I can’t begin to sum up what’s happened over the last year. Between losing my father, my struggles with other issues, it’s been rocky.
With all that has occurred, the biggest thing that has suffered, and most often suffers with single people in my position, is my social life.
It started back when my sobriety started, some 4 years ago, when I distanced myself from my local buddies, college friends, and social acquaintances. I moved away from social time locally here in my state to online. I met friends on Twitter (now X), joined the Fraternity of Excellence, gained new and improved friends all over the map. I even cultivated dates and relationships in my new found groups.
The relationships were always long distance, as I hadn’t done anything locally for years to grow social circles. And the relationships always failed, because they can’t surpass the challenges of that distance. Someone has to move, and I couldn’t. I needed a break. A break from doing dumb shit.
Instead of diving back into the pool, I paused. Rather than pursue another heartbreak, I stopped pursuing. Instead of blindly trying to meet women wherever they were, I pulled back. I caught my breath and looked at what I was doing.
Has this pause been self induced? I could say yes or no. I haven’t dated in two years since my last breakup, a relationship that should never have gone anywhere, but my delusional mind thought that this was the long distance relationship that would work (hint: it never works). I had love-bombed this woman on top of everything else. And an intervention in my fraternity shook me to the fact that I had things in my life that needed addressing, especially when it came to dating and relationships. But then again, I haven’t expelled the effort needed to “get back out there”, merely opting for excuses as to why I couldn’t, or in this case wouldn’t, pulling every reason out of the book to not go back out and meet new people.
As with every other article I’ve written about taking a self sabbatical, every time I’ve withdrawn to “monk mode”, every time I’ve called a time out to “get myself together”, I’ve stayed on the sidelines, hoping for the right moment to jump back into the game, only to see the season’s over.
There’s a point where monk mode becomes an array of excuses, a point where MGTOW becomes a cage of your own making, all because you don’t want to get hurt again. All because you’re scared to put yourself out there, because you value judgements of people who have no impact on your life.
This is the ultimate comfort zone for people. “Working on yourself”. I’ve been there for two years, waiting for the train to slow down so I could jump on it.
It doesn’t slow down. You have to jump and take a risk.
But for us risk averse individuals, this could be as daunting as staring down a river full of rapids that could potentially kill you.
And so the pause button keeps getting hit, because you don’t want to see what happens next.
I think it was Alex Hermozi who said “The pain of staying where you are has to be greater than the pain of making a change. Only then will you make a move.”
And it’s true.
This is not saying that the major life events that I’ve experienced in the past two years should have been ignored. They obviously played a role in my decision to put my social life on hold. My company needs me to be front and center at all times. My kids need a strong, connected father. My family needs a patriarch. But imbedded in that role, is the role of a man who is looking for his significant other, and that needs air play as well.
So as the pain of staying where I was in this vice has been greater, I’ve been putting myself out there, albeit very slight. I joined a yoga studio. I’ve been more accepting of time with good friends. I’ve been working to find other activities to join where potential women that I want are present. It’s not just about meeting women, it’s also about meeting people, expanding connections, and growing my network.
And it’s not that I’ve not met any women, it’s that the women are not the women I want. So I have to change my strategies and get out there to experience all that life has to offer, even while gritting my teeth to get through the struggles I still endure.
Personal strength is the ultimate multi-task. You have to try shit you don’t want to to meet people you would potentially like to date. It signifies squirming and exhaling to get yourself through the toughest parts. That on the other side of that sick feeling in your stomach is the promised land you so desperately want in your life.
So that for me means more yoga sessions with people I don’t know. That means looking at dance classes, cooking classes, and self defense classes. Church? Maybe, but I’m not ready to cross that bridge.
It means growing my expertise while I’m growing my circle.
The pause means nothing if you do nothing during it. The pause isn’t a pause if you wait too long to make a move. The pause is meaningless if you don’t take advantage and help yourself.
I’m most certainly further and better than I was two years ago. Did it have to take two years? Most certainly it did not.
The pause button is there for you to press if you want a break, collect your thoughts, absorb what you’ve learned. It’s meant to be momentary, not forever. That’s what the stop button is for.
So, my new goal is to unpause, hit the play button, and see what happens.
It’s been quite an eventful 18 months of no eventfulness for me.
I said it to another man the other day, very nonchalantly. “I haven’t enjoyed to company of a woman for sometime.”
Pathetic right? I’ve been on one date since my last almost relationship died in September 2021. And it wasn’t even with a woman I was attracted to, just a date just to say I had a date.
And, get this, it’s been on purpose.
When I first started this blog, it was to learn game, pick up, and the art of being an attractive, socially adept man dating after divorce.
I had success, becoming better with women, having abundance, but as my blog has evolved, it showed me that abundance in women meant emptiness in myself. I would date anyone with a pulse because there is and always has been the drive by society to say if you aren’t dating, then you are a loser.
So why in the hell would I want this? There’s more to the story below.
These days, we seem to have quite a few “losers” out there, including myself. A study by my alma mater, Indiana University, shows that 33% of men ages 18-24 report having no sex in the past year. I don’t know if there are studies for 40 something men out there, but as a man who’s living it, I have quite a bit to say on the subject.
We are seeing men in general reporting no dating and no sex. Women’s numbers have gone up slightly, but women aren’t taking the brunt of these numbers like many men are. We’re seeing an epidemic of sexlessness, and there doesn’t seem to be a solution in sight.
I watched Rollo the other day talk about hook up culture. He stated, “Hook up culture is alive and well for most women, and the top 20% of men”, but that leaves 80% of men out in the cold and we are seeing a precipitous rise in men who aren’t having any sex. And hook up culture is about the survival of the hottest.
Now I could go on and on about the causes. It could be societal shift to female dominated sexual dynamics, it could be the entitlement many women have when it comes to dating, it could be hook up culture, it could be many things. Myself and the Man-O-Circle have gone around and around on who’s to blame. Hint: It’s everything.
I’m writing this blog today to talk about it from this man’s side and what I am seeing that is holding men back from the dating market, either real or imagined, and what is going through my head on why I am intentionally not dating at the moment, and haven’t been for the last 18 months.
Does this make me a Volcel (voluntary celibate)?
“How is a tall, attractive, successful single father not dating any women for a prolonged period of time?”
I’m certain I could make excuses up the wazoo.
My industry / career, my parenthood, lack of time to go out and meet women, where I live, my family time requirements, not religious, etc. It could go on and on forever and the excuses could pile up. You certainly can call me a loser for not going out more, as I’m always coming up with a reason to not. The point is, I’m not alone. There’s a whole shitload of people who would rather do anything but date. Younger men aren’t because it’s not as important as Call of Duty, hanging with friends, work, career, and as years pass it continues to slide down the list.
Social circles are shrinking, the ease of apps are addictive, the hopelessness is palpable.
And the message is the same for many singles I’ve spoken with in many different age groups. “Dating Sucks.”
To the 22 year old woman who says, “All it is is a meat market, and hook ups.”
To the mid-fifties divorcee women: “I don’t want to waste my time on men who are ready for a commitment.”
To the mid-thirties man: “It’s like a shitty game of musical chairs and rather than wait for the music to stop, I just left the room.”
To the mid-thirties woman: “Why go to all the trouble when he won’t commit to you? It’s getting my hopes up for 6 months only to have him cheat or get bored and leave.”
To my fellow mid-40’s single father: “My time is important. And I waste it on the dating apps, waste it on women I don’t find attractive, waste it on getting ghosted after having a good time, waste it on flaking, lying, and trying hard for an ROI that, quite frankly, is lousy.”
To the early 40’s Christian woman: “Younger men don’t want me because they want kids, and they’re too immature. Older men want younger women, and I don’t want a 60 year old man. I’d love someone my age but it seems every single one of them have issues. Not to mention I want a man who shares my faith.”
The stories and comments are an interesting look into what everyone is seeing in a dating market that is most definitely for the “haves” versus the “have nots”. And people like myself and many of the folks above, those who would be willing to date as long as it’s someone who remotely fits what we want out of a partner, would rather hold tight and focus on other aspects of our lives.
Dating gets forgotten and put on the back burner first and foremost because, let’s be honest, it isn’t fun any more.
In my time blitz dating three years ago, many of the matches I had had more issues than Sports Illustrated.
So, in a vain effort to not be seen as a loser, I decided to “date just to date”, not excluding anyone due to attractiveness, figure, salary, mental issues, etc. And it was an absolute dumpster fire. Serial ghosting and flaking, entitlement, and drama met me when I decided to swipe right on everyone who was at least halfway decent. I had traveled the country to meet women from all over, figuring it “was” a numbers game, right? The more women I get in front of, surely one or two will separate themselves from the crowd?
And when a few did? I was lied to about their relationship status (I was the other man several times), catfished, and had long distance relationships that I couldn’t possibly keep alive due to my status as a single parent with two kids and my home being here in Indiana.
With all the work I put into dating….I was exhausted after 2021. The MGTOW battle cry of “the juice isn’t worth the squeeze” harangued in my head.
So, I did the only thing I knew to do. What many people in this modern dating world are doing.
I pulled back.
I needed to do certain things involving improving my physique, health, parenthood, and family life. When my father passed away last November, I felt I had done those things better. My dating life took a back seat, after4 years (and a pandemic) of being the highlight. I got my jollies, I got to date, but I felt more empty that I ever felt, more pessimistic about my chances of finding a woman to be in my life, and wasn’t looking forward to starting up dating again, if and when things were handled in other parts of my life.
