June 13, 2013 § 3 Comments
We’re back! It’s time for another edition of me answering questions from ladies that are looking for the perspective of a dude. Not just any dude though, but me, a guy that’s been on no less than ten dates and had sex before. It was cool.
Speaking of sex, here’s today’s question. It comes to us from Accidentally Racy:
I’m enjoying reading your advice and figure getting a guy’s prospective is going to be way more efficient than my girlfriends’. So, here goes. I had a first date with this guy that lasted 7 hours because we had this amazing connection and couldn’t stop talking with each other about everything from the little things to the deeper subjects; we also ate dinner and bowled. We kissed a lot at the end, and I went home. The next day, he invited me to his place to ride his motorcycle, listen to him serenade me with his guitar and voice, and “watch a movie”. Watching a movie led to kissing which led to sex.
Having sex on a 2nd date is a big no-no in my book, but it just happened as these things do. We talked on the phone for an hour the next day and all seemed well. I went over there again on Wednesday, and he seemed distant. I haven’t heard from him today, and I am afraid that now that I have “given the milk for free” way too soon, I may have screwed up my chance at something real. So, my question is, if you as a guy share a deep connection with a girl and then sleep with her on the 2nd date, is the girl no longer relationship material? Is there anything that I can do to turn the odds in my favor at this point? Any insight would be appreciated.
Dear Accidentally Racy,
Let me first say that in general, each gender views casual sex in a different light:
Men – “Had sex, all is well.”
Women – “Had sex, now what?”
That is definitely not a hard and fast (hehe. pun.) rule. There are a lot of dudes out there that attach emotions to each sexual encounter (sheepishly raises hand) and a lot of women that don’t (slyly peeks to see if any girls raise their hand) but on the broad spectrum, men can walk away from sex and women want to know “What’s next?” Why?
Because you are the gatekeeper, am I the keymaster?
Basically, the penis is Indiana Jones and the vagina is the Holy Grail. Men spend 24.5 hours a day trying to have sex and women are constantly fighting off dicks like they’re being swarmed by bats, so when you finally let one into your cave, you want to know that it’s the right one. Or at least, a decent one. And sometimes it can be really hard to tell, because like I said, guys can get really good at getting sex.
I’m a firm believer in the 10,000 hour rule. That with 10,000 hours of practice, you can be an expert at something. Well with guys trying to have sex, they’ve spent like 100,000 hours doing that. But only during the times that they are awake, or most of the time that they are having REM sleep. Every once in awhile we’ll dream about death, but that’s honestly about sex too.
But we are all different creatures. I don’t think any women want to be thought of as a set of stereotypes to which everyone and abides, and we have to recognize that while each gender certainly has characteristics that would be true with the majority of individuals, we’re all still different. So I wouldn’t want to give the impression that men are lying this way and that way in order to have sex, nor am I saying that your beau was lying to you or pretending to be something so that you’d sleep with him, but it’s certainly possible. Frankly, and this is why I probably have had less success with women than most men, I’d be in your shoes more often than I would be in his. I’ve had very similar encounters, and while I wasn’t super upset about it because of the absolute shortness of those relationships, it certainly makes a person feel like they’re less than.
But you’re not less than. And he might not have been using for sex. Look at it from a macro level and remove sex from the equation and what do you have:
A really good first and second date over a period of no more than 36 hours that simply fizzled out before the carbonation bubbles even hit the surface. Which is ridiculously common.
It’s mostly the sex that’s messing with your head. The idea that you gave up the Holy Grail “for nothing.” That you may have been duped or bamboozled or took a hit to your self-esteem because you thought he was so perfect for you and might have actually found someone worth holding onto for awhile but he possibly doesn’t feel the same way about you. ”What’s wrong with me?” ”What did I do wrong?” “Why can’t he see me how I see him?”
If this is how you’re feeling, if you’re feeling low and used, let me please urge you to cut that out right now. There’s nothing wrong with you, or what you did, or that the time you spent with one-and-done was less-than-fun. You chose to sleep with a guy on the second date because you felt certain in your heart that there would be a third date. A fourth. Hell, a fifth even! And now he’s gone MIA and you wish you could take it all back.
Don’t wish that. Embrace it.
