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Love is creating the most heartfelt poem for someone who will never see or read it.

The torrent or unbridled emotion that travels through your body, through the pen and onto the paper is love incarnate. Then again, I am the master of self-deprecation so unrequited love is the strongest form of love.

We met at my friend Anthony’s wedding. I was his best man and she was a single woman at the reception. We chatted and made plans to meet again when we both returned home to New York City.
Our relationship could be defined quite simply. I always felt slightly on edge, trying, to say and do the exact right thing. I hadn’t seen anyone before her for many years and at times, I felt desperate. I spent a lot of time trying to convince myself she was right for me: a nice Italian girl from Jersey, spoiled by a set of non-English speaking parents. We had fun in the beginning but our outlooks on life slowly separated us.

One time, I took her to an Italian food festival on Mulberry Street. We walked around, doing everything you do at those kind of things, eating food, having a drink, trying to avoid all the carnies trying to sucker us into playing board walk games. However, this day I wasn’t so lucky.

The game was simple enough; five dollars got you three shots to pop a balloon with a dart, I paid the man and missed them all. Meanwhile my “significant other” is eyeballing this cute stuffed gorilla she wants. The carnie senses my desperation and gives me another shot. I miss again. Everything occurs in a flash and instead of the cool gorilla, I end up with a bullshit red thing that may or may not be a banana wearing sunglasses.

I walked away feeling like a total loser, explaining to her that usually, I never get taken like that. About 30 feet away, the whole situation replaying itself over and over in my head, I went back to the carnie and told the guy to give me the fucking gorilla because I basically paid for it with all the money I’d spent. He gave it to me – almost in fear and I stormed back, practically throwing it at her. “Here!” I yelled and walked away.

The whole scene was the perfect microcosm of how obvious it was that we were cut from a different cloth, and whatever I did, I couldn’t impress her. Instead of laughing it off, she made me feel inadequate for not being able to win her a stupid toy.

It ended horribly for me. I was at this point in my life where my parents were getting old, and since I’m an only child, they wanted me to be married and have children. I was hopeful that this girl was the one.

The relationship basically ended by her first not calling me back. And when I pressed the issue she simply said she was getting back together with her old boyfriend, (whom all of her friends had told me in confidence was an asshole.) Anyhow, it ended and the most devastating moment was having to tell my folks, yet again, that another woman had fallen through – dashing their hopes. All that pressure caused me to crumble and weep whenever I was on the phone with them.

When it comes to love, I don’t believe in second chances. When emotions run high, one false move can tarnish things for a very long time, especially if you aren’t married. If you’re married, and a spouse makes a wrong turn you’re obligated to give them a second chance. But when dating, if things go wrong the first time, people rarely make it work the second time.

Until I met my wife, I always went after women who just weren’t right for me, women who never took an interest in the things I did. Yet, I showered them with gifts, trying too hard to make things work.

I found myself with a lot of women who wanted a typical, family lifestyle. I was trying to fool myself into thinking they were what was best for me, even when they weren’t.

-M Mararian; Brooklyn, New York

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Girl in wet shirt, how to cope after a breakup

To all my single ladies:

So you just broke up with your lovah and you're just like totally, completely, miserable. You're in the beginning stages of Sad, Missing, Wanting Him Back, and Anger, and you just don’t know what to do. I got you babygirl, don’t worry.

So here's what I want you to do when the unmentionable happens:

1. Clean up your social networks: this is a time for you to heal and continuing to dilute yourself with the past won't allow you to do so. Either delete him or hide him from social networks (including, but not limited to: Facebook, Instagram, SnapChat, Vine, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, Flickr, Google Plus, Friendster, MySpace, LiveJournal, Skype, EVERYTHING) because only two things can happen if you don't: You will see that he's sitting around "liking" things one day and you'll either say "Awww I love how he likes sloth's, he's so cute, I miss him so much" and then you'll cry, or "I fucking hate him and how he thought sloths were so fucking cute. Fuck him and fuck sloths" and then you'll cry again.

Just trust me.

2. Stay busy: lying in bed sulking will make you sulk more. Thinking about how you're lying in bed sulking over him will make you sulk more. Me thinking about how you're lying in bed sulking over him will make ME sulk. Stop it. Get out, mingle, or go on day-cation, whatever.

