Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Baggage

NIKKI

I have a habit of carrying too much stuff with me when I go to work. Whenever I take the time to actually go through my bag, I discover receipts for candy bars from CVS, expired Metrocards, and usually 20 different pieces of paper that I no longer need. I'll keep hauling it day in and day out, wondering why my bag is so heavy and why my shoulder is starting to ache. Some days it's easier to carry all my old junk around, than to go through and figure out what's actually worth keeping. I do this with my purses and I do this about men.

I'm not bitter about men or about relationships, but sometimes I do carry around too much stuff. My current crush--the karaoke singing, smart, sexy one--got me to unload some of my stuff the other night. Well, not him on his own, but one of my girlfriends. Karaoke and I have been missing each other still, leaving messages and missed calls in our wake. I had started to give up on ever talking to him, wondering whether he was even worth my time or as interested as I thought. He's just not that into me I would say. I deleted his number, told myself who cares, he's missing out! The backlash had begun despite momentary lapses into "but we had such a good time." My girlfriend, who knows him, stopped that in its tracks the other night with a simple suggestion: give him another chance, he really is a good guy.

Was I hauling extra stuff into this situation? Was I cluttering up one circumstance with others from my own experience and those of my friends? The iPod must have heard my cry because it picked just the right song for me: Bag Lady by Erykah Badu.

Bag Lady you go'n hurt your back/ Dragging all them bags like that

So, I decided to pack light, put away some of the what ifs and worries of what he might think to pursue something that could be worth it. And if it doesn't work? If I pack light only to find that I'm left with the same baggage? Well, I always end up needing to clean my purse out again anyway.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Do All Men Cheat?

LEXI

A few weeks ago I met this guy; he was smart, funny, considerate, and FINE. The first day we met, I ended up spending the whole afternoon with him. Then later that night we talked on the phone for a few hours. We went out every day for almost a week. By our third date, I was hooked, and I'm not one to get hooked easily.

It seemed like every time I saw him, he got better and better to me. My routine was changed, lunch hours were forsaken to see him, and when one of my dates cancelled on me, I barely hesitated to call this guy to see if he wanted to get together.

The thing about it, it felt so natural being so involved so early. We enjoyed lots of "time stands still" kind of kisses. It was the stuff of romance novels. Well, for any of you romance novels fans, you know there's got to be some drama.

The drama didn't present itself immediately, actually, it wasn't until after our fifth date, that's five consecutive days of seeing one another, that my hopes for any relationship with him, and to some degree, my hope in relationships, in general, were dashed.

I was talking to him and we were asking each other about our past relationships. He mentioned that he had dated 8 women, for about a month each, this year. I thought that was interesting that he had these mini-relationships with these different women. His take on it was that some had no potential, but they each served a purpose. Some were for physical attention, and that there was one woman that he dated for a month that he didn't even like, but that he was bored so decided to hang out with her. I was a little shocked by this and asked did he really like any of the women that he had gone out with. He said that there was one in particular that he really liked but that she lived with her boyfriend so their relationship never went that far. I asked whether it bothered him that she was in a relationship. He said that it was her problem, not his.

It got me thinking about whether he was faithful in his own relationhips. I asked if he had been faithful, and he replied no. No..to all the relationships he had ever been in. Wow, that's pretty deep. I got quiet, and he justified his actions by saying that all men cheat. I said that I couldn't beleive that all men cheat. He insisted in so many words that due to biology, society's conditioning, and opportunity, that it was almost guaranteed that men were going to cheat. I was not convinced, but he asked me what incentive men had not to cheat. I said that morals, the prospect of losing their girlfriend/wife/other, and for some a faith in God. He insisted that some of the most revered people in the Bible cheated or had multiple wives. He said that women always confuse cheating with love. He said his cheating didn't mean that he loved his girlfriend or fiancee any less. It was just sex.

I asked if he had been unhappy in the relationships he had, he said no. He told me that it wasn't about being unhappy, it was about having a different experience.

This wasn't the first time I encountered a guy who had never been faithful; one of my ex-boyfriends also told me the same thing. He said that there wasn't anything wrong about his girlfriends or his past relationships; he just wanted what he wanted.

This completely freaks me out, how does a woman fight against infidelity if men tell you that in the end, there isn't anything you can do to prevent it? In some ways it makes sense, cheating is not about the person who is cheated on, it's about the cheater.

The straw that broke the camel's back for this guy was before we hung up he repeated that all men cheat, and then said, your father has probably cheated on your mom. A little background, my parents have been married for over 35 years. I have no reason to believe that my dad has cheated on my mom, but using this guy's criteria, the mere fact that my dad is a man is enough of an indication. Honestly, if I ever found out that my dad cheated on my mom, I might never get married. I know that sounds dramatic, and maybe it is, but my parents are one of the very few happily married couples I know. I don't kid myself, I know that cheating exists in many relationships, but I've got to believe that my parents aren't an anomaly. I've got to believe that the odds of being in a faithful relationship aren't unsurmontable. Otherwise, what's the point?

What do you think, do all men cheat?

