John Mann

John Mann

Relationships - Part 1

I recently got married and a lot of people have been asking relationship questions like, "How did you know she was the one?", "How did you meet her?", "When did you know?", etc... To answer those, they are not that simple. So I think the best way to address those questions is by putting together various scenario guides and how they were handled by my experience.

Let's start with the typical cliches: "You'll just know", "I knew when I first saw her", "It'll happen when you least expect it". Simply put, those are all crap. It is like that saying: Tell someone to not think of an elephant and it is the first thing they think about. The truth about those cliches are what they ACTUALLY are telling you. What the ACTUAL meaning of those are: Enjoy your life. Don't go to a bookstore on a regular basis if you want to "accidentally" meet someone even though you hate reading. Don't spend your days running on a well-populated path to meet someone if you hate running. Trust me on that one, I hate running and I have done that, and truth is, most of the women running there, are trying to look good for later, not when they are panting and soaked with sweat, side note: that goes for hot yoga classes too. The point of all of the cliches is this: do stuff you enjoy. I like to eat, so I go to restaurants and I try to cook now. I like jiujitsu, so I go to that class, not a real meet market there, but I love it. I like to write, so I write. I don't go to a starbucks in a public place so people will see me writing and start a conversation. I write at home alone, because I enjoy writing, not to pretend I enjoy it. I think that is the big issue with all these people that spend hours at a starbucks just to be seen. They are doing something to be noticed and not because they enjoy doing it. I could list all the things I enjoy doing, video games, jiujitsu, writing, watching tv, cooking (or more like eating what my wife cooks), and writing and reading about c#/asp.net. Not a lot of opportunities there to be super social, yet somehow, I married the most amazing woman I have ever met. Crazy huh? So get out (or stay in) and do things you enjoy for YOU.

So now that you are doing things you enjoy, you over time will become more attractive to others. Why is that? Simple. You are enjoying your life, without anyone, without judgment, without recognition. You are more confident and exude plain happiness.

Let's fast forward and say you started dating, oh wait, let's not fast forward that much, let's say you see a guy/girl you find attractive. Now, we are all damaged in some regards, so you can't just say, "hey, I think you are cute, let's go out for dinner, and see if your personality can come close to your looks, and if we are compatible". As nice as that would be, its not reality. Now, women are often to self-conscience to be forward enough to ask a guy out, and men are too afraid of rejection to approach a woman. So how do we overcome those fears? Truth is: we don't. We keep going to the grocery store to see that cashier we think is cute, we keep going to the gym to see the employee who we adore from a distance, hoping one day we get enough courage (or they get a clue that we are interested from our blatant hints) and we start dating. Well, guys are oblivious and girls get frustrated quickly with guys who don't reciprocate. Allow me to illustrate how oblivious I am.

I met my wife in 4th grade, her friend told me she liked me, me being a typical 9 year old, I let her know that I knew this information and ran away... 25 plus years later we reconnect on facebook. She comes out from New York to Seattle to visit. My friends are excited for me and love that this girl who had a crush on me in fourth grade is coming to visit me out in Seattle. I'm not sure why they are excited, but whatever. She stays with me and I sleep on the couch. By day 2, she looks at me angry and says, "really? you are going to sleep on the couch, really? I flew all the way out here and you are going to sleep on the couch." I get the hint NOW, oh, ok.. fine, I'm on my way. Yes, the trip to Seattle, the constant talking on iChat, the taking the time off work to come see me. None of that even registered that she was interested in me. Yes, we are that oblivious.

Next scenario: You are talking to a guy on a regular basis. One night he says, "I can't really talk, I'll call ya later". Now, from the guy perspective, he is either doing something that he enjoys and can't really talk, or he is using that as an excuse to avoid you because he is overwhelmed right now (or a combination of both). Now, from what I have learned, a woman's filter will read that as: he is in the bathroom, or driving home, and will call in the next 15 minutes. The fact of the matter is the word used was "later". No definite time was given, so the guy has a way out. There is an unwritten rule in the women's guide book that says later is by end of day before you go to sleep. Women, guys never have read that book. So he doesn't call for an entire weekend, or monday, or tuesday... and on wednesday you get a call. Meanwhile, you are over-thinking the entire scenario, and blaming yourself for something that you can justify in your head making you not-good-enough, or you did something wrong. The truth is: the guy got busy, needed some time to process how he actually felt about you, and wanted to see if you would give him the space without having to ask for it. So, wait. WAIT. Be patient, we are slow and it takes a while for us to realize what is going on regarding emotions and things. If he doesn't call back in a week, give him a call and say you are going to do something and ask if he wants to join you. That way, you come across like you have your own life, you don't need his approval, but do want to share your life. Needy women are the worst. Guys hate it. Well, most guys hate it. Some guys enjoy being the 100% reason for a woman's existence. The truth about that is: That guy is so full of self-loathing, that he needs the constant approval and probably would snap when the woman does something with anyone else.

Next scenario: The guy you are dating is rude to you or your friends. Oh, it was just that one time, he's not normally like that, he's a bit drunk tonight, etc... Ahh, the joys of justification. Truth is the guy is probably like that, but you are still so wrapped up in not being alone that you tolerate way more than you should. Go back to the first suggestion: enjoy your life. Don't waste your time with people you have to cover for, or justify. It's a waste. You do learn a lot from jerks though. You learn traits you don't like and what you are looking for. I think that is a true blessing for my wife, she dated a few people who were not so appropriate for her, but if it wasn't for them, she would never have found me, and been as patient and tolerant with me when we first started dating. Well, I guess I was a bit rude to her early on, I told her that I didn't see this going anywhere, 24 hours after she landed in Seattle. Wow, what an ass huh? Well, somehow, she saw through that defense mechanism and said, well, let's see. And there is a lot more of those hurdles she jumped over to get me to realize how lucky I was. Ok, that's enough for now. More to come.

Thanks for stopping by.

-me-

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