Vega

This morning, I did the normal day off routine; get kids off to school, take a nap, leisurely skim Twitter (if you’re not following me on Twitter, feel free to click HERE. Mostly fitness, bad WWE takes, and rambling about current events), then empty stomach cardio because winter has finally gone back to Hell where it belongs. Anywho, this morning, one of the trending topics was from a man giving real life “love advice.” It was obviously so great and not at all terrible. Here, let me show you & you can see for yourself.

Great, right?

This is always so irksome to me, because it’s always so one sided. It’s always about how women should learn men’s interests and hobbies, and let them teach us how to do stuff, because men aren’t happy unless they are exerting their intellect over stupid, stupid women, right?

Barf. Barf. Barf.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with sharing in your partner’s interests. But this guy perpetuates the idea that women only like sports and video games to attract men. They obviously wouldn’t do it because they like it! Also, it’s one sided. It’s always about how women should learn about their man’s interests and learn to love them, but never the other way around. I have never once read where a man is told to learn about his lady’s interests, or pick up a fashion magazine and learn all about how to pair a skirt with a cute pair of heels.

I’m sure a lot of women can relate to the idea that we must always be interested in what our partners like, but our interests are considered secondary. I remember reading the Sword of Truth series, but I don’t recall my ex husband ever picking up Gatsby, or any of my favourite books. I tried Grand Theft Auto and Halo, but they never played Zelda past the Great Deku Tree in Ocarina of Time. Throughout my life, I have sat through hours of baseball games, listened to Drake albums, and watched One Tree Hill because I wanted to take an interest in my man’s hobbies and interests. But never once have I gotten an offer to play Street Fighter, read a book I recommended, come to a Crossfit class, or watch Wrestlemania (of course, even if they did offer to play Street Fighter, they’d get mad if I won). Some of it wasn’t all bad; I developed my love of the Lord of the Rings after my ex husband asked me to go to all of the movies with him (I later read the books and loved them). While there are lots of great guys out there who really care about their partners and take an interest in their hobbies and interests, the general consensus is always it’s up to women to sacrifice, change, support, adapt. We must giggle and twirl our hair and ask men to teach us how to understand sports, while they never need to learn anything about our interests or hobbies or what we do to make us happy.

Relationships are supposed to work both ways, but you rarely see men encouraged to read Pride & Prejudice, or listen to their girl’s favourite band, or watch Mean Girls and learn the entire dialogue. It’s always up to us to embrace their hobbies and assimilate into their world. But I think it’s just as important that a guy should want to get to know his mate’s interest. I don’t expect you to love it, but I do expect any potential mates to at least take an interest in some of my hobbies. Ask how my class went at the gym; maybe even check out a class with me & try Crossfit. Attempt some yoga with me. Stream some Taylor Swift and Breaking Benjamin on Apple Music. Ask me about the articles I’m working on or my day at work. But I refuse to be in a relationship with someone who expects me to take an interest in their life and take no interest in mine. Relationships are about compromise. If you don’t, then you’ll end up like John Cena, who refused to budge on anything and lost his fiancĂ©e (or it’s all a ploy for Total Bellas).

So, don’t expect a woman to pretend to give a shit about your fantasy football league if you’re not going to watch the Bachelor. Women like to feel respected and valued just as much as men do. In fact, you’ll likely find that the more invested you are in what she enjoys, she’ll probably show more interest in yours. Then you’ll actually be merging your lives, instead of asking her to stroke your ego.

p

The Last of the Real Ones

Normally, I write about my personal success stories and how I’m improving as a person and junk. Today is not one of those stories. Today is the story of the time that I did some dumb ass shit.

So, let me preface that I am not smart. Like, I’m articulate, and well read. When it comes to my line of work, I’m a god damn pro. But when it comes to men, I’m dumb as fuck. To review some of my *ahem* finer dating decisions;

1. I was married to a serial cheating, abuser for eight years.

2. I DATED MY OWN STALKER. TWICE (legit looked up my address and camped outside a movie theatre. A few months later my hotel room. TOTALLY NORMAL AND NOT AT ALL A FELONY)

3. I was once attracted to a pilot that couldn’t find north.

4. I went out a guy who lied about getting a colonoscopy to go out with another girl

So, clearly I am super good at making relationship choices. I swear, really great guys are attracted to me, BUT I AM TOO FUCKING STUPID TO PICK UP ON THEIR SUBTLE CUES OF SANITY TO NOTICE. PLEASE HELP ME. Anywho, this brings me to Mr. Oil Guy and why I am a moron.

