The 500th Post

It all started in a bathtub.

Almost three years ago when I was fresh off the plane from NC, working at a business magazine, ten pounds heavier and far more naive, I wrote one little blog with the intention of loving myself. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, and at times I slide backwards instead of forward, but these pages and all of the people who have made this blog the open, confessional space it is, have changed my life in more ways than I could have ever predicted.

It’s opened the door to book agents and book proposals, talk shows, panels, conferences and interviews, the chance to reconnect with folks I haven’t spoken to in years and meeting people I wouldn’t have met otherwise. It’s been a safe and loving venue where I can write freely and honestly, letting myself go and forgiving myself with each and every word.

When I say I love this blog, it’s without any hesitation at all.

And I love what it does, or at least what I hope it does. It helps women (and sometimes men) feel a little bit better about being a 20-something. Or about being single. Or about their ex-boyfriend they can’t (for the life of them) get over. Or about failed dates and failed relationships, lost jobs and lost hope. Or about not having their shit together (because none of us do!).

Thank you — each of you — who come back every single time I write something. Thank you for your comments, your emails, your tweets and your likes. You remind me that it’s all okay, that it’s all working out in a magical way, that I’m not alone, that I’m not doing it the wrong way. That I’m just figuring it out, like everyone else. Thank you for your honesty and your kindness, your support and yes, your love. Thank you especially to my friends who not only read every post but live all of the adventures, the trials and the errors with me, every single day. I hope that in the years to come, I’m able to turn this space into something even better – maybe a book. Maybe a movie, should I ever get that lucky. Maybe just an open forum where we can all contribute our confessions. I hope it’ll one day house engagement photos and wedding portraits, pregnancy announcements and a happy, fat baby.

Maybe it’ll just continue to grow with me, day by day, step by step, stage and age by age.

500 posts later — I’m still a self-proclaimed love addict, but at least it’s a (mostly) healthy addiction now. I’m smarter and bolder, braver and more accepting of myself. I still love love, and hope more than anything that it finds me someday, but if it doesn’t, I know I’ll be happy — and loved — no matter what.

In honor of these hundreds of blogs, here are some of my favorite posts and quotes from the last three years. Let there be 500 more!

“Here we go. I’ve got my favorite pair of heels on my feet, my favorite gloss on my lips, my skinny jeans on my body, and my hand in my own hand -telling me it’s okay to go forward.I’m ready to fall in love with myself.” – My Name is Lindsay and I’m a Love Addict, September 19, 2010.

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“My New York story is one that’s like many other hopeful artists who grace the streets with only high-heeled bootstraps and raw ambition to be their guide.I’m not alone –there are endless writers, musicians, models, actresses, dancers, and performers who move to Gotham knowing that all they ever wanted will reveal itself before their eyes. The universe, surely, will move and shift to make fate play its magic cards.” –These Streets Will Make You Feel Brand New, October 14, 2010.

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“So here is to being me, the beautiful mess and everything. Frankly, when it comes to what I want and who I am, I do give a damn.” – Frankly, I Do Give a Damn, November 8, 2010.

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“He really is, for all intents and purposes, a peaceful, easy feeling in my life. Being around him, wrapped up in him, or smelling his smell is not hard and not too scary. Because, I with my blog, and he with his past, have no inclination of how long this union will last. Or where it will go. Or how we will both feel. But for once, I’m okay with not having any idea.” –The Love That Could Be: Mr. Possibility, December 13, 2010.

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“…the best thing about being knocked down and falling (either to a heart break or in love), is that you get to be a single gal who stands up, dusts herself off, and struts her way towards something new, confident in the company of herself and knowing that at times she may stumble and she may plummet, but she will never stay down for long.” –A Single Girl Struggles (But Stands), January 11, 2011.

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“Maybe, the only relationship we can truly have on our own terms, without compromising or bending the rules or our standards, is the one we have with ourselves. And even that one is also complicated, and is neither exclusive or nonexclusive. Because at times we open up ourselves to possibilities, and other times, we’re completely content with being in only the company of ourselves. But most of the time – we’re somewhere right in between, deciding which turn, which page, which road, to take next. –The Exclusively, Nonexclusive Relationship, January 31, 2011.

