Boys

What is “Dating”, for 600?

This weekend was a weird one. A good one, but weird. I spent a lot of time walking, and therefore thinking. And what else does a girl in a Situationship think about but what’s going on, how she feels about it, if she sees it going anywhere, where it’s going. The list could go on and on. But for both our sakes, I’ll stop there.

So Saturday was spent thinking and then using my friend as a sounding board. I came to a number of conclusions… most of them weren’t right. More than anything, I was looking for an answer to where the situationship was going. And the only person I could ask was Coach.

Sunday night comes around, and I didn’t exactly ask him (I had decided I was content with how things were and there was really no point in starting the conversation before I had decided where I wanted it to go)… but I definitely found out. The dreaded DTR take two!

Long story short: Something completely ruined the mood of the evening and we ended up just sitting in an awkward silence for a few minutes. Avoiding most eye contact. But since were adults in a mature adult relationship, we decided we needed to talk about it. We did. I cried. He comforted me. He shared everything about his past relationships. I listened. He told me he’d be better at communicating.

Then he told me he still didn’t want to rush things and that he’s glad we’re “dating”.

That’s kind of where I had to start talking and asking questions. I had been listening intently for so long and only interrupted like three times (If you know me, you know how hard that is for me!!).

What is “dating”…? He said we’re “not exclusive”. I knew that. But I also know that neither one of us is seeing or sleeping with anyone else. And I know my antics on St. Patrick’s Day were not the behavior of someone in an exclusive relationship. Buttttttt what were the expectations of me? Did I need to tell him I’d made out with three different people and that’s why I got so sick the week after? Did I need to tell him anything? Would I want him to tell me anything? No. And when he asked if I wanted to know if he went out (etc.) with anyone else, I told him that.

For a bit we talked about a few hypotheticals and he said maybe there’s a line… like not sleeping with other people before letting the other person know. Thank God the lighting in my room was shadowy because I guarantee that I made a face at that. Not that I’m trying to sleep with other people… but if we aren’t allowed to sleep with other people… then we are exclusive. THAT IS LITERALLY THE DEFINITION.

I asked him if he would call me before having sex with the hypothetical girl we’d been talking to and told him I would not be calling him if roles were reversed. Can you imagine?! Mid-makeout session…”Hold on, I just gotta call the guy I’m kind of seeing and just check in with him to let him know I’m going to sleep with you…”

In the end he agreed and we have now officially defined the relationship. We are dating. Non-exclusively. And the only time we will ever tell each other about a third party person is if we are ending things. Otherwise, we’re just going to keep seeing each other and seeing where things go.

Surprisingly I feel really good about the conversation and where we landed. I’m now clear on where we stand and where things are going.

So cheers to a successful DTR take two. Even if technically nothing has changed… (aside from my slight guilt for wanting to makeout with that third guy from St. Patrick’s Day again).

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Boys

(Don’t) Kiss Me Before You Go.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a thing where when a guy friend of mine tells me he’s moving to another city, I get all emotional and all of a sudden, out of no where catch feelings for him.

I call it a thing because it has happened not once. Not twice… but four times. FOUR. And the what really makes it a thing, is that it follows this pattern: I (usually) don’t have feelings before they tell me, and then I have allllll the feelings after. And then shit hits the fan in one way or another and all things end badly.

The first time was literal hell. The second time was heart breaking. And the third time was insane. The first guy was a dick, and the third just had some growing up to do. I’m grateful nothing ever really came from any of this. The second time, the feelings were a pre-existing condition and things didn’t end badly, but also our friendship was very strong and still is.

So this fourth time is different. And in an attempt to have grown, I didn’t let myself develop real feelings. We weren’t as close, and because the guy has been saying he’s moving basically for the last year, the sense of urgency that I think fuels the feelings (and inevitable hitting of the fan by shit) doesn’t exist. Apparently he’s really moving next month, and last month or so I drunkenly told him that we should hook up before he left. He said “maybe”. (Maybe?! K.) Whatever, at the time I may have meant it. Now, I sooo don’t.