3. Get active: exercise releases endorphins! It's better than booze or meth or whatever you consider in this serious time of need, trust me, you don't want to end up on Intervention. I am not saying you're turning to meth, but really, SERIOUS FACE. Lift a weight.

4. Change something: now is the time to be you. Dye your hair or change your makeup or lose those five pounds you've been meaning to. TRUST ME. Having a change is like getting a new body. It revamps you.

**I'd add in "delete phone number" here, but odds are you have it memorized so you're shit out of luck. Sorry.

5. If you are struggling to move on, make a list of good and bad traits he had or you two had together. Usually the bad outweighs the good and it helps to really see why what you're doing is better for YOU. Okay sistah?

6. Don't, just don't, hang out at places he does. Don't hope you will run into him. Don't stage anything so you'll randomly be at the same coffee shop that happens to be right by his work – the one he goes to every morning before work – which is nowhere near yours). Running into someone un-accidentally won't make them magically realize they want you back. You may think if you look real good and they see you, they're going to change their mind, but you're in the “Missing” stage, which is looking like the “Stalker” stage if you do this. If they want you and it's meant to be, they will contact you.

7. Thank your friends: make them a card, get them balloons, a flower, a hug, a bottle of champagne - anything! Do you ever think about how many texts you send and belligerent calls you make about your ex and they pause Jersey Shore to listen? THANK THEM!

8. If nothing else works, just trust me on this, go in your room and sing Adele. Sing like your only job in the world is to sing. The girl has got powerful words, and if you turn it up loud enough, you will sound JUST like her, wink.

Good luck, and remember time heals all. It won't happen overnight, but you can help the process and listen to this song in the mean time.  

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Dear w4m or w4w or m4w or m4m - whoever you are,

I'm presenting you a tangent because I’ve had a revelation and I want to make my revelation rain on all of you.

There's this thing that happens somewhere between seeing Titanic for the first time and high school and that's that we create this crazy, unrealistic idea of a bf/gf that includes a detailed list of good vs. bad and acceptable vs. unacceptable.

We make a checklist of what personality traits we want, what we’re attracted to and what we will accept and if someone doesn't fit that criteria, even by the smallest of margins like having too loud of a laugh or not thinking Interpol’s Turn on the Bright Lights album is like, pure gold, they’re like, out of the picture.

Then we sit on the couch with a tub of ice cream, or beef jerky, or those pointy cheesy chips you stick on the tips of your fingers watching crap you only watch to pass the time saying "I'm going to be single for life,” while clawing at your face with your cheesy fingertips.

ENOUGH: you’re being too judgy (that’s not a word, I know, but let me use it).

The reality of this dream dating world we live in, is that it leaves us alone – with NO ONE – wondering what's wrong with us and why we can't find a boyfriend or girlfriend.

What’s wrong with us, IS us.

We say “no” so nonchalantly dismissing these perfectly dateable people and truly believing someone else who better suits the fragmented picture of  our ideal lovah will be dropped off by cupid the next day.

Whoever said "there are a million fish in the sea" is kind of a liar, because if there were, would you really be on the couch wiping your tears with your chip fingers? And even though "there are a million fish in the sea," you wouldn't date the majority of them because you see a weird band on their iPod or that they "like" Twilight on Facebook and get grossed out.

So who is good enough for you, because your criteria in the opposite sex is starting to look like Kanye West’s dressing room request's and you just aren’t going to find a seedless cantaloupe, nah’ I mean?

I’m not saying you should exclude people with common interests, beliefs, etc., because it’s good to have those common grounds, or date someone who makes you so uncomfortable you’re taking Dramamine to lessen nausea before seeing him/her,  I’m just asking you to get a hold of yourself and be open to more people.

Open yourself up, date the person who doesn’t know that album you like, totally love, what’s the worst that could happen, it doesn’t work? You introduce them to the album? So then you move on.

I promise you will learn about yourself, and who knows, maybe what you liked/wanted all along isn’t what you really liked/wanted.

Much love,
Jess


PS. All links are totally worth clicking on, I swear.
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Romance on a staircase brought to you by Clueless


I was in a rut when I first started hanging out with Ben.

I had no job, no money, and really no plans at all at that point in my life. Dating seemed impossible since I tended to fall for guys I could never really be with (read: my gay-dar is a little shotty)

But Ben was different. 

He listened, understood, and was persistent. I remember the first time we went out together, how it had been the first time in a long time that a guy had taken me out on an actual date. It was refreshing. I talked most of the time as he sat and listened. Ben was a very quiet, shy guy upon first impression, and it balanced out my much more dominant personality quite nicely. 

