You’re not even sure how you started talking to her, but it’s been going great for the past ninety minutes. She’s cute, she’s cool, and you’ve already got her number and kissed her when she dragged you out to the dance floor. You’re feeling pretty good about things, and start thinking of ways you can get her from the bar to your place.
But… something holds you back. You get another drink, and another one after that, and then the bartenders yell “last call” and you’re still standing there talking to her. You can tell she’s into you, but you can’t seem to get it together and escalate. The lights go on, she leaves with her friends and you leave with yours. You’re still feeling pretty good, but part of you can’t also help but feel you missed out on an opportunity to go even further and close the deal that night.
Could you? Well, you’ll never know, because you didn’t try.
And I’m guessing these are one of the reasons why…
1. Because you felt what you had was “good enough.”
Let’s not beat around the bush: you only feel this way because of loss aversion.
Loss aversion is a common psychological phenomenon. In general, people feel worse about losing a $20 bill than finding one. Even though the utility of money should rationally be linear (in both cases, the $20 represents an identical amount of “buying power”), it feels worse to lose money you already had.
A lot of advice around overcoming approach anxiety revolves around the idea that “you have nothing to lose.”
And this is for the most part, true. Approach a girl and get rejected, and what actually changed? You were alone and not talking to anyone before you approached. If you get shot down, you’re still alone and not talking to anyone. So what did you lose? Is your position any worse than prior to the approach? Not in the slightest.
But once you’ve approached and feel things are going well with a girl, to the point where you’ve already gotten her number and kissed her, then you may feel like you do
have something to lose. You’ll feel like you don’t want to “push your luck.” You’ll feel like you sat down at a hot blackjack table, won $500, and now you think the best move is to walk away before you blow it all and regret it.
But that’s wrong. You already put in the effort to build a baseline level of attraction
, to the point where she gave you her number and kissed you. There’s no
reason why you shouldn’t keep trying to escalate and build even more attraction. Attraction isn’t a game of blackjack.
2. Because you assumed she would stop you anyway.
Will she? Maybe. What she probably won’t
do, is slap you across the face, yell “WHAT KIND OF GIRL DO YOU THINK I AM!?”
and then run around the bar telling everyone you tried to put in roofies in her drink.
There’s a reason why “Anti-Slut Defense” has its own acronym, and you probably need to escalate in a way that’s more subtle than, “hey, want to go back to my place and have sexual intercourse?” But it shouldn’t be too hard to make a more tactful suggestion. Invite her back to your place to get another drink, or watch a movie, or any other reason. If your suggestion also lets you value overload
, even better.
Don’t worry if your reason seems contrived. If she’s not interested in physically escalating, then she’ll just give you some excuse. If you’ve already gotten as far as getting her number and kissing her, she’ll probably say something like, “I’d love to, but I have to drive my friends home. Next time?” In which case, you’re not in a better position than you were before you asked, but you’re not in a worse position, either.
In short: make the suggestion and let her turn you down. There’s no reason to preemptively turn yourself down.
3. Because you thought it would be too logistically difficult.
Yeah, yeah, we’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Logistics are important
. But in a situation like this, you probably weren’t paying attention to logistics because you may have not even planned on meeting anyone. So you may find yourself across town, needing to drive your friends home, or some other position where actually getting her back to your place (or hers) isn’t trivial.
While bad logistics can make it hard to escalate, that doesn’t mean you should give up on the idea of closing altogether. Think a little creatively, and if you’re with your friends, engage them for ideas. For example, if you drove them to the bar, they’ll probably be cool with taking a cab home so you can take the girl back to your place. If you and the girl are both with friends, you can suggest you all go out to a diner so more people can sober up and you’ll have more logistical options for driving.
Sometimes bad logistics are bad logistics, and it’s just not going to work out. There’s no reason to invert your entire night plans (or even worse, do something like drive your friend’s car drunk), just to close with a girl. But don’t just throw in the towel on closing just because you can’t see a direct way to get you and her from the bar to your place.
4. Because you think she’s too good for a one-night stand.
This was a pattern I struggled with for awhile. When I met a cute but boring girl, I wouldn’t hesitate to escalate. I would basically think, “this girl is so boring that there’s no way I’d want to go out with her on a date, so I might as well get as far as I can tonight.”
But when I met a cool girl, my mentality totally shifted. I’d think, “Whoa, this girl is LTR
material. I don’t want to start off with a one-night stand. It might make things awkward. And she’s clearly a high-value female that wouldn’t be interested in one-night stand anyway.”
But this mentality is just wrong. As Josh described in the myth of the one-night stand
, lots of women are as interested in one-night stands as men are, even if they won’t publicly admit it. And if she’s not, she’ll let you know, as I just described earlier.
The critical mistake is one we’ve addressed several times before: I was changing my approach based on how I felt about her.
This is a classic mistake because how you feel about a woman and what she’s attracted to are two completely separate things.
How you feel about a woman has nothing to do with what turns her on and what she finds attractive.
So whether it’s closing or otherwise, your decisions shouldn’t be based on your own level of attraction. If I was attracted enough to her to want
to close, then my focus should have been on building enough attraction so that I could
5. Because you’re assuming you can pick up where you left off.
Look, there’s a reason why Josh and I advocate escalating until you finally get shut down. That’s because whether it’s a one-night stand or an LTR, it’s the most likely way to get the girl.
Josh described this much more eloquently than I ever could in his article about why getting laid matters
Sure, she seemed into you tonight. But that was when you both had a couple drinks, you were in an active and engaging environment, and your focus was on going out with your friends and having fun. You don’t know what’s going to change the next morning. Maybe she had a fight with her ex-boyfriend that night, and the next morning they decide to reconcile. Maybe her phone breaks and you think she’s ignoring your calls. Maybe you do go out with her later that week, but whatever chemistry you had that night at the bar is lost when take her out to dinner and you’re both awkwardly picking at sushi rolls.
But I’m not urging you to close because
these things could happen. Sure, if it doesn’t work out, you can say to yourself, “well, at least I got laid that first night we met,” and take some consolation in that.
I’m suggesting it because closing reduces
the chances of any of these things happening. Why would she reconcile with her ex-boyfriend when she just had sex with another guy the night before? And wouldn’t she make a greater effort to get in touch with you when her phone breaks? And what are the odds that you could be compatible enough for sex one night, but not compatible going out to dinner?
So if you’re thinking, “I’ll just take her out next weekend and try and close then,”
why not try and close that same night? What exactly are you gaining by delaying? Once again, she’ll tell you if she’s not interested. And you may not get another chance, or at least not as one as good as the one you have now.
These Are All The Same Reason!
Here’s a little secret, although some of you may have noticed this already…
These five reasons for why you didn’t close are all actually the same reason, just restated in different ways.
So you could sum it up like this:
You didn’t close because your risk model of attraction is inverted and wrong.
So many guys, when they hit it off with a girl, hesitate to try and close because they’re worried about losing the attraction they’ve built up so far. But the real risk
isn’t anything you do that night, but in whatever happens in the next couple days/weeks until you see each other again. Your best way to mitigate that risk is to build up as much attraction as you can, and that means trying to close.
Once you realize this, you realize that trying to close is a win-win situation. If you’re really into the girl, you build up even more attraction and make it that much more likely she’ll want to keep seeing you. And even if she shoots the idea down or the logistics don’t work out, you probably didn’t lose any attraction.
So, as they say, remember your ABCs. Always Be Closing.
You lose much less than you think to lose, and much more than you realize to gain.