The Jack Johnson Effect

by Kelly under Relationships

I don’t like Jack Johnson. Wait, that’s putting it lightly. I hate Jack Johnson (except for maybe two songs, but I hate those most of the time too). Personally, I think his music is so lame and lacks real grit. It’s hippy dippy. Melodic to the point of boredom. And really, what’s with him not wearing shoes? He’s a grown man. Contrary to popular belief, “No shirt, no shoes, no problem,” is not the rule of thumb outside of beach resorts and Senor Frogs.

I know I sound very content in my disdain for Jack. But trust me, I’m not. My hate waivers the second I start falling for a guy. Seriously, why does every guy I date love Jack? Every time I pitch my argument against Jack to a new guy, I am met with this response, “Who hates Jack Johnson?” Good question, I ponder. And before you know it, he has Jack streaming from his iPod while we hang out and I’m humming that God-awful song, “Banana Pancakes.” Instantly, my loathing vanishes into a warm tingly feeling, and I am transfixed by the acoustic melodies of my boy Jack. And then he serenades me singing, “Maybe we can sleep in. I’ll make you banana pancakes. Pretend like it’s the weekend now.” That’s it. I’m a goner. Did I mention I don’t even eat banana pancakes?

Fast forward to the end of the relationship. Jack suddenly pops up on my iPhone (because I, of course, added him back onto my playlist at this point) and I find myself riding the subway and tearing up to “Sitting, Wishing, Waiting.” And if you can believe it, I hate Jack even more than I did to begin with.

Jack, if you’re listening, it’s really not your fault (even though your music sucks). It’s the fact that love has this way of making little things we usually don’t like – or, in this case, hate – seem absolutely wonderful. In my last relationship, I ate new foods, rooted for football teams I had no previous association with, and even liked his cat when I’m a total dog person. And not to mention, I gave into Sir Jack. I have to ask, why must all 20-something guys in NYC love Jack? And can someone please tell me, why do I keep falling for them?


Slow Learner

by AndyCowan under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

There is no greater freedom than the kind you return to at the end of a mercifully short first (and last) date that in no way, shape, or form matched your pre-conceived notions of what she’d be like.

What’s the recipe for letting these pre-conceived notions bamboozle you yet again?  Mix one part of her phone voice and reasonably flattering isolated moment in time her pic captured, with the subconscious essences of women you were drawn to in the past you’re thinking this total stranger looks and sounds like, simmer for a day or two and voila – your goose is cooked!

Why do I keep running for the football, expecting “Lucy” not to grab it away this time?  I’m done with cooked goose.  From now on, I’m Mr. Chicken.


Picking the Place

by JeremySpoke under Date Night,Relationships,Single Life

Picking the place to eat is a sensitive game. Never, ever pick a place that you like. This is for several reasons. First, if you like a place, then the staff there might recognize you and end up saying really stupid things to you on a first date like “Hey, why pants all of a sudden?” or “Your girlfriend has put on some weight.” Second, because a date can be a very anxiety-filled experience, you don’t want to have to be nervous when enjoying your favorite food. Third, if you take a girl to a place you like, she will know of this secret place too, and you will always be nervous that she will be there in the future when you just want to gorge yourself alone.

Also, always suggest a place where she wants to go, even if you’re violently allergic to the food. Suggest a place close to her home as well, because, while it’s nice of you to ask to pick her up for a first date, she will never say ‘yes’ because she’s never met you before. If she’s indecisive, which she will be, just tell her to let you know when she decides. Put the food ball in her restaurant court. Now, the burden is off you in terms of venue and it’s off of you to be the person to initiate the next call.

Now, all you have to do is sit back and wait for her to eventually not want to see you again. If you’re pessimistic like me, postpone the date as much as possible. In this way, you can not only delay inevitable heartbreak, but you will also come off as cool and not quite as desperate. Rejection has a silver lining. It makes you not as eager to put yourself out there, thus projecting a nonchalant disposition, when, really, you just need some time to recover.

Right now, the best part of my day is the one-and-a-half hours after my shower, but before bed. This doesn’t have anything to do with the post, but this is about to happen, and I’m not about to stop it.


Catching A Wavelength

by AndyCowan under Relationships,Single Life

I believe there’s one cardinal rule when it comes to dating: Whatever you think she’s thinking, she’s thinking something else.

It’s why you wonder why they’re mad. It’s why you wonder why they sent you a Dear John email after you thought they had a great time. I had an inkling it was coming when My AOL mailman cheerily announced: “You got dumped!” Yeah, I’m still on AOL. At this rate, I’ll be getting my first smart phone when a phone is actually smart enough to tell me why Anderson Cooper has nine jobs.

Relationships may be about sharing, but wavelengths are about not sharing. I tried to share her wavelength. Turns out I had the wrong wavelength. It was my wavelength. If she’d tried to share my wavelength, maybe she would’ve understood what I’m talking about here.

