It’s Not You, It’s Me.. Or Is It?

Yesterday, I had a conversation with one of my friends and she asked me “what’s that thing that all boys keep doing when you’re dating”. She told me about her and her friends and the patterns that they kept falling into whether it was falling for the same fuckbois, or only being asked for snapchat and instagram as forms of off app communication. As she was asking me that, I happened to be waiting, rather impatiently, for an answer from a boy I was seeing, Mr. Hockey.  My conversation with my friend got me thinking and based on my patterns of dating behaviours and experiences, made me predict what his answer was going to be “I like you a lot, but I’m just not ready for a relationship”. When it was confirmed yes that was his answer, I got to thinking: why does this keep happening and what does it mean?

My last two little flings with guys, have both ended the same way – they like me a lot, but they aren’t ready for something serious. After Mr. Hm, I thought that this might just be a really polite and respectful new version of the cliche “it’s not you it’s me”. But I accepted it for what it was, and decided I had no choice but to move on. Once it happened again, just about a month later, I’m starting to wonder if that’s true of if there’s something more behind those words.

I had swiped right on Mr. Hockey, not even 4 days after Mr. Hm and I had ended – I mean what better way to get over one person than to try to get under be respected and go on dates with someone else who was cute and presumably more emotionally available. When he asked me out I was, definitely not ready, but wanted to go out with him anyways, because TBH he was very attractive (again, I’m well aware at how shallow this is, but can you really blame me?). I thought he’d just be some great eye candy that would be a nice distraction, but after a really nice date with him, I knew there was a lot to him and I even started, to my own disappointment, to actually think I could like him. We talked everyday, and unlike Mr. Hm, he gave me that attention that I craved. He was kind, and attentive and caring and just gave me those butterflies. He would always message me first, and take a genuine interest in me and my day. Pair that with his incredible chivalry (I mean, I never even had to open my own car door when I was with him!) After a couple more dates, I could confirm that I liked him and liked where things were headed. It seemed so clear to me that he was ready and respectful.

Until Saturday night, where we had made plans. He had messaged me in the morning to confirm, and had solidified the plans with me. I was excited to get to spend more time with him, since our constant talking just left me longing to see him!  At about 6pm he last minute cancelled. WHAT!? This just left me upset, disappointed and confused. A million thoughts went through my head about what it could be, why he did that, what does that mean. If I have learned anything remotely helpful from my dating endeavours, I have learned that for me it’s best to just ask WTF is going on, so that’s exactly what I did. I crafted up a direct, but sweet message that would help me get to the bottom of it. In my head, I had a feeling something was up when he last minute cancelled, but I clung on to the response I had wanted “Of course I want to hang out again when are you free”

However, as each hour passed, it became clearer to me that something was wrong, and my feelings of anxiousness were at an all time high. Upon waiting approximately 10 dreadful hours to my message about wanting to reschedule I get the text I wasn’t waiting for. It felt like verbatim the same situation with Mr. Hm, “I’m really sorry, I’m not in the right head space and don’t want anything serious with anyone. I really like you and I really like being around you but it’s not a good time for me”.  Of course I was upset, but after waiting so long I was glad that I finally had an answer. But now what? Of course I wished him well and blamed it on the timing – to which his response was that he hopes we can reconnect when the timing is better, because he really does see something with me.

At this point, I was upset, but his words, and what I think were his genuine expressions, left me hopeful. So I continued to talk to him for the duration of the evening because I was just not ready to let go. A few more hours of normal, flirty banter later and he has invited me over. This quick 180 to this (what I’m assuming) proposed casual relationship took me by a great surprise, but also left me with quite a few wild thoughts:

  1. Anyone who knows me knows that I have never done casual. Maybe I’m a prude, maybe I’m just more guarded, but I have always steered very clear from anything casual.  Something about this guy has ignited the thought that maybe it’s something that I want. I mean, I’m busy with work, so is he, I know he respects me and I know at this moment in time I’m not interested in meeting someone new. Could I really be considering a casual relationship?! And what does this mean? Could it be that I am also in a place where I’m career focused and something less time consuming might actually fit better into my schedule? Casual dating has been a territory that has been so unexplored, and now I begin to wonder and think about why?
  2. When I think of this situation – I am brought back to Miranda’s post about her 6ix month relationship. Am I thinking that I want casual with the hopes that it will develop into something more? He made it very clear that he isn’t ready for serious, BUT he also made it very clear that he likes me and sees serious with me. If I don’t see him again soon in a more casual (or even plutonic way) does that mean my chances with him are over? Will I be upset if it stays casual? I think that I know the answers to my own questions, but I can’t help from having a little bit of a wandering mind…
  3. WTF does it mean that these boys keep telling me that they aren’t ready for serious? With Mr. Hockey especially, we had only been on a few dates. The conversation about what we are, and what do we want has hardly even come up. Do I give off such a relationship vibe that the boys I’m dating sense it before I even know it myself? I mean, after just a handful of dates, does anybody really know if they want a relationship?
  4. Should I feel respected or rejected? I have now heard this line a few times, by guys that have been so wonderful and kind and respectful – but what does this mean? Does this mean that it’s an easy way out and they want to spare my feelings? Or does it genuinely mean that they aren’t ready and don’t want to lead me on. Does it just mean that I’m not the right girl? If I was right, would they do anything to make it work, or does their current lifestyle really not leave room for a girlfriend? As I struggle with figuring out the underlying meaning, I think about how I could have avoided this happening again. How I can I gage what a guy wants before I start liking them, all while seeming cool and chill? I mean is my right move REALLY to be asking them on a first date where they see this going. I’m sorry, but thank you, next.
  5. How do I keep finding these guys that are so not ready? Is it an age thing? Most guys I date are in their mid twenties, but does that just mean they want one last hurrah of single-hood before they have to settle down? What pattern or sign am I missing that I so easily misread these situations?! 

With these questions in mind and at play, I know that I need some deserved ~me time~ and need to take myself on a dating hiatus to figure out what is going on and what I need. The apps are gone and there are zero dates on the horizon for me! So cheers to girls nights, buckling down into my job and just having fun with friends and family!

See ya (maybe – but hopefully not too) soon!

 

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The Runner

Introducing our brand new contributor, Mindy Lahiri! She self-identifies as her own worst enemy when it comes to love and is looking to break some old patterns.  If you ask me (Samantha), she’s hilarious, courageous in her pursuit of love and has a massive heart.  Welcome Mindy to DTT6! 

Rewind to two years ago. I am new to the city and excited to be closer to all my friends and be working in a new job- but also am extremely unhappy with who I am as a person and felt as though I had no purpose. One of the friends I had in the city wanted to introduce me to “this guy who had seen my IG page and thinks I’m cute”. So after seeing his page, I was thinking to myself.. theres NO way this guy, thinks I’m cute.. but sure, let’s give it a try. Let’s call this guy The Runner.

After about a month of following each other on Instagram we finally met in person. He was (and still is) one of the most beautiful men I’ve ever laid my eyes on. He’s tall, dark, handsome and seemed to have his s*** together. To me at the age of 23, I couldn’t help but be drawn to this 31 year old man with his own apartment, an education and a steady job. Most importantly, he was kind hearted, intelligent and funny. He crossed off all the boxes for me and from the moment I met him (maybe even before I met him), I knew that I was going to fall so hard for this guy.

I remember the details of us meeting so vividly it might scare some people. We met on a Thursday night with our mutual friend there and I was too nervous to actually speak cause well, he was human perfection. From there, the DM’s started and eventually started texting each other. We hung out that next night and had some of the most mindblowing sex I’ve ever had. You know how sometimes sleeping with a new person can be awkward.. it was not like that with The Runner. He understood me and my body in a way that I don’t think I had experienced until then. We slept and cuddled that whole night, and then hung out the next night. Drank wine, talked about deep life stuff and had some amazing sex. When I wasn’t with him, I was thinking about him and being with him. You know that feeling when someone lights your crotch on fire but also makes you feel things emotionally? Yeah, this was that.

