I Tried to Hate Christmas

It snowed for the first (real) time in New York on Saturday.

I woke up hazily hungover and tired, wondering how I’d ever make it to midtown east for Lucy’s vet appointment when my mouth still tasted like red wine. My little pup blended in with my comforter, snuggled between my feet like she likes to do, and I laid in bed, listening to the quiet. I relished in those peaceful, stolen moments before I have to force myself out of bed and into the chaos below. My room was colder than usual, only warmed by the bright white glow outside, and I opened the curtains just enough to inquire about the weather.. and there they were:

Perfect, fragile snowflakes, falling gracefully to the ground I can’t see below.

I watched them build up on the rooftops and though I’m 20 years too old to get so excited over such little things, I smiled and eagerly told Lucy it was snowing. She licked my face and went back to sleep, unimpressed and obviously not-human. I didn’t care though – I slung on my boots and dressed her in a (probably not necessary) coat and outside we went to see the snow.

As I walked down to the friendly Starbucks that lets me bring her inside when it’s cold, I kicked the snow underneath my feet and I laughed as Lucy played with it, hopping on the small piles and seeing the flakes flutter on her nose. The upper west side was alive and happy, excited for this wintery-mix that makes this dirty, darkened city seem more pure, more hopeful than before.

And like the snow lightened the push-and-the-shove of Manhattan (and Brooklyn and Queens, and maybe even New Jersey), it did the same for me. I’ve been adamantly against Christmas this year. In fact, I was so not looking forward to this time of year that I convinced myself that I wouldn’t be full of the holiday spirit, instead, I’d be a scrooge. I’d hate Christmas with all of my might.

After such a difficult year, with so much bad and so little good, why would I invest my heart and my expectations in December? Why would I think that the end of the year would be any better than the rest of it? Why waste money on decorations and holiday cards, postage and gifts, if in the end, I’d be miserably humming around a fake Christmas tree, mulling over everything I didn’t have? Over everything that didn’t happen or unfortunately did happen?

Why celebrate 2013 at all?

Maybe it was the snowflakes – or how the shift in the seasons shifted something for me, too, but I couldn’t keep my love of the holidays at bay. I couldn’t be negative about it. Even though New York and I have had our trials this year, the city wouldn’t let me forget about Christmas. Not with it’s street fairs and it’s subway performers singing “My Favorite Things.” Not with it’s lights and it’s weather, it’s people dressed in puffy coats and stockings from head-to-toe. Not with smiling kids and (surprisingly) grinning adults, even with it’s happy tourists seeing this place I call home for the first time, in the snow. Not with Macy’s windows and Fifth Avenue shops, not with splitting a bottle of wine with my friend in a cozy Parisian restaurant in the West Village. Not with all the truly magical parts of New York – from people to places and everything in between – that seem to glow with those silly white lights at this special time of year.

Though things haven’t quite gone my way and I’ve had more learning pains than triumphs this year, it only gives me better reason to show my thanks at Christmas and as 2014 begins. It might not have been the easiest of months, but they were necessary to teach me something. To be stronger and to take more chances. To believe in things that you can’t feel, see or imagine. To trust in something bigger than you, some force that you might not always believe in. To know that everything has it’s time and it’s place, that we will figure it out as we go, if we have enough hope to see it through.

I wanted to hate Christmas this year, I really did. But I don’t. I can’t. I won’t…

I sent out 50 holiday cards.

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E hosted (yet another) amazing Thanksgiving dinner.

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My friend A came to visit.

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I made a wreath (for $10!).

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My roommates put up a tree and I hung stockings.

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Lucy got a new red coat.

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And a new pillow (thanks Pottery Barn!)

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J threw quite the party with some deadly jingle juice.

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I shopped for Christmas gifts with M while looking at a lovely view.

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iVillage named me the Best Party Planner at our holiday party.

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This is my view while writing this blog.

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And best of all… my family will be here in less than a week for our very first Christmas in New York City.

I might not be exactly where I thought I’d be at the end of 2013, but I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be, learning what I need to know. And maybe one day, I’ll have a Christmas with a man I love, watching the children we made open presents in a home or apartment we bought together. Maybe I’ll have the best year yet in 2014, maybe it’ll be harder than all the rest. Maybe I’ll move abroad, maybe I’ll keep falling back in love with New York.

Maybe it all doesn’t matter – as long as I’m thankful enough to realize that regardless of how it all turns out or what I have, I’m so incredibly blessed. And so very loved.

