20th May 2009 was to be my big day. This was when I’d decided to begin day game. I took the underground in to Covent Garden and my hands shook. My skin was clammy. It was a glorious day, and I was shitting myself because so much was at stake. In my mind this was my one chance, my Last Chance Saloon for happiness with women. If I couldn’t make Game work, I was fucked. And not in the good penis-invagina way. This is how it happened…
I’d just been sitting in a Caffè Nero re-reading the Mystery Method hardback that arrived from Amazon a week before. I was reading about new concepts to me such as survival and replication value, indirect openers, the three-second rule, and other such technical terms. My mind was reeling with the sheer amount of new information and the underlying world-view that states women are an abundant resource that you pro-actively go and hunt for. There was even a glossary of jargon where Mystery had put names on to commonly encountered situations. Things like:
“Approach Anxiety”—that gut-churning sense of dread deep in your stomach that you feel once the idea of talking to a new girl moves from idle possibility to immediate probability. “AA” and I were to become intimate bedfellows over the next few years.
I was definitely shitting myself. I stayed in the comfy sofa-chair much longer than I needed to as the little demons whispered in my ears, trying to give me reasons to give up and go home. Nonetheless, I finally roused myself and put on the figurative PUA Wizard hat. I began my walk through the market towards Neal Street, entering the bustle of a shopping afternoon. Several hot girls walked past and I did nothing. No way did I have the balls to open a moving target.
After twenty minutes with my hands in my pockets, beating myself up for not approaching, I tried another tack. Finding a less intimidating environment, I walked into a retro clothes shop. I really liked Japanese girls at this point, more so than any others. I’d also had this lingering belief that told me I should focus on Japanese girls because I speak Japanese and, thus, they’d be impressed, giving me an “in”. There was a Japanese girl browsing some trousers. Hmmm, I’ll need a prop… I picked up a shirt, took a deep breath, and walked over to her.
“Hey. Do you think this shirt suits me?”
She smiled and told me it looked nice.
I kept talking. My mind was blank, my heart pounded, and my hands seemed to shake. I was actually talking to a hot girl I just “opened”!
A few minutes of jibber-jabber dribbled out, and she was not running away. I did some clumsy touching by using her hand to draw a map of Kichijoji (a sub-region of Tokyo) when it turned out we both knew the area. I tried way too hard to build rapport. I was totally un-calibrated and asked her to go for coffee within two minutes. She politely refused. I ejected.
So I ended up with nothing, but I was so fucking happy! Totally stoked. I’d just approached a random girl and didn’t get destroyed.
Obviously, I had to find another retro shop, thinking if it had worked in one shop maybe it would in the next. I wandered into Rockit, another retro clothes place tucked in a cobbled back alley behind the market. Dusty Springfield’s voice lilted over the air as the speakers pushed out I Only Want to be With You. At a circular clothes rail by the back wall there was an okay-looking English girl rummaging through the German army coats. I blundered in clutching a hastily grabbed shirt and tried the same opening line. I got a polite answer, brief small talk, but she didn’t hook. No doubt I was sweating, shaking, and had my lips pulled back in a rictus grin. I probably terrified the poor girl. Whatever, I was on a roll!
I was really excited, adrenalin flushing my veins and distorting all sense of perspective. I was elated that I had spoken to two girls without traumatic incident. Hey, do you think I could approach a girl in a different type of shop? Come on Dixons, let’s see what you have! I saw an American girl looking at some cameras over the counter. I walked up from behind (always a no-no, but I was socially clueless at this point in my life). I tried to be casual.
“What you thinking of buying?”
She jumped, visibly shocked. Then she calmed down and replied, “Uh, that one.”
Total failure. At first she looked at me like I was a mugger and then as some low-value un-calibrated tool. And she was right, so I muttered an apology and departed. I shuffled out of Dixons and crossed the road, walking down towards Embankment and the river. A really hot Malaysian was coming up the street towards me. I stepped across her path a bit and gestured.
“Are you someone I should get to know?”
Even now, years later, I cringe as I write that but I think it conveys just how low my social intelligence was in 2009. At heart, daygame is a test of how socially normal you are. No matter how slick your lines they must be overlaid onto a sound foundation of social skills. Girls sniff out weirdoes in a heartbeat, which has proved the undoing of many a hapless new daygamer. At this point, I was that hapless daygamer.
Fortunately my social intelligence was so low I didn’t realise how low it was. I was filled with a beginner’s overestimation of how quickly he can “get it”. That delusional overconfidence would serve me well in powering through the daily grind and endless rejections. If I’d been more socially savvy I’d have probably abandoned the project as an impossible dream.
