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Counteroffers

October 31, 2014

Do they work?

He calls you last minute to go out and you turn him down. Should you then say, “But I’m free Saturday!”?

Or he asks you out for Friday night and you can’t go. Should you counteroffer with “How about Saturday?”?

Some guys gauge your level of interest by whether you give them a counteroffer if you don’t accept their invite. When you just tell them no, you’re busy, however sweetly, they take that as a sign you’re not interested so they give up.

Other guys are undaunted and don’t mind pressing until they nail you down.

The question isn’t whether you should counter offer, but WHAT KIND OF GUY DO YOU WANT AS A SUITOR?

  • If you really want to make sure you get a date with this guy REGARDLESS, then do the counteroffer.
  • If you really want to make sure your suitors aren’t quitters, and are courageous and assertive, then don’t do the counter offer.

Now, if you’re the former, I caution you against giving counteroffers endlessly as in the following example:

GUY: “Can you go out tonight?”

GIRL: “Sorry, I’ve already made plans.”

GUY: “Oh, too bad!”

GIRL: “Well, I am free Friday night.”

GUY: “Nah, I’m busy then.”

GIRL: “What about Saturday?”

GUY: “Maybe. Why don’t I give you a call then?”

Do you see where this can lead to? 

First, when you counteroffer repeatedly, you are letting him know you are willing to accommodate him. He isn’t required to be in CHASE MODE and ensure he fits in your schedule. In fact, the opposite happens. YOU are required to be in CHASE MODE, flipping the gender roles and thus lowering your value as a Prize Catch.

Remember, a guy who starts out with last minute invites will continue with them. Notice how he says he will call her at the last minute AGAIN on Saturday, exactly the opposite of what she wants.

So counteroffers can backfire.

Do you see any red flags here?

The red flags are that while she is giving counteroffers, he isn’t doing the same. Notice when a guy isn’t putting in effort to nail you down by asking, “How about tomorrow?”, “How about Friday night?”, or “How about next Saturday night?”

If he doesn’t press you to give him an available day, he is NOT in pursuit. You can excuse him for shyness, nervousness, low self-esteem, or lack of sufficient interest. But at the end of the day, you want a SUITOR, not a phone dude.

Don’t fall into the pattern

If you do decide to make counteroffers when you can’t go out with a guy, make sure you limit it to ONE and ONE ONLY. Think of a single counteroffer from you as a nudge, an indicator of your interest in seeing him.

This gives him the choice to either accept your counter offer (and thus you get a date), or create a counteroffer if your offer doesn’t work for him (and thus you also get a date).

Just make sure you observe if he is turning down your counteroffer and making counter offers.

If he turns down your counteroffer, stalls, or doesn’t counteroffer, likely he just isn’t in CHASE MODE and will want you to do all the pushing and pulling.

Many women don’t mind chasing back. They believe dating should be an equal back and forth thing. Are you that kind of woman? Answering that question first will help you decide what to do.

Get the secret weapon in dating and relationships when you Order EGuides Today, or Get Personalized Advice via confidential Email Exchange.

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28 Comments
  1. moonbeam permalink

    I’m reposting this here, b/c there’s a “reply” link underneath…

    I started reading this website in Aug 2013 and since then I’ve done a lot of reading online about relationships and how they start, and here’s the basic info I’ve gathered:

    90% of the time the woman makes the FIRST MOVE. *But* this is not some huge move where she chases the guy. Not at all. She’s basically giving him the opportunity to pursue her. This is what it is:

    A woman sees a guy she finds attractive. She gives the guy a little bit of eye contact (2-3 seconds) and smiles while doing so. If she’s physically close to him she might initiate some small talk with him (5-10 min) if he doesn’t first speak to her.

    Basically these “moves” by women are supposed to give a guy an “invitation,” a “green-light” to approach the woman. So, if the guy also finds the woman attractive and feels some chemistry with her based on the eye contact, smile and small talk (if they do talk), the guy is then supposed to feel like he can ask for her number or ask her out, and it won’t be like he’s bothering her/coming on to her. I think in the 20th century a good # of guys (not all) aren’t going to go up to a woman to ask for her #/ask her out unless they receive some sort of “green-light” from the woman.

