Asking For What You Want

In Don’t Be a Douchebag I give the real-life douchebags a pretty hard time.  Because they’re annoying and shallow and I don’t like having to wade through them to find a quality guy.

But, I have to give them props for one thing.

They ask for what they want.

In college my brother had a friend who was like this.  He’d go to a bar, start on the right side of the room and hit on every single woman until one said yes.  Made him the laughing stock of his friends (pretty sure he used a really cheesy line to do it, too), but, you know what?  That guy succeeded.

Would other guys want the woman who said yes to him?  Mmm.  Perhaps not.

But he got what he wanted.

Because he asked for it.

How does this translate for a guy who doesn’t want to take just any woman home?

Well, do you like a woman?  Ask her out.  On a real bona fide date.

Don’t say, “Hey, we should like hang out sometime.”

Or, “I was going to see the new Hunger Games movie.  Want to go to it with me?”

Ask her on a date.  Make it clear that this isn’t two friends hanging out.

As with most dating advice, this is true for life as well.

I recently had to negotiate a contract for something I didn’t really care about.  So, I asked for exactly what I would need to do it.  And I got everything I asked for.  (Should’ve asked for more it seems…)

A few friends have commented that they can’t believe that happened because they’ve never had anyone offer them those things.

But they’d never asked for them either.

If you work at the same job for twenty plus years and don’t ask for more money, you won’t get more than is built into the system for the average worker.

Sure, when you ask you risk getting told no.

But if you don’t ask, you’ll never get it.

Making Room for the Right Opportunity

When I was over at my friend’s house the other night I was talking to her and her husband about a potential work opportunity that isn’t exactly ideal.

And her husband made an interesting comment.  He said that when he was younger he always wanted to be in a relationship, thinking that something was better than nothing.  But as he got older he realized that by being in that relationship he was making himself unavailable for the right woman.

When he finally let go and stopped settling, he finally met and married my friend.  (At the age of 52.  That’s a lot of years spent settling.)

I think this is such an important point to make and I wish I could sit down every person who is in a so-so relationship and explain this concept to them.

If all you ever want is so-so, then I guess it’s okay.  But are you with someone who also only wants so-so?

I do know some people like that who got married and it worked for them.

But I think most people want a strong relationship that occasionally takes their breath away.  And, if you settle because being with someone is better than being alone, then you deprive yourself of the ability to find something truly amazing.  And you deprive the person you’re with of finding the best relationship for them.

And then it’s just this cascade, right?  You settle, the person you’re with settles.  The person who would be perfect for you no longer has you for an option, so they settle, and…

(Not that I think there’s just one person for each of us, but ya know.  Far too often people go for “at least it’s someone to spend a Friday night with” or “At least he buys me pretty things” or “At least she’s good in bed.”)

The other issue with settling for good enough is that when that better fit comes along, there’s a huge temptation there to do something you shouldn’t.  Because you don’t have that strong connection with the person you’re with that can overcome outside temptations.

Or, if you aren’t free when the right person comes along, you might find that that person is no longer available once you do manage to free yourself.

(Trust me.  Been there, dumped the guy who was supposedly untangling himself when he took a little too long to make it happen.)

It’s not always easy to be single.  But sometimes the best choice is to suffer a little so you’re ready to leap when the right person finally appears.


My Dog Is A Creeper

Sad, but true.

If my dog were a human man someone would call her in to the cops.

When she was younger she’d always try to chase after other dogs or people and sometimes bark at them, so I trained her not to do that.  To sit nicely instead.

Well, now she sees another dog or a person and she just stares at them.  She doesn’t bark. She doesn’t move.

She just watches them.  And watches.  And watches.  And watches.

She will sit there, completely motionless, for five minutes, watching another dog or person.

And if I try to pull her away, she fights me.

Worse yet, we live in an apartment complex and she’ll see someone on their balcony or in their apartment and do the same thing.

