In this week’s edition: how to beat the heebie-jeebies meeting people outside of the bar setting, what to do about your boy-crazy girlfriend, and how to Get It On, 2.0-style.
Q. I have a date with a guy that I met at a bar. I usually don’t date people that I meet when drinking, but we just seemed to hit it off. I’m worried that we aren’t going to get along outside of our mutual interest in nightlife. What should I do to avoid this?
ANIKA: If you think you hit it off with this guy, there really is only one way to find out if you are compatible outside the nightlife scene: see him outside the nightlife scene! There really is no getting around it. Once you have a dinner or coffee date you can decide if there is more to it than that first connection. If there’s not then there really is nothing you can do; you accept the loss and move on to the next one. But you really won’t know until you give it a try.
CHRIS: Ah, liquid courage: if they could package it in a cologne, it would smell of lime, tequila, and shame. Or, maybe Axe. Meeting people under the cover of alcohol is fun; seeing them when the “ugly lights” are on is a totally different story. And while I’m not going to come out and say he might be playing the Booty Card, it’s within the realm of possibility. It’s because of all these things that I suggest a daylight, casual meet-up: coffee, tapas, mini-golf, something that requires just enough distraction to avoid the butterflies. Pro Tip: if you can skew the end of your date to the early dusk hours, and if both of you are having a good time, a drink afterward would not only be appropriate, but you can get right back to drunkenly telling each other how cute you are.
GWEN: Like every 20-something, I have faced this issue more times than I’d like to admit. Normally my rule is to not see the person after our initial meeting, but considering I met my current boyfriend at a bar, I’m not one to point you in that direction. If you are interested enough in this guy to warrant seeing him in “the light,” then I think you should do it! Now, let’s get to your worry over not getting along outside of a bar. What do you have to lose by going out with him? Obviously you both felt a connection and it does say something that he wanted to see you again. If you spend too much time worrying about what could go wrong, then all of your worst fears will happen. Give him the benefit of the doubt, he may actually be a good guy! As Yo Gabba Gabba says: “Try it! You might like it!”
Q. My best friend is always concerned with “finding a new guy.” So much so that our conversations often only revolve around why she can’t find love. What is some advice that I can give her while she looks, but still keeps me from having to talk about it all the time?
ANIKA: In this situation I would probably just go with honesty. Tell your friend that it bothers you that she can’t seem to find another topic of interest. She might not have any idea that this is a concern of yours. You could mention that you do not mind indulging her once in a while, but you need more to sustain a friendship than talk about men she hasn’t yet met. You can tell her that those who look generally don’t find. Maybe relaxing a bit would help, focus her energy on new things. Maybe she can’t find love because she needs to spend more time finding herself.
CHRIS: You have what I like to call the “conversation vampire” of a friend, where all your time and energy you’re investing into your friendship is going to the primary vortex of feeding her self-esteem/pity party. Traditional methods can’t combat the conversation vampire, though a stake to the heart, while illegal, should stop down any conversation. Much like besting movie monsters, however, I like fighting fire with fire: “Maybe you should just go lez.” “Have you considered the church?” “At least your jaded dating outlook will fuel your LiveJournal.” It’s the “mutually assured destruction” approach to conversation. Either she’ll get the hint and start talking about her other interests, or she’ll realize she has none, and thus, we’ve solved the case of “why can’t I get a date?” Back to the Mystery Machine, gang!
GWEN: There are really two ways to go about fixing this problem, if that’s what you are hoping for. You can either chose to ignore the behavior (which you obviously have been doing, but it’s finally starting to eat away at you) and decide to hang out with new people who are less monopolizing with their time, OR you can confront her and try to express your feelings and all that stuff. It’s a difficult choice, because you probably have some deep connection with her–because otherwise it wouldn’t bother you as much–and you want to remain friends. It’s vital that if you point out to your friend the behaviors you don’t like about her, that you be ready to not hear from her for awhile afterwards. She may take what you have to say personally and get offended by your words. I suggest not doing it in front of other people, but also refrain from pointing out her insecurities point blank, i.e, don’t just set up a lunch with her and start telling her how you feel. Just like drinking, you need to ease into it. If you jump right into doing 4 shots at 8 PM, you’re going to be a pain in the ass to deal with for the rest of the night. If you value your friendship, and honestly want to move past this problem, be respectful and speak to her the way you would want to be spoken to. It’s not the Golden Rule for nothing!
Q. I’m going to be away from my girlfriend for a few months on business, and we both agreed to do the long-distance thing and not see other people during that time. What’s your best advice on maintaining a sexual relationship with while I’m away? How do we set the mood? What programs do you recommend to use?
ANIKA: Not being able to see each other and be physical can be a challenge. If you want to keep the sexual relationship going you need to get creative, get out of you comfort zones once in a while and just try out different things. One of the first things is phone sex! This is a great way to open up communication, really get to know what kind of sexy talk your partner likes. You can start by saying, or even texting, similar things you say in bed that gets them going, or (dare I say it) ask them what they want to hear. Describe things you know they enjoy. You can always add the webcam to make it more visual. Watch each other masturbate, talk your partner through it, have them do what you ask of them and do the same for them. As far as setting the mood goes, I would set it up as if your partner was in the room with you. If romance floats your boat turn off the light, maybe set up some nice candles. Before you can get your partner in the mood you have to get yourself there. Take a bath before your call or webcam session (or during), watch a porn, read some erotica to yourself or to your partner. In the end it really just comes down to making the time, putting in the extra effort and making it fun.
CHRIS: I’m lo-tech when it comes to digital booty: phone sex is a win for me. Mood, however, is very important. It’s difficult to insinuate with your words what you want to do, when, in person, all it might take is a look, a wink, and a squeeze. I propose Tele-Date Nights: all the planning involved in a regular date, but with more emphasis on creativity. Set a time to both be home or in the hotel, alone. Pick out a movie, pop some popcorn, grab some drinks, anything you would normally do together. You can use webcam or speakerphone to slip your snarky movie zingers back and forth while you watch. (Though you’ll need to get the hang of syncing the movie together.) Afterward, just let the night play out like it normally would. Setting the time together is the key: that emotional connectedness will play right into the physical.
GWEN: We live in such a connected world, technology is really in your favor here. Figure out the best form of communication for the two of you. If texting throughout the day works, do that. Or maybe you two prefer to hear each other’s voices, set up times where both of you can talk without distractions. However, setting the mood to get virtually handsy is truly difficult. You may be in the mood but your girlfriend isn’t, or vice versa. I recommend sending sexy text messages throughout the day to each other. Sometimes there is nothing that turns me on more than a text from my boyfriend while I’m stuck in a meeting or having lunch with my friends. It’s a little secret between him and me, and later that night we have something to help us slip right into naked time. Also, if you feel adventurous, suggest sending each other pictures(suggestive or otherwise). This requires a lot of trust with your partner, but there is no better feeling than opening up you email and finding a little prezzie! Remember, when you can’t see your girlfriend everyday, it’s vital that you feel apart of each other’s lives. Little things go a long way into making this long-distance relationship work!
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