My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘dating’

Confessions of an Over-thinker (Who’s Crushing Hard Core)

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It’s no secret that I tend to be one that overthinks thangs *from time to time.

*Read always. I always over-think thangs.

I also tend to turn into a **goober whenever I develop a new crush on someone.

**Read biggest. I turn into the biggest goober ever.

Combine these two stellar qualities and you get me, the World’s Most Awkward Dater everrrrr.

I tried contacting the folks at Guinness but apparently I was barely out-awkwarded by Mr. Avocado. I see you, buddy. And just know that I do not go down without fighting. Challenge accepted.

Here are just some of the things that happen when you’re an over-thinker who is crushing hardcore on someone.

1. Deny, deny, deny. You try to convince yourself you actually don’t. Because crushes are a damn commitment! And you certainly don’t have time for *feelings* and all the worrying that goes along with them. Nope. Noooo. You absolutely do NOT have a crush.

2. ….And then you see that perfect face and your heart is instantly pulverized into a mushy smoothie—Fine. Whatever. You might have a teeny, tiny, itsy-bitsy crush.

3. Making eye contact becomes a huge conscious effort. Because there’s some weird part of you that thinks, somehow, they will look at you and just KNOW. Your eyes will totally tell on you—“Hey you. Yeah you in the corner over there drinking PBR while watching the Brewers/Rockies game. I’ve got some juicy gossip. See this person? The one looking at you through me? He/she is soooo totally into you.”

4. You practice conversations in the shower. Or on your drive to work. Or just chilling in bed on a lazy Sunday. Basically any place that you’re guaranteed some privacy. You’re coming up with interesting topics to discuss, things to say to impress him/her, and testing out the perfect tone to casually (but not too casually) say: “Heyyy!”

5. But then you begin to worry that “Heyyy” sounds weirdly excited, “Hi” is too robotic and formal, “Whazzzupppp?!” is too Budweiser and “How are you?” is too invasive. You end up settling on a simple head nod.

6. Arggghh. You gave a fucking head nod??!!??

7. Investigate your crush online. And spend the next hour convinced you accidentally liked an Instagram photo from 56 weeks ago. You consider deleting all traces you ever existed on any social media account. EVER.

8. Orchestrate the perfect way to just accidentally run into this new crush. Oh, you go to this coffee shop/bar/grocery store too? That’s so weird. I had noooo idea.

9. But when you do see your crush, you totally clam up and don’t say anything. Mayyyybe squeak out a “good” when they say “What’s up?” and immediately want to die. Oh. My. God.

10. Realize that you definitely should have gone with “What’s up?” You gave a fucking head nod??!!??

11. You look for any possible sign feelings could be mutual. I mean, seriously, ANY sign. “He DEFINITELY lingered when handing me my coffee cup,” or “He said my name and kind of smiled when he said it, so that for surely means hhe likes me, right?!” 

12. Plan. Plan. Plan. The overthinker is crippled by the thought of anything remotely spontaneous. There needs to be something set in motion. And a Plan B. And C. Because oh my God, what if it all falls through? Many, many nights are just spent thinking and scheming.

13. If you happen to run into your crush while out with your friends, you work EXTRA hard to act cool and collected. Shut up, Wendi, don’t you dare give it away. Don’t giggle. And don’t you even think about doing that weird hair flip thing you do when you’re nervous. THEY WILL KNOW! Everything is fine. It’s easy breezy. Didn’t even seem him over there looking all ridiculously cute. Nope.

14. You create a playlist of songs that you imagine one day listening to together. Like a soundtrack to magically fall in love to. Would you like some macaroni with all that cheesy cheese fest, amiright? 

15. You spend an embarrassing amount of time scoping out anyone attractive who has commented on their pictures. Because it’s probably his sister. It’s his sister. Just tell me it’s his goddamn sister, okay????

16. You remember any little detail they provide. A favorite musician? You stored that info away for good. It’s in the vault. You probably even decided to check if there were going to be any shows in your area. That way you can casually mention it. Oh what? You already got tickets? And you have an extra one? I mean, yeah, it’s not a big deal though…

17. You become paranoid that they can actually hear your heat thump-thump-thumping in your chest. Or see the gigantic butterflies pterodactyls flying around in the pit of your stomach.

