A Positive Post for a Change… #TexasForever

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A lot of my time on this blog has been spent complaining about men. My inability in finding a fella I want to date, the fact that I’d rather spend time with my dog, how I don’t trust them, etc. The thing is, I know some very amazing men, and it’s about time I added a positive spin from my side of the world.

Last week my pal came up from Texas. He is the reason that I stayed in Austin when every fiber of my being wanted to give up on that town. Initially, finding my rhythm down there was tough. I was broken in more ways than one. A part of my heart was in love with him, but most of my heart was just so thankful to find a friend. I could lean on him. His friendship, and my ability to open up to him, is why I gave Austin a bit of myself. Without his friendship I wouldn’t have found my lifelong soul mates in that warm and delightful town.

Our friendship is a two way street. I know he trusts me. He tells me things and values my opinion. We write letters to each other and I find joy in psychoanalyzing him. He tells me about his lady troubles and I ask him why I can’t seem to find someone that takes my breath away. I have these brilliant men in my life who I carefully stack into the best friend category. People always raise their eyebrows and say, “well, you’re clearly in love with him.”

You’re right, I am 100% in love with him. But I don’t want to make him mine. Perhaps it’s out of fear of losing him. I have lost best friends by taking that plunge, and it hurts. A deep ache that I would like to avoid. Perhaps it’s because the friendship I have with him is so much more important to me. Or, it’s because I know that dating him would drive me up the fucking wall. He’s wonderfully imperfect, and as his friend I find all of it charming. If I were to date him? I’m fairly certain we’d kill each other. My anxious type A personality would drive him insane, and his ability to over analyze EVERYTHING would make me push him off of something tall.

Old co-workers have always hinted at how they thought we would have gotten together, little pushes towards how we should at least give it a try. But to me, this man is in the category of men that I trust unfailingly. Why oh why would I ever mess with that?

His place in my heart is to be the brilliant, trust worthy, two stepping, guitar playing hippie that I give copious amounts of shit to. I tell him my issues, and he tells me his. We drink beer and dance. We share life plans, big ideas, broken hearts, and the grand adventures we both want to explore.

And I trust him.

I trust him with my brain, my heart, my friendship… To me, that is enough.

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My “Love” Language (ha.)

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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.

My High School Reunion

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I went to my high school reunion last night. It was awkward and bizarre and amazing. Just as you would imagine something like that would be. Combine a lot of alcohol and thousands of conversations starting with, “so, what have YOU been up to?” and you’re bound to have a good time.

L and I got quite a few folks commenting on this blog which was flattering and somewhat surprising. Needless to say, I got a few questions regarding my lack of posting lately, so here I am. I wish I could give you some awesome update like L with stars in my eyes and butterflies in my stomach. I cannot. I am in the same place as always. Working way too much, hating online dating with a fiery passion, and only eyeing those that are completely off limits. So yeah, I’m in a super good place… per usual.

Instead of talking about my inability to be a normal, functioning adult who dates or whatever, let’s talk about HIGH SCHOOL REUNIONS!!! At the end of the night I ended up taking my high school boyfriend home. But before you get all “WHAT THE SHIT?!” on me, let me explain. He came back to my friend’s house with five of my besties and we just stayed up late, drunkenly shoving food in our faces as we talked about how odd the evening had been.

It’s strange to walk into a room full of people you haven’t seen in 10 years and try and figure where they belong in your heart and brain. There were the boys that took us to dances, the girls that were scary and mean, the people I couldn’t place for the life of me, my favorite teacher and many more. And then there was the boy who camped out in my heart, leaving an etched out space for himself, as first loves always do.

There’s nothing as ridiculous and magical as your first relationship. You fumble through hand holding and the first kiss. Figuring out how to act at school with each other is a tightrope walk, as you’re also navigating how to be a real human. My first relationship was with a punk rock kid who had lip piercings and was in a band. My mom disapproved immediately and my dad just remembers him as the “super tall kid who was ridiculously skinny.” To me, he was a dream. He played guitar! And had dyed hair! His snake bite piercings made him JUST enough of a bad ass that I tried to learn what flirting meant, and started practicing.

Our first kiss was outside in the rain at the house that was everything our parents feared and everything we loved. Two of my best friends happened to be dating two of his best friends, so it only made sense to join in on the fun. We spent a year or two holing up in the top floor of this parentless house, playing video games and being ridiculously in love.