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There Are Guys

There are guys who are so very, very wrong for you.

But they feel really good. They’re intoxicating with spirits that are so complicated it’s incredibly sexy. There are guys who love being by your side but feel at least an arm’s reach away. Guys who are not just good at games but the art of the chase is so ingrained into their personality that frankly, they don’t even know they’re playing anymore. There are guys who dig that attention, who get off on the fight but can’t get off on when it’s actually right. There are guys who keep you lingering, but will never learn how to hold you in a way that eases you how you need.

There are guys who will never fall in love.

Because they are selfish with their emotions. There are guys who lead a life free of obligations, void of romance and well, they’re fine with it. They don’t crave it. There are guys who will never be satisfied sharing a bed with just one woman or only being fawned after by one girl. There are guys who may think the idea of happily ever after seems alluring, but not enough to work for it. Not enough to settle into something of substance. There are guys who want to be taken care of without having to return the favor. Without having to do any labor for anyone else at all. There are guys who see women as prizes, not as partners.

There are guys who won’t call you back.

They’ll say they will. There are guys who take you by surprise at some bar at some place and you exchange some choice words that make you think there is more to be found. But there’s not. There are guys who want what they want when they want it, but won’t ever give you what you want. There are guys who know how to make a move without flinching a heart string. There are guys who will be everything you ever dreamed of over a 12-hour period, only to disappear into the land of forgotten, never-to-be-understood jerks that don’t know better. Or if they do, they can’t be bothered. Or they don’t know how to express themselves.

There are guys who will say all of the right things.

And it’ll make you really want to believe in them. There are guys who may think those poetic words they speak come from a place of sincerity, but really, it’s just scripts they’ve mastered. Lines they’ve memorized that sound really great. There are guys who are so shattered themselves that they like the way forever sounds rolling off their lips. There are guys who know what you want and think they can be it, so they say what it takes for you to trust. There are guys who play house by using language that makes you think they can see a future with you. A whole lifetime together. There are guys who are so afraid of hurting you or seeing you cry that they will truly say anything to avoid it. Even if it’s three words they don’t actually mean. And maybe — probably — never will.

There are guys you can’t get out of your head.

Because they won’t get out of your inbox. Or your voicemail. There are guys who hold on for the sake of keeping a hint of a hope that  maybe-this-could-work-out. But it won’t. It’s not supposed to. There are guys who like to keep a good girl in his back pocket or on that backburner, just far enough to give her space to partially let go, but never enough to where she loses the far-fetched dream that he’ll come back around. That he’ll be different. There are guys who may care but their intentions are so cloudy, so jaded that they can’t tell you how they feel because they don’t know. But even if they aren’t sure of how in love — or not in love — they are with you, they’ll never tell you. Because then you may just become another ex-girlfriend left getting the bitter aftertaste out of her mouth. Out of her heart.

There are guys who will never be more than friends with benefits.

No matter how much pillow talk and bacon-and-eggs you share together. Even if he remembers how you take your coffee and gets it for you in the morning. There are guys who enjoy the comfort and the curves of a woman’s body but can’t navigate past the breasts to find the heart. There are guys who know to go harder and go faster and hit the buttons you love the most — but when they say that a relationship is off the table, they mean it. There are guys who may touch you so tenderly you can’t possibly understand how there isn’t anything more than sexual tension sparking between you. But there’s not. Not for him. Not for these guys.

There are guys who break your heart over and over.

Because you let him. Because it feels better to feel pain than to feel the vast void of the unknown. There are guys who come in and out of your life, sweeping under places you sealed, knocking down protection you built up, encompassing the heart that’s still fragile from the last time he was here. There are guys who will take you up on any invitation at any hour and come with the right words, the right kiss, the perfect excuse and you’ll believe him. You’ll believe it again and again. There are guys who can’t say no but what’s worse, they also can never say yes.

But there are also guys who want to be better.

Somewhere out there, anyway. There are guys who have grown tired of playing on the streets and at the bar, and want to trade their slacker attitude for slacks and a tie. There are guys who are tired of all the bullshit, just like you are. There are guys who have actually learned from their mistakes and from the girls they’ve wasted because they just weren’t ready. Or they couldn’t care enough to love them. Ones who want to come home to something. To someone. There are guys who are working on themselves so they can be worthy of the likes of someone as wonderful as you. There are guys who want to be bolder to meet your needs. Who want to be everything you desire. There are guys who want to be generous with words that mean something, who want to be committed to something longer than Saturday night. Something deeper than your sheets.

