I haven't written very much on this blog lately because I have a new blog I'm writing about my time in Belgium called "A Broad in Belgium." Please check it out when you have a chance; especially if you haven't already. Today I had an epiphany and felt compelled to blog about my history with houseplants. More specifically -- all about every attempt to keep a houseplant, within the past few years of my life, has resulted in their death within 1 week of my purchase or receiving them.
I remember back when college never wanting to keep a plant in my dorm room because I knew that I would kill it. Even then I knew that I just don't have the green thumb that my Mom seems to effortlessly have. I used to help her with watering her plants as one of my chores and I never killed any of them, but on the flip side I've killed many of my own plants as a teenager.
It finally hit me today that my relationships with houseplants has a strong correlation with my romantic relationships (or lack of them). I never really thought about the correlation until today to be totally honest. Today as I looked at the dead plant I bought a couple of weeks ago at Ikea , I realized it's not completely about my ability to nurture the plants that is causing them to die so quickly. The root of the issue starts with my selection process. In the past as with my houseplants I've chosen plants (mates) that weren't right for me and without doing any research beyond the fact that I thought they looked good to me.
After taking a little more time to get to know about the plant before I buy it, I realize that I shouldn't be forcing it into my environment without making a few adjustments of my own. I need to nurture them yes, but I also need to make sure that I'm ready to have a plant in my life. Think about this-- if you bring a plant into your home and you don't have the right lighting conditions or temperature for it, then it might not be the right plant for you or your lifestyle. Combine that with the other elements like not having the time to properly water the plant, talk to it or give it enough attention, then maybe it's not the right time to bring a plant into your (my) life. It's never pleasant realizing that you're just not made for each other, but if you aren't then it won't last and one of you could die. If you believe in survival of the fittest then I'm the strongest party in all of my relationships with plants. As a result they end up suffering and dying quick deaths because of my mistakes.
As far as my dating life here in Belgium that's slow going, but I did get an offer from a nice man from Congo (Africa) who is studying law here at K.U. Leuven (the main University here in town). I took his phone number without the intention of ever calling him again (he was just too short and smelly for me), but running into him again a couple of weeks later made me realize the city where I'm attending college in is way too small to hope not to run into them ever again. The second time we saw each other he came up to me and said "I thought you said you were going to call me" and I made a lame excuse about being too busy. In truth I was too busy, but I also wasn't very interested in him and now being in a new environment I realize now that I should stop my bad habit of taking phone numbers which I'll never use. It's something I did in NYC just to get people off my back so that I didn't appear rude. I did it a lot (ok way too much) and most of the time I never used any of the numbers, especially if I didn't give them my number.
There are lots of very young people here in Leuven and many of my classmates are married or already in relationships. I am starting to think about dating a little more now that I'm getting settled in and while I still have time to try. Right now things are busy with school, but this will be the easiest part of the year for us in general. In the new year things are going to get pretty intense and hectic with our workload. I plan to enjoy my time here to the best of my abilities.
Thanks for reading and I do hope you'll check out my other blog page. Currently I am updating that one once a week. I'll also be blogging for the Financial Times MBA Blog about my experiences as a Vlerick Leuven student starting in late October. I'm very excited about this year and so far I'm having a great time here in Belgium. Have a great week.
It's been waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long since I've written here. I have to say as far as my dating life is concerned I simply have ignored it completely. Lately all I can think about is my huge running to-do list which includes my visa application (lengthy process folks!), wrapping up my final big project at work (Bonnaroo happening all next week) and packing/selling the 9 years of accumulated life here in NYC (did I mention I'm a bit of a pack rat?!?!). I type this all as I'm thinking about my ever growing list of the dozen other things I need to accomplish in the next day or two.
What has been going on for me in the dating world? Well... most recently I had been e-mailing with Bachelor #1 and I'd even gotten to the point where we'd exchanged numbers. He called me Memorial Weekend and I never called him back. I know totally rude of me right? I hated doing that, but I realized I just don't have the energy, nor the time to really truly focus on getting a new friendship started. I barely have time lately to keep up with the few friends I already have! Many of you haven't seen me in several months, simply because I'm running around crossing things off my to-do list.
