October 18th, 2012  (0)
A Woman’s Take on HBO Girls: Episode 8 Revisited
Posted by Khiem in: Advice, Articles

Today is a continuation of my friend Thuy’s series of blogs on HBO Girls.

She writes with such great insights, I’m still smiling thinking about it… and for you lucky reader, you’ll learn how she almost lost her virginity.

But before you read her blog, if you haven’t watched it yet, go watch HBO Girls!  HBO Girls has been the most surprising TV hit show this last season.  I posted an audio commentary to this episode here.

I guarantee you.  A lot of people in their 20s and 30s will relate not only to the romantic struggles these girls living in New York face, but also to their insecurities and random adventures in life.

Without further ado, enjoy Thuy’s take on HBO Girls episode 8 “Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too.”


Finally! Hannah’s hopes come true and Adam becomes the boyfriend.

I went through a roller coaster of emotions, sometimes with feelings of uncertainty through the eyes of Hannah.

Let’s face it.  We don’t know a whole lot about Adam.  Hannah fell for him before she even really knew him.

She was floored to know that he was in AA from the last episode!  A lot of women make this mistake.  In the beginning of the courtship, they don’t really fall for whom the guy really is. They fall for the image or fantasy that they have created about him.

I hear this over and over again from my girlfriends.  At first, he’s the perfect guy who does everything right.  Then they get disillusioned and discover he’s an asshole.

Sex does a funny thing to women.  It creates that bonding hormone called Oxytocin.  It makes them feel as though they are in love, when it is in fact their pussy that is creating that funny feeling inside!

At first glance, he is the perfect boyfriend.

He even demonstrates “good boyfriend” characteristics when he tells Hannah not to minimize Marnie’s feelings about her breakup and gives her some sage advice to “do what makes you feel good”.

Then we watch Adam share an important part of his life with Hannah- his acting and writing.

Like Khiem said, dating is all about sharing.  It brings the two people closer together.  You can tell that Hannah felt special for having this window into his passion.

You can see that she was falling deeper in love with him during the tech rehearsal.  That was also the time when she started getting a wake up call though.

Does he have a brilliant mind or is he off his rocker?  He snaps at his theater partner and then unreasonably quits just two weeks before the show.

Then he screams and curses like a mad man at the driver on the street.  Does he have anger management issues too?  It totally rattles Hannah so much that she is not in the mood to have sex with him when they get home.

Khiem and Evan played down the scene where Adam pees on Hannah in the shower.

I tried to get into Hannah’s head…  It wasn’t too long ago that she just discovered that he was in AA. Then she sees a whole side of him that she’s never seen before.

She really doesn’t know this guy!  She is not just freaked out that he peed on her.  She’s freaked out that he might be psycho!!

He just jumped behind her in the shower, had this creepy look on his face that got her screaming, and then he gave this menacing laugh as he was peeing on her.

You can interpret his action in different ways:

  1. Urine is waste matter.  It could be seen as an action of demeaning another person.
  2. He might have a weird fetish.  Think about it.
    In the very first episode, he gives her anal sex without even explicitly asking for her permission.  There are some things, like kissing, that guys shouldn’t ask for permission.
    But when it comes to testing boundaries like that though, the girl has to feel safe with you and know that you are respecting her.
    Every girl has different boundaries so you have to know when and how far to push it.  Ease into it.  Thus far, she had felt safe with him with everything they’ve done together even if it was uncomfortable at first.  Now, he’s giving her the golden shower.
    She is screaming that she doesn’t like it and he’s not stopping his flow!  He pushed her too far.  What other freaky things is he into and will she still feel safe around him??
  3. He just has a weird sense of humor that only people close to him can somewhat comprehend and Hannah doesn’t know him well enough to “appreciate” it.

This is also another mistake that women tend to do.

They take their minds so far beyond what is happening that it’s not all set in the truth anymore.

Classic example would be after a woman gives her number out to a guy.

