Last Saturday night I taped a compressor microphone to my chest, had my friend with a creepy camera jacket follow me around, and hit the New York nightlife to film some “infield footage”—which is a nerdy way of saying I was hitting on chicks on hidden camera. There were just a few tiny glitches: the venues were dead, the girls weren’t too hot, and—let me brutally honest here—I was sucking pretty badly.
I both love and hate filming infield footage for that exact reason. It forces me to assume the mindset of “the newbie.” Filming leaves me no choice but to keeping approaching, even if the girls aren’t necessarily hot. It pushes me to keep going, rejection after rejection. And, most of all, it leaves me feeling unbearable pangs of guilt whenever I just stand around do nothing.
But last Saturday night brought up an interesting corollary: what happens if a night out legitimately sucks? Now I’m well aware that guys often say, “This sucks!” as a blanket excuse to shield them from responsibility. But is it always an excuse? Surely every night out can’t be brimming with opportunity. So what does a self-respecting man do when things…suck?
The answer to that question should come as no surprise. When a night out sucks you have no choice but to accept it in all its suckiness.I’m always disappointed when dudes email me to bitch about a crappy night out. If you’re not ready to accept the good with the bad, then becoming better with women probably isn’t a good pastime for you. Consider taking up a more “consistent” hobby like bird watching.
But coming to a manful acceptable of the badness you’re inevitably going to face is only the first step. Because, for most students of success with women, “accepting it” just translates to “enduring it.” Guys will put up with a sucky night out—or even many sucky nights out—but they won’t enjoy them. They simply grit their teeth and bear it.
This, however, isn’t coming to a full acceptance of the actual situation. Enduring a crap night will allow you to survive another day in the game, but it won’t allow you to master it. See, guys who are truly masterful at approaching, meeting, and attracting women view sucky nights out as more than just evenings they need to endure—they see them as reminders of the beautiful randomness of the game, which reinforces the “human element” of it all.
Unlike programming a computer or solving a math problem, connecting with women isn’t predicated on “formulas.” There’s no “secret language” that will allow you to seamlessly seduce your next girlfriend. Sure, there are “methods” and “systems,” but none of which will ever be able to guarantee you a 100-percent success rate. Why? Because you’re dealing with humans.
You’re a human. The girls you’re trying to meet are humans. And all the other players in this game are also humans. Hence, meeting women is fun for the same reason it’s frustrating: because it’s random. We can never know with certainty what’s going on between the ears of another person (I was paying attention to the lecture on epiphenomenalism in my college philosophy class!) and so we can never know with certainty whether a night out will be totally awesome or absolutely terrible.
Every night out deals us a fresh hand of cards. The girls who come out, the mood those girls will be in, the mood we’ll be in, and all the other deliciously human factors coalesce to create that frustratingly exciting feeling we get as we enter a nightclub. We’re entering into a world of uncertainty.
Stop Being a Nerd
The entire backbone of the men’s dating advice industry once rested upon selling men the lie that they can circumvent that uncertainty. As much as I like to rail against the absurdity of peacocking and the ridiculousness of memorized routines, what I really hate the most about the old guard is their promise of “systematizing success.”
Women are not automatons. You’re not an automaton. Meeting people can never be systematized—it can only be probablized. What I mean by “probablized”—a word I just invented—is that you can only increase your probability of things working in your favor. But you’re always dealing with a probability. Nothing—and I repeat nothing—is definite.
Which is exactly why I enjoy my crap nights out. Even though I burned money on cab rides, drinks, and—most expensive of all—infield footage gear (batteries, drinks for my cameraman, and the other costs of doing business) plus I wasted my time on a night that could have been put to a more productive uses (like writing this TSB article, which was way past my editor’s deadline), I don’t regret it for a moment.
Instead, I accept the truth of becoming successful with women. Rather than clinging to some nerd fantasy that I can reduce the random world to a “matrix” of anticipated responses, I find an annoying pleasure in hitting the New York nightlife only to find it completely underwhelming. It reminds me of the human I am, of the human females I’m trying to meet, and of the beauty of unbridled uncertainty.