Category Archives: relationships

10 Things That Will End A Relationship Before It Begins

Actress Sophia Loren humorously berating her husband, movie producer Carlo Ponti, while dining in restaurant. Alfred Eisensteadt

Relationships are hard. So hard, that sometimes we destroy them before they even come to be. We’re just so excited about this new person, this new prospect, that we just want to jump to the end where everyone is happy and in love. And in doing that, we ruin the whole thing. If this hasn’t happened to you yet, keep doing what you’re doing and avoid doing these things. And to those who have done one, or some, or all of these things — I feel you. I really do.

Here are 10 things that will end a relationship before it begins.

10. Being available all the time.

jason segal gif

If you’re available a lot, that’s fine. But don’t let anyone know that. You want people (and not just people you want to date and have sexy times with) to think that you’ve got a life full of important and fabulous things to do. And if you’ve got too much time on your hands, then find something to do. Clean your apartment. Make plans to see that friend you haven’t seen in years — and actually do it. Make your own schedule.

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The Bachelorette Is The Craziest Show Ever

desiree brooks break up the bachelorette

The Bachelorette is the weirdest show on TV right now, and if you’re missing it, you need to catch up, because I can’t even describe the surreal level of weirdness that is happening on this seemingly stupid and fluffy television show. This season has been one of the most dramatic, and saddest. Because for the first time ever, we’ve seen real torment about what it’s like to simultaneously date twenty-five men and the pain that comes from having to turn down twenty-four men, and on the opposite side, the overwhelming fear and uncertainty that comes with a woman who is dating twenty-five men and wants you to marry her at the end of a staggeringly short two months.

I’m taking about Desiree and Brooks. To sum up: our perpetually on the edge of tears Katie Holmes/Rachel Bilson hybrid, Desiree Hartsock, is the bachelorette and with one episode left of the season, she’s made it clear that only one of these men is the man for her: Brooks Forrester. But Brooks Forrester is the only person in the history of this franchise to say, “This is fucking crazy, I’m not getting engaged to a girl I’ve had four dates with, known for two months, and spent maybe a total of sixty-five hours with.” Well, not in those exact words.

To recap the season up this point, Desiree has had to deal with:

  • A guy who brought his kid on the premiere episode and used him to paint himself as a doting dad so he would have a shot at the next Bachelor (“Hollywood, you missed your opportunity — a single dad from Texas” he said, when Desiree rejected him.)
  • A guy who already had a girlfriend.
  • A guy who wanted to stay on the show so badly he fake cried and manipulated her into believing that he also wasn’t looking to be the next Bachelor.
  • A cringe-worthy rap video shoot with Soulja Boy, in which she and the Mr. Desiree hopefuls had to put on stupid costumes and rap about the show.
  • Two guys who dumped her.

The first one to dump her, Brandon, did it while she was on a date with another guy. No doubt egged on by the producers, he decided right then and there that he wasn’t feeling it to the point where he had to dump her right now. So with a camera crew following him, he found Desiree on her date with Chris, pulled her aside, essentially told her that her feelings for him were stronger than his for her, and left back home for the USA. Desiree cried and poor Chris, still on their date, was left to cheer her up.

About Chris: he and another guy, Drew (who is probably gay), are “madly in love” with Desiree. They, among Brooks, are in the final three. Throughout the show, almost to the end, Desiree said that she likes these three guys very much, and that she’s falling in love with all of them. But then host Chris Harrison, the Olmec (giant stone head in Legends of the Hidden Temple) of the show asked her if there’s anyone in particular she’s really in love with. He asks this of every Bachelor and Bachelorette; they’re never actually expected to answer. They usually deflect the question. The Bach/elorettes never admit to being in love with anyone until the finale, otherwise why would they keep the show going? But Desiree announced, “I’m in love with Brooks.” Stunned, Harrison said something like, “Well should we just pack up and go home?” He asks her, “Has Brooks told you he loves you?”

chris harrison the bachelorette

Pictured: giant stone head.

Zak, Chris, and Drew all told Des that they loved her. Again, they’ve each gotten maybe three dates with her and over the span of two months, while she was dating several other men. Brooks was the only one not to declare his love. “He doesn’t need to,” Des said confidently, 100% kidding herself. “I know how he feels. He doesn’t have to say it.”

