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Dating / Relationships

I Found

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I was told once that over 90% of human interaction is non-verbal. But listen, I don’t know if that is inherently a good thing. Maybe that’s why we are all obsessed with using these goofy emojis to represent feelings when we text each other. Everything’s a code, isn’t it? Even when we do manage to convert thoughts into sounds to form sentences, all-too-often there’s something hidden behind any spoken language, let alone a simple text message. We can say “I’m doing okay” but in between each letter there are these cracks of heavy feelings caused from the pressure of too many terrible things. For many of us, that open Snapchat and “read” message—complete lack or absence of anything verbal—triggers a monsoon of anxiety that the umbrella of “I was busy, sorry” can’t possibly protect us from the acidic doubt that seeps into everything. The lack of words, the absence of your voice and the nonexistence of any effort you put into saying anything at all suggests all sorts of things, but mostly that you don’t and never really did give a shit.

Because the last time I heard your voice, you were crying over another guy, having an anxiety attack mixed with an encumbering wave of depression and you couldn’t stop looking at social media full of photographs of him and her, wishing it were you instead. I listened, I spoke little. I told you I loved you. You said okay. Cupid is the asshole, here. Dude needs to stop using me for target practice. I’m sorry I ever loved you.

I think it’s safe to say that you didn’t do anything wrong though, but I know you’d apologize. The thing is… you probably did nothing at all, and that’s why you’ll be that somebody I used to know. I used to spend a lot of time putting love into places where I’d get nothing out of it, where I’d commit to things that only last for short moments and I’d pine after a girl with a beautiful smile only to realize her gaze was originally on something far beyond me. I used to do those things. Now I don’t.

The thing is that you’re maybe going to read these words and you’re going to assume I mean them and a lot of them I do but at the end of the day, I’m not really sorry I loved you, and I don’t regret it because loving you was great. Having to shut that off, though, was not. See you would get my 90% of my non verbal interaction if you had ever taken a moment to understand me or know me and I’ll say that I am sorry for that because that is the one thing you will be unable to do that’s completely on you. Anyway, I’ve been spending too much time trying to convince my cats to listen to me and encouraging my stupid shadow that I’m worth following to have to put any more effort to win anyone’s affection right now. Enjoy our 0% of any kind of interaction, darling. Kindest regards.

Car Radio

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Hi. It’s me. I haven’t written anything in forever. Except that’s a lie; I’ve written a lot, but I never deemed any of it worth publishing or sharing. Regardless, here I am. Seeing as I have nothing else to do today, because people suck, I suppose I’ll hecking rant before I return to the Summoner’s Rift to give birth to a fed enemy Draven or something.

So, the Last Jedi was great. Go see it. Tonight. Bring your best friend or significant other. Seriously. You won’t regret it. No, I’m not going to spoil anything here, but these Disney additions to the universe have really got me thinking. You’ve got Kylo Ren. Cool guy, right? Adam Driver is wonderful. I mean, just the whole idea of this angsty, emo Sith Lord is… so Disney, but also such a Millennial-inspired antagonist. He is the perfect and most relatable villain. This article describes him as “unfinished evil” and despite many critics hating on how “wimpy” Kylo Ren comes off as, the author does a great job explaining why it makes sense and why it actually really works. The most accurate and chuckle-inducing sentence in the article is, “In The Last Jedi, Emo Kylo Ren discovers indie rock.”

Speaking of Emo Kylo Ren:

Yes, I’m going to continue nerding out, here, so bear with me. So in the scene below from the Force Awakens, Kylo is fighting Finn, then Rey. There’s this part that shows Ren wincing from an injury. To handle it, he beats on the wound, as though to eradicate pain by causing pain. We tend to do that, don’t we? I know I do. When I’m hurting or upset, especially when it’s from something out of my control, I’d rather distract myself from that, even if it’s by something that hurts me more. Like, it’s psychological; it’s a coping mechanism. It’s why a lot of the times after a tough break ups people are like “Best way to get over someone is to get under someone else ;).” Not because it’s healthy or that you won’t get hurt or feel worse, it’s because it’ll distract.

Really, I think Kylo Ren’s biggest struggle is, besides trying to find his place in the universe, his fear of having to do it alone. See, Star Wars speaks to me.

I’m realizing I’ve slept less than 7 hours in the since Friday. How am I functioning? Maybe that’s why my thoughts are so scattered. I need to rest my gray matter.

