The Push Pull Method of Flirting (Examples + Research)

Push Pull is one of the most stimulating flirting techniques out there, but how effective is it?

Our brains love contradiction, I mean… even the opening line of this article was a contradiction posed as a question.

Strangely enough, many women are great at the push pull technique without even trying, but because many guys come off desperate or needy, it takes some practice to even become adequate at this technique. 

What is it?

Push Pull is defined as “Saying something nice and dove tailing it with something mean or saying something mean and dove tailing it with something nice.

You might be asking, "What is the Push Pull Technique?": 

  • Push: Expressing disinterest in a girl. 
  • Pull: Expressing interest in a girl. 
  • PushPull: Expressing interest, then disinterest to increase attraction.

So in this video (and article), I’m going to teach you how to show interest, which is also called the pull; and how to show disinterest, which is also called the push. I’ll also give you some examples and explain some expert opinions on the effectiveness of it.

Many people think the push pull technique is a style of flirting where you can just memorize lines, but to effectively attract a girl through interest and disinterest, you must cater the style to the girl you are using it on, which means you must do some research or already have a good foundation of attraction - which you can learn from taking my Psychology of Attraction course. 

Push/pull is a very difficult skill, with a very simple process which can make you lose the girl entirely. So when you think about using any of these, be sure that it won't come off as if you're an idiot. 

Think of this style of flirting as hanging a toy in front of a cat. If you hold the toy in front of the cat, they won’t go after it - in fact if you lay it on the ground they won’t even look twice, but if you dangle it and pull it back right when they swat at it, creating movement… they’ll go crazy and want the toy even more. 

Lets move on to ways to show interest, or how to pull a girl. If you're interested, I've also written an entire article on ways to get a girl to like you!

How to "Pull" a Girl you like

So you can obviously compliment her in a physical manner. Say something about her hair, her smile, the dress she is wearing, something about how she looks. The catch to this is that it’s very surface level but it’s also very easy. Anyone can complement someone else based on their physical appearance. 

Mention something you like about her

The next thing you can pull a girl in is by talking about a characteristic you have noticed. Maybe you did you research and know she likes to dance, ask her for a dance. Perhaps she’s really good at mixing drinks, or is amazing at decorating cakes. You gotta know something about her characteristics to complement her on these. These are a level deeper than just physical, but you should have met her once or twice. A cool psychological trick is to mention something you both like to do - because we automatically like people who like the things we like, something else I explain in full in my new course. Maybe she likes to ride horses, say that you grew up on a farm and loved riding them too. 

"Haven't I seen you before?"

Another way to pull her in is to mention that maybe you’ve seen her before, or have heard of her from a friend. “Are you the girl that won first place in the marathon?” “Are you related to John Doe?” and maybe even “My friend said you could paint better than anyone he’s ever seen, is this true?” Basically, you can pull someone in by relating their world to your world somehow. Find a connection between you two and execute on it to go in for the approach and pull. 

There’s also nonverbal cues to pull a girl in. The most obvious is body language. Keep your body language open, which means don’t cross your arms, make sure your feet stay pointed towards her, and stay close in proximity. Basically give her the opportunity to approach you. 

Eye Contact

Eye contact is probably the most important non-verbal cue simply because one 7 second glance is sometimes the most attractive thing you can literally do. There’s studies that prove this. Just look at her and smile if she looks back. Hold the eye contact for a just a little bit longer than when you start to feel awkward and attraction just happens. I explain why and give more details in my course, but to keep it short - just remember eye contact is important. 

Finger Gestures

A lesser known cue is to simply look at the girl you are trying to flirt with and make the “come here” motion with your hands. This is literally pulling her in. An alternative is to look at her and make a phone out of your hand like you’re saying “call me”. 

How to "Push" a Girl you like

You can show disinterest by pointing out something physical about the person you’re talking to. This is hard because you can offend someone super easily. You know “I think you’re really cute but it’s too bad you’re not my type. High Heels, I mean really?” I would avoid using these, but I’ll give some push examples in a little bit. 

