Is Your Idea of a Successful Relationship Realistic?

Is a successful relationship one that is “smooth sailing,” or one that has challenges and bumps in the road?

I saw a FB post from a guy saying that he wants to give up on relationships because they’re “too much hassle.”

In his mind, he and his girl should never fight, never argue, and always be positive. And if he can’t have this….he doesn’t want the relationship.

On one hand, I see his point. We have so much stress in our lives from our jobs, bills, commuting, etc., the last thing we need is even more strain in our romantic lives.

Relationships SHOULD be where we go to find comfort and peace from the everyday stresses of life.

On the other hand, if we don’t face challenges and difficulties, how do we grow and become better partners?

I have had to grow through challenges quite a bit in my relationship.

I am a very scheduled, regimented person in my daily life. If my plans get upset….I get upset. “Spontaneity” is not a positive word in my personal dictionary.

My partner, however, is a free flowing, spur of the moment type girl. How in the hell do we coexist?

By stepping out of our own bubble, stretching ourselves, and adapting.

Because our desire to make shit work is stronger than our desire to stay in our own personal comfort zones.

It took me a while to get used to it, but now, when plans change, I don’t stress. My challenges have helped me grow. The same applies to her, on days when we tell ourselves we’re making plans and sticking to them.

I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences with this question down below.

What Does Playing an Old 80’s Video Game Have to Do With Dating Coaching?

One of my favorite video games growing up (read: One that stole a ton of hours from my childhood) was Metroid. A few days ago, I had the pleasure of playing it again after many years.

The main character, Samus, is a bounty hunter assigned to eliminate the army of Space Pirates who are attacking a planet. Your classic run-and-gun game.

Along the way, she earns quite a few power ups, including high jump boots, an ice beam, and even an item which transforms her into a ball! (as seen in the screenshot below.)

As I was playing along gaining these power ups, my coach mind kicked in and I started to notice something:

When Samus gets her power ups, she becomes stronger….a more capable character. But do these power ups change who she is, fundamentally? Of course not! Samus is still the same Space Pirate hunting badass…. only amplified.

One of the main fears people have before signing up for dating coaching is that their coach will try to transform their personality and character into something they aren’t, or worse, don’t want to be.

But that’s not what good coaching is about.

Good coaching starts with the foundation that who you are at the core is awesome, and the growth comes form adding skills and abilities that will only enhance the type of person you already are… like Samus adding on her power ups.

This is done in order to attract the RIGHT type of person for you.

Good coaching doesn’t try to change a Samus into a Mario.

It simply upgrades a Samus into their most powerful version.

When you can commit to stepping into the potential discomfort of powering yourself-up, then it won’t be long until much better results follow.

Myth: You Can Attract ANYBODY

We see this all the time.



Dating experts on YouTube, Facebook, etc., making big promises, that by using their secret-sauce pickup line, or by some magical body language trick, that literally anybody; from the cute-yet-nerdy librarian, to the Victoria’s Secret model…. from the software designer with the dad bod, to the jacked, veiny professional athlete, will immediately fall into your lap begging to be with you.

The problem is that it’s all bullshit.

There are simply too many variables to an individual person, to a community, and to the population at large that need to be considered. Different people are going to react to different characteristics differently. In many ways, there’s a bit of an element of randomness to it.

You can minimize that randomness by putting forward the best, most attractive version of yourself (according to your specifications), but even then, that will only lessen the randomness, not eliminate it outright.

Not to mention that there are too may variables within YOU that need to be considered.

Also, people aren’t stupid. Many of them have seen this fake, try-hard stuff countless times, and can see it coming a mile away.

The unsexy truth is that if you want to improve your dating life….it’s going to take work, patience, diligence, and yes, even some embarrassing setbacks. That’s life.

There’s no big secret. No instant tricks.

It’s going to require stepping out of yourself and taking a larger and longer term view of things.

It will require introspection accompanied by a healthy dose of self-reflection, not all of it positive.

