5 Surprising Lessons I’ve Learned as an Intermediate Online Dating Student

Note: I’ve written this article as a guest blog post for Playing with Fire. I’m reposting it here, as I’ve done with other such articles. This one was written for a diverse audience, including guys who are new to game — or even not at all interested in game. So please, forgive the introductory language and definitions around words and phrases that are common in the “community”, such as DHVing.

So, I’ve been a student of the Playing with Fire community for nearly a year now. I’ve been even more fortunate to also receive 1:1 coaching from some of the best guys in this community, including my mentor Indian PE and even on occasion Alex and David themselves.

In all that time, I’ve learned a LOT. When I discovered PWF, I had no idea what I was doing (very much a beginner). Now, I see somewhat consistent results (intermediate). I’m even able to help out fellow community members.

In this post, I wanted to share some of the top lessons I’ve learned during my time here. If you can internalize these lessons, you’ll be able to see a huge and quick jump in the results of your online dating.

1. Double texts are often a death sentence.

This is one of the most common mistakes I see in the Mastermind, even with guys who have been in the community a long time. When I’m talking about double texts, by the way, I mean sending more than one text in short succession. Double texting 24-48 hours after receiving no response is a totally different strategy, one that can be effective when employed correctly.

I suspect there is one main reason why guys are so tempted to double text. After hitting ‘send’, guys start analyzing and worrying about the messages they sent. They do this to the point where they overthink it. And so they double text in an effort to recover in some fashion.

And yes, they may have sent a suboptimal text. But, the attempt to recover comes off as low value, lacking options with women (abundance), or otherwise super lame. And so these second texts end up hurting, rather than helping.

99% of the time it’s better to be stuck with a single suboptimal message than it is to double text her.

So, the next time you’re tempted to double text, don’t! Leave your single message, and give her at least 24-48 hours to respond before you send another text.

2. Your texts don’t always have to make perfect logical sense.

I’m not talking about ridiculous, gamey, or silly messages here. Instead, and similar to #1, I often find that guys way overanalyze messages, often worrying about ridiculous scenarios they’ve invented in their heads that are highly unlikely to unfold.

Keep in mind, men are the logical gender. We men say what we mean, and we mean what we say. Women are much more driven by emotions. For women, they communicate a lot more using subcommunication. In other words, the subtext of what you say matters much more than what you actually say.

As a specific example, one of Alex’s most preferred replies to “How are you?” is, “Good, just finished a killer workout. Looking nice and jacked for our date”.

This line is packed with value. First, it replies to her question. Second, it shows her value by saying that you workout. Third, it baits her with the idea of a date — which she may hook onto.

But when I suggest this, I sometimes hear from guys in the community, “It’s 1 PM, and I’m at work. I can’t send that!” or “It’s 12 AM, she obviously won’t believe it.”

A similar one is, “I’m awesome! Having a glass of wine on my romantic patio” (credit Indian PE). But a guy worries about this because “It’s raining today” or “It’s too cold to be on your patio”.

This is where men’s logic and tendency to overthink is to their detriment. Odds are, girls aren’t going to say anything about this. You, as a man, focus on the logic of these statements. The girl focuses on the emotions she’s feeling from all the value that’s packed into it.

3. Calibrate your messaging, particularly the valuable things you display about yourself to the woman, based on the kind of girl she is.

With online dating, she will determine you to have some level of initial value to her. She bases this on your looks and what she’s able to discern from your pictures and bio. Then, you spark further attraction in her by showing her that you are high value. You show value through what you communicate and tell about yourself.

Having “good text game” is core to this, but of course, learning text game is something that happens over time. The other part is telling and showing her areas of value from your life. This is sometimes referred to as “displaying higher value” or “DHVing”.

One frequent mistake I see guys make is showing the same areas of value with every single woman. Instead, you need to think about what type of woman the girl is, based on her photos and bio.

Here are two archetypes of women to help solidify this concept this for you:

A hard-working professional woman who is career-oriented.

Good way to display value: Telling her about how you had a recent meeting with the CEO and board of directors of your company.

Bad way to display value: Telling her about all the parties you’ve been going to lately and how you’ve been staying out every night until 5 AM.

