Am I Bitter?

I read so many poems on almost relationships and half baked ones. Ones where there’s only one person fighting for this relationship. When looking at these ‘relationships’ from the outside it’s so easy to judge and wonder WHY IS SHE PUTTING UP WITH THIS?!

Unfortunately, things are never so easily black and white. We come up with all these reasons for why he can’t commit, and of course he has to love me otherwise he would be able to let me go, otherwise he wouldn’t keep taking me out on dates, otherwise we wouldn’t be intimate, the list goes on and on.

We really can’t make ourselves see the truth that he only likes the attention and we’re convient.

I had a friend in college and we bonded over the guys that were half in and half out in our lives. There were different ways in which they did this and for what ended up being different reasons. Eventually, her Stubborn became fully committed and they’re now in a long term, loving relationship.

Sometimes you break things off with your Stubborn and spend time apart. Months or years later you may reconnect and he realized who and what’s important in his life. And you two also end up in a long term, loving relationship.

Its stories like these that keep us running along to each precious breadcrumb they feel like dropping. I’ve been preaching that the answer is to always ditch the guy and find someone who knows how special you are from the start.

I preach that answer because the last option is that you got my Stubborn and you broke things off and finally found a partner who would do anything to show how much they love you and want you in their lives. A partner who is the complete opposite of what you’ve been putting up with in the past and one who makes you realize just how delusional you were for ever thinking that your Stubborn ever really liked/loved you.

But as I think about success stories, is it time I realize that maybe I’m just bitter? That my story didn’t work out the same way and I got burned in the end. Am I preventing others from their happy ends by telling them to call it quits? Or am I giving them a warning against an unhealthy relationship?

I always warned my friend against her Stubborn just like she did with me. And I think I would do it all over again even though it never stopped either of us.

You want the best for your friends and you know they’re so great so you automatically dislike anyone who doesn’t see exactly what you see. And that makes me bitter.

So yes I am bitter. Bitter against all Stubborns for not appreciating what they have when they have it. Bitter that there was ever someone in my friend’s life that had her doubting her self worth. 

 

Dating a Coworker – December Advice Column

Dear DD,

There’s this guy I realllllly like at work, we flirt hardcore so I really think he likes me too. We’ve hung out outside of work but only in group setting. I really want to pursue this further but I don’t know how to go about it or if I even should go for it.

Best,

Coworker Crush

 

Dear Coworker Crush,

Dating someone from work is…. Messy. To start off, if you happen to be reading the vibe wrong and pursue someone who isn’t interested then things at work will definitely get awkward with that rejection. The next obstacle is work’s policy about relationships. You may have to sign forms or it could be forbidden depending on the department or if one of you holds a superior position. Signing a document two weeks into a relationship would make just about anyone nervous. Or if work relationships are forbidden there’s added pressure on the relationship to know if it’s really worth losing your job over. Lastly, if your position titles are unbalanced any career achievements could be judged as ‘sleeping to the top’.

 

If I haven’t stressed you out enough yet then let’s skip right into the relationship. You’re starting a new relationship already spending the majority of the week with this person. So after spending the whole day together now you’re going to go have dinner or some other date plan. A relationship like this can definitely burn out quickly.

 

So say the relationship has burned out. Now you still see that person EVERYDAY at work. Maybe you’re both part of coworkers that all get lunch together every day, now what? Does the group split in half, are you left all by yourself, do you suffer through a group lunch with your ex every day? Dating a coworker is extremely complicated and there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. Of course, all relationships have their obstacles so a relationship with a coworker isn’t all that different.

 

So if you’re going to pursue this guy then the first thing I would work on is one on one time. Whether it be texting, lunch at work, or a light hearted hang out outside of work you want to build a special bond between the two of you. You can test the waters on how he may be feeling about you and express that you are interested in a relationship with him. Once you two have talked about those romantic feelings and are on the same page, you can progress in the dating stage.

 

The Holidays Can be Hard for Some

The holidays are bright and loud with music and family. For many people, it’s their favorite time of year. In all the celebration we tend to forget those among us who struggle with the holiday season.

