Mind Fuck

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I try to live with a strong sense of respect for the people I encounter in my life. I understand that everyone is battling demons and a struggle that lingers and trickles into our future. At no point in time do I ever believe that ones struggle of past experiences gives anyone the right to treat people like an absolute piece of shit. If you have been following my blog, you know that I have been through my fair share and beyond of hurtful, exhausting, bizarre and confusing experiences; but this one takes the cake and as much as I wanted to hold a high respect for this person, he hasn’t done the same and so I’m ready to talk.

I met a man a few months ago whose dating profile describes a man looking for a true gem. A man who describes himself as intelligent, open minded, not looking to date for sport, a genuine gentlemen, a true romantic type who will challenge you and be there for you. This all seemed so promising especially after the initial way he courted me. This man invited me into his life in a real way; the first real way I have experienced since my last true relationship. I met his mother, he took me to family events, went on weekend trips with him, he gave me a toothbrush and even invited me to leave pajamas at his place. It felt amazing. I let my guards come falling down and I reciprocated his kindness with my genuine open heart and natural kind nature. This sentiment and adornment I was feeling was quickly jilted when he told me he was still using his dating apps (he is a member of 4) and yes, going on dates with other women (so much for not dating for sport.) One would think, and any woman in my position, that his actions and words would dictate his loyalty even without label. It is an awful taste to give to someone who is just genuinely looking for that special someone. I was kind, respectful and honest in the way that I felt. He describes his perfect woman as fun, kind, respectful, happy and a joy to be around. All of which I am and was with him at all times. I let him in.

As I mentioned before, I have anxiety. He unfortunately, has a stubborn inability to communicate; a problem he explained has been the main root of his drama in previous relationships. My anxiety causes for the need to communicate as an adult to prevent spiral and bottling up my emotions. I guess I’ve learned a lot in therapy about about the importance of communication for overall healthy living. When I learned about the other women, naturally I was deeply hurt. I bottled things up and he made several sarcastic and hurtful comments such as “I would prefer a blonde over you” and offering to help show me the tricks of the dating apps on my new phone. One day, I finally reached my boiling point and let out my frustration and feelings about how I was being treated. Naturally, he called me the crazy one and thus began the demise of something once promising; all because he genuinely did not give a flying fuck about my feelings as a fellow human being.

Things ended somewhat amicably. Basically, he said he didn’t see a future; even though two weeks prior, he took me furniture shopping and I helped him pick couches and talked about a trip to the Caribbean. My anxiety, an illness I never asked for which was jump-started by lack of respect and being completely lead on, was the reason he decided he could not be with me (so much for open minded.) He refused to communicate and ran from the first flaw he saw in the relationship. There was no room for compromise. He tried to tell me “everyone’s different” but in my opinion, this doesn’t give anyone justification to be hurtful, unfair and lead someone on. He told me in our face to face breakup, one he tried to complete with a text message the week before (rude!) that he was looking for a wife and it got me thinking. If we are all looking for that special someone, why is it that so many people only consider their own experience of it? What about the experience of the wife he’s looking for? It’s about her experience too. Like I said, relationship karma is a thing. Treat people the way you wish to be treated. I have reached out to try and end things peacefully and have a fresh start at friendship (also to get my belongings back); because I stubbornly see the good in people above the bad. Unfortunately this left room for more ignorance and silent treatment, for absolutely no fucking reason. I was mature, polite and even playful in the way I kindly made a peace offering to move forward. He read it, and didn’t respond. This is a 32 year old man.

People can’t just go around treating people with such disrespect and expect that their own individual struggle provides an excuse for it. The other person has had struggle too. Perpetuating that negative treatment forward isn’t healthy for anyone. Furthermore, communication is a detrimental key point in any lasting and loving relationship. This was a man who once joked that I was his fiancee and constantly got down on one knee with fake proposals. What a mind fuck indeed it is to sit here wondering what I did to deserve such cruel and unusual treatment from someone I was constantly kind too, just like he wanted in his profile. The thing about dating is this; some people date with selfish intent, and some people are like me, and consider the feelings and previous struggles of others. I knew he had been through a lot and I treated that information with special care. He knew my history and lived for himself anyways. That’s the reality of dating sometimes. The thing is this; the way people treat you isn’t a testament of who you are or what you’re worth as a person, but more of a reflection of who they are. I was my normal self with him. I had no hidden agenda. I just genuinely wanted to build upon the great times and connection we had. Instead, I’ve been left with ignorance, disrespect, confusion and trying to solve the riddle of why I’m back here. Enough is fucking enough. If people can’t go online and at least have respect for the people they court, introduce to family, make false hopes for and generally lead on, then we are absolutely doomed as a society. This is not the way to behave people and I genuinely hope that he realizes the error in his ways and learns how to better treat people going forward. As for myself, I just bled my pain through my writing and now I’m done. The truth sometimes hurts but it’s better to put it out there than to bottle it up inside. If I am supposed to be okay and understanding of another persons personality and selfish treatment of others, then I hope everyone can understand that I am a writer and a blogger who blogs about my experiences. Dating at this age to me is not a game and I don’t believe in playing people or behaving in selfish manner to get what I want. What I want is a partner in life. A partner in crime. Someone who respects me genuinely and I, in return will respect. Online dating has ruined that traditional sense of relationship value.

