So let’s check in…How are those New Year Resolutions going? Do you still remember what your’s are? If you do, great, If not don’t feel so bad, everyone else will fall off soon.
I didn’t set a resolution for this year (only because I am still working on those from last year), but I have decided to have a theme for this year. My theme for 2013 is “Keep it Simple”(KIS). I will remember the motto “Keep it Simple”, everything in life will be simple. Personally 2012 was a year full of complications. Pure complications. I take responsibility, I was doing too much. My relationships; extremely complicated. I was dating, then not dating, then dating again, then got tired of dating, then started semi dating but not really, and so on, and so on, until eventually I wanted to scream. I wanted to change my phone number because my life felt like one big complication. From phone calls to random texts, I was overly ready for the phone to just die.
In reality life works so much easier when it is simple. When I can say “no”, and mean it, when I don’t feel guilty for turning down dates, when I don’t feel in a rush to return a text, or when I don’t go out with guys just because I can’t come up with a good enough excuse as to why I don’t really want to go on that date. I found myself overworking my brain, and I was the only one overworking. I went away from me. I went away from what I loved. I stopped writing. I stopped sleeping. I just stopped. In a web a complication a lot was going on around me, along the way I lost control of where I wanted to be. I had a vision, a goal, I forgot what that was.
So in 2013 I need to, I choose to, and I have to, say goodbye to complication. I need simplicity in order to get back on track as to who I am, what I love, and what I am trying to do in life. I have a book to finish writing, I have a story to tell, I want to get a Ph.D. Where were those goals in 2012. I lost them and I didn’t even realize it.
In 2013 I will continue to go on dates, of course I will,But they will be simple. You may not find me at any more awkward match.com events, but I just may attend simple happy hours. No more developing the quasi what may be one day relationship, I need a real this is what it is going to be relationship. No more will I sit around questioning myself, after countless dates, asking “what is this”? I need to know what exactly “This”is. If we are just dating, cool, lets keep it simple, if it is going to a more exclusive relationship then I need that to be said to. A state of confusion and complication is not a relationship. A state of a definitive knowing that is communicated appropriately is a relationship. I am divorcing complication. Actually I am just tired of complication. Sick and tired of complication. I am forming an eternal marriage with simplicity, a love for simplicity.
My love life, my work life, my personal life, let’s keep it simple. Areas of life become complicated when we start to do too much. I am no longer doing too much. I will still do, but not over do.
Things to remember:
I must stay in control, when I lose control in walks complication without me even knowing it.
I need to keep tasks to a minimum, that includes dating. Work tasks, just do a few instead of trying to do everything. Dating, well just date one person at a time instead of multiple people at the same time, love, I only want to fall in love once, and my friendships, well I need to stop feeling guilty when I need to say no.
Take time for myself. Self care is of the utmost importance. Sleep when needed and remember that there is nothing wrong with alone time.
When I feel overwhelmed…STOP! Take a moment to stop and think. Breathe get it together! By recognizing the complications before they had a chance to enter in, I will be able to maintain an aura of simplicity.
Life is best worked under the mask of simplicity, hopefully I can keep it that way!
A few months ago (well like 2 to be exact) I decided to re-enter the world of online dating. I like to break up my dating patterns with periods of me not wanting to date so I forget why I hate it so much. Then I get bored and occasionally I get hungry. So I date, again. Since I feel like I am working 100 hours a week, and really hate the bar scene, I decided to hit up my computer to find me a future husband. Bring it on Match.com, I’m ready! What can say I love meeting men while sitting in my pajamas, with messy hair, no make up, and eating a bowl of cereal, life doesn’t get any better than that.
The outcome: well lets just say I went on a date. Now that is a different story for a completely different day.
However, recently Match.com has started having Stir events. Events where people on match can meet IN REAL LIFE, and you can pick who you want to date on the spot IN REAL LIFE! Sounds cool right? Uhhh hold that thought.
If you have a TV, I know you have seen the commercials for the Match events, and you probably even thought how cool it would be to attend one because they look life fun. Well I decided to go to one IN REAL LIFE, and umm fun is a nice word but I would like to say that AWKWARD is the more appropriate word for the whole Stir event.
Before I get into this story let me just give you a little caveat. To date in Honolulu is a different type of dating experience. Honolulu is small, so if you are single, you have probably seen many of the same single people at some type of event. A Match. com event is no different to the Meetup group for Honolulu singles. So if you want to save money join Meetup and socialize with other singles in Honolulu.
