New essay is up on Thought Catalog! Click the link below!
New essay is up on Thought Catalog! Click the link below!
It felt easy. Almost too easy.
3 years and all it took was one conversation, one phrase, “I don’t see a future with you” to stop it all dead in its tracks.
How could I have spent 3 years with someone knowing that “no future” reality right from the beginning. Why would I put myself through that? Because I fell in love, I thought he would change blah, blah, blah.
But you know the breakup is real and that it will stick this time when it’s easy. Because you have no more fight left in you. You’ve already cried all the tears. You’ve had all the arguments. You already gave all the fucks you had. And now it’s all dried up. Your gas tank is on empty. You don’t want to do it anymore. This time, the reality has been accepted.
We had already done the hard breakup. The one with all the sobbing. The one where I told him as he left to “have a nice life.” The one where I cut off all communication because I was so fucking disappointed and hurt. But this one wasn’t like that. This one was the simple conversation that was met with a simple response of “ok” and an agreement to stay in communication and friendly with each other for life.
“I’m sorry,” he said. Sorry for what? Wasting my time? I wasted my OWN time. I knew all along that he could never give me all the things that I wanted. I don’t regret any of that time, but why do I keep choosing wrong? Why am I willingly putting myself through pain?
Maybe I wasn’t ready then for a lasting thing. Maybe I’m ready now. I just hope I choose right this time. But how is it possible to fall so deeply in love with someone knowing that there is a clear expiration date. I don’t know that I can judge my instincts anymore.
Maybe this long, 3 year relationship was necessary in order to know exactly what it is that I want. To clear up any kind of confusion or hesitancy. Now I can commit to the vision that’s been in my head. The vision that caused me to end things with him.
I know that guys still exist out there that want to settle down and get married, or at least live together and share a dog. And that’s really all I’ve ever wanted. So why has it been so hard to find that? I must’ve been giving off the wrong vibes, or at best, confusing vibes.
But I will say that I feel closer than I’ve ever been to getting what I want. My pattern of adult relationships has been as follows: emotionally unavailable guy who wanted to date me but couldn’t commit, emotionally unavailable friend with benefits who couldn’t commit, and finally, emotionally available guy who couldn’t commit. So I’ve apparently finally conquered the first part. The next part is what is tripping me up.
Won’t commit, won’t commit, won’t commit. What the fuck does it take to get a guy to commit these days?!
Maybe it’s just LA. Maybe this is where all the broken people go. The people who were too good for their hometowns. The people who were running away from something. The people who prioritize career over love.
After any failed relationship the brain goes through all kinds of levels of cynicism, disappointment, and, frankly, disbelief. Duped again, we tell ourselves. Won’t happen again, we say. But I’m pretty sure I also said that after the previous failed relationship.
3 months in to our relationship, as I was headed to my brother’s wedding in Michigan, he told me that he never wanted to marry again. I replied with, “then we don’t have a future together,” and yet there I was 3 years later saying the same thing as if it was some kind of new revelation.
Why do we do this as women? Why do we always think they’re gonna change? When people tell you who they are, BELIEVE THEM. I might tattoo that on my forehead as a reminder.
I have this friend who has said on numerous occasions that I could “keep having relationships like this that don’t last and it doesn’t really matter because (I) don’t want kids.” As if not wanting kids means that I don’t give a shit about a lasting commitment. As if kids is the only thing keeping couples together.
Maybe she’s right! I mean, a lot of men, especially in LA, won’t marry a woman unless they’ve knocked her up. First comes baby, then comes marriage. I’ve seen it more times than I can count.
I didn’t even think that I wanted to get married until getting married was completely off the table. I did a pretty good job of convincing myself for a while that I was cool without it, because I didn’t want to lose him. I was gonna change who I was for him. But we never really stop wanting what we want do we?
3 years later and I am no closer to having that lasting commitment. I’ve just added more baggage.
Hey guys! I’m back! I’ve been writing a book so I’ve been off the grid for a while. Thanks for sticking with me! I’ll be posting much more often now! AND I’ve just added a new writing Instagram handle if you want to follow me there @lonelyloverlo.
For most women, a first date is a pleasurable event. If you are going out with someone who you even remotely like, a first date is a great time to get to know someone new, see if there is chemistry, and assess compatibility levels. There is usually very little pressure, so you can just enjoy getting dressed up and going out even if you don’t meet your soul mate.
At the end of the night, for both the guy and girl, there is usually some slight anxiety surrounding whether to kiss or not. Sometimes you will sit in the car for 20 minutes and talk mindlessly about surface level subjects while gauging if there is interest in the kiss. The female will sit with sweaty palms wondering whether or not she should just get the hint and say goodnight, while the male is usually wondering if his breath is okay and how he can go about doing it without seeming awkward.
But this is small potatoes compared to what comes next.
Once you get that first date under your belt and you feel pretty confident that there is a mutual interest, most people move on to a second date. The second date means there is progress in the relationship, which also means there will probably be progress in intimacy, if not then, then in the near future.
And from there is when all of the questions come in.
