Archive for category Dating and Relationships

Dating optimist or pessimist: Which one are you?

In the seesaw of life, there are always two, basic ways to look at any challenging event. I’ve never been much of a glass half-empty person, nor do I believe that it serves any Jedi-licous purpose.  So when something is brought to my attention that sounds like “the end of DAYS” type drivel…I try to find the all NIGHT party, and begin to think about girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes; snowflakes that stays on their nose and eyelashes; silver white winters their hotness melts into springs; These are a few of my favorite things…I simply remember my favorite things and then I don’t feel so bad.  Whoa, slight tangent.

 

So anyways, a female friend and I were comparing dating notes and our latest courting jaunts.  But the moment I asked how it was going for her, she became visibly frustrated and muttered, “Terrible.”  I know she had gone out with a few different fellas in the last few weeks, but with that response I imagined a Grand-Central-Station-triple-train-wreck-pile-up with Tara Reid, Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears engineering the controls. 

 

“Wow, that bad?” I inquired.  Thinking her dates must have been some form of Neanderthal cave donkeys with the charm of a Porta-Potty, or the personalities of catatonic mimes. Maybe a guy ripped one during dinner at Spago, only after tossing a breadstick at the garcon, while shouting for another double-shot of Patron?

 

With her head hung, she went on: “They are all great guys but they just aren’t interested!  All they want to do is… work out with me.  I mean, they are super nice, good looking, successful, smart and have their heads on straight; but they all just seem to want to keep me in the ‘friend’ category.”

 

I took a second to process what she just said… and then got a little irritated. “Why are you hopping the train to negative town? Girl, you just described dating! And from what you told me, that’s good dating! It doesn’t matter if you go on one date a month or several a week, most people would just be happy to have that experience of having a positive date period; and you’ve had several.  Your experiences just prove that there are good guys out there… and you are finding them.”

 

After this exchange, it dawned on me how often I hear that dating sucks.  I figure for those looking to settle down, any date that doesn’t end in a serious relationship can, perhaps, be technically labeled a failure. However, I think that label can’t be further from the truth.  Each date gives us the opportunity get to know someone new and learn about what we want and don’t want. Most importantly, we get the chance to better know ourselves — and the better we know ourselves, the greater our chances for long term success and happiness… whether that is in a relationship or not.

 

Dating only sucks if you choose it to.  Sure, there are bad dates and good ones.  It sucks when a date with someone you’ve been hard-court pressing for a year turns out to be a complete hot mess; or you have a great date with someone who has all the makings of “The One” on paper, but that real world chemistry just isn’t there. Sometimes, you’re just not into them and it sucks for them… and sometimes they’re just not that into you and it sucks for you.  Take it for what it is…a learning experience and emotional, anabolic fuel. The label I choose to put on my dates, both good AND bad, is the following: have no opportunity lost.

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I Used to be a 10 Percenter

It seems many single men who are actively dating, at one time or another, at some point in their lives, played the percentages and maybe many still do. That was me many years ago; I was a ten percenter. I’m not really sure how or where I got the term from, but it wasn’t until recently that I was able to grasp the scope of what being a ten percenter really meant and how I have evolved from it. As single men in search of meeting eligible women there are many approaches and strategies one can choose. Some of these might be in a micro scale, such as pick-up lines, places to troll, or attention gimmicks. Others are of a macro-scope and they are a bit more subconscious in nature. These “macro” stratagies are a larger picture general philosophy in one’s approach, and a ten percenter is probably the most common of all.

The concept of a ten percenter is really quite simple. As men head out on their quest to meet new women they are basically playing the odds and percentages. A ten percenter is banking on the statistics that if he hits on 10 women in a night, one will be a score. So as simple math has it 1 out of 10 is 10% (hence the name 10 percenter). Now, we are really not dealing with perfect numbers, so some nights you might be in a 5% mode or maybe roll a fat donut after hitting on about 20 women on Taco Tuesday, but in the end it averages out to about 10 percent. The percent can also vary from individual to individual. Some athletic stud, charming Casanova, or funny entertaining Merlin might actually be pulling a much higher percentage but in the end it is still a non-focused, non-scientific shotgun approach, and a percenter is a percenter.

