I’M NO STRANGER to being a piece of shit. When I was younger, my emotional issues would distort my behavior so that instead of going after what I wanted, I would engineer situations in order to control outcomes – my emotions, far from being a road map to healthy living, were treated like obstacles that I had to dodge, or more often, flee from.
As you can imagine, this made my relationships disastrous.
Terrified of rejection and crippled by a lack of self-worth, I would avoid any scenario where I could get shot down, and by extension, have my toxic idea of myself validated. Instead, I would manipulate people, never speak my mind, and above all – never make a move.
And that was my biggest mistake.
Like most people, I believed that achieving what I wanted would change the way I felt about myself. That by getting the girl, I would finally be happy. But like anyone, this was never the case. The truth is that our happiness lies less in getting what we want, but more in how we go about getting it – our happiness lies in the emotions that we are feeding, when we flee or when we confront.
In dating, I call this making a move. And it lies at the heart of who you really are.
MAKING A MOVE
Everything you could possibly want from your dating life comes from making a move. It’s the first and last tool you’ll ever need.
But first, let’s define ‘making a move’:
Taking an action that makes you vulnerable in that it has an uncertain outcome.
To unpack that – it requires you to embrace the fact you don’t know what is going to happen, and it requires you to embrace vulnerability (read: discomfort, anxiety, fear) through exposing yourself.
And most of all, it requires that you actually do something.
A lot of dating advice centers on confidence or honesty as its central principle – but I’ve always felt these were outcomes of an action, an action that you know you need to take based on how you feel.
Making a move is a metric you feel; something that you can measure how much you are engaging with it, by how often you are exposing yourself to your fear and anxiety in relationships, rather than avoiding or trying to control them.
If you ever want to know if you’ve gone off-piste – just check in with your anxiety, and see if you’re heading towards it or running away from it.
That’s what making a move is; moving towards anxiety.
If you’re moving towards it, if you’re forcing yourself to make a move, you’re naturally going to move towards whatever outcome it is you desire (i.e sex, or a relationship).
Let’s break it down:
My shitty diagram. Yeah, whatever. The triangles indicate the escalation of each factor – progresisvely escalated through repeatedly making a move.
Note: I’m going to use the term relationship from here because it’s easier and interaction is lame as shit. But if you just want to ‘get laid’ or have short term partners, the exact same principles apply.
Making a move feeds into:
- The initiation of the relationship (through making you approach)
- The quality of the conversation (through making you expose yourself through connection and conversational risk, i.e humor)
- The sexuality of the relationship (by making you display your sexual intent, physically escalating, sexualising conversation)
- The relationship itself, by escalating it from nothing, to dating, to partner, to love, through the act of asking her out, making it serious, telling her that you love her, and all that Clinton card crap.
But where it gets even more fun is that not only does making a move feed into those outcomes, when you make a move in those areas, they naturally feed into one another.
- Approaching makes the relationship exist.
- The relationship existing means that the sexual and conversational element can exist.
- The conversational element improves the relationship and the sexual element. It allows you to connect, not just intellectually, but emotionally and in your humor. It allows you to develop banter and rapport, which become effortless chemistry; chemistry that naturally leads enjoyment. Emotionally exposed, you now know each other, feel trust and enjoy each other’s company. Gee, what’s gonna happen next?
- The sexual element improves the conversation and the relationship, by making you both more vulnerable with each other physically (and therefore emotionally), encouraging trust and of course, having a good time.
- And both of these, feeding off one another, improve the connection and the desire at the heart of the relationship, encouraging it to move forward from say, random acquaintances to lovers.
All from just making a move towards anxiety.
To give examples of the kind of things each step could look like:
These examples, although brief, demonstrate that no matter your goal, making a move naturally propels you there. If you want a girlfriend, making a move naturally screens for someone you feel connected to, have fun with, and are mutually attracted to. Likewise, if you just want a one night stand, it naturally screens for someone who is immediately sexually available and interested.
Instead of trying to be confident in order to get what you want, you stop avoiding your fear, and act in a way that is naturally honest to you¸ and naturally achieves your outcome.
It’s a simple metric of measuring how you’re actually interacting with your dating life. Am I making a move? Am I confronting my uncertainty (typically manifested as “does she like me?”, “will she like this?”)?
This is important because aside from it naturally and organically propelling you towards whatever outcome you desire, it also keeps you as close to authentic as you can be. You are literally deciding to do things, and doing them – not basing your actions off of whatever approval it is you want from people, or whatever outcome you want.
It stops you being a creep.
I call this losing your filter. The ‘fuck it’ moment, where doing and saying what it is you genuinely want to is more important to you than outcomes.
It will mean you get rejected more often, it will mean you’ll piss more people off, but it’ll also mean your relationships will become more honest, and you’ll develop a stronger identity that people will want to invest in, rather than you constantly investing in them.
But more importantly, the second you embrace the uncertainty of outcomes, is the second you stop trying to control and manipulate people to get what you want.
For lack of a better way to put this, that is, as Russain Yoda says, the Dark side. I used to act like this for years. It drove away people I cared about and made me miserable. And it all came from trying to control that uncertainty. “Does she like me?”, “will she like this?”- Those are its calling cards. Learn what it sounds like, what it feels like, and use it as a signpost to start making a move.
To close – the oldest story humans have is that of the archetypal hero – the one who ventures beyond the known and confronts the unknown. It’s the most vital lesson we have, and that’s why we’ve been telling it for millennia. Depart from what you think is safe, and confront the unknown.
In dating, this is everything.
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