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“…almost as easily as the storm came, it leaves. Its noise, its electricity, its saturation, and its perfume trail off into a space beyond the Blue Ridge mountaintops you’ve never crossed. It is only then, when the branches rest from their dancing, the daffodils face the sun as it breaks through the clouds, that the real beauty reveals itself.” –And The Storm Will Rise, February 8, 2011.

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“A girl, that while she puts on her New York when she wakes up, there is always a little North Carolina in the choices she makes. The world may be my oyster – but I’d like to think I’m some sort of a peal in this city that’s anything but pure.” –Put My New York On, March 12, 2011.

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“The apartment started me – it gave me a foundation. And that was its purpose – to be the starter. To ignite me and provide stability, and now with a little more street smarts, a little less liability, and some places to land should I fall, there isn’t a need for a starter. Like most of what brings us joy in our lives, it has its tenure and then we move onto the next thing, to the next dream to tackle, to the new empty space to make into a home.” –The Starter Apartment, May 1, 2011.

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“I see skies with scrapers; stars that don’t come out at night. I see the colors of the rainbow in Chelsea, so pretty walking by. I hear taxis cry, I watch them speed, and I realize they’ll see so much more New York than I’ll ever know. And still, I think to myself, what a wonderful world.” –Louie Armstrong Moments, May 18, 2011.

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“New York doesn’t make excuses for anything it does and it expects no less or more from its inhabitants, either native, visiting or transplanted. It’s unbearably hot, frigidly cold, entirely unpredictable, and ruthlessly relentless. But us dreamers? We keep coming, one-by-one, and two-by-two, with a few suitcases and singing a duet of ego and fear, determined to be destined to make it here, in New York freakin’ City, the place we were meant to be.” –In An Ordinary Afternoon, July 5, 2011.

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“…sometimes, on a lazy Sunday with a pretty big week ahead, it’s refreshing to sit around in your guy’s t-shirt, relaxing and writing just as you love to do, enjoying the company of yourself and looking forward to the person you love to come home. I don’t want to be settled down, but it’s nice to have your heart settled in a moment.” –Playing House, July 31, 2011.

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“…you have to believe – in yourself, in your partner and in the relationship. But most of all, you have to believe that sometimes flames start steady and never last, some struggle but end up lighting up the whole room, some are so hot you melt, but burn out quicker than you like, and sometimes, with the right combination of everything, you find a fire that not only keeps you warm, but reminds you why having flames of passion isn’t as important as having trust that it’ll stay lit.” –Trusting the Fire, August 3, 2011.

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“This is what New York is like though – right? Love dims when the sun rises over the East river, when corner stores open for business, when everyone orders the everything bagel, when everyone realizes that everything that felt so right last night, doesn’t this morning. Those who come to the city looking for love quickly find it is a glorified Hollywood myth. Love only come to those who withstand the decade of dating disasters in their 20s, only to find a nice, shorter, balding man in their 30s who can provide. They marry him in a rush, have a baby within a year, and then they become part of the stroller brigades of Park Slope and the UWS, causing a whole new generation of 20-somethings to see their happy little family and big bling and think, Sigh, I want that, too.” –In Love In New York, August 31, 2011.

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“He chronicled his failures in the way I collected my successes – placed on mental bookshelves, collecting dust and more despair, only to be pulled out in the moments where he needed a reminder of what he was. Or at least, what he thought he was…Sitting across from me, talking about something new that’s causing him grief, I couldn’t shake the certainty I felt that he was stuck somewhere between the guy he’s been the last ten years, the man he hopes to become and the stagnant existence he has now…I’m really afraid of is being stranded in the Land of Impossibility with him.” –Oh, The Impossibilities, September 7, 2011.

