There was a time when I counted my days by the number of attractive girls who walked by me, who I let remain unspoken to. It was the number of girls I desired -- not just sexually, but socially and romantically -- that I couldn't work up the courage to talk to or (heaven forbid) attract.
It was a time of helplessness. A time of frustration. It was the time before I got involved in the community that would define the next half-decade of my life: Pick Up.
Everything changed after Pick Up. It took me some time, but little by little, I was able to attract pretty girls. I was able to get them to laugh. To like me. To sleep with me. And my confidence in myself shot up to a level I had never known before.
It was all pretty awesome, especially for a guy who had only ever had one girlfriend and still had no idea how he got her.
Until, of course, it wasn't.
Because for all the insights and determination Pick Up gave me, it also passed onto me some massive delusions that, down the road, took me years of frustration and failure to unravel:
1. If You're Attractive, Girls Will Become Obsessed With You
One of the great myths of Pick Up is if you learn the various techniques of how to be charming, create sexual tension and make yourself appear interesting, then all girls will fall and fawn over you.
The reality is much less clear cut. Some girls will indeed be drawn to you if you bring this to the table, and a few may even make it their mission to get you. Most girls like charming guys (even if they don't trust them), and find it refreshing to meet a man who understands the “dance” of flirting and sexuality.
But just because a girl's attracted to you, it doesn't mean she's going to drop everything for you; let alone pursue you. Especially if she's high-quality and respects herself.
A high-quality girl has been around the block long enough to notice and discount the value of a “player.” She knows a player isn't serious about her, and she knows that whatever he's doing, he's done to dozens of girls before.
Yet, since most guys who aspire to become Pick Up artists idolize players (because players have female options and they don't), they often -- consciously or not -- give off the “player” vibe.
Unfortunately for the Pick Up artist, no girl who appreciates her own worth wants to be treated like a commodity. She wants to feel special. So the Pick Up artist ultimately ends up not with top-tier women, but with a lot of needy girls who play emotional games.
High-quality girls like guys who are attractive and know how to flirt. But even more than that, they want a guy who is real. If you're just all charm and seduction, you're not going to get them. Players are a dime a dozen.
2. You Are The Prize, But You Have To Prove It
One of the most talked about mindsets in the Seduction Community is the idea that you are “The Prize.” Basically, this is the belief that “she would be lucky to have you, not you have her.”
Although I vastly prefer the mindset “You're lucky to have me AND I'm lucky to have you” (because otherwise, why would you want her?), I will admit that this isn't the worst mindset to have.
A lot of aspiring Pick Up artists have historically had such little success with women that it's tough not to obsess over any girl they're attracted to. This helps counteract that, and of course, counteracts you from seeming creepy or pathetic.
But there's something unnatural about this mindset existing in a community where the primary purpose is getting women to want you. You're the prize, but you have to prove it, or girls won't like you?
Talk about irony.
A man who really feels he is the prize does not spend his days learning how to convince women to like him. And if he does, he doesn't make it some big secret. One of the biggest things that leveled up my fortune with women was when I stopped making interactions -- however subtly -- about me.
Instead, I made them about her. And I made sure she lived up to my standards.
Then, whatever I did share about me, I shared without shame. Sometimes I even shared the fact that I had studied Pick Up, and believe it or not, some of my best and most interesting interactions with women came from that.
Being real about yourself and your intentions is the sexiest thing a girl can experience. Plus, it's way easier to show that you're a cool dude when you're not so focused on making it seem like you're not trying to show her you're a cool dude.
Too often, Pick Up, rather than trying to change a guy's belief that he's not good enough for women, simply works on concealing it. Yet, even if you do a good job of covering up your insecurity about the girl's opinion of you; at some point, what's really going on in your mind is going to come out in your behavior.
You may win the battle, but you'll definitely lose the war. Girls aren't idiots.
3. Sleeping With A Lot Of Hot Girls Will Make You Happy
Let's say for a second, though, that Pick Up really has worked for you, you have become that amazing Casanova you've always dreamed of and you are sleeping with girls left and right.
