In all my glorious insomnia-filled thinking, I’ve IDed a passel of skills needed in order to co-exist in the world of relationships. Some more important than others, clearly, but the following appear relevant and necessary if one hopes to find and maintain a relationship with a member of the opposite sex.
- Confidence. (I repeat, confidence, not cockiness. Big difference.) It doesn’t have to ooze from every pore, but if you lack confidence you will find yourself keeping the bartender company. Women smell its antithesis from across the room – maybe from across the street.
- Smarts. Sports trivia and alcohol percentages of various beverages may roll off your tongue, but they’re just one leg of the three-legged stool of intelligence. To survive on the planet as a couple, not a single, make a legit attempt to read the headlines (at least) in Sections A, B, C, and E of the New York Times.
- Self-deprecation. Look it up in Webster’s. Find the ability from within to poke fun at yourself and laugh at your gaffes (because you will have your share). If the serious mask never comes off, you’ll sink like a brick of Velveeta on Late Night’s “Will It Float?”.
- Grooming. Toenails yellow? Elbows sloughing skin? Does your blackened front tooth, loosened during a pickup ball game last spring, remain your badge of honor? Fix yourself up, man! Try deoderant then work yourself toward, say, flossing. Seriously, groom EVERYWHERE, not just the obvious…ahem…locations.
- Rhythm. This might be a tough one for some. But take note, if you’re dating you will be required to dance at least once. It won’t be optional. Learn to keep to the beat. Do NOT feign a torn ACL mid-way through an R. Kelly song.
- Conversant. You can’t risk that the girl you’re with will be the talker. There will be times when you’re required to start and carry the conversation – or at least articulate your thoughts and insights. (Helpful Hint: Keep three or four timely “talking points” in your head to fall back on if the convo lulls awkwardly.)
- Aware. If your world centers squarely on you all the time, you may have stumbled on the root cause of all your short-term relationships. Take off the “me” blinders and pay attention to the words coming from her lips. Then graduate to discovering, through osmosis and the telepathy, the things she never says but really means.