Don't let your bad habits become barriers to getting a girlfriend.



 

The Parable Of The Unnecessary Baggage.

 

Imagine you’re about to climb Everest. You’ve spent years preparing, and it’s all you’ve ever wanted. Last week you made it to base camp, and now, having finally adjusted to the altitude, you’re raring to go. The view from the peak has been calling you since you were a kid - you still remember the poster you had on your childhood bedroom wall.

 

You set off early with nerves in your belly and a rucksack strapped to your back. This is it. But just before you make that first step, you see a rock. Small enough to pick up, you study it in your palm. “What a souvenir this will make!” you think to yourself as you stuff it in your pocket. You forget about it moments after, as you make your first steps. Then a minute or so later you see another rock. You pick it up, study it and smile as you place it into your other pocket. You can see where this is going. Half hour into your ascent, you’ve filled every pocket, nook and cranny you could find with a bunch of rocks and you’re starting to look like the Michelin Man. Finding the weight on your back twice as hard to carry, you press on anyway. But a few hours later, you’re sweating you’re tits off and breathing heavily, the winds are throwing snow in your face and you can’t feel your fingers. “This is so hard, what am I doing? I’m not prepared, I should’ve done more training”. The weight on your back is unreal! For a while it never occurred to you, but then it does - “The rocks!”. You don’t really know why you’re carrying them in the first place, they never seemed like an issue. When you contemplate the idea of tossing them all away, it disturbs you. “I can’t leave them, they’re part of me now. They’re not that heavy, and I really like having them”. You end up holding on to them. The going doesn’t get any easier, and eventually, at the end of your tether, you turn back, blaming your lack of fitness, willpower, and skill. You decide you’re not ready after all and find yourself back at camp as the sun sets.

 

If it were in The Bible, this tale would be called “The Parable of the Unnecessary Baggage”.

 

Well, I’m sure you’re just itching to know - The mountain is in fact a metaphor for the long and treacherous journey we men must make to better ourselves. The peak resembles the riches of an amazing relationship, among the other benefits that personal development offers. And of course, the rocks are a metaphor for the unnecessary baggage many of us carry everyday, for none other reason than it’s all we know - bad habits, poor lifestyle design, and negative attitudes, to name a few.

 

A Guy Called Jono

 

Becoming more attractive requires the unravelling of insecurities, getting over anxiety and learning better social skills. However, no amount of personal development can compensate for an unproductive, unattractive life. This is specifically why living an attractive lifestyle is central to the advice I give.  

 

The rocks you’re carrying won’t be obvious, but I’m sure they’re there. Once you know what to look for, you’ll discover them too, and as subtle as they may be, identifying them is a vital task. These little rocks are barriers that stand between you and getting the girlfriend you’ve dreamed about. Persistently getting in your way, they interfere with any progress you make.

 

A perfect example is a guy I used to know who was desperate to be in a relationship. I will refer to him as Jono.

 

Jono was an extrovert, tall, strapping and an all-round handsome guy. He had no trouble finding attention from girls.

 

He regularly went on dates, usually with women he’d met on the internet.

 

At 30, Jono had experienced a handful of brief relationships, but remained single.

 

Yet he always had something going on - A date in the pipeline, a girl on Tinder he was ‘working on’, or a girl at work who seemed into him. Jono was an experienced Police Officer, and amongst his co-workers, he had a reputation for being a hit with the ladies - probably down to his behaviour at the yearly Christmas party, which always caused rifts at work for the following few weeks.

 

Despite his reputation, Jono never seemed to reach a second or third date.

 

His brief romances were fraught with drama.

 

He’d tell me about this one girl who would text him constantly after barely having met, and how she stalked him on Instagram, tasking a friend of hers to test his loyalty by sending him flirty messages through private chats. After volatile arguments, and fits of rageful texts, they’d agree to be friends. Then one day out of the blue, feeling lonely, one would text the other and kick off the storm again.

