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Every lady knows and loves and yearns for this guy. The One Who Got Away.
By definition, he’s not in my dah, but he’s been in my life for practically all of my 27 years.
We met – as it were – as toddlers in the mountains, where our families vacationed at the same rustic resort. There’s a photograph of five-year-old, platinum blond, chubby-faced me staring at him across a wildflower field. He had long, curly, silken dark hair and in the picture, he’s wearing a red t-shirt and looking back at me cooly, like a miniature rebel without a cause.
If you go up to the resort even now, there’s a piece of driftwood where we both wrote our names in magic marker, probably that same year. He’s a year older than I am, so his name is spelled correctly and mine has a backwards B and Y.
It wasn’t until much later that I consciously knew I was in love with him. I was 12-years-old, with knobby knees and ears that stuck out, but I was still a sun-kissed, freckled blonde and had happily evaded the awkward ‘awkward phase’ that had stricken most of my friends during this time. At home in the suburbs, I was making out against lockers and in his bunk-bed with Rob The Hockey Player, though refusing every day to ‘be his girlfriend.’ I had that compulsive desire for male attention (even adolescent, slightly be-pimpled male attention), but I knew I was saving up my “official” love life for someone truly epic.
That’s when I re-encountered him, The One Who Got Away, on vacation with my family in the mountains.
I was never a very good dater.
Once upon a time, I would have attributed that to the fact that the strongest, most lasting relationship I’ve ever had has been with my mother. But I can’t be sure.
You know my mother. Sure you do. Just picture the love child of Sylvia Fine from The Nanny and Marie Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond — with just a touch of a more accessible Angelina Jolie thrown into the mix (my mother is reading this, after all). And there you have it. An eccentric self-proclaimed drama-mama, she dresses up in her wench costume for the annual Renaissance Festival and reads Tarot cards. Like an excitable puppy she often gets so worked up about something that her mind runs faster than her body and she falls over and needs to be rushed to the hospital. This is a woman who gets so worried when I don’t immediately return her calls that she has been known to call the police on me, convinced that I’ve gone missing.
My love life has never been spared her utmost attention and devotion, of course.
I do not know this person. LinkedIn is officially not safe.
Perhaps at some point I accepted an invitation to connect with this man because we are relatively in the same industry, but I do not personally know this person. We have never met.
I don’t know about all you other professional adult people but, I’m on LinkedIn to engage in business. I’m there to make new connections, explore new opportunities, and gauge movement my industry.
I’m not there to flirt. (Even if I am the biggest one I know, I understand boundaries.)
Allen Chou was just 27 when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. His girlfriend, Linda Sim, was 25. When his diagnosis got worse, they hoped for a miracle… and made a plan. This short documentary explores their journey.
Apparently I was trying to dole out hard hitting advice about love, relationships, and dating…before I even had any experience with any of it. I found a journal of writing from seventh grade and uncovered a plethora of early essays and self reflection. For the most part it’s cringe worthy, but also somewhat endearing. One of my favorite finds is an attempted humor piece entitled, “The Do’s And Don’t When You Meet a Boy.” It should be noted that I was at an all-girls school at the time. I have transcribed it for your entertainment:
I knew everything was going to change when I turned thirty and got married in two consecutive days. But I figured there was no reason to space out these major life events. Bring it on, I told myself. Let’s see what the future holds.
Then nothing changed. My husband and I had been together for a year and a half, and we had moved into a new apartment in the months preceding our wedding. I had already phased out my dah of guys and adjusted to a warm and easy routine of contented coupledom. I’d also gone through a ‘process of strategic career adjustment’ (as I deemed it) and was finally embedded in a creative day-to-day of reading about medieval art and philosophy, attempting to write plays, screenplays and novels, and playing music on my piano, flute and guitar.
My world had changed without my noticing it. I realized, with some shock, that I had changed as well.
What had happened to the flitting, pugnacious, amorous and shameless twenty-something lady I had been? How had she disappeared, fading away even from my mind, absolutely, and without saying goodbye?
I became introspective. I had changed, but how and into what? Who had I become?
My favorite English teacher had always said, “people don’t change, they just become more themselves.” I felt this observation to be true. I had evolved, or returned, to a more authentic version of myself. But I was caught pondering: How did the disparate decades of my life cohere? What the heck had I been doing then and what the hell was I doing now?
Read the rest at 40:20 Vision, where a celebration of ‘thirty-somethings’ is underway!
photo credit: Aisha Singleton Photography
Well, it’s a new day and a new study about subjective topics like moving in with your partner! The Atlantic reported a very long article called, “In Relationships, Be Deliberate.” The title should be a dead giveaway that statistics aside, this is kind of common sense. Of course you should be deliberate in your relationships. I think most people would agree that it’s pretty important to be deliberate in most aspects of your life. Who wants to deal with a wishy-washy person?
