I Like Big Butts and I Cannot Lie

Last week I had drinks with a friend and we started up the age old conversation that always rears its head when you discuss dating – so what are you really looking for? what are you attracted to? After numerous dates, he was complaining that he is just not meeting anyone. So I tried to turn the tables on him:

Me: “Come on, what do you want? What are you looking for?”

He: “Um, you know someone nice. Someone funny. Someone that makes me happy…”

Me: “So someone that completes you, huh? I hear Tom Cruise might be available soon…”

He: “Ha. Ha. I am being serious…you know someone nice and happy…”

Me: “You are vaguer than a fortune cookie. Seriously, you have no idea what you are looking for that is your problem.”

He: Stands up and yells “I like big butts and I cannot lie!!!”

Me: Shrinking under the table “Um, check please.”

After my initial shock (and our exiting of that bar), I realized that he does like big butts. Now that I think about it, most of the girls he’s dated have a little junk in the trunk. When I pointed this out he got all embarrassed, but I reminded him that a man who appreciates some of the things that society doesn’t always put on billboard ads, is a man worth keeping for most women.

The social pressure on women to look flawless or constantly be stunning is intense. What’s even more intense is the pressure women put on themselves to achieve this social acceptance and praise. How can a man combat this injustice and win a girl’s heart forever (or at least for a few dates)? Here’s my advice:

  1. If you like the booty, grab the booty (not in public, please).
  2. Hug the curves.
  3. Kiss the massive forehead she is trying to cover up with bangs.
  4. Scoot down for face to face conversations with the shortie in 5 inch heels.
  5. Never talk about Heidi Klum. Ever.

Be bold in your compliments and expressive of what you like. You’ll find the niceness you’re looking for once you get past that social pressure costume.

Breaking up, the right way

So you’ve reached that point in your relationship where you realize it’s just not working out. For one reason or another, it’s time to move on. Sometimes it’s easy to move on because the other person has proven, without a doubt, that they are not the one for you. Sometimes it’s not so easy because, “there’s nothing really wrong.” You don’t fight and you get along, but the spark is gone. Either way, you’ve made the decision to break things off and the time is now.

You should first congratulate yourself for making this decision. There are a lot of people who stay in unfulfilling relationships because they fear change, or don’t want to be alone, or don’t want to hurt the other person. You don’t owe it to anyone to stay in a relationship that isn’t working for you, and taking this step is scary. Take a deep breath and you’ll get through it.

Before talking to your partner, you need to ask yourself a very important question: is this really it? You should never break up with someone as a ploy to test their affections. People are emotionally weak, so toying with someone’s emotions like that is just cruel. If you want to break up, then know that this is a forever decision…you don’t get to change your mind next week. It’s not fair to the other person and it’s not good for you. So decide, right now, if you are happy saying goodbye forever. If the answer is no, then you’re not ready to break up. If there’s something in your relationship that you want to change, then communicate about changing it. Breakups are not a tool for fixing your relationship.

Once you’re certain that you want to break up, you need to have a reason ready to tell the other person. Most people need a solid reason why a relationship is ending for closure. We, as humans, tend to question every move we made when things go wrong. Maybe if I brought her flowers more often things would have been different. Maybe if I was more affectionate. If you are breaking up with someone, eliminate this misery: tell him or her exactly why you’re leaving. The reason should be something concrete and you should stress that there’s nothing that could change how you feel. For example, “I met someone else,” is a tangible reason, as is “I don’t like the way you treat me.” A crappy reasons is something like, “I just can’t be in a relationship right now.” There’s a reason you can’t be in a relationship right now, explain what it is! “I can’t be in a relationship right now because I’m too stressed about life and can’t treat you the way you deserve to be treated.” That’s a real reason.

After you’ve told them your reason and stressed that there’s nothing they could have done differently, don’t patronize them. Don’t tell them how wonderful they are or how you wish you would’ve met them later in life; such things are just cruel. Say you’re sorry for hurting them but don’t apologize for your decision. And whatever you do, do not ask if you can still be friends. There’s two reasons to avoid this common pitfall: 1) it’s not a clean break, you can’t go from lovers to friends over night and 2) it’s selfish.

