Guys

Our Past Is Our Future

All of us have pasts. Most of them are good [hopefully! LOL], and there are definitely parts of them that we sure aren’t proud of. For me, personally, I know there are huge chunks of my past that I wish I could just erase from my memory.

For years I was in a relationship with somebody that I never should have been dating in the first place. I got caught up in his “bad boy” image [a phase of life I think most of us gals go through, unfortunately], and inevitably got intertwined in his messy, chaotic world for longer than I would have liked. He was the polar opposite of me in every way, and we rarely got along. Our relationship consisted of constant arguments – we were angry more often than we weren’t. I was deeply unhappy, probably clinically depressed if I’m being brutally honest. I was in the darkest place I’ve ever been, and it’s because I was just a shell of myself. It’s weird to say, but looking back on it now, my memories of that time are like I was living outside of my body, just watching this crazy life happen that wasn’t even mine. The worst part of it all was that I had no idea how to get out of it. I felt completely trapped, and it was a feeling that I was not at all comfortable with. Fortunately, an opportunity arose for me to leave the relationship, and as much as I’d like to say that I’ve never looked back since then.. Well, that would be a lie.

It’s been over two years since I completely cut ties with that person, and yet that chunk of my life with him haunts me nearly every day. For years I’ve held onto so much anger about who he was in our relationship; who I was in that relationship. I’ve resented him for trying to break my spirit, for trying to control me and manipulate me, for trying to isolate me from my friends and family. He tried everything he could to turn me into who he wanted me to be instead of just accepting me for who I was. And I in turn allowed him to treat me the way that he did, and that’s what has weighed heavily on me all this time.

It’s not every day that I wake up with an anxiety about my past, and these days it only happens every once in a while. It’s a constant work-in-progress for me to find forgiveness for that person and the way he treated me, and for myself for allowing it to happen. I didn’t know it back then, but I completely had the power and the resources to get out of that relationship anytime I wanted, but I let the fear of coming clean to my family about the person I was spending my time with hold me back. I let the pride of needing to escape the relationship on my own keep me from seeking help. Pride and jealousy – humankind’s biggest enemies.

I have days where the anger just unexpectedly boils up inside me, trying to rear its ugly head. And the will to regret my past and the decisions I’ve made is always lingering. But the other night I had an epiphany, if you will. I was talking to my wedding coordinator about things suddenly just falling into place for me, as they had for her. And it got me backtracking and reliving the last few years of my life and how I got to where I am today. And as much as I hate the person that I was in that time of my life and the relationship I was in, every decision that I made, and the time that I devoted to that guy, led me to where I am today.

If you don’t follow me in Instagram, then you probably don’t know that I recently got a job working for my wedding coordinator as an assistant event planner and the lead writer for the company blog. It’s a huge deal for me – I have been trying for quite a while to get my own IG and blog off the ground as a source of income, but I don’t have enough of an “angle” to make anything of it. So it’s fallen a bit to the wayside, as my life is, generally, pretty boring LOL. Not boring, but there’s nothing worth writing home about, if you catch my drift.

This job, that seemingly just landed in my lap by the fate of some sort of career gods, really happened to come to me due to a series of events. Events that actually started because of the guy I used to date. Oddly enough, he was the one who encouraged me to leave my job at the restaurant where I was working at the time. He knew how much I hated the wacky hours and not having weekends off, so he told me to apply to some jobs on Craigslist – it couldn’t hurt, right? I remember vividly that it was a Wednesday night – I was up late updating my resume and sending it off to a handful of listings online. The next morning I received a call from one of them, an administrative position at an accounting firm. I interviewed, somehow got the job [in an industry I literally didn’t know anything about], and started immediately. And just like that, I kissed the restaurant world goodbye.

I was with the accounting firm for a couple of years. I’m a fast learner, and they noticed this immediately. They trained me in bookkeeping, and I ended up with several of my own clients that I was responsible for. One of them was an insurance broker for employee benefits, who I communicated with regularly and actually saw once a week to exchange documents for their books. As a very detail-oriented and organized person, it wasn’t long before I didn’t have enough work to do around the office. Tasks that initially took me a whole week now only took me a few hours. My boss could tell I was bored, but his client base was focused on small businesses, and he didn’t have any other clients for me to take on. As luck would have it, the insurance company suddenly had an administrative opening; since I already knew the COO via email, and, coincidentally, one of the owners knew my dad, I interviewed for the job and got the offer on the spot. I was whisked from one industry to another that I knew nothing about. Another job where I’d have to start from ground zero and learn everything there was to know.

