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?


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. 91
    Ramon Thomas

    I really would not waste my time asking permission from my girlfriend about my career choice. In fact the last two women I seriously dated over the last 18 months both knew I am a part-time dating coach in South Africa. And what I did differently was to teach them everything I know about dating and relationships. And they are both better off because I never used to b.s. them. My own choice now is to be in a permanent open relationship until further notice.

  2. 92

    I am dating myself to say this, but I remember the sexual revolution. I will tell those of you too young to know that it was great and I miss it dearly.
    Casual sex is hard to come by in these abstemious times.

    Open relationships, non-monogamy, swinging, and one-night stands are little more than fond memories for those of us who spent our youths living in the 70’s.

    For my generation, sexual liberation was part of the cultural and political zeitgeist. Today, sex is under wraps like no time since Ozzie and Harriet. Although times have changed (for the worse, if you ask me), the sexual needs of men remain the same as ever.

    What’s a horny young male to do? Enter the pickup artist (PUA).

    PUAs are a response to a sexually conservatized culture: abstinence is being taught in public schools; religious fundamentalism runs rampant across the land; people live in fear of sexually transmitted diseases. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Some say that PUAs attract women only to use them for sex then move on to the next conquest. Perhaps. But I think back to the casual encounters I had in my youth and I recall that the women were just as eager for those experiences me. The PUA is skilled at providing women with an experience they want but won’t pursue on their own because the culture will label them sluts or whores. They can blame the sexual indiscretion on the PUA.

    For the sake of both men and women, long live the PUA. It would be better to have a sexual revolution, but in this day and age, they’re all that stand between us and a return to an Ozzie and Harriet world of celibacy and puritanism.

  3. 93


    PUA methods work. I guess in the end what are you after?
    1. A beautiful woman to have sex with you.
    This is great for a while however the methods do not make this woman truely love you she just loves who you become through
    science a PUA. If you ever want to be truely yourself she will more than likely leave or you will have to never be yourself.
    If she leaves you….you are on another quest for sex or a empty relationship. IF you do keep a relationship how long can you
    wear the mask of a pickup artist? without being your true self
    2. Power having many women adore you…..for something science gave you. There is always another PUA that nows
    more science. Power sometimes can also go to your head
    some people abuse it. Jealousy between women can occur
    broken friendships can take place between women or the PUA and women. Having to much power and a monsterous ego can stir up anger with both sexes.
    3. confidence can be used in a good way and a bad way. Having convidence to talk to women while being yourself is a real good thing. Having confidence to talk women using science to get your way is very dangerous. (To ever having a decent relationship.)

    The interesting thing is beautiful women emotions run wild with a man who uses science, a PUA, however she forgets that what she really wants is what her heart wants. The PUA not even being himself because he is using science thinks he is getting his hearts desire but is not because he is masked in science and sees only emotion from the woman.

    Both people are after the same thing that is more beautiful than science or physical appearance that is “LOVE”
    (take off the mask and don’t let emotions get in the way)
    (search for something deeper)
    from a former PUA

  4. 94

    @ Steve

    You say Strauss never lied. Did you even READ that book? One of the most recurrent lines in the book was (whenever he started chatting up a girl):

    “It’s not lying, it’s flirting”

    What a bullsh*t excuse. No matter what, it’s still lying.

  5. 95

    I like JB’s #86. If the OP can handle it stay; if not, go. The devil’s always in the details.

  6. 96

    I can’t stand that book “The Game”. I can’t stand it mostly because my boyfriend of three years just broke up with me. We have had a horrible abusive relationship for three years and all he cares about it paying six hundred bucks to go to workshops to learn how to pickup women. I”m sorry to say this to you guys out there, but thats just not how you get the good girls you want. If you want to be single and get a quick fuck from some slutty hussy down the block then follow into this humiliating disrespectful cult. The thing that you don’t realize is that when guys act with this behavior it doesn’t leave any opportunities for the good decent girls to get into your heart. I’ve been a bartender for 4 years, I’ve had every pick-up line there is in the book and it just makes me so upset! Those negs, backhanded compliments all designed to lower a girl’s self-esteem and think she isn’t worth what she really is. Maybe guys that need to put time and effort into that shit should go to workshops designed for improving your relationship. Needless to say the bastard wanted me back when he couldn’t find a girl half the woman I am and I laughed at him. I”m not a man hater, I love boys, but i just wish we could have more down to earth, fun, loving guys who don’t need that bullshit to feel “cool” or “respected”. Dudes, don’t waste your time. Treat your girls with respect. Make a woman happy and she will do everything to make you happy too!!! yeeesh don’t men have mother’s anymore!?

