Tindering an open mind

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There is one word that is hard for me to be- vulnerable!

Blame it on my past relationships with men and lack of trust I have gained because of it. But in either case, I have a hard time being vulnerable. It’s also the reason why I know I have a hard time dating.

Let’s get real- I am a sassy woman who likes to prove her point. Not to many dudes can handle that and the ones who can I have found out that in the end, they are dickheads who leave me broken-hearted picking up all the pieces starting all over again. This has also created a big wall between me and the opposite sex.

So I am trying to have a more open mind and maybe it’s because I am a glutton for punishment, but I’ve recently jumped on the Tinder bandwagon. Yes, another dating app. But!! This one I really do think is brilliant! (I’ll be writing another post about my thoughts on Tinder later on)

I recently went to a seminar for work and it was about social media, customer service and being likeable. By likeable, we mean really likable, not just a nice person because we have to be. One point that hit home for me was when they started speaking about being vulnerability. The speaker said “when we are vulnerable, we get a better response.” Maybe she was onto something here. I already had a theme for the post as I was just recently speaking with my family about being vulnerable and then it popped up in this class?!?! Must be a sign!”

My discussion at home was about relationships in general and realizing being vulnerable is hard. I agreed and said “Oh! I have the worst time with it” which then turned into a conversation that I do not compromise in my relationships. I completely DISAGREE with this statement. I like things my way, but who doesn’t???? When it comes to my family, I am probably more opinionated than normal simply because I can be. If I don’t want to go home for a family event, I don’t. if I don’t agree with one of them, I am more forceful in telling them so. But when it comes to relationships, let me tell you, I am more than willing to bend over backwards for “my man” because I also get a great deal of pleasure from making others happy.

I have always viewed being vulnerable as a negative thing. Who wants to be vulnerable to anything? I have always thought, if I am vulnerable I am weak or I will be the butt of the joke. If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am a very strong, independent woman. But maybe being vulnerable isn’t as bad as I make it out to be, maybe it really is a strength that we all should be embracing more.

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Online Dating Commericals Lie

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Ok, no joke. I seriously feel this way. If you have ever tried online dating I can almost guarantee 99% of you feel the same way.

1. I have yet to find anyone who believes they are 3 times as likely to start a relationship because they are on an online dating site.Truth time! I joined a few online dating sites back in 2012.  I decided I needed to make the plunge to meet more men on December 31, 2011. Yes, I was sober. I ended up signing up for chemistry.com. Overall, I did not find this to be a bad site per say, I even went on one decent date, but it is a new site and most of the people I was matching up with did not seem like my type. Yes, I was judging the book based on its cover. So what! I am paying for this so I think the judging is justified. Because I wasnt seeing the results I wanted, I decided to join match.com thinking this is more mainstream. Talk about a let down, which brings me to point #2……

2. I have found online dating to bring down self-esteem!!! First off, I think it is an AWFUL, AWFUL thing to see who has read your email, looked at your profile as this only drives me more insane. Maybe it is because I am a woman and naturally a bit crazy, but this really sucks!! Clearly, I get matches, I check people out and email then based on who I find attractive and think I have something in common with. I sent over 100 emails in 6 months. Not one response. Seriously, who the hell are these men? I understand I was not going to get 100 responses back, but not even one???? (For the record, I am not exaggerating, not one response). I started thinking maybe it’s because none of these guys think I am attractive, maybe I am not thin enough for them, maybe I do not sound like I am interesting enough in my profile. And why have none of these guys who have looked at my profile reached out to me?  Now I have just made you all crazy thinking about this! But these were my everyday thoughts. I would come home, open my laptop and view my new matches every day thinking maybe I wasn’t putting myself out there enough or not investing enough time. Pretty soon I was super depressed and left feeling undatable.  I also know I drove my friends crazy. I wanted their opinion on everything because maybe I was missing something. To my girlfriends: did I sound too bitchy? did I sound too girly? To my guy friends: would they be interested in my profile if they were on match? Did I sound too bitchy? Did I sound too girly?  By the end of the 6 months, I was literally depressed and only wanting to drink my evenings way.

3. I never looked as happy as these people in these commercial who are on an “actual match.com date“– Who are these people? I seriously want to know everything about them…. Where do they live? How old are they? Did they go through a bad divorce? Have they just been so focused on their career they are just happy to be in a bar?   I went on 2 date in 6 months on match.com. My first date was with a man we will call Bojangles.  Bojangles had that profile that sounded normal, but had really bad pictures- small, blurry, weird angle. So naturally I was skeptical about going out with him- in case you missed it earlier, I am judging the book by the cover.  But I made plans with Bojangles nonetheless.

