Relationships Urban Legends

Another old boyfriend married.  I feel like I dodged one though because he’s not that cute? I’d post his picture but that would be mean since I just called him not cute, so just agree. And he’s a boy gymnast? Not that there’s anything wrong with that…hi, yum:

But, when you’re 15 and DON’T look like that, it does carry a little stigma. True story: I dated TWO male gymnasts in high school.

Anyway, this recently married one was the first and we “went out” in the 10th grade. According to my memory, that means we kissed on a roof once, his mom drove us to a goofy golfing double date, he touched my leg at lunch and I lied to his ex about dating him because she and I were kinda friends in math class, but then she found out and she wasn’t really all that mad.  So I’m not all that torn up about it and I don’t think it makes me a wife fluffer.

I’ve yet to have an ex marry the one right after me, which is good, I’m not sure I could handle that. I’m losing count, but there are many marriages and babies and even second marriages amongst men from my past.  Oy.

He married my sister’s best friend’s best friend from dance, but I’m still not sure how they met because she didn’t go to our high school and she’s a bit younger.  Just a small world, I guess.

They apparently had a long back and forth relationship and he didn’t always treat her right (via my sis’s friend who didn’t always like this guy for her other friend)…one of those relationship urban legends that single women cling to when they’re not where they want to be in a relationship. 

As in, “it’s okay that he is constantly on his phone when we’re together and when we’re not and I text him he takes four hours to respond because my cousin’s best friend’s hair dresser had a client who dated a guy for three years and he kinda treated her like that, but THEN he married her.”

Probably not the kind of reinforcement I need in my life right now.

How’s that working out for you?

I have good dating stories and I like to amuse people with them, which is probably why I started this blog. Some of the dating stories are funny in the moment, like a really bad first date with some guy I met online and some take a little longer to find funny.

I was telling some of my dating stories to a new friend and as an outsider, he was quick to point out that my stories have a theme.

Specifically, an up-and-down, back-and-forth, hot-and-cold, on-and-off theme running through all my recent relationships.

And I realized he was right.  All of my stories were like, “and we had just gotten back together” or “and we stopped dating for a while.” This is not so much funny to me. 

I thought about it and every relationship I’ve been in since I moved back to Arizona for a fresh start has involved numerous breakups. 

Hell, I might even say all of my relationships. The exception being my college boyfriend.  He showed me the beauty of the it’s-called-a-breakup-because-it’s-broken-if-it’s-broke-don’t-fix-it-exes-don’t-need-to-be-friends idea.

Clearly I paid attention and have followed that closely ever since.

The thing is, it’s easy when I’m single to make a hard-and-fast rule that if someone doesn’t want to be with me, then he doesn’t get to be with me, not then, not if he changes his mind, just not at all, but inside a relationship, that black and white starts to look awfully gray.

I’m all about changing the ingredients to get a new cake, but for now, I’m ignoring this harsh realization because Lucky and I are on-again and I’m fully committed to this trying again thing with him.  As time goes by and with each date we go on, I feel less like I have to make the caveat of “but if it doesn’t work out this time, I’m really done” as I’ve tried in vain to make in the past, because it feels different and it feels good. 

Here’s to hoping for a different ending this time around.

Know Your Worth

This year I’m attempting to have a monthly focus in an effort to introduce new, good habits into my life. 

In February, my focus is to read every day.  I’ve been good in the past few months at having a book I’m reading at all times, but sometimes it would lay on my coffee table for days before I picked it up again.  I enjoy reading, so I’m making more of an effort to pick up the book every day.  It helps when I’m reading books that I like, but don’t love.  Cough, Hunger Games, cough.

A few days ago, I decided to pull in another focus as well.  In February I’m going to focus on knowing my worth.  I mean, I know it, but I don’t always act like it. 

Over the weekend I wanted to text…wait for it…TGISWOTSD.  I know, huh?  There’s more to the story that’s happened in the past few months that hasn’t been written about and let’s just say I won, but still I knew it was beneath me to text him to wish him a happy birthday month, so, I didn’t. I don’t have to be the girl who pops herself back into her exes’ lives to remind them I’m awesome or to see if they still carry a torch.

