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?


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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  1. 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.

  2. 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,


  3. 44

    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 ).

  4. 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.)

  5. 46

    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.

  6. 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 😉

  7. 48

    @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.

  8. 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.

    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.

  9. 50

    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 ( 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.

  10. 51
    Cathouse Teri

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

  11. 52

    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.

  12. 53

    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!

  13. 54

    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.

  14. 55

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 57

    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.

  17. 58

    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.

  18. 59
    Scot McKay

    I’m a professional dating coach and met my wife right as I was getting started.

    I immerse myself in social dynamics, understanding women, online dating strategy, etc. on a daily basis. And I couldn’t agree more that there is nothing inherently wrong with having a vision for helping guys improve their skills with women.

    At issue, however, is the fact that numerous Seduction Community figures tend to tailor their philosophy (and indeed their marketing message) to the particular audience at any given moment rather than picking a course and sticking to it.

    When this happens, you can’t help but understand why women in their lives would wonder what the hell is REALLY going on in their guys’ heads.

    Telling one socially conservative group that you’re a “self-help professional” who is all-about “improving guys’ lives and healthy relationships” is one thing.

    But you can’t be posting articles about one-night-stands, “lay reports”, and “you molested me” openers back at the main web site and expect anyone to be able to know where they REALLY stand with you.

    Or, I guess you could say, “getting the lay” is not a “family value”. LOL

    If you want to teach guys how to get better with women, that’s a noble goal. As a job, it also beats either working in a coal mine or making some company richer.

    You’ve got to chose a path, and have the character to sleep in the bed you’ve made (literally). Whatever that means, so be it…but be PROUD OF IT, whatever that path is.

    And if you want to keep dating multiple women and sharing your skills for doing so, that’s cool. So be it. That makes it easy.

    But if you, as a man with options and sound mind, choose to enter into a monogamous LTR, you simply choose your partner wisely.

    And make no mistake, you can still teach the sum total of your experiences…including how to approach, create rapport and seduce.

    As for being in this business and making my vision for “success with women” a personal reality, my solution was very simple: I did not settle for less than a woman who shared my passion for what I was doing.

    She was excited about my passion to help guys succeed with women, and has since become a popular and VERY effective dating consultant to women in her own right.

    Granted, I’m not particularly known for promoting pure pick-up “openers” or “techniques”, and I tend to draw an audience who prioritizes long-term quality and relationship management over the “quick lay”.

    This no doubt makes it easier on Emily and I as far as the relationship goes, and is congruent with our public persona.

    Unfortunately, I know several guys who teach hardcore “pickup” who are actually married and go out of their way to keep that under wraps.


    You’ve just got to have a PLAN. As a man, women respond to your leadership of the relationship, either consciously or unconsciously. You’re ambition for your professional and personal lives have to match up. Further a woman has to be able to feel secure in the fact that your ambition and her role in it match up.

  19. 60
    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 😉

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