How To Handle A Mate Poacher
Oh God, what a boring conversation, I thought to myself as I fell into step behind the group of tourists in front of me. They were four - two guys and two girls, although the guys walked together and the girls walked together. Most likely they had met at a hostel and were together for the want of better company.
"Android has a better security model as long as you know how to configure it." The German guy continued in a monotone voice. "iOS doesn't let you modify your privacy settings much."
Is there anyway I can get past this group? I looked around and spotting a route past them I sped up but the route closed on me and I found myself walking next to them. Well, seeing as I'm stuck here and they're tourists they might as well help me figure out how to get where I'm going.
"Do you know if there is a walking track to that statue?" I pointed to the statue at the top of the hill. My guess was there was a pretty good view from up there.
The girl closest to me responded quite positively.
"Oh!" She started, "I don't know. Ve're heading in zat direction".
"You're Russian." I accused her, and she suddenly smiled and walked a little taller, proud of being identified.
"You can tell."
"I just flew from Moscow." And the conversation was started. We peeled off ahead of the other three and started chatting about this and that. I figured I might as well walk with them across the bridge since we would be heading in opposite directions on the other side.
But the German had other ideas.
"How do you know each other?" I asked, sensing that the rest of the group were feeling a little excluded. "Are you staying in the same hostel?"
"No, no." The Russian girl started to introduce her friends.
"This is my husband." Woah, really? She said it with a little embarrassment. He was walking on the polar opposite side of the group and had developed a scowl on his face from watching us chat. "and my friend from Russia and her boyfriend."
The surprise was it was a pair of couples, not a random collection of backpackers. A German who married a Russian. I couldn't help but dig a little deeper.
"How did you and your husband meet?". I was careful to address them both, seeing that he already felt exluded... "I'm curious"
"No. You're not curious." He interjected, preventing the thread from starting. "This is a private group."
"Ludwig!" His Russian wife pleaded with him.
"Woah." I took a step back, surprised at the sudden hostility. I wasn't actually interested in his wife at all, but he definitely took our interaction the wrong way. I looked around awkwardly.
"Okay then." I offered eventually, it was hardly worth getting involved in this conversation. "Please just go ahead."
His wife looked at me apologetically as they walked ahead and I pretended to be occupied with the view of the river.
The German guy was jealous of me talking to his wife, even though I wasn't interested in her in that way.
So why was he jealous?
He was jealous because his wife was having fun talking to me. In retrospect I realised she was giving me receptivity signals. I remembered a situation years ago when I had a similar problem with my girlfriend. She wasn't entirely aware of it herself, but the message she was sending many men was "I'm available". In one case she even gave a guy her real phone number while I was standing next to her.
So what do you do when your wife or girlfriend gives other men receptivity signals? Well, in my case, I dumped her. It seemed to have worked pretty well because by the time we got back together the problem was gone. But what about Ludwig's reaction? Should he have shown he was upset?
On one hand by showing he was threatened by me he lowered his mate value. On the hand, by telling me to fuck off he raised his mate value by demonstrating his authority.
I had a similar situation before when I had met a latina girl alone who was later joined by her boyfriend. He took the opposite approach and befriended me, letting me be part of the conversation. One of the side effects was that he asked me questions that revealed I have high mate value, making me even more attractive to his girlfriend. I ended up with his girlfriend's number but she never replied to my messages.
So which approach is better? Hostility or friendliness?
Well, put it this way.
If I wanted to poach one of these girls, I would go for the Russian. Why? Because her boyfriend (okay, husband) has already acknowledged that his relationship is vulnerable. The latino guy had too much self confidence for me to pull his girlfriend.
There are also a number of other options you could take. For example, if your girlfriend flirts with other guys you could flirt with other girls. This is called tit-for-tat strategy and has been shown by game theory to be a good general strategy for a variety of games.
Regardless of how you react, you should always expect girls to do what is in their best interest. So if you're threatened by a mate poacher, your best move is to make sure her best option is YOU.How To Handle A Mate Poacher
Roger Keays is an artist, an engineer, and a student of life. Since he left Australia in 2009, he has been living as a digital nomad in over 40 different countries around the world. Roger is addicted to surfing. His other interests are music, psychology, languages, and finding good food. Click here to subscribe to his weekly blog, or stalk him on Facebook and Twitter.
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