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 »
The other day, I made a list of every guy I’ve ever dated seriously, dated a couple times, dated until I got the “Oh no, there’s been an emergency and I must leave immediately!” phone call, or made out with and never actually dated at all.
To put it simply, the list was rather lengthy. Like, extremely lengthy. In doing this, I realized that every single one of these guys had some kind of dealbreaker. Obviously, because I’m still single. There was the guy who wanted to get married after the first date. There was the guy who gave me mono and literally ran away from me when I tried to talk to him about it, which was pretty rude considering I had mono and couldn’t really run after him. The list goes on. I could write about these dealbreakers forever, and I probably will because a lot of them are hilarious. But there’s a problem.
It occurred to me that while I’ve often been the one to do the breaking up/ignoring until they get the hint and go away, it hasn’t always been my call. Could it be that — gasp! — I’m not perfect either? As much crap as I give the guys I’ve dated, I’m just as guilty of being a weirdo as they are. What if, on some website in some alternate universe where guys write publicly about their feelings, one of the guys on my really long list wrote about the dealbreakers he discovered when it came to dating me? Here are some ideas for him, so he doesn’t have to work too hard to finish his blog post: Keep reading »
Remember that episode of “Sex and the City” where Carrie got a big advance for her book while her boyfriend, Jack Berger, watched his flounder? He was so jealous of her success! And he didn’t want to be that guy! As much as “SATC” got basically every single thing about relationships wrong, they still managed to kind of nail this one. Sometimes you are dating that guy, and you are that woman. Your career is on the up and up, while he’s either stuck in a job with no mobility, or straight up unemployed.
We live in a time when women are increasingly likely to be the sole breadwinners in their families and, in some career paths, we even get paid as much or more than our male colleagues. Which is awesome. It’s exactly what we wanted.
But it can also cause tension in relationships because, to be honest, we haven’t really collectively agreed on how to deal with the shift; women have been conditioned to behave as if men have more money, more career ambition, and more promise, even as statistics prove that is less and less likely to be the case. Below are some tips for how to deal when you’re blowing up, but the person you’re dating isn’t. Keep reading »
I started out my college dating career the way most girls do: with a boyfriend back home that I tried to breakup with before I left, but couldn’t quite go through with it. When I said goodbye to Danny* at the airport, he pushed a fishnet-gloved palm up against the glass (this was in the days when you could still walk people to the gate) and sobbed as I boarded a plane to NYC. I wasn’t crying, at least, not until I got to my dorm and realized that I was going to be crazy lonely. I called Danny and tried to sell him on keeping things going long distance. He agreed. It wasn’t until I met my (still to this day) best friend on the front steps of my dorm later that week and she also had a boyfriend back home she was trying to give the slip (also named Danny), that we mutually worked up the courage to dump our Dannys.
A free woman, my college dating career devolved into a series of mistakes wherein I consistently said YES to the wrong guys and NO to the right ones. I could roll the list out before you like double ply toilet paper: the guy with the infected tongue ring, the prematurely balding guy who invited me over to his dorm room to watch a James Bond movie (translation: try to get me to blow him), the guy in the wheelchair (who was really amazing until he left me for a girl who ended up moving in across the hall from me), the much older alcoholic who worked at a nightclub, the guy who told me I was “maladroit” when I fell off the hammock on his dorm balcony and then gave me a copy of Nietzsche’s Beyond Good and Evil to read if we were “ever going to get along,” the guy who left me for a porn star while I was studying abroad, the boyfriend who told me he was going on a road trip to New Mexico and then I never heard from him again. Keep reading »
When meeting people in real life became too much work, we went online to date. When online dating becomes tedious (and it pretty much already has), what’s next? We date through apps, obviously. After all, why spend hours combing through various online profiles, when you can just tap a button on your phone? If you haven’t heard of Grouper or Tinder or Coffee Meets Bagel, then… you’re clearly in a happy relationship.
Pshh. I’ll explain: Grouper is like a group blind date; you fill out a short questionnaire and it sets you and two friends up with three guy friends who are revealed at a given location. Other apps like Tinder show you pictures of potential matches that you can choose to like or pass, and mutual “likes” become grounds for further contact. And while there are positives to such dating formats, like maximizing potential suitors with minimal effort and taking screen shots and sending them to your friends for giggles, in the end, they’re all just as bad, or even worse, than putting in your time on OKCupid. Let’s flesh out all the things that can go wrong with these apps, shall we? Keep reading »