He thought I was funny, and I liked that. 

Ben wasn't at all what I had been used to: he was nice, decent, and a little unsure of himself. You could tell right away that he had been put into the “friend zone" more than once before, and I could have easily placed him there too. But a part of me was intrigued, and wanted to know more. 

I was under the false impression that falling in love was hard work. That tears and deep emotions were included, and if they weren't, something was very wrong. But with Ben, there were never any tears. He made it really easy for me to fall in love with him. He simply adored me, and that's all I have ever needed: to be loved. 

Ben made me realize that a relationship didn't have to be rocky for it to be real. Does that make sense? It made perfect sense to someone who only knew instability. Our love wasn't passionate or filled with deep emotions; it was gradual and smooth and free of stress. I never had to pretend to be someone else, or change who I really am. Ben made me believe that I was loveable...

Just the way I am. 

It's been over a year now since we were married, and I am so very thankful that the nice guy finally won in the end. 

(Because he deserves it.)

-Sara Smart-Toone; Lethbridge, Alberta.

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So after being completely deceived by Will Smith's Twitter account thinking he was this wonderful mythical-man creature soliciting advice that only great lords of the 17th century wrote in their leather bound books, sad face, I got over the fact that I was deceived by his un-verified account and decided to give you the following video, which is just as good if you ask me.



Just for fun.
Debbie Harry, valentines day

Hey girl HEY!

Guess what time it almost is? Valentine's Day! Exciting, I know.

This isn't a guide for couples or lovers with crushes because honestly, why do you people need guides on how to survive Valentine's Day? Greedy.

So if you're alone, not working, don't have class, or stuck babysitting your best friend’s cats/dog/fish/child while she/he is out with her gf/bf/wife/husband/mistress/craigslist encounter, here are ways to survive without wanting to off yourself:

1. Get a glass and fill it with one part cranberry juice and three parts vodka. It will take your pain, err, neck pain away.

2. For the month of February, Time Warner is offering eight Ryan Gosling flicks on On Demand. So if you're babysitting cats or something, order the movies and just tell the owner of the house you think her husband has a fetish if she asks.

3. Pull out some old yearbooks and slash the photos of all the jerks that turned you down in high school. Then look them up on Facebook and see how many got knocked up out of wed lock and/or fat. You will feel so much better. 

4. Go to See's Candies and walk in the store several times throughout the night to collect free samples, but when they ask if you'd like to buy anything, act appalled and run.

6. Call in sick to work the next morning because you're "sick in love." Cough, cough. Then print out the Wikipedia page on being sick in love as your doctor’s note.

7. If you're feeling really wild, respond to a bunch of Missed Connections on Craigslist. But don't actually respond.

8. Do nothing: sit on your couch and watch reruns of Dawson's Creek in your sweats. Just because it's Valentine’s Day doesn't mean you have to observe it. You didn't take the day off or make reservations at the swankiest restaurant in town on Extraterrestrial Visitor Day, which by the way was February 9. Not everything has to be observed.

9. It is Black History Month, not hearts, chocolate and flower, month, so do something for that. Goodness. 

Miranda Kerr, guys you shouldn't date

Sometimes in life, we fall for the types of guys who we really shouldn't fall for: guys who are anti-relationship, serial cheaters, the keg stand king, etc. And then when they hurt us we sit on the computer blogging about it asking "Whyyyy???!!" and reading our horoscope searching for an answer. Don't lie.

Even though we discover their personality as we fall for them, we want still them to commit to us. Why? Because we're human and humans do things that don't make sense like leaving a sip of O.J. in the carton when we could have poured it into our glass or thrown it out.

So ladies, here's a list of men you don't really want to commit to, even though you think do because they have cute dimples or something:

1. The horny ladies man: This guy hits on everything with boobs; you already know this because he hit on you, right? He's not good at committing because he's still in that college, ya-ya-phase where girls are like toys and every time he sees a new one, he wants to put his grubby man-paws all over it. Take it from someone who saw someone she dated recently tweet "it's so hard to pick up chicks on Twitter." Yeah, about that. You don't really want that type of guy on your resume. 

2. The broken heart: He's not healed, he's still into his ex and even though he occasionally calls her a bitch, he definitely still wonders if she's dating anyone. You guys may have chemistry and he may flirt with you, but back off and let him heal because until he does, he most likely won't open up to you in fear of getting hurt again.

