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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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.

So Tell me What you Want, What you Really, Really Want

Well Spice Girls – I wish it was that easy! What do I want? What do the boys that I’m dating want? These are the questions that have been roaming through my dating mind and to be honest I’m not sure if I have an answer to any of them, and lately I’m wondering if I really need to.  Where I’m at with my modern, mid twenties dating I’ve been wondering: how much do we really need to know what we’re looking for when we start dating someone?

Let me take you back to when I did know what I wanted. A boyfriend. That’s why I was on the apps, that’s why I was frantically swiping and that’s why I was agreeing to all of these first dates weekend after weekend. I just knew that one of these guys could be my boyfriend and that’s exactly what I really wanted. So off I went. Each date felt like a checklist. Cute, check, Job, check, Apartment downtown, check, (I’m shallow I know) and so on and so forth. After each date, there I went, thinking that I had just met the boy who was going to be my boyfriend, and live happily ever after with me *cue wedding bells. I was so certain after each date that I had found ~the one~ But clearly (still single) my intuition wasn’t totally accurate.

Here’s exactly where I started to get confused – after 2 or maybe 3 dates, things would fizzle. We’d stop messaging, they’d be “really busy with work” or they’d just tell me that we weren’t a good fit. Quickly, after each guy,  I could see it: yeah he was boring, the conversation didn’t really flow, we didn’t have much in common, maybe his suggestion of movie night at his place really did mean that he just wanted to hook up with me. All of these things had come into my mind during the date, but I was so quick to push them aside, because maybe it wasn’t really a big deal. Think of all their other great qualities, I would tell myself and smile through the awkwardness that was the date. What’s worse is thinking back, had things not fizzled out (often by them) I would have still been keen and wanted to date them. Why? They were nice, they checked my list and I could tolerate my time with them. Then it hit me. Because I was looking for a boyfriend, I would date anyone who wanted to date me. I didn’t think about our chemistry, or if I was even remotely into them, but rather I checked off a list – what would my family think, would they get along with my friends, would be photograph well together etc. (you can see how this went). I was so into finding a boyfriend, that I forgot to use the date to get to know them and see anything other than a boyfriend figure sitting across from me, who realistically could have been anyone.

Fast forward to me deciding I needed to regroup. Maybe knowing exactly what I was looking for was detrimental to my dating, and my chance at finding ~the one~. Maybe I needed to be more go with the flow, and take the time to get to know someone and just see where it goes. Leaving my Type A planner personality behind, I decided to step wayyy outside my comfort zone and try it. I went into dating again much more open minded. There I went on  dates, trying really hard to be much more selective and really focus on the PERSON in front of me, not just the idea. Now I felt more confident, because I was going on dates no longer to look for a boyfriend. After one long date of a guy who only talked about himself, or a boy with whom I ran away from so he couldn’t kiss me, I became much more selective in the people I would see, and it seemed to be working well.

Next, I met Mr. Hm. Mr. Hm and I hit it off on our first date. And I know I say that about practically every date I go on, but he wasn’t just “really nice and cute”, but it felt like we had more in common, and I even left the date with those butterflies fluttering in my stomach (something I’m cluing in is an indicative sign to someone being more than just a friend). After the 4 hour long date, I texted him thanks, we chatted and we went on with our weekends. I hadn’t heard from him but knew I wanted to see him again. So like a modern, strong woman I texted him first again, and waited for him to ask me out. I didn’t think much of it, because when we spoke he seemed interested so I rolled with it. We had continued to see each other, and go on all of the dates exploring basically all of the Christmas and winter fun we could find. I was so into him, but tried to balance it by being chill – I mean, I was no longer dating for a boyfriend.

