Welcome to the guide to improving with women. This guide is designed for any man who is interested in improving his interactions with women, whether he’s an inexperienced virgin, or a seasoned divorcee. This guide will cover the “experience arc” of a man as he sets about to put his romantic life in order.
There’s a lot of information out there to sift through and a lot of people telling you that THEIR way is the CORRECT way. The truth is, developing your skills with women is a personal journey, and everyone is going to gravitate towards their own style and interests. But there are some common sign posts that we all pass along the way which I hope to elucidate here.
This is my best attempt of organizing everything out there into a comprehensible “big picture” format to base your learning around. Focus is on what types of practice and action you should be taking, not just theory.
Finally, the common denominator in everyone’s success with this stuff is the same as it is with any other skill-set: the effort you put in and your willingness to change your behavior. Nothing written below will mean anything to you if you’re not willing to humble yourself enough to learn or put in the necessary effort to achieve the results you want.
A couple things worth mentioning before we begin:
- Like many things, learning to pick up, date and seduce women is not completely linear. In fact, it’s probably impossible to lay out a perfect linear progression that everyone must follow, as everyone’s preferences, natural strengths/weaknesses, lifestyles, etc. differ very widely. Chances are your particular progression will bleed over between phases slightly. So don’t be alarmed if you see a little of yourself in one stage ahead and/or behind where you are. That’s probably normal.
- If you don’t totally follow this post beyond a certain point, that’s fine. This post is designed to speak to each guy who reads it at the level that he’s at. Intermediate guys won’t and shouldn’t grasp what is talked about in the later stages, whereas an Advanced guy should be able to read the previous sections and nod to himself, “I’ve been there.”
The Two Types of Guys
I’d like to begin really quick by breaking down the guys who decide to improve with women — guys like you, the reader. In all of my experience over the years, guys who struggle with women and have made a conscious decision to improve fall into one of two categories. Knowing which category you are is extremely helpful for navigating your way through your development and understanding what you should be working on.
Type I: Type I guys struggle because of a lack of social calibration. What we mean by social calibration is the following: an ability to empathize with other people’s emotions, not being able to “read” other people’s emotions and intentions, being unaware of social conventions and generally expressing oneself very poorly.
You may be a Type I guy if you’ve never had many friends and have always been deemed as the dork or nerd. People often think you’re strange or don’t relate to you. You have trouble relating to other people as well. When you do interact with others, you’re not as nervous as much as confused and lost in your own little world.
To improve, the long-term struggle for Type I guys will be building their social calibration and learning to relate well to others. In short, they will want to focus on building up a strong foundation of Emotional Intelligence. Focus is going to be much more on technique: knowing the correct things to say, understanding women’s responses. Working on both reading and displaying proper body language. And most of all, getting as much social practice as possible. For a Type I guy, pretty much any social exposure is good exposure.
The advantage Type I guys typically have is that they have far less anxiety and fear than other guys. The benefit of being somewhat emotionally disconnected and socially oblivious is that you don’t know when social norms are being pressed. Type I guys often have little trouble approaching or trying out new concepts or ideas. Type I guys will often be able to approach many, many women in a night, but once they’re 5-10 minutes into the conversation, they’re at a loss of what to say or do.
Type II: Type II guys are the exact opposite of Type I guys. They’re often very socially calibrated. They’ve always been normal and “cool” guys, with lots of friends and a nice social life. What they suffer from is a massive amount of fear, anxiety and lack of confidence when it comes to women. The problem for the Type II guy is that he’s almost TOO aware of social norms and conventions. And not only that, he’s submissive in the face of them — he always has been, that’s why he’s always been so liked by people.
Type II guys usually suffer from Nice Guy Syndrome and have trouble establishing solid boundaries. They’re nervous women, very nervous expressing their sexuality around women and terrified of getting physically intimate with them.
The advantage that they have is that they know how to talk to people. They usually already have basic stuff like humor and interesting conversations down. When they go out, they are usually terrified to approach a woman, but once they get talking to one for a few minutes, they do great — they can often talk to anyone they meet all night.
