Monday, 4 April 2016

First dates, breakups, and my last goodbye

Rule #1: Put your phone away, the most important person is sitting right in front of you.

Awkward first date.

Do you remember your first date? I was sitting with my friend at a restaurant and we observed the couple next to us. Finely dressed couple, about our age, and the nervousness was palpable. My friend and I were able to hear the questions they asked each other.

Why do we act so shy with the intention of impressing the person we are with, wanting to leave a lasting impression. Is it out of desperation or is it our ego that we are wanting to fulfil. Everyone makes a snap judgement within 15-30 seconds of meeting. You can read about this in Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. Sometimes these work in our favor and sometimes they do not. What is important to note here is that the mind is made up after the first glance. It is an uphill battle to convince the subconscious to change the decision that has already been made.

When I first met my girlfriend, I sure made a lasting impression on her. Backing my jeep into a tree at our annual camp site. I can't speak to what she thought, but what she observed was someone who was reckless, handsome (yes this is my ego talking), shy, strong, and friendly. It was love at first sight.

Observing people on their first date is very easy to spot. What I found interesting is how boring the date was. I wasn't sure who was bored more out of the couple, but the body language was telling on the woman's side. It is important to observe the body language because it is more telling than the words that are communicated. However don't stare like a creepy stalker, observe subtly. How do you act when you go on a first date? Do you sweat profusely, say things you normally would not, talk about yourself.

Best advice that I can give is just be yourself. You have something special to offer, and that is your authenticity. Authenticity shines and cannot be faked. It presents confidence and makes the other person feel more comfortable with you. Listen. You will have a chance to talk about yourself, people love talking about themselves, especially extroverts. Just listen, you will make the other person feel special. When you do talk, don't talk about anything boring, instead make your stories impactful. Most importantly, relate to the other person. People like people who are like themselves.

T.V. shows skewed what ideal first dates should be like. They portray these fairy tale helicopter rides into volcanoes and remote islands. First dates should be fun, not going to a movie, or a loud venue. Instead somewhere you can both do something that is physical and where you can both talk. Remove any obstacles that would be in your way, a menu, table, or phone. When something is between you and the other person it is hard to build rapport. Touching is crucial on a first date, I don't mean you need to get to third base. or even first. Just a subtle touch on the shoulder, arm or knee. When you feel those butterflies and all those warm and fuzzies that is usually a good sign of attraction to one another. Mark Manson tells it best in his book Models. Embrace your first date.

You will find the person you are looking for.
Breakups can be the worst experience, followed by the best.

Going through a breakup is hard especially when you have fallen for the person. You can never look at it as a waste of time. There is always something to take away from the experience. When you decide it is not a waste of time, you grow and mature as an individual. You gain clarity as to who you are, and who you want to be with.

My friend is going through a breakup. The worst is the non mutual breakups. When one person decides it is over for them. You think to yourself what have you done to cause them to move on from the relationship. He blames himself for the breakup. Most people would do the same thing.

I had to shine a light on it for him. Being a good friend you will always say, "it is not your fault". In this case being a third party I can see both sides of the story. What I told him is that you cannot change anyone but yourself. You cannot demand anyone to do anything and control in the relationship has to be mutual not one sided. I also said that the best thing he can do right now is to work on himself to build his self confidence up.

He has a great deal of self confidence, and has had no problem in attracting girls. However everyone has something in themselves that they wish they can improve. This is a true way to build your confidence up, by working on your weaknesses. It is more challenging to do then building on your strengths, which I would normally suggest. Working on your weaknesses will frustrate you, but once you overcome the challenge you are on a whole other level.

Last thoughts on this is the same thing I said about first dates. Like attracts like. People attract people like themselves. If you are not happy with the person you are with, look within yourself what you do not like, that has to change first. My friend said to me he is not sure why these girls are attracted to him and how he can change the girls he attracts. My advice to him is to start on changing his way of thinking and his beliefs.

It is a great experience because both you and the person you will meet in the future is the person you were meant to be with, through self discovery from your previous experience.

My dearest friend.

Today ends a chapter of our lives. Our beloved best friend is gone. He will be missed by many, especially myself and my girlfriend. We started our journey 12 years ago in Abbotsford, when my best friend and I found him and his brother while mowing the lawn. We took him in and gave him a life worth living.

Cancer is a cruel. Watching someone deteriorate into oblivion is so heartbreaking, knowing the inevitable is coming and not being able to do anything about is arduous. He was taken to soon from us. Watching someone's last breath is something you can never prepare for. Holding his limp body after the heavy dose of his final anesthetic tore my heart into pieces.

He came on walks with us and even played fetch. Our furry friend was special, with a personality like no other. It was sad to let him go today. You will be missed forever!

R.I.P Lil Guy.

To be continued....

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