Afraid.

You wrap me in your arms, stroke my cheek,

I feel weak

Safe

Beautfiul

Afraid.

You kiss me softly with your lips,

But also with your gentle words,

Touch

Patience

Quirks

Wisdom

And a smile that always feels

Exactly right

Safe

And bright.

It frightens me.

You feel like home,

Safe and comforting,

Yet easy and familiar,

But also like an undiscovered adventure.

Is this a mountain, ready to fling me down as soon as I climb up

Or a smooth river, ready to gently carry me to safety?

I can’t take the mountain anymore.

You disarm me,

I put down walls willingly,

Lay down my weapons of mass protection,

Hang up my armor.

I am raw,

Pure clay from the earth,

Soft and malleable

Yet strong and buildable

For you.

I don’t have the energy left in me

To be putty for an evil crafts maker or solider.

Please don’t be from enemy lines.

I am knowingly

Intentionally

Choosing

To

Melt.

It’s been a long time

Since I’ve decided to lose form

And be the soft, flowing, mess

That I am

For another

In attempt to find love.

You make me want to try.

I am afraid.

But also so damn ecstatic.

Capitalize on the ecstasy,

But please don’t exploit my fears.

Make me believe.

 

Tired and Overused Dating Advice None of Us Wants to Hear

You may not have noticed but us bloggers are single and have been for quite some time (some of us more single than others at various times, but for all intent and purposes, we’re all single as of this moment). And not to overstate things or brag on ourselves, but we are pretty good at being single. Like probably the best; we’re killing this shit.

So good in fact, that many people feel the need to share their fantastic dating advice to help us become better and more desirable partners. This would be great and all, but it is often unsolicited, doesn’t fit who we are all as people, assumes we aren’t good partners, is overused, unoriginal and tired AF, assumes we haven’t tried that already, ignores real issues of being single, especially as a gay, Black, single parent, woman, or busy professional person, contradictory the advice we got ten seconds ago, and did I mention UNSOLICITED – a.k.a. we didn’t ask you to solve our perceived dilemma of singlehood. And sometimes, this advice also has an underlying, and maybe even unintentional at times, undercurrent that we are not good enough as we are. And frankly, we’re kind of tired of that crap.

And so after hours of lamenting about this on our group chat (we group chat literally hours a day, like I feel like we go through our entire days together lol), we decided, you know what, we need a collaboration post, and we need one on this topic. So with no further ado, here is our first collaborative post written by all of us as a list of our “favorite (as in never say it again)” dating advice:


Just let him find you, also known as don’t look for him, he will fall in your lap, he will come when you stop looking and least expect it.

I’ve been single a long time. Never have I taken some time off from dating or working so much that a dateable man has fallen into my lap and we have began as a couple. Never have I been home, not leaving my house, engaging with anyone (which would be when I least expect it, and frankly, kind of annoyed if he showed up) and gotten married. Furthermore, I do not like the idea that I don’t get to be an active participant in my life. It’s not my style. I kinda like to be involved and it be more of a “we found each other” kind of thing. I get it, this is deeply rooted in biblical tradition – something about a man who finds a wife, finds a good thing. However, too many women I know have not found a good thing in a husband for me to not be an active participant. Perhaps “finds” is symbolic here too, like if you find a good lunch spot you’ve found a good thing. Those spots still advertise though. Also, the Bible is written in historical context and also patriarchy and also, not really my thing. Additionally, I know women who are happily married that have gone on single cruises, dating sites, speed dates, and were set up on blind dates. They did stuff. They looked for him. They found him. I have also known people who were “found” and are in terrible relationships. And what about same sex couples? Who finds who? It’s not like I’m on a safari of men anyway, looking for my right prey. But that sounds like a good idea. Where is that safari? How do I create one? Now that’s advice I could use. -Lee

I’ve been trying to be found for a year and a half now, and I’m still lost. I’ve always hated this stupid saying because even if you “let him find you” you have to put forth SOME type of effort. Like, sitting at home watching Netflix in your underwear while eating Chunky Monkey Ice Cream is going to help a man “fall into your lap”. Miss me with that. -Malc

“Where he at though?!?!” I’m a living witness that this is a load of crap. Most of the men I have interacted with have shown up “when I least expected it” or I wasn’t looking. Even my mindless swiping on Tinder was typically for kicks and giggles and not because I thought I’d find “the one” or that he would find me. I’m not one to go up and talk to a guy first. I don’t regularly put myself out there and yet men tend to show up and it still doesn’t work. Usually what people say to me is “he’s not going to find you if you stay at home knitting.” And that’s awesome because when I’m at home knitting I’m in full bum mode. I wouldn’t want to find me then either. But then people also say “no one wants a woman whose out all the time.” Which one is it people? Go out and put myself out there so he can “find me” or don’t go out and let him deliver my pizza on a Friday night.-Ashley


