February 14, 2015 / Valentine’s Day is Companionship Day
She doesn’t want to be alone on Valentine’s Day. That’s where you come in.
Long-time readers may remember my article on The Attraction Triangle, but for those that are unfamiliar with it, here’s a quick recap:
Clearly it’s optimal to start as a Lover in her eyes, which is why all our advice is oriented on doing so. It all starts with approaching and building attraction, and while you may still get rejected, at least it won’t be after you invested a ton of time, effort, and money, only to be told “she only sees you as a brother.”
Are there any exceptions to this? Are there any scenarios where it’s better to express more Provider or Companion traits with a woman? Josh wrote an article on the former situation, and how massive displays of Provider traits can still appeal sexually to women (albeit at a very high cost of your resources). But what about Companions? Isn’t that just begging to be friend-zoned right off the bat?
Normally, yes. If you a meet a woman, and suggest meeting for drinks at a cool bar (and you know the bar is cool, since it’s part of your first date routine), the subtext is pretty clear. This is a date, you’re romantically interested, and she should only accept if she’s potentially romantically interested herself.
Now, if she mentions owning a dog, and you say, “let’s exchange numbers so we can meet up and walk our dogs together,” she’s going to view you as a Companion. She doesn’t need to deal with her hair and makeup and pick a nice outfit. She was going to walk her dog anyway, you’re just going to happen to be there. She has total plausible deniability about your romantic interests. Make a move, and she’ll likely brush you off and say she just wants to be friends. In fact, she may even be offended! Wait, you only suggested walking our dogs as a way to get in my pants? Seriously, guy?
So you almost never want to initiate as a Companion if you can help it. But there’s one important exception, and the only time that exception applies is one single day out of the year. Lucky for you, it just so happens that day is today.
That’s right: Valentine’s Day. Or as I like to call it:
Companion Day: Only for the Lonely
Almost any woman will admit, “it sucks being alone on Valentine’s Day.” You may assume they’re saying something like, “it sucks not being in love on Valentine’s Day” or “it sucks not having a boyfriend on Valentine’s Day,” but they’re not actually saying that. They just don’t want to be alone.
Once you understand this, you can unlock this key observation:
You Can’t Offer What You’ve Already Given
If you’re attracted to a girl who only sees you platonically, you may have been informed by bad Hollywood romantic comedies that a grand romantic gesture is exactly what Valentine’s Day called for. After her asshole boyfriend Mike drives her to tears for forgetting the occasion, you can swoop in with flowers and chocolates and poems and save the day. She’ll realize she’s better off with a kind soul such as yourself who treats her right, as opposed to jerks like Mike.
Except, no. If Mike stands her up, she will feel sad. Not because she’s not with a boyfriend, but because she’s alone. On Valentine’s Day, she wants Companionship, but if she already considers you a friend, she already has that. And that’s all she’s going to want. A grand romantic gesture will be you trying to present yourself as a Lover at the worst possible time. She doesn’t want a Lover, she wants a Companion. And here you are, holding a boombox outside her bedroom window, and instead of being flattered, she’ll despair, because you’re literally fucking this all up. She knows she’s going to have to tell you she just sees you as a friend, and you’re going to be sad, and now she’ll be worried you’ll withdraw your Companionship.
Why do you think girls say shit like, "our friendship means so much to me and I’d hate to ruin that if a relationship didn’t work out"? They’re saying, I don’t and will never view you as a Lover, but please don’t withdraw your Companionship in response.
This is why the grand romantic gesture is literally guaranteed to fail. The girl you like isn’t looking for love, she’s looking for companionship. But your grand romantic gesture says to her, "my expressions as Lover and Companion are intertwined." Therefore, she will not see you as offering love. She will see you as withdrawing Companionship.
The Foundation of Companion Day
You might be a little lost at this point. I’ve made two key points, but at a glance they may seem disparate from each other.
1. Initially presenting yourself as a Companion to a woman is inferior to presenting yourself as a Lover.
2. Expressing your interest as a Lover to a woman that already considers you a Companion will rarely work, and it definitely won’t work on Valentine’s Day.
Both these points lead into the Valentine’s Day paradox: Point 1 is not true on Valentine’s Day.
If you can offer Companionship to a woman on Valentine’s Day, she will be infinitely more receptive than any other day. Again, you can’t offer what you’ve already given. So this isn’t relevant to any female friends you already have. But it’s perfectly applicable to any new women you won’t meet.
Here’s why the paradox exists: Valentine’s Day already provides the Lover subtext for everyone. So anything you do with a girl on that day will be viewed within that context. Let’s go back to our "drinks vs. dog-walking example." If you ask out a girl to drinks, that’s presenting yourself as a Lover. But what if you ask a girl to drinks on Valentine’s Day? It’s impossible to avoid the feeling that the date has extra significance attached to it. Whatever your intentions, they will seem more serious than if that date had happened on any other day. You risk conveying interest way too strongly and way too soon.
Now, what if you offer a girl to join you in walking both your dogs on Valentine’s Day? Strictly a Companion activity, but to repeat: Valentine’s Day is providing the Lover subtext for you. You’re offering her Companionship, which she wanted. You’ll walk your dogs, have an enjoyable evening, and at the end, you’ll say, "I had a very nice Valentine’s Day," and you’ll kiss her. And this time she will appreciate that kiss, instead of feeling like the dog-walking venture was just your back-door way to try and hook up with her. Why? Because it’s Valentine’s Day.
Learning This the Easy Way
As a former Nice Guy, I used to make all sorts of dramatic romantic gestures on Valentine’s Day. If I was in an LTR with the girl, they were well-received. If the girl was just a friend or someone I had met recently, it always fell flat. It took awhile before I learned that kind of chivalry did not build attraction.
After I met Josh and realized the errors of my ways, I then shifted to just avoiding any dating at all on Valentine’s Day. If I had met anyone in the weeks beforehand, I’d make sure that I scheduled any dates well outside February 14th. Otherwise, my friends and I would go out to a bar and we’d go fishing with dynamite.
But a few years ago I stumbled into the "Valentine’s Day is Companion Day" paradox myself. I had gone out a few times with this girl I had met a few weeks before Valentine’s Day, and we both happened to be dog owners. We had gone out for drinks twice, but both times she had turned down my invitations to go back to my place afterwards.
On our dates she kept hinting she wanted us to walk our dogs together. After our second date, she texted me, "I get off work early on Thursday, let’s meet at the park near your place and take our dogs for a walk." I said sure, but then realized several hours later that Thursday was Valentine’s Day.
I debated just canceling. She didn’t go back to my place after our dates, but I had escalated and she had reciprocated. So there was no way she could have doubted my intentions, but clearly she wasn’t as romantically interested as I thought if she had decided to suggest a platonic afternoon activity. But then I thought about this further and, concluded:
- Like any woman, she wanted Companionship for Valentine’s Day.
- Unless she had no friends, she must have had other options for Companionship on Valentine’s Day. But she was seeking my companionship.
- So she wanted my companionship. But any of the usual evening dates — dinner, drinks, etc — would have an extra weight attached to them because of Valentine’s Day. She may have worried that going out to dinner that night would make things seem too serious, too soon. And she’d be right.
- Despite turning down my previous invitations to go back to my place, she did suggest meeting at the park closer to me than her.
So I decided to take her up on the date. We met at the park. We walked our dogs. When I suggested we go back to my place and order dinner, it was an incredibly easy transition. We ordered dinner. Our dogs played nice.
And she stayed the night.
Happy Companion’s Day!