Boyfriend material. That illusive “it” factor that every guy who’s met the girl of his dreams wants to be. Are you looking for ways to show her you’ve got it? Have you been MegaDating for a while? Does it feel like you’re getting close to the end of your dating journey? Have you met the woman you’d like to turn into your girlfriend?
Navigating the transition from dating to a committed, monogamous relationship can be tricky. How do you show her that you’re boyfriend material? You have to do the thing that sets you apart from everyone else. You have to under-promise and over-deliver.
What Does Under-Promise Over-Deliver Mean?
To under-promise and over-deliver is a proven sales tactic that builds strong relationships because it sets an easily-achievable expectation in the receiver’s mind and then greatly exceeds expectations by going above and beyond.
Using this concept in dating shows a woman that you not only keep your promises but that you exceed them. The opposite side of the spectrum is to promise the moon, and then fail to deliver. Men who do this teach women that they can’t keep their promises. And when you can’t keep your word, because you’ve overshot your mark, then no one can trust you.
Boyfriend Material 101: Why It Works to Under-Promise and Over-Deliver
The majority of men I dated in my 100 date experiment talked a big game, but when it came down to making me feel safe, they failed to deliver. Ultimately, they created considerable expectations in my mind about what I could expect from them. Unfortunately, when it came time to deliver, the majority of them weren’t able to measure up to the hype they’d created.
A man who can under-promise and over-deliver, quickly sets himself apart from his male counterparts–those he’s competing with for her attention. To exceed a woman’s expectations is the most critical thing you can do to convince a high quality woman that you are the one for her.
Applying It In the Workplace
Try using this tactic at work. When your boss asks you when you can complete a project, give him or her an extended deadline. Instead of the realistic timeline that you have in your head, add two business days. Then, submit the project two days earlier than the deadline you set.
When you submit the project ahead of schedule, your boss will think you’re a rockstar. Under-promising and over-delivering, in this way, will build a solid foundation of trust that will permeate through your working relationships.
Ways In Which Men Often Over-Promise
The ways in which men over-promise in dating can be insidious. A lot of guys don’t even realize that they’re sabotaging their efforts. A typical example is when men tell a woman how much money they make.
When guys brag about themselves, it creates an unrealistic expectation in a woman’s mind that a man can’t possibly live up to. Telling a woman you make a lot of money, leads her to believe that you also drive a fancy car, live in an upscale home, and will pay for expensive dinners. Then when you don’t, she loses interest.
Other times, men over-promise by telling women impressive facts about themselves. A man may say he has a fancy job, or that he went to a prestigious school, or even, that he knows someone famous. I encourage you to avoid this ego-vomit.
Example #1: Talking About How Much Money You Make is NOT Boyfriend Material
During my 100-Date Experiment, I dated a guy who I’ll call Thaddeus. Thaddeus frequently spoke about his business and income. He made sure that I knew he earned $300,000 or more each year. It seemed like a moot point to me, but I enjoyed his baseless self-confidence confidence.
I also expected him to drive a nice car, live in a beautiful house, and never ask me to split the bill. However, when I met him for a road trip, his car was old and in bad shape, and he lived in an apartment in a seedy part of town. He also took me up on my offer to buy dinner when we were still in the courting phase, a big no-no.
As an Aside, Allowing a Woman To Pay For Dinner or Split The Bill During the Courting Phase, is a Total Fail
When a woman offers to pay early on in the relationship, she is subconsciously testing for safety and security. Women run a lot of tests, most of which they are entirely unaware. They do this to see whether a potential suitor is boyfriend-material. If you can’t show her that you can protect her, the relationship won’t last.
The fact that Thaddeus drove a beat up car and lived in a seedy area wouldn’t have bothered me except that he’d created an image in my mind of what his life was like and when reality hit, I felt as though he’d lied to me. This bred distrust and the more I learned about him, the more dishonest I realized he was.