But we, the audience, we know how Brooks feels, and we saw that awkward moment where he gave it away with a look. Earlier on their date, Des cheerfully suggested they come up with adjectives to describe something in between “like” and “love” — no doubt she thought this would take the pressure off of him to say “the L-word.” At dinner, she proudly announced her “adjectives.” “There’s stepping. [Then] skipping. [Then] jogging. [Then] running. [Then we’re at the] finish line.” Never mind that none of these are adjectives. The girl is relying on the simplest of metaphors, and possibly the worst; she may as well say, “I am running after you.” When Brooks asked, “So where are we?” she pauses and at the same time she says, “I’m breaking into a run” he says, “Jogging.” Des didn’t acknowledge his lower tier, but we saw the surprise on Brooks’ face. “Running?” he said, trying to keep his eyes from widening to the size of moons. “That’s…good.”

SO here we are, part one of the two part finale, and this is brand new, never before have we seen the show structured like this, by which I mean, it’s not a game anymore. We see Brooks go home to get advice from his mom and sister about whether he should propose. He tells them that Desiree is perfect and what he’s looking for — she checks off all the boxes — but he doesn’t know why he can’t feel love. They stare at him. “If you don’t feel you love this girl, you shouldn’t propose,” says his mom (to paraphrase.)

Well duh, right? But this is The Bachelor/ette world, where it’s expected by the end of the show that there will be a proposal. Because it’s a show. It’s a game. People are eliminated every week until there is a “winner.” But unlike other reality competition shows, there is no cash prize. This reality competition show does not want to acknowledge that that’s what it is. Though Chris and Drew said they are ready to propose to Des right there and then, it’s because they’ve been brainwashed by the entire experience. Brooks is the only one who has stepped back and said, basically, “This is insane.”

brooks the bachelorette break up

He goes to Antigua. Desiree gushes about how excited she is for their date. It’s going to be a romantic day of sailing, and at night, she’s going to ask him to spend an evening with her in “the fantasy suite.” Being in the fantasy suite is the one time during the whole show that the couple can be together without cameras present. And yes, bang. They can bang. And they should, unless they have their own personal reasons against having sex before marriage, but they really should know each other intimately before getting engaged, because that’s what this is, this is your last chance to have sex with someone before you ask them to marry you, and typically, that’s not how people have relationships. But of course none of this show is typical.

Thus Brooks, who must feel like he’s taking crazy pills, came to the decision that he must break up with Desiree, because he isn’t in love with her and isn’t ready to propose, and he doesn’t have any more time, because we are nearing the season finale of a TV show.

Des, so excited to see Brooks walking towards her, immediately knows something is wrong when she sees his face. “What’s wrong?” she asks.

And then we are treated to the most awkward break-up in all of television. Because this is real. No one warned Des about this. Brooks doesn’t want to begin the conversation until they sit down on a bench that is approximately 300 fucking miles away from where they are standing, or at least that’s what it feels like. Once they sit down, it becomes clear that Brooks has no idea how to break up with someone. Des doesn’t understand what he’s getting at until she asks, “How do you feel?” and his pause goes on forever, and she knows, and then he says, honestly, “I want to be madly in love with you…” and trails off and she starts sobbing. He doesn’t even need to add “but.”

He tries to make it better by saying how great she is and he doesn’t know why his feelings aren’t as strong for her as he would like and then she drops the bomb, “I love you.” He’s shocked. “Why didn’t you tell me that earlier?” he says, voice cracking. “Because I couldn’t,” she cries. I’m assuming she means that she was pressured by the producers not to tell him, but who knows really. “You’re the only one I love.” This breaks him. And we see them sobbing on the bench, holding each other, until she pushes him away, begging him not to touch her because it hurts too much.

desiree bachelorette brooks break up

Neither of them want to leave this bench, they are clinging to each other for dear life. There is no soundtrack, there is just the sound of sobbing. He finally suggests they get up, and they walk away. “I guess you’re leaving” she says, emotionless. “I don’t know what to say,” he says. He keeps apologizing. “Don’t say you’re sorry,” she responds. “It makes it worse.” “I’m sorry,” he says. She stops and for a moment you think she’s going to turn around and smack him.

