3 Great Loves

It’s been said that a person can fall in love 3 times in their lifetime. This is a very startling and depressing statistic for me since I’ve already been in love 3 times. (To be honest I usually say 3 and 1/2. The half part is because to this day I’m still not sure about that one. Which most people would say means I wasn’t in love but I couldn’t have felt so tortured and depressed when it went away if I wasn’t.) Why do we only get 3? Why is there a cap on it? Does our heart not have room for more than that? Or do we become too jaded to allow for more? And what happens to those of us who have already exhausted all of our love options?!

The first great love we get is said to be puppy love. The love that looks amazing from the outside and seems to be right in so many ways. This is the high school or college sweetheart love. I had this love and it was such a special and meaningful relationship for me. But he cheated on me and I fell out of love with him and so that was that. I truly believed that I was going to marry him and would’ve felt comfortable with that choice if circumstances hadn’t made me feel otherwise. This is love that you will always look back on and smile about but know that it would’ve never worked out anyway because of how much you’ve changed as a person since then. It was lovely and it taught you how to love and be open but you had to move on. 

The second great love is the painful love. The kind where your heart is a mess and you can’t seem to stop thinking about him/her even after they’ve been an asshole to you. It’s when you can never seem to communicate properly and the timing seems off and the fighting is non-stop. But you truly believe that you are meant to be with them. My painful love came in the form of someone who I was convinced was The One. And when it all went to shit I pretty much lost my faith in love all together for a while. My 1/2 love came in this category as well. I think it was just an extension of that previous love, but in a different man. One that I didn’t want as much. And I think I was just confused and projecting. But whatever it was was painful. This kind of love is when you learn all the lesson and what you truly want and need out of a partner. 

The third great love is the love you never saw coming. The one that seems to develop so suddenly out of thin air. You weren’t even trying. In fact, you may have tried to fight it off from every angle. I had this with my most recent relationship which lasted 3 years, the longest I’ve ever been in one. He seemed to be all wrong for me on the surface but I gave him a chance and fell so madly, deeply in love that I could never imagine my life without him. But since we’ve been broken up I’ve surmised that he was always meant to be in my life, just not as my boyfriend. I connected on such a deep and intimate level with him and I don’t feel comfortable just letting him become someone I used to know. No. He has to be in my life forever, just in a different capacity. 

So, if you don’t end up with any of the people who fell into your great love categories then what’s next? Do you either have to go back and make it work with one of these past lovers or are you destined to be single forever? I’ve decided that the 3 love rule is fucked and I refuse to accept.

Maybe some of just love more easily or more frequently than others. If someone is unmarried for 20 years of their adult life we can’t expect them to have only loved 3 people or less. That’s insane. Maybe the 3 types of love just keep repeating until they stick. So that must mean that another man will come along who will be someone I never saw coming again. And maybe that’s also why I had 2 painful loves. They repeated because I didn’t learn what I was meant to learn. Maybe I wasn’t completely ready for the love I never saw coming and therefore must be repeated. I hope so because otherwise I guess I’ll have to settle for being alone for the rest of my life. 

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How To Lose A Girl in 10 Days

To all of the good men out there: WE SEE YOU. We think you’re great and respectful and loyal and attentive. This essay is not for you. Most of us women have, unfortunately, way more experience with the bad guys of the world than we do with the good ones. The challenge of a bad boy intrigues us and once we get hooked in, it’s way too late. We have to see it out, through all of the heartache, tears, disappointment, and anger. But it makes us appreciate the good ones even more once we finally realize that we deserve that kind of treatment. Please be patient with us as we adjust. 

To all of the not so good men out there: WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING? Do you want to be alone forever? Do you want to meet your match that is just as shitty as you are and bang around and be miserable together? Do you hate yourself that much? Do you just enjoy sabotaging things for fun? Or are you incapable of experiencing real human emotion and empathy?

Keeping a relationship happy and healthy takes more than just good communication and an unconditional commitment to one another. Those are the absolute basics for a steady foundation. Tell me what you’re thinking and don’t cheat on me. But it takes more than that to stand the test of time. A plant has to be watered every day and can’t survive without it. After a certain point men stop watering the plant, get comfortable, and start to slack on expectations and think that since women are such loyal creatures that we will stick around through all the bullshit no matter what. A woman with a lot of self respect won’t though. It is really awful to break up with someone and we will give our significant other many, many chances to make things right. But repeated offenses of the same things over and over again can get to the point where they are unforgivable. And the men don’t even realize what hit them until it’s really truly over and she’s over it. Because they think, I answer when you text, I show up when I can, and I haven’t put my dick inside anyone else. WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT?! They’ll say. Well, I’ll tell you…

