Home Guest Post The Art of Baselining

The Art of Baselining

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****** 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.
– SBM
**********************

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) ****

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The Definition
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

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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.

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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)

Comment(50)

  1. I have been baselined before and it does make complete sense. funny however it does make sense.

    I too have been known to over do it, cater too much, do too much, to the point where dude gets so accustomed to me doing all these things that when I don't have time or the money to do them it seems as if I don't care. so I myself am working at adapting this princepal. don't want to give them too much too soon

  2. I am slowly getting better at baselining. I have had a problem with doing too much too soon and then coming off as uncaring and lazy soon after.

    I'm going to start with less calls and telling women I work at Target.

  3. Initially all I can say is WOW…. I don't think I've ever been baselined. The guys I've dated and had relationships with were pretty consistent, open and honest with me. I knew what they could or couldn't afford. I don't expect to be wined and dined even if you got it. And typically when dating we go back and forth with who pays for dates. And if it's a multiple activity date, we still go back and forth. Works for me. I dare a ninja to take me to McDonalds… upon arrival that date would be non-existent. best believe. A Chili's style restaurant would be just fine, love their strawberry margarita. In general I honestly have the hardest time excepting things from a man when it's not Christmas or my birthday.

    I agree with Nicki, just be you throughout. If you got it, you got it, cause I got my own. If you don't then I hope you are aspiring to something and I'll help along the way, lol. I hate to be lied to and if you're putting forth this much effort it's a darn shame.

  4. @Reign: I think the concept of baselining is deeper than just how much money you have or are spending.

    For example, lets say your a very busy person (workaholic) and you throw away the calendar for the first 2 weeks or your on vacation … well … you have set an unrealistic expectation of free time that won't be continued. Now … for the rest of the relationship … it will always be "You used to make time for me … you must not care anymore".

  5. @Reign: sounds good on paper, but you're right…it might be the women we deal with…then again…

    You see, there are certain expectations that people have. If you start of taking a chick to say…B. Smith's. Then you might follow up with Jerry's Seafood in Annapolis. Well, the expectation will probably be to stay at that level. I think the concept is to not burn out real quick by trying hard to impress a woman at first. I haven't met many women sympathetic to a savings binge. Now I didn't say perpetual brokeness, I'm just saying that things get tight so you'd want someone that understands that and can adjust fire with you. It's hard out here.

  6. "Communication people. Just because the last guy I dated drove a nice Lexus and took me to expensive restaurants doesn’t mean I was disappointed when we went to IHOP for breakfast instead of BreadWinners. We switch it up depending on the mood and I pay too"

    Me too… I paid on my last date.. for the lunch and the movie.

    "For example, lets say your a very busy person (workaholic) and you throw away the calendar for the first 2 weeks or your on vacation … well … you have set an unrealistic expectation of free time that won’t be continued"

    @SBM: this is where communication or good sense comes in.. if the chick has common sense, she'll realize that dude was on vacay and therefore was readily available. If he was just doing it to impress her, then he wasn't real in the first place.

  7. I never thought about this baseline thing before. I really don't even do dates nowadays. If I should happen to be going out somewhere with a chick, it's on the casual at some low key spot. She should know I'm a modest dude when I roll up in my Altima.

    As far as energy expenditure, I'm silly/funny from the start. I'll call and text occasionally, but never over-extend myself. If she doesn't like it, then I don't like her. That's just me.

  8. LMAO!!! I see it like this. Since you tried to holla @ me, you should be trying to keep my interest during and after Date 1. I think that a man needs to be manly (that intangible thing that all women want) and also keep our interest. Whether that be by taking me to an interesting restaurant I have never been to (interesting doesn't have to be expensive but surely I have been to Mickey D's before) or engaging me in great conversation.

    It's that je ne se quai. Either you got it or you don't.

