Learning the Game: Become a Student of Uncertainty
When I was fifteen years old, I met a man who claimed he could see into the future. I was on the rickety N24 bus, on my home from Roosevelt Field mall, when the man got my attention.
For a dollar he said he’d tell me about the girl I was going to marry. When I refused, he sighed, and said he’d tell me anyway. His eyes rolled to the back of his head as he went limp like he’d lost consciousness for a moment. Then, he popped erect, his eyes met mine, and he muttered, “Becky.”
I was intrigued. Leaning over, I’d hoped he’d elaborate. Seeing my sudden interest, the man fell back into his seat, and said, “I see more—but I can’t tell you unless you invest five dollars.”
I shook my head no.
“Don’t you want to know,” the man questioned, “What lies ahead for you? I can save you from years of heartbreak. Invest five dollars and I’ll tell you everything you need to know between now and Becky.”
Again, I shook my head no.
Had that man been telling the truth, and he could see the future, and could keep me from years of heartbreak, then it was the best five dollars I never spent.
Initially, I studied dating advice hoping it would fulfill the same promise as that future teller. I imagined that if I mastered the “skills” of dating that I would keep myself from experiencing the pitfalls of heartbreak and embarrassment as I dated my way to my future wife.
My initial expectations are similar to many of my students’. It’s completely normal to assume that learning dating advice will deliver you from pain and heartbreak, allowing you to fully enjoy your interactions with the opposite sex.
However, once I began enjoying some success applying dating advice, I realized my real goal wasn’t avoiding pain and heartache—instead, it was amassing experiences. Rather than simply expect women to react to my approach like automatons, I came to enjoy the varied responses I’d get when approaching.
Some women would love me, others hate me—but they all excited me. In fact, the unknown was what made approaching women fun. If walking up to women became like punching in the passcode to my garage door opener, it would have quickly lost its appeal.
Not knowing the future is what keeps things fun and exciting.
While I may shun fortunetellers, many don’t. Even if you’ve never shelled out five bucks to some wacko on the N24 bus, you may still have the attitude of wanting to see the future. If you have expectations like the ones I once had, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Oscar Wilde said it best when he quipped, “Experience is the name we give to our mistakes.” Indeed, you can study dating advice all you’d like, but the final exam isn’t multiple choice—it’s multiple girl. Only when you’re willing to embrace the randomness of dating can you achieve success in this area. Otherwise, you’re just a nerd with unrealistic expectations.
I’ve repeated the platitudes related to this idea so many times it pains my fingers to type them out again: enjoy the process; embrace your mistakes; have a sense of humor. Yet, no matter how many times I write it, advise it, or shout it, each day my inbox is riddled with emails asking about “this one girl.”
If you’re concerned about “that one girl,” your expectations are out of wack. Trying to micromanage a single situation with a single girl is an escapist strategy. You’re trying to escape reality by “being perfect.” Or, as one fortuneteller would say, you’re “trying to save yourself from years of heartbreak.”
You’d be much better off living in present reality, unfazed by the prospect of uncertainty and rejection. You’d do more for yourself in the long run if you applied what dating advice you’ve learned, yet were comfortable letting the chips fall where they may.
Though, as I type these words, I realize the futility of this article. Those who need to read it won’t and those who already “get it” will. Indeed, it’s often the advice we need most that we pay attention to least. Most guys Googling solutions to snare “that one girl” probably won’t even read this far. Understandable considering I’ve offered no concrete advice other than “be okay with making mistakes.”
Yet, if you can grasp that one concept, you can achieve success with women. Getting into dating advice to get “that one girl” is perfectly fine—it’s how most of us ended up here. Though, if your journey to improve with women remains about “that one girl” you’re going to stymie your progress.
There’s no other way to put it: keep chasing the one girl, keep trying to be perfect, keep trying to “control” the future, then you’re keeping yourself from ever achieving any real success. If, however, you heed the wisdom of Oscar Wilde, choosing experience over perfection, you’ll get there. It may take some time, but don’t worry: it’ll be a fun journey. Just don’t lose faith in the randomness and uncertainty.
Let the chips fall where they may.
>>>To Learn More From Rob, Check Out “The 4 Elements of Game” where he breaks down game into four simple adjustments.
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About Rob J. Rob J. is a writer and dating instructor in New York City. Themes that resonate in both his teaching and writing are masculinity, genuineness, rational self-interest, and general awesomeness.