You should meet people in real life instead of Dating Apps

Even though I’m highly considering this, I don’t need you to tell me what to do with my life! What if I have social anxiety and hate meeting people in real life initially? What if I want to vet out these guys by texting the hell out of them and make sure they aren’t psychopaths first? What if I just want to waste time and maybe trip over the love of my life that way instead of spending money at the bar every night trying to find bae? If you want to use an app to find love, do it. If you want to find love at the bar, do that. If you want to sit around on your couch watching Netflix in your underwear eating Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, waiting for your bae to magically fall into your lap somehow out of nowhere, do it! -Malc

I second this one. And people always say “well I guess I’m just old school.” Well I guess so, Susan and Tom. I work in a female dominated space and since I date men, that makes it hard to meet people. I’ve also met some really cool people online and I don’t have to worry if they’re hiding their wedding ring in their left pocket. Also, let’s just say, online dating isn’t failing me. 🙂 -Lee

I’m not a huge fan of online dating. Mainly because I’m not a huge fan of dating period. It’s weird. Especially when it’s someone I don’t know. But since I don’t go out a lot for a number of reasons (no one to go with, no where to go, too damn tired, Mom duties, etc.) at times online dating has been used as an attempt to meet people. I actually met my ex online. What I didn’t like was the judgment I felt when I told people how we met. Screw you Susan if you think that the fact that you met Tom your second year of undergrad makes you better than me because I met my imaginary boyfriend on Tinder.-Ashley


You need to love yourself before someone else can love you.

So where did this idea of me not loving myself come from all of a sudden? So every single person in the world hasn’t learned to love their self? I mean, I love myself so much I sit around in my underwear eating Chunky Monkey Ice Cream doing my happy dance while watching Food Network and HGTV. -Malc

I call bullshit. Loving yourself is a lifelong process. Sure. You should have some basis of self worth so you don’t go out with abusive people because you feel that’s what you deserve, but if I wait until I conquer self-love, guess I’ll marry in the afterlife. -Lee

As my co-bloggers have already said…this is bullshit. Self-love is not a destination. It is a process. I will not wake up one day and say “this is it. I have arrived. I love myself the most I ever have and the most I ever will.” The reality is there are days I wake up and I feel like the spirits of Beyoncé and Maya Angelou have entered my body in the middle of the night and I am fearless and can conquer the world. There are other days that I wake up and nothing fits, my hair is a mess, I have zits, I don’t feel good and all my insecurities are standing in front of me the entire day. Am I less deserving of the love of other people on those days? I would venture to say the opposite. It is on those days that it would be nice to have a partner who can stand between me and my insecurities and remind me that I am loved by them and that I deserve the love of myself. And then on the good days they can be my biggest hype man and gas me up so I can take on the world. Hey. But maybe I just don’t love myself enough and I’m all wrong. I’m single. What the hell do I know. –Ashley

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You should work on yourself instead of worrying about dating

I like how people think that us single folk don’t have anything going for ourselves. Like, what would make you say “work on yourself”? Are you saying I’m undateble because I have no positive attributes going on for myself? Are you saying that I’m broken? Because that’s what it sounds like. Yes I know I’m not perfect, but when you tell someone to work on themselves as an alternative to dating, you’re ultimately telling them that they are not fit for the dating pool. Bitches *Eats Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in underwear* -Malc

Ugh. Disgusting. I have been working on myself for awhile now. So now what? -Lee

What the heck do you think I do all day?!?! Okay. Maybe not all day. But a lot of my time, life, existence has been spent on self-reflection. With every failed attempt at Love I try to figure out what I did wrong and make changes accordingly. And this is bullshit because half my Facebook timeline is full of hot mess men and women in hot mess relationships so there’s that.-Ashley


Your expectations are too high.

I’m sorry, Jane, but maybe that is why you’re bored AF in your marriage or unhappy or have so much time to give me advice I never wanted. My list includes kindness, gentleness, open minded, treats me well, intelligent, has a good head on his shoulder, easy on the eyes, you know, being a human I want to spend time with and occasionally rip his clothes off. Maybe my expectations are high. But you know what Jane, so are the ones for myself. And I’d be damned if my expectations for myself are higher than with someone I am too spend some of my life with. -Lee

I don’t understand how people can tell me that MY expectations are too high. Like breh/sis, it’s MY life so yes I want to have some sort of expectations if you’re going to want to “climb this tree” (as Ashley says). And I’m sorry, but if being a decent human being (plus a few other things) is having high expectations, then I guess I’m going to be alone for the rest of my life eating my Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in my underwear. -Malc

What I love about his one is that people usually say it without actually asking me what my expectations are. My bad Jane for thinking that I deserve to be respected, appreciated, not cheated on, and treated as an equal not a possession or piece of meat. Didn’t realize I was asking for so much!-Ashley

