Thoughts on the Past Year

Merry Christmas everyone!  I know, I’m the worst.  Not even going to waste time explaining or apologizing :).

2014 is drawing to a close.  I’m a very nostalgic person, so I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about the past year.  On Christmas Eve, one of my aunts came up to me and one of the first things she said was “It’s the anniversary of everything happening with C.  You look great!  I definitely think you came out way ahead of everything that happened!”  That was a nice compliment, but it got me thinking.  How on earth has it only been a year?  It seems like it’s been at least 4 or 5.  Not only because everything seems like it happened so long ago, but also because I feel like a completely different person than I was last Christmas.  When I think about the person I was last Christmas, I’m almost embarrassed.  I was a girl who was so desperate to not be alone that I was willing to overlook some major red flags in a relationship.  I was so concerned with staying on track with where my friends were in life that I didn’t do what was best for myself and my situation.

Several people have commented that I must be so ready for 2014 to be over.  Yes, there were definitely some crappy things that happened this year.  Without a doubt this has been the most difficult year of my life.  But I don’t think I would change anything.  It sucked, but I’ve learned so much and really grown as a person.  My life is so much more together and stable than it was a year ago.  I’m more financially stable than I was, and my stress level is way down.  I have a job that I absolutely love.  I truly feel like I am on the right path.

Then there’s the whole relationship thing.  The break-up with A lasted like 30 hours.  The next night he texted me saying he thinks he screwed up because it had only been a day and he missed me.  We decided to put all the drama behind us and start fresh.  I’ve stopped trying to put pressure on the situation and force things, and it’s been wonderful.  We’ve just been getting to know each other and having fun.

I’m trying to be chill, but sometimes I do get a little stressed about it.  What if we keep hanging out and I like him more and more but then get friendzoned again?  How do I know if this is worth it, or if I’m just wasting my time?  I’m someone who likes knowing where things are going, which is why before I was constantly asking him what he’s thinking and what we are doing, etc.  My gut is telling me to keep him in my life, but it’s scary.

One of my constant prayers is for guidance with my relationships.  I really feel like I’m on track career-wise, but relationship-wise I’m a little foggier.  My New Year’s resolution is to live more in the moment and try to stop planning and worrying.  I really think if I can do that, 2015 should be an interesting year.

Any advice on how to stay patient in my relationship situation?

I’m Really Bad at Keeping Promises

It seems like my last 4 posts have all started with “I know I’ve been horrible at keeping this updated but I’ll get better…”  I clearly fail at keeping this promise.  It was much easier last year when my job was much more low-key and I had a lot of free time during the day.  Now, between teaching and coaching I am busy basically every day from 7:30-5 or later.  Not a lot of extra time for blogging!

Not surprisingly, I’m back because I’m dealing with hurt again.  Things officially ended with A  yesterday.  Things were STILL moving at a snail’s pace after 4 months of hanging out, so yesterday I needed to get some answers.  It all boiled down to him saying “I think we need to work on getting to know each other and being friends.  I don’t see a relationship continuing at this point, but who knows in the future?”

I had been given similar statements before.  Almost 2 months ago I asked where we were, and he said he definitely sees potential and just wants to take it slow and do it right.  I saw that as a sign of hope and promise.  The fact that I am still getting the same stuff 2 months later tells me it’s time to be done.  At first I almost said ok to his suggestion, but I’m trying to be strong and do what I know in my head is best for me.

Guys, it SUCKS.  He ended the conversation by saying “I’m really sorry we are on such different wavelengths.  This really sucks.”  Pretty much everything I was worried about happened if I allowed myself to become vulnerable happened.  He just didn’t reciprocate my feelings.  I can’t fault him for that.  Sure, I’m annoyed that he led me on, but it’s not his fault he doesn’t share my feelings.  Knowing that doesn’t make it any easier.  I spent the evening heading down the spiral of all kinds of self-doubt.  What if I was prettier/thinner/funnier/cooler, would things be different?  What is wrong with me that he didn’t feel everything that I did?

Even though this wasn’t an official break-up since we weren’t officially dating, it’s still hard.  We’ve spent the last 4 months hanging out.  We would text and Snapchat every single day.  There are a lot of things that remind me of him and it’s tough.  In my break-up with C I was just so hurt and angry that it was easy to wipe all signs of our life together away.  It’s not quite as easy with A.

