anatomy of a break up: from the male view

by: the male contributer

Funny-Break-Up-Memes-15

So one of the main reasons I was roped into this position (okay, okay, I volunteered) was to provide a male perspective into the world of dating/love/relationships and so on. Well I’ve done that in many areas, but I haven’t yet touched on actual relationships. That may stem from the fact that prior to starting writing here (a few weeks in fact) I went through a breakup from a relationship that had spanned multiple years. So it’s time to put some of that story out there and let you ladies know just where the male mind travels to over the course of a breakup.

First of all, I guess I need to put some of the details of my split out there. I’ll make this quick and neutral as possible, because as with any relationship, you can make a novel out of your side of story. This girl (I promise this is the nicest word I can call her, that Kailey will let me post on here), was actually really nice at first and we were each other’s firsts for just about everything. The thing is, she wound up losing trust in me because of certain situations- some I deserved and others that were not my fault. Our biggest problem was her being unable to let those situations go, especially when she wanted to “win” an argument. However as I told you guys in my last post, I’m a “Ted” when I fall for a girl, I’ll do whatever it takes to make it work. I’m not a quitter… even when I should be. Eventually our problems lead to a break-up in the dead of winter (how effing poetic) that was her idea (but really should have been mine at least a few months beforehand). And now I’ll get into the nitty gritty, so get your notepads out.

*Note: I’ll try and keep cursing to a minimum for this post, although in reality at this time cursing is an art form we choose to express ourselves in. Also in this section I’ll try and generalize first, then give more specific examples from my own breakup. Please keep in mind this is an extreme generalization, every situation is unique and different, even if we don’t want to admit it.

THE STEPS OF GETTING OVER HER:

step 1) The first step for men, whether we initiated the split or not, is telling ourselves that we didn’t need that b*!^* anyways. We distance ourselves first, because, well, that’s what you need to do. For me, this was realizing and admitting to myself that I had been preparing for this moment and postponing it for months.

step 2) The second step is admitting to both yourself and your friends that it’s time to move on. These are the people that have foreseen the break up since the first few signs- Whether that was hours or months ago they were there to recognize it and they’re your support system that will keep you (relatively) sane for the foreseeable future. I still remember telling my friends about my breakup… immediately before moving on to the next step….

step 3) BOOZE, BEER, and WHATEVER WETS YOUR WHISTLE. This can often be mostly your friends doing, at least it was in my case. It may be that we were in college and that’s what we did, but as soon as that breakup happened we were drinking the night away. This step is also important because it also involves hitting on other girls. This is a great time, a time where you “do you”, but it’s not a true moving on stage yet sadly. It’s more about proving that life exists outside of the old relationship.

step 4)…. Sighhhh Step frickin’ (Kailey you owe me because this is the least amount cursing I’ve done when talking about this) four, doesn’t always occur but when it does it’s awful. Step four is fallback- meaning you’re texting your ex and trying to close things out. Sometimes you do just that, text and close things out. Other times (and my break up falls in this space), it complicates things and you wind up in her bed roughly 5 times in a 3 month span. Hmm, That’s about right, but who’s counting? But remember, this isn’t a good thing, because it means you debate the relationship and you’ll likely wind up a conversation away from being back in it. This is scary for many reasons once you go onto….

step 5) moving on. The bad news is that if you went through step 4 it essentially means you’ll have what amounts to a second breakup: Where you stop hooking up and basically end things for good. It’s much worse than the first breakup, but at least it ends things for real. Which is bad because it hurts even worse than the first time, but ride it out because most likely you’ll discover you were right about the outcome in step one, it’s time to move on from that girl.

So there it is, the VERY, VERY BASIC steps of a breakup from a male’s perspective. The details of everything make it much more complicated than this is really, but for the most part that’s roughly what we are going through when it comes to this stuff.


Have you ever weathered a soul crushing mind numbing break up? What are your recovery tactics?

haaaaave you met ted?: How to tell if a guy is a player

So my male contributor has written more (and better) posts than me lately. I’m kind of a failure guys. haha. But here it is, for all you “How I Met Your Mother” lovers, this one’s for you. And, you know, anyone else who wants to know how to tell if a guy is a player.

Enjoy!

-Kailey


 

This is going to be LEGEND-wait for it-DARY

by: the mysterious male contributer 

Ted_and_barney

Welp, guess it’s been a solid couple of months since I’ve gave all of you some insight into the dark cavernous reaches of the male mind. My bad, meant to be more consistent than that, but hey- hopefully that means that this post will just be that much more insightful.

So let’s get to it… So what have I been up to? Well mostly working my life away at a couple of part time jobs, but there have been some opportunities, whether it’s drinks with coworkers after work or attending a good friend’s wedding where I’ve been able to be not only be on the dating prowl, but also talk and think about what it is that makes us men tick. So where do we go from here? Well as I sit here late at night (more like early morning at this point, frickin’ night shifts), I’m looking back at the poll we ran on my last few post and I see a small (boo I know more of you read this page! Vote on these polls, damn you) majority of you voted for “When is “too young” to get engaged? (or too fast).” While that’s a great topic- that I’ll hopefully ramble on about in the near future, the topic that’s catching my eye is “How do you know if a guy is a player?” You want to know the reason that’s appealing to me? Well, because at the risk of turning all of you against me… I am a player.

Wait! Don’t close the tab on this post yet! I have a defense and (I hope) it makes sense. All, and I mean every single last guy on this planet, is a player- What varies is the game that they are playing. Some (let’s call them Barney’s) want nothing but to bed you for one night and never see or talk to you again. Others want nothing more than to find that perfect girl and put a ring on it, the “Ted” if you will).  However, the vast majority of us, especially in the generation that’s currently in their 20‘s (myself included) are a balance between those two approaches. I’m a helpless romantic. When I fall, I’m an all-in, steal a blue French Horn for you type of guy… a Ted. However a lot of the time, especially still relatively fresh from a breakup, I want to just be a Barney, on the prowl looking for a good time for now, not tomorrow.

So, you have the Barneys who are always looking for one night- the traditional “players” if you will, and then you have the half and halves, such as myself, who fit the traditional “player” mold some of the time. However, the Ted’s? They’re still players… It’s just that their game is different and not what most women think of as a “player.” They’re out there judging, even more, might I add, than the other two groups I’ve mentioned. They’re quick to dismiss any girl for not hitting the right criteria. They’re going to be even more judgmental because they’re out there looking for a wife. They’re the ones who will drop you quicker than most, because they want you for longer. And they should be more judgmental; because that’s their future they are trying to build.

“But I just want to know ahead of time who’s a Barney out in the crowd!!” you say. “I want a Ted!” Well then be honest with yourself and with the guys you’re talking to. Don’t expect the guy you slept with the first night you met him to be your Ted. Straight up tell a guy what you want; if you want the relationship, the Barney’s will back away. However, if you’re looking for something shorter don’t lie to yourself. Go out, let your hair down and have a good time. Maybe you’ll meet a Barney and have one solid night. Maybe you’ll meet one of us half & halves, and have a fling for a few weeks. Maybe that fling will grow into a relationship and become the real thing and maybe it won’t. But if you are being honest with yourself and with guys about what you want it won’t be an issue.

