How to Get Unstuck When Dating

Satc-sex-and-the-city-dating rut and unstuckThe issue: I’ve overheard many singles say, “Oh, I’m in a dating rut.” But, I’m not sure what that means. I’m not sure if it’s an accurate statement that anyone other than a Sex and the City Character should ever say.

When I was single, dating was an adventure and yes you go on several dates and meet with the racists, the cheapskates, or even a republican or two–but it never felt like a rut.

The redirection: I’m sure at work you don’t claim to have ruts when you have to work alongside the racist, the cheapskate or the republican–you just work around them. You can’t go to your boss and say, I refuse to work with Andy, the project manager, because he has bad breathe and he doesn’t split the lunch tab equally. Unless you have a secret trust fund, you just shut the hell up, don’t get too close to Andy’s mouth and hold your breathe a lot–and strategically spill  Altoids on Andy’s desk.

The Fact: The reason people claim to be in a dating rut is that, they’re stuck. And they’re stuck on perfection. You’re stuck in a cycle of bad dates. You’re stuck on the idea of the perfect person. You’re stuck on the perfect date. You’re stuck on the perfect  _________________(fill in the blank).

And it’s okay. You will get unstuck by keeping it going. Keeping YOU going. We’ve all been there–so why do YOU get to skip this part of dating? You don’t. Welcome to stuck.

My advice: Don’t “rut out” on dating; instead, just work around it–the great part is that you never have to date them again–don’t you wish that were the same case with your coworkers?

 

 

Love in the Dumps Moment

I get it–every now and then, the love game sucks…big time.

This goes for those of you dating or those of you in relationships. Things don’t always go as planned. You get dumped, someone you truly cared for leaves you with no explanation, or someone you thought loved you–cheats…with your best friend…in your own bed…using the candles you picked out at Pier One…together. Bastard!

It’s all part of the circle of life–what, you didn’t think Lion King was just for children, did you? Bottom line, everyone experiences a “love-in-the-dumps” moment–everyone. (Some of us more than others, like Jennifer Lopez and George Lopez–maybe it’s just people named Lopez?) The test comes in what you do after that really counts.

That’s the you that showcases your true essence, your core character, your vulnerable side with runny mascara all over your face. Do you give up, take a break, or move forward? Sometimes it’s okay to do all three. I remember one of my love-in-the-dumps moment; I walked in on my boyfriend of two years having sex with someone I considered a friend. Walking into our apartment, something didn’t feel right, there was a strange yet familiar backpack perched near the coffee table yet no one was in the living room and when I looked across the apartment–the bedroom door was closed–which was unusual. My boyfriend peeked out of the door, then quickly shut it, yelling, “I want you out of the apartment!”

What happened next was classic story-book: I freaked out, had a panic attack and passed out.  I “came to” with the guy  who was sleeping with my boyfriend giving me CPR while 9-11 was being contacted. I discovered two things at that moment: 1. The guy wasn’t a bad kisser and had incredibly good breath and 2. I was stronger than I ever gave myself credit for; not only because I was able to break the door down after they had locked themselves in–but because I decided at that moment, that I was better than this and deserved a clean and honest relationship–the opposite of what I was currently experiencing. I remained single for the next five years–giving myself time to identify my part in my failed relationship–and although that wasn’t pretty, it had to happen in order to grow, learn, and forgive; things we need in order to heal when a break in our love-chain occurs.

At your next  “love-in-the-dumps” moment, and it will happen, try to remember two things: 1. Fresh breath isn’t always the mark of a good man and 2. It’s not the ending…things have just begun.

Have you had a “love-in-the-dumps” moment? Are you going through one right now? How are you/did you get through it? And what did you learn? leave a comment and let’s start the discussion!

Breaking Up & What it Says About You

As I try to walk on the straight and narrow–stopping only for the important things in life like street corner hot dogs and shiny pennies thrown on the streets of Brooklyn–it seems that everyone around me is breaking up. And although every break up causes a different type of break down–I can’t help but wonder, “What does your break up say about you?

Whether it’s been five months or six years, there’s a sense of sadness that greets you in the morning and an amount of hurt that hugs you to sleep at night. People belief in the myth that if you’re the one doing the “breaking up” as opposed to the one who got dumped–things will be peachy–but that’s a false sense of relief. No matter what side if the break up line you’re standing on–in the end, you have a rough time ahead. Just ask Jennifer Lopez and Mark Anthony about their break up/divorce; no amount of double-sided breast tape can hold those two together.