The issue here…things will never be handled. There’s never a good time to start, and it was time for me to at least try again to get out, so since December, I’ve been doing small things to get myself out and at least start meeting women. Even if it was to give my number to a server, or to go out and be friendly at new places, it’s a task I am taking great care with who I share my time with, or even who I approach. The “YOLO” and “you should be getting your dick wet” crowds continue to harp on that a man in the prime of his life should be going out and pounding everything that moves. But I submit this:
I’ve already chased pussy. That game is old for me. And while many men would never tire of it, I got tired of the drama, the juggling of women, the slashed tires, the showing up at my house in the middle of the night with my kids home threatening harm, the 3AM booty calls, the annoying calls at work, all of it.
I’ve had it, I don’t want it any more. And I value my time, and the time for dating gets cut because I’ve got other shit going on. Once again, not an excuse, but it is what it is. I have no interest in wasting my time, nor does anyone else in the same dating game as I am.
The Other Reality
Dating too often takes a back seat because….many people aren’t good at it. My dating in 2018 -2021 was Twitter, Tinder, Bumble, and the countless networking events I went to that generated dates, but nothing long term. The problems were many because it doesn’t allow for much long term connections, good conversation, and most were just looking for the quick hit, the spark, and if it didn’t happen, then a – ghostin’ we’ll go.
Dating is a chore because we treat it that way. We expect it to just be “done” and when it isn’t, it’s a drag on our whole life because we don’t want to do something that isn’t comfortable.
I haven’t been with a woman for a year and a half because I didn’t want to get hurt again, I didn’t want to rush in again, I didn’t want the same ending that has befallen me for so long. So I avoided it. So I put other things ahead of it. And I just accepted, as a pissy martyr, that I was destined to be alone.
We make excuses because we either have work to do on ourselves to be attractive again, or we don’t want to do the work to get attractive again. Because it stresses us out if someone rejects us. Rejection sucks, and no one wants to go through it.
I’ll admit I fell back into all of these things because I didn’t want to go back to the grind that was 2018-2021.
I wanted a long term relationship, and it meant having to “get back out there” which is a heavy lift for anyone, but more so for me because I, as of this writing, have never had a successful relationship. A lot of self doubt builds up because I haven’t circled this square. And I’m sure many people are struggling with these issues in their own lives, another reason why many of them are so timid to get back out and try to meet someone.
But lifelong failure doesn’t mean you stop trying.
My self-manufactured scarcity has been on purpose, because the people who I’m attracting at the moment aren’t the people I want. I could have easily gotten into dozens of “situationships” over the past two years but I have standards, I learned from 2019 that I also value my time, and from my divorce I learned that I won’t settle.
I stop watering the plants because I didn’t like the ones that were growing. The drought is self made. And it’s not out of self pity or helplessness, but the plants around me aren’t worth watering. But I have to go and get new seeds and water them.
It’s so much easier to blame so many other things than the fact that you don’t have the balls to get back out and find that person for you.
And that’s where I was for so long, until I realized that it wasn’t going to build itself.
So, in the midst of this self made drought, I have decided to go and get some water and try to find some better seeds.
It’s been deliberate, however. Not getting onto Bumble / Tinder or the online game. But trying different options, like things I enjoy, the gym, classes, hobbies, and adventures. This isn’t going to be a pickup session at a bar or a club. This is going to be me, finding my joys, and finding other people who enjoy those things as well.
The excuse making has to stop for the millions of dateless, sexless men and women in our world right now. But these people also have to make themselves better so their dating is better. But always putting off the fact that you aren’t doing well in dating because of what YOU are doing is the mirror many people need.
Yep, even me, the retired single parent ex-PUA.
It’s time to unretire and take a sip of the water. The taste of bitterness of not having a successful relationship is gone. It’s the cool taste of being the best man I can be, and finding the best woman for me. Use that water to grow relationships.
“I, I’m waking up the ghost Not digging up the memories that were dead to me Now, now I’m getting close Closer to the enemy that’s inside of me”
“Waking Up the Ghost” – 10 Years
You can’t bury it if it’s not dead.
Our lives are a series of short stories cobbled together into a larger novel.
There are some stories we don’t share, however.
Some stories elicit such guilt and shame, because they symbolize parts of our lives where we made bad choices, choices that harmed others, whether we meant them to or not.
And, many times, without hesitation, we don’t publish them beside our victories, for fear that they will take away from us as a person, for fear that we didn’t properly hash out all the mistakes, all the self destructive behavior.
Because, let’s be honest, talking about the bad stuff, really getting our skeletons our of our closets, is a painful process that many of us don’t want to go through.
We are flawed creatures, we do shit we shouldn’t and know it, and then, like a small child who’s done something wrong, we try to hide it, deflect from it, lie about it affecting us, until the monkey on our backs is a seething gorilla seeing red.
The guilt and shame demands a response. It’s just going to keep sitting there beating on you until you say stop.
The largest goal of any person feeling these things should not be to stop feeling them, or push them down, or ignore them, but to unload them.
This was the dilemma I was facing a few weeks ago.
The gorilla broke down the damn closet door, demanding to be addressed. And I had to do it. Regardless of what mistakes they were, they needed to be looked at, sorted through, confessed to, and let go. This was a process that I had to adhere to if I truly wanted to forgive myself for my past indiscretions. And that was the goal.
But it mattered HOW it was done.
I was racking my brain thinking about this very process, how I was going to come clean with myself to the world, and I was wanting to write a blog post confessing my sins to EVERYONE. That was my plan.
As many of you know, this blog is my journal, and it’s almost always based on some song or music that I listen to. That’s why many of the titles are those of songs that I really enjoy, or songs that have touched me in one way or another. And while confessing my deepest, darkest sins on here might have done something for me, it would have done much more damage to those I either intentionally or unintentionally hurt with my actions. By bringing up a sore subject, I would be letting off a nuke that could irreparably damage many more relationships, even the ones I don’t think would be affected.
This blog will be referencing a particular song, “Waking Up the Ghost” by 10 Years, that perfectly encapsulates my situation of letting go of my guilt and shame, and forgiving myself for my past.
We have to get this shit off our chest, we have to throw the gorilla off our back, but not at the expense of so many other relationships that we value.
In short, silence is golden to those words would hurt.
“Under the skin, the soul of the guilty Under the surface, lonely lies Under the weight the sin is Eating me alive”
We’ve all done shit we aren’t proud of. We’ve all fucked up. The problem is we don’t want to address these mistakes so they become a part of us, dictating our actions far after the die has been cast.
We might let things slip when we’re drunk, when we’re sad, we might scream because we can’t tell the world our secrets for fears of what they might think, for fear of being shunned or accosted by those we care about, for rejection, or even betraying every thing we say we stand for.
But we have to resolve it by addressing it, or it will eat us alive, it will affect every relationship, every interaction, every piece of our lives that we didn’t intend for it to.
“Why are you doing this, man? Why now?”
“No one knows the secrets that I keep No one knows what’s in my head I can’t control the other side of me I have lost my breath”
The timing wasn’t special, but the weight of the guilt and shame was. I needed to get this out, my last skeleton in the way of an empty closet, the last sin that I had to confess.
I did it because if it was out there, released from inside of me, I didn’t have to hide anymore. I was so ashamed of these past discretions that holding them in wasn’t going to be an option any more.
I had to talk. And I was prepared to talk to the world in the form of a blog post.
But I was stopped. I was preempted by those who cared most for me, the men of my fraternity, the men and woman of my men’s group, to think before I spoke into the megaphone.
I had to dig up these feelings again, to get right with the man in the mirror, and the best way to do that wasn’t to napalm the entire landscape, but to have a “controlled” explosion in front of those I respect the most, who’s opinions, support, and pointed criticism have guided me through this uncharted journey the past two years.
So, taking this sage advice, I decided to sit in front of a jury of my peers, confess my sins, and get right with me.
“No mercy, no forgiveness Condemned to my own hell”
I truly believed that I was not worthy of forgiveness. I touted myself as a man who wasn’t good enough for Heaven, but not bad enough for Hell. I was in purgatory, and I chose to live there knowing that I wasn’t going to be forgiven.
I’ll be honest, I was terrified of talking about my past failures, my sins, in front of a group of men.
I thought I was going to be castigated for my mistake, having to relive the pain of my choices.
But the men of the Fraternity of Excellence rose to the occasion. Instead of scorn, I got support, I got comradery, I got men who, like me, have made mistakes and understand that bearing your soul to others, even in a small environment such as this, can be overwhelming.
I was told I was worthy of love. I didn’t have to hide anymore.
It was a cathartic 2 hour session that took my shame and lifted the gorilla off my back by just telling myself that I didn’t have to carry this anymore. I didn’t.
As the men uttered the words that they too have had to live with guilt and shame, that they too felt scared to talk about their transgressions.
So to have a group of men who were there to listen made the whole thing much easier to get out. The “controlled explosion” went off, with very little fanfare, but with huge implications to my mental health.
And with the confessional, I also decided, with awesome help from Dr. Taylor Burrowes, to have a ceremony to let go of my past guilt and shame and forgive myself. With my children’s help, I bought two balloons and a 3×5 card with a message to myself. I tied the message to the balloons, took 3 deep breaths, forgave my past self, and let those fuckers go.
“Breaking the pulse of a steady beat Pleading for sanity”
I couldn’t have done this if I didn’t have the support of the men and women in my life.
I hid this for years because I knew I didn’t have a safe space to detonate this bomb.
