I’m Single and I Love Valentine’s Day

Let me start off by saying that this wasn’t always the case. In fact, flashback to a year ago and this was basically polar opposite to how I was feeling. I broke up with my first real boyfriend, Mr. High School Crush, just a month before Valentines Day. My heartbreak was coinciding with (what felt like) the whole world beginning to be covered in hearts and declaration of love – basically everything that I was trying to hide from. As a recently single lady, I felt an urge to knock down all of the red and pink displays, rip down decorations that I saw and felt overwhelmingly compelled to either push or yell at couples, especially those showing PDA. Though in reality I did none of these things (except some eye-rolling and disgusted sounds at several couples) I felt like a monster who just hated anything that had to do with love and especially Valentines Day.

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I guess I felt worried to be spending the holiday alone, because the memories that I had made over the 3 years prior were engrained in my mind as what Valentines Day should be. A holiday full of romantic dinners and getaways, overly expensive roses and red lingerie. How the hell was I going to celebrate make it through that Valentines Day with these preconceived ideas in my head. There was no other way to say it except that Valentine’s Day made me sick.

Lucky for me, last year I not only learned how to celebrate Valentine’s Day, but I had the best Valentine’s by a long shot and the best part of all was that (no Mr. High School Crush and I did not get back together), I didn’t even have a boyfriend to celebrate with. With no boyfriend or just one assumed Valentine, my friends and family boosted my heartbreak by offering to be my Valentine. With multiple Valentine’s in my circle, though they pitied me for being single, there was a perk that I ended up with more chocolate than I could have imagined (definitely more chocolate than I ever got from a boyfriend) – it was already looking up. On the actual day, I had no more worry that I would be spending it alone because I got to celebrate my first “Galentine’s Day” which surpassed any Valentine’s date I’ve ever had. What could be better than a group of single girlfriends, LOTS of food, dessert and most importantly wine?! Thanks to my own friends and family I was able to not only make it through the most dreaded holiday of a single girl, but I actually and genuinely really enjoyed it.

Now I’m here. A year later. Still single, and I am excited for Valentine’s Day. Maybe it was last years festivities, or my year to reflect and think and be happy with my #singlestatus, but this year I am embracing the holiday in the most Hallmark love filled way you can imagine. Because that’s exactly what I am celebrating: LOVE. My life, as I’ve learned, is more full of love than it ever has been. I know that it’s cheesy, but as February rolled around I felt an urge to feel more loving to my friends and family, to myself and to my life. With hearts basically everywhere that you turn, it’s hard not to think about love, whether it’s romantic or not and to feel that uplifting loving vibe. To me, Valentine’s serves as a reminder to show the special people in your life that you love them. To indulge in sweets, make cards and show the people that you care about them how much you really do. I am excited for my second annual Galentines day and am secretly hoping that my friends and I stay single for a while so this tradition can continue (just kidding…sorry ladies). Maybe the girls in Sex and the City were right, and that our girlfriends really are our soulmates, and if so that is what we should be celebrating when it comes to celebrating love!  I am excited that I have SO many people to celebrate and am thankful that there’s a holiday to remind me to show how much I love and care about the people in my life. (Not to mention, the holiday continues to February 15 where all of the chocolate is discounted 😉 )

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I can now look at couples and instead of wanting to pull them apart or flip their table at a restaurant, I can be happy for people who are happy to be in love. Maybe because it makes me hopeful that my love is out there somewhere too, or that it shows me how beautiful and fun love can be! I am no longer a cynical love hating monster, but now I can actually listen to, and help, my friends think of the cutest most romantic Valentine’s gestures for their significant others without feeling queasy while we talk about it.

Love is everywhere this month whether we want to it to or not. And even if we don’t have that special someone to share the day with, we should be looking for all those special people that surround us with love on February 14th and the other 364 days of the year.

 

P.s. let me know how you’re celebrating this year I’m a sucker for a good Valentine’s story 😉

Celebrating My 3 Year Anniversary with Me, Myself and I

It was just another day as I stood in front of my pre-kindergarten class going through our morning routine: attendance, weather, counting, calendar. Nothing out of the ordinary, but today’s date made me stop a little dead in my tracks. I had forgotten about it, and especially about Mr.. High School Crush, but today it all came back in my mind because it would have been our three-year anniversary. Hold up. I can safely say that I haven’t thought about this guy in a long time and suddenly one date with a pretty big memory came and knocked me down like a sack of potatoes.