Even when you are at your best….you will be adored by some,  outright disliked by others, and viewed neutrally by others still….

Just as it is with everyone else (even the now semi-mythical “Brad Pitt” or “Pam Anderson.”)

But, you’ll have a much better idea of who those adoring ones are…and how to attract them.

If you are ready to put in the work, and understand that relationships are rarely governed by strict black and white “rules,” but instead are a random and sometimes illogical shade of grey, then you’re well on your way already.

Are you Looking for Love… Or Validation?

On my Facebook group “No Games Necessary” a while back, I asked a question about what was the #1 characteristic guys were looking for in a woman.

A good number of them said “She’s gotta be hot” or some variation of that.

Of course it’s understandable to say this, we all want to be attracted to our partner..but could this be hurting us unknowingly?

When we become fixated solely on looks, it can get to a point where we view these women as a kind of prize or trophy.

This can leave guys up shit’s creek, and not just due to the obvious fact that we are placing an enormously high value on a complete stranger we know nothing about.
It can also trap your mindset in a sort of catch-22.

On the one hand, we want to find someone high value, or “out of our league” to give validation to ourselves.

“Look at me! I’ve got this fucking hot dimepiece absolutely hanging off me, I must be the fucking MAN!”

On the other hand, precisely because we place such a high value on “stunners,” we can become so intimidated, that we will never risk being rejected by them, for fear of what that will do to us or our ego.

This can then lead us to subconsciously push away ideal women, because we are more concerned about protecting our ego than finding a person who actually fits us.

When relationships are built off of validation, they don’t last. Because the people who build them are usually not concerning themselves with the things that make relationships last.

This is NOT to say we shouldn’t value the physical attractiveness of our partner…of course we should.

But looks without a character or values match more often than not ends up costing us.

Top 10 Dating “Truths” That Need to Die in 2020

-Attractiveness is 100% inherited and genetic, and there’s nothing you can do to change it.

-You must wait three days (or two, or one) before texting

– If you like someone, act disinterested

– If there’s conflict, your relationship is doomed

– Men are always logical….women are always emotional

-You can’t get anywhere with online dating unless you’re tall/rich/have a sixpack

– Romantic feelings only last 3-6 months.

– Asking a woman for her opinion or preferences is “needy” and “feminine”

– “All Men/Women Are Like That”

– “Real Men” can’t be vulnerable

What others can you think of?

How the Myth of Believing in”The One” Can Hurt Us

Growing up, we’ve been fed an endless amount of stories about how, if we wait long enough, we will eventually run in to that ONE perfect person who is a 100% match for us.

It sounds very sweet and romantic…..but in actuality, using this idea to guide your way in your romantic life can be dangerous if we’re not careful.

Let’s break this idea down:

There are nearly 8 billion people on the planet, half of whom are of the opposite sex. The idea that…out of all these people, there’s only ONE who will be an ideal match for you is a bit far-fetched.

More likely, there are MANY ideal people out there for you. You just need to know where to find them!

So why is this idea of the “The One” dangerous?


By believing that there is only ONE person who is right for you, you might think that you are looking for a needle in a haystack, and you may give up looking…..not knowing that there are many compatible people out there, some of whom may even be right down the road.

Conversely, you may think that “fate” or “destiny” will simply drop your soulmate in your lap, and you may avoid taking action as a result because doing so will “interfere” with fate.


When you believe that there is only ONE perfect person for you, you are more likely to act out of a place of scarcity. You will unnecessarily put more stock into a particular date or outcome than you should…and that can lead to unfavorable consequences.


When you meet someone you like, you are more likely to overextend yourself and try harder to please them than you should, because you don’t want to “lose” them. The dynamic of the relationship will end up being much more tense, stressful, and awkward than it needs to be.

Remember… should be fun.

Conversely, when you feel that there are many potential matches out there, you are more relaxed, confident and self assured, which comes across as way more attractive.