As always, a huge thank you goes out to the wonderful proprietor of this excellent blog for allowing me to bring you these male perspectives. Also please LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS! Comment and let’s discuss. If you want me to further explain a thought, comment! If you think I’m an idiot, comment! If you agree, comment! If you have a question, comment! And of course if you have a suggestion for a future topic, comment! I’m doing this not only to provide you with a male perspective, but to learn about the other side of the coin as well. I want to hear your thoughts and interact! Thank you so much for reading.

 

*note: Yes I know, Ted had his player moments, and Barney had his relationship moments throughout the course of the show. This post focuses on broad generalizations of the characters in order to prove a point and put on a face on the different types of “players”.

Thoughts I have on my drive home from work

aka things someone who is new to rush hour thinks.

the day is overrrrrrr, YES

excited:happy 2

I’m gonna change into comfortable clothes and watch netflix and maybe eat something unhealthy

lazy-girl-gif

oh shoot, traffic

johnny dep doesn't like

and…. sitting.. waiting to get on the highway…

are you done?

OK ON THE HIGHWAY

excited 1

oops, gotta roll my windows up, it sounds like a tornado in here

000

ok now I need air conditioning

001

gah, motorcyclists do the scariest merging… without helmets. DO YOU WANT TO DIE?

1

andddd we’re stopping. for construction.

2

don’t look now but the creepy dude next to you is staring at you.

3

it’s ok. it’s fine. just look everywhere else but him.

lalala

4

Wait. this again? why is this song ALWAYS on when I drive home?

7

 

I am not sure if I even like it anymore. I’m kind of sick of it.

6

ok, it’s fine i guess. better than radio shows. I feel bad for those people.. do they think people actually like listen to them talk about boring stuff? I listen to the radio to hear MUSIC. sorry not sorry.

8

I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALLLLL

dancing

Is it sad that I still use my GPS? Should I know where I’m going by now? It’s just a precaution. You know, so I don’t end up in indiana or something.

how did i get here?

AH I NEED TO SNEEZE

sneeze

Ok, almost off the highway

1

HEY YOU JERK YOU CUT ME OFF WHAT THE HECK?! *HONKS HORN*

how dare you!

anddddd we’re waiting again. to get off the highway.

angry amy

Oh, you want to pull into my lane? I guess that’s ok. At least you waited. OK, you look nice, you can go.

hannah

NOPE NOT YOU DUDE. SORRY.

evil laugh

Why do we raise a hand at fellow drivers as a thank you? Like, that’s kind of weird? It’s not really a wave, more like just showing them your palm?

say what? confused

GAH BICYCLISTS. GET OFF THE ROAD THERES A SIDEWALK RIGHT THERE. I AM GOING TO HIT YOU.

angry can crumple

omg, I have a headache

headache

probably because I didn’t drink water all day.

aaa

WHY AM I NOT HOME ALREADY

123

Ok, there should seriously be a flashing yellow here, not a flashing red.

2222

green arrow!!!!!!!

excited 3

ok, that turn was a little wide. whatever.

Nicholas-eh

awww a puppy! a puppy in that yard!! 

555

I kind of want some lucky charms when I get home. Or some peanut butter. Or some peanut butter with some lucky charms.

eating

Is the bank closed by now? …oh wait, it closes at 5. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO MAKE A DEPOSIT.

sherlcok stressed

Real life sucks.

22

Maybe I made a bad choice graduating.

a12

but it’s kind of cool having a real job and stuff 🙂

1b

I AM IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD YEAHHHH BOOOYYY

home at last

oops, watch out for that person. sorry. didn’t mean to take up the whole road… I just got so excited.

2c

aaaand I am in my driveway. 

A0

 

Success! 

Strangelove or: How I learned to stop worrying and accept our online dating overlords

 By: The Male Contributer 

If you didn’t get the reference the title of this post is making then you definitely need to Google Dr. Strangelove and learn some movie history, but also maybe my second working title will be more up your alley. Consider this post co-named: “It’s going down, I’m yelling Tinder.”

Hey y’all, I’m back again and a lot quicker this time, look at that (great success!). So you know how I’ve been promising that I’m actually working on stuff and not just relying on your suggestions? This is one of those posts where I actually use my own ideas… yes they actually do exist! So let’s start with a confession: I have been on a Tinder* date. That is a date with someone I met and know exclusively from Tinder…. Yeah, that happened. Judge if you will, it’s completely understandable and in all reality probably deserved. But know this: it wasn’t, I repeat that it was not a bad experience and it actually gave me a new perspective on dating. Well, at least an insight into part of the dating world I hadn’t thought about or experienced before. So before we get into my revelation about dating let’s talk about this Tinder date.

I’m not sure about the rest of you but I have this tendency to jump on Tinder at the end of a long night… a long night out on the town with a few adult beverages that is. This has, well, it has mixed results, let’s be honest. I’ve woken up to a few uhhhhh…. interesting (let’s go with that) matches and conversations the morning after. However this time around I matched with a lovely young lady late one night and was instantly surprised to find that she had swiped in my direction as well. Well I knew drunk me sending a message to her at 3am wasn’t the route I wanted to go, so I went to bed and woke up the next morning, clear and refreshed (maybe a touch hungover? Don’t really recall but not a bad bet) and struck up a conversation. Once again I was surprised, this time by how easy the conversation went. After a few days of messaging back and forth with some flirting mixed in for good measure, we had ourselves a dinner date. I did the gentlemanly thing and picked her up and paid, went the whole nine yards of course, I am nothing if not a gentleman. Wouldn’t you know I was surprised again- The conversation flowed seamlessly; we ate our dinner and stayed at the restaurant for a good 3-4 hours, just chilling and talking like we were old friends.

Long story short, we had a few more dates, (wouldn’t call those Tinder dates because we actually knew each other outside the app at this point) those went well but we decided to go our separate ways for a variety of reasons, not really important. What is important, however, is the lesson this initial date taught me. So, what is it that I learned? Well I learned that online dating is not just the future, it’s the present. Our generation is constantly online and connecting with people through social media so isn’t the next logical step meeting romantic interests online?

Now, I’m not saying it’s the only way, in fact, I much prefer meeting people in person- However, I also recognize that I’m an awkward dude, like coffee or beer- I’m an acquired taste. Online dating, which Tinder for all intents and purposes is, allows for that acquired taste to come through. It only benefits me and many others like me to embrace it. When you think about how our generation operates, constantly connected to our computers and phones, the role of the internet will only continue to increase when it comes to people meeting with romantic purposes. It may not be how we imagine meeting someone, but if trends show us anything, the number of people meeting on a website or app designed for that very purpose is increasing and will only continue to increase so you might as well admit it to yourself and be open to the possibility.