From there, we continued to text regularly and hangout on a pretty consistent basis. We went for dinner a couple times, but for the most part the hanging out was later at night in his apartment and usually involved sex and cuddling. He expressed to me numerous times that he was not looking for a relationship and that he was working on healing himself from his past relationship (**Some context: we started hanging out a month after his live in girlfriend and him ended… BAD IDEA) and that he wanted to figure out his career etc. I heard what he said and where he was at and in the moment because I so desperately wanted him, I agreed with him and told him I was okay with casual. In reality, I did not accept it and I continued to hope for more and that maybe one day we will work out. But nothing ever changed.. it all boiled down to us being at different places in our lives and wanting different things. But there was something about him that I could not let go of. Eventually, after 9 months of being 100% emotionally invested in someone who couldn’t even meet me 10% of the way- he started seeing someone else and we stopped talking. Don’t you love falling for an emotionally unavailable guy??

When he told me that he was seeing someone and that he wanted to see things through with her, it was one of the most painful things to hear. I thought it was going to be me and I was so furious that I had wasted so much of my time. I was mad at myself and mad at him. Turns out that it was ALL in my head. The hardest part of that was that I created a narrative in my head and expected him to live up to that- without the courtesy of a conversation to communicate what I expected. How’s a person supposed to live up to expectations they don’t know even exist?

So anyway, from there we went about a year without seeing or speaking to each other. I had convinced myself that I was over him.. I dated other people and I threw myself into my friendships and work. But The Runner was someone I thought about all the time. It didn’t matter that he had a new girlfriend.. I still thought, “maybe one day”. Just as I thought I was over him for good, I ran into him at an event and I felt like my legs turned to jello and I couldn’t form proper sentences. He gave me a hug and just his physical presence sent me way back in time. After seeing him I was anxious, I was sad, I had all these feelings that had been repressed for almost a year and they all surfaced at once.

After some really intense therapy sessions, talks with friends, A LOT of writing (we’re talking numerous notebooks full) I realized a few things:

  1. I lacked so much self love and respect that I was willing to let just about anybody stay in my life
  2. I was so scared of being alone and not having someone to love the parts of myself that I did not love- that I settled
  3. The behaviours I have with men are a reflection of how I feel about myself
  4. I was depending on someone else to make me happy because I couldn’t make myself happy.. that’s a fuck ton of pressure to put on a person who cant even make themselves happy
  5. If something doesn’t feel right at first, it likely isn’t
  6. That entire situation had NOTHING to do with me and everything to do with HIM
    1. It wasn’t a question of whether I was worthy or good enough for him.. we just didn’t have timing on our side
    2. He said himself “the only thing that was wrong with you was that you expected long deep conversations at 3 AM”

All of this made me think: which unhealed part of me is that desperate for love and affection that I consistently settle for less than I deserve? Why was I not good enough for him? WILL I EVER BE GOOD ENOUGH??

Those are some pretty loaded questions that I am still figuring out how to answer. But in regards to The Runner I know I am finally at peace with the situation. It took a lot of work and a lot of digging deep within myself- because a lot of the reason I was so “sad” about him- really had nothing to do with him and had everything to do with me and who I was. Yes, he treated me poorly at times and he has since apologized and he was not innocent in the whole thing but neither was I. I am so beyond grateful for what I went through with him because it taught me so much. If I had known 2 years ago what I know now, I never would have let it get that far with him.. but I was meant to learn that lesson the hard way and I’m glad I did.

Since then, The Runner and I have become friends. I joke that he is my best friend and it makes my REAL best friends, aka Samantha, upset. He is not my best friend, but he is someone who knows me and knows how hard things were for me and knows all the growing up I had to do to get to the place I am at now. If you even asked me 3 months ago about The Runner, the story would have gone a lot differently- but now that I am at peace with it 100% and I know that him and I are on good terms, I can finally close that chapter of my life and look back knowing that it helped to make me a stronger woman and a stronger person. On to the next..

PS- This whole article was written while sitting across from The Runner at a local coffee shop.

Samantha meets Smith

Have you ever felt your heart squeeze? Not in a concerning way requiring emergency services or medical intervention…I’m talking about the oddly pleasant sensation that feels like someone reached into your chest and tightened their grip. You know that one? I call it Love.

