Why pickup artists make better husbands
Dating hundreds and acting as a true Don Juan helps men become better spouses, claim devotees of The Pickup Artist By Eric Copage, Featurewell.com August 7, 2010
The stereotype that men trained in seduction are aspiring Don Juans is only partly true. John was a pickup artist --an expert at attracting women. He plied his expertise in Florida bars and nightclubs near where he lives.
But in 2008, he gave up charming the throngs of women in Orlando's lounges to settle down into a monogamous relationship with his girlfriend, with whom he shares an apartment. He credits skills he learned as a pickup artist with helping him nurture that long-term union.
"By approaching thousands of women, I got a better understanding of female psychology," said John, 27, who asked that his full name not be used.
"With women, I learned to communicate on a more emotional level."
John was part of what had been an underground fraternity of men learning the ABCs of effectively relating to women. Over the past five years their skills have become the stock in trade of a tsunami of e-books, hardcover volumes, DVDs and CDs, weekend seminars, online forums, podcasts, a satellite radio show -- even a cable television program.
The stereotype that the men learning the art of the pickup are aspiring Don Juans is only partly true.
"Most guys who get into this don't do it just because they want to sleep around with different women," said Chris Odom, a pickup coach and co-author, with the legendary pickup artist Mystery, of the book The Pickup Artist: The New and Improved Art of Seduction"(Villard, 2010). Odom himself has lived with his girlfriend since 2007.
Jeffrey Rachlin, a 27-year-old sales manager for a large tech firm in San Francisco, suffered the devastating break up of the five-year relationship with his college girlfriend in early 2007. By that time knowledge of the pick-up community had begun to seep into popular culture, and in September he enrolled in a boot camp.
"It was about having quality interactions with people, it wasn't so much about one night stands," Rachlin said of his interest in learning the skills. He credits the confidence he developed over the course of learning to attract women as fundamental in creating a strong bond with Kady Cheung, 33, an independent jewelry designer, who on May 14 became
Kady Rachlin when she and Rachlin got married.
"I had been through a period where my self-confidence was pretty low," Rachlin said about the time between his break-up and taking the boot camp. "But going through the boot camp, and then having girls proactively giving me their phone numbers, becoming sexually active again, increased my self confidence tremendously." It changed even how he physically carries himself, he said.
He said self-confidence "makes the people around you feel better. You tend to be on the happy side, and optimistic. You can still have problems and woes," but have the confidence you can handle them, he said.
Kady Rachlin added that her husband's self assurance, "makes me feel that I can trust and rely on him."
She said his confidence has "helped with our communication, to be open about our feelings with each other."
Rachlin agreed, adding, "I've shared with Kady things that I haven't shared with other girlfriends because I didn't have the confidence to do so. I was afraid of how they might receive it."
Joseph Rossini, a 50ish lawyer in Los Angeles, who is twice divorced, became interested in the pickup community about five years ago, when a co-worker brought his attention to the book The Game (Wm. Morrow/HarperCollins, 2005), written by Neil Strauss.
Rossini began dating his 30-something girlfriend Elizabeth O'Rourke about two years ago. They moved into a Los Angeles apartment together 18 months ago.
He said learning how to react to the verbal tests women often give men when they first meet has helped him with his current relationship.
In single life, these tests can take the form of a woman saying provocative or even insulting things to a man to throw him off balance. For example, one time when Rossini was single he went to a club "dressed outrageously just to see what it was like," he said. A woman said to him, " 'Why are you dressed like that? You look like Ace Ventura,' and a stream of insults about every area of my appearance."
"I let it blow me out of the set," he recalled. "I just smiled, and excused myself. "
Enduring a number of similar instances taught him to be "nonreactive." In the pickup community, Rossini said, "you're taught to be to be non-defensive, and to deflect the test or engage it with humour -- anything other than be defensive and emotionally reactive.
"In a relationship, you might not call it a test, but there are times your woman wants to feel that part of your character that is trustworthy. Being nonreactive conveys that in an emergency, you are a man that can be relied on to keep your cool and bring things to a place that is manageable."
"Just last week my girlfriend sent me an e-mail while I was at the office, accusing me of flirting with other women," he recalled.
In former relationships, he said he would fight about it and be defensive, and all that would do is lead to more conflict and trouble.
Instead, he said, "I called her up and told her how much I love her and how she is the only one for me -- with love and genuineness in my voice -- and she said, 'I know that, I just needed to hear it.' "
O'Rourke, who owns an independent organic skin care business, said, "Nine times out of 10 if we're upset with the person we love, it has nothing to do with the content of what we're upset about, like 'You didn't take out the trash!' It's really that she's needing to feel loved. And if he can be unwavering, and strong and really not be defensive and argumentative, she melts. It's like whatever is the issue is no longer a problem -- and she's smiling."
John, the day trader from Florida, said the abundance of women in his life between the time he learned skills and the time he met his girlfriend made him clearer about what he was looking for in a relationship.
"I had talked to thousands of women, went out with hundreds on dates, been in fairly serious relationships with a couple, and had sexual relationships with 15 other girls," during the 18 months he was in the pickup community, he said.
"After all of that I had a fairly strong idea of what I was looking for personality wise and physically. And at that point, I wanted a girlfriend. So, when I met this girl, she fit the physical type I was looking for.
"And our personalities just complemented each other so well," he added. "She's my best friend. A great person. The type of girl who when I did my boot camp, was the type I was looking for.
"Coming from a place where I actually had options, I was able to choose what type of girl I wanted. And that just gave me a higher level of conviction that this was a great person to have as your girlfriend."
Having greater choices in women can also make the woman who is in the monogamous long-term relationship with a former pick up artist have a greater sense of conviction.
Kady Rachlin said she is certain her husband didn't latch on to her out of a desperate need to cling to any relationship, or because no one else would have him.
His having the option of choosing among many women, she said, "makes me feel that he chose me because he genuinely enjoys being with me."
Labels: F - Fun or Fake, Long Term Relationship