Is Single Really the New Black?

 

Is Single Really the New Black? According to Dr. Karin Anderson Abbrell, it is. I recently sat down with the author to discuss all things single, relationships, marriage, and the daunting moments in-between. Before I get to the juicy stuff, let me give you a little background on Karin, she’s a psychologist specializing in dating/relationships, identity development and adult family dynamics. Her now book, Single is the New Black: Don’t Wear White ‘Til It’s Right is on sale now. Okay, there’s all the official razzmatazz, not lets get down to brass tax.

As you all know, I have been single for seven years now so you can imagine all of the drama that was discussed during our sit down! Dr. Karin married the love of her life at age 42, she took her time, and did not settle. Having called off her engagement at 34 years old, which, for most of us as she states, is when we feel the most pressure to settle down, get married, and have children, she found love again at 42, but it was not an easy road. Karin states, “I had this phony relationship, and I wasn’t trying to live a lie, but two months before, my maid of honor asks me about the shoes I’m going to wear, and I just wanted to talk about the fun I had at the club the night before.” Explaining how she felt a disconnect, but getting married and having kids is what she felt she should be doing. Despite that, Karin found the strength to call off her wedding and re-enter the dating scene on her terms. Continue reading

We Met at the Lenny Kravitz Concert

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Have you ever seen the film, ‘Sliding Doors’, starring Gwyneth Paltrow? Here’s a short summary of the plot: The film follows Helen Quilley (Gwyneth Paltrow), a young Englishwoman living in London who has just been fired from her public relations job. The plot splits into two parallel universes, based on the two paths her life could take depending on whether she catches a London Underground train or not. (imdb.com)

The film is amazing and of course so is Gwyneth Paltrow. There are all these little moments in our lives that happen everyday i.e. the street we take when we walk to the store, the daily drive home on the same freeway, choosing to go to Ralph’s market instead of Trader Joe’s, you get my drift. These are tiny blips on the radar of our lives, but these little decisions, can have huge consequences on our lives. And in the film we see this play out. So, why am I having an existential moment…yet again? Because, last night, at the Lenny Kravitz concert, I had a ‘Sliding Doors’ moment. Let me break it down real quick…

My sister and I have been on a summer concert tour of sorts. We’ve gone to music and food festivals all summer, and last night, we watched the amazingly sexy, and insanely talented Lenny rock out. My sister has never really been into Lenny, but I have since about the age of 13, but she quickly changed her tune when she had the “Lenny” experience last night!

When I was purchasing the tickets online, I kept going back on forth on where I wanted us to sit. I changed my mind so many times, kept looking at the seating chart, then finally decided on the seats I eventually bought. We arrived at the greek about fifteen minutes after his opening act began, bought a few drinks, and headed inside. No one was sitting in the two seats next to us, and we were feeling excited and kind of happy that we’d have leg room to move around. Continue reading

That One-Time A Moment of Loneliness Made Me Irrational

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 Last week, during one of our many text messaging sessions, my ex-boyfriend (not the douchebag that dumped me over text) who I’ve been close friends with since our 2005 break-up, mentioned that he is taking an important test for the next step of his career. This test is pretty important and he has been studying for it for weeks, and with it coming up soon, last week was the final study push. As we kept talking about his goals and what this promotion would mean for his career, and how stressed he was about it, my nurturing side automatically kicked in. This rarely happens, as we all know I have a black heart of stone, but I love my friend/ex-boyfriend, and wanted to do something to help him get a bit of relief from studying. So here’s what I did, why I did it, how it backfired, and the huge lesson it taught me.
 
When I am stressed out I do three specific things:

1) Eat Carbs in the form of homemade pizza.

2) Bake a ridiculous amount of cookies, brownies and/or muffins…sometimes, all three, if I’m being totally honest, which I always am with you guys.

3) Vacuum. Really…I clean like crazy, but there is something about vacuuming that really calms me down. Judge me all you want, but you’ll never come to my place, and not see those vacuum lines in my carpet.

Naturally, I thought of making the Fireman some baked goods that he can munch on while studying, and just use as a stress relieving break. Great idea, right?

