Patrick is a digital entrepreneur who left behind a lucrative engineering career to pursue his passions of photography and travel. He’s use the Leverage curriculum to build a lifestyle that allows him to be location independent and travel the world while making money. Hear his story and learn how you can do the same thing.
Over the years I’ve been a dating coach I’ve developed an opinion that other dating coaches love to fight me on: you should listen to feedback from women, but don’t take their advice.
If you’re going to catch a fish, you don’t ask the fish how to catch it. Girls will be correct about their subjective opinions (since it’s impossible to be wrong about them) but they’ll be wrong about how you should attract them.
Use their feedback about your shortcomings, but get dating advice somewhere else.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I was in my early 20s living in San Francisco. I had a first date with a tall blonde girl I met during day game. After a fun evening filled with great conversation and too many vodka sodas, she came back to my place where we made out and cuddled, then went to sleep.
I woke up groggy early the next morning, thinking in my half-asleep state, Hey, something seems weird… Oh yeah. There was a girl in my bed last night. Where did she go?
Over the next couple weeks we kept texting but she changed the subject every time I tried to set up the next date. Ugh. Dealing with flakiness sucks, but it’s often a sign that she isn’t 100% sold on you yet, not just that she’s a flaky person in general.
My female coworkers at my finance job would always talk about their dating lives by the water cooler, picking apart every detail about the guys they met. So I thought it would be a good idea to consult my coworker, a 45 year-old mother of three.
Yeah, I know how that sounds now that I write it out, but don’t blame me- I was young and dumb.
Her explanation: “I think she’s just a little gunshy to meet you again. Send her this text:”
Hey, I don’t want to make you feel uncomfortable, so let’s meet somewhere where you feel safe 🙂
I hit send. And immediately after hitting send I felt that soul-crushing feeling you get when you realize your text SUCKS. You know the feeling- the drop in your stomach followed by thoughts of Why did I send that!?! I’m the world’s biggest loooser.
I asked my buddy who was great with women if there was a hail Mary I could send to recover. After clowning me for taking such bad advice, he explained that my only chance was to follow it up with something absurd.
There’s a swingers’ club in San Francisco called Power Exchange. My buddy had me follow up my embarrassing text with this:
I was thinking somewhere like this place:
She responds right away “Hahaha that was hilarious.”
But it was too little too late. I never saw her again.
Cautiously listen to women’s feedback, but never follow their advice
One of my writing mentors taught me how to incorporate feedback from my friends when they review my drafts. He suggested that I listen to feedback on which parts of my writing suck, but don’t take my friends’ advice on how to fix it.
This idea also applies to feedback from women. If multiple women point out a flaw, take that as an area to work on. Just keep in mind that just because they can identify a problem doesn’t mean they have good advice on how you should solve it.
Valid feedback from a girl: “You are too feminine.”
Bad advice from a girl: “You are too feminine so you should get a tribal tattoo.”
Another example: If three of your female friends tell you that you have bad breath then it’s time to see a dentist.
Why taking women’s advice is dangerous
1. The way they THINK they’ll react is different from how they actually react
Here’s an example: a line I’ve had great success with that I recommend my students use during their day game approaches is “Don’t worry, I’m only a third creepy.” (for more on this protocol, check out the podcast episode I recorded on day game.)
I was recently explaining day game to one of my female friends, and I told her about the 1/3 creepy line as an example. She said she’d never fall for a cheesy line like that. Her reaction is the same as 95% of my friends I explain it to.
Yet when it is delivered to women in an actual approach by me or my students, 95% react positively. Even if they have a boyfriend, they still usually crack up laughing at the line.
What people say they like is usually different from what they actually respond to. Their advice they give you is based on the way they subjectively imagine the way the world works, rather than how it objectively does.
Woman are very bad at knowing and explaining what they want in a man. But in terms of what they think and feel about you in the moment, you can always trust that. That’s always real.
2. A lot of their advice is garbage
Our culture does a terrible job of teaching young people how to date, both men and women. We’ve all heard the nonsense like “just tell her how you feel” or “just be yourself,” and sadly, a majority of the dating advice out there just isn’t helpful.
An attractive women can be extremely passive and just stand at a bar. Confident guys will approach her. She can literally do nothing and have a successful dating life. She’ll never know the pain of running across the street to hit on a brunette with a great ass, only to get a scoff and be told the infamous “I have a boyfriend.” Or she could say that being nice is the key to attraction, when in reality she’s attracted to aggressive guys who are confident.
Women can’t relate to the skills that guys have to develop to become more attractive. Their worlds are just different. That translates into garbage advice. If you’ve ever been told to “just be nice,” you know that’s true. Don’t take any piece of advice at face value- you have to test if it’s true through your own experience.
3. Women are subjective (and men are too)
To be objective and rational, the necessary steps are:
- Listen carefully and critically absorb information
- Logically analyze arguments
- Avoid jumping to conclusions
- Don’t rely on stories over statistics
When’s the last time you’ve heard someone do this when it comes to her dating behavior? It just doesn’t happen. People act emotionally then backwards rationalize their actions with logic. So for example, Sarah could think that she liked Brian because of the hilarious joke he made in the bathroom line, but it was actually because he was well-dressed and tall.
Women constantly face social pressure, like the need to avoid being called a slut. For this reason, they often won’t provide objective explanations of how attraction works because they’re not even consciously aware of what happens when they’re attracted to a guy. They rely on social norms rather than actual psychology.
