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New Year, New Me.

Happy New Years!

New year, New Me. .. I actually dislike this expression, so I am using it in the most snarky way possible 🙂

I do; however, love New Years! The idea of starting the new year with a blank slate and making goals for yourself is very exciting to me. My 2019 New Year’s resolution is to actually be more social.  I look back at 2018 and in the whole year I only went on four first-dates. Four! in an entire year! I actually didn’t make many new friends either! In parallel with this resolution I am going to attempt to online date (for real this time).

I started this blog two months ago (Nov 2018) with a goal of meeting people.  I thought if I had some awful online dates I could at least have fun blogging about them afterward. Unfortunately, since I began this blog I have only been on one first-date…and it wasn’t awful.

In preparation for this resolution; one week prior to 31Dec2018 @ 11:59p,  I swiped away and secured 129 Tinder matches!! Of these 129 matches, 31 of them said ‘hello’…not a bad start to the new year!!

Here’s a quick breakdown of my conversations with these 31 guys:

  1. Lincoln- cute guy, business owner, 2604 miles away. No convo.
  2. Jake- blue collar, looks like he likes his booze (not sure how we matched up). No convo.
  3. Dave-no convo with this one either, he looks very young.
  4. Chris- I ghosted #4 too, but he’s wearing a wife beater, soo…
  5. Paul- Oh gosh I stopped talking to #5 as well. I’m five for five. No wonder I’m unsuccessful at this.
  6. Darren- Guy from Texas, convo ended at “how are you?”
  7. This guy, Matt I talked to for a few days, and actually gave him my number and we continued to text. He asked me out to dinner but for some reason we stopped talking. Too bad, he has amazing eyes and he plays hockey.
  8. Moe- this poor guy, I ignored this message as well. He looked a little too thug for me (bad swipe on my part).
  9. #9- Chris, was interesting. We started chatting on Sunday. He asked if I was watching the Pats. I told him I didn’t watch football and he replied with “sorry I asked”. Conversation ended at that. Maybe I should watch football?
  10. Brian- this guy said ‘hello’, but spelled my name wrong. I didn’t reply back (post-typo).
  11. #11-Aaron. We didn’t talk much. He’s in Denver visiting family. Maybe we will chat when he gets back.
  12. Patrick! Patrick. Patrick. He is married and looking for a fun girl on the side. His wife does his laundry but doesn’t pack his lunch for work.
  13. Brendan- short conversation with this guy. He seemed offended when I asked if he was going out of New Years.
  14. Stas- I ghosted #14 when he kept using *winking* faces and implying sexual innuendos. A dirt-bag on Tinder? How unoriginal.
  15. Craig-this guy lives in Framingham, too far away.
  16. Dan- this guy ignored me after I replied back to his ‘how are you?’
  17. This guy weirded me out when he asked why a ‘nice girl’ like me was on this site with (of course another *winky* face… Sigh
  18. Lucas-I owe this guy a reply…my bad
  19. Tim- this guy had an annoying sense of humor. And he’s a firefighter. I love firefighters (I really, really do) but I have an unfair stigma about all of them being cheating pigs. It’s too bad really. I never swipe right on firefighters, this was an accident.
  20. Andy- this guy was an older match that I didn’t talk to that randomly popped back up. I wasn’t interested the last time we talked.
  21. Bryan- seems nice enough, he just asks a lot of questions. Conversation doesn’t seem to flow.
  22. Rob- umm…I owe this guy a response
  23. Andres- and this guy too
  24. Bryan- and this one…
  25. Sam- I am talking to this one. The back n forth is just really slow. He seems nice enough though.
  26. Fiddy (is this even a name?)- This guy is weird. He called me a “sexy b”..twice
  27. Mike- this guy is cute, he has a red beard too 😊 We have been talking for almost a week, but we haven’t talked about meeting up. He could possibly be in a relationship as well.
  28. Dominic- this one is ridiculously sexy and out of my league haha
  29. I am steadily talking to the final three (Mike, Matty, and Jason).
  30. Maybe I will meet one of them this weekend!
  31. Fingers crossed.

What I learned about myself from this little exercise:

  • Only about  25% of my matches said ‘hi’.  I may need to start saying ‘hi’ to better my chances at being successful.
  •  Of that 25% only about 1 in 10 I have been able to carry a conversation with. If I want to successfully online date (one or two dates per week) I may need to match with 150-200 men per week.  Yikes.
  • I need to be better at replying back or unmatching.  Leaving people in limbo is not very nice.

Christmas 15 years ago, and today.

