I think you should just get over that

You ever have those conversations where someone tells you something that you’ve heard a hundred times from a variety of other sources, but for some reason, it just clicks this time?

Yesterday, I was on a walk with Bunny, an old friend who just recently resurfaced. I’ll detail all of that later. For now… So we were coming to the end of the walk, and I had been telling her how I had had this urge to contact Tripp. Now, Tripp and I haven’t spoken in over two and a half months, and there isn’t even anything I need to say to him, but I just felt this pull to send him a quirky text or email. I didn’t act on it, but I felt the need to tell someone, like going to confession (something I know absolutely nothing about). And when I finished, Bunny looked at me with this wry expression on her face, and said, “I think you should just get over that. You’re holding onto something which has been over for years, and I think it’s holding you back from more important relationships.”

And I know it sounds trite, but, just like that, I felt over it. Seriously – ten years after we broke up, ten years of holding out hope, of waiting for him to come back – gone. I truly just felt like I did not care anymore. And not in some negative, “of course I don’t care about that loser” way. But in a very light-hearted, “I hope he has everything he could possibly want or need from life” way. I literally felt like it was off my chest and had dissipated into nothingness. I’m not saying that I won’t ever think of him, or that he has been wiped from my memory forever. But, I feel that for the first time, I can think about him and not feel as if my heart were going to explode.

I think sometimes we hold onto things long after we need them because we’re scared to move on to something new. “The devil you know is better than the one you don’t,” right? But I don’t think that I need to hold onto that devil anymore. I have angels in my future.

– Finch

p.s. And a note to my mom – yes, I know you said it first, and loudest, and longest. I’m sorry, you’re right, and I love you!

What defines “settling”?

I think I heard in a movie once, or read in a book, that you should marry someone who loves you more than you love them. The idea being that they will always adore you, and that you don’t have to worry about them leaving. But if I had someone who loved me considerably more than I loved them, I think that I would be afraid that I would one day meet someone that I loved that much, and then I would leave the marriage, causing massive heartbreak and hurt.

A couple of my girls have recently been talking about having these feelings. M has been seeing this one guy, BA, for about six months. And we were talking about where things were going with them when she said this: “I feel like he satisfies 60% of what I want. I mean, he’s nice, he’s a perfect gentleman, we have a good time together, both in and out of the bedroom. And 60% is good, right? I mean no one ever has 100% satisfaction.” I don’t know that no one ever has 100% satisfaction, but I do think that 60% is a little low. I read once that 80% is the magic percentage. If you find someone who fulfills 80% of what you want, then that is good enough. But which 80%? If I had ten traits that my guy absolutely had to have, I think some of those traits would be rated higher than others. For instance, it is incredibly important to me that my guy have a job and that he’s able to support himself. But it is also important to me that he doesn’t interrupt me while I’m talking, as this is a huge pet peeve. Do these two things get weighted the same? If they’re each worth ten percent overall, could I do without one?

It seems that several of the people in my life are in this mode where they are trying to talk themselves into feeling something more. Is it wrong for me to want to meet someone and not have to talk myself into liking or loving them? I’m not asking that it be instantaneous – with both Tripp and Ex, it took a little time for me to fall in love. But once I did, especially with Tripp, I knew it in every cell of my body – I was hooked. If I had been with someone for six months or more and I was still waiting for the other shoe to drop, or for a sign that I was supposed to be with them, then I think I would get scared that I was trying to force something that wasn’t really there.

Plus, I’m a girl who likes a little bit of a cushion. I want someone to love at least 90% of my traits/personality. That way, if I piss them off, I have a little bit of a buffer before we start getting too close to the magical 80%. It just makes good numbers sense!

– Finch

I’m tired of asking stupid questions

I cannot even begin to explain how done I am with asking stupid questions, both of myself and to friends. “Am I pretty?” “Do you think I’m funny?” “Will I ever meet someone again?” “Will I ever get married again?” “What if no one thinks I’m cute?”

I literally feel sick even admitting that I ask those questions, but it turns out that a lot of my friends have been asking themselves these same questions lately, so I feel the need to address them. Quickly, to answer –
Yes, yes, yes, yes – if you want to, and people do think you’re cute.

Here’s the thing – we, as a society, put so much emphasis on coupling up that we lose ourselves in the process. I’ll see certain family members, and the first thing they ask me is, “Are you seeing anyone?” Who cares? If I am, I’ll let you know (if I even want to bring it up), and if I’m not, do you really think that I need your pitying glances? How about asking me how I am? Ask me about school or work or anything besides my relationship status. Because, no matter what is going on in my dating life, if I am not happy with myself and how my life is going while I’m on my own, it’s not going to get magically better once I’m coupled up. In fact, I’ll probably pay even less attention to myself, and then my problems will become larger.

