Men Are Not Dogs

Well this is a strange headline, huh?

What I mean by “men are not dogs” is that men, unlike dogs, do not need to be trained. Yes, they should be raised to be respectful and kind, but when you are looking for a grown man to date you should absolutely not go into it with a mindset that you need to teach him how to treat you.

“I can train him to buy me flowers,” or open doors, or hold my hand, or [insert task you want your dream boyfriend to do]. It isn’t your job to mother a man, and one really surefire reality of life is that you can rarely change another person. Sure you can tell someone what you like and watch their actions closely after a conversation, but you should never go into a relationship expecting someone to change a laundry list of things for you.

I’m going to share a personal anecdote to show how I learned this lesson the hard way.

I used to date someone I really liked, but our relationship just didn’t feel  very romantic. I am someone who absolutely loves the little things in life. I adore little gestures that say “I love you” like leaving each other notes, cooking for one another, and yes — I love chivalry.

Boy #1

This first person that I dated wasn’t into showing me he loved me in any of the ways my heart wanted. I remember even telling him at one point that I thought it was nice when he opened the car door for me and I really appreciated when guys did that; this struck a pretty strong nerve for him. #1 told me he didn’t know why in the world I wanted him to do something like that and that it wasn’t worth fighting about.  I didn’t realize something like this was fight-worthy, I thought to myself. I wasn’t trying to argue, I just thought it would be nice for him to know that I appreciated the gesture so there might be a repeat. Later I realized “the door” wasn’t really even about the door at all. It was about the pile of things I felt I wasn’t getting out of this relationship. That was the most one-sided relationship I have ever been in, and although I gave up so many of my dreams for this gentleman (huge mistake; I will write about this another day!), bought him presents and little gift baskets to show that I cared, and even abided to his wishes of talking to him less,* I never felt fulfilled in our relationship, even when he did.

This wasn’t because he was doing anything wrong, though. He just didn’t show love in the ways I need to feel loved. Back then I thought I was being kind by giving him “tips” on simple ways to love me in ways I understood better, but now I realize we just weren’t the right fit.

I want someone who will remember our anniversaries and enjoy celebrating them together, someone who gives me his time, and someone who is as kind and caring to me as I am to him.

*In hindsight it is hilarious that I once “showed someone I loved them” by agreeing to cut off most of our communication.

Gentleman #2

This second person is the complete opposite of #1. He is someone I’ve often wondered how I had the pleasure of meeting, as he is one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever met.

On our first date he was chivalrous, but this behavior continued seamlessly into our 30th date. He opened my car door any time we went out, always wanted to be the one to pick me up and take me out, and goes above and beyond to show me that he cares. He has written me letters, cooked complicated five course Italian dinners, and often called me during his lunch breaks just to say “hello.” This is someone I think is so incredibly special that I don’t know how I got lucky enough to meet him and see that many of the sweet little joys in life aren’t just “Krista things” that are unrealistic traits to want in a boyfriend. There are men out there who are a million times better than the ones you see in the movies. They’re real, raw, and far from perfect, but they love you so fiercely there isn’t any room for you to question where you stand in their life.

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Today’s lesson: Dogs are smart, loyal, and loving companions. You really can’t expect any human to measure up to this amazing animal, but wait for the person who does make you feel loved in the same way your dog loves you. This is a kind and selfless love with so much joy that your heart feels like it might explode.

Holding Up A Hookup

I went on one of the most hilarious dates in awhile last week.

Any of you who really know me know that I don’t do hookups. I’m pretty open about that, and have that information on all of my online profiles, just to be super clear before anyone even sends me a message so they know that they’re not going to have a fling with me.

Tinder has a hookup reputation, but I honestly think there are just so many people on there that not everyone is looking for a strictly physical relationship. Most of the guys I have met up have actually seemed to be quite the opposite; many of them are super fast to try to DTR as something serious (I’m also not having that, haha).

Anyway, this was the first fellow who was really not on the same page as me. He must have not read my bio whatsoever because he basically told me I was sexy (lies! I know what I am and it’s closer to “cute”) and that we should go back to his place.

I had to explain that I’m not into that, and after he pushed it a lot more I told him that I would just end up frustrating the heck out of him, and that I wasn’t going to change my values for anyone; I told him we were just definitely not a good match.

He immediately shut down and asked the waitress for the check as soon as he could get her attention. He told me that he didn’t want to seem like a jerk, but that we didn’t really have a reason to stay.

It was really funny how quickly the conversation fizzled out after we had been having such a normal time before. He said it was a shame that we didn’t have a chance at working out, as he had enjoyed our date, and that I would regret not taking him up on his offer.