What is it about news of a departure that drives people into making rash decisions and taking action in a way that they normally wouldn’t? I’m clearly a prime example of this, but I know it happens to other people too. If it didn’t, every movie wouldn’t end with a confession of love in a airport.

There was even a thing in college called Before We Leave (or something like that) where you listed the top people you wished you had hooked up with but didn’t, and if the other person had you on their list then y’all would be notified so you could make plans to smash before you graduated.

Honestly, I don’t have answers. Obviously or I wouldn’t have now done this so many times. But what I will say, is unless the feelings exist beforehand, it’s not worth getting into. There’s no need to race the clock to make something happen that wouldn’t have happened organically. If he’s not going overseas, there’s no reason to rush. And if he is… well that’s what WhatsApp is for.

With #4, we’d had a flirtation for over a year and actually drunkenly made out (I told y’all, that’s my MO). But even though there is a level of attraction, thanks to the positive nature of my relationship with Coach (and even my connection with my third makeout session partner from St. Patrick’s Day), I decided that the attraction isn’t worth the shit.

So when he invited me out last night to “chill” in a way that seemed to want to make that “maybe” and yes, I used the fact that I’ve been sick to my advantage and politely declined.

I’ll cap my thing at 3.5 times and call it a day.

Booze, Boys

Up All Night to Get Lucky

Saint Patrick’s Day. A day to drink green beer and Irish Car Bombs. Especially in Boston. And since I’m a young whipper snapper, I decided that a bar crawl was in order.

Spoiler alert: 1) I was up all night. 2) I did not get lucky… But I could have.

Now for the protection of all those involved I won’t disclose all the details of the shenanigans (What happens on Landsdown Street stays on Landsdown Street). But LOLOLOL! I did not realize how thirsty Saint Patrick’s Day made people. And not for alcohol (obviously everyone is already drunk).

We started the crawl around 12:30pm and shockingly I was not drunk by 3:30 and blackout by 6:00 as was expected. That said, questionable decisions were made by all. And you know…when in Rome! (See blurry dance floor photo for proof).

So while we were all very responsible during the day – A drink here and there. Bowling and arcade games. Lots of bar food – By the time night fell, so did we. At some point we made friends with this group of guys and while I didn’t think pairing off was something that happened after middle school, that is exactly what happened. And suddenly after countless drinks, dancing slash making out to Irish flute music wasn’t at all weird. It wasn’t until this morning that we realized that the guys we were macking on were 21. More than numbers were exchanged by some.

Luckily, I didn’t go home with the 21 year old stand up comedian. Instead, when the original group disbursed around midnight, I chose to meet up with another group. An Uber ride, a drink, and a Vegas Bomb later, I found myself on another dance floor with another guy in my third make out session of the night. I know, I know. Blame Saint Patrick’s Day.

I don’t think I need to clarify but Coach wasn’t with me yesterday. So none of these make out sessions were with him. And oddly I was (and am) okay with that. Not that things aren’t going well with him, but we’re not exclusive and we haven’t actually defined our relationship (despite the kind of DTR convo).

This last guy is someone I’ve known for a bit but haven’t seen in a while. I had a thing for him and clearly still do. He’s really nice. He gave me his jacket to wear (I didn’t bring one), we ended up going to IHOP, and he drove me home at 5:30am. And even though we had made out on the dance floor there was still an awkward car kiss. I even asked him if it would be weird if I kissed him before kissing him. Because asking that isn’t weird or awkward in any way. I guess that’s my MO.

So that’s my Saint Patrick’s story. Up all night. Did not get lucky (had three chances to). Thank god most of my thirst was quenched by vodka.

Boys

Anyone Here Single?

I went away this weekend. I attempted to write something but ended up drinking three mini boxes of wine with a straw. Unfortunately for me, writing and wine don’t quite mix (but remember what does pair well with wine?) So my irregular blog schedule continues. I promise it’s something I’m working on fixing!

