Hindsight 20/30

Now I will be the first to admit that I’ve complained of the seeming lack of “Mr. Rights” more times than I care to count. I’d come back from another failed date,  another break-up, or a dating dry spell that would have a Westerns set look lush and inviting. As I’ve gotten older and moved closer to 30, I really started to hone in on my tendency towards tunnel-vision in dating. If I’m involved with someone exclusively, I am completely focused on him. I rearrange my schedule to accommodate his no matter how inconvenient it may be. In the period following my breakups, I see the destructiveness of this mind frame and even seem to learn from this in time for the next guy. I never fully realized how much I really wanted something real, healthy and nourishing romantically until after I got over my last breakup. In my first two relationships, I had next to nothing in common with my boyfriends; and in the last two, I had too much in common with my boyfriends but not enough of the positive stuff. I had finally started to realize that my caretaker/troubleshooter response to others gave me too much of a rescuer mentality rather than a romantic one. And I started asking myself: do I really want to be with someone who wants or needs a manager? My answer: No, I don’t. I would resent putting myself in that position and would resent the guy I was managing. I want a partner, someone who is my match without being the opposite sex version of myself and balances my strengths and weaknesses while challenging me to become a better version of myself while supporting me. I found that dating for the sake of not being alone lead me to make some rather questionable choices and didn’t help me to find the quality of partner material I’d like to find. I have realized even more importantly that to attract what I really want in life, I have to do some work on myself from the inside out. With that said, I’m off to do some emotional spring cleaning. From now on, I am an attractor for greatness.

I’m a Blogger and GASP, It’s Not About You

Now before any of you think I’m speaking of someone in particular, I’m not. I’m speaking to every man who’s ever spoken to me and has found out that I have an active blog.  One of the first things to be noticed on my blog is that it was initially for quite some time a relationship blog. While writing my blog, I’ve usually made it a point to poke fun at myself or publicly fall on my own relationship sword as a way to give some teaching moments but also to show others that the road to love is usually full of obstacles and awesomely bad dates. I never aimed to be one of those writers who basically puts my exes on blast since I would want the same courtesy. Just because we didn’t work out, it doesn’t mean there’s a blog post bull’s-eye on your back. So on behalf of more of the bloggers, relationship and otherwise out there, the people in our lives do tend to provide a point of reference of our material but sometimes it’s the situations and not the people directly involved that make the posts. Rest assured, if you upset me enough to go off on you (royal you) , I’ll do it in person and not on my blog. Ain’t nobody got time for that time bomb.

Catapulting

So, I’m dating again. Whaaa?! I know right. I’ve taken pretty much a 2 year hiatus to get myself back together after my last relationship and have had plenty to reflect on. Do I have all the answers? Ha! I wish I could say that I did. I’d be a much richer person if that were the case. Am I better equipped mentally and emotionally for this new relationship. I feel I am. Time will tell how right I may be about that. What I do know is that I’m in a relationship that I’m actively interested in and desirous to see what the future may hold for it. And let me tell you, that’s nothing to sneeze at. Will there be a happily ever after for us together? Again, only time will tell, but I’m definitely enjoying the ride and all the things I’m learning about myself and him. I’m learning with each day that sometimes it’s more about the journey than about the destination. You’ve got to learn to appreciate the journey to reap whatever benefits might be available. It’s only the beginning but to figure out where the road might lead, you have to take that first step. Steady on.

Can Affection Grow Out of Lust?

It’s easy to imagine lust might really be affection, but can affection in a first step towards love grow out of a relationship based on sex? Do you and your partner actually communicate about anything other than about sex? Do you have anything in common to build a relationship on if sex wasn’t the main component? Would you actually be okay with being seen in public with your sexual partner or do you just see them as a guilty pleasure to be hidden away but never associated with publicly to those that are within your inner circle? Is your reasoning for not making your casual sex partner a mutually decided one of just fun and sex only, are you ashamed of association with him/her because their not your “dating type”, or are you ashamed to admit how you began your association with each other? If there is shame, there can’t be true affection. At the end of the day, the questions that need to be answered are: does this person add to my life? or does this person just scratch an itch?

