The problem with dating someone with the same personality as you is that there’s no one there to stop the crazy…

I can’t stress how important personality is to me when I’m dating a guy, especially because I bore easily. My mother says I was born one half of a comedy team – she’s not totally off base. I do often go for a male version of myself, which poses a lot of problems because there’s not always balance in the relationship. My rebounds however are right on the other side of the personality spectrum. My current rebound is great, but our almost-conversations always end in me saying “never mind” since he doesn’t understand sarcasm.

Right off the bat Brent picked up on my humor.  Not only did he understand the jokes I was making but he would one-up them, and back and forth we would go until one of us couldn’t think of a comeback. I always had fun when I was with him, but the thing about similar personalities is that you can’t bullshit, because the other one will know what you’re doing.
The truth about Brent is that shortly before he asked me out he had broken up with his long-term girlfriend. But she wasn’t out of his life because she was still in his “band” (I stick with the quotation marks on that one). During the 3 months we saw each other he would always refer to her as “the keyboardist” – never by name.

The first couple of dates I didn’t expect him to bring her up, I mean, the relationship had just ended and he probably didn’t want to get into a whole discussion about how he still has to see her all the time. So I sat on my knowledge of his past. My friends said that he probably wasn’t bringing her up because he didn’t think that it was a big deal. But as time went on, it seemed odd he hadn’t even mentioned her to me. Around our 5th date, almost a month into seeing each other I decided to broach the subject. While he was talking about his band I asked him who the original members were, knowing full well that his ex-girlfriend (the keyboardist) was the only answer. But instead of answering me he deflected my question and changed the topic. That’s when I knew his game – he would never tell me a direct lie, but he would deflect and he would omit.  His game is eerily similar to mine, and it was almost like a new challenge.

I probably should have just either called him out on it then, or ended things. But the writer inside told me to stick it out for a while longer, because things were just about to get good.

I’m just going to keep talking and make this date even more awkward than we thought it could be…

When I try to “play it cool” I suddenly feel like I’m back to being an awkward 13 year-old standing in front of my French class. “Cool” is a second language to me, and although I’ve tried in vain to present myself that way before, I will always be a very clumsy girl who tends to over-think and over-share in awkward situations. I’ve come to accept this (and I will tell you that it actually takes talent to trip over nothing).  The fact is that I can only laugh at myself, because if I took myself seriously I would spend every day in bed, under the covers.

Case in point – my second date with Brent. Now, although I foreshadowed a tragic ending to the 3 months I dated Brent, things actually started out really well.  The first date had been great, he is a gentleman when he wants to be and has excellent date etiquette. But this second date was already putting me out of my comfort zone because it was a lunch date, which meant it was in the middle of the day. I am not used to being out at the same time as the sun; I enjoy the mask of darkness on a date.

The actual lunch portion of the date was typical with decent conversation, but here’s where I go off the tracks. After lunch he offers to walk me home (because he’s a gentleman and doesn’t want me to get attacked in the daylight). I live downtown and walk everywhere, this restaurant was honestly 3 blocks from my place. Somehow we walked past my street and I didn’t notice until we were two blocks past it…. then I spent another 4 blocks trying to decide if I was going to tell him or if I was just going to pick a random building and pretend I lived there. (I swear I’m not an idiot, I was just busy over-thinking things). The problem with picking a random building was that my key wouldn’t work in the door, and then I thought that would be even harder to explain. So 6 blocks past my street I finally told him I lived waaaay back the other way.

