May 18, 2013 § Leave a Comment
I will get back to the story of Sam and Diane shortly, but I’m going to throw this up because I’ve already written most of it and I think it’s always a relevant topic: The “Friend Zone.”
I was on Reddit recently in the /r/relationships section and came across a despondent young girl that was worried about her friend. He used to be such a great guy to hang out with, but had fallen apart after his high school sweetheart left him for another guy. The full (and lengthy) post is here. The “too long; didn’t read” version is this:
“Longtime friend had a gradual devolution into being a Nice Guy, spurred by a horrible breakup. Refuses all help and surrounds himself with other Nice Guys who only makes things worse. What can I/we do to help or should we just give up?”
The slightly longer version is that “Calvin” is pushing away his best friends all through childhood (Hobbes, Susie, Tofukitties) because of his broken heart and complaining that all girls just want to be his friends and that they are terrible people. Calvin needs a kick in the pants. This was my response:
Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin, Calvin…. my man. My broseph. My buddy. My pal. Wait no– Your buddy and pal, I mean. But speaking as if I was speaking to Calvin…
The good news is that you’re 24. You shouldn’t be exactly the man you will become when you’re still just 24. Nor will you be the man you will become when you’re 30… or 40… or 60… We are ever-changing, or at least we should be, just in the way that you, Calvin, were not the man you used to be before you met the love of your life, who you were while you were with the love of your life, or who you were after she did you so wrong and so dirty. I feel for you, Calvin, I really do.
Relationships aren’t easy. Trusting another woman again, in the way that you entrusted your entire body and soul to one person and believed that one day you would be married and be the first and only people to sleep with one another, and to have that taken away from you — Nobody’s going to say that life is fair. Because it’s not. You had visions for your life, and they were destroyed by the girl you loved more than you’ve ever loved anyone including yourself. And because she never slept with you and only slept with the “rugged Army guy” who may have shot guns at people and been a tough guy, you believe that all women must want this and you’ll never be this, so therefore you will fail at every turn.
But that’s not true. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Some women like tough guys. Some women like smart guys. Some women like book guys. Some women like art guys. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
You’re a certain type of person. You care very deeply for people, you’re kind, you’re genuine, you believe in things to their very core, and you’re not bad looking either. Almost every type of person is a person’s type somewhere so you shouldn’t focus on thinking that no girls will be into you — not every girl is one girl. And you’re so worried about getting into the friend zone with a girl, that you have forgotten that within that actual friend zone is a girl that cares about you so much that she’s asked Reddit for help on how to help you, rather than abandon you. Even if she doesn’t love you in that way, she loves you. Forever Alone? Not when someone, anyone, loves you. Let’s remember that you’re good enough to be loved, and start to work on finding out how you can genuinely return that love of friendship towards Hobbes, Susie, and TofuKitty and remember that with a group of friends like that, you’ll have a support team for the rest of your life.
The only possible way to be forever alone at this point, is if you continue to ask for pity about your own life and put yourself in that position. Look at you right now– You’re not too far gone. Stop what you’re doing. Think. Assess. Evaluate. Think about all that you have and cherish it. Assess all the you want in your life. Evaluate how you’re going to man the fuck up and get it.
You’ve got a great group of friends, people that love you. A buddy that might not be around now, but will stand by your side as your best man if you get your life together.
You want to love a woman as much as you loved your ex, have her love you back just as much. How can you find her? How can you start to show that you believe in yourself, that you love yourself, and that you’ll provide value to her for the rest of her life? Because nobody wants to be with somebody that wouldn’t want to be with themselves.
Evaluate how you’ve treated the people around you that spent months (maybe years) of their own lives trying to pick you up because they loved you. Evaluate why you didn’t return that love and understanding when they started to question your motives and become upset with some of your behavior. Evaluate what you’re going to do to finally make amends with them.
And then put that shit into action because you’re 24. You’re young. You’ve had one serious girlfriend and you’ve proven to be a great friend and great boyfriend in the past, which puts you ahead of the game at 24.
You can either remain where you’re standing and distance yourself further and further from the only people that have ever truly been “home” to you or you can continue changing every day to be the best person you can be.
The sad truth is that I see a lot of myself in Calvin. I grew up thinking no girl would ever want to be anything more than a friend. I got angry and lashed out them when they wouldn’t instead accept me as a boyfriend. I was ripe for “forever alone” membership.
Then I grew up and realized that the only person that puts themselves in a “friend zone” is the one that is constantly complaining about it’s existence. There are plenty of ways to start relationships that are romantic and stay that way.
Dudes: If a girl says she just wants to be friends, then be just that. Be her friend. Be a hella good friend. Don’t ever try to make it more than that unless she is starting to make it explicitly clear that just being friends isn’t working for her anymore. Frankly you’ll show her your value best by being a friend and the worst case scenario is that you have a great friend. If you say “yeah lets be friends!” and then ask her to kiss you or send you naked pictures the next day, you’re fucking up.
Ladies: There’s a likely possibility that some of your guy friends could be into you or would totally date you. Just… know that.
As I was saying yesterday about Sam and Diane, think about the ships you embark on and establish early if it’s a relation or a friend kind of ship. Any confusion on that, and you’ll be sailing in the wrong direction.
May 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
A friend recently came to me with a broken heart. I gave him some advice or at least tried to talk him through the difficult time. That’s what sparked this recent quest to see if I could give advice to anyone else or at least… help talk you through it. Before we get started, this is the story that started it all.
This all started recently with a co-worker who was telling me about a girl he was talking to on instant messenger. We have offices all over the world you see, and certain people have to communicate with other people in the company over instant messenger. It’s funny how we can meet strangers in this current era of humanity, people we would have otherwise never known existed; sometimes I wish it was still that way.
I’m certain that at this moment my co-worker, “Sam”, wishes the same thing.
I remember him telling me about her (over IM of course) right from the beginning. ”So there’s this girl “Diane” over in San Francisco and I can’t tell but I think she’s flirting with me.” (Yeah, I realize what I just did there with their aliases, what of it?) Of course, when me and Sam talk, it’s always something along the lines of “I think this person is flirting with me!” When in reality its more like “Kate asked me if she could borrow my pen and when she picked it up she said “Oh cool pen” so you think we’re like going out now?”