4. Brutal honesty isn’t socially acceptable
If you have a fundamental flaw in your character that’s preventing you from attracting the women you want to date, no one is going to feel comfortable pointing that out. It violates social norms and people think it’s rude.
Most people aren’t used to giving helpful critical feedback because it’s a difficult skill that takes a while to master. So instead of learning how to provide brutally honest feedback, they just avoid doing it to spare your feelings.
A lot of people will say things like “I want people to be honest with me. I can handle the truth.” You’re a guy who’s into self-improvement, so that’s probably true for you. But most people who say this are lying to themselves. They think they want honest feedback, but when actually presented with it, they become defensive and blame others instead of taking an inventory.
Look at their incentives. Just like a retail salesperson who has the incentive of selling you expensive clothing, women have the social incentive of not rocking the boat. It does them no benefit to be honest with you if it may result in an awkward conversation.
People feel good when they say nice things about other people, even if it isn’t true. It’s easier to be nice, and American culture does not value honest feedback.
Whose advice should you listen to instead?
Mine, of course 😉
But seriously, you should take the advice of a guy who’s been in your shoes and is now dating the type of women you want to date.
You also need someone who can take the invisible rules about attraction and make them visible for your specific situation. Often a guy who’s naturally good with women can’t explain why the things he does works. A guy who sucks with women is going to give you terrible advice based on speculation.
We’ve discussed Robbie’s Rule of Osmosis in previous newsletters, and it applies again here. Surround yourself with guys who have great dating lives and are good at explaining their specific actions, and you’ll pick up their good habits by osmosis.
Female friends are experts at being women, not at attracting women. How they feel about you in the moment is valid, but that doesn’t mean they know how to give you advice on how to improve.
Keep these three ideas in mind:
- Their feedback on you is usually solid.
- Their feedback on what they have or haven’t liked about others is usually solid.
- Their advice on how to proceed is usually pretty bad.
You meet a girl and things start out well, but she starts getting distant or flaky. It’s a situation we’ve all been in. Steve, a Leverage Program member, posted a great question in our private members area about this very situation. Here’s his question:
A girl I’m enthusiastic is being flaky about our third date. Our conversation has always been smooth and to me it seems like we share mutual chemistry.
We met on Tinder and got drinks on our first date. Our second date was a cooking date at my place. We made out, cuddled in our underwear, and I cooked her breakfast the next morning.
We had plans to hang out, but she canceled because she said she has “so much to do” because her mom will be visiting. It feels like a BS excuse. If she wanted to see me I can’t imagine preparation taking that long. She also invited me to her birthday party, but then rescinded the invite and said it’s “too soon to introduce me to her friends.”
I like this girl a lot and thought we had a good connection. However, her flaking makes me feel shitty. Am I making too much of it? Am I being too pushy? What’s my optimal next play?
There are a few possibilities in this scenario and it’s likely a mix of all three. Let’s go through each one.
1. She’s not into him
From the way him described the situation, it sounds like he’s in chase mode. It’s 100% normal to be offended, feel shitty, and be salty when things turn out like this. Connecting with and liking a girl that doesn’t pan out sucks.
Why does this situation make most guys irrational? Because you didn’t just invest the time you spent with her. You invested years of dreaming up a relationship with a certain kind of person you hope to have, and this person matches years of daydreaming. You get excited. Then poof. She’s not into you.
Do not let the above affect you emotionally and act irrationally. It never ends well with this kind of girl. Ever.
Also, think about what chemistry actually means. If she felt this “chemistry” to the extent that he does, she’d be taking him to all these things that she says he can’t come to. When a girl likes a guy, she makes it easy for him to see her (unless she’s being manipulative or there’s some other issue going on).
2. She’s too rigid
If it’s a big deal to meet her friends, imagine all the other things that aren’t actually a big deal that she will think is a big deal. Run from this kind of girl, because dealing with them is a full time job.
Don’t make excuses for women who aren’t into you. When you jive with someone, you hang out with them. If her birthday and her friends visiting are such a big deal, really think about how rigid this person is. Think how she will be a year from now. Good luck with that. Never mind that she did invite him- that’s some evidence that it’s not a big deal.
Introducing a guy to her friends is only a big deal in the movies. Seek someone who is flexible, not rigid, and not in their head. It’s hard to stress enough how valuable of a trait being flexible is in a partner, and most guys (and women) never even think about it.
3. There’s another dude in the picture
My instinct is that the un-invitation is not about her BS excuse, but rather another dude in the picture that will be at the party.
I ran this situation by a female friend of mine, and her conclusion is that there’s someone else: “She’s not hanging out with her mom. A guy visited her. If it was her mom, she’d find a way to sneak away for five minutes. She can’t do that with another guy around.”
It’s always safe to assume that you have some competition. Any hot woman will have exes, current guys she’s lukewarm about but who are pursuing her, guys in her social circle who are out of a reach but she’d gladly date, and the list goes on and on. Believing that she’s getting chased by other guys is good for you because it encourages you to keep approaching other girls. This gives you an abundance mentality so no matter what happens with any one specific girl, you aren’t phased by it.
If you’ve been following my newsletter for a while, you know that I like to make everything about attraction as simple as possible. I can’t stand dating coaches who overcomplicate things.
So strip away all the gaming, game theory, questions, guessing, and gauging. As cheesy or oversimplified as it sounds: is she being present and transparent?
