I’ve written about game for nearly three years since first discovering blogs related to pickup and other aspects of male-female interactions. Reflecting on the time I’ve invested in approaching women, going on dates and improving myself in various ways to increase my attractiveness to the opposite sex (thousands of hours in total), regrettably, I can’t say that I’ve become a better man.
This past week was one of the most difficult in recent memory, where I was forced to account for my behavior in the past few years and realize that I’m no happier than I was when I started, and have in fact done serious damage to my psyche, my character and the values that served as my foundation for the first 30 years of my life.
Though the emotional pain of reviewing my recent life with a fine-toothed comb and viewing it through the prism of new insights has been overwhelming, it’s probably the best thing that could have happened to me. I thank my friend, Solo, for being that mirror that showed me what I failed or refused to see.
Ironically I probably knew what I was getting myself into years ago with game. I knew that pursuing women wasn’t a road to happiness, but I did it anyway. Perhaps, since I had only ever had one girlfriend, a relationship that ended terribly, and I never attracted any others, at least not for long, I felt I had to give game a try anyway to convince myself.
Maybe it should have served as a warning that the “founding fathers” of modern game and pickup were emotionally damaged and frail people. It took longer to realize that many (if not all) of the present-day gurus aren’t happy with what they’re doing, but their identities are so wrapped up in sleeping with new women that it’d shatter their world (and businesses) to admit otherwise.
Have you met a happy player? Perhaps on the outside. The only truly happy men who’ve been successful with women that I’ve met are those with a girlfriend or wife and family they deeply care for.
I told myself that I was getting into game to find a cool girlfriend. It turned out that finding one was the easy part. What has proven impossible for me thus far is to decide that I’ve approached, dated and slept with enough women to decide on one I like, even when they told me they wanted to be with me.
The pivotal experience for me was last September when a girl I had been seeing for over 5 months finally confronted me to ask what this was all about. She had hoped that I would ask her to be my girlfriend, but it never came. She hadn’t been seeing anyone else the entire time, while I had. We never talked about it before, but it was a betrayal nonetheless. I led her on for nearly half a year, unable to even broach the subject for fear of things falling apart, as they did anyway.
Reviewing my list of “what I want in a woman” that I compiled several years ago, I see that she met virtually all of my criteria. Nonetheless, I sought to retroactively disqualify her in my mind for: not being affectionate enough, being too sexually inexperienced (lol, don’t we want a girl that hasn’t slept around?!), being distant at times and not being quite hot enough (this coming from a guy who’s barely better looking than average).
What I failed to reflect on for all of these months until now was what my faults were and how I didn’t stack up to be with this girl. I wasn’t very affectionate with her at all, except when it came to physical intimacy, I never gave her more than several hours of attention in any given week, even after seeing eachother for months and knowing we both liked each other, I kept dating other women searching for something I couldn’t even describe and would never find, ultimately losing whatever trust and mutual affection that had been established.
When she finally asked me where this was going and whether I was seeing other women, I replied that yes I was, and incoherently said something along the lines of “I’m not ready for a relationship with one person”. The pain and frustration I caused her was apparent and it’s no surprise that when I saw her several more times in the coming 6 weeks, and finally, weakly, told her that I wanted to keep seeing her, she said she didn’t want it.
I remember thinking to myself during that first, tense conversation, that I have to “maintain my freedom” and “being in a relationship is weak” and “limiting”. What garbage! No one is forced to stay in a relationship they don’t like or want, but I was incapable of even trying.
The pain I’ve experienced over the past week has been the culmination of recognizing that I have been deeply, deeply selfish in recent years and my egocentrism finally caught up with me. A canard liberally tossed around in self-improvement circles is that “the key to happiness is being selfish”, what bullshit! The happiest I’ve been in life has been when I’ve been selfless and humble, giving of my gifts and talents for the betterment and happiness of others.
Having been raised Catholic, the values and teachings that I’ve learned over the course of my life served as a foundation for the man I became. After going through a very devout period in my life, I was overcome with frustration at still being single and the apparent enjoyment that other, hedonistically-minded friends, acquaintances and guys on the internet were apparently having, so I essentially jettisoned the belief system I had stood by for so long.
While I had gone to church nearly every Sunday of life, I stopped almost completely during the past three years. While I had fought valiantly against pornography addiction through prayer, regular confession and penance, I let it take hold again (doubly distorting my view of women, when coupled with pickup techniques).
Last week I went to mass for the first time in three years of my own desire and free will, not because of an obligation I felt to family or because of a holiday. I went to confession for the first time in three years to begin to cast off the heavy burden of sin I’ve been carrying. I took part in the Corpus Christi procession through Warsaw’s old town, a centuries-old tradition in Poland. Yesterday I took part in a 6-mile pilgrimage from the center of Warsaw to the Temple of Divine Providence in the Wilanów district. There, during an open-air mass attended by thousands of Poles, including president-elect Andrzej Duda, I received the Eucharist for the first time in nearly three years.
While I can’t say that the heavens parted and angels began to seeing, I felt that my soul felt somewhat lighter. Between the two masses, confession, the procession and three-hour pilgrimage, I feel that the poison I’ve accumulated in my heart has slowly begun to drain out.
I don’t know if the realizations I’ve made (and will continue to make for a long time to come) could have been achieved any other way than by experiencing the pain of loss and shame firsthand. I hope and pray that what I’ve felt ultimately makes me the better man that can be in a real relationship with a woman. I don’t want to be a man that sees women as numbers on a scale, notches on a belt or substitutes for masturbation. I want to see in a woman the potential to be a friend, a wife, and ultimately a mother.
