A realization….

One day you become strong enough not to continue thinking about the person that hurt you. All of a sudden they become a lesson and a thing of the past.

All of a sudden you stop arguing with them in your head and realize they will continue with their life, and you will yours.

How beautiful.

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Clashing dating cultures

I recently read this blog about why dating Scandinavians/Nordic people doesn’t work. Bottom line was that while we don’t date nor in many cases marry, we somehow manage to find ourselves in real relationships. Here is how the Scandinavian non-dating culture clashes with the Western European one:

  1. Getting drunk and sleeping together before dating translates into sleeping with Europeans way too early for their own good. French guys, as well as probably most of the (Western?) European men love the chase. No, actually, they need the chase. Scandinavian women have no idea what the chase is as we have gotten used to the ease of getting drunk and going home with the crush. The inevitable end result will of course be that Scandinavians sleep way too early with Europeans and then are left to figure out why the guy disappears into thin air almost immediately after.
  2. Europeans seem to expect their women to be ladylike at all times. Scandinavian girls can be ladylike but when the going gets tough, the tough Nordic Valkyrie wont be afraid to put on their breastplates and get going! Independent! *roar* Strong! *roar* Self-confid….hey, where did the Belgian guy go?
  3. Scandinavian women do not understand being checked out. Scandinavian men don’t seem to have roaming eyes or if they do, they have learned to keep it hidden as it will probably lead to being beaten on the head and told “Eyes up here, creep!” European men have no such hangups. I have seen European men get so distracted over a cleavage that the conversation studders to a halt while their eyes linger. I’ve even seen the occasional lean-in like they are planning to use said cleavage for a cushion. Scandinavian women might get very uncomfortable under such serious scrutiny and have a hard time keeping control of the urge to bang some creepy Italian heads together.
  4. Letting the guy pay for dinner is hard for Scandinavian women. Really hard. Letting them pay for everything is even more so. So “being treated like a queen”, aka making the guy show some effort, makes us feel like we are being rude to the poor guy. Yeah, I know, Scandinavian women are weird, but we have got our own salaries, we have worked damn hard to get them and showing the guy that we expect equality in the relationship is really important. But expecting equality from European men makes them feel like “there are two captains in the boat.” (This is an actual line said to a Nordic friend). So off they go in search of a first mate instead of a co-captain.

So there is definitely a clash of cultures when it comes to the dating scene of Scandinavians vs Europeans. I sometimes get the feeling that Europeans are constantly in hunting mode, i.e. the men must hunt the women and women are supposed to be aloof and mysterious, always playing a game until they get caught. Scandinavians have only barely just changed their clubs for beer bottles and play the game of not interested-not interested-not interested-get drunknowIaminterestedpleasecomehomewithmeandthenwithmetothemovies. God, I miss them.

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Daily Promt: It’s Friday, I’m in love

Remember your first crush? Think about that very first object of your affection. Oh, the sweaty palms. The swoony feeling in your stomach. Tell us the story of your first crush. What was it about this person that made your heart pound? Was the love requited? Change the names to protect the guilty or innocent if you must! No judgement here. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Photographers, artists, poets: show us SMITTEN.

It won’t be about my first crush. It will be about my first love. My first time in the absolute certainty of love.

It was unexpected. Wine-fuelled, sure, but still unexpected. The way you responded was exquisite. Confusion and lust, tenderness and hurt. Neither of us knew the effects but both knew it was special.

You will always be the one who opened my eyes and raised my standards. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Happy Valentine’s day

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To all (?) my lovely people, that have taken the time to read my few occasional blogs, happy Valentine’s day. May our broken and bruised hearts one day find themselves in a soft and kind home, and a bed of roses be waiting for you as you return after a hard day’s work.

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The act of desperation

I had an interesting email conversation with my friends a few days ago. I decided to (shamefully) admit that I had bought Dr.Phil’s self help book called “Love Smart” as a result of my recent failed dating experience. I told my friends that I had had enough, that I was obviously clueless about something regarding men and that it wouldn’t hurt to have new information. After all, the cumulative effect of a small change can be enormous over time.

My reason for the email was to get them involved in a book club where we could possibly discuss and implement Dr. Phil’s strategies. The overall response was “No, I don’t want to read that kind of thing,” but at the same time my friends decided to share tips and words of wisdom about what to do in the ever-difficult search for a good partner. One said “dress up and go out,” another said “put on lipstick and act confident,” and my favorite “In order to read a book, you have to stop revisiting old chapters.” All of the women involved in said email are single, so I may be excused if I admit having read all of that with a pinch of salt. It did get me to wonder though.

Obviously, admitting to seeking out help for creating a relationship is something that I feel is associated with stigma. Admitting it out loud to friends was hard because I know that it in many ways makes me sound desperate. I am sure that if guys were to hear me say that I am reading “Love smart” they would run the other way. “Oh my GOD, this woman can not play it cool!!” But I have to wonder why? Why does it make me, or us, desperate when we seek out help? When I told my friends I got the sense that I had definitely done something wrong. “I don’t read that kind of book.” Hon, sometimes a little piece of information goes a long, long way.