18. You stress, daydream, and above all else, remember that having a crush can kind sorta make you feel a little out of your mind—but for all of the right reasons.

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The 10 Commandments of Dating/Being Friends With an Uber Sports Fan

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Y’all, big news. HUGE! OPENING DAY FOR THE MILWAUKEE BREWERS IS JUST 4 (4!!!) VERY SHORT DAYS (and 9 hours and 26 minutes and 15, 14, 13…seconds) AWAY!!!!!!

Not that I’m counting or anything.

Totally not counting.

Okay. I’m definitely counting. For those who don’t know, I’m kind of a big Brewers fan[atic]. Like, the biggest. I’m not even gonna try to sugarcoat it. And this madness, this undeniable fandom that I have? It’s a crutch. Being so emotionally invested in a handful of professional athletes who don’t even know you exist is a torrid addiction. This is a sports fan’s cross to bear. But here’s the thing you have to understand: If we’re going to have this as a vice, it’s much better than any other vices we could possibly adopt. Really. You’re lucky it’s sports we love.

But please don’t ever say it’s “just” a game.

  1. Thou shalt not interrupt the game.

It’s sneaky and disingenuous to ask us to take out the trash, or what we want for dinner, and especially if it’s okay if your mother comes to visit. Please save all questions on how our day was until the final buzzer/inning/quarter. We appreciate that you care, but how we feel about our day is wholly dependent on this game. We will be able to tell you how our day was afterward. Also, if you RSVP or plan an event or date at the same time a game is on — especially when you know the game is on — you waive all rights for being angry when we explain why we just can’t even.

  1. Thou shalt not tell us we’re getting too loud in the bar.

If the bar did not want us to be loud, they would not be playing the game on one of the TVs and encouraging us with loads of alcoholic beverages. WTF!!! ARE YOU CRAZY, UMP?!!? HE WAS TOTALLY SAFE!!!

  1. Thou shalt not record your show when the game is on.

Hulu and HBOgo exist for reasons. The game takes precedence. This is why it’s wise to invest in the kind of DVR that can multitask recording one show while you’re watching another. Really, it’s worth the money for all parties involved.

  1. Thou shalt not call us crazy when we stay up late or wake up early to watch a game.

Sssh, babe, go back to sleep. We need to watch this in real time. It’s not our fault time zones absolutely suck.

  1. Thou shalt not question absurd team-related purchases.*

Such items include: $300 for an autographed picture; a signed ball; a vintage, collector’s jersey; ridiculously exorbitant tickets when our team is finally in town; tickets to the championship, etc. If this is our one chance to spend hundreds of dollars on a playoff game? Yeah, we’re going to do it. When else would we have $900 lying around for no reason? This might not happen ever again!

*This does not apply to cardboard cut-outs of our favorite player as living room decor. Really, it’s for our own good. We’re gonna want to do it, but don’t let us do it, because if you do, pretty soon we’re inviting Lucroy to the dinner table and saying that “Lucroy and I agree” when we disagree with you and really, nobody wins in this scenario.

  1. Thou shalt not try to understand why we are so emotionally invested in a game whose outcome we have no control over.

Look, rooting for sports is like loving movie stars in that there is really less than 0.00005% chance that having a crush on Chris Pratt or Chris Evans (call me!) is going to result in holy matrimony, and there’s less than 0.00005% chance that our undying love for our team is going to help them win a game. But, you know, there’s a chance. We like to think there’s a chance. It gives us the will to go on.

  1. Thou shalt not question our “odd” pre-game rituals.

Up to and including: sitting in the same chair every night; live-tweeting the game like it is the second coming of the Oscars; or wearing the same, grubby jersey/pair of socks every time. We will take care of that sacred piece of laundry when we see fit.

  1. If we are in a fight, thou shalt not begin rooting for the rival team just to piss us off.

And if we go into this relationship already rooting for bitter enemies, well, get ready for some really passive-aggressive, irrational arguments. (And you’re not allowed to introduce us to your friends as “She’s great, even for a [____] fan!”)

