I have an ON switch. When I get into something, I really get into it.
Whether it’s becoming the best pickup artist in the world, crafting the perfect electro album, or becoming a journalist in the Middle East.
I’m focused. And ambitious. Some would even say obsessive.
A long time ago, when I first started as an assistant coach in the Art of Attraction workshop, Sean Messenger was head coach. It was a large workshop, about 16 guys.
He asked at one point how many guys were in the Gifted and Talented program as a kid. Gifted and Talented was a program to help nurture kids who seemed exceptionally bright or talented in grade school.
75% of the class raised their hand.
I did too.
We get ourselves into trouble, he said, because we think too much.
How many times have you seen that gorgeous girl and instead of walking up to her and saying hi, you think and think and think.
All these thoughts flood your mind. Brilliant reasons why you could fuck this up.
Thinking and thinking, trying to come up with the perfect thing to say to this girl when all along you know the perfect thing is not to be perfect but to just do it.
Getting better at relationships with women is not like other pursuits. It’s not like astronomy or chess or guitar playing or surfing or mountain climbing or journalism or the stock market.
With all those pursuits, the more focus and energy you put into it, the better you get.
Chances are, you decided you needed to improve this area of your life, not so much because you want that perfect fantasy woman, but because at one point you succeeded in scaring off that precious angel who wandered into your vicinity.
You scared her off with your intensity. You drove her away with your inability to refocus on yourself.
From the drop, meeting women and keeping them involves two parts: being able to share and communicate and show appreciation for them, and also being able to elicit positive attention on one’s self.
What happens when you see that amazing woman in a coffee shop and you want to go approach her but then hesitate?
You think and think and think until… boom. You collapse in on yourself.
What happens when you get to know a woman and start to have feelings for her without her around?
You think and think and think about her until… boom. You collapse in on yourself.
You become needy. You start to read everything as her not liking you. You FOCUS too much on her and her every move, instead of focusing positive attention on yourself.
That focused intensity on her, with a lack of attention on one’s self, comes hand in hand with a negative cycle of thoughts about yourself.
Some call it obsession. Some call it depression. But whatever it is, it can start to feel bad.
Conversely, when a girl has that focused intensity on you, you start to lose interest as well, no matter how amazingly sexy and cool she is.
If on the second date she’s talking about marriage, you have a visceral body-level reaction: FUCKING RUN!
If approaching thousands of women over the past few years has taught me anything, it has taught me to learn to deal with my emotions.
Before doing pickup, I lived in a binary world. I was either intensely into a girl or she was intensely into me.
As I did more pickup, I came face to face with my fear. I encountered far more “rejection” in a single week than I encountered in my entire life previously. Instead of running, I learned to feel those feelings and accept them for what they were.
It has helped me immensely in relationships. I can now sense when I am focusing too much attention on a girl and not enough on myself.
But instead of feeling hopelessly out of control, I can accept those emotions and do something with them.
Perhaps refocusing attention on myself involves positive affirmations.
Or dating other people.
Or just stepping back from someone I care about and letting her show some affection for me.
Or perhaps it involves opening up to her and sharing with her how I feel, showing her how vulnerable I am and seeing if she can go there with me.
I used to fantasize about the perfect person. And I still do. I want that perfect Disney ending where we walk off into the sunset, hopelessly in love with each other forever.
But I know that this is a fantasy.
I know that relationships take work, as much work maintaining myself as it does showing affection and appreciation for the other person.
All my gifts and talents and intelligence are for not if I can’t open my heart, as a man, and feel what I want to feel.
Whether it’s a momentary interaction or the person I spend the rest of my life with, I know the journey will be as much about finding myself as it is finding the other person.