I am 33 years old and single. Most of the guys I have met so far have been either a) emotionally unavailable or b) in another country (in which case also see a)). I have probably sought these guys out because I didn’t have enough self-confidence to tell them to shove off or didn’t really want a relationship anyway. I have had crushes, fallen in love, yearned for connection and crashed and burned so many times that I feel like an overfried marshmallow. So now I find myself stable for the first time in my life and I don’t want to continue on this rollercoaster ride called “emotional f*ckw*t dating”. So I turn to a well-know resource, aka Dr. Phil, see what he has to contribute and see if it helps. For me, it’s not out of desperation. It’s a matter of getting better acquainted with the other side.

It was obvious to me after that email conversation that my friends and I are on the same page. We are not desperate to have a guy in our life, as we are able to pay our own bills and screw in our own light bulbs. But we would like to have someone special, that can give us a great big hug when life’s little heart aches are too hard to ignore. I am pretty sure many of us single ladies (and guys) are the same. It was also clear to me that the advice we have received so far either hasn’t worked or we are not following it. So why does it make me desperate to seek out new information? There is a saying that goes that the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results each time. I’ve been doing the same thing over and over again and invariably somewhere I go wrong. So I have to change.

So for those of you who also “shamefully” buy the books on how to be better in love I say “Good for you”. You are being honest with yourselves and admitting that you want to improve your life in this area. To me it shows that you are brave, curious and freakin’ awesome. Good luck!

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Dating uncertainty

When it comes to dating I am analytical and impulsive, meaning that I tend to jump in and out of relationships quickly because I might like someone and then not see the interest or the response I want soon enough to stay. Which is probably why I struggle with slow, normal, “lets get to know each other, new person” dating.

The slow build-up to a new relationship can be like hiking in a fog. You know you are moving forward, but you don’t know if that means forward onto the peak or into an abyss. We usually don’t like not knowing where we are going so it is very tempting to stop dealing with the uncertainty and go back home.

But uncertainty can be a very good thing, should you be able to battle the impulse of thinking that it can lead to heartbreak and sorrow. Uncertainty means that you get to do something new during your days and hope for something more than what you are accustomed to. Not knowing if the other person likes you can mean that you will experience fear and hopelessness, but it can also give you hope and change for the better. You might fall into the abyss, but you might also get to that peak slowly and surely.

My rules these days are therefore to accept uncertainty when meeting someone new. I try not to take every nugget of behavior as an indicator of a greater, underlying personality flaw since that is unfair to both of us, but mostly I pay attention to how I’m feeling. Am I still smiling despite the uncertainty? Am I getting kindness? If yes, I keep going through that fog. If no, there is always the comfort of home that waits for me.

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The crush confirmation bias

So I finally got myself around to publish this one.

Now, this post will probably be a difficult one for some of you since it basically discusses the lies we tell ourselves when the other person really isn’t interested. I know this is not something that we want to hear, especially when we have a crush or are in love, but sometimes knowing how to read the signs makes it easier to get out.

So first things first. In my blog about the crush crash course I mentioned the phrase confirmation bias. The confirmation bias is something that we all do all the time and it is quite automatic in our brains unless you pay special attention to it. The confirmation bias happens when we pay attention to and remember information that confirms beliefs and views and forget information that contradicts them.

What that means crush wise and/or in relationships: Lets say that you have a crush on someone and that you think that they like you back. The confirmation bias dictates that you will look for all sorts of clues that will support your theory that the other person likes you back. Things like replying to your texts, touching your arm when out and about or even up to having sex together all become classified as evidence in the case of you vs.”woohoo, he/she has a crush on me.”

Here is the hard part. Yes, these things can be indicator that the person likes you, but YOU MUST LOOK AT OTHER FACTS AS WELL. Like when that person sends you a reply, does it happen within a short while or after an hour? Do they touch your arm and then proceed to flirt with the whole room? Do they move to whisper in your ear and then just leave? It is so easy for us with crushes to read a whole lot into a tiny thing and forget the huge thing. We ask ourselves “If she didn’t like me, why would she touch my arm?” and ignore that this person may have just bumped into you on her way to the bathroom.

I’ve sadly become a bit of an expert seeing when guys don’t like me back. Really. A guy that doesn’t like me will not call or send a text message when I want it. He will not do the poke on Facebook nor email, honor our scheduled dates and more importantly, that guy will disappear from my life pretty quickly when I don’t contact him.

Remember that the person you like contacts you and tries to keep you in their lives, like you would with them. The crush confirmation bias will mean that you might interpret everything as evidence that the other person wants to be around you, but if there is no active effort on his or her part, you are dealing with a person that doesn’t care about you as much as you care about them.

How to deal with the crush confirmation bias: Ask yourself how your crush would act if they didn’t like you. This is hard question to ask because of course you are fabulous and they would be idiots for not liking you back. However, if you take into account the lack of contact, lack of interest and the uncomfortable silences when they are around you and come to the conclusion that you are not getting the love you deserve, then you might be able to get them out of your life sooner and start liking someone that likes you back.

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