I feel pretty good about my path toward a forever-partner. I dated a lot of guys, had numerous long- and longish-term relationships and a lot of premarital sex. I don’t believe that marriage is “the end” of your emotional or sexual growth as a woman, but I’m also glad I did everything I wanted to do as a single gal. That plan might not be right for everyone, but it was right for me. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and I have no regrets!
I knew that my husband was the right partner for me when we decided to get married. A particular joy of being newlyweds, though, is that I discover new reasons all the time. But there’s been another happy surprise, too. Settling into each other has also been hugely clarifying for me about men I’ve dated and even loved in the past. It’s almost like having a fresh pair of eyes to look at myself and mistakes I made. Truly, being with the right guy has taught me so many things in retrospect about the wrong ones.
Here are six bits of relationship wisdom that my married self would like to tell my single self (if she would able to read the Future Frisky and learn a few things):
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After a relationship ends, you prepare yourself for hard nights missing the other person. Your friends comfort you by telling you someone else out there is even better for you, and that happiness is just around the corner. But no one prepares you for the loss of the people who come with the breakup; the innocent bystanders left in the dust. What happens to them? Friendships end and family ties are severed, all with the understanding that it would make things easier. But does it?
Last night, my sister called to tell me that my ex-boyfriend’s mother passed away— a woman who I was very fond of and close to for the more than three years I dated her son, Pete.* Keep reading »
You’re on your way to your local watering hole one evening and you spot something familiar in the gait, the walk, the hand gestures of a person heading your way on the street. You realize with sudden, sinking dread that it’s your ex who you haven’t seen since the breakup. You grab your best friend’s elbow and hiss in her ear, “That’s him.” You stay in place, paralyzed and unable to move, until she grabs you by the back of the arm and steers you across the street. You think yourself invisible while you stand in between two parked cars, waiting for him to pass.
Later, when you get a text that says, “Did I just see you outside that bar?” you wait two hours and numerous drinks before texting back in all caps “NOPE.” Near the end of the night, as you sit on top of a bar stool with your best friend like imperious, drunk queens, you blatantly ignore him when he enters the bar to retrieve his forgotten credit card. Likely story. Even with his sudden ambush, you manage to avoid contact. At the end of the night you collapse into bed with a glass of water in hand, and think to yourself, Crisis averted!
But really, was it? Keep reading »
So, I’m in love. This isn’t exactly unique — so many others would say the same. Love is an overused word, it’s commonplace, expected even. But to me, it couldn’t be a more novel, beautiful, fascinating thing. For most of my life, I was fiercely independent and ambivalent about relationships. My focus was on platonic friendships and tangible milestones, like my education.
So, it’s strange to think that now, I call someone “my teammate.” My boyfriend has become my refuge from the craziness of everyday life and encourages me every day to be the best I can be. He’s never too busy to make me laugh or to remind me to cut myself some slack. He tells me ridiculous stories of faraway places we’ve never been, wears the most adorable sweaters in the world, and confides in me candidly. He has taught me so much about myself and what I’m capable of.
The crazy thing is that he and I almost never happened. What we have now was one wayward text message and an ounce of pride away from never happening.In some alternate reality, there is another me, who didn’t give him a second chance. What is this other me doing? What kind of things has she missed out on? Keep reading »
As I stood in the small studio on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, attempting a sexy pout for the camera, I felt my fears and inhibitions melting away. Posing for boudoir photos was the most fun I’d had in months. The real me, who I’d been stifling for reasons I hadn’t even begun to understand, had started to find her way back to the surface. Any thoughts that I wasn’t cute enough for this, wasn’t confident enough for this, wasn’t anything enough for this, began to fade away. I guess I’d thought that photo shoots like this were for other people, not me. Turns out that was the biggest lie I’d ever told myself. I wasn’t about to waste any more time feeling inadequate or not being incredibly proud of the person I was.
This experience, like so many bold decisions, started with an epic breakup. A big thing I realized when that relationship ended was that I had stopped trying new things or leaving my comfort zone. I was flat-out uninspired. I felt incredibly unsexy, and not necessarily in just a physical way. My spirit, at that point, was what could only be described as gray and lumpy. My trademark giddy energy was gone because I couldn’t remember the last time I’d learned something new or exciting. I’d forgotten how many adventures life had to offer. Keep reading »
Anyone who’s ever had their heart broken can tell you that shit hurts way more deeply and intensely than a stubbed toe or sprained ankle. This video by AsapScience explains the various scientific factors (Brain activity! Evolution!) that come together to create the very real pain of heartbreak. Fascinating stuff. Next I’m looking forward to science proving that a pint of Ben & Jerry’s is the one true cure, because based on my extensive field work, it totally is. [YouTube via Laughing Squid]