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

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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. 21
    Cathouse Teri

    It is not even remotely attractive to me that a man would want to go out and do field work to learn how to attract a woman. To get numbers and never use them. To use women as specimens and see them as marketing tools. To view the dating scene as a place to gather information and strategies. I see a huge difference between how Evan presents his theories and how this man wants to go out and develop theories. Evan was dating and he was serious about it. He shares his genuine experiences with others. This man is treating it as a game. He is purposely going out to create different environments so he can teach men how to be successful with women. I tell you what. This man would not be successful with me. It’s his character that concerns me. And how he views women and the potential union with them. I also believe he wants to have his cake and eat it too. I would never encourage him to pursue this avenue and line of thinking and would definitely not get seriously involved with him. This, to me, is a very unhealthy path.

  2. 22
    Mike Stoute

    It’s about teaching social skills, not ploys for getting laid. If you read our site you will quickly see that although we make jokes and are content is sometimes racy, our articles are real and totally geared towards being a better person and man in life.

  3. 23
    Lance

    @Selena: You pointed out a pretty good hole in my argument and also a potential issue with Jen’s bf. Going out and harvesting numbers just for the sake of getting numbers with no intention of using them is indeed a negative. It pisses her off and has the unfortunate side effect of conditioning her to NOT give her number out to future suitors. So, good point.

    I do not go out and harvest numbers, for the most part. I go out and socialize with pretty much everyone, guys and girls, beautiful or “ugly,” with no attachment to the outcome. If I do happen across an attractive gal and we do exchange contact info, then I
    would have every intention of calling her. I’m to the point now where I don’t even ask for numbers…I’ll wait until she asks me. That way, I know it’s truly on and that we’re on the same page. Jen’s bf would get to this same point after a certain number of approaches and interactions. But he still needs to do the field work to be a legitimate dating coach.

    We’re sort of talking about me now and not Jen’s bf, but yes I’m in a casual dating mode at the moment. If I was in an LTR, I would have zero problem separating out my field work from my relationship. My gf could rest assured that she’s dating an emotionally secure, experienced, and confident dude. I wouldn’t cheat on her, even if I socialized with an amazingly hot women who waved sex in my face. Why? Because I’ve conditioned myself to not be affected by physical beauty because I’ve seen so much it. Can any of the “regular” guys out there say that?

    @cathouse: You’ve stated on my blog that you’ve had a large number of sexual partners, far more than the average population. In my book, that makes you a “player,” and you’ve likely spent a large amount of time in field getting these partners. In bars and whatnot. You could, if you wanted, offer dating advice because of your extraordinary experiences. How much different is that from Jen’s bf? At least the end goal for him is to grow a business and help others, which I find very honorable. BTW, I’ve got no problem female players or women who sleep with a lot of dudes. In fact, I kind of like it.

  4. 24
    Mike Stoute

    EMK,

    Maybe you should have read more than the title:
    How to Talk Women into Bed by Ross Jeffries

    TSB Magazine is a portal, not a personal blog.. We are journalists in the industry. The articles that are written by myself and Bobby generally involve our crazy hook-up stories, and our thoughts of being a better man.
    In fact if you listen a recent radio show we did with the author of the post you reference you will see how much our styles clashed and how we don’t like him either.

    It is content in our industry and we do cover it.

    I think it would be wrong of me to assume you like BBW’s and are a regular user on Adult Friend Finder because you promote them, no?

    Not that I don’t like BBW’s 😉

    1. 24.1
      Adam

      Mike,

      You and TSB Magazine are great guys. While I am still a beginner, I am far better than I was originally, thanks to your website and other PUA websites.

  5. 25
    Mike Stoute

    I am 31 btw 😉

  6. 26
    Mike Stoute

    Sorry My former gf Jenn is 25, if this is indeed her..

  7. 27
    Evan Marc Katz

    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. For example, I clicked on Mike’s site to see if, in fact, he was being straight with me. He was. Kind of.

