It’s the perfect Saturday afternoon. I’m lying in my all-white bed, watching Marilyn Monroe in Gentleman Prefer Blondes, in a pair of over-sized, comfy sweat pants. The funny thing is, I don’t know where they came from. All I know is that they are gray, Nike, and they are a men’s large. I look at the tag for clues, hoping to find someones last name written on them so I can Sherlock Holmes my way out of this mystery, but no such luck. One thing’s for sure and that’s that they came from a guys place, likely given to me in the early a.m. hours to avoid the obviously evident walk of shame.
Whose sweatpants are you currently wearing? What is the history behind the pairs of sweats in your closet? Every pair has got a story and I got to tell you, I’m starting to think we are all a part of the Six Degrees of Separation, the sweatpants edition. Please note: The word ‘sweatpants’ can be interchanged with the word ‘hoody’ at any time.
When I realized that I couldn’t solve my mystery, I got out of bed, walked towards my overly full walk-in closet, and went to grab my favorite pair of thin gray sweats – a pair that I can proudly say are my own. To my surprise, they weren’t there. Knowing I couldn’t blame the cleaning lady for stealing them, I started to wonder where they were last seen. Then it hit me. I’d given them to a boy to avoid his walk of shame (also to make his time here a little more cozy then the fitted, how-did-you-button-those-up-in-the-first-place kind of jeans). When I went to grab another pair, I realized the same boy had those too. I sent him a Blackberry message that read as follows: “The sweatpant police called to inquire about a couple pairs of missing sweatpants.” He laughed in typical LOL fashion, and I continued, “There’s a reward if you find them and return them to the rightful owner.” You can imagine the rest of the conversation, but needless to say, rest assured, the sweats will be returned. I had however been alerted by him that he’s been wearing ‘em around for a number of weeks. I’m not surprised. Who could blame him? That is the thing with over-sized gray sweats, anything goes.
I always wore this one pair of sweats of my exes. They were gray, Roots and over-sized perfection. He admitted to me that he got them from a one night stand, and that the girl took them from her brother to give to my ex. I once wore them out to breakfast with him and we ran into the girl. I’m sure she took note. I know I did, and I laugh because I know a guy who is walking around town in one of my former flames sweatpants, and he has no idea.
Now lets discuss choices: I’ve chatted with some girlfriends and we realized that between all of us, we have never been given a pair of NICE pants to wear home. They are always old school not so trendy sweats, something like Champion, Reebok, Nike, Roots or no-name. Do men keep their old ratty sweats around so they can pass them off to a girl without looking like a dick, but without having to see her again to get them back? I’m onto you boys. I don’t want your class of ’99 sweats, I want the goods.
A Saturday activity for the ladies:
- Look through your closet and scope out the blasts from the pasts of clothing. Do you have a pair of men’s boxers, over-sized American Apparel sweat shirts, etc? Why are you keeping them? Do you still walk around the house in his sweatpants, shamelessly? Wear his sweatshirt because you’re just certain it smells like him still (even though its been three months and you’ve worn it almost nightly as if it’s a nighttime uniform?
- Make a list of people who have your clothing, and then from there make a family tree style page of the history of where they originated.
- Spring cleaning anyone? Out with the old and in with the new, bitches. Move forward and rid yourself of the band t-shirt from the guy you hooked up with two years ago. I’m sure there’s a donation drop off close by. Make someone else’s day as you move forward with yours.
I need to finish this off by saying the guy who currently has a couple pairs of my sweats (as discussed above) once had a great idea. He was noticing a pattern of taxing my sweats and offered me money so I can pick up a bunch of sweats for him to have in stock. We thought a Costco five pack. Not such a bad idea when I come to think of it. You can never have too many pairs of the gray sweatpant.
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?
We spend our lives dating; from the time we finish high school, we may have had one, if not several, boyfriends. By college, this number has increased and after graduation, you’ve lost count. But how many of those guys did you really care for? How many guys have you dated long-term that you KNEW within the first month or even by the first date that he wasn’t the one?
I’m interested in this concept not only from my own experiences with dating, but by observing the relationships of my girlfriends for so many years. We date in search for Mr. Right and yet, do we ever give him a chance to find us?
I’m talking to you serial daters: the girls who date guy after guy or those serial monogamists who refuse to find out what single life is really all about. I’m talking to you ladies who are more scared of being lonely than of dating the wrong guy.
