Meeting the Parents

Tonight’s that next step…I’ve met other parents before, and no one’s really that worried, because I have pretty good parent game (and very good Indian parent game). But this one feels a little different. Anyway, slightly nervous, I thought I would share some of the best (and worst) advice I’ve received going into this…these are all real. -A


11.”Show up late. Establish that your time is more valuable than theirs.” -S
10.”Don’t drink.”
9. “Get drunk. You’re much more enjoyable that way”
8. “Don’t wear one of your silly ass bow ties.”
7. “Your gf has to sleep on her couch? Volunteer for her to stay at your place. Her parents will see that you care about proper sleep and have their daughter’s best interests at heart.”
6. “Don’t let them know that you hate onions. I wouldn’t trust my daughter with someone who doesn’t eat onions. What is wrong with you?”
5. “Eh, don’t worry about it. Her parents sound normal. You’ll be fine. Now, I have no idea what we’re going to do when she has to meet your parents.”
4. “Firm handshake and maintain eye contact. Remember, they’re more afraid of you than you are of them.” -Link (what are they, grizzly bears?)
3. “Clear Eyes, Full Hearts…Can’t Lose.” -P
2. “Be yourself” -everyone
1. “Do less" -me


A year and a half later…

S just got engaged to a lovely girl, and they’re very happily planning a fall wedding.

P is… still playing the field in Boston. He’s going through an anti-pact phase right now. I guess that happens.

As for me, I’m dating a pretty great girl (who i met through S), and that’s all I’ll say about that for now…

Hope you’re all well!
-A


postmortem (A)

Its funny how things seem to come full circle.  A year ago , I was on a flight from Missouri to florida when I composed a manifesto that would become our pact.  A year has passed, and I’m heading back from florida to California, and I will once again be with the same group for a bcs football game.  A year ago I was on a puddle jumper dealing with icing issues from rural Missouri, now I’m flying back from much warmer climates.  And a few scotches in, which may affect my writing.  Humor me.   Let’s look back a how far we’ve come.

In many ways, P made it the farthest.  He’s also been the most up and down.  He was very in to the pact to start…in fact, he was the one who got me join the dating sites. He was also the one of us who got the farthest…a two month serious relationship that unfortunately didn’t work out.  It bummed him out, sure, but he made the right play to end things and will be better off for it. Still, he learned a lot about what he wanted, and he put himself out there constantly.  The back half of the year, he was occupied with work, family, and friends, but he has thrown a hail Mary or two down the stretch.  I hope they work out.

S has been the most even keeled throughout.  He wasn’t crazy about the deadline to start, but S was actually probably the first of us to fall for somebody.  He kind of dated Aurora, and things looked good for a while.  Circumstances out of our control caused it to not work out.  Naturally, S was a bit bummed, but he was surprisingly back on his feet and asking girls out pretty quickly.  Maybe he never felt the pressure I put on myself, but I was constantly impressed by his attitude.  He is headed to new years with me, with one girl attending that is sort of into him, and another back in sf that he’s “talking to”, which is definitely on the right track.  I see good things.

I don’t think I got as serious with any one girl as my brothers here, but I am proud of constantly putting myself out there.  Maybe I was frenetic, but I dated several girls of every race, religion, and background.  I got moderately involved with a few, but nothing got tremendously serious enough.  I will admit, I did not anticipate how much external circumstances (marathon training,  my niece staying with me, and just spending weekends with my friends) could distract me from dating, but it definitely happened - especially college football killing dating in the fall.  All things considered I am happy with things.  I was sort of seeing this girl a month ago, that didn’t quite work out.  I was down for a bit, but my good friend Link gave me a piece of encouragement: all of his close friends are extraordinary guys, so they need extraordinary girls.  Which is why it’s taking time, and that’s ok.  May be bullshit, but it was what i needed to hear, and it made me feel better, at least.