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You should Pray on it

Sometimes I have these thoughts that what if I pray for God to send me someone, and then I meet this random person that seems remotely interested in me. So then I think it’s a gift from God and decide to make them mine, but then they end up being crazy and almost kills me or something then I think to myself, “why in the hell would God send me a crazy person?” So then I just decide not to pray on it and go back to eating my Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in my underwear. -Malc

So essentially what Malcolm said above is exactly what happened to me (minus the trying to kill me). The day before I met my ex I literally prayed “God, you know I really want someone, but if it is your will that I be single forever or in this season then I am okay with that.” And then ta-da here came this man, who was interested in me, and took me out, and treated me right (at first) and all those good things. It was like God had been waiting for me to stop fighting my singleness and trust him (and follow all this terrible advice) and only then would I be prepared to receive this man he had for me. It helped that his tinder profile said he was a God fearing man. It was confirmation. And well if this is the first time reading anything I’ve written…long story short…it was a disaster! So yea. I’ve prayed on it. Jesus knows my heart. He knows I’m not perfect. But I’m almost certain he expects some action after the prayer. I don’t think saying the right words in my head is some magic spell to make a man appear. I would have figured that out a long time ago if it was. Also, people who don’t believe in God clearly still have relationships…so…there’s that.-Ashley

My mom and church made me start praying when I was 5 years old. Sister Jane was wrong. That didn’t do anything. Of course then, the reason it has happened is because my faith isn’t deep enough. By the way Sister Jane that is a logical fallacy. If something doesn’t work, you don’t get to just to say, well it does work, but you didn’t believe enough. Also, Sister Jane, isn’t kind of weird that I spend all my time praying for a husband when children are dying in refugee campus and war zones? Other iterations of this are “wait on the Lord” “He knows best.” I don’t know, y’all know I’m agnostic and God is a woman anyway. -Lee

prayer GIF-source



You should enjoy being single while you can!

Yes, yes. Because I’ve just been miserable eating Chunky Monkey Ice Cream in my underwear this whole time. And that may sound miserable to you, but the way my Introvertedness and Anti-Socialness is set up… -Malc

I know I write about being single a lot. And I’m sure it’s easy to confuse that with me being miserable that I’m single. But I’m not. I was, however, miserable in my last relationship so the next one will definitely be one that does not destroy the peace I have while single. So even though I’m not out partying every night and even though I don’t have a boyfriend, I do enjoy my life (and my late night texting 😉) so yea…there’s that!-Ashley

What does this even mean, Susan??? I am living my best life and I want to live my best life with someone else too. Is this a terrible, terrible thing? Trust me I’ve thought long and hard about sharing my bed with someone (he better like it cold) and having to share my cereal. I’m ok with it. Perhaps, you should have thought more about enjoying your singledom. I, on the other hand, will not subscribe to the fact that my life will be miserable after getting with someone, and so my only alternative is to be unhappy. Perhaps that is why marriages don’t work, because we make it sound like your life is ending. How about some advice like “enjoy your life while you have it, regardless if partnered or not,” because spoiler alert, we all die. -Lee


You need to put yourself out there…but not too much.

So I hinted at this earlier. People really like giving confusing advice. Just let him find you. You can’t stay in all the time. You need to go out more. But don’t go out to much because a man doesn’t want a woman whose in the club all the time. Don’t be such a prude but be modest. Then they suggest some really terrible ideas of where to meet someone. “You like to read go to the bookstore.” Okay I also like to sleep how do you suggest I find a man doing that?!?! And also, there are women who go out every weekend and they have a man. And there are women who never go out and they have a man. So I’m not sure what the secret going out to staying in ratio is. That would actually be helpful advice if you know it!-Ashley

So, I’m not supposed to try, but I am supposed to try? What the hell am I supposed to do? Can someone fucking tell me? I don’t understand. Is online dating putting myself out there or too out there? Where is “there?” Cause I’m with Ashley, the bookstore never works. Only in Hallmark movies. Everything works in Hallmark movies actually. Maybe Susan and Tom, you thought I lived in a Hallmark movie? -Lee

Contradictory statements are null and void… -Malc

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You need to try something different

This one kind of goes along with the your expectations are too high part. But with a slight twist. Usually it’s in reference to whatever my “type” is. You want to know why my type has been up until this point…wrong…that’s it. I just struggle to believe that all people who look a certain way, or like certain things, or believe certain things are all the same. Because people have all sorts of stereotypes about light skinned women and I don’t usually fit them. So I try not to judge people. And then there’s also this assumption that I’m only interested in someone because they look a certain way and that’s just annoying. –Ashley

I’ve tried all the different. That isn’t the solution. Stop telling me to do that. -LeAnna

Try something different? Why? What do you mean? What is “different” exactly? I’m attracted to personality, so I don’t think trying something “different” would work in this scenario. I think that would slightly be considered settling, right? I’ve dated all types of different people physically, so if you mean try something different in that aspect, I already have, and we’re still in Singleville. I refuse to try something different in regards to personality as those are my expectations. Sorry that I have a type and I would like to find someone who falls in line with that. -Malc


