Let’s Be Honest

Growing up, we were taught by our parents, role models, friends, favorite Romantic Novel, and even society, that when in pursuit of a suitor, we shouldn’t be ourselves. On a first date, we should make small talk and avoid major topics like politics, religion, and even exes. We were taught to not eat our entire meal, or order a salad to maintain our feminity. We were taught to laugh at the man’s jokes, even when you’ve heard them before, or they weren’t all that humorous. We were taught to be flirtatious, but not too revealing. To summarize, we were taught to hold back, and put on a front that men find “attractive” or worthy of their approval and attraction to us.

But here’s what I say… screw that. Soon enough they will open the door to the closet that holds your skeletons, and the whole facade you put on, in the beginning, is destroyed.

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In a generation where everything seems unknown, and no one knows the truth about anything, why not be honest? Why not say what comes to mind without the “impress the man” filter? Why not show all your skeletons upfront so they know what got you to where you are today? Why not talk about touchy subjects and open the table for discussion? And for the love of all things holy, we should order what we want, and eat however much of it as we want.

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I’m a believer and an advocate for the “Brutally Honest” dating method. I believe that we should say what we want to say, expose our weird laugh, tell stories that we find funny, explain our weird theories, talk about our family and where we grew up. Just create an environment where the conversation could go anywhere. Let’s create engaging conversations that expose who we are as people. Let’s talk about who we were, who we are now, and who we want to be. Talk about goals and ambitions. Talk about fears and pet peeves. Talk about your exes. Talk about mistakes you’ve made. Break the rules.

Before we get carried away… I’m not saying to show up in your sweatpants and cuss every other word. Still have class, still, have pride in yourself, and be confident.

I’m not a dating expert. I’m not happily married to the love of my life because I used this method. But,  I have opened my “potential suitors” up a lot in terms of communication. I’ve learned a lot. Some dates became meaningful relationships that taught me so much. And some dates were just first dates only, because I found out many red flags, or they found some issues with me. But you know what? That’s just fine because it saved us both time, money, and emotional investment.

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So women and men too, let’s be ourselves. Let’s show our dates, ourselves, and the world what we are made of. Let’s stop worrying so much about how we should act and what we should say on our first date, and let’s focus on who we are as people. Pay attention to who is sitting across the table. Learn what they have to offer, and learn what makes them tick. Meanwhile, show them what you have to offer. If it doesn’t work out, it’s probably for the best that it ends now. And if it works out, down the road, it’ll be the best thing in the world, because there are no secrets to be discovered, and no room for dishonesty and deceit. Let’s be honest.

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Temporary Madness

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Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides, you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion, it is not the desire to mate every second minute of the day, it is not lying awake at night imagining that he is kissing every cranny of your body. No, don’t blush, I am telling you some truths. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.

Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin

Handle with Care

Men who can’t handle us will always call us ” crazy”

That’s how most men perceive their ex-girlfriends, ex-wives or females who gave them extreme highs and lows.

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We will always be those crazy ex-girlfriends who once loved them enough, or maybe much more enough than they could handle and be deemed as highly sensitive and dramatic beings.

There are many articles written on women with anxiety issues, women with higher levels of empathy and/or sympathy towards others, women who ‘feel’ so much more than others and I honestly believe these are the reasons why we behaved the way we behaved derives from the word ‘anxiety’. However, in the eyes of men, we will always be labelled as ‘psycho.’

Truth is, they do not understand women like us. They do not feel the way we feel in a relationship. They do not know what it is like to take things, people and human relations seriously; to take matters of the heart and soul as important as they are to us. They don’t and they probably won’t.

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Do not let his perceptions hit you down to rock bottom. They have to understand that you did not have the goal of setting relationships on fire. You did not come into their lives to destroy the ideas of love. We did not mean to show them the side of us that would push them further away from us. I could hide if I wanted to, but what I thought that they loved me enough to be able to see past my flaws? and grow together as a couple.