So what’s a girl to do? The same thing she does every time: Dates a guy she is unsure of for an extended period of time only to become emotionally attached to an individual she never really liked to begin with. She may “fall in love” eventually, but are her feelings genuine love or emotional security?
The fact of the matter is, when we do this, we are settling. The guy described above is a nice guy, (read: there is nothing wrong with him), so we give him a shot despite our own feelings of insecurity about the relationship actually going somewhere. But do we really want a guy who is “good enough,” or do we want someone who is “great”? Are we so afraid of loneliness that we refuse to dump the guy we know isn’t right for us just to have someone by our side?
In many cases, the answer is yes. We see our friends in happy relationships, couples walking down the street holding hands and we watch sappy romance movies that make us all want what we don’t have. The only problem is, we are never going to get what our friends have, become a happy couple on the street or even find Hollywood Love from Mr. Wrong, even if he isn’t Mr. Horrible. Because in the end, Mr. Wrong can never be Mr. Right, no matter how hard we try to convince ourselves otherwise.
What we need to do is be confident enough in ourselves that we will eventually find Mr. Right, that we will find happiness with the right guy and we will one day have a guy hold a stereo outside our bedroom window (I hope you get the Say Anything reference). The only way it will happen is by being patient and no longer wasting time with guys who we know hold no place in our future.
How can we expect to find Mr. Right when we are always dating Mr. Wrong?
by Annie Maguire
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.
I was trying clothes on the other day and I sweat more in a changing station than I do at Lifetime fitness (that shiz is a lot of work). I needed a new outfit for a house party I was (embarrassingly enough) going to. I was tearing off clothes, putting them on, shoving clothes onto racks, getting deodorant all over non-purchased items…). I found a great top at one of my favorite stores in the Mall of America – Franchesca. I spun in many little circles, letting the fabric hit my legs. I fell in love. It was just to flawless and beautiful! But the practical side of my wallet, (the little slit on the outer edge that stores a few one dollar bills from restaurant tips) said no. Brittany, buy lunch today instead. Feed yourself.
So, I went to the next store. A cheaper one. Embarrassingly enough, I went to Old Navy. Once there, I found a simalar outfit I could get in place of the other. I tried it on, sweating my little life away in the dressing room and looked at myself in the mirror. For some reason, wearing the new outfit – made me want the other one more. Once the new fabric was against my legs, I compared it to the other fabric. I compared how my boobs looked in the other fabric, what people would say to me when I was wearing it….and I wanted it all back.
I wanted the dress from Franchesca. Now, after trying something else on – more than ever.
Does the same thing happen in relationships? Does it take one relationship to want another one even more?
I mean, it makes a lot of sense to me. You are given the ample opportunity to compare two relationships by actually trying another one on. Don’t your teeth look whiter when you put nude lipstick on? What about this metaphor? When you eat more spicy food, doesn’t the next food you eat taste bland? Relationships are all stronger (or not stronger) in contrast. We are able to physically compare. It’s effective, hands on, physical, and very experienced. But why does this happen? Do we crave dipping into other relationships to have a go ahead nod that you really enjoyed a recent one? Do we crave dipping into other relationships just to experience things more than we had before? Are we routinely inclined to do so? Why can’t we just figure it out? Why can’t we just openly understand who’s right for us and who’s not? Maybe we want to taste the spicy food first, maybe we want our teeth to look whiter. Does toying with our own minds and others in relationships constitute that?
It’s especially frustrating, because it’s too late to go back. In a way, a recent relationship we failed to understand before is understood better after we visually see and feel a new thing. We are able to compare real elements to other’s – and view another relationship from a place we were unable to before. How is this fair? What makes us feel the need to go through that? I would think my taste buds had a fewer less morals than my own heart and mind.
Is this the way we should go about living? Is it all a waste of time? Maybe the games are not a waste of time. Maybe they let us learn the hard way, but treat us the right way. Maybe we wouldn’t do things the same or act upon things if we didn’t explore this way. If we didn’t “date other people” we wouldn’t get a chance to see the greatness in another good thing.
But what if you have to hurt someone to get to that realization? I know I’ve hurt a few people to get there. I try them on, see they just don’t work – and shamelessly run back to something that didn’t even work out before. However, we probably gave them a lesson in return – as long as we were kind and honest. In retrospect, they got to try you on as well. If they really liked you, their standards for others was heightened. They are able to choose someone else based upon their recent (and pleasant) relationship. Now isn’t that nice? Seeing the bright sliver in the dark hole. If they didn’t like you – even better. They got rid of you (and know not to date anyone with a donut addiction) or whatever the issue may be.
