Unless you’re some sort of sculpted demigod with 18” biceps, millions of self-made dollars, and enough game to give Leonardo DiCaprio a run for his money, you’ve been hung up on at least one occasion over a girl you really liked but just couldn’t win over. It’s a tough time for any guy: it can leave you wondering what you did wrong, cursing yourself and getting lost in your thoughts as you review in agonizing detail every interaction with the girl in question, trying to understand what suboptimal moves you made and how you could have succeeded if you had only acted differently. In my personal experience, the only solution to situations like these has been to occupy my mind with other tasks.

A fairly common problem with failure in the dating realm is the lack of demonstration of value to the woman you’re interested in. Women like men that have cultivated and demonstrated lots of value, whether it’s in social skills, physical strength, economic productivity, or other worthwhile pursuits. So if you’re trying to get over that girl that never texted you back about a third date, why not cultivate some more value to simultaneously get your mind off of that last girl and increase your odds of success with the next one? Here are five things you can do that should distract you from the needless suffering of a lost dating opportunity and push you closer to becoming a more independent, productive, and high-value individual:

Tackle a new skill. This is probably the most practical and most effective solution. Maybe you could stand to sharpen up your cooking skills. Start small by learning just one or two new recipes or go big and sign up for an online or in-person class. Maybe there’s a skill that can land you that new shiny job you’ve been looking at. If you aren’t constantly learning and practicing new skills, your career is going to stagnate and you might even get laid off if you aren’t careful. Getting rejected by a girl is bad, but losing your job is objectively far worse. Plus, there’s not a woman alive that doesn’t like to see a guy manifesting his ambition in his personal or professional life.Clean your place. How are you going to take on the world outside if you can’t even manage the space under your own roof? Plus, you never know when you might have a woman over. Don’t think for one second that she isn’t going to notice that pile of dirty dishes in the sink or the heap of laundry sitting in the middle of the hallway. You’re a grown adult; your mom isn’t going to come over and clean up after you!

Assess your finances. You know what women don’t like? A broke dude that squanders his savings on overpriced drinks rather than putting his money into the stock market or investing in his own success. If you’re young, single, and new to the working world, are you saving some of the money you’re making? If not, why not? Don’t be an idiot living paycheck to paycheck if you don’t have to be. Take advantage of your employer’s retirement fund options. Open up an independent investment account and start researching how to make your money work for you. Speculative investments in up-and-coming markets can be fun and rewarding, but very risky. If you’re new to the investment scene or just want stable growth, throw some money into an index fund that tracks the S&P 500 or opt for a small-cap fund such as the iShares Small Cap S&P 600 (IJR). Don’t let your money collect dust in a bank vault with minimal interest rates! Plus, no woman is going to consider a long-term relationship with you if you don’t appear to be financially stable. If you can’t even make ends meet for yourself, how are you going to pay for a house or support children some day?

Take a hard, honest look at your health and nutrition. Are you eating those fruits and vegetables? Are you getting enough sleep? Can’t stop shoveling junk food in your face? Get those lifestyle habits in check now, while you’re still young and capable of making changes without too much hassle. The older you get, the less likely you are to make these sorts of beneficial lifestyle adjustments. It might be a challenge in the short run, but it will certainly be worth it in the long run. Plus, chicks dig a healthy guy. They can see it in your face and skin!

Read a damn book! Or at least listen to an informative podcast that’s educational to some extent. Brushing up on economics, the current political atmosphere, history, or even philosophy can help you strengthen the arguments behind your personal ideology and improve your confidence about acting as a good member of your family, your local and national communities, and the world at large. Plus, accumulating knowledge on universally relevant issues tends to make you more likely to have engaging conversations. Stop boring women to death with your generic small talk and obvious pick-up lines. Pathetic!

You will have countless chances to court women, but you only get one chance to live your life and maximize your potential. There’s no doubt that rejection sucks, but wallowing in your misery isn’t going to accomplish anything. Now get out there and enhance your value as a man.

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