What Would You Have Done Differently If You Had Known?
When you’re an older guy, it’s an enjoyable and sometimes shocking intellectual exercise to ask yourself what you would have done when you were 18 or 20 years old knowing everything you know now. Today, I’ll run down a list of questions I’ve received over the years, both in the women and business areas, which start with “Knowing what you know now, how would you have handled…?” They are listed in no particular order.
Knowing what you know now, and assuming you were the man you are now, what would you have done back when you were married? Would you still have gotten divorced?
If I was the man I am now, I would never have ended up in that scenario in the first place (monogamous, legally married with no prenuptial agreement or any other legal recourse, no legal parenting plan for the kids, fully combined finances with a woman, etc).
But if for some strange reason I had, instead of being a stupid, outcome dependent beta and arguing with her for a year and a half only to get divorced, I would have done the following:
1. Stopped arguing with her, about everything. If she started arguing with me, I would have terminated the conversation, even if it meant leaving the house with my laptop and working down at a Starbucks or one of my client’s offices.
2. Started lifting weights, dieting heavily, and improving my fashion.
3. Separated all finances as best I could (this I actually did).
4. Stopped trying to have sex with her.
5. Once all that was done, I would have notified her in a calm tone of voice that I was going to start having sex with other women. I would promise her that I would wear a condom, that no one would know, and that I would not ever do it in the house. I would make it clear that I was not asking for permission; I was just going to start doing this whether she liked it or not. I would have told her that if she wanted to divorce me because of it, she was more than welcome to hire an attorney and file papers, but that I would not divorce her. I estimate an 80% chance that she would have gone along with it (admittedly after a huge explosion of drama that would probably have lasted a week and that would have been a big pain in my ass). I would then start having sex with women on the side via online dating.
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Would we still have gotten divorced? In my case, yes. She would have gone along with my new program for a few years, but eventually her drama and negativity would likely have been too much for my new Alpha 2.0 state to bear. However, A) it would have been much easier and cheaper, B) there would have been much less drama, C) I would have actually been getting laid on a regular basis instead of getting zero sex, D) I would have been much more prepared for the dating world on the day of the divorce instead of having to start from absolute zero like I had to back in 2007, and E) it would have been easier on my children.
Knowing what you know now, how would you have changed how you met women when you first got started with online dating?
Shit, I would have changed everything. Instead of shooting in the dark using trial and error and PUA techniques mostly meant for night game (there were no online dating gurus back then), I would have instead followed everything I know works that I describe in my online dating manual.
But the biggest things? I would have not opened any women over the age of 33 (barring rare exceptions), I would not kiss any women on a first date, I would stop buying food for women, and I would ruthlessly insta-next any woman who wasn’t ready to have sex by at least date number three, preferably by date two, instead of going on bazillions of first, second, third, fourth, and in some cases even fifth dates with zero sex because the woman just bailed on me. (God, I hate remembering this stuff.)
Knowing what you know now, what would you have changed when you first got started with open and poly relationships?
I would have verbalized less! I would have shut my big dumb mouth and not talked about the relationship in any way whatsoever until at least 3-5 months in (then it’s time for The Talk). This is one of the biggest mistakes men make in open/poly relationships, and I was guilty of this myself.
I also would have spent more time focusing on social circle game/“referral game” with my MLTR’s and FB’s who were under the age of 23 (having sex with their friends, with their consent). I did plenty of this but I should have done more back then (today I’m way too busy for that kind of thing unless it falls in my lap). It’s the fastest, easiest sex in the world without paying for it.
Knowing what you know now, how would you have started your first business differently?
Marketing! Marketing, marketing, marketing! I should have spent quadruple the amount of time on marketing and sales and less on the technical side of the business. It took me 3.5 years to go from zero to a six-figure income, and that was doing a lot of things wrong. Had I marketed harder and better, I could have shortened that 3.5 years down to 6-12 months.
I also would have spent a tiny fraction of the money I did when I got started. As I talked about in my book, I wasted a big amount of cash on stupid shit I didn’t need at all. I purchased several computers I didn’t need, business cards and letterhead I didn’t need, a phone system I didn’t need, rented an office I didn’t need, etc. It was fun for a while, but I could have spent a tiny fraction of the money I spent and would have received the same results.
Knowing what you know now, what would you have done when you were 18 and just getting started? Would you change anything?
That’s an awfully big question. The answer is, of course, and a lot. To be fair to myself, I did a lot of things right when I was a young man, but I did a few things very wrong.
Things I did right:
– Moved out of my parents’ house as soon as I possibly could, regardless of the sacrifices I had to make to do so.
– Refused to go to college, despite massive pressure from family and friends (not going to college was one of the three best decisions I ever made in my entire life).
– Started my business as fast as I possibly could (part-time when I was about 20, full time when I was 24).
– Learned as many business and career skills while on the job at a company in a growth industry (in this case, software).
– Didn’t waste time with women or fun and focused on building my income.
– Invested in real estate as soon as I possibly could.
