The Bruce Lee Of Game: Turning a Failed Date Into A New Pickup

It was on paper what was meant to be the ideal date. She was hot, I was cashing in favor owed me at a world-class jazz club for a free show/drinks/dinner, and I knew THE ENTIRE staff at the venue. I was feeling pretty damn good about all the circumstances leading into it.

As my date 5’10” perfectly toned beauty, a dancer by trade. She had tried out for Hair Spray earlier that day. I could feel the shifting of fabric in my pants simply by looking at some of her photos. We liked many of the same bands, including a pretty deep introspective text conversation on the intricacies of Cake albums. It was poised to be a home run.

Snap shot to the date. We’re at the bar. My buddy is the bar tender. We each get a glass of wine, which we learn this glass of wine is a bottomless glass of wine when given the instruction: “Just tell me when to stop pouring, otherwise I’m keeping these glasses filled.” Game on.

We begin to talk, starting with one of my strong points, music. I talk about my old band, the current effort I’m making to start a new band, and other general life philosophies. It’s my standard rap, and I’m used to women eating this kind of stuff up. I assume from her lackluster answer she was on the dryer side as far as emotional expressiveness goes (turns out, after the fact, she was dry as fucking sand paper). I keep talking, as I’ve had enough positively validation experiences to know that I can bring it conversationally, to the point where I can charm the fuck out of entire crowds of people when I get on a roll. I’m at a point in my game where I assume everything is always going fine, until its not. It is a confidence, not fronted. My game is tight.

Something was off though. I couple times I asked her questions and I got the shallow non-answers. At one point I tried to dig deep on why she left DC for NYC. Her original response was “Well, I was miserable there, and I knew I’m a happy person in NYC, so I moved”. Now, this is a week answer, and your gonna hang around me, and I want to know the real WHY’s behind significant life changes decisions. I’m innately curious about people’s motivations. I also know when someone is avoiding the issue. I pressed onwards. “so, was political atmosphere of the place, the bars, the people?” Her response – “No, just I didn’t like it”- about as empty an answer as possible.

I do what I normally do in these circumstances. If something isn’t working, try a new tactic. I keep changing the topic to no avail. She brings up her roommate whom she is texting. She explains she is the emotional sounding board for when her roommate looses it. “So you’re her confidant” I reply, and I attempt to go down that trail of conversation. She’s avidly texting her friend now, so I sit and chill. No biggie, silence is fine with me.

She goes “Hold on” and answers the phone. Again, it’s the roommate. My date runs upstairs. I assume she is going to talk down her roommate a little and come back downstairs.

So I wait…

…and I continue to wait…

…and I wait some more.

If I were a betting man, I would have put several thousands of dollars on the table to say she was going to return downstairs.

Finally, after about 10-15 minutes I go upstairs to see what the deal is. I ask the cute box office girl (more on her later). She tells me my date ran outside talking concerned to her someone, and never returned.

She ran away, mid date. Literally no sign, no excuse, she literally ghosted out on me.

Now this was a precious moment for me ego. I’ve had bathroom pulls, threesomes, multiple girls in the same day, but all these years building experience in women are for specific moments like these. I would argue that the truest measure of a man’s game is how he responds to the worst and most ego thrashing acts a women can throw his way. In this instance, the girl bolted mid date, and I’m left with my metaphorical dick in my hand surrounded by people I know well and WILL ask me what happened. How to react? What is my next move? What happened next?

I was pissed: Like, legitimately. I’ve had girls gracefully bow out of dates before, but this was literally the first time I had a date literally run away. (Without going into specific details, I can confirm she ran away from the thing and it wasn’t just an emergency). It’s big swing at my ego, and just plain old rude. I’m supposed to be a professional pick artist god damn it! Shit like this shouldn’t happen to me… but it did. It happens to everyone in fact. I deal with a pretty high volume of women in my life, and the fact of the matter is, when you fuck/date/approach large volumes of women, negative experiences will happen. Its unavoidable. If you to be a master of all things game has to offer, its inevitable. As my mentor, and boss, Brad P. would say “If you want to make an omelet, you’re going to have to break a few eggs.”

