Less Syllables, Less Problems?

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After dating for less than a week, Steve Martin looked at me and asked if I’d mind if he considered me his girlfriend. This was a few weeks ago, and we have yet to burst into flames which yes is surprising to everyone involved. Here’s the thing: This conversation is one that is terrifying to most new couples and one I’ve seen (and experienced of course) prolonged and avoided for months. The reason? I think it has something to do with being afraid of vulnerability and the weird pressure that comes along with “making it official.”

I said yes to Steve Martin’s request for 3 reasons:

  1. I’m crazy about him
  2. I had (and obviously still have) no intention of seeing other people
  3. “Boyfriend” is less syllables than “The guy I’m dating”

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The first few days after we had the conversation, I was a bit terrified and slightly (very) miffed. How could it have been this easy? What did I do right this time that I’d done wrong before? Did we have the dreaded “define the relationship” talk too soon (DTR for all you noobs out there)? Would he regret it? Would I regret it?

Here are the answers I’ve come up with so far.

It was this easy because it just was. He thinks my brain is sexy and values my opinion. Meanwhile holding his hand while he tries to explain why Mike Patton is the greatest is my new favorite thing. There’s almost zero anxiety, and no question as to where we stand and what we think about one another.

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I know I know, I shouldn’t measure relationships against previous relationships. But I do it, we all do it. I have quite obviously a long string of failed relationships – truth be told in the last nearly 7 years I haven’t had anything last longer than 6 weeks. So, in response to “what did I do right this time that I’d done wrong before” I don’t have any idea. I do know that Steve Martin is different than any man I’ve ever been with, so maybe that’s why this seems to be working out so well thus far. Working outside my type might be working for me?

As for timeline, yeah him asking me after a week was totally unexpected. Agreeing to be in a relationship wasn’t the hard part though, that was a no brainer. It was however difficult to tell those closest to me. I have a wonderful support system, but I was frankly nervous to tell them. Would theY write this off, or tell me I was rushing into something too soon, or would they get too excited and start planning our wedding? Honestly some of those things happened, but I was expecting them to. The further we get into this though, the more glad I get that we just let the conversation develop when it did. It wasn’t calculated and it wasn’t planned, and isn’t that the way things should develop? I didn’t plan to meet Steve Martin but we both swiped right and here we are – taking it one day at a time, together.

I can’t answer if he regrets it, but it doesn’t seem that way. As for if I’ll regret it, it doesn’t seem that way.

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And no, we’re not Facebook official ugh you people…

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When Technology Re-Breaks Your Heart

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Four years ago I had my heart shattered.

Four years ago the future I had planned in my head was picked up and thrown to the wind.

Four years ago a man I loved dearly looked me in the eyes and told me he couldn’t do it anymore.

I will never forget the way my heart fell to my feet and the world around me blurred. I was at a loss for words, so I ran. I called my best friends who picked me off the floor and took me away from something I couldn’t wrap my mind around. The next day I painted on my stoic veneer and pushed on. I threw all of his things into a room, and closed the door on the life that we we had shared. I went to Ikea on a Saturday (terrible idea) and was led around by pals who cradled my broken bits the way only best friends know how. Over the span of three days I had washed his presence from my home, summarized my feelings for him in a brave letter, and sealed everything up.

Have you ever put a Band-Aid over a sliver or a piece of glass that somehow found its way into your skin? That is what covering up heartbreak is like. It’s a temporary fix to cover something ugly and painful. I put on my “I’m okay” face and pushed on to cover up my deep rooted insecurities and hurt. This eventually led to me shutting out friends, putting up numerous walls, and eventually leaving town. This wasn’t his fault entirely. While he did break my heart, it’s on me for covering it up and not (until years later) dealing with how the loss of a first love changes a person.

Yet here I am, reading a stupid Timehop post reminding me that I was broken 4 years ago today, and it stopped me in my tracks. I immediately opened my computer, turned on Josh Ritter, let myself feel ALL THE FEELINGS and began to write. I think my subconscious knew I needed a self-care day as I woke up with an aching body and a migraine to match. The universe knew that today I needed to step back from my day-to-day world and let myself feel sad.

I am not sad because I want to be with him. I no longer know this man, and the person I am today is so much braver, stronger, and confident than that post-college girl who had no idea what she wanted. I am sad because I will never allow myself to be that vulnerable with another human again. I am sad because that cliché saying about how the first love is the deepest is stupidly true. We didn’t have a magic relationship where everything made sense, but we went into it without any caution or hesitation, because we hadn’t been damaged. We were blindingly unblemished and so we threw ourselves into love, showing each other our flaws like badges, because I just knew he’d be mine forever.

