Category Archives: Relationships

Today’s Word is… EXPIRATION

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So, like a lot of people in the Northeast (because apparently we live in Winterfell now and it’s literally too cold to like, go outside.) I spent a lot of my break just watching Netflix on someones elses account.  I watched a lot of Black Mirror aka Technology Twilight Zone aka Tales from the Encrypt aka Brits Brazy, B aka Stay Woke Alexa gon kill you aka that show you told your friends to check out except for the very first episode with the pig and if they just skip it they might dig it.  Out of the handful of episodes I watch, one of my favorites was somewhat unconventional…it was a rom com episode.  Yes, randomly in a show where the Prime Minister fucks a pig.  So without giving it all away, I’ll just start with the premise:  In a not too distant future, there’s a society where everyone is paired off with an app. (MESSAGE)  The app sets you up in a series of doomed to fail relationships until you find your true love because you need to learn from each one in order to be the person who is ready to love their match (MESSAGE).  The kicker is, the app tells you from jump how long this relationship is going to last.  It could be a couple hours, couple months, couple years and you have to play along or you’ll never find your true love.

I found the idea of that fascinating.  What if you just knew this wasn’t going to end well, or that it was.  Or maybe, this is the one before the ONE.  As an INFJ, I feel like I do this already.  I project everydamnthing.  I just have feelings about things.  Or maybe I’m just a self sabotager…I’ll sort it out with a therapist one day.    But pragmatically speaking, relationships end in a marriage or a break up.  (or if that’s not your thing some semblance of it…Cassie, cohabitation, kids, a puppy…so you’re damn near married. Well until the W2s come in.) So is it really a reach to say that if this isn’t going in the direction of the former, maybe do the latter?  I found myself at that crossroads before, one time I thought this is the woman I marry (it wasn’t…at all….if you’re under 25 and reading this don’t even think about it) another time, I thought okay maybe we need to just get off right here.  Maybe we could’ve made it work just a little while longer; but it was probably for the best we got out before someone really got hurt.   Whether it’s a job or relationship, that feeling of…this isn’t it. Makes you just resign, even subconsciously because you know winter is coming.  But being a relationship pragmatist takes  all the fun out of it.  Even while I have my feelings, my doubts, my optimism…I don’t know shit.  (I usually be right tho).  That isn’t to say abandon my gut completely or ignore red flags, it’s just…not the time to think about that right now.  Chill.

Going back to the Black Mirror episode, there’s a couple who really like each other and decide mutually agree to not look at the clock.  Whether it ends tomorrow or 10 years  from now they are just going to enjoy each other. ( and if you’ve ever seen a romantic comedy you probably know what happened next).   In that time they were really happy just existing without the pressures of is this forever or am I wasting my time.   Too often we worry about wasted time that we don’t even enjoy it (okay I sound like your MCM saying he don’t believe in labels).  I do think, to an extent that ignorance is bliss.  That happy medium, where “how does this story end” might be in the back of my mind because I’m just a little odd, I’m not just waiting for the app in my head to tell me this is worth my energy.  I’m also pragmatic about the idea that I’m probably a couple years, tax brackets and growing pains before I should be worried about being someone’s husband anyway.   Or maybe I hit the Powerball this week and suddenly I don’t believe in such an archaic concept anymore. Word to Diddy.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… BENEFITS

So I was making my way downtown, faces pass and I’m home bound when I had happened upon this meme

getting tens of thousands of retweets and I was flummoxed. First, because since when was abuse a word to be used so flippantly (also is she wearing a wedding ring?). Furthermore, what is a relationship benefit exactly? And he can expect a lot of things what exactly happens if she doesn’t indulge, is he just gonna continue to not be with her? If he says he’s not ready for a relationship and you continue to act like that’s acceptable to you, who is really lying? What responsibility is it of the uninterested party to keep reminding them of that fact? (I’ve been that guy…when you do they hate it, “they know” they said, “we’re adults” they said). In reality, I’m not that damn serious, no one is that damn serious, and maybe just maybe “relationship benefits” is just something you wanted to do.

