Emotional Cheating

I think a lot of people have different definitions of cheating. Some draw the line at provocative dancing while others only think a full fledged affair constitutes cheating. Some people think different types of cheating are worse than others like if it only happened once or if it was only when drunk and under the influence.

The offense seems to be worse when there’s more emotion involved. When it was with a clear mind and happened multiple times with the same person. So why is it that emotional cheating seems to get overlooked sometimes?

There’s this delusional belief that if you never meet up in person then you never cheat. Or if it’s not nudes, if it’s not sexual in nature, then it’s not cheating. These things can start innocent enough, just someone in need of a support system. Maybe things are hard with your significant other right now and you just want someone to talk to.

The problem occurs when you stop communicating with your SO. Instead you’re telling all personal issues to this new confidante. You’re no longer only talking to them when you need advice, you’re talking to them when you’re happy, bored, and alone. There’s now a daily connection and although you don’t think you’ve done anything wrong, there’s something stopping you from telling your SO about it.

Would it bother you if your SO didn’t tell you things anymore? Would it bother you if you didn’t know who your SO’s emotional support system was? A support system is a type of relationship if you have to keep it on the down low.

What are you looking for on here


In order to not waste each other’s time, an early question in the online dating world will be “What are you looking for on here?”. 

You never want to start off as seeming desperate so you always play it cool. Originally, I would go for an open ended, lighthearted response because I know boys scare easily. But now, if the idea of a relationship scares you then I don’t even want to waste my time hand holding you through the beginning of a relationship.

And that’s why I hate guys who say they’re 

“taking it day by day” 

“wherever it leads is where I end up” 

“nothing in particular” 

“just seeing how things go” 

“idk what I’m looking for”

(all actual quotes I’ve received)

I get not wanting to come off too strong but these guys just don’t care at alllll. I hate the wishy washy, could take it or leave it attitude. I want someone who cares and puts in effort. Who shows respect and potential. I know finding a real match is difficult and a lot of dating is ‘seeing how things go’ but I want someone who is mentally and emotionally ready to commit. 

These are guys that are just not as desperate as the guys who say they’re straight up looking for a good time. But they both are looking for the same thing. Casual, surface level companionship. They’re just trying to spin it a little differently so you’ll be fooled into thinking they really care about you. 

I’m looking for a boyfriend and I know these guys aren’t looking to settle down anytime soon and I’m not going to waste my time on that. I know friends with benefits can turn into a real relationship but that’s the exception to the rule and I’m not counting on beating the odds with that one. 

Unfortunately, some people just use dating apps as a way to pass the time and stave off boredom. It seems I’ve been running into a lot of them lately.

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.

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 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.

 

When Are You Going to Get Married?

I’ve finally hit the age where the first wave of engagements and babies is coming, and boy is it strong! Especially with the holidays where everyone is really feeling the spirit of family, there was a new social media post every week! I’m so happy for all my school friends and people from my local community that are starting new chapters in their lives! But as I talked to some mutual friends, they began to worry that they were falling behind in life now.

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Growing up, as we watch TV, movies, and society around us, we start to form ideas of when we should get married, buy a house, and have a baby. A strict timeline of having it all by the time you’re 30. I remember at 14 years old, my girlfriends saying they wanted to start having babies at 26. First off, it’s crazy that girls are encouraged to think about these things at such a young age. Secondly, this year we’re all turning 26 and let me tell you, none of us have husbands, babies, or houses. 

 

Everyone has a different life journey, some are closer to these milestones than others. Some of us may not want to reach one of these goals. But society puts this pressure on us to hit these milestones or be deemed an old maid or spinster. 

 

Surprisingly, I’m not feeling any of this pressure. Maybe if I had a boyfriend, I would worry about how our relationship was moving along. But I don’t really think that would happen, seeing as I don’t feel any pressure to even get a boyfriend. I do feel that this is in part due to the fact that the age in my head that I set for myself to be married is still 5 years away. That’s still plenty of time so no pressure.

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I also think society still has plenty of leniency at my current age. Yes, plenty of people at 26 do hit these milestones but it’s at the beginning of the expected range. I also know I’m not ready for any of those milestones. I’m still getting my footing and solidifying my career. Modern medicine has also progressed so although at age 35 you’re considered a geriatric  pregnancy, it is becoming increasingly common for women to start and continue having pregnancies in their late 30s.   

 

We’re reaching a point where society is pushing the timeline back which is good because there’s less pressure when you’re young and still deciding your life path. But I wish that we never had to feel these judgmental pressures. And for anyone who does not want to reach one of these milestones, society will continue to question and pressure you because you’re not fitting into their normal boxes. The next step is for society to let people live outside the boxes without judgement.

 

Why I like being single for now

Relationships are great and I know in time I will look forward to being in one again. But right now, there is a lot of enjoyment of being single! It’s a lot less stress for me to be single and here’s all the ways that’s true.

 

I saved a ton of money on gifts this holiday season. Let’s be honest, relationships require financial effort for dinners, trips, gifts, and fun date activities. You can date on a budget but being single now, I’m back in saving mode. The holiday season can sometimes include your significant other’s family if you’ve formed that bond. I was very lucky and got along with my ex’s family very well but I can’t ignore the fact that I saved a ton of money not having to get gifts for my ex and his family this holiday. 

 

Less stress, I just go about my business in my lane. There’s a give and take with this one. Every relationship has its ups and downs. When you’re single, you no longer have to suffer through the downs! You’re mood is steady, content. This also means it doesn’t go gleefully high. No exciting butterflies in the stomach. No thrill when you see their name on your phone screen. But there’s less emotional labor when you’re just looking out for yourself. My heart is safe and resting, no pressure there.

 

I’m not stressed about getting someone to like me. Not stressed about dates. I’m single single. If a guy is talking to me now, I very freely tell him No when I disagree with plans or topics. I don’t need to impress him, I don’t need to compromise. If the connection dies because I say No, then I have no problem with that. 

 

I have no guilt; I can do what I want with my time and not feel bad about neglecting my significant other. I don’t have to divide up my time. I can focus on my projects. I can feel good about the time I put towards friends and family instead of feeling like I’m choosing them over or under my boyfriend. I can watch whatever TV I want, whenever I want, at any volume I want.

 

This is a nice change of pace and freedom after having been in a long term relationship. Like all of you, I make the best out of every situation I’m in. I’ll start stressing about finding a relationship when I’m ready for that.