How To Be Persistent Without Being Needy

In the show Californication, Hank Moody is a womanizing author who always has his heart with his ex-wife, Karen. Whenever they see each other, he always tries to kiss her, flirt with her, and get her back. No matter how many times she declines, he always gives it another shot. Sounds needy, right?

how to be persistent without being needy

Taken at face value, Hank Moody sounds like a needy, borderline sociopathic stalker who won’t let his ex-love go. But somehow when you watch his attempts to rekindle his romance with Karen on the show, he doesn’t appear to be needy at all.

How is this possible?

A paradox in dating and relationships is that the last man standing usually gets the girl, but when he contacts her too often, he’s being needy. Remember Mikey from the movie Swingers when he leaves 6 messages on Nikki’s voicemail in a span of 10 minutes?

how to be persistent without being needy

So what’s the difference between Mikey and Hank Moody?

Playful indifference. It’s the kind of vibe that guys who are naturally good with women have. They exude a lightheartedness about them, and it seems like even if things don’t go their way, they don’t really care.

If you ever notice someone who is naturally good with women, and naturally good with people in general, he is able to have a good time with anyone. He doesn’t discriminate between old or young, male or female.

Many guys are worried about approach anxiety, but if you have this vibe throughout your daily life, you’ll know how to approach a girl you don’t know with ease. In fact, you’ll find that many women will want to have conversations with you without you having to elicit it. Thus, a guy with playful indifference can start conversations and make multiple sexual advances without creeping a girl out. In fact, she’ll often laugh and be charmed by his audacity.

The reason guys with this vibe can get away with so much is because they build up social capital. To explain social capital, imagine if one of your best friends from school tells you, “Hey, I need $10 for lunch, can you help me out?” Most likely, you’d be more than willing to spot him.

Now imagine if you come across a homeless man on the street who asks you for $10. All of the sudden, you become Ebenezer Scrooge. Why?

How to be persistent without being needy

Well, you’ve known your best friend for years, but the homeless man is just a raggedy stranger to you. Basically, your friend has built up lots of social capital with you, and the homeless man has none.

You can think of social capital as a bank account for trust. Whenever you share a laugh or an experience with someone, you’re making deposits into each other’s social bank accounts. And when you have enough trust built up in the account, the other person is more likely to comply with your requests.

So if the homeless person cracks a few jokes that you find funny and you start engaging in a witty back-and-forth conversation that you enjoy, you’re more likely to give up the $10.

What does this have to do with neediness and persistence?

A guy who is fun and outgoing is skilled at building social capital quickly because people enjoy his company. Thus, a girl is more likely to jump on board with his plans because he’s flooding her social bank with trust. But if that guy were to suddenly lose his charisma and started chasing a girl with repeated requests to go on a date, then he’d be spending social capital that he doesn’t have. When this happens, he comes across and needy, desperate, and creepy.

So neediness comes into play when your social bank account is at zero, but you’re still trying to move things forward with a girl that doesn’t want anything to do with you.

So the next question is, how do you become the kind of guy who has an endless supply of social capital? How do you become Hank Moody?

how to be persistent without being needy


When you learn to accept things as they are, and, especially, accept that the worst possible outcome might occur and you’re OK with that, then you’ll be living with a sense of levity about you. This is why people who survive cancer usually have the brightest outlook on life. It’s because they’ve accepted death, so everything that they experience in life is done without expectations.

People who take life for granted forget that it can be taken away in an instant. Likewise, people who are in relationships forget that a breakup could be just around the corner, and someone who is pursuing a girl refuses to accept life without her in it.

However, if you come to realize and accept that life, relationships, and romances are ephemeral, then you’ll move through these events with a playful indifference—you don’t know what the outcome will be, but you’re OK with that, so you’re just going to enjoy the ride along the way.

So if you want to be Hank Moody, then let go of your expectations and realize that the only way to press forward is by keeping yourself amused.

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64 thoughts on “How To Be Persistent Without Being Needy”

    1. Its more than that.
      Your ‘”not giving a fuck?”‘ could be in a angry way, and that is not what it is about.
      Is a playful, oh well, who cares, “not giving a fuck”.
      Imagine you dropped your ice cream cone.
      Its not, ‘I HATE ice cream anyway, who gives a fuck.”
      It is, “oh well, it was fun trying to keep it in the cone, I am going back to the freezer to get some more out of my 5 gallon bucket of ice cream.”

    2. The “not giving a fuck” attitude with women is a byproduct of already having an awesome life without a woman.

      1. Having an awesome life without a woman is a great way to make yourself attractive to women.

  1. The first 4 seasons of Californication were mint. Lots of red pill game theory to be learned and observed, along with good humor to boot. It’s especially geared to more “lone wolf” game for guys in their 30s and 40s which would have most closely identified with Hank’s demographic, in lieu of the more social circle game of people in their 20s.
    The fact that the show is still quite recent and yet “pre Tinder” also makes it worthy of note. It got more stale in the later years though, should have just ended at the 4th.

