Dating 101 : Don’t Get Drunk

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Turns out I date men who love alcohol.

I blame it on the 20-something culture where being social means you’re drinking. Gloss over any state of discomfort with booze and you are golden.

Whatever the case, I’ve been with my fair share of men that had an unhealthy relationship with booze. Now, don’t get my wrong, I am known to imbibe. I have a weak spot for whiskey and beer, and it’s hard for me to turn down an invitation to grab drinks. That being said, I know my family history, I’ve heard the horror stories, and my type A personality has a firm grasp on where to draw the line. Approximately three times a year I put myself on a cleanse, which basically means I abstain from alcohol for a month, existing on a diet of vegetables, eggs, and little else. Fuck yeah I feel amazing. Fuck no it’s not sustainable. If there were ever a time to throw up one of those cliché cartoon magnets that says “life is too short to not eat chocolate and drink wine”, it would be now.

I recently met a man and we set our first date at a nearby pub. The banter was friendly, I was pleasantly surprised by his 6’4” stature, and he threw down some one-liners that actually made me laugh. I like to think of first dates as interviews, and this fella deserved a second one, ASAP. A prolonged hug and innocent smooch left us making tentative plans to hang out this weekend. Saturday rolled around, and after spending the day hiking, I found myself at least 40% excited to see this gentleman. While that might not seem impressive… it is. I hate small talk and dating. So, while the temptation of my hound dog and my new apple spice tea (LEAVE ME ALONE, I KNOW I AM 80 YEARS OLD) nearly led me to cancel, I channeled my inner “dater” and we set a time to meet. A few minutes later he sends over a text along the lines of, “I’ll most likely be intoxicated, FYI.”

Fellas. Here’s the thing. If you’re into a lady, think she’s kind of cute, might want to kiss her face, DO NOT GET DRUNK BEFORE YOUR SECOND DATE. There’s such a thing as class. And being a gentleman. And giving a fuck. Granted, I’m not a high maintenance gal. Anything traditionally romantic gives me the heebie jeebies. My high school boyfriend once filled my room with candles and poetry he wrote for me, and I nearly cried because I thought he was hiding in my closet to “surprise” me. It doesn’t take much to woo me, but I like men to at least give a little bit of a shit. I like them to at least pretend to make an effort to win me over. Needless to say, I sent a snarky text about being stone cold sober and choosing baking and my dog over him, and proceeded to have a lovely Saturday night in.

Moral of this story: if you are a normal, smart, handsome man who isn’t addicted to alcohol, please give me your number.


I’m a Real Life Trainwreck (In a Charming Way, I Promise)

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I promised I would respond to Trainwreck as a follow up to L’s real and raw post about how this movie hit close to home. Let’s start with my girl Amy. I love that she is an intelligent, hilarious, kick ass feminist who speaks her mind. If you have yet to read her speech about sex and self love, stop reading this and go do that. It’s much more eloquent than any of the dribble I’m throwing down at the moment.

So yeah, I loved the movie. It was delightfully raunchy and you knew from the opening credits exactly how it was going to end, just like any good romantic comedy. Of course she was going to get scared and lose him, only to do some grand gesture to win him back. Also, her dance moves were impressive. I spent a long time trying to find this song so I could dance around my room to it, pretending I also know how to shimmy and shake.

I don’t think any woman can go into a rom com these days and leave with high hopes… Or maybe it’s just my very pessimistic heart? Dating is the fucking pits, and the online sphere only makes it worse. Y’all, L and I have been writing this blog for MONTHS, and I’m in an even worse place than when we started. Maybe I’m more like Amy than I thought? Let’s outline THIS trainwreck so I can pretend that I have something to write about that is relevant to dating.

