Dating 101: Relationship Advice BBQ Style

I went to a BBQ on Saturday that was unlike any BBQ I have ever been to. I ventured out of the valley, which I rarely do, and headed for the marina where I was in for an interesting afternoon. It was an eclectic group of people and I was fascinated.  By fascinated of course I mean it was hard for me to not pull out a pen and paper to take notes. 

When I arrived the concierge welcomed me with a smile.  I felt quite fancy as I mentioned the group I was to meet and was quickly elevated to A List status. I’m just a girl from the valley, and this was a little out of my element.  I headed to the pool to meet my new friends and it was as if I entered another world.

There were beautiful people in the pool, countless people walking around, and my group shouting out to all with familiarity, even though many were strangers. If you mix Spring Break with Melrose Place, throw in Breaking Bad and a visiting day at the United Nations, you get a picture of what it was like.  I loved with the whole thing.

There was a celebrity chef, a television star, geniuses in the world of video gaming, literary giants, a mish mash of others, and little old me.  Liquor was flowing, food was abundant, and I quickly learned that not only does everyone have a story, when it comes to love and relationships, everyone’s stories are the same.  We are all looking for something.

Married, divorced, single, dating, gay or straight, people are all wounded when it comes to their relationships.  I arrived thinking I would have nothing in common with these people, and in the end we were all connected by our search for love.  Our view of love may be different, but the search is the same. People are lonely, broken, and jaded by love.

From going through a divorce and dating again, to dating the wrong kinds of people, to cheating on your partner, to hating going home because you can’t stand your partner, to swearing off love due to a broken heart, everyone at the BBQ had a story, and a golden nugget of information I needed in order to have a successful relationship. 

I also happily gave my opinion about relationships to people I just met.  I could say I was able to share due to a little push from my pal Jose Cuervo, but the truth is I didn’t drink anything.  I was soaking it all in and interested in the opinions.  Men have different views than women on these things, and my head was spinning from the information.

I think the most important thing to a successful relationship is communication. Couples fight when there is a miscommunication of needs, or when they don’t say what they are thinking, but get mad at their partners for not reading their minds.  People want companionship, friendship, touch, support, and a witness to their lives. That takes communication.

I am an advanced communicator.  Some men can handle it and some cannot.  I am low maintenance in more ways than I am high maintenance. I am someone who is looking for a partner.  I want to share my life, embrace and build a family, and have someone to turn to and be able to say, “Do you remember when we….?” I want a new history.

I am not good at dating. I am however, brilliant at relationships.  I am independent enough to be able to embrace time on my own, and old fashioned enough to want to take care of my partner. I can work a 10 hour day, go home clean the house and make dinner, and still want to make out.  The only thing I ask in return is respect, decency, and communication.

It is fun to discuss relationships with new people.  You can ask ten people one question and get a hundred different answers depending on the day you ask them.  To be in a group of handsome men is eye opening.  It shines a light on not only how I am perceived by the opposite sex, but how I perceive myself.  Turns out I am quite fabulous.

Everyone deserves to be loved, and the search for love would be easier if we stopped judging each other and realize everyone has their own view of what love is.  We must allow everyone to feel they are worthy, but it is up to them to determine what, or who, they are worthy of. In the end if we feel unworthy, we will attract unworthy.

That said, who are we to determine what is unworthy?  For me, a successful relationship is one where I never have to wonder what my partner thinks about me and us.  If he loves me, I want to know it.  If he is mad at me, let me know.  If he wants to jump my bones, share your desire.  If the way I jump his bones needs a tweak, teach me. Communicate.

I planned to go by the BBQ for an hour and spent the better part of the day with a fabulous group of people. They made me laugh, think, hope, and learn. I left with new friends, and a clear desire to not judge how love looks to other people. In the end love is like BBQ. it’s ready when it’s ready and best when not rushed. There is no need to hurry.

In sitting with this fabulous group of people and hearing their stories of dating in Los Angeles, I laughed, cringed, shook my head, and was reminded it is not easy, but it is possible. It requires patience, kindness, decency, and communication.  For the lucky ones who are able to find a Coach, we are reminded anything is possible if we keep the faith.