It’s been three days. Why hasn’t he called me?… He was talking to other girls that night. Maybe he asked them out instead…  He only texted me. Maybe he’s just into a one-night stand…

Women waste so much mental energy and anguish when they should let it be and let the truth be revealed.  Luckily, Hannah doesn’t blow it out of proportion.  She gets grounded back to reality.  She breathes again.

Then a really beautiful moment happens…

She begins to listen to him and sees him for who he really is.

It’s a wonderful moment that shows how communication in a healthy relationship should be.  Hannah recognizes something in him that Adam doesn’t see.

He maintains his ideals but still listens and acknowledges her input.  He doesn’t become defensive or stonewall her.  He evaluates what she says and realizes she has something there.

They both have a moment of growth.  An experience of true bonding happens and you begin to see there could be longevity in this relationship.

On the flip side, Marnie’s long-term relationship just ended.

I almost felt that Khiem made a pretty shallow observation when he said, “Is there really any reason for her grieving?”

She may be the hotter of the two.  She may be the one who dumped him but even a dumper mourns for the loss of the relationship because deep down inside there’s a part of them that wish it could have worked out and they could stay in love.

I can really relate to Marnie’s anguish.  I didn’t quite cry over my “Charlie’s” Facebook pictures.

I was just looking at his wedding pictures.  I discovered about my ex ‘s wedding just three days before the big day!

Just a little over a year and half after our breakup, here he was getting married whereas I had barely started dating again.  Like Marnie sobbing how it could have been Charlie and her in that picture, I felt a tinge of sadness at how it could have been us walking down the aisle.

I know it sounds cheesy but we had to break up for him to grow and to become the man who is capable of being the loving husband today.

Moments like these force you to reflect.  It takes two to make a relationship.  It takes two to have a breakup.

If you stop fully blaming the other person and take some responsibility for what happened, you will learn more about yourself and grow.

Sometime after our relationship ended, my ex and I talked. (I know that’s a novel idea.)

I told him that he was everything that I had asked for but he failed to believe in himself, which cost our relationship.

He said:

No. You wanted more.

Those words stayed with me because in retrospect, it was true.

You realize what you tolerated in the relationship is now a deal breaker for you.  It’s important to know yourself well so that you can know what you want in a man.

What qualities that you want in a man, you better have those same qualities yourself.

It seems like Marnie and I got the crap deal.

Charlie went with the girl to Rome. My ex wound up being someone else’s husband.  He found love before I did.

Logically, you would think the dumper would move on before the dumpee but that is not always the case.

Do I believe that I had wasted the last year and a half of my life?  Of course not!

I spent that time focusing on my career goals, doing everything that I had always wanted to do, and challenging myself to realize my fullest potential.  That is actually time spent towards “developing” a relationship.

When you are raising the bar for yourself, you are raising the bar for your future partner.

So many women have the fear of being alone and stress about not finding love again.  Men and women alike think they need to be in a relationship to be happy.

However, to depend on the other person to make you happy puts too much pressure in a relationship.

If you rely on them to make you happy, how can they rely on you to be happy?  That is not a stable foundation.

You need to fill that void yourself.  Only when you are a complete person and can be happy on your own, can you have a complete and happy relationship.

Now, I’m not going to indulge in how to make a threesome work.  I think Khiem and Evan went extensive enough on how to get in on the action. 😛

I will talk instead about the guy who tried too hard.

Back in the day, I was making out with this guy in my college dorm room.  There were some moments when I giggled.  He got defensive and asked, “Are you laughing at me??”

He had this image in his mind from movies he’s seen that sex is supposed to be intense and serious.  It didn’t quite go that way and he took it personally.

Things didn’t go according to plan for the successful guy with Marnie and Jessa and he blasted out on them. If you set this expectation of how things will go with the other person, or persons for that matter, you set yourself up for frustration.

Let go.  Resist having to control everything.  Why can’t sex be lighthearted and fun?

