Top 10 Tips to Survive Dating in 2018

In my free time, I’ve become a dating tip connoisseur. In fact, it’s almost a hobby at this point. I’ve been soaking up everything I can from Youtube videos, dating coaches and podcasts to learn everything I can to successfully date in the social media/technological age that we’re in. I think it’s a fascinating world and there’s so much content to learn from. In conversation with Sam the other day, she suggested I pull together a shortlist of tips that I’ve found effective so far in my life. Although there are specific do’s and dont’s from what I’ve listed, it’s not so much about the exact wording or protocol about doing things. Instead, it’s more about your mental state and approach to conducting yourself to date in a positive, healthy and self-respectful way.

So here goes, in no particular order, what I’ve found works best for me:

  1. Don’t contact him after the first date. Unless you forgot something or he said to text you when you got home safely, let him make the move. Having him text first when he’s ready will show an indication of his interest level. Too often I’ve gone on dates and focused on gauging MY attraction to them when I realize that’s only half the battle.
  2. Let him take the initiative to make plans. I want a guy that takes initiative and isn’t afraid to setup the plan. If he puts the ball back in your court, just say you’re up for anything and to surprise you. Having him put the effort in is also an indication of his interest level.
  3. Keep the texts short and sweet. It doesn’t need to come across rude, keep it flirty but get to the point. The purpose of texting should be make plans, not to get to know each other via message. As long as you’ve found out the basics about him and there’s somewhat of a common interest, everything about him can be learned on the actual date.
  4. If you’re unsure about the guy, make it a coffee date. It’s short, quicker and not as expensive as dinner or drinks. And if you both find out you like each other, it’s easy to transition into a drinks date after.
  5. Take the time to evaluate your hard yes’s and maybe’s. You don’t need a must have list of 20 physical qualities and characteristics – it’s not realistic, but focus more on the values and morals that you’d want in a person. At the same time keep an open mind on the date, he may surprise you and you may discover certain things you didn’t realize you’d be attracted to.
  6. Do not ever feel like you owe a guy anything after a date, no matter how much he’s spent on you. You are in control of your own body.
  7. If you can and are able, date multiple people casually at the same time. Trust me, I haven’t figure out how to successfully do it yet myself but I am told it is the healthiest approach to dating. By not focusing all your energy (and therefore desperation) on one guy, you can feel more at ease knowing that you have options and can take your time when evaluating for a good partner before you get into anything serious.
  8. If he cancels or comes across flakey, give him the benefit of the doubt and allow him to reschedule. If he doesn’t, move on. You’re not a top priority in his mind and you shouldn’t waste your time on someone who sees you as an afterthought.
  9. Self-reflect on your dating goals. What are you looking for? Are your actions and behavior aligning with your goals? Alter as necessary. There have been times where I say I’m looking for a relationship, but in truth, my body seems to yearn for something more casual. Coming to that realization was eye-opening for me and allowed me to tailor my dating style based on what I was looking for at the time.
  10. Above all, respect yourself and those around you. You deserve to have someone treat you well, and you should treat them in kind. If it’s not the right fit, don’t force it just because you’re lonely, it may damage you more in the long run.

That was just a few of the things I’ve learned over the years. It might not be to everyone’s taste but I think there is a fundamental vein of truth that runs throughout them. Let me know your thoughts or if you have any tips to share with our readers as well.

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Mr. 10(B) Unibrow

Carrie – Having held my re-born again virginity for nine months in hopes for the elusive 10 to mean something more, I wasn’t going to let some non-consensual quasi-hookup with Mr. High School Musical take that title. After processing what happened (lots of alcohol + Bumble guys = bad choices), I decided to get on the Tinder train in Ottawa.

I was talking to this Naval Architect and he was checking all the boxes. He loved drinking, had a full head of hair, a daily gym goer with a stable job and I was hooked. Plus he had trendy circular-framed sunglasses in his summer pics near the water and I just envisioned us wearing matching pairs as we lounged on the beach. (Yes, you may roll your eyes at me). We had been talking every day for just short of two weeks before he finally asked me out… talk about the slow game. As fate would have it (or his poor planning), he was leaving town to visit the east coast for a week. He told me he’d message me when he got back.