 

Lonely

The holidays are all about being surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones. Unfortunately this can sometimes backfire into making us feel lonely instead of part of a larger community. For starters, you may have a small family or have special family members missing this year in the holiday festivities. These parties and gatherings put an emphasis on that emptiness. On the other hand, you may have a large family and are far from alone during this time of year. But you may feel disconnected and that amplifies the feeling of loneliness. You’ll be hard on yourself for feeling lonely when you’re not alone.

 

Solution

Focus on those you do feel connected to in your life. Whether its friends instead of blood relatives or a community on the internet that you truly feel a part of, make sure to spend quality time connecting with these important relationships in your life.

 

Single

During the holiday season, the emphasis on family also puts pressure on you starting your own family which begins by finding a partner. Relatives routinely ask you when you’re going to settle down and find someone nice to bring home and meet the family. You see lots of pictures on social media for friends and family with their significant other and it can make you feel inadequate for not having a partner as well.  

 

Solution

Feel free to handle your nosy relatives however you see fit. Just know that there is no need to rush into a relationship that you don’t want or aren’t ready for. That could lead to ending up with someone that isn’t really right for you and wasting time not being truly happy. A partner may not be a part of the future you envision for yourself and that should be respected as well.

 

Expectations

The holidays are also at the end of the year when most people reflect on the highs and lows of that year. The New Year is also right around the corner and many people set goals and expectations for themselves to achieve. Every part of life can’t be planned and unfortunately most people find themselves behind on their goals. They’re not where they want to be in life and they’re upset that another year has passed without much improvement.

 

Solution

Goals sometimes have to be adjusted so that they can be realistic and reachable. Some people see this a negative thing but setting a small, reachable goal can produce big results. You’ll feel accomplished for reaching this smaller goal and motivated to continue on instead of defeated by missing your original goal. Life may alter your goals completely and that can be devastating. But this new life path can lead to new goals and new victories.

 

She doesn’t want to meet up November Advice Column

Dear DD,

I met this awesome girl on a dating app, we talk everyday nearly all day. Problem is, whenever I bring up meeting in person she always has something else going on. It’s been three weeks already and I’m afraid to ask her again if she’s willing to go on a date with me.

Sincerely,

Stuck online

 

Dear Stuck online,

I think 3 weeks is definitely on the stretch of waiting too long to meet up. The answer is Yes, move on. Sadly, this girl isn’t interested in you enough to meet up

 

Reasons she might not want to meet up:

She’s just not into you

She likes the attention and is stringing you along

She’s hung up on her ex / they’re back and forth on trying to work things out

She’s starting seeing someone else and is waiting to see if they’ll be exclusive soon

 

Whatever the reason, things aren’t going to work out and you might want some pointers on

How to Move on:

 

Get a Definite Answer

Unfortunately you have to suffer a little pain to get through it. You need a direct answer from her that she is not interested and you guys will not meet. If this doesn’t happen then you will always wonder if now is a better time for her. You need to be able to some fantasizing about a relationship you could have had. She needs to stop that in its tracks with a solid NO.

 

Make sure you’re not exclusively talking to her.

You need to take your mind off her and also unload all your eggs from her basket. Invest some effort into a few girls so you’re not so heartbroken when one doesn’t work out. One girl will make you realize how easy it is to start dating someone when they’re truly into you.

 

Refocus on work, a hobby, working out.

You need to untangle a bit from the online world and realize your value outside of relationships. Focus on you and bringing things back into your life that you enjoy. A happier you is a more attractive you! Your friends will be happy to see you off your phone and laughing with them.

 

How to Find your Boo for the Night

Halloween is the perfect time to cut loose and have some fun! It’s a night you’ve planned with your friends and have spent weeks finding the right costume. Now it’s time to find the right boo! It’s empowering and can be a good way to escape the regular day to day stress to spend the night with someone.

 

The Party

The easiest way you’ll probably find someone to get spooky with will be at the party you’re going to with your friends. You’ve already mentally prepared yourself for a night of partying and having fun so you will be more open to mingling. You’ll have even more options since even the workalcoholics will be out partying for this holiday.

