The Lack Luster Love: Mr. Buddy

Call me crazy, but I’ve never been the type to want to be friends with a guy before I date him. Maybe this is where part of my struggle and love addiction comes from – this unrealistic idea that I should just meet a guy and fall in love, not be BFFs with him for years before.

Somehow, I think if you know too much from the beginning (like ex-girlfriends, strange traits, etc.), that certain mystery and charm is eliminated from the courtship. Of all of the men I’ve dated, loved, or been sexual with – I’ve only been friends with one before we dated.

And my theory that friends before love doesn’t work for me was proven correct by Mr. Buddy.

My freshman year of college, I met Mr. Buddy after the first big snowfall in my sleepy college town. Even beneath his puffy jacket and earmuffs, I could tell he had this killer smile and immediately we clicked. Along with a friend of mine and a friend of his, we went sledding all night and exchanged numbers at the end of the evening.

Long story short, Mr. Buddy was leaving my college to pursue other goals and we decided that because we got along so well, we should stay in touch. For the two years that followed, Mr. Buddy was my go-to guy about any and every man trouble that I encountered. We literally spent hours talking via IM or text message, and even on the phone. He was always reassuring and complimented me endlessly – and I returned the favor when he ran into lady drama.

During my last few weeks in NYC when I interned at Cosmo following my sophomore year, Mr. Buddy’s tone started changing. He was become flirtier and more standoffish if I told him about my New York date-of-the-week. While I wasn’t sure what I thought about it, I continued to be honest and open with him, not changing how I always was, and finally, he asked for a phone call.

And low-and-behold, he told me how he felt: he was falling for me.

At first, I was stunned. Here is this guy who literally knows everything about me – what gets to me, what makes me happy, how many times my heart has been broken, what I look for in a guy, what I hate, what I want, what I need – and he likes me? He’s seen all of my mess and he still is falling for me?

I wasn’t convinced I felt the same way yet, but I decided to agree to a date once I returned to North Carolina. When he picked me up and I saw that same beautiful smile that I loved in the cold two years previous, I decided I would give a romantic relationship a real shot. He happened to bring me a congratulatory present: a map of the world – something I’d mentioned I wanted months and months ago, and he remembered.

How could I resist?

And so after a good “first date” we decided to become official. In the two months that followed, we went on dates, slept over, “met” our respective families, and visited each other. On the outside, we seemed and appeared like any couple that was gradually falling in love with each other.

But in the inside – something was missing.

For me to be gaga over someone (or even in a “bad romance”) I have to feel that thing. That sensation that extends from the bottom of my heart, the tips of my tongue, and well, from down below, too. And somehow, because I knew so much about Mr. Buddy and he knew so much about me – I couldn’t find the perfect ingredients and the right recipe to get the mix to work. However, I was determined to keep him as my friend and I wasn’t sure if I really wanted to end everything and throw in the towel on love, so I stayed.

But then, he started acting differently – not returning texts or calls, being unpredictable, and not being affectionate – and even in our tenure as friends, he was never this way. While I questioned it, I also had this fear of “being left again” so I didn’t want to scare him away (as I thought and at times still do think I do). I started not being as open and more importantly, I stopped being myself. And for a “relationship” that was based on both of us being ridiculously honest with one another, him changing and me changing, and not being who we really were with each other – was a prescription for disaster.

One weekend in the two months we dated, he came to a football game at my school. I bought his ticket and his favorite food, and he helped me carry over items I agreed to bring to the school newspaper’s tailgate. After he barely said anything to the staff (even though I’d bragged about how I was bringing my new beau) – he asked for his ticket. Confused, I asked why he needed it yet, if we were going together. He quickly replied that he was going to go tailgate with some friends he hadn’t seen in a while and in case we got separated, he wanted to make sure he could get in.

I reluctantly gave it to him, kissed him, and…that’s the last time we’ve seen each other.

He basically got highly intoxicated, ignored my phone calls, hung out with his friends, and at the end of the evening, finally called me and told me “it just wasn’t working out.” He then asked if I would kindly place his overnight bag outside my door.

My friend M and A and I responded to this outlandish and disrespectful breakup, followed by a ridiculous request by destroying most of his clothes, dumping his cologne, scrubbing his toothbrush on the toilet (sorry Mr. Buddy!) and ripping the map he gave me into smithereens. And placing it, “kindly’ outside my door. Mature? Not at all. Gratifying? Incredibly so.

