Archive for June, 2011

The 90 Day Rule?
June 21, 2011

There is a boatload of relationship propaganda out on the market today and with a few clicks Amazon is more than willing to provide their top recommendations for the solution to your single gal lifestyle. If you can take what’s written with a grain of salt and can just have some fun with it then by all means take a peek at this genre if your book club option is putting you to sleep. In my role I like to see what’s out there to get a better idea of what fantastic, or fantastically ridiculous concepts have been cooked up.

 

As previously mentioned a friend of mine was given Steve Harvey’s relationship book “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man” and was kind enough to let me borrow it to see what it is that Steve is selling.

 

First I should say that he is not the first person that comes to mind when I think of a “guru” for love advice. Funny guy absolutely no doubt about that but I could have sworn he had been married a time or two. Ahh yes he’s on lucky number 3. I still was planning on cutting him a break. The entertainment business can be extremely hazardous to relationships; probably only second to athletes so perhaps a few short spurts had to be sorted out before the long haul of the real deal. His latest marriage may very well be the real deal but considering he wrote the book after a mere two years of wedded bliss I have to say that I think advising people on the success of your marriage may be premature. Perhaps its wrong for me to put a number on success but honestly anything less than 10 makes me suspicious.

 

There were quite a few recommendations that made me uneasy but the one that still has me scratching my head involves the establishment of a 90 day no sex rule for all new relationships. Had I been drinking anything it surely would have come right out my nose in shock and I even hoped that as I progressed through the chapter that there would be some loopholes or alternatives to the stringent denial of sexual activity.

 

Naturally I called, texted, and e-mailed anyone and everyone I knew to get their opinion and thoughts on this concept because it was all just too foreign to me. Was this something that everyone else was following and had just forgotten to tell me? After quite a few inquiries from both sexes the general consensus was that this was a novel idea but it would never work. Not only did the males questioned grimace at the thought of going without for so long while still trying to appear willing (“I mean, I guess if that’s what it took but damnit at 12:01 on the 91 day it is ON!”) although extremely pained and neither side could understand the reasoning. “Why?” was asked by just about everyone and while I tried to provide the logic that was used in the book they still were not appeased. “Uh huh. ok right. but why?” And it wasn’t just the guys being “horndogs” that were upset by this concept. Most of the women were extremely annoyed by the notion and got angry in the idea that if they didn’t adhere to this rule they were either sluts or doomed to be single forever or both. Especially after the majority of the gals I asked were from the Sex and the City generation that followed the three date rule. Hell Steve Carrell in the 40 Year Old Virgin didn’t even have to wait that long.

 

Maybe I am doomed to be a slut forever but for me waiting 3 months to check under the hood is unrealistic. Sure three months is sufficient amount of time to really get to know someone and see if they have potential but without sexual chemistry, the best one can hope for out of the relationship is friendship. And friendships with members of the opposite sex are great but why do I need to wait three months to determine that. Also, we hold different standards to our friends than our potential loved ones. My guy friends can be up all night boozing and then throwing up just so they can refill their stomachs with more liquor and ya know what; that’s fine by me. It doesn’t get to me because in the end that’s not really my problem. It’s their girlfriends’ problem. I just get to laugh at them and take pictures.

 

Sex is an essential element of any healthy romantic relationship so why isn’t that connection seen as equally important as relating to family, or politics or religion. Hell it’s more important that politics or religion in my book. I can see myself marrying someone with different beliefs but if there’s no joy being together between the sheets I’m out of there.

 

While there will be a couple more entries based on the “interesting” theories of this comedian please try to remember to use your head when you’re reading this book, or any other book (hell or blog) for that matter. No single publication should be given the power or responsibility to be the end all be all of your relationship or lack thereof. Trust your gut because you’ll know what’s right and when. And if your gut is sending you mixed message go to your trusty interventionista for some clarity.

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Real World: Dating
June 20, 2011

Summertime is prime wedding season and with all of these nuptials on the horizon a single gal may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. Finding a date to these things is tough enough but it also is a harsh reminder that you have not checked off the matrimony box and this is a time when most start to get a little bit down on themselves. Why isn’t that me? When will it be my turn? and ohh so many other questions keep me up late most nights and constantly on the run to Trader Joes for some more Two Buck Chuck.

