A few years ago I went on what you might call a kamikaze mission.
I felt like I was having a lot of conversations in my head revolving around my past crushes and relationships, and I was coming up empty. Looking back I spent a lot of my high school and college years in what I like to call the “pseudo relationship.” I would meet someone and without ever really discussing ANYTHING we kind of tripped and fell into a relationship. Not much differently than the time I tripped and fell on that bar dance floor in college after losing a battle to margaritas. Awkward.
These pseudo relationships would last anywhere from 2 weeks to six months and would usually be a roller coaster ride…. And not the fun kind, but the ones where you are sick for over half of it and are pretty sure you are going to throw up your funnel cake. It would start with some flirting, which lead to hanging out, and then at some point kissing would commence. Since I was basically just a ball of nerves, I would never talk about my feelings or what exactly what the heck we were doing (I didn’t want to scare them away, right?) So I just kinda waited around hoping for it to turn into something that I would recognize as a relationship. Usually, somewhere along the way, someone would hurt the other’s feelings and it would either end abruptly or fade away…. into the night.
The end of those pseudo relationships was always terrible since I really didn’t know what happened and it left me with my own thoughts to create reasons why it ended. None of those reasons did me, or my confidence, any favors.
So, one day I woke up and did something about it. I started calling all of these pseudo exes and asking them why we broke up. Starting with some small talk, I moved toward sheepishly asking them the question that had plagued me for years: “So, why exactly did we break up again?” I braced myself for answers that had been running wild in my mind. They usually had to do with them losing attraction to me or that they could see “the crazy” I was feeling since I never really knew where I stood. And do NOT underestimate “the crazy.”
As I awkwardly asked the question, they usually paused for a moment to think and then the big moment happened. The one where I finally found out that I was totally and completely wrong. In every single case.
Turns out, they didn’t wake up one day and find me un-kissable, and most of them knew I was a little crazy (in the good way) when they started dating me. The funny thing is that most of the time it really wasn’t about me at all. It was usually about timing.
Here is what I have figured out, and stay with me here, smart stuff is a’comin’. We are all just moving through the ebb and flow of life and trying to do the best we can. Relationships start and then end for hundreds of reasons, and most of the time when they end it really isn’t about you. We all have millions of experiences that help us decide who we are attracted to, who we want to date, and what we think love and relationships look like. Good or bad. When something happens that registers as similar to a former experience in our/their brains it can either help us move forward towards a relationship and stronger feelings or it can have us stopped in our tracks scratching our heads because it goes against what we know or are okay with.
It’s the reason why someone who has been abused in a relationship usually finds an abuser in future relationships. It is why we find mates similar to one of our parents. Why all of our past boyfriends and crushes may look different and even act different, but probably play a similar role in the relationship. We naturally gravitate towards what we understand and know of love and relationships, but it is also what helps people gravitate towards or move away from us. It is why we “literally” can’t be upset or offended when someone doesn’t choose us. It actually has NOTHING to do with you, but instead what they know and have learned of love.
So, if all of this isn’t about us, what can we do to find love and create a great relationship? Be in charge of what you can control. You and the way you respond to it. Here are a few other things…
*Be yourself, it is going to show up at some point anyway.
*Take a look at who you are gravitating towards and see if it is a good thing or not so good.
*Don’t take it personally if something that has potential doesn’t work out, you just might not be their potential. So what?
*Keep your expectations realistic so that if something doesn’t work out you can be ready to look for a better match instead of spending 3 months recovering from the last possibility.
*When you find yourself in a relationship that doesn’t feel right, step back and ask if you are uncomfortable because someone is treating you badly or because this is a new type love you haven’t experienced before. Ask yourself: is this healthy? If it is, give it a chance.
With this knowledge you can beat the system, learn about how you view love, and gravitate towards the right matches that want to take love to a whole new level with you. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
Have you checked our radio show? Brit and I are ridiculous….it is worth a listen.
