About Emotional Mastery

How to get into a relationship

If you can’t spot the red flags, you’re in big trouble. This article teaches men how to effectively vet women and successfully get into a relationship.

Ed Latimore, author, blogger, and retired pro boxer
Ed Latimore Author, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

**This article is for men because I am a man and that’s what I know. However, the advice can be generally applied. If you want female advice on relationships, I recommend reading Dr. Taylor Burrows or following her on Twitter. **

There’s not a lot of information out there for how to get into a relationship.

Most of it is just on how to run game.

You can easily learn how to become more attractive, aggressively flirt with and pick-up girls, get one-night stands, and “spin plates” i.e., manage multiple women.

If these are your goals, then there is no shortage of information. Even if you don’t want to build a modern-day harem, a lot of the advice will improve your love/sex life.

The Game teaches you how to get laid

There’s a reason this book is so popular. Every guy wants to experience this at least once in his life.

As you become more attractive, your options will increase in both quality and quantity.

Your scarcity problem becomes one of over-abundance. Congratulations! You’re now on a wonderful cycle of success.

You’re aloof and hard to get because you have genuine abundance. Your aloofness makes you more attractive, thus giving you more options. You beat the game.

Except you didn’t because you’re still human. Though there is a trend towards some guys discussing how to manage emotions, there is remarkably little information out there for guys who reach this stage and develop new problems.

The player lifestyle is cool, but what if you want to be in a relationship?

What most sites tell you about falling in love

Most information says “fuck feelings and go get with a bunch of other chicks”.

Then there’s the other extreme; “Dive right in, use your game powers to make this work. May the odds forever be in your favor”.

Both are unsatisfactory because they ignore reality.

First, you need to know if a girl is relationship material. This is one of those things you only gain insight into after a few bad experiences.

The problem with being human is that sex and intimacy cloud rational judgment.

Even the most hardcore player is susceptible to heartbreak. Your goal is to decrease the probability of disaster while maximizing your odds of success. One of the ways this is done is via a screening protocol.

Put another way, you must learn to assess risk.This isn’t a post about how to run game or how to get your value up. There’s so much information on the internet about those topics I could hardly add anything.

This isn’t a post about relationship management.

There’s considerably less information about that topic on the net. However, it’s useless to learn relationship management if you’re in one you shouldn’t be.

Risk assessment can help avoid a lot of problems 

Risk assessment versus risk management

I’m not going to break down the science of the matter here, but when you’re physical with someone and you spend time around them, you start to feel attached to them.

This article does a good job. (Read: “The Science Behind Falling In Love”)

Most relevant from this article is one particular passage from the article:

…the neurotransmitters norepinephrine and PEA (phenylethylamine) lead to focused attention. Individuals start to ‘zero-in’ on the person they desire, and at the same time, often have a feeling of euphoria. Norepinephrine is a stimulant, so it also causes individuals to feel alert, potentially unable to sleep, and enables them to notice and remember even the smallest of details about their partners. PEA is responsible for the feelings of giddiness, and may cause the loss of appetite. If the relationship doesn’t last, and PEA levels fall and are partly responsible for the feelings of depression that can be experienced.

It doesn’t matter if the person is a good match or not. The feeling of attachment is so intense that all sense of rationality dies.

The reason so many guys fear “catching feelings” is because it impairs their judgement. This increases the likelihood of making the wrong decision.

In the emotional fog, you might get attached to someone that’s terrible for you. On the flip-side, you might also get rid of someone that is perfect for you. Though I’ve only had 3 serious girlfriends in my life, I’ve experienced both of these situations.

You need a way to reduce the possibility of making a bad decision.

The best way to do this is to only spend time with girls who meet your standards. With your increased value, there’s no reason to waste time with women who don’t meet your basic, deal-breaking criteria.

I’m not here to tell you what those criteria should be.

The “first date” is to evaluate whether a girl meets your basic deal breakers. I’m assuming that she meets your physical standards if you’re on a date with her. Now you’re seeing if she fits your mental and emotional standards as well.

