Wednesday, August 28, 2013

[Opinion Piece] The Friend Zone...

That inhospitable place where your manhood goes to die.

Stolen from Pinterest
Stop it. Just stop it.

So you meet a girl, you’ve been hanging out consistently a couple of times. You think she’s cute and she’s been reciprocating your flirting. So its time to take things to the next level right? Time to start dating so you can really get to know each other.

That my friends, is a load of crap. Read that again and tell me that doesn’t sound all kinds of backwards to you. So you’ve known a girl for a few days and now you want to commit to her? And you want her to commit to you? Actually a fairly high percentage of guys don’t really want that, they just want her to commit enough so they can have a little bit of fun and then they drop her and call her crazy, but that’s a post for another day. I actually want to talk to the so called “good/nice guys”. The few who actually do want a commitment after a couple of casual dates.

You’re almost as bad. Almost.

Tell me why the heck any girl should commit her heart to you after a couple of short days? How well does she know you? How well do you know her? I’ve had a couple guys who I started dating right off the bat and then a month later I found out they actually kind of annoy the crap out of me. I could have saved us both time, money, and frustration by just doing one simple thing. Friend zoning them.

Now let me tell you a few fun facts you don’t know about the “friend zone”.
  1. The friend zone has a very high level of influence and input.
  2. The friend zone is the place where you will see every side of the girl before having to commit to anything. 
  3. In the friend zone you oftentimes are not expected to pay for dinner.
  4. More can be accomplished in regards to a future and long lasting relationship in a long informal lunch than any dinner and movie date out there.
  5. The friend zone will allow you access too much more of the girl’s thoughts than she would express in relationships.
  6. Her parents will love you before they have to start worrying about your intentions.
  7. If you get yourself into best-friend zone you will be in her thoughts infinitely more than boyfriends, crushes, or anyone else for that matter.
  8. When she needs someone she will usually go to the friend, not the boyfriend.
  9. If you discover you really have no interest in listening to this girl for another second you can get out pretty easily by engaging the “fizzle” tactic (just lessening contact gradually).
  10.  You can help her get to know you in the most flattering light ever, the friend light. Because the whole infatuation thing gets old pretty fast when the crush has bad breath, only ever wants to make-out, never really listens, wants to move things too fast, starts telling the girl what to do.

Now does that place seem so bad? I’ll be honest. Friend zone can last a while (sometimes it actually will last forever, if you feel like that might be the case you are totally allowed to move right along and find another gal to court). It can take a couple years before the girl realizes that the nice-easy-nopressure-fun-slow-sweet love she feels towards you is actually the love she can’t live without. If you aren’t really interested in investing that time in her and you just want to get in and out then don’t bother. Drop that chick fast so you can both move on.

If you are however looking to be in for the long haul what harm will a year or two of delay be? You do realize that marriage is the ultimate friend zone? I mean yeah there’s sex too, but you are going to be listening to the girl; sitting around the house with her; seeing her without make-up; dealing with her little foibles. She’ll be getting mad at you; she’ll be crying on your shoulder; you’re going have to deal with her during that time of the month. These are things you would have already faced during a stint in the friend zone. Makes that first year a heck of a lot easier on you when you already know the girl in the first place, you already know how to handle all of this.

Friend zones also don’t have to last years, they can be as short as a couple months or even weeks. Just know that when it does happen you aren't out for the game. In fact you just got promoted to team captain, you’re pretty much calling the shots.  

Side Note: while in the friend zone make sure you're there for the right reasons. It will take some time before you realize whether or not your intentions are in the right place but when you realize they aren't then do yourself (and the girl) a favor and back down. Meaning, If you are in the friend zone and constantly bugging the girl (either in your head or out loud) about when you'll be out of it, how much you want her, and if you're constantly making moves on her then you aren't really fit for the zone. You aren't there for her you're there for you. That'll only ever lead to bitterness on both ends. If you can admit to yourself that your feelings for this girl aren't going away but you care too much to not be there for her they you are there for the right reasons. 

Now this is not how it will work for all girls. There are plenty of girls out there (especially in Mormon culture) who are ready for marriage right now. You won’t be getting friend-zoned. You’ll be on the fast track to marriage. That works for some people. Good for them. There are also girls out there who will friend one you and then start dating someone else. That can be frustrating too. Just know, you are in charge of yourself and if you can't deal with it then you can walk away at any time, or you can start dating another girl. Keeping that friendship there is up to you. You also might realize that the friend zone is where you want to be with this girl. She's a great friend and you love her, but you know that it's just never gonna happen. Well then you just got a friend. Not really a bad deal. 

So all you fellas and ladies out there complaining about the zone. Just take a deep breath, reevaluate where you are and decide what you want. The ball is in your court. It's your move. 



Thursday, August 15, 2013

[Religion] The one about Mormons...

Hello Friends,

What I say on this blog is never meant to offend or to hurt anyone or anything. These are my thoughts, this is my venue, and I am permitted to speak my mind.

I just want to say something that I don’t usually say outside the Camp Hill chapel. I keep it fairly private (mostly because it means so much to me and I hate for people to treat it with disdain, condescension, and even suspicion) so not many people know the details of my faith but I want to explain why I believe what I believe. It is not because I was raised as a Mormon, thought that naturally plays a part. It is because of what being a Mormon means that I remain one.

There have been several times in my life where I struggled with leaving the church and sometimes for months at a time I stopped attending. I wanted to “experience” life differently. I wanted to be with someone. I wanted to get away from imagined drama. All of these excuses shook me hard, but not hard enough for me to ever throw away the last little bit of faith I had left. Today I am filled with gratitude that I did not leave. That I clung to this faith despite the painful predicaments I found myself in.

