~ archived since 2018 ~

How To Get Out of Intermediate Purgatory (The Five Stages of Learning Game Part 3)

April 14, 2018

When I opened my eyes, I was shocked to see her next to me. She was my definition of a “perfect 10”- Not only did she have flawless olive skin and a face that belonged on a magazine cover, but she was also extremely smart, acerbic, and confident. This was the kind of girl I had gotten into the game for, and she was lying naked next to me.


After she woke up, we talked for a while before she abruptly said, “I have a lot to do today, I’ll call you a cab.”

The cab arrived, she said goodbye, and then I never saw her again.

This was the beginning of my time in what’s commonly known as intermediate purgatory.

I had gotten the kind of girl I wanted out of game, but I couldn’t keep her. I wholeheartedly believed I was batting out of my league.

That’s why the morning after we hooked up I was nervous, self-qualifying, and completely un-entitled. This woman realized that I wasn’t what she had thought I was the night before (thanks to the liquid courage), and she got rid of me – justifiably.

I was an intermediate in game when I met the girl from the above story. More than anything, what defines an intermediate is inconsistent results.

Sure, I slept with a beautiful girl one night, but I didn’t know how I did it, and I wasn’t confident that I could do it again. In fact, I didn’t sleep with another woman of that caliber for a couple years.

Most guys who go out regularly to meet women get stuck in intermediate purgatory. More than anything, it’s because our ego gets in our way.


The Ego and Intermediate Purgatory

I used to frequently go out to meet women with my friend Victor. He was charming, charismatic, and extremely confident with women. He would take a new girl home on a nearly weekly basis.

But the girls he took home were less attractive than he was – substantially less attractive. Once he pulled a woman who was in her 50s, another time he took home a girl who weighed well above 200 pounds.

Sometimes I would point out a girl to him, and he’d say, “Yeah man, she’s hot.”

I’d say, “Let’s approach her.”

He’d inevitably reply, “Nah man, I’m not feeling it, don’t force me to approach, I’ll do it when I feel like it.”

I would then approach the hot girl and bring her to my friend, and he would literally walk away to avoid talking to her.

This friend of mine had everything he needed to date beautiful women, yet he exclusively approached women who were well below average.

Once every few months he’d end up with a girl who was genuinely attractive, but it was highly inconsistent. He was trapped in intermediate purgatory because of his ego. He was unwilling to acknowledge that he was avoiding attractive women.

Intermediate purgatory takes many different forms, but the cause is generally the same.

A guy goes out regularly to meet women and he gets some kind of success. He might get girls’ numbers, he might make out with girls in the club, and he might even take some girls home – but, some invisible wall prevents him from taking his results to the next level.

In my friend Victor’s case the invisible wall was his unwillingness to approach the hottest girls. In my own intermediate purgatory, my invisible wall was my inability to treat beautiful women like normal human beings (I saw them as a prize to be won).

Intermediate purgatory is frustrating because it can feel like no matter what you do, you end up getting the same results. Victor tried a variety of strategies to attract higher quality women. As one example, he stopped doing cold approach and tried “social circle game” instead.

Of course, switching to “social circle game” didn’t fix his problem. He was totally unaware of what was really holding him back.

If you asked him, he would say he had no problem approaching high quality women. Why? Because his ego was involved. It would be hard to admit to himself that he only talked to the less attractive girls, so he convinced himself the root of the problem was something it wasn’t.

We get stuck in intermediate purgatory because we develop blind-spots to ourselves. The first step to overcoming this hurdle is to grow your self-awareness.

Once you know exactly what it is that’s holding you back from making progress, you can course correct and beat that particular sticking point.

A simple way to develop this self-awareness is with the following journal exercise:

Exercise – Self-Diagnostic

A sticking point is something that’s holding you back from getting the success with women you want. A sticking point can be anything from approach anxiety to a habit of premature ejectulation.

Rate yourself from 1-100 in the following categories. They cover the most important sticking points that you can have in game. In each category, write a couple sentences analyzing why you gave yourself the score you chose.

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have a roadmap for what you need to focus on to get out of intermediate purgatory.

Before looking at an example, let’s overview the common sticking points and what they mean:

Common Sticking Points

How often do I go out to meet women? (1-100)

I know a lot of guys who will go out a couple times one weekend, but then stay locked away in their room for the next several months. Obviously, you can’t get better with women without interacting with them regularly.

How much should you go out? That’s up to you. Personally, I recommend starting by going out 2-4 times a week and adjusting that over time based on your goals.

Rate yourself based on how well you’re living up to your own standards. If you think you should be going out four times a week, but you only go out twice a week, you might give yourself a score of 50.

But if you’re going out twice a week, and that’s your goal, then give yourself 100.

This sticking point is much more common than it should be. A lot of guys get stuck in intermediate purgatory because they don’t go out consistently. Game is a skill-set, and you must practice consistently to get better.

Do I approach enough women when I go out? (1-100)

This is the most common sticking point I’ve seen. About half of the wings I’ve met will spend four hours in a club without doing a single approach. Other guys will do a few half-assed approaches, but then call it a night.