Most guys think life will be amazing, because most guys who get into Pick Up tell themselves that the reason they aren't happy is because they haven't slept with enough hot girls.
The problem with this narrative is that it's almost total bullsh*t.
Can having a few more notches on the bedpost make you feel a little better about yourself? For sure. But that's only because you're comparing yourself to other people.
And if you're comparing yourself to other people, well...not only are you not “The Prize,” but you're missing the forest of fulfillment through the trees. You're indulging your ego, not your intuition. And that's a game you can never win.
What really creates happiness isn't sex, but choice. Options. Freedom.
Pick Up's persistent message to guys -- buffered by the media -- that they are losers unless they can pick up a “nine or 10” at a club and take her (and of course, her other “nine and 10” friends) home, deepens male insecurity and distracts guys from making the kind of changes in their lives that might actually make them happy.
Not to mention that these changes will get them those girls (should they want them) in a fraction of the time.
I've worked with a lot of male clients, and I can tell you that once they get past what they think they're “supposed” to want, nine out of 10 just care about having enough control over their dating lives to attract and keep a girl that really turns them on and makes them happy.
Those that get trapped in Pick Up's message that they need to get “more, hotter girls” in order to be an “Alpha male,” however, find themselves anxious, unfulfilled and isolated from the rest of the non-Pick Up world; no matter how many attractive girls they may get.
4. If You Don't Get What You Want All The Time, You're Settling
Disclaimer: "Settling" is one of my least favorite words in the English language.
When it comes to dating, if you want an awesome life, set your bar high and commit only to the highest-quality girls: girls who meet your standards (and then some), girls with integrity, and girls who, frankly, physically and emotionally blow you away. Seriously, never, ever, settle.
But also never, ever confuse -- like too many Pick Up Artists do -- “not settling” with being immature and self-indulgent.
Allow me to explain: When guys get into Pick Up, they usually make a switch from thinking in victim terms (life happens to me, I can't do anything about it) to thinking in creator terms (I can make the life that I want happen).
This is a good thing.
The problem is that this thinking often becomes a form of tunnel vision that misconstrues “Create the life with women I want” with “Create the life where women do what I want.”
Look, you can (and should) select a girl based on her personality and predilections. But you can't select a girl that's the answer to whatever your ego at any given moment wants.
For instance, you can select a girl who's sexual, but not a girl who will always have sex with you. You can select a girl who's caring, but not a girl who will always prioritize you. You can select a girl who's open-minded, but never a girl who is always going to be as open about all the same things as you.
High-quality girls are not sexy, subservient robots. They will challenge the f*ck out of you, so don't you dare ever expect those girls to be everything you want them to be at any given moment, unless you want a rude awakening.
That, after all, is what makes them high-quality girls!
They will break you down, bullsh*t by bullsh*t, and rebuild you -- if you let them -- stronger than ever before. But if you're too afraid to give yourself to them, then you will find yourself only ever involved with girls too weak and dependent to stand up to you.
And despite what you may think, you will be unsatisfied and disgusted with them.
I'd be lying if I said that Pick Up didn't do a lot of good things for me. After all, if it hadn't been for Pick Up, I would never have realized I could be attractive and could create the life for myself I wanted.
But did it have to give me (and countless other guys) all this baggage too? Unfortunately, absolutely not.
Pick Up's biggest problem is not that it teaches guys how to relate better to women, or that it encourages men to aim for more in their relationships. These are both amazing things, and both women and the media should support men who are trying to get this area of their lives handled.
Its biggest problem (indeed, its biggest delusion) is that, like so much of the media that revolves around critiquing female image, Pick Up tells guys they are not inherently enough.
This mentality is stagnating; it consumes men with their own imperfections and need for self-improvement, and makes them impatient and intolerant of others, especially women. This not only limits their opportunities for love and connection, but most importantly of all, it limits their capacity to love themselves.
So if you're a guy who wants to get better with women, don't allow yourself to be shamed out of looking into dating advice. Just do your research.
"The Dating Community” has evolved a lot in the past decade, and it has many schools of thought. The coaches and companies that will serve you the most will help you become your best “you,” and they will not shape you into something you're not.
Citations: Pat Stedman