Proven Dating Technique: How To Use Variance

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Proven Dating Technique: How To Use Variance

-By Caleb Jones

I used to wear a fancy suit (though usually without a tie) for every date I had with a woman. First date, second date, third date, etc. After the second or third date, I started to notice that many women would dump me for more thuggish looking guys. This included the women who stated, either verbally or on their online dating profiles, that they were looking for a “classy” guy.

No problem. I changed my date outfit and started wearing a black leather jacket with a dark gray T-shirt and jeans. I would wear this, or a variation of this, on every date (first, second, third, etc). Then some women would dump me for more classy looking guys. Not all the women, but some.


As this was happening, I noticed something very interesting with my online dating. When I made an online dating profile with three different pictures of me looking classy, my response rates went down. When I had three different pics of me looking casual, my response rates also went down. But when I had one classy pic, one casual pic, and a third one with a completely different vibe than the first two (like an outdoorsy pic or an action shot), my response rates went up. Noticeably up.

I learned pretty quickly that the more nuanced and different your photos are in your profile, the higher the response rates you’ll tend to get. I have discussed this in more detail in my online dating book.

I decided to test this with my real-life dates. For the first date, I would wear a classy suit outfit. This would usually be a nice suit top, nice button-down shirt (with ideal colors that complimented my skin, hair, and eye colors), a nice pair of jeans, and nice business shoes. For the second date, I would dress down with a plain, clearly old T-shirt and black leather jacket with normal shoes, and have my hair more messy and less conservative. On the third date (assuming I didn’t get laid on the second date), I would wear “normal” outfit with a standard shirt and jeans. In other words, I presented three different looks to a woman, covering both Alpha Male stereotype extremes.

When I did this, my lay ratios shot upwards. I suddenly started getting laid more and faster. Women wouldn’t dump me for guys who were classy or thuggish, because I was looking like both of these types. To be clear, I didn’t act any different on any of these dates. On all the dates, I was the usual outcome independent Alpha Male 2.0. I just looked different. It worked.

That was many years ago and to this very day I do the same thing. If I’m on a first date, I dress up in a really nice suit. On the second date, which is when I usually have sex, I dress in a very casual T-shirt and black leather jacket. This technique worked so well that I never stopped doing it.

The Concept of Variance

Both online and offline, this variance in appearance works for several reasons.

Here's the first and biggest reason. I strongly believe, based on my testing, observations, and reports other men have given me, that women are attracted to nuance. If you’re a super good looking guy with six pack abs, you can throw up three or four crappy mirror shots of yourself online and you’ll probably get laid. But if you’re an average looking guy like me, your response rates and date rates will go up noticeably if you put up three pictures of you looking completely different in each photo. That means completely different outfits, backgrounds, and vibes. A standard model I recommend to guys is to have one classy photo, one very casual photo, and one action/outdoor photo.

(If you’re below average in looks, it’s better to have just one photo, the best you can come up with, but I’ve discussed that technique already.)

The second reason it works, particularly offline in a multi-date environment, is that it’s harder for a woman to disqualify you for another “type” if you present more types to her. If you do what I do, and dress like a businessman on one date and a thug on the next, it’s going to be mentally harder for her to dump you for a guy who is more classy or thuggish. You’re...both! Granted, she can still dump you for a hundred other reasons, but you’ve at least eliminated some of the big ones.

The third reason is that it makes you unpredictable. Unpredictable = attractive, at last in the seduction / dating phase. (In the relationship phase, unpredictable = drama, but on a first or second date, we’re no where near that zone yet.) If you show up looking like a rebel badass on one date and a classy businessman on the second, even if it confuses the hell out of her it’s still going to help keep you far away from that dreaded Make Him Wait button. It keeps you unpredictable, non-boring, and interesting.

During any interaction with a woman where you’ll be seeing her more than once before sex, regardless of whether it is offline or online, be sure to showcase variance in your appearance. If you’re not already doing this, you’ll get to sex noticeably faster and more often when you start.

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This article was originally published on July 3, 2015
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  • POB 2015-07-03 11:25:15

    You know, looking back now I've instinctively been doing the outfit dance for quite a while. And you're absolutely correct, it works!

  • tonystark 2015-07-03 11:47:26

    Yep, I've found this technique to work as well.

  • Amanda 2015-07-03 19:17:41

    I never thought about it, but this makes total sense! I would be turned off by a guy who dressed conservatively at all times - it would make me think he was rigid and stuffy. By the same token, if a guy dressed very casually all the time, I would assume he was irresponsible and unmotivated. Style is so important. Of course, all women have their own preferences, but you can't go wrong if you switch it up to keep her guessing - it adds to the mystery. My boyfriend's regular style is an untucked button-down shirt, khaki cargo pants, cool street shoes and a cap - it's a look I've always loved on men. But a short time after we started dating, we went out and he dressed up in nice shoes, slim-fit slacks and a blazer-type jacket with no hat and his hair styled ... and that's when I realized how hot he was! It was just so unexpected, and really threw me off (in a good way, LOL). I (and I think most women) also appreciate it when men throw some color or individuality into their looks, especially when dressing up. So many men wear khaki slacks with that light blue "men's shirt" (still not sure why it's light blue), that there's nothing to differentiate them from everyone else in the crowd. A well-put-together look speaks volumes, and I totally agree on the variance idea.

