What You Can’t ControlWhether because of industry marketing or our obsessive analytical nature, a lot of men who get into pick up entertain the delusion that they have a lot more control over their results with women than they actually do. Sure, in the long-term, we all have almost complete control over our results. But in the short-term, on a girl-to-girl basis, we actually have very little power and we fool ourselves into thinking our actions and behaviors are more important than they actually are.

To keep things in perspective, and because I’m a numbers guy, I often tell guys that this whole process of learning game is being able to attract 10% or 20% of the women we meet rather than 2% or 1%. Even with that dramatic improvement, there are still 80-90% who are not going to be interested in you. And no matter how awesome you get, how charming you become, or how fearless you act, that’s not going to change.

The biggest time-sink I see is when inexperienced guys obsess and analyze how to control and fix a situation that’s simply not in their power. In any given interaction with a woman, the vast majority of the factors relating to whether she’s going to hook up with you or not are not in your control. What’s important is that we focus on what IS in our control (approaching, good social skills, humor, escalating), and learn to identify what’s not in our control so that we can avoid time-wasting situations and get on with our lives.

Here are the most common factors in which we have no control, but affect our results:

Her Relationship Status: Despite what a lot of anti-feminist ramblings would lead you believe, the vast majority of women in relationships, at any given time, are not open to cheating on their boyfriend/husband. Of course it happens, and over the course of their lifetimes, up to 50% of them will cheat at some point. But chances are it won’t be now. And even if she is willing to cheat, you can’t control that. Despite what a lot of guys would love for you to believe, girlfriends/wives cannot be “stolen,” they’re taken. I don’t care who you are, if you meet a woman who is happily in love with a boyfriend/husband who treats her well, she’s very, very unlikely to cheat on him with you, no matter how awesome you are. So get it out of your head. I see more guys wasting their time on girls with boyfriends convinced if they just get her to hang out once, they can win her over. 99% of the time, it’s not going to happen. How do I know this? I’ve had a number of girls cheat on someone else to hook up with me, and if they’re going to do it, you’re not going to know about the boyfriend or husband until the last possible moment. Cheating is not something you convince a girl to do. It’s something that she decides to do on her own and you hope to be the nearest attractive male when she does.

Her Emotional State: Another popular myth is that by developing amazing social skills, incredible humor, and even using covert tactics such as NLP lines, etc., that we can actually control how a woman feels. This is a myth. We can influence how others around us feel, but we can never control how others feel.

This is probably the second most common situation I see inexperienced guys try to fight through over and over again for no good reason. Let’s say you meet a girl, and she’s just in a horrible mood. Maybe you know why, maybe you don’t. Maybe her dog died last week. Maybe she just got fired from her job. Maybe she found out her dad has cancer. Maybe her ex-boyfriend started dating her best friend. Either way, here’s a newsflash: you’re not going to magically make her feel better. You’re a complete stranger to her and no matter how good you make her feel, it’s going to have a very minor effect on her overall demeanor.

A lot of fuss is made about being positive, being in a good mood, and having high energy. But it’s important to screen women for positivity, for being in a good mood and for having fun as well. Women in positive emotional states are going to be more receptive to you and more genuinely interested in you. Women who feel like shit are less likely to be.

It’s a sad fact, but how much sleep a girl got the night before, how stressed she is at work, and her relationship with her family will usually have as much to do with how she feels around you on a first date as you do.

The exception, as with the cheating situation, is if SHE chooses to use you to forget her problems or worries. If she’s depressed and goes out and says, “I want to get fucked tonight.” Then, once again, if you’re the nearest attractive male, you’re in luck. But unless she’s ALREADY made that decision, it is very, very rare that you’re going to completely turn around a girl’s mood or win her over. If you do, it’s going to require such a massive amount of work, that it is probably not worth it.

