Category Archives: Love

Getting inside my head…

During my weekly reading (last week) of Postsecret (if you don’t read it, you should), I came across a secret that struck me in an incredibly profound way.

Um, wow. I stared at it for an incredibly long time.  The “secret” completely resonated with me and I found that surprising.  On my fave show, The Biggest Loser, the contestants are often forced (by Jillian, of course) to overcome their conscious and subconscious emotional struggles with food/weight/obesity.  I have always had a hard time identifying how I got to where I am today with my body.  Lots of previous contestants have been through difficult experiences — accidents, loss of close family members, abusive situations, etc. — that seemed to trigger their weight gain or that have held them back from losing weight in the past.

I honestly can’t say that I have been through anything truly difficult (fortunately).  Sure, I’ve had my heart broken and law school was a tortuous experience, but I don’t think that either of these trials were solely responsible for or triggers for my weight gain.  I was always “bigger” than my peers, though looking back, I really just developed earlier than my friends and had a more muscular body type, but I didn’t really start my consistent weight gain until after my junior year of high school.  (It’s all relative now, isn’t it? If I could go back in time, I would have worn a bikini every day from May 2000 through August 2001.)  Some years have been worse in terms of weight gain than others, but I can’t figure out what emotionally points me towards food and what holds me back from my potential in terms of losing weight.

So when I saw the secret and felt so connected to it, I surprised myself.  I wouldn’t normally think that I am afraid of post-weight loss rejection, at least not consciously. However, earlier in the day that I saw the secret, I had been talking to Miss PR, — well, I’d been throwing a pity party about how all my friends are in lurve and I am not, and she was listening — and she pointed out that in a recent discussion we’d had on pretty much the same topic I had said I wasn’t ready to meet anyone because I felt self-conscious about my appearance.  Well played, Miss PR, well played.

There are so many layers to body image and weight loss and self-confidence that it’s hard sometimes to tie everything together and see how it all affects you.  But she’s right —  I have said that I don’t feel good enough about myself to date (or be set up, which is what PR wants to do to me I’m sure…) and at the same time, I feel so ready to have a partner and so jealous of my friends who have found their mates.  So it seems that until I feel better about myself, I won’t be ready to meet someone but I continually fail in my attempts to lose weight and feel better about myself, which leads me to think maybe there is some connection between all of this and the secret — that I am afraid that I will lose the weight and still be alone and that will be just as hard.

But I know that it’s hard for everyone — fit or not, and I think that if I am going to be alone, it would probably be more fun if I can shop anywhere I want to (you know how I feel about plus size clothes).  I’m trying to spend some time on the emotional side of my body issues in an effort to work out the physical/nutritional side.  Bear with me — I’m sure this exploration will lead to many more blog posts about the connections between my emotional and physical well-being.

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PB doesn’t just stand for “peanut butter.”

It also stands, or should I say used to stand, for “pretend boyfriend.”  Or at least it did in my world.  I have had more “pretend boyfriends” than I could ever possibly count, but a few really stand out in my mind.  But first, I suppose I should explain what I mean when I say PBs.  Some might describe them as the stalking victims of my adolescence.  I prefer to explain that they were boys I had somewhat unreasonable crushes on when I was much younger and must less mature.  When I say unreasonable, I mean extreme.  And usually my victims, I mean PBs, were guys I didn’t even know very well.  They more like vessels for me to project the romantic fantasies (think sweet, not slutty) of my vivid imagination upon.

In high school, my major PB was a basketball player who was a year older than me.  We had a class together when he was a senior and I was junior.  I thought it was lurve.  Problem: I had briefly “dated” (if we couldn’t drive does it still count?) his younger brother the year before.  Oh, and I barely knew him and I am pretty confident we had nothing in common, except for the fact that he was the only white basketball player and I was the only white cheerleader (I’m really giving myself away here, but hey, it was a million years ago and I think he probably knew about it anyway).  GO Hornets!  So in my infinite crazy I did the following:

1) Drove by his house on the weekends.  I figured this was relatively safe because if I got caught I could either say I was actually stalking his brother (I’m not sure how that was better in my 17-year-old mind, but it was) or that I was going to his next-door neighbor’s house because I had dated him too.  (I realize all this dating makes me sound more popular than I was, but seriously, I was a tool who wore short-alls and ribbons in her hair in high school).

