Friday, September 19, 2008

Single Guy's Tiers

First off, whoever said last week that the way to get a guy to open up was football talk… you are brilliant! I went over to Mr. Big’s house after Monday Night football and watched the game highlights with him. I have to say, it was actually kind of interesting. I could get into this game. And, it worked like a charm. He was more talkative than I’ve seen him in … ever! So, thanks, gals. :)

Okay, on to today’s blog topic… this week Suze sent me a link to the Dating Diaries blog. It’s written by this guy, Rich Santos, who writes for Marie Claire. Apparently, he made a New Years resolution to be a better dater (sound familiar?) and has been chronicling his dating exploits on his blog every since. He calls himself a, “smart, funny, attractive guy who not only admits to being clueless about women but is willing to share his dating diary.” I love it! A peak inside the inner workings of Single Guy.

One post he had up especially caught my eye. He called it the 4 tiers of a relationship according to a guy. Yeah, like I wasn’t going to click on that one. So, here are the 4 tiers according to Single Guy, with running commentary from Single Gal (yours truly) :

TIER ONE - 1 to 3 months in

Things are pretty sensitive here. It's easy to overwhelm and look too interested or too fired up. I would assume keep things simple, almost cliche. Stick to dates that girls are used to, and places they feel comfortable:

(Single Gal agrees. Comfort is key when we’re dealing with a guy we don’t yet know very well.)

Group Outings: Heading to the bar keeps things casual and gives her a base because her friends are involved. (And she can always use one of them as an excuse to leave if things are heading south. “Sorry, Suze is really drunk. I gotta take her home.”) It also helps her get a sense for who I am because she can meet some of my friends (usually not a good thing for me actually). Too much of this will make things too friendly, so I think it must be used at appropriate levels.

Dinner: Everyone likes to go out to dinner, and actual dates are rare. Eating is a sensual experience, and it's fun to try out new places around town. (Just beware of garlic breath and spinach between the teeth.)

The Movies: Another cliche date, but it's best combined with dinner. There is a lot of talking during the first three months, so you don't want to end up in silence at the movies all the time. (But it opens up a great opportunity for a little hand holding. And you can tell so much about a guy’s personality by how he handles the shared armrest situation.)

Ticketed Events: This can happen towards the end of Tier One. Shows, concerts, art exhibits are all great conversation pieces and usually a good time. My dad used a ticketed event to woo my mom. He asked her to a concert that was months away. After she said yes, he felt like it was safe to ask her out to dinner for the next weekend. Crafty!. (Toward the end – yes. At the beginning of stage one – no. I had a guy take me to see a Broadway style play once as a first date. Which was really nice of him, but I spent all evening feeling guilty that he’d spent so much and gone to so much trouble when it was clear in the first five minutes I didn’t want to see him again.)

Walks and Drives: These are so nice. City, country, anywhere-getting out and seeing people and places is charming and sparks a lot of conversation. Usually good for end of Tier One. (Again – bad first dates. I’d actually save these for Tier Two. While they sound nice, I’m really not sure I know enough about a guy after a month or two to go off alone with him for a walk in the country. Or a long drive. While it may not occur to a guy, safety is a big issue for most dating girls.)

TIER TWO - 4 to 8 Months In

Getting more comfortable and ready to try new things.

Weekend Trips: Now you're really getting into each other. You can take little trips to the shore, or go camping. This is usually a big test-the long drives and general travel put a little strain on a relationship so going away together tests your mutual mettle. (I’m sorry, but I gotta know a guy REALLY well before I want him to see me camping. Camping=short showers, no hair dryers, very little make-up, no heels, and lots of mosquitoes. This is not how Gemma looks her best. Now, if we’re going for a weekend in Vegas… I’m there.)

Weddings: Once you've earned that spot, you get taken to weddings. You know it's getting serious when your boyfriend/girlfriend gets a wedding invite with plus 1, and you're even more in if your name is on the invitation too. (OMG – Mr. Big asked me if I wanted to go to a wedding with him next month. Does that mean we’ve hit tier two? Happy grin.)