Things I did wrong:
– Lost my virginity way too late (age 22 or 23). It was good I didn’t focus on women, but I should have had a FB or two for self-esteem and stress relief reasons. Eventually, I did exactly that, but several years too late.
– Stayed at my first real full-time job way too long. I could have made much more money and gotten important skills faster had I left sooner. I was there three years; it should have been 1.5 years at the most.
– Got monogamous at age 24 and traditionally, legally married at age 25. Stupid, on both counts.
– Had children way too early, at age 26 (thought at least I did a budget and made sure I could afford them before I actually had them). I should have waited until I was 40 at least.
– Started the wrong kind of business (hourly computer consulting). It was profitable, but not Alpha 2.0 compatible at all. Too labor intensive, not easily scalable, selling hours for dollars, location dependent, etc.
Let’s say you were 18 again, but it was today in the current year, not way back when you got started in the early 90’s. Would you have changed anything business-wise?
Not really. The nature of the business probably would have been online instead of real-life, since there was no internet to speak of back in the 80’s/early 90’s when I got started. Japan was also a big deal back then before they imploded, so today I would focus on China instead. But other than those details, I can’t think of anything significantly different from the answer in the above question.
Knowing what you know now, would you have dated your ex-wife at all?
Back when I was 24? Maybe, sure. She was very attractive back then and we got along well before we moved in together. Worst case, she would have been a MLTR, perhaps upgraded (incorrectly) to an OLTR, we would have moved in together, never gotten married, had my same two kids, she would have moved out amicably in about three years, and I would have just paid child support instead of going through a divorce, lawyers, alimony, and the typical angry ex-wife. At that point I would have maintained her as a temporary FB until she re-married (which she would have done, not being “scarred” by an actual divorce), and I would go on my merry way.
Knowing what you know now, would you have not had your kids?
I can’t really envision myself as never having kids, although it’s certainly possible. At a bare minimum, if I could wave a magic wand and do it all over again, I would have had my same two kids, but had them when I was a 40, 45, or 50 year-old wealthy Alpha Male 2.0 under some kind of OLTR, not when I was an up-and-coming 25 year-old beta under a traditional, monogamous marriage. That was stupid and insane. If I had never had kids, had never been legally married, and knew everything as a young man I know now, by age 40-50, I would have far more money than I have now and most of my Mission would already accomplished, so having two kids at that time (that some woman was cool with taking care of most of the time) would be no big deal.
As I’ve said many times, and lots of very successful men agree with me, having kids before you’ve accomplished your big dreams and goals in life is one of the dumbest things men do.
Knowing what you know now, would you take back anything you said way back when you first got started in the PUA community on the forums?
When a man gets divorced, he goes through a period where he’s irrationally upset for about 1-2 years and can’t think clearly. Any talk about monogamy, marriage, or living with a woman sets him off onto a rant he can’t control. You’ve seen many of these irrational bastards comment on this very blog (particularly when I talk about my current girlfriend). During the time when I was first posting on forums back around 2008-09, I was still in this phase, so my anti-monogamy rhetoric was a little too strong.
I was correct on the macro. Long-term monogamy doesn’t work, and short-term monogamy is only for men who don’t mind drama. Also, all the facts and stats I quoted back then were accurate, so I don’t take any of those back. But I remember tearing guy’s heads off about getting monogamous way back then, and that wasn’t very cool. I wish my communication style back then was more like today; rational, objective, and fact-based rather than ranting. But, hey, in the end it all worked out just fine. 🙂
Which of your opinions have evolved since then, if any?
I now admit that serial monogamy can “work” for some men of certain personality types. Higher-drama men, lower sex drive men, more controlling men, more needy men… if guys like that want to put up with all the bullshit involved in serial monogamy once the NRE dies down, then they’re more than welcome as long as they understand all the downsides.
Remember that I’m talking here about serial monogamy, which is short-term monogamy. Long-term monogamy doesn’t work for anyone in the Western world (barring very rare exceptions, and if you’re reading this blog, you’re not one of them), and anyone attempting it is indeed stupid, lying, or delusional.
Knowing what you know now, would you have modified the type of women you dated early on? More or less younger women? More or less older women? Perhaps different types of women?
As stated above, I certainly would have stopped opening women online who were over the age of 33 several years sooner than I did. Just doing that alone would have saved me several years of wasted time.
Beyond that, no. Over the last ten years I’ve dated a wide range of women in terms of ages (18-19 year-old girls, women in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and even mid-50’s), races (white, many types of Asian, Hispanic, Russian, mixed races, etc), personality types (wild extroverts to nerdy introverts), nationalities (American, Asian, European, E. European, S. American, etc), and looks (sexy blondes, girl-next-door brunettes, crazy redheads, etc). I really enjoyed the variety and it was hugely interesting and educational. I have my “type” just like most other guys, and I always lean towards that, but I’ve never understood the guys who ONLY date their “type” and rarely anyone else. It’s a very big world out there, and it’s there to be experienced!
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