Lust vs. Love: Reality vs. Desire
I fell in love once but it wasn’t really love, it was lust + in love with an idea. I dated a guy who really was not the best. He treated me like crap and talked down to me sometimes while he was a sweetheart and was utterly adorable at other times. I built up the good traits and neglected the bad. I made him out to be a figment of my imagination to the point where he was more a crush from afar than a reality, yet I regularly slept with him. But in reality, that was all it was…sex. There was no real friendship or emotionality there, or at least not on his end and can any of that stuff exist as just one sided? I convinced myself I loved him and I still believe that I did but now, dating a really great guy who treats me like gold and whom I am falling for changes my opinion about what love really is.
I think love is more about the small things. It’s not so much the extreme attraction or connection as it is the little things they do to make you happy… like going to a concert of a band they hate because you like the music or bringing you flowers “just because.” It’s a level of comfort with the person much like friendship and where you aren’t nervous to go to them about anything. Whether you are talking about your darkest days, want someone to vent to, need advice, or just want to chat they are there and you know you can rely on them. Love isn’t just about how you feel but about how you are treated and how much of your kindness and affections are reciprocated. With the guy I’m dating now I would be there for him for anything, whether it’s to bail him out of a mess at 2am or to be a listening ear to his family problems and I take comfort in knowing he will do the same. Love is about reciprocity and mutual respect and kindness. It is a bond between to people not feeling on the end of one person.
With the guy I thought I’d loved in the past, none of these things existed. There was sexual chemistry and he was a cool guy so I built up the rest to justify my sleeping with him while not getting any of the emotional connection I desired. I was wanting what I couldn’t have and what he could not give me so badly that I convinced myself I loved him. I am not refuting my love for this person because the intense feelings were real but it is the person they were for who is not real. I took a man I was with and fabricated an alternate persona and emotionality to achieve the level of intimacy I desired. I was in love with a man who didn’t exist and put those feelings out there for a guy who wasn’t worthy of them. Thankfully fate intervened and things between us ended beyond my control which was exactly what I needed to snap out of my spell and back into the real world. I changed my life, I grew tremendously, evolved as a person, and met a great guy who is worth my time, energy, and love.
The Fear Spectrum
I live in a world of doubt, dread, and a fear of being alone. I was content with being alone before I met my current guy. I had my dog and my art. I had my jobs and my running. I was all set. Then this amazing man who is pretty much perfect came into my life and showed me what a great relationship can be like. He bought me flowers. He paid for dinners. He cuddles. The sex is great. He listens to me and is there for me. He knows my darkest secrets and supports me. Everything about him is just amazing. Yet, instead of reveling in happiness that I finally found Mr. Right, I lie awake at night in tears because I feel that the end is near. Some of this assuredly has to do with the fact that we are not “official” and so while we are technically in a relationship we still haven’t had the talk where we decide we can call each other boyfriend and girlfriend. Something about that talk would establish a security, a comfort that this is real, that there are feelings, and this is something that is here to stay. Without that determination of exclusivity and commitment I am left with a constant fear that this bliss will end and I will return to being alone.
When it comes to relationships fear runs on a spectrum from the small scale feelings of doubt to the utterly painful dread. In between lie a range of fears and concerns that grow increasingly more severe. While a few weeks ago I was at mild fear and doubt I’ve now reached full blown dread–the worst of the worst. I don’t have any reason to be upset, yet I am unhappy. Not sad because of what I don’t have or because of something tangible but rather because I am making assumptions, jumping to conclusions, and generating scenarios in my head that I have no factual basis for. I have visions of him slowly phasing himself out or having a talk with me in which he tells me it’s not working out and he doesn’t feel anything. Yet, he has done nothing to foster these suspicions. This is the danger of dread and doubt where absolute nothings can become pain and heartache.
I suppose I am more susceptible to the fear spectrum because all I’ve ever really known is heartbreak. Over the past year, one guy after another has hurt me and in the course of my lifetime I’ve virtually always been the dumpee. I think I try too hard or maybe want it too badly that a relationship never really works out. For whatever reason, things have never worked out for me and 26 is slowly starting to feel like 36 and I wonder if I will ever find anyone who will stick around for the long haul. It is so hard for me to be happy when all I’ve ever known is pain and I spend my days worrying about what could happen instead of enjoying what is happening. Why this happens is a bizarre conundrum and I’m not sure of the rationale behind dread and doubt other than the influence of past experiences, the natural human fear of loneliness and need for companionship, and the socially constructed concept of “if things are too good to be true they probably are.”
Normally I am seen as the wise person who knows so much about relationships, who others come to for advice, and who can write about dating and relationships endlessly but this is a matter I struggle to understand and handle. Sure, you can focus your mind on other things like work, hobbies, and friends. You can tell yourself you only know the pure facts and not to make any assumptions. You can catch yourself in a racing thought and find a distraction or compel yourself to stop but these are all tools that are hard to physically grasp and utilize. These tactics are easier said than done and when in the throws of dread it is near impossible to talk yourself down and regain a grip on reality. If anyone has any advice or stories of their own dread, doubt, or fear of loneliness I would love to hear them so please feel free to share. I’m sure there are many people out there in the same boat also looking for advice who could use a wise word.
