The Spinster Wish: A Book Review

“I was twenty-eight. It was the year 2000. Nobody was making me marry anyone. But the pull toward it felt as strong as an undertow, the obvious next step in a mature and orderly existence. And when I thought about being alone at forty – the inconceivable far future – I froze.” Spinster (100)

Whether you’re engaged, comfortably coupled up, or so single you can’t remember how to talk to boys, you can probably relate to Kate Bolick as she describes what it feels like to be twenty-eight. If you’re on the cusp of thirty and marriage still feels like a big fat maybe, your grandparents have definitely expressed concern and you’re likely having terrifying thoughts of the title of Bolick’s book, thoughts of becoming a Spinster.

I turned 29 yesterday – I can absolutely feel ‘the pull’ and have for a long time. I’m not single, but I am far from living out a “mature and orderly existence.” There is no stable career and no foreseeable engagements or pregnancies. Instead, I’m getting everything in order to move across the ocean and work abroad for a year. 

When the people in my life found out about my travel plans, the number one question asked was, “What about x?” where x denotes my amazing, handsome, kind, sexy, supportive, perfect boyfriend.

Of course that’s their number one concern; I probably would have asked that same question if roles were reversed.

Surely my decisions must hinge on the fact that I am in a relationship. And here is why:

“Whom to marry, and when will it happen – these two questions define every woman’s existence, regardless of where she was raised or what religion she does or doesn’t practice. She may grow up to love women instead of men, or to decide she simply doesn’t believe in marriage. No matter. These dual contingencies govern her until they’re answered, even if the answers are nobody and never.” (1)

This is how the book starts. I knew I was going to dig this half-memoir/ half-history lesson as soon as I finished reading that sentence. It came as a blinding flash of the obvious to me; it was true, from the moment boys no longer had cooties, this had been the heart of the matter for myself and the females in my life in most romantic encounters, give or take a few nights of careless debauchery.

It’s always a question of whether or not you want to date them, followed promptly by the question of whether or not you think they are it, a conversation that gets really old, really fast, the longer you’ve been on the hunt. Eventually, we get sick of the search for stability and soulmates, and that’s when thoughts of spinsterhood become a regular occurrence.

In Spinster, a title that seems to turn a lot of people off when I suggest they read it, Bolick dives into the lives of five women in history who weren’t necessarily spinsters as the term is defined, but were women who definitely took the road less traveled. Fused together with her own refreshing perspectives on marriage and the single life, Spinster reveals all the ways in which the world around us makes remaining single seem like a terrible existence. She simultaneously offers up examples of the complete opposite – women who remained single and were happy anyway. This is not an angry feminist rant but side effects may include loving your single status more than ever – maybe even wanting to keep it more than you want a diamond ring. 

After revealing the story of one such woman, Kate Bolick writes, “Finally, here it was, the conversation I’d been looking for.” What she had been looking for was a conversation that I didn’t know I had also been looking for, until, of course, I found it in her book.

In her own life, Bolick grapples with a desire to be alone, even when coupled up with seemingly amazing men. Her willingness to tell the truth about her feelings pulled me right in – I underlined the shit out of that chapter.

Here it was, the conversation I’d been looking for. Nowhere have I ever found the conversation that let me know I wasn’t crazy for not remaining in perfectly stable relationships.

Once, back when I thought I was letting go of a pretty great relationship, one that seems painfully mediocre when I compare it to the one I’m in now, I remember thinking, “I know why so many people just stay together.” It hurt so much to walk away, and I was doing it to myself. But in that case, the only thing that felt more impossible than leaving was staying when deep down I wasn’t happy. And so once again I found myself single.

I always thought the problem was that I wasn’t with the right person. Otherwise, why would I have this strange desire to be alone? It wasn’t about wanting to keep playing the field; trust me, dating is not my sport.

The truth is, after a breakup I would always feel incredibly free, almost blissful. Colors seemed brighter, I’d play my music louder, I’d get more excited about my future… Often I’d be pulled back into the comforts of him one last time, whether it was his friendship, company, the sex, or something else. The comforts of relationships can be hard to say no to; I have not yet mastered the art of letting go. But I have always instinctively known the final outcome.

