Back on track (sort of)

It has been more than two months since I last published a post, and while the reason behind that is somewhat related to the virus, as you certainly were imagining already, it is not linked to the effect that virus has had on the marketplace.

Fact is, back in September 2019, I decided to start this blog to share what I have learnt so far in my ongoing journey in terms of self-improvement first, and to increase success with women then.

This blog was never intended to share detailed reports of my adventures with the opposite sex, mainly because “field reports” and “lay reports” are formats I’m not particularly interested in. Sure, I wrote detailed accounts of my Routine Circle Game 2019, but those were simply practical examples of previously explained concepts, for instance the Law of Equilibrium of Interests, the 1-2-3 Method , etc.

Rather, this blog was intended to share knowledge, and to share knowledge a functioning dating marketplace is not needed (but then again, does anyone really think that the pre-virus dating marketplace was “functioning”? Maybe just less broken).

As you have surely picked up if you have read some of my posts, my mind is highly analytical. If I develop an interest in something, I tend to delve extremely thoroughly into it, and then I condense the knowledge I’ve gathered into an actionable format. The entire section of Fundamentals, made of 21 posts and with this page acting both as summary and as functioning index, is a prime example of this. You follow the guidelines provided there, you put in the required effort, and your Fundamentals will significantly improve. There is no getting away from it.

Another thing which I keep on doing is to constantly pick-up and process the patterns and trends I see in everything going on around me. The idea is simple here, even if a wide spectrum of people tend to react pretty negatively to this approach once it is clearly spelled out in a simple way like this: you notice/experience something, you make an initial assumption on its meaning, you verify your assumption through repeated experiences, you then crystallise the meaning of that something (the problem most guys face in life is wanting to assign a meaning of their choice to certain things, rather than accept them for what they really are, since those guys are fundamentally weak and can’t face reality for what it is).

Pretty much the entire Game section contains the summary, in terms of both breakdown and associated meaning, of the patterns and trends I noticed in the different aspects related to dealing with women. Those posts represent the structure through which I see the world around me when it comes to girls, and one of the advantages of having this blog is both organising those thoughts into a clear framework which makes that knowledge even clearer, while at the same time clearing my head by offloading all that information somewhere, rather than keeping it in “draft” format in my head as I’ve done for many years.

What I share in the series on Indicators of Attraction (IOAs, Diva IOAs, Bitchy IOAs, IODs) represents the first step of my screening mechanism, since rejection sucks and I want to have as much as possible the guarantee of a pleasant interaction before approaching a girl. What I share in the post Types of girls represents the second and most important part of my screening mechanism, since I have zero willingness to have anything to do with entitled and spoiled empty shells, or with bitter and aggressive forth-wave feminists, and as such I screen ruthlessly for sweetness and grace. Etc. Going through my screening mechanism is pretty much where we left back in March, and there are still a few posts for me to write to complete the conversation on Game, ranging from my daygame opener to my texting routine, from my date model to my home escalation best practices, etc. Problem is though, I need to take a break first, since I’m exhausted.

Hold on a second, did you not just take a two-month break from this blog?

Yes you’re right, two months of break from this blog, but that doesn’t mean I was resting. And since every now and then it’s good to step back and put the present moment into the wider picture, let’s rewind the clock by a year or so and let’s see how things have unfolded.

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At the end of March 2019, I had just come back from my second trip to Russia for the year. That was still the period in which I had mentally written off the Western dating scene, since it seemed too dysfunctioning to me, and I was having nowhere near the amount of action I wished for in the city where I lived.

I had the first Russian trip of the year in February, and the second one in March. Eight days per trip, each trip in a secondary city not too far away from Moscow by plane. In each city I had the usual solid streak of dates, I met several sweet and lovely girls, I escalated things with some of them, and in the end I slept with one girl per city. Looking back, one of those two girls I have fond memories of, the other one not at all.