They keep walking. He says something like, “I thought maybe you had similar reservations I did, that you were confused too” or something and she snaps, saying she did have confusing feelings, because, “I didn’t want to share my heart. I wanted to give it to you” thus revealing that this whole time on the show she’s just been going through the motions while dating everyone else. He realizes he’s made it worse. He has no idea what to do with himself. They hug and she says “stop” and she turns around because she can’t watch him leave. She walks back to the bench of doom. Then he paces, sobbing, saying he didn’t know it was going to be that hard and that, “I didn’t want to let her go…I didn’t expect to feel that.” Does this mean that he’s falling in love with her? That her revelation changed his feelings? You better believe that’s what the producers will convince him. He’ll most likely be back, and they’ll reunite and it will be edited like a Nicholas Sparks movie, and this moment of raw emotion will be pushed aside until the show ends and they break up for real.

So why the hell did I write this much about an episode of The Bachelorette? Because this was the most painful fucking thing I have ever seen on reality TV, and this includes every time someone got their nuts smashed on Wipeout. For once we have the “real” in reality. This feels like my break up. I’ve had this break up. Because this part has nothing to do with the show, this part has to do with feelings, that horrible crunching feeling in a suddenly empty space in your stomach when you realize for the first time that someone you are in love with isn’t in love with you. She must have known it, or she wouldn’t make the classic excuse for him, “he doesn’t need to tell me he loves me, he says it without saying it.” We’ve all said that at some point. We all really wanted to believe it at some point. But thankfully, millions of people weren’t watching us prepare for such an epic car crash at the finish line.

desiree bachelorette crying

 

Image credits: screenshots of The Bachelorette, via Hulu, ABC

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On Taylor Swift, love, marriage, and the great unknown.

taylor swift no make up

Taylor Swift. Taylor, Taylor, Taylor Swift. Swifty ole Tay-tay.

Dear, sweet Taylor Swift. You’ve taught us so much about men and break ups and bleachers. But you still have so much to learn — as do we. And we’ll all figure it out together. Don’t dismay, dear Taylor. We get you. Lots of us have been there.

the beatles

We are never, ever getting back together.

In an interview with Wonderland magazine she said: “I have no idea if I’m going to get married or be single forever […] Relationships are like traffic lights. And I just have this theory that I can only exist in a relationship if it’s a green light.”

I had to double check every single episode of Sex and the City to make sure that Carrie hadn’t already used that simile. Aiden’s light was Kermit green. But Big’s light was yellow. And I didn’t know how long I could sit in traffic.

None of us know but most of us know that none of us know, you know? I went to a palm reader once and she told me a man was going to buy me an apartment and that I used to be Marilyn Monroe. She didn’t know. And I knew it.

young marilyn monroe

My landlord told me I resemble Marilyn Monroe. Marilyn Monroe is of course known for her long brown hair, small boobs, and signature Phil Collins t-shirt.

There’s a certain excitement and wonder that comes with not knowing who we’ll meet or fall in love with or marry or when. And there’s also a certain dread and fear about it. And I think most of us fall somewhere in between — that is, those of us who want to find love andwant to get married, because not everybody does. Does it seem like society forgets this? Does it occur to anyone that maybe the reason Taylor Swift always seems to talk about her love life is because everyone always asks her?

taylor swift press conference

“Just for once I wish you people would ask me about the national deficit.”

I think a lot of young women of our generation don’t feel pressured to get married just yet. I think the main pressure we feel is from our parents to move out of their houses and find “real jobs.” Whatever, dad, majoring in playwriting seemed like a great idea at the time. I was living in New York in the village; it would have been stupid not to. (While typing that sentence, it took me three tries to spell playwriting correctly, true story.)

So I don’t feel pressured to get married. But I do feel pressured to find love and claw my way out of singledom. And I feel that pressure is from one person only — me. And I don’t know why. I don’t know why I can’t be 100% happy with myself. When I have a job I love, I’m frustrated with my love life. When I’m single, I’m frustrated with my career. Why do I link the two? What the hell is wrong with me? My friends say I should act my age. What’s my age again? What’s my age again? (I think the problem is that I break out into Blink-182 lyrics, even in writing.)

blink 182

Say it ain’t so.

