Archive for the ‘Dating’ Category

After almost a year hiatus, Em’s Top 7 is back in operation! The past year has been crazy, in a good way, but super busy. I set out to write a top 7 for my friends going off to university/college and I never quite finished, so once I missed that week- it was all downhill from there! Stay tuned as I’m going to finish that post soon and have a few other back to school ones on the go!

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Today, I hung out with two of my girlfriends. We took a random road trip to try a find a decent restaurant that is actually open on a Monday, and thankfully our summer brains were on and teacher talk did not take over. The three of us are single and in our 30s and the conversation turned to an interesting subject.

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Now, this post is meant to shed some light into what it’s like to be a single girl whether by choice or by circumstance. It’s not meant to create an “us vs. them” divide, this is completely meant to offer some insight and clear up some misconceptions of what it is like to be a woman on her own, because a life without a partner is not without it’s struggles.

I believe that God has all of us, single or not, in the right place at the time. I believe that whether you are married or not, a parent or not, you can be completely satisfied and have a full understanding about life and what it has to offer. No matter where you are, no matter what your life circumstance is, there are going to be challenges. It is so important to be someone who is in tune with what is going on in your friend/family members’ lives, because we all struggle in different ways and need support and love in whatever those circumstances are. So, hopefully this post will be a reminder of that.

That being said- if you know me, you know that even when I’m serious, I usually say things with a bit of humour, so keep that in mind…

So with that long preamble- I present to you, “Seven Phrases Every Single Gal Is Dying NOT to Hear.”

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Myth #1- Single Gals are rolling in the dough…

1. “It must be nice to have such a disposable income.” We don’t know where this one comes from, because even though we have decent jobs, we never seem to have any extra money. Think about it. As a single person, you still have to make full payments for rent/mortgage, a car, insurance- all on one salary. Not to mention trying to pay off student loans and any other crazy unknown expenses that come up. At the rate I’m going, I’m looking to have my schooling paid back by the time I’m 37- if I stick to a strict budget. Now, that being said, my debit card does get a decent workout at both the Clinique counter and Victoria Secret, and I do get my hair done regularly but I figure those purchases really are necessities on the quest to land a man.

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You just sent me what?!

2. “Have you tried online dating?” I have very limited commentary for this one. People usually offer this not as a piece of advice, but as a solution to the problem. Most single women would concur that getting married is more than a box to be checked, and not a problem to be solved. And sure, online dating is a good way to meet single guys, especially if your circles have dried up of prospects. But, online dating sucks. Sure, there may be a gem of a guy on there somewhere- but it’s like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Some people strike gold right away, while others have to deal with the many men (or boys) who are usually separated from their wives, socially inept, or seriously perverted. And that’s just on the Christian sites… That could be a whole blog post in itself. And usually the response to the lack of viable options online is another favourite phrase, “Maybe you’re being too picky…”

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I have to schedule time in to shave my legs?!

3. “Being single is less responsibility…” Another misconception about being a single person is the hours of time we must seem to have on our hands. Think about it. Groceries still need to be bought, laundry to be done, all the bills to pay, the grass to cut, waiting for the repair guy to show up, taking the car in to be fixed, the house to be cleaned, dinner to be cooked, etc. Think of all the jobs that have to be done in life and as a single person, you are responsible for them all. There is no one to ask to pick up a few things on their way home for you, or someone to sort the recycling when you are busy. There is a reason why a marriage is considered a partnership. Why do you think single people love takeout/frozen dinners so much? (Lol- and why do you think I’m having Cheerios for dinner? Awesome, yes. But I would rather have the energy/company to make something way more fabulous.)

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Married club= Singles not welcome

4. “You’ll understand when you’re married.” Without going into a rant about this one, this is the most frustrating statement a single person can hear. Especially when they are past their late 20s. What if I never get married? Will I never understand? Will I never be fulfilled? When I get married does the world suddenly make sense and have meaning? This statement sucks. I have been on the receiving end of this, and even though the intention is not mean-spirited, the feeling of not being a part of a group or not being a fully formed human being is.

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Hmm.. budget allows for a road trip to “Akron, Ohio”- anyone?

5. “You must travel all the time!” Three things that make this untrue. Firstly, people don’t want to travel with you. And, well in theory it sounds great to travel alone and go where the wind takes you, part of the fun of a vacation is sharing it with someone. Most of my friends are married or have kids and will not travel, some even for a weekend. Secondly, have you ever seen how expensive it is to travel as a single? Often it’s double the cost of what it costs a couple. And, travelling with someone is an intimate experience- you have to choose a travelling companion wisely. Sure, you may save a chunk of cash, but you may be giving up your sanity at the same time…. And thirdly- see point number 1.