  1. Thou shalt not complain when all of our friends always come over to watch the game.

The rules of Sportsfanship™ clearly stipulate that the house with the biggest TV and appropriate cable package hosts any and all game viewing. If you really want to see less of the rowdy couch cheering section, get a smaller TV… actually, no, please don’t do that.

  1. Thou shalt order the pizza and wings to show that you care.

Truly clutch people also buy the beer, but really, if you just respect that this time is sacred time between us and a motley crew of athletic spectacle, that is more than we could ever, ever ask for, amen.

**Cubs and/or Cardinals fans need not apply.

Confessions from the Friend Zone

The Friend Zone.

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It’s a place we’ve all been at one point or another in our lives. Some of us (*cough ME *cough) have been there so long, we might as well take up a sublet and get a parking permit. If you’re one of the lucky few who don’t know what it is, the Friend Zone is a kind of relationship purgatory where one party is in deep like/love with the other party, but the other is only putting off friendly vibes. Basically, it’s the saddest party on the block. Or at least it feels like it at the time.

Let me preface this by saying that I am ALL about being somebody’s BFF. I place a lot of value on friendships and am always up for the opportunity to add another pal to my posse. But when you start to develop feelings for said other person, real feelings, and not have those feelings reciprocated, it can definitely be a blow to the heart. In fact, it sucks. Because no matter what you say or do, this other person will only ever see you as their friend.

The Friend Zone is a place I know all too well. I’m the Norm of the Friend Zone, the Mayor  McCheese of the Friend Zone, that “one pesky zit on your face that will never leave” of the Friend Zone. Most of my relationships have started and ended the same way: I meet a great guy, stomach is filled with butterfliespterodactyls, sparks are a flyin’ (at least in my mind), texts are exchanged, amazing dates are had and I begin to think, “Damnit. I really like Bob/Joe/Jim/Moe.”

Annnnd then it happens.

The dreaded “I think you’re a really cool girl, but…”, “You’re really great, but…”, “You’resosweetandIovedhangingoutwithyou, but…”

But…

But…

But…I just don’t like you like that.

Ugh. Friend Zoned.

I’m not sure why I’ve had the pleasure of frequenting this place so often. I mean, on the one hand, I’m flattered that guys think so highly of my mad friendship skills, but on the other hand, sometimes a girl just wants to be looked at as more than that. Be it the optimistic romantic in me, I like to think that this will happen. And I know it will. One day. And it will for you too. But that doesn’t mean that in the moment, it doesn’t suck like a vacuum any less.

While being given the “Friend card” isn’t exactly the most ideal of situations, it’s also not the end of the world. Take it from me, your [self-proclaimed] Friend-Zoned love guru, it can actually present itself as a somewhat positive thing, albeit a somewhat positive thing dressed in some pretty impressive camouflage. But a positive thing nonetheless.

Here are just some things to remember in order to help you get off of that dating bench and back into the game.

  1. It’s not you; it’s them.

Yes, it’s the cliché to beat all clichés. But it’s a cliché for a reason. The toughest thing you will face when put into the Friend Zone is the how and why’s. You will more often than not spend an embarrassingly amount of time wracking your brain wondering what you did, what you didn’t do. At what point did I go from this person’s potential SO to just their “pal”? HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?! The truth is, you may never know. As much as you would like to change how someone sees and feels about you, you can’t. The only thing you can change is how you see and feel about yourself. If the other person in question doesn’t look at you the way you look at a burrito, then it’s time to walk away and find someone who does. Because burritos are delicious.

  1. Take this opportunity to actually be just friends.

Just because the opportunity for any kind of romantic relationship is out the car window doesn’t mean that you can’t get a pretty amazing friend out of the deal. After all, you liked this person for a reason, and them you. You began as friends and if you’re lucky, you can still retain that after all of the awkward dust settles. Some of my most meaningful friendships stemmed from the dreaded (but really not-so dreaded) Friend Zone.

  1. Recognize how much of a kick-ass friend you really are.

When the other person tells you how “great” and “cool” and “awesome” you are, listen to them! In the moment, of course these compliments of true authenticity go in one ear and out the next. And understandably so; you just had your heart broken. All you can think of are the things that you aren’t. But when the dust settles a bit, realize that these things that this person is saying are true. You are funny and caring and smart and funny and witty and one heck of a great person! Never, ever forget that!

