Monday, January 31, 2011

Fit the formula?

I found this article (Noooo, I wasn't visiting the site - somebody tweeted it!) and it got me thinking about the whole process of meeting people.

We spend so much time trying to fit in, don't we? It starts when we're little kids; we're taught to go along with the pack, follow the rules, and not to make waves. By the time anyone tries to teach us to be unique - we're already one of the sheep.

It's the same with dating. Don't be too heavy or too thin, too smart or too dumb, too tall or too rich - you have to be just right. If you're not - try to hide your flaws. There are dozens (hundreds?) of sites where you can get advice on how to put your profile together so that it fits a formula.

But how does a formula help showcase you? Yeah, you'll get emails, and winks and high ratings and whatever else the sites can come up with to feed our egos. But you won't get quality connections, because no one is really seeing you.

Here's my interpretation of the article (keeping in mind it's all about the male opinion of female profiles):

Woman (A) might be a "7" across the board, but get few emails because she doesn't stand out
Woman (B) might be a "7" because some guys think she's a 10, and others only think she's a 3 or a 4; but the guys who think she's a 10 send her emails

So, B (a 3 by some standards) is getting approached more often than A, who is always a 7.

Why? There's something about B that some guys don't find appealing at all  - and other guys absolutely love. Maybe she has a tattoo; maybe she's overweight; maybe she wears glasses. Who knows? The point is, whatever makes her stand out is evident enough in her profile that the guys looking for that quality are contacting her. 

Maybe A has that same quality (or something similar). So why no emails? Because she's hidden it from her profile. In an effort to "fit the formula" she's taken steps to hide her most unique features. She fits the formula - but what good does it do, when she's just like all the other 7's? She's just a number - no connections. The emails she does get are not quality, because there's nothing in her profile that tells her suitors what she's really about.

The moral (of my story, anyway)? I'd better figure out who I am, and what makes me great - so that I can properly showcase it to would-be dates. Otherwise, I'm gonna keep getting a whole lot of cooties. 

Friday, January 28, 2011

Progress report

It's been about two weeks since I started this love cleanse project. Truth be told, I could see this going on for much longer than thirty days - but that's the "official" amount of time. So with two more weeks to go, I feel...

Good. I really do. It's nice to look forward to my weekends and not stress at all about whether or not so-and-so will ask me out, and if he does, what will I wear, or will our schedules fit, etc. It's also nice to know I can just make plans with friends, or for myself, without worrying about anyone else's schedule or feelings, or worrying that I'll make him angry or alienate him if I'm not available (a big problem I always had when dating).

For anyone worried that I'd be sitting around moping - not so. I spent a weekend with family, have had three meetups (two dinner, one bowling), gone to dinner and movies with friends twice, hosted a home party, shoveled my driveway countless times, and hung wallpaper border in my bathroom. I also cleaned my house from top to bottom, wrote a ton of posts for various blogs, caught up at work and I've been to the gym a few times.

In addition to that, I made a major change - I started going to bed earlier. Not only that, but before I go to bed each night, I spend some quality time with my e-reader - no social networking allowed. This is a major step for me - but sleep is healthy and something I wasn't getting nearly enough of when I was dating. Not only that, but going to sleep earlier helps me get up earlier, which allows me more gym time - which is a good thing.

All in all - I have to say, I'm kind of liking my life. I feel a little silly that I'm not looking for love - almost wondering if those who don't look for it really deserve to find it? But I keep seeing little reminders every where that love isn't really something we find - it's something that finds us.

If that's the case, I guess I'll just keep doing my thing.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Without your consent

No one can make you feel inferior without your consent. ~ Dr. Maya Angelou

I'm learning a lot about myself while doing this love cleanse. One thing that is really upsetting to me, that I think I knew but never faced, is how much of my own self-worth I let other people decide.

