Do We Have Dating PTSD?

When I matched with a tall, seemingly-charismatic man with a big smile online, I’ll be the first to admit I was a little skeptical. He looked almost too good to be true, and when he made reservations for our first date instead of leading it up to the happy hour gods, I found that old familiar voice in the back of my head that warns: “Uh, oh. This could be trouble.”

A few drinks and a shared appetizer later, we were walking around, chatting and stopping to kiss underneath the light and the allure of the night, and that voice was only getting louder. By the time he walked me home, said he couldn’t wait to see me again and texted me when he got home, the voice was so loud and my mind was so foggy that I could barely come up with a clever text in return.

The next few days were intense – wondering when he’d ask me out again, trying to play it cool while still seeming interested. Trying to decipher the intention between those blue iMessage bubbles and bugging my (incredibly patient) friends to help me analyze. And as it has happened more times than I’d care to admit – we never did go out again. He ended up disappearing, just as so many have before him, into what I can only imagine is a world of eligible, yet emotionally unavailable men. (Let’s all avoid going there, k?) Continue reading

Advertisements

26 Things I’ve Learned From Writing This Blog for Four Years (!)

It’s hard to believe that Confessions of a Love Addict is four years old today.

I get those damn butterflies in my stomach every single time I think of how far this blog has come in the past few years. And my heart feels like it’s about to burst when I think of how blessed I am that you all come back to read my thoughts, hear about my adventures and stick with me through any breakup, job change or difficult time.

I know I’ve thanked you before, but let me do it again:

Continue reading

Call This Girl

Once upon a time on a Saturday night in New York, four brunettes met in the East Village for champagne, whiskey sours and tequila. The foursome knew better than to mix their alcohol – they were all past the age of 21 – but they danced and laughed and accepted free drinks as they were presented.

(They would regret that choice in 12 hours over coffee and bagels, but that’s neither here-or-there.)

Off they went into the irresistible New York night, wearing black but painting the town red with their lips and their winter-burned cheeks. A cab was hailed, a fair was paid, and this Upper West Side lady stepped out into this unfamiliar land that she avoids past- 8 p.m. on the weekends because the commute is just far too strenuous. But the clock almost stroke 12 by the time she left the chill to embrace the warmth of a beer hall…

… in Brooklyn.

A place she frequents more often as her friends flee Manhattan for bigger apartments and smaller rents, who leave the familiarity of the west and the east, midtown and downtown, to explore the industrial, artistic ruins of another borough.

She knew the train ride home would be more than an hour, but when in Brooklyn, one might as well embrace the grunge and order a beer. So in her mini and heels with a blue plunging neckline – looking damned out of place among checkered-shirts and Vans – she wiggled into a table, thinking that as we all get older, so will girls’ nights out, picking the comfortable locations instead of the sparkling ones. Three years ago, they probably wouldn’t have stepped foot in such an establishment, but the atmosphere is calm and mature, sharp and smart, and she felt more relaxed than she would have pinned up against a wall with loud, blaring music, charging $15 a drink.

Maybe it’s just the place she could meet a mate.

A Pilsner pint later, she managed to leave the table – in a somewhat ladylike fashion while straddling a bench- to find the nearest restroom…. quickly. But in her mad-dash in her tall boots, she rushed right past four or five tables, weaved in between giggling girls and ran smack dab into a guy.

A tall, handsome, blue-eyed man with a nice button-up and a nicer smile.

But before she could flash her own pearly whites or say something witty, he beat her to get the first words out: “Wow.  You’re intimidating.”

She gave him a confused look with a half-laugh, anticipating a punch line, and when he just repeated himself, she formed a rebuttal: “I’m not. Not really. I’m very sweet.”

“No, you’re intimidating.”

“Why?”

“I mean, look at you. I’m at a loss. You’re so intimidating,” he said, yet again. And with that, she gave him her best playful grin and tried to walk casually into what she thought was the bathroom door.

It wasn’t.

It was a painted door next to the Ladies Room. (Whoever decided that must have wanted to watch tipsy girls, like herself, attempt to walk through an imaginary door. Naturally, only in Brooklyn would the irony be appreciated.)

A few minutes later, the Lady of Intimidation forgot all about the tall stranger who labeled her a vixen before meeting her, but he didn’t forget: as she headed back to her friends, he was standing waiting for another encounter. After some clever banter and the exchange of the basics (what neighborhood, where are you from originally, what do you do), he inquired about the lady’s number.

And though it was almost 1 a.m., she couldn’t exactly recall his name and she didn’t intend to date another guy who lived across the east river, she decided if he really thought she was intimidating, she’d live up to it.

“You’re not going to remember this conversation tomorrow or me, you know.”

“How could I possibly forget?”

“I think beers number 4, 5 and 6 will probably contribute to the downfall of your memory.”

“See, intimidating.”

“But I’ll give it a shot, give me your phone.”

Then, even though it’s not quite her personality to be so incredibly forward, she saved her phone number under the name, “Call This Girl.”

“So all you have to do is read it and well, follow instructions.”

“I like that. I really like that. I won’t forget.”

And then the girl with her liquid courage, curly locks and flushed cheeks, stood on the tip-of-her-toes, kissed him, turned and returned to her friends, feeling empowered, happy and more like herself than she’s felt in a long while. The next day as she described the brief encounter to her friends and roommates, she discovered that she didn’t really care if she heard from Mr. Tall Drunk Man or not.