I work two jobs: Job number one ends around 3pm, and job number two starts a few hours after that, and ends at about 10pm, so, let’s just say I am super tired by the end of my day. Is this winning me any sympathy points, because it better be. I decided to bake cookies and brownies, but not just one type of cookie, a full on cookie assortment, because why not turn this into a huge task that I would force myself to accomplish in a timely matter, and before the Labor Day weekend? Do you hear the violin strings being played? I do.
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No, I Don’t Want to Hang Out With You

 No, I Don't Want to Hang out with you
Remember when you went on dates? No, better yet remember when you would spend an afternoon getting ready for your date that night? Hair done, nails done, new outfit, manicure and pedicure…and wait, sometimes even new shoes too?! What happened to that? Am I just old, or has dating really died? Everyone is just “hanging out” and I’m not hanging out or in with anyone. Everyone is hanging out without me and I’m okay with that. I don’t want to hang out with someone, I want to date someone, fall in love, and ride off into the sunset on the magical unicorn I have mentioned once or ten times, on this blog. So, men of the world, please for the love of all things holy, stop asking us to “hang out” with you!

“Hanging out” is not a first date. Hold on let me address something else as well: Netflix and pizza is not a first date. I will repeat myself: NETFLIX and PIZZA is NOT A FIRST DATE. I’ve been seeing this ignorant post on Instagram about how Netflix and pizza is not a cheap date because of the following fees: rent, electricity, playstation, etc. And, this stupid post, actually has a plethora of likes and laughing emojis on it. Not to mention it also states that women are bitches and there are many women who have “liked” this post. After I clutched my pearls, and gathered my composure, I considered the sheer idiocy behind this thought. Paying rent for your apartment/home whatever, is your choice, so is the fact that you bought a gaming station, and a monthly subscription to Netflix, which was not purchased with the idea of, “Man, I am going to get laid so hard for this” so can we stop with this dumb ass train of thought?

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, let me revisit my issue with hanging out as a first date. When you like someone you clearly want to make an effort to spend time with them, and get to know them, right? Doing an activity together like hiking, lunch, biking, wine tasting, dinner, movie in the park…you get my drift, are just a few of the myriad of ways you can get to know someone. I hang out with people I know, like my dad, sister, and my short list of friends. I do not want to hang out with you on our first date…I want to get to know you on a much deeper level. Continue reading

5 Signs He’s Just Stringing You Along

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1) He Only Texts You

Can I just start this off with a short rant on my love/hate relationship with texting? Yes…great, because, here it goes. I love texting and I friggin’ hate it so much. Mostly I hate to for the same reasons why I love it! Argh…I am just a mix of emotions on this topic. Texting is great for those of us who don’t want to spend hours on the phone, but here’s the thing, I don’t want to spend hours on the phone, I want to spend hours interacting with you, face-to-face! Texting is very impersonal and there’s this new era of young whipper snappers (i.e. the 25 and under crowd), who are really satisfied with a goodnight or good morning text and feel as though that means he, “really likes me.” Ummm…whatever happened to actual voice conversations, and preferably the ones that take place among each others actual company.

Texting is easy. Texting is non-committal. Texting is the step-sibling to actual time and commitment. I kid you not, I met a guy one year ago, and he has been texting me ever since. We have not seen each other or spoken on the telephone. A year people! I in no way take him seriously, and you shouldn’t either. Yes, texting is fun and who doesn’t love a great back-and-forth, but actual time spent together is an investment in your foreseeable future. Good morning texts and goodnight ones for that matter, do feel really good, but not when it’s never been backed up with anything more than just that. If he is only texting you, then he has absolutely no intentions of investing actual time in you. Let it go.

2) He Never Gives You Details About His Life

Let’s re-visit one of my examples from number one, and refer back to the guy who has been texting me for over one year now. I once asked him what he did for a living and his verbatim response was, “Live life!” as though he was utterly offended that I would have the audacity to ask him a question about himself. That…that right there is what I’m talking about. If you don’t know small or large details about his life, it’s because he doesn’t need you to know. Why would he not need you to know? Because you don’t matter enough to share his life. You are not part of his future plans, so why would he take the time to let you really get to know him better?

