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This is going to take some time because you always say you want as many details as possible.
I’ve been an avid user of your principles for about two years now. Your book has more than paid for itself and I’m finally with someone I really enjoy being with. Haley is the girl in the office who everyone wanted. We started dating nine months ago, and recently my contract took me elsewhere, so we’re no longer working together. Haley is in her early thirties and I’m in my late twenties. We’re in month number 10 and up until now, everything has been going really fine. As of late I started to notice a little less affection, but nothing major. So I increased the Challenge level and waited for the cruise that we were scheduled to take to determine if something was wrong.
The cruise went well, and Haley’s Interest Level seemed back up. Until I attempted to propose, that is. She wouldn’t let me, and afterwards said she thought I was just kidding. Things went downhill fast. The Monday after our cruise, she refused to let me stay at her place, the first time that’s ever happened. I withdrew and didn’t contact her until Friday, our planned date night. As we were driving to our destination, she said she was feeling sick and we should probably rain check it. At this point, sirens and alarms were going off, so I whipped around and we had a heart-to-heart in her parking lot.
Haley said we weren’t ready to be engaged. She also said that on that previous Monday a strange man had come into her apartment and he wouldn’t leave until she threatened to call the police, and she complained that I didn’t seem to care when she told me. I protested that I was both scared for her and angry that she wouldn’t let me stay with her that night. She went on to say that our relationship wasn’t “deep” enough and that I seem to be playing a role and not sharing “all” of myself with her.
I told her I would try and be more open and honest, and mentioned that she didn’t always tell me what she was feeling either. I told her I wouldn’t beg for her attention or settle for table scraps from her. And that if it had come to this, it was probably over.
She seemed to warm up after that conversation, and we went on an alternate date and then spent the weekend together. She seems to be coming around, but I’m at a loss for what to do next. Should I keep withdrawing and playing my “System role” or should I be more open and let her know my feelings?
Haley also said our relationship has been all “fun and games” and that we haven’t gotten serious enough to make a lifetime commitment. In the past she said that she wouldn’t be comfortable marrying someone before dating them for at least a year, so I’m assuming I just jumped the gun by trying to pop the question. But I want to know how I can maintain this relationship and how I should move forward.
Pierce - who’s fumbling for his next move
You noticed a little less affection from Haley and you call it “nothing major?” A little less affection from your woman is always major, pal. What other signal would you wait for to realize that you’re in trouble? That was your first boo-boo. You shouldn’t have had to increase your Challenge level – it should have been perfect to begin with. Which means you weren’t being a Challenge at all. When you first picked up those negative vibes from Haley you should have picked up the phone and deep-sixed the sea cruise. When Interest Level starts bottoming out, you’re out.
Haley’s Interest Level after the cruise was back up, all right – temporarily. And dude, you never ask a woman to get married. You have to wait two years before you even approach a decision like that. The rule is that you can get engaged at the end of two years, and that’s when she’s so in love with you she can’t stand to wait anymore and has to be around you all the time. Guys, you’re going to check her Interest Level for 60 days, then for the next 22 months you’re going to study her Attitude.
But you’re telling me that you didn’t exactly have nine months and two weeks of bliss and then all of a sudden, boom, in the space of two weeks Haley’s Interest Level plummeted like a dud NASA spaceship from 95% to 51%. (Or worse, from 95% to 49%, in which case there’s no point in even discussing this any further.) You practiced my principles for about six to eight months. And then, like most stupid guys, you said to yourself, “Heck, I don’t need that stuff anymore.” And you know what the good book says: “Pride cometh before the fall.” And that’s what happened here – you fell asleep at the wheel and Haley’s Interest Level pooped. And it pooped over a long period of time.
In light of those facts, of course Haley thought your marriage proposal was a joke. It was a stall technique on her part. She wished you were joking, don’t you get it? And why isn’t she accepting your ring? Because her Interest Level is swirling around the bottom of the toilet, about to make its way out to sea.
In essence, you proposed to a woman who had no interest in you. You don’t do that. And guy, things didn’t go downhill fast. They started going downhill three miles back. It wasn’t a steep mountain her Interest Level toppled off; it was a long, long road with a small downhill grade. Are you sure you read my book?