My chill attitude steered me away from anything that would make me seem “unchill” even though these things bothered me. Our dates were great, and he was kind and respectful and our chemistry together was pretty good ;). However, our dates were often a week apart, and within that week I could go days without talking to him and he could go hours without answering me. Mr. Hm was so hot and cold, I was constantly wondering “does he like me, is he seeing other people, where’s his head at” and though I would ask variations of these questions to him – (though confirming we were exclusive) I never asked him to clarify anything about what he wanted, or where his head was really at. The entire time something about it seemed off, and I never had that same confident feeling of knowing where we stood that I had with other guys that I’ve dated. I wondered what it was – aside from the fact that he didn’t like dogs (which really should have been my biggest red flag to begin with) I couldn’t find the flaw that I was looking for. After two months, I felt constantly confused – when we were together things were great, but during the week I felt as if he wasn’t in my life at all. It was as if we kept taking one step forward, and two steps back. It honestly became exhausting.

After enough of my frustration, with some advice from a friend I messaged him what I wanted to ask, trying to figure out where his head was at. Two and a half months of exclusively seeing each other, I really only thought that there would be one logical response. Trying to convince myself I didn’t want to be a girlfriend and I didn’t care about the title, it became so clear to me that I did want that with him. And I wanted all of the emotional support and responsibility that came with it. I realized I was upset if he didn’t text me after a long day, or would wait to make plans with me – likely only after I initiated it.

After a weekend of talking post message, I was going to see Mr. Hm and was excited about it. At the end of our date where we chatted about real things: our families, our charity work our job prospects, he drove me to my car. As he pulled up to drop me off, what felt like out of nowhere he decided that we should end things. EXCUISE ME. I was shocked, I was confused and all of a sudden I was sad because in that moment I knew that I had wanted something more. Leaving me with a very fair, and a very respectful “It’s really not the right time for me” type schpiel that he wasn’t ready to be a boyfriend again, and he agreed that was very clearly where we were headed. Confused and sad, I said goodbye to Mr. Hm and questioned where things went wrong.

All of a sudden it dawned on me that I had wanted to date him the whole time, and was too scared to say anything. I tried to play it off overly chill, but in reality I did think about what it would be like to be his girlfriend, and I was convinced that it was just a matter of time. I overlooked his signs of being emotionally distant and never called him out on it because I didn’t want him to say something that I didn’t want to hear. All in this, I followed his lead and pretended I was okay with what he was giving me, all because I didn’t want to say I wanted him to be my boyfriend. His mixed signals paired with our complete coupley date-y activities left me longing for an answer I was too scared to ask for.

My overall conclusion is still TBD. I know what I want (I think), but how do I go about the beginning stages of dating not jumping to conclusions or just hoping a guy will make the decision for me.   When I wanted a boyfriend, I misread every situation but when I “didn’t want one” I misread everything too, leaving me to question how clear my intentions should be when I start dating. I may be naive, and think every guy really is just super nice – but how will I know which guy is right for me?! As I continue to try dating through the six, I struggle to find what that happy medium is, and how much it affects who I date and how long I date them. Hopefully one day I’ll figure out  what I want, what I really really want and how I can get it!

Stay tuned

Mr. Man Returns

With this post I declare the Mr. Man chapter of my life officially closed. Given it has been a full year, let me recap the timeline of events. Mr. Man is a 40-something year old executive who works on my floor. We met last July at an office karaoke night and hit it off immediately, having an insanely intense chemistry (See blog post: Mr. Man). We spent the next few months hanging out with increased frequency, progressing from extended “coffee chats” at work to full nights of drinking and talking about our lives. Our 17-year age difference was intriguing, and I wanted to explore the fantasy-like situation in which I found myself.

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Along with my friends, I’ve spent hours deciphering his flirty behaviour and wondering if he’d ever cross the line between us. We’ve had many highs and lows along the way, going from being super involved in each other’s lives to barely speaking for weeks at a time. Throughout it all I craved his attention, was infuriated by his inconsistency, and wondered if our chemistry would extend past banter and into the bedroom.  By January he started dating someone and I’d given up on thinking anything would ever happen between us (See: An Ode to 2017). Though we continued to spend time together, I became increasingly irritated by the idea that he was deriving some fetishized pleasure from the attention of a younger girl, not understanding what he wanted from me. I was emotionally exhausted and fed up with the drama, so I put aside all my feelings and closed the door to that part of my heart (See: Jane the Virgin is Woke AF).

