When To Wear A Cat On The First Date

c3006d7f6bafc2b3054fd8ba19c8f674The big question…what do you wear on your first date? Your choice may say a lot. About you.  And more importantly, about your intent.  A few months ago, I had this dilemma. I was asked out by a great guy I knew. I suspected I just wanted to stay friends but I wanted to give it a chance.  After all, he’s funny, nice, successful and just an all around good person. So the question remained – what on earth to wear to look nice for a dinner date but still give me the option to play the friend card?

To answer this age-old question, I took the route that most girls take….I asked a friend. I have this practical girlfriend that saw her share of dates before she got married and she always has great, hilarious advice.  The following are her pearls of wisdom. (Of course, take all this as being a wee bit tongue in cheek.)

Scenario: first date-met online so haven’t met in person yet-seen pictures. What to wear: layers. Pants (not jeans). Avoid the dress. Choose a cute top that shows a little and put on a cardigan.  If it turns out you aren’t interested, keep on the sweater. If you are interested, take it off.  The same could be said for a scarf if that’s your style. Wear somewhat comfortable shoes but be fashionable.

Scenario: first date and you know you are interested in dating this person. What to wear: a skirt and a top or a dress. Not too tight or short. Show some knee but not cleavage. Don’t look like you are trying too hard. Keep your makeup natural. You have to feel good but comfortable. Maybe choose your favourite top? Remember, confidence is sexy!

Scenario: pity date (I don’t need to explain this do I?) What to wear: jeans are okay.  Hell wear high waisted or baggy jeans. A crew neck shirt. Perhaps an ill-fitting bra? Lumps are acceptable. A ponytail is encouraged. Running shoes are acceptable. Showering is optional.

Scenario: First date. You know he’s not relationship material but your hormones don’t care….you want to take him home. What to wear: This gem is key…key I say! You want to look hotter than the last girl he slept with.  So here’s the approach – one article of clothing should stand out. Chose a sexy top and sexy shoes.  Fitted pants are your best choice. No spanks (spanking may be okay if you are into that). Hair down. Cleavage is okay but tasteful. Don’t make them want to ask for a STI test first.  Choose the clothes that are wrinkle proof to make the walk of shame less obvious. (And on that note, always have sunglasses in your purse!) Be hot but not slutty.  Repeat after me, be hot but not slutty.

And the cat sweatshirt? Well I don’t even know what to say about that. But of course, it’s your call. One last piece of advice though, directly from me,  no matter what you wear, just be you. It’s all you got. And it’s enough.  (In case you are wondering about the date, we are friends and it’s awesome.)

Onwards and Upwards

f0a5be0ee4bb08ce41affef2eeed9045I’ve been thinking lately.  And feeling. My Wise Woman and Heart have been very active. Not in sync of course – let’s not get crazy! But they haven’t been battling like they once did, it’s been more of a civil negotiation. Together trying to sort out a situation for the past couple of months. And each took their turn at driving my bus. Kind of a cool thing actually.

Several months ago, I unexpectedly found myself faced with the decision to give someone another chance. I was assured things had changed (a laughable concept,I know). I gave a cautious Maybe.  But time went on and my walls started to come down and Heart opened itself up to the possibility. Yes, to hope. And as I’ve said before, hope is a Heart thing.  I decided to finally say yes to a relationship.  Turns out once I was standing in front of him (let’s call him the King of the Grand Gesture), he backed off emotionally. And thus the weeks went by.

Being true to my no-regrets nature, I kept trying. I knew I had to give it a real chance. For my own peace of mind. And I did.   I also made it very clear what I needed from him and expressed I wasn’t getting it.  But it still didn’t happen.  I truly believe that he’s not a bad guy. Something was just stopping him from jumping in. Fear I think.  And honestly, that’s okay. I get that. And it’s just the way he is. I accept that. But it’s not what I need in a relationship. So I called it quits on the relationship.  Was there another grand gesture? Yes of course. Did Heart want to say yes? Of course. But Wise Woman stepped up – completely aware of the pattern of this situation – held Heart’s hand, and said no. It was too late. I’m worthy of effort.  And honestly, for me, there comes a point where accepting the pattern is on me. And it’s my choice to continue to accept it or not. As difficult as that is.