  1. Use this experience as a learning opportunity.

I am a firm believer in everything happening for a reason. Like just this morning for example, I woke up late and didn’t have time to eat breakfast so I stopped by Starbucks for a quick bite. Turns out they were giving away free bagels with any purchase of a coffee. Being given free food is the ultimate reason to believe in serendipity in my opinion. The same rules apply to relationships. Use this opportunity to learn from your experience. With each relationship you have, you grow. You find out what it is in another person you like and what you don’t. You become more confident and self-assured. Ironically, you’ll on occasion, if lucky, be given free food. Full circle.

  1. Get back on the horse!

It’s natural and completely normal to be sad, to wallow a bit, drown your sorrows in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and an endless loop of Nicholas Sparks movies. Let it out, have a good cry, contemplate becoming a crazy cat lady/man. But then put your big girl/boy panties on and get back out there! This particular relationship may not have worked out, but that just means that there is one even better out there that will! Don’t lose hope. Focus on having the best life possible, spend some quality you-doing-you time, and just at the exact moment when you’re not looking for it, it’ll happen. Another cliché, but it really works. Or so I’m told; I’m still busy not looking for love in order to prove this point.

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Thoughts every girl has on a first date

Let’s talk dating, guys.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but just thinking about it makes me break out into hives. Dating in general is the fucking worst. And yet weirdly pretty damn awesome. And nerve-wracking. And just all of the awful. And pretty much the best thing ever.

And first dates?! Psh. Don’t even get me started. They’re a whole other beast, my friends.

A weird and awesome and nerve-wracking and awful and best-thing-ever beast. I think we’ve all been there before. We’ve all had that one first date that makes you want to crawl into your blanket fort and never, ever leave again. And we’ve also had that one first date that makes you ridiculously and annoyingly school-girl-crushy. That one first date that gives you hope, gives you just all of the butterflies pterodactyls, and makes you think that maybe, just maybe, this dating thang isn’t so bad.

First dates are arguably one of the most unique (read: awkward) experiences we will ever encounter, each complete with their own set of highs and lows, failures and successes. Take it from someone who has pretty much seen it all and then some.

To all of the fellas out there, listen up. I’m not necessarily speaking on behalf of all female datees out there, but generally speaking, here are just some of the many thoughts that will likely pass through our beautiful minds the next time you find yourself across the table from your next Sizzle date. (Yes, we now have a dating app for bacon lovers. This is a thing. An actual thing. Because ‘merrica. And because bacon.)

  • It’s 7:03pm. Does three minutes constitute as fashionably late?
  • Shit. This place looks really fancy. Should’ve maybe rethought the Ninja Turtle t-shirt.
  • No, it’s cool. I’ll look chill, like I just threw this on and looked effortlessly fabulous.
  • 7:06pm. All right, cover me. I’m going in.
  • Aw. He’s cute! From all the way over here at least.
  • I mean, he doesn’t look like a serial killer.

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  •  He’s already sitting. Dammit! I needed to analyze his height compared to mine!
  • Handshake? Hug? Kiss on the cheek? I DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH MY HANDS!!
  • Why am I so awkward? Like, I am the most awkward person ever. I should just go ahead and apologize to my date right now.
  • I’ve forgotten how to speak.
  • Say anything.
  • ANYTHING!

2

  • The weather? Really? That’s the best you could do?
  • Wait. It’s okay. He’s smiling. Just breathe.
  • You know what? He’s actually cuter in person. That’s an unexpected bonus I will gladly take.

3

  • Okay. Let’s cover the basics: work, hometown, college attended, siblings, favorite way to eat an Oreo.
  • Just pretend you don’t already know everything about him from stalking his social media. Act surprised!
  • Yep. Nope. Definitely acted way too surprised.
  • Oh thank God the waitress is here. Saved by the menu!
  • I’ll have everything in the “snacks” section. Self-control!

4

  • Umm, yes I’ll split the fries! I thought you’d never ask. #soulmates
  • This is going well.
  • Does he think it’s going well?
  • We’ve hardly had any awkward pauses.
  • Am I talking too much?
  • OMG he hates me.
  • Oh hot damn. The food’s here. Try not to look too excited.
  • Yep. Nope. Definitely looked way too excited.

