In March of 2014, I started my collaboration with Dig Magazine: a fresh column each issue, based on my adventures in dating — very similar to what I share with you in my blog posts.
So, if you’re new here because you saw the column (which is also called The Bitter Lemon) in Dig Magazine, a big, fat, HOWDY!
I am thrilled beyond belief to share my world with you, even though it’s not always pretty.
Thank you, once again, for reading my words. I look forward to writing for Y’ALL — new and old.
The Bitter Lemon: The Column
May 4 – Am I Lacking Girl Game?
Last week, Forbes magazine published an Instagram post revealing the top five downloaded podcasts, which included one called “The Art of Charm”.
I checked it out, and noticed the description was geared toward men and how they could improve their lives in all areas, including work, friends, family, and dating, all by the tips in the podcast.
Dating? Count me in.
I started binging on old episodes right away.
One episode was dedicated to learning how to “win” at speed dating. The two hosts had been on several speed dating adventures and were sharing their tips. Read more…
April 27 – Dating in my Past Life
When I was 16, I went to see a palm-reader. She lived in a semi-sketchy neighborhood, and when my high-school friend and I knocked on her door, she quickly snapped off an episode of “Full House” before tending to us.
As shady as it seemed, she told me a few things that proved to be true: my parents would divorce, and I would end up with a hunky blonde with the initials of “J.S”.
Okay, so that second part has yet to come true, but here’s to hoping.
It’s been a very long time since that reading, and I wanted to get a better idea of where things might be going for me. Read more…
April 20 – He’s Not Into You…Now What?
“When a guy’s really into you, he’s coming upstairs.”
It was a simple line that Carrie Bradshaw’s then-boyfriend, Jack, delivered to her friend Miranda when she asked for feedback on a date she recently had.
That episode of “Sex and the City” originally aired in July 2003, and sparked an entire movement in dating and pop culture.
He’s just not that into you.
It became a wildly popular book, a movie, and was referred to in other TV shows such as “Gossip Girl” and “Californication”, among others. Read more…
April 13 – Friends With Setups
This is going to come out wrong, but I’ve been really lucky to have friends that don’t pressure me to be in a relationship.
Of course, my friends are rooting for me – they hope that one day I’ll find Mr. Right, but until then, they’re cool with the solo me.
There have been times when my friends have tried to set me up with someone, but there are two ways to go about this: the right way and the wrong way.
The right way is when a friend is truly looking to find your match, he/she asks you if the setup is okay, and/or if you’re interested in going along with it. Read more…
April 6 – Commitment: Yes, We Can
As much as I hate to admit it, I’ve become addicted to watching “Vanderpump Rules” on Bravo each week.
I’ve watched this show since its first season (season four just finished airing) and it’s a show that follows the very petty drama of the employees at an upscale Hollywood restaurant called SUR.
One of the employees, Katie, has consistently complained – during each season – about how her boyfriend-turned-fiance has a problem with commitment.
It took years for her to coax him into proposing, and he’s constantly moving from one job to the next. Read More…
March 30 – Maybe We’re All to Blame
A few weeks ago, I got into a pretty nasty argument with the guy I was “talking” to. Needless to say, we aren’t talking anymore; I even blocked his number.
Our argument was so ridiculous, I don’t know if I’ve ever been so mad in my life. I was shaking, and spitting off insults about to him to my best friend.
“He’s a nutcase,” I told her. “I seriously cannot believe what a prick he is.”
A few days later, my friend brought to light what I’d been wondering all along but didn’t want to admit: maybe this “prick” was actually dating someone else, and he was just treating me poorly to let me down easy. Read More…
March 24 – Social Media: Causing Codependency
I woke up, pissed as all hell. It was a Saturday morning, I’d slept in, and for some reason I was in a fit of rage.
I was mad at the guy I’d been talking to, mainly because we weren’t really talking to each other anymore.
Six months prior to this ugly Saturday morning, I would have woken up to a sweet text message from him, or a video on SnapChat.
But after finally sleeping with him, he’d gone dark without much of an explanation.
The thing is, this has happened to me so many times, I’ve nearly come to expect it. I get it, no one wants to have a “break up” talk with someone they’re not really dating. Read More…
March 18 – Am I Afraid of Intimacy?
I recently became obsessed with podcasts. There’s about six that I listen to regularly, including “The Jillian Michaels’ Show”.
You may remember Michaels as one of the trainers on “The Biggest Loser”. Her podcast is a mix of fitness and health tips, along with life lessons and relationship advice.
A few episodes ago, they had a woman caller who was distressed. Her husband kept insisting on a threesome, even though she was completely against it.
The conversation on possible solutions to her problem ultimately led to a discussion about why he was so interested in the threesome to begin with. Read More…
March 9 – What ‘Catfish’ Taught Me About Fate
Recently, MTV premiered season five of “Catfish”, the show that’s become synonymous with online dating failures.
“Catfish” was introduced to the world in 2010 as a documentary, starring Photographer Nev Schulman.
The film followed Schulman as he indulged in an online relationship with someone across the country, after “meeting” on Facebook.
In the film, his friends are not so sure the woman is being truthful, so they do a little lite investigating.
One of their first finds is that the MP3s she’s been sending are ripped from YouTube videos featuring someone else. Read More…
March 2 – Seen, Not Heard
“We’re selfish, so all we want is a girl who’s going to listen to everything we say and act like it’s the coolest thing ever.”
A guy friend of mine was trying to explain the inner-workings of the male brain to me.
I’d just heard on the radio that the #1 reason a man will dump a woman early in a relationship is if she doesn’t listen (according to survey results).
Um, come again?
I was shocked by this, so I turned to my male friend to see if it was true. Read More…
Feb 24 – Baby, You Should Go and Date Yourself
I’ve been single for almost three years. Of course, during these three years, I’ve gone on several dates, and had many flings and crushes.
But recently, I’ve found myself in a situation that rarely happens: I don’t even have a crush.
As pathetic as it sounds, this thought disappoints me greatly. While I’ve never considered myself to be boy crazy, a crush gives me something to be excited over; something to work toward (you know, before I ultimately get crushed).
