Monthly Archives: August 2019

Aug 16

How to Change Your Peer Group and Construct Your Ideal Life

By Marcus Neo | Dating and Relationships

One of the biggest things that people do not talk about is peer group, community and support. For someone that values constant improvement in all aspects of my life from business, fitness and relationships… it can get quite isolating to the outside world.

I was having a midnight movie just a couple of days ago with an old friend I knew 7-8 years a go. Back then I was an army enlistee and we would go out, hang out late and break some rules like walk into places we should not be walking into.

Friendship and Personal Growth

Since then, I have changed from a counter cultural individual to a pretty much well adjusted individual. I no longer spend too much time hanging out late. I don’t smoke as much as I did before (just a little if there’s whiskey involved). I am well travelled, read a gazillion books from philosophy to literature, created revenue in my business as a dating coach and multiple industries… the list goes on.

I was looking forward to hang out, discuss our lives and goals looking forward. However, we ended up breaking the rules as much as we did 7-8 years ago. If you asked the 20-year-old me, I’ll gleefully took pride in my actions, however, this time, I instantly felt a disconnect. I instantly knew that we’re on different ‘wavelengths’. He was still trying to break the rules as much as he did 7-8 years ago. Trying to ‘get by’ or ‘cheat’ society.

Everyone that I know of that is obsessed with growth has almost always said that is a somewhat lonely journey.

When I was hitting the clubs weekly 6-7 years ago as a mentee to a dating coach in Singapore at that point of time, all my friends thought I was being weird.

When I started treated my business seriously, started having a lot more personal boundaries after leaving my last formal job, my around me reacted negatively.

Birds of the Same Feather Flock Together

 Interestingly, it was the people who were more successful than I was that wasn’t just more empathetic, but also more encouraging to the process.

When I hit my first $10,000 net profit in my business in a month, it was my business coach at that point of time that was doing $20,000 a month that reached out to me and said: ‘good job’ Marcus. He and I continued hanging out and today we’re friends.

It’s interesting how our relationships with the outside world evolves as we grow.

7 years ago, I was an arrogant, rebellious and angry NSF. My friends who around me were also arrogant, rebellious and angry.

I started on my self development journey and met a couple of friends that were also attempting to improve their dating lives with women. Some of them are still friends with me today.

When I took a couple of gap years to dip my toes in business. There wasn’t a single friend in University that could resonate with what I was attempting to do. Their values were different. Nothing against them, it was just different values.

I am 27 years of age as I write this blog post. The majority of my friends are in the corporate world. Unfortunately, that was my peer group. I always half jokingly say that I am the weirdest JC kid. The majority of entrepreneurs I meet didn’t take the JC route.

I’ve been to multiple parts of the world, created revenue in multiple industries, had a dating life that an average man can dream of, and of course some of these values aren’t exactly adopted by the average person out there, much less my peers.

How to Build Your Ideal Lifestyle?

Even though I am pretty damned good at doing things by myself, and I haven’t had a business partner for years. However, it can be quite isolating at times.

These days, I find myself asking myself, who are the people I’ll like to hang out with at this point of my life?

Here are some ideas:

  • Young and driven entrepreneurs
  • Young and driven professionals
  • People that dress well and carry themselves well.

How can I connect with people from such demographics? Where do these people spend their time hanging out? They aren’t certainly hanging out at heartland malls at 12am on a Sunday night (which was what I was doing with a long time friend of mine).

They are probably attending business events, doing Yoga classes, doing martial arts classes or partying at the hottest parties on the weekend. They aren’t 19 year old pick up artists trying to get a free entry into clubs.

So as I teach my clients: draft out the characteristics of the people you’ll like to connect with, find out where they spend their time, invest my time in these demographics, and then connect with them.

Connecting with someone can be as easy as listen to their stories. Successful people often have untold stories that’ll like to share. You can learn a lot from sitting for 1 hour over coffee with someone. Or even so, just connect as a human being. This is how you ‘be of value’ in a social sense.

If your current peer group isn’t ‘resonating’ with you, then you have to be proactive about making steps to connect with new people. Admittedly, I have been pretty lazy in this area. ‘Tiny success’ can get into your head. I started thinking I was ‘too good’ for others after making some headway into my business and my own dating life.

