The Vicious Cycle

Dating
The Cycle

Photo horribly drawn by Briana Wucinski

Here it is ladies and gentlemen. In all my artistic glory, I’ve depicted The Vicious Cycle of Dating. Although I did not draw the reverse arrows, the cycle can happen starting with the nice girl turning the nice guy into an inevitable asshole.

Either way you spin the cycle, we all start out as nice people, yet we all get hurt one way or another and it alters who we are and how we treat our next romantic endeavor.

I will admit that I was the bitch who turned a nice guy into an asshole. Sometimes it’s not intentional, it just happens. And I’ve met guys who are all assholes to women because they were hurt. People cheat. They lie. They tell you what you want to hear. They leave. They say hurtful, demeaning, and terrible things. Putting someone through that will torture a good soul, twisting it into something darker. Do I believe deep down, hiding beneath every sarcastic, dickhole comment, that they truly are nice guys who just want to love and be loved in return? Yes. But it takes finding that one nice girl that’s left somewhere in this big, beautiful and brutish world to remind them who they truly are.

Good luck and God speed to you all.

I Think They Call This a Breakthrough

Dating, Drinking, Personal

It’s amazing I was single.

At the ripe old age of 14, I was in lOvE with boys. I had my fair share of unrequited teenage crushes which resulted in a devastating amount of hours listening to Blink-182 in my bedroom decorated with collages of teen heartthrobs who I would never meet. Thinking back, I realized it’s not too far off from today. I’ve traded Blink for the Black Keys and the collages for photos of European places I ca’t return to quite yet, but ultimately I’m still pining away for the unattainable in my bedroom.

And it’s amazing I still am.

Why do we sit and wait for the right time or the right man or the right thing to magically manifest itself while we causally sit at home drinking wine? (besides the fact that wine makes everything better in general and increases the flow of time exponentially)

I think my inaction stems from a fear of getting hurt. I’m not sure if that’s the entire reason why I’m reluctant to put myself out there – but it’s definitely part of it. Just like everyone else in the world.

So that’s why I’m not having it. I’m keeping my butterflies in the cocoon. I’m ripping the buds off before they bloom. I’m humming in the drizzle instead of singing in the rain. (I’m also realizing I don’t really know many metaphors for being in love).

I’m picking men I can’t have relationships with. Foreigners who will eventually take their sexy accents back to where they came from. Or I’m the foreigner who will be taking my un-exotic self back to Texas. They have a schedule completely opposite from me. There’s construction on the way to their house. They live 20 hours away. They are too old. They are in a different place in life than me. They aren’t happy enough or they aren’t making me happy. I don’t want to be someone’s girlfriend but I don’t want to just be a piece of ass.

From one extremity to the next, I’m toeing this line between what I want and what I can get. But this the kicker – I have no idea what I want. Just like every other woman on the planet.

Realizing that is all fine and dandy but what’s there left to do? This obviously:

And it’s amazing that I will continue to be single until my untimely death due to alcohol poisoning. Cheers!

And afterwards? In all of the inexplicable abyss of options, I’m left with an inability to make any decision that seems right. That’s why your twenties are about doing and then learning (ah!) and I’m learning that whether I’m consciously making the choice to be with someone who is unattainable, I’m making the choice nonetheless.

Someone pass me a beer. All this personal reflection is making me thirsty.

I’ve also made the realization that I may use alcohol as a numbing agent. Whoops.

Expiration Dating

Dating

Dating with an end point in mind is complicated. It’s a mind fuck. Because as real as the emotions are, there is almost a sense of falsehood in every word. They’re laced with a timed anthrax that will inevitably wreck havoc on your psyche.

I mean maybe that’s a little bit of a strong metaphor, but dammit I like this boy a lot.

When I first started dating The Hillbilly (I realize the risk of using this nickname may conquer up images of men in coveralls. Which, incidentally, is partly accurate. However, he’s hot and doesn’t have a beard or gray hair, so there’s that) I was attracted to him for a number of reasons. He was funny, he was so damn cute, liked live music, and most of all was extremely laid back. So I wanted to keep things casual. We liked each other and we hung out. At some point I would leave for Austin and essentially we would shake hands and walk away.