The health insurance industry is very small. I mean, it’s BIG, but it’s small. Everybody knows each other. I’ve made a lot of friends in my office, as well as in other companies. One of them is my friend Jenny – when we met we just vibed. We have the same sense of humor, and want the same things out of life. She’s one of the strongest women I know – she refuses to fail. She defines the word perseverance. It was through Jenny that I met Mitch – the man that in just under five months I will vow my love and my life to. And through planning my wedding I hired a coordinator who just so happened to grow up with my groom-to-be, and eventually found my niche in the wedding planning industry. And it all started because of a person who, despite all of our issues and arguments, actually is the reason that I am where I am today. How’s that for some perspective?

I have been so fortunate to meet a man who loves me just as I am. Who knows that I can be feisty and unreasonable and just works with me instead of against me. It’s because of my past that I appreciate what my life is today. And despite the occasional desperate desire to block out chunks of my past, every inch of it has defined me and put me on the path to my present and my future.

And the funny thing is, that guy is where he is today because he met me.

If I was a stoner I would probably get off on a tangent right now about how our entire lives are predestined for us when we are born, but that’s a different blog post for another day.

Gift Guide For The Low Maintenance Guy

I’ll be the first to admit that I love nice things. I’d like to consider myself low maintenance, but I’m sure my fiancé would beg to differ LOL. I’ve got more makeup in my repertoire than a professional makeup artist, and I’ve probably got enough clothes to dress a small country [a small, female country, that is]. I like to look and feel good #noshame.

On the opposite end of the spectrum lies my fiancé. He is the most low maintenance, low key, doesn’t-need-anything kinda guy. The only time he spends money on clothes is when he stumbles upon a huge sale and gets a ton of stuff for really cheap. When he really needs something, he buys it. He doesn’t get excited about gifts that most guys would get excited about. Which, when it comes to gift giving, is fun for me, but also very challenging. Oh, and did I mention his birthday also falls in December?

I know my guy isn’t the only dude out there that’s difficult to shop for. And since I’m currently immersed in the throes of shopping for not only Christmas gifts, but birthday gifts as well, I thought I’d throw together a little gift list for the “no frills” guy in your life. Especially since all the bloggers out there seem to focus on gift guides for a guy who’s a little higher maintenance. Not all of us have a guy like that! I know for sure my fiancé would not be excited about cologne, loafers, or a custom paperweight for his desk. So here’s my holiday gift guyde [see what I did there?] for your manly man, low-key, low-maintenance dude.

You can’t go wrong with a duffel bag. My fiancé has been in dire need of one since I met him. The one he’s been lugging around no longer zips and is ripping apart at all the seams [he’s honestly probably had the thing for 15 years]. I’m truly surprised he’s never had anything fall out of it and get lost. It was extremely hard to find one that I knew he’d like, though. They just don’t make ’em like they used to. Most of the duffels I found were on the smaller side and had more of an overnight bag feel than a rectangular, weekender bag [they were also too feminine for my guy’s taste – he’s definitely manly and needs a bag that reflects that, silly as that sounds]. After purchasing several different ones and returning them, I stumbled upon a brand called Timbuk2. It’s masculine, durable, and similar to the style he’s had all this time. Perfect for the guy with the disintegrating duffel bag.

A food and beverage tour of your city! Whether it’s just the two of you or you go with a group, the best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Especially when said guy is a total foodie [and was executive chef at a restaurant when I met him]. We actually went on a food tour in Seattle earlier this year, during a birthday [and engagement!] trip for me. It was so much fun and such a great way to experience the culture of the city. Even though we are both born and raised in Sacramento, we rarely make it to the downtown area. Doing a food tour will be a great way to hang in our hometown while experiencing some of the amazing cuisine our city has to offer. With a gift like this, your guy, and his stomach, will be thanking you for weeks to come.