Therefore, I’ve come to a brief realization that relationships are for trying on. They hang up on racks like clothes, you page through them, bust a sweat trying them on and tearing them off…they go on sale – you wear them once. They are crazy expensive, and you just keep going back to the store if they are available on clearance. Essentially, you get what you pay for in relationships. You get cash back or store credit if you return and if you work hard and make enough – you will get what you want in the end. Hopefully, you will try something on, find it is the perfect fit and it’s not even on the clearance rack.
There are books out there advising women that in order to get a man, we should “play hard to get.” I am not quite certain all women are getting the right track when these authors tell them to “play hard to get.” Friends of mine would tell me that if a guy calls to ask them out on a date for the same day, they simply would reply they couldn’t because they already have plans, even if all they have planned for the night is a date with their TV and couch. When I ask them why, they say it is because they don’t want to seem so available and that it served him right to ask them out on the day of.
My response to them: “I understand that it sucks they are asking you out on short notice, but some guys just don’t plan, and if you really like him, why not just go out and see how it goes?
How do you expect for a guy to fall for you if you never spend any time with him?”
I am not trying to make excuses for men because of course I also would like some advance notice, but I understand that men don’t function like women. They tend to be one track minded, while us women are rulers at multi-tasking. Why else do you think a majority of households are still dominated by matriarch reign? My mom worked, cooked, cleaned, and made sure we were properly cared for, while my dad relied on my mom for such matters.
My point is: don’t play games. If you don’t have plans and you want to see him, then see him. I think the point these authors are trying to make is that we should not revolve our lives around a man who comes into it.
Too many times I have witnessed my friends (and I am guilty of having done the same) rearrange their schedule and lives to be more accommodating to his. Keep your dinner dates with your girlfriends, have drinks with your colleagues after work, get to know new people, and have your own life. If you do that, you are naturally “playing hard to get,” and if the guy you like wants you in it, he will compromise and make you a priority.
Photo found on http://weheartit.com/entry/95632439
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
When you meet someone you click with, it’s like a flock of doves form a perfect heart in the sky. It’s like bells ring and you just want to do crazy things like shout from mountain tops and skip in flower fields. But sometimes when we get too eager or do weird things, like nervously talk about our ex too often, and then the person we sing “Sweet Fantasy” about in our cars during rush hour gets turned off. There are actions that can ruin a perfectly good thing way before it even begins. TRUST ME (serious face). This is me, helping you and I want you to succeed with those names your draw hearts around when you should be taking notes in class. I don’t really want to talk about the times I said things that were not cool for school and made my crush put me in the “undateable category,” or the times I got too serious too fast, or the times I got really drunk and made a fool of myself in front of the guy I liked. Sorry, it’s too soon. So here’s how you can lose a crush in 10 days: 1. Sharing too much too soon: Telling someone you can’t save money, you eat with your hands, or you have 10 speeding tickets is not so cute. Those are forgivable things once you get to know each other and your bad habits are considered cute, however, when you’re disclosing this kind of inside info to someone you just met in line at Starbucks, they won’t think it’s cute. When you date or meet someone new, just be yourself and hold the weird secrets for later (when they’re cute). 2. Being clingy: Texting, calling, emailing, and Facebooking too much signals signs of neediness and codependency, two wrongs that don’t make a right. Both sexes like the chase, it’s true, don’t fight me on this! But if you’re in constant contact with someone, there’s no mystery left and there’s definitely no need to internet stalk (come on, you know that’s your favorite part). Things can burn out quickly if you’re talking too much in the beginning, so take it slow. What’s the rush? Life isn’t THAT short. 3. Being negative: I don’t care if you have a constant rain cloud over your head, put up a front if you want to get a second or third date. You might be thinking that you should just get it all out there right away, like that you feel like the world is a vampire and some other 90s song, but don’t. Like I said in #1, save it for later, and hey, maybe all that positive thinking will help you out? 4. Talking about your ex: Ugh, it’s too soon to be talking about your ex or the ex before that. Your date didn’t ask and I can bet you two weren’t talking about who you’ve dated on date numero uno. There’s no need to casually throw in “my ex had a Honda” or “my ex was a backup dancer.” A lot of people have Honda’s and a lot of people dance, er, right? Not just your ex. Why ruin something new by talking about something old? 5. Over-sharing how much you like your new crush too soon: It’s nice and flattering, but sometimes it can be a killer. Expressing you really like your crush and maybe that you want to go on another date or that you like where it’s going is good, having word vomit and going zero to white picket fence is bad. 6. Getting really, really drunk: #5 WILL happen and it will happen all over the place. It will happen in a doorway, on a couch and outside your car, and when you finally realize why your crush isn’t texting you back the next day, you will be embarrassed. I hope this helps. Oh, and don’t forget to say please and thank you. Good luck! Get in touch with me on Twitter @JessicaDruck or at Blog with Benefits where I talk about more stuff like this! Photo found on hateyu4wat.tumblr.com
“I feel it all, I feel it all,” Fiest chimes in as she sings her catchy tune of the same title. I sing along, finally able to belt it out in a way that you only can when you are reciting lyric’s that ring true to you. I find it so remarkable how much time we spend trying to figure things out and trying to make sense of everything to no avail. Then one day (seemingly out of nowhere) it comes to us in a sort of ‘aha!’ moment. Whether it’s looking back at the past and past experiences, whether it’s looking into the present and why things are the way they are, or whether it’s finally understanding your projections for the future, it is a moment of clarity where you just know. Alas.
