Relationships

There Is a Lot of Pressure When You Get Engaged

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After you say “Yes” to the question “Will you marry me?,” be prepared to answer a lot more questions. And I mean A LOT. The second you tell someone that you’re engaged they will immediately start asking a million questions.

Some are fun to answer: “How did he do it?” “Can I see the ring?” “Were you surprised?”

Some will fill you with immediate dread because holy hell you don’t even know the answer to them. No, I do not know when we’re getting married. No, I do not know where we’re getting married. No, I do not know what color dresses my bridesmaids will wear. I just got engaged Aunt Lucy, take it down a notch.

After the high of getting engaged wears off, it is time to start thinking about what you want to do. And you start to realize that what you want does not always align with everyone else. Many people in your life don’t want to hear that you’re not sure you want to have a wedding. You might as well spit in your mom’s face cause it’s basically just as disrespectful. People expect a wedding even though they are not the ones paying for it.

And even if you thought you didn’t want a wedding, it’s hard not to get caught up in it all. The venues, the dresses, the flowers. It is all very magical. But do you know what else it is? SO. FRIGGEN. EXPENSIVE!

We all know weddings are expensive. But I never realized quite how expensive everything can be until I started looking at venues/vendors. Even when you cut out some of the unnecessary stuff like save the dates (I think save the dates are so ridiculous. I won’t get into it now, we’ll save that rant for another post) and thousands of dollars on flower arrangements, things still add up quickly.

If you decide to have a wedding, there are certain things you can’t cheap out on. Sure guests are not going to notice if your flower arch at the altar doesn’t have the highest quality flowers, but they will notice if you run out of drinks. If I do have a wedding and invite people, the most important thing for me is that they have a good time. Have you ever gone to a cash bar wedding or even worse, a dry wedding? I haven’t because if I did, there would have been several posts on this blog written by me bitching about how horrible the wedding was. I probably would have convinced a few of my friends to guest blog so they could give their input about how horrible of a wedding it was. I want my wedding to be a party for everyone so I wouldn’t want to cheap out on food, alcohol, and music.

And speaking of everyone, deciding who to invite and who not to invite to a wedding is all sorts of stressful. My dad’s side of the family is big. He has three sisters and two brothers, and they all have children. All of those children are older and most of them have significant others. In my opinion, it seems pretty harsh to pick and choose between aunts/uncles and cousins. Either you invite them all or you invite none. You won’t realize how many distant relatives you have until you get engaged. Your parents will insist you have to invite your second cousin’s aunt once removed.

I know a few people in recent years who have opted out of a big wedding altogether and just went down to city hall to get married. And I don’t blame them. I’m starting to think they have the right idea. No fuss, just your closest friends and family there, and the focus is on you and your spouse committing to one another.

No matter where you are in the wedding planning process, just remember to take a step back and breathe. You’re going to get pressure from your friends, family and even yourself. Try not to let it stress you out too much. Focus on what the wedding really means: you marrying the person you love and want to spend the rest of your life with.

*And yes this post does mean that yours truly has gotten engaged. It happened about a month ago and I couldn’t wait to share it with all my blogging friends! And whether we decide to go big or small, I’ll be sure to bring you all along with me every step of the way.

Unexpected Perks of Being in a Relationship

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There are obvious benefits to being in a relationship. Companionship is top on the list. It’s nice to know that you have someone to be there for you during the ups and downs in life. It’s nice to have someone to come home to and sleep next to at night. Blah blah blah. We all now about these wonderful advantages to being in a relationship.

You know what’s not spoken about? All the little things. And I personally think all those little things add up to a lot more. It’s like they say, “It’s the little things.” Those little things are what make being in a relationship awesome, like:

Not having to deal with online dating apps! This is actually kind of a big thing in my opinion but it doesn’t quite hold the same merits as companionship and stability and all that other nonsense. But holy hell, deleting your online apps and knowing you don’t have to create another profile is the best feeling in the world!

Having someone else to blame when leaving a party early. “I’m so sorry, I wish I could stay later but the bf has work early.” “Oh man, I’m having so much fun but my gf isn’t feeling so well so I’m going to take her home.” Just make sure you follow the rules: If it’s your significant other’s friends, you take the blame. If it’s your friends, they take the blame.