Then things got worse when we actually got to my building. We hadn’t kissed on the first date; naturally I figure this date would end with a kiss. Except it was the middle of the day and I wasn’t entirely sure what ‘day date’ protocol is regarding a first kiss. I thanked him for a nice time and I thought he was just giving me a hug goodbye, so I turned my head away returning the hug – unfortunately realizing too late that he was actually trying to kiss me. I jerked my head back trying to fix the situation, over-correcting a little too much and ended up kissing his nose. (Dear god.) He actually said “Wow that was terrible.”(It really was.) So we tried again, with much more success the second time, but being the spaz that I am I decided to end the date by saying, “Ok, I should probably go inside because my neighbours are going to be like ‘Really Becca? Making out in front of the building… again?!’”. He smiled politely, humoring me…
I was a little unsure why he actually called me for another date, but I like to think I came off as endearing.  And the great thing was that I knew he actually wanted to go out with me, and not a ‘cool girl’ version of me.

Anatomy of a Rebound

If we were to play the word association game, what words come to mind when I say “breakup”? Probably not positive ones – personally mine would be tequila and rebound. I think as a society we’re trained to think of all the negative aspects of a breakup before we allow ourselves to think about all the positives. I mean have you Googled the definition of a breakup? Wikipedia harshly describes it as “the termination of an intimate relationship by any means other than death.” (Any means? So wait… hypothetically it means we’re not together anymore if the judge ordered me to stay at least 100 yards away at all times?)

But the best part of any breakup is the rebound. I like to think of a rebound guy the same way I think of candy – it keeps you entertained in a superficially delicious way, and as fast as you crave it you start to get sick of it. Besides everyone deserves carefree fun after the termination of an intimate relationship, right? The thing to remember is to always tell your rebound that that’s what they are to you. Technically you don’t need to call them a rebound to their face, but don’t leave them totally in the dark about your intentions – that’s mean. The problem with rebounds is that sometimes you actually start to fall for the person. To avoid this I like to choose a guy that’s extremely attractive and that I’m completely incompatible with so nothing gets confusing.

Very recently I was someone’s rebound, let’s call him Brent. Now, I knew from the beginning that he had just gotten out of a long term relationship, not because he told me, but because we have a mutual friend in common that he didn’t know about. So I actually knew everything that was going on behind the scenes, which I think in the end, was a blessing and a curse. He never told me I was his rebound and the lines got very blurred over the 3 months we saw each other. And now? Well, now he goes on the blog in as many posts as it takes to tell the story.

It’s a breakup, it’s not really open for negotiation…

I’ve been through a few breakups, some of them actual breakups where we sit down and talk like adults, and in my not so proud moments, some of them over text message.  The hard thing with a breakup is knowing what to say. You don’t want to outright hurt the other person, so how do you say “I can’t be with you anymore because everything you do makes me want to hit you with a shovel”? I think the funniest breakup I ever had was when the guy I was dating refused to actually accept that it was happening.

I had been seeing Josh for about 2 months and everything had started out great. He was an amazing guy, unbelievably thoughtful, super successful, good looking, great house, car, motorcycle, etc. Honestly, I felt ridiculous because I had really hit the jackpot finding him but there was something missing. It was the spark, there was just nothing there, I thought at some point it might show up, but I was ready to finally breakup with him. Also he was looking for a serious relationship and I just wasn’t.

I decided to do it the day after his birthday, so we were already off to a not great start. He came to my place to pick me up and I decided that I would go out and do it in the car. This is how the break up went;

Josh “Hey, you look good. So what do you want to do? Do you want to go for a walk or go to my place and hang out?” (I felt because he complimented me I would try to be extra nice.)

Me“Actually, I need to talk to you about something. I think that right now isn’t really a great time for us to be doing this. You’re amazing and so considerate, but I’m super busy with work and I just feel like it’s not fair to you that I can’t give you the time that you deserve. I’m sorry, I’m terrible person for doing this, but I think it’s best that we stop seeing each other. “

Josh “Wow, I think we can make this work though.” (Right, here’s where it starts to go downhill because I hadn’t prepared anything past that first part.)

Me“Yeah, I just don’t see it happening. This is really all about me, and I’m terrible. I like to go out with my friends and have fun, and I’m not ready to settle down. I’m sorry”

Josh “Well, you sound like you have low self esteem, and I think this is something that we can work though.” (And this is where I stopped trying to be nice, because my self-esteem is not low, if anything it’s delusionally high.)