We did, however, bare the true selves of our souls and our minds in hopes that they would understand where we are coming from. We wanted to work things out with them but they did not want to because it was too much drama for them. We tried to communicate and still they thought that everything we said was associated to drama.

They were together with us long enough to know which buttons would make us worried, paranoid and everything else that came along with it, yet they pushed it anyways. Instead of putting the blame on us, why not think it through on why would they just pushed the buttons knowing that it would drive us ‘crazy.’

Yes, everything happens for a reason, but why would they push the buttons that could intensify every emotion I have in the relationship. I would believe that they secretly wanted to push my limits. After all, the one who loves the most is the one at the losing end. I would always be at the losing end because I loved the most, I feel for them the most, and I would do anything for them the most too.

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They knew they have the upper hand of the relationship and they knew that even if they’ve done nothing wrong, ultimately we would be the ones at fault because we flared, we raged and we went crazy. We would eventually blame ourselves for pushing the relationship to the end and we would blame ourselves for breaking the relationship apart.

They knew and they always will know that the easiest way out was to say that we are “psycho” instead of saying “She was kind and loving and I wasn’t enough of a man to handle her”.

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Self-Evaluation – Scary, but Necessary

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Okay,
So many of you who have read this blog have commented to me that, perhaps, there is something on my end that has caused me to be in the relationship situation I currently find myself in. In other words – there’s GOT to be something wrong with ME, after all I am the one constant in all the messed up relationships I’ve had.
Well, who am I to argue against that suggestion. I am sure there are many things “wrong” with me–no one is perfect, well I’m perfect, LOL just kidding or maybe not. The last perfect person, I am told, was born 2,015 years ago…So, admittedly, I have room for improvement.
And that’s the thing–I know, I KNOW that I am light years from where I was just a few years ago. I base that on experiences I have gone through that I can tell have changed my life. I know I am a better person, but how do you quantify that? Simply saying it doesn’t really make it true–so how do I figure this out.
Okay, so as you may already know and I’ve been told– I am “blessed” with both OCD and perfectionism, so I am really hyper about being neat. Anyway, with those personality traits, I decided to do what you would think I would – I made a list.
Yup – I am a big list girl. Personal life, professional life – lists help me get through the day. There’s something satisfying about seeing a list, in writing, of all the stuff you need to do and then the tremendous feeling you/I get when I cross things off the list; a sense of accomplishment, to be sure. And if I create a bulleted list on my computer, getting in there with all the cool bullet choices, the formatting–WHOO HOO! Man, it’s like heaven…
Oh, sorry…lost myself there for a second…
Anyway, so I created a Pros and Cons list of my personality (aka–good and bad to dating me.) To say it was a revealing experience would be the understatement of 2015.
Now, not many people take an “inventory” of their personality–listing what makes them, them. Not that everyone has a ton of spare time, but if you get the chance, it’s really a great exercise in personal development and growth.
So, here’s my list:
Pros:
· Funny
· Intelligent
· Educated (well read, so to speak)
· Responsible
· Loyal
· Ambitious (this is also a con)
· Caring
· Sensitive
· Understanding
· A Good Listener
· Supportive
· Protective
· Perfectionist
· Organized
· Good Hygiene
· Adventurous
· Trusting (to a fault–see below)
· Flirtatious
· Passionate

Cons:
Hmmm….
Wow, this is harder than I thought…
I’m a pretty awesome woman – what cons could I possibly have?!
Just kidding…here are my Cons:

· Moody
· Judgmental (at times)
· Perfectionist (yes, this is both a pro and con)
· Tenacious (Set in my ways to a certain extent)
· Trusting (which inevitably leads to me being hurt, or worse,)
· Not a morning person (unless I am getting up early for work or going to the gym)
· Sarcastic
· Brutally Honest
· Jealous
· Possessive
· A-Type Personality (very demanding and very demonstrative)
· Flirtatious (yup, pro and con)
· Secretiveness (very high wall and a few skeletons)
· Controlling (safety mechanism, I gotta drive the bus ,so to speak of)
· Obsessive (the whole OCD thing)
· Suspicious
· Manipulative (have stepped on a few for my own gain~goes hand in hand with the above traits)
· Unyielding (again, control freak)

