Tag Archives: being in a relationship

Finding Love Has Become An Extended Job Interview (And For Good, Yet Unromantic Reasons)

Being a self-professed romantic and an aspiring erotica/romance writer, I often scrutinize the nature of romance more than most. Whereas some might watch a movie or TV show and see the basics of a romantic sub-plot, I’ll dig much deeper. I’ll identify which romances are inherently flawed, why some work beautifully, and why love triangles are inherently awful.

That scrutiny goes beyond media, popular culture, and my own efforts to tell a good love story. I often find myself observing how romance unfolds in real life. Whether it’s how people have pursued romance in the past to my own romantic endeavors, there’s a lot to break down and it doesn’t always make sense. Love isn’t known for being rational, after all.

It’s because of this tendency of mine that I notice things that rarely come up in discussions about romance. Recently, I realized something profound while reading several stories about how modern dating has changed in recent years, of which there are many.

Modern romance has become more a job interview than an emotional journey.

I imagine some will roll their eyes at that notion. Some might even agree with it and not need any convincing. A few probably think I’m giving this too much thought, even for a romance fan. That may be a fair point, but I believe the evolution of modern romance is becoming a lot less romantic.

To be fair, finding has undergone many upheavals throughout history. It wasn’t until the past couple centuries that people actually married for love. Those who claim to champion “traditional” marriage probably aren’t aware that marriage and formal relationships were little more than passionless business contracts for most of human history.

Love and romance were always there. We, as human beings, are hardwired to form loving bonds. It just took different forms and people went about it in very different ways. Most people have a general idea of how people go about it today. It tends to go something like this.

  • Two people meet, either in person or online
  • There’s a spark of attraction
  • They both pursue each other
  • They go on dates to learn about one another and explore their romantic connection
  • If the connection is strong enough, they forge a lasting relationship and build a life together

Granted, this is an exceedingly gross simplification. It still covers most of the basics. That’s the problem, though. It only deals with the basics and people are rarely basic.

It starts shortly after a mutual attraction is established. Once two people start pursuing one another, the dating phase starts. Movies, TV shows, and romance novels tend to be vague about how this unfolds. However, it’s here where the parallels with job interviews start to show.

While a love story may depict candle-lit dinners, coordinated dancing, and intimate gestures, the bulk of that process tends to involve more pragmatic acts. For two people to understand whether they’re romantically compatible, they need to get to know one another. To get to know one another, they need to interact.

That, in and of itself, doesn’t make dating indistinguishable from a job interview. For that, the modern structure of relationships is what fosters that and I’m not just referring to marriage. This affects couples who cohabitate, as well as those who are serial monogamists.

From a logistical standpoint, a modern romance has many moving parts. It’s not enough to just be attracted to one another, enjoy each other’s company, or have great sex. People often have to find a way to fit one another into their lives. There are jobs, career aspirations, and living situations to consider.

These days, people aren’t as likely to stay in the same place they were born in, especially if the opportunities in that town are limited. The same goes for their families. Even if they stay, sometimes their parents or extended family move away. Maybe it’s for retirement, going to college, or pursuing their own romantic interests. Having to accommodate all that into a relationship can be daunting.

In the same way you might be qualified for a job, but not in a position to take it, you might find yourself in a similar relationship with romance. All the emotional, physical, and sexual chemistry is there. However, you’re just not in a position to pursue it. You can’t maintain that relationship when you’re both living in other time zones or pursuing different paths.

That’s not to say long distance relationships can’t work, but it’s like trying to do a job remotely. There’s only so much you can do when you’re not present. If that weren’t the case, everyone would work from home or from a tropical paradise. I that as someone who has been unable to pursue major opportunities and broken up from good relationships due to distance.

Even if you can work around issues of distance and time, there’s also the matter of becoming entwined with family affairs. As the “Meet The Parents” trilogy so hilariously demonstrates, being with someone is rarely just about being with them, individually. At some point, if the romance is to be serious, their family will get involved.

That process can be as complicated as matching qualifications for a specialized job on a resume. You’ve got to make sure both families can get along. They can’t just tolerate each other at the wedding or during the holidays. They have to be capable of co-existing in a way that doesn’t undercut the romance.

It’s very similar from having a job that matches your skill set, but for an organization that is just insufferable. A lot of people have had to endure jobs they hated, even if they paid well or matched their various talents. When the organization within the job is awful, then even a dream job can be awful.