Me“Right. You know what? This actually isn’t about me, this is about you. I can’t see you anymore because you’re driving me crazy. We’ve been dating for barely two months and you’re planning an insane two-week vacation for us. I’ve told you I don’t want to go on your motorcycle and you wont let it go. You keep trying to sneakily take candid photos of me on your phone; do you seriously think I don’t notice? And honestly, do you need to document every moment of your life like a 15-year-old girl? And for the love of god, the attempts at pda – why can’t you understand that I don’t want to make out with you in the coffee shop I have to show my face in everyday. And since I started going there with you, none of the straight male baristas give me free coffee anymore, so you owe me like $30.00 in damages.” (I may have been too harsh)

Josh“I really think you’re confused right now. We can work.” He said nonchalantly as he smiled.

[me staring at him with look of half shock, half disbelief]

Josh“So did you want to get coffee before we go to my place?”

Me“What?!? Did you not just hear any of that? We’ve broken up; we’re not seeing each other anymore. Ever.”

Josh“I’ll tell you what, how about I’ll give you some time to really think about this. I don’t think this is really what you want. (yes it is) So I’ll give you 5 days. If I haven’t heard from you in 5 days I will call you and we’ll talk about this some more. But I know you’ll change you’re mind.”

[Still look of shock on my face]

Me“Right. I’m going to go, and I’m not going to call you, and please don’t call me.”

[He leans over to kiss me]

Me“OH MY GOD! ARE YOU KIDDING RIGHT NOW?!”

I got out of the car and left him sitting in front of my building. He did call, I didn’t answer. He also started showing up places randomly for a while, which is really the sign of a terrible stalker when you can’t even stay hidden. But as far as break ups go, that really has turned out to be the funniest one.

And who knows, maybe he’s still stalking me and he’s just gotten really good at it.

I’m not sure if I’ve ever gone on a first date without my personal alarm in my pocket…

First dates are a fun, necessary part of life, and whether you end up hitting it off or not it’s always good to go on dates with new people [when you are single].  I realize, thanks to all of the dates I’ve been on over the last few years I’ve come up with rules for myself to avoid awkward and uncomfortable situations.

In planning the date I always offer the guy one chance to pick the restaurant. If he says that you can choose, you choose. Do not be indecisive and play the game of “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me, where do you want to go”, it’s annoying. It’s good to show you have an opinion and that you’re actually into this date. If you pick somewhere you like to go, it helps him get to know you, and you’ll be in a setting that you’re comfortable in (also, you’ll know where all of the exits are should you need to make a quick escape).
If it’s a first date and he picks the restaurant make sure it’s somewhere that is easy for you to meet him at. Do not let him pick you up and drive you somewhere. And yes, him saying, “The restaurant is just through this forest” should make you reach for your protection whistle.

Once you’re on the date it’s always good to keep in mind that it’s not an interview. If you don’t know each other, it’s definitely not the date to be talking or asking about exes. Unless it’s for a funny story, don’t even bring up your ex. Just like you don’t want to sit and listen to him talk all night about how terrible his ex is; he doesn’t want to hear about how your ex cheated on you and how you have trust issues now. Please, god, keep it light. And if you are rebounding and emotional, stay away from the alcohol. Keep you’re phone in your purse, and NEVER start showing him pictures of your cat. EVER (I don’t care if the cat is cute, you will look crazy).

Do not go on this date expecting him to pick up the bill at the end of it. I like to think that the person who did the asking should be the person who pays. However, when the bill arrives, reach for the check at some point. If he says he will get it, still offer to chip in. He will most likely say no, but if he says yes, carry cash to pay. It’s much quicker than debit or credit, and the conversation about money and the bill is over as fast as it started. Never, ever, ever go on a date without knowing you’re able to cover the full amount of the bill at the end. From him expecting you to pay, to his card declining, you just never know what could happen.

