Are You Still Friends?

Friendship is a two way street.

This is a lesson it took me years to learn, and to this day it can be a hard truth to swallow.

I talk to so many people who are frustrated about friendships that die when they stop putting in all the effort, and I can definitely relate. I’m love to communicate and find that keeping in touch is easy enough if you want to reach out to someone with a text or phone call every so often to see how they’re doing. Old friends tell me that they’re glad I’m good at keeping up with them, and I am happy to, as I genuinely care about how they’re doing and what’s going on in their life.

There are those friends, though, who never reach out if you don’t say something first. I don’t always think this means you need to cut them out of your life or even that they don’t care about you — some people are just incredibly busy and don’t have casual friendships as a top priority. I do think this often means they cannot still have a top space in your heart, though. You can care deeply about a friend who doesn’t put in effort to your friendship. You can still want the best for them and support them, but it’s important to make sure your heart knows what distance to keep the friendship at to realize your own worth.

Screen Shot 2017-08-10 at 2.35.19 PM.png

Here’s a good comparison. Would you want to date someone who never texted you first or gave any sort of affirmation that you’re an important part of their life? No! You deserve to be a priority in people’s lives, and if they can’t see how much you’re worth there will be other friends who will.

If some of your current friends don’t recognize that you are valuable enough to keep in touch with, there will be others who will. Just like the men who are waiting to date a girl like you, there are people out there in the world looking for a friend just like you, too. Keep each of your friendships as a treasure in your life, but if you feel frustrated about a lack of effort in a close relationship, spend your time on someone who will put time back into you. You are worth investing your time in people who are investing in you.

Today’s lesson: Not everyone has time to spend on a wide range of people and that’s okay. Don’t take it personally if you begin to realize some of your friends aren’t putting any effort back into your friendship. It likely has nothing to do with you and everything to do with their schedule and priorities. This is a really hard lesson to learn since it can feel so personal, but once you realize that there are other people out there who want to use quality time as their love language, finding the right friends becomes just a little bit easier. There are so many people in this world who would love to have your friendship; you just need to find the right humans to invest your time in.

Does He Like Me?

This is a question friends pose to me all the time.

My quickest answer is, if you have to ask, the answer is likely no.

Typically when you’re in your mid to late twenties, guys know what it’s like to be rejected and that girls aren’t going to wait around forever for them to make their move. They know what it’s like to wait until it’s too late to ask someone out and have likely seen a girl they like date somebody else, so if they’re smart they won’t wait around to ask you out.

I think we need to give guys more credit than we often do in the dating world. They learn from past experiences, and most of them know that they need to be transparent if they really want to be with someone. In general, a guy worth dating will put himself on the line and make it known that he’s into you and wants to take you out.

Let’s say for argument’s sake, though, that the guy you’re confused about does like you, but he’s not being clear about his intentions after you’ve been going out for some time. You’re constantly trying to figure out where his head’s at, even after dating for a significant amount of time. What should you do, then?

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 11.25.13 AM.png

MOVE ON, and find a partner who will be a good communicator. Communication is one of the most basic and crucial components of a relationship, and if someone keeps you guessing so much from the very beginning, they will likely behave in a similar manner once you are exclusive. If you’ve had conversations about wanting a relationship and nothing materializes, take the actions, rather than just the words, at face value.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they’re hoping to find a serious relationship is wasting way too much time on someone who won’t ever become a significant other. Instead of hoping a guy will change his mind about you or finally step up to the plate, kick him to the curb and spend your time casually dating until you find the person who is so excited to actively pursue you! You are absolutely worth finding someone who knows your worth, so do not give away your precious time to people who don’t know how valuable a date with you is. Spend your time with people who value what you have to offer and make it so clear that you are a priority in their life that you don’t ever have to wonder, “Does he like me?”

Leave Signs Where They Belong

If someone is nice to you, don’t automatically take that as confirmation that they like you. Know someone is into you when they tell you so, rather than gathering a hundred “signs” and making an assumption. Signs are intended to indicate whether or not a ski slope is one you would like to attempt, they are to keep drivers safe on the road, and they are created to make sure people refrain from littering the beach.

beach sign

Now, I know this all sounds so harsh and like I’m not being very sensitive… I can so empathize with those who think someone is into you, only to learn they just have a naturally flirty personality. On the flipside, though, I’ve also had people think that I like them when I’m only trying to be nice or make a new friend. Both scenarios are really tough, but I have a little advice that I think might be helpful for dealing with either.

