When Mileage is a Good Thing

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In speaking with a single guy friend the other day about his love life, the topic of “mileage” came up.  Mileage, unlike baggage is not necessarily a bad thing.  In dating terms having mileage means that you have had experience in relationships/dating.  Baggage is often an attempt to say someone is undesirable, because they have yet to move on from a past experience.  Unlike people with baggage, people with mileage aren’t bitter with the world.  They don’t hate all men/women.  They’re just living life, wracking up knowledge and experiences that are valuable.

My friend discussed his difficulties with finding the right woman.  He’s ready to settle down, but having trouble finding the right girl.  Unlike many men who refer to life experiences as “baggage,” he wanted a woman who has lived and experienced both highs and lows.  He understood what many don’t, that you have to go through the bad in order to ever really appreciate the good.

In my opinion a person shouldn’t get married until they have had experiences with other partners.  That may seem “slutty” to some, but I’m not saying you should go ahead and sleep with everyone.  However, I do think that dating helps you determine what you need from a partner, and what you don’t need.  It helps you understand behaviors, understand where people are coming from, be less selfish, and more independent.  The more people you encounter, the better you understand people. It’s a simple fact.

When I was young, and my mother told me that she married my dad at 17 I thought she was crazy.  I was only around 11 years old, but I remember thinking that there was no way I would marry someone right out of high school.  My dad was only the second guy she had dated, and the first person she slept with.  While I’m thankful for that (due to the fact I would not exist otherwise) I thought it was crazy.  My parents are still married by the way, so I will say it does work for some people.  Not for me though.  I knew in order for me to be 100% committed, I would have to know for certain he was the one for me.

My dating life was crazy, but I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything.  With each jerk I grew increasingly able to spot out the wrong behavior, and more in tune with what I deemed was what I needed from a man.  I turned down relationships I knew weren’t right for me, and that’s hard for a lot of people.  Many women I know would rather settle, then wait for the right guy.  Cereal monogamists don’t necessarily get ahead in life.  Staying single allowed me to have an amazing life, filled with fun and heart ache.  But for all of it I am grateful, and without it I wouldn’t be in the amazing relationship I am today.

While many of my friends hate their exes or the guys who did them wrong, I have no ill will.  I’m able to be friendly with everyone I’ve dated, because they were a means to an end. Educational experiences, I’m better for having.  If you’re single, don’t turn away someone because they’re experienced.  If they have some baggage they know what it’s like to be done wrong, so they’ll be grateful when you get it right.  Don’t get involved with someone unstable, or someone who hasn’t sorted out their life.  However, don’t discard someone for having had a bad brake up, or wanting to be single for a while.

That’s my humble opinion for the day.

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From Option to Priority

priority

If you have ever felt like you were just “an option” you know how amazing it feels to become someone’s priority.  It is the difference between feeling liked and being loved.  When you are afraid of being without someone, sometimes it’s easier to settle for being an option instead of waiting to become a priority.  You feel like if you fight hard enough you’ll outlast or beat out the other “options”. More often than not this isn’t the case, and why would you want it to be? If someone is truly in love with you, they will commit and be faithful to you. They won’t even consider other options.  It’s only when someone isn’t ready to commit that they consider other options.

Why do people engage in relationships with people unwilling or not ready to commit?  While there are “plenty of fish in the sea” dating is often intimidating.  People work longer hours these days, and social networking kills any sense of mystery revealing too much and ruining chances of relationship development.  It’s hard for many people to make time for dating, let alone find someone they are compatible with.  While the “search” often takes work, wasting your time with someone who isn’t ready to commit, or not capable of it, is pointless and tragic.  When you consider that we only have one life, and that life passes by in the blink of an eye, why would you want to spend it with someone who doesn’t value you enough to be committed to you?

I was once caught in the trap of committing to someone who was unwilling to make me a priority. After so many years I learned from him how to make people options, never making any man a priority.  It wasn’t until I found love that I was able to learn to commit again, and to make someone a priority.  Once upon a time I fought hard for commitment only to fail.  Now I wake up each morning as a priority. It takes time to find the one, but it’s always worth the wait.

Bye Bye Summer?

bye bye summer

The media is saying good bye to summer with tons of articles, blogs, and TV specials, but I say hold on! It’s still over 85 degrees in many parts of the US.  It’s 88 degrees here in Glendale, and 85 by the beaches.  In fact we typically don’t see a cool down in Los Angeles until closer to Halloween.  Meanwhile department and online stores have cleared out mini skirts and tank tops to make room for wool sweaters and jeans.