  7. 97

    Jessica, too bad about your boyfriend. You say he spent $600? hhhmmhh.

  8. 98

    Jessica might find it hard to believe and I know I’m in the minority amongst most men but I study ALL aspects of “The Game” from the “Pick Up Arts” to every and anything written about relationships healthy & unhealthy. It doesn’t matter to me whether it’s Mystery,Evan,DeAngelo/Christian Carter or Dr. Phil and anyone else who’s divorced 3 times and has written 3 books on healthy relationships.
    I enjoy learning and believe none of them is 100% right but all have some great points of view and knowledge sometimes. I take it all in and apply what I want in my life. There’s nothing wrong with learning & listening to all of it including the PUA’s.

  9. 99
    Karl R

    Let me begin this by stating that I have no interest in “The Game”. It’s my impression that it contains some useful information, but it’s primarily useful for men who are looking for a short-term sexual relationship, which is not my goal.

    Jessica said: (#97)
    “I can’t stand that book ‘The Game’.”
    “my boyfriend of three years just broke up with me.”
    “We have had a horrible abusive relationship for three years”
    “thats just not how you get the good girls you want.”
    “Treat your girls with respect. Make a woman happy and she will do everything to make you happy too!!!”

    You just did a remarkable job of persuading me that you don’t know what you’re talking about. According to you:
    1) Your boyfriend was horrible and abusive to you for 3 years.
    2) You did not leave your boyfriend. He broke up with you.
    3) You (presumably) consider yourself to be a “good girl”.
    4) Treating a woman with respect is a more successful method of getting and keeping a “good girl”.

    Your boyfriend managed to get you and keep you for 3 years without treating you with respect. The relationship ended when he decided that he no longer wanted to be with you.

    You might want to consider why this was possible.

    “i just wish we could have more down to earth, fun, loving guys who don’t need that bullshit”

    Then date those men, and dump the ones who disrescpect you and abuse you after the first or second date. And if every woman does the same thing, then “The Game” will become a completely useless piece of trash.

    I agree with Evan that a nice guy with self-confidence can do as well as (or better than) a jerk. But if you really want to persuade men that it’s against their interest to be a jerk, you might want to start dating the nice guys (regardless of their self-confidence) in preference to the jerks.

    1. 99.1

      Exactly Karl,

      Men will stop being / becoming, pickup artists, a-holes, players and bad boys when women stop sleeping with them. Ladies, you WAY over complicate things. Men simply look at men who are successful with women and emulate that behavior. You get it. It isn’t so complicated.

      In today’s society, there is a word for men who listen to women’s advice on how to attract and treat women. The word is virgins. Another word is unsuccessful.

    2. 99.2

      Karl R said: “Then date those men, and dump the ones who disrespect you and abuse you after the first or second date. And if every woman does the same thing, then “The Game” will become a completely useless piece of trash.”

      …aaand that’s why “The Game” will never work on me. “Negging” is annoying and condescending. Although it is not intended to be blatantly rude or abusive, I don’t see how it leaves room for a genuine connection to develop between a man and woman. Confidence is sexy. On the other hand, negging (among other PUA tactics) is nothing more than one person slightly putting another person down to gain the upper hand.

      My heart breaks for women who allow men to disrespect and abuse them after the first or second date.

      1. 99.2.1

        Perhaps not you Noemi, but it works on the VAST majority of women.

