Posted in dating, life, relationships, single, struggle, Uncategorized

Patience

When I was little, I used to hate when my mom would tell me, “just be patient.” Mostly because being patient sucks. Also because I am a sucker for instant gratification. We’d be standing in a long line and I’d start fidgeting, “just be patient,” she’d whisper. We’d be sitting at the doctors office and I’d start to whine, “just be patient,” she’d huff. As I’ve gotten older, if anything my minimal patience has grown ever shorter. I can hardly sit through a red light, stand in a grocery store check-out line or wait the 10 minutes for my iPhone to download the latest update without rolling my eyes or weight shifting back and forth from foot to foot. I am not a patient person and I probably never will be. I feel like this may be one of the reasons I have such a hard time being single and why I hate it SO MUCH when people tell me, “it’s going to happen, you just have to be patient.” I CAN’T, I want to scream at them. I DON’T HAVE ANY.

This weekend was hard for me. I spent the majority of it around couples who are now married and completely forget what it was like to be (completely) single and feeling hopeless about finding someone. I tried not to feel jealous as they kissed and showed affection, made inside jokes and talked about going home and napping together. But honestly, I was envious. Envious that they have already found their person, their happiness. It makes me wonder what they have that I don’t. What personal flaws I might have that have delayed my happiness. I know I shouldn’t, but sometimes I take being single personally. As if some character flaw has prevented me from finding someone. I called my sister when I got home and told her how I was feeling and she sighed. “Ash, you’re going to find someone. You have to stop trying so hard. Stop looking for it,” she said. “Please, please, don’t tell me to be patient,” I replied to her. “Ok, I won’t,” she said, “but you do need to realize that although it may not have to do with patience, it has everything to do with timing.” I thought that was stupid until a few hours after I had hung up and was replaying our conversation in my head (over peanut butter). My sister was exactly right. It’s less about being patient and more about understanding that the timing of it all has to be right. That I may be the most patient or least patient person in the world, but if I’m not ready or he’s not ready for a relationship, it won’t happen. I’m a firm believer that God puts people in our lives when and where they are meant to be. Some to teach us what we don’t want, some to teach us what we do. It’s just ironic to me that someone who has such little patience is having to wait so long to find the right person. But maybe because I’m having to wait longer than I’d like to find the right someone, I’ll appreciate him even more when I do. Maybe when I finally meet him, I’ll understand what took him so damn long. Until then, I’ll be here (im)patiently waiting.

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Posted in dating, life, relationships, single, struggle, Uncategorized

quiet

So, as uplifting as I try to remain being single, sometimes reality gets the best of me and I throw myself a big ole’ pity party. Do you know what I’ve been struggling with mostly? The quiet. It’s in the moments between dinner and bed, between the gym and the shower, between the lying in bed and falling asleep that I find it the hardest. It’s in the quiet of those moments that my mind wanders to dangerous places and I begin to play the what-if game. I find myself teetering dangerously on the edge of self-pity and jealousy when I’m left alone with myself for too long. But what I’ve come to understand is that this is most likely a problem with my self image and self esteem. I have to learn to be okay with who I am at all times, during the loudness and during the silence.

Recently, I was dating a guy who I was really attracted to. He had a good job, a nice body (real nice), came from a good family. But a month or so into our relationship he brought up the fact that he does not support gay marriage and thinks that gay people are “gross”. He told me if I did not feel the same way, we would be unable to continue with this relationship because he did not want a wife or a partner who did not see eye-to-eye with him on this issue. I know what you’re thinking, people actually still think this way in 2017? And yes, there are still ignorant, close-minded people who use their religion as an excuse for intolerance. And so here I sat, battling the desire to be with someone who I really liked versus staying true to who I am and what I believe as a person (which is that love is love is love, friends.) So, ultimately we went our separate ways and I knew it was the right decision. But I still struggle with the loneliness of it all. The loss of it. Heartbreak never gets easier, does it? But this is the truth- I am a catch and if he didn’t see that, then this never would have worked out anyway. I have to have enough self-respect and self-love that I am able to walk away from something good for something better. The quiet doesn’t get any less lonely but I’m learning to find the beauty in the silence. Because if I am only able to bear who I am in the light, how will I ever get out of the darkness?

