This is such a beautiful sentiment! Every time I read it, I feel a small of twinge of hope deep down inside myself. But for the most part, I am desperately tired of dating. I’m not tired of getting dressed up and meeting new people. I’m tired of the let down that comes any time I allow myself to get any little bit excited or any twinge of hope.
I came across this fascinating article the other day about how we are our own biggest problems when it comes to sex. You can read the original article here: http://mic.com/articles/109212/our-biggest-problem-with-sex-just-might-be-ourselves-according-to-google.
I found this article so interesting because its such a simple concept. Just by talking to our friends and to our partners we could not only get a better sense of what other people like, but also a better sense of ourselves. How straightforward! It seems so elementary that it doesn’t even need to be mentioned. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I don’t talk about sex that much. Not with my friends, not with my partners. It’s a taboo subject in our culture to actually talk about sex. Sure, we’re bombarded with sexual images and we are made to feel that we must walk this thin line between being sexy and having “too much” sex. We’re made to think that we should be such a sexual dynamo, but where are we supposed to have learned all this? Most people (who don’t live in an episode of Sex and the City) don’t talk about anything that makes sex real and Cosmo isn’t really all that much help in the real bedroom. I’m not talking about rose petals and candles. I’m talking about fear of climaxing before your partner. I’m talking about feeling so self-conscious that we talk ourselves (and our partner) out of having sex. Is it strange that he wants to watch porn while we have sex? Does anyone actually find porn interesting or realistic? Is it weird that I bleed every time I have sex? Does anyone else get bored after 20 minutes? These are all issues that my friends and I raised after reading this article and beginning these discussions. I don’t think a single one of those issues is all that weird or strange. But because we seclude ourselves and don’t discuss them, we feel weird and like we’re the only one who possibly has to deal with these things.
So I challenge you: start talking about this stuff! Obviously don’t start these conversations at dinner with your boss and coworkers or at your Aunt Mildred’s funeral (no matter how saucy of a lady she was). Know your audience, of course. But a Girls’ Wine Night or text message with your best guy pal. Whenever and wherever you feel comfortable and secure, start the conversation! I bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how normal you are!
Yesterday I was playing on Pinterest and came across an article entitled “21 Absolutely Amazing Books To Read In Your 20s” (article can be found here: http://books.allwomenstalk.com/absolutely-amazing-books-to-read-in-your-20s). It seems like a great list and it definitely expanded my “Books To Read” list, but here was my internal conversation after that:
“I’m only ‘in my 20s’ for another week.
HOLY SMOKES! I’M ALMOST OUT OF MY TWENTIES!!!
Oh my gosh! I’M ABOUT TO BE THIRTY!!!”
I’ve never been the kind of person to freak out over a birthday. It’s just a number, right? Who cares what it is! But for some reason, 30 is really messing with my head. For instance, everything new I’ve decided to do in the past week has been accompanied with “I need to try that before I turn 30!” Random thoughts for the week include:
– This is not what I thought my life would look like at 30.
– Is it 30 that you are supposed to become a runner before you turn?
– What exactly did I picture for my life at 30?
– How long before I have to officially register as an old maid?
– When is my metabolism supposed to quit? Is it 30?
I think one of the reasons I am troubled by this number change has to do with expectations. My mother didn’t have me until she was 29 years old (No, Mom, I’m not blaming you. Keep reading!). While she was not the oldest mother of my friends, she was on the older end. I always admired this about her. She didn’t get married young, start having babies, and then realize she wasn’t old enough or mature enough for the life she was leading. She took her time. She found the right guy. She made sure both she and my father were ready for children (well, as much as a man is ever “ready for kids” before any are actually born) before getting pregnant. And this was all back before it was a popular trend to wait until you’re older to have kids. So, in the back of my mind I always had a safety thought: “I don’t need to worry about having kids until after I’m 29 because that’s when Mom did it.” But now I’m steadily heading towards “after I am 29” with no sign of the life I’d imagined in sight: No boyfriend/husband, no children, no perfect career where I’m killing it, and no great craftsmen style house with a wrap around porch and a killer garden (I’ve thought of some of these more than others).