Dear, sweet Taylor: who cares if you’re single forever? I mean that in an empowering way. Why do people care? Stop asking Taylor Swift about her relationships. SHE TELLS US HERSELF. She tells us in every song.

The goal shouldn’t be to get married or to avoid being single forever. And I think Taylor realizes that. I think we all realize that, but sometimes we forget. We forget to stop looking forward and take a look around us where we are, right now. We don’t know what will happen and we don’t have to know. Repeat after me: we don’t have to know. And just a reminder that as hackneyed as it is, single or married, we should love ourselves just the way we are.

billy joel piano show

No clever conversation though. No one wants to work that hard.

 

Photo credits:
Nina Leen, Bill Ray, J. R. Eyerman, for LIFE Magazine.
Photo of Taylor Swift from Splash via “I Mean What?”. Blink-182 by Featureflash. Billy Joel by Anthony Correia.
Originally posted at Hello Giggles.

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Sex, dating, and marriage survey of 2012. OMG.

Match.com is one of the many Internet dating sites that I’ve helped friends with; by which I mean, making over their dating profile. Because being single sucks. Or, it does for me. Most of the time. Probably because I need so much attention.

“Constantly talking isn’t necessarily communicating.” — Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Since 2010 Match.com has done studies on singles and married people, asking them about what they want, what they have, and what they need. This year I’m bringing some of those stats to you, via Singles in America.

match.com singles america

Anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher lead the study of 5,481 single people, spending 12-14 hours a day analyzing her data. I feel like if you’re single and/or have single friends, we all do that in some way or another. Analyzing our data, and our friends’, and whatever we need to do to feel normal.

So how do we, (and by “we” I mean 20 somethings, but if you’re over 20, I still love and adore you, ASK YOUR DAD, the implication being that I had sex with your father, it’s a bad joke), feel about marriage?

kennedy wedding

Over 2/3 of men and women in their 20’s want to get married. Can’t help but wonder what if the question instead was, “How many of you want to get divorced in your 20’s?” 82% of women in their 20s wanted to get married. 67% of men do.

Weirdly, or weirdly to me, these numbers drop in the 30’s to 78% of women and 64% of men. I thought it only went up the older you get, especially with women. That’s what the movies and the television shows tell us. Except for Sex and the City. Actually, no, wait, didn’t they all wind up married at the end? Except for Samantha I guess. That Samantha! She is a PISTOL! So why is it that the stats go down? Is it because people get married in their 20’s, get divorced and think, Fuck it, I’m buying a boat? Can anyone explain this from personal experience?

Henry Groskinsky

 

Here’s something that shocked me from this study. Really, really surprised me. Did you know that the first thing both men and women judge when they first meet someone is their teeth? I always assumed my entire dating life that it would be how fat or thin someone is. But apparently it isn’t, at least not in 2012 when this survey was taken. So good news if you’re fat! You’re gonna be fine! What do you see immediately about someone you’re dating when you first meet them? Guess what else is important to people? GRAMMAR! YEEEEEAAHHHHHHH! That’s not a joke actually.

90% of people asked, “Do you believe that you can stay married forever, to the same person?” answered yes. YES! YOU IDIOTS. THE MATH DOESN’T ADD UP. THE NUMBER OF DIVORCES IS TOO DAMN HIGH!

Melina Mercouri

OKAY, LET’S GET TO YOU SLUTTY SINGLE SUPER PEOPLE. 45% of you had a friends-with-benefits relationship that turned into a REAL THING. And Dr. Fisher says, “I’m not surprised. Because any kind of sexual stimulation of the genitals drives up dopamine which can push you over the threshold into falling in love, and with orgasm is a real flood of oxytocin that is linked with feelings of attachment. Casual sex is NOT casual unless you’re so drunk you can’t remember it.”

mod sqaudI hear you there, good doctor. Being really drunk is like time travelling. I think I just accidentally made a Dr. Who joke. And this is where she said something REAL interesting to me: “maybe we’re in a new stage of courtship.” Dude, I said this way back when I started my blog. I said this in my THIRD POST. It’s TRUE, DR. FISHER, IT’S ALL TRUE!