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There is a reason he’s still single…

6. “Wait… I THINK I know a single guy….” As if being single is the only criteria one has for finding a man. Yes, the number of single guys is dwindling, but hopefully standards aren’t dwindling also! Again, see the online dating rant about checking a box. That being said, if you know someone who is single and who your single friend would get along with, please introduce them!

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I’m aaaaall aloneeeee… all by myseeeelf…

7. “I won’t be able to make it; I need to spend time with my husband/We have to __________.” Ok. I get this. I really do. Marriages take work and there are times where you need to make time to be with your husband/family. That being said I cannot tell you how incredibly lonely it is and how pathetic one feels when you have everyone cancel on you or not be free to do something because of this reason. While you are out at a family BBQ or cozy-ing up to your man, the poor single girl is opening a can of tuna and bottle of wine alone.

And, since it’s been so long (and I have one more) here’s number 8.
8. “Just be patient. You’ll find him. God will bring him into your life at the right time…” This may be a true statement (or maybe not). But, honestly this is THE WORST thing you can say to someone who is single. Why? Because it implies that you haven’t been patient, you aren’t fully ready to be in a relationship, that there is something wrong with you that needs to be sorted out before you are “blessed” with a mate. And, when someone much younger than you (and usually married) says this (and usually shares the story about how they waited so long and the man of their dreams just appeared) it honestly makes the single person want to either crawl into a hole and die or punch the advice giver in the face. Just be a good friend. Being a friend means listening to your friend’s struggles and just being there for that person. Throwing a blanket statement out there and assuming you know how that person feels isn’t being a good friend. Take them out for coffee, include them on your wild family adventures- make an effort to check in with them.

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So thankful for the handful of amazing friends I have!

To sum up: Being single is not all fun and games as it appears, but single people are usually pretty content with their lives. Yes, most single people would love to be un-single but, only if that means being with someone who is going to make their lives better. Single people want to be remembered and loved by their married friends because we love and remember you too! (And I am so thankful for the ones who go out of their way to include/love me!)

COMMENT IN THE SPEECH BUBBLE ABOVE! SINGLE PEOPLE- did I miss anything? MARRIED PEOPLE- what do you think?

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Facebook is probably the number one way people communicate now a days. “Call me” has since been replace by, “Facebook me!” and instead of asking for someone’s number, you merely ask, “Are you on Facebook?” And, it’s always exciting when someone adds you to Facebook: the instant connection you feel as you declare, “Yay, we’re Facebook friends!” is the best feeling in the world.

ID-10055791But there is a dark side to this community. Sometimes it is worse than the playground at school. If people can add friends, then they can also get rid of them.  Or in Facebook speak, “de-friend” them. I’ve gone through my list occasionally to look for someone, who I knew I had been friends with to see the dreaded “add friend+” button. Sometimes I understand; I too de-friend every once in a while. I clean up my list, getting rid of people I don’t talk to, and can’t see myself interacting with them ever again. Nothing personal, but your account is a personal thing, and the things you share are meant for your followers/friends only.

Other times though, the de-friending is hurtful and feels like a personal attack and you can’t help but ask yourself, “Did I do something?,” “Do you really not like me enough anymore?” or, “I thought we were friends…. 😦

De-friending someone, is almost as big of a deal as adding them.  So, when is it necessary to hit that “unfriend” button?  Here are seven friends you most certainly should delete.

 1. Inappropriate Friend- this is the friend who posts such scandalous things, that you are always worried to open your newsfeed with anyone around, for fear they’ll think you are perv. It’s usual pictures, sayings, and sometimes status updates of a sexual, racist, or just social unacceptable nature. I think there is a way to make sure his/her posts don’t end up in your newsfeed, but if it’s a constant thing, one starts to reevaluate that friendship. Are they a perv? A racist pig? Or just plain creepy, serial killer material? Could be de-friend worthy.

