Mr Pea says: There are 7.5 billion people on this earth. Your partner isn’t very special. However it is your job to make them feel that way. Is Valentine’s Day important? Absolutely, is it necessa…
Source: 7 Things Amazing Partners Do
Lesson #3 Embracing the ‘V’ Word
Get your mind out of the gutter, guys. The ‘V’ word I’m talking about here is Vulnerability. Did anyone have some kind of physical reaction just from seeing this word? For me, this word makes my stomach churn. After so many failed relationships, it was way easier to put up a guard.
In the last couple of years, I only allowed myself to be in casual relationships, or relationships that I knew had no future. This way, I could still keep my guard. I didn’t have to be exposed to potentially being heartbroken, since I knew the relationships weren’t going to work out anyway.
But you know what happens when you keep your guard up? Sure, I managed to block out the ‘hurt’, but it also meant that the positive stuff got blocked out. My guard prevented me from melting when the men I dated showered me with compliments. It stopped me from spending the night cuddled up in their arms. And the biggest thing – it stopped me from opening up my heart and letting love in.
When a friend suggested that perhaps I should try being “vulnerable”, I almost threw up. Really – it felt like she had just punched me in the gut. No – actually, it felt worse. It was like she reached down to my guts and pulled the whole damn thing out! Being vulnerable? This word was never ever in my dictionary. How the hell does a person be vulnerable? I decided to ask the internet, and that was pretty much the question I typed into google. A TED talk by Brene Brown came up. By the way if you guys haven’t seen it, you totally should.
She describes vulnerability as the willingness to say, “I love you” first… the willingness to invest in a relationship that may or may not work out.
Yikes. Another punch in the gut. I hated the sound of all of it.
But the truth is… here I was, wanting to be in love.. and so I thought to myself: if this V word is the key, then I’ll freakin’ try it out.
And I did.
The first thing I did was sign up to an online dating site. It was one of those real deal we-help-you-find-true-love dating sites where you had to pay and answer like a hundred questions.
Now, to some of you that might not seem like a big deal. But for me – someone who takes pride in showing the world that she’s tough and doesn’t need love – this was equivalent to admitting defeat. Hello, vulnerability!
I didn’t find love via an online dating site. (You can read about how I found love here if you haven’t already). But it played a huge part in helping me embrace the V word, and that’s what led me to finding love.
When I tell people the story of how I asked my boyfriend out, the common response is “Wow, you’re so brave!”
I can assure you that it wasn’t bravery. It was vulnerability – the willingness to put myself out there, despite knowing that there’s a chance I might get rejected. And boy am I glad I took that risk!
So what about you guys – where are you at with embracing the V word?
Lesson #1 here
Lesson #2 Be in love with YOUR life
If you want to have any chance at being in the relationship of your dreams, you have to start by being in love with your life. If you feel your life is ‘crappy’, I can guarantee that even if the perfect man showed up in front of your door, it wouldn’t make any difference.
In the past I had always ‘tolerated’ life. I didn’t particular like a lot of things about my life, and I didn’t do much to change it. Instead, I expected the men I dated would come and ‘rescue’ me from life. If I can just find the man of my dreams, I thought, then my life will be happy.
Newsflash: It doesn’t work that way at all. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Last year, I decided it was time for me to create the kind of life that I love. I looked at every area of my life – career, health, hobbies, family, friendship, travel, relationships, etc and took responsibility for making each area fulfilling for me. One by one until I could finally wake up and say that I love my life.
It’s no coincidence that I found the man of my dreams in the process of creating the life I love. And the coolest thing is that for the first time, I didn’t want him to rescue me or listen to my complaints or sob story. He wasn’t my ‘escape’ from life. He was part of my life – a life that I love.
So before hunting down for the perfect man, take a look at your life and ask yourself: Am I in love with it? If the answer is no, then it’s time YOU start creating the kind of life you’d love. Once you’ve done that, the relationship of your dreams will be just around the corner.
As promised, I’m here to share three lessons I learned on how to be in the relationship of your dreams. For those of you who haven’t been following the journey of how I met the perfect man, you can do so here.
One of the most valuable things I got out of my self-development course (Landmark) is that I am responsible for my life. That I not only have a say, but I actually have THE say in how my life goes. And that if something isn’t working, I have the power to do something about it. So for those of you who cringe at the word ‘responsibility’, here’s a head’s up: Everything I’m about to say will be based on the notion that YOU are responsible for creating the kind of life (and relationship) you want. And look, I’m not saying it’s the truth. I get that sometimes things happen that are beyond our control. However, ‘responsibility’ is a place to stand, and it will give you more power to live your life as the ‘CAUSE’ of it, rather than at the effect of it.