    The first article I saw was in a section called Pick Up and Seduction and was called How to Talk a Woman into Bed.

    Sleazy title. No two ways about it. Any woman looking at that is going to feel like an object, not a person. Yet the advice itself, as many PUA’s have pointed out, is pretty solid, and is not necessarily all that different than the advice I would give to men.

    I just give it with a different goal in mind. I try to help men understand women to give them the greatest opportunity to have a relationship. PUAs speak to their audience, which often focuses on the act of getting laid.

    Now, to be clear, getting laid is part of the process of looking for a relationship. Date around long enough, you’ll get some practice. I just think it’s important to focus on the long-term goal. Some readers of that PUA material are really just nice shy guys who need a helping hand in understanding how to connect with a woman. The problem is when it becomes inauthentic – canned lines, NLP, and technique. Then you’re playing the role of a man, not really being your best self. If everything you do is calculated to achieve a result, where do you exist and the pick-up artist end?

    These are things to think about.

    So, in all, PUA’s (like my friend Lance) are not universally bad guys. However, when the ulterior motive (sex) trumps anything relationship oriented (as it does when the title is How to Talk a Woman Into Bed), it’s pretty hard to make a strong endorsement of it – no matter how wise the advice may be.

    EMK

  8. 28
    Mike Stoute

    EMK,

    I’m not sure if I agree, you are promoting Adult Friend Finder, a site geared towards one-night stands, that is an affiliate link in there. So because your links are on the sidebar and not in articles it’s different? Writing articles promote better sales, fact..

    You say your site is ONLY geared towards relationships, why would a site like that be there? Would you have them there if it didnt pay?

    Answer:
    Simply because we are all doing this for the money as well. Say what you want, we are all in it for affiliate comissions on the side.

  9. 29
    JB

    Out of curiosity Mike, how old are you & Jen ? It might help to know for perspective. Yes, age does matter for maturity purposes.
    Also it sounds like you may be a bit too young and aren’t really ready to be in a committed relationship. I’ve never tried it but it’s gotta be tough practicing “pick-up” while being IN a relationship.

    I’m in my 40’s, never married and have been meeting women for 30 yrs. I’ve studied everything in the community on BOTH sides including Christian Carter’s stuff just so I could learn and gain more knowledge. I’m not, nor do consider myself a “pick up artist”.
    I enjoy meeting women and strive to have healthy relationships. I don’t tell women everything I’ve watched or read and know about.
    If they asked me I’d be more than happy to tell them that I love learning about men,women and relationships and why people do what they do. That’s all. Like was said here before,many in the community are happy,healthy sharp guys who have successful committed realtionships who just wanted to learn why things are the way they are. And I’m not talking about the Guru’s,teachers etc…I’m talking about the rest of us who just like to learn different opinions etc..

    I do agree with Selena and other’s who said going out and getting phone numbers just for sport or for your statistics is just WRONG.
    Noone deserves deception and you asking or taking a women’s phone number to “see if you can get it” leads them on and may hurt them. ie: “One more guy that took my number and didn’t call”
    Thus ruining it for the next guy who may really be interested.

  10. 30
    Mike Stoute

    I think it’s unfair and drastically incorrect to say people think of Ross Jeffries when they come to my site..It’s news..we cover it.

    “When people come to my site, they don’t think of Adult Friendfinder.”
    Being that Adult Friend Finder is you 49th most popular outgoing link, I’m not feeling that argument either..

    I don’t see much of a difference here.
    Yes we are more edgy, but that does not mean we are much different.

  11. 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..)

  12. 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?

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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”

  16. 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.

  17. 37
    Mike Stoute

    Touch Ron Burgundy,

    Enjoy your evening and give the fianc my best.. 🙂

  18. 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.

  19. 39
    Mike Stoute

    So right Steve..

  20. 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

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