My friend Sarah recently ended her six month romance two weeks ago and she’d be able to move forward except that the guy won’t stop calling, e-mailing and texting her to come back. I don’t blame him, she’s quite the little firecracker-hot mama type that you don’t want to let go of. So why did it take Sarah six months to figure it out, “it’s time to break up.” She did what many of us do–she ignored her heart’s red flags and kept hoping things would change. But when he confessed his love for her a few months back–and she wasn’t able to reciprocate–her heart’s auto-pilot took over and came in for an abrupt love-landing.

Another couple, Danny & Mark, broke things off after 10 years. They reached a point where they both noticed they couldn’t see eye-to-eye with one another and the relationship suffered. A feeling of desperation washed over them like dirty pool water that had been peed in. That pee-water feeling caused them to make one of the hardest decisions ever–to go their separate ways. If you know Danny & Mark, you’ll see their facebook status is still “in a relationship” because changing that status–according to Mark will make it official and they’re dealing with a lot right now and making it public would be extra pain sprinkles on their break-up sundae.

In both cases–the break up was done respectfully and handled in an adult manner with both parties realizing they couldn’t ignore their heart strings being plucked while screaming, “Child, this ain’t working any more!” (If their heart was a ghetto Black woman) And in both cases they’re all struggling with the idea of “What if” and “Maybe if I would have stuck it out a little longer…”

But that ideology rarely works out when the relationship just isn’t working. But they will soon realize that as they walked away from their bad romance–they took a few steps closer towards happiness and that says more about them as a person that sticking it out would. If it’s broke and can’t be fixed–don’t stick it in the corner and pretend everything is good;  instead, let it go, put in on the side of the street and let the universe take it from there.

What struggles have you dealt with when breaking up? Does one party ever have it easier than the other? Share your thoughts and leave a comment.

 

The Idea of Forever

Believe in the idea of “it really does work out”.

And you should believe even more at your darkest moment, after that break up with the guy who had a tattoo of Winnie the Pooh peeing on a girl scout, and most of all believe when you’re home alone in an empty bed listening to your neighbors get it on to Barry White, because if you loose faith now, tomorrow you’ll end up saying farewell to something else.

Dating & Relationships Tip-Is the Hard Part Ever Over?

I read it in countless e-mails, facebook status updates and suspect that if smoke signals were still in fashion–I’d see it there too–the same question, “When will the hard part be over when it comes to dating and relationships?

The concept was birthed somewhere between the invention of marriage and the creation of the Hallmark Valentine’s Day card; the idea of love being simple and that anyone could do it–like bedazzling. The notion was romanticized to the extreme and we took the bait. “Act now: get married and be set for life.”

And for years we’ve seen it played out on the small screen as the main idea as with Sarah Jessica pioneering the way to love or in the form of a secondary plot on the big screen with flicks like SALT with Angelina Jolie. (The man she was in love with went to the depths of the Earth to find and rescue her–I can’t even get my boyfriend to close the kitchen cabinets when he pulls a glass out to drink water)

For many, the dating scene is rough; it’s competitive, frustrating and nerve-wrecking, but it will never go away–because we each have an idea of what being in a relationship is like–and it’s always sunshine and lollipops, right? I’ve never heard anyone say, “I can’t wait to get married in order to go through a custody battle and bitter divorce.” Or, “I’m so excited to be engaged to Mark–I hope he turns out to be gay and comes out 2 weeks before the wedding so we can cancel it and I can dive into a deep destructive tailspin of despair to get in touch with my inner alcoholic.

“And guess what kids?” The hard part isn’t over when you find someone–it’s just begun because you really get into the psychology of that person–especially after the 3-month love-bubble bursts. So the question remains, “Does it ever get better?” The answer–yes.  But the real question we should be asking is, “Does it get easier?” The answer–no. And that’s not a bad thing. I say no because it’s work. It doesn’t have be to painful but it is work–you have to increase communication and make sure you don’t fall into a pattern of “the same old same old” and that’s hard when you come home tired and just want to rest, but instead you find that the laundry needs to be done, the dishes need washing and on top of that–they want you to listen as they retell the story of how they argued with someone at work. But if for that moment, you can bring the “big picture” into perspective…that it gets better, it can be a great relationship-saving device.

Dating will always be a challenge because we’re not bean pods sprouting on command; instead we’re evolving individuals with shifting ideas, concepts and emotions. “Will relationships ever be smooth?” No, but the ride you have depends on your character and how you choose to formulate your behavior and response to the ever-changing circumstances of a relation because in the end–it was never about them, it was all about you, wasn’t it?

Those of you in the dating trenches, do you ever think that once you get involved in a relationship, the fairytale starts? Leave a comment and let’s get Mexican in here!

 

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