Archive for July, 2011

Walking Away
July 25, 2011

I think just about everyone does this with some aspect of their lives but for whatever reason it seems people have a harder time walking away from relationships than any other situation. “Just when I think I’m out, they pull me back in!” is the perfect quote for these moments and I hear about it a lot as an interventionista.

 

Case in point, a friend recently returned from a trip back home to see her family and announced that the time away had given her the ability to gain some perspective on the elements of her life. Fantastic I think, big fan of reflection and time away can recharge your batteries. The main change she wanted to implement was the removal of the male not-so-romantic figure that had been the focus of her heart. I was excited about this realization as well considering it’s been 2 years of back and forth with no real progress. Sadly the moment of joy was short lived as she proceeded to share that she was so confidant in her decision so decided to alert him that she was done with him.

 

Ahh, yeah not so much. In my opinion if you’re really over the person you don’t need to verbalize it. By expressing this sentiment you are opening yourself up to a response; either a rebuttal or a confirmation. And if you’re really over it then neither matters and thus the conversation is irrelevant.

 

By having the conversation this is a last ditch attempt for a rebuttal. Deep down the goal of this conversation is for him to wake up from his indecisive fog and realize that you are the most perfect girl for him and he’s about to lose you forever if he doesn’t take you in his arms right now and drag you off to the supply closet. It’s a threat, either shape up and take “us” seriously or I’m out of here. Except both parties know that the supposed threat has no merit as it’s been made before and you’re still attached. This then provides said guy with some time to string you a long a bit longer or perhaps even until his wedding day…to someone else. If he still wants to sleep with you or keep that option available he will act bewildered by this sudden declaration and tell you it would be a mistake to walk away. He’s not saying that he will change or that he wants to be with you in the long run but is giving you just enough to think he might care. Of course he cares. He’s losing a player. It might be a third or fourth string but time and energy has been put into it and probably a few fun memories. Plus the fact that he knows you won’t actually walk away means he can bullshit you by saying “don’t go” because you started this fake conversation in the first place.

 

“But I still have to see him at work/the gym/the apartment complex/etc.” Sure but that doesn’t mean you have to hang out. I don’t really know how this becomes so incredibly difficult for people to grasp but I’ll try to simplify the process of being cordial with an ex.

 

Him: Hey there! How’s it going?

You: Great thanks

Him: What have you been up to?

You: Ohh same old thing pretty boring (I don’t care if you went bungee jumping with Bono yesterday you do NOT engage)

Him: any fun weekend plans?

You: Not sure yet probably just hanging out

Him: Oh that’s cool, I’m actually supposed to go skydiving with Fergie on Saturday (Attempt to engage you)

You: Wow have fun!

Him: yeah should be great

You: Yep

Him: ok well I guess I’ll talk to you later.

You: Yep have a good night/day/weekend

 

If you’re in the office this interlude can be even shorter because you can say very politely “Hey I’m sorry but I really need to call Susie about this e-mail she sent me” and he should walk away. Was there an e-mail? Does Susie exist? It doesn’t matter because you have ended the conversation in an appropriate manner that doesn’t say to the guy “I’m mad at you” or “I’m heartbroken” or even worse “I’m hopeful” and replaces it with “I’m busy” or “I don’t care” in a non bitchy way. Notice you don’t ask any questions because there is nothing about his life that you need to be aware of anymore. You don’t need to see how his basketball team is doing this season, or if his sister is still coming into town next week. When you have walked away, I mean really walked away, all of those details become irrelevant and at worst distracting.

 

By focusing on the going ons in his world you are allowing yourself to get lost in something/someone that will never be yours. With all of that clutter you are unable to notice the cute guy who held the door open for you at Starbucks this morning or the guy from accounting who makes a point to talk to you every day to see how you’re doing.