During the second trip though, something unexpected happened: I became fed up of those travels. The entire thing started to feel like routine, mainly because I was following always the same Process with each girl, sending the same messages online, then the same messages via text, then saying the same things at each first date, then again the same things at each second date, then going for the escalation always in the same way, etc. Also, it takes an inordinate amount of energy to arrange the maximum number of dates per day, taking multiple variables into account and also making sure to allow for a possible successful escalation when you are at date two or three. Then, of all the many many girls I met via Tinder during all my trips, I only felt a genuine connection with two of them, and this means that with the rest you need to force a connection and you need to make an effort to show some enthusiasm which is not there. Moving on, Russian girls are not easy at all, quite the opposite, and this once again means effort and headache along the way, while fighting against a time constraint since you are there only a certain number of days. Finally, I had had enough of the local traditions and of the Soviet architecture.

I concluded that those trips were not sustainable, and they were an escape from reality really. Hence, I needed to redirect my efforts to where I live. Both online game and nightgame were clearly a no-go, since based on my previous experience they were a complete waste of my time and of my patience, and what was left was daygame.

Problem is, daygame is tough. To explain things more clearly, daygame is though once you actually do it, rather than fantasise of doing it. And not only that: rejection sucks.

I wasn’t in any rush of hitting the streets and amassing a huge amount of rejections in a short amount of time, so I had an idea. Since I’m able to generate some attention pretty much everywhere I go, I decided to take a slow-burning approach and hit on the girls I was meeting fairly regularly in the places I was routinely going to. That was mainly the gym, where both the girls working there and the girls training there were possible candidates for my approaches, plus the organic shop and the express supermarket next to my apartment, where most of the staff was made of young girls. I decided to call this idea of meeting girls in the places I regularly frequented “Routine Circle Game,” and the way that felt right to me in order to approach girls in those environments, in terms of both maximising my chances and also to protect my longer term reputation there (since I was going to be a regular even after all those escalations, whether they were successful or not) was the procedure which I then called “1-2-3 Method.”

It took me roughly three months to go through all the leads I was interested in (see here), and that’s when I was reminded of an irritating fact: behind most of those smiles, behind most of that giggling and blushing, behind most of those Indicators of Attraction, behind all that there were girls who were attracted but taken, and with no intention whatsoever of doing anything sexual with me. Sure, had I met the very same girls while we were both somewhere on holiday, things could have taken a completely different course, because as you surely know already, certain things “just happen.” But in the provincial European city where those girls were born and raised, where they had all their friends, a reputation to watch out for, etc… well in those circumstances certain things just don’t happen.

For a pure coincidence, the very first girl I escalated things with was also the only one who was single, and we saw each other all summer. In the meantime I kept escalating things with the other girls in my Routine Circle, plus a limited number of pure cold approaches and situational approaches. That girl was the main girl for the summer, and she ended up with her heart broken at the end of August, due to my long-standing tendency of showing much less enthusiasm and much less interest than those poor girls would like me to show. In all fairness, I never behaved like a boyfriend with her, nor did I ever give her any false hope, but in my experience that false hope comes from within. What I mean is that, at the beginning, the girl assumes you care about her as much as she would like you to. Only then does she acknowledge that a wide discrepancy between her assumption and the reality exists indeed, and since she realises that this discrepancy is not going to correct itself, that’s when she starts to look sad and hurt, and she finally tells you “we need to talk.”

I must confess that it was not good bumping into each other at the gym afterwards, since she looked devastated. And if on one side I really wish for girls not to be so hurt as a result of my actions, or rather as a result of my lack of action (i.e. commitment), on the other side the very fact that girls end up hurt like that starts to be highly irritating to me: is it possible that there is no middle ground, meaning that either you meet a slut who wants to fuck a complete stranger once and only once, before going back to her life of a candid girl who is completely devoted to her clueless Nice Guy, or at the opposite side of the spectrum you meet a lovely sweet girl with a crush on you who would like you take care of her and be her loyal boyfriend?? How about we spend say two weeks together, we enjoy the lightness of life and we have some cheerful fun both in and outside the bedroom, and then we both move on with our lives, without anyone ending up being hurt, and without anyone expecting anything more than that from the other person?? Is that really too much to ask??