  • My on- demand boyfriend. That’s still a thing. I haven’t seen him for a month(ish) and I’m okay with it. I adore the shit out of him and he’s my go-to for random adventures, but I’m still in the same place. I’m not going to fall deeply in love with him and make him my lobster. If that were the case, it would have happened already.
  • All those boys that hold pieces of my heart? They still have little bits of me. Strings that they pull to remind me that they are still very much camped out in there. They remind me that for awhile I wore vulnerability a little bit better, and let some other hearts waltz with mine. All of that romantic nonsense that allows you to let your guard down and rely on someone for a large chunk of your happiness.
  • I think I now have a profile on any and all dating websites, and haven’t gone on a single date for approximately 9 months. I have made plenty of dates and I have cancelled on every single one of them. Yes, I am that girl. There is just so much about online dating that makes me tired. I will pull any excuse, knowing that I would rather find my next partner by accident. All those memorable ones from my past? They started out as eye flutters turned to friendships turned to long letters turned to love. I wooed them slowly. Dropped sass and sarcasm, thick as honey, until there was nothing left to say but yes. And they did. And when we fell into it we already knew the way each other laughed. They already knew how I like to make big plans (learn the banjo, bike across the country, quit everything and travel for a year) and that I get scared when actually faced with change. I like to ease into love. It takes time to break down these walls, and when you do… Boy oh boy, do I know how to love.

  • My distrust… It’s only grown. I was recently in a very interesting situation where a fella and I were flirting and I once again dabbled in that terrible and treacherous world of being the “other” woman. It was harmless, or I assumed it to be, until a very dear friend pointed something out to me. Choosing her words as carefully as she could, she reminded me that making these plans with a boy who was very much taken would only make my distrust grow. How easy it is to woo men away from those things they claim to love! Don’t worry, I stopped flirting with such a terrible idea. Perhaps that’s the first step in learning how to trust again? Or perhaps karma is reminding me that I have acted the part of the other woman, and perhaps my defeated and callused heart just won’t warm up again. But that is far too depressing to think about, and I think I still have some hope left.

Man oh man, that list definitely makes me sound like a trainwreck. However, this post isn’t asking the internet world for a pity party. Like I’ve mentioned in almost every single one of my posts, my life is full of very beautiful things. My time is well spent with family, friends, and making future plans… All of these things that create a colorful and beautiful life. For now, that’s enough.

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.

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.


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.

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.

My Theories on Love (Warning: Real Emotion Ahead)

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I have some theories about love.

As someone who finds comfort in lists, organization, and over analyzing, I want to force calm on the chaos, put love in a box and keep it there. I want it to make sense, and be easily definable. I want to pinpoint that moment when my heart went from “yes, please.” to being so heavily fortressed it’s hard for me to find sometimes.

“I’m mostly scared. I’m scared of actually pouring myself out, because there is no going back after that. I don’t know why or how it happened, but I have so many walls and barriers and battlements. Because I’m scared what would happen if they weren’t there. Maybe it will be overwhelming, or scary, or trite, or sad, or pathetic. Too much or too little.”

My theories are simple. For those of us who have been shattered by love, we’re doubtful. We love, but not like we used to. We always hold back because it’s easier that way. We will enter relationships with trepidation, never giving our whole hearts again because we remember how it felt to have the rug pulled out from under us. Maybe that’s just adulthood. We collect our broken bits and hold onto them, tighter and tighter after every disappointment. It’s not that we can’t love again, it’s just that we do it differently, more responsibly… whatever that means.

“I was in love. I’ve been in love multiple times and I’m in love right now – it’s different with each episode. I want to say that I can give myself to someone 100% without fear or doubt, but I’d be lying. With each episode I feel like I’m less able to do that, but then again I guess that is growing up. Or growing, rather. Or shrinking? I can collect experiences, refine thought processes, and increase my skill, but the pieces of myself that I’m willing to give up become less. Maybe I’m more static? I’m growing and shrinking, I’m Alice in a confusing adult wonderland.”

And then there are those people who have never been in love. They may have dated and felt a connection with another human, but they’re not sure if love has entered their world. If you have been in love, you’d know. It is all consuming. There is no room for doubt because being with them is like breathing. Love is not one grandiose adventure after another; it’s being your most human self and doing it together.

