NOTE: The following is a "GMP Remix" of my original "Cafe Date Theory" article (which first appeared here at the O-Files on Apr 25, 2012), that was supposed to be published at the Good Men Project earlier this Spring; it was rejected for purely personal & ideological editorial reasons on the part of Mr. Justin Cascio and Ms. Lisa Hickey. I was given the chance to "revise" it, but have opted instead to just publish it here. There is more that I can and perhaps should say about my (very brief) tenure at/with the GMP, but that will have to wait for a future post. The "remix" further fleshes out concepts that were mentioned in the original version, as well as taking up a few other memes that I thought worthy of exploration. As always, Comment & Reply, invited.
"I knew what their rule was: Girls like this love it when guys buy them drinks. But David X had taught me better: Girls don't respect guys who buy them drinks. A true pickup artist knows never to buy meals, drinks or gifts for a girl who he hasn't slept with. Dating is for tools."
In the boiler room that is that is the modern day sexual marketplace (SMP), one of the most contentious topics of all, is who pays for dates and whether it's still a good idea for a guy to ante up when checking out a potential prospect. Much has been written about this topic, hence the quote above - and, in light of fellow GMPer Chuck Ross' May 10, 2012 article, "Scenes From a Starbucks: Blind Date", and the passionate response it received, I thought this piece of mine would be a fitting "part two" of that conversation. While we as a society have gained many things in the decades since the Women's Movement and Sexual Revolution(s), we would be remiss if we weren't honest about the fact that we have lost quite a bit too - in this case, when it comes to courtship rituals and the like. Ross' piece, about a blind date gone horribly wrong, is a case in point.
Before I begin here, it must be pointed out that while I have greatly benefitted from the teachings of the Seduction Community - what is more commonly known as Game - what I present here today isn't taken directly from their book per se. It is in fact an original creation on my part, formulated and refined many years before I had ever heard of the Mystery Method, or anything else even slightly related to Seduction/Game. Yet, as I would discover years later when I became more formally Game-aware, my "Cafe Date Theory" resonated deeply with some of the core tenets of Game - and so, I pass this along to my brothers in the hope that they will find it useful in their exploits out there on the modern-day Savannah that is the dating and mating marketplace.
What, you ask, is Cafe Date Theory?
Simply put, it is a model of courting that is done in a low-risk, low-pressure way for both parties, male and female; it is designed to achieve the goals of assessment of both in a way that preserves the dignity and honor of both parties, whether they hit it off or not.
In more traditional contexts, the dating ritual was such that all the onus was put on the man to make the investment - one that he could lose should the woman not find what he offered to her liking; and to be fair in our time, that same traditional arrangement can and often does put undue pressure upon the female to sexually reciprocate a display of resources that the date symbolized, regardless as to whether she felt any attraction to the male in question. CDT, as I like to refer it, sweeps away these problems and concerns, among other things (please see the quote above, and by all means, please do read the pages from which the above quote was lifted for more on this point).
From an Evolutionary Psychology perspective, Humanity's sexual psychology was an outgrowth of their evolved adaptations towards solving an array of problems in the ancestral environment. One of those problems, for both sexes, was assessing the costs of mating, and how to mitigate said costs. However, there isn't a symmetrical relationship between male and female along these lines; in other words, men and women don't equally share the same costs to mate. Women, share a higher cost to mate, because they must invest a minimum of nine months - the time of gestation of a human fetus - in the act of mating. For men on the other hand, the costs are minimal - ranging from a matter of minutes to even seconds. Yet, there are other ways that men have to be concerned about the associative costs of mating, and this comes in the area of nuptial gifts (which dates are proxies for) that serve as inducements to get women to mate. The problem, from both a traditional and modern day standpoint, is that it is possible for a woman (or string of women, as it were), to accept the gifts offered and then abscond without reciprocating in kind sexually. Such repeated instances happening to a man could prove ruinous over the long run. A man needs a way to protect himself from such fraudulent tactics and his investment, whatever that may be.
CDT, then, takes its cues from the evolutionary truth of the minimal investment men must make sexually in the courtship process; it asks, what is the minimum investment necessary for me to meet a prospective mate wherein which I can assess her attributes in a way that is low-pressure for her? After a few fits and starts, the answer I came up with was, the cost of a visit to the barbershop - which for most men rarely goes beyond $20 USD (and rarely extends beyond a half an hour; more on this point below).
Here's a bulleted list that fleshes out CDT in more detail:
1. The idea is to plan a mini-date (a pre-date interview with the lady in question) that allows you to assess various aspects of her in a low cost, low risk way. I've found the best way to do this is within the context of a brief cafe date; if things go sour for some reason, your losses are intentionally minimal.