Pretty much around that time I decided to launch this blog, and it was a fantastic experience indeed. Every single free moment from mid-September to mid-January was devoted to writing posts for the blog, and it was just great for the two reasons that I already mentioned: first off, that gave me the opportunity to condense my knowledge into an organised format, and when you write a post on something you end up elaborating the concept much more clearly and much more comprehensively compared to when that very same concept is in draft status somewhere within your head; then, that process also allowed me to offload all that disorganised “draft” knowledge and learnings off my head. That was an excellent combination indeed, and I proceeded at full steam for four straight months. I used to keep thinking about the posts and what I was going to write while I was driving to work in the morning, and as soon as I arrived at my desk I would then proceed to write down some quick notes of everything I had thought during the commuting; even at the gym, I could not stop thinking about what I was going to write next, how I was going to break down the concepts I wanted to share, and after asking for a blank piece of paper enough times at the reception, I then started to bring a piece of paper with me just so that I could write down some quite notes between sets; very often I was feeling hungry in the middle of the afternoon, only to go back into the kitchen and realise that I had not eaten half of the things that I had prepared for lunch, just because I rushed back at the iMac to keep on writing whatever I had in progress at the time. Those months were fantastic, and by working on a personal project you really care about, you get a feeling of accomplishment which neither success in corporate life nor success with girls can match (YMMV).

As an added plus, around October I was contacted via text by a girl I had encountered a few months prior. When we first met the feeling was good between us, but in the end nothing had happened for a series of circumstances. This time around we had some much more pleasant time together, and she was around until the very beginning of this year. We didn’t see each other very much in those few months, and the situation was ideal to me because it gave me the opportunity to progress with my personal project without too many distractions, while at the same time having a girl available for when I felt like it. Those kinds of arrangements are not sustainable on the girl’s side for the reasons we discussed just before, and she started to get colder and colder towards me. In the end she hinted at something fairly serious, and when I did not hint back at her, she told me we needed to talk while looking very sad. Same old basically.

On my side I had bigger fish to fry. After those four months of maximum effort with the blog, I started to feel tired and eager for a change. But at the same time, I hate leaving things unfinished, and I was nowhere near finished with what I was planning to write. Not only that, but also I was struggling in my new gym because it had a few peculiarities which made it a difficult place where to use the 1-2-3 Method, and that’s when I had the idea of using an escalating tease during the very first conversation with the girl, in order to speed up things further and basically switch from the 1-2-3 to the 1-3 Method. Finally, some other things were taking a hell of a lot of my time.

I had decided to make a final effort and kick google out of my life once and for all, at least in terms of the services I use in first person. The gmail email address had already gone, the search engine and the browser as well, it was then time to get rid of the Android phone. I proceeded to buy my first iPhone, and boy was that a major let down. For some reason I was thinking that the iPhone would be as outstanding when it comes to phones as the iMac is when it comes to computers, but I had to take that thought back pretty quickly. I ended up labelling iOS as a “patronising piece of crap,” and I had to allocate the free time of an entire week to set up the phone is a more reasonable and less patronising way, to find some appropriate apps even for basic things like the timer and the alarm clock (the system apps provided by Apple are pretty much shit), and then to set-up more advanced apps like DNSCloak, getting rid of the notch, etc. When you are already short of time in your life, those kinds of interruptions are not really what you need. But then again, I like things to be of a certain standard if I am to use them on a regular basis, I strongly reject the approach most people adopt of settling for subpar products or services (as a matter of fact most people are lazy and lack determination), and the out-of-the-box iPhone was just too shit for me to use it like that.