I will admit originally I thought going to this event was a great idea. Well it was actually held at a bar right across the street from my apartment building, so since I didn’t have to drive, even better! I figured why not just go to see who shows up, maybe I might meet my husband. Then I remembered that this is MY reality and my life doesn’t exactly work like that. So I went on the thought that I had nothing to lose, and since I was getting there an hour before it was over, one hour out of my life was not going to hurt, well at least not hurt too bad.
The Stir event was from 6-9 pm, I got there at 8. Really not my fault, had to work late, duty calls and clients need a good therapist. As I walked over I began to get nervous. Honestly as my elevator hit lobby and I walked outside of my building I began to think, “What the hell am I doing”, I wanted to run back upstairs, but I headed to the corner to proceed across the street.
As I stood at the stoplight I felt extra nervous, suddenly I realized that I was actually going to this alone. I then thought that I should have brought a friend along for moral support, or at least as a crutch so I would have someone to talk to. I began to feel scared. I kept walking towards the bar, still thinking “What the hell am I doing”. My mind was racing, well since my mind always races, it decided to race faster than ever. I had no idea what I was going to do or say, all I knew was that there was no turning back.
I walked up to the bar, met the bouncer, he was a very nice man. He asked me for my ID, and asked was I nervous. I lied and told him no. He wasn’t a dumb man, so he could read the look of nervousness and discomfort all over my face. I asked him how it was in there. For some reason I felt strangely comfortable talking to the bouncer at the door. He told me that it is like a seventh grade dance with boys on one side of the room and girls on the other. I hoped he was just joking, but a part of me did not really think he was joking. I laughed with him, then nervously went inside.
As I entered the room it appeared as your typical happy hour, but I knew it was like speed dating without the 8 minute time limit. I noticed people chatting, I guessed everyone already claimed who they were going to hook up with. I noticed some guys standing alone, and girls talking in groups. The bouncer was right, I was at a seventh grade dance expect everyone was either in their 20’s, 30’s, or 40’s.
I then headed to a comfortable space on the wall. Thank goodness for walls. Tempted to pull out my cell phone and act distracted, I then mentally slapped myself and refrained from using the cell phone distraction. I decided to be brave. No crutches of my friends, or my cellphone. Just be bare and let the magic happen. I wanted to run out of the there in a time that was faster than my walk over to the bar, and trust me it did not take me that long to walk to the bar. Instead of leaving, I figured I would make myself busy and got a drink. I got a sprite. I don’t even drink soda. I would have drank something with a lot of vodka, but I was on call for work. So sprite it was, and the sprite was flat.
I paid for my flat sprite, and headed back to my spot on the wall. Less than 30 seconds later, I got my first hit. Well a guy started talking to me. I noticed him awkwardly standing next to me. He decided to speak. He was a very, very tall, White man. 38, divorced, in the army, from Oklahoma. Ok, so not my type! But I am trying to be open-minded, I was at a Match.com event, so I engaged in a conversation. However, after his first question was, “so what do you do?”, I knew that this conversation was not going to last long. He spoke, I listened. He asked questions, I answered. He asked if I wanted to sit down on the couch in the back of the bar area, the area where the deeper conversation happens, I went. Hey, why not a conversation can’t hurt right?
We spoke some more, I felt like I wanted to cut my wrist. I started to figure how I could plot my escape as he talked about his divorce from his wife of two years, and how he should have been an officer in the army instead of going in as enlisted. I looked to my right, I saw three girls talking and laughing on the couch, they looked “happy hour” happy. In front me I noticed a girl and guy appearing to have a great conversation. He was talking, she was laughing, they looked comfortable, I wondered if they would get married. Then I came back to my own awkward situation with the bitter divorced man who wanted to move back to Oklahoma, thoughts of how I would get away raced through my head. He asked me if I ever watched “A Different World”, I chuckled as I said yes all the time when it was on. He then told me that I reminded me of Kim Resse from the show. I then thought, White men always say the strangest things to me. Maybe he was just nervous, but since I liked Kim, I didn’t think too much of it.
Finally I decided I was done with him, I wanted to see if there was anyone else to meet, so I told him I was going to walk around and got up to leave. He said no problem. I was free! I looked around the room again, 20 seconds later I bolted for the door! I was done. My 12 minute experience at the Match.com stir event was complete, I felt good, it was 4 minutes longer than a speed date. I went back outside.
The bouncer who I actually felt comfortable talking to was still outside. He asked me if I was done, I told him that I was going back home to sit on my couch. He laughed. I spent the next 35 minutes talking to him. He has never been on Match.com, is from Jersey City, NJ, and has been living in Hawaii since 2004. Of course I would go to a social happy hour to meet single men, and end up talking to the bouncer of the bar. But it was a good conversation, he was funny, and easy to talk to. No I didn’t get his number, but maybe I will see him around again.
