Happy Holidays everyone!!
Happy Holidays everyone!!
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.
My acting teacher always says that there are only three constants in life: death, sickness, and change. Death and sickness are obviously terrible and change can seem like it too. But most of the time, if you are patient and open to it, it can bring about new opportunities and better situations.
When I find myself in times of sadness or anger about my current romantic status I always have to check myself. First of all for being a whiny bitch and not being grateful for what I do have and not taking responsibility for why I’m still single, but also because I know that change is only a matter of time. I could be in a partnership by Christmas if I’m lucky. I could be married in 2 years. And so could you.
Almost all of my friends are currently going through a painful breakup. Almost ALL of them. At the same time. It’s so coincidental and forces me to have to play therapist all day long. Which got me thinking, it’s so strange how jealous I was of all of these couples just last year and how much their life is changed now. They are all single again. They are all single again just like me except THEY are single and heartbroken whereas I am single and happy.
So my single friends are going to have to go through many months of self-care and therapy and anger and sadness and sleepless nights whereas I am generally happy everyday and having genuine fun with my friends and enjoying alone time. Both single, but in very different stages of single.
There is NOTHING in this world worse than being in the depressing, lonely, nightmare-you-can’t-wake-up-from fog of heartbreak. Everyday you wake up with a weight on your chest and a feeling of emptiness and slog through the hours of your day wishing you could fast-forward time and erase your memory. That is the shittiest feeling and the reason a lot of people are so frightened of falling in love again. But I digress…
How much better is life when you are just single as opposed to single and sad? SO MUCH BETTER. Enjoy that state of being! If you fit into the category of single and sad then just know that change is inevitable and time heals everything. It sucks and you might be there for quite some time. But you’ll either die or you will live through it and be a whole person again in due time.
I do have some advice though for what to do during that time. And none of it includes rebounding or sleeping around because you know what that will make you do? FEEL EVEN SHITTIER.
People say that the only way to get over someone is to get under someone else, but all that does is transfer the pain. A broken person has nothing to give. Everything that new person does sucks because they aren’t doing it like your ex did it. All of the things that the new person does that is like your ex that annoyed you will make you angry way more than it should. Your ex-partner’s dick was perfect, this new guy’s is weird. He kisses weird. His hair is a different texture. He smells different.
Even if you have NO DESIRE to ever get back with your ex, these are probably thoughts you will still have. When you have grown so accustomed to one person for so long, newness is too different too soon. If you like the new guy it will make you miss the ex. If you hate the new guy it will make you miss the ex. See the problem? Give yourself TIIIIIIMMMEEE. That shitty feeling will go away faster without adding a new schmuck into the mix.
My friend Tara (name changed) has been broken up for all of a month with a guy of 1 and a half years and yet she is already on Tinder and Match.com and setting up 2-3 dates a week. Most of them she ends up canceling, she’s told me, but she decided to go ahead and take the plunge last night. She asked me before the date if she should tell this new guy that he is her first since the ex.
“Um, HELL NO.” I replied. “If you can help it, don’t say ANYTHING about the ex.”
Clue #1 that it’s too soon: that you would even think about bringing up the ex on a first date. WHYYYYYYYY?
Then she preceded to tell me that she hopes she doesn’t cry afterwards.
Clue #2 that it’s too soon: If you think you might cry after your date.
When I was rebounding from The Producer (my only long term relationship) every single time I brought up his name to the new guy I was seeing I started crying. It was completely involuntary. Twice I remember saying to the new guy, “I promise I’m over him. It just upsets me.” I have no idea why he didn’t run for the hills after that.
After the date Tara told me that they had sex 4 times (face palm) and that he rubbed her back until she fell asleep. (P.s. this was a guy from Tinder. So essentiality it was a blind date.)
Clue #3 that it’s too soon: If you are falling into intimate relationship tendencies with someone you barely know.
I wrote a post a while back, which has since been deleted per her request, about a really good friend of mine who was super fresh out of a separation from her husband and how she was handling it (hint: not well). In it, I detailed what happened on the dates with new guys she was seeing. Basically what she was trying to do was skip all the fun of dating and getting to know someone and go straight to cuddle sessions and trips out of town. She was looking for a replacement for her ex-husband.
Clue #4 that it’s too soon: If you are trying to fill a void instead of enjoying the journey.
Change will happen whether you like it or not. My friends were all happy and in good relationships at this time last year. Nobody wants a relationship to end, but it happens. Nobody wants to be single, but that changes. You can be envious of everyone in the world for everything they have but that you could be you someday. Or those people could lose it all tomorrow.
The trick to happiness in life is to enjoy where you are any given moment even if it sucks. There are lessons to be learned and opportunities for growth. Look for the good things you have and don’t try to force anything.
There’s a saying that my hairdresser always uses when I’m stuck in a relationship that isn’t fulfilling me the way it should but I can’t really let go: “You’re not done until you’re done.”