I went into this cruise with an open mind, and came out with some interesting experiences, but no fiancé.  Hint: when a girl tells you she’s there with her family, even if she’s your age, make sure she doesn’t mean her 9 year old kid. It will avoid some awkward 3am situations.  So, barring a hail Mary, all of us will exit 2011 as single guys.  It’s fine. We all put ourselves out there so much more, we just didn’t happen to meet the right ones. I’m fully confident we’ll  keep doing the little things in 2012, and the right girls are just around the corner.

Cheers and Happy New Years,
The Staff at Love Pactually


from brazil

ok, the rumors are true, brazilian girls are ridiculous.  boys, if all else fails, we should come back to rio in late december and just propose to one.  you will not be disappointed.

John: hurry…take a shot and then propose
A: No.
John:  What’s the worst that could happen?
A: She will say no, then shoot me in the head.
John:  That is the coolest possible way to die. I think you should go for it.


quick update (A)

Yeah, so since the other two make me ghost-write everything anyway, I’ve been slow on this.

After early summer lull, all of us are at least dating, though no one is really closer to a proposal.  Clock’s ticking!

Also, I’m officiating a wedding in Missouri this weekend. I got internet ordained, and Missouri apparently lets any ass clown marry you, without even submitting a license.  That should be…interesting?


Any advice?  What should I wear?


I don’t see a problem with giving a hot girl many chances to prove your instinct wrong
Link, on hearing of a date with a super hot girl, who I don’t just see it working out with…

So a guy who works at the gym comes up to me yesterday.... (P)

Jimmy: some girls have been asking about you
P: Oh? What happened?
Jimmy: one girl wants to talk to you but was afraid....the other like you buy asked if you were gay.
P: great, i give off an unapproachable gay vibe...

sigh… (A)

ok so… i’m in the middle of a string of 6 dates.  I know, need to hone in quantity over quality, but for now i’m working on that.  i just have to share a story right now…

tonight - Grace, peruvian girl from okcupid…will get back to this in a second.

OK SO TONIGHT:
Grace is 24(ish), is a dancer.  she lives like 3 blocks from me.  she asks for 8pm, at an italian restaurant in brentwood that I suggested.  I set the reservation, on my way there, then i get a text at 7:50:

Her: “OK I’m stuck in hollywood right now”
Her: “Where r u”?
Me: “5 minutes away…”
Her: “OK I’m heading to the westside, i have a friend with me, is that ok?”
Me: “Sure, any idea how long?” [at this point, a lot of possibilities are going through my head…did she just get stuck driving her friend and has no choice but to have her tag along to dinner?  Is it just that they’re young and want a free meal?  does she want a chaperone, in case I’m a rapist?  is the friend hot?]
Me: “We can reschedule if you want, I don’t live too far away”
Her: “There’s traffic right now, gaah…or would it be crazy if u come to hollywood?  I’m having a car trouble situation”  [umm, no.]
Me: “Another day is totally fine, no worries.”

She insists, we settle on 9pm…I think everything is solved, then:
Her:  “So its cool if my girlfriend joins us?”

Not sure which of those possibilities is the most accurate, but I had to answer in the affirmative less I confirm her fears that I’m a rapist.  wtf.

-A


that just happened.

This week, two members of the pact asked out girls born after 1989.


To the ends of the earth (S)

I seem to have this track record of not being able to keep a girl in this country.  A longtime ex-girlfriend wants to live and work in South Asia.  Things with Aurora fell apart, in large part, because she was never really around, as her work/personal life took her to Central America or the Middle East or whatever.

Last night, I spoke at a grad school prospectives forum.  Killed it.  Met a cute girl, we talked, I asked her to dinner, she said yes.  Great times.  Or so I thought.

Bad news: she’s moving to Guatemala in two weeks.  I swear to god I didn’t make that up.  They have active volcanoes!  She’s deferring grad school to go to Guatemala!  WTF dude!

