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  1. Who says that? Being in your 20s can be both amazing and terrifying. We do most of our 'finding ourselves' and personal growth in our 20s and maybe early 30s. That can mean a lot of heartache, sorrow, confusion, frustration, stress, depression, anxiety, uncertainty. But it can also mean a lot of wayfinding, travelling, having new experiences and meeting new people, discovering our passions, discovering our likes, dislikes, wants and needs, establishing our boundaries, loving and being loved, showing ourselves to the world, and learning how to be authentic. They're simply two sides of the same coin. I don't believe that any of these things really go away as we get older, but for most people, the tumultuous nature of their 20s tends to dissipate and fade as they enter their 30s, if only because people begin to become established in their careers, maybe they've married someone or at least settled into a long-term relationship, and since they do know themselves somewhat after a crazy up-and-down time in the past decade, they maybe seek out fewer 'new' things, seek our fewer 'new' people, they're more sure of themselves, who they are, and the way they see the world. Honestly, cue the famous Charles Dickens opening to A Tale of Two Cities. That said, in my experience, most people who have a rough time in their 20s merely have a better time in their 30s, and possibly even better in their 40s. Life satisfaction tends to go up as we get older. Some people who yearn to be 20 again are merely feeling nostalgic for a time when they had fewer responsibilities and were a little more free spirited. I'd argue that you can easily maintain those two aspects of life well into your 30s and 40s, it all depends on what you value and how you choose to live. We really only put the burden upon ourselves to do things that we think we ought to do; maybe we should reflect on where these desires actually come from, whether they're really ours or not, or if we just think they are. Keep in mind that you, in your 20s, trying to get into a health professional program, and continue onward in that path, are unique in that manner. You've decided to stay in school, and pursue more of it, for the promise of something that you think you want at the end of the road. The process isn't always really meant to be easy, or enjoyable, or fun, but it has to be at least somewhat meaningful. You do have to find those pieces and moments of fulfillment along the way; you have to realize that the climb is, often enough, and perhaps deservedly so, more important than the destination. For me, my 20s were strange. They were filled with a lot of discovery. But also a lot of pain. A lot of self-doubt. A lot of "I don't know what the fuck I'm doing." Those things never really go away entirely, not 100%, but as I am progressing into my 30s now, I'm grateful for all the shit that I wade through in my 20s. All the heartaches, stressful times, disappointments, lost friends, failed endeavours, regrettable achievements, awkward moments. It made me, me. And I really like me, at least now I do. A hard decade in your 20s will make you a wise person in your 30s. I don't wish everyone to go through the same troubles, or worse, that I did, in fact, I hope no one makes the same mistakes I did, but I do hope everyone learns the same lessons, and if feeling stressed, worried, and fucking up constantly is the way to get there, then it might just be a worthwhile journey nonetheless. So don't fret over what seems like a rough time in your 20s. It just means you're climbing. And it means you're learning. And it means, in many ways, you're doing it right.
  2. No one's trying to give the OP advice to help him land supermodels or women that are 'objectively' attractive (whatever the hell that means; there are people who find celebrities/models unattractive, when their marketability literally hinges on a large proportion of people finding them attractive). We're trying to help mould him into a confident, best-version-of-himself person who doesn't have hang-ups surrounding his lack of experience, in order for him to get experience. It just so happens that taking those first steps will indeed elevate his league, bring him into a new phase of his life, and he'll only continue to improve. He's not going to start dating Jennifer Aniston. But to be perfectly frank, if we assume he and you have the same 'objective' attractiveness on this imaginary scale of yours, he still stands a better chance than someone with your attitude does. And that's the point. My wager is that you're quite young, and though everyone goes through these lessons (men in particular) at vastly different times, it's easy to get bogged down in this kind of superficial thinking in your 20s. That's the way my conversations with friends tended to go when I was in my early 20s. I would seriously suggest getting out of that headspace as soon as is reasonable; OP at least responded positively to facing his issues and improving himself, to at least reach his highest potential and then constantly evolve and improve that. All you have to offer is defeating language and what you think is a realistic view of women and the world. Get out of your own head man. You've got your entire life ahead of you. The sooner you do, I assure you, the sooner your life will improve drastically.
