Archive for July, 2010
Stay Out of the Let’s Just Be Friends Zone – In Asia and Beyond
* * * * *
Over the last couple weeks Savoy and I have been communicating back and forth with some members of the Love System’s community in Asia. I’m excited to discover that there are a number of people in China (both expats and locals alike) that are taking this part of their lives seriously.
Some people have a very mistaken belief about Love Systems and seduction. They think that Love Systems is “American” and so would be different in another culture.
Of course that’s not really right. Most Love Systems instructors are not Americans. Most Love Systems instructors live outside the United States. Some of the most senior Love Systems instructors are ethnically Korean, Chinese, Sri Lankan., etc.
The reason I’m so passionate about Love Systems is that everything we teach is rooted in observing real interactions with real people, trying out ideas and keeping what actually works. It’s kind of like applying the scientific method to dating and relationships….kind of
Anyhow here are some emails that Savoy and I exchanged with a Shanghai-based member of the community, hope they help:
Date: Sun, 02 Jul 2010 10:29:08 -0700
Subject: Dating in China
I am taking this part of my life seriously. I purchased the Routines Manual 1 and 2, Phone Game and the Magic Bullets Handbook from you. It is the one part of my life I want to improve on. I do have a question. I notice that I mostly end up as “lets just be friends” and I am starting to realize that means I am not making a physical move earlier. I wish I could fix my inner game because this happens quite often. Any advice or tips?
I do have a question. Does Love Systems material work across different cultures. I live in Shanghai and there are heaps of attractive women but I think due to the language they may not understand push/pull, cocky/funny, etc. What is your take on that?
Finally, do you have any Love Systems instructors in China? I may be interested in a one on one worksheet or to take a boot camp. I want this part of my life figured out and I appreciate the weekly newsletter.
Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2010 07:49:28 -0700
Subject: Re: Dating in China
It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve been hearing a lot about Shanghai since Starlight got there. Have you read his blog by any chance?
Avoiding let’s just be friends is often, indeed, a matter of making the overall frame of the conversation more flirtatious, sexualizing the conversation as appropriate, and touching. At some point you need to make a statement of interest in her. Two common times to do this are 1/ with your opener, if you are being direct, or 2/ during qualification. I lot of people skip qualification and it’s a bad idea. One of the big benefits of it is you can then say to a girl, without creeping her out, “wow, I really like X and Y about you. It makes me think we could have a lot in common,” or something like that. It makes the overall context (romantic/sexual) less ambiguous. Let me know if you see what I’m getting at here – if not, I can explain in more detail with more examples.
Love Systems definitely works around the world; the experience of our trainers worldwide had fed into everything we do.About 1/3 of LS instructors don’t have English as their first language. Starlight’s blog (above) has some good material on this. There was also a study done in Hong Kong on whether Love Systems works as well there as in the rest of the world. Here’s the link. Now that’s not to say that cultural and linguistic differences are irrelevant. Of course they are relevant – some phrases, jokes, conversation patterns need to be adjusted for another language, some things may be more or less appropriate, but in general, the bottom line is the same. Do NOT listen to girls who want more spoiling or guys who are making excuses for themselves who tell you that Shanghai or Chinese girls are different for some reason and so you can’t have the same expectations. I started learning Love Systems in the Persian Gulf. My first lay using stuff that eventually became Magic Bullets was with a local girl who normally wore the chador. If it can work there, it can work in Shanghai.
Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2010 07:49:28 -0700
Subject: Re: Re: Dating in China
How’s it going? Savoy let me know that you were in China and forwarded me some questions you had as well as some sticking points you were running into. I’ve been in and out of China consistently for the last 2 years, and now live in Beijing. Perhaps I can help.
Let’s Just Be Friends: The best way to stay out of the “friend zone” is to state your interest early and often. Personally, in almost all cases, I’ll approach a girl and say something along the lines of “Listen, I know this is really forward, but I noticed you from across the room with my friends and I’d really regret if I didn’t come over here and say you look absolutely gorgeous tonight” – You can substitute gorgeous with something more specific if you like, “you have a really unique sense of style, I had to say you look very well put together and fashionable” – or any other variation.