Snuggling up to them real close after waking up from a bad dream. This perk may be exclusive to me but it’s VERY important. For someone who is slightly afraid of the dark and tends to wake in the middle of the night feeling anxious, having a warm body to hold onto is essential.

Being able to be a fatty without any judgment. Sometimes we just want to eat cookies in bed without judgment. And it’s even better if you have someone there to eat that second sleeve of Oreo cookies with. Also, it’s easier to indulge in dessert after dinner when you justify it with the fact that you’re sharing it with someone else. It’s half the calories so it barely counts.

Always having someone there to reach that awkward part in your back that needs scratching but you can’t quite reach. Sometimes you just aren’t flexible enough to get that spot yourself.

When your feet are cold, you have an instant warmer.

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You can easily adopt new hobbies. Sometimes learning a new hobby can be time consuming and expensive. You have to buy all new stuff for it and depending on how intense of a hobby, you may have to take classes. YouTube videos won’t always cut it. But if your partner knows how to do something, you can have them teach you. For FREE!

Becoming a part of a new family. You can’t pick your family but you can pick your second family. When you get serious with someone, it’s likely that you’re not only going to be hanging out with them a lot, but their family as well. You’re also creating a new family with your partner. Remember that just two can make a whole family.

Having someone to always complain to. Sure we shouldn’t complain and we should try to look at the bright side of things. But life can be fucking hard. Sometimes we just need to vent. And it’s nice to be able to bitch about a coworker or the dude who cut you off.

Getting a whole new wardrobe. Due to size/style issues this may not work for everyone but I have taken many shirts and sweatshirts from my partner and claimed them as my own.

Reasons Not to Get in a Relationship with Someone

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When you’ve been single for a while, it may seem like getting into a relationship is impossible. So when the opportunity arises, it’s hard not to want to jump in right away. Dating is exhausting. Sometimes all we want is that one special person to come home to every night and sit on the couch and do nothing with.

I know when I was dating, I hated how much work it was. I wished I could skip several steps and go straight to being in a relationship. This sometimes resulted in me getting into something with a person when I probably shouldn’t have.

There are a million reasons to get into a relationship with another person. Because you can’t stop thinking about them. Because they genuinely want to know about your day. Because they bring you home cupcakes whenever they’re by your favorite bakery. When you find someone you want to be in a relationship with, you’ll know.

But what about those forced relationships? We’ve all been in them at least once. While there are a million reasons to decide to commit to a person, there are a million reasons why you shouldn’t get into a relationship with someone.

Do not get into a relationship just because you’re lonely. We’ve all been lonely before. Even if you’re enjoying the single life, there are times when loneliness can kick in. This is natural. It’s no reason to jump into a relationship. Cause you know what’s worse than being single and lonely? Being in an unhappy relationship and lonely.

Do not get into a relationship because the guy/girl who has been stringing you along for the past year decides they finally want to give it a go. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time,” Maya Angelou. I have always loved this quote, and it’s a great motto to have when it comes to dating. As much as we want to believe people can change, most don’t. And even if people do change, it usually doesn’t happen in only a few months. If someone has been stringing you along and playing games for months, odds are he isn’t going to suddenly have a change of heart.

Do not get into a relationship because all your friends are in one. I know the feeling of seeing everyone you’re close to getting into serious relationships and you’re left as the only single one. I’ve been there before, and it’s not fun, especially when weddings or dinners come around where everyone is coupled up except for you. However, do not jump into a relationship with someone just so you can ensure you’ll always have a plus one.

Do not get into a relationship because you think the person’s really hot. It’s important to be attracted to the person you’re dating. However, attraction shouldn’t be the only thing you have. Do not confuse attraction with affection.

Do not get into a relationship because you are just getting out of one. Getting over someone can be a hard and confusing time. It’s sad and lonely, and it’s understandable that you’ll want to do whatever you can to get through it. Dating can be a good way to help deal with a breakup. It can show that there are other people out there and boost your confidence. But don’t jump into a relationship right after the breakup is over. Rebounds hardly ever last and usually don’t end well.

Do not get into a relationship because you are tired of dating. As fun as dating can be, it can also be incredibly exhausting. Creating date site profiles, setting up first dates, the interview-like first meeting. It’s easy to get tired. But if you’re tired of dating, take a break; do not date the next person you meet. Dating will be there again once you’ve taken a much-needed break.