But you have your daughter that should be enough

So this one only fits me but I think my fellow bloggers may be able to fill in the daughter with something else (career, friends, family etc.) The frustration here is that 1. you’re assuming I’m not grateful for my child and 2. A parent-child relationship is vastly different from a romantic partner relationship. I shouldn’t have to explain the differences but I’ll make this point. I am my child’s main source of support (emotional, mental, financial, physical health, educational etc.). She 100% relies on me. She, however, is not mine. I can not collapse in to her at the end of a long stressful day. I can’t cry on her shoulder when I feel overwhelmed or like a failure. I can’t go out and have a drink or dance or Netflix and chill or any other date options there may be. These are things that a partner would provide. But I think it makes people uncomfortable when I am honest and say that sometimes I get lonely, even though I have a child and live with my parents.-Ashley

Ashley! You are so right I can fill in this in with something else. Common things people tell me are “but you have a career and degrees.” Anyone who knows me, knows me that my career is basically an extension of myself. And yet, somehow, it doesn’t manage to hold me while I’m crying at night, imagine that. My career is so important to me. I try to be the best version of myself and my identity is definitely wrapped up in it. But I know all too well, that on my deathbed, I won’t be asking for my career or thinking I should have spent more time there. I hope to be reaching or thinking of the one I love. Lee

Nothing will ever replace the tender touch of another human being that you are romantic with and understands you on an emotional level. Sorry, but no career, money, etc will ever be able to replace that, in my opinion. Chunky Monkey Ice Cream comes close, but apparently I’m not supposed to have that type of relationship with food. -Malc


You’re too *fill in the blank.*

Speaking of career, the other advice I often get is maybe you should be less career focused, passionate, intelligent, smart, as this is intimidating and doesn’t allow a man to be a man. I am usually stunned at this point. Sooooo, I spent thousands upon thousands of dollars to get where I am, give my heart and soul to my job, have spent all this time “working on myself” to “love myself more (see above advice)” and now, I’m supposed to play small for a potential mate?? I’m really confused here. Shouldn’t he want to see me as I am, and I him, and we both decide this is who I can spend my life with and choose? I am not dumbing or silencing myself for anyone. -Lee

Ahhhh yes. The dreaded too much….! Leanna and I have discussed this a lot. I think for me I’m usually too quiet, too reserved, to introverted, too obsessed with Harry Potter. I used to get too intimidating a lot. Not sure if that’s changed or people just don’t say it anymore. But whatever it is that people say I am too much of and should become less of to get a man to them I say…men should stop be too chicken shit if me being me is intimidating!! – Ashley

I’ve learned that I will always be too much of something to mostly everyone, and I just hope to find the one person who doesn’t mind my extraness in said something that they can look past it and love me for it. And if I’m too much for you, then you’re not enough for me.  That’s when I can walk around confidently and comfortably in my underwear, eating my Chunky Monkey Ice Cream, alone and “too much”. -Malc

Here’s a peom that sums up this issue perfectly.


BTW, here’s some Chunky Monkey for Malcolm.

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It’s a Date!

Warning: I have never once claimed that my personal brand of crazy is rational.

Today I did something I have been avoiding for my entire adult life. I took myself to eat, alone, at Olive Garden. Now, I know that sounds silly and it’s just Olive Garden, but for some reason the idea of doing this very thing has been scary and caused my tons of anxiety just thinking about it. I’ve tried to figure out why. And the most logical thing that I can come up with is that for some reason, the idea of taking myself out to eat at a sit down restaurant, pretty much solidified my perpetual singlehood. Again. Not logical. I don’t think this for other people when I see them out to eat alone or my friends when they do it. I actually envy them. But for me, somehow, taking myself out to eat at a fancy restaurant (lol yes Olive Garden is still fancy to me) just somehow meant I had officially accepted my singleness and was the first step to many a single restaurant date. If you are judging me right now please go read the warning again.

So, I went to Olive Garden…and I didn’t die. I don’t know yet if I really enjoyed it but I’m sure I’ll do it again. As I sat there, I thought that the couple on the other side of the room would be what made me most sad but I didn’t really pay them much mind. What did make me a little nostalgic was the table full of old ladies next to me gushing over their one friend’s new hair cut. It reminded me of my friends. It reminded me of Leanna and I’s many cathartic lunch dates at Olive Garden. It made me miss my friends more than it made me yearn for a partner to go to eat with. Though that would still be great.

Prior to all of this I started thinking up a list of potential date ideas. As a single 30 year old woman, I can count of both hands and maybe require the assistance of one set of toes, the number of dates I’ve been on. If I don’t count random meetings at Walmart or parking lots, then I don’t need the toes. So needless to say I’ve had quite some time to think up some really awesome date ideas. Or at least I think they’re awesome.

