The idiots guide to maintaining a close female friendship: maintenance while respecting the woman you love.

February 28, 2007

So it turns out that even the smartest and most considerate of boyfriends simply don’t know how to maintain a friendship with a close female friend, while ensuring that they still treat their girlfriends with the respect and dignity that they deserve.  For this reason I give you “The idiots guide to close female friendship: maintenance while respecting the woman you love”.

Guide #1.  The female friend should know about your girlfriend.  Not just that she exists, but the friend should know that you love your girlfriend, plan to move in with your girlfriend, and that you want to spend the rest of your life with your girlfriend.  She knows how pretty you think your girlfriend is, how smart you think she is and that your girlfriend is the most important person in your life.  Your friend knows all of this because you tell her all of the time.

Guide #2.  When you spend time together, you meet for lunch, or you meet for coffee.  Nearly any non-date like event, with a specific end is acceptable.  The duration of your time together should never exceed 2 hours.  Statistics show that after two hours spent with a member of the opposite sex, the odds that you will have sex with that person drastically increase.

Guide #3.  ZERO consumption of alcohol.  Unless you are in the company of at least 2 other people you are best to avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages.  It is a well known fact that drinking leads to sex.  End of story.

Guide #4.  Avoid activities that could be construed as a “date”.  Examples include going to the movies, renting a movie, going out for dinner, attending a concert,  shopping for a book, and weekend getaways.

Guide #5.  It is always a good idea to call, text, or email your girlfriend immediately before the innappropriate outing to tell her that you love her, or that you think she is the most beautiful girl in the world.  

Guide #6.  Although your girlfriend has likely told you that she’s okay with you spending time with a female friend, you should always (when concerning outings with a female friend) say something like the following “I’m going to do something with _________, are you sure it’s okay?”  This will make her feel valued, and in control of your relationship.  Your girlfriend is less likely to feel threatened if she feels confident that you’ll only maintain the friendship so long as it is okay with her.

Guide #7.  It’s likely always inappropriate to buy things for the female friend.  Because you’re a gentleman it’s acceptable for you to purchase the coffee or lattes.  Anything more than that is too much like a date.  If it’s her birthday, or someone died, then you might want to discuss with your girlfriend appropriate gift giving guides.

Guide #8.  Try to spend at least 20% of your time talking about how much you love your girlfriend.  This should be easy given that you really want to spend 100% of your time discussing the love of your life.

Guide #9.  Never discuss problems that you are having in your relationship with a female friend.  This opens up too many doors for hostility and negativity.  Just do not go there.

Guide #10.  If you find yourself getting “dolled” up for an outing with a female friend it’s likely a sign that you have inappropriate feelings toward the friend.  Cancel the outing immediately.  

Guide #11.  Avoid lengthy phone conversations and excessive emailing.  Phone calls should be limited to confirming plans and emails should be for catching up only.  In today’s world, these forms of communication are intimate so it’s best not to cross the line.

Guide #12.  Make it known that at any point, if your girlfriend becomes uncomfortable, the friendship is over.  If your girlfriend is uncomfortable with your friendship it is likely because of something that you have done, or have failed to do.  You’re her boyfriend and you’re lucky to be with her.  Remember that.

Guide #13.  Never allow the female friend to speak poorly of your girlfriend.  This actually goes for friends and family in general.  If you love her they should love and respect her enough to speak positively about her.

Guide #14.  Don’t share these guidelines with the female friend.  Chances are she already knows them, because chances are this is how she would want her own boyfriend to behave.  Talking about “guidelines” imposed upon by your girlfriend presents her with the opportunity to speak poorly of the woman you love. 

At the end of the day your girlfriend is not going to feel perfectly okay with your friendship with another female.  To be honest, it’s a lot to ask of her, especially at the beginning of a relationship.  It seems to me that more often than not female friends of boyfriends either fade away or become better friends with the girlfriend.  However you choose to handle these situations keep in mind that you’re the lucky one.

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11 Most Important Philosophical Quotations

February 7, 2007

Scott recently posted a site entitled the “11 Most Important Philosophical Quotations” on his del.icio.us.  Worried that he has read this, and interpreted its author to have any sort of idea of what he is talking about, I have decided to post my own 11 Most…

1. “The Unexaminated life is not worth living” (Socrates) – okay so the original list isn’t entirely wrong!