That very next week, all within a couple of days of each other I received e-mails from 3 different men whom I'd dated or corresponded with at some point in the past couple of years (Mr. Ex was one of them) and the emails made me wonder - why now? I thought I'd closed the door on all of those friendships and seeing those e-mails for me was like having a big fancy picnic (MY BIG FANCY PICNIC) ruined by ants showing up and walking all over my food. My reactions to the notes ranged from"who is this?" to "slightly guilty because the tone of his e-mail seemed so delusional (to me)."
Now none of these men had any idea that they would all contact me within days of each other, but in situations like this one I am always reminded of the Alanis Morrisette song "Ironic." Hearing from a few old flames in the span of a week (ok I might be exaggerating by labeling them old flames) almost never happens (for me). Let's be real. Who am I kidding here? I'm not hearing from much of anyone lately. Personally I found getting all of these notes just as I was starting to mentally get "closure" on "life in NYC" a little unsettling. I have to admit that hearing from them all put me in a little bit of a funk for a few days (ok it was really a full week and a half), because I was reminded of all of my dating disappointments. I (always) need to believe that there has to be some higher purpose, but perhaps the purpose is just to toughen me up for the next leg of my journey. OR it could be that I'm reading too much into this and I just need to remained focused on the goal (getting ready for school in the fall).
I'm still determining the fate of my blog, because as much as I love sharing my dating journey with you all; I'm embarking on a different journey now and this means less activity on this blog (which has been dedicated to chronicling my dating adventures). Things are busy for me at work (at least until June 15th when I return from Bonnaroo) and I have less time to focus on coming up with interesting topics related to my dating life. You might not hear from me for a while, but I promise that I'll try to keep you posted on any possible dating adventures I have while abroad. Finding love is still a (big) priority for me, but for the duration of my MBA program (1 year) it won't be my primary focus.
Thanks for all of the love and support over the past couple of months. I really appreciate all of the advice, encouragement and love you guys have shown. I plan on enjoying my last month couple of months here in NYC. For those of you who don't live here there is NOTHING like NYC in the spring/summer. I love it! I hope that you have a wonderful summer too!
I can't believe how quickly this year is flying by - it's already May! What a difference a few months makes; I'm still pinching myself because in a few months I'll be a full time student for the first time in almost 9 years. Yesterday I made a big commitment (scary for me) by putting my 25% non-refundable deposit down for my MBA program in the fall. I'm very thankful that I had the resources to make the payment with out too much strain (although I was really hoping for more favorable exchange rates). Work is busy again and although I'm glad to have a real, tangible project to focus on (after so many months of downtime), I wish I could just focus on getting my personal to-do list done. Does that make me selfish?
Yesterday I was listening to The Steve Harvey Morning show and he had Delilah (one of the most successful syndicated radio hosts in the US apparently) who had written a book about love. Delilah said something that rocked me to my core. The opposite of love is NOT hate. What????!? This made me turn my radio up a little louder to hear the rest of what she had to say. Delilah says that to hate someone you have to like them at least a little bit, otherwise you really don't muster up enough energy to "hate" them. In other words if you didn't have some sort of "like/passion" for them then you would not expend the energy to "hate" them.
What Delilah said next surprised me. She said that the opposite of love is SELFISHNESS. Again I was rocked to my very core, because I have been accused of being SELFISH (by my Mom) before. Delilah says that sometimes in love you have to make sacrifices and change your plans to meet the needs of your mate. I'll admit that this is one of my biggest problems (fears) with getting into a committed relationship. I see the sacrifices that my mom, friends and others make for love. Some of them I agree with, but some leave me scratching my head thinking I don't think I could have done that. Like a (spoiled) only child sometimes I happen to think the world revolves around me. Delusional much?
This got me thinking about my decision to move to Belgium for grad school. I know that my family would rather I not move so far away to do it, but I believe it's something I believe I HAVE to do. Does this make me selfish? I've made lots of big decisions in life with only one person in mind before - ME! But now I am wondering if the big problem in my dating life is actually me. Am I (cock) blocking myself from finding the love that (I say) I want?
