Advice Column June

Dear DD,

I’ve met this really great girl and we’ve gone on a handful of dates. My friends have been asking about her now and I can’t decide if it’s too soon to have her meet them? Is there a right time for when to bring the person you’ve been seeing to meet your friends?

-from friend zone

Congrats on the new lucky lady!

Your friends are able to give you an unbiased opinion about your potential significant other since the romantic feelings aren’t skewing their perspective. Friends know you well and know you deserve to be treated well. And it’s always great to have validation of your judgment in life partners by your friends support of the relationship. But when is the right time to introduce a potential partner to your friend group?

Not too Soon

It was important to me when meeting someone to establish a bond between us and make sure we are strong in our feelings for each other before he would meet any friends or family. I didn’t want to constantly bring a parade of new guys around and have my friends start thinking it was just another flavor of the week that would burn out in no time. For me it was serious and the next step in our relationship before becoming official. Having the support of those close to me was important. Since you’re wondering if it’s too early for them to meet, I’ll assume you don’t bring just any girl around your circle of friends.

Not too Late

The upside in letting your friends meet the person you’ve been seeing early on is that they can help you steer clear before it’s too late and you become too attached. You might be blinded by infatuation but your friends could pull you out of a disastrous relationship before you’ve invested too much time and effort. Has she mentioned wanting to meet your friends soon? If so, waiting much longer could start to make her feel unsure about your feelings for her. She may wonder if you’re keeping her a secret or that she’s the only one with strong feelings in this relationship.

Mixed Signals  

As I mentioned, meeting friends and family means a lot to me because it shows me they want to bring me into their world and have me form bonds with those close to them. If you’re planning on keeping the relationship casual it might be confusing to both your partner and friends to have them hanging out together regularly. For me personally, it would have me believing things were heading in a more serious direction and moving onto a different page then they are. You also might want to think about the fact that one of your friends might be start to like her and continue to bring her around even after your casual thing is over.

New Experience

It’s a good experience to see your potential SO in a social setting to see if they act different than when just alone with you. You can see if they’re making the effort to get to know your friends, if they’re outgoing or a sloppy drunk. Your friends can also see the two of you interact together and see if you pair up well as a team.

There are many benefits to having your friends and love interest meet. Before doing so you need to decide what kind of future you think this relationship has, think about if you want to intertwine the two parts of your life, and also talk to her about how she would feel about meeting your friends. Once you know the answer to these three questions you’ll know what to do!

March Advice Column

Dear Dateable,

What makes for good first date conversation aside from the usual work/school/family prattle?

DD:You want to keep a first date light and although talking about tv show and movies may seem silly you can learn a lot about a person’s immaturity level and sense of humor by what they put on their screens. You can also find common ground by talking about shows, actors, and current events in entertainment.

Family is usually a common topic as mentioned in the question, but friends are also important to talk about. You want to know the type of people your date surrounds themselves with. You can also learn the role they play in a friend group such as jokester, planner, or the one everyone goes to for advice; its good to see how other people view and value your date and you might appreciate them more by learning so.

When you start talking about friends you also learn what your date does with their free time. Do they go to bars every weekend, trips to a nearby city or concert, or a laidback game night at a friend’s house? This helps you figure out if you like to do the same things and also gives you ideas for future dates if you do.

A common topic for early dates is talking about travels, they’re exciting and unique from day to day life. There seems to be a trend for millenials to be travel bugs so daters can usually find common ground there.

 

Topics to stay away from:

Past Relationships. Don’t be the idiot who talks about his ex and all the things he hated about her or the rude girl who talks about all the other dates she had this month. You both know you’ve dated other people but they aren’t here so stop bringing them up!

Dating Pet Peeves. If you start ranting about things you hate about dating profiles you’re going to seem picky and negative. You can also potentially insult your date. Sure, you won’t want to date someone who annoys you but you should find out the reasoning of why something might be on their profile before ruling them out.

Dark Past and Politics. It would of course be important for your significant other to learn about past experiences that have shaped you even if they aren’t happy memories but the first date is not the time to go into details. Controversial topics like politics and religion are also conversations that should be saved for a later date once you already feel comfortable with someone. Remember, light and fun is the name of the game in the beginning! 