    So, the woman has made the “first move,” (by being friendly, open and warm, and smiling) but the guy is still the one who has to ask for the number, ask for the date. So, he’s still pursuing, but the woman has given him the chance to do so.

    This is the info I’ve discovered. I’m curious, what do people think? Does what I write sound reasonable, or does it sound completely off??

  2. Jane permalink

    Hi One Truth, I am in a new dilemma. What do you do if you had to cancel a date with a guy because you were not feeling well? He was understanding and said “of course, feel better”. It was last Thursday and while I feel fine now, I don’t know if I should contact him. If I do contact him, what do I say so I am not the one asking him out on a date?

    • Jane,

      You can send him a short message and let him know you’re feeling better. This is only if you don’t expect him to do anything about it. Too many times women do things believing it will make a guy respond in a certain way. And when he doesn’t, they’re crestfallen.

      Or, wait and see if he contacts you, if you are able to. You know yourself and what you’re capable or not capable of.

      If he does contact you, it proves you he really cares. But either way, he has to ask you out again to indicate interest.

      • Jane permalink

        Hi One Truth,

        Sorry for the late reply. Your advice is spot-on as usual. I couldn’t hold out and actually texted him back the following Monday and asked if he still wanted to get together that week. He gave me several days and times when he could meet and I selected one that best fit my schedule. The date turned out okay and we met up again. All seems to be going well since following your advice and I’m catching myself responding to his texts too quickly and writing twice the amount of words that he writes, so going to stop doing that.

        Thanks for this site and I’ll be in touch by email when the next dating mistake happens!

  3. ennis permalink

    Gee, Moonbeam, let’s see. The guy did not satisfy HER with his effort to prove to HER that HE was worthy while she sits back.How wonderful! .Guys actually play this insane game? It must be working. Can you say 50% divorce rate?

  4. Jane permalink

    Hi, I love your website! I work in finance and if there is one thing we do it’s look at results. If doing something is giving me the results that I need, I do it! And your advice has been the most effective advice on dating that I have ever read.

    I was wondering about a particular situation with a man. He told me he has a girlfriend last year and while I respect that I still tried to stay in touch with him by email, but eventually he stopped replying back. Recently, I started to see him around at work more often and he smiles at me and acts interested. I plan to follow your advice and ignore him unless he asks me out. Just in case he does ask me out should a woman ever accept a date from a man who stopped communicating with her months ago and reappears later?

    • carpe diem permalink

      Am assuming he still has a girlfriend. And you did not respect that since you had been staying in contact with him via email. Thats not cool.

      • Jane permalink

        carpe diem, I never pursued this guy in the first place. He initiated everything–invited me to a study group, offered to tutor me, started emailing, and waited for me outside class. I had wondered if his relationship was on the rocks or something. Then I started to like him more and that’s when he stopped emailing back. I guess he should have resolved things with his girlfriend first and I should not have shown interest until I knew he was single. I know One Truth is going to give me flack for this… Currently, I see him around campus. If he says hi, I say hi back but no more than this.

        • Jane,

          Thanks for reading the blog!

          I think it boils down to whether you want to be in the position of competing with his girlfriend, which is what you would be doing if you keep engaging with him. In essence, sharing him down the road. This is a no-no in my book (in reference to the principle of “don’t snare him and share him” in the Prize Catch Dictionary).

          Now if you had zero interest in him, you could talk to him all day long. But I don’t advise that even because if you by any chance were to develop feelings for a guy with a girlfriend, you’d be worse off than if you never made yourself so available.

          It is important to observe a man’s behavior instead of allowing your feelings of attraction toward him to direct you. A good question to ask yourself:

          “Does his behavior make me respect or trust him if he were my own boyfriend?”