Embrace the two or three days that you could live inside of a Richard Linklater movie. The last time that I really thought I might have found a relationship, rather than just a date or two or someone to makeout with, she turned cold before I did. The texts became short and finally stopped. If we had been out a few times and had always had a good time with each other, then why wouldn’t she want to continue to do that just like I did? What was wrong with me?
Nothing. Nothing was wrong with me. The reasons that other people have for not wanting to see other people just one more time can be many, and it doesn’t mean that there was something wrong with the party that got ditched. That’s like saying that there’s something wrong with the square peg that doesn’t fit in the round hole.
There’s nothing wrong with square pegs. They hold most IKEA furniture together. They’re great!
And if that doesn’t make you feel better, then I can only offer one more piece of advice. A line from John Steinbeck to his son that I keep pounding home over and over again, because whenever I think about the one that got away, I remember this mantra:
“And don’t worry about losing. The important thing is not to hurry- Nothing good ever gets away.”
If this one got away, if he hasn’t returned your calls and has fallen off the map, then he wasn’t the right one. Let him be the right one for a couple of days, let yourself experience the experience, and then learn from it and move on. Every time I think of that last person that “totally should have been a relationship” I remember that nothing good gets away, so therefore she was never going to be more than what we were. That if it was good, then it would be.
But it’s not. And that’s okay too. Let yourself identify with the male gender for a moment and simply take it as a casual encounter and remember that there’s nothing you can do to “turn this in your favor” other than to live today as happy as you can be.
May 30, 2013 § 7 Comments
The ongoing series whereinby I give you my opinion on your love life despite myself not even having a “likelife” right now. But either I’ve been where you’ve been or I’ve thought way too much about it. Here’s the next question…
So… you asked for relationship questions and I wanted to ask a guy about this so you are it! Okay, to my question: I love my boyfriend and he keeps saying he wants to marry me, which is great, BUT he’s barely working (he’s in sales for his dad) and spends most of his days playing games (he lives with his parents). We only see each other on weekends because we live so far apart so it has taken me over a year to notice that he doesn’t really do… anything. About a month ago I had a really bad day and broke down crying telling him I couldn’t marry him if he wasn’t willing to step it up and take his responsibilities seriously. He told me he’d work on it BUT can he? Will he? How long should I wait?
(TL;DR is that Ulty’s boyfriend has no ambition and she’s worried there’s no real long-term future with him.)
As you know I had only one follow-up question and it was paramount to getting to the heart of your issue: How old are you and your boyfriend? This can be the difference between a “play it cool” and a “run, you fool!” because we are allowed to shuck certain responsibilities at certain ages.
I think that at certain points in life, girls have different qualities in men that attract them and make them more or less interested in them as a potential dating partner.
- At 15, you can pick a guy based on who gets his drivers license and a used car first.
- At 20, you can pick a guy based on how many pull-ups he can do.
- Even at 25, you can still look for a guy with nice abs and a cool job selling cars at his dad’s dealership.
But at a certain point I think that the best quality you can find in a man is “Ambition.” Even if you’re 30 or 40 and you have very little to show for it, having a drive to be something better and looking towards the future can at least reinforce to other people that you’re trying to be something better. That you’re going to be able to provide a stable future even if it kills you. That “I am well-aware of my situation and I’m finnin’ to break out of it!”
You don’t have to be a doctor in your twenties, but you should at least be going for your masters degree in life and not living in the basement of death.
Well I asked you how old you two were and you replied: “We’re both 28.”
At 22, I can forgive his transgressions. At 28, he better be finnin’ for a better life! (Finnin’ is white people slang for urban slang for “the desire to”)
You’re 28 and you’re looking for the person to spend the rest of your life with. You’ve obviously got some idea of what kind of a man would best suit that role and you definitely don’t want to step into that kind of commitment with someone that’s all talk and no walk. Put it this way: Would you rather date Jay-Z or Lil Jon? Would you rather be with Dr. Dre or Flava Flav?
You’re looking for a man, not a hype man. Break it down bit-by-bit and I see a Level 10 Lazy-Ass:
“He’s barely working. He’s in sales for his dad.” - I have a bunch of friends that are right around 30 and I can promise that none of us are “barely working.” My brother-in-law was also in business with his dad when he was 28; He had taken over the business a few years after that. Does your boyfriend just want to get by or does he have designs to take over? It’s one thing to not have any opportunities, it’s another thing to let all of your opportunities pass you by.
spends most of his days playing games - Kevin Spacey plays a powerful politician in the show House of Cards that also loves to play Call of Duty in his free-time. This was immediately interesting to me because it shucked the stereotype of playing video games and being lazy. Also: He was a powerful politician! You can play video games and be lazy or you can play video games and get shit done. Video games should come after you get shit done.