And yet, today, I feel calm. This type of situation isn’t the disaster it once was. It doesn’t send me spiraling like it may have in the past.   Despite my heart being bruised, I feel empowered by my ability to see a situation for what it is, know which part of me is taking the lead and act on that.  I’m not saying I won’t slip or that I’m super woman – and if I do slip, that’s okay. I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  Because I’m doing my best. And throughout it all, I think I still act with kindness and honesty. With others and with myself.  And I’m really proud of that.

So I look forward and I see possibilities. A friend asked me recently what I am open to these days. My response? Anything.  In theory anyway.  But I haven’t been able to say that in a very long time.

And that, my friends, is what I call progress.

That First Kiss

220px-Kissing_the_War_Goodbye That first kiss with someone new.  It can land anywhere on the scale; from amazing, to average to just plain terrible. But is it a reflection of your chemistry with that person or does it just need practice? And do you say something if you really like the person but the kiss isn’t doing it for you?

Since being back in the dating world, I’ve had two really good first kisses, two really bad ones and everything else was somewhere in the middle.  I will admit that the ones on either end of the spectrum were definitely a reflection of the chemistry between us (for me anyway).  The first good one was on the bleachers at a baseball field, which was pretty cool. He asked me if he could kiss me, which I liked – especially because I was just getting back into the game. The second good one was in the middle of a street after our first date. He looked at me, grabbed me and went for it. And the bad ones…well let’s just say they were too wet and too soft for my liking (even after I gave them another shot at it).  I just knew  that things weren’t going to work out. And I’ll leave it at that.

So I’m leaning towards thinking that the first kiss is a sign. But others disagree. I asked my friends what they thought – what would they do if they really liked someone and the first kiss was awful.  Some said they wouldn’t go back for more but many felt that the first kiss can be nerve-racking and they would give the person more time. More time for them to get in sync. (Fair point.)  And most also said they would say something to the other person.  But say it nicely.  Some women I know suggested purring something sexy into the other person’s ear to lead them to what you like.  A guy I know  said that as a man, you have to tread very carefully about asking a woman to adjust her kissing style.  Personally, I would agree with that.  So while many of my peeps are all over the map on this one, those who said that they would keep trying were very clear that other things like character and respect are far more important qualities to them.

So how do you handle a bad kiss?

1. Assess the situation. Yeah, true. The first kiss can be awkward. Do you see this going somewhere? Do you like them? Do you connect on other levels? If yes, then stick around.  If you don’t like them that much, then it’s likely not worth having more bad kissing. If it’s just a random hook up, then why bother if the person is bad kisser?

2. Set an example. Kiss them how you like to be kissed. (But if you are one of those people who shoves their tongue down someone’s throat, please,for the love of God, stop doing that!)

3. Talk about it. Communication is so important in any relationship. Be nice and use positive reinforcement. Nobody wants to hear that they aren’t doing it for you so be gentle. But say something.

4.Practice. Keep trying …until you just can’t anymore.

I guess everyone puts a different level of importance on kissing. It’s really important to me. There’s nothing better than a good make-out session, in my mind.  It’s fun, and flirty and sexy.  But only you know what works for you and how much effort and patience you are willing to give in this area. So all I can say is go forth and conquer – your own way.

The Path into 2014

9d6f10e8dd63617240ffde11aa537cc52014. It’s hard to believe. I’ve let this new year sneak in without much fanfare.  I’ve been mulling over what 2013 brought me and took a peak at my bucket list for 2013. I got through most of the things on my list. What stood out was that I took chances. They didn’t pan out but I still took them and I’m glad for that.  And again, I had lots of fun and adventures.

