Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Ex Factor

While most people believe exes are out of your life for a reason, so you needn't be friends with them, I'd like to flip that.  They are out of your life romantically, yes, as that arrangement didn't work out.  That does not mean you can't still value him or her as a person (after all, you did while you were together). 

Yes, there may be unresolved feelings on one side, but as long as those are kept in check, the friendship can be rewarding for both sides.  After all, he or she likely knows better than even some of your closest friends, and you probably share interests.  And, I don't mean friends with benefits!

The one tricky aspect can be any feelings of jealousy on either side, but those can be managed by simply reminding yourself why it didn't work out and not flaunting your new beau in front of your ex.  I may be unique in that I truly wish my exes well and hope they find happiness with someone better suited for them.  I know that kind of perspective may take some time to reach, which brings me to another key point: wait a while before going down the friendship path.  You will both need some time for any fresh wounds to heal.  It's also easier to do this if the relationship ended on your terms, which has always been the case for me.

I don't believe that you should dispose of people or write them off unless they have truly wronged you.  A relationship not working out is not personal, ie they haven't truly wronged you (unless they've lied, stealed, or cheated, in which case you have every right to remove them from your life).  I can see that it would not have been wise to marry any of my exes.  I know I wouldn't have been happy today, and although it takes some maturity to recognize this, once you do, it'll be easier to move on.  While some people think moving on must include cutting off the ex entirely, I disagree.  Staying friends shows how far you've come. 

So Darth, how do you feel about this?  Are you friends with your exes?  Do you think it's a worthwhile pursuit or a Pistolera fantasy?


I must say Pistolera, you continue to amaze me with every post.  I really did not think that this would be your stance on a very hot topic.  But I don't get credit for giving you praise, so let's get right to the point.  Sure you can be friends with your ex, and it could definitely blossom into a fruitful and beneficial relationship.  But you know what? I wouldn't bet on it.  I'll give your average person one in four chances for establishing good relationships with your ex but only with enough time to let fresh wounds heal.  Is a 25% probability for a good outcome enough for you to take the risk? I say no, but our readers might like those odds.

I think the biggest concern that I have with Pistolera's logic is the assumptions that it's based on.  First, she states that you should only write off people if they've done something bad to you.  My counterargument is that the majority of the time you break up with people because of that very fact.  It's a rare occurrence when an alien says, "you know what, Mary Ann, I think we have come to a point in our relationship where it is better that we transition to just being friends. Let's agree to six instances of 'attempt to make up sex' over a period of six months and then call it quits permanently."  Usually someone cheated, there was a huge argument, or you guys just can't stand being around each other.  That's just the nature of relationships for a lot of people.

Second, -- and I actually like this point -- Pistolera says, "The one tricky aspect can be any feelings of jealousy on either side, but those can be managed by simply reminding yourself why it didn't work out and not flaunting your new beau in front of your ex." So she expects you fine ladies to say, "You know what, it's cool that it didn't work out with Darth Vader.  He's a sociopath with the mind of a fifth grader, and we would have had ugly kids,.  Forget that fool."  That's like Best Case Scenario 101.  Probably not going to happen like that.  What is more likely to occur is that you will definitely be jealous as your ex beau will be jealous of anyone that you bring around. It's human nature, ladies and gentlemen.  Pistolera comes from outside the galaxy, and I'm heir apparent to run the Jedi order, but we both have to acknowledge basic human emotion.

I could go on and on, but you get my drift.  Ending relationships is hard.  Continuing friendships with your ex definitely takes time, and it rarely ever works out.  However, I think Pistolera painted a picture where she is different from most folks, which is why she believes can work it out.  I think inherent in her argument is the fact that she chooses quality to begin with, so at the end she's left with quality.  Just not the type of quality that she's compatible with in the long term.  For the rest of you people who just date casually and get burned by bad relationships, your "can I be friends with them afterwards index" reverts back to the mean of 25%.

Maybe pistolera has something.  Quality in, quality out.

Always remember, if basic communications break down, there's nothing that a lightsaber can't solve!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Outside the Box? Or is it?