On that note, here’s the first lesson:
Lesson #1 Admitting that you don’t ‘know’ everything
I used to know everything. Like every single thing. I knew exactly what kind of man I was looking for. I knew what he should be doing for a living. I knew that he wouldn’t be Indian. I knew where we would live. I even knew what our lives would look like – we would have dogs and no kids. We wouldn’t get married. We wouldn’t own a house.
Man, that’s a lot of knowing, isn’t it? At that time I didn’t see how ‘limiting’ it was to KNOW everything. I thought I was so smart! But it turns out by me ‘knowing’ everything, it was equivalent to putting myself in a box. Not only that, I was also trying to put whoever I was dating inside a box – I had to make him fit into what I already knew.
When I started falling for and dating Mr V, I had to confront the fact that this wasn’t at all what I ‘knew’. He wasn’t the kind of guy I knew to date, yet it felt so right and he made me so happy. What’s more, I started to want all those things I ‘knew’ I didn’t want. I remember Mr V asked me on our 2nd date if I wanted kids, and to my surprise, I didn’t respond with a No. I was slowly breaking out of my own box, and it was so liberating to not know for a change!
So I invite you guys to give up that you know everything. In fact, give up that you know ANYTHING. Life is full of discoveries and surprises, and you might meet the man of your dreams if you come out of your box 🙂
Lesson #2 here
I was reading through my old diary entries recently, and realized two things:
ONE: I was such a DORK!!
TWO: Every single diary entry had something to do with boys. Like literally e-v-e-r-y one of them. I would blab on about my “crush” in each entry, and somehow managed to constantly find new boys to ‘crush’ on and write about.
I was 11 years old when I had my first crush. He was an American boy who came to visit for a while. When he went back to the US, I went through great lengths to get his address and sent him a love poem (which I composed), only to get back a ‘let’s be friends’ note. I was heartbroken, but I got over it pretty quickly when I met my second crush at the age of 12.
Crush #2 was the first guy who ever rang me. Back then we were still using home phones. We would arrange a time for him to call every day, and I would wait by the phone at that exact time. If someone else (like my grandma) happened to pick up the phone, he would hang up and keep calling again until I was the one who answered. I still remember my family discussing a ‘prank caller’ who kept calling at 6 pm. Oops.
We hardly got to meet because I was too young to go out on my own (according to my parents). After a short period, it became difficult to sustain a ‘relationship’ only through phone calls, and even more difficult for both of us to be free at the same time everyday. So things started to fade. Also possibly because I met my new crush.
From ages 13-15, I had a series of crushes. One of them had dimples. One was tall and played basketball. Another was someone I met in an online chat room. My diary entries were a roller coaster of emotions from “yay, he talked to me today!”, to “he hates me.. I want to die :(” I wrote poems about each one, wrote their names and drew hearts around, took candid photos of them and taped them to my diaries. You would think I was some kind of serial killer if you saw my diaries!
When I was 16, I finally had my first real date. I remember we went to the movies, and this guy who was 4 years older than me had “forgotten” his wallet. I paid for his ticket and mine. Halfway through the movie, he turned to kiss me. It was my first kiss and unlike what I saw in movies, there were no fireworks, no sparks, no butterflies, no nothing. It was just awkward and sloppy and unromantic. I remember feeling horrible as though my first kiss had been “stolen”.
That relationship only lasted for two months. We got together on Valentine’s Day, and broke up on April fools day 😀
After him, I met a guy who would become my first ever infatuation and obsession. We went on a few dates and spoke on the phone, but he wasn’t looking for something serious – which at that time I didn’t understand. I wasn’t (and still am not) good at taking ‘No’ for an answer, so I spent the next few years making it my “mission” to win him over. I bought him gifts, did chores for him (I went over to his shop and mopped the floor for him!), called him everyday, wrote him love letters. I was one desperate chick.
Until I met someone else at the age of 19. He was my first real boyfriend, and we were together until I was 24.
After we broke up, I had a couple of rebounds, and one of them became my second obsession. Let’s call him frenchie. Many of my blog posts are about him. Of Side Orders and Casual Relationships, Of Unavailable Fries and Men, and Of ‘Limited Time’ Fries And Men, to name a few.
When I turned 25, I decided I need to get over frenchie, and so I got myself into possibly the worst relationship of my life. I wrote about him in Of Fries and Trusing Your Instincts and Of Fries And Hope.
I wasn’t even 26 when I got back to my obsession with frenchie, and it became this on and off thing for about a year. During this time I also dated a few other men, since my thing with frenchie wasn’t exclusive.
Last year I was 27, and went through a series of short-term relationships. Some were more intense than others, but they all had one thing in common: they weren’t going anywhere.
In my quest for ‘love’, I had gone from trying to find the man of my dreams, to thinking I had found him, to believing there was no such man and that I would be better off just having fun with men whom I saw no future with.
I turned 28 yesterday, and it dawned on me that I haven’t been free of men for nearly two decades!
