The Rules of Engagement

I texted this once to a friend: Flirting, I believe, is a mental exercise. It is like chess. Should you push a compliment or should you retreat for now and feign non-interest? Should you castle your feelings, or siege onward? She replied too quickly – is this a trap, or are her defenses finally crumbling down? As it is with chess, flirting needs strategy, persistence, determination. And as it is with chess, the ending can either end with humiliating defeat, glorious victory, or a dreadful draw. How it will end, however, depends on how you play the game.

This entry is about how to play that game. Although I admit that I am not an incubus, a pick-up artist, or someone with a bachelor’s degree in seduction, I am a crucial observer and casual advocate of the rules of engagement. I may have not have the looks, but I do have my way with words and theatrics. Hahaha. You just have to trust me on this one, okay?

A fair caveat before you continue – this article presupposes that you are confident with what and who you are. No amount of how-to essays, comforting voice or humorous anecdotes will help you if you do not want to help yourself in the first place. Well, if it makes you feel better, I think the fact that you are reading this shows that you are ready to tackle the world. And you know what? I believe you are ready. Go out there and wrestle Atlas for the world, stranger!

Also, this is not a walkthrough. Your mileage may vary. Adjust accordingly. Do not use this for evil. This is modified from the American style of seduction as to fit the Philippine setting. Read the readings at the end of the article. This is a semi-humorous article so don’t take everything seriously. Enjoy.

—0—

The cornerstone of every flirting engagement is research and correspondence. Do you believe the usual professional game of chess begins with White’s first move? No, it begins with reconnaissance. Before you engage in total war, you should first stalk the enemy. What is her name? Where does she live? Does she love pizza or pasta? Who are her friends? What is her father’s profession? What are her hobbies? Of course, the Reader should remember not to go overboard. There is nothing more creepy than to learn that a stranger – total or not – knows everything about you, from the exact place of your birth to the exact time that you fell asleep yesterday. Only collect sufficient data, and with the advent of Facebook and Twitter, stalking has now become easy and convenient. Again, and I cannot stress how important this is, do not go overboard. Really.

The second step is connecting the dots. This is where the hunt begins. During this step, you willingly give away your presence to the enemy. This can be easy or hard, depending on how difficult it is to get to her. For the most part, unless the prey is a total stranger, you have already done this step.

The third and crucial step is to meet in the crucible. Now that the enemy is aware of your presence, you need to obtain that crucial chance to be alone with her. This is where most people hesitate, falter and lose the game. A moderately sure technique, with a 30% success rate, is to use friendship as a means to the end. Match your interests with hers. If she likes tennis, join the local club where she is a member, make sure your schedules match, and feign surprise when you see her on the field. If she is a Physics major, learn the intricacies of quantum mechanics, blunder in front of her, and be that harmless cute nerd who only wants to learn something new. Proximity is key to success. The goal here is to force her into thinking that destiny is getting out of its way to align the two of you.

You know better, of course. You know you are your own destiny.

Anyway, before anything else, the Reader should do well to avoid the friendzone. The friendship is only a means to the end. Some people burrow far down the rabbit hole that they forget what they are after in the first place. Do not do anything that will later bite you in the ass. Do not attempt to compromise. Once you have obtained that chance to be alone with her, imply that you are not there for friendship but for her heart. This is important because the friendzone is a tricky place to be in. A surefire way to avoid the friendzone, of course, is to declare what you really feel for her. It is not a bad move but it is risky as you lose that chance of reconnaissance afforded by the guise of friendship. Her reaction will largely depend on what you have built during that point.

If you did manage to get close to the enemy, proceed to the next step – the bait and switch. Although the technique is easy to execute, it is very hard to master. Basically, you push a romantic gesture such as a compliment, make sure it connects, and then quickly pull away if she begins to show any interest. This creates some sort of tension where you leave her hanging and wanting for more. There are dangers, however, that you should be aware when you proceed to this step. First, if your timing is off, you will likely leave a rather awkward moment when you pull away. This makes you look like a fool. Second, as it is with our first step above, do not go overboard or the enemy will eventually realize that you have really nothing to offer to the table and will not expect anything anymore.

The last step is releasing the arrow. This is the time when you admit everything to the enemy. Only you will know the best time when to release the arrow. It will come and you will feel it. And once it does, release the string and shoot the arrow. Aim true. Do not hesitate. If it misses, heave a sigh, force a smile, pick up another silver arrow from your quiver, and look for another target. Your story need not end with failure. Even the greatest silver tongue has faltered many times during his lifetime.

And there you are. The basic rules of engagement. There is a lot more to seduction, of course, but you will learn this as you go along this path of great pleasure. I heed you well with your future endeavors, dear Reader, and have a great day ahead of you. Excelsior!

.

For Further Reading:

1. TofuTofu on Being a Modern Alpha Male, Alpha Body Language and Tonality, and Importance of Projecting an Aura of Happiness and Well-Being

2. MaysonNSS on Scarcity vs. Abundance: How Neediness Kills Your Game

Three Poems of War and Hopelessness

metropolis

the streets were filled with sorrow

when a young child, aged seven,

lost his beloved toy

at one of the intersections

of tall skyscrapers and

blazing neon lights

only to finally realize

that the skyscrapers were

really mischievous giants

stealing little firetruck toys

.

when evening fell

when evening fell on MSS Lusca:

.

a thousand arms

reached from the ocean

destroying the hull, the mast

into small planks of wood and cloth

.

(on the radar: a massive beeping dot)

.

from the horizon

a rain of metal and fire

.

the arms subsided

the captain rejoiced

.

when the sea split apart

and St. Augustine emerged

fully naked and fire raging

.

did we mine the last hydrogen?

when we exhausted all possibilities

we hauled the sun from the heavens

(what is it that you call those things again?

ah, yes, the Leviathan, wonderful how it sounds

than Large-Scale Extraction Satellites)

and created machines of wonder

.

ask yourself:

did your lovely iRobot protect you

when the big ball of fire

exploded into endless space?