Friday, April 29, 2011

Long Distance Relationships

In many ways, the mythical "girlfiend in Canada" is worse if it's TRUE than if it's the assumed lie.

Long Distance Relationships (LDRs) have the worst of both worlds.

You are alone, with no true physical contact.   But often the drama etc of compromising with a person still hits you.  You do get a little bit more freedom, but that is at the cost of your partner getting the same freedom.

Not to mention massive amounts of money spent traveling to/from your significant other.

The main counter argument is "But if you love someone, it is worth it!"   If you loved them you would marry them and move. Or they would do move.   If you don't feel like doing that, then you don't love them enough to make it worth it.  That does leave married LDR (Mainly Military, but you have some other examples.)   Those are hard, but they are worth keeping together.

I do not recommend doing a LDR.  If a relationship is just starting out, I suggest you both agree to 'see other people'.  You can still write/call each other and remain friends.  If you both end up in the same county sometime again, then you restore the relationship.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Hard to Contact Date

There exists in the dating world a certain bug.  The male of the species asks for phone numbers, but does not call.  The female says she wants to date you, but does not call you back.  A slightly more advanced version of the male calls but never asks for a date.  The advanced female version will manage to email, but never quite call.

To quote a book, "They are just not that into you."  Or if they are, they clearly don't have the time to invest in a relationship.

Don't waste your time pining over these people.   Don't reserve days in your calendar after you leave a message for them.

If some day they wake up and call you back, fine.  But do not wait by the phone or pursue them with addtional calls.

They are in general cowards.  Too afraid to reject people, and they foolishly think their 'non-rejection' is kinder.  No.  It hurts worse in the end.

If people do not respond to your message after one week, you can give them one more try, but don't expect a response.  It takes multiple generations for a bug to evolve.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Money Vs Time

One very important standard that both men and women have is the career.

But two many people discount the advantages of a lower status job.

As a general rule, the higher status job you have, the more time it requires.   It doesn't really matter what career you have, the more important you are, the more work they give you, the less free time you have.

Honestly, many lower paid jobs would get paid the same if they worked the same hours.  For example, a starting legal salary can ragne from 45k (prosecutor/legal aid) to $175k (high end finance lawyer).  Paralegals go from about $24k to 83k - but work about half the hours.   A high end Paralegal, getting paid overtime at time and a half, working 80 hours instead of 40, actually gets paid 83+83*1.5=$207k, which is MORE than the lawyer does - and yes, beginning corporate lawyers are expected to work almost 80 hours a week.  Of course, the law firm would have to be incredibly busy for the paralegal to work 80 hours a week - but it does happen.  I had a friend that quit her job as support at a law firm because a case she was responsible for needed her to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a weeks for a full month.

When you think about what kind of mate you want, you need to keep in mind not only how much money they make, but also how much time they will have to spend with you.

I personally would rather have someone that works less, even if they made more money.  I want a love of my life, not an extra paycheck.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Loud Clubs

Friday I went to a party, partly because it was free.  It was hosted by Meet Market Adventures at a club.  Now in general I love Meet Market Adventure events.  They tend to have nice people, are usually pretty fun, and are focused on single people.  That makes meeting someone a lot easier.  They are a kind of dating website-activity club combination.

But this one I hated.   In fact I left early.  Why?  Because the DJ was a bad craftsman that thought he was a good artist.  I love to dance, and some songs I want to be really loud (When I play Clint Mansell's Requiem for a Dream, I pump the volume up as loud as possible.)  But there is a time and place for everything.

The music was so loud that you could barely hear yourself think.   I am sure the DJ thought this was a good thing - after all he was an artist and he wanted everyone to hear his wonderful work. 

But no one came to the place for his music.  This was a party from a dating organization. More importantly, if you were just looking for a fling, a regular rave would have been fine.  There are lots of those.  People come to Meet Market Adventures events because they want something more than just a pretty face/tall.   I came to TALK to potential dates, something the DJ made impossible.