There are lots of guys out there. You’ve met them. You’ve slept with them. You’ve loved them. You’ve trusted them. There are after all, a lot more guys than there are men. But some guys, at least, are working on becoming men.

And trust me there are men. And it’s the men you need to meet. It’s the men you will love one day. That is, once they’re finished being guys.

How I Met Dr. Heart

At the start of the year — yes only a few weeks ago — I made a big commitment to myself (pardon my French, mom) to cut through the bullshit of dating.

I simply had enough of the game playing. The silly rules that everyone follows, yet everyone hates. Guys who are just in it for sex (pun intended). Ones who have deep-rooted issues they can’t overcome, ones who judge my intelligence because of my little white dog. Dudes who lie and those looking for merely a caretaker or a piece on the side instead of a partner. Men with no drive, those with an ego too big to fit in the restaurant, never mind the tiny table where we sat.

No, I wasn’t trying to rush through the fun dating process or the perks of being a single girl, but I found myself not only irritated at the whole concept, but incredibly frustrated, too. And for 2013, sure I was challenging myself to say yes more, but I was also learning how to detect the pending demise of a relationship before it even became anything that resembled a courtship.

So, when I received a generic message from a handsome guy online a few days after the New  Year, I snapped back a sassy response, not expecting to hear from him again . When he replied almost instantly, addressing my “You must send this same message to dozens of women, does it ever work out for you? ” snarky remark with a handful of questions about my interests and basic NYC stats (the job, the location, the place you come from) — I took a second glance at his profile.

I responded for a while before feeling like it was too much work and put down my phone. The next day though, this guy returned to ask me for a drink. A little surprised by his diligence, I replied with a simple “Where?” and when he gave me a blanked, not specific-response of “In the city somewhere”, I became real annoyed. Surely, I knew we’d meet in the city we both lived in for a date — I mean, c’mon.

I wrote him off as someone who didn’t put in much effort or care too much about impressing me, and left him hanging without a word. I even went as far to actually tell him as much (yes, really) the following day when he asked me if I was interested. 

But of course, because I’m me and can never be as much of a badass as I actually think I am, my guilt for being rude to this probably-kind stranger, got the best of me. I wrote to him a mini-apology, explaining my turn-offs and agreed to meet him for that drink…

…which ended up being a six-hour first date. And an eight-hour date the next day. Then three more dates that week. And now he’s sitting next to me studying for an exam he’ll take on Friday, as I write this blog about him.

About the exciting new person in my life: Dr. Heart.

Heart because he’ll one day be a cardiothoracic surgeon, and because it’s his heart that makes me so attracted to him (not his messaging skills, obviously). It’s one that reminds me of my own and one that’s quickly stolen my attention.

But I almost didn’t go out with him.

I’m thankful that I did and he’s glad to know that I’m actually rather sweet in person, instead of the blunt gal I portrayed in cyber space. While I was trying to avoid another heartache or a guy who just wasn’t worth my time, I also judged someone who truly is quite wonderful based merely on how they interact on a dating website flooded with many crazies and a few goodies.

If we keep searching for the perfect how-I-met-your-father story — we miss out on a different kind of tale. It’s one that’s not tall and possibly flawed in the right places, but just as perfect as an imperfect guy. It’s one that involves dog park dates, a man who isn’t ashamed to hold my hand and does what he says he’ll do when he says he’ll do it. It’s one about a guy who likes to call you instead of texting you and sees through all of your charm to find your spirit. It’s one about a girl who, despite her past and the odds against her, somehow, in just a week or so, let herself open her heart up to someone whose whole career is about fixing that precious organ.

Only in my life that probably reads a bit like a movie at times, would I, the Love Addict, meet someone like Dr. Heart. Maybe he’s just what I was looking and hoping for. Maybe the voice telling me to go out that Friday night was meant to lead me to him. Or perhaps it was the new moon or it’s just the beginning of something that could be really amazing, and as I always do, I’m putting the carriage before the horse.

But it feels right. And actually, really, really great. Even if I had to learn a valuable lesson about snap judgments and listening to that intuition to say yes. Because yes, there are still some pretty remarkable guys left out there — if you’re willing to look past that one little thing that might not be ideal to see all the things that are.

