relationship

All posts tagged relationship

Further Thoughts on V Day

Published February 11, 2015 by singleandfabulous10

Last year on Valentine’s Day, I posted an entry here all about the up-side of being single. If you’re having trouble remembering what that is, now might be a good time to re-read it.

It’s that time of year again, when single people are, well, especially aware of being single – perhaps painfully so. And I suppose if you’re single and don’t want to be in a relationship, it’s no big deal. But a lot of the single gals I know are feeling a bit sad about V Day.

So, here’s my advice: Think of the perfect Valentine’s Day, the gift(s) you’d like to receive, the activities you’d like to be doing, etc. And then give it to yourself. The whole thing. Buy the flowers, the chocolates, the jewelry. Prepare or order your favorite dinner and dessert. If you’re craving physical touch, schedule a massage. If you don’t want to be alone, make plans with your single friends.

Sometimes we can spend a lot of time waiting for other people to fulfill our wishes. When, in fact, we’re quite capable of making ourselves happy, if we’d only give ourselves permission to do so.

Permission granted. Live it up. Have a great V Day. You deserve it.

How we date now

Published December 23, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

I just finished reading this short article which a friend shared with me, called “This is how we date now,” by Jamie Varon, which discusses dating in the modern world. As someone who has dated a lot, I can relate to much of what is said here.

Recently, I was struck by the fact that not one, but two men I have gone out with lately have said to me, “It’s so hard to meet someone.” Really? Aside from the cluelessness, the irony (and possibly also the rudeness) of making that remark to someone you’re on a date with, I don’t think it’s actually true.

I think it’s hard to meet someone with whom you can develop a meaningful relationship that’s not based on text messaging and Facebook updates. I think it’s hard to meet someone whose idea of love isn’t based on infatuation, obsession, fantasy, and longing. I think it’s hard to meet someone who wants to invest the time it takes to forge a deeper connection.

But I don’t think it’s hard to meet someone.

I think many of us have such an unrealistic idea of love that when the reality pales in comparison to our well-developed fantasies, we’re already moving on, saying how hard it is to meet someone. It seems like we want to treat time as such a commodity (or at least, we pay lip service to the concept). It’s as if no one wants to risk showing up at all, for fear of wasting their time. Yet strangely enough, the same people are willing to spend countless hours engaging in online parodies of relationships.

“Love is something you build.” (So say lyrics by Wah.) It’s true. Love isn’t some overwhelming feeling born of infatuation. It is something you build. And you can’t build it without showing up. Consistently. Over a period of time. The action, the attentiveness, the energy of being present: these things are the building blocks of love.

Actions create the feeling, not the other way around.

And yet, so many of us are waiting to be swept up in a feeling. Looking for the next hit, as Jamie observes.

Love isn’t some magical drug. In fact, relationships are a lot like so many other things in life. You get out what you put in. In other words, the greater your effort and investment, the deeper and more satisfying your relationships can be.

It starts with you.

How many Ho hos does it take?

Published November 26, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

You remember Ho hos, right? Chocolate cake roll with cream filling?

Yum.

I knew my relationship was on the rocks when the guy I was seeing nearly had a meltdown over me eating one.

I repeat, just one. Not a whole box, or a case, or anything like that.

He said, “ You shouldn’t eat that shit. You’re gonna get fat.”

I suppose it’s worth mentioning that I do not have, nor have I ever had, a weight problem. Regardless, I don’t need a running commentary on everything I put into my mouth.

He continued on, “Do you know what’s in those? They’re disgusting. I can’t believe you’re going to eat one.”

I ate two, just to make a point.

Shortly thereafter I shed a little excess weight, in the form of one judgmental and hyper-vigilant man.

Redefining Failure

Published August 16, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

I think it’s time to redefine failure. As a single person, it’s easy to feel like a failure.

Let’s face it, if you’ve reached a certain age and you haven’t, you know, “found someone,” people are going to start speculating about what’s wrong with you. Because, you might either have some flaw that isn’t readily apparent (Hmmm, what could it be?) or maybe you just aren’t looking hard enough.

But really, the marriages I’ve been treated to an insider’s perspective of are enough to make me feel like I’ve indeed dodged a bullet.

The idea that single people have failed is no doubt the product of social attitudes and the cultural obsession with couple-dom. We do so love a good “happily ever after” story. The trouble is, very few get to see what happens after the wedding.