As soon as I start looking at each of those things, however, the beautiful picture of my life unfolds: I am a strong independent woman who has had my share of heartbreaks, but I feel like I am finally becoming attune to who I am, both in and out of relationships and I am daily conquering my greatest fear, which is being alone. I may not have children, but I get to go out on the town (almost) any time I want and I get to sleep in on the weekends. I haven’t found my ideal career, but I’ve had some amazing jobs, gotten to do some amazing things, and met a lot of fantastic people. I may not have the perfect house, but I am working very hard to become financially independent and meet some very personal goals.
I have friends and family who love me and I’ve learned a lot about myself and the world around me. I’ve never been happier to be alive, or prouder of the life I’ve built for myself over the last 30 years. Maybe this whole turning 30 won’t be so bad after all. Cheers!
Life is not a romantic comedy. We know this. A guy doesn’t pick you up and twirl you out of simple sheer delight of seeing you when he picks you up for a date. You don’t splash him playfully when you pass a water fountain. He doesn’t randomly buy flowers from a street vendor as y’all walk past. You don’t ride the bus for hours because it’s his idea of a “creative and meaningful” date. These things belong in perfume commercials and cheesy sitcoms, not in real life.
When we exit these beautifully glossy alter-universes, life is a harsh reality. We’re faced with guys who don’t call for three (or nine) days, with the redundant dinner at an Italian restaurant, and with haltingly painful conversations.
So my question is: if we can’t trust rom-coms to show us what dating in 2015 really looks like, how are we supposed to act when dating someone? And how should we allow them to treat us?
When you meet the one, does the world seem to stop? When you’re in love, do you “just know” and go around smiling like an idiot all the time? How patient is too patient? How many chances are you supposed to give someone before cutting your losses and moving on?
I feel like it’s time to have a real, frank discussion about what relationships should look like and how we should be treated in the harsh light of reality. But how do we start this conversation? And how do we decide who’s advice is best for us?
I’ve always been the good girl. I obeyed curfew. I never drank, until I was of legal age. I’ve never smoked or done drugs. I send thank you notes and never show up empty handed to someone’s house. I’m not saying that I’m perfect; I’m far from it! I’m only establishing that its decently easy to navigate our current world in the daily “what I should do”s. Socially, we have Emily Post and the people around us to guide our interactions. Spiritually, we have churches and millions of books to enlighten and guide us.
But what happens when we get such conflicting guidelines that it seems impossible to walk the line? I’m a 29 year old, single woman. In this day and age, society would have me believe that sex is not big thing and I can have it when, where, and with whom ever strikes my fancy, as long as I don’t do it so often as to be labeled a slut. I like how liberated and empowered that makes me feel! However, the church says DON’T until you’re married. Not at all, not even a little bit. Pardon me if that seems a bit old fashioned and conservative.
But that leaves me wondering a deserted no man’s land with no direction or guidelines at all. Is this really a black and white issue? Is it really that cut and dry? What is proper? Wait until the third date? Get a sex partner that no one knows about and never speak about physical needs? What’s a modern woman to do?
I don’t know if its longer days, the return of baseball (college, at least), the recent visit of my sister, my establishing a routine, the meditating I’m attempting to do at least three times a week, or a combination of all of these things, but I am FINALLY starting to feel better. I am still struggling at work and feeling a bit lonely in my every day life. But I am asking for help, making lists (which always seem to help, for some reason), and attempting to make changes in the decisions I make and the way I think about things. We’ll see how long I can keep up this new, healthier attitude.
His name is Max, he is almost 10 months old and he follows me around the house like a shadow. As soon as I get home from work each day, he cuddles up on my shoulder, as if to say “I missed you SO MUCH today, Mom!” He has spunk, personality, and isn’t afraid of very many things. If you leave the bathroom door open when you take a shower at our house, be ready to have a bath buddy! This weekend, I was working on another re-paint project in my backyard and Max kept me company the whole time. I am so thankful to have this guy around to love on me and to connect with, when words get in the way of my connections with others.