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.

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When Technology Re-Breaks Your Heart

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Four years ago I had my heart shattered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

Because Women Can Be “Bachelors” Too.

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Every year my family and I watch It’s a Wonderful Life. Every year I cry. Every year I remember why I have always had crushes on tall, goofy men. And every year I notice a new part of the movie that I had missed in the past. This year it was the moment when George Bailey asks Clarence what happened to Mary in the world where he hadn’t been born. Clarence looks at George with a look of sadness and exclaims, “You’re not going to like it. She’s an old maid. She never married.” The camera pans back to George’s face, looking distraught. The worst part about it? SHE BECAME A LIBRARIAN. I still love this movie more than anything, but COME ON.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone reading this blog that I’m a stand-on-the-soapbox kind of feminist. So I bristle at the idea that men get the sexy title of “bachelor” while women (to this god damn day) are looked at with pity if we are alone. We are placed into the category of being ice queens or sad rom com characters, pining for the day when a boy will FINALLY love us.

Y’all, not every gal wants to be shacked up.

Case in point: there’s this man who fancies me. He is kind and generous and loves his family. He is the kind of man who would build you a fire, and then fall into comfortable silence with you over a good book. He’s open and honest about his feelings, and never seems to falter in his devotion to romance. Sounds pretty perfect, am I right?

But here is what I know about myself:

I am insanely, absurdly, ridiculously stubborn. If I want something, or set my mind on something, it’s relatively hard to stop me. This can be admirable and downright frustrating (or so I’m told.)

This stubbornness leads me to sometimes be selfish with my time. And when I say sometimes, I mean most of the time. And when I say most of the time, I mean always? In the past, I have flung myself into relationships with somewhat spineless men, and then I (not so subtly) continue my life plan, which they follow along with, no questions asked. As I get older, I realize that it’s ridiculous to move through my life as I want, and expect my partner to hop on board, or get the hell off the ride.

Sure, past loves were happy for a while, but they came to resent me, and my apathy towards compromise. It’s no surprise everything crumbled. I can imagine that when you are told you fall somewhere between 7 and 8 on the list of priorities, you’re ready to move on.

I know someday (maybe?) I will want to slow down and adjust, bend and compromise… but right now it is full steam ahead. And there are moments where this decision leaves me lonely. I’m guilty of binge watching Nora Ephron flicks as much as the next gal/guy, questioning my choices in life. I’ll find myself asking whether or not my happiness could be found in marriage and babies and future plans with a man, like so many of my best friends.

And then I think about all the things I still want to do.

I have the longest list of dreams and plans. I want to throw myself into work, because I think it’s okay to get lost in your job if you’re doing something you love. I want to bike across the country and then pretend to be John Muir, spending weeks lost in the woods. I want to take a year to travel around the world, volunteering with sloths and climbing to the highest point of Patagonia until my lungs burn. I want to touch soil on each continent, and write about every person I meet whose smile has something special to say. Oh my stars, I could go on and on. My brain is an endless scroll of ideas. Plans on how I can find new versions of myself, and stretch this life as thin and beautifully as the world will let me.

When it comes down to it, I don’t ever want to look back on the choices I’ve made and realize I didn’t push myself because of someone else. And I wouldn’t ever wish that for anyone I love. Perhaps that means that I really am meant to be alone, and perhaps (just maybe) I’m okay with that. Who knows, this whole theory might go STRAIGHT out the window the moment I meet the man meant for me. But until that man swoops me off my feet, I’m moving through this life like a whirlwind—and I don’t want to miss a damn second.

As for this handsome, wonderful and charming man who thinks I’m the gal for him? Let’s just say I am figuring out the best way to handle our hearts.

Repeat Romance? Don’t Mind if I Do.

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Sometimes dating brings you déjà vu moments. Like when a ghost of dating’s past shows up in your life at an opportune time, and you throw ALL caution/skepticism to the wind because… why the hell not?

