Incomplete… Part V

Single… and Fabulous? 

Photo by marsmettnn tallahaassee on flickr

Photo by marsmettnn tallahaassee on flickr

I was out at an exclusive event the other night, wearing a new dress, lamenting the fact that I hadn’t broken in my shoes properly in my head, while outwardly smiling, shaking hands, and making small talk with professional acquaintances. A photographer stopped us and asked for a photo, to be published in a local publication the next month. While my eyes adjusted from the flash, another friend whipped out her phone, took a picture, and posted it on Facebook immediately. The comments and likes started immediately…

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gerardstolk/8157018623/in/photolist-dqNRs8-7SCPJ-6iLrCe-4X4iv1-5hyGmW-4c2TJA-4enh8T-4Ko6LX-9ty6St-egbCom-4nT674-4UkPv7-4TN2dR-4nTgvR-4RVcbk-4o7V7h-4WUDUC-4q9RS2-4N1ngV-4nRzhT-4PHHGG-4SwiAP-4PHKxs-4svq9R-4nBdxg-4NtRma-4nJKv1-2kwfm6-4nWQ1A-4y76HG-4xNECQ-57NFj3-4BDgUe-4nWh7c-4d5LCZ-4oT2hH-bdHcjP-4MecCZ-9QBfA7-fJrPJT-eAunFY-4XHvXE-xGpN-6RwLRw-4UL9xQ-4W4Q3G-4nVzmu-4VyqQX-4nTgsv-drtkRh

Photo by Gerard Stolk on Flickr.

Your life is so fabulous!

You know what? It is. It is fun. It is fabulous. I have worked hard, and I love what I get to do for a living. You know what’s coming though, right?

BUT…

Yep. There it is. BUT… it would be great to have someone there with me. Yes, my friends are great and I love spending time with them, but someone with whom I can escape into a corner and watch the crowd and giggle over the endless selfies, and squeals of, “Oh, my God, I love her!” which, at times, are about as sincere as a proud whore repenting in church on a Sunday morning. Someone who, perhaps, doesn’t care about the latest ombre gel nailcolor trend. Someone who appreciates that I dressed up, and can’t wait to dress me down at the end of the night… as opposed to that Jersey Shore creeper who keeps sidling up to me to try to grab yet another glimpse of my rack, while nibbling mindlessly on limp crudite. Someone who can make me laugh at a joke, instead of trying to make me laugh at a person who may not have dressed up quite right for said event.

When I come home from nights like these, my phone blowing up with Facebook notifications and comments on Instagram exclaiming how much fun we all had together, I often stop in front of my mirror to look myself over, and find myself wishing I had someone there to curl up with on the couch and talk about our respective days… Instead, I undress without ceremony, get ready for bed, and get ready to start another day.

I like being able to shed my professional façade, my persona (if you will), and just being my goofy, slightly stabby self with the amazing people in my life. To me, that is a life well-lived… and I’m wondering when I’ll find someone to share it all with.

Being “fabulous” is fun, but at the end of the day, designer clothes, beautiful shoes, and material trappings don’t do much to warm your heart… or body.

Incomplete… Part IV

I dedicate this post to my dear friend Reena, who married her Big Love on this beautiful summer day. 

The Big Love.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtsofan/8221708017/sizes/c/in/photolist-dwwpmv-9Vzh3F-d64gks-ahjewq-bBV5AW-8m5jM9-dczkwb-8LLZbB-aqfyrm-beRnng-dSoysd-8zr465-82cwPw-dN1ZGu-7Lv1Kp-cUDeLw-afHf6t-8bRe97-cz2HTA-86DJLP-8fsVLW-9hYtQA-9Y9x5d-8VL7DQ-9nk9pU-7CLdva-frimb8-e25AnE-cb8ruQ-d6GRjG-aMGg6T-89RsEL-akZHp2-f6BM3M-8yQDaN-8TLQxX-9qU66A-bDV2du-7BKB6F-9Xz153-awiG4D-7VeLgx-9i8BdN-drCRtu-dX9DoU-cdu1Mu-99nMGm-9hTBoo-fxXF8c-eYE3JD-dtWaGD/

Photo by MTSOfan on flickr

There are so many different kinds of love. Love for your family, love for your pets, love for your friends, love for the barista that makes your coffee perfectly every morning. We experience it, but we may not always appreciate all the love in our daily lives… especially when we find ourselves alone, seeking that one love, the Big Love.

