Tag Archives: Dating

Thursday Thoughts: Ditch the Haters

Until recently, I’ve tolerated meanness. Unkind people. People who put others down.

More often than I’d like to admit, I’ve had people in my life that always seem to put me down.

The thing about these people? These haters? I’ve realized they do the same things over and over again. I’ve learned the warning signs. Red flags. Bad behaviors that haters tend to do, actions that are easy to minimize or excuse.

  • Haters consistently speak badly about others. They consistently judge, belittle, and put others down. They celebrate pain of people they do not like. A hard lesson that’s taken me years to learn: if they talk badly about others and revel in other’s pain, they’re doing it to you too. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they will eventually talk badly about you. Guaranteed.

  • Haters tend to have little respect for your feelings, but demand respect for their feelings. If the hater is upset or having a problem, they expect you to give them your attention and sympathy. Only occasionally will they have time or interest in yours problems.

  • Haters often look for what others can do for them. If they’re needs aren’t met, they will punish you (with words, actions, etc) for not doing what they want. It’s not a good place to be. I always struggle with this because I feel like I am a bad person for not doing what they want. Here’s the thing about that: people who love you don’t make you feel bad for not doing what they want. They accept and love you for who you are, not who they want you to be.

  • Haters have a bad temper. Haters often blame their temper on alcohol, or those around them, and they snap quickly and take out their anger on everyone around them.

  • When you call Haters out for their behavior, they label you “sensitive”. When anyone calls you “sensitive” for expressing your feelings, it is a cowardly way for them to blame others for their bad behavior.

Previously, I was willing to forgive meanness and quick to minimize bad behaviors. I want to see the best in others, and I look for the good and to forget the bad.

But, here’s the thing: whenever I’ve been mistreated by a person and allowed them to stay in my life? They do it again. They mistreat me again. Always. I’ve made this mistake so many times it’s embarrassing. It’s the definition of insanity; doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.

I’m not doing the same thing anymore.

I’m following Nicole Antoinette’s advice to Change Your Story, Change Your Life. My Story was I saw the good in others often at the expense of myself.

change-story

A couple of Fridays ago, my friends and I were out and met a guy. This guy? Super cute. Tall. Successful. Friendly. Interesting. Blonde. (Side note: Blonde guys are totally my type, but I’ve yet to had a good experience dating one). All the things I’m looking for. Twenty minutes after we met, he insulted his friend’s girlfriend. The insult was out of nowhere, and really uncalled for. Unsurprisingly, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but proceeded with caution. A few hours and many drinks later he was insulting others again – this time he was insulting my friends.

In the context of the conversation, you could spin his insults as jokes, but in reality, he was unkind. Having difficulty letting go of my old ways, I gave him my number.

The next day when he texted and asked for a date, I decided to Change My Story, Change My Life: I told him no and I told him why.

Crazily enough, it was a great conversation. I told him I enjoyed meeting him, but I didn’t like the way he treated my friends.

He apologized and said he really didn’t mean his insults. He said that he is a really nice guy, but he “has an edge”.

And here’s the kicker, guys. Normally, I would forgive, move on, and cross my fingers it would never happen again.

But it’s time to Change My Story, Change My Life.

I don’t need anyone – man or woman – with “an edge” in my life.

How does this story end? I’ll never see him again.

I can’t help think about what Maya Angelou has famously said,

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

You know what? I believed him. The first time.

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Filed under Dating, Self, Stories, Things I've learned

20, 30 and 40 year old men

About six months ago, I realized something about men. Something about men I have never thought about. Something about men that is fascinating… I believe I’ve learned:

The different dating stages of men.

Sure, I casually thought about how a man’s perception of dating, women, relationships, children and marriage may change over time; usually I thought about it when I meet a man so ready to settle down and get married – or the opposite – a man who ran screaming down the street if the word “girlfriend” was used.

A few months ago, I started branching out of my “appropriate age for dating” range, and started looking at different men. I didn’t look at these men to date or have a relationship with; instead I’ve spent time with them, talking and learning about their prescriptive on women and life goals.

This very scientific* study is complete, accurate, and free of any stereotypes or judgments.

Obviously.**

20-year-old men

(A man whose age ranges from 20-25ish)

Ah. The young twenty-something guy. Overwhelmingly upbeat. Surprisingly kind. He’s the guy that says super optimistic, dreamlike things, “One day, I’ll have lots of kids. You know, when I’m much, much older. Like 28.”

