Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Anything But…“The Friend Zone”

Welcome to the Just GQ blog.  Thanks for checking back in the game.  As the blog gains popularity and receives more hits, I am more and more appreciative of the loyal readers and extend a warm salutation to the new ones. 

Today’s installment concludes the “just a friend” series and discusses the dreaded area in which every guy (and some girls), inevitably, has found himself and/or will find himself at some point—the friend zone.  The friend zone, for those of you scratching your heads, characterizes the space where you place a “too good friend”, the individual whose friendship you value far too much to risk in the crapshoot that is a relationship.  Now, at times that explanation may be sincere but at others it serves as nice method of saying, “I’m not really attracted to you like that, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings.”

One’s distinction of why he finds his feet stuck to the friend zone flypaper plays a pivotal part in whether or not he can escape and be viewed in a varied light.  Please understand, before I continue, that the escape plan for the friend zone is, without a doubt, hit or miss because at its core you have to manipulate her mind to change her view of you, which tends to be a tough task.

Nevertheless, here are three steps used to break the confines of the friend zone: SEPARATE, REDEFINE, and TAKE ACTION.

Separate: The person you desire (male or female) views you a certain way as regular interaction has persisted, SO in order to change his/her view of you, a disappearing act is in order.  You must become Houdini and remove yourself from the friendship for a period of time allowing yourself to be missed.  Communication with the desired party IS vital but only on an occasional basis, as you must stay relevant but distance yourself simultaneously.

Redefine: During the separation phase, you MUST re-identify your mentality and approach.  In most cases, the person longing for a friend’s affection has heard, “I just see you as a friend”, and began to view himself/herself as what they had been defined, “just a friend”.  You must FIRST believe yourself to be the match for your friend because you will eventually have to sell yourself and your potential to your friend once you resurface.  Decipher what traits your friend has identified as attractive in past love interests and customize your approach.  All you need is to be viewed in a new form NOT transform into another person (NEW FORM not TRANSFORM).  You know what she likes too; women tell men what they like in a guy ALL THE TIME—just listen and pay attention (See earlier Just GQ blog as well).

REMEMBER: You already possess a large number of appealing characteristics; you are only missing the allure of a significant other.

Take Action: At this point, you have disappeared for some time. Well, NOW comes the time in which you need to reappear as a NEW, CONFIDENT YOU!  Simply put.  You were timid before; DO NOT be timid once you resurface.  Take charge of the situation and REFUSE to be “just a friend”.  With this mentality, you should be able to finagle your way to AT LEAST a chance, which is all you need.  Once granted a chance, allow your personality coupled with the new revisions to take over.  She is just a girl.  He is just a guy.  Do NOT hype who they are in your heads, turning them into larger than life personas and allowing them to intimidate you.  Confidence is key in everything! 

With all this laid out, I reiterate the difficulty involved in escaping the Alcatraz that is the “friend zone”, BUT the only thing BOTH parties need to know is if the compatibility for more than a friendship exists.  Once that realization comes to fruition, natural progression can take place.

Thanks, once again, for checking in the game early and often!  You could’ve been anywhere in the world, but you’re here with me.  I appreciate that.  Stay tuned to the Just GQ blog as I will keep them coming.  A special thanks goes out to the reader who suggested this topic to me.  I appreciate ALL feedback and input you all give me!  Make sure you all follow the blog and continue to leave your questions and comments on the blog and in the Just GQ inbox (JustGQ50@gmail.com).  GOD BLESS!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

"Looking Over the Shoulder" Love

Welkome to Just GQ!  Staying consistent with the “just friends” series; today’s topic is one that I have often encountered as almost an equal amount females occupy my friend base as their male counterparts, so please forgive me if my message seems..let’s see how should I put this..strongly inspired.  Before I begin, while I speak from one outlook, the sexes in these roles are interchangeable because this scenario applies to EVERYONE! 

All too often, during the phase in which two intrigued parties begin to interact more regularly with the purpose of establishing a foundation for exclusivity, true selves remain concealed in an effort to present only the favorable characteristics.  This conscious action draws strong parallels to that of a job interview; the normally sloppy man fixes himself up as if everyday his clothes, shoes, and hair stop traffic when that is, simply, not the case. 

When we identify someone we want, people frequently either play the role of the corporation or the interviewee.  The corporation asks questions to gain information, seemingly, to achieve clarification on the capacity for compatibility with the interviewee. The interviewee, on the other hand, answers the questions and at times walks a tight rope in hopes of obtaining the offer to occupy the position of significant other, concealing their personalities’ unattractive qualities during the process.

More specifically, the negative trait of jealousy, which resides to some extent in all people (whether admitted or otherwise), showcases weakness, uncertainty, and insecurity, and we, usually, attempt to avoid this trait and/or the people possessing a high level of it.  I use the adverb “usually” tactfully, as it conveys our desire to steer clear of this trait but only in a partial manner, because at times jealousy draws people in, rather than pushing them away.  Commonly, people confuse jealous behavior with loving behavior, but KNOW THIS!  Controlling does NOT mean caring! STOP RE-READ! Ok. Let’s continue.