(he lives with his parents) - I felt ashamed when I was living with my mom for two years after graduating college. I would rather be homeless than be back there now and yes, I’ve spent many hours thinking about how to be the best homeless person I could be.
Probably find myself a nice hobo girlfriend too!
He told me he’d work on it BUT can he? Will he? How long should I wait? - “Can he?” Yes. We all can. ”Will he?” I have my concerns, to be honest. ”How long should I wait?” What are you waiting for at all?
I named you “ulty” and not even you probably know why. I named you Ulty because maybe, just maybe, in five years when people talk about your boyfriend and ask “How did he turn his life around??” then people will say:
“Ulty made him!”
I’m not telling you to lay an ultimatum down to your boyfriend though. Not quite. The simple fact of the matter is that you’re 28 and you have an idea of what kind of man you want to marry and that man without a doubt has ambition to be something better. You can’t settle for what you were able to settle for 5 or 10 years ago, you’re looking for the big one. You’ve been long distance with him for over a year, isn’t that long enough to start asking yourself why you’re still long distance? I dated a girl for a year when we were in a similar situation and that was ridiculous so I moved to within a mile of her. Also, I moved to an apartment that was all mine and I had a job and paid my bills.
You need to make a list of your husband’s traits and you need to make a list of your boyfriends best traits and then you need to compare the two. On this list you should have listed very high:
- My husband doesn’t live at home
- My husband has a real job
- My husband doesn’t live an hour away
- My husband plays video games in his free time and his days don’t ONLY consist of “free time”
- My husband wants to be something someday
You’re not giving your boyfriend an ultimatum, you’re just telling him that to be with you he has to fulfill those traits. Don’t stick around because it’s been a year or because you’re worried that you might never find anyone better than him. Stick around only if he’s actually the man you want to spend the rest of your life with.
Even if Ulty Made Him do it.
He needs to be more ambitious in life and you need to be more ambitious with your relationship choices. I think you can both strive for better.
Don’t forget to Ask Kenneth Heart-thur your own questions by hitting CONTACT on the left!
May 21, 2013 § 4 Comments
The first submission in me giving… dating advice? (Really, me?!) Believe it or not,
I’ll help you here I come!
“Three Days Grace Period” asks:
Anyways, one of the reoccurring problems I have with men, is I will meet one and we will text nonstop for on average about three days. He will be totally digging me, me reciprocating. And we just text all day for about three days.
Then the next morning he will never reply to me again.
Just done with me. Out of nowhere.
This happens consistently enough, that I have now begun to expect it when I start texting a guy I like.
I’ve even begun to suspect (not seriously) that there is some creepy stalker I have who after three days of contact with me, goes and threatens these men to stay away.
Or something like that!
What’s wrong Kenneth? Am I only interesting for three days? Do I start saying stupid things after three days?
And why does every guy lately do this?
Dear 3 Days,
In the classic film The Room, Denny is caught with Chris-R on the roof in some sort of drug deal gone wrong. Lisa’s mother poses the question to Denny, “What are you doing with the drugs? Giving them, taking them?” One can not really comprehend why a person would “give away” drugs but I guess technically that’s a possibility. Though it seems rather wasteful to have all of these drugs and then just give them away. It’s bad business.
I read your question and then I pondered it for a couple days while I was prepping this first post. And then I read it for the second time and realized that I should now make sure to thoroughly read all the questions at first and then ponder because in about less than 20 words I was able to dissect at least one major part of the issue.
“one of the reoccurring problems I have with men, is I will meet one and we will text nonstop for on average about three days.”
“one of the reoccurring problems I have with men, is I will meet one and we will text nonstop for on average about three days.”
“I will meet one and we will text nonstop for on average about three days.”
“we will text nonstop”
In a way, texting has become the best and worst thing to happen to relationships in at least the last 100 years. It’s very possible that after three days, you literally know more about a guy you met one time than what your grandmother and grandfather knew about each other by the time they were married. And most relationships of that era lasted 100000000x longer than ours do in the current generation.