  9. If you take a grown woman to McDonalds on a first date, please do not expect a second one unless your grown woman is a hoodrat. I'm not saying go to Nobu, but you want to look like you're making an effort. You don't want your date to show up wearing sweats on the first date, so why would you take her to McDonalds?

  10. @Reign & Nicki: You know most women out here lack common sense … right? Their the ones out there making life harder for the fine specimens that grace this site.

  11. I've experienced based lining before and I've base lined a guy before. It does make sense. But Satya will not be going to Mc Diesel's in the beginning for dates. And lets skip the fatten up part. True if you love someone you will stand by them even as their waistline expands but don't fatten up.

  12. @ SBM: At least you recognize the fact, lol, i seriously agree with you.

    @ MrSmartGuy: "The biggest problem is that some people don’t know how to use their personalities so they compensate by opening up their wallet."
    Amen, a huge problem. The rest is just hilarious, are we speaking from experience? The magic is what gets you, but when it's the right person it's okay I think, to an extent and considering what you both want out of the relationship.

  13. sooooo one should expect you to be a cheap, chinchy, soft and flabby, playing games about who you really are etc = big bama azz nucca, who is going to do the minimum for the women he dates, cool 🙂

  14. When I say drama, I'm talking about: throwing fits, never satisfied, majority of the time complaining about something u are not doing right or telling you how it should be done… Not blowing up your phone with phone calls or texts…

    In that case, I am, 100% drama free.

  15. I’m not condoning he go the extra mile to go DOWN but I’d rather him just be himself throughout… if you don’t have it like that, don’t “trick” on me on the first date… don’t spend a whole lot of time with me initially and once I’ve been hooked, u fall off… just be you.

    I haven’t been baselined… if a man was wack in the beginning, he was pretty consistent throughout. LOL. Nine times out of ten, I just stayed around due to the Vitamin D.

  16. With all this baselining … I don't necessarily think we have to truly downplay ourselves or what we can do … but we just gotta stop tricking out the gate and setting these unrealistic expectations that we get called out on later. Time is a real good thing to baseline on. 2-3 hours a day on the phone aint sustainable …

    @Nicki: Lies … Like CPT said … no girl is drama free. As fine as a specimen you are … your not 100% drama free.

  17. I happen to be a master at baselining.

    My first dates are always modest. Never any “I’m going to simp my way into your heart” type dates. Usually it’s just meeting for drinks and good conversation. That way I can see if I stand that woman for more than an hour. I agree with under $20 though.

  18. Nobody is DRAMA free = issue and or baggage free…no one LOL its just how well you match up, compliment one another and how compatible folk are on essential levels…..like dudes with baby mamas, dudes that have been PLAYED majorly in the past, dudes who mask insecurity with machismo, huge egos etc etc etc

  19. @ SBM & CPT: I co-sign too, and I do have to agree on the point that no female is drama free… but that includes men too. You all have your issues. It just depends on what drama you are willing to deal with. Some dudes don't mind a whiny chick or baby daddy drama, some chicks can't stand a mama's boy with 5 ghetto sisters always up in their business or the crazy ex-GF. How much do you want to have that person in your life that you are willing to put up with it or just not let it bother you?

  20. Well, I’m immune to being called cheap. I prefer frugal. If a woman can’t understand my being meticulous with money then she obviously hasn’t seen my credit score. I’m a homeowner now too, so I don’t have lots of trickoff money disposable income to try and impress her. Now I might do something every now and again so that she gets that “tee hee, I’m special” feeling but it can’t be a normal expectation.

  21. @ CPT: Frugal is a great thing and I applaud anybody that can manage their money to achieve lasting wealth. But what’s the need for baselining. I understand the concept but what is the end result lasting? Are you getting what you want? Why not just be up front and honest about expectations.

    Communication people. Just because the last guy I dated drove a nice Lexus and took me to expensive restaurants doesn’t mean I was disappointed when we went to IHOP for breakfast instead of BreadWinners. We switch it up depending on the mood and I pay too. I’m starting to think it’s the chicks you guys are dating. I need a guy that can be himself and communicate with me. If you are on a savings binge then count me in too, h*ll. I don’t know, maybe it’s me.