I tried to be the bigger person but this was just downright hurtful. He was not nice to me. But at the end of the day, and many others like myself, I’m a strong enough person to know right from wrong and to stand up for myself and what I believe in. As the quote says “if people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better.”

NEXT!

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The transition from online to first date

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Part of being a dating and relationship blogger, is that I have become a place of salvation for advice about how to handle new dating situations, specifically pertaining to online dating. This morning, a good male friend of mine messaged me to solicit my trusted opinion on what to do on the first dates he has planned with a couple of women he met online. The truth is I am no expert, but I am pretty stealthy and level-headed enough to know the best way to approach that sometimes awkward first date with a person whom you have found on the interwebs, and I know from plenty of experiences. When I first started online dating it was a process of trial and error. Sometimes I would meet the person after a few short and brief chats but I have evolved to a place where I now actually talk to the guy plenty before I accept that first date. This is part of your experience though so my first piece of advice is to meet when you feel comfortable enough to know the person isn’t a psycho stage-5 (or stage 6 chimney dweller- Google if you don’t understand this reference- you won’t be disappointed) or heaven forbid, a serial killer/murderer (again, I have learned this the hard way- I’m starting to understand why people think I am an expert on this stuff, I’ve literally been through it all)

Okay so, you have been chatting to your object of interest for X amount of time, they seem swell and you’ve finally decided to set up that first date. Yay! Congrats to you! Now, what is a safe bet for a first date? Like I said, feel it out to your comfort level. My usual level of comfort is to meet the guy for a quick drink and an appetizer, or a coffee and a walk. It’s light, short and provides an easy escape in case things go awry. Rarely, and I mean very rarely do I allow a guy to come to my home and pick me up to take me on anything more than a two hour date for our first meet. This is ultimately because A) I’m a smart and safe cookie, and B) Unless the connection is undeniably awesome beforehand, there’s no need to plan a marathon of a first date. Short and sweet does the trick. Okay, so here’s my guide to first dates:

Pick a neutral location

I usually advise that a first meeting should be a midway point between you and the other person. In the lower mainland, some people take transit and others drive so this way, it’s not an inconvenience for either party. Picking somewhere in between whether it be from your workplaces or homes, whatever makes sense for your situation, will just take the pressure off the both of you. I also recommend a public place – none of this meeting in a park at 1am through Cuddlr to cuddle, or whatever. I also highly advise not to ever invite anyone over to your place for a first date, unless you’re just looking to dance the mattress mambo like the Tinder whore you are, in which case, please use a jimmy and stop pro-creating your morally appalling breed. Yes, you read correctly. Sorry but not sorry.

Keep it light

First dates feel like an interview, and it’s a painful process sometimes to have the person across from you asking you your personal life resume details. Depending on the conversations that built up to the first date, I recommend to keep it light. Don’t engage in touchy subjects like politics, religion, sexual orientation etc. And for the love of god, men especially, please don’t talk about your penis as I’m sipping my beer and trying to stomach my Calamari. We don’t want to hear it. The first face-to-face should be about your chemistry together and to determine if a second date is going to happen. If the vibe is good, you will be laughing and joking in no time. Don’t be too serious. Just have fun!

Don’t be awkward about the bill

This is a touchy subject. I’m pretty old school and still believe in the fairy-tale of chivalry. Lucky for me, I have been fortunate enough that most of my gentlemen suitors are exactly that; gentlemen. There have been a few instances however where the bill comes and they read me my portion of the cheque to which point I happily reach for my wallet. A note to women–do not go on any date if you can’t afford to pay for yourself. I’ve touched on this point in a YouTube segment with my host, Susan McCord which I will link below for your viewing pleasures. When the bill comes, don’t be awkward and to the men-if you don’t plan on seeing her again, then it’s okay to ask for her to pay her portion. After all, this online dating thing can get expensive if you’re constantly going on a bunch of dead-end first dates. However, if you want to see the woman again, treat her like the lady that she is, and only go to places you know you can afford. This is a key point.

