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About The ‘New York Times’ Cohabitation Article

April 16th, 2012 No comments

Did any of you read this story yet?

“The Downside To Cohabitation”

I urge any of you interested in the topic to do so, especially those who are thinking about living with your significant other sometime in the near future. The article, written by clinical psychologist Meg Jay, specifically targets young couples still in their 20s and it offers up some interesting facts Jay has picked up from her own research and years spent practicing psychology.

Jay writes:

Couples who cohabit before marriage (and especially before an engagement or an otherwise clear commitment) tend to be less satisfied with their marriages — and more likely to divorce — than couples who do not. These negative outcomes are called the cohabitation effect.

Most of us are aware of the cohabitation effect, even if we don’t know what to call it. When an article from an authority as credible as The New York Times comes out basically saying the same things we’ve always known, it only serves to support every reason we ever had for not wanting to live with our partner before marriage. We see the numbers and read the horror stories about the cohabitation effect from such a young age, we go into our 20s convinced we will never make the same mistake ourselves.

Read more…

Shaky Relationship Advice Part 3

January 4th, 2010 26 comments

New year, new outlook, new people.

Here we are folks, the first Monday of 2010, and for many who spent the weekend recovering from that party back in 2009, today is officially the first day of the year. We have said good bye to what has to be one of the most unanimously worst years on record, a year so bad most of us have collectively decided the best part about it was making it out alive. And we are now saying hello to a new year, the first year of a new decade, and everyone is ready to do something different, something new.

Good luck with all of that.

But before we dip into something new, before we get all experimental with ours, some more of my shaky relationship advice to start the new year right. Remember,no expert, just experienced.

DON’T BROADEN YOUR DATING HORIZONS

Already I have talked to two friends of mine who are going into the new year with new boyfriends. These new guys are good guys, nice guys, and as they will be quick to remind anyone who asks, different guys. But what I have told them is the same thing I am about to tell everyone else who is looking to broaden their dating horizons. Be careful and more importantly, be honest, to yourself.

There is a reason we have types, criteria, and just because we have had no luck finding someone who looks good on paper while treating us right at the same time, doesn’t mean we should start sacrificing some criteria to meet the bottom line. This idea of dating someone out of the box, or left of center, from the type of person we normally go for just because there’s a strong likelihood we will get the type of relationship we want is pretty dangerous because if every relationship calls for sacrifice, dating someone who is not our type is an even bigger sacrifice. To me, dating someone we’re only lukewarm about in the beginning, and eventually falling for them, just because they’re not a jerk, is like a bad song we hear on the radio. Hear it enough, and we’ll fall in love with it, off the strength of habit alone.

The fact of the matter is, once we get into a relationship with someone, we are almost always going to discover things about the person we don’t like. But these things we don’t like about the person we’re dating, should be just that, discovered. They shouldn’t be apparent from the very beginning of the relationship because, here’s what’s going to happen. Someone who does satisfy some of our more important requirements is going to come into our lives, and when they do, we’re either going to have to remove ourselves from them or we’re going to have to remove ourselves from the person we’re with, and hurting the person we took a chance on for no reason.

Of course, for those who are the person I am speaking of, the boyfriend or girlfriend who is against type, just know the risks involved. I have a girl who likes me right now and I am nothing like any of the other guys she dated, so I’m very cautious of it all, because if there is one thing in life I believe in, it’s this:

There is someone who is right for each and every one of us.

Each.

And.

Every.

One.

Of.

Us.

And at any given moment, this person can come into our lives.

So what I suggest everyone do this year is learn to be more patient when it comes to finding the right person. Instead of broadening the horizons, hone in and focus on what is that you really want and need. This might not be the year the right person comes into our lives, but it can be the year we make room for them to do so.

For The Good Guys Who Lose To The Bad Guys: A Resolution

December 11th, 2009 19 comments

I didn’t title this post Shaky Dating Advice, but I did file it under the category, because it is, well…read on.

A couple of days ago, I was talking to a female friend of mine. She, a well-educated, very successful young professional, was telling me about some guy she was dating. This guy had his own car, which in New York City is somewhat of a remarkable feat, and took her to the finest restaurants, plays, and other expensive activities. This guy paid for everything. But now this guy is in jail. Why? He dealt drugs.

“So you’re still doing that,” I asked rhetorically. “Still dating them bad boys?”

I was shocked not because she was dating a thug but because she was over-25 dating a thug. And even though I don’t want the girl myself it irritated me to think  some good guy out there was losing to guys like the one she was dating.

In college, I was one of those good guys who despised the bad boys because every girl I liked seemed to like them. To me, it didn’t make sense that a woman who either wasn’t from the streets or removed herself from the streets, would go back to the streets to find her Prince Charming.

But I have outgrown such petty jealousy. Women should date who they want, bad boys included, and though it doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever, no thug is leaving me hurting. Let’s not forget, even a woman who dates a bad boy can see the appeal in a man like me.