Greetings ladies and aliens. I thought I would try something different with this post. I want to do my best late night TV impersonation and create a top five list.  Don't be concerned my friends, this is DVJ we're talking about. This will not be your run-of-the-mill Top Five List.

The list is based on five "outside-the-box" concepts/ideas aliens like to think about in regards to women.  My goal is to provide some insight into our ever-changing thought processes.  Of course I am only one alien, and my thoughts are only representative of the few martians that think like I do.

Pistolera my dear, rather than comment directly on my list, I would love to see you generate a top five list of your own.  That way we're not only educating ourselves but our faithful readers.

Top Five Thoughts Aliens Have About Women (in no particular order)
1. In order to understand aliens, women should walk a mile in our shoes; literally.  Go out and buy some men's shoes and walk around in them for a week or so.  You'll be surprised on what you find out.

2. More ladies should accompany aliens to a gentleman's club for an evening of fun and entertainment.  Trust us ladies, it's really an educational experience! Or, if a gentleman's club is too much, every woman should go on a bar crawl and just listen to alien conversations.

3. Ladies should be more vocal about how they would like to be treated instead of assuming an alien will figure it out.  Things aren't like they were when our parents were growing up.  New environment equals new rules.  Don't worry; we'll learn after awhile. 

4. I wish someone would create a wine bar where all the TVs showed nothing but programs men deny watching by themselves but everyone knows they watch when they're around women.  That my friends, would become the biggest pickup spot known to mankind. I promise you!

5.  I would create a holiday that would be solely for the good guys out there. Not the nice guys mind you but for the aliens who seem to have that perfect mix that ladies seem to love.  I would call it Gentleman's day.  Ladies would have to give each Gentleman they know a present.

So there you have it.  My first list. Pistolera, do your worst.  Remember, these are not the droids you're looking for.

Fine, I accept your challenge.

Top Five Thoughts Pistolera Has About Men Folk
1.  Put some thought into how you look.  Clothes are not only for girls, and the men who look sharp get more attention from women.  Pay attention to the men you admire and see how they put an outfit together.  Buy quality clothing and go to a tailor.  No woman wants to date the eternal frat boy.  Please, I beg you: pay some attention to your appearance.

2.  Respect women and don't always be suspicious of their motives.  Now, sometimes there are reasons to be suspicious, but unless you're (a) a professional athlete or (b) dating women who have nothing going for them, you do not need to worry about them being "golddiggers."  Most likely, you don't have that kind of money, and she has a brain and earning potential of her own.  Men who are suspicious of women just don't like them!  I find it insulting that any man would assume I need him to "support" me and am interested in his money (obviously, the men who think this have nothing else going for them).  This attitude immediately turns me off.  But, let's not take this too far.  Plan a date -- a thoughtful one, not just dinner at McDonald's -- and pay, always.  Ladies are looking for romance, not "hey buddy, let's split a beer."

3.  Why can't you communicate?  Stop playing games and telling us what you think we want to hear.  Tell it to us straight -- whether you like us or not, what you want, etc.  We can take it; we're big girls!  (And I understand that sometimes you don't know -- just like we don't -- but that can't be all of the time!)

4.  Be exciting and spontaneous.  Dazzle your intended.  Make her feel like you did when you went to Disneyland as a kid and saw Mickey Mouse in person for the first time.  Women get bored just as quickly as men do, and there is nothing interesting about routine.  I know you feel like you can let down your guard in a relationship and no longer put in the effort, but try a new restaurant, get away for the weekend, go to a wine tasting, or visit a museum.  Find something new to do at least once a week (that's nothing fellas!).

5.   Hey, DVJ, if you can find enough Gentlemen to have a whole holiday, I'll go in on it with you!  We know I'm a fan of gentlemen.  Great idea (rare as it is for you).

-- Fondly, Pistolera

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thank her for the training wheels

Women are sometimes threatened by their beau's ex, but I think you should thank her for molding the man that you are dating today.  That's often the role I play -- preparing men for marriage -- because hey, if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!

