Interdependent, not independent

If you’ve not heard the word interdependent before, rest assured that you’ve been doing it since you were born.  Interdependent simply means that we depend on each other.  Now I’ll be the first gal to say that we should be self-sufficient.  We should be able to change our own tires (or at least call the automobile club), take care of yourself while ill, and organize like a ninja with OCD.  We should not, however, have to do all of it without any support.

There are two steps to becoming interdependent:

  1. Get over yourself;
  2. Surround yourself with the right people.

The key to getting over yourself is perspective.  While life can be serious business, nothing should be that dire.  When faced with a stressful situation, ask yourself how things will look in a few minutes, in a few weeks, and in a few years.  Base your decisions on that information, not how you’re feeling at this exact second.

Then take a look at the people in your life.  Kick out the frenemies (trust me, they’ll never get better).  To the people you can’t kick out (e.g. family), have a talk with them about being supportive or realize that you can’t rely on them for the type of support that you need.  When picking new people, pick quality people.  Do not just let anyone be in your life.  If they’re not on your team, kick ’em out!  You can do better.

Now that you have your support system in place, use it properly.  Rely on it when you need help and make sure that you’re reciprocating in kind.

The myth of the independent woman and why they’re never called independent men

Oh put your pitchforks down, ladies!  I’m not working for the opposition.  In fact, quite the opposite.  We have been sold a bill of goods that, in order to be real women, we must be independent women.

The dictionary defines independent as, amongst other things, not relying on another or others for aid or support.  So in order to be an authentic female, we must rely on no one else for anything; we must learn everything, say everything, do everything without the help of another person.  This is utter hogwash and impossible to accomplish.

So why does this concept persist?  The sad thing to say is, we all feed into it.  We feel like it’s the gold standard and anything less than perfection is letting down ourselves and our sisters.

You have to ask yourself why have you never heard the term “independent man”?  It’s because they’ve already figured it out.  Notwithstanding a few cliches (e.g., asking for directions), men are not afraid that getting help will rob them of their autonomy.

It’s time for us to drop the act and learn to be interdependent, not independent, but that my lovelies, is another blog.

Casual Friday and then some

Stroll into any public place and you will see an amazing number of poorly-dressed people.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for dressing comfortably (where appropriate) but lately we seem to have become a nation of slobs.

So before you think that those pajama bottoms and that stained “nice rack” tee are appropriate for meeting your friends for coffee, consider how you’re being portrayed to the people around you.  Is that what you want them to think of you?  What if one of them was a potential boyfriend/employer/client?

What reaction are you going for?  Sort through your clothing and start building yourself a wardrobe around the impression that you want to be projecting.  Then learn to take care of what you have so that you’re not making a clothing compromise at the last minute.

I’m not saying that you need to become a fashionista or that you should be overly concerned about what others think of you.  However, if you’re searching for career advancement or a significant other, how you present yourself will hold a lot of sway over the other party and you never know when that opportunity might be showing up.

Omg, I’m turning into my mother!

At some point in your life, words will fly out of your mouth and you will come to the conclusion that you’re turning into your mother.  Even if you love your mother dearly, this isn’t something that you’re looking forward to.

The good news is, you’ve recognized what is happening so you can start to shape it before it shapes you.  Take a good, long look at your mother and how she has influenced your life both for the good and the bad (you may not be perfect, mom, but we love you).  Decide what you would like to keep and what you would like to pass you by. Start cultivating the good parts and correcting the bad – this will require actual work on your part!

Everyone is defined by their experiences but we are not held hostage by them.  You have the power to determine your future.

I hate you, no wait, come back

Everyone has had the experience that they ended a perfectly good relationship on a whim or for a rather small reason, only to change their mind and attempt to get their ex back.  Understandably, if you break up with a guy and then try to get him back, the relationship isn’t going to bounce back to the pre-breakup level.  The more he holds back, the  more you get frustrated at his lack of enthusiasm, the more he thinks that breaking up was the right thing to do.

Don’t be that girl.  When you orchestrate a break up, make sure you mean it.  Do NOT do it on impulse, on your friend’s advice, or because you got scared.  Break ups should be made with cold, hard logic (this is not the person that I want to spend the rest of my life with because of x, y, and z) and not with passion (omg, I can’t believe you just said that, we’re through!).

If you have done this, please be aware that you have a very small window to admit your mistake and make it up to him.  Realize that you’re going to have to do a *lot* of work to get him to trust you again and it probably will never be the same again (which may be a good or a bad thing).  Also, be prepared to suck up your pride for a bit but not forever – 0nce you get it back on the right track, you will both need to agree to move past the break-up and not bring it up again.

The bad news is, it may not work.  He may decide that you’re more trouble than you’re worth.  If you really like him though, you can try to endure a long wait until you both become different people and then try again.

How to booty call a guy

If you have read my previous blogs on booty calls, then you’re well aware of my thoughts on them.  However, “how to booty call a guy” seems to be a key search term to find my blog so I might as well answer it.

In general, I’m against booty calls and I advocate taking a lover if you really aren’t looking for a relationship, you just want your itch scratched.  However, as a modern woman, I do realize that sometimes that itch does get quite, er, persistent.  So it’s best to have a game plan.