So, Mr. Oil Guy is cute. Mr. Oil Guy is pretty chill. Funny, fun to talk to. MHC is super into Mr. Oil Guy. Mr. Oil Guy & I are planning a date. MHC is actually really excited. What could go wrong?

Well, he started telling gay jokes. The first one was more of a wrong number joke. The next few were less funny. I tried to play it off by pointing out that gay men are usually funnier and smarter than straight men, but then he got kind of defensive. So, I thought I’d point out that most of my friends are LGBT, as is my brother, so if he’s gonna keep cracking gay jokes, even light ones, I’m not gonna be interested. He then flipped it that I was being argumentative. So I apologized. We carried on. The next day we got talking about my birthday, and he got kind of defensive again. This time, because my manager bought me some shiny new headphones for my birthday (mine broke that day), because he had bought me a pair and now needed to return them (we haven’t even gone out yet). Also, that I was going out with some male coworkers. I kind of felt awkward about it. Lots of comments about brown nosing and hints that male coworkers don’t just go out with female colleagues as friends (yeah they do. All the time). But I just kept thinking that these aren’t red flags. I’m just afraid of dating. This is normal.

This brings us to the next day. Mr. Oil Guy says he’s gonna buy a phone at my work. So, I STUPIDLY TELL HIM WHERE I WORK. Then he proceeds to explain how Canadian telcos rip off Canadian consumers and there is no excuse and begins explaining to me how my job works! He tells me that subsidized phones aren’t “free”because you pay for them through your plan.

HOLY SHIT NO WAY. THANK YOU FOR CLEARING UP THE THING THAT I EXPLAIN TO CUSTOMERS A MILLION

TIMES A DAY, PLEASE DO GO ON SIR.

Finally, after I flat out ask if he’s mansplaining my own job to me, and he informs me that we are “having a healthy debate,” (about why my job is stupid), I stop messaging. I’m sooooooooooo done. If I wanted to hang out with a stubborn, arrogant, manchild who doesn’t know anything about anything and talks down to me like I’m braindead, I WOULD STILL BE MARRIED. But then, he sends me this message:

So, naturally, I throw up in my mouth a little bit (I actually replied “my hair is down”), but decide that my best friend Erica needs to see this message, because I tell her all of the things, complete with the caption “barf barf barf.”

What could go wrong?

(Narrator: everything went wrong)

In order to fully appreciate the next series of events, I present this conversation;

Yup. Sent it to him because I am fucking Einstein. I actually felt badly, because that’s some kind of rejection. But I also felt badly because I didn’t trust my own judgment. I was so afraid that I’m too picky, that I was willing to settle and ignore obvious red flags because I wanted someone to like me. I should hold myself accountable to my own standards and if Mr. Oil Guy doesn’t meet them, fuck Mr. Oil Guy. As luck would have it, I do have a date with Mr. Nurse next week, so as long as I don’t fail screenshot, we’ll see how that goes!

I should have stopped talking to him the minute I felt like I had to apologize for not appreciating the off colour jokes. Instead, I tried to look past a deal breaker and ended up embarrassing myself super mega big time. So, trust yourself guys. If something feels off, it probably is. If not, you’ll end up screenshotting their own stupid comments back to them and end up looking and feeling like an idiot. Chances are, there’s something better right around the corner. Maybe. Unless you’re me, then they’re probably fucking crazy too and you should probably get a cat.

Paper Heart

This weekend I had the chance to attend a good friend’s wedding and it was a lovely affair.

I’m not really big on weddings, as I’ve said many times before, but this wedding was different. My dear friend Sarah had waited a long time for a guy like her darling Nic. She’d been through Hell and back, as she said in her wedding speech, and with him, she felt whole.

Congrats to Mr. and Mrs U!
Congrats to Mr. and Mrs U!