End the date peacefully

Whether you do or don’t want to see the person again, it’s best to end the date gracefully. If things went well, it might be with a kiss after you walk them to their door or car, or it might be with a handshake or a simple wave. Don’t be a dick and don’t be misleading. Always say it was nice to meet them and exit with class. No one wants to be that idiot date that ends up being blogged about (hah!)

Post-date etiquette

Of all the confusing factors that contribute to online dating, I have to say that this behavior is always the most frustrating. I believe highly in relationship karma; treat others the way you wish to be treated. If the girl or guy texts you the next day or days following and you don’t want to see them, don’t go on a rant to your friends saying “Wow, this girl is needy” or “This guy is clearly desperate” just tell them “Hey, it was nice to meet you but I’m just not feeling it” Ignoring people after a first date, or several dates is just plain bad manners. Period. You get what you give and if you really want to meet a kind and genuine person, you have to coat check your ego and consider that the other person is also on this journey as well. By being honest and ending things on a high and polite note, you contribute to changing the game not only for yourself, but for that person as well. No one likes a bad dating aftertaste. This plays a part in what makes us all so fucked up about dating to begin with. So basically, be a decent human being and have some manners, okay? It’s really not that hard. Effective communication makes everything in life a lot more pleasant and drama free. Everything.

Side notes:

*Sometimes the first date isn’t the final indication of one’s character. Some people are just plain shy and nervous about it. If you’re on the fence, an equally as low key second date can really help solidify your assessment.

*A couple phone calls before meeting in person will benefit you in a huge way. I absolutely adore phone calls. You get an immediate sense of the personality of the person. Texting and message exchanges can be very misconstrued and don’t offer proper reveal of the person’s true character or intended tone. Go old school and dial the digits. Have a phone date first. Sometimes it’s less nerve-wracking if you’ve knocked this wall down prior to meeting. At least that way their adorable snorting laugh won’t make you sputter your drink all over them from across the table while laughing.

So there you have it! The official Singlevancouver first date survival guide. I can tell you that I have had a lot of first dates in the past three years and I have learned through trial and error how to behave like a lady/decent human being. Basically, it has dramatically changed who I am as a person and how I view and handle relationships. With this new and modern dating game you really have to believe that you get what you give. If you’re really looking for a life partner or a great relationship, then you need to behave that way and treat people with that high regard of kindness no matter what the outcome. You will go on weird dates, you will meet people who don’t have the same life ambition and you will also meet people who have quirks and massive flaws you can’t live with. Through the process of trial and error however, you will start to see different varieties of people which will make those rare gems stand out more. I know from my bizarre and insane experiences and in hearing stories from my male friends about the horrible women they have met that finding a good solid connection is quite rare so tread carefully and be kind and gentle in the process. The most important thing is to smile, be yourself and have fun! Like I said, we are all on this journey together so try not to leave people with a bad taste in their mouth.

Date on! 🙂

Change: Raincouver edition

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They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This morning I woke up slightly irritated. The past few days I have come home to a new mess in my apartment. First, the cable guys came to switch the wiring and accidentally drilled into my heat line. This resulted in the need for furnace techs and in their repair, they had to take out concrete from my floor and also ended up knocking out my cable. This resulted in the cable technicians having to make another house call. For four days straight, I have come home to an upside down apartment and a disgruntled cat confused by the strange men in my home in my absence. I have two holes in the walls of my apartment and this morning when I unplugged the temporary heater my building managers gave me in the interim, it started smoking and half of the prong melted into the socket. This on top of the rain apocalypse that was happening outside caused for a “what in the actual fuck?” start to my day and it wasn’t even 6 am yet.

I started driving to work and road rage was everywhere. Honking horns in the dark dreary morning and ridiculous pond sized puddles splashing pedestrians left and right set the tone for a hard day ahead. Then something funny happened, as I started walking from my truck to my office in what I can only explain as monsoon rainfall, I started to notice the cascades of rain washing down the streets. It was like every curb had a river flowing beside it. The rain was actually so absurd that it made me laugh. It was actually kind of pretty too. My socks were soaked through my boots but I was actually enjoying the absurdity around me. Every day we have a choice. You can smile at the absurdities you can’t control, or you can have a shitty attitude because it’s raining, and let’s face it; if you live in Vancouver, you’re going to have a bad time if you choose the latter. I bounced into my office happy and beamed my smile at everyone with a good morning greeting. I cracked jokes like “gorgeous weather today!” and asked a co-worker if we were still on for our beach date after work. I could tell everyone around me had a hard commute into the office because of the weather, but as soon as something positive was directed at them, it lit them up. It made me realize that as cliché as it sounds, if you change the way you look at things, things you look at change. It got my brain moving on the subject of change.

