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Tinder girl frame battle (or did I simply misread the situation)

Hi folks,

I have one good Tinder convo example that ended badly - I tried to text her very strategically using the knowledge I gained from PUA courses over the years and the Power University (I'm new here, so my skills are not so good yet). As you're about to see, the convo started with a lot of tension already, and my frame here was "she likes me". And that I should judge her by her action, not words. Everything she says could be a potential shit test.

Here is the convo with my analysis of social dynamics:

Me: Wtf, (her name)? ? (clickbaity opener)
Her: ?
Me: How weird. You look exactly like my future ex lover (canned opener - kinda qualifying and disqualifying her at the same time)
Her: Lover? Lol (her implying that's a ridiculous idea)
Me: Unfortunately I'm too much of an asshole for you and this probably won't work out (disqualifying myself)
Her: You see, at least you smart enough to know your limits. (her qualifying me?) But you tried, good for you. What have we learned? We learned that pretty girls can also be smart and with enough dignity not to fall for guys with moronic pick up lines (qualifying herself?)
Me: So we agree, it's for the best. Our kids would be smart but too agressive (subtly telling her she's too agressive with this dissing, but also saying she's smart.. also a collaborative frame here with "so we we agree...")
Her: oh cmon, don't be even more stupid then you look. Take it with a bit of self respect and go find your luck with another lover ffs ?? (I took this as a shit test and didn't emotionally react)
Me: Wow, so much fire in you. You could be an artist. What do you do in life btw? (qualifying her, changing the topic) *now that I think about it, I should set boundaries here and talk to her about that tone..?*

no response, so I sent her another text the next day

Me: Look (her name), you can think what you want but don't talk to me with that tone again. (setting boundaries.. probably what I should've done a few texts ago) You're acting like a bully. You look like an interesting person (qualifying her) but if you want to meet me (implying she's the one chasing me) let's do it like two adults.. (saying her behaviour is childish) I'm sure we can find a common ground 🙂 (collaborative frame)
Her: I am not even talking to you, who are you talking to? Why are you still texting me? I don't want to meet you if that wasn't obvious (I still decided to ignore this and tell myself it's just her fighting my frame and continuing with hers)
Me: well you still texted back, now don't tell me you're being polite, you don't look that way according to the previous texts. It's obvious that you like me. (my frame here: you like me, why would you even text back otherwise) So, got any hobbies? (changing the topic, leading, assuming she will be dragged into my frame)

Then she unmatched me.

From my perspective, I had nothing to lose by sticking to the "she likes me" frame. If she doesn't like me, she will unmatch me or stop responding either way, regardless of what I do.  But if she does like me, she could just be playing games and have a strong frame. Therefore, if she likes me but I lose the frame battle, I lose power and eventually lose her.

What do you guys think, is there something you would've done differently? Did I simply misread the situation and she actually didn't like me from the get go? Did I mess up by not showing more empathy here?

Nevertheless, this was still a good practice, just curious what my assessment of the whole social dynamics here was.

Thank you

Hi, welcome to the forum, J!

My thoughts here are coming from my PU knowledge as well, so you can probably find targeted information that'll give you more dating insight inside of Dating Power Dynamics (have you checked that out yet?).

That said, here's what I think:

My Thoughts On The Interaction

1. The interaction is pre-framed

Your overall strategy might've worked better if it was on a different medium. On Tinder, men are often framed as the "thirsty guys" looking for quick sex with the hot women on the platform.

So, using a pick-up approach (that she could see through) likely solidified you further in that frame of "I'm here to pick up a hot woman for an easy lay".

Still, that depends on how you filled out your profile (e.g. did you fill it out in a way that's polarizing in order to screen out the women who aren't open to quick sex?). So, that might be something to consider.

2. She plays power games straight out of the gate, and she's (probably) not totally unjustified in it

J: Wtf, (Her Name)? ? (clickbait-y opener)

Her: ? ("chase me" power game: very low in social effort)

J: How weird. You look exactly like my future ex lover (response is much higher in social effort, J now looks more invested in the interaction)

Her: Lover? Lol (too early to conclude the meaning behind the "lol")

The clickbait-y opener might have been a little too clickbait-y.

If she's very high in social intelligence or has gotten approached like this before, she'll likely read right through it. (In my opinion, it was the "WTF" that made it a little too obvious, but that's subjective.)

