December 11, 2013 / Taking Risks Is About The Reward
When taking a risk, evaluate the risk/reward, don't just mindlessly "take risks".
A lot of advice out there advocates taking risks and not "playing it safe". While in many situations this advice makes a lot of sense, there are a lot of situations where playing it safe is the right play, and taking risks is pointless. How can you tell? The method is simple, weigh your options and look at the potential reward of the risky place versus the safe play. Often times, the safe play will likely have exactly the same outcome as the risky play, with only a fraction of the risk.
Thinking in terms of Risk/Reward
This logic applies to life in general, not just dating. When you think about taking a risk, you should not be analyzing the risk in a bubble, you should be analyzing the risk relative to the potential reward. Theoretically, to determine your correct course of action for a particular problem, you need to look at all the potential actions you can take, probability weight the potential outcomes, apply your utility function to the outcome, and then take the "best" action based on your utility function. More simply put, you should be thinking about an action relative to other actions and weighing potential outcomes, not just looking at one action and one potential outcome of that action.
When you start thinking in this way, you will see that a lot of times, "risk taking" makes absolutely no sense. Let’s go through some common examples where many experts advocate being bold or "risky" when in fact the benefits are marginal if any, while the downsides are enormous.
1. Inviting her over to your place for "hot sex"
As I wrote about in 6 ways to get back to her place, plausible deniability is key. Women already know when you invite them over that you want sex, but they don’t want to feel like sluts. Give them plausible deniability (e.g. come over to hear my play guitar) and if they want to have "hot sex" they will say yes to that question as well. If you just invite them over for "hot sex", they may have wanted to do it but now will be concerned you are only looking to get laid or they may get some reservations about acting "slutty". You could have avoided taking this risk by just asking them over for something benign. If they wanted hot sex, they’ll go up anyway knowing full well you won’t be opposed to it. In other words, there is no scenario where a plausible deniable approach performs worse than being blunt and asking them over for "hot sex". "Hot sex" is bolder, but it accomplishes absolutely nothing of benefit.
2. Asking girls out right away
A lot of experts propose all sorts of immediate gratification approaches and ask outs. For example: "Hey there, I just wanted to say you are really hot and I absolutely have to have your number. Give me your number and we’ll go out sometime." This approach can work, but honestly, if this works then just about anything you do will work, and the other options will work in many scenarios where this option would not work. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for moving quickly and escalating, but there is a limit. Escalation to a number / date request means all you have to attract her is your looks and boldness. Other approaches allow you to use your looks, boldness, and much more. They are more effective in just about every situation. Going gung-ho right off the bat can work but the reward is that, at best, you will "tie" the other approaches, and at worst, you will turn off a girl you could have gotten. Pretty pointless risk to take if you ask me.
3. Over the top dates
A lot of guys think they are taking a risk with an over the top date idea like skydiving or whatever. Yes, they are taking a risk, but the reward is negligible to non-existent. Over the top date ideas might make for entertaining TV (like the Millionaire Matchmaker) but in real life they are generally very unnecessary risks with almost no benefit. Women go on a date to learn about you and give you an opportunity to attract them and turn them on, not for some fun event or activity. Maybe they will go because the event or activity is fun, but it won’t impact whether or not they want to date you. The downside is that you put in all this effort on something that will at best, "tie" taking her out to drinks.
These are just 3 common examples of where taking a risk doesn’t justify the potential reward. There are many more (such as talking about past sexual experiences) that just aren’t worth the risk. Next time you are planning a bold move, think about whether or not it actually accomplishes anything.