Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Geanna brought it up first. "I wonder if people are still being stood up..." she said.
I had to stop and think about all the dates my friends had been on in the past few years. Then when that proved futile I had to think about all the dates I'd seen recounted on reality television in the past few years. No -- no one was stood up.
Could it be true that people no longer just don't show up to a date? No one makes a plan to meet somewhere then forgets or blows it off or -- in blind date scenarios -- sees the girl/guy and aborts mission?
I promise a new post tomorrow. Other than crying my eyes out at this week's episode of So You Think You Can Dance, I'm without plans.
Monday, June 28, 2010
Katie and I were sitting on the terrace of her Upper West Side Summer sublet eating peppercorn jack and talking about someone. I can't put my finger on who exactly, which is likely due to the sheer number of times Katie and I have been doing that exact same thing in different locations with different cheeses (none of which will ever compare to the "dipping cheese" of Fall semester senior year).
The gist of it all was that this someone was doing some things that seemed strange or misguided or oddly timed for their life. Like living home when they could completely afford to live on their own or blowing money on a Summer share when they were in debt or going to business school even though they had no idea what they wanted out of it. They seemed to be going through motions that were counter intuitive to what would have actually been progress - or, progress to us.
Then Katie said something like, "right, but look at his friend group," (so it must have been a guy...), "that's just what they do."
And I said, "There's a blog post in that."
When I was a senior in college there was this huge push of kids applying to post-grad volunteer programs like Americorp, JVC, Peace Corp and the like. It was pretty typical of Boston College, so we all saw it coming, but what surprised me were the number of kids who pursued four years of Finance and then had a huge change of heart 6 months prior to graduation. There was a culture of this alternative graduation plan, and that culture - those kids who always planned to pursue this path - became a point of reference for the rest of the crowd.
But when I tell my NYU friends that I had 12 friends who volunteered for a year after college they're like whoa.
It's one example of a large issue that's an interesting part of 20-something (and probably all adult) life. Point of reference pressure.
It's peer pressure - in the simplest sense - but of a totally different vein than the come-ooon!- everyone-is-going-out-on-mischief-night variety.
If all of your friends from high school move home after college and commute into Manhattan to save money, that's your point of reference. It's culturally acceptable if not flat-out expected. Break the mold, and you're the one they talk about. If 75% of your graduating class from Ole Miss stays in Mississippi or nearby it after graduation that becomes what you assume you should to too. It's what's been tried and tested. You know just what it will look and feel like. And so not only does your brain go "this is the path I should follow because this is the path that I'm on" but it goes, "I know that...that's comfortable...that makes sense."There is nothing wrong with moving home after college or staying in Mississippi. But when gossiping on terraces about how one entire friend group all got married within five years of graduation we have to remember the operative word there (...it's group).
It's for this reason that I feel incredibly uncomfortable that I'll never have a graduate degree but totally fine having not dated someone for more than 6 months in my recent adult life. Throw my story to the terrace of two other girls and they may have a very different opinion.
It's natural to want to do what's modeled for us - to follow the trend or wave or mob, and in many ways it pays off. Walking through life stages in lock-step with your closest peer group provides comfort, shared resources, and convenient conversation topics for future terrace talks. But what I've always wondered is how much the point of reference pressure guides a person versus how much the person points themselves inside their right reference. How many people in a different group at a different time would actually reach a better, fuller potential? We make decisions - where to go to college, what to study, where to life after - at an age where we can't be trusted to rent a car and then let those guide us for much of the rest of our lives.
If college started at 30, if no one told each other where they were going our what they were doing after graduation, if you were forced to live in a different town than the one you grew up in - what would we all do differently? And how would we all turn out?
Friday, June 25, 2010
- Being married is – to put it simply – better than being single. More fulfilling. Better for your personal development. Better for children.
- The process of courtship is the way (according to this author) to best make the incredible decision of who to marry.
- Finding the right parter is about a long and purposeful test drive
- We don't (usually) do that these days because we're more independent and sexually liberated
- And so we give each other a kind of "access" that rushes things, skipping the process of forming a bond
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Monday, June 21, 2010
Friday, June 18, 2010
My theory about the way our attraction works is that if a guy or girl is too nice, it makes them seem like they have very little experience with the opposite sex and the world. When I meet a girl who's too agreeable, I think to myself, "This girl's never failed or struggled or truly been hurt. I can't really relate to her."
What about the thought that women want to feel special? A nice guy is nice to everyone, whereas to win an "edgy" guy's affection is a real accomplishment and something that he is not giving to every person who passes by.
The big thing i have noticed with nice guys is that they lack the backbone to make a move. I'm sorry if i am sitting on your couch drinking a beer and you have the urge to kiss me- do it. Otherwise, i'm going to assume you don't have the balls to date me.