Some people are incredibly great at reading others, but they still can’t possibly have a completely foolproof system at knowing what other people are thinking. One person is different from the next, so the best way to know for sure how someone feels about you is by having an open conversation and asking them.

This does get tough, though, because you don’t want to be creepy about it or come on too strong. There’s a time and place for conversations like this, and having one with someone you don’t know very well will almost surely scare them off.

A good rule of thumb could be that if you feel like someone is taking over your entire dating life — without being exclusive with them — you might want to take the leap and ask what they’re thinking about your relationship. You definitely don’t want to waste a ton of time on someone who isn’t ready to be exclusive if that’s what you’re looking for, but it also does takes some time to build a foundation and get to know someone before jumping into a relationship. Next week I am going to be talking a little bit about how to determine whether or not the person you like could be worth pursuing, and how to think with your brain even when your emotions try to take the lead.

sign.png

Today’s lesson: Leave signs where they belong — on highways, hiking trails, and at subway systems. Start taking what people say — or don’t say — at face value and don’t let others play games with your heart. Communication is certainly key in a healthy relationship, so it is important that you don’t find yourself feeling like you’re constantly left in the dark with someone you like because they are sending mixed signals.

Once you take your power back you begin to realize that you may not be able to control whether or not your crush likes you, but you can control how you respond to the way he treats you in a way you’re proud of. If he doesn’t ever call or text you first to make plans, maybe it’s time you go radiosilent and spend that time you used to think about him meeting new people — until you find someone who realizes what a great catch you are and does call you to make plans!


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: I’M MOVING!

In just a couple of weeks I will no longer be on this website. My dating life changed a loooong time ago, so I am finally taking the time to make some changes that reflect this and moving my site to KristaLauren.com (As I have mentioned before I would have done this a lot sooner, but I am technologically challenged and 10 times out of 10 prefer to write instead of work on my site). Make sure you sign up to receive emails for my posts, like my Facebook page, or bookmark my new site if you want to stay a part of my Single in The Suburbs family. 🙂

Strong (adj.)

Today I would like to dissect what it means to be “strong.”

This has been a word used to describe me by so many people since I graduated college, got POTS, and went through a number of difficult trials, but it still feels kind of funny when I hear someone throw this adjective next to my name.

Dictionary.com defines strong as,

“Mentally powerful or vigorous,”

but it doesn’t offer any tips on how to be strong or what kind of trials make you strong.

I was made strong. I didn’t choose to be strong and I am in no way admirably resilient. Before getting sick I was used to a fairly comfortable life, and never in a million years thought of myself as tough or someone who would face trials well.

Almost 4 years later, though, and here I am. I had a choice to make when I got sick. I could take what the doctors said, admit defeat, and recognize that my life would never be the same, or I could fight for the best life I could possibly have. I quickly chose the latter. This involves keeping an open and optimistic mindset, being incredibly dilligent with my doctors appointments, physical therapy, and diet, and finally — learning how to rest.

When I first got my diagnoses I asked through tears whether I’d ever get better. The nurse laughed and told me I wouldn’t and my mind immediately went into a dark abyss, thinking about a long life of dizzy spells, fainting, and feeling miserable. I was incredibly lucky to have my incredibly encouraging mother with me, who followed me to the parking lot and said the nurse didn’t know what she was talking about. She said I needed to take each day as it came to me, and think positive thoughts. To this day I believe this is one reason I am slowly getting better and have been able to make peace with my new life.

I’ve had POTS for three-and-a-half years now and haven’t had a week off from going to visit some sort of doctor. I typically have 2 physical therapy appointments and either acupuncture or a massage to work on managing my chronic pain, as well as regular visits to my cardiologist, neurologist, and endocrinologist. I go to the gym 5 days a week — even when I am feeling awful — because the worst possible thing for a POTSie to do is get deconditioned. This involves a short 30 minute recumbent bike ride, as I could easily faint if I am in an upright position. I get B12 shots every other week since I am deficient in it and B12 seems to be a link to chronic pain. Then I have to take a lot of time to rest so that my body can settle down a bit. I get worn out incredibly easy, and a trip to the grocery store turns into a long ordeal because of the recovery time afterward.