You can love someone with all your heart. You might even have someone your family loves. However, if your lover’s family is an absolute pain, then the romance will suffer. Now that relationships aren’t just business arrangements, we have to navigate around one another’s lives and their families. To do that, it’s necessary to treat dating like a job interview.

You have figure out if this person fits into your life.

You have to figure out if their hopes, dreams, and abilities match what you’re looking for.

You have to prove that your hopes, dreams, and abilities match theirs as well.

You have to determine whether you fit into the organization of their life and their family.

Ultimately, you have to build that shared life together around all of that, knowing that breaking up/being fired/quitting comes with a personal/professional cost.

On the surface, it’s hardly romantic. At the same time, there’s an undeniable pragmatism to it. As society has evolved, complete with more egalitarian gender roles and fewer taboos about being single, we’re in a better position to chart our own romantic path. We don’t just have to settle for limited options and few opportunities. We can dare to seek something greater.

As a byproduct, the basic romantic elements of intimate chemistry can never be enough. It’s necessary, if not unavoidable, to assess a prospective lover’s entire life to determine of that romance is even viable. It’s not easy and it’s exceedingly imperfect, as the rate of divorce and abusive relationships indicates.

However, being the romantic I am, I still say it’s worth pursuing. That process is still very likely to change as society, technology, and attitudes change. The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are sure to change it even more. Whether it becomes more or less like a job interview remains to be seen.

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Filed under gender issues, human nature, Love Or Obsession, psychology, romance

Happy Valentine’s Day 2020!

To everyone out there, whether you’ve found the love of your life, are looking for them, or just want another reason to share affection with the world, Happy Valentine’s Day!

As a romance fan, I have a special affinity for a day that celebrates romance.

As a single man who has nobody to spend the day with, I’m also somewhat conflicted.

I don’t deny that it’s disheartening on some levels, seeing couples going the extra mile to celebrate their love today. At the same time, I’m encouraged. It reminds me that love is worth pursuing. Finding that special someone is worth the effort, no matter how daunting it may seem.

One day, I’ll find that someone. When that day comes, Valentine’s Day will become even more special. Until then, please use this day to enjoy and cherish the love you’ve found. If you need to get into the spirit, check out some of my sexy novels and my sexy short stories.

Love is a beautiful thing. Whether you celebrate it with chocolates or extended periods of lovemaking, do what you can to make Valentine’s Day special.

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Filed under Marriage and Relationships, romance

A Memorable (And Funny) Thanksgiving Story About My Ex-Girlfriend

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It’s that time of year again. The holidays are almost upon us and we’re at the point where we can no longer complain about people putting their decorations up too early. It’s a wonderful, festive time. I’ve always loved the holidays. I’m usually among the first to put my decorations up, much to the chagrin of family and friends.

The holidays often bring out the best in people. You don’t have to look too hard for examples of that. Some of my fondest family memories have occurred over the holidays. I’ve even shared a few of them. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I’d like to share another. Once again, it involves my ex-girlfriend.

I’ve shared stories about her before and, by and large, I’ve tried to show her in a positive light. I really enjoyed my time with her while we were together. I’m not at all bitter that we didn’t work out. I like to think that she feels the same way. A few years after we broke up, I found out that she got married and is genuinely happy. I hope I can one day say the same.

This particular story, however, highlights a moment that she doesn’t remember that fondly. As it just so happens, that moment unfolded when she visited my area for Thanksgiving. While I still think it’s funny, I doubt she’ll agree. At the same time, I think she would laugh as well when recalling the details.

It actually occurred after we’d been together for a while. She’d visited my place before. She’d met my family and got along with them quite well. My family is wonderful, warm, and welcoming as a whole, especially around the holidays. We definitely got that point across during previous visits. In hindsight, it might have set the stage for what happened next.

It was the day after Thanksgiving. Typically, after the big meal, we get together with a few relatives and family friends for another gathering not far from where my parents live. It wasn’t as big or crowded as Thanksgiving dinner. It was mostly an excuse for other relatives to meet up, make more food, and catch up after however many months it had been since our last gathering.

While driving her there, I gave her a few details about this side of my family. There weren’t too many caveats or taboos to warn her about. That was a good thing too because she didn’t have much of a filter. She said what was on her mind and did things her own way. That was part of what attracted me to her. Knowing this, I still made one thing clear to her before we arrived.