So naturally when I returned from my weekend away, I met up with Coach. As you all know, Coach and I recently kind of had the dreaded DTR convo… kind of (for those of you who aren’t familiar with Coach, I suggest you go back and read my last bunch of Boys posts). Butttttt the thing is, we DTR-ed by not really defining the relationship and not deciding to be exclusive and basically not taking any action at all. Make sense? No? Let’s just go with it. I’ve seen him four times since the DTR convo, and things are very normal and progressing as I assume a mature adult relationship progresses. Did I ever mention I’ve never been in a relationship? No? Well… yep. But it’s not surprising considering my typical indifference toward people.

Anyway, we went to the Liquid Courage Comedy Club at Slumbrew in Somerville. It was pretty fun and the food and beer were great! During one of the sets, a comedian asked “anyone here single?” and asked for a show of hands. Andddddd neither Coach nor I raised our hands.

I didn’t act weird at all in the moment. Shocking, I know. But now… I can’t help but wonder. I mean, I’m not dating anyone else and I’m not sleeping with anyone else. And as I understand, neither is he. So did we not raise our hands because even though we aren’t together together, technically we are together? Or would it just have been weird to raise our hands since we were out together? Either way, I don’t consider myself single at the moment. But I feel like this situation is a pretty common one. This is what my friend Danny* has named a “Situationship”. We’ve all been there.

So sans DTRing, how and when do you decide you are suddenly not single?

  1. Do you see the person you’ve been seeing on a regular basis?
  2. Would you flirt with someone else in front of the person you’ve been seeing?
  3. Are you interested in dating anyone else?
  4. Are you interested in sleeping with anyone else?
  5. Have you told your friends about the person you’ve been seeing?
  6. Have you told your mom (or parent figure) about the person you’ve been seeing?
  7. Have you and the person you’ve been seeing talked about going away together for a weekend trip?
  8. Is this weekend trip potentially a long ways away but still very likely to happen?
  9. Do you have a couples massage scheduled with the person you’ve been seeing?
  10. If a comic asked you to raise your hand if you’re single, would you raise your hand?

If the answer to 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 is yes, and the answer to 2, 3, 4, and 10 is no… then you might not be single.

But, I’m in no place to tell you what that means… I’ll let you know when I find out.

Boys

The Dreaded DTR

So it’s been nearly a week since my last post. I’ve been pretty busy wrapping up at work and getting ready for the new job. I also had friends visit last weekend and somehow had the most hectic social life I’ve had in a while. But even with that craziness, it’s not exactly why I haven’t posted anything this week. The real reason is that I was spending time with Coach. Between Sunday and Wednesday, we spent over 45 hours together. It was wonderful, but also it was a lot.

He came over on Sunday evening. We hadn’t seen each other for over a week – which was the longest we’d gone since the second weekend in January when we started actually hanging out again after the whole “too cold” thing. We quickly realized that more than a week was too long. We ended up grabbing dinner and then going to A4cade in Central Square. Since he coaches basketball (this is why I call him Coach), I’d been dying to get him to the arcade to see how good he was on the free throw game (he got 84 points, so I was impressed). On Monday morning after it became clear neither one of us had anywhere to be, I made breakfast and eventually we went out into the world to do things – laundry, lunch, bowling, dinner. We ended up spending all day together and throughout the day we talked about the future in a vague way that I couldn’t quite wrap my head around. At one point he said something about taking me to a Caribbean festival in the fall (fall is 7 months away!), and at another, we talked about going away for a weekend to go snowboarding. I was happy about both of these things, but it was a little overwhelming because I didn’t feel like I really knew what he was thinking or how he felt about us. Was there even really an “us”?

When he dropped me off at my apartment and drove away, I realized how much I had wanted him to come inside and stay over again. That in itself freaked me out a little, but more than anything: after 28 hours together and vague discussion of the future, I knew we had to have the talk soon. The dreaded DTR (define the relationship).