I tried to think of a reason behind this.
Is it an act of rebellion? I grew up in a strict household and it was an unspoken rule from the day I was born that the guy you date is the guy you marry. It seems like I was rebelling, but then I was writing my first name with these guys’ last names, so I must have been thinking about marriage to some degree?
Is it a way to escape? I wasn’t happy with the way things were at home, and maybe being obsessed with these guys gave me something to ‘escape’ to / daydream about?
Is it low self esteem and constant need to be liked?
Maybe it’s all of the above and more, I don’t know. All I know is after having discovered this pattern in my life, I am more determined than ever to break the pattern.
I think now is a good time to focus on me and on doing all the things I want to do – without being worried about whether or not I have someone to ‘crush’ on. That’s my resolution for 2015 and the years to come.
Another resolution is to cut down on my other obsession: fries.
You must be wondering what would become of this blog if I was cutting down on fries and men. Hah! I guess you’ll have to stay tuned to find out 🙂
What about you guys, what patterns have you discovered about yourself and your love life?
Today I threw away a box of French fries. No, not an empty box. A box-full of uneaten French fries. Yup, that box is now in the trash can. And no, ‘trash can’ is not a nickname for my fridge 😀
I’ve been eating healthy these days and decided I would reward myself with fries today. I waited with excitement for my fries to be ready, and finally the box of fries – which felt like a box of treasure – was handed to me. I sneaked my fingers inside the box, took out one fry, and put it in my mouth.
It was.. hmm..
Well, it wasn’t horrible.
But it wasn’t that great either.
I sneaked out another piece of fry and took a bite, anticipating that it would taste better. But it only confirmed my first reaction.
Don’t get me wrong, the fries weren’t bad – they were edible. And if this was a few months ago, I would have added some sauce & finished the whole box anyway.
But I guess I love my body a bit more now, and I’ve been making an effort to be healthy. So if I’m going to allow JUNK to go in my body, it better taste so bloody amazing that it makes my tongue go to heaven! There’s no way I’m going to lower my standards and make do with just ‘edible’ fries.
Which reminds me of something my sister always says (in fact she just said it again today):
Don’t ever lower your standards. Not even one bit.
Obviously she didn’t mean it in the context of fries 😛 But I’m sure will be happy to know I’m also applying her wise words towards men & dating.
It’s been a series of dateless weekends for me, and well, there are guys I could probably meet just to fill my Friday or Saturday nights. But I guess I love myself a bit more now too, and I’d rather spend my weekends alone than spend it with someone who isn’t bad, but just ‘isn’t that great’.
So here I am, it’s 10 PM on a Saturday night, I’m sitting on my couch, in my pj’s, eating oranges for dinner. And I couldn’t be happier about it 🙂
After two days of waiting and wondering why he hasn’t texted (and stuffing my face with fries in the process), I decided to consult J, one of my best guy friends who’s also the sexiest man on earth (J, I’m sure you loved that).
And I’m glad I did that, because it gave me some really useful insights on what goes on in a man’s mind when he doesn’t text right away. I’m summarizing my conversation with J into a list of Frequently Asked Questions as to why he hasn’t texted:
We had a good time, and he did seem interested, but why hasn’t he texted me?
Well, it depends on the guy. Every guy has different rules. Some might text the next day. Some might choose to wait a few days.
But if he likes me, shouldn’t he text me everyday?
Do you expect him to do that? Because not every guy will. Some guys prefer to do as little messaging as possible, so that the conversation doesn’t become boring. If you’re texting all day, you can run out of things to say.
Could it be that I did or said something to turn him off?
Usually it’s not about you. It’s more about them. Since you don’t know what they have going on in their lives.
So it’s possible that he wants to see me again, even if he hasn’t texted?
Sure. Just give it a few days.
My conversation with J was really eye-opening and made me realize that I was obsessing for no good reason.
First of all, why did I expect a guy I had just met to suddenly start texting me everyday?
Secondly, even if he did do that, wouldn’t the fact that he was ‘too keen’ turn me off anyway?
And finally, what possessed me to tie my self esteem to a text message from a guy?
Having realized all of that, I decided to get a grip and remove this obsession from my mind space. And well, it was at that point where I stopped waiting & checking my phone, that I finally got that text from him 😉
I hope this post is useful for all of you who’s been wondering why he hasn’t texted. I think the most important thing to remember is not to doubt yourself, ever!
P.S. If you have any messages or questions for J, feel free to leave them here and I’ll make sure he gets them 🙂
Ladies, I’m sure a lot of you know this feeling too well.
It’s that feeling you get the day after you’ve given a guy your number, and he still hasn’t texted!
A million questions are running through my mind right now. Questions like..
We did have a connection there… didn’t we? Did I imagine it?
He did say ‘I will message you’. Maybe he just hasn’t gotten around to it?