Where does he live, are his parents still together, what are his plans for the next five years of his life, can you name his friends and have you spent time with them? I mean really, if he won’t answer even basic questions, or better yet freely tell you about himself, it’s because he has no plans of making you a permanent fixture in his life. Let it go. Continue reading

5 Ways to Ease First-Date Stress

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First Dates can be extremely nerve-racking and awkward, or is that just me? Finding someone interesting enough to have a first date with can be an obstacle in itself. You find someone you like, text or in very rare cases, actually speak to them on the phone, then you get asked out…yes!!! Now you have to figure out what to wear and this can be really difficult because unfortunately people judge each other first, based on appearances. So, do you wear a dress, a shirt, jeans, a suit and tie? Where are you going to go on your date? Dinner, a movie, museum, or coffee? Should he/she pick you up or should you meet them there? Should you flat-iron your hair or leave it curly? Get a haircut and a shave or wear your beard? Ack…this is too much! Here are 5 things you can do to ease the stress of a first date:

1) Talk to Your Date Prior to Meeting Up: Talking seems to be a lost art form that our parents once did after school, while listening to records on the jukebox and drinking milkshakes at the local burger joint. What happened to talking? Where the hell did it go, and can we bring it back? I vote yes. Talk to your date before you actually go on your date.

Don’t text plan the entire thing. I am not suggesting you have a three hour phone conversation about what type of cheeses you like, or your favorite wine, but connecting verbally gives you a sense of direction when it comes to how you feel about someone. Call them and discuss, what you both like to do for entertainment, or what you are interested in so that you can both enjoy yourselves on your date. How many times have you showed up to a restaurant that literally has nothing on the menu you want to eat, or suffered through a film or game you have no interest in for the sake of the date? Talk first, gauge your interests, and plan accordingly.

2) Let Your Guard Down Just A Bit: This is a biggie for pretty much all of us. We are a generation of people who constantly Tweet or Instagram how quickly we cut people off, don’t trust others, or are giving up on love. What the hell happened to us? Why are we so cynical and jaded? I think I am having an existential moment right now, but I digress. Letting your guard down-especially for me-is terrifying. Opening yourself up to rejection, heartache, pain and all of the other descriptive ways in which you can be hurt, is scary and can make you really nervous, especially on date one when you are already in a bit of a frenzied state. If you don’t open yourself up to all of the possibilities of love whether they be negative, or positive, then love will never find you. Let your guard down and allow them to really get to know the real you, which leads me to tip number three.

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He Cheated, Now What: Does the “Cheaters Gene” Really Exist?

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Cheating is super fun for some people. Like, “Thrill Seekers” who are literally turned on not so much by the act of cheating, but by the possibility of being caught while doing so. Cheating has gone on since the beginning of time whether it be on a test (which we all did in high school…damn algebra), or on our partners. Why do we cheat? Is there a true genetic predisposition to be a “cheater” or have we all just lost our sense of impulse control?

First, we have to look at why constitutes cheating on your partner. Here is where things can get tricky because we all have our own interpretations of what cheating actually is. For some its dancing with someone that is not their partner at a club, or watching porn. Other people feel texting someone that is not their partner is cheating. Those acts are not even physical, but can be considered cheating. Then, there are the physical acts of kissing, touching or having sex with someone who is not your partner.

Emotional cheating is perpetuated by women more than men. Why? That’s an easy answer…we are emotional. I don’t mean burn your clothes, set your house on fire, key your car emotional (those are extreme cases that have happened, and can we ever forget Angela Bassett’s character setting her cheating husbands clothes on fire in Waiting to Exhale? Nope). Women are hardwired to express their emotions freely and are nurturers by nature, so we need a partner who is there for us both physically and emotionally.

What is emotional cheating? Seeking emotional comfort from someone outside of your partner in an intimate way. It’s not hugging your co-worker when your dog dies, its calling, texting, and spending time with them that creates a sense of security, which leads to intimacy. For example: you and your partner have a fight, and instead of talking with your partner about how you feel, you turn to another man/woman. Now, discussing relationship issues with your bestie, and discussing these issues with your cute coworker are different. You are creating a security and intimacy with this person in a way that may upset your partner. Would your partner be okay with the conversations that take place between you two? Has your partner met this person? More importantly would you be comfortable with your partner interacting with someone that way you are?
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5 Signs That You’ll Never Be His Girlfriend

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Dating sucks. Okay, that was a harsh opener. Dating is a mix of emotions; nervousness, excitement, joy and awkwardness. When you like someone, your brain produces endorphins which trigger an actual physical and emotional response in your body. This is what causes the “butterflies in your stomach” feeling every time you are near your crush, and it feels damn good.

