What's Being Read the Most...
I've personally never been one to really want to rush a relationship. Actually, the term "Commitment Phobic" might be a better...
Today I took my eldest daughter to the movies. While there, saw the previews for this new movie: "Horrible Bosses." It looked...
Well... I did it. I made it through 30 days. That, in and of itself, isn't much of an accomplishment.. basically, what I'm saying ...
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Faith and I? Did not. Over the years, I've flirted with the idea of committing to another church that was a reflection of the Faith I still held inside of me. I "dated" different churches, only to be let down in one way or another. Typically, it's a lack of substance that does me in - not altogether dissimilar from the typical issue with the men I date. Our core 'substances' don't match. I had almost resolved to singularly existing in a wierd world of 'coexistance' (1) in studying and practicing this hybrid between Judaism and Christianity (2). And then? I found the church I think I'm ready to get into a Long-Term Relationship with.I met my new relationship through, ironically enough, a guy. We were talking about faith on what could have been a date (3) and he started telling me about the church he went to. "You'd like my church," he said, "You should check it out." I murmured something about maybe doing so and we went back to looking at Christmas Lights. (4) A few weeks later, it came up again. I told him that I might stop by and check it out. And I did; he just didn't know it. Still doesn't actually; as I think I'd like to keep those two "relationships" seperate for some reason. I think it has something to do with purpose and intent. I'm there to worship and learn about my God; not get hooked-up.
It was awesome. It was informal and engaging and just felt like home. Like that easy first date where you meet and just can't stop talking to each other; completely in synch. I went again and still loved it. Stepped into the commitment pool a little further; checked into what they call 'cell groups' (their version of Sunday school/bible studies). Wanted to see how long it'd take to get a return phone call. Or if, you know, they were just 'texters' without real, discernable interest. Was this going to be a casual date or a potential long-term boyfriend?? Not 24 hours later, I got my answer - with a phone number and a request to call. I'm smitten. *Sigh*
So, there's the precursor to reason for straying from the typical relationship stuff that I normally write about. Just like when you finally find "that special someone" and you want to tell all of your friends about it; I'm pretty psyched about finding a Church that engages and challenges me - that I feel like I'm learning something from and can connect with. If it's not your thing, no big deal - just don't read it. ;) Now, I'm going to write a seperate blog about the concepts in the sermon that got me so geeked up and what I took from them... Enjoy!
1. Ok, some people see coexistance as just that; the tolerance of faiths that are divergent from your own. However, there are others that are actually viewing coexistance as their own religion; the embracement of all religions, culminating in what? The highest path or the greatest insurance policy? I don't know...
2. Yes, I know there's a religion called "Messianic Judaism," but it's not for me. Haven't found one that really didn't feel like an insurance policy.
3. I really couldn't tell with him. We went and did stuff several times, talked a ton and while I really like him - the whole time we were doing whatever, I couldn't figure out if I was on a date or out with a friend or just found my new business partner. He is a GREAT guy; It just shouldn't be that hard to read. Tragic, I know... but, he's not 'out of the club' and I'm convinced everyone comes into your life for a reason - maybe his reason was to point me to this Church??
4. As an aside, might have been one of the best outings I had that season; it was really a good time.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Growing up, I had this vision of how I'd spend my free time: riding horses and spending a lot of time listening to music, playing the piano, and singing. Preferrably in an environment where there were a lot of candles and wine. And a partner who enjoyed those things, too. In a setting somewhat like this:
Fast-forward to now. I never really found the partner who was into music like I was; however, I definitely have the setting and the music (by the way, I rarely ever ride - time gets in the way). With my scary eye last night I decided to stay home. Since they said the scary eye was caused by pressure that could have been caused by stress (they don't know what caused it, really); I started thinking about the things I used to do that I really enjoyed. I used to light an inordinate amount of candles and sing/listen to music pretty much every night. It was a stress relief and it? Was good. So, that's how I spent last night - well that and playing with my LifeCam. What were some of the ways you thought you were going to spend your 'free time' as an adult; and, do you spend it that way? What's fun and unwinding for you??