My exes actually do plenty of that all on their own. I often wonder if other women have the same issues with exes who WILL NOT GO AWAY.  Far too many of mine think it’s perfectly acceptable to hang around in my life.  Like leeches.  I guess they think it’s romantic because the way they render it, I’m the one that got away? 

Well, where’s the one who won’t let me get away? Where’s the one who won’t be a leech, sucking my life?

Sometimes I think I’m to blame because I teach them it’s okay to treat me this way.  I play the one that got away when I should be playing the one who doesn’t want you now (regardless of whose decision it was in the first place) and won’t put up with you in her life because she’s so much better than that and has someone so much better waiting in the (hopefully near) future.

I fully know why they do it and I guess it’s the same reason I do it. 

Maybe this worth focus is a multi-month process.  I already know my worth.  Maybe February is going to be acting on it.  March can be just being it, without any of this fake it til you make it crap.

No really…the rafters.

TGISWOTSD started texting me last night.  ARE YOU SHITTING ME?! 

The conversation went like this…

Him:  Sorry I never responded to your email, but I was dating a girl and with her when I got it and forgot to respond, but it was very nice and you’re a better person than I am.

Me:  Obviously, but I must have deleted your number.  Who is this? 

I really had deleted his number, I wasn’t just playing it cool.  I had no clue who it could be because I wasn’t on the edge of my seat waiting for a reply email from anyone.  Through further conversation, I was reminded I sent him an email like six months ago to let him know the TV show we were on (long story) had aired and he had gotten a lot of screen time and he could watch it online if he wanted.

Him:  I don’t blame you for that.  It’s John.

His name’s not John, but it’s basically one of those OTHER names that every guy has, so really just giving me that was not descriptive at all, but I could guess.

Me:  Oh.

I’m pretty awesome, but seriously, what is WITH these boys?  It’s just so cliché at this point.

I just want Lucky.  And fortunately, he’s making his way back around too.

And then they started falling out of the rafters.

I thought I had efficiently deflected my cyber stalker ex when after a few “how ya been?” emails, I discovered he had moved 800 miles to be with a girl, bought a ring and found out she had been cheating on him for the previous six months. I all but laughed in his cyber face and told him he deserved it.

Sometimes I’m too nice and I was proud that for that little bit I lost my nice.  I have not heard from him since.  Except him requesting to follow me on FourSquare, the stalkiest of all social media stalking sites.  Luckily he does not live nearby.

Then this weekend, I got a text from the ex that came after the stalker. He was just asking if it was safe to say hello because he had been talking about me earlier in the day to his coworkers who were asking how he was so old (38) and still single, wondering who had poisoned him. 

What is their problem? I know I’m awesome and ungetoverable, but at least try. Oh yeah, and go away.

I declared myself done with these two in particular, the most toxic of all my exes, at the beginning of the year.  I guess they didn’t get the memo.

Perhaps I should thank them for coming round and reminding me how far I’ve come.  Although it seems counterintuitive, the longer I’ve been single/dating, the higher my standards have gone.  I look back at past MJ and with an, “oh girl,”  just shake my head at the guys she dated!

Like my girl says, when you know better, you do better.

My Stalker Ex

My ex who ruined my life has decided we’re friends again.

Okay, that was a touch dramatic.  My life is nowhere near ruined; it’s pretty great and I guess I have him (in part) to thank for that.

He did give me a ton of baggage – insecurity and trust issues – I’m working through. He did keep me in California a year longer than I probably should have stayed. He was a BIG reason why I finally left.

Also dramatic because he didn’t really decide we’re friends, but after two years of being apart and six months of zero communication, we’re apparently now acquaintances. As in, he is an acquaintance who is following me on Twitter and wants to connect with me on LinkedIn. He’s still blocked on Facebook, but he’s being a total social media creeper. I kind of wonder why, but I don’t want to give him any mind. He’s not worth it. He’s simply a reminder of a few things.

1. Everything happens for a reason. Without being interested in him, I might have left California a year earlier. Where would my life have led me then? There’s no such thing as what might have been and I think I’m in a great place right now (even though it took a lot of ups and downs to feel that way) and am glad that the timing worked out as it did.