2a. TMI Friend- I don’t get this friend. Something personal and private is going on in your life and you’d like to rely on your friends for support. So why not inform all 700 of them at once? Surely, there will be an outpouring of love and support for you… or not. What do you say to someone who posts a status like, “thanks for leaving me alone and pregnant, jerk” (true story) or “just got over my bout with hemorrhoids!”?  Better to PM the 10 or so of your closest friends who truly care and will be inclined to do something for you. Remember, you have people who potentially could employ you, date you, be future family members, co workers etc on this thing. Careful what you tell the world! Too many of these posts and you end up in my de-friend pile. Lol, or on my list of people to creep when I’m bored and need a laugh…

Just got the broccoli out of my teeth- check it out!  www.freedigitalphotos.net

Just got the broccoli out of my teeth- check it out! http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

2b. Too Many Updates- going along the same vein with too much information is the person who updates their status too many times.

“Just got up, going to be a great day!” “Bagel or Toast: The great debate” *pic of me eating my toast* “Ugh, first period is dragging on forever” “I love my best friend, she’s so awesome!” “Has anyone noticed that Mr. Brown has a striking resemblance to Mr. Potato Head?” “Oh. My. Wow. Just got a wink from Sweater Vest Boy…. swoon! #Mrs.SweaterVest?” “Hey, anyone want to meet me for lunch? I’ll be sitting on the north side of the caf, you know the table beside the vending machine, the one with the Pespi, not the chips… “

And it’s only lunchtime! I often wonder if I’m going to get the play by play of every bowel movement as well. I mean, I am concern about your gastro-intestinal well being, but how could I ever keep up? By far the number one reason people de-friend is because of too many updates.

 3. Incessant Game Requests- I do have to admit this allowed me to discover the amazingness that is Candy Crush though… but a lot of people voted this as the biggest reason.

4. My life is so amazing friend- I’m all for positivity but people like this: “Just got back from an amazing vacation with my amazing family. Amazing pics to follow!” “My job is so amazing!” “My husband is so amazing! Look at the amazing roast he made today! And he did an amazing job cleaning up the house!” “My kids are amazing, they are so well behaved and amazing!” either make me feel horrible about myself, or wish something horrible would happen to him/her…. just to see if he/she would post about it. I’m all for cutting out the negativity in your life, but this over the top display of positivity, turns me into a Negative Nelly. Lol, I should start posting the opposite version of these status updates and see how people respond.

Going on that vein. Anyone who makes you feel negative, angry and upset needs to go. You don’t need that negativity/drama in your life!  

Say goodbye to those negative influences!

Say goodbye to those negative influences! http://www.freedigitalphotos.net

5. The Cryptic update friend/Needy friend- I’ve had to defriend a few over this. I’m not a counsellor or a shrink. Sure I love helping people out, but scary Emo updates and cry for help messages are beyond me and my scope of training.

6. The Preacher Friend- whether it’s politics, religion, heath debates, mommy issues- if you are posting very one sided articles and comments on the same thing over and over and over again, you’re getting the de-friend. I’m all for sharing your opinions, but in a way that creates dialogue and discussion, not judgment.  And, what better place for that then Facebook when you have so many diverse and interesting opinions and thoughts?

7a. No, “Hey how’s it going?” in over a year friend

7b. Old co-workers/people won’t talk to again/contacts you added for business at a time friends

7c. People you just aren’t friends with and don’t deserve to have that much insight into your life. Friendships grow over the years, and sometimes they come to a natural close. I’ve gotten rid of a few people who I just wasn’t friends with anymore and didn’t desire to be.

7d. The ex-boyfriend/friends/family of the ex- (including friend/families exes). Without getting ranty, Facebook is unnatural. In olden days, you would break up with someone and never talk to him or her again. You (or your friends) wouldn’t be able to keep tabs on them. It’s creepy to know what your best friend’s ex husband’s daily status is, or that your ex’s brother met up with your ex and his new girlfriend for dinner. It doesn’t allow anyone to move on at all. I even know friends who have divorced and have an amicable relationship with each other who chose not to be facebook friends, and I know that’s what’s allowed them to be good parents.  It’s called closure people.  And, as a friend/family member, it’s important that you value your family member/friend over your attachment to his/her ex and his/her family and friends.  That probably means doing a little de-friending.

I love Facebook; it’s allowed me to connect with so many people, find lost friends and make new friends. The ability for networking (as a teacher and musician) is amazing. I can post questions about anything and get such a variety of answers. I’ve been able to keep in touch with students, campers, and old friends from elementary school. The important thing to remember is this, “Social media is a relational tool, but it’s not a relational reality.”* Knowing that can keep your Facebook list in check, and keep you from being de-friended!

So, who have you de-friended?  Or, who has de-friended you?  Comment at the Speech Bubble at the top of the post!

