My second visit to Rio didn’t start off so well. I couldn’t find an apartment, I had trouble making friends, and I got dumped by a girl that I wanted to develop a relationship with. I was struggling with Portuguese and not making headway with the new night venues I was experimenting with.
I hit bottom on New Year’s Eve. What should have been a magical celebration on Copacabana beach was lonely and depressing. I talked to one girl for two minutes. I couldn’t even drown my sorrows because the vendors ran out of beer, so I went home after the fireworks and slept. All the things that made Rio magical during my first visit was gone, and I had to confront the reality that it was time to start from scratch.
I didn’t want to go out on New Year’s Day, let alone talk to another human being. I just wanted to stay home in my favela shack and reminisce about Colombia and the nice pussy I was banging there before I left. But I knew that absolutely nothing would happen if I stayed home, so I cleaned myself up and went out to the same bar where I was successful a couple years prior.
I bombed. I couldn’t make headway with any girl and by the time I got to ten approaches I wanted to kill myself. I couldn’t believe that things had so quickly turned against me, and wondered if this was the same city I remembered. Was I completely wrong about singing its praises? Should I not have told other guys that Brazil was a magical paradise? It was so bad that I started considering a trip to Argentina.
I paid my bar tab and was on the way out when I saw a cute girl who looked like she was Middle Eastern. At that moment I can’t stress how much I didn’t want to approach her. I didn’t think there was a point because of all the failures that preceded it, but something told me to just say a few words then get the fuck out of there. I asked her if she was Brazilian and she answered that she was, but that her father was from Lebanon. We got into a conversation and when I joked if she liked “hairy men,” she said yes. She also liked Americans, having lived in the States for several months.
I didn’t bang her that night. I weaseled my way into her room but couldn’t even get off one article of clothing. The bang happened on the next date and we ended up dating for about a month, which when you’re abroad feels like forever. During that time I connected with my Danish roommate, pursued my nightlife niche, made solid progress with my Portuguese, and settled into a pleasant work and exercise routine. Most importantly, a little tide of girls began rolling in. That Brazilian girl was day zero of four months of happiness in Brazil that made me forget about the Colombian girls I was messing with. She was the beginning of a memorable period of my life that made me hate Argentina for the month I ended up staying there afterwards.
No matter how bad things get, all it takes is one girl, one night, to get you back on track. I don’t care how many rejections you’ve sustained beforehand, or how many dozens of girls have recently flaked on you, but that one special meeting, which you cannot predict, will pick you up and give you the confidence you need to keep getting more and better. If life is full of peaks and valleys and you’re in a deep slump, it’s just a matter of time until you get out of it, yet it’s not enough to merely go out. You can’t sit quietly in the dark corner of the bar for two hours and think you’ll be thrown a bone. You must work hard, consistency and continually, approaching and persisting every night to your maximum capability until your head hits your pillow.
I understand that I have to put in the work to get the rewards. I don’t go out for “just a drink”—I stay out until either I hook up, I’m exhausted, or there are literally no women on the streets. I’ve lost count how many times I pulled when all hope was lost, when no previous girl was digging me, when any average man would have long since given up, and when I already mentally identified the porn clip I would be masturbating to. If I didn’t talk to that Brazilian girl after I had already decided I was finished, my time in Rio would’ve been much different. If I didn’t always persist like a machine until my head hits the pillow, my whole life would be different.
You’re walking home after a brutal night out where you can’t even hold your head high, but then you see a girl walking in the opposite direction. Approach her with everything you got. She may change everything. This night may change everything.