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?!

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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.

Boys

The Leave Behind

This weekend I spent most of my time with Coach. We went out on a proper date Saturday night and got breakfast on Sunday. And then I saw him again Sunday evening…

So one might think “wow! That’s basically the whole weekend, this is getting serious!” But hold up… while I would’ve loved to see him again Sunday night just because, that was not the case. I saw him again because of The Leave Behind (not that I’m complaining).

The Leave Behind is a trick, or tactic, that one uses as a way to guarantee another get together. Example: a friend of mine recently hooked up with a guy and he left his sweatshirt at her apartment. And his toothbrush #ew. Obviously he’s going to see her again. And if he doesn’t, he’s going to be cold and have bad breath.

Now I want to clarify that the Leave Behind is not a tactic used by the person whose abode y’all were at. If you hide someone’s shit on them just to get them to come back, you are crazy and that person should definitely run.

Moving on. Coach left his cell phone charger. A cell phone charger is something one needs to survive these days. I forgot mine at home today and my phone was at 8% battery by 1pm. I had to borrow a coworkers.

So when I realized he had forgotten it, I called him and told him. He said he realized just moments before I called and that he would have to come by later. By the time he got back to my apartment that evening, his phone was dead. Basically he had no other option but to come back. And I had no other option but to invite him inside. Again, I’m not complaining.

My friend from college put it best. In her best Carrie Bradshaw voice she said: “I couldn’t help but wonder if leaving your phone charger is the new leaving your earring.”

I vote yes.

My reasoning:

  1. We can’t all pull off the OG Leave Behind because we a) don’t have glass slippers, and b) even if we did, would we really run across a grimy club/bar floor barefoot?
  2. At the speed of modern dating, earrings are too small to notice before y’all swipe right on the next person. Phone chargers, on the other hand, are very obvious. Who doesn’t notice extra wires hanging around an outlet wasting electricity?

Unless you really don’t want to see each other ever again, leaving your phone charger basically guaranteed immediate response and action from both parties. Not sure what this says about our society’s inability to unplug, but whatever.

So Coach came back over and we just hung out and watched things and he fell asleep, and for some reason I wasn’t as annoyed by his snoring as I usually am by snoring. And it’s a good thing too, because apparently I left my visitor parking pass in his car. Definitely not the perfect Leave Behind.

Boys

Do I Know You…?

Okay so the weirdest thing happened a few weeks back, and I didn’t even realize until yesterday. And now, I cannot figure it out!

So about a month ago my sister and I were walking to the train from our apartment and this guy passed us on the other side of the street. I saw him, he saw me, and then he did this weird chuckle thing and shook his head. I noticed it but didn’t think much of it because I didn’t know him. But it made an impression that I couldn’t quite shake.

Yesterday I saw him again. I was heading to work and walked to the train. As I searched for an empty spot on the platform to wait, I saw him. The same guy that did that weird laugh and shake of the head. I stood next to him on the platform and minded my own business, but out of the corner of my eye I tried to get a good look at him. I couldn’t help but think he looked familiar.

If I’m being honest, he fits the physical description of the type of guy I usually go for – tall, dark, handsome, broad shoulders, and a strong jawline. I have a pretty specific type #sueme.

So I start thinking about the last time I saw him… what was that?! I very well could have matched with him on a dating app or even gone out with him… but I. CANNOT. REMEMBER! His reaction makes me feel like we’d gone out and somehow I offended him in some way by not texting back or simply telling him I wasn’t interested. But the only guys I can think about that I did that with are The Moaner and The Cheater. He resembles The Cheater a bit, but like, not enough for me to be convinced it’s him. But that reaction would make sense from him since he messaged me months after I told him I wasn’t interested asking if we could give things another go.

I honestly cannot think of how I know him. He’s not someone I’ve drunkenly made out with, or someone I met through a friend. I’m even wondering if this is a case of mistaken identity and he thinks I’m someone else. Though I feel like I have a pretty unique physical appearance and have actually only been mistaken for someone else once in my whole life.

I might have to confront him next time I see him… in a totally non-confrontational way. But then if I say “hey, do I know you” and I have been out with him… does that make me seem… idk, vain and uncaring?

Either way, if I did actually date him, it would’ve been at least two years ago! That’s a long fucking time and he needs to get over whatever beef he has with me, right? It’s just so weird.