 

Walking away is a huge step and I know that it can be painful and difficult but if you’re really committed then you need to be honest with yourself about what “walking away” really means and the work it will involve. The good news I can provide is that over time, it feels less like work and you’re able to be in the same room with that former flame and feel at peace; and by at peace I mean not feeling like you’re going to cry or throw up =)

Cliff Notes Dating
July 13, 2011

This inner debate is the product of a friend asking me if I did my “research” after an introductory meeting with a possible suitor. I miraculously had no desire to Facebook or Google stalk him. It wasn’t that I was indifferent or uninterested in this person because he was cute, funny, etc that makes your ears or other body parts perk up. I didn’t not want to know more about him but I wanted to learn it from him. Instead of playing detective I wanted to learn that he had x brothers and sisters over a drink or dinner or a hike.

 

Thanks to the birth of the internet and then Facebook, Google and any internet dating site we’ve all become incredibly lazy. We don’t want to read the whole 900-page book; give us the 30 page cliff notes and let us move on with our lives. We say it’s because we’re just too busy but considering this is supposed to be the person you spend the rest of your life with shouldn’t you be willing to invest a few hours into the relationship?

 

When I review online dating profiles or Facebook pages I search for anything to bond us together or drive us apart. Unfortunately both elements on the page are probably inaccurate in the way I perceive them. I haven’t updated my Facebook page in 6 years. God only knows what shows or movies I have listed as top picks and do I want someone to determine if I’m date worthy on that selection alone?

 

But that’s the world that we live in today. We can keep or reject a person based on 5-10 questions. People are getting professional headshots for their online dating sites because god forbid you have a less than fantastic and airbrushed self portrait to show the real you. When my buddy first referenced this fix up I tried to wiggle out any details possible so I could figure out which was the most likely candidate out of her Facebook friends. I had to see the picture and the fact that she refused to tell me his name or anything I could use was making me nervous and pessimistic. She referenced a bad picture on Facebook and she didn’t want me to see it. All of a sudden my stomach dropped and I was mortified of meeting this guy. Should I fake a migraine to get out of the evening? I got over it before the evening in question because by focusing on all that could go wrong I was forgetting all of the fun that could be had. He may not be the one but it gets you out of the house and he could be a fun friend or even better a fun friend with hot friends he could introduce you to. After the show I was so thankful that my buddy protected me from myself regarding the Facebook pictures. He is quite attractive but the Facebook shot he has online is less than appealing. I would have said I had the plague to get out of our intro and I would have missed out on a fun night.

 

The saddest part is this knowledge is coming from someone who is notorious for pulling a “chandler smile” in 97% of all pictures.

 

And the judging doesn’t stop with the physical evidence. In the instance from a few weeks ago the guy referenced that he plays golf. An immediate red flag for me based on 2 exes, however he referenced that he didn’t take it too seriously and just liked the idea of being outside day drinking with your buddies. With that golf no longer was a red flag issue. Even a movie like “Must Love Dogs” sets someone up for failure. Does he really have to love dogs? I have 2 cats (I know its the equivalent to George just wearing sweatpants on Seinfeld) but I’m in no way expecting to find someone who loves cats. I expect him to tolerate them and not abuse them but love is not a requirement.

 

The big stuff is actually the least likely to be a deal breaker in the long run. I remember on eharmony having it listed about political preferences and religious views. Now I’m fairly mellow in both aspects so why would I see Republican or Hindu or Catholic and vote said individual off the dating island? I can’t remember the last time I had a religious discussion with anyone. Politics are more likely but still not a dealbreaker as I would have assumed. My parents have been married for 30 years and are on opposite sides regarding most political debates. However, he knows that if he brings up Glenn Beck he’ll be in the dog house and she knows that if she references budgets or spending she’s going to get an earful. So they don’t have those conversations with each other. They talk to friends, family, the mailman and they are good to go.