Past:

Christmas was always my favorite holiday. Fifteen years ago, at the age of 17, I shared my first apartment with my boyfriend.  We moved into the apartment just before the holiday and I was so excited to have a place of my own, to decorate. I had the Christmas music, the scented candles, and the garland hung in between the rooms.  I even started hand painting my own tree ornaments the Summer before.  I loved Christmas.

I remember Christmas Day 2003 like it was yesterday. I can remember the temperature in the air, and smell of the cold, all the feelings.

Lars and I got into a big fight a few days before Christmas. It was a fight that I started. I was angry for being 17 and a stay at home mom.  I was angry that I dropped out of high school and felt trapped in our small one-bedroom apartment for days on end.  I was angry that he was working two 40-hour jobs and never home.  And when he was home, it was to sleep, and I felt under pressure to keep a crying baby, quiet.  We were so young.

We got into the fight on Monday, and we didn’t talk for a few days. On Thursday, following my family Christmas dinner I drove to Lars’s mom’s house.  All afternoon I had a nagging feeling that something wasn’t right.  It was there, in her neighborhood, I pulled up to a road blocked off by police. I got out of my car. His jeep was parked ahead, driver’s window broken out, blood everywhere and his body on a stretcher covered with a white sheet.  He died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. That’s exactly how his death certificate stated it. The shock is like nothing I can explain, it was as if everything in my chest dropped into my stomach.  I walked back to my car and drove to my grandparent’s house, me and my newborn son in the back seat.

The rest of the night is a blur. At some point I went back to the apartment we shared. Our answering machine was full of messages his friends left, apologizing for missing his call the night before. He had called his friends to say goodbye.

The days and weeks following his death were most difficult of my life. You hear about a depression that leaves people unable to get out of bed. I did get out of my bed to care for Connor, but I didn’t do much else. I didn’t leave the house or go into public for weeks.  I didn’t shower, I didn’t eat.  I was so sick.  Sick with shock.  Sick with sadness.  Sick with guilt.  I couldn’t allow myself to put food into my mouth when all I could think of how hopeless he felt the night he put a gun to his head.  I had nightmares almost every night. I went to the cemetery every day, for years.

Eventually, after a few months following his death, I began working again. I remember when I forced myself to carry on a normal life. I can remember driving past Dunkin Donuts one morning, the drive thru line was to the street, just like every other morning.  I remember thinking how everyone in the World woke up that morning and carried on their normal routines.  There I was, barely able to function, I felt so numb.  Dealing with his death was impossible.  It was a sadness I don’t wish on anyone.  Every day was a struggle to get through.  I began writing all my thoughts into a journal, always starting with a fresh page and never looking back.  I bartered with myself to get through each day.  I remember one day I promised if the pain I was feeling at that time, was the same on the following Christmas, then I, too, would end everything.  It was a promise that finally offered relief.

Summer 2004 came, and when I wasn’t looking, I had met someone.  And though the relationship only lasted a couple years it served a very important purpose, it helped pull me out of every dark place and helped me to find balance.  Even though I was still mourning Lars’s death, I was able to see through the fog and to balance the feelings of hopelessness with feelings of clarity and most importantly, future.  And because of that I was able to find the energy I needed to be a better mother to Connor.

For a long time, I felt I was the girl whose boyfriend killed himself. I felt people looked at my differently, treated me differently, judged me.  I had strangers tell me that he shouldn’t have had a funeral or shouldn’t be remembered in any way because he committed suicide. Eventually I stopped talking about Lars and any conversation that might lead to his name.  I became a conversation-ninja avoiding conversation about him, Connor and major life milestones altogether.  Unfortunately, I am still that way  today.

 

Present:

I have spent the last 15 Christmas’s alone. The years immediately following Lars’s death I pretended I wasn’t feeling well.  Many years afterward that I would tell my family I was with my boyfriend’s family and tell his family I was with mine.  It wasn’t meant to be deceitful, I just wanted to be left alone.  I still to this day, spend Christmas alone.  I don’t lay in bed crying, I don’t drink myself into a stupor (well, maybe sometimes).  I usually just go for a run, clean the house, etc. I don’t use the day to throw a pity-party for myself, but instead I use Christmas day as a day of recognition and respect for someone who felt such hopelessness that he no longer wanted to be on this Earth.

I think of him every day. I can remember so many conversations, vividly. He always wanted Connor, he was always optimistic about our future, and Connor’s future.  He wanted success for me; I remember the Summer of 2003 we bumped into a friend of his at Walmart.  We were standing in the back of the store, near the gardening section, talking to the guy.  He asked Lars what his post-high school plans were and if he planned to go to college.  Lars looked at me and he told him he had to get me through college first.  I will never forget that moment, and though it was special at that time, following his death, it became my mission.  I had no choice but to go to college and to be successful for myself and for Connor, and that I did.

