Warning you in advance: I’m going to be a jerk today.
I’m going to tell you the absolute worst statement I ever hear from people. I’ve heard it many times over the last few decades as a business consultant. I’ve also heard it many times from men over the last few years as a dating/relationship advisor. I’ve heard it perhaps a hundred times or more, and it still saddens me every time I hear someone say it.
The statement I’m talking about is this:
“I tried that once. It doesn’t work.”
It was so fascinating to me when I started hearing this from men a few years ago when talking about dating and relationships. It was complete deja vu from what I hear from people in the business world all the time.
I’m about to tell you exactly what I tell my business clients when they give me that above statement; that most pathetic, irrational, lazy, cowardly, and downright stupid, yes stupid excuse. Only the examples will be different.
I’m going to ask you a few questions and I want you to think very hard about the answers.
Do you think the very first time I put up an online dating profile it got me laid? Do you think it even got me a date?
Do you think the very first time I attempted an MLTR relationship it worked?
Do you think the very first time I did a soft next on a woman it worked perfectly with no drama?
Do you think the very first time I hit up a much younger it worked out well?
How about way back when I did daygame? You think the very first time I went to a mall and started walking up to women and saying hi, that they loved me and I got laid?
How about the very first time I had the big “Talk” with a woman? Do you think the very first time I told a woman that I never would be sexually monogamous to her but wanted to still see her, that she said “Oh, that’s okay!” and kept seeing me?
How about my very first online date way back in early 2007? Do you think she liked me? Do you think that date worked out well?
Let me tell you something. In pretty much all of those circumstances, the entire thing blew up in my face. I had women scream at me, call me names, and never see me again. I felt embarrassed. I felt bad. I felt like a failure.
But here’s the key difference between me and many of you out there. When I tried and failed at something the first time, I didn’t throw my arms up in the air and say “Well, fuck that! That clearly doesn’t work!”
Instead I said, “I know this works, because I know other men have done this successfully. Clearly the way I did it is off. I need to try this again and do it slightly differently.”
And sometimes, guess what? The second time I did it, it also blew up in my face. I still didn’t say, “Online game sucks!” or “Soft nexts don’t work!” or “No woman will ever date a guy unless he’s monogamous!”
No. I kept on saying to myself, “This really sucks, but I know this can work. I’ll have to try it again.”
Maybe I had to try it a third time or a fourth time, but eventually it would work. From that point on, it worked with very high success rates for every woman I tried it on thereafter. But I would have never achieved that success if after the first time I tried it I declared it “didn’t work” just because I tried and failed one frickin’ time.
I’ve seen men on forums and in my email seriously say things like:
“Online game doesn’t work. I tried it once. I sent out 9 openers and didn’t get one date.”
“MLTRs don’t work. I tried it once. She got really mad and demanded that I get monogamous or she said she would break up with me. So I went monogamous with her. I had no choice.”
“Younger women don’t like older men. I said hi to a younger woman once at Starbucks and she yelled at me and said I was too old.”
These guys were not making jokes or being sarcastic. They were really saying these things in 100% seriousness. They really thought that because they tried something once and it didn’t work out, that means what they were trying was impossible.
The First Time Rarely Works
I can’t believe I have to keep saying this, since I’ve been saying it for over 20 years in my business consulting career: Don’t assume a thing doesn’t work just because it didn’t work out for you the first and only time you tried it. You need to assume that you’ll probably have to try it several times before you get results. You also should assume that those first few times you try it and fail, you might fail badly, and be frustrated or even embarrassed. Assume this in advance. That way when you screw up, you won’t feel nearly as bad.
That means that yes, the first time you try online game, or an open/poly relationship, or dating someone much younger than you, or try to use a dating or relationship technique you’ve never done before, it probably won’t work. It might even blow up in your face. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t work at all! That means you’re a newbie and you did it wrong. You’ll have to try a few more times before you get it working correctly. This is normal.
Look, I wish you and I lived in a world where we could try something completely new and have it work out perfectly the first time. But we don’t live in that world. Instead we live in a world where you have to try something a few times, possibly fail badly and embarrassingly a few times, and THEN it works.
I simply can’t imagine myself trying something new, that I knew worked for other people, failing at it the first time, then surrendering and saying “That doesn’t work!” I don’t even understand that mindset.
The only exception to this would be things that really don’t work in the real world, like 25+ year-monogamy with no divorce or cheating by either partner (where 50% of the success relies on a completely different individual no matter how amazing you are) or repeatedly having 3-4 hour meet-to-lays with women over age 33 when you’re over 35, and other statistical near-impossibilities. I’m not suggesting you should beat your head against a wall trying to make a pig sing or trying to turn lead into gold.
I’m saying when you try something new you know works for other men, you need to give it a few tries before you declare it “doesn’t work,” even if the first few failures are uncomfortable for you, which they probably will be. Want some examples?
A Few of My First-Time Failures
I’ve talked about some of my failures in life before, but I’ll add a few to the list that relate specifically to the first times I tried things with women.
- The very first time I made an online dating profile, my response rate was near zero percent, other than women who messaged me only to call me a “prick” and a “jerk.”
- The very first time I attempted an FB, the woman screamed at me in the middle of a crowded bar we were visiting.
- The very first time I attempted an MLTR, the woman actually married another man while she was dating me. I had to find out via her MySpace page. I texted her asking if it was true, she said yes, and then she was gone. Talk about getting dumped!
- Right after the very first online date I ever had, she sent me a long, scathing email about what an insensitive jerk I was and how dare I say the things I said. When I tried to text her a few weeks later (yes, I actually tried to text her later; I was still a beta back then) she pretended to not know me.
- The first time I tried to have sex with a woman right after my divorce, I couldn’t even get it up. I tell the whole story in my open marriage ebook. (It was from my social circle, not online game.)
- I saved the best for last. I had to pull old spreadsheet data for this one. To get my first actual sexual intercourse from online dating, it took thousands of openers, hundreds of back-and-forth messages on two different dating sites, nine first dates, seven second dates, four third dates, three fourth dates, with hundreds of dollars spent, just to get to sex one time with one woman. Sound fun?
Fortunately, you don’t need to go through that kind of pain because you have access to this blog and my ebooks that show you exactly how to do it. Regardless, my point stands. None of these things caused me to throw my arms up in surrender and declare that it “didn’t work.” Today, all of these things work for me so well that I barely have to take any action to get great results. I can do this stuff in my sleep now.
But if I had said “I tried that once, it doesn’t work,” I would still be that lonely, frustrated beta I was so many years ago.
Please, please, never use this excuse. It’s the fast lane to failure.
You’re better than that.