Long story short: solid connections between people that are en route to building a deep connection or falling in love show mutual presence and transparency. When one of those things is missing, there’s usually an alarming reason why. It could be that one person is not interested, there’s someone else in the picture, or someone is a basket case. If a new relationship feels like a ton of work, it’s probably not on a path to anywhere positive.
I look forward to working together.
If you don’t feel confident in your dating life, it says nothing about your character. It’s just an indication that you need more practice so you can stack more wins.
There’s a lot of nonsense out there on what confidence is, or what it takes to develop confidence. Confidence is the thoughts and feelings that result from a series of wins stacked together. It’s your expectation of how you’ll perform in a given situation, and it’s different from self-esteem, which is your overall evaluation of yourself.
I was reviewing Mate by Tucker Max yesterday and found a brilliant definition of confidence:
“Confidence is the realistic expectation you have of being successful at something, given (a) your competence at it and (b) the risk involved with doing it.”
Confidence ONLY comes from experience and competence. “Fake it till you make it” is a bad long-term strategy because no matter what you tell yourself, your brain subconsciously creates a metric that assesses whether or not you’ll do well in this situation with reasonable accuracy. Confidence is grounded in real world results, whereas arrogance is based on your imagination and self-delusion (and doesn’t work).
The subconscious part of your brain is more important for confidence than what you rationally tell yourself, meaning that if you don’t subconsciously believe you have the skills to be competent, you don’t have confidence.
Unfortunately, there is no faking out your own psyche when it comes to how confident you feel about your abilities. Your confidence has to be calibrated on your competence. You can’t lie to yourself because your self is smarter than you are- LOL, confused yet? I am. Anyway…
If you step up to bat against a major league pitcher, you know that the best guys in the world are getting a hit 30% of the time, and getting on base 40% of the time. How confident should you be if you don’t play baseball? Even if you played in high school or college, your confidence isn’t gonna be very high, and it shouldn’t be!
You develop a higher level of confidence in any field when it’s something you’ve done often, when you’ve failed over and over, and when you’ve achieved some success. When you learn what works and what doesn’t, you develop an accurate assessment of how you’re likely to perform in any situation.
If you keep practicing and the wins aren’t coming, it means you’re practicing in the wrong areas, getting bad advice, or you have blind spots you’re unaware of. Don’t keep doing the same thing over and over, hoping for a different result. That’s crazy. Get some coaching, learn proven methods of success, and practice those methods. That’s the only way to develop confidence over the long haul.
Let’s talk about rejection.
What most guys don’t realize is that women don’t actually want to reject you. They don’t enjoy it. They have no desire to make you feel bad about yourself, they are only doing their best job of exiting an interaction that doesn’t interest them.
If they aren’t attracted to you, their goal is to signal to you in the least awkward and offensive way possible that you should move on. Unfortunately, most guys don’t pick up on these signals.
Common Signals of Rejection:
1. The first hint occurs when she communicates with a passive businesslike manner and avoids eye contact. This is when you get one-word responses and she doesn’t actively engage with anything you’re throwing out there.
2. If you persist, you’ll get the cold shoulder. This is what’s occurring when guys interpret women’s behavior as subtly “cold” or “bitchy.” She starts going from passively rejecting you to being actively dismissive.
3. Finally, if you haven’t gotten the message by this point, she’s likely to say something that you interpret as condescending, rude or mean. She’s doing everything she can to get you to leave.
The thing to remember is that this behavior isn’t really about you, because most women constantly get hit on really poorly. They’ll frequently encounter sociopathic guys who have no fear of rejection. These guys will walk up and say whatever they want. Their confidence occurs from the lack of a biological fear response, so they have no calibration to her signals.
The other common uncomfortable way women get hit on is by guys with poor social skills. Guys who can’t pick up on social norms, like guys with Asperger Syndrome, come across as creepy to women because they’re oblivious to the signals women are sending and they keep on pushing. Like guys with sociopathic traits, this is a category of guys that women have to go out of their way to send signals of rejection.
Should I hit on less attractive girls?
Back in 2007 when I was working through the requirements to become an approach coach for Pickup101, I needed to get an infield hidden camera video where I got a number or instant date on camera- a daunting task. I spent an evening walking around the UTC Mall in La Jolla and hit on 32 women.
I got the “I have a boyfriend” line 32 times. I vividly remember letting a few approach opportunities with the hottest girls go because I felt like I had less of a chance with them. But after 32 rejections, I was completely annoyed and on the verge of feeling straight up angry.
Finally, on the 33rd approach I was able to get a girl’s number, but the audio didn’t work. I really wanted to destroy those stupid wireless microphones. I was so angry I needed to break something to release my frustration. But I got some Zen calming advice from my cameraman and called it quits that day.
We later traveled up to West Hollywood for the weekend and hit up the Beverly Center for more approaches. The talent in LA was way better than in San Diego, and even when I get rejected the girls were way sweeter about it.
It dawned on me that the hotter the girl, the more experience she has rejecting guys. Because of this, the idea that you should “warm up” by talking to less attractive women is a silly one. Doing so will only lead to harsher rejections, because you’re dealing with a girl who doesn’t have as much experience confidently and respectfully exiting conversations. Less attractive girls have less experience dealing with guys in general.
Men and women have radically different experience with dating. Women get hit on so often that they develop experience rejecting men.
Ever since she hit puberty, an attractive woman has dealt with all kinds of guys approaching her, checking her out, making suggestive comments. By her 18th birthday, odds are she’s already had six years of this happening every single day. Compare that to a typical 28 year-old guy who’s hit on 100 girls in the last year: she has way more experience under her belt.
