In case you missed it, the guy and I split right after Thanksgiving. That means that the weeks leading up to my birthday and Christmas have been kind of lame. Actually, that’s not true. They weren’t half bad, just kind of meh emotionally. You could say I haven’t been brimming over with holiday spirit.
But still, I’ve been doing lots of yoga, reading depressing fiction, shopping impulsively for tights, watching cooking shows and spending time with friends. I went to a fancy spa and got a massage for my 34th birthday. And then I consumed massive amounts of Blue Point oysters and champy with my best friend. It was solid way to celebrate my birthday/ the world not ending. Everything was fine until someone close to me said: “You shouldn’t wait, you should just get back on OK Cupid right away.” Keep reading »
Every dealbreaker that any boyfriend I’ve ever had has shown itself by interacting with his family. The guy whose father had been cheating for years? Yeah, he cheated on me. The guy who seemed paranoid that I’d dislike his kids? He was super insecure. In retrospect, I should have heeded these warnings more. My therapist will give me three gold stars for saying this and it’s true: we all have been molded by our experiences with our families, for good or for ill. And that’s why most of us are crazy.
After the jump, six booby traps to look out for if you spend the holidays with his family: Keep reading »
After every breakup, I spend time — copious amounts of time, too much goddamn time – pouring over every detail, trying to figure out what I did wrong this time. I call this “taking personal responsibility.” My best friend calls it “spiraling.” Leaving yoga class this weekend, my voice trembling and defeated, I declared about my recent breakup: “It’s my fault. I pick the wrong men.”
This is when my best friend started laughing at me. Hysterically. “You’re spiraling,” she said. “I’m only going to say this once: You did nothing wrong. He wasn’t right for you, and you both acknowledged that as soon as you knew it. You did everything right. So, I refuse to listen to you if you’re going to blame yourself. You need to stop.”
She was right. I was being ridiculous. It’s no wonder my first instinct is to blame myself. The culture of single blaming and shaming is pervasive. I think the world tends to forget: being coupled is not an achievement. Not being coupled is not a failure. Being in a relationship, getting married, shacking up, call it whatever you want, is a life choice, born of opportunity. It’s two people being in the right place at the right time and wanting the same things. It’s an opportunity that’s seized. While a solid relationship can make you grow as a person, the mere fact that you’re coupled does not make you a better person.
Earlier that morning, a married friend of mine sent me a link to Tracy McMillian’s articles Why You’re Not Married and the charming follow up Why You’re Still Not Married. “Have you seen these? What do you think?” she asked. “They seem offensive.” Keep reading »
Breakups always suck, no matter what, for both dumper and dumpee, or even if it’s mutual. But there are certain kinds of breakups that suck worse than others. That’s just true, the same way that certain ways of dying suck worse than others, in your sleep versus slowly and painfully of cancer. God, this is getting really macabre really fast. I’m sorry.
You can probably tell by my tone (and the fact that I’m listening to The Smiths) that I’ve just gone through a breakup. As some of you know, I was trying to be Switzerland, which worked for a while, and then I couldn’t remain neutral any longer. Our breakup was mutual and amicable and about as pleasant as something so unpleasant could be. I’m grateful for that. But still, BLERGH.
Here’s the thought I’m left with at the end of this relationship (to quote a Broadway song because I love Broadway musicals and I don’t care if that’s embarrassing): “It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish.” Keep reading »
Breakups suck. Despite all the lessons and advice our parents teach us, nothing really prepares us to fall in love with someone and then have that person choose not to be with us anymore. With a broken heart and a shattered ego, our brain demands explanations.We crave resolution and closure. But we rarely get what we desire. One magical date and he didn’t call again, why? Two weeks of texting and flirting on Facebook and then nothing, why? One month spent dating a guy you were ambivalent about only to have him dump you, why?
Frankly, asking why is a colossal waste of time. Keep this word in your back pocket every time you are tempted to contemplate a dating scenario gone awry: Next. Next is your best friend when it comes to dating, hook-ups, friends with benefits, and all the rest. Keep reading »
Remember that hot guy in high school who dated every girl in his class, despite treating every one of them like crap? Why was this possible? Because women suffer from It Will Be Different With Me Syndrome. Sadly, it’s usually never different. Men aren’t rocket science. In fact, they are like The Weather Channel. You can predict fairly accurately what weather lay ahead, based on their past behavior.
The type of men that lie, cheat, or are guilty of general douchebaggery come with a track record. Other women warn you to stay away, his friends tell you about his sordid past, and yet, you’ll convince yourself that you and you alone are up to the challenge of taming him.
There are times when our hopes and beliefs contradict all available evidence and can actually hurt us. Simply wanting someone to be an awesome guy doesn’t make him an awesome guy. Just ask Katy Perry. Despite all evidence that John Mayer is one of Hollywood’s biggest love-em-and-leave-em type of guys, she’s convinced herself he’ll be different with her. I hope she likes her love life discussed intimately on Twitter, or on the pages of Playboy, because that’s what she has to look forward to. It won’t be different with Katy. Just ask Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, or Minka Kelly. Keep reading »
My relationship has hit a roadblock. This roadblock may be like a piece of highway shrapnel that we need to swerve around or it might be more like the Berlin Wall, which would take radical change to make fall. I don’t know yet. If it’s the latter, I’d better take up graffiti art. And I call West Berlin, obvs.
I don’t want to go into detail about the impasse my guy and I are at because it’s über-complicated (isn’t it always?) and because I’m a private person sometimes (despite being a blogger). And because I’m taking a radical approach to conflict resolution.
Last week I was out with one of my best friends. He’s been with his husband for 15 years now, so he knows a lot about this “making relationships last” stuff. I told him about the issues we were dealing with and expressed being torn over the future — not knowing whether to have hope and fight or stop trying altogether. He responded with the most genius bit of advice ever (and you know how much I dislike relationship advice): “Just be Switzerland,” he told me. Keep reading »
Last week, I got an email from someone who said he was referred to me by W*, a guy I went on a few dates with a couple of years ago. Backstory on W: on either our third or fourth date (I can’t remember), he invited me to his place to cook dinner for me. Not going to go into too much detail, but W was a shitbird from the moment I took off my coat. At one point, we got into a heated debate about our literary tastes and he threw a book of poetry at me (not violently, but still!) and told me to read something worth my while. I told him to go fuck himself (in more flowery language), put my coat back on and hightailed it out of there. The next day he sent me an email and admitted to being “stressed about something else” and “not at his best.” I replied with a “fair enough” and we never spoke again. In my mind, we were not on good terms. We were on “let’s never talk again” terms. Keep reading »
In the early stages of dating, decoding and deciphering signals can be the hardest part. What’s his normal behavior? What’s his I really like you behavior? What’s his I’m about to ghost you behavior? It’s all a bit murky when you’re not familiar with a person’s normal modus operandi. And it creates a perfect storm (no intentional reference to Frankenstorm, which is raging right now) for daters who love to overanalyze everything. I would know nothing about that.
Disclaimer before I go any further here: if the person you’re dating does something that doesn’t sit well with you on a gut level, don’t ignore that. For example, one time I was dating this guy who yelled at me and told I was embarrassing him when I gave him a kiss in front of his friends. A peck on the lips, no tongue, mind you. I was like, “Well, I understand that we all have different levels of comfort with PDA, but BYE.” That was a no-brainer. It wasn’t going to work. Keep reading »