 

Or the other girl he’d shared a one night stand with, who was a catch but happened to be travelling back home to Canada the next day. Ready for a long-distance relationship, for weeks he’d talk about booking a flight to go see her for a second time, and maybe one day move out there. A month later, having stayed on home soil, the Whatsapp chat had run dry and he was thinking about someone else.

 

Usually, the women that Jono really likes, who he loses sleep over, walks aimlessly around town for 3 hours thinking about, end it with him. They all ghost him. With no idea why, Jono sends text after text demanding to understand the reasons. But they usually don’t reply.

 

Finding love consumed most of Jono’s thoughts.

 

Under the surface and the bravado, the ladies man his friends admired was a tortured soul, worried he was running out of time to find love.

 

Jono had low self-esteem and undervalued his worth to the women he really wanted, and his worth to the world.

 

He’d analyse every text sent and received, contemplating the hidden meanings to gauge how into him girls were.

 

Like many, Jono had his insecurities. He would’ve benefited immensely from unravelling them and learning to be himself but on top of them, Jono was living with his own barriers.

 

  • A demanding job that choked his time and energy, bad habits and poor choices in women for a start..

 

He’d created hurdles in his life that always worked against him. They’d made finding a relationship much harder than it needed to be.

 

You might view these barriers as normal parts of life - but they aren’t.

 

If Jono really did value finding a relationship, he’d make it a priority.

 

He’d spend some focussed time contemplating what it is that he wants from his life.

 

And so should you.

 

What do most people value in life?

 

You could quite easily guess. But I took to Reddit to confirm my assumptions.

 

Here are some of the most common examples….

 

 

screenshot of guys forum listing family as priorityScreenshot of guys listing their priorities

 

 

Just as I thought, we humans generally value the same things:

 

  • Fulfilling relationships
  • Stable careers
  • Good Health
  • Happiness for ourselves and our families.

 

I’m going to presume that since you’re here, finding a relationship is pretty high on your list of priorities.

 

You might not have called them that before.

 

You probably know them as goals or dreams.

 

But the difference with priorities is, everybody makes them. Though most are unaware.

 

How Humans Make Decisions

 

Adults make around 35000 remotely conscious decisions every day. Few times in our lives are we faced with a life altering decision - a decision so heavy that take weeks of deliberation before picking an option we’re still unsure of:

 

Choosing a career path, or a university degree, figuring out where to live, and whether to rent or buy.

But 99% of the decisions we make are truly insignificant. (A figure I’ve pulled out of my ass, though it has to be true)



  • “I’ll wear a blue t-shirt today”
  • “I’ll sit on this chair”
  • “I should probably flush now”

 

These decisions are gone and forgotten as soon as they’re made. They have virtually zero bearing on our life’s direction.

 

But other daily decisions, although individually insignificant, matter. Like choosing how to spend your precious free time tonight - Do you watch T.V? Socialise? Research something? Exercise?

 

Of course we could debate back and forth over whether humans truly have free will at all or if we are programmed to make predetermined decisions, but that would be a needless distraction.

 

Anyway, our priorities inform the decisions we make, they determine what we choose. For the many that don’t consciously set priorities, their decisions are informed by the following:

 

  • Their fundamental needs or instincts - pleasure, sex, hunger, survival, fear etc
  • What is most convenient and comfortable
  • Money
  • Religious or ethical beliefs
  • Pressure from other people

 

Even some of their big decisions are based on these priorities i.e. accepting a job offer because it pays more money than the others, but isn’t necessarily the most enjoyable, or offers best work/life balance.

 

When decision making is based on your instincts and cravings, instead of your true priorities, barriers can form.

 

To identify your barriers you must first define your priorities. Once you’ve done that, the little things that subtly hold you back will appear.

 

What Are Your Priorities?

 

What do you passionately seek from your life?

 

Yes, you want a girlfriend and you’re serious about personal development. But what else? What do you value?

