Category Archives: Dating

54. Friends with benefits usually doesn’t benefit you.

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54.	Friends with benefits usually doesn’t benefit you.

Perhaps you’ve seen this great fantasy film, no, it’s not “Harry Potter.” The movie is called “Friends with Benefits.” In it, Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake both claim all they want from each other is sex – that way they will keep everything simple and uncomplicated between them. Then they cross an emotional line (yes, emotions were involved, go figure) and break up. At the end of the movie they get back together and are as happy as can be. No more friends with benefits but now it’s a true, bells are ringing relationship. This is why I refer to this film as a fantasy. Real life never plays out like Hollywood. If you are in a friends with benefits (FWB) relationship, chances are there aren’t many benefits. I’ve been in a few myself – usually after said “friend” and I have broken up. That’s the worst possible friends with benefits scenario by the way, because it will be very difficult for you to be able to move on. And it feels even worse when he’s the one to move on first. But being in this type of relationship, it really doesn’t matter if you’re in it because of a recent break up or you just hooked up with someone and you can’t unhook yourself. Here are five things to keep in mind if you are in a friends with benefit relationship or thinking of starting one:

  1. This man more than likely never will want more from you – even though you may find yourself wanting more from him.
  2. The more time you spend with him, the less time you may have to find someone who wants to be in a real relationship with you.
  3. Even though you tell yourself and your friends that you are open to meeting other people – most likely you’re not.
  4. If you’re following the FWB rulebook – and there are plenty of website and magazine “How To” articles on the subject – don’t expect a gift for your birthday or allow yourself to send him conversational texts during the day. And of course, when you do reach out to him at night, don’t expect an immediate response. (Huffington Post)
  5. According to Psychology Today, “when you’re looking for an FWB arrangement from the start, you’re forcing a new relationship into a box that may not fit, with a label that may misrepresent it.”

Word to the wise: You may as well be dating a married dude. They’re never available either. At least, not in the way you may want them to be.

What do you think about FWB relationships? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 101 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

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53. Love means having to say you’re sorry.

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When I was in my 20s, I had already seen a movie called “Love Story.” If you haven’t seen it, I sorry word written by red lipstickdon’t want to give out the tortured plot and conclusion, but I do want to refer to one of the most famous movie quotes of all time: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Beyond lame. And actually, I think it’s just the opposite. One thing to keep in mind however, I am a chronic apologizer. You don’t know how many times I’ve bumped a chair with my leg and said, “Sorry.” And then, “Oh, you’re just a chair!” But in real life, I’m probably guilty as well. I apologize profusely when I’m late, when something bad happened to someone that was completely out of my control, when I forget a hair appointment (which I never do – although I did once – just recently and my hairdresser was concerned that something had happened to me), and of course, when I bump into a chair. I looked up the word “sorry” in the dictionary and it says that it’s “used to introduce disappointing or bad news in a polite way.” I thought that was a really great definition. Of course, if someone said, “I’m sorry I slept with your best friend,” that probably wouldn’t cut it. However, I know it means a lot to me when other people apologize for what can appear to be seemingly small things. It does somehow cushion a blow. Even if it’s just rearranging or canceling a set plan or forgetting my birthday (which these days, is just fine with me) or even for being sick (this person was amazingly concerned and considerate), sorry shouldn’t have to be the hardest word. So, contrary to “Love Story,” I think we need be polite to those we love – especially our hairdressers!

Word to the wise: Say “sorry” more often. It can mean a lot even if it seems like whatever you’re apologizing for is no big deal.