The long-term struggle for the Type II guy is two-fold: 1) overcoming his fear and anxieties that stifle his ability to express his sexuality, and 2) to become comfortable stretching the social norms he’s always adhered to.
Obviously not everybody is 100% Type I or Type II. I’d say for most guys it’s an 80/20 split. But in my experience, giving dozens of seminars and coaching literally hundreds of men, 99% of the time you can break all of their sticking points and struggles into one of these two categories.
Stage 1: Newbie
Experience: Varies widely. Commonalities usually includes being very passive and supplicant, failed relationships or complete lack of relationships in the past. Social skills range from decent to abysmal. Personal lifestyle ranges from very strong to very weak.
Purpose: To educate himself and try just enough to figure out what works for him and what doesn’t.
We all come here from very different backgrounds yet we all have something deeply in common. Somehow, some way, for all of us, we have perceived ourselves to fail with women enough to drive us to seek help and advice on them. From 18-year-old high school students to 55-year-old retired professors. Divorcees and virgins. Engineers and artists. Every country, all walks of life, rich or poor. Some of us come wanting a new girlfriend/wife. Others want to fuck everything that will stop and let us. Either way, the idea that we all should learn the same thing or that there’s a one-size-fits-all-formula to our emotional struggles is ridiculous.
As a newbie, you must take it upon yourself to educate yourself as much as possible and then experiment enough to understand what works well for you and what doesn’t. This website is an excellent start. If you want to get more serious, then finding a suitable product or coach will help you even further. Everything you find out there is “right” in one way or another — in that it worked for the author. But that doesn’t mean it will necessarily work for you. So you must try it out and see how it feels. It’s also your responsibility to get your baseline lifestyle in order to even give yourself a chance to meet and attract new women.
- Reach a Baseline Lifestyle – A baseline lifestyle is the very basic components of a lifestyle that you need to even be considered an option to any self-respecting woman. Baseline lifestyle requires health, profession and friends. This is basically what “having a life” is, and if you don’t have one, no amount of information, theory or tricks will ever help you. You will have horribly inconsistent success and when you do manage to get dates, you will never keep a woman around. Ever. Health means you are at least healthy. You don’t have to be ripped or run a marathon. But be healthy. If you’re obese, you need to lose weight. If you’re skinny, you should join a gym. If you’re chronically ill or very sick, you need to get it under control first.Profession means that you have some sort of purpose with your life. It means you’re employed and if you don’t have a career, you at least have plans for one. I don’t care how good-looking and charming you are, no woman dates a broke deadbeat with no job. Or at least no woman we’d ever want to date.Friends means you have friends. World of Warcraft Guild members don’t count. Facebook friends don’t count. IRC chat buddies don’t count. Friends. Real friends that you see in person, hang out with, go out with and do things with. If you don’t have friends or a stable social life, there’s nothing dating advice can do for you. Take care of that first then come back.
- Learn and Understand All of the Fundamentals – Fundamental seduction and pick up knowledge is a must to even get started. There are more than enough available books out there covering the basics (recommendations below). This website has a massive section covering all of the basic concepts you need to know. The most important topics to understand are the following: how attraction is built and the many ways to do it, basics of conversation and rapport, basics of texting/phone calls/follow up, dates, escalation and roughly the steps it’s done in, fashion and style, body language. If you feel like you’re weak at any specific topic, spend more time on it. All of the above topics are MANDATORY. Other concepts that you may want to look into: the difference between meeting women during the day and at night. How approaching random women is different than meeting them through your friends. The concept of social proof and social status. Canned game (routines) versus natural game. Direct openers versus indirect openers.
- Learn to Approach – The first one will always be the hardest, so get it over with as soon as you can. A lot of guys wait a long time before they grow the balls to get out there and actually do it (it took me over three months to do my first approach). Right now, unless you’re working with a coach, most of your approaches will not go well. That’s fine and expected. Get used to the awkwardness. Learn that it’s not such a big deal.