Every player has some form of this very story. I had failed in very public way. On the inside, I was on fire On the outside however, I was cool as a cucumber. When my friends asked what happened, I replied “Well, it appears she ran away. Guess I’m out a date, oh well, onto the next women!”. I then finished her glass of wine and immediately went into my next step.

I went directly into what I call ego protection mode. This was not my first rodeo, and I knew how to handle it. The task at hand is to override the negative experience with a positive one, meaning I need to prove to my mind that yes, women still like me. I started texting every fucking girl I could think to text. 2 of my rotation girls, some I met over the weekend, hell, even one girl I went on 2 dates with 4 months ago (that may even be open again as a result). I made the resolve in my head to NOT take this hit lying down.

During the intermission I openly discussed what happened with all the staff of the venue and the manager told me “Hook, there are loads of other beautiful women here for you! The one just to the left of the bar even came by herself. She’ll love you! (It’s nice to have friends that look out out for me best interest). Bottom line, I didn’t run away, I kept my night going and kept going at it. Game on

As for the aching question of “What went wrong” with this particular date, I’ll never completely know. Sometimes a girl you’ve thought you had only positive experiences with will just up and disappear/go radio silent on you and you’ll never know why. It is the cost of doing business. When I was younger I always wanted to know where I messed up. I frankly embarrassed myself in front of girls who rejected to try and discover why. Going through the ringer over and over again however, I learned most times, we will never know what specially was the break point that ended the relationship. We simply process what we learned, note it for next time, and move on. I did however have a few red flags about this girl during the date, which make me feel I may have dodged a bullet.

For example, at one point I asked, “are short guys intimated by you” , as she’s about 5’ 10”. The response, “all guys are intimated by me”. Why, I ask, and she then responds, “Because they should be”. I’m… ok then. I indulge this a little longer however. I suggest that perhaps most guys then peter out around the 3rd date. Again, a dramatic responds – “I’ve only had 2 second dates this past year.” Now, a hot single girl like this I’m sure has plenty of gentlemen callers, and no shortage of supply of what are likely pretty together men going after her. Sounds of intimacy issues to me. Moral of the story, something was going on behind the scenes with this girl, and this odd behavior probably would have only gotten worse. I haven’t lost a wink of sleep since after this girl.

Alas, this is a redemption story at the end of the day. I’ve noticed that talking about ANY dating experiences, even if completely horrible “god I can’t believe I went on that day” garners the attention of women, and I’m a very honest and candid talker when it comes to me dating life. I think it’s a sort of companionship in the battles of dating thing that goes on. Think about the other way around, I know I’m always curious to hear a hot girl go on about a crappy date she’s been on. Cue the return of the cute box office girl. As I commiserate over my failed date with her, I begin to notice… she’s interested. I propose we grab a drink after the show., she accepts.

In my head, I’m completely over my previous date. I’ve already processed the emotions, and written it off as cost of doing business. As I grab my post show drink with the box office girl, I bring it up the date prior NOT AT ALL. You know what? Neither does she. We make out a whole bunch, and guess who has a fresh date later this week?

I didn’t let adversity crush my spirit, and as a result, and turned what would have been a loss of a night into a win. A buddy of mine, a successful prosecuting attorney, once explained to me how he views situations such as these.

“A man’s true character is defined when shit goes wrong and the situation is not ideal. Greatness in a man is triumph over the adversity to which a normal man would crumble. Now, when things go wrong, I recognize it for what it is. An opportunity to truly shine.”

Don’t back down from the fight, and remember, the world working against can just as easily become the side note to your greatest triumph.

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It’s The Process, Not The Person.

As my fellow warrior of the dating world I’m sure have noticed, a pretty big part of picking up women stems from the internal workings of the mind, and largely, not getting to negative. We call this “Inner game” in the biz, and a little while ago I got a bright introduction to the idea of positive psychology. Attending a workshop led by an individual with a PHD in the subject, I learned pretty in depth how the mind often works against us.

The first big takeaway I had was that as people, there are a certain % of us are pre-disposed to negative self talk, being overly self critical, and overly judgmental. It’s in the genes. That said, another small percentage is the environment we are born into. Again, something we cannot control. The last percentage, however, is the internal activity of the mind AKA, something we can control. Essentially, though some of us may be pre disposed to being overly hard on ourselves and seeing more of the gloom of life, we do have the power to over ride it. Powerful stuff. So, what to do with it? Naturally, I cherry pick what I find relevant and relate it back in a way to get all y’all laid more. What can I say? I like to give back to society.

