A detailed look at Push-Pull, and using well-scaled challenges to reach and maintain it.
This post started in the comments of a post recommending something like, «Let the woman shine.» This alone is no better for building attraction than doing all of the shining yourself; you can There have been several recent posts on the topic of too much push, whose examples serve to illustrate a particular conversation, but you have to learn the underlying principles of push-pull so you can engage each unique encounter on the fly as it happens.
The Nice GuyTM or Orbiter is stuck on all-pull, passively doing nice things for the woman and expecting this to induce her to make a move toward him, only to watch them get bored and ease away. The cad or overly aggressive gamer is stuck on all-push, and wonders why women flee from him and why he’s accused of sexual harassment or worse. In both extremes, failure or unwillingness to read the woman’s nonverbal communication is a big part of the underlying problem.
Understanding body language, proximity and position, eye contact etc doesn»t come naturally to everyone, but these are skills that can be improved upon with effort. The book What Every Body is Saying is a good resource. One of the most important axioms of body language is this: When there is a conflict between verbal and nonverbal communication, the nonverbal message is usually the truth. This is how you calibrate the level and pace of your escalations, and read her feedback like a pro and proceed correctly in the push-pull dance.
A good conversation is like a lively game of table tennis. You start out easy to get a good volley going, then step up the challenges gradually till you find each others’ limits and weaknesses, then you play just beneath this discovered level to keep a good challenging rally going back and forth. Successful flirting often follows a similar pattern of starting easy, escalating at a measured pace, and reading your partner’s signals so you approach and test limits attentively, then dial back to where you’re both comfortable and playing equally, and give her the opportunity to show some chops and escalation of her own.
On a date with a Psychology student, you two are talking about her friend who’s having a lot of problems.
Good balance of push/pull- the sweet spot Like a good ping pong game where neither of you wants to put down the racquets when game time normally ends; these are the openings that turn to insta-dates, and the first dates where the second half is spent touching and kissing, and time just slips by.
- Hit the conversational ball back so it steps the game forward in a measured fashion. «So do you think she’s having a rough patch, or does this qualify as a personality disorder?» This is nominally agreeing with her so far, but lightly challenging her with a relevant question.
- The challenges come at a measured cadence, settling into a pattern something like, «Yes… Yes… Wait! (holding finger up) Yes… Yes… Wait! (slightly stronger challenge) It’s not unlike the Foot in the Door and «Yes ladder» sales techniques. However, in attraction (as opposed to sales), women will be turned off by a pure «yes» man; you need to meet the subtle challenges she offers, and bring relevant challenges of your own to the encounter.
- After the last challenge, she’d likely bring up BPD; you’d listen and agree with a few points, then throw down a stronger challenge like, «So what’s your differential diagnosis? How are you sure it’s not ASD or NPD?» If you’re already out of your depth regarding Psychology, a worthwhile challenge at this point might be, «How are you sure it would be that, versus other similar disorders?»
- Once you’ve established some push-pull, the amount of her touching, kissing etc should settle into a pattern of 2 or 3 from her to one from you; this is the Golden Ratio of flirting.
- Signs that you’re in the zone include positive body language like orienting/leaning toward you, eye contact, calling you an asshole with a sly smile, sometimes interrupting or overlapping each other because you both have so much to say; whatever silences are not awkward.
- Lesson learned: Both push (you advance a little) and pull (back off and let her advance a little) make for an interaction that continues and naturally escalates.
Too much pull- a weak opponent or yes-man. Duffing your game to always let her win is boring and makes you look like an unworthy schmuck; she’s staring at the locker room while you’re picking up the ball yet again, and wants to passively sidle away from your stupid, boring game.
- There’s no escalation if you agree at every step, and never take a chance to step up your game.
- Letting her make all the challenges and thus set all the parameters is entering her frame and beta behavior. If she’s really into you, she’ll try some initiation and escalation of her own, but will give up permanently if you don’t reciprocate timely.
- There is no beat or cadence to the conversation, it’s just a boring, hands-down, one-note «yes-yes-yes-yes.» It is like the sales technique of a silent beggar, waiting to be thrown some coins.
- Responses sound like, «Oh, poor girl! Yes… Yes… Wow, you really know a lot about psychology! Yes… You’re so smart!»
- Signs and symptoms include neutral/bored body language like looking away, leaning back, slouching/slumping, yawning, flat affect/lack of animation and emotion, awkward silences and slow, short responses in conversation. Will make excuses and leave early, and forget all about you, unless of course she needs another beta orbiter/provisioner.
- Lesson learned: Too much pull puts you into the boring, beta, nice guy friendzone. No challenge at all makes attraction die with a whimper. Not even low-SMV women are attracted to men in this category.
Too much push- an overly strong opponent You’re not seeking a level where you two can play back-and-forth, instead you return every shot with your maximum power and difficulty, whether it was offered easily or challengingly. She’s not having fun with you standing over her while she picks up the ball every move, and wants to actively flee the game.
- There’s no chance of mutual escalation when you jump straight to the superior position and shut her down at every move.
- The cadence is a thudding, hand-in-face, «Nope! WRONG! Nope! Nope! WRONG!» It is like the Door in Face technique, which sometimes has utility in asking for a date, but is a risky tool for building attraction during one.
- Responses look like «She has BPD! No, it has to be this because X! No, you’re wrong because Y!» if knowledgeable about Psychology, and if not: «No, that’s stupid. She sounds stupid. No, that’s just a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, she’s just X. Why do you waste your time with these people?»
- Signs and symptoms include negative body language like looking down, leaning/orienting away; anger, calling you an asshole with a frown, hard stops and curt responses in the conversation, flouncing in anger. Will hold a grudge and go out of her way to spread negative things about you.