God damn, how I miss that mindset. How I miss unquestioning faith in another human. So yes, today I will allow myself to wear pajamas all day. I will allow myself to be distracted from work. I will scrape off my stoicism and acknowledge the girl who moves through life with a guarded heart, at least just for today.

In Case You Were Wondering…

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If we were to meet for happy hour and you were to ask about my romantic life, I would smile, fidget with my drink, and say “well, yeah, there’s this guy… and I’m crazy about him.” Then I’d proceed to rattle on about how he’s probably the funniest man I’ve ever met, and how his mind is so creative + so riveting that I want to crawl inside of it to wiggle around for a bit, and how at home I feel in my skin when he’s around. What would then happen next is either you would vomit or you would squeal. Not real sure which would make me more uncomfortable to be honest.

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I’ve met someone. Someone I’ve told my best friends and ugh even my mother about. Someone who I like a whole lot and who likes me a whole lot – so far. We’re the assholes who kiss at crosswalks and hold hands at restaurants across the table and on the nights we aren’t together end up talking on the phone for hours. It’s disgusting. I’m mortified. But not really because if you saw this guy you’d be like “damn L, good work.” It’s still early – but we’re very conscious and candid about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it.

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Keeping things to myself just isn’t my style, which obviously works in this whole dating-blog situation. Sure there are things I’d prefer very few people knew about because some things are more personal and more private and should be kept as such, but most of the time I like to put my thoughts and feelings and all-to-often mishaps into the daily sphere.

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As you all know clearly if you’re read any of this blog, when I meet a man I have been prone to writing about him very quickly. A close friend of mine with great intentions once asked if doing that was such a good idea. If I was worried about it being the kiss of death or whether I was concerned they’d think I was a nutjob. Sure of course the thought had crossed my mind, but I concluded before post 1 of this blog that not doing something because I was worried about a hypothetical dude getting scared off was just plain dumb. I do what I want when I want, and frankly if the blog was a dealbreaker for a dude, that in and of itself should be and is a dealbreaker for me.

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Let me get to the point here: I’ve never had a problem writing about a man I’m dating before for any reason whatsoever, and here I am, completely and totally crazy about someone and I’m holding it a little tight to the chest for the time being. Partially because if it implodes in the very near future, I don’t want to look/feel like a total idiot. But that’s another blog post all together! Anyway, I’ve owed an update on the state of my dates. Consider this your intro to Steve Martin for now, and I assure you – there’ll be more to tell soon.

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Things Not To Say To Your Single Friend

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“It’ll happen when you stop looking”

This is probably the most condescending thing you can say to someone who is single. Honestly the next person who says this to me is going to get signed up for so many daily spam emails (the meanest thing I can imagine doing to someone). Sure, you met your SO when you were eating an ice cream cone while waltzing down the boardwalk and he complimented your Sandals and it was SO UNEXPECTED or someshit. I don’t know, but whatever magic moment that you weren’t expecting to happen or *seeking out* – your story has nothing to do with mine. How your life played out has nothing to do with mine. And what’s more, you feeding me this cliche line most likely cames from wanting to offer advice – whether or not I asked for advice or even your opinion in the first place. Hint: I probably didn’t.

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“You’re so great, how does every guy not want to date you?”

Oh how many times have I heard this from male friends who I used to make out with at one time. Or girlfriends who have given up on keeping track of who I’m dating at any given moment. There are probably many men who would want to date me, and just as many who think “hard pass.” That’s fine. This statement is one that’s just troublesome because it’s meant as a compliment but really it’s just like, well, no shit. I’m great. I know that, you know that, we’re friends so clearly you think that. Thanks for pointing it out? Now what? Can we get some pie?

“If you lost even a little bit of weight, you’d be out of my league”

I had a guy who was recently trying to sleep with me say this. Like, word for word. I can show you the message. This is another “oh, you’re trying to compliment me” moments that just left me fuming. So, you think I’m attractive despite how weigh. Well aren’t you a fucking sweetheart. Tell you what, I am out of your league “even though” I’m a size 12. Go have fun with your hand.

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“Are you even the marrying type?”

Like, what does this even mean?

