Attraction is tension
This might seem simplistic, or may even sound foolish, but you’d be surprised. I promise that understanding this will forever change how you interact with women.
Don’t waste time thinking that what women SAY they want, and what they actually respond to are the same thing. Attraction isn’t about her rules, her expectations, or what she thinks she wants, needs, or deserves. Too many women end up with jerk-hole boyfriends for me to continue to believe such nonsense.
If you want to give a woman butterflies, just like you’d feel when you’re about to jump out of a plane, or moments before you give a big speech, then you must understand that attraction IS tension.
Without tension, there can be no attraction.
What is this tension we feel when we’re attracted to a woman? Tension is defined by the space between where you are (e.g., meeting a woman for the first time) and where you want to be (e.g., in bed with her).
This electrified space between reality and fantasy is tension. Tension is the necessary corollary of attraction. This is why you don’t want what you already have: the space between wanting it and having it is gone and tension is lost. On the other hand, wanting what you have no hope of getting also makes for negligible tension. If a woman is super hot but unattainable, there can be very little tension created between you.
Most men are attracted to a woman based entirely on how she looks. Be careful here: if you’re driven to date women simply because they’re beautiful, you will discover that attraction based simply on looks doesn’t last, because the tension between you cannot be maintained.
Show me a beautiful woman, I’ll show you a man who’s tired of f***ing her.
~from the movie Perfect Stranger
You might be saying “but Robby, I’ve always hated tension because it feels awful, so won’t it make her feel awful too?” The reality is that tension isn’t necessarily good or bad; tension is just a feeling we feel. It’s how we interpret our tension that makes it good or bad. If you anticipate something good happening, then your brain will label your tension as good. If you anticipate something terrible, then your brain will label your tension bad and seek to diminish it.
Creating tension is a fine balance of keeping up a sense of mystery and unpredictability about yourself, as well as maintaining your personal boundaries, while ensuring that your girl does not interpret the tension she feels as a warning sign of possible danger.
This is what flirting is about. Teasing her, confusing her, pulling her in with jokes and stories, and pushing her away by teasing her and with playful banter. It’s your job to create a tone of comfort while being unpredictably playful.
This creates tension. This creates attraction. Just as a comedian learns to build tension leading up to a punch-line you must learn to build tension when leading a girl into your life.
Attraction is applied resistance
Tension is created when a force is applied; that force is resistance. If you give your date exactly what she wants, all of the time, you are effectively killing her attraction for you.
Women are not attracted to “nice guys” because nice guys actively try to rid themselves of tension by endlessly agreeing and apologizing. What nice guys don’t realize is that attraction is tension. The attraction that a woman feels for you is her emotional anticipation of who you are and how she expects you’ll make her feel.
Attraction is an emotion, and is therefore, generally-speaking, out of our conscious control. As dating guru David DeAngelo says, “Attraction isn’t a choice.” Just as we have instincts to Fight or Flight, we have instincts to Fuck or Chuck. If you understand that a woman’s attraction to you is based on a kind of instinctual feeling, you’ll be 99% further ahead than most other men.
Your job is to build a woman’s interest and anticipation by letting her know how fun, honest, sincere, intelligent and caring you are, while also giving her some resistance to gaining full access to you. This resistance is the tension she’ll enjoy, and the basis for her growing attraction to you. If there is no resistance, either because you’re unavailable (married, gay, uninterested) or because you’re overly available, (nice, transparent guy with no boundaries) then any attraction she may have felt for you simply dies off.
We don’t want what we have; we want what’s just out of reach. Give a girl what she wants, without resistance, and you’ll extinguish her attraction. If you tease a woman by interchangeably giving and withholding, you build tension and attraction.
Relationships often fail when those in the relationship get exactly what they want when they want it. Give a woman perfect certainty and her desire will fade; give a woman hope and uncertainty and she’ll want you forever.
Let’s look at a pick-up line that doesn’t work because it doesn’t create tension:
"Wow, you have the most amazing eyes I’ve ever seen… wow, you’re so beautiful. Can I buy you a drink!?"
Why don’t beautiful women respond to compliments? Because you’re not the first guy to notice she has beautiful eyes, or amazing hair, or great legs. The fact that you think you’re the first guy to compliment her will communicate to her that you’re just like every other arrogant, hotheaded guy.
When you drown a woman in compliments and put her on a pedestal, you’re displaying low personal value. Beautiful women desire resistance from men but rarely get it.
