girl will actually conclude, "I’m out of his league." This actually leads to a lack of trust. She’s wondering why you’re even interested in her when you can do so much better. And then she’ll think: Is he only talking to me to get laid? But I really like him, I don’t want to just have sex with him and then have him never talk to me again!
So she rejects your attempts to escalate, because she wants to see you more than once, and she wants to trust that you feel the same way.
This is what I call the "uncanny valley of attraction," and it’s something I would struggled with myself until fairly recently. If you build a very high level of attraction, a woman won’t be able to keep her hands off you. If you build a solid level of attraction and mix in some comfort, and a woman will trust you to put her hands on her. But fall somewhere in between — a lot of attraction, but not much comfort — and your hands, and hers, aren’t going anywhere.
Comfort is Underrated, but Don’t Overrate It
These mistakes may seem familiar to you, and you may read this article and think, "man, that’s what I’ve been doing wrong!"
You should consider comfort your "main problem" only if your attempts to escalate seem to keep ending prematurely. As I said, I did have this problem earlier, which I didn’t even recognize until Josh asked me a few years ago, "Trent, why is it whenever we go out to a club, you almost always end up making out with some girl on the dance floor, but you never leave with her?" The dance floor made it easy to isolate and build attraction, but didn’t really provide much opportunity for comfort.
With that said, you’re unsatisfied with your dating life and your ability to attract women, comfort may really only be a minor issue. Think of comfort like the kickoff and punt special teams in football. You will definitely lose some games if you have bad special teams, but you’re not going to win a lot of games if you have only good special teams and a bad offense and defense.