When the Salmon Rots

We had so much fun at that bonfire on the beach, he and I.

The air in my nose was stronger than a salmon swimming upstream.

But if you stayed close enough to the growling fire

that smoky haze would cover you better than a fur blanket.

So I stayed close, tucked into him

dreaming of honey.

Against the black curtain of the sky

It was hard to tell the difference between

the fading flickers of a hot, red amber from a fire

versus his taillights fading down the road.

And then you realize it can’t always be seven o’clock on a summer evening.

The hardest lesson in dating

The hardest lesson you learn while in various relationships is this:

You can’t change people.

 

While you’re young you might have made a list of your ideal partner. Then you started meeting suitors and you realized the perfect partner doesn’t exist. You meet a guy with some potential but you’re both still young and growing your careers. You can’t stay with someone’s potential, waiting and hoping for them to change and grow up. Next thing you know, it’s two years wasted and he’s still exactly how you found him. Plenty of people grow into their potential, but you can’t stay in a relationship where you’re waiting on change. 

 

You are not the same person at 23 that you were at 18 and even that person has evolved at 29 years old. Your education, beliefs, and characteristics you’re looking for in a partner all change. Just as you can’t change people, you also can’t stop them from changing. Important life goals like wanting to get married or wanting children can change over the years. It’s heartbreaking but you have to know when partners in a relationship have changed so much that they’re no longer on the same path. 

 

Another thing women tend to do at a young age is try to fix the guys they want to date. You meet a guy who’s giving you attention and he has good qualities but his coping mechanisms are stunting his growth. Life lessons have shaped all of us and it’s up to us to seek professional help if we feel like we need ‘fixing’. It’s not our job as a partner to be someone’s mother and therapist. We’re your partner and we will support you but it should not fall on our shoulders to fix you up. Above you had to know when to end a relationship, but here you have to know when you shouldn’t even start one. 

 

Nagging or mothering someone into changing only leads to resentment and exhaustion. The ones who do make any type of change or improvements did so themselves. You can be motivation or a support system but they have to put in all the work. Even after all this, there’s no guarantee for a successful relationship. 

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Instead of trying to change someone, you have to know when it’s time to change your plans. After a few years of dating you’ll know what you’re not willing to settle for and you’ll probably figure out the hard way of when it’s time to cut your losses on a partner that will never become who you need them to be. 

 

How can I trust myself to pick the right guy?

Over the past 5 years, I’ve been on tons of first dates. More than any person would ever want to, I’m sure. I kept going on first dates though because I was ‘picky’. I needed a palpable connection and a list of criteria to be met. It was meaningless first date after first date when I finally met my long term boyfriend.

Finally, someone I just connected with. The beginning was easy, I felt alive, and he was good to me. I finally picked the right one! Even his mom was excited about our future!

But time passed and he stopped treating me right and eventually he became my ex. I should have left a lot earlier than I did and now it’s hard to trust myself. 

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I’m really picky and I still didn’t pick the right guy. How can I trust myself now?

 

I’m wondering if I should go about picking partners differently now since clearly, I’ve been getting it wrong all these years. I don’t think I’m too picky honestly, but however I am picking must not be working. Do I need to stop putting so much weight on that feeling of connection?

Maybe with the information I knew at the time, I was picking right? And eventually as time goes on, someone who was right for you can stop being right for your future.

We all know love has a way of blinding us so maybe I need friends and family to pick the right match for me. People who know and love me and have my best interests at heart. But we probably all know someone we would have picked differently for and who’s to say that they made the wrong choice?

Maybe with the new lessons I learned from my dating experience, I will pick the right one next time and I can trust myself. I can trust myself by being self aware. By knowing I’m a hopeless romantic and where my weak spots are. By listening to red flags when I first see them and by understanding the type of men I gravitate towards.

 

What I thought a Pandemic would do to modern dating vs what’s really happening

What a crazy world we’re living in right now! A global pandemic that has completely changed our daily lives. It’s affected the dating world too.

Since we can’t really meet, I thought COVID-19 would weed out the fuckboys and hook up culture. It would force people to really talk and get to know each other before meeting up. It would foster relationships based on conversations and not looks or make outs. 

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I had seen the cute memes. They facetime, deliver meals to each other’s houses and have a virtual date. It was the most chivalrous dating I have ever seen. But I think those might be the rare cases.

 

What’s really happening are the fuckboys don’t care about social distancing and are still trying to get you to come over. For the smart ones who do listen to COVID rules, conversation goes stale quickly. A conversation normally lasts two weeks before you run out of questions and memories to talk about. Then you talk about the weather and the third walk you went on that day and the connection is dead.

Long Distance relationships work, in part, because they both have an end goal in mind of when they’ll get to see each other again. With this pandemic, you know they live close by but you don’t know when you’ll actually get to meet them in person. With no end goal or date in mind, it’s hard to keep the motivation to stay connected.