As I've noted before, it's hard to date me, not because I'm unreasonable but because I know what I deserve.  I'm never obnoxious about it, and I've been fortunate in that men who date me want to see me happy.  And ladies, that should always be the case!  Never date a man who puts himself first at all times.  He will never be more than "that guy you're dating."

So, how do I prepare these men?  First, you must be the ultimate gentleman: pull out my chair, help me with my coat, open the door.  Old-fashioned?  Yes.  A way to determine whether he has other desirable qualities?  Absolutely!  Second, show you want to be there.  That means pay when we go out, plan romantic trips, and surprise me once in a while.  I don't want your money, and I would like you to act as if you know that.  Men who are not generous in the small ways are not going to make good boyfriends, husbands, and fathers.  Third, keep it interesting.  Being in a relationship is not an excuse to be lazy!  Hold my attention, and I'll stick around.

As much as I train the men with regards to what they need to do, I also show them what they should be looking for in a quality woman.  I will go out of my way for a man who I feel deserves it.  These men learn that they shouldn't put a ring on anyone who won't take a bullet for them...well maybe a paintball cartridge.

Similarly, when I meet a man who needs training at a later age, I pity the women who "put up" with him.   Maybe they enjoyed dating him; maybe they thought it was the normal course of dating.  Are their expectations and standards so low?

So ladies, when you do meet a quality man, write off any potential jealousy and give a slight nod to his ex...she contributed to making the (real) man standing before you today.

--Professor Pistolera

Interesting. I can definitely see that Profesora Pistolera was very inspired today.  She makes a lot of good points but also makes some generalizations that must be addressed.

Overall, I don't think Pistolera is doing anything different than what most women do over the course of their relationships.  Every lady has had a hand in molding their ex-aliens for their next relationship whether they like it or not. And you must consider the other side of the coin.  Ladies, all of your ex-aliens have prepared you for future relationships as you slowly start to comprehend how aliens think.

I agree with Pistolera that men should aspire to be with a woman of the highest standard. I also get that if you are to acquire a women of standard you must be deserving of it.  In other words, aliens should treat women the way they deserved to be treated: quite well. 

Now, here's the catch: men and women are both very selfish.  No one wants to put themselves out there without some guarantee that it will be reciprocated in some fashion. Ladies need to ensure that they are actively providing examples of why they should be considered high quality.  You can't just sit there and expect all the magic to happen (too easy I know).  An alien is more willing to act like they have sense if a woman "comes correct."  A lot of issues happen when men and women wait for the other person to give when it should be mutual.

And ladies, don't be threatened by your alien's ex; be excited for the next alien that pistolera is going to throw your way.  I am quite certain he will be equipped to handle the job of treating you like the lady you are.

Jedi vanish...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We met online: what's the big deal?

Okay you aliens, let's get straight to the point with this one.  In the ever changing world of relationships and dating I believe that you have to utilize all of your assets.  We've all seen those commercials with match.com, highlighting all the great relationships that start through their website. (sidebar: I'm waiting for someone to do a parody of the worst dates set up through Match.com; I think that would be good television).  I'm not saying that you have to change your entire dating style up but time and time again online dating has proven itself as a viable option.
What's the real purpose of this post? First, I think Pistolera will have a field day with this one so I'm very eager to see what she has to say.  Second, I find myself talking with a lot of ladies who are tired of the same old dating scene but won't do online dating because there's still a stigma attached to it.  No more stigma ladies, what's the worst that could happen?  And if something bad does happen, don't worry; I have a lightsaber and will travel.

Ninja smoke, I'm out!

Let me begin by saying I believe in the spontaneity of dating -- the old-fashioned story of boy meets girl and courts girl.  And, I believe online dating takes away some of the mystery that makes dating "in real life" so interesting -- unraveling detail by detail of yourself and of the other person.