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“I don’t know how you do it, I couldn’t be single”

Then don’t. I’m single because I choose to be in the same way you’re in a relationship because you choose to be.

“Why don’t you get off tinder and try meeting someone the old way?”

I get this one all. the. time. And again, the person inquiring doesn’t mean it to be condescending, but hey guess what, they are being just that. I have met guys I’ve dated “the old fashioned way” IE at a bar or a networking event or a coffee shop. But I’m also realistic and pretty practical: I actually like getting some of the small talk out of the way before I give up an evening. I have made the decision to put my profile picture out there on the internet for men to swipe. Don’t judge me for my decision just because it’s not the same one you’d make. It doesn’t make my dating life or relationships any less valuable than yours with that dude you met on the god damn boardwalk or your sister’s wedding. Let me live!

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“You must get so many free drinks!”

I also pay for so many drinks because one should never assume that the man will pay. Will I accept a drink or three? Yes, but I will just as quickly offer up my shiny blue debit card to buy us a round.

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“So are you seeing anyone special?”

No grandma, still no.

How ATX Reminded Me That I Have a “Type”

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I keep telling myself that I want my future partner to own great shoes. He’d wear soft leather boots that match his casual demin shirt and dark jeans. In this vision my fella would have a savings account, be close to his mom, and probably own a black lab named Huck. He’d be put together, own his own place in the city, and smell like fresh towels. Basically, I want my partner to be a walking PNW cliché blended with Ryan Gosling blended with the non-douchey tech fellas I have come to know and love.

Here’s the truth. My type (my REAL type) will probably wear chacos. He will sport the same pair of pants that he’s had since 9th grade which is a) impressive because who is the same size as when they were 15?! B) terrible. No one wore good pants in high school. He MIGHT have a savings account, or he may have squandered his money to go on a 3-month backpacking trip through SE Asia. He actually knows how to build things, cook things, and could care less about owning a god damn thing linked to the technological world. He also owns a dog, a cat, 5 chickens and whatever other animal happens to find their way into his life.

My realization came when I was introduced to a very handsome fella on my trip to Austin. To other people this man (as my sister so kindly put it) was, “kind of fuzzy? Like a baby bird.” To me he was a handsome, dashing, charming individual who I would have gladly taken home if it wasn’t for the pain from my new tattoo, propensity to drink too much whiskey, and a bowl of queso with my name on it. Needless to say I batted my eyelashes, danced the two-step and ended the night with a wink and a drawn out hug.

The friend that introduced us had told me weeks before that he found my next fling. What can I say? The people I hold close to my heart know me better than I know myself. This new handsome stranger had been a vagabond world traveler, and now works on a farm. When I asked him for his story he threw down a quote from The Jerk, and knew Josh Ritter’s song about his hometown. He showed me pictures of baby chicken selfies, and has a tattoo of a hound dog on his inner arm (don’t worry y’all, he got it from one of the farmers in a barn.) He probably doesn’t shower regularly, and who knows if he owns a car or lives in an actual house. Nothing about this man was stable or reasonable or “grown up”, and I found myself twitterpated.

Looking back at my history of fellas I actually adore, they all fall into a similar category. They’re kind, selfless, confident, carefree men dedicated to environmentalism, music and living a simple life. Basically, they are a buncha granola loving hippies.

Those that know me well know that when I grow up I want to be a farmer. Someday, I want to unplug and run away. I want to own a cabin on a big plot of land and be known for growing the best swiss chard and rhubarb. I day dream about my escape to a life that involves early mornings with my sweet pea who will feed the chickens while I make French press coffee and scrambled eggs. I want a homemade life, and here I am slaving away on a computer for 14 hours a day. It’s no surprise that I become disenchanted with a lot of the city based/career oriented fellas. Deep down all I want to do is get my hands dirty and fall asleep in a lofted bed that smells like cedar and lemon. Pot calling the kettle black, I realize. I have become a city based technology fiend and yet SO much of my heart aches for simplicity.

Back to the point. I have loved (and still love) three men who fall into this category. These men were flings or friends, but they are the three folks that have nestled their way deep into the foundation of what makes me ME, and they’re staying there.

#1 is still my dream man. He’s the kind of fella that you think MIGHT be fictional because he oozes charm and marches to his own drum like no one I have ever met. We dated briefly and then the unfair beast that is timing stepped in and fucked everything up. I made him mixed tapes and he made homemade bread. He was experimental and insanely handsome in a bizarre and beautiful way. He bikes, climbs, kayaks, woodworks, cooks, love dogs, etc. etc. See? Not real.