If you are somebody who believes in only ONE perfect person, how is that belief serving you right now? Do you think you would benefit more from believing that there are many, instead of one (or none)?

Because if we do the math, the numbers appear to indicate so.

What Does Carrying a Suitcase Around Have to do with Finding Our Ideal Partner??

Over the holiday, I found my mind wandering back to an analogy my old coach shared with me when I was feeling down about my dating prospects.

Imagine that each one of the roughly 4 billion women in the world are carrying a briefcase with them.

Every time you interact or talk with one of them, you get chance to look inside their own personal briefcase.

Most times, when you look, there won’t be anything there….it sucks, but such is life.

Sometimes, there will be a little bit of money inside the briefcase….$1000, maybe $10,000, surely enough to get you excited and to take the money, but not enough for you to make a living.

But occasionally, and there may be less than 100 total, you’ll find a woman who, when you talk to her and open her briefcase, she’ll have a billion dollars inside.

More than enough to make a great living from for the rest of our lives without having to work another day.

Now the money is just a metaphor….in fact, these “billion dollar” women have everything we are looking for in terms of what we want in an ideal partner.

Someone we think is sexy as hell, someone who gets us, someone who supports us, builds us up… someone who we share the exact same wavelength with.

The problem with a lot of guys (including me at that stage) was that I was so frustrated after meeting 30-40 “empty briefcases” in a row, I thought I was never going to get anywhere.

Here’s the thing, though….

If I was going to give up after #40, how shitty would I have felt if #41 had one of the billion dollar cases? I couldn’t accept that.

I had to ask myself a question……How important was this to me?

How important was it to find one of those women, as rare as they may be?

For me….it was extremely important. So I decided to go through as many false starts and dead ends as I needed to. And it was well worth the journey to end up with the person I’m with now.

Fortunately, I’ve learned a few things on my journey, so you don’t have to go through as many dead ends as I did.

So ask yourself…how important is finding someone ideal for you? What would it mean to have this person in your life vs. not having them?

If the answer is anything close to “Pretty Fucking Important, Michael,” then I encourage you to contact me so that I can show you how to find your billion dollar women much faster.

Where to go to meet “My People”

Recently, I got a very interesting question over at my Facebook Group “No Game Necessary” (link provided below if you’re interested in joining up), where one of the members asked about where he could go to meet more of the women he is really interested in. He mentioned (correctly) that the vast majority of men’s dating advice online is designed to help you successfully “pick up” and land a date with what is commonly known as “the popular hot girl” or “HB10” (if you’re still shackled by that pickup terminology). Now, if that is truly the kind of girl you’re looking for…. then this advice still may not even work, because every “popular hot girl” is a unique individual herself, and not all of them will automatically be swooned by your lines and “cheat codes” as though you’re playing a video game that reliably responds  to you input the same way each time. Human beings simply don’t work like that, and it’s time we as a people move away from thinking this way.

Anyway, mini-rant over! What about girls (and guys too) who do not conform to the traditional societal definition of desirable, but are nonetheless, still incredibly sexy in their own way? What if you’re a guy looking for more of a bookish, introverted, nerdy girl? What if you’re a woman looking for a guy who’s not a machismo-fueled, Jersey Shore dude-bro? How do we meet them? 

In this post, I will explain my top places to go to meet people, which don’t involve bars, clubs and other places designed to be a “mating meat market,” so that you’ll have a better chance of finding people who are right for YOU. 

Keep in mind, this advice applies to both men and women, so ladies, feel free to explore these options yourselves as well! 

1) Bookstores: Ever walk into a bookstore and notice that cute guy/girl sitting quietly, reading the latest bestseller (or even the latest Star Wars book?) I have, and many of my dates that I had offline started from bookstores. The reason? As I said before, Im a big geek! Bookstores are a great way to meet more intellectually curious people, and talking about the latest in literature is a great jumping off point for a conversation.. which could eventually set the stage for a meeting down the road. Be careful though. A lot of people go to bookstores and libraries to…you know…. actually READ. So if it looks like the person you’re hoping to talk to is not having it, respect that, and move on.