He’s the guy that has dated a bit, mostly in college and maybe even had a girlfriend or two. Chances are, the relationships he’s had with women weren’t super serious and were in high school. Since he’s started (or just finished) college, he’s not interested in finding anything serious, and wants to have a whole lot of fun. (After all, serious relationships are reserved for waaay later. Like in 5 years).

He’s much more approachable, yet not very confident. He tends to run out of things to talk to women about and ends up talking about his favorite Star Wars movie, his comic book collection, or how he just learned how to do laundry. You know, stuff women love to talk about.

He wants to get married. Chances are, he hasn’t had his heart seriously broken. He hasn’t be trampled on by any woman and still likes the idea of a relationship. He’s just getting his feet wet.

He parties. He parties hard. He can party super hard and bounce out of bed in the morning and do it all over again. He doesn’t need coffee, but he drinks it because everyone does at college. Or work. Or wherever.

He’s much more comfortable around his guy friends but loves to be around girls. He’s adorable and I love him. He’s um…. well, slightly too young. Okay, he’s way too young. Too young for anything I’m interested in. Or any woman in their late twenties. (Unless of course, she’s a cougar in the making).

He looks great. He goes to the gym everyday, runs miles and miles and is in the best shape of his life. He can eat whatever the hell he wants with no consequence.

30-year-old men

(A man whose age ranges from 26ish-34ish)

Oh. The 30-year-old. Hmm. Well, let’s just say this is the age range I know best. Until recently, this is the age range I lived in. This is the age range I wouldn’t dare venture from.

The 30-year-old guy has had a serious girlfriend. (Hopefully.) Maybe he’s lived with a woman (or two) and gets it. (Please, God). He generally knows things about women. He pretty much knows how women work and what totally pisses them off. So, he’s a in a good “dating” stage because he doesn’t do the annoying things 20-year-old men usually do because he’s been there, done that, he has a few T-Shirts. He listens to you when you talk. He doesn’t bore his dates with dumb stories about getting drunk. Or boring stories about bugs. (Or, he usually doesn’t).  (Yes, I’ve heard many stories about bugs and people being drunk. Weird, huh?)

He’s jaded. He’s been stomped on by a woman or two and is not so happy about it. He’s distrusting.

He wants to get married and have kids, but not now. He’s focusing on his career/education/life right now and isn’t quite ready to settle down.

He still loves women – at least all the good things about them – but is kinda over it. Sure, he’ll be happy to have a girlfriend for all the benefits – a date for Saturday night, someone to share meals with and do other things couples do. It works for him.

But to marry that girlfriend? To settle down and start having kids? Whoa, whoa, WHOA. He’s skeptical. Sure, he wants kids. Yeah, he likes, okay loves his girlfriend. But, he really likes the money he’s now making and enjoying his freedom to ski, snowboard, bike, hike, travel, sky dive – YOU NAME IT. He loves “his” time and is looking forward to having a house of his own soon to have a garage and a man cave. He LOVES the idea of a man cave.

His friends come first. Heck, they’ve been there for him when that chick (or chicks) dumped him or treated him like dirt. They’re loyal. They’re his boys.

He still looks good. He must go to the gym everyday to look so good. He works out a bit harder to get the same results. He’s starting to show signs of aging; the recessed hairline, maybe a few gray hairs.

40-year-old men

(A man whose age ranges from 35ish-40ish)
The 40-year-old man was a mystery to me for a long time. Okay, the idea of it totally creeped me out. But, after spending time with a few 35-year-olds and 36-year-olds, and okay, a 37-year-old, I realized a few things about this elusive age range.

The 40-year-old man has been around the block. Many times. He’s had a long term, serious relationship. He may even be divorced. Might have a kid. Or two. Or three.

Despite his heartache with women, despite the divorce, the child custody bullshit, or the messy 7-year relationship with his live-in girlfriend ending, he’s game. He still wants a relationship. He still wants someone to come home to at night, share his day with, and possibly have children with. He wants someone to share his life with.

He loves his friends, but having a woman in his life is way more important.