2) Traded another cheerleader to have him as my “basketball buddy” so I would be in charge of making all of his spirit snacks for the season.  I spent an inappropriate amount of time on his senior poster too.

3)  After Miss Rose and I convinced our first period class to have a Valentine’s Day party (we were the only girls in a class full of senior boys, good thing they were semi-nerdy), I painstakingly picked out the flirtiest Valentine that came in the set I purchased and put it in his Valentine sack.  Seriously. I was 17. And that actually happened.

Fortunately for him, I started dating another junior just before my Bball PB graduated so he didn’t have to worry about me stalking him to college.  My next major PB came along in college and I am afraid to admit that I was far creepier with College PB than Bball PB. I know, you didn’t think that was possible, but with me, it totally was.  Again, I didn’t really know him that well, but we did have a lot of mutual friends and he was a smart, frat boy — sometimes really hard to come by.  So I did what I do best, I fixated:

1)  Found excuses to cross paths with him on campus, at parties or at his frat house.

2)  “Borrowed” at hat from him without his knowledge.  (For the record, I had accomplices — I’m looking at you, Miss Dubs.)

3)  Not-so-loosely based the main character in the epic romance saga I wrote my senior year of college on him . . . Yeah, that was pretty bad.

I fell out of “love” with College PB when he a) asked a mutual friend for Miss K2’s phone number and b) started dating a girl I went to high school with.  It was just too much.  Unfortunately, washing my hands of him effectively ended my work on the next great American smut novel, much to the disappointment of my roommates.

I wasn’t nearly as into my Law School PB as I had been with my previous PBs.  But I did look for any excuse to cross paths with him and I may or may not have drunkenly forced him to take a party pic with me at the law school Halloween party.  He was more just someone to talk about than anything else.  Also, I was fascinated by how incredibly weird he was.

I think all three of these people just served as faces for the men in my daydreams and in my “novel.”  I turned them into who I wished they were and used them as muses in my creative outlet — writing.  But I don’t think I had any real feelings for any of them.  I’d like to say that I’ve outgrown my PB obsession, but honestly, I probably haven’t.  In fact, when I don’t have a real object of affection/admiration/desire, I default to my current PB, who I will not identify for fear that it will get back to him.  It’s nice to have a fake crush when I’m feeling bored, especially since I rarely have any real crushes.  For the most part it’s all in good fun and relatively harmless . . . unless they find out how truly creepy/stalkerish I am. . .

Anyone else ever have a “pretend boyfriend?”  Please tell me I wasn’t the only one who participated in the high school “drive-by!”  (I know I wasn’t because I vividly remember dragging the likes of Miss Rose, Miss BW and Miss PoliSci with me on many occasions!)

PS – I have no idea what possessed me to confess my crazy on the internet, but here it is.  I think Valentine’s Day helped me think of several relationship/love related post ideas.  Even though this post is mostly silly, it was fun for me to write and to remember how truly crazy I used to be.  Look how far I’ve come! =)

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Things That Make Being Single Not Suck

In honor, or maybe more accurately dishonor, of Valentine’s Day(aka Single Awareness Day), here are a few reasons that single isn’t so bad:

1.  If I want to eat cereal three meals a day, every day (a la Miss Agnes), no one cares.  In fact, I don’t have to take anyone into consideration at all when I cook.  I grew up in a family of non-picky eaters, but the older I get the more I appreciate the fact that I am not picky and that I do not have to cater to anyone else’s food needs/wants.

2.  I can sleep in the middle of the bed, wrapped up like a burrito. And I do.

3.  I don’t have to shave my legs if I don’t want to.

4.  I can watch what I want to watch when I want to watch it.  Hello, Veronica Mars, I Used to be Fat, and One Tree Hill.

 

Robert Buckley. If you aren't watching OTH, he is why you should be.

 

5.  I get to make my own schedule.  If someone invites me to do something, I can check my calendar and that’s it.  Not worrying about what someone else may or may not have planned is pretty darn nice.

6.  Silence.  Sometimes I want to walk around the house with my iPod on listening to an audiobook or sit in the living room and cut recipes out of magazines or fold laundry without talking to anyone or feeling like I should be talking to someone.  (Man, that made my life sound super glamorous.)