Having someone in your life feels like you’ve eaten pizza, ice cream, chocolate, and the best red wine you can find all at once, and not gained a pound at all afterward. It’s a feeling of intimacy that we all deserve to experience, but since dating can be so complicated, how do we know if our “situation” is leading towards something more…a relationship. Here is my list-because you all know I am a complete genius on the subject-of five signs that he (or she) are never, ever, like ever, going to take things to the next level with you…ever:

1) He Only Texts You:Ugh…you guys, texting is the bane of my existence. Remember when a guy liked you and actually picked up the phone to call you? I remember a boy calling me in the sixth grade, this was circa 1990, and I was so excited that I literally screamed. Then, we had pagers and you would send someone a numerical page, okay let me explain for all you youngsters who have no idea what I am referring to because you’ve grown up in the cell phone only days: Pagers were dope. Pagers were so fly and we all had one-mine was purple-and came up with words you could create using numbers, and certain number combinations meant different things. If someone texted you the combo 143 it meant I love you. Guys called you because they had to! They couldn’t send a text.

In high school a guy had a crush on me and wrote me letters almost weekly for an entire school year. Now, you have no idea what a guys handwriting even looks like. If you had to pick him out of a line-up based on his handwriting alone…you’d be screwed. You’d be all, ‘I’m sorry detective I have no idea who this handwriting belongs to. Can you have him send me a text?’ Now, all we get are bathroom selfies with the toilet seat in the background.

If he sets up all your “dates” through text, has not picked up the phone once to call you, and every text session escalates quickly into sexting, then you my friend, are not going to be his girlfriend. Listen, I do not think you have to have hour long, daily phone conversations to establish a relationship, but I know that texting takes absolutely no effort. Picking up the phone, hearing someone’s voice and establishing an actual intimate connection does.
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3 Lessons Learned from 2 Years of Celibacy

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I am currently passing year two of being celibate. Yes, okay, it’s been two years…you read that right. Here’s the thing, I did not deliberately choose to be celibate, the celibate life chose me! To be perfectly honest, I would love to meet someone amazing enough to break this non-self-imposed celibacy life. We have all made the mistake of equating sex with love right? Think about it, how many stories have we all listened to our girlfriends tell about that guy they went on a few dates with, had sex with, and who quickly and awkwardly moonwalks his way out of their life.

Sex is a huge factor in relationships and most times we end up having sex with people we are not in committed relationships with. I am not passing judgement whatsoever for those who do…I am explaining why I have taken that option off of the table for the past two years. For me, I want to take the time to get to know someone without the complications of sex clouding my judgement.

Often we have sex with a man in the very early stages of dating, whether it be the first or fifth date. Waiting is not about testing him to see how patient he will be. It’s about getting to know someone for who they truly are, and deciding if this is a person I want to be in an exclusive relationship with. Also, if they are deserving of having such an important piece of our body, heart and soul. Being celibate has taught me three important lessons about myself: Continue reading

Date Night Meal: Tortilla Soup & Chocolate Cupcakes

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Hola Kats & Kittens! Well, I’ve never done a food recipe post here but I am constantly posting pics of all my homemade recipes on Instagram (instagram.com/awkwardgirlla) and thought that I should post a quick, budget friendly, and easy date night meal that will totally impress your date! I guarantee you will end your night with a hardcore make-out session, or just end up in bed having the most amazing love making session ever.

Okay, okay, I can’t in all honesty 100% guarantee that due to legal reasons, but I will say that I highly recommend that you make this meal and it will kinda, maybe, probably, most likely, in all ways, sorta happen. Now let me also state that I recently took a trip to the 99 cent store to buy cleaning products-as we all do-and found Silicone Baking Cups! If you are not a foodie or baker than let me explain how rad that is. Silicone baking cups are amazeballs! They prevent your cupcakes from sticking, are reusable and help to distribute heat evenly when you bake, so basically they are a win-win for everyone involved! So, high-tail your cute little selves over to the 99 cent store where you can not only pick up the baking cups but can also purchase other ingredients for both of these recipes as well. Let’s make some Tortilla Soup and Chocolate Cupcakes!