“A particle moves along the x-axis so that its velocity at time t, for 0= t = 6 is given by a differentiable funciont v whose graph is shown above. The velocity is – at t = 0, t = 3, t = 6, and the graph has horizontal tangents at t = 1 and t = 5. The areas of the regions bounded by the t-axis and the graph of v on the intervals of [0, 3], [3, 5], and [5, 6] are 8, 3, and 2, respectively. At time = 0, the particle is at x = -2. ”

So in other words, the graph given is a chart of the increase and decreasing of the particle’s velocity. As the graph rises above the x-axis, it’s going t faster to the right. When it’s lowering below the x-axis, it’s going t slower to the left. The areas bounded are really just the total distance it travels. And the derivative of the velocity is its acceleration… I love helping my friends with Calculus when I haven’t thought about math since like 2k10.

When I was in high school, one of my older friends gave me some impacting relationship advice. He said, never give your all. Never give 100%. Hold back. It was in line with the whole “wait a day or two before calling her.” He basically said, manipulate her anxiety; leave that Snapchat on opened, leave a text message on read for a bit. I get that mentality. I mean, I understand it. It’s right out of the Laws of Power:

  • Law#4 – Always Say Less than Necessary: When you are trying to impress people with words, the more you say, the more common you
    appear, and the less in control. Even if you are saying something banal, it will seem original if you make it vague, open-ended, and sphinxlike. Powerful people impress and intimidate by saying less. The more you say, the more likely you are to say something foolish. I obviously am… overabundant, sometimes, with words. But this translates into: don’t type more than 240 characters ever in a text. Short texts. No emojis either!
  • Law #8 – Make other People come to you – use Bait if Necessary: When you force the other person to act, you are the one in control. It is always better to make your opponent come to you, abandoning his own plans in the process. Lure him with fabulous gains – then attack. You hold the cards. In other words, never call her. She gets to call you. Don’t text first. Let her initiate. Keep her guessing. On her toes. “Is he into me? I have no idea!” 
  • Law #16 – Use Absence to Increase Respect and Honor: Too much circulation makes the price go down: The more you are seen and heard from, the more common you appear. If you are already established in a group, temporary withdrawal from it will make you more talked about, even more admired. You must learn when to leave. Create value through scarcity. Straightforward enough, yeah?
  • Law #20 – Do Not Commit to Anyone: It is the fool who always rushes to take sides. Do not commit to any side or cause but yourself. By maintaining your independence, you become the master of others – playing people against one another, making them pursue you. Literally don’t commit to anything. Always be ambiguous, flippant.
  • Law #48 – Assume Formlessness: By taking a shape, by having a visible plan, you open yourself to attack. Instead of taking a form for your enemy to grasp, keep yourself adaptable and on the move. Accept the fact that nothing is certain and no law is fixed. The best way to protect yourself is to be as fluid and formless as water; never bet on stability or lasting order. Everything changes. The best way to screw with someone’s emotions is to never let them latch onto to anything solid; being that realm between an “official” couple and more than friends is fluid and the boundaries are unclear. Control this territory. Become one with the darkness!

It’s bullshit. I literally have a single person in mind after I read all of those things. I must be lacking in a lot of power because I’m cool with commitment, I’m okay with solidity, I want to always be there, and I more often than not say too much. Whatever.

Listen, my dudes: if you want to talk to her, just do it. If you want to call her, just call. I mean, heck. Why do we have to complicate love? It’s not a political campaign. You don’t need to formulate a strategy or think too far ahead. You shouldn’t have to worry about being a step ahead of the other or maintaining control over their emotions. It should be simple. If you like her, see if she likes you back. If ya’ll are into each other, get closer. If you get close enough, date.

It’s curious because I would have probably had a higher success rate with relationships if I listened. Now I’m just bitter.

We have a tendency to complicate things. Relationships should be simple but I think some of us actually like complicated.

So here’s some advice, friends. Here’s a nice little list. If they do any of these things, especially if there are multiple, I recommend dropping that person. Move on. Your feelings, thoughts and time are better spent elsewhere.

  • They don’t respond to anything. If you bring it up they make some shitty excuse about their shitty day or their shitty feelings. If they wanted to talk to you, they would. If they wanted to reply, they would. You shouldn’t just be a convenient sounding board for someone when they have no one else. End of story.
  • They don’t listen. They don’t remember important things because they don’t listen. They’re always distracted when you’re with them; you’ll notice they’re responding to plenty of people or they’re on their phone plenty… all-too-often you’ll see that bullets #1 and #2 aren’t mutually exclusive, as crazy as that sounds.
  • They refuse to commit no matter how long you’ve been “talking.” It’s usually because there’s someone else. Maybe they’re actually scared.
  • They aren’t there when you need them. Because according to Ellie in That Awkward Moment, that’s all that relationships are.

