Should I Stay With My Boyfriend If He’s a Pick-Up Artist?

Should I Stay With My Boyfriend If He's A Pick-up Artist?

Hello Evan,

I’ve been exclusively dating a nice guy for almost eight months now. We’ve had good times together and he is always there for me when I need him. The thing is, before he met me, he was very promiscuous. (I don’t have a lot of dating experience.) He’s very into how men attract women and how they market themselves on the dating scene. When we watch movies with a relationship plotline, he takes care to tell me what the man is doing right/wrong. He wishes to have a motivational speaking career or a relationship counseling career when he graduates.

What bothers me is that he wants to teach guys how to attract women. The worst thing is that he says he wants to practice picking up women and getting numbers in order to be able to teach them. He says he’s not going to use the numbers or anything but he wants to practice so he can teach others and so he gains credibility as an attraction expert. He asked me if that was OK with me. I’m not stupid, and this bothers me a lot. He’s told me that he’s not going to do it since it bothers me, but this is the 3rd time he’s asked this question. He told me not to tell my friends that he asked the question, because they would probably think it was weird. I want to know how or IF I can get him to curb his flirtatious ways.  I’ve explained to him how important it is to me but he doesn’t seem to get it. I want our relationship to work. Is he just not a one-woman man?

Jen

Wow, Jen. This is a question that could NOT have been asked five years ago.

Suddenly, lifetime virgins realize that all it takes to have a little “game” is a decent opening line and the confidence to fail. It’s a lesson, frankly, that EVERYBODY should learn. If only more people were as proactive as the PUAs, there’d be a lot more action and a lot less complaining out there.

Thanks to the emergence of the pick-up artist (PUA) community, there’s an entire subculture devoted to the very pursuits that fascinate your boyfriend. And, really, it IS fascinating, from a psychological perspective. A group of socially awkward men have learned, through trial and error, the SCIENCE of attracting women. In order to arrive at these techniques, they go out frequently to refine what works and what doesn’t, before reporting back to their online communities.

Pathetic? Maybe. Effective? Definitely.

Suddenly, lifetime virgins realize that all it takes to have a little “game” is a decent opening line and the confidence to fail. It’s a lesson, frankly, that EVERYBODY should learn. If only more people were as proactive as the PUAs, there’d be a lot more action and a lot less complaining out there. Of course, the problem is that some men turn this pursuit into a sport, a hobby and an obsession all rolled into one. And if you’re the girlfriend of one of these guys, watch out. It’s hard to feel secure when your boyfriend is picking up on other women, if only to further his “career”…

You describe your boyfriend as a “nice guy.” Some readers might be skeptical, but I believe you, if only because I’m also a “nice guy” who found a career as a dating coach. I’m fascinated with male-female dynamics and the universality of all these dating questions, and can talk about it endlessly with whomever will listen.

But what’s different about what I do and what your boyfriend wants to do is this:

I’ve dated a few hundred people, written a couple of books, and coached thousands of people to dating success. If I never go on another date or see the inside of a club again, I would be THRILLED.

Timing is everything when it comes to relationships.

Your boyfriend, in order to be taken seriously as an expert, still feels that he has to do “field work.” His journey is just beginning. And while he cares about you, he’s equally passionate about his new “career.” That creates a push/pull dynamic that is not going away any time soon. If he stops his pursuit of pick-up artist mastery, he will feel resentful of you. If he continues – even if it’s genuinely in the spirit of research – you’ll feel resentful of him. Either way, one of you is making a sizable compromise that you don’t really want to make.

Which is why it’s hard to feel optimistic for you, Jen. Timing is everything when it comes to relationships. Catch this same guy in a few years and maybe he’s burnt out on The Game. But for now, he seems intent on trying to have his cake and eat it, too. Thus, you have two choices: stick around and trust that, in fact, everything your boyfriend is doing is purely research for his career, or get the hell out.

Before you do either of those things, I’d suggest a real heart-to-heart. No woman wants to make a man choose between her and a career, but few women are confronted with a career that is so very threatening. Perhaps there’s a third path where he can continue to grow his relationship skills (like, say, having a dating blog) without being a PUA. If so, I hope you guys can find a good compromise. Let us know.

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Comments:

  1. 31
    Mike Stoute

    Well it’ more popular than what 90% of the other links in the sidebars..

    btw, as far as I know:

    Catch Him And Keep Him – Christian Carter (is actually David DeAngelo. a master maniplulator and so fourth..)

  2. 32
    Mike Stoute

    since all people on my site seem to be master manipulators to you…

    Let me ask you this:
    Do you feel that women are not master manipulators?

