All of our lives we’re advised against allowing ourselves to fall in love too fast. They (whoever “they” are) tell us that love should happen deliberately, gradually, over a moderate amount of time to have truly legitimate long-term potential. That certainly seems like sound advice. A cautious approach to new love is never in any way inappropriate. Better safe than sorry.
The problem is that even though this sounds like the right thing to do – feels like the right thing to do – is that there’s very little control over our emotions. Yet there are those who truly believe we have some kind of real power and jurisdiction over our feelings. Whenever I’ve heard someone proclaim that they wouldn’t “let themselves fall in love” with someone, I could only laugh.
Certainly, as human beings we have the ability to make choices. As people we can acknowledge feeling a certain way without acting upon whatever powerful emotions may be brewing.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. The experience of falling in love with someone is extraordinarily powerful – almost impossible to resist. And we have no ability to just turn that off. If we could do that, there wouldn’t be nearly so many shallow husks of decayed relationships strewn across the ages. But this notion that we can fall in love too quicky – that we somehow will fall in love too soon if we don’t exercise some sort of discretionary power over that emotion, I theorize, is a complete fallacy.
Road trips will test any relationship. Not just the one you have with your partner, husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend. But the relationships that you have with your best friend, your sibling, your parents. Anyone you like in any way that you are getting into a car with for more than 5 hours is asking the question, “How much will we like each other when we get out of this car?”
To me, a road trip is 5+ hours. If your destination is an entire workday away, that’s a road trip. You shouldn’t treat it as a test, but in the back of your mind, if this is the very first road trip you’re taking with someone you’re dating and doing, it’s natural to think of it as a test. I hope this is natural, anyway. Someone want to back me up on this?
I have no idea how people under the age of 20 date with any amount of confidence. My assumption is that they’re blinded by untested optimism. That seems like the only suitable answer because, looking back, I realize how little I knew about myself as a teenager.
I’m Type-A personality with a few extra dashes of anxiety thrown in, but in my youth I just considered myself to be highly motivated and vigilant. This is partly because I didn’t realize other people didn’t worry about things the way I did. I thought everybody agonized over whether they’d included enough details in their page-long response to the question, “Describe the pathway of frog’s digestive system” in biology class. I thought it was natural to be concerned about making curfew before my date even picked me up for the evening. I didn’t recognize that my need for order and control verged on excessive.
Of course, I thought I understood who I was in high school; all teenagers do. Every teen is sure they know who they are and what they like and what they’ll always like. They hear people talk about change—circumstances change, people change, preferences change—and they understand that change is a possibility for some things but certainly not for all things. Significant, life-altering change happens to other people because they’re not prepared; those fools don’t see it coming. Teenagers think that acknowledging the existence and possibility of change is a safeguard against ever being caught off-guard.
On more than one drunken occasion, I have been found amongst friends loudly slurring the phrase, “I just want to find the Jay-Z to my Beyonce.” Then I usually imitate her now iconic Single Ladies robotic hand dance move. This always gets a laugh, and before you know it, the conversation inevitably ends in a Queen Bey sing-along.
But aside from being a pop-culture infused bar joke (and a convenient excuse to belt I Care like a damn fool), the issue buried in that single phrase weighs heavily on my mind much more often than I drink. And, you don’t have to be a Beyonce fan to know what I’m talking about; you simply have to be a 21st century working girl.
ONLINE DATING – BURN AFTER READING
Project: Man started in the dark, smoky confines of a Madison, WI dive bar. My friend and I were sipping on Long Island iced teas (ugh, I know, it was college) when she revealed she had a confession to make. I expected something juicy but was still surprised to hear that my hot, outgoing pal had signed up for Nerve.com.
Back then online dating was a bit less socially acceptable. And we were in Wisconsin, not a major metropolis that’d attract thousands of online members. Still, I volunteered to jump on the bandwagon. Why not make it a semester’s personal project to sign up and snag a dude?
Lost is the art of making someone you care about, or someone you’re trying to convince care about you, a mix-tape. I recall my now forty-something cousins sitting by the radio with a tape in the deck waiting to hit record. The 80′s were all about the time and effort poured into crafting artful arrangements that expressed FEELINGS. Remember when CDs and tapes were still being used in tandem? Eventually the technicalities became more refined, what with the ability to take a collection of your CDs, pick your goopiest tracks, and assemble a mix tape, well CD, but millennials love nostalgia. Technology was so advanced you not only got to pick the songs but the order as well. The experience became even easier, and probably less meaningful, with the advent of CD burners.