Today 15 years have passed, his memory is very much still with me. Every Christmas I reflect on my feelings, and changes that have evolved from the year prior and from 2003. This year, in particularly I have reflected on the shift in the stigma surrounding suicide.  15 years ago, people didn’t mention the word ‘suicide’.  The only people who killed themselves were drug addicts, or losers. I couldn’t even go to therapy 15 years ago because there was an undertone surrounding his death that felt like ignorance to the situation.

Today, as a culture, we are so much more accepting of depression and mental illness. My silver lining this Christmas is how far we have come as a society to break down the stigma of suicide.  Maybe, just maybe, we can go a step farther.  Maybe not everyone who kills themselves are suffering from a mental illness.  Maybe they are young, with too much on their plates.  Maybe they are just an average-Joe person going through a rough patch, feeling overwhelmed, feeling hopeless and unable to see past their pain at that moment. Maybe this shift is something I will get to see in another 15 years.

 

 

the push..marriage

Two Summers ago, I briefly dated someone who I kind of hit it off with.  At the end of Summer 2017 he was scheduled to move to Vancouver for a year for a Orthopedic fellowship.  There was no guarantee when (or if) he would return, so things ended but we still remained in contact.

Recently he returned to New England and messaged me asking to meet up this weekend.  Within the first five minutes, the conversation quickly went to marriage.

“Why aren’t you married?” “Are you seeing anyone?” “Are you having sex?” “Why don’t you settle down with him?”     …total sensory overload.

This made me wonder, why do people feel it is acceptable to ask me why I’m not married? 

I can’t even count how many times this question comes up.  At Holidays, reunions, family events, etc.  Constantly I am having to defend why I’m not married.   Honestly, I feel at my age I am probably not going to get married. I don’t even like to be touched by 99% of people I meet, let alone move forward in any kind of physical relationship.  I am probably a asexual at this point, like  a plant–maybe a hosta or a fern.  I never use to feel this way, but the older I get and the longer I have been alone, the happier I have become.

I just wrote my rent check, all by myself.  I didn’t have to split it with anyone.  I didn’t have to fight over money, or sleep on the couch at all in the past month.  I went out last weekend, and when I came home I didn’t have anyone waiting for an explanation as to why I was out so late.  Yes, I know these aren’t healthy examples of a relationship, but they have been my experiences.  I can take a shower for 20 minutes or 30 minutes for 3 days straight– if I wanted to, and I have no one to answer to.

Now I am pushing mid-30’s, most of my peers are married, but who are they married to?  Husbands that work seasonal jobs and are constantly unemployed?  Husbands who come home from work and drink too much beer? Husbands who want to relax all weekend with their ass stuck to the couch and yelling at the football game? Is that what I’m missing out on?  Is the prize at the bottom of my husband’s empty beer cans?  The ones he leaves all over the living room for me to clean up?

I want to find someone because I genuinely want to find a partner, not because I need one.  I’m not ready to settle —is actually— I don’t need to settle. I have been fine alone for a long time.  I have awesome friends that fill my lonely nights, work to keep my mind busy.  I have the exercise and nature to help me feel balance and love from my family to make me feel complete.   Most of all, every night I sleep smack-dab in the middle of my bed.

The best part?  I am not alone.   If you Google “why are single women happy?” you will find a plethora of articles supporting that single women are poled to be happier than coupled women, or single and/or coupled men.  In fact, it is a stigma associated with unmarried women that leads society to believe otherwise.

See articles below:

https://www.iflscience.com/editors-blog/women-are-happier-single-as-being-in-a-relationship-means-more-work-/

https://www.businessinsider.com/why-women-are-happier-when-theyre-single-than-men-2017-11

https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/11/13/women-happier-being-single-than-men_a_23275651/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/living-single/201701/is-it-true-single-women-and-married-men-do-best

I’m annoyed that I have to constantly answer why I’m not married.  The next time someone dares to ask me why I’m not married yet,  I’m going to ask them why they are.

Image result for hosta plant clip art

 

 

I expect you to be everything I am not

Tinder profiles commonly boast the same statement; “searching for my unicorn.” What exactly does that mean?

Everyone is searching for that special someone to partner with.  Online dating provides the convenience of “shopping” for someone who identically matches the criteria you desire.  Too short? Go left. Good job? Go right. Has a moustache and looks like a pedophile? Block. The initial step of weeding out prospects is quite easy and relatively painless.

Last night I matched up with a cute guy with a red beard and a baseball hat.  His profile description was fairly simple, “Looking for someone that knows what they want from life.” Great!  I love it!  I have always been a big fan of having a plan.  I have a plan for everything I do, and paired with my plan is usually a list, and a dozen or so Post-It notes. Not everyone has a plan, not everyone knows what they want in life; which is fine.

