Monday, August 18, 2014

Redundant Love Advice Part Three (All About Tinder)

Seeing all these beautiful wedding photos emerge on my newsfeed every weekend makes me feel weird. First of all, they're people my age. Younger than me, even. Second of all, WHY WASN'T I INVITED TO THE PARTY? Jk. Uh, I'm available as a plus one, okay? As long as it's not a date...

Third, it's a reminder that relationships are hard to keep forever, so when two people commit to doing it, it's worthy of a celebration. First dates are not, as they are easy come and easy go. This week was a rough one, and at the end of it, it's plain for me to see that I can be an expert at beginning a relationship, but I sure as hell suck at keeping one.

So I dipped my toes into Tinder on Monday, 50% out of curiosity and 50%...well actually I guess boredom. I feel like everyone disses it, but have it themselves. If you're reading this and you're single-either you're already on it or you've thought of it or you've done it in the past. I know who you are!!!

I could only bear to swipe right once in about every 80 pics...which didn't surprise me at all. I often got stuck with just my own face, Tinder desperately trying to gather more men within my 5 mile radius to reject. Guys on Tinder in Portland need to take their sunglasses off, trim their beards, and do something other than stand in front of a waterfall with their baby niece. Anyways, I quickly matched with a handful of suitors and swiftly accepted arrangements to meet up throughout the week. I chose tall handsome men with remarkably nice smiles and funny profile lines. I'm deleting my Tinder tonight though.

Long story short, don't date if you're not actually looking for a relationship. Tinder is indeed good for people that want to date causally and hook up, but there's definitely potential for more if that's what both parties are interested in. I enjoyed going on dates, but at the end of the week I felt like I missed out on a lot of activities and time I would rather have spent with friends or by myself. I won't be making plans to see any of them again. Dating without a purpose made me feel unbalanced and I didn't like it. I'm not ready to fall in love and start a relationship, so I had to cut out the actions of pretending to do so. Plus, 'meeting up for a casual drink' all the time will eventually make you fat. For the record though, the Tinder dates I met accurately reflected their photos and I was quite impressed and pleased that they existed. Guess I was lucky!

So what is my amazing, pivotal advice for everyone out of all this?

1. BE PUNCTUAL. This is kind of unrelated, but important. If you are running late, keep them updated. This is my #1 deal breaker/pet peeve. Respect people's plans and just imagine that they are missing their mom's birthday to hang out with you. They could be. You wouldn't leave them hanging on their sofa while they could be having cake with their family, would you? WOULD YOU?! For me, every time I make plans it means that I'm saying no to something else.  If that person is late, I feel upset because I could have spent that time doing something more fun than waiting.

2. Don't date if you're not open and ready to start a relationship. It sucks to meet someone incredible and then have to let them down. This should be obvious, but some people (hi hi hi hi) forget.

3. Reject/accept rejection gracefully. To boys and especially girls, be kind when you are saying no. I have a hard to navigating this skill...I am just awkward about it and sometimes-I'll only admit it on here-I play dumb. I'm no idiot lol but I need to work on being more straightforward. But however you do it, always be kind.

If they say no to you, notice how they deliver the news. If they were gracious and honest, then realize that they aren't complete assholes-they are just not ready and the situation is not right. Respect them, even if it hurts. I can personally relate to this. If they aren't nice about it, let them go cause you don't want to date mean people anyway.

4. Be happy for your friends that are getting married or engaged. You'll be there too someday, and they'll be there, 'liking' all your photos and offering marriage advice. Ask them for the name of their photographer if you love their photos, and keep a secret list to go for YOUR wedding someday. After all, you'll want your photos to look great on Facebook too ;)

My lonely Tinder screen because I've so kindly rejected everyone. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Redundant Love Advice Part Two

 This one is meant for the ladies. What this really is, is a reminder to myself as well. Being a single girl in Portland has been very…interesting. It doesn't help that I'm not particularly attracted to bearded, vegan men that love their bikes more than their own souls. However, all you other women that are into that are golden, because the guys here as a whole are friendly, adventurous and intelligent.

