I’ve identified my Gremlin (he looks like the Gremlin from that Halloween Simpsons episode, and he uses his cuteness occasionally against me), and will continue to do so in the coming episodes in an effort to help you tame yours.
I also discuss how there are two kinds of people who will give you parenting advice, and how to tell which ones to listen to. Ultimately, how you react is your own choice. The sooner you realize that, the better. And that includes toxic people at the dinner table. Especially them.
NOTE: I’m knee-deep in baby love…and poop…and I couldn’t be happier. I earned the right to get peed on by my 15-day-old son by never settling, rather, I stumbled upon these 5 rules when I stumbled upon the love of my life.
NOTE: Thick into the weeds, things get gender-specific, but the big 5 bullet points are universal. Enjoy! -JER
For the past year or so on the show, I’ve repeated something over, and over…and over…and maybe I should put it in writing.
The Top 5 things to look for in a Long-Term Relationship
The short version is:
5) Physical attraction
4) Things in Common/Values in Common & No Deal Breakers
3) They’re Smart
2) They’re Kind
1) They’re Sane
5) Physical Attraction
As men and women go, this varies a bit; men tend to, “fall in love,” with their eyes, while women tend to do so with their ears. That said, it doesn’t matter that the value of looks follows the law of finishing returns. And it also doesn’t matter that this one goes without saying.
4) Things in Common/Values in Common & No Deal Breakers
Hear me loud and clear:
If you have a deep-seeded belief and your love interest does not, or has the opposite belief, walk away.
There is no getting around this, and many divorces could have been avoided if people followed this rule (as well as the other ones!). Other articles will get into why a desperation-mind set is a recipe for disaster, why you cannot tell if you love someone for at least six months, and many other picadillos that drive me up the wall (because I did them myself back when I didn’t know any better). But for now, this rule is an attempt to quantify the unquantifable, to put words to that special, “thing,” that made you decide not to call that guy back after two decent dates.
Things in Common
Yes, fellas, she has huge boobs, red lips and you visit Valhalla every time you make sweet love down by the fire. But your conversations just..go..nowhere. She talks about her stupid friend Becky and how she can’t stand her. Read this over and over, fellas; you will get bored of sleeping with her. AGAIN. You will get bored having sex with her.
So many dumbass bros are so happy to have a hottie on their arm that they put a ring on it.
Ladies, you aren’t immune to this either. You got the high school quarterback, and…
No amount of monkey business from barely-employed losers at your high school reunion are going to change the fact that you married the wrong person because you thought you knew him, and you didn’t. You will not run out of things to talk about as long as your values stay the same and your relationship has a solid foundation of friendship. If you don’t have both of those, use birth control. Please.
My wife and I love Disneyland, love most of the same television shows (but not all), love Las Vegas, wine country and golf. We love old-timey jazz and get giddy about the new Star Wars movie every year in equal amounts of enthusiasm. We get equal joy out of staying in and cooking and the occasional quiet night out. We adore our dog, love each other’s friends (mostly), and most of all, gain the greatest pleasure holding our newborn son.
Let’s talk age; although my wife is 7 years younger than me, we are both on the same page of life, and that one is crucial too. People who think age is a state off mind as a reason to date someone three times their age in order to exercise the Parental-Abandonment demons are hopelessly misguided, and they miss the point; it’s not so much age, but what age tends to correlate with (but not cause) is station in life. You want the same things at the same time.
If you are a religious Christian, stay off of J-Date. If you are an pro-life activist, you aren’t going to talk a left-wing feminist into seeing things your way over martinis. If you think the Earth is 6,000 years old, stick to someone who shares your sincere beliefs that the Grand Canyon was formed by Noah’s flood.
While we’re at it, if you’re dating online (and if you aren’t, guess what? YOU’RE THE FREAK NOW!) put your values and deal-breakers up front. Don’t swipe right if you hate guns and the dude has a hunting rifle in his hands (though, if his finger is on the trigger, swipe right, message him, “FINGER OFF THE TRIGGER,” then delete him).
You are not James Carville and Mary Matalin, and besides, they are the exception to the rule that proves it (they are both Catholic, they have that in common, plus they love to argue. Do you? Really?). Everyone thinks that they are the exception to the rule. You must operate under the the (correct) notion that you are not special. You will not win the lottery. The house always wins in Vegas; they don’t build those giant (awesome) monstrosities on the strip because they might win. The same principle applies. Reality on realities terms.
My wife and I are both non-religious and share similar and comparable political thought. We follow the golden rule and treat each other as we would want the other to treat us. Her dreams of life and mine are compatible, but they are not always the same; I strive to be a writer, voice-over actor and podcast host; she wants to start a business and someday raise horses. We both want to build a house that we will some day die in. We disagree on some matter of divorce law and culture, but respect each other, agree to disagree where we must, and change the conversation.