What I realized reading Spinster was that relationships always feeling stifling to me was never about the guy – it was about me. The huge success of self-help has taught us to always point the finger at ourselves. So I used to think that meant there was something wrong with me, some fucked up beliefs about marriage that needed to be sought out and let go of.

But finally, thanks to this book introducing me to a different conversation, one that had apparently been happening for centuries, I finally felt like maybe there was something right with me. Or that, at the very least, I wasn’t alone in my mixed up desires. This isn’t, and never was, about the guy in question.

Unlike the five women she writes about in history, as far back as the turn of the last century, the choices I am making are far from radical, These women were actually doing something worth writing about; they were, as the subtitle suggests, making a life of their own.

Bolick also gets us to consider the similarities and differences between her 5 single women of the last century, to the single woman today:

“Transport Edna to our own era, and she’s a lot like the rest of us – a woman who wanted to enjoy her youth as long as she could … with one crucial difference: How many of us today are able to unlace our contemporary corsetry of received attitudes? …I suspect she’d have told us that if there is a point to all of this, it’s to take life very, very seriously, and to love whomever you want, as abundantly as you can. Her legacy wasn’t recklessness, but a fierce individualism that even now evades our grasp.” (152)

Though we’ve come a long way, the single woman today doesn’t have it easy. We express worry for the thirty-two-year-old woman alone at a wedding, we half-jokingly make fun of ourselves for not being able to keep a man, we walk home from bars feeling lonely and fed up. Bolick pulls back the curtains and looks atwhy.

All my single ladies – please know that in my opinion, both existences can be wonderful and the grass is never greener. I love love and I love the man I’m with. He lets me be me, even if I’m kind of an asshole from time to time. I feel free to choose for myself, be myself, and create a life for myself. There’s this strange understanding between us mixed up with all the love. That we have to let one another be, to grow into who we are as individuals. We love each other independent of being in a couple; it’s quite possibly the best kind of love. 

It’s not that he, or any of them, were not the right guy. Any one of them could have been “the one,” but this was my part to play – this rather inconvenient wish to be in an incredible relationship, and to also be free.

I suppose I have what Bolick calls the “Spinster Wish”.

Sometimes I wish I was like the ‘vast majority’ that she references. I think life would be a lot easier that way. I wish all I wanted was to follow my boyfriend wherever he may go, never questioning my life and my love for him. To be a wonderful wife, and someday a wonderful mother.

Bolick eventually comes to the understanding, and allows us to do the same, that we don’t need to justify our lifestyles. We can decide which measures of adulthood we want to take up, and which to leave behind.

Kate Bolick helped me find my tribe, women whose “personal freedom is more precious to them than the protection of the best men” – Josephine Redding, 1895.

I just had no idea they’d been around for so long.  My overwhelming feeling after I had finished the book, the feeling that makes literature so beautiful, was, “I’m not the only one that feels this way.”

Read Spinster. It will make you rethink why you want what you want, and if anything, will make you see that it’s okay if you happen to want something different. 

On Being Alone

In this summer’s issue of FLARE, Briony Smith wrote an article called “The L Word”, and no she wasn’t writing about love. Instead, she wrote about a topic much less talked about: That of loneliness.

It made me think about two summers ago when I was one of the only single people at a friend’s wedding.

I was in a coral lace dress sitting alone at a table for 10 waiting for my friends and their dates. We had some time to kill between ceremony and reception so we all met for drinks in Eau Claire. I was more comfortable sitting there overdressed and alone sipping my drink than I was two hours later when it dawned on me that I was the only solo person at the table.

But wasn’t I having fun until that moment of single girl panic? I was drinking and laughing with the dudes that my friends had chosen. I was absolutely, positively okay.

Later that week I was alone in the middle of my condo with boxes and pillows and books everywhere. Sixteen months had gone by since I moved there. It boggled my mind how much had happened, but also how much hadn’t. I never brought any guys home. A few slept on the couch, but it was only my girlfriends or coworkers that had slept in my bedroom. Shouldn’t I be having loads of sex and dates and choosing which guy I thought was a keeper? I thought.

And who put this idea in my head-that my mid-twenties should be bursting with men?

See, I wasn’t lonely until I was surrounded by couples at that table two summers ago. And I wasn’t lonely in my mid-twenties until I was packing up my apartment and realized I hadn’t brought anyone home the entire time I lived there. I wasn’t lonely until some expectation about what my life should have been like started to sink in.