Here's what my (delusional) self thinks about my current situation. I understand what a real, loving relationship should be and I refuse to settle for less. When the right person comes along who deserves my focus, dedication and sacrifice I will adjust my behavior accordingly. Until then I reserve the right to be (a little) selfish. At this point in my life, I believe I haven't met THE ONE who deserves my focus, dedication and sacrifice. But I'll hold out hope that we'll find each other soon (because beneath my tough exterior) I am a big, romantic at heart. Ok, ok, ok... maybe that's really deep down inside, but really I do believe that there is love out there for us all. I just have to remember what the real opposite of love is so that I don't do it when love finally comes my way.
I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this subject. Do you agree that the opposite of love is selfishness? I think I will check out Delilah's book because I'd love to hear more about her thoughts on the subject of LOVE. I am inspired to get back into the groove again (I had started feeling sorry for myself), but until then I think I'll go check out a few new handbags at my friend Mrs. Handbags special shopping event today from 6-8 pm. Retail therapy always improves my mood. Let me know if you'd like to join me if you're here in NYC.
I had hoped to write something in the blog before today, but things are busier now for me at work so you'll probably see me a little less frequently because once work gets busy, my social and dating life tend to suffer. That means there is MUCH less for me to write about here in my dating blog. Plus my mind is focused on making my move to Belgium and I feel too guilty to waste another person's time when I know I'll be moving away in the next three months.
In my blog last week I mentioned that Mr. Ex and I decided that it was best that we remain friends instead of trying to continue to date each other. I was ok with this decision and even felt relieved by it all, but was quite surprised to get a phone call from him on Thursday evening that puzzled me. First of all he seemed to think that I'd agreed to have sex with him (or do the "nice thing" as he referred to it on the call) after I returned from my trip to Georgia with my family. I found this whole thing humorous and told him I was sorry that he'd misinterpreted something I'd said, because this was definitely NOT the truth. Remember my little 90 day rule? Well if I were still counting we'd still be on just day 41 right now.
Mr. Ex wanted to get into what made things go off track during our last date, but kept saying "No I'll ask you about it when you get back from Georgia." That whole tactic frustrated me and I told him he could ask me what he wanted to ask while he had me on the phone. I told him that I was disappointed by his lack of decision making skills on the date and gave him a few of the examples I blogged about the other day. He said "well I'm not really that way all the time, I just use that as a way of getting to know a person." I told him that although that might be his tactic I've never seen him make a decision in all of our dates (4 to be exact) and it wasn't fair to me because I didn't get the chance to see him make a decision. I really think his excuse is BS, personally because I think the whole "Whatever you like method of decision making" is LAZY. After that he had to get off the phone. He said he'd try to call me back, but I was non-committal because I told him I needed to get to bed early and still had some packing to do for my trip early the next morning. Before we ended the call he kept saying that he felt things were fine with us and that we would get back to normal (HA). I'll admit this was the part that creeped me out the most because I felt like he hadn't listened to a thing I'd just said.
Mr. Ex called me back a couple of times that night. He left a couple of messages for me (STALKER), then that Friday night he called and left a message for me saying that he saw a few phone numbers pop up with my area code that he thought might have been me. Needless to say it wasn't me and I really don't think I need to have another conversation with him anymore. I know that many of you are thinking that I'm a GIANT A$$HOLE, but I think it's best that I don't lead him on anymore. I feel like his perception of what was going on was completely different from mine. I was trying to remain nice throughout this all, but sometimes nice isn't what the situation needs and it's best not to maintain contact. Sometimes it just isn't in the cards to remain friends - especially when you can't agree on the boundaries of your friendship.
I strongly suspect that the only reason Mr. Ex had his change of heart is because he felt he invested too much time/money into our situation to not get the payoff (sex with me). There might be other reasons, but I truly believe that's the main reason for his change of heart. Thanks for reading and I hope that I'll have some new stories for you soon.