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Now, I realize both of the above lists are not complete by any stretch of the imagination. I am sure I left a ton of stuff out of both categories, but it was a good place to start. Again, seeing it in black and white (well, actually I used a blue pen and a yellow legal pad, but who really cares?) allowed me to begin to see what areas I needed to improve and what areas I could accentuate and expand upon.
But I wasn’t satisfied. I wanted a sense of validation, I guess – I wanted a third party perspective on this project. I thought I was on to something – after all, decades of failed dating necessitated some sort of change, a tipping point if you will. So I decided to solicit the aid of a friend who lives in Denver, has a degree in Criminal Justice and has a life long lessons in human psychology.
My friend will remain nameless, but this individual and I have chatted a few times in the 3 years since I’ve lived there . This person understands  my background and knows my personality pretty well. And helped me through the holidays when I was feeling really, REALLY blue – and it is this person who provided me with tools to use when I felt like things were really slipping away and I needed to remind myself of all that is good in my life.
And that’s the thing – I know many of you are reading this blog and may think “gosh, she’s just whining and complaining.” And there may be some merit to that, but I want you all to know that I realize that I basically have “uptown problems.”
I mean, I have a decent job (that does have some fun parts to it,) I have my health, my children are all healthy (thank God) I have a roof over my head (even though it’s a work in progress) I have friends, etc. Trust me, I get it.
There are many, many others out there who would kill – literally kill – to have what I have. This fact is not lost on me – it would just be nice to be in love with someone and they in love with me so we could share this journey we call life together. I think that’s what most human beings desire, no matter their place on the globe. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – life is better with company.
After emailing my list to my friend and talking a bit about what was troubling me, the one thing I got from it is this fact: I am normal.
Yes, despite what you may think (or some of you have heard,) I am normal. I have normal feelings and aspirations. I have normal desires, and my pros and cons are pretty normal. Now, I understand that’s a subjective term – normal – but the fact I was told that by someone with a bunch of initials after their name and a few diplomas from pretty prestigious institutions of higher learning hanging on their office walls (granted, they were crooked, so I adjusted them…sorry, OCD) gave me a sense of relief.
That’s because, if I’m honest, I thought for sure that, once my list was divulged, I would immediately be classified  “certifiable “. But no – surprise, surprise, I was told that what I was feeling was “pretty normal.” That doesn’t mean everyone feels what I am feeling, and that’s okay. Everyone’s life experience is unique, but knowing I wasn’t a complete basket case was comforting.
So yes – I am moody, and a bit judgmental. I may be too trusting at times, and I may be set in my ways. But I’m also a really funny, and in today’s world, we all need to laugh as much as possible and need those around us to make us laugh. I am a decent honest person – hey, I know, I’m no  Mother Theresa, but then again I’m no Persephone (Google it…) While I may be a bit of a mess in certain areas, overall I have my Shit together.
The trick, my friend told me, is to find someone who isn’t perfect, but who is perfect for me and I for them. It’s like finding a good job – every job has its own level of BS you have to put up with, the key is finding something you love to do and that you can deal with the BS. Same with the relationship, I am told – everyone has their goofiness (yes, that is a scientific term) but it’s finding someone who’s goofiness you love and who loves your goofiness that makes things work.
So, here I am – on the one hand, I have been reassured that I’m okay. But on the other, I am really no closer to finding the man of my dreams. I am better equipped knowing who I am, what I truly have to offer and where I can improve. I figure the better person I can make myself, the better person I am more likely to attract.
Either that, or it’s Match.com….

Dating: What are we doing?????

I read something somewhere and I can’t seem to remember what it was or exactly how it went. However, in essence, what it said was that we are in an age of dating where we think we have millions and millions of options. So we don’t ever really commit to one person in the beginning phases of a relationship and focus on nurturing that. We keep looking out for other options, stringing people along as we go about doing this.

