One of the overblown memes of the game community used to be “was this beta?” (it’s since become a parody at places like the Roosh V Forum). Guys got progressively more absurd about micromanaging and nitpicking their game, even in the face of great success, desperate to earn the respect of the community at every step of the seduction – and in reality, desperate to head off the hollow criticisms of keyboard jockeys who spend more time knocking other guys’ successful field reports than they do with women themselves.
I recall a case where a guy was vibing with a woman in a club, and she suddenly blew him off and walked out the door. He followed her out, caught her in the street, continued the seduction and wound up in her bed. Then he went on the board and asked everyone “was it beta to follow her out of the club?”
Yes? No? It worked, so who cares? In this fashion, men anxious to qualify themselves to other men got into a pernicious habit of substituting the appellation of “alpha” (or “not beta”) for real results in the field. (Lots of writers are trying to phase out the alpha-beta nomenclature, but I don’t think it will ever die because it’s just such a useful shorthand for sociosexual leaders versus sociosexual followers.)
I got a comment on my recent post about guys who use the “beta” archetype as a whipping boy, an object of self-congratulatory scorn by those who had passed out of the Matrix:
This is a general theme which pervades the PUA community. It goes further when you see aspiring players actively denigrate the betas that they once were. I’ve heard of players deliberately go and try to pick up a beta’s girlfriend in front of them, ostensibly because the guy ‘deserved it’ for having bad game.
Its sick to see how far people take that rejection of their past selves, and I’d like to see more sympathy for betas in general…Its a perversion of thought and a violation of abundance mentality.
I agree that there is some of that beta hate undercurrent (that’s why guys are so eager to check “was that beta?”) and I think it’s somewhat misguided. A guy who is on a game blog or forum, discussing his field work, trying to get better, is going in the right direction. His betatude is a problem to be solved, and he understands that or he wouldn’t be where he was to begin with. Let’s fix his problem, he doesn’t deserve personal slams and contemptuous mocking for it.
Anyway, my point is that “is this beta?” is a dumb question that doesn’t help guys get better in the game. Danger & Play posted recently on “the winning question.” The winning question is, “am I being a pussy?” I find that’s an excellent question for getting me started on things, and is applicable to life in general. However, I’ve gotten better results in the game itself with something else.
THE REAL QUESTION YOU NEED TO ASK IN-GAME
When you’re out in the field running your game (when you’ve gotten past the hump of “am I being a pussy”), it’s easy to get anxious about your moves, wonder if you’re playing it right, if you’re being too forward, if you’re forcing things.
In those situations there’s just one simple question you need to ask yourself and it’s not “is this beta?”
The question is, “am I chasing?”
While there are some things you just plain shouldn’t do (like racing to grab the check on a date, not that you should be going on expensive dates until things are serious anyway), the answer to the question is less about the action itself and more about your mindset and motivations.
Chasing is what you do when you perceive an opportunity to be slipping away from you. It comes from a needy place, a sense that you have to qualify yourself to a girl, to make a case that you’re the guy she should be with – a sense that you have to engage her on her terms, not yours.
Chasing is what you do when you agree with a woman’s opinion because you’re afraid your true opinion would offend her.
Chasing is what you do when you keep calling/texting and asking out a woman who is flaky in responding or keeps finding things more important on her schedule than you. You’re either chasing a woman who’s really not interested (and so you’re coming across as annoying and clueless), or you’re playing into her script that she can treat you poorly and take advantage of your time, attention and money. Either way, it’s not a position you want to be in.
Chasing is really born out of a mindset that you aren’t as good as any of the women you would consider dating, and thus your default position is to assume a supplicating pose, to make a case to her that she should consider you if she’s feeling charitable.
Because chasing is about relative power, to answer the question you need to develop a good sensor for the flow and frame of an interaction, an intuition for the balance of power in the exchange. That should come along with the rest of your passive game, the tools you use to tell if a woman is interested in you, to calibrate your game to her personality and to gauge the buying temperature.
It’s important to understand that initiating is not chasing. Aloof game is not just sitting around inertly waiting for women to make the moves. Most women are not going to initiate with you. If you’re very high-value or physically attractive, women may hit on you openly, but a generation of effort to get women to act like men has not succeeded in getting women to pursue like men. The best you can hope, as a strategy, for is that women will make themselves approachable and you’ll be able to make low-risk approaches. Even that is not an entirely sound strategy. You are going to have to go talk to (open) the women you find attractive with no real guarantee you’ll get anything out of the interaction. You aren’t chasing; you are setting up a frame that gives her the opportunity to respond to you.
Escalating is also not chasing. Just as above, you cannot expect women will do the escalation, as a general rule. All that Gen Y feminist stuff about “enthusiastic consent” is a bunch of hooey – even women who positively want sex with you are often not going to take on the burden of pushing it forward, but will respond to your sexual leadership. An over-eagerness when escalating IS chasing, and a major cause of blown seductions (one of my go-to escalation moves is to spontaneously back off on the sexual energy and see if she responds by bringing it back up).
Investing modestly in a woman is not chasing, not necessarily at least. When you buy a woman a drink on a date, are you doing it because you’re a high-value guy inviting her to be a guest in your space for the next hour, or because you’re afraid if you don’t do what she expects she’ll reject you? One is chasing, the other is not.
Chasing, again, is action taken against what you perceive to be a widening gap of interest.
If you’re chasing, check yourself. Take a deep breath. Back off a bit. See if she fills the gap.
Approach, initiate, escalate, invest. Just don’t chase.