Men's Life Today: More Than Friends
Getting the Girl -- Without Losing Your Friends
By Sanjiv Bhattacharya
For most guys, the prospect of approaching a cute girl is too daunting to attempt alone. You need your buddies around you for a bit of support and a safe place to return to just in case, you know, it goes a bit sideways. But your pals may not be what you need when you’re trying to make a move. In fact, if the same girl catches the eye of one (or more) of your friends, it could make things rather messy. So what’s a guy to do?
Scratch Each Other’s Backs
According to dating expert and author Jay Cataldo, it pays to establish a “bro code” at the outset, before you go out with your pals. “True friends don’t compete for girls,” he says. “When I’m interested in a girl we’ve all just met, I will call ‘dibs’ on her and my friends will back off and support my gaming efforts. In other words, they’ll be good wingmen.” Needless to say, you need to do the same for them. (And you certainly don’t need an Excel spreadsheet, but try to be fair. If two of you call dibs simultaneously, the guy who hasn’t had a date in three months wins.)
Guys who take this approach can be a huge asset to one another, adds Adam LaDolce, dating expert and author of Being Alone Sucks! “You can boost each other’s value in the eyes of a woman. If your friend is taking the initiative, support him. Look at him when he’s talking, laugh at his jokes. Tell a story about how funny or awesome he is. Help him, and he’ll do the same for you next time.”
Play to Win (If You Must)
If there’s no way around a contest -- for instance, if you’re out with guys you don’t know that well (or guys who aren’t interested in a “bro code”) -- then Cataldo advises outgunning them. “Display as much alpha-ness as you can until she starts showing signs of attraction,” he says. “Talk louder than the other guys and try to control the conversational topic. Hold strong eye-contact with the girl when speaking directly to her, but glance around the room when she speaks to you. Give her friends more attention than her. And tease her in front of the group.”
This strategy can work (and a group of guys like this would probably just respect you if it did), but keep it as a last resort. Chances are the other guys won’t back down so easily, and most girls find it a turnoff when guys compete over them … meaning everyone loses. Besides, competing for the same girl runs counter to the “many fish” mentality. Cultivate this mindset and you’ll find yourself in a much better position than the guys swarming around the hottest girl in the room like sharks to chum.
Take the “Many Fish” Approach
“Once you realize there are many girls out there for you to meet, you won’t get so hung up on one,” explains LaDolce. “And the key to this is learning how to talk to several different women in an evening.” If that just doesn’t sound like you, try to make yourself do it anyway. Start with women you’re not that interested in; your confidence will grow naturally with repetition and experience, and by the time it comes to talking to a girl you’re attracted to, the pressure will be off just as you’re hitting your stride.
Then, right when she shows some interest, move on. “The best way to get a girl’s attention is to be the guy who’s bouncing around talking to other girls at the party,” says LaDolce. “Don’t worry if your friends are talking to her. Speak to five other nearby women. Believe me, she’ll notice you!”
Sanjiv Bhattacharya has written for GQ, Details and LA Weekly and is the author of Secrets & Wives: The Hidden World of Mormon Polygamy.