“Now you know and knowing is half the battle.”-G.I. Joe
Recently, I started talking over champagne (where all good conversations start) with an old friend about a recent article about love that had gone wrong. My friend, who was around during “the Tyler era,” pondered our conversation and said, “What DID happen there? You guys definitely had a connection and you were crazy about him.”
With champagne thoughts and a heavy heart, I reminded her that he had met someone else around the same time and had chosen her. I forced myself to have a grown up moment and added that he seems really happy with his wife and I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. Then she said something that has had my head spinning for days… “Did you ever tell him how you felt?”
(Please add sound of car coming to a screeching halt!)
What was this logic she was bestowing on me? You mean I was actually supposed to tell him that I was crazy about him? That I had wanted him to stay? That I wanted to see if we could take this amazing connection and witty banter, that was so good that it could stop time, to the next level? That there were options and I was one of them?
I spent the next couple days in a Tyler haze thinking back to this guy and our “thing” and all of the time that I spent feeling rejected and sad that he had chosen someone else over me. At the time I was devastated. I recovered by making the very mature decision to date a mutual friend while secretly pining for Tyler the whole time. I rock, right?
Looking at it now, I have no idea how it would have turned out. Tyler very well could have chosen his current adorable wife and things could have played out the exact same way EXCEPT I would know in my heart of hearts that I actually gave it a shot. Played the game instead of watching from the sidelines, a victim in this story I made up in my head about being dumped. I was never dumped….I never even let myself even be considered.
After further evaluation, I realized that this was a pattern for guys I really cared about. Whether it was guy friends that I had mad crushes on or boys I was kissing and actually wanted it to be more, I found it so much easier to just sit around and hope that they liked me. I was waiting for that romantic movie moment where they blurt out their feelings in a fumbling Michael Cera-esque type of fashion making sure to include an adorable listing of “all the things they loved about me” monologue being the perfect amount of qualities that make me feel smart, funny and pretty.
After years of waiting…it turns out that doesn’t really happen because usually they are just as nervous as I am about being vulnerable. They are just as scared of the rejection as I was and would eventually move on to a girl who made them feel good and could tell them what she wanted, instead of confusingly giving them the mixed signals of kissing them and then teasing them because I didn’t want them to think I liked them, if they didn’t like me. Ugh, I am frustrated just thinking about it.
Not until I was able to step back, choose an amazing guy who was able to care for me, slowly tear down my own wall and let him in did things really change for me. It was me who wanted love but always kept them at a distance hoping they would magically read my mind and figure out what I needed. Guess what ladies? It took me awhile to realize it, but everything gets a lot easier when you tell them what you need and then allow them to actually give it to you. I know, genius.
Looking back, I realize that I never regret the boys that I told how I felt. Even if it blew up in my face and the end results were not what I was hoping for, eventually the embarrassment would pass and the knowledge of where I stood allowed me to move on to bigger and better things. So when I finally had someone in my life who was smart, funny, incredible and took my heart and carried it in the palm of his gentle and caring hand I vowed to never hold back those feelings again. Never leave him wondering how I felt, where he stood or how life changing he is in my life. Because something as beautiful as love should never be kept a secret.
So ladies, who are you ready to tell? Talk to me.
Photo found on http://vkontakte.ru/id34495954#/fuck_you_principles?z=photo-24253689_263380798%2Fac224195d455043c15
At any give time since I was about 14, I thought I was ready to fall in love. Through high school crushes, adult heartbreaks and many others in between, I always stuck to the idea that I wanted to fall in love and be in a real relationship but yet seemed to be jinxed.
Unlucky. A hopeless disaster. I even had a few years where the old song “But Not For Me” was my theme song. I laughed about it with friends, joked about it with strangers and secretly would cry about it alone.
A few weeks ago, I went back to my alma mater for my college reunion and it brought back the memory of a pretty embarrassing moment that reminded me of time when I felt that love was “not for me.” But really, it was. I just wasn’t ready…
I met J through my friend Beth junior year. She was “dating” one of his friends and he and I got stuck hanging out at after bars when they would sneak off to “date.” J was from the area and had moved back after college so he was a little older. (OK, 25 is not really older and the elderly jokes were probably pretty inappropriate.) He was cool, funny, a photographer and easy on the eyes. I instantly liked everything about him. We started hanging out.