J said something so true yesterday. We were hanging out at Pints for Pups at Independence Brewery (great place) and I was complaining that nothing was adhering to the schedule which I desired. I was telling her that what I really wanted, right now, this moment, was for Tripp to call me up and tell me that he made a mistake, and he’s not getting married. Then I wanted Ex to call and say that he made a mistake and threw away the best thing in his life, me. Then I wanted a Joshua Jackson look-alike, with a good job, his life together, and a great attitude to tell me that I was totally the one, and that he would do anything in the world to make me the happiest girl ever.

After J laughed at me, she said that all of that was great, but it wasn’t really what I wanted. “Here’s the thing. You think that you want all of that, but you really don’t. If Tripp came back, you would love to think that you would tell him ‘thanks, but no thanks,’ but probably you would start something up with him again. If Ex came back, it would just bring up more anger over the way things ended and you would want to get back at him or something. And even if a JJ twin came up and was everything you dreamed of, where would he fit into your life right now? You’re studying your butt off, you’re spending more time than ever with friends and family, and you’re coming into the busiest season at work. So what would you give up to date him? Your running? Your time with B? School? I know you like to think that you’re ready, but you’re not. And that’s okay.”

It occurred to me later that my asking these stupid questions is almost like a shield. If I can find something “wrong” with me, than I have an excuse for not dating. If I’m not pretty enough, or funny enough, then that is the reason why I’m not coupled up. So maybe it’s time for me to acknowledge that there doesn’t have to be anything wrong with me to explain my singleness. In fact, maybe the fact that I am single right now, that I’m taking care of myself and making myself happy, is the most right thing I can do.

– Finch

You’re dating Jekyll and Hyde

T and I were having lunch this week, and she was telling me about the men in her life for the past six months or so. Of course I’d been hearing about them in drips and drabs, but I was getting the whole story in one sitting this time. As she spoke, I quickly recognized a pattern – she would meet a guy, he would say sweet and romantic things to get her number/get a date, and after she had provided whatever said guy was after, he would become a different person.

Now, let’s just put this out here – no, she was not sleeping with these guys. T is the very definition of a lady, so much so that she won’t even call a guy when they’re first dating because “only fast girls call boys.” So this was not a case of a guy bailing once he got laid. No, this was much more subtle. For example: A recent guy had been wooing T for about six weeks, trying to get her number. She finally provided it, and the day that she passed it over he called her.

Him – “Hey, what’s up?”
Her – “Not much, how are you doing?”
“Fine. Did you text me earlier?”
“Oh, must’ve been one of the other girls. You sure?”
“Yeah, pretty sure, especially since I didn’t have your number until you just called me.”
“Oh, okay. Well I guess I’ll talk to you later.”

T relayed this story to me with complete shock – this guy had been stopping by her work, leaving her cute notes at her car, doing everything to get her number, and the very day he got it, he started acting like he didn’t care. Then, three days later, she hears from him again, when he texts her, asking for the spelling of her last name, and a picture, so he can add it to his contacts. Um, how about you ask her on a date first? And are you seriously dating/talking to/seeing so many girls with the same first name that you need to ensure that you are differentiating them by last name and picture in your phone so as to avoid any mix-ups?

This is the third time in the past few months that T has had this happen to her. And I’ve seen the men in action, both in the beginning and in the end, and I cannot fault her retelling of these stories – she’s not leaving anything out or adding anything in. So what’s the deal? Have women become so easy that once the initial chase is over, men just give up? I knew that was something that could happen with sleeping with a guy, but just giving him your number makes him grow cold now?

I know people can change in a relationship, but I think changing before the first date is a little too soon.

– Finch

Quick thought – Miss Independent

I was listening to the radio, and that song “Miss Independent” by Neyo came on. Now, I like this song, and I like Neyo, so I was rocking out, singing along, when something struck me. The song is a guy singing about some girl that he’s falling for, and some of the lyrics are as follows: “car and a crib, she’s bout to pay them both off/and her bills are paid on time.”

Why is this something to write home about? Isn’t everyone supposed to pay their bills on time? Isn’t that just kind of common action? Is it so rare that people would pay their bills on time that this is now something to be celebrated?

I asked my mom these questions when she rightly pointed something out – my sister is currently dating someone in their 30s who does not have a job, and who has not had a job in over a year. He has no issue with sponging off of her and our family. Ex had a pretty flexible relationship with jobs. J just went on a date with someone who did not have a job and was not looking for one. In fact, as I talked to more of my girlfriends, it became apparent that there was a dearth of men out there in the dating world who were not working in any way, shape or form.

So maybe that’s why they’re looking for women who pay their bills on time…

– Finch