Slumming

“You can take the girl out of the ghetto, but you can’t take the ghetto out of the girl.”

 

That can be translated one of two ways; either it means that the girl will always be a little bit ghetto or the girl will always feel a little bit ghetto. One is a little bit bad ass, and the other is a little bit sad.

When you have grown up with lack or lackluster circumstances, you might always feel a little bit beneath other people–even if you aren’t–even if you “make good” in life. That feeling is always still there, just beneath the surface though you might try to squash it, have forgotten it or pretend it’s not there.

There has been a time or two (or three or four) when I have felt like the lesser person in the pair. It could have been because they had more money than me, or because they actually thought they were better than me, or sometimes because they actually were better than me.

It’s been a little while since I have had that feeling. That cold ball in the pit of the stomach, like fear except different. It was shame. And disappointment. But mostly shame.

I don’t feel like I usually have a shame problem. I have done a lot of work in the area of giving myself a break. If you feel like you want to work on that, I highly recommend Daring Greatly by Brene’ Brown. That book has been an amazing tool and I have gone back to it several times for a refresher on being okay with my level of achievement and accomplishment in life.

But today,  I felt the feeling sneak itself right into my rib cage. I shared something with an old friend. Something I felt a little proud about. They took a look around and didn’t say anything negative, but I saw the look flicker across their face. I thought to myself, oh yeah, they are fancy now, they like and expect nice things. The moment passed in real-time but continued simmering in my mind, until I no longer felt proud of my accomplishment. What I considered an accomplishment, they thought an expense. What I considered independence, they considered lacking. Like they had poop on their shoe. My cool thing was poop.

What does this have to do with dating, you might be thinking a you read this. Well, I’ll tell you, it has everything to do with dating. If an encounter with someone leaves you feeling lesser in any way, don’t bother with it. It will lead to shame, heartache and a destruction of your self-esteem.  You will find yourself constantly striving to be good enough for them, when you really only need to be good enough for you. The right person will see you as good enough no matter where you are on your journey. If dating them makes you think they are slumming, walk away.

Now if you want to go slumming, that can be fun. Just make sure to be kind.

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I might be here (my actual feet)

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But feel like I am here

           

The Guy With All the Ghosts

Brad* (not his real name) was is one haunted man. He lives with the Ghost of Relationship Past. It happens to be a ghost of marriage past, turned into ex-wife present, with equals him being chained to her and it’s a big ol’ mess. But he was non-judgmental, and a painter, and truthful to a fault, things I like. So…..I gave it a shot.

I met Brad in the early days of Snatch.com. He was socially awkward, not at all charming, but adorably rumpled, artsy, and weirdly interesting. In my phone, he was listed as Adorably Rumbled Brad, inspired by one of my go-to chick flicks, My Best Friend’s Wedding.

I met ARB at a downtown restaurant one warm, April Sunday. I had tried to lure him out the night before at a very cool author reading, but he was too nervous and was adamant that he was terrible in social situations. In fact, he was so nervous about our pending date that I called him the night before so we could get comfortable with each other. By the end of the call, we were both less nervous.

But next day, I arrived at the restaurant first and called my friend. I was so nervous. The most nervous I have been on almost any date. I saw him drive up and got out to meet him. Ugh I was so nervous, but he clearly was too. We had lunch, the conversation was nice and flowed easily. We walked around downtown for bit afterwards. It went well.

We chatted a for a few weeks or so. He said I was pushy so I backed off. Then he said he didn’t think he should be dating right now, (he was right) but he wanted to be friends. (Friend zoned for $100 Alex!!) I agreed. I wasn’t terribly hurt or upset. I was pretty sure being his friend was the right move. He was interesting and spontaneous and comfortable, but I didn’t dare let my guard down knowing that he was still tangled up in the past, so there was no chemistry.  We remained in touch and met up a few more times. Then, he disappeared.

Fast forward a couple of months. I hear from him. He has been going through some stuff (with her, the ex-wife.) It would be cool if we hung out. Okay, I say. We make plans, we hang out, we chat a bit, then he’s gone again.

Fast forward a couple of months. Repeat previous paragraph. Do that a couple more times.

At this point I back all the way off. No Instagram likes, no texts, not anything. Then out of the blue, I hear from him again. It would be cool to hang out, he was wondering how I’ve been. So we work on plans but due to busy schedules they don’t happen right away. Then, within two weeks, she’s back again…… Damn Brad!!

I back off. We’ll see what happens next.

Ghost  Actual photo of ARB…..

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I am a huge fan of vulnerability. I know, I know…..

 

 

 

 

 

Tell Me What You Want (What You Really, Really Want)

This weekend I spent some time with a friend who is excellent at creating extra deep conversations. Afterwards as I mulled,  I again addressed the question I often ask myself in relation to the dating thing- what do I really want?

Not who. I’m not writing a recipe for my fairy godmother.  Sure, I have a list,  but that thing would be forgotten faster than the last Ariana Grande song if things clicked in that magical way. 

I mean what. Bare bones, down to the bottom of my heart-midnight-whisper-prayer want. Then I question it again, is that really what I want?

It’s not the same as what I think I want, what I think I need, after another exhausting week when I felt like I never stop hustling, those weak  moments when I just want to be in this with someone, or need a shoulder to rest my head for a moment while I catch my breath. And it’s not the same as what I think I want, after my head has been on the pillow for hours,  and the only sounds are ticking clocks and my own breathing, surrounded by extra pillows and the night streaked with the heaviness of feeling alone. Those aren’t real, in the realm of wants. Those are gaps. Gaps that can be filled- should be filled- by other things rather than trying to fit someone into my world like the corner piece that finishes a jigsaw puzzle. 

So what is it then?

Some of my favorite friends are great models for relationship goals. When I figure out what I want, I hope it’s like their marriage. They get on each other’s nerves, but they love each other crazy. When one makes a mistake, the grace is quick and automatic. They are a team,  and without a doubt, they know that they have each other’s backs no matter what. You can tell they are each other’s favorites. 

I want something like that. Not  just something to fill the gaps, but someone on my team, no matter what. And I have to wonder,  am I running out of time? Do things like that even exist anymore? And perhaps the biggest question of all, what would I have to give up to get it and am I willing to do that?

Now that you’ve stuck with me through all those unanswered questions,  I promised a review of Bumble, so here it is!

I discovered Bumble after reading an Upworthy article about how the dating app banned a guy who sent hate mail to a gal. I decided to see what it was, downloaded it, and promptly met the meatball man. (Haha)

Dubbed as the ‘feminist Tindr,’ Bumble’  is set up much the same way-swipe right if you like, left if you don’t- but if you match, the gal communicates first,  and you only have 24 hours to do it before the match disappears. 

There are some premium features you can pay for,  like unlimited time extensions and sneak peeks of right swipes. 

I liked Bumble because it seemed like there were more men who were serious about dating and relationships,  not just hookups. The drawback was related to my location. Not many people in my city (or maybe my age demographic) had heard of it yet, but I think in bigger cities it would work well. It’s also connected to your Facebook account and location so it’s harder to make fake profiles. I would probably try it again when I make up my mind. 

Until next time!