What’s the Big Love? The love we strive to find in our lives. The love that makes us smile, makes us blush, makes us stammer and do stupid or awkward things. It’s the love that we yearn to hold hands with. The love that we want to spend time with, having conversations late into the night. Entwining our thoughts and ideas while entwining our bodies. Well… that’s my Big Love. Everyone has their own definition, their own emotions that go with their own Big Love.

My life is good–it’s full of good things. It’s not perfect, certain things make me stabby and there are people that I would gladly throw out of a window on certain days. But when I look back on my day, there are things that make me smile, and people who warm my heart. I have somehow found an amazing group of people who I count as friends–they’re smart, strong, caring, & supportive, and I’m grateful for their friendship. But…

But I find myself longing for The One. Remember how I said my parents love me, but I would never be “complete” in their eyes if I wasn’t married? Well… My life is full of great things and wonderful people, but now I find myself wondering if I’ll find The Big Love, and if I’ll ever feel complete without him.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/94585506@N05/8614340534/sizes/m/in/photolist-e8dKjE-etED2C-dUGHNM-c7PTEw-7CM6EK-8HqkJD-bXkFD3-8HtZqA-dyZctp-8cFHmH-ah5uzh-bxrNto-8uwdsc-9ezww5-dAMhCN-f2MhNE-7LGgcY-9ytpED-cfPqpq-bNbVUx-7CMjhg-9DYjed-c5kPUf-c5kztW-f3gwpM-9DYcdE-9WRWdY-8wBUNa-bZftGd-ds7uDg-bxrZJs-8dgeky-bNRf2i-bwVzW1-ed3Wtz-9A7BHe-9kssjz-7DTFWg-7USPmN-7Djvu7-9Xn4Bb-bra7bL-bra67A-8tAnwz-8tDomu-e8uUUG-97WQYP-bhVhL2-7SvAs1-9SMv5D-9utv2X/

Photo by marsmet532 on flickr

I have also wondered if admitting that I’m looking for love makes me weak, or less than… but as I’ve talked to people around me, I have found that, on some level, we’re all looking for love. When I see a friend fall in love, it makes my heart swell, and it gives me hope. We hold onto the hope for The Big Love even after endless bad dates, broken hearts, dysfunctional relationships, breakups, and divorce. Does that make us weak?

No. It makes us human.

I wish you luck in your quest to find The Big Love. And for those of you who have found it, I’m happy for you–you give me hope.

Nobody.

Image

Image by CarbonNYC on Flickr

My friend Paresh G. recently lost his mother to cancer. It’s a loss that many people endure, but can rarely put into words. As I read his words, the tears flowed & my heart broke for him…and every person who loses someone they love to cancer or any illness. Please take a few minutes to read his  raw, heart-wrenching piece below. 

 

 

I’m preparing you for the fact that this a long read. It’s very raw & and uncharacteristically for me, very emotional. I’m sorry if this note upsets anybody but there is a message I want to convey. I just cannot convey it without context. So thank you if you read this. More thanks if you share this – please just tag me so that I know it’s been shared. 

—–

Nobody prepares you for loss. I’m not talking about losing a bet, or your phone, or your car keys. I’m talking about gut punching, heart ripping, soul tearing loss. Everyone says it’s inevitable but there’s not one single experience in any one person’s life that can possibly prepare them for the loss of a loved one. Especially if that loved one is a parent. Ever more so if it is your mother.

I’m typing this on her birthday. It has also been one month, 2 hours and 53 minutes since she died 8 feet away from me with a team of doctors and nurses attempting to revive her after she went into cardiac arrest. My mother had just passed from complications caused by advanced ovarian cancer & chemotherapy. This was her second (technically third) bout with cancer. She went from diagnosed to dead in 32 days. Count them – 32.

When we are all children, we have at least one memory of us being helpless & our mothers being the first person to scoop us into their arms to protect us; to shield us from the feeling of dire despair. To shield us from the inevitable pain that will come from the inability of being unable to change that one situation we found ourselves in.  