And if anyone does come up to say hi to her, she gets a little spastic and jumps all over them because she’s so excited that they acknowledged her.

(I know.  I’m not a good puppy parent.)

Sound familiar?  For the ladies, I’m sure it does.

For the men, if you haven’t witnessed this yourselves, there are actually men that act much like my dog. Stare and then go all spastic and slobbery.  Don’t do that.  It’s creepy.

Good thing for my dog she’s cute as hell so no one seems to mind…

Chasing The Wrong Rabbit

They say that dog owners start to look like their dogs.  I’m not sure if that’s true, but I do see some similarities between my dog and me.

We currently live in a place that has a LOT of rabbits.  They’re everywhere.  And she’s obsessed with them.

I take her for a walk, she sees a rabbit, and she stands there staring at it, refusing to move, until I either scare the rabbit away or it moseys along.

What’s funny about this is that she’ll be fixated on a rabbit ten feet away and there will be another one sitting three feet away to her left.  But she’s so focused on the first one she saw that she doesn’t even realize that there’s another rabbit closer to her.

How does this apply to me or to dating?

Well, I think I do this a lot when it comes to men.  I’ll meet some guy and he’ll catch my interest and I get so fixated on that guy that I’ll completely overlook another guy who comes along after him.

I had this happen in school.  I really liked Guy A.  (We were good friends and spent a lot of time together, so I wasn’t completely misguided in my interest.)

(In hindsight, I was somewhat misguided since he wanted a non-cussing good Catholic girl who never wore jeans or drank too much.  Which is so not me.  Fuck that shit.)

I was also friends with Guy B and had thought about him as a possibility, but Guy A had so captured my attention that I didn’t really think about Guy B.  By the time Guy A disappeared and I got around to thinking about Guy B, he was engaged.  There went that opportunity.

That’s just one of many examples.

I think it’s easy to meet someone and either be really attracted to them or really click with them and start to ignore other possibilities.  Sometimes that’s a good thing, because there are certain people you won’t get unless you’re 100% committed to getting them.

But it’s a very, very bad idea if they don’t reciprocate your interest.  That’s the way to spend a few weeks or months missing out on actual dating opportunities.

So, to all the daters out there, keep your eyes and your mind open to other possibilities.  Especially if you’re not gaining traction with the person who seem PERFECT.

(No one is, by the way.  And, for the guys especially, just ’cause she’s pretty, doesn’t mean she’s a good match for you…)



Sending The Right Signals

So, in the dating books I talk about how online dating isn’t really a great solution for everyone.  I think it is ideal for a certain type of person and a complete waste of time and energy for others.  Ideally, the best way to meet people would be in real life doing something you love.

My mom met her current husband in a bowling league.  She didn’t join the bowling league to meet anyone and neither did he, but they got thrown on a team together, her car broke down, he offered her a ride home, she cooked him dinner as a thank you, and the rest is history.  They just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

Here’s the problem with the whole meeting someone in real life idea: They have to know you’re available.

I’m in my thirties and I notice that I get hit on a lot less now than I used to.  Sometimes I think it’s because I’m old and fat, but then I glance around a little and see that I’m still getting eyed like a piece of meat, so, as much as I’m not what I used to be, I think there’s a different problem at play.

And that’s the fact that I give off no signals that I’m available.  None.  And, being the age I am, I wouldn’t blame men for assuming that I’m married, in a serious relationship, or not interested.

Unfortunately for my dating life, not giving off signals is a protective mechanism I developed when I was younger, hotter, and men said creepy things to me all the time.  After about ten years of that crap I think I pretty much suppressed every signal a girl can give off.

So, what signals are those?

– Eye contact

– Smiling

– Doing something with your hair.  (If it’s up and long, letting it down is the BEST.)