“You Think Fear of Being Alone is Bad…Let Me Tell You About Dread”
A while back I was having lunch with one of my besties and was grumbling about how much I hated being alone. My mother is a 50-something divorce with only one friend, no male prospects, and is utterly miserable. She has a cat and lives with my grandpa taking care of him while his health is failing. I at the time lived with a deep rooted fear that a similar fate was in store for me and worried daily about being in my 50’s with nothing but a few dogs, a basement full of crap, and no one loving me in my life. Obviously at 25 this was irrational but we all can’t help but worry from time to time that we won’t meet that special someone–that Mr. Right will never sail along and we will be trapped flailing in the sea with a bunch of douchebags who won’t throw us a life jacket. I was telling my friend about my horrible fear of dying alone when she interjected with something she felt was much worse–dread. “You think the fear of being alone is bad…let me tell you about a little something called dread.”
This friend had been in a relationship for over a year and was experiencing somewhat of an opposite tribulation as myself. She lived with her boyfriend and had grown to make him an integral part of her existence. So, she didn’t just live with a fear of winding up alone but rather had a sense of dread for the day it all ends and her life falls apart. I didn’t understand this concept as I had never been in a serious enough relationship to grasp her worries. She had a guy who loved her very much, whom she shared and apartment with, and her life seemed close to perfect. Now, several months later as I am becoming more deeply involved with the guy I’m dating I’m beginning to understand this dread.
I don’t spend my days worrying and am happy in my relationship status for the first since I don’t even know when. Yet, from time to time I do get that sense of dread that at some point all of this happiness will end, my guy will move on to someone better, get tired of me, or for whatever reason end things and I worry about how I will handle it. My support system is strong enough to endure it but the deeper the relationship develops, the more my life becomes enmeshed with his. I hang out with my friends less and less so I can spend time with him because I love being with him and it just feels so comfortable and right but what happens when he ends it? Who knows if it in fact will end but there is that sense of dread that wafts in from time to time and makes me a little uneasy.
I suppose it’s rationale to be a conscientious person who is prepared for the worst but at the same time shouldn’t we enjoy our happy moments and let optimism prevail? Shouldn’t I be happy while I can and worry about worrying later if necessary? Unfortunately, dread is a reality and all people in relationships feel it from time to time whether they care to admit it or not. Dread isn’t entirely bad though. Being prepared for the worst can be a good thing if we use it to make sure we maintain strong relations with our friends, continue our hobbies and pleasurable activities, and make we sure we don’t take our relationship for granted. Dread can go both ways with it sinking in and destroying a relationship or forcing us to not become totally immersed in coupledom that we lose ourselves thus saving us from heartache. We cannot help dread from happening but we can help how we deal with it. Remember that it is only part of being human to fear an end to happiness and use it to your advantage to make all the relationships in your life and your sense of reality stronger and try not to get to obsessed with the future so that you can enjoy the amazing present.
I would love to hear people thoughts on dread and experiences with it, please feel free to share below.
Fear of Happiness…Why Be Afraid of What We Crave Most?
I recently wrote about my finally finding happiness in a great guy. I’ve talked in the past about my friend who dates the most romantic guy who “makes love” to her while listening to Sade. We spend out lives searching for Mr. Right or at least a guy who makes us happy and completes us when we didn’t even know that we weren’t whole. Well, what happens when we do find that special someone? Do we just suddenly accept happiness and spend our days smiling about our great lives and ruminating over how it could possibly get any better than it already is? Chances are sadly, no. We tend to want what we can’t have and when we get what we want we fear losing it. So, when we finally meet the right guy rather than living in a love struck bliss we wallow and weep over the dread of losing this new found happiness because now that we know what love and contentment feels like we can’t live without it.
Finding great love is like a high, a rush. You become tingly all over and shiver excitedly when you think about your partner’s embrace. Yet, just like with a drug you experience withdrawals in absence and crave more and more to get that same great feeling. Love is a great thing and you’re lucky to find it, don’t get me wrong, it just can take over your life without you even realizing it. You slowly spend more time with him than you do you friends. You spend your days thinking about being with him and you just can’t get enough of him. You start to be reminded of him by songs and think of him when in a store and you see something he would like. Before you know it, he is so ingrained in your existence that if he were to leave you would be devastated. This is why it is critical to take things slow in the beginning, keep seeing your friends and make “girls night” just as important if not more so than “date night.” This is easier said than done when love strikes but it’s imperative if you want to have your cake and eat it too. At least if you maintain friendships, hobbies, etc then if you do break up or the relationship doesn’t ever materialize you will not be left as wounded and weak as if you through yourself in wholeheartedly.
I wrote the other day in my Chivalry is Not Dead article that I’d finally found a nice guy and that alas all hope is not lost in finding a quality man. Well, with the excitement of meeting this great catch comes the nerves from fear of losing him. We are still in dating infancy and aren’t even official yet but after 6 fun-filled weeks and a vacation together I am hoping to soon enough refer to him as my boyfriend. However, amidst the contentment and excitement of my new found happiness is a pit of nerves and the fear of going back to a normal single life. I of course will survive just fine single as I have for years and have great friends and some important hobbies I maintain like painting but that does not mean it will be easy to give up this daily smiling and this high I get being around him. Of course this potential ending is all an unfounded fear and he has given me no reason to doubt his attraction to me or happiness with me. So, why do I do it? Why torture myself with what ifs and thinking about a life that is less satisfying than the one I currently lead? Well, it’s simple–we have a need to be prepared for the worst. If we expect it, envision it, plan for it then if lightening strikes and we lose our Prince Charming or McDreamy we aren’t totally shocked or unprepared. It’s the same reason why it is best take things slow and why guys fear commitment (though they won’t admit it)–everyone fears getting hurt and so we put up walls and plan for disaster so the pain of heartbreak won’t hit us like a ton of bricks.
