Tough Life lessons with S (and Blerta)

I’ve learned a few important lessons since my first post back in January:

1. Beware of Reddit.

2. Don’t forget to warn your mom about potentially upsetting content. For instance, when your co-blogger posts a particularly offensive and gross message for Message Monday, it’s good to give your mother a heads up, or she may call you, freak out, tell you she lost sleep thinking about you and your co-bloggers coming in contact with dudes like that, and ask if you want to come home (that is my mom’s go to line whenever something upsetting happens: “DO YOU WANT TO COME HOME???” To be fair, home is a 20 minute drive from my apartment so it’s not a totally ridiculous question. And real talk, sometimes yes, yes I do want to come home and lay on my parents’ couch and eat free food and watch free cable. So sue me. #almost29yearsold


3. Don’t trash a guy on your blog until you’re sure it’s over. Ahhh yes. This is an important one that I am learning in real time, literally as I write this. Please refer to this post where I introduced you all to a guy I’d been seeing named H, then proceeded to call him a “dickweed” for abruptly ending it with me and added a sassy little Kelly Kapoor gif to round out my rage. Don’t get my wrong, H acted like a jerk, and he totally deserved it. But now it’s time for me to eat crow/feel stupid and reveal to you, dear readers, that H reappeared a few weeks after that incident, apologized profusely for being a jerk, and after talking it out we started to casually, slowly see each other again.

Before you get all, ‘what the hell, S, this guy sounded like an asshole,’ allow me to fully explain the situation. H is fairly recently divorced… the first divorced dude I’ve ever dated. He was pretty open/up front about the terrible shape he was in when his marriage first ended and that he only just re-entered the dating world, intent on taking things slowly. Now clearly when he pulled a ‘oh hey I’m sort of seeing someone else, JUST KIDDING that was a mistake please forgive me’, I could tell he miiiiiight not be the most stable table on the showroom floor in terms of dating readiness. But what can I say? I liked him. A lot. I thought we’d really hit it off. And I just knew if I didn’t (cautiously) give this dude who I really liked a second chance, I’d always wonder.

So I agreed to start seeing H again, very slowly and casually, and we did just that. Here’s what I liked about him:

  • He was really smart, but didn’t take himself too seriously. H had a graduate degree, was a college professor on top of his full time job, and had run a successful start up with his two friends right out of school. He was intelligent, creative, interesting, and successful, but he also loved bad TV and eagerly ranked the best diners in South Jersey with me. There was zero arrogance, which I’m all about (take notes, Mr. Mensa).
  • He was honest. Possibly bordering on too honest. H was totally up front about the divorce thing and the fact that he was still very much recovering.
  • He was fun, considerate, and (relatively) easy to make plans with. I say relatively because any one of my girlfriends would still beat him, even on their worst day, in the being proactive category, but to be fair we are an exceptionally bossy bunch. H remembered things I said I’d wanted to do or try when we made plans, cooked for me (although sadly there was no elaborate menu this time) and even though he lived in the suburbs, always offered to schlep into the city to see me.
  • The chemistry was there. From the beginning I felt like we had that intangible thing that I talked about in my post about the points system. We just clicked. Little to no awkwardness. Easy flowing conversation. Joking, teasing, banter. The same sense of humor. Chemistry.
  • The attraction was there. H was no model (neither am I, so thank God) but he was my particular brand of cute, which is a little nerdy (much like L has a self-professed “mediocrity fetish”, I have a “mildly schlubby guy next door with glasses” fetish. Mmmmm glasses.) If I had to describe him I would say if Jack Black and the guy from Rudy had a baby, and that baby grew up to be a 6 foot tall 33 year old nerd who wore glasses, that would be H.

So I was going out with H until two weeks ago, and having a great time. I was also (half-heartedly) talking with and going on a few dates with other guys. In hindsight, I think I was doing this more to try to keep things breezy:

H had been pretty clear about wanting to keep things casual, which at first I was totally kosher with, but I as time went on I could feel myself starting to really like him. After our last date a few weeks ago, I just knew. I knew I’d have to have the ‘are we exclusive talk’ with him, and I knew how it would go. So being the BREEZY woman that I am, I naturally wrote out a FULL SCRIPT of what I wanted to say (actually super necessary because my mind goes blank in situations like this), called H and blurted the entire thing out in 12 seconds. And it went down exactly as I predicted: H said that as much as he liked me and was having a great time, he just wasn’t ready for an exclusive relationship yet. And I knew that unless I cut things off completely at that point, I’d be too tempted to keep seeing him. So I told him we had to stop seeing each other and asked him explicitly not to call or text me. And then I basically hung up on him because I was flustered and about to cry.