Even so, there is a great efficiency to online dating. The sites cut through all of the nonsense by targeting the age groups, religions, and ethnicities you most desire -- and that you may not be able to find in your own 10-mile radius.  It works for the same reason that being set up by friends works -- the online dating engine, like your best friends, knows your likes and dislikes, hones in on your wants and needs, and provides you with a buffer in case things don't work out so well.  Plus, how could a service with all the relevant information about you not provide a higher hit ratio than the blind universe?  While there is something romantic to be said about fate, what can be more romantic than finding just the person you've been looking for? (Am I starting to sound like an eharmony commercial yet?!?)

I know many people for whom online dating sites have proven very successful; however, they tell me that dating via these sites is like a full-time job.  Even though the sites conduct the first screen, you need to go on a number of dates in a short period of time to narrow down the remaining options.  This isn't unlike dating in the real world, with the difference being that people on these sites -- at least the larger ones that screen their members -- are looking for relationships, so I assume continuing to date someone means more than "I'm bored," which tends to be my default dating MO.

I've never been on any of the sites, but I have been tempted.  I think I've held myself back because there's a certain vulnerability when you put yourself on the site -- people know about you and can make judgments before you've had a chance to do so yourself.  In the real world, I don't engage people I am not at least slightly interested in getting to know, but online, you are there -- exposed -- for everyone to see.

Maybe I'd have more success online.  I just believe strongly a man should pursue a woman, and if I make it clear that I'm looking for a relationship, that may change the dynamic I'm comfortable with.  Nonetheless, I agreed yesterday to sign up as an incentive for a friend who needs a little push in the dating department, so stay tuned...I'm jumping in!

-- Pistolera

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Stroking Egos

Men will list lots of qualities they desire in their ideal woman -- especially those who are themselves successful -- but when it comes down to it, one quality I have noticed will put a woman ahead of all the rest, and that will never be on that list, is stroking his ego.  The woman may be successful and ambitious and everything else, but he still wants her to gaze at him in awe of his accomplishments.  And interestingly, those men who you would think are the most secure based on appearance and accomplishments require this treatment the most.

As someone who is not easily impressed -- and finds it hard to offer compliments that are not genuinely felt -- I am not very good at this.  And, as much as men enjoy the challenge and the chase with me initially, they require a balancing of ego-stroking that I can't provide in that beginning phase, as much as they try to get that kind of attention from me.  Once I know them, I will do it when they deserve it, but even then, my compliments aren't thrown around willy nilly.

As women, we understand the desire to feel worshipped -- or at least, appreciated -- but this is different, if only because it requires the woman to bow down in deference to the man, something women have fought so hard to overcome in the past few decades.  It goes beyond simply appreciating the man; men can be especially needy in this regard.  I have had men argue with me, trying to convince me of how great they are, waiting for me to have an "epiphany" and realize I should be stroking their egos.

Furthermore, men are willing to "trade down" to a woman who does not have all of their desired qualities if she thinks they're the greatest thing since sliced bread.  (I'm not saying that some of this isn't necessary to actually be in a successful relationship -- after all, you have to believe the person you're with is better than the other options or you won't choose them.)

Studies say the more successful a woman, the lower her chances of getting married and having children.  And plenty of successful men select "trophy wives" over their intellectual and socioeconomic counterparts.  Is it because successful women can't give them the attention they so desperately desire?

Do women need to be more doting to be successful in dating and love?  Or is this only a certain type of (insecure) man that we should happily pass by?

Let us know DVJ.

-- Pistolera

Interesting question she-devil.  Do women need to be more doting to be successful in dating and love? I understand the need for generalizations in life but don't think they really work when matters of the heart apply.

So let's try to look at both sides of the picture.  On one hand, I could make the argument that men don't like to have their egos stroked; rather, they just want an indication that you enjoy their presence.  If you deny them that initial indication, they will still pursue because let's face it, women have the "goods," and it's an alien's job to acquire them.  But, the more you have conversations with this lady and she doesn't give you the slightest affirmation that you're on the right path, the more likely that alien is to blow up at the girl at the most random moment with a speech that starts with  "do you know how awesome I am" and then proceed to pursue a woman who isn't as hard a catch. Instead, a simple pat on the back in the very beginning could have gone a long way.  I get what your most likely response to that logic would be: lame, weak, stupid.