Boys

Walking the (Booty Call) Line

Earlier this week, I told Coach I wanted to see him this weekend. He seemed on board but I’m going to attribute his indifference to him being horrible at texting. Which he is. “LOL” is not a quality response to anything…

Anyways, basically ever since French Toast, I’ve been very aware of how quickly one can fall into the booty call trap. Clear signs you’ve been trapped: he only suggests getting together after like 9:00, and you only hang out at one of your homes. With FT, we tried to hang out a number of times during the week starting at what I would consider regular hours. I like to be in my bed by 10:00, so getting together at 9 or even 8:30 on a weeknight is not high on my priorities. Eventually I called him out on it. Since then – even though I wasn’t really looking for anything serious – I was careful to avoid booty call status.

Last week Coach came over later on Saturday night. But it wasn’t a booty call in my mind. I even told him after he left the next day that the next time we get together we should probably go out and do something. My apartment isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Continuing that non-booty call attitude, I called him. On the phone. #ShockingIKnow! Of course he didn’t answer. But then a bit later, he called me back! ON THE PHONE. I realize this is stupid because people talk on the phone all the time. I call my mom, my sister, my friends, pretty regularly. I even have one guy friend I FaceTime with pretty frequently. But there’s something about talking on the phone in today’s dating culture that seems so foreign to me. Anyways, we talked for a bit and it was nice. Very next step in our kind of dating situation.

So, anyways, we were trying to make plans on the phone for this weekend. And it just wasn’t going well. I’m going out Friday and invited him. But he has to be up early Saturday and is working all day. I have nothing Saturday during the day but am babysitting at night. Sunday we’re both free in the morning but I have plans with a friend around 2:00 and he has something at night.

This morning, motivated by simply seeing him over the weekend, I suggested he come over after I babysit Saturday night (after 11:00), and immediately regret it.

I somehow forgot that booty calling goes both ways.

I don’t want him to feel like our relationship is only physical. I promise it’s not! We talked on the MF phone! Y’all can probably even tell that I like him. It’s weird for me. But I’m trying to not overthink it too much. So even though I wanted to double, triple, quadruple text him and explain that I wasn’t trying to treat him like a sex object, and actually really like him… I just waited for him to respond.

Did I mention he’s a bad texter? After a while, he said “We’ll see.” AAKSHFKSLD

I’m very aware that I’m overreacting here. It’s cool. I’m cool. But. I know I hate being told to come over late. After the person has done their own thing. After they’ve been out having fun with their friends or whatever they’ve done. They might as well have sent a text that says “oh, I didn’t meet anyone out that I wanted to bring home, so you should come over.” Feels great.

So now I’m walking the line. Like Johnny Cash. Hoping that if he does come over late Saturday, we both understand that it’s not because I don’t want something more.

 

Boys

If You Don’t Have a Vice, I Can’t Date You.

I’m not talking hard core drug use or a gambling addiction… but I genuinely find it weird when people don’t drink coffee or alcohol. Like… please pick one. It’s good for you to enjoy something bad for you. When it comes to dating, if I’ve been talking to someone on an app and suggest to meet for coffee, I expect them to drink coffee. Up until a little over a year ago, I hadn’t been aware that not everyone saw this as a requirement.

Around that time I had been talking to this guy on Hinge. I think we’d matched on other dating apps, but we hadn’t every really talked and definitely never got to the point of meeting. So this time, I sent him a message and after a bit of friendly chatter, we decided to meet up. For coffee.

It’s important to note that:

  1. I am one of those people that actually really likes the flavor of coffee. I was obsessed with coffee milk as a kid. My favorite ice creams are coffee based. And after the typical sugary coffee drink stage that everyone goes through in middle and high school, I started drinking my coffee black. Like my heart. Kidding…
  2. I typically view first dates as “meetings”. This probably has come about as a result of our current dating culture and norms where we actually are meeting someone we do not know. To me, this first meeting isn’t a date. It’s like a meet and greet. If we decide we want to go out again, then we can count that as a date. When I’m first meeting someone I’m just trying to figure out if you’re a decent enough person to go out with again. I’m definitely not thinking I want to marry you… or 99% of the time even if I’m attracted to you.

(Slight side bar: I think this is where men and women differ. Because men are so visually stimulated, they likely know if they want to have sex with you before they even meet you. Us ladies on the other hand… while there are definitely guys out there we are all about, most of the time the attraction is based more on personality than looks.)

Anyways… so this guy agreed to meet me for coffee. We planned to meet at a place near Boston Common and me being me, I arrived early and bought myself a cappuccino – because I was feeling fancy. He comes in a little later, sees me and then goes to order. I watch the man struggle – so much so that a line started to form behind him – and eventually order an iced mocha latte.

Well, I’ll be the first to admit that I judge people based on their coffee orders. Sue me.

