The One Is Out There

No. I'm not talking about Heysus Kristo nor Thomas Anderson, aka Neo. I'm talking about soul mates.

I was consoling a friend because her relationship had ended. I knew there was nothing I could say except to listen. From my perspective, this breakup had been a good thing because she was entrenched in a relationship that wasn't going anywhere. She wanted a child and marriage, and her ex had told her he didn't from the beginning. So he was upfront. But she just wanted to have some fun, so she decided to have some fun with him. A year had flown by and he didn't change his mind about marriage and children. She knew he wouldn't, but as I've said, she was stuck, like a sabertooth sinking in a tar pit.

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Part of her being entrenched was that she had been afraid of going through the pain of a breakup. I get that. But loving someone and knowing that you're not right for each other can play games on your mind. During the relationship, she had questioned her want for children, her need for marriage and wondered if holding back her affections had driven him away. After the breakup, she found herself wanting to reconcile with her ex, throwing out her wants and needs and forgetting how he had treated her because the fear of being alone haunted her.

Searching for some answer or meaning, she decided to talk to a coach that specializes in relationships. The coach had told her that a man with all the qualities and attributes that my friend wanted existed. She was surprised to hear this, and asked, "He is?" The coach confirmed, essentially stating that the one is out there. My friend was relieved and felt much better about her predicament. Her biological alarm clock was going off, and her hopes of having a child was waning.

When I had been consoling my friend, it never occurred to me to tell her that the one was out there. Even if the thought had crossed my mind, I would still never tell her this. I don't believe in the one. I don't know if a man with all the qualities and attributes that she wants is out there. And even if he was, there's no way for anyone to know if he will meet my friend. And if they were to meet and got married and had kids, he'd change and grow and become a new person. Just like a real boy.

Still, my friend had felt better and been relieved. So, didn’t the coach’s statement help her cope with the emotional fallout of her breakup? Cope means to deal effectively with something difficult. If this statement only pacifies her for a moment, then no, it doesn't help because she still needs to heal from her breakup. Sometimes that can be painful.

There are going to be moments where she'll want to cry. She won't want to eat. She may want to stay home and not see people. That's perfectly fine. Sometimes it sunny. Sometimes it rains.

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When she told me what the coach had said, I did not challenge it. The reason is simple. Just as I can't know if a man of her dreams exists, I don't know if he doesn't. Nor do I know whether or not they'll meet. And even if they met, would he marry her and be the father of her child? I tell her all the time. Humans are awful at telling the future. Extraordinarily horrible. We can make educated guesses. But educated or not, they're still guesses.

My advice was simple. Process these feelings. Cry. Talk to people. Eat ice cream. Tons of it. No, don't do that. Go outside. Whatever she wants to do. This isn't her first rodeo. She's come out of past breakups fine. She'll come out of this fine as well.

Afterward, move forward. Have hope. There are tons of people out there. I mean, if a ton is 2,000 pounds, and the average man weighs around 160 pounds, that's 12.5 men per ton. There are forty million people in California alone. In other words, there's hella men for her to meet. Whatever the next step is, be it dating sites, going out with friends, putting herself out there is a great first step. The other choice is giving up. To do that would only fulfill her fear of dying alone.

Hope. If we can't change our past or tell the future, then hope helps point the mind in the right direction.

AMWF vs WMAF

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The classic questions:

To be or not to be? 

What is the meaning of life

Does God exist?

Do you want fries with that? 

Which is more prevalent? Asian Male White Female couples or White Male Asian Female couples? 

I started my YouTube addiction when I began to ride my mechanical steedThere are endless videos that show motorcycle mishaps. I wanted to see the riders’ mistakes and hopefully learn from them. Those videos led me to babes on bikes, chics on bikes, babes and chics on bikes, which inevitably led to documentaries.

Recently, I had come across a forty-minute video from Natalie Tran, an Asian Aussie woman dating a pretty fly Aussie, for a white guy. She has a pretty big following on YouTube, and she received a lot of hateful comments due to her relationship with this white colonizer. I say colonizer with a heaping scoop of sarcasm and a sprinkling of yellow fever. Because as I was watching the documentary, I felt the anger from my younger days bubbling up. I remember talking with my fellow yellow brothahs on how white dudes were taking away our yellow sistahs. But we were no where near qualified to talk about a sensitive subject such as this, given our narrow point of view.

