You've probably heard of The Game, the bestselling book by Neil Strauss, in which the author infiltrates the world of professional pickup artists, and spends two years chatting up the likes of Britney Spears and Playboy playmates with an arsenal of backhanded compliments (“negs”) and other trickery designed to put women on the back foot.
In How to Get a Girlfriend Faster, a new e-book by George B. Green*, the married Melbourne father of two advocates a different approach to landing yourself a lady – one that has little in common with Strauss' method.
“I had a real issue with the alpha male rubbish and I thought, I'm going to lay it out in plain and simple language and a logical process, for the beta males out there, how to get themselves a girlfriend,” says Green. “Especially those ones that lack a bit of self-confidence.”
For those unfamiliar, beta males – as opposed to the alpha type, typically characterised by swagger and bravado – are generally sensitive, emotional types; people pleasers who prefer to blend in rather than rock the boat.
Green, a self-confessed beta male, points to an article arguing that betas are likely to make better long-term partners due to their caring nature and increased capacity for empathy.
They are also, however, inclined to a be a bit less sure of themselves than their alpha counterparts – hence the need for a book like this, Green says. It's something he wishes was around when he first started dating women.
The book is broken down into five steps: change your mindset, become desirable, socialise and flirt, date women, and choose a girlfriend. There is a progress tracker so you can check off tasks corresponding to advice given in each chapter, and appendices outline some of the tips in more detail: first date sex etiquette for one.
At 100 pages long, including appendices, it's a quick and easy read, and while the advice is common sense, some of it feels a bit cursory. Some of it, too, reeks of trying too hard – though one of the first things Green mentions is the importance of appearing nonchalant when it comes to attracting a mate.
He suggests that men “develop” a sense of humour – even if they don't have one to begin with. Suggested methods of doing this include memorising “the best jokes” and practising your best jokes, which brings to mind the sort of Dad-style delivery that elicits groans rather than laughter.
The appendix on how to improve your smile, too, was a little baffling – surely a smile, of all things, is something that most people can manage on their own.
A few of the tips seem blindingly obvious – shower each day and brush your hair is included in the grooming section – though I suppose to some male readers who have never had a girlfriend, this nugget might be what's standing between them and true love.
His tips for places to meet women eschew the pub and bar scene, suggesting instead that guys take up hobbies with a high female-to-male ratio – yoga for example – or try their luck at a bookstore.
I don't know too many ladies who would be open to being chatted up in a bookstore, or who would give their phone number to someone they just met at Readings, for that matter, but there you have it.
Green's material, he says, comes from a combination of first-hand experience and information gleaned from the internet. He has certainly cited quite a few dating and self-help-type articles, some more relevant than others.
In essence, that's what this is – a self-help book of sorts – but Green is loath to admit this. “Guys don't look at self-help-type books,” he says. “It's just an added bonus that my book tends to include that sort of stuff – on eating well, exercising and looking after yourself. It just helps you as an individual.”