The real trick with tackling the fear of happiness is not letting it get in the way of enjoying your pleasurable moments. Don’t let your fears become reality by allowing for the self fulfilling prophecy to take effect. It’s rationale to be afraid of losing something great but it’s irrational to let that fear consume and drive you. Accept that everything works itself out and if it is meant to be then it will be. It may help to remember past relationships like when you swore he was the one and you were in love then he dumped you but now he’s got a drug problem, is married to a 40 year old stripper and has 4 kids and you think to yourself “thank God I dodged a bullet.” I hope that things work out with my new guy because he’s truly amazing and I didn’t even know a guy like this could exist but if it doesn’t I will accept that it wasn’t meant to be, paint a bunch of pictures, get drunk with some friends, and shed some tears while cuddling with my puppy and then move on. Life is too short to waste being unhappy and it’s certainly not wise to waste the happy times living in fear of the miserable ones. Enjoy the good moments as best you can and face the bad ones with a deep breath, careful thought, and a glass (or three) of wine.
The Fear of Lonliness
The fear of being alone is a very powerful thing. I am not sure how many people have this fear because it’s one of those things no one talks about but locks away inside to eat at them each day. I am an honest person, probably too forthcoming, which constantly gets me into messes that I’m not equipped to get myself out of. So, as part of being truthful, I am open about my fears of dying alone. My close friends who are aware of my anxiety think that I am crazy and claim that I’m 25 and beautiful and this is an irrational and unnecessary stress. Regardless, it plagues me everyday. Maybe it was because of how I grew up, with parents who hated each other and resented me. Perhaps the dissolution of my relationship with my father and 5+ year estrangement has affected me more than I care to admit. Possibly it is the fact that my mother is an emotionally disturbed woman who likely has undiagnosed BPD and 18 years of growing up with her did a number on my self-worth and ability to handle my emotions because in addition to being a very honest person, I am also a deeply sensitive girl.
For as long as I can remember I have been overly emotional. When my parents would have one of their frequent yet epic fights and we would have an all out brawl I would cry myself to sleep for hours and wake up to resume crying. Somehow as a child though, I had the fortitude to tough through it. Despite my parents being cruel to me and never really loving me, I managed to succeed. I graduated in the top of my class and got into a number of good schools. Every job I’ve ever had I’ve been promoted at and served as an asset to the organization. I also have always made friends easily and would consider myself a likable person. But somehow, my emotional response is still stuck in my childhood and when things get tough or something happens that I don’t like I overreact and cry. I have managed to do well for myself as an adult, being at the top of a large organization, owning a home, and having amazing friends but when it comes to dating and relationships, despite all my knowledge of how to play the game, I am my own worst enemy. I know what I am supposed to do but my emotionality takes over and I am far too impetuous.
I hate the early part of dating. The dinner, drinks, and getting to know each other. I like the actual relationship part. The cuddling on the couch watching a movie, the cooking meals for each other, and the deep friendship and companionship of it. So, I sometimes want to rush the beginning part to get to the good stuff and then things don’t work out. Now, as I get older my fear of dying alone grows stronger everyday. I’m not getting any younger or prettier, there will be less single age-appropriate men available as the years go by, and I worry that I will never find someone. It’s not so much like a ticking clock because I’m on the fence about ever having children but I just feel as though everyone is moving on with their lives and getting married and I’m still single. When I do manage to date someone though, I probably have an underlying desperation because of this fear which doesn’t really help the cause. When I get dumped or am dating someone and it doesn’t work out I don’t shrug it off like I should, I obsess over it. I wonder what I did, what is wrong with me that, and believe that it must be my fault. These thoughts evolve into assuming no one will ever love me. Then, the fact that I grew up with parents who didn’t really love me never helps the situation because it creeps into my mind and I am never able to forget that the two people in the world who are supposed to love you unconditionally never cared for me at all. And I can’t help but wonder, if the people who brought me into the world wish I weren’t here, how are the people who have no biological connection to me supposed to care or love me?
The fear of loneliness is one of the toughest anxieties to overcome because it would seem that the only way to overcome it would be to find someone to be with to combat the fear. Yet, this is hard to do when the fear is what stands in the way of you meeting someone and sustaining a relationship. What we have to understand about this dread is that just like everything else in life, we have very little control over it. Certainly in the present we have choices but in much of our current moments in which important decisions are to be made we are clouded by our own emotionality and make bad judgments. We all speak without thinking or get drunk and make an ass out of ourselves from time to time and messing up is part of being human as is picking ourselves back up when we fall.
What we have to understand is that the past is over and we can’t change it. We can apologize relentlessly. We can wallow in our misery and upset. We can regret, cry, and blame ourselves all we want but nothing in the world can change the fact that what is done is done. Doc Brown can’t take us back in the Delorean and HG Wells wrote science fiction, not science. All that we can do is accept what has happened, move on, and use the experience as a lesson. We can’t change the past but we can improve ourselves to ensure that the same mistake doesn’t happen in the future. We may be alone and unhappy about it but there is nothing we can do to salvage past relationships or take back things we have said and done that may have caused them to end.