        It is almost like women being skinny or being obese. There ARE some men who prefer obese women, just like there are some women who prefer nice guys who treat them in a respectful manner. But the majority of women respond to game and that is why it is so successful.

        1. Karmic Equation


          Is this spoken from personal experience? Or from what the PUA sites tell you?

      2. 99.2.2

        …noemi, you are of the few, that are not receptive to “negging”…

    3. 99.3

      Is this spoken from personal experience? Or from what the PUA sites tell you?”

      Both. Several years ago I was one of these “nice guys.” Women stayed away in droves. Sure, they loved me, they thought I was a great catch, a wonderful person, they liked being my friend. But women didn’t want to have a RELATIONSHIP with me.

      After a while, I got sick of being such a total and complete loser and started to study pickup. I am far from a master PUA, my hope is to attain this status in a few years, but already what I have learned has made me more successful. And what is funny about the whole thing, is essentially I am doing the OPPOSITE of everything that women have told me they want. For example, let’s take one PUA principal. Preselection. Who would think lying about being married or having a girlfriend would attract women like crazy. Who would think this? It is completely counter-intuitive from a male point of view. But it does and that is all that really matters. Women actually blow off men they consider single and instead pursue men they considered attached. But there are tons of rules like this that the PUA community teaches. Things that work very well but basically go against everything men have been taught.

      While I am not a master PUA by any stretch of the imagination, I am lot further along then when I started. Things are getting better, so I just need to continue to practice and become a PUA master.

      1. 99.3.1

        Interesting, @Adam. Thanks for sharing.

        I do wonder, though, what KIND of woman are you now attracting. Do you want to have a relationship with a woman who finds you more attractive only because she thinks you’re married? Do you want a wife who sees marriage as a hurdle to be overcome by those outside it, rather than a commitment to be respected? Do you want your children raised by a woman who says, “meh, if you see someone who’s wearing a wedding ring, don’t let that stop you?” It seems like your PUA community focuses on helping you find a higher quantity of lower quality women!

        1. Adam

          Well, you CAN look at it that way, and I do respect your point of view, it is a valid point of view. You are right, I agree with you, I am certainly not going to marry a girl who thought I was married. No way. But the good news is the experiences I have with these types of girls and other women, now that I am more attractive, help me attract the kind of women I eventually want to have in my life.Also, women love men that other women love, so when I decide to get married, I will be able to pick a good girl to marry.

          When women, even the good women, see you with a large number of other women, no matter what the character of these other women, it turns them on in a major way. In other words, if a guy wants to eventually marry a good girl and settle down and have a family, she is going to be more attracted to him, if she perceives him as a man being chased by a lot of other women. This effect lasts even after they are married. Women are more likely to be happier in and stay in a marriage if they know that there husband can very easily get another woman if they were to dump him. So it is a win, win scenario.

          Men are different, in that we don’t want the woman who is having sex with tons of different guys. It is not something that turns us on. Women are the opposite. That is not bad, I’m not criticizing women for this, it is just the way things are.

        2. hunter

          …women do say…..”if he is good enough for her…he is good enough for me”……

  10. 100

    Women won’t date the nice guys, they are boring.

    1. 100.1

      Actually they do. You’re just going after the wrong girls.

  11. 101

    “yeeesh don’t men have mother’s anymore?”

    Sadly, no- at least emotionally available ones. A lot of men in the current American culture grew up with single mothers who were working ten-twelve hours day and barely had enough energy to cook dinner after coming home, let alone emotionally connect with their children.

  12. 102
    Melissa Dawn

    Okay , either you trust him or you don’t. If ya don’t..then leave.

    No one wants to go out with someone who doesn’t trust them because even if they aren’t doing anything…. being accused of things every night or every other night isn’t fun and it’s just going to aggravate him to a point where he will break up with you.

    I used to work a lot, since my ex didn’t want to work at all. I’d come home after 11 hours and be accused of cheating when any one of the other employees and the cameras could vouch for me. To make a long story short, going through that friggin crap everyday was irritating and stressful. After a while I broke up with him and said don’t bother me any more.