She doesn’t even need to share my wavelength. What good’s it doing me? She can have it all to herself.


Decisions 2012

by AndyCowan under Relationships

When a guy courts a woman on his best behavior, he’s running for office.

After she agrees to start seeing him, he’s secured the nomination.

After he suggests sitting home and watching a movie in lieu of going out, he’s begun easing off of his earlier campaign rhetoric. (He’s also moved to the center… of the couch.)

As for moving in together, that’s when he’s elected.

Finally, in order to get things accomplished, he compromises.

I’m Andy Cowan, and I approve this message.


New and Improved

by AndyCowan under Relationships

If relationships were like new car models… which improvements would you want to see in your 2013s?

Greater mileage, of course.  More stability.  Improved brakes.  (When things are moving too swiftly.)

Better absorption of the inevitable bumps in the road.  More efficiently heats up and defrosts.  Greater visibility.  Okay, helps you see your world more clearly.  I’m stretching now.  Advanced security system.  (“Do I look okay?”  “You look great.”  “Thanks, I feel more secure now.”)  Room for 4 or more.  Well, that’s if you want to start a family.

And most importantly… you won’t go broke come trade-in time.


Nice Guys Needn’t Apply?

by AndyCowan under Relationships,Single Life

Women say they’re looking for a nice guy. But is nice too boring? Do nice guys finish first in the dating world? Or do they need to toss a little danger into the mix? You’ve heard of the expression, smart women/foolish choices. Is that because, a la Groucho and Woody, these ladies are less interested in being a member of a club (nice guy) that would have them as a member?

Over the long haul of a relationship, “nice” rules. But to get women interested enough to commit to that relationship in the beginning, I will now periodically be dangerous.

Should we watch a video back at my place, I won’t stop nuking the popcorn until I hear the very last pop.

It’s a start.


In Like a Lion

by AndyCowan under Relationships

Happy March. Are you guys coming in like a lion and roaring your intentions to sweep that gal off her feet? Or are you closer to the lamb persuasion?

Tony Danza spent five years chasing after his future wife before she agreed to marry him. But when is enough enough? If I’m interested in at least a long term relationship and I don’t sense it’s reciprocal by date 2, I cut my losses. If they don’t get me, I don’t get them. Not that I sometimes don’t get me! If I were a “me” salesman, I’d have a lot of “me’s” left on the lot. Maybe I’m folding too early?

A persistent Rob Petrie once said about a dismissive Laura before she became Mrs. Petrie: “That’s the woman I’m gonna marry!” Why was he so sure she wouldn’t just slap him with a restraining order? Okay, she was cast as his wife, that’s why.

It’s human nature to be wary of stuff at first. New TV shows. New main squeezes. They need to get used to you. But still – five years of chasing? As the cowardly lion famously growled in The Wizard of Oz, “If I only had the noive.”


Heart Attacks

by AndyCowan under Relationships

Da Dump!Da Dump! The foreboding music from Jaws? Yes. Plus it’s also the ominous sound of Valentine’s Day about to bite us and our wallets. We just overpaid for a night on the town on New Year’s Eve. Aren’t there other ways of demonstrating your love besides getting ripped off? No. The restaurants know we’re trapped – why else would they jack up the prices?

When I offer up Valentine’s Day gifts, I feel like such a walking cliché. “Oh, a heart-shaped package of chocolates. How novel! And flowers. So… lacking in original thought-ful!”

You also run the risk of overestimating the relationship. “What makes you think we’ve reached the red roses stage? Pink roses, maybe.”

I don’t know about you, but when St. Valentine nears me, his aim gets sloppy. Our hearts may be his target, but his arrow winds up grazing our handheld devices before images of little iPhones®, not valentines, erupt over our heads. Translation: We’re checking JDate for what else is out there.

Just kidding, guys. It’s a great holiday. And we’ve still got a week to finalize our plans. How ‘bout… chocolate flowers?


The Food Chain

by JeremySpoke under Single Life

Whenever you dump somebody, there is always somebody out there who you would equally reject in exactly the same way.

Remember this the next time you decide to break-up with somebody. Don’t take anybody for granted. It doesn’t matter how long the relationship, or how intense it was. Wow, after reading this it might seem like I just got dumped. Well, I kind of did recently, but I am actually content with life while writing this. Anyway, remember that you are not above anybody. If you ever want to break-up with someone just because you think you’re superior, you should be forced to be with that person for life.

Now, this girl you just dumped. Remember her? Well, there is also another person out there who she will soon dump. She will act as superior to him as you did her. The cycle will continue downward, and also upward.

In this way, after dumping this girl, there is also someone out there who is about to dump you. In a utopian, equal society, you should feel just as much as remorse as this other guy feels depression. Basically, because joy does not exist enough in our world, pain must be doled out extensively and equally to each person.