Undoing the Undo

Sometimes I wish I could take a week off from my computer. If I estimated how many hours I spend looking at a screen, from my job that’s primarily at a desk to this blog, which takes up some time to write, publish, and promote – I’d be embarrassed of the total.

But the truth is – a computer helped raise me. I can’t remember a time without one.

I come from a generation that’s always known what it was like to be connected to this digital creation and the World Wide Web. In elementary school, we took turns buying a bag of cotton balls so we could clean off our headphones for computer class, where we learned about home row keys and data entry. By the time I was in middle school, I had my own email account (latigar@aol.com, of course) and my parents let me chat in chat rooms before chat rooms needed a warrior like Chris Hansen to get the predators out.

In high school, I started really becoming a journalist with internships and mastering the Office Suite and how to effectively search on AskJeeves.com. I started to become interested in design and because I knew I wanted to work at a magazine, I started figuring out ways to contact editors – I even found interns in groups on MySpace. Time couldn’t change as quickly as the technology and college was full of Adobe and Facebook, Flash, and Google Analytics.

I’m well versed in the language of the web and when a computer challenges me, I fight back until I find an answer. Maybe because I’m so comfortable dancing across the keys or trying something new, but I’m brave to push my limits and explore the tech world, both socially and systematically. I’m not afraid of making mistakes because I know that there is always a saving grace, should I do something to throw the entire program or network off balance.

Undo.

It was a joke at the college newspaper I rose in the ranks of, that when in doubt, just hit undo. This miracle button could correct anything and it gave us the courage to test the waters of new, exciting pages, and scarily complicated CMS features. I felt a sense of freedom knowing I could do basically whatever I wanted to attempt and I’d be okay if something went awry. I wouldn’t be held responsible because I could just delete the action.

Ever since I discovered this free pass, I’ve found myself thinking “Edit, Undo” in my day-to-day when something goes wrong. Like when I’m walking the two blocks from my favorite coffee shop to my job and I spill a nice trail of Splenda-and-skim-infused Java down my blue blouse, five minutes into my work day. Or out of complete frustration and the onset of my monthly visitor, I snap at a friend who is only trying to make me feel better. Or when I say words I can’t take back, do things I can’t change, or leave people who will never return.

But the thing is – there isn’t an undo in life.

We make choices and we’re forced to stand by them. We make our bed and we lay in it. We meet people and we have the ability to decide (Heavens willing) how long they’re with us and how close they grow. We try things and they often don’t work out in the way we want. We take risks and we have trials, and there is no way to step back on that ledge once we’ve left it.

Though the backend of a computer and the Internet is vastly complicated – making those who understand it highly competitive and disgustingly wealthy – there is nothing more complex than the webs we weave. Life is a funny and beautiful thing, yes – but it is also better spent trusting in the decisions you make instead of wondering if there is a way to get out of them.

I haven’t decided if I enjoy black-and-white or shades of gray better, but I will say that it’s time to stop thinking by the ways of the technological world. Sure, it is the way marketing is going. It’s changing my industry daily. It’s going to continue to expand and there will be a boom that wakes us all up, I’m sure. But if we spent as much time in front of this computer, reading and writing these blogs, Tweeting to the world, and posting on Facebook – actually just living our lives – maybe we’d undo the undo.

We’d stop to think in terms of escape or safe merit. We’d understand that the decisions we claim are ours, even if they take us far from where we started with a hell of a long way to go. We’d click with other people and be more synced to ourselves instead of connecting our social media channels and tapping our mice. We’d see that while an easy-out is beneficial for our Apple or our Windows, it’d be better if we didn’t want to undo the life we lead.

Because while coffee stains are nearly impossible to remove, friends may hold grudges, and love may be lost – without those moments, without those incidents that can be significant or small– we wouldn’t learn. We wouldn’t come into our own. We wouldn’t learn to think before leaping, pause before speaking, or consider before leaving. We’d rely on an undo button to make our lives perfect instead of relishing in the imperfections that make life so worthwhile to begin with. Someone would make more money than Zuckerberg if they created something to give us the option to go back and correct the bad that didn’t seem to lead to good.

Maybe so – but as much as a computer-lover as I am, I’d never buy such a thing. I’d rather click publish in my own life than undo. Because, why would I want to undo…me?

