Maverick Traveler

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Why Computer Programmers Can’t Pickup Women

Male and female attraction is a mysterious thing.  Some guys are born knowing it; others spend their whole lives looking for it.  Some guys are uglier than sin but always have a beautiful girl around; others are decent looking but haven’t been with a girl in years.

Figuring out attraction has become such a puzzle that nowadays you never have a shortage of countless blogs, various “gurus”, specific “methods” and a wealth of other information that aims to help the helpless in the right direction.  But is the secret to attraction so complicated that it justifies a whole industry that has spawned around it?

Writing Code To Seduce Women

Take a typical computer programmer as an example.  He (as the overwhelming majority of computer programmers are male) is a smart, studious human being that spends the majority of his day making the computer perform magical calculations using his own magical code.  While some programmers can pickup women, in my experience, the overwhelming number of programmers wouldn’t know how to pick one up if she had two handles on the side.  It’s true that programmers aren’t the sexiest human beings in the world, but as I alluded in the points above, looks don’t tell the whole story.

Loosening Up

Last year, while I was living in Brazil, I went out with people from different backgrounds and nationalities all the time.  Each one brought along their unique way of socializing with people, a way that was undoubtedly morphed by their own cultural pressures.

There was a serious German, a humorless Belgian, and a dry-witted Finn.  Southern Europeans such as Italians and Spaniards were, in general, more relaxed.  Latin Americans were even more care-free: from all the Argentinians I met, I don’t remember a single serious conversation I had with any of them.  Yet, probably the most relaxed were the Brazilians.  Perhaps it’s a direct consequence of living in a relaxed environment; with a beautiful tropical climate and pristine beaches, Rio’s residents live for today, and worry is for another day.

So, one shouldn’t be too surprised to discover that it was the Brazilians (and Argentinians) that were the most successful with women.  While their approach and style were different, together they had many things in common.

The most important was that when they were out socializing they were never in a logical state, but always in an emotional state.

So what exactly does emotional state mean?  It means flipping a switch in the brain and not bringing up anything leading to a heavy and prolonged logical discussion.

Vincent Chase flipped his switch.

Keeping It Light

As men, we love to solve problems all day long, but there’s a time and place for everything.  If I was working on something complex all day, and I’m going out with friends later, the last thing I want to do is think or talk about solving a particular problem.

Naturally, I wouldn’t be discussing “heavy” topics such as:

  • Why/why not Obama is good/bad for the country
  • The national debt and its implications on the US economy
  • My crazy super duper algorithm I’ve been working on
  • My plan to stop global poverty.

The problem with the above topics is that they will force you to reason logically–which is the last place you want to be when socializing and generating attraction.  These topics are perfect for educational and work related environments.

The flip-side of logical conversation is emotional conversation.  Emotional topics are usually filled with sarcasm, humor, irony, and are never taken seriously.  While logical conversations are used to progress a particular discussion, or to even solve a specific problem, emotional conversations do not flow in this linear fashion.  They are simple banter, a way to “blow off some steam”, etc.

That’s why my Latin American friends were so successful: they were constantly in an emotional type state, and since emotions are highly contagious and powerful, they were able to “pull” other people into their world by telling interesting stories or cracking clever jokes.

Spot the logical thinker.

Now computer programming is a job that requires intense problem solving, and non-stop logical thinking.  Other professionals like salespeople and artists are mostly engaged with their emotional side, unlike the computer programmer.  And the harder the job forces you to think logically, the harder it is to switch to having fun and loosening up.  That explains why heavy problem solvers and analytical thinkers are usually not comfortable in a social environments such as parties, bars and clubs: their emotional side of the brain is not as developed as their logical side.

Many problems are solved by a methodical logical process, but attraction isn’t one of them.  So for those of you that spend most of their day solving a complex problem, remember to flip the switch and the leave the problem and most logical thinking where it belongs: at the workplace.

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20 Comments

  1. My logical side says you have some valid points here, my emotional side says go fuck yourself.

  2. I’m a brazilian girl and, actually, I really like when I find a boy who can talk about logical things. But this is good just at the point you can interchange ideas, if it become a class, is better to do it in another place.

    You really need to feel the girl and the moment, you know? If is your first time alone with her (e.g if you aways met her with some friends), or if you’re in a romantic place, maybe is better talk about something soft, or something you liked in the girl. Once, sitted in a rock in the beach and after a conversation about politics (i like it, but is just hard in english and when you just want to be kissed) I experienced being just in silence. It was so good to me. I felt nervous, I could hear my heart beating with the waves…and I was so curious to know what he was going to say. I never asked how he felt, but I really would like to know someday…

  3. logic does not help you experience the moment , you just got yo self , a reader.

  4. I am a woman and I won’t say I’m gender typical or even neurotypical. However, intellectual stimulation is highly important for me when it comes to a heterosexual interaction beyond fucking. I would get bored and annoyed somewhat quickly with a guy who ONLY talked about trivial bullshit. I still do have emotional wants and thrive on feedback from the partner. A guy who doesn’t provide adequate feedback will leave me feeling anxious (partially my fault for having the anxiety, but a relationship should be ultimately about working together to improve life for both of you).

