Tempo Control. It’s an Art, and it Works.


Because, sometimes, playing it aloof at the bar really is the way to go

A week ago, I was out with a friend, having a few drinks.  The place was swarming with good-looking women, and this wasn’t lost on either of us. Because I’m happily taken by a terrific gal I’ve been seeing for a while, I wasn’t that interested in engaging any of the girls in conversation, because we all know, if you make the first move in a bar with a girl that’s a stranger it’s not to set up a game of water-polo the next day. It’s to express romantic interest.

So my friend and I hung back, content to watch the scene unfold.  What struck me as amusing was that a LOT of guys were going all-out to get a girl to notice them.  While I admired the confidence they had to walk up to a girl and strike up a conversation, they failed to take into account what the women there were ACTUALLY responding to.

Before we go any further, I do want to clarify something.  Being outgoing with women is certainly a smart move, especially in places like a cafe or library, where a girl is not going to have a ton of guys vying for her attention.  That’s been covered in plenty of PUA forums and dating blogs, written by guys such as Chase Amante in his blog www.girlschase.com and Victor Pride in his wildly popular blog boldanddetermined.com  and what they have to say about that is absolutely true. It’s also important to remember that there are times in a bar that you absolutely have to engage a girl first.  You can’t always just sit there and let the events unfold.

Navy SEALS have an analogy that I think is great for what I’m about to discuss.  It’s called “controlling the tempo”.  When they are clearing a room for hostiles, they liken their reactions to the situation at hand as similar to revving the throttle on a motorcylce. When they need to shoot, roll, and execute, they throttle up.  When they need to sit back and observe, assess, and let the situation unfold, they throttle down.

It’s the same with women in a bar, and what I want to talk about today is art of ‘throttling down’ to get what you want.

As I sat at the bar with my friend, we calmly drank our beer and watched the sports games on TV. We noticed a few women looking our way, but we didn’t engage them back. We kept the throttle low.

After about ten minutes, they moved closer, and closer still, until they were right next to us.  My buddy, who also realized the same thing, chose to continue to ignore them, leaving his hand resting on that metaphorical throttle.

Now, some would say he is purposely being an asshole by doing this.

I disagree.  While he did have a purpose, it was purpose tempered with understanding.

In a bar filled with men trying out-do each other in their attempts to impress women with their confidence, he was an outlier, because his confidence was of a different sort. What he did next was pure genius, and it’s been advertised before by a lot of guys who write about this topic. He was aware of a cute brunette staring at him, and after not returning her gaze the first two times, he waits. When she stares at him a third time, he returns her gaze, and holds it, until she looks away. That, gentlemen, is throttling up.

He lets her know that while he doesn’t really care if they talk or not, he finds her attractive, and is open to her PURSUING HIM.

Five minutes later she walks up to him and introduces herself.  He didn’t have to say a word.

He didn’t have to be the biggest, baddest guy in the bar.

He was just himself, confident, but aware of what the women in the bar were responding to. He controlled the outcome not by firing in, guns blazing, but by sitting back and using a few economical movements to get the job done.

As I watched my buddy, I respected that while he wasn’t fawning over her, he didn’t act like a dick either.  He was polite, he was funny, and he listened to what she had to say.  But he wasn’t buying her shots.  He wasn’t leaning in closer to her than she was to him.  He kept his distance without slamming the door.

In other words, he was a smart wall-flower.

He watched, waited, and made his move.

At the end of the night, he was the guy she wanted, not the ones who had been trying to get her attention all night.

So next time you’re in a bar, take a look around.  Be comfortable just being there, and be aware of who you like.  Control the throttle.  If everyone else has their motorcycle engines ratcheted up as loud as they can go, keep yours at a steady hum.  Maybe even turn it off completely, because you’ve already done the work.

Yours in Virtues and Victory,