But, as per the usual I got reeled back in by his charms. The difference this time around was that I knew the scoop. This overgrown fuckboi was not to be trusted and while he may have had genuine feelings toward me, I would not let myself feel any type of way toward him. This was pretty easy to do given how vastly different our lives really are, knowing it probably wouldn’t work even if we wanted it to.

Fast forward to June and we were on one of our “highs” – talking a lot and getting drinks after work all the time. He was still seeing this girl but continuously said it wasn’t serious, and whether it truly was didn’t matter to me. He’d had ample opportunity to make a move when we were both single and didn’t, so I had no reason to expect that he would now. Then one night, we got particularly drunk and it finally happened…we hooked up. Legit, I could write a full post on this night alone, and I mean it when I say I didn’t expect it at all. I’d actually had plans to meet up with friends after our drinks, but needless to say I never ended up meeting them. Following that night we started hooking up more consistently, constantly expressing how natural it felt to be together and that we should’ve been doing this for so much longer. We spoke pretty openly about how we felt and what we were doing. He didn’t seem to mind that he was cheating, and I was so drunk with desire that I found ways to rationalize it. Telling myself that they weren’t serious and having him reinforce that seemed sufficient, justifying that he’s grown man dating someone for 6 months and not living with her.

From then on, we fell into our own pseudo-routine where I’d go over to his place, spend hours just talking or immediately getting down to it. Our drunken first attempt was a little clumsy, but after that first time, we had some of the best sex I’ve ever had. Hey, 10 months of foreplay will do that for you. If I’m totally honest sex with Mr. Man was unlike with anyone I’ve ever slept with before. Having held back for so long meant we had established a real connection and the intimacy was so apparent while still having fiery passion. Simply, our sex game was next level. After a little over a month of late night encounters he went on vacation. Though I was sad he was going I needed that time to evaluate how I felt about the situation. After all, we were still doing something inherently wrong, and I also didn’t love seeing a pair of heels lying around his place when they didn’t belong to me.

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When he came back we immediately fell into our patterns, but with one major difference. The first time he had me over after his vacay, I walked into a completely empty condo (except for the Murphy bed in the guest room). I had known he was house-sitting a place in the suburbs but was not aware he was fulling moving out of his downtown condo. Nor did I know, but would soon discover, that he had spent part of the vacation moving in with his “non-serious girlfriend”. Though quite blindsided and bothered that he’d intentionally misled me, my hormones trumped all else and we had one of the best nights together we’d ever had. Lying in his arms is the most comfortable I have ever felt with a man and I didn’t want it to end. Hours later I awoke, not even realizing I’d fallen asleep and we got up to go home. Yep, that’s right, the condo we’d spent the last 6 hours in was not his home anymore and he had to get back to the suburbs to his real life. And that’s where it all changed.

There were a number of things that left me feeling unsettled when I woke up the next day. To highlight just a few, I was really put off by the number of times he referred to his girlfriend by name, bringing the closeness of the situation to new heights. As well, I didn’t like the open way he was talked about his feelings for me, still not understanding how anyone can feel that way (unless they’re full of shit) and be with someone else. The confusing part is that he had absolutely no reason to lie to me as I’ve said possibly 100 times that I am not looking to get romantically involved.

Truly, the worst part was that he seemed  fine going home to his girlfriend right after sleeping with me.  This left me feeling icky in more ways than one and is what definitively made me decide to cut it off. The difference in the level of betrayal was no longer something I could turn a blind eye to or be a part of without feeling overcome with guilt. And completely selfishly, it made me feel like shit that he made a move right before taking this next step with his girlfriend. By hooking up with me right before this step, he was indirectly using me as an excuse to blow up his relationship, clearly not ready for the commitment. Being a side piece is bad enough, but being someone’s excuse for a relationship falling apart feels even worse.