    1. Detaching is as conscious as being still. Or existing in the now. What are you to detach from? And is this a consistent state of being? Does detaching mean to not care about anything or care just enough to enjoy things fleetingly?
      This level of detachment can only be achieved through being religious, or an intense of level of pain. If you exercise rigorously, you can hit this level. Or if you fight/spar in a martial art often. Or if you have a near death experience.
      Detachment is a state not a goal.

      1. Thanks for the thoughtful reply.
        You’re right, detachment is a state, and a life of pure detachment would only be possible in an ashram, Buddhist monastery, or similar environment.
        As for what you’re detaching from, it’s from the ego, i.e. one’s own perception of self, past and future.
        Within the context of the article, I specify that detachment from the ego is a way to become outcome independent, which leads to generation of social capital, because your egoless state is providing pure value to others.
        I disagree with the statement that “This level of detachment can only be achieved through being religious” (the other situations you cite are closer to the truth). In my experience attending various religious schools, I’ve met plenty of people who are far from detached from ego.

  2. Very insightful and well written article. It may be worth noting that women take this approach to relationships by default – they do not view any particular man as indispensable, but rather view a man as a stepping stone to achieve some of their goals (children, home ownership etc). As such, any man that meets the qualifications to provide those things is more or less interchangeable, so they have a mentality of ‘plenty’, as opposed to the ‘scarcity’ mentality that many men feel in their interactions with women.

    1. It’s not really worth noting because it is only partially true. Sure the vast majority of men are interchangeable but one in a thousand is not- woman will suffer from oneitis just as badly as a man and become just as desperate for his attention.
      And as we all know it is the WOMAN that should be doing the chasing.
      And depending on her attractiveness this will either be annoying or cute.

      1. Your statement lacks content without a definition of ‘one in a thousand’. Is that top .1% in salary ? Or in damage inflicted on the woman’s ego ? In any event, it should be clear that women are not judging the top percentile by any apparently meaningful measure. The only metric I’ve seen correlated with women’s choice is the perceived relative status of a man in a given situation, i.e. DJ standing in front of a dance floor, etc.
        Not sure why she should be doing the chasing ? That’s flipping the natural order on its head.

        1. It depends on the woman. One woman’s trash is another’s treasure.
          The natural order IS that the woman chases.
          The man should be the prize- this is just basic red pill stuff because the only way a relationship has a chance of survival at all is if the woman views the man as better than her as women are hypergamous by nature.

        2. I don’t quite see how that can work in practice, even if it sounds good on paper. A corollary would be that a man should wait at the bar patiently until a woman approaches him, and I think we can agree that in general such a wait could take quite a while.
          I do wonder how much of the ‘marrying up’ thing is a function of e.g. the American marketplace. Women are in a clear position of extraordinary leverage there, so their demands grow to absurdity, but in countries where, say, most men are able to find a beautiful woman with relatively little effort, that is to say the balance of power is reversed, I wonder if that ‘hypergamy’ idea still holds.

        3. That .1% is that guy who gives her major pussy tingles. This goes beyond salary and status. She doesn’t know why she wants that dude, she just has to have him. She will only chase once you open the door. And then you can’t get rid of the bitch.

        4. The girl that “approaches” you will make it very clear that she wants you. You may turn around and find her at your elbow. You may find that she manipulates you into asking you out. Or you start asking and she finishes for you. Before you know it, she’s attached to your dick like a leech sucking out your lifeblood.

        5. No waiting around patiently like a lemon; all a man needs to be is social and a women who wants him will let him know somehow. Always happens sooner or later.

        6. These types of relationships are of course the prize, but does that mean one should ignore possibilities that may require more work ?
          I’m not sure myself on that one – girls with high interest have high return, and those with low interest often never pay off, but there is some middle ground.
          Or do you think approaching should not be like sales ?

        7. I’m picturing a crowded bar scene, where you may have to walk across the room to say hi. Do you think this is mostly only successful if she has made some obvious signal, like looking over several times ?

        8. No it is not a passive approach: being social with everyone is the best way. You are being too linear in your thinking. The bottom line is that a woman either finds a man attractive or she does not. Him standing there aloof IF she finds him attractive does no good. Women, contrary to popular belief, get nervous around men they really really like.
          The best way to overcome this and make her feel relaxed is to be a social, confident, IDGAF (IDGAF as in ‘I’m confident enough to be sanguine about any social interactions I encounter, not a psycho bastard’) man who gives them the OPPORTUNITY to make a move. If he is interested back lots of subtle touching should move things forward.