- Figure Out What Works for You and What Doesn’t – Everyone responds to different pick up and seduction material differently. I personally gravitated towards natural game and David DeAngelo’s material. I mostly went out at night. I have friends who gravitated towards using pick up lines and became very good. I know guys who did mostly day time stuff and were very direct. Chances are, you’re going to suck at almost everything right now, so figure out what FEELS MOST COMFORTABLE. Figure out what material and theory makes you say, “I could do this for the next few years and enjoy it.” Once you find that, stick with it.
- Seek Out Wingmen – Motivating yourself becomes 100 times easier if you can find like-minded guys in your area willing to go out with you. Wingmen are critical when you start out. Not only to help and learn from each other, but to push each other and keep each other motivated. Look into local men’s groups. If the group sucks (many do), then post on some message boards or look around Facebook.
Stage 2: Intermediate
Experience: Able to approach and hook most women they talk to. Can consistently get phone numbers when going out. Has a solid understanding of basic pick up theory. Has been going out for a few months. Has probably gotten slept with a few women, although it’s very inconsistent and feels “lucky.” Most importantly, understands what works for him and is able to focus on that.
Purpose: To improve their results from inconsistent to consistent.
Guys in the intermediate stage can often be deceiving and to an untrained eye often appear better than they actually are. They can approach and hook many women, often in a very charming and exciting manner. To most civilians and newbies this looks very impressive. Unfortunately, they don’t get laid often and when they do, it’s usually because the girl is very easy and/or she puts in most of the effort escalating things. A lot of intermediate guys start believing they’re better than they are as well. These are always the guys you’ll see boasting to their friends about this girl or that girl. There’s a saying where I come from: “The smallest dog barks the loudest.” Advanced guys don’t have to brag because they live it. Intermediate guys will brag about anything and everything because they’re compensating. Newbies are too clueless to brag about anything.
Most “normal” single guys will fall into this category. Most “normal” guys have 1-2 things going for them, are a little funny, and get excited whenever they get a phone number. But most “normal” guys don’t really date a lot of women, and most “normal” guys definitely don’t have much control over which women they end up dating.
Intermediate guy’s worst enemy is lack of persistence. His lack of persistence comes from the fact that he’s still somewhat sexually inexperienced and he hasn’t developed much emotional resilience to the unforgiving ups and downs of chasing women. Intermediate guys often complain of their mood. They also often pull out way too soon congratulating themselves that they got a phone number or email address, yet not having the balls or persistence to take things sexual and further even though they probably could.
Intermediate guys have the fundamentals under their belt and have a good understanding of what works with their personality and purpose. Now it’s just a matter of honing that into results on a consistent basis.
- Developing Emotional Resilience – Or what is referred to in psychology as an “internal locus of evaluation.” This often referred to in self-help as “state control.” But basically the idea is that responses you receive from women vary widely, from amazingly awesome (“OMG, she loves me!”) to abysmal (“OMG, she told me to fuck off and die!”). Early on, most guys let their emotions become determined by these responses and therefore they become mood-based players. When they feel great, they do great. When they feel like crap, they do poorly. There’s no short answer for this outside of experience, and a very particular type of experience. Guys must learn to detach the reactions they get from women from their ego and their self-esteem. The most distinguishing feature of a man who is amazing with women, is that he’s able to separate his identity from the way women react to him. This takes a lot of emotional awareness as well as confidence.Unfortunately though, the only long-term cure for this is sexual experience and many positive reference experiences. How long it will take a guy to develop this will depend on two things: his past experiences with women, including his mother — didn’t think I’d get all Freud on you, did you? — and his determination and will-power. A lack in either department will create one of those moody and drama-queen wannabe ladies’ men that probably all of us have met at one point or another.