I think we all do it, to a certain extent. I see it a lot, especially in my girlfriends, and especially in those that have been in unhealthy relationships. It's almost as if, after having our self-esteem attacked by one person, we go looking for someone else to build it up.

I spend a lot of time thinking I'm not good enough. I worry that because I'm not the prettiest, or the thinnest or the youngest, that I won't ever find anyone. That maybe my time has passed, and it's too late for me to find love.

Then I realize, I only feel that way because Big and 28YO didn't want me - they decided I wasn't good enough. Well, wait a minute - who gave them that right?!

The only answer? Me. I give them that right every time I let myself get sucked back into that way of thinking. So that needs to stop. Now.

I need to stop looking to them, or anyone else, to find what I like and don't like about me. I have to learn to like me for me. I'm the only one who can decide what's good enough for me - what I like and what I don't, what I need to change, and what I can do better.

I'm done giving others that right.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Lucky Cancer?

Astrology has been all the rage lately, what with the new sign, and all. When the dust settled, it seems we're all the same astrological sign, after all. Phew. Now that it's been established I am, in fact, still a Cancer - I can check out my love horoscope for 2011.

I found this one at The Frisky - and while I like what it says, I can already tell you the "Getting Lucky Calendar" is way off - at least, so far.

The Shine from Yahoo tells me...not a lot. I'm learning lessons, and it seems that things will become even more permanent later on in 2011. Permanent how? It's not really clear.

Ask Oracle also seems to think I'll be learning some lessons, and will have turned a corner by the end of the year.

I guess, if I was going to draw any conclusions from these - it's that even astrology thinks this is the year for me to figure things out, get back to what's important for me - and let love show up when it's time. The good news? If things keep going the way they've been, and if these horoscopes are any indication - it sounds like I'll be ready if it shows up.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Overlook the obvious

I have my core group of friends who I turn to immediately when something happens. But, there are other people who are interested, who help me through rough times, and with whom I can talk.

[Truth be told - if everyone texted, they'd all know at the same time. But I have friends/family who resist technology - so they're the last to know.]

One of my family who didn't hear right away called me when her sister filled her in. Her first question? Are you okay? Then - "What about that other guy you were seeing....?"

Really? Because I need a guy in my life - even if it's one I didn't really like all that much? I didn't just stop seeing The Gamer because of 28YO - I stopped seeing him because I didn't want to see him anymore. That doesn't change just because it didn't work out with someone else.

"Well I just know, someone to go out with...."

I have friends that can fill that role, thank-you-very-much. Or - here's a crazy thought - I could do stuff on my own. I'm actually pretty good at that; it's comfortable - enjoyable, even.

Why do otherwise perfectly happy, confident, smart women feel like we're incomplete if we don't have a guy? If there's not a date on our calendar, or a kiss in the near future - we freak out. We panic, and scramble to fill those spots - with anyone.

I think that attitude is what gets us into these situations in the first place. We are so determined to find love, that we overlook things that we shouldn't, just to keep candidates in the hot-seat. With Big, I overlooked the fact that I was often afraid to speak up where he, and the two of us, were concerned. With 28YO, it was the fact that we were often in two different places in our life, and there were things he didn't like doing that I really wanted to be able to share with someone.

I'm not saying I was settling. I really liked both of these guys - I'd say I loved Big - and the stuff I "overlooked" wasn't a deal-breaker. Especially with Big - it was me trying to compromise, and put his needs ahead of my own. Something you do when you're in love.

I can sit here and what-if myself to death - the truth is, I'll never know if I should have overlooked those things, or if that was a mistake on my part. But what I do know is I did overlook them - and now I'm unhappy. It's a really good chance to take a look at myself, and what I might need to do differently in a future relationship (should one present itself).

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Tears

There is a handful of people who know me in real life, who know who Big, and even 28YO, are, and know why I started this blog. Some actually read the blog - others just know me and know there's a blog out there.