The Silent Brush-off: Kind or Cowardly?

The silent brush-off, a occurrance while not being something that happens to EVERYONE, is at least something we’re familiar with however directly or indirectly the situation may have been, is something of a touchy issue with dating and relationships. You may find yourself in the situation of he/she is just not into you anymore and wonder: “what happened?”. The problem is, that person just may not be available to give you the answer to that question. There are some instances in which that person may have been in a situation in which they had to just cut all communication with no warning; however, the more common case is just that that person was just not man or woman enough to just tell what the situation is and walk rather than adding unnecessary questions for the sake of less drama. What is really the case is that the “duck and run” method to ending things isn’t taking away the drama; it’s just transferring the drama and giving a double burden to the one left with countless questions. So in closing, I have just this advice: if you feel the need to end a relationship with someone, just be straight with them, in person if possible, because if that person has to be brave enough to face rejection, then you should be brave enough to address things face to face and deal with the fall-out. While no one likes rejection, no one respects a coward.

Throwing in the Towel

This post, brought to us by new staff writer LeeAnn Yops, discusses persistence and the need for a positive attitude in life.

After receiving yet another rejection letter from a job that I really wanted, I sit here typing with a sense of defeat. Throughout my job search, I have tried to stay optimistic and think that something will have to work out eventually. I would like to think the same of my (lack of) dating life.

The job search is a lot like dating. That’s not a new revelation, but it’s funny how much the similarities come up between the two. Just last year I thought I found the job of my dreams. They contacted me after I sent my resume and cover letter and thought that I was really special. Well, special enough for a first date of a phone interview and promise of an in-person interview. That second date/interview never happened. I was crushed. I took that initial phone call while lying on my bed as if I was a teenager talking to a cute boy. Turns out the boy who interviewed me was cute, I stalked him on the Internet to find out. Trudging through and looking for a paycheck (besides the possibility of the corner), I continued to apply elsewhere, just like I have continued to date after being disappointed by the fellers over the years.

Determining the post-interview/post-date etiquette is a tricky one. You don’t want to seem overeager, yet you want to express interest. Weighing in on a job is a little different as you would hope the company would have the decency to at least give you a tender, computer-generated no, but that’s not always the case. You sit there wondering what they didn’t like about you and if you did something differently maybe the circumstances wouldn’t be the same. The uncertainty simply blows.

It’s much easier for me to put my dating life on hold as that doesn’t pay my rent (or maybe I’m not doing it right). Honestly, I think being unsure in your career is just another excuse. It’s different if there is a lack of drive, but if the person is actively searching I don’t see it as a red flag. In fact, if you surveyed most people they would probably admit that they’re not happy with their careers. I’ve had friends who would use their distaste for their jobs as an excuse not to date saying they have to find that part of themselves first. That can be translated as insecurity. I’m insecure with my dumpy body, but I’ll still squeeze into a pair of Spanx and go on a date here and there. Heck, if it’s going well, I might even go to the bathroom and throw those Spanx in my purse. It wouldn’t be the first time.

As frustrating as it gets, you have to push yourself to keep going, both dating and job wise. Whenever I feel like I’ve hit a wall, I try to remember that it really could be worse. I might have been rejected by something I was really excited about today, but I am also not dating my childhood crush, Anthony Kiedis. I did apply for a few more jobs today and even have phone interview set up later this week. Even though this company isn’t my first choice, maybe they will surprise me. I’m not expecting my love life and professional life to be all roses as I know both will take work, but I would settle for something that I at least enjoy most of the time to feel some sense of self worth. Or I guess I’d even settle for some handholding over the pants. Whatever’s clever. Either way, I hope I get more than a computer-generated response soon.