Sometimes I think I may be constantly drunk, because even in a perfect world that would never fucking work out. Which it didn’t.

A friend recently called to my attention that despite my bro-like tendencies, I am a hopeless romantic deep down. Accurate as she may be, I hope and wish and pray that I could stop. I root for the happy endings. I want the couple to end up together or get back together. I think we should tell each other our feelings. I know there’s someone out there for everyone. Basically, like every girl in America, I overdosed on Disney movies as a kid, coming of age movies as a teen, and romantic comedies as a young woman.

Damn you media.

I’ll admit a small part of me had high hopes for the Hillbilly. But when we told me that at the end of the summer he is moving out West (I’m seriously not kidding about the country boy thing) that small part sank deeper than Jack from the Titanic.

I came face to face with the inevitable end of the relationship. No matter what I say or do within the coming months, we will shake hands and walk away. In a split second, his potential to become something more than just a memory vanished. I’m caught at a crossroads. Do I continue down this road, steadily increasing my miles per hour towards a crash I knowingly find myself hurtling towards? Or conversely, do I abruptly stop, get the fuck out of the car, and aimlessly try to hitchhike, knowing that I prematurely altered my destination.

I know this whole decision is making for some great metaphors, but in my head I’m at a loss for words.Although, I’ve had it argued to me that relationships end for a myriad of reasons and distance shouldn’t be one of them, I learned my lesson about distance last year. Distance can and does end budding romances, no matter how strong the feelings (or the accents) may be. Hell, distance ends grounded relationships too.

Timing becomes something more than the intangible, it becomes a force in your life, coming into a direct collision with your plans. It begins to decide for you, without your consent, raping you a choice in a matter you feel you should have a say in.

Was raping too strong of a word? My apologies. Timing is bitch with a sick sense of humor.

Natural Sightings of Manly Behavior

Dating

As I detailed last week, I’ve been hanging out in the country a little bit. While all the sunshine, campfires, and homemade eggs for breakfast have been incredible, I’m certainly getting something more from the experience.

Unbridled access to men and what they do every day.

Let me tell you, it’s not that interesting.

But there is definitely some merit in to this window of normally hidden male behavior. Men have these incredulous imaginations about what women do when we’re together. Naked pillow fights, wrestling in jello, telling our friends how big your dick is, etc. The ridiculousness of these fantasies is just one of the many parts of the male psyche women will never understand. Alternatively, women imagine us telling your friends about how great we are, how we seem to smell amazing and that you can’t wait for us to meet your parents.

I would rather a boy mention to his friends how awesome I am at racquetball or riding unicorns. Something along those lines. I like having a reputation to live up to.

What I’m saying here is that women and men have very different ideas of what we do when we aren’t trying to impress the opposite sex. One of the most agonizing things we go through while dating in the 21st century is waiting for a god-forsaken text message reply. I wrote a blog post last summer about what to do when you’re guy isn’t texting you, but I never explored what women think men are actually doing when they’re not texting us.

Here’s what I’ve observed 5 single men doing in their spare time. The good news is that they do most of these shirtless. So at least there’s that:

-Drinking beer. So much so that they don’t have a hand to hold their phone, or possibly the motor skills.

-Playing music: Not only are they concentrating on playing the instrument but the music drowns out any noise from a phone.

-Shooting the shit. Men sit around and talk just like women do. Although it’s mostly just bullshit jokes, they are still committed to focusing on what their conversation is revolving around. Whether it’s about how to survive a zombie apocalypse or a story about a drunken night, men give their undivided attention to a spectrum of topics.

-Mowing, hoeing, working on a car, other man stuff. Working with their hands in general.

-Holding stuff. This is self-explanatory and can range from a multitude of objects – such as sticks, cigarettes, darts, and even food.

Generally speaking, these boys are focused on their lives first. Their priorities lie within what’s right in front of them at this moment. So if you want a guy to spend time thinking about you, don’t send a witty text that references Anchorman man ever so subtly. Just invite your damn self over to enjoy the fun.