Valu-ing Community and Support

Quality relationships contribute a lot to our happiness and emotional health. I can’t stress this enough. Take this from someone that enjoys working alone and is quite a lone wolf in how he works.

This is why I value community and support. This is why I also created an in person monthly support meet up group for all my clients not only for them, but also myself. The majority of my clients become my friends after awhile (if they continually show up for the meet up sessions).

Since I teach social skills, I should really take my own advice sometimes. Community and like minded peers are PRICELESS. It’s no wonder that a huge part of my clientele are skewed towards people who also entrepreneurial, looking to better their dating and relationship lives.

Question is, how are you going to construct your ideal life? Who are the people you’ll like to spend time with, what are they characteristics and where do they spend their time? How are you going to connect with them?

Aug 09

The Pick Up Artists Community (and Singaporean Community)

By Marcus Neo | Singapore Guides

I flirted with pick up artist techniques when I chanced upon the book ‘The Game Neil Strauss’ off the local bookstore when I was 19 years old. I had just broke up with my ex girlfriend I was reeling in depression and self-victimization.

It was as if I picked up the bible. I was hooked on the idea that you could do something about your chances with girls. I was hooked on the idea that as long as you did certain things, you could get a girl in bed. It’s like a formula to sex. I would then go on to spend all the free time I had in the military reading up all the dating advice material after another.

I remembered that I “negged” a girl and she laughed, it was exhilarating at first. Girls are actually finally finding me funny now! If a girl is laughing meant she was interested in you right? Well, she stopped texting me on the phone in a few days later. Months passed, I still wasn’t getting kisses or sex or anything of that sort, however, I just felt more empowered socially.

I eventually got desperate and emptied half my savings as a 19 years old and hired a dating coach that promised a “Singaporean method” to pick up, and finally get the girl.

The Truth about Pick Up Artist Techniques

Eventually, after a lot more trial and error, I got my first taste of success. I started dating more girls and slept with some of them, my notch count was getting higher. I prided myself knowing these little secrets that nobody knew.

I didn’t really go around telling my friends what I was on to either, cause I tried and some of them will just laugh it off. Eventually, after repeated success with girls after a couple of months it was “proof” that these pick up artist techniques and theories worked.

Okay, after years of doing this all over the world, I’m going to let you in on a couple of secrets. There’s a lot of marketing and fluff in the dating advice industry, let me break it down for you.

 

Pick up artist techniques and lines can be helpful, but only as a structure and framework

Pick up artist techniques such as lines and routines can be used as a crutch initially to get you started, however, you’ll eventually need to learn how to connect emotionally with others, and pursue women from a standpoint of sexual assertiveness.

The Pick Up Artist Techniques That Do Not Work

There’s nothing inherently wrong and bad about learning how and talk to an attractive stranger. However, it’s another whole different issue when you’re identifying yourself as a pick up artist.

The Idea of a ‘Pick Up Artist’ Self

Firstly, the idea that you have to adopt a seperate identity (a pick up artist) in order to be cool, be liked or get girls to like you is in itself, telling yourself that you as a human being, you’re not worthy of affection, attention from the opposite sex.

Of course, I’m not unrealistic and saying that there is nothing to done and only to be. I’m referring to a more identity level and self-image thing. Pick up artists tend to fall into the pure “pick up artist” self and isolate themselves from the world around them. The interactions that I had that turned out great over the years with me were often myself being a relaxed state and feeling not like a need to remember some line or technique.

Where are you coming from when you want to get good with women? Are you coming from a place of inferiority or a place or security?

The fact that you need to ‘demonstrate higher value’ or ‘neg her’ just means you see yourself as someone who is inferior to her. Someone with true confidence doesn’t need to go about demonstrating higher value or actively look for derogatory insults to bring her ‘value’ down. Here’s another catch-22: if you need to constantly demonstrate yourself as someone superior, then subtley demonstrates you’re inferior. Your actions and intentions will bleed through.

Pick Up Artist Techniques

  • ‘You Need to Isolate Her’

I always hear pick up guys saying: ‘You got to isolate and distract their friends whilst being in the nightclub.’