Obviously I made it through the day without giving it another real thought, but the car ride home from school and the rest of the night was a different story where my mind began obsessing over Mr. High School Crush: did he ever think about me? Does he remember that it is our anniversary? Has he moved on? Should I message him? Needless to say the questions and wonders were plentiful, and they led me to a thorough Facebook stalking (guilty) and a re-read of all of his past cards and letters that I thought were safely stowed away in the very back of my closet.

It was one of those nights that could have been well paired with a tub of ice-cream and some chick flicks, but I knew I was way over that and opted for a blog post and some girl-chat instead to come up with a few of my own “hard but important” truths following a break up:

Your ex is going to get over you whether you like it or not

I didn’t like this one at all. One of the comforts of my break-up was that I had the upper hand. It was on my terms, when I was ready and even though he hadn’t tried to talk me out of the break up, I knew that he still wanted to date me, even leaving me with the “one day I hope to end up with you”. Following the break up, he was quick to answer my texts, liked my instas, even left me a going away present and super cute card, and kept up with my life. It was comforting, and as betchy as it sounds, I liked the fact that I still had him wrapped around my finger. However, eventually, the communication stopped to the point where he would take weeks to answer me until our conversations have fizzled out to the point of non-existence. It hit me hard, but Mr. High School Crush did – what I thought – was impossible and he went on his life without me, and let me go on my life without him.

It’s okay to remember what it was like to be in love

One of my most guilty moments on “our” three year anniversary was the fact that I re-read all of those cards and notes from Mr. High School Crush, and even more guilty was how happy it all made me. At first I thought it was pathetic, and after some pep talking from the other DTT6 blogger Carrie, I felt a lot better about it. When I re-read those cards I couldn’t help but smile and felt the need to want to bury the hatchet and forget about all the fighting and crying there was at the end of the relationship. I know that I can look back on those 2.5 years and confidently say that the majority of it was happy and loving – making me feel a lot better and less concerned that I “wasted my time”. Reading those cards weirdly made me feel confident too: it was exciting to know and remember that someone can love you so much and think so highly of you (and was a great feeling to read it over and over, card after card). It was a sort of bitter sweet moment but was definitely an important step to not just getting over things, but getting over things in a positive and happy way!

Keep your friends close

Becoming the girl that I never wanted to become,  when I was in a relationship I was the girl that was obsessed with her boyfriend which unfortunately was at the expense of my friends. Towards the end of my relationship I realized how much neglecting I had done, and also how closed off I was to reconnecting with old friends and making new friends. Luckily for me, I realized how important friendships were when I was still in a relationship and I made an effort and continued to make an effort when I was single. I can safely say that my friends were the reason that I was super happy being single – from Galentines day to Disney World, my last 8 months of amazing experiences can all be attributed to some great friends.

“I had to let go of us to show myself what I could do”

Like every basic betch in the 6, once Views came out – I had it on repeat and this lyric really stuck with me. Being in a relationship made me feel trapped in a way, and the fact that it was so easy made me feel okay with complacency, and let me tell you I’ve never been okay with complacency. One of the reasons I waited to break up with Mr. High School Crush was because I was scared of what life would be like without, and I craved the comfort and security that came along with the relationship. The analogy that I used to describe the “fine” that was our relationship was like a boat: it wasn’t moving, but it wasn’t sinking and it was just stand still. Well let me tell you that stand still gets boring, and challenge and excitement is way more fulfilling. Once I mustered up all of my courage and broke up with him, my life became way more fun and exciting. I worked at the most magical place on earth (travelling around a lot too), scored a great job when I got home and balanced school. Now I’m planning more trips (with some of the other bloggers), have so much time for friends and adventure, and am even training to run a 5k! None of this would have even crossed my mind had I stayed in the relationship, and my “me” time has been put to good use!

