Please note that these are not in order of importance.
1. Theory. These are the books, seminar videos, blogs and forums. And this is actually where a lot of guys get stuck. There’s so much stuff out there it’s easy to get lost in it all and waste a lot of time trying to consume everything out there instead of going out and talking to girls. Why? Because talking to girls requires work. You have to shower, get out of the house, maybe adjust your budget so you can afford drinks, cabs, or if you’re both poor and in DC like me you have to work around just the metro fare. Sitting at your desk watching yet another hour of videos (some you’ve probably seen before, be honest) is easy.
But you do need some theory. You need the basics. You need to learn some of the common myths most of us grew up believing about women (they pretty ones are scary!) and a few basic rules about how to interact (don’t supplicate). I recommend no longer than 5 hours of this before you get out and make your first 10 approaches, and really you can be pretty set just by watching Wayne Elise’s seminar, it’s less than 3 hours and doesn’t ramble like some of those 8+ hour programs. You should be looking for theory you can quickly consume and then go out and implement, not theory that takes so long to get through that by the time you reach the end you’ve completely forgotten about girls.
2. The Field. The field is king, y’all. Every time you go out into the field and approach women you will come away from the experience knowing at least a little bit more, and sometimes a lot more. It’s a bit like evolution. Without your knowing it, your surroundings will cause you to adapt and over time (a lot of time for most guys) you’ll evolve to survive in this environment. But it’s also a bit of a punctuated equilibrium. Most of the change is gradual, but every once in a while something clicks and you see some rapid progression. Though, there will also be plateaus and setbacks, that’s completely normal.
Now a bit about how the field and theory interact. Most guys read read read, then maybe go out, make three approaches, then go home and spend the next day reading more. They’re mostly trying to learn about what they should do, specifically how to avoid mistakes. That’s completely intuitive and completely backwards. Once you’ve spent your 3-5 hours learning the very basics you need to reverse your order of priorities. Go out into the field, and only when something has confused you should you come back to theory. Theory is a tool for analyzing data, and unless you’re collecting more data you ain’t got anything to analyze. For every 5 hours out in the field, allow yourself one hour consuming theory. Didn’t go out last weekend? Get off Seddit, and spend your Seddit time working on lifestyle instead (you know you could use the extra exercise).
3. A Good Wingman. If you’ve been around a seduction forum for any amount of time you’ve seen plenty of posts along the lines of this: “Hey, I approached a girl with X opener, and she said Z, what do?” These posts always have the most minimal amounts of information, but seduction is all about context, nuance, and specifics. What was your body language like? Your vocal tonality? Her body language? What angle did you approach from? How was your eye contact? How busy was the venue? What time was it? What was she doing when you approached? Did her boyfriend show up right after you got blown out? Etc, etc. Basically, unless you’ve got high quality audio and video of the approach, there’s not much advice you can get from the internet.
You know who’s got high quality audio and video though? Your wingman. No, he’s not filming it. He’s just got eyes and ears. He can absorb much of the relevant information and provide you with the kind of feedback you need.
When looking for a wingman you need someone who knows the basics of pickup theory, who has a similar style to you (some guys are very aggressive assholes, some are cheesy romantic charmers, both can work), and he’s someone who’s willing to provide feedback. Too often guys looks at their wingmen just as someone to stand next to and talk with so they don’t look like an awkward loner loser. And that is useful; social proof is incredibly powerful. But you also need to be able to observe each other and provide feedback. Be willing to do the same for your wingman. Also, minimize the unsolicited advice (don’t come across as a superior douchebag). And, when giving advice know it’s as important to focus on what went well as what went wrong. Very easy to get caught up on the negatives, but while it’s important to know what to fix, it’s just as important to know what to keep doing.
4. Yourself. This isn’t some new age hippy feel good item. I mean you really need to turn yourself into a serious analytical resource. Too many guys have just switched their own brains off and demand to be treated like helpless little children with the answer spoon fed to them by the guys who’ve actually put in the time and energy to figure this stuff out. Some stuff can be given to you like that (see #1 on this list), and you don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but this is all going to be really general basic stuff. If you want to get good at pickup you really have to learn to think for yourself, and this is something that’s going to do double duty for you (and a bonus third duty for the rest of us).
First duty: You’re basically going to internalize your own wingman/coach/guru. The more you try to figure out solutions on your own the better you’ll get at it, and the faster your analysis will become so that instead of working through things the next day you’re able to realize what happened just after it happened, then get faster and see it as its happened, and then you move into ninja mode and see things coming before they even happen and can steer the interaction how he wants. It’s Quizat Haderach level game.
You need this because you’re the one in the interaction, you can feel its vibe, and you can give yourself advice fast enough to make conversation in real time (even someone talking in your ear doesn’t match the efficiency of your own brain talking to you). There are times when you need an outside point of view, especially for things like watching body language. But, there’s a lot even a great wingman can’t see. The most important bits of the interaction are things only you have access to, so if you don’t learn how to process them yourself there is literally no one else in the world who can help you.
Second duty: People who think for themselves are more interesting an attractive. This should be a big “duh” moment. Who do you think a girl will find more attractive, a guy who can solve his own problems, or the guy who has to run to a forum every time he encounters the slightest difficulty? Women, men, everyone admires personal strength, but it’s something you have to build up by repeatedly working things out for yourself.
This will also convert you from a value taker to a value giver. When you work things out for yourself you stop asking people to give value to you, and you acquire the skills to help other people when they need help with their problems.
Third bonus duty for us: It’ll improve the forum. Ideally, seduction forums should be about 90% posts that are either insights gained from someone dealing with the same situation 10-30 times, or questions from people who’ve encountered the same problem 10-30 times and have attempted to fix it in a number of ways but are still failing. Those types of posts add value and contribute to a growing knowledge base that can be shared by all. A post asking for help on a problem you could figure out with just 30 minutes of reviewing basic theory and moderately intelligent thinking really doesn’t help anyone else but you – the answer is already out there and what you’re doing is asking for it to be duplicated because you can’t be bothered to find it. That’s the same as the kid who raises his hand in class and asks a question with an answer that’s clearly explained on the syllabus. Come on man, class time can be used for better stuff than that.