Do NOT try and pet the cat. He will scratch you and not in a cute way.

I must have told her that at least three times. I was dead serious too. This particular house had a rather notorious cat that a close relative had been caring for. I know cats aren’t known for being social creatures, but this one was a special kind of mean. He didn’t like anyone, except for those who regularly fed him.

I’d seen this cat attack more than a few friends and relatives who didn’t heed that warning. I knew it would be tricky for my ex-girlfriend because she loves animals. She had a pet of her own back home and she never missed an opportunity to interact with them, especially if they were cute. I urged her to make an exception this time. I even tried to distract her from the cat once we arrived.

It was no use. Shortly after we sat down for dinner, the cat wandered near the table. My ex-girlfriend saw him and just couldn’t resist. I warned her again. I told her not to go near him. She didn’t listen. To no one’s surprise, including my own, the cat scratched her the moment she tried to pet him. He scratched her pretty good too. It required a band aid and ointment.

Naturally, she was not happy. While I helped tend to her hand, I couldn’t stop laughing. She thought she could coax some affection out of that cat. I admired her confidence, her heart, and her bravery. It still wasn’t enough.

Much to her credit, she scolded herself more than she scolded me. After all, I did warn her multiple times. She just chose not to listen. She avoided the cat for the rest of the visit. I’m pretty sure that was the first time she despised an otherwise adorable animal. It was jarring and it did affect her mood for the rest of the day.

She still got over it. She even joked about it the next day. It might not have been the most romantic moment we shared during her visit, but it definitely made Thanksgiving more memorable, albeit for unusual reasons.

Moments like that are part of what make the holidays special. They’re also moments that make relationships special, even if they don’t work out. I’m certain that if I ever crossed paths with my ex again, I could tell her the name of that cat and she would remember. She might not remember it as fondly as I do, but I think she’d still laugh at it.

One day, when I meet the love of my life, I hope to make many memories like that. I also hope plenty of them occur on Thanksgiving, but I think I could do without asshole cats.

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Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights, romance

Five Places Where I’ll Likely Meet The Love Of My Life

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I’m a romantic at heart. Between the sexy stories I’ve written and the sexy topics I’ve discussed, I think I’ve made that abundantly clear. Love, in all its wondrous forms, is something worth pursuing, channeling, and embracing. It’s one of the few forces that can be as powerful in the real world as it is in fictional words.

It may be corny, but love is a wonderful thing. It’s easy to be cynical and jaded, especially if you’ve had your heart broken or been in one too many bad relationships. It’s just as easy to find yourself overwhelmed by all the joy and fulfillment it brings to your life. The hardest part is finding it, but finding it often requires vulnerability, dedication, and even a little blind luck.

At the moment, I’m single. I’ve been single for a number of years now, but I’m always on the lookout for love. I’ve tried online dating. It didn’t work for me. I’ve also tried having a family member set me up with someone. That didn’t work, either. I haven’t lost hope. I still believe that one day, I’ll find the love of my life. It’s just a matter of when and where.

While it’s impossible to predict the when, I know myself well enough to have a general idea of where I might find that special someone. Everyone in my family says it’ll happen when I least expect it, but a few have said I probably won’t be surprised where it happens.

With that in mind, I’d like to take a moment to speculate on where that magical moment might happen for me. I know myself. I know where I hang out and where I tend to meet new friends. If I’m going to fall in love, it’s probably going to happen at a place like that.

Granted, I could be wrong. It could happen somewhere completely unexpected. Love is unpredictable and erratic like that. That’s part of what makes it so amazing. In terms of sheer probability, these are the locales where I’m most likely to meet the love of my life.


#1: A Comic Book Convention

This is probably the most obvious. I’ve been very transparent with my love of comic books and superhero movies. It’s also one that has a track record. I met my last girlfriend on an online comic book forum. Having a shared interest is a great catalyst for love and comic conventions are the epicenter of it all.

I’ve met good friends and a few cute girls at comic conventions. I’ve documented my trips to the New York Comic Con multiple times. I’ve every intention of attending the New York Comic Con this year and for years to come. If I’m going to fall in love, it’ll likely be with someone who shares the same interests.

Maybe they’ll be a cos-player dressing up as one of my favorite characters. Maybe they’ll be someone I’m sitting next to during a panel. Maybe they’ll just happen to be stuck in line with me, waiting to get an autograph from one of my favorite writers or celebrities. Comic conventions offer all sorts of opportunities for fans and lovers alike.