I am not perfect. Yeah, I know, none of us is. But I couldn’t even make my deadline for this article this week. And I realized that maybe 98% of the mistakes I make are based on insecurity. We all do dumb things. Why do you do them? Is it because you really weren’t thinking, or because you were insecure and acted out in a possibly inappropriate way? Have you ever tried to kiss someone who did NOT want to be kissed? Yikes! Then you think, “Why did I do that?” Most likely, it’s got nothing to do with the other person. It’s all you. And it’s okay. I’ve been watching a lot of Dr. Phil lately. I give you permission to roll your eyes out of your head. But once in a while he’ll say something that sticks with me like a magnet to a refrigerator. “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge,” he says. So. Freaking. True. So I’m going to acknowledge that I’m not perfect and I screw up. Most of these screw-ups aren’t even big deals, but I magnify them and I punch myself (mentally!) and I want to change what I did. But that’s not the kind of change I need, and it’s not the kind of change you need. Don’t try to change your past, you can’t; try to change your future. What I’m saying is don’t freak out over a guy, don’t freak out over a bad grade, just tell yourself that you’re not perfect and move on. And really mean it. It will be great. Photo found on http://dollhousesweets.tumblr.com/post/7503970827
If you want to do the metaphorical cannon ball into the water, go to an all girls school from 8th to 12th grade, have little to no contact with boys, then go to a co-ed college and go to your first college party.
Hi, my name is Awkwardly Terrified, how are you?
I remember what I wore: a flesh colored, stretchy turtleneck, jade and gold earrings, my hair was pulled back (which I NEVER do) and I probably paired it with a black miniskirt. Very Stacey of The Babysitters’ Club. I went because my friend and I wanted to go to our first “normal party,” unlike the ones we had in high school where we practically had to ship boys in from another continent. (I even remember what I wore to my first middle school party: a pink halter top, hair pulled back – WHY did I do this for parties? Did I think it made me look more grown-up?- strappy wedges…and black pleather pants. Oh yes. Very Spice Girls.
My first college party was almost the same. But this time, there was alcohol and my friend got really sick and I felt uncomfortable with a boy flirting with me, and the boy I thought was cute only talked to me a little bit. Recently I met up with him again, told him I had a huge crush on him in college; he asked for my number, we texted vague plans, then he blew me off. I will never understand boys. Or I will, but not fully.
And I remember having a hard time walking around the party in heels and a miniskirt because some of it was outside… You had to go out through a fire escape and walk down the ladder – apparently this is a cool thing to do – and I hated it. The smell of pot was heavy in the air, everyone was drinking and I had never felt so out of place.
I’ve gotten a little better at parties, but I’m still awkward. I still feel like I’m not one of the cool kids. I feel like I’m trying to be ladylike as I climb out a window in a miniskirt and heels. (This is the norm, I promise.) No one knows really how to act at a party unless you’re Kate Middleton, because let’s be real, she’s perfect.
But we’re allowed to go to college parties and feel awkward. Just remind yourself that it’s supposed to be fun. And if it’s not? Leave. There’s always cheese fries.
Photo found on: http://cocainetrade.tumblr.com/post/173650167/sad-and-true
In case you have been living under a rock and haven’t heard about this amazing movie, ENDLESS LOVE stars Alex Pettyfer (Magic Mike) and Gabriella Wilde (The Three Musketeers) in the story of a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose instant desire sparks a love affair made only more reckless by parents trying to keep them apart.
Can we say tragic awesomeness? Why yes, yes we can.
Besides our love for Alex Pettyfer (so hot) we live for a good love story. We will definitely be checking it out this weekend and know you will too. But in the meantime, we have a great giveaway and post from our very own Life with Lauren about her own story when she finally grew up.
Haven’t seen the trailer? Check it here and find more info about the movie and giveaway below. -Kira
It’s really, REALLY hard to transition from being a child or teen to being an adult all in one place. You may think you’re doing it and you may have every intention in the world of doing it, but it’s just nearly impossible. It took me a little while to realize this for myself, but when I did I knew that I had to leave my hometown of Syracuse, New York. It was the only place I’d ever lived (even during college), but it was time to see other things. No more running into my old teachers at my favorite restaurant. No more going to the same gym I’d gone to since high school. A little comfort zone expansion never hurt anyone.
For me, that someplace new ended up being Charlotte, North Carolina, and the transition hasn’t always been easy. Instead of knowing every road like the back of my hand, I rely desperately on my GPS to get anywhere. Instead of seeing the same faces I’ve seen since I was in middle school, I have to reach out and make new connections. I have to find a new doctor and learn where things are in a grocery store chain that isn’t familiar to me. I have to deal with getting a North Carolina license plate. Each of these tasks is relatively small on its own, but over time they add up.
But in the midst of these small yet collectively slightly overwhelming tasks has come a huge sense of independence that is worth any moments of frustration or sadness I’ve had to get through. It’s hard to feel like you’re really an adult when you’re still going to the same places you went to on a Saturday when you were in tenth grade. Now I’m in this new place, seeing new sights on my own for the first time. It’s like I shed my adolescent skin and am now a real, live adult.
