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.

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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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    September 12th, 2012  (0)
A Woman’s Take on HBO Girls: Episode 5 Revisited
Posted by Khiem in: Articles, Product Reviews

Every few months, I like my clients to reflect a little bit on what they’ve been doing in their social and dating lives.  It’s a good way to reflect and see how much they have improved (if at all).  If they haven’t, are they at least  having fun?

Now that the summer is coming to an end, take a moment and look back.  How has your summer been?  Did you go wild?  Are you happy?  How many good dates have you been on?  Did you find an amazing connection somewhere?  Did you have a hot fling?  If not, why not?  What would you change?

Looking back, I can proudly say that I’ve had a blast!  I’ve met some great people, I’ve explored new things… and it’s only getting better as I’m gearing up to keep things as exciting as ever for the rest of the year.  I’m also proud to have managed to post fresh content almost every week on the blog, which was one of my important personal goals for the summer.

I definitely want to credit HBO Girls for helping me achieve that goal by giving me constant stream of great topics to discuss on the blog.  In case  you haven’t yet, let me tell you again:  GO WATCH IT!  As a guy, I think you’ll get a lot of insight into how modern women in their 20s feel about their life and men.  Granted, these women only represent a small sample of women (the show portrays mostly white women) but the insight you gain is invaluable!  And if anything, I’m sure you will relate to the characters’ emotional struggles with your own.

Once you watch it, go back and listen to my “guys’ commentary” podcast of the show because today, I’m bringing in my friend Thuy to share some womanly perspective.  I consider Thuy as the evil woman who got me addicted to HBO Girls.

Every week, she’s been following my podcast review of the show and as much as she agrees with me on some things, she also has a lot to add, especially observations geared towards women’s dating behaviors.  I have asked  her to compile her thoughts into a series of blogs which I’m happy to post starting today.

Enjoy!

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Jessa and he ex-boyfriend

I am the woman responsible for getting Khiem hooked on HBO Girls!  I love Girls because the issues aren’t about getting those coveted Jimmy Choo shoes.  They are very real issues that all of us have faced at one point in our lives.  I am not a professional expert on dating like Khiem, nor can I tout having an extensive dating experience.  [Editor’s Note:  don’t be fooled, Thuy is an EXCELLENT flirt and I have witness the seductive power she has exerted over some men].  However, I can relate to all the girls in the show because I see a little bit of myself in every one of them.

To me, episode 5 was not just about loss of control and power shifts, it was about how sex and relationships define a woman.  Khiem and Evan astutely deduced that women are more sexual than men believe. How they hit it right on the nose!

I admire how Jessa is so aware of her seductive powers.  More women need to own it like her!  I learned about my seductive powers quite by accident in college.  It was meant as a joke actually.  While grazing my fingers against my classmate’s jawline and mouth, with my lips almost seemingly reaching hers, I said in a low tone, “So… what are you doing tonight?”  The girl literally jumped on top of my lap!  (And she was straight too!)  My guy friend, who witnessed my seduction, said he needed a cold shower.  Not only was I surprised by the big reaction, I was surprised with myself.  What did I just do?  My female friend was shocked as well that she could get aroused by a woman!

Every woman has in herself the ability to be a seductress.  It’s about a state of mind.  Take your mind to the sex that you two are about to have and watch yourself seduce him or her faster than you ever thought possible. Really desire your partner… but leave a little bit to his/her imagination of what is about to come.  As you whisper in his ear, do it so close that you are lightly grazing your soft lips against it.

Every woman can create her own style based on her personality – you can either be more playful or deceptively coy.  Yet what matters is the attitude and confidence you are doing it with.  Once you do it, it is quite a power trip!  I am sure that was exactly Jessa’s motivation when she delivered his comeuppance for being the only guy who ever dumped her.  You will surprise yourself with the newly found control that you possess over him.

Evan said that guys should not suffer through nice guy-itis.  The same can be said for women.  Women are conditioned by society to be people-pleasers, to be the “nice girl.”  I am a pretty adaptable person and I think that allows me to connect with a lot of different people.  One of my exes reminisced about our time together and the things we did.  Although what he said about me was accurate, I still felt like he didn’t know me.  That’s because there are many sides to me and he didn’t see all of them.  You are doing yourself a disservice when you just accommodate to everything your partner does.  You are denying parts of yourself when you do that and will lose your sense of self in the process. [Editor’s Note: David Schnarch has a great book called “Passionate Marriage” on this very topic]

I stopped trying to define myself.  Rather, I choose to be true to myself and accept myself for everything that I am, contradictions and all.  As you get deeper into the relationship, allow yourself to reveal every side of yourself without fear of judgment.  Stand up for who you are.  They will respect you and be more attracted to you for that.  If they don’t accept everything that you are, then they are not the right person for you.  Don’t try to fit into his mold.  Have him fit into your life.

