Drunk and Dating

It is no surprise that I enjoy a good cocktail. Or cocktails. Or shots. Or whiskey. I enjoy drinking. The social aspect of it. The taste of it. The relaxation it brings after a hard day. I have found that at times, it can greatly improve a situation. Like a date. Be it good or bad, I can always relay on my friend Jameson or Patron, to either get me through a mindless hour of boredom, or ignite a game of “Truth or Dare”.

I also argue that I have made some truly questionable decisions while under the influence. For example, going on a date in the first place. Alcohol by nature, is actually a depressant. Did you know that? *Mind blown* All those times we thought that “Liquid Courage” was a thing, or at least that thing that got us dancing on a bar, it’s all more so in our heads. Because alcohol is really a downer. Who knew?

But I do argue that a good drink can make a date entertaining. Whether you imbibe or not, here are a few tips to enjoy a date with or without booze:

  • Stay Sober: I know you thought I’d jump into it with “Order a Pint.” But no. If you prefer to really get something deep and meaningful from your date, try not drinking. And for those of you who don’t drink in general, make sure to let your date know that. But don’t be a jerk or judge your date if they choose to have a cocktail. Or two!
  • It’s a Marathon, not a Sprint: Meaning, pace yourself. Don’t knock out two shots and a beer in the first hour. Especially if you find that you’re having a great time, spread out your cocktails. Sure, this may mean you are going at a slower pace, but a messy drunk is never fun. Especially on a first date.
  • Find a Common Drink: Here’s a great way to start a date, especially if going into it, you know your date enjoys drinking. Find out their favorite cocktail. If it’s also something you enjoy, maybe try a different version together. It can be a great conversation starter. And bonus if you both like it.
  • Make Suggestions: I hate gin! I just can’t get into it. But I appreciate trying new things. If your date has a similar apprehension and they are open to taking a walk on the wild side, why not offer a suggestion? Be sure to offer to pay if they don’t like it, so there’s no pressure in paying for something they don’t enjoy.
  • Get your Waiter/Bartender involved: This final tip is for the date that is going super well and bonus, there happens to be a cool waiter/bartender. Let them know that you’re having a great date so far and you need a drink made special for you and your date. Bartenders love to be creative and if you tip well, they can really make it a fun night. Shout out to my fellow bartenders who also make darn good matchmakers!
Smiling couple having drinks at bar

In the end, have fun and be safe. Be sure to drink tons of water and make sure your date has a safe way home. If you’re lucky you’ll be having another round of drinks on date #2! In the meantime, Cheers!

I got your back, boo!

Breakups are never easy. They aren’t fun, are emotionally taxing and just suck in general. Lucky for you, you have me. I’m a professional when it comes to being there for my friends. Oh, I’m a hot mess going through a breakup myself. But I have always had a great gift of having my friends back when they go through heartache. I guess it comes from my personal philosophy of giving to others what I’d like to receive. You know, that “Do unto others..” yada yada

All jokes aside, there are times that you have to be counselor, motivator and coach when a friend is going through a breakup. There are a few things that we all should consider when being a good shoulder to lean on.

First, remember that not all break ups are the same. Just like not all relationships are the same. I would think this is a given, but I am always amazed when I hear someone say “Well, like when I broke up with XYZ, he did the same thing…” No he didn’t, Stephanie! We all love and grieve differently. And in essence, a break up is a loss. So what you went through and processed emotions, will be different from that of your friend. So remember to understand and accept that.

Second, don’t give your friend a timeline for their own healing. Read that again, and also apply it to your own life. Sure, it may take a few days, months or dare I say, years to get over someone. But that is on your friends own emotional calendar. All you can do is be supportive and honest with them. Sure, sulking for a year or more might be much. But unless you know the deep inner workings of their romance or unless the breakup involves kids or a marriage, time may heal all wounds and that time may take a while. So it’s not up to us to give a friend a deadline to deal with their emotions. But do make them bathe after the second day.

Next, sometimes your two cents isn’t necessary. If you’re like me, when you go through a break up, you think of about a million things that you did wrong. And getting outside criticism isn’t always helpful. You know what I mean. The “I told you so’s!” Judgement is criticism disguised as advice. So don’t put your negative Nancy view of love onto someone who is hurting. And finally, be present. Being there for your friend during a breakup has nothing to do with your own heartache, or crappy job or family issues. Be aware that this is their time to heal and your time to listen. I don’t say this often, but, it’s not all about you. Be a lending hand, a strong support, a warm hug and most importantly, the friend who brings over the good Bourbon.

Do I make the cut?