How about using the following twist on an otherwise unsurprising compliment:
"Wow you have beautiful eyes…except for the left one. (*wink*)"
If you can make a woman laugh, she will link her pleasure with your company. Pull her in with humor, but push her away a little too:
"Wow, you are so beautiful! You’ll make all the other women jealous."
Teasing like this communicates to a woman that she’s desired, but can’t use your vulnerability to walk all over you. It’s this combination of pushing her away and pulling her in that creates tension and tension is the core of what builds and maintains attraction. Tension-creation in the context of dating is the game of seduction.
Tension do's and dont's
Here is a list of things to remember to build good tension with a woman:
- DO talk slower. When we’re nervous we unconsciously start to talk too quickly. Some people even stutter. Take a deep breath and simply allow the tension to exist without you needing to reduce it. If you talk nice and slow, women will perceive you as a calm, cool guy, rather than a nervous wreck who she can write off.
- DON'T laugh too much. Uncomfortable laughter is our body’s way of releasing tension. This might be a good thing if you’re trying to avoid getting punched in the face right before a bar fight, but it will not go far when trying to seduce a woman. Don’t be that guy who laughs at his own jokes, or who laughs more than everyone else. Learn to accept and appreciate the added tension that not laughing wildly or inappropriately brings.
- DO speak clearly and with authority. If she has to say “what?” because she didn’t hear what you said, then you’re letting tension slip away. Speak clearly. For full effect, shift from loud to soft depending on the story, but always make sure you are heard. This will force her to sometimes listen more carefully. Changing between louder and softer tones will help build a woman’s interest and attraction by requiring her to interchangeably focus when you speak more softly, and relax when you speak more loudly.
- DON'T react emotionally to any nervousness she may be displaying. Be calm and composed. By remaining calm and smiling comfortably you’ll inspire her to relax and to feel calm as well. It’s an unconscious way of leading her: if you smile, she’ll smile; if you’re calm, she’ll feel calm. She might be high strung, and the more into you she becomes the more she’ll become bouncy, high energy, and nervous. When you’re composed, it’ll communicate that she doesn’t make you nervous. This will help lead her to believe that you’re confidant and of high value.
- DO hold strong eye contact, at first. When we’re nervous, we unintentionally break eye contact. Don’t do this when you first interact with her. It’s okay to look around casually, but be sure to keep strong eye contact whenever suitable. It communicates that you are confident.
- DON'T fidget, rock, or bite your nails. We all have nervous habits, which help us to control the tension in our bodies. If you want to lessen the tension of a situation learn to breathe deeply and control your own behaviors. Meditation is a great tool for developing the skill for calming your own nerves. Calm your body using meditative techniques, not by relying on off-putting nervous ticks.
- DO give her your total attention in short spurts. When we focus our attention on a woman without breaking eye contact it has the potential of making her feel uncomfortable. It’s more useful to give her your total attention in short spurts, so that she can experience the pleasure of your undivided attention, but also the pleasure of its release. This is another instance of keeping it fun by creating a rhythm of push and pull.
- DON'T apologize for everything. Apologizing too much communicates to a woman that you’re insecure and require her constant approval and/or forgiveness. Women don’t want emotionally needy men: learn to control and deal with your own insecurities.
- DO keep strong, positive, and confident body language. When you move slowly it will indicate that you’re composed and confident. This helps her to relax and shows her you are confident despite the tension of the situation. Pay attention to how you stand, sit, and generally move. When you’re nervous, it will show, and you will transfer your nervousness onto her.
- DON'T lie. Sometimes we feel that the truth will create too much tension, but the reality is that unexpected honesty creates the best kind of tension.
- DO watch Ocean’s Eleven. If you want to learn about powerful, confident male body language, rent the Ocean’s Eleven movies and watch how Brad Pitt and George Clooney carry themselves. The goal is to always be comfortable and relaxed in all of your body movements. Move slowly and deliberately, even if it feels forced and overly-dramatic; the more you do it, the more natural it will feel.
- DON'T hide yourself. Sometimes we become intimidated by those around us, and in an unconscious effort to avoid conflict and tension, we shrink ourselves. Instead of hiding yourself, build your courage and express yourself. Take up space. When sitting with friends, let your arms and legs fill your personal space. Take up room. Make your person matter.
- DON'T frown or sneer. If you like what you see then smile; it’s friendly and nice. The guy who doesn’t smile is creepy and unfriendly.
Robby writes a blog about relationships at FullOfHateAndReadyToDate.com.