Yeah, I don’t think that my friends and I have matured past the fifth grade quite yet.
But in this case, there really was some serious flirting between Sam and Diane. What I thought was just another “Yeah okay sure you’re gonna hookup with the girl that lives a few hundred miles away by winning her over on work instant messenger” (why do I write “another” as if this happens all the time?) it was in fact instead another case of “Yeah… okay! You’re gonna hookup with the girl that lives a few hundred miles away by winner her over on work instant messenger!”
Of course I never thought that
Romeo and Juliet (wait, mixing up my aliases) Sam and Diane would be able to develop a real relationship when they were separated from Los Angeles to San Francisco, especially doing so while they had to first talk about work, let alone being a Montague and a Capulet.
But mostly I can’t believe that two people would ever have romantic thoughts while they talked about the mundane bullshit we do at our company. (I can’t get into much more detail than that to protect the innocent, but I can tell you that this place doesn’t build flying microwaves that drop hot pockets into your mouth automatically.)
And so Sam and Diane built a ship together and sailed away on it. There are several different kinds of ships:
- Friend ships
- Relation ships
- Kin ships
- Partner ships
- Ghost ships
Definitely stay away from the last kind of ship, unless you wanna get got, but the other ones are always fun. Sometimes people will mix friend ships with a singles cruise, which can be fun too, but the most important thing to know is that when you go on a ship with someone that you’re both on the same ship. Otherwise you’ll risk being stranded in the middle of the ocean, and your best hope is a peaceful drowning.
Early on, they were both getting onto a friend ship and they both liked that because they had a lot in common and talking to one another was so easy and natural. It got to the point where they were even going to be the kind of long-distance friends that traveled many miles to see one another and Diane came to Los Angeles to visit and they kissed and junk. (Just like in the romantic movies!) And then Sam went to San Francisco to see Diane where they could drive across the Golden Gate Bridge in a red convertible with a baby in the backseat, roll down hills, and take Comet for a walk down the big hills.
They were also “doing it” on their friend ship, which can have a lot of benefits, but the easiest part about that perhaps was that it wasn’t complicated. ”I am here. You are there. That’s the way it is!” and Diane had made it clear that she wasn’t a relation ship type of person. Sam was okay with this.
And then all of a sudden, Sam’s best friend Woody got a job at Google and was moving to San Francisco. And now Sam saw an opportunity to move out of LA (which he was interested in doing) and going to the Bay Area with his best friend (which he thought would be fun) but also be closer to Diane (which seemed like a good idea at the time.) But then things started to change between Sam and Diane once she found out that he’d not only be moving to San Francisco, but transferring within the company. They’d go from long distance lovers to seeing each other a minimum of 40 hours per week plus weekends if it all works out okay. They’d possibly even hop off of the friend ship and onto the relation ship, a boat that Diane wasn’t very comfortable with.
Diane started to distance herself. Sam got worried that she had become more aloof and less talkative and cancelled her most recent plans to come to Los Angeles. The story of Sam and Diane… was starting to go from a fairy tale of “how easy love can be” to the realities of it all: That relation ships are the hardest ships to navigate.
Let’s face it.
Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot. Wouldn’t you like to get away? Sometimes you want to go:
- Where nobody knows your name
- And they’re indifferent as to whether or not you came
- You wanna be where you can see, that nothing in your life will change, you wanna go where nobody knows your name.
(doo doo doo doo do do)
Now what you’ve already read, all 1000 words of it (jesus christ I need to learn brevity), isn’t even getting to the point where I started to give advice or talk it out with Sam. You see, for a couple of weeks, Sam held all of this inside of him. The parts where Diane would go an entire day without talking to him for the first time in months. The parts where he’d wonder why she’s not quite being the same person she once was, causing him to stress out over if he had done something wrong or if the “ship” that he’d held so dearly was sinking and un-salvageable. The parts where the “Good morning” texts had disappeared.
(Side note on “Good Morning!” texts — In the year 2013, this appears to be the number one symptom or trigger(?) of a broken heart. I think what many people want, what I’ve always looked for and cherished in my 30 years, is that you’re a person’s first and last thought every day. Because you’re bookending their dreams, which might as well mean that you’re that person’s dream. You’re that person’s everyday and everynight. You now care about that person at least as much as you care about yourself or anyone else, and the balance in the universe is that they feel the same about you. But then when something goes wrong, the universe is out of balance. Because they’re not texting you “Good Morning!” anymore, or they’re not responding for three hours after you know they’ve woken up. You’re not their first thought anymore. You’re not the last thing they think of as they unknowingly make the shift from awake to asleep. And that kills you — because you still care about them at least as much as you care about yourself, but more importantly you don’t feel that anyone now cares about you either. You feel like an empty shell. All your love is with them. And all of their love is… with them. Or even worse, with someone else. The universe is out of whack. It kills you. And it all boils down to…
But then finally Sam broke down and typed to me over instant messenger that Diane was very distant lately. That he wasn’t sure if things were going wrong because she was “busy” or “sick” and he didn’t want to come off as being weak and vulnerable if he had flat-out asked her if there was something wrong.
(While I was in the middle of writing this story, I found out that what was once supposed to be a little intro has now become over 2,300 words and I’m not done yet. Y’all don’t wanna read a wall of text right now, so let me break it out a little bit. Coming up next:
The #1 rule of fight club is that you don’t talk about fight club, but a little known fact is that actually the #2 rule of fight club is that you don’t ask the person you’re dating if something is wrong.)
May 17, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Forgive me for being so presumptuous, but I have a favor to ask you… Can you please send in questions about dating, relationships, and sex? Anything that involves boys and girls (or boys and boys or girls and girls, all just the same!) and questions in relation to two (or more?) people getting together — please ask me for advice on the matter.
For the record, I hate that I just said that. ”Please ask me for advice!” because I’m not the type of person to naturally assume that I’m the next Dear Abby or even Downton Abbey, so let me explain really quick.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been dealing with some of my own relationship issues, but I started to realize that after, oh, thirty years of failure, I had started to learn things. I was able to apply some of my own real world experiences in relationships and dating and sex to myself and make it all better. Then I came across a few other people who were having issues and could relay some of my own experiences and through the nature of storytelling and analogies (my two favorite natures!) get through some good talks.