“We have this silly secret kiss and we hold hands and dance in the kitchen and he hates the sound of me eating grapefruit, but usually puts up with it. We know each other deeply and we’ve seen each other at our absolute worst, and we still (happily) choose each other. To me, that’s love.”

It is finding charm in their inability to clean the cast iron correctly. Knowing the way they sleep, and not caring when you snore in front of them. It’s never looking for a date or adventure buddy because they are your partner in everything. To be in love is to have some one you trust with your heart, your family, your friends, your entire existence. Love is the ultimate vulnerability, and it’s downright beautiful (and fucking terrifying.)

“You’ll move mountains. There will be no other option. It feels like when you find the best pair of boots for free on the side of the road. It feels like an IPA that blows your mind. It feels like winning bingo. It feels like your moms hug when you were 8. It feels like praise. It feels like church did when you liked church. It feels like new socks out of the dryer. It feels like the best and most beautiful morning.”

My theory on those who haven’t been in love is that they live in that blissful world where the idea of love is untarnished. They have hopes and expectations and daydream about what love will look like for them. It will be different than any one else’s love. It will simultaneously picture perfect and horribly messy. It will be open and honest, and each person will pour everything into the other, because that’s what it’s supposed to be. Waiting for love and not knowing what it will look like is mesmerizing. I am envious of these people. I wish my first love happened when I was a fully formed human, solid and confident in my presence in the world.

“I want the love that is a cataclysm. Seeing a girl and feeling the world move. Having all experiences and history boil down to two people. Fall into each other, drink up everything, have her lay on top of me to feel the weight of her body, tear pages out of books and feed them to each other, sit on the floor of an empty apartment, run away from the din of things that aren’t us, accidentally kill a border guard, hide away in some arid part of Bolivia, build a small home and have strong, honest, kind children.”

Lastly, there are those that have been destroyed by love and have been the destroyer. They know what it takes to break another person’s heart, and have picked up the pieces after being told their love wasn’t enough. It’s these people that have found a balance. They walk the tightrope knowing how easy it is to fall either way. They are the people who have fallen into a familiarity with love. They know the importance of independence and greet vulnerability like an old friend. They allow themselves to be a partner without losing sight of themselves. They are the people you want to grow up to be, the kind of people you want to fall in love with.

“Our love evolved from an intense, head-over-heels, my-heart-is-going-to-explode kind of love, to a deep, meaningful understanding and appreciation of one another. He saw the real me – the generous, vivacious, full-of-life me, along with the volatile, insecure, and resentful me – all in one… Being in love feels a lot like being vulnerable, exposed, and naked. You can’t hide yourself when you’re in love and the person you’re in love with sees the most raw and authentic version of you at that particular time in your life. Love changes as we change, and that’s why it’s beautiful.”

I know that trying to define love is pointless and naïve and ridiculous. I needed to categorize, if only to find some hope. To test my theory I reached out to the people in my life. Single, married, gay, straight, old, young… All of them. I wanted to know their stories. To see if there was validity in any of it. Their quotes are peppered throughout this post (you were curious about why those random quotes were thrown in, weren’t you?) Their responses did the following things.

  1.  Made me cry. Lots of tears. Their words! Their love! Their openness!
  2. Reminded me that I have the most eloquent friends who live with breathtaking passion.
  3. Their love has taken on so many forms, done so much damage, and created so many beautiful partnerships.
  4. Their answers disproved my black & white theories. Everyone has their story and their voice, and none of it falls in line with my compartmentalization of love.

Regardless of their validity, I created these theories so I don’t lose my mind.

Four years ago I was champagne-glass broken, baseball-meets-window broken, drive-until-morning broken. One second this man was my best friend and then he was gone. Two weeks later he was with some one else. Once this happened, my heart hardened. I put on my stoic face, fought off the sympathetic looks, and when it got too heavy, moved to Texas.

My heart went from curious and accepting, to closed-off and cynical. Now, my expectations are so low when it comes to love that I write everything off as a casual fling, because there’s no point in letting it be anything else. I keep all these handsome men at arms length because it’s easier, and there’s no risk if they don’t know my heart. Trust is the main tenant of love, and that’s not a thing that exists for me… Not now.