Relationships are nothing more than mutual agreements of responsibilities and expectations of one another. There’s no benefits package. You do things for (and to) people you like. Sometimes that happens to be your girlfriend, or maybe it’s just the girl you’re sleeping with, or have a crush on or a friend. You had sex with them because you wanted to. You were their date at the holiday party because you wanted to. You paid for dinner because you wanted to. You built that TV stand because you wanted to. You cooked for them because you wanted to. (I don’t know when cooking became a grander gesture than sex…or maybe we just too grown to be earning sex so I gotta love you before you have my short ribs). Entering relationships for said benefits is not how they should work and if you are doing that, expect to be solely disappointed. A committed, healthy relationship should never be something you leverage.

There’s a difference between leveraging and courting. A difference between men sold on the idea that if I pay for the date I expect sex and men who go on dates because they are genuinely trying to what she’s about. People who have casual sex because they just want to and those who are just acquiescing in the hopes it turns into something else. The way men lament about paying for dates on Twitter you would think they aren’t at the restaurant they probably chose themselves eating too. You aren’t “free food”, that’s another one of her followers who orders her UberEATS even though they’ve never met. If she agreed and went out with you, then you aren’t being used. (Unless it’s like date 3 or 4, she’s never asked to see you first nor has offered to pay. #knowyourworthKing). Going back to the meme, if he says he wasn’t looking for a relationship, you know that you are but continue to entertain him hoping to change his mind. You aren’t being manipulated; you’re manipulating. It’s just not working. Again, you aren’t doing things of your own free will, you’re leveraging. In both cases, rather than ask explicitly what you’re doing here, or state plainly what you’re looking for and get finality…but its easier to hide behind casual sex, fake friendship and cocktails and play a victim because your plan isn’t working. But they’re the misleading one. K.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… ROMANTIC

So I had stumbled upon this article (don’t leave NOW, go back to it later…RUDE.) the other day about the idea of a “romantic booty call”. The writer, fresh off a breakup, is where we’ve all been. Not really looking to get back out there but not quite used to going extended periods without sex. So you venture out into the dating world which might as well be the Upside Down from Stranger Things. The writer has an “epiphany” of sorts, that when she tells men that she’s a romantic, they simply don’t know how to process it so they assume she’s looking for love and they default to the tried and true method of lowering her expectations. Jokes on them, she’s just in this for the sex. She could just say that but it’s easier to make them squirm. (#DontDateWriters). As she puts it, “women live such multidimensional lives with a huge range of interests, ambitions, and opportunities at our fingertips — casual lovers included.” Basically, you ain’t got to lie to kick it.

Last year (damn time flies), I touched on casual sex and my struggles with it. Ironically, it was the same thing that she’s lamenting, (it’s almost like men aren’t just horny cavemen who are confused by nuance) the struggle of being a romantic but not wanting a relationship can be real tho. We can sleep together, have a great time with each other, kiss and say we love each other but the reality is, the reason we ain’t actually together is because at least one of us doesn’t want to be. But saying you’re just good enough to sleep with is cruel to say out loud and so we play verbal gymnastics. Speaking personally, I’m someone who takes my relationships very seriously; and so, if I don’t see a long term future I adjust accordingly. However, that reality of “I want you but I don’t WANT you” is a tough pill for one to swallow.

With that the idea of a “romantic booty call” sounds ideal, all of the relationship perks with none of the baggage, that’s the dream right? There’s a lot of middle ground between “dick appointment” and “boyfriend”. Hooking up with random people gets old by 23…you want familiarity and consistency (and worry free annual physicals). So does having a new bae every 3 months because you enjoy each other’s company and that’s just what you’re supposed to do.

