“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 »