I’m no relationship expert, but I figure to have a successful second go with an ex you’re suppose to stop dating the rebound…

The thing about playing games is that sometimes the other team has a plan you don’t know about. So when you get cocky and think you’re the one dictating how things will happen and who will win, that’s when you get blindsided. That’s what happened with me and Brent, I was confident that I was in control and then bam – suddenly I was the one wondering what happened.
Breaking up is a tricky thing and I do not know what went on between Brent and his ex. But, I will say that there is nothing worse than breaking up with someone and thinking you’ll be the one that comes out on top… and then you’re not. Suddenly they’ve rebounded, they’re happy and they’re not pining for you like you thought they would… that can suddenly make you want them back, sometimes for no other reason than to prove to yourself that they still want you.

Although I felt uneasy about where things were going between Brent and me, I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt. We were still seeing each other on a regular basis and when we were together everything was great… until he got sloppy.
We went for lunch on a Sunday and then went back to his place to hang out. When I walked in I noticed the giant keyboard that was sitting on his dining room table. I honestly didn’t think twice about it, it’s the reality of him being in a band with his ex. But then I noticed the freshly burned candles on the table where the keyboard was. I never questioned him about the candles because I wasn’t sure if I was jumping to conclusions.
Two weeks later it’s a Friday night and we agreed to meet at his place to hangout but I ended up being delayed. He phoned me to say that he was super tired and could we rain-check. I said sure, and that’s when he told me that he was leaving for 4 days to go camping with his “band”. Well the thing is, the other people in his band have Monday-Friday jobs, except for the keyboardist, she works 4 days on, 4 days off. Now I was angry because I was sure he thought I must be an idiot. Four days go by and just like he promised he texted me when he got back to make plans;

Him – How are you?
Me – Great. How was camping?
Him – Glad to hear it. We didn’t camp we actually rented a cabin on the beach, mostly just drank. Are you sticking around this weekend? We should hang out.
Me – That sounds fun, did the whole band go?

Even though he had wanted to get together he never responded back to me. But it was a day later when I got my actual answer of what was really going on – being on tv you think he would try to be more careful…
I had his show on, passively listening when I heard his co-host say; “It’s always hard to travel with someone. Brent, you just got back from a weekend trip with your significant other. How was that?”
He changed the topic mighty fast. I went back and listened 4 more times to make sure I heard correctly, then I texted him;

Me – I didn’t know you were just on a trip with your significant other. I actually wasn’t aware that you had a significant other.
Him – ummm what?
Me – I heard your co-host say this morning on air that you just got back from a trip with your significant other.
Him – Hahaha no, we were talking about a road trip from hell that I took with an ex.

That’s the last time I heard from him – he was denying that he was seeing someone else and I was too over it to care anymore. A quick look on the keyboardist’s facebook page (btw its 2013, probably should figure out how privacy settings work) showed me that they were very much together. And oh, it had just been her birthday – I think my favorite post on her page was her friend saying that she “hopes Brent spoils her rotten”. Right… so turns out that he hadn’t just recently started fooling around with her again. They were fully back in a relationship and somehow I ended up the “other woman”. I was never upset that he was back with her, I was upset he didn’t even have the decency to own up to it. I was upset he didn’t give me the choice of whether I wanted to continue seeing him while he was in a relationship with someone else (NO).
I don’t have anything I care to say to him, maybe just thanks for the blog material and I hope your girlfriend isn’t a reader…

Flowers won’t keep me around, but let me lip-sync to 90’s hits and I’ll be yours forever…

I was actually hesitant to accept Brent’s initial invitation for our first date, to be fair I was confused if it was even an actual date. Our work had brought us together on a project and afterwards he ended up emailing me to see if I wanted to go for drinks sometime. Since he picked a Saturday night, I felt safe enough to assume it was a date and not a casual ‘business drink’. A few months earlier things had ended (not well) with a man that I quite liked, and the dates I had been on since hadn’t been great (I’m positive one guy was totally high during our date).  So I wasn’t holding my breath for anything special.