How did I go about this? Well, I derailed the conversation, as I’m known to do time to time, and related the subject to my tennis game (See blog post “Pickup as a Craft). Having dove deep in the conversation thus far into the negative self-talk and the effect that has on performance, I brought up the other end of the spectrum, when I’m playing great. It often appears to be a self fulfilling prophecy during my tennis matches that when I start finally getting into a groove, hitting great shots, winning a slew of games in a row, and start commenting internally “wow, I’m playing real well,”… the kiss of death. It’s cue for me to start shitting the bed. Almost as if caste under a hex, those strokes so fluent just a moment before are now shanked into the net. I start missing my spots. Suddenly I’m now on the defensive, floundering, dropping couple games, all my momentum gone.

I’ve had similar experiences in pickup after some really exception sets. I’m talking heavy make-out, maybe a trip to the bathroom together, possibly even a hand job thrown into the mix. The trouble occurs after such great set when I somehow I lose the girl and the lay that night is no longer an option. I never knew why, but after such a successful set, I find myself unable to start a fresh and bring get my game back being tight. Next, I bumble, a bit satisfy with the quality set, and soon after call it a night.

Now, a random alley way hand job can be a wonderful thing, but why afterwards is my game not flowing in state as other more mild successes? My performance clearly drops, and I never realized it until this particular positive psychologist made her way into my life

Explaining my tennis dilemma to the group (This was NOT the crowd to start talking bathroom pulls with), I drove her onto perhaps the finest positive psychologist tangents I ever had the fortune of witnessing.

“It’s the idea of process versus person. We have a tendency as human being to bring our identities into our success and failures. You fail a test and say “I’m dumb”, or conversely hit a great shot and say “Wow, I’m awesome”. Problem is these take you out of a state of work and into a state of judgment. This is a person-centric approach. What the science shows is to focus on the process. An action has a result, and a process focus takes the lens off oneself, and onto whether the decision resulted in a desired outcome. Instead of saying “I’m awesome” after that winning shot, try saying “Wow, my opponent doesn’t seam to be able to handle those deep backhand’s I’m hitting his way, and coming to the net in response to directing my shot on his weakness is a pretty sound strategy so far. I will continue to do such”. (For all my tennis fans out there!) Taken for the negative case, an unforced error (aka a plain old fuckup of a shot in tennis). The person centric perspective goes “God, I suck at tennis”. The process-centric lens conversely would be “On that shot I was lazy with my footwork, didn’t get into the position, and logically shanked the shot”.

I had had an “aha”moment. The beauty of the idea came from taking personal judgment out of the equation. Failure can always be traced back to a process error if one studies the dead body and forensics long enough. Focusing on the process allows one to be positively critical of ones work, and subsequently brings thoughts to how to preform better on the next opportunity, as opposed to wallowing in self-pity.

My dear readers, I want you to think about this the next time you go out to game. Ever been out, get psyched out, pace the venue for about an hour, then go home? The mind then jumps to “Oh, I’m awful, pathetic, and will never get good at this. “

Let’s applied what we’ve learned! Where were the warm up sets? Where was the momentum? I’d say the process failure was in the approach to getting to the venue. How to adjust? Next time, try talking to a few people before arriving at the bar. Maybe even just to ask directions. Then, once you arrive have an opener ready, and be ready to use said opener 3 times. Hell, even once. If you’re struggling to get started, make the goal then just to get 1 approach in. Baby steps.

Evaluating the process leads one to making adjustments. Master is a series of thousands of small adjustments applied of years of experience. Every little improvements bring one closer to the goal. Staying process focus keeps you focused you focused on said improvements. When you get judgmental, we lose sight of that.

This is where coaching can be worth its weight in gold, as a good coach will give you the tools and frame of mind to get you rolling.

Have a problem you’re trying to wrap your head around? Comment below and I’ll weigh in on how to go about fixing it.

Or, if you want to deal with the problem as head on as possible, contact drew at drew@bradp.com for some live 1 on 1 coaching.