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.

Going The Distance…

Sometimes, that's just the way it is...

So… Last night was interesting. A Tweep (I’ll call her JB) posted an article about a couple that has made a long distance relationship work, & said something like ‘See? If you’re really committed, you can make it work.’

I don’t disagree, but I can say: Long distance relationships are HARD. They take a lot of work, and both parties have to be equally committed. I have been in two such relationships: one crashed & burned, and I really hurt someone I cared about, and the other… well, it stumbled into nothingness. I am no success story, though there are plenty of happy endings… and plenty of heartbreak. I have a lot of respect for those that can make it work!

Saying Goodbye SUCKS

One of my mouthy favorites, @XoXoSukanya, recently married her long-distance love, but was open about the challenges, as well as how they coped with the distance. She said that having an ‘expiration date’ to the amount of time they were apart helped immensely… as well as the handy-dandy remote vibrator that can be controlled with a webcam app. Damn, girl! Well, I certainly learned something there! @deepidhaliwal shared her success story as well: ‘Had one for 3 months befor unlimited calling plans.Phone bills in the 1000’s so decided  to live together & parents made us get married.’ Wow–they had a quickie wedding in Vegas 8 years ago (due to ‘punjabi parents flipped out about living together’) and have a son. Good for them!

One of my favorite couples on Twitter, @pareshg & @SmugAsTee, gave us a little insight into their thoughts on LDRs, too. Tee shared ‘Ours was a long distance relationship but while it’s great to be able to make it work, not a true indication. I would have wanted more chances for us to see each other in an everyday setting. Being together will be a challenge.’ as well as ‘I don’t think anybody disagrees on effort. All relationships require effort. But LDRs are a bit skewed.’ @RajaKalsi & his wife had an LDR for 9 years! He shared ‘there is no formula or secret, it has its ups and downs like any relationship, its up to the people involved to assess the cost vs reward, in our case the cost was worth the reward…’ Congrats–always great to hear the success stories!

I miss you...

Almost everyone agrees: long distance relationships are very difficult. As the illustrious @CurryBear tweeted to JB & me, ‘just cause there’s an exception doesn’t change the rule. Long distance is very difficult.’ & also stated ‘in LDR there are variables. Some will help & some will not. Trying is not enuff. Gotta take a few leaps of faith.’ @Darshy had an interesting point: ‘LDR statistically last longer, but as soon as both parties are in the same loc it ends rather quickly.’ Why do people do it? @Darshy piped up again: ‘I’ve had a LDR for 5 yrs, then ended 1yr after being in the same loc. But you do it – in hopes that it is *the one*.’ Isn’t that the truth?? @Kreative shared her view on LDRs, too: ‘only works if you are comfortable w/yourself & your life. The minute one of you make the other your world, there’s a problem.’ Another lovely, @Rossy1300 also shared her tales of heartbreak ‘HUGE failure. The fallout was devastating. It’s been 5 yrs since and i’m still wounded. I’d never do it again’, though throughout the 5 year endeavor, he made her ‘heartfluttery’, though ultimately, distance became their downfall.

Some key points to keep in mind if you’re in an LDR, according to my lovely Tweeps (I think these work for ‘local’ relationships, too):

  • @IndianGirl: ‘Commitment + trust – most needed. But keepin away from naggin & complainin helps lots. Need to remember it’s hard for both.’
  • @Darshy: ‘If they don’t *fit* w/ your friends, eh they probably don’t fit with you.’
  • @rossy1300: ‘Open communication, kindness, affection, commitment. But physical desires are there.’
  • @TheDailyHoney: (regarding physical intimacy) ‘its important but not crucial, cyber/sexting/webcam = winn :)’
  • @SmugAsTee: ‘Physical intimacy does not equal to sexual intercourse! It leads to it.’
  • @rossy1300: (in response to JB, who stated that, to make an LDR successful, one would have to ‘get over physical attraction’) ‘Physical desires for my partner aren’t something to get over! If i don’t want him, he’s not my partner.’
  • @thathoo: (Who actually stepped up & read through the conversation this time!) ‘i hear ya about the LDR… at the end of the day u need to ask urself if that person really worth it, sometimes s/he is’

I hope this shines a little light onto long-distance relationships and good luck to all of you that have to be apart from your loved ones. Know that we’re all cheering you on!

Are you or have you been in a long-distance relationship? Any words of advice?

P.S. I found myself accused of being jealous & disbelieving of long-distance relationships by JB, the person who started the thread, which, upon seeing numerous disrespectful tweets which were directed at me, but did not mention me, caused me to get harsh with her. I rarely disrespect or lose my temper with people, but I felt that I needed to set her straight. I hope she matures & realizes she does not know all, and, to learn, one must listen and have conversations as part of that process. Good luck, JB.

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?