This isn’t based off of one terrible, horrible, no good heartbreak. I’ve witnessed love outside of my own and a lot of it has been full of disrespect, dishonesty, and distance. I’ve stared unfaithfulness in the face, both hating and joining hands with it when I felt weak. I’ve been the other woman, experimenting with the ease of wooing men into abandoning their current loves for the possibility of me. Terrible? Absolutely. But we all move through this world trying to figure our shit out, and sometimes you make questionable choices to get there.

This post is definitely going off of the usual style, but it’s important. These words matter. Love matters. To hear this chorus of passionate people knowing that they’re with the right person is inspiring. Many of them were shattered and they picked their pieces up, welcomed vulnerability back into their lives, and found their forever. Those of us who are wary and distant to love just might not have fallen into a rhythm with the right person. Perhaps we just have to be patient and let the mountains move when they’re supposed to.

“A love note in Twelfth Night is signed from “the fortunate unhappy”; Jane Austen describes love as “half agony, half hope”; Gabriel Garcia Mendez tells us that “the symptoms of love are the same as the symptoms of cholera”. No rational person would want to be unhappy, or in agony, or sick with love. But love is an irrational enterprise and makes us do what we know is bad for us, in the hopes that it will be better in the end.”

My takeaway from this is that my theories are bullshit. There’s no rhyme, reason or pattern to falling in love. I will just have to deal with my own heavy baggage and learn how to be vulnerable again. It’ll be the ultimate practice in patience.

How brilliantly frustrating.

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.

Where’s the Love?!

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I have been single now for two years (I think…?) My last break up left me alone on my birthday, packing up our little house as I repeated “you are strong” over and over and over again.

This year I celebrated my birthday with champagne and a cigar on a beach in Costa Rica with amazing co-workers. Let’s just say my life is headed in the right direction.

Let’s also say that while my life is pretty damn fantastic, I’m kind of getting sick of not genuinely moving beyond the crush phase. I don’t think it’s a surprise to any one that if a fella is charming enough, I will put him into the crush category. What’s the harm in having at least 15 crushes at one time? Why settle on the BEST when I can spread my affection super thin and maybe tolerate some one for a date or a one night stand? (earmuffs mom)

I have been in love twice in my life. In 28 years, I have found myself getting all wobbly and heart sick over TWO fellas. That’s it. I have had countless kisses from cute strangers. My “number” is decent. But falling in love? That list is short and to the point. These were the kind of loves where I actually wanted to spend every second with them. Where I didn’t look for excuses to cancel our dates. Where I fell into comfortable togetherness right out of the door.

I shouldn’t complain. I’ve had two great loves in 28 years. That’s amazing! It was soul crushing and heart shattering when it fell apart, but at least I felt that overwhelming sense of love. I am grateful for every second of both of those relationships, and know that I’m a better person because of them. I also know that they fucking ruined me.

Let me explain.

These dudes, while completely different from each other, set the bar. And let me tell you, that bar is REAL high. I know what it feels like to be consumed with love. I know what it’s like to look at some one’s face and want to squeeze it, like a puppy or a baby. I know what it’s like to share a home, wake up slow and forget that you’re supposed to get out of bed. DO YOU KNOW HOW HARD IT IS TO FIND SOME ONE THAT YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO SPEND A LOT OF TIME WITH? Maybe it’s just me, but I am so god damn stubborn that I refuse to settle for anything less than the earth shattering love.

It’s happened to me twice, so maybe my cards have already all been played. Maybe I had my chance, and now the universe is saying, “welp, you fucked THAT up royally… soooooo, forever alone it is.” I also know that there’s that saying that once you stop looking for it, it happens. I guess writing a blog, trying out all the dating sites (while never actually going on a date) and gossiping with my babe L about ALL the crushes is pretty much the definition of “looking for it”.

Whatever the case, I want to move beyond crushes, dammit. I want to feel ALL those big and exciting feelings again. I want to get lost in all that romantic mumbo jumbo that I’m so skeptical of, because I know that the moment some one sweeps me off my feet, I’m a sucker for that shit as much as the next girl.

