Tag Archives: Levity

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

 

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!

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

Time to Say Goodbye: When Friends Break Up

The Break Up
I was used to military life as an Army Brat. The canon firing at five in the morning and evening, the travelling, the moving, the pageantry, the galas. It was just a part of life. I had even gotten used to saying “see you later”  to friends.  But the older I got and the longer we stayed, the “see you laters” turned into painful goodbyes.

For whatever reason I hadn’t anticipated doing the same as an adult. Sure, people move for their careers, start families, and have bigger responsibilities than when we were on the playground or in the dorm but I just didn’t think I’d be in a position to have to say goodbye again. But here I was.

This time there was no larger force tearing me from someone, it had just run its course. The person I was when we met was gone. I required healthy communication, accessibility, and honesty. This person wasn’t there yet and I wasn’t going to wait anymore for things I knew weren’t demanding or even difficult. I had grown as a person, she just grew in a different direction. I had to learn the hard way that friends break up too.


The Four Steps to Break Up Recovery
I had no idea what to do when it happened. I felt like hell and didn’t know who to turn to. We had so many mutual friends I didn’t want anyone to feel like they had to pick sides and I honestly felt that they wouldn’t pick me anyways. So instead of dealing with the pain I tried to avoid it. You would think by now, after all the things I’ve experienced in my short life that I would know that avoidance NEVER works. Drugs, alcohol, sex, whatever your vice, it only keeps it at bay for a while. Eventually it will rear its ugly head, stronger than it was when you first pushed it away.

I went through my friend break up at the same time as my break up with my ex. It was ROUGH. Like, crying in the shower, wailing to Robyn, eating Chinese food and watching Golden Girls nonstop, rough. Ok so I do the last two all the time but I was going through. Naturally I thought I’d find my solution with boys. I’d never had a “single and ready to mingle” phase. I was too shy, too analytical, and too insecure to ever consider it but a bunch of bullshit will turn anyone into a willing participant.

I went on dates. I hooked up. I changed the way I dressed. I convinced myself that I felt better, that this was helping, that I was empowered but each morning the pain would come back to wake me up. After a while the phone stopped ringing, I started resenting people more and more, and I became an even bigger mess. This was obviously not the solution but I kept trying to make it happen.

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Damnit I know Regina!

I knew that I was putting myself in positions I wasn’t ready for and becoming increasingly reckless. So I waited for some things to taper down and cleared out my cellphone. I followed the next couple steps out of order and at my own pace but had I known better, I would have done better. Hindsight is a total betch.

Grieve: Cry them tears baby girl. Get them out of your system. Doesn’t matter if it’s only two sobfests or a full on Broadway production, this is your time and your pain. Do what is best for you but get it out of your system. It’s ok if you have to circle back to this step multiple times. As time passes, you’ll be strong enough to get from under it. Until then, netflix, yoga pants, pinterest, and chocolate are your best friends.

Realize There’s No Turning Back: Don’t hold out hope that you will be friends again, that’s a waste of emotion and energy. There are things that are more deserving of your attention than waiting for someone to figure out how awesome your are, forgive you, or whatever the circumstance may be. Accept that this is what it is and move on. Yes, it’s more difficult but it’s also more rewarding. You gain perspective and start aligning all of your relationships to your improved standards. You start seeing people for who they are and your friendships for what they are.

Even if this is just a phase and you become friends again, it will not and cannot be the same. The same got you to break up. The same wasn’t good enough. It’s going to be different because it has to be. 

Check Your Baggage: I wrote a post about this you can read here but I’ll boil it down for you. In order to insure that you problems don’t become a pattern, you have to take a good look in the mirror. What baggage are you bringing to the table? No one should bear the brunt of a resentment or anger meant for someone else. Figure out your hangups and see if some of them even led you to the break up. For example, I realized that I gravitate towards emotionally unavailable and stunted folks. I make excuses for them, I give them much more than I ever receive, and then I get angry at them for being exactly who they always showed themselves to be. See how ridiculous that is? As a great sage once said, “Check yourself before you wreck yourself.”

Let It Go: Not that I’m chockfull of shameless self-promotion today…but I am. I wrote about letting go of it all a few months back as well. You’ve got to let stuff go. Your life, or at least the quality of your life, depends on it. Holding on to the pain you’ve suffered through, the memories of being done wrong, the anger of abandonment, the fear of neglect, ALL it is is emotional constipation. We both know how that’ll end up…

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When you invest so much time and love in a person only to not get a return on your investment, it’s easy to feel like you’ve been robbed. You haven’t. People aren’t permanent. Nothing is really. That’s ok. If you made great memories, treasure them and the time you did have.  Learn from the situation and guard your heart so the next time someone walks into your life, you’ll be prepared to be better, do better, and feel better. 🙂

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P.S. If you haven’t even gotten to the break up yet, here’s a guide to get you through it. Let me know how it works out for you!

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Content: Being Happy Where You Are

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8:31 A.M September 28, 2011. I was officially 21. Time to celebrate! Right? No. Not today. I couldn’t stop crying. My mother was walking down the aisle at my age. What was wrong with me? 