As the single girlfriend attending stag, I think I was supposed to be super jealous or something. I always read blogs from single women who whine that it’s not fair that they don’t have a plus one and I knew a girl who whined when anything good happened to a friend, especially a pregnancy, because it wasn’t about her. But I really wasn’t. I couldn’t wait for this wedding…and I hate weddings! Sarah deserved this day. She is a person who gives to others, who loves completely, and watching her find her other half made my heart burst with joy. We laughed, danced, drank, toasted the couple and chatted animatedly with my best friend the Psych Major as we talked about a project that could really take my career to another level. It was arguably the most wonderful day I’ve enjoyed in a long time and I thank them for their hospitality.

The Psych Major and I standing with the gorgeous bride.
The Psych Major and I standing with the gorgeous bride.

As lovely as Sarah looked, there was one moment that stood out for me and I was lucky enough to snap a pic of it. As Nic danced with his mom, Sarah looked on, watching her new husband and her face radiated so much love. It wasn’t just love; it was respect, admiration, adoration, every positive emotion you can possibly feel. In that moment, there were flashes snapping, happy chatter, but for Sarah, there was nothing else going on in that room but her husband and he was the most beautiful thing in the world. I actually teared up seeing her looking at her husband, because it was just such a lovely moment in time. I once saw a photo of a couple on FB and saw that same look and it inspired a whole other blog post of mine (the one that I am most proud of) because it was just such a beautiful photo.

sarahwedding

I think everyone wants to feel like Nic and Sarah, two people who have finally found each other and know that even if things get rough, they have each other. There aren’t a lot of people in this world who I think are in it for the long haul, but they are. I’m so grateful to them for reminding me that happy endings are real and I’m lucky to have watched them start their lives together. Sometimes, when we’ve had our hearts broken a bunch of times, we get cynical and it’s hard to picture that there could be a happy ending. But, we need to remain optimistic and hopeful and continue to be ourselves so that when it becomes our turn, we get to be the person looking at our partner with so much love. If there is anything I could wish for everyone I love, or anything I could hope everyone I love gets in their lives, even for a moment before we as humans eff it all up, is to have that moment where someone loves you like my friends love each other and for someone looks at them the way Sarah looks at Nic. Everyone deserves to have that kind of love even once, that unconditional, I don’t care who you are and what you did before me, because you are the very best thing that’s ever happened to me kind of love and I won’t lie, I tell my friends I don’t date because I’m holding out for that Nic and Sarah kind of love. I think we should all hold out for that kind of love and if we’ve found it, we should cherish it and enjoy it for as long as we live.

So, single gals & guys, instead of being jealous that we don’t have that plus one or that maybe it feels like our time to find our soulmate is over, take a moment to really watch the happy couple, because I promise all of those jealous pangs will go away (well, it depends on the couple. I’ve been to a couple of weddings where I didn’t think they’d last two years). They’ll go away because you’ll get a chance to see love in it’s purest form and you can rest comforted in the knowledge that your time will come in the right moment in the right way, even if right now it seems like it’s never going to happen or you blew that one chance with your soulmate. Because maybe that wasn’t your soulmate, maybe you haven’t met them. Or maybe you both needed to grow up and fate will put it back when the time is right (I doubt it, but hey, Nicholas Sparks has made a fortune on that theory). Or maybe it’s that friend you’ve never looked at like that, or that message in your online dating inbox that you’ve never bothered to read. One place you won’t find it? THE BACHELORETTE. But no one deserves less than that Nic and Sarah kind of love and you’ll know you have it when what’s hard seems easy and when you know they look at you like you are the most beautiful thing they’ve ever seen.

Seven Things

AKA: The seven rules for dating MHC.

After meeting (& casting out) “the guy,” I realized more than ever that I have a series of unwritten rules when it comes to dating. That’s why no one gets past date one hahaha. I asked my therapist who told me it’s good that I’m being picky, as I’m finally looking out for me. I’m in a place where I love myself more than I care to protect people around me & I need to protect myself from ending up hurt again or settling. Settling is how you end up married & miserable. So, while it may not be ideal for the guys, I’m not willing to compromise what I’m looking for (it doesn’t hurt that no one is giving me butterflies or has been someone I’ve wanted for a long time. Less attachment is better). But, I talked to my friends the Psych Major & the Gleason Table & told them my unwritten rules for dating & they agreed that it’s not a bad list. I figured I’d share them in case there’s any I missed.