Tickets, tickets, TICKETS! Tickets are a great stocking-stuffer due to their size. My fiancé is a huge sports fan and also loves lives music, so tickets to a pro game or a concert are a great way to spruce up a date night and see some action! Luckily you can get cheap[ish] tickets on Stubhub and Ticketmaster. Even if you have nosebleed seats, it’s still a really fun way to spend time together. Plus, you’ll score major girlfriend/wife points for doing something he loves to do.

A “choose your own adventure” day. Plan a date that revolves all around him. What does he love to do? Drink beer? Go to the gym? See movies? Does he have a passion for old cars? There are tons of things you can come up with, and it spices up the date a bit by giving him some options to choose from, without knowing exactly what ideas you have in mind. Breakfast in bed or brunch on the town? Movie night on the couch or dinner and a movie? The options are endless! Plus, your dude will love being spoiled, especially during the holiday season when he’s no doubt working his butt off at work.

Give him a gift that caters to his homebody, nerdy side. If he loves to read, get him a book by his favorite author. If he’s a movie buff, throw a couple DVDs and his favorite candy in his stocking. I got my fiancé a video game that he recently rented and loved. A simple gift, but something that’s mindless that they can relax, unwind and decompress with. There’s nothing better than taking your mind off of life stresses, especially during the holidays.

Slippers! I know this is the most cliché holiday gift, EVER, but you really can’t go wrong. If your man is anything like mine, he wears the F out of his slippers year round. And, much to my benefit, he recently stepped in dog poo in our yard [thanks Bella!], which gives me the perfect excuse to get him a new pair. I got his current pair at Target last year for around $10, and will probably do the same again. A low-maintenance guy really doesn’t need a pair of pricey Ugg slippers.

Treat him to a relaxing massage and/or spa day. Believe it or not, some men love to be pampered. A lot my dad’s friends get manis and pedis just because the massages are so good [and, truth be told, it feels really good to have your hands and feet really scrubbed and cleaned – even a man can’t deny that]. But if your guy isn’t into the more feminine spa treatments, he’ll definitely love a relaxing massage in the dead of winter. There’s nothing like a revitalizing and soothing massage to get him recharged for the upcoming year. And the bonus is that you can join him! Can you say couple’s massage?

Get him a flannel from Costco. Seriously. Every man loves a good, comfy flannel. And Costco has some really good ones. They are thick, cozy and great quality. Perfect for lounging around the house in with the slippers you got him [wink, wink], or for throwing over a t-shirt to head out to run errands. There’s nothing a low-key guy loves more than clothing versatility.

I hope this gift guide helps you a little as you set out for your holiday honey purchases. And while practical gifts are great, I’m really big on gifting time. Spending time with your loved ones is truly the best gift you can give anyone. Especially during the holidays.


Something that my family and I love to do this time of year is “adopt” a family. Through a program, you receive a list from parents who can’t afford to provide a Christmas for their kids, and so we purchase gifts from the list and give them to the parents to give their kids. On occasion, we will buy odds and ends for the parents, too. They’re doing what they can to make ends meet for their family – they deserve a Christmas, too! This is something wonderful and heartwarming you can do with your family and friends as well. There’s no better feeling than giving to those who are less fortunate than us.

Is It Something In Our Water?

At thirty years old, I’ve done my fair share of dating. I don’t have a huge plethora of relationships under my belt [long-term ones, at least], but I’ve gone on plenty of dates and had several short-term relations with guys. I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 17, and I didn’t have a serious boyfriend until I was 18 – so, my dating years have pretty much been crammed into a 12-year period of time.

It’s safe to say that the first 18 years of my life were very shy and sheltered [of my own doing – my parents constantly encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone]. While this hindered my dating and relationship experience, it did, on the flipside, allow me silently grow independently and to objectively observe how other people acted in their relationships. It gave me the opportunity to learn what I did and did not want in my own relationships.

The biggest thing I’ve noticed in my short thirty years on earth is that many women stay in relationships that they know are toxic – not only for them, but for the significant other as well. We waste years of our lives on boys [sorry, can’t refer to these individuals as “men” – they haven’t earned that title] who treat us horribly. When there’s a breakup, we take them back when they come groveling. When they abuse us, whether physically, verbally, or emotionally, we forgive them when they apologize and swear it’ll never happen again [and yet, it always does. and we know it will keep happening again and again and again].

