It’s summer and you are all alone most nights. Friday night is Netflix night, Saturday night feels dark because you know it’s another chance to face the loneliness. Some might have plenty to do during the day. Friends, activities, sports – these make the daylight hours tolerable. But those same friends have girlfriends or wives to go home to.
This was my life post divorce. I had a lot of friends. I was not a total loner and or loser. But the weekend nights were torture. I felt the holes of my depression, the emptiness in my soul. This feeling that I was totally incapable of meeting anyone. And if I did actually meet anyone, what would I do?
I read a lot of books, The Game among others convinced that I just needed to “learn” to be a “man” and attract women to me. I wanted to learn to say the right things, be overwhelmingly confident and display complete knowledge in the art of charm. I ventured out armed with my knowledge and having built up a fictional character of myself, the goal was to be anyone but “me”. I hung out at Starbucks, various events I was involved in and “worked my game”. I studied the way my “targets” moved and learned to give them the best “non-me” that I could. I tried to embody the one episode of Seinfeld where George became “Bizarro George” and started to do the opposite of everything he thought and felt.
I took my game to Internet dating and browsed hundreds of profiles throwing swift one liners and invitations to coffees and dinners to dozens of women each lonely Friday and Saturday night knowing that it was purely a numbers game. It was the modern take on speed dating. Swiping and clicking my way to a meaningful relationship.
After months of this and hundreds wasted on dating membership sites, dinners and gas driving all over LA to meet women. I was still alone. Sure, I had met a lot of interesting women and got some action – but it never felt 100% right. I was , however “working it”.
After some time, sitting in front of the computer became an exercise in self pity and loneliness. I felt torn up inside. I turned instead to porn because that, after all, is what I was looking for – relief.
I came to understand, after much self reflection, that my quest was not to find a partner. I was simply trying to prove myself. I wanted to prove to these faceless women and the faceless world that I was “someone”. The feeling that there was no one out there in the world for me served only to reinforce the idea that I was different and fucked up. So I chose to go down the “pick up artist” rabbit hole to prove I was not just someone, but a MAN. The truth? It only proved how deeply flawed I was. It provided nothing to me but dollars spent on useless courses from guys who were just as insecure and broken as I was.
The idea of how to get the right partner feels like a quest for the holy grail. It’s the great joke of life, because guess what – there is no such thing. You are as likely to find the perfect partner as you are to find a unicorn galloping down the street. Everyone is flawed. There is no perfection in relationships, mainly because they involve other people. On some level people will always let you down and they will never add up to the fantasy that you have created about them in your head. I am not talking about settling or lowering expectations, but I am talking about finding the perfect mate who checks off everything on the list. Conversely, as a Nice Guy, one of my biggest flaws was that if a woman showed interest in me, I would immediately fall for her. Why? I honestly believed that I did not have a choice in partners. If she liked me, then I have to pursue her back– who knows if someone else will ever go for me? The question then is, how do we find these perfect partners without being some cheesy pick up artist or mockery of what we think we should be? Especially for a guy like me who suffered crippling social anxiety and really had nothing to offer someone on a material level. But I did have one thing – a great capacity to love.
The answer for me was to throw out all the BS I was trying to learn. It never served me. Pretending to be some highly aggressive, confident, arrogant, egomaniac is not my style. I tend to be more soft spoken, I enjoy poetry, flowers and art. And you know, there is nothing wrong with that.
The important part was being just me. Opening up and allowing myself to be not only vulnerable to rejection, but be willing to take risks in how I communicated with the women I wanted to date. I become upfront with my intentions instead of hanging around them being their buddy and then wondering why they were never attracted to me.
My approach to women changed. I kept a little to myself. I did not need to vomit my whole life story on the first date. I learned to pace how much I gave myself away. This way, the relationship was not starting off as a one way valve. Nor was I wasting too much time on one person.
One concept I embraced is Dr. Glover’s idea of getting to rejection quickly. You see, I used to hang out with these women forever and wonder why they never just magically went for me. Well, come to find out, they never knew I was interested. So I learned that it was vital to start taking risks, get to being rejected so I could give myself permission to move on. This principle applies to all areas of my life (like most dating concepts tend to do). By getting to the point where something is not working or not recieved, you are forced to pivot, to find other solutions (or prospects).
Another thing I learned after all of this searching (and what I try to teach other men) is that there is no “game”. The only game is what is going on in your own mind. The best pick up line you have in your arsenal? You ready? because here it is… “Hi, how are you?”
Guys tend to forget that women are emotional in nature. Not visual (like us). So by saying “Hi, how are you?” and engaging them in friendly conversation that feels safe, authentic and with curiosity is the single best way to enter into a person’s life. It is not about keeping track of the many ways you can throw them off balance or give them a mysterious story about yourself. It’s more about sitting in the confidence of your own value. Having confidence in your own value and what you can offer this world.
By having this in your mind, trust me, you will learn to be picky. You will start having choice about the people you date and enter into a relationship with. Everything will make sense.
So don’t waste time and money on workshops. Spend that time and money investing in good therapy or coaching on your inner value. What makes you unique? What do you have to offer? What are you passionate about? Those are the things women care most about. Not your game.