Posted in dating, relationships, single, tinder, Uncategorized

10 things I’ve learned from being (very) single in my late 20’s

  1. I’d rather be single than divorced. But really. I have friends who, at my age, have now been married and divorced. I’d rather be single any day of the damn week than to marry (just to be married) some guy who I later find out collects baby dolls and doesn’t brush his tongue.
  2. Freedom is fleeting. How many more times in your life will you be able to sit in your socks and a big t-shirt in front of the tv, binge watching Gilmore Girls on Netflix and eating full-fat peanut butter from a spoon on a Saturday? I can spend my money on what I want, sleep when I want, do what I want. I’m currently watching a Hallmark movie in my fleece pajamas eating cereal at 9 pm. I don’t have kids, a husband, or someone to roll their eyes and say, “you’re in bed already?” or “you’re wearing that again?” or “dry shampoo today, too?” Like Christina Aguilera said, “nobody gonna hold me down.”
  3. How terrible dating has become. I guess it’s these stupid ass social dating apps that give guys this idea they can talk to a lady however they please and we’ll accept it because we should. EHHH wrong. Listen John, 28, 1 mile away, I don’t care who the f you think you are, you cannot tell me I’m sexy and to send nudes 26 seconds after matching with me. You don’t even KNOW me. What if I have pepperoni nipples? Or don’t believe in shaving? That could not even BE me in those pictures,  you plum sucking idiot! What happened to men who want to take me out for coffee? Or compliment my intelligence? Or hold open the door for me? I know you’re out there. Just because y’all settle sure as hell doesn’t mean I’m going to. I don’t care if I’m 29 or 49, I know what I deserve and I am not settling for a John. #girlpower
  4. Loving yourself is powerful (and important.) Ya, roll your eyes. We all learned it in Girl Scouts circa 1994, but loving yourself is hella important. If you don’t love who you are, you’ll never be happy or accept the love of someone else. You, like me, will think you’re not good enough. You’ll compare yourself to others, to those before. You’ll kill yourself trying to live up to your own expectations. How can you expect someone to love you completely if you don’t know how to love who you are completely, first? And plus, say shit does hit the fan and you’ve gotta move on, you have to be able to love yourself enough to know what you’re worth and to not settle until you find it.
  5. Burn your list. We’ve all made one. Whether is was mental or written down in the back of some spiral notebook, you are just as guilty as me. It’s the list of “wants” that we make for our future significant other. Of all the things we hope they are, they have, or they do. Pretty sure mine included “he’ll drive a Porsche”, “have three dogs” and “can cook gourmet.” You see how that’s worked out for me. Having expectations of the people you date is a tragic mistake. It causes us to miss what is so good about them because we’re so focused on whats missing about them. What if they made a list of the things they wanted in a girl? Would you still make the cut?
  6.  Appreciate your friends. They are there for you through bad Tinder dates, through Mike and Matt and Mark. They bring wine, agree they were “the worst!” and send you pictures of your ex’s new girlfriend they found by stalking the internet for 3 hours just to tell you how much prettier you are. They won’t be your priority forever and you won’t be theirs. Appreciate it while you can. CHICKS BEFORE DICKS, AM I RIGHT?
  7. Knowing exactly what you want. We’ve dated enough people to know what we don’t want and now have a pretty solid idea of the core values we are looking for in a significant other. Now, remember #5, no lists. But it is okay to know that  you want as long as you don’t forgo someone just because they don’t have everything you want. Remember, they’re going to have to settle on some stuff that you don’t have, too.
  8. We’re experts at heartbreak. Typically by this age, we’ve either been broken up with or broken up with someone, but either way we know how much it sucks. Heartbreak is all-consuming. But, luckily for us, it’s also curable. With fried food, a good bitch sesh, boxed wine and time, our heart eventually begins to heal itself, to come together at the seams. And eventually, we forget how painful it was altogether and agree to do it again (like childbirth, I’ve heard.) But it also teaches us that walking away from a bad relationship is not the end of the world. Although those first few days after having your heart broken can feel like you’re out at sea taking on water- life does go on, the sun comes out, the water recedes. We learn it’s not necessary to stay with the wrong person just to avoid being alone, because that’s terribly lonely as well.
  9. Learning not to compare. Jealousy is a dangerous thing, but its also something every person in the world can relate to–because we’ve all experienced it. It’s hard not to be jealous when you see someones perfect relationship portrayed over Instagram or scroll Facebook to see another (eye roll) friend just got engaged. But I can guarantee you half of those people aren’t even truly happy, they’re posting pictures to make their life seem like something it isn’t to fool people like you and I into thinking it is. How do I know this? Because I’ve been that girl. Trust me, everyone wants what they can’t have. But I’m really trying to be better at the idea of being happy for them instead of jealous of them, because when my time comes, I’d want them to do the same.
  10. What’s to come. It’s kind of exciting to think that right now, there is someone out there who is going to totally rock your world. Because it’s true. You’re going to meet him at the mall, the gym, Tinder for all I care. But, when you do, you’ll think back to all those ass clowns you dated before him that you tried to convince yourself were worthy of you and you’ll KNOW. You’ll know exactly why they went wrong and you’ll understand that you are exactly where you need to be. He is out there. You just have to patient until you find each other. You’ve got the rest of your life to be married, settled. Don’t take this moment of endless opportunity for granted. You’re future can be exactly how you want it to be, how many of your married friends can say that?
Posted in dating, relationships, single, Uncategorized

I am recently out of a long-term relationship and I’ve had a hard time re-learning how to be alone. You get so used to being with someone that when you lose them, you feel like you’ve lost an appendage, part of who you were. You go from being an “us” and a “we” to an “I” and it can be extremely disorienting. For the first few days after we broke up, I would pick up my phone to type a text out to him before I was able to stop myself. I’d see something on tv, in the store, and think “he’d love that.” Something would happen, be it good or bad, and I’d think, “I can’t wait to tell him”.

But it gets easier and the wound starts to heal, to come together at the seams. Everyday that passes is another day further away from the hurt. I found with each passing day that I woke up and didn’t automatically think of him, that I felt stronger and it didn’t hurt nearly as much as it had just the day before. A few weeks after, I actually felt like I could scroll through my pictures without catching my breath at the ones of us. A few more weeks, I could finally delete them. And then one day, as I was walking my dog on a particularly sunny afternoon, I felt this sense of happiness come over me. It was like God was putting His arm around my shoulder and saying, “you’re going to be okay.” I was grateful for the opportunity to be single again, to focus on me and what I want. To walk my dog when I wanted, eat when I wanted, watch what I wanted. To get to know and love myself better so that way, when I do find the right person, I can love them better as well. Life is funny that way. Sometimes we gain through loss. Sometimes we find ourselves by losing others.