Roommate Issues, Marry Me Now, Used For Sex – S3E68

Roommate Issues, Marry Me Now, Used For Sex

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Podcast episode 68 is titled Roommate Issues, Marry Me Now, Used For Sex. TheRelationshiPodcast gives advice to people that write in. The big disclaimer is that they did not write in to us. Yes, we will be giving our 2-cents on all your love problems whether you like it or not. Doctor Ryan, Drey, and John are in the building.

Roommate Issues, Marry Me Now, Used For Sex Outline

*Please be advised that S3E69 will be the last episode of the TRP forever (Releasing 07/01/19)

If you want to be a guest on TheRelationshiPodcast please send us an e-mail.

You should binge on previous episodes of TheRelationshiPodcast. Start from Season 1 (Episode 1). LISTEN NOW.

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This is the NON-SALTY Disclaimer: ‘We at The Relationship Podcast do not discriminate based on race, sex, sexual orientation, income level, political affiliate, religion, or creed. These opinions are solely based on our own unique experiences; our opinions are not the rule. We are always open to EVERYONE’S personal life experiences and opinions. At the end of the day, we can always agree to disagree. Please enjoy the podcast.”

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Another Session Of The TRP Love Advice Column – S3E57

Another Session Of The TRP Love Advice Column

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TRP listener and friend, “Ross,” contacted the TRP a few weeks ago. Ross needed love advice regarding someone he loves and could see himself spending the rest of his life with. His issues are topics that the TRP have discussed before, but in real life issues tend be multilayered. The TRP doctors attempt to provide love advice issue by issue.

Another Session Of The TRP Love Advice Column Outline

In Ross’s words …

I’m in love with a girl. We have been in a long-distance relationship for a year now; “Rachel” lives in West Virginia and I reside in California. I met her at my cousin’s wedding; her best friend married my cousin. We fell hard for each at their wedding and our relationship blossomed soon after that. We traveled to be with each other as much as we could from that point on.

However, the long-distance was taking a toll on our relationship. We had discussions regarding moving to be with each other, but it does not seem right for us right now. Rachel does not want to leave her family in West Virginia; though she does not rule out doing so in the future. It would be difficult for me to leave California because I have a home here and also my dog. This really bummed me out because I was confident we would be married within a year’s time if one of us did move.

Sometime in February, I freaked out. We ended up mutually agreeing to breaking up. I felt like I was being impulsive and did not completely think it through. At the time, I thought we should break up because one of us will eventually get hurt as the long-distance takes its toll.

A month later, I still feel Rachel is the greatest woman I’ve come across. I consider myself to be a macho man and don’t express my feelings very well. I reached out recently to express myself because I do not want to give up on what we have. It takes two people to work it out. Rachel told me she is in pain about how things were and are now. Am I being dumb? I feel in my heart this is The One and I’m afraid of being 80 years old on my deathbed regretting just saying bye.

Is it illogical or stupid to carry on then, without a plan at the moment? Love is love, and sometimes it punches you in the gut. It’s been a wild ride and my therapist asked me if I regret it. I’m willing to continue the long-distance relationship even though I know it will be tough. I’ll have to see what she says.

If you want to be a guest on TheRelationshiPodcast please send us an e-mail.

You should binge on previous episodes of TheRelationshiPodcast. Start from Season 1 (Episode 1). LISTEN NOW.

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This is the NON-SALTY Disclaimer: ‘We at The Relationship Podcast do not discriminate based on race, sex, sexual orientation, income level, political affiliate, religion, or creed. These opinions are solely based on our own unique experiences; our opinions are not the rule. We are always open to EVERYONE’S personal life experiences and opinions. At the end of the day, we can always agree to disagree. Please enjoy the podcast.”

QFA: The Quest For Answers Featuring Dr. Events [P2]- S2E27

QFA - Quest For Answers ft. Dr. Events S2.Episode 27 P2

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Welcome to Part 2 of Quest for Answers featuring Dr. Events (Elaine). Elaine joins the TRP staff to continue our relationship talk. Elaine brought her own questions that she would like answered from the male perspective. If you guys missed Part 1, you should definitely listen to Part 1 prior to Part 2. To those that are jumping in now, here is a quick synopsis: It is fortunate we have Dr. Events, Elaine, to be our female panelist to represent her whole gender. I believe Elaine could provide great insight into this because (1) female perspective, (2) 20-something demographic, and (3) the industry that she works in. Elaine is an entrepreneur and wedding event planner so she must have a wealth of knowledge from working with partners as they work to their big day. Today, Dr. Events and the TRP will take the journey for our Quest For Answers.

QFA: Quest For Answers Featuring Dr. Events Outline

For more information or to inquire about receiving a quote for your event, please go here.

If you want to be a guest on TheRelationshiPodcast please send us an e-mail.

You should binge on previous episodes of TheRelationshiPodcast. Start from Season 1 (Episode 1). LISTEN NOW.

