Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Heartbreak 101: The World is Too Quiet

One of the hardest parts about breaking up is no longer being able to rely on this person that has been such a constant force in your life for so long. To be frank, if you're going through a breakup, you may not have been able to rely on them for some time, but now it's official. There can no longer be that blissful state of honesty where you blurt out your feelings at any given moment.

[And frankly, my dear, perhaps that never should have been your relationship M.O. in the first place. After all, some things are best kept to yourself.]

And now that's all you seem to be doing: keeping things to yourself. Even if you're lucky enough to have maintained some semblance of a friendship with your former other half, there's often a cavern between you filled with all of the things you cannot say. Things like...I miss you.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Heartbreak 101: Love Fades

In the world of dating, there are rare and wonderful encounters that remind you what this whole crazy messed-up game is about. They usually happen when you least expect them...like, say, you're in the middle of a dating experiment, ready to line 'em up & knock 'em down then BAM! You meet a charming, funny and heavenly boy while out to dinner with your family.

The details of the meeting are adorable, but they're really not important. The first date was also one for the books, but that's not relevant now either. What you'll remember most is the comfort and ease you felt immediately with him, the nights spent entangled in his limbs, and the way that, for a brief moment in time, he made you feel like you had finally found your home. 

But sometimes, no matter how carefully you treat it, and no matter how hard you work at it, love fades...inexplicably. It's never just one person's fault, it's a million tiny incidents that just didn't quite add up right. The most important thing at the end of the day is knowing that, no matter how it ended, no matter who walked away first, you gave it your absolute best shot.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Matchmaking 101: Bachelor #3

A message from Pepe LePew:

I had to say yes, right? Even if his suave European approach was mildly annoying, a date with an overly-confident Frenchman would at the very least make for a good story.

Unfortunately, it never happened.  
We exchanged numbers, 
set a date, 
and then he tried to change our meeting time at the last minute. 
I wasn't up for the hassle so we called the whole thing off  

...and the very next day I met my boyfriend.  
[More on that to come.]

Monday, April 12, 2010

Flirting 101: Train spotting [part 2]

As I continued to steal glances at hipster boy, noting the adorable way his blue plaid shirt perfectly matched his sneakers and his skinny jeans straddled that line between too tight and just tight enough, I felt compelled to let him know how attractive I found him.  I liked his style, but more importantly, he was just darn cute.

I spent the majority of the train ride debating whether or not the chance at conversation with hipster boy would outweigh the fear of talking to a complete stranger.  The Match project has certainly made me more comfortable with conversing with someone I've never met, but I still rarely start an interaction that's not warranted by someone talking to me first.  However, when hipster boy moved from standing near me to occupying the newly emptied seat directly next to me, I felt obligated to seize the opportunity.

Frankly, it would not be completely unheard of for me to go the crazy stranger route and simply turn to a boy and say "You're really cute" out of nowhere. Thankfully, on this particular occasion, I found a conversational in. You see, hipster boy was wearing headphones.  Not earbuds, but old school, DJ spinning headphones.  You can find them often at Urban Outfitters which almost definitively makes them a hipster trademark.  I've noticed them often around the city and always wondered if they were functionally superior or simply stylistically cooler than my measly little buds.  Emboldened by my non-crazy reason to speak, I tapped hipster boy on the shoulder.

Me: "Can I ask you a question?"

Hipster Boy: "Shoot." [his casual and still friendly response made me like him even more]

Me: "Are those type of headphones better than earbuds? Like do they have a better sound? Or is it simply a style choice?"

Hipster Boy: "Well I like them because I think they're more comfortable. I don't like sticking things in my ears. But they also have a better sound. You can hear the bass clearer.  Your ears aren't being bombarded by the sound the way they are with earbuds." [boys who know music are sexy]

Me: "Ok, I always wondered if it was just a style choice or a musical choice."

Hipster Boy: "Yeah, I just like them better all around."

Me: "Ok...You're hot by the way."

Hipster Boy: [flattered and only mildly scared by my craziness] "Well thank you."

Me: "I figure it's always good to hear that."

Hipster Boy: "Yes, yes it is."

And that was the end.