And I’ve also been spending some time on internet websites where people talk about “what’s your beef?” in dating and been able to talk it out with others, both in giving and receiving.
You know I’ve never been shy about revealing my own experiences and shortcomings with women, but just because I’ve failed doesn’t mean I haven’t learned a few things and I think it would be fun to turn a few questions into some anecdotes, analogies, and references to “this is how DJ Tanner once got through this same predicament!”
So use the Contact button on the left side of the page and ask me a question in email.
Or put it in the comments. I don’t care! (But yes, I’ll keep it anonymous!)
WordPress.com claims that I have “Over 2,000 blog followers!” but I hardly believe that. I know who my loyal ten readers are (and I love you) but maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there’s just enough people out there that I can get five questions and then have some fun with it. They can be jokey questions too, whatever I can do to have enough for a first time post on this matter. Thanks for humoring me, sorry for being a pompous ass and thinking that I can help someone but you never know…. I promise to at least make it fun!
February 8, 2013 § 18 Comments
Take your relationship advice from me, I’ve been in one. ;) Literally, one.
Okay fine, I’m not a “relationship expert.” I haven’t had “a ton of girlfriends.” I’ve never “met” a “girl” that “liked” what “I” had to “offer” and maybe I’m not “handsome” or “smart” or “whatever” okay? Maybe in high school I never “went out” with any “girls” and didn’t ask anyone to “prom” and “homecoming”. BFD, amirite people?? But what I do have is my finger on the pulse of the American people. I am great at sensing feelings and understanding how others live. I am the human observer to the human experience, a meta-Zoo if you will. ”We Meta Zoo”
Sorry, once I said “Meta Zoo” I had to write that down. (Did you see We Bought a Zoo? It’s the literal worst.)
In all sincerity, I still think that I have valid opinions on relationships, even if my last serious one was a couple years ago. Okay, a few years ago. Okay, fine, four years ago exactly. Not like I was counting or anything. You do realize that most sports coaches were not good sports athletes right? If you can’t do — teach, right? Exactly. I’m an excellent teacher of the human experience. An excellent coach of sexual conquests. I’ll get you where you need to go, even if I can’t go with you. I am Sex Gandalf to your Sex Frodo.
One particular subject that I wanted to broach today was the concept of people who seem to have a hard time finding “the one.” People that might have been through a lot of partners, or people that find themselves single at a mature age. (Huh, maybe I do have experience on some relationship subjects.) It came up recently in the comments that older people that do find a partner seem to have an easier time making that relationship work. And it’s quite true. Statistically speaking you are much more likely to avoid divorce the older you get once you are married. It’s basically a statistical improbability by a certain age, and not just because you’re close to death. Why is that?
Well, there are a lot of easy answers that hold truth.
Experience, you wised up, you rushed into your first terrible marriage (terr-iage), you just don’t care anymore, the kids are out of the house, you’re more financially secure, you know what you want finally, you’re used to your lover farting in front of you now, and so on and so on. But I think the most important of those reasons is basically an amalgamation of all of those reasons; You just are not going to find “the one.”
Listen, I am a romantic moreso than the next guy. I own How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days, so I think I know a thing or two about romance. ;) I’ve seen Can’t Hardly Wait a dozen times, okay. The only thing that “Drives Me Crazy” about romance is the movie Drive Me Crazy with Melissa Joan Hart and Adrian Grenier. Do I know something about romance? Only if you count that I know a lot about Love, Actually. And so on and so forth. I’ve seen a lot of movies, is what I was getting at there.
But there’s a lot of truth in that. We idealize relationships and romance moreso than our parents, and they idealize it a bit more than their parents, and so on and so forth. Our forefathers didn’t divorce our foremothers not just because they had a lot of foreplay and because it was fore-bidden (nice job, me) but they also probably didn’t think it could get any better.
“This is marriage. Martha likes to do needlepoint while I’m trying to play the flute and it annoys me but oh well!” not “Martha, stop that! Elizabeth doesn’t do that to Henry on Real Housewives of Humboldt County!” That was just life and love back then. As a matter of fact, its still life and love. We’ve just forgotten that. We’ve taken that for granted. This is how I see so many young relationships fail: You just want too much.
I wouldn’t say that older people “settle” necessarily into relationships that make them sad or angry, but I think older people start to realize that a good relationship requires things like patience, acceptance, sacrifice, and compromise. It’s not always going to be perfect, in fact it rarely will be. It’s going to be hard some days but those days shouldn’t make you run away. There are going to be times when it might not seem ideal, but you don’t want to become the disaster known as “Liz & Dick” and in that case I am talking about the real life relationship of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and also the movie Liz & Dick.
Mostly the movie. Jesus what a disaster.
I’ve been prepared for a long time to know that my next serious relationship will have rocky roads that must be traversed rather than turning away or going another route just because it gets difficult. You don’t settle, but you do settle in.
July 16, 2012 § 6 Comments
Never been kissed? Are you a 40-year-old virgin? Can’t hardly wait? Operation Dumbo Drop?
Wait, one of those doesn’t fit. I meant to say “Fools rush in” instead of “Can’t hardly wait.” Yes, that’s it.
I continue my endless and sometimes fruitless journey to understand love and relationships with a look at marriage relative to age. In baseball we have a term called “age relative to league” that compares a baseball prospects age against the average age of other players in that league. The younger you are compared to the players around you, generally the better. You want to see athletes be better at a younger age, giving them more room for growth and advancement as they get older and then who knows how successful they could be later on in life.
This does not work the same for marriage. It’s harder to grow and advance in relationships or getting to know more about yourself during those formative years of your late teens and early-to-mid 20s. This was hardly the case only a couple of generations ago, but in the modern era, people simply are growing faster and waiting longer. Now those years are time for “experience” and that experience won’t be the same if you’re in the most serious relationship of all: marriage.
Take Lorraine for example.