Now, music so loud works great for the gorgeous people.  They can't hear ridiculous lines, or what the pretty idiot they are hitting on is saying.   If all you care about is good looks, then you don't care what the potential date is saying.  That is why loud music is so popular at raves and other such parties.   There is nothing wrong with such a party, but they are easy to find.  

But this was not the proper venue.   When you get hired to DJ at the Police Men's Gala Fundraiser, you don't play cop killer rap music.  The DJ, in his attempt to prove how good an artist he was just demonstrated that he was REALLY bad craftsman.  He single handily ruined the party.  Worse, I am sure he had no idea what he had done.

I left quickly, glad that I had only paid to check my coat, and not to get in to that party.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Craftsman vs Artist

This is a pet peeve of mine, not dating advice.  But it will relate to my next dating advice blog, so you might want to read it anyway.

Art can generally be categorized as either "Artist's Choice" or "For Hire".

Of the world's most famous works, many of them were "For Hire". For Hire does not mean not artistic, it means you do what someone paid you to do, not what you want.

The Mona Lisa was a portrait.  Da Vinci was paid to paint that particular women, if he painted her 'weird' (i.e. Picasso style) or painted someone else, he wouldn't  get paid.

Normal Rockwell's paintings were for a The Saturday Evening Post. At least at the beginning, he painted what they wanted on the cover (he probably got more control as he became famous.)

Michelangelo had to deliver the specific christian scenes the church wanted - and worse, the Pope kept interrupting him and giving him side projects.  He originally was hired to build a tomb, but the Sistine chapel was one of many such interruptions.

I myself am an amateur artist.  I sculpt, I dance, and I write.   I know the desire to create what you want.  But it is not the right of an artist to do so.   Being an artist does not automatically mean you get to do what you want.  The words artistic license refers to the ability to differ from reality, not to differ from the guy paying your bills.

Yes, some artists never work for hire.  They paint/sculpt/etc. what they want, and try to sell it.  Usually that kind of art sells better after the artist is dead, and almost always only sells via auctions.  When you want total artistic freedom, you give up a steady paycheck.

Most 'traditional' artists that sell,know this.  Even people whose art sells for massive amounts of money at auctions knows that if someone tries to commission a piece, they have to give them what they want.

The problem I am discussing usually happens for 'artists' that are also craftsman.  Often there is no sharp dividing line between an artist and a craftsman.  Cooks may be craftsman, putting out acceptable quality meals, or they can be artists, creating delicious masterpieces.   Same with photographers, wedding singers, etc.  Instead of a sharp border, there is a gray area in between the craftsman and the artist.

The problem is that artists can usually demand more money than a craftsman.  So many of the people creating  in the 'gray area jobs' want to be pure artists.  But at the same time, most of the jobs in the gray area are from people seeking craftsmen.  Everyone restaurant owner has a story of the arrogant cook with ridiculous demands.  Then there are the less ridiculous demands, that quite frankly are still not reasonable

For example, a cook that gets upset when the customer wants salt, pepper, or even ketchup.   Then there are graphic designers that dislike it when the customer changes what they do.   There are also a bunch of artists that try to steal work from craftsmen.  For some reason wedding photographer 'artists' have stolen the market from craftsmen.   People don't want a wedding artist, they want a wedding craftsman.   No one I know wants to hire an artist that will keep the negatives/digital files and permissions to reproduce.  The idea that the photographer would do this is quite frankly ridiculous.  It is a wedding, not a model shoot.   If the photographer wants the rights, then the photographer should pay for the privilege of using us as their models.  We don't pay you to be your models.

Look, if da Vinci could take orders from Francesco del Giocondo, and Normal Rockwell could take orders from George Horace Lorimer, and Michelangelo could take orders from Pope Julius II, then cooks, photographers, and other artists working in crafts can take orders from their customers.

I love art.  If you can be a starving artist and want to be it then go for it.  But don't try to get work for my craftsman's job and then get angry that I am treating you like a craftsman instead of an artist.  You want my money, then you take my orders.  While there may be a minute number of rich hedonists out there willing to pay you for whatever art you feel like creating, don't expect the majority of people to pay you to do what you want to do.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recovery from an error

OK, I made a mistake for my last date.