Did I appear too desperate and turned him off?
And finally.. the most important question of all: Is he dead?
Ok but seriously, the last time I waited around for a guy to text me, I was probably in high school. I honestly thought I had evolved pass all of that. That throughout the years, I had built up enough confidence and self worth not to let myself dwell over a guy I’d only met once!
It bothered me so much that I brought it up during lunch with my gal pals – who (bless their hearts) demanded and dissected every detail of how the night went and who said what to whom. This involved a lot of ‘Oh! He said that?’ and ‘Ow! You responded with that?’.
And of course, conflicting advice from each one:
Me: So, should I text him first?
Gal pal #1: Well, it beats sitting on your ass and checking your phone every two minutes right?
Gal pal #2: Oh-my-gawd you should NEVER text a guy first.
Gal pal #3: Yeah don’t text him first. Get your mutual friend to drop him a hint!
Gal pal #1: Ok just do the 3-day-rule thing and casually drop him a text on Wednesday.
Me: And if he texts me before that?
Gal pal #2: Then you need to wait 4 hours before you can respond to him. I swear, that’s what the rule book says. And trust me, you don’t wanna go against the rules! I’ll bring you the rule book!
After some fries and girl-talk, I was still left with questions. Do I text him, do I not text him? What is this rule book and do I really need to follow it?
But the question that bothered me most was: ‘Am I just not interesting enough?’
It bothered me because it brought me back to that insecure & shy girl I used to be.
The girl who obsessed over every detail of what was said and done, trying to figure out how it could have been different.
The girl who doubted herself and didn’t think any guy would be interested.
But I’m not that girl anymore, and I should know better by now, right?
The answer is yes! (Forced enthusiasm)
So what am I going to do differently?
Well, for starters, I need to stop obsessing *checks phone for the 1000th time*
And, I need to take back control.
A friend was curious to know why I stopped seeing a guy after such a short time. Here’s how our conversation went:
‘So you stopped seeing him after just two dates’
‘Because you just weren’t ‘feeling it’?’
‘But you must have felt something right? Otherwise why did you agree to go on a second date?’
‘That second date was just to make sure I really wasn’t feeling it. And well, I didn’t feel it ‘
‘So that’s it? You’re not even gonna give this guy another chance?’
‘Ermm.. Why would I do that?
‘Because… It takes time for feelings to develop. Maybe you haven’t given it enough time?’
I’ve actually had a number of these conversations with different people in my life. Each of them wondering why I was so ‘quick’ to make up my mind.
So, to all my dear friends who have been asking me the same questions, let me respond by bringing you into my world of fries (and men), and ask you this: If I happen to be eating fries which don’t taste good, what would you suggest I do?
In the past, I would say to myself ‘maybe it was one bad fry. Maybe the other fries in the basket are delicious’
And so I would have a second, third, fourth, fifth fry, hoping that it was just a few bad fries and that the rest would taste better. But every piece of fry tasted the same – if not worse.
You think I would have given up and left the fries alone, huh?
Nope, the optimist in me tried to make it taste better by adding salt, ketchup, mayonnaise, you name it.
But nothing helped. And by the time I realized it, I had already finished the fries and was feeling fat and disgusted at myself.
Finally, there came a point where I learned to accept that some fries just don’t taste good. And the best thing you can do is save yourself the trouble of trying to make it taste better, and.. simply don’t eat it. I mean, why waste calories on fries that don’t taste good?
Rule# 1 here
Rule# 2 here
Rule #3 here
Rule #4 here
I think casual relationships are difficult because relationships whether they be friendships, love, work, whatever the case, are not casual in nature. I mean do you have a casual best friend? No you have acquaintances, you know exactly what to expect from these people. But casual relationships blur the line. It becomes difficult to distinguish what you can and can not ask of the person.
Which leads me to this: What the hell is a ‘casual’ relationship anyway?
Or is it simply what you choose to call it, for lack of a better term?
I’m not here to try and define what a casual relationship is, or force you to accept a certain interpretation of it.
A casual relationship is whatever you choose it to be. There is a reason you call it ‘casual’, and you know that reason better than anyone else.
So, rule#5 is really simple : Know your reason
Once you know your reason for being in a casual relationship, you’ll know whether not you’re getting what you want out of it.
If you are, then congratulations, you’ve cracked the casual dating code.
If not, then you know it’s time to let go.
As for me, I think my dear friend S sums it up best:
“I think there is nothing called a casual relationship. What you have with this guy only falters in a way that it’s not ‘exclusive’. But it cannot be casual. I’m sure in many ways you touch each other’s hearts deep down and bring joy and sorrow. It’s the new 21st century meaningful relationship. I’m sure you love him and he loves you in many ways and the love does not cover certain norms. It’s the french fry you don’t have all the time but it’s the fry you’ve enjoyed the most till now.“