So here goes:

Dinner and a movie! Duh. The classics are a must. I’m not picky at all. Feed me and take me to a movie and I’m a happy lady. A few variations… movie and then dinner!! Lol just kidding. But there are those fancy theaters uptown where you can eat real food at the movies. Or a double feature where each person picks a movie. Or show up at the movies at a random time and watch the next thing showing.

Book store date. I love reading. If you can suggest a good book you’ll have a piece of my heart. So we go to the bookstore. You pick out a book for me. I pick out one for you. Then we find a nice cozy spot somewhere around town to read. Or we get the same book and read and discuss. This I semi did once but the guy was cheap and ordered his book online and before it arrived we had stopped talking. I still read the book. It was great.

Netflix binge. This is maybe after we’ve been dating for a while. But a good Netflix binge is always nice on a rainy day. And depending on how long we’ve been dating and how serious it is it can totally be an official Netflix and Chill.

A museum. I hear Charlotte has tons of museums. I’ve only ever been to the Museum of the New South. That was once in middle school and twice in high school for prom. So those two don’t count. So let’s go see some cool museum stuff!

Trampoline park. Disclaimer. I like these places but am super out of shape so I can only bounce for like 5 minutes at a time.

Charlotte is always having some sort of festival. Let’s go! Bonus points if it’s a festival about something neither of us knows anything about (or the renaissance festival).

Anywhere but Charlotte! Again, maybe for later on after I’m certain you aren’t a serial killer. But road trips are cool. And it can totally be a random day trip just to try some fancy ice cream in a random town. Let’s just go!

One of those paint classes. Or that pottery painting place. Arts and crafts are fun even if you suck at them. The paint class doesn’t even have to be a couples one because what are we each going to do with half a painting. And if we go at night we can bring wine! Same for this pottery painting place I know of.

Clearly this is not an exhaustive list. There are a million other things that could be done. The most important part is who you’re with and the time spent together. Which has me thinking? Why am I waiting around for someone else to take me on a date and to do these things. Like I said. The most important part is who you’re with, that can be a partner, friends, family or yourself and the time spent together. As long as your having fun and getting to know whoever you are with…IT’S A DATE!!!

So, what are your favorite date ideas?!?!

Update:

I forgot

A comedy show. Doesn’t have to be Katt Williams (but if it was that would be awesome) even a local amateur night could be fun.

A concert. Someone huge or someone just up and coming. There’s always a concert going on. Fun story. A guy once stopped talking to me because I told him that if we went to the Drake concert I would be excited but wouldn’t be like screaming with my hands in the air the whole time. He said that if I wasn’t going to have fun then he wasn’t taking me. He struggled to understand everyone doesn’t show they are having fun the same way. I’ve dated some gems really.

You Can’t Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

So at first glance that statement is often confusing to me. Why not? It’s my cake! I should be able to eat it! A quick Wikipedia search though clarified it more for me and it makes sense. In essence you can’t have/retain/keep your cake but at the same time eat it because then it will be gone. You can’t do both. Either you want to look at the cake, have it in a dish for all to admire but never actually experience it. Or you want to devour it, consume it and have it be a part of you forever. An extra inch on your waist or dimple in your thigh. However, you just can’t do both.

Anyone else want cake now?

So, prior to my search for clarification, I came up with a better metaphor that fits what I want to say. And yes, this post is about relationships (or lack there of) because what else do I have to write about.

So, I fancy myself a semi-decent amateur baker. I always say whenever I get fully burnt out from counseling and quit a job in a fit of rage and decide to do something different with my life, I’ll open up a quaint little bakery called “Anything but Coffee” where I’ll just wake up every day, bake whatever I feel like it, so you could essentially get anything…but coffee because coffee is gross.

(One time I made peanut butter chocolate spread for a co-worker and the dream started)

So, while you definitely can’t have your cake and eat it too you know what else you can’t do? Expect to constantly get cake without contributing to the process! Baking is expensive! Eggs, flour, milk, good vanilla, spices, pans, electricity. That shits not cheap! And it takes time. I spent three evenings this week baking until 11 or 12 at night as a way to say thank you to my co-workers as I was leaving the job. I did it because I wanted to. And my payment back was the many thank you’s, some jokes of it not tasting good, the euphoric faces as people tasted it and apparently almost sending someone to the hospital over some double chocolate brownies. When I bake out of love there’s not enough money in the world someone can pay me to do it.

But we aren’t talking about actually baking! We’re talking about relationships.

I’ve learned a few things about myself over the last year.

1. Had I learned these things a long time ago life may have been easier in the relationship or lack there of department

2. I can’t beat myself for not learning it sooner

3. Change is hard

4. When I love, I love hard. Whole heartedly, unashamed, no questions. I’m just like a fountain over flowing with love for this other person.

Things I’ve learned about other people

1. Most people find that very overwhelming and if it’s not what they are looking for they will run for the hills every time.