But this isolated article just deals with moving in together. It opens by reiterating that even though traditionalists say moving in together before marriage is a bad idea, progressives are making it the norm. But it’s not actually question of whether or not they should move in.
But before couples sign a lease together, they would do well to ask themselves: Did we slide into the decision to move in together or did we decide to cohabit?
That question matters in terms of the length and quality of subsequent marriage. Traditionalists tend to think cohabiting before marriage is a bad idea, and progressives are more likely to embrace it, but new research says that’s not the best way to approach the question: The important thing is how couples make the leap into a shared life.
Does anyone else find this to be the most nuanced, yet obvious study about relationships?
The other week, I had a rare Saturday night off, followed up with a Sunday morning off. Somehow I forced myself out of bed, away from Netflix, got dressed up in the vintage dress that was collecting dust in my closet and headed downtown to visit my bartender best friend at work.
There’s something empowering about strutting downtown when you know you look good. It felt fun, sassy, confident and sexy. I headed into my friend’s bar, a classy, speakeasy type establishment where the lighting is low and flattering and the music is the perfect soundtrack to your life in that very moment.
The tables were full of couples having date nights as I headed straight to the bar. We started chatting as she poured me a gin drink from heaven and I know that I made the right decision, Orange is the New Black could wait.
A few handsome men, who know my bartender lady friend, came in to say hi. “Hello boys. Thank you, Saturday night, you’re treating me right,” I thought.
When you were 16 or 17, you started dating an older guy – he was probably 19 or 20 with spiky blonde hair and a shitty car and a too-cool-for-school attitude, and you knew it worried your mother (which, of course, made him even more appealing).
You had a number of boyfriends before him, but they were mostly just pass-notes-in-the-hallway, awkward-first-kiss types and nothing more, so there were certainly red flags when this guy came into the picture – the pressures of being a teenage girl multiplying instantly in his presence. And you remember one afternoon that summer, your mom sat you down and said a lot of things you already knew about boys and dating and sex, and you’re sure you rolled your eyes so hard out of your head that you pulled a muscle, but there was one little pearl of wisdom that stuck with you for years and years, and that was when she said: Honey, it’s hard to say no to things that feel good. At the time, it seemed like such a hollow and meaningless message. Okay, mom. Whatever you say. You could totally say no to something that was tempting or gratifying. Of course you could. But as you got older, you wondered, Why would I want to?
The worst thing about breakups is when they never happen. When you get dumped, when a guy or girl breaks up with you, then you can watch Almie’s video and take her sage advice, and you will suffer and grieve, but you will survive. But what about the non-breakup? The disappearance? The ghosting? The slow, inexorable self-removal of a person from your life, via unreturned text, via sudden, unexplained, constant busy-ness, via silence.
You think you want closure. Or you think it’s “just a phase” and that s/he really is that busy right now. Or you make a list of all the things you did wrong, all the signs you should have seen, all the ways in which you let yourself get too invested. Too vulnerable. Too needy. Too independent. Too Much Too Soon, or Too Little Too Late. You blame, blame, blame, him, her, or yourself. You dwell and obsess and it all spirals down into anger, hurt and sense of helplessness or is it hopelessness? No. The sadistic thing about the non-breakup, the slow fade, the disappearance is that there remains a tantalizing sense of hope. You guys had something! It was real! Technically speaking…it hasn’t even ended! Maybe he/she really is just that busy right now!
And so it goes, but that is not the worst part.
Sarah and Sara weren’t in a fight. They were best friends and had ruthlessly stuck by each other since middle school, when there had been three other Sarah’s and two other Sara’s in their grade. So they would never fight now, let alone “over a guy.” They were not in a fight over Mark.
But they could disagree about who had the right to email Mark first after he and Bev broke up.
As it turned out, they had both emailed him that morning, shortly after learning about the breakup via mass text from Aaron, who always knew the gossip. Aaron had suggested that the friend group rally to support Mark, because Bev had, in fact, been sleeping with her good-looking Russian co-worker, whom she had nicknamed Sergei the Great while swearing he was gay. Mark’s ongoing jealousy of Sergei had seemed so mean-spirited that everyone had interpreted it as insecure paranoia. They had all, over the course of many months and in group emails as well as one-on-one, persuaded Mark to “tone it down” and “trust Bev.”
Now they all felt guilty and complicit in her deceit. As if the glint in her eye every time she said “Sergei the Great” hadn’t been a dead giveaway.
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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