Not my best quality, but the truth that I've realized over the years. I need a bit of a challenge from my guy or I'll get bored. This is not to say I want an asshole who's mean, just someone who says "no" once in a while and tells me when I'm being selfish/bratty/unreasonable. I need someone to push back (but in a nice way).
You don't really know how to flirt with me, you only know how to be my friend. Which is fine as long as we're talking football and movies, but doesn't make me go, hmmm, I would like to kiss you now. Or I would like you to kiss me now. Sexual tension is non-negotiable.
actually have a friend, who is a optimal "nice guy", but I have no attraction to him at all. A girl would be lucky to have him, but I just can't. Not edgy enough for me. It's a double edged sword, I think us ladies just don't really know what we want.
Speaking as a "nice guy" and from past relationships the things that have killed the potential for a relationship and consequently allowed for a relationship to happen was WORRY.....I have to say that crying about how "nice" you are is going to get you nowhere. Cause it sure as hell aint' getting me anywhere.
I don't date 'nice' guys, but I only date 'good' guys. That means he can be counted on, is honest, and is decent and kind. He doesn't leave me wondering where I stand with him- but if a guy starts pulling out all the stops before he really knows me I tend to think it has more to do with his need to 'catch' me than a genuine interest.
It’s not about just being a nice guy:
Nice guys who have a tendency to complain about finishing last need to remember that 1) not all girls want nice guys in the first place, but more importantly 2) you are not the only nice guy out there- in truth there are plenty of guys who aren't only nice, but probably more confident, interesting, attractive, etc. (And it's no coincidence that you will rarely hear those guys complain about their niceness being held against them).
I think sometimes dating lingo mis-defines "nice." I have been on dates with a few self-proclaimed nice guys who were, in fact, nice guys, but nonetheless could be described as "too nice" in dating parlance because they were too clingy, and somehow in dating parlance, clingy guys = nice guys. Think about it - if a girl is clingy, she's neurotic - if a guy engages in clingy behavior (calling all the time, wanting to spend every moment together, dropping the rest of his life for a girl), he's considered "nice." Just like I don't want a bad boy, I also don't want a clingy guy.
I think the issue at hand is that "nice" is actually a code word. For me, in my group of friends, "nice" is code for "boring." Because perhaps someone is kind, perhaps they're generous, or selfless, or dedicated to some interesting charity, but if you're reaching for the word "nice" to describe that person, chances are it's because none of those qualities rise to the surface to distinguish themselves because that person is actually boring.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Every once in awhile I find myself writing a perspective on a topic that I hate myself for having to admit - i.e. the Why Girls Go For Assholes explanation or Sexism: Guys v. Girls on Marriage Thoughts. This blog isn't about the way I wish things were or the way I'm trying to pretend things are. It's about the reality of things. And sometimes that reality is crappy.
Today's topic is one of those topics. It comes via a male reader who is a fan of both this blog, comics from the U.K. and Suburban New Jersey - so, my new best friend.
"One of the things I don't think I've ever seen you touch on is the topic of 'nice guys'. Being one, I can tell you that it's not a very enviable position. If I watch one more good female friend whine about how horrible guys are then run off after a terrible guy I might lose my mind. Yet most (those who I've chosen to make feelings known for) have spurned all advances. I feel like I'm stuck in this weird middle ground where every girl I meet either completely ignores me or ends up in the very good friend category. I already know all the textbook advice, like don't look like a slob, like yourself, etc. but apparently I'm just too nice. At least that's all I can think of; but I'd love to hear from some women what a truly 'nice' guy has to do to be seen as dating material."
The cliche - "nice guys finish last" is a cliche for a reason. Overtly loving, instantly affectionate, clear-with-their-emotions guys aka the best-big-brother-in-the-world types often have less instant success with the ladies than their brasher, rougher, asshole-ier counterparts.
(Massive disclaimer of this post: not all nice guys finish last, not all assholes finish first, not all girls like assholes, not all girls hate nice guys, I don't hate nice guys, I don't love assholes, etc, etc, etc)
Now here comes the part where I hate what I'm about to say.
There is something instantly attractive and sexy about a guy who is rough around the edges. He makes you work for a compliment. He gives you a look that might say, "wow" but could just as easily say, "hhmm." His jokes are edgy. His approach to things is a little rogue. You're not quite sure what he's going to do or how he feels about you. All you know is that you're attracted to him and turned on by his whole cocky energy.
This is not right or smart or universal or advised - it just is. Kind of like how guys are attracted to mysterious, coy, flaky girls instead of their overtly mature and together counter parts.
We want what we're not sure about. We want what makes us wonder. And some of us want that hate-to-love someone relationship.
I am not proud to admit this, but for the sake of this post I'll reveal that I have on more than one occasion referred to a guy as "too nice." I would never say I'm attracted to assholes, but I do love a guy who isn't afraid to make fun of me, who likes an edgy joke, who doesn't necessarily jump the minute I say, "want to get dinner?"