          Every time he sought you out, you should be saying, “What about your girlfriend? Is she still in the picture?” And if his answer is yes, you say, “Okay. Let me know when you’re single!”

          Then keep ignoring him and turning down all invitations from him until he is free and clear. He must know that in order to get you, he can’t two-time. Everything a man does is a sign and symptom of whether he would cut it as a good boyfriend.

          • Jane permalink

            Hi One Truth,

            You advice is spot-on as usual! Yes, everything that a man does is sign and symptom of whether he would make a good boyfriend. This guy has not behaved very nicely towards his current girlfriend and chances are he would not treat another woman (me) well either. I’m glad to say I did meet someone recently at an online dating site and he asked me out. I just bought your book “Be a Prize Catch Date” and look forward to understanding what to do on a date. I didn’t have very good male role models while growing up and have had to work on my self-esteem as an adult. Your advice teaches women act like we are highly valuable even though we might not feel it 100% inside! Thanks for that!

            Jane

            • Jane,

              You’re very welcome! Glad you met someone else.

              Thanks for getting “Be a Prize Catch Date” EGuide. Just be breezy and relaxed even though you’re sticking to the principles!

  5. NinaNina permalink

    Great post!

    I don’t really counteroffer with men who ask me out on the spot. But, if they ask me out in advance and I was not going to be able to make it, then I will counteroffer – just once.

    When I don’t counteroffer, I always LOVE to see their behaviour. Is he really want to get to know me? Is he just bored of being without any female friends? Actually I couldnt be bothered with men who asked me out on the spot (although I still thank them). I feel that at least they should understand when they receive such answer – it’s because they should start to think that people have things to do. Please call in advance.

    So far, I got men initiate contact with me . And asked me out. I have to turn it down because no advance notice I really was busy, out of state. I dont feel insecure or lost. In fact, I feel it’s getting easier and easier. So much easier when you dont chat online with them. Just a few words at the initial stage (and then they want to chat, and I dont entrtain).

    In my opinion, counteroffers should be done by men. For women, just once. Once only (those who give advance notice) – it’s a sign of respect and appreciative.

    Women who already absorbed prize catch behaviour will just go about her business and will nicely receive the treatment from men who respect her time.

    • NinaNina,

      Giving one counteroffer only if he’s giving advance notice sounds like a good plan!

  6. Anne permalink

    Very good post, and thought provoking!

    Also, good point kishmisherie, I totally agree: ”That said, it is always very important to remain open. MOST guys see an initial no as rejection and stop pursing. The One, though you seem to prefer and encourage very persistent pursuers, let me also caution that these guys are rare so our PC is at risk for losing her suitors without good reason. Very persistent pursuers are also often perpetual chasers/players who are in it to win–and once they win–they get bored and leave–or slack off. Courtship should not become a game of conquests. That is never fulfilling.”

    • Ewa permalink

      Something similar happened to me. When I was in Prize Catch mode guys simply lost all interest.
      In my experience it is absolutely necessary to let the guy know he’s welcome. Otherwise they don’t do anything. Sometimes a little encouragement is enough. Rejection is probably not the biggest problem for them. Guys are extremely afraid of embarrassment.

      Prize Catch could only live if they were suitors.

      • Ewa permalink

        I also wonder what is a guy’s standpoint… Are they more or less happy while dating/being in relationship with Prize Catch?

        I found several websites for men. “Don’t chase girls. Don’t let her feel like a princess. Don’t invest money in her before she had sex with you.”

        All people are going to be single for the rest of their life?

        I feel totally lost.

        • Jane permalink

          @Ewa: I think those men that follow the rule “don’t chase girls” will never make you happy in the first place. A man that follows this kind of advice does not want a woman who is confident and values herself. Why do you want to date that type of man?

  7. moonbeam permalink

    Great post!

    How about this scenario:

    Guy: Can you go out tonight?

    Prize Catch: I would love to go out with you but I can’t tonight as I already have plans. (Smiles sweetly). Hopefully we can go out another time.