 

Naturally after a few days of reviewing our interview/initial meet up in my head I was overwhelmed by how many times I have had a “red flag” moment based on absolutely nothing. 2 exes should not condemn all golfers from a chance to be with me. My sister made me absolutely nuts when she was in the process of picking baby names for her unborn daughter. Every name that we presented to her was thrown out because some girl from high school, sorority, or kid that she taught had gone by that name and was a brat. How can someone write off a name just because of one individual experience? Sadly I was doing the same with potential mates.

 

So the point of this little rant is to say I’m done with the cliff notes. Will you join me? Some dates are horrible there is no denying that but we survive them and later get a great story out of them. The writers can create season after season of some of the greatest sitcoms based on these less than fabulous evening with guys that can and will debate (by themselves) why Psych is a far superior psychic show to The Mentalist. Or maybe the hit next season will be about that Chandler smiling chick and the non-serious golfer actually working out.

Rockin the Rock & Roll Relationship
July 11, 2011

This weekend I got to go see a friend of a friends band perform at a little dive bar and it brought back some of my most entertaining memories of my youth. There is definitely something about a rocker that has undeniable sex appeal. Hell one guy looked like a pirate but the fact that he was sitting behind a drum set and not a desk made him exotic, dangerous and doable as opposed to the over the hill slacker that makes my sandwiches at Quiznos.

 

I grew up around musicians so I saw from a very early age the way women would throw themselves at anyone and everyone associated with a tour. There was a picture of a relative surrounded by 4 women kissing him and I remember thinking how badass he was only later to realize after an episode of Behind the Music that the girls were The Bangles. As I got older and saw the real side of touring and what it meant to be with a rocker I was cured of the haze.

 

Thus when I started chatting with a friend who was in the throngs of a current rocker addiction I was able to provide a certain knowledge base that hopefully was useful. Through many many years I’ve experienced most of the hard knocks of the lifestyle and have learned my more than my fair share of insider information.

 

So I’ll try to organize this the way they tell us to in business school; start with a positive, two negatives and end with a positive.

 

The rocker relationship does exist. There are those that are able to go on the road for months at a time and remain faithful to their significant other. Some even want you to tour with them and experience the world and the madness of the road with them.

 

With that said these are the exception not the rule. I’ve harped on it before but especially in a situation like this if you don’t have trust you have nothing. You have no way of knowing what he is doing once the gig ends. You don’t know whom he’s with or where he’s going. And the more successful the band the more uncertainty there is. Sadly you don’t get to take a breather from worrying about groupies if he’s only playing random little nightclubs because while the number of groupies grows exponentially with the increase of fame/prestige it only takes one to screw the relationship right into the ground.

 

So you have to ask yourself do you trust him? No really trust him? Thanks to the Internet we see everything we want or really don’t want to see. Some chick adds him on Myspace or friends him on Facebook and leaves a note. Sexy or not an opportunity has presented itself to him and he now has to make a choice. If you trust him then you might take note of the comment but you should be able to laugh it off for the most part. Maybe a picture shows up and he’s surrounded by girls. Your imagination begins to spin out of control. The minute after that picture was taken maybe they all go back to the bus to keep the party going or maybe they snap the picture and he says adios and goes to sleep alone. If you don’t have trust the first scenario is going to be the one keeping you up at night.

 

Back to the positive. The relationships that can handle this environment are the strongest I’ve ever known. The successful couples know that just like any relationship, this one is going to take work and effort.

 

Sacrifices are going to be made by both parties for the betterment of the pair. The girl is going to have to be stronger and recognize her hang-ups and get over them. At the same time she also needs to be strong enough to stand up for herself. If something is bugging you then verbalize it. For some reason women prefer to fester than confront. Because of this the guy goes on for months or even years thinking that everything is hunky-dory until she finally blows like a volcano over a slight that took place 6 months ago. If there is a particular fan/groupie that is rubbing you the wrong way by the way she’s trying to rub your man then you have to speak up!

 

If he’s worth the effort then he’ll be the guy on the bus without the chicks so he can Skype with you before going to bed.