And don’t worry, if you absolutely ignore everything I just listed, it’s cool. Same. Oh, like 3 years, @RebeccaEstherC and I wrote a nice little post about dating, so you can check that old nonsense here.

I think… I think too much. I hate this car that I’m driving. There’s no hiding for me. I’m forced to deal with what I feel. There is no distraction to mask what is real; I could pull the steering wheel. I have these thoughts, so often I ought to replace that slot with what I once bought cuz somebody stole my car radio and now I just sit in silence. I ponder of something terrifying cuz this time there’s no sound to hide behind. I find over the course of our human existence one thing consists of consistence and it’s that we’re all battling fear. Oh dear, I don’t know if we know why we’re here. Oh my, too deep, please stop thinking… I liked it better when my car had sound.

Okay so, yeah, I’ve discovered Twenty One Pilots. Great band, and I’m not talking about their “popular” stuff on the radio; I mean their deeper, heavier stuff. Check out Car Radio. By far my favorite right now.

Holy heck I found a ton of my old posts on some random blogger that I won’t even give you the URL for because some of that stuff was pretty lame. I mean this stuff’s pretty lame. But it was worse then, if you can believe that.

In my life, I’ve experienced struggles, great moments, and many late nights pondering things most probably wouldn’t waste their time pondering. I’ve lived in garages, lost elections, had my fair share of family problems, and I’ve fallen in love. I’ve spent over 1500 hours playing a first-person shooter, I’ve written close to fifty posts on this website, and screamed nonsense things at the top of my lungs while on quests and road trips with one of my few close friends. I’ve played chicken with a semi on a random highway in Missouri, and barely lived through that. I’ve brought in Red Bull to Whitey’s and created one of the greatest energy drink smoothies known to mankind, that even topped Delia’s. I scooped thousands of ounces of ice cream, set up hundreds of phones for people who use the technology I sell them on a regular basis, and gotten in one-too-many debates about religion/politics. I’ve broken hearts, had my heart broken, and mended them. I’ve sat at a frozen lake in the last minutes of 2013, alone, lost in thought, memories, current feelings, and the future. I’ve driven aimlessly for hours. I’ve punched this training bag until my knuckles have bled, ran till I couldn’t breathe anymore, and played guitar till my callouses couldn’t handle it anymore. I could keep going. Seriously. Frankly, I’ve done a lot. And I still don’t consider my life anywhere to where I want it to be, but here I am.

In the movie, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” they talk about the purpose of life. The motto for Life Magazine is: To see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come to, to draw closer, to see and be amazed.” Incredible.

In the past few weeks, I’ve had my world flipped upside down and turned inside out. I’ve drawn closer to a lot of great people, ended journeys with others, and found hope.

I’ve realized that building up walls won’t protect me. That I shouldn’t be afraid of what’s up ahead, and that there is literally beauty in everything. I hate this ice and snow with a passion, but at midnight at the beginning of the year, the way it sparkles in the moonlight is truly beautiful. And yes, I had that thought even while I shivered and shook from the negative temperatures. Even when I lose, even when I know it’s time to give up on some things and some people, and even when things don’t work out the way I want to, I’ve realized to simply carry on because life is incredible in the sense that there will always be something else waiting up ahead.

The next step might be a shitty day at work, a long drive to Des Moines, or hours of web design. The next step could be an aimless trip to Chicago, falling in love, or finally winning. Who knows.

I’m going to be honest, I’m rereading this all back to my dog to make sure it makes sense, and she is actually listening to me for the first time in forever.

Everyone made these little New Year’s resolutions. I think that’s silly. Why do we set goals for a year, and on the first of every year? It’s not only that, but we give up on them halfway through.

I’m making a lifetime resolution that I’m going to try to live up to. You should, too. I want to see things thousands of miles away, things hidden behind walls and within rooms, things dangerous to come, to draw closer, to see and to be amazed. I want to live my life to the fullest despite what garbage it throws at me, and to impact the rest of this world in the most positive way. I want to live my life, and stop dreaming and wishing.

I made a Facebook status a few days ago asking about whether or not you should fight for what you want most, or if it’ll all just fall into place. My answer has been this: Hell yes. Of course. I am going to fight for everything I wish to have, and make it mine. Because life doesn’t just fall into place. I have to live it. I have to fight. The fire doesn’t just light up; I have to ignite it.