The Three Words Every Single Girl Should Live By

Dating can be really rough. I may be out of the dating scene now but I remember exactly what it’s like. So when my single friends complain about yet another failed date, I know what they are going through. I feel your pain!

Dating in this day and age takes a lot of resilience. Between cancelled plans and unwanted dick pics, it is so easy to get discouraged. It’s almost impossible not to become a bit cynical. But I happen to think that a little bit of cynicism in the dating game is a good thing. You never want to be too naive and believe every word that comes out of a guy’s mouth. Unfortunately, too many people do not have your best interests in mind.

When you’ve been single for awhile, it’s easy to start thinking about giving up. If you realize that maybe you don’t want to be in a relationship, then do give up. Relationships and monogamy are not for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with wanting something different than what society deems “normal.”

But if you are someone who genuinely wants a significant other, then you have to persevere. Dating takes a whole lot of time and patience. And sometimes it requires changing things up a bit. We all make mistakes when it comes to dating. You just need to be able to recognize these mistakes and make the proper changes.

Often times it’s all about learning to date smarter. Below are three words that I think every single girl should live by if they want to make their dating life better and stop wasting time.

Honest – This is all about being honest with yourself and what you really want from a guy. It’s too easy to settle when someone comes along who you sort of like. We’ve all been in that situation. The guy is nice enough and you don’t find him ugly so you continue to go on dates with him. There are no real sparks there but you convince yourself that they will happen eventually. You even start to convince yourself that you like the guy even though deep down you know there is something missing. Stop doing this. It’s mean to yourself and it’s really mean to the guy. Don’t settle just because you don’t want to be the single girl anymore. If you have to convince yourself and your friends that you actually do like a person, you don’t. Just be honest with yourself and admit it isn’t there and move on.

Aggressive – There is no point in beating around the bush anymore. If you like a guy, let him know. The days of playing hard to get or waiting for him to call are over. You’re a woman on a mission and you should’t let any antiquated dating rule stop you. If you’re dating cause you want a committed relationship, you shouldn’t be afraid to tell the guy. I’m not telling you to break out your wedding binder and start naming your children on the first date. That’s not being aggressive; that’s being crazy. But there’s nothing wrong with being upfront with your intentions and what you’re looking for. If this scares the guy away, then he’s not the one. And please don’t be afraid to make the first move.

Cutthroat – If you’re serious about dating and don’t want to waste your time anymore, you need to be cutthroat. This means no more making excuses and ignoring obvious red flags. A guy you’ve gone on 2-3 dates with should not be on his fifth or sixth chance. Canceling plans, waiting days to respond to texts. This is not acceptable behavior. If a guy is into you, he will show you. If you have to question his feelings, then it’s most likely because they are not there. Be cutthroat. Treat your love life like the Hunger Games. The odds are not in the dudes favor.

Moving in Together Is a Big Deal but It Shouldn’t Feel Like One

So my bf and I have decided to move in together. Technically he’s decided to move into my place. (Thank the heavens I don’t have to actually do any moving.)

Whenever we tell other people, they always say the same thing, “That’s a big deal.” JR and I were confused when everyone kept telling us that. We didn’t feel like moving in together was that big a deal. We both naturally came to the decision because it made the most sense. We were already spending practically all of our time together anyway. Having one space we both called home makes things a lot easier. Now I don’t have to pack a bag or pray that I have clean underwear at his house. We’ve basically been living in two places which became annoying. The amount of clothing I’ve lost from going back and forth is atrocious. I had enough.

So we decided to make this huge move in our relationship. (No pun intended!)

I get that moving in together is a big deal and it’s not something that any two people should take lightly. It’s a big step in a relationship. If you do it too soon, it could ruin things. There is a lot you learn about a person once you live with them. It’s probably a good idea to try and find out as many of those quirks as possible BEFORE you decide to move in together.

I knew I was ready to live with JR so it didn’t feel like a big deal. Here are a few of the reasons I knew moving in made the most sense for our relationship. I’m not saying these tips will work for every relationship but if you’re thinking about moving in with your significant other, it doesn’t hurt to check them out and see if they fit.

We survived a big trip together. Back in June, JR and I spent 13 days traveling through Europe. While I love traveling and I have so many wonderful experiences from my trips, it can also be stressful. You learn a lot about a person when you see how they react with little sleep, multiple plane rides, and an attempt at navigating the Berlin train system.

