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Archive for July, 2009

Ladies, has this ever happened to you? You’re at a bar with a female friend when a guy walks up to chat with your friend and totally ignores you. You’re left standing there awkwardly, staring into your gin and tonic as if it’s the most interesting thing in the world. Your night has just been made worse by The Solo Artist.

Gents, there’s a reason the wingman is so important. If you leave your target girl’s friend hanging, she’ll cockblock you out of boredom. Here’s why: When a group of guys go to bars, if they lose each other in the course of the night, they just assume everyone made it home (to their own or someone else’s) okay. Women tend to arrive at a bar together and leave together. No chick left behind. If your target girl notices that her friend is wandering off, she’ll be more likely to ditch you.

Get yourself a good wingman. They chat up the friend, you chat up the girl. No one is bored. Magic! Or, if you don’t have a wingman, be sure to talk to both women at the outset. This will make you seem like a quality guy to the friend, so she’s more likely to give the girl you like the thumbs up. We’re all about that stamp of approval when it comes to potentially sketchy guys in bars.

And it’s not necessarily true that the wingman gets the “lesser” girl. When I was in college, a friend of mine directed his wingman to chat up a girl he himself wasn’t interested in, and the wingman ended up dating this girl for several years.

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Hello, readers! I was on summer vacation, which included a break from blogging. But it didn’t include a break from bitching about dating, so I’ll have some new material up a few times a week.

Stumbling around the internet led me to Single Tease, a site that not only offers dating advice, it sells awesome message t-shirts. I don’t normally go for the message T’s (What Not To Wear makes fun of them so much that I’ve been scared away). However, here are a series of T’s with a purpose: They announce, subtly and cutely, that you’re single and looking. There are also T’s for your dog, if you’re into making your dog wear clothes (I suppose a smaller size could also fit a cat, but no man will ask you out if you’re walking a cat on a leash). Apparently, one can attract a lot of attention in these. I’m tempted to order one, wear it, and tell you all of my adventures. Which should I get?

Me and some friends of mine always talk about how awkward meeting a stranger in a social situation can be. You’re at a party, you see someone from across the room, you kind of make eye contact, but not really, and for all you know the other person is actually looking at someone who’s behind you. You end up leaving the party frustrated, having met no one new. So maybe this situation can be prevented if you’re literally wearing your marital status on your sleeve!

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Rant!

What is up with people who are always in a relationship? I even knew a girl who was right back in one after breaking an engagement. Don’t these people have dry spells? Where are they meeting dates? Can I follow them around for a week and see how they operate?

Just a thought.

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There’s an article in today’s Washington Post about a woman who works as a consultant, helping Baby Boomers, Gen X and Gen Y people get along in the workplace. Often, she teaches Boomers how to figure those Gen Y kids out. As a Millenial, I’m stereotyped as having a poor work ethic. Supposedly everything was handed to me by my indulgent parents, and I got trophies even if I came in last place, and I don’t talk to anyone in person, just on Facebook. Read the comments. Some of them are pretty insightful.

I think it’s kind of weird to have someone work as a consultant, helping people figure out Gen Y. Pretty soon we’ll be in our 40s, trying to figure out those kids who were born in the (gasp!) early 21st century. Besides, didn’t the parents of the Boomers think their kids were a bunch of wild, irresponsible hippies? The Boomers in their heyday made sexting look like church. My point is, no one likes to be told how they “are” based on sweeping generalizations. Don’t tell me I’m a lazy, self-entitled waste of space. I actually never work overtime because I’m so insanely efficient at work that I don’t have to. What can I say? I’m a list-maker.

That brings me to my latest Don’t Be This Girl: The Bitter Single. These women have been burned a few times by guys, or are at least terribly afraid of being burned, and so they “protect” themselves by assuming that all men are shit. If you ever hear someone say (or hear yourself saying), “ALL men are [negative trait here],” that is the trademark of The Bitter Single. These women commiserate with their gal pals over pink cocktails, comforting each other after a bad break-up. “It’s not you,” they coo. “It’s him. It’s men! Men are all pigs.”

No, they aren’t all pigs, and maybe it actually is you. I don’t get why male-bashing is so popular. Men could just as easily assume that all women are snobby bitches, and that wouldn’t be at all fair to the down-to-earth ladies looking for a nice man. When you make broad generalizations like this, you close yourself off from being able to see the good in people. When someone believes that all 24-year-olds are incapable of taking work seriously, they won’t notice the ones who do. When a woman declares that all men are douchebags, and her friends sing a chorus of, “Mm hmm, that’s right!” in the background, she will scare away good men. They can smell The Bitter Single from miles away.