3. The financially unstable guy: Most guys (who are decent, upstanding human beings) who aren't financially stable aren't comfortable asking a girl out, taking her out or pursuing her. Why? Because no girl wants to have a first date at KFC, and he knows that. Some guys feel that money issues are a huge issue in dating and won't date you because of it. He's not going to be "in it" until he's comfortable. 

4. Mr. Stud muffin: He knows he's hot, he knows he can get whoever he wants and he knows his smile gets him places. Of course, to generalize that all the Ryan Reynolds of this world are like this is wrong, but I can guarantee if he knows he can get whatever he wants, he will probably want to ride the dating train for a long time. Unless he's confessing his undying love for you, he will be hard to tame.  

5. The workaholic: he loves his job more than you, it’s fair and simple. He's a workaholic because he likes his job, he likes the status of “I have my own parking spot” and he wants to make money, lots of money. Having time to commit to a PYT like you isn't number one on his to-do list. And you know you need to see a guy more than once every two weeks and when you do see him, you don't want to just talk about work or see him on his lunch break. Admit it. 

6. The narcissist: He cares way too much about his own image and if you don't fit his mold of idealism, you're going to spend countless minutes trying to live up to his expectations when his expectations don't even matter because he will never care as much about you as he does about himself. Phew. Did you get that? 

Cute dimples or not, you're not going to get what you need from someone who isn't meant to be in a relationship, isn't ready or not mature enough. 
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Having not had my number asked of me by any female for dating purposes since high school, I was very taken back by this most rare occurrence as it happened in the singles ward of my church; beautiful brown eyes drawing my fullest of attentions. I could hardly remember my own number. After giving it, I seriously wondered if I had said the correct sequence, I really should be stronger but women are indeed a force to be reckoned with.
The next day I received a text from her asking if I could be her date to some function as her date had cancelled on her. I had already had plans with another friend to work out and make dinner; I didn’t want to seem too available. These are the games that dating conditions us to play, only here would an obviously awesome thing like someone calling you to spend time with you seem like something to behold with some degree of caution. Stupid games.
I declined, but extended an invitation to a dinner at a friend’s house later in the week. Playing the game quite well, she accepted both and all was seemingly fine.
The night of the dinner I became reacquainted with feelings that for years had become dormant: someone you hardly know is about to meet people you know well and form opinions about them almost immediately. I come from a most cultured body of folks I call friends; these certainly were not rugged folks that we would be eating with by any sense. Quite civil and well-tempered, I could not help but wonder what it all looked like to someone I was about to introduce for the first time.
I walked out to meet her, one of the first questions she asked me, "is this your house?" Certainly implying my ownership of it, I’m not going to lie, I seriously considered saying yes for a nano second. Reason prevailed; this young lady was all of 26 years old, works with non-profit groups and by all accounts, works like a boss traveling from this city to that city doing what women do quite well: networking.
We had already gotten into the what-do-you-do-thing and I’m usually okay speaking on my own behalf telling any inquiring party that I’m in school working for non-profit groups with a few side jobs here and there. It was here in this setting that the obvious realization of birds of a feather hit me quite hard listening to my friends girlfriend talk to her about her job at Ralphs. These two females talking it up coming from obviously diverse ways of life, it was a reintroduction into social class systems.
I guess I live in a bubble thinking that two people can just fall in love regardless of this or that. There is no denying that some folks are out there looking to be taken care of; I respect that because who doesn’t want that? My good friend later that night told me, "Yeah man, I saw her watch. That was a nice watch." So eloquently put. He is married and has an awesome job, as does his wife. There is nothing wrong with the finer things in life, but certainly things become distinct when you define yourself by these things. Dinner went well, the conversation was spirited. I walked her out and said good bye.
We texted back and forth, I absolutely abhor texting females you don’t know well. Phone calls are my forte; she seemed busy planning her sister’s wedding. I totally understand that, but for someone to deny sharing free food and just a portion of your costly time (cause it is costly) after seeming so very excited to have your number, is a bit confusing.
I really don’t trip on it too hard; she was and is high caliber, top shelf woman, who did much to stimulate my mind and body without ever touching me. Clever girl, have not seen her since, I’ll call her today. Probably send a text first though.
-Steven Nickens; Orange County, California.
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