I was comfortable when it came to the two Ps with him. By two Ps, I mean poop and period. I know that everybody poops and it’s a natural part of life but I will admit that I’m THAT girl. The girl who likes to hide her bathroom habits for as long as possible. There was plenty of pooping right before I showered in the beginning of our relationship. Not anymore. I can thank our trip for eliminating any boundaries I once had when it comes to that. When you share one bathroom in a small hotel room, it’s impossible to keep your bathroom habits a secret.

We spoke about the future. I cannot stress this enough, but do not move in with someone if you are unsure of where you guys stand. Having a talk about the future and marriage and kids can be scary. However, if you’re not able to bring up these issues, then you aren’t ready to move in together. Make sure you’re on the same page before you make such a big move. (There I go again with the no pun intended!)

We were spending more time together than apart at this point. We were already spending most of our time together, it was just a matter of where. We had to decide if we were going to stay at his place this weekend or my place. Which then meant we had to really decide who is the one forced to pack a bag and who doesn’t have to.

We were familiar with each other’s finances. Money is a hot topic when you move in together. There’s rent, utilities, groceries, etc. You have to figure out how things are going to be split and how much each person can afford. You don’t have to divulge everything. That will depend on the individual relationship but you need to know the basics.

It felt natural. This goes back to the whole big deal thing not really feeling like a big deal. It felt like the next natural step in our relationship. And I think that’s how it should be.

It’s Complicated Until It’s Not

There’s no secret that dating was not always easy for me. Just look through the dating and relationships tags on this blog and you’ll find many rambles from a lady who was ready to wave the white flag.

When I was dating someone, I was usually left with more questions than answers. Does he like me? Do I really like him? When should I sleep with him? Will he judge me if it’s “too soon?” Can I actually see this going anywhere? Does he see this going anywhere?

I regularly contemplated the why of the whole thing. Why am I even dating? Is it worth all the hassle, and the first date interviews, and the stressing about what to wear? Do I even want a boyfriend?

That last question popped up in my head a lot. I was living on my own and starting a new career. I had this whole life of my own. I was already struggling to fit everything into my life. Did I really want to add in an entirely new relationship? Where would I find the time? Do I really want to bring a new person into my life, introduce them to my friends, have them meet my family, etc.?

So. Many. Questions.

By the time I reached my late 20s, dating was a very complicated ordeal. And it was. Dating can be complicated. Until you realize that it isn’t.

Eventually you’ll meet that person where the only questions you’ll be asking are “what should we eat for dinner?” and ” what should we watch on Netflix tonight?”

You’ll soon discover that if you have to ask “does he like me?”, the answer is either “no” or “not enough.”

There will be that person you don’t need to struggle to find time for. They will fit seamlessly into your life. Making time for them won’t feel like a hassle or obligation.

In its simplest form dating is easy. Boy likes girl, girl likes boy. Both boy and girl decide they want to spend as much time as possible with each other. I’m a firm believer in the theory that things shouldn’t be difficult in the beginning. The beginning is the time for butterflies and excitement.

When you find that person who makes you stop questioning, hold on tight. You may have finally found your uncomplicated ever after.

Getting in a New Relationship After Being Single Forever

This post has been in the back of mind for awhile now. I’ve wanted to write it several times but then thought against it. I finally realized that this is a blog about my life. It’s my journey through my late twenties and now my thirties. I’ve written so much about my shitty dating experiences that I should also include when things are going well, right?

I wrote once about a new man in my life and that ended shitty. I think that was part of the reluctance I had when it came to writing about a new relationship. But me and my man have been together for a little over 6 months now. He’s a big part of my life and this is a lifestyle blog. It makes sense that he’s going to come into conversation one of these days. He just met my parents for the first time two weeks ago so now it’s time my lovely readers meet him.

I may love broadcasting my entire life on a public blog but I recognize that not everyone may feel this way. That’s why I’m going to refer to the lovely man I’m dating as JR. (It’s part of his initials so it works.)

When people ask how we met, I usually say, “We went to High School together and recently reconnected.” All of this is true. But I am just leaving out certain aspects. By recently reconnected, what I really mean is found each other on a dating site. That’s right! Sometimes OK Cupid can work.

