Saturday, February 26, 2011

The 80/20 Rule

I can't remember the first time I heard this rule years ago but I still think its a good one. The 80/20. Otherwise known as what you're willing to accept in another person. 80% of who they are is fantastic. The other 20%.. well...I guess that's why it's called compromise.
The other night I was on the phone with a friend whose boyfriend is fantastic. He's nice to her friends, he treats her like a queen and is just a peach all around. Even I think he's great! Anyway, the only downside is he has some ex-drama. Ex-wife and child, to be exact. And when I say drama, its the kind that makes an impact into his current relationship. While my friend has a good point when she says, "Am I supposed to dump a great guy who loves me and treats me well, that I trust and love, because he his ex-wife is a nightmare?" It's a great point, I agree. However, everyone's 20% is different. What she is willing to deal with, other women might not. I, personally, have no problem dating a divorced man with kids. Or even a single dad who has never been married. To me it lends a sort of maturity to their personalities. However, the only caveat is that they MUST have that crap dealt with. As in, have the custody arrangement in place and settled into a supportive relationship for their children. I cannot deal with exes who are still in the stages of using the kids against the father, no matter what reason was behind their relationship's downfall. It's just too much drama which takes time away from the development of MY relationship.
It also makes me think about what we see in our friends' relationships or marriages that we wouldn't tolerate that they compromise with. It's their 20%. It could be smoking, drug use, weight gain, ill health, chronic unemployment or the guy's an airhead. Might it even be possible that our 20% is different with each relationship we have? It's interesting to think about, definitely. I have a string of ex lovers and boyfriends who look like I could make a profitable calendar from their pictures. Yet the one man who I loved the most out of all them was thick around the middle. Intelligence is definitely in my 80%, yet some of my exes could barely tell me when the War of 1812 was fought (I jest, but you get the idea). Is this proof of my changeable 20% theory? Or maybe it's just me. And does this theory work the same for men?
Maybe it's just what we are feeling at the time we meet someone makes the difference. I have a a date tonight with someone from Match. I'm still pretty far into the I-Don't-Care zone, but I still like the act of getting ready to impress someone.
So what's in your 20%? Has your 20% changed over the course of the relationships you've had? What say you, dear readers?

Monday, February 21, 2011

Something to think about

My inspirations for some of my posts come from the weirdest places. Sometimes its a column I'm reading (Like Amy Alkon-Advice Goddess, my fave!), something I see out and about, and once in while it's something I see on TV or in a movie.
Tonight I was on the couch reading a book while Sex in the City was playing in the background. I wasn't watching it, but I like background noise so I don't have to hear my neighbor's kids. Anyway, so apparently the episode in question was about positive daily affirmations. I wasn't paying too much attention, which isn't surprising considering positive affirmations are anathema to my cynical nature. However, there came a scene in the show where the character Charlotte is at a seminar and bravely stands up to state her fear. What might this be, you ask? Well, as the character is written, she is the part of us that is always hopeful about love and relationships. No matter how many relationships she goes through, she never stops hoping and knowing she will fall in love. In this seminar, Charlotte stands up to say she is afraid the affirmations of believing in the hope of love aren't working for her. She found it once, and it fell apart. And no matter how much she has gotten over the situation, the part she hates is the fear he took away her ability to hope, to believe again.
My coffee cup nearly fell out of my hand as I ripped my eyes away from my book to stare at the TV. Wow. Is this where my now buried anger and fear comes from? Getting over being cheated on (and the even worse actions I found out afterward) might have been tough, but I did it. I couldn't figure out what the hell was taking me so long to get to the I-Don't-Care phase. Could this be it? Hmm. My cynical self has definitely had a lot of action lately. This must obviously be a defense mechanism. After all, hope is a type of risk and risk equals the potential for getting hurt. However, hope clearly underestimated my ability for stubbornness. I'm half-Dutch, and we are the most stubborn people on Earth.
Interesting. I never thought for a moment that such a vapid TV show would trigger such an introspective response.  I don't know if this recent revelation will push me through the I-Don't-Phase or not. I'm kind of enjoying it right now, because I feel like teflon. Nothing sticks! Everything is just slightly annoying then quickly forgotten.
What say you, audience? Has the fear of not believing ever gotten the best of you?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