Given that this “zero crush” situation is rare for me, I realized I probably need to do something else I’ve never done: date myself. Read More…
Feb 17 – Dating, Just For The Fun of It
“What happened to the days of dating someone just because you liked them?” One of my best girlfriends and I were chatting one night about guys; not an uncommon occurrence with us.
It was an interesting question, and truthfully, one I hadn’t thought of. But once my mind started to dive into the subject, she was onto something.
The last few guys I’ve been interested in have all been so technical about every move. Every text message is picked apart, my social media feeds have been admittedly stalked, and I’m starting to wonder if my next date is going to involve fingerprints and a background check.
When did we all get so serious about dating? Read More…
Feb 10 – How History Screwed Singletons
You probably already know that Valentine’s Day comes from Saint Valentine. But, I need to know how a Saint caused such a giant mess for singletons each year.
I took it to Google.
An article I found on History.com says the Catholic Church recognizes three saints named Valentine or Valentinus. There is a legend that one of the Valentines was in prison, and he sent the first “valentine” to his jailor’s daughter. He signed it, “From your Valentine,” and the phrase has stuck around ever since.
According to some, the celebratory day of Valentine corresponds with his date of death, but some say the timing has more to do with the start of birds’ mating season. Put that in your champagne and drink it. Read more…
Feb 3 – Online Dating: Love At First Swipe
I recently became obsessed with watching “Love at First Swipe” on TLC. The show stars Style Expert Clinton Kelly, along with Online Dating Guru Devyn Simone.
The point of the show is to help women (I haven’t seen any male contestants yet) present their best self on their online dating profiles. At the start of the episode, the viewer is presented with the woman’s current online dating profile.
Naturally, it’s a disaster. It usually has racy or very old photos, some sort of weird screen name, and other, general information that makes the woman appear un-dateable.
One recent episode featured a woman getting her Master’s in math. She only wanted men who were also math geniuses to message her online, and she made that very clear on her profile. Read more…
Jan 27 – Lose Control in Dating… and Love it
People often say, “When you’re not looking, that’s when it’ll happen.” These people are usually in a relationship.
I get it – just when you’re busy getting your life together instead of obsessing over dating, Mr. or Mrs. Right could be eyeing you from afar.
It makes sense, but the most difficult thing for me to wrap my brain around when it comes to dating is that it’s one of the only things in our lives that’s completely out of our control.
Think about it: in general, when you work hard, you know at some point, you’ll get a promotion. When you put extra time and effort into a hobby, the chances are likely you’ll get better at it. Read more…
Jan 20 – What’s Your Number?
My best friend and I were sipping wine, while letting clay masks harden on our faces, and we got to talking about guys we’ve slept with.
She said someone she knew had slept with 80 guys, and I was shocked at first, but then I started thinking about my own number.
Before I ever had sex, I just assumed I would only sleep with one, maybe two, men in my whole life.
Of course, I was clueless and had a Polly-Anna view of how my love life was going to go down. Read more…
Jan 13 – Blame it on the Brain
Last year, meaning 2015, I was really sucking when it came to my dating game. So this year, I’ve made it a goal to make a better effort in putting myself out there.
Well, we’re barely two weeks into the New Year, and I’ve already been on a date! How’s that for good luck?
On Saturday night, he took me to out to dinner at a sushi restaurant he’d been raving about. On our drive there, I got to thinking about crushes and attraction.
Have you ever wondered what it is about some people that make you obsess over the little things they do – the way they laugh, their coffee order, or their favorite sports team? Read more…
Jan 6 – Speak My Love Language
A good girlfriend of mine introduced me to the Myers-Briggs Trait Indicator test years ago. She knows the different types so well, a night out with her often results in discovering what personality traits people in the room have.
Her knack for these traits have made her a beneficial matchmaker for me in the past, and last week, she introduced me to a new type of “trait” test.
She sent me a link to the “Love Languages” test after I told her I felt I was being misunderstood with men I meet. Read more…
Dec 30 – Let’s Fight, Right
Last week, I got into a bit of an argument with the guy I’m seeing.
Okay, so we haven’t gotten into the logistics of our relationship yet, but we are basically seeing each other.
He’s very easy going, and while I’d consider myself comfortable in that same category, I’ll admit it, I’m not quite as easy going as he is.
And so, we had a little fight.
You see, he really wanted to go to this party, and well, I pretty much didn’t.
I was half-okay with attending the party, as long as he was cool with us leaving early. It didn’t mean we were actually going to leave early, I just like to have options. Read more…
Dec 23 – Give a Little
Is it just me, or has it been incredibly difficult to get into the holiday spirit this year? I feel really old when I say, “It’s crept up on me this year,” yet I keep saying it.
I blame my Scrooge-like spirit partly on the weather, given that it’s going to be in the 70s on Christmas Day; how am I supposed to feel all wintry when I haven’t even had a chance to break out the boots?
I blame the other half of my Grinch-ish attitude on the fact that my car was broken into and my iPad was stolen (not to mention the $350 it cost to replace the shattered window).
It got me thinking about my favorite movie (all year), “Home Alone“, when Harry and Marv are scouting out the houses they want to rob before Christmas. Marv is in the McCallister home, dressed as a police officer, talking to Mr. McCallister. Read more…
Dec 16 – Sweet Little Lies
In order to succeed in a serious relationship, you must tell lies. Wait… what?
An article in The New York Times earlier this year by Clancy Martin claims that the only way love lasts is if we keep a few things to ourselves every once in awhile.
But, research says the average person lies once every five minutes (!), provided that person is communicating somehow.
If that number shocks you, that means, we’re all lying, and we’re doing it well. And you know what else? It means we’ve all believed some lies, perhaps in the last hour.
But why? Most of the time, the reason we’re lying is because we don’t want to hurt the person we’re lying to. Read more…
Dec 9 – Recipe for Monogamy
“It’s only ever happened one time in my entire life.”
My hip-hop dance instructor, Dimitrius, was trying to explain to me that he’s been in a serious relationship for most of his life.
For the sake of this column, we’re going to assume that he was single at birth, but probably found another cute baby in the hospital parking lot.
I guess you’d say he’s a serial monogamist; always in an exclusive relationship.
But now, he’s single, and says he meets people through Grindr and during his shifts dancing at a bar. Read more…
Dec 2 – Of Mice And Men
I was going to write about lies — how often we lie and why we do it, and of course, how it affects our relationships.
