Man

Is It Something In Our Water?

At thirty years old, I’ve done my fair share of dating. I don’t have a huge plethora of relationships under my belt [long-term ones, at least], but I’ve gone on plenty of dates and had several short-term relations with guys. I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 17, and I didn’t have a serious boyfriend until I was 18 – so, my dating years have pretty much been crammed into a 12-year period of time.

It’s safe to say that the first 18 years of my life were very shy and sheltered [of my own doing – my parents constantly encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone]. While this hindered my dating and relationship experience, it did, on the flipside, allow me silently grow independently and to objectively observe how other people acted in their relationships. It gave me the opportunity to learn what I did and did not want in my own relationships.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed in my short thirty years on earth is that many women stay in relationships that they know are toxic – not only for them, but for the significant other as well. We waste years of our lives on boys [sorry, can’t refer to these individuals as “men” – they haven’t earned that title] who treat us horribly. When there’s a breakup, we take them back when they come groveling. When they abuse us, whether physically, verbally, or emotionally, we forgive them when they apologize and swear it’ll never happen again [and yet, it always does. and we know it will keep happening again and again and again].

My question is: why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we consistently stay with individuals who treat us so horribly? Who have absolutely no respect for us as women or as human beings? WHY? I know every single one of us has warning signals – there are always signs telling us to GET THE FUCK OUT, and yet none of us listen to them. And none of us get out when presented with opportunities. I mean, we literally allow these relationships to hit rock fucking bottom before the light bulb goes on and we think, Hmm, maybe this relationship SUCKS ASS.

And, going hand-in-hand with the self-degradation of staying in these relationships, is this feeling that we need somebody else in our lives to feel whole. This is a HUGE problem, especially for women who start dating so young – we become dependent on our significant other. Teenage and early twenties are crucial growing years in our lives. We’re all on this hormonal roller coaster, we’re experiencing all kinds of milestones, and instead of growing independently and learning who we are and how to deal with conflicts, speed bumps, and curve balls on our own, we end up leaning on somebody else for support through trying times. And someday, when these relationships inevitably end [because young love generally does], we come out so lost and disoriented that the only thing we know is to jump into another relationship. Instead of having our own identity, we become who we date. We define ourselves based on whose bed we happen to be sharing [okay, not the best reference, but you get the idea].

Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t feel like you can’t lean on somebody for help and support when times get rough. Of course you should! That is absolutely what friends, family and relationships are for [among other things]. The worst thing you can do is keep things to yourself when they’re causing you unmanageable stress and anxiety. BUT, first and foremost, it’s important to know who you are throughout the entire process. Don’t lose yourself in somebody else’s identity. Know that the people in your life are there to support you and to love you from beginning to end – and the people who aren’t need to be given the boot.

Ladies, we have worked TOO DAMN HARD in these first world countries to be reverting back to the Victorian era and beyond. We fought tooth-and-nail for a voice, for the right to vote, to be able to work alongside men, to be able to fight alongside men. We’ve come so far from the days of arranged marriages due to social status, being forced to stay in bad relationships due to guaranteed social ruin from divorce, no right to vote, have a voice or have a say in our finances or really our own lives. Why in the world would we ever want to willingly go back to that life? To stay in a relationship that’s unhealthy and degrading when we have a choice not to? Do we like feeling like shit? Feeling like we aren’t good enough? Is it something in our water?

I speak from experience. Despite all my years as a shy woman, growing independently and learning from other people’s mistakes, I still ended up dating a dude with no respect for women or himself. He was controlling, manipulative, insecure and just an all-around jerk. All of these things stemmed from family issues, and yet he took them out on me. I justified my relationship with him – I would be broke if I left him. We have fun together. He’s got a boat and nice cars. He’s got that bad boy thing going on. The list goes on. Nine out of ten of my friends have been in similar situations – guys who don’t respect them and treat them horribly. They’ve all done the same thing; made excuses about their boyfriend to people around them, which ultimately meant they were just trying to convince themselves. But at the end of the day, you shouldn’t have to justify your relationship – it should just BE.

Just remember that it is NEVER TOO LATE to get out of a bad relationship. And regardless of how long you spend dating an idiot, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you any less of a woman. We all make mistakes, we all have to go through our own experiences and motions in life in order to learn lessons. Know that you are not alone out there. You are not the only or first woman to try pushing through a shit relationship. There are always other gals out there you can lean on and relate to when you’re feeling alone in the world. So don’t suffer through this sort of thing alone! Reach out to others – me if you’d like! Believe me, there are more of us out there than you think.

 

This Is My Rooftop

You know when you’re absolutely elated about something, and there’s that expression, “I want to shout from the rooftop!”?

Well, this is my rooftop.

On this day, 365 days ago, I went on a date with a guy. A guy that wasn’t at all my type looks-wise, which used to immediately trigger a red flag. But after consistently dating my “type” and only ever finding idiots, I decided to step outside my box a little. What could it hurt?

Turns out, it really couldn’t [and didn’t] hurt.

It was a fantastic first date. He immediately checked the first box by successfully finding [and knocking on] my apartment door. My roommate and I used to joke that a guy was a keeper if he could find our apartment, because nobody we dated ever could. He took me to Old Town Sacramento, and gave me a little historical blurb about our city while he toured me around the streets. We stopped at a bar for a drink and ended up dancing to a live band with some fun, lively elderly couples. After that, we headed to Torch Club to keep dancing, and then bounced around to a couple other bars and sampled some beers in honor of it being Sac Beer Week. We closed out our date at Kupros, where some friends of mine came to meet us [and my poor date thought that was my SOS call – it was definitely not]. The conversation was easy and natural – we never had an awkward moment or felt the need to fill a pause. I didn’t expect to be swept off my feet so quickly, and I guess neither did he. But by the next day, we couldn’t wait to see each other again and had already made plans to get together that evening.

