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Archive for the ‘Romance’ Category

Of all the interests and sports and extracurriculars that stumble across this blog, there is one topic that rarely rears its head.

Dating.

The lack of coverage my dating and romantic life receives is not a reflection of my interest in it. In fact, contrary to many of my 30ish-year-old counterparts, I happen to really enjoy dating.

I like the excitement of meeting someone new, asking them 4,000 questions, analyzing all their answers, categorizing them into one of Helen Fisher’s personality descriptions (that’s my favorite part, actually), deciding if their classification mixes with mine and leaving either thrilled at the prospect of a second interview or pleased with my ability to feign interest and a new experience and lesson under my belt.

I also like relationships. I’m pretty intuitive when it comes to knowing what I want and like; rarely does a second date not lead to something long-term. You’re either in or out buddy.

With that said, why don’t I talk about my dating escapades on here? I often ask myself that. And the only conclusion I can come to is that I have yet to find someone I feel comfortable immortalizing on the blog. I refuse to delete or edit my entries after they are posted — or at least after the 24-hour edit period I allow myself after one goes up — so if you make it in, you’re there for good baby.

So here, for the first time, let’s talk about my love life.

I’ve been single since the middle of January. Along with the dreary post-holiday winter months came the end to an enjoyable and pretty healthy relationship. It just wasn’t “right” and I walked away hurt and disappointed on the premise that it “failed” but respectful of the fact that we just didn’t do it for each other. He was a good person. So am I. We just weren’t the kinda good that each other needed.

Ever since I’ve been happily bouncing through life unattached, free to dedicate my time to anything I please. And to be honest, I’ve kinda fallen in love with it.

But as it always goes, I cannot stay single for long. It occurred to me that while I appear on the surface to be single and unattached, I am in a very serious relationship.

For the past five months, I have been in a relationship with my Brooks running sneakers. They are all rolling their eyes thinking, yeah, ok, cute Lizzie, fun analogy; you’re point?

No seriously, hear me out. My approach to running in many ways mimics my approach to relationships. And I’m learning a lot about myself.

For starters, it often requires a huge compromise. Any given day I have a dozen things I need to and want to get done. Many of them do not include sweating around Manhattan, yet I make that compromise to keep the connection between me and “running” strong. I’ve done the “no compromise/ignoring” game in relationships — it doesnt seem to work too well. Significant others seem to want attention. Who knew? My shoes are the same. They are not happy sitting in my closet. Ok, the floor. They never make it home to the closet.

I’m also recognizing a mean competitive streak poking its head out to play. Another trait that tends to flourish in relationships. Just today, on my way out for a run, I was chatting on the phone with a friend who said “I ran a 10k today.” My reply, “Oh yeah? I’ll go run a 10k now.” Clearly he was challenging me, no? That’s what I got from that sentence.

Competitiveness has been a bit of a problem for me in relationships in the past. I am attracted to assertive, ambitious guys. Ambition breeds competition. Before you know it, I’m playing the “I can do it better” game with the one I love. (And for some reason we are never playing that game in the bedroom.)

Just like a boyfriend, my run proceeded to mess with my head for the five miles I did complete (failed on the 10k front). Too fast, too slow, too out of breath. I was all over the place. I just could not get my feet to listen and I was not listening to them. Sh!t happens! Sometimes communication just sucks.

Dude, WTF? Pace is ALL over the place.

Note to self: Buy a Garmin running watch. Nike+ is cool but there is no way you sped up from a 10:34 pace to a 7:51 instantly. The GPS tracking is all over the place.

PS Note to self: Win lotto to afford Garmin running watch.

Running, like [some of] my boyfriends makes me very proud. We share milestones together. Today, even though we were lacking the ability to communicate clearly, was one of those days I wanted to give running a big high-five, smooch on the lips. Today we hit 300 miles on Nike+. Yay Lizzie and Brooks. You guys rock!

That

Another tendency in my relationships is to eat more… like a lot more… than is normal and necessary for my body size. Maybe its some weird suppressed issue, but eating must turn me on because I seem to find men who had to be extreme eaters in another life. And (note the competitive comment above), I sometimes see it as a challenge. I AM NOT PROUD OF THIS. But when they sit down to a three-course meal of meat and sweets, you sure as hell bet that I will be eating the same. I once had a BF drop his fork on the table and gawk at me like a zoo animal… “I seriously just can not believe how much you eat sometimes. It doesn’t seem feasible.” Umm… yeah, it is!