So what do you guys and dolls think about all of this? What are some dating or marriage trends you’ve been seeing? Do they reflect this study or are you reading this and as puzzled as Cogsworth when Lumiere cooks up one of his schemes to get Belle and the Beast together?

I think this study is interesting as hell, and I recommend you watch Dr. Fisher’s talk here. It was a livestreaming video so the quality isn’t the best, but it’s worth watching/listening to, because holy fuck, it really surprised me.

(Oh, and for all you sexters out there, don’t be too hard — omg that’s what she said — on yourselves if you’ve sexted because you are so not even close to being alone. 35% of women say they’ve done but, oh my God, we all know it’s higher. It’s such a thing now that Match made a short vid about it. Check it out below. There’s another stat in there that may or may not embarrass you.)

This post was sponsored by Match.com. As always, all opinions are my own, for better or worse.

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You.

vintage lipstickYou. No, not you. The other you. Maybe.

I would now like to address all of the different Yous. As in, more than one person. As in, this is not all about one person.

You need to stop. This is my fault, I should have been more direct. It’s not going to happen.

You are working on being a better friend, and I really appreciate that. You’re probably the only true guy friend I have left. Even though you did that thing that I will never understand, I can’t use it against you for the rest of our lives. Also, you owe me a drink.

You were my friend and you disappeared and it’s probably because of that thing that happened. Even though we were apparently both fine with it. You’re right in what you said; what I suggested, I didn’t really want. But I do want you to be my friend again.

You seem like you want to become my friend, a real friend. I really liked that conversation we had on my couch. I was touched. But I can’t rely on you to follow up and follow through. I wish you would. But you disappear and you don’t even try.

You probably don’t even read this blog anymore. You meant a lot to me. Still do.

You are actually a wonderful guy friend. I’m so glad that happened. I wish you lived here. If things stay as they are, I accept your invitation for that thing in the spring.

You, I am so angry with you.

You and I talk about having sex, hypothetically, but I don’t know if that’s the best idea. I think you’re just lonely.

You disappeared, but it’s okay. I wasn’t feeling it anymore either. The sex was fantastic. Hope you felt that way too. Sorry your roommate thought I was being murdered. Really glad she didn’t call the police.

You wondered what happened. You pulled a classic Schmosby and honestly, that changed a lot in our dynamic. I still think you’re great though.

You are just confusing as hell, but at least you know it. I hope you know that I do want you in my life. I don’t know how. Glad it isn’t my fault. I’m not going to campaign for myself. You’ve already told me how awesome I am. If you ever figure this out, let me know. There’s no deadline. Just see what happens. There’s something there. Let’s put a pin in it.

You, I forgot to respond to your email. Sorry.

Address all of your Yous in the comment section. Very freeing.

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What I want from men.

guys and dolls

I asked my friend Tony, “Hey Tony. I know this is a big question, but what do guys really want? I know every man is different. But think broadly. What do guys want from a woman? For her to do or not do? You know?”

He said, “It really depends on the guy. And unfortunately, I’m so far off from most guys that I don’t know how well I can answer that.” And then, he asked me, “What do you want out of a boy? For him to do and not do?”

Here’s what I want.

“I want a boy to be honest, but there’s a difference from being honest and being blunt. To be honest is having your actions align with your words.

I like when boys don’t play games. By which I mean this: If you say something, you should mean it. Don’t say something and then do something else. Don’t act one way and then another. That’s a game to me.

I want men to be unafraid of doing new things or of looking silly.

I want men to understand that for you, it’s just a text, but for most women (NOT ALL, MOST, NOT ALL, MOST, UNDERSTAND?) we dissect texts and take them apart and over-interpret them. Similarly, we worry when you don’t text at all. We think, “What have I done wrong?” I guess my point is that, keep in mind that communcation via any medium is important.