Lots of POTS patient develop adult allergies, so I can’t eat many of my favorite foods anymore. I have given up nightshade vegetables (Potatoes are my favorite food and I miss French fries dearly!), gluten (Now I am the butt of so many jokes), and I really limit my dairy and sugar intake. I don’t drink coffee at all, partly because I can’t have caffeine, and partly because I just can’t have coffee, period, and I don’t drink alcohol at all anymore. The coffee is definitely a million times more difficult.

Screen Shot 2017-02-26 at 10.04.46 PM.png

Lastly, I have had to learn to listen to my body and rest. This is such a hard thing for me to do, as my mind is incredibly active. Anyone who knew me before I got sick knows I love to work and play, so sleeping and rest were never really a big part of my vocabulary. I joke to my friends that I’m just catching up on all the time I missed in my life before, but it really is a difficult thing for me to wrap my mind around. I always have a million and one things I want to do and write about, however my body isn’t very kind to me. Writing hurts after ten minutes, and the dictation software I have used is grueling. I can’t sit at a desk chair very long without having a lot of pain in my shoulders, and some days I can’t stand without feeling dizzy. Sometimes all I can do is rest, and I’ve learned that it’s okay to spend time listening to podcasts and watching HGTV when I really can’t do anything else. Yes, I would much rather be working and making a living for myself. I wish I could live in New York and write for a magazine, I wish I could have a paycheck to save for a new car or fun wardrobe, but that’s just not in the cards for me right now. Right now it’s my job to focus on getting better, keep taking care of myself, and trust that God will make something beautiful out of my struggle. 

The best advice I could possibly give anyone going through something tough is to take each day as it comes to you. Worrying about things in the future that you cannot control won’t help you change them, and looking back on the past won’t make your present any more satisfying. I know what it’s like to feel helpless and I know what it’s like to feel like life isn’t fair. The greatest feeling when your world is crumbling in on you is when you finally learn to give your problems to God and let Him take care of the things that are outside your control.

Today’s lesson: If I can be strong, you can too. I’ve always thought I am an incredibly average person in most regards, which should offer an incredible amount of encouragement to anyone reading this. If I can do, so can you.

Intentionally Intentional

“Wait, is this a date?”

As a girl, I have wondered this a few times in my life when a guy asks me to “hang out” somewhere. Depending on the situation, I usually err on the safe side and assume it isn’t if I’m unsure.

Dating can be awkward enough as it is, so why make things like simple communication difficult? I have been asked countless times by guys how to ask a girl on a proper date, and so many of my girl friends have called me confused with whether a male is interested in her or not. There is a very simple answer to all of our communication problems. Be clear in stating your intentions with someone!

You don’t have to be all weird about it, but by simply saying, “I would love to take you out to dinner,” you are making it very clear that you want to take the person you are asking on a date. First, if you already know them, I think dinner is a great option for date #1, as it’s a little nicer than just coffee or drinks. You can always change the wording around to do something else for a first date, however I would definitely make the activity one that is very clearly a date. Going on a run with someone is nice, but hardly leaves room for any sort of romance. Second, by using the words “take you out,” you are making it incredibly clear that this isn’t just an outing between friends.

date.png

On the flip side, if someone asks you to “hang out,” I’d say it isn’t a serious date, so take things slow! I’ve had relationships grow from friendship, which can be a great foundation for something wonderful. Don’t put your life on hold for someone who isn’t ready to date you or isn’t interested, though. Keep doing your own thing whether that is dating around or accepting an invitation from someone else you are possibly interested in. The best lesson we all learned from He’s Just Not That Into You is that if someone wants to be with you they will eventually try. If they don’t ever get the guts to ask you out they care about their pride more than they care about being with you! You want someone who will fight for you, right?