It took me years before I finally stopped tripping over high-quality, take-them-home-to-mom type women who wouldn’t choose me over the type of guy whose  career goals include getting furloughed. The sad thing is, I know the battle between good boys and bad boys is still being waged out there. And as someone who has always fought on the side of good, I must continue to stand up for all the men who lose a woman to the bad boys, and for them, I have a resolution.

Before I lay my resolution out, let me just say this: I know a lot of these guys I’m calling bad boys personally. Some are my friends, some are in my family, and I have nothing against them. They are, for better or worse, good guys to their women, or at the very least, no worse than the self-proclaimed good men who don’t break the law, but do break some hearts. So please spare me the whole bad-boys-can-treat-their-women-good-too lectures. I’ve seen them do it, I know they can.

What this really is about is getting the good guys to understand they don’t need to be pre-occupied with finding their female equivalent. If you’re a good guy who is always losing the good girl to a bad boy, date a bad girl. And when I say a bad girl, I don’t mean a woman who is in the streets. I mean a woman who is on the pole.

Yep, that’s right, I’m suggesting all the men out there who are tired of losing their good women to thugs start fighting back by dating an exotic dancer or two. If a well-educated, high-class woman with a promising career wants to date a man who goes to school on street corners, then you, as a man, are entitled to date a woman who takes dance lessons at clubs with the word “Lace” in their name.

Not only is it fair, but it makes way more sense for a man to date a stripper than it does a woman to date a bad boy because stripping is 100 percent legal. Being a bad boy, for the most part, isn’t.

Other positives of dating a stripper include: financially independent; works late hours so you can always hang out with your boys; they’re generally nice women. If a man can find a way to get over the fact that one of her job requirements is to get naked in a room full of strangers night after night after night, he’s in a good place.

Of course, I would never do such a thing, but that’s only because I have found a way to not care so much about the women who want to date bad boys over me. I’m just saying, for those men out there who having trouble coming to grips with the good women who want to date the bad boys, take my advice: Date the strippers. They’re bad, but in a good way.

Shaky Relationship Advice Part 2

December 9th, 2009 23 comments

As I said in my first installment of “Shaky Relationship Advice“, I really don’t know if any of this stuff works. All I know is that it worked for me at some point or another.

That being said, I really, really have no idea whether or not the advice I’m about to give today has ever worked or will ever work. It’s in regards to cheating, specifically, how a woman can keep her man from cheating if she is ever worried about such a thing.

Already I can hear the dissenters commenting saying I’m an idiot. Already I can hear them saying, “A man’s going to cheat if he wants to, it doesn’t matter.” Already I can anticipate more than a few side eyes and “psssshhhh”‘s from my readers.

Oh well. All I’m doing is trying to offer up some friendly advice. Think of me as the friend who you ask for advice from and never end up taking anyway. That’s me. I’m that guy.  Let me also remind people, I’m no expert, but I am experienced.

So here it is, my advice, my not yet proven but worthwhile approach to how to get your man to not cheat:

EVERY TIME YOUR MAN GOES OUT YOU GO OUT TOO

Does everyone understand what I’m saying or do I need to paint a visual?

I’ll paint a visual.

I just lined up some face time with my woman on the side and at the 11th hour, I give my main woman a call to cancel some plans the two of us made a week or so ago. The conversation goes something like this.

Me: Hey baby, look here, umm, I have to [insert lame excuse here] tonight, so I’m going to have to cancel our plans.

Her: Oh, sweetie, I’m so happy you called cause I was just about to call you to do the same.

Me: Do what the same?

Her: Cancel the plans.

Me: Huh? What? Why?

Her: Oh my girl just called me up talking about her friend is in town with all his friends and they want us to go out with them.

Now note, my woman never had plans in the first place. She’s just acting like she did to keep me honest. But the key is, she didn’t hesitate when I originally canceled on her. Not only did she sound unfazed by my last-minute cancellation, she sounded relieved because she had “plans of her own.” Her composure is why I am now on my end of the phone, stunned in silence.

Her: Hello? Baby you there?

Me: Umm, yeah, I’m here. Wait, you’re about to go out right now?

Her: Well, in like an hour. I just laid out my dress and I’m about to hop in the shower.

Two key things here: She said “dress”, but she didn’t say which one because she wants me to ask which one. I won’t take the bait though. She also said “about to hop in the shower” and now I’m imagining her naked in the shower and all of a sudden a night with my woman on the side doesn’t sound appealing. But before I change plans, she adds a couple more extras.

She turns on getting-ready-to-go-out music in the background loud as hell and starts humming along, which means I have to raise my voice to be heard.

Me: HEY BABY! BABY!? CAN YOU TURN THAT DOWN?

Her: WHAT?! HOLD ON, I CAN’T HEAR YOU! LET ME TURN THIS DOWN!

She turns down the music.