He may be balding. He looks um… aged slightly. He has wrinkles around his eyes and most likely is going gray. He doesn’t have the body or strength he used to.
______

But, in reality, a man may not go through these stages at all. I’ve known men who are 21 that skip the 20-year-old phase and go right to the 40-year-old phase. I’ve also met men in their late 40’s who act like a 20-year-old. Graying, balding, freaking Peter Pans.

Fine. I’ve also met 30 something’s who are kind, responsible, good guys looking for a relationship. They aren’t all bad. Just some.***

It’s all a freaking crap-shoot, really.
______

*Scientific meaning not actually scientific at all.

**Or totally 100% biased.

***By ‘some’ I mean most.

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Tales of Tahn, Part III

This evening after I ate dinner, I took my sad sack of a dog to the dog park. (She sure gets sad when she’s had a day of no activity. Sad Sack Tahn breaks my heart). I took her to the park despite I had ANOTHER sinus headache. (Something in the air here in Sacto is really upsetting my sinuses…)

When we got to the dog park, I saw this:

Doesn't the water look so clean?

I knew as soon as Tahn got slightly hot she would go right in the kiddie pool. Tahn LOVES to swim. (Despite her bad behavior chronicled on previous posts).

Sure enough, before I knew it, in she went:

(well, you see, I’m too cheap to pay for the video to be inserted in my blog, so you’ll have to click this link to see it on youtube. sorry)

Tahn went in and out of the water for over an hour, being possessed by a demon each time. She had a ball. Nothing that dog likes more then water. (Well, maybe expect me. And food).

Tahn, SOAKED, in the parking lot waiting to go home...

Needless to say, she will not be sleeping next to me on my bed tonight…

____

Quick side note update!!!: Despite the part of me that said “go for it!” I totally resisted the Bad Boy dog owner at the park tonight. He had Brittany written all over him. And, his dog was adorable. But, I waved off his crunching (Never Been Kissed – Anyone? Anyone? Great movie) and moved on trying to get my soaking wet dog into my car, trying to not let her touch anything – BTW it was unsuccessful.

Quick side note II: Why are there only (usually) older, unattractive, kinda weird men at the dog park? How come no young guys have dogs? How come the dog park is FULL of young, beautiful women?!?!

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Why Women Love Bad Boys

In my recent trip to San Diego to visit my sister, I was telling one of her good friends, Ann Marie, about my latest guy. I was agonizing whether I should let it go, or try to make something work. I knew (from the minute I met him) that he was not a long-term guy for me, but I thought he would be a fun guy to get to know.

Plus, he was a Reformed Bad Boy.

And I love Reformed Bad Boys.

I’ve loved reformed bad boys as far as I can remember. (They have to be Reformed, not currently a Bad Boy – like my first boyfriend when I was 15. He brought a bullet to school when we were 8 – and was expelled. But, hello, by age 15 he totally changed! He was REFORMED, people. Except for the fact that 5 years later he was put in jail for messing up some guy’s face…)

Anyhoo. I was telling Ann Marie about him, (the new guy, not my 15-year-old beau) about how he is Reformed Bad Boy, and I knew he wasn’t good for me. She told me why she though women were attracted to Bad Boys (currently or Reformed).

1. Bad Boys have an edge

There’s just something about them. The way they carry themselves, the way they sit, the way the talk. Bad Boys have it. However, I have found, this ‘edge’ that Bad Boys have is actually a false cloak that the where to mask their insecurities. They put out this energy of severe masculinity (thus, the cool swagger) but really it’s false.

2. Bad Boys have stories

They’ve seen it, they’ve done it, and they just have had so many crazy experiences. Some of the tales I’ve heard from men shock the hell out of me. At first when I heard these stories they were so intriguing, so captivating. I was so thankful that these men felt “safe enough” to tell me these well, let’s say “abnormal” experiences (at least compare to my life…) But then, it became clear that my Reformed Bad Boys were actually proud of some of these stories. Or, I find myself hearing the same story as the last guy. When my latest Reformed Bad Boy told me his harrowing stories I literally cupped my face in my hands. I sat there in disbelief. Not only because of the story he was telling me (it was whopper) but also because I found myself liking a guy that was just like every guy I’ve liked before…

3. Bad Boys have a wild side

They ride motorcycles. They drive fast. They drive their motorcycles fast. They like adventure. This is all so much fun, exhilarating and all until you are in the car with them driving fast and you ask them to pleaseslowdown and they don’t. They don’t seem to have any regard for the fact that you are very uncomfortable. You go out with them again (well, because you like them, duh) and by this time you say much firmer, SLOW DOWN. They don’t. And for some reason, you keep getting in the car with them driving. For 2 years.

