The 5 Guys You Date After A Break-Up

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Breakups come in all sorts of forms, the blindside breakup, the ultimatum breakup, the love-does-not-conquer-all breakup, the “mutual” breakup — the list goes on. No matter which type of breakup you endure, it takes some time to bounce back. After a breakup, all you truly want is to feel normal again. You’ll do just about anything to see some semblance of your old self. To bring yourself back to life, you’ll probably think about rebounding back into the dating game. You know, the ol’ “Get yourself back out there!” tactic. Well, from someone who has recently tried this method, here are my findings. Here are the five guys you’ll date after a breakup…

1. The guy you’ll almost go out with

This date happens pretty quickly after the breakup. Most likely this will be a guy who you’ll be set up with by a friend. Your friends care about you and want you to get back out there. They’ll look at you and only see a sad, three-legged-dog that no one wanted to make a “forever home” with. They won’t know how to make you feel better so they’ll assume that dating is the only magical trick that will fix everything. They’ll have plenty of ideas of how to do this, but my personal favorite is the meddling-where-they-don’t-belong-set-up. You’ll hear things like, “Oh, you just need to get back out there!” or “I know the grrrreatest guy, you’ll definitely hit it off!”

Fortunately for them, right around now you’ll do just about anything to get out of your own head for a bit. You’ll also appreciate a reason to escape your bedroom that you’ve been hibernating in for the past week or so. You’ll be desperate to wake up from your Netflix-coma. You’ll agree to the date.

The day of the date will arrive and you’ll be a wreck. You’ve forgotten what first-date jitters felt like. You’ll start getting ready and realize you have nothing to wear. You’ll be frozen, staring at your closet only remembering what you wore on your last first date. The first date that you thought was going to be your last first date ever. You’ll fall into a cloud of bittersweet memories. You’ll want to cancel right then and there. You’ll text a friend and they’ll talk you off the ledge. You’ll find something to wear; you don’t love it but whatever. You’ll be ready a half-hour early. You’ll be nervous.

Then, you see him pull up. His car comes to a stop and he gets out. He has flowers. (Cue the “awes”). You’ll meet him at the door and engage in an awkward handshake/hug. You’ll size him up – cute guy, not bad. He smells nice too. You’ll get in the car and realize that you can’t do this. You just physically can’t go through with the date. He’ll start talking about something, something so normal, asking you about your favorite food or movie, and you’ll be on a different planet. He’ll turn off your street and start heading to dinner. You’ll realize more and more that you can’t go. It’s not that he’s repulsive or you’re completely turned off by the situation… You’re just not ready.

You’re not ready. You’re not ready to get to know another person. You’re simply exhausted and you don’t have it in you to learn what type of music he likes or how many siblings he has. Then you’ll do something terrible – you’ll fake an emergency to get out of the date. You’ll have a friend call your phone and you’ll answer and act like a huge emergency is happening. You’ll be extremely vague. Your friend on the phone will say, “You owe me big time,” as you hang up. He’ll be sensitive and caring and he’ll understand that you need to be taken home immediately. He’ll drop you off and you’ll tell him that you’ll call.

You’ll go into your house, feeling relief and also feeling awful. You’ll feel bad, not only because he was a great guy that you legitimately ditched within 3 minutes of the date — but you’ll also feel awful because you just want to feel normal again. You just want to get back to yourself. You’ll sit on the couch, still in your coat, with your purse strapped to you. You’ll be in hazy, cloud of fog, wondering if it will ever get easier. You’ll curse yourself because you’re now convinced you’ll have the worst dating karma in the world because you “fake emergency-d” this guy. You’ll think of texting him, apologizing, and asking for another shot. You’ll get your phone out to text him, but you won’t. You won’t because you know, deep down, you’re not ready and it’s not fair to him. It’s not fair for him to be kept on the hook, kept as a place keeper.

You’ll wash your face and close the drapes. You’ll hop into bed and cue up an extra sappy episode of Grey’s Anatomy. You’ll text your friend and they’ll sympathize with you, but you know that they want to scream, “What are you waiting for!? Get back out there!” You’ll doze off to sleep, hoping to dream of anything but the person you’re trying so desperately to forget.


2. The guy who’s playing the field 


A few weeks later, you’ll meet someone else. This guy will be elusive and interesting. He’ll keep you guessing and you’ll like the mystery he provides. Unexpectedly, only a few days after you met, he’ll ask you to grab a drink. You’ll think, why not? What’s the worst that could happen?

