How to win the relationship negotiation
Every relationship is fundamentally an ongoing exchange, or to put it another way, a contract. Like all contracts, the terms of the relationship (i.e., what each party is obligated to do for the other) must be negotiated. You can’t “sue” somebody for violating the terms of your relationship in the modern world, so the underlying, unspoken contract is constantly renegotiated based on who has more power.
The key to any negotiation is your BATNA – Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement. The better your BATNA, the more leverage you have to walk away and say “I have a better option, I don’t need to put with your shit.”
Women come into every relationship with a weaker negotiating position for two reasons: First, they have less to offer than men. Pop culture acts like pussy is the most valuable thing in the world, and a hot girl is the pinnacle of value, but those things are not valuable at all because every woman has a pussy and a lot of women are hot. Being hot is temporary, subjective, hard to maintain, and mostly fake. Women know that you can fuck the hottest girl you’ve ever seen in LA or Miami for $200, so their main “asset” is pretty much valueless. A valuable man (by “value”, I mean the things that women are attracted to) is much more scarce. Second, women are always weaker in negotiations because they are hypergamous. If a woman has more value than the man, she will not even be interested enough to enter the negotiation; so she will only cut deals with higher-value men than her.
Women are deeply aware of their weaker negotiating position in a way that men are not. Nietzsche observed that the weaker party in the human hierarchy (the “slave”) obsesses about the master’s power but the master doesn’t even think about or notice the slave. The master’s aloofness benefits the slave because the slave can scheme and strategize while the master is completely unaware. Women resent men’s power gap in relationships and their resentment is deepened because they can never close the gap because they can never turn off their hypergamy. Women are obsessed with men’s power (or lack thereof) and how he wields that power. Because men are aloof, they won’t even realize they are in a negotiation or that they are conceding too much, whereas the woman is carefully calculating exactly what the man is giving and what she is giving up.
Women want a bad deal
Here’s the paradox of negotiating with women: THEY WANT TO LOSE. If they “win” the negotiation (i.e., they get a better deal than you), they lose attraction. Humans view society as hierarchical and subconsciously put every person they meet somewhere in that hierarchy and treat them accordingly. Women are only attracted to males that are “higher” than them in the ape hierarchy, so if you look like you are giving her more than she is giving you, she sees you as inferior and loses attraction. Women are subconsciously keeping a ledger of everything you have done for them and everything they have done for you. If what you have done for them exceeds what they have done for you, they lose attraction. Comedians often joke about how women will remember little things the man has done and bring it up in an argument months later, whereas the man completely forgets. This joke is true because women’s resentment and weaker position causes them to keep score in ways that men are completely oblivious to.
Women’s desire for a bad deal is terrible for them because it will lead them to guys who literally do not care about them. Because modern society doesn’t enforce relationship contracts, women are constantly under threat of the guy they want breaking the deal and leaving them. Women, however, still need affection, security, “love,” and sometimes material things, so they find a beta male to feed her other desires. This is the alpha fucks/beta bucks distinction.
This master/slave dialectic is also why women become so cold and terrible towards men they have lost attraction to. Once the man falls beneath the woman and she becomes the “master” vis-à-vis him she completely stops caring for him in any way emotionally. This is also why a lot of beautiful women have low self-esteem. It’s almost as if he ceases to exist. The only guys that emotionally “count” for women are those above them, and the ones above them make them feel shitty, so all the validation from the lower guys does nothing for them.
Women know when they are swindling you. If someone offers to sell you a new Lamborghini for $200, you will think either that he is a fucking idiot or there is something terribly wrong with the Lambo. Similarly, if you give up too much in a relationship the woman may think “this guy has no BATNA and therefore no value. A lot of guys don’t feel like they are being hustled because they think “I’m doing this because I like her.” This is dangerous because it relies on her having self-esteem, which most women (and men) don’t have. Instead of her thinking “he is giving me things because I am awesome” she will think “he is giving me things because he has no other options or because he is a sucker.” If you let somebody with low self-esteem win the negotiation by getting a better deal, they will think of themselves as low and you even lower. Attraction gone.
Women don’t just lose attraction when you give them more than they give you, they also lose attraction if you do anything to indicate that you WOULD give them more than they give you. In the preemptive negotiation before the actual exchange women subconsciously “test” you to see how “invested” you are in them – if your investment exceeds theirs, they have already won the negotiation, even though no actual goods or services were exchanged.
Here’s an example from a text conversation:
Her: What are you doing tonight?
Me: My plan is to [whatever I’m planning on doing tonight]. What are you doing?
Her: Well, my plans have been thrown into a tizzy.