In Natalie's documentary, she speaks to several Asian professionals from a pick up artist to a matchmaker and a senior lecturer at the University of Sidney with a focus on Asian representation in the media. They all agree that Asian women tend to be desired as opposed to Asian males, who are not. The main factor behind both of these perspectives are the media. Asian women are hyper-sexualized. Asian males are shown as physically inferior (i.e. height challenged, meek), not engaging, nerdy, socially awkward.

The matchmaker has encountered women, even Asian women who would prefer not to date Asian men due to the above mentioned stereotypes. She's had to work extra hard to sell an Asian guy as a match, touting his many qualities that fall outside of the media fed image. When it came to selling a non-Asian male, the matchmaker didn't have to mention that he’s manly and does manly things. She realizes that the justification of Asian males is wrong, but it's become a reality of her job.

I'd recommend the video. I can't do it justice here. However, for me, the many conversations Natalie has is pretty engaging, but then I'm one of those undesirable Asian males. So I'm always open on how to grow—not height wise—and improve myself.

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After I was done watching, I noticed another video, a rebuttal to Natalie's film. This Asian fellow was particularly angry and honed in on how Asian males have a severe disadvantage versus other races. That white men have white privilege, so they automatically have an advantage. And his biggest point is that he sees way more Asian women dating white men than white women dating Asian men. Data through dating sites like OkCupid seems to support this.

So what can Asian men do to combat this beast of prejudice? Here's what I've discovered that not only will tame this beast but will make Asian males more desirable in the eyes of females all around the world and Venus. What you do is NOTHING.

Get out of town, Jimmy.

First of all, I don't live in a town, I live in a city. Second, I get out of the city all the time.

Let me drop some truth on y’alls. There's nothing to combat. If anything, the issue lies within the individual man. I don't care who you is, bruh, but if you wanna be attractive to da ladies, then you gotta love yourself. And not like that. Put the lotion away.

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What I mean is look in the mirror and get to know yourself. Your strengths. Weaknesses. Know your likes and things that make you go "Ew" like a valley girl. What are your core values? Are you a saver or a spender? Do you want a serious relationship, or do you just want friends with benefits? Being comfortable in your own skin will help dispel the power of your own weaknesses. In other words, they'll have little effect on you. Weaknesses don’t mean you’re weak. You may need to strengthen them if a situation calls for it.

And being open to yourself will also allow you to be vulnerable to women. That way when you talk to them, or anyone, you're not guarded. I tell women all the time that I'm a cheap date, that I attain the Asian glow drinking just one Coors Light. If a woman refuses to date me because of that, then we were never meant to be. She has no sense of humor. She may think my inability to hold my liquor is not manly. Therefore, I probably don't have the attributes she's looking for.

This leads me to another truth. Not everyone is gonna like you. Ya ain't gonna make everyone happy. If a woman doesn't want to date an Asian guy, then, as an Asian dude, why the fuck would you wanna date her? She's not worth your time.

Think of it this way. Would you want to spend time with someone who doesn't want to be your friend?

That's not to say that I didn't feel like low hanging fruit—yes, my fruit hangs low. For much of my younger years, I felt like I was inferior to other races of men. This is what I mean when I say the issue lies with the individual. I had this issue. No one planted it in me. So I decided to do something about it. I had to get out of my shell. I went out more, talked to different people, discovered that I had a pretty sick sense of humor, which I love. I slowly got to know me. Sure. There are things that I don’t like. But there’s a lot that I do.

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I decided to try an experiment. I switched my point of view and looked for Asian men dating non-Asian females. BLAM! My nephew had a black girlfriend, married her. I saw an old acquaintance of mine who had married a blonde. Saw a Chinese dude walk around in the gym with his Caucasian girlfriend. Actually, I don't know if he was Chinese or not. I can't tell the difference between the Asian races. AMWF couples were showing up everywhere. I was shocked.

So, instead of focusing on the issue that women don't like you for some strange reason, open your eyes to women who can handle your strangeness. From experience, going for what you want is way easier than being angry at the world.