On the drive there, you’ll check your make-up in the car and text your roommate to ask if she’s still positive your outfit was a good choice. You’ll park and wait a bit. You wait just enough so he’s the first one there and you don’t have to nervously pick a table and wait. You’ll walk the few blocks to the bar and check your reflection in every window. You’ll get to the bar and see that he’s at a quiet booth in the corner. You sit down and order a beer. The conversation is easy and you even forget to send your friend the “I’m alive” text that you’ve concocted to alert friends when you meet up with people you barely know.

You’ll notice that you’re actually listening to what he has to say. You’re asking questions and caring about what the answers are. It will be a surreal moment, for a split second you feel like you’re watching yourself. Look at you! You’re on a date and you’re enjoying yourself! Holla!

Before you know it, the date will be winding down, the bar will be closing, and you’ll find yourself outside on the sidewalk with this new guy. You’ll both say you had a great time and he’ll walk you to your car. He won’t kiss you, but you aren’t ready for that anyway. You’ll end up doing the whole hug-hide-your-face-thing when it looked like a kiss was about to happen.

You’ll get home and see yourself a bit differently in the mirror. You’ll see someone who can go out on a date — the whole date. Things won’t work out with this guy though; he’s not your knight in shining armor. He’ll text you here and there, but he doesn’t want more than just something casual. Which is probably the best for you right now anyway. You won’t care too much that he’s not “the one”. Because really, the best part has already happened. It’ll happen when you go to sleep that night. For the first night in a long time, you’ll be thinking of someone else. It’ll feel amazing to be worried about another guy. It’ll feel liberating to wonder about someone new. It will feel refreshing. It will feel good. So, while it may seem like nothing came from this date, in actuality, everything came from it. You’ll be back. You’ll be ready to date again. You’ll be thinking of the possibility of something new. And that’s all you really needed, possibility.


3. The guy who’s completely wrong for you


The next guy will be a breath of fresh air. He’ll be so different from you that you’ll be intrigued. He’ll be a cute, nerdy, engineer-y type guy, when you’ve always dated the preppy, athletic ones. You’ll think, well maybe this has been the problem all along — you’ve only dated people too similar to yourself. You’ll listen to his stories and begin to recognize his adorable quirks.

About halfway through the date, he’ll be talking about some work thing and you’ll realize you haven’t heard a word he’s said. It’s not that he’s uninteresting; he’s just uninteresting to you. Not even boring really, you just don’t have anything in common. He doesn’t spend much time with his family, while your family is your rock. He’s not into sports, while March Madness is, in your opinion, one of the greatest times of the year. He doesn’t like trashy reality TV (not that many guys do) but he also doesn’t get as pumped about pizza as you do — um, hello? Who doesn’t love pizza?

However, he will have his strengths, he’ll be a great listener and he’ll be able to make you laugh – something you’ve been missing for a while. You’ll begin to realize he could be a great friend. You’ll then realize that at some point, other guys that you’ve been out with in the past probably made the same call about you. In your head, you’ll begin to pick out people who would be thrilled to be on a date with this guy. Someone who also has a passion for craft beer and the sciences. Someone who would love to be out with this great guy. It’s just not you.


4. The guy who’s perfect


The next guy will be amazing. He’ll be attractive, have a stable job, be looking for something serious, yada yada. He’ll have all of his ducks in a row and you’ll think you’ve found the Holy Grail. But just like they say, things that seem too good to be true… usually are.

The date will go smoothly. He’ll say all the right things and you’ll swoon at all the right moments. He’ll surprise you by being extremely straightforward about his feelings and he’ll explain how he really sees a potential future with you. You’ll sigh a breath of relief because maybe for once, just once, you won’t have to play the whole, “Does he really like me?” game.

You’ll walk out to the car and he’ll grab for your hand. He’ll kiss you goodnight. It will be a nice kiss — a kiss that is nice, but you don’t feel much behind it. You’ll question the kiss the whole way home. You’ll wonder if you’re holding yourself back. You’ll wonder if maybe you’re sabotaging your own happiness. So, you’ll brush off the ‘meh’-ness of the kiss and continue to talk to this guy — hoping that you’ll feel something more. Unfortunately, nothing changes. You’ll want to fall for this guy. You’ll want that so badly.