Friday, October 20, 2006

When We Reminisce

LISA

I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and she mentioned the name of a this guy we went to school with. Apparently, someone had recently bumped into him and she thought to tell me. Now, this wasn't just any guy. This was a guy that I had an big crush on in college. And when I say big, just trust the girl, it was serious. We ended up talking for a very brief period towards the end of my second semester, freshman year. We even kept in contact over the summer. But by the time fall came around, it was pretty much a wrap. And it wasn't because I wanted it that way. I was so hurt. We ended up not talking much that semester except towards the end when he called to tell me he was transferring to a school closer to home. We spoke a few times after that but keeping in contact proved too difficult, for me at least. And well, I haven't seen or heard from him since.

That's life I guess, except I've never quite had those feelings for anyone since. I've had relationships after. I've even known what it feels like to find myself falling in love; but... it's never been like that. So when my friend mentioned him and all those emotions came flooding back, I was like, damn, this is crazy! I haven't seen this guy in over seven or eight years, why am I still so affected?

Anyway, not too much to say here. This whole situation has just gotten me in a bit of a sentimental mood. And to go right along with it is a song (Hey You) that used to remind me of him then, and as I listen to it now it seems to ring even more true. Sometimes a song just has to way of getting to the heart of the matter.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

The Thing About Chemistry

LISA

You spot him from across the room. He looks interesting, you think to yourself. He catches your eye and comes over in a flash. The two of you have some light conversation. You take his number with a promise to call soon, and soon you do. Great! Right? Well, not exactly.

This very scenario played itself out twice for me this week with mixed results. The first guy turned out to be a total freak. I won't even get into how crazy he was; just know I had to program his number into my cell under, "Do Not Answer!!!" The other guy was different. We had a couple of good conversations. Spoke about this and that, you know... getting to know you stuff. He expressed his interest in seeing me again. I could sense the hesitation in his voice though... like he wasn't sure the feeling was mutual. We talked about past relationships and why the both of us are currently "on the market." The second conversation ended with another promise... this time to hang out over the weekend. Funny thing is, I'm not really looking forward to it all that much. In fact, I can already feel the burden of "letting someone down easy" crawling its way up my back.

That's the thing with chemistry, it's not something that can be forced. I really want to like this guy but I don't. And if the chemistry isn't there no amount of rationalizing can fix that. What's even worse is that one person can feel the "chemistry" while the other doesn't. Personally, I find that to be the cruelest of jokes. Wouldn't it be great if the chemistry one person felt was only activated by the chemistry the other person felt. That way you'd know, if you feel it, it's only because the other person felt it too. At the end of the day it's just collateral damage, i guess. All part of the price of finding love.

As for the guy... we'll see what happens. I'm sure I'll have a nice time and I may even make a friend in the process. And who knows... maybe I'll surprise myself and start liking the guy. Now wouldn't that be interesting?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Waiting Game

NIKKI

I hate dating someone I actually like. Backwards perhaps, but true. Nothing is better and nothing is worse than those butterflies of anticipation, except I seem to have not just butterflies, but the entire animal kingdom running wild in my stomach. How am I supposed to be my fun, flirty, cute self when I feel like I had bad fish for lunch? Even worse is dating someone you like and the date actually going well, going better than you even expected. Case in point, my date this week. I got a night of karaoke and sake from a guy I wouldn't have suspected had it in him. We sang some Motown duets and he sang me a love song. In between, there was great conversation and just enough sexual tension to make it interesting. He's smart and sexy, intellectual and ambitious and .. we haven't had a conversation since. No, no don't worry he called and I called, we've just managed to only engage in a lackadaisical game of phone tag.

So, here's the other part I hate: waiting. Waiting for the next phone call, the next "So are you busy on Friday....," and waiting to go out again and see if the first date was a fluke. You check your voicemail incessantly, pore over every detail of the date in your head and with your girlfriends to the point where you even disgust yourself. Sometimes I wish for a guy who is just okay, one who can hold a decent conversation, is fairly attractive, and says one or two things that let you know this isn't going to work. Your girlfriends ask you how the date went and you say something about how nice a guy he is and how you could definitely be friends with him. No butterflies and no sparkling conversation, but also no stress. Uh I'll be back, gotta check my voicemail...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

LEXI

I’ve always liked to date; I enjoy the excitement of meeting someone new, getting ready for the date, anticipating what is to come, I like the whole process of dating. Dating, for me, is kind of like traveling. You get a taste for a new culture, you may want to visit again, but unless a place feels really comfortable, generally you don’t feel the need to settle down there. I've enjoyed learning about and experiencing different men, but rarely have I felt the need for an extended stay with any one man.

In high school, I wasn’t much of a dater, but I hit my stride in college. My first year in college, my girlfriends would tease me about how much I dated, and said that I had a flavor of the month. I’d flit from guy to guy, a few dates here, maybe even several dates over the course of years, but I never had a boyfriend. For me, it was the chase that was exciting, not necessarily the prospect of catching anyone.