This innocent Yahoo! Answers question posted three years ago asks “How many people get married after 30 or 35?“
The asker, Cathy, was “Just curious? And had kids?” Cathy was already feeling pressured to get married at 24, but the answer re-assured her that she could and probably should wait before rushing into anything. Something that Lorraine apparently did not do and look how long it took her to regret it:
“i am 18 and married, its been 3 months and i should of waited. still sooo immature and hard to understand eachother. and no kids yet, thank god. but we trying to keep it going, and we will, just going to be tough. so wait and think hard.”
Only three months into her marriage, Lorraine seems to deeply regret it. She acknowledges she’s too immature for this marriage, and we acknowledge that she still think that “Should of” is the same as “Should have” when it’s clearly not. And clearly, Lorraine was not ready for marriage.
What made her rush into this? How could she have been so blind before marriage and then make this realization only after the license was issued and the “I Do’s” were said? Who names their kid Lorraine if they were born after 1960?
So many questions and so few answers.
I delve deeper into marriage and age today to take a look at how important it really is but also noting that no matter how long you wait, the odds say you’ll eventually
sacrifice pledge your eternal love to someone.
Just like baseball, let’s turn to the statistics and ignore the chemistry:
There are almost as many unmarried adults as there are married ones
In 1960, over 70% of people over the age of 18 were married. Think about how much of a loser you would have felt like if you were unmarried at 26 during the free love period of the sixties. Being a 40-year-old virgin today is the equivalent of being a 22-year-old virgin in 1960 when you account for inflation.
A report from the Pew Research Center of last year shows that now just 51% of Americans over 18 are married. Think about how significant that difference is.
The difference between being the only odd person out in a group of four against being in that same group of four fifty years later and knowing you have a single buddy. Then again, does that mean that in your previous group of four that you were single and the other three were all married to each other? Man, those sixties were wild times!
Whatever happened to key parties? Not even NBC shows about swingers are popular anymore, let alone actual swingers. But also that could just be because its NBC.
Professor Stephanie Coontz of Evergreen State College (where my younger cousin goes to school. She better not learn about sex there, Mrs. Coontz!!!) explains that a large part of that drop off is the wait to get married. Now at 26 for women and 28 for men.
“And that’s actually a good thing, because the longer a woman delays marriage, right up into her early 30s, the lower her chances of divorce. But it does totally change the social weight of married households in our economy, our society, our politics.”
Notice how she stresses not how long “people” delay marriage, but how long women delay marriage. It’s the women that typically are asked the question, so its the women that have the power of when. I’m sure that women can find themselves in several situations during their twenties where the question is popped but just because its being asked doesn’t mean that the answer has to be “Yes.”
I couldn’t imagine that amount of pressure being put on a person in that situation, especially if they think its too soon but really like the person, but the delay until the time is right could be crucial to the success of the relationship.
I would also say that there is almost no situation in which you are a teenager in America that the answer should ever be “Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!” Do you hear me, Lorraine?
The wait is important and has also reduced the number of married couples in the U.S. thanks to fewer and fewer people being married in their early-to-mid twenties. How much fewer?
Women and men married before 25 is only a fraction of what it used to be.
According to 2003 Census data, the number of men and women married in their early 20s is only a relatively small fraction of what it was in 1970. As a matter of fact, less than half as many women in their early 20s are married compared to the sexy seventies.
Back in 1970, only 35.8% of women age 20-24 had never been married, and only 54.7% of men were in the same boat. (The large difference between men and women obviously being because women typically marry older, meaning that you’ll have your best shot at marrying a college co-ed if you are her professor.) Compare that data to 2003 when a whopping 75.4% of women age 20-24 had never been married and 86% of men under-25 were also sans wedding ring.
Think about how phenomenal a difference that is over a relatively short amount of time. That data likely shrinks even more when you take into account women who are pursuing college degrees and a career before they get started on the family life, something much more common than it was back in the days of the Beegees and psychedelics.
Up the ante to the second half of your 20s and a lot more people are getting married, but still a large pool of single people:
Just 10.5% of women were never married by 30 in 1970 compared to 40.3% in 2003.
Just 19.1% of men under 30 were never married compared to 54.6% of men in 2003.
Last week I had written on this site about my own situation as an almost 30-year-old single nerd, but we can trust the data: I’m in the majority, not the minority. Not even women can feel left out if they’re still unwed by 30, as 2 in 5 bridesmaids have never been a bride at your best friends wedding that you hate so much.
Don’t worry, you’re doing the right thing and you’re still on the track to tying the knot, if that’s even a good thing!
By the time you’re 45, there’s a solid chance you’ve been married at least once (and probably divorced at least once, but if you waited until you were 30 there’s a much lower chance you’ve been divorced more than once. That’s just science.) because only 19.5% of men and 13.2% of women as of 2003 were never married by this age.
And even if you don’t believe in the sanctity of marriage and think the whole thing is a sham, there’s plenty of precedent for doing the exact same thing that Dick & Jane are doing but never going to a church or Las Vegas to make it official.
The increase in unmarried couple households since 1970 was seven-fold.
Credit back to userniche.com on finding and compiling this stat from the US Census Bureau in a 2001 study that showed non-married couples went from 523,000 in 1970 to 4,000,000 in 1996. Some of this can be attributed to the fact that there are just more people, but not all of it.
Part of the changing landscape of what society deems “acceptable” had a major influence on the number of non-married couples living together and having families as of today. Even Hollywood hunk George Clooney has said that he’ll never get married again. (Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization.)
There’s nothing inherently wrong with loving somebody and raising a family without getting the law involved. However, that doesn’t mean that the government doesn’t want to be involved or that it’s not beneficial to technically be married.
Kicking it back to the article on PBS:
RAY SUAREZ: Well, you have talked about these big life moments, but have they responded to the fact that marriage has changed in this way over the last 50 years? Our tax laws, the way we build houses, the way we award property in courts, all kinds of things are still built around marriage.
Indeed, there are tax benefits and housing benefits to those of us that don’t “Kurt Russell-Goldie Hawn” our lifestyle.
To be married is to benefit. But the bonus is that we don’t have to rush into these benefits. We are not going to die at age 45 anymore, we can raise a family sometime in our 30s and even into the 40s. For men, even later because it’s not a health hazard to ejaculate your baby ghosts like it is to push out an actual baby.