He was different from boys my age. He actually asked me to do things. Real things. He would take me to dinner and have conversations about stuff that didn’t have to do with school. He even drove me a few hours away to visit my best friend in Madison. We always had great conversations and he made me think outside of my college bubble. It was refreshing, delightful and scary as hell!
I do not know when it happened but all of a sudden, I got nervous. Real nervous. It hit me that I could actually like this guy. Not just like him from far away or have an unrequited crush on a guy friend that I knew would never turn into anything. In all of those situations my heart was safe. I could actually like-like him.
So I did what any sane woman would do: I blew him off. That’s right, I just stopped answering and returning his calls. Awesome, right? I know, I am really proud.
Months later, I finally grew the nerve to sheepishly smile and say hello when I saw him out. I felt terrible and feared that he hated me. In fact, it took until I was writing this very article for me to finally apologize on Facebook. Still a little douchey, I know.
It seems almost laughable to me now how much I was the loser in that scenario. I always blamed love, but it was not love’s fault; it was me who acted like an 8th grader and stopped taking his calls. It was me who did not realize that great guys like him don’t actually grow on trees or come along every day. It was me who watched him a few months later start dating my dorm room neighbor, eventually marry her and have an adorable son. I, who most of college, bitched with my friends every day about being single, did not put on the big girl pants when something great actually showed up.
Before becoming a full-fledged dating coach, I had to do some pretty dark digging to really step back and become aware of why I was single when most of my friends weren’t. That process brought me back to J and many others like him. At any given moment that I was ”looking for love,” great guys were showing up. It is just that I wasn’t actually ready for them. I always had lots of excuses (he is too nice, I am not sure I really feel the spark or some other bullsh*t) that didn’t really allow me to give them a chance.
Plus, there was always a cute, clever guys around the corner that had zero interest in committing to me.
Don’t worry though – I would stick around awhile, hoping that they would come to their senses and realize how amazing I was. Meanwhile, I never came to my senses and realized how great the nice guys were. The ones who cared about my day, listened to my problems, called when they said they would and genuinely were interested in creating a relationship with me. Not some “are we dating or just hooking up” sh*t.
So ladies, I pour my heart out in these articles to help you step back in your own lives and ask yourselves: are you actually ready for love or are you hitting your head against the wall, crushing on guys that are never going to go anywhere? Dating a**holes and hoping you are happy? Sitting, waiting for texts that may or may not come? Saying, “but I love him” and knowing on the inside that nothing you have resembles love?
Here are a few questions to ask yourselves to find out if you are ready for love:
1. Are the type of guys I am attracted to capable of creating a good relationship with me?
2. Have I ever let a great guy go because I was too nervous or scared?
3. Do I like myself enough to be in a good relationship?
Not to get all cheesy, but love is not going to let you down. When you keep an open mind and love yourself, great guys are going to come around. Your job is to put on the big girl pants and find the strength to accept it when it does. It is the best thing you could ever do. But don’t worry if you aren’t ready quite yet; that is OK too. Just work on liking yourself, finding out what you like and don’t like, and seeing the “diamonds in the rough.” And make sure you stay away from becoming a Bitter Betty while you figure it all out.
Trust me, if you let it, love will show up.
Need a little help? Crush Camp is right around the corner and we have a few spots left. Start changing your love life this summer.
We have all been there. The guy from Chem who you have been crushin’ on for a bit looks even better 5 drinks in. You are laughing, flirting and can not believe how much you have in common. What?! He likes Taio too? This is clearly destiny!
Crap, this love stuff is kind of hard, right?
I know and I want to help.
I started this site because I saw the need for healthy dating and relationship advice for college students. There was a lot of not great advice being given and your friends, bless their cotton socks, are just out there trying to figure this out too.
I have been getting a lot of emails lately with “CAN YOU HELP ME???” and I thought we could possibly get everybody’s questions answered and even some that didn’t know they had questions. So, I am having a free call this Thursday at 9pm ET to answer any dating or relationship questions you have.
Here is how it works.
