****** Admin Note ******
This guest post comes from a personal friend of mine. I’m trying to get him to write on the regular … but his schedule is nuts. I hope ya’ll enjoy it like I did.
Theo H. Jones’ friend: “Man, how am I flying back and forth every other week to Phoenix from New York to see her in school, and this chick keeps telling me that I don’t even love her?? This is ridiculous, I can’t do this no more man. She’s driving me nuts. I don’t even have money like that.”
Theo H. Jones: “But don’t you remember when we drove 15 hours to Atlanta on a whim to see her at her championship Volleyball game?”
THJ’s friend: “Yea, but she was worth it. Had to show her I cared”
THJ: “Well, you do remember that you used to fly out to Phoenix every single weekend when you first started dating right?”
THJ’s friend: “Yea, so? What’s your point??”
THJ: “My friend, you messed up. And, sorry to say this, but I saw it coming. See, you failed to baseline this relationship. What’s baselining you say? Well, lemme explain …”
**** (Locations, driving times, and sporting events altered to protect identity of THJ’s friend — who failed to baseline his relationship, and paid for it) ****
Baselining — such a simple, yet powerfully profound concept in a relationship, that few in the male species have mastered. But what is it exactly? It’s defined in my THJ mental dictionary as:
“Establishing the level of effort at the beginning of a relationship that will be deemed normal, or “base”, that a boyfriend will be willing to exert for his girlfriend throughout the said relationship”
To elaborate, when I say “effort”, I’m not just talking about just physical actions, like flying out to see a long-distance relation. I’m also talking about:
– My physical appearance (am I fit, out-of-shape, overweight?)
– Typical places I take her for a date (McDonald’s vs. a Candlelit Cruise on the French Rivieria)
– The type of car I’m driving (Pinto vs. Porsche).
… But, the most important phrase in this definition are the 3 words “at the beginning” because you have to establish expectation. Fail to heed this and fellas, and things might turn sour quickly. Not a strict rule, but an strong observation.
Simple enough to do right? Wrong.
But why? Why do we guys find this so hard to do?
Well 3 reasons:
– Some guys simply don’t even know about baselining, they just think they’re lucky if their relationship lasts a year or two
– Some guys fall head over heels in love for their “perfect” girl and are too eager to please
– Some guys just want to show off early on, for what ever reason, and in the process, shoot themselves in the foot when they can’t sustain such a high level of expectations from wifey
The Solution in 4 simple steps
I was once told, never bring up a problem without at least giving a solution. And the solution is simple indeed.
For my single fellas (it’s too late for my guys already in a relationship, my bad, I got a post for just for y’all), when you first start off in a relationship …
1) First date should be to McDonald’s, or a cheap Chinese joint at the Mall, or maybe even Negril’s … but under no circumstances should your bill exceed $20, preferrably not even $10.
2) You should not work yourself out into world-class athlete condition in preparation for the start of your relationship, but rather, fatten up a little bit, indulge yourself slightly (don’t overdo it)
3) If you’re rich and own a BMW, buy a Hyundai, and drive in that for the first month of the relationship. If you’re not rich, push what ya got.
4) Don’t fly to see her every week if you’re in a long distance relationship. Once, maybe twice, a month sounds good to me
But I must re-iterate, I’m speaking about the beginning of a relationship (first 3-5 months) when you’re feeling each other out and setting expectations.
It might sound like I’m preaching mediocrity, but I’m not. What you’re actually doing is allowing room for personal improvement, something that every woman takes pride in: taking her unrefined roughneck of a man and turning him into Prince Charming. If you set the bar too high, there’s absolutely zero room for improvement.
Question for the Ladies
One question: Have you ever dated a guy that you could swear had money and just didn’t seem to spend wads of cash on you early on? Or were you in a long distance relationship and he didn’t visit or call you all the time like your last boyfriend (who you dumped)? Or you first date was to Crappio’s Pizza Joint — and oddly enough you were still intrigued by this less-than-eager man? Well, you were being baselined. Kudos to that dude.
~ Theo H. Jones
(More about me in the future)