Evan and Khiem posed a fun question – Charlie or Adam?  Based on just what I know about Episode 5, I would honestly choose neither.  If I really had to choose, then I suppose I would go with Charlie simply because he’s at least respectful towards Marnie.  Who you choose as a partner is really what you need at that point in your life.  That’s not the same as what you want though.  Marnie was insecure and afraid when she first met Charlie.  Charlie gave her the comfort and confidence that she needed.  Once he fulfilled that, she no longer needed him.  Once her security blanket, Charlie was now threatening to leave her.  She freaked out not from fear of losing him but from fear of losing what she gained from him.

The Boys on HBO Girls Likability Chart

Hannah is very risk-adverse.  Adam challenges her to get outside of her comfort zone and to expand herself.  Although he is exciting to her, he is also a bit of a dick to her.  This is a complete reflection of her own self-loathing.  I have a feeling that this is not the first time that she has been with someone who has treated her this way. If you really listen to her speech to Adam from Episode 4,

“…I don’t even want a boyfriend.”  Adam asks, “What do you want?”  She replies, “I just want someone who wants to hang out all the time and thinks I’m the best person in the world, and wants to have sex with only me…  I don’t even want you to meet my friends.”

All of that sounds hypocritical to me.  How can you be exclusive fuck-buddies??  Is it any surprise that Adam is emotionally unavailable to her?  It sounds to me like she is using a defense mechanism to protect herself from the rejection and hurt that a relationship may bring.

The reason why Hannah ran back to Adam was that she felt dejected by her boss and wanted to feel sexually desired again.  Both Marnie and Jessa were driven to feel desired as well.  Women feel a loss of power and femininity when they are not desired.  However, if that is your main driving force, then that is the equivalent to thinking with your dick!  I’ve heard from many women that they tend to fall for the same type of guy over and over again… yet they don’t know why.  Look into yourself as to what is driving you. Only when you change yourself, then will you change the type of guys you attract.

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So let me ask you guys now… does Thuy give you new insights on how women feel?  Sound off in the comment.  I personally love it when girls divulge their secrets.  Stay tuned for her next blog soon 🙂

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    June 15th, 2012  (0)
HBO Girls Season 1 Episode 9 Review
Posted by Khiem in: Articles, Podcast, Product Reviews

This past Sunday’s episode 9 of HBO “Girls”, entitled “Leave Me Alone,” didn’t have a lot of dating themes but it was still exciting for me to watch it as I recognized a lot of my own doubts and insecurities from way back when.

The episode starts with Hannah going to a book launch event in honor of her former classmate Tally Schiffrin.  Immediately, Hannah starts the self loathing as she tries to process how Tally  (who’s supposedly a worse writer) could have managed to publish her own memoir “Leave Me Alone.”

I guess for Tally, having a boyfriend who killed himself on purpose by crashing his vintage car while on Percocet is enough of a base to write a memoir on but for Hannah, it becomes the basis for her jealousy. “She’s so lucky,” laments Hannah. “Your boyfriend should kill himself,” says Jessa. “You deserve it.”

Whether Jessa meant that or not, I couldn’t help but laugh.  The more I get to know Jessa, the more I become fond of her.  Marnie may be the motherly figure in Hannah’s life but Jessa is the only one who seems to not take Hannah too seriously and knows when to call her out.

Writing this now makes me realize why Jessa is such a great flirt.  The carelessness, aloofness, spontaneity in her attitude on life is what makes her most attractive.  Lots of people take dating too seriously and turns each new conversations into an interview and a chore instead of keeping things light and fun.

Skipping ahead, I want to express my love for Ray as well.  Ray started as a supporting character but I could see him develop into a a more leading role.  I am still waiting for him and Shoshanna to develop some form of romantic connection.  As it seems, Hannah is taking a job at Cafe Grumpy and Ray delivers his best lines as he sends her home to change her outfit.  I guess no one told Hannah that wearing a white dress to work in the food service is a big faux pas.

Hannah and Ray discussing outfit no-nos in the food industry

“Hannah, you are wearing a white dress!  Ok?  You’re essentially begging the world to fuck with you,” says Ray.  “Do you understand that?  You are daring a homeless person to wipe their blood on your breasts…  Forget all of the BBC you watch at home with your cats and pick out an appropriate outfit.”

Ray must be the most real guy on the show so far.  His few moments on screen have always been the most enjoyable for me.  His no-nonsense attitude is what makes him so relatable.  If Hannah is the voice of her generation, Ray is the voice of every guy out there as he reminds Hannah to pick “Just a nice cute top.”  “Stop by American Apparel if you need to and get a slim leg, jeans with a slim leg!  Slim leg!”

To finish off the episode, we witness a break-up between two of the major characters.  I don’t want to spoil it for you so go watch it and come back and listen to my podcast.

In this review, I speak about:

  • Comparing yourself to others vs being happy with yourself
  • When self-deprecating humor is detrimental to your dating chances of success
  • How people’s expectations of you influence you for the better or the worse
  • How mending your relationship with your parents can be a necessary step in your growth into a confident person
  • What women might be looking from you when they share, whine and complain about their day to you
  • Being grateful and taking chances in life
  • Doing more of the things you haven’t tried before.  If you aren’t doing things that are uncomfortable to you, you are not growing.
  • When to give out your house key to your significant other
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