Modern Day Romance

I’ve been neglecting this blog for quite a while. Why? Because I’ve been lazy and my netbook sucks.

But I thought I’d revisit this short-lived hobby of mine, it’s the new year after all. Also, I don’t want to degrade into an illiterate mess, my grammar is already questionable. I’m also currently addicted to the band HAIM, they’re amazing. 

Enough distractions! So romance?

Sometimes I wish I was born back then, when romance was easy and effort was tangible. Tangible in the means of little love notes or stupid little trinkets. In this modern age, full of electronics and distractions, I feel that romance is so easily neglected. Is it so impossible to expect a little more than the norm nowadays? These days, I feel like people show more interest in looking things up on the internet or staring at their iPhones to notice that their significant other has just become the other. People forget that relationships take effort, a lot of it. Just because you’ve passed the initial reeling-in part doesn’t excuse you from the constant effort to keep the person interested. I read this article from The Province, http://www.theprovince.com/life/please+married+loving+partners+less+change+that/9351627/story.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter. Now I am not in a sexless relationship, but I feel that what this article features is what most relationships end up being, a platonic non-intimate companionship. Personally, sex is extremely important. It’s the difference between a platonic and romantic relationship. Call me naive, but I can’t see myself being in a “romantic” relationship with barely enough sex. This is one of the reasons why marriage scares me. It’s not the commitment part, it’s the lack-of-intimacy part I fear. You always hear about these long-term couples who never have sex anymore, and both think it’s okay. It’s so odd to me. If you’re attracted to someone and love them, shouldn’t you want to be intimate with them? I feel like one or the other, or both, is missing if you don’t. Especially if there aren’t any kids involved, what’s the excuse? If there is a want, for anything, there will always be time. If there’s time for you to play Angry Birds on your iPhone or to surf Facebook and you’re in a non-intimate relationship, maybe you should allocate some of that time to be intimate. Or just end it if that’s what the relationship is heading towards anyways. I’m a hypocrite for saying that because I’ve been through that situation before. But to each persons priorities I guess. Just know that your significant other will not stay significant if you don’t put in the constant effort.

Now I am more than aware that romance isn’t completely non-existent, they exist, as per my social media “friends.” I am a devoted individual, to both my friends, family, and significant other, but I need passion. Not fictional The Notebook passion, realistic passion. I want to feel needed and missed. Grab me and hug me so tight I can’t breathe. Kiss me just because you feel like it, not because you feel you need to or I’ve asked you. I’ve felt it before. I know it exists outside of Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling’s on and off-screen chemistry.

A friend told me once that love should be easy, a rather naive man I should add. I feel like if it is, it’s superficial. Love is inherently complicated. It’s an abstract concept as it is, no definition. It’s different for every person. Some fall fast, some slow, some never. How can an abstract concept be easy? How long is too long for someone to wait for their significant other to say those 3 words? I have no idea. I struggle with it sometimes because I don’t know. But I find comfort in not knowing the timeline. Is it enough for someone to act it but not say it? Personally, I say no. Actions mean more than words, but if you feel it, why not say it? If the other person is being honest about their feelings, verbally and physically, it’s only fair for the other person to do the same. Otherwise I feel like it’s not the right relationship to be in. Sometimes I wish I would have made this blog anonymous so I could be more candid about what I want to write, but no use looking back, I guess. (Also, I just wrote right instead of write back there, holy crap I need to blog more). I sometimes dabble deleting all of my social media accounts to see if I can feel better about certain things, but we’ll see. 

If you want to give me some advice, please do. I’m always open for what my readers have to say. 

I’m sure I’ve mentioned a lot of the things I just wrote about, but nothing much has changed. We’re still in the digital age of romance, or lack thereof. 

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Why Your Ex is Your Ex.

Admit it, more than a few of you have dabbled with the idea of getting back together with that ex of yours. You think, “maybe the time we spent away from each other made him/her realize that we’re meant to be.” Or, “I’ve been dating since we broke up and nothing seems to work out, maybe it’s because he/she’s the one?”