While I was at it, I decided to complete another project of mine that had been in the to-do list long enough, and I proceeded to enhance my online set-up in terms of both privacy and security. First things first I got rid of Safari and proceeded to install Firefox, because while Safari is not terrible in terms of privacy (still light years better than Chrome), it’s in no way comparable to a hardened Firefox. Problem was though, the stock interface of Firefox looked mediocre at best, and having the tabs above the URL bar was unacceptable to me. I started to investigate how to change that browser for the better, and that’s when I came across userChrome.css and userContent.css. I didn’t even know what CSS was until then, but after four days of complete dedication, and with the help of a great reddit community I discovered along the way, I had an initial version of my custom CSS to make Firefox like Safari. It then took roughly another three weeks to reach a mature version of that theme, and it has been my default browser ever since. In parallel, I also did a lot of research into password managers, firewalls to selectively block Internet connections, VPNs, extension to harden Firefox, browser fingerprinting, etc. That also took a meaningful amount of effort and dedication, but in the end I had a solid set-up I am very much happy with.

Once again, I used my preferred approach for tackling a topic of interest: for a certain amount of time, you focus pretty much only on that specific thing, you dig extremely thoroughly into it, then you translate all that knowledge into an actionable format, and finally you set up a proper configuration which will deliver fantastic results over an extended period of time, and which will require minimum maintenance effort. The “topic of interest” can be building muscle, eating well, staying private online, meeting girls, etc, and the “proper configuration” can be an effective workout routine, a sound diet plan, a solid set of best practices to enhance your privacy and security online, a field-tested system for getting girls which works well for you, etc. And after you have gone through this process for most of whatever it is that interests you in life, or for most of whatever it is which is either directly or indirectly part of your life, then you will be light years ahead compared to the mediocre people around you (seriously, look around you and notice how many mediocre people there are in this world: some keep saying that they are going to join the gym next month, some keep eating takeaway crap because cooking dinner from scratch is too much effort, some are happy to live is a mass-surveillance world because they allegedly have nothing to hide [1], some go around screaming AWALT, etc).

Long story short, in February I spent most of my free time doing things other than what was on the agenda for the month, which was wrapping up the conversation on what I was planning to share through this blog. Fact is, this blog was never intended to be a life diary where to share my experiences of the week or my thoughts of the day, nor was it ever intended to be a platform where to pointlessly pontificate on the status of the Western dating scene. Rather, this blog is a platform to share knowledge and actionable pieces of advice. And considering all that, it was time to wrap up the project and move on onto other things. One of those other things being, scaling down on my entitlement and going all-in for some time on an activity which I’m not particularly attracted to: daygame cold-approaching. The inherent problems with Routine Circle Game are the slow turnover of girls, and the big amount of time needed to properly escalate things with a specific girl (assuming you want to be socially calibrated about it). Eventually you will run out of leads in your Routine Circle, and you will need to look for an alternative which gives you a higher turnover of girls (see here for the comparison between different types of Game). Daygame cold approaching is such an alternative, but it’s thought and not exactly pleasant in my book.

After spending the entire February taking care of other things, and mainly focusing my writing efforts on the Off-Topic section of the blog, I gave myself a single extra month to write down everything I had to say, and then go back into the field. That would have meant a three-month break between the end of my last mini-relationship at the beginning of January, and my return on the field at the beginning of April. I had three girls lined up at the new gym who were ready to be asked out after successfully going through the 1-2-3 Method (one of them was the receptionist), but they all would have to wait since I wanted no interruptions at all in March.