But as I type this, I’ve locked myself into my bedroom and am impatiently waiting to hear a victorious “snap!” of a mousetrap.
Let me explain.
I am expecting company this weekend, so I came home from work, ready to clean my apartment.
After awhile of sweeping and putting things away, I realized I hadn’t seen my cat in awhile. Read more…
Nov 25 – The Turkey Stands Alone
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I love the fall weather, a few days off from work, and of course, the food.
I love to cook (especially for a guy), I really like to eat, and the fact that pigging out is perfectly acceptable for this holiday is just the whipped topping on my pumpkin pie.
Almost every year, I’ve traveled to spend Turkey Day with my best friend and her family. My family is split, and frankly, I just don’t do all of the drama.
Last Thanksgiving, I’d just lost my job and had no business traveling. Thankfully, a friend in-town invited me to spend the day with her and her son. Read more…
Nov 18 – Crushing on SnapChat
Every time a new piece of technology, or a new social app, is introduced into our world, I try to find a way to wiggle it into my routine.
Unless it’s not worth it, of course.
I downloaded SnapChat (@OrangeJulius7) around six months ago, at the suggestion of a younger friend.
“All the cool kids are doing it,” was his pitch, and I went with it.
At first, I didn’t know what to snap, but the more friends I’ve added to the app, the more fun I have snapping pictures of my cat, my food, or myself dancing in the car. Read more…
Nov 11 – First Comes Marriage, Then Divorce?
It has been reported that nearly half (42 percent) of all marriages that end in divorce, end within 10 years, according to the Office for National Statistics.
Given that I’m 30, and most of the people I know have been married for five years, shit is starting to crumble.
Right now, I can think of at least four people who’ve already been divorced. And if the math is correct, we’re not out of the woods yet.
I’ve been through several bad breakups, but I’m certain they don’t compare to what it feels like to get divorced. Read more…
Nov 4 – Searching for Unicorns
At least a year ago, a guy named Daniel invented the “Universal Hot Crazy Matrix,” and presented his findings on YouTube. It went viral, because guys love to call women crazy.
According to the matrix, all women start off at being “at least a four” on the “crazy scale.” If you’re between a 5-8 on the scale, under the crazy line, that’s what Daniel calls the “Fun Zone.”
If you’re an eight hot, and below crazy, that’s the “Wife Zone.” Anything above an eight hot and still below crazy is considered a unicorn and does not exist.
While I know this matrix was created by a 46-year-old white guy with a cell phone clip on his belt, it gets on my nerves.
I don’t know where I rank on the hot scale, so perhaps I’m a three and this is a pointless argument. I do know that I’ve been called crazy many times, for doing things that I wouldn’t consider to be actually insane. Read more…
Oct 28 – Removing the Mask
I’m finally going to admit it: I hate Halloween.
As a kid, I loved it (duh, free candy), and in college, it was the perfect excuse to wear fishnets and do keg stands.
But, I’m older now, and truthfully, a lot of things that didn’t scare me before, terrify me now.
I’m particularly terrified of masks. Any type of mask. Actually, it doesn’t even have to be a mask, if it’s covering someone’s face, I’m out of there so fast.
According to my mom, I’ve been scared of masks my whole life. Read more…
Oct 21—Dressing for the Date
Saying that fashion has a part in dating sounds really superficial, but it truly does.
When I think of fashion, I think of celebrities and red carpets, but the pieces on runways trickle down to the stores we know and love, right in Baton Rouge.
And when it comes time for that first date, or even the tenth date, what girl or guy isn’t staring into the closet wondering what they’re going to wear?
Ultimately, fashion is one of the ways we express ourselves without speaking. Aside from body language, the clothes and accessories we choose to wear say something about who we are — not to mention the fact that graphic tees are back. Read More…
Oct 14—Dating Outside Your Type
When I was 16, I had my palm read. The psychic told me I would end up with a guy who was tall and blonde, and he may even have the initials “J” and “S” (in any order).
In the last 14 years of dating, a majority of the guys I’ve fallen for have been short and dark-haired — the opposite of what I was told. Is that just my “type”?
Honestly, I’ve flattered myself a lot thinking that I’m the woman who dates all different types of men. I have a soft spot for your standard emo-punk guy, I love a jock, and I will lust after any man that looks half-decent in a suit.
When I worked retail, it was fantastic to get a cute guy in the store. I recall drooling over many men who would try on plaid shirts and ask for my opinion. Read More…
Oct 7—Sexting: Still A Thing?
“You should write about the art of sexting.”
It was a message I got a few weeks ago from a married guy friend of mine.
“Wait, people still do that?” I asked him.
“Yes,” he said. “Doesn’t everyone?”
Then it was just awkward because I felt like a clueless prude and he’d just admitted what was in his inbox.
Sure, I’ve sexted.
In fact, I’d venture to say I’ve sexted quite a bit over the years. But it’s been a minute since I’ve done so.
The last person I was sexting with was someone I was actually having physical sex with on a regular basis. Don’t get me wrong, the sexts were fun — he sent me a rather “skinful” photo while I was in a movie. Read More…
Sep 30—A Dating App for Women
A month ago, I downloaded a new dating app called “Coffee Meets Bagel.”
I’ll admit I downloaded it on a rather lonely night, as I was watching “Nightline”.
The app’s founders were on the show, after they’d turned down $30 million from an episode of“Shark Tank” — the largest bid in “Shark Tank” history.
The founders, three sisters, claimed their app was the “anti-Tinder,” as it is geared toward women users.
In order to cater to women, the app uses information from your Facebook profile and presents potential matches (called “Bagels”) based on mutual friends, as well as shared hobbies and interests, instead of being focused on physical aspects. Read More…
Sep 17—Dating At Work
Three weeks ago, I started a new job. It’s a full-time career with benefits and a salary, and it’s pretty awesome. It’s my dream job!
Starting a new job is always exciting, but a little stressful, too. You’re trying to learn new things, get adjusted to the culture, and meeting all kinds of new people all at once.
On my first day, I was overwhelmed with learning all of the rules and trying to remember 25 new names and job titles.
