I’m sure you already know the answer to this, but before I remind you, allow me to tell you a story that refreshed even my memory.
In early summer I met with an American reader at a Moscow cafe. After two horrible espressos, I suggested we walk a block down to another venue where my palate would be better satisfied. We arrived at the new cafe and I scanned through the venue in search of a good seat. “I think there’s an upstairs,” I said. I went up and found a small room with only three tables. One of them however, was occupied by three young women. We decided to sit upstairs.
Before we could even put down our things, the girls invited us to play a board game that the cafe provided. My new friend was competent in Russian so he directed the conversation while I mostly observed the three girls, all around 20 years old.
Ksenia was the tallest. Her hair was dark and put back in a pony tail. She had a serious way of talking that gave weight to her words. Objectively, she was the least attractive of the three, but still quite bangable. She was the most interested in Western culture.
Sophia was a little chubby, but she was the most feminine and had the prettiest eyes. Her English level with the lowest and she was quite shy.
Marina was the prettiest. She had a high amount of energy and checked her phone more than anyone. In spite of that, she was friendly and polite.
We ended up playing a couple rounds of Jenga. I believe that Marina, who was noticeably bored by the second game, knocked down the tower on purpose so that we wouldn’t have to play anymore, but I have no evidence of this. My new friend had to meet with another group at a bar, so I suggested the three girls tag along. The problem is that once at the bar, he had to sit with his friends, leaving me alone with the three girls.
They didn’t feel comfortable speaking in English for more than a two-minute stretch of time, so I attempted to entertain all three in Russian. This was a difficult task. I did okay for 15 minutes but then ran out of gas and did a lot of television watching in between short sprints of conversation. Kesenia seemed to give me the most attention, but it was only by a slight margin. I used all my years of experience in that moment to decide that we were all on friendly terms and that not much would come of our meeting. I preferred Marina due to her beauty, but I would bang any of the girls.
The way to tell whether a girl is attracted to you is if she accepts your escalation move. If you’re in a club and she accepts your suggestion to move to a couch, there is some attraction. If you try to kiss her and she accepts, there is some attraction. If she accepts any move to take the interaction to the next level, you’re moving the intimacy forward and attraction is present. But in this natural experiment with the three girls, I couldn’t risk making a move on the wrong girl, meaning that I could not find out if any had a romantic interest in me. Or maybe I could?
I decided to just ask them.
I said, “I’m glad that we all met today. You three are very pretty and friendly to me, but I can’t pick one of you because the choice is hard. So… which one of you likes me the most?”
They looked at each other and giggled. They truthfully didn’t know, since there was no downtime for them to have a girl-only chat without me being able to hear. I came up with an idea.
“Okay how about this—I will give each of you a piece of a paper, and on that paper you write down how much you like me on a scale of 1 to 10. A 5 is friendship and a 10 is passionate love.” Excited that I have essentially become an Elimidate contestant, I waited for them to write down their answers on napkins.
I expected two 5’s and maybe a 6. Instead, here were the results:
Kesenia, a girl who had a boyfriend, wrote “7.5.”
Sophia, a girl who didn’t ask me a single question, wrote “7+.”
Marina, a girl who seemed to be more interested in her phone than me, wrote “7.5.”
All three girls gave written confirmation of their more-than-friendly interest in me when I, a veteran at the game, had absolutely no clue of it. They didn’t compliment me, ask me a lot of questions, or show any obvious signs of attraction. Without the ability to escalate, I was essentially walking blind, and the napkin results confirmed it. Only with my high school inspired suggestion was I clued in to how absolutely wrong I was and how foolhardy it is to attempt to guess a woman’s attraction for you.
In the end I went with Marina. Kesenia had a boyfriend and Sophia was a bit too shy for me, suggesting she may possibly be a virgin. At the end of our group time together I had a private moment with Marina where I suggested we meet again. She gave me her number and then so would begin the process where I was ready to run the right game in which continuous escalations are the most important part of.
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