Sign-up below for the call and we will email you the call-in number. (Don’t worry, we would never sell your email. Honestly, I have absolutely no idea how to even do that.) Once you sign-up you will have the opportunity to email me your question or sitch that I will answer on the call. You will also have a chance to ask a question if you are live on the call that night. I am going to talk until you are done or my brain is fried.
If you can’t make the call, that is ok. We will record it and you can listen to it whenever you want for answers and inspiration.
So who’s with me? Let’s do this.
OK, I am not going to lie…I am resurrecting this article from when I started the site. But I think the message is one that needs to be heard again and again. Or at least I needed to hear it again and again and still do occasionally. What do you think?~Kira
His name was Tyler. He was the roommate of one of my good college friends and from the moment I met him I was smitten.
The witty banter was perfect and it took about 10 hours (and a few drinks) before we were hooking up. After that near perfect weekend we walked to my car, kissed like we invented it and he said he was crazy about me.
It was a definite moment in time. He was everything I was looking for. He was ridiculously smart, cute, had a smile that made my toes curl and did I mention completely emotionally unavailable?
For the next few months or so Tyler and I did this little dance where we would have incredible moments and then I wouldn’t hear from him. I would get vague emails breaking our plans and even when I visited him four hours away sometimes he gushed and sometimes he was cold. I thought, “how could this be happening? Did I do something wrong? Connections this incredible rarely come along and have to mean something. Right?
“Excuse me, conductor, are there any seats left on the crazy train? Ticket for one please.
Over the years I have dated numerous Tylers of all ages and nationalities. After a good conversation with a friend one day she laughed out loud (I think wine actually came out of her nose) when I exclaimed I didn’t have a type. She very quickly and easily pointed out the similarities in about five different guys that I had dated. Although they looked very different on the outside, the patterns were definitely there. Quick chemistry, witty banter, good drinkers, underachievers, passionate, a little lost and always keeping me in a place where it was enough to stay, but never enough to feel good.
All of a sudden it hit me I had a definite type and my type sucked.
I was on a rollercoaster and although I loved the thrill after awhile it makes you want to puke. I was ready to get off.
The good news is that once I learned what I was attracted to and how it was not helping me get the relationship I wanted, I was able to step back and recognize the chemistry drug and “just say no.” I figured out that I was never envious of the crazy up and down relationships; I loved the ones where there was an incredible amount of love, respect and appreciation. Nothing is sexier than a man who can only say incredible things about his girlfriend. I wanted that!
So I started by looking at my relationship role models (everyone should have them) to see what made their relationships work. I then looked at my friendships to see what made me feel good, strong and happy and realized that those qualities were a must for my future couplings. The final step was to stop dismissing fantastic guys who didn’t always have that immediate spark but had the qualities to actually create something great with me. To get me to the much more exciting place of continual happiness.
So ladies, as you head into summer vacation, I ask you to step back and look at the chemistry. Who are you attracted to? Are these the qualities for a good relationship? Who are your relationship role models? What great guys have you been dismissing? Does your type suck?
Don’t worry….I can help:)
So, I had a first love. I am guessing at some point we all do.
I don’t usually write/think about him too much since it creates a strong emotion in me – both good and not so good. I still wonder about a lot of “what ifs” attached to the situation, and it brings a little sadness as I sit here, listening to my itunes “life-changingly beautiful” mix and let it all roll around in there. But I digress.
Today isn’t about the magic of that first love or those slow/fast moments in the beginning, when I was so excited and crazy about someone that I felt like I was going to vomit pretty much the whole time or when I couldn’t concentrate on the movie just because he was so close. So then there was a slew of movies I had to rewatch at a later time because I didn’t remember anything about them. Or the moments that unfold when you sit there and realize that someone else really, really gets you and more importantly, wants to take the time to try. But that is not what it is about, that was really just for me.
It is about what happens a few years later when you re-connect. When you both have grown up a little, been hurt a few more times and realize that you still have all of these emotions, crazy chemistry and ridiculous curiosity in knowing and understanding each other. And then….now what?
Man, that stuff? The absolutely delicious, wildly exciting, questionably crazy emotions that come along with chemistry, passion and lust is the easy stuff. It is the next steps that get tricky…at least they did for me. Here we go.
