That’s a hard “no”

When I was in a college, I remember going out to the club with my girlfriends. I recall feeling particularly cute that night, but my main goal was to have fun with my friends. Whilst twirling about on the dance floor, this super cute guy came up and started dancing with me. I wouldn’t say he was flirting but I thought “Why not make the first move?”. I went to the bar to grab a drink and wrote my number on a napkin. I came back to where we were dancing, gave him my number, winked and said “Call me!”

I kind of knew in that moment he probably wasn’t going to, but I was so proud that I had the balls to even ask. Then to turn around and leave like a boss?! I always wondered if he thought I was weird for pulling such a move, or if maybe he was impressed. Either way, I cared nothing about rejection in that moment.

Men and women alike fear rejection when it comes to dating. Society has told us that men have to make the first move. And now that the “norm” has made it to where a woman can also approach a guy, some women don’t even try for fear of rejection. But what harm comes from asking? Whether asking for someones number or to try a threesome, you can either deal with rejection or worse yet, never knowing the answer.

A guy friend of mine once told me that men have it harder because it is assumed that they are “use to” or “ok” with rejection. That it becomes part of being a guy. This made me sad if in fact that is true. It’s never great to hear “no” if you’re trying to pursue someone or if you like someone who isn’t in to you. But keep in mind, behind every “no” is someone who will emphatically say “yes”.

In the course of my dating career, I have made the move most of the time. I’m kind of an aggressor. I know, shocking. My girlfriends often find this amazing. “What if a guy says ‘no’?” Ok. And? I accept that I’m not for everyone. So I will find the everyone who is right for me. You can never let your fear of rejection, or your unknown fear cripple you when it comes to dating and love. If so, you will spend more time on the sidelines wondering why you can’t make it to the big leagues.

So my challenge for you is to make that big leap. Open your mind to the possibility that being rejected isn’t the end all, be all. That if someone says “no” it doesn’t mean, you’ll never hear a “yes.” Be confident in your approach and learn from whatever happens. Either way, if you come out with at least a good story from it, all truly isn’t lost.

Welcome to 40

I recently read an article on MSN about the 40 things that become more difficult once you turn 40. I will spare you the details, but needless to say, this article basically made it sound like you slowly begin to die and become a hermit when you hit the big 4-0. Now I would like to think that I am an exception to the rule. For one, I am the only one in my close friend group who doesn’t have, nor plans on having kids. And two, I still love tequila. Now more so than ever.

But of the long things on the list that made my eyes roll, there were several that came up that gave me pause. They all pertained to dating and sex. It’s a no brainer that some things do become more challenging with age. Have you tried yoga after the age of 25? Dating of course becomes a challenge mainly because finding singles in this age group is tough. But sex? Now this is where we have a problem.

One of the points made was finding time for sex. Ok, life happens. Work and kids happen. I heard a term recently called “Maintenance Sex”. Basically it’s when you have sex just to have it, so that the intimacy isn’t lost. Think of it like a dental cleaning. You do it because it’s time. But I hate thinking of sex in this manner. You mean to tell me that after 40, sex becomes part of your weekly to do list? Sheesh.

Apparently being more spontaneous is harder after 40, which can translate to the bedroom. I truly do get it. But the thought that sex just dies or becomes an after thought as you get older is something I don’t agree with. And something that I honestly fear. What I have noticed is that the amount of times may have decreased, but the level of intimacy and awesomeness has increased. (I may or may not have high-fived my fiancee last weekend afterwards)

My point is, don’t let lists or society or your old Aunt Barb tell you that Shady Acres is just around the corner once you turn 40. Like life, it is truly what you make of it. And if you come across that MSN article, for Gods sake, don’t read it. You’ll feel old. Now if you will excuse me, I need to call the pharmacy to have them re-fill my blood pressure medicine.

The patient partner

This is one of the posts that I debated about writing. Not so much because it intimately highlights my partner, but because it truly exposes me. But at the start of my blog, when it was in its baby phase, I always said that I wanted to talk about the real things that happen to me. Even if it makes me look like a sad hot mess.

In 2016 I was diagnosed with Lupus. Very few people know that this is something I have suffered with for years. A short little health lesson. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that has no real cause for how it develops and no cure. To sum it up, my body looks at healthy cells and tissues and attacks them as if they a foriegn. In other words, I am kicking my own ass.

Some of the awesome symptoms of my Lupus are difficulty breathing, low blood sugar, circulation issues, fatigue, swelling, arthritis and joint pain. All of that sounds like so much fun, doesn’t it. Having Lupus makes you good at a variety of things. Having to reschedule plans with friends, being tired by 6 pm, hiding your pain from others, tons of blood work and my personal fave, countless doctor appointments.

I told my fiancee when we first started dating about my health issues. But I never went into great detail about them. Dating should be fun, right? So I didn’t want to bore him, or worst yet, scare him away with my health crap. Over the almost two years we have been together, my symptoms have unfortunately become worse. Date nights happen more often at home. Staying up late isn’t really an option. Intimacy has changed and I can’t hide the pain as well any more.

Last weekend was an eye opening moment in my relationship. I had what we like to call a “Lupus flare”. It is when you have an onset of multiple symptoms that hit you like a wrecking ball. I spent 8 hours on my couch wrapped in a blanket with a heat pad in absolute pain and exhaustion. When you have a flare, all you can do is rest and ride it out. The crazy part is that I looked fine. That’s a common trait for most autoimmune diseases. You look “normal”. But my body felt far from fine.

My fiancee remained calm and nurturing. He made sure I had my meds, forced me to rest, watched crap tv with me. He made me laugh and did a ton of other things to get my mind off the pain. Of course, he too can’t hide anymore. Once in a while, I would see him looking at me with such fear and worry. 2 years together has also seen 2 hospitalizations that lasted over a week. He actually proposed three days after my first hospital visit. As he put it, “I couldn’t lose you, so I couldn’t wait to ask you!”

For many of us who suffer from an autoimmune disease, we carry such worry, pain and fear for those who love us. We never want to add more stress to their world and if we could, we would wish it all away. But a true partner will love and stick by you, in sickness and in health. I know the past few months have been hard on my fiancee for a variety of reasons, my health being one of them.

But we have to remember, that the real test of any relationship, is how you endure through the hard times. Whenever I have a good day, I try my best to make it a great one with him. We go out, we have amazing whiskey, we laugh hard, we remember why we fell in love. I cherish those days so much and I hold on to them, when other days feel less than great.

So for the loving and patient partners out there, let me say thank you. We know that you would take our pain away if you could. And we are forever grateful for your love and support.