Her Personality and Pathologies: Similar to her emotional state, this is her long-term and/or permanent emotional disposition. For instance, some girls are attention whores and are desperate for validation from men. They will sometimes use you and then ditch you and get a sick thrill out of it. That’s just how they are, you can’t control it. Other women are perpetually victims. They always have a crisis and they always need a shoulder. You can be that shoulder if you’d like, but just know that there’s going to be another crisis and probably another shoulder around the corner. You can’t change that. Other women are crazy party girls and are always looking for a thrill. Others are horribly cynical and cold and will require a lot of time to warm up to you. Others are shy and naive and are looking for affection. Others are arrogant and intellectual and will be condescending towards you. You can’t change any of this, all you can do is recognize and adapt.

Her Preferences: Some girls are more attracted to white/black/asian/indian guys than other races. They’re not racist, that’s just how they are. You can’t help your race. Some girls like skinny guys who wear girl jeans. Others like professional guys in suits who make a lot of money. Others specifically like Asian guys with muscles. Some like beards and chest hair, others like metro-sexuals.

You can’t help these things. And honestly, I think the importance of superficial preferences like this are exaggerated. Do they matter? Yes. Are they deal-breakers? Almost never. I can’t tell you how many girls I’ve slept with who I’ve talked to later and asked them if they thought they’d hook up with me when they met me, and they’ve replied, “No way, I thought you were way too [enter adjective here].”

Logistics: Logistics are the bane of any frequent player in the bar and nightclub scene. Any guy who goes out a lot knows that pulling a girl home is 50% about how well you seduce her and 50% logistics. If she lives three towns over and her sister is driving her, you can’t help that. If she’s moving to San Francisco next week, you can’t help that either. If she has to be up for work at 7AM and doesn’t have time to go grab some drinks after dinner, well, that’s a fucking bummer.

Logistics are the constant turd in the punchbowl for any playboy. They’re something that can rarely be altered, and one must consistently adapt and improvise to account for them. And even then, you require a certain degree of luck.

When you account for all of the factors mentioned above, hopefully you’ll begin to see that the idea that you completely control your fate on a night-to-night basis is a mirage. This is why guys’ almost always report results in streaks: three girls in two weeks and then none for the two after, etc. We’re more or less all sitting at a craps table of life.

This post may get you down or bum you out. It shouldn’t. The beauty of this game, unlike craps, is you have nothing to lose. You just roll the dice over and over and over again. As much as possible in fact. The skill is knowing what to do with whichever number you rolled.

In my book I relate how guys of different experience levels tend to perceive game and what they often focus on or obsess over. Inexperienced guys tend to over-emphasize verbal game and the exact words that they’re saying. They over-estimate how important their jokes or their conversation threads are. Intermediate guys tend to over-emphasize their emotional state and how they feel when they go out.

Really, the most important factor is that you’re always going for it, and going for it without fear or anxiety. You’ll notice that a lot of the points made in this article involve finding girls who are receptive at the time that you meet them for whatever reason. You can’t control which girls are receptive to meeting a guy at any given time, but you can control 1) how you present yourself and 2) how often you approach. You can control your attractiveness by improving your lifestyle as much as possible. Verbal game is just going to help you convert the girls who are already receptive to you. Success comes from approaching and escalating consistently. That’s it.

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12 Responses to What You Can’t Control

  1. Leo says:

    Excellent article! Yeah, after all is a numbers game, the best you can do to increase your chances is gaming a lot of girls. I remember I was gaming two girls last year that were betrayed and even though they were interested in me and we went out on dates their fear of being betrayed again was so big that they couldn’t overcome it. It wasn’t related to me, it was related to them, there’s nothing I could do about it, I didn’t take it personally it was their business. I just decided to move on. I think this kind of cases are related to the Her Personality and Pathologies clasiffication.

    I’d add to the classification: Her friends and family, she can be very interested in you but if her friends or family don’t want her to be with you or influence her to change her mind, you can’t do anything about it. But some girls are rebels and go against their family’s desire, so it could be really helpful sometimes.

  2. Ben says:

    Excellent article…anyone who’s been in ‘Pick-up’ for any length of time HAVE to read it!

    A dose of common sense in the ‘Community’ is sorely needed…

  3. David says:

    It’s a pity that the guys who’d most benefit from this are right now all engrossed in their ‘Get the Girl 100% – without fail’ e-book and DVD system.