Just the idea of getting into a financial mess and responsibility like a house or a baby boggle my mind at age 29, but with each passing year it gets a little less “boggly” (would be the scientific term.)
Those same benefits (to some degree) will still be around if you wait another 5 or 10 years.
What about other explanations towards the decrease in marriage and the idea that it’s better to wait these days?
The mental aspect of what it means to fall in love, get married and divorced, and “growing up” can be a burden many of us will wait on.
Yourtango.com tackles a few of the mental aspects of waiting on marriage in this 2010 article. I believe they all hold at least a little bit of wait (that’s a play on words, y’all):
- A “soul mate” fetish
- Most of us have parents that divorced and don’t want to make the same mistake.
- We don’t want to become “adults”
- The “career” labyrinth
- Birth control aka we can have sex without babies like all of the time now
The first one I’ve said time and time again: People have an obsession with finding something perfect, when perfect doesn’t exist. You have to learn to live with peoples faults just as much as you get to enjoy living with their positives. There is no “perfect.” The best marriage you’ll ever see is probably only the parts that they’re willing to show. I’d wager that if you grew up in a married household, you got to see first-hand what would never be shown outside of the household.
That marriage and family are difficult, but even the most successful ones are successful simply because they worked on it. Relationships don’t come without a little bit of work and frankly, if you are constantly looking for the perfect soulmate you’ll be looking for a looong time up until the moment you decide “Oh duh, you were my soul mate. I just decided that I am completely changing my criteria because I’ve been waiting for 39 years and sure you can borrow my car and my debit card, here’s my pin number.”
I can totally dig the idea that we fear divorce more than ever simply because it’s been driven so hard into our brains over the last twenty years: 50% end in divorce… 50% end in divorce… 50% end in divorce… 50% end in divorce…
Divorce is the new Bogeyman and so many of us are strictly determined to not get married unless we feel very confident that it’s the right decision. That kind of confidence doesn’t come lightly.
The last one about sex just makes me kind of giggle. Not just because “sex” but thinking back to our grandparents age when it was strictly forbidden to have sex before marriage so of course you would get married when you started getting tingly feelings in gym class five or six years ago and now you’re finally old enough to get married and married = sex with a girl.
Of course it wasn’t always like that for everyone and of course there’s still people that wait until marriage today, but the entire cultural landscape has flip-flopped. You don’t have to wait until marriage to have sex, you only have to get her to agree. (Which for me is at least twice as hard as finding a girl to marry.)
The part where I say “In Conclusion”
We started this article off with the story of Lorraine. She got married probably at around the same age that another Lorraine, the one that married George McFly, got married, but they didn’t get married at the same time. That’s the critical part. Not the age, the time.
Lorraine McFly got married in a much different time than Lorraine H. Maybe in 1985 Lorraine McFly had some regrets, but that was still thirty years of solid marriage because those were different times. These days, there is no need to rush into marriage as a teenager or even as a young adult in your 20s. Time is now… on your side.
People were perhaps a bit more mature, had to grow up faster, back in the 50s, 60s, or even 70s. I think this other Yahoo! Question, this time coming from Lorraine H herself, explains why not all people that are 18 anymore are ready to get married. Are you f%@#ing ready for this….
I feel i am not good enough for my husband?
July 9, 2012 § 4 Comments
God forbid anyone asks me my A/S/L.
That’s only 66% accurate (The “M” should actually be a “C” for “Confused”) but I’m not going to lie, I’m slightly concerned about my relationship life trajectory right now. It’s not like I’m about to hit the Panic Button, things could be a lot worse, but I must admit that sometimes I do self-reflect and think “Huh, maybe I’m NOT that cool!”
There is a large but unheralded group of over-30 males that are single and have been that way for a very long time. I know this because I’ve seen it many times. My sister has a couple of guy-friends that are in their early-to-mid-30s that I have never heard of having serious girlfriends. There is also my brother-in-laws brother (so, my brother-in-law?) who is in the same boat. They’re just a few dudes that have spent a large part of their lives single and there’s nothing wrong with that. It doesn’t make them “weird” guys or “bad” guys. In fact, that’s the scary part. They’re basically really nice, fun, good guys.
And yet, they are still living singler than Queen Latifah.
Does that mean that I could be on a path that leads to being in my mid-to-late-30s, or forever, where I’m just not in any serious relationships? I like to think of myself as a nice, fun, and sometimes-good guy that would eventually find “The One” but damn, it’s clearly not like I’m fending them off with a stick or other fending-devices. I’m just going about my life, day-by-day, the same way that I’ve been doing it for 29-and-a-half years.
By the way, don’t ever feel like you’re too old to count “half years.” Relatively speaking, you won’t be alive for a very long time. Even if you live to be 100, you’ll only be alive for a tiny fraction, of a fraction, of a fraction, of a fraction of human existence. Make the most of marking your life as it is. I am not 29. I am not 30. I am 29 and a HALF!
So the few guys that I know through my sister have remained single for most of their lives. Like me, they had that one serious relationship that fell to shit in their 20s and have just sort of coasted ever since. Then there’s my brother.
He’s a special case. He’s in his early 40s and has never been married. In fact, he’s in the most serious relationship of his life right now. It’s hard to say which way it’s going to go, but traditionally I would say that this looks like the “final” relationship of a person’s life. But my brother probably could point to a single week in his life where he had sex with more girls during those seven days than I have in my whole life. He took 100% of the genes from my dad that helped you with women and I got left with the genes that helped you discern the exact difference between a chicken Lunchable and a turkey Lunchable simply through smell.
The only thing that has ever kept my brother from getting married or being in a serious relationship is his willingness to commit to a girl and not the other way around. Otherwise he probably could have married 100 times over.
Finally, I look at the friends in my life. I have one, yes ONE, friend from my childhood that is now married. ONE. It’s not like I didn’t have many friends, I had a few, but the ones that I’ve kept in contact with even a little bit over the years are still single. More of my friends have become DADs than got married. There is one other friend that I have (had, really) that is married and he was basically married before I met him. Other than that, all of my friends in California are single, near-30, dudes.
One of them was engaged once but that ended and he’s been bouncing around OkCupid the same as me.
Another one is basically like a younger version of my brother.