What I try to do now is not focus so much on what I don’t have but rather appreciate what I do possess. Rather than be depressed about all my relationship failures, dating disasters, and epic drunken meltdowns, I will see them as lessons in life and hopefully someday as funny stories. This is of course easier said than done given my aforementioned sensitivity and dwelling behaviors but I have to believe that if I try hard enough, it will work. If I had the strength to get through my childhood and millions of people struggling with problems astronomically worse than mine get through their days and still manage to smile then I must have the strength to overcome this fear too. I don’t see it ever going away entirely and I think everyone is afraid of being alone on some level and it’s just part of being human to crave companionship. Yet, it is not normal to allow it to rule your life and keep you from happiness. While the fear of loneliness is powerful, human resiliency and hope will always be stronger. As long as we have those we can work through our fears and move on with our lives.
What Do You Call a Male Cougar?…A Creep?
Recently a female friend of mine who is nearly 26 has started seeing a 20 year old boy. And by 20 years old, I mean he was still 19 halfway through March. They are worlds apart, him having graduated high school two years after she was done with college, her having an established career while he works on campus and is in a fraternity. They can’t go to bars together since he is under age and he has to come to her place because he lives in the dorms and despite how much fun they have, she can’t help but feel that it’s a little weird or maybe even wrong. There is nothing illegal about it but the way our friends talk to her and joke about the relationship makes it seem as though there is something wrong. She stands behind her decision to hang out with him and swears he’s mature for his age, but where will this possibly go?
While eating brunch with a friend this weekend I told him about my female friend’s cougar ways. Next week she is spending the night at his house while his parents are away and he is on Easter break from school. My friend was hysterically laughing saying how ridiculous that sounds. Then he added, “you can say stuff like that as a chick but if I said that I was going to girl’s house because her parents were out of town and she was on Easter break, I would be the biggest creep.” And he’s right. Had he told me a story about a guy friend of his in this scenario I would make a disgusted face, rolled my eyes, and thought his friend was a total creep who should date closer to his age.
There are so many double standards where men can get away with things women can’t but cougarism is one where the female has the upper hand. Men who date young girls are creeps while women who date young guys are cougars. I’m not sure being called a cougar is all that flattering and the boys they prey on are called cubs…also not too flattering. Yet, this is all commical while when guys do the same exact thing it is deemed inappropriate, being an agist, and almost morally reprehensible. Patti Stranger of Millionaire Matchmaker talks about agists all the time and hates guys that do not date within their age range. Yet, where does she stand on women who date much younger than them? Is it wrong or is age really just a number?
This friend of mine really enjoys spending time with him and while it currently is just casual, she is open to actually dating him. But how will this work? He can’t go to bars, they are in dissimilar life places and their friend groups probably would not mesh. Yet, conversely, in a few years the age difference won’t matter at all. In fact, in a year it won’t matter much because he will be 21 and once he graduates school the disparity won’t even be noticeable. The real issue with cougar/cub relationships when the predator is under 30 is that the male is so young he might be incapable of committing to or maintaining a serious relationship. For this reason, young women tend to date older, making the 26 year old cougar a rare species. In fact, this even begs the question ‘is she technically a cougar?’ Is there a term for young women who date even younger guys?
I decided to scour the internet to gain a better understanding of what a cougar really is and if my friend even qualifies. I was both amused and appalled at what I found.
- An older woman who frequents clubs in order to score with a much younger man. The cougar can be anyone from an overly surgically altered wind tunnel victim, to an absolute sad and bloated old horn-meister, to a real hottie or milf. Cougars are gaining in popularity — particularly the true hotties — as young men find not only a sexual high, but many times a chick with her shit together.
- (see also hunt, prowl, corner, pounce). Noun. A 35+ year old female who is on the “hunt” for a much younger, energetic, willing-to-do-anything male. The cougar can frequently be seen in a padded bra, cleavage exposed, propped up against a swanky bar in San Francisco (or other cities)waiting, watching, calculating; gearing up to sink her claws into an innocent young and strapping buck who happens to cross her path. “Man is cougar’s number one prey”
- An attractive woman in her 30’s or 40’s who is on the hunt once again. She may be found in the usual hunting grounds: nightclubs, bars, beaches, etc. She will not play the usual B.S. games that women in their early twenties participate in. End state, she will be going for the kill, just like you. Associated with milfs.
- A woman in her sexual prime who prefers to hunt rather than be hunted. A cougar’s victims are usually under 25, as cougars prefer to mate with men who still have hair. Cougars generally feed and then continue hunting, as they enjoy role reversal.
- A Cougar is a female, usually between thirty and fifty years-old, who enjoys the sexual company of younger men.Cougars are only usually interested in men under the age of twenty-five. Also, Cougars are non-committal, choosing to move from mate to mate without ever settling down. It is not uncommon for the same Cougar to attack (sleep with) many different men in the same group of friends. Furthermore, Cougars are older and more practiced in the ways of snaring a mate so they will rarely broadcast their intentions to sleep with you until you are already in her Jetta, headed for the condo she just bought. It is this elusive behavior that earns her the name “Cougar.”
So it seems as though according to some definitions she is a cougar while in other definitions she does not qualify. In my research I came across another interesting term all together…the rhino, which is essentially a male cougar. Here is Urban Dictionary’s definition:
- An older man on the prowl for a younger woman and by definition, the gender opposite of the cougar. The rhino derives his name from his appearance because the specimen is more often than not both horny AND ugly. The rhino is usually found in warmer locales and can be spotted wearing either a flowered or pastel shirt (with 3 buttons opened to expose a mature mane of chest hair) tucked into khaki shorts and sporting boat shoes. Also look for horrendous dance moves, a white man’s overbite, male pattern baldness and a penchant for picking up the bar tab.