A few of them really "get" why I blog about the whole thing. Others just think I write it for revenge, or to be mean, or whatever. That's never been the case. I knew there would be a lesson, and for me, writing is the easiest way to learn. Yes, I could have journaled privately - but that wouldn't have gotten reactions or feedback from objective readers.

It also occurred to me that maybe - just maybe - the blog might be helpful to someone else. That another woman, in a similar situation, would stumble upon this blog, read my story - and find some comfort in knowing that she wasn't the only one, that she wasn't stupid and that she wasn't crazy. Silly, right?

So, last week I posted about my love cleanse. I didn't invent the idea, so to give credit where it's due, I linked to the original post where I found the idea, and in my tweet, I mentioned the person who wrote the post. Usually, that'll get a "thanks" on twitter. In this case - it got me a follow back. From The Single Woman - someone who should be every single gal's idol, in my opinion. I was incredibly excited - as my friend can tell you.

If you know anything about twitter, you know it's a great way for people to find others with similar interests, concerns, situations, etc. I got a few follows after The Single Woman found me - and one came from a woman who was going through something similar. And she wrote me the nicest email.

She told me a bit of her own story, which I won't share with you here. There were definitely some similarities between her experience and mine. At the end of her email she said: Thank you. Thank you for sharing.

I should mention that this email came on what was a terrible day for me. But when I opened it, and saw that someone had found my blog, and it was helpful to her - so much so that she took the time to email me and say thank you - I burst into some of the happiest tears I've ever cried.

People can think, or say, whatever they want about me, or this blog. The thought that, even for just a second, this blog made someone's life just a little bit better is exactly the reason I keep it going.

So thank you.

Friday, January 21, 2011



No umbrellas needed - just a sense of humor, fun and charity. And maybe a cute new outfit. 

A couple of friends of mine are helping to plan the First Ever Bachelor Auction, a fundraiser for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. A worthy cause, right? 

What do bachelor's have to do? Show up. Sell themselves. And provide a date package valued at $40 (or more, guys) to be included with the bid. 

What do the ladies have to do? Buy a ticket. Show up. Shop. Hellooooo? 

What will everyone be doing? Laughing, drinking, having fun and supporting a worthy cause. 

Click here for more information, including event details, ticket purchases and charity information. Guys - are you interested in applying to be a bachelor? Click here for a link to the application. 

The best part? Well, it's my friend's birthday...and my love cleanse will be long over. I've started saving my nickels and dimes already. (Kidding. Sort of.)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thirty Days to Me

I came across this article right about the time that things ended with Big. If you follow @TheSingleWoman on twitter, then maybe you're also familiar with her story. The Love Cleanse is thirty days focused on you; no dating, no flirting, no cyber-stalking (ahem), and developing healthier habits. 

I tried the love cleanse when my broken heart was new. I thought I could just flip it, like a switch. It turns out, I wasn't ready. At that point, it was so fresh, that I spent all my time thinking about him. Or us. Or me without him. Oye.

I didn't jump right back in. I took a little bit of time off. I started writing; started some new projects; made some new friends and reconnected with some old ones. I definitely took time for myself, but I didn't really let go of the whole dating thing.

When I met someone, I thought maybe I could compromise; try to date casually, but still take time for myself. Apparently, the universe has other plans. While it's easy to think, will I ever meet anyone? Am I just not meant to be happy? Do I not deserve love? When the truth is, if I'm not meeting anyone right now, it's because now just isn't the right time for me to meet anyone. 

After being hit in the head with the proverbial brick several times, it's finally dawned on me - I should be focused on myself right now. No matter how much I want to think that finding love is me focusing on me - at the end of the day, I'm still giving all of my energy to others. Actively trying to meet people and look for love means making others my focus - not me. 

That stops now.

I will try this love cleanse thing; so for the next 30 days, I will focus solely on me - get some projects done, focus on work a little, maybe the gym, hang out with friends - you get the idea. It'll be all me, all the time.

