Get Your Eggs Out of My Basket

Originally published on It’s Date Night

I’ve heard this dating advice many times over the last few years – “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

I can’t say I’ve followed this advice religiously, or at all for that matter. When I meet someone I like, I like them and only them. I’m kind of like a bug. If the men in my life are a bunch of glowing lights, I go for the shiniest one and he’s got my full attention. 

I put all my eggs in one basket you could say. His basket.

This keeps biting me in the ass. 

Another problem has arisen since that terrible mercury retrograde we went through in February. Even though nothing has panned out [clearly still single]they keep lingering. It’s like I still have a few egg shells out there that I haven’t collected.

Now they’re the bugs. Annoying ones that keep buzzing around my periphery. 

I’m partially to blame for this.  Whenever I get a brazilian wax I tend to make bad decisions. [Don’t judge me, I know I’m not the only one.] My new year’s resolution was to not sleep with any assholes. Then it came time for my next wax. 

Two days after the fact I had failed my 2015 promise to myself and brought one of them back into the mix. Self-restraint? What’s that?

Then there’s this guy I dated last year for awhile. I keep randomly hearing from him. Maybe he thinks it’s nice of him to “check in”. I know better – His check in’s are usually in between his spurts on Tinder.

And then there’s Carlton. 

There’s a common sentiment that exists within my friend circle. “Poor Carlton.”

Now, I definitely don’t like being pitied, and there’s really no reason for us to feel pity for Carlton either. He’s smart, sexy, tall, kind, etc, etc. There would have been some definite perks to dating him. My mother would have been very excited if I had brought him home for Easter this weekend. 

Except I wasn’t into him. I tried, but the elusive spark was not there. After a month of dating I realized that I had put him in the friend zone and as much as I tried to convince myself that continuing to see him was a good idea, I knew doing so wasn’t fair to him, or to myself. 

And unfortunately, he was one of those guys who just wasn’t getting the hint.  

In fact, I can’t even call it hinting. I was very straight and clear with him, multiple times.

Initial break up text: “I don’t see this going any further for me.”

Two weeks later: “No I don’t think going for wine is a good idea.”

Four weeks later: “No Carlton I don’t want to sleep with you. Yes, I realize you mean friends-with-benefits but I don’t want that either.”

Then the final straw. I was very excited when I found out that he had gone on a couple of dates with a girl I knew. When I heard from him again I asked him about it. “I heard you went on a few dates with Hannah! She’s great!” 

He must have taken my inquiry as jealousy. 

His response: “What, did you think I was going to put all my eggs in one basket with you?”

I DON’T WANT ANY OF YOUR EGGS IN MY BASKET CARL.  

Yes I actually texted him that and yes I still heard from him a few months later offering to take me for dinner. 

So here’s what I’ve learned. Sometimes we put our eggs in people’s baskets too soon. Sometimes they still have one of our eggs even when they shouldn’t. And sometimes you get eggs put into your basket that you really don’t want but if the other person won’t take it back, there’s not much you can do about it. 

Part of my spring cleaning is going to involve organizing my egg collection if you will. 

Happy Easter everyone! The hunt continues.

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Girlfriend Zone: The Grey Area

Published on It’s Date Night

“Katie, I think he thinks I’m his girlfriend.”

Like it or not, if you live with me, you’re going to become someones girlfriend. I’m sort of like Good Luck Chuck. Except if I remember correctly he had to sleep with a girl in order for her to find true love. That’s not the case here, I assure you.

Before you start lining up to be my next roommate I should put a disclaimer on this.

*These relationships don’t necessarily last. So far I’m 4 for 4, but only one past roommate is with the same guy and my current roommates situation is yet to be determined. It’s in the grey area. 

My absolute favorite and least favorite part of dating is when you don’t know where it’s going. I love it because it’s thrilling and exciting and you spend most of your time day dreaming about seeing them again/taking their pants off. 

I hate it for the same reason I love it: Like I said, you don’t know where it’s going.

A friend recently asked me, “I have a toothbrush at his place – what does this mean??”

“That you care about your oral hygiene?”