A Choice Just For Me

I recently attended my first talk show as an audience member. Going to live or pre-filmed shows has always seemed like the New York tourist experience to me – something you do when you’re staying at the Mariott and you rise at an unreasonable 3 a.m. hour to wait in the cold (or hummidity or rain) just to catch a glimpse of Regis & Kelly. I’m also not the biggest fan of television in general – I don’t have cable and I only use Hulu for a handful of sitcoms.

But when your company offers you the chance to leave the office for four hours, take away an armful of freebies, and have the chance to meet (or view from afar) a celebrity – I thought, why not? Due to privacy restrictions, I can’t reveal which show I attended, but it was geared toward cooking and the host was quite the villain in the kitchen.

Before being seated and organized in the rows based on the color of our clothes, audience members completed forms asking basic information. With my blue blouse I prayed would pop on camera and my pencil skirt, I attempted to fill out the yellow sheets across my hosed-legs. (For the record, without a clipboard, this is a task in itself.)

As I’m going through the questionnaire, I happily check “single,” give my email address, let them know how often I view the show (never, woops!), and how many people are in my household – one of their inquiries caught my interest.

In your home, who decides ‘what’s for dinner’?

Now, I realize when a brand and a show is built by developing the quality of life inside the home, this is an appropriate question to ask. It’ll let those who finance and develop new products determine if me, the ever-clapping, cheerful audience member, not only cooks for her family, but has one stiletto forcefully over her (and whoever she resides with) wallet.

As I confessed I was the one who decides what I place in my stomach each and every night, it occurred to me how many simple, unimportant decisions I make every day as a single woman. These choices do not initially shape my immediate future and in the grand scheme of my life, I’ll probably forget tens of thousands of the day-to-day decisions I arrive at. From what time I set my alarm and if I actually listen to its obnoxious tune, to what I buy at the corner market and how I manage my money- I shape my life, and everything in it, primarily considering myself and my future.

And one day, whenever I enter into a relationship – and most likely, marriage at some point – all of these simple actions, these considerations that don’t actually seem like concerns at the time – will stop being so me-focused, and more we-geared. Though at times I may desire a relationship, the thought of losing such an innocent independence and having to interject another person’s tastes and desires into each step I take – sounds exhausting.

When we’re in a relationship, when we fall in love, when we seek to find a suitable suitor – must we leave our independence on the table to cook up a couple?

I’ve been in a slew of wonderful and incredibly confusing relationships – some of which I left and others that ended much earlier than I hoped they would – but through them all, there’s been a trending complaint of each man: You just don’t need me enough. You don’t need me, you’ll go on to do these things you want and you’ll forget about me.

I think one guy even warned me I’d become cold, bitter, and heartless when I moved to New York. I think sometimes natives would prefer me to take on those qualities – but I doubt my Southern graces will ever allow hopefulness to completely leave my core fundamentals.

Nevertheless – when it comes to my hesitation to give away my single standards, is it because I’m afraid to give my heart away or to lose the independence I often take for granted? Is it because sometimes my jealousy and my lust outweigh my drive and the courage it takes to say when enough, is enough? Or is it because I see and know so many women who stop needing themselves, stop making an effort to have alone time, or to focus on their own self-growth, the second a man enters into their life? Without a doubt, I’ve made a dude the center of my universe before – but it isn’t a mistake I’d like to make again.

I’m not sure if a relationship can be defined as successful - if so, how would we measure it? By the number of children it produces? How long it lasts? How you come out of the hard times and celebrate those moments you know you’ll never find again? I can’t say what I think makes a relationship worth the trouble or worth the potential pain at the breaking point – but I do know that a relationship is one institution – where it be fireworks set a blaze or not – that needs compromise. And more so – it needs more than one person deciding how the course is run. Or how dinner is made. Or how much effort, understanding, compassion, and passion is needed to make the relations continue to be relatable.

A lot of times, the moment a relationship ends or fails or doesn’t last – it’s because one of the pair, lost themselves along the way. They stopped developing and entertaining those things, those beautifully unique interests and qualities that while they may attract the other person, they don’t belong to them.  Those independent and true-to-self notions belong to you. To me. To every single woman who after watching Runaway Bride decided she needed to know what kind of eggs she likes, without the advice of her man’s tastebuds.

The choices I make today are choices just for me. My daily schedule, my intake and my outake, the trains I board and the ones I depart, the runs I make a mile longer just because, and the extra hours I put into work because I can – are all decisions I’m allowed to be selfish about. All determinations I’m entitled to make. And for now, I chose to be single. I choose to never let any man – or person – dictate my everything, anymore. Even if he thinks that makes me undateable because I don’t seem to need him. Maybe he’s right, but I’d rather have a partner who values my love for him, my desire for his presence in my life, then my inability to function without him.