In the interim, I had matched with this other guy. He messaged me a couple of times so when Naval Architect left, I answered him back but he was definitely a back-burner type of guy. An Ottawa-native with a U of T business degree, his responses were nice but boring. After Naval Architect had come back for a few days (which I deduced from frequent stalking of Tinder “km away” LOL) but failed to message me, I sheepishly accepted the date with the other guy.

I end up meeting him for a patio beer and the sunlight hit his slight unibrow and patch of four white-heads near his nose just so. I was repulsed and named him Mr. Unibrow, vowing to write a post for the blog.

accurate

Continue reading “Mr. 10(B) Unibrow”

Mr. 10(A) High School Musical

Carrie –  For the past nine months, I have withheld my re-born again virginity from potential suitors in hopes that the next guy that I slept with would amount to something more. Not necessarily as in a boyfriend and not even necessarily more than one night (although ideal) – I’m talking about someone that I felt a connection with.

What was this weird self-imposed pressure to make it meaningful? Well, you see, the next guy I would sleep with would be my tenth. For someone who lost her virginity to someone she loved for five years after, I hadn’t ever envisioned myself having sex with more than one partner, much less eight others after that. Sex should be something more than lust, right? I started losing what sex had meant to me so I became infactuated with this idea that hitting double digits – the big 10 – should be something. Maybe 10 would even be my next One + Nothing (1 + 0) because everyone else before that didn’t really mean much.

Yet alas, the spell has been broken…

10(a) : Mr. High School Musical

            Upon heading back into the cesspool that is Ottawa from my May abroad, I felt hopeful my first few days of June. “Summer is the best season in Ottawa,” everyone boasted. With a best friend from the 6ix moving in with me for the summer and a good drinking crew, I was looking forward to Canada’s 150th anniversary in the capital.

Continue reading “Mr. 10(A) High School Musical”

Mr. Brazil

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Carrie – So after three months off of the dating app game, I found that my dating game had gone seriously downhill as well. There were a couple of guys here and there, but nothing that panned out and nothing I was excited about. I downloaded Happn because I thought it was the closest dating app that paralleled meeting someone in real life and in fact, I’ve had many an awkward run in with people on the app that I subway home with on the daily. Added bonus: I knew that Mr. Namaste was on it and things were either gonna “Happn” between us or not but I really needed to get over my little yoga crush. We matched. I messaged him “hey stranger, see you in class” (He didn’t respond. I haven’t seen him in class. I’m sure it’ll be awkward when we do. Nothing happened. I’m over it.)

It’s also the most overwhelming dating app for someone who is just getting back in the game. Your options are presented to you all at once, it tells you how many times you two have “crossed paths” and even narrows it down to the exact location. It’s tough to make a splash because unlike Tinder or Bumble or other swiping apps, the spotlight isn’t on your profile and guys don’t need to decide via swipe one way or another. Instead, your profile (aka your main picture) has to be attracting enough for someone to notice you out of the four options available on the screen. As a chick who is often picked somewhere in the middle of the pack when captains are choosing their sports teams, it seemed daunting to get anyone to match me.

Continue reading “Mr. Brazil”

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!)

Why I gave up dating apps and I’m happier

Carrie – I was watching an episode of Chelsea Handler’s new Netflix Series, Chelsea Does Marriage, where she features testimonials from her friends, family and complete strangers (ie. BDSM threesomes) on marriage, love, and relationships. One of the couples says, “We met online like everyone these days.”