I was a virgin.  He was not.  I expressed to him that I wasn’t ready.  He decided then to give me a “sample” of what it feels like…

He dry humped me like a jack hammer through my jeans, asked me how it was, then pushed me for sex.

I told him I wanted to wait until after marriage. (I was totally lying.)  If the dry humping was the preview of what sex with him was going to be like, I did not want to take part in it.  I did not want my first time to be that horrible.

He just tried too hard.  So please, don’t feel compelled to prove anything.  Take it easy.  Just enjoy each other’s company and the momentum will build up.

In this battle between the successful guy and Adam, I’d say Adam wins in this episode.

Adam acknowledges his mistakes and takes ownership of them.  He makes a very heartfelt and romantic apology to Hannah.

She learns to let go of her preconceived notions of what a relationship should be.

Adam may not be the perfect guy but he is perfect for her.


Wow, that was a lot to take in, wasn’t it?

This is why I love Thuy’s blogs.  She shares her thoughts with such candor that you can’t help but take some time to reflect on your own love life.

So here’s a little question for you.  What did you enjoy about HBO Girls episode 8.  Have you had experiences that relates to what Hannah and Marnie just went through?  Share your thoughts below.

And if you want my or Thuy’s opinion on your current dating situation, shoot me an email!


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    October 2nd, 2012  (4)
A Woman’s Take on HBO Girls: Episode 7 Revisited
Posted by Khiem in: Advice, Articles

So I’m a little jealous.  A few weeks ago, I posted the commentary about HBO Girls from my dear friend Thuy and it seems to have really hit a cord with some people, especially the women.  She’s posted links to her guest blog on her Facebook and a lot of her friends have been complimenting her.  Damn!!!  I don’t think I’ve ever had compliments from my friends on my own posts.

Well… maybe what it really proves is that not too many of my friends read my blog.  Hmmm… what should I do about that, huh?

Anyway, I am proud to post Thuy’s next blog as part of her ongoing take on the greatest surprise hit show of the year:  HBO Girls!!!  Enjoy.

Oh… and before I forget:  if you have a personal romantic situation you want to run by me or Thuy, make sure to send me an email.  We can both answer it privately or on my next blog.  And if you want to learn the skills to avoid the very romantic sticky situations I’ve been writing about on this blog, let me know as well and I can discuss with you coaching options.


I love the warehouse parties that Khiem, Evan and I go to.  There’s so much people watching…and in this episode, there is so much character watching!

Hannah and Adam Dancing Crazy

With Jessa and her texting back a random number, what should I not share?!!  Initially, I thought she was ridiculous… until of course, I end up doing something similar myself.  I had texted a number from my address book that I had presumed to be my ex’s.  He’s been calling me for a couple weeks to get back together, so I just texted him from that saved number.  Little did I know I was texting the wrong guy!  It took about three texts before we realized I had the wrong person.  I don’t know why, but once the confusion cleared up, we started flirting with each other!

I guess he must have enjoyed it because he promised to text me again the next day… which led to a string of more flirty texts over the next two days… which then led to a date. The mystery was what made it fun for the both of us.  It was exciting!  I just knew the exhilaration Jessa felt, not knowing who the mystery person was.

I am guilty of ignoring some texts too.  There was this guy who got my number at a party and he started texting me.  They were friendly texts but I eventually got bored, feeling it was going nowhere.  As a result, I didn’t respond back to his last text and that was the end of it.  Perhaps, I might have been too quick to judge and guys shouldn’t take it personally.  But guys need to know this simple truth:  I have some numbers and guys’ names in my cell that I don’t recognize or even remember where I met them at all.  What they say is right:  it really is a number’s game.  You shouldn’t take it too seriously if she doesn’t respond back to you.

