Tools #2

As often happens, I got busy as hell and wasn’t very active on this blog or the others I habitually frequent.  This little corner of the internet takes up rather more time than I thought it would.  Right now, it looks like I’ll be able to update once a week or so, and I’ll be slow answering comments for about the next month.  Sorry ’bout that, but real life is more fun than the internet.

Alrighty, then – to the next entry:

No Shit – there I was, trapped in Time and surrounded by Evil.  I was low on ammo, and it was dark and cold.  I didn’t know what time it was, and I looked over at…

Shit.

Wrong story.

Ahem.

In the post Tools #1, I talked about subconscious attraction cues and using pattern recognition as a stepping stone toward recognizing your own.  Some of them are
obvious – guys generally like healthy appearing women who exhibit signs of fertility.  (Eureka….snooze….)  Culture plays a roll as well – I’m not much into gals with stretched out necks, but some Burmese dudes dig it.  Poor bastards get raised that way, I guess.  That’s not what I’m talking about here.  The issue I’m addressing is that last 10%, that indefinable something that causes to you perceive some women as goddesses, and others as mere generic Hot Chicks.  Believe it or not, that differentiation happens in your own brain-housing group.  It has little to do with the objective qualities of the woman.  Recognizing the traits that flip your switch like that is worth considering.

You may find that your indefinable somethings are healthy and contribute to your long term happiness.  If that’s you, you don’t need this post.  Go play bocce ball or fold your laundry for 20 minutes or something, you psychological showoff bastards.  If, on the other hand, you’ve found yourself drawn to women who have a net negative effect on your life, come with me on yet another humorless journey of hellish introspection.

Huzzah! and such.

If you haven’t yet, please read the post titled “On Insecurity”, as those ideas figure prominently.

If you have your shit together (more complicated and debatable than it sounds – more on that later), a good woman will be like a combat multiplier – she’ll enable/push/allow you to do more of whatever you want to do.  That could be anything from providing focus and stabiltity in your life, to providing a little boost to your ego when you need it most, or adding fun, pleasure, and friendship to otherwise mundane hours.  I heard some women even have babies from time to time, so if you want to own one of those baby-type things you’re going to have to deal with a woman at some point.

It’s a fucking fact, though, that women can Wreck. Your. Shit. if you lack situational awareness.  Divorce, gutted self-esteem, wasted time, wasted money, and missed opportunity all await the man who chooses poorly.  “They” say that behind every great man stands a great woman.  That’s true for a lot of succesful men.  Behind a lot of guys who aren’t worth a damn stands a woman who helped pave the way toward mediocrity.  “They” don’t trot out that little platitude much, but it’s true.

A little common sense dictates picking a woman that adds good to your life, right?  What do you do, then, if you find yourself inexplicably drawn to women that have a net negative effect on you?  Do the Blue Pill thing and redefine “negative effect” and “common sense”?  Settle? Start hanging out in gay bars?

Give this an honest effort, instead:

Reject the statement “inexplicably drawn”.  “Inexplicably drawn” describes the relationship between moths and a Coleman lantern.  You are not some six legged flying horror destined for fiery oblivion, you’re a fucking man.  There are reasons for what you do, whether you choose to aknowlege it or not.  Accepting this is the first stumble on a journey of a thousand blisters.  Sure, some of those reasons are not nice.  Some of them say things about you that you might not like, things you wish weren’t true.  That’s fine – you can work on that junk later if you want.  Don’t shy away from the “bad” stuff – pull it out and examine it.  It’s a huge part of Why You Do What You Do.  Nobody’s watching, and nobody will know.  It’s important.

Next, objectively evaluate the impact a woman (or women) are having on your life.  Keep in mind that no person is entirely “good” or “bad”, and no relationship is, either.  This evaluation is harder to do than it sounds, and bears some careful consideration.  There are short and long term goals, second and third order effects.  If you’re not in tune with what drives you, what holes you’re looking to fill, and why you desire certain things, you’re going to be inaccurate in your assessment.  Garbage in = garbage out.  Spend some time thinking about this.  If you have trustworthy friends, seek some input.

Personal example time:

I mentioned in the last post that I used to be Sergeant Save-A-Ho.  I was really attracted to women that were….shall we say…a bit “troubled”.  About four or five years ago, I also started reading about/practicing Game.  Those two things were a Perfect Storm of Shit.

Seriously – I’m sitting here typing/thinking back, and when my mind brushes across those years, I get this wierd icy-cannonball-in-the-gut feeling.  It all seems so obvious now, but I wasted a tremendous amount of time and energy doing The Wrong Things For The Wrong Reasons.  Blech.