Now, two years later, on the other side of singledom, I sometimes feel weird talking about “what worked” or offering up any kind of advice. Who am I to talk? I was making mistakes right up until the day my boyfriend made a move on me. *

There is nothing more annoying than being single in a group of girls, (or even worse – family members) who decide they ought to start dishing up advice.

Stop focusing on it.

Maybe you’re looking in all the wrong places.

You’re being too picky. What about [insert name of guy you’ve friend zoned here]

It’ll happen when you’re not looking for it.

Join a beer league.

And my personal favorite, “Just focus on yourself”

Are you kidding me? I’ve had half a decade worth of ‘me-time’, self-improvement, and staying selfishly busy. 

Hearing “Just focus on yourself” just pissed me off.

Single girls don’t want advice. As Briony Smith points out in her article, all a single girl needs is some empathy and your hot friend’s number. (2015, Summer) The L Word. Flare, page 92.

But if there’s any advice I wish I had let sink in as a single lady, it’s that I never needed to be anything more or less than what I already was.

All that self-awareness stuff, sure it’s worth it in a lot of ways. But is it necessary to find love? Aren’t we supposed to be loveable just as we are? And why did it always feel so weak to admit that “Yeah, I’d really like to have someone to go home and have relationship-y sex with.”

I would have really enjoyed a date sitting beside me at that wedding two summers ago, but I shouldn’t have felt, even for a moment, like there was anything wrong with me because I didn’t.

“This obsession with dating success by way of self-improvement is a by-product of western society’s can-do ideal …. I tried, for a long time, to eradicate my undesirable bits. Some changes made me a better person, like going to the gym and softening my bitchy resting face … I eventually gave up. There’s only so much of myself I can change before there’s nothing left.” Smith, Briony (2015, Summer) The L Word. Flare, page 94.

As the months went by and my single status never changed, I really started to feel like I wasn’t pretty enough, skinny enough, witty enough, smart enough, and so on and so forth. It makes me cringe that some nights, the lack of some drunk guy hitting on me had that much of an impact on my self-worth. And even worse, that the same kind of guy also had the ability to make my self-confidence soar.

“You’re gorgeous” said the devil.

I believed him. And I believed all sorts of other vain compliments from guys over the years. But when the guy who is falling in love with me says the same words, I automatically think, “He has to say that”.

I’m admitting this because I wish I could tell my fifteen year old self that even if no one is loving you at certain points in your life, you’re still super loveable. I wish I had never given my power away to this idea that I needed to be better in order to be desirable.

So no. You don’t have to master self-confidence in order to find love. You do not have to be the smartest or wittiest girl in the bar. You don’t have to start or stop anything. You’re not doing anything wrong. Stop giving away that much power to the idea of romance, when most of what our dating lives consist of is meaningless hookups and mediocre dates. It’s not worth beating yourself up over.

You can want it as much as you want, just don’t base your self worth on whether the real thing is in your life yet or not.

It’s easier said than done. But I wish I could make that feeling disappear for every girl and guy in the world. Because it’s a liar.

Fresh out of dating, newly retired if you will, I don’t miss being single at all. I suppose there was something thrilling about knowing it was all ahead of you – the meet, the first kiss, the falling. But what’s better than all of that is the kiss that says “I missed you.” 

The difference now is that being alone doesn’t worry me anymore. Not that heartbreak doesn’t scare me – nobody likes heartbreak; it’s what fucks us all up. Even our parents heartbreak can have a huge impact on us.

#daddyissues

But the being alone bit, the waiting for love to show up again, that I can do. Because now I know for sure that you can be totally surprised by it. It can show up in the most unlikely of ways, when you least deserve it. And you don’t have to change a single thing about yourself. I really didn’t think I was going to be surprised by love ever again. 

“You might already know him.”

Pffffft. YA right.

I was surprised, to say the least.

No advice here. Just a message to future romantics and seekers of love (and to my fifteen year old self if I could talk to her):

Someone will get over themselves and their shit and go to the depths it takes to love somebody like you. In the meantime, be as much of yourself as humanely possible because even though at times it will feel like a game that you desperately want to tap out of, the right person will want you. Including the undesirable bits.