My question is: why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we consistently stay with individuals who treat us so horribly? Who have absolutely no respect for us as women or as human beings? WHY? I know every single one of us has warning signals – there are always signs telling us to GET THE FUCK OUT, and yet none of us listen to them. And none of us get out when presented with opportunities. I mean, we literally allow these relationships to hit rock fucking bottom before the light bulb goes on and we think, Hmm, maybe this relationship SUCKS ASS.

And, going hand-in-hand with the self-degradation of staying in these relationships, is this feeling that we need somebody else in our lives to feel whole. This is a HUGE problem, especially for women who start dating so young – we become dependent on our significant other. Teenage and early twenties are crucial growing years in our lives. We’re all on this hormonal roller coaster, we’re experiencing all kinds of milestones, and instead of growing independently and learning who we are and how to deal with conflicts, speed bumps, and curve balls on our own, we end up leaning on somebody else for support through trying times. And someday, when these relationships inevitably end [because young love generally does], we come out so lost and disoriented that the only thing we know is to jump into another relationship. Instead of having our own identity, we become who we date. We define ourselves based on whose bed we happen to be sharing [okay, not the best reference, but you get the idea].

Now, this is not to say that you shouldn’t feel like you can’t lean on somebody for help and support when times get rough. Of course you should! That is absolutely what friends, family and relationships are for [among other things]. The worst thing you can do is keep things to yourself when they’re causing you unmanageable stress and anxiety. BUT, first and foremost, it’s important to know who you are throughout the entire process. Don’t lose yourself in somebody else’s identity. Know that the people in your life are there to support you and to love you from beginning to end – and the people who aren’t need to be given the boot.

Ladies, we have worked TOO DAMN HARD in these first world countries to be reverting back to the Victorian era and beyond. We fought tooth-and-nail for a voice, for the right to vote, to be able to work alongside men, to be able to fight alongside men. We’ve come so far from the days of arranged marriages due to social status, being forced to stay in bad relationships due to guaranteed social ruin from divorce, no right to vote, have a voice or have a say in our finances or really our own lives. Why in the world would we ever want to willingly go back to that life? To stay in a relationship that’s unhealthy and degrading when we have a choice not to? Do we like feeling like shit? Feeling like we aren’t good enough? Is it something in our water?

I speak from experience. Despite all my years as a shy woman, growing independently and learning from other people’s mistakes, I still ended up dating a dude with no respect for women or himself. He was controlling, manipulative, insecure and just an all-around jerk. All of these things stemmed from family issues, and yet he took them out on me. I justified my relationship with him – I would be broke if I left him. We have fun together. He’s got a boat and nice cars. He’s got that bad boy thing going on. The list goes on. Nine out of ten of my friends have been in similar situations – guys who don’t respect them and treat them horribly. They’ve all done the same thing; made excuses about their boyfriend to people around them, which ultimately meant they were just trying to convince themselves. But at the end of the day, you shouldn’t have to justify your relationship – it should just BE.

Just remember that it is NEVER TOO LATE to get out of a bad relationship. And regardless of how long you spend dating an idiot, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It doesn’t make you any less of a woman. We all make mistakes, we all have to go through our own experiences and motions in life in order to learn lessons. Know that you are not alone out there. You are not the only or first woman to try pushing through a shit relationship. There are always other gals out there you can lean on and relate to when you’re feeling alone in the world. So don’t suffer through this sort of thing alone! Reach out to others – me if you’d like! Believe me, there are more of us out there than you think.

 

This Is My Rooftop

You know when you’re absolutely elated about something, and there’s that expression, “I want to shout from the rooftop!”?

Well, this is my rooftop.

On this day, 365 days ago, I went on a date with a guy. A guy that wasn’t at all my type looks-wise, which used to immediately trigger a red flag. But after consistently dating my “type” and only ever finding idiots, I decided to step outside my box a little. What could it hurt?

Turns out, it really couldn’t [and didn’t] hurt.

It was a fantastic first date. He immediately checked the first box by successfully finding [and knocking on] my apartment door. My roommate and I used to joke that a guy was a keeper if he could find our apartment, because nobody we dated ever could. He took me to Old Town Sacramento, and gave me a little historical blurb about our city while he toured me around the streets. We stopped at a bar for a drink and ended up dancing to a live band with some fun, lively elderly couples. After that, we headed to Torch Club to keep dancing, and then bounced around to a couple other bars and sampled some beers in honor of it being Sac Beer Week. We closed out our date at Kupros, where some friends of mine came to meet us [and my poor date thought that was my SOS call – it was definitely not]. The conversation was easy and natural – we never had an awkward moment or felt the need to fill a pause. I didn’t expect to be swept off my feet so quickly, and I guess neither did he. But by the next day, we couldn’t wait to see each other again and had already made plans to get together that evening.