I started talking to this guy, Dan. Dan is 29 years old, and planning to go back to school for phlebotomy, he currently works in the Deli at a local grocery store.  I noticed he went to school at UMass, as a fellow UMass alumni I asked him what his major was.  Dan studied in psychology and philosophy (..random).  He decided later on that he didn’t want to do either. He briefly worked as a CNA, but decided he hated it and quit; however, in the next breath he told me if phlebotomy doesn’t work out he might go back to school for nursing.  I didn’t want to tell him that nursing and being a nurse aide are… well… kind of similar.

I find it puzzling that we expect our partners to manifest qualities, that we ourselves, don’t possess.  How dare someone go online and expect their partner to know what they want in life, yet they can’t choose between getting tacos or cheesecake for lunch.  Online dating has reinforced this entitled generation of millennials (yes, I can say that because I am a millennial) to expect a unicorn-style prospect to emerge from a dating app when, they themselves haven’t so much as left their mother’s basement.  I expect you to be everything that I am not.  What drives this thought process?  When I think about it, my initial reaction is narcissism, and it turns me off from online dating altogether.  I will never fit your mold, and I certainly cannot be something you are not.

Cuffing Season & Turkey

The online dating scene this time of year is in surplus. In between the Thanksgiving turkey and opening Christmas gifts; single people everywhere are desperately looking for an escape, right into someone else’s arms.  The forced family interactions coupled with short/cold days seem to leave people desperate for the company of someone new.

I woke up this Thanksgiving Day morning to temperatures in the teens. It certainly didn’t help that the heat in my apartment was off and I could practically see my breath.  I thought how nice it must be to have someone else’s body heat.  I can’t even remember what that is like, after sleeping alone for nearly two years. Eventually I managed to get out of bed, spend about an hour in the shower, then began dinner for my family; who invited themselves to my place for the Holiday.

I spent Thanksgiving listening to boring stories about my mom’s job, details of my sister’s wedding-planning, and background noise of Yoshi’s World from my child’s video game. I drowned myself in Merlot and swiped right, a lot, in between playing host/cook/servant. Forced interaction with the family is painful.  I dislike Holidays with my family so much so that I have faked-ill every Christmas for the past 15 years… I think they’re catching on. And judging by the Tinder traffic today, I am not alone.

So why is it that everyone was on Tinder today? I believe it is because Cuffing Season is officially upon us. Urban Dictionary describes Cuffing Season as:

During the Fall and Winter months people who would normally rather be single or promiscuous find themselves along with the rest of the world desiring to be “Cuffed” or tied down by a serious relationship. The cold weather and prolonged indoor activity causes singles to become lonely and desperate to be cuffed.”

 

 

The concept is simple. It is cold and dark outside which forces people to stay indoors (of course unless you are one of those crazy skiing people). Tinder contenders are looking for a long-term hook up partner to last them through the dreaded Winter months.  This Cuffing commitment is waived sometime in the Spring.

I have never participated in Cuffing Season myself, but after playing real-life survivor in the Tundra of my bedroom last night, I am interested.  Interested. Cold. Bored. Non- crazy- skier… AND currently holding 714 matches in my Tinder queue, I’m ready to be cuffed!

Italian Stallion

Gaetano was my 1st ‘first-date’ since last Summer; so to honor my blog, I bit the bullet and dipped my toes back into the online dating pool.

Gaetano just moved to America from Italy last week, on a work Visa. I was his first ‘American’ Tinder date.

Let me quickly say— there are many, many reasons to date a European; they dress nice, they eat well, they tend to be very open and forthcoming, they don’t have dirt and shit under their nails, great sex drive, and most of all it guarantees a vacation with your own personal tour guide—did I say that out loud?

On our date, Gaetano and I went out to dinner for Greek (my absolute favorite). Gaetano is ridiculously attractive (see picture). He spoke English very, very well.  He told me he learned English from watching American movies. He knew a lot of pop culture as well, it was actually very impressive.

Halfway through my heap of stuffed grape leaves we started talking about online dating and recent relationships. Gaetano says to me, “I had four girlfriends this year.  They all loved me, but I didn’t love them back, it’s okay though I told them I didn’t love them in the beginning.  One of them is still mad”.  He said this to me in the exact same way Juan Pablo said this to Andi on The Bachelor.  “Itssssss okayyyy” … and with that, I was done.

Through this date I learned that the bullshit games men play are international. I was then able to teach him a new American phrase, leading someone on.  Europeans are just like us, but they might have more sex.  We spent the next day shopping for furniture at IKEA, I then taught him the words ‘ugly’ and ‘tacky’.  Although there was no chemistry, we might actually be new friends.

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