 *http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/i-just-unfriended-my-friend/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+p31encouragement+%28P31+Encouragement+for+Today%29#sthash.9Jo173dH.dpuf

Still catching up- this is this past weeks post!

The summer is a natural time to reflect, and this month (August) has caused me to think and be challenged.  From watching the Bachelorette, to seeing love in action and a love so pure at two different weddings, to kayaking on the lake & sitting on the dock, to amazing just-because gifts, to new adventures, miscommunications with friends, acting silly (in both the fun and where- is –my- brain sense), and studying God’s word- I’ve learned a lot and been challenged by a lot.

I’m usually pretty candid in my posts, but I’m not overly personal with my experiences.  So this one is a little more honest, but I’m not going to go into too many details.  I’m sharing to hopefully challenge you as well, and a girls gotta keep some secrets!  😉

So, Seven Things I’ve Realized this August (LOL Life Lessons with Ms. B if you will)

One of the many people I'm blessed to have in my life

One of the many people I’m blessed to have in my life

1. I am so blessed to have such amazing friends and family.  I look at the key people in my life and I’m amazed at genuine, kind, caring, and honest people in my life.  These people I love immensely, and astonishing enough, they love me just as dearly.  Which amazes me, because I can be a handful.  There are too many people to name, and although I’ve spent time with a lot of them over the past few weeks, there are many more.  Thanks for putting up with me and making me feel loved.  I was also blessed to receive the kindest, most thoughtful and generous gift from a very special person.  It wasn’t just the gift (which is awesome by the way), but the symbolism behind it.  It’s hard living on your own sometimes, especially when you see all your friends getting married, and this person just got that.  Thank you.

Taking out the Trash freedigitalphotos.net

Taking out the Trash freedigitalphotos.net

2. Don’t Rationalize the Garbage in your Life- Get Rid of it!  Whether it’s a behaviour you have, how you interact/converse with someone, how you spend your time, your language, your attitude, whatever- don’t make excuses for it- just cleanse it from your life.  How often do we “explain” our behaviours and justify why we are doing something.  It’s crap.  Literally.  It doesn’t matter why you are doing it, or why your attitude is so trash.  It stinks and it needs to be kicked to the curb.  And, while you’re at it, delete a few facebook friends that suck, or cause you to suck as a person.  You’ll be amazed at how “sweet” your life is after.

Philippians 4:8 (NIV) Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is novle, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things 

Just call them up!  freedigitalphotos.com

Just call them up! freedigitalphotos.com

3. Communication is Key- How many times do I need to learn this lesson?  In all that you do, in all your interactions with people, it’s better just to communicate with them.  Otherwise, things just become a bigger issue than they need to be.  Honesty is always good, especially when things are hard and awkward.  I had a situation with a friend that I avoided for a while, and it was hilarious when we finally talked- all I could think about was, “why didn’t I do that from the beginning?”  It’s better for a moment or two of weirdness than a few weeks of awkward misreadings and misinterpretations.  I know, a lesson I should have learned in grade school- I’m still learning!

 

 

4. You’re not Awesome… yet!  I’ve been reading a book of Proverbs a day; it seemed like a good, practical book to talk some sense into me, and the last few days the idea of correction or discipline has come up.  This is a topic people don’t like, because we don’t like to change.  We have this, “love me as I am” or “I’m awesome” attitude which is bologna.  As humans, we aren’t awesome, we don’t have it all figured out.  There is always something we can learn, something we can change in our life to make us a better person.  We never achieve perfection: we can only strive for excellence.  For me, that excellence is found in Christ and his example, and I am far from perfection.  I like that I have friends who are honest with me and are willing to say, “I don’t like that answer,” or “you are being really dumb right now,” because that’s what friends do.  They challenge you to be the best you can be, and encourage you to grow in your relationship with Christ/your life.  When I looked up the words “discipline” and “correction” in the thesaurus the words, “education, development and improvement” all came up. I believe that in life we need to be educated, developed and improved through our relationships, our God, our life experiences and that’s a learning that is life long.  “If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.”  Proverbs 15:32 (NLT)