2) Comic-Cons/Sci Fi/Geek Conventions: Another one for my nerdy friends, these conventions are a great way to introduce yourself, network with people, and bond together over shared interests. Again, this is a great place to lay the foundation for a future friendship and relationship, as you can establish that normally difficult initial rapport by having a built in topic of conversation handy from the get-go. However, you need to remember that since most people are there for the convention, not necessarily to hook up,  so it might not be the best idea to lay it on real thick in your first initial meeting. Instead, talk to them, ask for contact info, and continue the conversation as any normal friends would afterwards.

3) Martial Arts classes: OK, the specifics of the martial arts comes from my own bias, as I am a huge aficionado of bashing people’s brains in for shits and giggles (just kidding…although I DO enjoy the spirit of healthy one-on -one physical competition every now and again). Martial Arts would work for me… but if breaking bricks and choking people to the point of unconsciousness isn’t your thing, you could easily substitute it for intramural sports teams, pickup Basketball leagues, mountain biking, or anything else that involves you getting up off your ass, moving your body around, and sweating a bit. If you are an athletically inclined person looking to meet a person who shares your passions, groups centered around sports and games could just be the next place where you meet Mr./Ms. Right.

4) Dance Classes: This is a great spot for guys in particular, as dance classes are largely made up of women. Some classes in NYC, for example,  are almost 2 to 1 girls to guys, so you definitely have the numbers in your favor. If you’re someone who likes to move their body, but aren’t really into the competitive side of physicality, dance classes provide the optimum way to explore your interests, and meet new people at the same time.

5) Art clubs/classes: If you enjoy spending time in art museums, looking at masterpeices, or if you want to create on yourself, art clubs and classes are a great way to fulfill your hobby while getting to know the next great artist of the opposite gender!

These are just some of the many examples of places you could go to to meet people outside of the bars, clubs, and online sites. As you can probably see from the above examples, the formula is pretty basic: You figure out what your interests are, find a group or club related to that interest, join it, and go to the events, network, and meet like minded people. In addition, to meeting your potential future husband or wife, it’s also a great way to build a strong social circle in general.

Manipulation in Dating and Relationships: Is this “Just The Way It Is?”

 How Did I get Here?

 In addition to blogging, part of what I do to keep myself involved in the Men’s Development and Dating communities is to participate regularly in Social Media based groups which center around topics and issues that are important to those niches. Recently, in one of the groups I’m involved with, the group administrator started a discussion by posting several screenshots of a Tinder conversation he is having with a woman. He captioned the screenshots with the words, “How to Pass Congruency Tests Like a Boss.” He then shows how the woman’s first words to him were deliberately challenging and slightly confrontational in nature, where she points out to him how what he says in his Tinder profile doesn’t match up to the persona he presents in his Instagram feed. She then proceeds to insinuate that he lacks depth, and not nearly as interesting as he leads on. “Quite the first impression she’s making,” were my first thoughts as I was reading through this exchange. He then goes on to show how he  “passed the test” by saying a few suave lines, to which the woman replies, “You handled that with a lot of grace, ______.” 

From the last line she wrote, it’s quite clear that this woman consciously knew what she was doing by saying what she said. It’s the classic case of what old school “Pick Up Artists” refer to as the “shit test.” A woman will “test” a man’s internal confidence and sense of self by saying or doing something that might throw him off his game. If he stays the course and doesn’t falter in his convictions in the face of her behavior, he’s “proven” that he’s a confident man and is “worth” being on a date with. If he gets flustered, stumbles over his words, or scrambles to find an explanation, then he has “failed,” and the chances of another meeting fall faster than the stock market in October, 1929. This is the narrative that PUAs have given us for the past 20 years. It’s a fact of nature, they say. You can’t escape it. Furthermore, most women don’t even realize they are doing it, as it is a subconscious action, or so the story goes.