Over about a two year period, I was involved with:

-A stripper
-An architect
-A cocktail waitress
-A psychology grad student
-A yoga instructor
-A semi-pro model/sommelier
-A professional modern dancer

All of these girls were attractive.  Most were fun.  Some were smart, a few were funny.  I had a reputation for dating beautiful women.  Once a week someone would say,”Dude, how do you do it?!” On the surface, I was doing great.  My acquaintances were envious.  My very close friends were ready to pack me off to a monastery.  Why?  Here’s a more accurate list:

-A stripper (‘nough said)
-An architect with an eating disorder
-An alcoholic cocktail waitress
-A psychology grad student with poorly controlled bipolar disorder.
-A yoga instructor with daddy issues and pronounced gold-digger tendencies – come to think about it, she had some issues with food, too.
-A cokehead semi-pro model/sommelier who’s abusive ex-boyfriend/dealer tried to stab me
-A professional modern dancer with sexual identity problems (weird, weird shit, man –  not suitable for children, the aged, or the infirm.)

I’m a decent-looking guy (my mother says I’m quite handsome, actually), and I have reasonable Game.  I had a lot of stuff going for me – I was the Head of Security at a very hot club/lounge, a lot of connections, many acquaintances, and a shitload of pre-selection going on.  I made decent money at a fun job, and I knew what a bunch of hot girls looked like naked.  Of all those girls, only one dumped me – and she begged for me to take her back two months later.  According to some of the more superficial Game blogs, I should have been as happy as a pig in shit.

Why do I get that cannonball-in-the-gut feeling when I think back to those days, then?

Because some part of me knew I was just treading water.  I was floating on an ocean of women, riding wave-crests of hope and booty, then sliding into the troughs of disappointment and depression. Over and over and over again.  I was getting cynical and mentally tired.  I was acting like an animal, without introspection or higher thought.  I let myself be a slave to my insecurities.

Insecurities!?, you ask, aghast – How could a guy with all that going for him be insecure?

I’m glad you asked, even if you didn’t.  Here’s what I was insecure about:

-I was having some lingering physical difficulties from a bad day in Iraq.  You just ain’t the same after you get blowed up a time or two.
-I didn’t like my physical appearance.  I’d put on a bit of weight and lost some muscle after getting out of the military.  I have some ugly scars as well.
-I was terrified of getting dumped by a woman I was in love with…again.
-I hated myself because of some very ugly things I’ve done.
-In my bones, I was still a Blue Pill chump who thought he was lucky if a pretty girl gave him the time of day.
-Superficial, dead-end job.

One guy dating so many effed up women in such a short time doesn’t seem like such a statistical improbability now, does it? I was programmed to seek out a certain type of woman, one who could mitigate some or all of my issues.

Some of those insecurities had more influence than others, and some didn’t manifest in a consistent manner.  The most powerful was probably the self-hate.  I felt (and still feel) a powerful compulsion to even the scales a bit, to do some good, try and balance some terrible things I’ve done.  An early attempt at this was to try and “save” women with problems.  The dead-end job issue lead me to alternately desire and shun women with (relatively) prestigious career paths, depending on how I was doing.  My appearance/physical issues led me to value the physical perfection above all else in my girlfriends – “proving” in a goofy way that I was still attractive and desirable.

Once I got a handle on this stuff, I addressed what I could.  I got into decent shape.  I’ve put some Good Things into the universe, and come to terms with some of the Ugly Things. I get paid for “saving” people now.  I have a career path, rather than a job.  I beat the last of that Blue Pill Chump out of myself, mostly through repetition and endurance.

Addressing this crap had a predictable effect on my attraction triggers.  The thought of dating an addicted/disturbed woman is flavored with distaste now.  My lizard brain no longer perceives a diversion/opportunity, but a burden.  I deal with that shit at work, and it’s the last thing I want to come home to.  I still sense it on women, but it doesn’t create a drive anymore.  Same deal with abuse situations – I get my kicks practicing Krav.  Going to jail (however “heroically”) in defense of a pathologically troubled woman seems stupid rather than noble.  I’ve got things I’m proud of these days other than what my girlfriend looks like.

Feels good, man.

All of these things look quite simple and obvious laid out on the screen, don’t they?  If you were my friend back then, they’d be easy to spot after knowing me for several months.  Hell, you probably could’ve laid it out for me, like I did just now.  Easy peasy, right?  You’re probably nodding along because you know a guy who does the same thing…dumbass doesn’t even realize how obvious it is…

Guess what?

You’ve got a list, too.  It’s probably not the same as mine (I hope not, for your sake), and it influences you in different ways, but you’ve got one.  No shit.  You might have been shy in high school, and now find gregarious women attractive.  You might want other men drooling over your girl’s half-naked body so you feel better than them.  You might be messy, but find yourself drawn to very organized women. The correlation might be easy to see, or Byzantine in it’s complexity – but it’s there.

