• Evan
    Participant
    #3828

    The past week for me has been pretty reflective.

    A question that I’ve been focused on quite a bit is – am I actually getting better at this – and how do I know if I am. How do I know where I am at relative to my goals? And am I taking the best strategy towards reaching my goals.

    Everyone who will read this post knows that the past year and a half I’ve put in a good amount of time towards improving my dating life. The effort and time that i’ve put in has been far from perfect. My practicing has been pretty inconsistent. I often get bogged down with other work and take breaks from going out. And when I am out, i’m often not putting in perfect practice sessions. Some nights I get anxious and don’t approach a ton. Still, compared to the average guy, I’ve put in way more time actively trying to better my dating life.

    What’s triggered this reflection is that in terms of dating, the past 6 weeks have been pretty bleak – probably the bleakest of the past 8 months. This bleakness happened gradually. About 5 months ago I had 4 different girls I was regularly seeing/ dating. I was having sex and generally receiving positive affirmations/emotions/energy associated that come with dating multiple times a week. This all occurred over the course of the 6-8 months after taking the course. So, if you had asked me at that point in time whether I was improving, I would have said definitely, things are going awesome. What happened with those four – 1 of them moved out of the country, and two of them I stopped seeing because I became consumed with the last one with whom things ultimately didn’t work out. I think I figured I would sort of just fall into a few more relationships since then, but I haven’t really. And I’ve been starting to deconstruct why not. When I go through how I met those 4 – one was met from online, one was met from school, one was friends with my roommates – she had come over for dinner, and the last one i was friends with in college. I think for all of them, things I learned in the class and practiced in field w/ cold approach helped me date them, but none of them were cold approached. I’m actually yet to date anyone (or go past a a first date) with anyone I’ve cold approached at a bar. (edit – i forgot about one instance that I posted about where I took a girl home. i only half count this because i met this girl at a friends party at a bar. so it was more of a warm approach than a total cold approach).

    This reflection led me to two ideas.

    Idea 1. I think there was a while when I thought I was much better at cold approaching and dating than I really was. My expectations were somewhat out of sync with my capabilities. I took the cue that I was seeing 4 girls (2 of whom I thought were very attractive) as evidence that I had gotten good at this – even though none of those girls I had met through cold approach. Another thing which contributed to this was helping out with the class. Having to help teach made me think I was really good – and distracted me somewhat from things I wasn’t so good at.

    Thinking you’re better than you are is a double edged sword. One one hand, it makes you confident. But on the other, it can screw things up. One way it screws things up is that it makes your standards for girls you’ll talk to and date too high. The most attractive girls I’ve dated have always come after strings of dating less attractive girls. Similarly, if I only hold out and say I’ll only approach/go on a date with/ message online a girl who is at least as attractive as the most attractive girl I’ve ever dated, that leaves a small pool of really the most difficult girls left to practice on/ build your state on/ and more over have an enjoyable time with. I need to lower my standards. I don’t mean lowering my overall goals of entering long term relationships with the most attractive women, but in general lowering my standards for who I’ll approach and go on dates with. In addition to higher standards, I let myself not do certain things I didn’t want to that are necessary under the pretense that I didn’t have to. And this was wrong. Even as you get better, you still need to dress up nicely when going out, you still need to get in state at the beginning of the night, and you still need to have structured practice – you need to approach a lot when you go out.

    Idea 2.
    A few of the things which was putting me into relationships a few months ago, I haven’t really been doing. Three of the above came from social circle. One came from old roommates that I somewhat regrettably split from to live alone. I haven’t really been utilizing social circle as a way to meet girls. I need to refriend and become close with girls I used to be better friends with so I can meet their friends.

    The last is online dating. I became totally lazy here, and need to go back to this hard. It’s a great way to get dates. 2 things I need to do are to 1. send out lots of messages (at least 15 a week is a goal now) and 2. to take some better photos – this is intertwined with continually improving fashion, grooming and fitness.