Not only that, but I also realized that he was insecure because a secure man wouldn’t have had to lie about something so silly and irrelevant. Inconsistencies, in his story, led to a lack of trust, and our relationship quickly fizzled out. Without trust, you can’t build a secure foundation.
Example #2: Talking About The Fancy Car You Drive is NOT Boyfriend Material
After hearing the story above, one of my clients asked me, “what if I’m driving a fancy car?” To which I told him to live by the quote “show me, don’t tell me.” Never discuss your material possessions without just cause. Make the fancy car you drive a surprise so you don’t create an unrealistic expectation in her mind.
There is never any need to brag about what you own. You can’t take it with you, so stop talking about it. Keeping material possessions out of conversation demonstrates humility. If you show her, rather than tell her, she’ll look at you very differently than if you’d bragged about it. You will also be able to sidestep gold diggers more fluidly if you adopt this mindset.
You could also strategically wait until the third date to pick her up in your fancy car. That way, it’s not something she’s expecting, and it becomes a bonus. In her mind, she’ll be thinking, “Wow, this guy drives a Tesla? What else don’t I know about him.” That mystery will foster sexual tension and make her more likely to want to become intimate later.
Example #3: Letting Her Pay (Or Split) The Bill is NOT Boyfriend Material
Another client of mine asked the following questions, “Will she expect me to pay the bill? Can I accept her offer to split the bill? What if she makes more than me?” I touched on this above but let me emphasize this for importance: Don’t ever split the bill or allow a woman to pay during the courting phase (first few dates). When a woman offers to pay for something early on, she is subconsciously testing you to see if you can keep her safe.
Here is another thing to keep in mind. Before you enter into a committed, monogamous relationship, you are competing with other men, men who will pay. Don’t lose her to the competition because you fell for a silly, little test. However, I don’t mean to say that you should be spending a ton of money on the woman you’re dating. I’m also not saying that you will always have to pay for everything.
Once you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, then you should have a transparent discussion about how you will split things moving forward as a couple. Doing so will make everyone feel good because healthy relationships include an equal amount of giving and receiving.
In fact, relationships that don’t have equal amounts of both, often fail. Suze Orman has some great tips for this when you get to that point in the relationship. You can also watch my webinar here to learn more about paying for things during the courting phase.
Example #4 Telling Her You ‘Did Well’ Last Year Is Not Boyfriend Material… Except In This One Instance
Another one of my clients asked, “Is it wrong that I said, I did well last year?” In my opinion, it’s not terrible to say this but quit doing it unless it’s in response to her insistence on splitting the bill.
The reason a tiny brag is acceptable when she’s insisting on paying for something is that it sets her mind at ease and shows her that you have the potential to keep her safe in a relationship. Aside from this scenario, it’s no one’s business how well you did, ever — hush puppy.
Example #5: Inviting Her on Vacation and Letting Her Split the AirBnB is NOT Boyfriend Material
Assuming you’re starting to see a theme here, another client of mine wanted to know about paying on vacation. He asked, “Should I be paying for more? Should I pay for the Airbnb on our upcoming trip?” In a word, yes.
If you are in the courting phase, meaning, you are not yet in a committed monogamous relationship, then here is my advice. Should you decide to plan a trip, then it’s your responsibility to foot the bill. Later, once you’re in a committed, monogamous relationship, you sh0uld have an open conversation to re-establish the rules. However, while you’re still competing with other men, pay those bills boy.
Paying the bill is especially important if it’s related to food, shelter, water, or temperature. The key is to make her feel safe. When you let her split the bill on something that is related to safety and security, you subconsciously send the message that she’d better protect herself.
Having to pay sets a woman into her masculine energy and reduces the masculine-feminine polarity that exists between you. When there’s no polarity, there’s no tension, and when there’s no tension, there’s no sexual desire. If you can’t afford to pay 100%, do something else that costs less.
Example #6: Using an Impressive Job Title to Impress Her is NOT Boyfriend Material
Do you have a fancy job? Are you wondering what to say if she asks what you do for work? I’d recommend avoiding the use of job titles and easily-recognizable labels. Instead, say “I’m passionate about x because of y. What are you most passionate about?”