Now that CD’s are now used as spare coasters, and the fine art of fitting “Time After Time” onto the A side is dead, the best way to express what you’re feeling without using your words are emoticons and likes. The mix-tape of today lives on Youtube, Spotify, other stuff on the internet – and they all give you the ability to assemble playlists, faster and more efficient than ever before. With that in mind, here are some simple guidelines to crafting the perfect digital mix-tape through different stages of a relationship:
Jon Waters once said, “If you go home with somebody, and they don’t have books, don’t fuck them.” I don’t know when he said that, but I’m hoping it was before the digital age of publishing. People may have a lot more books than you’d be aware of. They could have hundreds of books in their electronic reading device, maybe even my book, maybe my book titled I Forgot To Be Famous, maybe my book that I wrote, that’s my book, maybe my book is in there. Did I mention my book?
But let’s say that you go home with someone lovely and their shelf is brimming with books. Like Belle’s dream library. Or like Keanu Reeves’ library in a fan fiction I once read on Fanfiction.net many, many years ago. And I don’t need your judgement. Let’s not even start about judging others by the fan fiction they do (or do not) read. I was a wayward youth. The Matrix was a big deal. Keanu was dreamy. These things happen. So let’s say that they have a huge selection of wonderful, amazing books.
YET — there is no way of actually knowing if this dreamboat actually read any of these said wonderful, amazing books. So if people are judging you by the books you’ve read, are they also judging you by the books you HAVEN’T read?
Here are the books on my shelf that I haven’t read. Or haven’t finished. It’s not that I’m a slow reader — I’m quite fast actually, if you must know — but if something doesn’t interest me right away, I stop. It takes a lot of effort for me to give things another chance. Sometimes I go back to it. This happened with Mad Men, and now I love Mad Men. Something something relationship metaphor here.
Traveling out of town (I’ve been hanging out in San Fran & LA!) gives you space and perspective in life. But travel also can clarify some basic emotional truths. Like this one:
I’m at the mercy of a guy in my dah. My love life is pretty f*cked up.
As I walked along the Embarcadero Tuesday evening with my gay friend, lost in conversation about our dahs, I realized that we are both in love with the same kind of guy. Not a player, or an SJP, or The Unavailable Guy, or the Emotionally Unavailable Guy, or The Guy Who Just Blew You Off. No. The guys we are both yearning after are into us in a “more than friends” kind of way. There are play-non-dates in the picture. But these guys are not completely emotionally unavailable, as evidenced by the many “more than lovers” heart to hearts we engage in.
It’s a dah Catch-22.
So there’s this list going around the internet right now, something about the variables that influence that crazy little thing called love: How to Make Someone Fall in Love With You, or the 11 Reasons People Fall in Love. The list is based on the most common responses people gave when recalling their own love stories. I love stuff like this. I love it. I think everyone should always be talking about stuff that made them fall in love, or out of love, or anything regarding love because why? It’s a helluva lot more interesting than math or science, right? Right.
Now I’m not saying I disagree with any of these things, but I am saying that I find some of them to be a snooze-fest. So, because I am an extremely biased person, I’ma tell you the reasons I think people fall in love with one another. Here’s the list:
Truth: I don’t have a smartphone, so I’m not well-versed in the use of emoji in text messages. It seems to me that those little illustrations might help you get your point across more clearly — but what if that isn’t the case? What if your choice of emoji sends the wrong signals to your potential love interest? If you’re looking for some guidance, you might want to consult this helpful how-to guide from HowAboutWe on how to use emojis in your dating life.
Whether it be pounding beers or sippin’ on Moet Chandon, most humans (over the age of 21 or 18 if you’re in Europe!) enjoy the occasional sip or more of alcohol. Many humans also use alcohol to pregame for sexual experiences, as alcohol prevents questions such as “Have I shaved my ladytown recently?” and “Is this guy cute or am I just bored?” and “Have we met?” from inhibiting our confidence, and also makes us feel:
… which often makes us want to get naked and do stuff with other naked people. Like sex. So, in the name of consensually inebriated lovemaking, have a beer or 1-5 cocktails (HAHA?!) and hopefully some orgasms.
He said to call him when I was close so I did. I drove around the block three times before finding the entrance to the hotel which was hidden behind tall bushes to separate itself from the boulevard.
“Great. I’ll meet you in the lobby,” he said, excitedly. Part of me was excited and part of me was exhausted. I felt as though I was going to work, except I worked somewhere fun and cool and beautiful. But hey, work is work… otherwise they would call it something else.
He did indeed meet me in the lobby holding two glasses of champagne and smiling from ear to ear. He looked handsome. Black suit. Red tie. He’s tall too, and commented on how much he loved how tall I stood in my favorite red stilettos.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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