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I’ve lost all desire to connect with anyone new. There is no way a random date with some Tinder guy could possibly be worth the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19. And any potentially good matches are kind of ruined by the boredom so I nearly don’t want to talk to them until the world is a bit back to normal. If a match has potential now, then hopefully they will also have potential in another month or two. I guess I’m waiting for the guy that could catch my attention and change my mind. For now, no one is really catching my eye. 

 

How are you still single?

When you’re out in the dating world, a time or two you’ll probably hear this:

How do you not have a boyfriend already?

(normally continued with ‘you’re so great’)

I’m not sure if it’s my history with self esteem or if everyone feels this way, but this question definitely gives me pause. I think this phrase could be termed as a backhanded compliment since it comes off as a compliment but it’s challenging you as well. 

 

It’s pretty confirmed that they think you’re great. They’re vibing with you and playing with the thought of you as a girlfriend. They’re thinking “I totally want to date this girl. Wait how is she not wifed up already? Is something wrong with her that everyone else sees but I don’t?”. Basically, they want to know if you’re single because all the guys you dated were crazy or because they all ran away from your crazy. They’re worried you might be too good to be true and they just haven’t found your glaring flaw yet.

 

Your answer could give them very important information:

You could say you recently became single and they may realize you’re not over your ex or just not ready to get back in the dating game yet. 

 

You could tell them that you just haven’t found the right one yet, which could mean you’re really picky and high maintenance. Or it could just mean that your small town doesn’t have a ton of options! Or you’re a girl with standards who isn’t going to settle!

 

You could tell them that you just haven’t had the time. Is it because you’re focused on your career, you’re very independent, or you’re actually too scared to put yourself out there and that’s your best excuse?

 

 

They’re also testing you, they’re putting you up against a wall a bit. You now have to prove yourself to them that there’s nothing wrong with you. They’re poking you to see if any flaws fall out. It’s a compliment that requires an explanation as a response. People want answers, they want to know they’re not being fooled. It’s not the innocent compliment it comes off as.

 

Should you give advice to failed daters?

I’ve been on LOTS of first dates over the years and after a while they can really start to just blur together. But a few stick out to me and one is this guy who I went out to dinner with. During dinner I realized he wouldn’t be a match for me but after dinner we ended up taking my dog for a walk.

 

At this point to Me, the date was over and I was interested in learning about his past to try and figure out his ‘issues’. We eventually got into exes and he explained he didn’t really want to dive into it with a new person he’s getting to know. I felt terrible, blindsiding him that the date was over and I was just looking to offer him advice for his next stack of daters.

 

As a side note, I want to mention that it is a great idea not to dive into past relationships with someone new! Personally, little facts about ex’s will stay in my head and stop me from enjoying the moment with a new boo. You also have to take what’s said about past relationships with a grain of salt. That relationship was two different personalities with two different backgrounds and that won’t reflect the new relationship you’re building.

 

This leads me to the main point – should you give advice to fellow daters? Years ago, I wanted to. I thought I could help some nice guys out, I thought it might help give them closure as they weren’t left wondering what’s wrong with them that they can’t find a good match, and I’m fascinated by the way life shapes us. But the truth is, everyone is different and wants different things. 

 

The reason that you don’t like someone will be the EXACT reason someone else falls in love with them. If you tell them to hide it or get rid of it, you could be stopping them from finding that perfect match! We’re all different people, we have different interests and different goals for our futures. The wrong puzzle piece for you will be the perfect fit for someone else. So you probably shouldn’t suggest that they saw down their edges.  

 

Why dinner and a movie is a terrible first date

Dinner and a movie has been the classic first date idea since the beginning of time. Honestly, I just don’t understand why.

 

For starters, dinner and a movie immediately forces you into at least a 4 hour date. There’s the pressure of keeping the date interesting and there’s the fear of having to be ‘on’ for such a long period of time. 

 

During dinner you can probably figure out if you like this guy enough to want to see him a second time or not. If you don’t like him then the last thing you want to do is be stuck closely next to him for the next 2.5 hours as he possibly tries to make moves on you. You might not want to spend the money on a movie or feel bad making him spend money on a somewhat pointless date together. 

 

If you do like him then you either want to continue on with this great conversation or you probably want to do more than just brush arms in a crowded, darkly lit room. I never understood the movie part of this classic first date. You’re not getting to know each other during a movie. The only thing you may learn is if they chew popcorn loudly and if they talk and ask questions during movies. These are pet peeves but highly unlikely that these could ever be deal breakers. 