Most people are good people. Stop generalizing and look at each person for who they are.

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Here’s an oldie but goodie from Slate: The Eligible-Bachelor Paradox: How economics and game theory explain the shortage of available, appealing men

So, the assumed lack of men who are good catches, according to this article, is that the good ones get caught earlier, while the awkward ones stay single. As for women, the greater of a catch they are, the longer they hold out for perfection. So, all that’s left, after awhile, are women who think they’re amazing, and awkward men.

That article pointed to this one: Marry Him! The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough

I think the title is self-explanatory. Anyway, am I telling you to settle? To marry the first person to come along? No, not necessarily. If you have misgivings about someone, you sure as hell shouldn’t marry them. But maybe don’t be unreasonably picky, and don’t think you’re so amazing that no man will ever measure up. Because while you’re there, being supposedly amazing, nice guys are marrying other women.

Interesting point of view in these articles. Food for thought!

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Evan Mark Katz linked to an advice article from his Twitter feed. Read it here.

Andrea Nemerson’s advice to the letter writer, who was getting mixed signals from a guy she was dating, was spot-on, in my opinion. This part really stuck with me (bolding is mine):

Here’s the secret, the nugget, the important truth buried under all the trendy exhortations to wait so many days before returning a phone call, or never to make excuses for a Person of Interest’s caddish behavior: it does not matter why someone does not behave toward you the way you would like him to; it only matters that he doesn’t.

Easy, isn’t it? We spend so much time analyzing why someone acts the way they do, rationalizing when they don’t act in the way we want them to. Maybe he’s afraid of rejection! Maybe he’s unsure of how he feels! Maybe he’s in a bad mood because of work! Doesn’t matter. Someone who cares about you doesn’t treat you like crap. Think about it: You care about your friends and relatives. How do you treat them? Do you spend as much time with them as you can? Call them often and return their calls? Make plans with them? Think about how your actions affect their lives?

Now think about how you treat a person you went out with who you’re not really into anymore. You let their calls go straight to voicemail and take days to return them. You make excuses as to why you’re busy when they ask you out again. You don’t try to make plans with them. If they were to stop chasing you, they’d probably never see you again. Do you want to be with someone who feels this way about you and who acts this way toward you?

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A reader who recently wrote in about how her ex-boyfriend was trying to win her back emailed me with an update. This one, I certainly didn’t expect, and I’m pretty sure she didn’t either! Read on:

Thank you for the advice.

I would be lying if I said that I don’t miss him. But I’m writing to share some good news! We are engaged! Allow me to share the story with you.

He has been very persistent with his apologies, and at first I did not want anything to do with him, no matter how much I missed him. Then I started thinking, “what if the situation was reversed?” What if I was in his shoes, the one who wants him back? I know that I would want to be forgiven and given another chance.

I decided to meet him. At first, I was skeptical, thinking that people don’t change like what you said. But he has! Not in a drastic way, but I could tell that he is finally serious about our relationship. So when I forgave him and told him that I will take him back, he kneeled down on one knee and proposed! I was shocked! I said, yes of course 🙂

Lessons I learned from my experience: Give people another chance. It’s okay no matter how much pain and misery they put you through. People do change. However, I would not have known that he has changed and gotten serious had I not given him another chance. I took a chance and now I am back with the person I love.

Please do share my wonderful story to everyone: your readers, friends, family, co-workers, everyone. I think these days, people are quick to let people go from their lives and are so unwilling to give anyone another chance, that they end up missing out on something wonderful.

So, there’s her story! I’m happy she’s happy.

I’ve written before about whether or not people can change, and what you can expect in that regard. I’ve heard stories with all sorts of results, good and bad. I know of multiple married couples who, at some point before getting engaged, broke up. I know of on-again, off-again couples who, in the end, couldn’t stay together. I’ve given exes second chances, and it turned out they hadn’t changed at all. I’ve given exes second chances to remain in my life as friends, despite a difficult breakup, and years later we’re still in touch. So, you never know. Life’s a crapshoot, and you just have to play and see what happens.

My advice to anyone out there who’s going through this situation is this: Each time it happens to you, it will be different. But pay attention to your intuition, and really pay attention to your ex’s actions, not just their words. Think long and hard. Can people change? Sure. But it takes a lot of momentum and only they can really control the nature of the change and whether or not it’s permanent. Work through the issues that created difficulties in your relationship before, because they won’t go away on their own. Relationships take work, and you have to wake up every day and choose to remain in them.

So, best wishes my my newly-engaged reader. If anyone else out there has personal stories (or stories they’ve heard from others) they’d like to share about giving exes a second chance, send them in!

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