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This the NON-SALTY Disclaimer: ‘We at The Relationship Podcast do not discriminate based on race, sex, sexual orientation, income level, political affiliate, religion, or creed. These opinions are solely based on our own unique experiences; our opinions are not the rule. We are always open to EVERYONE’S personal life experiences and opinions. At the end of the day, we can always agree to disagree. Please enjoy the podcast.”

The Engaged Life #9: Perception of Career

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Setting up for Big SoCal Euro in 2015. It was a 14 hour day in 95 degree weather.

Hey all. This one is going to be a short one. Like I mentioned on the podcast, I’m in the middle of a job hunt and filtering through the offers I am getting. I know I’m fortunate enough to have multiple offers to have to filter, but it’s still something that I’m not taking lightly.

I’ve actually mentioned this in every one of my interviews, and my priorities have changed significantly since my last job hunt, which was about 5 years ago. It’s quite surprising to me how much things can change in such a short amount of time. I’m still young enough to pull long hours and neglect my personal life in exchange for riches, but I don’t want to be that person if I also want to start a family. Those 2 philosophies are in direct conflict with one another.

As I’m filtering through my job offers, I’m actually considering things like % travel, title, commute, hours, stress, and office culture. In my 20s, I didn’t care about any of that. I didn’t mind 50% international travel. I’ll gladly take a lower title if I still get paid more. I don’t mind the overtime as long as it helps me get on the path to better pay. For a good year and a half, I worked 2 jobs and pulled 60 hours a week easily. Don’t get me wrong, that life is exciting. Being constantly busy is great at that age. It keeps you out of trouble. It also helps keep your vices in check the sooner you start using the money you earn towards it. Can’t afford the clothes you really want because you spent it on beer and cigarettes? Too bad, looks like you have to wait until the next paycheck and cut back on stuff you don’t need.

Fast forward to now, I’m still as much of a salesman as I ever was, but there’s been a shift in attitude. Lower stress is important. Less hours is really important. I’d rather not do overtime for the sake of wages, I’ll do it for the sake of saving time later on in the week. Staying domestic is really important. I grew up with a dad that was gone up to 6 months a year for work. I have really close friends that have to say bye to their newborns for weeks at a time for work. Traveling for work sucks too. I’d rather not have to if I don’t need to. Stability. Comfort. Flexibility. These are the key factors for me now.

Unlike my other posts, this one isn’t so much any advice I can give or any theory that I have, insomuch as insight into what’s going on in my head right now. Maybe if you’re reading this you can reflect on how your perception of career has changed, new grad until now.

As always, please comment and subscribe! I can always be reached at therelationshipodcast@gmail.com.

I hope you enjoyed and have a great weekend!

 

The Engaged Life #8: The Disney Syndrome

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TLDR warning: this is a lot more dense than my usual posts.

Disney. The media superhouse known as Disney. It’s crazy to think something that started as a simple animation studio has become the behemoth it is today. It’s still crazy to think that since they own both Marvel and Lucasfilms, they basically have a monopoly on millenial nostalgia.

But that isn’t the point of this post. I want to talk about Disney itself and about the perception of reality.

Older generations often criticize the millenial generation as being too idealistic, as being too grandiose in their goals, or as being almost delusional in seeking purpose. I’m in my 30s and although I suppose I fit into the age group of millenials depending on who you ask, I have to agree with this assessment. Many of my peers struggle with their perceptions of reality. There seems to be this disparity that exists between intellectual progressivism and reality as it comes.

I call those afflicted with this skewed, fatalistic ideal as those having the Disney syndrome, mainly because when I noticed this I was living in Anaheim, the home of the original Disneyland. Thus, I’ve seen this affliction on a much more ubiquitous scale than perhaps the most astute observer anywhere else in the country. Disneyland itself is a monument to this ideal, as evidenced by the thousands who go there, seeking a partial escape from reality. It’s not unlike alcoholism, except that it is much more permissible. Are there people who go to Disneyland solely for fun? Of course. This is not a slight against them. But there is no denying that this need/want to be in Disneyland is indicative of a deeper psychological issue within my peers of this generation.

I’m definitely not the only one that thinks this way. Author, Kurt Anderson, was featured on Big Think essentially putting his twist on it. He clearly has trouble condensing his thoughts on the matter, but that’s a testament to how much there is to say:

So first let’s break down a few of the main symptoms of Disney syndrome.

  1. Inability to comprehend the unfair nature of reality.

  2. Thinking that all ideas are created equal.

  3. Feeling entitled to certain rights and privileges.

  4. Sadness in the face of adversity.

There are more, but I feel like this rounds up the most characteristic qualities of the syndrome.

