Friday, November 13, 2009

Best Kept Secrets

I grew up in a family with parents that were a little more conservative than most. So, there were many discussions that just didn't happen in my house - especially birds & the bees talks. Or, they were handled with "diplomacy" over something a little looser and more fluid.

In time, I'd say that while I am MUCH better at expressing my thoughts in candid conversations with people, when it comes to things like relationships and dating there are very few with which I really get down to the nitty gritty of it all. And in some ways, I still get bashful telling too much. Some of it has to do with comfort level. And, some of it has to do with how you think another person will react? Do they need to know all this?

Ok, so why the story? Well, this morning I got a call from an old friend, Lisa. We were never tight, but we've recently started reconnecting, which has been nice. Anyway, she gave me quite the rundown of escapades with her flame of the moment -- who, according to her is a "hottie" at 6 foot 4, tan and well-built [Insert giggle here -- how cliche!]. But, I listen because she's a friend and she sounded excited.

Before I knew it, she was getting super descriptive and it was getting harder and harder for me to indulge. She's a great girl, but at that point, I think I knew more about the guy and her experience that I wanted -- or needed -- to know.

I mean, girls talk. Even me. That's just what we do especially when we're excited about a new guy, like Lisa was. But sometimes, I wonder if there's a point when some things should remain under wraps... Like, say, how you use special condiments during intimacy and to what extent. And, if you aren't that close with some of your girls, maybe you may want to spare them the details.

The way I see it, some things (like the special moments between me and my man) I love to be all my own. It's like having a special treat that no one else knows but you. (And him, of course... Which I am sure he'll appreciate, too.)

Besides, it's those very ideas that keep you comfortable in a way that only you can appreciate...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Give & Take

See, here's the thing: Ideally, relationships are a 50/50 split. It takes two to make it work or as one of my favorite Twitterers once said in a tweet: "There's a difference between jumping through hoops and dancing a tango. Only 1 person needed to hold the hoop. 2 needed to dance."
The thing is, that at any given point, a relationship will shift and one inevitably is doing more for the other. Of course, this changes over time so it kind of evens out. But, somehow, I think one person may do a little more of the "giving" overall.

Mind you, this is completely observational... However, it's bound to happen. When I was with my ex, Charles, who I was head over heels for, I would have done anything -- anything. And often, I found myself being much more accomodating than I ever would have been for other men in my life. Essentially, he made me want to give.

One of my close friends, Isabelle and her husband Gregory, are perfect together. It's clear they're in love... But, when it comes down to it, he just spoils her. He's super affectionate, he lets her get what she wants... It's cute yet icky to watch. And, it was the flip from my ex and me.

Truth is, the scales will always tip and shift, with one person giving more any any given time, which is not a bad thing. That said, it's work to keep it balanced... Meaning it's just as important to give as it is to receive.

All theory of course. But I mean, at some point, I'm sure we've all skewed a certain way in our relationships... Or maybe that's me.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bedroom Flashblacks

This past weekend, when running to my brunch session with Marisol (which turned into its own session for Sunday's post), I was reminded of just how small the large city of Chicago is when I bumped into Eric, an old fling from a few years ago.

Now, while I alluded to it in a past entry, I never went into much detail about him. Simply put: I took a random, physical event between two colleagues and made it the basis of a relationship that existed only in my mind. It hurts me to think I was this naive about it... But, looking back, I'll admit that I was intoxicated with the idea more than I was with him. And, it was his icy treatment of me after the fact that not only snapped me back into reality, but taught me the true meaning of the "casual encounter."

Anyway, this incident, now five years old, was something I not only accepted, but learned from (And even pulled an Eric or two since then). So, over the years, I learned to not hold a grudge and just appreciate the incident for what it was when it was.

So imagine my surprise when running up the street, I see him walking towards me. I immediately recognized him (I don't forget things like that) and based on the way his face seemed to tense up, I knew that he recognized me too. I was all set to say hi -- but then he flew past me as though we'd never met. Then, I noticed a table with two girls and a guy who had called out to him -- my guess was that one of those young ladies was his girlfriend.

Anyway, I went about my way and didn't give it much of a thought. But, deep down, I was little annoyed that he chose to ignore me. Granted, the chances of seeing him often aren't that great... But there's no harm in being civil either.

What it comes down to: Casual encounters are never really casual. There are always lasting effects. And "weirdness" is just one of them. So I guess it's hard to be friendly after something like that, huh?

Bummer, too. In another life -- had it not been for the whole physical thing -- we may actually have made decent friends. Well, maybe.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Dream Lover

The last couple of months have been kind of a whirlwind in my dating life: I've started and stopped a dating situation with a man I met online (totally long story for another post), gone head-over-heels for a guy I met at a wedding (yet another story for a future post), entertained a "temporary situation", fought off the advances of a total Casanova, and had random bar encounters that make me question the dating scene. But, the one that's got me thinking isn't any of these. Instead, it's the past, and an old high school flame , Vincent, that I didn't see coming two months ago. He's resurfaced rather quickly, and that has tripped me out a lot.

