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.

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.

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. Heartbreak Breakup

Carrie – The curse of having a great memory is having to disassociate every moment you’ve ever shared with him. 

The latest memory that sent me into tears was mini donuts. Yes my friends mentioned mini donuts, a great joy in people’s lives and diets, but a bitter sweet reminder of our first date when we lined up in front of the “hot and fresh” carnival donut stand.

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yes, this made me cry recently

The saddest part of having a formal relationship is knowing that the transition never really involves after-the-fact friendship. Maybe ex-sex or the occasional run-in. But rare to have true friendship if you didn’t start off with it. Continue reading “Mr. Heartbreak Breakup”

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”

An Ode to 2017

Samantha – Just this past week a new year has sprung, and as such I’m thinking of the men who have hung
Around for the past 300-odd days, there are some to forget and some worthy of praise.
So to keep this “year-end-review” both creative and fun, I’m attempting to rhyme about the conquests I’ve won.
This poem may seem lame and a little bit crass, but it’s just a joke so don’t take it that seriously you ass!
Ok, enough of this intro, let’s get to the deets. Recounting my love life in rhyme is truly a feat.

The year started out with a dry spell in fact, I’d insulted Boston Babe and he wasn’t coming back.
As well I was caught up in dramatic affairs, my best friend confessed he loved me but I couldn’t have cared.
That’s not true, I’ll admit, I cared a whole lot, but not in the way that he wanted I’m afraid not.
So he “dumped me” for a while as a friend and anything more, I was hurt, I was sad and a little unsure
How I could’ve been dumped from something I wasn’t in, a trend I now recognize with a little chagrin…

At the Superbowl I left during the halftime show, for a one night stand that cemented my spot as a ho
In the hookup hall of fame as I returned to my friend after finishing my tryst to watch the game’s end.
My next interaction came as quite a shock, I met a girl that I vibed with and our hookup? It was hot.
She wanted to see me again to my surprise but I had to cut that off because I really just like guys.

Fast forward a few months to my trip to San Fran, I left for the weekend with a friend and a plan
To have new experiences both wild and fun, little did I know that I’d be the wildest one.
UK Bae had a hold over me that I can’t quite describe, I swear when he looked at me I felt my insides
Flip over like gymnasts who would certainly win gold,  with a hookup to match I was basically sold.
This guy was amazing! I thought with glee, but that wasn’t entirely the full story you see,
Fore he had a girlfriend who wouldn’t be impressed, with my lust for her boyfriend, not my best move I will stress.
But I couldn’t ignore our connection which felt so strong, and we kept talking for months, both knowing it was wrong.
A couple months later our affair came to an end, the sexting was LIT but we didn’t see each other again.

Lucky for me I had many distractions, the night after UK Bae, Senor San Fran sprung into action.
Also a hookup that was top notch, this Mexican hottie lit a fire in my…..heart 😉
We also kept talking, even skyped once or twice, I was attracted to him and he was very nice,
But I didn’t want to keep up our constant communication and stopped answering his messages, except on occasion.
Oddly this sweet guy never did quit, and at the end of this month he’s coming to visit.

In August I went with Pam to Bolivia and Peru, we met 4 cute Irish boys, quite more than a few.
As usual, romance abroad is rather fortuitous, and  I met a cute Brit who came over to dance with us.
We had a little fun in my hostel bed, then I left at 6 am not catching feelings, but a flight instead.
I’ll note a couple of others who had little effect, who came in and out of my life as you’d expect:
One man from the bar who was on too much blow, another whose moves were just quite so-so.
A friend on Halloween became a little more, oh shit this poem is making me sound like a whore.

For those of you who are paying attention, at the beginning of this poem I happened to mention
That I’d break up with guys who I hadn’t been dating, a recurring issue equally as odd as it is grating.
One time in particular I went with a friend to watch a rugby game but then at the end
He referred to me as “his girl” not once and not twice, but often to strangers which I didn’t think was nice.
The next time we met for bacon and eggs, I broke up with him before our coffees reached the dregs.
He was totally aghast, shocked and offended, handed back my waterbottle and said “Our relationship has ended”.
I tried to keep a straight face and act all serious, but couldn’t believe he’d been so delirious.
He’s got a girlfriend now so maybe I’m Good Luck Chuck, But that doesn’t seem possible because we didn’t even fuuuuuuuu…

Through all of these stories, the good and the bad, I’m glad to report none have made me upset or mad,
Except for one dude who I didn’t even bang! Who is he? Yup, you guessed it, it’s Mr. Man.
Long story short the flirtation has lasted far beyond being fun and I wish I was past it!
Every time I feel over him he crops up once again, keeping me on the hook but insisting we’re friends
You’d think a man of his age would be fully grown, but 6 months later and I feel totally thrown
So I’m starting 2018 fresh and anew, with a resolution to stop wasting time where it’s undue.