Though it sucked remembering and thinking about how we would have celebrated our three year anniversary, I am happy that I had the day to think and reflect and celebrate for myself by myself. I have definitely seen the value of being a single pringle and have had some of the best and most fun experiences riding solo.

I wish all the best to Mr. High School Crush, as we should do to our exes (unless they’re actually evil, then no doubt we do not wish them the best), and I hope he lives happily ever after, as far away from me as possible.

 

Mr. Guest Relations

What an exciting moment that I finally am making my own “Mr.” post. Does this mean I’m officially back in the dating game? Maybe not (lol keep reading) but it does mean that I’m making some progress and some attempt, so that has to count for something right? (please say yes).

This summer, I’ve been on what I guess you can call a paid vacation (working a little but playing a lot more) away from the six. Ready for new adventures I’ve been fortunate to be working for a magical company, meeting so many amazing people and just soaking in a whole new adventure. Though there is so much to be enjoying and lots of fun to be had, there’s a little piece of me that was hoping for that cute summer fling to be the cherry on top on the already incredible summer.

Fast forward a few weeks into the summer: I’m settled into my apartment, have an awesome group of friends and am finally getting the hang of the job. One day, basically out of nowhere, this super cute guy, Mr. Guest Relations, shows up at work. Without even realizing or intending to, I started some small chat with him that ended up with him hanging out with me for my entire shift, and I can’t say that I was complaining. He made me laugh, he was easy to talk to and he wasn’t too hard on the eyes either. I left work not thinking too much of it, but by the time I was home I already had the Facebook friend request and a message waiting for me. Hm, maybe I could start crushing on Mr. Guest Relations.

Mr. Guest Relations and I hit it off – we texted a lot and hung out. My favourite part was that he never suggested we “Netflix and chill” but would always come up with fun activities like the beach or a sporting event – it was all feeling too good to be true. Before long, everyone at work was picking up on our vibe too with people asking what was going on and “just friends” was the response they got (okay I didn’t want to seem too eager or gossipy at work, I thought this was a great way to play it cool amirite?!) Clearly there was something going on, and might I say I was a little excited that other people could see it too. Mr. Guest Relations seemed like the ideal candidate for the summer fling that I was hoping for!

Now, this is where I get all confused because all of a sudden the ideal Mr. Guest Relations stopped being so ideal. With advanced Facebook creeping, it suddenly dawned on me that Mr. Guest Relations might have a girlfriend out of town. With my suspicions in mind, I began to be confused why Mr. Guest Relations was still texting me, and flirting and pursuing me. Mr. Guest Relations who was supposed to fix all the problems, seemed to be causing a lot more. Confused as ever, I analyzed the texts with my friends – was I reading to much into it? Reassured that he was clearly flirty and clearly into it, I continued to talk to him and he continued to ask me out.

Not only did I find out that it was confirmed that Mr. Guest Relations had a girlfriend – he also had something else I was not expecting: an ex-wife. In the same conversation Mr. Guest Relations had 1. Announced how happy he was to be finalizing his divorce 2. Bring up the “girlfriend” card and 3. Invite me out to California with him (Lets just say this is where I began running for the hills, and not the Hollywood hills). Mr. Guest Relations seemed like a lot more trouble than a summer fling was worth, and the sirens started blaring (except funny to my friends when I a. confirmed the suspicions about the girlfriend, and b. talked about his divorce lol that’s way too adult for my life these days).

This situation left me confused in so many ways. Firstly, it was the first crush I really had since I’ve been out of my last relationship (yay confirmed that I am capable of liking other people – maybe not #foreveralone?!). Mostly, this introduces me to the again struggle that is the confusion of men… no better way to sum this up than WTF? Not only was this guy sketchy AF to be hanging with and pursuing other girls when he is in a “committed” relationship. There was nothing wrong with being friends with Mr. Guest Relations, and I probably wouldn’t have even thought of him in the romantic way if he didn’t initiate the flirting. So now, instead of hanging as friends I’m avoiding Mr. Guest Relations at all costs (even though that trip to California did sound tempting…just kidding). This just opened my eyes to some of the dating struggles in and out of the six, but at least gave me a story for the blog! Maybe next time with a little bit of extra pixie dust, the next Mr. will be Mr. Prince Charming (I mean a girl can dream right?)!