Another side I could take would be, "of course men love to have their egos stroked!" We're men; it's only natural that we want some credit for the hard work we put in day in and day out.  We rule the Earth; if this woman doesn't want to give me my proper due, there are hundreds, I mean millions of other woman out there. I understand the flaws in this line of reasoning.  But then again, I hope you start to see my point.

We could go on and on and on with theory after theory after theory. This question is less about women being more doting and more about men and women being more truthful in what they want upon meeting each other.  Now, a person can't just flat out start a conversation by saying, "Hello, my name is Alien, and I want my ass kissed 24/7."  However, if that same alien can put a lady in a situation where she feels inclined to give compliments without her realizing it, then that's classic courtship.  That can only happen when you make the right connection.  As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks.

So successful ladies, you can have everything you want in a relationship.  Just don't waste your time with people who obviously don't share your thoughts.  What you'll find is that those are the people who will need their ego stroked because they are playing the whole game wrong.

And you trophy wives out there: don't let pistolera get to you. We'll go beat her up on our way to go get you some new Giuseppe Zanotti's -- whatever those are?!

Shout out to my homey Chewbacca, and I'm out!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mr. Right vs. Mr. Right Now

Good day to all of my fellow aliens, I hope everyone is diligently preparing for summer festivities.  I’m here sitting in my spaceship, and I just thought of an interesting question to ask Pistolera and the rest of our faithful readers.  What is the process in which women categorize the men in their lives?  I believe the popular phrase is Mr. Right vs. Mr. Right Now.

In my sophomoric imagination, I would think there would be a long questionnaire that a man would have to fill out.  Based on that questionnaire, coupled with a few dates and maybe a few “test drives,” the woman could properly categorize that man and their future interactions.

What are the prerequisites? Are there advantages of being in one group versus the other? Can a man switch from one group to other over the course of the woman knowing him?

In my opinion, I would like to create a third category, Mr. Hugh Hefner.  Now Mr. Hugh Hefner would be that guy that you know who lives in a mansion with beautiful aliens and has delightful parties all while managing a multi-million dollar company.  You know, he doesn’t care how he’s categorized; he’s comfortable living as he is -- his own man.

Lightsabers up!
Darth Vader Jr.

Here's a question for you in return: have you ever looked at a couple and said, who would ever date/marry/touch that person?  Well, I have - and you're lying if you say you haven't.  The conclusion I've come to is that there is a Mr./Ms. Right for everyone.  So, if we assume there is only one for us (this is a highly debatable point, I know), by definition everyone who comes before is only Mr. Right Now. 

Women do categorize, and the advantages of being in one category versus another depends on the man's purposes.  If he wants to hit-it-and-quit-it, he probably doesn't care -- he's going to leave anyway.  If he wants to be in a relationship with the woman, he can still do that in either case, but she'll be a bit more settled (and content) in the relationship if she thinks he's Mr. Right from the start.  If she thinks you are Mr. Right Now, she is still looking for Mr. Right, so she's not focused on you and seeing your full potential.  There are also dangers to one side thinking the other is the Right one: when both sides are not on the same page, it inevitably leads to hurt feelings and broken hearts.

Most men don't care how they're classified, in my experience.  Their romantic notions are a lot different than women's, and they probably believe that when they find Ms. Right, she will think they are Mr. Right.  They may not be wrong: most women are happy to be in a relationship (something I have issues with) and don't leave for the (many) reasons I would, ie. I've outgrown him, am bored of him, or know I can do better.

Your question assumes every woman is looking for that one Mr. Right and will go through plenty of Mr. Right Nows, tossing them aside, until she finds the Right one.  I don't agree with this approach.  I value the time spent with a person whether or not I intend to pursue a long-term relationship; that is how you find out about a person and whether or not you can endure them for the long term.  Snap judgments don't benefit anyone in dating; they will always lead to disappointment with your writing someone off too soon or building them up so that there is no way the reality can measure up.

 But, both men and women should not "settle" just because someone checks the boxes either.  I can't tell you how many dull conversations I've had to endure with guys who check all the boxes, making me long for a high school dropout with a love of life and great conversational skills.