I cannot begin to explain the psychology behind this. Maybe I want someone a twinge mean because I'm a twinge mean and would feel uncomfortable around a sugar sweet companion? Maybe in some sick way I love the chase, and a nice guy makes it too easy? Maybe it all dates back to my childhood obsession with Beauty and the Beast? I don't know. I just like a little edge.
My conclusion isn't to say, "stop being so nice" or "blow her off once in awhile" or "tell some off-color jokes and you'll start hooking chicks like the best of 'em."
You should be your kind, caring, loving self because many, many women will be looking for just that. And - frankly - many more will be after they (and likely I) realize that around 29-35 "edgy" just becomes annoying...
Agreed, ladies? Equally frustrated, nice guys? No longer a fan of this blog, new best friend?...
Monday, June 14, 2010
I've never mentioned this, but for the past two years I've participated in a post-grad leadership-ish program for people who attended Jesuit universities. 12+ of us met once a month to discuss, study, and hear about different schools of thought around things like how to marry social and financial obligation, how to navigate a work environment that doesn't support growth or individuality, or - most poignantly - how the hell you're supposed to figure out what you're supposed to do in the first place.
- is this a source of joy?
- is this something that taps into your talents and gifts—engages all of your abilities—and uses them in the fullest way possible?
- is this role a genuine service to the people around you, to society at large.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Picking up on the guy/girl "liking" behavior AND just so you know, guys don't really love going on dates
I asked guys what they do when they really like a girl and want to show her. They said lots of nice things they try extra hard to do sos to show they care.
Then I asked girls what they do when they really like a guy. They said lots of things they try extra hard NOT to do sos to prove they're not insane.
Then a bunch of you ladies said oh-god-I-do-that-too!!! in comments.
Conclusion: when a guy likes a girl he goes the extra mile to prove it through his words and action. When a girl really likes a guy she holds back and tries to play hard to get. Note: these are generalizations. I have yet to poll the world.
Next slash natch - this prompted a bunch of conversation like the one I shared between one close guy friend and I.
His position: [girls] may have grown accustomed to men who aren’t actually fully interested in them (so for example, guys unlike the ones who responded in today's column), and are therefore trying to hold on to a fleeting thing by not pushing the issue too quickly
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
Monday, June 7, 2010
- NOT drinking 7 nights a week (and eating late-night 40-50% of those) does wonders for people's general appearance.
- It is really, really nice to be able to say, "I am a lawyer" or "I am a doctor" or "I am a teacher" when people ask you what you're up to. "I work in media doing sort of branded-entertainment and integrated marketing projects and also do some writing on the site but am ultimately trying to..." - you get it.
- There is no age at which people will stop breaking into places you tell them they can't go. Just leave everything open. It'll be easier for everyone.
- Being limited to two nights of partying is very dangerous. As Pierson put it, "what saved us from the 2am-5am mistake every night of college was that you had to see everyone in class the next day."
- If you make this announcement - "Attention everyone: the bar will be closing in 4 minutes" - you need to purchase enough beer for what will follow...
- It remains almost impossible to dance on the 2 inch, wooden arm of a couch and not fall off
- If your name is John Kennedy you are a God-of-a-man and excellent source of publicity for this blog. (How was that?)
- Everyone knows everything about what everyone's been doing for the past five years because of Facebook making it completely acceptable to say, "Hey! Looks like Law school's been a blast! Sorry to see you're not dating that blonde guy you were with in all those pictures your first year. Oh, and awesome pictures from you trip to India!" Or, at least, it got acceptable after about midnight.
- Purchasing nips for consumption in transit from one activity to the next saves nights.
- Speed quarters with a mixture of Roggie Bowls and beer at 5pm ruins them.
- Someone will always fall for the "no pants party" invite. Well played, T.K.
- And - and brace for over-sentimentality - if you work hard at keeping in touch with all the friends that made your college experience perfect, reunion isn't sad or awkward or depressing at all - it's just a three day re-live of the time of your life.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Enjoy! (and thanks Gillian!).
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
MF: Hmm...I think thats possible
Me: I guess that if a guy really, really likes you - you don't need to play hard to get, you can just show him how much you like him back, immediately. Guys who want/need mystery, hot and cold, games either don't really like the girl or are shitty overall
MF: Well....without making this sound too bad, I think the reason girls play hard to get is that they frequently know deep down that they might be involved with the wrong type of guy, but just want to slow down the process of it ending (I wont dig into the psychology of why they would want it to drag out, I can’t begin to guess)
Me: Yeah, but most people don't do that
MF: At least personally, and this comes from the perspective of a guy, and a single one at that (so take this with a grain of salt), I’ve had far more success lately by throwing my cards on the table right off the bat
MF: Hmm...I understand the general opinion, just not sure if I buy it
Me: Well you're not intimidated by a confident and forward girl, so mystery and coy isn't necessarily a requirement….whiiiich brings us back to our thesis. If a guy wants total mystery and coy and games - he sucks