Regardless of how experienced you think you are, I promise she has more experience rejecting guys than you have being rejected.
But remember that most of the time women are being hit on by guys they don’t want to talk to. That’s good news for you. You’re not a construction worker catcalling her as she walks down the street, you’re not an intimidating sociopath, and the better you get, the easier for you it becomes to read the social signals she’s sending nonverbally.
And if you were wondering, I finally did get a number on camera. Here’s the footage. Notice my horrific outfit, bad posture and general dorky-ness.
If you have a good eye for reading women’s reactions, you probably noticed that this girl was not into me at all. This is the classic example of a pity number. She just gave it to me because she didn’t want to make me feel bad, especially on camera! Needless to say, she never responded to my texts but hey, I got the video.
Here’s one tip that I use all the time when asking for a girls number to alleviate any awkwardness. Just say “Give me your number or if you don’t like me, give me a fake one.” She will always giggle. It turns the taboo number exchange into a laugh which can only strengthen a connection.
We discuss how to have “the talk” to set up non-monogamous relationships, and how to stand out in the dating world when everyone is addicted to their phones.
- One-on-one versus group encounters
- How Robbie started dating multiple women without guilt or fear
- How to have the “I want to be open and non-exclusive” conversation, and why Robbie no longer needs to have it
- Older women and non-monogamy
- How to avoid falling through the cracks with new women you meet
- The realities of dating in modern Western culture when everyone is addicted to their phones
- How to cut through the noise of social media-addicted girls
How you do anything is how you do everything, and the people you choose to associate with reflects on your character. It’s crucial to surround yourself with guys who are better than you if you want to become better with women.
Women are attracted to social status more than anything else, and one of the most important ways to show (not tell) your status is by being a leader or providing value in a group of other attractive men. This is why I always talk about how improving your dating life is more than just knowing how to attract; it’s about being a complete man who’s attractive to women.
So what do you do if all your friends are losers? Ditch the losers so you’re in a sink or swim situation. If you have no social contact, you’ll have no choice but to force yourself outside of your comfort zone to meet new people. And do it for your own mental health too; we naturally absorb the attitudes, thoughts, and actions of the people around us, so remaining in friendships with toxic people hurts you. It’s a subconscious process that psychologists call “convergence.”
Identify what kind of friends you’d like to make, and start participating in the activities that these people do. Are they into physical fitness? Join a Crossfit gym. Are they businesspeople? Hang out at the country club. Do they play chess? Join a chess tournament. Not sure who you’d like to meet? Pick up a side job in retail and start talking to your coworkers. Want to meet fun people while learning a new social skill? Do improv comedy. Just start doing something, absorb your experience as feedback, and adjust your actions from there.
By encountering people with similar interests to you in a natural environment, it’s easy for you to make friendships when you both start to gradually reveal more personal information about yourselves.
In order to become friends with people, you need to provide some value to them. This can be as simple and straightforward as being a good listener. If people feel comfortable and at ease around you, they’ll want to form a friendship with you.
The Four Types of Male Friendships
Men tend to have friendships that fall into one of four categories. If you understand these categories, you’ll know how to keep your loser friends at a distance and how to build valuable connections with others.
Just friends are guys you see from time to time and have surface-level connections with. It could be a poker buddy or a guy you see often at the gym. The distinction here is that it’s someone you don’t intend to get to know better or see in a different situation. Sometimes a wingman will fall into this category- he’s someone you’ll go out with but don’t have any kind of lasting bond.
Rust friends are the friends you’ve had your whole life. It could be a childhood best friend or someone else you’ve known most of your life. You may have different priorities and values now, but the length of your bond is what sustains the friendship. These aren’t necessary deep friendships- they’re just old ones.
Trust friends are friends who you’ve established a close bond with. Having this kind of friend to support you is crucial. You can share your challenges with them and they’ll help you get through them. They’ll help you meet women and you know you can count on them.
Must friends are friends who you “must” share everything with. They’re your deepest source of a masculine bond, and they form your inner circle. While it takes a long time with a lot of shared experiences to form, these are the types of lifelong friendships we cultivate in the Leverage Program. Having women in your life is great, but you can supercharge both your dating and your social lives by surrounding yourself with successful men and mentors.
When I was starting out as a dating coach, I got a lot better in every area of my life. The advantage I had is that I was constantly seeking other guys who were successful socially and comfortable around hot women.
It offered a two-for-one benefit because I was always surrounded by people trying to improve, and it created the mastermind effect. A mastermind is a coaching group of like-minded individuals and mentors who network, share advice, and support each other, with the intention of helping everyone in the group advance both individually and collectively. As far as I’m aware, the concept was originated by Napoleon Hill in his classic self-help book Think and Grow Rich.
Odds are that if you’re trying to improve your dating life you’re probably doing it mostly alone. When I got started I wasn’t about to admit to my bros that I was doing it. They would have made fun of me. Luckily I had a bunch of friends and we hit the bars in San Diego 4-5 times per wee. But as my game improved I started to realize that my friends were horrible wingman and would even cockblock me.
One example that happened all the time is that I’d approach a group of girls and my buddies would swoop in and talk to the girl I was working on. Some would even make fun of my for learning game. Eventually I just couldn’t go out with them anymore. So I started hanging out with guys from the local San Diego Lair.