A college girl who’s into music festivals and partying.

Good way to display value: Telling her about a DJ you dated and the crazy parties you are now able to get VIP access to.

Bad way to display value: Telling her about your career and ambitions.

4. You can build attraction (and more) over text.

An old mantra I used to hear from dating coaches was that you could never attract a girl over text messages. That texting was a mechanism for setting up dates and logistics, but nothing more.

Playing with Fire totally flipped this for me. I’ve seen Alex and David do crazy things over text messaging that shocked me. One amazing example of this is how you can trigger women to get what you want.

By subtly showing your value over texts, which includes the way you text her (again, “text game”), you can — and will — get women attracted to you. And from there, you can get her invested in you and even compliant with you.

5. Persistence is not the same as neediness.

One of the biggest things you hear as you study dating / seduction is to “never be needy.” And yes, this is true — once you come across as needy, a woman will immediately lose all attraction for you.

But, this mindset led to a lot of false limiting beliefs for me. Examples of things I believed included:

  • Once a girl flaked on you for a date, you should stop pursuing her.
  • If a girl stopped responding, you were chasing her and being needy if you kept trying to text her.
  • If a girl wasn’t showing interest, you were chasing her and being needy if you kept trying to text her.

Yet, Playing with Fire has shown that persistence is not the same as neediness. After all, women have a lot going on in their lives, too. Many already have one or more men in their lives in some fashion. Plus, every woman has lots of other guys messaging them online. Most of the time, you aren’t a priority for them until you’ve had sex at least once or twice. This is why it’s crucial to be persistent, because women can and will forget about you. Indeed, there are many love reports on this site showing how ridiculous persistence can turn into sex.

Since discovering PWF, I’ve had women say that the only reason they met was my persistence. I even had one compliment my persistence after we had sex!

Ok then, what’s the difference between persistence and neediness? Well, it’s a bit hard to explain.

It comes down to your mindset in pursuing the girl (because women are shockingly adept at reading what’s actually on your mind).

Not Needy: When you’re persisting to meet with a woman, but your messages and texting indicate you don’t really care whether you actually meet (showing “outcome independence” and “abundance”).

Needy: When you’re pushing to text and meet with a woman, and it’s clear you really care about meeting her (such as coming across butthurt, or even just more invested in the meetup than she is).

Online Dating Model for the Other 80%

After a lot of hard work and refinement, I’ve started to settle on a messaging model and process. This model is inspired from a lot of testing and studying. In essence, I’ve fused the learnings of the PWF product with the approach that Indian PE has taught me. I’ve found that this fusion approach is impactful for the guys who, like me, are part of the “bottom 80%” in attractiveness. I’m a somewhat above average looking, not quite 5’6″, 30 year old guy who is relatively slim but not by any means in good shape (something I’m actively working on).

Understanding a Woman’s Reality on a Dating App

If you haven’t yet, ask some of the women in your life to share their messaging screen from Tinder. A few lessons you need to observe here:

Even Average Girls Have an Inordinate Amount of Matches and Attention

Look at how many matches they’ve got. Plus how many “possible” matches they still haven’t swiped on. And then watch them swipe and see what percentage of the time they get a match. Compare this to yourself. Unless you’re a top 20% SMV guy (the linked article is worth a read, BTW), it’ll show you just how skewed the online sexual marketplace is.

Why do this? It’s a lesson that if you don’t stand out and be different, you’re just going to get lost among literally hundreds of other dudes doing the exact same thing.

Most Guys Either Don’t Message, or Send Lame Messages

Look at the first message many guys send. “Hey”, “Hi cutie”, something really bland, something way too sexually aggressive and uncalibrated. When the girl does reply, it often devolves into boring rapport-building messages. Again, more evidence that you need to stand out across your messaging.

When does this messaging model work best?

This type of messaging is particularly effective with guys who are in the bottom 80% range for male SMV (for the rest of this post, I’ll just refer to us as “Lower SMV Guys” – don’t get offended or triggered by this, I’m sure you’re a beautiful person). Plenty of data, research, and experience has shown that it is harder for Lower SMV Guys to get women to invest or even reply to their first message, especially women equal to or above their own SMV. This style also works well on a subset of girls I often attract, those who tend to be more professional, intense about career or education, and/or are a bit more shy or introverted (but still DTF under the right circumstances).