Another one shares a lot in common with my situation, but we’re all basically in the same situation. We’re in our late 20s or early 30s, we’re all varying degrees of nerdy, we like to drink, watch movies, hang out, and remain friends on that level. I’m sure that if I already was a married guy, I’d have more married guy friends, but it is interesting how we’ve all remained single and honestly, haven’t even had as much as a tiny threat to that situation except for the engaged friend and he wasn’t living in Los Angeles at the time.
That’s the other thing, we’re around friends. I think there’s something about the motivation for companionship that drives us find somebody, even subconsciously. The time I was in a relationship, we met up after I had graduated from college and was still in that slightly-awkward-adjustment-to-the-real-world phase where all of my college friends were living somewhere else. It’s like, I might not be able to tell you where the nearest lake is, but if you took away my ability to get drinking water from any other source, I’d find out really soon.
“Hmm, I’m lonely and all my friends are gone. Better go find someone to hang out with, and hey, might as well be a person that I can have sex with too.”
I’ve basically put off finding that person for a long time for several reasons: Guys can wait until their 30s, and these days girls can too, though it’s less common. I’ve been happy with where I’m at. I am not yet done with working on myself yet, so it’s probably too soon anyway.
So am I worried? No, not realllly. By looking around at the way of the world today, at the number of my friends that are still single, at my current situation, I am content with the fact that not having it right now doesn’t preclude me from having it ever. 29 is still relatively young and there’s still so much time for me to think about getting married and having kids. My sisters husband was in his mid-30s (I think, it would be really insulting to him if he was actually like 31 because I picture him more like being 35 at the time. I’ll be impressed if he calls me out on this because it would mean him or my sister had read my blog.) when they got married and now they have two kids.
It makes perfect mathematical sense for our 2012 culture that people are staying single well into their 30s. The median age for marriage and having kids has progressively gotten older as culture has advanced, so there’s plenty of time indeed.
But it does make me reflect. To look at myself, my habits, my friends, my thoughts on relationship and what a good use of a Friday is. To think about the fact that maybe I’m more nerdy that I thought, more dorky than I had assumed. I always used to wish that I could go to the National Spelling Bee and impress everyone with the fact that even though I could spell amazingly and was a kid prodigy, I was also really funny and cool and liked things like Saved by the Bell and wasn’t a total bookworm.
The problem is that I was nowhere near being a child prodigy or qualifying for a spelling bee in my own school, let alone on a national stage. It also turns out that I might not be “Mr Cool” either. And that’s okay, there’s still plenty of time to figure that out.
One day my A/S/L just might be 32/M/Your Basement!
June 21, 2012 § 2 Comments
Babies. They seem like a really good concept but they are also a lot of work. Babies cry. Babies poop. Babies need your constant love and attention. They are the biggest responsibility of your life and probably the biggest financial burden.
However, without more babies the human race would eventually die out and therefore make our time on this planet a total failure! I know because I saw Children of Men and things got pretty ugly. Plus having your own baby means that you can have your own bloodline go on and feel like maybe you left something behind on this earth after your body is found naked in a Wendy’s dumpster.
I’ve always thought that having kids would be the way to go someday and I still do but babies have often required “loving relationships” or “loving in the backseat of my Oldsmobile” before conception, birth, and afterbirth. I feel like I can learn how to change a diaper but don’t know much about this whole “relationship” thing.
And even after you have the baby, at least half the kids in America will have to witness their mom and their dad call each other “dicks” when they inevitably split up. Not only that, but half of that half will watch another divorce as they grow up. My own dad is on his third marriage right now, but at least it is probably his last only because he is really old.
It’s not just the divorce that sucks but old studies showed that children were more likely to get bad grades, less pleasant to be around, more likely to need psychological help, and more likely to have psychological problems than kids in homes that weren’t broken. However, I was the child of a “broken home” and I turned out okay. Isn’t that right, Satan-that-tells-me-to-do-naughty-things?
No, I really do think that most of that is “fluff” but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t effect children negatively. But is that negativity because their parents aren’t together or because their parents aren’t the bestest-of-friends anymore?
However, what about when the two people are friends and were never more than friends? What if you skipped the part where you “broke up” by never being together in the first place? Where does “marriage” exactly come into play when we’re talking about pro-creation? About the actual act of conception and putting my sperm into your egg?
What kind of a science lesson is this:
Kid: “Where do babies come from?”
Adult: “The stork.”
Kid: “The F you talkin’ bout?”
Adult: “Okay, when a man loves a woman, they lay down together and then nine months later a kid pops out.”
Kid: “Okay… so the love makes the baby?”
Kid: “Okay… but I love you and mommy so why don’t we have babies together? Why aren’t I having a baby in nine months?”
Adult: “Well, other things are involved.”
Kid: “So you lied to me? How come Trisha has a baby but she doesn’t have a husband or even a boyfriend?”
Adult: “Because Trisha is an idiot and now the MTV crew is here filming all of it.”
No, love is not a scientific factor in the making of a human being. Blowing your load into somebody while “Take Me Home Tonight” plays in the background is where babies come from. Millions of people are having babies with somebody that they don’t love. The only real problem is that you’re probably having the baby unintentionally.
I’ve broken down the sanctity of the institution of marriage countless times before and yes, I’m doing it again today. It’s not that I have anything against marriage but I also don’t think that it’s necessary either. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought that it makes perfect sense in certain situations to have a baby with a friend and still have both of you be present parents.
Most kids grow up with two homes as it is anyway. If two mature adults can have a good friendship and not let weird things complicate that friendship like a little bit of sex for awhile until the girl is pregnant or arguments about custody, then why can’t it work? A movie that came out earlier this year, Friends with Kids, addressed that very issue. (I haven’t seen it yet but with Adam Scott, Jon Hamm, Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph, you bet that I will!)
Many people would probably call this idea “impractical” but I almost think that by definition, it’s the most practical solution to your clock ticking that there is. If you’re a woman who is thinking about having a baby but haven’t found the right man yet after years of searching or if you’re a guy in his late 30s or 40s that just wants to leave behind a legacy but can’t settle down… Is it crazy to think that you could skip marriage AND divorce and just get right down to da bizness?