have a lot of feelings

Real talk, I was pretty bummed, you guys. I liked H a lot, probably more than anyone I’ve met via online dating. I was having a lot of fun with him and I could see trying to make a go of it long term. And truthfully I was really surprised by how hard a call this was to make. I knew intellectually what I was “supposed” to do as a strong, independent woman with a reasonable amount of self worth. But I liked this guy so much and was having such a genuinely great time with him, it was not easy to let that go, especially as an almost 29 year old single girl. I was so so tempted to just keep seeing H casually, not rock the boat, and try to ease him into the idea of something more serious.

But while my romantic self was concocting all sorts of fantasies about how that would totally definitely 100% work, my pragmatic self was like listen, home girl, you’re smarter than that. You know what you want, and you know that H either doesn’t want that or isn’t ready for it, and if you compromise on this you will feel like shit about yourself. I felt like I had an inner sassy gay friend guiding me:

look at your life

Also, as L pointed out (she’s so wise) this thing between us would have still inevitably ended, but probably in a much more miserable, messy way somewhere down the line. Ugh. Being a mature adult is the worst, isn’t it?

So now that it’s really over between me and H, I can officially go to town, tell you all some really embarrassing shit about him, and pull out as many sassy gifs as my heart desires, but of course now I actually have no interest in doing any of that. Damn it. It’s helping to remind myself that H was far from perfect. His apartment was a pigsty. He also owned and once wore in public, in my presence, with a straight face, a Google glass.


I mean.

Speaking of things H wore, perhaps revealing one little embarrassing detail about him to the internet will cheer me up. And never fear, I know just the thing to share with the class. H suffered from sleep apnea, so to help him breathe at night he had to wear something really…. unique to bed:


That super attractive piece of equipment is called a CPAP machine, and it’s something that I unfortunately became all too familiar with over this past summer. Fun fact: it not only makes the wearer look like Bane from Batman, but also sound like him, too. Between that and the Google glass, I did sometimes feel like I was dating a legitimate cyborg.


Confession: when I wrote the bulk of this post last week I was going to end it by sharing this clip from Girls:

and telling you all that this scene is exactly what I do when my love life is not working out as planned. Basically: feel sad—> wallow in my sadness—> listen to some embarrassingly dramatic melancholy tunes—> get tired of being sad and dance it the eff out to some Robyn.

I was going to end with that. Until Tina Fey hosted SNL last weekend and bitch slapped me out of my walking Zoloft cloud trance.

I mean seriously, the whole thing is hysterical, and so true, but when they parody that exact scene at 2:35, I DIE. Once again, Tina wins at life. #Blerta

I’m doing my best to try to forget about H. I had a lot of fun with him, so I don’t regret giving him another chance for one second, but it’s time to move on. This will undoubtedly involve a lot of fall TV and white wine spritzers. And one October goal of mine, BESIDES blogging more, is to get back in the OKC saddle again. If Mr. Mensa would ever stop taking IQ tests and get his act together (he is STILL. MESSAGING ME. wtf) I would honor our survey results and start with him. Until then, bring on Season 2 of Nashville!

Have any of you lovely readers ended it with someone you really liked because you wanted different things, or because of bad timing? Leave a comment and tell me about it. Maybe we can form a ‘people who make grown up dating decisions even though they suck’ support group. I’ll bring the wine spritzers.

11 thoughts on “Tough Life lessons with S (and Blerta)

  1. You need a strongly opinioned gay man to tell you not to push away guys whom you feel strongly about.

    Also, strong independent women don’t necessarily need exclusivity while dating. Demanding exclusivity is egocentric more than it is ‘strong’

  2. I agree that strong independent women don’t necessarily need exclusivity while dating. I wasn’t trying to speak for all strong independent women as a whole, but I personally know that’s what I want/need/am looking for at this point in my life. I’m not sure how being honest with H would be categorized as egocentric; if anything, I’d call it self-aware. And actually, I would call it strong. I think unfortunately in our society, women are expected to be the ones who compromise in situations like this and many others. When a woman deigns to stick up for herself, she’s seen as ‘egocentric’. When a man sticks up for himself, well that’s to be expected so no one says a word. And actually, H told me that he really respected me for knowing what I wanted and asking for it (I would never want to date a guy who thought otherwise).