I’ve touched on how blissful naïve love is. You go into it without any preconceived ideas or fears, except maybe what you saw in 10 Things I Hate About You. You figure each other out through hours on the phone, talking about nothing as you had just seen each other ALL DAY at school. There wasn’t all that stupid adult shit that got in your way, and as long as you made it through the school week, you could get into trouble on the weekend. It was new and exciting and so god damn cliché. I remember listening to hours of Jimmy Eat World, New Found Glory, Blink 182 and Saves the Day, relating those words to my emotions, making up drama for the sake of our first fight. I journaled endlessly about our relationship, struggling over whether or not he’d pay attention to me after his shows. I’d make him mixed CDs that were filled with pop punk love ballads, because that music really seemed to understand the struggle and beauty that was first love.

Heaven knows I was a complete idiot in all of it. I didn’t know how to be a good partner and was always nervous that who I was (and what I looked like) wasn’t enough for him. Granted, my fashion choices were terrible and I had a haircut that was cringe worthy. Still, I waded through the mess of hormones and emotions and loved this boy as much as a 15-year-old heart can love. It was beautiful and messy and silly. It was puppy love and it was perfect.

While the relationships I have had since my high school boyfriend were much more “real”, there is nothing as vulnerable or pure as the first time you kiss a boy on a park bench and he holds your hand.

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.

Pushing Boys Off Of Pedestals.

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I like a challenge. Give me a man that is kind, generous, honest and open with his feelings (and actually likes me) and I will run for the hills faster than you could ever imagine. Give me a guy who is apathetic, distant and probably just using me for physical intimacy and I’m ON BOARD.

I know, I need to go to therapy.

Needless to say, this is really my biggest hurdle in the “forever alone” category I have found myself in. Perhaps it’s due to the fact that I don’t trust any of them, or maybe it’s because I’m weirdly competitive, and like to overcome difficult tasks (boys included.) Pursue unabashedly until I get what I want… that has always been my motto.

A lot of the times what I want are boys I can’t seem to get, so I hold weird, unhealthy flames for them. I put them on pedestals they don’t deserve to be on. I’m not saying that I’m the ultimate catch, because god knows I have a plethora of heavy, awkward baggage. What I am saying is that I’m starting to realize that I DO deserve to be adored.

Every one deserves to be pursued by people that actually desire them. I realize I’m contradicting myself by my “run to the hills” statement, but there’s a difference between smothering adoration and mutual affection. I just can’t seem to find that happy middle ground. Is it impossible to find someone that likes you at the same level you like them? I digress.

I had this come-to-god moment when I recently found myself in a situation that seemed like something out of a “don’t do this” college rom com. A late night booty call, with little to no effort on his part, a roll in the hay (sorry mom), and then the “I’m super tired” line. I couldn’t help thinking of John Hamm in Bridesmaids as I left, because honestly… what is that?

I knew it was coming when I went over there, because what kind of man isn’t willing to come to you? But I have had him placed on this pedestal for a few months now, so I wanted to see if this time around we could make it more than the drunken shenanigans it had been in the past. It was the same. Now, don’t get me wrong. I adore this human. In fact, he’ll probably read this and make some snarky comment to me about it, but I told him I was going to write about him, so he can deal with it. If you’re a friend and you fling with me, expect to be in the blog—that’s just how it is. This light bulb won’t (or shouldn’t) have any effect on our friendship; it will just shift the way our relationship works. He’s now fully in the friend zone, which means it’ll probably be a much healthier and better relationship in the long run. Let’s be real, I’m a damn good friend. Anything beyond that gets a little bit hazy.

Taking someone off that pedestal isn’t as easy as saying, “PEDESTAL, BE GONE!” And I know that I will have fleeting moments of “awwww” over this handsome, brilliant man, but I do know that I deserve better. I deserve the random text messages of beards and babies (thank you, D… You get me.) I deserve the blush worthy moments. I deserve to be wooed. Sure, I have no idea what I REALLY want, but I do know that doubting my appeal and likability based on one fling’s weird approach to casual is dangerous.

Because yes, I like to keeps things no strings attached these days (if you couldn’t tell…) but I also like to keep my dignity. Goodness knows my love bar is so low it’s scraping the dirt, so I really don’t need any reason to start digging it a ditch. I don’t have time to be swept off my feet, but I also don’t have time to waste precious flirting power on men who can’t at least TRY to woo me.

Toss a girl a bone (or a flower, or something) for christ’s sake.

What Parks and Recreation Taught Me About Love

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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.

Asking Men Out… Or Not.

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I am terrified of rejection. Absolutely petrified. I also hate being new at things, so I just remain pleasantly mediocre, as mastering anything is difficult and my impatience trumps everything else. I’m a catch y’all, I promise.