Obviously it means more than that in our girl brains. A tooth brush is not just a tooth brush. I even think something of it when my girlfriends leave toothbrushes at my apartment. It’s like our relationship has reached new heights. You are officially one of my people.

I’m gonna make the assumption that if there are oral hygiene products being left places, you are slowly but surely leaving the grey area that we all love and hate so much.

Other pieces of evidence I personally watch for: men’s hoodies, his favorite beer in my fridge, and extra lint rollers. 

Let me explain.

I am reluctant to sleep in a guys oversized university hoodie unless I think it’s going somewhere. It’s like forehead kisses. There’s something mushy and relationship-y about it.

Beer in the fridge is an obvious one. It means we have established our drinking buddy dynamic and the relationship is off to a good start.

Extra lint rollers is a big one because while I don’t really care about kitten fur on my lululemon leggings, I do care about kitten fur on his jeans. It’s sort of like how you’ll clean up your apartment when you have people coming over but if it’s just you, you’re fine to let the dust and wine bottles collect.

One time my cat threw up on a guys pants that had been laying on the floor beside my bed. This, and the fact that I didn’t own a lint roller at the time, were very clear indicators that the relationship was doomed.

Things are changing in my world. I have extra lint rollers laying around and I’m sleeping in a men’s hoodie.

Here’s what I’m realizing. The grey area is either one of two things; amazing, or torture. If it feels good, you don’t listen to any dating rules or the plethora of advice that we’re bombarded with all of the time.

But if it feels like torture you’ll start clinging to the rules, steps, and advice you think will land you what you really want. [To get your butt out of that grey area.]

“Follow these 12 rules and you’ll find lasting happiness.”

“7 steps to nailing the relationship you want.”

“Don’t do x,y and z or you’ll come across as bat shit crazy.”

“But do a, b and c and he’ll fall madly in love with you.”

Usually all of these recipes for success and happiness just cloud my brain and my own intuition. Which, as the universe keeps reminding me over and over and over again, never fails me. I just ignore it sometimes. 

Mistakes

If the grey area feels sticky and stressful and hard, it’s probably because it’s not right, and you probably already know it.

Whereas if the grey area feels fun and light and easy, you can’t really fuck up and you don’t mind sitting in it. If it’s right, it’s just gonna work. You can be completely uncool and he’s still going to leave his toothbrush at your place, give you a hoodie to sleep in, and think your drunk sloppy self is adorable. Remember this?

He can kiss you on the forehead and you won’t freak out because you both know there really isn’t much of a grey area to begin with. 

What I’ve suspected all along might actually be true. There are no rules and there is no recipe.

Boston Pizza

Written February 2015

Apparently Mercury is in retrograde. I don’t really know what that means but based on my research (my friends + google) weird shit happens and your intuition is heightened.

So I had an upcoming date that I was really excited for. Re: my last blog post. Via text and FaceTime I hit it off with this guy. I know – you can’t really say you’ve hit it off with someone you haven’t met, but in the land of Tinder FaceTiming felt like a big step. Not to mention we had been talking for three weeks and nothing he had said sent any red flags up for me. I had a good feeling about him. He said he had a good feeling about me.

[Lesson: Don’t believe anything anyone says to you]

Because of his work and my impromptu girls trip to Phoenix/Vegas [blog coming soon] we couldn’t get together until this weekend.

Date night rolls around.

For no logical reason I had some serious anxiety late in the afternoon. My intuition, thanks to Mercury I guess, was screaming at me. I just had a bad feeling. My heart was pounding and I felt exactly how I felt when I realized that I had been stood up last spring by camping guy.

Negative energy. Bad vibes. Impending doom.

I texted a couple of my friends and told them about my bad feeling. Obviously they all told me I was being irrational.

“You’re being crazy.”

“He’s been so excited to meet you this whole time – tonight is going to be great! Relax.”

“He is NOT going to stand you up. That’s already happened to you – twice. You can’t have that bad of luck.”

Etc, etc.

I get a text from him around 6:00pm.

“Finally got back into town. Drinking at Boston Pizza tho lol”

First of all what’s with the ‘lol’? Nothing about that is funny. It’s actually quite sad. I should have told him to fuck off right then and there but I’m too nice, so I played along for awhile.

