October 18th, 2007  (8)
Does Age Really Matter?
Posted by Khiem in: Articles

Dating Pools

I don’t know why but lately, I find myself attracted to women older than I am. If you asked me 2 years ago if I would date an older woman, I would probably have completely rejected the idea. At the time, I loved the girliness of younger women. They were cute, sweet and innocent-looking. However now, I am completely open to it. I like the fact that older women are more confident, they play less games, and they are just more sensual/sexy!

So what changed?

I realize that my preference of the time was based on my own perception of what I could get. It is, once again, the concept of attainability that theApproach teaches. I just couldn’t see myself with an older woman so I didn’t allow myself to be attracted to one.

theApproach explains that attainability is composed of 3 elements:

  1. Compatibility: Can someone like me get someone like him/her?
    Look for similar backgrounds (ethnicity/race, religious beliefs, upbringing, language…), similar friends, compatible goals, age proximity
  2. Respect: Will he/she respect me as a friend?
    Are you interacting with the other person casually like a friend? It’s not good to put the other person on a pedestal.
  3. Legitimacy: Is this for real?
    Behave genuinely and have self-respect. Don’t put on your social mask to impress him/her.

Basically, on the age issue, I didn’t even get past #1 in my mind.

Now that I know that, how do I apply the concept of attainability to appeal to a wider range of people in my dating life? Well, if I was to borrow David Wygant‘s way of speaking, I’d say I need to create a more vivid and enticing picture of myself in which the woman can see herself.

You don’t want to be dishonest with the kind of people you like but if you want to date an older woman, present yourself in a more mature/responsible way but at the same time, make her feel young and closer to your age. For example, let’s assume that you are 27 and you are in conversation where age comes up.

You: So how old are you?
Her: 34.
You: Oh wow, I would have never guessed. You still look so young and beautiful.
Her: Thank you. You are so sweet. How old are you?
You: 27 but interestingly, I usually like to hang out with friends your age. [insert a story of an ex-girlfriend or of a friend similar in age to her with whom you get along very well to illustrate that you mean what you say]

By understanding attainability, there is no reason for you to use humor to dodge the age question. Be confident in your ability to appeal to the woman, no matter your age or background. After the above conversational exchange, any objection the woman might have had on the age difference is strongly diminished. Because you didn’t make a big deal out of it, age becomes a non-issue. You painted yourself and her as compatible. I’m sure you can see how you could replicate the scenario if you were to flirt with a girl younger than you.

The concept attainability can apply to so many more things. Have you ever noticed how you can auto-magically get an instant connection with someone when you both realize you share something obscure in common (like you both speak French, or you both like this weird random movie for example)? That’s the power of attainability.

We feel attracted to things we think we can get, to things that are familiar to us, to people who are like us. Yes, we can also feel attracted to things that are apparently opposite to us but they still need to be within our perceived reach, within our stretched level of comfort or interest.

Going back to the age topic, what can we learn about age differences then?

I have spoken with both women who like younger men and women who like older ones. The typical reason for a woman to like a younger man is that he appears to be more vibrant than his older counterparts. He is filled with life and energy. He makes the woman feel sexually alive and young.

On the other hand, women who prefer older gentlemen tell me that these men come across as more masculine, more dominant. They are more confident, more grounded, more secure and comfortable with themselves. They seem to have a stronger sense of purpose and direction. These men make the woman feel sexually more feminine because they take charge. They lead.

So tell me. Why do you like to date the people you date? How does age play a factor in your sexual partner decision? I look forward to reading your comments.

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    March 7th, 2007  (5)
The Often Overlooked Concept of Attainability
Posted by Khiem in: Articles

Have you ever asked yourself:

  • What’s in it for me?
  • Can I get that?
  • How is that (value) good for us?
  • Why should I care?
  • Does he/she like me back?
  • What is our return on investment (ROI)?
  • Do we have the resources to do that?
  • Can I afford that?
  • How easy is it to learn?
  • How difficult is it to implement?
  • Would he/she go out with me?

These are questions that people answer everyday.  Most of the time, we do it subconsciously.  We do it e-v-e-r-y time we plan on investing a significant amount of energy, resources or time into something.  Is the something we want within our reach?  Is it worth it?  Is it achievable?  Today, I am talking about… Attainability.

We seem to understand the concept of attainability instinctively when we are about to purchase something of great value because we can clearly visualize the relationship between value and cost/price.  However, for some odd reason, no one ever thinks of it when we are wanting to design or sell something.  For example:

  • In product development, most engineers focus more on how many new features and functionalities they can add to the list, rather than making the current product work better for the customer.
  • In adverstising, many marketers will think of additional ways to showcase the various functions of their product, rather than explaining how the product fulfill their customers’ needs better than the competition.
  • In presentations, the speaker will sometimes present his facts without addressing enough the reason why that piece of information is imporant and why the audience should care about it. 