How many of you babes out there have asked a fella out? Is that what modern women are doing these days? It seems like it’s in line with being a bad ass bitch. Going for the gold and asking out the man you’ve got your eye on. I envision it to be a lot like how they portray it in the movies. Strutting over and writing your number down for them, winking as you leave. Totally seems like something I should be able to do, except I never carry pens and look like I’m having a seizure when I try to wink.

Ask a man out on a date?! Nope… Won’t do it, can’t make me.

I have asked one boy out. He was this tragically handsome man at the farmers market in Austin. He sold over priced pate with beautiful labels, and I would go sample their vegetarian white bean dip so I could smile at him. He had terrible tattoos that were charming, and a beard that I would have touched if that wasn’t creepy. You know, he was my type. Down to the “could be homeless” look that makes me weak in the knees. Needless to say, I got up the courage to ask him to my company’s party and it was the WORST. I was visibly shaking, and I’m fairly certain I took four laps around all the stalls before getting the nerve to saunter up and ask him.

His response? He blushed and got shifty, turning his eyes away from me as he fumbled with some tubs of goose liver. Turns out he had a girlfriend (the tragically handsome ones always do) but he said he’d love to join me if he didn’t, and went on to tell me I had made his week. He said no and my world didn’t fall apart. In fact, we started up a casual friendship that involved hugs and following each other on instagram. I wasn’t scared away from the market, and I didn’t melt into a pile of sadness at his rejection. I have also now checked “ask a guy out” off my list, and I am once again scared shitless to do it again.

I think this feeling goes hand in hand with the fact that I don’t trust men. Not even a little bit. I don’t think their intentions are real or genuine and I think they are ALWAYS looking for greener grass. Yep… I’m the worst. And I know that this jaded and cynical behavior will result in being alone forever.  I could benefit from going to therapy — but couldn’t we all? Needless to say, my complete lack of confidence in men takes asking them out completely off the table.

So what do I do about this ridiculously good looking boy who sells me coffee at ANOTHER farmers market? (I KNOW, I KNOW… I’M A WALKING PNW CLICHE, GET OVER IT.) He’s the kind of handsome that makes me blush. And while I’m fairly certain he’s only 23, I’ve thrown my age rule out the window as of late, so I give zero fucks. My attempt to woo has been batting my eyelashes and talking to him for two minutes every weekend. I buy an unnecessary cup of coffee that pushes me to heart palpitation status, just so I can ask him how his week is going. Ugh. It’s the worst. I am a grown ass woman, and I’m acting like a god damn 15 year old.

I have lamented to L about my fear of asking dudes out, as she treats it like it’s no big thing. Oozing confidence and sass, she goes for it, and is willing and able to ask for a number, a whiskey and a kiss. It’s no surprise that she’s schooling me at dating, as she’s MUCH MUCH more trusting, has the ability to give people the benefit of the doubt, and is generally better at being an adult human being. In her opinion, I should just do it. I should throw caution to the wind and ask him to go hiking or biking or rock climbing, all things he probably does because he’s a walking DREAM BOAT. Instead, I will bide my time and ever so slowly insert myself into his life. I mean, we finally know each other’s names after 6 months, so we are making serious progress.

Shut it L, I can feel your judgment from here. Baby steps y’all, baby steps.

Being Single on Valentine’s Day

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So Valentine’s Day is this weekend.

I was on a date (of sorts) last night and he mentioned running to Mexico because, “Fuck Valentine’s Day.”

While I am always a fan of impromptu trips to sunny places, I laughed at him.

Laughed in his face and then called him ridiculous. This is why I’m calling it a “sort of” date. He doesn’t live in my city, so I give zero fucks about being impressive, charming or pretty. It means I can stare at his handsome face, give him shit when he is being silly, and still kiss him goodnight. If you haven’t noticed, out-of-state cuties are my thing, So, I do what I do, and had to laugh at his disdain for Valentine’s Day.

It’s just another day.

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I understand feeling mopey… kind of. I also know that when you’re in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is an excuse to eat expensive food and give adorable gifts. That’s how I always defined Valentine’s Day when shacked up, so why change now? It’s always been a day of decadence, and that idea has just followed me to my single life. And not in a self pitying “feel bad for me” way. It’s just a day I’ve always found an excuse to indulge in delightful things. Not having a fella is most definitely not going to change that.

If you know me at all, you’ll know that Parks and Rec is my absolute favorite. I want to be a Leslie Knope/Donna/Ron Swanson hybrid when I grow up. Which means Galentine’s Day is right up there with Christmas.