We went back to our respective iPod music [mine connected to earbuds, his to the musically superior headphones] and a few stops later he exited the train.  Best part: I didn't feel rejected at all.  I'm glad that I spoke to him.  If I'd let him sit in silence next to me for the entire commute, I would have always wondered what might have happened if I'd just said what I was thinking.  Following my gut instinct felt good.  Plus, it opened a window of opportunity for him to return an interest.  So what if he didn't take it? At least he went home that day feeling a little bit hotter.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Flirting 101: Train spotting [part 1]

Since moving to this city, I've been hit on while riding public transportation at least 3 times:

The first was during a 2am ride home from a party downtown. A young, drunk romeo decided that I looked "artistic and passionate" and simply had to come home with him. [I didn't.]

The second was an elderly gentleman who was fascinated by my "beautiful hair." He touched me in appropriate places, but for very inappropriate amounts of time during the majority of my ride home from work.

The third was rather boisterous lesbian. She loved my sunglasses, my ipod music, the fact that I used to be a dancer. She even did a little dancing of her own for me right in the back of the bus.  I now think twice before wearing a blazer with short hair...it could be sending the wrong message.

I recently shared my tales of public transflirtations with an Indy friend and his response was "Man, people in Chicago are bold to hit on a complete stranger." I explained to him that it's less a question of boldness and more a situation where attraction meets opportunity. After all, it's not often that you catch a glimpse of a stranger you fancy and then have an adequate amount of time to get up the courage to talk to them.  Public transportation provides not only the exposure to people you may never otherwise meet, but also a window of time in which to strike up a conversation.

Ironically enough, just days after giving this explanation, I was presented with my own scenario of attraction meeting opportunity on the CTA.

I had taken half the day off and was making the hour trek from work on the north side to an audition on the south side.  It was one of the first beautiful days of spring and I think I'd been hit with a bit of spring fever.  With every step of my commute, I noticed more and more cute boys, but it wasn't until I boarded the red line that one boy in particular stood out.

I noticed him at first for his hipster garb [hipster boys are sexy.], but as I continued to steal glances, I found him more and more attractive beyond his style choices.  Attraction, for me, is a funny thing.  I'm rarely drawn to someone on sight alone.  On the rare [perhaps only 2-3] occasions in my life that I have found someone so completely attractive, it's not because they're a dead ringer for Brad Pitt or anything, there's just something about them that draws me in. I can't explain it.  Whatever that X factor is for me, this guy had it and for the first time in my life, I HAD to talk to him.

to be continued...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Flirting 101: The Delivery Guy Saga

The power of being female
[as told through facebook status updates]:

Delivery Guy @ work:

[his reasoning: if i had someone to cuddle with, then i would like snow.]

And for the Bonus Track -
Gas Station Attendant near work:

In conclusion: I may not be the type of girl who asks for gifts and compliments, but I sure am happy to receive them. 

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Matchmaking 101: Who'd have known?

Things I'm learning about myself while searching for boys on Match.com:

1. I'm incredibly shallow. Hear me out: I don't consider myself any more shallow than the next person when it comes to real life. Personality plays a big part in my attraction to someone if they're right in front of me. But online, when all there is to catch my attention is a stagnant vanity shot in thumbnail size, I get pretty judgmental. While judging the books by their covers, I've learned that apparently:
  • only about 1 in 100 guys truly interest me
  • shaved heads kind of creep me out
  • blue eyes hypnotize me
  • a nice smile is important
  • too many muscles turn me off
  • [boys with bed head are sexy]
  • [boys in cool hats are sexy]
  • [boys who wear glasses are sexy]

2. Boys who like to pose with their guitar like me.  Note: I did not say boys who PLAY guitar like me.  For all I know, the guys bombarding me with winks as they pretentiously pose with their acoustics can't play a lick.  But if they love the way they look with a guitar in their hands, they're usually into me.  Take from that what you will.

3.  There is no clear definition as to what "about average" body type means.  Statistically, I imagine that the average American body type is slightly rotund, so perhaps the cushier men of Match.com are dead on in using that description.  However, in my mind, "about average" means a bit leaner, but lacking in muscle and tone.  Apparently, this description works on a sliding scale and it always catches me off guard.

...more to come later.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Matchmaking 101: Bachelor #2

To better understand the Match.com project, it should probably be noted that I have never actually been on a "real" first date.  To be honest, I have a tendency to fall in love with my friends, boys that I've had in my life for years who have slowly become irresistible to me.  This type of situation often lends itself to an incredible build up to the start of a relationship, complete with years of missed opportunities and underlying attraction, but it doesn't often lend itself to dating in the traditional sense.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons I have slight anxiety over the idea of dating someone brand spanking new.

Bachelor #2 was really my premiere first date experience for this project.  Yes, there were drinks with Bachelor #1, but the general feel of the meeting was more that of an interview than an actual date.  Bachelor #2 went a more traditional route: drinks and a show.