After completing the first day at my new job, my friends asked me the most important question of them all: “Are there any hot guys at work?”
Sep 10—Fall is for Lovers
We’re less than two weeks away from the official start of fall! And yes, I know, Baton Rouge doesn’t really get a fall season.
Instead, we get “slightly less hot,” and the leaves start to turn brown instead of that burnt orange color I saw growing up in the Midwest.
But still, we wear hoodies and go nuts over pumpkin spice… everything. Fall is the first sign of the holiday season, and when I think about the holidays, all I can think about is cuddling up with a cute guy.
I’ve survived many, many years being single during late September, and all the way through January. Trust me, it has its perks. Read More…
Aug 26—Ghosts of Exes’ Past
Every time I leave my apartment wearing sweats and/or my #CatLady hat, I’m aware of the risks. By risks, I obviously mean the increased chance that I’ll either A. run into a hot guy, or B. see an ex boyfriend.
Last week, a coworker and I were chatting about various exes we had. She asked me about my very first love and if I’d seen him since we broke up.
We broke up 10 years ago, and I’m lucky enough that he lives in Chicago and is married with a child. Read More…
Aug 19—Love on LinkedIn?
Years ago, I joined LinkedIn. Back then, it was a new service and all of the cool kinds were joining.
If you’re not sure, LinkedIn (according to its website) is a place for professionals to connect and be successful. Basically, it’s the social network for nerds.
Honestly, I didn’t see much use for it as I already had a job and there really wasn’t much else you could do on it.
But I wasn’t bothered by the professional social network until my most recent ex kept trying to “link” with me, even after I declined his offers several times. Read More…
Aug 12—Dealing With Rejection
The first time I got dumped, it happened on the phone. I was a junior in high school, unaware of any problems in my relationship.
But my then-boyfriend — the first one I’d ever had — called me on my clear, purple cordless phone and kept the conversation short.
“If the relationship isn’t moving forward physically,” he said. “Then what’s the point?”
The point was that I really, really liked him, and since he was my first kiss, I was admittedly very shy when it came to getting physical. Read More…
July 29—Escape Room Parallels Relationship
Over July 4th weekend, my friends suggested an interesting activity: going into the 13th Gate Escape room.
From what I gathered over our beer-induced conversation, an escape room involves participants placed in a room and the only way out is to complete a series of puzzles within 60 minutes.
At first, I was completely against this idea.
I am terrified of everything. I can’t even watch the previews for scary movies for fear of nightmares. Read more…
May 27—Learning to Forgive
“I definitely miss talking to you,” his text read. “I have some things in my past I need to work on. I took it out on you and I sincerely apologize.”
Those were the words I’d wished for, for months after this guy told me he didn’t want to talk to me again, with no explanation as to why.
I spent weeks wondering what I did to piss him off so much that he’d never want to speak to me. And there it was: I’d done nothing. Read more…
May 20—Stranger Love
A 10-minute drive gets me to work for my part-time job at the mall. I take the same route, park in the same area of the lot, and I walk the same path to the shoe store where I work 4-5 times each week.
On my way into work, I walk by one of those kiosks that sell gold jewelry. Nearly every single time, the guy working the kiosk says hello to me.
Well, it’s more like, “Hey…’sup?”
At first, I didn’t register that it was a regular occurrence until recently. Some days, I’m hustling in, walking as quickly as possible in order to clock in on time. Read more…
May 13—Singletons do Baby Showers
Last weekend, I drove the 800 miles to my home state of Indiana. I was invited to a baby shower for one of my best friends; a girl I’ve known since 6th grade.
In December, I offered to host a shower for her, but she told me it would be easier for her other friends to host it.
Her other friends owned homes and were married. I felt like all of the sudden, I wasn’t welcome; my lifestyle was seen as a failure, even by someone who’s known me most of my life. Read more…
March 18—The Lifetime of a Crush
You know that feeling you get when you start dating someone new? The stomach flip, the tingles, it seems like the sun is shining all the time; it’s exciting and everything seems right.
That’s how I feel when I’ve got a crush.
This is probably because I don’t know much about those I crush on, but that’s the beauty of it; you can just tell yourself they’re perfect.
A few weeks ago, I developed a decent-sized crush on a guy at my gym (ugh, I hate myself already). Read more…
March 11—Luv vs. Love
The day after Valentine’s, I got a text at 4:30 am.
It was from a guy I went to high school with; we’ve kept in touch over the years, and have hooked up a few times.
Given the timing of the text, I figured it was a drunk thing and I just didn’t reply. We have never said “love” to each other — we don’t even talk on the phone.
While I do like him, and care about him, I don’t think “love” is the word to describe what we have. Read more…
March 4—I’m Single, Stop Asking Why
“So, have you found anyone yet?”
It was a question from my coworker whom I’d just met.
“What does that mean?” I asked her.
She found it difficult to believe I was still single. I told her to believe it, because I am very, very single.
“That’s good,” she said. “Wait until you’re like, almost 30 and then settle down.”
Aside from the fact that I’ll be 30 in four months, I don’t understand why coupled people think that being single is a life decision. Read more…
February 25—Accepting My (Dating) Past
Every couple of years, I meet someone that makes me wish I could change a few things about myself. Often these things are impossible to change, things in my past.
About three years ago, I had a giant crush on my neighbor, John. He was incredibly sexy, even when wearing sweatpants. We bonded over our Midwest backgrounds, our love for orange cats, and one night, we stayed up through the next morning — he even played songs on his guitar.
I wished that I was his type. You know the kind: a woman who’s gorgeous at all hours, but not without makeup, impossibly thin, and always happy.
Or at least, those were the girls I always saw him with at the wine bar beside our apartment complex. Read more…
February 11—Even Singletons Have Love
As a child, Valentine’s Day was marked with gifts. There was a party at school, my dad would buy something for my mom, and my parents would get me one of those heart-shaped boxes of truffles.
Since then, my parents divorced, my dad decided that Valentine’s Day was “just for women,” and he quit talking me to altogether.
As an adult, I’ve spent several Februaries being bitter that I didn’t have a Valentine, until one year, I did.