I have always had a group of best gal pals. They are my people. From my bestie of 27 years, to my college ladies, to the babes in Texas who know me better than most, these friendships matter.

My definition of happy is to surround myself with folks who keep me sane. And my babes? Well, they just get me. I am fiercely loyal to these ladies, and my life is so much brighter because of them. What better day to celebrate our friendship than Valentine’s Day? It’s an entire holiday dedicated to love, after all.

While self-pitying singledom has its place, so does celebrating the relationships in your life that give you purpose. This Valentine’s Day will be full of hound dog strolls, morning coffee with my family, Discovery park runs, and a Galentine’s Day brunch. I will gather with 10+ badass women and we will celebrate each other over frittata, champagne and Bob Dylan records.

In the evening I will most likely slap on some red lipstick, pal around with L and B (my beautiful single ladies), order a large glass of Bulleit, and bat my eyelashes at handsome men.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

In honor of this day filled with self-celebration and love, I took a page out of my person’s notebook and made a mix. Always known for her mix tapes to fill any occasion, nothing gets an emotion across like a random hodge podge of songs.

Bottom line, no matter what you find yourself doing on the dreaded/adored/whatever V-Day, do it with love.

Entanglement, Handsome Bearded Men & Doing What I Want

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There’s this scientific phenomenon called quantum entanglement. Two particles, struck in a certain way, will affect one another, distance be damned. One is disrupted, the other follows suit.

I learned about this from Invisibilia, a wonderful podcast created by two women fascinated by the intangible forces that shape human behavior. If, like me, you’re pining for more Serial or wait anxiously for new episodes of This American Life and Radio Lab, you’ll fall for this podcast, hard.

I promise I will relate this back to dating, but I DID warn you that my “first date” well has run dry.

Not only did quantum entanglement blow my mind because… science, I also relate it to my life, in a very un-sciencey way. I’m not claiming anything to the extreme that they were describing (a woman can actually FEEL other people’s pain), but you know what I mean. There are those people that will always tug at your heartstrings, that you will always feel something for, no matter how many years it’s been. True, I don’t feel his pain or his drunkenness, but when I see him my heart is drawn to his. Just because. That’s how love and heartbreak is.

Now for the silver lining.

Last night I made soup. I had a handsome fella over for dinner. We drank wine and caught up on the month where we hadn’t seen each other. We will call this character K, because I am not creative. What I adore about this man is that we’re actually on the same page. We enjoy each other’s company. We like to go on adventures together. Sometimes we hold hands, most times we don’t. And we don’t have a desire to fall in love. Not with each other, and probably not with other people, at least not right now. He likes me, I like him. If he stopped liking me, I’d stop liking him. It’s a bizarre, modern, “romantic” entanglement, and it suits my life perfectly.

In my experience, being on the same page RARELY happens. They make terrible movies about it. One person always thinks they can play the friends-with-benefits game, and then the predictable “fall in love” scenario happens and the happily-ever-after credits roll.

That’s great. Falling in love is wonderful. But maybe you really can have a partner where it all works out and stays casual. It’s the first time in my adult life where an ongoing “booty call” (for lack of a better word) is sustainable.

As I’ve told him, I don’t have time to date anyone seriously. My focus is my job, my dog, and my family. He said that I’m what every man wants. This isn’t true, as I know many men who thrive off of being in a relationship. Whether or not they admit to it, being alone just isn’t in the cards for them. A lot of people get great joy out of being someone’s partner, and to them I say, “congratulations.” They go from one relationship to another, because it’s what gives their life that extra spark. Being an adult, and finding a K, has really hit home the fact that I really like being single.

I am consistently reminded by society that this will only lead to loneliness and lots of cats, but I call bullshit on that. One of my darling friends in Texas sent me a text yesterday lamenting the pains of dating. How it feels like a competition, and she just wants to date herself, but the world frowns upon such things. Whether or not we know how to classify it, we have that nagging feeling like we are failing if we aren’t happily settled down. I know the feeling. I know what it feels like to get the, “so… who are you dating?” question from family and friends. They have a tone of pity in their voice, like they should be tiptoeing around my singledom at the ancient age of 28. My method of self care doesn’t involve finding the love of my life, deal with it.

As a part of my year of Flawless, I’m really working on reclaiming the idea that being alone can be just as respected and joyful as being in a relationship. To beat down the beast that hovers around me, reminding me I should be working to find my lobster. To remind society that women can be sexual beings and not be classified as sluts. And if you ARE pointing a finger and doubting or judging my choices… fuck you? I’m a grown woman, I can do whatever I want.

