Seriously. I’m so easily amused by fireworks, I can’t help but grin from ear-to-ear every time I get to watch a show.
Dear Single Ladies,
I was having a conversation with a friend recently. She’s about my age, she’s single, and she is, I can attest, an all around amazing person. I hadn’t seen her in a while, so I asked about the status of her love life. She told me that she’s currently ‘hanging out’ with someone.
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“Well, we’ve hung out a few times. He’s great.”
“OK, so are you guys going out? Is he your boyfriend?”
“No. I don’t think so. But we’re hanging out. We’re talking.”
“Well, of course you’re speaking to each other…
Do you talk to him on the phone? Do you see him a lot?”
“No, we mostly text. I’ve seen him a few times since we started hanging out.”
I left that conversation confused, because confusion is the name of the game these days. Everyone is confused. Being single means being confused. Everyone is so confused that they don’t even know what words to use when describing their relationships. USA Today did a survey of singles a while back, and they discovered something that’s been apparent for years: nobody has any idea what’s going on in their own love lives. Close to 70 percent don’t know if they’re on a date when they go on a date. I guess that’s because most of us are too busy “hanging out.”
What is that, ladies? How old are we? It went from courting, to dating, to hanging out. Sometimes even hanging out reeks of too much commitment, in which case ‘talking’ can be used.
Why should a grown women be afraid to ask for a commitment, to take the lead, to say what they want, to make long term plans, set boundaries, create goals, to pursue, to talk about the future?
We are devolving into submissive behavior, losing the ability to even discuss our own behavior using words and sentences. I get it… It’s not easy having “The Talk.” The average single American man is now relegated to grunts and shrugs and ‘whatevers’ and ‘you knows’ when pressed to have a conversation about his dating habits. And, speaking of which, let’s chill with the ‘hooking up’ thing. That phrase makes you sound like a teenage boy. Grown women relying on the vague, timid code words of high school freshmen. It’s embarrassing.
Time to end the nonsense, ladies. It’s time to be grown ups. It’s time to WOMAN up. I know the term ‘man up’ offends a lot of people nowadays, but truly, ladies, let’s stand up for what we want.
Trust me, I’m not innocent. I have also subscribed to this hazy, undefined dating-but-not-dating scene. I’ve never liked it, because nobody does. I’ve never found any happiness in it, because nobody does. But in every case, I was a part of the problem. I was treating myself like a scared little girl, afraid of heartbreak, being alone, afraid of rejection, afraid of the future, afraid of being betrayed, afraid of being loved. Just afraid, really. Afraid of everything.
One day, I will meet Mr. Right. He is looking for a grown woman, and he is sick of playing games. So am I. So do you know what we will do very early in our relationship?
We will define our terms.
We will make our goals clear.
We will be open with each other.
We will speak about the future.
We will use words like ‘marriage.’
We will be clear and convicted and purpose driven. We will have ambitions for our partnership. Ambitions. Can you believe it? We will be in it for a reason. I want it to become something.
See, I’ve been floating like aimless debris through an ocean of cloudy intentions and half-heartedness, until I grew up and realized that romance isn’t a game, and most grown men aren’t jerks. They want women who know what they want and aren’t afraid to verbalize it. And if they don’t want that, then they aren’t worth your energy. Get out now. If Peter Pan still wants to pretend he’s in tenth grade, let him live that fantasy with someone else.
With Mr. Right things will be pretty clear from the get-go. We will have a relationship– a real, live relationship. Imagine that?!
I’ve had several failed dating ‘situations’ before I realized I deserve better. Some ‘hangouts’ collapsed within months, others took considerably longer. But all of them were eventually destroyed by problems that were clearly evident, in the first… I don’t know, five minutes or so!
And, yes, I get it. Our disastrous modern approach to dating (or whatever) isn’t all the fault of one gender. But there’s no point in parceling out the blame. All you can do, single ladies, is get your own selves together. Take the lead.
Here’s some brutal honesty for you: if you ‘aren’t ready for something serious,’ then you need to go get yourself ready and leave guys alone until you do. You can’t go out and have sex (I mean, ‘hook up,’ as Mr. Immature might call it) and then pretend that you ‘aren’t ready for something serious.’ It’s too late, friend. Sex IS something serious.
Can you imagine if an airline pilot pulled that kind of stunt?
“Attention passengers. This is your captain speaking. I just want to tell you that, like, I don’t want things to get weird or whatever, but I’m not really into being a captain right now. I mean, yeah, I chose to take a plane full of souls up 32 thousand feet into the air at a cruising speed of 600 miles per hour, but I don’t want you think that this is, like, official, you know? I’ve got your lives in my hands, but I don’t want this to get serious. In fact, actually, look, I’m just gonna bail now. I’ve got my parachute. You don’t but that’s your problem. I got what I wanted out of this. So, uh, yeah. Bye. Enjoy your fiery demise!” Only, for this analogy to work, the captain would send that in a text message, because he lacks even the fortitude to verbalize it.
If you’re a grown woman, get serious. What are you waiting for? You’re an adult now. It’s go time. Recess is over. If you still aren’t ready to be serious about love, that’s OK, but just stay out of it entirely in the meantime.
No matter what anyone does, or says, or thinks; no matter what we tell ourselves; no matter what society insists, romantic relationships are always serious business. Call it what you want — hanging out, talking, dating — there are two hearts involved in it. That means you have a responsibility, alright? You have a duty as a human being, as an adult, as a woman.
You are making yourself vulnerable to him, and vise versa. You need to honor that, protect it. And if you aren’t looking for anything but cheap sex and another trophy of sexual conquest to hang on the wall in your studio apartment, then you need to reconsider, because you’ll be compromising your safety and bringing nothing but chaos into your life.
