Do pick-up-artist techniques work?

Dear Lisa,

Do Pick Up Artists (like David Deangelo’s) techniques work at picking up women, or no? Thanks.

–Exploring My Options (♂ Vancouver)


Dear Exploring My Options,

I have only briefly looked at Deangelo’s work, so I can’t vouch for his techniques in particular. Pick Up Artistry (PUA) in general does really interest me; I’ve read into the subject quite extensively, and I belong to a few lists. Whether you are interested in learning how to meet and attract women, or you are looking for a hook up, the techniques do work and have a place in relationship work. I have found some of their techniques very useful for my male clients, and interesting to my female clients so, I do recommend gaining at least a general understanding of what they are talking about. In my work, though, I focus on helping men and women meet, attract and develop healthy, intimate, long-term relationships. If that is what you are looking for, the PUA techniques can still be very useful, but there are a few things to remember:

  1. Perspective: PUAs are, for the most part, looking to get laid. So, when you are reading/watching/studying their material, and learning to use it, it is important to remember that the way they talk about women has a particular flavour. Some see it as objectification, other see it as a way to loosen the hold that attraction has, so that there is less attachment to what you are actually doing when approaching a woman, and therefor less concern for the risk of rejection. Whatever it is, there will be some translation required for the techniques to lead to a healthy relationship.
  2. Polarity: What the PUAs are talking about, and what any dating/relationship coach worth their salt should be talking about are the fundamental laws of attraction between the masculine and feminine, what I call polarity. Everything that they teach plays on polarity, using the strengths of the masculine to attract the feminine. So, master that and everything will be fine, right? Well… no. A lot of men find that their training with the PUAs lead them to a less than fulfilling love life.
  3. Connection: The way I see it, there are three parts to a relationship, you, the connection between you and your potential partner, and the polarity between your respective masculine and feminine essences (which we’ve already talked about). For a relationship, you need all three. The connection is essential to get you two through the parts of the relationship that aren’t as passionate and hot (like discussing who’s going to the grocery store, and who’s picking up the kids). Unfortunately, this is what the PUAs don’t teach – how to build a healthy connection in the relationship, and when I say that a lot of men find the work lacking when it comes to finding a girlfriend, the connection is often what they are wishing they understood better.
  4. You: Logically then, we need to talk about you. The PUA trainings do focus on you – your charisma, your way of talking, walking & interacting, your confidence etc – but they are focused on the external you; the you that women see. It is important to remark that by necessity, most of these guys lead sort of a double life – they are one person during the day at work, and a completely different person on their pickup missions. Psychologically, they have an overdeveloped persona, and have, in a way, lost touch with the parts of themselves that they believe caused them to be rejected by women in the first place. This works to a certain degree, but when it comes to having a girlfriend, the disconnection to part of themself makes it very difficult for them to be genuine and authentic in a one on one interaction. Often those parts of them that are hidden away come out in unexpected, awkward and embarrassing ways, leaving them running from any intimacy that’s deeper than a short term fling. For a healthy relationship, both parts of you, the internal and the external, need to be integrated into who you are.

The bottom line is that there is no magic pill. No matter whether you train with a PUA, or you work with me or another dating coach, to meet, attract and create a healthy, long lasting relationship with a woman is going to take work. In one way or another, you are going to need the capacity to develop each of the three parts of a relationship. So, in answer to your question, yes, the techniques do work – you can learn the formulas and the science behind attract and master how to use them – but if you are looking for a relationship, they will only get you so far.

Feel free to ask more specific questions on the topic in the comments below,

– Lisa



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