I met #2 on the other side of the world. We sang Bob Dylan and Grateful Dead songs over the campfire and every single girl on the trip was in love with him. He had no idea, which was 10x more charming than the confident mother fuckers who strut like peacocks. He wore the same sweatshirt every day and is the reason I swoon over Carhartts (that ass though!) Being around him sucked all the stress out of any situation, and he made everything feel calm. I haven’t seen this beautiful man in 5+ years, after a drunk make out session on a rainy night in Portland, but he’ll always tug a few heartstrings. He’s the kind of fella you keep tabs on, just in case.

Lastly there’s my dear and darling #3. This man knows how I feel about him, but who doesn’t love a little ego boost every now and again? And if this blog is good for anything, it’s admitting too many personal details. You’re welcome folks, you’re welcome.

#3 is near and dear to my heart, and the only one of the three that is still in my life. We sass each other like nobody’s business and I give zero fucks about being charming around him. I would tell him most anything and know he’d give me valuable advice. One time we got drunk at a concert and admitted to having feelings for each other. We danced around them then, and I dance around them to this day. Whatever it means, we still drink beer, write letters, and two-step together, and I love knowing he’ll be in my life for the long haul. #3, like the other two, is the kind of person you want to be around. He’s passionate and dedicated to things that matter, and he moves through his life with intelligence and grace. That being said, he shuffles around in ill-fitting clothes, doesn’t know how to google ANYTHING, and is the epitome of a goober.

When it comes down to it, I want to end up with someone who is genuine and knows who they are. They have tinges of silliness and a desire to be outside whenever possible. Their confidence and self worth translates into not caring about personal appearance, and their life is judgment free. As someone who cares too much about what people think of me, I need someone to balance me out. Someone to remind me that life is so much bigger and more glorious than the day-to-day grind. So no, my dream man isn’t going to be the impeccably styled, handsome, wealthy city dweller who has their shit together (by society’s standards). My man will probably smell like earth and sweat. He’ll be down to drop responsibilities and go get lost in the woods for days on end. He will be the calm center in my anxious, over analytical brain. Together, we will find pleasure in simplicity and each other.

So what does this mean? Darling hippie boys… I’m ready for you.

Hey, Keep Your D Off My Back

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I think every woman and maybe some men at some point has an experience like one I had recently. Everything is as they say “hunky dory,” and then wham, there’s a dick on your back. You can feel it pressed up against you and you’re not sure if it’s intentional or not and then it’s obvious that it’s totally intentional. It’s disgusting and unwelcome and flat out startling. Or at least that’s what it was to me.

Last week I had the pleasure of taking a trip to the very lovely city on the bay. If you read this blog slash know me, you know I have a thing for music. I figured what better way to spend a night than by checking out one of my wish list venues which just happened to be hosting one of my favorite musicians. It was lovely wonderful fate!

When I got to the venue to meet the Craigslist seller, he kindly knocked off $10 from the ticket and it was such a great surprise. Someone being kind, weird! I made my way up to the bar and found myself in line for a beer next to him, and we got to talking about music and the bay area and my job and his wife. It was very friendly and the sort of exchange that’s so nice to have with strangers. We made our way to the floor for the set, and chatted in-between songs. Friendly. Not at all flirtatious.

Something about me: I dance a bit at shows. I can’t help it and won’t help it – when I feel moved to shake my hips a bit, I go with it. As my favorite song came on and my hips did a little shimmying, I felt him move behind me. And then get closer. As it was a sold out show, I didn’t think anything of it. Then I felt him against me. I didn’t immediately move although I did stop dancing – my mind raced a little… again, it was a sold out show and maybe he was jostled near me. It wasn’t until I felt his hand grip my hip and him very obviously start rocking his body into mine that I knew hey, this guy was pressing himself onto me totally on purpose and I needed to escape immediately.

I turned around and firmly stated: “You’re married” before pulling myself away. I honestly felt so alarmed by his groping hands and other regions that I left the show as quickly as possible. It shouldn’t have taken me saying YOU’RE MARRIED to get him off me. He shouldn’t have been on me in the first place. I wasn’t encouraging that behavior, I wasn’t asking for it. He looked harmless – like a 9th grade science teacher. And there I was, in a strange venue in a strange city feeling honestly scared and very taken advantage of.

