Praying for a “Bad” Date

I’ve been in a dating drought for the last 7ish months. I’ve been super single for the last 15 months; casual dating, but nothing relationship-ish at all. I’ve been a dating rut… to say the least. It’s been as dry as the Sahara Desert. I’ve come to terms with the fact that’s life. As a long-term single person, sometimes that’s the reality we all face. You make your peace with sleeping in the middle of the bed, and binge watching every television series known to man. 
So far, 2016 has been about self-development. I’ve worked on education, health, and my career. You know, just a few minor things in life. Men haven’t been the priority or focus, and it’s been nice. I kind of feel like I’ve got things firing on all cylinders, and I’m happy with the progress I’ve made. 
I’ve realized the year is flying by, and with all my, “love yourself, focus on yourself, become a bad-ass bitch” mantras, I’ve found myself annoyingly single. My mattress also has a Piper size dent in it, because it’s been ages since anyone, other than Piper has been in that bed. 
So, like any single human does, I reinstalled Tinder, you know, just for like the 7,343 time. Justifying this decision with the realization I need to just to put myself out there, remember what it’s like to go on a date, remember how to interact with men whom I’m not related to, or work with. 
In the last week, I’ve gone on dates with three different men. I’ve also realized, that I’m either: 
A. Expecting them to be kind of a flop, but also,
 B. Hoping they’re kind of a flop. 
I get that dating is a numbers game, and when you randomly decide to go out with three dudes from Tinder, you shouldn’t have your expectations sky-high. You would be setting yourself up for major disappointment. This all makes sense. What doesn’t make sense was the fact I was kind of hoping they wouldn’t work out. Why you ask? Well, let’s dive in and see just how crazy I really am.
I’ve gotten really comfortable with my life just the way it is. I do whatever I want, with whomever I want, and life is good. If I want to eat popcorn for dinner, sweet. If I want to drink greyhounds until 2 AM on a Tuesday, right on. If I’m busy working late or in class ‘til late, no one complains but me. You don’t realize how insidiously single life takes you over, until, one day you wake up and your 52 with 7 cats. I’m hoping this isn’t my reality, but I totally get how that happens now. Lucky for me, I still don’t even have a house plant, let alone a pet of any kind. This leads me to my next reason…
I don’t have to take care of anyone else’s shit but my own. I have streamlined my life such that, I don’t have much shit. I only surround myself with my friends and family who add to my life; people are supportive and generally lovely. People who only want the best for me. I’ve cut out all the negative and draining humans. I don’t have time for it. The prospect of letting in an unknown, who could turn out to be not so fabulous, is terrifying. Let’s face it, my track record with men is kind of pathetic. I have dated some of the most narcissistic, selfish, despicable men. You know, you’ve read my blogs. If you haven’t, I suggest you take a little stroll through the site. It’s bad. I assure you. 
Another reason I’m scared of hitting it off with someone, is… what if you like them and they’re not so into you? What if you actually put yourself out there, and click and they don’t feel the same way. It’s easier to set yourself up to believe the guy will just be a weirdo with bushy eyebrows and an epic Star Wars collection, than think that you might be rejected. Who the hell wants to be rejected? 
So, I find myself thinking, “If this date is a dud, I’ll be home by 8:30 PM, which will still give me enough time to catch up a couple more episodes of Game of Thrones!” Hi…. Why are you even going on this damn date if you just want to stay home and watch GOT!?! Kind of backward, no? Kind of sick a dud of a date is better than an amazing one. One that could change your life. One that could get you out of the Piper shaped hole in your mattress. 
Maybe I’m not ready to date yet. Maybe 15 months hasn’t been enough time. I may or may not have had, seemingly out of no where, an epic breakdown on the way home from my parent’s house yesterday listening to Stranded by Plumb because I’m still super angry at my ex for asking me to have a baby, and then quickly proceeding to dump me and move across the state. This happened TWO years ago, but I’m still angry. Angry, because I have to go on all these dumb dates with dudes from Tinder. Maybe I still need to work through those issues. Part of me thinks he’s always going to be burned into my heart, like a brand and I’m always going to have that scar. I don’t know. I don’t know what is going to fix it. Maybe I have to just move on with my life. Maybe I just need therapy. That could also be it.  

Single For The Summer

Recently you may have noticed a lack of posts from me. I’m sure your lives are all diminished without my witty sense of humor and my sarcastic banter. I could come up with a million reasons why, but the truth is I just haven’t had shit to say.

I’d have to check my Outlook calendar to tell you the last time I went out on a date. My Google history would reveal to you that I recently searched “can your hymen grow back?” and I’m currently racking my memory for the last time someone gave me butterflies or I felt the spark of excitement for someone new.