Every part of my being wants to text A and talk about how hard this is.  It feels a little like New Girl episode when Nick and Jess break up.  No, I don’t live with A but he was the one I would talk to whenever I was having a tough day and now that’s gone.  So far I’ve been able to hold out and be strong (ok, I did send one Snapchat last night o_o) and I just hope that can continue.

I’m just trying to focus on me and surrounding myself with my friends.  It’s sucky that all my best friends live so far away, but I’m trying to make plans to visit them.  I’m also working on the few friendships and I do have in Fargo and taking a break from boys for a little while.  Even though this sucks, at least I know C didn’t ruin me forever and I can still have romantic feelings.for someone.  I’m just trying to look for any silver lining I can.  In the meantime, you can find me indulging in lots of chocolate and Christmas movies.

Back (for real this time)

OK guys, my blogging hiatus is officially over.  I’m settled into my new place (and my sisters are visiting this weekend so we’ll get to actually decorate the living room and kitchen!!) and no longer feel like the noob at my summer job.  It’s time for me to stop making excuses and get back to blogging.

If you were hoping this would be a DIY decorating post, sorry to disappoint.  Today’s subject is all about online dating.  At my last check in I had gone on my first date and thought it went well but was not 100% sure because we had spent 5 hours at a bar and I had several glasses of red wine clouding my judgement.  Well, I’ve since seen that guy again and felt no connection.  It was a little disappointing but it was a definite no-go.  Then I had to deal with the awkward situation of telling him I didn’t want to see him again.  I decided to take the easy way out and do it via text.  I figured it since we had only gone out twice it wasn’t a totally skeezy thing to do.

I was not having the best of luck.  I had been messaging a few guys, but they would always say something that was too forward or gross and it totally turned me off.  There was one guy that I was getting along with really well, and then he asked how long after we meet before he can start kissing me.  That was super awkward, because we had never even met face to face yet.  For a little bit I considered that I was being too harsh, but then I realize that I don’t owe anyone anything with this dating thing.  If it makes me uncomfortable, there is no reason for me to keep on with it.  I told him I wasn’t comfortable with it, and instead of just accepting it he spent HOURS texting me to try and convince me that he’s a good guy and I need to give him a chance but he hasn’t been “this intrigued by a girl” in a long time.  The situation just got worse and worse.  That wasn’t fun.

Time out for a little online dating advice.  If things are making you uncomfortable, there’s no law that says you have to keep up with it.  I mean, things are probably going to be a little awkward.  It is online dating after all.  But there is a difference between feeling a little out of your comfort zone and feeling truly uncomfortable in a situation.  If you are like me, you can struggle with telling people “no”.  It can be an awkward thing to do, but you need to do what’s right for you.  If you don’t, you might find yourself engaged to a guy with a meth addiction (read my early posts if you don’t know what I’m talking about).

Anyway, I had gone on a couple more dates but nothing really clicked.  That is, nothing clicked until last night.  Then I went out with a new guy (let’s call him Mr. Chivalrous).  This was totally different than the other dates I had been on.  He is smart, funny, has a good job, and was really well-dressed (call me shallow, but I think how a guy dresses for a date says a lot).  He picked me up and we went out for beers at this German bier hall.  We were only supposed to have one since he was driving, but we weren’t ready to go so he asked me if I would be down for having another and then going for a walk after.  We did, and then had about 4 glasses of water each.  He said he still wasn’t comfortable to drive, so he offered to walk me home.  It was about a mile and a half walk, but we set out.  As we were walking, he made me switch spots with him so he could walk next to the street (hence how he got his nickname).  We got to my apartment and he asked if I wanted to hang out and watch TV for awhile.  We watched an episode of Orange is the New Black and then he walked back to his car to head home.

I didn’t feel like this after any of my other dates.  I’ve spent the morning over-analyzing EVERYTHING about last night.  He wanted to stay for another drink, and then he wanted to hang out in my apartment for awhile, so that means he was interested too, right?  On the other hand, when he left he shook my hand.  Yes, I got a handshake.  Not even a hug.  A handshake.  How the eff am I supposed to interpret that??  Was that just him being respectful and old-fashioned?  Or does that mean that he didn’t feel any connection?  