And then there was peace

So I bet you all have been wondering what it is I've been up to these past few weeks? Well, I've been letting myself be damn selfish, that's what. Boy Wonder and I are going on week 8 of our work out plan and while I haven't seen a super obvious weight loss, that's ok. I can see that my body is changing for the better, and I've gone down one size in shirts. Woot!
As for the man front, I've gone on a couple first dates, nothing to write home about. Nice people but meh. But you know, while I wish I really could find that one great guy for me right this minute, I'm not thinking about it a whole hell of a lot. I work out immediately after work and drive home. I pretty much just leave weekends for meet and greets, and if that doesn't work for them well whatever. Red jumped in my shit the other day which is rare for her. She's my best friend and I suppose I need to allow her to vent her worries for me sometimes, but it's really not a big deal. She's worried I'm letting lots of good guys pass me by.
Actually, I'm not. I'm meeting some nice guys. But unfortunately, those nice guys are just not bringing enough on the attraction front to keep me around. Nice is good, but nice all on its own isn't going to make me want to kiss someone.I appreciate her concern but Boy Wonder and JT are pretty much the only people I'm telling any dating info these days. The reason? I've learned that telling some of my friends leads to a chain reaction. They get excited for me, I get excited, then the expectations all go out the damn window. Then I get disappointed. These means, if I say I met someone cool that I don't want to hear, "Well did he call you?" If he did, I don't want to hear, "When are you going out?"  For me, talking to someone doesn't mean squat. It doesn't count. And if they ask me out, it still doesn't count. It doesn't count until I actually GO OUT with them. It's a lot of pressure. Since I've started keeping my mouth shut, I've felt SO much less stress about it because I truly don't care! This is essential, because I come in contact with a ridiculous amount of flaky men.
On the happy memory front, I went to Sevilla for Valentine's Day with Red, TR and JF. We ate decadent food, drank, and had ridiculously yummy dessert. Oh, and then I gave my phone number to the cutie who was playing Spanish guitar. (Yes, he sent a text a couple days later. No, I haven't heard from him since). It was nice to make a V-Day memory that doesn't hit me with pain when I think about it.
So right now I'm talking to a bunch of different men, maybe I will make plans with them, maybe I won't. I will continue my gym plan, and planning my Greece vacation that's occurring 6 month from now. Right now that makes me happy.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

And the dead hath arisen...

You know, there comes a time when you think you've gotten over someone and the universe decides to test you, just to make sure. Lately for me this has come in the form of some disturbing dreams about Satan. In the first one, we were getting married but I got the distinct sense that it was rushed. Not a whole lot of people showed up. Even though the groom was there, and so was my dress, the hair and make up people showed up waaaay late, thereby ensuring the wedding wouldn't happen. In the second one, which occurred last night, there was some type of natural catastrophe and I went to his house (he conveniently lived in Long Beach in the dream, how nice!) and told him exactly what I thought of him and his Hail-Mary-baby-having-cheating-slut-ex girlfriend-that he married. In the dream I felt very vindicated. When I woke up, I felt mildly nauseated. I told my sister and she said, "EWW! You SHOULD be disturbed!" I think she's right.
I wasn't the only one who was tested this week. Red recently came to terms with the fact that she's over Snitch. It took a lot of soul searching, which all we go through after a break up. We come to take responsibility for our part in a relationship. The universe, however, had other ideas. Today it reared it's ugly head in the form of a posting by Snitch on this very blog (which I promptly deleted, because it was just entirely too ridiculous and full of convenient lies). For those of you who need a refresher, cruise down a few posts (in August) and read "How to make break-ups extra crappy", where I have an open letter to him entitled, "Dear Ass Hat". None of what he said matters, because Red is over it. She's doing great right now. And even though Snitch told her his life is so grand now, it makes one wonder why, a whole 5 months later, he felt the need to opine on a post he literally had to dig for. Hmmm....
As for the rest of his comments about my personal experiences, that's exactly what my blog is about. So others, along with myself, can comment on my mistakes. If he bothered to read the most current postings, he would see I had somewhat of a realization. Evolving must not be something he recognizes, however, since he's already perfect! So, my advice still stands: Stay single Snitch/Ass Hat. Most woman don't care what you have, you're still an asshole. No one will ever be to your standards because on the inside you don't like YOURSELF or what you want. This is not the female population's problem, so do us all a favor and go take a hike. And don't come back.
The End

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Epiphany

No, this isn't going to be a blog piece on the Catholic feast day that just passed. This is my personal epiphany, lower case.
About two weeks ago, I was bitching to Red how my dating life is crap. Seriously, no one really calling, can't get past the first date, etc. She made this crazy suggestion of having me give her the numbers of the last 5 guys I went out with so she could call them and see what happened. WTF?! Obviously I said no, but then she told me about this book where the author did just that. "Why He Didn't Call Back"  At first I resisted. Red is big on self-help books, and I'm so not. The last thing I felt I needed was chicks boo-hooing in a book, with wishful thinking suggestions like, "maybe he was busy", "I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation" and "stop thinking about him and he will call". Yeah. How many times have we forced ourselves to believe that crap?
But that's SO not what the book was about. I bought it on my Kindle for Android and read it in 3 days. This woman did exit interviews with 1000 men who never called women back after a first date. OMG. I had NO idea I was screwing up so badly.
She breaks it up by things we do ON first dates that turn men off, and things we do AFTER the date that turn men off. It's never just one thing, but rather a bunch of these little things. And once they see one thing that doesn't sit well, they start looking for other things to verify that opinion. They are very good at filtering out, rather than giving us the benefit of the doubt which women do a lot more often. I am guilty of a couple of behaviors in this books, but I don't really belong totally to any of the categories. I exhibit some things out the sections Boss Lady, The Closer and Sadie Hawkins. Seriously, read it and you will get it.
After reading this book, I feel like I literally had an epiphany about love and dating. I feel more hopeful and happy than I have in a looooong time. I encourage all single women to read this book. Things that women see as perfectly reasonable are things that men do not see the same way. I know now what NOT to do. Maybe I will be going out on a lot more dates. Maybe this year I will fall in love.
We shall see!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A New Year, A New Beginning