 

A factor that very few people really think about until you’re in the gooey middle of it is dating is different in the real world. Out of all of the friends and acquaintances and high school classmates that have tied the knot there is a single commonality.They met at school. Either high school, college, grad school, law school the environment they met their beloved is always the same. It’s just so much easier. You already have something in common and the “effort” to spend time together is possibly walking across campus. You’re at a similar stage of your life and if option A doesn’t work out there are countless of other singles in your class, or in your class the following semester.

 

These relationships are fantastic and fun but for those in the real world dating scene they almost feel like cheating. Out here it’s a war zone. You’re not competing with women in a four year age bracket you’re competing against every single gal who came to play. Not every guy is in school or went to any school for that matter. So while in the college environment there was the theory that he would in fact grow up and get a career, not so much in the real world. Especially in lala land you’re more likely to find a cute, funny, charming guy who just happens to be 40 and is refusing to give up the acting dream because next pilot season is so his season, no really he can feel it this time.

 

Your apartment complex is not the same as your dorm. one big difference; people close their doors. It is entirely possible that the only social situation that you might find yourself in with your neighbors involves letting your dogs outside at the same time or when they are banging on your door because you have the tv too loud. When you’re out at the bar, it isn’t the goal of the general population to make a new friend. The goal is to get laid or to get a contact that can benefit your career. Unless you’re a regular or an alcoholic or both it’s unlikely that you will be able to walk into any given establishment and know at least one person there.

 

Out of all of my past relationships every single one of them involved someone I either worked with or someone from college that ended up out here. Why? Because it’s just so much easier! With the work relationships you don’t have to have add a secondary commute to your day to actually spend time with one another cause you can see each other throughout the day. When you complain about your work day, he totally knows what you’re pissed about because he was there too and can attest when your boss genuinely is being a prick! If he’s from your college life then there’s a comfort. When you’re talking about friend x, he probably already knows them and has seen them in their greek week gear.

 

So give your single pals a break cause it really is a jungle out there and chances are you wouldn’t exactly be thriving either. Then go and hug your hubby and thank god you don’t have to be out there.

 

And single gals, this part sucks but trust me when you do end up finding “the one” you can feel a little bit smug and victorious that you survived real world dating and and came out on top…or bottom, really whichever position you prefer 😉

No Plus One For You
June 17, 2011

What is it about weddings that bring out the worst in everyone? This is meant to be a romantic and hopeful event demonstrating that true love will revere and yet it instead brings out anxiety, regret, and anger in those that attend.  Break ups are tough but for some reason it is the dreaded wedding invitation that brings more friends to my door.

 

The most recent incident happened just this past week and resulted in a full on flip out. Upon receipt of this particular wedding invitation my friend and I decided to make the most of the event. We were going to be happy for our friend because she deserved it and is a genuinely fantastic person. However, after careful review of the envelope we noticed a missing element. The envelope was directed to our individual attention. Usually they say our name first followed by our current significant other or the ohh so vague “Guest” but there was nothing. We search for the RSVP slip and sure enough the error wasn’t just on the envelope but we were not given the option for a plus one.

 

Naturally there are numerous ways to interpret this and one was to take it as a shot to the stomach. Was this an intentional choice? Had this bride determined that the likelihood of either of us bring a date to be so slight as it would be silly to waste the ink to print that extra line? Was she taking pity on us, not wanting us to experience the sadness of having to see that blank line, knowing that there was no name that would be added along with a chicken or fish dinner option?  In this moment one can come to the conclusion (irrational or not) that you have been put into the spinster pile. The general public has determined that you are without any romantic potential and that your fate will be to be at the kids’ table for all future events. You failed. Your relationship clock was ticking and the battery finally died. Get some cats and start knitting.

 

Once the brain starts spinning on this concept it’s nearly impossible to stop it before going into full-blown steam coming out of the ears rage. At this point my friend goes into her memory to recall another slight, further evidence that this is not an isolated incident. At the last Christmas get together one of the gals presented everyone with a book that she felt represented her. One got a cookbook because her boyfriend had recently moved in and they were enjoying the domestic bliss of constant togetherness. The other received a similar girlie how-to book that spoke on a similar tone of what to do now that you have that special someone to have and to hold. Then came a how to get/keep a man by Steve Harvey for my buddy.

 

Quick side rant why in the hell would I go to Steve Harvey for love advice but with that said my friend is letting me read it since I wouldn’t let her burn it on the patio.

 

This gift was interpreted along the same lines as the lack of Guest option with the wedding invitation. Well, since you’re the only one without a man there must be something wrong with you and I thought master comedian Steve Harvey might be able to fix you and get you married.

