Love: Is it Blind?


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.

Friendship: My Best Friend’s Wedding


me and Vlad

One of my best friends Vladimir Paniouchkine got married this past weekend in a beautiful ceremony to his girl friend of six years Victoria Sutherlen.  Whenever a close friend or family member gets married it stirs up emotions, and makes you think about your relationship with that person.  I was no exception to that.

Vlad and I met way back in 2002 at Glendale High School.  I was the chubby girl back then, and he was the big football star.  Vlad never cared about being popular or about high school politics.  He was a good student, and great athlete, but didn’t care which click he was a part of or who he hung out with at lunch.  I on the other hand spent a lot of time caring what others thought, planning big parties, and being everyone’s biggest cheerleader.

We met for the first time in my Biology classroom.  He stayed late to talk with my teacher, and I came in to ask her a few questions.  He followed my friend and I out to the quad afterwards.  I thought to myself, “What a random guy.” We were close friends for two years, until he graduated and went off to college.  We lost touch, when his new girl friend sent me an IM calling me a few choice words and asking me never to message him again, but in the summer of 2006 we reconnected.

It’s difficult to keep guy friends.  When I was in high school I had two best female friends, the rest were guys.  Growing up spending a lot of time with my dad, I played sports, watched sports, camped, and enjoyed the outdoors.  Basically, I knew how to speak guy.  When I graduated, and lost a lot of weight, a lot of my friendships with men changed.  Boys grow up, and get girl friends, and those girl friends don’t always want another girl hanging around their man.  I’m not the type to stir up drama, so I gave them space and made new friends.

But when it came to Vlad nothing changed.  We always remained friends, and always made time for one another.  We were supportive of each other, and never jealous.  When we hung out it was always fun.  When he found Victoria I was happy for him.  When he announced they were getting engaged over dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, I was excited.  When I heard the proposal story, I was proud, and when I saw him kiss the bride I was emotional.

When a friend gets married you think, “I wonder if things will change,” but if your good enough friends they won’t.  If you respect their relationship, things won’t change.  If their successes are yours, you’ll always be a part of them.  If their happiness is yours, you’ll always be happy for them.  Vlad and I will always be friends, and I’m thankful for that.

The Holiday For or Against Singles

Happy Vday

The longer I am in a relationship the more I realize how overly dramatic I was while single.  I was single for a while before and after my previous long term relationship.  Single in that I wasn’t in a committed relationship.  I dated, and I “saw” people for long periods of time, but went without calling someone my boyfriend for about three years.  You can imagine how traumatic that first relationship was.

When that relationship was done I was left with a feeling that I wasn’t good enough.  When the holidays came around I remembered that feeling, especially on Valentine’s Day.  I felt that I had to do something or else I’d be at home questioning myself all evening.  How ridiculous! Now that I’m in a healthy relationship, I remember what most holidays are about.  When we’re kids we’re not thinking about the fact that no man/woman loves us romantically during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years Eve.  We’re excited to see our family, play with our cousins, our toys.  On Valentine’s Day we pass cards to all of our friends.  Why as adults do we put so much pressure on having love during the holidays?

As Valentine’s Day approached this year I couldn’t think of anything I necessarily cared to do.  My boyfriend, in fear of disappointing me, threw a bunch of ideas at me.  They were sweet and thoughtful, but I kept thinking about the crowds, the overpriced menus, the wait times, and I thought why? I have a great relationship I don’t need a dinner to tell me that.  I’m fine with staying home, and getting a card.  Then I think back to the Valentine’s Days I spent crying, or dreading, or caring way too much about.  Funny how the holiday is no big deal now.

When you’re dating someone new or you’re single there’s a lot of pressure felt on Valentine’s Day.  Just remember that even if a man or woman hasn’t said I love you yet, your family and friends have.  You do have people who love you every day, celebrate that!  One of the best Valentine’s Days (if not the best) I ever  had was when I spent it in Las Vegas with two of my best friends.  We bought sweets for ourselves, my brother bought me flowers, and we spent the night dancing away.  Enjoy where you’re at in life right now, don’t worry about where you should be.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Your Best Friend’s Boy Friend

best friend's bf

Love is always cute…at first

When you have known your best friend from a young age into adulthood, you tend to meet quite a few men.  These men can come and go as quickly (if not quicker) than the months of the year.  Navigating your relationship with these men can get tricky.  If you become to close to the boyfriend, and he becomes the ex boyfriend are you allowed to remain friends with him?  If you keep a distance from your best friend’s new man to avoid drama will you be perceived as a bitch?  Wasn’t it so much easier when it was just you and your best friend in the relationship?

The best way to deal with your best friend’s man is to know your best friend.  That should be easy since you probably know her better than anyone else.  You know what gets on her nerves, what annoys her, and you’ve probably been in this situation before.  Look back on how she acted in previous relationships as an indicator of how you should act now.