Let’s look at her last text. Normally, if somebody tells you that their plans have been thrown into a tizzy, your natural reaction is to ask why. That’s what a reasonable, compassionate person would do. But her last text is actually a very subtle shit test to get me to CARE about her plans and HELP her fix them. If I text back “why what happened?” I’ve proven that I’m willing to help. Wrong move! I told her I already have plans so her plans being ruined are not my problem. Also, her response was not responsive to my question “what are you doing?” so I don’t text back. After she realizes I won’t text back she then texts me explaining what happened to her plans (hint: I still don’t care) and then tries to come where I am. Her shit test failed.
You may disagree with my interpretation of this text conversation but the larger point is that you can lose a negotiation by indicating that you are ready and willing to do things for her, even very mild things. The human mind amplifies emotions to their extreme so even a few small favors can subconsciously make a woman “feel” like you are a beta. You must be constantly present and alert because these shit tests are very subtle. You may have to suppress your natural altruistic emotions or your beta emotions that push you to do things for people they don’t deserve. Every time a woman complains about a stupid thing, you should ignore it because 1) it’s not your problem, 2) nothing really bad will happen to the woman if you don’t help, 3) even you pretending to care about her stupid complaint shows that you are invested in her, and you’ve already lost the negotiation. Obviously, if something serious happened (like she needs to go to the hospital) you should help.
Don’t ask, don’t give
We know that you shouldn’t even indicate that you might do things for women or give them things until they’ve done things for you because it indicates emotional investment, which is a negotiation loser. To take this concept a step further, you should also not “ask” a woman for anything either. I’ve written elsewhere that women are not attracted to “acquisitive” men (i.e., men that are trying to get something, either from them or anybody else). In the alpha hierarchy the alpha male gives the lower-ranked apes resources, but only after the betas obey. If a man “asks” a woman for a bunch of stuff he looks like the beta male.
“Asking” and “giving” are two sides of the same coin: emotional investment. Both say to a woman, at least subconsciously, “you are higher value than me and I am ready to take a shittier deal in this negotiation to have you.” Emotional investment indicates that you are lower than her in the alpha hierarchy, making her lose attraction.
It is a matter of crucial evolutionary importance for a woman to find a higher-ranked male in the hierarchy, so women have a finely tuned sense of men’s emotions. They can tell from your demeanor, your body language, your words, etc… whether you are invested. This is all subconscious. You may have no idea you are emotionally invested, but she can tell. If I’m at a club, I can tell which guy is dancing because he is legitimately having fun and who is dancing because he is trying to impress women.
Most “beta” behavior is some type of “asking” or “giving.” Validating yourself to a woman (for example, by bragging) is BOTH asking and giving. Bragging subconsciously feels like asking her to like you. Bragging is also giving – you are taking valuable time out of your day (or the party you are at) to tell her your resume, at no benefit to yourself. Women say they are turned off by bragging because it’s “douchey,” but the real reason they are turned off is that they “feel” you are emotionally invested.
Please note that it doesn’t matter whether you actually ask or give – what matters is how it FEELS to her. This whole mechanism of wanting to lose the negotiation is an evil, subconscious feeling - not a rational decision she makes. Most women wish they could just love the beta loser that loves them back. Whether something feels like asking or giving depends on how you do it. For example, guys get approach anxiety because it “feels” like they are asking the woman for something. You can re-frame an approach, and make it feel like you are just an awesome guy talking to her. The things you do don’t have to make logical sense (why else would you approach a girl if not to ask and/or give??) but as long as they don’t “feel” like asking or giving they are good.
How do I stop being emotionally invested??
It is in your genes to want women (asking) and to provide for them (giving) so it is hard to not appear emotionally invested. The challenge is amplified by the fact that most of what you do is controlled by your emotional, subconscious brain so you may ask and give without even realizing it. For example, if you can’t stop staring at a hot girl your staring may FEEL like “asking” in her mind. Even hanging around her in an awkward way can “feel” like asking.
It's intimidating to think that you can fuck it up by such subtle and meaningless actions. But the flipside is also true – because women’s emotional antennas are so finely-tuned, you can build attraction by small gestures. You can also re-frame situations so that you are doing the exact same thing but do not “feel” like you are asking or giving.
There are two ways to not appear emotionally invested: The first is to be an Oscar-award winning actor and memorize a script telling how you to act in every single situation. This is incredibly difficult because in every moment you must override your natural emotions and make sure every detail of every action is perfect or else it will slip out that you are emotionally invested. This is why some PUA guys spend hours in front of a mirror practicing smiling and other stupid shit. I’m not even sure if this method is even possible.