Today’s lesson: Always be honest with what you’re looking for with online dating. Although it can be an awkward conversation to have, you get better at it (Trust me, I don’t feel uncomfortable talking about this stuff at all anymore — it just took some practice!) and you save both parties from a frustrating situation. You can go your separate ways and find what you are looking for.

champagne

In The Zone

One of the first dates I went on when I was single again was with a gentleman one of my best friends set me up with. She told him I was “recently single,” and ready to start casually dating.

Our date went really well — we went out for coffee and shared some laughs. It went so well, in fact, that we decided to hang out longer and get lunch afterwards.

The lunch portion of the date was nice and we enjoyed more conversation outside on a beautiful day. We walked around an outdoor shopping center and made it our mission to pet twenty dogs while we were there. We didn’t quite reach our goal, but I had a nice time regardless.

I finally got dropped off at home, thanked my date for a nice time, and didn’t give the event too much thought — until I realized a few days later that he hadn’t texted me. I hadn’t been on many dates then, so wasn’t sure whether or not he was “supposed to” reach out so soon or not. The other two guys I had been out with had texted that same evening saying that they had a nice time with me, but this fellow was radio silent.

I decided to give it a few weeks and just see if he would reach out again.

He didn’t.

I had genuinely enjoyed our day together and I wasn’t devastated about not being asked on a second date, but I thought that he and I would make good friends — we both like pranks, have a similar sense of humor, and are kind of sassy (And the guy equivalent of sassy, whatever the heck that is), so I decided to text him. I said something along the lines of,

“So it’s totally fine if you aren’t into going on another date, but I had a great time with you last week and would love to be friends if you’d like to hang out again!”

He didn’t reply for a day or two, then finally just said something like, “I am sure I’ll see you around sometime.”

Yep. This guy doesn’t ever want to hang out.

At first I was a bit taken aback; I had never really had to deal with rejection in the dating world before that, and I certainly haven’t ever had anyone tell me they didn’t want to be friends (I could definitely read between the lines).

I realized after all of this that obviously most of the guys I see will not work out. I just need one of them to eventually stick. Just one! I’d say we all have pretty great odds of that happening.

Today’s lesson:  Don’t get too hung up on people who aren’t into you. This goes both ways; you won’t want to be with the majority of people you meet either, and that just makes it even more special when you do find someone you are crazy about who feels the same way about you.

Do you think it’s weird to ask someone you went on one date with if they want to be friends? This brings the age old question to surface: Can guys and girls be just friends? I would answer yes, but have heard it argued both ways.

I Laugh Too Much.

Do you ever laugh so hard you start to cry?

This seems to happen to me a lot. I have absolutely no chill, and when something funny happens I have a hard time collecting myself.

I honestly don’t know if this story is worth a blog post, but I hadn’t laughed this hard in such a long time that I felt like I needed to tell the story.

My date and I decided to play some N64 together last weekend (Sidenote: I can beat any of y’all in Super Smash Brothers. Possibly in Mario Kart as well), so we hopped on the elevator and pushed the button to go to the 13th floor. Another man dressed in some kind of funky costume hurried onto the elevator after us.

He pressed a button as I asked him about his costume, and quickly began to get visibly flustered as the elevator ascended. He frantically pushed another button, and apologized for making us stop twice. He continued to talk about his costume and pressed a third button. Then a forth.

At this point I just lost it.

This guy wasn’t drunk; he was just somehow very confused or terrible at multitasking. It reminded me of the scene in Elf where Buddy pushes all of the elevator buttons because they “look like a Christmas tree.”

We were all able to laugh about it, and my date helped the man figure out how to get to the lobby of the building where he was trying to meet up with his friends.

Today’s lesson: Krista has absolutely no chill when it comes to others embarrassing themselves.

Is it embarrassing to laugh that hard in front of a date? How do you learn to keep your cool in funny situations like that? This might be the only time I will ever say, “I. Just. Can’t.”

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love getting dressed up and going out with my friends and I like having an excuse to eat as much candy as my heart desires. People watching is always a fun pastime, and I feel like October 31 is the very best day of the year for it.

This year was different because almost all of my best friends are in relationships, so there wasn’t any sort of group costume planned — they all wanted to do couples costumes with their boyfriends.

So naturally I decided I needed to dress up with my bae too.

macy_batgirl

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Macy and I dressed as Batgirl, and wore matching yellow ribbons in our hair. She was easily cuter than any boyfriend I will ever have (Sorry, guys! Dogs just always trump y’all), and is a great little cuddle buddy to come home to at night.

Today’s lesson: Dogs really are the best friend a girl could ever ask for.

Taking A Turn In The Hot Seat

Here is the full review my date wrote about me. I did not edit any of the content, and just added a couple of asterisks to offer a few clarifying comments. Enjoy!