There are lots of other rules I have like don’t leave him alone with your purse, don’t flirt with the waiter or bartender working, don’t wear a shade of lipstick that needs to be constantly reapplied and don’t order food that’s super awkward to eat. I could go on and on, but really, it’s just dating and it’s meant to be fun. The more people you date, the more you really start to realize what you appreciate and what you’re looking for in another person.

So, put yourself out there, enjoy and happy dating!

Opportunities that arise to meet men are the Fashion Gods showing you they care…

I love dating, and one of my favourite parts of the dating game is finding the new men to date. I’ve never really understood women who say they don’t know where to find men, they are literally everywhere. Sometimes if a girl is lucky she’ll have help singling out the successful guys in a crowd. For example; I was on the ferry home one night, minding my own business in the child-free lounge when a voice came over the speakers – “If there is a doctor on board could they please come to the Captain’s Office immediately.”
Now I know what you’re probably thinking – someone must have had a heart attack, or a child is very sick etc. Yes normal people think that way, but I’m an opportunist and if the ferry staff is nice enough to have all the doctors on board converge in one area, then the thought that comes to my mind is that it’s only right if I go to check and see if there is a cute, young, single doctor that shows up.

Very recently I was getting ready mid-morning and listening to the radio when they announced that lawyers would be giving out free legal advice in the City Square all day as part of some fundraiser/awareness thing they were doing. Again being an opportunist I saw this as a prime chance to see if there maybe was a young, cute, single lawyer volunteering at the event. So I threw on my trench coat and a pair of black stilettos and walked the few short blocks from my apartment to the City Square to see if it was worth my time.

And there he was – a cute, young lawyer. He was tall and fairly well built with light brown hair and great jaw line, now all I had to do was find out if he was single. Each lawyer had their own tent and it suddenly hit me… I had no problem that I needed legal advice for, but it was too late, I was already walking towards his tent and had made eye contact with him. Oh god, think…

“Hi, I’m Ryan.” He said, finishing his introduction with a perfect smile

“Becca” I said, extending my arm to shake his hand

“So what can I help you with today, Becca?”

“Um… well…I was thinking about making a will… you know, just in case. I would just hate to see my shoes and dresses go to someone who wouldn’t appreciate them… Do you think I need a lawyer or can I just use one of those kits they sell at Staples?”

It really did sound worse out loud than it did in my head. The look on his face showed some sign of amusement though.

“Well I suppose it never hurts to plan, but you are quite young to be worrying about something like this” he replied, then he followed that with a lot of legal talk that I nodded along to as if I was paying deep attention.

Once he finished giving me my legal advice I asked him about his law school and what he did for fun since he must be so busy with work all the time. After about ten minutes and my casual mention of being single he asked if I would want to go for drinks sometime. My answer was, of course, yes. Mission accomplished. The opportunities to meet new men are everywhere; you just have to be open to the possibilities and approach with no fear. Because really, what’s the worst that could happen?

Women who say chivalry is dead obviously haven’t had a guy honk at them lately…

I take preventative measures to ignore people trying to get my attention when I’m walking down the street. I always have my headphones in my ears, although there’s not always music playing. I also either have my sunglasses or a hat on so I can avoid eye contact with people. I’m not trying to be anti-social; I just don’t like being bothered in the street, because more often then not, it’s someone that I don’t want to acknowledge.
Every now and then I get 2 or 3 guys that are walking behind me and try to get my attention; it usually goes something like this;

“Hey!…Hey Hot girl!… Hey girl in the black coat! Hey!”
“Dude, she can’t hear you, she’s listening to music.”

(Yes, because if I could hear you yelling for my attention in the street, I would definitely give you my number)

One time I was standing beside a guy at the crosswalk, sunglasses on, headphones in, and I could see he was trying to get my attention, but I ignored him. Then he started tapping my shoulder… I don’t like to be touched, I have a bubble, and he was definitely in it. I took my headphone out of my ear and said “yes?” he replied “how’s it going?” I said “fine.” Then he gave me a creepy smile that I’m sure he usually reserved for small children. I promptly put my headphones back in.