If I fall in love with someone, I’d like them to share my interest. If I meet the love of my life at a comic book convention, then that’ll only give us more reasons to go every year. I can’t think of a better way for a romance to blossom.


#2: A Football Game

Like comic conventions, football games are a perfect celebration of something I love. I’ve been a football fan all my life. During the season, I schedule every Sunday around watching games and cheering on my favorite teams. Some of my favorite memories as a kid involved watching football with my dad and siblings. I hope to make similar memories with the love of my life.

I don’t go to as many football games anymore, but when I do, I encounter women who are just as passionate about the game as any man. That can be difficult to find in other walks of life. Football is often seen as a male-centric interest, but that has been steadily changing in recent years.

As with comics, I believe I’ll fall in love with someone who shares my passions. If I find a woman who can drink, cuss, and cheer during games as much as me, I have a feeling we’ll share an amazing romance. Through hard losses and major victories, we can give each other yet another reason to look forward to football season. Love has that power, even for things you already love.


#3: A Book Store/Library

This might be a bit trickier with respect to finding love, but I think it’s possible for the same reason as comic conventions and football games. Book stores and libraries may not be big events or gatherings, but they’re where I go to celebrate and further my love for great stories. Whether it’s romance or sci-fi, book stores and libraries are almost a necessary hub for a guy like me.

I’m the kind of person who could spend an hour in a book store, sifting through everything from the latest comic books to cheesy romance novels. The people you meet aren’t always in the mood to talk, let alone fall in love. However, it’s a lot easier to strike up a conversation with someone, especially when they’re picking out the same books you enjoy.

One day, I could be hanging out in the graphic novel or romance section of a book store. Then, a woman could just show up, start looking at the same books as me, and that’s all it would take. If we happen to share the same passion for the same stories, then it could lead to sharing passions of other kinds. It can start small, but grow rapidly. Like all great romance, it takes a little spark to trigger a great love story.


#4: A Sports Bar

This one has similar factors to that of a football game and a comic book convention. It’s a gathering spot for events, albeit on a smaller scale. It’s not flashy or elaborate, but that’s exactly why I think it’s a good place for a guy like me to find love.

I love sports. I also love good food and good beer. I go to sports bars to do more than just drink and eat, though. I like to hang out, watch whatever game is on, and strike up random conversations with people. It’s a great experience that has helped me develop the social skills that I didn’t have in my youth.

In the same way I can talk for hours about sports and comics, I’d like to find a special someone who can share in those conversations. We can share a few beers, a batch of buffalo wings, and an extensive discussion about playoff scenarios and draft picks. If I’m going to fall in love someone, it’s probably going to happen with someone I love talking to.

Sports bars aren’t known for being romantic. As a date, it’s probably not the first place you want to go with your lover. In terms of meeting that lover, though, I think a sports bar is one of the places where our paths may first cross.


#5: A Strip Club

I know. I can already sense the judgement pouring in through certain corners of the internet. Yes, I’m aware that strip clubs have a dirty, lurid reputation. I know it’s not the first place anyone goes when looking for a spouse. I also know most strippers aren’t looking to find love. I don’t care. I think there’s plenty of room for romance.

Strippers, be they male or female, seek love just as much as anyone else. It may not be the kind of epic romance that inspires Shakespearean plays or chick flicks, but it can be just as sincere. As someone who appreciates nudity and celebrating sex appeal, I think I’d connect with women at a strip club.

I don’t deny that there would be unique challenges. I’m aware that most strippers only pretend to like the men who go to clubs so they can extract money for their company. It’s part of the job. There’s also life beyond the job. Sometimes, you connect with people in unexpected ways over the course of their work. That’s the entire premise behind workplace romances.

Whether the person I fall for is a stripper or just someone who works there, I can imagine something starting out as a simple exchange that blossoms into something unexpectedly. I’ve been in my share of strip clubs. The women who work there are as varied as the women you find any another occupation. If they appreciate nudity and all things sexy like I do, I can see that as being a good foundation for love.


For now, these places are just educated guesses. Whenever or wherever I meet the love of my life, I probably won’t realize it at first. When I do, I hope the moment is as special as the location. Romance can blossom in many different places. For certain people, some are just more fertile than others.

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Filed under Jack Fisher's Insights, romance, sex in society