Dinner: Tortilla Soup   Dessert: Chocolate-Banana Cupcakes
 Ingredient List: Tortillas, Chicken Breast, Corn, Olive Oil, Black Beans, Carrots, Grape Tomatoes, Chicken Broth, Taco Seasoning, Avocado
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Prep veggies first: Peel and chop carrots and onion. Cut corn from the cob and slice avocado. Set aside.
Bake Tortilla Strips: Using corn tortillas is best, but you can also use flour. Cut tortillas into strips and line a baking sheet with foil, placing the strips on the sheet and coating with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with Garlic Salt and bake in oven at 350 degrees until they turn light brown in color. Don’t let them burn because burnt tortillas are really nasty and cannot be salvaged no matter what!

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5 Date Night Ideas for Under $100 in LA

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Dating is not cheap, and if you’re like me-and never get asked out on dates-I mean, if you’re like me, sometimes you have to date on a budget. I as you all know am an L.A. native born and raised, and after my friend asked me where her and her husband could celebrate their anniversary for $100, I came up with these five ideas that I thought I should share with you! Los Angeles is filled with really expensive restaurants, bars, cars, handbags, dogs, shoes and people, but not all of us can spend $200 per week on a date right? Wait, now I’m wondering if a guy has ever spent $200 on a date with me…ummm…Netflix is like $10 a month right? Let’s just move on. While there is nothing wrong with a Netflix date my friends, I do strongly suggest you hold off on the Netflix date for the first few weeks. Whether you’re an L.A. native, transport or just visiting, why not try these five suggestions for under $100?!

Date Spot #1) Perch LA: 448 South Hill St.

There are so many reasons to fall in love at this place! Both of the pictures in this post were taken by me at this establishment. Not only can you literally dine on the edge of one of downtown’s most amazing rooftops (located on the 15th floor of the Hill building), but they also have not one but two bars, with one being located on the first floor of the bar, and the other on the rooftop outside. There is also this mysterious and sexy entrance, yes I typed entrance, that you take just to get up there…one elevator takes you to another elevator that has an actual Silver Bird for the button to press that will guide your elevator to Perch. Very sexy! Did I also mention that they have a live jazz band, an insane Happy Hour (4-6pm), and hello the views are to die for!

At Perch you and you date will have a 360 degree view of downtown Los Angeles that is just as spectacular by sunset as it is in the morning (hello, brunch date). The menu is fantastic and I am partial to their Grilled Caesar Salad with Chicken. The chicken melts in your mouth and is cooked to tender perfection, and the salad is literally grilled, a half of romaine is grilled and topped with creamy goodness that is such a hearty portion, you could share it with your date.

I am a huge dessert aficionado and their White Chocolate Bread Pudding is drenched in a Bourbon glaze and served with fresh fruit. Do I really need to say more? The menu options are fancy (that’s an SAT word hahahah) but, like I said one portion can feed two, so it’s a win-win for your wallet and your romance meter will be at like, ten thousand percent. Just be prepared to get super romantic, kissy, loving and score huge points with your date! Thank me later.
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Social Media Did Not Ruin Your Relationship, You Did

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 Social media does not ruin relationships…people do. There are thousands of ways to meet, find, look up, connect, hookup and explore people online. Online dating is a billion dollar business. Twitter has spawned countless hookups, and relationships. Facebook will reunite you with your elementary school crush, high school boyfriend, his cousin, and your prom date all within a few clicks. All of these outlets can bring you the love of your life, or the embarrassment of your life…Catfish anyone? With the influx of social media, texting, Instagram and every other ‘Gram’ of some sort available, there was bound to be a backlash.

I have been reading comments from men and women about how social media ruined there relationship. Many of these comments have been directed at or made after someone has been caught cheating. Is it easier to have access to men and women that you would not normally meet while working at Target? Yes. Has social media made it easier for the “Average Joe” to communicate with the “Unattainable Girl”? Yes.

Is it easy to fall for someone based on their Instagram pics? Yes. Does your ex really actually go away if you’re able to Facebook stalk their every move? No. Here are just a few other questions for you: Does Twitter have a penis? No. Does Instagram have a vagina? No. Does Facebook call you and ask you to go out with it? No. Okay, just checking.