It’s like how Unsolved Mysteries used to be this awesome show about things we couldn’t disprove and then we got better technology and gave everyone an HD camera on their phone and now it’s just:
UnSolved Mysteries – Turns Out It Was A Guy In A Suit, What’s On TLC? Oh Hoarders I Haven’t Seen This One… Ew Gross.
Textual Harassment is one of the leading killers of possibly getting laid or even finding a potential significant other in the year 2013. Check out reddict.com/r/CreepyPMs and watch seemingly normal people dissolve into Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Some of the best/worst advice on texting comes from Tom Haverford on Parks and Recreation when he asks an interviewee about what to do when you get a girls number in the club. Text her the next day that it was nice to meet her?
“Wrong. I wait 8 weeks and then text ‘What’s crackin?’”
That’s an extreme version of it, but the principles still apply. Even in today’s world of constant interaction and the ability to literally be a tiny talking head inside someones front pocket, there’s plenty of room to leave for mystery. There’s plenty of time to sit back and say “If you want to get to know me, take the time and effort to actually get to know me.” Think of guys as T-Rex and this is you when you “text non-stop for three days”:
Make a guy wonder, “Where the heck is this chick? She must be really popular with the fellas, damn it I’m gonna lose my chance!” Don’t be unavailable, but don’t hand yourself to him on a silver platter. Texting nonstop for three days in the very beginning used to always be my undoing too and it’s also not a bad practice to put in place even if you’ve been dating for a few weeks to show that you’ve got a life outside of just that persons every word, letter, and emoji.
Chat with the guy, but let it be known early on that you’re a girl that’s worth taking out on a proper date (or just coming over for a proper “movie” whatever floats your boat) but when you text nonstop in the very beginning, that’s like giving away free drugs. It makes no sense.
If you thought that was decent advice y’all, please send in more questions with the Contact button on the left!!
May 19, 2013 § 4 Comments
When we last left off, Sam was worried that Diane had become more distant since he announced he would be turning their long-distance friends with benefits ship into a short-distance “I-have-no-idea-what-this-is” ship by moving from Los Angeles to San Francisco. (Part I is here) I told him that in my opinion it was time just ask her what was up, despite this one supposed dating “rule”:
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.
What was Sam to do….
Many men are raised to believe that having emotions is a “chick thing, man!” but the reality is that many guys grow up with plenty of emotion anyway. We’re raised one way but our bodies tell us something different. Sure, I know a bunch of guys that are able to have a disconnect between the physical and emotional relationships they have with women, but I know plenty more that fall in love. That lose sleep over someone. That spend the entire day thinking about what their future could be like with that special someone. And that go crazy wondering if “this distance that Diane is putting between us is the product of being “busy and sick” or if she’s starting to have second thoughts.”
We hurt too, ladies. We spin our hair in our fingers (well the ones of us that have sweet p-tails, do) just like you do with worry. And while we say we don’t want to play games, we still abide by a certain set of rules. In a way, we’re all playing some level of a game whether we like it or not, but just like Chess, some of us really suck at it!
I sunk your Rook!
When Sam was finally letting it all out, what was bothering him, I guess it was my outsiders perspective that allowed me to see the bigger picture and put two-and-two together. That it had been about two weeks since Sam had decided to move to San Francisco, and that was the same time that Diane started to turn into Kirstie Allie. (For the younger readers out there, sorry you don’t get the shit out of these references. They’re pretty good!) We started to talk about how Diane hated relation ships but that she was clearly feeling safe with the fact that they were separated by golden bridges and mountain ridges with lebowski’s so big you’d have to call Jeff Bridges. (That didn’t make sense but it felt wonderful to say.)
Sam was folding up the space-time continuum and would become an everyday part of Diane’s life. ”That’s probably freaking her out a little bit, dude. Ask her about it.” That really started the advice-giving and I think it’s the most simple piece of advice to follow and yet the most difficult for many of us to overcome. Think about the fact that we are scared to ask the people we care about if there’s anything different in the way they care about us.
“But what if I make it worse?”
