How Not Investing In Myself First Pushed My Dream Girl Away
My Lessons Learned And Changes Made
I write this in a way that brings you into my reality so that you may experience what I did first hand. So that as you learn what I learned, it clicks with you harder than me just rifling off a few bullet points. It is said we learn best by first hand experiences, and this is me trying to give you one.
Dream girl is a silly term, a dangerous one, one that falsely elevates someone above you. Rather than being someone to enjoy your time with, they become something to acquire, a goal. When I thought of this woman as my dream girl, I didn’t hold true the statement above, I thought that we needed to find someone to complete us, our soul mate, our bullshit Disney story. Such isn’t the case.
January of 2017 was the start of a very rough time for me, a girl I was pursuing finally let me have it, she told me she was no longer interested, because I was way too emotional for her, and looking back at it she was absolutely right. I wasn’t overly emotional by nature, I was by circumstance, the circumstance of trying to pursue and win over my dream girl. I was trying to achieve something with her rather than socialize, I was working towards an expected outcome. She was into me, and I into her, but she wasn’t ready for a relationship at the time and rather than just let the situation be, have fun with her, and show her who I was, I took calculated steps to try and win her over. I did things for her, bought her gifts, and said things like “see how much I care about you” when I did. Rather than just being chill, and controlling what I could (myself) I tried to control the situation. I did things like ask her if she is still into me, had freakouts towards her when I thought she was losing interest and in the process stressed myself out, and created unneeded suffering for myself.
After she let me know this I went full manic, as would be expected with someone in the mindset I was in. I begged, pleaded, cried, and had a full blown melt down. The girl I was working so hard to try and win over, that I spent so much time on, the one that would bring me such happiness, rejected me. For the next six months, I tried to change her mind, I tried to learn what I did wrong, not for my sake, but so she could see my improvements and give me a chance. I read many books on self improvement, I learned my mistakes and I understood what I did wrong. But even with all that, I still didn’t solve the root cause of my behavior, the root being something I wouldn’t figure out until much later ( a few days before I posted this). I went full douchebag by playing victim, blaming her, telling her I hated her, and that I never wanted to talk to her again. I went the completely pathetic route of not accepting what happened, and working to improve. Instead I tried to control the situation, I tried to fix it, I tried to learn what I did wrong so I could present it to her, not as someone who has honestly learned from their mistakes and wanted to make amends, but as a calculation, as an attempt to manipulate the situation to a desired outcome.
After meeting with her (twice in February), the desired outcome unachieved, I lost it, I further annoyed her, further pushed her away, further begged, and further sank into a deep depression not knowing how to fix the situation. I was lost unable to figure out how to find my way, I was a manipulative selfish asshole, who was trying to change the situation to his benefit without regard to anyone else. Some of the lessons learned that I will layout later in the article, I shared with her when I met her, I did understand what I did wrong, but the difference between then and now is the place I was at mentally. It didn’t matter if I learned back then that investing in something you give rather than just giving for the joy of it is manipulative, if I still didn’t learn the root cause of my manipulation. It didn’t matter that I may know how to stop one form of manipulation, if in my general nature I am manipulative, and that is the key difference between then and now. Back then I was still doing things with a goal in mind, rather than just living my life and focusing on my happiness. Back then I was trying to achieve my happiness through others rather than bringing in others to share my gifts, to share in my energy, to give to the world. I was leeching off others and she was smart to run away from me.
I didn’t just do this with her either, no I did this while trying to acquire friendships. I would meet people, hang out with them, and work to become their friend. I was on a mission and its objective, make that person want to be my friend. But that’s obnoxious and pathetic, and not how you develop friendships. But then why was I doing this in the first place? Why was finding friends and making this girl my girlfriend so important to me? What finally showed me how I was going about things was wrong? And what is the correct way of socializing?