7.  I get to spend unlimited time with my friends and family.  I watch my friends do the boyfriend-friends-family juggle all the time, and while they do it well most of the time, it makes me appreciate that I can devote myself to my best friend for an evening when she comes to town without feeling guilty about not being with my SO or wishing that I was with SO.  No being torn between friends and boyfriend.

8.  Time.  I’ve already told you that I don’t think there are enough hours in the day.  Some weeks I can’t imagine when I would have time to go on a date if someone actually asked me.  Adding a relationship to my plate sounds really stressful sometimes.

9.  My money is my money.  From what I hear, combining finances can be a huge pain for a couple.  It’s nice to be able to go buy something without running it by anyone else.

10.  Mobility.  If I decided tomorrow that I wanted to pick up and move to, well anywhere, I could do it.  Without worrying about how/if it would affect my relationship.  No stressing about whether my SO would want to come, SO finding a job, co-habitating, long distance relationships, etc.  I could just pack up and leave.  (Note: I currently have no intention of doing this.  I have a good job and am only licensed to practice law in the State of Oklahoma.)

Honestly, I thought I could come up with a much longer list than this.  And really everything I wrote boils down to having freedom and independence.  While I appreciate my current freedoms, I’ve had them for a long time, and as I get older, I crave them less.  It’s been 9 years since I moved out of my parents house.  I have spent the last decade soaking up my independence.  As much as I enjoy doing my own thing, I don’t think it would bother me to incorporate someone else into my day-to-day life.  That said, I don’t necessarily think I would be very good at it.

What do like about being single? Or in the alternative, what do you miss the most about being single now that you are in a relationship?

Happy Single Awareness/Valentine’s Day!

* Click on images for source. Warning: Source for Robert Buckley picture is NSFW.

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Fatal Un-attraction

 

Seriously, how freakin' scary is Glenn Close in this movie?! Eeep!

 

 

I often attribute my lackluster love life to the fact that I rarely meet anyone I truly like. I know that I am pretty picky and that I am not one to entertain flirtation for the sake of flirtation/attention.  I don’t cut guys (or people in general for that matter) very much slack for doing/wearing/saying things that I disagree with or don’t appeal to me.  I am easily annoyed at times and a self-proclaimed intellectual snob.  Given that glowing description, it’s a wonder I have any friends at all.

While that is all true in a way, I’ve begun to wonder whether “not liking anyone” is more of a defense mechanism I have created to protect myself from rejection than the actual reality of meeting very few people I feel both compatible with and attracted to.  Let’s keep it real — I am not at my personal best right now.  I know this, and I think it is apparent to most people around me.  I’m a smart girl with a nice personality and a pretty face.  Oh, and I guess you can say I’m funny sometimes too. Or I like to think I am.  Nice personality + pretty face + funny = Well, we all know what it means when someone is described in that fashion, but for the sake of honestly, it equals fat/unattractive/not someone you would normally be into but she’s cool so MAYBE, just maybe you’ll overlook her slight (or rather large actually) physical flaws for the sake of a good sense of humor… .  I know I’m no prize physical specimen at this point, and I haven’t been for a long, long time.  As much as I would love to think that it doesn’t matter or that it shouldn’t matter, it does.  I’m equally guilty of judging books by their covers so I don’t begrudge guys who judge me in the same fashion.

That said, I will never have the body of Marissa Miller and any guy who wants a girl to look like that in real life probably isn’t the guy for me anyway.  But I am capable of looking like a better version of me.  I am confident that when I start to look better I will start to feel better about myself and that will be reflected in my personality as well.  The real question is, will feeling better about how I look make me like other people more?

I kind of hope so.  I feel like I could count the number of guys I’ve met in the last six or seven years that I really, truly liked and have actually wished liked me back on a couple of fingers (maybe just one?).  And that scares me.  I don’t want to be so limited or picky or unreasonable that I end up alone.  So I’m actually starting to hope that maybe my inability to really like anyone stems more from a desire to keep people at bay than from there not really being anyone out there who truly strikes my fancy.  I know I can’t click with everyone, but the fact that I almost never click with anyone is a little frightening.  It would be nice to at least meet a few guys I find interesting, a few guys I’d actually want to give my phone number to or who I could envision sharing sushi with.  Right now, I just can’t see it though and for once I hope that it’s not them, it’s me.