Fortunately, business people have caught on quickly to this lack of understanding in the proper use of attainability.  Today, website designers study web usability.  Salesmen learn about identifying and matching products to customers’ needs instead of using hard sales tactics.  Online marketers use web analytics to quantify the best methods to reach new consumers.  Advertisers pay attention to product placement. 

But what about attainability in the dating world?  Aren’t we trying to sell ourselves to the opposite sex?  Has any of us thought about making ourselves attainable to the kind of men and women we want in our lives?  It seems that most men and women who are unsuccessful in relationships constantly want to show more and more of their value to create those sparks of attraction.

Society would want us to believe that we need to impress our partners for them to like us.  We want to be more handsome/beautiful, more fit, more confident, have more money, have a better car, a bigger house, be funnier so that we can attract the opposite sex.

In that same logic, how many times have you heard people talk like this:
I drive a BMW…. Oh yeah, I own this house on the lake…  Yesterday, I was hanging out with celebrity xxx…  I usually go in all the clubs for free… 

  • Are these statements by themselves attractive?  NO!  They are not, unless you can show how those values can translate to being good for the person you are talking with. 
  • Would adding a sense of attainability be better I’d love for you to join me this summer at my lake house…  I think celebrity xxx would love to meet you…  We should go to the club together sometimes.  It’ll be fun!  I know the bouncer…

So if you are trying to date TODAY,  don’t focus so much on increasing your value, look for ways to convey more attainability.  You already have plenty of value as a person.  You are already attractive!  If you have things going on for yourself, then you hold within you all the life experience you need to make yourself unique and beautiful.  The question is:  what is your value and can the men and women around you see that?

To steal a line from Troy, a Charisma Arts instructor: Give the men/women around you the opportunity to pick you up.”

Don’t misunderstand me.  I am not saying that you should not strive to continuously improve the value you have in life by doing, achieving and accomplishing more.  You should also not neglect how you present your value to the world (dress nice enough, have a life…etc).  However, what I am saying is that when you meet that hot guy/girl, you can’t increase your current inherent value.  You may increase the perception of your existing value by being funnier than you typically are, by being nicer than you usually are, by dressing way better than usual, by entertaining them with magic tricks… etc., but for what purpose?  Are you trying to impress him/her or are you trying to truly attract him/her for who you are?

People have been conditioned to always want more.  We are bombarded by false advertisements that claim the latest new gadgets will help us do or get more.  But is it what we need?  Do I really need a bigger penis?  Do I really need bigger boobs?  All those things are nice but if we are solely thinking in those terms, we are setting our dating life for failure.  We don’t need our lover to be more handsome, funnier, wealthier (though that can help if it fulfills a certain need).  We need them to fit our psychological and sexual needs better.  Don’t put a social mask on when you meet someone.  It is actually NICE to meet someone who is genuine and authentic to who they truly are.

WHAT IS ATTAINABILITY?

Attainability is about transferring your inherent value to become value in his/her life.  It is the opening and closing window that allows the other person to view all your value.  It is about giving that person access to your value.  If I reverse it, attainability is the feeling that your potential partner has a shot at you, that they CAN be with you.

Attainability is not the same as availability
–  Availability implies that you are are giving yourself “for free.”  It’s similar to a business giving free samples out to passerbys.
–  Attainability implies that you have self-respect and therefore demand a little bit of commitment/compliance before he/she can access your value.  It’s similar to credit card companies giving out t-shirts IF the customer fills out a credit card application.

Assuming you already have your value handled, what are examples of attainability?

A.  If you are not meeting people:
–  Position yourself to be picked up.  Be friendlier and open-minded.  Give people the opportunity to meet you.
–  Talk to more strangers in your daily routines.  Allow them to discover you.  Since you are already attractive, why wouldn’t they want to talk to you?
–  If you like a certain type of man or woman, go to the places where they would hang out.

B.  If you are already talking or dating that hot guy/girl, interact in a way that reinforces the following  3 questions.  Your partner should be able to answer “yes” to:

  1. Compatibility:  Can someone like me get someone like him/her?
    Talk about similar backgrounds, similar friends, reinforce that you like something about him/her, call or text every few days to remind him/her that you can be part of his/her life, create complicity with each other
  2. Respect:  Will he/she respect me as a friend?
    Treat him/her the same way that you treat a friend.  Don’t put him/her on a pedestal.  Do activities that you’d do with friends.
  3. Legitimacy:  Is this for real?
    Behave genuinely.   Don’t put on your social mask to impress him/her.  There’s no need for you to spit game at him/her all the time.

C.  If you have little time to go out on dates:
– Invite some of your prospective girlfriends/boyfriends out to do a fun activity that contributes to developing or accomplishing your goals or projects, particularly if those tasks relates to reinforcing your value.
If you are a chef, take your date grocery shopping with  you.  If you are a painter showcasing your art, invite him/her to help you set up the opening ceremony…etc.

Why is attainability important?