Phase 1: Planning

When setting up a date with Krista, a couple things need to be taken into account.For starters, all of us that have read her blog know that she cannot parallel park (See: “Wrecking my Date”). This would be an issue if she were to come to my neck of the woods in Arlington. So I had three options:

1. Make the drive out to Fairfax and meet her on her home turf (Not likely — the guy should always maintain the upper hand in these situations and keep his date her on her toes).
2. Find an appropriate/easy place for her to park in Arlington.
3. Ignore her concerns, have her parallel park, and poke fun or even take a video of her as she turns red from embarrassment while onlookers laugh at the parking job she is attempting.

Being a half decent guy, I went with option two* and gave her directions to a free parking garage right by the location of the restaurant. Option two was a success (Although I would be lying if I told you I did not seriously consider option 3).

The second thing to consider when planning a date with Krista is that she by all accounts seems to be a pretty good person. Because of this, I am again presented with a couple options. I could (A), show her a nice time, be a gentlemen, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah, or (B), acknowledge that she is looking for stories to write about on her blog, and give her the best worst date story I could possibly come up with. Unfortunately for Krista and her blog, I decided against trashing the date because she is a legitimately good person and I probably would have felt guilty going with option “B.” Although for the record, I was tempted going into this to give her that experience of a lifetime date that she would likely talk about for quite some time… “You’re never going to believe what this guy did on this horrible date I went on” type of stuff.

*Editors note for accuracy: This was not on our first date; we met up in Arlington a different time. I was not desperately chasing after Robert!

Phase 2: The Date

The date began smoothly. We talked about the usual first date stuff (i.e. what do you do, tell me about your family, college, etc.). We had spoken about some of this stuff prior to actually meeting up. One of our topics of conversation pre-date was the fact that we both went to George Mason University. We actually spoke quite a bit about this prior to our date. However… Krista got into talking about how she went to George Mason shortly after we sat down. I responded “Yes I remember discussing this.” She nodded her head and continued on about how she used to go to this diner place on campus. I said, “Yes, I know the place, because I used to go there.” She nodded her head and kept talking about certain things about Mason that I already knew about because, again, I went there too. After about 5 minutes of nodding my head and acknowledging a couple times that I knew what she was talking about, because I shared many of the same experiences, she stopped and asked, “Wait, did you go to Mason?!” I, for probably the 6th time, politely responded “Yes!” I wish I could have taken a picture to show you how red her face got.

A few minutes later we were telling each other funny stories about our pasts. I shared a few about pranks that my cousin and I pulled on some people growing up, and I had Krista laughing pretty hard. Then I asked her to share a funny story.

This was one of my favorite parts of the date.

Krista started going into detail about more memories from college (Uh oh, too much George Mason content. She’s starting to sound like the band camp girl from American Pie. This one time, at Mason…**). The problem with her funny story, however, is that Krista apparently likes to laugh when she tells funny stories. She was almost in tears. I’m not even going to get into a lot of detail about the content of the story, which included her and a friend putting some cupcakes (I could only assume chocolate cupcakes) in the toilets of the female bathrooms and then watching the reactions of everybody as they came out of the restroom. That was pretty much the entire story, but it took quite awhile to tell because Krista couldn’t stop laughing the entire time. Her laughing made the story ten times funnier, and it was pretty cute too.

Outside of these hilarious conversations, the date went without any issues. We covered many topics, joked with each other, and had solid conversation. After dinner we walked around outside and continued to talk. Finally the time came to walk her to her car. As we were walking into the dark, fairly empty garage, I recognized how uncomfortable this situation could be for a girl on a first date. To lighten the mood, I looked her in the eyes, remembered the “bun kiss” she experienced a few dates prior, and told her in the most serious tone I could, “Just so you know, I don’t kiss on a first date.”

Despite seeing the look of disappointment in her eyes after I told her that, I stood by my principles, gave her a hug, and watched her drive off.

I cannot write about her drive home, so you’ll have to ask her about that. All I know is that her phone (which is also her GPS) died at the start of her drive and she had to somehow deal with
that issue to navigate back to her house. ***

**I haven’t ever seen that movie, so I don’t get the reference, but figured y’all might still enjoy it.
***I will have to tell this story another day, as it was quite the adventure.

Phase 3: After Action Review

The final phase of the Krista experience is to make sure you complete a full, thorough report of all issues and concerns from the date and annotate them in a format you can clearly present to Krista. For me, that consisted of going back to my apartment and taking about an hour or so to write everything down from the date. A couple things were addressed in this post. Still others were not, but I can promise you that they were presented to Krista for her review. ****

Today’s Lesson: Do not shy away from Krista because of her potential to seriously harm your good name with her blog. Fire it right back at her. Let Krista know that if she acts up or steps out of line, she too will end up on her blog.

****For the record, this is a joke. I did not cut anything!