The most egregious offense is a lack of attention. Women are like dogs: we need constant petting, to be taken out, played with, fed well, and loved. Our relationship is not a part time obligation and the amount of interaction we receive needs to be as consistent as possible. We can’t handle seeing you 3x a week one week and then barely speaking to you the next. That is how you handle a friendship, not a relationship. When there is an emotional attachment involved any changes in behavior or a sudden drop in attention is going to cause anxiety for us. We understand that you have lives and that you need to keep up with your daily obligations separate from us. But there has to be constant effort to be in communication everyday and in making plans to hang out. This is obviously a two-way street, but women don’t usually need to be reminded to keep it up. We CONSTANTLY think about you, want to see you, text you, and tell you how we feel. We’re amazing multi-taskers and can handle having a job, kids, appointments, meetings, hobbies, friends, and still make you our #1 priority. Men can become one track minded, especially when it comes to work, so just REMIND yourself constantly that attention must be paid. Honestly, a woman could have zero feelings for someone and if he shows her constant attention she could very likely fall in love with him. That’s how important it is. 

The next worst offense, in my opinion, is bad listening skills. Obviously some of us are just more blessed with a better short term memory than others. But when you really truly care about someone you genuinely want to know every thought that goes through their head, every emotion, every childhood memory and story, and every experience and 9 times out of 10 will remember it unless you’re zoning out. A person that you don’t love could tell you a story and it would be normal to zone out during the details, or have to have them repeat it again once or twice. But with someone you love, it gets absorbed into your mind. If that’s not happening, it’s showing us that you don’t give a shit. I dated a guy once who I would quiz on certain details about my life that I was 100% sure I had told him several times. I would ask him when my birthday is, how many siblings I have, what I majored in in college. And when he struggled to answer those basic questions I knew that he wasn’t really that into me. Or maybe he was and he just wasn’t making listening well a priority. It needs to be a priority. Drink gingko biloba tea, do more crossword puzzles, or meditate to clear your mind so there is more space for your girls’ details. We remember all the dumb shit you tell us. We love to surprise you with a Christmas gift that you mentioned liking in the store that one time. We want to buy you tickets to see a game with your favorite sports team. We want to remember all the names of your family members so that we can impress you (and them) when you take us home for the holidays with you. 

Which leads me to my next point. Not spending holidays, birthdays, special events, and social engagements together is unacceptable. How many times do we have to make excuses for you when you bail on us for things that you, “don’t like” doing. I don’t like going to all of the parties and celebrations that I’m obligated to go to either but it’s a chance to spend time together and be social. I was in a relationship with someone for years when he said he couldn’t come to my best friend’s birthday party with me because he had a wedding to go to. It was the double whammy of leaving me to go solo for the 3rd year in a row to my friend’s party and also not taking me as his date to the wedding. This is something that women will never be able to comprehend. How could you NOT want someone there with you that you can whisper to about how the bridesmaids’ dresses are ugly or use as an excuse to leave early or dance with? Women never want to go to a social function alone especially when everyone else is coupled up. When we have that moment of discomfort when no one is really talking to us we have to anxiously check our phone instead of find you and insert ourselves in your conversation. If you’re the type of guy who wants to go everywhere and do everything alone then be alone. Why be in a relationship with someone you don’t want to share the special moments in life with?

The last, most hurtful offense is not talking about the future. A good guy with available emotions who cares about you will talk about this subject endlessly. A not so good guy will skirt around it at every opportunity. We’ve all been hurt, we’re all afraid of rejection, we all understand that sometimes things don’t work out. That’s life. If we’re not in this relationship with at least the POSSIBILITY of settling down together then what is the point? Seriously! Are you dating us to pass the time? Are we just a pit stop on your way to the person who you  really want to be with? Are you unsure about us? Because when you scoff, laugh, or make light of the subject that is exactly what you are communicating to us. We don’t need to see a detailed sketch of the engagement ring you’ve been planning for us since the day we met, but we need some indication that there can and will be progress. Meeting your family/friends, going on a trip, and discussing moving in together are all good indicators. There’s no time frame for these types of things to HAVE to happen but if it’s not happening in a reasonable time frame then you will know by how your girl starts to behave. Insecure. Anxious. Nagging. These are some of the lovely labels she will get honored with once you start to drag your feet. There is only so long we can “date” you before we get restless. Before we want to insert the Judge Judy gif where she’s tapping her watch and slapping the bench into all of our conversations. You will wear her down at a certain point to where she will let it go and just cruise along. But that bit of resentment will still be festering in the back of her head until she unleashes it again at, probably, the most inopportune moment. So shit or get off the pot. 