1. Don’t spend the entire time telling me how pretty I am. I know this. I OWN A MIRROR. That might sound horrible, but I think all women should feel comfortable in their own skin. I love a good compliment, but there’s got to be more than wasting oxygen telling me what I already know. The guy spent all of his time telling me I’m gorgeous. That’s great, but I have a brain. I’m smart. I’m funny. I have great opinions on politics. Why aren’t we discussing current events? ANYTHING?! I love good conversation & I’ll want you to keep up. If you can’t discuss pop culture or politics or even a book you read, please go away. There’s more to life than looks.

2. I don’t give a rat’s ass how much money you make. See this house? I pay for it myself. All of the bills in it too. Everything I’m wearing too. This is because I HAVE A JOB. I don’t need a sugar daddy, I’m not impressed by your bank statement & no one takes care of me but me. While yes, I feel a gentleman should offer to pay on the first date, I’ll likely pay my own bill.

3. This doesn’t mean you can be a broke ass, you MUST have a job. The Gleason table always wants me to add “and not at a call centre, because only losers work @ call centres.” I’m not that picky though. I don’t care if you dig ditches; you have a job. A legit, gainful form of employment with a T4 and everything. I support myself & my daughters; I expect you can support yourself. If you jump from job to job, I’ll probably send you packing. I think you should be able to hold said job.

4. How you treat others is how you’ll treat me. Do you continuously belittle your friends behind their back? Do you talk down to the waitress and badmouth every ex lover as “insane” or “a bitch” and every relationship you were wronged because you’re perfect? Well, that’s how you’ll treat me so goodbye. I may not have 100% glowing things to say about everyone in my life, but I’ll try. I’m also quick to point out my part in the failure of a relationship. No one is perfect, least of all me & my life has no room for narcissism. My foster dad always taught me the true measure of a man’s character was how he treated those in his life, including the waitress & his mother. So, if you treat those around you poorly, you’ll treat me poorly. Also, I don’t tolerate any racist or homophobic remarks. I walked out on a date because the guy said the beers on tap were “gay.” Respect goes a long way.

5. Trust is EARNED. You don’t just get it. The guy said I seemed mistrustful of people because I wouldn’t tell him which store in the mall I worked in. I don’t want you visiting me @ work (his intention). I don’t think it’s your business after date one. I won’t add you on FB either. My friend got flamed for saying that he has “social networking rules” for his girlfriends. I have them too. I don’t advertise my relationship on FB (I once changed the status as a joke between myself & the Gleason Table) & I don’t add photos of us until we’ve been dating for at least four months. I was once more open on my Twitter, but I learned not to do that. Keeping a separation until the relationship is serious isn’t a bad thing. It’s like my children; you won’t meet them for at least one year. I don’t need someone to play quasi stepparent & then leave them & hurt them. They have a dad; he’s not the best, but he’s their dad. If you’d like to step up & be their stepdad, then you’ll show me that you’re here for the long haul. But let’s get to date two. Shall we?

6. My name is Mary-Helen. Simple right? I abhor nicknames (although there are still about six people left on Earth who still call me Melon, but they’ve all known me for over 10 years), short forms, pet names of any kind. Like A LOT. If we ever progress into a real relationship then I will tolerate your need to call me some cutesy name, but until then my name is not “honey,” “sweetie,” “Dollface,” or “baby.”

7. Remember how I said that looks aren’t the number one thing? That applies to you too. I don’t care about your muscles or abs; if you have a feature that attracted me, it’s your eyes & smile. That makes you attractive to me. You know what else is hot? A man with a brain. A guy who starts a conversation about books. A guy who’s read Edgar Allen Poe and didn’t just see the Simpsons version of the Raven. A man who is passionate about something, whether it’s his sports team or the world around him. A gentleman who still holds doors & calls when he says he will. That’s attractive.

Those are my simple rules. Anyone who follows them may make it to date two! (Hey, it could happen!) I don’t think they’re that hard; I think they’re common sense honestly. I don’t need to be impressed by big talk & the like. I want to be impressed by actions, something tangible, a real person.