To start answering these questions we need to back up a second and know more about where I came from. I used to have horrible social anxiety, making friends and having to meet strangers was not comfortable, and talking to a girl was a damn near death sentence for me. I was socially awkward, knew little about social cues, and didn’t have a great deal of emotional intelligence. I decided several years back that I was going to change all of it. I found some resources, read some books, and went out and forced myself to talk to people. I would force myself to talk to women I thought were attractive, I would force myself to talk to strangers and have a conversation with them, I would force myself to find a group of people and introduce myself. At first this was painful, I remember the first time I went up to a girl, it took me four hours to work up the courage, I got rejected in five seconds as I was too nervous and I threw up afterwards because my nerves were so shot. But I kept going, I kept working towards it. I would watch videos, read books and go out and practice. I would work to achieve socially.
And that’s the problem, I started to get good, I was able to open up strangers, get numbers, go on dates, make friends etc. But I was on mission, I was trying to achieve something by going up to people. “Oh these people look cool I am going to achieve a hang out with them” I would think. “She’s cute, I am going to achieve her hanging out with me” would be my mindset. And when I succeeded it felt good and when I failed I always looked down at myself, I knew then that not everyone is going to like you, or that you’re not going to be able to win over everyone, but I still felt bad as I thought I could’ve done something better. My technique was bad, or I should’ve said this or that etc. These are statements of someone trying to make something happen, rather than just sharing who they are with people and enjoying the moment. I was result oriented rather than process oriented. I was trying to control people and the situation rather than accepting that I can’t control either and just enjoy the process, enjoy the fun of socializing.
It is therefore no surprise that I acted this way with this girl, or in making friends, I was so used to achieving socially, rather than just enjoying the moment, and investing in my own fun. I worked so hard to get over my social anxiety as an achievement that I didn’t embrace the act of being social. That doesn’t mean I didn’t know how to be social, my friends will tell you I do, but it was when I was trying to achieve a new friend or win this girl over, that my mindset was off. I am not saying I am a victim, nor am I deflecting responsibility. It is still entirely mine regarding my actions with this woman. But to understand the problem we must start from its root, and now that we are here, and I have learned my lessons let me share them with you.
- Always invest in yourself First
Put your happiness and development before anything else. Build your body, learn a new language, learn to cook and bake well, try out a sport (rock climbing and Acryo yoga I highly recommend for their communities and sport). Your happiness, self worth, and confidence need to come from within, and that is achieved by building a life that satisfies you completely. It solidifies the base of which you are grounded into granite, rather than sand. The responsibility of our emotions is our own, and it is up to us to build a life which keeps them in check, that keeps us full by building a life that we are excited to live.
What I did was try and achieve happiness from another, from this girl. I invested so much of myself in an outcome, thinking that this outcome would bring me elusive happiness. But instead I became needy, I became sensitive, I screwed with my emotions because I was trying to control something that I couldn’t, another person’s decision. I couldn’t control what she decided but I absolutely could control who I was, and how I presented myself and that is the whole point. Living a life you are proud of, means you are your own rock. You don’t need anyone else’s validation, your life is complete and satisfied without anyone else. You of course, look for relationships and friendships but you do so from a place of fulfillment. You enter those relationships and friendships to give. To add value to their lives rather than suck value away to try and complete your life. Had I came from a place of fulfillment being satisfied from my life, I would of been able to be content with the fact I cannot control the outcome of my courtship. I would’ve focused on showing her who I am, adding value to our time spent together. Rather than trying to control the outcome, because I would of been good either way. I would of wanted her, but I would’ve still been complete without her.
- You are responsible for your own emotions
I touched on this briefly already but it deserves its own section. You are responsible for your own emotions. No person, no situation makes us act in a certain way, or feel what we do, we choose how to react how to feel. That doesn’t mean we don’t feel emotions or that the Amygdala hijack doesn’t exist, it means we must be ready for our emotions and control them as we can and we must work to become masters of our emotions. This doesn’t mean it’s not ok to cry, to feel bad, or to grieve, it most certainly is and is part of what makes us human. But we must work to control our emotions as best as we can. To make smart decisions even when we are emotional.