5

  • Okay, it’s really hard to eat and avoid lulls in the conversation at the same time.
  • What if I’m an ugly eater?
  • I kind of have to pee.
  • Yep. Nope. I really have to pee!
  • DAMMIT WHY DID I WEAR A ROMPER??!! This is going to be at least a 20 minute ordeal.
  • I’m just going to hold it.
  • This dude’s pretty funny.
  • Wait, was that a joke? I don’t want to laugh if he was serious, and I can’t not laugh if he’s trying to be funny.
  • So the obvious solution is to make a creepy half-snort/half-grunt. Nice, Wendi. Nice.

6

  • Great! He’s going to the bathroom. Now, I can check my phone and actually eat my food in peace.
  • Wow! We survived made it through an hour already.
  • Selfie check! I still look cute.

7

  • Has he been in the bathroom a while?
  • Maybe he has stomach issues? Or he’s climbing out the window?
  • FUCK! He’s coming back. Don’t stare!
  • Hopefully he doesn’t notice I just shoved my face while he was gone.
  • Another drink? YAASSSS.

8

  • Is he playing footsie with me? Nope. That’s the guy at the table next to us. That’s not awkward at all.
  • I do think he’s flirting though. He’s laughing at all of my jokes. I’m not that funny.
  • Wait. What am I talking about? I’m fucking hilarious!
  • I kind of like this guy. But who am I to say, really? I def have to debrief w/ my BFF (and mom) later.
  • Oh shit! The bill. Dun, dun, dun.
  • Let me grab my purse and at least try to pay.
  • No, no, no. He just spent way too much money on me!
  • Awe!! But it was really sweet. Crap.
  • And he wants to drive/walk me home? SO SWEET! CRAPPPP!
  • I really do like him!
  • We’re getting really close to my building. What’s it gonna be??
  • Just be cool, Wendi. Stop doing that awkward thing you do with your hands and feet and just follow his lead.
  • There’s not even a name for the part of my face he kissed. Somewhere in the no man’s land between my cheek and my lips. Yep. That just happened.

9

  • Did he really mean “Let’s do this again soon”?
  • Going home and NOT recounting every last minute of this glorious night to my roomie dog while I wait for his text.
  • Yep. Nope. I totally am!!!

And this is why I don’t date, y’all.

This is why.

Dating in the time of the eggplant emoji

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As a 29-year-old single woman I’m pretty much living in the thickest part of the modern dating/hookup culture – perfecting the art of getting the right guy to buy you Lemon Drop shots at a bar, crafting the perfect response to a text to make you seem just interested enough (but not too interested), taking the proper five seconds to adequately judge a person and determine whether or not to swipe left or right. Yep. That’s the world I live in now, and if I’m being 110% honest with you guys: I hate it with every fiber of my being.
Maybe it’s because I let insignificant events ruminate in my mind far past their welcome. Or maybe it’s because I sometimes have the tendency to react too sensitively to the people with whom I share the world with. Or maybe the modern dating scene is just horrendously f’ed up. It’s probably all three, but in the interest of, well, maintaining your interest, let’s just talk about that third observation.

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been in any sort of relationship (one worth talking about anywhoozles), but when I was, it seemed that I always heard people complain about the single life pretty much on the regular. Stories from my friends, articles on the Internet, anything popular on TV, everywhere. But it wasn’t until I began to experience it for myself (and oh have I!) that I truly understood what everyone was complaining about. Everything is so damn complicated. Nobody asks you out on a date; they just ask you to “hang out” – so after you do, you can spend the next three days that you’re supposed to be ignoring them wondering exactly what it meant. Did you see a movie? Go to dinner? Make out in your car? Fly to Paris and get drunk under the Eiffel Tower? Be careful; y’all were just hanging out. This means that we’re dating, right? We’re totally dating. Or are we? I wonder what he’s thinking? Did our mutual shared respect of Ryan Reynolds in Deadpool over our mutually shared tub of popcorn and Milk Duds mean nothing to him?!