Back to me:

5. I do this when I just like someone too.

I have sat around thinking for countless hours, why it is that I can go from not knowing someone to head over heels crushing on them with little to no information about them. “Oh you’re paying me some attention…awesome” and my brain automatically starts planning out insane details about the time we will spend together.

I wish I knew who or what to blame. My dads always been there for me so I can’t blame not having a male role model in my life. Sometimes I want to blame Disney movies but even those stupid princesses put up a fight. But here I am, not so patiently waiting for someone to show up and want to receive all this love I’m about to spontaneously combust from holding in.

And I don’t think it’s inherently a bad thing. Wanting to love someone unconditionally and completely is not a flaw (though people will make you feel that way and then you will make yourself feel that way). I have realized my trouble comes in that I’m just ready to give it to anyone who shows up. And without fail, they don’t want it an I end up hurt.

But more specific to that here’s what usually happens.

They show up. I get excited. I’m ready to be all in. They can sense this and back out…BUT…they don’t actually back out. They want the option. They somewhere deep down know “one day, this is what I’ll want. Not today. But one day I should and therefore let me see what I can do to keep her around until that day.”

Here is a short incomplete list of ways this typically happens:

Hey stranger text

Just checking in text

Can we still be friends

The Fuckboy Backout (see my fellow bloggers post for reference if you are unaware of what this is)

Let’s just take it day by day

And my personal favorite (insert sarcasm there): begging for a chance to make things right once I finally walk away and they realize what they’ve lost but still having no intention of doing anything different.

So basically, they want the cake, but they have absolutely zero intention of contributing to the cake making process. They appreciate that I show up with a whole damn cake ready for them to devour but have no intention of helping me make another one. Then their like “wait…that was the best cake I’ve ever had. Why isn’t there anymore… you just gonna leave and not give me anymore cake.” Yes. Yes I am because you took what I had and forgot to bring me more groceries to make another!

I can be a limitless supply of cake. And a lot of the ingredients just come naturally. But some have to be contributed. Or maybe I just need an oven to bake it in. Idk. I may need to think the metaphor through some more. But you get the point. And before you even start. Yes. I can be both the baker, the ingredients, the supplies and the oven. How do you think the new cake that the new man gets is made. Self-esteem, self-love and putting the pieces back together after the last idiot ate the cake and ran without paying the bill!

So moving forward, my goal is to not so easily offer up the cake. Pay attention to whose just eating the cake and running away and who is actually trying to invest in the cake making process. Everyone does not deserve my cake.

And if you don’t know already…ask about me…I bake a mean cake (and cookies, and cheesecake).

What is Intimacy?

I am plagued by a deep desire for intimacy and connection within all of my relationships and friendships. I call this a plague because often people are not taught to be intimate and vulnerable with one other, and particularly in heterosexual romantic partnerships and so it feels like a curse most of the time.** While I’ve had success with intimacy with my female friends, men, on the other hand, continue to be a challenge.

When I say intimacy, I am not describing something that necessarily is sexual. I am describing the gentle way in which we lean into one another for support, care, and safety. I am describing the desire to know someone beyond their outer shell and take the time to understand someone from their perspective. I am describing curiosity, and genuine love for another human being, because you can see their light that connects them to you. I am describing empathy, placing yourself in their shoes and relaying to them, that you too are human. I am talking about soft kisses on foreheads and lips, arm caresses with no expectation, and soothing hugs. I suppose this is an emotional type of intimacy.

It seems to me, at least in my experiences, intimacy is often a second hand thought or something expected to be a by-product of everything except vulnerability, and often, derived from sex. My experience has been that sex alone rarely leads to intimacy; that intimacy is intentional, requires more work, and requires a certain aspect of emotional availability and maturity than sex. This quote speaks to me about that.

“It’s easy to take your clothes off and have sex; people do it all the time. But opening up your soul to someone, letting them in your spirit, thoughts, fears, future, hopes, and dreams – that’s being naked.”

We aren’t truly naked enough with each other and yet, we want and expect others to be physically naked with us. We do this often with false promises of true nakedness that never comes; “Let’s see where this goes” or “go with the flow.” Sex itself is just sex, and perhaps in some circumstances, a gateway to intimacy, but it has never been that for me. Perhaps it is the way my brain has been wired – part genetics, partly influenced by trauma – but to trust someone who has only seen me physically, but does not make an effort to know my spiritually and mentally (and I’m not talking about religion here, I’m talking about my inner being), is near impossible for me.

I have never had sex with someone that I felt intimately connected to in my adult life. Sure, I’ve loved them. But I did not feel the intimate connection that allows sex to transcend the physical and become something supernatural. I have never had a man try to get know me, understand my intricacies and apply that to how he loved and cared for me, both in practice and in sex. In turn, I have never felt 100% safe with a partner. I am admitting this now, but it is painful and weird to say that out loud and to the world. And I know that the key to this is a deeper level of intimacy. But how do we even go about building this? Does this even exist?