The Model Framework

See the breakdown of the framework for my model below. I’ll go through each step in detail in this post.

Continue reading “Online Dating Model for the Other 80%”

Breaking Down My Text Game Improvement (or, 11 AM Straight-to-House LR with Detailed Notes)

After discovering Playing with Fire and joining the mastermind about 6 months ago, I’ve been getting 1:1 text game coaching from “Indian PE” for the last ~4 months. When I look back, I’m amazed how much my text, online, and dating game has evolved in that time. Learning from someone who is significantly better than you, and embracing the mentoring process by letting go of your ego (many students are unwilling to actually let go and do this, and thus don’t learn nearly as quickly as they could or should), accelerates your learning process by a factor of 10x or more, I’m convinced.

In that time, I’ve posted a number of “LRs” across the community. While those certainly offer value, this time – and likely in the future – I’m going to take it a step further, breaking down the entire messaging exchange and the mindsets I have, including the evolution that I have gone through in understanding and responding to women’s messages. It’s a good way to add value to the traditional “LR” while also helping me reinforce my learnings.

With that, I’m going to post one of the most unique lays I’ve ever had. Besides being a detailed breakdown, this is also a good story of persistence and demonstration that “rules” about what you can and can’t do on dates and getting laid are bullshit. This is a girl who flaked on me numerous times, as we’d matched at least 3-4 times in the past. We have had a date scheduled, multiple other interactions, and one way or another, she’d eventually flake. I was actually quite sure it would happen again, but I think my improved text game + improved “idgaf” mindset were what sealed the deal.

Ok, onto the texts and breakdown!

So, we had matched on Tinder in the past, Bumble this time. No matter. I reply to her open playfully, and then I follow that up with something that’s also playful but also tries to set her into the chasing frame. She partially bites, agreeing to the date enthusiastically (“So let’s DO IT”), but also tries to keep control of the frame of her as the prize by with the “girl I went on a date with one time” message.

Rather than seizing the part where she enthusiastically agrees (which comes off as overeager – a mistake I often made that would result in girls who’d stop replying), I instead hit her back with one of my favorite things (I use this both in person and on text). I am truthfully not that into one night stands, so I get her to qualify herself that she’s not like that, and at the same time, slightly reinstate the frame that I’m controlling this conversation.

Now that I’ve reasserted control of the conversation here, and since she’s already clearly interested in meeting, I pitch the wine date. I know that I’m about to basically be unavailable for the next 7-10 days, so I try to push on the Valentine’s Day (same night lay) a little bit. Note I don’t directly push for it, but instead playfully probe deeper into why she’s saying she won’t go out with me today. She doesn’t budge on it though, so I back off.

Here, I’m trying to seed the date at my place a with the “Do you like pasta” question. It’s not obvious yet that my intent is for her to come for my place, so I want to test for her willingness to do so. She says “Please make me some,” which clearly indicates she’s willing to come over. As a very good home cook, the cooking date has become a big part of my repertoire, it defuses some of the shier girls’ concerns about coming straight to my condo for the first date.

At this point, she throws what I consider to be a bit of a shit test at me about my photos. Probably a sign I need to do some more adjusting with my photo selections. Before, this question would have really thrown me off my game. Now, I handle it pretty smoothly. I think it’s pretty obvious that it’s a joke – who the fuck gets professional photos taken for their grandma – but she takes it seriously, which is totally fine here.

Here, she starts to ask me some questions to deal with concerns she has. I am not actually 5’8″, just barely 5’6″, but everyone makes themselves look a little better on dating apps. Rather than answering, I initially deflect the question, and flip it back to her. Ultimately, while I do address her concern (that I’m going to be shorter than her), I avoid answering her question directly, because one of my cardinal rules is that I do not directly lie to a woman. Lying creates drama and hurts retention, so I avoid it at all costs.