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“I’ve traded that bathtub for a cab, those tears for a red dress, and that fear of being alone for the option of having something extraordinary. And that hatred for the word “single” into a thankfulness that through it all, I still have just what I’ve always needed: Myself. And of course, a bottle of champagne, some great friends, a heart that’s still beating and believing, and the faith that the best is yet to come. Stay tuned.” –The Best is Yet To Come, September 19, 2011.

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“It really had been too long and yet, maybe it was too soon, I concluded as I pushed the 7th floor button. But really, I could never have let Mr. P come between me and him–my New York–for long. Cheap dollar pizza and Bryant Park? My first love has always been this place — and it was time to stop letting memories have anything to do with guys I’ve dated, and let them be about the man, the city, that first stole my heart.” –And Then I Met Him in Bryant Park, November 29, 2011.

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“But I have time to see places I want to see. Time to find the parts of me I’ve yet to discover. Time to paint my room before the Spring arrives. Time to learn how to say “love” in every language I find intriguing. Time to put that word to use with men who are worthy of all it entails. And time to let my heart design my space, my intentions and my life. After all, without it, nothing I see around me (or inside of me) would be possible.” –Let My Heart Design, January 19, 2012.

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“I’m never quite enough, yet always more than enough to handle. I always have exactly what I need but I want more, though I know, I probably need less. I just want to keep on going – and going – and going.” –It’s Funny That Way, February 24, 2012.

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“My heart is like the skyline – something I let shine for others to see, but at the end of the night, when the sun starts to rise and the wounds begin to heal, it opens up, bright and brilliant again, ready for another night, ready for all that’s yet to come.” –My Heart is Like the Skyline, March 4, 2012.

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“There are men who will adore all of the things that make you a woman, even when those things bear babies instead of nights of sexual release, even when those things drag instead of rise to occasions. Men who will always remember what you looked like that day you walked toward them in a white gown with glitter on your eyes and the purist of hope in your heart. There are men who truly, honestly, completely will love you. There are so many men out there. But you’ll never meet them if you don’t let go of the guys you really don’t want to find the men you really deserve. The men who are waiting to meet someone just like you.” –There Are Men, April 23, 2012.

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“I learned there’s no course to study or class to take. There are many tests but never any measure of success. There are many words to write, but no rubric to follow. There are no answers to any of the questions or a correct bubble to fill in. The choices are endless, but the options seem limited. No matter the experience you endure or the hours you put into studying — there will never be a tried-and-true way to know how to love. –How to Love, June 26, 2012.

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“You keep on dating. You keep getting to know people. You try new things. You move on. You keep learning. You keep daring that same dream. You keep hoping for it…because maybe it really is out there. Maybe its over city scapes or the Garden Gate. Over warm countrysides or waiting in the evening’s tide. Maybe it’s over in the next cart or just anticipating when it’ll start. Or maybe it’s just across the room or in places new, places you knew. Or it could just be inside of you. And that dream you dared to dream, awaits, for someone like you. Because if bluebirds can fly, if strangers can find each other, if so many before me can fall in love with the right man, why, oh why, can’t I? Why, oh why, can’t you?” –Why, Oh Why, Can’t I?, July 18, 2012.

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“My rape was legitimate. It was painful – emotionally and physically and personally. If only for a few moments, it took away something that belongs to me:my choice. My choice to make love or to have sex or to do everything-but. It took away my choice to let a man inside of me. It took away my choice to ask for more and to tell someone to slow down. It took away a piece of me that I’ll never get back. But it also did something else for me: it helped make me a fighter.” –My Rape Was Legitimate, August 22, 2012.

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“Not everyone has the luxury of their exes going to Singapore and France for a year. But I do.” – Happy After Him, August 27, 2012.

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“So many days I’ve lived, so many days I’ve done nothing but hope. They’ve come and gone, like the men I’ve known, and there will be more. There will probably be many more. But one very fine day — I don’t know how far away from now — will finally be my one day.” –One Fine Day, January 3, 2013.