It was many years ago, my boyfriend and I joined each other on his back stoop, drinking wine from a liter bottle. Eventually, I got drunk and decided climbing his fence was a superb idea — I ended up falling, but he was there to catch me. Read more…
February 4—The Dating Age
I work part-time at a shoe store in the mall. It’s not my dream job, but it provides cash, plus I get to meet all kinds of different people.
About ¼ of the customers I meet are hot guys. When a hottie comes into the store, I think, “Yes! A hot guy!” And then I remind myself that I’m selling shoes and stick to the script, “Can I get a size for you?” Insert obligatory comment about being on my knees here.
Working in retail at 29 is a harsh reality at times — I’ve pushed aside my degree, work odd hours, and most of my coworkers are 19.
At the risk of sounding like a pervert, one of my coworkers caught my eye. He works in the stockroom, has this silky blond hair, and a nickname I still haven’t figured out. Read more…
Jan 28—Sweaty is the New Sexy
The shiny sweat, a shortness of breath, muscles tightening… it’s your workout routine, and it’s (apparently) sexy as hell.
Pickup any magazine, ask any fitness professional, and they’re going to tell you that couples who sweat together, stay together.
A lot of things that happen to the body — the aforementioned sweat, short breaths, muscle exposure — during an intense workout also happen during sex (insert gym grunting), and that gets things going.
A couple working out together is also one that faces and accomplishes challenges together. They’re encouraging each other, and because of it, they’re getting an efficient workout while improving their relationship. Read more…
Jan 21—Dating in the ER
I was about two months into dating this guy I met through some friends, when he started acting distant toward me. He stopped answering my calls, it took him longer to respond to text messages, and instead of multiple dates a week, we barely saw each other.
I called him out on it, and he sent me a text message saying he was “Not in good health” and that he had to have surgery the next morning.
Being me, I freaked out wondering what was wrong — did his appendix rupture? Was there a previous health issue I didn’t know about? Read more…
Jan 14—Love & Unemployment
A few weeks after I’d met a guy named Justin, we’d already been on several dates, and I was really starting to like him. But one day at work, I was called into a meeting and told that my services were “no longer needed.”
It was the job I’d had for almost seven years; the only job (outside of freelance work) I’d had since graduating from college.
Because it was an at-will termination, they refused to give me answers as to why this was happening. I’d just received a raise, so why were they giving me the boot?
It was very similar to a breakup I’d had years before — one that left me blind-sighted and heartbroken. Read more…
Jan 6—Sleeping with Someone New
A few days after a great first date, I joined a guy named Justin for a second date. We met through mutual friends, and bonded over weird relationship stories.
For our second date, he invited me to his house for a casual night in.
While I’m a fan of a relaxing night at home, I was nervous. I’m noticing a pattern of men inviting me over to “hang out,” which results in me having to refuse sex.
Don’t get me wrong, I love sex, but I also want a serious relationship that’s based on more than physicality. Read more…
Dec 17—’Tis the Season for Singletons, too
It’s the most wonderful time of the year… or is it? The holidays are often associated with cheer, get-togethers, and gifts, but for singletons, the holidays can be a lonely reminder of what we’re missing.
Blame it on the chilly weather or the party invitations, but it often seems like the holidays are made for couples. And hey, good for the couples. But where does that leave the rest of us? Out in the cold, hanging with Frosty?
If there’s vodka and candy canes, it actually doesn’t sound half-bad.
Think about it: there’s Thanksgiving, followed by Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s. If that midnight kiss doesn’t send you over the edge, don’t worry, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Read more…
Dec 9—One New E-Male
Thanks to spam email, my inbox always has at least 50 unread messages. I usually use my elevator rides to delete them in what seems like a never-ending game.
Goal for 2015: unsubscribe to Target, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s, Restoration Hardware, and Barnes & Noble email lists.
I was about to delete one, when I realized I’d never seen the sender before, and the subject line was “Cheers.”
I opened it… Read more…
Dec 2—Going the (Long) Distance
There we were: kissing on a bench outside The Dungeon in the French Quarter. It’s the start of any classic love story, right?
I met my friend Brooks in high school, though we weren’t friends until I was nearly out of college.
Like most people our age, we reconnected through Facebook, and over the years our friendship turned slightly romantic.
Brooks is tall with blond hair, and carries himself with an air of coolness – he’s very “take it or leave it.” Luckily for him, I’ve got a soft spot for skater shoes and fitted jeans. Read more…
Nov 24—Presence Over Presents
Given that there’s a giant, decorated tree at the end of my street, and bins of cinnamon pinecones at my neighborhood market, it would seem the holidays are here.
I’ve only spent one Christmas with a boyfriend. We’d been together for three years, and had yet to take things seriously – we hadn’t exchanged gifts.
It was about this time of year (many years ago) when I suggested we buy presents for each other. He liked the idea, and asked me to make a list.
I asked for a necklace, an oversized watch, and Mignon Faget’s Single Knot ring. I was giving him options. Read more…
Nov 18—Being the Third Wheel
As a singleton, I’ve spent many-an-evening as the third wheel, or as the seventh wheel. I’ve even been addressed as “the single friend.”
Most of the time, none of this bothers me. In fact, if I’m ever a witness to a couple’s fight or an awkward moment, I can go home feeling relief that I don’t have to deal with anyone but myself (which, admittedly, can be a handful).
But sometimes, I see a couple so happy that it makes me wonder just how much I’m missing out.
One of these moments happened recently at a tailgate. My friend, whom I call “Gym friend” since we workout together, invited me to his company’s tailgate. Read more…
Nov 11—No Sex on a Second Date
“You should come over.”
It was a text from a guy I’d been drooling over for nearly two months.
We’d hung out for the first time the night before, where I’d had too much to drink, and hoped I hadn’t ruined things.
He suggested I come over to watch Netflix with him, and I coolly agreed. On my end however, I was scrambling around my apartment trying to find the perfect casual-yet-sexy ensemble.
About an hour later, I made it to his place, and was pleasantly surprised to see him looking very sexy in a pair of sweat-shorts and a t-shirt. Read more…
November 4—No Drinking and Dating
I’ve had a crush on a guy at my gym for a few months now. In the past, I haven’t had the best of luck with gym guys, but this one was really sexy.
When I’m interested, it’s difficult for me to keep calm and not throw myself at the person (swear I’m not desperate).