You can choose to be stuck in bad behavioural patterns and continue to have the same results, or you can make the choice to look and behave differently to see if the outcome is more desirable than the misery you continuously cycle yourself through. This is true of how you handle your career, your health and your relationships. If you never change or try to improve on the things that attract negativity, you are only creating your own insanity. Take a relationship for example. We all have bad habits and we all have flaws; I can definitely attest to my own. If you are constantly failing and experiencing the same negative outcome each time, the insanity lies in the fact that you allow yourself to repeat the same bad habits and mistakes and expect a different outcome. You have to be willing to step out of your usual comfort zone to see if a new approach might make a more positive outcome, much like my attitude towards the weather. It’s like that argument in Bridesmaids between Helen and Annie:

Annie: Yeah, but, I mean, they still stay who they are, pretty much.

Helen: I think we change all the time.

Annie: I think we stay the same, but grow, I guess, a little bit.

Helen: I think if you are growing, then you are changing.

Some people are afraid and stuck in the thinking pattern that change takes away from who they truly are but the opposite is true. Change is simply growth. You are the same person but you develop better habits and strategies in life. You acquire skills and problem solving abilities to make yourself better. It’s like taking a course to further your career, but instead you are coursing yourself to improve on life. Making statements like “I won’t change” is basically saying “I refuse to grow as an individual” and thus, you will repeat history again and again. There’s a difference between changing your beliefs and changing habits. Changing your beliefs for someone else’s benefit is one thing, but changing bad life habits like being a miserable person on a rainy day to someone more positive will never work against who you are as a person, it’s simply improving upon your character flaws.

If I entered every friendship, business relationship and personal relationship with the same bad habits that has proved to cause me misery and failure in the past, then I would be perpetually stuck with the same bad cycle but my life is constantly improving and that is because I put in the work every day to make myself better and this point proves strong when I look at how strong my friendships and family life has become. If I had chosen to accept my diagnosis of severe panic and anxiety disorders without the willingness to improve myself and work through my struggle, then I would still be popping Ativan’s and having two to three panic attacks a day. I did the work, and I am seeing the results and it feels way better than being addicted to pills and miserable all the time. As a writer, when I started my first blog and started writing for a website called Examiner, I received negative comments and insults about my writing abilities all the time. I could have decided “oh well, that’s just me. I won’t change” but instead I took the criticism, developed my craft and grew myself and my style. Now my writing abilities are above and beyond what I would have expected and drastically different than six years ago. My psychologist was so blown away by my piece about dating with anxiety that she wants a copy of it for reference for other patients who face the same struggle and to me that’s a huge compliment to how far I have come because I was willing and open to change. JD Houston, an American novelist, quotes “If you want something in your life you’ve never had, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done.” So get out of your bad habits, accept the rain and start your day differently with a better attitude and the willingness to make positive changes.

Is modern dating ruining how women view sex?

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Depending on who you talk to, everyone has a different opinion on sex. A person in a committed relationship will have virtually no quarrels about the security of their sexual activities but if you are single and part of the new movement of modern dating using various technologies, you have probably found that the way you used to interpret and enjoy sex in your earlier years has changed and this particularly pertains to women. For many women, the goal is to actually care about one person but this trend is so sorely missed from our male counterparts. The majority of single women want connection both emotionally and sexually but we want the emotional connection to occur first. We take a huge risk these days in going online to find the right kind of person for us and are instantly overwhealmed with hundreds of advances that streamline to sex right off the bat.

I solicitied the opinion of some of my trusted single ladies who have gone through these unnerving experiences as well and while there were some different perspectives, most women felt that men have put unwanted pressure on us sexually which is causing us to close up and remain on guard even when a respectful person comes along. We don’t even know what genuine sex and connection feels like anymore because we are constantly bombarded with a haze of men who will do and say anything to get you into bed and then they are out faster than the Vancouver Canucks in the playoffs. The Rico Suave type is the new swine flu; it’s a pig virus that no one likes.

One friend says,

“In the past few months I find that everytime I go on a date, there is almost an expectation of sex on the guys part… Also I’m really sick of just getting to know someone and the text convo turning sexual in the first day or hour. If I don’t know your last name yet, I certainly don’t need to know about your massive boner and what you’ll hope to do with it”

Another friend says,

“Can we please discuss why every man I meet via internet wants a pic of my boobs or ass!? Ugh!”