 

Maybe Jono could you help you decide. Let’s go with the idea that his priorities are the following:

 

  1. To find a girlfriend
  2. To strike a better work/life balance without neglecting his career development.
  3. To be in better all-round health
  4. To enjoy happy relationships with his friends and family.

 

But also, Jono values…

 

...his long-term fulfillment rather than short term pleasure.

 

...spending time with people he is thrilled to be spending time with, who are also thrilled to be spending time with him.

 

Despite choosing these true priorities above, we know that Jono hasn’t really been prioritising them at all. His actual priorities (the feelings and ideas he unconsciously bases his decisions on) are pretty much the polar opposites…

 

To me, it’s obvious that Jono has actually been prioritising:

 

-Work

-Feeling wanted

-Short term pleasure and comfort

 

Let’s dig into this...

 

The centerpiece of Jono’s life is his job. It’s who he is. He’s proud of the skills he’s learnt, the situations he’s diffused and the money he earns - and that’s great, but how is it working for him?

 

Because of the demands of the job, Jono sacrifices his health and social life, often working unpredictable shifts, round-the-clock, picking up unhealthy fast food on his way to emergency calls. With rarely a weekend to himself, Jono isn’t available for regular dates. Getting time off work is difficult; He is so highly trained that his skills have become a burden, a barrier to getting into a relationship. Even on evenings when Jono should be free, his plans are often cancelled due to last minute overtime that comes with the nature of working for a 24 hour emergency service. Aside from all that, Jono is always tired, constantly switching between day shifts and night shifts.

 

Having failed to set meaningful priorities, Jono’s decisions are based on what is most comfortable, pleasurable, easy and fun.

 

Despite exercising now and then, like many, when Jono is alone at home he distracts himself from boredom. Instead of doing something worthwhile, Jono wastes his time in Youtube conspiracy theories and fail compilations, the latest PS4 games, junk food, late mornings and late nights. His diet for porn just contributes to his own sexual dysfunctions which, if you’re not aware of, you can read all about here.

 

Rarely does Jono choose to do what is best for him over what he wants or feels like doing in the moment. He would never put his neck on the line for something he cared about, like meeting new women in public. He’d rather the comfort of not embarrassing himself. So he’s driven online, where he finds it easier to talk to women over text.

 

With a scattergun approach, Jono chases pretty much any girl that shows the slightest interest in him, without giving a thought to how compatible they are for each other. This is how Jono deals with his loneliness - by seeking female attention. He’s hooked on feeling wanted and needed and when he gets it, it soothes his insecurities. This attitude is the reason Jono winds up in the arms of psycho women. They share the same values - a desperation to feel wanted. The jealousy and drama begins, followed by the break-up and inevitable make-up in times of feeling alone. It’s also why Jono won’t hesitate to become invested in a girl who is circumstantially unavailable to him - whether that’s down to her relationship status, her location, or because she’s a colleague at work who, getting mixed up with, could cause a host of problems.

 

When Jono does reach the bedroom, his ‘porn induced’ sexual dysfunctions catch up with him and he can’t ‘keep it up’.

 

If you ask Jono, he’d say he was doing everything he could to find a girl. But you can see now how wrong that is. His absolute desperation is the very thing that scares off the rare woman he happens to meet who he truly likes, who would be a great match for him.

 

Jono has an expensive lifestyle. After paying the bills, he spends the rest of his wages on eating out, late night Uber rides home, having fun, impressing women, paying for subscriptions he doesn’t use and buying drinks in bars with guys far younger than him, as most of his friends of a similar age have left that scene.

 

At 30, Jono has little to no savings or investments. He drives a car he purchased on finance and lives in a small rented place that needs some work. He has no plans to buy.

 

Jono is firmly in the comfort zone, doing what he knows, getting by. He convinces himself he’s making progress, waiting for that promotion, or the relationship - always imagining his future self - virtuous and perfect.

 

But deep down, Jono’s scared to the core. Year on year, he’s no closer to his desired image.