 

Love on a Budget

I think people often mistake expensive dates for romance. You don’t have to a fancy restaurant every weekend, in fact idea number one is

Cook In instead of dining out. Yes usually grocery shopping is more expensive than just one evening dining out but the food you get can be used for multiple meals so at the end of the day you’re definitely saving money. Cooking together is a great bonding experience too, you learn how particular your partner is about materials, measurements, and sanitation as well as learning what frustrates or stresses them out. Creating a meal together allows you to feel like a united team accomplishing a goal together and the shared memory is a great building block in a relationship.

It’s much easier to find free things to do over the summer such as hiking, parks, and finding some water to splash around in. However low key or intense you want your adventure to be, you can find a good fit! Back in high school when everyone was just learning how to drive, I loved late night adventures just driving around, singing along to the radio, and feeling the wind on your skin. You can make amazing memories out of nothing as long as you’re with people you love and the good vibes flow.

Look into events going on in your neighborhood since the tickets are usually cheap or free! There might be a cover band at a brewery, the local theater putting on a play, or a food expo at the museum across town.You can have fun with your friends too by inviting them over for game night or splitting the cost of a weekend getaway trip.

You don’t have to always miss out on dining out or an expensive experience, you can look for deals on Groupon and other coupon sites to make it more affordable. Restaurant week is the perfect time to dine at the fancy places on the water that you would normally never go to (or be able to afford).

Monthly Advice Column!

Hello Readers!

Hope everyone’s New Year is starting off well! Some new things going on for DD in 2018 is the start of a monthly advice column!!

I was trying to find some type of website like form spring (remember that? lol) to help with anonymity but I haven’t found anything yet. Of course, feel free to leave a comment, go to my contact page, or social media pages in order to write in your question or situation that you need love advice on!

Starts next month!

Signs He Really Likes You

Back over the summer I wrote an article about when a guy isn’t into you, now I want to talk about when a guy IS into you. I must admit, it should be very obvious so if you’re reading this because you’re not sure then whether he likes you or not, he doesn’t like you as much as you deserve. But anyways, first:

He tells you how he feels (like I said, super obvious). He’ll tell you how happy he is when he’s with you, he’ll compliment your humor, personality, talents, and looks, and he’ll text you randomly saying how something reminded him of you and he had to let you know.

Of course, some fu*kboys are all talk and will tangle your heart with words about ‘our future’ and ‘what will we name our babies’. But then they only want to hang out at 3AM after they went out partying with their ‘boys’. If he really likes you, he wants to spend time with you wherever he can. He wants to take you to dinner, to a concert or park, on the couch in sweatpants, and to the diner for pancakes. Morning or night, sober or drunk, fancy event or ripped sweats, he wants to see all of you because he values you much more than a late night ego boost. There’s no game of waiting for the weekend to go out to the bars, he’ll text you Wednesday night to come watch Survivor or make a late night Diary Queen shake run.

You’ll spend a lot of time just the two of you but he will also make plans so that you can meet his friends/family. You will not be kept secret or hidden. Instead he wants to make sure other people in his life get to meet this awesome girl who’s been making him smile at his phone like a goon all the time. He wants to integrate you into his life, not separate you.

Lastly, is the signs of his emotional investment in you:

When he really likes you he wants to remember all the information and little details you tell him. He’ll ask about your family, your favorite TV shows, which foods you’re addicted to. He wants to remember how you take your coffee so he can surprise you with a cup just because.

Whether he’s buying you jewelry or just a random coffee at Starbucks, he’s wanting to give you things that will make you happy. Aside from the financial part of buying a gift, there’s also the emotional load of picking out a gift, debating between colors and options, and the stressful nerves wondering if he’s picked the right present to impress and please you.

But aside from the little details, he also wants to know the deep and heavy stuff too. Not every day can be good and fun, but he’s going to stick around anyway. He’ll ask for embarrassing stories, sad memories, and your fears about the future. He wants to hear about the crappy days and comfort you however he can. He’s emotionally invested and your comfort and happiness are important to him.