In the world of dating and dating advice, more often then not, you will find countless lists of what a woman wants in a man. Certain requirements that she desires in a perfect mate. I myself have made many of these lists. I actually wrote one that had 100 (you read that correct) 100 things I was looking for in my “Dream Man.” I also wrote that list my freshmen year of college. Over the years, the list has changed and thankfully, got shorter. It focuses on characteristics that I want in a partner with whom I want to build a future with. But it recently occurred to me, that maybe men have a similar list. And if so, would I make it on my partner’s list?

One of the first things to consider when making a list in hopes to find said qualities in a partner, is to ask yourself if those are qualities that you possess. In other words, if you want him to be someone who is close with their family, are you in fact, close with your family? And if you had to do a deep dive into your own soul, what are the ten things that you bring to a relationship? Or better yet, what are the ten things you need to do better in a relationship?

Another point to consider is why a particular item on your list is important? Is a man who is financially stable important to you, because you need to be better with handling money? And if that is the case, wouldn’t that be a point that your partner would address on his own list? “I like a woman who has poor credit and a minor addiction to shoes.” Ok, maybe not as dramatic, but you get the picture. If an item on your list is an important quality you are looking for, is it something that you can match or are an equal to?

At the end of the day, we want to look at our lists and think that we are asking for our truest desires. But take a moment and think about your own self with an honest and critical eye. Do you have all of the things that your partner dreams of? If not, maybe re-examine your list again. At the very least, narrow it down from 100 to maybe 30 things. There’s no way he can be kind, loving, between 6’0 and 6’4 and speak French. That’s just asking for too much.

Can you have friends of the opposite sex?

Let me just jump right into this. Yes, but with conditions. Steve Harvey recently made news with his comments on the topic of having friends of the opposite sex. His thoughts, which are very valid come from the idea that a man has a woman as a friend when he puts her in the category of knowing he will never sleep with her. Meaning, we ain’t gonna bump uglies, then we can be cool. But if I have the chance, I’m taking the opportunity. And for this, some men find it hard to have a woman who is genuinely a friend.

Women however see a different point. We can see a guy as an actual friend and it has nothing to do with attraction or sexual chemistry. Yes, we can put you in the Friend Zone and yes, we can go from doing the nasty to being buds. It’s a transition that comes easy for us because we see that friendship connection more important than sex. This can confuse your male partner and in many cases, make them feel threatened. I’m here to argue that it shouldn’t.

So I, like many women, who over the years, always had more guy friends than girlfriends. Now at the moment, I am closer to my girls, but I have a handful of guys that if I needed to call in an emergency, have my back. Some of those I have had zero physical or romantic connection to. Some, we have had a past of intimacy. But years have passed, I’m engaged, or they are happily married with kids, there is no bond more than an actual friendship. Here’s how I have always seen this dynamic. It’s one thing to have those friends to hang out with over drinks or bond at a sporting event, but what about the person you call when you have a death in the family or you’re going through something like a divorce? In moments like that, a genuine friendship is so important, and one that should be bigger than what may have happened years prior in or out of the bedroom.

This is where the “conditions” come in. I think in order to have a strong relationship to the opposite sex, while you are in fact in a relationship, it’s important to be honest with your partner about the history of the friendship. Do I think they need to know all of the dirty details? No. But should they know in all honesty that there was some sort of physical past? Yes. But why? If it ever comes out that this little fact was never mentioned, your partner will inevitably feel as if it was hidden on purpose, when you may not see it that way. This is the tricky part of having friends of the opposite sex. What do you divulge to your partner?

At the end of the day, you have a friendship that may have been years in existence before your time with your significant other. If it is a real solid friendship, like the one you can call on if your mom passes or your baby is born, then I think those healthy friendships are indeed safe and valuable. Remember, if it ever feels like you’re hiding information or details, or if you have to proceed with caution, that’s never good. Treat both your friendship and relationship with open respect, and both should be able to live in harmony.

Dear future relationship me…

First, take a moment and breathe. You have so much constantly on your heart and in your mind that you forget to find peace in the here and now.

Right…now that we got that hippy crap out of the way. Let’s get down to it. Your past is in the past. Every now and then, the memories of old loves, lost pain and regret will rear their head in your current relationship. But it is how you address them, which will make you and your partner stronger.

Because a previous relationship didn’t work, does not mean you are a failure. (Feel free to read that part over again…and often) What the past gives us is a wonderful gift. It’s called “perspective”. Learn from the mistakes, repeat the things that work and honor how far you have come. You are now in a better place.

Dear Me…listen to your partner. You can not preach how he does not listen to you, if you are failing at doing the one thing you shame him for. Listening means more than hearing what he says. It also means listening to what he doesn’t say. In the moments of deep silence and concern, listen to his needs. He may need that silence. He may need your support. He may also just need to fart. There is a lot to learn in the silence, and there is nothing wrong with listening to it.