I don’t have to tell you all the flaws and the cheese rating with such a strategy, but I’ll point out some of the obvious weaknesses. One of the difficulties with being a 10 percenter (let’s just call him a “10p” for short) is that it really is counter productive if finding quality is your end goal. As the 10p man walks into an establishment he usually has his head on a swivel scoping out all potential targets from best to worst. Then after a brief assessment, if any at all, he moves in for attempt number one. The problem is that for the most part he doesn’t go for target number 1. He usually picks target number 3 to 5 first. It could be as a warm-up or just waiting for the liquid courage to kick in. As the night goes on and a few feeble attempts have come and gone, now maybe the time for an attempt at target number 1 has come. Yet, any chance at number 1 has probably already gone the way of the Dodo. See, any girl who has their stuff together and is confident and secure, even if she might have been interested would have sent you back to the minors at this time. Why? Because no available clear-headed girl is going to watch some player hit on and strike out with 2 to 3 others before he sloppily makes his way over to her. Maybe she might have missed it or didn’t see it, but for the most part, if she was interested she would have been observing.

Another shortcoming is that any self-loathing woman that would succumb to some scruple-less neophyte trolling blindly, is probably packed with more issues than National Geographic and needs some Dr. Finklestien time. The 10p strategy is nothing but a sift that tends to leave you holding all the whackies as the quality women pass right by.

Now, if just scoring is your end goal then one should just incorporate the “go ugly early” or “cougar hunt” strategy and be done with it, but I imagine that by the time you are in your late 20s, sport scoring isn’t too appealing anymore. But I guess we men walk that line at some point in our single tenure. And sadly that is how it was for me as well. I was a 10 percenter, and now looking back I was not proud of it. Because almost 90 percent of the velveta burros chicos out there trying to score a chica are 10 percenters and that is neither unique nor inspiring.

Then something happened to me…I realized something. It wasn’t sudden but rather more of a transitional evolution. Allow me to paint you a picture that most of us can relate to. It is like when a women walks into Bloomingdale’s or Saks there are dozens of departments and counters, yet a woman consciously knows what department she wants to hit. For the analogy’s sake let’s say it is ladies casuals. In that department there are mannequins, clothing racks, shelves, and counter-tops displaying the latest greatest gear making an attempt to catch your attention – as if to say “Pick me! Pick me!” However, all the chatter from the stacks and racks of clothes flashing in front of you it is relatively inconsequential. Because do you ever notice that your eyes quickly scan the whole environment but then all of a sudden, boom, it finds something that catches your eye? Maybe a couple of pieces amongst the hundreds in it’s midst. The rest is just noise and clutter that your mind doesn’t care or have the time for. You know what you want and gets your attention. For men it is much the same – we walk in some where and our attention fixates on or is drawn to what we like. It isn’t usually fooled or distracted.

With that analogy in mind, it was simple. I’m able to walk into a social or public environment and boom, my eyes spot what I like within minutes. And I am willing to bet the house on it that for women it’s just the same and maybe a little more apparent. See women are not as obvious in their prowling as us men, so when they do spot some stud across the bar their eye lock tends to carry a bit more gravitas. Therefore it became easier to increase the odds in your favor and maybe add some integrity to the single life instead of looking like some salivating ADHD dog showing the lipstick.

