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.

 

How To Be The Other Woman

This week’s post by staff writer Rigby Rat talks about other woman etiquette and advice and the “low-down” of what being the other woman truly means.

 

 

First of all, you should NEVER be the other woman.  There are plenty of unattached/ unmarried guys to go around.  And if he makes the advances first, know this, a guy who cheats on his wife or girlfriend is only looking out for his needs, not yours.

 

However, if you already started your affair, do you really know how to be the other woman?  First, you gotta play the game by his rules.  What are his rules?  He’ll let you know by his actions.  For example, if you call/text him and he doesn’t answer it means he’s with his family. It also means he isn’t going to respond when he’s with them.  So don’t waste your time trying to communicate with him when you know he’s with the wife and kids.

 

Don’t be possessive.  A married man does not like a possessive mistress.  Act accordingly.  Meaning, be independent. Aloof.  Don’t show excessive desire to possess him.  That’s his wife’s calling, not yours.

 

Don’t hound him to leave his wife.  If he wanted to leave his wife, he’d be single.

 

Don’t tell him that you love him.

 

Don’t expect him to profess his love for you.  He loves his wife, the kids, the dog, and all those TVs, not you.

 

Don’t get “accidently” pregnant.   Meaning, he doesn’t need you to unexpectedly complicate his life.

 

Don’t look at – or acknowledge – him if you accidentally run into him and his wife.  Making him have to explain how he knows you will put him in an awkward position.  Never, ever put a cheating husband in an awkward position.  It will piss him off big time.

 

Don’t expect to spend holidays with him.  Expect him to spend holidays with his family.  Why?  Because you’re not family.  You’re an outsider.

 

Don’t give him ultimatums.  When push comes to shove, the mistress is always given her walking papers when she makes trouble.  And what’s an even worse feeling than getting dumped by your boyfriend?  Being given a pink slip by some low-life, cheating husband.

 

Do you get it now?  The mistress is lowest on the food chain.  Yet, she doesn’t feel that way.  At least, not in the beginning.  Soon, though, she’ll realize her position: an on-call vagina with none of the perks a wife has.

 

Just know this, having an affair with a married man is not for the squeamish.  Oh, and if you think you’ll convince him to change his mind and leave her for you, get real.  The chances of that happening are slim to none.  Remember, if he wanted to be single, he would be.  But if per chance he does leave her, don’t expect your relationship with him to be tight, balanced, or based on love and respect.  Instead, expect him to constantly wonder and worry if you’re cheating on him.  And, naturally, you’ll be forever worried sick if he’s cheating on you.  Not a healthy way to start a relationship, right?

 

Let’s recap: He’s got a wife, kids, a house, a dog, a TV set in every room of the house, and you.  What do you have?  Some woman’s cheating husband.  Is that the best you can do?

 

What’s that old saying?  You’re judged by the company you keep.

Are you sure you want to be a mistress?

 

 

 

 

 

But What If I Don’t Like Him…?

This week, staff writer Stephany Salinas writes about going out on a date even when you’re not quite into the other person.

 

In the last 2 years, I’ve been on a total of three dates.

Three.

So, I constantly get asked (no joke) by men, mainly my friends, why it is that I haven’t been out on a date lately? “It can’t possibly be a lack of options or being asked, right?”

Correct. I, just like many MANY other girls, do get asked out a decent amount. So, why not just go out fancy dates with guys? So what if you don’t like them, you’re still getting a free meal out of it, right?

And there lies the problem. I’m the kind of girl who won’t let a stranger buy me a drink, because I suddenly feel like I owe him. Whether it be my number, a dance, or something of the sort. And honestly, I’d rather buy my own drink than having to give my number to some guy I’m not really into, only to have to ignore his texts or constantly make up excuses for not wanting to go out with him.

Then, I have people saying, “Well, how do you know you aren’t going to enjoy the date?” They’re right. I don’t know that. However, I would personally rather go through wondering if I would have enjoyed it or not, than have to break it to him that I’m just not that into him. I would feel like HE would think I was using him, which is the last thing I’d ever want to do to anyone, because I know what it feels like to be used myself.

NOW. All that being said, I’ve heard opposing arguments. I’ve had guys (friends, of course) tell me that they genuinely just enjoy taking girls out on dates. They like being able to act like a gentleman (crazy, I know!), and be able to wine and dine a pretty girl. I literally had a guy friend say, “I just love going on dates.  I’m a chronic date goer”.