I looked over at my sister, who recently met her boyfriend on Bumble (you’re welcome for forcing you to get it one drunken night). I thought of all the couples getting together and it was one of three things: a) work/school, b) mutual friends, or c) online. When you live in a city as isolating as Toronto can be, dating apps might be your best option.
Continue reading “Why I gave up dating apps and I’m happier”

Mr. Maritimes

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At the beginning of December I matched with Mr. Maritimes and we immediately clicked. He’s currently in school and wants to eventually work with those suffering from mental illnesses in psychopharmacology. He’s super close with his family, loves dogs, his niece and his hometown in New Brunswick. Sound like a great guy? Ya he is, and I, the family-oriented, psych grad with two dogs, quickly became infatuated with Mr. M and his optimistic outlook on life. I couldn’t wait to meet the guy who seemed like so much of what I was looking for.

There was one hiccup in what was sure to be our storybook romance. We matched while he was in the midst of (8!!!) exams and wouldn’t be able to meet in person because he was constantly studying. As timing is always on my side, he was then headed home for the holidays and I was going to Mexico, making January the first time we’d be able to physically meet. This is not my ideal situation in the slightest, and I told him that texting 24/7 was really out of character for me. He asked me to try and make the effort which I decided to do, as we’d had some AMAZING talks that went far beyond what we did on the weekend. However, while I really enjoyed our conversations, the little voice in the back of my head kept nagging me that there is a very good reason why I like to see if I have a connection with someone off the bat: People are not always as they always appear online. But, assuming I was being cynical, I put the voice in my head to rest by masking it with another urging me to give this guy a genuine chance.

After weeks of straight texting, Mr. M eventually decided to take a study break and meet me for a drink. I am not too proud to admit that I was super excited for the date, to the point where I cancelled plans that I was supposed to have afterward on the off chance that it went really well… if you know what I mean ;). Come Friday I was ready to finally figure out if Mr. Maritime was going to be as awesome in person as he was on paper.

Well, it’s not that I was catfished…he looked enough like his pictures and was similar enough to his texting persona, but the spark was not there….like at all. We met up at a really cool bar and definitely had a lot of common interests, we just didn’t have an in-person connection like we did virtually and it was far more disappointing after having already invested three weeks in each other. With time to think about our replies the conversations were awesome and complex, but in person they were static and forced. I was terribly disappointed and frustrated after the drawn out evening, but we continued to text back and forth. On my end, I knew I was going away the next week and for whatever reason decided not to “break off” our texting relationship before then. The day I left we spoke briefly and he told me to text him when I got back.

Midway through the first week of January I had still not texted him or written about our date. Initially, I wasn’t too sure as to why it was taking me so long to write the post. I am usually very good about writing about my experiences almost immediately after they happen, finding it a cathartic release of sorts. This time, I think I put it off because I was frustrated for going against my instincts and was also feeling guilty for not messaging him at that point. I had inadvertently invested about a month in someone that I didn’t want to be with, but obviously still respected, and was stuck between sending a “breakup” text or going against my instincts again and following my friends’ suggestion: ghosting him. All my friends suggested waiting for him to message me before I shut him down, but how awful would that be! At the same time, should I really reopen our dialogue with the sole intention of closing it?

Luckily, I decided to trust myself and messaged the guy. I figured it was better to let him off the hook instead of having him wonder if/when he was going to hear from me. Even though I felt shitty doing it, I explained that he was great but I didn’t see us moving beyond friendship. Turns out he had seen it coming (probably due to the delay in my message) but was cool about the whole thing and really appreciative that I hadn’t hung him out to dry. We parted ways with smiley emoticons and that was that.

Honestly, this whole thing was surprisingly hard on me and it sucks intentionally letting someone down. Nonetheless, I feel a whole lot better having tried to do the right thing instead of succumbing to the easy option of blissful ignorance. Clearly I’m very sensitive to the whole ghosting thing, explaining why I was unable to write this post until I had tied up all the loose ends. While I’m all for casual dating, it should never be at the expense of respect and human decency.

So there you have it, a moral dilemma far larger than the actual situation called for. But! If it’s true what they say and what goes around comes back around, then I’m taking this as a sign that there is sure to be some good karma coming my way soon.

 

Mr. Heteroflexible

Miranda- I did it! My first official one! I can now safely call myself a certified ho after having completed my first booty call.