The reason I stuck things out for 3 months with Brent was because he showed so much promise at the beginning, but especially on our first date. He let me pick where I wanted to go for drinks, so I picked my go-to after work spot, which is an oyster bar. I didn’t think twice about it until I showed up 10 minutes late and he had thoughtfully ordered a tray of oysters for us – I’m allergic to shellfish (my bad). Even though I told him I was fine without food he insisted on ordering something that I could eat.
During the date I told him that I’m not sure how I’ll ever be able to live with someone again after living on my own for so long. I was very concerned about having to use cutlery at home when I ate, and what would happen to my nightly lip-syncing performances of 90’s hits (fyi – tonight was Mariah’s classic, Always Be My Baby). He looked me straight in the eyes and said; “the right person will never let you change that.” And then followed it up with; “we’re going to go out again, and the next time we go out I want to hear about you. Not about your work, not about your friends, I want to learn about you.” Then he drove me home and waited until I got in the door before he drove away (a sure sign that he didn’t want me to be attacked before he got a second date *bonus*).

As we continued to see each other he picked up on my favorite habit of seeing how uncomfortable I can make a situation with sarcasm and oversharing, and was happy to keep me on my toes. I’m not even sure what date it was but we had gone back to his place after dinner.  I had decided to wear nylons that had black lines running up the back of the legs. He leaned towards me and said; “your nylons are very sexy.” In my most seductive voice I replied back; “thanks, they’re control top…” Not missing a beat or breaking character he said “that’s hot… and is this a pleather skirt? You’re spoiling me tonight.” I started cracking up after that.
On a different occasion we had come up with an inside joke about pineapples (best not to ask). To keep the joke going I had stopped into the grocery store so I could text him a picture to show him they were on sale. A few days later I was watching his tv show and he actually managed to work the word ‘pineapple’ into the conversation with his co-host. He also mentioned it on the show’s Twitter for good measure in case I wasn’t watching.

So it was the little things that kept me around for 3 months, because the little things made me smile in the middle of a work day. The little things also make it a bit easier to deal with the big thing that was being ignored, “the keyboardist”.

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!

Texting is great, until you need to have a real conversation face-to-face and you can’t google search ‘witty reply’…

There are a lot of things I don’t understand (although I would never really openly admit that). And given the right situation (and by situation I mean alcohol and boredom) I can convince a total stranger that I’m an expert at rocket science. But what I will never really understand is how dependent the dating world has become on impersonal forms of communication. WHY, if you are a 29 year-old successful businessman do you need to use text message to ask me out? Is it laziness? Is it easier to keep track of which girl you said what to if it’s stored in your phone? Lack of confidence? Fear of rejection? Unlimited texting and you want to take full advantage of your plan? WHAT IS IT???

I’ve said it before, but it still always stumps me, if you’re trying to make a connection with someone, whether it be to start dating, start a relationship, or to have a one night stand, why would you use such and impersonal mode of communication? And don’t even get me started on people that use Facebook to ask someone on a date. If you’re using Facebook I can only assume you don’t have that person’s phone number and I can definitely assume there’s probably a good reason why.

So here we are, totally dependent on our phones, used to having 3-5 minutes to think of a smart and witty text to reply with [that we’ve run past at least two of our friends to make sure it’s perfect]. And then suddenly it’s the date and you’re face to face with this person, lost for conversation and you’re totally f—-d. All of a sudden he doesn’t seem as charming, and you don’t know what to say when he brings up a Wes Anderson movie because you don’t have the 4 minutes you need to Google it and pretend you know what he’s talking about. Then the date goes horribly and you don’t hear from him again.

Most of our bad dates and mismatches could be avoided if we actually took 10 minutes to talk to this person before having dinner with them, because if all he talks about is hockey, alpacas and his mother, well you know what to expect on the date then (but if he’s seriously talking about alpacas, keep the date and ask for a sweater).

All I ask is that we try to start making an effort to actually communicate in a slightly more meaningful way. Because really when you think about it, asking someone out over text message is the modern day equivalent of throwing a note in someone’s middle school locker and running away as fast as you can.

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.