The topic of this post, which is based on a comment left by Maou, had been on my backlog for over a year, but a few days ago I received an email by someone else, asking about it and if I would be interested in responding to that comment as part of an article request.
Last year Maou asked me an interesting question. Let me reproduce it verbatim:
Out of curiosity Aaron,
If you had a next life with your knowledge and memories intact (I would have said “redo life” but then without you,the PUA industry would still be alive. I’d think you’d feel an obligation not to change that part of history. Haha), would you have bothered with the dating scene? I believe your seduction years started around 29 years old, and you had a post here about Chads who awaken later could have taken advantage of their younger years had they known what they know now.
Or would you have rather spent that time on other productive endeavors? Maybe focus on gaining on marketable skills to get into business later or something of the sort. If you’re rich enough coupled with your looks, maybe you could have banged even hotter women in your early 20’s than you already did in this life. haha.
Unfortunately, I am not rich, so I am not sure this is a line of thought worth exploring. The other parts of this comment are very relevant, though. As you know from the long article with my reflections on hooking up with women, and also from some of my other writing, I am a bit ambivalent towards my dating life. On one hand, it is absolutely the case that I wasted a few years this way, but I supposedly wasted even more time by studying various non-vocational subjects at university. More generally speaking, there were times in my life where I really asked myself what the hell I was doing, squandering all my potential. On the other hand, even in my teens I found society quite ridiculous, which is why I did not pursue a traditional career path.
For the longest time, I thought I would just make it to the age of 40 or perhaps 50, live a modest life and, once I did not find enough joy in life anymore, off myself. I had no interest in having a career, a house, a fancy car, or a family to take care of. Quite simply, I often felt as if I did not belong in society. Most people I meet on a daily basis I consider stupid, and they unfortunately are. Furthermore, I am not susceptible to advertising, which means that society does not have a lot to dangle in front of me. The prospect of taking out a mortgage for a house I cannot really afford or an overpriced car is nothing that excited me very much. As I got older, my perspectives changed somewhat. I still think that contemporary (Western) society sucks ass. It really does not help that we are governed by a hostile elite that wants to destroy everything that is beautiful, and get rid of all traditions. On the plus side, I have found writing to be quite cathartic. Schizo-posting helps me cope with the absurdities of life and if you, dear reader, get something out of it, be it entertainment or education, it is a cherry on top.
Even though it took me a while to sort out my life, I eventually did turn things around. I managed to put my ability to think logically to good use and landed a job in the tech industry. Plenty of my peers are people my age or older. Looking at the status quo, it does not seem that I wasted any time. Of course, others in my role may have more savings and more experience, but mere years of experience are normally overrated anyway. In any case, I am at a position plenty of people of my age and my line of work do not manage to get to; I’m basically a “tech lead” and depending on what I work on, there can be a substantial part of “stakeholder management”, i.e. me talking to less technical or even non-technical people about technical things. This is not a trivial role. It is clearly a cut above the standard software developer position. Pay is also little bit better compared to a grunt engineering role, but if you are fantasizing about me making hundreds of thousands a year, I should remind you that I live in Europe where you get paid peanuts compared to what you can earn in some key tech hubs in the US. I do not starve but my lifestyle is far from being lavish.
There were plenty of times where I thought that my thousands of hours spent hanging out in clubs and bars — this is not an exaggeration — clearly paid off. This may sound ridiculous but it does not if you knew how incredibly socially awkward the average guy working in tech is. Half the guys you meet are so meek that they cannot even make eye contact with anybody. About a year ago, for instance, we had a problem with some uppity developer, a total jackass who thought that he ran things and was not accountable for anything. Incidentally, he was from the Ukraine and consumption of mainstream media somehow implanted the idea in his mind that he was some kind of genetically and morally superior being. He thought he had achieved perfect job security by developing a key component, writing it in a style that was quite hard to read, and refusing to document anything. This caused serious issues for us. For months, he was barely doing any work and even went so far to be AWOL for a few days, i.e. without taking sick leave or vacation days. This situation was quite ridiculous. Him and I had the same manager at first, but said manager changed the reporting line to make this guy report to me, partly motivated by him not wanting to deal with this situation, or not knowing how to deal with it.