The number one reason people are scared to come out with the “is anything wrong?” bit is because they think it could drive a person away even further but I disagree with that sentiment. Any time that I’ve ever truly cared about a person, them asking me if something is wrong one time isn’t going to change my opinion about them. You wouldn’t drive a person away for asking something like that — but of course there are the people that ask that question every single day and then yes, something is obviously wrong. But if you’ve been with each other for awhile and one of the parties behavior starts to change you can ask them if something is wrong. There’s a two-pronged possibility:
- “Nothing is wrong. I’ve been busy and sick. Sorry I haven’t been able to talk as much because I’ve misssssed you ;)” That’s good.
- “Nothing is wrong. GOD!” Something was wrong. And you didn’t make it any worse, because the fact of the matter is that there is no way in Hell that a three-word question would be the tipping point from a life of 50 years of wedded bliss to a broken heart and an empty tub of ice cream on your bathroom floor. That’s just not real life.
I told Sam that in my opinion, something was probably up with the fact that she was freaking out about his move to San Francisco and that he was breaking down the barrier between them. As the poet laureate Gavin Rossdale once said: “The chemicals between us. There is no lonelier place than lying in this bed. The chemicals displaced.” (You figure out the meaning.)
But Sam wanted to bring those chemicals together. If he was getting negative signals he should ask Diane if something was up, at least once. Because it wasn’t just killing him that she was all of a sudden starting to act differently towards him, it was also the unknown that starts to make a person unravel. Sometimes it is absolutely a misunderstanding, but on the other hand, it’s often a sign.
Don’t ignore signs.
(Unless it’s saying 25 MPH and it’s not a school zone, like yo, I can get around this neighborhood at 35!)
(Also don’t ignore Signs. It’s a really good movie.)
Sure there have been certain times in my life where I’ve been a paranoid annoyance but I also like to think that I have a pretty keen sense of when something is up. We should all be able to sense when something is wrong. When Larry David left Seinfeld, you could tell the difference. When Dan Harmon was fired from Community, you can tell the difference. People can sense the slightest differences from one thing to another, and you’d know that if you ever filled out a Highlights magazine at the dentist.
November – You’re texting me all the time. You’re anxious to hear from me. You reach out when it’s been awhile.
December – I have to be the one to initiate all the conversations. You don’t ask me questions, you seem less concerned about my life.
You said “Fuck off” and changed your email?
A day? No worries. Three days? That’s curious. A week? You should seriously start considering whether or not this person is still interested in you unless they explicitly stated before the relation ship that they were in the CIA.
Sam knew what to do, I just had to be the one to push him off the plank. He finally asked Diane if something was wrong due to her behavior over the last couple of weeks. She responded first with the usual:
“No, I’ve just been busy lately like I said and dealing with this illness.”
Okay…. Wait for it.
“I suppose I also just don’t know what you’re expecting when you move here.”
It had seemed apparent to me, an almost complete outsider that has never met Diane, that Diane was fearful of certain expectations from Sam. The approach of Sam moving to San Francisco obviously has to be taken with careful measures because it’s a major decision. Not just for their ship but for his life, and possibly for hers.
But he may have never known that if he hadn’t overcome the fear of simply asking “What’s wrong?”
I might be a very difficult hurdle to overcome, to come off looking like an insecure little boy, but I think that there are many contexts in which it comes off more as the secure move of a man. To say “I am aware of the changes here and I feel like even if you were sick or busy, you would make time for me as you used to do. So if something has changed for you, please let me know because I’ve still got to take care of myself.”
I think that when you are simply “dating” someone, you have to tread very carefully with feelings. I have spent too many days and nights in confused anger and depression based on things that happened with people that I wasn’t even on the relation ship with.
Don’t waste tears on a person that wouldn’t spend tears on you.
Of course, the three intense, mostly non-physical months that Sam and Diane had spent talking, it would be near-impossible to not have feelings attached. Whether she likes it or not, even Diane has developed feelings for Sam. But Sam has to really evaluate whether or not her feelings and his feelings match up because if they don’t and he doesn’t ask some of the important questions that we’ve been conditioned not to ask, he’ll be the only one crying.
Sometimes if you don’t want to know the answer, you probably need to ask the question.
To be continued…
(Remember that I’m looking for more questions RE: the opposite sex so please use the CONTACT button also I’m lonely.)
May 18, 2013 § 2 Comments
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 § 2 Comments
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 § 1 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!