A reader writes in:

Hi Pat, I just had a major realization, that I’ve been living (to some extent) within the “frame” of a close male friend. E.g. seeking validation, following his lead in things. #nohomo

Have you ever written about this, or have tips for how to build your own frame?

I’ve written about ditching old friends before — but the context was that these friends and you had nothing in common anymore, or they were treating you poorly.

This one is a bit different, but nevertheless it’s essential for your growth.

A few years back, when I was single and living it up in Philadelphia, I had a good friend there (let’s call him Mark).

Mark and I had met via dating related stuff, and he was incredible with women. Unlike a lot people who get into PUA-ish stuff, a real natural. He didn’t buy courses or get coaching, he just liked hanging out in that world cause he liked picking up women, and found the stories funny.

Mark was a few years older than me, and we became great friends. We’d go out together 1-2 every week. I credit a lot of the “natural” game I learned from spending time with him.

(Which is why, even though I highly recommend coaching for it’s own sake, meeting up with guys in the same stage of life with you is so crucial… and why I give all clients lifetime-access to a private group so they can connect with others in their area)

But at a certain point, going out with Mark started to become frustrating. His frame was so strong, that I was always in the position of subordinate when we met girls. He didn’t do any of this intentionally — he wasn’t a dick, trying to “neg” me or anything — but I was in his shadow, and it was tough to shine on my own.

So I stopped going out with Mark as much. Took a little break from him.

Which was definitely the right decision, because all the things I had learned from Mark, now became internalized — and I was able to do much much better with women.

And moreover, it changed the dynamic of friendship for the better. Because when I started hanging out with him again, we were equals.

This has happened with multiple other friends over the years, in both directions. I’ve taken breaks from some friends that become “dominant” over me in a different stage of life. And I’ve had friends do the same to me, when I had been “dominant” over them.

It’s OK to do this. If the friendship has a healthy base, the the friend isn’t doing this from a position of ego, then the friendship will survive the break.

But the point regardless is that you need to strike out on your own and find your own voice.

There is no other way to change this. You need to take time away from him, make other friends. Indeed, you risk more damage to the friendship by staying so close, because you will start to resent him, and lash out.

Which is why I’m such a big proponent of social circle game. Because not only does it bring tons of pre-screened, high quality women into your life… it makes these sort of decisions much easier.

Since you have other friends you can easily start spending more time with.

Most guys lose more and more friends as they leave college. Their network shrinks, and as people “shack up,” so does their social life.If broadening and capitalizing on your network is a struggle, consider working with me.

There are experts in the bar scene and daygame gurus who can grab girls on the street who are more experienced than me. I am competent and succeeded in both these areas, but I never reached “mastery.”

Online, and in building a social circle however — you will be hard pressed to find anyone better.

Apply here: www.patstedman.com/application

– Pat