Not all of your drives/motivations/insecurities lead to bad outcomes.  Not all of them are worth spending time and effort on (like redheads with big tits?  So what?).  Don’t dismiss them all, though.  Think hard enough, get brutally honest with yourself, and pay close enough attention, you’ll realize a few that you’ve paid dearly for.

One of the things I’ve always found interesting about the human animal is how good we are at judging others, and how terrible we are at taking our own measure.  Thinking men get better at this with experience and practice.  For a young guy (or an unpracticed one), nothing beats using his relationships/attractions as a tool to ferret out things he has trouble admitting to himself – or simply doesn’t realize.

Seeing one’s target clearly is often the most difficult task.  If you can see your target, you can hit it.  If you can hit it, you can kill it – and move on to the next one.

Feel free to argue, disagree, learn, or teach in the comments.  Some of you guys reading this have been through similar transformations.  Let the younger guys in on how you did it.  Some folks might think I’m full of shit – that’s fine, too.  I don’t have All The Answers, just the ones that worked for me.  I’m happy to clarify or elaborate, time permitting.

Bonus points for connecting what I’ve talked about here to Game.  There are a bunch of corollaries in here, but this is the hand-crafted, individually tailored, eight essential vitamins and minerals version – not the mass-produced, one-size-fits-all, high fructose corn syrup stuff.  Apply moderation with both.  Arrogant foodies are more irritating than leprosy, but McDonald’s will kill you eventually.  More bad metaphors next week.

Thanks for reading and thinking.

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On Insecurity

Wikipedia says:

“An intimate relationship is a particularly close interpersonal relationship that involves physical or emotional intimacy. Physical intimacy is characterized by romantic or passionate love and attachment, or sexual activity.”

No shit, right?

Anybody who’s reading this spends an inordinate amount of time thinking about relationships – how they work, when they happen, what kind of people they happen to…

I’ll bet you could spell out in exact detail the type of relationships you want, and with whom.  Would you consider a single mom?  Your current girl, but 15 lbs lighter? A reformed carousel rider?  Twin bisexual cheerleaders who inherited a chain of liquor stores?

How should she treat you?  Supportive and submissive?  How many blowjobs a week is optimal?  You looking to start a family?  How much debt is that hottie dragging around?

All that stuff is important to work out, right?  You’ve got to know what you’re looking for and who’s a bad bet, or you’ll never be happy.  That’s common knowledge, of course.  Of Course…Everybody says it so it’s gotta be true…

Right?

Well….no, not really.  Not yet.

You’re starting in the wrong place.  You’re attempting a kidney transplant surgery believing a semester of high school biology is perfectly adequate preparation.  Make an incision and get started, if you want.  In the grand scheme of things, another rapidly cooling corpse is no big deal.

So, Smart Guy, I hear you ask – just what should I be thinking about?

The answer, as with so many things, is You.

Seriously – what the hell are you after?  What are you hoping to achieve, to feel, to become, in your relations with women?  If you’ve never before thought about this, it’s deceptively hard.

“No it’s not!” the novice crows,”I just wanna bang that receptionist with the big tits!”

The novice isn’t answering the question.  Why her?  Why not some other clerical worker with similar mammary glands?  Why not an actress with small boobs or a lunch lady with one?  If you can’t honestly answer, you’re going in blind and dumb.  You’ll have more fun and better long-term results wrapping 50 feet of duct tape around your head and sprinting across highways.

Why is this particular question so critical?

It’s the only way to recognize your insecurities as they pertain to relationships – and every human being yet born has insecurities.  The answer to that question is the first part of identifying the habits and subconscious strategies you use to compensate.

Insecurities are highly individual – possibly even unique in their manifestations from person to person.  A lonely nerd might pine for a gregarious woman – a relationship with her might prove to himself that he’s just as good as the “popular kids”.  It might salve the red, suppurating rash of loneliness, or offer an opportunity to shed his old social identity like a snakeskin against the rocks of her world.

A disorganized, grabasstic underachiever might be drawn to a woman who keeps a clean house – possibly seeking to benefit from her structure and stability, to learn a bit of that for himself.  He could also be working with some weapons-grade cognitive dissonance, seeking to prove to others he’s not actually that much of a slob.  Shit, his girlfriend wears librarian glasses and has plastic wrapped couches in her apartment.  She makes people take their shoes off inside!  A girl like that would never date a guy who didn’t have his shit together – obviously.  Her librarian glasses signal to himself and others that he’s reliable and organized…at least in his mind they do.