        9. I’ll submit the hypothesis that there are a class of girls that are waiting for someone to approach them, and they will go home with whoever talks to them, within some tolerance range. I’ve watched girls go home with very unattractive guys that just wouldn’t give up, even after they approached and the girl wouldnt’ look their way for the first several minutes.
          Anyways, different approaches.

        10. It will definitely be easier on you if she has noticed you first. A lot times when you cold approach girls you kind of “shock” them out of what they were doing and they simply can’t “see” you. Its harder to break them out of the defense mentality that springs up as a result.
          Defensiveness is definitely worse by day though. Girls go out to meet guys at bars.

        11. I think that a lot of sales techniques work with approaching. Never ignore possibilities. It might be that you are exactly what the highest SMV girl in the room wants. Like I say to people wondering weather or not to make an insurance claim… don’t be your own claims adjuster. Let the insurance company work it out.

        12. I’ve only spent significant time in Asia, which is relatively easier than the U.S., but I imagine the U.S. to be among the most difficult environments due to (1) suburbia, i.e. very little interaction with new people, (2) obesity rates, which implies significantly less eligible candidates. So I expect many countries that improve on the U.S. situation for (1) and (2) will be easier.

  3. This is definitely a part of my game that could use improvement. I simply don’t fire twice at the same target.

  4. Great article, it really underscores why having an abundance mentality is so important. Never fixate on just one woman, because their needs (and yours) are ever-changing and you can never predict or control what anyone else is going to do from one moment to the next. The ONLY thing you have control of in this world is yourself, stay detached and enjoy the ride.

  5. Hank moody is just pure fantasy, He had no game, in first episodes girls open him all the time, The dude stop in a traffic light and a girl gives him her number without any interaction or him saying nothing, he does not even notice the girl at first because he is driving, come on, that only happen if you are extremely attractive like a Calvin klein male model which agent Mulder is not. Then He is obsessed with that post wall bitch that shit test constantly during all the show and loves bad boy cock the moment hank become domesticated she leaves and cheat him. Then she complain because he got new pussy, but in reality he is begging for her to return like a beta bitch.

    1. I got to say, Hank was a bit of a male Mary-Sue. Like, no doubt being a famous writing and living in California would get you a decent amount of pussy, but the way girls would throw themselves at him, at times, seemed quite unbelievable.
      I’m prepared to say that Hank was written as the ideal male fantasy, while Runkle was paired with him to portray something closer to the reality for the majority…

        1. He was. But regardless, I somewhat doubt girls just walked up to him and the lights and handed him their phone numbers…or that he’d have an operation on his junk and the nurse would tell him he had “a beautiful cock”.

      1. even Runkle fuck a lot of women in the series, he got more action than any normal bald, short, beta guy does. It seems that he had to put a lot of effort into it. He display more game than hank.

    2. You gotta wonder if he even fucked his properly? Watched the New Twin Peaks last night, episode 5. There is a scene in a bar….. I’ll say no more…. but if you watch it you’ll see how women like to be treated…. watch how her friends react…….

    3. Hank Moody is loosely based on Charles Bukowski…that guy got tone of action back in the day… has a lot of cocky funny one liner that I’ve used successfully over the years… definitely there something to learn from him

      1. Yeah, but did you *see* the “action” that Bukowski got? It wasn’t smoking hot models, I’ll tell you that much for free.

        1. Some had missing teeth…other with a bullet wound in the face ; ) you know…he got a book out of it and he’s a true red pill motherfuker…German backpacker chicks used to come to bukowskis house just to fuck him

  6. While you guys were watching TV, I banged my EE backup muff and sent her out the door.

  7. only way to be truly detached is trying to enjoy the all the plentiful scarcity of the sexual market. sounds odd or non sense ? well as the article stated “When you learn to accept things as they are, and, especially, accept
    that the worst possible outcome might occur and you’re OK with that,
    then you’ll be living with a sense of levity about you”

  8. Excellent article for guys in relationships.. there is a line between being affectionate and being needy

  9. I got a chick like this. We had a little thing about 2 years ago but due to “circumstances” it fell apart. However, I have never given up on it and I am continually making little advances. Why? Because why not?

    1. Same thing here. There’s no long term goal either. It’s just for the “why not” aspect of it.

  10. I get the advice and it’s good. Makes much sense and is concise. But what about my own principles, my own discipline? Should I discard what I (painfully) been keeping these years? Doesn’t this advice conflict with the pride necessary to keep them? Or am I being naive and it’s totally possible to be playfully indifferent but with a strong moral code and a pain in the ass discipline?

    1. Everything is possible.
      How does discipline have anything to do with indifference? One is internal (discipline) and the other is indifference to external matters.

  11. I noticed years ago, I ran into a Bulgarian student, the more of a jerk I was with her, the more she was turned on by my behavior. Its ingrained into women’s heads that they go for jerks. They are more likely to produce strong offspring with such men because they are stronger. Again this was a woman from a conservative Eastern European country.

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