I'm kind of intruiged with my LifeCam - it's basically a webcam with a really long wire so it's more flexible and can capture more of what you're doing. It's NOT the action cam it somewhat advertises itself to be, though. I looked something like a schizoid just sitting at the table singing last night. It might have a place for vlogs, though; I'll likely be trying that out soon (might be a little more time efficient). I have an outtake below for your bemusement (I know it made me laugh out loud!).
Some things I noticed - I have to upload it to youtube to get it to work on myspace. When I do, it skews the video/audio feed timing. Good times. So, definitely need to work on that. You'd think I'd get cute for anything I was even remotely considering putting on here; but, truth be told, I don't care. :) It sets the bar kind of high; this way, when I AM presentable, it'll be a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure what cracked me up the most - I think it the fact that I was soooo off key and warbly in parts of it! LOL
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Fast-forward a decade and a divorce later, and the question comes up again. When dating, who pays the bill? It's amazing to me how touchy of a subject this can actually be. Let me start with saying that (much to my parents' and financial advisors' chagrin), I don't care all that much about money. I want to know I have enough to do the things I need to do – outside of that, it spends pretty freely. J Now, I don't own a lot of Manolos or expensive stuff. I can appreciate fine dining, but I don't care how expensive the restaurants I go to are (in fact, no lie – I think my favorite place to eat is Chipotle). So, now that said, money should –not- be an issue with anyone I'm with. Yet somehow, it seems like it is. Sometimes, anyway.
Sometimes it's an issue because I feel bad for guys. Why should you be expected to pay for a date just by virtue of being a man? Seems like a very unfair thing to me – have a penis? Pay the bill. So, I'll often offer to pick up the tab (or at least pay for myself). When I was younger, it was because I didn't want a guy to feel like I –owed- him. Now that I'm not as young, it's more along the lines of just being fair. It took me a while to get comfortable letting the guy pay for me; it's easier now, unless I'm just not interested in him (then it's still kind of unsettling). Sometimes I just pay the tab, usually if I'm enjoying the company I'm with. Half the time, I'm making just as much or more than the guy I'm going out with, anyway – so why not?
Which leads to a question; why does this cause pause for some men? At first, I thought I was imagining it – but, I'm not. It clearly makes many – if not even most – of the men that I've offered this to (or simply done) uncomfortable. Most recently? It was characterized as "generous." Why? What makes the act generous when the same has been done for me? According to Cosmo, men secretly have an issue when a girl is in a higher tax bracket – perhaps offering to pay for outings is "flaunting it?" I love this article from the Single Dating Expert where he, ever so briefly, recognizes the contradictory side - where women want the independence, but then get upset when men let them pay for a date in the same manner they'd pay for us. I sometimes wonder if we, as women, don't somewhat perpetuate the inequality when it comes to dating and finance.
I'll concede that it's easier for someone that is in the same economic ballpark as I am. I don't care if a man makes more than I do; but, it gives me a moment's pause if they make significantly less. Not because I'm concerned they won't be able to take care of me – but, because I don't want to fast-forward to the day when it becomes a palatable problem I have to deal with. And I know, hypocritical as it might be, it's a problem I'm not alone in facing – ever see 'The Caste System' episode of Sex and The City? While it ultimately worked out for them (see below if you are a SATC nut), there was a pretty relevant fight that I have had with a guy before about financially fitting in with friends…. So, I often find it's easier just not to deal with it. Not a hard-and-fast rule (like I said, 'the rules' were for the 20s), though. But with women's earning power increasing – do you think we're in for more Steve and Mirandas? Will it continue to matter, in this age of equality, who brings in the bacon or pays the bill?
Saturday, January 3, 2009
1)This (Me), That (Dating) & The Other (New Year's Resolutions)
2)The Women.My Life.First Blog Post of 2009
3)Friends, Frenemies, & Dates
and then this one ... they build on each other; or at least are related in theme. There's probably some stuff in here I should revisit - like some of my theories from back then better!!