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“I wondered if I would become anther listless writer, another hopeless dreamer who lost her way somewhere between New Jersey and Queens. I didn’t know if I could convince someone to give me a chance or if I could even survive on the minimal salary that I knew would come with my very first big girl job. But I did believe I should try. Even if failed to a disappointing demise and had to tuck my Tigar tail and catch a flight to the bittersweet Carolina, I knew I had to give it a go. Remorse I could live with, regret I could not.” –So Very Worth It, February 27, 2013.

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“I kind of love it when it rains in New York. The glistening of the buildings. The sound of the droplets on the roof or the window. The sparkle on the street. The sound of kids splashing in the puddles and the sight of couples canoodling to stay dry. The best part of rain in the city is what’s so great about New York itself: after the storm passes — whatever it may be — everything that was bad or grimy or unsure from before is washed away. And what’s left is up to you create. You just have to decide if you can put up with a little rain to get there.” –I Love It When It Rains in New York, March 14, 2013.

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“Then, on an unusually windy April afternoon, as I walk to pick up a latte after another less-than-interesting Saturday night, I’ll see an elderly man shushing the oncoming cars and taxis as his wife shuffles along with a walker. It’ll take two traffic rotations for her to make it across, but he just tells her to take her time. She’ll be wearing red lipstick and he’ll reach over to make sure she can make it up the sidewalk, and I’ll be standing right there, watching it all unfold in literally, slow motion. Then I’ll smile. And I’ll think of you, whoever you are, wherever you might be. And I’ll pray that you’ll make your way to me soon because I’d rather walk these streets alone than to meet someone who isn’t you.” –I Thought of You Today, April 22, 2013.

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“You would miss the part where something hits you — probably in the middle of an ordinary day — and you realize that blueprint doesn’t fit you anymore. And that no plan really does at all. Maybe it never did to begin with. Because finally, after fighting the should-be’s and the could-be’s and the supposed-to’s and all the pressuring words that did nothing but haunt you, you have found yourself released from the language. You’ve found yourself free from the scam — I mean, the plan — and happily ever after without a clue of what’s next. And you know — or at the very least, you hope — it’s going to work out in a way that no pencil, no high school paper, no fortune teller, no anyone or anything could have ever predicted.” –The Five Year Scam, June 11, 2013.

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I Thought of You Today

I thought of you today while riding the subway downtown to a date I wasn’t quite sure was actually a date or not. I caught myself not being able to turn my attention away from an older couple — sitting next to each other, reading the paper on a Friday night at 8 like it was the most normal thing in this city. They shared the Times, flipping through thoughtfully, digesting each sentence and with care, turning the page. The husband rubbed his wife’s knee from time to time during my 20-minute commute. She turned her attention to him with a casual smile, probably the same look she’s been giving him for decades. The same look that he loves, the same grin that’s gotten him through the tough times and the good ones. They looked insanely comfortable and so beautifully, easily, sweetly with one another.

It was adorable.

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And it made me think of you. You — whoever you are. You who I haven’t met yet, or perhaps I have. Maybe we’ve already dated, broken up and lost contact. Maybe we’ve seen one other naked. But no, I don’t think so. I could have caught a glimpse of you while walking my dog or picking up groceries around the block. Perhaps I didn’t catch your name when we were briefly introduced at a loud bar somewhere in the West Village months ago. Maybe, as the psychic predicted, your name begins with J.

Or not.

Whatever your name is — I try not to think of you. I know better than to imagine and create illustrations and hopes of what you look like or how your voice resonates in my head without actually, ever meeting you. I know that believing in things that feel impossible or totally out of reach at this moment can only make me feel worse. Especially if everything I dreamt of, everything I’ve considered true about love and marriage someday just become things I once thought would happen, instead of things that are. How can I think of you – you, with eyes I haven’t locked with, lips I haven’t actually kissed – when you’re just someone I’ve never known? How can I think of you without one hundred percent knowing your existence is something I can depend on?

That you’re someone I can believe in?