I had people surrounding me who had the same or more skeletons in their closets, and they had resigned themselves to holding their secrets and not truly being authentic to themselves.
And that’s the bottom line, I was portraying myself as a man who couldn’t get forgiveness, who was living in the shadow of his mistakes, who reveled in the role of outcast. It was an act, an act I was sick of playing, and I had to throw off the makeup and costumes to become the man I want to be.
After the very light fanfare of all the things I’ve done to unload this burden the past two weeks, I had a chance to have some time hiking by myself, to really look at my decision and what it has resulted in.
I looked in my bathroom mirror, at the man staring back at me, a man I could not look in the eye for the past 9 years, because I was ashamed of his actions. But, recently, I’ve stared at him, I’ve smiled at him, I’ve told him I love him, because he’s human, he’s made mistakes, and he is worthy of forgiveness, even from his future self.
And every morning, of every day since letting those balloons go, since putting down the weight, since releasing the gorilla back into the wild, I have stared back at my reflection with a newfound love and respect for the man that’s trying to make his life better, trying to rectify his past, and trying to be a good man for his family, his kids, and his brothers.
The lesson here is simple: make peace with your past.
Make peace with the mistakes you made because you didn’t know what to do.
Make peace with the fact that the situation you were in was not in your control, and while making the wrong choices, you have to understand that you aren’t perfect and you won’t be.
Make peace with the war inside yourself. Both sides are fighting a battle for your sanity. You can’t continue to carry this weight and say it’s no big deal.
You need to wake up this ghost, and exorcise it from your life. The guilt and shame you feel, no matter how long you’ve felt it, can’t be ignored without affecting you in all you do. Even if you think it won’t, even if you think it doesn’t, it’s there, tapping you on the shoulder.
Get it out, safely, smartly, and take the steps to let it all go.
The more you can make peace with your past, the brighter your future.
“Everybody wants to change the world, no one ever wants to change themselves.” – Nothing More – “Do You Really Want It?”
Lately, I’ve been unengaged because with almost every facet of my life, my progress has ground to a crawl.
My weight loss is still steady, but certainly not the numbers I was pulling earlier in my journey. As I get closer to my goal, the scale numbers tick smaller, as I’m starting to get closer to my second, and final, goal of 215 lbs.
My dating life has been unremarkable, getting ghosted and flaked on by girls I want to date, and getting hit on by girls I wouldn’t, leads are low.
My family is struggling with my father’s increasing health issues.
My job has been stressful, and even though we are doing well, the frustration of potential stagnations are always over the horizon.
Lately, it seems that “hurry up and wait” is the buzz phrase for my life.
But that’s the problem. I think that I have to “wait” for good things to come my way and instead of waiting, I need to be proactive and make things happen.
So in essence, I feel “stuck” by claiming that the circumstances around me are putting me in a box.
That’s not empowerment, that’s victimhood.
Looking for validation so that you can move forward is like waiting for a sign from God in the form of a burning bush that doesn’t burn.
You wait and as you wait, the walls close in around you. And it becomes more difficult to scale them, let alone tear them down. You’re looking around now and find that your situation has become a bit more tricky because you’ve not planned for this eventually.
Life will block your ass in.
I’m really good at dispensing advice but not taking it, especially my own.
And one of my favorite tweets I’ve ever written is – “If you’re feeling stuck, MOVE.”
Like being in a cave and trying to move through a 3 foot hole, you can’t go back, so you keep pressing forward (I’m claustrophobic so this analogy works for me), and it’s the only way to go, even if it’s INCHES at a time. This agonizingly slow progress, especially for me, a person who has zero patience, is part of the reason it seemed easier to just stop and wait. But the hole isn’t getting bigger, the cave isn’t going to magically open up to a staircase to the light, nor are you going to be able to find another way around this portion of the earth.
But you just can’t convulse or wriggle just to do so, you have to move with purpose and meaning. Doing jumping jacks in a cave isn’t going to get you out of the cave any faster, and it will only wear you down when you really need the strength to climb past a wall or through a crevice.
Which is why I am calmly stepping back from the mess that is currently around me and figuring out the best way forward. But mind you, it is a way FORWARD, not simply staying still. Too many times, I’ve defaulted to blaming the situations around me as the reasons that I’m not progressing the way or the timing of what I want.
“It’s where I live that I can’t meet the girls I want.”
“I’m not losing any more weight so why go to the gym?”
“My progress has stopped on my finances, time to impulse buy something that makes me feel good but I don’t need.”
“It’s pointless to try new things because I don’t have any real interests.”
Comfort zones can kill you, especially those you continue to push to justify inaction.
My inaction is a direct result of being afraid of what my actions will bring.
So, I’ve decided to move. I’ve written down things that I CAN do to make some progress in other areas, as opposed to running a list through my mind of things I can’t do.
It’s too easy these days to lament the things we want but don’t have, as opposed to taking real stock in the things we do, as well as plotting a course on how to get the things that elude us. It’s too easy these days to complain about the world at large being against us, raising a fist to the sky and cursing the “forces” that continue to keep us down, not realizing it’s our own actions or lack thereof that keeps us in the same place.
As FoE (Fraternity of Excellence) has taught me, in the absence of anything, action still makes a difference.
But it still needs to be hammered into me, by me, that I need to continue to take action, even if things out of my control are taking hold of parts of my life I want to improve.
Fitness dialed in? Awesome, continue going to the gym and being consistent so that you can get your goals.
Not seeing results in other parts of your life at the moment? Find some part of your life where you can take quick, immediate action and fix. In my case, it’s annoying things that I haven’t fixed in my home (leaky faucet, stuck toilet seat, trimming the landscaping, pulling weeds).
Not getting the girls you want to date? Start looking at why and focus on what you are doing to attract (or not attract) these women. Also, where are you going to meet new women? If you’re sitting at home after work by yourself cursing that there’s nothing you can do to meet people, realize that in REALITY, you are doing nothing to meet new people and sitting at home cursing the fact that you won’t go out and try new things to meet new people.
Altering reality to fit the fact that you don’t want to do the work to get better doesn’t change the reality, it’s only purpose is to make you feel better about your inaction.
I’ve tried to justify my lack of forward progress, in dating especially, by lamenting that I’m not in the right area to meet a good woman, whining about having to go back to online dating to swipe and sleep with unattractive women because there’s no one else out there, all while I’m sitting at work trying to motivate men to go out and make things happen. I don’t take my own advice, until now, and it’s my way of trying to motivate myself to get out of this victimhood rut. So my tweets trying to get myself out of my own head are only words, and they haven’t inspired any action from me, only wishing I would take action but not knowing how to proceed forward.
But sometimes doing something, ANYTHING towards another goal in your life can make the other parts of your life seem much easier to fix and control, and instead of waiting, you are taking action to make something positive happen.
We don’t know how close we are to a break through, but we’ll sure as hell drop the pickaxe because we’re convinced the diamonds don’t exist, even though we know damn well that they do, because we’ve held them, we’ve seen them, we know.
So, in the meantime, we sit, we wait, we hope something good will happen. We damn the bad shit that’s going on as the universe trying to kick our ass.
It’s testing us, and we are failing the test, because we are upset we have to take the test, not truly working on trying to get the best grade we can. We have to study, we have to prepare for these tests every day, so that we can pass with flying colors. But instead, we dread the test, we curse it. This has been me for the past few weeks.
“Why me?” is the question we ask as we look up at the sky.
It’s not you, it’s the world. It’s how it tests everyone. Some tests are harder than others, and that means that you have to be extra prepared for the tests.
And here’s the funny thing, WE KNOW THE TESTS ARE COMING. Yet we still postpone, get angry, piss and moan, but we know they are coming. And we still procrastinate or justify inaction, or cram and fail.
So, I’m writing this to remind myself that nothing is going to change until I take action. Regardless where the action is taken, a positive move to ANY direction is still forward. The cave isn’t going anywhere, the mountain isn’t going to disappear because I complained I have to climb it.
Tim, get your head out of your ass and get to work. You’ve dominated many things in your life, and these are just more things you need to dominate. You aren’t going to die alone, but you sure as hell aren’t going to get any women you want by sitting and complaining about it. You aren’t going to be rich if you don’t get your ass out there and do your thing by making money.
You aren’t going to weather your family through a crisis if you constantly lament that bad things happen because reasons.
You aren’t going to show anyone you’re serious until you face the fact that you have to stand up for who you are and fight everyday towards your own independence.
You aren’t going to truly have the life you want until you fight and claim every inch of it for yourself, and be prepared to fix it, to defend it, to build it sturdier, to admire it, and be the man you want to be with no more doubt in the pit of your stomach.
Doubt is the spark in the house of your life that can burn the whole mother fucker down.
Action is the hammer, the nails, the screws, the concrete, the structure you need to make sure your home is stable.
“The lesson divorce teaches you isn’t to not get married, it’s to not get divorced.”
The lessons. So many, too many to count. But I’ve managed to boil it down to 20 lessons.
I’m still learning, every day.
But I’ve honed these lessons to make sure that when I get married again, it won’t end in divorce.
Because, as bad as divorce is, it’s worse the second time.
My experiences are lessons that I can share with those willing to understand their own fallacies as well as understanding that they control who they marry, who they sleep with, and who they allow in their lives.
You control it. You have the keys. The system is unfair. It won’t be changing anytime soon, but you still have control. Stop listening to those that tell you that you don’t. Because they didn’t and don’t have control either.