After such a BEAUTIFUL weekend, I'm savoring the great weather we're having here in NYC this week. Work is still a little nutty because I'm only in the office a couple of times this week. Tomorrow I head to Manchester, TN to do a site check; on Friday I'll be heading home to Georgia to hang with the family and watch my baby sister graduate from Pharmacy School (finally we have a Doctor in the family)! :o)
Here's a quick update on the date on Saturday with Mr. Ex - we finally mutually agreed (OK I made it VERY CLEAR) that we probably are better off remaining friends. I'm glad that we spent the day together because we've only hung out in 2-3 hour increments, before our marathon date on Saturday. Spending the day with a person really makes a difference and I am quite happy that we did it. It was a good test and I realize now that there were a few (BIG) things about him that I tended to ignore before because I only saw the behavior occasionally within our 2-3 hour dates.
We met up at Central Park and I have to say that it was a great day to be in the park (the weather was gorgeous) and I don't think I've ever seen so many people there before. We started to walk a little deeper into the park and a dog barks at him as we walk by. I have NEVER seen a man jump out of his skin as much as he did. From that moment on I was watching a little more closely because I thought he's scared of a dog? While we were walking through the park, I took the opportunity to ask a few more questions about him and I finally asked what his mysterious 2nd part-time job was and he grudgingly admitted that he's a barista (for Starbucks). He says he is planning to quit this job soon, but if he needs to make his bills who am I to judge? I recognize that times are hard for lots of people right now.
After spending several hours in the park and talking we headed down to Soho for some pizza at Lombardi's. This is where I realized that the coy behavior he'd exhibited before (calling me the boss and saying that whatever I wanted was what he wanted) drove me absolutely nutty. Here's a little sample of our dialogue at dinner:
Me:Do you like pizza?
Him:I like whatever you like
Me: What kind of pizza do you like?
Him: I like whatever you like, you're the boss!
Me: Do you drink soft drinks? If so what kind because I was thinking we could order a pitcher together?
Him: I drink them sometimes, I'll drink whatever you want to order.
After dealing with this type of exchange all day (even putting together what we were going to do for the day went that way), I just couldn't take it anymore. I ordered the meal when he was in the bathroom and decided I'd just grin and bear it for the rest of the date. I asked him some questions one of which was why he thought I should get into a relationship with him. Although his answer was not bad "Because I'll never disappoint you," his demeanor during this talk bothered me a lot. It's something I'd noticed before, but ignored. He covered his mouth with both his hands when he talked to me about anything serious and averted his eyes to some point behind me (and off to the side). Both of these body language tells REALLY bother me because when I speak to a person I like to make direct eye contact and covering your mouth indicates that you're not being totally honest.
After a yummy pepperoni pizza, I suggested we walk around a little bit more. We walked down towards Canal Street and then back up to the village. I was a little quiet throughout the day, but I would point out interesting landmarks for him and whenever I had a question I'd ask. As we were walking back up to the West Village he mentioned for the umpteenth time that if I was tired we could head in (I told him a few times earlier that day I'd let him know when I was ready to head in). At that point I said "OK" and headed for the train station.
It was at the train where he asked for a kiss instead of just giving one. For me it wasn't really that he asked, but it was more of how he asked that rubbed me the wrong way. I think by this point if he'd just leaned in and given me a kiss I would have appreciated it more than him trying to negotiate a kiss out of me on the subway platform. I guess in the end it was really just a matter of timing. So he's following me as I'm headed down the stairs to the F train and we had a really awkward kiss on the stairwell. He made the comment that "someone" needs kissing lessons. My retort was "Yep, someone definitely needs lessons after that one."
I got home and later he called and left me a voicemail message saying he would leave me alone, but wanted to ask me some questions before he did. Then about 10-15 minutes later he called me and told me he'd lost his car keys somewhere. I helped him to call the restaurant with no luck and I think he ended up taking another bus back to his apartment. He found the keys the next day, but thankfully I never had to answer his questions.