I was on OK Cupid for a very short time when JR messaged me. I immediately recognized him from High School. Before he even messaged me, I was on the brink of deleting my account. I had had enough of online dating. So after only exchanging a couple of messages with JR, I told him I was deleting my account and asked if he’d like to exchange numbers. I normally don’t do this. I like to talk for a little before exchanging numbers. I also usually just wait until the guy asks for the number. But in this case I knew that I would be deleting my account and I knew I didn’t want this to be the end of my interaction with JR.

So we exchanged numbers and I waited for him to contact me. He did; the next day. We spoke for a few weeks, met up on May 12th, and have been dating ever since.

It’s been really nice. And a lot of fun. But it’s also been a lot of adjusting. These past few years, even when I had someone, I still wouldn’t call myself taken. I was always single-ish. This is the first time in forever that I’m 100% not single. It’s been a little weird. Mostly awesome, but a little weird.

When you’ve been the single girl for so long, being in a relationship definitely takes some getting used to.

I’ve been lying to myself in the past. When I was dating, I would give myself a 2-date rule. I figured that it would take more than one date to determine if I actually liked someone. Two dates should let me know for sure. Well, after my first date with JR, I knew 100% that I liked him and wanted to go on another date. I also lied to myself with some past dudes and made excuses for them. I convinced myself numerous times that the guy really did like me. He just needs time. He’s really busy. And so many more excuses. I was lying to myself. If a guy likes you, you’ll know it. If a guy wants to be with you, he’ll make time. It’s really very simple. I just made it way more complicated than it needed to be.

The word boyfriend feels weird. It took me 6+ months to share JR with you guys. When I’m dating someone, I tend to keep them to myself for the most part. It takes a lot for me to share the guy with other people and talk about him. If he does come up in conversation, he is usually referred to as “this guy I’m dating.” The first time I spoke about JR and called him my boyfriend, it sounded weird. It still feels a little weird. It’s just a much easier term to use than “guy I’m dating.”

But girlfriend is a nice one to hear. Not gonna lie, it’s nice being introduced as “my girlfriend.”

Holy Batman! There is not enough time. Work and friends and family and alone time was already a lot to juggle. Adding a relationship has made maintaining everything overwhelming. It’s something I am still working on. There is never enough time to do everything I want.

Alone time is so much more satisfying. I love alone time. I loved my alone time when I was single. However, when you’re single, alone time isn’t always a choice. Alone time comes cause you have nothing else to do. Since being in a relationship, my alone time has become significantly more satisfying. I adore the nights spent in my apartment alone laying on the couch and watching TV for hours.

Doubt doesn’t magically go away. After so many dating mishaps, it’s easy to be skeptical. Too many times I have grown tired of the person I was dating or slowly realized that they were growing tired of me. I am pretty secure in my relationship with JR and don’t usually question where I stand. But this does not mean that doubt hasn’t gone away completely.

Sometimes clichés are right. When you’ve been single for awhile, you’re going to hear a lot of the same things. “It’ll happen when you least expect it” is one of those sayings I heard the most. I always thought it was ridiculous. I am single but would like to find someone. In some way, I’m always looking. But now I kind of know what they mean. The first time I met up with JR, I did not want to go. I had just had a huge dinner for my nephew’s birthday. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep. I remember throwing some mascara on in my car right before I walked into the bar. Before the date even started, I was already thinking about how and when I could leave. I did not expect anything to come of it.

Fear is one of the biggest enemies. Being single is easy. Being single is safe. You only have yourself to worry about yourself. You’re not giving someone else the capability to seriously hurt you or let you down.

Relationships involve a lot of talking and compromise. As a 30-year-old single person, I was very set in my ways. I was used to being on my own and not having to rely on anyone. I never had to think about anyone else, ever. Those views don’t always make for the healthiest of relationships. I had to become reacquainted with having a new person in my life.

All those disasters, make this relationship a lot sweeter. Man was I fed up with dating. You guys read all about it. I wasn’t kidding when I said that dating shouldn’t be so exhausting. I was tired of it! I was done with dating sites, first dates, unanswered texts, etc. Knowing how horrible things could be out there in the dating world and knowing how difficult it is to find someone you really connect with makes my relationship with JR that much sweeter.