You deserve love and you deserve someone who can give you the type of love you want.

Do Genders Handle Break Ups Differently? (Part 1- Guys Perspective)

The idea for this article came to me after hearing the song “Different for Girls” -Dierks Bentley in which the lyrics talk about how only guys get drunk at a bar looking to take a new girl home or acting tough punching walls and turning into slobs. I wanted to know if the song was right and decided to reach out to two wonderful men in the blogger community for their input on breaks ups!

Tommy says:

“As Neil Sedaka famously sang, breaking up is hard to do. However, I’ve been luckier than most in that regard. For one, I’ve always been the initiator (although the last one was a tie). It’s definitely easier than being on the receiving end. It’s even easier if you’ve never been in love (which I wouldn’t mind finding someday). My relationships have trended on the shorter side; ending a longer one with more emotional investment would undoubtedly be more painful.

But so far I’ve been largely at peace with things after a breakup. After multitudes of rejections, it’s a nice feeling to know that someone was willing to go further and explore things with me – even if it didn’t work out in the end. The hardest part for me is trying to remain friends afterwards. I’ve tried it each time, but don’t think I will in the future. It’s a difficult area to navigate without things getting awkward and uncertain. For me, a clean break with no contact is the way to go, otherwise how can I completely move on?”

And Paul adds:

“Breakups. Well, bloody hell! There are things in my life that have been more difficult and much more important to deal with. This is a fact I’m consciously aware of—and yet, I have always managed to allow breakups to override absolutely everything when they happen.

I’m unfortunate enough to have experienced being broken up with on numerous occasions and, at the time, I thought nothing could possibly feel as bad. That was until I had to end a four-year relationship and I realized how much harder that is than being dumped. Hurting people hurts. Telling somebody they no longer fit your lifestyle… to me, I might as well be driving a knife through their heart and, subsequently, my own. It’s horrible.

Even if the breakup is for the best and you both know it, they’re extremely difficult and they’ll play on your conscience (provided if you’re blessed with a conscience). You’ll question everything. You’ll procrastinate wildly over what your life will lack without your partner in it. You’ll think of all the good things they do and the happy times you had with them. You’ll constantly weigh up the pros and cons; constantly try to talk yourself out of going through with it. It’ll play on your mind day and night.

In conclusion, breakups suck! Unfortunately, sometimes, they’re absolutely necessary…”

Both men seem to agree its easier to be broken up with than having to do the actual breaking up. Paul points out how difficult it is to know you’re hurting someone you spent so many years loving. Tommy agrees to this point, which contradicts the song’s idea that guys can just forget about an ex, just switching off their emotions and finding a new girl to distract them like a flimsy Band-Aid.

Of course, Tommy brings up being ‘at peace’ with most of his shorter relationships and perhaps he would go out on a boy’s night after such a break up. But he’s not drowning in alcohol or being swarmed by women in order to get over or forget these break ups. And Paul certainly not punching walls as the break up debate goes on in his head and things of all the good times with his ex.

Maybe the song got things mixed up and it’s the women who drink their exes away? Check in next week to hear from some WordPress ladies!

(Also the song might not have mentioned being friends with your ex but I did, check it out! )

Friends or More?

Should you date your friend? Or perhaps more accurately, is it worth the risk to date your friend and possibly lose the friendship if it does not work out?

Lots of solid relationships state that an important component is their friendship. Sometimes they start out as friends and some times they don’t, but always they insist that their significant other is their best friend who they tell all their embarrassing stories, hopes, and fears to. So one might think dating a friend would be a great idea because that aspect is already there and has built a strong foundation.

Of course once you cross that threshold from just friends to more than friends, its near impossible to go back. This has got to be the strongest reason people with crushes on their friends give for not pursing it. They don’t want to lose that friendship and closeness. They would rather have them in their life as a friend then risk becoming closer and then ending up with nothing. Sometimes friends don’t want to mess up the group dynamic by dating or sub consequently breaking up.