When I first met him, I was convinced that we could never be an item. I was bookish and a goody-goody. He was smooth, confident and well-liked -- and much more experienced, especially when it came to dating.

Somewhere along the way, we became friends that happened to like each other. We talked all the time, and even shared a few stolen glances, and a great kiss... But it was never meant back then. (Then again, it's all romanticized at the age of 15.)

Now, Vincent's back in the picture, and we talk all the time. I've almost come to depend on having that everyday interaction with him, and to be honest, we vibe just as well as we did before. No explaining why I'm able to say absolutely anything to him. But the point is, I can. Even hundreds of miles apart, we just... Click.

I have to admit, I'm a little thrown by some of the recent changes in his life: a break-up with a fiancee, a child... Can a man who has all this on his plate feel that strongly about another woman so soon afterward? Maybe, if you consider our history. But still not 100% sure if a man can surrender his feelings that fast. I like to think so. But not sure.

To be honest, there are a million reasons why this situation may not seem like the smartest move. What it boils down to: Is he into me, or the idea of me? I mean, do we see what we want to?

Whatever the case, I just need to figure it out soon... Before I fall in just a little too deep.

Monday, November 9, 2009

UNassist? Nah, This is a prime case of CB...

So I had a few chats about my earlier post, and like I usually do, I picked the male brain. That's when I tapped @SingleCityGuy on the shoulder, who told me flat out this was, by "definition" a CB -- cock block.

As it turns out, he had a similar experience with a co-worker (a taken one, at that) that he shared today! While I encourage you to read the whole post, "Tale of a Greedy Wingman" (it's good), he makes an interesting and simple point which I've included below:

Your job as a wingman is to help your bro out. Sometimes your designated as the wingman, other times it’s automatic....You can’t give up your wingman responsibilities in the middle of the job... Potential wingmen and women need to remember one thing, you are there until the job gets done!

I think that sums it up nicely, don't you think?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

The UNassist (Or the Assist Gone Wrong)

Lots of times when I'm out and about, I find that my girls are my best assets. Whether it's dodging a guy or reading his signals, I rely on them to help me get through the night... And maybe, if I'm lucky, getting the attention of a hot new dating prospect.

So, how does this change when it seems that a friend is cock blocking? (Although the term has been normalized into our everyday, you can find the "official" definition at the Urban Dictionary)

I was having Sunday morning brunch with Marisol when this all came up. She was recounting the debauchery from the previous night, when she and her friend Chrissy were out at a party at a trendy downtown bar. The music was great, the drinks were flowing and everyone was having a good time. Soon, a group of guys spotted them, and one of the guys broke the ice, roping Marisol onto the dance floor and being a good wingman by leading her towards his very cute friend. So they hit it off, and the night, according to Marisol was looking good.

As the evening progresses, Chrissy asks Marisol if she needs help, but Marisol tells Chrissy that she could handle this one. After all, she'd already spent the night talking and dancing with him so she's covered.

However, instead of leaving it alone, Chrissy makes it over to Marisol's target and somehow manages to chat him up, eventually taking him out with her when she heads out for a cigarette break.

A short while later, Chrissy comes back and tells Marisol that he left with his friends, but she gave him her own phone number because it was easier and she didn't want to pull out her phone to look for Marisol's number since the two of them were going to be hanging out together anyway.

When I heard this, I had to chuckle to myself. The two of them are quite the pair and they shared a similar partying style, which has brought them close over the last few years -- even after Chrissy once hooked up with a guy Marisol wanted.

To me, this one seems like a difficult one to chew. Hooking up with a guy that I knew a friend wanted is already a no-no. (MAYBE, if she said it's OK, and they hadn't been a real couple, but by and large -- not something I can swing.) However, if a girl offers to hook me up and then not give out my number to the object of my affection when he asks for it... Well, I find it hard to believe that she had my best interest at heart.

Well, maybe she couldn't get to her phone. Maybe it seemed to make sense to just give him her number because that was all she had time to do before he left. I'm not sure. But, if a friend already bagged the object of my affection once, I know I would be wondering whether she's intercepting the call to cock block, either by blowing him off "on my behalf", or trying to bag him herself. And then I'd be wondering how much more often I should rely on her to help land me a date.

In spinning this one around for a bit, this seems to be an AGW -- Assist Gone Wrong. I mean, let's put aside for a second that the guy didn't ask for the number himself (in which case, he's a punk anyway). No, this is a case of whether or not there was some wingwoman action happening, which there didn't seem to be.

What it boils down to? Before going out with your friends, make sure to take a page from the game of basketball and study the makings of a good assist. Everyone may have a slightly different point of view, so better to clear that up than make any major mistakes on the court.