 

In quiet times alone, when he isn’t distracting himself, Jono’s anxieties catch up with him - feeling insecure and still daydreaming about girls who ghosted him many months ago.

 

He finds himself wondering:

 

“Why would a girl want me?”

“Why wasn’t she interested?”

“Will I ever find love?”

“How do I get out of this hole?”

 

With a tendency to doubt himself, Jono focuses on the negatives, over analysing situations, losing himself in his head. But having productive thoughts and taking care of his mental health sounds too complicated for Jono. His ignorance perpetuates the negative thinking patterns. He doesn’t realise that they are causing significant anxiety issues that he could resolve.

 

If Jono was serious about his priorities - he’d live a different life.

 

Take an honest look at your own life. What are you currently prioritising?

 

Do you spend your spare time productively? Or do you opt for gaming, streaming and porn?

 

Do you work unsocial hours and find yourself regularly rejecting friendly invitations? Are weekend and evening dates an issue?

 

Does your longing for love cause you to over invest yourself in women that are unavailable or uninterested?

 

Do you give up as soon as the going gets tough, or when a door is shut in your face? - Always thinking about opportunities, Talking about them, But rarely ever following through.

 

Based on the decisions you regularly make - the food you decide to eat, how you choose to fill your spare time, your spending habits - would you say you’ve been prioritising fun and short term pleasure over long term fulfillment?

 

You will see what they are, Your barriers are unique to you.

 

For some guys it may be failing to take care of their body - not exercising enough, not grooming enough.

 

Very obvious things, but they are genuine barriers to the relationship you want.

 

For others it might be spending too long at the gym, at the detriment of their time.

 

Maybe they spend two hours a night, five times a week working out. With their job and everything else on top of that - how much time does it leave them to focus on the other areas of personal development, or time to study, to read, to meet new people?

 

Now could be a good time to rethink your fitness goals. Would adding another few kilos to your PB, or inches to your biceps really contribute to your overall betterment?

 

The same goes for any activity. Maybe you use your passion, like working out, or reading personal development advice, as an escape. A way to feel like you’ve spent your time well, when really you’re losing time elsewhere.

 

For some, their duties as a carer or parent could pose a major barrier to a relationship happening, however selfish it sounds. If caring for a family member, child or pet demands too much of your time and energy, then it’s getting in the way of you finding love and you must work around it.

 

I’m not saying wheel your grandma out of the house and leave her by the curbside on garbage day. Duties can be shared, recruit help from family and friends, apply for carers benefits/support, leave your dog with a neighbour.

 

Caring for a dependent is a legitimate priority, but allowing yourself the opportunity to find love should be also.

 

Whatever they are - your habits, interests, beliefs, addictions, hobbies, friends - if they disproportionately get in the way of a top priority, they are barriers. Once you’ve gotten over your anxiety and gained some social competence, these are the subtle things that still weigh you down.

 

But what about my job? Are you saying I should quit and go work part time, stacking shelves in a supermarket so I can be free every night and weekend?

 

No, of course not.

 

But no matter how much money, prestige or enjoyment you get from your work, ask yourself - “How is it really working for me?” - if getting a relationship is high on your list, and your lack of time and energy is stopping that, it is a barrier to your fulfillment and something has to give.

 

To many, career is number 1. I get it. But there should be more than one thing on that list. You need to strike a balance, or your “success” will become detrimental and defeat the object.

 

Perhaps it’s time to change roles, switch offices, get serious about the promotion (if that would help), or get a new job entirely even if that means taking a pay cut - yes, it’s a ball ache, yes, it requires time and effort, yes, your friends and parents might suggest otherwise, yes, it would be easier to carry on doing what you do, but ultimately only you know what is best for you - only you know how being single and alone makes you feel.

 

Your priorities are your compass, they determine which direction your life journeys toward.