Ugh. I feel like the advice that annoyed me the most probably annoyed me so much because it’s TRUE.

“Just focus on yourself”

But don’t make that mean that you have to focus on changing yourself. You don’t have to change a thing.

*I was still sleeping with the devil

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.

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.

How To Never Get Laid And/Or Find A Girlfriend

Published on It’s Date Night

Brought to you by my friends Steven and Ty

Valentines weekend had the potential to turn into a successful double date getaway to Banff. My girlfriend and I decided to drive to the mountains last minute and meet one of her coworkers and his friend visiting from Ontario.

It was going to be a standard Banff Saturday night; Grizzly House, hotel pre-drinks, Aurora, Dancing Sasquatch, McDonald’s.

And possibly even Valentines Day brunch at the Banff Springs in the morning.

But alas, the boys failed miserably at whatever it was they were trying to achieve. I’m gonna take a wild guess and say their goal was sex…based on this hotel room conversation at 3:00 am:

“Ty why are you pouting?”

“I’m fine.”

“No Tyler – you’re obviously upset about something. Do you regret not getting McDonalds?”

Slouched over in bed he tells me, “I’m not mad that you didn’t have sex with me; I’m just mad that nobody did.”

There I was, consoling a thirty one year old male who I may or may not have mistakenly made out with 5 hours prior because nobody wanted to have sex with him.

Another Valentines Day for the books.

I felt sorry for the guys. Not because they didn’t get laid, but because they seemingly had no clue as to why their behavior produced those results. Or rather, no results.

But I can definitely tell you what happened.

For reference, a backhanded compliment is an insult disguised as a compliment. Usually a person will recognize when they’ve delivered one of these by accident. Both parties will have a chuckle as one person says, “I didn’t mean it like that!”

Or sometimes a guy will give a girl a backhanded compliment on purpose to get her attention and undermine her self confidence. Neil Strauss, author of The Game, calls this “negging”. It’s like the adult version of teasing the girl you had a crush on in elementary school. For example, one guy I was seeing for a little while told me, “You’re a 6.5/7.” He explained his completely superficial 7 point rating system that included legs, hair, eyes, breasts, etc, etc. Not a bad rating [that’s the compliment part] but he obviously got my attention with the 0.5 point loss.

“You lose half a point because you kind of sound like a little mouse.” [There’s the insult meant to shock me, cut me down a little, and then cause me to want his approval. It’s a mean little trick.]

Ya – he was a dick. But that was a perfect example of negging. He knew what he was doing.

Steven and Ty did not know what they were doing. Zero game. And zero apologies for their accidental insults.

One way to not get laid? Unintentional backhanded compliments followed by no recognition makes you look both inconsiderate and unintelligent. And this is what Steven and Ty did. All. Night. Long.

Examples:

When we arrived in Banff we met the guys at Earls for double mojitos.

Steven to Julia: “You look better with glasses on.”

Ty to Julia: “You’re prettier than I remember.”

They sure know how to make a girl feel beautiful.

Then we all went to the Grizzly House for fondue where I’m sure we disturbed the couples around us with our completely inappropriate conversation topics.

Ty to Katie: “You have big boobs but you’re trying to hide them in that dress. Can I see?”

No.

“I just want to see what you bring to the table.”

Are you kidding me? This guy is 31 years old.

Later on in Aurora we were all on the dance floor. Incase you’ve never been to this night club let me give you some context: It’s very dark in there.

Ty to Katie: “You look amazing in this lighting”

It’s DARK in here Ty. Was that supposed to make me feel pretty??

By the time we arrived at Dancing Sasquatch Julia and I were almost ready to call it a night [probably because we felt ugly]. Things turned around when we met a bachelor party inside. Our “valentines dates” pouted in the corner until we decided it was time for chicken mcnuggets and cheese burgers.

Julia met an attractive Australian outside of McDonald’s and made out with him (obviously). The whole way home the guys whined and bitched about “Australians” and how “You girls could go home with anyone you wanted” followed by “Can we cuddle when we get back?”

YA. RIGHT.

Don’t get me wrong. These two were hilarious and really fun to spend a Saturday night with in Banff. [Ok, mostly they were just fun to make fun of] But never in my wildest dreams would I date either of them.

