This is another of the posts that guys in their 20s can pretty much ignore, as it’s not terribly applicable to them, but as I read “The Real Roots of Midlife Crisis: What a growing body of research reveals about the biology of human happiness—and how to navigate the (temporary) slump in middle age” I see some aspects that apply to me, even if I wish I did not. Like, “Midlife is, for many people, a time of recalibration, when they begin to evaluate their lives less in terms of social competition and more in terms of social connectedness.” I would not say that I have abandoned competition, which I still feel, but I feel less of it, and I realize that a lot of the competition I perceived when I was younger was just imagined. In any given situation I was often competing more than anything else against myself. And it’s often better to change the game than to keep competing in it. This is most obviously true for guys with one-itis. Instead of chasing after that one Magical Special Girl, go find another one… and make Magical Special Girl compete with the other girl. If she doesn’t, she was never yours.
Do you not get the promotion you wanted at work? Get another job.
There is something to the idea that “age is just a number.” We have all met older people with incredible optimism and grace, while we have all met 20-year olds with the soul of 55-year-old accountants. But while there is something to that idea, biology imposes its own costs. You do not see 40-year olds suddenly breaking into the NBA. If you are 40, you will not get the kind of mentorship and even tolerance at work that raw 23-year olds might get. Injury rates go up over time. Such observations fueled “The deep psychology that keeps men in the game.” While guys don’t crash into the wall like most women do in their 30s, there is a wall and we do eventually hit it. Eventually, even with extreme diet discipline and gym discipline, a guy’s ability to get younger-hotter-tight (YHT) is going to decline. This is NOT an argument that you should think to yourself, “I am 35, it must be time to SETTLE DOWN.” But if you have been in the game for five years, ten years… you may find yourself thinking such thoughts. There are some real trade-offs, like the ones from “Two possible paths forward: Hedonistic partying vs children.”
One fact about the modern world, too, is that you can never surrender… your girl or wife (if you’re crazy enough to marry) could leave you at any time. Constant vigilance and preparation is the way of the modern world. You might not like it, but it’s true. It’s also true of women, by the way.
From the article, this also makes sense, “My dissatisfaction was whiny and irrational, as I well knew, so I kept it to myself.” Many of my dissatisfactions are whiny and irrational. They persist anyway. Overall I am well placed. Yet I feel that I could be doing a little better. A lot better, in some ways. I find myself thinking about chucking my career and doing something different, more technical… realistically I am not going to do it, but the dissatisfactions are there.
Also, I have been saying for a while that the death of elderly relatives is a common point for people to re-evaluate their lives, “As I moved into my early 50s, I hit some real setbacks. Both of my parents died, one of them after suffering a terrible illness while I watched helplessly.” For people in their teens and 20s it is easy to feel immortal. But the immortal feeling often wanes over time.
I also notice a common pattern: people with large, functioning families work much better with age and aging. People who are alone, isolated, or with dysfunctional families work worse, especially in the face of injury. I don’t have empirical support for this observation but it is what I observe. One of the tragedies of the contemporary world is isolation. At any given moment isolation feels like the easy road, but over the long term it may be better to take the hard one.
I just wrote a tweet, “When you figure out the game and get your fundamentals in order, most of the rest is execution. That’s why most pickup, game, and Red Pill guys quit or fade away… the execution is the harder part.” I don’t think I’m a game master, but I have been doing enough things right for a long enough time that I have fundamentals in order. My main contribution to the community has been in writing about non-monogamy and sex clubs as they can apply to the game. If I have an “innovation,” that is it, but I don’t think it will become wildly popular, as non-monogamy is a sub-culture and game/pickup is a sub-culture… so I am target the tiny overlap between the two. Not a big market. Fortunately I did not write the book to reach a big market (that market doesn’t exist) but to explain what I have learned for the small number of people who wish to learn or think.
The rest of my game is mostly application of ideas better articulated elsewhere. That is why the sidebar links are important. I still like hooking up w/ hot chicks, don’t get me wrong, and I am not likely to turn into a TradCon. I do feel less competition than I used to, and more cooperation, so that is nice. In some ways, not giving a shit has its advantages w/ chicks, as they can sense that and it intrigues them. I wasn’t good at this, which players call “abundance mentality,” when I was younger. When I was younger I also thought it was important to be “right.” Now I realize that the overwhelming majority of people don’t care about truth or being right… they just want to be emotionally validated and have their team win. With a lot of things it’s like, “Uh huh, right, okay, great,” and then we move on to building connection or doing business or just to something that matters.
I have spent too much of a Saturday writing this post, but reading the piece sparked it in me, and I want to get it out while it’s fresh.