And another,

“I am a very sexual person but I also believe in sharing that with someone I’m emotionally connected to. I feel like men are the same. We all just want love. Both sexes may just not know how to go about that anymore. We live in a world that highlights public personas and appearances. We don’t know how to be raw anymore, and far too many people feel vulnerability is a weakness”

And I myself, have experienced this more than I ever wanted or should have to in my lifetime. I met a man at the Cloverdale Rodeo a couple years ago who took me out on one date; singular. He showed up with flowers and we had a great PG night in the city. The following day, he began making sexual references over text messages and my past experiences caused me to instantly close off and become defensive. I told him honestly that I wasn’t comfortable with talking like that. He then said “I’m sorry, you’re too serious for me.” Is it serious that I don’t want to be treated and spoken to as a sexual object before I’ve even become intimate with you? Why do men feel they have the right to belittle us when we say “No, this is not okay!” Another guy I encountered on my Tinderella gone wild experiment and I had a few pleasant exchanges so I didn’t use him as research material because he seemed decent. A few messages in, he started talking about blow jobs and how I should cook him dinner. When I called him on his shitty manners, he called me a psycho. It sucks because prior to all these experiences, I used to be very playful and flirty in that regard with the person I was dating but I feel like due to modern advances, we have to constantly be on high alert for an ulterior motive.

This brings me to the male “dick brain.” What is a “dick brain?” It’s simple… the dick brain is the mechanical process in which a man allows the feelings pertruding through his pants come straight out of his mouth or through his fingertips. Typically the messages stemming from the dick brain do not travel through the actual brain itself, thus bypassing any logical filters that the actual brain would otherwise flag as offensive. Unfortunately in online dating and early courtship with a Rico Suave type, dick brain does most of the talking.

It is taking women who online date with genuine intent much longer to open up and be comfortable with men sexually because of the way we are being treated. It’s not that we don’t want and enjoy sex, but it’s how it’s presented and expected now that is shattering the way we feel about it. Even after a bad date, men try to invite you over, move things from the couch to the bedroom and some might even outwardly say “did you seriously think I came over to your place for sushi and that we weren’t going to have sex?” and then we submit, because we feel stupid and outlandish to have assumed that our fun interraction and courtship would be innocent until we felt ready, so we get baited into being ready before we want to be. When men hear the word “no”, they act shocked and confused as if there is a herd of women running around with edible underwear waiting to be devoured by the sugar addicts A.K.A, horny men. Do men not want to work for it anymore because they don’t have to? Do men really want a slew of women, one after another who give in easily? Personally, I want the man who respects when I say no, even if it’s multiple times and after several sleepovers. I stopped giving in a long time ago and unfortunately, I’ve been called a ton of names by men because of it. I became closed off sexually and coming out of the shell is proving to be a very hard internal struggle and I blame the internet and the shit storm of men who lack manners and respect towards women.

Many men and even some women will argue “he’s just a typical man” and with the evolution of dating, this theory needs to be tossed off the fire escape along with the expectation that women should submit to men on command. If men want women to be ladylike, and behave with a level of softness, then they need to get their shit together and start treating us as such. Why not re-breed the culture of innocence and resistance so that once you do reach those intimate levels and encounters, they are genuine and trusting? Women are sick of having to behave in a certain way, dress a certain way and reject men in a defensive manner that makes men label us crazy all because we are sick of being exploited and disrespected for having a vagina that isn’t open 24 hours like 7/11. Isn’t it sad that women are becoming fearful to be playful and sexual with men because of these constant experiences? When one finally does come across a genuine man who isn’t like the new majority, it’s hard to even recognize it. Does such a man even exist? Yes, they do and when we finally come across one, we are too guarded to even enjoy and trust it.

So where do we go from here and how do we change this dynamic? What should the end point be? Are women being unreasonable to expect respect or do men need to better control the way they operate their dick brain? The answer is both. There are some girls that want the racy pictures and to roll around with you before even knowing your last name but men need to stop assuming that every woman is like that and be respectful of that instead of allowing dick brain to insult us remaining decent females. Us women realize that the supply of sex has increased and demand has decreased as a result of online dating, and if a classless slut is what you prefer, then don’t let us hold you up on your conquest for an STI, but don’t call us psycho or make us feel awful because we didn’t instantly bow when you palmed the top of our heads downwards. Understand that no means fucking no and be on your merry little way, dick brain in tote.