Today’s lesson: It’s better to be overly clear and upfront with your intentions than to be ambiguous when you ask someone out. Getting turned down sucks, but it’s so much better to find out sooner rather than later that someone isn’t interested in dating you… That way you can move on to another person who will totally want to go on a date!

Boston

I sat in the passenger of his Ford F-150 as he passed behind the truck to the driver’s side. He never let me open my own door, and I loved that. Yet again it was just another bonus to dating him. I was beginning to find every little thing he did was just a bonus to how wonderful I thought this human was.

He slid effortlessly into the driver’s seat and leaned over to kiss me. I beamed. I felt like the most special girl in the world and we hadn’t even gone on our date yet. He took my hand and held it close to my body as we pulled onto the highway. I smiled as I gazed at his pretty brown eyes. I don’t think anything about men is supposed to be considered pretty, but there isn’t a strong enough word for a male that I can use — I have never been so mesmerized by a guy before. This isn’t a feeling I hear many girls describe about their boyfriends, and I noted the warmth fill my heart.

I blushed as he looked over and caught me staring. He smiled, and I melted a little more.

We parked the car and he didn’t let go of my hand until he hopped out of the car and ran around to my side to open my door again. How long had I been a Princess? It felt like a lifetime, but we’ve only known each other seven months.

I took his hand, made the leap of faith from the tall truck, and realized I had fallen in love as fast as the trip my feet took from the carpeted mats in his Ford to the gravel pavement beneath my sneakers. He closed the door with one hand and took mine in the other. He made a joke, I laughed, and fell just a little deeper.

This was a relationship unlike any that I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. The smallest trips to the grocery store became another page of our story. They weren’t errands — they were just spending time together.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 11.22.37 PM


Some things in life you don’t think have an end in sight. It’s frightening when that thing is a romance. One of many dictionary definitions for the word is,

“A strong, sometimes short-lived attachment, fascination, or enthusiasm for something.”

I close my eyes and pray that it won’t be short-lived; the thought of that brings a sharp pain to my heart. A heart can be broken more than once, and there aren’t any promises things will work out. We’ve only been in each other’s lives for a short while, but one day a short romance is going to blossom into a lifelong love. I don’t have any way of knowing whether or not I’ll be caught or end up shattered on the ground, but right now I am closing my eyes, inhaling deeply, and taking the plunge.

Letters To My Seventeen-Year-Old Self: Be Confident With Your Crush!

As I mentioned before, I am doing a segment for teens now by writing letters to my seventeen-year-old self. This week I wanted to focus on one of my favorite subjects — dating! This definitely would not have been a favorite of mine in high school, though, as it was actually very nonexistent.


Dear Krista,

I know all about the crush you have on that guy on the swim team. Yes, you were spot-on that he is a kind and good person, but he isn’t too good for you. Always remember that we all have our own strengths. You don’t believe that you are better than anyone, but no one is better than you either. We can’t compare apples to oranges and everyone has their own beautifully unique gifts and talents to offer the world. Stop being shy and pretending to text your friends when you would rather talk to talk to him instead. You’ll both be gone from this town one day and moving on with your lives. He’ll find someone great, but so will you.

Maybe you just aren’t meant to have a high school sweetheart, but just making a new friend shouldn’t be such a frightening thought. You will date plenty of guys when you’re ready (Trust me; you’d laugh if you knew one day you’d have a dating blog and are actually exceptionally good at navigating through the dating world). Stop trying to push yourself to grow up. Keep enjoying the free time you get to have fun with your friends and be silly; life comes at you fast, and one day you’ll have fond memories of being young and carefree.

Screen Shot 2016-09-15 at 10.18.07 AM.png

You’ll have your heart broken by your first love one day, and you’ll break plenty of hearts too. Just because you are a late bloomer doesn’t mean you’ll never find love. You’ll find it a few times and in different ways. Some people will love you for superficial things, others will love you for your personality, and you’ll get lucky and meet a few people who love you for your soul. Each love is great and special in its own way, but you only need one to stick. Who you choose to love last is the most important, and one day he’ll be the only one of the string of boys who really matters. Love deeply, love fearlessly, and most of all, learn to love yourself. No matter what happens with the guys you date you are the one person who will be there for the rest of your life.

Love,
25-year-old Krista