I’m not a relationship expert, I’m a “what not to do in a relationship” expert.
So, without further ado, here’s my list. Enjoy and learn from my mistakes:
Lesson 1 – If You Don’t Know Who You Are and Love Yourself as Such, You Cannot Marry Someone Else Without Encountering Major Issues
I didn’t know who I was. I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. And it showed in the marriage. The baseline, foundational things that you need to be in order to love someone else must be there. Your convictions, beliefs, purpose, and boundaries must be there in order for you to make good on your promise to love, honor, and cherish.
How can you marry someone when you don’t know who the hell you are? If it’s checking a box, it’s wrong. Marriage is for good and you better damn well know who you are, your likes and dislikes before you walk down the aisle. And if she can’t respect any of it, she doesn’t get to be your wife.
Lesson 2 – Stop Escalating and Start Connecting
In the heat of an argument, the best thing you can do is stop letting emotion dictate your response. Her emotion is boiling over and she needs to know you’re there to stop it from completely spilling. She wants to vent, not argue, many times over, because women are emotional creatures. She needs to feel you there for her, your strength, your control over yourself and the situation. Sometimes, she just needs to let emotion take over. Nothing may necessarily be wrong, and if it feels like she’s picking on you, sack up and understand that this is something she does to make sure you are there for her.
She values you as her husband and values that you take the time to connect with her, listen instead of dictate, as well as understanding her and what she’s going through.
Lesson 3 – She Won’t Love You Unconditionally, But She Will Love You
The biggest issue that men have to deal with is that they won’t get love the way they want from a woman. She will not love unconditionally, but neither will you for her. It doesn’t work that way, especially for a man and a woman, as conditions do dictate love. So provide conditions that you are happy with. Men have to provide, it’s what we have to do. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can have it your way. But she will love you, but you have to give her something to love and adore. You are the key to all of it, be it your own self love and what you’ve built in pursuit of that love, for her to truly love you for who you are and what you stand for.
Lesson 4 – Vet and Vet Often. You Can’t Prepare for Every Eventuality, But You Can Have A Damn Good Idea of Who You’re Marrying
Take as much time as you need. The honeymoon phase in a relationship over, time to start vetting her. Put her in as many situations as you can to see how she handles herself. That will tell you all you need to know about her. You can’t prepare for everything, but you can have her in enough situations to see how she’ll do when the real deal is upon you. This is good, bad and neutral situations. Get experience with her, gain knowledge about her faults, bad habits, and general demeanor. If she greets you with an ultimatum, walk.
Lesson 5 – Neither Person Gets to Dictate Terms
Terms are agreed upon and negotiated.
Both parties understand what they bring and they bring it.
You want contractual obligation? The State wants marriage in those terms, but you aren’t the State, nor are you a monolithic organism. You’re a human being and so is she. If either side starts dictating, the other side needs to walk. There has to be compromise and agreement on principles in the relationship. Know your roles and be comfortable playing them because it’s who you are. Be prepared for quick negotiations or unforeseen disagreements that must be hashed out. But do it together, and in ways that both of you are comfortable with all that each of you are doing.
Lesson 6 – Communicate. You Can’t Read Minds and Your Partner Can’t Either
Talk early and often and your marriage will be solid as a rock. Get to know each other by talking to each other, early and often, over anything and everything. Know where each other stands on things that confront the marriage and overcome them. Communicate how your partner made you feel, good or bad, and face those issues head on, together. You don’t get to not engage, especially when it may be important to her. If it was important to you and she walked off, you’d be pissed.
Lesson 7 – Sex is Critical
No sex is a deathknell for any relationship. If you’re not having sex in your relationship, it’s dead and needs to be revitalized. No sex is a critical problem that many marriages cannot overcome. Because without sex, she’s just a roommate who helps you with the bills. Your intimacy is of the utmost importance in your marriage. Take it from a guy who didn’t have much sex in the dying days of his marriage, you need to be having sex, but also, having fun with your partner. Try new things in the bedroom, be adventurous, and be aggressive towards each other in the bedroom. You both love each other, so show it, dammit.
Lesson 8 – Better People Make Better Marriages
The bitter truth that most people don’t want to hear is that when you and your spouse are striving to be better, it improves your marriage significantly. Because you are a better, healthier person, you can have a good, strong, solid marriage when you and your partner have boundaries, share in triumphs, regroup after setbacks, and have each other’s backs. The proof is in the pudding, for take a sputtering marriage and add two people trying to get better either physically, mentally, spiritually or all three, and see the infusion of that energy revitalize that marriage. I’ve seen it happen so many times with men who weren’t motivated in marriage suddenly turn things around to the point where everyone associated with the marriage is re-energized. Kids, wife, everything starts to level up as the man rebuilds himself.
Lesson 9 – It’s Okay to Be Wrong. Own It, Fix It, and Move On
Yes. It’s okay to be wrong. But you have to do the one thing you don’t want to do. Swallow your pride and own the fuck up. You aren’t infallible, and neither is she. But you are capable of being an adult, and that means taking the heat when you screw up. The heat is the easy part, because you then have to fix your fuckup to ensure it doesn’t happen again. Because you’re a functioning part of this marriage, your humility will be mirrored by her, because when she sees you screwed up, when she does it, she’ll want to show that she’s human too. If she doesn’t, you still take the L and move on. Because you are the lead in this relationship, you will hold yourself to a higher standard. And with that higher standard comes her having to raise her standard as well. You set the tone, regardless of what you do, be it right or wrong. Learn from it and move the fuck on.
Lesson 10 – Love Doesn’t Negate The Legal Ramifications of Marriage, but The State Doesn’t and Shouldn’t Get To Interfere In The Loving, Spiritual Bond You Have
We get wrapped up in the State and why they get involved in the institute of marriage. If you don’t want the State involved, you can most certainly choose other options. But as of right now, this moment in time, and for the foreseeable future, your local government is involved. That means that in the eyes of the State, you are in a contractual agreement with your spouse. And depending on the state that the marriage occurs, you may or may not be able to draft a prenuptial agreement. All the more reason for the man to know who the heck he is marrying and the woman to take her time to make sure that this is the real deal. But never, ever does the State get to be involved in the spiritual aspect of your marriage. If you are religious, the church has that on lockdown, and so make sure you aren’t losing the real reasons for marriage in a myriad of tax implications. The state only matters when you get married or when you get divorced. Kick those fuckers out of the bond.
Lesson 11 – Do Things, but Do Them With Meaning and Purpose – Enjoy Each Other on Purpose
The issues I had with our marriage was that my wife was always goading me to do “something” instead of what I was doing, which most of the time was playing video games or watching TV. She wanted me to go experience life with her, and that isn’t an inconvenience. It’s a necessity. Enjoy your spouse by enjoying your life with her. Cherish the things you do (active or passive things) and share that with her, as well as her with you. Try new things with her, be adventurous, solve problems together. This will only strength the bond between both of you. Then, as you do these things, you become better together and start to enjoy more. The snowball gains momentum and gets bigger. Enjoy your marriage by doing things together that you love.
Lesson 12 – Be Her Biggest Cheerleader, and She’ll Be Your Biggest Fan
Support in marriage is one of the biggest deficiencies for men. They are looking for loyalty and a support system, but you have to do the same. She needs to know you’re there for her to support what she wants to do as well. Keep cheering her on what she wants to do, and you will see a woman ready to support her man with anything he’s doing as well. But you gotta show up in her corner, every time.
Lessons 13 – When Your Values Align, You Both Win
When vetting for a woman, pay close attention to her values. If they are radically different from yours, you will have an issue that will be a killer for the marriage. You have to have a partner that is paddling the same way you are, because if you don’t, the boat spins. And you want to move forward and beyond, not stay stagnant. So watch how she conducts herself. Does she hate kids? Then why try to make her a mom?
Does she have liberal values? Then why marry her if you’re a staunch conservative. Does she have issues with her family? Then why try to bring her into yours if she can’t have a healthy attachments to her own kin (save for extraordinary circumstances). You wouldn’t buy a dog person a bunch of cats so stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.
Lesson 14 – Your Kids are Neither Conspirators Nor Accessories to Either Parent
They’re kids, and they function best in peaceful settings. Your kids are the souls you are raising. Stop trying to weaponize them against your spouse in the hopes of them proving your right or wrong. It’s not fair to them for you to put them squarely in an adult situation when they are anything but adults. You are acting like a child if you are using kids to exert power over your spouse. These aren’t chess pieces, they’re your flesh and blood and they need parents who are adults.
Lesson 15 – She Doesn’t Owe You Anything, Nor Do You Owe Her
The concept of entitlement should not exist in marriage, especially not one way and not the other. No one owes anyone anything when it comes to marriage, but you both owe it to each other to be present and engaged in the marriage. She doesn’t owe you sex because she’s your wife, and you don’t owe her money to pay off her loans because you’re her husband. You both are giving because you are both getting reciprocated by being this way. Stop hanging expectations on someone with no intention of holding them up.
Lesson 16 – Alone Time is Important; Never Underestimate the Importance of Spending Time Away From Each Other
You need your alone time. You need time to decompress and get yours. Refilling your energy meter is important to every person in your life, because you can pour from an empty cup. If your significant other is trying to monopolize your time, it’s because they don’t value your alone time. You have to be able to get away to get right sometimes, and they have to respect that. As a matter of fact, alone time is essential in a marriage because if you were around your spouse 100% of the time, you’d cease to exist as a person. You both were separate people before you got married, and you remain that way even after. Your alone time is golden to do the things you like to do to relax. And if your partner loves you, they’ll respect that time and take some of their own.