Suddenly it was 9 pm the event was over. I was relieved that I had made it through. No dates, no numbers, no persons of interest, but I went. As I started to walk back home it started raining. Great no umbrella either. Now in the movies, girl walks home in the rain, cute guy comes out of nowhere with an umbrella and offers to walk her home. Next they start dating, and three months later they get married, have kids, live happily ever after. Oh wait my life is not a movie, it is my life, I ended up wet. Better luck next time.
One of the greatest things about life is that it is always changing. Change is constant, and because of this we always know its coming. We evolve. As a species we are always evolving. Evolution signifies growth, without change there can be no growth. The mind cannot stay stagnant, it grows, and by growing we know we are living.
In the midst of changing (or growing older I guess), I have come to realize that my whole entire dating life has made its very own evolution. I must admit that it is an evolution that is a long time coming, and one that was much needed. As I look back on my dating past, I do so with the hope that I have taken in the lessons learned, and my dating future will be better and wiser. The past is a reflection of a point where we once were, I quickly realized that I want to be somewhere else, not there.
Recently I have noticed a common theme when I go out on dates, I am bored out of my mind! I find myself waiting for that moment of climax that will add meaning to any date, but it never comes. Let me explain more: My mind travels a million miles a minute, I have tried to slow down my thoughts…it doesn’t work. I have an endless array of thoughts that are constantly occupying my brain space. The thoughts are never ending and always changing (hence why I suck so bad at yoga, and why I struggle with sleeping through the night). Therefore, due to this fact it is pretty difficult to hold my attention. When one thought enters I am already about 10 more thoughts ahead. I end up purposely looking for an attention grabbing something, just so I can focus. The focus is much needed, and when I am focused, I am finally at peace. When a person is able to hold my attention I am in delight. I am yet to find a man who can hold my attention so I can enjoy a date with him.
With my evolution in dating I have discovered what I am genuinely interested in…A good conversation! With excessive dating, I commonly get asked the question, “what are you looking for?” Finally I have discovered the heart of what I am looking for. Intellectual stimulation! A mental orgasm that will lead me yearning for a second and third date as soon as possible. In my world of thinking, if a man can easily bring my mind to a state of climax with his words, the sexual climax must be a million times better. Right?
But seriously, I usually would not think that it would be this difficult to find a date with conversation that is motivating and inspiring, a conversation that you want to never end. Am I asking for too much? Probably. But I don’t care. I like a man who can make me think. A man who is not afraid to challenge me. I know I may seem brilliant, but I do have my moments when I am wrong. Does anyone read books anymore? I will even enjoy a great conversation about why our whole political system is so messed up. Wow am I boring or just old? Not sure. A few years ago I would have thought these were boring topics, now they are topics that I chase after.
A friend told me that I have evolved myself out of the dating pool, that doesn’t sound so good to me. I don’t ask for too much. I just ask to date a grown man. I’m not a total prude, I love talking about sports, music, movies, but I want more. I want depth. I guess I want to finally be an adult, in an adult relationship. Can we say scary?
Now that I have embraced my evolution, I just have to find my male counterpart who has embraced his. In my 20’s I was only attracted to the physical appearance of a guy, that was enough for me and all that I needed to make him my boyfriend. Now don’t get me wrong, I still am a sucker for a physically attractive man, I actually need that too, but maybe not as much. In hindsight, it’s never going to be all I need, and I truly need more to make a lasting relationship. So where do I start? My new place to pick up men who read books…the bookstore! Wait, do any bookstores still exist?
It’s that time of year again. The day of Love. Valentine’s Day. Again, I will never understand the concept of the day because when I love someone, I hope that I do love them everyday and not just because society tells me to love them specifically on February 14th. Yet, since I am a sucker for romance and a sappy chick flick, I must admit that I do love the feelings and atmosphere that surround February 14th. It is always nice to see an overabundance of diamonds, flowers, and chocolate in lovely heart shaped boxes.
I used to think that Valentine’s Day was a girl holiday (a large part of me still does). Seriously I thought men hated the whole concept of the day. My take was that men who had a significant other would go through the motions and slowly wait in misery for the day to be over. I have never known a man who was genuinely excited about Valentine’s Day. Then I met my ex. He told me that men celebrated Valentine’s Day too, and men should be given gifts just like gifts are given to women. I was perplexed. Huh? All this time I was thinking that Valentine’s Day was a girl holiday. Girls get roses, teddy bears and diamond rings. The Kay jewelers and Hallmark commercials taught me that men present women with gifts on Valentines day, so obviously that was the way the day went down. I always had expected a small gift from the man I was dating at the time, and as for them, umm lets just say I didn’t know what to get them because Valentine’s Day is a girl holiday!