  • Marsupial 2015-07-03 20:29:16

    Check out any romance novel. Romance novels are masturbation books - they are porn for women. One thing that's interesting is: before anything "romantic" happens ("romance" is a euphemism for "fucking"), the book will always describe what they parties are *wearing*. Always. This is a "once you see it, you can't un-see it" phenomenon. Let's google "free online romance story".  Here we go: Ok. Here's just a minor "flirting" interaction: "What can I get ya?" I ask. "Pecan pie and coffee." "We're out of both." He stares at me. I laugh. Now, what will you find immediately before this? "Petr is wearing a maroon sweater today, one that brings out the ruddiness of his cheeks." Clothes. Always the clothes. And described with a characteristic, checklist economy. Read through any women's sexbook, they are all the same. What matters is what you are wearing.

  • Amanda 2015-07-03 21:04:14

    LOL about the romance novels ... so true. I laughed after typing my above post, realizing how weird it must sound to most men that I was able to recall with such vivid detail what my boyfriend wore on one of our first dates three and a half years ago! Do men pay any attention at all to women's style? Or is your attention mostly focused on how flattering it is to her figure? The only fashion-related comment I've heard consistently from men is that they don't like it when women wear too much makeup, especially when caked on the face - but rarely about clothes, except to say things like, "you look nice" or "wow, your butt looks great in those jeans"!

  • Al 2015-07-04 04:10:23

    @ Amanda You can't beat blue jeans and white top! But for me, the style is not as important as looking CLEAN! And yes, too much make up is a turn off. One wonders what is underneath! 😀

  • lazy guy 2015-07-05 12:20:44

    @ Amanda, As for women's style, if her clothes don't flatter her figure, it goes beyond failing to look her best; it shows her lack of perception or caring, which may make me wonder what other blind spots or apathy areas she has. If her colors (including her make up) and other style elements are garish, lacking nuance, it indicates to me she lacks sophistication or cultivation (and capacity to perceive & appreciate subtleties) in general. If a woman's style choices 'shout from a distance' 'Hey! I've got a great body!' then maybe she figures she doesn't have much value to offer a man besides unimaginative sex (and maybe she's right).  And maybe her demeanor during & after sex is so blasé casual and masculine ('Yeah, great fuck.') that I feel I just had a 'mindless meat' experience, rather than experiencing any of the human richness of watching a woman with public poise and elegance transform into showing the emotionally exposed vulnerability of wild passionate abandon. [But hey, some of those 'mindless meat' experiences are pretty good sometimes, ha ha.]  When a woman's style leaves more to my imagination, I figure intimacy with her might be more interesting (or maybe require too much investment, hmm.). As for men's minimal commentary to you about women's style choices, men may be noticing more than they care to articulate, perhaps due to past experience. Does that answer your question Amanda?

  • POB 2015-07-06 07:28:38

    Do men pay any attention at all to women’s style? 
    @ Amanda We pay attention to ass, boobs and face (in no particular order). If your clothes value those 3 things without making you look like: 1) a whore 2) a clown 3) out of context (extreme example: gym clothes on a wedding), than you'll be fine The trick is to show just enough to tease us because nature (and testosterone) will do the rest, believe me. And please throw away all those girly magazines who promise to dress you in a way to make men crazy. Women who write those articles know nothing about us.

  • Dawson Stone 2015-07-07 05:32:12

    I think guys overthink this too much. IMO you need to dress in something you feel good in. Trying to look like something you aren't just to seem "mysterious" is silly to me. Idiots like Mystery do that peacocking nonsense. Whatever you wear you should have some style. What I think looks ridiculous (for both men and women) is when they dress out of their age range. If you are 42 you look like an idiot with a hoodie and a sideways cap. Women respond first and foremost to confidence. Feel good about what you are wearing and how it makes you look and you will be fine. On the picture front I agree that having different looks makes sense. But I would always include lifestyle pics (think rock climbing not sitting on your red sports car which just make you look like a douche and attracts gold diggers) are a must. And the more interesting the better. I have one with me on an elephant and another petting a real lion. I get comments from women on them all the time.

  • Amanda 2015-07-07 13:50:19

    Lazy Guy and POB - I agree wholeheartedly. 🙂 As for me, I dress pretty classically, with a little "something" (like color, jewelry, heels or pretty hair accessories) to make it personal. I also find I dress up more than most of the women at work - many women here wear flip-flops, sweatpants and no makeup to the office. Some don't even bother to brush their hair! I admit I fell into this "lazy California style" that's so popular here in Santa Cruz for a short time in my early 20s, but what I found was that putting no effort into my appearance GREATLY affected my confidence - not only with men, but also with my work. Now, my go-to outfit is a pair of skinny jeans, a feminine top and either heels or ballet flats. I'm a believer in women emphasizing their best asset (in my case, my legs and butt - hence the skinny jeans with a looser top) rather than either letting it all hang out or going to the other extreme and looking dowdy. And fortunately, I've never been a reader of Cosmo and the like. Instead, I find women I know whose style speaks to me and seek to emulate that, while making it my own. And I also agree that it's important to know how to do makeup well so that it looks natural (the way my mom puts it, so it enhances your beauty rather than detracts from it). You don't want to look like a different person when it comes off!

  • Chris Clawson 2017-02-16 22:57:12

    For me, the two proven dating techniques are smell and outfit. The study shows that women are gifted in terms of smelling, so taking advantage of it on a date is very effective. Use a perfume that is really manly smell like cool water or polo. Pretty sure the girl in your date will be interested talking to you. Second is the outfit, choose something that will display your character. Women can sometimes determine the status of a man by his outfit. Wear something like a bachelor type so it will display seriousness on your date.