In my case, I will now have two. The first one was when I was a kid in Bahrain & hurt myself messing around on the front steps of our home. I remember gouging my knee on some rocks as I fell face first. Before I could even react, I remember Maa picking me up & holding me. Then the tears flowed but I was safe. 

On February 15th, my world came crashing down when the ICU attending doctor pulled me in & in a flat tone told me that Maa had gone into cardiac arrest & that they were trying to revive her. They worked on her for 18 minutes. She died at 7:45 am. The tears flowed. I couldn’t breathe. I had to hold myself up against a wall. And as I fell to the ground, there was nobody there to pick me up. The one person who could have was 8 feet away from me. Gone. I can tell you that this specific moment will be the most helpless I will ever feel in my life ever; not because she wasn’t around to console me but because I couldn’t do anything to save her.

I spent around 40 minutes by her bedside holding her hand while crying & waiting for my sister & father to make it to the hospital. When my sister walked into the room where we were, I couldn’t see her face. I had been crying that hard. She asked me what happened & when I shook my head, I fell into her arms because I had failed at the one thing I had gone to India to do – take care of my mother while she was ill. 

Then I had to go tell my father. I’ve given him many reasons to be ashamed of me in my life. Lord knows I’ve done gloriously bad things where he had to deal with me. But I will never live down the shame of having to walk up to him & tell him that she was gone. I will never be able to forget the look in his face when I told him. I will never forget his body shaking as I held him when I told him.

Nobody prepares you to plan your mother’s funeral. Nobody explains to you how hard it is to store your mother’s body in a safe, enclosed space where rodents won’t get to her while your family is flying in from around the world. Nobody prepares you to make that call to your brother while he’s at the airport & half way home to tell him that she’s gone. Nobody prepares you for the hour and a half ride behind the hearse carrying your mother to the mortuary so you can give her a proper good bye the next day. 

Certainly, nobody prepares you for the question ‘Do you want to use ghee or kerosene when you cremate her?’. Nobody prepares you for the moment where you go from being 33 to feeling like you’re 63 in the blink of an eye & are forced to go from the baby of the family to the one carrying the load of the logistics so that the rest of the family can just grieve when they arrive. Nobody prepares you for a Facebook conversation where you have to tell your older brother that he doesn’t have to be strong because you got him. There’s no guide for telling your sister that she did everything she could have done & more while you’re holding her on a set of steps on a hospital landing as she bawls into your shirt. 

Nobody prepares you for carrying your mother half a mile to the cremation grounds. There is no manual for the colossal feeling of loss, guilt, grief, anger, resentment & hate you feel when you see your mother’s body burning & how it was too soon.  

Then it gets worse. From that moment on, for every waking moment, every moment between sleep & waking, every empty moment at a traffic light or elevator ride – you have two things in your head. The moment she died. And every other decision you made that led to that moment. It consumes you. It shapes you. Frankly, it changes you. You pretend that things are fine; but they’re not. They never will be because your mother won’t see your kids. You mother won’t be around to show your children the things she taught you. She won’t be around to be stern but kind; firm but gentle; elegant but prone to giggle fits.

She won’t be around when your dad subconciously reaches out for her hand while he’s sitting on the couch. She won’t be around to tell you, unequivocally, that you’re being an idiot for not calling your family back home because they never call anyway. She won’t be there to crinkle her nose at you when you tell her that she looks gorgeous in that one sari she’s wearing. She won’t around to cut you in half with a look from across the room because you’re being an idiot. She won’t be around to gently shake awake as she’s passed out on the couch, laptop open, playing Freecell because that’s totally her scene man!

 

She won’t be around to tell you that she loves you.

You won’t be able to tell her that you love her.

Ever. 

 

Her last words to me were ‘How much more are you going to do?’ My last words to my mother were ‘No matter how much I do, it will never be enough for you. I love you. Please get better but for now go to sleep. I’ll be right here. We’re going home in the morning.’ She never left the hospital. She never opened her eyes again.