However, if you really want a girl to take you seriously, PICK UP THE PHONE!!! I don’t mind if a guy makes the initial contact through a text. There are cases when it’s actually better to start out that way.  However, you can only do that for so long.  Texting doesn’t allow for the same level of emotional connection as talking on the phone does.  After a while, the boredom sets in and  it actually becomes harder for you to close the deal when there is no real escalation.

Personally, I can never take a guy seriously if he’s only communicating to me through text.  Girls have a rule out there that says if a guy only texts you, it means he only wants you for sex.  And in case you were wondering:  yes, I did go out with that random “text guy.”  I think of it as an anomaly.  I also still don’t take him seriously or see any relationship potential with him.  But I did it for the fun of it.

[Editor’s Note:  I think this is a perfect example of why men need to learn to communicate better, particularly flirt and engage people’s emotions through better storytelling.  How would you feel if you were to find out that you lost your chance with a woman because you were BORING via texts?]

Like Jessa, I also had a married man interested in me before.  However, I was much more innocent at that time, maybe almost Shoshanna innocent.  I met him at an acoustic guitar class.  We became friends.  He openly talked about his wife.  He seemed harmless, right?  Then one day, he invited me to see a live band at a bar because we were both music lovers.  When I got there, I asked where his wife was.  He mentioned  that he had taken her here before but she didn’t like it as it was too loud for her.  I should have seen that as a red flag.

I believe he was telling the truth but I sensed the frustration in his tone of voice.  We hung out another time when he was near my workplace for a convention.  He wanted to grab a bite and a movie to beat the traffic.  That’s when it hit me!  That’s when I realized there was trouble in his marriage and that he was interested in more than a friendship with me.

He poured out all his frustrations onto me. He then laid his hand on my inner thigh during the movie!  (And I don’t think it would classify as a non-sexual massage if you know what I mean). I definitely wasn’t about to condone his actions but as much as I may get hate mail from other women, the reason why I believe he was drawn to me was because he felt free to be himself around me.  His wife made him feel constricted and suppressed.  Along the way, he lost his sense of self.  Unfortunately, he thought he could find it externally rather than confronting his problem at home with his wife.

HBO Girls Jessa and Boss at the warehouse party

That’s how I relate to Jessa’s boss.  Jessa’s boss is going through a mid-life crisis.  His wife is the bread-winner in the family and he has no sense of purpose.  If you look at their interactions, the marriage is pretty passionless too.  Guys need a sense of purpose or else they lose their mojo.  That explains why he was begging to Jessa to come home with him.  Jessa represents the freedom, passion, and youthful vitality that he once had.  Sadly, he thought he could regain it through her.

Khiem and Evan expressed their disappointment at the boss begging Jessa for affection and suggested he needed to start believing in his own attractiveness again.  There’s so much truth in that.  Let me be blunt.  If you are begging or is desperately obsessed to be with a woman, it is not the woman that you really want.  In your mind, she represents the very thing you lack… which is what you desperately want.  Being with her is not going to fill that void.  You have to mend that yourself and once you do, you will be confident and never have to beg a woman again to accept you in her life.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, Marnie seems to have lost herself when she lost Charlie.  Sometimes, you are so wrapped up in the loss that you can’t strategize about getting him jealous!  I will save my commentary about her for a different blog.

Now, in between  all the “loss” that was portrayed in the party for many of the characters, I was relieved to see that there was hope that Hannah could gain something out of the night.  I loved the scene when Adam called Hannah out:

“You never ask me about my life!,” he says.

The line alone reveals a whole new dimension to Adam that we have never seen before.  Before this incident, we only saw Adam through Hannah’s eyes. In episode 4, she said she wanted him to make her feel like she was the best person in the world.  Reciprocally, did she ever make him feel like the best person in the world?  She never asked him about his world!

Adam and Hannah fighting - You never asked

In a relationship, you have to reciprocate.  Fighting with Adam brought up a mirror to her own perception of herself.  More often than not, a relationship is a reflection of who you are and I hope that Hannah finally gets to see herself for who she is as she ponders what’s going to happen next with Adam.

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