I am a strong woman. I can hold my end of virtually any conversation that doesn’t involve some advanced talk of math or science, I can make most people laugh pretty easily, I have had cool ass jobs (hello…dating coach?). I have seen more of the world than most people will ever see and have just gotten started. I can change the tire on my car, cook a 5-course gourmet meal, design a website and then drop a conversation on how social media is effecting society, dating and small business like nothin’. True story.
So when he came back into my life I was on top of the world. I had started reconnecting with him from Italy (didn’t I sound super fancy there?) while I was working on cruise ships and the conversations became more frequent when I moved back to Madison and in with my best friend. I was excited and nervous about this possibility but also really aware of the heartbreak that came the first time around. Although he was physically half way across the country, we started talking daily, sharing our lives, hopes and dreams together. Talking to him became the best part of my day.
Then one day, things changed when I really f-ed up at work. I had gotten a new job and completely and totally dropped the ball. I had inconvenienced a crap load of people and it was even a question if this job was a “good fit for me.” I was devastated. So when the call came that night, I broke into tears. Not cute, sniffle tears but the I can barely speak because I am hysterically crying tears. He was silent.
The silence immediately made me scared because all of a sudden I realized that I had never been this person around him. I had been Awesome Kira. You know “funny, smart, I’m all good – too legit to quit – I can take care of myself” Kira? In that 5-second silence, I imagined the potential of this beautiful relationship being tossed out the window. Then something weird happened.
I realized our relationship did change but not in the way that I thought it would. He cleared his throat, softly and sweetly said, “I am so sorry honey, how can I help? I wish I could be there to give you a hug and let you know it is going to be ok.” Within a couple of minutes he had me laughing through the tears and I felt better and our relationship had moved to this new level that I didn’t even know we were not reaching.
What I realized in retrospect is that although he really liked “awesome Kira,” it wasn’t enough. I had never really given him a reason to really be there and contribute something to my life. I had put on this whole “look at me, I can do it all by myself” attitude (which, by the way, is complete and utter b*llshit) that never really let him see all sides of me or where he could fit in to my world. By allowing him to see that vulnerability, I allowed him to step up and play a different role where he could feel needed and important. Qualities in every great relationship.
I heard this great quote about it not to long ago: “People like us for being nice. They will admire and respect us for having our act together. But they can only love us when we allow them to see our vulnerabilities and our flaws.”
Dating Makeover Challenge: So here is my question to you all you “awesome” ladies (and yes I mean you my little overachievers). Is your “awesome” holding you back from real love? From a relationship that offers give AND take? Do guys walk in and out of your life because they aren’t sure what to do there since you already have it all figured out?
It is great to be awesome, but it is better to be loved.
photo credit to wordsoverpixels.com
The article below is from our sister site Traveling Light, but was so good we had to share it too!
I have never written this article before because honestly, I felt a little like Captain Obvious talking about it. However, I have heard so many stories around this lately that I have decided that I have been “the chosen one.” You know, kind of like Eddie Murphy in The Golden Child. Just like any other very special messenger from the Gods, I gladly accept the challenge.
So, here we go.
Here is an explanation in case I am not being obvious enough: Whether you’ve hung out for a night or been on a few dates, you realize it’s not working for you. You need to step up and tell them ”thank you, but no thank you.” Be open, be honest, and both of you can move on. Not answering phone calls, texts, facebook messages, tweets or any communication is NOT ACCEPTABLE. It is disrespectful and downright gutless.
Please do not even think I am aiming this at one particular gender, because this kind of behavior is an equal opportunity offender. I feel that if you can not be kind enough to do this, then you need to step back, check yourself and take a break from dating for awhile. I know we all have crap, that is why there are life coaches and therapists. There is no need to drag other people into your crap with you and leave them in the wake of it. You and I both know that is just not kind and all I am asking for here is a little kindness.
read the rest of the article here.
Quick question. Are you happy? That’s right, I am talking to you. You know, the half of any relationship you create and the only part you can control. You.
So, I don’t know when it happened, but I somewhere along the way I have realized that my Mom is a genius.