  22. "@Nicki: Lies … Like CPT said … no girl is drama free. As fine as a specimen you are … your not 100% drama free."

    Why thank U SBM… I am still standing on the basis that I am drama free (until a man brings me drama)… then I break fool. LOL

    "but that includes men too. You all have your issues."

    Yes, they do.

  23. “I agree with Nicki, just be you throughout. If you got it, you got it, cause I got my own. If you don’t then I hope you are aspiring to something and I’ll help along the way, lol. I hate to be lied to and if you’re putting forth this much effort it’s a darn shame.”

    Thanks Reign, that is what I’m trying to say.

  24. @ SBM: I understand that too. Nicki said it dead on, it’s common sense. If I know you are working on some big project are have business meetings on such and such days, which will require more hours of research and follow up, then with common sense I know you are out of pocket. But it doesn’t hurt to call for a minute or two to say “Hi how are you, you still alive?” and vice versa. This is why meeting a person that’s on the same level and understands you is so important. everyone else can just keep it moving.

    @ CPT: I completely understand. Money gets tight evey now and then. And depending on close this other person is to you, you can divulge all your business and explain why we’re at Subway this time. There’s no need to overly impress a woman if she’s into you. If she likes you for you and what you can provide, then all this is unecessary.

  25. “But it doesn’t hurt to call for a minute or two to say “Hi how are you, you still alive?” ”

    I am all for a quick follow up call… I don’t even like talking on the phone, I’d rather see you. so u don’t have to worry about me keeping u on the phone!!!!

  26. @ Nicki: I know! Are we really asking for too much or is this all in their heads? lol seriously, I have too much to do to sit and perfect my baselining game. Cause that’s what it is, game.

  27. “Some guys fall head over heels in love for their “perfect” girl and are too eager to please…”

    Unfortunately, this is the most common thing to happen in the newness of a relationship. You get caught up in the magic of it all and suddenly no expense is too great.

    You want cheese and bacon? Gone ahead and get that.
    You want those jogging suit in seven different colors? My baby gotta be stylish!

    Next thing you know, your baby is clogged up with cholesterol wearing the same velour jumper with bacon grease all over it…

    The biggest problem is that some people don’t know how to use their personalities so they compensate by opening up their wallet. They usually doesn’t end well.

  28. Theo, Theo, I like that name. Reminds me of innocent mischief and humorous mishaps. You know, like that Cosby dude.
    I’d like to cosign this whole post. Women should do the same base lining with men. Instead of putting you’re A-game out there to start, keep it simple and do just enough to keep him intrigued. The first date is not the time for your all out show-stopper outfit. Keep it simple, jeans and a t-shirt or a nice sweater (if venue appropriate). Don’t overdo it on the makeup or perfume, and DON’T be too eager. Men can smell desperation.
    Same rule goes for when ya’ll first get down. Don’t bring you’re A-game. Save that tounge trick for when you’re really trying to curl the toes. Since you’re only meeting the “representative” those first few months, why not send yours? The catch is, after the rep it only get better.
    Good Post.

  29. “@Reign & Nicki: You know most women out here lack common sense … right? Their the ones out there making life harder for the fine specimens that grace this site.”

    Yaw need to stop choosing them biyotches and I wouldn’t be STILL single in ’09! LOL

    “Nicki: I know! Are we really asking for too much or is this all in their heads? lol seriously, I have too much to do to sit and perfect my baselining game. Cause that’s what it is, game.”

    @Reign: I’m thinkin it’s bc men choose the women with a lil drama… they secretly like it…. a laid back chick is not appreciated.. I don’t chase.. naggas don’t like that.

  30. ““Some guys fall head over heels in love for their “perfect” girl and are too eager to please…”

    Unfortunately, this is the most common thing to happen in the newness of a relationship. You get caught up in the magic of it all and suddenly no expense is too great.

