Josh Sway
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/ Think Scientifically About Dating

Don't let one-offs and obscure scenarios blind you from what usually works.


As someone who has devised a system for online dating (Sway Seduction) and provider of a large amount of dating techniques, I am often pulled into debates about whether or not so and so technique / opener / or whatever works. Usually, most of the evidence to support or refute a theory involves anecdotal evidence, often second or even third hand. "Hard evidence" or a scientific approach is quite difficult in dating due to the huge number of confounding factors and virtual impossibility of adjusting or normalizing for them.

This is completely normal; and often times, anecdotal evidence over large sample sets and long periods of time can be much more better indicators of a techniques efficacy than a flawed scientific approach with a small sample set over a short period of time. However, this does not mean that there is no method to the madness of dating, it does not mean you should not THINK scientifically about dating, even if the scientific method is not cleanly applicable to testing technique. In general, there are two key points to always think about: Probability of success versus one off scenarios and reasons for success (due to the technique or despite the technique).

Think in probabilities not counter examples

The biggest issue I have with the anecdotal nature with which dating advice is spread is that people use this lack of science as an excuse to argue illogically. This mostly happens when someone builds a dating theory based on one data point, or refutes a theory based on one counter example.

For instance, those who read Sway Seduction know that I advocate getting a number and setting up a date very early in the online dating process, and show how to do it in as little as 2 messages. Often, those who beat around the bush with online chat try to argue against the Sway Seduction approach by trying to provide one or two examples where they sent 20 e-mails back and forth and ended up meeting the girl and having a good date.

Granted, you can be successful with a variety of methods, and sometimes having a long back and forth can lead to a good date, but this isn’t the NORM. When designing a SYSTEM and trying to generalize dating tactics, you must STILL think in terms of probabilities. What will be MOST LIKELY to work in THE LARGEST number of scenarios. Just because the actual probabilities are nebulous (and virtually impossible to measure precisely) in the dating world, doesn’t mean that they do not exist and that all the laws of probabilities and statistics should be ignored.

Another way to think about the above is to make the important distinction between What usually works and what might work. You always want to go with what USUALLY works as opposed to settling for what MIGHT work.

Working Despite Of Not Because Of

Another mistake men make regularly when evaluating dating technique is to assume that success was always achieved due to what was done and not DESPITE what was done. For example, guys assume that not paying the bill on a first date is a good strategy because some guys manage to get away with that and still succeed.

Another example is the good looking asshole: men constantly assume that being a total asshole gets girls because they saw some douchebag pick up a hot chick while being, well, a total douchebag. Of course, they rarely mention the guys positive traits, which would then make it distinctly clear that he was not successful because he was a douchebag, but DESPITE being a douchebag.

When evaluating dating technique, you should always be thinking to yourself if success occurred because of the technique, or despite the technique.

Use Your Head

While women may seem illogical and dating may seem to make no sense at all, it isn’t reality. Don’t completely abandon logic and common sense simply because nothing is perfectly quantifiable in the dating world. Always try to think logically where possible.





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