Such a simple statement and yet so perfectly describing what that type of a situation is like. How many more times can you be disappointed before you finally just say, “enough”.
It’s like the poor sap on “Love, Actually” who goes to his best friend’s wife and pours out his entire heart to her on fucking poster board set to music and afterwards says, “enough. Enough now.”
The problem with this is that it’s SO HARD to make it to that point. You put up with his disrespect, you recover from that night of crying into your pillow, you learn to live with him not being available enough, not answering your texts, not fully giving of himself. Being emotionally unavailable, pushing you away, making you feel less than. You keep in this cycle until one day you suddenly rediscover your self-respect and your worth and you put your chin up and you say, “enough”.
It’s not even something that you can force yourself to do, which is the most annoying part. Because when your heart is that attached to someone and you’ve been so intimate and shared so much of yourself you want to do everything you can to salvage that. And it was probably pretty good at one point otherwise what would you have to fight for? You probably had created some amazing memories and went to some amazing places together and shared cool stories from your past. But once a relationship gets to the point where you are feeling disappointed more than happy, it starts to spiral into shit.
No one wants to stay in a place of unhappiness, but sometimes as hard as you fucking try, you just can’t pull yourself out of it. For whatever reason, you aren’t ready to move on yet.
It’s such a terrible place to be in and I don’t wish it on my worst enemy. And you won’t be done until you’re done, so good luck. I hope it happens sooner rather than later. I hope you don’t completely lose yourself and become an unhappy shadow of who you once where and disappear into dullness along the way.
Some people are really strong and can be like, “fuck you, I’m done” and walk away and wash their hands clean. I am not one of those people. I have to slog through the shit until I’ve cried so much and so hard that I literally have no more tears left for that person. I’m all dried up. My emotional spirit has been broken and I have to get out and repair it or else I’ll be swallowed in the sea of despair.
My poor friend Kristin (name changed) has been struggling for about a year to rid herself of her vile ex-husband who is a raging sex addict. Even knowing EVERYTHING (and I mean everything. Every email, voicemail, text, online exchange etc.) wasn’t enough for her to be done with him right away. They went to couples therapy. She tried to treat it like an alcohol addiction and help him through this rough journey. But he kept deceiving her and being a piece of shit human being so she finally divorced him. But even now she has moments of weakness where she will call him and ask, “should I wait for you?”
It sounds crazy to someone from the outside, but the heart wants what the heart wants regardless of what that person did. You can rationalize it in your brain until your face turns blue but then that beating organ in your chest decides to shit inside your thoughts and derail your progress.
When Janay Rice (Ray Rice’s wife) had a press conference in which she stood by her man and rationalized the fact that he beat her unconscious and dragged her body out of an elevator with her ass showing we all sat with our jaws open and scolded her in our minds for being so stupid. But sometimes it’s hard to even leave an abuser. Hopefully one day soon she realizes she is worth more than that and has her “enough” moment. Only time will tell.
My moment came with The Colombian (my psuedo-ex boyfriend) when I was playing cards with his roommate and his roommate’s girlfriend and he jokingly made fun of me the ENTIRE night. He called me out for making a bad play in our game, he criticized what I wanted to order for dinner at the takeout place, he didn’t pay any attention when I tried to show him a new song I had learned on guitar. These are little tiny things, but the build up of all of the months before just peaked that night and I was DONE.
My moment came with Boyband (another pseudo-ex boyfriend) this afternoon when he flaked on a double date we were supposed to have tonight. He had several opportunities to let me know that he wasn’t available, but instead he decided he would pretend that we didn’t really have “set plans” and say that he had people coming into town and needed to entertain them. He probably doesn’t even think it’s a big deal, but when your heart is so tied to someone and they disappoint you for the 900th time you can’t help but to get upset. And today was the day that I decided that I had no more fucks to give and that I don’t want to feel that disappointment anymore. There isn’t an excuse in the world he could’ve given me that would be good enough. I’m at the end of my rope and I’m walking away for good.
You deserve to be with someone who feels lucky to have you everyday. You deserve to be with someone who is a man and not a boy. You deserve to be with someone who will take you on dates instead of just fuck you. Of course even with the right man there will be hard times and you won’t feel the love at every moment, but you know when a situation isn’t enough for you, and that’s not the way a healthy relationship is supposed to be. We can make excuses for them and pretend like we don’t care and believe that things will change soon, but you know deep down that you deserve better.
You won’t get out until you’re ready, but know that when you do that better things are on the horizon. So many of us have been there before. You are not alone. Make yourself happy first and eventually you will realize that if a guy isn’t making a concerted effort to keep you and make you happy that you have the option to find a person who will. Because those guys exist. They ARE out there. When you are in an unfulfilling relationship, you aren’t available to those guys. So, as Elizabeth Taylor would say, “Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together”!