By late afternoon on the 20th of May 2009 I’d approached four girls. No numbers, no success, but I’d controlled the one thing that can be controlled—my own behaviour. I’d started.
At that point it was still not in my reality to stop random girls in the street, interest them, and then get a phone number.
Another week of work passed. While my body was physically present in team meetings and PowerPoint presentations my brain was elsewhere, turning over the latest information to be gleaned from my instructional books and the PUA blogs I’d been finding on the Internet. It was like a whole new world had opened up in front of me—there were actually men on the Internet who wrote journals detailing their
attempts to seduce women! It was like discovering the Necronomicon. Perhaps I, too, could learn these mystical incantations that will make women feel uncontrollable attraction towards me.
“Nick!” barked my manager and my mind snapped back to the job. “Nick, have you cleared review points six and nine from the work papers?”
I muttered an unfocused reply and began plotting my next toilet break, to sneak away with The Mystery Method for a furtive read. Eventually it was the weekend again.
1st June 2009, and I was now loitering in St James Park. I was wandering around the park looking for any girls sitting alone. I floundered for a while, nerves shaking my limbs, so I sat in a deck chair reading a book. It was pretty tempting to stay there, but I forced myself to approach.
There was a cute brunette sitting with her little lapdog. I walked over and stroked him, going to my haunches so I wasn’t towering over her. I said I liked her dog, what breed is she, etc. She responded, but she was just being socially polite. There was no interest. Really, I was trying too hard to find any kind of flicker of interest from her, but I was nervous and subconsciously looking for an excuse to eject before my ego got battered by rejection. The conversation stuttered and died after two minutes. She didn’t dismiss me, I just bailed. My legs were still shaking.
I saw a colourfully-dressed girl sitting on the grass reading the Economist. I opened with, “Hi. What’s that you’re reading?” She responded pleasantly in a French accent, and we chatted. I was so nervous I was just wittering on about the magazine, France, and doing the twenty questions routine, trying too hard to fill the space. I sat down and she didn’t flinch, but I had no idea what I was doing. Even though she was continuing the conversation I felt out of my depth and contrived to eject at the earliest opportunity. That was it. Two conversations and I was spent. The anxiety had drained me, and my legs felt weaker than they used to after a two hour kickboxing session.
The next day I wanted to try walking around Soho. This is the entertainment district in Central London, packed with trendy cafes, bars, pubs, and all manner of media offices. Pretty reliable for there to be some pretty women walking around. I was off work, and I started strong. Boarding the train at Kennington there was a hot Asian seated listening to her iPod and doing Sudoku. I bottled it initially because there was a random guy next to her, and I didn’t want to risk being rejected in front of him (I still haven’t internalised the, “I don’t care what anyone thinks of me” mantra, so I was feeling what we call the Spotlight Effect which is the erroneous belief that you are centre of attention). Luckily she changed train at the same station as me. I planned my exit to end up slightly ahead of her on the escalator so I could turn over my shoulder:
“Hey, I’ve always wanted to know, is Sudoku really Japanese?”
She replied, “Um, I’m Korean.”
She smiled at that so, emboldened, I continued, “Yeah, it’s just I used to live in Japan, and I never saw them play Sudoku. I think it’s probably one of those things they say is “big in Japan” because they know nobody is gonna prove them wrong.”
We chatted, she got the same train connection as me and, as she sat down, indicated for me to sit with her. Famed PUA Mystery seemed to be speaking in my mind that I should affect disinterest so I stayed standing but next to her, not giving her my full body language. I struggled a bit for conversation, and I knew I had to get off in two stops.
“Hey. I’m getting off in a minute. If I wanna see you again what do I do?”
She didn’t seem too convinced. “Um, take my number.”
I took the number and we ended up swapping about thirty texts, but I couldn’t get her out on a date. Re-reading the texts now with the benefit of hindsight I realise my text game was awful but for now it was a victory story—my first ever daygame “number close”. This was an early little reference experience for changing my reality towards that of the kind of man who picks up girls in the street.
Flush with the rush of success, in true noob fashion, I proceeded to kill the opener (stick to the same opening line too long) by doing it on another four Japanese girls that afternoon. One pair of tourists hooked really well and chatted, but I was lacking direction and ran out of steam.
I was pleased with myself for hitting the streets and making things happen, no matter how incompetently. There was a pleasure from taking action and bringing my sex life under my control (or at least the illusion of control). It would’ve been easy to just stay home and play the latest Call of Duty, yet, here I was stalking the streets in a constant battle against my own anxiety and negative self-talk, and eventually getting some work done. That said, I knew I was clueless. It was time to find someone better than me to give me direct training. So I opened my laptop and searched the Internet for a PUA boot camp.