But, I really wanted something to come of it, so I played it cool. And after six weeks of doing so, he asked for my number.
We sent text messages back-and-forth for a few days before he asked me what I was up to that weekend. Read more…
October 28—Ghosts of October
Growing up in Indiana, I have always loved fall – the leaves changing from green to red, the crisp air, and the feeling of the holidays just around the corner.
Once I moved to Baton Rouge, I quickly realized that a true fall is a rare treat. In fact, October was establishing itself as a month I came to dread.
My second October in Louisiana, I got dumped. I was in a long-distance relationship with my then-best friend, whom I lost my virginity to. He dumped me by ignoring my texts and calls, and he eventually posted pictures of him with his new girlfriend, dressed as a pirate’s wench for Halloween. Read more…
October 21—Face Your Dating Fears
When I was five years old, a bat flew into my bedroom in the middle of the night. Equipped with a broom, my dad fearlessly took on the fanged beast – I’ll never forget its final squeak.
As I’ve gotten older, my fears have changed a little. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still be scared shitless if a bat flew into my apartment tonight, but now I’m more afraid of the things people can do.
I’m terrified of someone breaking into my apartment, getting attacked in a parking garage, or getting caught in the line of a mass shooting spree.
Although none of those fears keep me from going out and living my life, I’m on high-alert every October. Read more…
October 14—An Affair to Forget
It was a simple text message I received on a random afternoon just a few weeks ago, from a guy I hadn’t heard from in months.
“What?” I replied.
“I left,” he wrote back.
There they were: two words I would have died to see on my phone screen years before, when I was nearly in love with him.
We met almost three years ago through mutual friends. At first, I didn’t think of him as anything other than an acquaintance, because I didn’t know him well. Read more…
October 7—Missed Connections
I think I had my first “Missed Connection” last weekend.
Just writing that phrase makes me feel like I’m saying “missed period” or “runaway orgasm.”
In general, a missed connection refers to those sometimes-seedy posts on Craigslist. These online posts occur when a person feels like they met or saw someone special, and they are hoping to reach out to them through Craigslist.
In the past, I read them to get a laugh. But now I’m really feeling kind of sad about my faded opportunity.
If you meet someone awesome and then go your separate ways, what else are you supposed to do with the tiny bit of information you’ve got? Read more…
September 30—Uncovering Domestic Violence
“Ho-ly sh*t!” It was a slow-motion yell coming from my mouth around 6am.
I was watching HLN, and they’d just aired the entire, now-infamous, elevator video involving Janay and Ray Rice.
I don’t have much interest in NFL football, so I wasn’t paying much attention to the scandal, until I saw it.
If Ray Rice were in a boxing ring, we’d all be singing a different tune, but this was a person delivering a clean left hook to his then-fiancee. Worthy of a championship belt, his punch sent Janay toward the elevator handrail, delivering a second blow that knocked her unconscious. Read more…
September 24—Dating Outside the Box
A few weeks ago, a guy I met online asked me on a second date. He planned for us to attend a painting session at Painting With a Twist.
I like wine and I like being creative, so props to him for thinking of such a cool date. I also appreciated the fact that he asked me on the date a week in advance (I’m a planner). I was looking forward to the evening.
Our first date was on a Saturday night the week before. We saw a movie, grabbed some pizza, and talked until almost 3 am. It was fun, but since it was also our first time meeting, I thought a second date would help me decipher what was between us. Read more…
September 16—Should You Date a Neighbor?
I’ve had what I call an “Elevator Crush” for the better part of a year. “Elevator Crush” is code for a guy who lives in my building; I don’t know his name (although I think it’s Todd), and I only see him in the elevator.
I know very little about him: that he lives a few doors down my hall, is always dressed nice, looks to be in his mid-30s, likes to bike, works as an attorney, and is not married (or doesn’t wear a ring).
He is well kept, and is always very friendly. I usually see him in the mornings as we are leaving for work. If a few days pass without a visit, he usually asks where I’ve been. Read more…
September 9—Searching for a Spark
I’ve been on several dates with men I’ve met through Ok Cupid, and I’m starting to notice a pattern. This is what usually happens: we go on the first “date,” which is also our first time meeting, and it’s not great, but also not terrible. Then, he asks me on a second date and I agree because I’m just not sure how I feel — I’m questionable over that spark.
That spark. It’s the feeling you’ve got to have in order for a relationship to even begin.
Whether it’s the heat generated in our bodies because of an accelerated heart rate, or just the mental switch from “off” to “on,” something changes when you’re with someone special. Read more…
September 2—Football Season is for Lovers
Fall is approaching. In Baton Rouge, that means three things: I can drink red wine instead of white, pretend it’s cold and wear cute boots, and football — football everything.
While a majority of the city is obsessed with football, I can’t say I’m quite there. However, I still attend game-watching parties (for the beer), do my fair share of tailgating (for the food), and I’d never pass up a ticket to the game (for the thrill).
Whether or not you’re into football, this special season still leaves room for love, trust me.
If there are two things that can start a conversation with a perfect stranger in this city, it’s the weather and football. Even if you didn’t watch the game, you can get by with a simple, “Wow, did you watch the game this weekend?” Read more…
August 25 — Right Guy, Wrong Time
A few months ago, I reconnected with a guy I went to high school with. But he’s not just any guy, he’s the guy I spent too many nights wishing for — my high school crush.
Since I moved to Louisiana, he’d cross my mind every year for random reasons, and sometimes I contacted him; other times I didn’t. Finally, 10 years later, he answered.
We talked every day for weeks, even making plans to meet up on my next trip in town. Despite my decade-long crush, I realized how little I knew about him.
Turns out, he has a journalism degree (interesting), he’s an animal lover (sweet), and he loves to cook (sexy). When he told me he was on his couch, reading on a Friday night, I wanted to sprint the 842 miles to his house and propose. Read more…
August 20—Go Ahead, Stalk Your Crush Online
I got my first cell phone when I was 16 – the same year I had my first boyfriend. But cell phones were still new, and text messages cost per message, leaving actual voice conversations as the preferred mode of communication.
Obviously, communication has changed, and it’s affected the way we date. Not only is texting an accepted form of “talk,” there’s also several social media channels through which we can communicate (er, stalk).