But it’s when the world feels a little lonely and my personal universe is a little uncomfortable or uncertain, that I do think of you. It’s when I dream of you, knowing better and rebelling against logic in romantic spite. It’s when I close my eyes on a crowded train or tucked away at night, looking out at the stars I convince myself I can see, even when I know I don’t. City lights are brilliant and alluring but they conceal the sparkly specs I love to see. I think of you and the days I hope will come, the children I hope I’ll bear. The love I can’t wait to make in our bed I want to share. I think of you in a way that’s unfair and extremely biased — without ever being introduced to you, without tracing your face or feeling your grip on my hip, I both love and hate you. I love you because I hope you’ll be mine, and I hate you for hiding. For taking so long. For not being here…

…Right now. On this train. Next to me. Kissing the side of my head and excited to show me a new downtown joint you discovered. Holding my hand that holds your ring, looking at me in the way my father always promised you would. With love, with admiration. With everything…

…after making it through everything to get to you.

And yet, I try not to think of you. And so usually, I don’t. I pick myself up from that moving train and away from that couple I aspire to be like, and head out to that date. And I smile at a perfectly good guy who doesn’t ignite a spark but insists on walking me to the station. I may kiss him for whatever it’s worth, to disguise the disappointment on my face. I may politely respond to him the next day that I see more of a friendship and I’ll head out to continue with my weekend, trying my very best not to think of you. Trying not to look for you in the cute guys who pass by me or the ones who smile in my direction. I’ll stop myself from thinking of the stories I’d like to tell, the ones I’m dying to write and the adventures that seem so far-fetched that planning them would seem crazy. I won’t think of you that day or the following week, maybe even a month.

But then, on an unusually windy April afternoon, as I walk to pick up a latte after another less-than-interesting Saturday night, I’ll see an elderly man shushing the oncoming cars and taxis as his wife shuffles along with a walker. It’ll take two traffic rotations for her to make it across, but he just tells her to take her time. She’ll be wearing red lipstick and he’ll reach over to make sure she can make it up the sidewalk, and I’ll be standing right there, watching it all unfold in literally, slow motion.

Then I’ll smile. And I’ll think of you, whoever you are, wherever you might be. And I’ll pray that you’ll make your way to me soon because I’d rather walk these streets alone than to meet someone who isn’t you.

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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.

An Ode to a Loyal Reader

Once upon a time, there was a man named Larry who quickly became one of my most loyal followers.

For those of you who have commented on posts, you’re probably familiar with him. I’ve never personally met Larry but on almost every single blog I’ve published, he’s made sure to leave his opinion. And often times, he asks for advice on his dating life. You see, after going through a divorce at 59, Larry has been experiencing the world of flying solo all over again — and along the way, he’s sadly found a lot of heartache.

But what I love about him is that he keeps going, he never loses hope and he always gets back out there. He seems to have such a golden heart — still curious, ever-so thoughtful, simply wanting to find the right girl who will treasure him for him. In many ways, he’s empowering himself with self-love and figuring out the world of women in the process. Best of all, he shares his candid stories and words of wisdom with everyone who happens to stumble across a post.

So, Larry — I dedicate a pre-Valentine’s Day blog to you. And though you’ve given me some incredible (and funny) advice over the last two-and-a-half years, I hope you’ll take some of my loving words, too. You’ve always made sure to tell me and the women reading these pages that we’re worth it and that we deserve better. That we shouldn’t settle for men who are cold-hearted or don’t know how to treat us with the respect and the beauty that we truly are. My challenge (and hope) for you is that you take your own wisdom to heart. You deserve better, too. You should have a woman who is madly, crazily, stupidly in love with you – regardless if you iron your shirts or if you’re too forward or not 100 percent perfect (none of us are!). She won’t talk to you about men she’s dated or tell you about any other guys. You won’t have to wait for emails or messages or even wonder about her intentions. Instead, she’ll just want to know all about you. She’ll want to read your medical journals. She’ll want to hear about your teaching career. She’ll be proud to be your side. And just like there are some great men out there — there are some great women out there, too. Don’t ever give up faith or give up on yourself — because there is a lady — maybe in sunny LA or across the world — who can’t wait to meet someone just like you. I know so. Happy Valentine’s Day Larry, hope you love yourself as much as I love reading your comments! – Linds

Some of my favorite Larry quotes include…

“Be annoyingly happy.”

