Posts Tagged relationships

Right Full Rudder!!!!!

My family loves boat life. So years ago I enrolled in a Coast Guard boating course and I learned many beneficial maritime rules and etiquette. It was interesting in that, unlike roadways, there isn’t necessarily a governing body that makes universal, stedfast rules for waterways. Hence, many of the Coast Guard’s pointers are more like guidelines that seem like common sense to ensure safety.

One lesson that stood out in particular pertained to how ships should approach other ships. Since there are no real “lanes” on waterways, boats can approach each other from 360 degrees and it is often difficult to tell who has right of way, who should yield or if the two are on a collision course. The way we were instructed to overcome this was to stay your course… however, if you were going to make a change in direction, make it deliberately obvious so that your intentions would be clear to the other ship. Basically, if you appear to be heading towards the same point as another boat, rather than tinker a few degrees to port or starboard (that is left or right to the lay person), make a strong move to the right to show the other vessel that your intention is to pass him on his port side. It seems simple and obvious, but until you are at the helm and captaining a boat, the importance seems inconsequential.

Of course you know this blog isn’t about boating. However, I was talking to a female friend the other day about relationships (I know, I know imagine that!) and she said something to the effect of, “I’m just not sure if he’s interested or not.” I pondered for a moment… how could she not know if some dude was into her? How does any girl not know? I asked other female friends of mine and realized this problem is far too common among women — not knowing when a man is interested.

The core of this problem is that most assume men send mixed messages. In actuality—we don’t. We send very clear messages. VERY. CLEAR. MESSAGES. However, many get lost in translation. It is like women are watching and trying to decipher if he just moved a couple of degrees to starboard or port. They wonder, “What did he mean by that?” or “He did that!” as if there is some subtle nuanced clue that reveals his desire and affection.

We are men — and as I have said it a myriad of times already but will recap — we are simple creatures. Our behavior is unsubtle, we are bold and vociferous and don’t usually sugar-coat things.

Just like the ship trying to navigate a busy waterway, when a man is interested he will make his intentions known with major, deliberate and obvious moves. To translate: if the move isn’t big and plain-as-day, then the message is NOT INTERESTED. (Well, maybe not completely NOT INTERESTED… but not gung-ho, can’t-stop-thinking-about-you interested in pursuing a true relationship.) When a man IS INTERESTED in a woman—and I mean truly, fire-in-his-belly interested—picture Sean Connery screaming out “RIGHT FULL RUDDER….NOW!!!”

There is an assortment of Right Full Rudder moves. They can include not just asking for your number but asking you out on the spot when you first meet to do something the next day; Probing with future questions about how do you feel about kids or living elsewhere etc., etc.; And for course, taking you to introduce you to family or intimate night with their closest friends. These all might come up at different times but there is one move that sets the stage for it all.

What is the quintessential Right Full Rudder move?…Date Package 1A. Date Package 1A is meant to woo and impress, to charm and appeal to a woman’s every sense. How do you know if you are on Date Package 1A? Trust me, you will know. If you think you might be on Date Package 1A but aren’t sure, then sorry to break it to you… but you are not. Set aside the wishful thinking and be objective.

I have yet to meet a dude who has taken a girl out on a “balls out” Date Package 1A that he wasn’t interested in.

Meeting somewhere for a cup of coffee, joining him with some of his friends for happy hour at Cabo Cantina or attending an impromptu function somewhere aren’t 1A Date Packages. However, they aren’t a relationship death sentence. Consider it a pre-date to probe and determine if the prospect is worthy of a premium date.

What does it mean if you not on Date Package 1A? He might still be interested… but it is more than likely interest in something other than a serious relationship. It could be a little wham-bam nookie, some companionship, a new wing woman, or maybe likes the gallery of your female Facebook friends. Or it could be that he just isn’t quite sure yet what he wants or where you fit-in and is trying to figure it out. But if all of a sudden he asks you out, picks you up with his car washed, has rezzies for a nice, new restaurant, tickets to some show afterwards or some art exhibit that you casually mentioned a month ago… then you just got upgraded to Date Package 1A.

