When you’re out there meeting women regularly, you’re bound to find — and sometimes even fall for — girls who already have boyfriends. Which can be a frustrating, confusing experience: There’s nothing quite like connecting with someone who turns out to be attached.
In these situations, you have two options: move on, or try anyway. But making the decision between resignation and pursuit can be difficult. What’s the protocol? What’s the move? And is it acceptable to chase a girl who already has a boyfriend?
Why do you want a girl with a boyfriend?
Before you go any further, you have to ask yourself why you want a girl who is already spoken for. With over three billion women in the world (and not a few of them living within 50 miles of you), what makes this one so special? Why this one?
If you have a compelling answer to that question, then there might be a good reason to pursue her. If you don’t — if there isn’t anything particularly outstanding about this person — then you already have a reason to respect her circumstances and move on. We’re not here to tell you when and when not to pursue a girl with a boyfriend, only to consider whether there’s a good reason.
If you do choose to pursue her, then next thing you must understand is that the process won’t be easy or always pleasant. Going after a woman who is already attached comes with a few built-in problems.
To start, her breakup — even if wants the relationship to end — will be difficult and painful for everyone involved. It might even be too painful for her to be with anyone in the short term. What’s more, people’s feelings are highly unpredictable immediately following a breakup. So while she might be interested now, or six weeks from now, she could easily change her mind. You just don’t know how things will shake out after the breakup, no matter what the situation is when you meet.
But let’s say everything goes exactly according to plan. She and her boyfriend break up, she tells you she’s madly in love with you, and the two of you start a relationship. Terrific — but here’s a common problem: You might wonder if there’s another guy around the corner trying to get her to break up with you. You’ll always wonder if the relationship the two of you have is going to meet the same fate as the last one she was in. This might be rational or irrational, likely or unlikely — but the fear just might linger. That’s some serious baggage to have to work through, and it can have a corrosive effect on your relationship. Here, as in most relationship challenges, sharing your concerns and discussing them openly will be essential. But it can also lead to some nasty residual fears. The quality of her character — what kind of person she is — should guide your feelings about her post-break-up.
So given these risks, ask yourself this: Do you really like this girl, or do you just want to “win?”
The desire to be with someone because you can’t imagine being with anyone else is very powerful. But so is the desire to be victorious, to prove that you’re better, stronger, or more attractive, to demonstrate your ability to subvert an existing relationship for your own validation. These aren’t fun feelings to acknowledge, but they’re crucial to recognize because they’re inherent to the male experience. We must understand our motivations whenever we pursue a woman, especially when there’s someone else in the picture.
That should be one of your guiding questions: whether you’re chasing someone to make yourself feel good, or because you must be with this person.
Is it even acceptable to go after a girl with a boyfriend?
We’re not here to dole out philosophical advice, but we do want to touch on the larger question of whether it’s acceptable to pursue a girl who is already dating someone. In short, sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t. Once again, your motivations will help you examine the ethical aspect of chasing a girl with a boyfriend.
All practical considerations aside, if a girl is in a relationship that is unhealthy, abusive or otherwise toxic, you shouldn’t shed any tears about breaking it up. You should, however, think long and hard about the implications of inserting yourself into a toxic relationship (and dating someone who would enter one). At the end of the day, you probably can’t “save” her, so check any part of you that wants to. All you can do is be a supportive, caring friend, let her know that you’re interested, and hope she chooses you. But getting involved in a toxic relationship is also a bit like a quicksand pit. The harder you try to get her, the more enmeshed you become in her toxic relationship, which saps your energy and makes it harder for you to be a strong, healthy person.
There’s also a big difference between having a boyfriend and having a serious boyfriend. A guy she’s kind of been dating for a couple months isn’t quite the same as a guy she’s been living with for the last five years. In the former case, it’s not really that big of a deal, ethically speaking, if you make your move and the guy isn’t a close friend of yours. In the latter, you need to seriously consider your reasons for chasing her — and determine whether you both want to pursue this relationship.
There’s one overriding condition that, in our book, generally gives you carte blanche to pursue a girl no matter her circumstances. If you feel that you must be with this person, and — this is essential — the feeling is clearly mutual (that is, she feels about you the way you feel about her, and you both want to be together), then you can and should go for it. That doesn’t mean it’s the “right” relationship, or that the transition will be easy, or that your relationship will necessarily work out. But ethically speaking, two self-aware adults choosing to be with each other despite any previous attachments is a reasonable ground upon which to build a relationship. In that case, of course, you’re both pursuing each other.