I’m not so sure that a male cougar needs a moniker since most men tend to date younger women and very few are interested in someone much older except in the rare instance of the cub or a guy eying a MILF. Since most women prefer to date older this dating pattern tends to work out and I would say that the typical male is a rhino and the atypical male is a cub. I am curious as to what my reader think of this scenario as well as cougars, cubs, and rhinos in general. Does anyone have any stories they would like to share? I would love to hear opinions on this so don’t be shy!
In Love With the Idea: A Dangerous Delusion
“Don’t be angry, don’t be sad, and don’t sit cryin’ over good times you’ve had. There’s a girl right next to you, and she’s just waitin’ for something to do.
And there’s a rose in the fisted glove and the eagle flies with the dove, and if you can’t be with the one you love, honey, love the one you’re with, love the one you’re with, love the one you’re with, love the one you’re with.”
I’ve been in the dating field for about a decade now and during that time I learned quite a bit about all the mistakes one can make when casually dating someone or seeing someone with the intent and hope of taking things to a more committed level. One concept that repeatedly comes up in my life and my friends’ lives is falling in love with the idea of someone while believing you actually love that person.
When we newly start dating someone whom we are excited to be with, it is easy to day dream and fantasize about the near future together. Visions of pillow talk and fun outings dance through our heads and we become almost mesmerized by or infatuated with that person. This obviously does not happen with everyone we date but there are certain people whom we maybe are strongly attracted to or feel a real chemistry with whom we hope will want a real relationship with us. While it is fun to think about the possibilities of a future together or concoct potential conversations with him/her (such as the first “I love you”), it can become difficult to draw the line between your mental world and the real one. Over time you may feel that you are falling or have fallen in love with someone but that is not really the case. You instead, have merely fallen in love with an idea…and this is a dangerous happening.
I personally have done this once and it really messes with your mind. I was dating a guy very briefly but it ended up transforming into a casual, infrequent hook-up scenario. We essentially were friends with benefits however, we really only hung out to partake in said benefits. After about 6 months I realized that I had real feelings for him and that I didn’t want things to be just casual but I was willing to compromise because what were doing was as much commitment as he was interested in. It took being at a bar with him and some mutual friends and witnessing him trying to pick up another girl to realize the depth of my feelings and how foolish I had been.
For months we had been sleeping together and despite the clear understanding that this wasn’t going to go anywhere, I read into many of his behaviors and actions as suggesting the contrary. I would often think about the day he would admit he had feelings for me or we would become an actual couple. While all along I was fully aware that we were not dating, I certainly wanted to be. I convinced myself that he was this great guy and was perfect for me. Somewhere during those seven or eight months I lost sight of the line between who he was and who I wanted him to be. At some point I had fallen in love with the idea of him that I’d created but believed that I was actually in love with the real him and for a few months deluded myself into having feelings for him. Sure there were some signs that he was interested but I read into things to much and made them out to be more then they were–making him more than he was.
Sometimes we get an idea of someone in our minds of who or how we want someone to be and if we are with them long enough we convince ourselves that we are with that ideal person and we ignore signs of the contrary. We have delusions of grandeur either as subconscious justification of our staying with that person or perhaps just because we haven’t found the person who is our perfect guy or gal so we make the one we are with that special someone. It’s like that song says, “If you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with.”
I had always thought that I was alone in my particular relationship woes however, more recently I have come to realize that many of my friends as well as other women out there have had similar experiences. In fact, this concept of “falling in love with the idea” was actually coined by a close friend while she was describing an old flame. She too had been hooking up with a guy and allowed herself to fall hard only, she was not actually in love with him she was mistakenly in love with the concept of him she had engendered in her mind. Eventually we do realize the truth, whether it is pointed out to us or we snap out of it like some sort of trance. Yet realizing that you are in love with someone who doesn’t love you and that this person you thought you wanted to be with was not at all who you thought he was can be devastating. In the end, it is our own fault and we cannot really blame those individuals for not measuring up to our ideals; however, that does not make it hurt any less.
I will never forget that night in my example driving home with a friend balling my eyes out (wasted no doubt) saying how I was in love with him and he didn’t love me back and how much it hurt. This friend turned to me and said, “What do you love about him…really?” In that moment I could not even justify my feelings because aside from great sex and some fun times, being with him caused mainly heartache. What did I love about him?…I loved the figment of my imagination with the same name and appearance, not the real deal. So, if you start to fall for someone, ask yourself what it is that makes you love him/her. If you can give real, factual examples then perhaps you truly are in love otherwise it is just lust or an idea, not a reality and you should take a break from seeing him/her so that you can figure things out.
The Overly Accommodating Dater
Have you ever been in a situation where you have a best friend, you hang out with him/her all the time and the two of you have so much fun and life is great, then all of that goes by the wayside because he/she starts dating someone? It has happened to most of us I’m sure so it is a well known fact that when taken too seriously relationships can ruin friendships. There are catch phrases like “bros before hos” or “chicks before dicks” but these give the impression that relationships are bad thing to be avoided which is not the case. Rather, life is a balancing act and it is important to make time for all the people who matter in your life not just the one who you are sleeping with.