When it comes to dating, nothing can replace face-to-face conversations. I spent last year wondering if I should get a landline, forcing any potential suitors to actually call me. I am a real sucker for those late night conversations that last longer than you planned, connecting over the things you tell no one (an obsession with Boy Meets World, perhaps). Read more…
August 13—Unexpected Relationship Reminders
A few weeks ago, I was driving down Stanford Avenue, heading to work. A mess of construction kept me from my normal route, forcing me into a detour that led right past my ex boyfriend’s old house.
As much as I tried not to, I glanced over at the two-story brick home on the corner. My glance turned into a full-blown stare, and subconsciously my foot let off the gas pedal.
It was a house that held four years’ worth of memories — some good, some not so great.
The first time I went to his house, I had just gotten out of my biology lab. I was in my last semester at LSU, and it had been awhile since I’d dated anyone. Read more…
August 4—Where’s the Single’s Table?
Last weekend, I got back in town after attending a wedding as my best friend’s “plus one.”
Her friend and roommate from college was the one getting married. By the looks of the invitation, it was going to be an affair to remember.
And so, dressed in our best, we headed to the church for the ceremony, complete with a full mass.
The bridal party was full of college friends, and it was clear, the audience was full of children — the call and response was more like a chorus of cries. Read more…
July 29—When Friends Become Mothers
A few months ago, one of my friends gave birth to her first child. I got the news via text, and was of course, elated.
In the months leading up to the birth, I was nervous — for her and the baby’s health, and selfishly, I was nervous for the fate of our friendship.
I didn’t get invited to a baby shower, so I wasn’t sure if she skipped on that tradition, or if I hadn’t been invited.
I ran into a mutual friend of ours a few weeks after the baby had been born.
“I am so ready to meet the baby!” she said. Read more…
July 22—Setting my Own Dating Rules
“What kind of guys do you typically go for?” my date asked me over bottled beers.
I skirted around the answer, because that was a tricky question, especially for a first date.
In the past, I’ve dated guys who make me laugh, despite having little in common. I’ve dated guys who cheat, lie, and have beer bellies.
I’m either really into a challenge, or I’m a masochist.
But the more dates I go on, the more I’m learning what I’ll accept – and what I won’t – in a potential partner. Read more…
July 15—Dating Gone Digital
I created a profile on Ok Cupid a few weeks ago.
Last summer, when I signed up for one month on Match.com – which was my first attempt at online dating – I gave myself a rule: after a few good messages back-and-forth with someone, suggest meeting in public (coffee is always a good option).
While I messaged with several different men on Match, a majority of them didn’t have an interest in meeting me face-to-face.
I was shocked. Not only had I just forked over $30 to email people, but I was basically paying to get rejected. I do that for free on a regular basis. So, after one month, I cancelled my subscription. Read more…
July 8—Searching for Summer Love
We met on a porch swing after a baseball game. He was tall and tan, and his name was Zach.
When I got up from the swing, and walked out of earshot, he told my friends he liked what he saw in my white jeans.
He looked pretty good in his baseball pants, too.
We were only 18, living in Indiana. It was my last summer before I moved to Baton Rouge, to go to LSU.
Without much hesitation, we spent the summer together, knowing we’d part ways in August. Read more…
July 1—Birthday Party for One
Every year around my birthday, I do a lot of reflecting. For me, July 2 is New Year’s Day, minus the peas and cabbage — a time when I can look at the past, and set a few goals for the future.
I’m turning 29 this year, and until my friend pointed it out, I wasn’t thinking about it as the last year in my twenties.
Now that I’ve done the math, I’m feeling a little bit of pressure.
As a child, I always wondered why my mom wasn’t excited when her birthday rolled around every September. She would announce her new age with a tone of gloom in her voice.
I always thought of age as nothing more than a number, until I turned 25. Read more…
June 24—Dating & Dumping an Addict
Around 4 a.m. June 27, 2013, I dumped my then-boyfriend via text message.
“Come over,” he texted me. “k nvm’. megan!!!!!!!!! awo;eirhao;sidfhapqower[opaiwejr im not urs i guess figuredim not im going back to someone else.”
Drunken text messages like these were becoming too familiar in our relationship. But it was that name, Megan, which made it strike three for me.
Strike one was his DWI. Strike two was a drunk bar fight. The time between strike two and three was simply a waiting game; my head negotiating with my heart. Read more…
June 17—My ‘Curse of The Matts’
I’ve got an addiction to dating guys named Matt. It’s got to be a form of masochism, so I’ve titled it, “The Curse of The Matts.”
In total, I’ve dated seven Matts, and one of them I dated twice, so 7.5 Matts.
Of course, I use the term “dated” loosely, because some of these relationships just consisted of a few outings.
Let me give you the rundown:
Matt #1: Went to sorority/fraternity functions together in college; got rejected by him for a dance; attempted to feel a spark mere months ago over nachos and beer (1.5). Read more.
June 10, 2014—The Ex Factor
In the last month, I went on three great dates with the same guy. After our third date — which involved bacon cheeseburgers, handcrafted cocktails, and some overnight snuggling — I was ready to get to the point and ask him where this was leading.
In high school, three solid dates would have locked this thing into a relationship status. But post-college, “It’s Complicated.”
Because I’ve had such bad dating luck in my past, I’m making an effort to really get to know someone before making it exclusive.
So, I was prepping myself for our fourth date, when I would simply ask him if he was dating to get to a relationship (eventually) or dating to just date. Read more…
June 3, 2014—Matchmaking, the Myers-Briggs’ Way
Recently, I got set up on a blind date based off one piece of information — Myers-Briggs test results.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test provides a series of statements, and you choose which option you prefer the most. The statements are focused on how you like to get information, how you make decisions, and how much structure you enjoy, among other things.
The results come in the form of four letters that stand for your preferences. I am an INTJ, while my blind date was an ENFP, a perfect match in the Myers-Briggs table of personalities.
According to my results, I have an original mind, a drive to implement my ideas, am skeptical and independent, and have high standards for myself and others (Note: Jesus and Tupac are also INTJs). Read more..
