Relationships are hard. They leave us vulnerable and exposed, happy and sad, jubilant and jaded. They can be a job in of themselves, requiring a lot of time and attention to make work.
You see, I've never been good with the whole dating thing. Girlfriends? Holy hell. In truth (pun absolutely intended), my current relationship is the first legitimate one in 6 or 7 years.
So for the sake of transparency, this post is in no way going to be about giving relationship advice. My track record disqualifies me. What this post is going to be about is the rollercoaster ride that is "The Truth: An Uncomfortable Book About Relationships."
There's a good chance by now that you've heard of Neil Strauss. He's authored 9 different books, but one towers above the rest...
Yes, Neil is that guy. He's responsible for inspiring a generation of dudes to approach women with a treasure trove of highly controversial, yet proven tactics. I'd like to say I wasn't one of those dudes, but that wouldn't be the truth.
I even went as far as to torrent The Annihilation Method, a limited-run $3,779 course marketed as, and I quote, "the most effective and most powerful collection of pick up techniques ever to be produced."
To say I went down the rabbit hole would be accurate. I never really got anywhere with the knowledge at hand, but that was my fault. I was scared, and my self-esteem was for shit.
However, The Game and subsequent course (please don't hate me Neil, I was 18) helped get me out of my shell. It helped me improve my communication skills and, ultimately, my confidence.
Years later, I'd learn that I didn't need to put on this facade, wear pink fuzzy hats (peacock), and neg the opposite sex. I just needed to be myself. The Truth is a radical departure from The Game. In fact, it's the complete opposite.
Where The Game taught you how to get the girl, The Truth teaches you why getting the girl (or guy) will never make you happy.
It teaches you why any relationship you've ever had has fallen apart, and gives you the insights to break the vicious cycle. Yes, the irony is strong with this one. Here, Neil, one of the most successful pick up artists in his prime, has done a complete 180. I was incredibly skeptical, but Neil exposes himself in vicious detail. He's not a hero, but a villain, admitting so from the start.
The Truth begins with where Neil was at in life. He had spent years with the love of his life, and by all appearances, was beginning to settle down. That was except for the dark truth: Neil had been cheating on his girlfriend for some time. She had everything he'd ever wanted, yet for whatever reasons, he kept driving down that painful road.
As with any secrets, they're eventually exposed, leading Neil to go to the extreme; checking into sex addiction rehab. It went against everything he had ever learned and taught. It went against this persona he had built, and would destroy it. In amazing detail and brilliant writing, Neil documents what he went through, and what he learned.
The rehab is only the tip of the iceberg, and without giving too much away, you're taken on this wild journey of what he needed to learn for himself. "Uncomfortable" is truly an understatement, but I walked away with a weight lifted from my shoulders.
I promise you will cringe. You might cry. But dammit, you'll walk away with important questions answered. You will understand, possibly for the first time in your life, what has led you to this point. It won't be easy facing the truth head on, but it's through that you can become a better person not just to yourself, but to the one you love or will love.