Why I need to break-up with Tinder

Once single I solemnly swore that there was no way that I would be jumping back on the Tinder bandwagon. For awhile I was doing great, but then fast forward 8 weeks, and 2 sick days later and TADA the app was back. At first it didn’t seem so bad, there were some cute nice guys in my area and I was getting a few matches. Needless to say, this distracted me from my strep throat, my “wtf, why am I suddenly really missing Mr. High School Crush” thoughts (I think it’s because I’m sick – and theory confirmed by Carrie who also expressed missing her ex sporadically as soon as she got sick post break-up), and gave me a break from binge-watching Netflix. It’s fun I thought, there’s no harm in it…tinder-logo

However, one or two (or maybe a couple hundred) swipes later, I found myself annoyed and irritated at the app, but still oddly and weirdly compulsively checking it. Now, as my friends know, I’ve been taking my dating advice from Aziz Ansari through his “Modern Romance” book (shameless promo for the book which is actually really good and surprisingly, seemingly too accurate to my life), and have been using him as my dating guide in a way. Aziz (through his book) empowered (maybe the wrong choice of words, but we’ll roll with it) me to re-download the app. How on earth can a book do this, you might ask, well let me tell you. Basically, as part of the book Aziz lets us know that we live in a strictly technological age (I mean so shit Sherlock), and that our whole life is consumed by technology – so what better way to find someone other than the platform that literally EVERYONE is on?! This technology thing starts getting weird too (ps. Sidestory: A guy in my section decided to ask me out but instead of in person where he sees me basically everyday, he proceeded to do so over instagram direct message – sorry what?) Aziz also makes it clear that now with technology, like everything else, we are so much more connected to so many people. Seems great right? Wrong. Aziz makes it clear that the  amount of options that we have is almost too overwhelming that it makes it so easy to say “next” to someone and not even bother to get to know them.

When I was swiping away, I thought about this in real time, mostly because I noticed how scarily quickly my fingers were swiping “left, left, left”, and I had barely made time to look at the guys profile. I don’t think that I’m a judgey person (for the most part), but on this app I turned into a complete and total judgey betch. I found myself swiping no for the stupidest reasons, I don’t like his name, his friend is cuter, he took a mirror selfie – and I felt totally validated and okay with doing it. Thinking like Aziz, I totally understood it and it finally clicked: we have so many options that we don’t get to know people because we don’t have to! Seems promising – what a fun time to be dating…(I hope you can pick up on my sarcasm)!

This leads me to my second problem with the app: I actually start feeling bad “ghosting” people, so even though I have zero interest in talking to them, I find myself engaging in so many conversations and giving out my number just because I feel too rude to say no (As the archived posts in this blog show me – ghosting is a new trend that doesn’t look like it’s going anywhere, and I think all the daters can unanimously agree that it sucks). Lucky for me, I have been using my strep throat as an excuse to push away any guys who have cut right to the chase and asked for a date, but it’s also just as annoying to engage in the same “small talk” conversations at least 20 times. It used to be flattering to get the attention of the guys who want to talk to you, but now it just seems redundant and impersonal, and maybe that’s why it’s totally un-engaging.  Kudos to the guys who start with creative lines, and some of them honestly and truly do make me laugh, but there’s only so many generic conversations you can end up in before you do it mindlessly – and that is a clear sign of a connection lost before it even started. Is it possible to find prince charming if you’re bored of him before you even meet?!

The second issue with ghosting is getting ghosted – maybe that’s why I don’t like to do it to other people, is because it’s not fun when it happens to you! For example: I was chatting a cute guy on bumble, had a clever opening line and we exchanged a few messages before HE said that he wanted to hang out. Okay I thought, I’m not bored of him, (that’s a good sign), so I went with it and agreed – and all of a sudden he was gone! So confusing to say the least, but also annoying to get “invested” in someone and them just to disappear!

So I tried as a single girl to jump back on Tinder, (and other dating apps) and as quickly as I got on – I’m jumping right back off (and hiding under a rock). I can almost guarantee that come the next time I’m bored or lonely or find myself randomly missing my ex, I’ll be downloading an app right back thinking maybe this time it will be different. I guess you can say that tinder and I (along with many other people I suspect), are in a love-hate relationship, but I think it might be time for us to break up (and hopefully for good!)