Assuming you already have good value in your life to reinforce, and legitimize how attractive you are, your potential partner will not put in the effort to pursue you if he/she doesn’t feel a little sense of attainability.  This is called Auto-Rejection Mechanism.

Case in point:  Think of the last crush you’ve had.  You see him/her enter the room.  He/she looks good.  You love being around him/her because he/she brightens your day.  You always try to talk to him/her whenever you can.  However, as time passes, if he/she doesn’t show any signs of interest in you, you start losing interest.  You stop trying to pursue a relationship because he/she failed to create a sense of attainability with you.

The relationship between Dolly and Barman Ben is a perfect example of that phenomenon.  Read her story here as she describes the emotional roller coaster she experiences as Barman Ben shows no evident signs of interest in her, but instead focuses on flirting with her roommate.

  • So if you aren’t finding the right person to date, are you making yourself unattainable?  Are you too demanding, bitchy or mean?  Are you putting yourself out there and opening up?
  • If you aren’t having anyone chase you, are you making yourself too available?  Are you demanding respect in exchange for you spending time and energy into the other person?  Do you have clear expectations of the other person towards you?

Attainability is your ability to make your partner feel that he/she is lucky to be with you.  Think about it…

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    February 12th, 2007  (2)
Creating a Social Circle
Posted by Khiem in: Articles

This past Saturday, I went out to this wonderful art and music event organized by Create:Fixate.  It started with the premiere of a documentary on love and relationship called Song of Songs.  It was a beautiful film which gave me a glimpse of how 2 people in love can create a lasting monogamous relationship.  I couldn’t help but feel the the desire to fall in love after viewing it.  Though the documentary moved me and gave me hope, it really did not provide any answers on how to maintain this type of timeless love.

After the movie, I spent some time contemplating the art while sipping on a few drinks… before I was pulled to dance and mingle with old and new friends.

Screening Room for the “Song of Songs” Documentary   People looking at art   Can you see me?

Abstract art anyone?   Need a chair?   Pretty Circles 

Hanging Figurines  Hanging Figurine Close-Up  I Love Monkeys  Lips and Kisses

Later on, I decided to face my destiny by getting my first tarot card reading EVER.  I don’t particular believe in everything the reader told me but she actually said something true: “You have a lot of friends” (Good guess, huh?).

People often don’t realize how important it is to create and maintain a diverse social circle.  Unlike a professional network group where your contacts are mostly internal to your industry in order to help you get work done more efficiently, your social circle should include as many and as varied of people as you can.  These friends and acquaintances can help you get exposed to more of your current or future interests.  More importantly, they can connect you to people that are outside of your typical reach which can create opportunites for personal development, mentorship and coaching.  Chris at How to Have More Social Success actually has a nice step-by-step article on how to get a social life.

The way I like to describe a healthy social circle is by imagining yourself as the sun with multiple orbitting planets.  As the central star of your universe, you want to project a lot of sunlight to reach as many people as you can.  You are creating value in your life for all your friends and acquaintances to share.  The kind of value you bring is up to you to determine (you are fun, you are the guy/girl who is in the “in” for all the parties or you are the person everyone can count on… etc) but it has to be strong enough to draw people towards you.  To make sure you cast that light as far as possible, you have to put yourself out there.  GO OUT AS OFTEN AS YOU CAN MANAGE (even on your own if needs be)!  Accept all invitations to go out.  Making a quick appearance is more appreciated than not showing up at all.

Depending on whether you are looking for a friend or acquaintance, you would place your new  friend or acquaintance as a planet in a closer or farther orbit from you.  If you like to think of social interactions in VAC terms, the gravity force that you exert on your orbitting planets is your attainability.  So if you wanted someone to become a better friend, you’d have to spend more time and energy reinforcing attainability (which is defined by compatibility, respect and legitimacy).  That means calling, texting, spending time with that person in a manner commensurate to the kind of relationship you want with him/her.

The art of creating a good ever-expanding social circle is to keep adding planets to your orbit without ever losing them.  You may change the orbitting distance that your friend is in your solar system (call or spend less time with him/her), but it is your job to make sure they don’t ever fall out of orbit with you.  The advantange of taking the initial effort of creating such social circle is that your friends will eventually develop their own network of orbitting moons.  As their network expands, you will get the chance to be introduced to new people instead of having to go out yourself to meet new people.  You will be invited out more often instead of you having to do all the event hosting.  You are now receiving compliance from your friends because they are investing their time and effort to help you expand your own social circle.

For people who hate to be single or who like to establish multiple casual relationships with members of the opposite sex , this is how you do it.  Each new person you meet, you place them and maintain them in orbit.  The one(s) you want to develop a romantic relationship with is/are the one(s) you make orbit closest to you.  If the romantic relationship ends, all you have to do is pick another person who was orbiting a little bit further from you in your solar universe, and then start to exert more gravitational force on him/her to draw them closer to you.  Easy enough, right?

So the question now becomes: how big of a social circle can you really maintain? 🙂

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