I’m not sure what was worse; the backhanded compliments, the fact that they didn’t recognize how insulting they were being, or the pouting.

Needless to say we skipped out on Valentines Brunch. Julia and I put on our glasses and went to Starbucks by ourselves where the lighting was dark and moody so I’m sure we looked amazing.

What’s the greatest/worst back handed compliment you’ve ever received? I’d love to hear. If anything, you might make Steven and Ty not look so bad.

Best of luck to them both.

That Night In December

Lately I have a lot of girlfriends fully participating in the world of dating. It seems to me that the friends in my life have gone one of two ways. I have girlfriends who settled down with bachelor number one or two fairly early on. They’re engaged, married, or own a puppy together.

Then I have this group of friends who have done the opposite. They’re on to bachelor number seventeen, they’ve been single so long they forget what it’s like to share anything with anyone, or there’s my funnest friends: The one’s who now look at dating as an experiment. They’re the people who got sick of unfulfilling relationships and bad dates so they changed their perspective on it all. They have checklists, goals, experiments, and they don’t take any of it too seriously. They’re in it for the fun of it to the joy of people like me who love hearing the stories over Sunday morning brunches.

I had a lot of hilarious Sunday morning brunches in the month of December. Maybe because of all the holiday parties and that forever overrated night called New Years Eve. These stories had a common theme; they all involved us humiliating ourselves in front of the boys we liked. Or, you could also look at these stories as proof that we need to stop binge drinking.

I can’t remember what friend said this because I think it was just before midnight on December 31st. But I remember hearing “If he really likes you, you can’t embarrass yourself in front of him”.  It seems that during the end of December the universe was testing this.

There will always be drunk texting. I remember being twenty years old and swapping cell phones with my best friend so that we wouldn’t text our ex-boyfriends. Cynthia knows herself so well that she deletes the messages she sends after eleven o’clock on weekends because she doesn’t feel like cringing at the witty attempts at flirting she made the night before.

“Oh my god. I remember you told me to be nicer to him so apparently I told him I liked his dimples”

“At least you didn’t say I can’t wait for you to [insert something totally raunchy and explicit here]”

“Don’t put those ideas in my head!! Take my phone away from me and don’t give it back until tomorrow morning”

To make her feel better I remind Cynthia of my New Years Eve. This was the first night I “partied” with the guy I’m seeing. You would have thought I’d be a little smarter and eat enough to balance out the amount of rum and champagne we were drinking. Early on in the evening I posted that overused quote on Instagram that says “time to drink champagne and dance on the table”. There was no dancing on my part. I fell asleep standing up nestled into his chest. Apparently I kissed Cynthia at midnight and my friends had to direct me to my new guy. The next day I checked my phone and I had sent Cynthia a text at 12:14am asking if we could go home yet.  Lucky for me he’s kind enough to trust that I’m normally a little more fun than this.

In the midst of our  two day NYE hangover my roommate and I felt better about ourselves after we heard a story from a friend who went home with her new boyfriend after a late December Christmas Party.

“The question is, where didn’t I get sick?”

Oh no.

“I puked all over his apartment”

Oh god.

“It gets worse. I woke up in his shower.  Then he slept with me on the bathroom floor all night”.

He sounds like a keeper.

And then there’s every girls worst fear. My good girlfriend Kim loves to party. She’s that friend who has been to every festival, experimented with every drug, and can drink most guys under the table. She came over on the 27th with a look of horror on her face and I knew something bad must have happened.

I can always tell when Kim’s about to confess something. I sit patiently and wait.

“I peed his bed.”

“WHAT!?”

“We played five rounds of Sociables. I drank a 26 of vodka, shots, champagne, wine, smoked a shit ton of weed, and barely ate.”

“No wonder you had zero control over your body”.

“I blamed it on his dog”

“And he believed you!?”

“I don’t think so” 

Kim and her boyfriend of two months are still together. Not a word has been spoken since about his dog peeing the bed.

So I guess it might be true. If a guy is really into you no drunk text or messy New Years Eve will change that. And if it does, there will be a guy out there who will clean up your puke, hold you up at the bar, and not call you out on blaming his dog for pissing your pants.

Way to start the year off right girls.