    That’s just an example from my life. I am a woman and I didn’t want to be with a man accusing me of things all the time. If you trust him then you gotta mean it and actually trust him. If you have doubt then you shouldn’t be together.

  13. 103

    Melissa, sounds like your boyfriend wanted out of the relationship.

  14. 104

    Naw, hunter, that would mean he’d have to find a job, or find himself another sugar mama!

  15. 105

    Say, Joe….I understand what you are saying. Men have to give women a hard time, or else they get bored, and find someone else…..

  16. 106

    Okay Jen…
    you posted this message a year ago pretty much… are you still with the guy now?  Either way I’m quite curious to hear about it?
    I’m in a somewhat similar predicament.  i have been dating a ‘nice’ guy for around 8 months.  He is always perfect when we are together and always there when i need him.  I have no doubt in my mind that he cares (he says love but I’m not sure he really understands love so, i think that he believes he loves me at least).  He is a PUA.
    I think its also worth mentioning that we didn’t meet in the general PUA situation and generally the relationship lays with very equal stature.  I like my independence more than most women so i make sure that the effort and spending is relatively the same for each of us.  We ‘date’ in the sense that we stay around each others place 2-3 times per week and make sure that includes some time to watch a film, go out for dinner or basically spend some quality time.  So yea, things are great 🙂
    The difference is that i was told from about one month in and that although at that point he hadn’t started, he has now actually started working and earning money from being a PUA.  I am very open minded so from the moment I knew, I set the ground rules of

    ditch the number after getting it (never give contact thereafter)
    anything more than a kiss and I’m gone.

    As in a previous comment… i have been his ‘wing girl’ and we did have some fun.  Obviously seeing him chat to other women this way and knowing that he kisses them etc bugs me, but at the end of the day, seeing him do it was that little bit more comforting in the fact that as much as he could follow these leads, he doesn’t.

    It all comes down to trust.  If everything is good and your the one he comes home to, what’s the problem?… your just going to have a ton of women wishing they were you.  Take comfort in the fact that the ‘type’ of girl he wants is not the easily manipulated one in the bar, club or high street, but the one that he knows, cares about and wants to be with… thats you.

    90% of PUA’s are insecure men with a big front of a growing ego… thats what PUA tells them to be so they can pick up these girls (they need the confidence to do it!).  If he has opened up and gone beyond that for you, then there is something there.  a PUA wont go further and allow a girl to see an insecurity unless theres a relationship.  This is because it shows weakness… one thing with the PUA method is weakness is frowned upon-you have to be the best, richest, most social, healthiest man in the house.  So think about what you have with this guy and how he is with you.  Do you trust him now?

    1. 106.1

      I’m happy things are working out for you and your boyfriend.You are one great girlfriend.

      Very inspiring story. I look forward to becoming a master PUA myself. Most women LOVE pickup artists.

  17. 107

    I find it really sad that men play all of these horrible games.  I’ve been dating for 18 years, and I’m so tired and bored of the insincerity on the dating scene.  It’s getting so old.  Our hearts and bodies are not toys for men to use and discard.  We are human beings with feelings and the need to be loved.  This girl should dump this PUA guy.  He’s unable to love a girl and only sees them as sporting trophies.  Unfortunately, there are just so few men out there with anything to offer in terms of character, honor, loyalty, friendship, and love.  I keep my fingers crossed that someday I might finally meet a man with good character and the ability to sincerely love a woman.

    1. 107.1

      Ok. Stop dating men that do this and start dating men that are nice guys. It isn’t so complicated.

  18. 108

    Evan Marc Katz – thank you (I think it was number 34).
    Yes and Karl (again!) 99 Yes indeed.  Keep on moving.  Bottom line – if the relationship makes you feel bad, and/or he isn’t been respectful (or she isn’t) what’s the point?
    I’m assuming most people want to be together to be happy and to feel loved.
    This evening, chatting to a married female (who is very happy in marriage) we were talking about human relationships in general.  I’m 20 years older than her – basically, what I told her is if a relationship makes you feel miserable more than it makes you happy, why continue it????

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