Lesson 17 – The Work Doesn’t Stop When The Honeymoon Ends
Never stop working to be a better person, regardless of marital status. You set the standard and you keep improving each week, each month, and each year. Bring it, and she’ll bring it as well. But you have to keep dating your spouse, you have to keep working to be a better person, and you both will revel in the rewards as you continue to grow as a couple and individually. There should be no let up for either of you after the wedding cake is eaten. Too many folks suffer from “get married and let it all go” syndrome. Don’t be that person. Cherish yourself and your significant other by getting after it every day.
Lesson 18 – You’re A Team, But You’re the Leader
Men lead, women follow. The traditional roles may be the new bad words of the 21st century, but it still holds true. You are the leader, you set the tone, and you protect the clan. You’d better be ready to lead, because she’s counting on you. Just as I have said men are the frame while women are the painting, it falls to you to be the foundation on this marriage. The strength and protection you provide is what she needs in order to do her thing and assist you in yours.
Lesson 19 – How You Handle The Hard Times Will Make The Good Times Better
Hard times make better marriages. How you both overcome obstacles says a lot about the health of your marriage. Blame, guilt, and shame have no place in a marriage, when you can replace them just as easily with strength, fortitude, and perseverance. See the tough times for what they are and work through them, never blaming each other for anything out of the other’s control. You can’t be resentful of someone because something happens to them or someone they love that isn’t in the cards. Even when you or your loved ones make critical mistakes, stop, listen, and connect then fix it. Seeing through these times will strengthen any marriage more than anything.
Lesson 20 – It’s Marriage, It’s Messy, It’s Difficult, But It’s Worth It
Marriage is work, but it’s also a teammate for life that supercharges your life. It’s nitrous in your engine, and when you have a committed and dedicated person to your cause, your goals get that much more attainable. But also, you get to share a life with someone you care about, someone whom cares about you, and together, you dominate and build an empire. That’s a “Ride Or Die” to me, and the most successful people in history have had a significant other who watches their back.
I don’t have to tell you that these lessons will work for everyone all the time, but through my trials and tribulations with my marriage and divorce, I can tell you that doing them will only help you and your spouse grow a stronger, more loving bond. Be the man that she wants to follow. Be the woman that he wants to protect and nurture.
But do it together, and do it for each other.
I hope that I get married again someday. And following these lessons, I know my second marriage will be my last.
My social awkwardness and ineptitude shown through every time.
At 22, I took a first date to dinner and then to my new home being built. That was my plan, and she silently seethed as I told her the layout and how I was so proud.
“Take me home, okay?”
Dated a bigger girl just to try and lose my virginity because my friends ragged on me. Got cold feet after taking her to a friends wedding and had another friend do the deed and take her home because I couldn’t bring myself to have sex with her.
Went out with a girl 4 times and we never even kissed, just did awkward things and chatted as friends over dinner until I invited myself to her house and ghosted her before I came over.
Embarrassing fails, then came my ten year marriage and the trials and tribulations with 4 of those years being nearly sexless (1-2 a year) and my continual struggle with women, as I saw it, was the cause.
During and after my separation and my divorce I stopped giving a damn. Broke, depressed and downtrodden, I let any girl with a passable face and a penchant for saying yes in my life, and these broken women made it even more miserable.
But hey, at least I was getting laid?
Then, I discovered the Red Pill, and Pick Up Artistry.
As I got better with, the women got hotter, but also more fucked up.
My definition of success was to “get good with women”. I had no other goals beyond that. I had no aspirations for a healthy relationship because I honestly thought that just be getting good with women, all the other things would take care of themselves. After all, it wasn’t me, it was the women I was meeting, right?
Tried to fake it at first. Faked my way right into the friend zone in LA. Then back to the dead zone for having the temerity of being a player with multiple leads.
But I was having a blast, and enjoying something that had eluded me for my whole life, the experience of dating multiple women.
So, consider it a checkmark on a box that I had set out with long ago.
But it’s not, and will not be for me, considered a success.
Because all it did was bring on more problems, bigger problems. The short term brought me more sex, more women, but in the end, it brought me no closer to a long term relationship. It merely told me that I could have as many short term flings as I wanted, but that I wasn’t going to be loved, nor would I love anyone, because love is weak. Love is for men who have feelings, who have emotions, and who are simps.
And for as much fun as I was having, this was the bottom line. You have to always be hard, emotionless, and use dread game to keep your woman in line, because “all women are like children”, and they need to be in the “presence of someone who can tell them what to do”. “They won’t ever love you the way you want”, nor will they give you the deep, meaningful love you seek.
As I’ve found, PUA and LTR are incompatible terms.
In PUA, you get what you wish for, but you also get dead ends that don’t lead to anywhere good, because it all boils down to playing the game in the shallow end, when really what you need to learn is to swim in the deep end, and then you get to jump off the diving board.
As part of my journey, I’m having to deprogram myself from PUA thinking and it’s been incredibly difficult. With every passing day, I still catch myself using pick up terms, lines of thinking, even trying to be mindful on how I’m communicating to women because many of the ones who I would be willing to have a LTR with are turned off by these statements.
“The NOTCH is the GOAL”
PUA thrives on escalation, quick and extensive, in order to get to the almighty notch.
And it doesn’t matter HOW or WHO you get it with, just that you get those numbers.
And this goes with everything, approaches, either cold or lukewarm, day game, everything, because the bottom line is hasn’t changed, it’s not about getting you comfortable with talking to women, it’s about getting you comfortable talking to women then sleeping with women.
Because it’s really all about the notch.
When you get the notch, you can brag to the community about it, because you’re doing hard things. And they pat you on the back and you go out and do it again and again. But notice when they get the notch, notice how it doesn’t fulfill anything but going out and getting another one.
The beautiful unicorn is the goal, but it isn’t having a relationship with her, it’s about landing her for even a brief moment (she’s not yours, it’s just your turn) and moving on to another one.
If you’ve read “The Game” by Neil Strauss, he got so good at picking up women that it became nothing fulfilling in his life. Only when he started to have feelings for women did he start to understand the consistent dead end of this lifestyle. And by that time, the damage was done. Many PUA’s have had horrible relationships, including Mystery, because they didn’t understand that simping doesn’t die simply because you said it does. They didn’t understand that self mastery and “fake it until you make it” don’t jive in real life. They became personas, never found the real “them” and tried to apply that to all parts of their lives, with horrible results. So now it’s “don’t catch feels” and everything is cool. And it’s led to an absolute mess of a dating scene.
Look, I get it, some guys want this lifestyle and die with a smile on their face after climax. But it isn’t realistic, nor is it sustainable. Which is why many of your gurus are happily married (or at least pretend to be) with one woman. If you can pull of haram game go for it, but a majority of guys just want a ride or die to support them, love them, and be there for them. We can argue all we want about monogamy being a broken concept, but the fact remains that a majority of this world still believes in it, and as a man who didn’t believe after his divorce, I am a believer too.
Quite simply, the long term love of one trumps the fleeting love of many. It’s shallow, empty, short lived and transparent. And it gets old. You’re the dude in the club at 55, with the pony tail, who fucked his way through the city in the early 00’s, and now you’re hoping for that magic to rub off. But all you’re getting are ladies from the retirement bus, because you never bothered to make a life for yourself, a real life, and lose all the other bullshit that worked for a while, but has since stopped. There’s only one Hugh Hefner, and you ain’t it, and even after that, man made it seem as if this was the life, the world that every man wanted, even as Hef bungled his way through different marriages and arrangements.
“But at least he was getting laid by beautiful women.”
Men consistently have trouble getting laid, and this was the deficiency that PUA was supposed to eradicate. But it took the feels from the game, and it took the reason for being and boiled it down to whether she spreads her legs for you on the first date, whether you’re getting that girl in accounting to go down on you after a meeting, or whether that girl you approached on the street is a “good girl” that you have no shot with. It’s a “Dear Penthouse” that men dearly want but can’t get. It tried to quantify EVERYTHING, so that you can just look at the numbers to see what women are doing, how they act, and how a majority of them believe in “monkey branching”. Hypergamy doesn’t care, until you realize that the majority of women who we blame for hypergamy were broken human beings in the first place, with either bad upbringings, domineering or no fathers, and have no interest in taking responsibility for any of it.
And if you dare to believe in monogamy, you’re labeled blue pill and you’re doomed.
I’ve seen, in person, many men who have good women in their lives, and I see what it can do for them.
With some PUA, dishonesty was a hallmark. “Don’t tell women anything you’re doing” was the go to. Then, it was “you spin multiple plates and tell them up front what you’re doing”, but brutal honesty only works in a progressive, dystopian dating market where everyone’s trying to fuck everyone else.
You may win in the meat market, but you lose in the life partner game.
And I want to win in that game. Because it’s what I want to do.
Nothing punched me in the face more than when I was trying to get into a real relationship and the reality of my PUA programming came up.
Women looking for a relationship don’t want to hear that you’re fucking other women and they can just take that to the bank.
And why would they?
I consistently say to men that if they found out a woman they were dating was screwing other dudes, they would be a bit concerned. And yet, many modern women do just this, and get upset when men do it as well. But it’s not ideal whoever does it, and while it shows disastrous double standards in dating, it also shows how detached we all are over sex and healthy long term relationships, and how the lines have blurred for everyone.
But the reality….the reality is much better than what the gurus tell you or want you to believe.