That was even worse. Most lair guys are creepy because they study all the hardcore pickup tactics that don’t fit their personalities. The lair guys wouldn’t go after the girls I approached but they cockblocked me in a different way by weirding most of them out. I was guilty by association. FML.
It wasn’t until I met some naturals and fellow dating coaches teaching authentic personal growth that I found some solid wingmen. But that couldn’t have happened until I got really good. My buddy calls this phenomenon the Dork Forcefield. Imagine you were really good with women, would you hang out with guys that aren’t as good as you who slow you down?
If you’re thinking right now, “I’m not great, but I don’t slow anyone down,” think again. If you aren’t adding value, you’re subtracting. You’re just unaware of how. Guys who are good have a forcefield to keep away dorks from their social circle. It’s kinda the like the cool kids in high school. It still exists, but guys are just more polite about it. The Dork Forcefield will engage with your fashion, the company you keep, your conversation style, and your social awareness. If you can’t get the Dork Forcefield down, you’re never hanging out with the guys are really good who have access to the best social opportunities.
You can break through the forcefield by either becoming really good, or rendering a service. For example, I’ll go out for drinks with my attorney because he’s amazing and generates tons of value in my life. So he gets a pass. But if you’re not great socially, not paying, or not rendering a service, why would anyone who is good choose to hang out with you? They wouldn’t.
I developed Leverage to give you access to the best social beasts in the world. It will give you all the how to’s but more importantly, plug you into a network that provides the support you’re missing, no matter where you live, and no matter what your skill level is.
It’s important to hang out with social beasts their mindsets and behaviors will rub off on you. We naturally absorb the attitudes, thoughts, and actions of the people around us. It’s a subconscious process that I like to call “osmosis.”
Robbie’s Rule of Osmosis: All social behavior is contagious.
If your friends have poor social skills, their mental models will rub off onto you. If all your friends are beasts with women, life and business, that will also rub off onto you.
Many guys have heard the Jim Rohn quote: “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” And everyone thinks they know what it means: “Yeah, it means surround yourself with positive successful people and your life will improve blah blah.” No, it means you ARE those people. You surround yourself with people and you become them.
Using osmosis to your advantage improves your social skills both directly and indirectly. The valuable part of having mentors isn’t just the direct advice they give; it’s also the indirect ways they make you better.
When you hang out with guys who are more socially successful than you, they provide indirect feedback when they respond to you. You get feedback on whether or not your jokes are funny. You get feedback on how interesting your conversations are. You even get subconscious feedback on your body language.
If you make a lame joke or tell a boring story in front of a guy who sucks with women, he might think it’s funny and laugh. He might laugh to avoid hurting your feelings. On the other hand, social beasts hold themselves accountable for the people in their lives. They won’t laugh if your jokes aren’t funny.
You absorb better body language through osmosis. Ever notice how groups of friends often look alike? Part of it is their clothing style. But the other part is that they share similar body language! Humans are extremely social creatures. This plays out is in how our body language is shaped by our peers.
Succeeding at dating is about having the right mental models.
The difference between an expert and a beginner lies in their mental models. Everyone has ideas about how a skill (like meeting women) should be performed, and beliefs about the natural state of the world in relation to that skill. An expert differs in two ways: one, he has more detailed mental models, and two, he has a lot more models.
Social beasts have been in so many situations with women that they’re able to recognize the right things to say and the right moves to make. They’ve done the wrong things enough times that they know what to avoid. Their social pattern recognition is highly developed.
I’ve invested at least 25,000 hours into my social life, been on hundreds of dates, slept with way too many women to count, and hit on tens of thousands of women. I have a play, a joke, or a move ready for every word, situation, sound, text, laugh, or touch that exists. I also have an audible, an exit plan, and a flowchart leading to 10,000 other plays. Other social beasts have this too, and that’s why they’re successful.
Just as all social behavior is contagious, so are our mental models. One of the most overlooked ways to get better at dating is also one of the simplest: hang out with guys who have better dating lives than you.
Using osmosis to your advantage cuts your learning curve in half because it accelerates the development of your mental models. The quickest way to improve your dating life is by surrounding yourself with social beasts who are achieving the goals you wish to achieve.
If you want to be more outgoing and funny, hang out with guys who do improv or standup comedy. If you want to improve your career, hang out with startup guys. If you want to be more dominant and assertive, hang out with guys who train MMA. If you hang around guys who are well-rounded and successful in all domains of their life, you’ll passively improve in your dating life through their indirect feedback.
Ultimately, you need to find out why you suck. Most guys spin their wheels in this stage for years because no one will tell them why they suck. Their peers aren’t qualified to tell them, and since that kind of feedback isn’t socially acceptable, the most they’ll do is stop hanging out with a guy they don’t like. Women won’t provide this feedback either.
If Leverage sounds like it could be a good fit for you, I encourage you to apply. I personally screen all applicants, to make sure I only accept people that will get results. This maintains the integrity of the program and leads to lots of happy customers and referrals. Win/win!
Here’s the link if you’d like to apply. We’ll set up a time to chat so we can get to know each other. If the program isn’t the best fit for you, I promise I will leave you with a different strategy that will serve you better.
This is a shorter episode. We start talking about college game, but stick with it here because the strategy I recommend for college guys is actually the best strategy for everyone. Why shouldn’t you try to date in college? How can guys who aren’t in college use this same strategy?
We also discuss Roosh V’s podcast, the Death of Night Game, and wrap up with how you can use the death of night game to your advantage.