I don’t agree with this. Firstly, on a technical level, your intentions will bleed through and the girls your approaching is going to get defensive. Secondly, if you’re in Asian culture, she’s going to get worried about her friends (and her friends are going get worried about her) when she gets separated from her.

  • ‘You Can’t Go Direct. Expressing yourself directly only Works if You’re Tall and Good Looking.’

That’s utter rubbish. You can express yourself directly regardless of looks or height. In fact, you might even come off as more polarizing if you’re not exactly that good looking or tall, and you’re willing to be completely authentic and honest with her.

I also get some feedback that I’m considered ‘good looking’, hence it might be my good looks that helps me with my ‘game’.

Just to give you some insight, my first year in ‘game’ was spent dolling myself up with nice looking clothes, hitting the gym, and ‘looking good’. I still didn’t get laid.

In fact, I’d argue that good looks may even work against you. Girls may call you out for being a player and she’s going to project all sort of stereotypes onto you.

  • ‘It’s a Numbers Game’

It’s not uncommon to see people from the pick up artist community swearing by the game, going out 6-7 times a week, dedicating a huge portion of their life to this area of their life. I’m partly guilty of this, well, imagine the women and the respect from the guys. Which young male in his 20s doesn’t desire that?

It was a metric of success that I measured myself by for years. If I wasn’t off making new friends, I was off chasing some girl. Or either that, I should be travelling to some new country to explore the world, in the name of ‘self development’.

When I was hanging some of the guys from the pick up artist community, it’s not long before you hear them discuss their sex lives in a quantified manner. “I’ve slept with 13 girls so far, how about you?”.

You could had slept with 13 fat girls that you weren’t even interested in, and I choose to be with a plain Jane girlfriend who loves me, have mindblowing sex with and don’t drive me crazy. Who would have been the better man? Who would have had the better ‘Game’?

You’re only as good as the quality of girl you date, not the number of girls you date.

The Objectification of Your Emotional Life

Secondly, as much as learning social skills has helped me in various aspects of my life. Your emotional life is not one to be studied or to researched like a mathematical equation where quality, meaning and significance of social interactions are traded for objectified metrics such as hook close ratios and all of that un-needed metrics.

In the short run, these behaviours might actually seem to be working, but in the long run, you’ll find out that you’re the same low self-esteem person that relied on those lines and theories to get you anywhere in your social life.

Entering the pick up artist community, I went through the whole mystery method thing. It always about said: X + Y = Z. You may have had some success in the short run.

However, it it works not because of those lines or behaviours. But rather, those lines or behaviours allowed you to hit on a girl openly for the first time in your life.

If you’ve always relied on lines and theories to get you anywhere in your social life, you’re not going to be happy in the long run. Relationships, friendships, and romance aren’t built upon lines or half-baked theories. You’re still reinforcing the fact that you are not enough as you are. You’re still putting on a character in your social interactions instead of engaging your true self. They are borne out of a genuine emotional connection with another individual.

You can read a brilliant article done up by The Rawness. He talks about psychological terms such as codependency, narcissism, self loathing issues, childhood dynamics with parents and how all of them intertwine with the pick up artist persona.

Here’s an insightful quote from the article:

“Or you decide to learn as many manipulation techniques as humanly possible by reading a ton of strategy books like those of Machiavelli, Sun Tzu and Robert Greene. What this all boils down to is one thing: fear of rejection and trying to protect one’s ego by mastering the outcome in your head beforehand.”

Letter to the Singapore Pick Up Artist Community

Over the years I had the fortune of meeting some of the people from the Singapore pick up artist community. The common theme I come across them are teens and people in their early twenties trying to get into clubs for FREE to hit on women. They over use the term ‘game’ and don’t really have any other thing going on in other aspects of their life.

Some of them come in the form of herd mentality where the relationships amongst each other are toxic. This is why I try to distant myself from the community as much as possible. Note, I’m not saying that picking up or approaching a girl isn’t part of the entire dating and relationship process. I’m just saying there’s a sofit minority in Singapore that I don’t resonate with.

The Pick Up Artist Community 

  • Safe, Secure and Non Manipulative Relationships

You’re never going to really improve your life circumstances if you don’t have safe relationships in your life you can rely upon. When you mix a bunch of pick up artists (who suck at relationships that’s why they are in it) who sees you as an object, a ‘wing’ to go out with and not a real fucking human being, you’re highly likely going to end up in toxic friendships.