I’m not naive about the fact that men and women are different, and our biology leads to sometimes conflicting behaviors and goals, but we’re also human and reducing ourselves to our animalistic components blinds us to the spirit that animates our emotions in ways we can’t fully comprehend.
I don’t think that most game bloggers and PUAs consciously mislead men, but I think they’re wrong about the big picture, even though the methods and techniques they advocate may yield short and near-term results. Take several pieces of “advice” that have become gospel in this realm:
“Men need sex”
While men are biologically wired to pursue sex, it isn’t necessary for a man to survive. Of course procreation is how our species survives, but the idea that sex is a necessary component of every happy mans life deserves scrutiny.
“Sleep with X women before you get into a relationship.”
I’ve heard “at least 10”, 20, 25 or even more. Of course there is no basis for this belief, other than the idea that a man will be less naive and have a better idea of “what he wants in a woman” by sleeping with many of them. Since women come in a limitless variety, wouldn’t it follow that you could keep sleeping with women indefinitely and discover many new things that you like and don’t like? What if you’ve only slept with 3 women, but begin dating a great one that you really like. Should you push through to 10 even if it means losing her? Who should you direct your complaints to when you lose that girl that was special to you because you decided to follow this baseless advice?
“Sleep with a lot of women when you’re young, to ‘get it out of your system’ and definitely don’t get in a relationship before 30 “
This one ties back into the first, but there is no specific limit on the number of women you should sleep with. Theoretically it’d be fine to sleep with 100 women in your teens and 20s. Then you’ll really know what you want in a woman! The entire premise that sex (a visceral, powerful, emotional act) is a good tool with which to judge other people’s worth is never substantiated.
“If you break up with a girlfriend and still have feelings for her, sleep with X women first and then see how you feel”
Another example of sex somehow being the ultimate arbiter and clarifier of what’s best for men. I’ve slept with more women this year than the average man will in a lifetime. I feel worse than before. Can I get a refund?
“Date multiple women so that if any one of them gives you trouble you can drop her without skipping a beat”
Ok, so at what point do I get to really know a woman if I’m only seeing her once a week for a few hours because I have 4 other dates lined up? What if a woman I’m seeing challenges me on my bullshit, aimlessness in life or inconsistency, how does dumping her make me better?
“Relationships and marriages are cynical attempts by women to enslave a man and extract his resources”
It’s an unfortunate reality in the western world that divorce is widespread and initiated by women a majority of the time. Just because the west (America specifically) is fucked, does that mean that marriage and monogamous relationships should be abandoned?
I don’t presume to have the answers to all of these questions, but they demand a response.
Clash of Civilizations
Having moved to Poland in part because of the more traditional and conservative culture and the greater number of feminine women, I also must shake my head at the hypocrisy of men (myself included until recently) who lament the collapse of western civilization, while pursuing a hedonistic lifestyle that undermines the type of society that they claim to desire.
I will be giving all of this a lot more thought in the future, but having immersed myself in this lifestyle for years now, I can’t help but notice the glaring inconsistencies.
I’m still all for men working to overcome crippling anxiety. When I was a freshman in high school I remember the first dance I attended, I literally couldn’t open my mouth to speak to anyone and spent the night sitting in a circle with the other shy guys while everyone else socialized. I’m glad that I can start a conversation with anyone that I choose to and typical social situations are easy for me to deal with. I also think that I could have dealt with my anxiety without trying to also sleep with women.
What I can no longer support is that men actively learn game in the form of pickup techniques, thinking that it will help them “get this part of their life sorted” when it comes to women. Though I’ve succeeded in terms of meeting and attracting numerous women, I don’t feel that I’ve gained anything of lasting value and have damaged my character, and caused pain to and ultimately lost women I cared for.
Every man must choose his own path and change track on the journey if he thinks he’s gotten off course. You may think that my observations are incorrect, or that I’m just “doing it wrong” and if I only focused on expunging all of that superstitious, moralistic dogma that has served as the bedrock of the civilization you claim to support, then I’d be happy.
Believe me, I’ve tried it. I purposely partook in many of the “bad” things to prove the moralizers wrong. It turned out that I was fooling myself. Once you recognize truth in something, even if it’s sometimes obfuscated by the failings of mortal, human beings, you’d be a fool to keep pushing against it. It will kill you inside.
Having been raised as a Catholic, I’ve come full circle from faithfulness, to the rejection of my faith and the pursuit of hedonistic pleasure, and now back to the Church. It’s hard to imagine consciously returning to that lifestyle, though the temptations to stray are many. I see my life in the near term focused on my spiritual well-being, reflecting on and eliminating destructive habits and studying for my PhD. I’ll continue to see the handful of women I’ve met in recent months, but I have no desire to complicate things with sex at this point.
Another bad piece of advice “push for sex as quickly as possible, that way you’ll really get to know the woman and you can choose to pursue a relationship later”. Having sex early never worked out well for me, and if I continued a relationship with a woman it was in spite of early sex, not because of it.
If you take one thing away from what I’ve written its that you shouldn’t take anyone’s advice at face value. It’s a knee jerk response to consider “Red Pill” advice to be good and anything characterized as “The Matrix” to be bad. What’s the ideological and philosophical basis of either of these concepts? There isn’t one. They’re just tools used to convey ideas and not always for your benefit, even if the author’s intentions are good.
I for one think “game” has become a type of religion or belief system, essentially hedonism focused on sex as a god to worship. If men want to live this lifestyle they should at least understand what they’re getting themselves into.
Your experience is probably different than mine. That’s fine. I welcome any critical comments that’ll add to out understanding of this oft-confusing, modern world that we live in. What do you think?