While I feel like a grown up when I drive around an entirely new city and put myself out there so I can make friends, I’d have to say that my real “aha!” moment about my newfound adulthood happened when I got the flu. I was too cool to get the flu shot and, of course, ended up getting it and puking my guts out for three days. I could barely get out of bed to get water and I just wanted my mom. After calling her hysterical, I realized this was the situation I had to deal with. Sometimes you live somewhere on your own and your mom can’t bring you soup and that’s okay.
It’s important to prove to yourself that you can navigate any situation on your own, whether that means dealing with the flu, killing a cockroach, or figuring out which career move you want to make next. It doesn’t matter how confusing/frustrating/daunting it seems, you’ve got it covered. Successfully getting past challenges without a safety net of family and familiar places makes you more confident in your own abilities than ever before. It reinforces to you that you do have that grit to make it through a tough situation. While there are few things as stressful and life-altering as moving, you also see a really clear picture of who you want to be when you leave behind everything that’s comfortable in favor of things that are challenging and exciting. It’s not always pretty (to say the least) but shaking things up and trying something new almost instantly propels you into adulthood.
When did you lose your innocence? Feel like you grew up? Share your stories with your email below in the comments to win the cool stuff! Who doesn’t want that? It is awesome!!!!
You will win:
I am not expecting text messages as inspired as Charles Dickens novels, but I do have certain textpectations–some of them greater than others. By the time those Thursday text messages float into your inbox – “you around this weekend” and you respond with something like “I am sir.” And hear those three little words: let’s meet up - you (and they) know its on…
Or is it?
Much to my chagrin these premeditated meet ups often turn into more of a cat and mouse game of texting that turns a night out with pals into a one of two distractions
1) Trying to lure your love interest to the bar you are at with your friends…”hey guys, how long we going to be here?”
2) Debating whether you should troll out of your comfort zone to locations uncharted since your freshman year.
A little while back, I was out with a group of friends and after a series of witty and flirtatious ping-pong texts with a romanTECH interest–who I swear has the opposite summer schedule as me–sent me his sans humor, bottom line at approximately 12:40: “really wanna c u. come here.”
Me, flattered by his bold choice ditched my crowd to meet the potential boo. When I got there however, potential boo he was not. Instead he was hypnotized by some pay-per-view fight and gave me a hey along with a high five. No joke: I almost blacked out. Believe me, I wasn’t expecting rose petals a la Coming to America, but a drink on his tab and glad to see you would have gotten him farther then he probably realized. Feeling weird, I did the natural thing, grabbed myself a drink, slugged it and said my good-byes. He, acting unaffected by my “ciao for now,” quickly shot me a series of text messsages ranging in degrees of desperation from “why did you leave” to “where are you” to the simply stated “?”
Maybe it was harsh, but I was let down by the built-up meet-up and even more deflated by the fact that his actions and texts were sending different messages. In some ways I remain traditional in my thinking: actions speak louder than words (even when they are typed).
There is no eloquent way to put it: rejection sucks. Not that eloquence has ever been my top priority when there are still cupcakes to be eaten, reality TV to be watched and an empty chair by the pool.
Not making the cheerleading squad or the debate team are one thing; but relationship rejection is a personal blow. It could be as simple as someone standing you up for a drink or as complex as an affair during a twenty year marriage. Rejection comes in all shapes and sizes, but the one constant is that it always messes with your mind, and will most definitely sabotage your future relationships if you allow it.
After fifteen years of dating, I can promise you that I’ve been on both sides of the rejection fence more times than Simon Cowell has worn a too-tight black t-shirt. I’m going to go over some common responses to rejection and how to work through them. Aren’t you just so excited you could run laps around the house? (Except, I bet you just realized that was only fun when you were five years old, and that level of physical exertion would actually be punishment at this point….)
1. You blame them. You get all of your girlies together and discuss every reason why this person is the scum of the earth and you’d never want him anyway. This is always ironic, considering the week before you were probably in the same room, with the same girls, listing all the reasons why you guys were perfect for each other. Now you’re pride has been wounded, so you have no choice but to believe this guy must be mentally unstable or clueless. Why else would he not want to be with you?
Ever stop and think how insanely cocky that is? I mean, really. You’ve rejected lots of guys before, right? Is there something wrong with your mental capabilities? No. You just weren’t feeling it. Or there was no chemistry, whatever. Last week, I had four different friends, who were cheated on and betrayed — and they were all GUYS! So just remember that you are experiencing the very same emotions that you have caused a guy to feel at some point.
2. You want revenge. Your first reaction might be to tell him just what a stupid decision he made by rejecting you. You want to hurt him back. You want to find the hottest guy in the tri-state area and be seen with him around campus.You want this guy to know exactly how much fun you’re having without him. He needs to see what he’s missing, right?