Now that we have all the ingredients, it is time to make the sandwich.  Tammy and Terrell recently made their relationship official, and they have enjoyed their time together thoroughly thus far.  Tammy and her friend, Steve, possess a strong friendship that, while attraction exists, has remained completely innocent.  Steve and Terrell know of one another, and Terrell knows that Tammy cherishes her friendship with Steve, though, quite frankly, he does not like his lady interacting with another man.  Steve clearly knows Tammy well as their friendship has stretched over many years and thrived through previous boyfriends and girlfriends, which makes Terrell feel insecure of his ability to mentally stimulate and satisfy Tammy in comparison to her history with Steve.  Terrell has suppressed his jealous trait to this point, but constant feelings of inequity consume him, compelling him to forbid the friendship of Tammy and Steve.  This puts Tammy in an awkward position to choose: a potentially serious relationship or the true friendship of Steve.

At what point does it make logical sense to appease the obvious jealous insecurities of your significant other through the dismissal of friendships, which you hold dear?  In the example above, do you think Terrell is justified in his jealousy, even though, Steve has been nothing but a gentleman from the start of the friendship, giving no indication of a need to worry?  Is it fair for Terrell to force Tammy to choose, instead of respecting the importance of the friendship to Tammy? 

This unfortunate situation obviously suggests taking a loss for Tammy, but would it be better for her to honor the wishes of Terrell or remain loyal to her long-lasting friendship with Steve?  Here is the food for thought.  Relationships between younger, unsettled people do not last for long periods of time on a regular basis, whereas friendships can be established early and survive a lifetime.  Think about your friends and you.  Think about the number of exes you have and how much you talk to them currently.  Would you trade true friendship, which is so rare in today’s society, for a year or so in a relationship, one in which you may stop talking to him at the conclusion?  I am not saying relationships do not last, so PLEASE do not mistake my message for a cynical one because a number of girls honor these requests of their jealous men and find happiness resulting in engagements and marriage. What I am saying is weigh your options realistically.  Besides, best friends make the best spouses.

Thank you, yet again, for checking in the GAME with the Just GQ blog.  I truly appreciate it.  As always, feel free to leave comments and questions under this entry or hit JustGQ50@gmail.com.  Stay tuned to Just GQ!

Sidebar: I want to encourage ALL of you to buy Drake’s debut album, “Thank Me Later”.  It truly goes hard, and you should NOT be disappointed!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Friends: How Many of Us Have Them?

Friend. Buddy. Homeboy. Homegirl. All of these terms convey endearment and friendship, but as a people we have performed excellently in the arena of blurring the line of what exactly qualifies as a friend.  Is a friend the person with whom you have grown up? Is a friend that ex-boyfriend/girlfriend where even though only romantic feelings have dwelled, NOW platonic friendship has formed by default post-relationship?  Is friendship defined by a purely platonic nature (“free from physical desire”), or does friendship even need a definition? I will start by, first, confessing that in this subjective discussion, I do not possess the answer to these complex inquiries AS A WHOLE because I am not entirely sure that a single “correct” answer exists; BUT conversation can serve as the canoe needed to sift through this jagged topic.

Often the rationalization of friendship is simple.  If I like you, but we do not have the title then we are “just friends”.  Is this rational? What disqualifies friendship, and how do you distinguish that middle ground occupied by so many? The reality is that categories cannot contain the spectrum of all different friendships as they frequently exemplify the uniqueness of fingerprints.  For the sake of this particular blog (obviously more are to come as this topic is too large for one entry), let’s talk about platonic friendship and friends with benefits.

It is MY humble opinion that platonic friendship does not exist 90% of the time because I disqualify platonic friendship when romantic attraction (EVEN if not acted upon) exists.  The majority of friendships require an asterisk, but the difference lies in the parties’ willingness to acknowledge such feelings.  Some of you are undoubtedly thinking, “Well, I do not have those feelings for my friends.” While that may be true you have neither the authority nor the knowledge to speak for the other party involved.  More often than not one party feels romantically for the other party in a friendship.  This may go unspoken for fear of non-reciprocation, more commonly REJECTION, but it exists nonetheless.  Think about this.  If the opportunity for ANYTHING more than pure friendship appeared (romantic relationship, sex, or otherwise) and you would choose to advance this relationship, would you TRULY consider this person “just a friend”?

Let’s address “friends with benefits” next.  More often than not, in this friendship, the “benefits” serve as the major reason for continuing employment (Get it?), and usually AT LEAST one party knows their intentions with the other party do not include ANY type of relationship in the immediate, near, or far future.  If the benefits stop, so does conversation, and thus interaction ceases. Is this person “just a friend”, or is this person expendable from your life?  

Now, I know not all “friends with benefits” relationships are that cut and dry.  I also know that a number of intricacies fill these relationships, but that is for the NEXT blog!