It’s as if we are all stubborn blondes, so set in our ways and ways of thinking, that we don’t even give ourselves a break. We are so concerned with analyzing and trying to figure things out so we can gain an understanding, but a true understanding always seems to come when we step away and let go.
A close friend of mine always says “It’s the three T’s in life: Things Take Time,” and I can use his wise saying in reference to various areas and issues. Despite this, I always grow frustrated when I go to him (reciting a monologue of whatever the ‘it’ topic or issue is on my mind) and then get that response. Things take time? That’s all you have to say, buddy? That’s so not what I want to hear. We live in a world of immediacy where we want everything to happen right now (or even a minute ago if that’s humanly possible). Telling me whatever it is will take time seems so cliche. The unfortunite part, however, is that it is true.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in a situation where you want clarity in that moment, and grow frustrated with the other person (as well as yourself) when you just can’t seem to reach it? Perhaps you stay on overly-extended phone calls, talking in circles because you just don’t get it. Now put that same hand down if, over time, you saw the situation for what it was? I always say, “Time breeds clarity,” and I strongly believe that. Once you step away from a situation, whatever that situation might be, you stop trying to figure things out to protect your emotions and yourself and you start letting the answers come to you in time.
Our twenty’s raise a lot of challenges, and though we may struggle with them in the moment, as time passes and everything clicks for us, a sense of relief comes. With this relief, comes an inner strength and comfort that makes it all worth it.
- Jenny Jen
Photo found on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo-tp0JZvUA
When I was younger, a friend once shoved a copy of Tiger Beat under my nose and demanded that I declare my allegiance to one of the five Backstreet Boys. (I’m not even kidding…. She had an actual Tiger Beat in her hand, which is more cliché than I could even come up with.) I was confused; I felt no affinity to any of them, despite their bowl cuts and playground pedophile facial hair. But of course my friend said I must choose one so that I would have a favorite.
About a decade and a half later we’re all grown women, much more sophisticated than we were at the cusp of puberty. We now substitute real people for boys on posters and are subtler about the whole choosing thing. I never got it. And I never chose a Backstreet Boy.
We do this thing, as girls, where we bond over boy talk, and that’s a lovely thing. But sometimes it becomes imperative to create a topic of conversation, if there isn’t really one at hand. I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone through various periods of time where I just didn’t really have a crush on anyone. Sure, there were attractive people around, but no one really held my interest.
Oddly enough, I crush on people because of a convergence of attraction, intellect, humor, and other standard elements of romantic interaction, not because I need something to talk to my friends about. On a related note, if I seem content with my life and am not complaining about lacking a love-life, please don’t think you have to get me a boyfriend, too, just because yours is lovely. I think we all know the kind of conversation I’m referring to.
I think there are many things we can talk about with our lady friends, and love-tinged conversations tend to be more organic and honest when they focus on a legitimate subject of emotional investment. This isn’t tea with the queen and boys aren’t the weather. My point is: let’s not go too crazy. Silly things are fun, but personally, and I’m guessing for many others as well, those things tends to be more along the lines of recounting Portlandia episodes than arbitrarily choosing someone to crush on just for the sake of it.
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