In my early 20s I sucked with women. I was fat. I wasn’t making any money. I didn’t know how to dress.
No wonder I couldn’t get dates.
I wanted to change everything at once. I didn’t know what to do.
Things are different now. I date hot women. I choose what kind of relationships I want. I’m in shape. All of the problems of the typical American dude are solved in my life. I never have to settle.
I don’t feel guilty bragging about my lifestyle because I hustled my ass off to get here.
So how did I get here?
I got here because I failed. A lot. I’ve made the same mistakes everyone has. But every time I fell down, I got back up again. I refused to stay down. I learned from my mistakes. Eventually I stopped making them.
I wasn’t naturally good with women, so I’ve lived the same journey you’re on. If you aren’t satisfied with your dating life yet, it’s likely that you’re making the same mistakes I was making. Here are the most common ones:
1. You love being comfortable.
Everyone understands that experiencing muscle strain is mandatory for bodybuilding. It’s painful. It hurts. But it’s a sign of progress and no one runs from it.
Unfortunately, everyone forgets this in others area of life, so they avoid discomfort and they keep struggling.
It’s not your fault. I love being comfortable too. Consumer society bombards us with advertising for products that remove any possible form of discomfort. Don’t like walking? Grab an Uber. Don’t feel like cooking? Go to McDonald’s. Feel bad about yourself? Buy a new Lexus.
I love being comfortable, but I won’t allow it anymore. To get good at anything, you have to embrace discomfort. Get HUNGRY for the strain that comes with leaving your comfort zone.
One of my personal favorite expressions comes from the military: “embrace the suck.”
With weightlifting, the suck is physical. With approaching women, it’s psychological. Embrace that shit. If you’re uncomfortable it means you’re growing. If you feel comfortable you should be afraid, because that means things in your life aren’t going to change.
People just don’t want to tolerate discomfort, even if it comes with a guarantee that the pain will be temporary. They trade short-term comfort for long-term misery. Separate yourself from the losers by embracing the suck.
Making excuses is a normal function of the mind. But don’t let excuses keep you in your comfort zone. A common misconception is that you need to be confident and overcome your excuses before you can face rejection or discomfort, but that’s actually backwards. First you do the thing outside your comfort zone, then you gain the confidence. This is because confidence is based on demonstrated performance.
Let’s get specific. When you’re uncomfortable, ask yourself: “What sensations am I experiencing right now?”
When I’m about to make a difficult approach, my heart races. Sometimes my throat gets dry or my hands get sweaty. I ask myself, Are you willing to feel a racing heart and sweaty palms for a couple minutes in order to get better at talking to girls?
That’s an easy YES. If you’re like me, you’d rather experience a racing heartbeat and sweaty palms every day than spend a lifetime watching porn and playing video games.
Keep embracing the suck every single day, and one day you’ll wake up and realize that things don’t suck anymore. It worked for me.
2. You’re obsessing over the outcome and ignoring the process.
Research has shown that top athletes have one factor in common: a growth mindset.
The goal of a growth mindset is to “get better.” In contrast, we have the fixed mindset, with the goal “be good.” When they’re facing a challenge, beginners often want to “be good,” coming at it with the mindset of worrying about how well they’ll perform. Their ego hurts their ability to learn.
There’s a great idea from Carlos Gracie Sr., one of the primary developers of modern Brazilian jiu-jitsu: “There is no losing in jiu-jitsu. You either win or you learn.”
I challenge you to approach with the goal of getting better. Forget being good. Everything you do provides feedback. Every approach puts you one step closer to becoming a social beast. Every rejection is a chance to laugh at yourself. Every time you feel discomfort, you make it 1% easier the next time you’re in that situation.
Focus more attention on the process than the results. Making an approach is something you have control over; getting a number is not. So instead of considering an approach a victory if you GET a number, count it as a win if you ASK for a number, regardless of what happens.
When you learn to love the process, the satisfaction and inspiration that come with going after your goals are more rewarding than actually achieving them. This is why top performers are able to easily bounce back from failure.
Guys who obsess over the outcome and ignore the progress typically aren’t approaching consistently, so they’re not seeing results. Because they aren’t seeing results, they don’t have the motivation to keep approaching. Which brings me to my next point…
3. You’re relying on motivation.
That lack of success/lack of motivation vicious cycle we just reviewed creates nothing but frustration, disappointment, and desperation.
99% of the time the solution is to approach more and fight through the suck. But I’ve been there and I know what it’s like: in the moment, that’s difficult.
Our egos are sensitive to change, especially major changes. No matter how motivated we feel, our brains will subconsciously resist any life changes we attempt. This is why people so often feel like they sabotage themselves and give up on their goals.
Let’s revisit the bodybuilding example. The most important part of bodybuilding is showing up at the gym, over and over. Major positive life change occurs as a series of tiny changes fueled by effective habits, not from a giant burst of motivation. Consistency beats motivation every time.
4. You haven’t changed your environment.
I’m an unhealthy food and leftovers addict. If there are leftovers in my fridge, I will eat them every time. If my Chipotle burrito falls on the floor, I’ll still eat it. What can I say, I’m still a fat kid at heart.
So when I do have an occasional cheat day (which my diet allows), I’ve learned that I must throw my leftovers away before I go to bed. I don’t rely on willpower, because it will fail every time. I design my environment to make success automatic. I remove thinking from the equation.
It’s the same with dating. You’ll succeed if you create an environment that makes progress inevitable.