“Yes, be ever the optimist, beautiful young thing.”

“Kiss you on the forehead. What’s he doing, claiming you are his niece ? When in love, he tips your head up and plants one on the lips, holds for a few seconds at least , hopes MANY people notice.”

“Sounds like you’ve been to the Baskin-Robbins of dating way too often. But having a good time.”

“Have a life, meet people, find people you enjoy activities with. Pretend you are 10, but can drive and have money, no curfew. Find who you like to have fun with, who makes you laugh, who’s there to help you.”

“Every man and woman should want to be able to say at the end of their life, at the end of any week or day, that they were a good man, a good woman, a good person. You did your best, you made someone smile, you helped someone out. You held nothing back when it was needed.”

“EVERY woman needs to hold out for her Mr. Right. No more abusive relationships. Don’t tolerate mistreatment. It would change the entire world. Imagine if all the jerks died of old age, and no little boys to teach how to abuse women, only to model how to love and adore the special woman in their life. Want it for yourself. Want it for all your friends. We are out here, wanting a woman like you. Be where we might encounter you. Imagine.”

“You deserve to be special for someone, and will, and they will show it to you, always. It is so worth it.”

“Put some trust with Dr. Heart. There may be only matted AstroTurf painted a putrid shade of green on the other side of the fence. (You know, the grass is always greener, etc).”

“My only weakness is ironing. So far, early out of the drier is good enough. If some woman is upset about a slightly wrinkled shirt and won’t get to know me, she deserves a jerk in a pressed shirt who may mistreat her. I wouldn’t. Given all the other stuff I do for myself, and I hate ironing, at least I’m not obsessive about that.”

“Boring is uninteresting. Nice is interesting and pleasant. Fun. Nice is making a person feel wanted, that you’re interested in them. Caring.”

“You should never need to stay and wonder if the guy will change for you. Most guys like the way they are. Let evolution take jerks out of the dating pool.”

“Lindsay for Supreme Court Justice.”

“Sounds like you may love New York, but the men certainly leave a lot to be desired in the way of chivalry, personality and I’m not sure what else. But a great place to write a dating blog.”

“You’re a cool chick, Linds. Determined is the word you want. You refuse to cow to anyone or anything. No such thing as “most beautiful”; peel back the skin on the face, and its all just muscle and bone and ligaments. What you have then is heart and mind. Everyone is entitled to encouragement, and F*** those to try to discourage you. Best body ? You take care of it, bless those you share it with.”

“Put a small umbrella in your purse!”

“How does your man play with little kids ? Can he ? Does he think baby poop stinks, or doesn’t even notice ?”

“Even if Mr. P does not pan out, just be the wonderful you, and don’t worry. Be open to friendship and love, be a touch cautious, but never cynical, always optimistic. Seek a person for whom happiness is a given, that they have and they share. And be the same way.”

“Focus, learn, be better than ever. No moping.”

PS: Very last day to submit a Valentine to yourself. Click this.

Things I’m Not Afraid Of

I’m not afraid of being alone.

Because loneliness only feels lonely when you give it your power. And though a city can make you have solitary thoughts in the solitary confinement of your tiny hole of the concrete landscape, you’re constantly surrounded by energy. It consumes you while it confuses you, and though you’d rather not break a smile or a sweat, if you walk the streets or catch a train, you’ll find yourself doing both. The city keeps you company, like it or leave it. And being alone isn’t better than surrendering to something you don’t want or becoming someone you’re not because you ache for love. Or maybe it’s just touch that makes you desperate. Learning to stand up single and stand up tall may not be the greatest lesson of all, but it’s one that’ll sustain you. Walking to the beat of the route you decided to take and being proud of who you are — with or without someone — is happier than sitting in the  back seat when you should be driving full speed, windows down, ahead.

I’m not afraid of being wrong.