It was not something I wanted to do. Of course I like spending time with him. And I’m not dating anyone else. And I’m not sleeping with anyone else. But am I ready for him to be my boyfriend? Is that even what I want? Is that even what he wants? And also, a few weeks ago I kind of brought it up… well, he had asked if I was still on Tinder, I said kind of but my profile was hidden, and then I asked him if he was dating anyone else. He had said he’d gone out on dates since we met. I told him I had too, but that I had recently canceled a date because I would’ve rather spent time with him. I’d like to think I made myself pretty clear on where I stood. But we didn’t agree to be exclusive. We didn’t discuss next steps. We kind of just left it there. And I was fine with that. Then.

So despite the DTR dread, when I got a text from him on Tuesday night saying he wanted to sleep in my bed (it’s really comfortable), I was happy and told him to come over. But on Wednesday morning, I kind of forced the conversation. I wasn’t planning on it. I had the day off so he took the day off and we had unspoken plans to spend the day together. That morning when we were getting ready to go out and he asked me about snowboarding, I told him my mom had said we could come to New Hampshire, and he teased me and asked if I was telling her about him. I told him yes, because I like him (this was the second time I’d told him). After some hesitation and some slight (?) teasing/prying by me, he got serious and told me he likes me, too. I was glad to hear it, but I couldn’t stop myself from wanting more…

At that point I word vomited and asked him if he was dating anyone else (again). He told me he wasn’t but didn’t really have a response when I asked why he wasn’t. Was it because he doesn’t want to? Or just because he isn’t? I try really hard to be communicative and to share my feelings, because even though it makes us vulnerable, it also makes us strong. So I kept pushing the conversation forward. He didn’t seem to mind that much. There were uncomfortable moments, moments that were tear-filled, and moments when we needed a break. Eventually I think we got to a solid level of understanding.

Coach isn’t my boyfriend. But we spent the rest of the day together. I met a friend of his from college. We got lunch and walked around a cute town just outside of the city holding hands and talking about where we wanted to live in the future (gross, I know). And later that night, he took me to one of his favorite spots in the city (a park by the water) and showed me how to properly eat a mango.

I realize now that there is not one DTR conversation, but that it’s an open dialogue as the relationship grows. Obviously at some point we’ll have another one and maybe then we’ll agree to be exclusive, or that he’s my boyfriend. But for now, it’s too soon, too fast, too much. 45 hours was as much as I think we can handle for now.

Body, Boys

Let’s Get Naked!

When I was little my mom would take me with her when she went shopping. Clothing stores were the my favorite because back in the early 1990s all of the clothes were hung on circular racks…and I used to sneak off and hide inside them. Of course. While I may have gotten lost once or twice (sorry mom!), most of the time it wasn’t hard for my mom to find me… she just had to find the rack that looked like a clothing volcano. See, once I was inside the racks, I’d take off all my clothes and throw them out the top of the rack. Sometimes I’d try on the new clothes. Then I’d throw those out the top too. The rack that was spewing clothes was the one I was in. I’m sure the associated loved me.

But most of the time (I’m told) I just wanted to be naked.

When we’re young we’re not ashamed of our bodies. It is simply the skin-covered thing that we live inside. Our bodies let us run and jump and do cool things like climb trees and swing on the monkey bars. I remember one summer I learned to do them. I was so happy! And then something changed. At some point I lost that sense of fearlessness and adventure and began restricting what my body could do. Suddenly my body became something negative that I was trapped inside of. The lack of positivity continued and, like most girls, I became more concerned with what my body looked like and less with what it could do.

As part of my weight loss journey I decided to see what my body could do again. Running, yoga, swimming, hiking, etc. But I realized that getting past the fear of what my body could do was just one part of the issue. The other was getting past the fear of how my body looked. As I’ve said, it’s not just about the weight, but after years of being told to change, to cover up, to hide your curves, to drop a few pounds, the layers build up and it’s hard to get back to being comfortable with not just how your body looks, but actually looking at your body.

Before two years ago, I could not have told you a time when I had looked at myself in the mirror. Really looked. Once I started losing weight, I’d catch my reflection in a store window and think “is that really me?” I was actually surprised at my own reflection! Strangely, it was my face more than anything. Once I thought about this, I realized that before two years ago, I’d never even really looked at myself naked. Ever. I mean, how dare I look at my own naked body?! Put some clothes on, Jenn! Don’t be vain! But despite what we’re told (and despite female nipples not being allowed on social media), our bodies are not something to be ashamed of. Especially naked.