There’s just something missing. You can’t put your finger on it, but you feel the empty space. You keep talking to him, hoping that the lacking connection will miraculously show up. Then one day it will stop, you won’t keep talking to him or trying to figure out your indifference. The missing puzzle piece is chemistry. If the spark isn’t there, even the most appealing person on paper won’t make your heart skip a beat. At the end of the day, that’s all you’re after — someone who makes your cardiac muscle go pitter-patter.


5. The guy who makes it all worth it


… stay tuned.

What to Expect When You Tell Your Single Friends You’re Expecting

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The twenties are full of many milestones. Milestones like graduations, internships, job offers, engagements, home ownership, weddings, marriages, and babies. These life-changing moments are much more than Facebook status updates or Instagram photos and these momentous events come at different times for everybody.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my twenties and this year I turned 26 (an age of which I keep referring to as, “the wrong side of 25”). I’ve begun to realize that while I have hit some of the above-mentioned milestones, others… well, not so quite. While some of these milestones like engagements and marriages are not on my radar right now (or really in any radius of personal thought) my friends are hitting all of the milestones – – and in perfect succession might I add. And while I am really, truly happy for my friends, I can’t help but have some sort of other feelings about it. Boy do I have some feelings about it. This is normal. Right?

I can’t be the only person in the world that has feelings other than complete and utter happiness when their friends tell them they are expecting. I handled the engagements well. I handled the marriages even better (helped throw bridal showers, stood beside the most beautiful brides as they married their best friend, and partied like it was 1999 at many a reception) – Did I just make a Prince reference? Good grief.

Moving on.

Back to what I was saying, I haven’t really been affected by seeing, watching, and participating in others hitting these milestones. However, the one that has somewhat “culture shocked” me is news of friends now having children. Gone are the days when these friends were terrified of asking their mom’s to be put on birth control, or the early morning emergency calls requesting to run out and get Plan B for them, or the glorious text messages letting me know that Aunt Flow made her monthly visit, even if she was a few weeks late and scared the shit out of everyone.

I’ve just begun adjusting to the idea that my friends are planning and trying to get pregnant. I haven’t had enough time to get ready for these plans to turn into reality and these realities to turn into sonograms and these sonograms to turn into real, live, babies. Hasn’t anyone thought about me? Am I the only one that feels like the kid who isn’t tall enough to ride the roller coaster? All my friends are running through the gate while I’m begging my mom to measure me again, “I have to be 52’’ tall, mommmm!”.

Now, now. I know how this sounds. It sounds incredibly childish, selfish (well, basically any word ending with “ish” that means: terrible person). I’m very cognizant of how this sounds. Oh, I’m very, very aware of how this sounds. This is why I (and I assume most single/childless people) have learned to hold these thoughts inside and hide how we really feel.

So this is why I am writing this. Here are the five thoughts that immediately go through your single friend’s heads when you annouce you’re expecting:

1. “Oh god, not another one!”

Jesus. They are dropping like flies. (Is there something wrong with me?)

2. “What about me?”

So, now that you are going to have this baby. Sorry, I’ll stop referring to it as “this baby”. Crap, I’ll also stop referring to it as “it”. Crap. Anyway, back to what I was saying. Now that you’re having a baby, where do I fit into your life? After you got married we adjusted to having our “girls night” every once in awhile. And these are sporadic – at best. Now that you have a family, where do I fit in? Ugh, I hate when I do this – – make it about me. But really, what about me?

3. “Are we going drift apart?”

Please don’t think that I don’t want to hear about everything. I may not be at the same stage you are (or even close to that stage) but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to hear all the details. All the details. I want to hear about the morning sickness, the name picking challenges, all the body changes (even if they’re gross), etc. I want to hear it all. I want to remain close to you and to remain close to you is to hear about your life. This pregnancy is your life. And believe me, I still want to share my life with you – – even if my stories are all about my disorganized, shambles of a life.

4. “Are you sure we aren’t going to drift apart?”

Make sure to reassure me that there’s still some room for me. I know, I’m one selfish asshole.

5. “Please don’t think I have an “empty” life and I won’t think your “life is over”…”

While we are both encountering and tackling extremely different life milestones, I promise to never belittle your choices. Promise you won’t belittle mine. While yours is going to include diaper changes and play dates, mine is still going to include happy hours and bad dates. One of these is not greater than the other. While you’re bringing life into the world – let me repeat that – while you’re BRINGING LIFE INTO THE WORLD (holy cow, that’s impressive) I’m still going to be sifting through losers trying to find “the one” and still deflecting any and all inquisitions from family members about my life and relationship status.