So last night while I was dancing the night away with my sister and some friends, I began to think of what I wanted for myself for the new year. Not necessarily a resolution that I will end up flunking out on, but just some things I would like to have happen. 
1. I have a lot of do-overs to do in 2011: I need to make up for dumb ass memories from last year, which began with NYE. Last year I spent it with someone I had feelings for, who ended up kicking me to the curb. This time I partied it up with my sister, some friends, and made out with a cute guy at midnight. Woot! So now I need to cover V-day, Memorial Day weekend, etc. Get the idea? Labor Day weekend is already covered because I will be leaving for Greece on Labor Day. I want to make new memories with my friends only, and not some stupid guy that won't be around a month after.
2. I would like to fall in love again: Truly. It's been a couple years since I felt that heady rush of hormones. But falling in love is too easy. Having it be MUTUAL is actually what I'm after. Yeah, I know this is a tall order so that's why its not a resolution. Just a wish on the list.
3. Not get wait listed for school: Ok this might be tough, considering the price in universities lately has caused an influx of students in JC's, giving me a problem trying to get my frigging math requirement completed. But I'm going to try anyway. 
4. Try out some positivity: Yep, maybe being such a cranky bitch isn't good for my health, but its so comfortable! Starting Monday, Boy Wonder and I will be on a gym and diet plan. I would like to get back down to my "fighting" weight, but its not a resolution. I just want to make it a part of my life and having a sidekick to make me feel guilty when I flake might be exactly what I need.

And finally, give thanks for all that I have: my health, my family, my pets, my friends, my job, my awesome co-workers who have made my job so fun, and Sunday mornings at Gallagher's for football. 

So here I say, "Slàinte mhòr" (to health and life in Scottish Gaelic), and wish everyone much happiness in the New Year!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The One Line Disclaimer

I have a close younger guy friend that I will Lil Brother. Tyler, if you're reading this its not you.. ha ha.
Ok, Lil Brother has been seeing this girl who he admits is a "placeholder". Basically, a chick he's seeing while he's meeting other chicks and waiting for one he really likes. LB has been seeing an awful lot of this girl, for a guy who just wants to date and just got out of a relationship.
Recently he told me she's been acting "like they're together". Now this surprised me. I said, "Well, have you told her the deal?" He says he told her he didn't want a girlfriend right now. Except he said it 3 weeks ago. And since then he has met her kid, slept with her a bunch of times, introduced her to his sister on Christmas Eve and spent Christmas with her. Day after Christmas she wanted to spend the say with him too, to which he says, well she's acting up again like we're together.
He told me this at work on Monday and I completely jumped in his shit. He said well I told her I didn't want a gf. I tried to explain to him that the one line disclaimer tends to get voided if you start to spend all kinds of time with someone. He asked why. I said because your actions are telling her something else. At least if he distanced himself she wouldn't think any more than what it was. He said, "I'm not like those guys you've dated. I'm a nice guy." But that's where he's wrong. His actions are exactly the douche-baggery of those other guys. It would be different if he owned it, but he deludes himself into thinking he's not which I'm sure other men have as well. He doesn't understand he contributed to the problem of her thinking anything funny.
So I brought this particular notion to ML, who is my co-worker and local thought-provoker. His theory is people who do this fall into 3 categories: 1. Those who use it as a guilt free reason to use other people, 2. Those who really do want a gf/bf but are too much of a wienie to walk the walk of free wheeling loner-dom and, 3. The honest to goodness hippy-Buddhist who doesn't spend the time and never leads anyone on.
ML seemed to think that most people fall into the 2nd category. I said maybe people as a whole, but single men are clearly category 1. Every woman I know has fallen for this trick at least once if not many times. I myself have been a sucker for this as well. Red recently coined the term "The MMC" after respective ex-lovers who have pulled this.
This brings to mind, whose responsibility is it to call out the bullshit? Is it the woman's? Most of us haven't realized we've been duped until the subject of togetherness has been brought up, and we are told, "well I don't know why you would think that because I told you I didn't want a gf". I joked with Red, that maybe I should remind myself of the contract I have with myself often. This is how I know I've been hanging out with too many lawyers (jk Weez, DN, ML, BPup and whoever else reads this!). As an example of the humor I told Red the next time a guy tells me the disclaimer up front, the second he starts wanting to see me, texts me, calls me and wanting to come over, that I will tell him his actions effectively voided the contract. That he either is dating me for more potential or isn't seeing me at all.
Too bad this is much easier to do when you don't like the person all that much. When you like someone, you WANT to see them, and it's impossible to tell if the person who is calling you and wanting to see you isn't Disclaimer Guy.
What say, you faithful readers?