The first Valentines day I celebrated with my ex was simple, well we weren’t actually in an exclusive relationship at the time, so I didn’t expect a gift. He did take me out so that was a nice dating celebration for the day. The next year that damn Valentine’s Day rolled around again, and since we were far and long into an exclusive relationship I guess I had to give him a gift. Although, in my head Valentine’s Day was still a girl day, and I felt like I was being bamboozled. For the sake of genuine happiness in the relationship I caved. Honestly I can’t remember what it was that I got him, I know it wasn’t expensive though, it was small something to say I love you. I could have done that on any given day of any month, however Hallmark told me it was Valentine’s Day so celebrate.
For people in a relationship who are low on a budget, Valentines Day can be an added expense. We just celebrated Christmas less than two months ago. With the blink of an eye, six short weeks into the new year then bam! Another gift giving day. Because of that I feel Valentine’s Day gifts should be small, simple gestures just to say I love you. A large, expensive, materialistic, gift is not always needed. Everyday words and actions that say “I love you” mean so much more than a gift on Valentine’s Day. And that both men and women can reciprocate.
So that ex boyfriend of mine that somehow convinced me that Valentine’s Day was not only a girl day, but a guy day too, well obviously he is an ex for a reason. No it is not just because he expected gifts on Valentine’s Day (even though that would be a funny reason for a woman to break it off with a man). But, we were able to come to a mutual agreement when it came to Valentine’s Day. We were able to do things to make each other feel special, to celebrate love not only February 14, but every day before and after it. It wasn’t about the dollar amount that went into the gift, but the love that would last when the flowers died, after I ate all the chocolate, and after I lost whatever piece of jewelry he would eventually give me. My favorite gift was the one that probably cost him the least amount of money. A CD of original songs that he recorded just for me. The price: the amount of one blank CD.
Valentine’s Day is a lovely over publicized day. However, since romance is in the air go with it. If that cupid guy shoots you and you feel overjoyed with emotions of love, spread that love. No one should be overly stressed, sad, or increasingly depressed on Valentine’s Day, after all it is just another day. Show love every day, be creative with love, go against the norms and come straight from your heart. By showing the simplest amount of love, in the simplest way, you will defiantly earn the greatest results.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Now can someone tell me the truth, Do men really expect gifts on Valentine’s Day or is it a girl holiday?
Quick life update: In 2012 I have returned to dating.
One thing Hawaii is not lacking is available men to date. Now as for high quality available men, that is a different story. This is one situation where quantity is not better than quality. However I must deal with it, roll with the punches, and perhaps one day a true high quality man will enter into my existence. As for now, well back to the dating scene.
Dating is a tricky situation at times. I am obviously not going to have a connection with everyone I date. However, sometimes even if there is no possible chance of having a love connection, I would like to think that I can at least make a new friend from the situation. Can men and women ever just be friends, or does that notion leave universal existence after we graduate from elementary school?
I hear it a lot from my male friends that no guy ever wants to be friendzoned. Yet, I have met many of my male friends in my adult life, and we have successfully managed to have a platonic relationship up until this point (well with most of them at least). Men usually tell me that no girl is really just a friend, they are just waiting for that one opportunity to hook up. They sit back and wait patiently, play the friendship role, but if the opportunity is there to cross the line, then they are ready to jump. It becomes hard to have friends of the opposite sex if all they are waiting for is that one lonely moment where you will hook up.
Well I learned that lesson this past weekend. During one of my past adventures in the world of online dating , I met a man who I knew we would not work in a relationship, however he would better fit in my life as a friend. We hung out a few times, and never hooked up. There were no hidden messages as we were truly just friends. Or so I thought. See, I am as transparent as possible when it comes to dating, so I informed him that we will only be friends and I’ll show him fun things around the island. I am always ready to make a new friend, and he agreed to the situation that presented itself at the start of our friendship. Over the next few weeks, we went out sparingly and he would tell me about females that he was dating, I gave him relationship advice. I had no problem with that, that’s what friends do, discuss everything including relationships right? I was under the impression that we would just continue to be friends, apparently he was under the impression that we would eventually have more than friendship. What went wrong here?
On New Year’s Eve we went to a party in Honolulu. As he began to drink the questions started to come out. The questions, such as why was I single? I answered as honestly as possible. “Since I am dating for a relationship that will eventually lead to marriage, I have high standards for the men I date. I know what type of man I want, and I just have not met him yet. ” He was offended by that response. To me it was nothing against him, it was the truth. Apparently he felt like he was not good enough for me. He was only good enough to be in the friendzone.
