Imagine if you will, a world of such mathematical exactitude that a formula is devised. This formula is nothing short of magical, for it can predict what truly makes a man happy. This equation knows nothing else but the contents of your heart and how best to achieve them. It can tell you whom to love for the happiest life, what to eat for the most satisfying and nutritious meals that your body needs, what to do to be satisfied, and what choices to make so as to have no regrets.
On first instance, this seems like a miracle from the Heavens. After all, who doesn’t want to be happy? Nobody wakes up wanting to be miserable, it’s just that life has this way of piling up such emotional weight on you at times, that it’s difficult to carry all that, as well as lift your frown. So, naturally, you’ll try to use such a formula.
What perhaps you’ll realise is what I did a couple of days ago. For the first time, in a long while, I am in a large city – Zagreb, to be precise. I decided that it had been some time since I had a Summer romance. I fondly remember what I used to have in the past, and thus I decided to try to recreate it.
Now, contrary to what you’ll see in movies or in books, lovers don’t happen to randomly meet by happenstance. At least not usually, which is why a good percentage of people never meet their ideal partner. Romanticism has made us believe that passively pining for your loved one is the solution. I was a virgin almost well into my twenties, so I’ve always been sceptical of the “wait and see” approach.
As such, I was more proactive and started approaching girls who struck my fancy here, as I’ve been known to do in the past. I would say they’re beautiful, mentioned what had struck me about them, and jump to a conversation. Yet I did something different this time around, every successful and failed attempt was meticulously logged in a spreadsheet.
I soon came to learn that I got the contact details of every 31.85% of girls that I approached. I learned as well what my problems were in approaching, as I also kept tabs of this too, and could organise complex graphs and equations to go along with it. This had a horrible side effect though. I’d tasted the fruit of knowledge – I could see clear as day that for men, dating and seduction is a pretty shit deal, from an objective standpoint.
To be successful at this area, men have to surmount enormous obstacles, both emotional, physical and societal. Back when I first started, it took well over 100 approaches to get a pity phone number. I honestly do not think that most women are aware of these challenges men face, nor do I think that they would care much, if they did.
Women are pragmatists of the highest order, when it comes to affairs of the heart. They might love you in the moment, but will drop you like a bag of bricks when the winds change. They care about the situational value offered in the near term, not the effort of the past, nor the potential of the future. Unsurprising, to say the least, when you consider that women initiate most divorces, by a surprising margin.
In either case, as I glared at my screen one afternoon, I realised that I’d lost well over 50% of the leads that I’d gotten over that week. Don’t get me wrong, it hadn’t been a total wash, I went on a date with a couple, and made out with one. Yet I was losing a high number of girls. Not even for important reasons, it was perhaps a mistimed joke, or I’d asked her out at the wrong time, at which point they disappeared off the face of the Earth. It’s why men have to approach in bulk, one always has to have plates spinning, or you’ll obsess over one girl and ultimately drive her away.
If, like most men, the people in this community would not focus on a couple of people at any moment, they would be lonely most of the time. It’s incredible, but it’s happened, that you have well over a dozen girls in your active contacts, and can’t get a single one of them out during a week. I don’t fondly remember the time when I barely had one to call on.
I had often had the nagging thought at the back of my mind, that this was the case – that men suffered through great rejection to succeed with a single girl. Yet now I had incontrovertible, mathematical proof of this assertion. This realization made me livid after one date, where the girl just wasn’t accepting my physical escalation. To such an extent that she showed me a picture of someone who she was in love with. She’d just milked me for male attention, and did not come with honest intentions. I’d done everything that one was supposed to do, and still got jack shit!
Immediately after saying our goodbyes, and realising that this was the end of that particular date, I stamped off and got furious, when she got out of sight. So much so, that on the way to my home, I kicked a trash can and raged. I’m the peaceful sort, I’ve never physically harmed anyone that didn’t wish me harm, but sometimes there is a primal creature that wakes up and makes one behave in the most irrational of ways.
Perhaps 10,000 years ago, it would’ve been the other way around, and the rational side of my personality would have come out in uncontrollable bouts of rationalism. Fun as it is to think that, my primitive side took a more prominent role in my thinking for a day or two. I was furious, not because the date had been bad, but because I’d come to expect something different. Furthermore, the numbers said I should get mad. After all, had I not sunk dozens of hours trying to attract girls over the last two weeks with little to show for it?
The numbers loudly showed their thoughts – they seemed to laugh at me, as the success rate spiralled down with each passing day. Thinking about it, this is ultimately the Sunk Cost Fallacy . I was mad because it hadn’t worked out with the girls. I was mad because I’d invested so much effort, yet ultimately, I’d chosen the wrong horse to back – but still wanted a return on investment. My anger was likely my mind’s way of liberating that pent up potential energy amassed from the expectation of success. Nevertheless, looking at it objectively, losing a lot of money in a coin flipping contest, doesn’t make you more deserving on a win than somebody else. It just means you had bad luck, and better luck next time playing.
I think that may be the root problem in all this. There’s a part of me that genuinely refuses to accept randomness into the model. Even the best seducers in the world, still have a measly 2-5% aggregate success ratio in getting the girl to their beds . In other words, even with top tier skills, it often boils down to luck of the draw.
I get angry with the world when it doesn’t adhere to my ideals. Whenever I had a day where I had a shittier approach to number close ratio than 31.85% I felt bad. This is even if the interactions had been excellent, and I’d just accidentally had a string of married girls in the day’s session. This might also translate into how I date girls. I have a niggling suspicion that being the life of the party, telling interesting stories, cracking jokes, and moving too quickly is just because I have this golden ratio in the back of my head that I have to adhere to. If I do not do so, then the interaction isn’t “perfect” or “optimal”.
There’s a part of me that genuinely fears losing control, and perhaps having subpar results. I mean, I’ve succeeded on multiple occasions this way, I’ve even found girls I fell in love with via this method. So I don’t want to abandon it wholesale. But I’m starting to believe that I have to give people a chance to emotionally invest in me. Perhaps not make it optimal, but to make it unique.
In psychology, there’s a cognitive bias called “The IKEA effect” which states that humans have a bias to things they built themselves, when presented to exchange it with something qualitatively identical that they themselves didn’t do. I have a strong suspicion that I might not have noticed a difference, qualitatively speaking, from the controlling approach, where I controlled all the variables, and the organic approach, where girls seduced themselves, because there isn’t a real difference. The difference is psychological. In other words, allowing them to build parts of the interactions, by having them do the talking, by having them be the centre of attention, is psychologically beneficial. I might be able to do it better myself, because I’ve dissected human interactions, and custom built the most optimised approach to achieve my own goals, but it might not be the thing that they appreciate the most.
Perhaps perfection is but a silly thing to aspire, and we should welcome imperfect things, warts and all, as we appreciate them better. As such, from yesterday onwards, I decided to ignore my spreadsheets and mathematical formula, and just dive into the interactions. Have them react to me, and I to them. That way, what we built between us will be as genuine as it can be. It may be the case, that no longer thinking about the success ratio, and crafting something unique, is exactly the best way to approach this.