There's one more point I want to hit on. Angry Asian harps on the fact that a lot of these Asian women only want to date white guys. He named several celebrities to prove his point. And their social media accounts show they all have white boyfriends. However, all of these women had railed against yellow fever, that they want to be seen and be wanted for who they are and not for what they look like. He then states that yellow fever doesn't really exist because guys don't care what race the girl is.

First of all Asian women can date whomever they want. Man, woman, dog, cactus. They are not obligated to date within their own race. Second, men do have their preferences. OkCupid and FaceBook had published a study that showed black women to have substantially fewer likes than other races of women. Third, Asian women can prefer white guys and still argue against yellow fever. Is it a double standard? Most certainly. But life is full of them. Notably slut-shaming. Society has taught women that it's bad for them to have many sexual partners. But it's fine if men do. I'm a dude. Even I think that's stupid. This brings me to my last point.

If you’re a woman and wanna sleep with someone and not be slut-shamed, then here's my contact page.

To live a happier life, remove the filter that the world hates you. Instead filter out people that don’t like you. It may feel like you're losing a lot of people, but you can't lose what you've never had in the first place.

Great Expectations

Some say a woman in her forties who is single is likely to have issues. Most of those people are men who aren't very bright. And not like a light bulb bright. There could be a billion reasons why a woman, or anyone, in their forties has never been married. Society's measure on what age marriage should take place is a farce. However, I respect that real things like the biological clock has to be considered. Unless the woman doesn't want children. Then hit me up. Joking. Hit me up. For real.

Last weekend I met a woman in her forties. We were talking about our lives, what we wanted, what we didn't. Then she asked an unanswerable question, "What do guys want in a woman?"

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I laughed. Partly because I'm one guy out of three and a half billion. But I gave her the obvious answer. "T and A."

"What's that?" She wasn't from this country, so she didn't know what that was.

"Tits and ass."

She smiled, but I could tell when looking at her eyes she wasn't satisfied with that answer or wanted a deeper answer. "Don't you think that a relationship can last longer and be happier if it's open? Or polyamorous?"

This was an interesting turn of questions because she went from asking what men want to what contributes to a happy relationship. In talking to her some more, I found out that she had broken off a 17-year relationship where she saw her boyfriend about four times a year. It was a long distant relationship.

Scratching my head, I said, "I think some people are hardwired to be open. And some people are hardwired to be monogamous. Being in an open relationship doesn't guarantee anything." And neither does being monogamous.

She thought for a moment. "What do you think makes a relationship long lasting?"

My answer was short and concise. The explanation of it would be difficult. Understanding it proved harder for her.

"Having no expectations," I answered.

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I used Valentine's Day as an example of expectations. Traditionally on this day women expect to be given gifts, taken out to expensive dinners, all to celebrate their love and relationship. We know this happens because data backs this up. Try getting a last minute dinner reservation on February 14th. Outside of fast food chains that doesn't take reservations, you'll likely have to chance it by waiting in a long line of sorrow, and/or receive a whippin' from your lady the next day. And don't even think about just giving flowers and chocolates. That's so passé.

Side note: a group of us were talking about wedding rings. One of us recommended a white sapphire, which sounded classy. I guess diamonds are passé. Someone chimed in and warned us men not to get something small. Size does matter. Does the size of the rock represents how much a man loves his woman? If so, good luck with your marriage.

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Going back to Valentine's Day. Sometimes our expectations aren't met, bearing disappointment. Maybe she didn’t get the gift she was expecting. Maybe he didn’t get that sexual favor he was hoping for. So that resentment can root into the relationship, grow uncontrollably, and all of the sudden explode into an argument about who does the dishes. Of course the issue with their relationship was never about the dishes. It was about the resentment of failed expectations.

The woman I was talking to nodded. She tapped her lip trying to digest what I had just said. "But when I date someone, I'm seeing if we have a future with him. If I'm in a relationship, I want him to be my husband. I want to have a map of where we're going."

This is where I think I failed. To paraphrase my response: There's nothing wrong with having a map. But as you're traveling through life, you don't know what you'll see. Even if you want a life together, you still have to focus on what's happening in the moment.

