I was ten years old when I asked “Mommy, how do I get girls?” She giggled. “I don’t know, son.” I was disappointed, but I thank her for her honesty. “How do guys get you? Do they buy you flowers?” I asked, plagued with ideas of romance from movies. “Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.” she replied.
I spent the end of my primary school years wondering how guys got girls. Ironically, I already knew how. What I wanted was to get girls like him, the word “him” representing the popular guys in school, who dated the prettiest girls in our school. Later I learnt that I didn’t have a problem getting girls, I had a problem with myself.
Then, my mom met a man. He offered some insight about dating from a guy’s perspective. “Always dress smart, make sure you look good, cut your hair and brush your teeth. The rest will take of itself.” He was right, but his ideas weren’t the whole truth I later learned.
In grade 8, a boy named ‘Bino’ came with a piece of paper to school. At the top, was the heading “How to be a player” and the rest of the page was filled with tips on how to talk to girls. I read the page with interest. ‘This is what I have been looking for’ I thought. I went home that night, googled that website and read its articles. I was intrigued, but most of the content was just general tips on how to have conversations with people. Such as which questions to ask, why one shouldn’t ask too many questions and how one’s speech could be made more effective with the use of statements.
I applied some of the stuff and some I didn’t. I already knew how to talk to girls so that wasn’t my problem. What I didn’t know was how to move from a conversation to other intimate things. Grade 8 ended, and I moved schools. I got a girlfriend in the first few weeks of school, like I said I had no problem talking to girls but our relationship sucked. We had nothing in common, we spent hours together talking about nothing, and two weeks later she dumped me. I shed a couple tears, more so for being dumped than for how much I liked her.
Then, I took a trip to Durban to visit my family members. This is when my path to idealism picked up speed. I accumulated a massive amount of ideas about relationships on this trip.
I was visiting my cousin, looking through a stack of books that lay on a small dressing table next to his bed. ‘The game: The secret world of pick up artists’, the title of one of the books. I was intrigued. “Yo, does this stuff work?” I asked. “Yea it does, read it and find out.”
I read through the first chapter. It was about some guy who was tired of splatting his life-giving juices into a tube sock, whilst he stared at a screen of pixels. I empathized and vowed to read the whole book.
I read it from cover to cover in a few days. It was well written. I read it to learn how to pick up girls, but I stuck around because of how well it was written. Out of 300+ pages, only 10 of them were dedicated to picking up women. I wrote them down on a piece of a paper. They used the mystery method and I vowed to start using it too.
The book also gave me some ideas on women. Ideas such as; women are like this, are attracted to that, to get them you have to do this and to keep them interested you have to do that. I was beginning to view women as objects instead of human beings.
I went back to school with grandiose fantasies of having threesomes. I thought I had discovered the Holy Grail and that I now had superpowers. I showed my friends at school the piece of paper and told them I knew how to get any girl I desired. My friends were skeptical, but I was excited to prove them wrong.
When school opened, I used the mystery method on a few girls I spoke to. I noticed something, using a routine gave me more confidence. I knew what to say, what to do and when to do it. I started to see that if a girl rejected me, she would be rejecting the mystery method and not me. As a result, my fear of rejection lessened. I detached myself from the outcome, by using the method as a wall to protect my self-esteem.
After seeing the confidence these routines gave me, some of my friends became interested and started pursuing girls with the same detachment. Suddenly, approaching girls became fun and not scary. It felt like a video game, and the game was to see who could get the highest score or the flyest girl. It became less about the girls and more about being better than my friends.
Through trial and error, and numerous visits to the google search engine, I found more information on human relationships. My computer became a library of these books. I sent some to my friends. Some of them read them and some of them didn’t. Reading about women became an obsession, one that wasn’t going to end soon.
However, something started to happen the more successful I got with women. I realized that routines helped getting the girl, but there was something else that mattered more than what I said or what I did. It was what I felt.
The Complexity of Reality Vs the Simplicity of Ideas
I noticed that I could use two different methods and get the same result. But if I felt like a girl didn’t like me, then no method could change the outcome. Furthermore, the more I read about women and how they behaved, the more conscious I was of their behavior. The more conscious I became about them, the more conscious I became about myself. I started to notice that I would often feel if I could get with a girl, way before I got with her. The methods I used were arbitrary.