Probably not. The catalyst that even suggests the idea in your head is likely the comfort of familiarity. Sure, you and your ex spent a lot of great moments together, shared some horrible fights, and you were each others’ best friend. I’ve been there, I understand, but they are your ex for a reason. It didn’t work out for a reason. Of course there are some couples who get back together and end up happily ever after. But those are rare, like heels that don’t hurt after a few minutes rare. But most often, people do the whole exhausting tango of getting back together, break up, getting back together, breaking up, and so on. It’s not worth it, and it’s a waste of both of your time.

I know the idea of a new relationship and starting over is a scary thought. You have to get to know each other from scratch, get to know each others’ friends and family (worry about whether they’ll like you or not), and get to that comfort level of farting in front of each other (which I do not suggest, unless it happens by accident. In which case, you can try to blame it on the leather couch I hope you’re sitting on.) But maybe you’re just lucky enough to be dating a weirdo who thinks it’s cute when their significant other farts. But I’m a nurse, so farts are the least of my worries when it comes to odours. I don’t think it’s cute, but it’s nothing to be embarrassed about, it’s naturale. Enough about farts, though.

Investing your time in a brand new relationship makes a lot more sense than trying to invest more time in a relationship that already didn’t work. You don’t ever want to get into a place in a relationship where the only thing holding you together is the fact that you’ve already spent so much time together. It makes sense but it doesn’t. Especially if he or she cheated on you, move on. Cheaters will always be cheaters in my opinion. Trust is such a vital component of a relationship. You need to be with someone who you can trust to go out to bars, get drunk, and come home to you without a sense of guilt attached. You deserve someone who loves you and only you. Unless you’re into polyamory. That’s cool if it’s mutual. Personally, it’s not for me. I’m a one man type of woman.

Don’t let the fear of the unknown make you fall back into your old ways. Familiarity is great and so comforting. But your old relationship did not work out for a reason. You may have wanted different things, were in different places in your life, so move on. Those things are not going to change. Sometimes they do, but often they don’t. The other person may make you think otherwise because they also want familiarity back, but it’s likely not going to work out in the long run.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!


HAPPY NEW YEARS TO EVERYONE! I’m going to a pretty casual pub tonight but I’ve accepted that I’ll be perpetually over-dressed for everything. I live in nursing scrubs and no make-up. I think I deserve to over-dress for things.

2012 was a year full of challenges and success. I feel like it was definitely “my” year.

I finished my Bachelor’s. I passed my licensing exam. I have a wonderful job in an industry I’ve been yearning to work in since I could remember. My 3 year relationship ended. I’m now in a new relationship with a wonderful man. A new apartment with new furniture. A healthier me. Reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.

2012 was a year full of milestones. I loved every minute of it.

I loved 2012. I can’t wait for the future. I’m sure it’ll be just as exciting. It’ll be just as challenging. But I’m ready.

I hope everyone’s 2012 was just as amazing as mine, if not, don’t lose hope. There’s tons of time for new beginnings if you’re open to it. And if you ask me, be open to it.  It’s the scariest thing, you’ll feel so vulnerable, but it’ll be so worth it.

I’ll cut this post off with a gag worthy cliche.

Live. Love. Laugh

Remember! Get as drunk as your heart desires but DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE! Please!

That Dreaded Life Timeline

Let’s face it, at one time or another, everyone had a timeline. The naive, yet optimistic, probably still do. Brutally honest, but you have to be a little naive to think that life falls exactly into place at specific times. Specially if you are in your mid-20’s or so, it just means you’ve yet to experience life. Or, you’re just in perpetual denial. I’m not saying I’m starting to become cynical, just more realistic that’s all. The two can easily be confused with the other. I still believe in good people, love, and all that good stuff. I’m just more aware of the opposite.

What did the naive in me think?
I thought that I’d be married by 25, kids by 28 the latest and so on. I’m only 23 so that could still happen, but I won’t know until I get there. Things will happen for me when it’s my time. I’m in no rush.