Now, this is the first thing I say. And if it hits, it amps up the attraction straight away. So I usually diffuse it with something a little less intense, like “What’s the occasion tonight?” or “What are you guys up to?” – something that wouldn’t be too useful if it was the first words out of my mouth. From there, you Transition into some Attraction material. If you’re stuck on this one, a go-to line I’ll use is:
“Well I have some friends visiting this week. We don’t get to see each other that often, but we’ve always made it a point to get together a couple times a year…and this time we’re all in Shanghai, so I’m in charge of showing them a good time! Are you from here?”
Then you can get her to suggest an activity that is not to be missed. If it sucks or is typical, you can tease her about it. If it’s awesome then reward her with a high-five or a hug.
Logistical Progression: Then continue on talking, and remember to keep changing locations within the venue as your conversation continues. I can’t overstate this enough. Keep changing locations every 5-25 minutes. It may seem like a small thing, but try it.
Our brain stores memories as individual images…more like a snapshot, than a movie. So if you meet a girl at the bar and have a great conversation for 20 minutes, exchange numbers and part ways, she only has one memory of you “the guy she met at the bar.” On the other hand, if you meet at the bar, talk for 5 minutes, introduce her to your friends and chat for 10 minutes, then go outside and get some fresh air and talk for another 5 minutes, the difference in her recollection is remarkable. With these three logistical moves (inside the same venue) she will have a much richer memory of you, and that builds comfort which could be the difference between her answering your call or meeting up at a later time.
Physical Progression: When you first approach, let your hand lightly brush against her fingers. See if she responds, or wraps a finger or two around your hand as you deliver your opener. Great way to screen for attraction off the bat. Second, when you’re sitting and talking (ESPECIALLY in Asia) public displays of affection are not always acceptable. Put a pillow over your lap, or your jacket, and hold her hand underneath it. Massage the pressure point in between the thumb and forefinger lightly while talking.
If you do these things, it is pretty hard to end up in the “friend zone” even if you are not telling her how hot she looks every five minutes. You are subcommunicating that you’re interested in her as more than a friend with the physicality, and don’t forget to tease a bit and be willing to walk away if she gives you attitude or is a jerk. Continue having a great night and she may well come back and talk to you if she thinks she made a mistake by disqualifying you (ie: you’re having fun no matter what…it’s her loss!)
Hope this helps.
Other Similar Posts Include: Finding Yourself a Chinese Lover – What Not To Do
Touchdown in Beijing and I’m Already Famous: How Confidence, Pre-selection and a Camera Can Up Your Game
~ This Just In: Starlight on China Daily TV ~
It has been all of one week since I arrived in Beijing and I’m already famous. Ok, maybe that is a bit of an overstatement, but I’m still reeling from the events of today which culminated in me being filmed for a featurette by China Daily TV!
So for the last 5 days I pulled back from the whirlwind of activity that accompanies four back-to-back Love Systems workshops, each in a different country. I’ve been studying Chinese four hours a day at one of China’s top schools, and getting to know all my new classmates, eating spicy Sichuan food twice a day and generally chilling out.
But the truth is, I was just waiting for the weekend to roll around so I could back out into the sea of people that I love to swim around in. And that is definitely a fitting metaphor for China, where the concept of “personal space” hasn’t exactly taken root yet. Following a couple days of heavy rain, the skies opened up and were crystal clear. Sun shining down on the capital city, and we all headed out to Hou Hai, which is a man made lake in the center of Beijing, surrounded by bars, restaurants and labyrinthine alleyways called Hutongs.
Bounding down narrow alleys in the back of a rickshaw, climbing the bell tower to look out across the city, and taking a boat ride in the lake; it was the perfect release after studying hard all week. Then, as the sun receded behind willow trees and ancient ornamented walls, my mind turned towards girls, beer and adventure.
One of the great things about being a student is the opportunity to leverage The Hub and Spoke Model I wrote about before. Essentially, by cherry picking a good group of guys and girls to go out with, irrespective of whether I’m hitting on any of them, there is built-in social proof and pre-selection. This helps tremendously in reducing approach anxiety and general inspires me to do pull crazy ass stunts to keep things interesting.
So, we’re sitting on the docks of Hou Hai as the twilight wanes, and I notice two people about 30 feet away with a professional looking camera on a tripod. I wander over to investigate. In fact, it is a camera crew for China Daily TV, one of the state-owned media behemoths in this sprawling country. I’m intrigued…and the anchorwoman is cute.