I was chatting with a close friend recently about an old friend of ours who no longer has time for her gal pals because she is either too busy with her boyfriend or wants to leave nights open “in case he wants to hang out.” This is a huge problem and is sadly common among women. We leave our Friday or Saturday nights open in hopes that our new boy will want to see us and take us out. We turn down viable opportunities to see our friends in order to potentially see the guy we are banging and we become disappointed when our guy doesn’t give us a call. Over time friends grow tired of asking and being shot down so they just stop calling. Then, one day, the boy leaves us and we are left manless and friendless. So, we must go back with our tail between our legs and try to get our besties back when we need them most.
I am in no way saying to not make time for your boyfriend but I am cautioning being too quick to ditch your friends for a new man. When you are in a long term relationship there is certainly more understanding, especially when you are married. But, even so, you must always make some time for your friends if you hope to maintain those relationships. The girl I am speaking of is one of those women who makes herself too available and too accommodating. She has so much potential and is a really cool person, yet she opts to degrade herself and cast good friends aside for the sake of a man which gives all of us women a bad name. She even sunk so low as to give her man a blow job in a car in front of friend’s house just because he wanted it and she didn’t want to disappoint him or lose him. (Disclaimer: Ladies, these should not be given out so easily, they should be a reward or go to a guy deserving not just given out in vehicles when asked. It won’t make him like you more or stay and it will most likely make him think less of you.)
Ladies, and guys for that matter, never degrade yourself or do something out of character just for someone you are dating. It is one thing to try hiking, running, or some hobby to become closer to your man but it’s another to suck his dick in a Toyota before a party when you are practically 30 out of some desperation to keep a man. Being too acquiescent and accommodating is not a good thing. Men don’t want the easy girl and they certainly do not want anything long term with someone they perceive as a whore. The “too accommodating dater” becomes annoying over time and we all want a challenge over a lap dog.
I once dated a guy who was overly acquiescent. Whenever we would go out everything revolved around what I wanted. There was no take charge attitude and he didn’t plan any of the dates. Ladies like for men to plan the early dates and we appreciate the take charge machismo of it all. We like being treated well but we don’t want a guy with no personality of his own who does nothing but cater to what we want. I personally like healthy debating or taking turns picking date places so you can get to know the other person better. If I wanted to date myself I wouldn’t be on the market. This guy even cooked me dinner on his birthday and made food that I like but instead of being appreciative I was annoyed. We ate and watched CSI because I like that show and I felt like it was a lame date and a sad way for him to celebrate his birthday. He should have been out with friends and seen me on a different day and if we were going out it should have been me taking him somewhere nice not him cooking for me.
I am not certain on how guys feel about the reverse situation and it is probably somewhat less annoying because of gender archetypes but I’m sure it is still frustrating to date the overly accommodating girl. Men like a challenge. They do not want a girl who lays all of her cards on the table, has no depth, and who will just cater to their every need–at least not as a serious girlfriend. Relationships are mutual partnerships, a balanced scale and one side should not teeter too much lower than the other or else it is not healthy. There is also the concept of not putting all your eggs in one basket, which I will address soon in a separate article, that cautions against putting everything you have into one person. If you revolve your life around your significant other and then one day you break up, you did not just lose a boyfriend or girl, you have lost a huge portion of your life and have no one to turn to for comfort.
Playing the Field: The Multi-Dater
“You should know that you’re just a temporary fix
This is not rooted with you it don’t mean that much to me
You’re just a filler in the space that happened to be free
How dare you think you’d get away with trying to play me”
So now that I have this blog I face two reactions from friends. On the one hand, I have people who are interested in being blogged about who come to me with sexy, fascinating stories or great ideas. On the other hand, there are the individuals who are afraid that I will blog about them so they are less communicative with me about their sex and dating lives. With regards to the former, one friend recently shared a story that was of interest to me as it touched upon a pivotal dating topic–the multi-dater.
There are two types of daters, those who date or hook-up with one person at a time and then there are the players who sleep with whomever they want and who don’t tend to maintain relationships. While I am the former my friend has turned into the latter. He chatted me on Facebook last week to tell me all about his forays in the dating world as of late. He apparently was dating two girls at the same time and had each of them convinced that he was exclusively with her. He played the game for quite some time and even deleted his Facebook to protect himself from getting caught and managed to succeed at the ruse. This acquaintance of mine only stopped because he got tired and fed up with having to keep track of the two girls, date both of them weekly, and talk to each almost everyday.
Honestly, regular cheating seems like too much work to me. I don’t get why guys don’t either openly date girls with an understanding of no strings attached or date one girl in particular and stay committed. Cheating requires lies which then necessitate memory, strategy, and creativity. Lies become hard to keep track of and they eventually are how one gets caught. I don’t really understand why a guy would date two girls other than to say that he successfully dated two girls and so that he can feel like he has accomplished some feat. Why don’t they just take up a productive hobby like building houses for the homeless to feel a sense of achievement,? Why hurt innocent girls to build up their own egos? Not to mention the risk of STDs cheating poses.
However, this aforementioned version of betrayal was unique because he wasn’t sleeping with assorted, random girls or playing just one girl. He was exclusively dating two girls but they just did not know about each other. I again have to ask why? He had a bunch of excuses that seemed to serve as valid rationale to him but I wasn’t buying it. Essentially he was dating one but she wasn’t putting out so he added another. He eventually decided that he wanted to date only the girl who did not make him wait for the sex and dump the other girl but then there was a death in that girl’s family so he couldn’t do it. After a while he just decided to keep it up because I suppose he felt cool doing it. I just find this whole scenario so wrong and unfair. I would hate to be the girl thinking I have a boyfriend who cares about me only to find out there is another woman. It is like those tragic stories where a wife finds out her husband has another wife and family. These poor girls think they are working towards a potential life with someone when really they are just getting played.
