I was less than enthused about the last person I dated, but could not put my finger on why. He was nice, smart, attractive, and I had enough fun with him, but something wasn’t right. At first, I chalked my indifference up to a personal tendency towards being overly critical. I had shoved off the detritus of my last long-term relationship, and was feeling open to new things and experiences. Dating him felt like something I should be doing — or at least trying — so I did. My enthusiasm never peaked though. It merely flatlined at a “I guess this is good enough” level for six months. It was only after we broke up that I was able to identify what was really going on: I was in a panic relationship.
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“As women glide from their twenties to thirties, Shazzer argues, the balance of power subtly shifts. Even the most outrageous minxes lose their nerve, wrestling with the first twinges of existential angst: fears of dying alone and being found three weeks later half-eaten by an Alsatian.” – Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding
Right now, I am single by choice. I am focusing on other things besides dating — my career, my health, learning how to get through life without the support of a partner. I am settling into the idea of living alone after exiting a string of long-term relationships and one short-term situation that ended because I found myself with someone out of the panicky fear that unless I made this relationship work, I would die alone. We live in a time where great anxiety builds over which toppings to choose for your chopped salad. The glut of choice, which seems like it surrounds every decision, is amplified when applied to relationships. Right now, being alone feels like the simplest/hardest choice I can make. Keep reading »
Are you caught up in a new relationship? Has your humdrum existence been enlivened by late weeknights laying in bed and giggling, or gazing into the eyes of a magical creature? Do you find yourself stunned by the creature’s beauty, dazed by the fact that you’ve found just the right person? Do you spend Sunday mornings making coffee for two, arranging artful piles of the paper on your coffee table and reading with your head on your beloved’s lap and your feet in a sunbeam? Have you forgotten what your friends look like? Congratulations, you’re on Relationship Island! Keep reading »
“It’s not you, it’s me.” How many times have you heard that? How many times have you comforted a heartbroken friend by telling them that there’s nothing wrong with them, they just happen to have picked a poor partner? How many times have you thought that for yourself?
Here’s a hard truth to learn: Sometimes it really is you. Keep reading »
Sometimes the worst thing about having a fight with the person you’re dating is not that you’re fighting, or even what you’re fighting about; it’s about not understanding each other’s fighting style. Because whenever we fight, we go into our lizard brain default mode and before we know it we’re on autopilot going off on how he’s going to overcook the rice again and now he’s doing that annoying sympathy seeking thing. Fine! I’ll never cook rice again! You’ll be the only one ever allowed to cook rice since you’re the expert at it. How’s that? And … we’re off!
Geez, how did you end up here when all you really wanted to tell him was that your grandma taught you a special rice cooking trick that he might like to try? No matter how naturally compatible you are when you’re getting along, chances are, especially in the early days of your love, you’ll have to work at being compatible in the fighting department. That’s the tricky part — identifying your S.O.’s fighting style and learning to hear what he’s really saying about the rice. Below, some common fighting styles and some tips for dealing with them. Keep reading »
When I went through my last breakup (before my current, very happy relationship) — I think I was on breakup #72 in my dating lifetime — I was like, game over. I’m not doing this anymore. Because at a certain point, after enough relationships bomb, you just don’t have the will to keep trying anymore. I know I didn’t. I was like Wile E. Coyote when he gets flattened by the Roadrunner, only without the motivation to get back up. It wasn’t that I was so heartbroken over this guy; it was that I was so heartbroken over constantly getting my heart broken. While I was peeling my soul off the asphalt (read: drinking lots of Malbec and doing lots of hot yoga) a friend said something helpful to me: Where there is driftwood. Keep reading »