Chivalry is almost extinct…

This week staff writer Stephany Salinas covers the subject of chivalry. Read on and tell us your thoughts!

 

…and women are the ones to blame.

That’s right. Listen up ladies, because here’s a harsh reality check.

For those of you who claim that “Chivalry is dead” and that “gentleman don’t exist”, there’s a really good chance that you’re part of the problem.

It begins with standards and ends with ungratefulness. As a woman, I will admit I don’t know what the hell I want. One day I want a sexy, career-driven man in a suit to take me out to a fancy dinner, and the next day I want a guy in a beanie and plaid shirt to take me to a local show in the city. The difference between me and a lot of unfortunate women out there: I’m okay with being alone, and I appreciate the hell out of genuine gestures.

Loneliness:

As for being okay with being alone, I didn’t used to be. In fact, I hated being alone. Before 2012, I hadn’t been single for more than a month in years. And not because I was dating one guy, but because I jumped from relationship to relationship. It wasn’t until the end of 2011/beginning of 2012 that I realized it was possible to be single and not be miserable. So I had fun. I went on two dates with two amazing guys (both were extremely chivalrous), and realized that for once I didn’t want to be in a relationship. I wasn’t ready to rush into anything yet. For once, it was ME who didn’t want it, and it felt great! But after being with a guy who treated me like garbage, to seeing what it was like to be treated like a lady…it was extremely eye opening. From that point on, I made it my goal to not settle for anything less than butterflies (how cheesy), or anyone who didn’t treat me anything other than amazing. So, thank you boys. You know who you are.

And ladies, when I say being treated amazing, I’m not talking about someone who takes you to 5-star restaurants or drives you around in his Jaguar. I’m talking about an all around good guy who will open doors for you (car doors included), be hospitable, and a downright gentleman. Someone who will take you out for coffee or dinner because he wants to make you happy.

So where does the fault of the woman come in? We settle. Why do we settle? Because the thought of settling and lowering our standards sounds better than being alone. So instead of waiting just a tad bit longer for the good guy to come around and sweep you off of your feet, you settle for Douchebag McAsshat. You know, the guy who won’t take you out on a date. The guy who doesn’t really care about you, but will keep you around because you have boobs and smell nice. This is probably the same guy who will never love you, but you feel the need to “win” his love because you want to be “The Exception”.

Ever hear a guy say, “Nice guys finish last”? This is part of what he is talking about. We settle for less than what we deserve, and then run around asking, “where did all the nice guys go?” Want to know where all the nice guys went? They’re busy. They’re busy getting their hopes crushed by those of us who settle. I’m guilty of it, and there’s a very good chance you are too. Stop sleeping with the men who won’t even open a car door for you. Don’t hook up with someone who isn’t proud to call you his girlfriend. Quit driving yourself crazy over someone who won’t even buy you coffee.

There are 3.5 BILLION men on this planet. It’s entirely possible to find a gentleman who will treat you right. So stop settling! Lack of gratitude. Good. Lord. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen a guy open a door for a girl, only for it to go unnoticed. Like it’s expected of a man to do it. Granted, a little piece of me does expect the door to get opened for me, but I’m not going to assume that every man is going to do it. And when it DOES happen, you can bet your ass that I’m giving this guy a huge “Thank you so much!” and a big smile, so he knows that he just made my day.

I dated a guy who opened car doors for me, always paid, and always picked me up, even if we were going back to his house. And not a day went by where I didn’t say thank you or some form of gratitude. It was amazing, genuine, and kind of him. He didn’t have to, but he did. And I wanted him to know that I appreciated it.

So ladies, I’m not asking you to sleep with every guy who opens the car door for you, but show some appreciation. Genuine gratitude will take you a long way, I promise!

 

So knock it off with the “Chivalry is dead” crap. It’s very much alive. You’re just focusing on the wrong men.