  3. 33
    Steve

    Evan Marc Katz Jun 20th 2008 at 09:16 am 23
    To Mike and any other PUA s reading this
    It’s not the content that is so abhorrent to most people – it’s the goal of the content.

    I disagree. I think where PUAs go wrong is with their presentation, not their goals. Nobody likes article titles like “how to talk a woman into bed” but women want sex too. There are even a number of women who want casual sex. Women also want to have fun conversations with confident tactful men when they go out. It seems that is just what *most* of these guys teach, they just wrap it in adolescent language.

  4. 34
    Evan Marc Katz

    Not the best argument, Mike. Linking to every available online dating site is not tantamount to promoting them.

    Say what you will about your clashes with Ross Jeffries, but if you’re posting his material on your website, there’s a tacit endorsement of him. On the other hand, I can assure you there will never be any Ross Jeffries material on here. If I can’t stand by it as healthy for my readership, it’s not appropriate for this blog.

    I’m not saying you’re a bad guy or pick up artists are all bad guys; rather, I’m saying that anything entitled “How to Seduce Women Into Bed” is focused on the wrong motives.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. There’s plenty of room out there for all of us in the advice industry. I just choose to consort with people out for relationships, that’s all.

  5. 35
    Mike Stoute

    I wasn’t saying that book was about women manipulating men..

    That was a seperate question..

    I was mearly pointing out the fact that many men in this industry (like ourselves) got in through seduction. David DeAngelo is one of our favorites. We cover everyone.
    It seems that you are generalizing us into a category which isnt correct, just because we bring our readers everything that’s out there.

    And I would consider 49th, out of all the outgoing links on your site to be popular for Adult Friend Finder. I mean you are “America’s Leading Dating Expert”

  6. 36
    Steve

    I like to read the book reviews on Amazon after I read a book to see what other people think. Evan’s article inspired me to read “The Game” by Neil Strauss. It was clear that a number of reviewers didn’t read the book but were commenting on their preconceptions of “players”. In his book Strauss showed various PUAs ( including himself ) in both positive and negative lights. One thing that I noticed that separated the PUA’s (even the scummy ones ) from players is that at no time did they every lie to the women they approached. It was Strauss’ personal policy never to lie.

    Despite that, these guys had no shortage of pickups and dates.
    Nobody was being lied to, drugged, hypnotized or manipulated.

    Those women were exercising their prerogative as intelligent adults to choose to pursue a guy who approached them further.

    Nobody is victimized.

  7. 37
    Mike Stoute

    Touch Ron Burgundy,

    Enjoy your evening and give the fianc my best.. :)

  8. 38
    Steve

    Evan Marc Katz Jun 20th 2008 at 10:01 am 30
    I’m saying that anything entitled How to Seduce Women Into Bed is focused on the wrong motives.

    Maybe it is a matter of the right motive for the right stage of life a person is in. You wrote earlier in this article that you dated 100s of women. After that you decided you wanted an LTR and are now skillfully in a good one.

  9. 39
    Mike Stoute

    So right Steve..

  10. 40
    Evan Marc Katz

    When people come to my site, they don’t think of Adult Friendfinder. When they go to your website, they DO think of Ross Jeffries and other guys who see their roles as being master manipulators and seducers. You may not see a difference, but I do.

    Evan

  11. 42
    Evan Marc Katz

    Actually, Mike, Christian Carter is not David DeAngelo. I know them both personally. Different guys. But David D did mentor and help create the Christian C material and marketing strategy. And if you ever read Christian’s material, it’s not about women manipulating men. Not at all. It’s about understanding men so that you can find a successful relationship.

    Sorry, man, but don’t make an argument you can’t back up.

  12. 43
    Evan Marc Katz

    Let’s agree to disagree, Mike. It’s Friday and the fiance and I are planning on a romantic evening watching “Scarface” in Hollywood. Please don’t kill my buzz with your sarcasm at my title.

    Thanks for contributing to an important dialogue.

    Best wishes,

    Evan

  13. 44
    Steve


    Evan Marc Katz Jun 20th 2008 at 11:00 am 39
    And if you ever read Christian’s material, it’s not about women manipulating men. Not at all. It’s about understanding men so that you can find a successful relationship.

    Adolescent language and a few scumbags aside, that is all the PUA community is about for many people. It isn’t about Ross Jeffries and his Jedi mind tricks. It is about helping men understand women so they can get dates and/or get sex ( which women also want ).

