Archive for the ‘boys boys boys’ Category
The following post was written for the blog, Peace & Penguins,and tackles the topic of Love & Anxiety- which are two things that I know little and a lot about, respectively.
When Alisha asked me to write a guest blog post on Love & Anxiety for Peace & Penguins, I thought that it would be an easy hour therapy session of rehashing my life stories of insecurity, doubts, and regrets. But unfortunately, for the past week, I’ve struggled to get anything down on paper. So here I am, over a week after telling her that she’d have my piece in no time, trying to figure out exactly what I can say about love & anxiety…which are ultimately the two words that have haunted me during my 28-year old life.
While I’ve questioned how to begin this post, I feel that it is important to start off with the following statement: I’m twenty-eight years old and I’ve never been in a serious relationship. However, and it’s an incredibly big HOWEVER, I’m actually (finally) on the verge of entering one…but more on that later.
Today I came across the following lines in the novel, 50 Shades of Grey, which really struck a chord with me. Here are the lines, and I’ll explain later:
Katherine often teases me that I’m missing the need-a-boyfriend gene, but the truth is I just haven’t met anyone who… well, whom I’m attracted to, even though part of me longs for the fabled trembling knees, heart-in-my-mouth, butterflies-in-my-belly moments.
Sometimes I wonder if there’s something wrong with me. Perhaps, I’ve spent too long in the company of my literary romantic heroes, and consequently my ideals and expectations are far too high. But in reality, nobody’s ever made me feel like that.
Anastasia Steele (50 Shades of Grey)
For the majority of my young adult life, I have relied on excuses and sarcasm to answer the question, “Why don’t you have a boyfriend?” And when stating my boyfriend-free background and getting stuck responding to the inevitable question, “What do you mean you’ve never been in a relationship? How is that possible?”, I find the anxiety tingles kicking in as I do my best to change the subject. But here and now, I’ll put those insecurities aside and tell you that Anxiety is the answer to both of those questions.
Unfortunately I’ve been plagued by anxiety for a while now, and it’s held me back from many things over the years. But above all, it’s prevented me from experiencing the love that I always dreamed of; from finding the love I always deserved. For years I’ve thought that there was something wrong with me. I thought I wasn’t good enough to be loved. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough to attract the attention of a man. I thought I would always be alone, because frankly being single is all I’ve really ever known.
Sure, there were those “boyfriends” during my early teen years that typically lasted a few weeks, and then a few guys in my twenties that stayed around for a couple uncommitted hook-ups. However, for the most part, I’ve been that girl who finds herself attending weddings without a plus-one and heading home after last call alone in a cab while the other girls leave on the arm of their significant others.
Now, every once in a while, maybe on the night of a full moon or during a road trip back to Ohio, I’d find myself flirting with a seemingly eligible bachelor and hoping that something more than a one-night stand would come out of it. But unfortunately, my anxiety almost got the best of me as daylight hit and my internal enemy asserted, “Are you crazy? He’s doesn’t really like you. He’s going to leave just like all of the other ones.”
But something changed this past year; something that I really can’t quite explain myself. In essence, I’ve lived this year under the motto: I don’t care anymore. See, instead of letting anxiety hold me back, I’ve fought off the doubts and insecurities and strived to live fearlessly. (Note: A little liquid courage usually helped too.) I took some chances…including using a few daring moves and brave one-liners every once in a while. And with each one of those incidences, I noticed my anxiety towards potential love decreasing.
So that leads me to “The Now”. As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I am on the verge of a relationship. Actually… I’m in one. Yes, the girl who thought she’d always be single is in a relationship. (With a wonderful guy, might I add.) I’m pretty much living in disbelief, as are my friends and family who have heard my “No, I don’t have a boyfriend.” and “I’ll always be a single” lines, but it really is the truth. Even though it hasn’t yet been discussed, I am practically someone’s girlfriend… which means that I kinda-sorta have a boyfriend. Me? Really? Wow.
To be honest, I’m still processing all of this. I’m trying to convince myself that this is really, while also trying to understand why it’s taken me so long to let myself be in a relationship. Why did I let my anxiety hinder my happiness? Why did I let my insecurities get in the way of being someone’s girlfriend? Why did I let my fears prohibit some amazing guy from being mine? While I can ask these questions again and again, I’ll never fully be able to uncover the answers. But I will remember the anxiety I’ve lived with that held me back from being happy all of those years.
Unfortunately my anxiety is something that I continue to live with. It’s something that I think I’ll always live with. But when it comes to love, I’m learning more and more how important it is for me to combat all of my fears and doubts. For starters, I don’t want to miss out on a chance with a good guy like the one I have right now. I’ve held myself back many times before and simply, I don’t want to live with regrets anymore. Sure it’s scary to let yourself be vulnerable and open your heart up, but the risk is worth it. And honestly, I’m at the point in my life where I’d rather know that I took a chance than regret not taking one.
