The first thing a newbie needs to understand about learning pickup is that it is a process. You’re going to build up a core of skills, and it’s only after reaching a certain level of competence that you’re really going to start being able to have fun, fulfilling interactions which may lead to a great long term relationship.
A lot of guys come in with the idea that they’re just going to learn a trick or two or a strategy to get this one girl that they’ve been going after, and once they do that they’re done – no need to learn anything else, mission accomplished. That’s setting yourself up for failure. Imagine standing up to bat before a major league pitcher and trying to figure out how you’re going to score a run. It doesn’t matter how good you’re coached about swinging, you’re not going to hit the ball. You probably won’t even swing until it’s in the catcher’s glove. And even if you did get a piece of it, if the ball isn’t immediately caught, you’re not going to be fast enough to round the bases.
Back in the old days we had the saying that to get one girl, you need to be able to get any girl. You need to learn to hit any pitch, you need become a strong runner. If you want to attract that one girl, you really need to learn how to be generally attractive, and how to attract just about anyone.
Focus on Process
Easiest way to get discouraged is to go out, open a set, get ignored, and then slink back into some dark corner and vow never to approach another girl again. You got a bad result, and that deflated you. The problem is you focused on the result. I’m not going to say to not care about the results, because that’s a pretty superhuman bit of psychology there. It’s hard to control what you care about, but you do control what you focus on.
Focus on the process. If you’re intimidated by clubs or the thought of going out solo, then make your goal for the weekend to get to the venue Friday and Saturday nights. Once you’ve done that, make your goal to open a few sets. At this stage of the game, success really is determined just by putting forth an effort. Doesn’t matter if you get any hits, what counts is that you’re showing up to the batting cage and swinging at every pitch.
Even as you get more experienced, you should still focus on the process, because that’s the one thing you really do control. You shouldn’t go out and say your goal is to get 5 numbers. It should be to try to number close 5 girls. Don’t go out with the goal of making out; go out with the goal of going for the make out.
What the Process Looks Like
A lot of guys will hit plateaus. You’ll go out, open sets, get more comfortable, be able to open consistently, and then you’ll find you’re just not getting any better. The problem is that your process probably sucks.
When you go out to the bars and clubs, you need to be committed to putting in about 4 hours, and doing that two or three times a week. It takes a while to get warmed up – at least one set, but often two or three. It’s only after you’re warmed up that you start to make progress. Try going to the gym, stretching, and then going home. See how much stronger you get.
When you stick it out for hours, you get something that’s a bit like a runner’s high. You get in to the experience, you get comfortable with the surroundings. You feel good and want to keep going. And, you force yourself to open or else spend the next 4 hours bored out of your mind. There’s some nice motivation.
It’s also best to go out more than one night a week, preferably back to back if your schedule allows. You’ll have some residual state from the last night, get into the groove much quicker, and that will allow you to progress much more than you could have if you waited a week between outings. Plus, you’re not getting any younger.
This shit takes time. You’ll have some periods of rapid progress, and some plateaus. Sometimes you’ll even have setbacks, especially when things in the rest of your life interfere. And not everyone progresses at the same pace. Some people will learn a few outer game skills and become gurus almost overnight. Everyone starts from a different place, learns at a different rate, and has different goals. Stick with it, and approach learning pickup with the expectation that at best it will take about 6 months to really be decent, but that you should expect it to be closed to 2 years. Sounds like a lot of time, but compare it to how long it takes to get decent with a musical instrument, or to speak a foreign language. And, think about how long term the payoffs are. Not to mention, it’s not years of drudgery. You’re going to have a lot of fun along the way. And by fun, I mean fooling around with girls.
Your Excuses Suck
You can’t find time. You don’t drink (you don’t have to, btw). You don’t like clubs. You’re too ugly to ever love. Whatever. I’m not going to argue with you. You’re absolutely right. Enjoy never getting laid.
Honestly, a lot of guys get introduced to pick up theory, and just want to argue about why it can’t work for them. Other guys dive in and see if it will work. Guess who finds greater amounts of success.
The Four Coaches Every Recovering AFC Needs
This used to be a separate post, but for reasons beyond my own understanding (not enough coffee seems likely) I’m adding it here. There are four coaches everyone needs to become good at this stuff, and in no particular order:
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.