Either way, seeing through the clickbait opener is probably what led her to respond so low in social effort. Almost as if to say, "Chase me if you want me to care about whatever it is you're talking about." (It's also a tug on the "I'm the prize" power game.)

If she's looking for someone who will invest in her (i.e. a "gentleman"), naturally, she'll play more games with someone she believes is only a PUA (i.e. someone who will not invest). And, it makes sense. PUA's aren't exactly known for being providers. And, when you said, "You look like my future ex lover," it further confirmed you were aiming for the "lover" role which she pointed out right after. 

So, looking back, it feels like she was playing games in her responses because she wasn't taking "some PUA guy in her inbox" seriously. So, she responded only with the intention of amusing herself.

3. J.'s approach sends off warning flags and he gets framed as a PUA

J: Unfortunately I'm too much of an asshole for you and this probably won't work out (disqualifies himself)

Her: You see, at least you are smart (prove yourself to me judge role: "you've proven to me that you are smart") enough to know your limits. But you tried, good for you. What have we learned? We learned that pretty girls can also be smart and with enough dignity not to fall for guys with moronic pick up lines (frames J. as a PUA who's using pick up lines).

 The opener worked in getting a response, so I'd say that, at the very least, that's a win.

 Problem is, you played the qualifying and disqualifying game back-to-back. And, that's a bit weird because it's very unnatural for what we consider "normal conversation".

 So, she responds with a power move, framing you as trying to prove yourself to her, rejects you with the "you tried", and frames you as a "just another PUA on Tinder". (BTW, the "good for you" and "what have we learned?" feel very condescending and would've gotten under my skin a bit.)

*Note: In this case, maybe switching to a provider role would've increased your chances of her showing more openness to building rapport.

4. J. does not challenge the frame that he's a PUA and the frame begins to stick

J: So we agree, it's for the best (agrees with her "no"). Our kids would be smart but too agressive (does not address the PUA frame)

As per my note above, it felt like she was responding to your texts in the interest of amusing herself. Addressing and distancing yourself from the PUA frame might've helped restore some of her initial interest in you as a potential option.

More than that though, she gave an indirect rejection with the "you tried". If the no's pile up it becomes a case of the "no ladder" effect which isn't good.

So, once you got that first "no", it might've been better to pivot the conversation away from the rejection, build up some more rapport, and then ask again when she's warmed up to you more.

5. She becomes disinvested in the interaction and goes for a more direct rejection

Her: Oh c'mon, don't be even more stupid then you look (microaggression). Take it with a bit of self respect and go find your luck with another lover ffs ?? (overly direct rejection)

There are various reasons why she might've delivered a stronger, harder "no". But, regardless of why she was so direct here, she went overboard in my opinion.

Here, she seems to care far less about rapport with you which is what's making her take such an aggressive route.

A way to respond to this probably could've been to shame her uncooperative frame so you retain some more power and, hopefully, move her toward a more collaborative frame. (Unluckily, it might've been a little too late for that given her competitive frame.)

J, I'm open to hearing your feedback on how I delivered my thoughts to you here (I aim to be soft/respectful on people and tough on ideas) and, if you found this helpful at all, I'll see about sharing my thoughts on the rest of the interaction.

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Starting with "WTF" was already at high risk of creating tension and confrontation.

You look like my future lover

And "you look like my future lover" is a so-so pick-up line (check out that article).

Unless she was already super bought into you and ready to jump in your bed -rare-, that sets her up as the chooser since she will ask "do I want this guy -this guy who opens up with "WTF", to be my next lover".

Even if was ready to jump in your bed, that line might actually turn her off.

Unless you already have a history of high success with it, in which case follow your experience, I see a lot of downsides to it, and not many upsides.


By this time you're already over-investing into a girl who's giving you nothing.

We can guess by now that she's not appreciating the game-y approach.

When you insist on it, she was bound to get annoyed.

After this, I don't think she was qualifying or shit-testing, she was just trying to hurt you back with her "f*ck off" because she was annoyed by the approach.

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Awesome feedback, guys, thank you both!

Ali, you were very helpful. I really appreciate how detailed you were and I see I was quite wrong with my assessment. I'll start the PU dating module today, have a lot to learn 🙂

After you both pointed out, it's indeed clear that she wasn't a fan of this game-y approach, I guess I was too caught up in (over)thinking what each of her words could mean and totally missed out the bigger picture.

Good practice!

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