But you insisted on compounding your errors, didn’t you? You shouldn’t have tried to stay at her place. You should have just dropped her off and beat it the hell out of there. Why would you try to stay somewhere you weren’t wanted? Wow -- you’re as bad as the runaway bride’s jilted fiancé who still at one point wanted her! Heck, you shouldn’t have even kissed Haley good night! Like my cousin Fast Eddie Love says, “This is war, amigo!”
After that debacle, there was no point in contacting her -- ever. What you should have done instead was change your phone number. When you have problems with a girl, you don’t have a planned date. If everything were going great guns, then okay. Like most men you gave away the store and took a lot for granted -- including Haley.
Know why your girl got sick on you? Low Interest Level. I’m dead serious. Like my cousin Doctor Love says, “When she’s sitting there with a guy she doesn’t like, low Interest Level can actually make a girl sick to her stomach.” And that’s what happened to poor Haley. She was stuck with a guy she didn’t want and her belly was doing somersaults.
Sirens and alarms went off in your brain? Why? The building had already burned down! The fire department got the call hours ago. A heart to heart in her parking lot? What you mean, Pierce, is that you turned to begging. Now you’re going to grovel. You’re not going to be funny and light. Go ahead, be real serious with her now, this is really going to help your cause! Yeah, right. Guess what? You can’t raise her Interest Level once it hits 49%. It’s not coming back.
Did you ask Haley why you couldn’t be engaged? Did you ask if it was because her Interest Level is below 50%? Did you get in her face and demand, “Come on, Haley, give it to me straight, tell me the truth for once!” Nah, you didn’t, because you were chicken, and you needed to beg.
And you could have gone further. You could have asked her for specifics on the role you were allegedly playing. What does she want you to share with her, exactly? Regardless, you weren’t going to get a straight answer, buddy. Because when they want to get rid of you, none of them ever say “You lowered my Interest Level with your deportment.” You’ll never hear that out of a woman’s mouth. No, all you’re ever going to get is Womanese, and in this case, the second reason, the third reason, and the fourth reason – not the first and only reason.
Why not? Because women with 95% Interest Level put up with all that other stuff. You’ve overheard them talking yourself: “I know he doesn’t share, but I love him!” “I know he’s playing a role, but I adore him!” A woman will put up with anything if her Interest Level is in the 90s.
Even after all that humiliation, you’re still going to try and be more open and honest. What you’re saying, Pierce, is “I’ll change for you.” You haven’t even gotten the ring through your nose at the altar and you’re already telling her you’re going to get yourself in line and obey like a good doggie? Pathetic. And you want to know if you’re a wimp?
But it gets even more embarrassing. You accuse Haley of not sharing. You’re already begging for her attention, man. What you’re telling her you’re not going to do; you’re doing right now. You’re already accepting her scraps!
It’s “probably” over, is it? That just shows how weak you really are. My friend, it’s over already. You’re just trying to give Haley some wiggle room so she can help you back in. But she’s not going to. Women with 49% Interest Level or less don’t help you. Women with 51% Interest Level or higher do. That’s a hard and fast rule.
She warmed up because you finally showed her you had some cojones (maybe not real big ones, but at least you forced a conversation). But don’t worry – it was just an illusion. Instead of sitting there in the parking lot (and remember how many times I’ve told you guys to stay out of the car!) pouring your guts out, you should have told Haley, “You go your way and I’ll go mine. You have my number. Stay away from me for 30 days. If you want to go out after 30 days, give me a call.” Like my cousin General Love says, “When it’s wartime, it’s hardball time.” But you don’t get it, Pierce, and so you acted like a wuss.
It doesn’t matter how you act now. Because when her interest in you is somewhere below the Mason-Dixon Line, you’re out. And you’re in the 40% to 49% range. That means she’s with you, but she doesn’t dig you. She’ll yo-yo you and toss you her scraps, and then it’ll end. And then you’ll go on to the next one. And you’ll repeat your mistakes with another dream girl.
Haley was right about waiting until a year goes by for marriage. I say you have to wait for two. All you did was verify that she has low Interest Level. And you reinforced that low Interest Level by popping the question.
Remember, guys: once the girl loses respect – which is the foundation of Interest Level – for you, you can never get her back.
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