Dear Department Store,

We can’t wear wool in California. Just stop it!

While finding summer clothing in September can prove to be challenging, the good news is that many summer items are already on sale.  If you’re in need of items to stay cool in, visit the sale section of your favorite online retailer.  It’s also a great time to buy a swim suit for the rest of this season, or for next season. Can’t find what you’re looking for online? Visit the nearest outlet mall.  Many stores send last season’s items off to the outlet locations, and mark them down sometimes up to 70%.

Don’t know where to start? These online retailers are offering great deals on summer fashions now:

Express: 40% off Clearance

J Crew: Extra 25% off Sale Items

Victoria’s Secret: Swim Suit Sale & Clearance Items

Forever 21: Tons of trendy styles on sale now

Zumiez: 60% off Labor Day Sale

LuLu’s: Plenty of summer dresses under $30

You can save on more than just clothing in September.  There is still plenty of time to have that summer BBQ you never got around to throwing.  Target and Walmart are both offering great deals on patio furniture, and plastic dishware, everything you need to have a great outdoor party with friends.

Target: Up to 50% off Patio Clearance Items

Walmart: Patio Clearance

Don’t be fooled by the media.  There is still plenty of time to enjoy your backyard, take a dip in the pool, and rock a mini dress.  Take advantage of these great deals, and enjoy the heat while you can.

Love: Is it Blind?

ChubbyBaby

Every man or woman who wasn’t born with perfect genetics has wondered at least once whether or not someone can love them regardless of how they look on the outside.  Living in LA not a week goes by that I don’t have a friend ask me why men only treat hot women right.  They wonder if someone will ever love them for who they are, not despite lacking big breasts, a flat stomach, thick hair or a perfect smile.  We all want to be loved, but we all think we have to achieve some sort of visual perfection to achieve it.

Why do we think that way?

From an early age we’re teased for being overweight or awkward looking.  Young boys learn to taunt overweight girls practically from the time they come out of the womb.  How can a growing boy expect to enter into a relationship with a chubby girl when all of his friends are making fun of her?  For heavy women the formative years are the most difficult.  While others are entering into relationships, going to dances, having crushes, many overweight girls are doing their best to conceal their true feelings.  The overweight girl is either hiding from sight or being everyone’s best friend, but she’s not the object of affection.

Then college comes, and all those tiny cheerleader sized women start to gain the Freshmen 15.  The playing field starts to even out as the football stars start to gain their weight in beer, and the calories that were once burned on the field are now carried in the gut.  The once “chubby” girls are starting to get dates, and attention they never had before.  However, is this love the same kind of love they had always hoped for?  Are they being seen as sexy, hot, alluring?  Or are they being taken out on dates, simply because they are more accessible?

I have always wondered if someone can truly love someone regardless of appearances.  I know that you can “learn” to love someone despite them being overweight or not as pretty, but that isn’t the same thing is being head over heels “in love” with someone.  My ex put it best when he said to me, “I will always love you, but I’m not in love with you.”  He couldn’t see past my weight, because for him love was reserved for women with perfect petite bodies, big breasts, and perfect faces.

I work in a male dominant industry, I grew up with many male friends, and so I have heard all about the hatred many men have for heavy women.  To hear these men speak it’s as if a woman’s choice to not be fit is a personal attack against each and every one of them.  Where does this hatred come from? Why can’t we leave people alone to make their own choices for their own lives.  Why do we act disgusted when we see them simply living the way they like?  I personally am very disappointed by people who find it necessary to make comments about others’ weight.  There’s just no reason for it.  Unless your loved one is obese, and experiencing health issues, it isn’t your place to judge.  Spend more time judging your own choices, regretting your own life mistakes, and changing things about yourself which are undesirable.

happy couple

As for the question of whether or not someone can love someone, truly love them regardless of how they look I do think it is possible.  I don’t think it’s possible for many people, but it is possible.  I read a great article today of one such story.  Reading it gave me hope that there are people out there who can be kind and loving and genuinely happily IN LOVE with someone despite their body fat percentage.  Read this great story here.

When He’s Just Not That Into You

meeshme.com

Books have been written about it, movies have been made, multiple conversations have been had, and yet we’re still having trouble figuring out when a guy just isn’t that interested.  I think the problem lies in the fact that sometimes mixed signals can serve as an excuse to stay with someone who is otherwise terrible for you.  Despite what he says, his actions will tell a better story.  Here is a real life example of when you have to look at a specific action, and not words or actions from the past (names have been changed to provide privacy):

Where are You?

