Say you’re in a new relationship, and things are going well. There are dinners, there is coffee in bed when you want it, there is sparkling conversation and wit and banter, there are all-consuming exchanges of emotion that leave you revitalized and ready to seize the rest of your lives together. You’ve reached a state of happiness that leaves other relationships in the dark. Finally! A thing that works for me, the way I want it, the way I need it. What have I done to deserve this giant treasure from the universe?
Then, the change comes, like it does in all new relationships. Sun-soaked afternoons in bed are slowly replaced by tense mornings in which every conversation is a power struggle. What was once light and sunshine and butterfly kisses is now a relationship fraught with calculated moves to gain the upper hand. What happened here? How did something that seemed so easy become so complicated? Continue reading
Here’s what’s easy:
Sitting in your apartment, doing things that you like to do, justifying this behavior by saying that because it is what you want to do, it is absolutely correct. Rejecting new experiences because they could fail, because you could embarrass yourself or fall on your face or loose a tooth or a shred of dignity. Staying in a rut because it’s comfortable, it feels right, and it’s easier than putting on that pair of pants or wearing those new shoes or doing anything other than the path you picked out for yourself as the only way for you.
Dating is not fun. It’s not easy. If someone came up to me and told me in earnest that scrolling thru the depths of OKCupid is a fulfilling and mentally engaging activity, I’d gather my things and back away slowly. It feels like work because it is work. Scrolling through matches taps into the muscle memory of the aimless looking for shoes on Zappos or searching your work email for that thing you got last week that you just can’t find. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Click? Scroll. Repeat ad nauseam until you find something that you think might work, with some jiggering, a little tailoring, a tiny nip and tuck. Add to your cart, finish your wine, close your laptop, go to sleep. Continue reading
The rush that comes from infatuation is a drug as powerful and all-consuming as the sadness and white hot rage that follows a breakup. It is in these two extreme states that your desire to consume all you can about a person is at its highest. Through the sorcery of the internet, it’s all at your fingertips. The notion of personal privacy is being constantly redefined, and dating and breaking up in 2013 is unique because of the alarming amount of information that exists on social media. Tearfully scrolling through your ex’s Instagram feed is innocent research, as is giddily plumbing the depths of your crush’s Twitter timeline. Knowledge is power, but use it wisely. Like everything, there are rules. Here are a few to live by.
There comes a time in every new thing when it feels necessary to define what’s going on between the two of you. You need to have “the talk.” Say things have been going well, feelings are mutual and developing rapidly. You know that you should talk about this, but the time never seems quite right! Maybe you don’t even have to talk about it, because clearly you two are on the same page. You are linked by pure love and mutual understanding and shimmering light between your heart chakras and one day, you’ll just wake up and know deep down this is your lobster. Who needs to talk when it all feels so right? Keep reading »
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. Continue reading