Over the last two decades I’ve done a lot of game, had many adventures and enjoyed relationships and short-term encounters with a lot of cute girls. But it wasn’t always like this. I am now in my early forties. When I was a teenager my dating life was a shit show. I didn’t lose my virginity until I was twenty.

There was no need for this. I’m not claiming that I could have been the world’s greatest player but equally I missed out on a lot of opportunities because of incorrect beliefs and a lack of experience.

Here are 10 things I would tell my teenage self now if I had the chance.

1. Relax, it does get better

When I was sixteen I already felt like I’d been alive a very long time. Things weren’t great and my hunch was they would continue to get worse—forever. I was worried not only that I would never get a girlfriend, but also that I’d never get a job, I wouldn’t be able to support myself, I’d end up homeless. And so on.

Today I can be prone to negative projection too. But with far more experience I am also able to see that life is made up of both good and bad. While terrible things do undoubtedly happen, so do good things.

Also, I have more control than I thought. With the ability to put in hard work (into game as well as business enterprises) I can shape my own future.

2. Don’t put her on a pedestal

This is perhaps the single most important lesson any young man can learn.

In my early life, my love interests all followed a very predictable pattern. I would become fixated on a particular girl (usually a brunette, skinny one—my tastes haven’t really changed at all). Then, instead of taking action, I would wait for something to happen, hoping that my meaningful glances during chemistry class were sufficient to convey my interest to her.

Of course, this was a terrible strategy. And as nothing happened I would become more and more obsessed with the girl. This would raise her perceived value to goddess-like status in my eyes, and so the pain of not having her would become ever sharper.

By putting these girls on pedestals I not only stored up a lot of emotional discomfort, but I also made it far less likely that I would actually get them. You see desperation is palpable: women can tell, as though by a sixth sense, when a guy is interested. If he then doesn’t have the balls to follow through and be honest about what he wants then she’ll quickly despise him for it. 

3. Go with the girl who is actually interested

Another consequence of putting girls on pedestals (or oneitis) was that I would overlook those who were actually interested in me.

I always used to say that I had terrible luck with girls at school. In fact, that wasn’t really the case. There were a good many (attractive) girls who were interested in me. But I would always blow them off for whoever the object of my obsession was at that particular time. This meant that I passed up a number of great opportunities.

Remember, when you get IOIs you should always respond to them—failure to do so means you’re leaving money on the table. 

 4. Jealousy is a powerful motivator

Ironically, my failure to engage with those girls who were actually interested in me cost me opportunities with my oneitus girls that could have been sparked with jealousy.

What I failed to realise as a young man was just how powerful jealousy can be as a motivator. I always clung to the blue pill notion that it would only be by ‘showing that I was serious’ that I could hope to get the girl.

This is fallacious. ‘Showing that you are serious’ is the worst way to ignite sexual excitement and the best way to look like a desperate, overly-invested chode.

Had I taken the bait on one of those other girls then it’s likely that not only would I have enjoyed myself, but I would have stimulated demand elsewhere in the market too. 

5. Don’t try to be perfect

Don’t strive for perfection. Don’t second guess what her ‘perfect man’ is like and try to fit the bill. Don’t waste your time on all of that stuff.

Look at the guys who actually get laid in high school—the jerks, the wasters. You think they waste time trying to be ‘her perfect man’? Of course they don’t. They are simply honest, upfront and put themselves on the line, come what may.

My strategy led me to try to be ‘different to all the rest’. While radical differentiation from other men is indeed key, trying to be more honorable just won’t work—not in this universe, anyway.

6. Sexual attraction comes first and you can’t negotiate your way into her underwear.

Vinny Pringo, yesterday.

As a teenager my strategy for getting girls centred around negotiation. If I could communicate to her all of the reasons why she should like me then she would realise how perfect I was and choose me over other men. What I didn’t see, at that time, was that sexual attraction always trumps appeals to logic.

My contemporary Vinny Pringo had a much more visceral strategy than me. Our recreation area at the school boasted a climbing frame for the younger kids. At lunchtimes, Pringo would remove his shirt and do pull-ups on the bars, showing off his well-developed shoulders, arms and abs to the girls. At the time I disdained his method for being ‘too obvious’. I swear he used to oil up his chest before these displays.

Nevertheless, the reality was that Pringo was knee deep in pussy most during our senior year, while I was stuck having ‘deep and meaningful’ conversations with girls that went nowhere.

If there’s a choice between igniting raw sexual attraction or negotiating intimacy, always go for the former and never the latter.

7. Put yourself first

For this reason—as naturals like Vinny Pringo are intuitively aware—it is imperative that you put yourself first.

Do not second guess what you think the girl wants. In fact, don’t waste any time thinking of her at all. If you like working out on the bars then do so. If you love football then play. If you want to learn the violin then do that.

The more you seek to please yourself rather than her, the more you are on your own path, the better you will ultimately do, since no woman wants to replace a man’s mission.

 8. Rejection is not the end of the world

 When I was in high school I was absolutely terrified of rejection: this was at the root of all of my problems. I honestly thought that if I was rejected just once the skies would fall in and I would likely not survive.

Of course, this was nonsensical. The fact is that rejection is unavoidable in all areas of life, whether you want to publish a book, get a job or interest investors in your business idea. Why should it be any different with dating?

As I got older I learned not only to accept rejection but to embrace it. In time rejection became a badge of pride. At least I was doing something that intimidated a huge percentage of guys. For that alone, I was ahead of the pack.

9. Not all girls think the same

Following on from the previous point, just because you get rejected by one girl it doesn’t mean that the next will automatically turn you down as well. This was yet another fundamental misconception of mine. I truly believed that girls all thought the same as one another, and that if you were deemed unsexworthy by one then the next would think the same thing too.

That was before I properly got to grips with the complexities of the sexual marketplace, and realised that male value is not static. A guy who couldn’t pull a 3 in the US might well be the toast of the town in Shanghai.

Your SMV is very much subjective and in the eye of the beholder.

 10. Even if you get with her, it won’t solve your life’s problems

And finally, another blue pill fantasy that needs to be quashed. Even if you do get that girl that you’ve wanted for so long, do not for one moment think it will make your life wonderful and you’ll never have any problems again. Quite the contrary.

The unfortunate truth is that it is when a relationship with a girl begins that the really hard work starts too.

For a compilation of all Troy’s best game writing, advice and techniques from the last four years buy his new book How To Get Hot Girls Into Bed 

Read Next: Women Don’t Want Relationships With Men Who Want Relationships