Even though insecurities are as unique as fingerprints, they have some common attributes.  They all influence one’s social environment – from the girl with a weird tooth who hates smiling to a fat asthmatic kid who affects intellectual superiority toward athletes.  Tooth-Girl’s lack of smiling will gradually nudge her toward interests, peers, and activities that are different than a more smiley person.  Maybe she wears a lot of black eyeliner, listens to The Cure and VAST, and starts smoking at age 15 with the goth kids.  They don’t smile, either, and she’s more comfortable with them.  The fat asthmatic kid will preserve/obtain his self esteem from other kids who don’t like sports – maybe he gets into programming or theater.

Insecurities also influence who we sustain intense attraction with.  A partner who assuages, invalidates, or compensates for our insecurities evokes more than attraction from us.  In extreme cases, you can feel like a person has “fixed” you or made you whole – in addition to more pedestrian love and attraction.  You can come to depend on them for your identity. They fill some hole you have in your ego. This can be very powerful.

Your insecurities are communicated overtly and covertly to the people you interact with.  It’s helpful to think of them like smells – you stink like hobo socks and skunky Budweiser and you ain’t getting in to that club.  The right kind of pheromones, though, can make a pretty girl into a goddess – for the right kind of guy.  So it is with insecurities – you’re interacting with people who’s brains are highly adapted for picking up subtle cues in their fellow humans.  Not much gets missed.  Many times you think you’ve gotten away with compensating, the other person simply didn’t call you out/think it relevant.  They notice and evaluate, though, even if it’s subconscious.  Uncle Paul’s elevator shoes ain’t foolin’ anybody, and neither are Jeremy Piven’s hair plugs.

It seems that most people never bother to examine their insecurities in any meaningful way.  We’re all experts at spotting others, but our own might only warrant some blustery talk or a bullshit waist size on some relaxed-fit jeans.

Consider that for a moment.  Other people can’t fool you very easily, can they?  You can spot the Napoleon Complex after 10 seconds of interaction.  You see the strange head tilt and heavy makeup of the girl with the big zit on her forehead.  They can’t hide this stuff they so obviously want to hide.  You are no different – you broadcast your crap just as they do.

How do your insecurities influence you?  What “choices” do you make that are really the dictates of your insecurities?  What does being massively infatuated with some particular person indicate about your self image and your personal context?  How has that influenced other areas of your life?  Why are you attracted to X?

Could you change it if you wanted to?

Couple things about this stuff I wanted to mention:

Sometimes our insecurities are ugly, or stem from ugly causes.  That’s fine – if you liked something about yourself, it wouldn’t make you insecure, would it?  If you shy away from thinking about them, though, you’ll never, ever improve.  It’s necessary to either bull through this natural aversion, or learn to examine yourself objectively.

One technique to identify subtle insecurities that influence your present behavior is to get ruthless and clinical about your past. Sit somewhere quiet for an hour and think.  What were you after when you did X? How did Y make you feel, and what would have made you feel different?  Why do you like Girl 1 but not Girl 2, and what does that mean?  What would your mother say about that?  Your best friend? Teddy Roosevelt?  George Washington?

Also, this stuff might not be useful if you’re just looking to bang bar-skanks.  It can be a lot of uncomfortable work, and there are many easy, somewhat effective ways to camouflage the insecurities most detrimental to rapid-rate booty.

It’s also tempting for a naturally shy guy to use this focused introspection as a means of avoidance.  Don’t bullshit yourself.

Sermon The Second, Part Two

This took longer than I wanted to post, mostly due to the denizens of my fair city attempting to die a lot.  Makes for an unpredictable schedule, does ol’ Death.  I’d lodge a complaint, but that Dude creeps me out when he turns His attention toward me.  I just collect the overtime and shut up about the extra hours.

Awright, before we get started –

This shit is not The Way, The Truth, and The Light.  It is a collection of concepts you should consider carefully.  It all applies to some degree, but no human being is exactly the same as another.  We all balance on a meniscus of habits, desires, drives, and pathology.  No curve is precisely the same – but everybody’s bent.  Okay?  Okay.

In the first part of this Sermon, I advised the newly Red Pilled Man to let go of his preconceptions about what women like.

So….what do women like from men?

Here are some basics, in no particular order:

1. Women want to be stimulated.

Stimulation in this context is not objectively “good” or “bad” – it’s merely a stimulus that evokes thought or feeling.  This can mean verbal fencing, listening to interesting/funny stories you tell, or doing some activity.  It can also mean engaging in a contest of wills.  It sometimes means thinking about men/you – whether fantasizing, worrying, playing matchmaker, stalking other women on your Facebook (stop it, Katie, we broke up a long time ago), etc.

Relationships figure prominently in women’s status/identities and the stimulation she gets from them is very important to her.