Don’t let someone dull your shine. If your shine has already been dulled, then get it back. And if you don’t feel like you can do that yet, then fake it until you make it. Life is way too short to be with someone who makes you feel less than.
I would like to give a rousing, enthusiastic shout-out to all the real men out there who still take girls on dates. Who seek out a girl who they are attracted to, get a phone number, CALL in a reasonable amount of time, and follow through on treating a girl to a night out. This is a rare, endangered breed of man who we all need to try and save.
I feel as though through my very clinical investigative work of being single for almost six years I’ve developed some insight into decoding the behavior of men and exposing your weaknesses. I feel as though you have become clueless on how to successfully court a woman. But don’t worry, I am here to help! And let me begin by saying, IT’S NOT ALL YOUR FAULT!
Women are just as much to blame as men for the state of affairs in the dating world today. I understand that a lot of us have gotten you into thinking that we are more comfortable “chillin'” with you at your place and watching Netflix, or “hangin'” with you and your boys out at a bar. I’m here to tell you: WE ARE NOT. We would like to be taken on dates. They don’t have to be fancy or involve a lot of money spent. But if we are at all romantically interested in you, we would like to spend time with just you at a place that is not your apartment (at least in the beginning).
Here come the excuses:
“But I’m so broke. I can’t afford to take a bunch of girls on dates.” (There are so many places you can take her that are not expensive. http://thoughtcatalog.com/christine-stockton/2014/04/50-fun-cheap-dates-that-arent-netflix/)
“I don’t want to invest in some girl until I know that she’s into me.” (Well, you can start out as friends and spend a lot of time and effort into getting to know her until you are firmly cemented in the friend zone and find out that some other dude swept her off her feet last week if you want.)
“Dating is too formal for me. There are way too many expectations.” (Um, I sometimes feel that way too. We both need to grow up.)
“Rejection sucks.” (I know. I’m glad I’m not a man. But if you never take chances then nothing changes. You’ll wake up at 40 alone and with regret. Which circumstance sucks more?)
“I feel like she is only comfortable in a casual, relaxed setting too though. When I make subtle advances she changes the subject.” (That is only her fear and insecurity talking. If you REALLY like her, you have to push through that. The other option is that she’s just not that into you and hopefully you can sense the difference.)
The thing is, whether it seems like it or not we are definitely impressed when you guys make that full effort. You have a 75% better shot than if you dick around and try to do the “let’s just hang” thing. I understand that that way is more comfortable for everyone involved, but in actuality it involves way more effort and takes way more time than going through the stages of dating. Yes it’s scary and involves you putting yourself out there more, but in the long run if you are truly looking for a partner then it’s necessary.
People are naturally inclined to want to be in a relationship. It’s human nature. God (or whomever you believe created our bodies) gave us the gift of sex so that we would bond with another human being, create a family, and re-populate the world. We have obviously started abusing that gift in modern times, but I still believe that most of us, deep down, feel that urge for coupledom. Who wants to trudge through this challenging world alone? Those people who swear that they “LOVE BEING SINGLE!” are in deep denial and have put their frozen heart in a bulletproof safe surrounded by barbed wire. Unless you haven’t been single in forever or you have just come out of a relationship, it’s always a defense mechanism, in my opinion.
So man the fuck up and stop being so stubborn. I can’t tell you how many guy friends I have that have remained single while I have known them and been on only about a handful of dates. When I press them to figure out why that is, their answer is always some bullshit about “it being too hard” and “needing to focus on themselves”. Do you need to focus on yourself for 3 years? Unless you are Justin Timberlake at 22 who is currently on a world tour then that argument doesn’t really fly. You’re being selfish and in denial and letting so many eligible, beautiful women pass you by. I’m not suggesting that you force yourself to date people you have no interest in, but maybe if you were more open to trying it you could soon experience the most amazing part of life: being in love.
I’ve had other guy friends say things like, “every woman I’ve met is a gold digging hoe”. For those of you who feel that way, I’m sorry you live in such a cynical, superficial world. Maybe you should try running with a different crowd or trying to meet a woman somewhere other than a club. Also, unless you are a professional athlete or Bill Gates I highly doubt that she is just after your money. Don’t flatter yourself.
And ladies, let’s all do our part and stop acting like we are okay with hooking up and hanging out. We are confusing the shit out of men. They have no idea what we want now! Grow up, throw on some high heels, and toss your hair around until some guy notices you. If you are interested, then allow him to ask for your number. If he then proceeds to text you late night to hang out, say no, and then tell him what you want and deserve (nicely, of course). We all have to band together and re-train these dudes. Men haven’t just suddenly become lazy and casual about dating all on their own. If we all start expecting more maybe they will give more.
