Reader Nick emailed in this essay of a question:

Dear xsplat,

I found you on Roissy’s site in the comments section for The Fundamentals of Game and your opinions struck a chord with me. I’ve only recently discovered “game” since I’ve been single again after a 3 year relationship. Though I don’t pick up a lot of women (because I rarely bother to, which I must fix now), my success always came from my ‘not caring’ attitude. It came naturally because I genuinely didn’t care about the outcome. Now I have the problem of caring about the outcome with this one girl – and not just any girl, but that one girl that haunts my past as my paradigm failure in attraction.

We met 10 years ago in college and never went further than kissing but weren’t friends after it didn’t happen for us. I have no idea why I even liked her in the first place but I haven’t felt that way about anyone (including much better, prettier, smarter, etc) since meeting her. Fast forward and we’re both single now and have been spending time together as volunteers in a charity group, and our cycle is repeating. We kissed one night and she immediately began to freak out about it, that it wasn’t right for us, that she’s turning 30 (blah blah), after which we kissed plenty more. We were guests at a friend’s mountain home and in the middle of the night she crawled into my bed where we groped each other for a bit and went to sleep (this all sounds so juvenile to me; she is definitely not 30 mentally). This was the turning point where we found ourselves in this limbo before choosing a direction for our future. Since then while still in a grey area, I had some alpha moment and we were kissing heavily again for awhile but she maintained her uncertainties about us.

Last week we had a fight after dancing together at a bar when she kept telling me to stop looking at her in this seductive way that seems to attract her instantly – not ‘stop’ in an angry way, though perhaps her frustration had been growing, but usually in that ‘stop because it’s forbidden’ way that indicates she likes it. We were both drunk, out of nowhere she throws a glass of water in my face, telling me she hates me and storming out after I asked why she was being such an immature drama queen. In a subsequent phone conversation she said that gaze is like a tease for both of us because “we can’t be together” and, ironically, called it a game that “shouldn’t be necessary”. Her bottom line is that it wouldn’t be healthy for her or the other person if she got in a serious relationship at all right now (which I never brought up). I had said some mean things to her, a mistake because I think I showed too much that I care, and especially harsh and pointless since she hardly even remembers the details surrounding the fight that has put us here.

Overall, with her, I’d give myself a B- for alpha game. I’ve definitely made some mistakes along with my moments of brilliance. I’m a 5’11” thin framed model; women seem to enjoy looking at me, I think I’m an 8-9+, so they’ll cut me some slack. She’s also a solid 8 or so, certainly enough so that she gets attention from men, but she’s not so objectively extraordinary and she’s 30 and happens to be my type (petite, dark skin, cute/sweet personality) but probably not most mens’ type. I’ve met her ex who was an asshole to her during the relationship, and she’s still hung up after 1.5 years. She understands the relationship was bad and doesn’t want it back, but clearly she doesn’t want anything entirely different yet either. But her depression over him is the explanation she finally gave me to flesh out the “I can’t/We can’t/We shouldn’t” statements she would make. Last thing she said was that sometimes she’s attracted to me and sometimes she’s not, but doesn’t know when or why.

Assuming I shouldn’t take her at her word (i.e. not being ready for a new relationship), I should stop analyzing her erratic behavior and focus on what I’m doing to attract her or not. Aside from valuing her, I might have erroneously shown both sides of my coin, so to speak. I wasn’t adept enough early on to focus on my game and perhaps showed too much soft underbelly at the wrong moments. Her rather crazy mood swings can probably be attributed to my inability to attract her very deeply and quickly. This incident has put us in a slightly awkward place, and I’m not sure how to continue from here. I know I need to focus on tight game exclusively, but I’m not sure I’ll even have the opportunity now. I apologize for this excessive description, but I’m needing to know 1) What is my next move? Can I refresh our situation somehow into a square one type place? We haven’t spoken in a week, she’s about to leave the country for two weeks, should I just wait a month and reach out if she doesn’t contact me? 2) Any advice on separating the alpha gamer from the guy who cares about the outcome? I understand the reason to be alpha and to be ready for when you do care, but my ‘not caring’ default is hard to retrieve under the circumstances. 3) Have you or others figured out what attracts men besides physical hotness? I have friends who are models, spent a lot of time in NYC with amazingly gorgeous women, many of them smart and fascinating individuals, and none of them made me feel the way this girl does. I’m sure the standard advice here is to bail on the crazy chick and find someone better, but that’s pretty much where I was 10 years ago, and I have little to show for it. I continue to seek other women, so I’m not letting life pass me by. But I’d like to at least be able to act as I need to with someone that does throw me off my game.

I appreciate any advice you can offer and for your time reading this novel. Thank you.

Answering by email seems more boring than publicly airing your relationship troubles and my good and bad advice.

My quick answer to you is:
1) You are in a position where you are lonely and in need of intimacy. This is not a position of power for you. Chicks dig power. In order to have a better chance with the girl, date OTHER girls, while you persue this one. This takes time and effort, but you want solutions, not hand holding.

2) The girl is “shit testing you”. She basically begging for you to be dominant. You are continually making the common male mistake of taking her actions at face value. You are reading her words literally. She is speaking female, and you are hearing male. When she says stop, train your ear to translate that into “try harder, because I’m not horny enough yet from your weak assed attempt at dominating me”.

3) You are going to have to cut things off with her a few times. Her throwing a drink in your face was her basically telling you “you can’t dominate me, I dominate you. I don’t respect you because you let me play you, and you still come back for more. I can’t be sexually attracted to a man who is under my thumb like that.” The catch 22 for you is that you have to show her that you can kick her to the curb, and in doing so you may precisely lose exactly what you want to get. You need to be able to afford to lose exactly what you can’t afford to lose. It’s like a bank loan – you can only get it if you don’t really need the money. This is where dating other girls at the same time comes in. You’ll be more in a position to do some dating brinksmanship if you have other girls on the go. Sometimes you must literally grab the girl by the waist, and forcefully push her out of your room, and shut the door behind her. You must physically take control of her. Yes, it’s caveman. She was cavegirl. Don’t speak French to a girl who is speaking Hindi. If she is speaking cavegirl at you, speak caveman back at her. She throws a drink in your face, you physically throw her out of your apartment. Or if you were in a public place, make her publicly embarassed. Escalate the situation such that she is shamed. A pitcher of beer would have been handy.

4) Ignore any discussion about what who is ready for, and what who should be doing. Your aim is short term sex, and then see what happens after that. I hope for your sake that by the time you’ve had a fling with the girl, you’ll lose some of your infatuation for her, as she is clearly nowhere near relationship material. But even if you insist on making a silk purse out of a sows ear, the way to begin that process is by fucking her. Taming her. Treat her like an unruly house pet, and show her who is boss. Watch episodes of the dog whisperer, get a dog, and generally learn how to be the pack leader in your social interactions. You must lose your fear and embarassment over being in charge, and demand respect for your natural and rightful authority.

That’s it for now – I can give more info in the comments if there are questions.