So as much as I don’t want to (and trust me when I say I don’t want to) I’m “ending it”. It’s been 2 weeks since we last hooked up and we have barely spoken or seen each other, but that’s ok. I’m not going out of my way to make plans only to end something that never really was. If he wants to see me again he’ll message, and that’s when I’ll let him know. Unless he’s developed a conscience since our last encounter I’m sure I’ll get the opportunity eventually. And if I don’t then that’ll have to be okay too. I don’t feel weird or awkward around him, but when we last spoke there was a definite pang of longing in my heart knowing it was actually over.

Though this wasn’t a relationship it is the longest standing involvement I’ve had with someone in a while and it’s hard for me to let go of our connection. I am addicted to the way that he makes me feel and to the rush of adrenaline I get whenever he smiles in my direction. I’ve always said that I don’t have a type, I’m attracted to people’s vibes, and this has never been more true than with Mr. Man.  Given this”crush” ended up lasting a year I think I’ll always wonder “what if” we gave it a real go without all the complication.

In spite of it all I think that I’ve come out of the experience netting positive. There weren’t many clean ways this could’ve ended, so I’m glad to get out before it got messy or I was really hurt. I’ve learned so much about myself and what I want from this experience that I could probably write 30 other blog posts, and maybe I will…but for now I’ll say that being with Mr. Man was a roller coaster – exhilarating, exciting, but not something you can do forever, so get out before you’re stuck in an uncomfortable position.

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The Fkboi Myth

Miranda – So I’m back, if only for a post. I’ll probably ghost for a year or so after, like a fckboi, so don’t start getting any expectations of me. I recently had an epiphany and felt the need to share with our beloved DTT6 readers.

I’m dating someone right now. I know, shocker. And it feels different this time. It’s still early stages but the stress and anxiety I usually feel doesn’t exist this time around because he’s made the whole process quite seamless and transparent. It’s been about a month and even though we haven’t had any formal discussion of where we’re headed, I feel comfortable and not pressured to become anything more with him at this time. Regardless, that’s not what this post is about. It’s actually about what he told me during one of our conversations and since then, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head and needed to put it on metaphorical paper.

We all by this point know what a fckboi is, right? He is essentially a single guy who loves going out and having a good time, but is non-committal and will do whatever it takes to get into your pants. The modern day player – with the benefit of a range of online hookup apps in his arsenal. It’s all about him, his swag, and getting laid. We’ve all met quite a few in our life I’m sure, and will continue to. So here’s the Fuckboi Myth that I recently uncovered.

Contrary to popular belief, a fuckboi is not an identity but more a state of mind.

Let me explain. Take the guy I’m dating right now, let’s call him Mr. Black. In the time I’ve gotten to know him, he’s been super sweet and thoughtful and is very clear in his motives of wanting to date me. Never in a million years could I see him as fckboi – but that’s just based on my experience with him. However, he told me that he’s had his share of one night stands and flings. No surprise there. But what got me is when he then said he can be quite “rude and mean” about his hookups – so much so that there has been moments in the past where he’s slept with a girl without ever kissing her. Kissing to him is what he calls “intimate” and there’s no point if he feels nothing toward that person. That statement completely blindsided me – it’s so crude and yet I only know him as a super affectionate and romantic guy! Again, maybe I’m looking at it from a more traditional perspective but I find it shocking that a guy can have sex with a girl and not even kiss her once at any point. Yes, I agree it’s more intimate but I look at it as part of the process of hooking up –it seems like a natural progression from kissing to having sex, if you so choose. The fact that you can separate one without the other seems barbaric to me.

My point is, it seems like most, if not all guys, are capable of being both a fuckboi and a romantic, or whatever the equivalent opposite term is. Having had conversations with other friends around this topic, it seems that this statement has been seen multiple times over and been witnessed amongst their guy friends as well.

I guess part of me always knew this deep down, especially since I’ve experienced it myself in the diversity of men I’ve met but I’m really letting the idea of it settle in me now.

It’s still unknown where my dating life is headed with Mr. Black but regardless, this is one fact that I will keep in mind in future with anyone else I meet and I think all of you should too! The same guy could be a fckboi to you and Prince Charming to someone else, and vice versa! Essentially, we can hate on fckbois as much as we want, but they treat you that way for a reason. Not because you deserve it but because they don’t see you as more. They are capable of being and doing more but for whatever reason, whether it’s timing in their life, lack of chemistry, or potential neediness coming from our end , you may not get to see that other side of him.