But there also strong reasons not to pursue an attached woman. If a girl is in a relationship that makes her happy, why would you want to break it up? (Again, we return to the question of motivation.) The odds of you successfully breaking her up without doing some shady things you’ll later regret are pretty slim. And besides, if you really like this person, shouldn’t you be happy for her? There are excellent reasons to be friends with women, and — as we often say on the podcast — female friends are essential to a well-rounded social life.
So consider the practical and ethical considerations here. Again, we can’t tell you what to think, feel or do. We can only share the right questions to ask so you can make sound decisions for the long term.
Getting her to fall in love with you
If you’re going to get any woman to fall in love with you, it needs to be from a place of strength and confidence. Your abundance mentality — the mindset that there are tons of women out there who you could start a relationship with — is going to help you maintain the perspective and attitude you need to get a girl with a boyfriend to fall in love with you. And in fact, that’s true: There are tons of other women out there you can date if things don’t work out with this girl.
But your abundance mentality is part of a bigger picture. You need to put yourself first when wooing anyone, especially a girl who already has a boyfriend. In practice, that means having time for her only when you actually have time for her. Don’t let your work, your passions, and hobbies, your self-improvement, your gym routine or any other part of your life suffer because you’re trying to get a woman who already has a boyfriend to fall in love with you. The best and most attractive thing you can offer her right now is your strength and independence from her situation. Running every time she says she needs you to erode that strength and independence.
Setting boundaries are also important when you’re trying to get a girl to fall in love with you. It’s doubly important when you’re trying to get a girl to fall in love with you when she already has a boyfriend. If you’re nothing more than a shoulder for her to cry on, she might love you, but she won’t be in love with you. You’ll be her friend, the guy she calls to complain about her relationship, but not the man she considers as a partner. In general, it’s a good policy to separate yourself as much as possible from whatever relationship she’s in at the moment. But if you do want to lend a sympathetic ear or offer advice, make sure that it’s on your terms and when the time is right for you. Don’t go dropping everything every time she needs to talk.
As with any woman, when you’re trying to get a girl who already has a boyfriend to fall in love with you, building a connection is essential. Presumably, if you want a girl who already has a boyfriend to fall in love with you, you’ve already made some kind of a connection with her. But you can always do a little more to deepen the connection you already have and push it toward romantic love. That, more than anything, will give her a compelling reason to be with you.
One powerful way to be there for her while simultaneously creating attraction is to make her laugh. Don’t underestimate what a laugh means to a girl — especially one who is struggling with her relationship. Making her laugh, being silly and joking around give her a subtle refuge from what she’s going through at home. You don’t need to have “heavy” talks about what her relationship is like to be supportive. You just have to show her a good time. It’s those visceral feelings that will eventually move her to choose you.
At the same time, she might not be getting a lot of interest in her at home. One hallmark of bad relationships is that one or both parties start feeling unappreciated. She might have totally forgotten what it feels like to have a man want her. Making her feel appreciated and desired might be the emotional step you need to spark romance between the two of you.
What’s more, she might be in a relationship with a guy she no longer has much in common with. If this is the case, play to your strength in having more in common with her — not superficially, but emotionally, intellectually and creatively. Sometimes, especially in long-term relationships, one partner can become disinterested or out of step with the passions of the other person. Celebrating your common interests — whether it’s a brand of humor or a side project — can help to deepen attraction and make you more desirable. Remember, your goal isn’t to manufacture interest (this would be disingenuous, manipulative and potentially worse than the dynamic of the relationship she’s already in), but to be unapologetically excited about the things you two share.
Finally, and on a very practical note, don’t forget the role of touch. Once your emotional and intellectual chemistry is developed, you must find a way to express your physical interest in her. You run the risk of being the shoulder she cries on when her relationship is bad, or just an escape from her bad relationship, without a physical component. The touch sends a clear message that you’re interested in her sexually, and not just as a friend. It also allows you to test her interest in you, and to slowly, respectfully, move the boundaries of your existing relationship forward. If she reciprocates, then an attraction is almost certainly developing between you.
In short, getting a woman in a relationship to fall for you is very difficult, complex and far from guaranteed. It can also be more trouble than it’s worth. But for rare cases where you can’t imagine being with anyone else, it can absolutely be worth it. Remember: If she’s your friend, you’ve already made the most meaningful connection of all. Now you just need to shift that a little bit and the two of you can have something even more than friends. Whatever you choose, continually return to the why. Your motivations and her feelings, more than anything else, will be your guide in this challenging but important dynamic.
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