One on One Date: Brad
We open with the gang of 13 finding out that they are leaving the house – Des is already gone – and heading to Atlantic City, where Des’s journey around the world for love begins. (No, Chris Harrison said this. No, I did not make this up all on my own.
You know, Atlantic City.
Much like earthquakes or Voldemort attacks, running into your ex happens when you’re not expecting it. No one ever really expects to run into your ex, unless you live in the same neighborhood and you’re in that territory where you’re not sure if it’s “your” area or “theirs”. Then you feel like it’s Halloween night, the hair sticking up on the back of your neck, as you look around every corner, wondering which spirits will jump out at you. Even if you had a good breakup, running into your ex can be jarring. Especially if you’re running into them with your car, which hopefully you are not, but hey, things happen. It’s Vegas.
How to handle these run-ins can depend on how your breakup went and what sort of mood they’re in when you see them. Only you know your relationship history so use some of your discretion when deciding how to approach. These are suggestions, not laws.
If you see them, and they see you, don’t pretend you didn’t see them. Unless your ex is an abusive jerk or if saying hi to them would be very upsetting for both of you, it is incredibly cruel and immature to pretend that you didn’t see the person whose tender arms you used to fall asleep in, or did hand stuff with, I don’t know your relationship. Acknowledge them. Sometimes all you need to do is wave. But if it’s the kind of situation where you can go up to them and say hi, you should.
I was never a very good dater.
Once upon a time, I would have attributed that to the fact that the strongest, most lasting relationship I’ve ever had has been with my mother. But I can’t be sure.
You know my mother. Sure you do. Just picture the love child of Sylvia Fine from The Nanny and Marie Barone from Everybody Loves Raymond — with just a touch of a more accessible Angelina Jolie thrown into the mix (my mother is reading this, after all). And there you have it. An eccentric self-proclaimed drama-mama, she dresses up in her wench costume for the annual Renaissance Festival and reads Tarot cards. Like an excitable puppy she often gets so worked up about something that her mind runs faster than her body and she falls over and needs to be rushed to the hospital. This is a woman who gets so worried when I don’t immediately return her calls that she has been known to call the police on me, convinced that I’ve gone missing.
My love life has never been spared her utmost attention and devotion, of course.
Becky here, straight from the altar to share firsthand my thoughts and newly acquired wisdom regarding the wedding planning process – and how not to go crazy, homicidal and/or suicidal as you prepare to tie the knot.
1. Get Over Yourself. Someone wants to marry you! That’s awesome. You deserve love, congratulations, well wishes, and maybe even a crock pot on this momentous occasion. However, you have not been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. You have not been elected President of the United States. You have not published The Great American Novel. You have not Cured Cancer. Furthermore, your wedding day will (hopefully) NOT be the best day of your life. There are (hopefully) many, many, MANY more days of joy, transcendence, emotionality, and pride on the horizon. You have so much to look forward to, like family, babies, travel, career success and more. You’ll be sharing it all with the person you love, to whom you will be married.
So be grateful, above all else. Don’t act like you’re the sh*t. Don’t make unreasonable demands of your friends. Don’t indulge in psycho-drama with your mom, wedding planner and assorted relatives. Conduct yourself with humility, sanity and perspective, and you will find that the wedding planning process and all the loved ones around you will morph into more sane versions of themselves as well.
Let’s say you have some pretty great roommates—‘great’ meaning you’d consider them to be some of your closest friends. Maybe they actually are some of your best friends. Heck, they might even feel like family! Who wouldn’t want that kind of awesome, we’re-all-in-this-together situation?
Well, if you’re looking for a relationship, you might want to reconsider your living arrangements. Over at HowAboutWe, they’re wondering if your roommates are the reason you’re single. And the answer is…maybe. Or maybe not. Have a look and consider if the group mentality is limiting your dating potential.
If you’re one of the millions of women who are single, dating regularly, and yet you’ve had inconsistent luck in the match game, it may be time to do some introspection. I can’t begin to tell you how often I hear complaints about scarcity of quality guys. I hear it in the dating echo chamber with alarming regularity; “Men don’t want to commit!”
Okay, let me clear that last bit up. The idea that guys won’t commit or don’t want to commit is an unabashed fallacy. I’ve said this before, it’s not that the guy won’t commit – he just won’t commit to you. The right guy for you will find you. That’s a guarantee.
Now about this so-called, “quality guys” drought…complete bunk. Seriously, most of the guys I know who are looking for serious relationships bristle at that statement. Because they know a certain general truth that women don’t seem to appreciate; the quality guys are there but you’re either ignoring them or not giving them the opportunity to show you how great they are. But why does this chasm exist? There are obviously variables aplenty that cause these missed connections. But I would submit that the idea of “dealbreakers” is a major culprit.
Oh. Matthew Terry. Clearly, whoever is responsible for the Calvin Klein Concept ad during the Super Bowl deserves a medal. Or, at the very least, an enthusiastic “atta boy/girl”! Clearly, they know how to get women’s attention.
Anyway – this post isn’t about whether or not we can come between Matthew and his Calvins; it’s about dreaming. This isn’t as desperate a dream as Fontaine’s, but it’s a modern update to the age old question: how do you know if they’re the one?! We all imagine what life would be like with the person with whom we choose to spend the rest of our lives, the one where we are the perfect versions of ourselves and everyone around us is the best possible person that they can as well. But, I’ve found that the reality is much, much different. Not bad. Just, different.