What I should have said was, "To build a building, you do it one brick at a time. To build a life together, you do it one moment at a time."

Since I couldn't answer what men want in women succinctly, I turned the question to her. "What do you want in a man?"

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Instantly she said, "I want a man who is loyal, honest and faithful. I want him to be my lover, to support my passions and to be my best friend." Basically, everything. I write this not to disparage her or anyone, man or woman, who wants this. But to expect everything from a single human being is romanticism (I'm substituting romanticism for the word crazy, but I don't want to offend anyone). I mean, not even the iPhone can provide everything.

Relationship and intimacy expert, Esther Perel, said that a village used to provide all the things that we now expect in a lover. So she advised that we get what we need from others. Expand your support system beyond your spouse or lover. Look to friends for conversation. Spend time with family to get grounded. Go to lectures or seminars to expand your mind. Then go back to your lover to expand your loins.

Part Two: Low Expectations...

Choice and Fear

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Here's a simple math problem. If I were to flip a coin, what are the chances of heads turning up?

A. 50%

B. 50%

I didn't say it was a hard math problem. Let's say the coin lands and gives us heads. Now if I flip the coin a second time, what are the chances of me getting heads again?

A. 25%

B. 50%

C. 75%

Ooh. Three choices! The answer is B. Let's say the coin turned up heads again. Flipping the coin once more, what are the chances we get heads again?

Believe it or not, the chances are still 50%. Each coin flip is completely unrelated to each other. They're separate events in time. I hope it's easy to see this truth.

Living as humans, we're constantly haunted by our past. Maybe it's evolution's way to help protect us from making the same possible fatal mistake. But when this fear of the past seeps into other parts of our lives that may not have the benefit of killing us, then issues may arise.

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I have a friend who has had a devastating past with men. In general, men have not treated her kindly. In many cases violently. Her current beau is a strange bird, a conspiracist, or a believer of such non-scientifically proven things as the earth is flat and the moon landing was faked and...well...to go on would be a waste of space.

Short story long, they've broken up numerous times, citing mental abuse, specifically him wanting her to believe in the crazy. After breaking up for the last time, she's told me she would never go back to him again, using the words, "Read my lips...no new taxes." OK. That was George. But we all know how that turned out. So, too, did my friend go back on her own word. But it's her life, and she can do whatever she wants with it.

I bring her up for a specific reason. When they had ended it for the nth time, she feared that she would not find anyone better than her ex, citing her past. So I gave her the coin flip math problem, which she answered correctly, and I said that her past does not determine who she dates in the future. She wasn't sure, but she put up a strong front on Facebook, posting happy pictures.

Several months later, I hear through the grapevine that she went back to her ex, well her non-ex now. I guess my coin flip analogy failed to imbue her with the courage to seek a new man. Hey. Who knows? They may work it out.

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So how do you know when to "get back on the horse" or when to move on?

Because if my friend works her relationship out, and they both live a life filled with happiness, then it doesn't matter if they broke up and got back together many many times. In contrast, if they fail as a couple, then she may have wasted a lot of time.

Sometimes you act in the face of fear because in reality it's all in our heads.

I remember listening to an interview with Kathryn Stockett, who wrote The Help. She was rejected 60 times before finding her literary agent. So if she had decided to give up at the 60th rejection, she may have not found the success she has today. Emotionally, she has gone through a rollercoaster of a ride trying to get her book published. All writers do. She must have had intense doubt as the rejection letters piled higher and higher. But something in her spoke to her, to continue submitting query letters, despite the fear of rejection. But she did it! If we look at the coin flip analogy, each letter had no effect on the other. She could have possibly received endless rejections because one rejection does not promise that the next won't be. And she could have received an offer letter if she had queried her current agent first.

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An example of real fear is when a grizzly bear is chasing you. As you're running away, you remember a frightening fact. They can run way faster than humans and over greater distances. You look back, and the bear is gaining on you. Fast. Good luck.

Let's get back to my friend and her beau. She decided to start the relationship yet again out of fear, which was that she wouldn't be able to find someone as good as him. We can't say that there is a better match for her because there are no guarantees in life. Save death. But we do know there are plenty of other men out there that she hasn't explored. So her fear that he's the best for her is unfounded.