How bad can that be? Right?! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I'm done

My friends really are the best. The minute I told my close circle that Mr. 28-Year-Old had called things off, they rallied, making sure I was okay. Of course they were all worried I might take this whole thing the same way I took the Big thing.

I'm happy to say, I did not.

First of all - it hadn't been as long, so I wasn't quite as invested. Don't get me wrong - I like the guy a lot, and I am really disappointed that it didn't work out. It just hadn't gotten as far and as a result, I guess I don't feel like I lost as much.

What I did lose, though, is the will to keep trying. At least for now. In keeping with my resolution, I'm not going to go looking for love. I won't close myself off from love; but I it's going to have to find me. When/if it does - it's going to have to work hard to get (and keep) me, too.

With Big, I lost everything - my self-respect, my happiness, my ability to trust. Plus, I lost him. That's hard; to lose someone else. We don't control others, so if someone doesn't want to be around, there's nothing we can do.

But I do get to control how I feel about me. So, if I notice something is undermining my shine - I can stop that. Which is exactly what I mean to do.

My friends all agree that this is the best thing. That a break, sometimes, is exactly what you need.

We also all agree that when I do date again - it should definitely not be with anyone who lives in that apartment building.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Yes, it's true

In case you couldn't tell from yesterday's rant - things have ended with Mr. 28-Year-Old. I think you can get a pretty good idea of what happened from the post.

A good friend of mine was against the whole younger guy thing from the beginning. She didn't trust that a younger guy would be mature enough for a relationship. The truth is, it never really got to the point where I could test that. We dated, yes, but we weren't really "in a relationship." I am positive that this guy will make a great boyfriend (husband?) to someone, someday.

Here's what I learned: The right guy for me is mature, honest, nice, confident and knows what he wants. He has had enough life experience to understand that life is serious - but should not be taken too seriously. He's cautious; but not overly so. He likes to go out and have fun; visit new places and try new things.

Another thing I learned? That guy might be my age; or he might be a little older than me. It is possible that he might even be a little younger than me. Do I think Mr. 28-Year-Old was the "right guy" for me? Clearly not. But I did learn that age should not be a deciding factor when answering that question.

I also learned this: The right guy for me better be prepared to work. He's going to have to find me; because I am done looking for him.

Monday, January 17, 2011

More cooties

I've concluded that it's me. I am apparently misreading the signals. Evidently, sweet Christmas gifts, asking you out on dates, spending New Year's with you....and other stuff does not mean that a guy likes you.

At least not as more than "a friend."

Yeah, I get it. You have to spend time with someone to be sure you like her. You have to get to know a person before you know how you feel. Blah, blah, blah....

Here's my question: Why not just be honest? If you're not sure how you feel - just say so. Here, let's practice:

"I like you a lot, I think you're cool, I like hanging with you, but I'd like to start as friends and see where this goes."

What in the world is wrong with saying that?! Then, I don't get my feelings all tangled up, thinking things are one way, when they're really another...just to have you pull the rug out from underneath me. I don't want to hear any of that nonsense about how you have to treat a woman a certain way, or she'll move on to the next guy, either. That only happens when we're not sure where we stand with you. If you tell us, then we'll be sure.

I think it's safe to assume I speak on behalf of single, sane women everywhere when I say - cut the shit.

It's perfectly fine to be unsure how you feel - but quit acting as though you do. I'll let you in on a little secret about women...we don't always know how we feel, either. We aren't all looking to run down the aisle the minute we exchange contact info. Some of us are perfectly fine taking things slowly, and would just like to do so with a little respect and a little courtesy. Maybe a little honesty thrown in for good measure.

You know, like grown-ups. Without cooties.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Online dating sites: What works?

One of my resolutions was to stop looking for love, and let it find me. That being the case, and since things are pretty good for me right now - I'm not really using the online dating sites. Still - they worked. I mean, they got the job done when I needed it done.

