Relationship Tip #2: Go It Alone

I was sitting with my friend, Kirk, and we got on the subject of how guys meet girls.  “You girls always travel in packs.”  So?  Kirk went on to explain that it takes a LOT for a guy to approach a girl he doesn’t know.  Apparently there’s all kinds of things that run through their mind, most of it revolves around how to protect their fragile egos.  You see, 9 times out of 10 they really want to meet and talk with us girls.  The trouble for them is that it’s just that. . .trouble.  Packs of chicks are too risky.

He shared with me that guys run worst-case scenarios before even making a move.  They wonder, “What am I going to do if she shoots me down?”  “What if I say something stupid and she thinks I’m a complete moron?”  “What if she’s rude to me and I look like a complete idiot in front of the other guys in the room?”  It all boils down to them looking good and winning, especially in front of other men.  It’s highly unlikely that a guy would roll the dice in a game he knows he won’t win.  So, if your objective when you go out is to be available to meet a guy the best thing you could do is help him win the game.  How do you do that?  Make yourself approachable.  What does that mean?  Go it alone.  Have dinner by yourself, not at a table, but at the bar next to the guy who’s there with his buddies.  If you’re out with your girlfriends, go to the restroom by yourself.  According to Kirk, women are much easier for men to approach and talk to if they are by themselves.  I asked him how big a group of girls would have to be before a guy would consider the girls unapproachable.  In other words, what’s the threshold?

“Two is exponentially harder to approach than one.”


15. Starbucks at William Cannon and MoPac (7-8am)

Walking into the Starbucks at William Cannon and MoPac at 7:30 this morning, it was pouring rain.  In typical fashion, I looked over my shoulder to see if anyone was behind me as I opened the door; my father taught me to hold the door open for the person entering a building behind me, and that’s what I was doing.  Only this time, there were a couple of guys that were walking through the parking lot, in no hurry, as I waited with the door open.  They weren’t fast enough.  I let the door shut and hopped in line for a cup of clarity.  As I was standing there, I felt someone touch my elbow and say, “Thank you.”  Huh?  I turned around to see the guy who said that standing 2 people behind me in line.  I hadn’t had my coffee at this point so I don’t remember saying anything in response, but my face probably displayed my response loud-and-clear.  He repeated himself, “Thank you.”

“For what?” I asked.

“Holding the door.”

“I didn’t really, but okay,” I said smiling.  By this time my brain was beginning to understand exactly what was happening.

“Yeah, you did.  You held the door for me even though I didn’t get there when it was open.”  You get the picture?  By this time, I was cracking up!

“Uh, okay.  Well, next time run!”  We were both laughing.

Not 2 seconds later, I hear my name, “Chrissy?”  Turning the other way, over my left shoulder in line behind that guy was my friend, Nancy.  What an awesome way to start my day – a pickup and a surprise encounter with a friend at Starbucks!

The whole reason I ended up at this particular Starbucks this morning at this time was to follow up on a tip from my friend, Alisa.  She said that there are tons of hot guys at this particular location between 7-8am and said I should check it out.  She’s right!  This place is great!  I took a seat and just watched who was coming and going.  Girls, there are all kinds of guys that go here – suits, athletes, indie/punks, average Joe’s, contractors, tech-types.  Between 7 and 8 in the morning is ideal because the men clearly outnumber the women.  Even the grandfatherly man next to me struck up a conversation with me.  After 8am though, more women started to trickle in on, apparently on their way to work.  This is definitely an early Hot Spot.  Thanks for the tip, Alisa!

#1 Relationship Tip – Unload Your Baggage. . .All Of It

1.  Unload Your Baggage. . .All Of It.

I’m putting this on the main page because it is the most important tip; it’s also the hardest.  The word “baggage” as it refers to relationships is so overused and has such ugly connotations that it’s easy to ignore it.  Let’s tell the truth:  every single one of us has experienced the pain of being heart broken, let down, lied to or hurt (physically or emotionally) by someone close to us.  It’s not bad, it’s just a part of being a human.  What we seldom acknowledge is the impact it has on our self, our view of the world and others and how we treat people.  Because being in a relationship involves letting someone be close to us, specific things that the other person says or does can trigger that pain without notice.  In an instant, using your emotional reflexes you react as though that person was the same person from your past who caused the pain in the first place.  Once the dust settles, you may or may not realize the source of what hurts you; the trouble is that you haven’t let it go.

Upon failure of a relationship, I hear so many people, not just women, say, “I have trust issues.”  Really?  It’s great that you know that.  Now, deal with it.  Another one I hear quite a bit is, “I have issues with my mother/father.”  Fantastic.  Don’t we all?  Resolve the issues.  Get help.  See a counselor.  Take the Landmark Forum.  Do something about your issues so that you can stop hurting others and inviting people into your life who will hurt you.  We’re adults and can now choose who we spend our time with and who we don’t.  Nobody has time for an unhealthy relationship or repeating dating patterns.  Remember, efficiency.

When starting a relationship of any kind, our partner never says, “I can’t wait for you to hurt me.”  Yet, when we hang on to our baggage, our hurt is what we bring to the table.  In essence, we perpetuate our pain.  We do this through fight-or-flight responses born out of deep insecurity caused by pain from our past.  Some examples are lashing out, withdrawing, breaking up, lying, withholding true emotion or being passive-aggressive, to name a few.  Since we’ve been on the receiving end of these behaviors at some point or another, we know how hurtful they are to the other person.  Often they’re left scratching their head asking, “What did I do?” or, “What just happened here?”  It’s not who we really are at all.  Imagine what life would be like if you could be the person you really are instead of a series of pain-inspired responses?  Dealing with the pain from our past breaks this painful cycle.  The bottom line:  if you have baggage you have no business pursuing a relationship.

It sounds ugly, I know.  Hurting others is ugly too.  Hope is in the healing, though.  When we give ourselves the opportunity to heal, we let go of our baggage.  We do end up having the experience of being lighter.  It’s easier to smile, spread joy and tell the truth in love.  It’s easier to love and be loved.

Relationship Tips Introduction

For Women Who Have Zero Time For Dating

In our American culture, we are trained super-achievers.  We love to accomplish things that impress and inspire others.  In addition to our regular work days where our drive is most evident (nowadays, with all of the cutbacks and layoffs, that drive is required to keep your job), our time away from work has its own demands that require a spillover of that same drive in order to fit it all in – committees, friends, exercise, chores, school, studying, eating, errands, sleeping, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  You know exactly what I’m talking about.  This is precisely why internet dating is all the rage.  After all of our necessary activities are out of the way, we have very little time to devote to cultivating new relationships for dating hit-or-miss.

As far as your time and energy goes, there are only so many arrows in your quiver.  Few people have the time to pursue a bunch of “maybes” that would otherwise be a waste of time or certainly end in heartbreak, which consumes its own load of time and energy; few people would.  It’s important to be efficient with your effort; be choosy about what you aim for before you take a shot.  In other words, make it count.

In the posts that follow, keep what you like, toss what you don’t.  These are things I’ve learned through my years of dating and relationships with men – men I’ve dated, men that are friends and men in my family.  There are also some things that spring forth from the girlfriends in my life, for it’s always easier to see where things are going wrong for others than for ourselves.  You’re reading this because you’re seeing some opportunity to learn something that you don’t already know – something that could make a difference for you.  My hope is that you’ll find a nugget here does make a difference for you.