It would be one thing if their relationship worked, then there'd be no need to look further. From what little I see of them, she's trying to change him, he's trying to change her, and that to leads conflict. In other words, they haven't accepted each other for who they are. Nor have they accepted themselves. Once those things are done, then getting along with each other becomes much easier.

Answering the Question: Am I A Man?

I'm not a man. Because I'm afraid of heights. Because I wear both the panties and dress in a relationship. So, I want to come out of the closet and tell the world I'm not a man.

What does it mean to be a man?

That's a hard question to answer. And one I try to in my book.

When I first envisioned my main character, I wanted all the hallmarks of what America thought a man was, or at least from what I could gather...

He has to be white. Having blonde hair is a plus. He can fight, a warrior, so long hair is on the ingredients list. And he's a master with a pair of broadswords. Skinny swords? Hell no. Those are for sissies! And he has to be a captain of industry. In this case, he commands a Legion of warriors. Not just any Legion. The largest and most powerful.

Of course, no man is complete without having sewn fields of women. Endless fields. Like countless. Like seven...

But there comes a time when any real man with manly qualities must take a wife. Yes, take. Not only did he take from another suitor, he charmed her with his charming charm. Is there any other way? And what a beauty. To say she is hot is like saying the sun is bright. A quarter doesn't bounce off her ass because quarters don't exist in my novel's world. But if they did, it would't stop bouncing. In fact it'd bounce higher and higher. That is how fit his wife’s ass is.

Now their children can't be anything less than ultimate perfection. Both son and daughter are beautiful and strong warriors, well educated, and have wisdom that extends beyond time and space.

All right. I went a tad overboard here. But what would happen if I took away these things one by one. Would my character be less and less of a man?

How you answer that question will say a lot about yourself, man or woman. Because I can take away everything on that list, and I do in my book, and my character would still be a man. No, I'm not talking biologically. But nothing from the above list makes any person a man.

Think of it this way. There are two guys. One owns a Porsche 911 R, which starts at $184,900. The other drives a Walmart 18-speed bike, which costs $79...$87 with tax. I bought one. Who's more of a man?

This is a question that's impossible to answer. First off, material wealth doesn't determine manliness. Second, we as a society can't pin down what a man is versus what a man isn't. Even men have a hard time defining what a man is. So they buy more and more stuff, big stuff, fast stuff, stuff that says, "See this big, fast, brightly colored thing? I own it. Well, 1% of it while I owe the bank the next five years of my life. But, hey, I'm a man!"

Or we do crazier and crazier things in order to prove ourselves. Or deny doing things because it's not manly. "Crying? What's that? Some sort of hand-to-hand combat to the death?" "Read? No. I don't read. Only nerds and geeks read." "Chick flick? Not really into throwing little yellow birds."

However, my definition of a man is pretty simple. It's knowing thyself.

Fuck you! What the fuck does knowing thyself mean?

Part of being a confident person is knowing your strengths, your weaknesses, what you like, what you don't like. It's having the gumption to be fine with your weaknesses and not judging yourself for not liking certain things such as sports. I don't like watching sports. That ain't my thang. Math isn't a strong suit of mine, despite being Asian. I don't go around solving string theory equations or force myself to be a sports fanatic in order to become more manly. That would be a waste of my time.

Now back to my acquaintance who basically said I'm not a man, and I wear dresses.

I had become friends with a woman on a group trip to Zion, Utah. Afterward, I called her for a date, and she said yes. Having gone on two dates, I was trying to set up a third when she told me she was going to go to the store. So I told her to call me back. An hour crawled by. A second hour oozed into the night. So I texted her if she was back. An hour weaved its way through a labyrinth of endless thoughts in my head. And I went to sleep. The next morning, she texted back and apologized. I asked what had happened. Not where the fuck did you go, bitch? That wouldn't be manly, in my opinion. She texted, "Had an emergency with my madre."

She'd never mixed Spanish like that when we talked. So either this turned out not to be an emergency. Or she might have been playing some game. I don't play games in dating. It's just not my style. I'm upfront. I'm an In Your Face Motherfucker kinda dude. So I decided to not text back and to never talk to her again.