 

Dress Up

In a relationship many factors of a personality will make someone more attractive than just their looks. But when you’re looking to hook up, looks matter. So make sure your hair is looking good and you’re wearing one of your best outfits (or costume lol).

 

Be Noticeable

You very well can’t find someone to go home with if no one even knows you’re there! Flirt, laugh, and dance to turn some heads. Catch some eyes by taking a look around the crowd not just your phone and drink. Plus you want to see what options you’re working with here. There’s no need to play hard to get and coy, you’re going after what you want tonight.

 

Be Honest

There are plenty of people looking for the same type of fun as you are so just be honest! If someone isn’t interested then cut your losses and move on. Don’t dance around each other, just ask your place or mine? Let them know what level of vulnerability you’re comfortable with to make sure both parties have a fun but safe time.

 

Dating apps

The bar scene may not be for you but with this day and age dating apps can bring the party to you. It’s an easy way to meet people without having to waste the time and energy of going out to a party. There are plenty of well known apps for just hooking up and it may be time to get your feet wet.

 

How to bring up Spooky subjects with your Partner

As your relationship with your partner grows, you will face some obstacles. Difficult conversation will arise even if the relationship is in a very good place. Once you’ve realized that you can’t avoid this conversations, then you can take a look at these tips:

 

Timing

Pick a good time of day when stress levels are low. Take time to reflect on your moods throughout the week to see when you are most relaxed and would be open to sensitive topics. Next you should talk to your partner about when they feel they are most open minded. This will also give your partner time to prepare themselves for a mentally and emotionally taxing conversation. Granted, when it comes to difficult conversations there is never a perfect time. Don’t put off this conversation waiting for a moment that will never happen. Be brave and start the conversation.

 

Manage expectations

Realize you may be catching your partner off guard by merely mentioning the topic and they may not have an answer for you right away. Consider the idea that this will be a multiple step process and might not be resolved in one conversation. Be aware that you may not be 100% happy with the outcome and a compromise will most likely have to happen.

 

Be Present

Difficult topics can not be discussed over text, too much can get lost between the lines without body language and tone to gauge. Feel free to write down your thoughts and refer to them during this sit down conversation but don’t fall into reading a script. This conversation requires your full attention and should not be had in a crowd full of people or while multitasking with driving or chores. It is critical that your partner knows you are listening so cellphones should be put away until after.

 

Don’t be on the attack

Keep an open mind and make sure you’re hearing your partner’s concerns.They have legitimate concerns and reasonings of their own. Make sure your partner feels heard and does not become guarded. This is a conversation among two equals not an argument that is pinning you against each other. It’s important you don’t begin to view your partner as the enemy. The topic is the enemy that you and your partner must work together to overcome.

 

Know when it’s time to end the conversation

With sensitive topics comes sensitive emotions. We’re all human and we’re all emotionally invested in our relationships. Someone may yell or someone may get off topic and start nitpicking at you. When the conversation is derailing or when both parties are no longer listening to each other, it’s time to step back and take a break. Let your emotions break and self reflect. Consider where the root is in your reasonings and if you have any concerning hang ups. Consider why your partner may be feeling the way they are.

 

It’s important for your partner to know that you are fighting for this relationship, not fighting against them. Make sure you’re aware of the issues you will not bend on and consider the outcome if a middle ground can not be met.

 

 

Can Friends Stay Just Friends? October Advice Column

Dear DD,

What’s your opinion on guys being friends with females is it possible?

primadonnalove

 

I’ve answered before about what to do if your friend ends up developing feelings for you but I think this somewhat similar question has a completely different answer.

I absolutely think guys can be friends with girls without expecting the friendship to turn into something more. Bisexual people are attracted to both male and female genders but that doesn’t mean they want to date every single person they meet. Just because a straight guy is attracted to straight women doesn’t mean he’ll be attracted to his female friend. It’s a flawed logic to think guys and girls can’t be just friends.

I do think the more you get to know someone the more attached and attracted you become to them. You’ll relate to them and feel a connection, sometimes loneliness can muddle that up into romantic feelings. In fact other people in your lives will also start picturing the two of you as a couple.

The influence of those around you will also muddle your thoughts. May you find yourself sometimes staring at your friend’s beauty? Yes. May you sometimes wonder if you guys would work out as a couple? Yes. These thoughts are probably inevitable.