I can’t stress this enough, but you’re going to end up like the person you hang around with the most. His or her beliefs and worldviews are going to have a huge influence on you. This is heavily researched in psychology.

Look no one wants to hang out with a loser, it’s a selfish world.

However, do you want to constantly be around some ‘pick up artist’ who not only sees women as objects, but also sees all of his relationships (including you) as something that can be manipulated. Or do you want to be around with friends that doesn’t fuck with your emotions?

I know there are idiots who prefer the former, cause deep down, they don’t relationships as something that can be safe and supportive. They see relationships as something to be earned, bargained or traded.

  • Your Real Issues

Looking back, I passed up tons of dating opportunities because deep down I still felt I wasn’t good enough. I was still not going for girls that I’m genuinely attracted to, and second guessing my interactions with girls that I was actually attracted to who were giving me obvious signs.

I realized I couldn’t be physically intimate with a girl, without thinking of a technique to touch her.

I figured because pursuing a girl I am genuinely sexually or emotionally attracted to, rubs against my emotional maps of rejection and abandonment. It’s not a sure win anymore, as opposed to going for girls that I’m less invested in and wouldn’t sting from being rejected.

These are the real issues: social acceptance, abandonment and your emotional maps. These are the real issues that guys getting into this dating advice thing should confronting and look into in the long run. These the issues that they avoid, focusing their time and effort on lines, techniques and routines.

However, what the PUA community did right was to introduce the idea of self-reliance. Yes, it started out with tricks and lines and the ability to ‘manipulate’ girls. It was the wrong material, however, the fundamental idea that you could do change and influence your dating life was helpful.

There’s a reason why the pick up artist community is much smaller in Asian cultures compared to Westernized cultures. The ideas that come along pick up isn’t exactly traditional Asian values oriented. Asian culture is stereotyped to be more group-ish, cliquish/ introverted. Well, that’s true to a certain extent.

What inspired you to get into this in the first place? These questions are extremely difficult questions to ask. They often lead back to past traumatic experiences, childhood and upbringing. Some of them maybe emotional abuse, physical abuse, financial difficulties or strict religious upbringing. It took me years to confront some of these issues. It took me years to be self-aware that I had faulty coping mechanisms all the way up to my early adult life.

The majority of the people coming into this are looking for a quick fix. You may think, Marcus, that’s not me.

Aug 08

How to Text a Girl – The Definitive Guide

By Marcus Neo | Dating and Relationships

I remembered pouring through heaps of books, theories on how to text a girl, analysed text messages and even went as far as to get my friend to text a girl for me. Understanding how to text a girl was one of the biggest problems I had when I first started out.

I don’t enjoy texting as a means of communication. I often lament that I am much more confident in person than behind a mobile screen and tend to say something obnoxious over text. I also don’t enjoy texting as it’s time-consuming.

When you’re facing the screen, you can’t read expressions. You can’t figure out what she’s feeling, whether she’s shy, interested or bored. Or if my joke has come off the wrong way. This doesn’t help for someone who enjoys dark, sarcastic humour that can come off the wrong way.

However, in certain cultures such as the Singapore dating culture, texting is part and parcel of everyone’s social life. Through the years I accepted the fact that texting is a staple in modern dating life and that everybody does it.

How to Get Her Number/ Ask Her Out: The Art of the Soft Close

Getting her number shouldn’t be a big deal and should ONLY be done after you built a genuine connection. This is part of having standards, and being more optimal. I try to set up specific plans during the first interaction. This helps her to differentiate you from a stranger to a friend. The goal of getting a girl’s number is to re-initiate mutual contact, demonstrate that you’re not a creep whilst texting her and go for the meetup.

You need to also pay attention to the context you’re in when going for her number. Sometimes, asking a girl out for coffee in front of her friends works well in Western cultures, whereas, in Singapore, it’s going to put a lot of social pressure on the girl.

I recommend going for the soft close when asking for her number and asking her out through text.

‘Hey, are you adventurous’.
‘How do you feel about drinks or coffee with a cute a Singapore boy?’
‘What’s your schedule like?’
‘You seem like a nice/interesting person to talk to (insert your qualifier), let’s grab coffee sometime next week.’