This epiphany doesn’t depress me, and it shouldn’t depress you either. It just makes it so much clearer what the intention of the guy is. If he’s being shady and you don’t really know what’s going on, it’s probably because he’s got his fckboi lense on and from there it’s easy for you to move on until you meet the guy that doesn’t treat you that way. End of story.

Fckgirl out.

 

 

 

To the girl(s) after me:

Carrie – Hey, it’s me. Someone you don’t know and someone you probably will never know.  The only reason why I’m aware we’re connected in this universe is because we were both intimate with someone who once meant a lot to me. I just have so many questions for you though and the unknown has been bothering me.

So you just started seeing him – my ex. I imagine you met on Tinder cause he never goes out or does anything social, including interact with humans.

Continue reading “To the girl(s) after me:”

What’s Your Number?

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A couple of weeks ago my roommate and I were involved in our favourite Sunday ritual: rom-coms, Uber Eats and vegetating on the couch. We’ve passed many a weekend watching Cameron Diaz in “The Sweetest Thing”, Cameron Diaz in “The Holiday”, Cameron Diaz in “The Other Woman”…you get the idea, she plays ‘hard-ass looking for love’ quite well. Anyway, on this particular Sunday we flipped on “What’s Your Number”, a silly story about Anna Farris’ character tracking down her 20 ex-ual partners (Trademark: Samantha Jones) to see if any of them are worth a second shot. Why, you ask? Well, thanks to trashy magazines designed to make women feel miserable, her character learns that the average number of partners a woman has in her lifetime is 8, and anyone over 20 is deemed “unmarriable”- a category that she finds herself in right before her younger sister’s wedding….yikes on bikes.

Now, my roomie and I are usually quite talkative during our slothy Sundays, constantly interjecting to discuss drama from the previous night or to comment on the latest pic of avo toast on Instagram….but as we watched a VERY skinny Anna flirt with a VERY gorgeous Chris Evans, we were both oddly quiet. About half an hour into the movie I looked at her and awkwardly said: “Doesn’t 8 feel kind of low?” To my relief she immediately agreed, having been wondering the exact same thing.

This got us thinking…is 8 really the average? It felt kind of low to us but honestly, we’ve been known to be a wild pair so maybe we were the outliers? Thus, we set out on a noble quest for the sake of all womankind: conduct an experiment to determine what today’s average truly is (amongst our friends at least).

So, once again I don my scientist lab coat and present to you, The Thirsty Thesis: A study investigating the response pattern of millennial women when questioned on their sexual history. 

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Thesis: The average number of sexual partners a woman has in her life is greater that 8, contrary to that reported in “What’s Your Number”.

Method: We sourced voluntary responses from 19 of our friends to determine statistically significant results (Funny, had we gotten one more participant our list would’ve been deemed unmarriable…).

Findings:

  1. The mean was 20, however, the median and mode were both 14. For those of you forgetting statistics, the mean is the average, median is the middle number  and the mode is the most frequently reported number.
    • These data points show that we had a high degree of variability in our results, with a couple numbers largely skewing the data. Removing the bottom and top 2 outliers to adjust for this variance (I told you I’m a scientist), the more accurate average amongst us was 15 sexual partners. 
  2. If the girl’s unsure, don’t listen to her. EVERY TIME someone was unsure of her number and reported two potential responses, she’d end up realizing the higher number was true when pushed to confirm.
    • In my expert opinion, this highlights a subconscious pressure amongst women to keep their number low, as no one actively admitted to misrepresenting themselves for any reason other than failure to recall.
  3. Three participants asked for clarification on what actually counted, providing  further support for the hypothesis that women will try to lower their number wherever possible.
  4. The difference between the highest and lowest number reported was 78 people.
    • For those of you gasping, don’t…this was a significant outlier and honestly…to each their own. See ‘Discussion’ below for further details on “slut-shaming”.