2015 is the year of Flawless, which means I gotta buckle down and be open, honest, strong and vulnerable. Yikes… It’s going to be quite the year.

The Trouble with a Dating Blog: Volume 1

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I say volume one because surely there will be other things addressed on this issue, but this is the first pickle I find myself in.

The question I always turn over is when/whether to tell a guy I’m seeing/writing about that BTW I’m writing about him. I am terrible at keeping secrets so I’ve defaulted to telling a few of the guys after a date or two, mostly just because I’m a nervous talker I guess and so it ends up blurted out. Also I’m just big on getting things out in the open and this project isn’t something I’m particularly shy about. It’s splashed pretty publicly around all of my social media, so if a guy did even the smallest amount of digging they could find it easily.

That being the case, it’s still weird. Once a guy does know about its existence, I’m left feeling a little strange writing about him because I’m not sure if it’s a violation of his privacy or if it’ll ensure that there are no further dates or hell maybe he’s just enough of a narcissist where being written about is his end goal.

Remember how I mentioned I tend to overthink things? That paragraph just gives a peek into what my brain spins over before/during/after writing a post.

I’ve had several conversations with people where they don’t think I should ever tell a guy I’m seeing about the blog. That’s great until of course one of our mutual friends tells the dude about it before I get the chance to and/or they add me on Facebook and therefore are privy to all the neurotic thoughts that have been poured onto these pages. And that space between a rock and a hard place is exactly where I’m at right now.

I’ve been sitting on a blog post for a day or two but I’m nervous to post it. It says nothing negative about this man because I could not think of one negative thing about him if you paid me a million dollars. Hell, he wore socks and sandals on our date and still I can’t think of a negative thing about him because dammit he managed to make socks and sandals sexy. But see that’s actually the issue. Workaholics white dudes The conundrum I’m totally inventing here and probably isn’t really even a conundrum is that I want a third date with this guy, and raving about him publicly after only two dates is a scary thing to do (even though that’s basically what I did in that last paragraph). Dating blogs are weird, and writing about my thoughts/feelings about other people is still something I’m learning how to navigate through.

*20 minutes later after re-reading this post, OH WELL HERE IS THE POST I’VE BEEN NERVOUS ABOUT*

Holiday Dating is Annoying

Dating during the holidays is absolutely the worst. And no, not because of all the holiday expectations or the threat of having to buy someone a gift or any of the scary emotional stuff, but really I mean like practically: dating during the holidays is really hard. Thanksgiving, holiday parties, out of town friends coming home, more holiday parties, family events, errands, blegh so much of your time this season really just isn’t yours. Dating was slow for me over the last month, but I did squeeze one in before the madness really picked up.

In late November/early December, I started talking to this really handsome bearded man via Tinder. As it turned out, one of my favorite friends is also a friend of his, so I got to find out the dirt pretty early. And by dirt, I mean that my friend told me he is the NICEST guy and that if the conversation stalled during our date I should just bring up Harry Potter and then she sent me an article to read about how to date a Hufflepuff. I was totally prepped and ready for our first date and while yes Harry Potter did come up, it wasn’t because the conversation stalled. And my friend was completely right, he is the NICEST guy.

We’re going to call him Neville despite that he’s a Gryffindor because Neville’s my favorite and there aren’t many prominent Hufflepuff characters in the books (who don’t die or anything). Plus he’s the hottest character anyway so here we are. Well, second hottest – I like Sirius’ brand of disheveled. Sidenote: I promise this post isn’t going to be completely about Harry Potter, sorry if I’m freaking you all out. nev Anyway so after the our first date in early, December holiday hell kicked in and MAN was it impossible to get anything scheduled. That being said though, I was so impressed by Neville during that time. I feel like when things get busy, most people kinda tap out and fade away. Not him though, he continued to text casually which let me know he hadn’t forgotten about me. As someone who was very, very recently ghosted I can’t even begin to tell you how appreciated that was. It just made me feel like hey, he’s still there and life is busy this time of year but I shouldn’t write him off.

