Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Life Hacks From the Road: The Three Gs

Desert View, Grand Canyon. November 2008. Credit: Mzuriana.
Desert View, Grand Canyon. November 2008. Credit: Mzuriana.

I began this post back in May 2019. It's been gestating in the draft womb ever since. Seeing as how we're in 2023's neonatal days, it's time to birth this baby.

During the course of a conversation, one of my El Paso friends, "Drake," referenced the three Gs. The three Gs aren't of Drake's conception; they are Dan Savage's.

Oh, Dan Savage. I hadn't read any of his columns in years, and I hadn't heard of his three Gs. Dan Savage is the author of the column called Savage Love, from which he dispenses relationship and sex advice.

Mr. Savage's three Gs reside in a sexual context, but as soon as Drake described them to me, I saw their useful application to life generally.

The Three Gs
  • Good
  • Giving
  • Game

In short (from a Psychology Today article):
GGG stands for 'good, giving, and game.’ Think 'good in bed,' 'giving of equal time and equal pleasure,' and 'game for anything—within reason.'"

For more details, here you can listen to Dan Savage explain below:

But, as I noted, I can try to apply the Gs in everyday milieus.

Desert View, Grand Canyon. November 2008. Credit: Mzuriana.
Desert View, Grand Canyon. November 2008. Credit: Mzuriana.


Skill. To be good at something and to practice that skill.

For example, Drake is skilled at noticing.

Early on in our friendship, I saw that he noticed things I liked, and he noticed things I didn't like.

Then, for my pleasure, he acted on what he noticed.

I'm not talking big things. I'm talking small things.

Like noticing that I prefer taking a more scenic route from point A to point B instead of a more direct route. When we were out and about, he'd ask if I'd prefer walking an alternative route over the most time-efficient route - and being amenable to taking the longer way.

Like noticing that I usually opt for crunchy vegetable snacks. Consequently, he thoughtfully included a supply of carrots in a day pack for a joint excursion, in addition to his preferred snacks of chips and cookies.

I have since tried to build my own noticing-to-acting skill so that I can add some Good into a relationship, whether it be friend, family, romantic interest, neighbor, or colleague.


I'm not much of a hugger in most situations, and I used to groan inwardly when I encountered the friends who I labeled as eye-rollingly touchy-feely, gearing myself up for the inevitable greeting hug. But one day I realized that:

  1. Hugs do not actually cause me any harm; and
  2. Huggers derive sustenance from hugs, both giving and receiving; so
  3. How about if I unreservedly give and receive said hugs?


"I only listen to classical music."
"I don't like your music."

It can be a bit of a bummer when a friend or relative rejects something out of hand that you like or something you want to try. 

I'm not just thinking of exotica, such as trying out a food new to you or me, like brains or crunchy crickets

And I'm not talking about things that risk one's physical or mental well-being, such as jumping out of a plane.

We all have biases for and against places and activities, which are evident with the words never, always, and only.

I used to have a bias against ocean cruises. But over time, my antipathy has become less strident: If a person in my circle really wants to go on a cruise, and my participation would be an investment in our relationship, and it's a cruise I can afford financially, and the opportunity costs aren't too high (i.e. if I do the cruise, I'd have to pass up something I value significantly more or something that won't be available later) ... then why not? I'm game. Maybe I'll be delighted! And if not delighted for myself, maybe I'll be delighted at the pleasure I see in my travel companion.

Being game doesn't arm us for future chess moves. I laughed the other day remembering Jewish-née-Episcopalian Charlotte's outcry to future husband Harry: "I gave up Christ for you!"

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