To say that this person has changed my life is an understatement. I had believed for so long that there were no longer decent men out there – in fact, I had pretty much come to terms with the fact that I would probably be 35 and heading to a sperm bank and doing the single mom thing [and I was actually okay with that]. Everyone tells you that you’ll meet somebody when you least expect it, and I can definitely attest to the fact that that couldn’t be more true.

One of the biggest issues I discovered [and struggled with] over the years of my dating journey was that so many guys carried baggage and assumed that all women were going to treat them the same in a relationship. If my ex cheated on me, then it will be just as easy for you.

True, but not a fair judgment to make when you’ve only just met a person. I pushed a lot of men away because of this – because they couldn’t give a new relationship a fair shot. It was so refreshing when I met my boyfriend, who was open about his fears, but wasn’t afraid to push through them in the hope of possibly building a relationship with me. And, to be honest, we’ve definitely had our ups and downs in this department – turns out I also have insecurities and baggage from past relationships. But I am a lucky gal to have found a guy who is willing to work through the problems together, as a TEAM.

When my boyfriend and I first started dating, I immediately loved our easy compatibility. Again, we’ve had our ups and downs, but we’ve never struggled to get along. We’ve never had a childish argument – we’ve never yelled or screamed or pushed each other to our limits. We are comfortable sitting together in companionable silence. We’re okay with sitting in separate rooms and doing our own things. And I love that we enjoy doing fun things together. We both like to travel – we’ve gone to Glenbrook, San Francisco and Santa Cruz together, and we’ve got several more trips planned this year. We both love beer and wine, and often times will go grab a drink together after work, or meet friends downtown to bar hop. After dating a guy who didn’t really socialize or drink, I knew that was something that I would require in a future boyfriend.

Of all of the things that I love about my relationship and my boyfriend, I think the number one thing that I love most is that he is the most personable, loving, caring and compassionate human I have ever met. He actually cares about my life and the things that I do every single day. He genuinely wants to hear every single detail. He fits right in with my family, converses easily with my friends, and meshes so will into my life. I couldn’t have picked him better if I had built the man myself.

This is definitely a bit of a bragging post, because I am super proud and happy to be with the man I’m with. But, in addition to that, it’s a post to reiterate the fact that there are good people out there in the world. There are men and women out there who actually do want a long-term relationship – who do want to get married and have babies and commit their life to somebody else. And as much as I am not proud of my previous relationships, I wouldn’t change any of the experiences that I’ve had, because they all prepared me for this one relationship. They gave me the ability to appreciate the fact that I have found an incredible human being, and I have not and will not take him for granted.

Happy One Year Anniversary to my other half; to the guy who makes my heart full and who completes my life. Every day, but today especially, I am so very grateful for you.

When You’re In A Relationship, Every Day Should Be Valentine’s Day

I’m generally not a huge proponent for Valentine’s Day. If you’ve been following my blog, you know this.

In my personal experience, Valentine’s Day has historically made women feel bad about themselves since about the age of 11, when junior high happens and people actually start “dating.” Valentine’s Day becomes a popularity contest – which girl can come out with the most flowers, candy and cards?

Truthfully, until yesterday, this holiday made me downright sick.

And not just because of how it clearly singled me out from a young age as somebody that guys weren’t doting on, but also because I don’t believe that there should just be one single day where we spoil our loved ones and do nice things for them.

Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s absolutely romantic that a man will take the time to send his gal flowers or her favorite box of chocolates. But what about the rest of the days of the year? Does he get a “get out of jail free” card for the rest of the 364 days?

What I’m saying is, I hope all of you are thoughtful ALL of the time. Not just on Valentine’s Day.

Yesterday, my boyfriend surprised me with a beautiful bouquet of long-stemmed red roses, which were delivered to my office [I’m going to sound toooooootally hypocritical here, because I was feeling pretty special that I was the only one in the office who received a flower delivery – I know, I know, who am I?]. He also knew I was getting my hair done, and secretly paid my hairdresser ahead of time. Such a sweet guy.