Can the romantic booty call work? Yes…but only temporarily. No one is going to just be around forever. No one wants to just be around forever. “I’m not looking for a relationship” guy is going to find someone else eventually, your FWB is going to take that job out of town because who is staying around for a “friend”, his wife is eventually going to find out. All good things come to an end, B. At least the way I see it, perhaps there’s a society of people who simply don’t believe in relationships, but are down to do romantic things platonically I’m simply not privy to. Or an even more novel idea, just stop treating sexual partners like shit as a means to establish boundaries and there’d be no need to romanticize the fwb who actually let’s you spend the night in the first place.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… TIME

From the moment I first saw them, I just knew it was something special. I found myself going to bed later and later, wanting to talk to anyone about them, it was so unlike my usual routine. I had gotten hooked, happily so. After a while, the luster of new faded as it typically does but I found myself still very much in this for the long haul. Even as I noticed it was not as good as the beginning, we’d been through so much, we would make it through this. And so I labored…wondering if I was in it because I thought it would be good again or because I put so much into it I just didn’t want to accept the L. Maybe I was just holding on to fit in with my friends who were seemingly as happy as they’ve ever been. But I wasn’t happy. Maybe, it was me. What was I missing? I didn’t even see the good anymore, I found myself just nitpicking everything to the point that I just had to accept I couldn’t do this anymore… And so, I just ghosted. One week turned to two then a month and it was over. I had reclaimed my time. I had chose ME. I had quit watching The Walking Dead.

Sometimes, you just got to know when to let go and accept that while you wasted your time, it’s not coming back and there’s no need to waste more. Time wasters don’t care, they will use up all the time allotted to them. The Walking Dead may run for 10 more seasons if people continue to watch the same mediocrity, she’ll keep accepting dates as long as you keep asking, he’ll keep telling you “he’s not ready” as long as you believe him. You don’t value the time, why should they?

I say that as someone who’s been time waster and wastee. Pretending I can be just a friend, pretending I’m still interested but just been busy, taking numbers knowing we never going to link up. Why? (cuz Gemini, probably) I guess because I didn’t look at it as time wasting, they’re just texts. They don’t even cost 10¢ like back in the day… They’re literally worthless. We can text while talking in 5 other groupchats, Twitter and a Facebook group, but while I may view it as an empty gesture,to others it may mean the world.

To quote Einstein*, time is relative… You may feel like you are putting your all into something, but really you aren’t doing anything. You think you’re dating someone and really you just text her wyd everyday and y’all hang out occasionally. Then she actually meets someone and you’re feeling played. Or maybe you’ve been in a “relationship” for years with someone who tells their friends, “y’all cool”. even just asking someone out, only for it to end with a church hug and a “I don’t think this is going to work” text.

not what he meant*

In a those cases, yes you put forth some effort only to not get the desired outcome and so you feel like they wasted your time. But to them they just answered a message and agreed to a date they didn’t force you to ask them on. So why you so mad? See, it’s relative*.

Again, totally not what he meant*

Whether it’s me with Walking Dead, dude in the friend zone, shorty in the one sided relationship, we all know what we signed up for and why we did. All hoping for a change, hoping that we didn’t waste our time. But we did, so then what? You can feel deceived, frustrated, angry… But that in itself is a waste of time. Just cut your losses because no matter how bad you want them to; they won’t care. (They may or may not just text Drake lyrics back). They’re going to screenshot you and laugh in the group chat. Don’t do it to yourself.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… CUFFIN’

The cuffing season phenomenon is interesting to see in real time. After spending the whole summer pretending to be savages, it’s now time to settle down for a few months. Human beings don’t actually have mating seasons, so it’s somewhat of a placebo affect… Colder weather, more time indoors, desire to spend that time with someone. The end of the year has you in a more reflective state, you have that “epiphany” and do a light contact purge because the days are literally shorter and you have to reclaim as much of them as possible. Personally, I always preferred to date in spring/summer because I’m a dater; when the weather is nice I like going out doing things and knowing who my +1 is going to be. I can Netflix and chill by my damn self. (Stop asking me if I’m still watching you know damn well I am). I much rather be single at Thanksgiving than at a wedding. Don’t worry about who I’m seeing, worry about that soggy ass stuffing no one is eating.

But no one listens to me. So they fall for the cuffing season traps; they panic and spend $63 on e harmony only to find out all the men there look like preachers, they book that flight to homecoming to see the same ex they haven’t wanted in a decade, join that beard group on Facebook. Granted, I’ve fallen for it too. I think this time last year I found myself on a date with a white woman who was entirely too into her improv troupe. Then there was the one who lied about her age. And the vegan. Then the “celibate” one. Then I shot my shot at a friend. (it missed, badly) Then the one who said I wasn’t her type but was willing to try this out anyway. and it was obvious that the “cuffing season” got me. (and with the last one it clearly got her too). All in the name of I don’t want to be single anymore. Just trying to be the “good guy” who is about more than wyd and come thru texts. I could’ve just saved time and money just finding other ways to occupy my time. Like working out and watching Westworld.