All in the date wasn't bad, but I realized that I can't date someone that bothers me this much if we hang out for more than a couple of hours. I know this probably sounds arrogant, but he truly wasn't a good match for me because he just isn't at my level. I've mentioned it here before, but it was made clear by our date on Saturday. I have a strong personality and I need someone who has an equally strong personality that's a compliment to my own (strong personality). I can't date someone who continues to "Yes" me to death or can't even look me in the eye when we're having serious conversation. And let's be real here -- I'm a tall girl with sturdy bone structure. If I feel like I'm the protector in the relationship then the dude isn't man enough for me (I honestly think that's why I love really tall men).
I'm out of the office on Wednesday and Friday, but I'll try to write a little something for Thursday. Have a great week otherwise.
First off all HAPPY FRIDAY to you! I'm so glad that it's the end of this week of late nights in the office; plus I seem to be developing some sort of cold/sinus issue that's getting worse. Now I'm working on building up my energy for all of my weekend plans. Tonight I'd rather go home, put my PJ's on and sleep the whole weekend through. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for my social life) I have plans both tonight and tomorrow. Tonight's plans include heading over to Hoboken, NJ to celebrate one of my former co-workers birthday's at the new W Hotel. Tomorrow I have a full day of hanging out with Mr. Ex (our plans are still TBD, but I think we're going to do the NYC tourist experience).
Today I wanted to talk about some of my own prejudices. I received correspondence from two different men who happened to fall into the same age category (on different dating websites). I responded to both of them in a nice way, but I'd actually consider going out on a date with only one of them, even though they both seem to be pretty similar on the surface (both writers).
Bachelor #1 (50 years old lives in Brooklyn):
I really don't think it's a great idea to be describing mysef, but then it would be tough for you to get an idea of what kind of person I am, wouldn't it?So I will say that I am fun, funny, sweet, open, intense, smart, curious, bookish but outgoing, adventurous, musical, literate, patient, well travelled, with a ton of life experience (ok, so sometimes I just need to learn things the hard way). I've lived in some interesting parts of the world, and I try to keep an open mind about different ways of living. I appreciate people who are open-minded, nonjudgemental, curious, compassionate, funny, and I hope I am most of those things. On my great days, I am.I do not get angry, and I believe it's really, really important to discuss openly what's on our minds and in our hearts.I'm curious about people and how they live and what they think. I've lived in a few countries and have been humbled by the experience. I love exploring new places, meeting new people, and just being turned on by life.I am sexy, affectionate, generous, and open minded, but I can be a pain in the butt sometimes (i hope in a nice way).i am very much into music, writing, books, the outdoors, food, cooking, and am adventurous and always looking to explore: new music, writers, places, meeting new people...you name it.I am amicably divorced and a father of 2 amazing daughers who live in another state with their mother, but I am a very active father.I am looking for someone who can appreciate my good qualities and hopefully be patient with my lesser ones. Someone who is independent, bright, open, curious, and ready for anything (and for me).
Bachelor #2 (51 years old lives in NJ)
I'm a writer, author, poet, playwright, drummer, story teller, motivational speaker and an international traveler. I teach Afrikan Studies, specializing in ancient Kemet (Egypt). I do ancient Kemet meditation, and i am a Grand Master in Afrakan Martial Arts. I would like to meet someone who is Afrikan centered or loves Afrika and Afrikan people, educated, in shape, concerned about health, and loves the outdoors. Also opened minded, willing to think outside the box. Please have a photo if you want a response!
Now I have to admit that my responses were mostly based on the pictures both of the men had up on their profiles. I simply found one to be a little more attractive than the other guy. I must disclose that one guy was white and the other black.
Initially, I wasn't attracted to Bachelor #2 at all based on his picture. I have to wonder why I could consider giving the first guy a chance, but not Bachelor #2, simply because I thought he was too old for me. Seriously my reason for immediately dismissing Bachelor #2, the fact that he was 51. This now seems pretty irrational to me and I realize I have some HUGE prejudices. If I'm honest with myself I'll admit that the fact that his picture has him in full Afrikan garb, (dread)locks and with all the language about wanting to meet someone who is Afrikan centered freaked me out a little. Yes, I'm a woman of color (African American descent), but I wouldn't consider myself to be especially militant. Truth be told, Bachelor #2 seems like that type of guy that I might see hanging out on the streets up in Harlem on Brooklyn selling incense. Nothing wrong with that type of man, just not someone I'd normally associate with on any level (friendship or otherwise).