  3. You know, neither can I. I'm trying to help OP. I saw an issue of confidence and self-esteem, self-assuredness, identity and purpose. I have no idea what he looks like, and that doesn't particularly matter. As far as these two guys are concerned, he could be that 'top 5%' they are so feverishly putting on a pedestal (misguidedly, of course). I don't want to derail it further by continuing to obsess over this weird toxic hang-up about 'average joes being with top 5% women' or whatever the hell they're talking about. I meant to say that mindset and confidence has a lot to do with where you actually are in a social hierachy. I'm not saying physical attractiveness doesn't matter, it certainly does, but you could be incredibly physically attractive, and without a solid foundation underneath, it doesn't matter at all. Schulich2019, don't put physical attractiveness on a pedestal. You should always work on your own appearance, work out, groom, lose or gain weight as you need, evolve and adapt yourself to highlight your best physical attributes. But putting it all on a pedestal just gets in your head, makes you think people turn you down because of your looks (when you have no fucking idea if this is true or not), or makes you think that people only care for you for A, B, C, D, E. My assumption is that you and the two guys ranting on about attractive women are in your 20s. Values change over time. I would fuck anything that moved in my 20s. At this point my bar has been continually raised (both in physical attractiveness and personality but moreso for personality); I'm pickier as time goes on, and I went through a pattern of a series of fuckbuddies/friends with benefits who wouldn't last not because the sex wasn't good or we weren't attracted to each other physically, but because there was no personality meshing, no ability to connect beyond sex. That shit doesn't last, and at a certain point it becomes empty and exhausting, for both sexes, but even faster for women. To think that people keep putting physical attractiveness on the highest pedestal as the years go on is misguided. Being overly obsessed with the social hierarchy of highly attractive women not selecting 'average' men just reeks of insecurity. There is no need to complain, or alter our behaviour. I think the core truth is that if someone is attracted to you, take it for what it is. If someone isn't attracted to you, same thing. Don't assume it has anything to do with anything. People make decisions for themselves, not for you. People have their own quirks, preferences, kinks, fetishes, likes and dislikes. You never thought dadbods would be a thing, or preferring shorter men, or preferring submissive men, or anything else that's a little off kilter from some imaginary indoctrinated/stalwart idea of attractiveness. It doesn't really particularly matter why someone rejects you. I apologize for making a philosophical statement on 'leagues.' It's just been my own experience having been able to improve myself as well as the quality of partners I've had, both casually and non-casually. I didn't mean to stir this deep-seated, toxic resentment that some people seem to have. I appreciate all the PMs, guys. Keep them coming.
  4. I think you inherently misunderstand objective and subjective. You're confusing your own subjectivity with objectivity. As soon as someone disagrees with you on how attractive someone is, objectivity falls apart. I'm writing all of this because I've lived it. I went through years of self-defeating attitudes, habits and thoughts, anxiety, depression, struggles in relationships in all forms (romantic, familial, friends) and a lack of self-love and self-confidence. I'm by no means saying that if you begin pursuing self-development you're going to start dating supermodels. No. But you're going to remove the self-defeating attitudes and beliefs that bar none have removed plenty of opportunity for you, in dating, sex and otherwise. We severely underestimate how we are our own worst enemies. I'm not a pick-up artist, a red-piller, or any other fucked up philosophy. I'm just a guy who struggled in my relationship with myself and my relationships with others and I decided to do something about it. My physical appearance has not changed greatly in the past few years, but my ability to connect, charm, and develop relationships with people, both platonic and romantic, has improved massively, and that has everything to do with my self-work, not spontaneously becoming better looking. And though I don't like this type of language because I think it's counter-productive, yes, I'd say I've managed to move my 'league' up. I wasn't stuck where I was before. No one ever is. Here's a thought. Take my advice for what it is rather than discount or belittle it. You might get something out of the former. The latter just makes you look stubborn at best and petulant at worst. Which are you going to choose? Are you going to complain, or are you going to try? "Be more physically attractive" is horrible, self-defeating and disrespectful (to both the person receiving it and the person at the other end apparently making the sexual selection) advice. There are very few people who are actually unattractive, and I can wager that if you think of yourself as one, then you are one. But that has more to do with your attitude than your physicality.
  5. Here's the thing. You're in whatever league you think of yourself in, for the most part. Those that rest in arrogance will attempt to attract people beyond their league, but because their sense of worth is inflated rather than solid, it will fail. Those that rest in the space of humility & confidence can easily attract people that from the exterior seem "out of their league." The real takeaway from this is that there are no leagues, only realms of self-confidence and windows of values that people find themselves in. When those things overlap enough, people become attracted to one another; our external third-party judgments have no impact or influence whatsoever on what people find attractive or what they look for in a mate. I've dated above, below, at, my league, but the only thing that determined where that comparison lay was my own mindset. Stop thinking of relationships as vertical; once you think of them as horizontal it doesn't particularly matter how attractive one person is or isn't according to society, social media or your buddy who knows jack shit. And indeed, once you think of them as horizontal you may find yourself attracting people you never thought you could.