To say that this person has changed my life is an understatement. I had believed for so long that there were no longer decent men out there – in fact, I had pretty much come to terms with the fact that I would probably be 35 and heading to a sperm bank and doing the single mom thing [and I was actually okay with that]. Everyone tells you that you’ll meet somebody when you least expect it, and I can definitely attest to the fact that that couldn’t be more true.

One of the biggest issues I discovered [and struggled with] over the years of my dating journey was that so many guys carried baggage and assumed that all women were going to treat them the same in a relationship. If my ex cheated on me, then it will be just as easy for you.

True, but not a fair judgment to make when you’ve only just met a person. I pushed a lot of men away because of this – because they couldn’t give a new relationship a fair shot. It was so refreshing when I met my boyfriend, who was open about his fears, but wasn’t afraid to push through them in the hope of possibly building a relationship with me. And, to be honest, we’ve definitely had our ups and downs in this department – turns out I also have insecurities and baggage from past relationships. But I am a lucky gal to have found a guy who is willing to work through the problems together, as a TEAM.

When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I immediately loved our easy compatibility. Again, we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve never struggled to get along. We’ve never had a childish argument – we’ve never yelled or screamed or pushed each other to our limits. We are comfortable sitting together in companionable silence. We’re okay with sitting in separate rooms and doing our own things. And I love that we enjoy doing fun things together. We both like to travel – we’ve gone to Glenbrook, San Francisco and Santa Cruz together, and we’ve got several more trips planned this year. We both love beer and wine, and often times will go grab a drink together after work, or meet friends downtown to bar hop. After dating a guy who didn’t really socialize or drink, I knew that was something that I would require in a future boyfriend.

Of all of the things that I love about my relationship and my boyfriend, I think the number one thing that I love most is that he is the most personable, loving, caring and compassionate human I have ever met. He actually cares about my life and the things that I do every single day. He genuinely wants to hear every single detail. He fits right in with my family, converses easily with my friends, and meshes so will into my life. I couldn’t have picked him better if I had built the man myself.

This is definitely a bit of a bragging post, because I am super proud and happy to be with the man I’m with. But, in addition to that, it’s a post to reiterate the fact that there are good people out there in the world. There are men and women out there who actually do want a long-term relationship – who do want to get married and have babies and commit their life to somebody else. And as much as I am not proud of my previous relationships, I wouldn’t change any of the experiences that I’ve had, because they all prepared me for this one relationship. They gave me the ability to appreciate the fact that I have found an incredible human being, and I have not and will not take him for granted.

Happy One Year Anniversary to my other half; to the guy who makes my heart full and who completes my life. Every day, but today especially, I am so very grateful for you.

Mama’s Boy vs. Boy Raised By Mama

We’ve all heard the age-old saying of “how a man treats his mom is how he’ll treat a woman.”

In my experience, this is only half true.

There’s definitely proof that the way you are raised and the environment you are raised in effects your adulthood and the people you choose to surround yourself with. I’m a bit of an exception to this rule, as for the entirety of my twenties I chose to hang out with people who were really not like me nor did they have the same background as me. They were content with partying every single day and working minimum wage restaurant jobs for the rest of their lives. I was not raised by parents [or a family, for that matter – grandparents, aunt and uncle included] who ever surrounded themselves with people like that. I definitely went through a rebel phase and strayed off my chosen path of life a bit.

Because of this, I have dated my fair share of guys. Most of them with lots of baggage and their own sets of issues. And nearly all of them had little to no relationship with their mothers after adolescence. None of them treated me well, and none of them ever felt their behavior was wrong.

About a year-and-a-half ago, I finally came across a guy who had an amazing relationship with his mom. And until a few years prior, his parents had been happily married and they had been a very tight-knit family. My instant thought was “JACKPOT. There really are still good men out there.”

Here’s the thing about that guy, he didn’t end up treating me right, either.

Know why?

Because he was a mama’s boy.

What is a mama’s boy, you ask? A mama’s boy is a guy who will always put his mother before you. She is the number one lady in his life and always will be. A mama’s boy is a guy who acts like he’s still latched onto the tit, and so does she [sorry to be blunt, but it’s true]. His mommy dotes on him – nothing he does could ever be wrong! He is perfect in every way, and because of this mentality she’s instilled in him, this is how he will be in a relationship. You will always be wrong, and he will always be right. He will always have a very immature attitude about everything, because mama treats him like he’s five so of course he’s going to act like it [tantrums, you ask? yes – whiny about everything, and lots of extremely childish arguments and games].

So, yeah, he treats his mom well, but does that really sound like a guy you want to date? Coming in second, ALWAYS, to mom? Don’t get me wrong, I think it is extremely healthy [and attractive!] for a man to have a great relationship with his mom. My boyfriend keeps in touch with his mom – he says and does nice things for her. He loves her and tells her so. But he doesn’t call her whining when he doesn’t get his way. And she understands that he’s an adult, and while she will always be his mother, there was a point where she could no longer treat him like a baby and could only give him her best advice to steer him on the right path in life.

Ladies, be mindful of this mama’s boy type – and don’t mistake him for a man who loves and respects his mother in a healthy way. There ARE good guys out there! If you come across a mama’s boy, don’t waste your time and effort in trying to get him to put you before her – it’s a dead end street and truly an exhaustive waste of energy. Life is short, but it’s not THAT short – you deserve to be happy and to find the healthiest and happiest relationships that the world has to offer. Don’t forget that!