May 30, 2014—Being the Other Woman… in Bed, Part II
Two weeks ago, I decided to come clean about my sexcapades, leading me to realize I have a fear of threesomes.
I wasn’t surprised when my inbox (Gmail, Facebook, and phone) quickly filled with responses.
One of the first ones I read was from a sorority sister. She told me I was going against science in my attempts to have meaningless sex (“Even hookers have to numb themselves,” she said), and that truly amazing sex only came when the two people involved were married and loved each other.
I chuckled as I reminisced her, shacking at the frat houses frequently in college—I take it her drunken romps weren’t so hot. Read more…
May 15, 2014—Vacation Hookups: Yay or Nay?
I’ve been counting down the days ‘til Hangout Fest—36 hours of live music on the sands of Gulf shores—my very own kickoff to summer.
Three days in a bikini, with three of my girlfriends, drinking tequila, and hoping to share a blunt with Wiz Khalifa; it’s quite possibly my dream getaway.
In the midst of shopping for said bikinis, my girlfriend got me thinking.
“I cannot wait to see all of the hot guys there,” she said.
I was silent. She had a good point.
Was I so out of touch that I hadn’t even considered the fact that we’d be in an oasis of shirtless men?
“How is it that I didn’t even consider that to be a monumental part of this trip?” I asked her. Read more…
May 9, 2014—Being the Other Woman… In Bed
I’ve got a fear of threesomes.
Let me back up, and say that I hope I’m not the only woman in Baton Rouge who has a resume full of sex that’s a little mediocre.
When I’m in a relationship, I find that I really enjoy sleeping with my boyfriend, but when we breakup, I realize it wasn’t monumentally great.
I’ve got a bad habit of being with selfish lovers, and making it worse by never speaking up for myself and my needs in the bedroom.
Let me make this clear: I want record-breaking sex.
To accomplish this, I’ve been on a mission to stuff my inhibitions in a box, and toss them into the Mississippi—I’m not getting any younger, so bring on the fire. Read more…
April 30, 2014—How to Date in the Moment
My imagination is a catch 22.
While it feeds my creativity, and ultimately pays my bills, it can get me into lots of trouble when it comes to dating.
Lately, I’ve had to make a mental note to turn off my wondrous brain and just focus on the moment.
I went for drinks recently, with a friend who I hadn’t seen in years. I was nervous before we met, wondering if he just wanted to catch up, or if this was a date. It was a nice time, with good conversation and yummy food, and when he walked me to my car, I wondered if he would go in for the kiss. Read more…
April 23, 2014—Dating with Dumbbells
It’s possible I read the signs all wrong, and thought this guy was into me, but I’ll let you decide.
We met last summer, right before the live music at Lava Cantina was getting started. I was on my second margarita when he approached me.
“Hey, you workout at my gym,” he said.
“I do?” I asked, wondering if he was psychic. “How do you know?”
“Because you’re usually right next to me in boxing class,” he said.
He was really cute, with brown hair and matching eyes. He was wearing a navy blue polo that made my fratastic heart skip a beat. Read more…
April 16, 2014—Budget Dating
We were sitting across from each other at Bin 77, with a candle and two drinks between us. It was our first date, and things were going as well as they could be.
That is, until he started to talk about his budget, and then the stock market.
Money gives me anxiety. I do what I need to do to make sure my finances are in order, but beyond that, my lips are zipped on money matters.
He went on, talking about saving money for this and that, and being stressed over having to get a new car someday, and the resale value of his New Orleans’ home. Read more…
April 9, 2014—Putting Up Your Dating Defense
My first blues concert was Jonny Lang. I was 14, and more mesmerized by his long, blond hair and raspy voice than anything else.
It wasn’t long after that when I started lusting over pop singer and blues guitarist, John Mayer.
I cringed just typing that.
Even today, a dozen years of Mayer albums and tours behind me (I saw him three times just last year), I know that Mayer is a certified prick, or any synonym of the sort.
Admitting I’m a Mayer fan often results in heavy sighs, grunts, and rolling eyes from those who’ve seen his pompous media presence. I imagine WWE’s Nikki Bella gets a similar reaction when she claims she still loves John Cena. Read more…
April 2, 2014—Moving Past the ‘Boyfriend Drawer’
The closest I’ve come to living with someone is a “boyfriend drawer.” After two months of dating, my then-boyfriend basically told me staying at my apartment all of the time was inconvenient.
The last thing I want to be is inconvenient. So I cleared out my second dresser drawer, giving him the space he felt he needed.
I ventured to the store, and bought undershirts, boxer shorts, and socks to fill the drawer. I also purchased some “manly” toiletries, and put them in a black basket in my bathroom.
The 24 hours before he saw the drawer, I was nervous. Did I go too far? Would he feel smothered? To my relief, he appreciated my efforts. Well, for a little while, at least. Read more…
March 26, 2014—Cooking and Dating, the Same Rules Apply
The man I thought I was going to marry was a “meat and potatoes” kind of guy. If love were rice dressing, then my turkey was overstuffed for him.
I did everything I could to win his heart (read: cooked and baked dozens of recipes). From meatloaf and shepherd’s pie to birthday cakes and mocha chip cookies, I always had something in the oven for our time together.
But I quickly learned—when he got married—that even a perfect, medium-rare steak doesn’t make a relationship.
From a young age, I have loved food. My dad often cooked dinner in our house, as my mom worked late. While the meals weren’t fancy, my dad’s recipe for crockpot “Mushroom Chicken” holds a special place in my heart. Read more…
March 19, 2014—Hosting a Casting Call for a Boyfriend
Almost a year ago, to the date, I invited my new boyfriend over for the first time on a Sunday night. It was raining, and once he parked his car, I ran outside to meet him.
I was wearing a button-down pajama set under a leopard trench coat. It felt, and perhaps looked, like a scene from a movie.
Until he told me I looked like an idiot.
It should come as no surprise that the only films our relationship resembled were “Barfly,” combined with scenes from “Fatal Attraction,” and lines from “Reservoir Dogs.”
I’m always hoping I’ll find myself in a relationship resembling the plot of a Nicholas Sparks’-based film—or anything of the sort, I’m not picky. I’ve already got the Southern town thing going, now I just need a muscled-man with a dog and manners to save me from a deadly fire. Read more…