It was nearly eight months before we had a mature conversation about the whole incident. And just like Mr. Fire, Mr. Buddy decided with my anticpated move to Manhattan, he didn’t have much to offer me. And like me, he liked our friendship as it was before we introduced a love component to it.

So now, with some forgiving and some laughs, we’ve gone back to our friendship. Only now, when I ask questions like “Is it just impossible to date me?” or “I must be awful in bed” or “Why can’t I find love?” he has a better ground to stand on when answering them.

From the whole experience, I learned that even if a guy gives you the whole world, loves you for who you are (messy and annoying and all), if you don’t have that thing. That thing that I can’t even put into words – he’s just not the guy for you.

But maybe, just maybe, you can tell him, you’d love to be just friends.

 

 

 

 

Walk This Way

If there is one aspect of my style that will never change, it is my love for high heels. I can’t explain the surge of energy it gives me to strut down the street, hearing the incomparable click-click rhythm on the pavement, and seeing heads turn as I pass by.

Even when I went to a school with an elevation of 3,333 feet and there was a foot of snow on the ground, I always sported a pair of kicks with a little step. Needless to say, I was often ridiculed and declared insane, but to this day, I feel out-of-my-element when I don’t have some heels on my feet (I think they’ve grown accustomed to the curve).

I may regret the decision to wear stilettos when I get older, but for now, the strength they “give” me, either metaphorically or literally, is something that helps boost my confidence and morale.

Sure enough, this self-assurance via Jimmy Choo has shown through my love life, too. Every man I’ve ever dated has told me they loved the way I walk. I’ve always taken it as a compliment and appreciated that they took note, but it never quite mattered to me what they thought. Wearing heels or hearing their click has never been about attracting the attention of a man, but just a fashion that I thoroughly enjoy just for me.

While I think part of my walk was just hereditary (I have a smokin’ mom), some of the way I got the swivel down pat is by listening to girl-power tunes while strutting. Without even noticing, I get a little more attitude in my step and I feel more confident when I have some buds in my ear. Anytime I’ve been down about a guy or my looks, I download an empowering song and strut-it-out. Somehow, the beat and the you-go-girl themed lyrics seem to lift my spirits, even when they are at an all-time low.

In fact, I have a playlist on my iTunes called “High Heels” which I always put on as I walk out the door and again when I get off the train to go somewhere. The songs in this collection give me the beat I need to battle the streets and “walk-it-out” before facing the day.

Because step 4 is about digging deep inside of myself to see where my obsession with love originated, I’ve been thinking a lot about past relationships and how I’ve dealt with them. And while I’ll go into detail about each one in posts to come, I’ve noticed a central theme of what’s helped me to recover: music.

Seems simple enough, but part of recovery (from a breakup or from having a day when you feel so ugly you could die) is finding simple ways to escape, regroup, and reenergize. For me, certain songs and artists do the trick for me.

In celebration of the dedication to honesty I’ve recently adapted, here is my “High Heels” playlist, straight from my iPod (without deleting anything, so no judging). Try downloading a few and please add your comments of ones that have helped you:

Sexy Chick by David Gruetta ft. Akon

If this doesn’t make you feel sexy when you sway your hips, what will? I mean, damn girl!

Born to Fly by Sara Evans

The words could be more perfect – “I’ve been tellin’ my dreams to the preacher about the places I’d like to see….is there a brown-eyed boy in my future…girl you ain’t got nothin’ but time!”

Short Skirt, Long Jacket by Cake

I have, in fact, worn a mini and a trench while listening to this song. Yep.

Right as Rain by Adele

I’m a big jazz fan and this has a jazzy-feel to it. Plus, it’s perfect when you’re just done with a relationship and you’re getting over someone. “Cos’ when hard work don’t pay off, and I’m tired, there ain’t no room in my bed, as far as I’m concerned. So wipe that dirty smile off – we won’t be making up, I’ve cried my heart out. And now, I’ve had enough of love.” (After being pissed, though, please do believe in love again, k?)

American Boy by Estelle

It’s this song that I picture myself as a fierce European woman using an American boy as a playmate. And it says “New York” in it, so I’m hooked by default.