2. Women want to feel sexy.

There is a lot of nuance and individual variation to this.  Women want to be desired by men/a man they find desireable themselves.  Jane Doe doesn’t give a shit what BillyBob the itinerant, meth-addled garbageman thinks of her ass.  She considers him “creepy”, – the only enjoyment she gets from BillyBob’s Epic Ode To Her Glutes is to affirm that she’s out of his league.

A woman who’s in touch with her sexuality also enjoys using it to influence her environment.  For some women, that means making hubby’s Dockers tight by wearing that one nightie for him.  Other women like getting into the VIP/bottle service area of the club due to their Awesome Bew-bage.

3. Women want to feel deserved.

This is distinct from feeling taken advantage of.  Ye Hoary Olde Saying “Rank hath it’s privileges” applies here.  Every woman has a core identity, a way she views herself.  From this view she derives her social status.  This core identity feels like it deserves certain attributes in a man.  If more “man” is available – hey, great! – but less “man” will not be tolerated for long, if at all.  A dude who barely makes the grade will be tolerated only grudgingly.

This principle is perhaps more mutable than others, and bears careful consideration by men.  The core identity changes over time, therefore the “man she deserves” often changes as well.  This identity is subject to influence by extrinsic factors (I’m prettier than that bitch….right!!?!?) and events like childbirth, health, and the appearance (gasp!) of that first grey hair.

The most important and influential extrinsic factor operating on a woman in a relationship is her significant other – but he is emphatically not the only factor.  Do not forget that, gents.

4. Women want to feel secure.

This feeling has many manifestations.  Security can come in the form of a social support net, money, love, a good family, or confidence in the ability of her significant other to deal with problems.  The less perceived ability a woman has to influence her environment (either directly or indirectly), the less security she will feel.  The more her significant other behaves how she feels he should, the more secure she will feel.

Perhaps the most important thing for the Newly Red Pilled Man to notice about these things is that they all occur inside the woman’s head.  None of this stuff is directly related to who you actually are or what you do, gents. Getting women to treat you like a Badass is easier if you are, in fact, badass, but that’s not what we’re talking about here.  How she feels about you is the critical vulnerability.  Her feelings are what fuel her actions.  If you want to influence her behavior, you must be cognizant of them.

It’s also important to point out that some of these principles can conflict with each other.  For example, a woman may feel less secure watching her man be hit on by another woman.  She’s stimulated – there is definitely cognitive and emotional activity elicited.  If the man handles the situation Gamefully, she will then feel desired (sexy) and have her social status reinforced positively (deserved).

The relative importance of these principles is also dependent on context.  A woman you just met in a bar is looking for a combination of the first three, with security a distant fourth.
Matter of fact, if she’s yelling, “Security!” you’re about to have a Real Bad Night.  A pregnant wife, on the other hand, is going to value security very highly.

Rather than seeing these principles as contradictions, it’s more useful to imagine them as competing forces that must be balanced. Pay careful attention to the balance of stimulation and security, in particular.  Think of an aircraft – the pilot must manage lift, thrust, weight, and drag.  Neglecting any of these forces is where smoking holes
in the ground come from (fact!).

In some later Sermons we’ll discuss how you can effect these things.  In the mean time, feel free to argue/teach/learn/discuss in the comments.  I’m heartened and gratified by the discussion that’s taken place here already – you folks kick ass.

Sermon the First

Over the next few posts I’m going to lay some foundations.  These are things I think are important for the newly Red-Pilled Man to understand.  Some of them are not nice.  There are no quick fixes for any of them.  Gimmicks will work for a short time, or give you a glimmer of hope, but I’m not interested in that.  I want you to get what you want, long term.  So here’s the first sermon:

Remember what happened the first time you went off to college, or deployed, or visited Grandma over the summer?  You came back home and things were…..different.

There was a new stoplight at that intersection. Johnny’s mom got a new car.  Sarah fucked Billy and now her car’s outside his apartment every night.  Old Man Yi got killed in a robbery and his son Little Yi is running the liquor store.

For many of us, the first time we return home from an extended absence is the first realization that people actually have separate lives.  Instead of seeing only your future stretching out in front of you, an awareness creeps in of thousands of other futures moving forward, all at the same pace.  They intertwine, intersect, or swerve away from your future, never to be seen again.  Stuff happened while you were gone.  It still does.

Keep that in mind.  If you’re naturally a bit narcissistic, or have a tendency toward solipsism, it’s easy to forget.

“But…but…but Dogsquat!  I’m not a narcissist!” you retort.

Yeah, we all are to some degree.  A little narcissism is a good thing.  Without it, you could never show up to a job interview, or stand up to a bully, or argue with a stranger over the internet about how non-narcissistic you are.

I think this facet of humanity is where a lot of guys get into trouble with women.

Say you’re pining over a girl – she’s beautiful and cool and into the same weird shit you are – you spend a lot of time thinking about her.  You imagine a future together or wonder what she’s like in bed.

