Tag Archives: Dating

Life Sucks (for now)

life sucksThis time last year I was closing a chapter of my life. After the summer, things got a little dark. I got reckless. I got scared. I got lost. Life sucked and feeling like Dorothy, I clicked my heels together, and drove my happy ass home.

Home was home. It was like pulling on a cozy sweater –extremely comfortable. There’s a reason every great adventure starts when the heroine leaves. Frodo couldn’t destroy the ring from his couch. Harry wouldn’t have become a wizard from underneath the stairs. Katniss couldn’t protect her sister by staying home. I’m a bit tiffed that my point of reference for adventure is overwhelmingly male but you get the point. Change doesn’t happen when you’re comfortable. It’s not a convenience but an inconvenience to the patterns we’ve created. Comfort and change can’t coexist and at some point in your life you’re going to have to choose which one you want. I understand the importance and need for comfort, trust me I do, but if you want to grow, if you want more, if your dreams are too big for the house comfort has afforded you, you’re going to have to get up and create the momentum for change to come into your life.

I was comfortable at home and it was what I needed at the time.  I’m not ungrateful that I have a place to stay, virtually no bills, and awesome parents who care about me. Not at all. It’s a frustration mainly with where I am or perceive myself to be. I’m surrounded by comfort but desperate for change. How do you fix that?

Discomfort isn’t something we should always hide from. Sometimes at the precise moment we feel most uncomfortable is exactly when we need to lean in and dig a little deeper. Sometimes feeling stuck is the exact thing we need to get moving.

I know I’m not alone in feeling that way. We’ve all been through shet and all of it leaves its mark . That’s why I did three things. I wrote “Life Sucks (for now),” a free ebook, designed Life Support, a bi-monthly newsletter, and created the Life Support Forum for y’all. We all need direction, motivation, and support to make the changes we need to live the lives we want. I’m hoping this will help you because it helped me. Sign up for the Life Support newsletter in the upper left bar and get the ebook for free ninety-nine. That’s literally all you gotta do! Who knew the first step to making a change could be so easy?!

MM-Sincerely

The Jumpoff Purge: Why 2016 Will Be Dateless

MM-jumpoffpurge11416 (1)Much like my winged eyeliner application, dating did not happen for me until it was way past being fashionable. There are acceptable behaviors one exhibits in the beginning. Dickstractions are common. Flawed decision skills are on display. Low standards are unfortunately at play often without you recognizing it because of aforementioned dickstractions. It’s ok. We’ve all been there. But at some point you wise up. Your standards become higher, your self-esteem soars, and you see your needs with perfect clarity.

It’s a peculiar realization to see that you have more dicks in your gallery after eighteen months of dating than happy experiences.

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I literally have dick to show for it.

Not for lack of trying. I tried just about every venue (even reddit…shutup) just to see what was out there and funnily enough it was the same across the board. I’d hear the words, “I’d kill to have a girl like you,” followed by actions that proved they didn’t. For every, “I wish I had a smart woman in my life,” there was a dick pic to match. At some point I went from sad to jaded and succumbed to the pressure of the dating game. Might as well join them, right? But why? Being complimented or denigrated for the way you look eventually falters into meaninglessness when what you truly want is for someone to see you in complete, flawed totality.  I wanted more. I want more…but I just wasn’t getting it. How is a list of someone’s favorite movies going to prove someone’s long-term compatibility? How will favorite quotes prove if he can handle my demons? How can I tell if he’ll see everything I have to offer if all that he offers are memes and filters? I want more but I feel like modern dating has developed into a game where you accept less. Why?

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Kissing all the boys leads to cooties and more bullshit.