3) They’re Smart
Perhaps a better way of putting this is that they share your level of intelligence. I have dated dumb girls, and I have dated high-IQ brainiacs. Neither of them worked. The former meant I had nothing in common with them except for bedroom antics, and the latter? Well, full disclosure; I’m rolling the dice that my wife is smarter than I am. Not only am I okay with that, I love it, as a matter of fact. But fellas, you will not have a long-term happy relationship if she’s a do-do-head. I don’t care if she looks like Angelina Jolie. And ladies, he may look like Brad Pitt, but…stop it you will get bored. Even the two of them got bored with each other eventually. You do not want to breed with a dummy. You won’t be happy, and Mike Judge’s, “Idiocracy,” will happen:
2) They’re Kind
You know what sucks, fellas? Having the woman you married and once loved call you a, “f—king loser,” even though all you wanted to do was spend some time with your best friend Dave who you haven’t seen in over a year because your witch of a wife demands all of your time and either doesn’t give a damn about your feelings, or worse, can’t.
You know what also sucks, ladies? When that silverback gorilla that you couldn’t resist 3 year years ago is beating the ever-loving-crap out of out of you while cheating on you and you just sink further and further into denial and escalation of commitment (I can’t quit now, I have so much invested!).
Ladies, Gentlemen, it’s not men vs women. It’s all of us decent human beings against the abusers, physical and otherwise.
I have dated some truly horrible human beings and all I can tell you is that they make me grateful to be married to the SNGal and even more grateful that I didn’t knock any of them up. Sweet beautiful Jesus, thank God for birth control.
Kindness means that they will stand up for themselves and not take any of your crap when you screw up, but show compassion and love when you are emotionally vulnerable.
They don’t hit you, and for the love of god, their default setting in conflict isn’t to f—king yell at you. There’s no violence, and yelling, if at all, is a rare occurrence. If yelling occurs, there are consequences; you teach people how to treat you and you must always teach people how not to treat you as well.
1) They’re Sane
Finally, the most important quality in a human being that towers above all the others: Sanity.
My wife will march into a room and say, “Jordan, I need praise for all the housework I did today.” She says this calmly and gently. She doesn’t do the following:
Me: “Honey, what’s wrong?”
Her: (turns away), “Nothing.”
Ladies we f—king hate that.
John Mulaney agrees re: dating jewish women, for example. This goyem here agrees, and thinks our jewish sisters are on to something that the rest of us should take on!
Oh my god you have no idea of the happy daze I walked in after I realized that the SNGal (a shiksa, but no matter)was the most sane individual I had ever had the pleasure of dating. Ladies, your relationship stock will SKY-ROCKET in your late 20’s (right when you should be thinking about long-term prospects anyway, how about that?) and attract the right man for you who will appreciate it.
If you are NOT sane…I can’t help you. But if you are sane, and you are reading this, oh my lord, if you knowingly marry a crazy person, I will personally come to your house and throw you into a volcano. I’ll be doing you a favor. It’ll be less painful and heaven awaits.
They don’t go through your phone assuming that you cheated on them because their last 3 boyfriends cheated on them and therefor you will too. They trust you. They know that if you cheat on them, that’s not a reflection of them.
They don’t isolate you from your friends and family.
Everything is not, “a fight,” if there is disagreement.
If you want to go home instead of stay at their apartment, they don’t threaten to kill you or boil your bunny.
They don’t actually try to kill you.
Yeah, that last one is pretty important.
So, to sum up, never settle for anyone who isn’t attractive, doesn’t share crucial values, isn’t smart, nice, and sane. You must have all five, especially the last part.
And this is all about them. What about YOU?
We’ll get to that.
ONE LAST THING:
I use my marriage as an example because, for no other reason, so far, so good. Married for 4, together for 7 and change, we both understand that there is no resting on laurels in a relationship. Beyond the amount of time that has passed since November 18, 2010, I have no idea what I’m talking about. I do not mean to suggest otherwise.
Every day is a choice to make. Every moment is one to improve upon the last. As we go forward every day, I don’t win, she doesn’t win, the marriage wins.
On Sunday, my beloved Philadelphia Eagles lost their quarterback for the season when Carson Wentz tore his ACL. Good news; we’re not done by any stretch, and I have some more thoughts for my son about perseverance in the face of adversity. Enjoy!
This is the first in what I hope will be several attempts of mine to blog more often, maybe even build a platform for my writing partner Ashley Collins and I; we landed an agent for our book recently, but much more work need to be done! One step at a time. Once a week is better than no times a week, isn’t it? Also, perfect being the enemy of good, no more procrastinating.
You’ve heard this before; don’t be THAT guy. What does it mean to be THAT guy?