But, he doesn’t just do sweet things for me on Valentine’s Day. A couple of weeks ago, he brought me flowers and wine because he knew I had a stressful day at work. He makes the bed every morning because he leaves for work after I do, and he knows I feel better if the bed is made every day [yes, I am one of those people].

For my boyfriend, I didn’t really get him anything yesterday. He’s really into Aperol Spritz’s from living in Italy for a semester a few years ago, so I got him a Spritz cocktail book. A silly gift, really, because he’ll probably never make any of the drinks, but I thought it was appropriate. I’m really more into cards [and, to be completely honest, I totally forgot that people do things for each other on Valentine’s Day. It’s been so long that I’ve actually celebrated one with a boyfriend that it completely slipped my mind].

But I try and do nice things for my boyfriend all the time. I try and keep the house clean, I surprise him with buying his favorite foods, or things I think he’ll like, from the grocery store. I leave him love notes when I’m going out of town and won’t see him for a few days; I bake him treats and cook him dinner. I try really hard to make sure he knows he’s appreciated, and he does the same for me.

I’m not saying that it’s not a wonderful feeling to be so appreciated on Valentine’s Day, because it’s an amazing and heartwarming feeling. It’s so much fun to receive flowers and little gifts from somebody who cares. But we shouldn’t eliminate our love and affection to just one day. Don’t be afraid to constantly tell your friends, family and significant others that you love them, and take the time to show them you care. Life is too short to limit ourselves to one day out of the entire year.

On that note, I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s Day. I capped mine off with a lady date [my Galentine – because V-Day isn’t just about the people you date], and a late night cuddle sesh with my guy.

Relationship Timeline: What is “Socially Acceptable?”

Despite the fact that I spent about a year or so doing the online dating thing [match.com, dating apps, etc.], I always envisioned myself meeting somebody in a more organic way – like in the grocery store or in a bar or something along those lines. And even though online dating is more the norm these days, I was still never able to fully let my guard down to anybody that I’d met online.

I actually ended up meeting my boyfriend at a restaurant [his restaurant (I’d link the website, but it’s undergoing construction and not quite up and running yet)], through a mutual friend. It was natural, not online, and through a trusted mutual friend of both of ours. It was perfect, and exactly the way both of us had hoped meeting someone would go.

After our first date, neither of us could wait more than 24 hours before seeing each other again, and this progressed as the months went on. I had rented my own apartment a couple of weeks after we went out, but it essentially became a [very expensive] storage unit for all my crap, as I probably spent a total of 30 days there in the five months I had the spot.

Every relationship develops differently. I have friends who sleep with a guy on the first night, and a relationship stems from it [highly unusual and generally doesn’t last]. I have a girl friend who moves in with a boyfriend the minute they start dating [literally, you guys – I’m talking within the first week they are living together. and no, these relationships don’t last long, either]. I have another friend who makes a guy wait 90 days before she will be intimate with him [mad props, GF, maaaaad props]. And I will admit, I have judged all of these women because I personally would never make those choices in my own relationships.

But who am I to judge? Is there really a rulebook on how to have a relationship? And a good relationship, at that?

NO, there isn’t. Because if there were, I would own it. We all would.

The reason I bring this up is because I moved in with my boyfriend after we’d been dating for six months. I’m talking officially moved – as in, terminated my lease at my apartment and was no longer living out of four overnight bags and a single drawer in my boyfriend’s dresser. We had both wanted it to be sooner [if I remember correctly, I believe we started discussing it around the three month mark], but I held it off because I was worried about what my family would think. Which, in retrospect, shouldn’t have mattered – they knew [and know] how happy I am with this guy. But another part of me was like, “how much do you really know somebody after only a few months?”

My first boyfriend and I were together for about a year-and-a-half. So, not that long, but at the time it seemed like a huge milestone. We were very compatible from the get-go. He was three years older than me, so of course I was feeling pretty damn good that I’d landed an older guy for my first real relationship. But around the one year point, he did a 180 on me out of nowhere. He started getting really insecure and treating me like crap. This could have been because it was around that time that I started to come into my own – I had started shedding the layer of shy younger girl – and he no longer had a doe-eyed girl under his control. He tried to manipulate me, he tried many different ways to break me down in order to gain back control, but as I started to see his true colors I decided I just didn’t want to deal with it anymore, and I let him go.