I decide to be a bit honest here about my position on lying, as I’ve decided that injecting a little more authenticity will build her comfort and investment levels. But I also use it to try to get her to qualify herself a bit more. She doesn’t, rather she flips it back to being playful, so I run with playful banter again. Fortunately, I had just done an exercise with my improv team where we created outlandish names for each other, so I enjoyed the opportunity to come up with an absurd name for her.

At this point, I feel her investment level is good, and we’ve built a bit of comfort, too, by addressing some of her concerns. I move back toward seeding the date, and specifically, a date at my place.

Now, she’s just checking off her list of concerns about the date. I make it a bit funny to get at why she’s asking, because I can’t tell if she wants the answer to me having cats to be “yes” or “no”. I also use this to preemptively address a possible concern by mentioning the fact that I have a security guard here. I always bring girls in past the guard, and I try to mention it preemptively when it fits. I feel it makes for a comfortable place to meet for girls coming over on fuck dates (much as Alex addresses this concern when girls ask by saying “We’ll meet in the lobby first”).

A little bit more playful banter, and now we’re moving toward locking down the date. As I mentioned earlier, I’m basically booked constantly for the foreseeable future, so I try to get her set on something in my limited openings, which are just a handful of afternoons.

We end up agreeing on her coming at 12 PM on a Friday, which I’m concerned might be a tough time to close. But given that this girl had flaked a lot in the past, I felt the sooner, the better, so I agree and move it forward.

After she texts me, I start – maybe unnecessarily – by teasing her about her claim that her “phone is shit.” She doesn’t really jump into the banter with me here, so I just seal the date.

I always try to build a little more comfort after setting up a date, whether it happens by phone or text. I find it abrupt and awkward to set the date and then immediately end the conversation. So, I probe a little bit, using this as an opportunity to qualify her – I do legitimately think that girls with a creative side, such as musicians, are cool, because I’m not so blessed with creativity.

I reward her, give her a nugget about myself, and then let the conversation end on a high note. Then, the morning of the date, I confirm with her.

She calls asking if she can come an hour early – I am more or less free, so I roll with it. This ends up being a pretty wild experience. My first ever first straight-to-my-place date close before 12 PM on a weekday. I send the standard “that was a lot of fun” message afterward, as I’d like to see her again for the lock-in, and I’m hoping she will start to seed that.

This is a bonus screenshot, more in the relationship management than gaming category, but I think a helpful one.

Rather than suggesting round 2, as I’d hoped, she raises a little drama, saying that I somehow made her feel like I didn’t want to see her again, and implying I lied to her about my intentions. Rather than apologizing, or trying to explain myself, which would be terribly beta and would lose the frame entirely, I reply nonchalantly and let her try to justify her statement.

As I expected, she backpedals a little. I’m not satisfied with this because it’s not actually an apology, so I call it out clearly, but non-reactively. At this point, she gives me a lengthy apology, which I accept and move forward to seed date #2. The way I handled this — by not ceding my ground and not letting her get away with it — will help ensure she keeps me classified in the alpha-lover frame.

Compliance Ladders + Sexualizing in Text Game

The concept of compliance ladders is nothing new to pickup / game. The idea with compliance ladders is that you build compliance over time, getting a girl to give a positive response to something small then building on with something bigger and sequentially bigger. In psychology, this is known as the “Foot in the Door” technique. In cold approach, a common example of compliance laddering is when you move a girl a few feet in a bar, using that to test for compliance to work toward a bigger move – like a change in venue or a pull back to your place. If she complies with your movement, you’ll then go for something that’s a step bigger. If not, you focus on seducing her more to build up more compliance.

One of the core fundamentals of what Alex and David teach in Playing with Fire is that you need to screen for girls who are DTF by showing clear sexual intent. One of my biggest challenge on my journey of mastering text game has been figuring out how, exactly, to sexualize without putting women off or being creepy. A mistake I frequently used to make – and I often see newcomers make in the Playing with Fire Mastermind (one of the only products in this community I can wholeheartedly endorse) – is to sexualize aggressively and out of nowhere. It’s something I’ve learned to refine as I’ve worked with Indian PE.