    This article is so true, I find this comforting, as well as being spot on.

    It’s a PUA marketing myth that you CAN get the girl all the time and if you don’t, then you’re an ‘AFC’. I wonder how some of these gurus feel inside after peddling these myths, if they even care, or if they’re self-deluded and think that they are on the money.

    So, yeah, focus on what you can control – a weight is lifted from your shoulders, and you can move forward better.

  4. Mark says:

    Some reason the last paragraph got cut off when I posted this. Fixed now.

  5. Jon says:

    Great post. I think that this doesn’t get talked about enough and screws with guys’ expectations, since

    1) it makes them think that they did something wrong if they can’t get a girl on a particular night, or they get a bunch of flakes, when it could be luck of the draw and

    2) gives them unrealistic expectations of how much of a time committment it actually is to get more than a girl or two a month.

  6. Jimmy says:

    Law of Large Numbers.

    Granted, and with that said, it hurts my head how I don’t just ‘do it’, approaching more and following up. It’s like I’d rather avoid long term growth and pleasure because of change in my homeostasis and daily habit (which would be better than it is now).

    Does this ‘need for control’ correlate heavily with the almost incessant and epidemic in the community where people read, read and read, then keyboard jockey instead of taking action?

    • Gully says:

      Good point about how people read and read but never take action, me all over.

      There was a zen master In Japan called Kodo Sawaki, he said, on the subject of meditating/practicing zen;

      ”There are many seekers who analyze but never practice zazen. They just keep the books, like bankers who count money without themselves being rich. ”

      Its like we have this hope that the more we pua material we read, eventually we will just get what we desire with women, but its definitely/ironically another way of escaping from doing what really needs to be done; getting out there and approaching.

  7. Eric Disco says:

    Excellent. Realizing how much of this is out of your control helps you to focus your energy where it matters. The point is to keep taking initiative rather than over-analyzing.

    You want to believe that you can get any girl, and you can get any TYPE of girl you want with enough hard work and practice. But you can’t focus too much on individual successes or failures, try to get your batting average up to 1000, or eliminate flakes 100%, or you will go crazy.

    Great post. Wish I read this a long time ago.


  8. Paul says:

    You know you’ve read something great when you feel like you’ve been punched in the gut after reading it.

    How do you overcome over analyzing? It’s my main method for solving problems… in most situations it seems like an incredibly useful ability to have.

    When I attempt to solve it, I’m analyzing being over analytical…

    It runs me in circles and I lose motivation to go out or do anything outside my comfort zone. But of course I do desire the results, so I work where I’m comfortable, acquiring more information, to better analyze, and so it goes…

    I don’t even work, because I reason I don’t have to and any job I could get at this point would be a waste of my time. All I do at the moment: play games, read books, cruise the i-net. (I did more socially when I was getting myself out of this mode by smoking pot/drinking, but I decided to cut that out; and its seemed to do me little good. Don’t hang with most of my friends because they are always stoned/drunk. There has to be a better way…)

    Is there perhaps some kind of discipline which helps one get out of this mindset, and get more from life? or should I just go back to smoking pot and drinking regularly? =/

    • Gully says:

      You know the answer to your own problems!

      Find a new group of friends or something,

      Easier said then done of course,

      but in my experience, pot smoking isnt exactly a game breaker with women,

  9. Paul says:

    Fair. I guess it’s kind of a transitional time. This isn’t the place for it but it spilled out. Thanks for the thoughts.

    My conclusions for now: Accept and ignore negative emotion. Focus on action. Ration focus spent analyzing and topics to analyze. Make rational decisions but be okay with uncertainty. Learn from then ignore memories of mistakes.
    *Constantly improve thought process.

    & be less neurotic and more considerate of other perspectives. =)

    Sorry for posting random, loosely related introspective rants… feel free to delete, and thanks for the great articles.

  10. Superman says:

    Your posts keep on shattering my reality Mark. It’s almost like you can read me like a book. I missed your talk in DC. Damn!

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