Exes can be friends, but only after time. You both need the time to reset how you think about each other, how your lives are without each other. Trying to “hang out” the next weekend typically means you’ll end up sleeping with each other and you’ll need to break up all over again. A clean breaks means you stop seeing each other. Period. Allow time for your emotional health to be restored. Sometime down the road, you may be able to be friends, but not right away.

And here’s the thing, it’s the person who gets dumped that gets to decide if they want to be friends later on. As the dumper, you give up that right on account of your ripping out another person’s heart and dancing on it. The person who was dumped already feels powerless, this is the one thing that you owe him or her at this point. Let your ex have this decision.
Another thing you, as the dumper, cannot do is to act like you got dumped. Symptoms include wanting to continue talking multiple times during the following week, being “hurt” by the way your ex is acting now, and sending emails/text message/phone calls just to “say hi” or to “see how you’re doing”. If the person you dumps wants to talk to you (and he or she may if no sense of closure was reached), the call will come on its own. It’s not your responsibility to check up on your ex to make sure everything’s okay. News flash: it’s not okay. There is hurt and there is upset. There will probably be anger soon, and you don’t want to be caught up in that. Let well enough alone.

Breaking up with someone is difficult. In some ways, it may be more difficult than being dumped. If the guidelines in this post seem too harsh or strict, consider how unbalanced the relationship has become at that point. As the dumper, you’ve had time to think about your decision. You’ve pondered your life without your significant other and decided that it’s a good option. Perhaps you’ve been thinking about it for days or weeks, but you’ve come to your decision. Your boyfriend or girlfriend has no idea that this is coming, they will have no emotional or psychological preparation for life without you. One moment you’re a couple, the next you’re not. As the dumper, you owe them some dignity and caring in your final moments together. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it.

Awkward Moment #34: The Loud Date

You’re on a dinner date in a refined restaurant. Something upscale with candles and linen napkins.
“I’m cool with all kinds of restaurants. I don’t always go to fancy places like this. Just yesterday I was at BJ Brewhouse.”

Very loudly: “Oh, I love BJs! They taste so good!”

Other patrons:
Drop their forks and look over in shock.

I want to break up with dating!

Strange way to start only my 2nd blog, right… I hear you asking, “You do know you agreed to blog on datingthoughts.com, right Ms. WS?” Yes, yes, I know. But, dating does get old when you’ve done it for 10 or 15 years, right?

So what’s my point then?

I’m saying it to put it out there, because I know a lot of people feel this way from time to time. I have to take breaks –because I’ve just gotten out of a relationship and I need some time before I jump back in…because, after awhile, too many first dates get draining and discouraging…. because it seems like all the guys I am interested in are somehow not right and all the guys I’m not interested in are the ones that are available. Yes, I get tired of dating.

And, maybe it’s the ugly truth about dating and I shouldn’t say it, but it’s true…

And whenever I finally admit that I’m ready to break up with dating, that’s when the advice usually starts. There are those well meaning people who say to me, “you must just be doing the wrong things”? Easy to say when you have been married since college or met your significant other on a drunken club night when you were 24….

Then they say,” well maybe if you take a break and stop looking, the right person will show up.” If everyone did that, how would anyone ever start dating? And does that really happen? I know just as many women who were on a mission to meet their husband, and they did.

And then finally, they throw up their hands and say to me, “Just keep at it. It will happen for you too.”

So, where does Ms Window Shopper go from here? When dating seems like a waste of time? When it seems the universe is shouting at the top of the lungs “GIVE UP?”

First, I remember to stop getting hung up on “the things they say”. Don’t get me wrong. I think it is very helpful to share your dating successes, failures and frustrations with others – you’ll go crazy if you don’t. But I know I’ll also go crazy if I let myself get carried away with every little piece of advice and dating “theory” that is hurled my way.

Second, I remind myself of what is great about dating. 3 things usually work for me:

(1) Watching movies with happy relationship endings – the classics– Jerry Maguire, Singles, Reality Bites – or maybe a more recent one – Juno.

(2) Hanging out with that perfect couple – you all know one. That couple that when you watch them interact, it reminds you not to settle for just any old relationship _ or not relationship at all.

(3) Going out and forcing myself to talk to people in informal situations. Unfortunately this is usually in a bar, but the formality of a first date can sometimes be the reason I am in a rut. Break out of it and remember dating is sometimes a crazy, loony crapshoot that you can’t truly plan.

So, maybe I won’t break up with dating – maybe I won’t even take a break. Maybe I just have to remember that even though sometimes it sucks, other times it’s the best thing ever….