When you’re a pudgy nerd in highschool (basically Tina Belcher), sex and physical intimacy are these romanticized, far off things. They seem exciting and beautiful and they can be. But so often we trade the time spent on pursuing someone worth it for low-hanging fruit. To be frank, fuckin’ ain’t hard.  It takes little to no effort to find, procure, and maintain bootycalls. Sexploration is fun and I encourage it if you’re going to do so safely but it’s not everything. We have to stop acting like in order to be relevant or happy or even successful we must run the “app race.” Every time I talk to friends it becomes less of a conversation about successful matches and more a party of commiseration. If it sucks so much why do we torture ourselves?

I’ve been asking myself that for the past year. Is it worth it to be tired, jaded, and burnt out for the chance of a few fun dates? Is it worth my time and energy to go through countless interactions that I hate in order to find a few good ones that might pan out? The romantic in me wants to believe so but the realist knows I need to take care of myself. I’m giving myself and yielding no returns. It’s easy to find an interested party but I also want someone who will challenge me. I want to grow with someone. Do you really need to have  your phone flooded with random numbers or do you just need one person who matters to call you? Do you want a shit ton of first dates or just quality ones?

When every conversation devolves into a, “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours,” situation it becomes more of a transaction than a relation.  I’m not looking for some noble Galahad to come and save me, I’d just like for someone to talk to me who isn’t blatantly staring at my chest or looking at his phone or calling his mom to tell her he met her future daughter-in-law…did I mention I’ve been on some bad dates?

Even though I came to the game late, I often wonder if I even showed up to the right one. Dating has changed drastically over the last five years. Like bad sex, it seems more aggressive, less focused, and based in mimicry. Instead of a quest to find the right one it’s become a f*ckfest for all the “ones” along the way. People care less about pursuing mature relationships but maintaining bachelorettehood into perpetuity.  How many people can you get? How much attention can you maintain? How many compliments can you leverage? How many hilariously bad dates can you go on? It’s flighty. Instead of buying into a person and committing to them we window shop. We walk from display to display, we try them on, we walk around the store with them, we test them out and when they no longer hold our attention we move on to the next one.  But you know how you shouldn’t go shopping on credit because you’ll spend what you don’t have? The same applies to dating. You can’t date on credit. You can’t give what you don’t have. 

That’s why this year is dedicated to a cutie named moi. Dating can be fun but it hasn’t been for a while. I love love so I often get lost in it. It’ll come around or I’ll find it when it’s time but for now I’d just like to enjoy being 25. I know what I want. Genuine connection. Conversation instead of gimmicks, understanding instead of histrionics, calm instead of calamity, plans instead of whims, commitment instead of emotional detachment. I know these things are not hard to find because I see them in so many  of my loved ones’ relationships. But I’m not going to force a timeline or drive myself crazy over it. I deleted every irrelevant out of my phone. I took down all my dating profiles. I’m sticking to my guns but  I’ll need y’all to hold me accountable because THE.THIRST.IS.REAL. When it gets rough, like tall, lumberjackesque ginger rough, I’ll remind myself of this year’s mantra:

So what about y’all? Are you taking a dating fast? Waiting? Or skipping in line? Let me know in the comments! As always, feel better, do better, and be better!

MM-Sincerely

 

Uncuffed: Why FWBs Aren’t for Moi

Cuffing season is in full effect and like stray animals to meat, many former flames have returned. Fortunately, I’ve had the good sense to remind myself that my ass is not kindling. Cuffing Season

If 23 and 24 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t be something you’re not. In this modern age, I’ve tried to go with the flow and adapt to the changes from relationships to “friends” with benefits. It finally got to the point that I realized that this ain’t what it is. You I can’t have the benefit of a relationship without the dignity of the title. I know we’ve all been hurt by someone but shutting people out doesn’t make the pain hurt any less.

I know the thirst is real for most of us (TRUST ME) but how are little droplets of water placating that? I need an aquifer! I need something more than scraps when I deserve to be at the table. The “benefits” are nice but they’re just low hanging fruit. Shouldn’t we aim higher? If you’re truly okay with casual sex and can be that detached that frequent physically intimacy with one person won’t have you feeling a certain way…I won’t judge you but I also won’t fully trust you’re ok with that. Feelings happen and I’m tired of us pretending as if having them are bad things. They are not these unallowed, intolerable things that we have to learn to kill. It’s ok if you feel some kind of way. It’s ok if you start wondering about a future with a person you’re involved. with. It’s ok to be human and to recognize that you want and need more.