Suddenly I See by KT Tunstall

When I interned at Cosmo, as I walked from the subway to the Hearst tower, I listened to this song and marched in my red high heels. The words remind me of myself, “And I feel like walking the world, like walking the world. And you can hear she’s a beautiful girl, she’s a beautiful girl. She fills up every corner like she’s born in black and white…looking from the pages of a magazine…”

I Don’t Need a Man by Pussycat Dolls

This is a recovering love addict’s theme song: “I don’t need a man to make it happen. I get off being free. I don’t need a man to make me feel good, I get off doing my own thing. I don’t need a ring around my finger, to make me feel complete…”

See the World by Guzmo

I stole this from one of my mom’s CDs and fell absolutely in love with it. It’s more of a happy tune then a beat-boppin’ tune, but it’s about seeing the world, finding yourself, and then of course, finding someone.

Good Life by OneRepublic

If I could pick one song to represent how I feel about living in New York, being a 20-something finding herself, and learning to love today for what it is – this song would be it. Oh yes, it is going to be the good life.

Gives You Hell by All American Rejects

This is for Mr. Curls, Mr. Faithful, Mr. Rebound, Mr. Buddy, Mr. Fire, and Mr. Idea when this blog turns into a book, which turns into a movie. Just sayin’.

Walk this Way by Aerosmith

I picture myself in a catholic school girl outfit, dancing on a bar with my girlfriends while cute boys watch. Don’t ask why, I just do.

Fergalicious by Fergie

Actually, in my playlist, it’s called “Linds-a-licious” and I encourage you to do the same with your own name. Fergie always makes a point to spell in her songs, but girl’s got the best single-gal songs, ever.

Do You Believe in Magic by The Lovin’ Spoonful

This was given to me by my friend, R, who is one of the happiest individuals I’ve ever met. When you listen to it, you just gotta’ smile.

Candyman by Christina Aguleria

I think of a very attractive man, who probably isn’t quite my type, but we have this amazing chemistry and we’re flirting. I may also be wearing very red lipstick.

Labels or Love by Fergie

In honor of Sex & the City (I won’t deny I’m a fan), this song embodies what it’s like sometimes to be single and struggling in the city. If I had the money, I would be even more into this song.

Rockstar by Rihanna

No, I can’t sing. I can’t play the guitar. I’m not very…hip. I played the piano a decade ago. But, yes I’m a rockstar. And so are you.

Dynamite by Taio Cruz

How can you not walk fiercely when you listen to this song? It is absolutely perfect for picturing you and your “crew” going out to the bar and not looking for anything but a good time.

London Bridge by Fergie

Oh snap! Why is it that every time you come around, my London Bridge wants to go down? And who knew it was called a London Bridge. I think I’d rather have a more New York term…every time you come around, my Big Apple wants to go down? Hmm.

Can’t be Tamed by Miley Cyrus

Well of course I already feel like I can’t be “tamed” per say. While Miss Miley may be a little risqué these days, I still dig her music and I’m not ashamed of it.

Empire State of Mind by Jay-Z

When I think of this song, I think of my best friend L and I dancing at this crummy little bar in my college town a few weeks before I graduated from college. As we were dancing, she said, “I can’t believe you’re really leaving!” And even though I was sad, it was then that it really clicked that I was. It’s surreal to listen to it and walk through the streets the lyrics talk about, FYI.

The Middle by Jimmy Eat World

It’s an oldie, but a goodie. It couldn’t be truer, either: “It just takes some time, little girl, you’re in the middle of the ride. Everything, everything will be just fine. Everything will be alright.

Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain

Dear future boyfriend or husband (or just fling, if I so decide to have), please listen to this song and realize this is how I feel. Ok?

Click Flash by Ciara

This song, as I’m walking down the street, I pretend there are paparazzi following me, taking pictures and that I’m famous. I also pretend my clothes are designer. Lame? Yes. Gratifying? Yessss.

Faith by George Michael

Not only is this fun to sing along to, but the words are powerful. Yes, we want to go home with certain guys and throw our hearts to the wind (and maybe I will one day), but you have to stay true to yourself, too. And more than anything, you have to have faith in yourself and in the process.

Hey Girl by OAR

There is one sweet love song on my High Heels playlist. When I close my eyes and I imagine the type of man I will end up with (and now dreaming doesn’t hurt as much), I think of a guy who would sing these words to me. Free but loyal, talented but centered, passionate and fun, but humble. And of course, adores me.