You can read reviews on these sites just about anywhere. What's that? You're wondering what I think of the sites I've used? Well, since you asked....

Plenty of Fish - Free online dating. You can email and IM any member with no annual charge. Although - I will say that I recently noticed that they no longer tell you if an email was read and/or deleted by the recipient unless you upgrade your membership and pay a monthly fee of $5.95. That's a reasonable cost if you want that feature - but it's also something you can probably live without. The IM feature on this site continues to allude me - sometimes, it works, sometimes it doesn't. When it does work - I like it; it's clean, easy to read and has a pop-out feature.

Okcupid - Also completely free. They will go one step further and try to match you with people - they even assign a rating to each member, telling you how compatible you are with him - at least on paper. I can live without the ratings and quizzes - it makes me feel like I'm playing a video game. "If you rank a user as 4-5 stars, and they rank you the same, we'll notify each of you...." I feel like I should be hitting a buzzer, instead of crafting a witty email. But the interface is clean, the IM tool works - and you can block other users from your feed; a handy feature when the guy who just dumped you has decided to create his own profile.

Free sites tend to have more members - which tends to increase the jerk factor (I'm no expert, but this seems like basic statistics to me). Still, I like the sites because there are more people, and after a while, it gets easier to weed through the unworthy to find those with whom you might have a connection.

That said, I didn't want to be a total online cheapskate, so I did pay for a one month membership to e-Harmony, which is supposed to be one of the best sites out there, right? Supposedly matching you based on deep, meaningful criteria, to ensure a better connection. As far as I could tell - it's just more expensive. You have to pay just to see members photos. And it's not as cheap as some of the other paid sites, either, although it doesn't appear to offer much more. The one thing the site did tell me was that, based on my questions (which you have to answer in order to create a profile), I'd be better off living in CA, where I have more matches. I had a profile for one month, met one guy - and will not ever pay for that again.

My conclusion about online dating sites? It's just like anything else. You get out of it what you put into it?

Have you used online dating? What worked for you? What didn't?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Waiting game

When I was a freshman in college, I never skipped class. I was afraid of what would happen. Would I get caught? How would I catch up? It took some time to catch on to the whole, "you're an adult, this isn't high school" concept. After the first time I skipped, though - I found it was easy. And convenient, too. By senior year, I skipped class like it was a sport.

I came across this article while it was making its way across the interwebz a couple of weeks ago. It got me thinking about my own...habits. When I first started dating after my divorce, I figured I'd always wait until things were "serious." Then, I met someone - and didn't wait. Just like with skipping class - once I figured out it didn't need to be a big deal, I became less strict.

The article suggests that waiting makes more a more successful relationship later on. In a nutshell, waiting forces the partners to develop communication first, before making it "messy" with sex. While I can see a point to that - I doubt it's a coincidence that the study was supported by grants from Bringham Young University, which is owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a part of the Mormon Church, which advocates abstinence before marriage.

So I'm thinking the information is a bit skewed. I've had sex on the first date; I've had casual sex, where dating wasn't even involved, and I've done the whole "friends with benefits" thing. I'll admit - none of those are ideal, especially if you're hoping to build a serious, lasting relationship. Still - surely there's some middle ground between having sex on the first date (or few dates) and waiting until you're ready to march down the aisle? Seems to me that's part of the communication you're trying to build and the relationship you're trying to develop, right?

Maybe it's just like everything else in a relationship - depends on the people involved.

What about you? Any "rules" when it comes to sex and timing? Or do you just wing it?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Get over it

"It may take longer to find your lost self-esteem than your next boyfriend. Prioritize accordingly." ~ He's Just Not That Into You

After the whole breakup thing happened, several people told me that the only way to recover from a failed relationship is to find the next relationship. That worried me a little - and left me dumbfounded. What if they're right? This is incredibly bad news.