“Is it acceptable to sleep with him on the second date?”
“How many dates should I wait to sleep with him?”
“How fast is too fast and at what point do you know he won’t just hit it and quit it?”
“Do I have to wait for him to have the exclusivity talk with me first?” (Yeah right, but most self help books tell me to!?)
“How far CAN we go without it being pretty much sex anyway?”
My mind always goes into panic mode as soon as I know I will be seeing a guy for a second time. It’s pretty rare, as I am of the “one and done” mindset, so when it happens, all of the above questions start swirling through my brain. Formal dating means that there are “rules”, unlike with hooking up, so if you make an error early on it could mean game over.
When it comes to sex, we all know that men typically attribute a lot less emotion and value to the physical act. It’s less likely to make them feel attached or vulnerable as it is with women, so they don’t have to worry about it as much. In fact, a lot of men tend to lose interest in a woman if she gives it up too quickly. So knowing this, most women I know tend to put a lot of emphasis on waiting to have sex if they truly want a long term relationship.
So, therein lies the predicament. How is one to gauge when it is appropriate to sleep with someone and how can one stop it from happening? Because we all know that once the making out starts it’s damn near impossible to stop it from escalating, especially if there is alcohol involved.
Here are some easy ways you can avoid the whole mess until you are ready:
1. Don’t drink alcohol after the first date. (I don’t know about you, but that is not realistic for me.)
2. Don’t go to either of your places. (And keep making out in the car? That’s awkward after one time.)
3. Make it a day date! (FRIEND ZONE.)
4. Be on your period. (Haha, ew.)
5. Tell him you are just not ready yet. (You can get away with that for one night. After that, you start seeming like a tease if you are continuing to escalate the making out/foreplay.)
Inevitably for me I usually end up back at the guy’s place after the 2nd/3rd date. And almost always the scene goes something like this:
*Hand up my skirt*
“Stop,” I say. (Btw, STOP usually means a yellow light to most guys and most girls usually intend for it to be taken that way.)
*Unhook the bra*
*Try to take off my shirt*
At this point I will usually stop whatever we are doing to cool out for a minute. But it will just start up again 5 minutes later.
“Okay, I’m gonna go now.”
“Stay. I won’t try to have sex with you,” he says, lying though his teeth.
“Okay,” I say, naively, sometimes actually believing it.
*Get into the bed*
*Start making out again*
*Hands roam everywhere*
“Well gee, Lover Lo, why the hell would you sleep over in his bed if you weren’t planning on having sex?” You ask. That’s a perfectly legitimate question, which is why I usually end up putting out.
That’s why this is such a challenge. Because we want it just as much as the guy wants it. We have to keep dodging and dancing around until we just can’t take it anymore, and sometimes that can only last until the end of the night of the first date!
Most guys will tell you that how fast you sleep with them has little to no bearing on whether or not the relationship will have longevity. My brother is engaged to a girl he met in a bar and slept with that same night. But more often than not men like a challenge, so I am under the impression that we should be more willing to give them that.
Here’s to hoping that I can test this out with the next guy. I don’t know how long I will make him wait or how I will be able to pull off not progressing to the bedroom too quick, but I’m still single after 6 years, so I am willing to try.
Oh, hormones. You’re annoying.
I hope that’s what I can blame this heartsick feeling on anyway. PMS! Yes! I always feel more emotional and needy right before bleed week…
But it’s not just this week. I’ve been feeling this way ever since I walked away from you when you decided you couldn’t give me what I wanted. And I know that was the right thing to do, but then why do I miss you EVERY FUCKING DAY?
You weren’t even that good to me. We were never in a committed relationship. You did whatever you wanted and saw me when you felt like it. I did the same, but I bet your mind wasn’t going as crazy as mine was. Maybe those were games both of us were playing or maybe you really just weren’t on the same level as me.
We’ve never been on the same level. You wanted me more and chased me for almost two years before I finally came around and fell for you. Maybe you were over it at that point. But I’ll never know because you are such an emotional warrior that you refuse to let me see you vulnerable. I was that way too until I fell in love with you. I thought you were slipping away and so I laid everything out on the table and now I’m left heartbroken.
And the funny thing is, I don’t even think we are right for each other. I think you and I both fell for the wrong person. We fight all the time and rarely give in to each other. How could we possibly survive a relationship? Yet I still want it…
I see and feel reminders of you all the time. I still wear your oversized T-shirt to bed. The pictures of you making out with me in the photo booth on my birthday are still hanging on my bulletin board. Your career is taking off again and I have to see your dumb little fans tweeting at you and leaving stupid messages on your Instagram. But it doesn’t matter because I know you like me best…
Why couldn’t we make it work? Why did you say you loved me and then claim you never said such a thing? Normally I see these things as the universe telling me, “Get out! It’s not meant to be!” But I cannot swallow that this time. Not after 3 and 1/2 years and after I saw that look in your eyes saying that it’s going to be hard but you want to make it work with me.
But then there is that other look where you cast your eyes down and mutter things like, “I just want to have fun”, which makes me think you are more of a boy than a man anyway. You could never give me the attention and affection that I need and deserve. Or could you?