So I started to do it. Looking at myself in the mirror. Naked. To learn what I actually looked like. Of course I noticed changes… 40 lbs is a lot, but I noticed even at 20 lbs. I was proud of what I’d accomplished, but it wasn’t just that. I noticed freckles and beauty marks I’d unknowingly had for over 20 years (and secretly hoped no one would ever need to use them to identify my body in a serial killer situation). I noticed scars I’d forgotten about from when I had the chicken pox or when I fell on the playground. And of course, I noticed rolls and wrinkles and dimples and stretch marks that I’d had for as long as I could remember. But somehow now, I was not ashamed of them.

I started liking what I saw in the mirror.

Now, I’m not an advocate for seeking external approval, especially when it comes to your body… but I will admit that it didn’t hurt that I was getting into the dating scene and felt more attractive than I ever had before. Once I realized that the guy I was seeing at the time (French Toast) was all about my rolls and dimples, I knew that the body negativity was crazy and something I had to get away from. We care so much about how we look, but most of the time our appearance isn’t even for us.

Before French Toast and I slept together the first time, I shaved, exfoliated, moisturized, put make up on, etc. I even matched my bra and my underwear (I meant business). I wanted to look good. I wanted to be attractive. Afterwards, he put his clothes back on and I remember thinking that I should put my clothes back on too. And then I thought to myself, “Why? He literally just had sex with me. I was naked. If he’s cool with my body, why aren’t I?” I did not put my clothes back on. And now I rarely do.

I’ve talked a lot with my friends about this need to be clothed. Especially after sex. And while I understand that it’s something most people do, I’d like to point out that it’s just another sign that we’re taught to hide and be ashamed of our bodies. Friendly reminder that the person you slept with just slept with you. And unless there’s a sex position that I’ve never heard of that allows for your partner to see you at the exact same angle as the perfect selfie you posted to your Snapchat story… they know what you look like. Good, bad, and ugly.

So let’s get naked! I’d like to challenge you to do two things:

  1. Check yourself out in the mirror. Naked. What’s the worst that could happen? (No your mirror will not crack). #WhosTheFairestofThemAll #YouAre
  2. Don’t get dressed after sex. Stay naked. If you’re cold, blankets exist on a bed for a reason. If you’re not in a bed… cool, but beds are super comfortable so find a bed. You’ll thank me after the nap.

See how you feel. See what happens. I’d like to bet that after the first few times that will definitely be slightly awkward, you’ll enjoy it and you’ll appreciate the skin-covered thing you live in a little more. Maybe you’ll realize that being naked is freeing and there’s a reason we’re all born without clothes on. How weird would that be if we weren’t?!

Boys

When a Guy Says He Wants to Date an Independent Woman…

The other night I was out with a friend and we started talking about dating. My friend is very independent and an all around bad ass. She’s not actively dating. It’s not the focus. She’s busy working two jobs, putting herself through school, going to the gym, keeping up with friends, etc. Like I said, she’s an all around bad ass. But, she was telling me that even though it’s not her immediate concern, there are times when she worries that she won’t find someone. Ever.

I get it. I think we all do.

So when we talked more about what she was looking for, she said she didn’t exactly know (I told her to make a list) but she mentioned that she’s found that no matter how much a guy says he wants to date an independent lady, he doesn’t. And I couldn’t disagree.

Early last May I went out with this guy who when we were texting made it seem like he was all about dating women who had their own things going on. It worked for me. But when we met, I started noticing things that pointed in the complete opposite direction. We went out twice in one weekend. That was a huge deal for me because it’s not something I typically do, but after the first date – a lunch date that only lasted an hour – I hadn’t quite figured out if I did or didn’t want to see him again. The weird thing I should have picked up on, was that at the end of lunch when I offered to split the bill, he asked me if we were on a date. And when I said yes, he said, “well, then I’ll pay.”