Now, I’m still in my early 20’s, so I’m not signing up for match.com or eHarmony anytime soon. There’s nothing wrong with those sites, it’s just not what I’m looking for. However, I’m not going to be opposed to those in the future and I’m not going to be opposed to meeting someone who I consider dateable on Tinder, or another app/website like it. To think otherwise is only cheating yourself out of the full potential of ways to meet someone who may grow to being someone special to you. So that’s my little bit of ranting for the time being. What do you think? Is Tinder an okay place to meet someone worth dating? 

Online dating: Inevitable trend of the future? Or not? Let’s hear what you have to say in the comments. And while you’re at it, let’s hear some suggestions for future posts. Also please go vote in the poll posted at the end of my last post about future topic ideas: https://hugsandthesuburbs.wordpress.com/2014/06/02/male-contributor-post-2-are-there-soul-mates/

As always, thanks to the proprietor of this site for giving me the chance to give a man’s perspective and thanks to all of you for reading, I hope that I entertained you and also gave you an interesting male perspective on things.

*For those of you, like Kailey, who don’t know what Tinder is, here is the wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinder_(application)

 

I’m a grown up now. Kind of.

So… I realize it’s now June, and therefore a few months since I’ve posted anything that I wrote myself and didn’t drag out of my male contributor… Whose last post’s poll only got ONE response by the way. I’m looking at you. All of you. Because I know more than one person read it and I’m pretty sure that one person who responded was my BOYFRIEND who did it out of pity and not because he wants to know how to tell if a guy is a douchebag.

I’ve been crazy busy on the one hand, which isn’t much of an excuse because we all have. Graduating, moving back home, getting a job and an internship, and getting ready for (real) life. I’ve also just had really unfortunate timing. Words always come to me when I’m in inconvenient places. Like meijer. or in the shower. Then by the time I get to my laptop I’m either too tired or have forgotten the eloquent prose (ha) that so beautifully came to me.

I guess you’re just going to have to settle for the non-prose version.

I feel like I’m on a roller coaster ride of emotions- some days I am SO happy with my life: college graduate, job with awesome kiddos, awesome boyfriend who I’ll probably get engaged to within the next 2 years (PRESSURE. haha, I can’t help it… I’m in the wedding  business now with my internship- it’s hard not to start planning my own! Sorry T! I love you!), said mentioned wedding internship, back home where it just feels oh so right to be right now, loving family who accepts and supports me no matter what, etc. I am a very lucky girl. Other days I have a complete meltdown because I’m worried I made a big mistake in my career path and should’ve just gone to school to be a lawyer or nurse or something. First world problems, I realize, when you take a step back and look at it. How are you guys dealing with graduation (for those of you who have graduated)?

There was a point right after I found out I got my internship though when I got especially worried- worried that something would go very very wrong soon. Why? Because it usually has. To round up the pity party, there has been many occasions in my life growing up where things would seem to be awesome for 5 seconds until they weren’t. Super cute guy likes you? Jk he has a girlfriend. Wow, these girls are awesome and seem to get me… JK they talk about you behind your back and secretly hate you. It’s your senior year and theatre is your life and you’ve worked your butt off for four years so you think you finally have a shot at a non-chorus role in the school musical? HA. Don’t even get me started.

I came up with this theory in high school: Out of the three things I wanted/needed most in life- best friends, involvement in something I feel passionate about (whether a school play, job, or something else), and a positive relationship with a boy, I could only ever have two, at most. The two years between my junior year of high school and my freshman year of college I swiveled between the three at a sickening pace. I would say that I am the closest right now that I have ever been, and I am so grateful and thankful for that.

I am also thankful that I have got a hold on my rOCD (you can read more about what that is here: http://relationshipocd.com, if you guys want I can do a whole blog post about my experience with rOCD sometime) and am now able to see T for what he is- a wonderful, wonderful man. I am so glad you guys got to go on that journey, at least a little bit, with me and I can stand here today and say I made it. Not every day is a good day, but thanks to positive/realistic thinking, and the journey that I took to get here I can say that the bad days are few and far in between. I have confronted my demons and relationship fears, something we all have to do at some point. I have realized that a boyfriend is a person, and therefore a human, like myself, and not perfect. I have realigned my expectations for what I NEED a boyfriend/future husband to be and not what I WANT him to be and I am so excited for my future with T. 🙂

I realize this post probably wasn’t very interesting, so I will try to work on something better for the near future, but at least you have an update now. A big thanks to all of you: for reading hugs & the suburbs and for your encouraging words. Stay tuned for the future. 🙂

13

Male Contributor Post #2: Are There Soul Mates?

“We recognize a soul mate by the supreme level of comfort and security we feel with that person. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t issues that remain to be ironed out. Rather, it means we know intuitively that we can resolve issues with our soul mate without losing his or her love and respect.” -Linda Brady

You guys already know the lowdown of what I think of soul mates… and if you don’t, you can read it for yourself here. So here’s my male contributor’s views- Enjoy! 

Well hello there, it’s been a long time without a promised, ranting, opinionated post. Apologies, real life and real procrastination called, so I’m a little backed up on the writing aspect of things.

So where have I been and what’s taken me so long? Well I’ve been out in the world working, drinking, flirting, dating and generally having my fair load of shenanigans. All in the name of research of course- I mean after all what kind “male guest poster” would I be if I wasn’t out there living life so I could come up with things to talk to y’all about? Okay, so maybe coming up with post topics wasn’t always the first thing on my mind as I was walking into a bar, drinking my nth beer of the night, talking with my friends and looking for a pair of pretty eyes to get lost in for a while. However those experiences are what I can (and do) draw from when I’m writing and what makes me a guy, which if I recall correctly is what got me this gig in the first place. So let’s get on with it then.

In my last post I asked for ideas for topics and after shifting through all one of the answers, I decided that I had enough of an opinion to respond to this one: “What are your views/ opinions on marriage? Such as: Do Soul mates exist? Is there hope for happily ever after? Are some people meant to be single/ are happier and more productive single? Feel free to rant and ramble!” A nice light topic to get going on, jeez. I kid, I kid, because I do really like this question. It’s something that we all think about, probably many times throughout our lives.

To start off, let’s go with the first example question listed: “Do soul mates exist?” To that my answer is a big emphatic NO. That is, if we’re saying they inherently exist. There’s no perfect person out there that will fit you like a glove. Soul mates can and most likely do exist if we look at it in the sense that you can and most likely will meet someone you’ll want to spend the rest of your life with. You’ll have a deep, deep connection with each other soul to soul. But that’s not going to happen without work, and a lot of it. No matter how happy the couple there is always work to be done in a relationship. In fact, in my opinion a lot of times the relationships that need and have more work to be done are the ones that are the happiest. Saying that “soul mates” exist in the sense that we can find someone who we fit perfectly with, without that work or with even a small amount of work though? Well that’s asking a helluva lot from the universe in my mind.