In this past month I’ve been surrounded by friends, and I’ve also spent a lot of time alone thinking over things. I haven’t figured out life entirely, or where I need to go, or what I need to do, but I know that up ahead, there are amazing things to come. And I can’t even begin to describe how excited I am to carry on. Anything is possible, as cheesy as that sounds. And I will fight for what I want most.

It’s crazy because I’ve gone from feeling like I’m completely alone and that I’m never going to get anywhere, to finally piecing things together, and realizing I’m far from alone, and this journey is far from over.

#tbt to when I played Battlefield 3 all the time. But damn, how did I become so bitter and cold? Take what you want from that. I guess it’s simply not me any more.

To close, I want to recommend a book. It’s called How to Win Friends and Influence People. I’ve read and digested the 48 Laws of Power and was left with a choice… sure, this is probably a very nice way to, well, become a powerful person, but do I really want to become an asshole? It’s Machiavellian and cold. I don’t want to be. This other book, though, it’s… better. I’ll give ya a brief outline of what it suggests.

  • Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.
  • Give honest and sincere appreciation.
  • Arouse in the other person an eager want.
  • Become genuinely interested in other people.
  • Smile. 
  • Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.
  • Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
  • Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.
  • Make the other person feel important – and do it sincerely.

Anyway. Thanks for reading all my nonsense. Enjoy the holidays!

Ω

The Abyss

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It’s kind of daunting when you think about it all. The person you’re possibly dating right now is either going to break up with you or you’ll spend the rest of your life with them. I think there’s some meme out there that says dating is just learning more and more about another person each day until one day we hate everything we’ve found out and we decide we don’t want to know any more about them. And then it’s over.

I mean, that’s just life in general, isn’t it? In Overwatch, I’m either going to win SR, lose SR or draw the match. When I get behind the wheel of my car, I’m either going to reach my destination or get in an accident or get side-tracked and lost inside a Best Buy admiring the latest display for an MSI laptop. The girl I was talking to? Right. Her. She’s either going to be my girlfriend or she’ll fade into the abyss and be absolutely nothing to me a year from now.

Yeah, I know. That’s cold, Abe. That’s mean. It’s the brutal truth though. She knows that. Because that’s how this works, isn’t it? Because there’s gray, there’s the black and white. Probability and outcomes. I somewhat dig in deep with that kind of chaos and attempt to find order in it while I’m campaigning. I’m either going to wake up tomorrow or I won’t (chances are I will).

I don’t think it’s overly pessimistic to view it that way. It’s realistic. It’s stupid to walk into something, especially when it comes to relationships, expecting only what we want out of it. It’s bitter and cold to only expect the worst-case scenario. I trust people to be true to who they are, though. I trust people to fall-back on their most natural tendencies.

Do you wanna know why the polling last cycle was so off? People were afraid. They were afraid of telling these phone callers and surveyors what they actually thought. We live in such a shitty, politically correct world. We’re at this point where folks are too afraid of the violent and often-times rage-fueled tirades of those who disagree and those with hurt feelings.

Sometimes relationships are that way. People are afraid of being honest because it might make them look heartless, mean or they might become unlikeable. I’ve learned to read in between the lines. I get it. I’m getting good at it.

Look. Yes. I’m bitter. This is one of my angry and not-so-witty posts where I just want whoever-the-hell-is-reading-this to feel sorry for me. The last three girls I dated cheated on me. Is it because I’m inadequate? Probably not. It’s because Eminem was right and love is evil, spell it backwards omg yes it’s so clever isn’t it? No it’s because they were awful girlfriends and I trust people to be true to their nature and to ultimately act and choose what’s most absolutely best for them. Am I unlucky? I’d say no. Like, I was either going to marry one of those girls or not be with them. It’s the latter. And that’s okay because I’d much rather have learned how shitty of a partner they were before committing to anything significant, like letting them name one of my cats.

Oh wait.

Whoops.

Look, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me. But this post is a warning. Be careful out there. We’re begging for heartbreak, I swear. We’re just asking for it. And me? I’m done. For now. I’m going to get lost in the world of Overwatch and just not worry about it all because OW is simple and it is love and it is life and the only heartbreak that happens is when my group kicks me because I’m tea-bagging the enemy Reaper too much and instigating an all-chat war full of flaming and Diamond-level medaled toxicity. And right, remember what I said? I can read in between the lines. Enjoy the abyss, darling.