He tells me, “We can still go on our date but I might be a little tipsy. I’ll need to cab it.”

[again, fuck you]

I asked if he still wanted to get dinner.

Silence.

Then I gave him a chance to stop bullshitting me. “I was really looking forward to tonight, but if you don’t want to go you can just say so.”

Silence.

Everyone I’ve told this story to has had the same reaction: Who gets drunk at Boston Pizza????

And also, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I will not even attempt to understand or ask why. All I know is that this was the last straw. Everything I said in my last blog post I take back. Don’t download Tinder – ever. I am no longer a supporter of online dating or dating at all for that matter. (We all know this isn’t true. I love love. I just need to let myself be angry about this for a day or so)

So I went out for dinner with my friends instead. Things started looking up when I saw that double mojitios were on special.

A couple hours later while dancing around my friends penthouse to yes, Taylor Swift, a charm on my necklace fell off, unbeknownst to me. This necklace was a birthday gift from a couple of years ago. The charm that fell off said: believe in love.

I must have been in the washroom or maybe just in my own world because I missed my friends finding it on the floor, reading it, pondering whether to give it back to me, and then coming to the conclusion to throw it off the balcony.

That’s a metaphor if I’ve ever seen one.

Klara admitted to me in the morning that it was she who chucked the charm into oblivion.

She felt bad. I laughed. It was too perfect.

I’m not sure if it was before or after the destruction of the love charm when I sent my Tinder flake one last message: “I hope Boston Pizza treated you well. And I hope next time you try and convince some girl what a gentleman you are you remember what a coward you were in this situation. Thanks for wasting my time.” Followed my two emojis: a passive aggressive thumbs up and a pizza slice. [Jill’s brilliant idea].

Pizza emoji. Take that asshole.

Other strange occurrences since Mercury has been in retrograde include me hearing about a strangely high number of break ups and a very unexpected blast from the past.

Guess who texted me last night?

No, not “Come over” guy though it’s been a week so I should be expecting a text soon.

Camping guy – the first guy to ever stand me up. He picked a bad time to ask me what was new.

Cut it out Mercury. The irony is that I’m sitting on my bed writing this wearing an oversized t-shirt that says “Love Is In The Air”

No. No it is not.

But The Astrologer Said

But The Astrologer Said

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Once upon a time, not very long ago in the grand scheme of things, I was curious about how the next decade was going to unfold. So I had my astrology chart read. I had always been a little freaked out at the thought of going to a psychic or tarot card reader; astrology always seemed a little more up in the air, and therefore, up for debate. If an astrologist told me I was destined for three marriages, I would think, “Highly unlikely”. But if a psychic predicted a similar fate, it would completely mind-fuck me to the point that I would probably say yes to the first loser who proposed just to get the ball rolling.

My astrology forecast predicted that at twenty-eight, everything was going to fall into place and life was going to be freakin fantastic. For the rest of my twenties, I anticipated the awesome life that awaited me. And, in astrology’s defense, I can confidently say that in my 28th year of living on earth, everything did in fact fall into place. From a dream job to a dream man, this girl had it made. Goals achieved, single status eliminated, words published, and new friends made, I really did have an epic year.

If you’re a yogi or self-helpery junkie, you’ll likely have learned (theoretically anyways) that clinging to things causes suffering. If you’re a big dater, you’ve also likely learned that any form of ‘clinging’ will cause the person you’re obsessed with to promptly run the other way. Usually in the form of “ghosting” because most of us are cowards. In short, becoming too attached to any particular job, person, thing or fantasy is usually a quick road to disappointment.

You’ve got to muster up some flexibility if you’re looking for lasting happiness.

Almost one year later, I could be choosing to curse the cosmos, wondering why they didn’t specify that “everything falling into place” actually meant “everything will fall into place for about ten months and then good luck”.

It’s not as if everything in my life has blown up, it’s just going in a completely different direction than I could have expected, and I’m the one making the decisions here.

If you suffer from a feeling of panic whenever everything is amazing because you think, “OMG I’m happy; it’s going to go away,” I can relate. There seems to be a delicate balance of reveling in your happiness, and not clinging to the circumstances of such happiness for fear that it will disappear.