- Master Sexual Escalation – It’s actually pretty surprising how many guys get stuck at this. Again, because it’s so easy to be perceived as “good” without actually having sex with women and because it’s so easy to receive validation from women (more on that later) without having sex, many complacent guys never put in the effort to succumb to the vast amount of awkward moments mastering that sexual escalation demands. But if you put a gun to my head and said, “what’s the one thing I can learn that will get me the most women the most the quickest,” it’d be sexual escalation. If you went out and just escalated like a pervert on every woman you met, you’d get slapped a lot, you’d get rejected a lot, but you’d get laid a lot as well. It wouldn’t be pretty, but hey, if that’s what you’re looking for, there you go.Sexual escalation is a complicated topic because of the sexual anxiety that most guys possess to varying degrees. The process of mastering this is often more complicated than simply “touch X, then touch Y, then say Z,” although once mastered, that’s what it looks like. It’s also important to understand the basics of same night lays, primarily the importance of logistics.
- Understand Basic Inner Game – It was a fad for a couple years recently that “inner game is the only game.” Unfortunately, I think this has proved to be both untrue and and impractical approach to improving with women. The simple truth is that I’ve personally met too many complete headcases and nut-jobs who were amazing with women for it to be true.But it still holds that inner game is very important to understand and that by the time a guy has reached the Intermediate Stage, a lot of his pesky outer sticking points actually have a deep-seated internal cause.Basic concepts to understand are the ideas of emotional state, seeking validation, being non-reactive, positive thinking, self esteem and various other topics. Honestly, the vast majority of information in the dating advice industry on inner game has simply been ripped off from Tony Robbins, Eckhart Tolle and other self help gurus, so you may even be better off going straight to the source.
- Become Great in Bed – Towards the end of the intermediate stage, you should be sleeping with women with some sort of regularity. And once you start getting laid regularly, the rush of simple sex recedes enough to need to become a good lover in bed. Hell, don’t be a good lover, be a phenomenal one. The benefits of a great sex life and sexual confidence bleed over to all of your interactions big-time. Knowing you can make a girl cum in three different places will remove a lot of your anxiety when it comes time to make a move. Also, not to mention that once you learn how to be every girl’s best lover, they’ll NEVER stop coming back to you (no pun intended). Easiest way to keep high quality women around in your life is to give them orgasms. It’s that simple.
Stage 3: Advanced
Experience: Dates and sleeps with women with some consistency. Almost always has sexual options. Has had and maintained multiple casual relationships. Has 15-30 lays under his belt. Is versatile in that he can meet and seduce women in many situations (day and night) and in various ways (direct and indirect). Able to travel to a different city or country and fares a solid chance of picking up a woman there in a short amount of time.
Purpose: To come to terms with the emotional realities of their social and sex life.
Advanced guys are what were cheesily referred to as “Master Pick Up Artists” by that whole scene years ago. They get laid. They usually get laid a lot. And when they talk about it, it’s immediately apparent that it’s true. They’ve slept with and dated girls in a wide enough variety of circumstances that they can formulate some pretty deep thinking about the topic and about their own success.
If a guy didn’t check out at some point in the previous stages (most do), he’ll almost always check out of the whole dating advice, learning pick up shebang here. Sometimes they’ll stick around to help others, sometimes they’ll stick around and try to make a profession out of it.
The easiest way to explain the plight of the advanced guy is to sum it up like this: self image and identity always lag behind how we actually are. Fat people who lose 80 pounds usually still perceive themselves as fat for years afterward. Well, guys who all the sudden rack up 35 lays and a few girlfriends over two years still feel themselves to be that nerdy loser who couldn’t get a kiss if his life depended on it. This causes some serious internal dissonance and often erupts in behavior that’s self-sabotaging, misogynistic, or painfully over-compensating.
Their emotional self or what’s sometimes referred to as “core confidence” hasn’t caught up to their outer results. And this actually causes a number of problems.
The biggest problem is that most guys who reach this stage do so because they’re driven by something deep down. Often it’s some sort of emotional issue, past trauma, or baggage from their life. Learning to get this good with women — and let’s be honest, learning how to go out and bang 100 women is not a reasonable use of anyone’s time by most of the world’s standards — it usually comes from some sort of emotional quirk.