The last time I checked, making a conscious decision to actively pursue someone, whether it be through texting, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, is a decision a man or woman makes on their own. The shift in our culture to not respect the boundaries of marriage and relationships has definitely exacerbated by social media. How many of us have hit on somebody we see online? You know you have so don’t act like this is brand new. We see a celebrity, model, sports figure, or attractive guy/woman on our timeline and our hormones transform into a free for all of lustful comments, DM’s, or “like” clicks on all of their Instagram pics.

We see someone we like, want, want to sleep with, or are curious about and we have absolutely no filter in letting them know. Our phones and computer screens have become a safe place, a border if you will that not only grants us immediate access to anyone, but also does something to our psyche, and we are filled with an insane amount of confidence we’ve never had before. We post intimate pics of ourselves, we ask celebrities out on dates, we tell married men and women that we could love them better then their spouses, we post #mcm (Man Crush Monday) and #wcw (Women Crush Wednesday) pics with that tiny inkling of hope that our crush will like us back. Continue reading

Can’t I Be Smart and Pretty?

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In the first grade I was the best reader in my class. Actually I was the fastest reader, speller and everything else you like to be in the first grade. In the second grade I really stepped my “smart game” up and began reading chapter books, practicing cursive writing and studying spelling words like they were the Holy Grail. My school wanted to skip me up one grade but my dad said no-to which I am still pissed about, but I digress…yeah dad, I’m still mad at you for that one-so I continued to push myself further and further, studying every single day.

My siblings and I went to private school in Redondo Beach, Ca. For my lovely readers unfamiliar with this city, it is obviously a beach city here in L.A. and in the late 80’s, let’s just say outside of my siblings, there were maybe two other black kids there. My first day of school I literally raised my hand and answered every single question that the teacher asked the class. Literally raising my hand before anyone else…on purpose. I distinctly remember answering a question the teacher asked and a boy next to me saying, and I quote, “Wow…you really are smart!” That was all the fuel I needed to light my “I am smart” fire.

Soon teachers began questioning every test or assignment I turned in. They’d ask me who I cheated off of, or who helped me. One teacher even made me re-take a test I easily aced, because how on earth did this little black girl come in and win. More fuel thrown on my fire. I craved knowledge, learning about any and everything I could. I took piano and won every recital I was in. I read more books then anyone else and did my first book report on Lucille Ball, my comedy idol I’d grown to love while obsessively watching re-runs of her at home. I sang in the choir and memorized my Easter Sunday speeches so well that they would assign me the biggest and longest speeches purposely. I started acting in plays at school and would memorize not just my role, but the entire play often helping kids with their lines while on stage. I wasn’t even out of grade school. I was smart. I was smart. I was smart.  Continue reading

If You Chase Him…He Will Run

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 I love guys. I love the way they smile. I love the way they smell. I love how they put their hand on your neck while kissing you. I love men. When I am interested in a guy I expect it to be all easy and sparkly. I want him to bump into me while I’m at the bookstore, reach for the same book on the shelf, touch my hand, feel my sparkle and fall in love with me. What has been my pattern is finding and chasing the most emotionally unavailable men of the Los Angeles area.

 

Here’s how it goes down: I meet someone who I am attracted to. He may or may not be attracted to me, which I usually have no clue of, because as usual they never just tell me how they feel, so I set out to “find out” if they do. Hence the emotional unavailability. This is when the chase becomes a game I set out to win. I suddenly become a lion chasing after the gazelle in the wild. Letting someone know you are interested in them is amazing. It’s a risk that you take and you literally roll the dice hoping that he/she will pick them up, kiss them, and place them in your hand, along with their heart.

Sometimes, love sucks. Like when you are so into someone and they are not reciprocating your feelings. I’m way to scared to say what I’m thinking when I do have feelings for someone. In my head it’s like, ‘Hey you cute guy, I like you, and you should totally like me, let’s go hang out at the bookstore, and ride unicorns on sparkly highways for the rest of our lives.’ In person, I’m totally awkward, talk a lot, and make random self-deprecating jokes out of nervousness when I’m around someone I like. If I see or feel an inkling of that person maybe, sort kinda, just a tad, almost, kind of a little bit liking me back…the lioness in me roars it’s awkward head and he becomes the gazelle that I must chase, capture and keep locked up in my heart.  Continue reading