That being said, there are some general tips on how to get through your best friend’s latest relationship.  Here are a few situations that can occur, and how to get through them.

1) The Bad Boy

Sometimes your friend enters into a relationship with a guy you know is all wrong, and your girl friend knows it too.  Problem is she doesn’t care.  There once was a guy who told my friend upfront that he was living with someone else when he took her on their first date.  He later told her about how he cheated on every girl he was with.  Throughout the span of three years, he would hit her up every time he ended a relationship.  In the third year he finally came to her with a proclamation.  He claimed that he had realized that she was the one for him, and that he wanted the chance to prove his love for her.  I knew he hadn’t changed, wouldn’t change, and couldn’t change.

The Answer: I kept it cordial with him, but I never got close.  I didn’t spend much time with them as a couple, but when I did I had civil simple conversations with him, nothing deep.  At the start of their relationship I expressed my concern, and gave her my opinion on the situation, then I was done.  I let her live her life, and learn her own lessons.  You can’t make anyone do anything, and the more you express your hatred for your best friend’s boyfriend the more strained your relationship will become.  She learned the hard way that he couldn’t change when she found him in their apartment bedroom with another girl.  There relationship ended, but ours didn’t.

2) The Buddy

In high school one of my friends got with a guy I was already friends with.  As their relationship grew, so did our friendship.  The three of us hung out all of the time.  They were only together for one year when he went off to college, and they broke up.  When their relationship ended, so did our friendship until two years later when he reached out to me.  He had ended his relationship, apologized for being MIA, and wanted to reconnect.  We had always gotten along really well, and I wanted to give him another chance.  He was also interested in reconnecting with my friend, so we planned for him to come with us to a mutual friend’s party.  They hung out at the party, and went to dinner shortly after.  Fast forward years later, and my friend decided she had an issue with our friendship.

The Answer: You can’t always make everyone happy.  In this situation I believed it was okay to remain friends with my friend’s ex.  I think anytime you are friends with both parties in a relationship before the relationship started, you should have the ability to maintain both friendships afterwards.  Her ex hadn’t treated her badly, and he was a very good friend to me throughout the many years of our friendship.  Had she mentioned an issue earlier on I would have possibly ended the friendship, but the fact that she was mentioning it ten years after their relationship ended, felt unfair.  Using her reaction to my friendship with her ex as an example, I never got too close to a man of hers again.

3) The Good Guy

Sometimes your best friend isn’t the one getting hurt, she’s the one doing the hurting.  If your friend isn’t seriously in love with her man, you shouldn’t be either.  Don’t get too close to a guy who your friend isn’t that into.  She’ll end it with him quickly, and expect you to do so as well.  Avoid the drama, and keep your distance.  It’s important to be polite and friendly in his company, just don’t start planning tons of double dates.

4) The Guy You Used to Date

I will never understand this, but some friends get with guys you used to date.  What’s even worse is when a friend dates a guy who bad mouthed her while you were together.  I once had an on again off again friendship with a girl I worked with while in college.  We were good friends in high school, but problems occurred when we started working together.  She started to get jealous, and when I got promoted over her our friendship pretty much ended.  While working together I started talking to one of our coworkers.  I was just getting out of a tricky relationship, and wasn’t really interested.  He was trying a little too hard to get me to go out with him, and it was coming off fake.  He knew I was having problems with my friend, and so he thought by bad mouthing her I would like him more.  I never understand his train of thinking.  I told him that he wasn’t going to get anywhere with me by saying such horrible things about another person, whether or not they were on bad terms with me or not.  Still he continued to say mean things about her looks, her attitude, and her personality.  A couple of months went by, and nothing happened between us.  He finally understood I wasn’t interested, and he backed off.  One day I read my friend’s blog where she wrote about someone who sounded a lot like our coworker.  I reached out to him, and discovered that it was true, he had asked her out.  I couldn’t believe it, but he did.  I tried to stay out of the situation, but one day she messaged me saying that she heard that me and him and dated, and that she wanted to know the details.

The Answer: In that situation I did what I will never do again.  I told her that he had been interested in me, but that things never went farther than that.  I told her that she should be careful, and that he was fake.  She asked me to elaborate, but I didn’t feel comfortable sharing the things he had said.  They were too mean, and I wanted to spare her feelings.  I only said that he had said some awful things about her, and that she should talk to him about it.  She did talk to him about it, and he confessed.  She got with him anyway, and told me that I was just angry that a guy who liked me would like her.  That ended our friendship for good.  A few years later she wrote to me, and confessed that I was right about him, that she should have listened to me, and that she was sorry.  I had no interest in becoming her friend again at that point.  What I learned from that situation is that when a girl wants to be with a guy, she will ignore and resent every negative thing you have to say about him.  Whatever you have to say will come off as you being jealous in some way.  When someone asks your opinion you can give it, but then drop it.