The Notch you get from strange women is much worse that the sex you have in a relationship.
Why? Because in a deep, committed relationship, you and your significant other open up sexually, and sex can be anything you want.
But they don’t want you to know that. Why? Because hate and anger sell. It’s easier to blame others for your lot in life than to take responsibility for yourself.
But more, it’s easier to sell gimmicks to guys who don’t want to do the work.
If you read “The Game”, you saw that in Los Angeles, when hundreds of men tried to get some of that genie in the bottle that was released, women started catching on to the ruse. Men who had used old time favorite pickup stuff like “The Cube” were suddenly being outed by women they were trying to hit on.
IT GETS OLD.
It’s cliché, but it’s true. We see men dropping out of PUA and the old guard weeps not because guys are doing what’s best for them, but because they miss the old days when they were hitting up models and actresses in the streets of the cities they haunted. Guys understand there are useful things in both PUA and the red pill, but it’s not a place they need to stay at for long. Because time doesn’t stop in those worlds, and eventually it becomes old, boring, and less important that a man getting on with his life.
“Get good with women” is and was the only end game, and once you get there, you’re adrift again because you’ve hit the mark and now you have nowhere else to go. You see men who in their prime were the best PUA’s ever, now reduced to shells of men talking about the days of game like a 43 year old over the hill dude talks about his 4 TD passes in the high school state championship.
Men have to have forward motion, they can’t just rely on inertia or momentum, because it ensures they’ll be stuck forever. Some guys can pull it off. But most cannot.
And instead of giving them consistent tools for building and growing a good life, they give them tips and tricks to get to that next phase, and drop them off like a bus stop. And we wonder why many guys are bitter about what’s happened to them.
You have to think past the notch. The best notches come at the hands of a woman who loves, supports, and is there for you. Men, married men that I know, that have taken control of their lives and become patriarchs, are having the best sex in life. Because they have a trusted person whom they break bread with every day, and they have someone who believes in them and what they are doing.
They’re having hot sex after breakfast, instead of hoping the fat girl at the end of the bar at last call is drunk enough to go home with you.
They’re going on amazing trips and doing fun things with their families, instead of getting high at a friend’s house before going out to the club to see if you can pull some girl younger than 35 tonight.
They’re having children, instead of pulling out and hoping that next phone call isn’t the girl you had sex with saying she’s late.
They’re living their lives, moving on and growing in other directions instead of harkening back to the halcyon days of when they had a threesome while high on cocaine.
I choose the group who’s creating more in the present, instead of remembering the good times, and I won’t apologize for it. It’s my choice to move forward and be more than I could have ever imagined, and there are women, many women, out there that I don’t have to dazzle with a card trick or a palm reading to get them to look. I am the game, and many women are eager to play.
Get out of the past, get passed the notch, and get on with your life.
Or be doomed to stay in the same place, in the same world, in the same dull life, forever.
11 miles of the same telephone poles, the same asphalt, the same houses, and the same blades of grass.
Every year, the seasons change the colors, but the objects remain the same.
The wind swept fields, the rainy roads, the sunshine blessed treetops, all of it stands the test of time. I notice many of these things every day, during shorter days, longer nights, dark mornings and sun drenched afternoons, but they all stay the same.
The rainy days are just as grey as they were nearly a quarter of a century ago, when, at 22 years old, I decided to go and work for my dad after college. The job offers were many, all over the country, Chicago, Philly, Houston, but I decided to go home and work for the family business.
I could’ve done anything. I could’ve gone to Argentina to get my major in Spanish. I could’ve gone to a big city and rode out my 20’s in an exciting, albeit, broken world.
I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve, depending on who was asking. So why would a guy fresh out of college decide to work for the family business when he had a chance to make his mark on the world in other ways?
Because sometimes, it’s not about the glory and excitement of new avenues, it’s about the joy and satisfaction that comes from building something up and succeeding through long hours of toil.
As I traverse the multitude of left turns going to work, then the multitude of right turns coming home, it reminds me of the stability that I have had in my life.
It all stays the same, but it’s all wonderful to see for me everyday.
Boring? To you, maybe. To me, it’s the world I’ve helped build and it stands on my untiring effort everyday to chisel a world out of the world just for me.
Legacy is built one brick at a time, over time.
We crave stability, but we don’t crave what it takes to create or sustain it.
One of my favorite speakers this past year at CME (The Conference of Masculine Excellence) in Las Vegas was Hotep Jesus, who’s number one quote in his presentation was “Show up.”
He specifically talked about being the man who just showed up and made things happen. And when you show up, things happen.
Showing up is the start of consistency and gets you there 100% of the time when you’re present.
Out of these years I’ve been working at my own business, I’ve been absent less than .1% of the time. And it’s because I love my job and know that there are people that count on me daily to “show up”.
Which is how I’ve had to approach my life, especially recently. While I was showing up at work, I wasn’t showing up in my life.
I would be there for everything at work, but in my life, especially when I was married, I wasn’t there for my wife at the time, my kids, or myself.
My fitness cratered and I ballooned to 308 lbs. My wife and I divorced. My kids and I were distant, and I wasn’t showing up, I was merely a ghost, a place holder pretending to be a father, husband and man.
I was practicing consistency at work, but I wasn’t bringing it to my personal life, and it showed.
So, on my 40th birthday, sitting alone at a bar, drunk, I had to make a decision.
Nothing was working out in my personal life, but my career was going well.
I was tired of seeing success in one area and no success in everything else, because I wasn’t SHOWING UP in those other areas. So, I decided, each year, to add these areas to my consistent effort and get my weaknesses handled. I took one – two areas each year, for the last 5 years. My first goal was getting my weight down and getting better with women.
So I got 80 lbs off and I got decent with girls. It was the start of an amazing transformation that is still taking place to this day, in my life.
I found a passion, helping men through my own experiences, so the next year I decided to get my blog going, as well as be on Twitter and IG as a man who was living his journey and sharing his experiences with other men. And I have grown this blog and twitter to over 11k people.
The next year was traveling to meet people that I had met as well as getting out of my shell. I overdid this, traveling so much that I was neglecting time with my kids. But I consistently traveled and got better socially. But I realized I was drinking way too much, so I also decided to get sober, which I have now been for 2.5 years.
In 2020 and 2021, I used the pandemic to get consistent on the home front, getting my home in order and get closer to my kids, I needed to be a better father, but I wasn’t showing up with them as much as I needed to. I’ve been learning to be a better dad as well as understanding that my connection to my kids is extremely important to their health and well being. I’ve been working in the Fraternity of Excellence to get better as a father and a man.
And now, in 2022, I’m dialing my fitness into the next level. My fitness goal has been to always look sexy naked, and with my trainer Phil Foster, I am pushing myself and establishing new consistent boundaries on how I work out and how I look. And, mercifully, after a year, I will be getting my finances in order and will be debt free except the house in a little over a week of this writing. Then I get to pay myself and spend my money on savings, investment, and college for my children.
I’ve also brought my consistency to my relationships. I’m reaching out to old friends I left on hold. I’m learning how be better with women in my work with Dr Taylor Burrowes. Before it was just pickup and sex, now it’s something more I’m looking for. I’m learning to vet these women, consistently and with consistency in my own values, boundaries, and behaviors.
All of this, every aspect of my life, has been addressed. All because I decided to show up. Sure there are important things that take precedence at this moment, but in general, I’m raising the level of my life and as a result, the level of those around me. People can count on me again, because they know I’ll show up.
My meetings, I’m there. My kids, I’m there. My fitness, I’m there. My friends and family, I’m there.
There’s something to be said about knowing someone will always be there.
And, when you can look into the mirror and know that you are bringing it everyday, the most important person that knows you’ll be there is…well….YOU.
But I’ve hired good people to help me get there. When you have the people to help you and you are willing to “show up” and help yourself with their tutelage, the sky’s the limit.
Going into 2022, I had several resolutions that I had been working on since Sept of 21. Guys have asked me how the hell I can get behind all of these resolutions and, you know, actually “DO THEM” but it’s become so ingrained in my mind that I need to get better everyday that many of these resolutions have become commonplace.
In order to get to your goals, you must “show up”, so I started the First of the Month Challenge to motivate people to take the same steps I took, the same consistent baby steps to get to their goals.
One of the things many people have stated about me is that my consistency is top notch. It hasn’t always been that way, but the way that it started was through my New Year’s Resolutions. So, I took it upon myself to show folks through the first quarter of this year, that 30 days becomes a habit, 60 days becomes a pattern, and 90 days becomes a lifestyle. Whether it’s fitness or something else, it will behoove you to follow through and be consistent in your goals. Just do one thing, one, for that amount of time and watch as you are able to apply that to other aspects of your life.
You’ll become unstoppable because you bothered to “show up.”
The stat that really stood out to me was that after the first month 80% of people quit their resolutions.
And I see it every year. The gym is packed the first two weeks of January, then people leave in droves and it’s back to the usual folks in February.
But, as I’ve seen year after year, there are the 20% that show up when the gym opens or are there when it’s about to close. It’s the 20% that push themselves to be better by “showing up” every day to get to their goals. It’s time to increase that percentage and hold folks accountable for their proclamations. And to hold them accountable, I want to be there with them as they take these steps to break out of their own dead end cycles.
So, if you’re looking for the magic code to be consistent, it’s nothing else but showing up when no one else does.
And it’s certainly not magic, just a sense of personal discipline ingrained in yourself by yourself to forge ahead and get what you truly dream of in life.