I really don't have many single girl friends. I wish I did, so I would have more playmates to go out with. But the reality is that most of my best friends are taken, and so I've been left to navigate through solo-land alone. Sure I love bouncing advice and thoughts off people, but the choice is always up to me at the end. I have built up plenty of knowledge and my own theories throughout the years, but as we grow and evolve, so does the way we handle ourselves in relationships. Oh man, disclaimer again: I am drinking boxed wine in my bedroom full of Ikea furniture on a Sunday night. Take everything I write with a grain of salt, and a shot to chase it down if needed.

Here's what I think the world (of women) need to know:

1. Know your worth. You are worth AT LOT. We are beautifully made, smart and (I quote Mao Zedong) we hold up half the sky. So, don't let men treat you badly. Badly is being disrespectful, degrading, dismissive, controlling, and intentionally hurtful. Know the difference between that and a guy just being a guy (ie. busy rock climbing so he doesn't text you back immediately.) I'm still learning the difference, and sometimes I have to take two steps back before I can cool off and see that miscommunication happens. I tend to think that every guy out there is secretly plotting to woo me and destroy me. But seriously, if you meet a guy and he really isn't making an effort to engage you, he's probably not going to be investing in any type of relationship. Suck it up, and move on. Don't waste your precious time, girl.

I was/am such a daddy's girl (Hi dad!). When I was in my teens, he used to take me out on dates. My dad always picked me up ON TIME (more on this for the guys in next post), paid for our dinners, listened to me talk for hours, and would always call me back. It's set a certain standard for me. It's not hard for men to do, and I think every woman deserves to feel treasured and safe if she is with someone. That's why when a guy's idea of a first date is to invite me over for a movie at his place after 10pm, I basically tell him to quit being a bro and write him off. Don't put up with anything less than what you deserve, whether it's your first date or a three year relationship.

2. Give the nice guys a chance. They will usually treat you much better than the hot, shirtless guy who has girls hanging all over him on his Instagram. But really, don't scratch them off until you get to know them a bit. Chances are, they will be the ones who look at you like you're magic, and they will be the ones with crazy hobbies and will invite you to share their world. They will be the ones who are proud to introduce you to their friends and family. They are ambitious, secure, and ready to have someone to love. They are the ones who aren't afraid to plan out a future with you, and they are the type I will probably marry. Nice guys are usually average looking, nerdy, and have really great smiles. I dated a nice guy once, and I was so glad I did. As I got to know him more, his personality made him more attractive to me and the way he respected me built up my gratitude and love for him. You will find this type of guy on your sports team, at the bookstore, sushi restaurants, career summits, start up mixers or REI. And traveling, of course.

Don't date them if all you want is to feel worshiped, that's really unfair. If anything, that is the one thing that holds me back from dating nice guys…if they seem too engrossed with you as a trophy. You'll know if that's the case and if so, just gently…ignore them. LOL sorry I know I should say something else but I don't know how to handle this either. And this is unfortunately common for single girls sometimes. Sigh, friend zone announcement it is.

3. Go ask him out, dammit. Guys LOVE it when you make the first move. Why? Imagine being the one always having to throw yourself out there and risk a 50/50 chance of rejection. It's breaking an obnoxious norm, and makes you instantly wildly cool. I know, that means YOU have to risk rejection. But guess what, the chances of that are WAY lower than we think, and especially since if we ask first, they will be so shocked they will probably say yes. They won't say no unless they are already in a relationship, or, in my case, gay. That's right, I get kindly rejected by gay men often. At least they think it's flattering and adorable and I just feel stupid, not rejected.

Anyways, the worst that can happen is that they say no. You'll live. But success rates are extremely high and you'll start off with them already impressed. I know, because I am not afraid to ask guys out if I see what I like, which doesn't happen here though...