I've known many people who leaped back into the dating scene, frantically looking for "the one." Is it me - or does this seem like a lousy solution? Your heart is broken; you're confused, sad and angry; your self-esteem is shot. You're not yourself. This might not be the ideal time to find your ideal person.

Not to mention - isn't that what leads to things like leading others on because you're not sure what you want, and you're just looking for something to fill the void? Seems to me that, if I followed this advice - I would end up doing to someone else exactly what I was so pissed off at Big for doing to me.

Hello, Hypocrite City.

I needed a better answer. I came across a couple of articles (one here and another here) about focusing on yourself after a breakup. "Ah-Ha!" I thought - now we're getting somewhere. The problem, in a nutshell, is that we are conditioned to look to others for our own self-worth. So when someone says we're not good enough - we give in. Buh-bye self-esteem; hello Ben & Jerry's.

I could work with this. So basically, to get over a breakup the healthy way, one needs to focus on herself. She needs to figure out how to be happy on her own; learn to identify and draw on her own strengths; and find what she wants to improve and change. Then she needs to set about doing just that. Makes sense, right?

We need to forget, "I should be in a relationship," and, "I am good enough, and I will find someone who knows it."

We need to start focusing on, "I'm in a relationship with myself. What can I do to improve it?" and, "What can I do to make myself happy?"

It's almost a trap, really. We get so caught up in the way things should be, we fight (or ignore) the way things are. It seems like maybe the key to peace is focusing on what is, in this exact moment, and not living in the past or the future.

When I started to ask these questions, it made a huge difference. I took a look at my life, and asked myself what needed to be changed? Not to find the next relationship - that's the future, and I can't predict that. So here's my situation - what can I do to improve it, here and now?

Not only did it distract me from looking for love (which I'm convinced you only find when you're not looking), it really did help me focus on changes I needed to make. Things about my life that I wasn't happy with, but that I didn't focus on when I was focused on Big.

What's the best breakup advice I found, or could ever give? Focus on what is, not what was or what you think should be. You can't control another person, or their choices - but you always control your own reactions. Don't let anyone else decide whether you'll be happy or sad - that's your choice.

I learned that from now on, no matter what - I will always choose happy.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Everyone knows that breakups suck. It probably makes sense that it's tough for both people - but is it different for the breaker versus the breakee?

I've mentioned that, through a weird set of coincidences, I met Mr. 28-year-old through Big, and that we're all still friends, at least online. So, should it matter if Big also meets people through our connections, or has relationships in front of me online?

It probably shouldn't be different. What's good for the goose and all that. But it feels different, you know? Maybe because Big flat out told me he never cared, so it stands to reason he wouldn't care now. But I did care - so of course it bothers me. Sure, it bothers me less and less now - but still.

Friends have suggested that I "unfriend" Big. I don't even like that term, much less the idea. The guy was in my life; he was important to me, and he was good to me a lot more than he wasn't. "Unfriend" sounds to me like an admission that someone was a mistake; that he didn't play an important role in my life.

Since that's not the case, and since Big continues to be a good friend more than he's not, it seems to me the thing to do is figure out why it matters. My feelings have changed; pain and hurt has slowly changed to acceptance and closure. So why do I care? A friend had a wonderful answer:

"We have odd connections to our past and want to see where their fingerprints continue to carry over into our present."

That's cool, isn't it? She's so wise.

She's also right, of course. Some people just leave fingerprints on our life forever, even after we've moved on. I guess that's how we know they were important; that they changed our life, and made a difference.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Who's callin' who crazy?

Have you read this book? I downloaded the full version to my e-reader, and will be reading it in 2011 (I swear). A few months back, in search of something - anything - that could help me make sense of things, I bought the pocket-guide version. This abridged version gives "daily wake-up calls" - which is something I (often desperately) need.

A lot of it makes sense. It talks about all the excuses we make for guys who are treating us poorly, in an effort to find reasons to stay with them. You know, because dating someone who is not treating us well is better than not dating anyone at all.


