Playing to Win Versus Playing to Not Lose

Several dates and conversations led me to a big epiphany this week about playing to win instead of playing to not lose.

Approaching to win: I realized that a lot of my approaches have gone down a cultural interview path, or a friendly chat. Any leads from those go nowhere. I have been regularly guilty of playing to not lose: not teasing enough (not wanting to lose by having her possibly get offended), not making an attempt at holding them there longer (“ok, bye” instead of “hold on” that MrVDaygame uses), and not shutting up on occasion and letting them invest (and trying too hard to carry the conversation and keep it going when they just aren’t hooking). To stop doing this and open with the intention of winning, I have to go in with a stronger tease (which could fail) and be more polarizing with more spikes and “hold on, stay put” frame (which can be rejected), and giving them an opportunity to invest (which they may not). Higher quality sets will yield higher quality leads.

Texting to win: you could lose a girl to being overeager, and you could lose a girl to being too cool. Trying to time it just right and playing to not lose can trap you either way. I think I have been playing it too cool and too overeager at just the wrong times. My current model (which I am now testing) is to keep the energy going with a light tease text (nice to meet you Ms. Orange Soda) or something, and then try and keep the energy going, not falling into the trap (as Nash called it) of waiting too long and being too cool (a symptom of playing to not lose by overcompensating for not wanting to come across too eager/ thirsty). Girls in New York City are bombarded with men and activities and all sorts of distractions so you have to harvest their attention while you have it (trying to keep their attention would qualify as playing not to lose). So as long as they are compliant, I am now trying to respond rather quickly and with some light banter, and try and seed a date and get them out (as one should). 

Anywhere along that line they can break things and cease being compliant and that is where an active push is the right move. An example of the push is when you attempt to invite her out for a drink (and this happened to me yesterday) and she says “can’t I have yoga at 715” and doesn’t offer an alternative time. I made fun of her lightly by “yoga yoga yoga yoga” and she responded with “I know, I know” and was more compliant after that. Still didn’t end up getting her out for other reasons, but I know she’s a dead lead and I played it to win. It felt good to know.

There are also girls that just want to be text buddies and never come out. By playing not to lose, she wins a friend. Yes, I am speculating that female friendships with each other are about as strong/valuable as a text buddy relationship (not very) and because you are afraid to lose, you end up losing your limited and valuable time on this earth.

Dating to win: Nash talks about trying to kiss a girl every date. Magnum talks about not kissing a girl on a short first date so that things escalate further and faster on the second date. Different methods, I’ve tried them both. Both work. What’s important is they have a plan, and they’re both dating to win. 

Regarding dates: I had a date with a 2-set from Europe with MrVDaygame a week or so ago, and each thread of the conversation that he started had some point and often it was sexual. My conversational threads were all over the place and while some of my threads were teasing and sexual, there were enough neutral or repetitive threads that made it more of a fun cultural chat, as opposed to a sexual man-to-woman date conversation. I kept checking (and re-checking) certain conversational boxes over and over because I enjoyed talking about them, not because it was moving the seduction forward; this is not game, in fact it is anti-game. It is a trap I was falling into for a looooooong time, easily since I was a teenager. It’s humbling to be able to abstract my former attempt at “game” as “Oh you like _____ too! Let’s talk about _____. Of course she’ll like me if we both like to talk about _____ and I tease her a bit and escalate” and while it did work on occasion if she really liked me, if she was on the fence the anti-game would repel her because it is a subtle form of playing not to lose. And the worst part is, I thought I had game. Ugh. Instead, the way to go is acknowledging and appreciating a mutual interest and then cutting the thread and moving the seduction train forward: “I like that you like _____, it makes me feel like we have a connection. What’s that funny look you’re giving me, you nerd? *playful push*”

Regarding series of dates: Particularly Russian speakers and New York career girls on the wrong side of 28 like to have rules in place for how many dates it takes to seduce them. I like to move fast enough to get their attention and show off some confidence (I like it when they are kissing me with a big smile and telling me “You move pretty fast” though I fuck this up occasionally by trying to move too fast and coming across as too eager not going 2 steps forward and 1 step back). Occasionally, when I move that fast, and we have comfort, then little compliance and frame tests come up. Come visit me in Brooklyn! (before we’ve had a sexy time). Enough of these, and you realize it just isn’t going to happen for whatever reason. Her programming is to not get pregnant with the wrong guy, and I am running into all sorts of fences to the possibility of the sexy situation where she could possibly get pregnant. By putting up with that, I am playing to not lose. To her it looks like I am so invested in the idea of getting with her that I will put up with whatever bullshit she wants to throw at me; as a result we are less likely to get together and stay together if we do get together. Ultimately it’s a waste of time and energy.

Many romantic stories are told by grandparents (“He just kept pursuing me! I finally had to say yes!”), but I suspect that those stories are omitting that some small amount of progress or compliance was being demonstrated each time, or it’s just Grandma reminiscing about what it felt like to be pursued.

What is the advantage of playing to win?