I used to be that girl who was all, “um, there are no guys asking me out” who would then proceed to never give anyone my phone number when they asked and continue to casually sleep with my neighbor. I was never open to anyone’s advances when they were serious but I would go to a guy’s apartment late night for drinks and then be disappointed when he didn’t ask me to be his girlfriend after a couple months. I never made it easy for anyone and I now take full responsibility for my years of singledom.
Give these guys all the encouragement and clues that they need to ask you out. Be open, be vulnerable, and express happiness when they follow through. Our emotions and sensitivities make us way more hard to read and the guys are just trying to do what they think we want. So stop telling them you “just wanna have fun!” and grow up. Together we can change the trend!
p.s. it’s September 11th and I just want to give love to everyone in the US and especially in New York. #neverforget
You thought you were ready in the past but through reflection realize that you were desperate or needy and wanted a relationship to make you feel whole. You thought in your subconscious mind, “if only I had a relationship, then I would be truly happy.” You got angry at people who failed your expectations. You scowled at the couple at the bar looking lovingly into each others eyes and thought, “why don’t I get to have that?” You felt as though you deserved a man or woman and that you were being punished somehow by not having them.
But then suddenly you wake up one morning and you don’t feel empty. You don’t feel as though you need to seek for anyone’s attention. You are self-assured and excited about all that life has to offer. The sky looks SO blue! The weather is absolutely perfect! You start seeing your friends in a whole new light!
Everyone is beautiful. Everyone has an interesting story to tell and you just can’t wait to sit and listen. That person who used to get under your skin suddenly becomes a teacher to you. What can you learn from their agitating behavior?
You want to do things for people without getting anything in return. You want to send gifts just because and write nice things on someone’s social media to make them smile. Nothing is a competition. You aren’t keeping score.
Everything becomes an opportunity. You don’t feel as though you are hopeless in your chosen career. You have a rediscovered energy and passion for what you do. You are hungry to make changes and progress.
Babies become cute instead of annoying.
Puppies light up your face like a child.
The smallest act of kindness fills your eyes with tears.
That painting on the wall is beautiful.
Life is amazing and every experience you have makes you feel so grateful.
Joy shoots out of your eyeballs and it affects everyone around you.
Music touches your soul.
Movies expand your mind.
Books enrich your brain.
This is the attitude of someone who is in love with life. In love with themselves. A loving being who is ready to give and receive love to everyone. This kind of loving person attracts love into their lives.
It’s crazy to actually be in this position myself and be able to articulate it. To know that I’m ready. Like, actually ready. Before when I would complain to my girlfriend that, “I’ve been dating for 15 years, I’m exhausted, where is he?!” I think she probably knew deep down that I was so far from ready. Being ready means that I haven’t once complained about being single, wished that I had a boyfriend, allowed failed expectations from someone send me into a tailspin in a very long time. (Well, long for me.) It’s such an amazing feeling.
Nobody fails my expectations anymore because I don’t even have them. I’m focused on myself and my work and putting energy into my friendships. But it wasn’t even something I did knowingly. I came to this realization over the weekend because I was in a constant state of euphoria (on PMS week no less!!!) with everything going on around me. When something great happened I was STOKED!! When something not so great happened I didn’t even flinch. I didn’t take it personally and I surely didn’t let it affect my mood.
I started thinking about the last couple months and how that has been my attitude across the board…what a difference some time makes. All I have to do is look back at earlier blog posts and see how angry and hurt and negative I used to be. Now, it’s all sunshine and rainbows. I feel like a hippie co-ed in the 70’s with an amazing marijuana buzz.
This is how one HAS to enter into a healthy relationship if they want something special and real and true. This is how I’ve always been before entering into relationships in the past. A person is meant to add to your life, not complete it. If you’re sad or broken how can you offer anyone else true and full love? Only when your heart is exploding with LOVE DYNAMITE can you give and receive in a real way. It’s a fucking amazing thing and I can’t stop smiling and feeling awesome.
Of COURSE I don’t feel 100% joyous at all times of every day, but the feelings of positivity overwhelmingly outnumber the feelings and thoughts of negativity. I still snap sometimes at my incapable manager and scream “what the fuck!?” at the guy who cut me off in traffic, but you get the idea. 🙂
I will say, however, the one thing that is scary about this state of being is that literally everyone starts to fall in love with you. I’ve felt a couple guy friends of mine suddenly look at me with new eyes. Telling me my hair smells good and that I look beautiful. Suddenly considering me as an option. It makes me a little nervous, yet ridiculously excited at the same time. It’s better to have way too many people falling for you then none at all!
If you’re not there yet, don’t worry. It will happen for you in due time. It will sneak up on you when you least expect it. Everyone has to go through the dark, bad times to truly appreciate the good. Life ebbs and flows and you change and grow along with it. You just do you. 🙂
Check out the guest blog I wrote for the Gen Y-centric website Elite Millennial!