Let me stress that I’m no expert when it comes to love, and in some ways I’m still not convinced that I’ll ever fully understand it. But between you and me, I’m much more open to learning more about it. And that being said, I think I’ll have to start with exploring the whole relationship thing, and maybe officially being someone’s girlfriend.
Sure, it’s not easy and frankly I’m a bit scared, but I’m going to take these chances…starting with this great guy who has seen past my anxieties and boyfriendless past and see what life has in store for me. And hopefully, one day, I’ll be writing a post about love without a mention of anxiety. But for the meantime, I’m just going to take it day-by-day and see what this whole relationship thing is all about.
As I vowed in a previous post, http://livelovelearnbreathe.com/2012/02/23/40-days-and-40-nights/, my Lenten promise was to give up all contact with the man known as Cleveland. To be fair, I did break that pact, but only once. (Sorry, Jesus.) And in my defense, the communication that I did have was a very short and innocent text that, at the time, I felt was my final “Goodbye. I finally moved on.” To tell you the truth, at that time that I confidently sent Cleveland the text, I really was convinced that my feelings were gone. But tonight, as I sit here with visions of him on my mind, I find myself relapsing after the hiatus.
What is it about him that I just can’t seem to fully let go of? Was it our chemistry? His insistent pursuit? The fact that he took a chance on me when no other guy has really done that? Or the fact that because I can’t have him, I want him even more? But then again, am I just stressed out (yes!) from all the running around and mounds of school work that I turn to him (and the memories and chemistry we share) when I find myself needing a destressing time-out?
Even though Lent ended today, I haven’t considered contacting him. Would I like to? Of course. But I know I wouldn’t hear back from him so really what’s the point? Sure, my fearless side says, “Take a chance.” However, common sense says, over and over again, “Let it go.”
In my last post, I wrote, “This past year (with guys) has been interesting, yet disappointing.” There have been no truer words spoken by yours truly than these. Beginning with an escapade last winter, my life has been composed of “Nice to meet you” introductions at the bar to “You are a really good person, but…” dismissals over text. Yep, that pretty much sums of my (lack of) love life this past year.
On Sunday, I added another guy to my list of misfortune. To be fair, I knew it was coming; however, I thought there was a slim chance that this would last more than a few post-hookup texts. But nope, I was wrong yet again. Oh well, another one bites the dust.
It really has been quite a year and one that has brought multiple changes, both good and bad. For some reason, during these last 12-13 months, I have found myself chasing boy after boy with the hope that one of them would turn into something more than a bar drinking buddy or late night text companion. Sure there’s been all of this disappointment along the way, but I think I’m more upset with myself now than anything. When did I become a girl reliant on the attention of a guy?
And more importantly, how do I make it stop?
On Saturday morning, I woke up earlier to (FINALLY) work out for the first time a long time. During that spinning class, one of the things that popped into my mind was how I’ve somehow traded in my therapeutic workouts for pining over boys. To translate that thought, I gave up “me” time that was always very important to yours truly. Seriously lady, what’s wrong with you?
While a lot of my friends have comforted me with “he’s not good enough for you”, “you deserve someone better”, and “he’s an idiot for passing up on you” phrases, I have to say that I stand by my initial belief that the only one to blame here is myself. Why? Because I have lost sight of myself this past year. And because of that, how could I expect The Good Guy, Green Tee-Shirt, Cleveland, or any of those others that wandered in my web to really take a chance on me when I wasn’t too keen on myself in the first place?
So with a much-needed gym membership attached to my key chain, I am also taking control of my life again. I am shedding my boy worries for more “me” time and a boost of self-confident. So on that note, I think it’s time for some yoga.
PS. Thanks for bearing with me this, well, past year. And to all those guys- and honestly, there really haven’t been that many– thank you, I think, for teaching me a few lessons that will hopefully help me when that poor guy decides to stay around longer than any of you have.
I woke up on Friday morning and just laughed at myself. Actually, I’ve been laughing at myself since then. I can’t believe I did that! Honestly, kids, I really can’t. Here I was, getting ready to leave the bar with my girlies and I pulled another ridiculous, living in the moment move with a boy who I thought was cute when he asked us if he could have our table when we left. Lol. Wow, I can’t believe I did that. I can’t believe I invited myself to stay at the bar (table) with him his friends. Lol. Oy vey! You can’t take me anywhere these days…unless you want a good laugh.