The Other Shoe Is Always Going to Drop

My favorite line when I start dating someone new is, “I’m just waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

Those first few weeks/months of dating someone, things are as close to perfect as they’ll ever be. You’re both on your best behavior and trying really hard to impress one another. The guy never cancels, always texts on time. The girl always has her makeup and hair done, never complains. Everyone is trying to be the most perfect version of themselves.

I spend a new relationship just waiting to see when this blissful period will end. Because it always does. It tends to end in the most horrifically dramatic way possible. The guy doesn’t just stop canceling, he stops making plans altogether. He stops texting right away and instead takes 3-5 business days to respond with an “lol” or an “ok.”

This is never fun and it’s the reason why I always enter a new relationship with skepticism. I know the other shoe is going to drop. It’s not a matter of if but a matter of when.

However, there is something that I need to realize: the other shoe is always going to drop and that’s OK. What matters is how it drops. If it drops but I’m able to pick it up, slip it back on, and keep on walking, that’s alright. It’s when the shoe drops and breaks so badly that it’s cheaper to just buy a new pair than take them to get fixed, that I need to worry about it.

The other shoe is always going to drop. That new period in a relationship I just spoke about – the one where everyone is on their best behavior – is nice but it’s not sustainable. Perfect bliss in a relationship isn’t real.

Relationships are messy and complicated because people are messy and complicated.

You shouldn’t want that perfect bliss to last forever because then you’re never really seeing the person you’re dating for who they truly are.

Now this isn’t to say that a person should do a complete 180 when you’ve been dating a few months and stop trying. But this is saying that a person shouldn’t be afraid to show different parts of themselves, even the not so great ones.

I’ve come to realize that I look forward to the other shoe dropping. Show me what makes you YOU. I want the authentic version. Not the version who is on his best behavior because he’s trying to impress me.

What makes you sad? What makes you angry? What are some of your annoying little habits that you kept in check our first few dates?

I am not looking for the perfect version of you. I’m looking for the real version of you.

This is exactly why not only do I realize that the other shoe is always going to drop but I look forward to it.

Nothing About This Is Fun

I recently did a search on Google. I searched “being single at 30.” Here are some of the headlines that came up:

30 Reasons It’s OK to Be Single at 30

Why Being Single in Your 30s is Better than in Your 20s

24 Reasons It’s Cool to Be Single in Your 30s

Being Single in Your 30s is Actually Pretty Great

Let’s cut the bullshit! Nothing about being 30 and single is OK, fun, or cool. Actually let me rephrase that. Nothing about being 30 and single and FEMALE is OK, fun, or cool. Cause do you know what all those articles have in common? They are written by women and about women.

We all know it’s women who should be worried about becoming old maids and spinsters after a certain age. Single men at 30 or 40 remain bachelors. There isn’t some derogatory term for them because they still have time. Men are never really past their prime. When they choose to settle down, they will.

Sure we’re past the point where a single woman at 25 is classified as an old maid. Women are getting married and having children later in life than they ever have before. But for as much progress as we’ve made, there is still a long way to go.

And I am going to be blunt here and say what the women in the above articles didn’t want to admit: Being 30 and still single sucks!

Now I’m not saying that I spend every night drinking wine and crying over a tub of Ben & Jerry’s. (That only happens every other night.) For the most part, I’m doing OK. I have so much other stuff happening in my life that I’m not constantly consumed with the fact that I’m single. But then something happens to remind me just how single I really am.

It could be getting the ever popular “Why are you still single?” question. Or it could be getting invited to yet another wedding and realizing that you’d have to put an ad out on Craigslist if you wanted to bring a plus one. Or it could be going to a function with friends and realizing that you’re the only one left who hasn’t coupled up. Or most of the time, it’s simply just that look you get for “still” being single.

People will never say it (unless you know assholes) but you can sense that they’re thinking it. “There must be something wrong with her.” And the really sad part is that you’re the one thinking it the most. “There must be something wrong with ME.”

In your early twenties being single is completely normal. It’s actually more of an anomaly to find yourself in a serious relationship. However, as the candles start to pile up on your birthday cake, you start to realize that you’re becoming an endangered species.

As much as those articles want to preach that being single is OK and fun, I think we can all admit that it’s not the norm. I bet every 30-year-single girl can count on one hand the other 30-year-old single girls she knows. But if she wants to list the couples, she’ll need twenty five-subject notebooks.