There is, of course, another side to the 'not knowing where you stand' or having that slightly disfunctional dating relationship. You know, the one where you kind of feel like the person that someone's using to "kill time with" or the rebound relationship to get over someone. It's possible.. that the person you're with or angling for? Is just not that into you.
Not going to lie, I'm fairly excited about this movie. Cautiously so, anyway. I'm not overly thrilled about Greg Behrendt as a counselor, but he's a pretty funny comedian. And the book he wrote with Liz something or other - now a current culture staple, He's Just Not That Into You ... is also pretty funny. It's got some practical stuff in there, too. My personal favorite relates to the post-break-up return of stuff; and how often one side or the other wants to make it into a "meeting." And, of course, the only reason to do that is because you're hoping the meeting would spur someething to make it go back to the way it was before. You know, the good times.
Most people don't like the process of dating. I'm not looking down at them, because quite frankly, there are times I find it to be pretty tedious myself. I like the 'being in a relationship' part, for the most part anyway, but getting to that point can be a pain. Soooo, many of us in our rush to get there - to comfortable relationship status - we fixate on the wrong people. Oh, to be sure, they're probably perfectly nice people. Maybe they're the kind of people we think or -know- we should be with. Maybe there's just flat out hotness going on there. Whatever the reason, we want SO badly for them to be the guy/the girl that we ignore all the glaring signs that... they're not.
I know I've tried very, very, very hard to make guys that I'm just not compatible with "the one." Or at least 'the one until I'm ready to do something else with someone else.' I know, I know, there's probably a special little corner in hell reserved for me; but, it's not as bad as it sounds. I liked the guy and I -wanted- it to work. You know when you can look at someone and just really love the person they are and know that they're the kind of person we need, even if it's not what we necessarily want? At the end of the day, though, we realize that not wanting them, the missing element of that little spark, was enough to make the difference between a successful relationship and... not.
Then you have to tell the person. It's the right thing to do - you can't just fall off the face of the earth. That part? Sucks - we all know it. Noone ever wants to hurt anyone. But you have to do it. So, how you do it is an important thing and might actually need to be worded with more thought than when you asked someone out to begin with. For me, I usually fall back on my life - quite frequently it ends up being an issue in my relationships anyway (I'm a very busy girl). That seems to be pretty safe and the least painful. I'm looking forward to seeing how the movie handles the rejection angle.
But what do you do when you're the one that has to hear it? That someone's just not that into ME?? How's that possible -after all, I'm fabulous. Right? Right. Having to respond to a rejection is pretty hard and requires a ton of tact as well. You know that the person giving the rejection doesn't really want to hurt you - they just want it to be OVER. So, I'm going to agree with Greg here - do yourself a favor: Don't Drag it Out. Listen to what the message is - say something if you must... but then be done. Don't spend a ton of time "hashing it out" because it's not going to change anything.
Leave their stuff on the doorstep. Better yet, give what I do a shot: let the UPS guys deliver it for you. I don't leave stuff at guy's houses that I expect to get back - haven't in over 2 years. But, last time I did? I had keys - I got my stuff, left a note and his keys on the table and locked the door behind me. He? Was out of town. No fuss, no muss... no.drama!
Give yourself time before you see them again. Move-the-frick-on. Seriously, it's deluded to think that you can go from being romantically involved with someone to "just friends" overnight. You can't. Gotta give yourself time to not care. Not care about why you weren't 'the one;' not care about the girl or guy that might have gotten kissed goodnight last night ~ and not on the cheek. ;) Otherwise, you'll end up losing your cool - and maybe losing it in front of your "new friend." No bueno para you.