Why is this so exciting, you may ask? Well, at the ripe old age of 22, I have not yet experienced a sexual session with no other intention other than hooking up. You see, before this, sex and emotions have always come hand in hand (unless there were severe amounts of alcohol involved). So, after the dismal ending of the story that is Mr. New York, I decided to challenge myself. I needed a rebound, to get out there, and honestly to just stop giving a fuck.

I’m now back on online dating with a vengeance. Within a day, I found my prey. He’s cute, fit, and seems to be on the same page, except for one interesting characteristic. He’s self-labelled as heteroflexible. Now this is the first time I’ve heard this term but from what I gather from him, he’s mostly straight (about 70%) but does enjoy the occasional company of men. This definitely piqued my interest. I talked to Mr. Heteroflexible for a couple more days before we set a time to do the deed.

It is the day of my debut and a couple hours before I was supposed to come over, he messages me saying that we’ll have to reschedule. What’s the reason? His dad’s boss’s son just hung himself that afternoon and his dad needs him while he’s under such emotional duress. I know, yikes. 3 days before Christmas too. I can’t even make this shit up if I tried. And this small, horrible, evil part of me couldn’t help but think: I just got cockblocked by a dead guy. Yeah, I know, I’m going to hell – probably first in line too.

We rescheduled for the next day and I Uber-ed to his condo at an extremely classy time: 12:30am. In fact, the Uber ride itself was extremely awkward. I had a talkative driver that was interrogating me on the purpose of my visit to a man on a Wednesday night. It’s like I was already doing the walk of shame. Except for I wasn’t walking, I was being driven and it was before anything even happened. An Uber drive of shame, more like.  As soon as I arrived, I was greeted by Mr. Heteroflexible with a hug. I then made a rookie mistake. I went up to hug him and said out loud “nice to meet you” for the concierge and other patrons of the lobby to hear. I definitely need more practice to be smoother about this process.

Mr. Heteroflexible on first impression was more of a Mr. Homosexual. I was surprised to hear a strong gay accent since he identified more straight than gay, but other than that he was pretty much what I expected. We went up and had some lighthearted talk with wine, but no moves have been made by either side. Half an hour later I went to the washroom and once I came back he tackled me. And so the booty call began. Afterwards, we cuddled and fell asleep. Wait, actually only he did. Never have I heard such a loud and obnoxious snore. Let’s just say I got no sleep that night and was tormented by his snores for the entirety of it.

Other than that though, I would say it was an overall positive experience. I’m proud of myself for trying it and I’m amazed to find that I can hookup just because I want to. I don’t need for there to be emotion attached to enjoy myself and have fun. I don’t need to leave these situations an emotional wreck and lament on every detail for the next few weeks. It’s kind of empowering in a way and I have gained a bit of confidence through this. I’m not sure if I’ll continue to do this in the future but at least I know I can. You see, I too can be a shameless ho.

#newyear #newresolutions

Mr. New York – Part 2

Miranda- If you haven’t read Part 1 yet STOP and read it here first.

So, I’m back. I’ve returned to the 6ix from my 4 day weekend of bliss in NYC.

Except it wasn’t bliss. It was more like a 4 day arranged marriage mixed with mild forms of social torture.

Let me just preface this by saying that regardless of how it turned out, I do not regret buying my ticket to visit Mr. New York. If I hadn’t, I would have never known the outcome and that would not be a feeling I could cope with. Would’ve, could’ve, should’ve and all that jazz.

Friday evening I arrived at LaGuardia airport only to meet a man that I barely even recognized. Who was he? Could this really be Mr. New York? I would think after talking to the same person constantly for 3 weeks straight, I should have an idea of what he’d be like in person. Nope. Nada. Negative. He was a stranger. Even after a couple minutes meeting him, an uncomfortable feeling started to set in as I realized that I would be spending the next 4 days with this man.

I wasn’t catfished – at least not intentionally. His face and voice were the same, two things I grew to really enjoy. But his mannerisms and physicality was not something I expected. He was truly awkward and dressed as if he were homeless with ill-fitting, holey clothes (not the stylish hipster kind either).