5. Love is More Than a Feeling- I’m reminded of that old DC Talk song “Luv is a Verb.”  Love is something you do, and not something you feel and I think society has confused this severely.  We think that if we feel love toward a person then we show love to them, and if our feelings change, then our actions are justified in changing as well.  People that is called ‘conditional love,’ meaning that you will love someone under the condition that you “feel like you love them.”  That’s crap- who wants that?  I have yet to hear someone say, “I can’t wait to find a partner who loves me conditionally…”  Love is a CHOICE. It’s something you choose to do, something you make a conscious effort to do.  Your feelings will change, because we are humans- and if you are like me, pathetically fickle! Make fun of my Bachelorette watching all you want, but I was impressed with Des’ choice.  Long story short, she had this mad “love feelings” for Brooks, but Chris was solid and true through the whole process.  A lot of people said she “settled” for him, but I think she made the right choice.  She looked at him and saw all the amazing qualities he had and, yes their love wasn’t this passionate, burning flame from the beginning, it was a slow and steady build and she CHOSE him.  And for that, I think they might have a chance.  Not to go on too much of a tangent, but what I would have picked in a partner when I was 20, is completely different from what I would pick now.  When I was 20, I was wrapped up in the emotions, in the twinkle dust if you will, where as now I know what I need in a partner and what God wants for me. Although I do think you need to feel a spark, I think love that lasts is love that is a daily choice and decision.  That’s commitment people.

Love is Patient

Love is Patient

6. Love is best when it’s pure and patient and led by God.  A couple of things reminded me of this.  My “big little sister” (she’s a girl who I used to babysit who is now way wiser than I!) got married and I am so happy for this union.  Here’s a couple who first of all loves God, and who have earnestly sought him out in their relationship.  The world would look at their relationship as weird; the physical aspect of their relationship didn’t develop pretty much at all until they were engaged, like not even kissing.  But, in talking with her about their relationship when it was developing, the peace she had about this budding romance was amazing.  The time they could have spent making out, they spent truly getting to know each other.  Dating for them was relaxed and natural- not stressful at all.  They were both waiting on God to see where He was leading them and I think that’s how it should be. Things may have moved slower than what society deemed as normal, but it was so clear on their wedding day that this is a special marriage that is true and pure.  It was one of those days that made my heart happy and hopeful.  A few days earlier, I was reminded of the verse in Song of Songs 2:7, “Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”  I’m bad at that; being patient is hard.  But I truly believe that when love is pure and led by God, love awakens at just the right time.

Peacefully Paddling

Peacefully Paddling

7. I’m in a Kayak- I’m at a place in my life where I really don’t know what ahead.  I’m in for an exciting new adventure with a new job, and a new city, but there are so many things in my life that are unknown.  But, I cannot tell you the peace that I have felt, even in these last few weeks about that.  I may not know my future, but I know who holds my future and that’s very comforting.  My life, especially lately has been a struggle with God for the driver’s seat.  I like to know what’s going to happen, where we are going. A friend told me this analogy when it comes to the dynamic between you and God and control of your life.  He probably articulated it way better, but there are three vessels you can be in when it comes to your relationship with God. First, a motorboat- fast, and you do all the driving, you know where you’re going and you stop at nothing to get there.  It’s all about you and the work you are doing and God’s not in it.  Second, you can be in a raft, where you lay there and “see where the wind takes you.”  You let God do all the leading and all the work.  This is a weinery approach to life and contrary to everything God would want (the amount of times I’ve seen ‘hard work’ in Proverbs these last few days…).  It’s lazy and no way to live.  Finally, you can be in a sailboat, or for my analogy a kayak.  You are working hard, (do I seriously have muscles there?), and there are times where the end seems so far, times when you don’t think you’re little arms will get you there, but you are working at moving that boat.  You can see in the distance the general area you are going to, but God won’t reveal the exact location or even more directions for the journey until you are a lot closer.  All you need to know is, head toward that bay over there. Things get clearer the closer you get.  You just have to trust and keep paddling.  Normally that would be scary, but for some reason I’m happy paddling and something about being on the water brings me peace.

So there you go- what I’ve learned this August.  I’m sure I’ll learn a lot more- there are still weeks ahead!  It’s long, but it’s been a challenging (but good!) month, and I wanted to share.

CLICK on the SPEECH BUBBLE at the top of this post and share some life lessons you’ve been learning!

Love Em

*Disclaimer- I do get a little rambly and ranty- sorry!*

Even though I’m not married and not an “expert” in love, I have witness many amazing relationships and sadly, have seen a fair share of relationships dissolve.  There was a time when my naïve and romantic youthful spirit was almost squashed, where I didn’t believe truly there could be this “ideal” love of your life.  But, maybe it’s the Downton Abbey I’ve been watching, or my wise old age, I do believe in an extraordinary love that two people can have for each other that could last a lifetime.  Love is not as easy as the movies make it out to be- it’s so much more than the rush of emotion or feeling that “being in love” brings.  A good relationship doesn’t just take love, it takes a little wisdom as well.