What are some of the things I don’t believe in?
-Love at first sight. I feel like this is more infatuation more than anything. How do you know you love someone without knowing who they really are? I know I fall easily, but I also fall out easily. But that’s just the impulsive/passionate Leo in me. I’m too critical to fall in love at first sight.
-Destiny? What is destiny? Dictionary.com says “the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events.” I don’t believe anything is predetermined. I think a lot of things are by coincidence. I know I question why things happen sometimes, but it’s hard to believe that each of our lives has a specific course it’s suppose to take.
-Religion. I just don’t. I don’t have anything against people who believe in religion, just don’t impose it on other people. Morals and values exist outside of religion and you’re naive and stupid if you think otherwise. I don’t believe in the bible and it’s contents. Don’t try to convince me because I’m not looking to get convinced. I was brought up Catholic for 18 years, so I’m not just some outside entity who has had no exposure. I’ve had tons and I’ve had enough of it.

I would still like to believe that there is such thing as “forever.” That each person will find someone that they’re compatible with and will spend the rest of their lives with. I want that. The vows, the struggles, the laughs, the vulnerability, the togetherness, I want that with someone. But I know it’ll take time. I’m still so young but I’ve learned to stop expecting things to happen at certain times, I just know things happen for people if they are open to it. Love for example, people may continuously complain about being alone and how it’d be nice to be with someone. But love takes A LOT of sacrifice in every aspect. It’s not just the good stuff. What defines a relationship for me are the struggles. If we can pull through our fights and deal with them in a mature and respectful way and come out stronger, then I’ll know that it’s a relationship worth being in.

It is a slow process, old habits are hard to break, but I’m willing to learn. I’m still a-glass-half-full type of girl but I’m also human.

Online Dating: Hook, Line, and Sinker.

Ah, online dating. I’ve done it, twice. Successful, twice. If you’re patient and know what you want, online dating is for you. But be forewarned, it takes time and A LOT of sifting.

These days, it’s hard to date with our busy schedules. Men claim that Vancouver women are snobby and hard to approach, women say that good men in Vancouver are hard to come by. I agree with both. But then again, when has dating ever been easy? “Nice guys/girls” don’t cut it these days. I’ve seen way too many, “nice guys finish last” headlines on POF, both times I’ve been on it. Sorry guys, takes a lot more to lure a fishy than simply being “nice”. I got more than a few messages starting with, “I bet you get hundreds of emails, but I thought I’d message you anyways”. I was curious one day so I actually counted. Yes, this is true, I got over 200+ messages in a span of a few months. In real life, this would NOT happen, EVER. Unless I happen to be someone famous. So the women who are willing to venture into the online dating scene, take out your glasses, you’ve got some reading to do. Also, try not to download the app on your iPhone, it’s SO counterproductive on work days (I would know). There’s also that dilemma that’ll eventually come up if you decide to date more than one person at a time (I am not against this, but I advice you to be weary). But please, don’t sleep with more than one person at a time, unless that’s what you’re on there for. Men, I do have to warn you that the response rate is discouraging (I’ve heard from several men), but don’t give up!

So why did I do the online dating thing? People would ask me all the time, why are you single? Um, I have no idea, I would say. But then again, there was a time when I didn’t want a relationship so I made myself unavailable. I never get approached in real life. Unless I’m at a club and the guy is half drunk or I’m already in a relationship and they can smell that “she must be a relationship type” pheromones. Or my patients offer me their sons, I’m inclined to decline of course. Anyways, I know what I want, and online dating was like an online catalog. Not interested? Next one. However, the first time around I did not know this Plenty of Fish website existed, nor was I aware of online dating. A friend of mine had an account and was embarassed she had it, so I joined to support her. I had no expectations, but was open to a relationship. I had never had a boyfriend prior to this. I met several men, nothing came of it, and I was on the verge of giving up on the third or fourth month. I met my ex and fast forward 3 years, we break up. I signed up again because it worked the first time so why not? Again, fast forward 2-3 months, current boyfriend. Both times, I met some interesting people who I still speak to once in a blue moon. I am the type that knows I want to continue seeing someone after the first date.

My advice to the men? Don’t be creepy. It’s not that hard. Be sincere and look past the picture. I had a few that admitted they only looked at my picture and didn’t bother reading anything. I appreciated the honesty, but no thanks.

To the women? Also, don’t be creepy. I know that women are also very capable of being creepy stalkers.