  14. 45
    Cathouse Teri

    @ Lance ~ I also do not have any trouble with those who are choosing a lifestyle that involves casual sex. I think what’s good for the gander, is surely good for the goose. But I was never a player, defined in the manner I understand it to be. A player is someone who is playing at something. In other words, tending toward acting/pretending. I didn’t approach men with a line I learned in a book or from other “players” whom I thought to be getting all the men I wanted. I didn’t spend my time looking for hook-ups. I was just enjoying my life. Men approached me. I responded. Everyone knew the score right up front. So just because I have had many sexual encounters doesn’t mean I wooed them into my bed for the purpose of adding notches to my bedpost.

    The fact is that we are in the midst of a cultural movement wherein the fuck-buddy is becoming extremely popular. My theory is that people are tired of putting forth the effort that a relationship requires and they just wanna have some fun. Get laid. No strings attached. This also goes along with my theory that people play the lottery because they want to become rich without putting in the work required to do so. We all want it to land right in our laps. I didn’t really give a shit, because I certainly was not looking for a relationship. I would have been happy to remain alone forever. I did my time and it was hard time.

    Casual sexual encounters can be a ton of fun. But when people are going about devising plans and schemes that will accomplish this in wily ways, then I have a problem.

    In truth, I’m for anything that anyone wants to do. As long as they can do it honestly, with emotional integrity. Anything that promotes unhealthy growth, especially where communication and relationships are concerned, is a cause I just can’t endorse.

    (haha… as if anyone were asking for my endorsement.)

  15. 46
    Steve

    Mike Stoute Jun 20th 2008 at 11:30 am 44
    So right Steve..

    Mike, it isn’t my intent to offend you, but the look and feel of your site would not give me the impression of being one of the “lets just teach them social skills” sites.

  16. 47
    Mike Stoute

    No it wouldn’t, I agree…

    In fact over the last few months we have been moving it towards the comedic side of dating with some spoof exaggerations. We don’t take ourselves to seriously and we like entertaining people. At the same time, our personal material is geared towards the community and being a better man with women.

    More of a Modern Men’s Resource with an edge 😉

  17. 48
    Lance

    @Cathouse: I’m of the “whatever floats your boat” line of thinking also, so it appears we’re in alignment on that.

    You have an excellent quote here:
    “I didn’t spend my time looking for hook-ups. I was just enjoying my life. Men approached me. I responded. Everyone knew the score right up front. So just because I have had many sexual encounters doesn’t mean I wooed them into my bed for the purpose of adding notches to my bedpost.”

    That actually describes me very accurately and it’s also why in serious conversation I’ll refer to myself as a “social artist,” because I like socializing. Only in jest will I refer to myself as a player.

  18. 49
    Mike Stoute

    I am one of many authors on TSB, more so I am the tech Guy and business with more live interaction. Look at the authors on the tops of posts, plus the celeb stuff is a gossip angle we cover like many other sites, whatever.. Seduction is a bad name, so maybe we choose the wrong name 4 years ago, for SEO, I will not change it.

    Point:
    If this is the Jenn I was dating and she can’t take some racy pics, guy stuff and pickup material; understand it is a business and no different than most sites geared towards men. Then I feel the issue is with her and her confidence in us.

    I am a real person and I say it how it is, I guess I need a stronger woman.

  19. 50
    A-L

    If you look at my previous post (#14) you’ll see that I was all for supporting the OP’s boyfriend and his profession. But Mike, if you truly are the (ex-)boyfriend in question, your website leaves a lot to be desired.

    The address (theseductionbible.com) is off-putting, and here are the big headlines:

    Kourtney and Kim Kardashian Bikini Pictures

    “Secret Diary of a Call Girl” is my new favorite show

    Jamie-Lynn Spears Count Down to Legal MILFness

    Kate Moss, Lara Stone, and Daria Werbowy Topless and in the Nude in W Magazine

    Though there was content in there that could be considered as supporting Jen’s boyfriend’s goal of researching how “men attract women and how they market themselves on the dating scene,” the website makes me thinks it’s leading up to sex, not a relationship. And that, I have more qualms about. Yes, teach a guy how to meet a girl and get her to go out with him and be interested in him. I have zero problems with that. Making it all about the sex, and obsessing about sexual celebrities, is rather repulsive.

  20. 51
    Cathouse Teri

    @Lance ~ Yes, I think the term “social artist” does seem to be a more honest label.

  21. 52
    Selena

    Lance,
    I also agree “social artist” does seem a more apt description for you. Though in the circles I travel, this is simply called being friendly, outgoing, personable. You appear comfortable in your own skin and that is what is highly attractive.

    Mike Stoute,
    The content of TSB made me think “Hey! Cosmo for young men.” Even included an article on how men should dress for Spring. Imagine that.