“What’s wrong with me?” “Am I unlovable?” “Am I incapable of falling in love?” “Will I ever find someone that I can stand for more than two dates?” “Will I have to wind up settling?”

Settling…This is a word you’re going to think about a lot. After your 50th horrible first date in a row, you’ll wonder if settling is worth it. I’d give up donuts for the rest of my life if it meant I never had to go on another first date ever again. But it’s almost impossible to find a person that you connect with enough where a second date sounds like a good option. Maybe you should lower your “standards.”

The elusive standards. I often think that my standards are too high. And they probably are. But here’s the thing: after 30 years of dating, you’re going to rack up a shit load of standards. I’m very adamant about the things I want in a partner and even more adamant in the things that I DON’T want.

Single and Thirty is a whole new landscape and it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. It’s not always OK, cool, or pretty great. There’s going to be a lot of suckage. And I think that’s something that all newly 30-somethings or soon-to-be 30-somethings should be aware of.

You’re allowed to feel lonely and stressed about living the single life. There isn’t something wrong with you cause you’re not constantly living the “Thirty, Flirting, and Thriving” life.

Wallow in your own self-pity every once in awhile. Cry over a cheesy Nicholas Sparks movie. Eat an entire sleeve of Oreo’s and wash it down with a bottle of wine. You’re single so there’s no one there to judge you. (See, being single has its perks!)

But also know that finding love in your thirties is a very real possibility. And it can be done without settling or compromising on your standards. It’s just gonna take a little more work.

Dating Shouldn’t Be This Exhausting

I’m tired.

I’m tired of the first dates. I’m tired of the same conversations over and over again. I’m tired of making online dating profiles. I’m tired of sorting through dating profiles. I’m tired of waiting for a text back. I’m tired of trying to decode what the text means when I finally receive it. I’m tired of getting my hopes up just to be let down.

I’m tired.

I don’t know when dating became this exhausting. Before last year I had taken a significant break from dating. I went on a few first dates here and there but hardly ever a second one. I did date one boy for a few months but it never went anywhere. He was a great guy and we got along well. However, it was more of a friendship as I never had any physical or romantic feelings for him. For about two years, I was mostly out of the dating scene. And overall I was happy and carefree. I didn’t have much to stress over.

Then early February of last year I met a boy. I’ve spoken about this boy before. He was the one who cooked for me and had GREAT hair. He was awesome and I pushed him away. Right after that I met another boy longterm readers should be familiar with. The infamous almost relationship boy. He was trouble from the beginning and gave me more stress than I could handle. Then in the very ending of December I met a boy who seemed like he could change my ways and outlook when it comes to dating. Turns out he couldn’t.  (After writing that ridiculously corny “things are different this time” post, I was honestly embarrassed to write about things not working out. But this is a blog about my life and sometimes in life things don’t work out.) He strung me along for much longer than necessary cause he was too much of a child to admit that he didn’t want to date anymore.

I can’t help but feel like dating needs to be easier than this. When did it get so complicated? When I was on my dating hiatus, I would randomly feel lonely and long for someone. But these feelings were fleeting and never lasted. After going about a year and a half with almost always having someone in my life, I question whether dating is really worth all this effort.

I recently finished reading Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari.* It had a lot of great insight into the modern dating scene. One thing that really stuck with me is that it seems that we all want the same thing yet do the complete opposite. Most people are looking for a real relationship without any games. They want to be honest with their partner and expect the same. However, in reality this is not how people act when it comes to dating at all. It seems that we’ve lost all basic human decency when it involves dating. We forget that behind that text message or dating profile is a real-life person with feelings and ideas.

Why can’t we just be honest with one another? Sure no one likes to be blown off. But do you know what’s a lot worse than being blown off? Completely being cut off without any explanation. Why can’t we just respond to a text when we see it? Enough of the waiting game.

I don’t know when or how dating became this difficult but I do know that I’m exhausted from it. I need a break. Maybe when and if I decide to re-enter the dating scene, I’ll be a little nicer and so will the people I come across.

*I highly recommend this book to anyone, whether you’re single or in a relationship. It’s funny and insightful. I also randomly found myself reading passages in Aziz’s voice which was so entertaining.