Limitations:

  1. When the numbers seemed too low, I polled more sexually promiscuous friends of mine…sue me, I was 3rd highest on the list until 90% of the polling was complete.
  2. This study relied on self-report, which given on the sensitive subject matter may not be an accurate reflection of the proper numerical response..

Discussion:

If you’re a sexually active woman in 2018, the topic of your number is definitely something you’ve thought about at least once (in the last week). Post after post on DTT6 highlights our sexual exploits, with some referring to the count explicitly (Sorry Carrie, there’s no such thing as a 10 a & 10 b 😉 ) and others shying away from posting about every tantalizing tale (myself being one of the biggest perpetrators here). Come to think of it, I’ve actually even added a notch to my metaphorical bedpost since conducting this study…

Nonetheless, whether you report a 2 or a 20, there seems to be a connotation attached to the number of partners you have as somehow reflecting of the kind of person that you are. In my mind, this is completely absurd and totally problematic. The “2”, who may be cautious with her heart or just had multiple long term relationships, is no better or no worse than the “20”, who may be focused on her career or just hasn’t met the right guy to settle down with. When you’re perpetually single and want to have a lot of sex you end up sleeping with a lot of people, it’s just the reality of the situation.

And honestly, the very idea that a woman is somehow deemed “unmarriable” because she surpassed an arbitrary number picked to be “normal” is both archaic and downright offensive. The tagline for this very movie perfectly points out the root of the problem: Women subtract, men add. This common-held conception posits that men can have as many partners as they want and this is acceptable, but women should remain pure for their husbands. Though pre-dating the 1950’s, this ideal really took off when Hugh Hefner (RIP) brought to life the modern ‘Bachelor’ with the introduction of Playboy. Keep in mind, this was a marketing construction, built to sell magazines and a lifestyle to sad consumers who needed an outlet from their painfully repressed suburban lives.

Sidenote: If you don’t know the history behind Playboy, Penthouse & Bachelor pads, you totally should read on up…it’s beyond fascinating and such an interesting outcome from that time period. I’d suggest “The answer to suburbia: Playboy’s urban lifestyle.” Fraterrigo, Elizabeth. (2008). Journal of Urban History 34 (5): 747-774. It’s accessible online AND YES THAT IS A PROPER MLA CITATION THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

But I digress…Despite Hef’s genius marketing strategy, there really shouldn’t be differences in the way that men and women are perceived for the sexual choices that they make. I’m not naive to think that we can fully disrupt these norms, but we all biologically have hormones, so I refuse to support an antiquated ideal that forced women to wear CHASTITY BELTS to contain their sexual urges. Women want it just as men do and this is not blasphemous by any means.

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Damn – Between the Playboy and chastity belts references, this may be the most I’ve ever used my Communication Studies major in real life.

I am not saying that there isn’t a point in time where being sexually frivolous can be unfair to your partner and to yourself, especially if you aren’t taking necessary precautions. However, I truly believe that as long as you are being safe, respectful and doing your thing for the right reasons, you should feel empowered to sow your seeds in whatever field you’d like (Farming euphemism for the win!).  To me this means owning your choices and making them because you want to, not because they may perceived one way or another by someone else.

End of the day I still enjoyed parts of this movie – particularly Chris Pratt as Disgusting Donald and Andy Samberg as the sexually-perverse puppeteer – but I CANNOT STAND the ending message. Anna ends up with Chris Evans’ character, finally accepting that she can cross 20 partners and still get married, only to find out that she didn’t actually sleep with one of the guys and Evans is her 20th partner, putting her in the marriage range….wow, progressive AF you guys. One small step for feminism, followed by one subsequent face-plant into gender normativity.

Conclusion:

Forget everything this study has taught you. While it was fun to do and actually quite informative, the lesson here that is way more important than knowing how you compare to an average of your peers. It’s about realizing that the number of partners you have does not determine your self-worth. It is the choices you make that define who you are. Now that’s a tagline I can get behind.