I didn’t take charge of my emotions I blamed her for them, I acted like she caused me to feel and act the way I did, that it was a screwed up situation and that I was a victim. Such isn’t the case, it is never the case. We choose how to act not anyone else, not any situation does so for us. We must invest in ourselves, invest in a abundance of positive emotions in our lives and we must invest in the tools to handle our emotions. Meditation is a great tool for this, it allows us to be more present in the current moment, it allows us to be more aware of the emotions we are feeling and I highly recommend it. Proper meditation is simple, spend twenty minutes a day everyday sitting still. During those twenty minutes focus on your breathing in and out. As you become distracted by your thoughts, acknowledge them and do not judge them whatever they may be. Then go back to your breathing, focusing on in and out, when once again you are distracted by your thoughts, acknowledge them, do not judge them, and shift your focus back to your breathing. Do this every day and soon you will find yourself much more aware of what you are feeling and have a command over your emotions.
- Give for the sake of giving, never as an investment
When we do something for others, when we gift something, we do so purely for the joy it gives us in helping someone out, for the happiness it gives us. We never gift as an investment, or for the sake of a return from that person, because doing so is manipulative. It is an attempt to control an outcome, to sway a person’s judgement and people will see right through you.
I gifted as an investment. Every time I did something for her I would follow with “see how much I care about you?” and I was trying to get a return on my investment, I was trying to form a contract between her and I. And when things hit the fan and she decided she wasn’t into me anymore, so much of my pain was from all the gifts and things I did and gave her and her not appreciating them. But of course she appreciated them, why wouldn’t she? She just didn’t owe me anything because of my gifts, and because I thought she did, I made myself look like an ass.
- Attract do not pursue
Pursuing relationships or friendships is an action, an expectation of an outcome where attraction is a consequence. We must attract people not pursue them, this means instead of trying to win someone’s love or friendship, we show them who we are, give them our time, our interaction, and allow them to decide if we are someone they want to hang out with or be with. This does not mean you can’t tell someone you like them. Quite the opposite, you should be direct with your feelings for someone. Just know that telling someone you like them, is giving them information, and thats it. Pursuing is manipulative it is working towards an outcome, it is trying to influence the decision of another instead of allowing them to make it.
I pursued this girl, I tried to win her over, I invested in every action I did and with every investment much like every bet made in a game in poker, I had more to lose with each interaction with her (every turn of the cards). I wasn’t acting myself I got nervous, I was worried about what everything she did meant, how I should react etc. I became paranoid because I was trying to keep control of a situation. But as said before, we cannot control others and nor should we. Additionally if we try and control something that is uncontrollable we will stress ourselves out in doing so. Had I just shown this girl who I am, and let her attraction develop or not, things might have been very different.
- Control what you can (yourself) and not what you can’t (others)
If you are starting to see that each of one of these points are closely related good, because they are. If I had to distill this article into one sentence it would be “socialize don’t achieve”. We must understand that we can only control ourselves, and nothing else. We cannot control how people perceive us, how they feel about us or if they want to be in our lives. All we can do is present ourselves with our best foot forward, act as our true selves ( not to judge ourselves or suppress our personalities) and let come whatever may.
I again tried to control the situation, I tried to influence how she perceived me how she thought about me, other than by just being me and letting what happen happen. I prefaced information and made excuses for my behavior. Control what we can and let go of what we cannot. If there is one thing to take away from this whole thing, it is that.
I accept what happened, and it is my fault. I at the very least am happy that out of the tragedy of losing this girl, I have learned what I have and am able to share it with you. Life is about improving and I hope that you have learned something. That what I have shared with you improves your life, friendships, and relationships without you having to experience it first hand for real. Investing in yourself first, and socializing not achieving are the keys to a happy life full of fun, friends, and love.
If you want a first hand experience on how I am practicing what I have learned check out this post I wrote: https://medium.com/@christopherjakob/from-being-manipulative-to-not-my-process-of-transformation-a54b1c468559
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