I have a simple solution for those of you who struggle with these haunting questions: ask the other person. Oh wait, you can’t. Hahahahaha. And here’s why.

We live in a world where people are afraid to feel anything genuine, or at the very least, are afraid to show it. When someone is angry with you, there’s no phone call asking to talk about it. Instead you get a passive aggressive response to a text message or a suspiciously relevant subtweet, quietly calling you out in 140 characters or less. If you like someone, you don’t tell them how you feel; rather you act interested enough for them to pick up on it, but not enough to freak them out. Don’t like it? Too bad. It’s all a big game and if you don’t play by the rules then you lose, and if you lose you end up alone and drowning in a pile of your own insecurity (and Ben & Jerry’s), wondering what you did wrong.
Don’t ask to hangout two nights in a row. If you texted first last time, you have to wait for him to text you first this time. Don’t double text. You can’t assume anything is more than casual. And you can’t talk about it either. If you’re wondering where a relationship is going and you decide to bring it up, every word you say has to be carefully chosen so as to seem okay with any response you’re given, even if you’re not. Thinking about picking up your phone to call someone? That’s crazy sauce! All modern communicado is done through text, emojis and/or GIFs. ONLY.

Everything is calculated to appear thoughtless, and it is one of the most exhausting games I’ve ever had to play–and I once had an epic 6-hour Monopoly fest! I could earn a second masters degree with the amount of time and energy it takes to determine whether or not my casual fling/hangout/quasi relationship thingamajig actually has feelings for me.

If I like someone, I want to hang out with him. It’s as simple as that. Or at least it should be. But in the dating culture to which we are enslaved, it has to be more convoluted than that. If I talk to him too much, I’m needy. If I’m always free when he asks me to hangout, I’m clingy and have no life of my own. If he takes three hours to respond to my text, and my phone is in my hand when I get his reply, I have to wait to answer so I don’t seem too eager. And I am constantly wondering why I play these stupid games.

I am so tired of living in a world where apathy is more effective in getting someone’s attention than honesty. I’m tired of the manipulative games that men and women play with one another in an effort to maintain control in a relationship that we’re not allowed to define.

So here’s my idea, friends: let’s all stop being little f’s! Respect other people enough to tell them the truth. If someone makes you happy, tell them. If someone inspires you, tell them. If you’re not interested in someone, please just for f’ing f’s sake tell them. Don’t ignore people until they disappear. It’s time we grow up and stop leaving people hanging with unanswered texts and cryptic social media posts. Everyone is human and we’re all just trying to understand one another in this messy dating world, so stop treating a relationship of any kind like it’s a challenge to complete.

Be honest with other people about how you feel, and don’t get so lost in playing the game that you forget to extend that same courtesy to yourself.

The Struggle of Dating Today is Very Real

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Boy has the concept of dating changed, my friends. Back in the middle school days of crimped hair and stirrup leggings,  “dating” involved sitting next to your crush at lunch, having your parents drive you to the movies, and sneaking late-night conversations on your family’s cordless phone in your closet. Even at that ripe young age, I was skeptical of two people coming to an agreement and declaring themselves ‘boyfriend and girlfriend’. Of course the legitimacy of a seventh grader’s love life is typically not serious. I mean, aside from Cory and Topanga, I don’t know of one middle school couple that endured the winds of change, and came out of high school or college together. I’m sure they exist, but they’re rarer than the Troll dolls I collected back in the day.

My point is that I realized at a young age that dating was something I didn’t trust or fully comprehend. Don’t get me wrong, that first kiss in the movie theater was magical–sloppy and wet and gross, but magical, the school dances and shared milkshakes and pre-teen angsty butterflies were amazing. But there was something about the idea of dating (or “going out”, “talking”) that seemed somewhat fleeting to me. I dated here and there, but it wasn’t until high school and even college that I’d get off of the bench and exclaim, “Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!” What I embarked on was a full-fledged rollercoaster, a ride that I am still very much on.

As we get older, the seriousness of relationships matures with us – hopefully. I have quite a few friends who met their “one” in high school and/or college and lasted the test of time, getting married, having kiddos of their own. There are also those who are still dating — testing the waters and keeping their options open. The problem is that these waters are full of vicious piranhas, boring starfish, crabby crabs and beached whales (interpret that however you want). Dating nowadays is somewhat peculiar; the game has changed, the rules are drastically different and there are a lot more players (hello the Tinders of the Universe).