Get INVOLVED. Not necessarily with a person, because rebound relationships are really not all that cool. However, it's perfectly acceptable - and probably a good idea - to be active in different things. The Stephanie I referenced in my earlier blog? Brought up a GREAT site (of which I'm a member): Meetup.com. You'll find something to hit on any interest. For me? I like going to the art museum and walking at the park. Go out on a date within the month - but make sure you let the person you're going out with know you're newly uninvolved. It's really only fair.
Finding out a guy or gal isn't that into you is not fun; but, another way to look at it is as an opportunity. After all, you've just moved one guy or gal closer to finding the one who IS! :D Happy Hunting!
And it really deserved a mention. I won't share his name, but I will share some of his thoughts from our conversation last night. ;) I started it last night, but got super involved with the groove I was in (Mommy Track!) and forgot. Then this morning, I read a GREAT blog from Stephanie about just making new friends in general- great thing to focus on at the beginning of any year. Anyway, the combination of the two made me think about the follow-up thing again, and the different types of friends that we deal with on a regular basis in the dating world.
Friends - Of course, we all have our same-gender friends and the people that we've met along the way that we've never dated. We've got our group of core 'friends' that provide our support and then we usually have that one special friend (or maybe 2) that you can call and they know by the tone of your voice whether they need to hand you chocolate, salon therapy, or a good stiff drink. Thank GOD for those special people. :D But, since my overall theme is dating, we'll move on to those friends...
I have dated my fair share of guys that have ended up being my friend, as opposed to anything more. When you think about it, most of the people we date will either end up in this or the 'frenemies' category if they stay in our lives. In fact, some of the best people I know were men I went out on a date with and then realized I didnt want to lose - so, I stopped dating them. There IS one who realized we belonged there, so he guided us into the friend zone (good call, by the way) - and I love having these guys in my life. They're friends, they provide perspective and insight and we never have to talk about fashion! LOL Sometimes, I think this is the best result to come out of dating.
Getting to the friend zone can be kind of tricky. It's not like you instantly end up there - you have to work to get it there. First, you have to work through any residual feelings that the other side may still be fostering of a romantic or hurt nature. Sometimes, that just takes time. Often, it takes an explanation - that's less fun, but fair. I'm usually pretty up front in letting guys know that we're going to be happier in the end if we were just friends... and I tell them why I think that. The ones that I end up staying friends with (all but one, really) get it and respect it. Usually, a couple weeks and they're dating someone else later... and we'll meet for drinks and laugh about how awkward dating is. And it's all good. :)
When it's not all good, they become Frenemies. Very rarely will a guy or girl come out and tell you that they're angry, jaded or just don't like you. We're all FAR too civilized for that. But there are guys (and girls, but I date guys) that can't quite completely rise above the fact that you chose not to be with them. So, they insert little snide comments and deep down, you kind of know that they're not rooting for you to win they way you root for them. So, eventually, they linger away. Which is good, because it's AWKWARD! Do you ever just want to ask them, "What the hell? Really?" I know I do - there are a MILLION girls out there (or guys if you're a girl) and probably hundreds of thousands that we could be compatible with. So, is it really worth hanging on to the pettiness of being bitter about someone who wasn't? Seems like a lot of wasted energy for me, but it does make for some good Happy Hour stories. ;)
And then there's the friends you date. The ones who haven't made it into any permanent category yet. It's a wierd limbo-land. Here's where we pick up from the last blog. I made a comment about making sure that I know where I stand with you if we're dating. There's different ways to guage that, of course - and my friend that I referenced at the beginning? He reminded me of that. Not that I had forgotten that there's nothing wrong with taking your time with getting to know someone - most men I've dated will absolutely attest to the fact that I'm a 'take-it-slow' kind of girl. But even I need signs, man! LOL So, when my friend and I were discussing the blog last night, he shared his perspective with me (paraphrasing here:)
"When I was still out there dating (he's in a long-term relationship now), I liked to take it slow. Get to know them, become friends with them, and see how we communicated and such before moving into anything physical."