Legally, I was supposed to be the family member who took her of the ventilator. I struggled with my ability to make that call when the family would have assembled. So what does she do? She pulls a typical Gajria move – Do it yourself because someone will totally screw it up if you don’t. 

My goals in going home were simple. 1) Get mummy through some chemo sessions 2) Help my sister & father in the running around that India always requires families to do for medical patients. I was supposed to get her through two mini chemo sessions then hand her off to my brother. I was supposed to get her ready for a risky hysterectomy that was coming in the summer by navigating her through the first set of chemotherapy sessions. I kept watch on her in an old dining room chair by her bed side so my father & sister could sleep to recover their energy. I had 12 straight 22 hour days to help my mother & she died on day 15. 

This is not the easiest thing to write about but it’s important because this is a terrible disease that has taken the ultimate toll on my family. You’re seeing one person’s point of view here. If you ask my brother, his pain & coping mechanism is different. My sister’s too. My dad is heartbroken but not broken. My sister in law is the beacon of positivity & my wife will always be my rock.

My mother has built a strong family, and I won’t speak for them but I will confess to being an utter shit show & train wreck. Nobody prepares you for the guilt of having made decisions that potentially cost your mother her life. Nobody. Everyone has been kind & told me that I did what I could. They tell me that she would be proud of me & that they are proud of me. I’ll never believe that because I truly believe that if I had done all that I could have done, I wouldn’t be writing this. Nobody prepares you for the emotional turmoil you go through & how you take it out on yourself & your loved ones because you cannot bottle the rage that you have at yourself & the situation. 

Nobody tells you how to deal with yourself on the flight home. Nobody prepares you for that first hug on the other side when a good friend picks you up two years to the day of losing his own mother & you know exactly how he felt. Nobody prepares you for the tears as you write a note to the world about why this sucks. Nobody prepares you for the month of grief that comes pouring out at 1210 am. 

On the plus side – nobody prepares you for the unconditional love & support you’ll get from your friends and family. Those who were there during the two longest days of my life – you know who you are. The support even outside of that has made me a hesitant but rather strong believer in humanity. Mummy, as usual, was right – people are usually good & want to help… if you just let them. Just don’t forget to return the favor.

This is what I want you to do – Talk about cancer. Get screened for cancer. Desi culture tends to stigmatize cancer as an unspeakable disease. This is not the flu. This shit doesn’t just go away. Cancer patients deserve to have an educated & armed support system around them to help them heal & get them to the finish line.

Ladies – Please get those Mammograms. Please find out if you can get screened for ovarian cancer & then do it. Especially if cancer has occured in your family.  The test is to look for protein level markers of the protein CA125. Ovaraian cancer is called the silent killer because it’s almost invariably found too late to do anything about. 

Guys – Talk to your mothers, mothers-in-law, sisters, wives & significant others about getting screened. You have just as much invested in their lives as much as they do. 

My sister in law found this site: http://www.ocrf.org/ for Ovarian Cancer Research. 

Find out what the cancer can do & how it can be treated:http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/ovarian|| http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ovarian-cancer/DS00293

 

Do something. Do anything. Because this isn’t the first time a son has lost his mother to this & it certainly won’t be the last. 

 

Happy Birthday Maa. I love you. I miss you. I’m sorry I wasn’t good enough but I promise to do my damndest from here on out. I won’t forget when you asked me how much more I was going to do. 

The answer will always be never enough. 

Incomplete… Part III

Expectations

I remember watching the movie “Up in the Air” with a sort of fascination. This scene (scripted below) between the young, idealistic 23-year-old, Natalie, and the thirty-something career woman, Alex, struck a chord with me–it’s like the current me having a conversation with the fresh-out-of college me, which I found to be slightly disconcerting:

Natalie: I thought I’d be engaged by now. I thought by 23, I’d be married, maybe have a kid, corner office by day, entertaining at night.  
Alex: Well, life can underwhelm you that way. 
Natalie: Where did you think you’d be by now? 
Alex: It doesn’t work that way. At a certain point, you stop with the deadlines. It can be a little counter-productive. 
Natalie: Sometimes it feels like, no matter how much success I have, it’s not gonna matter until I find the right guy. I could have made it work–he really fit the bill, you know. White collar, 6’1, college grad, loves dogs, likes funny movies, brown hair, kind eyes, works in finance but is outdoorsy. I always imagined he’d have a single syllable name like Matt or John or… Dave. In a perfect world, he drives a 4-Runner and the only thing he loves more than me is his golden lab. …And a nice smile. What about you? 
Alex: You know, honestly by the time you’re 34, all the physical requirements just go out the window. You secretly pray that he’ll be taller than you. Not an asshole would be nice. Just someone who enjoys my company, comes from a good family–you don’t think about that when you’re younger. Someone who wants kids, likes kids… healthy enough to play with his kids. Please let him earn more money than I do–you might not understand that now but believe me, you will one day… otherwise that’s a recipe for disaster. And hopefully, some hair on his head. I mean, that’s not even a deal breaker these days. A nice smile… Yeah, a nice smile just might do it. 
Natalie: Wow. That was depressing. I should just date women. 
Alex: Tried it. We’re no picnic ourselves. I don’t mind being married to my career. And I don’t expect it to hold me in bed as I fall asleep. I just don’t want to settle. You’re young. Right now you see settling as some sort of a failure. It is…by definition. Yeah, but by the time someone is right for you, it won’t feel like settling. And the only person left to judge you will be the 23-year-old girl with a target on your back.

…………………………………………………..

I find that my expectations of where I’d be at my age are FAR different from where I am–I thought I’d be married in my mid-20s, have a couple kids by 30, a successful career, a loving husband. Reality: I find myself single in my mid-30s, few relationship prospects, not sure if I want to have children (I am not one of those women who would even consider single-parenthood for the sake of having a child–to each their own, but I feel like that would be unfair to me & the child), and finally, after much struggle & hard work, a successful career. One out of four ain’t bad, is it?

I’m not going to let my 20-something self (or anyone else) judge me for being single, either.

I could sit & lament about how or why my life isn’t what I expected, but why? Am I unhappy? No. Do I feel unfulfilled? No. But most importantly–what if I did have all of those things? Would I genuinely be happy? I have no idea. Why is that? Because I am not that person, I am not living that life. I don’t see the point of wondering “What if…?” because I don’t want to miss my current life… the life that I’m living. I want to appreciate what I do have in my life–whether it’s my family, friends, things, or just how it feels to sit on the beach and bask in the sun.

I refuse to sit around & blame myself or how I’ve lived my life for the fact that I’m still single in my 30s. I may not always be happy being single, I may crave a shoulder or an amorous glance or touch from a man who adores me… I can’t stop myself from wondering when I’ll find someone to go on new adventures with.

I have faith that I will continue to figure out who I am, what I want, and someone that will appreciate (most) of me. I don’t know when or where we’ll find each other, but I expect to have fun (& have more ridiculous stories) along the way!

Incomplete… (Part II)

No One Ever Marries the ‘Fun Girl.’

Years ago, in my carefree 20s, I dated a really great guy for a while–he was smart, cute, funny, and we had fantastic chemistry. We met for cocktails one evening after work, and we talked, we laughed, we flirted… He took my hand in his and looked into my eyes. I remember my heart beating a little faster, & my breath caught in the intensity of his gaze.

“God, I always have so much fun with you, even when we’re just hanging out, doing something lame, like laundry, or going to the grocery store. You’re so great!” I smiled, maybe even blushed a little. His smile faltered. “It’s just… I’m looking for something a little more serious. I want to settle down, you know?” My eyes widened. What’s going on?

“No one ever marries the ‘fun girl.’ I mean, you’re great, but… I need to be with someone more serious.” He signaled for the check. “It just can’t be this easy all the time. I really like you, but…” He trailed off, and never finished the sentence. I stared at him with my mouth hanging open. He signed the bill and sighed. “I’m… I’m sorry.” He patted my hand, got up, and kissed the top of my head before he walked away. I turned and watched him walk away, my mouth still hanging open.

The bartender caught my eye, and wordlessly, fixed me the strongest shot I’ve ever had. I slammed it, flashed a watery smile at him, and walked out. I hurt, but my heart began to harden, just a little.

No One Ever Marries the ‘Fun Girl.’