Jane the Virgin is Woke AF

 

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Last weekend I was catching up on a couple episodes of Jane the Virgin, the amazingly exaggerated CW telenovela, when I was struck by how much I related to the usually over-dramatic show. ‘Chapter Seventy-Five’ centred around the concept of “re-framing”, a narrative device that uses previously withheld information to reshape the context of the plot.  In Jane’s storyline, the episode focused on re-framing her relationship with old flame Jonathan Chavez, her hot graduate professor that she almost lost her virginity to.  This episode really struck a nerve with me, dredging up emotions I’ve been wrestling with the past few months and rousing me from a 2.5 month blogging stupor. Jane, and her complex relationship with Chavez so articulately encapsulate everything I feel toward Mr. Man. So to borrow a page from Jane’s own playbook, I’ll be using her story to re-frame how I’ve been feeling in mine. Meta…I know.

Scene One:

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Jane needs a job, which leads her to message Chavez asking for an introduction to a professor who is currently hiring. Rightfully so, she feels tentative about reigniting things, re-writing her email to him over and over to ensure she’s portraying the right message of easy, breezy, and unbothered by the shitty end to
their relationship.

Cut-to: Me trying to compose work emails to Mr. Man that are friendly without being flirty, polite yet professional, but not like I’m trying to intentionally be so. Our ending may have been a little different from Jane’s (she cried before a hook up, while we just stopped talking) but nonetheless, the same awkward, unresolved tones hang in the air in both cases. Honestly, I’m sure that I’ve written university papers that are less edited than some of my responses to Mr. Man.

Scene Two: 

Screen Shot 2018-03-16 at 6.43.56 PMJane manages to overcome her email communication hurdles and reconnects with Chavez, just in time to learn that he’s seeing another student. She stalks him a bit online only to see that this pattern has happened not once, twice, but at least four other times…ouch.

Cut-to: Me finding out from a friend at work (Margaret) that Mr. Man has a rather widespread reputation for hitting up young girls in the office. Nice huh? This new-found information made the whole situation seem incredibly icky and I couldn’t help but feel like it was a reflection of my own optimistic naivety, where I somehow thought that I was *shudders* something special.  Maggie & I agree that it’s possible that I was to some degree based on what he’s shared with me, but it doesn’t matter either way. Finding out about this pattern basically invalidated all of my feelings and made me realize that at best I am just a rainbow chip in a larger chocolate chip cookie…damn, now I’m depressed and hungry.

Scene Three: 

Screen Shot 2018-03-17 at 1.00.48 AM.pngJane explains the situation to Raf in the quintessential intersection of her storyline and mine, sharing how she (and I) felt in two succinct sentences:

Jane: “I didn’t feel like he took advantage of me, at the time. I had a  huge crush on him and I went after him. But knowing that he slept with all these other grad students, it just reframes everything.”

Raf: ”You should report him.”

Jane: “For what? He’s not Marissa’s advisor. I checked. And there’s no clear university policy.”

Raf: “Well there should be, those are some intense power dynamics.”

Swap out Jane for me and Raf for Maggie and I SWEAR I’ve had almost this exact  conversation. While I don’t think that Mr. Man has ever ventured as far as Chavez, the parallels are still apparent. I didn’t feel like anything was wrong with his attention because I was really into it, I let him know I was open to something and was not innocent prey by any means. But knowing that he may have tried to pull the same thing with others is so disheartening, as is the realization that what I deemed to be ok behaviour really wasn’t, it just seemed that way because I was drunk on hormones.

So, should I report him? I’ve thought about it…but what would I report? Clearly he’s well-practiced in tip-toeing the line, making sure to push his bounds while never doing anything I could overtly point to at the end of the day. Thiss tactical approach only shows me how well-versed he truly is at this game, definitely upping the ick factor.

I feel as if the notion of power dynamics is one that becomes even more exaggerated in a business context. This is because in a literal sense some positions are just more powerful than others, a notion that isn’t groundbreaking by any means. However, on a more nuanced level, men in powerful positions also seem to have an inflated sense of self-importance, as if their role somehow points to having a higher status level overall. I can’t definitively claim that Mr. Man’s role at work made him feel as if he could treat me like a play thing with no feelings. But as the ‘feelingless play thing’ in this particular circumstance, it sure as hell seems that way.