Even though we connected so well through messages, in person, we could not be more different. In retrospect, I realize that I idealized him too much and that even though I received some warning signs about him, I brushed them aside, minimizing the truth in my perception of him. Our ambition, social life, diet, and sense of humour were on opposite spectrums. I say diet like it’s a joke but his was legit insane. Not once during my trip did I see him drink water (you know, like, the liquid of life). Instead, his fluid of choice was APPLE JUICE – gulping straight from the 2L jug. I also don’t think he’d know what to do with a vegetable if you put it in front of him and directed him to a fork. All in all, he was a boy in a man’s body, and viewed life in that self-centric way that most people eventually grow out of.

The strangest thing though, was even though I was slightly heartbroken by the reality that was crashing down on me, I felt myself starting to like the real Mr. New York by the end of my visit. His odd mannerisms and ticks became endearing. I even hooked up with him a few times while together. I don’t know if it was just me forcing myself to make the best of the situation or if given enough time, I could truly be attracted to him. Either way, it was an insane rollercoaster of emotions.

So, how do I feel now knowing what I know? Sad and disappointed. I am still in complete shock how wrong I could have been about a person. I miss my idealized image of Mr. New York; the fantastical person I created in my head. But, that’s not a realistic or healthy way to think. This was an experience, and one definitely for the books (or the blog), and even though Mr. New York was far from my Mr. Perfect, I’m still glad it happened.

#noragrets

Chronicles of a Toronto F*ckgirl: Part Five – Mr. Blind Spot

Carrie – Have you ever been so bored at work that you get horny? Like an uncomfortable-in-your-ergonomic-desk-chair, drinking-more-water-as-if-that-will-satiate-your-thirst type of horny? Well that’s what I was feeling on this particular Tuesday and when Mr. 3 Chances 2 Many was unavailable, I decided I’d toss Mr. Blind Spot a bone(r).

I invite Mr. Blind Spot to come over to my apartment. I thought his text about “seeing each other a few more times, taking things slow and see where they go” was just a formality, especially since he asked for casual relationship. So he arrives on a rainy evening, we end up making out on my bed and five minutes in, he pulls out a condom. It was a little fast for my taste, in terms of our relationship overall but also in foreplay tbh. However, I did really like him and my animalistic urges took over. I made him promise not to turn into an asshole after sex, he asked for clarification and then agreed, and I let him take control of the situation. As someone with a strong personality, he was one of the first guys I’ve been with that was the more dominant one in bed and I have to say it was a fun time. We went multiple rounds, even when my sister got home. At that point, he asked to do it in my apartment stairwell and I was slightly freaked out by his experience and kinkiness. However, all those worries were quieted when we lying together in my bed and he asked me to “netflix now that we’ve chilled.” I began setting up my laptop for a makeshift TV but he asked to go hang out on my living room couch, which is in a lot of ways the more intimate setting. He met my sister while we cuddled, kissed and joked around quoting Superbad together. He even gave me a foot massage with my fuzzy socks on.

At this point, I was just going to see Mr. 3 Chances because I have a tendency to run when I got scared and I was really into Mr. Blind Spot. So when Mr. Blind Spot texted me on Friday and Mr. 3 Chances was late again that night, I decided to meet up with the guy I actually liked instead. Mr. Blind Spot ended up going to the Maddy when I was near the Drake Hotel at a party, so I gave up on us meeting up and began scarfing down King’s Slice (biggest and great pizza in Toronto). It was around 2:30 a.m. when he started texting me consecutively. I should have listened to How I Met Your Mother when they said “nothing good happens after 2 a.m.” because he invites me over as I’m getting home. I guess my decision to go was partially because I am a human being with sexual needs and because I really liked this guy and wanted to spend more time with him before he left to London for the next couple of days. So yolo.

