This will be a really long post, so brace yourself. Self post too, so no karma.
It’s been a full year. One full year in the making since I started this track for self-improvement. A year ago I was socially clueless and embarrassing with women. I was consistently friend-zoned and felt that women simply weren’t attracted to me. I had little confidence. I didn’t know how to act around others and Hollywood defined how I viewed relationships. I was a Classic Forever Alone Nice Guy. I sent my crush a dozen cupcakes after I told her my feelings for her and her rejecting me. It’s difficult to believe that I actually thought that would be a good idea.
Truth is, I had a Forever Alone mindset. I thought that I was never good enough to have a relationship with a woman. Who would want to be with me? Seriously, who? I was 22 years old and never had a girlfriend. Couple random and weird one-night stand stories I could count on one hand at best. But no one would actually want to be with me. I graduated college in May 2011 with nothing to show for it–feeling like I completely wasted my college experience. That summer was my lowest point. Summer 2011 where I spent countless hours in /r/ForeverAlone where I felt I belonged. A circle jerk of self-pity and blame. A negative reinforcement cycle. I’d sit there and post about how girls always went for jerks, but shunned Nice Guys like me. I was lonely and depressed but I was comfortable. Very comfortable. Loneliness was the comfort zone. I finally found others like me.
Then, at the beginning of October 2011, several things happened in the span of a week that would be the eventual catalyst for this one year journey of self-improvement.
First, the girl I was crushing on at the time blew off my dinner date I had been really looking forward to.
The second thing that happened was, I came across this Youtube video. This video blew my mind. If these guys can pull this off, why can’t I? What are they doing that I’m not doing? I was so inspired by this video that I called up two of my friends to come out with me while I approached as many girls at bars as I could. This was my “first” night out. And Oh My God was it a horror show. The amount of rejection I faced in that single night was enough to crush a man’s soul to oblivion and never bring it back. I detailed the night here. The one advantage I had is my willpower which is quite strong. Since I convinced myself that it was possible because of that Youtube video, I became determined to become good with women.
I told my boss what happened with that night and then he told me about this book called The Game that he’d been reading. Shortly after that, I found the /r/seduction subreddit. I started reading The Game and dove into all of this material. I was like a sponge, soaking everything in. My mind being blown to pieces with every post I read. I felt like I had been doing everything wrong. Everything.
The first month consisted of me just reading absolutely everything and then testing it out “in the field”. I asked/r/seduction bunch of questions about this and that or whatever, looking for advice. I tried to memorize as many routines and openers and familiarized myself with all of the PUA lingo. I thought I could approach my problem scientifically and methodically. As it turns out, it’s not that simple. After I started to get everything going, I was having mixed results. Most girls would totally blow me off, but a few would stick around and have a conversation with me. This was all new as I’d never done anything like this before. But I felt I was making progress in a few short weeks. I felt comfortable that I could approach someone with a canned routine and have all these little games to play to keep her entertained. More importantly though, in hindsight, I began to notice a pattern with my brain. The mental state I was in would have a direct impact on any success I had. It wouldn’t matter what I said or to who, if I had those Forever Alone thoughts, I would fail, go home feeling lonely and depressed. But at the same time, I felt like I was getting better with each approach I’d make. It wasn’t until the 31st, Halloween night, when I went out alone, did I begin to believe that being successful with women would be possible for me. That story is here. I am forever grateful to that first crucial month that began the track for where I am today.
The next two months were quiet. I read a lot of books that were a complete waste of my time. All I did was try to memorize routines and have some kind of answer to every possible response a girl would have. I spent too much time on /r/seduction thinking that they had all the answers that I needed. In reality, many of the people in/r/seduction had no idea what they were talking about. It was bro-science. Who can tell the best “field reports” and all these other cock battles. Occasionally there would be a good post in there, but most of the time, I was chasing red herrings. I had only gotten a handful of numbers in those first 3 months and I felt I had hit a wall in my progress. These so-called “routines” would only get me so far. I would find I would run out of ‘material’ and have to rely on myself to keep a conversation going. As 2011 was coming to a close, I realized I needed to change tactics. Shift away from routines and ‘classic game’ to simply focus on becoming an awesome person. Thought I’d finally check this stuff out called “inner game”. How could this “inner game” concept help me if it didn’t tell me what to say to a girl?
The most important book I’ve read above all else was No More Mr. Nice Guy. It really was the wake-up call that I needed. It’s a must read for any Classic Forever Alone Nice Guy. I then read the Definitive Book of Body Language and watched Tyler Durden’s Blueprint Decoded series. All having huge impact on how I viewed the world. It became less about routines and more about the reality in which I lived. See list of my favorite books here.
The next 6 weeks I began having real significant success, scoring my first Same-Night Kiss close on Christmas Eve. Kissed my old crush (the one who I sent cupcakes to) at the ball drop on New Years Eve, and kissed a girl I met at a bar where I went to watch an NFL playoff game. These three success stories are posted here. My confidence was at an all time high.