Learn from my mistakes: If possible, you should only invite women to restaurants you have been to before.  Or at least read a  review or got a recommendation.

I took a date tango dancing.  It was our first real date.  I had been set up with her previously, but that was a blind date and more of a first  meeting. So this was the first time I had asked her out.

Tango is a pretty good date, at least if the guy knows how to dance.  Better, it was a charity dance for Japan and my date was Japanese.   Here I thought I had the perfect event.  Till I go to the location and saw the decor.

I had never been to this particular location - I choose it because of the charity event.  Most tango parties are held at restaurants, but not all.  Some are held in art galleries.   This particular art gallery was, shall we say 'blue'.  And I  am not talking about the colour.   The photographs were not that bad.  They were artistic and many were not obvious unless you took the time to closely examine them.    But the drawings involved rope, transvestites, explicit masturbation were a bit much for the first real date.

Now, I am no prude.   In fact, for a later date I might have asked her to go to such a gallery.  But I would have at least made sure she knew what to expect.  Springing it could have been a disaster.

Luckily the young lady was more interested in what was going on in the middle of the room as opposed to what was hanging on the walls.  Tango can be pretty.    So we had a very good time.  If she was not returning to Japan shortly (work permit issues), I would have high hopes for her.

Like I said earlier, tango can be a great date.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Age differences

People get too caught up in age.  Most people I know can easily date someone 10 or even 12 years younger or older (gender doesn't matter - usually)  with no problem.  Frankly, I have more in common with someone 20 years younger/older than me that lives in Manhattan and dances tango, than a Chinese solder my own age.   Yet if I were to marry a female Chinese ex- soldier my age, people would talk less than if I married a tango dancing New Yorker 20 years older than me.  

But I am not suggesting expanding your age limit to 20 years.  From my personal experience, men that only date women half their age have some serious issues.   People within a decade of your own age have more in common and you get life stage problems as well (I want to retire but you want a new baby).   It is hard to make anything more than a 12 year difference work.   On the other hand, there is no reason to restrict your dating to only five years (either way).  It severely restricts your dating pool, does not improve the quality, and does not guarantee that you both want the same thing.

There are in general two exceptions:

  1. Guys should never consider dating a girl under 18 unless they are within 3 years of their age.  If you are older than 21, I suggest you check id's before you get serious with any women that looks 25 or younger.  I have never heard a woman be offended that you asked for ID.   Women generally don't need to concern themselves with this (unless she is a teacher or similar education official).  The cops will believe a woman if she says "I thought the guy I met in a bar was 22, but they won't believe a guy.
  2. If a guy wants to be a biological father, I would suggest limiting your dates to women 35 or younger (regardless of your own age).   Remember that even if you meet her when she is 36, chances are you won't marry for at least a year and she might not get pregnant for a couple of years.  It is an unfortunate fact of life that birth defects rise substantially after the woman turns 35.
Finally, as women age some object to men dating women much younger than them.  My advice is to date younger men.   Women start the 'I want to date older men" thing and many men have no option but to obey the desires of women.  The old claim of "maturity" has some truth, but it is just as often "car", "status" and "money".

Most men that insist on dating women 1/2 their age have some serious emotional issues that were caused by women.   If you had a healthy dating life when you are younger, you don't end up only dating women 20 years younger than you.   Yes they have issues, but women caused those issues.

So, what should those 30+ women do?   It's too late for them to accept the dates back in high school or college.  Instead they should go find some guy 10 years younger than them and hit on him.    That makes everyone happy.   Best of all, if the women are smart enough to date 20 year old pre-med students as opposed to 20 year old pool cleaners, then the next generation of men will mature with a bit less emotional baggage.

One of the reason young women like older men is that the benefit of the experience and maturity.   Older women can do the same for younger men.   My advice is to date people that are within 12 years of your age - either younger or older, regardless of your gender.  (But avoid jailbait.)