The 10 dumbest ways to seduce someone

How NOT to make someone get with you


PHOTO: Voyagerix/ Ingimage

Last week, the corruption trial of former Singapore Civil Defence Force chief Peter Lim took an awkwardly hilarious turn when he told the courts that his lover, Angie Pang Chor Mui, “pitifully begged” him for sex by rubbing up against him while going commando in a du dou (traditional Chinese garment). While the trope of “fully clothed with nothing underneath” has been done to death, the fact that he specifically named the du dou as Pang’s weapon of choice in his testimony makes us feel a little embarrassed on her part. Was this her signature move? Did Lim have a thing for ancient Chinese underthings? Either way, nobody needs to have that revealed to the world.

Fortunately, Pang and Lim are not alone in their embarrassing dalliance. Time and time again, we’ve made fools of ourselves for the sake of being with someone. So without further ado, here are the worst ways to seduce someone, aside from nuzzling against an illicit partner while wearing a du dou.

1. Acting dumber than you are
It’s kind of amazing how easy it is to succumb to this behavior despite how strongly we rally against it. In our efforts to appear more down-to-earth and accessible, we tone down our strengths, and in doing so, end up with people whom we can never truly respect. We don’t mean just dumbing ourselves down intellectually – it can be as simple as pretending you don’t know how to fix a light bulb, to acting like the guy is your substitute for Google Maps, to being overly impressed by everything he does (even when his actions aren’t that impressive). After the honeymoon phase ends, you’ll feel bored being with someone who doesn’t challenge you intellectually – and you’ll feel insulted when you treats you as if you are less capable than you really are.

2. Acting smarter than you are
On the other hand, it’s possible to exaggerate your intelligence to the point of appearing like you’re full of hot air. We all know someone like this – the girl who claims to love classical music but can’t name any composers other than Mozart, Beethoven, and Tchaikovsky; the guy who acts like an expert on France just because he spent six weeks there in a study abroad program; and the girl who speaks like she’s an authority on coffee because she drank a cappuccino in Italy that one time five years ago.  If you’re honest with yourself, you’ve probably been this person too. While it’s good to aspire to greater things, you shouldn’t have to try so hard to impress the person that you’re dating. This can only lead to more insecurity than you started off with. 

3. By being a “nice guy”
“Nice guys” are men who live by the mantra “nice guys finish last” – meaning that they feel entitled to a girls’ affections just because they treat her well. These are the guys who think all girls are idiots for dating bad boys and who complain that they’re always passed over for loser ex-boyfriends. They guilt-trip girls who don’t return their feelings and pounce in as the knight in shining armor only when she’s feeling vulnerable – that is, they only make a move when she’s newly single and prone to loneliness. Not only is this behavior obnoxious, but it rarely works. Most girls can tell the difference between a guy who’s nice, and a guy who’s actually good.

4. Performing a public romantic gesture that she’s not ready for
PEOPLE: this is only romantic if the other person actually likes you. If they don’t, it just comes off as creepy and awkward. And it hijacks the object of attention into accepting the gesture, lest she look like a huge jerk in public. Don’t believe us? Just look up “marriage proposal fails” on YouTube and prepare to feel embarrassed for all those involved.

5. By being mean to them
This only works when you’re below the age of 10. Some gentle teasing, mixed with coy compliments, can come off as flirtatious. And that works. But to be a jerk on purpose, like laughing at a guy because he’s terrible with directions, or telling a girl “wow, you eat like a man” when she orders a steak, just won’t cut it when the person you’re pursuing is a mature adult. After all, we want to date people who make us happy, not those who make us feel bad about ourselves.

6. Being too touchy
Lots of dating advice books and articles will instruct you to flirt with someone by gently touching his knee or playing with a strand of her hair. Well sure, this works….if you’re already together in some capacity. Before touching someone – especially if you’re from a more conservative culture – make sure there’s a mutual understanding between you. Watch out for inviting body language. If she’s leaning toward you, scooting closer to you, or constantly playing with her hair while talking to you, chances are, she’ll be more okay. Putting an arm around someone when she’s not ready will only put her on the defense and make it harder for her to feel comfortable around you.

7. Pretending to be gay to get close to them
We’re not sure how often this happens in real life, but we see it so much in the movies (see: Kick-Ass), and you know what they say about art copying real life. Except that in real life, this will probably backfire horribly when the other person realizes that they were deceived.

8. Turning into the person’s clone
It’s one thing to take an interest in what the other person enjoys. It’s another to actually become them. Even the most glamorous celebrities aren’t immune to this temptation – Kim Kardashian receives tons of flak for adjust her style to match Kanye’s, and we love joking about how Brad Pitt changes his hairstyle according to who he is dating. In real life, this is the person who’s a Tolkein expert while dating a nerd, and a jersey-wearing sports buff when pursuing a jock. Eventually, this method of seduction backfires once you no longer feel the need to impress the person, but are stuck pretending like you’re their ideal.

9. Playing TOO hard to get
Sometimes the “dating game” feels like a load of bull. Things would be so much easier if we could act on how we felt instead of manipulating each other. In our effort to play the “hot and cold” game, we’ve often made the mistake of isolating the other person by making him believe that we’re not very interested. In our efforts to not be TOO available, we’ve sent the message that we’re so out of his league, that he shouldn’t even try pursuing us. Girls and guys: give it up. It only confuses the other person and makes you feel regretful when you realise that you were too defensive.

10. Sending him or her anything that can be passed around
Sexy SMSes, emails, and photos might be popular nowadays, but they’re also very incriminating. While only a true jerk would pass these around to his or her friends, it’s also way too easy to be leaked accidentally. 

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