But strangely life has been extremely full and wonderful. Evenings after work have been filled with workouts, dinners for one, wine for three and Netflix marathons. Weekends fill up nicely with trips to the farmers market, hikes with my dog and shopping at Costco with my grandma. I’ve been more engaged with my friends and family and I have been focused on enjoying my own company more.

In the past I’ve said, and I truly thought I was, very happy being single. But truthfully I was always wishing that I was seeing someone, longing for connection with a man. But right now, in this moment, I am content and I am happy and I am very very single.

Have I given up, final thrown in the towel? No, I don’t think so. I’m just done with the game right now. I’m burned out. I’m tired and I’m choosing to redirect my energy.

In the last few weeks I’ve watched a few people close to me go through nasty break ups, deal with turmoil within their relationships and deal with all the uncertainty and anxiety that comes with intimately involving someone else in your life. More than once I’ve texted Piper and said “I’m just thankful life is so simple and easy right now.” And I am. I’m glad to not be checking my phone for a text or wondering what someone else is thinking or feeling. It’s been rather liberating.

I know that at some point I’ll schedule a date with some new guy off Tinder, meet someone new in a bar and I’ll be back on the ride. But for right now I’m enjoying book club, planning vacations with my girlfriends and binge watching the new season of OITNB.

The Male Perspective – a guest post about heartbreak

Ryan has been a good friend of mine for 10 plus years. Recently he shared with me about his break up and the ensuing fall out. I asked him to guest blog for us and share his male perspective with our readers. Often times as a women I’ve felt as if I was the only one left hurting at the end of a relationship. I appreciate and admire both his vulnerability and honesty in this post.

Always,
Layla

•••••••••••

I was asked to type a guest blog from the male perspective of a break up. “Curious” was the word used to describe how a man processes a break up. Now if you have followed this blog you will see that the usual authors touch base on dating, being single, heartbreak, struggles, frustrations and ways they cope with all of those issues as well as the… break up.

My situation is not unlike many others but it’s vastly unique in many perspectives. None of which are appropriate for here but lets just say the struggle is real.

I recently was broken up with after dating a woman for two years. We bought a house together. We had plans. We had a future. I however did not take the relationship serious for the first half, was caught being unfaithful and spent the last nine months trying to mend what I broke. I was given a firm promise of no matter what we will get through this. Our love was more than enough and even though I hurt her, cut her to her soul, she wanted to stick by me. She loved me.

I really bought into that promise and commitment she showed me. My heart opened up in ways I had never experienced and we grew closer. Little did I know that the damage I had done would slowly tear open that original wound and create so much worry and unprocessed hurt that no amount of love could fix it. Yes we had our battles in between but we could always talk them through and we could always come out on top.

To say I was blind sided by the break up was an understatement. Looking back now I should have done more, things I wanted to do, should have done but just thought what I was doing was enough instead. I could now see the signs of it all unwinding as the clarity of it all sets in but the hurt is still real.

A day before my birthday I was flipped upside down. “I gave up”. “I can’t do it anymore”. “I’m not happy and I shouldn’t feel this way”. Take each one of those letters, make them red hot and have them pressed against your heart. One right after another she ripped those statements off while crying so hard and it hurt. It hurt as I fought for two weeks to show her she was wrong. That I knew what I did wasn’t enough and I wasn’t fighting to just get her back but earn her back. In the end it wasn’t enough and things fell apart much deeper and uglier. It’s the battle I’m currently fighting now.

This wasn’t my first break up. She wasn’t the first person I thought I would marry. As you age and mature things affect you differently. Life is precious and fast paced and you look for security and now I have none. I have retreated to family as I pick up the pieces.
I can imagine if one actually cared about the other person than as a male or female it is no different to lose someone. Being on the losing end sucks. Hurting someone sucks just as bad but at least you had the choice right?

I suppose from a mans perspective the unknown is different. Girls stick together like glue when things go bad. Men process things differently and offer different types and levels of support. Sure every guy could say he’s going to go out and tear up the town and just hate fuck her memory from his head on his next few conquests but it doesn’t change your situation. It certainly doesn’t change that woman have all of the power. A guy can want everything in the world but will he get it? No. Woman are picky, empowered, educated, informed and tired of being hurt. It’s now a game to show you’re not a douche, you’re reliable and most importantly loyal. Being a man in his 30’s begins to limit your dating pool. Younger women? Sure… Single mothers? Sure… Divorced? Sure…. We are all single for some reason though. We screwed up or someone hurt us. I fall into both.

This is not the adventure or story I was hoping to be written for me. It’s scary and humbling. Not quite so different are we when we are vulnerable.

