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

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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.

Advise Me: Love Thy Neighbor

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I know that we’re supposed to be kind to our neighbors, but some neighbors make it difficult.  I never had a problem with neighbors until moving into my most recent apartment.  The walls and floors of the apartment are very thin.  Luckily, we live on the top floor so it’s not a major issue for us.  Unfortunately, the people below us are very sensitive to the noise.  If we walk on our floor with shoes, watch TV, or listen to music at a normal volume they angrily knock on the ceiling with a broom.  We’re very sensitive to what the noise must be like for them, so we comply by keeping the volume very low, speaking at lower volumes, not wearing shoes at all inside, etc.

We have a beautiful and big patio, but can’t have people over because of them.  We try to comply and be thoughtful to our neighbors, but everyone has a limit.

Last week I decided it was finally time to get cable for the apartment.  I did what any law abiding citizen would do, and called up my cable provider, ordered the service, and had it installed.  A week later I received a call from the landlord claiming that the neighbors complained that ever since “our” cable guy came they have been without cable.  The landlord midway through speaking with us must have realized that this wasn’t an issue of our causing, because he told us he needed to call the neighbors back.  Sure enough I received a call back from my landlord saying that the neighbors had been stealing their cable.

Dear Neighbors,

If you are stealing cable, and do not inform your neighbors that you are stealing cable, and they call a cable guy it is not their fault.  Do not proceed by calling a landlord to complain, as you were doing something illegal.

Difficult neighbors can make living at even the best apartment unbearable.  When neighbors are making life hard, what do you do?