Belisa Vranich

Looking to win the affections of a fair lady? You’ll have to slay the competition first. Here, classic combat advice.

You’re at a party and you spot her: the girl of your dreams. But wait -- she’s apparently the girl of the dreams of at least five other guys there. (They’re the fellas surrounding her at the onion dip.) So how do you divide and conquer -- as in, slay them and get her alone so you can impress her big-time? Here’s classic advice on how to thin the herd and win the dame.

“Victory is reserved for those who are willing to pay its price.” -- Sun Tzu

Whether it’s offering to drive her and her friends across town, buying her a few expensive “girlie” drinks or missing the tug-of-war competition going on outside (because her wing woman is in the middle of an endless story), accept that success has a cost. Do the math: Anything that puts you in the black is a good “investment,” especially when your competitor gets crossed off the “Has Potential” list because he thinks his one-liners and pouty lips should be enough to keep her attention.

“It’s not the size of the dog in the fight; it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”-- Mark Twain

Stand your ground. In an attempt to thwart your advances, other men will insult, mock or at least render you unworthy to make themselves look better in the eyes of your beloved. Don't take the bait and become combative or defensive, even if your rival cites your unemployment status and living arrangements with your mommy. Keep quiet and calm, and he’ll look immature and eventually slink away in defeat. She may look like she’s just hanging out having a good time, but in her complex female brain, she’s seeing who’s more tenacious (you). Regardless of what size dog you are, it’s about how much heart you have. 

“No one is ever defeated until defeat has been accepted as a reality.” -- Bruce Lee

Never underestimate the possibility of a Hail Mary. Don’t assume you’ve lost -- ever. That she’s taking 20 minutes in the bathroom or is giggling over your competitor’s Barack Obama impression means nothing. Until the final seconds when the bell sounds -- or the party host gives you the end-of-night heave-ho -- you could be on the cusp of a huge upset and win by a nose.

“We exist in a universe which co-exists with a multitude of others in the same physical space. For certain brief periods of time, an area of their space overlaps an area of ours.” -- Spock, “The Tholian Web,” stardate 5693.2

Or in non-Vulcan words: play well with others. More than your shoes or choice of body spray, she’s seeing how you interact with people. Sure, her wish list is an oxymoronic inventory of co-existing polar opposites (“assertive but sweet,” “sensitive but masculine,” etc.), but she’s actually very alert to your including people, being polite and making sure others feel comfortable.

“Prepare yourself for the world, as the athletes used to do for their exercise; oil your mind and your manners to give them the necessary suppleness and flexibility; strength alone will not do.” -- Lord Chesterfield

Be flexible in your tactics. All the other contenders are one-upping each other by trying to make her laugh and are telling her, “Gee, your hair smells terrific” and “Whoa, you have great calves!” You’re the only one who makes sure her bag is by her side. Be creative and you’ll stand out.

If all else fails, and you need some inspiration, hum a line or two from “Love is a Battlefield”: “We are young, heartache to heartache we stand, no promises, no demands ….”

Belisa Vranich is a renowned clinical psychologist, author and public speaker who specializes in relationships and sex.