Of course then we have the guys that honk their car horns. I was in the car with a male friend of mine once and there was a pretty girl walking down the street. He said “look at her…” and then went to hit the horn. I grabbed his hand and asked him why he would honk at a girl. To which he replied “What? Girls like it when you honk at them…”.
Um…what? I couldn’t understand what would ever give a man the impression that a person likes to be honked at while they walk down the street. And what are you going to do, if by some unlikely chance, the girl actually smiled back at you? Park the car and run down the street after her? That wouldn’t scream desperate and mentally unbalanced at all.
Car horns should only be used for road rage and to warn the children playing in the street that you don’t intend on stopping or slowing down your fast approaching vehicle.

So please, do the men in your life a favour and kindly remind them to leave the pretty girl walking down the street alone.

I would tell a liar that their pants are on fire, but it’s much more fun to watch them burn…

Nick considered himself very smooth when it came to women, and I believe he thought he was much smarter than me since he was a few years older. Technically speaking he was a “cheap thrill” guy that I mistakenly put in the  category of “openly dateable” guy.
He was a habitual liar, and still is, I’m sure. I’m also sure he was used to dating very gullible women, which I am not.

I was just getting home from a coffee with a friend and Nick was supposed to come by so we could hang out for a bit. This is the first time I caught him outright lying. It was over text message, involved my friend Hanna and perfect timing;

Me – “Hey, I’m home now, so whenever you want to come over…”
Nick- “Cool, I’m just writing a paper at home, I’ll be maybe another half an hour”
Me – “Of course, take your time”

Hanna – “Hey, I’m at my friend Bill’s house and that guy Nick that you’re seeing is here”
Me – “Are you sure? He just told me he was writing a paper at home.”
Hanna – “Positive, he’s sitting beside me”
Me – “Excellent. I’ll have a funny story for you later. I’ll call you.”

Nick – “Almost done! Last Paragraph!”
Me – “Excellent”
Nick – “Ok, I’m just leaving my house; I’ll be there in about 15”
Me – “Can’t wait!”

When Nick got there I was very happy to see him, we sat on the couch and I made sure he sat at the end, against the arm of the couch. We chit chatted for a few minutes, then I said;

“I want you to know, I like you, and the only thing that’s really important to me is honesty. As long as you’re always honest with me, everything will be good.”

Without missing a beat he said;
“I agree, there’s nothing worse then lying, I would never do that. I could never lie.”

At this point he had made it too easy. So I smiled said “excellent” and gave him a kiss. I was sitting beside him, so I put both of my legs over his; effectively trapping him between the arm of the couch and myself.

“So” I said, “what was your paper on?”
“uuuhh, nothing important, it’s boring stuff” he replied.
“I’m interested.”
“Medical chemistry stuff” he said
“Ooo that is boring. I’m happy you were able to finish though.”
“Yeah, I wish I could have come over sooner”
“Me too.”
I gave him another kiss and then said;
“I know what I was going to tell you! Funniest thing; my friend Hanna, is friends with your friend Bill. I actually think you may know Hanna. You were sitting beside her tonight.”

He turned white as a ghost and he had no where to go. The only regret I have is not taking a picture of the look on his face with my phone. The thing that scares guys is when you keep a calm nonchalant attitude during a moment like this, they expect you to yell at them and get emotional. When you don’t they can’t read you and have no idea what’s going through your head (although I’m positive no one really wants to know what goes through my head). I told Nick that it would be wise if he left.

I didn’t care that he was at his friend’s house, but liars make me angry. And it really was an unbelievable amount of fun for me.