On our second date (two days later), we went to watch a game at a sports bar and got chicken wings. Somehow whether or not I was confident came up (after he said he was equal parts cocky, confident, and humble #eyeroll) and while I do think I’m a pretty confident person, he basically kept asking questions that implied that I wasn’t or that I shouldn’t be as confident as I am. Note to guys who give backhanded compliments: You’re shitty if you’re purposefully trying to make a girl feel less than she is.

Again, he insisted on paying. At the end of the date I went to Google Map the best way to get home. I mentioned that my phone battery was low, and he offered his phone for me to use. I nearly said yes, but he said… and I quote…”I want you to be dependent on me”. WHAT? Not only was it creepy and weird, but it completely went against the sort of relationship we both seemed interested in: two adults whose lives intersect.

The more I think about it, and the more my friend and I talked about it, we realized that most of the time, when a guy says he’s looking to date an independent woman, he doesn’t really mean it. What he means is that when he wants to do his own thing, he wants a girl to do her own thing. But when he wants to hang out, she should be there. And if she can’t do her own thing… well, then she’s “crazy”. When she sends too many texts, wants to hang out all the time, and insists on making plans. But the thing is…those are completely normal things.

So if you’re an independent woman like Beyoncé, Kelly, and Michelle, you’ll know a guy is ready for your jelly if:

  1. He doesn’t need to be texting/talking constantly.
  2. He’s cool with you fitting him into your busy life and even tries to make plans in advance that work with both your schedules.
  3. He doesn’t get offended when you offer to pay and even lets you split the bill (who doesn’t want to save money not covering food and booze for another person?).

Now, I also want to say that guys aren’t the only culprits here. We do it too. My friend said that while she wants to be independent, she knows that sometimes she wants to be taken care of. There’s a fine balance and nothing is black and white.

The bottom line is: it’s important to understand what you’re looking for in a relationship, and if it’s in sync with what the other person is looking for. If you’re looking to maintain your independence, great! But relationships do require open and honest communicaiton and at times compromise – as long as you’re not compromising yourself or your values. And if you do realize that the guy you’re seeing isn’t respecting your ability to be indepentent… well then maybe that’s a dealbreaker.

Boys

Making a List, and Checking it Twice…

I know the holidays are long over, and if you still have your decorations up now that it’s February, you need to get your act together! When I say “making a list”, I’m not talking your about Christmas list, or if you’ve been good or bad. I’m talking about relationships and making a list to help you get what you want.

See, we make lists every day. We make them to go to the grocery store, to plan our tasks at work, to keep us aware of social obligations, to budget. The list goes on and on. Lists help to facilitate idea generation, organize thoughts, and keep track of progress. So why not make a list when it comes to finding someone to spend the rest of your life with (or at least date for a bit)?

Now before I go on, I want to clarify that I do not mean a long checklist of criteria that you’ll hold all your potential suitors to. That sort of list is often times unrealistic and limiting, and therefore unnecessary.  And unless you yourself can check off all those boxes, you have no right to expect your future significant other to do so. As my mother says, it’s not fair to hold someone else to expectations that you can’t even meet yourself.

The list I’m talking about is one that will allow you to put shit into perspective and focus in on what it is you’re actually looking for. It will help you decide what is a necessity when it comes to your perfect match, and what would just be nice to have. It will help you figure out what it is that you want. And that’s the first step isn’t it?

If you don’t know what you want, then what exactly are you even doing looking?

I made my list right before I turned 25. I’d been single for literally ever. I was making the same mistakes over and over again when it came to my relationships – or really, my almost relationships. I was having a quarter-life crisis and thought I needed to figure out what I was doing with my life. For some reason, instead of focusing the fact that I had a job and roommates that sometimes drove me crazy, I thought “let me find my answers in a man” (obviously this isn’t the right approach).

I’m a planner. I make lists constantly, and for some reason, making this list just felt right. But, I didn’t rush into it. I spent a few weeks thinking about what it was I wanted when it came to dating. Did I even want to be dating? Yes. Okay, so who did I want to be dating?