Church didn’t help. Every week came with the announcement of a new engagement. If you listened carefully enough you could hear that slight twinge in the pastor’s voice. What’s wrong with the rest of y’all? 

I read book after book after book. “How to Keep a Man,” “Pray Til He Shows Up,” “Pray with One Eye Closed,” “Waiting” and the sequel “Waiting til Tonight,” “Your Dude is on the Way,” and “Girl, He Ain’t Here YET?!”

You name it, I read it. I bought into it. I devoured them like they were magic spells that once completed, my Prince would apparate to my side. I got plenty of frogs but my Prince never arrived. What’s wrong with me?

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No worries, I’ll find you Mr. Nelson.

When I couldn’t find someone sexy and sanctified (pray for me y’all), no one my age and ready to commit, or anyone sane and alive,  I asked myself again and again…WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH ME?! 

As women we naturally have a thousand answers to that question. Too fat. Too skinny.  Too smart. Not smart enough. Too light. Too dark. Not pretty pretty enough. We’re either too much or not enough. So you want to know the truth? Something is wrong with you.

Oop. I’ll let that sit.

It’s nothing to do with your looks and everything to do with your feelings. What I’m telling you isn’t some secret only married women know. A lot of them don’t, some never will. Not everyone will get married. That’s just a fact loves. When you accept that reality you should feel at peace. Why? It means that Damoclesian expectation is off the table. No pressure. But for most of you, just like it was for me initially, you probably feel terrified. “I’ll be all alone!” No girl, you’ll be with yourself and the people who love you. What’s wrong with being with yourself? NOTHING. Unless you cannot stand the sight, thought, or idea of you. So to answer the question, you is what’s wrong with you.

A man will not fix you. A baby will not fix you. A marriage will not fix you. A friend with benefits will not fix you. Do you realize how ironic it is to need someone to spend time with you when you don’t like to spend time with yourself? How sad is it to need someone to esteem you when your own self can’t do it? I know I might sound harsh but the truth is often inflammatory. You need to hear this. Stop waiting for some cure for how you’re feeling to fall from the sky. Stop posting salty things on social media about how, “You’re happy to have your newsfeed flooded with engagements.” When what you really mean is, “Where’s mine?” Stop arresting your happiness and expecting someone else to set it free {Click it to tweet that truth}.  That’s your work and it’s irrational, irresponsible, and childish to expect anyone else to do it for you. Don’t make loving yourself anyone else’s job but your own. 

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You need to rewrite your content so you can be content. Marriage isn’t easy. It’s not a wedding everyday. It’s two imperfect people who commit themselves to each other daily. It’s a beautiful thing to witness when it’s done right. But as a recovering wedding coordinator, it’s mind- numbingly tragic to watch an impending wreck. So many couples convince themselves that they’ll get better after the stress dies down, like life will never be stressful again. They force a smile when something in the back of their minds is whispering, “No.” They get caught up in the commotion and forget to acknowledge their emotions. They say “I do” to terrible communication, emotionally stunted, easily intimidated, angry princes and princesses with little to no shared experience. They make promises that they’ll always remain the same while literally changing the status of their relationship in front of God, their family, and friends. They say yes because they need someone else to accept them without thinking of doing the same for their partner.

But from the outside looking in, their Instagram pictures and their cute Facebook posts look darling. That’s because we filter out the bad and tell the story we want to be told, not the truth.

One of the saddest things I’ve witnessed happened when I was ten. As an Army Brat I was used to being around female spouses who wore a smile and an empty stare. They held down the fort at home with little to no recognition…or sometimes help. “Mrs. C” was that kind of woman. She was sweet but even as a child I could tell she was very sad. On the outside everything looked perfect. Her husband was a high ranking officer and they lived in one of the mini-mansions up in the hills of the post. She loved to babysit me and I loved her because she bought me chicken nuggets (don’t you judge me!). I was waiting for my mom to pick me up when her husband got home. He smiled curtly at me but his eyes threw daggers in his wife’s direction. They went to their room to “talk.” I’ll always remember her screaming,” I did everything for you!” and his response,” I never asked you to.”

I heard with a child’s mind but I’ve processed it differently as an adult. My dearest single ladies, the books, the prayers, the substanceless dates, the products, the clothes, all the things we do to find a man, we need to be doing to find ourselves.

Stop entertaining fools in your court, queens. No more dates with guys who can only remember your number after midnight. No more putting up with verbal and emotional abuse just so you can say you’re in a relationship. No more investing in someone’s dreams who can’t invest in yours. No more enthusiastic acceptance of scraps when you deserve to be sitting at the table. No more waiting for a prince to whisk you away to a cold, dank castle. Build your own kingdom. Write your own love story and start with uncovering, discovering, knowing, and loving YOU.

Thirst. Don't let it be you.
Thirst. Don’t let it be you.

What’s something you’ll have to rewrite to feel content? Let me know and as always, feel better, do better, be better!

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