The J-Train is coming through and he’s got the dating advice you need!
From the long line of WWN advice columns (i.e. Dear Dotti, Ask a Chimp, etc) comes a new breed of intrepid advice giver. It’s Jared Freid aka J-Train. A frequent dater and lover…..
Dude Dating with J-Train: Engaged Friends
Q: J-Train, you have to help me out. I’m 27, and everyone around me is getting engaged. They’re dropping like flies. Now, this normally wouldn’t be that much of a problem, except I’ve been dating my girlfriend for barely 2 years and all our engaged/married friends keep asking me when I’m going to pop the question. I know they’re asking her when it’s going to happen, too. How do I handle this? – Tony Perkis, Chicago, IL
A: Let me first address our engaged and married readers: consider what you might be doing when you ask these questions. Think of it this way – its either too soon for these two and you’re freaking out the side of the relationship that just isn’t sure, or, their five years in on the relationship and they’re already fighting about his fear of commitment every month – all you’re doing is setting up the girlfriend to say at 2 am “See?! Everyone is talking about what a small peckered loser you are for not proposing” (as true as that may be).
What you need to do is have an equally uncomfortable line for each of your friends to subtly impose on them exactly how this line of questioning makes you feel. For example, if you have a friend who has been trying to have a baby you respond with – “Ha, ha, ha, we’ll see – hey speaking of…has your womb started cooperating with Ron’s weak little swimmers yet? By the way, great party.” Or if you have a buddy where you know the sex has cooled off in his relationship, drop a Q like, “hey man, are you still O-fer in the O-gasm department? Tough break, you’ll get it back. Ooo, are those jalapeno poppers?!…” Just make sure you ask these kinds of questions in front of several other people.
Now, as for your girlfriend, the first thing you need to do is have an honest talk with her about how you’re not ready for that kind of a life-changing event and ask her where she stands on it. Every relationship is different, and it’s impossible to set a timeline on anyone. If she’s cool with that, great – if she’s not, then at the very least get it out in the open and make sure you both understand each other. Your engaged-gestapo friends like to divide you up when they perform their interrogations – it’s important that you two show a united front. These relationship terrorists are going to search for inconsistencies to exploit, contradictions that validate a reality they want. You see, you’re engaged buddy can’t go back to his fiancé and say ‘you know they seem to be taking it slow and smart, good for them,’ because that automatically suggests that his actions, conversely, were ‘fast and stupid.’ What he wants to say is, ‘they’re relationship isn’t real like ours,’ – that way he can sleep comfortably at night knowing that he locked in someone to a lifetime contract and she didn’t get a chance to read the fine print about his massive credit card debt or his fetish for Asian body pillows.
Q. I’m 25 and all of my friends are getting engaged. It’s freaking me out and now I feel like I have nobody to go out with and have as a wing-woman. What should I do? – Becky Donaldson, San Francisco, CA
First, remember that fifty-percent of marriages end in divorce so half of your friends are getting very happily engaged and half of them are agreeing to a very uncomfortable future. Lots of Saturdays trading kids at the McDonald’s ball-pit and a lifetime of awkward hellos to new girlfriends and asking questions like “is that an earring? You’re forty years old,” and, “I see you can afford a Mustang, but not Joey’s hockey league fees.” So every time your friend shows off her ring, don’t get upset, just think of how there’s a half chance it’s going to end up in a pawn shop with the rest of her broken dreams.
Second, stop saying “all of my friends are getting engaged”. I hear this at bars and on dates almost constantly. All it tells a guy is that it’s on your mind, and that will always be on your mind, and it makes our wangs go so far inside our bodies we’re actually having sex with ourselves. And you know what else? Why impose that kind of pressure on yourself? You’re an intelligent, independent woman; don’t create an imaginary timeline that will one day steer you towards the worst decision of your life. Believe me, the more you try, the more you’ll fail – live your life as best you can – independently – and good things will happen.
Finally, you don’t need a wing-woman because, according to you, you should have plenty of wing-men. Your friends’ new fiancés are the best asset you got, so use him and use him often. A set-up often starts the best types of relationships – someone is vouching that one of their friends is a good catch and knowing your friends approve is like 33.8% of the battle. Your girlfriends have a guy now with a whole group of friends that he has plenty of time to set you up with because he isn’t out on the prowl anymore. So ask him to put you out there and find some nice matches. If he isn’t willing to help out, then it’s time to reevaluate the whole friendship – do you want to be hanging with someone who wont even try to help you be as happy as they think they are? Or…maybe you’re just a little crazy.
Q. Brosef, love the column. I’ve been dating this girl a couple of years and I’m a week away from going over to her apartment and popping the question (it will be a little more romantic then that but you get the idea). Any last words for a Dude who is about to take the plunge? – Jeff Spicoli, Ridgemont, OH
You aren’t ready. We don’t know each other but your email has one clue that tells me you need more time. You’re “going over to her apartment”??? You don’t live together and you’re about to be engaged? This is a recipe for disaster. Here’s what you don’t know about when you don’t live with someone: their bowel movements, their toothpaste pushing technique, their sex drive (when you live with someone, sex changes, man); their cleanliness, how they react during their monthly blood donation (if you know what I mean), their eating schedule, the way their hair clogs the drain, the money they spend on candles, their affinity for leaving dishes in the sink, their outright hatred of video-games because “it’s stupid and it robs your time” but apparently watching The Real Housewives is a more noble pursuit; their flannel PJ’s that they wear because their ‘comfortable’, the blankets stolen in the middle of the night, their mouth-guard, that stupid cat, the continued purchase of bags of spinach that just get thrown away after 2 weeks, the way they invite their parents to stay with you whenever their in town, the endless droning of advice on how to live your life, or deal with your boss, or finally tell the super what’s what; their coffee breath, their insistence on leaving closet doors open, the shoes that end up all over the house, the DVR getting erased, the bottle of wine or six pack of beer every night, and of course, the money, the money, the money.
I believe in a love that can last a lifetime, I really do. But, to make that happen, you know what’s more important than loving someone? Liking them. Live with her first…Brosef.