4. Enjoy being single. Let's be real. If you're single, it's not gonna last long. Think about when you've been in a fight w your significant other and it's going nowhere and you feel so emotionally attached yet drained and you kinda want to just die…and then you see your girlfriends frolicking along getting ice cream with cute guys. IF YOU'RE SINGLE, BE GRATEFUL. I have to tell myself this sometimes, but it's so true. Being single is a gift, it's a precious window of time for us to figure out our careers and try to balance life out and deepen our friendships. It's our time to become more of who we want to be in the future and to define what we want for our lives. This is our break so that we can catch our breath and enjoy each day at our own pace. I love being able to join my friends for happy hour whenever I feel like it. I love setting my own schedule for the gym, and changing my mind if I feel like it. I don't need permission for how to spend my money, I don't even have to shower if I don't feel like it! Also, single people that are content being single don't have to tell people they are happy being single all the time, because they are so busy being happily single. I somehow have the energy to do both, lucky you!

C'mon, give the nice guys a shot! We had a cocktail workshop at work on Thursday...

Would I have gone off backpacking with friends if I wasn't single? …well actually yeah. This is the Upper Twin Lake in Oregon, was here yesterday.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Redundant Love Advice Part One

People wanted me to write a thing or two about relationships. Why? I don't know-I've always failed at them and they've sucked the life out of me. I guess I should probably write a book about what doesn't work and what you shouldn't look for and what you can't believe? I brought this up today to a friend (an ex, nonetheless) and he brilliantly pointed out that people who write about relationships don't have to have solutions, they only have to address a common issue that people can relate to and get people thinking and/or inspired. So then I guess I'm good to go!

The best thing about having such a vast history of unique, intense, traumatizing and blissful encounters with love is that in the end, you know yourself more than anyone else can claim to.

I guess since most of my girlfriends are all either hitched or hooked up forever, it's been my guys friends who have been picking at my brain. They want to know the answer to the most perplexing question known to the history of manhood: how to get a girl to fall in love/go out with you. Different things yes, but whatever-one thing could lead to the other. Rather, sometimes I wonder if they want to know how to get a girl similar to myself. I'm only concluding that because they're asking me and not married women, whom would actually know what they're talking about.

The following are strictly OPINIONS from the perspective of THIS happy, single, charming, active, attractive (society tells me anyway!) well-traveled, educated, and employed 26 year old woman. I shouldn't even be giving advice but hey, you asked and thus you shall receive.

1. First, start with the basics and be on my level. Be the type of person you wish to date. (ie. be happy, single, charming, active, attractive, well-traveled, educated and employed..and preferably older than me.) Simple.

2. Second, love your life. Have hobbies, passions, projects, dreams, and/or exciting plans for the future. Be working on improving yourself and others around you. I melt for guys that volunteer. I also love it when someone starts talking about doing something they love, and you can feel the energy beaming out of them because they're so passionate about it. It could be a sports team they play in, a community group they're starting, why, even if they are beer connoisseurs and love beer tasting! Enthusiasm for life is infectious, and if they have it, I'll want to share it with them and share mine as well! Just have something to share and bring to the table, okay?

3. Be assertive. I cannot emphasize this enough. BE ASSERTIVE!!! What HAPPENED, American millennials?! Why do guys beat around the bush so much? It's such a shame when guys I would otherwise be interested in, just don't ask. They hint and suggest and elude...but I gotta see if you've got the balls. Pretty girls can be intimidating I know, but I bet you would be surprised at how relieved they would be if you just said the words instead of complimenting them here and there all day like everyone else does. What are the words? "Do you want to go out with me sometime this friday? There's (something cool going on)  at the _________. Can I pick you up/meet you there at _______pm?" Is that so hard? And if they can't make it, they'll be impressed enough to offer to do something else another time! Works for me, anyways. If I absolutely cannot stand you and you smell, then I will say no and walk away. That's the worst that can ever happen and it's not even that bad! Just imagine me stepping into dog poo.

4. Speaking of smells, wear cologne. Divine cologne, of course. This is probably just me. I love it when a guy smells good. It either means that he's putting in effort to present himself nicely (which are always +1) or he just has good taste. It's also a pheromone thing. I'm a hypocrite at this because I rarely wear perfume. I get paranoid of spritzing too much and giving people around me headaches. I should work on that.