So to go along with that, there are definitely people who are meant to be single, whether that be for a month, a year, or a lifetime. I think I’m in that phase right now myself. I think that in this time during my life I am better off being single. Now I could also meet someone in a week that I spend the rest of my life with and I would be happier than a pig in slop if that happened. However, I am not going out chasing that. I believe that as soon as we start chasing after that relationship we start making it near impossible for ourselves to find one. The extra pressure we put on ourselves makes it really easy for us to ruin a potentially good thing. However if you take that step back and just enjoy your time being single, go out, make mistakes and live life, things have a way of working out in the way they are supposed to. And if that’s staying single for a (seemingly) long time… well, I mean you’ll be having a good time anyways, so who cares.

Well that’s about all the ranting I have in me right now. I’m always trying to come up with my own topics (I am I promise! Even if the proprietor of this site has to harass me for posts every now and then). But If I didn’t answer this question as fully as hoped or if there are follow up questions to it please do not hesitate to send them in. Or if you have any new topics that you think I may have an opinion on, be sure to send those on in too. In the mean time I’ll keep putting myself out there, drinking, fraternizing and being merry, all for the sake of this blog’s readership of course…. and maybe just maybe in hopes of one of those girls with the pretty eyes just so happening to get lost back because hey, you never know right?

The ONE thing that you need to know

The worst thing that can happen to your relationship is to follow relationship advice.

advice2

Why?

because all of it is a lie. Including mine.

Because, guess what? All relationships are different. No one else will ever love someone like you love your family. No one else will love their children like you love yours. And no one else’s love will be the same love that you have with your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend. There is no one perfect formula: take a half cup man plus a quarter cup woman and stir. Put it in the oven and in 20 minutes you will have a relationship. Some relationships need cinnamon, some need more flour, and some may even need a heaping ton of salt. Something that we all need to realize is: no one else is in your relationship besides you and your partner.

Okay, so I’m not going to say that if your parents and friends hate them then it’s totally not a warning sign and he’s a great guy- because that probably would be a lie. But all the advice columns… all the people bitter because of a broken heart or defensive of their own choices are not going to make the right decision for you. I could drive myself crazy reading all the things from A) the people who are single and are mad because they haven’t found someone yet OR watched their relationship crash and burn, or, B) the people who married young/fast/whatever and feel the need to tell everyone else IT IS OK AND I AM SO HAPPY AHH.

if you are the above: I have no problem with you, I am happy for you either way- Yay you’re single and that is awesome- freedom and nights out and independence, oh my! and if you are married- lucky you, you found your best friend who you wanna live with and that’s fantastic. 🙂 It’s just hard when these people think “their” way is the BEST and ONLY way. I guess this should be no surprise, us as human beings do this all the time. But it’s really confusing if you’re somewhere in the middle. I look at the single people and am like “well, I’m not single.” The very, uh, passionate ones believe your 20’s and college years are for hooking up, traveling the world on a whim, and that being married or in a relationship is the worst possible thing you could do to yourself. The married ones are all “I got married to my high school sweetheart and we are super happy! Why wait?”

sooo…. one group of society tells me I’m living my life wrong and will regret it because I didn’t date a string of men (not that that’s wrong if that’s what you want- live your life girl! it’s just not the choice for me.) and the other half tells me I should be married already because if i’m not ready then it’s not right. So what are we supposed to do? is there a right choice for anyone? Should we all run around like chicken’s with our heads cut off securing our MRS. degrees or should we break off a great relationship just so we can explore? There is no one right answer for everyone. No one-size-fits-all. But there is something that IS true.

If I could tell everyone in the whole world one thing?

It would be that love is not expendable.

We’ve got to stop treating it like it is.

You cannot buy love- you can’t get it on a computer screen, late at night on a X-rated site and you can’t find it in a prostitute. It’s not love they’re selling. A man whose wife is from an arranged marriage does not necessarily have her heart- just her company.

Love can be made at any point and any time, and we’re not going to run out of it like we might for our natural resources. But it’s not something that you can plainly see. If you think too deeply about it, it becomes confusing about what it actually is. Chemicals? Friendship on fire? Hormones? Whether you call the most powerful being God, Allah, Buddha, or cosmic karma, you can not argue that the common connection between all of us is LOVE. Love is the thing that is present everywhere- seeking, searching, finding, giving, and never taking. You don’t give up on true love. Or at least, you shouldn’t.

Your family, your children, and your spouse… these are the things that we should love and cherish above all else. Because they give us love and need ours in return.

Everyone is different. There is a “right” path for everyone to choose for themselves… So don’t be afraid to defy the social norm, go after what you want, marry your best friend, chase your dreams, or marry your best friend WHILE chasing your dreams. But please.. don’t listen to me. Decide for yourself.

 

First Post from my new Male Contributor!

 

Image

GUYS! My male guest poster finally sent me something! (I kid, I kid, he’s great… and it’s a great post!)

I seriously was so excited I started hopping all around my room. It doesn’t take much to get me excited.

So, without further ado, here it is:

Have you ever suggested and then volunteered to do something because you thought “I could do that” and then when you go to do it you realize you have no fricking clue what you are talking about? Well you now know how I found myself in this position of being this blog’s volunteer guest male poster. When I suggested the idea I thought heck, I have a million ideas of what to say (read: how to defend us guys). Now I’ve been staring at a blank screen going “no, wait, come back ideas, I promise I’ll give you the attention you deserve. So… Hope you enjoyed reading my post. See you next time!

Wait you want more than that? S*&#! Okay, well I guess I could use this to let you know a bit about me and what I was thinking when I put myself into this mess. I like to think I’m one of those legitimately nice guys. You know, the ones that girls say they want? Then seem to pass right by. Yeah that’s me. No this isn’t going to be a slam against women, saying they only go for “bad boy” or whatever you want to call it (althoughhhhh some of y’alls gender can make it pretty easy to say that at times). No this isn’t a slam because I’m also that guy you know that, while being super nice, has the game with women of, well, what’s something that has very, very little game with women? A cold burrito? Does that make sense? Ah, to hell with it, I like the way it sounds- if y’all don’t find it funny there will be other, funnier jokes (well hopefully).

So what you may be asking: What DO I have to offer then? Well, I’ve had a fair share of flings in the past of varying lengths and variety, and a few serious relationships that in retrospect probably could have gone better, although I am currently a single guy who is trying to wade my way back into the whole meeting women thing. Well then, that’s probably enough about me for the first post. I’m sure you’ll find out more in any subsequent articles. Which leads me to the next point and the whole point of this post itself, which is what does the readership of this blog want out of me as a writer? Are there any specific topics I should tackle? A regular Q and A where I answer all the questions you can’t just randomly go up and ask men? What do the inquiring minds wish to know from a single guy (heck I’d just like to know this for my own benefit, the more I think about it)? I mean I could just go on rants as I think of them, but I think we’d all be better off if I have some ideas to bounce of off. I’m willing to write/talk/loudly state my opinion about whatever on here so don’t think that any topic is off limits. Trust me, I’m very good at rambling, ask my ex.

Well without a specific topic to go off about, I think that’ll just about put a bow on things for this time. Thank you for reading, get those suggestions in, I’ll do my best to think of some good ideas as well. Also a special thank you goes out to the wonderful proprietor of this blog, for giving me an avenue to vent and hopefully give the guys a voice in the argument on here.