Steve and Emily were dating for four months.  They spent every weekend with each other.  They lived an hour away from each other and both worked full time, so they rarely spent a weekday together.  Still, when she would come to town on Friday he never let her go home until work on Monday.  He had introduced her to his family and friends.  They went on double dates with her friends, and they spent lots of time hanging out with his.  He would compliment her constantly, and they never had an argument.

Although the weekends were great, she started to feel like it was odd that they never communicated during the week.  The drive made it hard to see each other, but shouldn’t he call or text once and a while?  She let it go, because of their busy schedules.  One Friday night she went up to see him, and the next morning he was gone.  She called him and he was golfing.  She found it weird that he went off without letting her know he was leaving, and she felt awkward waiting around his apartment for him.  She decided to leave, but later that day he begged her to come back.  He said he’d make it up to her with dinner.  They had a nice dinner, but when he went to pay his card was declined.  Normally this wouldn’t have been a major issue, but Emily had explained earlier that day how her card had been closed for security reasons.  He told her that it would be okay, that he was going to run to his apartment and come back to pay.

His apartment was only a couple blocks away, so Emily didn’t understand why it was taking so long for him to return.  She finally decided to call him, and figure out what was taking so long.  “Hey what’s up where are you?” Steve has the nerve to say.  “What do you mean where am I? I’m at the restaurant where you left me,” Emily says.  He was in a bar down the street hanging out with his friends.  “Why don’t you come here?” he asked like she had just gotten into town, like he hadn’t just left her 15 minutes ago.  When she asked him, What about the bill?” he said that he had left his ID with the waitress, and that he would go back and pay the waitress later.  Steve had left her in a restaurant with the check without a way to pay, and had gone to a bar.

She left that night feeling angry and confused.  He had been so great in the beginning.  He had made a difference in her life, and she enjoyed the time they spent together.  She started listing all of the reasons why he must care about her, even though leaving her at that restaurant in that way was a clear indication that he definitely did not.  He called her repeatedly that night, but she never picked up.  Days turned into two weeks before she saw him again.  He had texted and called her consistently apologizing and begging her to see him.  She finally felt as though she had punished him enough, and the honest truth was that she missed his company.

She got ready and headed over to see him.  They had a great night, and she felt reassured that he did care about her.  The next morning they had planned to spend the day together at the beach.  He was making breakfast when she decided to make the bed.  She threw the blanket off to fix the sheets when she discovered it.  A pair of freshly rolled off panties that weren’t hers.  Her heart dropped, but in all actuality what did she expect?  All of the facts she had ignored, all of the red flags she concealed, all came back to stare her in the face.

He was a wealthy young guy living at the beach.  He went out almost every night, he never called or texted her during the week, he left her in a restaurant for God sake.  She was disappointed, but couldn’t help laughing at herself for letting it happen like it did.  She finished making the bed, used a tissue to put the panties on top of the bed and then walked out into the living room.  His roommate was sitting there and saw her exiting.  “Hey buddy your girl is escaping,” he shouted to Steve who was still in the kitchen cooking obliviously. He came out into the living room, “Where are you going?” he asked.  She didn’t feel like he was worth making a scene over, what would that get her?  She would just look like a crazy girl in front of his roommate, and it wouldn’t effect him at all.  “I have plans with my brother I forgot about, and I have to go. I’ll see you another time.”

Steve looked confused, and he kept pushing for a better answer.  She walked out the door, and was already down the stairs when he rushed outside after her.  “I thought we had plans? What do you mean you have plans with your brother? Why are you leaving?” Emily just smiled and said, “Why don’t you just go back into your bedroom and take a look at what’s on your bed.  You’ll know why I’m leaving.” Steve asked her why she wouldn’t just talk to him, but she walked off towards her car and left.

Steve found the panties of course, and tried to make up lies.  He said that they were from a long time ago, that they had been there from before he met her.  “That’s even more disgusting Steve, you never wash your sheets?” she asked.  He even tried asking, “Aren’t they yours?” Like she wouldn’t recognize her own.  She told him that they were better off ending things, that he was young and clearly not done fooling around, and that she didn’t want to be with someone who was sleeping with other people.  They had never had the conversation about being exclusive, so it was her fault for assuming they were.

Sometimes we want to like a guy so much, we give ourselves 100 reasons why he cares.  We look at things he says and does, to excuse why we’re with him, even though he’s provided clear proof he’s just not that into the relationship.  Time is too precious, and there are too many guys out there who would actually care, to waste your time with someone who doesn’t.