I can’t figure out the chicken-egg of all this.  Am I attracted to socially-conscious or adventurous girls, who inevitably will leave me for third-world danger?  Or do girls meet me and get restless and decide to run far away?  It’s too uncannily consistent to be a coincidence.  Do I have to start a new scheme for evaluating girls, where the first question is “do you have any immediate plans to leave the country?”  70 year old grandmother?  Sure, as long as she’s in America.  Or maybe I start looking for girls in other countries and green card that shit.

There’s a cute coffeeshop girl, Bianca.  Should be no risk in asking out a local.  I’m sure I’m going to find out she’s a medical student, who’s moving to western Brazil to help those tribes who don’t know anything about technology and worship helicopters that pass overhead.  Just sayin’.

This would be depressing if it weren’t so funny.  Or maybe it’s the other way around.

-S


Severe backdating will be necessary (A)

I realize I haven’t updated this thing in a few weeks, sorry about that…the other two have some of their own updates, but I’ll let them tell you themselves, they’re not my stories to tell.

On my end, the last few weeks have been busy with just family things and work, and Zelda/Link’s massive engagement party last weekend, for which S and others were in town - great time

One little (hopefully charming?) anecdote from last night:
For some reason, I will never be able to shake the first date jitters, but anyway. I went out on a date with this girl that lives in the valley. Shockingly, we went to a Persian restaurant (sarcasm - the valley is known as Tehrangeles). Good date, afterwards I walk her back to her car.
At the end, I think she was sending me signals for a kiss, but I was kind of nervous and retarded. So I gave her a hug, and said “have a good sleep” and walked away.
Then I said to myself by my car, “Who says that?!”, and she heard and giggled. The giggle means it’s ok and no lasting damage, but still. wtf dude.

S’s take: I feel like they need an app that solves this. The chick pushes a button, and it tells you what’s appropriate.

I second this.

-A


Juggling Eggs (A)

Congrats to P for taking a strong lead in the Pact as we hit the 4 month mark!

Nothing quite so momentous going on down here, but I do seem to be staying busy.

For some reason, I am still seeing Mamie. We went out again Sunday to a museum, good times…we’re still firmly in Phase 2, I’m not sure about moving it up yet but I’m not ready to cut bait. She’s fun, and her quirks are endearing (new ones: she doesn’t know how to ride a bike, and she doesn’t drink water).  Note to self: I’m pretty sure I’m dating an alien.

But I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, so I actually now have a solid, if nascent, e-mail thread going back and forth with Jacqueline. She’s out of the country for the summer, but no harm there.

Also, I have three other girls off Match or OKCupid at various stages, though one lives like 30 miles west of town, so eff that. Still, good to keep mixing it up. In fact, off to a coffee date with a girl right now. Question though: how do players do this? I keep confusing dates/names (even without using codenames), and I have no idea how people dating multiple people ever get sleep.

So many questions…

-A


On to the World Series! (P)

Or something like that.
I don’t know exactly how to explain what happened Friday night, but it definitely ran the gamut of emotions.

To start with, I got another half-bitchy text from Lily on Friday about how rough her day was, and that if I wanted to meet up, I could come meet her with some friends downtown, if she even decided to go out.  Obviously at this point I was pretty sure this was over. A downgraded his numbers to something like 50% work, 30% “it just fizzled out”, 20% “[women] be crazy”.  I think he was being very charitable.

She followed up with "Not sure what’s up, but things feel…different." At this point I’m 98% sure this is over, so I grabbed a beer, decided to skip her “invite” and stay in. A kept berating me that I couldn’t let my pride be my crutch, and in the name of the Pact, and for closure, I still needed to go out. I wasn’t sure, but I did send her back a jokey reply: “‘things feel different'…oh boy heard that phrase before and good things never follow lol…but ill meet you for drinks if you want :)”

I settled back to watch some FNL, when I get the reply: "I meant from your end! You’ve been distant".  WHAAAAAT?  I’ve clearly been into this girl the whole time!  A’s point still stands, women do be crazy. But I grabbed a quick shower and hopped on the T, met up with her downtown.  It was all some ridiculous misunderstanding, I think her work addled her mind. We quickly got back on track, and hung out until she had to leave to Connecticut.  Then again Sunday night.