Really? Why not? I don’t know the answer. Years ago, I determined that I needed to live my life in a way that makes me happy, and I have done my best to live up to that. I work hard, play hard, pay the bills, & save for retirement. I can’t wait around and live my life for someone else, someone who has yet to materialize.

I have met & dated a variety of guys, but it doesn’t last long. They’re happy to date me, be with me, be seen with me, but a long-term commitment? No.

I’m confused. I would like to be with someone who is intelligent, who challenges me, complements me, wants to be with me… and I want to have fun with that person as we work to build a life together, deal with the ups & downs as they happen. I won’t give up hope, but I also won’t put my life, my personality, on hold just to find someone to love me. He has to love me for who & what I am, just as I would for him.

You know what KILLS me? I have run into some of those guys who told me they couldn’t settle down with me, the ‘fun girl.’ They smile wryly, tell me they miss me, my personality… and proposition me. I don’t think so. You found the ‘serious’ girl of your dreams, go live your life, buddy.

Life isn’t all fun & games, but if you can find the joy in it and celebrate it when you can… it makes it all a lot easier to deal with, I think.

Not Your Type.

How many times have you met someone & immediately thought to yourself ‘This guy/girl isn’t my type?’

Let me present you with two scenarios:

Scenario #1: You meet someone–a friend of a friend, a coworker, someone at a party. You think to yourself ‘He/she is nice, but not my type.’  Then you may see them a few more times… exchange a few pleasantries, maybe a laugh or two. You start to think ‘I like this person. Maybe we should hang out again.’ So you do… platonically, of course. You find yourself looking forward to spending time with this person, even though he or she isn’t your ‘type’. Your hands may brush as he hands you your beer, or she grabs a napkin to help you wipe the BBQ you spilled all over your shirt. Suddenly, and despite your best intentions… there it is: attraction.

Scenario #2: Your parents hand you a photo & a biodata (for those non-Indians reading this, a biodata is, essentially, a personal ad listing one’s profession, hobbies, family members’ backgrounds, and (if especially ignorant) skin tone). They ask you to review it (while they watch you like hawks) and determine if you think you want to meet this person. Honestly, if the person isn’t a looker, are you going to want to say yes? You know NOTHING about this person, except what is on that piece of paper. Even if they have an MD/JD/Ph.D. & are independently wealthy, will he or she make you laugh? Will he open the car door for you after a date? Will she make you feel better about that bald spot forming on your head? You don’t know that. The only thing keeping you from throwing the biodata in your parents’ faces & saying ‘HELL NO!’ are the inevitable groans & sighs from your parents, and the inevitable grumbling that ‘this is why you will never get married.’

Our parents think that we need to make a decision based on certain desirable characteristics: race (our own), caste (our own), education (Let’s just be honest. How many doctors have we all been set up with that can barely tie their own shoelaces or talk about something besides themselves?), family background, their purported interests (how many people’s parents have listed their interestes as ‘working out, cooking, travelling’? Raise your hands). There is so much more to attraction & relationships than just those factors.

The criteria for a significant other that many of us typically hold are much different, aren’t they? Looks, personality, compassion, charisma, sense of humor, intelligence, ability to communicate… just to name a few.

But really, when it comes down to it–there is no rhyme or reason for the people that we are attracted to or love… we just do. No explanation needed. He or she may not fit all of your criteria–but then again, you probably don’t fit anyone’s either. Get to know the person–focus on the good things, the things that make you happy–and love them. You’ll find that the rest of it will all fall into place.

What made me blog about this today? In all of my timelines, I see people that are looking to share their lives with someone. They’re smart, attractive, wonderful–but alone. My perspective? Their standards are so very high, and not always about the right things… He may not be as toned as you want him to be… She may not be very organized. But when it comes down to it, it’s what’s in the heart that matters. Focus on that.

And good luck.

Is ‘The Talk’ Necessary?

On Thursday, October 28th, I posed this to the Twitterverse: ‘Question: is it THAT hard to have the ‘exclusive’ talk when you are dating someone? If u’re f*cking, u should be able to talk to each other!’ I expected a few mouthy responses, maybe 10 at the most. No, no… this started a sh*tstorm over over 200 tweets! Whoa. I was NOT expecting that. Below, I will share some of the tweets that came my way that night… Do you agree or disagree?