– Reacting to a man who is trying to get your attention (This one sounds a little odd.  But think of the guy who sits down next to you on the train and proceeds to fidget and make noises.  What’s your normal reaction?  You look at him.  If he’s good-looking, your gaze lingers.  He smiles, you smile.  You start talking…)

– Being open to being approached (Put away the book, cellphone, etc. and be open to conversation)

If you know someone and want to signal interest:

– Staying with them/near them at a party or event

– Laughing at their jokes

– Engaging in witty banter (Good example.  Guy I knew casually said, “You know, I had a dream about you last night.”  I said, “Really?  What kind of dream?”  He said, “Ah, the usual.  You were naked, I was naked.”  I responded, “Is that all?”  He crouched down by me and said, “Well, there was a little more to it than that…”  See where that was going?)

– Letting them run their game (A lot of times you can see someone’s angle, but if you like them, you don’t let them know that.  You just go with it.  Like that conversation above?  Here’s what I said next, which is what you DON’T do.  “You know, you’re really predatory…”  I actually liked that about him, but it shut him down.  So, don’t do that.)

– Being complimentary

– Touching them or allowing them to touch you  (Don’t be creepy about it, just allow them to be in your space.  Sit on a couch and let your legs touch, sit at a table and let your feet touch, etc.  )

So, those are a just a few thoughts.  Just remember, especially in this day and age, your odds of anyone approaching you are pretty much nil unless you’re signalling your availability in some way or other.

(And, for the really clever and brave, you might have realized that just because an attractive woman isn’t signaling her interest in you doesn’t mean she isn’t available or potentially interested…she may just be sick to death of dealing with the douchebags out there.)


The Good Married Guy vs. The Bad Married Guy

I used to have to travel a lot for work and was always meeting new people, including a lot of men, because I worked in a male-dominated field at the time.

And it would always amuse me (or frustrate me) to deal with some of the married men.  I started to refer to them as “good married guys” and “bad married guys.”  Not because they hit on me or didn’t hit on me, but because of how they approached dealing with single women.

See, good married guys wanted me to know IMMEDIATELY that they were married.

I remember once walking into a new location and  as we were walking back towards the guy’s office he said, “Did you see the full moon last night?  My wife pointed it out to me.  It was huge.”  We then walked into his office where his walls were covered with photos of his children and wife.

Bad married guys on the other hand…

They won’t mention their wife no matter what.

I used to work with a guy like that.  I asked him what he’d done that weekend and he told me about going to the movies and the park and said something about his in-laws.  The way he described it, he’d spent his entire weekend alone.  Except, when I asked him if his wife had been out of town, he said, “Oh no.  She was there.”

It was the first time in two years that he’d mentioned her.  If he hadn’t said something about his in-laws, I wouldn’t have even known to ask the question.

I have another buddy who will talk about going on vacation as if he’s going alone.  Until I make some comment about how odd it is that he’d go on vacation without his wife.  At which point he’ll clarify that she will be there, too.  In all the years I’ve known him I think he’s used “we” about five times even though most of his activities involve her.

What’s interesting is most of the “bad married guys” aren’t actively trying to hit on me.  I think they just like to have that feeling of being single and seeing how a woman will react to them.

It’s stupid.  The “good married guys” realize that temptation is dangerous.  And that, just because you think you won’t cheat, doesn’t mean that you won’t take small little steps down a path that gets you there eventually.

In my experience, most people don’t set out to cheat.  (Some do.)

People make a series of stupid decisions that lead them closer and closer to that mistake.  They flirt with that attractive person because it’s fun to flirt.  Flirting turns into ongoing communication via e-mails or texts or Facebook.  Or maybe hanging out together at lunch or with a group.  Eventually, they find themselves alone with that person they find attractive.

And then… well, depends on the two people involved.  If one or the other makes a move…well, it’s pretty hard to turn away in that moment, isn’t it?

The “good married guy” knows that he can avoid starting down that path by being very clear and up front with the fact that he’s married.  (Even if it does come off as a bit forced and comical at times.)