  1. Choose your target wisely.  You don’t want this to be a good friend (very very messy) or a guy you’d want a relationship with (you can’t change the dynamic once it’s established).  Obviously there needs to be some attraction but also a degree of safety, both in terms of health and security.  Remember, most guys will tell you what you want to hear rather than the cold, hard truth.
  2. Get his phone number.  You could email him but then you’ll spend a tense few hours waiting for him to respond while your head goes through any number of ludicrous theories as to why he hasn’t written back.  Oh, and most guys aren’t going to find it quite as creepy as girls do if you just happen to get their phone number from a friend, their social media page, or even a directory.
  3. Pick your time.  Are you scheduling your booty call?  It risks sounding like a date.  Are you dialing at midnight?  You risk him not being available.  Try to figure out what type of guy he is before determining when to approach it.  If you’re looking for an easy A, I recommend that you go for the studious type over the stud type, at least the first time out.
  4. Decide what you’re going to say.  This is not the time to stumble about verbally.  You want to be suave, not sweating.  Keep it short and direct without being vulgar.  If words fail you, you an always use the international code for booty call.  Ask the question, then wait for a response.  Do not fill in the silence with mindless prattle or your top ten list of why he should say yes.  He might be in shock, give him a chance to process it and formulate a response.
  5. If he rejects you, put on your big girl panties and suck it up.  For whatever reason, he’s not the guy.  Delete his number and move on.
  6. If he accepts (and it is shockingly easy to get a guy into bed – go figure), then you should have everything prepared ahead of time.  Have a good exit strategy and keep it vague (I have to work in the morning is pretty universal for you gotta go).  If you’re kind enough to let him stay overnight, I had a friend who used to prepare his booty calls breakfast, deliver it to them in bed, then tell them that their taxi would be there in about 30 minutes, prepaid of course.  What a gentleman!
  7. Afterward – do not be a clingy girl!  You slept with him.  He’s not your boyfriend.  He may or may not cuddle.  Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t call (in fact, keep the ball in your court – booty call him, do not allow him to booty call you!).  Instead, plan a girls night out to celebrate and share most, but not all, of the details…of how you did it.  Gosh, I would never instruct you to kiss and tell!

Dithering idiots

Okay ladies, this is going to sting.

So we’ve all been in that somewhat ambivalent relationship where we don’t know where the guy’s head is at.  He’ll tell you that he’s not ready to commit yet but you can’t see a really good reason (really good reasons include a family medical emergency, finishing school, etc.).  Let me break it down for you – he might be ready to commit but not to you.

If the right girl came along, he’d commit in a nanosecond.  However, you’re not that girl and under no circumstances will I advocate attempting to change yourself into *that girl* just to make him happy.  This isn’t about you though.  In all likelihood, you’ve done nothing wrong; you’re simply convenient for the moment, however long that moment lasts.

How do you differentiate the dithering idiot from the manchild?  The manchild refuses to grow up.  The dithering idiot is a already an adult who handles his responsibilities.  The manchild doesn’t realize the relationship has no future; the dithering idiot is fully aware that you’ll never be anything more than his ‘girlfriend.’

If you find yourself in this situation, recognize it, extricate yourself, and move on.  Don’t blame yourself for anything more than allowing him to waste your time, and go find a guy who deserves you.

Why are my panties so damn tiny if you showed up commando?

Women will endure a lot of torture in order to look like what we think men want.  We pluck ourselves nearly hairless (yes, even *there*), we wear dreadfully uncomfortable clothes, and we buy stuff called camouflage makeup.  Invariably, however, you open the door and the guy is standing there in jeans, a semi-wrinkled shirt and a leer that says “I’m not wearing boxers.”

How did we get ourselves into this position?  We did it to ourselves.  We bought into this media image that we have to look like a pornstar in order to attract a mate.  I’m not saying that we should give up bathing and embrace a new hirsute vegan lifestyle, but we should certainly attempt to cultivate a sustainable sense of personal style that can be maintained.

So toss out those girl magazines that try to dictate everything from your hairstyle to your underwear.  Be the best that you can be but make sure it’s you deciding what that is.  And if you meet a guy who thinks the length of your pubic hair should be a deciding factor in the relationship – go find a better class of men, they are out there.

The lion vs. the lamb

Much like my psycho ex-girlfriend, a married man will often describe his wife in unflattering terms.  He’ll tell you that she doesn’t understand him, they’ve grown apart, she nags him constantly, etc., etc., etc.  Now I won’t say that his wife is perfect because I don’t know her (and neither do you!), but he saw enough in her at some point to commit to spending the rest of his life with her.

At the same time, he’ll be telling you everything you want to hear.  You’re so sweet, uncomplicated, you “get him“.  Please remember that he’s saying anything that he has to in order to get into your panties.  He has nothing to lose at this point – even if you turn him down, he’s still going home to his wife!  This power play also occurs when you argue with your married lover, again, he has nothing to lose.

Do not allow a man to put you into competition with his wife (or with any other woman for that matter).  The moment he tries to set up that dynamic, refuse to accept it.  Human interactions are far more complex than the oversimplification that he’s trying to hand you.  You are neither the lion nor the lamb…..but neither is she.

Uncomplicated

Uncomplicated is one of those words that makes me cringe when I hear it dripping off a guy’s lips.  He’s intending it as a compliment but it really isn’t and I’ll tell you why….If your relationship is uncomplicated, then one of you isn’t being authentic and most likely, it’s you.

You know what a synonym for uncomplicated is?  Easy.  I’m not saying that your job in a relationship is to make his life difficult but you can be too accommodating, too understanding, too afraid to rock the boat.  Sure you want to put your best foot forward but make sure you’re being your true self.  Don’t create an image of yourself for him to fall in love with because it’s unsustainable.  Don’t be so intent on winning the guy that you lose yourself.

Some guys (not all guys – there are good guys out there) will use this word as a behavior modifier.  It’s a bit of a veiled threat – keep the relationship simple and the relationship continues; make the relationship complicated and the relationship ends.  It’s manipulation.  If you’re involved with one of these guys – run and don’t look back!

So if you’re with a guy who suddenly comes up with this little gem – ask him what it means and listen to his response with your brain, not your heart…because a guy who wants an undemanding relationship doesn’t want all the marvelous complications that real life holds.