A few years ago I met a boy when my heart and life was in shambles. We met at a screening of the Hunger Games, and what I remember was a) his GLORIOUS beard and b) the snack he brought was a banana. WHO BRINGS FRUIT TO A MOVIE?!

I was intrigued.

Movie flirtation led to eye flutters led to kissing led to… well, you know the rest. (BIRDS AND BEES AND STUFF.) Our little romance was brief and delightful, ending with the realization that neither of us was in a place for anything serious. Just a little post-heartbreak blip that rebound dreams are made of. Because it was a mutual “break up” (let’s be real, it wasn’t serious enough for such words.) We stayed in touch on and off. I like to keep the handsome bearded ones around, if only to stare at their faces… I’m the worst?

I think I have always wanted to have a friend with benes, but it’s never worked out. Either the people I think are just friends want to love me forever, or I read the signals all wrong– I make eyes at them, and things get awkward REAL quick. Inappropriate drunk twitter messages to cute boys I barely know? DON’T MIND IF I DO!

Let’s be real, having a “special friend” sounds kind of perfect. As I’ve lamented in many a post, I just don’t have time to be someone’s person. I know, I know “you make time for the right person.” I hear that, I think I get that, but I also don’t want to make a relationship my priority. Sorry, not sorry?

It really is the perfect time for my déjà vu moment with the most handsome man. Last night I drank ALL the whiskey, ALL the beer and made ALL the best choices. He rolled in looking delightfully rugged (I realize I’ve mentioned his handsomeness at least 3 times already, but THAT BEARD THOUGH.) and I let the eye fluttering begin immediately. Needless to say, while my hangover and 4 hours of sleep is making me feel like a puddle of terrible…

I had some fun.

The best thing about him being a déjà vu moment is I give zero fucks about trying to impress him. He knows me. We’ve been there, done that. There’s no need to redo all of that nonsense. As someone who HATES first dates, it’s nice to skip all those formalities. I gave him shit about his terrible Tinder pictures, and we ended up talking until 5 am about all the things. Comfortable right out the gate? My kind of jam.

Bottom line, a ghost from my past (that I fancy) who wants to spend some wonderful, casual time together? Sign me up. Repeat love-ahs can sometimes be the BEST idea.

Happy Holidays…?

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I think I have watched Love Actually too many times. Say what you will about that movie, I pop that bad boy in at least 30 times during the holiday season. When it came out in theaters I went to see it with my three best friends, and I remember us running to Barnes and Noble after the movie to purchase the soundtrack immediately. One of us bought it, and she burnt us copies—decorated with hearts and snowflakes because we knew we’d find that kind of love one day.

Here’s why I think that movie ruined me.

Every time the holiday season rolls around, I get all weird and clingy. As L so eloquently put it, sometimes it fucking sucks to be single. While we’re all about channeling our inner Beyonce, and tout the joy of answering only to ourselves, there’s something SO lovely about holding hands in mittens.

You heard me. Mitten hands.

Yep, I want that cliché holiday bullshit, and this has happened to me EVERY year in my adult life when I find myself single around this time. A few years ago I was supposed to bring my boyfriend to Christmas. We ended up breaking up RIGHT before the holidays, and my step grandpa wrote out on the gift tag “To: Chelsea and Friend?” It was comical and only slightly heartbreaking. As the only single gal in the family at the time, it meant I got to play Santa while the rest of the family canoodled. It’s no surprise being single during the holidays is extra lonely.

It doesn’t help that the weather calls for nesting. Rainy and cold, all I want to do is stay inside and make my second date soup and snuggle on the couch over a glass of whiskey. I had that for a month and it was SO DAMN PLEASANT. Ugh. Mother fucking timing.

Yes, I want to go to the Christmas tree farm and bring hot toddys and wander through evergreens. I want to steal secret kisses when the strangers aren’t (or are) looking. I want to break out my snowshoes and spend too much money renting a cabin in the mountains. I want that cabin to have a hot tub and I want to bring my dog. I want all of these things to happen in the next few weeks, so if I could find a winter fling, that would be great.