The story of the Mormon faith may seem like some strange fairy tale to those who hear it for the first time, or to those who have only heard bits and pieces. I’ll agree that the thought of God and Jesus appearing to a 14 year old boy in the middle of a forest can seem like something people would doubt. I want it to be known that I don’t doubt it. I believe it. 

I believe God is real, I believe his Son is real, I believe the Holy Ghost is real and he dwells with me daily. I believe they are all separate beings and the Father and the Son have real flesh and blood bodies. 

I believe that they established the true church on the earth twice, the first time with Jesus's time on earth. The second when Joseph Smith reestablished it under his direction. 

I believe that through the restoration many important and wonderful things that were lost during the Dark Ages were restored. Among them the Priesthood, the authority and power of God. I believe through the priesthood power miracles occur on the earth each and every day. I believe that through this power families can be sealed together so they can be together eternally and have eternal progress. 

I believe that Jesus Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane for all our physical, spiritual, and mental pains and sins. I believe he died on the cross to finish that atonement. 

I believe all of this and more. I wish I could say everything that is in my heart but I can't put it to words.

I realize that while I have outlined some basic beliefs I have yet to mention really WHY. Well here it goes.

Because of my faith I have lived a life free of addiction, abuse, and too much exposure to the nasty that goes on the world. Some would call me sheltered, and I may be (though I am by no means naive). I would prefer to think of myself as free. I am free of the chains that weigh people down. I have seen too many people leave their faith on a journey of "self-discovery" or in an effort to "embrace life". I have seen them slowly make more and more decisions that lead them into the arms of depression, suspicion, and self-justification. Meanwhile my faith has ended my three year battle with bulimia and my seemingly endless one with depression. I'm not exaggerating. My faith ended my depression without medication or really anything else. Now there are only residual shadows left and they are so very easy to squash. That was a battle of almost seven years! Ended the year I decided to fully embrace and live my faith.    

Another reason I believe what I do is because of the knowledge. I have never known of a faith that was more clear and defined. I know exactly what the nature of God is, I know what he has in store for me. I know where I am going after I die. I know what choices will take me to the place I wish to be. I know death is only temporary. I know that this little bit of life is a drop in an ocean. I know we aren't going to be sitting around playing harps. I know that there is good honest work to be done. I know how this universe began, and I know I am not alone. I am never alone. If there is anything I don't know I know how to obtain that knowledge and it has worked. I've felt the spirit of God in my life literally educate me and expound the truth to my heart. 

This doesn't even begin to scrape the surface my full testimony or of Mormonism. I just think I should make it known more often that I am not Mormon by default. I am Mormon by choice. If any of you have any questions I will do my best to answer. If any of you ever want a Book of Mormon, just ask. If you ever want to come to church or any kind of church related activity I would love to have you. If none of you ever show any interest in my faith than I am perfectly okay with that as well. I love you all regardless you crazy sinners ;) (That was a joke, I don’t think you’re sinners. I think everyone is entitled to live their life the way they choose. Crazy sinners).



P.S. It hurts me deeply that anyone will think less of me for these beliefs but I feel like I should let it be known that they are mine. Please treat them with respect. 

Friday, August 2, 2013

[Opinion Piece] Stop the Argument, Start the Conversation...

A couple of days ago I was preparing a scathing status about how people who act cruelly to people's beliefs (I was arguing for mine of course) are ignorant and foolish no matter how educated they claim to be. 

Then it hit me. I was being ignorant and foolish.

 I was beating down people who beat down people and by doing so I was continuing the cycle in which those who feel justified to do so will degrade those they feel are not. 

My words had already been spoken by the party I was targeting and I had been so "hurt" by them that I wanted to lash out like some pathetic bovine caught in a mud pit. By doing so I was simply turning their own words around to suit me and then regurgitating them back into the fray. We are all guilty of this, of regurgitating the same arguments over and over and over again. Getting nowhere except deeper into this war of words and hurt feelings. 

So I've decided that I'm going to let the argument stop with me and I am going to turn it into a conversation. Arguing will never change anyone's mind and who says their minds need changing? 

Conversation is the informal exchange of ideas through spoken word. That's all it ever needs to be. I should be able to listen to another persons ideas without feeling hurt by them, and they ought to do the same to me. I am not saying a back and forth battle, just listen and exchange without allowing yourself to offend or become offended. 

I used to think I was a "push over" because I would listen and oftentimes agree with people who I don't, as a rule, agree with. Turns out I was practicing conversation. I wasn't double crossing my own beliefs or anything like that, I was agreeing with the way they felt because their logic had sound reasoning to them. Just because it didn't fit into my own perfect knowledge (this is sarcasm, my knowledge is fragmented at best) doesn't mean it wasn't valid. 

Due to the fact that this war has been raging for so very long you might find that you will be unable to do anything but listen for a while if you choose to end the argument. Providing your own perspective or ideas may seem like you are trying to discredit the other person instead of just letting them know where you stand. So there will be a great deal of pride swallowing for those who give this a try until people start to catch on to the art of having a conversation. I don't think listening is ever a bad thing so I doubt this exercise will be bad for me. 

I know I'm just one person, that these arguments are billions strong. However by stopping the argument in my own life I will be able to reap the benefits of endless opportunities for learning (because I will not be an enemy to the various venues of learning), and an enormous pool of diverse friends (because I will not limit my friendships to circles of people who agree with me). Hopefully it makes some degree of a difference.

Love you all!



"When you talk you are only saying what you already know. When you listen you might learn something."