  6. Like I said, people think that their problems and confusion are more superficial than they actually are. "I get frustrated at work because there are so many issues I see," "I can't get that promotion because my boss doesn't respect me," "I can't seem to lose 10 pounds because I just don't know how to work out and diet," "I don't have success with women/men because I'm not good looking enough," "I have a strained relationship with my significant other because they aren't listening to what I'm saying," etc... In reality people simply don't dig deep enough; these issues are just signposts that tell us to look inward, to investigate ourselves, to figure out what foundation within us is lacking, and why we don't know ourselves well enough to figure out the REAL issues at hand. The proximal reasons we come up with are just excuses, easy to blame, they're scapegoats. I've gone through enough trauma and subsequent introspection that I've managed to develop a very strong sense of identity, purpose and self while tapping into a higher consciousness that I feel aids nearly everything (hence why I encourage everyone heavily to engage in mindfulness & meditation, even if you feel as though you don't have any pressing personal issues to address). It gives me a contentment in life that is not based on external factors, despite the fact that it helps me in all external aspects of life and any common measure of success, from my career to my financial wellbeing to my sex life to my well-roundedness, my sociability, my relationships with friends and family and my health. As a result I don't have nearly as much attachment to outcomes as I used to, such as money, sex, power, etc., but I have achieved more in those realms in the past few years than I ever have, largely not because I've simply gotten lucky, but rather because I've worked on myself as a person and tapped into my authentic, true, liberated self, free of many of my old fears, anxieties, insecurities and negative thoughts & habits that held me back. Self-development and personal development are really the keys to living a fulfilling, content, meaningful and better life. This means practicing mindfulness, meditation, reading a lot of books, listening to podcasts, delving into human psychology, going to therapy, putting yourself out there and daring greatly. It gives you the self-assuredness and confidence to decide who you are, pursue what you want to with authenticity and passion, ignore the things that aren't important to you, and deal with failure with grace and dignity, viewing it as simply another step in the process. Regardless, just rest peacefully in the fact that you're young, you've got your entire life ahead of you, and the only thing you have to do is just better yourself each and every day, no matter how little, to continue attempting to take steps forward despite things trying to push you back. When there's something that concerns you, you really only have 3 choices: 1. accept it... and this is a huge skill that you have to master, there will be plenty of things you cannot control and merely have to accept; the power of acceptance really cannot be understated... 2. do something... this is where profound action comes into play; if you've decided this is important enough for you to make a change, then fucking do it, or 3.... and this is not really a choice, but it is what most people do, which is complain, bitch and moan but do nothing to change or better their situation, while simultaneously refusing to accept reality. This is where most people live, in number 3. You cannot let yourself do that. If you have any specific questions don't hesitate to give me a shout. I'm happy to talk about women, sex & relationships if you'd like as well, but I am still championing a more ground, base-level approach for you for now. But I've been around the block plenty of times in the dating realm as well. [Edit] I will wager, in fact, that your ability to improve yourself, pursue self-development, increase your confidence, self-esteem, build identity & meaning, and generate self-respect is actually far, far, far more important than even this medical career you're about to embark upon. For the past several years indeed it might seem like getting into medical school and becoming a doctor was the only thing that mattered in the world, but it's a frightening but possibly freeing truth that that can be taken away from you at any time... remember what I said about the second layer of confidence? Your self-respect and sense of self is more important than your career, bar none, because it grants you the power to deal with the unknown. And the only certainty before you is uncertainty. One day, you may not have that career anymore. Maybe earlier than you expect. Nothing is more important than the relationship you carry with yourself. Always remember that.