 

How To Set It Right

 

If Jono made getting a relationship a priority, he’d seek a different role within the police force, one which didn’t require him to work such unsocial hours to suit the needs of the company. If that didn’t work, he’d look for a new job. A job that’s competitive and demands his skill, but at the same time, it would work for him. His job would allow him the time and space to focus on the other life priorities and finally get a decent night's sleep.

 

If he valued himself, Jono would only prioritise people who prioritise him - people who appreciate him and are thrilled to spend time with him, unlike the ‘friends’ who buy into the bravado and boost their self-esteem by mocking his.

 

He would only invest himself, his time, his energy and his emotion in women who also show an investment in him.

 

He wouldn’t chase uninterested girls, long distance relationships or married women, because he’d know it’s a waste of time and probably won’t lead to a fulfilling relationship.

 

For Jono to get serious, he would look for women who are his type, who are compatible with him, available and interested. He’d look for the intellect, level headedness, the sense of humour, and the femininity that he values.

 

He’d put an end to work romances, even if a hot colleague pursued him.

 

Aiming for long lasting fulfillment, he would prioritise what’s best for him.

 

Recognising the immense benefits of a healthy mind and thoughts, Jono would find the motivation to kick porn, even though he still desperately craves it at times.

 

Instead, he’d choose personal growth.

 

He’d use quiet times alone to meditate and visualise. He’d practice positive mindsets that work for him, not against him. His mental health will aid his search for a girlfriend and compliment his strengths instead of torture himself with regret. He’d no longer lose himself over analysing  everything, having learnt to let things go instead of hold on to them.

 

Yes, he’d still enjoy a drink with his friends occasionally, or spend some money treating himself. But he’d stop wasting his precious spare time with mind numbing quick hits. Instead of bingeing on random Youtube clips and Netflix, he’d focus on bettering himself - reading, learning, exercising, meeting new people, getting some sun, some nature, spending quality time with his close ones, developing healthy interests, eating nutritious food. He’d exercise his mind, utilise his skills and develop productive attitudes.

 

If Jono prioritised what was best for him over what felt good, easy, temporarily satisfying or comfortable, the barriers would fall down.

 

You must learn to do that now.

 

We all love to imagine our future selves. But the best predictor of your future behaviour is your current behaviour.

 

Sometimes, no matter how much we want something and ache for it, we just can’t seem to reach it. Not only that, we often know exactly what we should be doing, but just can’t, no matter how hard we try, stick to it.

 

When most people want to change, they set goals. The trouble is, most people don’t stick to goals. They take on too much, and make a huge deal out of it.

 

If you took that approach to this article you could say - “my goal is to never watch porn, never eat shit, talk to 3 new women per day, workout 4 times a week and get a better job” - or whatever, I’m already struggling to keep track. Like most people, including me, you’d probably end up losing interest or giving up. Where others would say “just try harder next time”, I say - change tactic.

 

Once you’ve nailed down your priorities, the way to sustainably change your lifestyle is to make a habit of basing your decisions on what is best for you. Make decisions that are aligned with your values and priorities.

 

Research shows that new behaviour takes 21-30 days to become a habit. And this works both ways. The more you choose pleasure and comfort, the more likely you’ll choose it again next time.

 

But by making a habit of small, everyday good decisions, you’re more likely to carry them on instead. Soon enough it becomes harder to not do them than to keep them up. Eventually, you won’t even think about it, you’ll do what’s best instinctively. It could be choosing a healthy homemade lunch over the high street fast food chain, Or choosing to speak to a girl in a cafe even though it might be embarrassing.

 

Your barriers will break, making your life far more likely to allow the possibility of a healthy relationship to happen.

 

Of course we all slip up occasionally. When it happens, forgive yourself, remind yourself of your priorities and your values, and move on.

 

Realistically, you’ll still watch the odd Netflix series, or spend some time on YouTube occasionally, but not to the detriment of your personal development.

 

And like a well placed financial investment, these little decisions have a compound effect, you’ll look back in the weeks, months and years to come, and see how significantly your life has improved by simply making small but better choices.

 

 

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