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Real Talk with Chels and Irene

Opinion | October 26, 2010

Real Talk with Irene and Chels

There’s this girl I’m kind of friends with who I like. She does flirty things like nuzzle my shoulder and text me about inside jokes. Last weekend I tried to make a move and she kind of laughed it off then bailed. What’s the deal? Does she want me to ask her out first?

Chels says…

Oh friend, you are not the first. Let me introduce you to one of my favorite theories of attraction, which you can find on the interwebs. It is called the Ladder Theory. The “ladder” is a metaphor for your ranking of the opposite sex upon meeting them. Guys have one ladder. Girls have two. Hence the confusion.

Guy meets girl: the hotter the girl is, the higher she is placed on his proverbial ladder. Guys consider sleeping with every girl on their ladder; whether they would admit to it is a different story.

Girl meets guy: If guy is hot, he is placed on the “real” ladder. If guy is not hot, he is placed on the “friends ladder.” In between the ladders lies the Abyss.

What happened to you, my peach, is you were placed on the friends ladder and in your bid to woo her—which is called “jumping ladders”—you fell into the Abyss of Awkwardness. It is sometimes hard to tell which ladder you are on, but important clues are if she says diminutive things like “you’re the cutest” or “I feel like I can talk to you about anything.” Get ready for further frustration: girls’ “real” ladders are often populated by assholes.

Irene says…

Chels has summarized the situation pretty accurately.  I’ll just elaborate on a couple points.  “Hot” as it applies to both girls and guys doesn’t necessarily boil down to looks.  It’s about presenting yourself with confidence.  It’s about saying, “It’d be cool to talk to you but if we don’t talk, I won’t cry.”  In short, it’s about swagger.  So friend, don’t despair if you don’t look like Joseph Gordon-Levitt (although a lot of you could use a haircut.  Just saying).

This is why girls seem to go for assholes.  Assholes don’t think they’re assholes; assholes just think they’re awesome.  They’re confident.  So we’re not endorsing that you insult the girl you’re after.  Just take this lesson from the jerks: project your own self worth.  Tell her a funny story.  Decide where you two should go for dinner.  And while you’re at it, confidently tell her you like her outfit.  She’ll appreciate it.

In the meantime there’s not much you can do about switching off the friend ladder.  So you have to drop it.  It’s time to stop being interested.  Fake it if you have to.  Waiting around like a puppy does not count as swag.  And in a weird way this is the best thing you can do to get her interested.

Check out the ladder theory in depth at www.laddertheory.com