So shout out to Raf for saying it best…those really were some intense power dynamics. Really what else was I to do in that situation…Be rude? I had no reason to think that he was being anything but genuine and only looking back does the game become more clear. From the moment he bought me a drink at the bar I was indebted to him to some degree. He always got our bills, made me feel special (*shudders* there it is again) and even recommended me for another job, making me feel like I should be grateful for his attention and cleverly masquerading whether or not I was being manipulated. He’s mindfucked me to the point that even now I feel absurd writing this blog post when “nothing” has really happened…but “nothing”doesn’t bother you for months after, so it’s time to put to rest the notion that this fabrication was created all on my own.

The last thing I will say is that I am so grateful that Jane the Virgin, which sounds like campy show about sex, tackled an issue as difficult as the power imbalances between men and women. While I never thought I was the only person to experience something like this, it was comforting seeing my own experiences articulated so clearly, and helped me re-frame those 6 months for what they really were: an inflated fantasy of an office romance constructed by trashy rom-coms, my own optimism and most of all, by Mr. Man.

 

Mr. Love You, Love You Not

Carrie – On the advice of my friends Pam and Sam, I’ve started to watch Jane the Virgin. 15 episodes in one day later (I’ve had a very relaxing holiday season, okay?), young Jane asks her mom “what does love feel like?”

Jane’s question inspired me to try to encapsulate my answers in a blog post. So also on strongly-worded suggestions from Pam and Sam, I’ve decided to finally write this blog that I’ve been putting off: the “I’m finally in a relationship again and I’m not sure if I’m in love” post.

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There are definitely benefits to being in a serious relationship again and more importantly, committing to someone you really care about. I’ve got a cute, beardy, genuinely nice guy from small-town Manitoba (SO not 6ix) who not only texts me back but calls me first; someone who has got his shit together; moreso than me, with a job, car, and no insane amounts of debt (thanks #lawschool). Bonus: he’s got two eyebrows! (see Mr. Unibrow). He is quick-witted; he remembers minute details like when I randomly told him I hated the taste of Dasani water and weeks later, he grabbed me an Aquafina bottle at the gas station; and my brain’s dopamine levels probably go off the charts when I see him calling my phone. It’s for sure the most mature relationship I’ve been in, with someone who is willing to talk about our issues, own up, and apologize (cause he’s the one who’s always wrong).

But sometimes I have nagging single-girl tendencies that come creeping up from the depths of my subconscious.

  • For example, gone are the days of the stints of dry spells; I have a consistent sex-source. (But also my only sex source.)
  • No longer do I have to worry about finding someone who’s down to Netflix with me on a Friday night in the -30 weather when I don’t feel like going out, I’ve got a go-to cuddle buddy. (But sometimes I miss regaling my girlfriends with stories of the latest fuckbois over brunch.)

I’m not sure what I was waiting for. I mean that in two ways. Firstly, I don’t know why I made such a big deal of holding out for my tenth kill. In fact, it was putting myself out there back on the Tinder grind full-throttle led me to Mr. LY/LYN. And now, with the thought of being tied down again, I wonder if I did myself a disservice to not have “lived” a little more while I’m still in my prime (I am convinced I peaked in fourth year).

But secondly, and maybe more curiously, I mean holding off this blog post. Is it my need to have the holistic picture after the end of relationships to be able to write about it? Is it my fear of publicizing my rejection online if/when things inevitably come to an end? Is it my perpetual mode to be cynical?

So here is my attempt to Be Brave and write about the thing that scares me the most: have I fallen in love again?

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“What does love feel like? How do you know for sure you’re in love?”

While Jane’s mother responds, “it sort of feels like your heart is glowing,” I find this very unhelpful in terms of practical assessment. If I were writing on the show, I would say there should be:

Continue reading “Mr. Love You, Love You Not”