Why do I describe this, you ask? Well loyal readers, I am in love. The jump in head first, all-consuming, giggle-for-no-reason kind of love. It’s true! When we left off I was a recovering toxic-relationship junkie, just on the other side of my most recent relapse with Mr. Man, and today I am a woman free from her vices. In fact, my last blog post declaring our finality was just a few weeks into my then-budding relationship, which is now almost 6 months long. How the hell did that happen?

Well, without belaboring the past or belittling my journey to get here, I want to try to summarize the last few months. Toward the end of August I was entirely trapped in an emotional tower of my own making. Given I am still in full-time work and full-time school mode, I didn’t think I could handle a real relationship, nor did I think I wanted one. Without a real need to leave Mr. Man behind, I didn’t feel like I had to, keeping me trapped in my tower for far too long. Now, I’m not one who typically subscribes to fairy tale tropes, but in true Disney fashion, it was my Prince Charming (Smith) who showed me how to break out from behind the wall I’d built around me.

Smith is unlike anyone I have ever dated. He is strong but kind, smart but sensitive and intense but doesn’t take himself too seriously. He is in a word, balanced, and I am in a word, not. My parents have always described me as going from 0-100 real quick, a pattern I have only reinforced through my experiences with men time and time again. But that’s why he’s different. He evens me out. I feel calmer around him without ever feeling dulled, something I have grown to truly cherish.

I feel like I almost didn’t have a choice but to fall in love with Smith. There was a time early on in our relationship when I did something stupid to try keep him at a distance, for fear of getting too close. As mentioned in the past, I’m one of those dumbasses who likes to push people away only to confirm their fears of being left alone. And can you really blame me? I spent a year holding back  emotions from the person I cared about, so being vulnerable and trusting of his feelings for me was way harder than I expected. Nonetheless, instead of letting me push him away with my typical habits, he (figuratively and literally) held on, showing me I could depend on him entirely. After meeting in undoubtedly the most stressful time in my life, he has loved me at every mood and brought me a sense of comfort that I’m very grateful for.

I am self-aware enough to recognize that I have a Type-A personality and fiend control. I (like most people) just want to eliminate some of the ambiguity that exists in everyday life. But this super busy schedule of mine doesn’t leave enough space to be a control freak and getting used to that definitely took some time…In my past, exes have complained that I never full let go and always need to do things for myself, a criticism I’d taken offense to…Why should they do something for me that I can do it for myself? I pride myself on being fiercely independent, but the extreme lengths I’ve pushed myself to this year have forced me to rely on Smith, not from a want but from sheer necessity. Part of me thinks that we might not be together if not for my busy-ness, which has forced me to relinquish my fear of showing weakness and to let my man bring me lunch when I forget it at home. He wants to help because he cares, and I shouldn’t misattribute his kindness as a sign of my own weakness, something I wouldn’t have recognized otherwise.

The past 6-months have been some of the best of my life. Though I’ve felt challenged like never before I’ve maintained a healthy dose of perspective as well. If work sucks or I get a shitty grade it doesn’t change the person I am or the fact that someone loves that person. To date, this blog has been used as to encapsulate the ups and downs of dating, with my friends (and I) finding it hard to blog about an ongoing relationship. Nonetheless, I’ll keep trying to keep up the blog, as my attempts to explain this healthy, promising and real situation has only reinforced how healthy, promising and real it really is. I don’t know what the future holds for us but I am lucky to have met such a wildly patient and understanding man and am excited to see what comes next. 

The 6ix Month Relationship

Miranda – I’m so proud of the title of this blog post. It just hit me like a ton of bricks and I realized it was the perfect depiction of what I’ve been going through the past half year…

I’d like to thank Pam Beesley for her insightful blog post and inspiration for getting me to write this. She reminded me that we had this marvelous platform as an outlet to vent,
write our feelings and just genuinely sort our internal shit out.

My last post, The Fkboi Myth, made me realize how much has changed since I initially wrote it. The boy in question in that post, Mr. Black, ended up being such a whirlwind
of an experience. As of 2 weeks ago, it’s officially over, but not without some highs and low, and bumps and bruises.

The reason why I call this the 6ix month relationship is because this is as long and as close as I’ve had to a real relationship. Yes, I’ve had a “bf” years ago but that ended in
under 2 months due to me going on an International Exchange in school. Mr. Black, on the other hand, lasted just under 6 months and we were in an exclusive but not a committed, serious relationship (so no boyfriend/girlfriend labels). Essentially, just like the Fkboi central city we live in, it was the epitome of a very 6ix style relationship.