Love is dope, as are relationships… When they happen organically for the right reasons. You may already find yourself mid cuff and have to ask the hard questions like, do you really like this person or just hate dating? Do they even like you or just hate dating? Do they like pineapple on their pizza? Is there a future here? Or are you just killing time until peak cuffing season after New Years. (studies* show that after new year’s day, suddenly the list goes from 6’+ to “taller than me”, the distance radius goes from 25 mi to I think I prefer long distance relationships, and all pictures get rotated out to snapchat filtered ones)

*There are no studies

Ultimately, the problem with the idea of cuffing season is not dissimilar to moving back home for a bit or taking a job just to be working again. You look up and it’s been 2 years and you’re no closer to moving out because all your money is going to the food and cable. They shop at Whole Foods now. I’ve said before that no one is “ready” for relationships; just as someone who tells you they aren’t ready to date just don’t want your ass, someone who is all about cuffing season wants comfort…not necessarily you. When they want you it won’t matter if it’s Columbus Day, the first day of summer (or mid divorce). So my advice this cuffing season is to ride out the lonely because dead end relationships are never what’s up. Keep your heart, 3 Stacks. They probably snore and hog covers anyway.

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SAVAGE

What came first, the chicken or the egg.  (Obviously the chicken, it’d be like Adam and Eve being babies).  It’s a causality dilemma nonetheless, you can’t have one without the other.  Much like the savage and the fuckboy.  Behind either one, is some hurt they never sorted out fully and instead became the person who hurted them.  Because feelings suck.  Feeling betrayed by those feelings suck and now you want to make sure you never feel that way again.  And so, you become a savage.  You do what you want to who you want and don’t worry about consequences; they’ll be iight, you lived so will they.  Or they just take that hurt turn into savages themselves and suddenly it’s like Walking Dead, living amongst the savages who ain’t got shit to offer but hurt feelings and wyd texts while you still trying to find something real and avoid becoming a savage your damn self. I mean I’ve done some things whilst hurting (that was a crazy summer).  You find yourself reaching out to people you ain’t seen in ages like “where the wave at”, hitting up old flames knowing good and well they are not the come thru and chill type, meeting and deleting people with the same turnover rate as the White House.  You know you living foul but accountability is a little too close to feelings and you don’t do those anymore, you’re a savage.  

It’s an addicting feeling, feels almost like control.  Can’t get hurt if you don’t care.  And to be fair, why should you?  Why even stress over someone who wasn’t going to be your forever anyway?  There were times when I wasn’t even trying to be a “savage”, I literally ran out of fucks to give.   There were times I got that text and it’s like, I probably could fix this, but I won’t. She was a loud snorer.  I don’t want another smoker.  She was an awful kisser.  I like my Sundays. This is like our 15th breakup.  I don’t even like white women like that anyway.  She cut her hair.  She’s finna move away.   She watches Gilmore Girls.  Everything isn’t worth your time and energy, and sometimes people need to be reminded of that fact. If that’s, as the kids say, savage AF,  so be it.   

*cue Rihanna*

Except… You’re not Rihanna.  Rihanna was coming from a place where she is tired of having to explain every guy she’s seen with on TMZ, you are just pretending you don’t have feelings which literally counteracts science. I can get being exhausted by hurt, lies, and disappointment… But that’s just life.  This newfound era of “savagery” is just low expectations and hypocrisy.  Fairly transparent, at that.  There’s sexual liberation and there’s just being a trash person.  A lesson even I learned the hard way; that eventually every one gets over your shit.   That aforementioned summer ended as the others did, a whole lot of fuck yous only for me to leave off with a petty parting quip.  In the moment, it was savage but in hindsight it was hurt.  Hurt that again I was in this position, hurt in the realization that all of them couldn’t be tripping.  That brushing it off and on to the next one wasn’t fixing nothing, I had to really self evaluate.  As for them, maybe they found someone who wouldn’t waste their time, or maybe they are just savages now.  I truly root for the former, if it’s the latter… Well, sorry.  