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This is the age that we live in. There are so many ways to meet people. Be it online, on your phone or through situations like speed dating. Now I have written about that before, so I am not going to go into that now, but I do feel that it plays a major part in why so many people struggle to find that someone special or to have a relationship stick. Especially one that you really want to have stick.

I have tried many forms of “dating”~blind dates, chance meetings like at work, family and friends and gone on a lot of first dates. Some horrible disasters, others really pleasant. But then comes the downfall (either on my part or on the other persons part). There is no second date. Sometimes it is a mutual decision, but other times it is purely because one or both parties think that they have so many other options that they are not going to give someone a second date.

They go back on Tinder or straight to the bar after the date, even if it went well, and start swiping. Like kids in candy stores. That’s what we are. Kids in a candy store. We are presented with so many options, and then we sample each and every one and eventually we feel sick from the sugar rush.

The principle applies to how we date now. We sample so many different people, but never fully allow ourselves to open up or to settle on what we want. What we actually want. We saturate our evenings with date after date after date, never quite really getting below the surface of a person. We present ourselves as best we can, put on our best outfits, master the small talk and then…well then we get freaked out that we may be missing out on someone who is “better”. Better looking, better matched, better at whatever it is you want them to better at.

It is this fear of missing out, or FOMO as the kids are calling it, that actually stops us from giving someone the time that they deserve. I know I do this. Not always, but sometimes. I keep thinking about everyone that I could be missing out on instead of focusing on the person that I am with at that moment.

I must say, I have stopped doing that since I read that quote and it honestly scares me. I am afraid that if I get invested in someone then they are going to pull a “FOMO” in search of a better version of me. There probably is a better version of me out there…but…why do we dismiss people so quickly? What is it in us that we can just not commit?
We are scared…and that fear leaves us exactly where we started: Single and looking. Building up walls because we think all men (or women) are the same and that there just aren’t any good ones out there anymore. BUT THERE ARE!!!!!
I have seen it, I have experienced it, I have lived it! And you know when that was? When I stopped fearing that I may be missing out on someone better and just got to know the person who I was with and enjoyed the process of getting to know them.
We think that we can get to know someone over emails and text or tinder messages. We think that if we stalk their Facebook or Instagram that we know exactly who they are. That is the biggest lie we tell ourselves. That we can know someone without even knowing them.
We don’t invest face to face time with people anymore. We text them or email them or send them a short voice message and maybe, just maybe we meet them and hopefully a second date.
From my perspective, I can be a completely different person via digital means. But that doesn’t mean that that is exactly who I am. You don’t know that I have some weird habits, especially when I am nervous. You don’t know how my voice sounds, what it sounds like when I laugh or how I like my coffee. You don’t know me, and can’t know me if you are just communicating via digital means.
I want to know YOU. I want to sit across from you with a cup of coffee and speak to YOU. I want YOU to know that I am not dating with a FOMO mentality. I am seeing you because I saw something in you that I liked and wanted to explore…and I hope you feel the same.
We jump from “relationship” to “relationship” so quickly that its become habit. We are habitual daters. Conditioned to never fully allow ourselves to be in the moment. And that is not fair…to you or the person you are seeing.
To sum it all up: I don’t want to date a digital you. I want to date a physical you. I don’t want to “keep my options open” for in case someone better comes along and then I can just disappear off the radar (and I have fallen off the face of the earth, many times before). By the way, that is not nice nor is it fair. If you know something isn’t going to work out with someone, be straight with them. Be honest. You will save that person from a lot of time wasted on wondering where and how and why you disappeared.
Just… get to know the physical person. Don’t ever make the mistake in thinking that their digital persona is exactly like their physical person.
Date with the intention to get to know a person, not to get the most out of that person.