To Google Or Not To Google 

Online dating is annoying. Tinder, POF, Match and Plenty of Fish, I’ve had profiles on all of them. I’ve been on countless dates from all of them. Some good, some really really bad. It’s all taught me many lessons, but one of the biggest is to do my research. 

I can research a man better than the FBI. Sometimes I think I’m better than Nev & Max on MTV’s Catfish. Not to brag but I’m pretty awesome at finding out information. Now, before you label me a creeper or stalker and crazy you need to understand why I do some digging before agreeing to go out with someone new. 

One hundred years ago when I first started online dating I started talking with a dude I really liked. I couldn’t believe my luck after going so long without dating. I was beyond naive. We texted for hours before our first date. I was so excited to like someone new. I mentioned my new crush to my buddy who happened to be a cop. He insisted that I do some googling before meeting him. Low and behold my new connection had pending domestic violence charges. Like some really scary stuff. He and I had an uncomfortable convo and he understood why we couldn’t go out. Lesson learned. 

Since then I always do some research first. I will always try and get a phone number from the guy once I know I want to chat with him. I mean, I’d rather text than message on Tinder. But, you can also search for someone on FB using their phone number. Social media always yields tons of info, even if their profile is private. 

Once a guy I had dated and broken up with came back into my life. We were talking about making it work when he told me he was going on a family vacation to Mexico. I felt suspicious and after a little Facebook digging I found that his ex was also on this little vaca. Bye Felicia! 

Recently before a first date I found out the guy was still engaged. His profile pic was one with his fiancé showing off her ring. I wish I was kidding you, but I’m not. 

Online dating can be risky. Let’s face it, you’re meeting a stranger. People can pretend to be whoever they want online. I’ve learned to trust my gut and sometimes knowing a little bit more about someone helps. You just have got to be smart. I think it goes without saying but, make sure you’re only meeting someone new in a public place and let a girlfriend know what you plans are. And doing a little googling never hurt anyone! 

Why Everyone needs to STFU About Their Relationship Status (and mine too)

I get it. I write a blog about dating…. Which means I’m SINGLE. I’m also a daughter, a sister, a best friend, a Virgo…. The list goes on and on. One word doesn’t define me, and I don’t think it defines you. How boring. 

I’m sick of the lame ideology that being in a relationship elevates your status.  I’m tired of scrolling through Facebook and girls showing off their engagement rings and boyfriends like this season’s new Prada. You’re not suddenly a whole person because you now stay home and watch House of Cards on Saturday night with someone who has XY chromosomes. You were always a whole person, even when you were at a bar slamming back G&Ts three months ago on girls’ night.  I probably liked you a lot more then, when you didn’t pretend to like baseball and recount stories in which you and your boy called each other babe a thousand times. 

I have friends who I don’t speak to every day, and it never fails, when I get a text every couple weeks, the following questions come up first: 

“Are you dating anyone?”

“How was your date last week with that one guy??”

“I saw Ben liked your new profile pic on FB, are you guys hanging out?”

Ugh. There are a lot more interesting things going on in my life than what is happening with the men who are or aren’t in it. My answers are always the same: 

“No.”

“Which guy? Refresh my memory? That was like three weeks ago… The guy with the beard? Vegas Guy? The guy who didn’t drink? The guy with a teenager? No? Who are you talking about?”

“Ewwww… No!”

Do I sound bitter? Maybe, but I’m bored talking about your boyfriend or my boyfriend or that Stacy and Chad broke up. It’s the same convo time and time again with just different characters. If we’re catching up I’d rather talk about the class I’m taking, my weekend road trip, my summer vacation plans, the book I’m reading, the new project I’m heading up at work, my niece. There are a lot more interesting things going on other than who I am or am not sleeping with. 

I’m happy you found a guy you really like. I truly am; I’m optimistic it’ll work out. I don’t want to be watching you eat gallons of Ben and Jerry’s washed down with a bottle of Cab in two months when Rob dumps you for the chick he met on his Tinder account he never deleted. Promise.  

I also want to hear about your promotion at work, the new spin class you started taking, and how your sister is being a bitch because she thinks you stole her green sweater… All of that is far more interesting than hearing about how you made Rob a turkey sandwich Thursday and he said, “Babe, you know I love how you make sandwiches!”  Yawn.  In all reality, no one, not even Rob, gives a f*ck about your sandwiches. 

Not every girl does this, I have best friends who are still the fascinating, multi-faceted women I have always loved, betrothed or not. My sister is just a few months away from her wedding, and yet we have lots of other things to talk about. Thank you for still being the humans I have always connected to. Thank you for not becoming “Stepford”.  

XOXO, 

Piper 💋