Friday, April 28, 2006

The Top-Down Theory

Here’s my latest installment of my relationship advice to couples. I’ve been studying for the past 5 years to be an engineer which is why theoretical stuff makes sense to me. I’d like to think that there’s a reason for everything. So I’ve finally put into words a theory that I’ve had for several years now. This theory has been developed through my own experiences in faulty relationships as well as the experiences of others who’ve thought enough of me to confide in me. This theory shall be called the “Top-Down Theory”.
Now most theories (and theorems) seem incredibly simple once you think about them, but their truths are pretty powerful. This one is no different. The whole concept of it is based on simple human anatomy. These next words you read are my attempt to fully explain my “Top-Down Theory”, but keep in mind that like all theories, this theory has a very rate of high accuracy, but there are special cases where it doesn’t apply. So without any further ado, here is my “Top-Down Theory”.

This theory consists of 4 areas of the body. Here they are in their respective order: the head, the eyes, the heart, and the genital region.
According to my theory, this is the order in which all solid, lasting relationships must be formed, and if the final step comes anywhere but last, the relationship is destined to fail. You must start from the top and go down; thus the name “Top-Down Theory”.

Let’s start with the head. This is the time when two people meet, and they get to know one another. One thing that one must avoid though is falling for the other person’s representative (which will be the topic of my next discussion). Many times the person that you first meet isn’t the same person that you see 8 months from then. So it’s wise to give that person a good amount of time to reveal their true self to you. By that time, you should know whether or not you two actually have things in common.

Once this is established, the next step in the sequence is the eyes. This is the time when you two make sure that you see eye to eye on things. For instance, it is important to have a crystal clear understanding of what both parties are looking for from the relationship. Because you’d hate to have one person looking for a spouse and the other person is only seeking a quick fling or casual date.

Once the two people see eye to eye, it’s now time for the heart to come into play. If it’s been decided that a long-term relationship is being sought by both parties, it’s okay to slowly (and I stress slowly) open up your heart. On the other hand, if you two came to a conclusion that a serious relationship was not what you wanted, now is the time to make sure that your heart doesn’t get caught up in it. You have to protect yourself. (By the way, anything other than two definite YES’s when it comes to seeking a serious relationship is a NO. If you get one definite YES and one “maybe possibly down the road” then that’s a definite NO. The only way you allow your feelings to get in it is if you have a DEFINITE agreement on what it is that you both want).

And the final step is pretty intuitive. This is where the genital regions come into play. This is a two-part process. The first step calls for you both making perfectly sure that you’re (to use a line from “She’s Your Queen to Be” on Coming to America) “completely free from infection”. If one comes up as an undesirable, then you’ve got some decisions to make. Do you go back to the head and figure out what you want to do or do you resort back to the heart step and go with your feelings? That’s on you. But remember that it’s YOUR health.
But in a best case scenario when everybody comes up clean, by all means, HAVE AT IT. And just doing it isn’t good enough. You have to make sure that it’s good. So make it a point to come to an agreement on what is and isn’t allowed. For example, if you’re a man who likes to get rough, you better make sure your girl is alright with you slapping her backside before you do it. Otherwise, you may get smacked back. By the same token, if you’re a woman that’s into domination, don’t crack out the whips until you know it’s alright with your man.
Making love is an adult act, so the two people should be grown-up enough to talk about it openly with one another. Don’t EVER think that your love is so strong that it can overcome bad or average sex. Don’t EVER think that. And make sure you come to some kind of compromise with each other, because PLEASE BELIEVE that what you’re not willing to do, someone else is. And that temptation is ALWAYS there. So the genital region shouldn’t be seen as a final destination, but rather the completion of a project that requires continuous improvement (that’s the engineer in me talking). Once you get to that point, you have to make sure that you continually find ways to improve all of the steps if necessary.

So to prove my theory, I’ll give you a couple of likely scenarios of what happens when these steps are done out of order.
In today’s society (let’s be real here), most relationships begin in the genital region. People meet where ever they meet, talk a few times, get to know each other and then it’s straight to the bed (or the back seat). If it’s good, they keep on going and along the way they catch feelings. That takes them to the heart. And by the time they get up to the eyes, they understand that they have absolutely NOTHING in common, and then the arguments and fighting ensue. And then it’s “curtains” for that relationship.
Another example is when people start at the heart and try to work their way around. They’re in love with the idea of being in love so they look for anything and anyone to call their own. They force themselves to believe that they have the head and eyes steps taken care of. But what they’re really doing is turning a blind eye to flaws JUST so they can have someone. This normally ends up with them proclaiming their love for one another within the first month or so. And then the genital area step comes about. This only worsens the effect of the HORRIBLE decision to put the heart step first. They claim that the love is strong just because the sex is good. But eventually, the lack of solid head and heart steps catch up with you. Arguments and fighting ensue, and the relationship usually ends unceremoniously.

