Category Archives: Dating

Gotta keep your heads up… gotta keep your feet down…

I’m still dealing with my breakup. I mean, of course I am.

We’ve had some… “relapses.” We’ve pretty much stayed in contact and it’s been very friendly – which makes sense because at the root of it all, we are great friends. But some of our communication has been, well, reaaaallly friendly. We’ve begun to blur the lines and while I love how it feels, I know it’s wrong and I have been left more confused than ever.

I have been pretty devastated through all this. Seeing him again and being back in contact makes me feel better. But I’ve been kidding myself. Getting just scraps of what I really want is fine for the moment, but it’s not going to last and it’s setting me up to feel even worse.

I had a moment this week where I realized I would never be to him what he is to me. And drunkenly told him this. I know he cares about me and has fun with me… but if I were enough for him, there would be no question. He would be with me. And the more I casually hang around him, the more I lose hope.

So, we’re going to take some time and space (which was kind of the original plan). And this sucks. I feel like crap. I feel hopeless. I’m back to devastated. But here’s the thing. I process things fairly quickly. I’ll admit that back when he broke things off before, I was out of my mind. I don’t remember the last time I’ve felt so brokenhearted. But within a week or 2 things were better. I wasn’t crying uncontrollably and I was keeping myself busy and feeling positive about the future.

Thinking about sitting at home this evening made me almost sick to my stomach. I could sit here and stew in my misery. Or I could go out and cry in my beer with a friend. Or I can just go out on my own and enjoy myself. Going for option C.

I don’t know what tomorrow brings. I don’t know if I’ll be happy. I don’t know if I’ll find someone like him any time soon – or ever. I just don’t know. But I need to be ok with that. And throw all this energy into positive things… like writing… and training for my half marathon… and fostering old and new friendships.

I know many of you who read have experienced similar situations… what worked for you? Any great stories? I’d love to hear in the comments!

Blog song title: “Keep Your Head Up” by Cults


When it’s over…

I got dumped last night.

We’d only been together for a few short months, but he was amazing. We were amazing. Sure, we had some troubles – nothing is perfect. But he made me happy… happier than I have been in a long time.

I’m not going to get into the details… the whys, the hows. I’ll just say that it was pretty amicable. It was less a break up and more a parting of ways. And only when I hugged him as we said goodbye did I realize it was over. That was when the tears came.

I have to tell you, walking 4 blocks down 14th Street in New York while crying is a pretty surreal feeling. Or maybe just the fact that this relationship that made me so happy was over was the surreal part. But as I walked, and cried, I had about a million thoughts go through my head.

I wasn’t angry – how could I be? He didn’t do anything bad. I was filled with regret. What could I have said? What could I have done? And then I started to think about all the things we never did together… we didn’t watch Star Wars, we didn’t play softball, we didn’t take a trip, we didn’t go dancing, we didn’t spend the whole weekend just lost in bed and each other.

Right now I’m missing this incredible person that I got to know and adore the last few months. It hasn’t been 24 hours but I miss him. I miss seeing him. I miss having drinks with him. I miss riding the subway with him and playing 2048 on my phone to make the ride go faster. I miss talking to him about baseball and New York and surfers vs. snowboarders and Taco Bell and basketball standings and Star Wars theories and female street harassment and Batman/Superman theories and music and California and writing and sex and people and dogs and whatever the fuck else we want to talk about. He’s been my favorite person to be around these past few months. And he’s the only one I want to talk to about this.

I’ve had this incredible urge to fight for him. I want to demand that he give us another chance. Neither of us did anything wrong. Our relationship wasn’t broken. He just had doubts and I have to respect that.  I’m reminded of that old “if you love someone, set them free” saying. Now I never threw the L word out there with him, but I think the concept applies here. As much as it hurts, I have to let him go.

 

 

Blog song title: That stupid Sugar Ray song… and I don’t feel like looking it up… forgive me.


I can go… with the flow…

I moved around a lot as a kid. By the time I was in 6th grade, I lived in 6 different cities. After high school I moved over 14 times, including a 3 month period of crashing on couches and floors.

You learn a lot when you move. From a young age, I learned how to adapt quickly and let go of attachments. I was always well-liked, so I never had trouble making friends but I struggled with laying roots. I was always jealous of my peers who had friendships that started at birth because most of my friendships were new and only lasted until I moved again.  And because of this, I never feel fully grounded. To this day, everything feels temporary. Relationships, apartments, jobs… nothing feels like it can last forever.

A strange side effect of this seemingly perpetual motion is that I go along with things very easily. Some may call this “being flexible.”