My hypothesis is that playing to not lose is less likely have winning outcomes. Your energy is focused on winning and winning only. Sounds a lot like the idea of top guy that Nash and Yohami keep bandying about: top guy has so much abundance he can only see the girls saying yes and doesn’t even notice any girl saying no. I’m not top guy, but I occasionally get a taste when a girl tornado gets going (where I have more leads than I can manage) and only the girls that step forward make it through because they are all I can see. When I’m not in a girl tornado, I can emulate top guy behavior by playing to win.

There’s a classic wall street book “Hedge Fund Market Wizards” about successful Hedge Fund managers by Jack Schwager, and in his interview with Ed Seykota, he asked “What are the elements of good trading?” Ed’s response “The elements of good trading are: 1) cutting losses, 2) cutting losses, and 3) cutting losses. If you can follow these three rules, you may have a chance.” There’s an old trader saying that is at least 150 years old: “let your winners run and cut your losses short.” As Nash has said, if he’s making progress with a girl, letting it take a few more dates to seduce her is very OK. He’s letting a winning girl run. A calibrated play to win.

By having a lot of volume and approaching often, it can set you up to play to win and emulate top guy behavior, as you are forced to cut girls quickly when they disappear or don’t comply or otherwise misbehave, and just the winners remain in the running (until they misbehave). You cut your losses by avoiding chasing her (and rewarding her bad behavior) or attempting to negotiate desire and get her to come around, which frequently ends up being a waste of effort and energy. You can then focus your energy on the winners or looking for more winners.

I have also found it to be emotionally relieving to identify the girls who are going to not comply or behave badly, make one attempt at a corrective action, and then let them go if it doesn’t work. I gave them a shot, played to win, didn’t work, move on and don’t think about it further. This is also the mindset of elite athletes, if they miss a shot, they shake it off, and focus their energy on the next one, that unhindered psychological focus is a big part of their training and development that enables them to perform at an elite level.

Play to win.

2 Replies to “Playing to Win Versus Playing to Not Lose”

  1. >“I like that you like _____, it makes me feel like we have a connection. What’s that funny look you’re giving me, you nerd? *playful push*”

    I like this pull-push sequence. Even if she doesn’t give the funny look, the nerd accusation sounds like it would still hit. I’m going to borrow this one 🙂

    This sounds like the transformation from Nice Guy to Adventurous Player. Everything is being re-framed to comply with your terms. If an opening tease doesn’t hit, you’ve already communicated “I’m into you, but we’re only doing this on my terms. What do you say? No? Ok, next!” On the other side of this example is to be supplicating with a strong compliment, communicating “I like you. I’ll do whatever you want, your terms. Please pick me!”.

  2. Good post, man. A lot of interesting topics here.

    > each thread of the conversation that he started had some point and often it was sexual
    > My conversational threads were… more of a fun cultural chat, as opposed to a sexual man-to-woman date conversation
    > “Oh you like _____ too! Let’s talk about _____. Of course she’ll like me if we both like to talk about _____ and I tease her a bit and escalate”

    You and I talked about this… and something about the way you talked about this topic felt like you were on to something.

    > > “Oh you like _____ too! Let’s talk about _____. Of course she’ll like me if we both like to talk about _____ and I tease her a bit and escalate”

    Oh, you like XYZ? Me too!!! Yohami calls this “trying to seduce her via RAPPORT.” I need to find where he says that specifically, as I think about it all the time.

    It IS a mistake to try to use RAPPORT too much… and totally a mistake to think it is helpful in attraction.

    > each thread of the conversation that he started had some point and often it was sexual

    Hmmm… here I think this kind of analysis sets us up to be “basic” PUA types… where we “misinterpret everything as sexual,” etc. We become “sexual robots.” And most of that stuff is overly-horny and not smooth.

    I don’t think every comment needs a “point.” Not at all. A lot of conversation is casual, organic flow. And I definitely think it’s a mistake to make everything sexual… I have never run a date anywhere like that.

    Here I’d point to the DAYGAME.COM guys that teach “SPIKING.” More than a basic tease, a sexual “spike” is proper seduction… it is setting a sexual frame, even for a moment. It could be done with just a long, lingering stare. If she is blushes/squirms… you did it right. Or with an SOI – “you look hot in this light.” “I am imagining you in a tiny skirt… or a bikini.” Or with a change of pace – slow your voice down, bigger pauses, touching her… get that spike. And then… back to normal convo.

    The SPIKE balances the RAPPORT.

    BALANCE is an under-referenced part of Game. It’s not “be sexual,” as much as it is “a good BALANCE of sexuality.”

    So… you might be totally right that the dates were out of balance for “rapport” or too much of your mastery topics – both of which are great. But you might need to balance with FUN (aka teasing) or SEX SPIKES (touching, SOIs, explicit sexual topics) or both.

    This BALANCE frame gets us away from “use THIS TECHNIQUE” – and onto “we’ll use a range of things based on what the set needs.”

    That latter POV is more flexible and comprehensive… and allows more room for the CONTEXT of a given situation.

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