New Years Day rolled around and we fought through hangovers to have our second date – almost a full month after our first. One thing I like about Neville is that he’s just so delightfully adorable. Like when we got in his car, he was listening to Harry Potter on tape. And that he was a walking PNW stereotype, wearing flannel and wool socks and Birkenstocks. SOCKS AND SANDALS ON A SECOND DATE my eyes couldn’t believe it. And then after he dropped me off, he sent me easily one of the best post-date texts I’ve ever received. Handsome, kind, and a smidge nerdy? Yes please.

The first few dates with all the flirtation are so fun. Neville is an interesting guy and I’m looking forward to knowing him more. That’s something I want from this year of dating, more conversations and knowing people better.

Now comes the truly awkward aspect of this all: here I am writing about this guy on our dating blog and guess what? We’re friends on Facebook and therefore he knows about this blog’s existence. So hi Neville – let’s see if after reading this you still wanna have that next date you’d mentioned interest in…

How You Get the Guy

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You know how when you have a SUPER exciting thing happen and then you want to keep it to yourself, just in case you jinx it by telling anyone?

That is where I’m at right now.

I am holding my cards close to my chest, eyes closed tight. Because if I show my hand, I have this pit-in-the-stomach feeling that everything will disappear. Seeing as y’all have heard QUITE a few of our crazy “we don’t know how to do this” vent sessions, I thought it might be time for a little sunshine/rainbows/potential-to-be-happy bullshit.

Let’s be real, I still have all my walls up and am over analyzing anything positive that happens to me. It’s SO. MUCH. EASIER to be negative and accept defeat before it hits you like a ton of bricks. I talked myself into a frantic panic rant (see: last post) over this fella, and had convinced myself that he was just in it for the ol’ hang and bang. The amount of Beyonce and T. Swift I listened to for those few days was outrageous.

Of course right after listening to Grown Woman for the 100th time, he asks me to dinner. I put on my sassiest pants, and steeled myself for rejection. Sporting my best ice queen face, I instantly melted the moment he started telling me a heartwarming story about traveling the world. And his laugh? God damn… it’s so charming.

Yep. I’m in trouble.

The good thing about my neurosis/panic mode was that I did stick with my, “he’s gotta like me for me” mantra. I shook off any of my impressive “look at how cool I am!” layers (let’s be real, it’s one layer. And it’s thin.) He showed up at my house and I was wearing pajamas and listening to old country. I give no fucks and no apologies for the things I like and the person I am. The even better news? He is turning out to be more of a goober than I thought.

Sure, he’s charming and handsome and he could get any girl he wanted. But he uses funny voices, cracks stupid jokes and then giggles to himself about them. He has a puppy voice, which he practices on my dog. Not going to lie, the moment he plopped down on the floor to snuggle my hound, I knew I was a goner. I think he’s charmed by the fact that I like to spend a lot of time in my kitchen, listen to podcasts and want to discuss 19th century medicine, our education system and how generational poverty is a damaging and terrifying thing.

I mean, there’s nothing as awesome as an intelligent, independent, extremely sassy lady who hates crowds, people and loud noises. Right fellas… Right?

Enough of the rainbows/sunshine/nonsense? Good, because here’s where that Don’t Date Us pessimism comes in. As L put it, “you’re like a baby deer.” I’m guarded and hyper aware of any and all “noise”. Sure, there are all kinds of signs that he likes me. He holds my hand, and says all the sweet things. He keeps making plans with me and isn’t one to silently slip out the backdoor when I’m not looking (do people actually do that? Whatever, it added some drama to the post.) Regardless, I will remain guarded, and I won’t put all my eggs in one basket. I will shy away from vulnerability, and treat it as the casual once-a-week relationship/fling/whatever it has been for the past month.

Who knows? This post could be the jinx, and I should have just kept my god damn mouth shut (HA! L and I are REALLY good at that…) Don’t worry, y’all will know what happens next, because let’s be real, secrets don’t make friends.