Advanced guys are forced to face this quirk eventually. I can tell you from experience, the rush and the validation from banging more women eventually runs out. Eventually you hit a point where sleeping with number 87 makes you feel absolutely NO different than you felt after 86. They become interchangeable faces and ironically, might as well all be the same vagina for all you care. Once this happens, once the need for validation and affection runs its course, you’re faced to confront what’s actually driving you in your sexual deviance. What was REALLY driving you to expend all of this time, effort on your relationships with women?
Most guys realize that they’ve been compensating for some sort of lack of masculinity. Some realize that they have issues with mom. Some realize that they’ve been exacting emotional revenge for the bitch that cheated on them and dumped them. Some of these guys have some sort of neuroses or compulsive disorder. Some are actually sex addicts (seriously).
Either way, the next step is to confront this original impetus and resolve it. If you’re the domineering and compensating short guy, it’s time to chill out and realize that you don’t have to prove yourself anymore. If you have some strange obsession with female attention because of your family life, it’s time to let it go. If you have some neurosis that causes you to constantly seek validation from people, then you need to come to terms with that.
In my experience, this can’t really be forced. Some guys figure it out pretty quickly and confront it. Some guys need to sleep with 50 girls to get their fill before they start realizing that they need to chill out. Some guys need to go nuts for years and bang hundreds or more and have dozens and dozens of relationships blow up in their face before they finally confront. It’s a different pace for everyone, and unfortunately, I’ve met a number of guys who seem perpetually stuck here indefinitely (they’re fucking amazing at meeting women though).
- Relationship Management – Learning how to juggle multiple women, build a rotation and use your dating life as a way to screen for deep connections and qualities you want in a girlfriend or wife. Learning to open up and become intimate with a girlfriend. Here’s a dirty little secret nobody talks about: having a happy and healthy long-term relationship will teach you more about women and help your confidence more than 1,000 cold approaches and 50 lays with strangers. By its very nature, a long-term relationship forces you to open up and come to terms with yourself emotionally. Which brings me to really the only major goal for the advanced guy…
- Master Your Emotions as a Man – Again, this is so much easier said than done. Most guys I run into are completely oblivious to their emotions, much less in control of them. Like I said, a long-term girlfriend, if you’ve never had one, will do wonders for this. Therapy can also help a lot if you have some deep-seated problems that you struggle with.Once you open up emotionally, the whole “game” takes on a completely different view. I fucking hate this cliche, but it really is like “Seeing the Matrix.” Words cease to matter. You only see intentions and emotions. You realize anything you say or do only matters as much as the emotion it creates within her and within yourself. Everything you say and do is designed to play with this emotional string that vibrates between you and her. You begin to have entire emotional conversations with women with depth and meaning without actually talking about anything substantive. You are able to read people and situations better than they can read themselves, and you begin to connect with women on a completely new level.As Lester Freeman said at the end of American Beauty, “You probably don’t know what I’m talking about right now, but hopefully one day you will.”What I’m talking about is complete and utter emotional control of all of your interactions with women. No more nervousness, no more neediness, manipulation or jealousy… just a pure and innocent appreciation for the emotional joy a woman can bring your life simply by her presence and nothing more.But first one must develop a sensitivity, both to your own emotions and to other people’s.I think it’s much easier to rather than describe what mastering this looks like, what NOT mastering it looks like. If you DON’T master your emotions and the motivations that brought you to this place, this is what you can look forward to: a constant fixation on sex and women’s reactions to you, an addiction to validation from women (and men), a constant and nagging feeling of “not enough” that will persist and never go away, an unhealthy lifestyle that will grow old while your friends grow up, and an inability to ever maintain a relationship of any significant satisfaction. Your social life will be less about enjoyment and more about achievement. Friends and lovers turn into numbers and statistics. Every conversation you have will simply be a ladder rung to get to your next destination and victory… one that you will celebrate by yourself in your own mind.
Stage 4: Integrated
Experience: Has more than his share of notches on his bedpost (probably at least 50-100). Has experienced the ecstasies of serious multi-year relationships, the excitement of one night stands, and appreciates them both. He’s integrated his love and pursuit of women with his emotional desires. He’s more or less impervious to rejection as he sees it as women screening themselves out of his life. He’s experienced a wide variety of women of all ages, backgrounds, cultures and personalities and is pretty clear on what he enjoys and likes.