I’m obviously generalizing greatly about what most women want and need but I feel pretty confident in saying that the MAJORITY feels this same way, whether they are being honest about it or not. It’s really not rocket science and it really doesn’t take THAT much to keep us happy. It seems like common sense and yet this is a common issue that I and my friends have experienced with countless men. You’re going to keep losing people you care about along the way if you can’t manage to at least PRETEND to be one of the good guys. Women can easily do all of this stuff without questioning any of it, why can’t you?

3 Years Later

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. 

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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.

xx

The Object of Your Attention

I feel like I’ve suddenly discovered the key to a long lasting, healthy relationship. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been listening to so much Abraham Hicks lately or if it’s just the result of becoming a healthy, more mature adult, but either way it’s as if suddenly a lightbulb has gone off in my brain and I hope to never treat my relationships the way I did in the past again. 

And here it is: do not make your partner the object of your attention. 

Meaning make yourself, your career, and your interests the focal point of your life and have your relationship be secondary. I know this sounds crazy. But all of the problems, at least for me, always exist when I’m putting too much attention on my boyfriend and the relationship. That’s when I start expecting too much and appreciating nothing and suddenly he becomes the source of all of my issues and unhappiness. 

I have severe ADD and SO MUCH excess energy. I can multitask 7 different things at once. My brain is a calendar and can categorize everything. I LOVE to be busy and have lots of things on my plate. I have a desperate need to be stimulated and challenged. Imagine what happens when I look to my partner to fulfill all of those requirements for me. 

My life is always going to have a huge compartment that needs to be filled up. I don’t like being alone for too long, I can’t stand not having upcoming events or social engagements, I go crazy if I’m not doing something creative everyday. So it becomes a constant pursuit to make sure I’m doing enough of all of those things, not only because it fulfills me on every level, but because it takes my full attention away from my boyfriend. 

The very best example of this is to look at how men treat relationships. It’s very seldom, at least in my experience, that a man over the age of 25 makes his girlfriend the center of his universe and the main priority of his life. Men have an innate desire to hunt and gather, aka work, so usually that takes the main precedence slot. The nice thing is that most men want to work hard and build a career in order to support a woman and/or a family, but they aren’t spending their days pining and overthinking over how it’s affecting the relationship directly in that moment. 

Men and women are different, I get that. Women are more emotional and tend to obsess about their lovers, (errr wait, maybe that’s just me?) and the more time we spend with them and the more energy we put into the relationship the more we want. Ammiright, ladies? We’re putting this insane amount of effort into showing them we care about them and that they have all of our attention and we get pissed if they’re not doing the same. We have this “attachment vibe” that is hard to break. 

And when things get to that bad place, people always tell you to “focus on yourself” and to “let go of the attachment” as if it’s some easy thing that we can suddenly wake up and just decide. But with time and a constant shift in the mindset, it can become more of a habit. The easiest thing to do is treat your life how you did while you were single. Not sitting around and waiting and hoping that some man will fill up your time and energy. 

We are not kept women who need to hide behind our men or become too focused on them and what’s going on in their lives. Independence is the key to growth and self-sufficiency. What happens if the relationships suddenly implodes? No one should be in a relationship constantly thinking about that, but it’s a very real outcome that would leave a dependent person in complete and utter shambles. 

I’ve been almost forced to learn how to function in this way since my boyfriend and I are currently long distance. I never would have chosen this as my current situation but, here I am, and I can either deal with it or end the relationship because of the neediness and separation anxiety. At times it gets too hard and I get to the bad place of wanting to be done with it all, but then I remember why I’ve stayed for so long and how much I love him. And once I decided it was worth it to stick it out I constantly shifted my mentality to focus on subjects that did not have anything to do with him. It has made me so much happier overall and it’s done wonders for the relationship. I’m not so focused on what he is or isn’t doing for me, how often he has texted me that day, or when he’ll be back in LA and for how long. I’ve let go of the control I so often want to have and it’s been like an orgasmic release for me mentally and emotionally. 

Before I made that shift I was in such constant despair and even broke up with him for 2 months because of it. Because of my jealousy that he was making something other than me a priority. Because he was following an impulse to further his career. Because he was doing his best to create a better future for us. What a monster. 

During my PMS week I always go back to my old ways of thinking and verbally abuse him in my head. But as long as I continue to understand that those feelings are fleeting and do my best not to express them to him, my relationship will continue to flourish. One day we will be together all the time and I will think back to when I had this space and freedom from him and miss it. 

The reason most people think that a relationship works best when the man is more in love with the woman than she is with him is because this mentality comes NATURALLY in that situation. The woman focuses on herself and her life because she doesn’t care what he thinks as much as she did with her emotionally unavailable ex-boyfriend with whom she always walked on eggshells and felt a sense of neediness and desperation.  