To both, be patient, you will get hundreds of messages that vary from:

  • “will you be flattered if an Asian man took you shopping?” (LOL yes this happened, more than a few messages and several attempts to IM me)
  • “hi”, “hello”, “what’s up?”
  • sexual encounter like messages (if you choose “Hang Out”, or “Nothing Serious”, good luck, you’ll get tons of sexual offers)
  • really thoughtful, paragraph length messages that reference parts of your profile (my current bf used this one, worked on me like a charm ;). But men, just because you do this, doesn’t mean you’ll hook her. If you’re not her type, you’re not her type. I’ve sent apologetic messages to men who weren’t my type but took the time to write out long, thoughtful messages. They were appreciative.
  • a comment about your appearance
  • a comment about your headline ( my headlines varied from: Good hygiene is so important, Why did the hipster burn his tongue?, I can type 100wpm, Sweep me off my feet, etc.)
  • a clever joke that will make you LOL, even if you’re not interested, you’ll end up messaging the other person giving them credit for the laugh.

My tips for both the men and the women?

  • Be honest about what you’re looking for. If it’s a relationship or a “hook up”, say so. Some people are on that website looking for something real and they base their choices on the one or two word description of what you’re looking for. You might just miss out on a great relationship.
  • Filter who can message you. You can choose to have an age range, block people who have previously asked for sexual encounters, only have individuals with pictures to message you, etc.
  • Choose to have the option for the other person to see that you have viewed his/her profile. If you’re like me and suck at picking up people, it’s a good tool. The other person will see that you creeped his/her profile and will view yours. If they’re interested, hopefully they will have the balls to message you, if not, too bad. T used this tool and saw that I viewed him and he messaged me. I was too shy and had no idea what to say. So it works!
  • Don’t linger around too long to meet the other person in real life. There are TONS of people on Plenty of Fish, so if you linger around too long before asking the other person out, he or she will eventually find someone else to talk to and move on.
  • Have an image. Some people are still too embarassed to admit they are online dating, but everyone does it! It’s the social norm nowadays and there’s nothing to be embarassed about. Let’s face it, appearances matter (no pun intended). Yes, have an image, but don’t pucker your lips like you’ve just eaten a lemon or angle your neck like you strained it and it’s been stuck like that for days. Have a picture that actually looks like you? There’s nothing more disappointing than meeting someone in real life and having them look a lot different than you had anticipated.
  • Don’t have a half naked picture. It is douchey. Man or woman, even if you have a super hot, sexay boday. You will get more than your fair share of attention, even without your half naked picture. But I guess if you want the sexual encounter offers, go for it. It doesn’t hurt to keep that image private for when you actually start dating the person, makes it that much more special.
  • Think about your profile. If you’re looking for something real, then write real things about yourself. Who you are, your interests, goals. The right people will take the time to read it. It doesn’t have to be super long, just thoughtful. Just don’t be fake, it’ll catch up on you.
  • First date? NOT in the movie theatres. It gives you no chance to connect. First impressions are so important, both of you don’t need to be sitting there in silence wondering if you’re having a good date or not. If you’re shy, go for coffee and a walk on the first date. It doesn’t involve constant eye contact, which I know makes many uncomfortable, just the right amount that implies you’re interested.
  • Follow up. Does anyone still do the three day rule? Not to seem to eager but yet still seem interested? Skip it, if you’re interested after the first date, let them know then or the day after. Both times, I beat them to the follow up. I texted the next day and said I had a really good time and would like to see them again. If you know what you want, go for it. If you don’t get a response, their loss ;).
  • It’s okay to be nervous. You both are, you can even say it, the other person will probably agree and you can both laugh it off.
  • It will be frustrating. You will get a lot of the same messages and you will get frustrated no question. But again, it takes time and A LOT of sifting.

The same rules apply to online dating. Nervous about your first message? Good thing you can take days to think about it and they don’t even have to find out ;).

PS. To the women who are as naive as me and think men are okay being JUST friends, think again.

A great video that sums up my thought of 80% of the men I encountered online.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqXi8WmQ_WM

BUT, there are GREAT men online, so give it a try. Just be safe about it :).