When everything that was “in place” started to feel off, it was tempting for me to want to freeze and think that no, this is it, this is how my life has to stay. Job, man, condo, life. STAY PUT.

But that’s not how she goes. They say that the only thing constant in life is change, and as much as I’ve loved my astrologically predicted happiness of 28, I know better than to think that happiness and fulfillment lie in only one set of circumstances.

I’ll save the reminiscing for another time, maybe when this decade actually does come to a close. Surely I’ll feel like a big wrap-up will be in order. In the meantime, I have a whole other year to do the reckless and immature things that one day I will justify by saying, “I was in my twenties, I didn’t know any better …” #lies

If it is all up to us, then I’ve managed to ensure that this year will be pretty rad too, even though everything that made 28 so great is looking pretty wobbly at the moment. When I scribbled down in my daytimer under my birthday, “Do something spontaneous to end your twenties,” I didn’t quite have moving continents in mind – I was thinking more like get drunk and sing karaoke or fly to Vegas on a whim.

If all of this is preordained by the cosmos, and if tarot card readers and psychics really do know what’s up, I guess I can say that I’ve been impressed with their work so far and I might pay one a visit to see what’s next.

Or I’ll just decide for myself.

In summary: Let it in, be happy, let it go, be happy again.

Three’s A Crowd

An Experiment.

There are a lot of good things that come in three. Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, BLT’s, or being three sheets to the wind on a Friday night. All great things. There’s even a Latin phrase, “omne trium perfectum” which means everything that comes in three’s is perfect.

But what if the thing that’s coming in three is men?

A little while ago a friend said to me, “You should try dating three guys at once.”

“Three!?” The good-girl in me disapproved.

Also, who has time for that?

“You’re not sleeping with three-just casually dating.” She clarified.

“And how long am I supposed to continue seeing three?”

“Until one of them declares his undying love for you, obviously.” What she really meant was date three until you get what you want.

After some pondering and the weighing of pros and cons, my roommate and I decided to give it a go. Dating one at a time wasn’t proving successful. I was starting to think I had a 30 day expiry date written on me. I truly felt like Taylor Swift was speaking to me when I first heard the lyrics, Find out what you want; be that girl for a month; wait the worst is yet to come.

Amen sister.

Story Time.

After a couple weeks of attempting this my roommate came home from one of her dates and tried to wake me up. I didn’t wake up–probably because I was exhausted from my own string of dates that week–but I did recall panic in her voice and I remember picking up on a lot of negative energy. In the morning I found out why.

She had been at a movie with Bachelor #1 who we had nicknamed Nice Matt because there was literally no other adjective to describe him. He was just so, nice. She had a tiny anxiety attack before the date, probably a sign that 1. She didn’t really like him and 2. Something bad was about to happen.

They sat down in their seats and Nice Matt put his arm around my roommate. Then, to her horror, Bachelor #2 sat down in the seat two rows in front of her.

She got up to head to the washroom, needing a moment alone. As she stepped into the crowded hallway the first person she laid eyes on was Bachelor #3.

I’m not kidding. This is a true story.

Bachelor #3 had been around for awhile. He had pulled the I-Don’t-Want-A-Relationship card awhile back but she kept him around for his…skills. By the way, when I learned about the birds and the bees in Sex Ed I really wish someone had warned me about all of the grown men in my future that would tell me they didn’t want to be in a committed relationship but would still like to have sex with me. What is that!?

So she bumped into Non-Committal Bachelor #3. He smiled his cocky grin and she briefly thought about running away with him. But she couldn’t do that to Nice Matt.

“Calgary is TOO small for this,” She vented to me. “I’m exhausted, I give up.”

But, like so many things in life, the moment when you want to give up is the moment you have a breakthrough. Spin instructors yell that at me all the time. My roommate is now seeing someone exclusively who is pretty much everything she wants. She’s really happy, and he’s not too nice.

Why This Might Work.

