Understanding women: before online dating

I grew up in a very traditional and loving family, and since when I was a little kid I was taught to follow the rules and behave respectfully towards others, and I was also urged to study hard, get high grades at school, and do sport. Long story short, I was raised as a typical Nice Guy, and if on one side the happy ending of the journey was never explicity mentioned, on the other side it was always implied nevertheless: you will graduate with very high grades (this part happened) so that you will find a very good job (this happened as well), and you will meet a caring woman who will become your loving wife and with whom you will start a family and live happily ever after. Too bad that by the time I finished the university and got a job, that sort of mindset on marriage and family was outdated by at least 20 years…

Up to until the end of middle school (14 years old give or take) I was your classical sweet and respectful boy, and I remember rejecting quite a lot of interested girls in those years because I was extremely shy and felt overwhelmed by their attention (funny how this perspective became useful later on in my adult life to better understand the way some girls were behaving towards me).

But considering that, since when I was a little kid, my parents helped me to overcome my shyness by not believing the excuses I was making for instance when I was too afraid to go play a match or too afraid to go out with other kids, then little by little I started building confidence by being forced to face my fear and overcoming them one at the time. And here the key takeaway is that confidence is something that you build through life experiences and achievements, not by reading a book while hiding in your house.

During secondary school I grew out of the Nice Guy behaviour, and I started naturally acting in what I now know is referred to as “cocky-funny”, but I was still completely clueless on what to do with the girls I really liked.

Compared to most people I had quite an early awakening at age 17: a stunner in my social circle, who by the way had a boyfriend, had identified me to be her orbiter, and I was all too happy to comply. For roughly one year I “worked on her”: I was always trying to impress her, I was always available to her, I was always waiting for her to give me a signal of approval, etc. Most of the time I had the feeling I was getting closer and closer to her, maybe you know what I’m talking about: a little win today, another little win tomorrow, hoping for the final reward of us getting finally together. Too bad it just never goes that way. There were times during that one year when I felt confused, unable to understand why there seemed to be always an obstacle between me and her, always a reason why she could not concede herself to me… Sometimes I discussed all of this with my friends, but they were as clueless as I was, and their recommendation was always to try a different angle, a different strategy, to keep “working on her” basically. Long story short she finally split up, but to my shock she was not interested in having me as a boyfriend! Also, she had been rejecting my advances when she was in the relationship, but when the truth surfaced after the break-up, I discovered that she had been cheating regularly on her boyfriend with the so-called “bad boys”. Not with me, the caring and available friend, but with the bad boys. I took mental note of the entire experience, which was quite painful but at the same time also quite enlightening of female behaviour. And let’s just remember that these were the days before the Information Age, so what may seem obvious now was surely not that obvious to a young guy at a time when most people were still manually typing web addresses into their browser.

A couple of years later I had another revealing experience. One night in a disco I met a girl from a previous social circle with which I had lost contact. By that time I had become very aggressive with the girls I liked, so I took her away from her friends, we started dancing, and before you know it we were making out. At the end of the night she didn’t want to leave her friends to come with me, so I just took her number and we met again a few days later. Of all the girls I have met in my life, she has surely been the most skilful at playing the “hard-to-get” game, and actually I she was the only one who knew how to play it properly: always extremely feminine and sweet, never a hint of aloofness nor a haughty look, but at the same time always putting up an enormous amount of token resistance. And not only just before sex, but throughout the entire date. She clearly must have liked the feeling of being won over by a man.

I distinctly remember that the first thing she said when we met for the date was, “I thought you would come with your brother?”. In a sweet and innocent looking fashion, like a clueless creature who didn’t know what I really wanted. A Nice Guy would probably have said, “uhm…yeah sorry…I guess I was not clear enough…uhm…” and that would have dried her up completely, but by that time there were no Nice Guy traits left in me, so I just ignored her and kept plowing. She was a master of seduction: she would let me get closer, only to sweetly push me away a little bit; not discouraged by her innocent-looking “push”, I would start plowing more intensely than before, and she would actually let me get a bit closer to her still, only to proceed to sweetly push back a bit. Rinse and repeat, rinse and repeat, and after a few of those cycles for my part I was completely full of sexual desire and I felt on top of the world after successfully plowing through her continuous and calibrated resistance, and for her part I think she must have gotten a huge amount of mental pleasure by having a man winning her over little by little, by pushing through the her well-executed challenges. I’m pretty sure that today most 20-year-old girls have no idea whatsoever how to do something like that, because they tend to be too binary, too uncalibrated, too lifeless, too absorbed in their virtual world.

Long story short we ended up in her car and she seemed to have finally decided she was ready to have some action, but just before driving somewhere quite she told me, “wait here a second”. She got out of the car, and to my surprise I could hear her talking to her boyfriend (!) who apparently lived in a different city, wishing him goodnight with the sweetest and the loveliest voice. And I literally went like, “whoa!” – it never occurred to me she could have had a boyfriend, looking at how she had behaved towards me that night and the previous night at the disco. She came back in the car, and she drove to a quiet place she knew. Then she arranged a towel to cover the seat and we proceeded to have sex. Not the first time she was nonchalantly cheating on her boyfriend, as you can imagine. Another enlightening experience, and I took mental note once again.

I spent of most of my twenties in relationships, a total of three LTRs with fairly long breaks between them. Fact is, I’ve never been afraid of being alone and I’ve always operated on a “better single than with a meh girlfriend” basis. All of the three girls were fairly sough-after, and all of the three times I was the guy appearing out of the blue and taking the girl away from the guys (orbiters?) who were “working on her”. Funny how things change in life really. Overall I was doing quite well for myself back then, but there still were times when my behaviour was simply cringeworthy and I was making what I now know were rookie mistakes. Sure, I was fairly ahead of the curve compared to my friends, but I had still not fully understood the real female nature, and it was showing at critical moments.

For a series of circumstances, in summer 2017 I found myself newly single after a six-year relationship, exactly when I was also relocating to a different country. Up to that point I had never done any online searches on women, relationships and pick-up, I had never read a book on those subjects, I had never been on a forum to discuss those things, and I seem to remember that even in real life I had never talked about it with anyone (except briefly with my clueless friends during that experience when I was 17). Up to that point, it had always been trial and error with women for me.

I became aware that while I was in the six-year relationship there had been some technological advancements, aka online dating, so I downloaded a few dating apps and I started swiping. And I quickly realised that something was not quite right. (TO BE CONTINUED)

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Understanding women: after online dating
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