5 things you deserve

Hey everyone,

So I’ve been growing so anxious lately in anticipation of graduation and sick of the never ending winter, and I realized I haven’t written in a while. Which is sad, because two of my best friends have recently begun seeing guys and I, of course, have been living vicariously through them as I’ve been off the market for a while. I felt the butterflies when they first told us about him, I was heartbroken with them when they were disappointed, and I cheered when my friend told me things were official. This all got me to thinking about the things we DO deserve in any kind of relationship- whether it’s a boyfriend or a husband-to-be. I’ve talked so much lately about how too many people want the “perfect” man and have too high of expectations. But the real problem lies in the things that we’re willing to accept instead- the lacking commitment, the talking to other women, etc. So here’s what you DO deserve, and need:

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  1. Excitement

Every person deserves excitement. Whether it’s butterflies, joy that a friendship is turning into something more, hopefulness for the future, etc. I’m not saying you have to be over the moon every second- because sometimes things start off slower, but I once tried to make things happen with a guy who was clearly nothing more than a friend to me. I wasn’t feeling it, and therefore wasn’t excited- to see him, for the future, and to make things official.

When is it a bad sign? Your butterflies are more like ulcers. I had this happen to me with a guy before and it wasn’t pretty. I thought that was how it was supposed to be. I thought that not being able to eat when I thought about him was normal. Um… no. probably not. especially for someone who loves food as much as I do. It was anxiety and nerves because he was talking to other girls and wasn’t really mine. and it drove me crazy, for years, sadly.

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2. Laughter

I know this is such a cliche thing to say, but he needs to be able to make you laugh. I don’t care if you’re a serious type, you can’t tell me you never laugh. He doesn’t need to be a comedian or a total goofball, but you need to be able to see the humor in life. It makes things so much easier when you can laugh together. Those who laugh together love harder, feel better, and hold fewer grudges. Ok, I just made that up, but it’s probably true.

when is it a warning sign? When you are forcing your laughs. When you WANT to find him funny because you like him so darn much. When he laughs AT you when you make a mistake or do something less than bright. Seems obvious, I know, but so many people ignore this. Your partner should not be a bully. Besides, don’t you think it’ll be so much better when your future baby keeps you up all night (assuming that’s what you want) and you can both laugh about it in the morning when you fall asleep in your cheerios instead of fighting about who did more?

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3. Commitment

This is a tricky one. It may seem like I’m being captain obvious here, but if the person you like/love/whatever is willing and wanting to commit to you- whether by not seeing any other people, by becoming facebook official, giving you a promise ring, engagement, etc. there is so much more hope and security in your relationship. I have much personal experience with this. Before I met T, I never had an official boyfriend. But did I go on dates? Yup. Was I sort of kind of seeing people? Yup. (not at the same time, calm down). And every. single. time. I made the same vital flaw. I avoided having the “what are we” talks. Well, not so much avoided, but I never seemed to notice that these talks were always missing. The guys never really brought it up. My favorite (in a sarcastic, he disgusts me kind of “favorite”) is a guy who was I was seeing right before I met T. This guy had just gotten out of a long term relationship, but I thought that the rebound period was over. He promised me one night that he would “never hurt me” after an emotional moment of me telling him about the guy that broke my heart so badly. Then, ladies and gentlemen, he pinky shook. He pinky promised me he would never hurt me. So cheesy, so weird. At the time I was like “uhhh unless you marry me right now, which I don’t even want, there is no way you can promise that.” and I was right. A few weeks later he asked another girl to be his girlfriend. AND THEY ARE STILL DATING TO THIS DAY. sickening right? bleh. And the guy before him? The one I told him about? There were so many moments when I could have asked him to clarify the situation, but I didn’t. I was afraid. Afraid that he would run, afraid that the answer would be no. So instead I did a lot of high school girl cryptic facebook statues and whining to my friends. And what happened? He asked another girl to prom and ended things anyway. My life people. Proof you need to have the talk.. even if it’s hard. Please save yourself from finding stuff out like I did. I don’t care what excuse he gives, if you’ve been dating for a while, he knows where it’s going, whether he lets you in on it or not.

sorry for the rant.

moving on.

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4. Trust

A lot of good relationship books suggest you narrow your impossible mr. right list down to 3-5 things of MUST-HAVES. I think that trust must be one of those. Kailey 5 years ago would never have thought to include that on a dream man list, and that’s so naive. There are some things that are just non-negotiable. Some things that if you don’t have, the relationship will never work out, no matter what. My five things are 1. Trust  2. Wants Kids/would make a good dad  3. Financially stable (doesn’t have to be a millionaire, but I prefer he doesn’t make $7.40 an hour at mickey d’s part time)  4. Makes me laugh  5. Patient

I strongly suggest everyone (men and women) reconsider the things that truly matter to them. These are the dealbreakers and they are important to know. I never understood how people can marry someone who doesn’t want kids when they very clearly do (hello grey’s anatomy), clearly this is going to be a problem somewhere down the line.

so um. what were we talking about here? Oh yeah, trust. Make sure you know he wouldn’t lie to you. I know in the deepest part of my heart that T would never intentionally (or unintentionally actually. he really is that good of a guy) hurt me and will never cheat on me. And that means a whole heck of a lot.

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5. Effort

He doesn’t need to make you breakfast in bed every day or propose to you in a huge elaborate choreographed routine in public (in fact, he probably shouldn’t. Am I the only one who the thought of that makes me cringe? Sorry, I like privacy. A few close friends and family TOPS when my day comes. Or alone. That’s all I ask.)

So what should he do? He should make the effort to see how you are doing, ask about your day, ask questions, pay attention. He should make sure you get to your car safely, ask if you want anything to drink at his house, and maybe dress in your favorite shirt now and then. T wears the cologne I got him because he knows I like it. He asks for my opinion on date outfits. In the past he has surprised me on separate occasions with arnold palmer ice tea, popcorn and chocolate (I eat it together sometimes), and flowers. This doesn’t need to be every day and they don’t need to be store-bought things. I leave him little notes every where- from under his pillow, to the notes section on his phone, to between the pages of a book. It’s my way of reminding him that I love him. He wrote me a letter and put it on my car before to surprise me. (I though I got a ticket for a second coming out of work. yikes. haha)

Your guy (or gal) should make you feel loved and special. Even the littlest things, like holding your hand in public and offering to carry her coat mean a lot.

That’s all I have for today… Love your loved ones, pet your dogs, and stay warm as the never-ceasing winter continues.