I’ve transitioned into a new phase with men – moving away from just casual connections. Although I’ll admit that I find those easier.  I can handle knowing what someone wants from me. Relationships, now those are far more difficult for me.  I’ve met someone recently who is looking for something more serious. And it worries me. So I haven’t really let him in. I can’t figure out if it’s because it just doesn’t feel right or if it’s because I’m just not ready.  Time will tell I guess. But I have to give it – and him a chance if I ever want to know for sure.

In all honesty, I do sometimes think that I would rather just slip back into casual. Less risk you know? I’m still not in a place where a relationship seems fulfilling.  I still tend to think of them as being fraught with compromise, routine, expectations, losing myself and disappointment.  I’m not sure if that (bad) attitude will change with time or practice.  Likely a bit of both. So I’m trying to go forward with the idea that practice will be good for me.  I just hope I don’t hurt anyone along the way.  It occurs to me that perhaps I should worry less about the other person’s feelings and not make that a reason not to try something. If I’m honest about where I’m at and how I’m feeling, the other person can decide what they want to do. I can’t control that.

I find myself unsettled right now.  Over the past few years, I have set a path for myself for the year. A guiding principle if you will.  It has been helpful for me to do this. At first it was strength – to get me through a tough emotional space. Then faith. Faith in myself and that everything was going to be okay.  Last year it was bravery. The courage to take emotional risks and to just be myself.  This year I feel like I am on the cusp of knowing what I want for myself but I can’t quite grasp it. It’s something about being powerful within myself and what I stand for, while working on becoming more okay with my own vulnerability.

So while I wait for that idea to solidify for me, I’ll just sit with more of this uncertainty and hopefully things will become more clear.  You can’t force these things. As much as I would really like to.

My Evolutionary Discomfort

283211526_jqtWtVeW_cI feel like I’m in a rut. I have been feeling so boring lately. And I struggle with that.  This apparently is a trigger for me…I’ve been fighting it.  I feel like I used to be pretty dull – in my old life.  I lost my spark.  And one of the things I have loved about this new phase of my life is that my fun side came back.  Sure it’s been really hard but finding my light again was one of the benefits.  So yeah, I’m triggered.  But when I stop to really think about it, I’m actually in a transition phase and honestly, it’s been feeling damn uncomfortable.

I recently made the decision to not pursue casual anymore with men, to take a step back, not seek out the exhilaration. And I think that’s a good thing. But I miss the feeling, you know? The excitement. The validation.   I know that this will be a period of growth for me. But it feels  lonely.   And I don’t know what I want for the future.  My Wise Woman knows this is a time for me to learn to be okay with me – get strong within me, without men flitting about. Without constant distractions. Sit with my feelings. This will all help me to make a good choice later. But it’s really hard for me and I feel emotionally off balance. I’m scared I’ll be alone forever. I’m scared I’ll make another bad choice. And yet this current void feels bad. I’m also overwhelmed with my daily logistics. It all feels like a battle.

This may all take some time to sort out…. throughout all the parts of my Diva Council.  I want to be whole again. But differently.  I don’t ever want to lose myself again. When I’m ready, I want a relationship that doesn’t suck the life out of me, or where I’m someone’s mother, where I’m leading the charge.  Will I ever find that? Will I ever be ready?

So this may be the time to really focus on me and who I want to be.  With intention. And that may mean just sitting here with the uncertainty and loneliness and not let it take over. Let it just be what it is. Who I am. Right now.  And be okay with that. So challenging for me. I want to find the balance between having fun, shining my light bright and yet be strong with who I am, what I want, and what I won’t tolerate. Not just with men but in every part of my life.   This is just another phase….a necessary pit stop on the journey.  And I should give myself some credit.  I’ve come a long way.  So here’s to trying to have some faith that I can do this new stuff – as uncomfortable as it may be.

Are You An Asshole? Just say so. Really.

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Remember when that famous golfer’s life blew up? Stories of numerous indiscretions kept coming to light, one after the other. I remember thinking that his handlers did it wrong.  If I had been his PR person, I think I would have handled it differently from the start. Why pretend that you are a family man if you really just aren’t? I guess there is pressure to be a good guy. But what if you aren’t?