The following takes place in Chinese…or, to be honest, Chinglish:
“Hey, how’s it going? Looking for a good story?”
“Doing good, thanks, you?”
“Yeah, I’m good. Just chilling with a bunch of classmates” …and I wave over to about 20 people lounging by the lake.
“Oh yeah? What are you guys doing?”
“Well, let’s see, we rode rickshaws through the Hutongs and sang ‘Beijing Huanying Nin’ (2008 Olympic theme song) on the lake, and now…”
“Haha, you’re such a tourist”
“Um, I like to think of myself as a traveler, but anyhow…so, you guys breaking a big story here at Hou Hai? I got one for you; Tall white guy leaves the comforts of America to take his chances in the heart of the Middle Kingdom”
“What’s the angle?”
“That I’m awesome, and I’ll do pretty much anything on camera”
…at this point, one of the cuter girls I was hanging out with comes over and pokes me asking if I’m flirting with another girl. The camerawomen, who we’ll call Red Star, asks if it’s my girlfriend. I just roll my eyes and say, “Oh man, here comes 20 questions, at least roll tape” or something like that.
And we banter on for a while, but I made enough of an impression where Red Star agreed to film us. But a little later on. So I get her number and we break off and she gets back to her regularly scheduled programming, while we take a sunset boat ride on the lake.
Then an hour later or so, I ring her let her know we’re back in the area and ask if they’re free. Green light.
So we meet up in front of the main gate to Hou Hai amidst hundreds of Chinese both young and old kicking around what looks like a cross between a hackey sack and a shuttlecock. Red Star and her cameraman get the gear set up and she switches to “work mode” which I find totally hot:
“OK, heres the deal. We’re going to ditch the study abroad bit and talk about the World Cup game tonight. Be enthusiastic, smile a lot and look at the camera”
Fine with me. Here is a little secret. It doesn’t matter what we’re talking about. The fact that I’m standing in a highly visible area on a Friday night, getting interviewed by China Daily TV is social proof on steroids.
Lights. Camera. Action! There is a mic in my face, a crowd is gathering and I’m talking in mixed Chinese and English about how much I want Brazil to kick Netherlands ass tonight in the game. Then Red Star invites some of my friends into the shot and we all cheer as if we’re watching the game.
Then things get weird. Here is a vignette on “cultural differences” for you. All Chinese TV stations are owned by the state. And they will not broadcast anything other than very happy, smiling faces, excited to be alive and happy to be in China. So we do 30 seconds of filming where we are just cheering and dancing (with no music playing) and now there is about 100 people gathered around us watching with bemused, albeit stoic, looks on their faces.
Red Star studied in America. She speaks perfect English. And it was cool to see a girl that knows what freedom tastes like, but also knows how to play the Chinese media game to a tee.
We wrap up the shoot by inviting some nearby Jordanian Tae Kwon Do fighters into the shot and we’re all cheering for Brazil. I’m front and center holding the mic. Signing off. Aaaaaand, that’s a wrap.
Literally 10 kids rush up and ask to take pictures with me. I feel famous for about 30 seconds. It’s cool.
Then we all exchange contact details and when Red Star and I have a moment of relative isolation I tell her I’d like to get together again and ask if she would like it if I gave her a call. The answer is yes. We hug and give each other a faux kiss on one cheek. I rejoin my friends and we cruise back into the throngs of people walking alongside Hou Hai to grab a beer and laugh about it all.
“This is Jesse Starlight, signing off from Beijing”
Aside from this being pretty damn fun overall, there a couple key takeaways here. Did you catch them? My confidence and generally unaffected attitude when I approached piqued Red Star’s interest enough to give me the time of day. And even though I wasn’t really trying to hit on the friends I was out with, I’d bet 5-to-1 that the girls in the group just formed a very different impression of me than they had when I was studious Starlight all week long. In the end, maybe I’ll get Red Star and the cute chic that came up to us when we were first talking. But the means to that potential end involves putting myself out there with the very-real chance that I’d crash and burn and embarrass myself at anytime. Yes, that totally happens sometimes. But I really don’t care too much, or think about it for more than a couple minutes when it does happen.
Public Service Announcement: Go out. Do something crazy. Make your unborn grandchildren proud of you decades in advance of their arrival. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Oh yeah, and it’s whack that Brazil lost…
Peace from Beijing,