We are both going to need each other.

We are going to need each other so badly.

 

 

 

The 5 Friends Every Twenty-Something Needs

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Being a twenty-something these days is exhausting. We’re constantly pulled in a thousand directions – – “Be mature!” “Get a real job!” “But you’re so young!” “At your age I was already married with two kids!” “These are the best years of your life!” First, would someone please take a poll of society so we can finally agree on a common age that is, in fact, “The Best Years Of Your Life”? That would be much appreciated. Secondly, I’ve composed the following list of 5 friends that I believe every twenty-something needs – – To ensure survival of the twenty-something years.

The DeLorean: This friend encompasses your past, present, and you know they hold a place in your future.  While this friend holds a lot of stock in your friendship market, they are probably not a reoccurring character in your current, daily life. Hell, this friend is probably not around a lot. This isn’t because they don’t care or you don’t care – – There is just some space. This space can be literal proximity (moved for school, job, new direction, etc.) or the space can be that you both have just grown apart.

Growing apart from friends is always difficult because 99% of the time there isn’t rhyme or reason. The drifting begins and you try to keep up the friendship because the investment is there and you’re a smart cookie – – You know you can’t just walk away from a long-term investment.

So, you don’t walk away… completely. The DeLorean and you keep the friendship afloat by allowing one another to change. This friendship still works because you have both allowed one another to evolve into new people – – You allowed one another to grow up and in turn, grow apart.

The DeLorean may not be around for your daily new stories – – The fight you got into with your sister, the horrible date you couldn’t escape, or that celebration for the promotion you finally received. While they won’t be there for those moments, they were there for the past. They will always hold a special place within your heart/soul/memories because they know you. They know every scar, every wound (both visible and emotional). There’s not many people who can identify the scar above your left eyebrow that you hit on the nightstand when you fell out of bed on Father’s Day 1996. There’s also not many people who know exactly how often you lip synched to Britney Spear’s …Baby, One More Time with a hairbrush. And there’s definitely not many people who helped you compose the most beautiful poem for your waiter at Steak N’ Shake, circa junior year.

The DeLorean will always hold a very special place on your friend roster and while they’re in and out of your life a lot, you’ll always be able to count on them to transport you back to simpler times and memories you never want to forget.

The Magic Eight Ball: This is a special type of friend. The Magic Eight Ball (M8B) is the friend you can talk to about anything. They not only give the best advice, but they listen completely. The conversation is unhindered because no one is trying to “one up” the other or interject with opinions. You’re probably wondering why I call this friend the M8B… let me explain.

The M8B doesn’t care if you want to talk about the same story over and over again. You all know what I’m talking about. That one story that’s even starting to annoy you as you start from the top for the 99th time. But the M8B knows that for whatever reason, you need to talk about it – – Again. The M8B will dissect a break-up over and over (and over) again until you feel better about it. Then, when you feel worse about it again – – They’ll buckle up for the repeat.

After they patiently listen, the M8B also carefully dolls out advice. This advice is most likely paired with the ever-so-popular terms, “It is certain”, “Without a doubt”, or “You may rely on it”. The M8B can also be counted on to cut the bullshit with, “Don’t count on it”, “My reply is no”, or the pleasant, “My sources say no”. Yes, it might sting – – But its better than those super-annoying, middle-of-the-road, “Reply hazy, try again”, or  “Cannot predict now”. Well, why the fuck would I ask you if you can’t “predict” now, M8B?!

The Energizer Bunny: Oh, this friend. This friend is amazing. Amazing, yet exhausting. You can’t figure out how they can go, go, go, go, go, and never seem to tire. You can’t figure out how they still have the energy and stamina of a college freshman while you’ve transferred to the common, yet more sedentary lifestyle of a twenty-five-year-old.

The Energizer Bunny (EB) is the friend that drags you off the couch and out on the town. They insist you have time to grab a drink after work. They are insatiable and extremely persuasive. The EB is the only friend that is able to convince you to go out, even after you’ve put your hair up and PJ’s on for the evening. The EB is also the friend that wants to stay out and close down the bar. While you’re probably not familiar with the harsh lights of a 2am last call, the EB is making their last cycle around the bar, and bidding adieu to their favorite waitresses.