In fact, I’d rather make mistakes if it means that I will ultimately become a stronger, smarter version of myself. Falling down isn’t the same as giving in — but they are equally important. Before you can fly, you have to be able to land and yes, even crash. It’s only in the aftermath that you can put the puzzle of yourself back together. And sometimes, to recreate the parts and mold them into something that fits again, you have to hang on before you can let go. Sometimes you walk down the path or into the bedroom of something so wrong that it tastes eerily right. And it’s only when it all turns from sweet to bitter that you can feel yourself release it. Before you can figure out what it feels like to be right – to be so right, you can’t believe it – you have to be able to detect when it’s painstakingly, not. You have to admit that you put yourself there, that you’re to blame and it’s you that’ll have to change.

I’m not afraid of having hope.

Sure, seeing things as peachy-keen when life has a knack for serving you lemons may seem irrational and naive. I may be a Pollyanna with a bit of a kinky side who sees the light in all of the emptiness, the good in every bit of sorrow — but I wouldn’t trade that blind optimism for anything. Because you have to believe in something or someone or some entity that you can’t describe and you’ll never be able to define, to get yourself through the muck. There are no amounts of charming tall men in suits, yellow chariots, magical cocktails or hideaways that can disguise the unfortunate things that will happen to us all — but if you keep faith somewhere buried inside of you, you’ll never really care. Because even if everything else fades away or disappears, if everyone you know becomes people you used to know — at the very least, you’ll still see that glimmer that you tucked away for days just like this one.

I’m not afraid of imperfection.

Aren’t flaws rather stunning if you think about it? The most gregarious and gorgeous of individuals aren’t cookie-cutter or Hollywood print-outs. Instead, they’re like you. They’re like me. They’re people who have courage and wear t-shirts that show a little too much skin. They rock teeth with gaps but they do the most with what they have, where they are and however they can. The beauty I see in those around me has almost nothing to do with their style and everything to do with their souls. You can’t see what’s really inside of a person or really know how they’re light was lit until you’ve witnessed what made it flicker in the storm. You can’t look past your own silly shortcomings until you’ve been able to look past someone else’s. And not just see through them, but love those wrinkles, those crooked smiles, that freckled face. That madly beautiful, imperfect face.

I’m not afraid of being last.

Because honestly, I forgot I was racing. To the big, high-powered, executive suite job with the burgeoning paycheck. To the altar where I’d convince myself that this man grants my every wish and will lead my every dying decision. To the mortgage and the 401K, the bonds and the stock markets I’m just now starting to teach myself. To the sweet nursery with the sweet baby that’ll depend on me for everything and I’ll find myself consumed with a love I never knew possible. You can’t rush such luck or such joy — and I wouldn’t want to, even if I could. Maybe there’s an ideal time for all of those milestones and maybe it just works itself out. Maybe it doesn’t. But I’d rather be last than to be first and find myself wondering why I moved so quickly when I could have just treasured all the moments before all of my little ducks lined up in their little row.

No, these things, I’m not afraid of. But I used to be.

I needed to be the star — to be the girl who did everything so fast you would miss her if you hesitated for even a second. I wanted to fall in love as soon as I could and marry sooner rather than later. And the thought of being alone was enough to knock me off of my up-on-her-high-horse feet. I gave myself a hard time for having a heart full of hope because surely, if I was too positive, something was damned to go terribly wrong. And if I was wrong, how could I ever find all that I wanted to be right?

I was so fearful of not being the person I had set myself up to be. And if any sign of trouble crept into my picturesque view of how life should be, I would royally freak out. I had a two-year, a five-year, a ten-year plan for everything: this would happen then, that would happen after and all would be well.

But living that way — full of fear that nothing would happen just as I laid it out — was more painful than pleasurable. How can you live in the now if your now is surrounded with anxiety? And so, I decided to stop being pensive. I stopped doubting. I started just savoring. And enjoying.

Because when you stop being afraid of these things… better, not-so-scary, not-so-planned things start to happen instead. And those worries you held onto for so long, they all become things you’re not afraid of anymore. They suddenly just become… things.

Don’t forget to write a love letter for Valentine’s Day to yourself! It’s Love Addict’s 3rd Year of Valentine’s Day From You to You!!