Purpose: To organize his lifestyle as best possible to efficiently screen for the women who will make him happiest.
Eventually you come to a point where the behavior you’ve spent so long studying and practicing is simply integrated into your being. You may still push yourself here and there, but women come through your life fairly naturally and you know how to capitalize on opportunities.
As an integrated man, you no longer have a pressing emotional need driving your seduction. An integrated man is cool with one night stands, but he’s not necessarily looking for them. He’s also cool with a long-term monogamous relationship, but he’s not necessarily looking for that either. He’s open to everything yet seeking nothing. His actions are based upon what he wants, not what the each woman he meets wants.
The clear cut sign that you’ve made it to this phase is that you regularly turn down women that you’re pretty confident you could sleep with if you wanted to. In fact, you probably turn down five to ten women for each one you end up with. The reasons can vary widely, anything from looks to personality, to a lack of emotional interest, to logistical issues. You’ve gone from trying to be chosen to the one doing the choosing. You no longer seek to meet women’s standards but seek women who meet your own. Whereas a newbie will walk into a bar and be grateful to have ANY girl in it, the integrated man will often walk into a bar, talk to the few he finds physically attractive and find he has no interest in any of them.
The crux of the matter is that you no longer receive validation from sex or women’s attention, therefore you’re free to exercise 100% command and control of your interactions and which women you allow into your life.
The problem for the Integrated Man is finding a woman who meets his ridiculously high (and hard-earned) standards. He’s done everything and slept with everyone. He knows what he likes and sets about to get it.
The name of the game changes from effort (as a newbie or intermediate) to effort versus reward. An integrated man isn’t willing to spend his valuable time chasing a woman who he’s fairly sure he won’t enjoy his time with that much.
Since effort/reward is the new name of the game, the goal has changed from persistence to efficiency. The integrated man invites rejection and experiences it regularly. Everything is a screening process, and everything he does and lives is designed for the qualities he’s looking for in women. He loves artsy girls? He schedules his life around concerts and gallery showings and immediately screens for women with his similar interests. If he’s looking for intelligent women, he’ll purposely speak very rationally and logically about in-depth topics to weed out the ditzes and party girls.
This is far easier said than done and is a constantly ongoing process. This isn’t to say that the integrated man has flawless game… he usually hasn’t mastered everything. But he’s experienced to the point where he knows his strengths and weaknesses and knows how to use what he’s got to get what he wants.
Another progression to look at is newbies usually focus on meeting women during the day because of it’s ease and how casual it is. Intermediate guys and advanced guys usually focus on bars and clubs because it’s the most challenging, makes you improve the fastest and rewards you with sex the quickest and in exciting fashion.
Integrated men focus on lifestyle and social circle. They realize that the odds of meeting a woman who meets their criteria in a random bar is fairly low and that the effort required for even a one night stand with most women no longer seems worth the meager amount of excitement (and mediocre sex).
He realizes that the most significant relationships one can have — casual or not — are borne out of similar interests and social connections, and therefore he spends his time positioning his lifestyle in such a way that it automatically attracts the appropriate women into his life. Whether this is starting a band, learning photography, becoming a teacher, or whatever. They then use their strong pick up skills to convert these high quality women with a startling consistency. By this stage, integrated men have usually developed their lifestyle to a high enough point that it makes them incredibly attractive in their own right.
They also understand that the constant approach-a-thon of classic pick up is a hamster wheel — designed only to train your muscles, not to actually get you to a real destination. Fulfillment comes from emotional connections and shared experience, not accomplishments and notches birthed from hundreds of nights out at the club.
If you liked this article, then I think you’ll like my book Models: A Comprehensive Guide to Attracting Women. It’s a 360-page brain dump of everything I know about women and attraction based on recent psychological research and my plethora of experiences with women of all cultures. It formulates a model of seduction based on emotions rather than techniques, lines or games and emphasizes personal expression over misdirection. You can check out three free excerpts here.