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

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Bachelorette in Hell

 

Carrie – Move over Bachelor in Paradise, there’s a new show called Bachelorette in Hell and it is my love life. (That was cheesy, I apologize.)

Throughout the first few weeks of January, in order to get over my obsession with Mr. Heart Emoji, I distract myself with an app called Bumble where the girl has to talk to the guy first. Now, I’m pretty good with alluring men with one liners. In fact, I arrange three dates in one weekend.

Keeping em? That’s a different story (aka this blog post).

Continue reading “Bachelorette in Hell”

Mr. Heart Emoji – Part II

[Hey, if you haven’t read Part One, you might get confused. Click the link here!]

Carrie – In true blackout fashion, I remember saying “cheers” with my gal pal and Mr. Heart Emoji on our third round of tequila shots. Then not much more.

I am blackout at the pre but in cruel, cruel fashion, my brain can recall one interaction. Profusely flirting with Mr. Grilled Cheese, we end up as the only two people in the one of two rooms, probably because I was making everyone uncomfortable with my aggressive flirtation. (I was told later I was doing this IN FRONT OF Mr. Heart Emoji because I am a fuckgirl). I drunkenly confess to Mr. Grilled Cheese, “Well like you’re the last person I’ve slept with! Aren’t I the last person you’ve slept with?”

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I still cringe at how much of an embarrassment I like to make my life. Then he stutters “uhhhh” for approximately a minute. I save him by telling him I know I’m not, call him a manwhore, and top it off with a, “But I know you’re into me.” To my dismay, he answers, “A little bit.” Me: “A little bit?” “Yeah, a little bit.” I swear I probably would have mounted him right there if we weren’t in public cause I am such a horny little drunk.

I end up at a bar. How I got there, not too sure. As far as I’m concerned, Mr. Grilled Cheese was not there. I remember snippets of sitting in a booth with my gal pals and Mr. Heart Emoji, and also snippets of drinking water out of the bathroom faucet, just to prove that 23 is still not a classy age. I think I had fun and my Visa bill proves that.

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Accurate depiction of me receiving my visa bill.

Now the next bit is where it gets interesting. There is a 24 hour diner near the bars in Ottawa. At that point, I was not aware of this. (Now that I am, that Visa bill will only continue to grow.)

Mr. Heart Emoji and I wind up there. Alone. I deduce he must have asked me to go at 2 AM because I’m confused why we’re in a booth alone and none of our friends join us. But I happily order a $16 burger (one that I later proceed not to eat a single bite of) when a classmate shows up. Now let’s call him Tree cause he is ridiculously tall and dresses like a lumberjack. Tree starts by asking if he’s interrupting me and Mr. Heart Emoji. We say no, then he sits beside me and Tree asks, “but you guys are gonna bang tonight, right?”

Continue reading “Mr. Heart Emoji – Part II”

How to Stop Feeling Insecure on Dates

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By: Rachel Esco

We all wish we could strut into a dating situation with confidence soaring and heels stomping like a queen. Yet, for many ladies, creating this strong aura of confidence does not always come so easy. Some are just born with it, while others may find it harder to find their groove. This is completely normal. But unfortunately, if you struggle with confidence, it can sometimes suck the fire out of your romantic life. So, if you’re a self-believing woman who wants to own it in the dating world, here’s how to stop feeling insecure on dates.

Make him work for you

Make your date work for your approval, instead of desperately trying to win his. If you’re too eager to earn his thumbs-up, he’ll feel like you are inferior. Jumping through hoops will actually makes him lose interest because you’re doing all the chasing. After a few weeks, this power shift makes you feel insecure and less desirable.

So, the next time you find yourself on a date with a guy you like, try being more relaxed and invite him to work for your affections. Let him ask you more questions or flirt to seek your badge of approval.

Extinguish cockiness immediately!

Ever been on a date with guys who think they’re prince charming? These guys always find a way to mention their model ex or brag about how picky they are with looks, only to put themselves on a pedestal…ick! It’s vital for your confidence to avoid these clowns, but if you’re ever stuck on a date with one, you should learn to extinguish all that ego.

For example, he makes a cocky comment about how he rarely commits to a relationship status. Instead of sacrificing your security by wondering how you measure up to his standards, you should come back with a clever comeback about how you’re not concerned with tying him down in the foreseeable future. Ultimately, when nip his attitude right away, you avoid inflating his ego and bashing yours.

Believe you’re a prize

Knowing your value is the key to feeling confident on dates. If you genuinely believe in yourself, he’ll be more likely to want to invest his effort with you. It’s simply a matter of attracting vibes—people appear more desirable when they show self-belief; they exude an impressive aura that pulls in others.

To create this dynamic, you should date with the belief that you’re a prize who deserves to be pursued. Don’t be intimidated to openly show this attitude and make him see your self-love. Through this persona, you’re creating the reality that you’re someone who should be desired. Ultimately, whether he ends up chasing you or not, you should always date with confidence and grace.

Own it and don’t apologize

Never apologize for your dating goals. Many women worry about admitting that they want a relationship because they’re worried about scaring off the guy. Boo on him! This dating myth was likely concocted by jaded women with too many bad dates, who have spread these tales to prevent other women from falling into the same trap. Forget about the stories you’ve heard.

Hear these words: if a guy rejects you because you want commitment, he isn’t worth an ounce of your time, and the fault is his, not yours. Never apologize or feel bad for wanting the love, marriage and the whole nine yards. And never feel less secure about your dating goals just because a lousy jerk doesn’t share them. 

Master other dating apps

When in doubt, try your luck on another dating app. If your current ones are hoarded with perverted selfies and commitment-probes, maybe it’s time to find something better. There’s so many guys out there who aren’t jerks and won’t leave you feeling insecure. Considering closing your account if you’re using hookup apps like POF and Tinder and try Match or WhoWinkedMe, which are great for people searching for love, magic and all the good stuff. Ultimately, whatever you’re looking for, you should focus on a dating app that can give you the right results.

– Rachel Esco is a lifestyle blogger based in Toronto, known for her spicy articles on dating, beauty and nightlife.