There isn’t one “correct” number of approaches you should do when you go out. It depends on your skill-level, your goals, and a variety of other factors. Doing 30 approaches that only last 5 seconds each is just as useless as doing 2 approaches that last five minutes each.

Again, rate yourself on this based on your own goals. If you’re just trying to get over approach anxiety, you might want to shoot for a lot more approaches than if you’re working on your ability to pull a girl home.

The question is whether you’re taking the right amount of action to get the results you want.


Do I approach the most beautiful women? (1-100)

This is my friend Victor’s sticking point. But he’s not alone, there are a lot of guys who have no trouble with average girls but get paralyzed by the most beautiful women.

When I go out, I come across an average of 3-5 women who I’d consider “9s” or 10s”. I make a point to approach each of these women because these are the girls I’m most interested in.

If you’re going out, but you’re not approaching a few girls per night that you consider to be “smoke-shows”, you’re doing it wrong. The only exception is if you live in some Podunk town where there are no beautiful women (in which case you should move).

For most guys, it’s easier to approach less attractive women because getting rejected by an average girl isn’t nearly as painful as getting rejected by a stunner. This makes sense, but you have to catch yourself doing this if you want to get out of intermediate purgatory.

Many of the guys who complain on the forums that, “It’s impossible to get 9’s and 10’s if you’re not extremely good looking,” have never so much as approached a 9 or a 10. These guys are terrified of beautiful women.

To be fair, I was afraid of beautiful women myself at one point, I put them on such a high pedestal that I couldn’t relate to them. Of course, this fear wasn’t based on reality, and it disappeared after I spent enough time interacting with beautiful women.

This isn’t to say you’ll be pulling 9’s and 10’s this weekend- you probably won’t. But, you should start interacting with those women now. You’re probably not in the game for the girls you would have gotten anyway, you’re in the game to get women who you previously thought were out of your league.


Do I get to the social hook point regularly? (1-100)


You’ve reached the social hook point when a girl you’ve approached wants you to stay. Put simply, if you left, her mood would go down.

If you frequently get rejected within the first couple minutes of an interaction, you need to work on getting to the social hook point.

There are several things guys do that prevent them from getting to the social hook point:

– They’re too quiet, girls have to work too hard to hear what they’re saying.

– They come across as nervous and awkward, their vibe makes girls uncomfortable.

– They’re way too forward in a way that’s unrelatable and creepy “You look sexy tonight, what are you doing later?”

– They ask interview questions without taking the conversation anywhere remotely interesting.

If your game is on point, you should be able to get to the social hook point with most women. This doesn’t mean girls will want to hang out with you all night, and it doesn’t mean that girls want to have sex with you, it just means they’re happy to chat with you for 5-10 minutes.


Do I get to the sexual hook point regularly? (1-100)


No matter who you are, you can’t get to the sexual hook point with every girl. However, if you’re not getting to the sexual hook point with at least a few women each time you go out, you could improve at this.

How do you know if you’ve reached the sexual hook point? If you and the girl you’re talking to were teleported into your bedroom would you rip each other’s clothes off? If yes, you’ve reached the sexual hook point.

If you get friend-zoned frequently or you have long conversations with girls that don’t lead to anything sexual there’s a good chance this is your sticking point.

When guys have trouble getting to the sexual hook point, it’s usually because they play it too safe: they don’t do anything that risks a rejection from a girl they’re already interacting with.

This can mean the guy won’t lean in for a kiss, it can mean he doesn’t make strong eye contact, or it can mean he filters himself and keeps the conversation “light”.

I’m not saying that you should be hyper-sexual in all of your interactions, but you there should be an element of sexual tension when you’re meeting women.


Do I lead interactions [to the dance floor/to an instant date/to other venues] sufficiently? (1-100)


In daygame I’ll often see a guy walk up to a girl and have a 30-minute conversation with her – without moving a foot. Eventually, that interaction fizzles out.

Have you ever made out with a girl for hours, but she wouldn’t let you get any further? I bet you eventually got bored/frustrated and decided you’d rather leave the girl and rub one out.

The same concept applies to the earlier stages of dating, if there is no forward momentum, the sexual tension will fizzle out. Therefore, you should lead your interactions forward as much as possible.

The single adjustment I made to my game that got me the most results was to just lead sets around. For example, I might say:

“Let’s go get some fresh air.”
“Let’s go dance.”
“Let’s get a cup of coffee real quick.”

Etc. etc.

Some girls will reject those requests, but you’ll be surprised that many others will be happy to go with you from one place to another. Once you take a girl from the bar to the outside area and then to the dance floor, it will only feel natural to take her to your place afterwards.

Not leading girls in this way will cause you to miss countless opportunities. Women will rarely lead you towards sex, when a woman wants to fuck you, she’ll just make it easy for you to pull her.

Ask yourself if your interactions have enough forward momentum to them. Do you lead girls as much as possible, or do you let them fizzle out?


Do I embody the ABC (Always Be Closing) mindset? (1-100)


This sticking point is about being effective as possible. If you like a girl, you should try to take her home that night: you should invite her to your place (to get a drink/for an afterparty/etc.)