Live somewhere where there are women around. Hang out with other guys who are good with women. Go out all the time. Get a second job in retail or bartending.
Guys have no problems moving to a different city for their career, but are rarely willing to move to a better market for meeting women. That’s despite the fact that the decision of who to marry is the single greatest factor for your overall happiness. It just doesn’t make sense to me. Shape your environment and you’ll get what you want.
5. You’re starting too big.
Our society teaches us to view life improvement in black and white, all or nothing. Either I’m going to stick perfectly to my new diet, or it’s not worth trying. Either I’m going to run 5 miles every day before work, or I’m going to stay on the couch. Either I’ll approach 100 women this month, or I won’t approach any. People view anything short of radical life change in every domain as a failure.
If you can relate to this, it means you have unrealistic fantasies about building habits. In reality, we improve our lives by making tiny changes consistently, not by drastically changing overnight. That’s why New Year’s Resolutions fail.
The way around this is to take small action steps that slip past the part of our mind that resists change. Do one pushup. Floss one tooth. Approach one girl. The funny thing is that when you have these small habits in place, they naturally sustain themselves and grow. Our brain gets used to doing a single pushup, so doing two becomes no problem. Flossing one tooth seems silly so you automatically start to floss more. Approaching one girl becomes natural, so you start to do more approaches without realizing it.
For success, momentum is more important than motivation. I’ll repeat myself: the most important part of bodybuilding is showing up at the gym, over and over.
Let’s take my example of flossing. For most of my life I hated flossing so I didn’t do it. A week before my dentist appointments I would start flossing. But it was too little too late: I’d get yelled at for not flossing my teeth, so I’d start again. That would last for about a week and I’d stop again.
But now I floss my teeth every night. It’s actually my favorite part of getting ready for bed. How did I do this? I started flossing one tooth per night. You read that right, just one tooth. You establish the habit small with one tooth, then the momentum builds up and flossing more teeth becomes automatic. Before you know it you’re flossing your whole mouth without even realizing it.
Stanford professor BJ Fogg talks about the power of flossing one tooth in his excellent TED Talk, Forget big change, start with a tiny habit.
6. You don’t have accountability.
You’re never going to improve without accountability. Create a challenge for yourself and talk about it with people who can hold you to it. Set a consequence for failure, like paying $1000 if you don’t complete 7 approaches in next week. Report daily on your progress. Ask you friends not to let you off the hook if you stop making effort.
This is the same method I used to lose 55 pounds in 2011. It’s what I use with my students to get them results: I put them on approach bets where they put a serious amount of money on the line. Guess what? Approach anxiety is no longer a problem. They embrace the suck and get it done. One of my students even dated the first girl he met on an approach bet for a couple years.
It’s tough to focus on getting better instead of being good when you have no one there to
laugh at your failures with you and make sure you keep showing up. My skills with women improved rapidly when I was younger because I had mentors who would not tolerate mediocrity or laziness. We had a team mentality that turned getting rejection into something a fun sign of growth rather than something to be avoided.
Putting it all together
By this point we’ve seen that success doesn’t happen in huge leaps. It occurs in small increments. We don’t go to bed unhappy one night then magically wake up and say “I’m different now, I made it today!” When we create the right small habits, we slowly become successful over time.
Our society loves the fantasy of the “overnight success.” But real overnight successes take years of hustling, and it’s a long, tedious process.
If I had to pick just one of these as the most important, it’s the final one: accountability. Even if you mess up the first six principles on this list, having accountability forces you to succeed. That’s why I’ve designed this element into the Leverage Program.
Our measuring stick, curriculum path, and end goal is what I call the Inner Confidence Belt System. Super creatively, the end game is to be a black belt. Equally creatively, the starting block is white belt.
Each belt level has accountability built in. From day one, you’ll be paired up with an experienced mentor. We’ll use approach bets to remove approach anxiety from the equation.
It’s so easy to claim we want to approach more beautiful women…we want to learn from successful mentors…we want to live a life where we can choose what kind of relationships we want. Even the most self-aware guys can SAY that.
But what are you doing about it?
I force my students to succeed, because if they don’t then that means I’ve fail as a coach, and I feel like a loser when I fail. That looks different for every guy. For newer students it’s often approach bets, accountability coaching calls, and some other tricks I have up my sleeve. For other students, it’s more hanging out with other guys in the group and getting coaching in person.
Here’s an example from Joel, a student who’s become an approach beast since joining Leverage:
Try out Leverage and use my proven accountability system to make sure you start approaching more. I’m here to help, and I’ve been coaching guys professionally for a decade. I’m not going anywhere and I won’t let you settle. Even if that means you give it your best effort, find that it isn’t for you, and leave within the first 30 days for a full refund.
There’s an art to having a great night out when you’re doing bottle service. If you aren’t a bottle service regular, you’re stepping into a world with tons of unwritten rules and norms that you need to follow in order to look like a socially competent guy. Successful men and attractive women understand this stuff subconsciously and will determine if you’re one of the “cool kids” by whether or not you know how to conduct yourself at a table.
Until now, these rules have been kept secret. Let’s get started!
- Males split the bill. If the bill is $800 then 10 guys pay $80 each. Women never pay, ever.
- Pay your share. No excuses, no nothing. “I got there late.” “I bought some drinks at the bar.” “I came with a girl.” “I told you I’m broke.” “I brought all the girls.” Everyone wants to skip out on their share. Just be a man and pay your damn share of the table. Be a man, pay your fucking way.