If you’re hanging out with a man and you feel like you might be into him, tell him. Call him on the phone. Go out on a dates. Say the words: “I’d like get to know you better.” No ambiguity. Men want you to be decisive. Lose the whole “I’m cool with whatever you want…” schtick. Take charge. Have a conversation with him. Go mini golfing or something. Go somewhere. Put your phone away. Open up to him. Share your ideas, your dreams, your fears. Get to know him. Invest yourself in the process, as scary and unsure as it may seem. Take a risk, ladies. Go out on a limb for once. Be purposeful. Be desirable. Be a WOMAN.
You wouldn’t go into a job interview and tell the interviewer that you aren’t sure if you want the job, and you don’t want to even talk about the job because it freaks you out and gives you a tummy ache, would you? So don’t do that to yourself, or the men you’re dating, or hanging out with, or talking to, or whatever…
In the old days, they called it courting. It was a lot like dating, but with more of a point and less confusion. Maybe we should get back to that strategy. Enough with hanging out and hooking up. We’re grown women. They’re grown men. You deserve more, and so do they.
P.S. This post is 100% inspired by the opposite version originally posted here. Since I believe in equality, I figured to be fair, it needs to be said to both genders. 😉
I’ve seen it happen way too many times: The nice girl loses the guy for being exactly who she is. What’s even worse is she will probably lose him and say nothing about it. She’ll accept it as something he truly wants and give him her best wishes, as he walks away being everything she could ever want.
On behalf of all the nice girls out there, this is to the guy who walked out on the best thing that ever happened to him:
Dear Guy Who Walked Away,
It’s not like you weren’t aware of what you were getting yourself into. She told you she was nice. Even though she was vulnerable, she trusted easily and gave you all she could when she could.
We live in a generation where we are expected to wear masks and play parts to make it through the battlefield of dating in the 21st century. We play these games where being authentic can only happen sometimes, and playing hard-to-get must be our number one priority. Why?
I thought the ultimate goal was to eventually settle down and share life with someone awesome. I mean, what is the point of dating if you have no desire for it to go anywhere? If a one-night stand is what you’re looking for, leave the good girls alone and, toy with the booty-call type.
The nice girl believes in doing things right. She went out of her way to make sure you knew just how much you could mean to someone. She ignored your fears and encouraged you to grow; she fought for your passions when you were too busy writing them off. Then you walked away because she was too nice.
Did it seem too easy? Maybe you prefer conflict and hardship as if everything else in life did not promise you an endless journey of just that. This is where you failed.
I won’t deny the simplicity of being single, and the ego stroke that comes with playing the field… But when it’s all said and done, is it ever more than just a good time? Probably not. You say, “There’s just something about her.” Perhaps you fear it’s the same quality that has hurt you in the past.
The nice girl has been hurt too. She just chose to stay nice. She learned that different people were going to provide her different experiences in life. The nice girl also chose not to let any of it change WHO she was.
So, she let you walk away and she called it a day. People always say there are plenty of fish in the sea, so she let you go, knowing this, even though it hurt.
Someone else is out there, and he won’t be as foolish you. When you realize all you really want is the nice girl who cares about you too much, it will be too late. Some other guy will see how amazing she is, and he won’t waste a minute.
So you lost your nice girl and, I promise, to you she was a gift. The nice girls are there to give you a break, to ignite something more than the games we identify our generation with.
She may have loved you too soon and it was too crazy and too much, but Phenomenal Women don’t happen every day; they happen never. She was the girl you were supposed to end up with, who makes everything change. I just wish you’d see it before another guy does because at the end of the day, everyone, including the nice girl you don’t deserve, is rooting only for you.
NOTE: This letter was 100% inspired by a blog post originally found: here
I’ve challenged myself to find 321 people in 31 days to donate $31 each to raise $10,000…. Why? I am raising money to launch a for-purpose-project called A Little More Hope; an online resource providing accessible education and support to survivors of sexual trauma. To donate visit www.youcaring.com/alittlemorehope
Recently my social media stream has been bombarded by selfies of beautiful women challenging each other to post photos without any makeup on. This got me thinking about how we use makeup as a mask to cover ourselves before going out of our comfort zone. I’m guilty of putting on mascara to take my dog for a walk, and I may have applied it before the gym on more than one occasion. I don’t know why?! I just get so used to seeing myself with makeup that sometimes it looks weird when I see my bare blonde eyelashes looking all naked and small over my saucer shaped blue eyes. I do it more for me than to impress anyone else… But ultimately that makes no sense because I can’t actually see my own eyelashes, so what difference should it make?! It makes me feel better. That’s all I can say. Anyway… In the spirit of celebrating natural beauty, here is a before and after of me first thing in the morning with zero makeup or hair effort (still in my jammies) next to my professional head shot. Which one looks more like the “real me” to you?
Recently I took my 16 year old cousin Dana to the Victoria Bug Zoo. Needless to say, it was a hilarious experience and not surprisingly, she was way braver than I was when it came to creepy crawlers. The millipede felt the most disgusting. I actually almost dropped it because it creeped me out so much. HA!
Soooo… I started my day getting ma hair and nails did at Luv salon, then lunch and wholehearted chats with my Mamma, surprise rose delivery from my Broski, and a dinner for three with two of the hottest dates in town! I’m a lucky lady… Grateful for all the Vday love today! Breathing it in, and sending it alllllllllll back to the Universe. Pretty sure being single on Valentine’s day is kinda awesome! Here’s to self love in 2014 and beyond!