7 Things I’ve learned about love over the years 

freedigitalphotos.net

freedigitalphotos.net

1. People Don’t Change- I know I’ve fallen for a project or two, because “I brought out the best in him,” or “he just needed someone to encourage him.”  But one thing is clear, what you see is what you get and it’s truly unfair to hold someone to a standard that you want them to be at, when that’s not who they are.  It’s like buying jewelry at one of those accessory stores in the mall- no matter how much you try to shine it up, it’s not going to sparkle quite like the diamond solitaire from Tiffany’s.  Which is fine, unless you want that robin’s egg blue box.  I’ve seen so many people frustrated with their partner’s because they don’t do this or they don’t act this way.  But the fact is, they never did.  You can’t hope for a person to change.  People grow and evolve, but who they are and things engrained in their personality won’t change.   Like Samantha said on Sex and the City- “The only things you can work on are their hair and wardrobe. But even then it’s a constant battle.”

 2. If a Guy is into You, You’ll Know- One thing that has become clear to me over the years is guys are really simple creatures.  If they like you, they peruse you, if they don’t, they don’t.  But, guys, for the most part are nice, and they don’t want to hurt your feelings, or they want to keep you around on the back burner just in case. So I’ve learned, if there is an excuse, he’s not into  you.  “He’s not ready to get into another long term relationship…”  “He’s doesn’t want to start something when he’s so busy with work…” Just insert “with you” at the end of all of those.  “He’s not ready to get into a long term relationship WITH YOU,” “He doesn’t want to start something when he’s so busy at work WITH YOU,” Because, let me tell you, I’ve been friends with many of this men, or even been strung along by a few of them, and when they met the right girl, all excuses went away.  It didn’t matter if they were busy with work, heartbroken, or on their way to war.  If they truly liked a girl, they did everything in their power to make it happen.  As a girl, (or even a guy) you should NEVER have to convince someone to go out with you.  They aren’t that damaged or brain dead.  Either they like you enough, or they don’t.

3. Relationships with the Opposite Sex have to Change Once you (or they) are in a Relationship-  Things that were perfectly acceptable when you were single with friends of the opposite sex may no longer be appropriate when you are in a serious relationship (or when your opposite sex friend is).  There has to be a conscious effort on both sides of the friendship to make sure the romantic relationship is valued and respected. This is hard for people, because they don’t like change and in a lot of ways, that “opposite sex” friend was probably more like a boyfriend/girlfriend place holder- someone who you could take to a wedding if needed, someone who you could call after a long day at work, someone who you spend considerable time with.  But, when they find someone, things need to change.  But it can be a nice change.  One of my best friends is a guy, and I’m happy to say that I’ve gained another best friend in his wife.

Also, there has to be a conscious understanding of appropriate boundaries in how you interact with the opposite sex when in a relationship.  There is definitely a line in what you do together and what you should talk about.  Flirting, even when it’s a “joke” is not okay.

 4. You have to Be Selfless- When you approach a relationship thinking, “What can you do for me? What do I want?  How can you fufil my needs” your relationship is doomed.  You have to put the other person’s needs above your own.  You have to think, “What can I do for you? How can I make your bad day better?  What do you need from me?”  Sometimes that means you have to sacrifice things you love to do, sometimes that means making a compromise, and it  might mean letting someone get their way in a big decision.  But, here’s the thing.  If BOTH parties do this, can you imagine how AMAZING that relationship could be?  If both parties were truly loving each other the way we were called to, how satisfied and happy would both people be?  This is hard though, because it’s contrary to what society tells us to do.

5. You Have to Be Honest and Transparent About Everything- I’m not necessarily telling you to get a joint facebook account- I think those logistically are weird (how do I know the right person got the message; do I want so-in-so’s husband to know about all my girly problems?) but for some people they can work.  Trust is the cornerstone of a relationship; if you don’t have trust, you don’t have a relationship.  However, you need accountability because there are so many divisive things out there that can impact that trust you have in a partner.  You don’t need to share a cell phone, or check each others messages, but you shouldn’t have any secrets and have some sort of understanding about how electronics and bank accounts work.  Ideally, there should be trust between the two, but there should also be honesty and nothing to hide.