I actually called my ex to find out how we had ‘The Talk’. He recalled that I told him that I “don’t share. If you want to do the nasty with someone else, then we’re not moving forward from here.” Which he respected & was happy to accommodate. And the rest is history, I suppose.

The first response (which I received within seconds of posting the tweet) was from none other than the fabulously unreserved @XoXoSukanya, who responded with this: “I agree 100% You’ll let him put his pee stick inside of you, but you can’t tell him how you feel.”

Later in the evening, I received a tweet from @DavidDennison, who tweeted, “I think the boundaries to the relationship should be clearly stated. Communication is always key.” I completely agree with his tweet.

Talk to each other!

@Jammabear came up with a good 6-tweet point: ‘The problem here is this most women need communication in a relationship to be able to continue in it, whereas men see ‘a talk’ as a red alarm, something they really don’t want to do. That’s why Steve Harvey (haha) in his book says that women should never say ‘We need to talk’… instead just throw it out there and hopefully you will get the point across and get your answer, i.e don’t make it so formal!’ Do you think @Jammabear/Steve Harvey have a point? Should you have a ‘sit-down’, or just throw it out there at some point? (Special thanks to @Jammabear for not utilizing TwitLonger, as I despise it!)

@NormTheMinotaur doesn’t believe that things need to be spelled out. He stuck with his initial point, which was this: “I’ve always found it unnecessary for that talk. I kinda just went ‘exclusive’ if seeing someone for a while”, and continued with “my point is, what’s the need in declaring ‘exclusivity’? I mean, shouldn’t the fact that you’re together be enough?” He further tweeted with “I don’t see what’s so hard about being with someone and just being with them and not having to state it.  my point is, it should already be understood. I’m not talking about someone you go out with once in a while, but if I’m seeing you pretty consistently for like 2 months, I would assume that we were exclusive.” What do you think? Do you agree with Norm, or do you need a more definitive discussion?

The lovely and married @gritsnyc stepped in and shared her thoughts. “Yeah, but that’s a pretty big talk. I mean, it took me 6 hrs of unexplained crying before I told S. I loved him the 1st time.’ In response to my question ‘Are you glad you had the talk?’, she said, “Well, I am now that we’re married! But to be so vulnerable if you’re not sure the other person feels the same – that’s scary.” I said “For me, I’d like to know where I stand, not find out otherwise a little while later.” She said, “Maybe. But then, I’ve never had a problem with where I stand. Without love, exclusivity isn’t my thing. I’m a weirdo, I know.” I don’t think she’s a weirdo, but is it ever easy to have the talk? Can you deal with being in that vulnerable position?

@Karaminder, who stated that he had been on both sides of ‘the talk’, responded with this: “You have that talk, you could scare him off for good too.” When I asked him if he would want to be w/ someone who would run away if you asked them to commit, he answered “Hey, at least they’re running off and not sticking with you and wasting your time. I’ve been on both ends of that.” Smart, in my opinion. But heart-breaking if they run away.

Another random Caucasian, @cwgalli, answered my query with this: ‘i never thought the exclusivity talk was all that tough– simple question with a simple answer: agree or disagree. done.’ While I disagree with his non-use of capitalization, I agree with his tweet.

The dashingly delicious (in a completely straight way) @MinnieGupta came back to my original query with this: “I prefer to tell him we’re exclusive rather than leaving it open for discussion, but that’s just me. #territorialscorpio” Smart cookie, no?

The always calm & wise @ChaiChatter responded with “Why even allow him to be an option? He’s not making you a priority as you are him.” Ain’t that the truth?

@Thathoo, who seemed lazy & unlike anyone I’d ever want to spend time with, came back with the FOB-esque & rather lame response of “what do u mean by exclusive talk?” When I told him to go back through his timeline and read, he tweeted, ‘too lazy to do so, TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read)’. If the dude can’t scroll back through his freakin’ timeline, he has no business being in someone else’s bed, don’t you think? No one likes a lazy lover.

So… what do you think? Should you have the commitment talk, or wait & see where things go?