As awful as the over-analyzing is, it feels good to be doing this again.  I haven’t cared enough to try to interpret a man’s actions in a long, long time.  I think I might have a little crush.  That means I can still feel.  C and all the awful things he did didn’t break me completely.  It also makes me glad that I didn’t pursue conversations with other guys who were ok, but I didn’t feel great about.  I had started to think that maybe I’m not someone who feels connections right away, that maybe I need to give guys more chances.  Mr. Chivalrous showed me that I can feel giddy after a first date.  I’m not, like, ready to jump into a relationship or anything dumb like that.  I just have a crush:)

Now, the waiting game starts.  He seems old-fashioned, so I think it’s totally legit that I wait for him to make a move for Date #2…

First One Down

IT’S SUMMER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As of 3 pm yesterday afternoon I officially survived my first year as a teacher. It was touch and go at some points, but I made it through and am excited to be back next year. I was actually a little sad to see the year end because I might actually miss seeing the students every day (even the ones who are little turds most of the time). However, sleeping in this morning was pretty glorious.

Ok, time to get down to the juicy stuff. I promised that I would keep you updated on how my foray into the world of online dating goes. Well, last night I went on my first official date that was a direct result of the app I downloaded. I met this guy (we will call him Joe) at a brand new Irish pub in Fargo. I was excited because I had never been, but the rest was pretty terrifying. What if it was super awkward? What if I wanted to leave after 10 minutes? What if I really liked him but HE wanted to leave after 10 minutes? The scenarios were running rampant through my head as I got ready.

The getting ready was an ordeal in itself. I want to look good but not fake or high maintenance. And what the hell to wear? I didn’t want to be dressier than him (or than what was appropriate for the place) but I also wanted to wear an outfit that I liked and felt confident in. By the time 7:30 rolled around I was a wreck.

Guys, it was FINE. He got there before I did (I planned that one…I wanted to be the waitee not the waiter) and so when I walked in I just marched up to him and gave him a hug (remember, we’ve been texting for a little over a week at this point so we weren’t TOTAL strangers). I pretended like it wasn’t awkward, and in about 30 seconds flat it wasn’t. Conversation started right away and didn’t stop for 5 hours. No, that is not a typo. We sat at our table at the same bar for FIVE HOURS. The first time I actually checked my phone I was shocked to see we had been sitting there for 3 hours already. I guess that’s a good sign, right? Neither of us were bored or uncomfortable enough to want to leave or even check the time.

Here’s my problem: obviously after sitting at a bar for 5 hours we had a few drinks. By the end of the night I had a definite buzz. Because of this, I’m nervous to trust any assessments of the evening. Was there a connection, or was I just being the usual chatty person I am after drinking? Is it worth a second date (without alcohol involved) to find out? As Jill pointed out, 5 hours of talking with only a few seconds of awkwardness probably warrants seeing him again.

So the first date is over. I imagine if I see Joe again or decide to meet up with any other OkCupid guys it will be a lot easier. Oh, and for those of you who might be wondering, there was no kissing or anything at the end of the night. I probably would’ve allowed it (definite buzz, remember?) but I wasn’t drunk enough to make the first move and he only went in for the hug.

This summer might be interesting…

I’m Slightly Awkward and Embarrassed…

Last week I was Gchatting with my friend Jill about the upcoming summer.  As ready as I am for the school year to be over, I’m kind of nervous about summer.  I’m moving out of my aunt’s house into my new apartment, which I am ecstatic about but I will also be living alone for 2.5 months until my sister comes back from summer break.  As I think I’ve mentioned before, my previous relationship consumed a lot of my life in Fargo and I’ve never made a lot of friends in town.  Of the few friends I have made, one in spending 2 months in South America and the others all have jobs that require them to work a lot of nights and weekends.  I’m starting to get nervous about being really lonely all summer.

About 2 seconds after I sent a long chat message explaining all of this, Jill responded with one word: “OkCupid.”  Apparently it’s this free dating website/app that a bunch of her friends use in Chicago and have a really fun time with.  She said that one of her friends met a lot of people through the app and didn’t pay for a dinner out for months.  Even though Fargo is a lot smaller than Chicago, she thought it was still big enough that I should give it a try.