 6a. Don’t Look for Someone You Can Live With, Look for Someone You Can’t Live Without- So, you start dating this person because they seem to possess some of the qualities you’re looking for, so why not give it a chance?  You never know.  Date number one is fine, so you try date number two.  So far so good, no red flags, horrible hygiene habits, in fact you are starting to like this person, so you keep dating.  Six months go by, and there is no reason to break up; you’ve gotten into a nice groove, so you keep pressing on.  Years pass, all your friends are getting married, and you feel ready to be married; you’re financially there; you are compatible.  Why not get married?  It’s the next logical step.  And then for the rest of your life (or until one of you gets bored) you live a decent existence together, you get along, you are able to rear children pretty okay, you do all the family things you are suppose to, and that’s that.  It’s fine, even contenting.  But that’s it.  You’re in a boring, ho-hum marriage.  No wonder so many people jump ship when they find something more interesting, or dabble in flirting or sexy texting.  Or sit in their lazy-boy night after night with a beer and a bag of Doritos.  I’ve been accused of being too picky, and not giving nice guys a chance.  That my standards are too high and I should just settle for one of the still single guys left at church.  I would rather be alone living my life than living in a boring marriage.  Why settle for mediocre? Not getting too ranty- but someone I look up to very much had numerous boyfriends growing up, and they were all great guys, really cool, and everyone thought she could have married any of them.  But, she didn’t.  She held out.  And the man that God brought into her life is amazing, he’s a cut above the rest and he truly is a perfect partner for her.  So, I’m sorry to all the hearts I’ve broken (lol- I think just 1 and a half), but just like Ariel, I want more.

Which leads to:

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6b. Find Someone Who Brings Out the Best in You and Vice Versa- when you find that right person you should become more you, because they bring out all your good qualities and you should do the same for them.  Together you should be a stronger force than when you are apart.  If you are arguing, or if that person doesn’t encourage your stamp collecting habit, you are never going to feel like you can truly be yourself.  You need someone who understands you, who listens to you, who gets you.  Someone who is going to support you no matter what, and someone you would trust with not only your heart, but with your life.  There isn’t a scientific formula for it, no compatibility test; my mom always has said that when you meet the right person, you’d just know. Once you experience that connection and that support- true love, there’s no going back.  But, it requires a lot of patience and to find that person you may have to wait, and pass on a few toads- but (see previous point), not a lot of us hold out.

7. Love is a Choice- The biggest misconception I see in relationships is that love is a feeling- that something that you feel toward a person.  Well, no wonder when people get old and saggy people loose that lovin’ feeling.  Love is a choice.  You make that choice to love that person and every day you make conscious choice to continue to love them:  when he/she is cranky, depressed, saggy, when Brad Pitt becomes your new co-worker, when things are boring, when stocks are down, and when you just don’t want to.  That’s called commitment people!

I don’t know if I’ve done a good job explaining myself- this is sortof a random thoughts post- sorry about the rambling rant!  But, hopefully this has been some food for thought.

CLICK the SPEECH BUBBLE ABOVE- What love lessons have you learned over the years?

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This post is all in jest.  Any similarities to actual persons is merely coincidental…. Because these aren’t real stories…. yes… *shifty eyes*

7. It comes to light that he once was a drug dealer.  I feel like no explanation should be needed here…

7. b) He has either been drinking or is drinking whenever you hang out.   I’m all for a beer to wind down at the end of the day, but if the guy seems to always be drinking- or needs to have a drink at the end of the day to calm his nerves this is a little concerning- especially if you are just drinking apple juice!

6. He’s got some serious suave moves in the kissing department.  Now, a guy who has some technical skill in the kissing department is a definite plus- and a serious lack of skill in this area is a huge problem, but a guy who literally can sweep you off your feet and pull off the Ryan Gosling notebook kiss flawlessly is concerning.  How many ladies has he tried this on?

 5. You google and you find an article he wrote about his personal struggle with schizophrenia.  In every relationship there is a helper and the one who needs help.  Depending on the couple, the ratio varies- some couples are 50/50 in terms of support for each other, and others, need someone to dote on them and the split become more like 60/40- which is great for some people who need that, or who really are that “helper.”  I know I fall in to the at least 50/50 category- I need someone who can challenge and encourage me just as much as I can do the same for them.  Mental illness, specifically schizophrenia, requires the support that I can’t give in a relationship.  That’s way too much, for me anyway….

 5. b ) When you ask, “How was your day?” you always get the response, “Sh*tty, or a negative equivalent to that.  Aim for a positive person in your life.  Who wants to date a Negative Nathanial?