Most people may say that it’s a good thing to be so flexible. Though some may perceive me as high strung, I can roll with the punches. Since I have spent most of my life adapting to new situations I don’t freak out when routines change, and last minute alterations don’t faze me a bit.  But the problem is that I am never satisfied. I never get what I truly desire. I have gone along with the agendas of others for so long, that I tend to put myself last. And what’s worse is that I’m afraid to speak up for what I want for fear of sounding too needy.

Now don’t get me wrong, I never do anything I don’t want to do. I never do anything I’m uncomfortable with or that I regret. But lately I’ve grown a bit tired of just going with the flow.

Clearly a big step in fighting against this tide was my relocation to New York a couple of years ago. My complacency put me in such a state of unhappiness that I decided to shake things up. And shake things up I did. I restarted just about everything in my life. I wasn’t following anyone else’s script. I was making my own path. And this has truly made me very happy. And still does.

But then there’s the dating dilemma. I have had many guys come in and out of my life since I moved here. And it’s been fun. This is the first time I ever dated casually. However, more than once I’ve found myself falling a bit for someone and wanting more, but they didn’t want the same thing. So, I end up settling for what they want… which is really just a fraction of what I actually want.

I suppose the idea here is that I’m flexible… I can be whoever I need to be for that particular person. But I know what you’re thinking: grow a backbone and don’t settle for anything less than what you want. It’s not as easy for me. I’ve had this concept burned into my brain forever- that if I actually say what I want and fight for it that I will be seen as needy or high maintenance. I worry that if I speak up, I’ll just end up with nothing at all.

I took a big risk coming to New York. I had no job, no apartment, no friends… but I stuck to my guns and have managed to do quite well for myself here. I have new goals all the time and I’m inspired and encouraged by the city and all the wonderful people I’ve met here. I didn’t back down and settle… I went for it.

They say fortune favors the bold. If I was able to risk everything to move myself across the country, surely I can fight for what I want out of a relationship. Even if I risk losing someone I care about in the process. Easy to say, but much harder (for me) to do. Stay tuned.

Blog song title: “Go With the Flow” by Queens of the Stone Age


If you build yourself a myth, you know just what to give…

I think we’ve figured out by now that I’m a pretty honest person. The problem is that other people aren’t very honest.

This is a frustrating phenomenon in my world these days. Particularly when it comes to dating. I dated someone a while back who used to say really great things to me… sweet things… things that made me feel special… things I hadn’t heard from a guy in a long time. The problem is that when things went south, I mentioned those things he said. I wondered how we seemed to connect but then it faded so fast. He said, and I kid you not, that he said those things to me because that’s what he thought I wanted to hear.

Just last weekend I was talking to one of my guy friends about this. He said he tells girls what he thinks they want to hear all the time. And of course, I flew into a mini-rage.

What makes this ok?

Here’s what these things do (at least to me, I can’t speak for everyone)… they create expectations where expectations didn’t previously exist. I was perfectly happy just hanging out with this guy and going on random dates. But when he started saying wonderful things to me, I began to see possibility. It wasn’t the first thing on my mind but then a seed was planted.

I have an analogy about this. Bear with me.

I’m a bunny. I’m a happy, little bunny just living a happy, bunny life. I meet a nice human. I enjoy the human. The human gives me some attention and I give the human my attention back. It’s a nice and simple exchange. But then, what’s this? The human pulls out a carrot. Well, I was fine with the human attention but now there’s a CARROT in the mix. I didn’t even know that carrots existed. And oh man, now I WANT THAT CARROT. But the human is just holding it there, not actually letting me have it. I wouldn’t have been totally fine just having that simple bunny-human connection but now I know that carrots exist and the human has them and he’s just dangling them because… I don’t know. And now I’m confused.

I can’t seem to get a straight answer from my gentleman friends. One said that he’d say anything to a girl to sleep with her. I said that I’ve heard these types of things outside the context of sex (like, one time a guy said something totally perfect as we were walking down the street as he smiled and then held my hand – what the fuck). Another said that he felt things in the moment but then they faded. OK, so hold your damn tongue. I mean, I have been around guys and want to say how I feel, but I hold back because it’s not appropriate at that particular stage of the relationship. If the tables were turned, and I said some of the things that have been said to me, I would be seen as clingy and desperate. So why is it ok for guys to say these things?

I always talk about the importance of words; the weight they can carry. I don’t take things lightly… because I don’t say or do things lightly. I do things with purpose and meaning. So, I guess I expect the same in return. This type of thing has made dating really hard for me. I tend to keep guys at arm’s length, but the second they dangle that carrot, I fall. It doesn’t happen often and maybe that’s why I fall so easily, but either way it sucks.