Just Dance by Lady Gaga

For a while, this song reminded me of Mr. Idea and his dance moves, but now, it just shows me how much I have to keep the steps going and try not to lose sight of today, when I’m looking for the finale. It will be okay.

New Soul by Yael Naim

Move to a big city. Check. Find a job. Check. Find an apartment. Check. Make a ton of mistakes. Check. Learn from mistakes. Check. Find peace and love in herself. In progress.

One Step at a Time by Jordin Sparks

If you have high heels on, you can coordinate the clicking at the beginning of this song with your actual heels. And listen to the words, all very encouraging. So close you can taste it…but it’s all one step at a time.

Unwritten by Natasha Beddingfield

Well, I’m a writer. C’mon.

Sex(less) & the City

Sometimes I wish I was a skank.

Pardon my language –but sometimes, I think it’d be easier. If I could just jump from one bed to the other, not feeling (or at least pretending not to) anything, having incredible orgasms, and not worrying if they would call or if it would turn into love –I think I’d be a lot happier.

If I could be just nonchalant and easy-going, enjoy great sex just as much as I enjoy great wine and travel –maybe I’d be a little more “cool” or one of those elusive girls that men are always drawn to. But then, again I wouldn’t care if men were drawn to me –because I’d be mysterious and aloof.

While I tend to be forward-thinking about many things, sex isn’t one of them. Like love (big surprise here, huh?), I tend to find sex to be this very intimate, personal, and powerful thing that should only be shared with two people who sincerely care about each other. I think it can be very stress-relieving and dirty-passionate too, but I don’t feel comfortable letting my inhibitions and my panties go –unless I’m committed and in love with someone.

This kind of mentality, in my opinion, makes me classy (or a prude) –but at the same time, it can make for some pretty lengthy kiss-less and sex-less periods. I plan on the payoff one day being well worth it –but sometimes it just flat out sucks.

Even though I know how serious I take intimacy, and even though I’m doing the 12-steps, I decided that part of trying not to be a love addict is taking the pressure off things. If I want to make out with some cute guy or if I want him to run his hand down my back (or thigh, or both?) –I should be able to do that without freaking out.

Right? Ehhh…

Mr. Unavailable and I had a little too much red wine on Friday night and we took our platonic friendship to a different level that involved some kissing, some holding, and some regrettable thoughts the next day…on my part anyways. So of course, like any good love addict, I then spent the rest of the weekend obsessing about what in the world I had done.

No, I didn’t have sex. No, I didn’t sleep around. No, I didn’t fall in love or fall in hate. No, I just acted on the naturally burning and ever-evolving desire inside of me. I was longing to be cuddled, to feel sexy, to feel the weight of a man pressed up against me, and to feel secure –so I took an opportunity.

The problem is –no matter how much recovery I go through or steps I take –kissing and making out and being physical –will always mean something to me. And while I don’t think this is a bad thing, I also don’t think it makes me very good at being “single.” I mean, even Julia Roberts couldn’t handle it in “Pretty Woman” – she ended up falling in love and packing up her sexy hooker boots (they’re coming back in style, yay!) and letting her guard down with Richard Gere –and we never blamed her once for it.

My friend L says I should be using this time in my life to “have fun.” In her terms and before she was in her relationship, this meant random drunken kisses and sometimes even sexual partners. I think my friend is beautiful and wonderful –and so much freer than I am. If she would have made out with Mr. Unavailable, it wouldn’t have mattered much to her the next few days…but for me, it consumed my weekend.

And it hurt me. He didn’t hurt me. The situation didn’t hurt me. The kissing and the fire didn’t hurt me. The friendship didn’t hurt me.

The thoughts hurt me.

The punishing myself for “letting go” or “trying something new.” The pit in the bottom of my stomach that continued to grow because I know it would never become anything more than just a friends-with-benefits (term I hate, by the way). Even if I didn’t want more, knowing that it wouldn’t be more –hurt. And it hurt that I thought of my actions and the experience the rest of the weekend –during drinks, at dinner, while shopping, while sitting at the laundry mat writing this entry.

So why do I feel guilty? Or is it that I feel rejected? Or betrayed? And if betrayed –by who? By myself? By my morals? I knew what cards were on the table and I willingly made the decision to play the hand I played. There was no poker face, no leading-on, no mystery, no question –we both knew exactly what we were doing and we both said what we expected.

If I had no expectations and wasn’t even certain of my feelings or of what it would mean to me –why does it hurt?