The Psychology of Texting

If you’re constantly worried about her not texting, you back. You should ask yourself this: what would an attractive man have done?

He wouldn’t feel the need to be texting all the time. He’ll only text back when he has the time to. He’s living life on his own values. He is living life based on his own values, not on how the other person responds to him. He doesn’t worry so much about what the other person is going to think, or reply, or respond.

One of the core tenets of attracting women is to be self-invested. Being self-invested means valuing your time, having a life, working and filling your days with stuff that you care about and being too hung up if some cute lass isn’t texting you back.

It’s said that a character of a person defined when no one is looking. You shouldn’t be too hung up if a girl isn’t texting you back. If you have shit to do, you won’t be too hung up on her replies.

How to Start a Conversation and Flirt with Her on Text

Here’s a general rule of thumb: your texts should where the social interaction was left off.

If you’re rushing to work, approached her and only had a two minutes’ interaction, then you’re expected to text a little bit more before asking her out for coffee. If you’ve already built a great connection with her during the first time you met her, then it’s not expected for you to text a lot.

Questions to ask yourself: Is she attracted to you already? How well do you know each other? Which part of the interaction are you at? What are the underlying assumptions in your interaction?

  • Call Back Humour

You can stand out through your first text by referring to something funny you had during your initial interaction with her when you first met. It commonly referred to as the call back humour.

“Rachel the Chinese teacher! Don’t stay out too late, you have more Sun Tze philosophies to brainwash unwilling teenagers.’

  • How to Flirt and Tease

Check out my guide on flirting, you should be able to get creative with roleplays, push-pull and misinterpretations.

  • General Rule of Thumb 

In your text messages, you need to keep it playful, light-hearted in the beginning and see how things flow from there. You should not try to make plans too early on, avoid going into interview mode, such as asking logical questions. Only go for the meetups using the soft close if there’s she’s flirting with you to and fro on the phone.

One important philosophy when it comes to texting is to keep in mind that time is your ally. One mistake I often make is to go to the meet up too early. This might work in Westernized cultures. However, in some cultures, especially Asian ones, girls love to text and going for it is merely going to get you rejected.

You also need to calibrate in accordance to context, a lot of the material you find online can be quite ‘Westernized’ and you can come un-calibrated in an Asian setting.

To Text Her or Not to Text Her and How many Hours/ Days?

Is there a right way to text? What about the length of the text? The time of the text? How about the fucking number of blue ticks?

I’ve had tons of interactions that seemed to go well in real life but didn’t turn out into anything. It is something that is out of your control. Ever made out with a girl in the club and she ignores the exact next day? You start worrying and start thinking to yourself if she’s playing mind games. You then start playing mind games on your end… and she doesn’t reply once again… and you think she’s still playing mind games.

There’s no need the play mind games through text. I’m not a huge fan of waiting X number of hours/days to text You’re pursuing girls from your own values.

Texting a girl is a two-way dance. If you’re always pushing from one side and she’s replying plain, boring and dry responses, she’s just not interested. There should be some sort of reciprocation or qualification from the girl.

Closing Thoughts: Do The Heavy Lifting in a Real Life

In general, you should just ask her out as soon as possible. I usually ask a girl out after I get some sort of a to and fro interaction going. If she’s not willing to go out with me there and then, she’s probably not interested.  I much prefer to do the heavy lifting in person. You should be much stronger in a face to face interactions. However, being poor on the phone is something is going to hurt your results. For some reason, girls need to know that you’re a cool guy over text.

It’s noted that some demographic of girls do react positively to cutesy lines you come up with over text. It’s just something I don’t bother putting too much effort into. It usually also doesn’t work out well for me if I get too creative with it.

Then there’s the last question: if she agrees, do you still continue texting her over the phone, to keep yourself in the loop. Of course, you do, however, you don’t need to text as much since plans are set up. I also find that dates that actually go through are dates set up no longer than a week after she agrees.

I’m not a huge fan of building a connection over the phone. There are more important things in life than being her text buddy. There’s a rarity that a girl’s schedule is so packed that she can’t squeeze a date in. If she mentions a packed schedule, then I’m sorry, she just doesn’t like you enough to put you a priority in her life.