Here’s a recent example from one of the Mastermind members (who, to his credit, has already made tangible improvements since he joined):

Do you see where he went wrong? Let me break it down for you:

  • To be clear, the prior conversation had not been sexual at all. He suddenly, and out of nowhere, injects pretty intense sexualization into the conversation.
  • The girl reacts how you’d expect. This is off putting for her, so she sends low investment replies that make it clear she didn’t like it. Unfortunately, he does not pick up on this, and instead pushes the sexualization further. Most likely, the conversation is now dead.

What should he have done instead? Use compliance ladders to build up the sexualization and test her willingness to comply with being more sexual. In this case, a safer reply would have been something like, “I bet you look sexy in a pencil skirt and blouse”. Notice how it’s sexual, but it’s also a little more subtle, and thus less likely to creep her out.

From there, she may have responded positively, for example, “Yes, I’ve been told that I look great in a pencil skirt”. That would have been a green light to take a step up the compliance ladder, and be a bit more sexual to see how she responded. Or, she may have responded negatively, in which case he could have dialed it back and pivoted away with something like, “Haha. What do you do for fun btw?”.

So with compliance ladders, the key is to start small, to test for and gain compliance. Then, you need to read her reaction and adjust appropriately. If she responds positively, that’s your green light to go a little more sexual and keep pushing your way up the ladder. If she responds negatively, go in a different, non-sexual direction to build investment instead.

Here’s an example from a recent girl I closed that shows another example of testing for compliance:

In the first screenshot, you can see that we were in a bit of a platonic place. I start trying to move things forward by both being authentic as well as DHVing a bit, and she’s giving me IOIs back in the form of compliments. Based on her positive reaction, I now decide to start sexualizing, to see how she reacts. I intentionally give her a bit of an open loop, noting that cooking is “one of my two biggest passions” – I am fairly certain she’s going to want to know what my other passion is. She bites, and I test out her compliance, rather than just going overtly sexual right away:

  • “Second one is a little more R-rated” – her reply of “Ohhh is that right” doesn’t give me a green light, but it’s also not totally red. More of a yellow light. So I push it further, but I still don’t drop the bomb on her yet.
  • “Yes. You’re not too shy, right” – she jumps through this hoop with, “Lmao. I can handle it”. At this point, I know I can drop the heavy one on her about oral orgasms.
  • She immediately gives a strong IOI back, which is a green light. I don’t want to give too much interest here though. Many guys would go immediately for the date pitch here, which is a bit overeager. Instead, I go with “If we have chemistry, maybe we can do something to change that”.
  • From there, she agrees, and so it’s time for me to work toward soft closing. I bounce her to text message, where she’s still asking me questions, telling me she wants a little more comfort. So, I set up a quick comfort-building phone call the same night, and end the call by arranging for a wine date at my place a few days later.

Look through this interaction and think about how you should pivot if her responses were different. For example, how would you pivot in a non-sexual direction if she had given me a strong red light after “Second is a little more R-rated”?

Just as compliance ladders are a crucial element of cold approach game, they are also essential to online and text game. Most guys who are new to text game fall into one of two camps. They are either too afraid to sexualize, and thus set the wrong frame up front (this was me before I discovered Playing with Fire). Or, they are way too aggressive in sexualizing, and blow themselves out by being uncalibrated (this was me when I first picked up Playing with Fire). Learning how to use compliance ladders, and adjusting your messaging strategy for a woman based on the responses you get back, is a great way to quickly improve your sexualization skills.

2018 Recap and 2019 Goals

2018 was a major milestone year for me. I got back into game around May/June, with a renewed commitment to getting better and making real progress in this area in my life. I had sex with 14 new women, which was more than double my prior best year (and blowjobs only from two more) – and mostly happened in a timespan of less than 6 months. I got notches from multiple girls in foreign countries, many of which I can’t wait to see again one day: Danish, Polish, Chinese, Thai, and (finally fulfilling a life-long fantasy, and my favorite for sure) Brazilian. I had my first open, non-monogamous relationships. I discovered some life-changing products and life-changing people in game. I also made my share of mistakes, which are of course great learning opportunities.