Okay, tuck the crazy away for a moment. The only thing you can do to make this situation worse is by seeking revenge. He didn’t want you for whatever reason, so seeing you with someone else isn’t going to change that. Nor is you informing him how much he’s going to regret this decision in the long run. It’s just going to make you seem desperate. Why are you wasting your time trying to prove a point to a guy who doesn’t want you? Let’s think about this logically.
3. You blame yourself. I hope by now you’ve read enough articles around here to know that the problem does not lie with you. Nor does it lie with the one who rejected you. Here’s a secret: no one has a problem. It’s called dating. We have to do a lot of it in order to find the one who will make us not want to date anymore. Rejection is just part of the sifting process. You’ll do plenty of it. Start blaming yourself and you might as well throw in the towel because that’s essentially quitting.
4. You allow it to dictate future relationships. The saddest part about rejection is that we let it change who we are. You think, “Well, now I can never trust anyone ever again,” and, “I’m so embarrassed. I’m never asking another guy out after this.” Ahhh! Don’t you see what’s happening here? You are giving this person power over the rest of your life. It’s bad enough that they betrayed you or turned you down, but now you’re going to let them hinder you from being happy? Why? Why would you let them do that? Take back the power. Only you can control your feelings and reactions. Only you can let something affect you — both positively or negatively.
How should you react?
First, be grateful they didn’t just string you along to “be nice” and waste a ton of your time. Raise your hand if you’ve done that, am I right?
Secondly, realize that hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. Has there ever been a guy in your past that you were madly in love with but who didn’t return the sentiment? And have you ever caught yourself saying, “Wow, so glad that never worked out ’cause he is a total loser?” Um, yeah. It might take a few years, but I guarantee you that you will see clear cut reasons as to why it is best that you didn’t end up with that person who rejected you.
Thirdly, don’t be crazy. Don’t seek revenge. Don’t blame yourself — and don’t blame them! They didn’t do anything wrong by being honest, and isn’t honesty what we’re always whining about wanting from everyone?
Time to practice,
I think it was the genius singer-songwriter Avril Lavigne who brought up the ever important question…“Why did you have to go and make things so complicated?”
Man, do we complicate things. Sometimes things are so easy, almost simple and we somehow make things harder than they are. We add feelings where they don’t exist, we think we are in love when we don’t know all of their good and not so good stuff, we have sex way too soon in a relationship (yeah…I said it), we put up a wall, get clingy, project our crap….the list goes on and on. At the end of the day we are all just trying to connect. Build. Share. Learn. Love. That’s it. It is a human need, it is us who complicates it.
Let me give you an example.
I have actually had numerous ladies that have told me a story that ends with “well he says he just not interested in dating right now…what do you think that means?”Hmmmm…..What do I think that means?!?
Well, as someone who has started to speak fluent manspeak, I will translate it for you. It means “he isn’t interested in dating right now.” Yup, that’s it. But ladies will sit with their friends for hours and deliberate the whole entire dating relationship to decipher this cryptic message. They turn into the modern day Nancy Drew looking for clues into what happened. Here is some of the answers I have heard.
“He got scared of getting too close.”
“He was intimidated by your (smarts, looks, sense of humor, etc.)
“He must not be over his ex.”
“He likes you TOO much.”
Here is the truth. I wasn’t in those relationships. so I have absolutely NO idea what happened. But here is what I do know. He isn’t interested. That’s it. That is all you need to know. Somehow all of the stuff that brought him and you to that point just isn’t the right match for him. It isn’t personal. Most likely it has nothing to do with you, it just isn’t right. So why take up your time (and most likely everyone else you know) trying to decipher this cryptic code that isn’t really so cryptic. Why let this kick you in the insecurity and have you question your worth? When really you have all the pieces to the puzzle. He isn’t looking for a relationship with you. So what? I bet someone is.
So really, is it that complicated?
This week, work on uncomplicating things. Let go of the feeling that it is all about you, your expectations and just have fun with it. Get to know someone for the pure pleasure of understanding another person and their differences. Collect stories. Build a connection with the intention of sharing, instead of trying to manipulate it and figure what will happen in the future. It probably won’t happen that way anyhow. Give a hug…because you can.
Once you start to uncomplicate, you can just enjoy the journey. Isn’t that the point?
Aside from the guy who has to put his mouth on a breathalyzer in order to start his car, there are several other itty bitty signs that a guy is not dating material. And unfortunately, they’re often signs that you would probably dismiss at first glance.
