A reader writes in:

Hi Pat, how are you man ? Sorry bothering you but I have a question for you for the next email or dating periscope. I am only asking you this because I am so bothered with this and I dont have anyone to ask for advice other than you. So I thank you a lot for your patience and kindness my friend.

So here is the story. There is a girl that I got really interested a couple months ago, she is a lawyer who works at an office that I have some partnerships, so I go there once in a while and got to see her there but never spoke to her. She started following me on instagram and I started talking to her since then.

Got her number, started escalating things like asking for a date, etc. The first time I invited her she denied , saying that she had just broken up with your ex-boyfriend and wanted some time alone. I respected and waited two weeks to ask again and she denied again, saying that she had plans with a friend that day.

After that i deleted her contact from my Phone and moved on. But last saturday was my birthday and she wished me happy birthday, asked what I was doing, etc. Then I invited her again and we finally went out for a drink. The date was great, we talked a lot, she even held my hand when we left the restaurant but we did not make out. The other day she thanked me for the dinner, said it was Nice and we should meet again.

Now this is where we at, I talked to her yesterday and asked when will we go out a for a dinner and she did not answer me on the last 24 h and answered me this morning that I could see her at her office, or at the gym or sleeping in an ironic way.

To me this is a clear sign that there is a lack of interest on her part.

So my question to you is this, my friend ?

Do you think this case represents a lack of interest or this girl is just  playing stupid games ?

I ask you about games because during our date she said that I am very seductive, wanted to introduce me to her family but also  said that men like me tend to be a player. What would you advise me to do ?

This is pissing me off daily and draining my focus during the day. One more time, thank you so much for everything you do my friend.

Appreciate the question, as it allows me to riff off of one of our favorite subjects around here… Girl Game.

The short answer here is that yes, she is interested (or was — more on this in a bit). And yes, she is playing stupid games.

Here’s a short list of how you can tell it’s the latter:

– she follows you on instagram after noticing you’re interested (this is subtle bait to get you to invest in her and pursue)

– she encourages your advances but denies a date with “i’m just not ready” (this is mixed-message no, “I want you but I can’t act on it yet”)

– after second denial and contact being cut off, she makes overture towards seeing you on your birthday (she remembered it, so her interest in you seems genuine and amplified; subtext of wanting to celebrate is “maybe you’ll get lucky” which entices you to see her)

– warm affectionate date but nothing sexual, verbalizes she wants to see you again (she’s a good girl / keeper; more bait to pursue and earn “the prize”)

– acts flaky and vague when next date is offered (more mixed signals; now that she has your full investment again she pulls back)

– she calls YOU a player and seductive, and says she wants a guy she can bring home to her family (her accusation is a projection of her own behavior, a push-pull “I’m so attracted to you but we’d never work”, and a gambit to get you to “prove her wrong” and engage in overly invested nice guy behavior)

And of course the big one:

your energy is getting drained by interacting with her (games steal energy, so if you feel exhausted with a woman this is almost certainly what’s going on)

This is a girl who knows how to get her fix. And unfortunately she’s identified you as a willing victim.

So, what to do?

Well first… let’s address something you shouldn’t have done, so you don’t repeat it again… as this is a BIG tactical mistake.

Don’t EVER ask a girl “when are we going to do X again?”

Questions should be minimized in general, and this is one of the most unattractive questions a guy can ask. It is passive behavior and basically gives the girl a green light to put off ever seeing you again. You take the initiative on dates, and you don’t let her control the schedule.

(A tip to avoid these texting self-owns: buy my book Tackling Texting. It is only $5 and will teach you step-by-step how to move things forward over the phone or dating apps with women.)

As for going forward… I would honestly not text her, just because I don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze… it will be difficult to get her to hang out again; she is not interacting with you in good faith.

She’s going to keep responding to texts intermittently, giving you enough hope to pursue… but flaking is likely, and escalation (should it happen at all) will be slow.

So you might want to leave her the space to reinvest, or let serendipity intervene and put you in the same place again so you can “start over.”

That said, I understand some guys at some stages in their development need to experience the feeling of futility that comes with pursuing these women. This is how they get past them.

So if you’d prefer to continue… keep your energy over text light yet assertive. Keep sharing stuff going on with you and teasing her, going for the “ask” once she starts to bite… and acting bored with her if she makes excuses.

If you show her you don’t care, you’re just a fun guy… you’ll probably get her out.

But definitely don’t put all your eggs in this basket. These are one of those cases where I highly recommend you go date other women.

Anyway, that’s all I can do from here.

If you want tactical support on the regular, apply here: www.patstedman.com/application

– Pat