It took me a while to come to that conclusion though. For the longest I wanted to be the cool girl. I wanted to be aloof and mysterious but I realized that’s just another way of saying  fragile and afraid. Casual sex can work if two people are ok with just having sex and nothing more but FWBs are designed to fail. It’s not really a friendship so much as fauxship, a bridge, a pause, or a crutch. I get it because I’ve done it. It’s nice to have someone to lean on when you don’t want to do the work to lean on yourself. It’s comforting to think you have someone who doesn’t make you feel alone. But those are all emotional needs, not sexual ones. When you mix the two you essentially get the trappings of a relationship without the commitment and let’s not bullshit ourselves here, what the fuck does that do? It’s either confusing because you’re the one looking for more than benefits or aggravating because that’s all you’re willing to give. The point of these types of arrangements is to avoid any and all vulnerability while secretly wanting just that. It’s predicated on taking without putting anything back into it. If something is developed as a means to avoid emotional anguish, why does it generate just as much of it?

I’ll admit when I first started going through this phase I thought it was liberating in a way. I’m all for people figuring out what they want sexually and emotionally but I have a hard time believing that someone would only ever be satisfied with just that. There’s so much more to people than what’s between their legs, why wouldn’t you want to explore that? Why wouldn’t you want someone to explore and know you too? …that’s probably a topic for another time though. At some point you have to be honest with who you are and what you want. So often we say one thing but our actions show that we want another. When I was able to be honest about both of those things, I realized that FWBs were never going to work for me.

They feel great initially. If you still have wounds you’ve yet to heal and pain you’ve yet to process, it’s an incredible distraction. You show the cards you want to be seen and vice versa. It’s a great illusion, a game of show-and-tell but there’s a reason magic tricks don’t last forever. They can’t.

So what do you do? I’ve ghosted, been ghosted, and even “broken up” with guys I’m technically not in a relationship with. See how convoluted and unnecessary that is? Being in a non-relationship, relationship is more confusing than being single or with someone and for me, not at all worth the effort. I’m at a place where I want more in all areas of my life. They’re not complicated, dramatic, or outrageous but I’m learning that the simplest things are often the most difficult to find.

So what’s a girl to do? 

I’m all tuckered out from past patterns. Dating sites aren’t cutting it anymore. I know now that the things I want in a partner, I also want in myself . So it’s time for me to focus on me! I’m tapping out of cuffing season and I hope you do too. It can feel nice to think you have someone but it’s just a temporary solution.  Sometimes the things we convince ourselves are most beneficial can be the most toxic. Take the time to work on you and let your heart and brain let you know when it’s time to step back in the ring.

Until then lovelies, feel better, be better, and do better!

 

Your Breakup Survival Guide

MM-SurvivalGuideWARNING: This is not a post about how to get back together. This is a post about dealing with a breakup. I’m not going to torment you with some possibility that more than likely ain’t happenin’ boo. I’m here to give you the ass kicking I wish I got this time last year. It will be tough but necessary. You don’t deserve crumbs, scraps, or bullshit. You deserve and are worthy of love and happiness. This person is not the keeper at the gate. You are in control of your future. From this point on, your actions are yours and yours alone. Read on if you think you’re ready…

Disconnect: PUT DOWN THAT PHONE!  Cut off all communication with your ex. If a child is involved, put up proper boundaries to keep it as painless as possible.