2. I can overcome. I’ve been having some anxiety issues lately, but looking back on stressful times, thinking about how, in the midst of it, maybe I thought it was terrible, but I got through it and am better off for it, shows me that I can still do that and I don’t need to be such a nutcase…things will work out!

Pieces of You

My high school boyfriend was smart and funny. I dated him for four years because we were a good personality match and those qualities have topped The List ever since.

We broke up and in college, a big guy swept me off my feet at a bar.  The way he made me feel so petite and cute when he wrapped me in his arms was TDF.

He moved away and my post-college roommate’s preference for tall guys rubbed off on me (chalk it up to female competition) and I kept my eyes out for the big and tall variety. 

[This also all has to do with never wanting to outweigh my partner, so dating big and tall ensures that even when pregnant – assuming that’s the time in my life I’ll be the heaviest – I likely will not weigh more than him.]

Then I dated a funny, smart, bigger, tallish basketball coach and even though he was super busy, his passion for the sport and his athletes (high schoolers) was sexy, so I added coach to the list but then decided it was slight overkill, so I adapted it to “must be passionate…and athletic…and with a heart of gold that means he may one day coach our kiddos’ sports teams.”

 The coach was older by five years, so the next one, naturally was 11 years older.  And tall and not big-fat as a few of the previous ones had been, more big-muscular. Older is nice and I have a huge aversion to younger guys, but I am getting better at being open to it because age means nothing when it comes to maturity, which is the important part – add it to The List!

The old man boyfriend and the next one (smart, funny, big and tall, mature sometimes and by sometimes I mean mostly just on paper) helped me decide that adventurous and skilled in the sack were musts for The List as well.  That’s a given, though, right?

I’m not getting any younger and I know my dating pool is getting smaller and smaller, but with every guy I date, The List gets more and more selective. This is not looking promising. 

And NOW we’re adding a Southern accent to the list.  I need a man who drawls when he talks to me!  I only notice it occasionally, but it’s so stinkin’ adorable. 

And he hits all the other qualifications (well, he’s not big, and I’m still guessing on one because he respects himself and me and values sex enough to take it slow, but his kisses let me know it’s going to be well worth the wait) plus he’s handy around the house and can cook (traits that are on the list, I think from the whole “all women end up marrying someone like their dad” thing). 

Maybe there’s something to be said about knowing what you like and going for it!

Clothes for the Funeral

What do you do when an old friend starts sneaking around with – and eventually outright dating – your ex?

Guy code says friend’s exes are completely off limits?  Are the rules so different for women? 

I’m so torn on this because one on hand, I don’t care.  I’ve been totally over this guy for years and we’re great friends now.  I’m not feeling territorial.  I’m not jealous and thinking I missed out on something great – yes, we dated for a long time, but he’s not the right one for me. 

I’m just offended by how this new relationship developed and was hidden from me and I hate how the way they both treat me (sadly, mostly her) changed.

I know her pretty well and I felt like I understood his and her thought processes for getting into the relationship in the first place and even for the way they acted afterward, but those excuses, whether they make them or I do it for them, don’t excuse shitty behavior. 

It got me thinking about the times I’ve avoided awkward situations.  Times I’ve pussy footed the truth or even lied outright and I don’t want to be that person. 

If you’re going to regret something, don’t do it. If you’re going to do something, don’t regret it.  Put on your big girl panties and own your actions.  Own your life.

So, now comes the funeral clothes part.

What do you do when the old (maybe former) friend/your ex’s new girlfriend’s mom dies? 

You send your condolences.  NOT via Facebook.  A lot of people were doing this, but it weirds me out.

You go home and hug your own mom.  And your dad.  And you call your sister and give her a phone hug.

You cancel your plans and attend the funeral.

You still don’t know how to act around this girl but you realize what’s important and what’s not.  It’s time to see if you’re ready to stand in your truth.

Dating Down?

Please excuse me while I talk about how gorgeous I am (even more so than I would normally).

On my way to work this morning I caught the DJs talking about a recent study saying that relationships in which the woman is more attractive than the man are “doomed.”