It was around this time that I became disillusioned with /r/seduction. I was upset that I had wasted two months early in my self improvement. I felt that the subreddit was not conducive to absolute, pure beginners like me. What I needed was a step-by-step approach for what books to read and what things to practice so that I wouldn’t go off on these unnecessary red herrings. There was too much information and it was too daunting for Forever Alones. So I decided to create /r/faimprovement …A kind of stepping stone for Forever Alones who would want to improve themselves like I did. I put a list of the crucial books I had read up to that point in the subreddit and it had garnered a few hundred subscribers. The creation of /r/faimprovement was received mostly well. I didn’t know what I was going to do with it…Just kind of use it as a diary where I’d post updates for what I learned, etc.
The rest of February and most of March was marked by getting a bunch of girls’ numbers and a few failed first dates. But progress was steady. I read Magic Bullets, The Red Queen, Why Men Don’t Have a Clue, and The Way of the Superior Man (most important here). All excellent books.
I was kind of used to going out alone, and so I did again. This time for the Mad Men Season 5 Premiere. Got this girl’s number. I asked her out and I had my first successful First Date and got her back to my place. It was a great moment. I hadn’t had sex in a very long time. So it took about 6 months from ground 0 to getting a successful date and a girl in my bed.
We began dating exclusively. I will consider her my first real girlfriend ever. However, I could tell from the onset that there were going to be some problems. She was a very different person than I was. And not to say that that is a dealbreaker, it’s just that we really didn’t have anything in common at all. But most importantly was her attitude towards life. It was very depressing and sad. I needed someone who was uplifting, fun to be around, and radiated energy. I decided to end it after 6 weeks of dating. This was a learning experience in its own right and needed to happen. I knew what I wanted out of a girl and I knew that I was capable of finding it. I wouldn’t just settle for the sake of having a girlfriend.
/r/faimprovement continued to grow. At around 450 subscribers people I took a survey of the readers and many expressed the desire for a way to navigate the good content in the subreddit. I created Shakedownlab.com and moved over the posts into an organized and searchable fashion.
I felt really down for the next two weeks after I had dumped the girl I was seeing. Really down. This was a setback. One of many setbacks I’ve had throughout my journey for self improvement. Setbacks are part of the process though and one can never quit. Just push on. I scheduled a trip to visit my friend down in Destin, FL for a long weekend at the end of May. This trip completely changed how I see everything now. I heard about it in Blueprint Decoded but never actually witnessed it or experienced it. The idea of living in one’s own reality. Being completely unaffected by those around you. Legitimately giving 0 fucks. Here I describe the experience. I came back with a whole new outlook. I found /r/howtonotgiveafuck and /r/fitness. I read Muscle Chow to learn about dieting and food for muscle, began the Stronglifts 5×5 workout routine, and read Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder (amazing book). I started working out hard and kept tabs on my progress. I stopped drinking alcohol and went out completely sober. I would go the bars 5 times a week and only get water from the bar. It became my new “thing”. Approaching, talking to girls, getting numbers, dates, everything — completely sober.
After seeing the lifestyle my friend had down in Florida, I was determined to build a social circle. I had some friends here, but they were all scattered. I could never run with a crew, and no one knew each other. I had no social circle at all. I wanted to change this. And with my new outlook on life, I stopped focusing on women altogether and instead started focusing on people. This was perhaps the greatest breakthrough. I started number-closing men! I was so fixated on getting girls’ numbers that I had forgotten how much I needed male friends and a social circle. That vacation was another wake-up call. So I started doing just that. I met some really cool guys through Reddit meetups. One of them being ThoughtTrain.
Through some of my new male friends I began to acquire a social group. One girl belonged to some local Jewish social groups and invited me to one. There I met her friends, and through them I met even more people, and so on and so on…These Jewish events were truly awesome way to meet people. I know how much hate religion gets here on Reddit, but it’s been a gold mine for meeting people. You don’t have to be religious to be involved in your community and celebrate your heritage. I hadn’t been to temple in 5 years but I was very much enjoying the social aspects that I had never bothered exploring before.
The last three months have been exceptionally fruitful. I was having date after date after date. Girls wanted to hook up with me. I felt like I was on top of the world and can accomplish anything now. My body and physique were getting better. I truly began to embody that confidence on a core identity level. I just assume that girls want me. If a conversation goes stale, she is the one that is socially awkward. Girls have to show me why they are worth dating. Not the other way around. My “inner game” was at an all-time high because I can have any girl that I want. I’m the one with choices now.
And finally, this brings me to present day. 1 full year later from where this all began. I really like this girl. We’ve gone on a number of dates and I think we’re going to be exclusive soon enough. Nothing’s for sure, of course, and if it doesn’t work out…Well, I’ll just go out tomorrow and meet another girl.
I don’t know what my future holds. What I do know is that I’ve never been more of a man than I am right now. I’ve never been more socially aware and intuitive. I’ve never been more confident and sure of who I am. I am at my peak where a year ago I was at my lowest valley. I will never stop improving and learning. I have so much more ground to cover and to experience. This is an on-going and never-ending process. You can always be better than you are right now.
It is so very possible to do what I have done. If you’ve read this far, congratulations, you’re a trooper. I hope you enjoyed my story and may this have inspired you a little bit to improve yourself as well. Thanks for reading.