But my dependence on them as a source of confidence ran deep. It took a while for me to let go of them. I preferred to use these methods than to face my anxiety around women. This continued until I had no choice but to face my anxiety. When you read as much as I did about a subject, there comes a point where the information becomes repetitive. That happened to me. The only way I could get new information, was to research the history of the theories I was reading about. This led me into the world of psychology.
I started researching anxiety, since that was the root cause of my perceived inadequacies around women. The more I read about anxiety, the more I started to understand how emotions affect our lives. The more I learned about how the internal mechanisms in our body affect our external world, the more I wanted to learn about what happens inside of us. The more I learned about what happens inside of us, the more I realized that the inside is just as important, if not more, than the outside.
Getting girls was never the problem. How I felt about my ability to get girls was the problem. Talking to girls was never the problem, how I felt when I was talking to them was the problem. Reading a book and using routines to get girls was never the solution. Becoming comfortable with expressing my emotions and actually expressing them was.
As this path continued, I became more focused on my internal world instead of my external world. I started to notice that my internal world affected how I interpreted my external world. My expectations affected my interpretations. And by adjusting my expectations, my interpretations changed. I learned that by changing the internal, I could change the external without doing anything to it. I also noticed how changing the external, often failed at changing the internal. The internal was filled with ideas. Most of these ideas were injected by a third party. Most of the ideas in our heads are not our ideas. However, we believe them as if they are.
I had a talk with my friend the other day where I said to him, “the ideas we have about ‘the game’ (Human relationships) are fucked up. It’s almost as if there is somebody out there intentionally muddying the waters, making connecting with other people difficult”.
We are fed information that’s counterproductive to what we want. Guys get a number and won’t call for a few days because they don’t want to look desperate. However, that same guy might be desperate for a companion. Or, a girl meets a guy she likes and immediately puts up walls to protect her from being hurt. This makes it harder for a connection to occur, thereby increasing the possibility of her getting hurt in the end. What are your ideas and how do they help you? Do they hurt you? Here are some of mine.
Some Ideas for Thought
The first idea I had which turned out to be garbage, was the idea that girls had to be ‘gotten’. I grew up with the idea that a guy had to get a girl. To get a girl, she had to be intrigued with that guy. Now the idea itself is not that far from the truth. Intrigue is normally what a girl feels for a guy before anything happens.
However, I want you to focus on the idea behind the idea. The idea that a girl must be got, does a couple things to how we perceive relationships. For starters, it injects an inferiority complex. Who we are is not enough. We must do something to ‘get’ the girl. Being me is not enough. This is the first mistake. With time, I learned that who I am is what girls actually liked. Nothing had to be done, only shown.
The next idea which was trash, was the idea that girls were a metric of success. Guys are judged by how popular they are with the ladies. At first, I thought that looks got girls. And that the best-looking guys got all the girls. This was not true. I witnessed guys who looked normal become more successful than the better-looking guys. This brought the concept of “game”.
Game was a great concept because it encompassed all the invisible things that took place in human interactions. For example, how well two people got along was considered game. Game was used to describe personality. Good game = an attractive personality and bad game = an unattractive personality. However, believing this had a few problems.
Firstly, it meant that every rejection was interpreted as a negative evaluation on my game. This meant, if a girl didn’t like me then my game was off. There was no such thing as compatibility, only how good your game was.
Secondly it created a hierarchy of ranking people’s personalities based on how many girls they got. People perceived themselves as better than the next guy because they had more girls. I started to perceive others as better than me because of the number of girls they had been with. The actual content of who a person was didn’t matter, only game did.
However, as I grew older, I realized that game doesn’t exist. No one had to be won, only liked. And when you try to win someone, you neglect yourself. The concept of game created a binary system with which I used to judge my relationships. It was either failure or success. This was based on the result I got from the relationship.
However, human relationships are more complex than just success or failure. Failing to get a girl may be a ‘failure’ but the reason why is more important when judging the relationship. For example, if a girl rejects me because I do not have the money she needs to finance her lifestyle, that’s a success. She wants what I don’t have. Relationships are about happiness and ‘game’ is not about happiness. Therefore, game is not about relationships, it’s about ego.
This is an excerpt from the book, Lose Your Ideas: How To Stop Your Mind From Ruining Your Relationships