A Handy All-Purpose Logistics Tactic

One of our 2 tactics for smooth logistics texts is to communicate your Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA). Here’s an example of a certain kind of BATNA:

  • “I’m going on a very scenic run Saturday afternoon, you should join.”

The premise of this text is that you’ve got plans to go on a run anyway – so if they reject your invite, it’s not a big deal because they can clearly imagine that you’re going to be enjoying yourself on a run without them.

We call this the unilateral plan because it’s a plan you’ve made unilaterally for yourself, so that all you’re doing now is offering them the opportunity to tag along.

This guy was prepared to go to Six Flags unilaterally. Good for him.


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Despite its formulaic simplicity, the unilateral plan is usually a solid choice of BATNA. It makes it seem like you’ve previously put some thought into your personal schedule, independently from any thoughts you’ve ever had about dating them. So there’s a convincing case that your backup plan is still a valuable use of your time.

When you get used to making unilateral plans, you start to see why it’s a little awkward when you phrase your text as a plan that’s not unilateral, e.g.:

  • “I know a very scenic trail in the hills, we should run it this Saturday.”

It’s just that you’re giving them the power to decide not only whether you get to enjoy their company, but also whether you get to indulge in the activity itself.

Also note that if you don’t phrase your original logistics text as a unilateral plan, it’s not quite as effective to bust it out as a response to a rejection:

You: “I know a very scenic trail in the hills, we should run it this Saturday.”

Them: “I’ll pass on that one, I’m just really not a runner haha but thanks for the invite.”

You: “I’ll miss you but I’m just gonna go by myself.”

(Though if you just add, “Gotta keep up my model figure”, then it’s not too bad.)

We recommend using the unilateral plan because it’s an easy, reliable technique for always dropping a smooth BATNA.