I wrote a post recently about the love I crave and I think within that are many metaphors describing what my ideal relationship; freedom, independence, interdependence, passion, and also intimacy. I once had a garden and although a lot of work, it never felt that way, because I loved the work it took to tend to it. I felt connected to it. I spent time looking at it, admiring it, learning about it, and trying to listen to what it was that it was saying that it needed. I gave it quite a bit of my attention and enjoyed sitting with it quietly. It also made me laugh and we had hiccups here and there, and we recovered together. Growing a garden is a very intimate affair, whether you know it or not. And truly committing to a relationship also requires this (and likely more) great deal of intimacy – at least for someone like me.

I wish that we could learn more about what it means to be intimate with one another and not to shy away from it. I wish we could see that some of us need safety and intimacy to thrive, and understand how that contributes to an invaluable amount of love. And for some of us, that fertile ground of intimacy and safety, can lead to the best sex, and even more worthwhile, love of your life. That every time you say, we can’t be more emotionally intimate because we just met, and yet expect someone to disrobe for you and be fully present for sex, in some ways you diminish the ways that sex can be intimate, that each time I try to tell you something about me or is core to my life, and you quickly switch to asking me about the color of my panties or sexual fantasy, to every time you kiss or touch me with only an intention to have sexual relations, that you create more distance, that you get further from your goal, that I mentally dismiss you, and for some of us, you may even make us feel used or detached.

I am not sure I can convince many of you of this. We live in hook up and fast paced culture that seems to often place higher value on pace and quantity, and well, sex feels good. I am not saying that every encounter should or ought to be intimate, that there is no place for hookups and one night stands (trust me, there are places and reasons for this), but rather, I am offering that should we ever want anything more substantial, we have to become more substantial. I’m saying connection still matters. I’m also offering to those who feel like me, that they are too deep, too introspective, too intimate, that you are not alone. I’m offering to all my many clients who have struggled with meaningless encounter after another, that I understand.

I do not know if I will find this intimacy in a romantic relationship. If not, I don’t know if I can ever fully commit to a person romantically. I may have to be content in my close friend circle that provides me emotional intimacy without any conditions. I consider myself lucky to have that. I cannot imagine how some people go through life without it. To me, it seems like a zombie or a shell of a life, not fully realized. I hope for you all, that you find intimacy.

**I have a hunch from discussions with my friends that this may be true in other types of partnerships as well, but I can only authentically speak from my experience, which romantically have been heterosexual. I’m interested in how this differs for others though!.

I Finally Understand the Relationship I Crave

I first encountered this question with one of my favorite therapists. She asked me, “LeAnna, what kind of relationship do you want?” And said, for her, “it would be like my favorite pair of blue jeans, worn in, comfortable, and comforting.”  I thought that was one of the most beautiful things I had ever heard and so, I tried that on for fit. It was a delightful notion, but didn’t quite fit what was the relationship that would be best for me. Yet and still, I continued for years to wrestle with that question.

I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately. And today, I came into the realization of what the relationship is that I crave. I am looking for a relationship that allows me to be the wildflower or wild fruit I have always been. Some people call me a free spirit, some an exception, some weird, some zesty or wistful, and others throw their hands up in exasperation as they do not know WHAT I am. I think I am a wild fruit with many branches, stems, and odd fruit, that does not wish to be confined or defined. I am not meant to be a fenced in flower, I am not a dainty rose, I am not flowers that grow in neat rows that bare no fruit but are stunning, and I am not a weed to be plucked. And I need a relationship that is a garden large enough to allow me to grow as I please.

This relationship would not try to confine me, would give me the space to sprawl my long greenery all over the dirt, grow over any fences, destroy fences that stunt my growth, and tends to me with the tender loving kindness that gardeners use to tend to their bounty. Providing nurturing and support when necessary, but never critical or blaming when the bounty does not reach their expectations, and instead thrilled with what it blooms in its own unique space, admiring its unexpected colors or fruits.

A love that is careful when entering the garden to not stomp or destroy the wild flowers of my being, but not too careful as it understands that as a wild fruit, I am capable of a persisting in the worst conditions, but am better when provided the best conditions. A love that respects my ever persisting and fierce life force, but understands that even the wildest among us needs sustenance.  A love that possesses the understanding  that a garden that wilts needs water, love, nurture, and sunshine, rather than criticism, neglect, or coldness. Who understands that a wilted garden does not have to die, but can thrive when shown a little tenderness, and often comes back tenfold in its produce.

I crave a love that understands that my roots run deeper, wider, and across spans of a universe that they cannot see, and yet, takes the time to study and learn how a wild flower like me can produce sweet fruit, and puts each new tidbit of knowledge into practice. A love that understands that wild flowers cannot be tamed or controlled, they can only be nurtured and loved. And that in return for your understanding, I will reward this love with the sweetest fruits, sustenance for his vitamin deprived heart, and a beauty that has little to do with physical appearance, but the very essence of what it means to live. My fruit is versatile, can be used to cure the ailing of broken hearts and to nourish the sickest of men – if only allowed to be wild and free, with a gentle guard of protection and a tender form of care.