If you have no non-physical standards and are just looking for attractive girls to hang out with and try to bang, this article isn’t for you. And if you AREN’T looking for attractive women at all, never visit my site again. I don’t want to be responsible for what the cat drags in.

Most guys are so happy to have sex with a reasonably attractive girl, they forsake personal standards, boundaries, and rules. Then there are guys that never give a girl the respect she’s earned, remaining completely inflexible about everything.

It’s their way or the highway. You don’t want to be either of these guys.

People will mislead to get into a relationship

We’ve discussed the problem of over-abundance you’ll face as a high-value man.

Since your time is more valuable, girls will want more of it. Maintaining standards is how you automatically weed out many of them.

However, you need to watch out for girls who intentionally mislead you to get more of your time and attention. Intentional misrepresentation from women is the other problem you’ll face.

They do this because a quality guy like yourself is too rare to let slip away.

(Read: “How To Become An Attractive Man”)

If you’re being true to your standards, this problem won’t come up until after a few dates. If she’s physically your type, intellectually curious and emotionally stable, you may still wonder:

Is this girl really what she seems or are you in for a world of trouble?

The best way to save time and figure out who’s a good match

Don't talk about your standards

Never mention your standards. Never mention what you expect or won’t tolerate. Simply live true to yourself and what you believe.

Just evaluate the girl and at the end of the date decide if you’ll see her again. Keep this behavior up, not only for your first few dates, but for a while into the relationship.

If you’re asked, don’t lie about what’s important to you. However, don’t go out of your way to volunteer the information either.

There are some out there who say you should make your standards and expectations known right upfront. While I admire the theoretical self-respect of this, it’s a flawed application.

It doesn’t maximize your happiness in the relationship. And contrary to popular belief, your happiness is the most important thing in the relationship.

If you’re happy, then there’s a much greater chance you’re living in a way to make anyone involved with you happy. This goes double when you don’t rely on another person to make you happy.

How to use the Hawthorne Effect to find a good partner

Using the Hawthorne Effect to start a relationship

Never tell the rats they’re in a maze

There is a phenomenon known as “The Hawthorne Effect.”

The Hawthorne effect states: that people change their behavior according to expectation if they know they’re being observed. This is the where the old saying “you don’t tell the rats they’re in a maze” comes from.

People cleverly use the Hawthorne effect to seduce and manipulate each other.

To protect yourself from someone who will present false appearances, don’t mention your rules and standards. Live by them, but don’t go out of your way to let her know how important they are to you.

This way, you are more likely to find someone who naturally aligns with what you expect in partner rather than forcing someone to compromise or make concessions.

“He who is convinced against his will, remains of the same opinion still.”

I can’t tell you what your rules should be. That will come with your own development and experience. What I can tell you is that having rules for who gets your time is a good idea in all of your relationships; not just your romantic ones.

When your personal rules are broken and your standards are violated, you have to make a choice. Either extinguish the relationship or live with not being true to yourself.

Learn to read between the lines

There’s another practical benefit of not mentioning your rules.

This forces you to learn to read intention.

Words are meaningless and actions are often deceptive. However, intent never lies. This is why being able to read body language and microexpressions is a damn near superpower.

It will teach you to read between the lines. The only way to improve your intuition and ability to read intent is to make decisions without explicit information.

Sometimes you’ll be wrong. Sometimes you’ll be right. If you learn from each time, your intuition will improve.

People will always tell you what they think you want to hear or what will get them what they want. To protect yourself in a relationship and avoid wasting time, this skill is of paramount importance.


  • Date women that meet your standards.
  • Let each time you see her be the only indication that you think she’s worth your time.
  • Keep your intentions disguised.
  • Let her reveal her character to you naturally.

If you follow these steps, you’ll save yourself a lot of time and heartbreak. The rest is up to you.

Ed Latimore, author, blogger, and retired pro boxer
Ed Latimore Author, retired boxer, self-improvement enthusiast

Further Reading

What to do when someone hates you for no reason
How to increase willpower (the easiest way to break bad habits)
Hobbies to make friends (and what to do once you’re there)
Understanding toxic relationships