I’ve never had this sort of thing happen to me. Sure, I’ve danced with a fair share of inappropriate men, but I’ve never felt groped or out of control of my situation. I know it’s a familiar tale, and mine is mild compared to what can and does happen. It reminded me that as a woman maybe there’s no such thing as friendly, maybe I can’t ever assume someone is harmless. You never know who is going to push it and wind up rubbing themselves against you.

Ladies: Be safe out there. Dudes: Keep your Ds off our backs.

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What Love Sounds Like

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Falling in love is sort of a problem for me in that I do it too easily and too often. My teenage years were spent head over heels with floppy haired best friends, punk rock dudes who took their clothes off at shows, and of course the sun kissed polo sporting guys at my annual summer camp. In college I was the queen of flings but specked into the mix were some truly great guys who I fell into weird and wonderful semi-relationships with. As I’ve gotten older there have been moments of “I think this could be an L word moment” only to have me realize it was probably just gas. But like, heart gas. Definitely not a thing BTW and if you think you have it, seek medical attention because, again, it’s definitely not a thing.

I’ve mentioned before I have a tendency to subconsciously couple songs with the people I’m coupled up with. Today while I was chatting with one of my former flames turned favorite friends, he reminded me of a band’s existence and BOOM I time traveled. Because it’s Thursday and I’m a sucker for nostalgia, let’s talk about the songs I’ve hit repeat on while falling in love with some questionable dudes.

#1:

First love is a god damn handful. I honestly feel so bad for anyone currently in the throws of their first love, the thought of it is just too stressful! For me it was full of overwhelming emotions that I absolutely did not know how to process, because yes I’ve always been this neurotic. The first guy I ever loved introduced me to this band, United States of Electronica, while sitting in the front seat of his black Jetta eating McDonalds. He also introduced me to the importance of eating my french fries first before they got cold and yes, one Valentine’s Day in college was spent with him eating McNuggets. But back to first loves. This is how it felt the summer before we both went away to college. I’m about to use a word I hate: It felt blissful and like we’d always have this song to dance along to. First love, pfft so naive.

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Meeting this guy was a shock to my system. Freshman year of college was a whirlwind of bad decisions, and meeting Boulder was probably the best terrible choice of all them all. I was never (and will never be) “The Hot Girl.” I’m cute and have great eyes and an even better personality. But when this stud would look at me like I was a snack, I felt like I really was. I started to see myself as someone who deserved good things and to be appreciated and who was actually attractive. He basically built the self-esteem machine that I am today. That bubble burst a little (a lot) when I found out he’d spent the summer cheating on me with his high school girlfriend of course. But before that, when he was looking at me with that hunger that only comes from being young and in lusty love, he really did help shove my confidence in the right direction.

TOWGA:

The One Who Got Away could have his very own mixtape anthology, but this song is my favorite. When I met this guy and locked it down, I thought to myself “okay, this is it. This is all I need for the rest of my life and wow do I want to have his babies.” I know I know, I said first love was the most naive, but there’s something no one ever tells you: Second love is so much god damn worse. It hits you harder and with way more oomph. By the time you’re in love the second time, you’ve learned (hopefully) a ton about yourself thanks to all your previous failures at dating and romance and relationships. So you go into it with all this hope and not a lot of fear because this time it’s different. I’ve done this before, I know what it looks like and THIS IS BETTER.

One night after a party on an unusually warm winterish night, TOWGA and I were walking home slightly buzzed from the cheap beer. This song popped in my head and I started basically skipping while swinging his hands and singing the chorus over and over again because it was obviously the only part of the song I knew. It was one of those young love moments that should really be in a movie because the way he was looking at me with his slightly-embarrassed half grin is the sort of thing John Hughes built an empire around.

Effy:

If you’ve never had the opportunity of dating someone who you can laugh with during “intimate” moments or try new things with or embarrass yourself in front of, you haven’t truly lived. Just about all my favorite, funniest, most outrageous stories from college involve Effy, one of my on again off again flings/friends. I wasn’t ever outright in love with him, but my love for him and of him knows no bounds. When I was in the middle of a personal nightmare, he was the person I called because I knew he’d make me laugh with that sick sense of humor he cracks. To me, loving Effy will always make me think of Daft Punk. Pre Pharell FTR. Our second “date” was going to a party together and dancing until we were dripping with sweat to this weird laser band I’d never heard of. Later that night, my best friend and I found a bathroom full of KITTENS. Life with Effy was full of surprises and laughter, I’m lucky to have been given the opportunity to love him.