Finally, and most substantially, I learned a lot about myself. Specific lessons I’ve learned:

My Happiness Lies Not in Laycount, but in Emotional Connections

When I first discovered game, it was about quickly growing laycount to me. I’ve now realized that having sex with a lot of girls isn’t my key to happiness, but instead building longer-term, non-monogamous but strong emotional connections with multiple women (i.e., MLTRs) is. I now fully understand that I love women. I crave them in my life, and I find the most fulfillment of all when I spend time with them. I can find attractive and redeeming things in almost any woman. But I also know that I could never again (at least not in any near term) be happy with a single woman at the center of my life, aka, monogamy.

Online Dating Is NOT a Crutch

When I first wrote out some goals for myself in 2018, one of them read, “By Dec 31, 2018, I will have made real progress toward being able to regularly date multiple, high quality, attractive women – without leaning on online dating as a crutch.” I wrote this because I have had so many issues with crippling approach anxiety in the past. At the same time, online dating is an effective tool that allows me to efficiently find and work leads. It also has helped me learn and make substantial area in text game, which I now realize is a way underrated yet crucial part of game. I have tons of failed phone numbers that I acquired last year that I know I could have spun into dates if I had better text game back then.

It’s Not About Numbers or Results. It’s About the Process

When I got back into game, my obsession was with pointless numbers. “XXX approaches by the end of the year.” “More than 10 lays this year.” That type of thing. As I’ve learned to embrace Mastery, I’ve come to accept that the name of the game isn’t these pointless numbers, or the results (or lack thereof). It’s about the process – enjoying it, pushing myself, and striving to get constantly better.

BUT… I Still Get Distracted and Could Better Apply Myself

Video games. Always been my crutch. I tend to play social games because I enjoy that element of playing with fun people, including my real life friends. It was for these reasons that I lost 100+ actual days of my early-to-mid 20s to World of Warcraft. I’ve cut back on gaming significantly in recent years (haven’t touched WoW for quite a few years). And for a period of a few months last summer, I entirely cut these out, focusing the additional free time toward reading/learning about game, day game, or night game. In these winter months, I’ve reverted back to coming home from work and playing video games, when I could be applying myself to other goals instead.

So, this leads me to setting some goals for 2019 that I think are more meaningful to me, based on these learnings. These aren’t entirely game-related, but really, they’re about my happiness.

1. I will become advanced at online and text game by the end of 2019.

I’ve made real progress in this area in the last 6 months, including getting hands on coaching from Nitin plus the Playing with Fire Mastermind group, that combined have taken me far from where I was. I now consider my overall skillset to be “intermediate” and improving every day. Specific subsets of online and text game that I will focus on mastering:

  • Banter and investment building
  • Sexualization
  • Baiting and triggering women

As the year progresses, I will strive to branch out for coaching, to learn from others than Nitin so that I can combine all of these learnings into a way that best works for me.

2. I will take decisive action to accelerate my overall game fundamentals, particularly with cold approach.

The biggest underlying tactic for this will be to complete an immersive program with a top pickup company. Three reasons for this. First, it’s an opportunity to get out of my element and focus on further overcoming my approach anxiety in a structured way. Second, I can learn cold approach skills under strong mentorship and quickly make refinements and progress. Third, I can use it to solidify my overall game by better understanding theory and having an outside observer work with me on my specific sticking points. I currently have the Ultimate Man Project guys in mind as my top target for this.

More broadly, though, this means cutting back significantly on video games again, and using that extra free time to pursue other forms of game – be it reading, watching webinars, going out for cold approach, etc. I spend ~56 hours of each week sleeping, and another ~50 at or commuting to/from work. This leaves about 60 hours each week for focusing on self-improvement and game. I will spend at least 30 hours of each week in 2019 focusing on game in some way.

While my goal for 2019 would originally have been to put as much money away as possible to move out of the country, I’ve decided the better immediate goal is to invest as much money as I can set aside on getting as good as I can with game in the city of Pittsburgh. Truthfully, it’s a very solid city for game, with lots of cute friendly girls and limited-to-terrible competition. Once I’ve done this, I can focus on taking my game to another city where I’ll have to start fresh with social connections.