Not that I have any experience with that…

4. Bad Boys are spontaneous

Oh, how they’re spontaneous. And it’s so great! They think of so many fun, different things to do. (And you never know what they’re going to do!!) Like hike a hill on a Wednesday evening just to share a bottle of wine and look at the stars. That is until, life gets complicated and spontaneity is anything but practical. Sure, it would be fun to drive all night to the beach so we could watch the sun rise. But, it’s 9pm and I have to be at work at 8am tomorrow. And, I’d like to go to the gym before that. Bad Boys don’t like that. They tend not to like the “grind” of life.

5. Bad Boys have mystery

The mystery. The stories are evidence there is so much about their life you may not know. It’s thrilling really. Until of course, the mystery fades and you seen all of their skeletons and it’s not sexy or interesting.

6. Bad Boys know what they’re doing

They know how to talk to women. They know how to touch your back in a subtle way. They just know what women like to be told, and be treated.  News flash: this is NOT because they think you are special. They do this to all the women they date. Not just you. Sorry.

7. Bad Boys are totally devoted to you… Until they’re not

Ann Marie said this to me and I realized she couldn’t be more right. If you think about most Bad Boys they are just head-over-heals into you. They say really kind compliments to you. They notice things about you – they are attuned to many details about you (as opposed to that kinda dorky guy who can’t stop playing with his phone because he loves his new app – and doesn’t realize you don’t care about his new app and you would like some attention, please). Bad Boys get it. As stated in #6, they know what they’re doing. But here’s the kicker – Bad Boys will give you all their attention and then drop it. Usually they drop it because something better has come along (not necessarily another woman, it can be anything more exciting or appealing) or because they have a short attention span and always need something fun and new to have around and well, you’re just not that anymore. I have yet to met a Bad Boy who has remained totally, kindly, lovingly devoted to a woman for more than a couple of years.

_____

Well, needless to say, I am no longer seeing that Reformed Bad Boy. And, I hope to never see one romantically again…

(And if I do, I give all of you permission to scream, “What the hell are you thinking?!?!?!”)

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A difficult thing about dating

Dating is challenging. We all know that. People who meet their husband/wife/partner/spouse in high school and are really truly happy 10 years later are just plain lucky. Heck, anyone who is happy with his or her spouse after 10 years is lucky.

Anyway. Some lucky people date very little before they find the person they want to be with. I’ve met these people. They are eternally optimistic about dating. They say super useless things like, “Dating is FUN” and “I just lllooovvveedd dating.”  Really? Oh, that’s right. They forget that the person they had all this fun dating is usually the person they are currently with.

And hell yes – it is really super fun to date someone you really like and who really likes you. It’s even more fun to fall in love with that person and build a life together.

Anyhow. That is not the case for many people. And those ‘many people’? They include me. I’ve been on many dates. Well, I guess it depends on how you define many. I have had a good amount of first dates. A lot. And, I’ve had a good handful of second dates. And, I’ve had just a few dates beyond that third date.

Here’s the thing: if you’ve gone on one date and you don’t click, or he’s socially awkward, or completely and totally inappropriate, or wildly offensive, you just shrug it off. You have a great story to tell your friends, have a good laugh (okay fine, depending how many bad dates you’ve had in a row, a good cry) and you move on. No gain, no freakin’ pain. It’s all good.

However. If you are lucky enough to make it past that elusive-not-very-common-third-date you risk the chance of pain. Not a “ohmygoshIthoughtIwasgoingtomarryhim!” hurt; a completely different kind of grief.

It took me my last two “past three dates” guys (read: not boyfriends) to realize this special type of hurt. When you’ve gotten to (or past) the three-date point (and probably before the 3 month mark, roughly) you really get use to the attention from another person.

You get use to the regular texts throughout the day. “What’s your day like?” “How are you this morning?” “What do you have going on tonight?

You miss the daily emails. “You will never believe what just happened! Okay, so …

And you really miss the phone calls. Those nightly phone calls – the recap of your days, the silly stories you share, and the information you glean as you learn about this person.

My friends are awesome. My family is fantastic. They give me loads of attention. At anytime I can text my beasties, (yep- I just said beasties. I’m cool like that) or call my family they are happy to chat or text about whatever I want. But this attention is not the same.