I’ve been reading a book by Kim Stolz called “Unfriending my ex…and other things I’ll never do.” In it, she talks about how much relationships have changed in the age of the internet. Suffice it to say, things are not always what they appear to be. Some relationships look perfect from a distance (say, on Facebook), but they often don’t hold up to closer examination. Sometimes – more often than not – that perfect relationship  is nothing more than a mirage.

Not that it’s easy being alone, though.

I suppose the idea of becoming a crazy cat lady is enough to make you fear loneliness gone wrong on a level that will have you rushing off on a date with Mr. Good Enough.

I refuse to have even one pet: it might be the first step down a slippery slope to mismatched clothing, talking to my cats, and referring to them in conversation as my babies.

But seriously, before you say “I do,” make sure that what you’re getting is greater than what you’re giving up.

There’s an article that’s been making the rounds recently that’s worth a read: 5 regrets of the dying. It’s a good reminder to “think from the end” so that you create a meaningful life based on your values, rather than on other people’s expectations.

Another Bored Man

Published June 14, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

The other night, while out shopping, I ran into a man I used to date. He seemed happy to see me: “I’ve been thinking about you. I was going to call you.”

“Oh, really? Why?”

“Because I was bored.”

Wow. Really??

You were bored, and thought of me?

I’ve long said that people who are habitually bored lack imagination. I say this because if you have a rich inner life, it doesn’t really matter if exciting things are happening in the world around you. I suppose this is an introvert’s perspective.

I’ve come to believe that a lot of people (perhaps even the majority) are in relationships born out of – or sustained by – boredom or loneliness, or some combination of the two, with a dash of social status thrown in.

And, while it’s certainly an individual’s prerogative to be in a relationship for any reason he or she chooses, I can’t say that I find it particularly flattering when I realize that someone is seeking my company out of boredom or loneliness.

Call me quirky, but I like to aim a little higher than that.

The Truth

Published March 27, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

“The truth about intimate relationships is that…They can never be any better than our relationship with ourselves.” – J. Hollis

People often say that you can never really love someone else if you don’t love yourself first.

Now, this isn’t to say that you can’t be in a relationship if you don’t love yourself. You can be in a relationship your whole life without knowing the first thing about loving yourself.

But the reason I like the J. Hollis quote is because I think it addresses something that many people don’t consider, and that is the quality of their relationships.

I think it’s also true that before we can consider meeting another person’s needs in a relationship, we have to identify and express – and also learn to meet – our own needs. Which is where self-love comes in.

If I enter into a relationship without understanding what I want and need for myself, how can I know what will work for me? And what won’t?

And if I think love means running myself ragged trying to meet someone else’s needs, with no regard for my own, I’m probably going to be left with a giant heap of resentment. And perhaps a shell of a relationship, to go along with it.

Over the years I’ve actually found that time alone is an opportunity to become better acquainted with  – and even better friends with – myself.  And that, as I do this, the quality of my relationships has improved, while the number of relationships I’ve been in has declined.

Unfortunately, one of the things that gets thrown out at single people (a lot) is the idea that maybe they’re not ready for a relationship, because they need to “work on” themselves first.

I think the reality actually is that, the more time you spend alone – if, of course, you spend it in the sincere pursuit of self-knowledge and self-love – the less likely you are to engage in, or continue, a relationship with someone who doesn’t also have a good relationship with themselves. And since, culturally speaking, we don’t really value self-knowledge and self-love, there are a lot of people out there who are merely looking for someone who “completes” them.

All this is to say that, if you haven’t found someone to be with, maybe it’s not because of anything that’s wrong with you.

Really.

Laughter

Published March 11, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

Laughter is a powerful aphrodisiac

It’s true.

I am virtually powerless to resist a guy who can make me laugh. Maybe it’s all the endorphins. I don’t know.

But it’s the best high there is, next to sex, and as foreplay, there’s nothing better.

Over the years, some of my best relationships have been with guys who made me laugh.

Let’s face it. There are just so many moments in life where you have two choices: laugh or cry.

Okay, maybe three choices. The third one probably would be an act of violence.

I’m generally not the violent type, so I’m back to two choices: laugh or cry. And I’ve used a lot of Kleenex already, so I’m voting for laughter.

Life is just better when you can be with someone who makes you laugh. When you can laugh together over things that happen to you. And when you can be silly – even downright irreverent – together.

