I might be a good man today, but I wasn't always.
I came up through the school of hard knocks, as it were.
I moved out at 15.
I joined the Navy right out of high school.
I traveled. I flirted. I wasn't honest with women.
I was trouble.
(And clearly I was auditioning for a boy band. Wow... did I really put this pic up? Sheesh... it must be National Self-Humiliation Week. And what's with my shirt in this glamour photo?)
And these years were... "morally-challenged."
Was I looking to get women into bed in those days? Of course.
But for me it was more than that. I worked hard to become the embodiment of seduction.
To quickly read the spoken and unspoken clues of what a woman was looking for in a man, and then give her the perception I was that guy. In effect, to become so alluring that she would choose to willingly give herself over, thinking that having sex was her idea.
(After all, it's much easier to convince people of things they think they have thought of themselves.)
It was quite a rush, and as the wake of emotional destruction would later exemplify, seducing women became my drug of choice.
(What an asshole, eh?)
But it stopped being something I enjoyed. I ended up feeling empty, guilty, and without emotional purpose.
I didn't like who I was becoming.
And then, it happened.
(It always "happens," doesn't it?)
I met someone. I met a great lady.
And I realized that I wanted something real... something permanent.
» Something more than temporary love. «
I knew I had the core skills to be a great husband and father...
but I didn't have any experience putting those skills into practice.
SO... it was time for me to grow.
But growing wasn't so easy. There were lots of things in my way.
My past kept coming up.
I mean, I was a cute kid and all, but I had plenty of difficulties coming up in life:
- Challenges with my parents
- Misunderstandings with my siblings
- My parents' divorce
- Living between two houses (with a seriously confusing schedule)
- An alcoholic father
- A mother who moved out of the country
- First girlfriends who played games
- Later girlfriends who lied
- Normal teen crap
- Unresolved issues with my parents
- Previously unknown, MASSIVE dysfunction I discovered at 14 years old (don't ask)
- A group of friends who were in the same boat as me
Then I moved out while still in high school.
- Rapid maturity
- Sex without anyone to discuss the experience
And then... the Navy.
Girl after girl after girl. No emotional connection. No intimacy.
But I persevered. In my 20s, I had to do something different.
I had to get introspective. I read. I studied. I changed.
Because what I was doing wasn't the road to love.
I was on a road to 60 & single with cats! (We covered that earlier, yes?)
It was while I was on that path of self-discovery that I found my true calling.
I met hundreds of people while I was writing my first book.
Some were women who had been with men like I was, and others were hoping to meet and connect with men like I was becoming.
I met men who wanted to grow past their behavior and become something more, or who had unfortunately met women who were emotionally unavailable.
Others had troubled childhoods, issues unresolved, or emotionally damaging relationships in their past.
After my first book, hundreds of people turned into thousands.
Then my second book, and thousands turned into tens of thousands.
They all wanted to grow as people and find amazing people with whom to share their lives.
Not just be alive, but to live with someone in a connected way.
But they needed a guide who could help them move beyond the issues that were stopping them.
They wanted to let go of what was so they could embrace what is to come.
They wanted to grow beyond their past issues.
They wanted to move forward without all that baggage holding them back.
They wanted to release all their past bullshit... and just be happy.