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The modern-day situation that’s trending is something I like to call ‘intermediate dating’. It’s that thing where you’re not sure if you’re best friends, drink-buddies, boyfriend/girlfriend, FWB,  or just two people who really, REALLY like each other but both are too stupid or scared to admit it to the other person. Y’all, how can we genuinely not be able to identify what we are with someone else? If you spend significant amounts of time together, and your time apart is full of interaction via texts and heart-faced emojis – isn’t it safe to say that you’re with each other? Or does it not count because it was never officially discussed? Yeah, it probably doesn’t count. I mean, if you don’t even have an anniversary date, how can it be a legitimate relationship? I don’t know, and in all likelihood, the parties involved don’t have a clue either. Sadly, this is a stressful scenario that many are tangled up in today.

Myself included.

Romantic associations being indistinguishable are becoming a social norm, but there’s certainly a purpose for this. As embarrassing and preposterous as this is, people consider Facebook’s ‘In a relationship’ label or an Instagrammed photo of them together to be the equivalent of an online wedding band. Gossipers think so-and-so is single if his/her relationship status doesn’t say otherwise. Aside from Facebook, it’s got a lot to do with the brand of people currently being created. Yes, many things that used to be considered taboo, or serious matters are taken lightly in our culture now. Take cheating, for example. People nonchalantly cheat on their significant other, as if it isn’t a terrible thing to do. Then we have divorce rates which are ridiculously high. We constantly see failed marriages and people giving up on each other left and right. This has an effect on many – some of whom become a product of their environment.

There’s a rise in the fear of commitment, leading to a lack of labeling. It’s simpler for some to see movies, eat dinner and talk to a person whenever there’s time, than to define themselves and have a relationship classification to live up to. So while certain people want to half-date, there are a number of people who want the whole cheesy and delicious enchilada – which is a disastrous combination. It’s hard to be relaxed about trusting someone you care about when they can be involved with anyone else, and attempt to justify it on the technicality that you’re not ‘official’. Then there’s the fact that even if you claim not to care, and have a friends-with-benefits type of connection, you’re probably destined to fail. Eventually someone will develop stronger feelings, and if they’re not reciprocated, it’s catastrophic. Most physical based relationships, with no committed agreements come with an early expiration date.

Guards are up. People in general seem to be especially concerned for their emotional well being going into new connections. It’s like when you see people running away from something, so without knowing what they’re evading – you run too. We’re guided naturally by instincts to protect ourselves, even if we’re just mimicking preventative measures that we see others taking. The fear of commitment and highly protected hearts are evident in multiple ways. There’s no scale to measure it, but I assure you that we’re a part of the most sarcastic, cynical generations ever. We make jokes and excessively attempt wittiness to stave off compliments, affection or the professing of feelings. Each humorous comment serves as a bouncer, rejecting people at the door of your heart. It’s not that we can’t be serious, it’s that many just don’t want to. Serious is scary.

Realistically there are plenty of other specific reasons why dating has seemingly grown more difficult, something my girl Liz and I have had many digital glasses of wine discussing. Despite there being billions of people in this world, it’s hard finding people who you can open up to, and completely trust with your heart. Ultimately we can only do our best to give others the benefit of the doubt, and treat each other as individuals. We can’t categorize a bunch, because of the behaviors of one or two not-so-great people. Yes, we see more cheating and separation than ever – but we can’t allow ourselves to date in fear of it. All a dater can hope for is that their heartbreaks and rejections weren’t for nothing. That eventually the road leads to meeting someone special. Someone who makes you feel as if you don’t need to deflect, and equally important – doesn’t deflect you.

The 10 Commandments of Dating an Uber Sports Fan

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Y’all, big news. HUGE! OPENING DAY FOR THE MILWAUKEE BREWERS IS JUST 41 SHORT DAYS (and 9 hours and 26 minutes and 15, 14, 13…seconds) AWAY!!!!!!

Not that I’m counting or anything.