The trouble with focusing on one, especially if you fall for them quite quickly, is that it’s easy to get ahead of yourself. You’re cool and collected until Cupid’s arrow strikes. Suddenly your inner peace is in the hands of this one girl or guy texting you back. You turn into a social media stalker. Nobody likes obsessive social media stalker.

This kind of tunnel vision can lead to trouble because you stop thinking rationally and start ignoring red flags. I literally had a guy tell me that he had no interest in any of the things on my bucket list and didn’t see the point in spending money on travel or experiences; he’d rather buy nice things like his new $800 coffee table. To each their own, but I prefer experiences. And I’m not big on coffee tables. But I ignored this big red flag because I thought I was falling in love with him.

That was me having tunnel vision to the MAX.

I chatted with Debra Macleod, Calgary based relationship expert, about this Date-Three-Theory. She pointed out that whether it’s in a career or a relationship, when we have options and choice we’re more confident and we don’t put up with crap. According to Debra, it’s all about getting your power back in a world where dating has taken a turn for the worse.

Not putting all your eggs in one basket too quickly is one way to do so. By having three potential suitors on the go my aforementioned tunnel vision was eliminated. Yes my roommate and I were tired, but not once did we feel insecure about whether or not one of these guys was into us. We were too busy and preoccupied for that nonsense.

I had some of the best dates during those few weeks. All that serious “Does he like me? Where is this going?” stuff fell away and I actually had the mental space to just be myself and have a great time. Dating became fun again. Not to mention I probably gave off that mysterious unavailable [I don’t give a shit] vibe that makes men magically flock in your direction.

Why it might not work.

There was a down side. Dating three was bad for my health and productivity. I was missing spin class in favor of pints and bottles of wine. I spent my Saturday mornings eating brunch instead of cleaning my condo. The hangover from my Friday night date was sabotaging my Saturday morning coffee date because I couldn’t remember which conversation I had had with what guy.

But the real fear was “What happens when I meet someone I actually really like?” Dating multiple people, no matter how casual, went against everything I had ever done.

Enter in the guilt.

In Debra’s opinion this is the biggest con and a risk you take. “If you do meet a really decent guy in this process, he could get the wrong idea and think that you’re not serious about finding someone.” But Debra also points out that when it comes down to it, dating is a screening process and if you’ve only gone on two dates with someone, there is nothing to feel guilty about.

“You owe people honesty-that’s it.”

Her rule of thumb is that if you meet someone you really like, don’t let things go longer than three dates with the rest of them. Put things on hold to see where things go with the one you’re really into.

See, another good rule of three!

So yes, it was exhausting and I was really unproductive for a couple of weeks. I missed a few spin classes and broke my No-Drinking-on-Tuesday’s rule. And as my roommate found out, our city is quite small. But I have to admit that for the first time in a long time dating felt fun again. My mindset was totally different. It didn’t mean that I wasn’t excited when I met someone I really clicked with, it just meant that this time I wasn’t going to put all my eggs in his basket until I was more certain that we were compatible. Any mention of expensive coffee tables and I’d be out of there.

Attitude is everything. We hear that in more words or less everywhere now and there’s a lot of truth in it. So it makes sense that shifting something in your love life that leads to a better mindset might be worth trying.

The Bad Boy

As seen in Branded Magazine’s “The Rise”

Christian Grey, Jude Law, Mr. Big, Damon in the Vampire Diaries … they all have two things in common.

1. They’re bad

2. They make us weak in the knees

Every girl has liked her fair share of bad boys, but dating one is a different story. There’s a change in the air. In this city, nice guys won’t finish last.

——————-

Urban dictionary defines a bad boy as something like this: “He does what he wants when he wants. He’s unapologetic. He’s independent. He’s a heartbreaker with 5 o’clock shadow.  He’s a selfish, manipulative bastard who sees women as little more than sexual conquests to brag about or mere objects that are there for his pleasure.”

I mean, if I had to summarize the personality of the “baddest” guy I’ve ever dated, that nails it on the head, right down to the 5 o’clock shadow.

When I told a couple of guy friends that I was about to write a piece on bad boys, I was told that I should meet Bad Boy X. A mutual friend called him to propose the idea and Bad Boy X was down to chat about all things manipulative and reckless. As my friend was on the phone with him I made sure to yell, “I’m never going on a date with you – so don’t get any ideas!” We texted back and forth a bit, trying to decide on a time to meet up. I was having some mutual friends over for some drinks and then a skating rendezvous so I invited him.