My solution to getting that pesky Ukrainian back in line was quite straight-forward. I asked him to walk me through his code, which he was quite reluctant to do, and then I asked him to write proper documentation for it. He scoffed. I set him a deadline of one week. One week passed and nothing had happened. We sit down again in a meeting room and he tells me that he does not want to write the missing documentation. I sternly asked him to repeat what he just said, in case I misunderstood him, and he noticed that this was probably the first time in a long time that someone put him on the spot. He quickly regained his composure. The second time, he sounded like a spoilt brat and told me that, again, he does not want to write the documentation. I raised my voice, told him to open his laptop, pull up his editor and start writing, as we were not going to leave this room without any written documentation. You could hear a pin drop. Then his demeanor changed and he coyly replied, “As you wish”, and started to type.
My manager had a hard time believing that I got this guy to document his code, and even my manager’s manager dropped me a note some days later saying that he is very impressed by me solving the aforementioned organizational headache. The dynamics changed completely afterwards because by documenting his code this guy lost the one trump card he had. He was surely aware that people had soured on him so much that he would now likely get fired. As he realized that he could not pull off his bullshit with me, he resigned a few weeks later, to the delight of everyone he ever worked with at this place.
If you have to learn how to effectively deal with dickheads on the job, your learning curve will be pretty steep. What is worse, the stakes are too high in the modern workplace, which is probably why the typical meek individual-contributor corporate wagecuck will never be given much responsibility. I do not think that it is much of a “cope” to say that without my very extensive experience dealing with all kinds of people in clubs and bars I would not have acquired the social skills necessary to effectively deal with difficult people at work.
I think that, in hindsight, I certainly had a bit of luck that I managed to turn my life around in the end. It is also possible that I ended up in a better position than if I had entered the tech industry a decade sooner, but this may be partly a “cope”. Still, I undoubtedly learned a lot of important social skills by going out a lot and I just don’t see where or how I could have learned the same while working full-time. Nonetheless, I would not recommend anyone to drop out of the rat race and party for a few years as this is simply quite risky.
It may sound hypocritical of me to say that I cannot recommend putting your professional life on hold for the purpose of chasing after pussy. This is not a “fun for me but not for thee”-style position, though. I did not have a plan for my life back then, and if you do not have a plan either, I don’t think you should expect that somehow things will work themselves out in a beneficial way. I undoubtedly got lucky. That being said, I have been thinking about what advice I would give to a son, were I to have one. Probably, I would nudge him towards a work hard, play hard lifestyle. I would stress the importance of learning a trade or studying a subject that enables him to put food on the table, but he should also make sure to party and travel. The details can be worked out if needed, but I can think of several opportunities for any young man to gain a lot of experience in the real world quickly, e.g. exchange programs, internships abroad, international assignments in fields such as management consulting, or doing sabbaticals. If he picked a profession that would allow him to work remotely as a freelancer, he should be able to quite easily maintain a relatively active social life for a few years while also building a career. When I was in my early 20s, remote work was science fiction, however.
Over the years, I have fluctuated in my assessment of my supposedly lost years. Overall, I think that it was time well spent, and I quite likely would not be where I am right now without this experience, simply because I was not particularly great at interacting with people in my early 20s. I was not a complete weirdo, but had I entered the workforce at that point, pursuing a technical career, I do not think that I would have developed the skills I have been benefiting so much from professionally for years already. It worked out fine for me, but my life could easily have gone completely off the rails, and I am glad that it did not.
10 thoughts on “Reflections on a Possibly Wasted Decade Spent on Picking up Women”
Big fan of your blog, I try to read your posts when I can. One thing that turned me away from the PUA scene was that everyone was and still is very weird, almost sociopathic. Everything felt forced and not normal. Anyway, it was a relief to have found your stuff, so thanks for being a regular, logical, smart dude.
Thanks for the feedback, Peter!