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” —Katharine Hepburn

Happy Monday y’all!

In a Relationship with Myself

Dating, Personal

Time for the utterly shocking news that I am once again single. If that is in fact shocking to you, read further for clarity.

I thought I was ready for a new relationship. I truly thought that after 5 blissful months of bar hopping, single girl swag, and celebrating my fabulous self that I was at a place in my life where I would be ready to commit to someone else and accept their commitment to me.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

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I was excaping myself through my friends and my short-lived crushes. Numbing myself from actually exploring who I am with internships and shots of tequila after work. I wasn’t growing, I was just adjusting. Right when I was at the peak and beginning to accept myself while learning to embrace who I actually am without someone else molding me, I met The Bartender. Then poof. I was right back where I started. Spending time with him instead of working on myself. My thoughts and concerns centered around him and his feelings instead of my own. My rickety self-esteem collasped on me, enduring insufferable blow after blow. Yet I accepted this because I was happy with him.

What I realize now though is that I was unhappy with myself and I wanted to be with someone who found joy through me because that gave me purpose.

Once I came to this conclusion I had no other choice but to conclude my relationship with The Bartender. I hated having to hurt someone again using the same rhetoric of finding myself and still being unable to reconcile with them that it wasn’t their fault but my own.

But onward and upward. It’s a new year and I finally understand that in order to become who I’m meant to be, I need to be on my own and face myself for the first time, without the hope that another man is going to come and rescue me from…well…me.

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Just for the sake of the new year, here’s my resolutions if you’re interested. Hopefully the more people that read them, the more of a reality they will actually become:

1. Treat others how you want to be treated.

2. Don’t let others define your happiness.

3. Start believing that everything will work out and stop stressing about what could happen.

4. Have the courage to trust myself and be confident in myself. Commit to actions that push me forward, instead of holding me back.

5. Be happy and healthy.

And lose weight. But everyone says that.

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The Next Level

Dating

I maybe should have prefaced that I would be talking a lot about dating on this blog, mainly because it’s the most new and unexplored territory that I encounter in my day to day life. It used to entail engaging with Italian culture and formulating travel plans. Now I’m reduced to analyzing the meaning behind the use of the word ‘babe. Go figure.

So as things have forged on with The Bartender, I’m entering into new territory once again.  The shift from dating to a relationship. It’s been a solid two months since we began dating and we’re spending loads of time together every day. At certain points he’s used the word ‘babe’ in regards to me. The first time he said it was in the middle of the night when I was tossing and turning, with sleep hours away. I thought I heard it wrong. He must have said “What’s wrong Dave?” reverting back to that one time he went through a curious phase in college.

I’m joking of course. He doesn’t have any homosexual tendencies…that I know of.

Then he used in again. So casually. Babe. I guess I missed the memo that we are at the point of pet names. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing wrong with the term itself. I’m just confused about what it means, besides the name of a pig or a hot girl on the beach.

In a time where your relationship status is plastered on your Facebook for everyone to see and where DTR conversations are rampant (DTR: Defining The Relationship) what actually constitutes the next level of dating?

When I was 15 and started dating my ex-boyfriend, we said “I love you” after 2 weeks. At the time, it was just what you said to make the end of phone calls less awkward than ‘bye’. It only came after time that I found what it truly meant. And I firmly believe that every love is different, every relationship brings a new dynamic, a new power struggle, a new set of problems, and new joys.

So what do I do at this point? The Bartender has commitment issues (surprise surprise) so he’s not ready for the official label yet. Honestly, neither am I. I was a ‘girlfriend’ for so long and I had all the duties that came with the title. So what does being in a relationship really mean outside of the digital realm? From what I’ve gathered it means that you care about the person, more than just a regular hook-up and dinners. You find yourself wanting to spend time with them over other people. You want to cook for them. You’re definitely not seeing anybody else or actively looking for better options. You’re happy. You’re still struggling to figure out the other person. Every day, you let a little more of your guard down and let them see another side of you. Much like everything else in my life right now, it’s terrifying.