What you need to know about my date with Bojangles:

1. He went to the wrong bar. Then tried to convince me I was at the wrong bar. Sorry, BoJangles, I am under a sign that says Bridge House, the bar we agreed to meet at.

2. He was very, very eager. Wanted to meet up at 4:30pm, downtown, during the week. Sorry, Bojangles, I work until 6pm. Thank you for forgetting to ask that small detail though.

3. Way to say you are 5’10” but are really more like 5’6″.  PS. I like to wear high heels and prefer my date/boyfriend to be taller than me when I am in heels. doesn’t have to be by much, but I like the secure feeling I have when I am with something that I believe can protect me.

He was nice, and I was convinced by friends that maybe I was being too harsh and judgemental, and needed to give it a second go. So I did.

What you need to know about date #2:

1. Bojangles calls for the second date. (I was napping so I decided to call him back).  I call him back and he answering the phone, in an Asian voice, “Hello, Mr. Wan Chop Suey” then giggles like he is the funniest person on the face of the earth.

2. He wants to come closer to my house to meet up. Don’t think so buddy. I wasn’t born yesterday. I can’t imagine kissing you, let alone sleeping with you… but maybe a second date will change my mind, so I suggested a place in Lincoln Park. Close enough, yet far enough away.  (He lives in the West Loop area and I lived in Lakeview at the time).

3. We decide to go to Cafe Ba Ba Reeba. He seems to love this place and I enjoy it as well. I get to the restaurant and I park my car. I am paying for the meter and he starts honking his horn and waving to me like he has never seen anyone he knew on the street before. Weird. Then says he has a present for me and basically throws flowers in my face.  ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????  DISCLAIMER: My thoughts on flowers in a restaurant. Don’t do it. Bring me flowers to my house. Not to a restaurant where we are sharing small plates and sitting at a table for 2.  (the flowers were star-gazer lilies to top it off, which in case you don’t know, give off a lot of pollen)

4. He has been to Cafe Ba Ba Reeba once…5 years ago. Fine, no biggie. However when it came to ordering multiple plates as it is tapas style, that man had no opinion. “Order whatever you like and I am sure I will like it too” Ugh, how about you just have an opinion. We are order 6 to 8 plates and you don’t see one thing you must have? The man could have had a shellfish allergy but would have eaten it just because I ordered it.  Now, while some women may want to always be in control- I DONT! I like my independence but I want to feel like I am with a MAN, not a little boy whose hand I have to hold because you have no opinion- on anything.

5. The best part…. I have a dog and a cat, but at the time I think I just had Howie (my Shih Tzu). In either case, I mention his name and Bojangles breaks out with a little jig. He proceeded to bounce his one shoulder up and down, while in some sort of squeaky voice I can only imitate in person, said “Mr. Bojangles, oh,  Mr. Bojangles”  Now, he is referring to Bill Robinson and Shirley Temple, is he referring to Bill Robinson’s dance moves, is he referring to the song Mr. Bojangles or is he referring to the mouse in The Green Mile?  Not sure, Bojangles himself knew what he was talking about so clearly the very confused and strange look I had didn’t help the situation.  Still have no idea what he meant…..

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Needless to say, I used the old excuse “oh, I have to work early tomorrow” line and B Lined out of there as soon as I could. Bojangles did not pick up on my lack on enthusiasm, or eye rolls as he still went in for the goodbye kiss. Boy did I dodge that one just like how Howie tries to dodge bath time-  you know, the old “run to a corner, close my eyes and hopes he forgets I am there” trick.

Lesson learned: Go with your gut and screw what others tell you! I knew I was just not that into Bojangles but felt like I needed to prove to some of my friends that I was really trying to date. Turns out you just need one date with someone to prove you are dating.

How did I get to this point in my life?

So, here I am, almost 30 years old still looking to concur the world as if I were 18- or hell, 23 for a matter of fact! As mentioned before, my year of turning 29 has been quite a roller coaster. I’ve gotten a job promotion (one I have been working towards for 4 years), had a handful of family issues, had long term friendships fall apart, met some really amazing new friends, moved to a completely different neighborhood within the city, started working from “home” (be jealous if you want to, you will learn it is not all that great), and dined at some of the best restaurants in Chicago.

Now, let me say- my life is GREAT! Amazing, wonderful, exciting! I am truly blessed. But like any of us, I had this image of what my life would be like by the time I was in my late 20’s and DEFINITELY by the time I was going to be 30. NEWS FLASH! Life doesn’t really happen like this! Ok, maybe for some people it does, but not for me.