 

Defending my Passion

Child-Development

ok guys, I know it’s valentine’s day and all, but I have to go on another rant post. This time about my career of choice. maybe i’ll just start ranting about things all the time that have nothing to do with my blog theme… but maybe the title of my blog can mean multiple things. Next year I will still be giving hugs in the suburbs, but if everything goes according to plan it will be to small children instead of boy(s).

ok go:

The one thing that annoys caretakers and teachers of young children more than ANYTHING is the double standard society sets for us. Our jobs and majors are not treated with respect and considered “easy” and we are paid barely over minimum wage.  Then parents complain about the lack of “good teachers” or high turnover rate at centers and wonder why. Why? Because we can’t survive on $8 an hour… especially for the long hours, hard work, and planning outside of normal hours that goes on. Less qualified teachers or those who aren’t up to the parent’s standards are hired only because the ones who are don’t feel appreciated or have to accept a job that pays more. If you paid us more, we would stick around longer and more people would get higher degrees and become more educated in development and teaching.

So why do we go into this profession anyway? 

Because we love young children. We share a passion for helping them grow and learn, and we are not in it for the money (but it’d be nice to make enough to survive), but for the effect on a child’s life. I can’t tell you the amount of times a student studying dentistry, or biology, or engineering has wailed on me for my “easy” major. It drives me NUTS. Because 1) My major is not easy. Yes, that 100 level class you took as an elective was easy and fun, but not all of our classes are like that. They’re not organic chemistry either, but if we were interested in that we would be in that major. Are you sure YOU’RE in the right major? Or are you doing it for the money, status, etc. Will you really be happy doing that every day for the rest of your life?

Childcare providers and majors go into our line of work because we have a passion and because the CHILDREN will be our legacy. You may become a wealthy and well known business man, but we will have children that love us and will have benefitted from us, and to me that’s worth a lot more. Life is not all about money you know! There’s been studies done that show that after a certain amount of income (which is usually around median income) your happiness and quality of life do not actually increase. And what if the children we teach inspire an interest in biology, or math, or health because of a activity we did in class? We are laying the foundations of a human being’s LIFE. and that is nothing to laugh at. You think you could do it? Fine. I bet you could… for a little bit at least. But it takes a very special person to wake up in time to be at work at 7am and deal with biting toddlers all day. It takes a very special person to inspire children and resolve conflict, and build relationships. Could I be a doctor if I really wanted to? I’m positive I could. But do I want to be a doctor? No. So I’m not. If you want to do something or are interested in it it’s a lot easier to learn the material. The children I work with and have worked with mean the world to me, and there are few high earning professions where you will build that kind of relationship with someone (nursing is the only one I can think of, but I like my babies healthy, sorry).

Children have an innocence and wonder that makes me believe that there is good in the world and in everyone. A child can look at you and instantly feel trust, love, and friendship. If you don’t like kids, that’s fine. I don’t think everyone needs to have kids or the traditional nuclear family, but guess what? You were once a kid. So the whole “I hate children” thing kind of baffles me. I know you didn’t just pop out of your mom as a 5 foot 6 adult, because owe, that would’ve hurt.

You think we only know “common knowledge”? Wrong.

A dad I knew once said to me “wait.. babies don’t like bright colors? I thought kids loved that stuff.” and HE WAS 100 PERCENT SERIOUS. I wanted to yell “NO! It is very unsettling for a young child or infant!” but he didn’t know. so many people don’t know. And most of the time it doesn’t cause any vital consequences, but what about the times that it does?

I always feel like I’m encouraging sexism when I say this, but I truly deeply feel that the best job I will ever have will be being a mom. I don’t think all women feel this calling and I totally understand that not all women want this, and that’s FINE! But I do. I do soo much. I am thrilled at the thought of raising my children to show the world nothing but love, to accept people of all walks of life, to be inspired to be anything and do anything they want despite their gender, to understand that some kids have two mommies or two daddies, and that that’s ok, and to launch them into the world as fully functioning human beings that will do good.

So hey, I might not be a rocket scientist or a heart surgeon.

But I am going to be a kick ass mom someday. That’s gotta count for something.

blogiversary

WordPress just notified me that it has been one year since I made my blog.

I can’t help but reflect on all that has happened within this past year. T and I broke up and got back together. I made the decision not to continue with my sorority. I finished my junior year and got a summer internship. I learned so much in my internship and had a wonderful summer going up north to the beach and going out with friends and spending time with T. I started my senior year and got a part time job working with babies that I LOVE.

Now I have about 13 weeks until I graduate from college and am done with school FOREVER! (or at least until or unless I go to Grad school, which is yet to be decided)

I am so different than I was a year ago- I’ve grown so much. I’m also completely different than when I first started college, which seems like a day ago yet feels like an eternity. I remember thinking my campus was so big I could never find my way around and making new friends on my floor felt so scary and new. I remember not really knowing who I was- I was in a sort of limbo. No longer the girl in high school who was obsessed with theatre, the boy with the grey eyes, and avoiding sports at all costs. I was a theatre major for a hot second, but then I didn’t know where to go from there. I never thought I’d find a guy that I was attracted to, could make me laugh, and wasn’t going to break my heart every second. I was still learning the world didn’t revolve around me, but was also figuring out who I wanted to be.

Today, I have so many ambitions. I want to do so many things to help children, women, and families. I want to make a difference in my community. I am in love, and for once in my life actually know what this means. I’m no longer searching for some mythical prince charming that doesn’t exist, but now understand what matters in the long run- something that I don’t think many girls my age understand yet. Finding the guy that pulls a splinter out of your foot, that would never make you wonder if he’d cheat on you, and wants to be a husband and a father as much as you want to be a wife and a mother is a rare and beautiful thing. I’m so excited to travel the world and live in different places and chase my dreams and watch my children’s eyes light up on christmas morning and do it all while sharing my life with someone that loves me, truly.

So where am I today?

In a much, much better place.

I started this blog hoping to share my story. Hoping to find out somewhere between my stupid jokes that no one gets and the too many gifs that I am actually ok. That my life is where it’s supposed to be, and that the things that used to matter so much- like getting the lead in the school play or having a cute date to the homecoming dance, don’t mean anything in the long run. There’s no one to tell me I’m doing it right, and that was very scary to me for a long time. I was constantly wondering if I’d met the “one,” over-thinking my career choices, and questioning myself as a person. I finally know that it’s all ok, to trust myself, and believe in what I deserve. And that, in itself, is a miracle.

I don’t know if I will continue my blog after graduation- I might go back to rarely posting or I might cease entirely. It’s yet to be decided, but I’m ok with that.

Happy blogiversay, hugs and the suburbs.

To my fellow nerds,

aka why I cried in my kinesiology class.

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My college, like most colleges, offers a variety of minors and specializations to spice up your resume and add to your degree. I am pursuing a specialization in health promotion because 1) I originally wanted to pursue child life 2) I might someday want to work at the red cross, make a wish, planned parenthood, etc. 3) because hdfs covers some health topics, I only had to take two more classes to get it.

and somehow I managed to save them until the last semester of my senior year. Bad decision? Yes. But this was the only time they were available and/or fit into my schedule.

Health psych starts bright and early at 8:30 in the morning with a peppy grad student who claims she doesn’t believe in powerpoints and writes all of our notes on the blackboard. Yes, not even a white board, a black board. Collective groan from the class of (mostly) all seniors.