    I feel like in this scenario the guy still has to take the lead and be the pursuer and it doesn’t “seem” like the prize catch is making a counter offer (even though maybe she kinda sort of is) because she’s not asking him anything! What do you think One Truth, and other readers?

    • carpe diem permalink

      I think thats is really good moonbeam! But I would keep lips zipped from then on out and no texting back and forth. Texting is way too easy and soooo effortless. And you want effort. Again, I think your post is pretty spot on.

    • Yes, that is a really good strategy. The One to me a counteroffer means just leaving an opening–like what moonbeam talked about. When you counter offer as in the example you have given, that amounts to taking control–it is the GUY’s job to figure out details.

      Actually this works with anybody, not just men. I had a girlfriend who gave me a last minute invite to go for a weekend trip. I wasn’t happy because it seemed as if she wanted to include me only for convenience. So I told her how much I really wanted to come–if only she had let me know a little in advance, I surely would have. I told her I already had plans–which was true and wished her a great weekend and that I would love to go somewhere with her again. And then I went and had my own fun and posted beautiful pictures on Facebook. I never made a counter offer. NO suggestion of where to go next and when.

      Next time she wanted to go somewhere again–she invited me ahead of time. She came up with the plan and the details and we picked a mutually convenient weekend with some back and forth discussions.I went along with it. We had a great time–and great Facebook pictures too!

      If this worked with a GIRL–this could work very well with a guy too. I think the key is to leave the possibility open but be VAGUE. Making a specific counter-offer turns the Prize Catch into the controller and pursuer because then she is the one figuring out the details and planning. I think it is best to let the guy do that–they are very good at this stuff.

      That said, it is always very important to remain open. MOST guys see an initial no as rejection and stop pursing. The One, though you seem to prefer and encourage very persistent pursuers, let me also caution that these guys are rare so our PC is at risk for losing her suitors without good reason. Very persistent pursuers are also often perpetual chasers/players who are in it to win–and once they win–they get bored and leave–or slack off. Courtship should not become a game of conquests. That is never fulfilling.

      • Kishmisherie,

        Yes, indeed it’s sad there are men who will give up at the first hint of rejection when it is a matter of scheduling and nothing personal on the part of the woman. Of course there are men who aren’t into conquest, who don’t mind taking the lead to make things happen. And to find out if they are, you have to let them do the work.

        And that is why there are options. The situation may vary so I leave it up to every woman to decide how far they want to go and by what means.

        Lots of women are new at being a Prize Catch and it may be hard for them to navigate given the different possibilities. They have to start somewhere!

        For example, a guy might skip any mention of a day and just ask you, “When are you free?” Giving him your entire schedule would obviously put you at a disadvantage. It’s best to respond with, “What day do you have in mind?”

      • carpe diem permalink

        Kishmisherie, “most guys see an initial no as rejection and stop pursing” If thats the case then he wasn’t interested enough, exactly what the one is trying to get y’all to know. “PC is at the risk of losing all her suitors” That sounds so desperate don’t you think? That is not prize catch thinking, which really comes from deep within.

        Success story-

        I work with a woman who is happily married with three kids. This man pursued this woman for 2 years. She was a nurse, he a firefighter. Every time he came into the hospital he asked for her number. She refused kindly as she was not ready, just out of a relationship and very busy with her own life. Still, every time he came into the hospital he continued to ask for her number and she kindly refused, until one day looking so defeated she gave it to him. Fast forward one year later…married with three kids and a happy family….

        • That’s a nice story but is an anecdote and doesn’t give you the whole picture. For every such story, I know more where the guy got discouraged because he misinterpreted this and moved on.

          We have to account for the fact that other people do not always think like us. It might be just a scheduling conflict for you but for a guy it might seem like a brush off. Sometimes guys are sensitive. They are human too and afraid of rejection and may be hyper vigilant for signs of disinterest from women.
          You never know and so it is important to make your interest clear, even if you don’t make a counter-offer.