The multi-dater is more common then I’d like to believe. Working in the bar industry for over five years, you see a lot of casual hookups and meet a lot of players. Bouncers are notorious for getting tons of numbers, going out with a number of girls, and eventually banging them with no intention of commitment. There are the guys who openly admit that they aren’t looking for anything beyond the hookup, which is fine because honesty is key. Then there are the men who are actively hooking up with a number of women and making promises or alluding to them that things will go further when they truly have no intentions beyond hanging out and having sex. This is the type of mult-dater that bothers me. There isn’t anything wrong with being sexually open unless you are lying or manipulating those involved. What they guy I know did was definitively wrong. He led two separate girls to believe they were each his singular girlfriend. Why any guy would do that is beyond me because relationships come with so much more work and strings than plain dating or hookups. Two girlfriends require double the dates (double the spending), remembering two anniversaries, and lying to create alibis for girl A or B when you are with the other.
I suppose this challenge and the feat of successfully being able to play two girls and get away with it is alluring enough to some men to motivate them to engage in multi-dating. It takes work, skill, and a good memory to pull it off but it is not something to be proud of. Being a multi-dater has it’s perks and as long as you are open and honest with all hookups prior to any physicality there is no shame. Yet, so many men think they won’t get laid if they aren’t open to the idea of relationships so they lie and “play” girls and this is where the immorality comes into play and the multi-dater becomes a straight up douchebag.
Has anyone out there been played and have any stories to share? Any players want to put in their two cents? Feel free to leave a comment because I’d love to hear from you.
The Tuesday/Thursday Phenomenon: It has probably happened to you and you didn’t even realize it.
As a twenty something year old law student preparing for the bar, I, from time to time, find myself looking back on my single days to remind myself how good I have it right now- hard to imagine, I know. To put it intoperspective, this is a time in my life where I would rather scrub the toaster oven than continue studying so it shouldn’t be that hard to imagine that reminiscing about my failed relationships could actually be a pick me up. In the course of one of these “therapeutic” procrastination sessions I stumbled upon the old Tuesday Thursday trick that I would like to share with the unassuming singles out there who may be reading this.
The basics of this trick are exactly like they sound- have you ever been dating a guy who suddenly only has time to see you on Tuesday or Thursday nights?
This is the setup: you meet a great guy, you go out for a few weeks on Fridays and Saturdays. He dazzles you with fancy restaurants, champagne falls from the heavens, and night clubs roll out the red carpets for the two of you. You are making him wait to have sex, and then boom he Tuesday/ Thursdays you. Call me old school but I personally have a 4-6 week window rule for sex. This means he needs to impress me every weekend for no less than a month before he gets the goods. There are multiple reasons for this rule; get ready.
1.) I have the vagina so what I say goes.
2.) I feel that after hanging with a guy 4-6 times I have, even if by default, spent enough time with this person to gauge whether I actually like him and he is trustworthy enough to sleep with.
3.) Why weekend dates? There is no better way to tell if a man already has a girlfriend than to see which days he has time to see you. No man with a serious girlfriend could escape from her for 4-6 weekends in a row. Doing so would defy the laws of nature. And if he somehow did manage to pull this off and bamboozle the two of you, then you are dealing with a professional and had no chance from the get go.
– With the basic rules outlined, back to the question- why the sudden demotion? Did he lose interest because I didn’t have sex with him soon enough? That is the opposite of what is supposed to happen. Under normal circumstances the longer you make a man wait the more curious he will become. Did I cross some imaginary line and make him wait too long? No way. There are plenty of women with a similar rule. Did he have a girlfriend who was out of town for a few weeks? If so I should count it as a win because I beat him at his own game and this type of trickery is exactly what the rules are supposed to help avoid. In this particular case, however, I didn’t think that was the problem because I had spent a significant amount of time at his house and there was not one whiff of agirlfriend. Not even one suspicious phone call. I met the man’s family for crying out loud. So what was the problem? Naturally after getting demoted to Tuesday/Thursday dates I had to end it immediately. My vagina is definitely worth a Friday or Saturday thank you very much. After it was all said and done I came to realize what had gone wrong: He met someone else who was willing to give it up easier, and was spending his weekends with her! Lesson learned: as a girl with some morals I learned my only enemies in the dating pool are girls who have none. Although I was disappointed it validated my odd dating tactics. If I really like a guy I wait to have sex with him until I am completely comfortable and feel I can trust him. Of course this doesn’t mean I am going to keep him forever but at least I wont feel taken advantage of. Had I slept with him sooner maybe I could have kept him, but my gut tells me that wouldn’t be the case. He got bored with her and asked me out 3 Friday’s later- I said no and made a mental note to tell all my girlfriends about the Tuesday Thursday trick!
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What is Dating…Really?
While having a much needed girls’ night with one of my besties, we inevitably transitioned from venting about our work week frustrations to discussing our ever changing and utterly confusing romantic engagements. She is dating a guy who is blatantly in love with her but dances around the topic saying everything but those three little words. They see each other more than once a week, are exclusively sexually involved with one another (which he refers to as making love), and they have plans set as far as six months into the future…however, he does not call her his girlfriend and does not refer to them as dating.