Totally not counting.

Okay. I’m definitely counting. For those who don’t know, I’m kind of a big Brewers fan[atic]. Like, the biggest. I’m not even gonna try to sugarcoat it. And this madness, this undeniable fandom that I have? It’s a crutch. Being so emotionally invested in a handful of professional athletes who don’t even know you exist is a torrid addiction. This is a sports fan’s cross to bear. But here’s the thing you have to understand: If we’re going to have this as a vice, it’s much better than any other vices we could possibly adopt. (Like books. Or ice cream. Or pairs of Nikes. Wait…..) Really. You’re lucky it’s sports we love.

But please don’t ever say it’s “just” a game.

  1. Thou shalt not interrupt the game.

It’s sneaky and disingenuous to ask us to take out the trash, or what we want for dinner, and especially if it’s okay if your mother comes to visit. Please save all questions how our day was until the final buzzer/inning/quarter. We appreciate that you care, but how we feel about our day is wholly dependent on this game. We will be able to tell you how our day was afterward. Also, if you RSVP or plan an event or date at the same time a game is on — especially when you know the game is on — you waive all rights for being angry when we explain why we just can’t.

  1. Thou shalt not tell us we’re getting too loud in the bar.

If the bar did not want us to be loud, they would not be playing the game on one of the TVs and encouraging us with loads of alcoholic beverages. WTF!!! ARE YOU CRAZY, UMP?!!? HE WAS TOTALLY SAFE!!!

  1. Thou shalt not record your show when the game is on.

Hulu and HBOgo exist for reasons. The game takes precedence. This is why it’s wise to invest in the kind of DVR that can multitask recording one show while you’re watching another. Really, it’s worth the money for all parties involved.

  1. Thou shalt not call us crazy when we stay up late or wake up early to watch a game.

Sssh, babe, go back to sleep. We need to watch this in real time. It’s not our fault time zones absolutely suck.

  1. Thou shalt not question absurd team-related purchases.*

Such items include: $300 for an autographed picture; a signed ball; a vintage, collector’s jersey; ridiculously exorbitant tickets when our team is finally in town; tickets to the championship, etc. If this is our one chance to spend hundreds of dollars on a playoff game? Yeah, we’re going to do it. When else would we have $900 lying around for no reason? This might not happen ever again!

*This does not apply to cardboard cut-outs of our favorite player as living room decor. Really, it’s for our own good. We’re gonna want to do it, but don’t let us do it, because if you do, pretty soon we’re inviting Lucroy to the dinner table and saying that “Lucroy and I agree” when we disagree with you and really, nobody wins in this scenario.

  1. Thou shalt not try to understand why we are so emotionally invested in a game whose outcome we have no control over.

Look, rooting for sports are like loving movie stars in that there is really less than 0.00005% chance that having a crush on Emma Watson or Chris Evans (call me!) is going to result in holy matrimony, and there’s less than 0.00005% chance that our undying love for our team is going to help them win a game. But, you know, there’s a chance. We like to think there’s a chance. It gives us the will to go on.

  1. Thou shalt not question our “odd” pre-game rituals.

Up to and including: sitting in the same chair every night; tweeting at our favorite players, and or live-tweeting the game like it is the second coming of the Oscars; or wearing the same, grubby jersey every time. We will take care of that sacred piece of laundry when we see fit.

  1. If we are in a fight, thou shalt not begin rooting for the rival team just to piss us off.

And if we go into this relationship already rooting for bitter enemies, well, get ready for some really passive-aggressive, irrational arguments. (And you’re not allowed to introduce us to your friends as “great, even for a [____] fan!”)

  1. Thou shalt not complain when all of our friends always come over to watch the game.

The rules of Sportsfanship™ clearly stipulate that the house with the biggest TV and appropriate cable package hosts any and all game viewing. If you really want to see less of the rowdy couch cheering section, get a smaller T… actually, no, please don’t do that.

  1. Thou shalt order the pizza and wings to show that you care.

Truly clutch people also buy the beer, but really, if you just respect that this time is sacred time between us and a motley crew of athletic spectacle, that is more than we could ever, ever ask for, amen.

**Cubs and/or Cardinals fans need not apply.

 

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