To be clear, you should be doing this in a way that doesn’t make you seem like a creep. I’m not suggesting you should try to make out with every single girl you like, but you should be going for the close in a way that’s socially relatable.

Most of the time this just means inviting her to your place, but in other cases it can mean going for the kiss when you think it’s appropriate, or it can simply mean you get the girl’s number (and follow up on it).

If you like a girl and you don’t proactively create a situation where you and she can have sex, don’t be surprised when sex doesn’t happen.

When rating yourself on this, ask yourself, “Am I playing to win, or am I playing not to lose?” Playing to win means that you’ll take risks and get rejected, but it also means you’ll make things happen. Playing not to lose means you don’t face as much rejection, but you also let opportunities pass by.


There are other sticking points, but the above list covers the most common/most important ones. Once you’ve rated yourself on each sticking point, you can decide which you need to focus on first.

If, for example, you’re sticking point is that you don’t approach enough women, you’ll want to prioritize that over anything else. Once you’ve got that sticking point handled, you can choose the next to work on, and so on.

I’ll use a former student as an example for this exercise:

How often do I go out to meet women? (1-100)

85 – I’ve been going out about 3 times a week, which is a really good amount, but I know I have enough time to make it 4 days a week.

Do I approach enough women when I go out? (1-100)

90 – On average, I do between 10 and 20 approaches per night. I like to get in a social mood by meeting everyone earlier in the night, and if I meet a girl I particularly like I’ll take that interaction as far as I can.

Usually, I take enough action, but there are nights when I spend too much time hesitating, so there’s some room for improvement.

Do I approach the most beautiful women? (1-100)

60 – I’ll go a lot of nights without approaching any girls who I would consider to be stunning. Sometimes there’s a valid excuse (like she’s arm in arm with a guy), but usually I just hesitate because I’m nervous.

Do I get to the social hook point regularly? (1-100)

70- Most girls I talk to are happy to have a longer conversation with me. Some nights, though, my vibe is off, and I get a lot of bad reactions.

Do I get to the sexual hook point regularly? (1-100)

85 – I’m good at projecting a sexual vibe in my interactions. This does get me rejected sometimes, but for the most part it works in my favor. I could probably learn to calibrate better when a girl isn’t comfortable with me yet.

Do I lead interactions [to the dance floor/to an instant date/to other venues] sufficiently? (1-100)

20 – Honestly, I rarely do this. My interactions often end where they start. I rarely take a girl to the dance floor/another area.

Do I lead interactions as far forward as possible? (1-100)

30 – I usually go for the number close even when I think I could go for more. I don’t know if I believe it’s really possible for me to take a girl home the same night I’ve met her. There are times when I’ll make-out with a girl in the club, but even when I do I don’t take that girl home or see her again.


It should be fairly clear what the guy from the above example needs to work on. For the most part, he goes out enough and takes enough action. His biggest sticking points are:

  1. He needs to lead his interactions more.
  2. He needs to go for the close (by inviting girls to his place/going with them to theirs)
  3. He needs to approach the most attractive women he sees more consistently.

You can work on 2-3 sticking points at a time, any more than that and you’ll spread yourself too thin.

In my own field reports, I write a section about the two or three sticking points I’m focusing on. For example, I might write a section about taking massive action and another about leading interactions forward.

This helps me keep track of my progress with my sticking points so that I don’t forget about or neglect them.

If writing field reports isn’t your style, I recommend that after you go out you at least think about how you’re doing in terms of your biggest sticking point. Analyze whether you’re making progress and if you’re not, think of what you can do to change that.

Once you know what your sticking points are, overcoming them is a matter of persistence and self-education.

If you find that your biggest sticking point is approach anxiety, you can look up videos/articles that will teach you how to overcome approach anxiety.

Once you’ve got some strategies in your back pocket, you can go out and implement them until you find something that works. Analyze what works and what doesn’t and keep working on your approach anxiety until you’ve overcome it.

Then you can do the exercise from this article again to identify the sticking points that you need to work on, and you can repeat the process with those sticking points.

This is how real progress happens. It requires self-awareness and discipline, but the results are worth the effort. Once you make a real change and start reaping the rewards, you’ll be amazed at the progress you’ve made.

The way out of intermediate purgatory can take a long time (depending on your starting point), but anyone can do it if they’re proactive and determined.


TheRedArchive is an archive of Red Pill content, including various subreddits and blogs. This post has been archived from the blog Red Pill Theory.

Red Pill Theory archive

Download the post

Want to save the post for offline use on your device? Choose one of the download options below:

Post Information
Title How To Get Out of Intermediate Purgatory (The Five Stages of Learning Game Part 3)
Author Avery
Date April 14, 2018 4:23 AM UTC (4 years ago)
Blog Red Pill Theory
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/blog/Red-Pill-Theory/how-to-get-out-of-intermediate-purgatory-the-five.22683
Original Link https://redpilltheory.com/2018/04/14/how-to-get-out-of-intermediate-purgatory-the-five-stages-of-learning-game-part-3/
You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

© TheRedArchive 2022. All rights reserved.
created by /u/dream-hunter