Until our next date,

Ms. WS

Old-School Etiquette and Chivalry

Here’s a tip, guys. Knowing a little old-school etiquette can take you far on a date. Treat a girl like a lady – which basically means with respect – and you’ll earn major points.

I don’t mean you need to know which spoon is the soup spoon and which fork is the dessert fork. This kind of old-school etiquette is simpler than that.

  • Open building doors for your date

    Every time you enter and exit a building, hold the door open for her. For revolving doors, walk in first and get the door spinning for her.

  • Open car doors for your date

    Whether it’s a taxi or your own car, every time she is entering the car, open the door for her. Then shut it for her as soon as she’s in the car.

  • Help her with her coat

    If she’s wearing a coat, as soon as you both enter a warmer environment, help her remove her coat. When you’re about to go back outside, help her put it on.

  • Hold out a chair for your date

    When you’re in a restaurant, pull the chair out for her. As soon as she tucks her legs under the table, push the chair in. Since this one is so rare nowadays, some ladies will be confused as to why you’re holding their chair. I had one date walk to the other side, because she thought -I- wanted that chair. Go figure.

You can think of these as simple acts of kindness. Or bringing back some old-world chivalry into modern society. Since not many guys actually do these anymore, the few who do will set themselves apart and earn major points.

Even modern women who feel old-school etiquette and chivalry is chauvinistic will appreciate the kindness of these gestures. If she tells you to stop, then of course, respect her wishes and stop.

Otherwise, it never hurts to err on the side of etiquette and chivalry. Enjoy those extra major points, guys!

Why am I still single?

I always loved the title of the book, If I’m So Wonderful, Why Am I Still Single? Though I admit that I have never actually read the book, I think its title asks a question that every single person asks of his/herself at some point. Well, I will attempt to save you the $14.95 purchase price of the book by sharing my three reasons why you are still single. Yep, just one or more of these three reasons will explain it all…

Reason #1: Your standards are too high.
You think you deserve a certain type or standard of girl/guy, but that ‘type’ (at least in large numbers) is just not interested in you. You have met plenty of people who are very interested in you, but you are just notinterested in them back. There is a misalignment in expectations; hence you are a resident of single-ville.

What to do?
Realistically evaluate your standards. If you have trouble doing this, ask a trusted friend for help. Ask yourself if lowering your standards in a few less critical areas would help you find more people who are interested in you. Looks are not everything… and does the girl really need to be shorter than the guy?

Reason #2: You are not putting in enough effort.
Your standards are fine. However, you are just sitting around waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right to come knocking on your door. You put more effort into finding the right job, the right clothes, or even the right restaurant for tonight’s dinner. When it comes to dating, you are just too passive.

What to do?
Increase your chances of meeting that someone special by making an extra effort. Go to that dinner party where you won’t know anyone. Say yes to any blind date that your friends want to set you up on. Volunteer. And if you are having trouble finding time getting out and meeting new people, then there is no excuse for not trying online dating!

Reason #3: You are wasting time dating the wrong people.
See if you fall into one of these two categories:
1) You were in a so-so long term relationship throughout you late twenties. When you finally had the strength, smarts or whatever to get out of that relationship, you found yourself thirty and single; or
2) You date off and on the same type of girl/guy for 3 month stints. Each time you determine that that person is not the one and you find yourself frustrated and single again and again…

What to do?
Invest more time into thinking about what types of people will make you happy! Physically write down the characteristics that you are looking for (and avoiding). If a relationship looks like it is going nowhere after five dates, end it! You can afford to make tons of mistakes in your early twenties, but as you get older, there is a real cost to staying in low potential relationships or not knowing what you are looking for. Lastly, I can recommend the book, Date…or Soul Mate? How To Know If Someone Is Worth Pursuing In Two Dates Or Less.

Playing Hard to Get Won’t Get You Jack

When Jack and Jill ran up the hill, Jill thought she could win Jack over by being a pill. She’d play coy, feign non-interest, and call him names. Then she broke his crown.

She did it all to woo Jack. And she’s not alone in using this strategy. Lots of women play hard to get when they want to entice the object of their affections. But is this strategy really effective?

The answer, according to the BBC, is: Not really.

Research suggest that playing hard to get doesn’t usually work. However, there is a theory that we tend to fancy people who are hard to get for everyone else, but easy for us to get.

