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(Editor's Note, this letter was written before Doc's death in August, 2020 but still relevant as Doc's principles are timeless).
I’m a Doc Love Club member, I have all your books, and I regularly listen to your radio show.
Anyway, on to my issue. I’ve had seven dates with Victoria. On the fifth date, she dropped a subtle hint about visiting the botanical garden. Well, as a student of “The System,” I like to think I listened and heard her. I surprised her by taking her to the botanical garden on our next date. Although she loved the surprise, it was on this date that I became slightly perplexed. When I picked her up, she seemed really quiet. I decided not to react and was quiet too. Even though we shared some brief conversation and laughter during the date, I felt something was not right. I felt compelled to test her interest. Three-quarters into the date, we were standing close to each other, we made eye contact, and I decided to go in for a kiss. I know it was a lack of Self-Control to not wait until the end of the date, but I wasn’t thinking straight. Anyway, she avoided my kiss and instead rested her head on my shoulder. Afterward, I withdrew by not getting physically close or saying much. I was polite and made brief responses to her comments.
After the date I took Victoria home. On the way, she opened up. She said that she knows she can be unusually quiet at times, but when she’s like that it means she’s comfortable and happy. She laughingly said that even though she can be quiet, I can be even more quiet. She then asked if my silence means I don’t like her. I do like her, but rather than answer her question directly, I asked if when she’s quiet does that mean she doesn’t like me. She quickly responded with “No!”
When I walked Victoria to her door, she stopped, put her arms around my neck, and gave me the best kiss I ever got from a woman. I told her I had a fun time and she assured me she had a nice time too.
The next date went well and she displayed the typical signs of interest (touching, laughter, a kiss good night, etc.). We’ve arranged for another date in a couple of days. I can’t help but wonder, though, why she avoided my kiss if she’s interested in me. Is it a red flag? If it was nothing and I should forget it, I’d still like to know the possible reasons so that I can act with better understanding in the future. Thanks for your insight into the female mind, Doc.
Archibald - who’s simply reflecting on her past behavior
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Instead of rushing straight out to the botanical garden, you should have taken Victoria on another date first and acquiesced to her wish later. Doing it that way would have had an even more profound effect on her. Because then she would have been thinking, “Gee, I told this guy I wanted to go to the botanical garden, and instead of taking me there, he takes me someplace else! I wonder what’s going on?” While she was puzzling that out, her Interest Level would have been on the rise because you were being less predictable and more mysterious.
It usually indicates that her Interest Level is not as high as it should be. And guy, when you copied her behavior, you did react to her. So you’re contradicting yourself. And by the way, instead of impersonating a clam, you should have been the funny clown. You might own all my books, but you haven’t memorized them.
You’re on target when you say that something wasn’t right about the situation. What happens when you finally have all of my materials down is that your intuition will sense the date environment. When the woman isn’t talking, it might mean she’s not in the best mood, or she’s had a particularly rough day, or – worst-case scenario but most likely possibility – she has low Interest Level like I said earlier. When a lady is quiet, especially in the early stages of dating, you have a problem. I’ve never found that being quiet was a positive.
Going in for the kiss when she was in a funky mood was a huge mistake. I told you what to do, Archie, and you broke the rules. Of course you weren’t thinking straight – you were thrown off by the fact that this woman wasn’t talking. So what did you do? You bastardized “The System.”
And here’s where the problem gets more complicated. Victoria turned you down for a kiss, but you kissed her at the wrong time. And once you break the rules of “The System,” it’s hard to gauge what’s really going on with the woman’s Interest Level. To boot, you reacted to her quietness by changing your entire personality, and you didn’t make her laugh.
What you should have said when she said being quiet means she’s happy was “Oh, I get it now.” But you don’t believe her or disbelieve her. To you Psych majors, you look for a pattern in the future.
What did Victoria mean by “You can be even more quiet than me?” I don’t like this at all. Talk about Womanese -- Victoria’s the one who was being silent, and then she turns around and attacks you for being quiet.
It was another big boo-boo when you asked if Victoria didn’t like you. Why in the world are you talking about her Interest Level? I tell you guys to keep it light and funny and no heavy subjects, then you go and get embroiled in a heavy contest of trying to outflank each other on the subject of what “quiet” really means. This mess wouldn’t have happened if you’d kept it funny and light like you were supposed to and not tried to kiss her at the wrong time.
Getting that great kiss from her was the one positive thing that happened. And hopefully this distant mood of hers was just a passing thing. Maybe it’s her nature; with time you’ll find out. By the way, Victoria should have told you first that she had a good time on that date. And you didn’t have a fun time, dude – you lied.
The way it ended, things seemed to be okay. But again, Archie, just make sure you don’t forget what happened and keep your eyes peeled for a pattern.
In the end, there could a thousand reasons why Victoria refused your kiss. One, for instance, might be that you tried to smooch her in a public place. But don’t ask why she didn’t kiss you -- ask yourself why you didn’t go by the book.
What happened is not a red flag, because you went against my principles. You did something wrong, then she did something wrong, so there can’t be a red flag. A red flag is when you do everything right and SHE does something wrong.
In the future follow my guidelines strictly and stop cherry-picking.
Remember, guys: if you don’t go by the rules, you can’t judge her Interest Level.
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