And thus we end off the story of my year, I think that at this point it’s pretty clear
that I wasn’t on the lookout for one true love, but kept my mind open, indicative of
a year that turned out nothing short of amazing, no heartbreak, disrespect or men needing tazing.
While my flings came and went, as they so often do, I still think that I learned a grand thing or two:
Follow your heart but think with your head, and always feel empowered to kick that fuckboi out of bed.
I cannot wait to see what 2018 will bring, as long as it’s not Mr. Man drama, well then that’s a good thing!

Mr. Handball

Miranda – In September of this year, I went on an epic solo vacation to Israel and Cyprus. To sum up my trip, think beaches, booze, partying, falafel, and orthodox Jews. Although meeting boys wasn’t a large aspect of my trip, I did walk away with one experience that is impossible not to share.

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This story is probably as close as I’m going to get to a Disney fairytale love story minus the G rating and the happily ever after ending. Picture this: an exhausted and gross looking me carrying a massive backpack, standing outside the Tel Aviv airport trying to figure out how to get to my hostel. I have just been informed that since it was Shabbat, the whole country, including trains and transportation, had been shut down. Lucky me. There must have been a look of panic and stress on my face because a man with a suitcase approached me asking if I needed help. Turns out he was an undercover security guard posing as a tourist. He guided me to the taxis as that was now my only option to get to the city, but not before asking me for my number. Still frazzled and confused, I gave it to him – not out of interest but more out of not wanting to reject him after helping me, and who knows what type of heat he was packing under his fake tourist clothes.

I head over to the taxi stand and try to call one through a machine. Beside me I hear someone say “don’t do that – it’s a waste of time. Just order it from the person over there.” I turn around and there’s this tall, hot guy, later to be known as Mr. Handball, walking past me. I yell thank you and start talking to the taxi coordinator, only to be in shock at the price to get to Tel Aviv. Still carrying my backpack, the hot guy is now in a taxi and motions for me to come over. I guess he too, noticed my anxiety, because he asked if I want to split the taxi with him since we’re headed in the same direction. His dad was seated in the front of the taxi, so it made me feel comfortable enough to say yes and literally get in a car with a stranger. We talk in the backseat throughout the drive and the driver drops them off first, but not before Mr. Handball asks for my number. Surprised yet again, this time however, I willingly gave my number. After he left, I couldn’t help but thinking: I’ve been in Israel for less than an hour, and have already been picked up twice. This is definitely something I could get used to.

Fast forward to the next day, Mr. Handball messages me and offers to take me out and show me around. I’m totally game and he picks me up Saturday night at 11pm from my hostel. He’s hotter than I remember and I’m already looking forward to my first Israeli hookup. Only in the car does he tell me that he’s a professional handball player and his first game of the season is the next day. Because of this, we can’t go to bars or clubs in Tel Aviv as we had originally planned because he can’t be seen out drinking the night before a game and Tel Aviv is relatively small, so he would definitely run into people he knew. Instead, we drive to a quiet street and sit on a closed restaurant’s patio drinking from my little Smirnoff mickey I brought (I always like to be prepared). He then pulls out some cigarettes, tells me he shouldn’t be smoking before the game either, but we go ahead and share a few anyways. I’m getting drunk at this point and he pulls me over to his lap and brings me in for a kiss. At this point we’ve run out of alcohol, so he offers going back to his place to grab some more alcohol before we go out to a club. Ignorant little me thought we’d just swing by his place first to quickly to down some shots and then head out but of course, we ended up having sex (which would seem obvious, in hindsight). Mr. Handball mentions that having sex before a game is also not good for performance but it’s not like it stopped his advances on me nor did I give a shit of how he played tomorrow as long as he was playing me well now.  By now it’s past 2am and all the clubs are near closing but we try driving around to find a nearby spot anyways. With no luck finding anything open at this time, he takes me to the beach and picks up some Israeli snacks for me to try (side note – they have the most amazing Cheetos type things made out of peanuts, it’s divine). It was a mixture of chilled out talking and cheeky high school fooling around until 5am before he dropped me back off at my hostel.

The next day he messaged me saying his team lost the game. I guess at this point I shouldn’t even be surprised, he did warn me. But – I was clear from the get-go that he couldn’t put the blame on me for making the decision to drink, smoke and have sex before a big game.

All in all, it is one of my personal favourite hookup stories. It’s just too bad it started from the moment I landed and began my vacation, as nothing after that lived up to the hype and excitement of my meeting Mr. Handball.