The plan was good, but then something unexpected happened. The virus transformed itself into a big thing, and as a result of that some of the long-standing nonsense started to be removed from the highly inflated financial markets. Back in 2017, I decided that the situation had become too bubbly and too irrational for my liking, and after a few years of waiting, the markets seemed close to being brought back to earth. I was definitely rusty on financial analysis and investing, since back then I had decided to completely focus on other things while waiting for that nonsense to correct itself, and even if it surely would have taken some time for the markets to properly correct themselves (you need to allow for a few dead cat bounces along the way), I was not comfortable being that rusty while entering what could have been a golden opportunity. Fact is, you are not going to pick the bottom anyway, so when you think that you are getting enough for your money, you pull the trigger and buy, independently of where you think the market is going next. And if you really want to be an investor, rather than a dreamy speculator, you need to put in a significant amount of effort to make sure you become fully comfortable with accounting, credit risk analysis, business evaluation etc. That’s tough, but that’s only half the battle. The other half, which is possibly even more difficult, is making sure you develop the right mindset about the entire thing – and then you live by this mindset. This latter concept may sound simple, but trust me it’s not. The entire system is designed to make you accept as true such nonsense as the Efficient Market Hypothesis and all the herd mentality which goes with it, and pretty much everywhere you look (TV, newspapers, websites, etc) there are inputs designed to make you act rather than think.

Back in the day I had done a lot of work on my journey to become proficient at investing, I had translated all that into an actionable format (as you could have imagined), and it was now a matter of going once again through all that condensed knowledge, become once again fully familiar with all the technical concepts, be reminded of the common mental pitfalls, look for leads and finally analyse them. Side note: the process of investing is fairly similar to the one of getting girls if you think about it, possible even more rewarding because if you do things right you can resign and stop wasting your time in an office five days a week; also, investing has a big advantage compared to getting girls: there is no such thing as a rejection.

Hence, at the beginning of March I decided to put the blog on hold. Also because it would have been silly thinking that was happening around the world (the lockdown just to be clear) would not come to the country where I live as well, meaning that the return to the field would have been delayed anyway. Hence I completed the series on Indicators of Attraction, since those posts were work-in-progress already, and then for two months straight I had a period of maximum effort and extreme productivity in terms of financial analysis and business evaluation. Aggressively going through leads and pushing the most promising ones through the more detailed stages of the process. Those two months were easily the most productive months I had since I finished the university ten years ago, mainly because distractions are extremely low during a lockdown, and I truly enjoy those topics (also, let’s remember that the end result of that process may be the way to freedom). Problem is that after two months of that maximum effort and that extreme productivity (compare that to the hordes of people who spent that precious time being bored at home) I started to feel tired. Damn tired.

Two weeks ago my productivity took a hit, and I distinctly noticed how I had lost some of the aggressiveness in terms of hunting for leads and then analysing them. Also, I didn’t fancy lifting weights in my lounge anymore (I had bought a dumbbell kit just before the lockdown) and that on its own is an indication that something is wrong. This week productivity hit rock bottom, and I decided it was time to take a break from those financial activities. I completed the last evaluation I had ongoing, and I decided to put that on hold. Also because, the correction itself was fairly short-lived, and the three forces which have ruled the markets in the last ten years (stupidity, naivety and greediness, in no particular order) were back at full steam. If anything, considering the health of the underlying real-world economy, the markets are even more mis-priced as of now than what they were back in January – and they were highly mis-priced back then.

Social activities are out of question right now (even if the average person is too dumb and too irresponsible to understand that not much has changed as of now compared to one or two months ago, and as a consequence the number of masks I see when out and about keeps decreasing by the day) so I decided to restart my work on the blog.

When I started writing this post, yesterday, I was feeling pretty much a zombie, since all that uninterrupted effort with the financial work had really taken a hit on me. But quite surprisingly, after only two days of focusing on much lighter things, I feel fresh as a rose once again. On top of that, the rough price targets for the companies I’m interested in have been set already, it’s just a matter of waiting right now, and that means that the work on the blog can resume at full steam!

Notes:
[1] Me as well have nothing to hide, but at the same time there is nothing I want to share, even in the form of anonymised profiles.

The Essentials:
• Fundamentals
Game