Last week Lance and I had a discussion over AIM about the “Two Paths” concept posed by Jason Savage. Reading that post hit him really hard, and if you’d like to read his thoughts on the subject, he posted about it here. The idea of the two paths is essentially that there are two distinct paths one can take in pickup: 1) You are looking for the one, someone you can connect with deeply and start a life with. 2) You are looking to sow your seed and have a large variety of sexual partners. Savage asserts that if you try to walk between the two paths, you will wind up on neither and unhappy as a result. This is something that I’ve talked about a lot from a technique standpoint, but I have not really discussed much from an internal frame of mind standpoint. In my life it’s always been pretty clear, but talking to others about this, I see the need for a concept like this.
I go through phases in which I’m just looking for random ass. This year, for example, I had a 3-4 month stretch of not taking numbers from women unless I’d had sex with them, with the exception of a situation where I’d take the number to text a girl later in the night. Even in these situations though, I’d delete the number the next day if I didn’t hear back. There are other times where I’m looking specifically for a girlfriend. I’m in a phase like this right now, in fact. I become far less interested in plowing through conversation with girls who I don’t like that much for the sake of getting into their pants.
When I read through Savage’s post the first time, I did take issue with one thing, though. He made it seem like if you’re on one path you have to essentially cut the other out of your life, which speaking from experience I can definitively say is not true. In a more recent post, though, he clarifies this. You see, with two paths, Savage is talking specifically about new people who are trying to develop their skills. Someone who’s been around for a while, and has a more developed skillset in both areas, is more capable of easily jumping from path to path as often as possible.
Savage uses a martial arts analogy: just because you’re trying to learn jiujutsu doesn’t mean that you can’t practice karate sometimes. I don’t necessarily think that this is a very good analogy, but it does illustrate the point that the techniques are essentially different and if you understand that they are totally different and independent of each other, you are easily able to bounce between the two as necessary. I think of it like speaking multiple languages. If you’re talking to someone who only speaks English, you’re not going to speak a combination of English and French to them. Likewise, if you’re speaking to someone who only speaks French, combining languages is going to make communication more difficult.
Even when I’m on Path 1, if I’m talking to a girl who’s clearly not relationship material but seems fun enough and likes me, I will quickly jump to Path 2 and try to make it happen. If I do it early enough in the interaction, the transition can be smooth. Acting like you’re looking for a relationship with a girl who you’re just looking to sleep with is a great way for her to get hurt, or worse, for you to end up in a less than ideal relationship (yes, this is far worse). At the same time, not taking Path 2 with this girl could also mess up your chances on Path 1 because extended periods of time without getting laid can cause needy behavior that can scare quality women away.
Women are great at switching between the two paths. Most women are on Path 1, but are very willing to have a Path 2 romp with the right guy, the type of guy who “doesn’t count” when women tell you how many men they’ve slept with. The type of guy who won’t judge them or spread their business around town, but also won’t try to tie them down afterward. Yes, your innocent sweetheart, the one who you’d do anything for, who’s only slept with two guys before you, both of which were her ex-boyfriends. Even she was having sex with some Hot Marine type of guy for the first couple of months she was dating you. That’s why she was able to hold out on you for two months before having sex; she’d get all worked up out on a date with you then call the guy who doesn’t count, because sleeping with you too early is going to hurt her chances with you long term according to The Rules. You should be doing the same thing.