There is also the common possibility that DP1A or some pre-date took place only for him to determine there isn’t a match or chemistry or whatever. It’s not a personal thing…it just is what it is. We all have a picture of what we want (or at least should have one) and if it doesn’t fit, either party can and should walk away in the most considerate way possible. No need to waste each others time.

The biggest dilemma for a woman is what do you do if you find yourself repeatedly on something other than DP1A? First just accept that he is feeling you out and wanting to get to know you better before he becomes an epigamic Peacock ready to show-off his plumage and mate. It could be that he actually finds you to be super-cool and interesting but wants to keep you on the friendship tip. If you are into him but find yourself on some mid-alphabet date package then you have a few options:

  • You can accept the new friendship/companionship. Self explanatory…you now have a new buddy but don’t expect too much.
  • Make him show his hand. What do I mean? Easy, don’t be so available to him. Go on a date with someone else, don’t be at his beck and call and certainly don’t put the rest of your life on hold waiting for him to make a strong move. You make a strong move one way or another, role the dice and see what you get. Better to know now than to waste weeks/months trying to figure it out.
  • Walk away. If you feel like you are giving him all the assets of you without him taking on any of the liability or contribute to the owner-equity, then the relationship balance sheet isn’t working for you. It’s better to save your ship and live to fight another day.

Sure there could be instances where men are shy or nervous but that will also be obvious. I’m sure the cat who wrote the book He’s Just Not that Into You would agree with me. You want a man who is willing and eager to go “right full rudder” Date Package 1A.

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Water Finds Its Own Level

There I was, with my good friend Don Julio on the rocks in hand, mingling amongst a couple dozen movers and shakers at a low-key event on a Downtown L.A. rooftop lounge…and I saw something spectacular that stunned me frozen like I just got tasered. What did I see? Quite frankly, I saw one of the most gorgeous women I’ve ever observed – so smoldering, so breathtaking, that I thought for a second that if I didn’t look away, I might forever burn my retinas (where is that cardboard with the a pin-hole when you need it?). I had Michael, my main Musee (those who I muse and inspire) with me and he immediately spotted the same thing and knew exactly what just captured my attention. However, it didn’t take long to notice an extremely evident flaw. No, it wasn’t bad fashion because she was dressed impeccably! It wasn’t BO or halitosis, for her scent was as fresh as Chanel No.5 and Binaca. Nor was it body-art or multiple piercings because this Ferrari had no bumper-stickers or dings! She was like a fine automobile should be: 100% factory stock, fully loaded and showroom glowing.

Yet, she had one flaw that quickly surfaced and was impossible to ignore. This poor heavenly body seemed to have an abnormal growth; it probably just started as an innocent Stage 5 Clinger but soon must have mutated to a full-feeding sycophant. Yes, this beautiful creature had a guy sucked onto her like a pesky Remora that was able to hitch the ultimate ride on a Blue Marlin. I didn’t quite understand it…she being darn near flawless had this stooge who seemed to be tethered to her by a 2-foot invisible umbilical cord.

Now, don’t peg me as a superficial ass just yet. I support and have given many an average guy mad-props when he has reached far above his orbit to snag some insane catch; but usually I admire such guys because they seem to be oozing a certain charm or personality and carry the swagger of an Adonis even though their mere physical appearance would not reflect it. Although they may outwardly appear like a mortal plebian, they possess a certain j’ne sais quoi that can captivate and woo, the most militant evil woman. However, this fellow in question didn’t seem to boast any redeemable trait or skill that could convince me of worthiness. He didn’t seem to be holding a scholarly conversation with anyone, he wasn’t David Blain entertaining or cracking any jokes, there wasn’t any indication of any bit of deep intellectualism and didn’t seem to have the physical prowess to impress even the average soccer player.

I was curious and wanted to shake his hand, introduce myself and strike up a little convo, but the only place his right hand seemed to have any interest in being was clutched firmly around her right shoulder; and I mean clutched…you could actually see his knuckles flushed white from the kung-fu grip he had on her upper arm. She turned, he turned. She took a step, he took a step. She went to the bar, he went to the bar. She walked to the heater, he walked to the heater. She went to the bathroom, he waited at the door! Seriously?!?!? Throttle back there Terminator, that ain’t Sara Conner! I imagined him observing the surroundings through the eye of a Robocop/Terminator type heads-up display, scanning his environment for potential threats to his catch, for he seemed to act in such a manner.

