(And especially you old fuckers).
I knew I was kind of a dumbass. And I decided I didn’t want to be.
In my origin story I break down my strategic approach to my divorce and what I did in the following six months to start figuring out what kind of life I wanted and how best to get there. Here, we start getting a bit more tactical.
In one sense, I was in no hurry to change anything coming out of my twenty-year marriage, and didn’t need to be. Taking time to think things through and deal with all of the issues that tend to rise to the surface during a major life change is wise. However, at 50, with our 30 year high school reunions behind us and friends our age dying, we have a tendency to think, “Holy shit, my best years are behind me. I need to get my ass in gear.”
The truth is, yes, many of your best years are indeed behind you. Chances are, though, that those years–or parts of them–sucked balls anyway. As long as you learn from the past and don’t repeat the same mistakes, some of your best years are beginning right fucking now, but only if you stop being a dumbass and planting the seeds of your own destruction.
1. Dumbass move: Seeking, or getting pulled into, a serious, long-term relationship.
Most men I’ve known do this. Nearly all women seem to. They date a little for a few months after the divorce, and by the end of that first year, they’re already in some kind of committed, serious relationship.
For all I know, most of you reading this who are in a similar situation will do this. If so, you’re a dumbass and you might as well stop reading now. You won’t be saved.
If you want a relationship, want to get married, whatever at some point, that’s your business, but definitely don’t even consider it in that first year.
You will probably do this because you’re insecure and don’t want to be lonely, and being in a relationship after those years of marriage is what normal feels like. Tough shit, Tonto. Job #1 is to learn how to be alone without being lonely, and making peace with that. Or else you’re not really a man and you’re no good to anyone else.
Chances are you’re open to that relationship right now because you’re wounded, your ego is bruised since it was probably your ex who went for the divorce, or cheated on you, and you’re looking for validation, security, a future that is locked down.
Fuck that noise.
Methodology: Spend 6 months highly focused on setting firm boundaries on relationships with women. Then carry this out to 2-3 years. Learn how to enjoy socializing and sex with them without being sucked into–or pursuing–something more serious and domestic. Develop your other interests and male friendships during this time. There are 3.5+ Billion women on this planet. If you allow yourself to develop a thirsty, scarcity mentality, you will never have what you truly want.
2. Dumbass move: Relying on dating apps as a crutch instead of as a convenience.
Yeah, I know…for many, it sounds like the best way to quickly meet a chick or two and bust that post-divorce-I-need-me-some-strange nut. Do what you gotta do.
The problem is you’re probably using Tinder or Match or whatever as a shortcut to hack through your anxiety and spinelessness. But the women you really want aren’t attracted to men without spines.
Also, if you’re like most men and have no game and can’t hold frame, once you start chatting and then meeting women in person, you’re either going to talk her out of fucking you, or you’re going to get pulled in whatever direction she wants because you’re not used to getting laid.
Force yourself to up your social skills and game. Contrary to popular belief, “game” in my view is really just learning how to push through social anxiety and connect with people in general, enjoying yourself in the moment. In so doing you will learn how to drive the interaction in directions you want it to go, and pull people–women in particular–in your direction.
Just think about how nice it would be to walk into a room and be able to engage whomever you found interesting in, at the very least, an enjoyable conversation.
Methodology: Spend 6 months focusing on social interactions. Read up on and study game (reading list coming soon) from people who know their shit and know how to teach it.
3. Dumbass move: Seeking validation from the female-centric cultural priesthood…or your married friends.
Face it: you’re probably kind of a pussy. I certainly was. If you’re divorcing after 40 and didn’t really want to be, it ain’t all your ex’s fault, no matter how much of a bitch or a whore you think she was. Chances are high you stopped leading…assuming you were ever leading to begin with.
Make no mistake: if you’re not living the life you want, you’re the problem. And only you can solve the problem that is yourself.
Your family and friends want you to find a nice girl, settle down again. Your friends’ wives want you in a relationship because they don’t want their husbands exposed to your “bachelor wonderland.” Much of the culture and the legal system wants you to put women on a pedestal and subjugate yourself to gynocentric or feminist ideals. Tradcons (traditional conservatives) want you to follow their rules on monogamy and religion and politics. Women want you to be a ‘nice guy’ and not a ‘player’…and certainly not an older man who dates much younger women (not that you have to do that, either). Your kids want you to finance their endless adolescence.
Almost nobody wants you to be a man.
Methodology: Unplug from the constant bombardment of stupid television, movies, music, news for 6 months. Study men who do not conform to current societal expectations. Don’t explain yourself or over-communicate with anyone. Practice keeping more of your thoughts to yourself, so that instead of seeking validation from anyone, re-frame yourself and your interactions so that people seek validation from you. Instead of talking first, listen first and talk last, and then make the few words you say count. Most importantly, and at every opportunity: start telling people, No. It’s more important for you to be able to tell people, No, than it is for them to get what they want from you.
Spend 6 months changing or avoiding these 3 dumbass behaviors that typically ensnare older men coming out of a divorce or other serious change, and see how things look then. It will not be easy. It wasn’t for me, and it still sometimes isn’t.
But you don’t lose a fight if you keep on fighting.
As always, Non-serviam.