There’s nothing quite like seeing the name of someone you’re dating flash up as caller ID when your cell phone is ringing. Or better yet, when you check your phone after a night out with your friends you see a missed call and have a voice mail.  A voice mail. It just makes you feel so special.

So, when that ends – almost always abruptly – you feel a loss. You don’t necessarily miss that person (there was a pretty good reason you stopped seeing them, after all) but you miss that attention. You miss feeling special.

And, it’s particularly difficult when you are trying to get over that loss, and then the MF (read: swear words) calls you… to see how you are! (Of course). Wow. Now you realize you have to break-up with that person all over again. (Somehow your first message was not understood, apparently).

Hello, pain. I was just healing and here you come again.

But, fortunately, these little dating pains do pass and you feel better before you know it – until then… you just gotta feel the pain.

And drink lots of wine. 🙂

Hello, wine.

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The Job Search and Dating

“In New York, they say you’re always looking for a job, a boyfriend, or an apartment.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

As a job seeker and single woman, I spend a lot of my free time looking for a better job and a great guy (I have a GREAT apartment). And, in the last few months, it has occurred to me just how similar the job search and dating really are.

Similarity #1: People asking questions

People who know you are looking for a job, or looking for a relationship almost always ask you about your search (for a job or a man). This is an exhausting question. First of all, usually the same culprits ask you; those who love or care deeply for you but don’t speak to you on a regular basis. This is usually the first question they ask you:

“Have you found any good jobs lately?” or “How’s the job search going?”

Or, even worse, “Have you met anyone great lately?” or “Are you seeing someone new?”

These questions are troublesome because almost always the answer is the same:

Yes, I have found some jobs I am applying to and no, I haven’t gotten any interviews yet.

Or, your response is:

No, I haven’t met anyone new. Or, No one I ever want to see again. Or, Yes, I met a guy, but he lives with his parents and is the most socially awkward man I have ever met.

I understand that these people are trying to be kind and learn about your life, but, let me tell you – any job seeker or person dating will tell you – usually no news is bad news – so just leave it at that.

Similarity #2: The job interview/ date

The preparation for the job interview/ date can be very much alike. You want to look your best. You spend extra time getting ready. You are putting your best foot forward.

The actual job interview/ date can be awkward, uncomfortable, nerve racking.  You think carefully about what you say, and possibly will obsess over something you said (or didn’t say later).

When you leave the job interview/ date, you usually check in with someone to tell them how it went; you go over things talked about, questions asked, and how you feel it went.

Immediately after the job interview/ date, you normally know how you feel about it. You know if you want the job (or to go out again), or if you don’t want the job (or are afraid he likes you and you have to let him down easy). Either way, anxiety kicks in, and you wait to hear from them.

If it’s a job, it could be over a week until you get a call back. If it’s a guy, it could be up to three days until he calls you (Really? Why the three-day-rule? Could someone please explain to me why guys do this?)

During the time of waiting, (if you want the job/ guy), you try to distract yourself. You go out with friends, you throw yourself into a “Bones” marathon, and you walk your dog. Everyday. Multiple times a day. Anything but to sit around a wait for that call.

Similarity #3 The decision

Woo-hoo! You got a job offer! The guy called! Yes!!! So great!

Now, you have to consider the offer. For the job, is it the money that you are looking for? What about the benefits? You love the company, but is it a good offer?

For the guy, he called. He likes you too. (Yay!!!) But, did you meet some of his friends and they aren’t good guys? Or, he works all the time and only can fit you into his schedule once a week? Or, has he told you that he likes you, but isn’t sure that marriage is for him? You like the guy, but is it a good fit?

Now, is the most heart-wrenching, hardest part of the whole job search/ dating debacle. You have to decide if this job/ guy is really right for you. And you know what? Sometimes it isn’t.

In January, I was offered a great job at a great company – I was so happy. But, they money they offered me was not even close to what I need to make to live. I had to turn it down – which was very hard decision – because the job wasn’t the right fit for me. And, this is often the case with guys. You have to walk away because although you like him (and he likes you too!) he is just not what you need to live happily.

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Thus, here is the thing with the Job Search and Dating. Overall, it is really hard. Overall, it is really exhausting. But, overall, the right job or right guy, can make all of this really worth it.

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