I am sitting in a café having a chat with a girlfriend. Two men approach us.. “excuse me are you single?” one asks. “Er…” I look at my friend.. “maybe why?” he sits down opposite.

“Well.. there’s a talk tomorrow.. the guy who trained Neil Strauss (The Game) is in town for the weekend for a Love and Seduction workshop and we have more men than women attending. It’s usually seven hundred pounds… but would be free to you if you come? We want the other women who have paid to feel comfortable”. I’d heard of Neil Strauss. Of course I had! My old flat mate used to underline parts of the book! And my ex had also owned a copy which I had amusedly flicked through. “Usually seven hundred pounds eh…” I reply…

“Yeah this guy is the top of the chain when it comes to NLP” he says.

I am interested. And I want to see what it is about. “Ok why not.” I reply taking his card. I call two friends up. “So you wanna come to this dating tip thing tomorrow?” I ask them.

The next day we walk into a conference room and sit at the back. There is nothing unusual about the room. The guy at the front is giving out NLP (neuro linguistic programming) tips and his confidence and strong presentation skills are keeping the room engaged. “This is some people’s last hope…” the words sold to me ring in my ears. I look about the room. It is what you might imagine. And the men are hanging on every word that drip out of this trainer’s mouth. And so after not much happening and a bit of meditation we all head off to lunch. And my friend starts on the white wine glugging it down. When it is time to go back she insists on staying for another whilst we go see “the show”. It’s 2pm now and this conference is meant to last til 7. A girl comes on stage at the front and starts talking to the room. And the man who was previously teaching is now sitting in a corner wearing sunglasses. Sunglasses in a conference room. The girl at the front starts her speech.. she is young, attractive and has the rooms attention. She starts talking about how to relax a woman…’start by touching a woman’s back to make her feel more comfortable and at ease’ she says doing caressing hand movements. Everything is becoming snake like. And I decide I can’t listen to anymore. I pretend to head to the toilet making a sharp exit for the door.

An hour later I get a call from my friend. Pretty drunk…

“Beccccckkkkkiiiii!!!!!” she screams down the phone. Uh oh… I think…what’s happened…  “So…… I went back!!! Beckkiiii what the hell was that! I went back and I was sitting there and I asked the guy a question…” I am intrigued, “I asked him.. a question.. and he wouldn’t answer!!! So in front of the room I told him he was brainwashing people!! And.. they threw me out! They threw me OUT Becki for asking a goddamn question”. I am amused. And a part of me wishes I had seen this. And I suspect that there had been a little more to her angry drunken ramblings… which, whilst I don’t condone are quite understandable in the grand scheme of things. I am having a coffee with the guy who convinced us to go to the talk. He is telling me about the day game – and how men pay a lot of money to be shown around London and given tips on how to pick up… “this is some men’s last hope…” he tries to convince me.

A few weeks later I am on a train heading north. It is meant to be an hours trip but the train has been diverted and I have been stuck on it for three and a half hours. I am sitting in an empty carriage, dehydrated, irritated and feeling traumatized by the state of the trains toilets. It is like Armageddon in there. Why can they not just sort the toilets out? I am a great believer that it is the little comforts in life that carry you through…(not to get off the subject too much but seriously Richard Branson if you’re reading this – if I had kids.. how the heck would I manage to change my babies nappy in those things…how?).


Ok moving swiftly on… a man gets on the train. I am sitting back in my seat now. I’m not in the toilet. I just want to set that straight. He looks about the empty carriage and decides to sit opposite me. I am reading ‘The End of My Addiction’ by Dr Olivier Ameisen. “Interesting book” he starts.. “must be really hard giving up…”

I decide which side of the fence to sit on with that remark and opt for the less personal… “Yeah must be awful.” I reply.

He starts to push for a conversation. “Where are you going, what do you do, who are you with…where have you trained.. if at all, how much money do you earn, will you go halves providing for our future children…” that kinda thing. Actually he never asked the last one but seriously… how much does he need to know, this was interrogation territory and I was… really thirsty so could only issue one word answers.

“This is really empty carriage..” I say. “And I’m really tired and thirsty” I politely push. I would describe myself as a sociable person, but there was something about his brash assumption of sitting opposite me that I didn’t warm to. A bunch of people get on at the next station. I busy myself with my phone sending a really interesting tweet “I’m on a train” to my twitter followers. I like to keep them engaged an all that.

The guy sitting opposite me is still asking me questions. I am about to go in for the kill and just ask him outright finishing this thing good and proper by just asking him if he is attempting to chat me up so I can get on with my book. I have to know how this man cures himself!

But he is rescued at the last minute… I hear my name being called. “OMG Becki!!!! Is that you? I just saw your tweet!!”.. I look to my left.. “Wow!!! What are the chances!!!” my excitement levels peak. Me ole chum Gina sitting literally in the next seat. The guy opposite me looks annoyed. He’s been blocked. And I’d been rescued. Phew.


But it’s a tough situation isn’t it. The girl doesn’t know if she’s being chatted up, the guy is trying to engage how much attraction there is. A part of me feels like a bit of an asshole (horrible word asshole isn’t it) by being so cruel to this man. But is it cruel? I’m sure this story could be met with “maybe he was a bit lonely, maybe he was just being nice, maybe maybe maybe…maybe a touch of arrogance there Becki?”. Yes maybe. But listen up girls. One day I was talking to a much older lady friend about what she felt she had learnt in her life.. and she turned to me and said “Oh god Becki.. naivety was my middle name”.

And so if you’re a young woman reading this there is one word I want you to learn…and it’s naivety; which means the tendency to believe too readily and therefore to be easily deceived.

And if you’re a guy and you want to meet a nice lady.. well I’m not sure there’s a cut and dry approach… learning to read signals and body language would be my first tip. And cutting to the chase.. faster conversations guys.. faster conversations..

And finally…. “When a woman becomes her own best friend life is easier.” Diane Von Furstenberg

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