So, I say: get out there, find interesting people, and enjoy life.  The only way to find Mr. Right (whether or not he starts off as Mr. Right Now) is to truly get to know the person without jumping lightyears ahead into marriage, kids, and a lifetime together.  Mr. Right Now could turn into Mr. Right with some training, and the one you initially thought was Mr. Right could disappoint you.  That's the funny thing about dating -- you never know where it will take you.

-- Deuces, Pistolera

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New World, Old Rules

I know this is one that confuses you men: women now earn as much (if not more than you), are more educated, and can do pretty much anything on their own, yet we still expect you to ask us out, pay for dates, and generally pursue us.  Why do the old rules still apply?

There are a number of reasons.  The first is that women still like to be treated like they matter.  If the man is not acting as if he is courting her, she may as well be hanging out with her friends -- male or female.  The second is related to the first: there has to be some way to distinguish a date from casual social interaction in a world in which women and men can, in fact, be platonic friends (we can save that discussion for a future post by Darth because I know he has a lot to say about this).  The third is that women still value chivalry, in the same way we value education, ambition, a sense of humor, etc -- as essential to being a man.  Furthermore, in a mannerless world, men who have gentlemanly manners stick out.  And men, you want to be memorable!

Now, does following these old rules have implications for other parts of women's lives?  Women Don't Ask addresses the societal and cultural forces that make women less willing to negotiate in both personal and professional contexts.  The author states that women are conditioned not to ask for what they want but rather to expect that they will receive it.  At work, women expect they will be promoted and rewarded simply because they work hard -- while men who ask for the promotion or raise get it first.

In the dating context, we would expect that waiting for men to ask us out would put some of us at a disadvantage, with the women who ask getting the men first.  I don't think that's true, only because there are things that women can do to ensure they get the man they want, and he asks them out: show some interest and flirt a little but don't seem desperate.  In addition, men are often put off by a woman who pursues them: they want what they can't have and that is an illusive woman with many other options who is "choosing" them (whether or not it's an actual choice).

Hence, the same roles present a dilemma in the New World: men want to chase, and women want to be pursued.  Being a gentleman is a tough job, but someone's got to do it.  Men, ask a woman out and plan a real date!  Don't just expect to "hang out" and definitely don't expect the woman to do the work.

Darth, what do you think about the traditional dating roles?  Are changing roles scary or welcome?

-- XOXO Pistolera

My dear Pistolera, aren't you late for your daily appointment to tempt men's souls to the point of insanity? I ask because I think you'll have a better time doing that than listening to my reply!

If this were my post, I would probably have named it "New World. Same Dudes."  Don't get me wrong; I get the argument and probably agree with most of it.  However, I think the main point is this: women will be pursued by men who want to pursue them (and interlude in the nude - thanks Lil Cease).  As I have mentioned previously, men often change their minds and their tactics constantly.  Let's break down the discussion into three types of men.

The first type of guy is the maverick: they don't have a gentlemen spirit in their body.  They don't need to have one because women fall at their every whim.  If you had ultimate power in the art of seducing bunda without lifting a finger, would you change your tactics?  Probably not.  I think their view of life is independent of the woman's success. New World - Same dude.

The second type of guy is the proverbial nice guy: let's call him the "over-gentleman."  He will always "do the right thing" in terms of how he treats a lady, usually to his disadvantage.  Maybe it is a combination of how he was raised coupled with his love of women but again, I don't think he is affected by a woman being more successful. New World - Same dude.

The third type of guy is the wild card: he's not a true gentleman but isn't necessarily opposed to acting like one as long as the woman deserves it.  These are the guys you need to be direct with to maximize your dating utility regardless of your position in life. Smart but oblivious.  New World - Same dude.

And by the way, since we are dealing with a new world where I am part of a species that is dumb and poor, I'm starting an "Adopt-a-Dude" campaign with the tagline "Clothe a dude; feed a dude."  Come on ladies, it's a New World out there -- educate us helpless aliens!

Ninja smoke, and I'm out....

Darth Vader Jr.