I’m only 29. I’m far too young to even be considering this and hardly capable of keeping a pet fish alive at this point, but I think that as humans evolve the concept of marriage and having kids will evolve too. I think that this is just the next step.
Or you could try that “falling in love” thing I guess.
June 14, 2012 § 2 Comments
“Love always finds you when you’re not looking for it.”
“People want what they can’t have.”
“A bush in the bed is worth two in the bar.”
These are sayings. Well, the first two are sayings and the third thing is something I just made up but then I also think that it has relevance when it comes to people having more luck with the opposite sex when they’re in a relationship. People are more attracted to the less attainable and sometimes that lack of attainability is related to a persons relationship status and other times its related to the “les affaires attitude” of a person that truly does not care if you are into them or not. Desperation is not attractive.
I am rapidly approaching the age of thirty as a single man. Maybe at certain points in my life this would have bothered me, but as of today I do not care but I think that there’s a catch when people say “don’t look for it” or “just stop caring so much.” What exactly is a person supposed to do with that advice? What if a person’s favorite band was Aerosmith and then you just said to them one day, “Man, if you really like Aerosmith, stop liking Aerosmith.”? How exactly is a person supposed to handle that advice and what benefit does it have to them? You can’t fake a lack of care or a les affaires attitude just like you can’t fake confidence.
You can’t have confidence unless you are confident. A person that is told “you need to be more confident” doesn’t just wake up the next day and say “That’s it! Today is the day that I will start to become more secure with myself!” You just have to be more secure with yourself. There is no faking it, there is only being it and if you are faking it, your efforts to try and be more confident will reek like a $12 cologne by Ray-J.
The same goes for not trying and not caring. Something has to push you to that point or pull you away from where you were before. I guess what has pushed me to this point would be something called “hitting rock bottom” but I don’t think that’s a bad thing or a desperation thing. It’s a “Why am I exhausting myself over this?” kind of thing.
I went into 2012 with expectations that this would be a banner year in the love department and got off to a great start, having met three interesting and diverse women one right after another. High hopes turned to low blows one right after the other. I got punched in the gut with Manny Pacquiao force but somehow did not win the fight. I kept battling though and used these experiences as life lessons that would help me in the future but then I hit a dry spell of boredom and false hope worse than season two of The Killing. The last girl that I “dated” was the straw that broke the giants back, and this Fezzek crawled back into his cave. What’s a brother got to do to get a peanut?
But rather than crawl and sulk or crawl and be angry at a vengeful God, I just crawled and said “whatever.” I’m just at a point where I can focus on other things and instead use this opportunity to do some things on OkCupid that are experimental or make me laugh. My recent overhaul of my profile did just that.
Rather than write about how awesome I am or write about my dreams, passions, and goals, I decided to write the worst profile ever. I described myself in the most unflattering light I could possibly think of. Under “What’s the first thing people notice about you?” I wrote: “Probably that I smell because I’m always pooping my pants.”
That’s funny to me.
On OKCupid Locals, I am starting to set my Broadcasts in the same vein. Last night I broadcasted this message: “I have never had sex. Is it true that it’s almost as good as Game of Thrones?” and also: “Good news! I’m infertile.”
Now I ask you, what do you think has changed in responses to my profile since I turned it from a serious one of a guy tryin’ to get a peanut into a complete joke of absurdity and laughability without revealing anything true about myself? Do you think that it is a turnoff? Do you think I get blocked all of the time? Actually, without sending out a single message in the last two weeks, without putting any effort into it, and with only having a single picture up, I’ve had more activity, messages, “four or five star ratings” and “Someone wants to meet you!” than I had in the last three months combined.
Do people want to get to know the real you online or do they just want a laugh? Do they want to see the person you actually are or are we all just having a bit of fun? I’m certain that it’s probably a combination of both but I can’t help but be shocked that this is what it really takes for me. To remove care and replace it with having a bit of fun for my own amusement because it wasn’t me faking it. It was me honestly not giving a shit what you think about me or whether or not you want to meet. I’m just as happy doing my own thing and living my own life without another person right now.
Is it fair to reward a les affaires attitude? Would you promote the person at work that cared the least? Do you want to be with a person that wants you or one that does not? These are all questions that I might have struggled with at some point but that point is in the past. Because honestly… I just don’t care what the answer is anymore. I’m just going with it.
June 7, 2012 § Leave a Comment
I’ve been on this wild dating ride for a few years now since my ex and I broke up, and I must say that I’m ready to start looking for other options. Certainly, “dating” and “love” and “relationships” aren’t the only answers in life, right?
Some of the greatest minds and historical figures in the history of the world were celibate for part of or all of their lives:
Gandhi (from age 36)
George Frideric Handel
Sir Isaac Newton
Queen Elizabeth I
And many others. For different reasons, all of these people and great minds went without sex. Can you imagine for a second that in today’s world of mass communication that modern-day entrepreneurs, geniuses, and billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates would go forever without sex? Do you think that Steve Jobs died a virgin?
Can you believe this…
The guy who created The Little Mermaid fell in love with many people (both men and women) and somehow went his entire life without ever having someone love him back! Hans Christian Anderson, who also created stories such as Thumbelina, The Emporer’s New Clothes, and The Ugly Duckling, once wrote this in his diary:
“Almighty God, thee only have I; thou steerest my fate, I must give myself up to thee! Give me a livelihood! Give me a bride! My blood wants love, as my heart does!”
Hey, this guy wrote The Princess and the Pea… somebody please sleep with him!
But then again, we must consider for a moment that these people would not have been as great if they had been boning (or in the case of Elizabeth or Mother Teresa, been boned) the whole time. Clearly much of Hans Christian Anderson’s literary genius came from the fact that he felt pain in his heart and it inspired him to write from that pain and give the world something beautiful.
It’s certainly no different than this article I’m writing right now by one of America’s greatest current authors, you’ll see how this piece becomes as great as Thumbelina. :-/ Based off of the fact that like Anderson, I couldn’t get a girl to love me if I paid her. (Of course, this will change when I move to Nevada someday.)
So thanks ladies for disliking me so much and finding me so repulsive. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to give you this list of reasons as to why relationships have become obsolete in 2012. All of you that are married right now, way to go suckers! You could have just had….