- Lesson learned: Too much push gets you considered an asshole, but NOT in the good way. Except with the subset of low self-esteem women susceptible to strong negging, too much challenge with no softballs or rewards makes attraction die with a bang.
In physical escalation
I filter for LTR material, and find that an escalation pace of sex on the third date works well, with unqualified women dropping out before investing much time/effort, and the ones who continue through becoming good quality girlfriends and offering no resistance while enjoying this pace. If your game is ONS/same day sex, you’ll be working on an accelerated schedule so take what’s useful for you.
In the zone
- Both of you are equally in timing and degree into touching, kissing, and all the minor escalations of romance. There’s no over-thinking, or thinking about it at all, everything comes naturally and just seems to click.
- Even though you’re both giving green lights, a pattern of two steps forward, one back can be pleasant and exciting. This is the zone where «affirmative consent» is a mockery; you’re both aware and tuned-in to the encounter to fully communicate consent to proceed nonverbally, taking turns escalating.
- Soft stops- Turning away from an early surprise kiss but offering her cheek and smiling, Breaking off a kiss but hugging you harder, moving your hands off her boobs to next to them while still kissing.
- Soft no- standard ASD/LMR, where she says no to further escalation but with positive body language- smiling, touching etc. In practice, this means «Go back down one level and respectfully enjoy that as you were, and I’ll indicate real soon when to proceed again.» This is a form of fitness test- you are a man who goes after what he wants yet is respectful of boundaries: Captain material.
- Use anticipation and teasing to increase attraction. Hold her hand, then let it go for a while. Go in for the kiss, but break it off a little soon leaving her wanting more.
- Most men don’t know the power of teasing, they only push forward relentlessly according to many of the women I’ve discussed this with. At the moment I’m expected to kiss her, I’ll instead give her an Eskimo Kiss, touching noses and looking into each others eyes, then pull away. Next time, I’ll pull close to her face again and almost-kiss, but just run my finger or (pleasant!) breath gently across her lips, then pull away again. Soon, she will grab me and start kissing deeply and passionately. Same thing when I’m «expected» to start playing with her boobs. This is how you get a shy or unassertive woman engaged in the push-pull dance, with some push moves of her own.
- The sweet spot between not enough and too much teasing varies widely from woman to woman. You want to play near the line between «exciting» and «Frustrating/boring,» but once you go over that line and it kills her mood, it’s hard to get the momentum back.
Too much pull
- She does all of the initiating- first to touch, hold hand, kiss etc. She’s giving signals and offers, and you’re not noticing/taking them!
- If she initiates a step, make damn sure you initiate the next logical step; her timing helps you calibrate yours if you’ve been unsure till this point.
- A woman who’s really into you might make a move or two, but as the man, you’re expected to pick up the reins once she’s gotten your attention; even a lower SMV woman will switch off if you don’t. It’s downright humiliating to a woman for her advances to be dismissed. Women are way more subtle than men, so if you think you saw a sign, you did so proceed and observe her feedback.
- She won’t just leave, she’ll leave angry, so get your act together and take the initiative to ESCALATE. Ramp up your push till she stops pulling, then enjoy the new equilibrium. Polish your sense of when she begins pulling again, and when and how far to push again.
Too much push
- You are doing 100% of the initiating and escalating, and she is doing 100% of the interruption/breaking off of each act thereof. She never gets a chance to make any escalation signals before you forge ahead at each step.
- Hard stops- pulling away from a kiss attempt, throwing your hands off her body, pushing away, negative body language, frowning/angry, de-escalating all the way to zero.
- Hard NO- cold and unequivocal in response to an escalation attempt- not simple coy LMR. I haven’t gotten a hard NO in over 30 years, since my first GF in high school. Almost always comes after a large jump in the escalation process and/or several more subtle «Slow down» signals you missed or ignored.
- This is the zone of not-so-false rape accusations and legit sexual harassment claims. The line honestly isn’t fine here at all; many problems will be avoided if you pay the fuck attention to your partner as you go, however headstrong and masculine your style may be.
In LTRs and marriage
The game changes once you become familiar with each other over time. It’s normal to settle into a more familiar routine together, however, A man can NEVER become complacent in his relationship, and stop actively giving his woman tingles. Not only must you keep yourself up physically, and in charge of your family as a strong Captain, you have to work to keep a good balance of Push-Pull alive in the relationship.
- A Captain and First Mate model works well for long-term Red Pill relationships. This provides a good framework for a healthy power dynamic, within which both parties can push and pull with pleasant frisson. The man’s dominance is rooted in his competence as a leader; his woman is happy to be his partner and they are comfortable with a healthy banter.
- Dominant/overbearing wife and Beta/henpecked husband is the result of the man offering all pull and no push. Passive aggression takes the place of healthy jibe and riposte.
- A dominant man offering all push and no pull may end up with the illusion of having a faithful, obedient partner, but remember that slaves and subjects tend to rebel or flee. The man’s dominance is rooted in unhealthy insecurity.
Conclusion: Many gaming and relationship problems are the result of being stuck in an imbalance of all push or pull.
- Push-pull is the engine of attraction in dating, and a leading element of successful long-term relationships.
- Don’t despair that you have to reverse your personality and game 100% to the opposite. Fine tune it in the direction it needs to be, even just 5-10% from where it is now, you might find this lands your relationships back in the «sweet spot» where you both can push and pull.
- Understanding nonverbal communication is critical to playing well.
- Once you get the relationship into a healthy push-pull, with the right easy effort it can be maintained like this on cruise control. However, a man can NEVER become complacent and let the balance swing all one way, for this is easier to prevent than repair, and neither extreme is good.
- Teasing and tempting a shy or unassertive lover into the push-pull zone is fun and safeguards against doubts and regrets after the fact.