 

Second side rant; do not get self-help books for friends. The key phrase in there is “SELF” which means that they need to want to get those books for their own personal betterment. The gift of a self-help book is a passive aggressive way of saying this is wrong with you and I’m judging your life choices. If you can’t come up with a gift idea just go with Bath and Body Works. I might be annoyed at having a new lotion to add to my 30+ I have in my bathroom but I won’t be up all night sobbing or yelling at you.

 

After a few shots of Jack we were able to settle down and be as rational as possible. Instead of assuming that this was in fact a slight, either out of pity or malice lets just say it was a genuine oversight. Weddings are intense and require the juggling of about a million separate elements. This could be an honest mistake where the bride wasn’t thinking. Or someone was helping her with the invites and didn’t see a specific plus one name and so left the option off.

 

In addition lets say that either of us had in fact been seeing someone. I am not the type of gal to do the Facebook update when I’m seeing someone and I haven’t spoken with the bride in several months. She could, by no fault of her own, be completely ignorant to my current romantic situation. If I felt that strongly about it and desperately wanted to bring my current man to the wedding I would have no qualms in asking. She in no doubt would/should say “Ofcourse!” and then proceed to get all the details.

 

So seeing as it’s the start of the summer and this is prime wedding season I wish that everyone remembered to cut your friends a little slack when it comes to their big day. With everything else that they are stressed and worried about don’t add to their plate with something that in the long run is pretty insignificant. This day isn’t about your love life or lack thereof. It’s about theirs.

How Can We Be Lovers if We Can’t Be Friends
June 13, 2011

So I’m almost done with this book by Lori Gottlieb that reviews her quest for true love and giving up the idea of a perfect prince charming. I’ve actually really enjoyed this book because a lot of the advice that she is getting from the matchmakers and love coaches is along the same vein that I provide. For some it seems like tough love but in the long run it tends to get results.

 

One of the elements that I go back to over and over has to do with the first date. Most people (women especially) tend to put way too much emphasis on this specific moment in the relationship and insist that he can’t be “the one” without the perfect first date experience. If you haven’t met before thanks to the Internet or a fix up you demand a “meet cute”. Not only must you feel butterflies as soon as he walks in but the conversation should flow as easily as the wine. It’s like meeting the best friend you never knew and suddenly everything clicks. You get each other’s references; you have the same opinions and practically finish each other’s sentences. The end of the night better have you giggling to your friends saying that this is “The” guy or else there’s no point in a second date.

 

And we wonder why we are so nervous before a first date. Hello why in the world would you put those ridiculous expectations on anything let alone the initial encounter? Both of you will be nervous. Chatting too much or too little, possibly fidgeting or sweating.  That comfort that we all seem to search for is something that’s learned in all other situations so why don’t we give ourselves the time in our romantic attachments?

 

Classic example; the roommate. My college roommate and I are best friends. We do finish each other’s sentences, hell most times we don’t even use words that make any sort of sense to an observer. We can apply Seinfeld wisdom to any situation and have been present for births, deaths, marriages, etc. But we were not the best of friends right off the bat. The second we arrived at college we were not hugging and gabbing for hours and hours each night. We knew we didn’t hate each other and just left it at that. Time is what made us the way we are; weeks, months and now years.

 

Why do we want to skip ahead to what we think is the good part? It’s cheating, like reading the last 10 pages of a book to feel like there’s a connection or sense of accomplishment. The fast friendships or even the fast relationships that I’ve had have been exciting and intense but also have fizzled relatively quickly. The real deal is earned and because of that is so much more valuable.

 

So for those out there who had a first date that left you feeling “meh” about the guy; give it another shot. I’m not telling you to stretch this for 6 months but you owe it to him and yourself to see if there’s a base to build on. Will you both be more easy-going after the pressure has lifted? Will you feel like sharing more in an honest manner? Once you get past the stage where you have to play 20 questions you can focus on just being you and seeing if you want to dig a little deeper and vice versa.

Judgy Wudgy Was A Bitch
June 9, 2011

 

I’m in the middle of a new romantic self-help book because miraculously none of my current friends seem to be suffering from any relationship drama at the moment. As someone who people come to for relationship “wisdom” or advice I like to see what others are recommending and if there are some little nuggets of information that might be pertinent to a friend. I think the last title was “Why Men Love Bitches” which had some very interesting points that I agreed with for the most part which is why I thought I would mix things up and choose a book about settling. Before you scream and cry and stomp your feet that you refuse to settle for anything less than perfection take a deep cleansing breath.