  7. This is a throwaway account. I am a well-known member here so I made an alt account for stuff like this, just for the sake of cautiousness. First of all, why should you listen to me? I don't know that you should, or whether or not you want to, it's purely up to you. But I will say that having overcome many self-esteem, confidence and anxiety issues, I think of myself as attractive, self-directed, athletic, charming, confident, and I have the capability of being vulnerable and empathic. I have never really had 'trouble' with women in the sense of not ever having kissed or been intimate with, formed a serious relationship with, had multiple casual sexual partners, etc. I've done all of that many times over. However, I did still struggle with a lot of issues that I believe you struggle with. Deeper, more fundamental concerns. However, it was a long journey from zero to here. Anyways, here goes. Buckle in for a long ride, Schulich2019. This journey will not be short. The issue you have, largely, is not one of "I have no experience with women" and your goal, in fact, should not be "I want to be in a relationship." Your goal rather, should be, "I want to be a confident, self-assured person who knows myself, my principles, my boundaries, my strengths and weaknesses, and has the sense of self and courage to learn, to grow, and to change myself at my will." Your journey should be one of self-development and the study of yourself, not one of how to relate to the opposite sex in order to have sex, have relationships, or settle down. This may seem like a curious and ill-guided aside, a distraction from what you believe will make you happy, fulfilled, or a whole person. But the entire reason why your focus should be on yourself, rather than others, is because it behoves you to be focused on the process, rather than the result. Overthinking the result, which in this case is a desire to becoming intimate with the opposite sex, is precisely what causes irrationality, desperation, an inability to see the truth clearly, and the escapism that prevents you from addressing true root causes. Why have you never had sex? Why have you never kissed someone? Why do you feel awkward when you approach a stranger? Despite their initial superficiality, or the misguided idea that these questions are easy to answer, they in act are NOT surface level questions with answers like "I never had time," "I am too shy," or "I don't want to bother people." No. The true answers are much, much deeper and more profound. They revolve around things like "I don't believe I'm worthy of other people's attention," "I don't think of myself as a competent individual," and "I don't love myself." In order to really get to the bottom of this you have to do a few things, all simultaneously, none of which are any less or more important than the other. 1. Know yourself. Can you answer me a question? Who are you? What do you value? What are you passionate about? What do you look for in order people? Who do you want to be? What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Where do your boundaries lie? What are your principles? These aren't talking points or interview questions. These questions, despite their apparent commonality, are not things for you to blabber on about on dates (although you can). On the contrary, these are questions to ask oneself that aid in building a foundation of "Who I Am". Truly pondering these ideas requires being vulnerable and open to the answers you have for yourself, many of which, at the end of it, you may not like at all. They allow you to formulate an idea of what it is you want in life. You may be surprised to learn that the things you thought you wanted were in fact a story you told yourself, perpetuated by friends, family, society, social media, popular media, and any number of other influences, into an internalized dreamscape of expectation that you willingly incorporated into your own mind. In fact, perhaps they aren't things you actually care about or value, but rather, you find yourself being quite remiss at the idea of following what others are doing, living your life the way that everyone else seems to do for themselves. Indeed, upon deciding what you want in life, or at least beginning to formulate an idea in the present, then in a self-loving manner, principles & boundaries begin to form. Principles and boundaries help dictate the way you behave, what relationships you value and don't value, when to say yes, and when to say no (and most importantly, your confidence in definitively saying yes or no), and they give you the fundamental courage you have to go after things that you want, and avoid things you do not. It may be shocking to realize at some point in your life and in your journey of self-study that a large a lot of people think they know what they want, and they will tell themselves and others this, but have not introspected to the point of truly knowing themselves. Mindfulness & meditation are some primary key tools you can use to boil down who you are, to get back to your roots, before you unlearned yourself, and put on a mask to show for the world. 2. Build confidence There are 3 layers of confidence. The first layer is surface confidence. This is the way you present yourself to the world. It's the way you act and speak. This can be faked. Most people do fake it, on a regular basis. That means physicians. That means used car salesmen. That means the barista making you your coffee. Everybody fakes it. That's fine. This doesn't mean it's bad, it can be good, as the top layer of confidence can bleed into the lower two. However, it's important to remember that the first layer of confidence is completely insufficient. It's also important to remember that a lot of people you will meet or hear about will APPEAR confident from the outside, but don't mistake this for an unshakable sense of self. Their lower two layers may be crumbling, and they only have the top layer to rely on. The second layer is lifestyle confidence. This means any external factor in your life that you can garner confidence, self-worth, self-esteem from. This could be your career, your car, your apartment, the friends you have, the dog you have, the Rolex you just bought, the vacation you just went on, how many Instagram followers you have, your talents, your six-pack abs, your 400-lb deadlift. It doesn't particularly matter. The key thing to remember about this second layer is