I personally knew this person for A YEAR, and I thought I really knew him, before he showed me his true colors. It’s scary, really, that you can think you know somebody so well, and yet not know them at all.

I semi-recently had a friendship end – a friendship with a gal I thought was my soulmate and BFFL. We talked on the phone every day, texted constantly – at the beginning of our friendship, she was unemployed, and would come visit me at the coffee shop I worked at every single day for almost my entire eight hour shift. We were as close as any friends could be. So you can imagine the shock and hurt I felt when out of nowhere she stopped reciprocating the friendship. I knew this girl for five years – FIVE! And in every inch of my mind, I knew her. And, yet, at the end of it all, I didn’t know her – not at all.

This was my hesitation when deciding whether or not I should move in with my boyfriend after only six months. And I am not the type of person to carry baggage from one relationship to the next. At least, I try really hard not to. I know that no two people and relationships are the same.

In the end, my parents were totally okay with my decision to move in with my guy after only being together for six months. They were happy that I was happy – and they could see how comfortable and compatible he and I were.

I still pose this question to all of you, though: is there an appropriate dating timeline? Do you think that people should wait a certain amount of time before they sleep together? Move in together? Get a dog together? Have a baby together? Are there time gaps that society deems necessary before taking the next step in your relationship? I want to hear your thoughts!

Mama’s Boy vs. Boy Raised By Mama

We’ve all heard the age-old saying of “how a man treats his mom is how he’ll treat a woman.”

In my experience, this is only half true.

There’s definitely proof that the way you are raised and the environment you are raised in effects your adulthood and the people you choose to surround yourself with. I’m a bit of an exception to this rule, as for the entirety of my twenties I chose to hang out with people who were really not like me nor did they have the same background as me. They were content with partying every single day and working minimum wage restaurant jobs for the rest of their lives. I was not raised by parents [or a family, for that matter – grandparents, aunt and uncle included] who ever surrounded themselves with people like that. I definitely went through a rebel phase and strayed off my chosen path of life a bit.

Because of this, I have dated my fair share of guys. Most of them with lots of baggage and their own sets of issues. And nearly all of them had little to no relationship with their mothers after adolescence. None of them treated me well, and none of them ever felt their behavior was wrong.

About a year-and-a-half ago, I finally came across a guy who had an amazing relationship with his mom. And until a few years prior, his parents had been happily married and they had been a very tight-knit family. My instant thought was “JACKPOT. There really are still good men out there.”

Here’s the thing about that guy, he didn’t end up treating me right, either.

Know why?

Because he was a mama’s boy.

What is a mama’s boy, you ask? A mama’s boy is a guy who will always put his mother before you. She is the number one lady in his life and always will be. A mama’s boy is a guy who acts like he’s still latched onto the tit, and so does she [sorry to be blunt, but it’s true]. His mommy dotes on him – nothing he does could ever be wrong! He is perfect in every way, and because of this mentality she’s instilled in him, this is how he will be in a relationship. You will always be wrong, and he will always be right. He will always have a very immature attitude about everything, because mama treats him like he’s five so of course he’s going to act like it [tantrums, you ask? yes – whiny about everything, and lots of extremely childish arguments and games].

So, yeah, he treats his mom well, but does that really sound like a guy you want to date? Coming in second, ALWAYS, to mom? Don’t get me wrong, I think it is extremely healthy [and attractive!] for a man to have a great relationship with his mom. My boyfriend keeps in touch with his mom – he says and does nice things for her. He loves her and tells her so. But he doesn’t call her whining when he doesn’t get his way. And she understands that he’s an adult, and while she will always be his mother, there was a point where she could no longer treat him like a baby and could only give him her best advice to steer him on the right path in life.

Ladies, be mindful of this mama’s boy type – and don’t mistake him for a man who loves and respects his mother in a healthy way. There ARE good guys out there! If you come across a mama’s boy, don’t waste your time and effort in trying to get him to put you before her – it’s a dead end street and truly an exhaustive waste of energy. Life is short, but it’s not THAT short – you deserve to be happy and to find the healthiest and happiest relationships that the world has to offer. Don’t forget that!