As my Musee and I stood and observed this incredible display of body language, her stock plummeted from a hard 10 to a soft 6. All of a sudden, I couldn’t help but become a little judgmental, jumping to the conclusion that she must be a 49er with shovel in purse and found her man-mine. I don’t know what it could have been…maybe that multiple karat rock the size of a small meteor she was sporting? Or maybe, could it be that she saw this Armani Exchange, Ed Hardy Skinny Jeans wearing fashionista as the rock of stability and security? He really could have been a great guy…but I sure wasn’t seeing it. Then something my mother used to tell me came to me:

“If you want to see the content of someone’s character, look no further than his/her friends.”

I’ll take it a step further and say: your significant other should be the ultimate reflection of yourself; after all, he/she is not referred to as a “better half” for nothing.

With all these observations and thoughts swirling around my dome, I turned to my peeps and remarked, “Water seeks its own level.” Michael looked at me with a perplexed expression on his face. (Being an etymologist and the ultimate wordsmith, I’ve never seen him get stumped when it comes to the English language, although my jive always jacks him up.) I explained that regardless of the size of a container, with all things being equal, water finds a level that will be the same no matter where in the container it is poured. So the level at one end will be exactly the same level as the other end…be it a lake or a bath tub. Metaphorically speaking, in a liquid social container, the superficial ones will find a match of their level; those with depth usually end up with other profound ones. This could be either physical, intellectually or emotionally, or more likely an average of the three. And, for the most part, it is a subconscious thing – Like attracts like.

The reality is, so often we see couples that esthetically or on the surface do not match, however it really doesn’t matter how different their surface appearance might be. I’m willing to bet that their depth and substance are usually a pretty good match. To put it in the simplest terms and the most convenient definitions: that smoking hot gold-digger usually ends up with a shallow cheese-monkey; that silicone botox status-jumping Barbie eventually finds that Time-Warner exec on Wife 4.0; that Snookie J-Wow Chanel Guidette winds up with that juiced-out Jersey Shore gym rat. We attract who we are – not merely based upon our outward appearance – but more so based upon our inner-self. So when we keep on wondering why we end up with the asses, the crazies, the wall-punchers, binge-drinkers, etc., check yourself, recalibrate and step your game up…Eagles don’t hang out with pigeons!

There are two points that I feel I must address. First off, it may seem that I’m not a huge fan of Public Displays of Affection but that isn’t completely accurate. There have been many of times and relationships where I have enjoyed and embraced PDA. True, some of it really depended on whom I was with, but what was more important was whence it was coming. Meaning, if it felt like the clinging and petting was coming from a place of possession, insecurity, neediness or territorialism, then I would begin to feel uncomfortable, smothered and turned-off. However, if it came from a place of genuine love, affection and desire, then it wouldn’t bother me (unless it became inappropriate, full-fledged macking at table P7 at STK). Secondly, when I walk into a room with my girl, it doesn’t offend me, threaten me, nor make me uncomfortable if every guy in the joint checks her out and mutters comments. I want them to look and gawk. If they speak or act inappropriately, then it’s curb-stomp go time, but I like to think that I’m secure enough in myself and my relationship that I won’t lose my mojo over some random. I feel bad for the guy who displays either—or both—of the aforementioned points…because it’s going to be a long, difficult, paranoid life spent c-blocking the world.

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I know what I’m fishing for

When it comes to dating or settling down I often get accused of being too picky; and if you’re over 30, have never been married and are still single this has probably happened to you as well. Too often I’ve had to explain as to why I have yet to be tied down or what happened to the last girl (and half the time it’s not me ending things…I get dumped too).  There seems to be a fairly consistant reaction that when I say I do not have a girlfriend, the person I am telling’s inner voice begins an assesment as if they are trying to figure out what is wrong with me.  Does he live some secret life? Maybe he is flat out loco or isn’t ready to settle down.  It is as if being single is some sort of death sentence or negative condition.  The irony of it all is that most of those so concerned about my bachelordom seem to be in less than happy relationships. 