Well, she ain’t doing that.  Her life is separate from yours.  Her thread may cross yours a few times in the Marvelous Rug Of Life, but it’s not twined intimately with your thread, no matter how much you’d like it to be.  For the most part, people aren’t thinking about you when you’re not right in front of them.

If you pin your hopes for happiness or booty or whatever on some chick, you’re going to let all kinds of bizarre thinking creep in.

That girl you met at the bar?  Not thinking about you right now.

That cute chick that sits next to you in Cell Biology?  Not thinking about you right now.

The ex you’d like to get back together with?  Yup, you guessed it – not thinking about you right now, either.

Why am I repeating this depressing fact of life so many times?

Because it’s superfuckingimportant.

One of the fundamental principles of Game is called Outcome Independence.  It is not talked about often, but it’s one of the most powerful tools you posses.  If your happiness is truly independent from the outcome of an interaction with a woman, you’re halfway to where you want to be.  You won’t fall for little shit tests, appear too desperate, or sink into mini-depressions when she doesn’t text/doesn’t come over/won’t go home with you.  You might not even notice the little landmines girls lay in your path, because you’re skipping right past them.

If you pursue this principle, along with a few other things, you may find desirable women chasing you.

And Gents – it is impossible to be Outcome Independent if you’re pining away over a girl who isn’t thinking about your ass anyway.    There are many ways to discipline the mind in this regard.  Sometime down the road I’ll share mine.

Until then, here’s an easy fix:

Every time you think about a specific girl when she’s not there, or how much you’d like a girl in your life, do 20 push-ups.   Seriously – walk away from the group and pound ’em out.  If you’re in bed and your mind drifts, roll onto the floor and beat your face 20 times.  Studying?  Working?  No excuse – bash ’em out ASAP.

There are times, of course, when a girl is thinking about you.  Until you fully internalize (I mean live it, not fake it) this principle, odds are it’s not the girl you want thinking about you,  or it is the girl you want, but she’s not thinking anything good.

So start pushing, Gents.

Feel free to expand on Outcome Independence in the comments if you have tips or anecdotes to share.

On Blue Pill Expectations

I’ve been on two internet dates. One ended with me getting hot tea poured deliberately into my lap, and the other one was a fucking disaster.

Many moons ago, I went through a period of pretty low self esteem. I had just gotten out of the military and had a five year long relationship end on bad terms. I was adrift in life, and women could smell it on me. It was like I had a phantasmal neon sign above my head that read “Mid twenties male. Brash, annoying, desperate, clingy.” There was no love out there for your Faithful Scribe.

I did what every idiot does at that point, which was to convince myself that if I could just get the right girl, everything would look up. The ladies were not so enthusiastic about my cart before the horseness. I turned to eHarmony to remedy this unfortunate situation.

After the month long vetting process, I finally arranged a date. The girl was a Mary Kay salesperson (make up ladies are hot, right?) and seemed to be about where I was in life. I drove over to her apartment to take her to dinner, visions of meeting my future wife playing in my head. I just knew that this would be The One – we were going to become a team and pull each other out of our collective funks, building each other’s self esteem. Together, we were going to conquer the world.

I pulled up outside her building (she didn’t give me her actual apartment number for PERSEC reasons) in the rain and called her. After she said she was coming out, I began watching for her. I am a gentleman and always open the door for a lady, but I wanted to stay in my warm, dry truck as long as possible. After several false alarms, I heard a knock on my passenger side door. My finely tuned jungle sense had somehow missed the future love of my life walking across the parking lot.

I sprung into action, much chagrined. Had I messed up her first impression already? I hopped out, and went around to the passenger side door. The creature I beheld was nothing like the one that had danced in my mind on the trip over. There were no long, lean thighs. There was no feminine jawline, no perfect (but tastefully concealed) busom pushing through a sheer (but tasteful, you see?) blouse. Absent were soulful (but glinting with subtle mischief!) eyes.

I was looking at a human tub of shit. This poor girl had let herself go to the point of repulsiveness. She had two and a half chins, a pannus that hung to her knock-knees, and tiny, beady eyes that were permanently squinting due to the oppressive weight of facial fat. Dear Reader, I believe I actually took several steps back.

“Hi, Dogsquat! I’m so excited to meet you. Where are we going to eat?”

My mind raced. I had reservations at a five star restaurant. I was prepared to invest three or four hundred dollars on dinner with the vision in my head. There is no sense skimping on the woman who was to be my salvation, I had reasoned. But this? Is this what I deserved? Hell no.

“I figured we could head over to The Macaroni Grill. They have pretty good food, I guess.”

Quick thinking, right? Smooth, too. Not smooth or quick enough to back out of this date, though. I was bullied into opening the truck door by social convention, and my inability to be a total asshole to an obese girl.