And one who appreciates that what’s for dinner isn’t nearly as important as what’s cooking not only in our kitchen, but in the food from our individual souls that we both bring to the table.

All the She-Fishes in the Sea

I’ve never been “one of the guys.” When I younger, I longed to be called me a “tomboy” – but now in hindsight, I haven’t fit that nickname once in my entire life.

And because I’m not coined as a guy’s girl, I’ve gladly and proudly accepted being a girly girl. Being a feminine lady has a lot of perks, in my opinion, and the best of all – is having a ton of lovely girlfriends. My friends have helped me cope when nothing else could get worse, when my heart was crumbled, and when I felt far from beautiful. They’ve also been there to celebrate my victories with champagne, hugs, squeals, and night’s out on the town. There is nothing more sacred, precious, or beautiful then the bond between two women who were meant to be the very best of friends. Like I’ve said before, my group of closest ladies are my soulmates, through-and-through, 24-7, forever-and-always, and no matter how ugly or old we become one day.

Before I moved, I knew I’d have to find a job and a place to live. I was prepared to live off of Ramen noodles and PB&J sandwiches for months or take a waitressing gig if that’s what it took to stay in this magical city. But what I never anticipated was how insanely difficult it is to make friends.

Making this transition in my life meant I would have to leave behind everything I’d ever known and everyone who had meant everything to me. I knew by chasing this dream, I would go alone, far away from the rolling North Carolina hills – and pounding that city pavement would be my own personal quest, without a companion. In many ways, the decision to move to Manhattan was a selfish one, and something that I did just for me, and in no way would I ever go back and make the jump with a friend or boyfriend. Part of the victory beauty, and accomplishment to me, is that I did it as a single woman.

And while I’ve learned how to enjoy dates with myself and evenings in solitary confinement – sometimes, I just get lonely. And this loneliness doesn’t stem from needing or desiring a man – but from needing and longing for my friends. I miss laughing and being ridiculous. I miss getting all dressed up for no reason other then its Tuesday and we feel like it. I miss parading around to powerhouse woman songs and someone (or me) asking twenty times “Do I look fat? Now, really, tell me if I do. You’d tell me, right?

Don’t get me wrong, being the go-getter I am, I have wasted no time in attempting to find women with similar interests. I’ve gone to happy hours in my industry, joined volunteer groups, signed up for the gym, and tried to get some of the many gay men in my life to introduce me to their “wives.” And yes, I’ve made a few amazing and dependable friends this way – but I still find myself sitting alone with a movie and a dustpan some Friday nights, wondering where in the world my social life has gone.

I realize building everlasting friendships is always a work in progress and that no one on this planet could ever replace my core group of friends growing up. But that doesn’t mean I don’t want someone here to vent my life to, share our mutual achievements and difficulties with, or go get fruity drinks and flirt with boys we’re not interested in at bars…simply because they’ll pick up the tab (sorry, it’s the sad truth, guys).

So what’s a gal gotta do to find her group of friends in a brand-spanking-new zip code? If we all want the Sex & the City lifestyle – no matter how far from the actual reality of New York as it is – you can’t have a Mr. Big without a Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha to talk about him to.

In some way, I think my love addiction intensifies when I’m bored at my apartment and feeling un-friendable makes me reach out to men that I’m not even remotely interested in. Or it makes me consider texting those Mr’s from my past simply for the attention I know they’ll give me. And meeting new men almost seems virtually impossible, unless I want to sit alone at the bar alone, which makes me look like I have a different type of addiction. Right?

Finding friends feels like a chore and a part of my recovery that I never thought would be such a critical component. To overcome something that’s so insanely burned into your DNA – you need support and guidance. And while my friends from home are constantly emailing, texting, messaging, and calling me with their endless wisdom, honesty, and kindness – sometimes all I really need is a hug. Or a night out without any male interruptions.

Is it possible to be heartbroken because you simply can’t find a best girlfriend in the very best city in the world? If it has never been hard for me to meet friends, why is it so difficult now, in a city with millions of people?

What part of the friendship puzzle, secret handshake, or girl code…am I missing? If there are so many friend-she-fishes in the sea, why can’t I find a few who fit me?