It’s amazing how far this DVD home delivery system has come. From going to a service that mailed (not e-mailed, but go check the physical mailbox mail) movies to your home to being a service that eliminates the need for human companionship!
It used to be that people didn’t have anything to do, so they would get bored and go tell someone that they loved them so that they could have someone with them to be bored. I know because I watched the first part of Hatflied & McCoys. People would get so bored that they would tell the daughter of a rival family that they loved her just so they could have some action in their lives.
But now we have plenty of shit to do. Almost too much shit. With a Playstation 3 or Xbox 360, the needs to eliminate boredom are taken care of. Every single day of my life, I can go home and turn on that machine and have 1,000′s of movies and television shows instantly streamed to my picture box. I literally just re-watched seasons six and seven of The Office again this week rather than finding love.
But it’s cool because now instead I have the firm knowledge that the moment Pam and Jim became unwatchable was the episode right after they had gotten married, re-affirming the belief that marriage is dumb and ruins everything.
Netflix ruins nothing. Netflix just got Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie. Did you get Tim and Eric’s Billion Dollar Movie, love and sex? I didn’t think so.
Friendship and Dudes
The love between a man and a man is at an all-time high right now, and I don’t mean gay marriage. I mean just a couple of bros, sitting around, watching some ‘flix, and drinkin’ some brews. Bros, Brews, Betflix.
Even chix can get on the flix with each other. There’s no discrimination when you’re just trying to enjoy a nice Saturday with people that you’re not trying to screw, or date, or “love.” Waste of time if you ask me!
It used to be that the only people you congregate with were your family. The nearest family might be four miles away, up there on Old Man McGuffin’s farm. Then when you turned 15, you got married and got your own farm or something. Now, the nearest person is right over there and everybody goes to school so you grow up with a lot of friends! Or in my case, a couple of friends!
Human companionship was once only met by family and love. Now you have your fellow dudes or ladies to keep you laughin’ and lovin’. You don’t need a sexual partner to be mentally stimulated during the non-sex parts of your day anymore. I see movies with my bros. I’ll go see Prometheus with my Brometheus. I’ll go get a nice hamburger with my Homie-Bro-gers.
Don’t need a girlfriend or boyfriend to keep you company during the days anymore.
The Internet and the Naked People On It
Have you seen this? Have you heard about this? Apparently, thousands of people are using the internet, the same thing that you and I use to send free e-cards to our relatives and to look at pictures of cats with, to look at pictures of…. naked ladies?!?!
That’s right. In this breaking news story, millions of Americans have typed in “sex video” to the website http://www.Google.com and found what’s being called “pornography” so that they may pleasure themselves while alone.
Federal police are investigating the matter and finding that both men and women, but mostly men, will go to websites such as Sex.com, YouPorn.com, or LactatingMommies.org in order to ejaculate without the help of a partner. By using a technique that experts are calling “masturbation” these men will jerk their dicks up and down, simulating intercourse, so that the ejaculate comes out even though there might not be a vagina anywhere in site for which to pro-create.
This can leave a sticky mess but men are using all types of materials (rags, socks, towels, t-shirts, boxers, hats, glossy 8×10′s, friends backs, folding chairs, egg roll wraps, etc.) with which to clean up afterwards.
Women will also look at this pornography, or “por” for short, and use their hands or even toys to stimulate themselves and reach orgasm. No word on whether or not these toys are action figures, nerf balls, or some other form of toy, but apparently some of them vibrate much like your cellular telephone or my mom’s “back massager.”
This investigative reporter has decided to trying this “jacking off” technique in order to see if it really wor- I am going to go take a nap.
I celibate and I give a bit away! Actually, I give all of it away. Seriously, this is like getting a free pen. Anyone?
June 5, 2012 § 6 Comments
I was a child of the 90s and a child of television, so it goes without saying that my view on real-life romances is somewhat ingrained from 90s TV. Maybe that’s why I can’t find a girlfriend.
Because real life is not TV and movies. The stories we watch on the breast tube are meant to be more interesting and engaging than real life because that’s why we watch them. If they were not, we wouldn’t watch TV because we could get that same entertainment outside. (Entertainment outside you say? Yeah right. Now THAT’S a tall tale, my friend!)
Television romance usually starts with anguished longing for another and so we follow. We watch and wait and see if our hero will get the girl and inevitably they do. The two loves are united and as viewers, we are satisfied because that’s what we were waiting for all along. However, how many of my real life crushes became sweethearts?
I think I’m about 0-for-2,513 in that category.
Relationships don’t always bloom from a crush. Sometimes they just happen. Whether organic or forced, sometimes love sparks from a drunken makeout behind a dive bar or from a friend right in front of you that you had never noticed before. And sometimes, it is from a crush.
But maybe the inherent problem with “crushes” is that they are so one-sided. If a crush is reciprocated early on, then you should be able to spot it. Returned flirtation should soon turn into something real and if it doesn’t, then it’s probably never meant to be. Yet on television, romances almost always start off as unrequited love and almost always turn into the requited version.
I thought for awhile yesterday not about the crushes I had (because that would require me to think about my actual life and NO THANKS!) but on the best television romances that I grew up watching and the lessons we learned from these relationships.
What started as a crush, soon turned into these 90s TV Romances and the lessons we learned:
Ross and Rachel, Friends
Lesson: Sometimes you never get over a crush or past love.
The show may have been called “Friends” but the stage for show was set in the pilot episode when we found out in the beginning that Ross had always loved Rachel and now she had appeared back in his life, without any idea that Ross had ever felt this way. So everybody was immediately trapped in this universe of “Is Ross going to win her over?”
Which was bullshit because Ross was never my favorite character. A bit too whiny, know-it-all, and pretentious for my liking, the only characteristic of Ross that I could relate to was this unrequited love that he had been holding onto forever. And clearly since Rachel was too good and too hot for him, it was almost like additional icing on the cake for every guy that had ever loved a girl that was out of his league.
On-again, off-again, will they ever?, “we were on a break,” the romance literally lasted from episode one to the series finale without ever being a sure thing. Ross and Rachel will always be remembered as the quintessential television romance of the decade, but the writers knew what they were doing and screw you writers.