But then there’s kin 121- “the healthy lifestyle.” A 3 credit class that combines lecture about living healthy and exercise. I, for a brief moment, thought I would enjoy this class. “it’ll be easy” I thought, “you’ve been working out” I thought, “you aren’t in too bad of shape and you have a low BMI” I thought.

well, let me tell you, I thought wrong.

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The lecture is a brief beginning portion followed by an hour of HELL.

The very first day we walked into the gym she announced we were having a fitness test. This consisted of running a mile and a half and doing as many push ups and sit ups as we could in a minute. Excuse me, run a mile and a half? on the first day? when we have not been training AT ALL?

Basically, I finished last. And it was really embarrassing. and everyone was standing around waiting for me and heard my time.

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After I got home from class that day I began researching classes to take instead. I was dreading it THAT much. “who needs a specialization anyway? It doesn’t even show up on your diploma.”

I ended up sticking it out though, telling myself that I’m not a quitter and hoping the non-fitness test days would be better. And for a little bit, it was. The next day of class we did relay races and I did not feel too out of place.

Then today happened.

Our sadistic teacher informed us that we were playing a game of tag. A game called squirrels and nuts (yeah, I know.). Basically we all had to stand in groups of three in a line and there was a “nut” who ran trying to find a tree (but not the tree next to them) and if the squirrel tagged them they would switch places and the nut would become the squirrel. However if the nut got to the tree fast enough the person at the other end of the line had to break free and become the nut. The person in the middle knew they were safe for at least one round.

I was the squirrel SO FREAKING MUCH. And it wasn’t even entirely because I only started running last summer and everyone else in my class is a kin major or an athlete and is tall and fit as heck, but because life hates me and everyone decided to run to the opposite end of my tree. It seriously got humiliating. I would run and try to catch those fricken’ nuts but I got tired by the fourth time! I even heard a girl say to her friend “that girl in the pink shirt has been in the middle a lot…” YES. I’m AWARE. SORRY I CANT RUN A 7 MINUTE MILE LIKE YOU CAN.

I then may have claimed a water break and walked in the bathroom and cried a little bit.

Then I treated myself to pizza at the union and was all like “HA. I just ate the calories I just burned off! TAKE THAT KIN 121!”

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…..except really nobody won here. for obvious reasons.

but also:

I have never been an athletic person. I HATE competing athletically, not only because I usually end up last, but because people get mad at me if I’m on a team.

basically my life in gym class:

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Why did I cry? Because it brought back so many memories. Memories of K through 9th grade gym classes. Memories of being filled with absolute fear when it came time for gym period. So much time coming up with ways to get out of it- any way I would not have to cry, or hide behind the tall kids to avoid playing kickball, or be teased by the MEAN and heartless overly competitive boys. Sports and gym class have always made me feel incompetent, humiliated, scared, and really bad about myself. And that sucks- a lot. Also I’m pretty sure there’s no way playing squirrels and nuts is going to help me in a future career about health.

Why does all this bother me? because…

I am a nerd.

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When I was little I loved harry potter, lord of the rings, anything fantasy, and reading. Things that are now actually kind of cool, but really weren’t when I was 8 years old. I’m still a nerd. In high school I was a theatre and A/V nerd, and now I’m a academic one. I study super hard, barely ever skip class, and spend my free time planning out my future and reading four types of books: books for pleasure, books for my future career/graduating, books about relationships, and books about religion. I am allllmost at a 3.6 gpa, and the only reason I’m not there yet is because of an evil science class and an evil history professor. I realize that’s not a 4.0 or anything, but my advisor tells me it’s good so I’m just gonna believe him….

the point is:

Our society values athletes and sports far more than academics and book smarts. And there’s something really, really wrong with that. I got 4.0’s in all my classes last semester except my art class (sorry I’m not picasso.), but this is overshadowed the instant I step into that gym. In the gym, I am a failure. In the gym, I am publicly embarrassed. The reason this makes me SO angry? (angry enough that I write an entire blog post about it that has nothing to do with my blog)

Because it’s wrong. It just is. When a student does poorly in a class, no one else knows besides them and their professor. When a student fails a test, or gets the worst grade in the class, or knows the least about the topic- it’s totally ok, and totally goes unknown, under the radar. So in a setting where myself, and the rest of us nerds excel, we are not applauded and publicly patted on the back for it  (well besides maybe cords at graduation, but that’s ONE day). Even the dean’s list is relatively under cover. But do poorly in a fitness test and everybody sees. The teacher can call out your time in a run, and everyone can see the amount of pushups you did because the sheet isn’t private with your student number like the rest of the courses, but has your full name on it. People who don’t excel academically or have a bad day aren’t put down in front of their classmates- so why should I?

Why can’t I at least be given a choice of fitness? If growing up I could choose swimming, yoga, pilates, or dance I would have liked physical education classes much more. My teacher also mentioned in the lecture portion that budget cuts sometimes take out P.E. classes. I can not tell you how badly I wanted to stand up and yell “WHAT ABOUT THE ART PROGRAMS THAT ARE BEING CUT?” People complain about child obesity, but they don’t realize that this is because of a) unhealthy food options in the cafeteria or provided by parents or b) because if you don’t like sports, gym class sucks. I imagine that if you provided kids with more choices in how they are active they would choose to be active more. My high school offered such classes, but as electives. Regular gym was the requirement and could not be substituted.

We pay the top athletes millions of dollars and teachers only make about $35,000 a year. Child care workers make barely above minimum wage working long hours, doing extra work planning outside of that, and caring for the future leaders, sports stars, and people of the world.

I’m not trying to say it’s easy to be a athlete. You have to train long hours, give up much of your social life, and have a lot of pressure from society to never mess up. But they also have billions of fans, are doing something they (hopefully) love if not like, and are getting paid way more than the people that (in my opinion) really deserve it.

It just really irks me. Without athletics there would be less entertainment, less traditions, and a lot more 6’5” 300 lb men looking for jobs. But imagine a world without teachers, doctors, artists, writers, computer programmers, and so many more. Us nerds bring culture, life, excitement, health, fix things, and take care of your children. I really hope I can help change the world someday- or at least a child’s life. And honestly?

I really don’t think I deserve to be a squirrel.

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…can you guys tell I really like using gifs now?

p.s. I found this and it totally made me smile. 🙂

When things get messy: first dates, anniversaries, and everything in between.

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I often find myself wondering about the blurred lines in modern day relationships. Back in the day, Dick and Jane dated, then were “going steady,” and then got married. But here in the 2000’s things have gotten a lot more complicated. What constitutes a date-Someone asking you to dinner? But what if it’s lunch? Does that mean you’re just friends? 

How do you know whether a get together is just “hanging out” or a real live first date? Are there requirements? T and I to this day don’t really know whether to count the time we met at Biggby’s for coffee or when we went to the zoo. When you’re hanging out in groups or with friends before things get serious  it can be hard to make the distinction. In high school, I dated, but I never had a boyfriend. I also think that half of the time I thought I was on a date when I probably wasn’t, and other times, like my junior prom, I didn’t realize it was something more until the guy started calling me “hun.” There also was the time when the guy I was head over heels for senior year asked me out to lunch and we ended up going to olive garden where he paid. Was that a date? If I experienced the same thing now I would’ve say yes, but back then I wasn’t so sure.