Use a Time Restraint

Another way to push her away is to add a time restraint. This is basically just limiting the time you are in conversation with her by saying you have somewhere else to be. Say you’re in a good conversation, but you interrupt it “I told my friends I’d meet them 5 minutes ago, I have to leave!” or something like “As fun as it is talking to you, I really need to go switch my laundry”. By pulling away from her, you are essentially pushing her away by committing to an alternative activity.

Restricted Request

Restricted Request is basically asking her to do something, but adding a clause, or a string to the gesture. “I’ll give you my phone number, but you have to promise not to text me right away or call me too much”. Another example is like “Want to go to a concert tomorrow? You have to promise not to embarrass me though, I’ve heard you can be wild” The idea is to ask for something, but add a relevant joke or restriction to the asking that pushes her away.

Look Away

One simple way of pulling away is to just look away, look at something else. Look over her shoulder like there’s something there you’re interested in, or maybe look at outside or at someone else.

Closing your body language

It’s easy to push her away just with your body language. Point your toes away from her and towards the closest exit if you’re in a building. Cross your arms like you’re upset, and even make the anger microexpression if you missed my video on it. Make some space between you two, and even grab something to create a barrier. 

Examples of Push Pull Flirting

  • Hug her and then say "Ok, that's enough" physically pushing her a little bit
  • Get away from me, I can't have you around. You're way too cute and tempting
  • If I was into brunettes, I would be all over you
  • I get the feeling you spend a lot of time in the library.
  • If she cuts you off or interrupts you, “Did you just cut me off again? I'm going to have to teach you some manners.”
  • You blink a lot.

Many girls will say this method is rude and not authentic, according to my own personal survey, Reddit comments and many other sources. In fact, tons of people say the Push Pull Dating Technique is quite unreliable. Check out how it works in texting:

push pull texting examples

Remember that if you do end of picking up a girl with this method, she might have a tendency to need attention - because girls who respond well to this type of flirting enjoy attention otherwise they wouldn’t “chase” you when you pushed them away. 

Imagine if someone did the same to you. You’re in a business situation and the guy goes, “Well, we think we can pay you this year, but we also need a new copy machine”. It happens all the time, not that rude, and it’s quite effective in negotiations, but how does it make you feel in the relationship?

What about if a girl did this to you? “You’re cute, but you look like my brother”.

Well, that’s okay you might say. “My brother also killed 3 women and is currently serving life, but you definitely have his smile!”. Yeah… see? There’s a line, and if you cross it you can kiss your chance goodbye instead of kissing her. 

There's also a few differences between emotional vs physical push pull. In one example, you can pushpull a girl without ever physically touching her: "Hey, that's a beautiful dress, too bad your shoes don't match". While there is also physical push pull when you physically pull her in to hug her, but then push her away in the middle of the hug. You could say something like "You're not the best hugger".

Scientific Research

I wasn't able to find very much academic research on the effects of push-pull flirting, however there was one particular study that showed some interesting results. 

In a study titled “The Ups and Downs of Dating”, researchers found that fluctuations of security in the early days of a relationship was really, really bad.

It stated “Individuals who exhibited greater fluctuation in their repeated satisfaction ratings were more likely to be in relationships that eventually ended” and also “they had relatively lower commitment”.

Basically, you may be able to get her using manipulation, specifically using the withdrawal of affection, but you won’t be able to keep them.

So I’d say long-term push pull doesn’t work - I’d say it’s best to keep this style of flirting as a teasing method. If you want to learn more about attraction girls, and some pickup methods that are actually really helpful and lay a foundation of a great long-term relationship, check out my Psychology of Attraction course in the sidebar! Hope you guys enjoyed this video and learned something!

Theodore
 

Theodore created PracticalPsychology while in college and has transformed the educational online space of psychology. His goal is to help people improve their lives by understanding how their brains work. 1,700,000 Youtube subscribers and a growing team of psychologists, the dream continues strong!

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