    Some of this may seem a little unrelated, but I thought I’d “help”, or at least attempt to.

  5. I see how some of this would apply if you generalize. My boyfriend however was a musician until he discovered programming and now works as a programmer. I think being a musician he was forced to be more social. His analytical nature makes him far less “social” than the average musician. I think that someone cannot be put into a box. I know for a fact that when someone finds passion in something they do, they can very easily forget about wanting to date. I beleive that being a workaholic is the bigest cause for progremmers not finding girlfriends, not the lack of social skills. There are female geeks, and analytical thinkers as well, the over worked programmers just don’t seem to go look for them.

  6. Truth is, it’s difficult to relate to the typical airhead humans who are more shallow than deep. Solving problems gives us that mental stimulation, fills that void, everything becomes a puzzle, even a relationship. As long as the relationship is is of a puzzle nature, count me in.

  7. um – sworry to bust your chops hipster guy – ive been coding for 12 yrs and ive picked up some pretty darn good lookin chicks.. yes some coders are totally wierd, buuut – many arent. i must congratulate u on the attempt at trying to sound valid – but u dont.

    ok – i initially judged your post by the pic and the first line.. now that i read it – it makes alot of sense.. the switch thing for sure, but this is not tied to coders but everyone.. interesting observation though – i might head to brazil soon haha. I could find a social flaw in many ppl, i think your title should read why men (and some coders) cant pick up women – not to be too stereo ya know?

  8. Hey, nice article. I am a programmer by profession (and obsession)… Without trying to sound conceited, I am inarguably on the good looking end of the sex chain.. I am handsome, I work out, have a 6 pack, etc. Practically the only thing I think that separates me from being “fabio” IMHO is that I’m only 5′ 7″. Anyway, I have no trouble hooking up with girls at all. Many of them love me 🙂 In fact, I have had my share of stalkers (no lie)..

    I just wanted to say though that your article is somewhat accurate… And also the comment above from the woman about her boyfriend’s work obsession… Work obsession and heavy analytical thinking cut into social life big time – if you let them. I have had days where I disappear, shut my phone off (girls in particular love to text me all day & it distracts me), for 16 or 24 hour coding sessions, sometimes dropping myself off the grid for weeks at a time without talking to anybody. When I’m in that mode… socializing just doesn’t factor into my mindset. After plugging in seriously like that, it’s hard to jump into “social life”. And when I am socializing, I do go to clubs & stuff. I dance & everything, I might grind on 20 girls, take 2 home at a time… That’s how I roll 😉

    Anyway, my advice to programming guys… (#1) Don’t be a tool… It makes me sad to see programming guys turn into tools for women (#2) Unless you meet a sexy programming woman (I would LOVE to meet such a woman), your best bet is to never talk about programming.. ever. I mean that…never. She will never understand you, nor will she ever enjoy the conversation (even if she says she does). You are wasting your time and only going to put yourself in a no-sex-ever kind of situation. As the article says, just go with it, don’t think.

    And as for the brazilian babe that commented… hey 😉

    (P.S. To anybody that doubts me… I am a “real” programmer… IE: I don’t just CSS & HTML or PHP (though I do know all these too). I program C, C++, C#, Obj-C, etc. I know how to write Java, but I think it’s inefficient, so I don’t. I write raw openGL, and I even write openCL for different hardware including ARM/mobile processors. Many of the “experienced” programmers I know can’t even comprehend parallel programming, let alone write it. I even compile machine code to flex my “programming muscles” sometimes. Oh, and contrary to my poor grammar in this fast post I’m writing, I have an IQ of 140)

  9. This article hurts my eyes, but the reactions even more. Especially those of the womansssss

  10. Hi aprogrammer, insightful thoughts! I’m a sexy, aspiring programmer and your opinion that you find such a girl attractive is motivating! Thanks! 🙂

  11. Hoy just need some porn websites to calm down your sexual needs and keep coding!

  12. I really like this article because I’ve been having thoughts along these lines for a long time now and recently had a breakthrough experience that showed me what’s really going on out there with women. Needless to say, I’m also a computer programmer. I think you are right that being in an emotional state is key. However, this being the case I feel that computer programmers and everyone who tends towards a logical state of mind are totally screwed when it comes to women. Short of taking powerful drugs, switching from logical mode to emotional mode is essentially impossible. From research I have read and my own personal experience, logical people don’t even have strong and light hearted emotions. When they try to switch modes and have such emotions, they just get put into a state of anxiety or irritation. There have been studies showing that having to be emotional raises stress hormones in men. It’s so ridiculous that the PUA world focuses so much on techniques and inner game and etc when in fact the absolute most central issue in dealing with women is how emotional the man is. Emotionalism in men is something that men regard as unmanly and men just can’t accept the key to success with women is found in acting unmanly.

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