I knew I might be in trouble when I got this message: “Are you going to be able to interview me while I’m skating circles around you?”

I smirked.

Shit! No! This is where it starts.

The Allure

They sass you and you kind of like it.

They compliment you and you melt.

Even worse, they know the effect they can have on you. When a bad boy makes you feel good you feel really special. As if you’re somehow different than all of the other girls he’s jerked around over the years. For whatever reason, daddy issues maybe, the validation we get from these guys does wonders for our ego.

It’s a dangerous little game. When a nice guy compliments you? Eh. They’re nice to everyone aren’t they?

Here’s the honest truth about bad boys: Usually you can’t stay away from them. Usually they’re hot as f*ck.  Usually they leave you heartbroken.

Honesty: The Ultimate Excuse

The thing is, some of them have qualities that women really like.

Personally, I love human beings who are unapologetically themselves. I’m attracted to them – as friends and as potential future boyfriends. I appreciate people who are brutally honest about who they are and what they want; it’s refreshing.

But this doesn’t excuse being an asshole in the name of honesty.

My old roommate was sleeping with a guy who prided himself in being “straight up” about what he wanted from women. He was everything your mother warned you about: A cheater, a liar, he expected an open relationship with his ex, he spoke crudely about other women, etc, etc.

After some horrible pillow talk about yet another one of his sexual conquests, my roommate called him out: “You know Paul, just because you’re honest about being an asshole doesn’t make it okay to be an asshole.”

Calgary based relationship expert Debra Macleod, and probably the most brutally honest woman you’ll ever meet, had a lot to say about this.

“These guys use honesty as a manipulative tool. They think it excuses their lack of compassion and tact.”

But actually, it just shows that you have no tact.

Talk is Cheap

In today’s dating world where finding a new prospect is as easy as a swipe of a finger, we’re treating each other as more disposable than ever. We say “Next” with little or no explanation to the poor soul waiting for a text back.

My best guy friend is probably considered a “bad boy” by a good chunk of girls in southern Alberta. Not exaggerating. Yet he tells me all of the time how much he misses sex that actually means something. This guy wants a great relationship. And I actually believe him.

But the thing is, how we’re treating each other says something different. If deep down we all want the same thing – a great connection, great sex, a drinking/Netflix buddy – we sure have a funny way of going about finding it.

We want to meet a “great guy” but we’ll indulge the behavior of jerks like Paul in the mean time. My best guy friend wants true love but he’ll take home a different girl every night.

To each their own – if what you want is all of the sex all of the time, go for it. But from what I can see in my own friend circle there’s a disconnect between what we want and how we’re acting.

I told Debra about my bestie and argued “But he really does want to meet a great girl.” She reminded me once again that talk is cheap. “When people show you who they are – listen.”

She has a point. Sure maybe deep down his intentions are good and one day I bet he’ll make some girl really happy, but I feel bad for the girls sticking around in the mean time hoping to be the one who changes him.

A tough pill to swallow:

Here’s something you might not want to admit to yourself.

Most likely, you knew what you were getting yourself into. Whether it was the tiniest of gut feelings that told you, or he did something that made it blatantly obvious, you knew he was “bad” from the start.

I chatted with some girls about their bad boy drama:

“I knew right away I was in trouble”

“The baddest guy I’ve dated is also the one I couldn’t resist”

“He mistreated me the DAY I met him; but I couldn’t stay away from him”

“UGH. What a waste of a handsome face he was!”

“I knew it on the first date. My gut said, this guy is going to hurt me.”

So why don’t we listen to ourselves?

Well aside from them being all alluring and shit, Debra bluntly tells me, “Our fear of being alone can be louder than that gut feeling.”

Ouch. That one stung. And I didn’t like it.

So, will the nice guys finish last?

But do not fret! It looks like true bad boys are losing their charm.

In her book ‘The Modest Minx’ Debra talks about the double-standard between the way we view promiscuous women versus men. We’ve all heard it. “She’s a whore” yet he’s a “ladies’ man”.