So being a savage, creates a savage that may create a savage.  How do we stop the epidemic of misdirected retaliation?   Self evaluation,  for starters.  It can’t just be “men” or “women here”, “Mercury is in Retro Js”, “this generation”… Something is actually wrong.   Lowering expectations and just being a savage is scotch tape on a broken window.  We’re wired for companionship, we desire, we care, we feel… And there’s nothing wrong with that, pretending you don’t for convenience sake doesn’t do anything but infect others.  The irony is, what would be savage is loving freely and openly without fear. Not empty situationships and convincing yourself it’s on your terms.  As Auntie Maya says “Have enough courage to trust love one more time and shit.” (Not a direct quote).  

-Stan-

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Today’s Word is… SIMPLE

Men are simple.  It’s an adage as old as time itself; basically it’s Morgan Freeman.  It’s partially correct in the sense that men aren’t as complicated as made out to be; just about every “why doesn’t he…” question can be answered with a “because he doesn’t want to.”  Trying to find deeper meaning in direct ass words and actions is simply searching for an answer you like better or trying to make a Nicki Minaj verse profound.    He isn’t being complicated, he’s literally rhyming race with race and China with China.  He doesn’t want you, my dear.  That level of simplicity then gets applied to men in general; Be hot.  Have sex.  Feed him. Don’t nag. Your caveman will love you until he dies… Well except for the fact that he broods mostly at home but you see pictures of him on his line brothers page and he’s never been more ecstatic.  He comes home and says work is fine but the entire ride home he sulked thinking about the promotion he got passed over on.  He loves your family like his own but you barely know his and he never really speaks about that.  Turns out, he isn’t simple. Because no one is simple.  We all have our layers, needs, wants, desires.  

“Men are simple”  is a cop out, albeit self afflicted because we struggle with exploring our layers, expressing our true wants and intentions, and holding ourselves accountable to them.   It’s the logic upon which Steve Harvey has built an empire, psssh men are easy clearly it’s you.  Men themselves own it, but if all we need is sex, food and silence then why aren’t we satisfied?  Not too long ago I wrote about the “its cool girl” (#wellactually, it was well over a year ago… Time flying like a bitch ain’t it?).  The it’s cool girl is low maintenance, available, convenient because she is just trying to get chose. Then one day she looks up and realizes she isn’t happy because she lost herself in her relationship.  “Sex, food, silence” guy is the other side of that coin, he doesn’t feel, doesn’t care, doesn’t express what he wants because that’s woman shit.  It’s cool girl and it’s cool guy then find themselves in a unsatisfying relationship until one or both of them cheats or leaves. (Lawrence and Issa).  It’s cool guy might even be worse because he approached, courted and chose her and never really asked himself, is this what I really want?  

I’ve been it’s cool guy. I’m a pleaser, but sometimes I would get so caught up in trying to be any and everything for her that I lost myself.  Because she was fine. Because she passed the checklist.  Because she was my best friend.   I was getting the food, sex, silence but still not satisfied, still not whole.  I would get frustrated with myself; maybe I was being too picky, maybe I was just a fuckboy or maybe I didn’t know what I was doing.  (I still don’t know what I’m doing).  The answer was, I was being simple and simplicity bores me.  I need to be me, fully and understood as such.  Maybe if I knew then what I know now I would’ve been able to express what I needed and received it.  Now I do know what I want and still trying to find a way to articulate it. I’m layered but not unsolvable. Learn me. (okay…clearly still work shopping the articulation part) 

We all want the simple things but it’s time to stop being naive as if that’s all we want. Netflix is not a date.  Stop tweeting generalizations and call her.   Yes it’s still a fuckboy move if you’re really good to her whilst stringing her along. Basically, we all need to stop lying.  We aren’t simple.  Playing it cool helps no one. Just maybe if everyone kept it 100 about what they want, dating could be a wee bit less trash.  Instead, everyone paying the minimum wondering why they still in debt. Sad! 

-Stan-

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