For the purposes of this post, I would like to rename him from Mr. Black to Mr. Nigerian Prince. I’ve decided to change his nickname from Mr. Black to Mr. Nigerian Prince because it’s a much more accurate reflection of him. I think Mr. Black at the time was a quick decision by picking on his most obvious physical trait in that it was the first black guy I’ve really dated and well…slept with. Up until now I’ve maybe just kissed 1.5 black guys (3 mixed people – do the math). I know I’m perhaps being racist with my explanation but I’m just saying it as it is. Before this, I’ve never been particularly
interested in dating black guys but let’s just say, after this experience, my
mind (and legs), are much more open to the thought. Maybe an entire separate
blog post is needed on this to explain my new found affinity towards black men.

Anyways, he is now Mr. Nigerian Prince because he is a recent expat from Nigeria. And like all traditional Nigerian Prince situations, it was kind of a scam. But, in this
case, he wasn’t scamming me, I was scamming myself.

Let me explain. One of the best (and worst) aspects of getting to know him was his brutal honesty. Quite early on he was upfront that he does not do committed relationships (like, ever) – but he was happy to be exclusive with me. I was taken aback when I first learned this but I consciously decided to remain with him, as it would be a test and learning experience for myself. Could I deal with gray areas? What does it mean to be exclusive but not committed? Is it just labels or is there actually a difference? In the back of my mind, I knew it would come to an close eventually because of his non-commital ways, but it was still something I was willing to see through. So, I guess in that sense I was scamming myself.

Even so, I have no regrets about deciding to pursue this. From the beginning to the end, it’s been a fascinating experience and I’m honestly just proud of myself for coming out
of it relatively unscathed. The fact that I allowed it to last this long in such a gray space is a miracle for someone as high strung and anxious as me. But in the end I had to call it quits, as I eventually learned, among other things, that this was not a good fit for me anymore. To sum up, these are the biggest learnings and takeaways from my time with Mr. Nigerian Prince:

  1. I should not hold  onto my feelings and build up resentment. I cannot expect someone, especially a guy, to be able to read my mind and my mood swings. It’s only fair to open up and communicate them clearly with my expectations and my feelings. Ask them for what you want, so  everything’s fair game and on the table. How he decides to react and act is then on him and you can gauge appropriately from there.
  2. Believe what a guy tells you if he’s speaking honestly. It’s not your role to “read between the lines” or decide whether he actually knows what he wants or not. You either decide to accept him as he is and perceives himself, or don’t accept him at all and move on. Just don’t ask him or force him to change, because that’s unhealthy for both of you.
  3. How to breakup with someone (first one didn’t go so well, second one went a lot smoother). And the emotional rollercoaster that happens afterwards. I didn’t know I was capable of ugly crying for the better part of a day nonstop, mam, that was exhausting. In fact, I’m still in the recovery stage now and trying to figure out the next steps are to get over it.
  4. What I’m capable of giving in a relationship. Throughout my time with Mr. Nigerian Prince, I had to hold back so much with him. I felt ready to give so much more, whether that be in the form of my time, emotional vulnerability, and the desire of creating new experiences together. So, it was very frustrating for me to constantly quiet my internal wants and ultimately, this was what drove me to ending it.
  5. What I want in a relationship. The qualities of a man that ACTUALLY matters. Not their height, their looks, or what they do. I want to focus on how they make me feel, that our communication styles match, and that they are emotionally available and ready to commit.
  6. Lastly, I have jungle fever. This is an exciting realization because it opens up my dating pool much more.

Again, I feel really thankful for this experience and even though ending it wasn’t easy, it’s what was right for me. The crying was definitely ugly (which left my face so puffy I had slits for eyes), and the companionship (and his fine ass) will definitely be missed. However, since coming to terms with what I want, it no longer made sense to keep it going. I was pouring my energy and time into a vessel with a hole in it and left feeling drained.

6ix months later, it’s 2019 and I feel empowered. It’s time to make room for new experiences and to meet other sexy men.