So, gentlemen, please give me your input. Have you ever found yourself saying fairly serious things to a girl without the intention of actually being serious with her? If you have, were you aware of the implications of what you said? How did you deal with the aftermath (assuming there was any)? I am asking honestly because I really, really want to know.

Blog song title: “Myth” by Beach House


34 before 34… in summation…

Yesterday, I celebrated my 34th year of life… in Paris, France. Thinking about this list I made last year (34 before 34), I never would have guessed that I would be in Europe at this time. I also feel that this trip has been a major accomplishment and it kind of overpowers most of the 34 before 34 list. However, I did cross a few items off before I left so here are my thoughts on those. I didn’t get to everything… but if we want to get all technical, I did start my list a while after my 33rd birthday. SO YEAH. And you know… Europe.

24) Go to 10 different museums
OK… I didn’t get to 10. But I did quite a few: Guggenheim, MoMA, American Museum of Natural History, the Met, New York Historical Society, Ellis Island, and the New York Public Library (yes, this counts because I visited a curated exhibition). 7 out of 10 isn’t so bad. I had wanted to go to the Transit Museum and the Museum of Sex, but never got around to it. And yes, I can still go and I plan on doing so in the near future. I’m not much of a museum person, but when I made the list, I worked for the Guggenheim and had free admission to every museum… so that made it somewhat easy to do. And I’m an idiot for not going to EVERY SINGLE ONE while I could. But that’s a lesson I’ve learned… take advantage when you can.

2) Go on a sailboat
OK… again, I’m checking this one off on a technicality. It wasn’t a SAILboat, but it was a boat that cruised the Hudson River. So I’ll take it. The Pac-12 Alumni group does an annual boat cruise around the start of summer. Free booze, gorgeous weather, great friends, and ridiculous views of Manhattan… yes, please.

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Part of doing this list is to do things somewhat out of the ordinary. I didn’t know this cruise existed when I made the list… but just the nature of being open to new things has encouraged me to do things that just come up.

17) Go speed dating
Somehow this came up with a friend of mine and I was more than happy to oblige her and go along. Though I didn’t care so much about actually meeting someone, I was excited to cross something off my list and have a unique experience in the process. It was pretty funny… a true practice in small talk and quick conversation. Most of the guys start with the same types of questions: “What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “Have you done this before?” But occasionally a guy would just totally be himself and we’d just have a bit of banter. Nobody really struck me as dateable and perhaps my approach to the whole thing was a bit too casual. It was a fun time though.

A few weeks back, comedian Tig Notaro was on the Nerdist podcast. She has a saying that she’s used for a long time, but after all she’s been through (look her up if you don’t know) it means a lot more… and it totally resonated with me: “How about now; how about right now?” Part of creating this list is about forcing myself to do things I normally wouldn’t do. But I as I said before, the creation of the list has pushed me to do other things as well.

It has been a hell of a year… a lot of ups and downs, but I feel accomplished in so many ways. Obviously it’s my intention to continue these adventures. I want to do things now; do them right now.

Stay tuned for 35 before 35!


I’d like to think I’m the mess you’d wear with pride…

I mentioned previously that I think I know what I want when it comes to dating. I say that I think I know because it changes a bit day to day. Overall, I know I want a connection… I want to be close to someone and I want someone to be close to me. Being ready for this, however, is a whole different story.

A few weeks back I met a guy on the street… literally. His name was Mike and he was drunk and adorable and aggressively (in a cute way) hitting on me. I gave him my number and headed home. He texted me immediately and wanted to see me. He was in town for the weekend (from California- ha) so I said what the hell. He came over and we started fooling around. Mid-makeout he stopped and asked me if I believed in love. It was asked out of pure curiosity… but I couldn’t help but be thrown. Suddenly I found myself choking back tears. I really didn’t know what to say. Love has evaded me for quite some time and I felt my pessimism creeping in at this moment. He saw this and declared that believing in love is the most important thing. We ended up laying there and having a really fantastic and honest talk about love.

As I walked him to the train, I told him how glad I was that I met him. He returned the sentiment and asked if we could stay in touch. And we have- just sending encouraging text messages to each other from time to time. It’s nice to have someone out there in the universe who is rooting for me to root for love.

Also, throughout this process (the process being me moving on from a broken heart and figuring out what I want) I met someone through a friend who has been a surprising and positive force in my life. We’ve only hung out a couple of times, but he’s had quite the impact on me. He’s always building me up and reminding me that I’m an interesting person. He encourages me… not just to find love, but also to make something of this writing thing. The last time I saw him, I made sure to tell him how grateful I was for his friendship.

For some reason, when I think about these people and their kindnesses… I get a bit misty. I’d like to think that the love coming my way is so wonderful that I’m overwhelmed with emotion… but it’s more that I feel uncomfortable and somehow undeserving of this positivity. It’s strange- I’m a pretty confident gal. I know what I have to offer… and yet, I’ve gotten into a habit of finding men who are only interested in one thing (what am I? 16?)… so when I’m around these guys who genuinely care about what I have to say, I’m a bit out of my element. Like, oh yeah… remember how awesome I am? Well, other people are seeing it too…

Look, I know I’m a damn mess… and having these guys in my life is not just a reminder to me that there are actually good guys in the world… but that I’m worth all the love they are willing to give.

 

Blog song title: “I Go to the Barn Because I Like The” by Band of Horses


Let it go… I’m wide awake…

I recently made a big step in my romantic life. It may not be a big deal to any of you, but to me, it was giant and cathartic: I deleted someone’s number from my phone.

I’m not going to get into the whole story here – I’m tired of giving power to the situation (and consequently, him). But needless to say, I had a bad case of feels for this boy. Reader’s Digest version: he came on strong at the start, I went with the flow but then fell harder than I intended, he left the country, he let things linger, he came back with a girlfriend, he continued to sleep with me (and at times even acted like we were dating), he accused me of wanting more, he said super shitty things, we didn’t talk for weeks and then we met for drinks and I realized I was completely over him. This all started last December and it ended in May.

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You said it, Sister.

I’m not sure how I got so hung up on him after all of this, but I couldn’t put him totally out of my mind. My ego was bruised… I was rejected… even if I didn’t want him anymore I still wanted to be the one that was picked. I wanted to win. So when I saw him for what ended up being the last time I was relieved that I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. Despite the protests from friends, I decided it would be ok to remain friendly with him. And this point I really must stress… the last time we got drinks (early May) I seriously felt nothing for him. I didn’t even think he was cute anymore. No joke.

So when I called him to grab lunch one day a couple of weeks later and he bailed last minute I gave him a bit of shit… as I would do to any friend. He copped quite the attitude (I literally laughed out loud at a couple of the things he said because it came totally out of left field)… things escalated (all via text) and he ended up “dumping” me as a friend- said some more super shitty things and then blocked me on Facebook… like a grown up.

This irked me in a way I wasn’t really prepared for. It’s one thing to tell me I wasn’t his type (true story)… but to cut me out like that just felt like an overreaction… and an unnecessary one at that. It was hurtful. For a couple of weeks I vacillated between a few different emotions: relieved, angry, frustrated, vengeful, regretful, elated. But for some reason, I kept his number in my phone… I have no idea why. It was one thing for him to not want to date me – that I can get over easily – but to not want to be my friend anymore? It felt not ok.

And then I had a moment of weakness. I sent him a random late night (drunk) text. It was pretty innocuous… but I did it. And I was very angry with myself.

From the time where we weren’t talking until the recent present, there have been a slew of men in my life. Some a lot more casual than others… I was following the oh-so-wise “Sex and the City” advice of “the best way to get over someone is to get under someone.” Not the healthiest behavior… but in the process I’ve met some great guys and have been reminded that they aren’t all emotionally retarded sociopathic piss-ants. And while I’ve had a lot of fun, I’m still not satisfied in the romance department.

For a while now I’ve been lying to myself about what I want. Being able to “get” a bunch of guys can be empowering, but after a time it’s just frustrating and I’m left wanting more. And now that I know I want more, I’m not sure how ready I am to have it…  but a major step in that direction is letting go of the past. So with one of my friends, at the 14th Street subway station, I unceremoniously deleted the contact info of the boy who had caused me unnecessary heartache and stress for far too long. I won’t say I felt better instantly, but it was definitely a relief.

The good news is that since I deleted him, I haven’t been so focused on finding more notches for my bedpost. I am now more concerned with quality over quantity. Whether or not I’m ready to receive the quality… well, that’s a whole other blog post. For now, I’m just focusing on me (oh therapy, you are awesome/awful) and surrounding myself with positive people (especially positive MEN)… and learning to put my phone down after I’ve had a couple of drinks.

Blog song title: “Bad” by U2 (yes, I am going back to the song titles… it’s my thing and I like it)
Photo Credit: Someecards.com


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