that a) it's all external and b) it's like a mosaic grid of squares that make up a big assembly of confidence that you can pull from when you need to. The issue is two-fold: 1. many people have far, far too few squares and 2. even those who have many, often have 1 or 2 squares or aspects of their life that they derive far, far too much confidence & self-worth from. They're over-leveraged, over-invested in a couple of things. They're one or two track people. There are a LOT of these types in professional fields. Folks who derive all of their self-worth from their academic, professional or financial position. Why do you think finance folks jump off of buildings during market crashes? Why do you think you hear stories of people who fall into the deepest of darkest of depressions after a break-up or divorce? It's because they derived far, far too much of their confidence, self-esteem, and sense of identity & purpose from one or two things that ultimately, they did not really have the control over its robustness or stability. Be cautious about being the master of one. The third level of confidence is core confidence. This is what remains once nothing in the second layer remains. You lose your job. You lose your friends. Your girlfriend breaks up with you. You fall into financial ruin. You get sick with cancer. You lose your body because you can't work out anymore. Etc. What do you have left? Can you keep going? No one says you can't be upset, distraught, dissapointed, but you cannot be at a loss. Core confidence is the self-assuredness of knowing that whatever happens, you will be okay. You will find a way to make the best of the situation, and continue on. You must work at building all 3 layers of confidence simultaneously. This means knowing yourself (building core confidence), developing hobbies, interests and investing your time in productive things (building lifestyle confidence), and learning how to present yourself the way that you want to present yourself (surface confidence). Do not be a house of cards that relies too much on one level. Build a castle. 3. Cultivate your mindset, attitude, and perspective. People go to the gym to exercise their physical body. They do this to remain physically active and healthy. You must, absolutely must, do the same for your mental health and wellbeing. You must cultivate an expansive and positive atittude toward yourself and toward the world. People more than ever focus on their specific problems--their depression, their lack of motivation, their social inadequacies, their boredom. But what governs all of these seemingly separate problems is our attitude, how we view the world on a daily basis. It is how we see and interpret events. Improve the overall attitude and everything else will elevate as well, including our relationships with people. A negative, constricted attitude is designed to narrow down the richness of life in such a way that it only becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy, and eliminates our potential, our sense of fulfillment, and our lust for life. Instead, in the words of Robert Greene, "see yourself as an explorer. With the gift of consciousness, you stand before a vast and unknown universe that we humans have just begun to investigate... as an explorer you leave all... certainty behind you." This is the attitude that views adversity as an opportunity, that views failure as a success, and that views optimism as essential. I assure you that these values will carry you far in terms of your ability to take steps and make changes in your life, regardless of what avenue it's in. 4. Fuck around. Have fun. Get rejected. Let's focus more on the issue at hand now. Earlier I mentioned not being concerned with the result, but rather being in love with the process (of becoming a self-assured & self-realized, confident & capable, empathetic & sensitive human being). This means that you will fuck up. You will have your heart broken. You will break hearts. You will be rejected, and reject. You will fumble, foil, fail, fall foolishly in the mess that is human relationships, dating, sex, whatever. That's okay. That's the point. No one was born instantly able to attract, charm, connect, build with people. The people who do this the best are the people who did it the worst previously. Don't hold yourself to an unreasonable standard so early in your journey. 5. Don't get tied up in time. It will always, inevitably, be temping to rush yourself, to think that you're behind, and to think that everyone else seems to have it wholly together, being successful in their relationships and their lives and any number of other things you have not yet acquired. It may seem that you're late, as everyone else speeds ahead, and in your frustration you fall into the trap of insisting that you should get what you want NOW, or at least very soon, if only because it seems quite unfair that seemingly everyone else should be enjoying the spoils of life while you waste your time merely trying to achieve them. This is an illusion. Aside from the fact that it is ludicrous to think, without any doubt, that everyone else has everything we don't and has not gone through the struggles we possess, but even if that were to be true, we must be strong and assured in the idea that our toils are not governed by time, but rather only by progress. It is essential only that we take it one day at a time, and simply try to be better tomorrow. Despite slow progress, despite bumps in the road, despite the surface confidence and surface appearance of others discouraging us, we stay in our own lane, at our own pace, with the knowledge and solace that our journey is our own. If we know ourselves, and if we treat ourselves with the self-love and self-respect we so truly deserve, time is no issue. Do not live in, and regret, the past, and do not live in, and expect too much from, the future. Everything you have and are is in the here and the now, and though at first this may seem like a frightening thought, it may be in fact, the single truism of life that grants us the courage, power, and ability to know ourselves, become who we would like to be, and treat both ourselves and the world with love, kindness, and gratitude. I did not want this post to be just about women, sex, and relationships. However, if you'd like to discuss that in anymore detail with me, please feel free to PM me.
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