I don’t want to close this without first acknowledging the fact that this theory has a small failure rate. In some cases, successful relationships (and even marriages) come about while going out of order with these steps. But let’s not get carried away. If you take the chance of going that route (especially trying to go Bottom-Up), it’s like playing the crap table in Vegas. Oh, you’ll win if you’re lucky, but the odds are stacked strongly against you.

So in closing, there are a few instances where successful relationships come about from using methods other than the “Top-Down Theory”. But this method is just about fail safe. If you want to protect yourself and build a strong solid foundation and have a good chance of being in a lasting and meaningful relationship, the “Top-Down Theory” is definitely the way to go.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Seeking a Co-Signer

Sometimes communication lines can be blurred in relationships. I’m speaking purely about romantic relationships at this point. Sometimes we men can’t find the right words to express the way we feel and the way we try to express it usually leads to, at the least, more confusion or at most, an argument and hurt feelings. So the whole point of this piece is to speak on behalf of men who are in serious relationships/marriages or are thinking about getting into a serious relationship/marriage.
When the question “What is it that you want from me?” is asked by the female of the twosome, normally two things happen depending on the volatility of the relationship: 1- he quickly jumps to the defensive and assumes that you’re attacking his motives for being in the relationship and answers with “I don’t want anything from you.” And 2) He’s so overwhelmed by the abruptness of the question and the amount of things that he actually does want, that he can’t answer that question completely.
From being around serious minded men who are seeking women to enter into long-term relationships, their desires from their ideal mate have ranged from being as simple as being a good friend to as absurd as being able to perform oral sex with the prowess of a street walker. I won’t judge either one of those prerequisites because people like what they like. But a good solid relationship can’t be based on either of those extremes. Good friendship won’t hold you close at night, and by the same token, good oral sex won’t help you when you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one.
So with that being said, there is a myriad of things that a man needs from a loving relationship. Most men at some stage of their lives would like to have the pin-up model type woman on his arm. Some men may desire a woman that knows her way around the kitchen. Some men, despite belief of the contrary, are attracted to and seek women who are in powerful positions (i.e. lawyers, CEO’s, and executives). These men realize that those type of women have to be in charge of everything 8-12 hours a day, and when they come home they’d much rather not have to call all the shots. Some men look for (and this is a very important quality) a woman whose life is based on her faith in GOD. While others seek a woman who he believes will be a great mother to his offspring. But most men seek all of those things in one, and somewhere between all that, maybe good friendship and oral sex fall into the equation.
But what a man NEEDS (note that I didn’t say wants) is simple: a co-signer. Any man who’s worth his salt will hit a wall in pursuit of his destiny. And the ways of dealing with the frustration of hitting that wall will vary from man to man, but the one constant that each of these men will need is a co-signer to get him back on track. A simple, “Baby it’ll be alright. I’m here with/for you regardless of what happens” is like giving superman a shot of steroids. Knowing that his woman has his back in any situation gives any man the confidence to conquer the world. When his closest friends and family won’t be there, as long as his woman co-signs, he’s good to go.
The most important tool that a woman must possess to be a co-signer, though, is a solid belief in something greater than herself. There is perhaps no stronger force than a prayerful wife. Through her righteousness, the co-signer can give her man a spiritual covering that will save him from several traps and even from destroying himself.
(Side note: There’s something to be said about having someone else pray for you. There’s an old story about two fishermen who are shipwrecked and they both end up on separate neighboring islands. One man prayed one prayer as soon as he got on his island and the other man prayed every day. The one that prayed every day got EVERYTHING he asked God for while the other man was there with nothing. So the man who got everything finally prayed for a ship to get him off the island. He got it and was headed away when God stopped him and asked why he wasn’t going to offer his comrade a ride. He said that the man’s faith was weak because he only prayed one time and apparently got nothing that he prayed for. And God replied and told him that the man had gotten everything that he asked for. The one time that he did pray, all he did was ask that his friend get everything that he prayed for.)
There are some cautions on being a co-signer, though. First and foremost, you can’t become one overnight. The right to even be a co-signer comes with serious time and serious trials. A man won’t believe any of your co-signing is genuine unless you have been through tribulations before TOGETHER. And most importantly, you can’t co-sign to EVERYTHING. Being a co-signer comes with responsibility. You cannot be afraid to find a tactful way to tell your man that he is wrong. It happens…often.
In conclusion, there is one thing that should be remembered about being a co-signer. No man will ever tell you this (well… I guess I’m about to), but there’s not a worse feeling in the world than feeling betrayed by his significant other/wife (which will be referred to as co-signer from this point on). The reason is because for us, it doesn’t seem natural to us to show weakness or to share our fears. The only person in the world that we can share that with is our co-signer. We share (sometimes, reluctantly) with her the things that we can’t even share with our CLOSEST friends/brothers/family members. So all the friendship, good looks, oral sex, professional clout, good motherly ways, etc. is just gravy. But the real meat & potatoes that will keep a relationship well-nourished is the co-signer.