She didn’t care if he actually looked at his phone the next day and decided to take a chance on cheeky girl he found a bit foxy (or Tigar-y?). She didn’t overanalyze if she said the right thing or didn’t, if she came on too strong or if not sassy enough. She didn’t hover over her phone (or turn it off), waiting for a text message from a stranger she worked up in her head to be more.

Instead, she just savored one very small, yet one very, very important thing: she got her dating mojo back.

It might have taken more than a year, a few too many cocktails, dozens (upon dozens) of terrible dates, wasted tears and angry Gchats – but on a chilly January night in all places — Brooklyn — she teased the next chapter of dating in New York… and it flirted right with her. 

And perhaps, when the lady tells the city to call her, it might just remember her number.

This Valentine’s Day, write a self-love letter to yourself and it’ll be published (anonymous or not) on Confessions of a Love Addict! And you enter yourself to win a prize pack of beauty products and a Home Goods gift card! Learn more here. Submit here

C’mon Baby, Make it Hurt So Good

To overcome fear –must you feel pain?

I’ve been reading a daily mediation book since the start of the year. It was a suggestion from my mother (by the way, I love reading suggestions, so if you have one, please share!) that she recommended because it helped calm her nerves.

I should have taken it as a sign that I would ultimately write this blog, but it’s an everyday “food for thought and prayer” that was written based from Alcoholics Anonymous, and my mother used it for anxiety issues. However, I think most of the material can relate to any addiction…or just those of us who tend to be utterly obsessive.

Regardless, The Language of Letting Go has proven to be helpful –and a bit of a mind reader. It almost always seems to know exactly what I need to read. It’s like it knows what days of the week are more difficult and about all the different moods I cycle through.

Yesterday –the entry was about “feeling the pain”. In a nutshell, it says to overcome fear –you must feel through all of your discomfort. Of course, acknowledging is part of that, but even more –is allowing yourself to physically go through the ordeals.

To believe my higher power can take away my distress and my fears and intensity towards not being in a relationship or being single –I’ve got to feel my way through it. I have to let myself cry, let myself get upset, let myself get angry, and let myself…

…let go.

It makes sense to me now why Step 3: surrendering all of the negativity to a higher power comes after Step 2: believing. Before you can give up anything – you have to figure out why you need to get it away from you in the first place.

Letting myself feel the longing, the regret, the sadness, the loneliness –all of it…is actually kind of refreshing. Maybe that makes me a sadistic love lady, but crying it out, yelling/screaming it out, writing it out, talking it out –just flat-out getting it out gives me a little bit of freedom.

I’m not exactly sure how I’m going to “surrender it” or how long it may take me –but I think I’m ready to approach it. My longtime friend, T, said in a comment on a previous blog that “I think this is one of those steps that you have to keep coming back to, that you have to keep reminding yourself of.”

I agree with her. There are always going to be periods of highs and lows, and moments where you believe with your whole heart and moments when you just want to eat some peanut butter.

I’m human. I’m single. I’m struggling. I may believe today and tomorrow I may not. But for now, I’m accepting myself as I am and attempting to keep my head held high. And, even as it hurts (hurt so good, actually) –I’ll keep pushing through.

Because one day – all will make sense and all will unfold as it should.

As soon as I figure out how to surrender….and all that.

The Battle of Belief

The beauty of a new life. New York’s ability to give me a glimpse of hope in the most unusual places.  The comfort of my father’s chicken noodle soup. The smell of my mom’s hair when she gives me a heart-to-heart hug. The lines on my best friend’s face when she smiles. My puppy’s ever-lasting and faithful playful spirit. The peacefulness of the first leaf falling in Autumn, first bloom in Spring, first tiny fluttering flake in winter, and the first warm ray from the summer sky. The feeling of reaching something you thought was unattainable.

There are many, many things I believe in.

And in myself, I also believe in many truths. I believe I was born to be a writer. I believe I am brave, diligent, and strong. I believe in the power of my dreams and my power to turn my dreams into realities. I believe I am capable of doing anything I put my mind to –physically or emotionally. I believe I am blessed in so many different ways. I believe I can turn even tiny spaces into homes and I believe I was given the heart of a humanitarian.

Step 2 is about belief. I have to believe all negativity and fears of being single forever or being hard on myself can be lifted away. I have to believe that something higher than me can lighten my load and ease my worries.

I have to believe.  And I don’t.

This isn’t to say I will always feel this way –but Step 2 is going slower and is full of more difficulty than Step 1. I get to a point where I start to feel like everything will change, that I will grow and mature, and not let self-defeating thoughts and fears get to me. I’ll have a day where I feel completely secure with just being me-and-only-me, and then the next day, I see something that makes me lonely…and the sense of longing is right back where it was –the pit of my heart rocking my everything.

How do I make myself have that sincere feeling of complete trust all the time? Why can’t I just believe that a higher being can just take all of this away? Is a feeling of contentment something that’s not constant? Is it always just going to come and go, make me hopeful and then scared, together and then messy?

Belief in something out of our hands. Why is that so much more difficult than things we see, things we touch, things we’ve experienced to be true and real? Why is belief in something that is not proven, not guaranteed, not a matter of fate –so difficult to retain?

Why is the constant battle between faith and fear a fight we have to go through? Why can’t we just believe that all that is meant to be, all that’s meant to happen, all that we’re meant to be part of, feel, and endure –will just happen.

Why can’t we just let the control go? Why can’t I believe?