Trust me, I have no qualms with being single…however, it isn’t my end goal by any means.  However, I’d much rather be single the rest of my life than concede a relationship that isn’t healthy, fitting, and fulfilling. Now this isn’t intended to be a self-defense editorial on my state-of-dating so I’ll keep it general and pepper it with plenty of analogies…so here I go again breaking down for you like Grisham does fiction.


Exhibit A

With every ex that has come and gone the picture of who I am, and what I want and don’t want becomes ever clearer.  First off, I do fancy myself a catch and I have the T-shirt to prove it (see exhibit A)!!! It’s not being arrogant but it is true that we are all uniquely different so is it a far stretch to say that each individuals uniqueness makes it harder to find a compatible match? Being with “The One” should be easy and drama-free, if not at least drama-light, especially during the initial courting stages. Yet, finding that “One” isn’t necessarily so; many factors and variables play into it. It’s also not about wanting to find the perfect person or Ms. Flawless so she can be Mrs. Jessica Flawless-Alonso (damn…that sounds pretty good!!! For those that don’t know I have thing for Jessica Biel).  It is about finding that perfect person for each of us, that we can grow with and compliment us. I’ve actually had an ex or two who were able to see my idiosyncrasies and shortcomings as charming and entertaining, while I saw their imperfections much the same way. There were other reasons for it not working out but this important factor was present, therefore proving that it does exist. We should be with people who “fit” us as we do them. Someone made a great analogy the other day and said that finding a mate was like picking out a race horse, none are perfect but you have to find the one you can live with and that has the attributes that you want. A little oversimplified, but it works to an extent…add in that ineffable X-factor, chemistry, connection or wow, and BOOM we have ourselves a winner!!! Regardless of a person’s negatives, when things click they are hardly noticeable but when that chemistry/connection is missing it seems like the way they breath can drive one to drink.

One gripe I tend to have about certain relationships and couples are those individuals who morph into a strange being when they are with someone else. Now I understand that most of us can be fairly different in a relationship as opposed to when it’s single season but I adamantly disagree, or should I say, I strenuously object to those whose personalities seem compromised in certain relationships. I, for one, will never alter my personality for someone…it’s my greatest gift and most prized possession! We should all be ourselves, not put on a long running act because most can only keep this going for so long before the façade crumbles or resentment sets in. Much the same about my first point – it should be easy. There are those who enable you to be you and maybe even become a true catalyst for a greater you, while others can hinder you and keep you stagnant and apathetic. I’m choosing the first type.

In the whole mad dating/single life world there is one motive that irks me more than people who wear blue-tooth headsets at a restaurant…it’s people who say they can’t wait to find someone that makes them happy. I don’t mean to get too Freudian, Wayne Dyerish or Dr. Big Phil but this kind of talk should be stricken from our vocabulary. I know that it’s probably not meant in a true literal sense but there are plenty of people that are depressed alone and always need to be in a relationship to be happy. However, those who were miserable before will probably become miserable soon into the relationship and will be miserable after. If you are not happy with who you are then nothing is going to make you happy long-term. They are all band-aids on a larger problem…the new pet, car, watch, job or city might bring you a stint of happiness (maybe it’s just the excitement of something new…the shine always wears off) but there is one thing that you will be stuck with afterwards that you’ll never be able to get rid of…YOU! So learn to love yourself and be secure…your partner will love and respect you more for it. Remember that the worst scents on someone are insecurity and desperation.

Finally, for all those individuals that are in a relationship and can presently relate to one of the aforementioned circumstances, I quote Andy Dufresne “get busy living or get busy dying.” We spend too much time trying to make a circle fit into a square and wasting not just our time, but those that we are involved with – they also deserve to have their time spared. Time is our most precious commodity…we can’t get it back, make it up and it’s worth more than any precious metal or any stock. Once someone is in a less than favorable situation, most become apathetic.  We then tend to base our decisions on a basic pain versus fear balance. When our pain outweighs our fear we finally make the tough decisions. Unfortunately, it’s all relative because it depends on what one’s pain threshold is in relation to their level of fear. So be brave and end the pain…The One is out there! Me personally, I just haven’t gotten to know her yet but the search continues and I sure plan on enjoying the voyage.

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