Ok I actually haven’t heard the term “ladies man” since 2002 but you know what I mean.

“More and more I see this double-standard loosening it’s grip, and rightly so” writes Debra. “The concept of the “playboy” has gone from glam to gross and I think the trend will only continue. Most women nowadays have a very low opinion of men they see as promiscuous.”

The allure of the bad boy might still be there, but we’re starting to really question a persons values, character, and self-restraint if how they’re treating the opposite sex is not much better than how they treat garbage.

I know a plethora of happy single women who will admit they love a good bad boy, but there’s no way in hell they’re going to settle for one when it comes to actually choosing which guy to take home for Christmas next year. Girls want a guy with strength of character, and vice versa.

You can still be hot as fuck, have a 5 o’clock shadow, be witty, honest, charming, masculine AND be a kind person.

At least I hope that’s possible or I’m in for a lifetime of girls nights and probably a second cat.

I never did meet up with Bad Boy X. He had too many dates that week and I was playing a little flaky. It’s probably for the best as he likely would have taken the brunt of my dating frustrations and I would have just gotten angry and mean.

Or, fallen stupidly in love with him.

Age: Just A Number?

As seen in Branded Magazine Issue 07: The Drive

“Is he immature when you fight?”
“Is he good in bed?”
“He was born in the 90s?”
“Early twenties is the way to go. You can mould them while they’re young.”

“Does he _____  you all the time?”

These are the questions and statements I was bombarded with when it became common knowledge that I was dating someone younger than me.

To address your concerns: No. Yes. Yes. Debatable. Yes.

But I admit I had my fair share of concerns when I realized that my ‘baby crush’ was starting to turn into a full on ‘Oh shit I think I like him’ crush. Would this age gap be a problem? Maybe not now – but what about in the foreseeable future. Would we want different things in the next few years?

I was taking “getting ahead of yourself” to a whole new level.

initial concerns

My greatest concern stemmed from having dated a multitude of men in the last four years who were closer to my age, or older, that seemed to hate the idea of committing to anyone or anything. It was always about sex.

So naturally I became afraid that in a few months, or years, he would think to himself, “Wait a second – I’m a dude in my mid-twenties, I should be sleeping with everyone and everything.”

I knew this wasn’t fair to him – I wasn’t giving him any credit. Just because he’s a handsome guy, doesn’t mean he’s going to turn into a monster. But still, I was afraid.

I blame Tinder and ‘The Dating Apocalypsere: the newest issue of Vanity Fair.

Even though he has eased my fears and has proven to me time and time again that he’s one of the greatest human beings on earth, there are some things one needs to consider before dating someone a lot younger, or older for that matter.

I have enough friends of different ages that I know it’s possible to have amazing relationships and connections with people that are both younger and older. Being young at heart, or an old soul, is a real thing. But romantic love is a little more complicated.

As a girl in her late twenties, the last thing I want is to feel maternal in a relationship. Ew. Which is why I always stayed clear of men (boys) a lot younger than me. I never wanted to have to take care of a guy who didn’t have his shit together, or couldn’t handle his alcohol. I on the other hand, am allowed to drink too much tequila and need carrying home. I am fully aware of how hypocritical this sounds, but after dating for over a decade, I knew what I wanted:

A strong intelligent man, who handles his alcohol, but lets me abuse half-priced wine night. He doesn’t judge me – he thinks I’m adorable.

So no ‘boys’ allowed.

when love takes over

That was until I fell for one that I found to be more emotionally mature and intelligent than anyone else I had dated, probably ever. He was everything I had ever wanted. He was a ‘fuck yes’, the kind that I could stay up until 3 a.m. talking to.

The only catch: He’s seven years younger than me.

But after a few months of seriously seeing each other, it stopped crossing my mind entirely until someone would ask, “How old is he? What does he do?” Maybe that’s when you know the age gap isn’t a big deal – when you never notice it. Our connection made me curious enough to keep seeing him, and eventually that connection far outweighed the seven-year gap. In fact, how great he is as a person outweighs the age difference even for my mother whose first reaction was naturally, “WTF are you doing?”