We got our drinks and I suggested that we walk around the Common and chat (that’s my go to btw). After maybe like 10 minutes I notice that he hadn’t taken even one sip of his iced mocha latte. He is simply using it as a prop. So, I ask him if there is something wrong with it. He tells me he doesn’t drink coffee.

I may or may not have stopped short and looked at him with a contorted facial expression that was a mix between judgement and confusion. Why had he agreed to get coffee if he didn’t drink coffee?! And… why hadn’t he just ordered tea? Coffee shops serve tea! I ask him these questions in a tone I hope is more concerned that judgmental. He shrugs and finally takes a giant sip of the drink. Andddd winces. I’m sure it was gross. I watched him put like 5 sugar packets in it.

He takes two more sips of it before I grab it from him and throw it in a nearby trashcan. We keep walking. Eventually he tells me that he doesn’t drink alcohol either. I try to make a joke and ask him if he has any vices. It gets awkward. Mostly because he then tells me he’s a personal trainer and starts telling me different things I could do if I were interested in getting into better shape… k.

After a little bit longer, I tell him I have to go meet my sister for dinner and we do an awkward hug goodbye. On the train home, I get a text from him that says “Hey, are you sure you’re 5′ 10”? You seemed taller.” Again… k.

While of course this date made me realize just how weird men are about height (women get all this shit for only dating tall guys or whatever… but sorry you said you were 6 feet on your profile when you’re really only 5′ 11″), it also made me realize that while I don’t need to be sooo judgmental when people don’t drink coffee… but if they also don’t drink alcohol, I want nothing to do with them.

Not that there is anything wrong with people who don’t drink coffee and alcohol, but because both are such a big part of my life, I’d like to be able to have that weird little insignificant connection with the person I’m dating. Couples that are hyper/hungover together, stay together. And in the world of vices, coffee and alcohol are like the least concerning…

Oh, what’s so weird is that I saw this guy like six months later on the bus. And I swear to Beyonce that he knew who I was because he pulled up his hood and took out his earbuds. And I’m 99% sure he spent the bus ride listening to the conversation I was having with my friend. Sooo maybe eavesdropping is his vice… who knows!

Boys

But When Do You Know, Really?

People always say “when you know, you know” when it comes to meeting someone or finding your (quote, unquote) soulmate. And like… I get it in theory. But when do you know, really?

Like when do you decide you know? That the small sense that the person you’ve been spending time with is absolutely, without a doubt, really someone you want to have a relationship with or *gulp* marry? And how do you know?!

So over the weekend I spent a significant amount of time with Coach and though I was sick of swiping anyways, I finally decided to stop keeping my options open. I deleted Hinge (because it sucks anyways) and hid myself on Tinder. I also canceled a date I had scheduled for tonight with a new guy. He seemed super nice and smart and a good guy and I hope he finds someone. I texted him to cancel our date tried to explain the situation.

Drafting the text was weird because it wasn’t a typical breakup text. Honestly, I think we would’ve gotten along if timing had been on his side. But it was also weird because I was just sitting staring at my phone, trying to figure how to tell a total stranger that I couldn’t go out with him because I’m in a very new, not yet exclusive, not yet defined, potentially could end at any point dating situation with a guy who I’ve only seen on five different occasions… thank God I know his last name.

And the whole situation feels weird because a) I’m me and b) it’s completely new territory…

The guy I was sorta, kinda seeing over the summer that I mentioned in my post about first kisses… the one who responded to my final okay emoji with a thumbs up emoji (I’m going to call him French Toast because on our first date we went to brunch and he kept talking about how much he loved French toast and even though it wasn’t on the menu asked the waitress if they had any)… was probably the closest I’ve ever come to liking someone that I was dating. As a write this, I realize that this makes me sound like a heartless ice princess, but I promise you I’m not. It’s just hard for me to let people in and therefore I mostly experience indifference (and attraction, of course).

Anyways… so French Toast and I went out a number of times. We got along fine, but I don’t think either of us like really liked the other. Instead we continued to go out and hang out because we didn’t not like each other. Does that make sense? He was fine company and he didn’t do anything that I would count as a red flag or a dealbreaker.

Sometimes relationships are founded on a mutual non-dislike of each other. Very romantic, I know. I’m not saying these are the best relationships, but I’m sure it’s common. People don’t want to be alone.

With Coach I’m also trying to not jump the gun or put the cart before the horse or count my eggs before they hatch, etc. because as I’ve mentioned before, liking someone feels awful. But I do like him and while it’s not really a “when you know, you know” situation, what I do know is that he’s worth getting to know.

And as Reese Witherspoon’s dad says in Sweet Home Alabama: You can’t ride two horses with one ass.