To be fair, I have been learning that for awhile now. When it came to love (and sex) my Mom is not stodgy or even an “I told you so” kind of person. There are no reminders of how badly she wants grand kids and I have never been pressured to get married or “settle down.” She has always given me a good amount of respect when it comes to guys and I appreciated it. That lack of pressure and judgement has kept me dating mostly, really great guys. (Keyword of that sentence is mostly, dating coaches have to get their stories from somewhere!)
But as I get older, I am realizing that my Mom and her generation maybe had some real smarts when it came to dating. I remember rolling my eyes as a teen when I heard the stories of her youth about dating and going steady. I figured she just didn’t get the intense chemistry I had with guys. That she had no idea how good it felt to start the witty banter and feel the amazing electricity and connection. Leading into life stopping moments of chemistry, kisses and sex.
But I am ready to admit it, I was wrong. (Did you hear that mom?)
This post is not my announcement to let you know I am coming to your school with the newest abstinence speech or to talk about STDs and condoms. We can make that another post if you need it. This is to let you know that I have been looking around and hate to say that things have gotten a little f*cked up.
Between new communications styles (texting, facebook) and a confusing mindset, something has happened a long the way. We have let go of any kind of semblance of dating and even romance. Holding onto our hearts tightly so that we wouldn’t get hurt, we walk along a little blindly hoping love will find us. Making terrible choices, putting ourselves in bad situations and then walking away with our feelings hurt. Wondering if we should even try again.
I am here to tell you, you should. But it is time to stop calling guy “douchebags” for taking advantage of situations that YOU put yourself in. Not asking for what you want and need and not setting up the boundaries to have it go anywhere. Pretending you are OK with “the hook-up” when you are really hoping that it will turn into a relationship. C’mon, ladies….I know you do that.
So next time, after you have had a few drinks and awesome conversation with your crush, here are a few things to think about….
Three Reasons to Keep Your Panties On, Ladies.
1. Keeps you off the crazy train: Has this happened to you? You like a guy. It would seem he likes you by the flirting and hot hook up sesh that has happened a few times now. You are nothing less than pee your pants excited. This is clearly heading towards love! Then you start looking around and something isn’t quite right. Isn’t he supposed to be texting more or calling? Shouldn’t we be making plans? Who the hell is that girl all over his facebook wall? WTF????
When we rush into things with a guy we start to assume it is going somewhere, when lots of times it just…..isn’t. But since you kind of jumped in you didn’t really talk about it and it leaves you confused and feeling like sh*t. I am not going to give you the “you are a precious flower” speech, but if you are giving it away for free without even talking about it, you are going to end up in this place more than once. Holding the phone, sad and waiting for the crazy train to come into the station.
2. You can keep your eyes open: OMG!!!! He is PERFECT! You can’t believe how much you have in common. That he listens to the same music as you, is a psych major AND loves weiner dogs! Why wouldn’t you be getting it on with this guy? I mean, he is probably going to be the father of your children.
Then at some point you wake up 3-6 months later and realize he wasn’t quite the dream guy you thought he was. In fact, you have some big stuff that you don’t agree on, he doesn’t really know how to talk about his feelings and man, how did you NOT see those annoying habits before?
When we are jumping in physically, we create a connection that really isn’t there. Our bodies are telling us to “go for it” so loudly that we ignore the important stuff that really makes relationships good.
3. Wooing is the sh*t: I will say this once and I will say it again. WHERE THE F*CK DID HOLDING HANDS GO??? We have somehow bypassed some of the best parts of getting to know someone and the whole deliciousness of the excitement of possibility. I remember my first boyfriend holding my hand and my stomach would be full of pterodactyls. Butterflies my ass. In the beginning every kiss was magical and building towards something beautiful. Of course, first loves are special, but I think part of why it is so special is because you are discovering love together. I don’t think that has to be just for first loves though. You can discover love with every relationship you have.
However, we don’t ask for it anymore. We don’t say “call me” or “ask me out.” We hope that by kissing them from the beginning, something beautiful will just “happen.” However, I have never heard any respectable guy say I am dumping her if we aren’t sleeping together right away. In fact, people tend to give more respect to people who ask for it.
So go ahead. Keep those panties on and ask for it. You may be surprised about what you get.
Photo found on http://cuteunderwear.tumblr.com/post/8361697199