So yeah. I have a casual relationship with a tragically handsome bearded man. We make time for it when we can, and don’t have expectations. We enjoy each other’s company, and that’s all it needs to be. He feels it, I feel it… We’re entangled in a loose, casual, perfect way.

I’m Breaking Up with Online Dating

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The number of times I have tried to make online dating work is getting out of control. I have been single, on and off, for four years and in that period of time I have dabbled in the online world countless times.

At first, my bestie and I created profiles and acted real sheepish about it. This was back when the idea of meeting your significant other on the internet was perceived as pathetic, and we 100% agreed. We made our profiles on OKC like it was some dirty secret, and gave every fella a nickname: tug boat, the lawyer, TJs, etc. I can honestly say I only remember a handful of the guys, but I’m sure that they were/are all delightful. Or maybe they are the worst? Either way, they’re a blur of beers and street light illuminated kisses, and then every last one of them fizzled.

What can I say? Give me fireworks, or I’m out.

So, when my best friend found the love of her life at the only country bar in Seattle (lucky bitch), I was left to wade through the online dating scene like I knew what I was doing. I took a long break when I lived in Texas, as I was too busy mending a broken heart while simultaneously convincing myself I wasn’t in love with my co-worker. I kind of was, and I’m sure he knew it (heyyy buddy! Still have a place in my heart for you, always!)

L can attest to the fact that one of the only reasons I’m still on dating sites is for this damn blog. And while my lofty goal was a date a week, I haven’t been on a first date since the New Year. Oh sure, I get messages and matches and all that good stuff, but I cancel every. single. time. My heart just isn’t in it. I’m sure I’ve whined about this in the past, but I will always be wary of online dating, and here is why.

  • You’re not special: At all. It’s terrible to know that while they are dating you, they’re also seeing what else is out there. For someone who already has SO MUCH distrust in men and their intentions, you can imagine the self-doubt that rears its head when you discover they’re signing in on the daily after spending most nights in your bed. I’m all for keeping your options open, but how the hell am I supposed to fall for anyone if I know you’re constantly looking for something “better”? Or whatever the fuck it is they’re doing. Pot calling the kettle black, I know. I’m just as bad. WHAT HAS THE INTERNET DONE TO ROMANCE?!

  • See above: Romance is out the window with this online dating shit. Except for this couple, most meet-cutes and grandkid worthy stories don’t start with, “well kids, I met your grandpa on the INTERNET!” Call me old fashioned, but I love hearing the stories that start with, “I saw this man in the grocery store that I knew I wanted to kiss, so I asked him for his number over canned beans.” And no, that doesn’t just happen in movies, that is straight from the mouth of my grandma, so suck it.
  • Forced chemistry: It makes me want to jump out a window. Oh sure, a fella can have a beard and tout all the characteristics I think are swoon worthy, and then it just falls flat. Nothing against him (usually), it’s just not possible to force chemistry. None of the men I’ve actually fallen for in the last 4 years come close to what I would categorize as “my type”. I think it’s the universe’s way of telling me to stop expecting a bearded, flannel-wearing vegetarian woodworker to drop from the sky. I get it, I need to stop going after walking PNW stereotypes. I GET IT.

  • Liars: If you’re 5’7”, don’t say you’re 5’10”… I WILL FIND OUT. Not that your height is a TOTAL deal breaker, but come on. You can only keep that façade up for so long. Literally. I will know when you stand up… So stop it. I am sure online profiles are filled with all other kinds of exaggerations and lies, but the blatant fibbing around height is the prime example of why I hate it. WHEN YOU START DATING SOME ONE, THE TRUTH WILL ALWAYS COME OUT. Just stop lying. You’re not fooling anyone.

So, I’m breaking up with online dating.

Which means I will have to rely on meeting people in REAL life, while continuing my perma-crushes with long distance cuties. And MAYBE (just maybe), I will get up the courage to ask handsome men out (looking at you, super young coffee boyfriend(s)). And if there are people out there who feel like playing matchmaker, a blind date that DOESN’T involve the internet could be a thing? Maybe? (Do people do that anymore?)

Tinder, OKC, Hinge, etc. you’ve been weird and generally underwhelming. One bad date after another, you’ve brought me some hilarious stories, and a confirmation that dating IS actual hell. The silver lining? You’ve been a great excuse to drink beer on a Tuesday, make some questionable and fun choices with strangers, and you have provided me with an endless source of gossip for my lame-o friends (I kid, I kid) who are married or whatever.

What I’m trying to say is… This dating blog is about to get REAL boring, as my dating well is going to run very dry. L… the stakes have been raised, it’s up to you to be entertaining. ONWARD AND UPWARD!