A couple years later, some guy I know told me that he had dated her for a few months. I asked him why it didn't work out. He gave me no details except that they had clashed. Later through our conversation I found out they had talked about me. Were they that bored, having nothing else in the world to talk about? He revealed that this woman had never liked me because I'm weird. And he agreed with that assessment. Had she and I gone on a blind date, I would understand why me being weird would be a turnoff. But we spent a week together in Utah. The fact that I'm weird wouldn't escape a sleeping sloth high on cocaine with two heroine needles stuck in each arm after binge drinking Everclear. If her intuition didn't pick up the signal that I was weird, then good luck in life, girl.

A part of me thought that she was a dinner collector. A woman who goes on dates just to eat. But on our second date, she ordered only an appetizer, the entrees had been a bit pricy. That's not dinner collector behavior.

Then the guy said, "You didn't even go all they way up..." and stopped himself.

I know there's a chain. Lemme alone

I know there's a chain. Lemme alone

One of the hikes in Zion ended at a place called Angels Landing. It's a trail that averages about 3-4 feet wide, I was told, and rises 2,000 feet above sea level. I'm afraid of heights. I told the group that when we had gone on this hike. Having a choice of falling off to my left or right to certain death wasn't something I relished. So I decided to wait, while they finished, and had a good conversation with the woman I would be going on the dates with. Obviously she told him I hadn't gone up onto Angels Landing. And the fact that he harped on that meant he thought I wasn't a man because he followed up by stating that my ex wore the pants in my last relationship. He witnessed all of three minutes of it because she didn't like hanging out with him. So I'm not sure what he saw, but he never told me the reason for his assessment of me.

This from a guy who had told me that he could do way better than his ex-girlfriend and broke up with her. Then he tried to get back with her only to find out that she had moved on with another guy. He then educated me by saying Asian women are like a five out of ten, but white women are like a fifteen. Apparently math is not his strong suit either. And if he ranks Asian women lower than whites, then why do I see him date Asian women? Does that speak more to his own self image?

Getting Fit Will Get You Hot Chicks (no)

To conform or not to conform. That's not a question that many people would ask of themselves, though why would they?

A friend of mine was having issues getting laid. Well, the issue was more why his dates didn't go further than, "It's nice to meet you," as they scurried away from him like the Road Runner. Maybe he did this:

At that time, I remembered him calling me a racist when I made fun of Asians. I took that to mean that he was stiff, having no sense of humor, or maybe he was afraid of expressing himself. So I asked if he conformed to societal norms, or if he said whatever he wanted.

He made sure that he was the crazy one amongst his friends. That don't mean nuthin'.

Usually, I'm the crazy one when I hang out with people, but that's because most of them don't say or do stupid stuff like I do. But if I hung out with a bunch of adrenaline junkies, then I'd be the "normal" dude shivering in the back of the plane as everyone jumped out into uncertainty.

A few months later, my friend told me that he had had a string of women and was sure that it was due to him conforming. However, in hanging out with him, I found that he's conforming more to his true self, or that he expresses himself honestly, as Bruce Lee had put it.

I was discussing this subject of being more of yourself with an acquaintance of mine. He's socially awkward. He tends to stare at you for long periods of time. He thinks getting fit will get you hot chicks (it can help, but no). It's difficult for him to carry a conversation, so he usually sits there, staring at hot chicks.

"I tend to say whatever I want," I said. "So practice doing that. And don't worry about what other people think of you. You have no control over that."

So he thought for a moment as he stared at me and said, "I like to spank girls."

Whoa!

Now it may look like I'm pulling in the reigns of honestly expressing yourself, but I know what he was trying to do. He was trying to say stupid shit like I did. I say stupid shit because sometimes I like getting a rise out of people. I've had years of practice. He hadn't. So when he said he likes spanking girls, which is cool, me too, he was trying to emulate some part of me instead of being himself.

There are times when I talk to my friends and I'm very straight forward. No funny stuff. Boring really. Sometimes I like being lewd and crude and rude and using lube because the situation calls for it. Or maybe I like it.

The whole point is do you. Whatever that may be. If you wanna be silly, then be silly. If you want to have a serious conversation, then have it. If you wanna jump out of a plane, then don't ask me to join. Seriously. That shit scares the shit out of me. I actually would empty my bowels as I plummet toward the earth.

