Welcome to the Club

August 30, 2012 at 7:37 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | Leave a comment
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Disclaimer:  Before I begin with today’s stream of consciousness, I must warn that this is yet another wedding/marriage post.  I realize that they are becoming more frequent as the big day gets closer, and I apologize to those who come to the blog to read about the other topics I cover on the journey to 30.  I promise that not every post will be about this.

Ok, so now that I got that out of the way, it’s actually a perfect segue into today’s topic.  The great divide between singlehood and coupledom — the club you are initiated into once you get a ring on your finger, and the reason why single folks stick together.  Something happens when you get engaged and when you get married.  All of a sudden you are surrounded by support from those going through the same thing and those who came before you.  Messages of “how’s the planning going?” and “treasure every moment” and other items of encouragement let you know that you are not alone.

Unfortunately for me, these words of encouragement sometimes hit me the wrong way.  In all honesty, being engaged is not all flowers and candy, and while I have friends going through this process at the same time as me, not all of their experiences are like mine, and at the end of the day the first person I go to when I need to talk is still my best friend, who is single, because engaged or not, she still knows me the best because we are both still the same people.

But I totally get it.  It’s this strange transition that so many of us go through.  Not everyone will get married, but it does seem to happen in clumps.  I can’t even say how many people I know who have gotten married this year or are getting married.  But within a group of friends, the person who takes the plunge first may find it lonely on the other side.  Those in the middle have some comfort in knowing others are going through it, and the one who is last may feel like, well, they came in “last place.”

I don’t know.  What I do know is that among my close girl friends, they are all over the spectrum in terms of relationship status, and as for my guy friends, almost all of them are single.  So while I feel like everything should be able to continue on as it did before, because I don’t plan on shutting out the uncoupled people in my life, something will shift.  And I may feel a little alone when my other married kin are not around.  I may be treated differently because I’m not on the hunt.  I may want to hang out in the other club house and not feel quite right.  What I anticipate is that it’s going to be different for the next few years until more of my friends couple up, even if I don’t think it needs to be.  It just will be, because that’s what transitions are like.

So with some hesitation, I guess I’ll be joining the club. Thanks for the warm welcome.

Don’t Treat Me Like Your Married Friend

April 24, 2012 at 7:35 am | Posted in Friends Then and Now, Relationship Woes | Leave a comment
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Ever since I got an engaged, I have seen a change in the way people interact with me.  It’s almost as if I’m playing some sport and I just got traded to the other team — the “serious couples” team, the “married” team.  Typically, I try to be very sensitive to the “other” side — the single side, because I know a lot of people are not there by choice, and societal pressures to “settle down” can be overwhelming.

But today I need to stick my neck out for all the engaged folk who are not “settling” or “settling down.”  Just because I’m getting married doesn’t mean I don’t want to go out and have fun.  I may be wearing a ring, but don’t brand me as boring.  I still want to drink, dance, sing, party.  I still want to be your wingwoman and help you get your game on.  I can still listen to your dating stories and talk about hot guys.

I may have found my partner, but I’m not ready to settle into a life of dinner parties with other married couples.  I’m not about to buy a house and start a family — not yet.  It may seem that I have my shit together, and in some respects I do more so than others, but I still have things that I want to do, and that includes hanging out with you.

I still want to do girls nights out.  I still want to be considered one of the guys.  I don’t want to sit around talking about wedding planning.  I want to shoot the shit, talk about the crazy things we do and did, what’s on tv and in the movies, what’s going on in the world.  I want to tease you and let you break my balls.  I want to be there for you when things are good and things are bad.

I want to be your friend — not your “married” friend who doesn’t go out anymore.  I don’t want my pending nuptials to wedge a block between us.  Sometimes, we are going to be going through different things at different times.  We might be on different pages but what made us friends still remains.

So don’t treat me like your married friend, and I won’t treat you like my single friend. Relationship status is not a disease.  You are you and I am me.

Guest Post: Welcome To The Jungle

March 8, 2012 at 7:38 am | Posted in Relationship Woes | 1 Comment
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Following my online dating post last fall, I received a ton of feedback from people generously sharing their stories.  The following is one brave soul’s story.

By: Single Sally
Single Sally is a freelance writer in NY.

-Oh he’s cute. Eww, he’s a smoker. And loves to drink… a lot.
-In a band, slings lattes and doesn’t like what money represents in today’s society?
-Currently married with three kids??
-Hobbies include Gears of War, mary jane and doritos?
-A tri-athlete, investment banker who travels the world and has very limited free time… looking for sex only.
-A dentist who lives in the city and hates all fat people and poor people…looking for a wife.