So, if this book is true, and behavior that points to a guy not being into a girl, then the opposite behavior must suggest that he is into her, right? Easy example: If a guy doesn't make time for a girl, he's not into her; by the same token, if a guy goes out of his way to make time for a girl, he must be into her.

Is that true? I'm not sure anymore. Men (not just Big) have often treated me in ways that suggest they were "into" me - only to come clean and tell me later that they never were. I don't get it.

One daily wake-up reminded me of this post, by my friend Sassy Singleton. Go read it; I'll wait.


Got it? He was "busy," right? The wake-up call says, "The word busy is the relationship Weapon of Mass Destruction. It seems like a good excuse, but in fact, in every silo you uncover, all you're going to find is a man who didn't care enough to call. Remember: Men are never too busy to get what they want."

Now, Sassy's smart, funny and cool. She's got a good head on her shoulders for this kind of thing, and she was having none of the bullshit excuses confusing miscommunication. He eventually got in touch with her and made plans. So - was he legitimately busy? Maybe it wasn't an excuse?, to recap: Guys act like they're into us when they're not - and act like they're not when they really are. But only sometimes, and we should be able to tell the difference.

And women are crazy?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Your year of love?

I came across this post in my travels the other day - ways to make 2011 your year for love. I wondered, what gems might have to share with me? So, I took a peek. I immediately thought -

What the...?
  • Make a practical love plan. Find twelve people (friends, family, coworkers) and assign each of them a month. Ask them to find you a match for that month - just an introduction. 
I see some merit to this. Still - is it really necessary to outsource your love life? Or for that matter - is it a good idea? If these people had a good match, wouldn't they have told you about him already? Certainly keeping yourself open to blind dates/matchmaking is fine - but to turn your loved ones into your own personal dating service? That might go too far.
  • Implement an "as if" method. Make room in your life (your schedule, your closets) for that significant other. Make sure he'll fit in your life, so that you're ready when he shows up.
Again - I get the theory. If you haven't opened up your life and made room for love, you haven't really opened up your heart or your mind to the concept, either. I know we need to be ready to let love in - but honestly, I'd rather let it in my heart first - and my closet later. I mean - I really need to love someone before I start moving shoes around. As far as time in my schedule - I don't want to turn down doing stuff I like for the possibility of finding a date. I may need some time to digest this whole concept. {shakes head}
  • Create a magical blueprint for love. Make a list, light a candle, read the list out loud - then blow out the candle.
Um - what? Okay, again, I get the idea. What you put out there is what you get back. You have to tell the universe what you want (and know yourself) before it can find you. But once you do - there's no stopping that positive energy. 

I have a friend who actually made a list. It worked for her; she found the guy of her dreams. Still, I'm not sure how I feel about this idea. I'll tell you why: had I made a list a couple of months ago, I probably wouldn't be where I am right now - which is a pretty good place. So, I guess while I get the positive energy thing, I'd caution against listing yourself right out of something that could be a good thing.

Are you looking to make 2011 your "year of love?" How will you do it? What will you change? Keep doing the same? 

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Where's the Benefit?

So, I have this friend....

No, really. She and her boyfriend broke up last year. They remained "friends" for a while, and although she said she was fine with that, I knew better. I've been there. Friends with benefits is a perfectly sound concept - as long as neither of you have feelings beyond friendship. They'd dated, even lived together, and she still had feelings for him - so I knew this was going to end badly.

It kept going - until he started seeing someone else. Then it got ugly. He's still dating the other woman - but calls my friend now and again - and she answers. When he's not around - she gets upset. She cries. Her heart breaks. Just the other day, she was hurt; crying because he said to her, "Leave me the f*** alone. Got it?" The next day, she tells me, "It's okay. He invited me over. Everything's okay again."