Men: 10 Things That Will Tickle Your Lady’s Fancy

I’m as picky as they come. First boyfriend was at 19 and lasted almost 3 years. We did the promise ring and cohabitation thing. So I do have some authority on what works and what a lady likes. Also, because you know…I’m a lady. Let me tell you this though, I’m not doing the promise ring thing again. Although the extra diamonds are nice, I’d much prefer the actual “promise” ring (aka, engagement) when the time comes.

More rules on how to please a woman, you say? We already have to make the first move you say? Well, that first move probably took you more than a few drinks and an hour of staring and coming up with a script to say, be honest ;) If not, kudos! You had balls! But even then, it takes a lot of balls to go up to a stranger in hopes of asking him/her out, so kudos to all the men (the women too ofcourse, I couldn’t do it) This is coming from a woman who tried to pick up a bartender with a Carly Rae Jepsen line on a napkin. Yes, this happened. But we don’t speak of this, there were drinks involved…..okay fine, just two. I’m pretty sure I was beat out by a more youthful looking Asian woman who brought in her Game of Thrones book to read at the bar (seriously, who does that?). I recall her saying, “the book is a lot better than the series!” I wanted to say “away with you! I am his Khaleesi!”

But I digress with my failed pick up lines, onto YOUR successes! Now you have that woman, I’m sure you want to make her happy yes?

In no particular order, here are 10 ways to do so:

1. Leave some love notes. This is reverting back to old school ways. Leaving little notes on the washroom mirror, kitchen table, pillow, or even her purse, is a great way to brighten your little lady’s day. Specially if you have conflicting schedules and one leaves before the other one is awake. “Hey honey, just left to grab us some breakfast, be right back! -(your initial)” This guarantees a smile on her face. Unless you did something really douchey the night before, then add a slice of cake to that (well, for me anyways). Or a joke! A joke on a post it note would be a good option too!

2. Send a short, but sweet text. I know at this day and age, people are extremely busy. But take 10 seconds to send your special lady a simple text to let her know you’re thinking about her. It’s not necessary to do this all the time, once in a while is ok. Just as you can’t read our minds, we can’t read yours either. If you’re thinking about us, it’s nice for us to know once in a while. “Miss you” , “you looked so cute sleeping this morning” (even though we know you’re TOTALLY lying, there was probably some drooling and snoring involved), or a “ugh, can’t wait to see you after work” would suffice.

3. It’s not about the money, money, money. We don’t need your money, money, money, as Jesse J would say. Unless you’re involved with a mistress/prostitute/escort and you’re in love with her, then she probably wants your money first. Presenting your lady with lavish and expensive gifts doesn’t replace the thought you could put into something simpler. Take her for a nice moonlit walk and have some romantic Parisian music ready in your iPhone. Just kidding…maybe (no I’m kidding, too cheesy). But moonlit walks under the stars are super romantic, bring a blanket if the weather permits. A little eye contact, followed by a short, but sensual make out session will set the mood. For what? Well, you decide.

4. Remember the little things. They go a long way. Now, I’m not a flowers type of lady, I think they’re overpriced and they die so quickly (not exactly romantic), but if your lady is, go for it. Sunflowers are her favourite? Buy her one or a few on your way home from work and have it set up in a quaint little vase on your kitchen table, ready for her to admire when she gets home. She has her pick of favourite comedians? Surprise her with a comedy flick that features them. She’ll love it, trust me. You might even get a kiss or two from it.

5. Hold her hand. I know that’s common sense. To the long-term couples out there, it comes as instinct, but it’s a great way of connecting. It doesn’t hurt if your hands are the softest thing on Earth. It let’s her know, “I’m with you and I don’t want to let you go.” I know that’s deep, but that’s what I think when I hold my significant others hands. Connecting in the simplest ways can only do good for the relationship.

6. Cook for her. Despite what you may think, you probably look cute doing it. Effort is not foolish, lack thereof is. Just don’t burn the house down or hurt yourself. Bonus if there’s cake for dessert ;). Even if you burn something, you’ll both get a good laugh from it. You can still salvage the rest of the night with some good take-out and a movie. Or just a pint of ice cream to share, that’s good too.

7. Stroke her back. This is great for the ladies who love being touched (not necessarily sexually). While you’re at it, brush her hair back with your fingers. We like it when you play with our hair.