Have you ever seen films of the paratroopers getting on planes prior to jumping into Normandy? Burdened by a hundred pounds of gear and parachute, those brave men struggled up the ladders into DC-3s, teetering on the threshold until they got a helpful shove from the man behind them. Watching this woman get into my truck was quite similar. She huffed and puffed, quivered and jiggled, and finally slopped herself into the passenger’s seat. My huge Dodge truck with a 3/4 ton suspension groaned. When I got back on my side, I swear my truck had a ten degree list to starboard.

Walking in to the restaurant with her, I was as embarrassed as I have been since a very unfortunate incident in fourth grade. The men cast pitying looks at me, and the women were not much better. The servers looked at her greedily, knowing there was economic opportunity in a woman who obviously ate so much.

Dinner conversation was uncomfortable, until I struck upon an idea. I asked about her past relationships. If I wasn’t going to get to know the future Mrs. Dogsquat, I could at least do anthropological research into the kind of man who sought a woman such as this. She was emboldened by my seeming interest in her.

“Oh, I don’t date a lot. I was seeing this guy for awhile, but he cheated on me and gave me an STD.”

“Oh..An STD?…So…uh…what did you get?” Like she had won a raffle or grab bag or something.

“I have genital warts. Don’t worry, though – I get them frozen off and you won’t catch anything. We can still have sex.”

“….”

“I hope we do have sex later. I’m having a really good time with you. I promise it will be great.” The last part was said with what I assume was a conspiratorial wink, but it looked like some adipose triggered facial tic.

“Okay.” I said.

That was the final blow for me. At that point in my life, I might have sunk so low as to use this poor creature for sex, but the thought of warts on my unit put the kibosh on that. We sped through dinner, her surely thinking I was excited by the promise of wading through folds of Limburger scented chub in search of her diseased lady parts, and me wishing for an ejection seat instead of a booth.

When we pulled up in front of her apartment building after dinner, I made the usual excuses about being tired and having to work early in the morning.

“You’ll call me, right?”

I envisioned her very own phantasmal neon sign spinning over her head. It read “Female, mid-twenties. Fat, boring, desperate, and an STD.”

I went home, deleted her number, and drank half a bottle of Jack.  Something had to change, I thought.  This can’t be all there is for me….

On Screwing it Up

When I’m single, I hit on every woman I think is attractive.  It’s good for them, and fun for me.  Most of the time.  No matter how tired/drunk/covered in blood I am, I do it.  Why keep the women  of the world from my presence?  Doesn’t seem fair.

When I work too many shifts in a row (I’m a paramedic) I start looking at everyone as a potential patient.  The balance of work, fatigue, and women should be carefully considered.

——————–

I was standing in line behind a nice young lady at a grocery store, dead on my feet after a zillion hours on the ambulance.

“You’ve got really nice veins…” I mumbled.

“Wh…What!1??eleven!?” she replied.

“No..uh..I mean…Your median cubital vein is perfect! If I had to, I could get a 14 gauge IV in there, no problem! Even if your heart stopped and your venous tone was crap.  No, seriously – I could do it.”

“Oh my God!” she said. She’d started out bright red, but progressed to a most pale skin tone.  Pale and diaphoretic as we say in the Meat Wagon business.

“Sorry. I’m really tired,” I sighed. “I didn’t mean to say that out loud.”

I still feel bad about that whole exchange. I creeped out that poor girl something fierce. I’d been working my ass off for 24 hours. I am tall and like to lift weights. I’m not a beautiful man, even in the best light. At the time, my eyes were so bloodshot they looked like cherry tomatoes in my face, my hair was wild, sweaty, and greasy, and I had unidentifiable stains on my pants and boots.

If her dad/SO/the cops had showed up, I’d have saved them the trouble and kicked my own ass. I was half expecting to be called in to my supervisor’s office for a month after that, since my agency’s logo was clearly visible on my shirt.

Sorry, Grocery Girl. I really didn’t mean it like that. I was just really, really tired.

But….Nothing happened.  I got a funny story, and she got a funny story (eventually it’ll be funny).  One of the worst attempts at flirting in the universe resulted in no material consequences.

And I looked like walking Death at the time.

Why are you not flirting with women again?

On Powering Through

I set my pack down and took a deep breath.  This is gonna suck, I thought.

I inched closer to the wall, trying blend in to my surroundings.  In this type of operation, remaining unobserved is critical.  The target is not an issue – you know what’s going down, and they’ll find out soon enough.  Sometimes the target wants this type of confrontation, anyway.  It’s the people close to the target that are variables you can’t control.  Some doctrines suggest allowing the target to escape if the situation is unfavorable for engagement, and I was operating that way due to local conditions.