I mean, what is dating…really? Some people think you can’t use the term until you are explicitly girlfriend and boyfriend, making it synonymous with in a relationship. Others use it to define a scenario in which essentially you have been on one or more dates with a certain person and you believe that there will be more to come. Of course, there is just the general sense of “going on a date”, which could be used the very first time you have a face to face meeting with a person with the understanding that there is mutual attraction or at least the potential for mutual attraction. Dating is one of those words that falls in the category of “hooking up” since the connotation varies from person to person. To some it’s sex but to others it’s a kiss and it really can fall into the whole gambit in between.
So, this again begs the question, what is dating? Well, to me, it can be any of the things above. However, what I am looking for when I say I want to date a certain someone or be in a relationship, that’s a different story. In the most abridged, uncouth terms it is someone who hangs out with me on a somewhat regular basis, who is a friend, and who provides me with regular sex but is not sleeping with anyone else. I’m not going to ask for more than that, the other niceties should come naturally if the partnership is right. I once was dating a guy (in the sense of going out with him with the intent of going out again) who didn’t want a relationship for a number of commitment-phobic reasons—one being that he didn’t want to have to text me during the day. Daytime technological small talk is not in the dictionary definition of dating and it isn’t in most girls’ rule books either. Yes, it would be nice to know they are thinking of you, know what they are doing, and get a momentary break from an exhausting, stressful work day. However, this is something one should do because they want to, not because they feel required to.
A relationship isn’t about obligations and is not an exchanging of mutual coercions. It is something that starts small with getting to know one another and becoming comfortable together that evolves into an innate desire to communicate more and spend time with one another. We don’t jump into hanging out in one another’s social circles and travel home to meet parents, we progress to want these things as our comfort level and feelings grow…if they grow. The reality is, most of the time, it doesn’t get this far. Most experiences with dating involve a couple dinners in which you see if your social skills, lifestyles, and personalities mesh and, if there is attraction, you progress to higher levels of physicality and explore how sexually compatible you are with each other. Oftentimes, we are ambivalent and thus he or she is not the one and we move on. So, what is dating…really? Ultimately, it is having a friend whom you have semi-regular to regular sex with, who doesn’t bang anyone else…anything beyond this is up to the people involved.
What Is Romance?
While talking to a friend who recently has accepted the fact that she is definitively in love with her soon-to-be boyfriend, she filled me in on all the romantic gestures he has made and why he is so special to her. She excitedly told me about their “love making” to carefully crafted, sensual playlists, numerous special moments in their lives which they have chosen to commemorate as anniversaries, and the candlelit, homemade dinners he prepares for her where they discuss their intense feelings for one another. Hearing all of the details of their frequent amorous experiences made me think about the concept of romance and how it varies from one individual to the next. Everyone has different preferences when it comes to receiving signs of gratitude and admiration and what makes one girl fall in love can make another girl head for the hills.
I personally am put off by overly romantic gestures because they seem disingenuous, as if he is trying too hard, or as if there must be a catch—but I am a cautious dater and tend to be prepared for the worst. I also am turned off by large fiscal gestures of appreciation because my affection is not something to be bought. However, there are girls who love ridiculous horse and carriage rides through central park or 5 karat diamond earrings—I am just not that girl. I prefer the more silent or simple signs of affection, such as coming home after a long day of work to a cleaned house or random “thinking of you” texts from a guy when he is doing something that reminds him of me. I would prefer to be taken on a special anniversary date to a place I loved from my childhood that I had not been to in years like a county fair than be taken on some extravagant trip to an overpriced restaurant in a limo. Don’t get me wrong, I would feel like a princess being chauffeured around by a prince charming guy but I would also feel out of place and uncomfortable because that level of romanticism is just not me.
When it comes to gift giving, rather than getting a diamond necklace (I hate diamonds) nothing would make me happier than a Takari dancing flower—not because I’m dying to fill some 80’s nostalgia and memorabilia void but because I had one as a child and it was later smashed and discarded by my father and I haven’t been able to find one since. It is a silly present to covet but it reminds me of happier times from when I was a kid and would make me smile every time I looked at it. A romantic gift to me has everything to do with understanding the recipient well enough to know what they would find special or incredibly thoughtful and has nothing to do its monetary value or ability to impress others. At the risk of sounding cliché, it’s the thought that counts.
This being said, there is nothing wrong with desiring fancy things or expecting a man to take you to only the finest restaurants. Since heterosexual dating is technically the act of a man courting a lady to find a life partner, men’s gestures of romanticism should consist of measures he is comfortable taking and should ultimately attract a woman whom he is highly compatible with. Moreover, girls will tend to be attracted to the guys who pursue them in a way consistent with their unique personality. I hate to refer to dating as a game and fake signs of adoration should be avoided at all costs, but there is an art to landing a catch. A sad reality of the dating world is that both sexes like to be impressed and showing one another how much we care has to be personalized in order for it to charm us. Romance may have the connotation of longing stares, intense passion, and outlandish gestures of showmanship; but, in actuality, it can be as simple as an “I love you text,” a kiss on the cheek “just because,” or telling someone they look beautiful when they wake up in the morning. Ultimately, in defining romance for ourselves, we become more self-aware and make decisions congruous with our intrinsic desires. Romance is what we make it and as long as we are happy and the one we are with is equally as exultant, then we have been swept off our feet and are in a romantic relationship whether we choose to define it as such or not.