My perfect relationship is a garden, and I, the wildflower. The gardener and I take care of nourishing one another, never expecting each other to be any one other than we are. He would love me to grow into the most magnificent part of myself, never worrying about if I outgrow or shine him, as we both will know, the flower is a direct reflection of his care, nurture, and ability to allow me to be a wild flower. While his health, resilience, and stature is a direct reflection of my ability to provide him with the nourishment of my fruit.

This is what I crave.

“The Fuckboy Back-Out”

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The Fuckboy Back-Out: When someone declares that they are not “looking for anything serious” but then proceeds to have a somewhat intimate and sometimes exclusive type of relationship with another party. Only to declare that they weren’t looking for anything serious to begin with once feelings become involved. 

I’ve been guilty of doing the fuckboy back-out. Maybe not in the case of the exact description above, but I have done it.  I’ve had some sort of connection with someone, but then realized that it was something I didn’t want to be in, so I decided to end things.  Details are unimportant at this time however, anyway you put it, I’m guilty.  I don’t feel great about it and I’ve even apologized about it.  I know that I have fuckboy tendencies. My blogger friends here at ATOTC remind me about it all the time.  I’ve learned from my past and hope to never be a fuckboy of this caliber ever again.

I still have some things to work on. lol

But with that said…

Stop playing with my fucking emotions!

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Don’t tell me that you are not looking for anything serious after I tell you I’m interested in meeting someone long-term and then ask come home with me after meeting you (OK so this is probably all initially my fault anyways)

BUT…

Don’t lay in my bed for hours kissing and cuddling the next morning if you aren’t looking for anything serious.

Don’t text me asking me out on a Brunch date two days later if you aren’t looking for anything serious.

Don’t text me upset that I didn’t invite you to dinner when I tell you I’m having one of your favorite meals if you aren’t looking for anything serious.

As a matter of fact…Don’t text me like you enjoy talking to me all the time if you aren’t looking for anything serious. We ain’t friends.

Don’t ask me out to dinner if you aren’t looking for anything serious.

Don’t come over to my house, cuddle under my blanket, and fall asleep watching TV if you aren’t looking for anything serious.

Don’t ask to stay at my house because you are about to go on a long trip for work if you aren’t looking for anything serious.

I am NOT here to be your convenient boyfriend.  No, you CAN NOT have your cake and eat it too.

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This would be the second time in less than a year, that I’ve dealt with this.   I meet someone, they don’t want anything serious, but I’m invited to places, I go. We have fun.  I’m taking them places.  We’re laughing and having a good time.  I tell them I like them. He responds back with “I like you too”. But then he starts to make subtle comments about how he’s single and isn’t really looking for anything.

But that’s only if I’m lucky.

Most guys that are guilty of the fuckboy back-out make no mention of how they want to be single.  This is so they can keep riding the wave and then say “I never said that” or “I was just having fun” or “Why are you assuming things” or whatever the hell other excuse they can use because they never specifically stated anything.

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But for the ones that do continue to conveniently remind me, I know what they’re doing.  They’re saying this just to “check” me.  Ohhh yeah, that’s right.  You don’t want me to be your boyfriend, but you’re such a good guy.  How can I deny you that you want to still hang out with me and have “fun”.

And you know what? My dumb ass sticks with it.

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And I KNOW WHAT’S GOING ON. THE. WHOLE. TIME. But my dumb ass brain operates terribly when it comes to feelings. All of that dopamine and bullshit in my head that the science people be talking about makes me forget my name sometimes.  I’m an emotional guy (as most of you know), but these type of moments tend to cater to my “throw caution to the wind” attitude, so all I be thinking is “who cares if this isn’t going to be a thing, I’m enjoying myself!”.

I’m Over it!

Done!

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I’ve finally learned from my past fuck ups. Fuck your “I’m not looking for anything”. That’s your cop out.  Your official “Fuckboy Back-Out”.  Because, how is it that you want to spend all of your time with me; You spend money on me; I spend money on you; And you don’t want to be “exclusive”? Why? Because you want to fuck around?  You can’t handle having a title? You think being in a relationship is lame? Fine. If you want to do that, do that. But when it’s all said and done, leave my space because I’d rather spend money on my damn self.

At this point I should know better. And I think I do, actually.  I’ve finally learned to bow out gracefully when the signs are there.  And you best be sure, I know these signs now.  So when you want to go to dinner, then stop by my place afterwards then decide to spend the night.  That’s going to be a no.  When you text me, asking me what I’m doing because you’re “bored”.  Bored better mean “horny at the moment and I’ll be on my way afterwards”.  Because from now on, there ain’t no cuddling shit going on around here.  Those are reserved.

Because I’m a master cuddler.  Sorry, but not sorry that you’ll be missing out.