Here’s how this was determined. In an online dating experiment, three women were given a number of matches. One woman eager wanted to meet all the guys she received. Another woman coolly refused all of her matches. A third woman was selective and only showed interest in one guy.

When shown this scenario, most men preferred the selective woman.

What’s that mean? The woman who plays easy to get: too loose. The woman who plays hard to get: too picky. The woman who’s hard to get for other guys, but easy to get for the guy she likes: juuust right.

So Jill, the next time you want to play hard to get, make sure you’re hard to get for other guys, but easy to get for Jack. Or else you’re going to end up with jack.

Opposites don’t attract

For as long as I can remember, I’ve heard people say “opposites attract.” They use this to explain any number of romantic occurances: the hot young girl with the homely older man, the clean cut guy with the rocker girlfriend, or the church-going girl with the alcoholic guy. Looking over the list, does it really seem likely that the attractive young girl is drawn to the homely older man because of his looks? Or that the clean cut guy is drawn to the rocker girl because she’s so different? Of course not. They how did these people end up together? That’s part of the mystery of attraction but it has nothing to do with being opposites. Opposites don’t attract, complements do.

Complements are often mistaken for opposites, perhaps a sign that we don’t have the proper phrasing to accurately distinguish the two. Opposites are black and white, completely opposing forces; complements are two sides to the same coin, two forces that flow together more harmoniously than each could were it separate. Many people mistakenly view the Taoist yin-yang symbol as a representation of opposites when, in fact, it is a representation of complements. Yin and yang circle around one another, each representing different parts of a greater whole, each completing the other to form a perfect whole.

Attraction is the recognition of complementary aspects in another person. We’ve all had the experience of being drawn to someone that, logically, we should not be attracted to. They’re too young or too cocky, they’re not pretty enough or in good enough shape…yet we find ourselves attracted to them. This type of attraction goes on at a deep, subconscious level that some would call the soul. Our soul, some believe, is always deficient in some way and always seeking to complete itself. In a way, it is a yang seeking its yin, or a yin seeking it yang. It’s not an opposite that we yearn for, it’s our other half, the part that will make our soul complete.

Most of the people we’re attracted to are quite similar to us in some way. Most of the ways people meet seem to indicate this as a truth. A friend of mine who is a wedding photographer found some patterns: most of the couples met either at work, through a shared activity (class, sports, etc.), or through church. Each of these three indicate similarity between the two people in their chosen profession, in their hobbies, and in their spiritual beliefs, respectively. But if your partner were exactly the same as you, they would not be nearly as attractive. If you ever travel so far as to run into yourself, you will surely wish to take your exit as soon as possible. You don’t need another you because another you doesn’t bring anything new into your life. That’s why you’re attracted to someone who is similar, but not the same, someone who is a complement and not an opposite.
If attraction is the recognition of your complement, then love is the realization of that complement. Falling in love has been referred to throughout history as two people becoming one, and there’s nothing that could be more accurate. Being in love with someone means that some major parts of you have found their complement in the other person; you feel whole having this connection. There are numerous stories of people rising to greater challenges and achieving higher goals after being in love. This makes perfect sense, of course, as a complete person is incredibly powerful.

This also makes sense in the context of one of the most powerful experiences people can have: a break up. The only other life event that causes such a drastic and sudden emotional response is the death of a loved one. In a way, a break up is a sort of death. The complements that you had found in that other person are suddenly and ferociously ripped from your being. Even if the break up was logical, as in the case of abuse, the pain you feel goes far beyond emotion…it literally tears at your soul. You feel like nothing will ever be right again, your entire being shakes knowing that the other person is gone. Why the big deal? You had survived for numerous years in your life before meeting this person and did just fine, yet now, the thought of not having him or her there is unbearable. The pain you feel is the loss of your complement, the process of once again becoming incomplete after spending so much time as a whole person. It’s brutal and it can take some time to recover. But you do.

After recoving from the loss of your beloved, often times you’ll find that you are, in fact, more complete than before you met your ex. Even though that other person is gone, some of the complements you found in them actually became a part of you. You may find that you’re more confident or have a different view of life. In effect, you have absorbed the complements that were present in your ex, making yourself closer to being whole. The next attraction will continue the trend, identifying more complements that are necessary for your own growth.

