Quote of the Day

“Closure is something that we cultivate on our own, like a Chia pet.”

   Anna Pulley, sex columnist

I came across this quote a while back, and it’s the first thing that gave me some peace about how my last serious relationship ended. We had dated over the summer. I liked the way he could go into long, impassioned tangents about history, look out for my stop while we were on the bus so that I could rest, and make up stories with me where we could geek out and build our own fantasy worlds. The last time we really talked, right before I started school, we were making plans for his birthday.

But after that conversation, I suddenly couldn’t get a hold of him again. He emailed me once to say that he was having problems with his phone and laptop. That was it – he didn’t say anything at all about our plans. After that, I never heard from him again. I was worried that something bad had happen to him, or that I had done something to offend him. I tried a few times to ask him what was wrong and if we could talk about it. After a week of silence, I sent him a final ‘if I don’t hear from you by x date, I’ll assume it’s over’ email, and when that date rolled around, I threw in the towel for good. I saw him on the bus a few weeks ago, so I know he’s not dead. I consider him dead to me emotionally, though. Since he didn’t even bother to break up with me properly, I don’t consider him worthy of the title of ‘ex. In my mind, I just think of him as ‘ghost.’

I have dated around since then, but I have been a little nervous about getting into a relationship again, because now the possibility is always in the back of my mind that whoever I’m with might drop off the face of the earth on me. It makes it difficult to relax and enjoy a relationship. I want to work on my abandonment issue so I can move forward with my life. This quote really helped me start the process. It made me laugh, and the worst of the pain has subsided. Now, every time I think about it, (or any other situation which makes me wonder why it ended the way it did) I imagine myself watering an Chia puppy instead. It actually works, sort of like a Patronus charm. I might just get one to put in my room!


Quote of the Day

“We are all a little weird, and life’s a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.”

          Dr Seuss

I think that the happiest couples are also the weirdest ones. In my experience with dating and relationships, if we weren’t acting a little weird, something was wrong. When the talk turned to normal things – on dates, things like the “What do you do for fun? Do you have any brothers and sisters?” routine, where the conversation stayed on that level, or in relationships, the “How was your day?” “Oh, it was fine,” routine, that seemed to be a red flag that the connection wasn’t there or that it was weakening. Every time the staleness would set in like that, I would get a sinking feeling, and sure enough, the other person would tell me that they don’t feel chemistry, or a spark, not long after. I think part of the elusive “spark” that our culture alludes to comes from unpredictability and authenticity. It’s no guarantee. Some of the most fun and spontaneous dates I’ve been on never turned into anything more. But, overall, my best memories from dating involved people who I could have a little mutual weirdness with:

The one who would say “tally ho!” when we were leaving for another place, and I would always respond, “Let us venture forth!” or “Let’s flee the village!” It was fun having someone to flee villages with.

The one who talked me into talked me into going on a skyride despite my intense fear of heights. I was quaking with fear, but I enjoyed seeing the waterfall from up high.

The one who took me to a toy shop where we dropped marbles into a wooden marble run and talked to each other through stuffed giraffes. I love people who can channel their inner child. Actually, I really love people with kind of an ageless quality to them, who have an old soul and a sense of wonder at the same time.

The one from OkCupid who wrote several paragraphs to me about how much he likes the sound of rain, while most people would say something like, “Hey how r you? Interesting profile. Would you like to talk?” It was very refreshing.

It seems like when a date or relationship is going well, we can do or say things that would make most people go, “What the what..?” And when it’s not going well anymore, it somehow reverts back to a place where we say things that could be said or done with anyone else; the connection becomes less specific, and more general.

I am a hopeful romantic, and I hope to someday have that sort of connection with someone, where they can say “Yeah, I get her, and she gets me.” In our society there’s a narrative about being strong and independent and not caring so much about having a relationship. In all honesty, I really do want one. I wouldn’t say that I’m necessarily happy about being single, but I am okay with it. I would rather be single than be in a bad or mediocre relationship. I raise a toast to all you hopeful romantics out there. Rock on with your bad, awesome selves, and happy Mutual Weirdness day!

Ask vs. Guess Culture

This post on Captain Awkward illuminated some really important truths for me that I will remember for a long time. The idea is that there are two basic kinds of communication, called Guess Culture and Ask Culture. In the former, people figure out meaning mainly from observation. If they want something, they can drop hints and wait for an offer, but asking directly may be considered rude or imposing. In Ask Culture, people can ask directly for what they want, as long as they respect that the answer might be no.

I generally prefer Ask culture because it eases the anxiety of trying to decode hidden meanings. Then, I saw that some of the comments mentioned friends/significant others/etc. who walk way ahead. I suppose, in this case, I’m more of a Guesser. As a slow walker myself, due to chronic pain issues, I hope for the people in my life to take that into consideration. I hate having to choose between lagging way behind, struggling to keep up, or repeatedly asking them to slow down. I was uncomfortable with the idea of Guess culture when I first read about it. Now I see that at its best, it’s about having empathy for someone else, and that’s pretty awesome.

Do you consider yourself more of an Asker or a Guesser?