My “Love” Language (ha.)

C post

I KNOW. I KNOW. I AM TERRIBLE AT THIS.

Here’s your update… I don’t have one? I had such high hopes that this blog would push me to try harder, be more adventurous, be less cynical, etc. etc. As y’all know, L hit the jackpot and locked down a very handsome man that adores her. Kudos L, kudos. Me? Well, my heart is just not in it. I think this is due to a number of things.

Firstly, I have my on demand boyfriend. Say what you will, it’s the perfect situation in so many ways. We play house together when we are both feeling domestic, and I have someone to call on when I want to escape the city. We like each other’s faces enough to sustain this unique relationship for the past year, but the expectations are nonexistent. If he happened to fall head over heels in love, I would toast his heart, kiss him on the cheek, and wish him well. I know he feels the same. Until then, we will find comfort in each another, playing banjo in the backyard over Steve Martin songs, whiskey, and fresh coconut.

Secondly, I still don’t trust men. I realize that this is something I have to address and work on. I know that I’m the only person in control of this. I am aware, don’t worry. I also know that this isn’t something that will happen overnight (or over two years). It will take patience and resolve. For now I work on finding friends who are good men. They remind me that they DO exist. I don’t date these men because I’d rather be their lifetime friends. I have lost too many beautiful hearts to lose the few good souls I have found.

Thirdly, I don’t know if I want a relationship. My life is my family, my friends, my dog, my work. I know that when I find a man I want to make a life with, I will make time for him. I have done it in the past, so I know I’m capable. The problem is, since my last boyfriend, I haven’t found a fella I want to call home. Sure, I have found/dated/slept with a number of wonderful people, but none of them have been my wake-up-slow partner in crime. I have felt that before, and I won’t settle down until I feel it again. Call it picky, call it ridiculous, call it whatever you want. Until I feel the rumblings of love in the pit of my stomach, I will write casual on their name tag and continue the search for my lobster.

For now, I make due with silly situations. I have my on demand boyfriend, I have my inappropriate texts with off limits fellas, I have my weird attachment to a boy that I can’t pin down. I have my heart scattered among a number of different scenarios, none of which are traditional or “healthy” or run of the mill. Maybe that’s just it. Maybe I exist to flit and be single and remind men that women can be casual too. Maybe my existence on this earth is to have brief bursts of no- strings-attached romance. Perhaps I am meant to fling myself into the world and collect men and one off relationships like stamps. As L and I continue to wander through our versions of love, our stories are going to shift. She will focus on what it means to fall for a good and honest man and I will move further from traditional.

Who knows, maybe that IS my language of love.

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What Parks and Recreation Taught Me About Love

C post

I had my heart broken this week.

After seven beautiful, amazing and truly magical seasons, Parks and Recreation aired its final show. Yes, I shed a tear when Ron blissfully rows away to Willie Nelson. And yes, I clapped and fist pumped when Donna ended up in MY city. The show ended with as much humor and grace a girl could ask for, but I will have withdrawals for years to come.

In honor of one of the best shows on television, I give to you:

What Parks and Recreation Taught Me About Love.

Ann & Leslie:

Lesson: hoes before bros, uteruses before duderuses, ovaries before brovaries.

It’s no surprise to anyone that my gal pals are more important than the hang-and-bang/casual encounters I’m currently experiencing. And let’s be real, they will probably trump the fella that weasels his way into my heart. Ann and Leslie are each other’s people. She’s the person on speed dial, and the one that Leslie turns to for every panic attack and crisis that gets thrown her way. I LOVED when Ann pops out of the office in the finale, Leslie shoves Ben out of the way. ANN’S HERE! Exactly. Her person is here. Face it dudes, we ladies just get each other… It’s just our thing.

Leslie and Ben

Lesson: Marry your best friend

When people ask what my dream relationship looks like, I kindly point to Leslie Knope and Ben Wyatt. Here is why. They are smart, driven, nerdy people that adore each other. He compliments her insane drive for perfection, and she supports his creation of terrible calzones and board games.

