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The Value Of Framing: Why Your Thoughts Matter More Than You Realize

The Value Of Framing: Why Your Thoughts Matter More Than You Realize

BY Christopher Gramuglia

The Value Of Framing: Why Your Thoughts Matter More Than You Realize

Not all dates are created equal. Some turn into long-term relationships and some end with a one-night stand.

A romantic interaction between a guy and a girl is essentially two personalities competing for control of the situation.

You and the girl you’re with are each coming from different frames, or more specifically frames of mind, and whoever is the more dominant, tends to lead the interaction.

I’m not talking about mind control or psychological manipulation.

I’m talking about using your outlook, your perspective, and your behavior to elicit a particular response in the girl you’re with.

It’s true; whoever can control the frame of the encounter, generally, can dictate where it goes, and what it becomes later on.

This doesn’t mean you’re convincing girls to do things they don’t want to do or tossing consent out the window.

Controlling the frame means steering the encounter in the way you want it to go, and also making it clear what kind of date it is.

There are a lot of things you can convey simply by putting yourself in certain mindsets.

Let’s say you’re looking for something serious, a girlfriend maybe.

When you go on a date, you yourself should be in a frame that is romantic, charming and sincere.

You want to give her the feeling that you’re boyfriend material, and that in the future it could be a possibility for the two of you.

There isn’t a specific way to go about doing this, other than behaving around her as if you were already her boyfriend.

In fact, talking to new girls as if you are already dating them can be a really effective way to build comfort, and make them feel a connection.

If the conversation starts to drift into emotional topics, let it go there, and be open about your own thoughts on romance and dating.

Find a quiet place to talk, and—I hate to say this—behave as you were in a movie.

As a society, we got a lot of our social cues from pop-culture, and behaving as if you’re Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, will send certain messages that acting like Charlie Sheen probably won’t.

Get deep, and get personal and remember to always frame things as if you were already together.

Another mindset you could come from is the friends-with-benefits frame.

Let’s say you aren’t quite into the idea of exclusivity, but wouldn’t mind having someone around to sleep with, and occasionally have around to hang out on the odd Saturday.

As long as you’re both on equal footing and understand its casual, there’s nothing wrong with wanting this kind of arrangement.

You can convey this by being fun and non-serious, while also making it clear that you’re attracted sexually.

Again, it really depends on your own internal mindset about what a friend with benefits should be.

You should behave as if you are already sleeping with her, and this date is just one night that the two of you are hanging out.

You shouldn’t be overly complementary, or even excessively gentlemanly. The right frame in this situation is fun and only fun.

Think about how you act with your own friends. You don’t dote on them, or feel a ton of pressure to make sure they’re having a good time.

You just hang out, and that’s all you need to do to communicate to a girl that you’re looking for something non-serious.

It isn’t always easy to pick up on, but if you avoid sensitive, emotional topics while replacing them with spontaneity and the promise of good sex, she’ll get the hint.

Then there’s, of course, the one-night stand frame. This one is tricky, and really depends on if the girl is looking for the same thing, but if it’s what you want, there’s a way to make it clear.

One way to go about it is to bring up the topic of sex at some point.

I’m not saying you should proposition a girl for sex directly, but you could talk about things like crazy sex stories from your lives, or talk about what you both prefer in bed.

It’s risky, and could very well make you seem like a creep if not done correctly, but if a one-night stand is what you want, you’ll have to give it a shot.

The fact is, sometimes a girl will simply not be interested, no matter how powerful your mindset is, and that’s her right.

The problem with coming from a frame that is grounded in instant sex is that girls assume all guys are coming from this perspective, and that you’re no better than the rest of them.

A good way around this is to somehow find a way to differentiate yourself from every other horny ape that has taken her out.

She’s a human being and is able to be turned on just like anyone else, so find out what works for her and stick to it.

A sexual frame may get this point across, as long as you’re sitting across from the right girl.

The best thing about framing is that you can change the direction of your date anytime, depending on how you want it to pan out.

You may leave your house with the intention of a one-night stand, meet your date and realize that she’d actually make a great girlfriend.

It’s an easy shift. Instead of imagining the two of you tangled in each other’s limbs on a bed somewhere, change your mindset to something more relationship oriented.

If you’ve had lots of practice, you can do this almost instantly.

The worst thing you can do is come from a frame that doesn’t match up with your intentions.

If you only want to sleep with a girl, but start behaving romantically, it’ll confuse her and make for an awkward conversation the next day.

Framing is a way of saying what you want to say without saying it, and when you get good at it, it makes the whole dating thing a lot easier.

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Christopher Gramuglia

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Chris is a writer, photographer and holds a master's degree in creative writing. He is working on a novel about dating in the digital age, and is an expert on topics like social dynamics and how to navigate the modern dating scene.

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