2. Most big cities have many cafe type settings; I recommend that you map out all of the ones near you, sample their wares and keep them on your shortlist of places to meet with your prospects. Oh, and avoid the big name chains like Starbucks etc - you want to create a feeling of uniqueness and intimacy-therefore, hit up the more indie/electic spots.
3. Also, make sure you do the meet in broad daylight, the sunnier the better-if at all possible, sit outside. This adresses several things: you're meeting at a time of day most don't associate with sex; you're able to fully assess her goods since women are known to use shadow to cover their more unflattering features (think Blanche DuBois); and meeting in such an open, public space puts her at ease (and also protects you in case she's mentally and/or emotionally unstable - false rape charges and the like are very real. Until you get to know her well, always have witnesses).
4. Make the meet no more than 45 minutes long, preferrably a half an hour. It doesnt take long for a man to decide if he wants to move forward (sexually) with a woman or not; and 45 minutes is ample time for a woman to decide if she wants to move forward with you as well. Meeting over a couple of lattes at a hipster cafe in the early afternoon will reflect well on you, as well as keeping things deliciously brief. Men of importance always have things to do.
However, as Chuck Ross' "Scenes From A Starbucks: Blind Date" article makes painfully clear, there can and will be times when things will NOT go well; in that case, there are ways my CDT can handle that with aplomb and grace. Let's look at what Ross said, and then we'll come back with some remedial fixes:
"A blonde woman sat over at the table next to me, but I didn’t pay much attention to her. From my periphery she seemed decent looking. Ten minutes after arriving and ordering an espresso infused beverage and that still-there coffee cake, the guy she had been waiting for finally showed up. They shook hands and immediately grew silent."
Fellas, always arrive at the date before she does. This is vitally important: it establishes that you're mature, serious and are respectful and aware of Time - yours and hers. Moreover, it sets the proper tone of the nature of the interaction that is to take place between you two; as ladies prefer to follow the lead of men, your showing up on time and already being in position when she arrives is a powerful signal that you take your role very seriously. Punctuality counts. Remember that.
"The “so….” came too early in the conversation for that relationship to work out. She had a lisp and her bottom jaw jutted out when she spoke. I’m sure he noticed this because I could hear it...
I don’t say that to be mean about her; she seemed really nice. She even left that cake for me. But ten minutes after he got there, I noticed his strategy to set up for an exit. He didn’t order a coffee or even take off his jacket, and I heard something about his long work day almost as soon as he sat down...
When he told her he had to go she said “OK” with manufactured enthusiasm. She wanted to stay there and talk about nothing, at least until her coffee cake was done, but it was obvious that he wasn’t into her."
This, my brothers, is downright rude, meanspirited even, on the part of the man Chuck is referring to. To be sure, there is nothing in the least wrong with being sexually attracted to certain types of women and if said woman in question doesn't meet your criteria you are in no way obligated to be with her in any way. Having said all of that, there is still a way to conduct yourself with dignity and to treat the lady with basic human respect. It would not have killed that man to spend 20-30 minutes chatting with the lady, thanking her for her time, and seeing her out the door.
Look, women are incredibly sensitive about their appearance and how vitally important it is to men; you do not need to subcommunicate that she has failed to meet your selection criteria in such a blatantly rude manner as the gentleman did in Chuck's piece, because, trust me, women know it almost instantly if you're into them or not. CDT, again, clearly addresses the problem of what happens if and when you meet a lady you're not sexually attracted to - it is set up in such a way that again, both parties can walk away having saved face:
"Well Betty, I want to thank you for your time and for coming out; here, let me walk you out to your car..."
That's all you need to say - trust me, she knows the deal, and will be quite thankful that you didn't treat her like a fire hydrant. You don't need to lie to her about how you're going to "call her later" - you both know that's not true. Saying the simple line above, nothing more, communicates quite clearly, that you are not interested sexually or otherwise in the lady in question, and provides the needed space for her to make a graceful exit. It costs nothing for you to do this, and it shows you to be a man of good character by doing so.
There is the view among a small but vocal corner of the Seduction Community, that holds that being an, and I quote here, "asshole", is the way to go toward being attractive to women, and an overall state of mind and approach toward the world. I think by the passage Mr. Ross gives above of the actions of the gentleman at Starbucks, that such a strategem, even if admittedly highly effective - and it most certainly is, I will be the first to concede that fact, has a lot to answer for in terms of its utter lack of social graces and human decency.
It is my view - and I am very pleased to say that Neil "Style" Strauss clearly agrees with me, based on his bestselling book "The Game" - that one need not be a sociopathic jerk in order to do well with women. Indeed, being a cultured, dignified man can go a long way with the womenfolk. The trick however, is in knowing how to be a gentleman, without also being a doormat. That, is something that I aim to discuss in a future piece.
Now adjourn your arses...