Moving from hate, to co-workers, to crushes, to true love, it is the kind of on-screen romance that makes you grab your best friend and say, “I want THAT feeling again.” It’s everything you want in a relationship; honesty, humor, passion, support and most of all, “I like you and I love you.” If I take one thing into my love/marriage/union/whatever I find, it will be that simple, perfect line.

Ron and the Tammys

Lesson: NEVER DATE THE CRAZIES

No matter how good the sex is, or how much they take care of you, getting back with an ex never works out (unless you’re Anne and Chris Traeger—which I will explore in a minute.) We’ve all been in Ron’s shoes. You date some handsome, slightly insane human because it’s fun and why not? And then, when the red flags start popping up, instead of running for the hills, you hang out because HOT DAMN are they good in bed. Then you fall back into the nightmarish world of dating some one completely incompatible for you, and you end up with cornrows and a half stache. Ron, the epitome of strength and stoicism, turns to jelly in the hands of these powerful nut jobs, and we can probably all relate (sadly.) He’s best left alone in the woods, or with his wife that kind of just disappeared this season, but I think that was okay. Ron is best when he’s married to his steak, whiskey and country music.

Andy and April

Lesson: Opposites attract

Who doesn’t fall for the lovable goof ball with half a brain? Andy’s character is one of the best on the show. Starting off as the COMPLETE moron with two broken legs, he turns into this simple, endearing character you want to bear hug and carry in your pocket. He woos the most “hateful” person on the show, who is actually perceptive and kindhearted. These two outcasts (in such different ways) end up with the weirdest, most “awwww” worthy love, and it’s perfect. Andy’s undying love of April’s eccentricities, and April’s unwavering support of Andy’s shenanigans, results in a swoon-worthy relationship. When they ditch all responsibilities and drive to the Grand Canyon? That, right there, is what love should be.

Ann and Chris

Lesson: Work with what you’ve got

These two ending up together makes me shrug. On their own, they were both a little ridiculous and obnoxious. Together, it was even weirder. And when they broke up, Ann turned promiscuous and Chris got MORE intense, and that’s when I realized they really were better off together. Neither character ever really had a strong sense of self. Ann couldn’t define who she was as an individual and Chris has his depression period when he realized he was aging. So them deciding to make babies together and find comfort in the other’s insecurities made sense. Sure, it doesn’t make you feel all warm and fuzzy like the other relationships, but I get it. It also reminds me that I need to make a pact with some handsome fella in my life. So when we reach a certain age, and can still tolerate each other, we will grow old together, because sometimes you just have to settle. And you might as well do it with a decent person with a nice looking face.

Donna & Tom

Lesson: TREAT YO’ SELF

Alright, alright, I know that these two aren’t in a romantic relationship, and they both end up happily married. And while I like that they find their people, the real lesson learned from these two is that the most important person to love is yourself. Selfish? Not really. They remind me that a) it’s ALWAYS okay to pamper yourself and b) that you have to know who you are (down to those pink cashmere slippies) and love ALL of that before you can even consider letting someone else in. Donna (aka: my spirit diva) is the QUEEN of doing what she wants, when she wants, and she doesn’t let anyone stand in her way. She’s unabashedly herself, and owns it. That’s my kind of badass lady.

And Tom, while outrageous, knows that his lifestyle is meant to be full of soft, good smelling things, and he will do anything and everything to live the life he wants.

I will forever and always have TREAT YO’ SELF as a mantra, which is why these two make the list.

There are a lot of take aways from this beautiful show. Basically, I am waiting for the Ben to my Leslie and the Andy to my April. It reminds me to hug my girls and thank them for being a constant in my life, and ALWAYS avoid re-dating the crazies. Most importantly, this show reminds me to put my heart first, and surround myself with goofy people who know what life is about: Friends. Waffles. Work.

Pawnee, Indiana… I miss you already.

Hey the Year’s Over! Time to Reflect or Something!

L post

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.

kristin

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.