Running also makes me eat… a lot!! Thank you running!

On the positive side, running has brought out my positive qualities, like a healthy relationship should. It’s helped me slow down and pace my life (more to come on that), as well as boosting up my butt and giving me some hamstring muscles. I’ve allllways wanted hamstrings. Like wanted them like the way a LI girl wants a monster Tiffany’s engagement ring.

Oh, and did I mention running gave me a Tiffany’s necklace? Yeah, it did. It’s an awesome BF.

Collecting my Tiffany

Anyways, all this time I thought I was single and I’m really not. I’m wholeheartedly dedicated and very deep in like with my running shoes and the wind in my hair. I’m even more in like with it now that its 55-degrees in the evening and not 90. Cool enough to wear my new long sleeve pink running shirt, but warm enough that all the men running are still in shorts. Yay running thighs. I’m such a sucker for quads. [shudder] Sooo sexy!

This relationship seems to suit me. It’s easy. It’s rewarding. Its supportive. Its healthy. More of my friends are taking it up so we can double date. And most of all it makes me smile.

“They” say ‘you know when it’s right.’ So until I meet someone who I want immortalized on the blog, I’m gonna stick with my Brooks.

After five months together, we are in that comfy stage where we’re not afraid to get a little dirty with each other.

Ahhh, Bliss.

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My morning ritual consists of tea, an egg sandwich and scanning my two favorite blogs: 20-Nothings and Foster Dogs in NYC. I read Foster Dog entries until my eyes start to leak, and I usually X-out 20-NOTHINGS with 7 million thoughts of agreements, arguments, relationship tactics, self-improvement promises and blog entries swarming around my head. This girl gives me a run for my money when it comes to analyzing my 20-something life. Touche Jessie Rosen!

Last Friday’s entry, Why we’re guarded, or at least, why I was, got me a-thinking. (Surprise, surprise!) It is a topic that I have devoted a lot of “analytical hours” to, and one that still sharply pokes my subconscious every once in a while.

We all have a guard that protects us from any number of vulnerabilities. As Rosen states, and I agree, “The way I see it you can be guarded as a result of an experience, guarded as a personality [attribute], or the very dangerous combination of both.”

I was both!

It wasn’t until I had my guard ripped off — is it “away?” not sure how to word this metaphor – that I realized I was even wearing one. I knew I had a guard up with regards to particular relationship situations (i.e. trust, honestly, blah, blah), but it actually covered so much more than that.

Yet, ever since then, allowing myself to be vulnerable is like laughing; all it takes it a little thought and I can put it out there, causing people to stare.

It feels fantastic!

What I disagree with in Rosen’s post, is knowing if someone is worthy of letting your guard down. I understand the point. However, I don’t think letting your guard down is a ‘gift’ for someone else — worthy or not. It is a gift to yourself.

Letting your guard down not only lets a piece of someone else in, it let’s a piece of you out. It’s opening your book, breaking the spine and reading aloud your story, curse words and all. Sure, there are going to be some people who will respond with a face of fear and mad dash in the opposite direction. This is when we have to make a decision: Do we close it back up and seal it tighter than before, or do we sit there and smile?

Isn’t it so much more fun to smile?!! Sealing it up is just taking that personal-self and keeping it, well, personal! And that B&Gs, is the best way to never let anyone get to know you. What do your girlfriends say when you are desperate to meet someone new but doing nothing about it? “PUT YOURSELF OUT THERE!”

My thought is that if the person runs away, it probably wasn’t a good match — whether it was the first date, fifth date or one-year anniversary. But if they sit there and laugh with you, on date one, there’s no turning back!! Doesn’t everyone deserve the chance to experience that?

What I noticed when I finally had my guard ripped away was a sense of relief and contentment. I had nothing to hide, nothing to fear and a lot more to give.

It was absolutely terrifying! And I’ll tell ya, it wasn’t a pretty ending… at first. Yet, down the road, it was a fairy tale. I discovered a way to create a sense of fulfillment that no one can provide you! It’s a confidence booster!

It’s not to say that having a safety net isn’t always beneficial (yeah, yeah, you know me, always two sides), but I think when it comes to love, it causes more harm than help!