 

Oh Florida please be still tonight

Don’t disturb this love of mine

Be Who You Needed

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It hasn’t been easy. I mean, I can’t pretend that it’s easy, now. Not yet. Will it ever? Who knows? When I was in high school, dealing with silly girl problems, trying to find a balance between fun and school and getting lost in a world of drama, bullshit and things that both propelled me forward and pulled me backwards… when I was living in a garage during my senior year, drinking when I shouldn’t have, staying up too late and trying to figure out what I was even doing… when I was struggling with bills, trying to figure out how to juggle multiple jobs and somehow manage school, all while battling a mixture of lack of belief, confidence and self-esteem coupled with anxiety and a lurking, growing depression… I wish I had someone like who I am now to talk to.

My older siblings were out the door, dealing with their own problems and pushing family further and further away. I don’t want to lay all my family issues out in public; trust me when I say that things are significantly better now. But it wasn’t easy. A lot of my good friends were nearly finishing up their degrees while I was just starting off; I was years behind. But I’m going at my own pace now, I guess. I’m doing my thing, I’m grinding 8:30 to 4:30, often-times later than that, I’m ubering, developing websites and going to school full-time. It isn’t easy. It’s tough.

I’m not who I want to be. I’m getting there. I can’t say I’m 100% happy or completely satisfied, but I’m figuring it out. But I’m better.

I ran across this thing, earlier. It was one of those pretty images with text that said “Be who you needed when you were younger.” So, yeah, that’s the ultimate point of this post. It isn’t to brag about how much I’ve struggled, however I’m proud of those things and the fact that I’ve overcome them. It isn’t to tell you that your life could be worse, or better. It isn’t to shit out a bunch of platitudes about whatever you might be going through or how you’re better for it, which you probably are.

We’re all out of high school, at least most of the people reading this are, and we’re either diving into college or moving beyond it into our careers. I’m a mid-twenty-something and if I didn’t have such an excessively-draining schedule, I would love to explore, go on adventures and have great times. I want to make memories and live life to the fullest every day. I can’t do those things; not yet.

Most of us have younger siblings or friends who might be struggling with the same things we did years ago. We’ve been there. We don’t necessarily know it all and I know I’m far from the wisest person on your friends list, but I get it.

How many of us would have gotten by a little more smoothly if we had a role-model we could relate to? You’re blessed if you did and maybe this entire post is irrelevant. I had my peers, and I had people I looked up to, but no one who really got it. I didn’t have someone who I truly connected with who could smack me in the back of the head and say, “Abe, what the hell are you doing? Get your shit together. This stuff doesn’t matter. Focus on this instead.” Don’t get me wrong, I respect people beyond my generation, but there’s a difference between my dad telling me what I should do and a close friend who is a few years older—no offense, Dad.

The difference between being who you needed for someone else is that person choosing to not go to that party where something regrettable might happen, or choosing to go to a school despite what their high school girlfriend wants. It’s the difference between them wallowing in pity and depression and you getting them to open up, and you understanding what it’s like to be a twenty-something dealing with real-world stress that high school no-where-near prepared any of us for. I’m not telling you that you can save someone or fix someone; I’m saying you can be their anchor, their voice of reason and their soundboard because you get it. We all have these regrets and mistakes. We know what the loss was, the pain they caused and especially what we needed to hear but didn’t.

We get it. I’ve always been a firm believer in the idea that every struggle, trial and bad experience we go through has the utmost potential to make us better, stronger and wiser. We use these things to push forward and hopefully not repeat bad calls or awful decisions. What I’m telling you is that you can help guide someone else. I don’t know who. You know who, though. It could be a younger sibling, kids who are just now attending your school whom you’ve recently become friends with.

We’ve been there. We’ve done a lot of things. And now we know better, at least better than others who have yet to experience these things. So speak up. Be a leader, be a role-model. Be the person you needed when you were younger.

Maybe you’re here and you don’t have anyone. Reach out. If you’re afraid I’m going to judge you, do it anonymously. Make a fake email, and fill out the contact form. I’ll get back to you quickly.

Are We OK, Cupid?

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I like numbers. Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day, so here are some numbers about L-O-V-E. Two million people get married in the US each year [1]. Cool, right? Wedding planning can potentially be a very lucrative business, especially if you live in Vermont, Arkansas, Nevada or Utah, even, Idaho, all of which are states that generally lead the country in marriages [2]. But did you know that 22% of the adult population in America has had a divorce? Of course, this is out of every adult, regardless of their current marital status [3]. If you move in or get married with someone at the age of 18, you have a 60% chance of splitting. If you do it at 23, you have a better shot [4]. But don’t fret! The marriage rate in the US basically doubles the divorce rate. Similar to worldwide birth-rate to death-rate ratio. I’ve written about this before, but my generation has been “gifted” with countless dating apps and a number of other things that have simply caused choice overload, slow love and a plethora of trust issues.