    —————–
    Overall though, I think it’s important that I get a handle on how to measure progress and how to know if i’m doing things that are worthwhile and moving me forwards towards my goals. I’ve recently been thinking about is two dichotomies in how to practice and measure progress. The first dichotomy is being being processed based versus outcome based. A few months ago when I was pretty happy w/ my dating life, I’d say I was pretty outcome based – I was looking at my current state of how things were going, and thought it was good and thought progress was being made. Somewhere along the line, I switched to more process based – I didn’t really care about results, I just thought if I did certain things in a night (e.g. approached 5 girls in a certain amount of time), that would be a success. I think both of these points of view are important. Dating is sort of a game of percentages – you try a technique – whether it goes well or poorly depends on factors that you can control (e.g. voice, movement etc.) but also factors that you can’t control. Similarly, how well you implement techniques on a given night will depend on factors that are often outside of control (e.g. what’s your mood, how much sleep/socializing have you been doing recently). Because of this, it’s important to have some persistance in the face of initial failures. Getting this persistence requires measuring how you do by how well you implemented a process according to your own standards (e.g. how many people did you approach). But going fully processed based is bad too. With me for instance, I would measure success by whether I approached, whether I touched. By not measuring success by tangible outcomes (e.g. did I get a number or date) I would actually not push interactions through to those outcomes. I would leave sets prematurely because I wasn’t motivated enough by the potential outcome to risk going through potentially uncomfortable steps of getting there.

    Last problem with purely processed based approaches is that they’re not very motivating. It’s hard to motivate the process without caring about how it goes.

    To become more process based, I’m going to shift my goals only slightly. I’m going to set a standard for myself of going on 1 date a week (with a new person). This should be doable through a mix of approaching and online dating.
    ————————————-
    The last dichotomy I’ve been thinking about is practice. Practice can either be structured or unstructured. By structured I mean, things like using an opening routine practiced before hand. Setting a goal for a night that you’re going to work on moving a girl 3 feet. Setting a goal for a night of changing venues. Alternatively, unstructured would entail just going out, seeking to have as much fun as you can and winging it. I think you need both. I’ve been unstructured recently. I think this is good because it generalizes well to everyday life (e.g. work, friend’s parties, social circle) where you’re not going to have prepared memorized stuff to spit out. Similarly, it can be less stressful in certain ways. However, I think it’s time to return to a bit more structure. The reason is that this will help me figure out where i am at and where i am getting stuck.

    Anyway, there’s more that can be said here, but i just realized i’m out of time for writnig this. I may try to finish this off or add some thoughts in the comments.

    John
    Moderator
    #3834

    Hey, this is all really great and insightful stuff. From my own experience, I think the first thing is to not be hard on yourself about the time that you’ve put in to the results you have received because this is a long process and it almost seems like we never get out what we put in to it. It is important to have a great plan, have people who can give great insight into questions you have, and the motivation to get by any obstacles that you face.

    I also really like your last point. I think it is very important to have the entire Date compass in your head and know all the steps from saying hi to dating someone and the different areas you can progress this in. I think it would be a very good idea to see where you are consistently getting stuck. Is it moving within the venue? Is it being able to consistently kiss a girl? Is it not getting past the first date? All your ideas are great, but they are more theoretical. It seems like you need more concrete ideas as to how far you can consistently get to in the compass, what’s holding you back from progressing further, and how do you get past what’s going wrong. Obviously it’s hard to know what’s going wrong, but I think this is where personal notes are so key. It’s so important to detail what has happened during all these dates and interactions and come back to Chris or the forum and ask questions that get at the root of what’s holding you back. That’s what I did for a lot of my issues and still continue to do. I keep seeing myself unable to overcome an obstacle. I rack my brain about it, and I come to Chris with a lot of questions about it. I write everything down that he tells me, and use it. I can honestly say there wasn’t a hurdle that Chris hasn’t had a solution to. The beauty of it is that I’m sure we all have very similar issues so we can answer eachother’s questions pretty easily.

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