The other way to not get emotionally invested is to truly, deeply, from the bottom of your heart, not give a single fuck about her. To get to this point, you must feel pure joy, pure awesomeness, and a pure version of any other positive emotion you need. All of this must be totally unconnected to the woman. When she is around you, she has to feel like your emotions are primarily directed to things that are not her. I wrote an article earlier about how as a man you need to be “appreciative” of the world, just taking in the wonder of the universe constantly. You have to almost be in this weird, psychedelic, irrational state, where you are having an awesome time with her but if she stepped outside and got ran over by a bus it wouldn’t affect your night at all. It’s weird, but our emotions are weird.
It is imperative that you have a mission, enjoy it deeply, and passionately stick to the mission no matter what she says or does, even if it means losing her. She may become more attracted if you make it clear you pick the mission over her. You must do this on a macro level (i.e., you must have a mission in life), and on a micro level (every time you hang out with a girl, you must have a plan for your night or the date). She is literally just along for the ride. In reality, of course, you may not care what you do on a date – you just want to hang out with her. But that is the definition of emotional investment! Even if you really don’t care, you must have a plan to make her “feel” like you are not invested in her. Remember the famous quote “idle hands are the devil’s playground”? The same principle applies here – if you are hemming and hawing and just “going with the flow” you may be tempted to fixate on her as the mission and then ask and give. Also, beautiful women are used to every single man they interact with asking and giving, so they will just “assume” you are asking and giving too unless you make it clear that your emotions are directed elsewhere.
How to act
It seems like I have created a paradox: even if the woman is totally attracted to you, it would seem very difficult to escalate or to get her to do anything if you don’t ask for anything or give her anything. That’s correct – you need some creativity to be able to “game” women using this paradigm because it eliminates a lot of the typical shit guys do to get girls to like them (buy them drinks, etc…). Please also take all this with a huge grain of salt because the real world is not easily reducible to simple rules and slogans. Obviously, it’s impossible to never ask a woman for anything or give her anything. Even talking to her is “giving” her something – your time and attention. The key here is to just be cognizant of the fact that the woman wants to lose the negotiation – the woman wants to be the asker and the giver – it is in her genes. Also, it is ok to emotionally invest in her (a little) if she invests in you – you just need to make sure the score is tilted in your favor. If she is buying you drinks all night, it would be weird if you never bought her anything.
It is actually easier to escalate when you are not asking or giving because you are not flipping the switches in her subconscious brain that make her lose attraction or feel “trapped” or “under attack.” You can still do a lot without asking or giving: laugh, share stories, have a deep conversation, touch affectionately. You will also be able to act a lot “nicer,” because your niceness will not be attached to submissiveness and supplication.
The steps to escalation, oversimplified, are as follows:
1) She sees you be awesome.
2) She starts to “like” you so she does things for you UNPROMPTED by you.
3) Now that she has “invested” in you, in turn you can “accept” her and escalate.
Because feelings trump reality and logic, you can “ask” girls things (why would you ever give??) without it feeling like asking. For example, if I’m wingmaning for my friend, I will ask his girl if she wants to go to the next bar with us. This way, she doesn’t “feel” like he is asking her. It’s a stupid trick but it helps.
All of this may sound cold and Machiavellian, and it is, because human beings have evil subconscious emotions. But all of this falls apart if she realizes you are playing games or are doing this shit on purpose. The fact that you are scheming to fuck her will subconsciously trigger her feeling that you are validating yourself to her. Furthermore, society has taught women that men who play games are assholes. Women also genuinely do not like aloof, arrogant and weirdly standoffish men. All of this Machiavellian calculation must be done beneath a façade of extreme warmth and friendliness. A true master never looks like he’s trying to be “alpha.” He just enjoys himself. Even if a woman tries to act shitty a master acts friendly because nothing that she can do can hurt him. Furthermore, your efforts to ensure that you win the negotiation must be done very diplomatically so as to not hurt her feelings. She does not realize that her subconscious emotions make you do things that are “mean” so you must minimize the effects of those actions.
Because not asking and giving are so hard, and when a guy successfully stops asking and giving his results are so much better, a lot of guys advocate “ignoring” women. This advice is ridiculous. If you completely “ignore” her then you’ll never see her again. When these guys say “ignore” women, they really mean “show that you are not emotionally invested.” But having a happy, cheery disposition also shows emotional divestment. “Ignoring” runs the risk that she will think you are playing games or are actually not interested.
A lot of regular beta buys would try to reject this advice by thinking “I am not doing things to get anything from her, but because I love her.” This is a mistake caused by the modern idea that love is just an emotion or a series of emotions. True love is something much more transcendent than any material thing or emotion – in my opinion, love is the rational pursuit of WHATEVER IS BEST FOR HER. Pursuing what is best for her is different from what makes her feel good. Under my definition of love, the presence of an “alpha” male is better for a woman than any little trinkets he can buy for her or favors he does for her. Under that definition of “love,” she MUST lose the negotiation.