I remember keeping a small notebook with me and adding a quality here or there as I became aware that it was something that I wanted. It shocked me that I wanted to date someone who was smart. I’m not sure why, but I guess it had never occurred to me until I was making my list. I also didn’t realize how important it was to me that the person I end up with be family-oriented. My immediate family is close, but I’m not close with much extended family. I continued to add things and take away other things, question the word I chose, and run the list by my close friends.

Eventually I came up with this:

IMG_4112

My list isn’t perfect. I never narrowed things down to just one word. Silly and funny could probably be combined, but it’s a work in progress and it helped me figure out what I want. And Mom, this is not my way of saying that Coach is my soulmate and we’re getting married. Far from it. But I do think that he has all of these qualities.

Looking at the list, I realize that it’s pretty spot on for what I look for in a friend too. I’ve said before that I wouldn’t be romantically involved with someone if I wouldn’t also want them as a friend. It’s the hopeless romantic in me, but I want to be best friends with whoever I end up with. That’s why I always used to fall for my friends.

The thing that was most unexpected in making the list is that doing so helped me realize who I want to be. Not just in a relationship, but for myself. I think that this is also ultimately the reason I’ve been able to open myself up to the possibility of being with someone, because I know I am a person I’d want to be with. And being this person set me up to attract another person with these qualities. Opposites might attract, but birds of a feather…

So drink the Kool-Aid and make your list:

  1. Write down all the qualities/characteristics/attributes you are looking for in a person. Don’t censor yourself here. Tall and handsome are okay to list. It doesn’t mean you’re shallow.
  2. Reflect on the words you’ve chosen. Do you mean “intelligent” when you wrote down “educated”? Does it matter that they are “intelligent” or is it about their passion to learn or for their work? Or their drive?
  3. Review your list. Cross off the characteristics that you can live without. Combine similar qualities or ones that can be grouped to fall under a larger characteristic. Narrow it down to 10-12 words.

When you’re done, rewrite it. Remember it. Put it somewhere safe. Go back and change in a few months or years.

I’m not promising that making a list of what you want will find you the perfect person. No one is perfect, and if that’s what you’re looking for then you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. But by making a list of what you want, you figure out what you really want. And then when you’re looking for it, maybe you’ll be able to see it when it buys you a drink at your favorite bar.

Boys

When You’re Dating a Bad Texter…

As we all know, I’m not seeing anyone besides Coach right now. I’ve gone back and forth on if I want to meet other people and I don’t. And it’s not just that I’m lazy (I am). That said, there have been a few times over the last two weeks where I’ve questioned if he’s really interested… because of the way he texts.

See, he responds fine when we do text, but sometimes the conversation feels one sided (my side) with lots of one word answers or disjointed messages from him even if he was the one that started the conversation. And sometimes I get confused about what we’re talking about, misread his tone, and/or he seems completely disinterested. Cue internal alarm bells.

Normally I would take this as a sign to cut off communication – He’s not interested, so why am I wasting my time? Plus, I don’t want to come across too eager or needy. HOWEVER, in the few times he and I have talked on the phone, things are fine. And while he doesn’t talk as much as I do (who does?), we never seem to run out of things to talk about when we are together. SO, I’m going to chalk up the text issue to a condition many people suffer from, something I’ve decided to call Maltextitis.

Symptoms of maltextitis (bad texter disease) include one word responses, long pauses in conversation – up to a few days even, and texts that don’t seem to have a developed or positive text tone (y’all know what I’m talking about). Coach definitely has maltextitis.

So what do you do when you’re dating someone who sucks at texting?

First: chill. And remind yourself that they are just a bad texter and it has nothing to do with you or their interest in you. People are busy and it’s probably a good thing he’s not on his phone 24/7. If he were, he’d be glued to it instead of to you when you’re together. And that, my friend, is never fun. It can also lead to suspicion about what he’s doing on his phone and who he’s messaging. Don’t go there.

