I have had many friends named Bill. At least six, maybe more. The second Bill was an extremely tall, pock-marked, mullet-headed semi-poet, with huge hands and a black-belt in some martial art which I can only remember now as kung-fu; a guy who liked wearing Army-Navy surplus clothes, who punctuated conversation with acidic stabs at overrated rock guitarists and sarcastic opines concerning the emergent proliferation of The Gap. It was a long time ago, and we must be forgiven our mutual pasts. But the second Bill was the most unlikely Casanova in the world. I would say he was in most ways an ugly guy — wiry hair, bad skin, bug eyes. Still, he won over women more easily than anyone I’ve ever known. It seemed to me that he got every woman he set his eyes on, and most upon whom I set mine. Straight-away, most times. Bad-boy animal magnetism, a lurching Tom Waits costume plus a legitimate passion for Rimbeau. Magic-time in the ’80s! I lived to see it: the guy got his, and then some.
Bill always said it was easy to win over women. He employed the salesmen’s tricks of seduction: solicitous attention, eye contact, pulses of wit, kindness, pointedly kind gestures, confident attention and punctuated curiosity, the assertion of strength accompanied by demonstrated humbleness of spirit. I know this, because the second Bill taught me that much. These were early lessons. I came to see that the real trick, the one thing he could not manage to learn himself, was how to win a woman back, how to earn love again once it was lost. Like this:
Don’t believe in your first shot
A woman must be won over several times. The first time — driven by attraction, chemistry and illusion — is easy, relatively speaking. Sure, the stakes feel high. But you have to fail a few times before it works. And when you fail, you move on. Failure is something you can walk away from. That’s what Bill saw so clearly. The last time you win a woman over — the time you have to win her back, after having lost her — is the tough one. By then illusion has dried up and tricks have become transparent. This is the most honest moment of them all, or it should be. Now the stakes are clear: You’re on the outside, knowing what you have lost.
Don’t trade on your misery
You’re on the outside looking in, and it’s no fun. But, buddy, nobody gives a damn if you cry. Whining about all the things you miss doesn’t bond you to her in any fashion. If she’s happy about the break-up, then you are just showing a passion for nostalgia. And you shouldn’t. If she’s unhappy, then you’re amplifying what she already knows. And love, as we know, can hurt. Everybody knows that. So, don’t act like a hapless mope about it. You wouldn’t be on the outs if you hadn’t created some misery yourself. Stand up straight. Show that you will — both — survive. It’s an assertion that you have changed, or will change, and that’s probably what she wanted in the first place.
Don’t promise to change
Because promise are cheap, and there is one certainty here: a bond was broken. Or else you wouldn’t be caught in this battle, would you? Just don’t turn over a new leaf, because real change demands time. Address the deficit — What was wrong? What did you neglect? What mistakes were made? — and then declare how you’ve changed.
Don’t get a present
Forget gifts that make up for your behavior — make your behavior the gift in itself. Remind her who you are. Do a little inventory of your shared past. Find a way to demonstrate that again — show up, wake up, retool your skills. See yourself through her eyes, rather than panning everything through the sad glaze of your own. What were you good at? Where was your strength? What was her attraction for you? Women tend to declare themselves pretty clearly. Somewhere in your past, she said it — she told you what made you special. What did she love about you? Is that really who you are?
Don’t let someone be in love with a lie
And don’t encourage them. If it isn’t who you are, do everybody a favor and move on. There are worse crimes than loneliness. That was what the second Bill never understood. It’s the only lesson he ever really taught me.
Culled from http://www.esquire.com/lifestyle/sex/advice/a8724/win-her-back/