Excellent post. The example of the Ukrainian is so common . Those that dig themselves in this way definitely a clever strategy used across many orgs. The standout point for me was the learning of social / people skills which cannot be over emphasised to new grads (esp technical) going into any Corp or business. People skills are CRUCIAL to get ahead ,as at Mgt level it’s all politics. Alliances, negotiation, manipulation and strategy games. I dropped out of a decade career in finance as it became clear no matter how expert I became I didn’t have the people skills to progress .You have to be a player and know the “The Secret Handshake” to get in the club. It’s very difficult to book-learn these skills at a later age either (altho Robert Greenes book on Power Dynamics is excellent imo). A mentor is probably the only effective way. Or perhaps a post grad in politics / strategy before starting a career.
Damn,in the days I wasn’t around,looks like my 2nd featured article came about!
Only saw this sometime today. Unfortunately,my Laptop fucked up a few days ago. Only today was I able to get it running again. (My laptop is running,but is definitely not running optimally. I suspect I’m nearing the end of this laptop’s lifespan)
I’ll probably comment again at a later time when I’ve organized my thoughts and the articles you recently just wrote more thoroughly.
All I can say for now is,I think our fundamental worldviews have always been completely different from normies.
I think you sharing your knowledge and experience has been of great value to the world. Mainstream media/society has always seemed to vilify men who seek out casual sex. Portraying them as lying and conniving sociopaths willing to do anything just to get some nookie. (and that women are wholly virtuous and never desire sex just for the sake of it) At least that’s what I remember seeing in drama TV of old.
Movies about “Friends with Benefits” almost always portrays the other party getting treated like shit. They always forget the “friends” of the equation. I think Alek even said elsewhere that he lost his virginity with his best friend,and is actually still friends with other women he’s laid before.
Again,I’ll probably add further comment later on. Hope my computer doesn’t fuck up again anytime soon…
” I would not recommend anyone to drop out of the rat race and party for a few years as this is simply quite risk.y”
The parental cushion that allowed you this kind of freedom is possible for a very small percentage of guys, of course.
“I should remind you that I live in Europe where you get paid peanuts compared to what you can earn in some key tech hubs in the US..”
My sister, who works in Norway (although in Finance instead of Tech), agrees. She’s told me that she’d rather be making bucks in the US, but she followed her husband there, and now they have a son, of course, and there are more benefits for children in Europe (namely the treatment he would need if he’s indeed in the spectrum). I really, really hope he doesn’t get indoctrinated by the education system though.
To clarify, my brother-in-law is Central American as well and with a similar professional background as hers. If she had caught a European husband thanks to her looks, as many Latin Americans do, it’d be a very different story.
I spent a few years working for ‘Big Blue’ in Europe and spent some time in the US HQs on trips for global projects in engineering. Speaking with my counterparts there I was amazed at their salaries but also learned the big downsides. 2 weeks annual leave per year and all scared to death of getting sick due to the private healthcare fiasco that exists there. Insurance costs are huge. And still don’t cover common things like dental. Plus when the company downsizes and fires them they have to leave on the day. A few weeks of social security and that’s it. No social welfare and public health is abysmal. Public Transport is for the poor outside of the major cities. The media is programmed for the dumbest person in the room with TV ads for drugs and politics running every 10 minutes. Plus the work commute is horrendous and the food is absolutely disgusting everywhere. Oh and they drive on the wrong side of the road too (!).
LA was the biggest shithole I’ve ever been to in my life . Could not believe how dangerously people drive there either. I though I was going to die on the freeway there many times. it’s an insane place.
I remember during my studies I went out multiple times per week. For 5 years, I just studied and partied. I wasted a lot of time here. I can only re-call three semesters which were really worth it to just study and party: During my bachelor In the first semester (when everyone is new), in the third semester (when there are younger newcomers) and fifth semester (when you are abroad). In those semesters I learned a lot from partying and I created great memories. In all the other semesters the experience was just “meh” – in those semesters I should have partied less and instead worked more.
“Work hard, play hard” also means thinking strategically about your work and play.
For example, when you start working in Europe, I recommend working in Switzerland as you can save much more money than in any other European country.
When you want to party a lot, be in situations where you can have great experiences. For example, I had great experiences in exchange semesters, when I worked abroad or when I had internships at companies where they had an over abundance of female interns.