The magic of consistency is created by the commonplace activity of attendance.
And being consistent will bring that dream to a reality.
Third game of the young baseball season. Double, standing at second in the bottom of the third inning.
The adrenaline of the young season already pulsing through his veins. He had scholarship offers from three D-1 schools, but this season was going to put him in the elites. The team was eliminated in Semi- State last year, but the championship would be theirs this year.
Single. He comes around easily to score. This was going to be his year.
Bottom of the ninth. He walks. He’s already scored three times, but their bullpen had issues and gave up a two run homer. Game was tied. He’s 264 feet from the sweep.
Bunt drops. He dives for second. Safe. One step closer.
He’s been giving it his all, not just for the offers, but because, he believed, he was the best on this team. And of course he was. Led in most catagiries, defensively good in the outfield, and brought it every game. Great teammate, and this was going to be his year.
Next batter. Shallow single, but not shallow enough. Give him the sign as he rounded third to hold. Fuck that. He picks up steam. He slides focusing on the plate, and the catcher has the ball. Time to collide.
He hits the catcher full speed, ball drops out. Game won. But in the commotion, in the heroic act to win the game, he comes up wincing.
“Probably just a sprain…”, he thinks. Then he feels the sharp pain in his knee. He drops. The team, in their celebration around him clears for the trainer and coaches.
He’s sure it’s not serious. But damn it hurts. He goes for X-rays. Torn ACL, sprained MCL, the blood drains from his face. There it goes, the offers, the state championship, all of it.
This was supposed to be his year.
Sometimes, we’re so focused on checking the box, pushing so hard to get it done, that we destroy everything else around us in this singular focus.
The idea of hitting a goal, at whatever cost necessary, sets us back further on other, more important things.
Instead of losing one thing, we lose everything. In the example above, the best player that the team needed, pushed when he didn’t necessarily have to. And in his push, it cost him and his team the championship. It cost him offers. But most of all, it cost him himself.
Sometimes, playing smart means taking the short term L for the long term W.
Blazes of glory don’t do you any good when you’re dead.
Injuries don’t help you because you can’t play.
We give people shit sometimes for not going 120% all the time, because we think they aren’t trying hard. Whereas, many of them are playing the long game, understanding that it’s difficult to go undefeated if you don’t have your best on the field.
The goal of fixing the light socket doesn’t really matter if the house is burning down around you.
For a long time, at my job, I have two chess pieces in my office. A king and a queen. I knew I had to be a king to get the queen. But for years, and even recently, I’ve been caught up in checking that damn box and getting a woman that I could call mine.
I’ve written so much, so many times about how a woman shouldn’t be your focus, and here I was, making it that, trying to check that damn box, because I thought, after years of frustration, I had finally gotten to the relationship I wanted.
Nothing else mattered, no how she felt, not the timing, not the whole situation. Taking my time wasn’t in the cards, because I had to check that box.
So here I am again. I won a battle, but lost the war. I focused on home plate, but wasn’t concerned with this woman’s reaction to all of it. It wasn’t fair to her. She didn’t get a say. And that wasn’t right.
We, as men, are taught to lead, and they will follow. But we also can’t go off half cocked, shooting from the hip, especially when there are other people involved. It does zero good to build a life with someone by smothering them in your plans, aspirations, and goals without talking to them.
Assumptions are the mother of all fuckups.
If you want a “Ride or Die”, she has to be holding onto you right on the bike, not being dragged behind by a chain.
All because I wanted to check that box.
All because the idea of a significant other overrode all other scenarios. I didn’t make her a teammate, she was a subject, an object that I gave no mind to, all for trying to check that box.
It hurts because it was an unforced error.
It hurts because it could have been prevented.
I was too selfish to see that the plate was blocked, and I was going to get hurt sliding in.
Many of the lessons I’ve talked about in my past posts on this blog have only been given lip service to me and I haven’t truly lived some of them, especially in relationships.
It’s very humbling to have your words used back at you to tell you you haven’t been true to who you say you are. It’s mirror work that needs to happen, and as strong as I am in many aspects of my life, my relationships with women still need a ton of work.
And that starts with me. It starts with applying the lessons I’ve talked about, but apparently haven’t fully grasped.
It’s leading, not dictating. It’s strength, not dominance. It’s empathy, not stubbornness.
It’s confidence, not desperation. It’s abundance, not scarcity. It’s outcome independence, not hanging my hat on a star.
It’s patience, not pushing. It’s understanding, compassion, and humility.
A man who is measured, strong, and content in his life won’t be eager to check a box. He sees home plate and a shallow single, but also sees the hold sign at third. He knows that he’ll still be playing in the next series, win or lose, because he listened instead of busting ahead haphazardly.
I wasn’t ready. I was only ready to check the box. And checking the box doesn’t mean shit if the whole world is burning around it.
It does you no good to be sitting out injured while your team goes on without you when they didn’t have that choice. You made that choice when you rounded third, and you hurt those who depended on you, who loved you, and who believed in you.
But most of all, you hurt yourself. You made choices that you know weren’t right in order to justify checking that fucking box.
This blog has always been a journal for me, taking the lessons in life, the experiences that have shaped me, and applying them and learning from them. But there are still lessons I haven’t learned. Still things I have to apply. Still places where I’ve fallen short, merely pretending to learn while not truly grasping these situations.
This isn’t a simulation. This isn’t a sheet of paper with boxes to check off. This is real life, love, and other people with feelings, goals, desires and aspirations. They matter too, and in the quest to find a quality LTR, they have a say. They’re your teammate. They’re your lover, they’re your friend. They aren’t a mark on a paper, a post on social media, a trophy that you can add to your mantle.
I have work to do. I’m still trying to be the best man I can be, I’m working everyday to put what I preach into practice. But there are still blind spots that I need to address, especially when it comes to relationships.
But as I’ve always said, and recently forgotten: “You can’t have a quality relationship until you love yourself.”
Everything about you has to be sincere, honest, and representative of who you are striving to be.
I’ve forgotten some of that, and those closest to me have made it very clear that this is a pattern I need to correct. And I intend to.
How many men have said this with a girl they’ve just met?
How many men have told their friends and family about a woman who they saw, asked out, and said this?
How many men have said this simply by judging a 5 minute conversation they had with an attractive woman?
How many men have said this after a first date?
How many men have said this after several dates?
And how many men have been absolutely destroyed when they find out that the woman behind the beauty is a crazy person?
How many men have fallen asleep on the fact that the woman they fell for has more issues than Sports Illustrated?
How many men have realized the woman they thought they loved didn’t have a tenth of things in common with him that he thought?
We’ve all been there, gents.
My relationships always started off hot. But they fizzle fast. Why? Because, as men and women, especially in this day and age, when we find someone who is somewhat decent, we grab onto them like grim death, never looking at the potential consequences on not doing our homework on the person.
I’ve said many times that men will do research on cars, fitness, stuff they’re putting into their bodies, or buying a house, but when it comes to putting in the work on a woman they are dating, it’s fucking clown shoes.
Just because she’s got a pussy doesn’t mean she can skate by your scrutiny of her.
If any man truly wants a long term relationship with a woman, he has to know himself first. And to know himself, he has to have a checklist of major things that need to be in effect for her to even have a shot.
@ParabolicTrav has told me many times: “You determine who gets to be in your life.” Don’t sell yourself short on what you want in a relationship.
I consider vetting to be how a man, from the waist up, judges and checks a potential mate.
But how many men have truly vetted a woman? How many men have put her through her paces, asked the really tough questions, figured out the hang ups, or even had the uncomfortable conversations with her about certain things she believes, understands, or preaches about?
Vet and Vet Often
So how does one vet? If you’re like me, when I first got into a serious relationship, the first one with my future wife and ex-wife, I didn’t ask the questions, I merely let the relationship take over and take me with it. Why didn’t I ask the tough questions? Because, I was smitten, I figured she was okay, and for the most part she was, but there were several sticking points that came up after the relationship was established that should’ve derailed it, but it was too late.
So what is vetting?
Vetting is, in my words, a man’s big head telling the little head to slow the fuck down.
I’ve used an example of “shake her purse, and if it sounds like maracas, run.”
But seriously, you have to be able to look before you leap. Men fail to ask the tough, potentially interaction ending questions and allow the relationship and the woman to take the lead on this creature that is the potential relationship.
So what would a typical vetting session be about?
Have you asked a potential love interest:
If they are financially responsible?
if they have a history of mental issues?
if they are religious or not and if that jives with whether you are or not?
Does she have kids? Want them or not?
What’s her relationship with family, friends, her exes?
What habits does she have? Are they healthy or not? Does she drink too much? Smoke? Drugs?
Does she have feminist beliefs? What are her political preferences and is she open minded to other points of view?
Is she physically fit? Does she believe in being in good shape?
Does she share the same beliefs, goals, purpose, convictions?
Does she take responsibility for things she does or doesn’t do?
Does she take good care of herself mentally, spiritually, and physically?
Does she believe in traditional gender roles, or is she the boss and that’s it?
Does she keep a clean house?
These are just a sampling of the vetting questions men need to be asking women they are interested in. You are the captain of the ship. She can either get on board, or not. And the best way to ensure this is to keep vetting, even when the relationship progresses.
Good vetting only happens when you are solid in your frame and all of your life. You have a set of directives, goals, convictions and beliefs that you work off of. You hold to these unmovable traits. This is your FRAME.