Let go of the branch, then we’ll talk…

A few years ago I was being heavily pursued by a man that had a girlfriend. He had been with his girlfriend for 3 years, she was beautiful, yet he kept asking me out. He would phone me at all the time just to talk, and I would ask him where his girlfriend was. Eventually I just stopped picking up his calls and he developed a healthy relationship with my answering machine. It went a little something like this;

“You’ve reached Becca; sorry I couldn’t answer your call (no I wasn’t), please leave a message.”
Beep
“Hey, it’s Sam, just wondering what you’re doing. Call me back.” (I’m avoiding you)
Beep
“Hey, I’m just going to get dinner, do you want to come? Call me back.” (nope)
Beep
“Hey, I’m at Earls if you want to come meet me.” (no chance)
Beep
“I’m just leaving Earls, wanted to let you know in case you were on your way down here, I’ll wait 10 more minutes just in case.” (please hold your breath)
Beep
“We must have missed each other, but give me a call, we can hang out tomorrow if you’re free.” (haha, oook. I’d rather take up with the homeless man that lives in the dumpster. I believe his name is Oscar)
Beep
THIS RECIPIENT’S VOICEMAIL INBOX IS FULL (thank god)

I couldn’t understand why he was turning borderline Fatal Attraction when he was the one that had a girlfriend. I was talking to my friend Nikki about it and she simply said that he’s a “monkey”. I asked her to please elaborate.
A “monkey” is someone who won’t get rid of their boyfriend or girlfriend, even though they don’t want to be with them anymore, that is until they’re sure they have another one lined up to take that persons place. Like a monkey won’t let go of one branch until he’s sure he has another branch in his other hand to swing to.
I’ve never had anything make more sense to me. After she said that I’ve noticed many other people who display this same behavior (not to the same stalkerish degree as Sam) but it’s definitely there.
So I have to ask; is it really that scary for some people to be alone? Is it worth staying with someone you’re no longer interested in just because it’s become comfortable? If I don’t have those feelings for someone anymore, staying with them is the last thing that I’m going to do.
And please, you tell me you’ll leave your girlfriend for me (that’s major disrespect to the girlfriend). What makes me think you won’t be telling another girl the same thing once we’re together?
Let go of the branch first and maybe then we’ll talk.

A Little Competition is Healthy…

I remember reading an article a couple of years ago that suggested you date 3 men at the same time. It said you should tell each of them about the other one, and sleep with none of them. The idea behind this was that by dating 3 guys, you learn quickly what you like and don’t like and you can pick the guy that suites you best.
I did manage to find 3 guys and I dated them all at the same time. Never Again. It was absolutely exhausting, took up all of my free time, and to top it off I got them confused. I forgot what guy I was talking to on the phone and started mentioning a date that he didn’t take me on. After this I decided dating 2 guys at the same time was my limit.

I did however discover a wonderful secret that I use even if I’m only dating one guy. Sense of competition = extra effort on his part. Around the 3rd date, I usually sit the guy down beside me (this is key), put on my most innocent face and have a talk with him. By now I have it memorized;
“I just wanted to let you know, because I want to be totally honest, and it’s not a big deal, but I am seeing someone else as well. I started seeing him around the same time I started seeing you. Obviously it’s not serious, and I’m not sleeping with either of you. But I just thought you should know.”
Here is where his ego takes over; 9 out of 10 times, he’ll play it cool, sometimes the guy will even say they’re dating someone else too. After you get his reaction back, give him a relieved smile, take his arm, put it around you and snuggle up to him. I’ll wager $100 that he’s thinking about that other guys arm around you.

Men are naturally competitive, after I tell a guy that I’m seeing someone else besides him, his effort and attention paid to me increases exponentially. They can’t stand the thought of losing a girl to another guy (especially fun if you put a fresh bouquet of flowers on your table and you tell him they’re from “a friend” when he asks. Because then you’ll have 2 bouquets of flowers, or jewellery if you’re really lucky).

It boils down to this, although every guy I’ve ever dated has said “I don’t play games, I don’t like games” they All play games. Dating is a game; it’s relationships that are work. So I suggest always having fun with dating but remember that men do have feelings too (especially the overly emotional ones) so be nice.