This is not to say that we shouldn’t put any effort into our relationships. Every relationship requires work and balance. But the most successful my relationship has ever felt was when I was being as SELFISH AS POSSIBLE. Try it and see how it works for you. It’s not about games or manipulation, it’s about the freedom and peace that comes from the perils of attachment. 

Keep Going or Give Up?

How do you know whether to give up or keep going in relationships?

I think about this at least once a month. “I want to give up. It’s too hard. I’m disappointed all the time. I’m unhappy. I’ll never get the future I desire with him.” Those thoughts run on a loop in my head anytime I don’t get what I want or have my expectations dashed by him. Sometimes I feel like a petulant child or that I’m pinning too much of my happiness on him and other times I feel like he goes out of his way to disappoint me and show me that I’m not his main priority.

But then I think about having to start over with someone new and it sounds awful. I say to myself, “just hold out longer. Keep your mouth shut. Be agreeable. If you’re patient and cool you may get what you desire.” And then that dialogue runs on a loop until I convince myself that it’s really not that bad. But I think the problem lies in trying to decipher if I’m being too pushy and controlling or if what he is and who he is isn’t enough for me.

He complains that I get my heart set on timelines and goals and if he doesn’t meet those in the time frame that I have decided on in my head then I get upset and pick a fight or try to end it. And I’ve definitely done that. I’ve definitely been close to ending it 4 or 5 times and ended it for real for 6 days once. I don’t want to be the girl who cried wolf but I also don’t want to be the girl who held out for as long as she could stand for a guy who was never going to give her what she desired in the first place.

And he almost has a point, I guess. If he tells me things will happen but they just haven’t yet, shouldn’t I just be patient and relax and know that he just takes more time than me with all of these milestones? But what it he’s just telling me these things will happen to shut me up and keep the peace? He might keep delaying progress until his face turns blue and then I’ll be in a worse position than I was before with even more time wasted and resentment built up.

Relationships are hard and they take work and we have done so much work and have made progress but I just don’t know if it’s enough. I don’t want to feel like I’m begging him to move forward with me all the time and I don’t want to feel as if I’m waiting for the moment when I’ll finally be happy.

Sometimes it just feels like it will never be enough. Never enough time, energy, attention, or care put into cultivating our partnership. I feel like I’m giving everything I have on my end and not getting enough in return. No one wants to be with a needy person and if that’s the vibration I’m putting out, then he will feel that and want to pull away. So at times I don’t even blame him for the way he behaves, but if I’m not getting enough of what I want then obviously it’s going to manifest itself somehow.

Isn’t the point of being in a relationship to share all of the important moments with the person you love the most? Do I just have to come to terms with the fact that I will be going alone to most events and experiencing a lot of life without him or with friends instead? Is that so bad? Or do I want my boyfriend to always be there with me all the time for everything?

Maybe adult relationships are about separate people with separate lives doing their own thing and coming together only to enhance each others’ lives. That sounds really nice and independent and shit, but what about those moments when I feel more alone than I did when I was actually alone? Because you only miss someone who isn’t there. You don’t miss someone you don’t have. When I miss him it feels worse than being single.
I should be grateful and appreciate what he DOES do, right? I need to focus on the ways he tries to make me happy and respect the progress that he HAS made, no? But then why am I always in tears about things that he has failed to do and opportunities he’s missed to bring me even the slightest bit of joy? But if I give up, will I be MORE sad than I am now?

I definitely don’t expect too much. I expect way less than I would’ve in the past because he’s forced me to lower those standards. So the result always feels like I need to express to him that I’m not fulfilled and walk away to find my desires elsewhere.

And then the cycle starts over with someone else at some undetermined point in the future when I’ve kissed enough frogs to find someone suitable. And then what if I don’t like that person as much? What if I realize I’ve made a huge mistake and he won’t take me back? Assuming that this person is good enough and respects me, what if I discover the same problems and then I’m back in the same position after even more years of waiting, wishing, pushing, and hoping.

“Just keep going. Stick with the one you love so much. Give him a break. Relax. Focus on yourself/your career/your friendships for happiness.” This is the cycle of thoughts I usually settle on. But I honestly don’t know how many times I can keep doing it.

So will it always be something? Will I never be satisfied? Once I get the things I’m asking for now is there going to be some earth shattering glow of happiness that will suddenly wash over me? Why can’t he just fucking do everything I want so we don’t even have this issue to begin with?!

For now I guess all I can do is take a breath, have a glass of wine, and wait for the PMS to pass.