Then we had the First Talk, so when I say World Series, I mean we’re officially in Stage 4.

-P


My Dave Roberts Moment (P)

It’s not a perfect analogy, but there were times it felt like it.  Besides, I can’t resist reminding the world (and it’s a great life lesson!) that the Sox were down 3-0, and then this happened, and then this happened. Just saying.

So the last few days have been a bit of a roller coaster with Lily.  We’d gone through the previous 10 days or so relatively on fire, hanging out at least every other night. Even when we didn’t see each other, there seemed to be goodnight phone calls, and other honeymoon-phase type stuff. As a doctor, she’s pretty busy.  She seemed to have a pretty bad early part of the week, just crappy days workwise, very unhappy. I obviously don’t have any sort of background in what she’s dealing with, but I tried to be the supportive…person she’s seeing?

Maybe I was reading too much into things, but it went from Monday “we’re hanging out Tues night regardless” to like fewer texts and, more importantly, less enthusiasm from her.  Like it would have been nice to get “sorry I missed your call, I was in the shower. Good night!” at least.  I tend to get a little overanalytical (and maybe, A thinks, quick to get excited and quick to second guess things).  So I started to bum that maybe things weren’t working out. Which is fine, I guess, but Lily is definitely the strongest potential girl I’ve been out with in the pact.

Anyway, Lily’s in a high stress profession, and maybe she’s high-stress by nature as well.  I just want to be supportive, but not quite sure  what to do. Both S and A assured me that it was 90% work related, 6% she just wanted to create distance because she thought things got too close too fast. Who knows. Anyways, I’ve tried not to bum but felt myself slipping into an 0-3 hole, but I feel this whole thing slipping away.

She texted me on Thursday morning, and told me that she’d try to see me tonight or tomorrow, before she goes home to Connecticut for the weekend.  I think I have to see her beforehand, otherwise it’ll be too late.  But that was the opening I needed, the Dave Roberts steal, to give me a chance.

-P


It took some honing, but I present the Official 5 Phases of a Successful Relationship Basically, P was wondering whether he and Lily were in a relationship, and if so, what state they were at.  That is, he wouldn’t consider dating anyone else, and he’s pretty sure she wouldn’t, but they haven’t had that talk, so I guess it’s unclear.  Here’s the breakdown:Phase 1: Meet the girlAt this phase, you go on a date, and continue communication.  If you can successfully do that, and schedule another date, you can move on to…Phase 2: Seeing each otherAt this point you are going on multiple dates.  Ideally, but not necessarily, per week. This phase can last a few days, or drag on for weeks, and you may never advance past this phase.  This is really the last phase where you can let a relationship taper off without a formalized break-up.Phase 3: DatingThis is the phase where you escalate getting to know the person. The transition between phase 2 and 3 may seem ambiguous, but the best way I can clarify is that in phase 3, the default expectation is that you are going to hang out with this person if you are both free. Dating frequency increases. You are still free to date other people, but there is at least some level of mutual interest, and you try to spend time together. If one or both of you start to feel like you want to exclusively date the other, you are ready to move on to…Phase 4: Boyfriend/Girlfriend This is the longest phase, and if your ultimate goal is to put a ring on someone, the most important.  You may implicitly be in this phase pretty quickly.  For example, there is a chance Lily and P are already here - in that they are ready to have some level of commitment, but they haven’t talked about it.  That may seem quick, but Link and Zelda reached this phase in under 2 weeks. There is a Triangle of Talks you must have within phase 4 in order to move on:4a: Exclusivity Talk - as implied, it formalizes the fact that you are exclusive, and whether you want the label or not, are girlfriend and boyfriend4b: “I Love You” Talk - again, it is normal to be in this phase for some time before it is vocalized, but to progress the relationship, it needs to be said.4c: “Where is this Going” Talk - the “are we getting married” aspect.  At some point it comes up organically, or the girl drops enough hints about rings or whatever that it has to come up.  This is the last one that needs to happen before the proposal. As Link points out, how you propose should be a surprise - the outcome shouldn’t be.There are several other strongly recommended (and some optional) steps that can/should happen before you move on:-Friend approval-Meet the parents-Facebook status change (…)-Take a trip-Live together Once you’re sufficiently past this, and have had the major talks, you’re on to…Phase 5: The Proposal Buy a ring, get her family’s blessing, and go for it.  If you’ve gotten this far, you’ll be ok. Until you have to plan the wedding, then you’re effed. But hey, I’m just getting you to this point. I’m not really sure what’s the hardest - the transition from 2-4, or 4-5.  Some people get stuck in that latter category for years.  Some can rarely convert a relationship to the 4 level.  I think as we get older, the 4-5 becomes less of an obstacle; or maybe it just varies person to person?  In any case, hopefully the guide helps. -A

