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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not a real huge poster around here, but I figured you could all give me some advice. I dated a girl in hs for a very short time. Saw her a few weeks back, which was about 4 years after we dated. Looked STUNNING! So, we went out the other night for dinner and drinks. To those of you from around Chicago, we went to Rosebud and the Samba Room in Naperville. She is leaving for Cancun on thursday until the 22nd, so I want to celebrate her bday, which is the 14th. Only time we can hook up is later on the 14th, like 1030, so I imagine drinks will be on the agenda. Question is this...I received the advice to get her flowers and a card, and along with the card, include a sort of IOU with a definite plan as to what you would like to do when she gets back as a bday celebration. I did this...thinking dinner at Cite in lake point towers, and then drinks at the hancock. Any suggestions, criticisms or whatever? Thanks for the help...if it helps, I am 23..:)

Brett
 

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before going out with her... watch Shallow Hal - this is not an indictment, just a suggestion.
 

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ChiTwnSmoke said:
Not a real huge poster around here, but I figured you could all give me some advice. I dated a girl in hs for a very short time. Saw her a few weeks back, which was about 4 years after we dated. Looked STUNNING! So, we went out the other night for dinner and drinks. To those of you from around Chicago, we went to Rosebud and the Samba Room in Naperville. She is leaving for Cancun on thursday until the 22nd, so I want to celebrate her bday, which is the 14th. Only time we can hook up is later on the 14th, like 1030, so I imagine drinks will be on the agenda. Question is this...I received the advice to get her flowers and a card, and along with the card, include a sort of IOU with a definite plan as to what you would like to do when she gets back as a bday celebration. I did this...thinking dinner at Cite in lake point towers, and then drinks at the hancock. Any suggestions, criticisms or whatever? Thanks for the help...if it helps, I am 23..:)

Brett
Brett,

Sounds like a good plan to me! Good luck!
 

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Sounds like you're off to a good start, my man. For future referrence, have you thought about NoMi at the Park Hyatt, or Spiaggia? I'm not sure if you've ever been to either, but they're two of the most romantic restaurants in Chicago. Spiaggia is absolutely gorgeous inside, and one of my favorites anywhere. You'll need to call well in advance, though. And when you do, try to schmooze a window-side table. Best seats in the house!

I'm sure that you're familiar with all of the other top-shelf places, as well. Everybody's heard of Charlie Trotter's, but if I'm going to spend that kind of loot, I'd rather go to Everest or Tru. Don't get me wrong, Charlie Trotter's is spectacular. They just take themselves waaay too seriously, though.

So, Brett, for the hands-down, best, high-end Italian it's gotta be Spiaggia, with awesome views of the MagMile. When you're walking out the door, you'll already be talking about when you're coming back. Honestly.

Everest or NoMi if she's into Contemporary-French and really, really good wine.

And finally, Tru. It received "Restaurant of the Year" in one of your newspapers or magazines. Upscale place with fantastic food and service, and no snootiness.

So there's a start for you, my boy. The rest is up to you. Just hang onto your wallet, and don't lose your head!! :D

John
 

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MoTheMentor
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Thought hard about whether or not to reply to your thread, but I figured maybe some additional advice wouldn't hurt.

What I want to say is this. We know what your intentions are . . . you obviously like this girl, you find her attractive, she really moves you, pre-occupies your thoughts, etc . . . (all that good gooey stuff). My question to you is, what are her interests?! Do you think she feels the same way about you? Does she like you as a friend, a lover, a sounding board, or as a kindred spirit?! Would she like to be with you at a fancy restaurant, or would she prefer your company at the County Fair?! Does she have other people in her life (i.e. a recent boyfriend) or perhaps restraints (i.e. job demands, school projects), or strong boundaries (upbringing or religious beliefs). Do you have strong commonalities? Are there other women that you'd rather be spending time with, or other activities that you'd rather be doing? What do you think her response would be to amorous intentions, or just friendship?! What is her range of responses?! Ethics: What's out of bounds, what's in bounds as far as what it takes to "get" what you want, and the bigger question is, what do you want?! How big an influence will your environment (i.e. a restaurant) have on your time together; would you rather be scuba diving instead?! What are your anticipated best outcome & worst outcome scenario. What unanticipated events might occur that would change ALL your plans? What trade-offs would you settle for?