Here is my recent post for the super smart USA Today College. If you have not checked them out, they are a must. Recently, I found myself in a random, yet fascinating, conversation at one of my favorite coffee shops (a.k.a. “my office”) on a snowy afternoon. To be honest, conversations with strangers are one of my favorite things on Earth. Knowing you may never see them again allows a pure honesty that you don’t always get with people you see on a day-to-day basis. In this quickly intimate conversation, we began talking about friendships – and he made one of the most thought-provoking statements that I had heard in a long time. “We are represented by our five closest friends.” The comment was almost flippant, but it sent me reeling. I have always been a proponent of “you are who you surround yourself with,” but the simplicity of this utterance made me wonder about my five people – and am I really OK with them representing me? College is an interesting time for friendships and sometimes we end up hanging on to friendships with freshmen dorm roommates and floormates instead of people who support, inspire us and make our days better. Without even realizing it, you might find yourself spending your time talking, studying, eating and socializing with people you don’t have much in common with, let alone even like. Why does this matter – and what does it have to do with dating? Well, everything. Friends impact us in many, many ways. They can affect our mood, confidence, lifestyle choices, social life, schedule, etc. In other words, they are either helping or hurting. So, here are three types of friends who may be keeping you from your best love life. Do any of them sound familiar? Read the rest of the story on USA Today.
OK, I give up. I was talking to a friend at a party last night and he said something that made me want to climb into a dark hole and pretend society was never invented. I may be a little melodramatic, but at least I have a heart of gold… Or something.
So this friend and I were exchanging stories of awkward dates (or in my case, what I didn’t even realize was a date until I was in a ball-gown at a fancy hotel and it was too late, but that’s a story for another day). We got to talking about the dynamics of crushes and all, and he tells me that he’s more the shy type, so if he really likes a girl, he’ll talk about the weather but won’t actually ask her out, for fear of messing things up.
“What if she asks you to hang out sometime?”
“No, I wouldn’t. Definitely not. Because talking about the weather is safe, but if we hang out and something happens, I could say or do something stupid to ruin it and then I’d feel bad. I just don’t want to feel bad, I’d rather be friends.”
I’m not kidding. This happened. It was like something out of a bad psychology class improv game. (Do they play improv games in psych class? Well, they do now.) Personally, I’d rather take the risk and enjoy the thrill, and the clarifying of things that comes along with being open. But who am I to say what’s right?
Clearly this guy is not an alpha male. For one, I was having a lovely conversation with him, so that’s an indicator right there (I seriously can’t deal with alphas). He’s also a self-proclaimed shy guy. And really, he seems like a great catch. But what he said made my brain fall out of my head and run away up the street. He also proceeded to follow it up with an assertion that it makes sense because men are more often the ones who fall in love first in a relationship. This is apparently a scientific fact. And justification for being a total wuss.
Is this real? Is this actually a thing? Are there people who would rather let go of someone they’re really into because it’s less scary than seeing if it could work out? Well, I guess there must be since there are all sorts of people running around out there. It just makes no sense. What’s the point of being friends with someone you’re all giddy for if you’re not going to even try connecting in a more significant and meaningful way? No sense at all. Here, let’s turn it into a math problem, maybe that will help:
Possibly dating awesome person < Irrational fear of emotional response
Ok, no, I’m still lost. And what if the girl reciprocates? Not only would he never find out, but she’ll probably feel bad that he didn’t try and thinks he doesn’t even like her. And then not only does he feel crummy, but she does too. It’s a lose-lose situation. Again, using math:
Having guts > Not having guts.
He did also say, though, that he’s not about the lay, and that he knows sex is an emotional investment. I can admit that’s always a relief to hear. There are decent people out there, even lovely, wonderful ones. So don’t lose hope!
OK. Fine. As someone who’s awkward and shy myself, I should be more understanding. I usually overcompensate by acting boisterous (ok fine, obnoxious), or running off to take photos of the dark night because I’m too nervous when I realize the boy I like wants to kiss me. I did do that. I’m not proud. And I get it. I get that it’s hard, and that risk is hard. I’m sympathetic. It’s just also maddeningly counterproductive.
Apparently a number of these shy boys may actually be more content to stare at you from the safety of the other side of the room because it’s better than legit conversation. Now I’ve started wondering what happens to boys like that. Do they just end up with someone they feel kind of bland about? Do they end up living alone with a dozen cats? Why does the term “cat lady” exist but not “cat gentleman?” Maybe they grow up eventually. They must. But wait, what do we do until then? Date guys over 30? I hope y’all have some grad students at your college.
Photo found on: http://theonlyhope.tumblr.com/page/131