Generally speaking, it’s someone who upsets our social order. Depending on where you are from, this could mean different things to different cultures. For example, dropping a C-bomb in America is a very different thing from dropping one in England.
But here across the pond?
That guy who is the loudest moron at Thanksgiving dinner who won’t shut the f—k up about politics (Type-A personalities, this is you). That guy who texts during a movie. That guy who pisses on the toilet seat. And so on.
Today’s post, however, and in most other, “DBTG,” posts, I’m going to ask you to not be this guy because I’ve been this guy. When you turn 40 (at least when I did), you start looking back. It’s the half way point. You look back not to wish you could go back and change things (waste of time and energy), but to learn from your mistakes, and I made a lot.
In fact, the day before my son was born, I made a mistake for the final time…I hope.
I was THAT guy who when someone tells me that they like something, I have to open my big fat mouth and explain why it sucks, thus taking away their pleasure. The Joy Killer. That was me. It’s rude, it’s narcissistic, and it’s wrong.
Example: Last Christmas, my wife and my sister-in-law are in the living room watching, that’s right, “Love, Actually.”
“UGG!” I moan as I shuffle into the room, “This again? You know this movie has nothing to do with actual love, right?”
Both ladies said something along the lines of, “Piss off, Jordan,” and went back to watching Bill Nighy and his manager get drunk and watch porn. I walked away with my tail between my legs. The fact that this article exists doesn’t matter. I had no right to do that.
But, that wasn’t enough to convince me that I was wrong. The birth of my son did the trick.
Thursday morning, November 30th, my wife is in (what we thought was going to be) the delivery room experiencing the early stages of labor. Our wonderful Doula Yana by my wife’s side, my baby-mama was actually enjoying herself (the major contractions hadn’t started yet). Yana puts on the song, “Beautiful Boy, Darling Boy,” by John Lennon.
I hear this, and believe or not, kept my big fat trap shut at first. I know, hard to believe.
Julie and Yana are both hold black belts in empathy for the men in their lives, and both inquired of my discomfort.
“John Lennon abandoned his son, Julian.”
I have an allergic reaction to parents who abandon their children, and to step-parents who divide and conquer. My late father, after he and my mother split up, never stopped letting my brother and I know that we were number 1. Our parents are gone but our step-parents remain in our lives in a close and loving way. I have examples to follow. Other people aren’t so lucky.
No, Yoko Ono did not break up the Beatles (they broke themselves up just fine) but she did drive a wedge between John and his relatives, or at least it’s alleged.
Irrelevant. I just couldn’t let them enjoy the moment because FEELINGS.
However, with the guidance of both my wife and doula, I was to finally poke a hole in one of my demons. John Lennon was a very complicated man with a beautiful but tortured soul who apparently never knew his father. He was in a lot of pain. Through that different lens, I saw him in a different light. And then?
Three days later, after our son was born, my wife and I played, “Beautiful Boy,” with our son and we both burst into tears.
We’ve played it every day at least three times since. As I typed this, I just had a little dance with Jack singing the words to him; I have the lyrics almost memorized. It’s one of the most lovely songs I’ve ever heard, and it’s a perfect representation of how my wife and I feel about our little boy.
I am grateful for Julie and Yana who set me straight and helped me wake up a little bit. You are entitled to your feelings. You are not, however, morally entitled to express them in any way you see fit. Other people matter. It is your obligation to consider their feelings. Not be ruled by them, of course, but at least consider them. When it comes to enjoying art, I don’t care if it’s the Pussycat Dolls, let people have their pleasures. Keep your negativity to yourself.
Hemingway defined courage as grace under pressure. When you look back at all of your historical heroes, did they complain and make it all about them? No, they had problems and they worked to either accept them, or solve them. Like adults. If they can do that, then you can put up with a silly British rom-com that actually has some charm in spite of its flaws, let alone a sublime song about a father’s love for his son.
Please, don’t be that guy. I will never be that guy again. Until then, Enjoy this wonderful song that gives, “Imagine,” a run for it’s money in terms of sheer musical bliss.
Hey y’all! I (Jordan) just became a Dad (my wife is the QUEEN!) and I’m almost done dealing with the engineering stuff (long story, too boring) so I’m going to host our (Alex and I) new sports show here until further notice. Enjoy!
The concept: Alex and I are both fans, but he (and our friend Solo) know WAY more than I do, and this is a chance for those of us fans who don’t know too much to learn more!
Note: taped before my wife and I became parents. Enjoy!!!
Hey y’all! I (Jordan) just became a Dad (my wife is the QUEEN!) and I’m almost done dealing with the engineering stuff (long story, too boring) so I’m going to host the Nerd show here until I get things resolved. Until then, Alex and I crack wise about Star Wars games, VR and the like!
Note: taped before my wife and I became parents. Enjoy!!!