Now a day it is just easier to go out either alone or with friends without any pressure or expectations. I simply enjoy the moment and my time out without having my head and eyes spinning like a top to see who is around. I just make myself aware and casually peruse the surroundings from time to time. I’m very cognizant of what I like and if I see it, I make sure that I keep in tune to what kind of vibe she is throwing. If her posture and body begin to point my way it is a positive, if I catch her glancing more than once as I gently glimpse back then it is score, and if eye contact is made and a smile is exchanged then it is most certainly on! However, there are few things to note. Peeping a hottie from across the room is good and acceptable. Gawking and beginning to stalk some chick that graciously accepted your first round of drinks and refuses to do a body shot with you is crossing the line. Once the congruency in body language is established and the time comes to make a move there is a very critical detail that can not be overlooked or ignored and if the situation is not right then a shot should not be taken. That is, the approach must be genuine, sincere and as unforced or unawkward as possible. Maybe find some common ground, a silly spur of the moment observation or if nothing else comes to mind, introducing yourself and asking her name should suffice. But if the window does not open and your only option is to D-line swim technique through her over-protective girls’ night out lackeys, then it is probably better to retire your ship than to push a bad position. Go ahead, call it a night and live to fight another day, while you save face and bounce out with dignity and pride intact. Who knows, if she is feeling your vibe and likes what you are tossing then she just might create the opportunity for you.

So now that I am no longer a 10 percenter, it doesn’t mean that I am 100 percenter or even a 90 percenter. It just means that I know what shots I want to take and the ones that aren’t quite right. Because even a highly trained military sniper will wait motionless for hours and possibly days anticipating the arrival of their target from hundreds of yards away; and even then, if the conditions aren’t favorable for the perfect shot, they will not pull the trigger. Yet even when they do decide to take the shot, it doesn’t guarantee a kill. They just know that enough of the variables were congruent to allow the greatest chance for success.

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Decoding Man Code

After watching Monday night’s show The Bachelorette Men Tell All, there was so much talk about “Man Code,” I was inspired to write this.  Which is saying something since, up until now, the only thing that The Bachelorette has every inspired me to do was puke; but since I had a buddy on the show, I found myself watching it – more than I care to admit.  However, as the show’s Velveeta tractor beam overcame my defense shields, I became overwhelmingly frustrated on how bad a rap Man Code received and how improperly men were depicted.  Man Code was portrayed in a byzantine “bros-before-hos,” machismo-sexist, “Go wash the dishes, bitch” unspoken manner.  Either I’m off, or my fellow brethren on stage were not able to articulate an appropriate synopsis of what Man Code truly is.  I hope not to be out of line and speak for my fellow men on the show but I feel Man Code needs to be defended and have it’s reputation restituted. 

Man Code , defined succinctly, is simply owning things and having the scrotal circumference to man-up when it’s go-time.  The simplest examples would be:

  • When a round of shots come out for the group, you either drink it or say, “No thanks guys…I can’t right now,” or something to that effect. Dumping and out and then feigning to drink it is in violation of Man Code because it isn’t owning the moment.
  • When you “know” someone has a girlfriend and is “playing” the girl who you are interested in, you don’t shove a stick in his spokes without knowing all the facts and/or confronting him FIRST.  You approach the prick and let him know that either a) he tells her or b) you will, because it’s not fair to her if she doesn’t know the truth.  Then she can make her own decisions from there.
  • If you are some douche with ulterior motives, a lady back home (girlfriend or not) who’s twine you are still wrapped up in and you think getting air-time is going to get you the publicity that you desperately crave…then you don’t have much Code to begin with. You might be a habitual violator.
  • Men don’t have any issues with someone who is “too perfect” or who doesn’t fit into the group when it seems sincere, genuine, and unrehearsed; but when it all seems scripted, then the good-boy thing gets old quickly.  For every woman who says that is the kind of guy she wants: you wouldn’t last three dates with a Don Automaton like that.  Ask Jillian…she dumped the Boy Scout and keep the country crooner obnoxious bad boy around.  Is she a dumb ass?  Nope…she’s typical.  Most women want the unavailable, edgy, mystery man with some spontaneity that isn’t so mechanically “on” all the time.  I’m willing to bet my pimped-out, one-of-a-kind, beach cruiser on it!