I ran the plan through my mind again.  This operation had been in the works for a month, and I was terrified of fucking it up.  I was visualizing the primary and secondary egress routes with my eyes shut when I recognized the target’s distinct voice around the corner.  No mistaking that voice – not after all the direct and indirect intel I’d gathered.  I took a turkey-look around the corner for a quick visual confirmation.  I half-hoped I’d see something that warranted an abort, but conditions were favorable.  This, as they say, was motherfucking it.

My mouth tasted like copper.

My abdominal muscles clenched.

My right knee quivered like it always does when I’m scared.

I stepped around the corner.

The target locked eyes with me.

Blood pounded in my ears.

I unstuck my tongue from the roof of my mouth.

“Hi Melanie!” I croaked.  “Will you go to Homecoming with me?”

__________________________________________________________

That’s a true story, by the way.  All the tactical high-speed bullshit words got crammed in to my head several years later, but the rest of it is 100% truth.  It can really be that fucking scary to ask a girl out – believe me, I know.

It doesn’t have to be, though.

What you need is practice.

Start small. The next time you get coffee from a cute barista, ask her the time. Just a simple,”Hey – do you know what time it is? Okay, thanks!”  Ask her one question not normally associated with buying a cup of joe.

Go to the mall, find a cute sales-girl, and ask her to help you pick something out.  If I was doing this exercise I’d look for a nice dress shirt, because I’m fashion-challenged. That’s fine, because I will Gamejitsu my hypofashionemia into a demonstration of higher value.

Watch:

“Hi there.” eye contact and smile “You look like a person that knows about shirts.  Listen –  I’m an expert in advanced cardiac life support.  I know all about car crashes and broken bones and gunshot wounds.  That stuff comes easy to me.  But shirts….they’ve always been a mystery.  Help me out here.  How many sleeves do you usually recommend?”

That’s it – you’re off and running.  It doesn’t matter what you’re an expert in – accounting, 13th Century Welsh nobility, prolactinomas – whatever.  Pick something you’re good at and mention it.  It’ll pump you up subconsciously.  Then admit a stultifying ignorance – ignorance so exaggerated she knows you’re pulling her leg a bit.  Keep your tone friendly, maintain reasonable eye contact and open body language, and smile.  She’ll laugh.

Then, just let her do her thing.  Ask a few questions about the merchandise. Go with her recommendation, thank her for her help (eye contact and smile), and buy it.

Now, stay all-business with these girls – they’re there to do a job, not to be creeped on. If she shoves a number into your hand while the boss isn’t looking, you take it with my blessing – and skip the rest of this article.  You don’t need my help.  For the rest of you – Rome wasn’t built in a day.  Don’t make some working stiff’s day any harder – and yes, she’s a working stiff no matter what she looks like.  We’ll get to BJs in backrooms later.

Even though these girls aren’t going to blow you in the stockroom, you can get something out of the interaction.  Pay attention, and they will help you realize something:

To a certain extent, we all act out roles for strangers and people we don’t know well.  The girl who’s going to sell you a shirt is playing the part of Apparel Technician #2, and your part is Fashion Challenged Dood #4.

As such, there are accepted scripts to follow, and certain guidelines that keep you “in character”. If you deviate too far off script, you’re thought of as creepy/awkward. Think about what an actor playing a part would do in your shoes, and do that.  Embrace it.  Take courage in the role – to her, you really are Fashion Challenged Dood #4.  She doesn’t know you used to eat paste in 3rd grade, or that you’re a virgin, or insecure about your dick size.  Fashion Challenged Dood #4 doesn’t have those problems, so when you’re in his shoes, you don’t have those problems.  Wipe that paste off your face before you go in the store, please.

Do this until the “Holy Jumping Jesus! I’m talking to a hot girl! And she is motherfucking talking back to me!  Guys!  Guys! Do you see this shit, guys!” feeling in your gut goes away.

This will help you internalize the fact that women (even girls you like) are just people. Even the coolest, smartest, funniest, sexiest woman in the universe is just another person. Hell, when it comes down to biology, she’s basically identical to me.  No shit.  All you guys with tight Game reading along can think about that this weekend while you’re banging some dimepiece.  No thanks is necessary, gents.  I live to serve.

Anyway, there’s no good goddamned reason you can’t relate to me or her.  There’s absolutely nothing special about either one of us. You’ve just got to find the common ground with each and go from there – and every single person on Earth has some kind of common ground with you.  Think hard enough and you’ll find it.  It’s there.

The “acting trick” is a mental crutch to make that easier. You can (and should) drop it as you become more practiced at reading subtle social cues, and get more comfortable in your own skin.

Good luck, gents.  Try it.  And don’t buy any three sleeved shirts.  It’s after Labor Day and you’ll look unfashionable.