The thing is if you’ve naturally floated into the territory of daydreaming about one friend in particular then it may be worth digging into. He already knows your interests and dislikes pretty well. You already know about his bad habits and future plans. If you know all this and still can’t stop thinking about him then it may be time to start pushing the friendship boundary and see if he feels the same way about you.

If you don’t try, you’ll always wonder. You may become self conscious or doubt yourself more if you start thinking, well why hasn’t it crossed his mind yet to date me!? Maybe he didn’t think you’d like him back, maybe he has too much on his plate and wouldn’t be able to give you the effort you deserve. All I know is that it’s an unhealthy mental state to be wondering about all the possibilities and insecurities without any sold facts. It will give you a peace of mind to hear his sides of things no matter the outcome.

 

 

Why You Can’t Be Friends With Your Ex

When a relationship ends rather amicably, it makes it harder to really sever the ties. For my situation with Mr. Right, it was a logical decision to end things, not an emotional one. So it took longer for the emotions to align with our minds. It’s confusing trying to be friends with your ex. You read into conversations more, rethink how things could have been, and still crave that intimacy that is just out of reach now.

When you break up, you have to establish new friendship boundaries and that’s not something that easily happens over night. I’m not saying you can never be friends with your ex. I’m just saying that taking a break after a break up is extremely helpful in the healing process. Not taking time apart just delays the hurt and the loneness. You need some closure on that part of the relationship in order to open up the door for friendship again.

You have to remember that you can still do things on your own just fine and that you were never dependent on someone else. You need time to mourn the relationship as it was. If you don’t take this time, it could lead to ending the relationship but still hooking up for physical intimacy. Or perhaps you’re trying to persuade him back into a committed relationship. It’s a sticky situation when you’re just hooking up when feeling so emotionally attached. You’re putting yourself right in the line of fire to get your feelings really hurt.

It also makes it really difficult to move on and become emotionally available again when you’re in constant contact with your ex. If you’re still texting all hours of the day and you go to her when you hear great or terrible news, then you’re probably still kinda dating.

Relationships are complicated and break ups even more so. You don’t have to try to date someone new. But if a break up did happen then it might be a good time to reflect on yourself and the relationship. Figure out what you really need and want from your significant other and think about if your ex can really be that person.

This time of closure and reflection is all about you. So being friends with your ex while trying to sort out your own emotions makes things cloud and confusing. Allow yourself some solitude and clarity before reforming a relationship/friendship with your ex again.

Saying “You Can Do Better” but Meaning…

I have definitely said, “You can do better” to a friend before and I have also had it said to me. I realize it is a friend trying to support, compliment, and look out for you. That’s how I meant it when I said it, along with “You deserve so much better” and “Forget him, he’s nothing but bad news anyway”. What I’m also willing to admit is that I’m passing along a lot of judgment while saying these ‘encouraging’ comments (read: critiques).

I’m judging her taste and ability to choose lovers/boyfriends by calling them ‘bad news’. I’m telling her that she has no authority over her own life and I’m going to make better decisions for her since she can’t seem to pick the right guy for herself. I’m judging her self -confidence and worth by telling her what I think she deserves; how much I think she is worth. All in all, I’m criticizing her personal choices.

I’m also telling her that our friendship is no longer a safe place to openly be herself. I’m telling her that this friendship is about me. I am not here for her to voice her concerns and lessen her burdens. I am here to praise myself for not making the same foolish mistakes that I am judging you for from where I sit on my high horse. I’m telling her to not trust me with her vulnerability.

She knows any other girl would try and leave him, but her feelings are outweighing her logic. And Love is rarely logically. She doesn’t need her friends pointing out the logical and less ’embarrassing’ option. She needs support so that she never feels trapped or shamed. She needs support so that she can finally come to a new decision on her own in due time. Or she might never change her mind! And then she has to choose between you and him. Trust me, you’ll lose her then because she will always choose Love.

So when I tell her “Wise up, he’s no good for you” I’m also telling her “Wise up, I’m not much better.” Because if a friend needs to tear you down in order to build themselves up, then that’s not a friend you need to be around.