    It’s very true that I need a strong opinionated gay man to give me advice, though. Always and forever. Thanks for reading!

  3. Gay “Advice” person, clearly you are a straight man. Life isn’t about the easy decisions, it’s about the tough ones, and if making a touch decision makes women everywhere egocentric, than please throw that moniker my way as well.

    Additionally, you *may* have missed the point of the post. It was clear to me, and most intelligent readers, that S was clearly going to get hurt because she wanted more out of the relationship than H was willing to give. It was straight up courageous of her to end things, when she could have taken the easy way (I made a G today, but you made it in a sleezy way), and stuck it out knowing full well she would be hurt so much more when it did end, then if she cut the cord up front. Proud of you S!!

  4. Here comes the real talk.

    For the sake of candor and because I want to see this blog with at least one happy ending, I’ll share more of my apparently unpopular opinions. You’re perceptive to recognize the straightness of my advice. I know quite a bit about women. However, I know even more about men.

    Nobody is the perfect mate. With that said, every mate has a value (you made a blog post about this). You want to pair up with a guy who has a high score, thus you need to raise your own score! Its true for everybody. Its a dating market.

    You literally intend to meet the person with whom you’ll share the rest of your life with; the last person you’ll ever have sex with; your best friend and partner in crime. Short-term sacrifice means long-term benefits. Raise your score now. Benefit for the rest of your life!

    There are keys to matching up long-term: sacrifice and compromise.

    Sacrifice is working on yourself. Focus on the things which raise your value the most: It can mean a considerable amount of effort to be fit instead of overweight (I don’t know if you’re overweight, but its the single biggest factor in determining a woman’s score). Eating healthy means sacrificing short term pleasure and some money. Sacrifice can mean waking up at 6 AM and doing something productive instead of watching Kelly Kapoor eating ice cream until 2 AM (preparing your lunch? walking the dog? going for coffee with no cream or sugar and reading a book?). If you want to meet a man with a good job and some initiative, try doing expensive things which require initiative. I’m not sure what this would be on the East Coast, but on the West Coast this could mean a boxing gym, early morning swimming, Crossfit, bicycling clubs, hiking, anything). This is an INVESTMENT. Don’t sit idle while your value decreases.

    After you’ve sacrificed to raise your value, you want to maximize the value of your mate. This is where your set priorities. If he has to be tall, he has to be tall. I get it. Thats why you’ve been busting your ass in the gym, hypothetically. But Google Glass? Does he have to know how to use an oxford comma? Make your priorities and don’t be afraid of breaking a few rules to see where things go.

    My wife would kill me if she knew this, but I compromised ‘standards’ to which I thought my girlfriend/wife must conform. It was a decision to make me happiest based on my value. My wife watches the bachelor and some other garbage TV. She’s never heard of quantitative easing. She absolutely hates football and beer. She only likes pop music and country music, except when she works out and listens to the most degrading hip hop available.

    But she is a generous and caring person. She strives everyday to make herself better in some way. She is mischievous but honest. She loves diving into adventure, but needs a little push at the edge of the pool. You get where I’m going. Don’t let a couple of details get in the way of a masterpiece.

    Sacrifices and compromises. Every person needs to make them to pair up (not down), start making babies, and live happily ever after.

  5. You absolutely did the right thing, S! Breaking up with someone you like and care about is extremely difficult, even when you know it’s probably the right thing to do. I absolutely applaud your strength in this situation. I know (as you know) from personal experience that letting someone go is so hard, especially when a lot of what makes up your relationship is really good. I admire you for knowing what you want and committing to stay true to that.

    To the first comment writer: no no no no no. Let’s start with your use of the word “demanding.” S was not demanding anything. She was expressing what she was looking for and what she needed in a relationship, and was STRONG AS HELL to walk away when she was confronted with the reality that she wasn’t going to get that. It is not egocentric in the least to “demand” or even want exclusivity in a relationship. It’s actually the norm, and I’m not sure why you think otherwise.

    You definitely made the right choice, S. Better some white wine spritzers and full seasons of Nashville now than 14 tequila shots followed by some highly questionable decisions after a few more months of dating H and hearing he’s still not ready for anything more serious.

    – A

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