One of its biggest flaws, in my book, is its ability to muffle communication, hindering your relationship from reaching a certain level of connection — wherever it is you want it to go! No connection and sh!t falls apart, let me tell ya! (From experience!)

I think a second flaw is the constraint it has on your ability to fulfill your own happiness. If you don’t “open your book,” no one, including yourself, is going to know what you want and need. Eh?

I think its a big cause for “settling:” It can instill a fear of moving on and not finding something/someone else. It can blind you from recognizing that you and your partner do not share the same ideals and needs. And worst of all, if you don’t know what you need, you can’t look for someone who can give it to you!

Mind over matter is apparently the key to everything these days. So I guess if you choose to see vulnerability as a positive characteristic, it will be. If not, enjoy the ride!

What about you? Do you keep your guard up? And if so, what is it protecting you from?

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It’s not that I haven’t been writing; it’s that I went anonymous. I needed to toy with unveiling more intimate thoughts and experiences in the blogosphere. I did, and that outlet is rewarding both emotionally and in my candid interaction with other bloggies.

Anonymity dissolves the fear of personal disclosure. It’s this reason that I admire memoirists who can so openly divulge not just their actions but their heart’s desires. Emily Gould is one such author.

Tonight I heard her read from her first book, “And The Heart Says Whatever” at the Barnes & Noble in Park Slope, Brooklyn. She read a chapter called Claudine about her childhood, on-again off-again, always-appreciative-for friend. She has an innate ability to build both a mental image and emotional awareness of a two-decade friendship in a matter of pages — and not just a generalized superficial overview. She has a deeply analytical understanding of the role Claudine and her played in each other lives, and manages to thoroughly depict this through snippets of their interaction. I was sitting on the edge of seat… I wanted to know what she learned next.

I’ve read a lot of memoirs, and something about her’s stands above most, if not all. It’s not that she has a stronger story or more exciting existence. Honestly, the tales she includes are pretty mundane — she works in a bar, transfer colleges, takes writing classes, gets a dog, goes to parties, breaks up, makes out and sleeps with men. Yet, each scenario is portrayed with an objective self-awareness. It’s a level of self-analysis that I strive to reach — it also left me feeling extremely naive of my own thoughts.

When I asked her about the in-depth descriptions that flood the book, she responded saying that she actually has a poor memory. I laughed. She had no idea how well I understood the irony of her response. I lack the ability to consciously pull up details and events on demand. But I maintain an unconscious recollection of the simplest most irrelevant details of my day-to-day existence that peak their head on their own terms. It’s all about how you remember… and for me, it’s all emotional.

I have to admit I was a bit starstruck. (Occurrence #2). And I was tickled at her initial nervousness. Having read a few book reviews criticizing her somewhat masochistic and dreary attitude — combined with my disgust for gossip websites — I was intrigued to get a glimpse of her real persona. She was bubbly, giddy, and genuinely touched to be there and have an audience anxious to hear her. It made me fall in love with her as a writer.

As I finished the book this morning I vowed to keep it close at hand. That way whenever I doubted my words — was there enough detail? did I make a point? is the lesson clear? — I can find inspiration. Reading can bring you places you would never dare go in reality, but finding a piece of work that was written from the same place, mentally and emotionally, that your own work comes from is like opening a birthday card full of money. You did nothing to earn the gift, but someone was nice enough to share it with you, and if you use it wisely it can really pay off!

(Apologies to Emily for the blog title, as she mentioned at the reading that the downfall of her book title — which she picked — was that it was easily mockable.)

