I've just completed my eleventh day of my thirty day get-back-into-pickup challenge. No... I'm not going to beat myself up this time-- I'm going to talk about what I've (re)learned over this week and a half.
The interesting aspect to this whole process is that I'm not actually learning anything new. I've been through this before. But there's a difference between knowing that something is true, and actually knowing something to such a degree that your actions are guided by it. Following are some ideas that have begun to take hold.
The most important part of pickup is getting out there and doing it. Yesterday I had a headache and was underslept. I really didn't want to go out. But the idea of not going out every single day this month is inconceivable at this point, so I went anyway. And, of course, I was glad I went.
Second to getting out there, persisting is the most important thing to focus on. I've gotten two solid numbers so far, solid meaning that the numbers belong to girls I'm attracted to, and that the girls respond when I text. In both cases, the conversation stalled at one point, and I wanted to just walk away. Instead I decided to push forward a bit more, and in both cases they warmed up and we exchanged numbers. This has been my wing's experience, too. The only thing we're focusing on right now is not ejecting-- either she walks away on top of your protestations, or you've gotten her number.
In a similar vein, it doesn't have to be a perfect pickup, and it almost never is. Last week I had one set where I opened horribly-- she didn't understand the opener, I came in at a weird angle, and my follow-up wasn't very good. But I stuck in there, kept talking, and before I knew it we had been sitting together for an hour before we exchanged information.
Talking is always better than not talking. In an ideal world, everything I say would be hilarious, revealing, and bold. In reality, sometimes I run out of good things to say and I ask her about her dog. But that's okay, because two sentences later, I'm talking about something interesting again.
Half the reason you can just talk about anything is because your closest competition is just straight-up not talking. No one else is stopping girls during the day and talking to them. The first number I got was from a model. I left thinking, yeah, that may not be a solid number. It's not that I didn't think I was worthy (I'm way too arrogant for that), but that I didn't think I'd conveyed enough for her to really be interested. But when I texted her, she replied back within minutes with three texts, including a smiley face. Especially during the day, you get a lot of credit for just walking up and not being scared.
Rejection is a joke. The day before this whole thing started, I was seriously scared out of my mind. I had trouble sleeping. I actually meditated to try to calm myself down. But, then, on the first day, I approached eight girls and didn't get any of their numbers. I awkwardly ended some of them, but other times they walked away or barely stopped to hear my opener. None of this felt bad, or really even registered on my radar. What makes me feel bad is when I make a goal and fall short (like when I eject before I have to), not when a girl doesn't want to talk to me.
Doing this has also reminded me how critically important it is to get out of my comfort zone. Traveling used to push me, but now it's as normal as eating breakfast. Playing poker used to make me feel like I was really stretching myself, but now I can put a thousand bucks on the table every night and not worry. Getting back into pickup has really moved me out of my comfort zone, and in a weird way that feels good to me. I've made such a lifestyle out of being uncomfortable that now being outside my comfort zone actually feels like I am in my comfort zone. The emotional responses to fear and uncertainty are familiar and manageable.
During the first few days of getting back into this, I compared myself against my old friends who have continued to excel at pickup while I slacked and did other things. It was daunting. But now, even after just eleven days, I realize I'm probably at a level where I could stop improving and have an above-average dating life. Say that I get a solid number every two days. That's fifteen attractive girls a month that will meet up with me. Even if I was really bad at following up and just played the numbers game... those are pretty good numbers. So, yeah, it takes a lot to be a king of the game, but it doesn't take that much to get proficient enough to be in the top 10% or so. The bar is set extremely low here because most people don't date outside their social circles, and use chance as their main dating strategy.
Even outside of pickup, I've noticed that I'm just a better, more social, person. When my wing and I go through the mall to check our bags and eat lunch, we're chatting and joking around with all the employees, making them laugh and have a slightly better day. I'm not trying to pretend I'm not doing this to meet girls, but the truth is that there are benefits that radiate beyond dating.
That's about all I've absorbed from my experience so far. None of it is advanced or ground-breaking, but I mention it all because sometimes the fundamentals are the most important part of the process. It's been a really fascinating process to go from being a teacher to a student again, and I can't wait to look back on this post in another ten days and reflect on how much I've learned since.
No promises, but I'm going to try to get an additional non-pickup post up later this week.
Technically this is being posted on my 14th day, but I wrote it on the 11th. Also, I'm going to do at least 6 weeks, not just a month.
No picture. I keep meaning to get some pictures of me in set, but I keep forgetting. Next time, maybe.