So try looking back at your past relationships with gratitude. At some level, they all helped you grow and become a more complete person. And remember, it’s not because they were your opposite, it’s because they were your complement.

20s vs 30s

So I thought I would start my blog by looking back @ the “20s.” Since we mentioned (or maybe we didn”t but you”ll soon learn) that we are all 30-somethings trying to make our way in the crazy Bay Area dating world, my blogging compatriots and I can all at least vaguely remember dating in our 20s.

But, just to make sure I wasn”t representing it incorrectly, I asked the 20s kids @ work. I didn”t spend my 20s in the Bay Area, so I thought, “maybe it”s different here for a 24 year old?” And they said….well, they said pretty much nothing…

At first I was frustrated, and I asked them again and a slightly different question to try to elicite a result. And then I realized that their answer (or non-answer) was exactly what I was looking for. These are smart kids – if they had something to say they would say it very eloquently. But, when I was 24, I didn”t think about dating either. It was just something I did – or didn”t do…Pretty much without any forethought or afterthought.

It was often a whirlwind and also often fun, I have to admit. The high and lows were all a little manic – a relationship could be going well one week and then totally forgotten the next. There was always the next thing to move on to – whether is was a new partner, dating again, or getting back to the single life.

And then my 30s hit…

My friends started getting married, buying houses, settling in, and – eek! – having kids. It”s all good, and I was so happy to see my friends find what they were looking for. But at the same time, I felt impending dread. Dating that used to be so fun had such import – whether I really wanted it to or not. It all had meaning and was burdened with thoughts of the future.

Okay, so are you depressed now? Well, that isn”t my purpose with this first post. Dating in my 30s did look dismal @ the beginning of my 30s, but I slowly started to discover the reality of dating in my 30s.

—-Yes, I am saying “reality.” I promised in my profile that I would be real, and I won”t disappoint.— So I agree it”s not all roses and soul mates, but it is also not the scary, unhappy, frantic experience it might be portrayed elsewhere as. So, why do I like dating in my 30s?

I don”t bother pretending that I”m someone else and that”s okay.

No, I am not going to say “I know myself better.” That”s a little schmaltzy and also a life-long journey. But, in my 20s, I often tried to be whoever the guy I was dating wanted. Now, at least I know who I am not, and I feel pretty comfortable putting that out there for whoever I am dating.

I feel totally empowered to say NO to the bull@$*%.

Perspective from dating in my 20s has taught me that the BS is rarely worth it. I”m not saying that working at a good relationship is bad. But if he gives me the run-around constantly, I”m pretty clear that the relationship isn”t going to work in the long run.

I know to be careful but not too careful.

I”ve had enough experience to know what is going to freak out a potential partner or date unintentionally – and by now, it”s pretty easy to avoid those pitfalls. On the other hand, I also know what my true colors are and I let those show.

Basically, I can quickly get through the shenanigans and understand if there is potential with someone sooner. It”s not that it is all about cutting to the chase, but it is about not banging my head against the wall. and it is about avoiding the frustration of doing the same thing over and over.

So, dating in your 30s is about understanding yourself a little more and what you want a little more…. And that”s better than the shot in the dark dating in your 20s was. And for the rest of the parts of dating that we all aren”t totally sure about, that what this blog is for. We”ll follow this crazy road together…

Until our next date,

Ms. WS

Why DatingThoughts.com?

Ok, I am quite excited that DatingThoughts.com has finally launched. Mr. Write and I probably first talked about starting this site over year ago—and we just now got our act together. Better late than never I guess!

Why DatingThoughts.com?

For single girls and guys in their late twenties to thirties, dating and the search to find ‘the one’ take up so much mental energy. I have never seen a topic bring out such a wide spectrum of emotions in friends. Joy, excitement, anticipation, drama, regret, and worry… they are all here. It is a topic that everyone loves talking about, even (especially?!?) people who are not even dating! Most of my single friends keep public blogs or private journals where they comment on their dating experiences, give tips to the opposite sex, vent, and/or theorize as to the underlying principles of dating. So we thought, why not create a single blog/community were we can combine all these interesting (and often very entertaining) “dating thoughts” into one place?

DatingThoughts.com is an experiment really. Who knows, by reading and commenting on all the different perspectives and experiences, we just might also learn something. Please be sure to leave comments on the posts to tell us what you think. Thanks for reading!