I made a horrible attempt to explain to him that I want and need a man in my life who is stable, secure in life, strong in his career. Someone who already has the basics of what he wants, and is now working on ways to move forward. Someone who has accomplished goals, and has the determination to keep going. Not to say to him that he won’t be that man, however he is not there right now. He is just not the right man for me. He is a friend.
When I put him in the friendzone, I left him to question his own inadequacy in relationships. I may have tested his manhood. I made him question why he was not good enough. Though that was not my intention, those were the results. I felt guilty. I will take the blame, because perhaps I did lead him on by allowing him to enter my life as a friend knowing I would never want anything more. What happens next is up to him. I will still be a friend if he is willing to remain in that zone. If he wants to end communication with me, then I will understand that also. Adult life is so much more complicated than elementary school. Is it ever possible for men and women to just remain in the friendzone?
During a conversation with a man I recently met, he asked me if I was staying in Hawaii forever. My answer was, “I have no idea how long I will be in Hawaii”. I asked, “why?” He responded with because he, “wasn’t dating to find a girlfriend, he was dating to find a wife”. I thought that was very interesting, dating to find a wife. Well if you want to be married one day, shouldn’t the purpose of dating always be to find a wife or husband? Or, is it something else completely different? If you are single then you’re probably dating to find a companion, but what happens when the person you are dating has a completely different definition of dating than the definition you have in your mind?
To be on the single scene in Honolulu is a unique experience, and I can highly doubt that it is comparable to dating in any other city in the United States. Honolulu in a fly in city, meaning you fly in, stay a while, and end up leaving somewhere down the line. Next destination probably undetermined. If you are not local, or have not lived in Honolulu the majority of your life, then you may consider yourself as a tourist-the extended version.
Many of the people who I have met who have landed in Honolulu for whatever reason, such as work, the military, or just wanting to live on an island, usually return back to the mainland at some point. Hence, dating in Honolulu can be a difficult experience. You have to think to yourself and decide am “I dating for the right now?” Or “Am I dating to find someone who will be a permanent fixture in my future?” Knowing that will probably determine if you will settle down on Oahu or, if you will find yourself settling down back on the mainland. Once you figure out your own reason for playing the dating game, make sure your dating mate also shares that reason with you. If you have two different definitions of dating, you can find yourself dating for disaster.
Quick guide to commonly used definitions of dating
· The sexual dater– This type of dater dates to have a sexual relationship. Yes sex may be easy to come by, but they prefer a one consistent sexual partner. No relationship strings attached, just sex, and a few dinners or movies here and there to keep the sex partner happy.
· The right now dater– This type of dater dates for right now. They are 100% present focused. This dater may have plans to move away in a few months or in a year, but right now they are dating, or may be in a relationship and choose to think about the rest later. If they move away, yeah the relationship will probably end (or you can move too!)
· The relationshipper– This type of dater always dates for a relationship. They go from relationship to relationship very quickly. You might know them as the serial monogamist. They find their prey, latch on, and poof! They are in a relationship. However, the relationships never seem to last that long. They often get bored (on to the next one) or, they after spending more time with a person, they finally realize that they were never meant to be in that relationship in the first place.
· The dinner dater– This type of dater likes to go on date for the free dinners (ok I am mainly talking about girls on this one). She can plan to go out with five different men in one week to five different restaurants, and have five different free meals. The rational; why go grocery shopping with I can just go out on a date!
· The non-exclusive dater– This type of dater will date many people at one time to avoid being exclusive with just one person. They may admit that they are dating other people, and want to “test out” a variety of people before just settling for one. They choose not to put all their eggs in one basket, so they don’t end up giving an overly excessive amount of attention to just one person. This type of dater may appear to have commitment issues, or have been badly hurt in a past relationship. Handle with care.
· The traditional dater– This type of dater will date to find a monogamous relationship. They will take the dating process slow, not rushing into an exclusive relationship too quickly. They are sure to analyze the situation of the relationship before deciding if they want to settle down and be in a relationship.
· The dating for marriage dater– This type of dater wants to get married and they are dating for that reason. They are ready to take themselves out of the dating game and are looking for a partner who wants the same. They know what they want and they are not afraid to say it. They are in search of a viable partner who they will be able to spend the rest of their life with. This dater offers a strong sense of compassion, but may be overly compassionate. If the person they are dating, does not share the same definition of dating then this dater may be seen as overbearing, smothering, or rushing the relationship.
So what type of dater are you? Does that match up with the person you are currently dating?