 

There’s so much awkwardness and uncertainty with going to a movie on the first date. Who’s paying? Where should you guys sit? Should you talk during the previews? Where should you put your arm? Will she feel weird if I try to put my arm around her? Did he just brush his leg with my leg on purpose or on accident? I’m anxious just writing this now! 

 

Watching a movie is also a boring date in my opinion. I’d much rather go bowling or play mini golf. It keeps me stimulated, it helps provides material for conversation, and it also allows you to not have to talk the entire time like you do at a dinner. You’ve also disconnected from each other during the movie with the lack of conversation. The date is normally over after the movie and you leave just kind of shrugging your shoulders about the whole night since it ended so disconnected. 

 

Instead, when you do something fun, they’ll associate that feel -good feeling with you. They’ll think of the smiles and laughs they had while doing that activity, and guess what? You were there with them and they’ll smile and think of you too! That’s exactly what you want out of a first date.

 

I’m only giving the energy that I receive

Since I’m back in the dating game I’ve embraced a new philosophy of only giving out the same energy that I’m receiving. I’m tired of chasing after guys and tired of continuing to talk to guys who aren’t giving me the love and respect I deserve. So if you don’t answer my text for 4 days, guess when you’re getting a text back? In another 4 days. If you don’t like it then change your behavior and I’ll change mine.

 

On the other hand, if you text back promptly and we’re vibing then I’ll do the same. I’ll also give you the courteous of telling you if something comes up and I’ll be unavailable for the next few hours. If you want your time to be respected then you have to give me that same respect.

I’ve wondered if this philosophy is petty but I’ve decided to ignore that inkling. The first reason is, this is about maintaining a power balance, holding suitors responsible for their actions, and teaching them the respect you want and deserve.

I’m not double texting you and coming off as needy.

I’m not getting hung up on you, waiting to have your attention.

I’m not going to brush it off when you cancel on me last minute.

I’m not letting you get away with only texting me on the weekends at midnight.

 

If a guy is sweet and attentive, that’s the guy I want to attract and have him feel the same way he makes me feel. If a guy is emotionally unavailable and playing for my attention then you’ve guessed it, I’m unavailable. I’m unavailable for your games because I’m focusing on the guy who is focusing on me.

 

The second reasons is because I’ve recently heard the term Frustration Attraction. When someone doesn’t text you back, when someone doesn’t give you their time or attention, it gets very frustrating. You start to wonder why, if they’re just busy or if it has something to do with you? Are they not in to you, why not? Did you do something wrong? Now you’re obsessing over it, now you’re trying to prove yourself to him. Now the power balance is off.

 

This is why I suggest matching their energy right off the bat. Don’t let the power become unbalanced and don’t let yourself get obsessed and attached so easily. Don’t start putting your eggs in this guy’s basket when he’s barely even looking your way. I used to brush off and ignore this behavior in the beginning and then weeks later suddenly find myself obsessing over this trash character. We’re not standing for it anymore, ladies. We’re out here matching energies and focusing on our lives until there’s an energy out there that deserves us.

March Playlist – Newly Single

If you’re Newly Single, I’m here for you girl!! It’s time to hit the bar and break some hearts!! Let’s jam out!!! (click on the years to be taken to the music videos!)

 

1.Miss Me More (2017)

Kelsea Ballerini sings about the changes she made to make her boyfriend happy in their relationship. She’s facing the fears and worries she had about being single again. She’s remembering dreams and happy memories of the person she used to be. She realizes she’s happier on her own and the new freedom she has.

 

2.Buy my own Drinks (2019)  

Runaway June This songs starts out with Runaway June being recently single and going out to the bar by herself. Post break up, its good to stay busy and not hide yourself away in your room. This song is about finding your independence again and not needing a man for any of the things you might find them doing during a night out. In the end, she knows she doesn’t need anyone else, she can take care of herself. 

 

3.Do Better (2018)  

Lil Donald This song is all about finally not being sad anymore about a break up. You’re feeling better, you’re looking better and you’re remembering that you deserve better than your past relationship. You realize that he’s not treating you right and you deserve someone loyal and faithful. You deserve a real man who will show you how much he appreciates you.

 

4.Feeling Good as Hell (2016)  

Lizzo is here to pick you back up and dry your tears. She’s reminding you that you’re looking good and should be feeling even better. This relationship has been getting you down and it’s time to leave that behind so you can go back to being the Boss of your life. He’s no longer draining your energy, you can focus on yourself and achieve all your goals. 

 

5.Don’t start now (2019)  

Dua Lipa is letting us know how quickly she recovered from a break up. It seems like maybe he was the one to initiate the break up and thought she might be brokenhearted for longer. But she’s already putting herself out there and meeting new people and if he doesn’t want to see her out here living life then he should stay home. I really enjoy this little jab she gets in during the chorus ‘walk away, you know how’. She’s already moved on and he doesn’t need to concern himself with where she is now.