My theory is that having been bombarded with fairy tales on a massive scale from basically time of birth has led to a generation of people that come to expect that said fairy tales will one day come true for them. On a side note, I believe this is why American wedding culture is out of control. People are spending upwards of $20-50k on a single day of celebration to essentially make a blissful envisionment of their fantasy come true. Pair that with the 40-50% divorce rate (with a good portion of that being 2nd and 3rd marriages) and I think you can quickly surmise that there’s something cyclical about how this ends up playing out in reality. They want a fairy tale, they get it for a day, then they can’t possibly maintain this level of idealism, and subsequently give up and try again.

The same can be said about the millenial workforce.They were shown and told from an early age that as long as you work hard to be kind to others, you can accomplish anything and be anything you want. Then, they get into the workforce in a less than optimal position, and they quickly become dissatisfied. Unbeknownst to them, a majority of the people that came before had to just deal with the grind for a long time before they started actualizing any semblance of their dreams, if they even got that far.

Why do I think that this type of thinking is dangerous? It’s for many reasons.

Since the podcast focuses primarily on relationships, let’s start there. People that have this extraordinary sense of idealism when it comes to relationships will most likely have a much harder time finding happiness. You hear about it all the time, the hopeless romantics. While it seems sweet and everyone dreams of meeting someone like that, you have to realize that that kind of attitude has to be incredibly taxing on a person. It’s great for the recipient, but not great for the gifter. There are a few people that can pull it off. Kudos to them. For the rest of the people with less than perfect mental acuity, it can actually lead to depression.

Mental health is also a hot button issue in today’s world. Lately, we’ve heard a lot about celebrity suicides and troubled youths. I can’t even begin to try and figure out motive, but I feel like everyone would be remiss if they did not think that part of the reason for these actions had something to do with reality vs expectation.

So what’s the moral of the story? Reality is always there, waiting for you to become its friend. The sooner you become friends with reality, the sooner you can have a healthy appreciate of life and what it has to offer. Idealism isn’t bad. It’s when you conflate idealism with expectation that things will go awry. Furthermore, screw fairy tales. Screw antiquated ideals made up by people you may not even personally know. Live your life as your own and create your own tale, for better or for worse. Any story that you write with this attitude will be better than anything that Disney can come up with.

If you have any thoughts on this yourself, be sure to leave a comment below!

As always, you can reach me at therelationshipodcast@gmail.com.

-Drey

The Engaged Life #7: Why I’m Not Having a Bachelor Party

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As per usual, let’s get all the caveats out of the way first. I’m not knocking anyone for having a bachelor/ette party. It’s incredibly commonplace in America, so insinuating that I’m against almost everyone is laughably inaccurate. I believe that celebrations such as these are the choices of the celebrant, and no one else’s. If you accept that premise, then I feel like I’m well within my jurisdiction to abstain.

To understand my stance on this, I suppose I need to give a bit of background on myself. I’m the type of person that doesn’t like unneeded attention. If I’m promoting a gig or a project that I worked on (i.e. the TRP podcast), then of course I’d like the attention to help either myself or my team succeed. Outside of that, I don’t really need or want a lot of attention. This has been my philosophy for a while which is part of the reason why I don’t even celebrate my own birthday. Sure, some friends have pointed out that my life experiences have also contributed to this “tradition,” but I distinctly remember making a conscious decision in my adult life not to celebrate my birthday anymore. I can make a whole post on my reasoning for that, as well as the social experiment I conducted after I made that decision, but that isn’t the point of this post. I just wanted to lay the groundwork for the topic at hand.

So here are a few reasons why I am choosing to not have a bachelor party:

1. I don’t want the attention

Following through with what I just said, I simply don’t want the attention. I don’t like being the celebrant, especially in America. There’s this odd stigmatization in America specifically. Whenever there’s a celebration, it’s usually the case that you want to support the celebrant and do whatever he/she wants to do. However, the instant the celebrant refuses to want to celebrate, they get admonished.

“C’mon, why don’t you want to do anything? You’re weird. It’s your last hurrah. Don’t be such a lame ass.”

I get that there’s a benevolent agenda behind these words. Trust me, I do. But, there are a few things I find wrong with it, and the main one is that it’s almost like people forget who they’re supposed to be supporting. It’s one thing when someone isn’t sure and needs a bit of encouragement. It’s a totally different situation when they’re sure and that’s their position. If I want encouragement, then I’m not one to turn it away. However, if I’ve made a decision, I prefer support rather than having to fight tooth and nail to defend it, especially when it doesn’t really affect anyone else (see the next point).

2. I know the party isn’t completely for the bachelor, but I don’t really care

Okay, so let’s get real here. Nowadays, I know the bachelor party is less for the bachelor and more for the guests coming along with him. It’s an excuse to get the guys together and spend time. It’s an excuse for married men to relive some of the bliss from before they were married. It’s supposed to be male bonding at its finest. I get that. I’m just not sure if I care. It’s not that I don’t care about my groomsmen or my friends and don’t want to spend time with them, I just don’t buy into this as the reasoning for a bachelor party. I don’t like being guilt tripped into doing something I’m not comfortable with if it doesn’t serve a noble purpose.