- Don’t cheap out on the table and pay $1,500 for the shitty table when a better table is $2,000. You’ll end up spending more than the minimum anyway, but ending up with worse real estate.
- Tell the people you are rolling with ahead of time what they are expected to pay. It’s uncomfortable to talk about money sometimes, especially if your friends are annoying broke losers. But if you don’t, you’ll end up getting burned for it when they say “I can’t really afford that right now” when the check comes. For example of how to handle this, here is an email I sent regarding a friend’s B-day:
- Hey Ariel,
We can add you to the table list if you’re willing to throw down for the table/bottle: approx $150 ($200 at the most) Or you can show up before 10:30 and try to get in for free because we can add you to her list. I just can’t guarantee what the bouncers do at the door. Sometimes they will let a bunch of dudes roll in if they’re on the list and other times they will be dicks about it. I’d go the guaranteed route if you don’t want to jeopardize your night.
- Hey Ariel,
- If someone has a table and you invite a friend who decides after the fact that he doesn’t want to pay, you are responsible for his share. You are responsible for the people you bring, so don’t bring liabilities.
- Throw a party, entertain people and pour drinks for girls. Unless you have a target you’re locked in with, don’t pow-wow one-on-one.
- When girls walk past your table, reach your hand out in a non-creepy way and pull them to table. It’s that easy.
- Every table must have a bottle captain: someone who protects them from dumb girls knocking them over or pouring crazy amounts. Don’t let girls touch the bottle.
- Don’t walk around with a bottle. You will look stupid.
- Don’t order stupid narrow shit like bourbon. 21-25 year old girls (the majority of girls at a club) don’t drink bourbon. Grey Goose is a good one-size-fits-all option.
- Stand up. Don’t be the dumb idiot sitting down because it forces girls to leave. Send girls inwards so they can sit. The only time I’ll sit at the table or booth is if I’ve got my feet on the seat and I’m sitting on the top of the back. This way I’m at eye level with people and easy to talk to.
- Don’t ram and jam girls into table conversations. Just drink and fuck around.
- Get every number of every girl you meet from minute one, using something like “Hey, in case we lose each other, gimme your number now.” The club can get loud, people get drunk, and it becomes a shitshow so get numbers early on then move along and talk with people.
- Do not target your entire $2,000 night on ONE girl from early on. Tables are for building squads. Get 15 numbers, convert 3. Voila- for $300 and one night you have a squad of 3.
- Don’t roll with people who get “too drunk.”
- Don’t roll with fucking dorks.
- Don’t bring a date to bottle service night out unless you are really into her and you believe this is necessary to close the deal.
- The first thing you should do when you get your table is pour yourself a drink and then go out and recruit chicks. All but one guy should go on recruiting missions and bring girls back. If you can’t bring back girls who are paying for their own drinks at the bar it’s a sign your game is weak.
- In almost every single bottle service situation, physical interaction is the name of the game. The music will be blasting and having conversations isn’t easy. You have a lot more leeway and freedom to touch girls in a more aggressive manner than usual. The second I meet a girl I’ll be touching her on the arm and shoulder to see if she touches me and gives love back. I will hold her hand while leading her back to my table and once there, I’ll have my hand on her waist or hip. If she is willing to square off and face her hips directly at me, she is down to make-out. Don’t wait. You can go for a quick kiss very early in these situations, but the more her friends sees you ferociously making out with her, the more likely they will cock-block you later and the higher chance for buyer’s remorse. Get her chasing you by being the one to always pull away first. These are some of my favorite lines for scooping girls to table. Always be as playful and ridiculous as possible, as long as you’re congruent with it.
- Hey… so me and my buddies drew straws and I lost which makes me the designated guy who’s job is to recruit girls back to our table for the night. You have two options, either come have a drink with us or feel incredibly guilty when I get fired 🙂
- Hey guys, I have an amazing pickup line to convince you to come have a drink with me at our table, this shit is hilarious you are gonna die, are you ready……….. fuck, I completely forgot, you would have loved it though I SWEAR. Ok drink time, let’s go (grab one of their hands and walk them back)
- Hey you guys are coming to my table for a drink, let’s go.
- Hey not to be that guy who lures poor innocent girls to his table with the promise of alcohol and fun, but, yeah I’m gonna be that guy. Don’t worry, I’m only 95% creepy.
- Take care of afterparty logistics beforehand. Every dude you are rolling with should know what the after partyplan is and be responsible for getting every girl at your table back to it. When the lights turn on, don’t stand around at the table until the bouncers kick you out. Grab your girls, throw them in a cab and get the fuck out of there. Hopefully you’ve called an Uber SUV and it’s already waiting for you outside. Out front of any club is hail Mary time. Drunk retards or swimming sharks will show up and try to caveman your girls away from you. It’s basically cock-block central. You need to lead your flock of sheep through the brigade of wolves as fast as possible.
- If you’re the life of the party, on the tall side, or you’re grabbing girls walking by your table and super alpha, then no lines are necessary. If you’re at a table in the back of the club and you’re 50 feet away trying to scoop girls at the bar and get them to make the journey back, you’ll have way the most success with a quick attraction-building line, 30 seconds of banter and then dragging them over.
- The more people you know or pretend to know the better. And in clubs it’s so easy to pretend you know people.
- If you have girls with you then any guy will pretend he knows you even if he doesn’t. You can pull girls from dance floor and pretend you brought them. As long as you have some cute girls with you everyone loves you.