2. “May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law” (Kant) – this is kind of like Jesus’ “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” except that Jesus didn’t say that because Jesus doesn’t exist… either way you should be familiar with the concept.

3. “Anybody can become angry – that is easy, but to be angry with the right person and to the right degree and at the right time and for the right purpose, and in the right way – that is not within everybody’s power and is not easy” (Aristotle) – briefly, Aristotle is discussing “virtue” in the form of a mean.  He is using the example of anger to demonstrate that virtuous action lies in temperate behaviour, where temperate behaviour lies within a mean between two extremes… the extremes of which will vary according to the individual… Aristotle was a genius, don’t let anybody ever tell you differently.

4. “Ideally citizens are to think of themselves as if they were legislators and ask themselves what statutes, supported by what reasons satisfying the criterion of reciprocity, they would think is most reasonable to enact” (Rawls) – here appears the “veil of ignorance” or the “original position”- similar to Kant’s Universal Law… brilliant…  

5. “Ignorance, the root and the stem of every evil” (Plato) – notice that the term “bliss” doesn’t appear anywhere here…

6. “Always recognize that human individuals are ends, and do not use them as means to your end” (Kant) – believe it or not, as horrible and sexist as he was, Kant taught us a thing or two about how we ought to live, which brings me to:

7. “Ought implies can” (Kant) 

8. “If desire is the ethical standard, then one man’s desire to produce and another man’s desire to rob him have equal ethical validity” (Rand) – here Rand objects to hedonistic utilitarianism… I’d like to see Singer and Rand come together to discuss the principle of utility because my guess is that they would become great friends.

9. “I have gained this by philosophy: that I do without being commanded, what others do only from fear of the law” (Plato) – yes, unlike any other discipline, philosophy teaches you how to think and how to live… just an Arts degree my ass.

10. “It’s going to be a shared set of values, a shared ethical framework that’s going to be the glue that will hold together societies struggling with enormously difficult choices” (Singer) – advocating for a global ethic

11. “In law a man is guilty when he violates the rights of others. In ethics he is guilty if he only thinks of doing so” (Kant) – forget actus rea!

My Hedonism

January 8, 2007

Hedonism (loosely) is the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest good, and that all actions can be measured in terms of the amount of pain or pleasure that those actions produce.  There are different varieties of Hedonism, endorsed by distinctly different Philosophers.  Although Epicurus himself would be ashamed of the list to follow I think he had it right when he defined the highest good as “a simple, moderate life spent with friends emersed, in philosophical discussion.”

10  Love – Being loved and loving back

9.8  Sharing a power laugh with your best friend

9.6  Multiple orgasm

9.4  A great book

9.2  Terrific conversation (preferably over a bottle of wine)

9.0  The moment when you first realized that Tyler Durden and the Narrator (Ed Norton) are the same person

8.8  The perfect kiss

8.6  The first glass of wine after having not eaten for 12 hours

8.4  A terrific 3+ course meal

8.2  Discovering something new about yourself

8.0  Single orgasm

7.8  A thoughtful surprise – giving or receiving

7.6  Waking up on a rainy day, realizing it’s Saturday and you have no commitments

7.4  A terrific movie

7.2  Jack Bauer

7.0  Listening to a powerful keynote speaker

6.8  Playing Cranium with Terence

6.6  Discovering that you can order a Blackened Potato Salad (from Grizzly Grill) and a Curried Chicken Salad Wrap (from Windmills) while enjoying the atmosphere of The Keg. *this has yet to actually happen in real life – but sometimes I dream about it…

6.4  Fresh powder

6.2  Watching your team win The Amazing Race

6.0  Hot springs (especially when your muscles are sore)

5.8  Sex in the middle of the night, perferably when you’re half asleep

5.6  David Suzuki

5.4  A long walk with great company (preferably in the fall)

5.2  Receiving a sincere compliment

5.0  Vodka Martini (with 3 HUGE olives)

 *This post was inspired by Scott’s “Awesome Scale”, thus (I hope) evidence that I’m not independently lame.

My first post

January 8, 2007

First of all, I don’t believe in “blogging”.  I think it’s weird and “new-age”, and for the most part nobody cares what you’re thinking… and those same people certainly don’t give a shit about the calculated rhetoric one takes the time to “blog”.  But here I am: blogging, and I blame my friend Scott.  It’s pretty much safe to say that I hate myself, even if it’s just a little bit.