When was the last time you apologized and why? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

49. Calling is for men, texting is for teenagers.

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What a stinger from Patti Stanger, a.k.a., “The Millionaire Matchmaker.” If you’ve ever 5d6a3bc5fcddfdebff9891850f78d127_width_640xwatched her show, you could say she’s kind of “old school” when it comes to dating. And mostly, so am I. Because I think in some ways, with women’s liberation, my generation and those that followed me got the short end of the stick. Men think we don’t need them anymore or that they don’t need to pursue us, because many of us will do their job for them. This is especially true in the case of young women. When social media is the norm and everyone is available every minute of every day via text, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapfish, etc., our communications with men become less special and I think we do, too. There was a time when we only had phones, you know the ones that had dials on them? Back then, it was generally easier to discern a man’s level of interest after a date. If you didn’t hear from him for a few days, or let’s say a week, you were fairly sure you wouldn’t hear from him again and said to yourself, “Next!” Today, the lines are so blurred. Even if someone isn’t that interested after a date, you might not know it. Texting breeds a kind of familiarity that if you don’t know someone, shouldn’t be there until you do. And it goes further than that. I’ve seen the most inappropriate texts between husbands and wives arguing over the most major issues in their marriage! It’s a great escape, isn’t it? You don’t have to cancel a date with someone by calling them, you don’t have to get to know someone by spending time with them and you certainly don’t have to be that interested to keep stringing someone along. And most important, you don’t have to talk to anyone!

Here are some more wise thoughts from a fellow blogger on dating in the digital age:

“While it seems more comfortable and convenient to communicate with friends via electronic messaging, it is actually a less effective way to establish a meaningful relationship. Conversations are shortchanged when you rely on texting, because you miss the emotional complexity that takes place in a face to face interaction.” You can read more of her thoughts at http://onceuponastruggle.com/2015/01/26/the-relationship-failure-of-the-digital-age/

Word to the wise: Real men may not eat quiche, but if they like you, they will call. Never forget that your voice is something truly special. And the guy you’re dating should want to hear it.

What do you think about dating in the digital age? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

45. When you gain something, you lose something. When you lose something, you gain something.

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Thanks to ScarJo for this profound bit of wisdom. No wonder she’s one of Barbara Walter’s “10 Most HiResFascinating People of 2014.” Although, I think she was quoting someone else. Needless to say, when I heard it, it hit me hard. I started to think about all the times of loss and gain in my life, including some of the hardest losses in my 20s (like the death of my best friend). But for all I lost, and gained, the balance of life usually seemed to equal everything out. Take this year for example. I lost my job at the end of July. Clearly, losses on that front included steady income, stability, health insurance, paid vacation and retirement benefits. Wow. That’s quite a few hits. But what have I gained? Well, let’s see. There’d be more freedom, time to re-evaluate what I want to be when I grow up (even though I already am), meeting new people and getting out in the world, fear of the unknown (which might not be the worst thing for a planner like me) and knowing who I can, and can’t count on. Another thing that comes to mind is all the times I’ve been in crappy relationships and finally decided to call it quits. Although I cried a lot and missed people who weren’t really all that great, I gained my self-respect, dignity and the knowledge that I deserved better. Loss does seem to be an easier thing to reflect on. Weighing the pros and cons of gain is harder. Who doesn’t feel good when they gain something? So I thought back and remembered how happy I was when I bought my first condo on my own. Woo hoo! That was clearly a big gain, by any standards. But with becoming a homeowner, I was now tied to a mortgage, making and paying for all my own repairs and coughing up property taxes twice a year. However, I am a homeowner and I love it. As this year comes to a close, let me give it up to ScarJo for helping me to think profoundly and deeply about where I am today and how I got here. I hope her borrowed words of wisdom help you as well.

Word to the wise: Now is a great time to reflect on what you’ve lost and gained in 2014 and throughout your life. Yes, it’s the holidays and boy, talk about a time filled with both ends of the spectrum. All the better to analyze and be wise.

What have you lost or gained and which do you think is easier and why? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

44. Make sure you know what your red flags are and when someone you meet is waving them.

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So, I was on a date last night and there was some interesting conversation. Somehow, the topic of “red flags” came up. I don’t redflagthink that when I was in my 20s that I was looking out for those as much as I should have. Or if I noticed any, I completely ignored them because by the time I did notice them, it was too late. I was already in ADD – another dating disaster. I got to thinking about what my red flags are today as now I’m now more aware of them because my friends will constantly point out, “Red flag!” when I mention the behaviors of some of the people I’ve dated/been dating. My date and I did a little brainstorming last night and here are the red flags he hopes he doesn’t find with someone he just starts to date (there are just five – but I thought they were all pretty good so I’ll share them):