2.0:

Neither of us wanted a relationship. Neither of us wanted to or were capable of being vulnerable. But somehow I ended up very much in love with this tall, handsome, incredible man. The end of college is a tricky time to get involved with someone, let alone secretly fall in love with them. I tried to play it aloof and cool and be unfazed when he told me he’d met someone else. When literally everything went to shit and huge life things blew up between us, he still never knew my internal monologue of “you’re not in love with him, absolutely not, stop it now.” But before all that, when we would be together listening to unexpected sultry RnB of all things, eating pizza and playing cards in his kitchen, he and our self proclaimed “semi-relationship” was pretty perfect.

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I said before that I try to never give a shitty guy a good song. Love and the music that comes along with those feelings isn’t completely in your control though, and I accept that. It’s been years since I was in love in a big, substantial way and I’m in literally zero rush to deal with those overwhelming feelings again. But to me, the men I’ve loved (and who might’ve loved me back, for a second) are deserving of their spot in my life’s playlist.

Everyone Has Something

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Here’s a thing I’m learning more and more because of dating: Everyone has something. Everyone has at least one big fucked up part of themselves and some of us are just better at hiding it. And some of us are better at sharing that bullshit with others. I always considered it noble and brave and the very definition of love to bear that shared burden, but maybe it’s more noble and brave and the very definition of love to be selfish with that burden.

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I recently went out with this guy who looked remarkably like Seth Cohen, but less awkward and bumbling and more thoughtful and insightful. Before we even had our first date I was texting my friends about how out of my league this guy was because hello hottie with an adult “I’m not a bartender” job! I was also joking with my friends that there must be something wrong with him because wow was he good on paper. Typical pre-date jitters aside, I was astounded to report back to them that our first date was solidly good, and our second date was solidly better.

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By our third date in just as many days it was remarkable how much it seemed we were in sync. We were having adult, conscious, sober conversations about our intentions/what we were looking for as well as partaking in open and transparent communication without rushing into anything. And it wasn’t like it was me bringing this stuff up and getting relationship-y for the record. As a girl writing a dating blog I feel like it’s important to include that. It was the first time in honestly years that I’ve had a man ask me questions about my past because he wanted to know, not because he was afraid to know. It was terrifying, but that nervous excitement you get before getting a tattoo or going cliff jumping. Like, most likely it’ll be fun and end well but there’s still a risk of something going wrong and getting hurt. That’s sort of what the early stages of dating feel like in general to me. Well, the early stages when they’re good. The early stages when they’re bad feel like ice skating – it’s only a matter of time before I eat shit and hurt myself.

Anyway, so it’s all good and great because it’s just getting started and then our 5th date is supposed to happen and boom. It’s not good or great anymore because a bit of his big overwhelming baggage is exposed. As he calmly explained that he couldn’t see me anymore because of his internal personal demons, it felt pretty unfair. Here’s this guy with so much potential, and just like that it’s over? Before it even got started? I was so confused and pretty hurt.

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I have no control over the baggage of the men I date. Their secret children, secret girlfriends, and secret emotional barriers aren’t mine to influence. Basically I realize now more than ever that I can’t force people to let me in. The rational part of me that normally overtakes all my other voices tells me that it’s for the best. I don’t want to get involved with messy situations from the beginning because that’s not a rational way to set up a good beginning. Duh. And hey maybe he was just full of shit and this “I’m in therapy and can’t handle this blah blah blah probably catholic guilt” thing was just the brush off. Either way, Seth Cohen But Better and I will not be seeing one another again.

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Everyone has something. I’ve never been one to run from it, but it’s probably for the best the men I’ve been truly interested in over the last 6 months have all bowed out once theirs was exposed. Shouldering the burden of someone’s baggage probably only seems noble and brave and the very definition of love because I’m a masochist. On to the next damaged date!

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My On Demand Boyfriend

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I spent the past few days getting drunk off of wine and a handsome bearded man. I needed some time away from my city, and it just so happens that my friend-with-benefits was available for adventuring, so a late night trip to the Oregon coast became our weekend mission.

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I have written about this man (we will call him K) a couple of times, as I find our situation bizarrely perfect. We have always kept our hangouts simple—a night out at the bar, a concert, a movie, making dinner at the house, etc. This was our first multi-night trip, and god knows traveling with people always brings out interesting angles.