 

One of the main concepts that I’ve gotten from the book is that we chicks are a bit judgy. And we want the perfect man not the man that is perfect for us. News flash we have flaws. I have extremely limited cooking skills and I get very heated when talking about sports. Clearly these aren’t my only flaws but that would be a whole new blog and who wants to really write out that long of a list. The point is that the perfect guy for me might not be into sports so that way it won’t lead to arguments. So while many people look for the exact same qualities that they have since compatibility is key to a successful relationship we might be focusing on the wrong elements.

 

The book recommends that as a single female we need to adjust our mindset to dating. We are looking for the guys that would be fun to date (short term) and not paying enough attention of the big stuff that makes a marriage work. Witty banter is great but supportive or a good parent is better. If a guy comes up to you at the bar you give him the once over before he even opens his mouth and make a snap judgment. Sometimes when he actually speaks it helps his case but not always. In that moment we determine based on his dress, posture, general cleanliness exactly who he is and why he is or is not right for us.

 

Online dating is just as bad, possibly worse because we justify our judging because we do have some information about the possible suitor. There’s a lot of pressure to make sure that a single page is the best possible representation of who you are and what you’re looking for. Guess what? That leaves a lot of gaps for interpretation and imaginations to run rampant. His profile says he loves to surf. You immediately jump to the idea that he’s a blond, chiseled dude who still lives in Hermosa with his parents just “chilling out”. No picture means he’s ugly, no books referenced means he’s not intelligent and god forbid that he writes “there” when it should be “their”.

 

Instead of thinking of all the reasons why you shouldn’t respond to his e-mail, ask yourself why not. The differences should be seen as potential new interests for you. He loves to rock climb and you’ve never tried it. Looks like a cute date where he can teach you. If you decide it isn’t your cup of tea (rock climbing not the dude) at the end of the date than you don’t have to go again.

 

I’ve never had a guy friend tell me he broke up with a girl because of something so insignificant. With that said, we toss guys before even knowing anything about them for something just as small. Doesn’t seem like a good system does it?

 

One evening out for drinks is not going to kill you and if you have an open mind and a good sense of humor about the process than in the very least you’ll have a good story out of the date. There may be plenty of fish in the sea but if you keep tossing them back you’ll never know if any of them might have been the right one.

 

So that’s my advice for the moment. Go forth and date!

Release the Ghost
June 9, 2011

In my quest for additional resources of interventionista knowledge I came across a celebrity love coach that compares men to birds. My original thought was bleh, not a bird person , so don’t care. Luckily I had a bored day and was listening to one of the free podcasts that she offers and she referenced a general concept that I thought effects just about everyone. I call it ghosts of relationships past but she calls this the Pterodactyl. This is some relationship from your past that has become larger than life because you’re memory consists of the happy moments you two shared and all of the reasons you broke up seem unimportant or irrelevant.

 

Add in a chick flick or two that shows the couple dated and came together and we all fall victim to this idea that true love will find a way back to you. Unfortunately the majority of the time a break is a break up and the other party moves on and finds the new “one” to share their life with. It’s insane, even if they’re married with kids we still hold out hope that they will wake up and realize that you are the real love that they’ve been searching for.

 

This is the moment in the movie that I want to vomit or throw something at the screen. It’s this concept that keeps me busy with friends that just can’t seem to move on from a past relationship. No new guy can ever live up to the ghost and honestly, the actual guy didn’t live up to the ghost either because the ghost is flawless.

 

I have a friend at the moment that has been holding onto a ghost for 3 years. They stay in contact as “friends” except that bond makes her unwilling or incapable to move on or examine alternatives. There are guys literally throwing themselves at her and her response is usually “meh, wonder what the ghost is up to tonight?” which after three years makes me want to bang my head into a wall. If it was going to happen it would have. I’m all for staying friends with an ex but this isn’t a friendship; this is torture. Every time you hang out or talk your breath catches in desperate hope that this is the call where he tells you he loves you and was a fool for letting you go. Ok well it didn’t happen this call but definitely will happen the next time we talk. And this goes on and on and on.

 

So my recommendation, as heart breaking as it may be, is to give up the ghost. Admit that he’s a ghost; a figment of your imagination and release him.