Okay?! Someone speaks to you that way and it's okay? Not in my book. Sure it's nice to have something familiar. It's hard to let go when you really love someone; no one wants to let go of hope. Once you let go and walk away, you're admitting that it's really over - and you're faced with moving forward on your own. It almost feels safer to just settle - even if it's only to avoid being scared.

At some point, you do have to ask yourself - where's the benefit to you? Sadness, anger and fear are not benefits. Letting someone make you cry, feel bad about yourself, or be someone you don't want to be is no way to live. The great thing about hope is that it's all yours. Once you admit that something won't work - you're free to hope for something better.

Eventually, you have to admit that you're better off hoping for something real, rather than just settling for something at all.

Have you been in this situation? What advice would you give my friend?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Real romance

A friend (and awesome blogger) posted last week about how it's funny that something that seems so difficult with one person can seem so easy with another.

I commented that at one point during my "Big" relationship, I wanted him to be my date at a large family party. We'd been together almost a year by then - asking that question should have been easy. But it wasn't. It was so difficult, in fact, that I waited until the last possible minute, and then slipped it in at the end of a date. After a year? Really? Should it have been that difficult?

My friends say no. That if something is right, it's easy from the beginning. I wonder if that's true?

It makes sense. If you can't be who you are - say what you think, ask a simple question - maybe you're not with the right person? Are we just too stubborn to realize that sometimes obstacles are in our way to keep us from traveling down the wrong road? Or are we so convinced that true love is more romantic if we have to fight for it?

Maybe the real romance is finally knowing who you are, and finding someone with whom you're not afraid to just be you.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What is pretty?

Per, the word pretty is defined in several ways. As an adjective, it means pleasing or attractive to the eye, as by delicacy or gracefulness: a pretty face.

It's all based on opinion, of course. What one person thinks is pretty (or attractive) won't appeal to another. That's important to remember when you're dating; it's so easy to let your self-esteem get dragged down because one person says you're not pretty.

So, we know that different things are appealing to different people; but can one person find different things appealing as well? What I mean is - could someone who finds a young, thin, blonde woman attractive also find an older, chubby brunette woman just as attractive?

If I were to answer this question myself, I'd say yes. My own taste varies; I'm much more attracted to a man's sense of humor, intelligence and personal style than I am to his looks. As a result, I don't necessarily have a physical "type." But I've been told it's different for men; that they are biologically prone to being attracted to a woman's looks.

So I'm asking; if a guy likes a certain type of woman, and I'm not that type, should I assume that I'm not (and could never be) attractive to him? Or is it possible that a guy's taste could also be varied?

Monday, January 3, 2011


Someone recently pointed out to me that one person can't be accountable for another person's happiness. That person thought maybe this blog was my way of holding responsible. It wasn't his fault that he didn't know how he was going to feel, or how I was going to feel. It's not his job to predict the future.

Very true. My happiness is on me - and not anyone else.

The truth is, we were dating. Big didn't owe me anything. He was taking things day by day, wanting to spend time with me, and when he realized I wanted more than he did, he ended things. That he did right - and I don't have any reason (or right, actually) to be upset.

Day by day implies nothing ever changed. But things did change - Big was trying to keep things moving, and he (intentionally or not) sent me a message that he wanted more. Was that a lie? Maybe not. But it was definitely ineffective communication.

If there's one thing I've learned from all of this, it's that when we get into relationships, we do owe the other person some honest, open communication. Big didn't communicate effectively with me; but you know what? I don't think I communicated well with him, either. I was so caught up in "letting things happen" and not controlling anything, I let that get in the way of me really figuring out what was going on. There were plenty of times when I had doubts about his feelings for me; times I was unsure, and wanted to say something. Perhaps if I had, it would have opened up some better communication earlier.

Some people might not like that idea - we all get caught up in the idea of blaming others for what happens to us. I like the idea that I am accountable for my own mistakes - and my own happiness.

It puts recovering that happy back in my control - right where it belongs.