I want men to know that we’re way less complicated than you think we are. We just want to know that we’re valued and that we mean something to you. We’re not asking you to marry us, or commit to us immediately, or try to trap you into a relationship. That’s not what I’m saying. We just want to know that you like us. That you recognize we’re people with feelings like yours. It’s always nice to feel appreciated. We know we can go a little overboard with reading into things and seeing signs that aren’t there. But we do it because we feel like you’re not giving us enough. Maybe that’s because men aren’t trained to show emotion. But we like a little emotion.

I want men to know that we hate games too. We really do!!! We don’t want to have to play them. But when we text you and you don’t text back, we suddenly think, oh, now I have to do the whole, let me just disappear thing so he’ll want me again. It doesn’t even matter that it isn’t logical, and in most cases, isn’t even correct (people are busy! people don’t think texting is as important as you do! And so on!) I think that in the same way men are trained not to show emotion, women are trained to try to trap a man. I don’t feel this way. None of my friends do. This is of an older generation. But we’re still faced with books like, “Why Men Love Bitches” and “He’s Just Not That Into You” and suddenly we panic and think, “Well wait, why ISN’T he into me? HOW DO I CHANGE IT??” That’s why there’s an entire industry based on relationship books.

It all comes down to one thing, and it’s one thing that works for both men and women: be kind, be honest, and don’t be a dick.”

(And be hot and good in bed. If not hot, then at least good.)

Men: what do you want from women?

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Singledom and the holidays.

girl bikini vintage

Full disclosure: this post is sponsored by AZO. Keep it real, ladies.

The holiday express is choo chooing down the track and you either have to hop on or jump in front of it. Hopefully, you jump on it. If you jumped in front of it, you can’t read this anymore. Because you’re dead. Because this is a very literal metaphor. So let’s get you on that train. Here’s the tricky part: are you traveling alone, or with a partner, on the holiday express?

The holidays have a way of making single people feel like they need to be part of a couple. Not even in a deep, serious way; sometimes in a more superficial way, because you need a really hot date to bring to that bangin’ New Year’s Eve party you’ve already decided to go to. I shall not be untruthful: I always want, need, and like to have a date on New Year’s Eve. I don’t know why this is. Maybe I feel like it’s the real people version of The Oscars. Everyone is all dressed up for a big evening ahead, and you know there’s going to be photos taken and making out to be had. Admittedly, I feel “cuffed” to this idea, of needing a date. And they’re emotional handcuffs that I’m putting on myself. They’re cute handcuffs though. The handcuffs are the guy, by the way. In case you didn’t figure that out. Just in case.

But please understand this: I’m not going to scour my Facebook friends list, cell phone contacts, or OKCupid for potential dates. I actually do have limits. If that’s something you do, that’s your thing, go do it. But I’m not at the level where I’m going to call some dude I had sex with once three years ago, breathless, saying, “HI WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO TO A NEW YEAR’S PARTY WITH ME, IT’S GOING TO BE FUN, I’M BREEZY!” And they’ll say, “Who is this?” And I’ll laugh nervously and say, “OH MY GOD, YOU GUYS, IT’S ALMIE!” And they’ll say, “Almie…it’s November 30th.” And I’ll say, “WELL YOU KNOW HOW QUICKLY SCHEDULES FILL UP AROUND THE HOLIDAYS.” And they’ll say, “Did you just pronounce it ‘shed-u-elles?’ And why are you shouting?” And I’ll say, “I have the wrong number, I was trying to reach Tyler.” And they’ll say, “This is Tyler.” And I’ll say, “Oh, I meant Ryan, bye.” (BTW, Tyler, this is in no way referring to you, I’m referring to The Tyler Technique. Even though, coincidentally, we did spend New Year’s together one year. And your name is Tyler. But it’s not you. Swear. I think you’re swell.)

As far as needing to have a date: it doesn’t matter. If you focus on the parts of the holidays that matter, like giving and love and gingerbread lattes or whatever, you’ll be just fine. I know this. We all know this. We just can’t forget it.

Does anyone else have these, “Oh no, it’s the holidays and I’m single” feelings? If you do, how do get over it?

Ladies, read the rest more info on AZO. Or guys too, whatever, it’s just not going to apply to you, and may cause confusion and fear.

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