The EB seems to be living in a frozen undergrad moment. It’s hard to be on the same page as an EB sometimes because you have different priorities. You probably want to shake your EB sometimes and be like, “HOW ARE YOU NOT STRESSED OUT ABOUT THIS??” “HOW ARE YOU NOT WORRIED?!” The EB’s always seem so carefree. It’s not only hard to wrap your mind around but it’s also pretty fucking frustrating. The EB can be frustrating because you don’t understand why they won’t just grow up, too. Why can’t they be tired, too? Why can’t they understand that you can’t just book a vacation for next week because you’re saving for a down payment? (Down payment on what? Who the hell knows, but you’re saving for something.) Why can’t they understand that you don’t go out to 1am on weekdays anymore because you’re responsible?

While the EB will push you to your breaking point more than once, you hold your tongue because you know the EB will get their shit together… eventually. We all change and grow at different paces and the EB will get there at some point… right? And even if they take forever or never get there, who cares?

The best part of the EB is they help you step outside of your comfort zone. They help you remember how to have fun. The EB makes you feel young again. The EB reminds you that sometimes it’s okay to stumble home at 3am on a Tuesday night, after karaoke-ing The Counting Crows greatest hits, and eating greasy, bar pizza.

The Clock: The opposite of the EB. This is the yang to the EB’s yin. This is the mature friend. This is the friend who has all of their shit together – – Probably detailed in a very organized planner. You met this friend in school or from work. You can always count on this friend for anything. You can count on this friend to always do the right thing. You can also count on them to get jobs, get married, and have babies.

The Clock is a great friend. However, The Clock is someone who is always there to remind you of that one really, really, super, annoying thing – – Time. While you’re still trying to map out a “career path” (if that term even exists?) and find a significant other that you can stand for more than four weeks (four weeks sounds longer than one month, right?) The Clock just landed their dream position at Google and got engaged at the top of the Eiffel Tower last weekend. While you think the Eiffel Tower is a little cheesy, you still can’t help but feel a bit behind while all these amazing-life-altering things seem to be happening to The Clock.

You love The Clock and wish him/her all the best, but this goddamn Clock is beginning to make you feel behind the curve. You’ve had to adjust to the fact that people your age actually want to get pregnant and these beautiful children aren’t just “happy surprises” anymore. You’ve also had to practice your facial expression(s) so that when The Clock tells you that she isn’t taking her birth control anymore, your face that would normally say, “HOLY HELL, WHY?!” now looks more like, “YAY, SUCH A GREAT IDEA!”.

I’m not trying to degrade The Clocks out there – – I love my Clocks! The Clocks make the world go round (no pun intended). The Clocks are needed to balance out the EB’s and the other stragglers, like myself. I look up to The Clocks and part of me wishes I was more like a Clock. I wish I had more of a plan – – I wish I had more direction. I would love to embody the beauty that seems to exude from the stability, and calmness of a Clock. My Clocks are some of the greatest friends I have and I know I can count on them for the rest of my life.

The Rock: This person is your person. Out of anyone at anytime in anyplace this is the person you want by your side. The Rock can read your mind and know what you’re thinking even before you know what you’re thinking. For example, you and The Rock aren’t allowed to be on the same team at Game Night when Taboo comes into play – –  “It’s not fairrrrr,” say the whiners, “They know what the other is thinking, ughhh,” they’ll plead as they beg that you’re split onto opposite teams.

You can be your complete self with The Rock. Conversations with The Rock can start with discussing your biggest fears, then in the same thought, you can also admit to actually liking the band Nickelback. The Rock will go to parties or get-togethers that they know they’ll hate, just because you asked and know you’ll need reinforcement. They’re the friends that have been there when your family awkwardly fights in front of them and they’ve actually come back. The Rock is pretty much a member of your family. You can go some time without talking and nothing really changes. You know that annoying saying, “Friends are like stars, you don’t always see them but you know they’re there.” Ugh – – with a double side of ugh. The Rock is the friend that you want to see all the time – – And if you’re far away from your Rock, you don’t pretend that “distance makes the heart grow fonder” bullshit. You feel a little off not talking and seeing your Rock on the reg.

They’ve been there for the best days – – The graduations, the new jobs, the dates you fell in love with, the nights you both laughed so hard in the middle of State Street you fell over, the birthdays, the vacations, and everything in between. They’ve also been there for the worst – – The failed classes, the jobs we hated, the dates that broke our hearts, the nights we both cried so hard it seemed like nothing could ever be that sad again, the arguments, and everything else in between.

That’s the best part about The Rock – – They’ve been there for everything and you know they’ll be there for the rest.