Navigating the Dating Scene 101

Now that I am #singlewildandfree, and am excited to date through the six, I have come to the conclusion that I am now a dating rookie. Being with Mr.High School Crush for over two and a half years has left me off the market, and consequently removing flirting, swiping and casually hooking up – which is now territory that I am (soon to be) exploring

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As a recently single woman, I must say that I’ve never been more excited. I mean, what are your early twenties for if not to make mistakes, have fun, kiss a few frogs (hopefully not too many) and one day (way later) find the prince. There were a few big factors that pushed me to the single side, notably the uncertainty of my future, and what I have coined the “musical chairs dilemma”: that sure, it seems like there’s lots of ‘chairs’ now and having one to sit in is great, but if you don’t want to sit in that chair for the rest of your life – it’s better to keep walking and looking for that chair you do love before it gets scooped up by someone else. Maybe it’s just an analogy that makes sense to me, but hopefully you can semi understand what I’m saying. That being said, I’m now walking around to the music and just scoping out the “chairs”( p.s. chairs is my metaphor for men). As I’m walking, and living the single life I have just a few questions to ponder (and if anyone knows any answers, that would be muchos appreciated), consider this my dating SOS.

  1. Are all dates going to be “Netflix and Chill?”

If the archived posts in this blog do not emphasize my concern, I’ll repeat it: do guys only want sex? I mean, I’m definitely not in the market for looking for a new boyfriend, but I’m also not looking for a one night stand. In the ideal world, finding a guy to go for some dinner dates, do some activities and THEN Netflix and chill would be great. Just curious if these types of guys actually exist, or if I’m in for a reality check.

  1. Where do you even meet these guys?!

Sucks for me, but I’ve already used my “tinder boyfriend” card, and feel a little weird about swiping again (I mean explaining it once was embarrassing, but kinda funny, but TWICE – maybe that would be a cause for concern). Mabye it’s the fact that I try to model my life after a Rom-com and expect my own John Cusack to find my number in my favourite book, the day that he is supposed to marry someone else (Serendipity reference – great movie) – but I want to have the “wow” moment. The convenience of tinder does have its draw, but meeting someone at a coffee shop, or walking the dog seems so much more romantic – but does that actually happen? Am I crazy to think that life will have the super cute guy that will be my next boyfriend waiting for me at a coffee shop, or is it more likely that he’s only a swipe right away?

  1. Is there a competition with my EX to find someone new faster?

Okay, I get it that this is kind of lame, and probably convinces everyone that I am not actually over it (I swear I am), but is it so wrong to want to find someone before he does? I mean if he moves on first, does that mean he’s over me and uh-oh if that sets me back, is it true that you always want what you can’t have?! Let’s hope not!

  1. How soon is too soon?

By this question I mean a few things, and each is making single me confused as hell! How soon is too soon to move on to a new fling/relationship/hookup. I know that there’s “rules” to getting over a break up (e.g. it should take half the time to move on to the next one), but what REALLY is acceptable aka when am I not a total beeyotch for texting or hooking up with someone new. That being said, how soon is too soon to hook up? I mean, after 2.5 years of being in a relationship, this single life also equates to a dry spell, and I’m not sure how long I can last – but I also don’t know how comfortable I am giving off the one-night-stand/hook-up only vibe. This struggle is seriously real.

  1. Will I EVER find another boyfriend?

Again, I’m not looking now, and I’m actually excited to do the whole casual thing but one day I’m going to want to not just date but be in a relationship. I’ve learned so much from my last relationship, that I now know what more I want, and also my absolute dealbreakers. I think I was picky before, but now I’m picky and certain about the qualities that make someone “boyfriend material”.

These are just some of the questions just pop into my mind as I begin my journey dating through the six. I’ve been out of the game for so long, and have wheels like a boat (you’ll laugh when you get it), so I’m sending out a serious SOS. There you have it – my dating anxieties, mind you, this is before I even start actually dating, so anticipate more questions and vents to help me learn to navigate this new found dating life in the six!