  1. Smoking
  2. Past addictions
  3. Issues with exes
  4. Unemployed
  5. Mentally unbalanced

This got me to thinking about my list. What are the red flags that make me want to run (besides 1-5 above)? So here are a few more that I’d like to throw in:

  1. Does not live in their own place
  2. Late
  3. Cheap
  4. Current addictions
  5. Poor/nonexistent relationships with family and friends

I’m sure there’s a few more on your list (and mine). But this is a good start for some basics. It can be difficult to ignore the red flags when you meet someone you’re really into. But as I’ve learned, if they’re there to begin with, they’ll be there when you end it. And it’s a lot more painful at that point than just going out on a few dates.

Here’s a more detailed list of red flags from Psychology Today, aptly titled: “Thirteen Dating Red Flags for Women:”http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/millennial-media/201312/13-dating-red-flags-women

Word to the wise: Dating is hard. But being in a bad relationship – even harder. Take some time to think about what your red flags are and know how to recognize them when you see them.

What are some of your red flags and how has knowing them helped you to become more successful in your dating life? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

40. If you want something, visualize it, although you may find you don’t want it after all.

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I was having lunch with a very mature 23-year old the other day and as humbling as it was, she seemed to knowdreamstime_s_26320973 more than me about many things. I think it was Aristotle who said, “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” I was fascinated how, at such a young age, she knew how old she wanted to be when she got married, that she wanted to have children and that she will easily be able to balance her career with family. She also wants to live on the beach in a beautiful home. She described how she could see herself on the balcony and could feel the ocean breeze at night. She said she saw all of this for herself and is confident it will happen. And strangely enough, I believed her. I’ve heard over the years about visualization, that you have to picture something you want in your mind and that you will get it.I always thought of this as mumbo jumbo – I am a bit of a cynic. But the more she spoke, the less sure I became of my stance on this subject. She said that if I couldn’t visualize something, it meant I wasn’t ready for it. Damn, that girl was smart. She got me to really start thinking about what I want. Some of us have the extreme fortune, like my 23-year old friend, of knowing early on how to pave the path to their dreams and desires. But even if you don’t, there’s no harm in trying. So if there’s something you think you want, try to see it. And if you can, then maybe you’re ready for it. 

Word to the wise: It doesn’t hurt to visualize. All that’s required is you and your mind, which turns out, truly is a powerful thing. Here’s a little something to help you get started: http://www.qualified-lifecoach.com/Visualization.html

What do you think about visualization? Has it ever worked for you? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”

38. When you let your guard down, be prepared that someone is going to stomp through your gates.

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In my teens and 20s, I was a notorious guard let-downer. At work, in love, and with every new person I met. I was dreamstime_s_28505506often told that I wore my heart on my sleeve. While being open to all experiences was at many times enriching and joyful, it was also hurtful and disappointing when someone stomped on my heart or betrayed my trust. When you’re young, it could be argued that this is a right of passage. And eventually, you’ll learn to keep your guard up more. Or maybe always, depending on how many times you’ve been through the ringer by the time you hit 30. Some people have developed strategies Sun Tzu would commend to protect themselves. Although even he might argue that the walls we make to keep other people out often wind up keeping us locked inside. But the thing is, as I much as try not to, try so hard not to be that girl who lets her guard down, I still do. Because when it gets right down to it, would I rather be the person with the fortress around my heart or the one who lets her guard down from time to time to discover new friendships, deeper intimacy, the possibility of true of love and, of course, a world of hurt. Yin and yang, as it were. I will say that if you’ve just been stomped on, it does help to keep plenty of Haagen-Dazs in the house. But going for a walk or reading a book can work just as well. So can a conversation with a good friend – even though you know they’ll tell you that that’s what you get for wearing your heart on your sleeve.

Word to the wise: It’s good to stand watch, but sometimes you have to listen to your heart. While it may not always be right, at least you know you have one.

What do you think about letting your guard down? Note: If I’m lucky enough to get a book deal, your comments may be published anonymously in the upcoming book, “Wise Before 25, 50 Things Young Women Need to Know.”