I appreciate the opportunity to discuss these topics with you once again! My intentions are to provoke thought and provide insight.  A working mind is a healthy mind!  Thanks for checking in the GAME with the Just GQ blog!  Please leave your comments and questions on the blog, or e-mail me at JustGQ50@gmail.com. I love hearing feedback from you!  God Bless!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Don't Chase 'Cuz Chicks Choose!

Now a lot of the time, my messages are catered to my female audience, but in this edition of Just GQ, I want to involve the fellas; ESPECIALLY the overzealous ones when it comes to meeting the ladies.  Using this blog as my clay, allow me to sculpt a hypothetical situation.

Of course you recall meeting our friends, Joe and Jane.  Well, I would like to introduce you to Albert, Barry, and Carol in this Just GQ installment.  One night, Carol and some of her girlfriends have a decently sized “get together” at their house, inviting a vast assortment of people.  Now, let me tell y’all about Carol.  Carol fits the description of that girl you know; the one who is CLEARLY the superstar in the group and has no shortage of confidence because she knows she is beautiful and EVERYTIME a different guy approaches her, only to get shot down like a skeet in target practice, he only reaffirms her superiority in her own mind.  Meet Barry.  Barry is a good looking but pretty shameless guy when it comes to girls; he fits the bill of that guy you know who consistently pumps up the egos of girls, much like Carol, in hopes that his flattery will woo her number into his phone and later her panties on his floor.  Meet Albert.  Albert is that analytical guy you know who assess before action; he sits back and views the interaction of others and customizes his strategy as a tailor customizes a perfectly fitted suit. 

FAST FORWARD.  Albert and Barry spend about an hour at the soiree, viewing poorly orchestrated attempt after even MORE poorly orchestrated attempt of guys longing for Carol’s interest, THEN “Analytical Albert” and “Brash Barry” decide to take their proverbial swings at talking to Carol.  First, Barry approaches Carol in a slick manner fit for any known player, showering her with the same compliments she has heard for the entire night and receives the same result as every other seemingly confident guy that night, REJECTION, while further filling Carol’s gas tank.

Albert thinks more deeply about what he has seen for the duration of the event and observes Carol in a conversation with a small group of her friends.  He carefully moves more closely to where he can, for lack of a better term, lightly eavesdrop calculating a time when he can ease into the conversation including Carol’s friends more so than focusing on Carol.  As Albert makes a drink he notices the conversation has migrated to the topic of the new iPhone 4 (PLUG!), which appeals to his profound interest and knowledge of high level technology.  He, subtly yet not arrogantly, enters the conversation providing more knowledge on some of the iPhone’s new features, adding to the conversation BUT avoiding domination of the conversation (so he does not sound like a “know-it-all”).  Albert looks for the feedback of Carol’s friends PRIOR to inquiring what Carol thinks, placing Carol on the same level as her friends.  Following a couple laughs, introductions, and brief acknowledgement of the enjoyment of the conversation by all parties, Albert graciously excuses himself and begins to walk to his group of friends, when he hears Carol’s voice.  Carol reiterates that she enjoyed talking to Albert and she is delighted he was able to attend her get together.  This presents an amicable stage for numbers to be exchanged and a friendship or more to begin.  At this point, regardless of who asks for whose number, Carol has CLEARLY chosen. 

Let’s analyze.  Merriam-Webster defines choosing as selecting “freely and after consideration; to have a preference.”  Men approach women incorrectly so often that women tend to have their “no” on deck from the moment their girlfriend says, “Oh girl, he’s coming to talk to you now.”  While you think walking up to her with your chest out like a peacock ready to mate is bold and suave, in actuality, you have left yourself exposed to be spotted by the snipers posing as her friends, giving them free reign to talk bad about you BEFORE you even open your mouth!  This is what “Brash Barry” did.  Even though he watched as Carol turned guy after guy away, he approached with the same compliment based platform (showing NO substance), which Carol denied previously and frequently.  “Analytical Albert”, on the other had, entered the situation in a MUCH MORE subtle manner allowing him the opportunity to showcase his personality, garner approval from her friends, and allow Carol to view him without feeling any pressure.  Simply put, allow her to be her, you to be you, and see if you click.  By walking away BEFORE he wore out his welcome, Albert allowed the parties involved a chance to reflect on their opinions of him and time to discuss their opinions with one another (because women inevitably talk about you to each other!) further urging Carol in one direction.  All of this built up to the ultimate conclusion of Carol “choosing” Albert, and thus reinforcing why it is unnecessary, IN MOST CASES, to chase a woman because if she wants you, she will let you know or choose you without your badgering or forcing her to talk to you.

Thanks for checking in the GAME with this edition of the Just GQ blog!  Again, it has been a pleasure.  Please leave your comments and questions on the blog and/or hit the Just GQ email (JustGQ50@gmail.com).  

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Checkin' In!

What's up Just GQ faithful?  I wanted to check in with y'all between written blogs with the first of my video blogs.. Click the link and check in the GAME!

The Just GQ Video Blog