It took some honing, but I present the Official 5 Phases of a Successful Relationship


Basically, P was wondering whether he and Lily were in a relationship, and if so, what state they were at.  That is, he wouldn’t consider dating anyone else, and he’s pretty sure she wouldn’t, but they haven’t had that talk, so I guess it’s unclear.  Here’s the breakdown:

Phase 1: Meet the girl
At this phase, you go on a date, and continue communication.  If you can successfully do that, and schedule another date, you can move on to…

Phase 2: Seeing each other
At this point you are going on multiple dates.  Ideally, but not necessarily, per week. This phase can last a few days, or drag on for weeks, and you may never advance past this phase.  This is really the last phase where you can let a relationship taper off without a formalized break-up.

Phase 3: Dating
This is the phase where you escalate getting to know the person. The transition between phase 2 and 3 may seem ambiguous, but the best way I can clarify is that in phase 3, the default expectation is that you are going to hang out with this person if you are both free. Dating frequency increases. You are still free to date other people, but there is at least some level of mutual interest, and you try to spend time together. If one or both of you start to feel like you want to exclusively date the other, you are ready to move on to…

Phase 4: Boyfriend/Girlfriend
This is the longest phase, and if your ultimate goal is to put a ring on someone, the most important.  You may implicitly be in this phase pretty quickly.  For example, there is a chance Lily and P are already here - in that they are ready to have some level of commitment, but they haven’t talked about it.  That may seem quick, but Link and Zelda reached this phase in under 2 weeks.

There is a Triangle of Talks you must have within phase 4 in order to move on:
4a: Exclusivity Talk - as implied, it formalizes the fact that you are exclusive, and whether you want the label or not, are girlfriend and boyfriend
4b: “I Love You” Talk
- again, it is normal to be in this phase for some time before it is vocalized, but to progress the relationship, it needs to be said.
4c: “Where is this Going” Talk
- the “are we getting married” aspect.  At some point it comes up organically, or the girl drops enough hints about rings or whatever that it has to come up.  This is the last one that needs to happen before the proposal. As Link points out, how you propose should be a surprise - the outcome shouldn’t be.

There are several other strongly recommended (and some optional) steps that can/should happen before you move on:
-Friend approval
-Meet the parents
-Facebook status change (…)
-Take a trip
-Live together

Once you’re sufficiently past this, and have had the major talks, you’re on to…

Phase 5: The Proposal
Buy a ring, get her family’s blessing, and go for it.  If you’ve gotten this far, you’ll be ok. Until you have to plan the wedding, then you’re effed. But hey, I’m just getting you to this point.

I’m not really sure what’s the hardest - the transition from 2-4, or 4-5.  Some people get stuck in that latter category for years.  Some can rarely convert a relationship to the 4 level.  I think as we get older, the 4-5 becomes less of an obstacle; or maybe it just varies person to person?  In any case, hopefully the guide helps.

-A