About six years ago, I moved to New York and the dating merry-go-round started again. There was a time that I could almost guarantee that I would see at least one guy I dated at any party or social function I attended. In New York, the dating pool began to feel like a baby pool. I like dating, but I realize I kept it casual because I didn’t want to get hurt and I also wasn’t meeting anyone who made me want to change my routine. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met a lot of great guys, but I’ve infrequently felt that chemistry with a man, that elusive feeling that made me want to go further. Sometimes I think I rely too much on feeling that chemistry, but I know myself; I’m a passionate person and I can’t be in a lukewarm relationship.
NIKKI

I’ve been told I’m relationship prone, and two of my girlfriends seem convinced that I always have someone or am never too far from it. Two other girlfriends pegged me as the marrying kind a couple of years ago. I deny every one of those characterizations, even though I prefer relationships to dating and I was that little girl who imagined the details of her wedding. I will admit that finding people I like hasn't really been a problem. Of course, I like some more than others, but in my post-college adulthood I have found good boyfriend material. Some of my girlfriends complain that never meet anyone in whom they have a real interest, and have gone years without meeting one. So lately, I've started to wonder, am I imagining chemistry with these guys? Is my loneliness overcompensating for character flaws that should have otherwise ruled them out? At the end of it, of course, I see it all clearly. I'll know that he was a good guy, but not the guy for me. I'll look back and know that I could have never been happy with someone who didn't find Vince Vaughn f-ing hilarious.

Maybe I'm slower than other women, and some people spot on the first date what it takes me months to accept. But if I had written them all off at the first sign of less than perfection, I would know less about what is actually perfect for me. I would have never known that the guy who is right for me doesn't need to love foreign food like I do, because I had that and it didn't matter. The guy for me also doesn't need to be as fiery as I am about politics or social change, because I had that and it got on my damn nerves. I don't regret any of my experiences, but maybe it is time for a different tactic.

So, this is a different tactic. Only recently have I found the ability to like dating just for the sake of dating. If you find someone you like and who likes you, what’s wrong with getting into a relationship? Except I know I have to watch where I step because sometimes the two of you together just aren’t made for that, and sometimes you still have an ex you need to get over, and sometimes you’re getting into a relationshp only because you want someone to cuddle with and be your reliable Friday night date. But maybe, that’s just relationship prone me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

LISA
I was never the girl who always had a steady boyfriend. And, I was never the girl that went out on dates every Friday night. You could say my sex life was a bit hum-drum… if you were being nice! Now, don't get me wrong, it's not that I had a problem getting a date. I went out on dates here and there, but I never really cared or desired to simply date for dating's sake. If I didn't feel the attraction from the beginning, I figured, what's the point? I was such an idealist, I figured fate would surely bring my Prince Charming when it was time. I waited, and waited, and well, you get the point. The only thing that changed was the amount of dust collecting on the wedding dress in my closet (just kidding folks!!!) and the number of years that kept passing as I waited for my slow poke soul mate to show up. In the meanwhile, I could always count on my supposed friend, fate, to continue kicking my ass. After years of wondering why it was that fate didn't have my back it began to dawn on me that maybe, just maybe, fate... helped those who helped themselves.

After it hit me that Mr. Right was probably not going to show up on my doorstep with a Range Rover and a diamond ring, I came to the conclusion that I had to stop whatever it was I was, or better yet, wasn't doing if I wanted to improve my odds at ending up with the guy of my dreams. So let's see, where do we start? I'm an attractive girl, good sense of humor, intelligent, not crazy, bla, bla, bla… a pretty damn good catch, right? So where's the problem here? Why is it that the men aren't knocking down doors to find me? Why has love been so elusive? Are all men just jerks or… is it me?

While I'd love to hand over the blame to anyone, anything but me, doing so would do no one justice, especially not me. So I'll admit it. I see the err of my ways; the long lists of requirements, the fear of commitment/rejection, the self-doubt, the unrealistic expectations, yeah… I get it. So what's a girl to do in a situation like this?

Bring on the girls!!!

After countless conversations about love and life, dating successes and dilemmas we came up with the idea to create a blog that charts our experiences. We're not the only ones with these issues, so why not go through them together. We can share with each other, learn from each other and grow with each other. My hope is that this will be a journey of new discoveries and insights, brave acts of courage and victorious breakthroughs as we follow our hearts wherever and to whomever they may lead.

Two years ago on February 14th, two of these dating divas sat at home without flowers or candy or stuffed bears and certainly without men. We didn’t care, though, Valentine’s Day is a holiday engineered by florists to move more product (Sigh) … except well we did care, a lot. That night, we vowed to have a date by the 15th of the next month, and every 15th after that. It’s not that we didn’t date, but we’d never had a goal like this. It became a reason to smile a little more at a party and be a little bolder about flirting with the guy we had our eye on. The 15th is almost here we might think, so maybe I'll save the Netflix for next weekend. We got in and out of relationships, and then rounded out to a trio. Now, we’re back to our original goal: a man on Valentine’s Day.

We've stepped up our game so that we go on a date a week. We'll share our dates with you and along the way think, write, and occasionally gush and bitch about our dating life and the seemingly unending search for love in the Big City. It will be funny, thought provoking, and (we hope) hardly ever depressing, but dating in New York will never be boring.