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Commenters had plenty of solid suggestions for a reader who wanted to know what to do when a grown ass woman wedges her jerk ex-boyfriend into the conversation. (From PBR Streetbang: “At 25, it’s a sympathy play – at 35, it’s baggage.”)

Reader LOL had the best idea, and one I would personally use on a broad trying to rattle me with a sneaky non sequitur about her asshole ex.

This was an interesting one.
It’s easy to feel discouraged when they start talking about an old flame, but
i’ve found that if she’s speaking longingly or forlornly then she’s projecting those past feelings onto you….in which case, you’re probably in her by evening’s end.

If she’s trying to bait you, then as CH says, return frame as quickly as possible to you…
her: “what an asshole…blah blah blah”
you (smiling): “if it makes you feel any better all my exes hate me too”

In one sentence, you basically sidestep her bait, return frame back to you, and as an extra little bonus qualify yourself with the “all my exes” abundance bit. It also shows ZFG aloofness as you’re not afraid to admit you’re an asshole. Finally, it will allow her to project those bitter sweet feel feelz she has of her ex onto you.

Every point LOL makes is true: that line expertly reframes her shit test/beta bait, gilds you with the aura of amused mastery that chicks love, slyly implies you are preselected by women (and hot women, who are the kind of women most drawn to hate-worthy badboys), and most importantly casts you as the kind of jerk she has a history of falling for over and over. Now all those tingles the jerk ex inspires in her find a new conduit through you.

That line also CUTS HER ENTRAPMENT NON SEQUITUR OFF AT THE KNEES. She has three choices: bang on about her ex (which will sound defensive, and which you can mock), drop the subject, or inquire about your past (which allows you to DHV to the high heavens). If she opts for the third option, congratulate yourself, because you have just flipped the courtship script so thoroughly that you may as well start unzipping your pants.

***

This suggested reply from LB is comedy gold:

Her: “I once dated this guy from Montreal and… ”

You: (interrupting) “Congratulations on your upgrade.”

Assume the sale.

***

Felix Krull,

I like the illustration. The girl is being hit on by a brown guy, does the WP-thing with her left hand.

LMAO

***

From Hermes,

Maybe assume the sale on the therapy angle and give her a mock accent, pretending to be Freud.”uhuh, uhuh, and how does zis make you feel”. Look over pretend glasses, scribble on imaginary notebook. Really sell that she’s fishing for sympathy and you’re not buying it.

This would be laborious for lesser men and terseboys, but those of us with a taste for flair and the heart of a showman can appreciate the improvisational skill needed to pull this off (and more importantly, to know when to end the skit on a high note). If you are creative and enjoy extended play flirty banter, then Hermes’ suggestion is perfect. Even better, if you have a real notepad and pen on you, use it to draw a cartoonish stick figure of the girl as you’re pretending to jot down your therapist notes.

Old school PUAs used to suggest bringing along props for just such occasions. Be wary of “forcing” the props into a conversation (that will seem try-hard and clumsy), but pounce when the opportunity presents; if she asks why you happen to have a notepad on you, tell her you’re an aspiring novelist and need to be prepared any time inspiration strikes.

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