But there’s one timeline none of us can escape— the biological clock.

If you’re a girl approaching her thirties who wants babies, and your lover is in his early twenties, you might have a problem. Everyone wants different things, but how many guys do you know under 25 that are ready to be a father?

That’s what I thought.

Lucky for me, I’m not even sure I want kids. My boyfriend is the one who would happily give me a whole bunch of babies if that was what I wanted. Even in his early twenties, he knows he wants to be a dad someday. But let’s say I was dating someone in his early thirties who couldn’t wait to have offspring, and here I am approaching 29 still reveling in zero responsibility with a to-do list that includes everything but babies.

I’d most definitely be running the other way.

decisions, decisions

In case love was blinding me, I wanted to find out what other people were saying about the matter.

An expert at marriagesos.com says that seven to nine years’ difference in either direction is doable without any major issues. This put me at ease, though I still get quite the reaction when I tell people that my boyfriend plays football—universityfootball.

One afternoon during a particularly long procrastination spell, I came across Matthew Hussey on Instagram, dating columnist for Cosmopolitan and NY Times best selling author of ‘Get The Guy.’

I typed ‘age gap’ in the search bar. This is what Matthew had to say.

“One school of thought is love is love and you can’t help who you fall in love with. You have to just go with it. That’s certainly true in some cases and there is some romanticism to that, but we also have to apply pragmatism to every situation and say, is this an unnecessary risk I’m taking at this stage…You have to be smart as well because let me tell you something: The guy won’t be smart for you.”

He points out that the younger person of the two of you, girl or guy, won’t be the one to be pragmatic or realistic. Your younger counterpart is more likely to be reckless, positive, and carefree about the matter. “They don’t have the same references as you. You have to ask yourself: Am I willing to take the risk that 10 years from now they won’t be in the same place as me. So go in eyes wide open; if it’s really important and you think it can work, go for it, but be aware of the risk involved.”

I suppose if it’s not age, there may be some other gap or difference that might cause issues down the road. From tastes in music to crazy exes, relationships require you to jump over the odd hurdle, big and small. Far more dangerous than an age gap would be a difference in values, morals, or what you want in your life.

I would way rather take the risk of dating someone younger who doesn’t
yet have a career under his belt, than someone who makes bank but doesn’t have that little thing called integrity figured out.

I recently read a Cosmopolitan article by Monique El Faizy who is also dating someone younger than her. But in her case, it’s a whooping 20 years. She’s calling it a “Life ‘Do-Over’ with a younger man” because her first marriage, and the resulting life that she fell into, didn’t suit her. It’s like she’s reliving that part of her twenties, but this time, “I’m a better version of myself.” She’s well aware of the risks, and even mentions the ever present fear that he might leave her. But here’s the thing worth remembering, and then forgetting: Heartbreak could happen whether we’re identical in age, or 20 years a part.

Monique recounts a conversation at dinner with a friend she hadn’t seen in years. “She liked my husband, she explained, but he and my married life never quite fit with the person she’d known me to be. ‘This makes more sense,’ she said [of the new love].” Who would have thought that a relationship with a twenty year age gap would ‘make more sense’? But for this woman it does. As realistic and pragmatic as we try to be, love and logic don’t often live together. And what’s ‘logical’ for each of us is completely subjective.

She ends the article with this truth bomb: “I think the convention-busting girl I was in my premarital 20s may have had it right. Risk is relative and personal, and sometimes, the socially mandated choices are the most hazardous of all.”

So whether I regret it or not, I know I won’t be using the, “He’s too young” excuse to self sabotage this relationship. As he told me one night after I confessed my fears about him turning into a future fuck boy, “If we don’t work out, I can promise you it won’t be because of that. I’m not that guy, and I never will be.”

If you’re in love with someone born in a different decade, but the risk never seems to cross your mind because everything else is smooth sailing, then age is most definitely just a number.

To the realists in your life that might see it otherwise, remember that we’re all fools when it comes to love. Passing up a “fuck yes” who you have a healthy and happy relationship with because of something as trivial as a number would be far more foolish.

Cheesy as it may be, love is always worth the risk.