I have a problem that might be pretty common – because it seems like all my friends have had this problem as well. There’s a guy in my life who I just CANNOT FIGURE OUT. I guess he’s the Prospect I’m Not Sure Is A Prospect in my gaggle. That is, if he’s even in my gaggle. Sometimes I’m not sure. It’s all very hot and cold.
Six months ago, I took a night class in Italian and met him there. A group from the class became friendly and started going out for drinks, and I always thought he was pretty cute, but it wasn’t until we started Facebook messaging about some funny class photos that I thought our friendship (or whatever) might branch out from the group.
Also, I think we almost made out one night after class – the vibe was there, unless I’m crazy – but then we got interrupted and never really mentioned it again.
And now…I don’t know. We’ve never hung out one-on-one, but we have fun together in group settings. We also text and Gchat pretty regularly – but his tone is inconsistent. One day he’ll be texting me and seem really enthusiastic, and then a week later, I’ll text him and he’ll barely get back to me. Sometimes he casually brings up things we should do together – try out a new restaurant, watch a baseball game – but then he rarely follows up, which annoys me. Yet since we haven’t hooked up or “dated,” it doesn’t necessarily feel like he’s blowing me off. It just feels like I’m in this weird no man’s land of his gaggle.
What am I supposed to do here? How can I insert myself into his gaggle without seeming desperate or pushy? Or is it just a lost cause? I kinda like him. If there’s a shot to be had, I’d like to take that shot.
Mixed and Muddled Millie
Dating, work, family, love, and money: all common stressors. Having written about dealing with anxiety, it may seem odd that I’m writing about how to relax, but it’s probably because I have so much experience being stressed out that I know how to best calm the eff down. The trick is REMEMBERING to do this. I’m hoping that some of my tips can inspire others, and you can share your tips, and we’re all more relaxed than Roger Sterling at a pool party.
– Light a candle. I know, how silly does this sound? “Thanks, Almie, do you want me to play George Michael’s ‘Carless Whisper’ as I do this?” No, you don’t need to. Something about lighting a candle triggers something in me that signals my brain to settle down. I turn off all the lights, light the candle, look into the flame for a few moments, and I feel better.
– Actually stop whatever it is you’re doing, inhale deeply and strongly, and exhale the same way. I know, I know, another well-worn piece of relaxation advice, but I’m sharing it because it works. Sometimes when I’m working for hours on end, fingers jumping around my keyboard, keeping an eye on the clock trying to meet all deadlines, I suddenly feel like I’m holding my breath. I say to myself, “Whoa, slow down”, stop everything, and breathe. The brief change in pace really helps.
There’s a scene in The Wedding Singer when Drew Barrymore’s character, Julia, and Julia’s mom see a photo of Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) and his fiancée outside of a wedding venue. After getting a good look at the couple, Julia’s mom says, “Look at that girl. You’re prettier than that girl and she’s getting married.”
Surprised by her comment, Julia asks, “What does pretty have to do with getting married?”
Her mom says that looks have everything to do with getting married, and while that’s not a universal truth, the idea of pretty people being luckier in love persists. Like the other day when I was getting a haircut and my hairdresser (a family friend) asked, “Is your brother seeing anyone? I’m sure he’s got a girlfriend, he’s such a cutie.” Yes, he does have a girlfriend, but I don’t know how much of that is due to him being considered a “cutie.” He’s also friendly and funny, but I suppose his looks do give him a pretty good trifecta to work with.
Don’t we all know someone who seems to be able to date pretty much anybody he or she wants to because they are just that attractive? We’re talking about the kind of person who simply has to smile the right way at whomever they want, and at the very least they’re guaranteed to have a conversation. Half of the dating-game battle is already won for these people because they possess a general attractiveness.
I met the fabulous guy I’m currently dating at a party. My third party of this particular (Thursday) night, actually. Pizza and beer with the girls in the Village, followed by karaoke in Koreatown, all to prepare for a work party I wasn’t too excited about. The work party ended up being wilder than expected, and, to my surprise, I discovered a cute co-worker I had never noticed before. He was hanging out near the dance floor, and, as the 90s rap mix blasted, I realized this white boy from Wisconsin was rapping along to every word. And not just the overplayed top 40 hits. Wu Tang. Method Man. I was smitten.
So we started to chat, and spent the rest of the night joking, dancing, and eventually making out. I took him home with me, and here’s the part I’ll never tell my mother: I slept with him. Then, I let him sleep over. He found me on Facebook on Friday, and asked me out on Saturday. Several months later, we’re planning our first vacation, and have yet to hit any major obstacles.
The part that would really kill my mom is that all my relationships have started this way. Well, sometimes I meet the individual in question more than three hours before sleeping with them. And I’m not always three screwdrivers in when I meet them. That said, I’ve never hesitated to hook up with someone I was into, and it’s always worked out surprisingly well, despite the fact that everything we’ve ever been told emphatically assures us that happy endings never follow from, well, happy endings.
Here’s my two cents.
Ladies,It’s almost summer. Memorial day happened. We grilled. We remembered. We looked down at ourselves in our bathing suits and thought “okay, there’s still a little time to fix this.” And now it’s time to look forward. Winter is coming, but not for another 6ish months, depending on where you live, and how much your place of employment cranks the air conditioning inside. So, in the spirit of sunscreen, sandals, and sexcapades, we at The Gaggle recommend that you carpe effing diem / get tan while you still can.
Introducing: The Gaggle on Spotify. Where we shall celebrate summer, emphasize the power of the vagina, make women want to dance, etc.
The-Gaggle.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click here to submit your work to us. We love you.