          I also know cases where the guy pursued heavily, but once he got his conquest he then moved on/didn’t treat her right even when the woman remained a PC. Sometimes being hard to get attracts players and it is not always easy to spot them.

          And when I wrote about “not losing all her suitors”–what I meant was- for the wrong reasons. There is nothing desperate about it. After all, if there is no man who is pursuing then the PC will not have a date. Now that is not a bad thing in itself but if she is dateless because of misunderstandings–then this is disadvantage to her.

          I think a PC is happy to lose the wrong guy but a good potential who stops just because he is discouraged/misunderstands her is unfortunate.

          It is not always the case that “he is just not that into you”. It doesn’t help to be too rigid. Sometimes guys are very persistent and that’s great. But some guys–especially those who have options–will not put up with perceived brush offs/reluctance.

          • Anne permalink

            I think the point is that you have to remain polite and really kind. There is a good balance you have to find between being seemed as a total rejection or ‘not yet ready’. If you seem ‘not ready or not available at the moment, but remain open and friendly, you hopefully wont brush off the suitors while leaving your options open. A total rejection i.e. Being very straightforward and rude will deter most guys though. Each of us has to find a the balance, somewhere in the middle. I think the best is if you’re not interesred in the guy in particular, but open to be friends with him. That’s a good start.

            • Ewa permalink

              In my whole life I met only one suitor and actually he didn’t lose interest when I was repeatedly saying I’m busy. But I approached him the first time (I had some business) and I accepted two dates. I was behaving like a Prize Catch all the time because I was completely not interested in him (I felt zero chemistry; he even annoyed me; I agreed meeting him twice cause I was lonely and I was looking for friends). I was feeling really bad when I was rejecting him several times. The One advice to reject a guy by saying you’re busy. So how they can see the difference?

          • carpe diem permalink

            Kishmisherie,

            I definitely think you should let a guy know your interested. If asking you out last minute you could say, “I can’t tonight but I would love to another time” This way, he knows your interested and you leave the planning to him. The success story I gave, and I do have others, I was just pointing out the fact that when a man knows he wants a woman he will put forth the effort no matter what she says. This friend of mine wasn’t playing games, she was straight up not ready. Just proving a man will do what he has to do to get his woman. I would never suggest to keep rejecting a man for the sole purpose of seeing how are he will go. I was just posting something positive. Anyone else have success stories to share….

            • Correct. And your friend, knowingly or not also must have conveyed some amount of attraction and interest in him even though she wasn’t ready, otherwise the guy would not have pursued.
              I would find it strange if a guy kept hounding a woman when she wasn’t really interested. That sounds bothersome, not romantic and makes the guy seem selfish, as if he doesn’t respect the woman’s wishes.

              I have seen this subtle difference in my own interactions with men. When I say no with neutrality the suitors stop pursuing immediately because they sense no attraction, no matter how nice or polite I am. They also stop if I’m rude in any way.

              The only case where they continue to pursue is when I’m hesitant or reluctant for some other reason but they KNOW I’m attracted. That is when they will move mountains to remove all obstacles. That is when they will fight for you. They will wait for you. They will keep wooing you.

              I had men tell me that they would leave me alone and not bother me if I was really not interested and that they would respect my feelings. It was their way of showing they cared in a very selfless way. But if I had at least some interest but was holding back out of fear or some other reason–they were willing to keep trying and wait for me.

              “when a man knows he wants a woman he will put forth the effort no matter what she says”

              Well, I will have to respectfully disagree with this statement as it is not always true. I think it matters what she says and more importantly HOW she says it. Simply knowing that he wants a woman doesn’t make a man keep pursuing.

              Otherwise you have a stalker on your hands–who keeps pursuing when you clearly don’t feel anything. And that is not what most women want.

              And also, not all men who might make excellent partners and who are not stalkers are always so persistent. People do give up on worthy things if they believe it is for the best or they don’t want to “force it”. So it is up to the Prize Catch to decide where to draw the line.

    • Moonbeam,

      I think that’s an excellent suggestion!

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