Like most kids growing up in a relatively small West-coast town, I was exposed to all manner of liberalism and general pleasantry from a young age. My mother raised me to be considerate, tolerant, and treat women “right.”
On top of that, I was generally introverted. Every day at lunch, I’d take my lunch out back behind the school to eat with the same three friends and discuss various anime, games, and school. I dated one of those friends for a couple years.
Going about my days at school, I often pined for other girls in my classes. There was Kacey, a sultry blonde who at the ripe age of 16 had already developed a robust… bust.
There was Monica, pale and facially clean. She was studious and serious about her work, but had a smile that lit up the room.
There were others too, and while I had crushes on them, and even now, looking back, I imagine the feeling may have even been mutual. Certainly, the opportunity was there. But I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t take any risks or make any attempts to take them anywhere or even really hang out with them.
I was nice.
And one of the first, largest revelations I had is the neo-aphorism of “nice guys finish last.” I learned to bristle up a bit, go for what I want and don’t worry about offending the girl if she wasn’t interested. Put my balls on the line.
I embraced this newfound mentality, shifting the power dynamics in my mind. I could actually demand things of girls. Push the limits. Be direct. Aggressive.
And the dividends were huge. In University, I vowed to conquer this “girl” thing once and for all, and devoured all sorts of books on the subject. I read The Game, Mark Manson, NLP books, evolutionary biology – you name it. And I started being more aggressive in going after what I want.
My pendulum had swung to the other pole.
Fast forward a few years to Japan, and I pushed this even farther. I learned not to take shit from girls. Not to pay for random girls drinks. To place my desires and needs higher in importance within my own mind.
At a certain point, however, I realized I had swung quite some distance. I had learned a complimentary style of expression, one which served me quite well and was a huge contrast from my upbringing. But one which ultimately left me still lacking in some aspects.
One night I pulled a girl off the street, brought her to my house, and had sex with her within about 25 minutes. She was confused and bewildered. I’m sure she felt a bit guilty for putting out that quickly, and despite that fact that just moments earlier she had been moaning and wanting more, tears started to form.
She quickly packed up her stuff and left my apartment, and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was pushing things TOO hard. At some point, I had stopped listening to the girl in front of me. Everything became a single-minded hunt for the lay, and I wielded my newfound game power like a weapon to convince and sweep women up into my own torrent of charisma. My “reality tunnel” was so solidified and powerful that those around me couldn’t help but be swept up into it.
Now, these girls were clearly enthralled and excited to be with me. But people with power – of which charisma is one type – have a responsibility to take care of their charges. I noticed I was not a leader, but a dictator. And while the experience I offered was fun, fast, attractive, and sexual, there still was something missing.
And so the pendulum began to swing back.
I delved deeper than ever into the mental spaces of the women I sat opposite from, and, over sushi or gin tonics I peered as deep into their psychic recesses as I could muster with my intermediate grasp on Japanese.
For every action the girl had, I thought, “Why?”
“What motivates this girl? What drives her? What choices and decisions brought her here?”
I listened, not to the words and facts but to the pauses between the words. The heartbeats and trembles in her voice. The things she left unsaid. The emotional undercurrents she rarely, if ever, expressed blatantly.
This proved to be a prosperous mine of powerful information. I had been so caught up in worrying about myself that I had forgotten about the 3-dimensional person in front of me.
In the end, I went TOO far off this end of the spectrum too, and whittled away dates pouring my soul out to women only to realize I’d missed the window of passion and things were all too comfortable. All shadows laid bare, there was no tension to bang out with sex.
And the pendulum once again flipped direction. At the peak of each oscillation, I realized that the way I was gaming was powerful, yet not all of the equation. There were always other lessons, and the crutches I had developed – at first strength and dominance, and later supreme connection – weren’t the full story. Each time in my learning, I’d come back to the same paradigm I thought I’d mastered before, only to realize there was another layer to it. I was in the same place again, but at a higher level.
And so it went, back and forth, up and up like a spiral staircase repeating lessons to me until I understood each in and out.
This is not the only “axis” along which the pendulum of game swings. There are others.
Results focus vs. process orientation.
SNLs vs. dates.
Hookups vs. regulars/girlfriends.
Humor vs. Honesty.
Someone more intelligent than me once wrote, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ablity to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same idea without being paralyzed.”
I think there’s much wisdom to this.
Action is the catalyst which drives learning, and the pendulum undulates until all aspects are revealed. Take care not to get stuck in one pole of an aspect lest you stagnate your learning. Always keep things fresh and keep an eye out for self-built crutches and comfort zones.
And every time life bucks you off… well… get back on that horse.