You can also play around with tweaking your job title and education on dating apps to see if that filters out the gold-diggers. It can help to manage expectations also because if she doesn’t have a label for you in her mind, then she’s free to imagine whatever she likes, but she’s not likely to create unrealistic expectations that you can’t live up to.
Example #7: Not Walking Her to Her Car is NOT Boyfriend Material
Another gentleman I dated during my 100-Date Experiment, I’ll call him Agustus, serves as an excellent example for this topic as well. That’s because after we had sex, he called me an Uber but didn’t walk me out of his apartment or down to the car. This behavior did not match up with my expectations because he had been very attentive before that. Standing alone outside in the outfit I’d worn the night before, made me feel like a super hooker.
If you have sex with a woman, especially if it’s early on, make sure she never feels like a prostitute. Walk her out of your home, to her car, or out to the Uber/Lyft to ensure that she doesn’t feel like she’s just been used. Also, it’s best if you call her the Uber/Lyft from your account. If you go the extra mile and drop her off at home, make sure to wait for her to get inside before you drive away.
Example #8: Not Calling to Ensure That She Made it Home Safely is NOT Boyfriend Material
Another example from the 100-Date Experiment came when I’d driven down to spend the weekend with a guy, who I’ll call Bert. Bert had invited me to southern California for his military holiday party. When I left his apartment, after the weekend was over, and drove 500 miles back home, he didn’t walk me to my car. What’s worse is, he never even called to check on me, not during my drive or when I’d gotten home.
I could have been dead in a ditch somewhere, and he would have never even known. This lack of regard for my well-being made me feel VERY unsafe. Whenever a man makes a woman feel unsafe, they lose their opportunity to be seen as boyfriend material.
So, how much should you be checking up on her? Great question. You should always walk her to her car (unless she’s strongly opposed) and tell her to call you when she gets home. If she forgets to call, you call her. Try calling close to the time she said that she would be home and say “hey, just checking that you made it home safe.” Make sure she’s safe whether you like her or not. The moral of the story is, don’t be a dick.
Example #9: Putting a Woman in Danger is NOT Boyfriend Material
A rather dapper gentleman I was dating back in my 100-Date Experiment, we’ll call him Wilbur, invited me to meet up with him in Las Vegas and offered to buy my plane ticket. I liked his personality a lot but I had already explicitly told him that I just wanted to be friends. While I may have been sending him mixed signals by continuing to want to hang out with him, I had been clear in my intentions.
While in Las Vegas, he secretly stole my phone and read a racy text I’d sent to another guy. He must have hacked into it because I never left it unattended. What he did was an inexcusable privacy violation. I hope none of you will ever do this.
Breaking trust will never lead to love.
After reading my private messages, he got furious and ordered me to leave. The thing is, I didn’t have a plane ticket to get home and was super broke because I was a college student. I had to stay there crying in front of him until he finally bought the ticket home. The whole mess was terrible and made me feel worthless. Worst of all, I’d told him I just wanted to be friends and he’d still agreed to fly me out to Vegas to hang out.
In hindsight, it’s clear that he’d invited me to Vegas with the hopes of changing my mind. When he stole my phone, however, he’d seen something he didn’t like and was willing to put me in danger because of it. If there had been even the slightest chance that I’d come around and want to date him, that possibility was dashed by the fact that he put me in danger.
Though I was a grownup who could figure it out, I was young and inexperienced- a fact he knew. The moral of the story is, even when things aren’t working out with a girl you’re dating, it’s important to ensure her safety, especially if she’s made an effort to manage expectations by being explicit in her intentions. Treat every woman with the same respect you’d give to your mom or sister.