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Inept.

Most of the time, being single doesn’t bother me that much.  You probably don’t believe me because on here it seems like I talk about it all.the.time.  But really, it isn’t that big of a deal in general.  I have lots and lots to do and I have only met a couple of people in the last few years that I was genuinely interested in to even want to go out with (not that they panned out, obvs).  So, no big deal, right?

Well, today I was talking to Miss Agnes about something or other and I said that I hadn’t been on a date since 2004. 2004?! Can that possibly be right?! Well, actually, it can.  Miss Agnes assured me that no one goes on dates so really it isn’t like that.  While I appreciate her efforts, the truth is, it is like that.  I haven’t been in a mutually interested semi-romantic relationship of any kind since 2004.  Not even a we only stay in and watch movies together and no one knows we’re actually seeing each other type of relationship.  It may even be possible that no guy has asked for my phone number since then… Okay, that’s not true, but they haven’t asked because they want to be my boo boo (boo boo boo boo <– that’s for you, Miss H!)

When I think about the fact that it has been 6, almost 7 years, since I actually felt like a boy liked me/wanted to date me, well, that feels bad.  That feels like a big deal.  That feels like being sentenced to a lifetime of singleness.  I know it isn’t the end of the world, He’s out there, blah, blah, blah.  For goodness gracious, I’m the one telling my friends to have hope all the time! But when I think about all the years that have passed where I not only haven’t met Him, but I haven’t actually met anyone remotely interested in me who I was also remotely interested in? Well, that is down right scary.

In another recent convo with Miss PoliSci, I was explaining that my high school sweetheart recently blew my phone up at like 3 a.m. and then I realized that we are a mere 6 months shy of hitting the 10 year mark from our first date.  Seriously, we dated 10 years ago and you are still calling me at 3 a.m.? ! (I should prob note that we dated for 2 years and broke up for the 3, so it’s only been about 5 years that I have been relatively over him — or as over as anyone ever is about their first love.)  I honestly don’t know if I should be flattered or discouraged or just plain weirded out.  If you still want to talk to me at 3 a.m. after 10 years, maybe that whole breaking up deal was a bad plan.  Okay, I don’t believe that, but it is really tempting to think, well, you still think about me so maybe since no one else is calling at 3 a.m. I should work on giving you another shot.  But then Miss PoliSci looks at me like I have lost my mind, which clearly I have, and I come back to my senses. Hey, that’s what friends are for, right?

I think it is clear that I’m not much of a “dater.”  I really never was.  I have only had one significant relationship and can only think of two other people who had a major impact on me even though we never seriously dated.  It doesn’t bother me that much that I am not the dating type.  I know that I’m a hypercritical, intellectual snob who will only give someone the time of day after I’ve decided that I do in fact find them incredibly interesting.  I know that about myself.  The thing that is scary is not remembering how to date or flirt or talk to members of the opposite sex in a non-platonic way when He finally walks through that door and actually wants to talk to me.  I have no concept of how that’s going to work out for me . . .

I know that dating is hard for everyone, but when you get literally no practice, it seems that much scarier.  Which makes it really, really easy to retreat into my awkward turtle shell and stay there. By myself.  No one wants to date a turtle shell though.  I want to be ready to come out, but I don’t feel like I am.  I don’t feel confident — not just because of my lack of flirting skills, but also because of my general weirdness and my body.  So maybe if I can figure out how to feel better about those things coming out of the dark safety of the shell will be less hard.

Have you taken a dating hiatus? How did you pull yourself out of it?

PS – Clearly declaring I was going to participate in NaBloPoMo was a sure-fire way to drain me of all blog inspiration for the entire month of November. Epic Fail. Ah, well, there’s always next year…

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Shifting Focus

As previously mentioned, I’m a total wedding junkie and my fave wedding blogging website is Weddingbee.com.  I have a giant girl/relationship crush on Mrs. Pretzel and in this post she pretty much sums up everything I want to focus on right now.  In the post she talks a lot about faith and praying for Mr. Pretzel (before they met) and her future life with Mr. Pretzel.  And she said this:

In the later half of my tumultuous twenties there came a point in time where I decided that I was through with dating. I needed to focus on myself and my relationship with friends, family and God. I was confident that if I did those things that I would know when I was ready to date and meet my future husband. I had no idea how long it would take, and to be honest, I didn’t think about it. I worked at becoming a happier, more well-balanced Pretzel. I strengthened relationships with family and with other women. I focused on work, faith, friends, and family.