3. I will do bodyweight strength training 3x per week and follow a proper diet and macros to build muscle mass, so I can maximize my SMV.

I’ve put this off time and time again. As Pancake and others have pointed out to me, my SMV would benefit dramatically from having muscular definition. As a short but otherwise relatively good looking dude, this is the biggest item “in my control” that I can, and need to, change. I’m going to start with a bodyweight resistance routine, along with dietary adjustments, to have a moderately muscular bodytype by the end of 2019.

4. I will commit to becoming good at a new passion or hobby that is not related to game but pushes my limits and ideally has some tangential benefits.

I am currently suspecting this could be improv, as I am taking (and quite enjoying) the “200-level” course at one of the nearby theaters right now. I’ll eventually finish and publish my improv+game blog post, but suffice it to say, there’s a ton of overlap in the skills you learn from improv. I’m still new to improv, and have never done any form of theater before, so I’m still discovering if I have the chops to actually do it regularly in front of audiences.

5. I will continue to refine my Alpha Male 2.0 persona to build a rotation of solid MLTRs.

As I wrote recently, my rotation basically crashed and burned early this year, forcing me to work to rebuild it from scratch. Non-monogamy and relationship management are key skills I plan to continue to work on this year. My goal is to maintain 2-3 quality MLTRs going at a time, with 1-2 FBs as well. At the same time, always actively dating to try to improve the quality of the girls in the MLTR rotation. This is exactly what I’d achieved late last year, and it was the perfect mix for me and had me the happiest I’d ever been with my relationships in my life.

There goes my abundance!

Finally back in the country for an extended time, after 5/7 weeks international for mostly vacation and some work.

When I left, I had three girls on rotation – two MLTR caliber, one FB caliber. It was without a doubt the happiest I’ve ever been with my relationship situation in my entire life. Now I have zero, I think. The quick scoop on each of these:

  • A super strong framed, spoiled brat Puerto Rican who has a laycount way over 100 and told me I was the most manly guy who gave her the best sex of her life. She ended up in a monogamous relationship with a beta guy who will serve her. I expect to hear back from her once she gets bored.
  • A cute, tiny curly haired girl. She freaked out over a picture I posted while in Brazil with another woman, which turned into us having to have “the talk” way earlier than I wanted. She didn’t respond well to it at all, telling me I felt I’d led her on and that there was no way she was into non-monogamy. I probably could have done a little better here, but a guy I trust helped me diagnose it and we seem to agree that it’s mostly that she’s an outlier.
  • A 19 year old fuck buddy, really cute but socially awkward. Not someone I’d want to spend a lot of time with, but I enjoyed her body and found something about her that triggered my inner horny 16 year old. I hadn’t been able to see her for over 6 weeks, due to all my travel. She hasn’t replied to my last text with a hang out/fuck date pitch. That said, she’s really bad at replying, so I’m not totally counting her out. update: Got the “I’m really busy right now, but I’ll let you know when that changes” text back. So this is dead too.

Start of the new year, start of a new rotation. Fuck.

Traveling that much is just not a good thing for managing a rotation. It’s an obvious statement, but important to sort out. The Puerto Rican could probably have been retained, at least a bit longer, if I had been around to fuck her out of her monogamy mindset. The fuck buddy, too, wouldn’t be an issue if I’d just seen her with a bit more regularity.

But… as I’ve always said, life is a roller coaster – can’t ride the highs too high, can’t ride the lows too low. Given my low success with gaming at home recently, I have to think the bottom is coming soon. So back up we’ll go soon!

This post is a good segue to my 2019 goals, which I plan to write up sooner than later.

On Mastery and Overcoming Plateaus

As I’ve focused my last year on game – or, in my mind, learning how to have the dating life I’ve always wanted – I have spent a lot of time reading about the topic of mastery.

mastery

noun

1. command or grasp, as of a subject

2. superiority or victory

3. the act of mastering

4. expert skill or knowledge

5. the state of being master; power of command or control

One of the most impactful books I’ve read yet is the appropriately titled Mastery by George Leonard. This is a book I recommend anyone working on game – whether new or experienced – take the time to read. It’s simple, light, and a quick read.