    I don’t know as you need a *stronger* woman, but surely you need one who doesn’t mind what you do. Also one who is not put off by your seemingly tenacious argumentative nature. It’s all about compatibility Mike.

  22. 53
    starthrower68

    Oh, vexation, thy name is love!

    Jen, you will not be able to change him, curb his flirtatious ways or anything such as that. If you choose to continue on in this relationship you must do so with your eyes wide open, and you must accept him as he is, flirtatiousness and all. That means no complaining when he engages in the behavior that bothers you.

    On the flip side, your other option is to walk away and hold out for a relationship in which there won’t be that constant anxiety, insecurity, confusion, doubt, et al. I don’t mean to sound as though I lack compassion for your situation. I just believe that this is the bottom line and you have to choose which is the path for you. Hugs!

  23. 54
    Steve

    A-L about post #49

    I couldn’t agree more. The way the various PUA authors market themselves is patently stupid. I agree with Evan that most of their customers are just shy guys who are grown ups looking for some help. The information they have is solid, sellable, and non-objectionable.

    The PUAs [b]make[/b] themselves and their information appear noxious and predatory to outsiders.

    If they ran presented their information in an ordinary, down to earth, and adult manner nobody would have a problem with it. It probably would also sell a lot better as they wouldn’t turn sales away from people who are curious, but turned off by the adolescent, sleazy, and/or irritating marketing/packaging.

  24. 55
    Bev

    You know, Jen, I don’t care how many books Evan has written. He’s a GUY! A wonderful one but…..Listen to me, a woman. Dump the dude!!! You have only heartache in your future if you don’t.

  25. 56
    Cathouse Teri

    Good point, Bev.

    I wanted to discuss this interesting comment thread with my roommate who is savvy about men, but in sort of a different way than I am. I wanted a different perspective and she evaluates situations a little more quickly than I do. And I don’t believe I’ve ever seen her be wrong. Certainly never entirely wrong.

    I started out with,

    “So this gal wants some advice. She says her boyfriend is a Pick Up Artist…” She immediately interrupted me with laughter. She said, “That is not called a boyfriend.”

    I guess that was enough information for her to put in her two cents. Just wanted to toss in another woman’s opinion.

  26. 57
    evilwoobie

    It’s just the image that goes on inside a women’s mind when her boyfriend tells her about flirting with other women, if a girl can ignore that image, she will be fine. Thanks lance for pointing me to this post, it’s a wonderful read!

    I love TSB. It’s for men who want to develop themselves better. Normal development means groping your way in social circles and finding out by trial and error what works and what doesn’t. I’ve been reading TSB for a time now and I know that their work focuses on being like an ‘older bro’ to these guys who want to improve their relationship with women, whether for serious or for fun. There are some racy stories and photos, but then so do Playboy and Penthouse. Those dont devalue the site (TSB) and in fact adds to its value… it is, after all, a man’s resource.

  27. 58
    Brian

    I think all this talk about PUAs is a smoke screen. This is a simple question of incompatibility. In this context, the real issue is that she is very uncomfortable about her boyfriend’s choice of activities and her boyfriend is committed to those same activities.

    She seems to disrespect what he is doing, has moral qualms about it, and feels their relationship is threatened. While a heart-to-heart talk might help, They both are strongly committed to their present stances.

    Unless at least one of them is willing to give up feelings/morals/activities that are important to them, I don’t believe this situation can be satisfying for both on a long-term basis.

  28. 59
    Mike Stoute

    Hey Wobbie,

    Always nice to hear from you 😉 I actually couldn’t have said it better myself. We are like older brothers to these guys showing them the ropes of what we learned and know.
    Men and women are very different and a lot of women don’t understand how most men really think and act when they are just among men.
    No matter how great and sweet a guy is to the love of his life, there may be a time when he is just with his guy friends where he acts and says certain things she wouldn’t believe. It’s not that he doesn’t love her and cherish her, it’s more like this secret code that men use to bond and feel manly. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus the title says it all..
    Lance, thanks for inviting our friend Wobbie 😉

  29. 60
    Cathouse Teri

    It does seem to me that if a man wants to know how to attract a woman, he should ask a woman. But what do I know, eh?

    I always do my best to encourage men to feel confident about approaching women. This is why, during the times I am single, I always say yes when asked out, or when asked to dance, etc. I’ve never understood why a woman would say no to these things. It’s not like he’s asking you to marry him! Men seem to have to overcome the huge hurdle of rejection and I figure if he’s gotten up the nerve to ask, the least I can do is say yes!

    I say, if you like a woman, ask her out. It ain’t fuckin rocket science!

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