I felt like this passage just called to me.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but sometimes you read something or hear something or see something that speaks so clearly to you that you can’t ignore it or pretend it wasn’t meant for you.  Mrs. Pretzel said everything I’ve been thinking about and said it in a way challenged me to do more. And better.

I feel like I have spent a lot of time in 2010 trying to be a better me.  And in a lot of ways I think I have been successful.  I am more satisfied in my job than I have ever been, I have cast a wider social net through church and book clubs and my sorority, I have found a place to give back to the community that I am truly passionate about, and I have gotten to a better place in several of my friendships.  I’m really proud of all of these things, but there is something I pledged at the beginning of the year that I would do that haven’t.  I honestly haven’t even tried to do it.

I shared several months ago that I was trying to focus this year on being satisfied that God is enough for me.  He is my number One and that my hypothetical spouse one day will be my number Two.  I’ve probably barely even thought about it since I blogged it.  FAIL.  But I think that Mrs. Pretzel essentially said the same thing in her post — the goal is to work on your self so that when God puts the right person in your life your heart is prepared.  I want that. So much.

I also want to feel like a more balanced version of my self. I went from doing nothing during the week and partying like a 22-year-old on the weekends to having a different activity almost every week night and wanting to lay on the couch on the weekends, the ones that I’m actually home anyway.  I want to feel more centered, a little more in control, a little less programmed.

So today I am re-committing to my original plan to shift my focus from worrying where/when/how I’ll meet Mr. Right to finding joy and fulfillment in my God, my family, my friends and my favorite activities.*  I want to minimize the drama and the crap and the filler and to maximize the happiness and the hope and the faith.  I feel like I’ve been waiting for something to happen to me instead investing my efforts into the things that are actually happening around me all the time.  I want to build a fulfilling life for myself so that when I meet someone I’m still rooted to the things that have always been important to me.

So for right now, I’m happy that it’s just my god and me.

How do you find balance in your life? What ways do you feel like you try to draw out your best self and nurture the important relationships in your life?

* I realize this makes it sound like I am sitting at home twiddling my thumbs waiting to meet some hypothetical person.  That’s not entirely true.  I really do have a wonderful life that is full of awesome people, but at my age and stage in life it is really difficult not to be romantic relationship focused.

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Ten Days: Day 10

Today is confession day. Truth time.

Many moons ago a friend, who I will not name here for fear that she might reach through the bowels of the internet and bludgeon me, and I took advantage of a free seven-day pass to match.com.  Much winking ensued.  Then came the witty banter via email — which took hours to craft and only seconds to read.  Then there was a date.  That’s right, I went on a date with a person from the internet. There, I said it. Judge away.

I know a lot of my peers think that they/we are too young to internet date.  I think that it’s less about your age and more about where you are in your life.  At the time, I was bored and a little lonely and felt like it was hard to meet people because I already knew everyone in my itty bitty law school.  And it was free. I mean, come on.

The guy I went on the date with was incredibly funny via email and had a cute, kind of edgy profile pic so when he suggested we meet I accepted.  I planned an emergency phone call/text to my friend just in case he was a serial killer and told my roommate where I was going to be.  And we had drinks.  And he was nice, but came off much more feminine in person.  I’m not saying he was a girly-man, but he just wasn’t as masculine as I prefer. (Alas, no beard.)

And he had one of my biggest turn-offs: small, slender, delicate-looking hands.  He was perfectly nice and we had enough to talk about but there was no chemistry.  I also kind of felt like he was way too excited about me.  I know that sounds ridiculous, but he kept telling me how pretty I was and how this was his best match.com date ever, etc. and it made me feel like he thought I was too good for him which made me think that maybe I was.  Yes, I was a shallow, vain 22-year-old.  Sue me.

After the date, I told him I had a nice time, which wasn’t a lie, but when he tried to follow-up a few days later to hang out, I blew him off.  And after my free trial, I gave up on the ole match.com.  And I never told anyone else about the date.

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