I thought I would be living in a big city, and hey, whadda know? This has happened! I thought I would have all of credit card debt paid off by the time I was 25. Little did I know, I would be laid off at 24. This clearly put the damper on the thought I had about owning a condo by 26 or 27. Little did I know, owning a condo entails A LOT more than what I thought it would-ever, even now. I thought I would be married by 28. Little did I know that I would only be tested with “almost the real deal” relationships.

I have never been a dater. I am the girl that just ends up meeting a guy and next thing I know we are in a serious relationship. My first serious relationship was the guy we will refer to as The Bear. We were in high school when we started dating. I was 16 and just so in love! We did everything together. However, now I see that maybe we should have spent more time doing things apart. Not because that I think that this would have kept us together forever, but maybe because it would have taught me earlier on that I didn’t need to do every little thing with my boyfriend. This is one of the reasons why I am probably so stubborn on just doing some things my way (that and I am just stubborn).funny-young-couple-hugging-boy-girl

The second serious guy that entered my life was shortly after my first year in college. We never officially were boyfriend/girlfriend, but we had a blast together. We will call him The Charmer. The Charmer was that super fun, older partier guy. A complete opposite from The Bear. This was SO refreshing- mainly because I thought he had it together, and must be pretty well off because he paid for everything. I would later learn he had a whole closet full of skeletons, but still made a pretty decent living. At 21, I could totally over look this because “Hey! Maybe I will be the one he will want to change for”! What I really thought was I could change him. Never think you can change someone. Joke will always be on you. ALWAYS.

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My last serious relationship ended 3 years ago. We will call him Tornado. Tornado really took me by surprise. He was the guy that worked in my office that I hated. Seriously, biggest dickhead I have ever met. Then one night, at the bar, we were the only 2 left out of the group and we had a whole new appreciation for each other. We were laughing and having a real meaningful conversation, or as meaningful as it could be for 2 drunk people. I remember thinking to myself “OMG, am I a grown up now? Is this how mature relationships start?” Oh, boy. Once I liked him, and I mean as a person, I felt like he was my best friend. The connection I felt we had was unlike anything else I had experienced. This was the first time I had dated someone who just let me be me. The crazy me. So this just had to be the one, right? WRONG-O.

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I can sit here and explain my opinion of why each one of these relationships didn’t make it to the place I was looking/hoping for, but I feel like that would just be setting me back. It is not about what went wrong per say, but more importantly about taking what I loved about them and finding these characteristics in my “end all, be all”.

I love that The Bear noticed things about me that no one else has ever pointed out to me. For example, the little black specks in my eyes. The Bear also still reminds me that love can be like a romantic comedy. The Charmer took me out for great nights out on the town and even though I know he was checking out every other girl in the bar, he still made me feel I was the best one in the room. The Charmer also taught me that if he is into you, he will call you (or these days text you). If someone is not calling you to make plans- move on. The Tornado paid attention to the dumb things I liked and tried to recreate them- like the Nanerpus. (Anyone else love that Denny’s commercial? Makes me LOL thinking about it!) Tornado also made me think outside of my own comfort box. I realize now that what I need is to find that person that makes me feel special, doesn’t want to change me and pushes me when I need to be pushed. What a task! Makes me stress sweat just thinking about the pressure. God, this is why I am so not a dater!

All in all, life has a funny way of handing us lemons. Here I am, 29 and still paying off credit card debt from college. I am still saving up for a condo. And I am still here trying to find “Mr. Right”. In the mean time, I am going to make myself feel special, and push myself out of my comfort zone when I need it. Bring on the dating and let’s make some lemonade!

Intro: Seriously, what the hell am I doing?

This has been a question I have been asking myself for a few weeks now as I have decided to get this whole blog thing up and running. I have been doubting myself about writing, airing it all out there, etc. But screw it, here it goes!

Ok, so this is my first time every blogging. Thought about it a MILLIONS times, but never have been quite ready to take the plunge until now. What you ask? Because I finally have something I can focus on: MY LIFE!  I know, I know, DUH most blogs are about your life in some way, shape or form. But I really want to invite you into my life as being single and almost 30. Lucky for you, as you will have a front row seat to all of the random, crazy, normal things that happen to me.

This year has been full of growing pains in all different directions- work things, personal things, friend things-you name it and I feel like I have been challenged by it.

My goal for my blog is to of course make you all laugh, but also for you to have someone or something to relate to. We have all been through awkward moments of dating, being the only single friend, having to make dinner for one (personally I think this is the worse)- the list goes on and on.

Buckle up, sit down, and be prepared to be blown away- ok that might be a little bit too enthusiastic, but I can’t help it, I think I am #AMAZING!! Until next time…