Example #10: Protecting Her (Food, Housing, Transportation) IS definitely Boyfriend Material – Tom & the Tuna Melt
Seven years ago, when I was single, I had invited Tom, who is now my boyfriend, to meet up for drinks one night with some friends. At the time we were just casual acquaintances. We’d met through Thaddeus, the guy from the previous story. Thaddeus lived in LA and was in an open relationship, so he was fine with us connecting without him–in fact, he encouraged it. Tom and I had gotten along well and had remained in touch through Facebook after meeting.
Side note: Connect with everyone you meet on social media if you can. It’s a low-pressure way of keeping in touch and can make it easier to get her phone number and eventually on a date.
After we’d had some drinks that night, we eventually parted ways because we both had friends that wanted to go in different directions. Tom hit me up a few hours later to see what I was up to and if I needed a place to crash. He had another friend who was going to sleep on his couch, which could probably fit 3 sleeping people comfortably. Tom offered to let me stay the night too because he knew that I lived in Berkeley, and it would have been hard for me to get home that late.
I agreed and then he told me that he and his buddies were all at Mel’s Diner. Mel’s Diner, has The Best tuna melts, a fact I must have mentioned to Tom. He laughed and told me he’d meet up with me after they’d finished. He’d brought his car and said he’d “swoop me up” on his way home.
Pro-Tip: All Girls Like to Be Swooped Up Rather than Having to Take an Uber or Lyft To Meet You
When his car pulled up, and I jumped in with him and his friend, I was blown away that he had ordered me a tuna melt to-go. At this point, we were just friends, and I hadn’t even asked him to do that. He had also made sure I was safe by offering to pick me up and let me stay at his place.
He could have easily assumed I was okay because I was with my friends. However, he’d totally over-delivered by not only buying me a tuna melt (and boy was I hungry after drinking and not eating dinner that night) but wrapping it up and carrying it with him on a “boys night out” so that I wouldn’t go to bed hungry. Warm fuzzies times a million.
If ever there was an escape from the friendzone, this was it. I was so in awe of his thoughtfulness and consideration. I’d never experienced anything like that before. Sure, I’d had guys buy me dinner and gifts and things. The difference was that he didn’t do it to try and win me over. Instead, he did it to make sure I didn’t go to bed hungry. He’d also picked me up and let me stay at his place to ensure that I was safe. Yes please, sign me up for more of that!
No friend had ever been so thoughtful, even the ones that were trying to move from friendzone to boyfriend. Perhaps it was the intentions behind it that stood out to me. I didn’t get the feeling that he’d done any of those things to impress me at all. More so, it felt as though he had an innate ability to sense what I needed and deliver upon it.
Example #11: Driving Her Home When She’s Least Expecting It IS TOTALLY Boyfriend Material – Tom and the Long Ride Home
I had stayed over at Tom’s house in San Francisco one night, and he offered to drive me to the Bart station so I could go back home to Berkeley. I expected that he’d drive me to the Bart station. When he drove past the Bart station, I thought he’d made a mistake. I asked him what he was doing, and he said, don’t worry about it. He ended up driving me 45 minutes across the bridge to Berkeley and dropped me off at my door.
Mind-blown. I had butterflies in my stomach. This was the most powerful thing anyone had ever done for me. Not because he drove me home. Plenty of guys had done that. The extraordinary part was that he’d set my expectation to think that he’d do something much smaller. This is what set him apart from other guys I was dating at the time and made me focus on him.
If you missed the moral of the stories above, then here it is. Boyfriend material = making a woman feel safe. You do not score points for using impressive facts about your social status or the things you own. Not in the dating arena. Whoever told you so, probably doesn’t have what you want. Women want to feel protected by a man. When they feel safe, they see you as boyfriend material. When they don’t, the best case scenario is being a friend with benefits.
If you’re nearing the end of your dating journey and think you’ve found the right woman, I’d encourage you to follow the tips above. If you’re struggling to convert women into love interests, feel free and book a new client session with me and we can talk one-on-one about your unique situation. During this intro session we’ll diagnose your dating roadblocks, create a strategy, and see if my 3 month coaching program is a fit for you.