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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 103

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

  4. 104

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

  5. 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…..

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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????

  9. 109

    Why stay with a man who just wants to pick up women and use them for sex?

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