Why I wrote all this is because in graduate school I took a class on negotiations. The faculty thought it was such an important class that they had considered making it part of the core curriculum. The point of the class was not to "WIN", but to maintain an open dialog while at the same time obtaining the best possible outcome for all parties (i.e. win-win). The idea is that throughout your life you'll always be negotiating. The key is that some of the people that you negotiate with today, you will likely be negotiating with again tomorrow, and again the day after. So the question is how to keep that rapport open while still achieving the best possible outcome time after time.

The key it turns out, is anticipation and planning. That should take up about 80-90%, the rest, i.e. conclusion & closing should only take 10-20% and flow from there.

Here's a pneumonic to use. I FORESAW IT

I -- Interests. What are your interests (when getting together with her), what are her interests (when getting together with you), what are your common interests (when together).

F -- Factual Research. Everything from her upbringing, to religious beliefs, schooling, friends, and work environment. All the things that put influence on the other person, who they are, and how they react to a situation or a given stimulus. What do you want to know about her that would be important? From where or from whom can you find out more information about her?

O -- Options. Would you rather be dating her, or are there other people you'd also want to spend time with? Are there other activities that are worth your time (like smoking a nice big Lusi for example)? Is the anticipated outcome worth the cost & effort?!

R -- Reaction & Response. How do other people act in your presence or when they're around you. How do you influence others (i.e. I have a friend who drinks harder whenever I'm around -- he's a dufus)? How do others influence you (do they bring out the best in you, the worst)? Will her reactions and responses fall in line with that.

E -- Empathy & Ethics. Is she a caring person, or is she likely to be using you for an alternate goal (i.e. rebelling against Mom & Dad)? What actions would you consider out of bounds, in bounds?!

S -- Setting (& Schedules). What kind of influence will taking her to a restaurant (vs. staying home & watching a movie) have? Is a neutral environment better, or a more seductive one (i.e. nightclub)? The question is not what she likes, the question is what outcome do you seek.

A -- Alternatives. What the best alternative to a negotiated agreement (BANTA), the worst alternative to a negotiated agreement (WATNA)? How likely are those scenarios, and what would have to happen (and how likely is it to happen) for either outcome to occur?

W -- Who!!!!! Who else has an influence here? Would telling your mom about her be a good thing for you? Do her friends have an influence here, and do they think favorably of you? Sometimes the forces behind the scene can be very powerful.

I -- Independent Criteria. Something unanticipated, i.e. could a freak blizzard hit the Chicago area and keep the two of you from seeing each other for a few weeks? Will her vacation to the Caribbean be a good thing (thinks of you constantly), or not so good (meets another guy)?

T -- Targets & Tradeoffs. What are the different tradeoffs open to you? What are the different levels of friendship or relationship that you would accept from this person?! Do you think she has some really great friends that you'd like to meet?

This is a lot of work, even if it's just for a date. In the process of analyzing through the questions, and coming up with the answers you may uncover several truths. Some of those truths may be pleasant while others may be unpleasant; but they will influence your decisions because you'll be able to anticipate and plan accordingly. The desired (or anticipated) outcome will just flow from there, and to the untrained eye, you will appear as a "natural" with people (& girlfriends).

Well, I wrote a lot here, but I remember when taking this class how much I enjoyed it and how much I learned. It made negotiating my way through life much more fluid.