I consider my groomsmen my brothers. They were here for me long before, and they’ll be here long after. We’ve been through hell and back together. I’d much rather take them out after the wedding and treat them to a guy’s trip. I’d rather show them my appreciation than have them take me on a trip which I find no personal meaning. Or maybe we can just go out and celebrate what we’ve been through together. It accomplishes the same goals as the bachelor party without any of the subtext which I don’t agree with. This is where I would prefer to take responsibility for being the outlier. Just because I don’t like being the celebrant, it doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be a celebration or any appreciation shown at all.

If your response is “well it’s harder to do that after you’re married,” then that perplexes me. Here’s what I can’t wrap my head around. Why would it be more acceptable for married men to go to a bachelor party than to go on a trip like the ones I’m proposing? Is it just because a pending marriage is involved? Even though the term “bachelor party” itself connotes and sometimes almost guarantees debauchery, it’s somehow more acceptable?

On a side note, I’m not one that believes that flings on the bachelor/ette party don’t count. Your actions are your responsibility, it shouldn’t matter the context. If you feel like you need to have a fling before you get married or even during it, then maybe you aren’t/weren’t ready. There, I said it.

3. It may be tradition for some people, but it isn’t one of mine

Although I’m proud to be an American, I’m still a child of immigrants. Even though Indonesia is starting to adopt bachelor parties, they’re well aware that it was adopted from American culture specifically. My dad didn’t have a bachelor party. Neither of my grandfathers had bachelor parties. I don’t have any historic or cultural reason to have one. It’s such a foreign concept to anyone who wasn’t raised with it. I personally didn’t even come across the concept of a bachelor party until I was in college. When your family doesn’t believe in them and no one around you is talking about marriage yet, then it never comes up.

It’s kind of like the whole gender reveal party thing that’s been gaining popularity recently. I personally don’t understand gender reveals as a new tradition that people are starting. I completely get baby showers. Your child’s actual birth is still a private family matter so you can celebrate with friends beforehand (read: cash in on some helpful presents). I’m still not sure how gender reveals fit into the whole scheme of things. In my opinion, bachelor parties are to marriage as gender reveals are to baby showers.

4. I don’t need a last hurrah

This is usually the tertiary reason that people give for a bachelor party which is why I put it last too. I’ve lived my live exactly the way I wanted. I’ve prepped myself for being married this whole time. There isn’t any angst in my life anymore. That was the whole point of my early adult life. If you spent your time wisely and gained as much experience (good and bad) as you possibly could, then you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything when you’re 30+. Are there more things that I would like to experience in this life? Absolutely, but it doesn’t mean that I need to be single or unmarried to do them. Will childrearing later on severely limit my mobility when it comes to pursuing some adventures, travel aspirations, or career changes? Of course, but that comes with it’s own set of rewards that I feel will balance out at the end. It’s all about perspective and making sure that yours conforms to the reality that you have to deal with.

Conclusion

To be honest, I wrote this in response to a lot of people that have been asking me about it. This way I can just link them to this, without having to explain myself over and over. Nonetheless, this is how I honestly feel about the matter. I don’t foresee anything drastically changing my mind, and I feel like that bachelor parties are such a vestigial part of wedding tradition that people aren’t going to really take the time to draw up a full counterpoint to what I’ve said. The underlying point is: if it’s something I can’t logically defend, then it’s something that I shouldn’t logically do.

Change my mind. If you have any thoughts on why I’m wrong or any other comments on this topic, be sure to leave a comment below. As always, you can reach me at therelationshipodcast@gmail.com.

-Drey

1.09 The Don’t Suck At Life: The Asian Bachelor

Last week, I hosted the Why We Are Taking So Long To Get Married In This Generation? episode. Ryan and Andrey had great responses and insights regarding why this generation is not in a rush.  I pretty much kept it low key so I thought this would be a great opportunity to speak regarding why I have maintained The Asian Bachelor status. It is not that complicated; it’s because I’m not ready.  I’ll elaborate on the specific reasons.

Freedom – I enjoy coming and going as I please without having to ask permission from anyone. If you guys don’t know already from the previous episodes, in my early 20s I focused on myself and stayed single for 10 years before dating again. I think that was a lasting psychological affect on me and the relationships I have now. When I am in a relationship, I feel constrained sometimes that I have to ask permission to do something. There are also moments when I just rather be by myself and not spend it with my partner. I’m just too use to doing whatever I wanted during my dating haitus.

Late Bloomer – In the Why We Are Taking So Long To Get Married In This Generation? episode, Andrey mentioned that he thought he did his 20s correctly; got the partying out of his system.  I spent my 20s focusing on attaining my Bachelors and Masters degrees. So I feel in my 30s and 40s that I’ve been catching up to my 20s; especially all the fun that I missed out on. This explains why I’m still doing The Asian Bachelor thing even though I have a girlfriend right now; maybe I’m Peter Pan.