Time for some honesty.  I still kind of think there is a stigma around online dating.  I’m not sure if this is a societal feeling or a personal feeling, but part of me felt that “resorting” to online dating as a 25-year-old was kind of embarrassing or sad.  Jill told me to stop being stupid, that it’s a good way to meet people in my town (especially when I don’t have a ton of time outside of school and coaching).  I started to relent a little.  I mean, how else do people meet these days?  Pretty much everyone of my friends I met at either school or work.  I no longer have the platform of college to force me to make connections with people.  The staff at my school is fairly small and I know everyone who works here.  The only other way I could come up with to meet new people is out at a bar, but that’s how I met my ex so that option left a bad taste in my mouth.  I swallowed my pride and made an account.

You guys, it’s been so fun so far.  Sure, there are a fair share of creepers out there who send me gross messages about wanting to hook up, but a few guys have messaged me that I’ve responded to and actually enjoy talking to.  Most are like me–not thrilled to be on the site but want to meet new people and don’t have a lot of time to do so.  I’ve been a member since last Tuesday, and over the weekend I finally agreed to meet one of the guys in person.  I was hesitant, but I realized that it is a dating site and a person may come across totally differently in person than they do via message.  So on Thursday I will be meeting who Jill and I (she’s my personal assistant with this journey) have dubbed Microsoft Guy at a new bar in town.  He was one of the first guys to message me, and we have since moved to texting and have been talking for a few days.  He seems really easy to talk to, so I feel comfortable meeting him in person to see if that holds true face-to-face.  

I’m still a little awkward about this whole thing.  I told my brother’s girlfriend that I have a blind date this week, and she asked who knows this guy and set it up.  I kind of dodged the question, but a little later she asked again so I admitted I met him on this app.  She didn’t judge (or didn’t seem to anyway), but I still felt awkward about it.  I guess after doing it for awhile I may get more comfortable/less embarrassed about it, but we’ll see.  At any rate, at least it should make for an interesting summer!  And since when I started this blog I said it would be part-Carrie Bradshaw, I promise I will update and let you know how things are progressing.  

In the meantime, anyone else do the whole online dating thing?  Are you having any success?  Do you feel awkward/embarrassed about it?

The First Call

While I was running the other day (I’m up to 6 miles in my training…we aren’t going to count the atrocious 4 mile run I struggled with yesterday) I was thinking about my life.  I’ve known that I’ve been lonely since ending my engagement.  That was no shock, and it shouldn’t be.  I went from having a fiancee, someone who was always there (either physically or by phone/email/Gchat), to being single.  I’ve mentioned before how I have an amazing support group of family and friends, but there was definitely a void left after I lost that intimate relationship.

During this run, I realized something else.  I’m not anyone’s “first call.”  What do I mean by first call?  Think about it.  If something really amazing happens to you or you get some really great news, who is the first person you would call to share?  On the flip side, if something bad happens, who is the first person you want to talk to about it?  Chances are this is probably the same person.  For much of my friends and family, this person is probably their significant other.  C used to be my first call, and I was his.  Now my first call is probably my parents or my sister, and I’m pretty sure I am not anyone’s first call.  This is an incredibly lonely thought.

I think we all want to feel loved and special.  It’s been about 3.5 months since I ended my engagement.  I’m probably not in a place where I’m ready to enter into another serious relationship, but part of me really wants to start dating again.  I want to start trying to fill the void of lack of a significant other.  I want to be someone’s first call again.

I know, I know…now I’m just being pitiful.  But how adorbs is Stitch?

Don’t worry readers.  I’m not going to be stupid and jump into a relationship with the wrong guy.  The explosion and aftermath of what happened with C has made me a lot more wary of people and more selective about the men I get involved with.  I just hope this new resolve lasts, because the loneliness is starting to take it’s toll.  I want to be someone who can say that she’s perfectly happy being single and alone, but that’s just not me.  I miss the companionship.  I miss being loved (not as a daughter/sister/friend, but as a girlfriend).  I miss caring for someone and being cared for.  I miss being the first one to hear good or bad news.

We all know the old adage “love comes when you least expect it.”  I think this means that instead of looking for love we need to work on loving ourselves, and when we get better at that we will find someone who loves us the way we are.  I know I need to continue to work on making myself better before I will be ready to love again.  Anybody have tips on how to make that road feel a little less lonely?