Well ChiTwnSmoke, would love to hear what happened and where things went. BTW, I like listening to Churchlady, I always think her advice is good. :D

MoTheMan
 

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MoTheMentor
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AAlmeter said:
Mo, after reading that, I think Im ready to put the moves on Anna Kournikova. Wish me luck.
BUt what are the trade-offs!! You may get what you want, but at what COST!! :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mo, I appreciate the post, and to be honest, I wish I had more time to respond in a complete way, but for now, I am at work. I see where you are coming from, and believe me, I've thought a lot about some of the things you said. We spoke yesterday, and very bluntly, it kind of came up as to what we are, and what we could be. To her, she sees a relationship in time. Obviously, I feel the same. Her interests are similar to mine, in that she likes the finer things, fine dining, and the things that so many younger guys just ignore. She's also got a family life that is very similar to mine, and we both share similar views in terms of family, children, careers, etc. I know her parents are very approving of me, as her dad has told me that to my face, and her friends, as strange as this might sound, don't care. They want her to be happy. I've thought about her trip to Mexico..trust me. While I know what goes on there from being there A LOT....I also know that she's a brutally honest person, and that she is very much past the point of one night stands and little flings.

What do I want out of all of this? Well...not as much as you might think. Having her in my company is simply amazing, and we've had several LONG phone convos lately as a result of us both traveling for business. She asked me to come celebrate her birthday with her at home tonight, later on when she gets home, which is later..10:00. So...perhaps this is the time to show her the little things I have to offer, and that I can be versatile if there is to be a relationship.

I think the influence we have on each other, at least thus far, is great. We have the ability to humor each other, flirt in non traditional ways, and truly connect. I don't know..It's a good thing in my eyes.

In the end, I always second guess myself as to whether or not I am being overly optimistic about this whole thing. I guess I will find something out tonight. Again..this trip...it's just a bad time to have someone go away....right in the beginning. Again Mo, I appreciate the post, and I apologize for spilling my love stories all over here. My overall thought it this...4 years ago in high school, things went horribly, and in bascially one night, we came together like we never missed a beat, but it was TOTALLY different. Two people who were much more mature, and seemed to have this glow and bond about them. We'll see I guess...

Brett
 

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MoTheMentor
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floydp said:
Wow after reading that Mo I'm sure glad I'm already married. That looks like a lot work.

Great response Mo!
A lot of work?!
What would it take to have your dreams come true; but first ask the question, what are your dreams!!?

Glad that you liked it. :u
 

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Bon Chance mon ami, bon chance.
 

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Whoa guys!

Chitown best of luck?

Mo you astound me with your thoughts all the time.

AAL go for Anna if it is what you want.

Phew! Well I think I will talk to the wife about life tonight LOL :r

This site has something new that you don't expect everyday. It is good too see the comfort level of the members and what sounding boards we have for fellow BOTL.
I am still in shock/awe

Later
 

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Motheman, my man
two comments and one question:

1)Very nice advice for the young man -- obviously he likes her.

2)You've been in southern Califonia way too long, time to visit Baltimore again -- those guys miss you

3)Are you married--- ;)
 

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I was gonna say the best advice I could give you is not to ask for dating advice on a cigar board, but I think I'll just refrain from offering any advice at all after MTMs essay.
 

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Holy - MO-ly!!!

Amazing post buddy. Leave it to you to make a simple question of where to take a date into "how will this affect the rest of your life and hers?"

If it weren't for all those cigars hogging space in your apartment, you'd make some nice girl one he!! of a hubby!

Good Luck Chi...
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks, everyone. We met up last night at her house. Simple card, flowers, and a bottle of her favorite wine. She was almost in tears, I think for the simple fact that while very basic gifts, they all meant something. She loves pink roses, dr. seuss, and santa margherita pinot. I got her all of these. I also gave her the little certificate with the IOU for a date. She was thrilled and said there was no other way should would rather spend an evening. So, after modifying my plan a little, it worked out. We stayed up til 2:30 talking, and I had to be in the office at 6:15...whoops. To bed at 3, up at 4:50. We spoke briefly this morning, and talked about her trip, etc. She is very much a person who is brutally honest, and this impresses me. We decided there is no other obvious choice then to start dating. We're enthralled with each other...honestly. Hopefully things work well over the holidays. I think it will be a good time if things go the way they are looking to go. Again, thanks for all of the advice. I truly appreciate it, and it definitely helped my situation!

As always,
Brett (ChiTwn)
 
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