Sure, sometimes it’s for selfish reasons. I don’t want to be the only single one at the holiday office party again. I don’t want people to take pity on me for bringing my gal pal because she likes whiskey and red lipstick as much as I do. When I was in Austin I stumbled on an OKC profile where two fellas posted a profile in hopes of finding ladies for their office party. They said it went swimmingly, and they kept their double dating approach going because if nothing else, the girls were intrigued. I ended up dating one of them for a while. He held my hand on the first date and we sloppily two stepped across town. Damn, I miss Texas boys.

Hmmmm. Now that I’ve ended my “kiss me under the mistletoe” rant, I don’t think I can blame Love Actually and the impending holiday season. I recently had a taste of what it would be like to date someone and maybe I kind of liked it? WHAT IS THIS NONSENSE? Me actually wanting to let someone into my heavily fortressed heart? Ugh. Damn you crushes/timing/holidays and emotions… you’re making me into a romantic.

So… any of you fellas have a pair of mittens? Eh? Eh?

Timing is a Bitch

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It’s all in the timing. I just counted, and in my 27 years, poor timing has resulted in four fine gentlemen slipping from potential partners to lost options. These ones weren’t just flings, these are the “bring home to mom” types, and I am sure we would have (and did) create some sort of magic together. Curious? Good. Because it wouldn’t be a ‘Don’t Date Us’ blog post without a little too many details, right?

The Prince: A prince, forever and always. His name will always be accompanied with a sigh and the title of “the one that got away.” He made me feel like there were a swarm of butterflies hibernating in my chest. He was bizarre and self-assured in a way that no other 20 year old could be. He was made for adventures, and knew how to create such beautiful things. He tied knots and owned multiple pocket knives. He climbed mountains, and filled his house with the smell of fresh baked bread on a regular basis (a man that can cook… I have no words.)

He would come to my house for dinner and we would sit on the kitchen floor, getting drunk on wine and college-aged concerns. One day I moved across the world, and never told him where my heart was. Ever since then it’s been a back and forth of neither of us being in a place suitable for falling for each other. It’s maddening and wonderful. He’s one of those that will always carry around a tiny bit of my heart, because men like him don’t come around twice.

The Artist: He wooed me with his words (if you can’t tell, I’m a sucker for such things.) Our courtship was built on emails that could pass as novels. Back and forth correspondence with him was my addiction. I fell into a rhythm of filling my days of monotonous work at the hospital with our conversations. From emails to phone calls to snail mail, this handsome man never failed to surprise me. His honesty and brilliance was staggering. He sent me book covers turned into postcards. He mailed me multiple mixed tapes and a cassette player (yes, they do still exist). This man collected facts like people collect coins, I learned a lot about spiders and bees from him. I don’t think I’m along in saying that there is nothing as attractive as an intelligent man. He taught me so many things, and his humble, self-defeating nature was frustrating and brilliant.

Let’s be honest, our whole relationship was frustrating and brilliant.

I didn’t imagine my guarded heart would fall in love so quickly with someone I had only met a handful of times. Going to visit him for the first time was one giant stomach drop. He waited for me at a dark bar on a street I didn’t know, and thinking about how I tapped him on the shoulder STILL gives me anxiety. Just like the way we fell in love– quick and passionate and full of honesty– we fell out. It was all too much, too quickly.

We tried to take new and exciting beyond its limits. And like anything you stretch too thin, we broke. Going from talking about marriage to packing away our life together… Well, it was terrible. But I’m grateful that this man is still a presence, and always will be. He is my person. The blue to my yellow. He’s the “ah ha!” moment, when you realize you can be an adult and break each other hearts, and still be friends.

Phew.

THAT WAS A LOT OF FEELINGS AND REAL TALK.

Which means I’m now dwelling on the “what ifs” and the “should have I fought harder” questions. And we all know how dangerous that can be.

Until next time.

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.