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I just finished the book, “I Love You And I’m Leaving You Anyway,” by Tracy McMillan—an unedited proof one of my gals picked up at a conference for me. I assume will hit the shelves soon, and expect it to skyrocket to the top of the lists.
It took me a while to get engrossed in, which is the first attribute I rank a book on. The first two-thirds of the book consist of two storylines—her childhood, and her current place in adulthood.
To provide a quick synopsis, McMillan was the daughter of a pimp/drug dealing man who spent the majority of his life in prison, and her mother, a prostitute who gave her up as a baby. The account of her childhood takes you through numerous foster homes, back and forth to jail visits and her teenage years trying to fit into high school, hide the reality of her father’s situation and her chaotic relationship with Yvonne—her father’s ex-wife who marries her father and legally adopts her when he receives his first prison sentence. Continuing from there, she shares her marijuana/alcohol addiction, how her son affected her life decisions and the breakdown of two marriages along with numerous other relationships, all ended by her.
Told in parallel, the story of her adult life begins at the time she finds—yes, finds (online), not meets—her third husband. He fulfills her longing for a strong connection as well as a materially comfortable lifestyle. We enjoy take this ride with her, in detail, experiencing all her joy and excitement as well as the doubts. What I found most captivating is that she exhibits an acute self-awareness and acknowledgment of her fears, but an overriding acceptance that it is all happening for a reason and she is meant to experience the events of her life in order to learn.
And this is the underlying message throughout the book and what inspired me most. She knows she is meant to “ride through” her life. She is a perfect example of how your mental outlook can change what you get from your life, and how much you enjoy it — and it is apparent from the beginning. Having even just a small clue about the book is about, one would expect to open it to be confronted with anger and resentment. But it is apparent from the first sentence that she has accepted her father for the way he is and learned to love herself. It is written with love for her dad and nothing less. Not an easy task for a gal whose childhood dinners with dad mostly involved KFC in the jail’s visitor room.
Great book… stay tuned for it to hit the shelves.

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The only thing that annoys me more than Hallmark holidays created for the sake of making money off unneeded gift items, plumping up participants on chocolate and invoking some sort of emotional reaction… is those that buy into it. How does being alone on Valentine’s Day differ from any other day? If you don’t want to be sad and depressed about it… then don’t be! Easy as that!

With that said, I intended on spending Valentine’s Day how I would any other Sunday in a winter month—or any day after a blizzard for that matter—on a mountain!

Long, and not necessary, story short, my weekend in the snow turned into a weekend in the city. And while I would have been happy ending the big V day with bruised knees and a bit of whiplash, the company that I enjoyed was much warmer than the snow. 🙂

Maybe it was because I had already chosen not to treat Valentine’s Day any differently than any other day of the year, maybe it was because I’d have ended the day with a smile on my face no matter what, or maybe I was just lucky… but that lil fat baby seemed to think I deserved a bit of red glittery Hallmark sparkle in my Valentine’s weekend. And I got it… not literally red glittery Hallmark sparkle, but a form of pleasant and enjoyable human interaction… but kinda in a Hallmark red sparkly way, sorta… well, no not really in that way, but it seems that everything has a red——oh whatever, you get my point.

And since it was a three-day weekend and cupid kept me busy on the big V to the Day, I spent Monday honoring our dead presidents by throwing myself down snowy steep landscape on a long piece of fiberglass and wood…

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One of my favorite movies was on last night: The Wedding Date. It’s a cheesy girly film, but there is one part that, even after watching it dozens of times, serves as a reminder of perspective.

When the groom finds out his soon-to-be-wife used to sleep with his best friend—who is also the best man—he, needless to say, loses his temper. But when he’s in the car driving back to the wedding location—after chasing the best man ‘halfway to France’—he says, “I’ve had her up on a pedestal ever since… since the day I put her up there.”

I sometimes think about times I’ve felt disappointed in other’s actions. You dwell on the situation; you feel let down, like they failed you. Worst of all you feel betrayed because they are not living up to the standard you set for them…

the standard you set…

I can pinpoint situations and relationships in my life where I have felt this way—and mentally accused the other party(ies) of lying and not caring. Yet, watching that movie last night, hearing that quote for the umpteenth time, quickly reminded me, that sometimes it’s all in your head. Sometimes it’s your thought process that needs to change.

If we don’t know how another feels, or they don’t provide a clear, understandable answer for their actions, we are left to fill in the blanks with our own thoughts and assumptions. Sometimes we are lucky enough to understand that person’s thought process, and we can fill in the holes accurately, but most of the time, the answers come from our own schema.

With that said, there’s no wonder we feel disappointed.

I guess there is a reason they say not to assume. (How does the saying go? “Don’t assume; it makes an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me?’”)

If you haven’t seen The Wedding Date it is a very heartfelt happy movie, with lots of laughs from Debra Messing—and eye candy, thanks to Dermot Mulroney. But it’s this little reminder that gets me every time.

Next time I’m not sure, I think I’ll just ask!

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