These, my friends, are my potential suitors from online dating. I’m almost positive I am better off being single. Not that being single isn’t amazing, but pushing thirty is no time to be as picky as I was in my early twenties. Going out in the city is just a much longer version of online dating, you usually don’t find out how fucked up they are until you’ve already slept with them…. I mean, er… the third date.

I’m easy on the eyes, I’m in good shape and love to work out, I make decent money at a job I love, I’m well educated. I am the very typical ‘good girlfriend material’, except that I am AWESOMER. I volunteer for community service, I’ve never as much have gotten a speeding ticket, I have an excellent libido, I cook and clean and do all that other shit.. basically, I’m a catch. But why oh why, have I not been caught?

Because… online dating sucks. Meeting guys in bars sucks. Meeting guys at the gym sucks. Meeting guys anywhere sucks. In this day and age, if you don’t meet 10 out of 10 criteria on their list, there is always someone else in line behind them. That is kind of a shitty feeling. Disposable dating partners. I know physical attributes with dating are very important (especially when online), again, I don’t mean to boast but the words ‘vixen’ and ‘adorable’ have been thrown around on more than one occasion. I’m confident, I have good body language and I have been throwing out all the right signals (or have I?).  I’m not shy, I make eye contact but I can play coy and do some light flirting.

I was very optimistic when I started the online stuff (it has only been less than a year), I got lots of messages, lots of date invites, lots of profile views. Then, it all sort of died down. Or perhaps my enthusiasm died once I went on those dates and feel like I wasted my time. Do you have any idea how annoying it is to be asked for sex when you don’t even know each others last name yet? I’m a girl, I can get laid whenever I feel like it, you really think I have to go online to look for sex with raggamuffins? I’m on a date with you in the hopes of something better, like I don’t know, can you drive my ass home after I’ve been drugged at the doctors?

I thought there was more of a mixed bag on the internet, but it’s not really, they can be categorized very easily. The biggest pool are the ‘Successful Guys’. The ones who backpack across Europe, train for marathons, going for the PhD’s, build schools in Africa, climb mountains for fun, have their pilots license. I message those guys, I have never gotten a response back. Not once. You know why? Because they’re not in my league. I can’t keep up with Dr. Professor Sully McBackPackPants. Just reading their profiles exhaust me. I’m sure my profile exhausts other people, but it’s about knowing who is in your range and sticking with it.

The second biggest pool, are the ‘Hipsters’. The super cool tattooed laid back dudes that went to private art schools who are trying to make it big with their band while making sandwiches and coffee for ‘the man’ and believe that money is for fools. Well of course they do, Mommy & Daddy paid for their $50,000 a year art school and they live in a 2 bedroom apartment with 4 roommates so rent and binging on PBR can easily be covered by sandwich making.  These are the guys I dated in my early twenties. These are not the guys I should be dating in my thirties. I’m going to have to date someone who believes that money has a value, and that value…. is making MORE of it so we can have a family and not live with 4 other of your band mates.

Thirdly, the ‘Sex Only’ group. I guess I wasn’t too surprised. But they make their intentions clear. I’m not really into THAT kind of casualness.

Finally, the ‘Everyone Else’ group. Which just might as well be ‘guys you would normally see in social settings and still won’t talk to each other’. This is where you sift through the piles of mediocrity to finally find that diamond. They have this great balance of humour and compliments his successful life adventures between pictures of his dogs and vacation photos. His music taste is impeccable as is his love of weird sci-fi shit.  I’m not shy about sending a message first, but those diamonds rarely send a message back. Instead, I wind up with 50 messages from guys who live 600 miles away or have user names like BigBulge4u.

But I guess there is a reason why we are all on this giant web of internet dating. We just keep searching and hoping for that magical spark that only happens a couple times in your life. And as 30 rears it’s ugly head, our standards have no where to go but down. I find meeting people face to face, out in public or even my most preferred way, meeting through friends is really what works best for me. It’s sad now, at my age, where the first thing I look at when checking out a man is his ring finger. The second I see bling, it’s like they vanish before my very eyes. That’s the problem with internet dating as well, you lay everything out in a profile and you’re easily dismissible if you don’t meet every requirement. Because there is always someone else in line behind you, it makes you feel smaller and easily forgettable. Not great for the ego and certainly not a great way to start a relationship.

As much as I crave that butterfly type of connection with someone, I’d rather be single than to settle for anything less than invisible.

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