Dating is a mess, isn’t it? It’s a relevant topic for us. I swear, every other Facebook buddy is getting engaged or changing last names and I’m just trying to get my kitten from knocking my laptop’s mouse off my desk. None of it makes sense, sometimes, but… it all makes sense in retrospect or if you just pause to think about it. No offense to you gorgeous people out there, but “hot” girls have difficult times in relationships. They’re too objectified [5]. Adverts and the porn industry has helped nicely with that. Nice guys are supposedly victims. Urban Dictionary explains Nice Guy Syndrome the best. I’ll be honest, back in high school, I suffered from this mentality. In all honesty, I’m actually not a nice guy, I just choose not to be an asshole. Most of the time. Anyway. This isn’t about me. This is about you. Right? (Or us? *insert kissy face emojis and other things to superficially take the place of real feelings and words*)

Now that I’ve delivered a bunch of numbers to capture your wavering attention–IGNORE YOUR PHONE, that Instagram or Snapchat notification isn’t that important–I have to admit, I’m not a dating guru. If you’re spending tomorrow alone without that SO that literally every other person seems to have, I’m sorry, I can’t help you. I can be of absolutely zero assistance because I’m relatively single and haven’t had a serious or non-shitty relationship since I was 21.

But here’s the thing: tomorrow isn’t a bad day. I mean, it sucks because I have to go back to my job, but other than that, it’s just another day. Couples are celebrating their relationships and love for one another. Get ready for potential baby showers come mid-September. And I always look forward to the 15th because all the chocolate is on sale.

Despite my lack of romantic love (and honest lack of trying), I’ve chosen something better. I decided to love myself. I know that when my life-story decides I need another protagonist to move the tragedy of a plot forward, I want to be ready. I want to have my education completed, I want to have my finances in order and a good job. I want to know who I am. I want to have my goals and priorities in order. I don’t necessarily think a girl would screw that process up, but I want to have my shit together. It’s not that I don’t now, but I know I can be better. I can better me.

One of my previous girlfriends cheated. I don’t even think we were together that long. I really liked her. And it sucked but I was pathetic. I didn’t want to be alone. I didn’t want to end anything because I felt so insecure and I told myself I could make it work. Guess what? It didn’t work out and here I am. And I didn’t need it. I didn’t need her.

How many times have you told someone that they can do better? How many times have you pleaded with a bestie to dump that other person because they have zero potential to leave a positive impact on them?

How many times have you asked yourself that about the guy or girl you’re pursuing?

Love is sometimes supposed to be “selfish.” That’s not always such a bad thing. Ask yourself these things. Your happiness should be a priority and if that’s overbearing for the person you’re with or you think you’re asking for too much, then one or both of you aren’t ready.

You need to master the art of loving yourself first before you can ever successfully exchange love with someone else.

It sucks, doesn’t it? Sometimes it’s hard so it’s good to take a step back and do what I did and am doing: take a breather, and focus on you. I’ve always said this, and I’ll say it again: being with someone should never complete you or fulfill; it should only ever add to your happiness and your world. The second it starts to subtract or take away is the same second you should be heading for the door.

In reality, I could throw numbers and statistics at you. I could map out all the strategies and keys in dating. You could memorize everything I say or write. But it won’t fix your loneliness or bad luck with dating. I’ve always felt that a proper relationship takes the right timing, a lot of luck and the right person.

Focus on you if you’re spending Valentine’s Day alone tomorrow. See a movie with some friend or by yourself. Go to your favorite restaurant alone or if you’re broke just watch the Black Mirror on Netflix because it’ll blow your mind. You don’t need a significant other to be happy. Love yourself and the sky’s the limit.

I’ve been cheated on. I’ve been lied to. I’ve been misused. And I could easily sit here and despise tomorrow and women and anything having to do with love and justify all of those resentful and negative feelings. But I don’t. Worse yet, I’ve been a shitty boyfriend, at times. I’ve taken some people I’ve been with for granted. I was even naive enough to the point that I thought being a nice guy was the only qualification I needed to be a good partner. Those bad relationships and even the few good ones I’ve had are in my past; they weren’t right for me, I wasn’t right for them. This book I’m writing, my life, didn’t need them to be a permanent part of its storyline.

