“I’m an empty essay, fill me out!” the words beckoned under the Self Summary section of my brand new, totally blank OkCupid profile.
Armed with a Diet Coke and a new resolve, I was actually signing up for online dating, something I hadn’t done in three years. And not because I was in a relationship during that time, but because for the most part I wasn’t dating, first by default and later having decided to take a deliberate break.
After a long dating hiatus, when January rolled around this year I finally felt like I was ready to dive back into the dating pool. My first thought when contemplating dating was, God, please don’t make me online date again! because in the past I’d tried JDate, eHarmony, Chemistry, Match, and Nerve, all to great disappointment and sometimes even despair. My experience with online dating thus far had been that the guys I liked didn’t like me back, and the guys who did like me made me want to flee the state and join the Dating Protection Program. Keep reading »
After years of unsuccessful attempts at dating, you’ve finally isolated your problem: unavailable men. If only you could find a guy who wasn’t a total commitmentphobe, you’d be in the relationship you’ve always desired. So the solution then, is simple: stop dating unavailable men.
Or maybe it’s not that easy. Perhaps you’ve heard the theory tossed around that if you’re attracted to unavailable people, that’s a sign that you’re unavailable, too. But surely this can’t apply to you. After all, you want to be a relationship. You’re not the one who’s afraid of making more than one plan a week with your significant other or declaring your relationship status via Facebook—it’s the guys you date who can’t even commit to texting with consistency. Keep reading »
Some people are good at relationships. They meet potential partners with effortless ease wherever they go—on the subway, in the elevator at work, on line at the grocery store. They strike up conversations with men in bars, get fixed up by friends, and actually enjoy (ugh!) online dating. The people they encounter are emotionally available and commitment-ready, and they sail smoothly into monogamous relationships as if on command.
And then there are those who are more relationship challenged. Mystified by how to transform a Match.com profile into a boyfriend or how to meet a guy who’s not a total commitmentphobe. You probably feel like you’re trapped in an ’80s movie, forever destined to be on the outside, looking longingly in at all the couples with their hands resting in the back pocket of each other’s acid-washed jeans. How do they do it? you wonder, as you force yourself to “put yourself out there” yet again, gritting your teeth through another brutal bout of online dating.
If the relationship you so desperately desire keeps remaining just out of reach, there may be internal blocks to intimacy standing in your way. Rather than muscling through an endless barrage of bad dates and painful, short-lived relationships, take a time out to identify any deep-seated beliefs and counter-productive patterns that could be holding you back. Click through for barriers that might be sabotaging your relationship efforts—and how to kiss them goodbye.
Jennifer Garam is a Brooklyn-based blogger, freelance writer, and teacher who writes the blogs One Writeous Chick and NotSoZen YogaJen. You can follow her on Twitter at @writeouschick.
Last week I was racing across the street in flip flops when, before I could stop it, my left foot landed on a pulverized rat. This was upsetting. Standing on the curb taking deep breaths, I decided to turn around and take a second look. Maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was.
Closer inspection revealed that I did indeed just step in rat guts with nothing more than a thin flip-flopped sole between me and them. Trying to stifle my gag reflex, I peered down at what had once been a rat but was now just a flattened layer of mush pressed into the concrete, a tail and one foot the only discernible features that remained.
Walking away, I tried to convince myself that this was not a big deal. Maybe I’d actually only grazed a sliver of the rat, or missed it entirely. A few blocks later I gathered the courage to look at the bottom of my shoe. There was black gunk on the upper left corner, and some reaching up along the left side of my shoe, centimeters from my bare pinky toe. Keep reading »
“You’re really mean to yourself,” my friend said after I’d finished listing all the ways I’d messed up a date with a guy I really liked. What did I do that I found so unacceptable? Here’s the list:
1. I didn’t offer to pay. I always offer to pay, but then I feel resentful because I don’t really want to pay and I want the guy to decline my offer, so I was just trying to experiment with letting myself feel treated. But now he probably thinks I’m using him and just in it for a free meal!
2.I botched the kiss goodnight moment. He went in for the kiss and I kissed him on the cheek, then gushed about what a great time I had to overcompensate for the missed kiss, then jumped out of his car. Because I wanted to kiss him, but I also wanted to take it slow, but I was nervous, and could I have been more horribly awkward?!