Me: Baby, look, I just got an email from my co-worker saying we’re all done here. I can actually get out of here. Would you be down to stay in with me tonight?

Her: That’s kind of messed up, they have a limo and table reservations.

Me: Fuck. The. Limo. Put away your dress and keep the shower running. I’ll be there in ten minutes, so get in in five minutes and leave the door unlocked or a key under the mat, and I’ll be in the shower with you before you know it.

Her: [Sighs] Fine. But she’s going to be really disappointed and now we better do something fun cause I was looking forward.

Me: Whatever. I’ll make it up to you when I get there. Bye.

Her: Bye. See you soooon.

Nothing has ever kept me in check or on my Ps and Qs more than when my woman is about to go out with her girls without me around. Every time a situation like that has occurred, I always pray it isn’t going to be the night my bad karma gets the best of me. Even if a woman doesn’t have a life of her own, she better act like she does so her man stays on point. If every time a man says he’s going out to do his own thing his woman responds with a, “Good, so am I” there is a high probability the man will start curbing his own social life for the sake of curbing his woman’s. Fight fire with fire, even if the fire isn’t real, because sometimes men only respond to what they see in the mirror.

Any man who has ever cheated knows the first person he thinks about after he’s done doing whatever he did is his woman. Usually, he tries to call his woman and if she doesn’t pick up the phone on that first call, that man is tripping, wondering if his woman isn’t picking up the phone because she’s doing the same thing he just got finished doing. The above scenario is an extension of that.

Of course, at some point, such responses are not going to fly and either I’m going to call her bluff or I’m not going to care. But I hope it never gets to that point, because once we stop caring, well, there isn’t any relationship advice in the world that can help.

Shaky Relationship Advice Part 1

December 1st, 2009 23 comments

I don’t really do relationship advice because well, honestly, what do I know about maintaining a healthy relationship with any woman? My blog is about being a bachelor, not being a boyfriend.

But, in spite of all my mess-ups in past relationships, no matter how they ended, there has always been a take-away of sorts. We may not have worked, but there were parts of us, small moments, that did. From those moments, I have learned the importance of details, something people often forget the longer they stay together. So whenever a friend of mine who is in a relationship comes to me for advice because their relationship is trending downward, I look back on my own history, and think about what worked for me.

Today, I begin my first installment of Shaky Relationship Advice. I say “shaky” because I don’t really know if it’s going to work or not, but I do believe it’s worth a shot. Just remember I’m no expert, I’m just experienced. Let’s begin the session.

EMBRACE THE POWER OF TELEVISION

In any relationship, people have arguments — disagreements, over an extend period of time. Your partner doesn’t want to let go of what you did or said and he or she is beefing the minute you walk through the door. Next thing you know, you’re throwing up your arms talking about, “I’m out of here!”

You go back to your place plop down on the couch, take off your shoes, and turn on the TV. On your cable box, you see it’s 8:00 p.m., one more hour before you and your partner’s favorite show, “Modern Family” is about to come on ABC. It’s a comedy you two have watched since the first episode, and it’s only a half hour, but it’s a funny half hour. Every week after you two watch it, you’re quoting lines from the latest episode, and laughing about certain scenes together.

Now, for the first time since the show began, you two are about to watch the show alone and for what? Why? What was so big of a deal that you two can’t watch your favorite show together? I’m pretty sure whatever it was, it wasn’t so severe that you have to break this weekly tradition of watching “Modern Family”. So you call up your partner and say, “Hey, look. Why are we fighting?” Your partner is sure to launch into another tirade about why you two are beefing. My advice is let them talk, or yell, until their blue in the face. When your partner winds down, and turns it back to you for a response, say this:

“Okay, I understand. It sounds serious, and you’re right we should talk about it. How about I come back over, bring some take out from our favorite spot, eat, watch our show together, then discuss.”

I don’t know one person who wouldn’t agree with this plan. In my previous relationships, no matter how severe the argument, a good television show usually was the best mediator. Not only did it put an argument on ice for the amount of time it was on, but it also calmed waters to the point where once the show was finished, and we picked up the argument where we left off, cooler heads prevailed and it wasn’t so much an argument anymore as much as it was a conversation. If the argument is forgotten by the time the show ends, than it was never too serious to begin with.

To take it one step further, try and be open to watching a show your partner enjoys more than you. This is about compromise. If you’re a man who has a woman who loves a show like “Gossip Girl”, well, get into it, man. But don’t let her run the DVR, you have to put your foot down and say, “Hey, if I have to watch “Gossip Girl”, you have to watch “Curb Your Enthusiasm”.” Any woman worth her salt will agree to those terms.

I understand suggesting good television shows will help dead arguments or couples get a long better is a lot like saying feed a whale two Tylenol if they have a headache. It’s a very basic approach, but when you think about it, the longer we’re with people, the more often we forget about that very thing: The basics.

Turn on the TV. Let me know how it goes.