My first reaction was, no, that’s not true.  Relationships, for women, are emotional and if they found the man they trust and love, they will stick with him, regardless of whether she could “do better.” Once pictures of me and Rebel hit Facebook, I heard from a college girlfriend who told me I could do better, but I explained to her that he was nice to me and I enjoyed his company.

I started thinking about some of the things I’ve heard from men I’ve dated recently.  TGISWOTSD told me I’d end up with someone better looking than him.  Mr. No Name asked me if I had low self-esteem because of what I had told him was my type – tall, bigger, “husky” even, a little rough around the edges.  I love me a manly man. 

More Marshall than Barney...not that I would complain if I were Lily right there!

I got closure on my last serious relationship when I remembered something he had said to me early on.  He told me that I could go out any night of the week and find a man to go home with.  I was really attracted to that boyfriend and completely enchanted during our high highs (being two Leos meant we also had low lows) and going out to find someone else to sleep with was nowhere on my mind. 

I thought it was just a nice way of him saying he thought I was hot and he felt lucky to be with me.  After a lot of jealous fights and breakups, I realized that’s not what he meant.  He meant he actually thought I WOULD do that.  That insecurity was his problem, not mine, so I realized I couldn’t have done anything else about it.

But, when I started to think about that side of aesthetically unbalanced relationships, I can see where the study makes sense.  With two emotionally healthy individuals, I don’t think an imbalance would make a difference, but if insecurity comes into play, perhaps doomed is accurate.

Either way, since my friend’s comment about Rebel, I’m making a point to go after men who are more on my level, which is especially easy at the buffet that is online dating.  I’ve done the “personality cute” guys, now it’s time to step it up to “I want to bang them 24/7” guys.

The Other Side, Again

So, as I bragged about in my WWW post for the week, I got rid of Rebel.  First of all, what kind of cold-hearted woman BRAGS about breaking up with someone?  What kind of woman gives herself so much credit anyway?

Things with R were not serious, there had been no L word mentioned (but there were red roses on V-Day…women read into that and I think men know that, so WTF?) and while, I think we were both kinda like, “you’re cool, I like hanging out with you,” I don’t think he was madly in love with me and I broke his poor, little heart by any means.

In fact, after going back and forth on a few issues, I said that we weren’t going to work out was because I was looking for something serious and he just wasn’t that.  After refuting all of my other reasons, to THAT, he was kind of like, “yeah, okay.”

So there you have it.  I can’t blame him for not wanting anything serious in his life right now and he can’t blame me for seeking it. 

But, I know if it were up to him, we would have trucked along with the status quo.  The break up was definitely one-sided and I have guilt over it and am a little sad for the loss of him as a friend. 

So yesterday when he posted something on Facebook about how it’s weird to go from talking to someone every day to just not, I sent him a text, being all, “no it’s cool, we can still talk, let’s be friends, let’s do all the stuff we talked about doing before.”  And I would truly be fine with that – because nothing has changed for me. 

I thought of him as a good friend before and basically it just took me some time to tell him that.  But to him, we were in a romantic relationship and, at least for the time being, I was his someone.  Until I called an audible.

Kinda like exactly what happened to me in November.  And the November guy legitimately wanted to be friends.  And so did I, at first, because I thought it would lead to him realizing how awesome I am and how lame he was for thinking otherwise.  But, just because his feelings weren’t there, didn’t mean mine could just go away and it was best for me to not see him at all anymore.

So when Rebel didn’t respond to my text, I was a  little hurt, but understood.  It’s not fair to tell someone that he’s awesome and you still want to hang out, but that it’s not going anywhere and eventually you’re going to want to make out and stuff with other guys instead of him.  You can’t have it both ways. 

I’m glad I’m on this other side again.  My guilt over ending things is nothing compared to the guilt I felt for keeping him on my hook.  Most importantly, I am really glad my boyfriend spot is free.

I’m totally loving Jerrod Niemann’s painfully true song, What Do You Want?, right now.  So, please enjoy his panty-dropping voice singing about the selfishness and heartache of staying in touch with exes: