I love lists. I love breaking things down to simple points. I love soundbites and easily digestible nuggets. I love nostalgia. I love telling old stories. So basically that means I should love this time of year because year end reflection pieces are everywhere and it’s the societal expectation to have gained some sort of insight about yourself over the last 365 days. So while I should love this time of year, I don’t exactly. I tend to evaluate my years on my birthday because I’m a Leo and therefore a little narcissistic and my birthday is my favorite holiday. For the last few years I’ve sat by myself on August 17th and made a list of what I wanted to accomplish. This year my goals included opening a savings account, actually put money in that savings account, and to start a new job. Thus far, I’ve only tacked one of those things off my list since August 17th but HEY, I’ve got time. It’s normal for 27 year olds not to have a savings account, right? Whoops!
But, back to New Years and lists. It’s probably because of the red wine I’ve consumed tonight (only two glasses!) but I actually DO want to talk about some of the things I’ve learned/accomplished/grown out of when it comes to dating so here we go.
Google a movie before you take a date to see the movie
Earlier this year I went out a few times with a really nice, really kind, really rich guy. The rich guy was nice and kind, but we just didn’t click. No big blow up story for you, but I learned something very important from him. On our 3rd date, he took me to a movie and neither of us did literally any research into it – all we knew was that it was supposedly a modern romantic comedy which I was all about obviously. Turns out, he took me to see Obvious Child. For all of you not familiar, it’s a great movie (like probably the best one I saw all year not including when I rewatched Twister [god I love that movie])! But it’s a movie about a girl who gets pregnant from a one night stand and then has an abortion, all while falling for the aforementioned one night stand. Uh. DO YOU KNOW HOW AWKWARD IT IS TO BE SITTING NEXT TO A GUY YOU’VE JUST FRENCHED WITH OUTSIDE THE THEATER AND THEN BE WATCHING A MOVIE ABOUT ACCIDENTALLY GETTING KNOCKED UP? Abortion isn’t typically a 3rd date conversation, and yet there we were, walking back to his car on a warm spring night talking about abortion. It was weird and dating is weird and please do research on whatever movie you take a date to.
Don’t date from out of state
Hey it rhymes! I’ve pursued what feels like a million long distance relationships, and for some people they work. I’m talking to you, twitter friend from SF. Yours WILL work. For me though, I just need to know better from here on out. Fighting over the phone isn’t something I want to spend another moment of my time doing, despite how enjoyable watching my favorite movie with someone over that phone was. 8 mile radius exclusive, forever and ever.
Figure out the big stuff early
C and I have been very open about our “no babies, no problem” stance. I’ve found with my relationships, I like to get that out of the way pretty early because there’s no use wasting time. If I find a guy I like a whole lot but he wants kids it’s just a flat out deal breaker at this point. To some that might be irrational because apparently people change their mind! However, do I want to be 3 years into a relationship and discover neither of us have changed our minds and now well this is awkward? The answer is a firm no. I had this experience earlier this year, and I know it hurt the hell out of the sweet, sweet guy I was dating. But I think it’s for the better to keep in mind long term plans before engaging in a long term relationship maybe because I’m too rational for my own good.
#RelationshipGoals is really more than a social media joke
Earlier this year, I might have considered posting pictures of myself with a plate of nachos alongside the hashtag #RelationshipGoals because I didn’t have any real relationship goals and I’m still somewhat convinced that my one true love might be found on Qdoba’s menu. That though has changed a bit recently because of two things: My Husband’s Tumor and recognizing and putting words to an emotional adult need for the first time probably ever in my life: the need of a little support.
My Husband’s Tumor is a blog I found last month centered around a woman writing about her husband’s life and unfortunate death from brain cancer, but really it’s actually about their love story. On a day off from work in November, I sat in bed and read the entire thing while of course ugly crying. We’re talking like 400 posts. Nora, the blog’s author, is an incredible writer and the way she writes their love story reminded me how good it could be. I don’t let myself think about love very often because hi it’s terrifying and I tend to do it with the wrong people. But read her blog and remind yourself that heartbreak is real, but maybe so is love. At least Nora and Aaron’s is, that I know for certain.
The other aspect of things I learned about #RelationshipGoals: I actually need a little support from a partner. My life has never been hard. I have a great family and fucking outstanding friends and while yeah I’ve been a perpetual sad girl for basically a decade, it’s probably just because I listen to too much Death Cab for Cutie and it’s all that can be expected from a girl who’s screen name was Konstantine316 (shoutout to everyone who knows that emo as shit reference). But as I’ve gotten a little older and life has gotten a little more stressful and challenging, I realize that while yes I can totally take care of myself because as my trainer said today I’m “tough and stubborn,” sometimes it wouldn’t be terrible for someone to rub the knots out of my shoulders and do all the supportive kind caring things that I hear boyfriends are supposed to do. This is a very long segment and I’m talking about my feelings now so I’m not going to wrap this up with a nice concluding sentence and let’s just move on.
Stop dating flakes!
I hate to admit this, but the Joker ghosted me AGAIN. I still have his hoodie and a movie, but I’m just taking those for keeps since him ignoring text messages after promising not to disappear again is the most embarrassing thing to admit here. I do this with men – give them chance after chance to do better. I’m forgiving to a fault, I know. Sometimes it does work out, but most of the time it doesn’t. Maybe this is more like one of those terrible New Year’s resolutions we talk about this time of year, but I really need to knock it off. Good people do bad things, but that doesn’t mean I need to keep forgiving them and give them a 3rd or 4th chance. Grow up already, me.
It’s my fault too
I know I’m not perfect. My former best friend said something once that has always stuck with me: “everything negative they’ve thought about me, I’ve thought first.” Wait, maybe that was Lena Dunham… either way I think it’s important to say point blank that I know I’m not perfect when it comes to dating or ya know life in general. I am incredibly selfish and I like my routines and habits more than I like most people. I don’t like sharing food. I think I’m more rational than most other people, which leads me to thinking I’m right most of the time. On the other hand, I overthink absolutely everything which can result in coming completely undone over something tiny and insignificant. I’m not great at talking about my feelings and so I tend to bury things and run at the first sign of conflict because hey it’s easier to be alone. And that’s just some of the bullshit men who date me have to deal with! I think one of my favorite things from the year is that I really feel like I know myself, including my shortcomings. Maybe I’m delusional for thinking that makes me a more stable person, but it makes me feel more stable so screw you if you think I’m wrong. Here we go again with the stubbornness…
I’ve rambled too much in this post, but here we are at the end of 2014. I’m probably going to listen to this song a million times while getting ready for my evening of Karaoke because drunkenly singing along to “Criminal” by Fiona Apple is the best way I could imagine ringing in the new year. Cheers jerks, be safe and remember: don’t date us.