The catch is here that you don’t act on these thoughts. You know you two are good friends and you don’t really see yourself pursuing it. The thoughts pass and you continue on with your merry friendship. If this friendship was going to progress, it probably would have already by now.

 

 

Turning a Summer Fling into the Real Deal

The warm weather is starting to cool off but you want your summer fling to keep heating up, here’s how to stroke the flame.

 

Make plans for the fall

Act like the weather isn’t changing and keep making plans as you have been. Instead of heading to the beach or a hot summer night concert you can go apple picking, explore a corn maze, and carve some pumpkins. School might be starting up again and schedules will get busier so it’s important to continue to make time for each other and experience fun things together. Even if you’re going to schools in different states you can still plan dates in advance. Have him come up to visit in September and plan a date to see him in October.

 

Test out the waters

Try to learn what their thoughts are about a real relationship. Is it on their mind or are they anti-commitment? Approach the topic gently and in a non threatening way so they will open up and you can get an honest answer.

 

Start talking about the future together

Along with making fall date plans, you can talk about more serious things that would move the relationship forward. Has he met your friends and family? Have you talked about being exclusive? Talk about holiday plans to have them think into the future without putting on too much pressure.

 

Be Honest

After testing out the waters, you probably have a good idea of where their head is at. Now it’s time to be honest with how you’re feeling and where you’re hoping this relationship will head. You might both want the same thing but were worried about ruining the bond you have now. It’s important to be honest and direct so that there is no room left for miscommunication. This will help you know if it’s time to really end things or if the relationship can become official.

 

Single Parent Dating – Questions Answered Part 2

Welcome back to the second and final installment of answering your single parent dating questions! I’d like to thank Dating Dad and Define Relationship so much for being a part of this and helping out fellow single parent daters!

 

What’s the best way to introduce your children to your SO? (from Single Mom Strong Traveler)

 

DD: For this one I’d definitely spend some time building up to it. The kids need to know that this person is serious, and that they make you happy. If you’re happy then they are more likely to be too, so positive association is key. I plan on doing this in a neutral place so there’s no sense of home or space invasion; it’s corny, but something like a funfair would be perfect. Lots to distract and occupy, and without any need to force conversation for very long. Wherever it was done, it would need to be treated very carefully and with the kids at the heart of it all. Softly, softly would be the order of the day, with not too much overt smushy stuff between the two of you in order to reinforce that the new SO is never going to come between parents and kids.

 

DR: For the first meet I invited him round to my house and both kids were there. I had told them he was a good friend and we saw each other a lot. I let them ask me questions after they had met him and I answered them honestly.

 

Would you be okay with your SO getting involved in parenting discussions with ex and yourself?  (from Single Parent Network )


DD: Ooh, now this is a tough one. It’s tough to say for sure, but ultimately yes, as they are going to be (to a greater or lesser extent) co-parenting the kids 50% of the time so shouldn’t feel like a tacked on extra. They might or might not have as much experience of parenting as I do, but they will have their own methods and ideas which will need to be part of the whole discussion and approach as, in my opinion, the key to parenting is consistency. If they’re getting one thing from one parent and something totally different from a step-parent then only trouble can come of it.

To make it more personal regarding my own situation, this is very tricky for me as not only is my ex-wife’s boyfriend the person she had an affair with (thus ending the marriage), but he is also 16 years her junior, making him only 7 years older than my eldest daughter. I appreciate that I have a natural aversion to him, but in my opinion not only is he not a good role model for them but, at 21 years old, there is no way on earth he is capable of or has the life experience to help raise them when he is barely out of his teens himself. Whilst I would expect my new SO to be able to engage with my ex, and while I would ultimately like to be on professional parenting terms with any new (grown-up) partner she meets, I just can’t ever see myself having any form of parenting discussion with her current boyfriend.

 

DR: Absolutely not. Ever.

I would let him sort his own kids out with the mother of his children. I would not get involved. I would keep my nose out as it is up to them two. My philosophy is that too much input would confuse everything and could end up in drama if I disagreed with what she said and vice versa.