She can choose to enter it or not, but when you have these sets of guidelines, she sees them, understands them, and then it becomes her choice to enter your world. But bear in mind, it is her choice, not yours. The minute you change to accommodate her, flex a piece of your frame, bend it and shape it to something other that what you apply in your own life, you’ve lost that part of the frame forever. You can’t get it back. Consistency is key in all of this. And keeping it consistent as well throughout the life of the relationship.
But the pull from the little guy is something that you must overcome. We’ve all seen hot girls, and when we see one our judgement is clouded by the prospect of blowing her back out.
Vetting helps to prevent this as well as puts you in control of the situation and how it is to go.
You have to ask the questions and not be upset if she walks.
You have to be able to hold your frame and be flexible on things not associated with your core values. She will bump up against that frame often to make sure you are holding true.
The Importance of It All
Why do I continue to push this?
Because, as with millions of men who have been affected, the modern man has not been properly introduced on the importance of vetting.
We see it every day. Men will do research on a car, house, stocks, crypto, etc., but when it comes to a woman, he’ll trust his dick over everything else.
And while she may make you feel good down there, the feeling of missed opportunities to feel her out while not wearing a condom come back to haunt men that take this road.
We see men who knew one thing about the woman they married but get a completely different person when the wedding ends. They get a woman who didn’t tell them she had declared bankruptcy, had Borderline Personality Disorder, had gone to jail, was a serial cheater, etc.
As a man, how much do you really know about her? Men ask me why they need to know things as long as she loves him. This is a disastrous mistake. A man must care about protecting himself, his frame, his assets, and other things that can be destroyed in divorce.
This is why, as a man, you have to park the urge to accept the woman just because she slept with you. When I lost my virginity at 27 to the woman I would eventually marry and then divorce, I didn’t have the intuition to ask the tough questions. I was fearful of losing steady pussy and a woman I thought I loved if I had decided to call the ball and take her to task on her questionable past.
With the state becoming a third party in marriage, it’s so important in this day and age for a man to properly vet a woman who wishes to become a part of his life. The stakes are incredibly high for men to protect everything they have and until more men start to see the consequences of marriage and divorce without vetting.
When you don’t do the work, you tend to get bit in the end.
There is also a misconception that you can vet EVERYTHING. You can’t. You, at least, must vet the BIG things, because you can’t anticipate all the little things you’ll miss.
And she’ll most certainly be vetting you, although most women don’t have to do the work that men need to do in order to vet their partner. The woman holds the keys to sex, the man holds the keys to commitment.
If you truly are a high value man and hold yourself in that regard, not just any woman can be with you. Your boundaries will determine what woman can be in your life. You will have a self contained assessment tool in your head about who can be in your life.
So vet and vet often. Work on securing and strengthening your boundaries, convictions, and beliefs, bending to no one when it comes to your core values.
And make sure a women who wants to be in your life is going to be good for your life.
Mistakes in accepting just anyone in relationships can cost a man dearly.
This is part 1 of a three part series on lessons I’ve learned from my relationships.
Sometimes, the hardest thing for a man to do is walk away from something he knows he wants, but isn’t what he needs.
“It wasn’t right. It didn’t feel right. And it’s not her fault that it’s not right”, I sat in my car as it ran in the parking lot.
The wind was howling outside.
Everyone was gone from work.
It was just me, late afternoon sun shining over my car.
It was one of the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make, but I had to make it.
I’ve had to make this choice twice before. But this one was different. She had a ton of what I wanted in a girl.
When you are a man in a relationship, you are sometimes blind to what is good for you and what isn’t. Many a man has stayed in a situation where he didn’t belong, didn’t feel right, and this was just like that. How much time was I going to spend in a situation that didn’t feel good to me? At what point was I going to draw a line on what I needed in this?
And, as in a few of my past relationships, why was I giving more than I was getting?
I have had a tendency, especially if I find a girl I really like, of slipping into a role of driving, flying or meeting them in their area. And when I wasn’t? I was calling and texting like mad. Neediness.
I did it throughout 2019 and 2020, meeting girls on Twitter, flying to their area, having a fun weekend, then flying back hoping they would be persuaded to come live with me in Indy. In many of my past posts, I lament on this problem.
But this one was different. I thought she would come. And she didn’t.
I thought I had communicated it correctly. The ultimate goal for me, in my life, is that if I’m in a long distance relationship with a woman, is that she would naturally come here.
Indiana is my life. It’s where my kids are. It’s where my career, business, and family reside. There isn’t a compromise when it comes to this place. It’s my home.
But herein lies the problem: I was trying to be the exception to a rule that I knew wasn’t good.
Long distance relationships are not good, especially if they aren’t quickly turned into face to face relationships.
It cannot be stated enough that I was naive in thinking that I was different, I was special.
Most men do.
But I was kidding myself. Dammit I hate when I’m wrong, but I was warned, and I didn’t take it seriously.
When you meet someone long distance who you really like, you tend to gloss over the bigger deals because of the fact you like them.
I was trying to bring something that wasn’t going to happen and the lines should’ve been drawn sooner, but alas, my blindness to a girl I really clicked with precluded me from making those boundaries known early and often.
Hence why I was muttering in my car on that April day with frustration over letting it get this far.
Lesson – Boundaries Early and Often
I let it ride. I didn’t question. I constantly pushed off bringing it up.
But it was important.
You let it fester, you don’t push the issue, and it drags on.
I became, in essence, and emotional tampon for her. I was there whenever she needed me. I called at the same time every night. I was enamored with her from the start, but I didn’t reinforce my boundaries and tell her, over and over again, that this wasn’t going to work if we weren’t going to meet.
Until that April day, when I did.
Finally. I said something.
It was met with disbelief and frustration, as if wanting to meet in person was an affront to all that was decent.
I had finally, mercifully, put down a boundary that I had been playing footsie with for months.
Why not sooner? Because I was weak. I wanted it to work. I really liked her. I still did.
As a man, you let a woman you really like walk all over you, or worse, commit an abundance of your time to her, then you pull away, of course she’s going to be pissed. You were doing what she wanted, what she liked, and there was no risk for her.
I wasn’t consistent with my boundaries, and she had every right to be upset because I let it fester too long. But I had every right to ask her to come. If she truly wanted to be in my life, if she truly loved me like she said she did, it wouldn’t have been hard to come see me.
As a man, you MUST provide a strong frame and not bend or break on certain things in your life. I was not only bending, but certain boundaries were not-existent. All because I didn’t want to lose her. And I did anyway.
If someone is not willing to do what it takes to be in your life, then they really don’t want to be in you life now, do they?
The minute I put down boundaries was the minute the relationship ended. She couldn’t do what I needed her to do in the time I needed her to do it. You can’t be afraid to lose her. If she wants to be in your life, she’ll find a way to do it.
Lesson – Long Distance Generally is a Bad Idea
Rollo and the boys are right about long distance relationships. They are much like playing pretend.
Women can do long distance relationships better than men because they can get their emotional needs filled.
I don’t recommend long distance relationships for a man unless the women you really like is planning on visiting you SOON.
If you hit it off with a woman over the phone, long distance, as a man, especially an man who is established, she needs to come and see you.
Before, I had made it a bad habit to be talking to a girl for a month or so then be on a plane to see her. We’d have a great, sexual weekend, then reality would set in. She wasn’t moving for me. So I had to choose very carefully on who I was going to visit. And with my issues with my business and COVID, traveling wasn’t in the cards.
But here’s the thing. I could’ve visited her. But that would have led me to the same destination as all the other women I had gone to visit. I was making a stand this time that a requirement of this relationship, if it was to move forward, was that she had to visit.
This wasn’t on her, this was on me. And that’s okay. I have a specific requirement for relationships and if it didn’t work for her, it didn’t. I shouldn’t have prolonged this as long as I did.
Sometimes, bluntness is necessary. Sometimes, you have to put it out there to see if she’ll flinch. And I didn’t. I wasn’t honest with myself on what I wanted, I wasn’t honest with her, and I was afraid of losing her.
But what was this? Can something be classified as a relationship if you’ve never met face to face?
The answer? To women, it can. To men, it can’t.
But the bottom line. You can’t truly have a “relationship” that involves two people that haven’t met. There’s only so much of a connection you can make to a voice over the phone or a face over the internet. There’s only so much you can do because inevitably, intimacy must be created. Sex and intimacy are cornerstones of a relationship. And you can’t create that over a digital space.
It’s pretend. You are still not real to the other person nor are they to you unless there is physical touch. It’s not fair, but that’s the way it is.
Stop Being Afraid
What motivated me throughout this whole thing?
Fear is a huge motivator for many things in our lives, and my fear of losing a woman I really liked was driving the lack of boundaries and the persistence of a long distance relationship.
We see men all the time give up their lives and move for a woman they love, only to be blindsided when all they’ve sacrificed translates to a whole mess of resent from her end. Then she finds another man who is solid and strong with his boundaries and his requirements and respects him more for those attributes.
I let fear dictate my actions. I was afraid of losing her. And that’s a risk as a man that you have to take. Your self respect is too important to let slide with a woman you really like. Hold your frame and let her know that you aren’t wavering.
I didn’t. And it cost me her, but more importantly, it cost me a bit of myself.
And while sad, I’m still glad I was able to enforce my boundaries at some point in this situation. I can only imagine how much longer it would’ve taken if I had just not said anything. How many more months or god forbid, years, would I have stayed on the line giving her what she needed while I got nothing of what I needed?
Know when to call a spade a spade. And know when to walk.