I don’t plan on ever being perfect but I want to get better. Those statistics up there? I know for sure I’ll be a death statistic. Hopefully when I’m old as hell and please, let it be in my sleep in the middle of the fortieth Star Wars film Disney releases. I don’t want to be one of those divorce statistics though. Maybe that’ll be out of my control, but the one thing I can change is to be a better person. More specifically, I want to be a better man so when I meet that girl, when it’s right, I’ll be more than enough. And when that happens, I won’t need her to validate me or complete me. She’ll be a consistent and healthy addition to my happiness and my world and I’ll have something extra to do on days like tomorrow. For now, I’m content, and if you’re in the same position as me, you should be, too.

Besides, who needs a girlfriend when I’ve got two adorable kittens, a bag full of Peachie O’s and Ted 2 on the tele?

Featured photo credit: DeviantArt

Some Terribly Random Dating Tips that aren’t that Terrible

By | Blog, Dating / Relationships, Life Stuff | One Comment

A fellow blogger and I got together and threw this one together over a week or so.  

1. You don’t need a girlfriend to be happy.   In fact, if you believe this to be the case, you aren’t ready for a dating relationship, my dear friend.  Your girlfriend, if and when you find someone willing to deal with who you are, should never be who completes you, but someone who adds to you.  She should be complementary, not necessary.  Living without that person, breaking up with them, or them leaving you should definitely make you upset or sad to think imagine or experience.  At the end of the day, though, you will survive, and you must allow happiness to ensue with or without.  If you can’t make yourself happy, how do you expect to make another person happy?

2. Nice guys don’t finish last.  Losers finish last.  Don’t be a loser.  The fact of the matter is that you can deliver the flowers, take her to her favorite restaurant, be there for her when she’s devastated or ecstatic, and be the best man for her a woman could ever want, and she could still find a reason to break it off.  You can be her best friend always searching for the right timing to make a move and try to elevate your friendship to the next level and then you’re friend-zoned (and now a moment of silence to our fallen brothers that have been plopped there).   It’s not because you’re too nice or not nice enough.  It is because she isn’t the right one for you.  Don’t ever buy into the idea that nice guys don’t ever get the girl.  Just be patient, hold tight, and, well, hurry up and wait.  Because one day, a girl is going to walk into that coffee shop you spend so much time reading your books and jamming out to Ed Sheeran at.  And that woman is going to make you see why it never worked with that one girl you did everything for, that one girl you had who left you, and that other girl who was your best friend that didn’t want to ruin the friendship by dating.  Don’t even worry about finishing or winning or whatever it is guys go on about… just focus on you, bettering you, and making yourself the best man you can be for this mystical coffee shop girl you’ll possibly eventually meet.

3. Don’t be hypocritical about appearances.  I absolutely have to include this one.  I’ve heard it too many times, and I’m not necessarily ashamed to admit I used to feel this way: ”I’m ugly but I’m a really smart and nice guy.  Pretty girls don’t like me.  Why can’t I date a pretty girl?” And my up-to-date response to that is it’s because you’re not good looking, duh.  Just kidding.  Seriously though, this is terribly backwards.  You don’t think you’re a good looking person, but you only want to date good looking girls? If you want to only date pretty girls, and you’re aware of your flaws when it comes to your appearance, I’d say you need to reassess what you value in a possible partner.  Would you date a girl you deem less attractive?  Hmmm. If you honestly believe that true beauty lies within, then accept the fact that it also isn’t a one way street.  And get your head out of your butt.

4. She isn’t perfect.  And neither are you.  (Or rather, she won’t be perfect, and you still aren’t, in case you’re single, which, by the way, isn’t a bad thing.)  If you think you’re flawless, you can eat that idea, digest it, defecate that, then eat it again.  Don’t be surprised when you wake up next to her and she has morning breath.  Guess what?  Yours probably smells worse.  This is when what most call the “honeymoon phase” ends, because you become more aware of the other’s flaws.  She’s obsessed with a genre of music you can’t stand.  She doesn’t shave her armpits.  She is really naggy and complains about how messy you are.  Maybe the biggest risk in dating is allowing someone to see the worst parts of you and they still say, “Oh, how lovely,” and choose to accept you for all you are.  I suppose I’m just giving you a warning about something you’re probably already well aware of.   Regardless, far too many of us are surprised or caught off guard when the imperfections start rolling out.  A person is a combination of both their pluses and minuses.  That’s what makes that said person beautiful, exquisite, and so intricate.