Leonard spends much of the book focused on the concept of the Mastery Curve.

from kratosguide.com

In short, the process of mastering something is a repetitive process: as you learn a skill, you spend a lot of time on plateaus (the flat part of the first graph), eventually making a huge step forward in progress (the strong upward curves on the graph), and then taking a smaller step backward (the short downward curves on the graph). “Two steps forward, one step back” – but, of course, only after a long plateau.

The key input to mastery is time. Actually, not just time, but hard work and dedication… over a really long time. That’s what the big combined graph shows above.

My focus for the back half of 2018 has been three areas, all inter-related: online game, texting game, and date game (i.e., handling first dates). Coming full circle now, I spent the better part of an hour elaborating to a Telegram group I’m in about how I’ve hit a plateau the last month or so. My results, in terms of new lays, at home have crashed after a huge hot streak. Specifically:

September/October 2018 – New LaysNovember/December 2018 – New Lays
9 (7 in my hometown, 2 traveling)2 (0 in my hometown, 2 traveling)

So with the Telegram group, I was talking about how demotivating this has been for me. During this plateau, every girl I seem to get invested has flaked. I haven’t made any major changes to my approach in this time (though I’ve been working with a guy on texting coaching for faster improvement).

When this happens, it’s good to come back to Leonard for advice on how to handle a plateau:

To put it simply, you practice diligently, but you practice primarily for the sake of practice itself. Rather than getting frustrated while on a plateau, you learn to appreciate and enjoy it just as much as you do the upward surges.

George Leonard, Mastery

In other words, enjoy the process, and don’t worry about the results. The results will come.

Of course, this can be easier said that done at times. But it’s a good reminder. Stop focusing on the results, just have some fucking fun. Because soon enough, I’ll have another spurt of progress.

I’ll leave you with some final thoughts and insights to consider. Leonard lays out 5 Keys to Mastery. Are you doing all 5? Which one area could you do better with?

  1. Instruction. Having a master teacher (coach), group instruction, books, etc. “The individual teacher or coach can serve as … the first and brightest beacon on the journey to mastery.” Want to get good? Find someone who’s better than you. Accept what they say with an open mind and give it a real, genuine try. Adapt and adjust your approach based on what you learn.
  2. Practice. The word “practice” is often used as a verb. “Practice the piano to make it to Carnegie Hall,” they say. But for those on the master’s journey, practice is best thought of as a noun. Not something you do, but something you have, something you are. “For a master, the rewards gained along the way are fine, but they are not the main reason for the journey. … The people we know as masters don’t devote themselves to their particular skill to get better at it. The truth is, they love to practice – and because of this they do get better. And then, to complete the circle, the better they get the more they enjoy performing the basic moves over and over again.”
  3. Surrender. Surrender means checking your ego at the door. “The courage of a master is measured by his or her willingness to surrender. This means surrendering to your teacher and to the demands of your discipline. It also means surrendering to the hands of your own hard-won proficiency from time to time in order to reach a higher or different level of proficiency.” Re-read that italicized part (my emphasis added). It’s gold.
  4. Intentionality. Character. Willpower. Attitude. Imaging. The mental game. Whatever you want to call it, it is essential to the master’s journey.
  5. The Edge. This one is best summed up with a direct paragraph from the book. It’s a big one, so read it, then read it again. “Now we come, as come we must in anything of real consequence, to a seeming contradiction, a paradox. Almost without exception, those we know as masters are dedicated to the fundamentals of their calling. They are zealots of practice, connoisseurs of the small, incremental step. At the same time – and here’s the paradox – these people, these masters, are precisely the ones who are likely to challenge previous limits, to take risks for the sake of higher performance, and even to become obsessive at times in that pursuit. Clearly, for them the key is not either/or, it’s both/and.” Leonard speaks of a man, Chuck Yeager, considered to be one of the best pilots of all time. Yeager, despite being a master at his craft, is a “proponent of the plateau” – a man who “speaks with wicked delight about ‘exploring the edges of the envelope.'” Leonard concludes, “The trick here is not only to test the edges of the envelope, but also to walk the fine line between endless, goalless practice and those alluring goals that appear along the way.”