The bottom line? If you can find someone who makes you laugh (and doesn’t drive you crazy) you should hold onto him. Or give him my number.

Finger Lickin’ Good

Published February 24, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

Recently a friend of mine traveled to meet a man she had been getting to know via phone and internet.

Yes, I know,  it’s silly to travel to meet a man. But we all have to make that mistake at least once, right?  (Don’t worry, I’ve done it, too.)

If you’re thinking about doing it, allow me to assure you that there’s a good reason a man can’t find a woman in his own zip code. And it’s not because you two are soulmates and your relationship is destiny.

So, she arrives at the airport, and he picks her up in the “filthiest truck ever.” Her words, not mine. I’ll leave it to your imagination to consider what the outside, and the inside, of his truck looked like.

But the real kicker was when he started digging in his ear.

After carefully inspecting his finger, he cleaned it three times with a loud smacking sound: finger lickin’ good.

The postscript: After she returned home, he called her to ask, “Where are we gonna go from here?”

Her response? “We’re not going anywhere.”

Singlehood’s Greatest Gift

Published January 22, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

“This is singlehood’s greatest gift: It puts you squarely in the present and grounds you in the reality that life is much less solid that we usually believe. Marriage can create an illusion of permanence. This is our life and it’s not going to change…It can camouflage the unsettling truth: Nothing is permanent, nothing is assured. The ground is always shifting beneath our feet.” – Sara Eckel

The above quote is from my recently discovered and new favorite book about being single: It’s not you: 27 (wrong) reasons you’re single, by Sara Eckel.

In it the author confronts 27 of the most common little gems of proverbial wisdom that are directed at single people on a regular basis. Such nuggets as:

  • You have low self-esteem.
  • You’re too desperate. (Or:  You’re too picky. )
  • You need to grow up.
  • You don’t really want a relationship.

Eckel discusses each of these in detail, in an intelligent and insightful way. So, if you’re single, and you’ve been on the receiving end of this sort of thing, you may find yourself feeling a lot better after reading her book.

Why are you single? For some people, it’s really more of a conscious choice. But if you find yourself single, not by choice, there is much food for thought in these pages. And, if you find yourself berating the fact that you can’t get over your desire to be in a relationship, she addresses that too. (Yes, you too are human.) And the concept of settling gets much discussion as well. (Settling: What is it? What does it feel like? Who does it? And why? Does marriage have a place in the modern world, or is it simply an outdated and failing institution?)

I especially enjoyed her philosophical observations (from her study of Buddhism), like the quote I opened this entry with. Being alone offers the possibility of connecting with a variety of people in a really intentional way. And if you’re not suffering from the illusion that “this is my life, and it will always be this way…” you are free to create your life any way you choose to, moment by moment. Things are always shifting, and this is actually a good thing: each moment is new and precious, and fleeting.

Be here now.

The Frog

Published January 6, 2014 by singleandfabulous10

“We cling to our fairy tales until the price for believing them becomes too high.” – Ransom Riggs

There’s a widespread belief among women that fairy tales come true. That the frog you’ve been dating will become, poof-tah, a prince. Or your knight in shining armor.

And many, many women are hanging on, hoping for a miracle.

I think we (women in general) often make the mistaking of sitting around waiting for a guy to appreciate us, to value us. Sometimes, we even fall into the trap of asking him to, or virtually begging him to. Or pulling out all the stops to show him how great we are so that he simply can’t help but appreciate us. If you recognize yourself in any of this, don’t worry, I’ve been there too.

I suppose the tough love message in all of this is that the miracle just isn’t going to happen.

One of my favorite dating bloggers, Natalie Lue of Baggage Reclaim,  is fond of saying that you will be the rule, not the exception. How a man treats people, how he treats women, as a rule, is how he will treat you. And if you’re hanging around expecting something better, well, then you may be living in a fairy tale all your own.

But it probably won’t have a happy ending. Or, at least, not the one you think it will.

The happy ending comes when you see the situation for what it is, and move on. When you realize he has nothing to offer you that you can’t give yourself, and that cutting him loose will actually improve your life.

If you’ve made a mistake, and lowered your standards for a man who just isn’t worth it, don’t be too hard on yourself. Once you lose him, you will wonder what you ever saw in him in the first place. And you will find it easier to love yourself again.

After all, when it comes right down to it, the only relationship that really matters is the one you have with yourself.

“To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance.” – Oscar Wilde