I don’t feel like I’ve even experienced half of who you could be. I wonder if I closed your heart to me by brushing you off for so long. But I’m here now and I want you now. You said you loved me on four different occasions. I know I’m not the only one who wants it.
The first time this ended was easier. I just thought to myself, “well, I guess I have to move on now.” But then you came BACK and made me THINK that you wanted to really go for it. But then you chickened out.
I KNOW I’m just like your ex. You tell me all the time. I KNOW that you guys fought a lot too and that it took a toll on you. I KNOW that we technically have astrological signs that clash. I’m scared about that too. But I would rather fight with you then be with anyone else.
There are SO MANY men in this town. WHY do I bother giving you any minute of my time and thoughts and energy?!
Because I love you.
And I will continue to love you and miss you until there is someone else I guess.
Caring about someone or something a great deal does not make you weak. It actually does the exact opposite. It shows that you are open and vulnerable and are capable of love. People say “I don’t care” as a defense mechanism, usually when they are worried that someone may find them weak for being upset about something. But if your fear of rejection or feeling sad causes you to never care about things then no one will be able to get close to you and you will end up feeling rejected and sad anyway.
There is this lame ass game in the current dating world of Who Can Care the Least being played and I’m sick of it. And listen up boys, I INVENTED THAT GAME. And not even on purpose. I’m an Aries and our big claim to fame is that we have a very tough outer shell, but secretly are very sensitive and soft, and so out of fear of our own strong feelings we block everything. Not my fault. (I’m a Miranda even though I’m dying to be a Carrie.) BUT, I understand that this is a problem and I’m working very hard to change it.
Our culture is just riddled with this non-commital attitude and it’s very unattractive. My good friend Jackie (name changed) was telling me about her dating woes with this dude who she was really into. They knew each other through a mutual friend and so there was a little bit of added pressure for there to be chemistry, but there is no excuse for this text exchange:
Dumb guy: Did you see Grand Budapest Hotel slash do you want to?
Jackie: I have not seen it slash def want to, I heard it’s soooo good.
Dumb guy: Slash want to come over and we can figure it out from there?
Dumb guy (cont’d): I’m exhausted but want to be social!
Jackie: I am headed to work now so can’t tonight. I leave for a week on Monday so could do tomorrow or maybe when I get back?
Dumb face: All good! I’ll check in tomorrow. Where are you going?
J: Up north to see my folks. 🙂 Wanna just say tomorrow around 8?
Dumb ass: I’ll have to check in tomorrow. Might have to meet up about a project tomorrow night. Will know tomorrow!
So here’s the thing. I’m usually a huge cheerleader for the guys who actually put themselves out there enough to even ask a girl out because that’s some scary business. But with every text convo she sent me I just couldn’t keep sticking up for this guy. I mean, Jackie was pitching him softballs and he was striking out left and right. This conversation would have worked with some 20 year old girl probably, but if you want to date a real woman you are going to have to force a little enthusiasm and gusto. Poor Jackie thought this guy just wanted to be friends because who says things like, “I want to be social” if you are asking a girl out? Going to a movie is not really social and saying the word social implies that you want to be around a bunch of people and not out with a special girl who will have your focus and attention for the night. And the worst part of it all was that he added that in later after he could’ve just stood firmly on his request for her to come over to figure it out. *subtext* “Oh you know what, that probably sounds like I like her too much. Let me throw her off with some general statement about being really tired, so not really wanting to go, but forcing myself to because it will be good for my well-being.”
Also, if you want to have a good chance of a girl being available maybe you should ask her out, oh I don’t know, 24 hours beforehand so she can make arrangements? Day of dates are only acceptable for friends, which is how he is presenting himself to her.
And then what about this so called “project”?! That sounds like the least creative lie I’ve ever heard even for an assistant director. If you are MAYBE meeting with some people to talk about a film you MIGHT be working on, then say that. Don’t be vague and mysterious so early on. You are the pursuer. Oh, I know you’re SO BUSY. You have your career which obviously comes first (especially in LA), but you are making it sound like Jackie is not at all a priority. And that’s not sexy. That’s gross.
We are all adults here, right? When do these games end? Can’t we just be honest with each other and express what we really want in a committed way? He doesn’t have to marry Jackie, my point is that if you are going to make an effort at all why not go full out and try to have a real experience instead of toe-ing the line until the girl loses interest.
And I know, I know, guys will say to me, “yeah but one time I like REALLY liked this girl and was totally into it and expressed that and she freaked out because I was coming on too strong.” There’s a difference between desperate and interested. KNOW IT. If it sounds like I’m being too harsh, just remember that I’ve been single now for almost 6 years. I’ve had a lot of experience and know that it’s a problem for so many guys AND girls and doing it this way will never result in success.
In conclusion I’m going to leave you with a quote from William Hutchinson Murray and Johann Von Goethe that is hanging on my wall right now staring me in the face (it applies to pursuing a career in the arts, but also is relevant to any type of commitment):
“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.”