Being The Good Son – I’m the male oldest so I have a obligation to take care of my mom as she gets older. I do stress about the financial responsibility of doing so. I worry often about how to balance out caring for her, having something for myself, and being able to finance a wedding, home, and security for my life partner. I’ve mentally dictated that it is more important to prioritize family before any potential spouse. I sometimes think that maybe it’s better if I just wait till my mom passes and then I will be financially able to get married.

Divorce – It’s terrible that I have to think about divorce and marriage in the same thought.  However, divorce is indeed a huge fear for me. I’ve known people that have gone through divorce, it’s well published in the media all the time, and my parents are no longer together. In The True Facts About Divorce In The US, it is stated that “Paul Amato, a top divorce rate researcher, believes that between 42% and 45% of marriages in the US will end in divorce …” So 58% to 55% of marriages will be success respectively. Those percentages do not look that great to me. I’m one of those guys that wants to stay happily married ONCE. If my dating life is an example, I’m fearful that my marriage life will lead to the same outcomes. Sometimes I see The Asian Bachelor life as the more viable option.

At the end of the day, these are my hang ups that I have to get through myself. Whether I will or not, only time can tell. It won’t be an easy road ahead, but I always believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel and I’ll eventually get married. I hope everyone finds that special person that they can love for the rest of their lives. Make sure you keep a fresh supply of roses because that lucky guy or gal will appreciate it once you give it to them.

I do not pretend to know all the answers in life. If you got some to share with me or would like to tell me your story, you can always email me at therelationshipodcast@gmail.com.  Don’t worry, I’m a huge advocate of Podcast Host/Listener confidentiality; I maybe able to learn something for myself.

If you want to contact me or TheRelationshiPodcast, you can e-mail me/us.

You should binge on previous episodes of TheRelationshiPodcast. Start from Season 1 (Episode 1). LISTEN NOW.

You can find us on multiple Social Media outlets: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Audio version is below.

 

Why Are We Taking So Long To Get Married In This Generation? – S2E13

In previous episodes, we have spent a fair share of time talking about dating.  We have discussed what the dating landscape is now compared to our youth.  So I think it’s a natural transition to talk about; marriage.  Specifically, why is this generation taking so long to get married or delaying marriage?

Why Are We Taking So Long To Get Married In This Generation? Outline

If you want to be a guest on TheRelationshiPodcast please send us an e-mail.

You should binge on previous episodes of TheRelationshiPodcast. Start from Season 1 (Episode 1). LISTEN NOW.

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This the NON-SALTY Disclaimer: ‘We at The Relationship Podcast do not discriminate based on race, sex, sexual orientation, income level, political affiliate, religion, or creed. These opinions are solely based on our own unique experiences; our opinions are not the rule. We are always open to EVERYONE’S personal life experiences and opinions. At the end of the day, we can always agree to disagree. Please enjoy the podcast.”

The Engaged Life #6: Should I Wear a Wedding Band?

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I’m the type of person that needs a reason for everything. The reason doesn’t always have to be pragmatic. It’s okay if the reason is rooted in tradition, culture, or religion, so long as I know what the roots are. From there, I can at least make an informed opinion on whether or not I agree. Even a cursory look into some age-old traditions that us Americans take for granted will lead you to some dubious history. If you don’t believe me, really take a look at Columbus Day and the history of Thanksgiving. You might learn some stuff you wish you didn’t learn.

Before I get into this, I’m going to say upfront that I’m not knocking anyone for wearing a wedding band. The whole reason I’m writing about this is because I’m genuinely trying to sort out if this is something I want to integrate into my life. Everything means something different to every individual and this is my journey to try and ascribe my meaning to wearing a wedding ring.

Anywho, as our big day approaches, it becomes time for me to choose to choose a wedding band. This band will be something I will have to wear for the rest of my life. Or, at least that’s was tradition dictates. Who’s tradition, though? Every source I looked up seem to concur that the earliest example of this tradition was in Ancient Egypt, ~4800 years ago. It then began to proliferate from there as Romans and Judeo-Christians traditions adopted it centuries after. If you want to read a brief history on wedding bands, you can go here.

It seemed to me that I may find some answers within religion. I was raised as a Muslim and my wife-to-be was raised Roman Catholic. That said, I started with Judaism because it is the oldest of the monotheistic religions. Surprisingly enough, neither the Kabbalah nor the Talmud require it. Any gift can be given the day of so long that it is a personal belonging of the gifter, and has a value over a certain amount. Over the years, it just became more customary for this gift to be a ring. If a Jew wants to wear a wedding ring, it has to be simple, with no jewels or engravings. For why this is and more about Jewish wedding ring tradition, check this out.