How I learned this: I talked to my ex for weeks after the breakup. I found stupid excuses to get in touch and so did he. It made the eventual disconnect even harder. I was good at the beginning, I blocked his number and sent his texts to spam but I overestimated my resolve and broke down. You’ve become accustomed to this pattern in your life and no it no longer exists. In fact, you’ve become addicted. The “high” you get when he texts back or she nuzzles your neck is addictive and now you’ve got to quit cold turkey. You’re bound to slip up. That’s ok but don’t beat yourself up about it just make sure that you get back on track. If they couldn’t say what you needed them to say while you were together, they’re not going to find the words in the next days, months, or even years. It’s not fair to you or them to keep holding on when there’s nothing to hold onto. Let it go now not eventually.

Assess: Look at where you are now and determine where you want to be when this is over. Make a plan for how you’ll spend your time. How will you balance feeling out your emotions but not drowning in them? Or finding new activities but not using them as a means of avoidance? I know that’s not what you want to think about but if you don’t get out in front of the problem, you’ll just keep putting off…and causing yourself more trouble.

How I Learned This: I went through the motions. I didn’t plan on getting better, getting through it, getting anywhere and found myself in a nice old rut. I become increasingly impulsive and predictable. I hooked up when it wasn’t what I actually wanted or needed. I partied. I sat in my mourning too long. I felt powerless in a situation I had complete power in.

Support: Hold on to your support circle. If you were “that” person who completely ditched your friends for your ex, you’ve got some work cut out for you. Mend those abandoned bridges, not just because you need them but because you realize you shouldn’t have left them to begin with. It’s important to have people around you and not alienate yourself. Isolation is like adding fuel to the fire of depression. You want to be alone but you need to be around other people. Get out of your situation. Your ex isn’t in your life so why should they dictate how you spend your time? Go shopping, kayaking, antiquing, road-tripping, get out with your friends and refocus your attention on your life.  Make sure they are supportive but be respectful of their needs. Don’t use them as emotional dumps. A breakup isn’t an excuse to stop being a good friend.

How I Learned This: I got so into this guy I fell out of focus with my friends. Against character, I spent everyday with him. All my attention went to him so I didn’t make as much of an effort to connect with the people who mattered most to me. That’s not good and a sure sign of severe codependence in a relationship. There’s a difference between making people priorities and making them options.

Interact: Meet some new people! Head over to meetup.com and find a group that interests you. Take a skill based class and make new friends. Take up partner dancing. Paint a picture of a tree drunk. Do something creative, constructive, and fun! This can be with friends or on your own. Make new friends but most importantly make new, positive memories for yourself.

How I Learned This: I was a huge mope. I moped around the apartment. I moped in the car. I moped everywhere. I was annoyed with myself. I remembered all the things that I wanted to do with him and thought that (for whatever dumb reason) I could never do them now. *eye roll* I lost time and wasted precious opportunities to live my life. I used my sorrow as an excuse to stop enjoying myself. Don’t do that, it’s stupid.

Redirect: Love isn’t a switch you can just turn off. If you broke up on Tuesday, you’re probably going to love them on Wednesday, and the wednesday after that, and the wednesday after that, and the wednesday after that…That’s ok.  All of those feelings don’t have to be wasted. It’s not about destroying your feelings but redirecting them. Instead of spending time thinking about them, start to think of yourself. What are your needs? What did you learn? How can you grow from this? What do you want to do with your life?  Focus on loving yourself. Focus on being the partner you want and need. Give yourself some much needed TLC…just not the channel.

How I Learned This: I spent so much time thinking about what I would say if I saw him. How I would be super hot with a super hot date and make him feel like shit. The usual ultra mature revenge fantasy we all have. But what was I actually getting out of spending all my time dreaming of a moment’s pleasure? Nothing. I needed nourishing too and I should have just given it to myself.

Mourn + Celebrate: No timelines, no pressure. Give yourself the space you need to just be. If you need to cry, cry. If you need a kick in the ass, pick up the phone and call your friends. Don’t make yourself feel bad for where you aren’t yet. Don’t be an asshole and make other people or relationships a substitute. You need this time alone. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t be self-destructive either. Find a way to approach, feel, express, and deal with the pain. You’ll be better for it.