Let’s just say this weekend was magic. My close friends are convinced that K and I will fall out of casual and into something serious, because that’s how it’s supposed to work. They think that we are just being silly, and we actually want to date each other, fall in love, blah blah blah… False. Here’s the thing, I adore this man. We enjoy each other’s company and I REALLY like to look at his face. He is smart and funny and completely comfortable in his own skin. All of these things are true and wonderful and make him a great human being to spend time with. You know what else? I can go two months without seeing him and I don’t miss him.

He’s my on demand boyfriend and it’s perfect.

I have decided that we are setting an example of what a modern day relationship can look like. We live in a world of swipe “romance” (Tinder, you ruin everything) and severe grass-is-always-greener complexes. K and I are living proof that you can live your life how you want it, and then ring up your on demand companion when the mood strikes you. K and I spent the weekend acting like we were together. We held hands and talked about important things. We drank wine out of mugs and played card games. We listened to mix tapes and took late night beach walks. The romance is there, it’s just something we can turn on and off. We have a mutual understanding of what is between the two of us, and we are on the exact same page (THIS NEVER HAPPENS, BTW.)

Is he my forever lobster? No, probably not. But who knows if that even exists for me. As some one who believes in fighting against cultural norms and expectations, who says my happiness will come from some grand romance that sweeps me off my feet? You should all know by now I’m skeptical and guarded about true love, whatever that means. Perhaps the on demand option that is prevalent in every other aspect of our lives can translate into romance. Who says I have to have a partner in all things? I like the idea of having a fella whom I adore and admire “on call”.

Just how you used to play house when you were little, I’m playing relationship. For small stretches of time I pretend to be someone’s girlfriend, and then after a few days of that, I settle back into my routine. As someone who values alone time more than most, it’s the ideal situation. Even better? K is on the same page. We both believe in this unique partnership, and it means for two days everything was perfect. There wasn’t any question about what the weekend “meant”, it was just two people who like each other doing awesome things together. We don’t have to deal with the maintenance that makes a partnership so difficult. I can continue to be selfish with my time, knowing that if and when I need another escape, a date for a party, or an adult sleepover, K will be there.

A boyfriend on demand? I’m living the goddamn dream.

Easy Isn’t Interesting

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I have a lot of real bad habits including but not limited to putting off doing the dishes, smoking too many cigarettes most nights, and of course dating the same sort of guy over and over again. This guy is normally bearded, always aloof, rarely sober, and never ever makes any effort to actually know me. It’s a recipe for disaster, but it’s a predictable disaster so it always felt safe. I knew how it would end.

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I know I have countless flaws and faults, but I really do strive to be better than the person I was the previous day. This whole dating blog has really pushed me to do different things and date smarter than I have in the past. I don’t want to be like hey you let’s talk about yet another one of my flings that I know going into it won’t result in any interesting, worthwhile conclusion.

But then sometimes I slip up and fall back into old routines…

This guy who I knew wasn’t right for me got and held my attention recently because of his apparent disinterest in anything below my surface. Well, that and of course a little  boredom on my part and his beard smelled like waffle cones (he worked for an ice cream shop, this wasn’t some weird beard perfume situation or anything). We had a short fling of mostly him making plans with me and then bailing and then me being like “no dude, move along, I’m not into it” and then me feeling bored again and allowing the flirtation to continue. Despite my better judgement. Did that sentence just annoy you because of my lack of commas? Imagine how annoyed at myself I was for willingly living it for a few weeks.

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Saying no / walking away isn’t my strong suit. In the past I’ve met guys at whatever place they’re in and just sort of let the relationship or lack thereof unfold around me. Oh he doesn’t want to date me but I’m spending most nights in his apartment? K cool I’m in. Oh he really wants to have a serious meet-the-family-too-soon relationship? K sounds good, let’s get uncomfortable. Since having my heart broken a few years back and basically being told “what you want isn’t a thing that’s going to happen” I’ve found myself being so passive and going for what is easy and non confrontational and least likely to get me hurt.

Here’s the thing: Easy isn’t interesting and basically letting guys walk all over me isn’t something I’m proud of. Easy doesn’t give you the butterflies. Easy doesn’t leave you wanting more as soon as possible. I think I’m finally outgrowing flings, something I never thought would happen. Or maybe I just have a crush on a cute new boy, who knows. Stay tuned.