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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.
In real life, if there were a dah category called “The Guy Who Gives Lots of Love Advice to his Female Friends,” then this week’s dah guy would be a perfect fit. Well, there’s not! But lucky us, we got to pick his brain and glean his post-dating wisdom anyway. Keep reading for some male advice on relationship sex, long-distance flirtation and why men are such assholes.
To submit your questions for next week’s column, email us at with “Ask A dah Guy” in the subject line!
My answer: Only if I really had to!
I came across this article from the New York Times real estate section, profiling several married couples living in New York…with roommates.
Anywhere else in the country and you’d find it a little strange. The first few years of marriages are for Sunday mornings spent in bed, binge watching TV on the couch, walking around in your underwear, and general stewing in the marital soup of each other before you become too comfortable with each other or children appear, whichever comes first. It’s not, stereotypically speaking, an extension of your college/post-college experience, roommates and all.
But in New York, it makes sense, and it’s possibly the smartest decision. It seems like a huge reach for a married couple to afford rent on their own AND save for the future. Perhaps the only way to save for a house is to live with others, if you want to live in NYC of course, which I don’t blame you.
I live in LA and have a pretty sweet set up with my boyfriend. It’s a two bedroom, two bathroom spacious place in a rent stabilized building. We won’t be moving until we buy a house. I haven’t had a roommate since I was 23 years old, and I can’t imagine doing it again, especially if I was married, even if I lived in NYC.
Don’t be one of those people who says they’re giving up on dating this year. Dating is rarely black and white so don’t go all or nothing on this aspect of your life. Just make some New Year’s resolutions to do it better this year than last.
Has it always been this hard to figure out whether or not you are on a date? This article in New York Magazine says that “73 percent of women report having no idea if they are even on a date or not.” Let me reiterate: 73 percent of women (that’s nearly three quarters, if you’re bad at math like me) can’t figure out the difference between a date and a non-date when they’re on one.
The article goes on to attribute this confusion to “booty calls, text-based love affairs, and the long-term fantasy relationships we have with people’s Tinder profiles before even speaking to them.”
I think that’s just plain wrong. Rather, people just aren’t being clear with their intentions. It’s the fault of both the man and the woman (or the woman/woman, man/man, etc.) for being purposefully vague. Yes, it can be confusing to have so many different types of non-committal relationships surrounding us, but that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t be able to tell whether what we’re involved in is romantic or just friendly.
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.
I’ve been dating for over a decade now and if any of the countless losers, weirdos and, yes one time an actual sideshow freak, have taught me anything, it’s that I am way too trusting. Ask any good friend about my behavior in bars and you’ll be met with a heavy eye roll. While it can sometimes be beneficial to have me as a wingman, it can also be a little trying. The thing is, I talk to everyone.
That guy who stands too close. The really drunk Irish man. The dude whose eyes are definitely not open. The know-it-all nerd who insists on talking about Proust. The sad girl in the corner booth. Somebody’s dad.
If you ask me, going out to a bar with your best pals on a weekend night is the one of the greatest gambles to take. Most of the time, it’s a real snoozefest, creep central, or just plain strange. But those glorious nights that lead to a random make out, an after-party at some record producer’s mansion in The Hills, or even just a phone number exchange turned flirtatious late-night text conversation make it worth the effort of trying. Those nights, no matter how few and far between, are what keep us going back out for more, despite how painful and diminishing it can be to your self-esteem.
So if you’re going to roll the dice this weekend at your local dive, pub, club, or any other plastic cup-serving establishment, here are some things to keep in mind to minimize the chance of having a bummer night, and increase the odds of finding yourself flirting with a mega babe.
I consider myself an honest person. Open to all perspectives and frames of mind. Rarely am I shocked, offended, or bothered by the opinions of others. Opinions help you to gain knowledge and perspective and insight into things and people and that’s a good thing.
I received an opinion this weekend from a man that was quite different from what I’m used to hearing. He told me “Darling, I love who you are; I love everything you stand for and I wish you the best, but I think you just might be one size too big for me.”
Imagine a magical machine that gives meaning to your life, manifests your memories and remains forever accessible and unchanging; no pernicious second-guessing or drastic reinterpretation of the past allowed. This machine helps you construct a narrative of who you are, what you value, what obstacles you have overcome and what you are hoping and dreaming for.
Surprise! This machine exists. It’s Instagram.
Hear me out…
Dating & Hookup: How to Find Love in the Post-Dating World by Jessica Donalds
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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