The Death of a Butterfly

I like to ask uncomfortable questions. Especially when people are in relationships. You can tell a lot about a person by how they date. Just like you can tell how a person will treat you by how they treat the waitstaff. But if your lovers tip you after having sex, then that might be kinda awkward.

When I meet people, I naturally start thinking about what character traits they may have if they were to be written in a story. Character traits shape how they see the world. So if someone is insecure, then they'll value themselves below everyone else, for example.

A friend of mine is seeing someone that lives out of state. I think her character traits look like this:

She works with kids, loves them. She's insecure, and I'd imagine because she doesn't know herself well. She has lived a sheltered life, but is trying to stretch her wings and explore the world and, as a result, herself.

Now I've met her man once at a get together at a bar. But we didn't have deep conversations because he was withdrawn, uninterested. However, from what little I've gathered, this is his character chart:

From a writing standpoint, this triangle would collapse on itself, making this person seem very one dimensional. Someone who is autistic might not like being around people he doesn't know.

So how does a writer separate this autistic trait from shyness? They tend to look the same, making it hard for the writer and reader to separate the two.

The better question is how would I make this character more interesting? I could make the third character trait be charming. That's the last thing people would think an autistic person would have, so the distance between charm and autism feels huge.

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Dimension in the physical world can be measured. If I say you have to sprint one mile, you may feel that's a great distance for a full max effort. There's an inherent understanding there. With character traits, measuring the distance between them is difficult, so doing something unexpected like coupling charm and autism can give a character depth. Or imagine coupling kindness and hatred.

Now, here's the story: The girl has lived a sheltered life, and she realizes this. She wants to explore herself in the world by doing weird and crazy things. Her guy is afraid of people due to his autism, despite being high functioning, so going out into the world isn't the most comfortable thing.

Will their relationship work out? I mean, opposites attract, right?

I'd imagine their love story has a lot of push/pull in it. For example, she has to give in to his fear and plan things for them to do, which is to stay in and make many a Blockbuster nights. You youngens might not know what that is. He has to compromise by going out and meeting new people. The end scene would be him not talking to anyone and running away, alienating her and her friends. Of course, this being 'Merica, after much tribulation, they end up living happily ever after.

Yay. Boring.

But since this is a real life couple, could a relationship like this work? My knee jerk reaction would be No. However, I've seen some crazy couples, and they seem to be doing fine. I think the more interesting question would be why an attractive woman is working so hard to be with a man who seems to be resisting moving here and meeting her friends? That character study would make for a better story. Too much energy is placed on the end story both in real life and writing, which isn't the purpose of life. Looking at the why we do things is definitely more engaging. So...

If we look at her character chart, we can see that insecurity plays a big part. Does she not see his unwillingness to participate in her life says something about how he feels about her? No, because her insecurity blinds her to the truth, and she thinks that this guy is the best that she can get. Here we begin to understand why she can't move on. Now let's put a small twist and have them take a break from the relationship.

She goes on endless dates. Show montage of crazy dudes being idiots. We can deepen the story by writing about her co-dependency where her desperation to be married forces her to have sex with any guy that will have her. And this causes issues like self-loathing, the loss of connection with friends and family, an unplanned pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, drug use that leads to a miscarriage. And if you thought we were too nice, then we hit her hard with the death of her grandmother who had taken care of her when her own mother was on the fritz with her life.

At this point, our story can become a tragedy. After all this, how can it not be? Well a tragedy is when a character fails to become the person she should become. In this case, she fails to realize that her insecurity is something that she believes herself to be, entrenching herself deeper into worthlessness, depression. In other words, she's like a caterpillar who never becomes the butterfly. She tries to break free of her cocoon, but the man she's hung up on comes back into her world. She attaches her self-worth to him, never giving herself the chance to bloom. We see this as her not having her own thoughts, opinions, but being controlled by a man who needs to keep her down so he can feel better about himself. And his worsening treatment of her forshadows her life. 

Obviously, this is just an exercise of light character study. My friend still has her whole life ahead of her to grow, which is what people naturally do when they don't think they're worthless in any way.