Going over to Christianity, we find that it is has been tradition for a long time, but was not really adopted until the 9th century or so. Here’s a snippet from the article I linked above:

It was not until about 860 that the Christians used the ring in marriage ceremonies; even then, it was not the simple plain band as we know it. It usually was highly decorated with engraved doves, lyres, or two linked hands. The Church discouraged such rings as ‘heathenish’ and, around the 13th century, wedding and betrothal rings were considerably simplified, and given a more spiritual look which was very aptly expressed by a Bishop when he dubbed it a “symbol of the union of hearts.”

So this leads me to believe that wedding bands are not inherent within Christian theology at all. If it’s something adopted almost a millennium after Jesus was said to have lived, I don’t think anyone can say that wedding rings are a requirement under Christianity. I’m not too surprised here since Jesus was Jewish and I would have assumed He followed the Jewish customary traditions of the time.

If we move to Islam, which is the religion that I was raised in, no males are allowed to wear any gold rings, for any reason. It is haram and not permissible under Shariah Law. You may wear silver rings, and it must be simple. Here’s the kicker though, it cannot be considered a wedding band for religious purposesThis is where it gets kind of hazy. Islam has something called bid’ah, which are “forbidden innovations.” Before people get up in arms about me double-talking in Arabic, this basically means that any religious norm or custom that is foreign or counter-intuitive to Islam are forbidden. So taking communion or believing in multiple gods would be going against being a good Muslim. Nothing too egregious here. However, the loophole is if the ring holds some sort of cultural importance. If the ring is tied to some cultural tradition that isn’t religious in nature, then it’s fine. For example, heirlooms like rings passed down traditionally on the day of the wedding would be acceptable. At that point, it holds some cultural importance and it isn’t necessarily a borrowed or foreign custom. So that kind of leaves me where I started, since if I decide to wear a wedding band, I wasn’t planning on it having any religious meaning for me anyway. I’ve mentioned on the podcast multiple times that although I was raised in Islam, I don’t practice currently. I still wanted to do my due diligence regardless.

Looking at the cultural aspect of it, I can’t think of a single family member, extended or otherwise, that wears a wedding ring. My parents never wore wedding rings. Indonesians generally don’t wear wedding rings although you see it occasionally. In light of what I’ve learned about Islamic tradition and given that Indonesia is 90%+ Muslim, it’s starting to make sense. This is why I’m stuck having to figure this out on my own, it’s not something that comes up in my family.

I can’t seem to find any reference to wedding rings having any significance outside of religious or traditional symbolism (at least in any way that would be relevant to me). Since no answers have been revealed to me on either of those ends, it seems to me that this dilemma comes down to my personal conviction.

After much thought and discussion with others, I’ve come up with a few reasons that I can’t buy into, and only a couple that I can. Here are a few:

Reasons I CAN’T buy into:

It’s tradition/religious. Meh, not quite sure that’s exactly the case as I’ve elaborated above. Furthermore, I don’t think people really want to use historical reasons for their wedding bands anymore. You don’t have to search far before you find references to “ownership” of the wife and the other incredibly chauvinistic and antiquated meanings that the ring historically entails. I purposefully did not go into depth on this aspect of it because of this reason. Plus, it doesn’t hold any traditional value in my personal family, so I can’t find it within myself to do it just because it’s a commonplace tradition.

It will help to let people know that you’re married. I have no issues telling people that I’m married. If another woman wants to become romantically involved with me, it’s my responsibility to let her know that I’m not available. If you have an affair, does it really matter if your ring was on or off? I honestly don’t understand this idea that going out without your wedding ring means you’re any less married. Your fidelity is your personal responsibility. Own it.

A wedding band is to serve as a reminder. I really don’t like this reason at all if I’m honest. I don’t use anything right now and I seem to have no problems with staying faithful. I must have incredible memory. Joking aside, I think that I just don’t like the idea that someone needs to be reminded that they’re married. It’s like taking any other oath. You’re volunteering your love and commitment. As in, you’re doing it out of your own free will. It kind of defeats the purpose if you need to be reminded. If you’re dealing with an arranged marriage, then that’s a whole different ballgame which is too complex to even touch in this article.

It’s a symbol of your commitment to unity with your partner. This one is okay but I just can’t quite bring myself to fully buy into it. Ultimately, your actions are the symbols of your commitment. When you look at it that way, the ring itself as a physical manifestation of these sentiments seems to fall short. To draw an analogy, I’m sure it takes little effort for anyone to think of a person they know who is a complete dickhead but has something like a crucifix or an ankh or whatever somewhere on their person. The symbol means absolutely nothing without the accompanying attitude. That begs the question, “why have the symbol at all?”