Finally, Dear Me…be honest…with yourself. If you feel anxious, express it. If you demand more, require it. If you need space, ask for it. If you desire intimacy, nurture it. You are already leaps and bounds ahead from where you came from. You have the scars and love to prove it. But never forget that the work in a healthy relationship first starts with you. So be honest and true to your own needs and emotions. Never doubt them, silence them or ignore them.

And in the future, if you could be a little kinder to yourself, that would be great too.

Love,

Desiree

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.

In search of a sugar daddy

Years ago, I came across a website called “Seeking Arrangements”. I found it after watching an episode of one of my favorite MTV shows “True Life”. The episode tackled the lives of Sugar Babies. I am sure you have heard the term in some form or fashion over the years, so I won’t bore you with the details. But what I will say, is that ever since watching that episode, I have been fascinated by the Sugar Baby/Daddy lifestyle.

So in my fascination, curiosity and small level of desperation, I signed up for the site. Don’t judge me, it was for “research”. The premise has single men or women looking for a “baby” that they can spoil, support or “sponsor”. The term “sponsor” was what really drew me in. A man, who has never met me, is willing to give me money for things. It could be clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc. On the site, you also have a variety of other “sponsorship” or support. Rent, travel, house hold bills. It all seems too good to be true.

Or is it?

At it’s core, the sugar baby/daddy lifestyle is about companionship. Yes, there are those that have a certain level of intimacy, but what I did find most often, is that a “daddy” wanted someone to spend time with or accompany them on trips and events. So why the money? Why pay me for it? It does give off a vibe or prostitution. You’re trading yourself for some form of income or gifts. But there are other cases where the gifts are truly just that, no strings gift.

Some men and women (yes, there are Sugar Mamas) enjoy lavishing their babies with actual gifts. I was talking to a friend of mine recently who told me about a guy who got her some gifts recently. He enjoyed making her happy. I don’t think they have ever met, but both people got something out of it. My friend got to buy some great clothes, and the benefactor had the knowledge that he was making her happy.

Around the time I started to dive into this article, a guy on Instagram reached out to me about being his sugar baby. It sounded a bit like a scam. You know…wayyyyy to good to be true. Scammers also live in this world like any other world of dating. It’s easy to waste someones time and very dangerous when you are luring them with money or gifts. I called said scammer out and to my surprise, he was annoyed. That’s ok dude, I don’t really want to fall for your Nigerian money scheme.

But over the years, I have known several friends who have had successful “sponsored” relationships. In only one case, was a sexual relationship involved. The others enjoyed gifts, money and other perks. I’m not gonna lie, I wouldn’t mind being showered with gifts, but at what cost? Must I entertain you? Do I need to pretend to care about your daily life? Do I want to be nothing more than arm candy? Is an Hermes purse worth my time and dignity?

I’m still very curious, so if you’ve ever been involved in such a relationship, I’d love to know your thoughts. Calling all babies and sponsors!

Pay me what you owe me

I saw a hilarious tweet about having your ex pay you for emotional distress and how much one would ask for. It got me thinking if I would even want emotional distress money from an ex. I mean, I’ve moved on, right? But then, I could always use more money.

It is no surprise that some relationships sting more than others. And when they are over, the pain of recovery takes time. And worst of all, there are times you never get what you really want…closure. Sure, if a relationship ended, a check would be nice. But we put closure above anything when it comes to moving on from heart break.

I once asked a friend of mine if she felt she was “owed” closure. Meaning, do you deserve having your ex explain the cause of the end of your relationship? Or do you just want your ex to acknowledge it, and the actions that may have led up to it? At the end of the day, no one is owed closure. Even writing that I feel like a hypocrite. But when I take an honest look at even the most painful of breakups, the ones where I felt I “deserved” closure, I saw that over time, that need became less and less.

What we want is to put a pretty bow on the end of that chapter, in hopes that turning the page is easier. But that simply isn’t true, and isn’t real life. Sometimes you have to go through that pain to come out on the other side. And for some people this process prevents them from moving on to something better. We hold so tight on the “What if” of an ex, that we miss out on great future possibilities.

I asked that same friend of mine if she would feel better with closure, and of course she said yes. But I then asked her if she would honestly feel better without. Over time, won’t you have found peace and moved on? Yes. And in some cases, finding out the “Why” of the end of a relationship, can make things worse. So why put yourself through that?

Whether your ex gives your closure, or if we had the ability to get a fat check from emotional distress, moving on is the best reward. You can look back and see your personal growth. Sure, I can name at least two ex’s that I would easily request $10,000 in emotional damages. But let’s be honest, they couldn’t pay it anyway. Hence why they are an ex!