How I learned this: the first few entries on this blog were basically my journal. Writing was such a relief for me. I felt like I could approach the things I needed to. Find that for yourself.

Reflect: Look at how far you come. One day you’ll wake up and the pain won’t be there anymore. No seriously. He won’t be the first thing you think about. The birds will start to chirp again. You’ll be invigorated by a project you’re working on. You’ll be focused on your career or passions. That person will go from being the center of your universe to living in a galaxy far, far away. I promise.
Now what have you learned my pretties? Have you done something similar to this? How did your most recent breakup fare? Sound off in the comments below and don’t forget: do better, feel better, be better!

MM-Signature

Psst! Here’s the pinnable version of this. Pass it on to any friends who might need it!

Happy Endings: Breakup to Breakthrough

Friday we’d agreed to meet. He said he had an explanation for his behavior. There was a reason for the madness. I needed that reason. I was owed a reason. I wanted it more than I wanted him back. The speed in which I typed my text proved it.

“I don’t know what you’ve been going through but it’s ok. I love you. Whatever it is we can work it out. We’ll be ok. I’m here for you.”

I paused for a second, wondering if the words would manifest the surreal sincerity behind them once he read it. I hit send.

I eagerly awaited a response. When minutes turned into hours, I decided to put my phone away. He had pleaded for this. Surely he would respond. Friday passed. Saturday dragged by. Sunday came and I drove to our agreed upon location. I waited for about an hour. I looked at my phone again. No new calls, no text messages, no voicemails.

He never showed up.


A year ago, I started this blog on the heels of an unexpected but anticipated break up. I knew I had jumped onto a sinking ship but tried to convince myself that the water around us wasn’t cause for alarm.  It was an ordinary relationship like the millions of others that play out around us every day. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. The end and what came after are what I look back on and smile. Time may not be the healer but it certainly is a vessel for it. With it, I found the space to gain some perspective and see things as they were, not just as I had experienced them. I got the aerial view, the Google Earth perspective. I saw two flawed people come together, pretend that their flaws were not a factor, and separate upon realizing that they were. I don’t kick myself for remembering happy moments, I don’t try to foolishly block them from my memory. With enough time you realize you don’t have to. The beauty of those moments take on a new meaning. They were wonderful and exciting because I was brave enough to let love in.

A breakup isn’t about broken hearts, you can’t break a heart you didn’t create. The second you part ways, everything that comes next is your responsibility. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, breakups and relationships have very little to do with the other person. It’s your reactions, your baggage, your emotions, your hangups, your misconceptions that dictate 99% of your interactions. So after some time I learned that if I focused more on what was done to me and less on my actions, I would never properly heal. After everything, the most important relationship was the one I made with myself. I went through the usual stages, depression, pretending I was over it, rebounding, finding substitutes, avoidance, but finally I just dealt with it.  I put my heart out there and while I don’t regret it ( no one should ever feel ashamed for being brave enough to love and be loved) it was naive of me to think that consequences don’t exist for every choice you make. I let the wrong one in and had to deal with the mess that was made. But I wasn’t heartbroken. Your heart, your resolve, your spirit aren’t things that can be smashed or demolished. They’re flexible, they can withstand the impact from colliding with life’s circumstances. The infatuation of love feels amazing because someone is showering you with attention and affection. Like rain to flowers, it can feel like you’re finally blooming. Just because you part ways doesn’t mean the nourishment stops. That person isn’t the sole person in charge of feeding your soul. You are. Take the reigns and nourish yourself. You don’t have to wait for anyone to do that for you. Be the partner you’re longing for, treasure yourself, encourage yourself, love yourself instead of waiting and pining after someone else to do it. You end up settling for crumbs instead of taking the cake when you don’t.

An unhappy ending can lead to brighter beginnings!
I’m thankful for the unhappy ending because it led to brighter beginnings. What are some unhappy endings you’ve had to deal with and what did they lead to?

As always, feel better, do better, and be better!