This week has been focused a lot on Phase 1 guys but I want to make a note for guys in Phases 3-4. Especially it is important to pay attention to what risks you are dealing with, in the area of social media.
Reminder of how "hiding" and "dating" fit into your journey
In the original five-step plan English Manif put out (soon to be reposted as soon it is edited), we gave you the plan to disable all your social media as you move from Phase 3 (self-rebuilding in hiding) to Phase 4 (dating). This was on the ten-point "clearance" list that a guy has to clear before he is ready to go into full-fledged dating with women.
The full article about Phase 3 will be reposted soon, but for now here is a reminder of the ten points you have to "clear" before you go out asking women on dates.
1. Is your living arrangement safe and well-kept?
2. Are you off social media?
3. Are your physique and grooming right for dating women?
4. Is your job stable?
5. Are you ready to become a father if you and a woman you are dating lose your caution and move too fast?
6. How is your concentration? Are you able to pay attention to what people say and listen without your mind drifting off?
7. Do you have a track record of sticking with your game plan for life?
8. How is your overall confidence and ability to handle rejection or hostility?
9. Is your car in good shape?
10. Have you been able to go without watching any porn and with near-abstinence of masturbation (at least 90-180 days between times you masturbate) for a healthy period of time?
The part about social media was originally explained this way:
2. Are you off social media?
Ex-gay men are not like other men. We have pasts and our enemies like to start trouble with us. You should not have Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram at the moment that you are going to start dating women. All such social media programs attract people who poke around in your life and make trouble. If you have a LinkedIn account, be mindful that it looks professional and is updated. Do a Google search on yourself and see what comes up, as well, simply so you know what girls will find when they look you up, but do not obsess over those search engines, which you cannot control. If you have a professional website, update it so it looks good. It is no longer strange for people to be off Facebook or Twitter. Once you decide you are on the dating market, you can just explain to your friends and family that you need to get off social media.
Nobody is as vulnerable to blackmail, mobbing, harassment, threats, and social drama as an ex-gay man. All social media accounts, with the possible exception of LinkedIn, complicate your life. Ex-gay men have to have very clear boundaries or the blurry lines will cause them to backslide. By the time you are in Phase 3, a major part of your journey consists of moving into connecting with people in real time, face to face, away from the distraction of empty images and foolish concepts. So you have to get off social media.
It is hard sometimes to stay off social media. If your job requires you to do it, keep it very professional and do not friend or interact with people whom you know socially. Not only are many people in the gay community generally vicious toward ex-gays, but there are also well-funded organizations that pay trolls to thwart ex-gays in order to reinforce their public viewpoint that sexual orientation cannot change. Virtually all social media will allow people who develop hostility to you to find out who else is your friend and embarrass or undermine you. And this happens very often.
All social media companies right now are also very favorable to the LGBT agenda so your news feed will often have posts or information about gay issues, as told from the official gay viewpoint that you as an ex-gay do not exist. You will be tempted to get into arguments with people or defend yourself and your situation. But you cannot control what people think about you or ex-gays in general. At this stage you will not change anybody's mind about you, never mind changing their mind about the issue of sexual orientation change. Engaging on social media while you are in Phases 3-4 and trying to rebuild your life is always a bad idea. The illusion that you can control things and protect yourself with privacy settings or other information controls works against you. It creates artificial boundaries that do not work since people can always infiltrate into any private group you set up, and they often will.
This is why, for example, I have not sought to run English Manif as a secret Facebook group or anything like that. I know people can get doxed very easily on any kind of social media platform. And companies like Facebook and Twitter apply the community standards in such an uneven way, that they will often punish you merely for trying to exist as an ex-gay, while they will not punish pro-LGBT people who come after you, invade your privacy, and harm your reputation.
Why Phase 3 will make or break you
Every phase of the journey is important. But from the beginning in reaching out to guys caught in the gay community, I understood in a powerful way that Phase 3 is a very vulnerable period where the chance of backsliding or personal crisis runs high. During Phase 3, remember, you have left the gay community (that departure was Phase 2) but you are not ready to date yet.
If a woman stumbles across your path and you connect and it looks very promising, of course, you can accelerate everything. Always be somewhat flexible about the timelines. Don't fight luck if it comes as a gift from God!
But most men on the journey from gay to straight will not chance into a relationship with a woman. Honestly, for most of you, you are going to have to transform yourself, build yourself, and go on the dating market for a full-fledged, fully developed Phase 4 (dating). Most of you will already be in your late twenties or older by the time you clear the ten hurdles and make it out of Phase 3. At such an age, many of the traditional marriageable girls have already been taken. Straight men your age are your competitors now and will not be forthcoming with secrets about how they date or their sex lives. Women your age who are coupled will be wary of you, while single women your age are seasoned enough to know they have many dating options.
If you jump into the dating market without making sure those ten points in the clearance list stand in order, you run the risk of making poor first impressions or doing poorly on the dating market. You may find that you cannot get past the first date with women you ask out, or the women you desire do not want to go out when you invite them.
Even the best-prepared ex-gay man is going to deal with far more rejection from women than even the lamest straight guy. But you don't want to make things harder for yourself. If you find yourself unable to gain any foothold with women your odds of discouragement and demoralizing run very high. Backsliding will pose a constant threat.
I will have more on this in upcoming days but just wanted to connect quickly with the guys who are midway in this journey.