5. And to close, some dating destination tips.  Don’t ask her to pick the restaurant.  The feelings derived from this peculiar situation is equivalent to trying to watch a YouTube video on dial-up.  I’d suggest either eating something prior to seeing her, so it’s not an issue, or planning ahead and not spontaneously deciding to go eat food.  Seriously.  This problem has ruined relationships. Take her to see a movie she wants to see.   Okay, so the chances that you’ll find a girl that enjoys a good thriller or action movie are slim.  That’s not a sexist thing.  If you’re a girl and if you’ll sit through Black Hawk Down and the Manchurian Candidate, more power to ya (and where have you been all my life?).  There is nothing wrong with a guy enjoying a good chick flick.  The Fault in our Stars was good.  I even read the book, which was better.  Even if you hate that nonsense, it’ll prove to her you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone to make her happy or to make her more comfortable.  And hey, maybe that would convince her to see the new Star Wars movie when it comes out at the end of this year.

 

And five more tips from Rebecca.  (Follow her on Twitter here

1. You don’t need a boyfriend, girlfriend, or anyone to make you happy. Like my co-author expressed above, you don’t need a partner to make you happy, and he’s absolutely right. If you think you need someone else to make you happy, then you aren’t ready for anything remotely serious. One of the hardest pills to swallow is that you need to love yourself before you love anyone else. This statement gets many eye rolls, but it’s something I’ve found to be true. If you’re not comfortable in your own skin, and if you can’t appreciate who you are, then what makes you think anyone else is going to do that for you? The problem is, when you rely on a significant other, or anyone else, to make you happy, you’re stuck with a huge question mark about who you are over your head. The source of your happiness is gone, so you’re left confused, sad, and unfulfilled. Who wants to feel like that? Not me. Be your own hero.

2. If you’re not having fun while dating, something isn’t being done right. My whole policy on dating is this: if you’re not having fun going on dates or seeing someone, then something isn’t being done right. Dating is meant to be fun.Whether you’re trying to audition potential life partners or you’re going on dates to figure out what you like or what’s out there, if you’re not having fun or enjoying yourself, there’s got to be something else going on. Figure out what you want, or reevaluate some of your dating choices. I have no shame in admitting that I was not having a good time dating at one point. It took some serious self-evaluation to figure out why, but it was definitely time well-spent.

3. It’s okay to be selfish. Don’t stop reading, hear me out. This is the most important piece of advice I give anyone when they’re out there, trying to figure out what they want in any aspect of their life. It’s okay to be selfish when you’re looking for what you want. How else are you going to find what you want if you’re not thinking about it? Relationships are work, and there’s mutual respect and some sacrifice that needs to be done. But, before you can give something you’re all, you need to know what it is you want in return, and you have to think about it. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself if this is going to make you happy. That’s the whole point of finding someone, you need to be able to make each other happy, but you need to know what makes you happy first.

4. Falling Off the Face of the Planet Syndrome needs to be stopped. I have countless friends, both men and women, that fall off the face of the planet for months after they decide to exclusively date someone. Even worse, there are some that get into relationships and cut everyone off. The only thing they do is hang out with their significant other. Yes, I get there’s a honeymoon stage. No, I’m not saying I haven’t been guilty of this, too. It needs to stop, though. We’re your friends, we get it. You’re happy, and we’re happy that you’ve found someone that makes you this happy. Yet, when we don’t hear from you for weeks, or you bail on long term plans, it’s taking friendship and throwing it down the drain. You’re disrespecting  the  relationships you’ve had for one relationship with someone you’ve just included in your life.  Don’t commit what Carrie Bradshaw called the “cardinal sin,” forsaking your girlfriends for your new boyfriend. Then, if a break up ensues, who are you going to have to lean on? The friends you bailed on, or haven’t texted for weeks? Many of them might not be that forgiving. From what I’ve learned, relationships are all about having a balance. Each person in the relationship needs their own life, with their own interests, friends, and so on. Then, you see how well you can create a life together, while still maintaining a sense of self. Remember, when (or if) that person bails, you’re going to need other things to fall back on, you know, like your own life?

5. This is your equal, not your Sugar Daddy or Mommy. Relationships are about balance. No one should have to pay for everything the entire time, or take the other person out constantly. I know that the old-fashioned rule is that the man should pay for everything, but it’s 2014, and those times are over. That mentality was built during at time where women didn’t work, or make much money on their own, where men were trumping top paying positions. There’s a new age of women working, and are inching closer (not fast or close enough yet, in my opinion), to making just as much, and in some cases, more than men. Just try and have mutual respect for each other, and not max out each other’s credit cards in the name of love. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to spend a bit on your honey, but don’t abuse it.