This blew my mind. The fact that there are guys out there who are okay with a girl NOT wanting a follow up date blows my mind. I feel like it’s unnatural for a male to have put in the effort to dress up, pick up a girl, take her to dinner (or whatever cheesy cute date he came up with), drop her off at home, and not expect anything after. No sex, no kiss, not even a second date. To know that guys like this exist just totally turns my theory of them being upset about it upside down.

SO, I guess what I’m trying to get at is the opinion’s of others. Other men that are NOT my close/best guy friends. They could be bias, and just telling me these things because they don’t want me to feel bad. Or they could be legit. I have no idea. But I would LOVE to know what everyone else thinks. Men and women, actually.

Women, do you feel guilty after a date if you aren’t into the guy?

And men, do you get genuinely upset if a woman is not into you after you’ve wined and dined her for a night?

 

Nagging Whispers


This week, staff writer Dallas Fitzgerald discusses the situation of the wrong relationship and the nagging whispers we hear even when we might choose to ignore them.

 

About ten years ago, a punk-rock band called SR-71 released a song called “Right Now.”  While the song itself is unremarkable (cookie-cutter pop-punk riding the coattails of Blink 182’s success), the refrain contains a lyric that could be used to sum up the way I felt during at least a few of my past relationships.  The line goes, “I know she may not be Miss Right, but she’ll do right now.”

 

Everyone knows how it feels to be in a relationship that just isn’t going to last.  Sometimes this realization sneaks up on you slowly and quietly, like a nagging whisper; other times, the realization comes screaming out at you all at once.

 

One time, I was on my third or fourth date with a woman, let’s call her “L”, and we went out for drinks at a small neighborhood tavern.  “L” was loquacious to begin with, but with each finished drink, she talked more and more; faster and faster, until eventually I had to excuse myself to go the bathroom.

While I was in the bathroom, I made the decision to bail out the back door instead of returning to the bar to tell “L” that I was leaving.  The back door led to an outdoor patio that was fenced in, but there was a tree with low-hanging branches inviting me to climb over the fence.  I used the branch to pull myself up and over the fence, and I was six blocks away before she texted me and asked me where I went.  In hindsight, this was a classless move on my part, but I, like Jamie Foxx, blame it on the alcohol.

In this particular instance, the realization that my relationship with “L” wouldn’t last literally came screaming out at me, and despite my drunken lack of common decency in the way I removed myself from the situation, it was an easy decision.

 

It is more difficult to deal with the nagging whispers.  When I was a junior in college, I fell in love with a girl; let’s call her “E.”  We dated all that school year, and through the summer, but when senior year came around, I started hearing the nagging whispers.   She wanted to be a 1st grade teacher, and I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.  We had no future in common, but we both loved and cared about each other.

She must have been hearing the whispers as well because she broke up with me in December of that year.  The break up was hard on both of us.  Sometimes the weight of the future bears down on the present and can slowly dissolve even the strongest of bonds between two people.

 

The break up was by no means final.  We tried different arrangements in the ensuing months:  a pseudo-relationship (pretty much the same as a regular relationship except with the implicit understanding that there is no future for the two of you as a pair), a friends-with-benefits relationship (I messed that up by getting drunk at a bar and making out with another girl in front of her), and finally, a sleep-together-once-in-awhile-but-don’t-talk-or-see-each-other relationship (basically a futile attempt to stave off the inevitable while also satisfying each other’s sexual needs because, hey, the sex was pretty good).

As with most indefinite break-ups of this sort, there was no final good-bye, just a series of encounters in which we slowly drifted further and further apart until sex and communication just sort of stopped.  On one of these final encounters, “E” gave me a CD that she had made.  I guess it was a sort of parting gift.

On the CD, there was a song from the musical Wicked called “As Long As You’re Mine” (Sung by Idina Menzel and Norbert Leo Butz).   One of the lines from the song goes, “Say there’s no future / For us as a pair/ And though I may know / I don’t care.”

Listening to this song put my relationship with “E” in perspective, and I only wished that she had given it to me earlier.  It’s sometimes difficult to end things when you start hearing those nagging whispers telling you that there’s no future for your relationship, but it is not the ending that is important.  It is how you handle the moments that you have left.

During the dying days of my relationship with “E,” I found myself wondering where we had gone wrong and how we might salvage our relationship instead of allowing myself to enjoy the moments that we still had left.  Even relationships that last sixty-five or seventy years are built on a series of moments, so even if your current partner is not Miss or Mr. Right, enjoy the moments you share.

 

Of course, if those moments prove totally intolerable, then by all means excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, sneak out the back door and climb a tree over the patio fence, figuratively, of course.