Lest anyone's mind be in the bedroom, we were NOT talking about sex. "But, what about simple things like hugs, brushes on the arm, or kissing someone goodnight -even if it's on the cheek - at the end of dates? Surely that's not rushing to anything, right?" It can be was essentially his reply. Yeah, and maybe he's right. It's certainly a hell of a lot easier to transition into the friend zone if you don't have any of that going on. :) And, come to think of it, I've done something like that with a couple of guys before - the ones that you think might have some heavy baggage or a myriad of other reasons that something inside of you says, "Not yet."
Here's the kicker, though, I think - if you're going to go the "18-inches-of-personal-space" route, you're going to need to verbally communicate your intentions. Let the person you're dating know that you're dating them so they know what's going on. Because, let's face it, noone likes to be in the dark. If you don't, expect to find yourself in 'the friend zone' while the person you were getting to know is out with someone else.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
*Blllleaaah!* Shake it off. New year, new start. AND, BONUS! Mimosas. And well, Cranberry Champagne with Rasberries. Whuat?? I fell asleep early last night - seems a shame to let it go to waste and besides, might make my afternoon walk more enjoyable. ;)
It made me think, though - that movie? The really good girl that goes to work, takes care of her husband, kiddo, goes to work, meets charitable obligations, has fantastic friends and non-frizzy curly hair (another damnit worthy moment, as mine drives me bonkers, which is why it's so frequently straightened)... she didn't do any of it well. And she was miserable.
"I spent an entire lifetime trying to be everything to everybody and somehow everyone ends up being somehow disappointed."
The problem was the woman didn't know herself. Sound familiar? She didn't know what she wanted out of life, out of herself; so she existed existentially though others. Good Lord, that sounds way too familiar. Can you say my twenties? Gah, I was so wrapped up in trying to be someone's perfect picture of .. I don't know what.. But whatever it was, I screwed it up marvelously. All the way through. It's always easier to Monday morning these things, I suppose... but, thankfully, for me, my thirties appear to be about coming into my own. Hopefully it doesn't take an entire decade to do it.
I should be fair, I suppose; it's not like I'm starting at ground zero. I got the marriage thing figured out a few years ago - namely, that we shouldn't be in it. I've built a career, and I'm good with the direction that's going in - moreso now that I'm in a company that isn't in quite as a demanding position in it's existence. There's some tweaking that needs to be done on the Mommy track. With the last position being SO demanding, I really do think the girls didn't get the attention they needed. They weren't CPS-level neglected, but they're getting to an age where they need more than general supervision and bedtime stories read. We need to be walking around the lake together in the afternoons, talking about the important stuff that shapes them. If we don't get a better handle on that now, then in a couple of years when it's REALLY important, they won't trust my opinion.
I'm also thinking of instituting little date nights with my girls each week. Just the three of us - nothing huge, just getting out of the rut and having a good time. It has been a little point of frustration for me that I get the 'serious time' with the girls and Jason gets all the 'fun time.' Don't misunderstand, I do -not- begrudge my children's Father being able to spend fun time with them; I just want the slow, easy moments with them, too. But slow, easy moments do not always come in the morning; so.. we're going to try to move them to one night. Just one night a week. Wish me luck. ;)
And then there's my love life. Seriously, I am a little miffed with that phrase - "love life." I mean, really. I -have- love in my life. Lots of it - just not the romantic variety at present. LOL I was talking to one of the guys I was considering dating - not so much now, he reminds me far too much of my ex and if that's what I wanted or needed, I'd still be IN that relationship. That's not compatible for me. Anyway, he was asking for my "rules." I nearly bust out laughing. The rules? That was part of my twenties. But even without "the rules," there are still some basic signs that show there's mutual interest. Want to move forward with me? Make sure I know we're on a date and not a business luncheon or hanging with pals. I wonder what signs other people look for while on a date?
So, as I start my first "New Years Day" of my thirties; I reflect back on the last decade and warmly close it and look forward to the next one. Must stop writing now; there's more champagne ... and rasberries.. yummmmmm. Later!