Reasons I CAN buy into:

It’s a symbol of pride for your relationship with your partner. This is the only reason I’ve come across that I find acceptable. And I have to admit that I really like it. It’s akin to wearing the apparel to your favorite sports team or band. You just want to show off that you’re really into someone or something. In this case, it’s for your partner and the relationship you have built. I find this reason to be quite charming and endearing, as well as genuine. Another way to look at this is that it is an outward expression of your belief in the institution of marriage, which is also fine in my eyes.

Your partner wants you to wear it. There are 2 sides to this. If it’s something that is incredibly important to your partner and he/she really wants you to wear one, then I think it would be in your best interest to wear it, even if it doesn’t have any personal significance to you. This is part of the compromise that comes with marriage. However, that person needs to understand that you can never ascribe the same meaning to it as they do. It would be important to you only because they find it important. At that point, both parties just need to be happy with the final decision.

Conclusion

I know I’m in the minority and I’m sure this article has ruffled some feathers, but the real purpose of the post is to share some history with all of you and give some insight as to what it’s like being of a non-mainstream background. Conundrums like this have existed for me throughout my life and while I don’t feel like I struggle with it, I do see that most people are fortunate enough to not even have to think about stuff like this. Most people don’t even have it on their radar, and others simply take their traditions for granted.

Indonesian culture and American culture aren’t always easily integrated. Hell, that’s why they call it westernization right? The East has always been stigmatized for not doing things like the western world. Truth of the matter is, I know this is an ongoing thing for a lot of Asian-Americans. Do I default to my Asian roots, or do I defer to the American society in which I was raised? Some pick and choose based on convenience, and others (like me) have to dig deeper to find meaning.

Back to the question at hand, I know I’ll have a ring for at least the ceremony, but I haven’t really found much personal purpose beyond that. I might wear it the rest of my life, or I might even take it off before the reception. So, it’s still up in the air for me. I’m not married yet, so maybe I’ll be able to come up with a new reason through the actual wedding to help lock it down. I just have to continue to keep an open mind, in the same way as when I was doing this research. I know this is a bit of a crappy ending for this post, but I have to be intellectually honest.

If you think of any other reasons to wear a ring or any reasons that you wear a ring that I didn’t mention, be sure to comment below or drop me a line at therelationshipodcast@gmail.com. I hope reading this article was as enlightening for you as it was for me in researching for it.

-Drey

 

The Engaged Life #3: How to pick your Wedding DJ

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Church @ Downtown Fullerton – circa 2011

I hope everyone enjoyed last week’s article. This week I attempt to tackle how to pick your wedding DJ. While I said I had a fair amount of experience with photography, DJing is something that I have even more experience with. For those that don’t know me personally, I had a decade long career of DJing before retiring around 3 years ago or so. I started as a hobbyist and quickly became a mobile DJ shortly thereafter. I gigged throughout my entire college career, doing both private events and clubs/bars whenever I had the chance. With the way the music landscape was changing, and the fact that I was never too keen on becoming a full-time producer, I ended up deciding that DJing wasn’t a career that could sustain me financially in the long run. While I still have a decent amount of my equipment because I still enjoy it as a hobby, I’ve considered myself retired and stopped taking gigs around 3-4 years ago.

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Tapas Bar @ Newport – circa 2008

The most important takeaway is that although my career ended in the digital age, my foundation was in the analog. I’m not sure how old the readership of this article will be, but I was a DJ during the tail end of the vinyl era, where people still carried crates of vinyl records to each and every gig. To say that DJing is something that I’m passionate about is an understatement. I started during a time where the skill and cost barriers to entry were staggeringly high. Even if you could afford the equipment, it would take you months before you really knew how to use it. There was no “sync” button at the time (not even on CDJs) and literally everything was manually controlled. Special effect units were costly and unwieldy, so most of what sets each DJ apart was their personal skill level.

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Note the USPS crate of vinyl records on the left. OneBeLo Show @ UCI Bren Events Center – circa 2005

I’m giving you an abridged background on DJing because I want to emphasize the level of expectation you should have of your DJ. The sad truth is that DJing has become a saturated market. Anyone with $200 can become a “DJ.” The wedding DJ market has been struck the hardest, much like the wedding photography market. Why? Because it pays the most and the clientele typically doesn’t know much about DJing or photography. Of course, I don’t expect that everyone should know everything with regards to either of those skill sets, but the fact that a majority of people either don’t care or don’t want to learn is why both of these industries are rife with amateurs trying to make a quick buck. #endofrant

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Proof Bar (Get Down OC) @ Downtown Santa Ana – Circa 2009

So here are my steps to successfully book your DJ:

Step 1. Ask what genre are they most comfortable and have the most experience with.

  • DJing Hip Hop and DJing EDM are 2 entirely different skill sets. I love House, especially Deep House, but I HATE DJing it, or rather DJing House “correctly.” EDM has an emphasis on long, smooth transitions that should be undetectable under the flow of the set. Hip Hop has an emphasis on comparatively quick, creative transitions meant to somewhat surprise the listener and maintain a higher energy level.
  • Make sure the DJ you go with is comfortable with the genre you want to play most of the night. If you feel like you’ll have a lot of music requests that don’t fall into the more common genres for DJing, I would err towards a Hip Hop DJ. They will have more transitions up their sleeves to get in and out of songs in a pinch.