I spent almost ten years with someone who pretended to be someone he wasn’t.  And I think he may have done it for my sake because he believe that’s what I wanted.  It may have been the case way back then, but I could have saved myself a whole lot of heartache if he had just been true to himself from the start.

My friend and I recently had a conversation on this topic. I’m of the mind that if you are an asshole, I would really rather you just said so.  Come clean. Truly. That way I can make an informed decision.  It’s not great to be an asshole but at least it takes balls to admit it.  With where I’m at in my life right now, I actually don’t mind if you are an asshole. There are limits of course (don’t be a liar for example). But generally if you are fun, funny and honest about who you are, I can handle that.  I may choose to spend time with you anyway because I know what to expect.  (Sidenote: granted, this is likely not true if I’m looking for a serious relationship.)

That’s why I don’t mind meeting men in bars. I know what that’s all about. And I get to decide for myself how I want to proceed. If you fawn over me and pretend it’s something it’s not, that I’m not likely to buy.  And what I really don’t like is the men who pretend to be nice guys and then treat you like shit and fuck you over. Now that’s a real asshole to me.  And it’s dishonest, which I hate.  I suppose I understand why people cover up their dark sides. It’s not as socially acceptable. And yet, on the flip side, I have several “real nice guy” friends who just keep getting passed over (that’s another blog post!).  But I would find it refreshing if a man just said to me “I’m kind of a dick and here’s what you can expect in terms of that.”  As I type that, I have to laugh because let’s be honest, that’s not ever going to happen!

But please – and I suppose this goes for both women and men – when dating, just be who you are.  Live it. Be it.  Warts and all. The people who don’t like it won’t want you in their life, and that’s okay.  And those who make the choice to tolerate it or even like you for who you really are, well they are going into it informed.

So if you wear an asshole merit badge on the inside, how about you bring that sucker out to the front and see what happens?

Hope – A Heart Thing

hopeHope.  It’s hard to come by sometimes. Especially when you feel like life keeps kicking you down. But I believe it still lives in us – sometimes in full bloom, sometimes a small flicker. It’s not a head thing. It’s a heart thing.

I have found myself in a bizarre situation lately.  I became good friends with someone I was dating last year. It ended in January when I thought he was leaving town for good. We had a great time together and I had a lot of respect for him. It turned out that we stayed in close contact, became good friends and still saw each other several times over the last few months. Somehow, he ended up being in town more often than we thought and despite all the obstacles (distance, and an ex girlfriend who resurfaced and was coming back to town), feelings started to grow.  It really surprised us both. It was completely unexpected.  And despite going in with my eyes open, I got blindsided by our feelings. He did too.

So, yeah, somehow I found myself in a love triangle. Not my scene. You know this. I don’t know how it happened. But it did. And it became a question of him making a choice.  Which he struggled with – so I bailed.  Let me be clear that he’s not a bad guy (the situation is of course more complicated than I’m sharing here – although I’m sure that’s what everyone says). But I deserve to be the only person someone wants to be with.   I’m worth it.  My Wise Woman knows that walking away was the right thing to do. But my heart had already let him in (also unusual for me).  Damn.

Heart had started to hope. Hope that maybe I could be happy. Maybe that I could love again and be loved back.  Heart started to build up little fantasies of the future, even though I was scared.  I showed him my soft side. Being vulnerable feels uncomfortable to me but honestly, it was nice to not have to be so strong all the time.  But I had to do what was right. And doing what’s right can be hard. And I’m pissed off that I was the only one to have any balls in this situation. And thus my hope was extinguished. And I’m feeling that loss.  And the loss of him.

So I’m sad – again. And frustrated.  I guess I’ll just sit with it and hope that one of these days, I’ll have a happy story to share here. I’m sick of always being strong. Sick of all these learning experiences.  I’d like some easy for a while. I really would.

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