8. Give her a massage. Women are very sensual creatures, we like our skin to be touched. As many know, we like to connect physically and emotionally with our partners, this is one simple way to do so. I know this may sound like a repeat of #7, but who cares, emphasis is important right ;).

9. Make her feel needed, but not to the point where she’s almost your mother. Relationships are all about COMPLEMENTING each other. Make her feel like her presence and absence matters to you. If you don’t make it known, she’ll start having second thoughts about what she means to you. That’s not a nice feeling. As you may all know, women overanalyze everything. Don’t even deny it.

10. Finally, love her. Pass the cheese saws. I know this is SO fluffy, but it’s true. I know not every partnership results in love. If you don’t feel it, you don’t feel it. If so, end it. There’s no use prolonging the relationship hoping you’ll eventually fall in love with them. It doesn’t work that way. And don’t try to pull the, maybe I’ll realize if we’re meant to be together if we spend some time apart. This may work for some people, but not all. It’s not fair to keep the person waiting or wondering, let them move on. Regrettably, romcoms are not real (wait, what?!).

These are not rules, they’re merely recommendations. Also, they’re legal, so why not try them? Just don’t try it on a complete stranger, might be creepy yenno?

To the women out there: What silly or cute thing does your significant other do for you that gives you heart eyes?

What About Romance?

Image My beautiful friend and sister (we’re not blood, but that doesn’t matter) got engaged last weekend! I am sooo incredibly happy for her! I knew several weeks beforehand and it was killing me keeping the secret from her. Good thing I only saw her a few times during that time. I was around for the heartaches and the tears with the guys who didn’t deserve what she could offer. I’m glad to have been around when she met the love of her life and now, future husband! She tells me, “be with the one who loves you unconditionally”. This is her first love by the way. So for the single ladies out there who think they’ll never find the one, and why is it taking so long? Be patient. Good things take time. You never know, your first love could also be your last love. Love is risky, but you have to put in the work to get the rewards. Love and you shall be loved.

I know being loved and loving someone is scary. I’ve been through it once already. The fear that you love someone more than they love you or vice versa. The fear that you might do something to hurt the one you love. But then again, there are people who do not think this way at all. I am a romantic at heart. If I feel something, I will express it. It’s just a little harder to if the person isn’t as expressive. I am a little careful this time around, but as the cliche states,

it is better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.

I know that is SO CHEESY. But I believe in it. It took me up until I was 19 (I am now 23) before I was able to feel what “love was”. I’m still learning, as we all are. I’m fresh into a new relationship, almost 4 months knowing each other, and almost 2 months official. And I have no problem taking it slow. Going with the flow, if you will. Prior to this, I was like “NO! I only want to be in a long-term relationship. Otherwise, what’s the point?” I mean, in a way I still think like that. I wouldn’t be in a relationship with someone if I didn’t see a future. But at the same time, I have no plans for us a year from now, or two years from now. I’m just taking it day by day. I feel like if you do that, that’s when you set yourself up for heartbreak if it doesn’t work out. You’re in this mind set that, “oh, well, we’ve made these plans one or two years from now. Our troubles right now might just be a ‘phase’. I’m sure we’ll make it because we made ‘a promise’.” I’ve learned that you only know if you want to be in a long-term relationship, once you’re already in one. Two, three, four, or 20 years into it. You can’t really predict. All relationships start out great, I hope anyways. Once you hit the two year mark, and past that, I feel like that’s when you know if you’ll make it. I know my past relationship hit the rocks at the two year mark, it was just a very difficult year after that and then we decided to call it quits. It was an amicable break up, we remain friends.

I can’t push my beliefs on other people, I’m simply speaking from experience. I don’t regret much because I value the lessons I learn from the choices I make. I hope to continue this. Maybe I should actually read the book my sister-in-law gave me as a gift two Christmasses ago…

ImageI like to think I know myself enough that I don’t need books to tell me who I am. That’s how stubborn I am. We’ll see. I’m not a reader, I’m more of a visual person. Books ruin movies for me you see (haha, a lazy person’s excuse). But I swear, I’m literate. I think?

Anyways, this week is extremely busy. A 60 hour work week, barely enough free time to see my man and engage in other social activities. But I always make time for the people that are important to me, as you all should.

-H