The rules of timing are another thing. How do you keep track of the amount of time you’ve been dating? Many couples celebrate their monthly anniversaries, but that pretty much makes me gag. Plus after you pass the 1 year mark it pretty much seems pointless. 

And then things get trickier: if you break up. This is the thing everyone wonders about but never really talks about. It’s taboo. If you break up and get back together, do you start over? Does the clock reset to day one? I used to be one of the scoffers. I had a friend who dated a guy for a year or two, then broke up with him for several months, then got back together and a month later stated that they were celebrating 2 years together. I was like “uhhh, except you broke up…..” However, once I experienced this phenomenon for myself I felt quite differently. Most of you know that T and I broke up for about a month last spring, and yet I still would say that we’ve been together 2 1/2 years next month. Is this wrong of me? There is so much history, so much that went on, that I feel we can’t just go back to zero. That and we texted each other almost the entire time we were broken up- I don’t think we really understood the concept. I’m also not giving up august 22nd because that was the day that for the first time in my life, I wasn’t single anymore. So I guess it’s up to you. People may judge, but I would feel silly after 2 years being like “we’re celebrating our 3 month.” I mean….. really. 

Maybe things would be easier if there was a universal relationship rule book… Something I could live my life by, and that would put all of us on the same page. Perhaps we’re all just navigating the dating trenches untrained and without bulletproof vests, and even though it’s scary, at least we’re not alone.

How do you know?

I hate hate HATE when people say “when you know, you know.”

I made plans to write about this wretched saying a while ago, but then all of a sudden christmas season happened and people were getting engaged left and right and this happened and I could no longer stay in my uncertain editing period. I’ve tried not to hurt anyone’s feelings, so I’m sorry if I do. But it’s just going to get kind of controversial in this post. Brace yourselves.

Also I thought I’d illustrate my feelings with gifs to make it more fun for everyone.

SOOOO this happens often:

acquaintance: “They dated for a month and now they’re engaged, but I guess when you know, you know.”

me:

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It is probably one of my biggest pet peeves ever. Especially because it is a phrase practically coined by the too-young and the too-restless and the get-engaged-far-to-fast. I don’t know if it’s my young age, or my non-existent boyfriends before T (he is my first “official” although long-term boyfriend… you can read our story here if this is your first time on my page), but there is no way I would say yes to a guy after 4 or 5 months. I was and never will be ready to make that level of commitment after such a short amount of time. After all, it’s been proven that the chemicals in our brain are what give us the happy-go-lucky feeling of being in “love.”

After reading multiple articles and learning about the process in many of my courses I have learned the following:

The extreme high we get (butterflies, giddiness, sweaty palms) can last between a few months to about 6 months. It depends on the relationship.

The “feelings” of being in love last from between 6 months to 2 years. After 2 years there is a definite drop. 

Although we’re sometimes sad when we start feeling more comfortable and less like we’re on cloud 9, it’s actually quite normal and healthy. Think of what it would be like to stay in that state the rest of your life! They’d be all “hey babe, gonna run to the store, see you later” and you’d be all

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You wouldn’t be able to focus on anything, you would always be nervous when first seeing them, probably lose sleep, and never fully have an appetite (these were my symptoms, always have been. They vary from person to person though). You also would never get the chance to grow into a deeper more fulfilling love relationship with your partner before tying yourself to them forever. Having that comfort, security, and sense of home with T is something I love and would not give up for anything.

I have also read multiple articles about how after two years the relationship becomes more “real.” You stop seeing the person as perfect and the real flaws in the other person and the relationship come out. This may be the make it or break it point in many couple’s relationships. So if according to science this is when you realize actual compatibility….

What if you are married before 2 years of dating?

If you embrace it, work hard at it, etc, you can save your marriage and become stronger. But what if you realize that hey, this person isn’t actually right for me… we were just really attracted to each other. Then what? What if, at the deepest parts of you- you aren’t compatible or don’t have the same goals?

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That’s all I wanna know. But anyway. The point of this was to stand up for those of us in the 5% (*made up statistic) of 20-23 year olds who are simply dating. Because we actually end up feeling pressured, being judged , or feeling left out for both not being engaged AND not being single. My best friends are all single, and so much of college culture nowadays is about how being single rocks. And it does! and there is nothing wrong with it- I am all for strong independent women (and men). We don’t need a man (or woman). I don’t need a man- but I want one. I want T because he’s my best friend and my boyfriend. Can I still be a strong woman and date him? Yes, I believe I can.

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Somehow in between my high school classmates getting ready to go down the aisle and my friends who are out looking for guys I don’t quite know where I fit in. I don’t know who started the pact that said “everyone! quick! get engaged!” but it was made. I would have never known senior year of high school who would be a) engaged, b) married, or c) parents by now.

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I guess the objection I have is when people treat marriage like a passing fancy instead of something that is meant to last. I am SO for the institution of marriage, I think the idea of tying yourself to another person for life is a journey that will have many ups and downs but will be incredibly rewarding. In a culture where Kim Kardashian can get married and divorced in little over a two month period, I think people are far too quick to jump into the festivities. (another example of this)

So in conclusion, I hate when these people defend their hasty engagement by saying “when you know you know!” …It’s like they are implying that they somehow hold the secret to all dating mysteries and are simply superior to the rest of us. How do they “know”? What does that even mean? That a magical dating fairy flew down and told them? Because I know for the rest of us it’s not always easy. Especially if you are paranoid, anxiety prone, and neurotic like I am. So, just because I’m not engaged it means I don’t love my boyfriend or he isn’t the one? because I do love him, and I can see us spending the rest of our lives together. So, in the grand scheme of things, are a few more years going to hurt? NO. I’d argue it’s helping- helping us conquer our issues, grow as a couple, and ready ourselves to become a couple forever.

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I knew T was perfect for me when he held me down to pull a glass splinter out of my foot. I kicked and whined but he held me down and pulled it out. Because he cares about me. I don’t know very many people that would get that up close and personal with my feet. I know that’s silly, and seemingly not a big deal, but it is- it really is. Would you rather your husband buy you flashy things or be willing to take care of you, even when you’re not at your most glamorous? Bling is pretty, but it won’t keep you from losing your foot.

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and neither will ring pops. Sorry.

There’s little things, all the time, that make me know how much I love him. Most of them aren’t even romantic at all in the sense that they don’t look like what we think of when we think of romance, but they are. They are sweet sweet moments where I want to cling to him like a adorable spider monkey and yell “MINE!” (ok, I actually do this. Sorry T.)

Maybe it’s ok if you don’t awaken in the night and gaze at their sleeping face and realize they will be yours forever. And it’s ok if by the second date you don’t hear wedding bells. Maybe we never know for sure (besides you magical unicorns)… We just love the people we love and life happens. Perhaps it’s not one big defining moment when you “know,” but a lot of little things.

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