    You want cheese and bacon? Gone ahead and get that.
    You want those jogging suit in seven different colors? My baby gotta be stylish!

    Next thing you know, your baby is clogged up with cholesterol wearing the same velour jumper with bacon grease all over it…”

    Funniest.comment.ever.

  31. "Since you’re only meeting the “representative” those first few months, why not send yours? The catch is, after the rep it only get better."

    I get your point, but it doesn't always get better. Just because he/she is a sweetheart in the beginning doesn't mean they aren't crazy or have demons in their closet. It's typically after those first few months when you really start getting to know someone, for real. Could be good, could be bad.

  32. Damn, damn, damn I should have have been placed on this game a long time ago. I gotta get my baseline up cause I been doing it all wrong and have been baselined for too long! LOL

  33. I don’t think I’ve baselined anyone in the past (on purpose). I’m not going to do it in the first place if I can’t keep it up. If I can’t do it then I’ll just let you know that I can’t do it. If you have a problem with it then tough cookies. Now I think that baselining works both ways. Not just in financial ways either.

  34. @ Reign

    Thats the risk you're taking regardless. I read this from the standpoint of "Dont give your all to a person on day 1. You have to work UP to giving a person all of you" Be that materialistically, emotionally, sexually, time wise etc etc.

    And I think it goes without saying that if the representative was better than teh actual person NEXT his a** and keep it moving. Dont be afraid to cut your losses and chalkit up to a lesson learned/good time had.

  35. "@Nicki: Who has the dexterity to stick through all that drama hoping for it to end eventually?"

    Not that it will end… but that it appears. U know what drama is and by observing her, you'll see it. Don't just jump in, just because she's cute. I was saying be patient, there's a drama-less chick out there. Or at least less than 10% drama.

  36. *sigh.

    This is some bullshit.

    First of all, the way it stereotypes both genders is out of fucking line.

    1. If you like me and I like you – before a date even jumps off, you should check out the vibe. It's easy to spot a sack chaser just like it is easy to spot a cheap dude. If either of those appears immediately, why is a date let alone a relationship even an option?

    2. If you like me and I like you and we agree I am not a sak chaser and you are not cheap and unreasonable – we need to go out. Preferably he will take me out. HOWEVER, if I asked, I will take him out.

    3. It will not be to Starbucks or fucking McDonalds. Those are not dates. Thats where you go to meet up adn MAKE A DATE.

    4. A girl should be creeped out by a guy showing up in Porsche mode just as much as him showing up in last weeks gym shorts. Again, check the chick.

    5. This is so stupid I can't even continue explaining why this is so stupid.

    B.

  37. I’m probably the only man who will admit to having issues but ones that will effect the lady I’m with very minimally (unless she pushes the wrong button). But that’s just me…

  38. exactly BAM a whole bunch of bs and game playing, anybody with common sense knows you don't go HARD, full blast being EXTRA overly pressed/thirsty in the beginning of anything…..you slow walk, feel things out casually, being true to yourself and them other folks EARLY about who you both are and what you both want

  39. In my opinion – you're single until you're married. And a "long-distance relationship" is simply a "dating" relationship. It is impossible and against the interests of any woman who wants marriage and a close, long-term, committed relationship to become exclusive with any man, period, before that commitment is realized, but it's especially off-track to become exclusive with a man who is not even close by physically.

    Many of us, on the other hand, cannot handle real intimacy – and so a long-distance relationship fills the bill. But let's call it what it is. I get so many letters from women in pain over their "long distance relationships." If we've chosen such a thing – then we must want it, if even in a subconscious way. I wish, for all women everywhere, to change your attitude and never find yourself in a place that feels "stuck" without the commitment and quality of relationship you want. Rori Raye

  40. If this post was a man and it asked me out, I may just pay for that first date lol. And if this post was MY man, I'd "trade places" (Usher song) for a night. Thats how much I dug it.

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