After a sketchy 4 a.m. uber ride, he walks me in and I get to see his room with nerdy airplane and robot models, a rubix cube with instructions on how to complete it, a huge TV, mismatched birch furniture that looks like it’s from a childhood room and a guitar. We are naked together, cuddling with my head resting on his shoulder when he gives me a forehead kiss. At that point, I’m a goner. The next morning (really only a couple hours later), I wake up with an abundance of energy considering how little sleep we got, and I get to see a boyish messy haired version of this very composed guy. When he wakes up a little more, he plays me a beautiful melody on the guitar with the sun beating down on him, barefoot in jeans, leaning against the wall. I’m resting my head on his duvet enjoying the moment and he sets his guitar down, resting his head across from me so that we’re looking at each other. Sometimes you can feel when you really connect with someone and that was the shifting moment when emotions got involved – a connection between two people outside of all the cellphones and sex and hookup culture that surrounds us these days. Two people staring at one another, eye to eye, not talking but just connecting as humans do. I know it’s dorky to say but it was special.

It was also after this moment that I felt his wall go up. At first, I thought it was because we were heading into public on the subway. He started rambling about his masters’ thesis, something about wing span gradient and range, then I gave him a shy kiss as we parted and he gave me a little salute in response. He texted me after the weekend and we were chatting when midway, he said “he feels weird about all that’s happened last week.” Knowing the end was impending, I asked him if he’d rather stop talking or meet in person. We decide to meet at Queen’s Park Station where we sat at a booth and he proceeds with small talk. I tell him to cut to the chase, why is he feeling “weird” and he tells me a relationship shouldn’t start off with so much sex. I immediately think of this as an insult against me and my womanhood –that I am the culprit of seduction when it was an act between the two of us. He realized he couldn’t do casual because he was a ‘boyfriend type guy’ but he wasn’t ready to be in a relationship yet since he just broke up with his ex in August. I was shocked: at the double standard he was using against me, especially since he initiated sex between us; at the fact that he confessed he’s only had sex three times before me because he was amazing in bed; at the fact that it was ending and it wasn’t my choice; but mostly at the fact that he made my biggest fears of another meaningless two night stand come true. I forgot to check my blind spot with this guy and I ended up crashing. When I got home, I sobbed uncontrollably at the rejection, replaying every moment between us where I could have flubbed up things. The bargaining stage of “maybe if I hadn’t done this or that, then…” I was disappointed and I was blaming myself.

But as I’m writing this, I’m thinking of the number of people I’ve been with this past year and a half of being single and how many unpursued connections that could have been romantic options, temporarily or otherwise. Things worked out after one of my biggest heartbreaks to date, I reminded myself. And as I travelled by Queen’s Park Station, I was reading Mindy Kaling’s latest book, thinking how she’s still writing about these disappointments with love interests at 34. The next breath I took wasn’t as jagged, it didn’t hurt quite so much anymore, and I felt hopeful for the first time. I realized how I still have years to be as successful as Mindy and an infinite amount of time to find the love(s) of my life. Hell, I’ve already been in love and that’s a lot more than other people can say. Reflecting on that Tim Horton’s booth where things ended before they started between me and Mr. Blind Spot, I had just had an epiphany.

Since failed romances are supposed to be about learnings, I’ll impart mine upon those of you who have stuck around to read this:

It’s not about your looks. It’s not about your personality. Essentially, it’s not about you. It’s not even necessarily about the way you guys mesh together. It’s truly about what you and your interest are looking for at the moment. These guys may want the same vision as me down the line, but when we’re all out here in the 6ix in our early 20s, it’s our time to be selfish. Don’t take it personally.

I failed as a Toronto F*ckgirl. Instead of dating multiple people and not caring about anyone other than me, I ended up being monogamous and getting hurt. But that’s because I care about people and most importantly, I love myself enough to think I deserve the best rather than settle. At the end of the day, I wouldn’t give that up for anything. I know I’ll find someone out there someday who will want the same things as I do at that moment. It’s gonna happen for me again when it happens. In fact, I’m sure I’ll find many somebodies. It just takes time to get over the somebodies that you think might be someone to you. So be patient, be strong, and keep sifting through the f*ckboys.

May the force be with you this holiday season, my friends. Merry Christmas!