I was sitting with a couple of smart women that I respect when the subject of dating came up, as it tends to do. “I read The Rules, and it changed my life,” one friend told me, in complete earnestness. “I swear by The Rules. They really work.”
I was taken aback, and for good reason. I’m a generation behind The Rules’ target demo. Twenty years ago, when this book was first published, I was in middle school, when “dating” meant writing about someone in your dream journal and holding hands. As my dating life developed, any mention of The Rules felt laughable, like an ancient relic from a never-seen “Sex And The City” episode, something the girls would discuss over cosmos at Buddakan.
“Aren’t they old-fashioned and sexist, and you know, stupid?” I asked. My other friend interjected. “Seriously, they’re great,” she said. “Trust me.” Keep reading »
It went as perfectly perfect as a breakup could go, I suppose.
Only a few days after my last Dater X post, when I told you all about my hopes of moving things forward with Andrew, he came over to my place to hang out and, without warning, dropped a bomb on me. As usual, we made small talk for a while, chatting about our weekend plans and jobs, and worked our way into my bedroom. Mid-makeout session, I reached down to unzip his jeans, when his hand grabbed mine and pushed it to the side— a suspicious move for not having seen each other in a week. He sat upright, looked me in the eye and said, “Before we do this, there are some things on my mind that I think we should talk about.”
In that moment, I was sure he was going to tell me he wanted us to be exclusive, and ask me if I felt the same way. Keep reading »
Dear Ernest Baker,
In your recent personal essay on Gawker titled “The Reality of Dating White Women When You Are Black,” you stated unequivocally that you are not a “sell out” because you are a Black man who chooses to seriously date only White women. As a 24-year-old Black woman with very similar life circumstances, I can assure you that after reading your piece — although you may not believe that you are a “sell-out” or that you are riddled by “self hate” —the man who wrote that piece is both. Keep reading »
The day I realized that Kyle and I weren’t going to get married was the day he told me how he’d always dreamed of honeymooning at Disneyland Paris.
My family was into nature. Most of our vacations were spent hiking through national parks. But Kyle’s family went to the same place every single year: Disney World. They stayed at the same hotel, ate at the same restaurants, and rode the same rides. These people were okay with paying a lot of money to be an audience year in and year out. I mean a lot of money: tickets, fast passes, souvenirs, overpriced food, hotel rooms. When they came back from Disney, all they could talk about was when they were going to go again. Did I mention the youngest member of their family was 25? Keep reading »
For the first time in a while, I feel like I’m entering into a relationship at a healthy, comfortable pace. Things with Andrew are exactly where they should be: we’re becoming more open with each other emotionally and physically, we’ve met each other’s friends (and I’ve even met some of his family members), we continue to learn more about each other every day, and, to put it simply, we’re both happy. Though our almost-two-month courtship hasn’t yet been defined and “the talk” still remains to be had, I’m trying to hold off on having that conversation until I’m 100 percent sure that a relationship with Andrew is what I want. I’ve been stuck in Exclusivity Limbo before and usually take the proactive approach to finding out where things stand by this point in the game, but I’m glad I haven’t done that yet. When a coworker of mine asked me last week if I’m ready to be exclusive with Andrew, I said yes without hesitation, and meant it. I’m happy with him and excited about where things are headed, but if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Since then, though, a friend’s efforts to hook me up with someone else have given me a case of the “what ifs,” and it’s got me questioning my situation with Andrew. Keep reading »
I’ve always been told that true love will find you when you’re least expecting it. I’ve always thought that was a load of bullshit. Like I’m supposed to believe that right after you, for example, decide to ease up on your hunt for a soulmate and embrace your single status, a guy who noticed you on OKCupid will pop up at your local bar, introduce himself and boom—a month and a half later you’ll be inseparable? HAHA, yeah right. Except, that’s what’s happened. Though the unexpected “love” hasn’t quite happened yet, it’s safe to say I’m very much in “like.” I’ve been seeing Andrew for awhile now, so I feel it’s only appropriate I give you all a status update on our “situation”; a State of the Union, if you will. Keep reading »
To say I was shocked when I saw my ex-boyfriend Don’s name pop up on my phone last month is an understatement. But since then, we’ve been casually chatting, exchanging text messages here and there and rekindling our friendship. As difficult as it was not having him around for a while, I can now sleep easy knowing that his heart is no longer shattering into cookie crumbles every time we speak.
Last week, I was so concerned when I found out about my new guy Andrew’s hot, dancer ex-girlfriend, that the potential threat of my own ex resurfacing hadn’t even dawned on me— at least not until Don called me and suggested a visit. Realistically, Don is the only one of my ex-boyfriends who could jeopardize one of my relationships. Patrick Bateman is married (and nuts), Officer Handsoming was bland, GQ ghosted me, and so on. So, obviously, just as I’m getting to know Andrew, Don would come back in the picture. Hesitantly, I asked Don if he was sure about getting together since he’s spent the better part of the last year trying to get over me.
“If I wasn’t ready to see you, I wouldn’t have suggested it,” he replied matter-of-factly, and that was that. I knew I wanted to see him, too. Keep reading »
My first experience with Tinder was on the patio of my favorite bar one night last summer, sitting with friend. “You have to try this app,” she told me. “You’re gonna love it.”
I was out of a relationship, not interested in dating, but needed some sort of nudge to get me back in the game, any game, lest I die alone in an apartment surrounded by empty cans of cat food and back issues of Us Weekly. Tinder seemed to be the trick, and at first, I was fascinated. Technology is truly a wonder. I had my pick of whatever Williamsburg had to offer — the good, the bad, the eye roll-y. What a world! Keep reading »
We live in a culture that values coupledom and biological families over anything else. This is especially true for women, who are seen as more relationship-oriented than men. We hold romantic relationships up as the ultimate end goal, the prize, the be-all and end-all. We tend to believe this regardless of whether a particular pairing is healthy or toxic, discounting the possibility that someone might actually be contented and fulfilled while single.
Being single and being in a relationship both have their pros and cons. I was chatting about this recently with a friend who recently lost her mom. She’s single and she said she felt particularly lonely grieving her mom’s death by herself. She wasn’t completely alone, of course; her friends and family were there for her. But she said she had wished she had a partner to lean on during the worst of her grief.
I just listened quietly when I heard this. I wanted to speak up, but I wasn’t sure it was the right time to say what I wanted to say. Personally, I believe that the good things in life — support, respect, happiness, joy — depend a lot more on having close friends and family, not the absence or presence of a partner. A partner is just one person; friends and family are a whole community.
My relationship is without a doubt the most supportive one I’ve ever had. I don’t keep anything from him, because I’m not afraid anything will scare him away. I feel loved and safe with him. But he’s just one person. He’s just human. I’m still a person who is vulnerable and imperfect. And a relationship is not bubble wrap. Keep reading »