Bachelor #1 is a divorcee with two kids. Dating someone with kids is usually someone I wouldn't consider seeing, but the older I get the harder I realize it's possible to stick to that rule. I'll admit the thing that appealed to me most about Bachelor #1 was the fact that he seems well traveled, hey he's even lived in several foreign countries. This is a guy I could see myself be-friending if I were out having drinks and met him that way.
I haven't even gotten into the issue of age. I have been questioning whether it's really appropriate for me to consider dating someone in their 50's. When I was younger (22) I dated someone who was much older (45) , but now I wonder what is really appropriate? I know that I'm a relatively mature 30, but getting into the territory of dating someone in their 50's makes me nervous. To put this into context my mother is 51 years old. So if I open the door to dating someone who is in their 50's, for me it would be just like dating one of my parents.
I have to admit that I puzzle even myself sometimes with my contradictory, irrational thought processes about my issues. I'm curious to hear your thoughts on this subject. What's appropriate? Do you have any prejudices (or as I like to call them preferences) that you won't ever change? How often do you find yourself judging a book by its cover? I sure have a lot to think about, but this is all helpful for my journey (I hope).
Thanks again for taking the time to read the blog today and I hope that you'll become one of my followers or leave comment if you like what you're reading here. If you're in the northeast make sure you head outside this weekend to enjoy some of the 80 degree weather we're supposed to have tomorrow and Sunday. Have a great weekend!
Wow, this has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for me. I know that I have been a quite scarce around the blogosphere and I blame it wholeheartedly on my job. I have some good news from my trip to Belgium last week. I was officially accepted into the MBA program at VlerickLeuven Gent Management School (YAY). After taking last week off from work, I've been busy the past couple of days just getting caught up with all of the projects we have going on now. I have lots of planning and thinking to do in the meantime to get prepared for my big move and life change.
All of the exciting developments in my life mean that I haven't focused on dating nearly as much as I did a few weeks ago. I have been using some of this time to get to know Mr. Ex a whole lot better and we are becoming friends. I believe we mutually like and respect each other quite a bit. He would like things to move along a whole lot faster than I'm allowing them to happen and he has affectionately nicknamed me The Boss which I don't mind now, the name is growing on me.
Mr. Ex asked me a tough question last night on the phone. "What do you say about us if people ask you? What do you tell your friends and family?" I was hoping to avoid this question (forever) because I have soooo many balls in the air right now (work is busy and I am moving to Europe in a few months). He also has no idea that I have a dating blog and that I've written about him here quite a few times. Since the last time I updated you all we've had quite a few in depth conversations. I finally got him to stop talking about his exes and we see eye to eye on most of the big issues in life. So my answer was "I tell people we're dating." He has hinted around before about getting into a relationship together, but I fiercely remind him that I am moving away and that I DON'T DO LONG DISTANCE RELATIONSHIPS. I've offered up many opportunities for us to end things, yet he keeps saying "You never know what will happen, let's just go with it."
I am a planner by nature. I don't like a lot of surprises in my life. Although I don't consider myself to be rigid, I am a bit of a control freak. My life has a plan and I tick my goals off on a regular basis. I need to guide things at least a little bit. So we'll see how things develop with my friendship. I know many of you like me feel like Mr. Ex is a risky proposition (for me) given the fact that he (seems) to be finding his way. What can I can say about him? He is working (he has a couple of part-time gigs) and I've found him to be a genuine person. I think he's helped me to grow as a person, but part of me has to wonder if his lack of career is a sign of bigger issues that he's kept hidden thus far. I'm watching him like a hawk; for now all I can do is to enjoy his company and the time we spend together.
Thanks for reading and I appreciate all of the support from you. If you like what you're reading or you have something to say don't feel shy, chime in or better yet become one of my followers! Have a wonderful evening.