To be honest, besides the alcohol, I’m not really sure what’s come over me. Maybe a lot has to do with me not caring anymore about taking chances and making a fool out of myself. Or perhaps I just don’t care, generally speaking, so I’m not going to hold myself back from having a good time- and meeting a few guys in the mean time. Whatever it is, I’m having fun and enjoying the laughs that come the next morning when I shake my head and say out loud, literally, “Kristen, what are you doing?!!” All that matters is that I have a huge grin on my face that next morning and not an ounce of regret- usually, at least.
As I write today, not entirely sure what came over me on Thursday other than Liquid Courage, I’m reminded about the other times in my life when I seemed to be livin’ carefree and confident. The summer before my first year at OU, which continued until I fell hopelessly for Casey, was one of those moments when I remember being immune to worries. To tell you the truth, it’s a time that I always hoped to get back to these past 9-10 years because of the confidence that illuminated from me. Confidence: The best accessory a girl can own. It’s so true, ladies. I swear, if I really could have only one wish for life then it would be to never lose my confidence (again). Trust me on this. Not only do you feel A*MAY*ZING, but you will not believe the attention you will attract. It’s like a Love Potion.
No matter what anyone says, I’ll tell you that friends with benefits can work. I know this because I’ve been in two friends with benefits situations and they’ve helped me understand why they can work, as well as why they can’t. But I’ll focus on why they can, which coincidentally draws upon why they can’t. But again, they can work… if you follow a few simple steps:
1. Do not allow yourself to develop any feelings for the guy/girl.
2. Do not allow the guy/girl to develop any feelings for you.
3. Make sure you really are friends with the guy/girl and not just (something) with benefits.
Yes, those are the rules I’ve learned from my two experiences with friends with benefits. From the first situation, I learned Rule #1 and Rule #2, and apparently from the second, I learned Rule #3. To be honest, Rule #3 may be the more important rule to learn because sometimes those first two can be overlooked if the timing is right and Rule #1 + Rule #2= The beginning of a real relationship.
But generally speaking, I really do believe that friends with benefits can work. But then again, maybe I’m just naive and unrealistic. Perhaps I want to believe they can work because, well, they are really the only form of a “relationship” that I’ve been fortunate to experience. Who really knows my issues? Who knows why I think that a friends with benefits is the way to go? Whatever the reason, wherever my afraid of intimacy and commitment roots derived from, I still stand by my belief that friends with benefits can work.
But does it? Does friends with benefits ever prove to be as successful as one hopes? Do both parties, or at least one, never develop feelings for the other? Wouldn’t it be fabulous if you could simply enjoy the companionship and “benefits” from someone who just wants to have fun and not be alone too? Though despite seeming like a good deal, there’s always a twist…and unfortunately, things don’t always go as planned.
Sunday, November 20, 2011: The 3rd day of getting over “Cleveland”.
Three days without any contact between “Cleveland” and me, and I will say that it seems to get easier each day. Take today for instance. I was never tempted to text or email him. Yes, I did look at his last email to me and his Facebook page tonight; however, neither really elicited any emotions in me. His email is only words- ones that I see differently than I did upon first reading them last Sunday; and when looking at his picture, I almost feel like I’m looking at a stranger.
Last night I went out with a few friends and found myself in a sea of boys. Yes, the BOYcott is still on in my mind (until January), but a girl can look; and look she did. Actually, it was the first time I’ve really done any looking since I met “Cleveland”. To be honest, it felt good. I mean I still miss him. That hasn’t gone away yet. And if you must know, there were a few moments last night in which I thought him- but that was it. I wasn’t tempted to drunk text him from the bar nor did I send him an “I miss you” email. And today, when I found out that the Browns won I withheld from sending any jokes or congratulatory messages.
I know there are still seven days left, but I am definitely happy with how strong I’m feeling. It’s helped that he hasn’t contacted me and that my weekend schedule has kept me busy. Maybe tomorrow will be more challenging. Maybe not. Whatever the case may be, I know that I have to continue with this past and move on from this whole situation- finally.
November 18, 2011: Day 1 of getting over “Cleveland”.
Up until last week, I planned on spending today much differently. Rather than make a pledge to get over “Cleveland”, I entertained the idea of our reunion- which would involve me taking at least one overnight bus, if not two. Crazy, right? Yes, it most certainly was. Unofrtunately I have to admit that it was my idea all along.
Since that plan was canceled, as well as my “relationship” with “Cleveland”, I opted to use this day in a different way. After seeking the confidence from a dear friend, I know that it’s best to assert my plan to get over “Cleveland”. I’m going to take the first step by announcing that today, Day 1, is the beginning of the end. Ten days from now I will be over “Cleveland”. This time, I promise.
Day 1 can be marked by the deletion of all past text messages and all but one email. (I promise I’ll delete it during these 10 days.) Also, today I’m declaring that I will no longer contact him either. No short text messages. No “I miss you” emails. No Facebook postings to bash the Browns either. Nothing. No contact means no contact.
So here it goes…