Step 2. Find out if they have a way of either downloading requests or getting it on vinyl or CD.

  • Instead of asking what equipment they’ll be bringing, ask how they will be playing any special requests you may have.
  • It’s YOUR responsibility to let the DJ know of your song requests, but it’s HIS/HER responsibility to figure out how to get it played. Make sure they’re able to follow through with this responsibility before booking.

Step 3. Do they MC or work regularly with an MC?

  • The MC/DJ dynamic is something that is often overlooked. Having worked with a number of different MCs, sometimes I clicked with them and sometimes I didn’t. Some of these people were even my personal friends. Just because you’re friends, doesn’t mean you have performance chemistry.
  • Your MC (along with the DJ) is in charge of keeping the schedule moving and energy levels up. You may have a wedding planner, but your MC and DJ are in charge of executing the schedule once the reception starts. Do not underestimate the importance of this aspect of your event.
  • Use this opportunity to find out how many people they have on staff for your event. Ideally, the MC and DJ combo will work to support each other, but it’s not uncommon for a DJ to have an assistant. FEED YOUR VENDORS, DON’T BE A DICK.

Step 4. In the event that you’ve never heard them perform, do they have a mixtape that you can listen to?

  • This should give you an idea of their skill level in a closed environment. If they can put together a cohesive set that you enjoy listening to, you can at least know that they’re at least competent or have an ear for it.
  • FIND OUT HOW THEY MADE THE MIXTAPE. Anybody can go into Audacity, Garageband, or Ableton and make a sick mixtape with enough time. Make sure their mixtape was recorded live. This will help you find out if they know how to perform.
  • I would highly advise against going with any DJ that doesn’t have a mixtape readily available. They don’t NEED a website. A DJ is a performer, as long as he/she has their work somewhere, their head is in the right place. I’d much rather book a DJ with no website but dope mixtape, than one with a really nice website but shitty/no mixtape.

Step 5. If your venue has no uplighting or lighting effects for the dance floor, see if the DJ can provide this.

  • Lighting can make the difference between making your reception feel like a formal gala or a fun party. If you want to set the tone that your wedding is a merry celebration, you’re going to want some sort of lighting solution.
  • A well-placed moving stage light or par light can make a huge impact on the perception of your dance floor. You don’t need a truss system to achieve this effect.

Step 6. Have a talk with your DJ. See how long they’ve been doing it. Find out why they got into it. Befriend your DJ.

  • I guess this point can be applied to any vendor, but DJing is a particularly thankless job. I used to refer to us as the “unsung heroes of the dance floor.” Most people don’t recognize a good DJ until they hear a bad one. That’s part of the job. A good DJ will figure out how to get you on the dance floor and keep you there, all whilst never alerting you of his/her presence.
  • Finding out if your DJ is truly passionate about their work is a reflection on how much work they’ll put in to your event. It isn’t like photography or videography, where the work can be archived and enjoyed anywhere. The performance is it. Your DJ needs to be in it for the artform, or they’ll never progress.

Step 7. Winning

This should give you a rough outline for you to follow if you’ve never had to book a DJ or don’t know anything about it. Here are a few recommendations from me to help you get started.

DJ Wrex – My wedding DJ of choice. He’s a fellow DJ I met years ago while I was in the Hip Hop scene and he was working booths to start Acrylick Clothing. He was always one step above me. When I was doing house parties, he was doing bars. When I started doing bars, he did clubs. When I did clubs, he was on Power 106. I was already super familiar with his work, but his mixtape page is exactly what I meant in Step 4. He’s also worked tirelessly to become a one stop shop with his connections in the industry. If you want a pink elephant for your wedding, Wrex knows how to get it.

DJ Buddy – Chances are,  you’ve been to a DJ Buddy wedding. While Wrex has immense DJ prowess, Buddy is the jack of all trades. If you want your DJ to also be your MC, this is the easiest decision you can make.

DJ Roial1 – Roial1 is another personal friend of mine. I became a fan of his at More Fire Mondays in Riverside, but didn’t ultimately befriend him until he became a resident at Florentine’s Bar in Downtown Fullerton a little over 10 years ago. Admittedly, he is more of a club DJ by profession, but he still does weddings by request. He rocks parties for a living, need I say more?

Once again, I have to say that I’m not getting paid to promote any of these guys. These just happen to be the guys that I would enjoy sharing tables with (in DJ-speak that means working the same gig).

If you have anything you want to add, comment below! Or, if you have any questions or need more help, hit me up at therelationshipodcast@gmail.com.

-Drey  // DJ Indoe