For an actress, I have been woefully neglectful when it comes to taking advantage of the Chicago theatre scene.  Therefore, when Bachelor #2 suggested we meet up to see the longest running show in Chicago, I was more than happy to agree.  The great thing about a show date is that it can be a bit of a first date cop-out: if there's no dinner or drinks beforehand, the pressure to interact with one another is limited only to the hour or less between meeting up in line and the show's start.  At first, I was more than willing to use this situation to my advantage and avoid as much awkward chit chat as possible. However, my financial backer and Miss X would have none of my avoidance tactics.  If the point of this project was to meet new people, I would have to carry on an actual in-person conversation with every date.  So I agreed to meet Bachelor #2 for drinks beforehand.

Much like the date with Bachelor #1, there was little difficulty in making conversation with Bachelor #2.  Ironically, having plenty to talk about seems to be one of the benefits of dating strangers.  Questions about family, work, and educational background are all on the agenda, leaving no shortage of conversational material.  I may now know more about Bachelor #2's childhood than that of some of my college friends. After all, I've never thought to ask someone I've known for years how many siblings they have or what their parents are like, but these are perfectly appropriate questions to ask during a date with a stranger.  Bachelor #2 and I even got around to discussing the traditional conversational taboos: politics and religion.  Why? Because we had nothing to lose in doing so.  Had we become repulsed by each other's viewpoints, we could have simply parted ways.  That's another benefit of the date with a stranger: there's very little investment at risk; should things turn sour with disagreement, just walk away.  Thankfully, there was no such conflict that night.

The final verdict on Bachelor #2:  Easy conversation and mutual interests made for a very entertaining evening.
We have tentative plans to see another show mid-week
...take from that what you will.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Matchmaking 101: Online Dating Advice from Bachelor #1

One of the best things about meeting people from the online dating world is the fact that, while everyone's in the same boat, there are still varying levels of experience to be found in the situation.  On my date with Bachelor #1, I found that, though we had both signed up around the same time last week, this was not his first foray into online dating.  Apparently, he'd tried it years earlier and had some veteran wisdom to pass on to my rookie ways:

1. Assume that every date you meet has at least six other dates lined up after you.  Since I'm only just starting to dip my toe into the online dating pool, Bachelor #1 was my only prospect for this past weekend.  He, on the other hand, had three different dates lined up, two of which had occurred on the same day.  Some people might have found this fact rather insulting, I found it refreshing and smart.  You can't put much stock in anyone until you meet them face to face. Increasing your numbers puts the odds of meeting someone worthy more in your favor.

2. If both parties are willing, meet in person as soon as possible.  Similar to the multi-date rule, this one goes back to the fact that you can never tell how a meeting will go once you're in person.  Bachelor #1 told me a story in which he'd interacted with a girl online for quite some time, getting along famously, but when they finally met after weeks of typing, there simply was no spark.  Don't waste your time building a relationship with someone online unless you know that chemistry has begun to translate into real life as well.

3. Always be honest and up front about your feelings for the person you are meeting.  I could tell within the first few moments of meeting Bachelor #1 that, while I'd love to have him as a friend, I simply wasn't interested in dating him.  The situation was missing that undefinable quality that draws two people together; call it a spark, call it chemistry, whatever, it just wasn't there. Thankfully, we were both on the same page. Even better, we were both up front and honest about the situation.  There's no point in wasting a near-strangers time by trying to be polite. If you're not interested, just say so...your confession may even come as a relief.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Matchmaking 101: Bachelor #1

Shortly after my profile went live on Match.com this past week, Miss X called to inform me that one of the boys she had 'winked' at had messaged me: "Message him back, he's cute and he does yoga."

As I checked out his profile later that day, I found that he was in fact cute and he did in fact do yoga, but what really sold me was that I laughed out loud at his email. [Funny boys are sexy.] So I replied.

Three or four emails later, we arranged for a weekend meet up to explore his neighborhood...that was today.

As fate would have it, it was a dreadful day to explore any neighborhood, with the kind of rain that spits down from the sky sideways and drenches your face even with the protection of an umbrella. To make the best of it, we decided to get a hot drink somewhere and try to wait out the drizzle. Unfortunately, the only cafe on the block was closed for a private party, so we settled for a beer at one of the bustling pubs.

How did the date go?

There wasn't a lull in conversation once, we laughed, we talked, we shared life stories...and neither one of us was interested.

But perhaps I've found a new yoga buddy.