4.  His last relationship ended when he broke up with the girl a week before their wedding… Or some other red flag that stays at the back of your mind, questioning your trust for that person.  Trust is key.  When you meet the right person you should be able to trust them completely and fully, no doubts, no worries.

3. He gives you Yabbits.  This is when you are talking about him to your friends/family  and you feel you have to justify or qualify your partner.  “He didn’t go to college, but he’s waiting to figure out what he wants to do.”  “He’s a little rough around the edges, but…”  “He used to be a drug dealer, but… “He’s afraid of commitment, but….”  Ladies, anytime you have to make an excuse for a man, he’s not worth it.  If I can’t get through describing my guy without a yabbit, he’s not worth meeting my family, or my true gage of quality guys, my friend Matt.  I figure with the amount of guys I’ve brought around (small small number people!) when I do bring someone out- he better be impressive!

2.  He never seems to make a plan.  If he’s like “I’ll call you after work.” “Let’s hang out”, “See you this weekend” but doesn’t commit to a time frame, or even put effort into planning the time when you are hanging out, why even waste your time?  Why be that girl who sits there not sure when to start dinner, or whether to agree to go out with your friends, because you don’t know when you’ll see him.  The plans don’t have to be expensive- or even elaborate.  Boys, you have to woo the girl.  Show them you are excited to see them by at least setting a time to pick them up.

1. He drives a black car. Uncle Peter warned me of this at Junior Teen Camp years ago.  He regretted to inform us that it’s not just One Tooth Joe’s we should worry about in these vehicles.  There are some beautiful and suave guys who drive these things.  Watch out!

QUESTION:  What is a deal breaker for you?  Comment at the top of this post by clicking the speech bubble! 

Everyone knows I watch The Bachelor and my friend Kelli and I take this show very seriously.  We make predictions, which include charts, and I would say we are sort of experts on the show.  So, I bring you this survival guide, should you ever find yourself starring on the Bachelor.  I guarantee this will help you make it to the hometown dates!

7. Say something about your “connection” or “undeniable chemistry.”  Or how you are “soul mates” and no one has what you two have.  Because, it’s true.  Even though 5 other girls on your season were caught saying the same thing, they are mistaken.  Your connection is deeper.

6. “I’m not here to make friends.”  Because being a friendly person who gets along with people is such an unattractive quality.  Saying this should will for sure get you to the final two- just ask Courtney or Whitney.

5. a)  “All I want is to love someone/I have so much love to give!”  This is the line you pull out when you are in the limo on your way home.  Throw in some uncontrollable sobs and make sure you forgot the waterproof mascara.  Guaranteed to make people feel sorry for you and question why the Bachelor sent you home in the first place…

5. b) “Why does this always happen to me?  What’s wrong with me? Will I ever find love?”  This not only will make the Bachelor feel sorry for you and want to change his mind later, but will also make every man in America want to prove you wrong.  Or, they’ll gladly answer those questions for you…

4. “I have never met anyone quite as genuine as you/He’s such a good man/He has a good heart/I would be lucky to have him in my life.” etc.  This always works. From kind Jake Pavelka to the depth that is Ben Flajnik there has never been a Bachelor who hasn’t embodied all the characteristics of Prince Charming.  Flattery will get you every where… if that fails take him skinny dipping in Puerto Rico.  And then use line number 7.

3. “I have to tell you something/I’m ready to settle down.” You need to pull this out around week 4.  This is when the Bachelor is getting serious, and he’s not sure if he’s going to keep you.  Think back to your past, and think of the dumbest thing you have done.  It doesn’t matter how small- because it’s all in the build up.  Show him how hard it is to share your secret, but when you finally do- shed a few tears and tell him how difficult your past has been, but how easy it was to open up to him.  If he’s thinking of sending you packing- this will totally buy you another week.  There’s got to be a pool party between now and then!

2. We have a love to make the fairy tales jealous.  Thank you Jef “with 1 f” Holm. I’m pretty sure this clinched the win for him. (It was a toss up between him and Chris “I’m a grown-ass man! Bukowski) This phrase almost made me think this Bachelor couple would make it… almost! Actually this line is pretty good… take note boys!

1.  Yes.  Because do you have a choice to answer anything else to “Will you accept this rose?”

QUESTION- Who was your favourite Bachelor character?  CLICK on the SPEECH BUBBLE at the top of this post to comment!Image