Becoming disappointed in yourself is a unique region in the realm of disappointment, because no amount of time and understanding makes it go away. The only remedy for it is to change yourself-- in fact, this is one of the best sources of motivation for self-improvement. I've recently become disappointed in my self, illustrated by these two strikes.
A common excuse from guys who fail to approach girls is that none of the girls are their type, or that none of them are attractive enough. Sometimes this is actually a legitimate reason for not approaching, but far more often it's an ego-preserving shield against actually facing the fear of approach.
When I was actively training myself for pickup, that excuse was never valid. I would just approach the most attractive girl in the bar, even if she grotesquely ugly. If there were no girls, I would go make friends with a guy. No excuses. However, after achieving a certain level of proficiency, I allowed myself to only approach girls I was attracted to. Once in a while I'd wonder if I was just making excuses, but then I'd eventually see someone I was interested in, and approach with no hesitation.
Flash forward to eight years later, most of which have been spent either traveling or in relative long-term-relationship bliss. I've become rusty, haven't done proper approaches in years, but still maintain the fantasy that if I see someone stunning, I would fall back on old instincts and approach.
Wrong. I don't know if it's the same for other guys, but once or twice a year I see a girl who appears to be exactly what I'm into. It goes beyond raw beauty; even her mannerisms and dress seem to radiate the type of personality I'd be into. I saw such a girl six months ago, or so, in the waiting area of a BART station. She was waiting for a bus, I was waiting for a friend. She was alone, bored, and standing a few feet from me. I stood there, silently, wishing I would talk to her. I didn't.
Months later, I can still remember this approach that never happened. I forget what she looks like, I forget what month it was, but I don't forget how I felt: disappointed in myself.
When people would ask me "where my game is", I would reply with some variant on the same idea: I've lost my ability to approach, because it's a skill that requires constant practice, but given enough time with a girl I'm interested in, I can almost certainly attract her. To anyone with no history with pickup, this sounds cocky. But it's really not such an uncommon thing-- no less common than a pretty girl attracting any guy who spends enough time around her.
For months I had almost no interaction with girls. My girlfriend and I broke up, another girl I was seeing moved away, and-- maybe most critical-- all of my time was being spent in front of this computer screen working on my startup. With various brief exceptions, I didn't mind this. Sometimes you have to put everything aside for something more important.
Then I met a girl by accident. There was no chance we'd end up in a little white chapel together, but she was pretty, we enjoyed each other's company, and there was chemistry. So, when it was a reasonably appropriate time, I went in for the kiss. And I was rejected.
Where exactly is my game if I'm not approaching anyone and I'm getting rejected by girls I am spending time with? At some point you have to acknowledge that just because you once were something doesn't mean that you remain that way for life with no maintenance.
My goal is to get back to a point where I approach any girl I'm attracted to, and to be sharp enough to maximize my chances of attracting her. Nothing more, nothing less. Unlike most pickup artists, I don't really care about hooking up with a lot of girls. I care about being able to do the right thing when it matters.
There's one way to improve with girls. It's not to read affirmations in the mirror every morning or to watch videos and read books. You have to get your boots on your ground. If you aren't constantly talking to girls, all these other things are worthless.
Starting January first (due to travel), I'll be going out seven days a week. There's no substitute for the momentum of constant approaching. At first I'll aim to approach twelve groups of girls every single day, although after a week or so, that will probably become impossible (because rejections will be fewer and far later in the interaction).
Approaches will be split up between day game and night game to regain comfort in both settings. I'll use almost no routines (can't get rid of the cube...) and will focus on honest openers like, "Hey, I had to stop and talk to you or I'd kick myself later", which fit every situation. Once I reach the level of proficiency I'm after, I'll cut back to a minimum daily requirement to stay on the ball. Maybe as little as one solid approach a day.
I'm doing all this not to become a player, not to chase after some girl I already know, and not even to find The One. I'm doing it because I've identified an area of my life that's subpar, and when I extrapolate what the future will look like if I stay on my current path, I'm not satisfied. The only remedy in these situations is to take drastic action.
I'll post at least one update after a couple weeks of getting back into this, and then another one when I cut down to one or two approaches per day. If enough new insight is generated, I may update Make Her Chase You.
Photo is just a random blurry shot of two cute kids.
Thanks to Adam for catching an embarrassing typo in the title!
I've been really surprised to see some of the responses that have come in on last weeks post about me quitting. In particular, I'm shocked at how many people think it's okay, or even best, to quit.
I can only assume that I did a poor job explaining why I'm getting back into pickup, because I can't imagine anyone in their right mind thinking it's okay to quit given the actual situation. So, first a recap of why I'm doing this, and then a specific response to why I won't quit, which I hope will make sense given the context, and then a few other comments on people's replies.
Why I'm Doing This
The only web comic I read is XKCD. It's smart, funny, and often times educational. I'm a fan. The latest comic is a criticism of pickup. There ARE certainly valid criticisms of pickup, but Randall took a cheap and inaccurate shot at it. I've shrunken it below, but you can see the original here.
I'm one of the main characters of The Game, have been going out every night since February first (except the last week, where I got caught up on some work), and am friends with most of guys who contributed substantially to the pickup community. In other words, I know what I'm talking about.
All of those guys are either too busy to defend pickup, or just sick of having to do it yet again. But hey, it's Thursday night and I haven't written a blog post this week, so I'll take a crack at it.