In summation, Man Code isn’t being some pre-historic grunt or chauvinist playboy.  It’s being a gentleman who isn’t going to get all gossipy and Jerry Springer within the community.  It’s not low-bridging someone when you don’t have all the facts or don’t know the complete story.  It’s having the intestinal fortitude to back-up your actions and confront the issue – instead of tucking tail and back-tracking when you’re put on the hot seat.  It’s manning-up.  Man Code is about integrity…well, that may or may not be Man Code, but I’d like to think it’s my code.

See Man-Up

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Man-UP!

Sometimes I wonder where all my writing will get me…not necessarily looking for fame and fortune but would probably welcome it. I would like to think that I entertain some with it, that maybe others actually take away a message from it, and hopefully a few really grow from it. I don’t mean that to sound condescending, but truth be told, the more I’m able to verbalize and share things I experience, the more I grow as a person – so I figure this could be some kind of group therapy. Although most of what I put down tends to be fairly light hearted, very rarely do I leave it void of some deeper meaning. As I find myself in certain situations and predicaments, I can’t help but analyze things and want to put in my 10 cents when I see something that I consider blatantly wrong.

One of my favorite words and virtues has to be INTEGRITY. For me Integrity is having a sense of honesty and sincerity born of a moral foundation, which guides your actions to be congruent with your words. Basically, say what you mean, mean what you say, then do it like you said. As we all surf and check out profiles all over cyberspace, the word gets more play than J.T. and Kanye on 102.7. The word is popular, catchy and a solid hook…I’m attracted to it myself and use it regularly.

So often I become many friends’ sounding board. I like trying to be a good friend and I know that sometimes requires listening. I don’t really like to offer too much advice, for I believe most problems carry the seeds of their own solution and most people know what they need to do they are just looking for someone to hear them out and give reassurance. I’m also a big pattern person. I believe in behavioral patterns, and often see things systematically where others might see randomness. Maybe like this blog…but trust me the randomness will soon come together.

In listening to so many people and having past experiences of my own, I’ve noticed a pattern of so many spineless people. This isn’t about anyone in particular or anything that has happened to me recently but I come across constant examples of a total lack of integrity. Actually, consider this to be an open letter to those men and women out there that lacked the scrotal circumference to be upfront and honest when they are dating one of my peeps and I have to hear how they just got low-bridged.

From the time people have their first date to the time it becomes “official” there are many stages and steps, but no steadfast set of rules. However, there comes a time where I believe you owe something to that other person you’re “courting” – the truth. Now, I understand that if you’ve gone out with someone a couple of times and things just didn’t gel…you can just walk away…no phone call, no text, no explanations; it’s usually all good and understood. It might even be a little weird if you call a sit-down with a person you’ve only been on a few dates with to explain why it didn’t work out. Yet, when you’ve been casually dating for a few months and crossed certain physical lines I would think it’s time to “Man-up” and let the person know where you stand. Just going mustang or pulling a Keyser Söze doesn’t cut it. Nevertheless, I see and hear about countless examples of random shadiness that people pull. I would think that at a certain age and level of maturity these shenanigans would stop. I mean we don’t handle other aspects of our life this way.

As adults, when something difficult presents itself or isn’t going the way we anticipate we usually own-it and get it straightened out. Now, I’ve been guilty of just not being that into someone and pulling the rip-cord, hoping that it will just wither on the vine and dissipate. But I eventually learned that however difficult it might be, putting the truth out there goes a long way. It’s never really that easy, but then again doing the correct thing usually isn’t. It blows to be the one having to say it and it sucks having to be the one that hears it, no pun intended. “I’m sorry, I think you are wonderful but you are just not my ‘it,’ ‘pancakes,’ ‘type,’ or whatever” is probably all it takes. No need to sugar it up too much or draw things out. I’d venture to bet that any person hearing that they’re being cut would appreciate that person’s honesty and probably give them the huge bump in respect points. I know if I were about to get the boot I’d want to be told that I’m being put on waivers instead of being strung along, and I would venture to guess that most others would too.

The fact is that most of us know what needs to be done and for those who don’t it’s fairly simple but not so easy…Be honest and give others the respect you’d want yourself. It’s called having integrity…MAN UP!!!

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