Second: express a desire for better communication. If that means you start talking on the phone, do it. I know we’re not a phone call generation, but as my mother tells me, it’s a great way to get to know someone and stay connected when you’re apart. Shocking, I know. At least we’re not trying to talk to someone on a phone with a cord like our parents did. Other options include: Snapchat (though imho this is the lowest form of communication), Facebook, or even Gchat while you’re both at work (we all have that open so don’t play).

Tres: Figure out how he does express himself, make a note of it, and subtly encourage it. Coach told me yesterday that he was thinking about me all day but was busy and didn’t want to text me if he couldn’t keep a conversation. It was very sweet and I was kind of disappointed I didn’t get a cute check in text. I told him that “Thinking of you” texts are fine by me. (And as I said this, I gagged a little and then went back to smiling).

Lastly, if you’re really looking for constant contact, maybe a bad texter isn’t right for you. Communication is key in a relationship and if their slow response rate really doesn’t work for you, you might just have to find someone who is on the same page as you text-wise. In general, I don’t think being a bad texter is a deal breaker, but I don’t think people change their texting ways.

So there you have it. If you ask me, texting is for checking in and making plans. Beyond that, just spend time together.

Booze, Boys

Is it Ever Okay to Show up Intoxicated to a Date?

I’ve been talking to my friend about a date she went on over the weekend. It was a first date and she met the guy on a dating app. They met up at a Mexican restaurant in Cambridge, hung out there and then ended up going to another bar nearby for drinks and appetizers. Sounds like a good date to me.

Apparently it wasn’t.

While the guy himself sounds like he was okay – aside from how loud he talked – the problem seems to be that he was… as she put, “tipsy”, and as I’m inferring, drunk. He was overly enthusiastic the whole time they were together, and asked her the same question four to five times. He even invited her to pregame and hang out with his friends later on that night…

What’s the big deal? We all have a drink or two (or more) on a date. It helps with nerves, makes us looser and more agreeable, and sometimes even more interesting. Sometimes. But I’d like to point out that these things are often times our own perception of our behavior. Someone else might see us as a loud, drunk person stumbling all over ourselves. And I will be the first to say: That’s not attractive.

I remember when I first started dating in the modern world of swiping, I would have two or three drinks on the date. It made me more comfortable and as a person who is sometimes uptight, it helped when meeting new people. But I will say none of those dates ever resulted in more than one or two dates.

And now that I think about it, a guy I went on a date with in December actually came to our date stoned. It was a first date. While we were at dinner, he told me he had smoked not one, but two blunts before before meeting me. The date was fine, and I forgot that he wasn’t sober and looked past a few things that later I would realize were red flags. I would’ve gone out with him again but he turned into a crazy person over text a few days later.

So (Carrie Bradshaw voice) is it ever okay to show up intoxicated to a date?

There’s a pretty big difference between having a few drinks during the span of a date and pregaming the date itself. From what I can tell, pregaming the date is exactly what this guy my friend went out with did. That is not okay. And needless to say, my friend was not impressed.

I’m going to go with no… and here’s why.

Taking the edge off is one thing, but there is certain behavior we tend to revert to when we’re drunk or stoned. Talking very loudly is kind of awkward and can make the other person uncomfortable. Of course drunk behavior is all very individual (I get responsible and flirty), but if you’re trying to put your best foot forward, going intoxicated doesn’t set you up for success because you’re not presenting yourself as you actually are.

When you’re drunk, etc. you’re not able to fully focus on what is going on. If you’re really wanting to connect with the person you’re out with, being drunk and not remembering that you’ve asked them the same question five times is going to make them feel like a) you’re not paying attention and b) you didn’t care enough about the date to be in a state of mind that would actually allow you to connect.

Lastly, if you wouldn’t want someone to arrive under the influence to a date with you, you should definitely not show up to a date drunk or high. The nice thing about grabbing a drink or two with someone you’ve been talking to on a dating app, or met in the coffee shop, is that you’re in this weird dating thing together. You’re both nervous and if anything, you should get drunk together, bond over margaritas, and tell each other embarrassing stories from when you were in middle school and only wore black and pink and for some reason arm warmers.