LOVE is in the air tonight

I LOVE Valentine’s Day. For as long as I can remember it has always been my second favorite holiday, next to Christmas. Now, this isn’t because I’m one of those lucky girls who is always showered with gifts from cute boys, I don’t even see it as being about couples.
No, I have always loved Valentine’s Day because for me it is the one day of year that you can truly open up and tell someone you love them, which is something we as a human race, quite frankly, don’t do enough.
We get so scared of being true to our feelings, for fear of rejection, for fear of getting hurt later down the line; sometimes though, we simply neglect to say anything.
February 14th? A love celebration…
Or not?
Reading through social feeds today was a bit confusing. Some were doting love on others, some not…
Some made sarcastic attacks on “Valentine’s Day” and some were just normal…
Now I question, what is it about this particular day that people tend to be blissfully in love, unhappy and/or just nonchalant? I celebrate Valentine’s Day, I celebrate Fat Tuesday and I will not disclose why… LOL…your imaginations can go wild on that one, just remember I’m innocent, LOL…
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So, I Google (I mean research) and find some quite disturbing things about this particular day on which we celebrate (or supposed to celebrate) love… The origin of this day is quite unromantic to say the least… Firstly it is linked to some Roman fertility festival that took place from 13th to 15th Feb, whereby men sacrificed dogs and goats, and used the hide of the sacrifice to whip the women (gruesome much?) alternatively men would draw the names of women from a jar and spent the duration of the festival (or forever) with that woman… Secondly there is a story of St. Valentine, a Roman priest who married young couples against the command of the Roman Emperor Claudius… St. Valentine was captured, tortured and subsequently beheaded on Feb 14th…

So I guess we can see why Feb 14th and also where the name comes from, however based on those origins, how on earth did today become a day to celebrate love and present chocolate, flowers and gifts to our beloved ones?
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The day was first associated with romantic love in the middle ages, when the tradition of courtly love flourished (Shakespeare things). In 18th century England, it evolved into an occasion in which lovers expressed their love for each other by gifting flowers, offering sweets and sending greeting cards (known as “valentines“). In Europe, St. Valentine’s keys are given “as a romantic symbol and an invitation to unlock the giver’s heart”, as well as to children, in order to ward off St. Valentine’s difficulties. Then came the 19th century where Hallmark mass produced greeting cards and I guess civilization just bought into it – great business intuition guys, LOL…

So there we have it…February the 14th is actually an unromantic day and very much a commercially packaged money making scheme…I can hear many guys gasping a huge sigh of relief, but just because I have given you reason not to go the extra mile on this day doesn’t mean your beloved ones will excuse you as easily so tread lightly my fellow humans…

Either which way you look at this day, I strongly urge that this day is not seen as THE ONLY day to celebrate love, it should be an everyday affair… and so too with it, love should not be expressed in gifts (although it is nice) it’s the things you do, the things you say and how you make your loved ones feel…after all show me a human who does not value time spent together over a box of chocolates… or thinks more of a wrapped box than being wrapped in your loved ones arm and I will bluntly tell you that person is not human at all…
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I have always used this day to tell all my close friends and family that I love them, for I do, and I couldn’t be happier to have them all in my life.
There are so many good people in the world and they all deserve to be told they are loved and appreciated.
I hope you all have loved-filled day with your significant others, but I also hope you can find the time to drop a message to your friends and other loved ones to let them know too how very important they are.
To my friends who are reading this: I love you.
Happy Valentine’s Day!

Motivations/Inspirations for the New Year/New You

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I have no words for this blog, only this picture that I came across this morning…It says everything that I am thinking, everything that I am feeling and everything that I want out of life.

For this week, I want everyone and including myself to take a few moments and realize that we don’t have time for the constant “next time” responses. We don’t get a second chance in life to have another life. This is it!
There is a quote that says, “You have two lives, the second one starts when you realize that you only have one life.”

I want everyone on this small blue speck in the vast amazing, wonderful universe to take more risks, say yes too more, listen to earnestly to what people are saying and then go with your gut, Love truly, freely and deeply, give every part of you and expect the same to be given back. Don’t settle for mediocre, you were created for so much more than that.

Mediocre is not an option. In life, love, work, happiness…in any aspect of your life!
Be the amazing person that you were designed to be and do not ever, under any circumstances, apologize for being 100% you.