3. I talked about an ex. Absolutely unforgivable!!! Why, why, why did I do this??? Keep reading »
When you finally meet someone you connect with, that first date feels like magic. The conversation flows smoothly, the chemistry is electric, and you wish that the night would never end. Which is why you’re so surprised when on the second date, you feel like you’re out with a totally different person. Between all the awkward pauses, you’re wondering what you saw in this guy. Or maybe he’s just as magical as last time, but it’s you that’s off this time. Even though you can usually hold up your end of a sparkling conversation with a brick wall, your mind is suddenly blank and you have nothing to say. Reaching for something, anything, you offer, “The fish tank behind the bar is so … watery!” wishing you could jump into it and swim far, far away.
You’ve just hit the second date slump. First dates may be nerve-racking, but they’re a piece of cake compared to what comes after. On a date number one, it’s all about first impressions and putting your best foot forward. Since you don’t know this person and aren’t emotionally invested yet, there’s very little at stake. It’s easy to be light and breezy when you’re talking about standard getting-to-know-you topics. Any commonalities feel like they signify relationship potential and are a cause for celebration. First dates are also about romance—a nice dinner at the perfect restaurant, a moonlit stroll around the block, that first kiss—and everything feels exciting and new. Keep reading »
“This isn’t working for me anymore,” he says abruptly one night on the phone, and you’re stunned. Everything had been going great. You’d even been thinking about places to go on a summer vacation together, but unfortunately, he had other plans. And you did not see this coming.
Breakups are hard enough when you know things aren’t working out and sense that the end is looming, but they’re even more painful when you’re totally caught by surprise. What relationship was I in? you wonder, since it was obviously so different from the one your boyfriend was in. Questioning whether you were completely out of touch with reality, you search for red flags you may have missed, look for everything you could have done wrong, and long for answers. Keep reading »
Just as Zooey Deschanel has her own theme song on “The New Girl”—Who’s that girl? It’s Jess!—I, too, could have my own catchy tune that begins, It’s The Jen Show! I’ve earned this ditty because when I like a guy, I feel compelled to play a character instead of just being myself. Sure, sometimes I truly am that bubbly scene-stealer, the captivating star of the show. But I’m also depressed, anxious, cranky, lethargic and obsessive — imperfect — and there’s no way I’m going to let a potential love interest catch a glimpse behind the blackout curtains I hang to guard my flaws. To keep the less than perfect parts of myself unseen, I create a diversion by compulsively launching into an Emmy-worthy performance. This accomplishes two things: It allows me to control the image of myself that I want to present and it prevents anyone from ever getting close to the real me. Keep reading »
It all started a few years ago with an ex and one innocent Google search. In a moment of missing Jeremy*, a guy I’d dated a couple of years earlier, I typed his name and pressed “Enter,” thinking, What could it hurt? It did hurt though when the results returned an article about him and his new girlfriend, whom, I read, he now lived with.
Despite how painful this news was, after that initial Google I became addicted to looking him up online. My cocktail of choice was one parts Googling, two parts his blog, and three parts Twitter. With these sources mixed together, I could feel like I was somehow still connected to him. I was hooked, and I’d go through periods of reading his Twitter several times a day, every day. Keep reading »
You give good text and are proud of it. Often finding yourself heavy texting with a crush or brand new love interest, you delight in the back-and-forth repartee, the dings announcing his new message, the way that crafting witty responses keeps your brain sharp and you on your toes. When you talk to your friends, they complain that the men they’re dating text too much. “It’s not even real communication!” they exclaim. “Why don’t they ever just pick up the f**king phone and call?!” But not you. You’re happy to stick to texts for as long as possible. Far from being daunted by a guy who never picks up the phone, you’ll dodge his calls and let him go straight to voicemail so you can text him back.
If this sounds like you, you could be flirting with disaster. While it’s fun, and even sometimes downright dirty to be a master texter, it could put you at risk for these dating pitfalls, especially early on in a relationship. So let your fingers do the talking if you must, but proceed with caution. Keep reading »