I know guys, this is a lot and it's mind blowing ;) Maybe I should stop and let it all sink in while I sleep since I love my bed more than any man right now. If you like what I've written or are strongly offended either way let me know. If you get a date this weekend I take credit for it. I think most of you will make fun of me and that's okay, I CAN TAKE IT CAUSE I KNOW MYSELF haha I still haven't opened up my comment boxes again due to a crazy stalker, so write me via FB :) Or better yet, you give ME some advice.

Buenas noches x

Next one's for the ladies..

Monday, August 4, 2014

So begins August

Hello, August. You came quickly. Remember when summer used to be defined by summer breaks from school? Now it's just the weather that makes the difference, and thank goodness in Portland, summer has been endless. Wow, I don't know if I've ever loved a city more.

It's challenging for me to write about Portland, because I don't really know who is reading this and who I am writing it for. If you live in Portland, nothing I write is interesting haha. If you don't? Maybe Portland will become a dream destination. It is one of the last 'affordable' cool cities to live in, and everyone here is pretty much as happy as a clam.

For the past two weeks I've been in training at work to gear us up to the next level, yo. It's been an interesting two weeks, with some bonding and tiffs in work relationships. It's interesting to see how the dynamics of a start up office can evolve with a continuous influx of new hires, internal promotions and an ever-transforming office space. We even had a surprise visit from one of our CEOs, Brian Chesky on Thursday. Thank goodness I was in a dress and not sweats that day. Oh also, I dyed my hair blonde. I love it, it's everything I had ever imagined, and blondes really DO have a lot of fun! I'm not sure why it took me so long...

On Friday following pizza and avoiding beer after work, I went to check out a game of Ultimate Frisbee at a park in my neighborhood. It was pitch black by 10pm, but we had light up headbands and frisbees, and it was so much fun OMG. I met a whole set of strangers, potential friends if I return, and I think I will. If you're in Portland, you should come check it out! Every Friday at 9am, Wallace Park in  the NW. :) They're cool people. I'm a cool people.

Saturday was for floating the Sandy river. We had a BBQ and then invaded the river! Basically you grab a bunch of friends, blow up inner tubes, and float down the river with a cooler of beer, surrounded by the forest and nature and people getting high in the bushes off the banks. It's one of my favorite Oregon summer activities, and no summer is complete without a river float. It can get kinda messy and you have to be careful in certain parts of the river, but if you use common sense and don't get too wasted, it's a perfect way to spend a Saturday. Probably one of the best ways, cause you can't do it anywhere else that I've been to.

I went searching for 'my' cafe on Sunday. Everyone in Portland has a go-to cafe in their neighborhood. I don't I set out to find one. Long story short, I failed. Vivace, Barista..I just know when I want to spend a whole day at a cafe and neither of them were it. Well, I stayed at one for the majority of the day anyway to iron out details for my upcoming trip. The more I research South America, the more obsessed I'm getting! I also had my first Spanish tutoring lesson on Sunday. My tutor was sooooo impressed with how good my spanish already is. NOT! But I have no doubt I'll be ready when the time comes, and I'm so excited!

I spent today mostly outside, relaxing at a park and getting ice cream with my bestie Julie and her daughter. Although I'm terrified of having my own, I can't help but admire how much my friend has grown and pulled up her big-girl panties to be a mother. Most of my besties from high school are mothers too now, actually. While everyone is posting pictures of their kids on Instagram, I just post food. At least you can eat food? But really, parenthood is incredibly overwhelming and I am so proud of them for taking it on.

I'll leave you with something that stuck out to me from our CEO's spill that made us all teary. Lots of things he said made us teary..I'm not sure how he does it. But this applies to everyone reading:

"If you end up living a thousand lives, and this one gets to be one of them, you are lucky." -B. Chesky

After work on Thursday we were surprised by an army of pedicabs to take us to our company happy hour. Most spoiled employees ever? I think so <3 

Every summer I've been away, I've dreamt of coming back for this! 

Hitting up the urban parks throughout the city center. Oh, summer time. 

I still love that vino blanco con mis amigos!