Parental Meeting Casual: This usually means meeting parents of your significant other for dinner, or in public. Once you've earned the right to meet parents things are definitely serious, but usually the first meeting is a casual one. (Totally agree with the casual first meeting thing. Good call.)

TIER THREE - 8 Months to a Year In

Totally comfortable.

Parental Meeting Serious: These are the ones where you are at the family cookout, and you're meeting extended family. You are driving in other family members' cars, and helping out around the house. People are starting to size up how you'd fit in their family.
(Personally, I want to meet the family sooner than this. I mean, if he comes from loonies, I need to know that up front. Uh… and no one else is driving my car. I don’t care if we’ve been married for ten years. That’s my baby. I’m not loaning it to your brother.)

TIER FOUR - Over a Year In

Anything's possible...

International Trips: This is all about investment: time, money, receiving shots in some cases (ouch!). Once you're traveling to big time places, you know you're serious.
(He forgot one thing about tier four – rings. A big, gold, shiny ring with a diamond solitaire.)

So, what do you ladies think? Do you agree with the tiers? Think he’s moving too slowly, too quickly? Have any of your own to add? I noticed one thing he forgot to mention is when certain words are acceptable. Words like "boyfriend" "girlfriend" and "love". What tier do you think those come in?

~Trigger Happy halliday


Anonymous said...

I think it looks about right - although I also think it's different for every couple. My husband & I for example didn't use terms very early on, prefering to take things slow... while his brother & his later wife got engaged within 6 months. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.
Interesting article though!

P.S. I love watching sports... for your future football viewing, I highly recommend watching a Jets game, or more importantly, some Brett Favre action - he's my fantasy husband.
Golf can be just as pleasurable with the eye candy too, surprisingly enough... if he likes golf.

Gemma Halliday said...

Hmm... golf. Yeah, I think he does play. Not sure if he likes to watch it. I'll give it a try! We're going to see a baseball game at the end of the month. Now there's a game I can follow. (And the players don't look too bad either.;) )


Beth said...

If I haven't said it here before the best thing about football is the pants! Love those pants!
I'd say if you're going away with him in tier 2 then he'd better be your 'boyfriend'. I'd save the 'love' for tier 2 or 3, but there has been precident for it appearing in tier 1. If you're in tier 4 there had better be at least TALK of gold & diamonds or something along those lines. This is a really fun article. It's nice to see that guys think these things through.

Christie Craig said...


I love this. Thanks for posting it. It's so interesting to step into a man's mind.


Terri Osburn said...

I was dealing with moving Friday and can't believe I missed this. I'm in tier one right now which means I'm pretty much confused and uncertain on a daily basis. LOL! But considering I've been in tier zero for so long, I'm not complaining.

I agree with Mia that everyone is different. My ex-H started using "love" almost immediately. Heck, he asked me to marry him after very few dates. It took me nearly two years before I'd agree.

Happy to hear the football talk is working. If he's in one of those football polls where they choose which teams will win each week, see if he'll let you play along. You don't really have to know the game, you've got a 50/50 shot of getting it right for each game. LOL! And when you beat him one week, you'll see how he handles being beaten by a girl. LOL!

Gemma Halliday said...

Yay, Terrio! Confused tier one is a fab start. So... tell us about the guy! Come on, you gotta dish here.

And.. I think I'm teetering on tier two, but I'm still confused on a daily basis. :)


Terri Osburn said...

Gemma - He's a single dad in the Navy. I met him through my best friend who goes to church with him. We're still figuring things out and taking our time. So far we have a lot in common and our daughters are the best of friends. Seems like a pretty good start to me. Plus, he helped me move this weekend even with an injured back. Can't beat that. LOL!

Oh, tier 2. That's a big step. And if I remember correctly, that confused thing never totally goes away. LOL!