 

One vs The One

Dating

Since March, I’ve been conquering men in bars, both locally and internationally. While it was a fruitful summer with a multitude of good stories to tell for years to come, I had promised myself I would slow it down by the time fall and school rolled around.

And then I met someone (see Disasters in Dating). Someone I didn’t sleep with at first. Someone I like to actually hang out with because he doesn’t make me want to claw my eyes out from boredom. Oh and he’s cute. From henceforth, in all future forays with this boy, he shall be referred to as The Bartender.

I over-analyze everything. I mean everything. So while I was going through my one night stand phase, I analyzed everything in the days following a hook-up. Now that I’m dating someone, I still analyze everything and constantly wonder how I’m faring in the dating world. So far I can’t decide which option comes with more stress.

One Night Stands

One night of sweaty, somewhat intoxicated sex. The shared agreement to limiting the amount of knowledge about the other person. Due to that agreement, talking is usually limited to banal topics that you won’t really care about the other person knowing (ie: things that you would find on my Facebook if you creeped hard enough). The walk of shame in the morning. That weird moment where ya’ll can’t decide whether or not to spoon. The feeling of both achievement (if you bang a 10) and disappointment in your self-worth. The look that tells each other it’s on. Free drinks. The questions following the one nighter: Will he call me? Why wasn’t I worth waiting for? Why am I already horny again? What was his last name? Am I bad in bed? The aftermath includes wondering how many lies he told you to get into your pants, wishing you worked out more so those flabby bits weren’t as…well…flabby, and usually regret. Usually.

Dating

A tepid toe into the waters of getting to know each other. Dates where the conversation is foreplay, instead of a slap on the ass. Personality becomes a factor. A big one at that. Attraction can only go so far without an actual connection. Sex is steady, but isn’t dull. The feeling of constantly wanting to impress someone with your charm, wit, and appearance. The fear that they will find something out about you and immediately dump yo’ crazy ass. Seeing that look in their eye that lets you know they like you. Free drinks and free meals. The questions that follow: Will he call me? What do they think of me? Am I interesting enough to capture their attention? Am I the only one they are seeing? Do I really need to shave my legs againThe aftermath includes wondering how long you have to lie about not eating carbs, wishing you could stay and cuddle for hours (especially with the recent appearance of fall weather in Texas), and the knowledge that the more time you spend with that person is directly proportional to how much it’s going to hurt when you stop seeing each other.

Which is the lesser of two evils? I’m going to go with the one where spooning is non-optional…for now anyways.

Disasters in Dating

Dating, Drinking, Personal

WTF.

I apologize for the lack of posts. What with school starting up again this fall I haven’t been nearly as bored as I was during my internships. But there’s something else I’ve been doing lately – I’m kind of, sort of, seeing someone.

Oh yes.

I feel like just as I was getting into the whole idea of being single and gettin’ my swag on at the bars every weekend, I just happened to wind up dating someone. After of course, my mother asked him for his phone number and he subsequently wrote it down for us as a joke. And then I in turn left him a note reading, “If you were just working for a tip tonight, great job, but if you need someone to squeeze your flat ass sometime, give me a call.”

Oh yes.

And my crass humor and brazen (mostly delusional) self-confidence got me a lunch date, followed by many more drinks out and now I’m here. Dating someone. It’s new and it’s uncomfortable and I constantly feel like I have no idea what I’m doing or what I’m supposed to do.  It’s been almost 6 months since I ended things with my ex-boyfriend of over five years. He was my first everything. First real date, first time saying ‘I love you’, first date kiss, first sleepover, first fight, first struggle to find a balance in a relationship.

My most recent first date…ended in a high five.

And the awkwardness didn’t stop there. I’ve been fumbling my way through dating for the past few weeks and let me tell you, it’s nothing like a romantic comedy. I’ve said numerous things that have made me sound more idiotic than a drunk, blonde girl who ‘auditioned’ to be in a Girls Gone Wild video.  I told him I was scared of his penis. I’ve thrown up in his front yard and proceeded to pass out in his bathroom. Last night, on accident, I punched him in the groin.

Oh yes.

I’m sure there will be more stories to come. I can’t imagine I’ll get any better at this.

Hm…really? You don’t say.