What I found to be telling about this whole discussion was the responses from the other men in the group. Most of them were quick to point out how the woman in question’s behavior in the exchange was a red flag, and that at the very least, they should be wary of how the conversation and any subsequent dates might go with this woman. I also chimed in and expressed a similar sentiment. My personal belief is that the best and most authentic relationships begin with sincere communication right from the start. Communication that is free from manipulative behaviors that naturally would cause one or the other party to put their emotional guard up higher than it needs to be. The response I got was along the lines of “Well, that’s just the way it is. High value women test like this. It’s biological, innate. If you don’t play their game, then you are effectively disqualifying yourself from women of value.” 

On the surface, this appears to make sense. However, there’s just one little problem… it is completely inaccurate, from both a theoretical, intellectual perspective, as well as a practical, real world one. First, we can’t ignore the glaring truth that women are not some hive-mind collective who all think and operate according to the same programming, but are instead 3.8 billion individuals each with their own unique agency, wants, needs, and communication styles. We also can’t ignore the idea that, if this phenomenon was strictly biological and subconscious, then ALL women would be doing this, not just the “high value” ones. Clearly, this is not the case upon observation.

 The fact is, most dates don’t involve this degree of manipulative communication at all. I personally have been on over 200 dates, and outside of one or two, none of them have involved any “tests” or “hoops” to jump through. Most women, just like most men, are human beings looking to connect and find someone who they click with. Sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t. No matter what the outcome is, most times you will find that the other person is sincerely wanting to find out if you are a match, and they will use honest, straightforward communication methods and tactics to find out if this is so.

What to Do if We DO Encounter These Tests?

This is not to say, however, that “shit tests” are not a thing. They certainly are. How you will end up handling them (or not) depends on your overall personality type, and how much emotional manipulation YOU are willing to accept from someone else. Mark Manson, author of Models: Attracting Women Through Honesty, has a very detailed blog post (linked below) on how men will generally react to manipulative behavior, according to how manipulative the woman’s behavior is, as well as how vulnerable the man is willing to be in a relationship or on a date. The key to handling these tests will differ depending on your personality. If you’re the type of man who isn’t bothered by them, (like my group administrator), then all you need to do is to think of something clever to say, keep your cool, push forward, and hope that the “testing” behavior doesn’t continue (which it most likely will.) However, another message needs to be sent to those men who think differently. The message I want to give you is: There is nothing wrong with you, or your feelings! You are not “beta” or a “loser” because you choose not to deal with manipulation and shit tests! Contrary to what many of the old school PUAs may tell you, you do not just have to “put up with” this type of behavior from your potential dates. However, you DO have to recognize, fairly early on, that if someone is going to treat you this way, you need to be able to bail out and keep looking. A lot of men will keep moving forward and try to “make things work” because they feel that is what they are supposed to do. To end the date or not want to see them again because of that behavior is somehow “weak,” or “overly sensitive.” However, I argue that what you are doing is anything but. By being vulnerable and not accepting her behavior, you are actually choosing to stick to your own values and reality, rather than allowing yourself to get caught up in someone else’s. You know both what you want and what you don’t want in terms of communication, and you are absolutely not willing to sacrifice those just to pretend to get along with some random stranger who you just met. My rule on dates is, “if something’s happening that makes me feel uneasy, I won’t ignore it. If it’s something that’s a deal breaker, then it’s time to exit and move on.” I may not have been on as many dates as I would have liked, but the quality of those dates has drastically improved the I began implementing these boundaries. One of my personal deal breakers is to always have open, honest sincere communication, free of games. I am almost exceedingly particular on this issue. I haven’t had any real bad first dates in a while. 

Bottom Line

You need to understand your wants, needs and deal breakers, not just in terms of physical attraction, but also in terms of personality and communication style. Once you have defined those, you need to set strong boundaries, and enforce them. You are only going to take as much shit as you are willing to tolerate. If you don’t tolerate these tests, they will either not happen, or they will be the last interaction you have with that particular person. 

Good luck!

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