Blogging, Dating, PSAs

Why I’m Never Dating Again

DISCLAIMER: Names changed because it’s fun to rename people you’ve never met.

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“I don’t have a lot of experience with girls. I mean, like, verrry little.”

Looking back, I probably should have dropped my fork and run. But he was so funny. And had great hair.

It was late March 2015, and Adam was the ninth person I’d met during my 10 first dates in 10 weeks online dating phase. I never made it to the tenth. Our first date lasted nearly six hours, over dinner and drinks at a local gastro pub. (And by gastro pub I mean restaurant that features 117 kinds of beer, dramatically mustachioed waiters and duck confit sliders.)

At 35, Adam was a few years older than I was, animated and full of fun stories. When a position in the arts failed to cover the bills, he settled for manual labor alongside his father, work he described with hilarious disdain. If I had had to guess, I’d have said he’d probably just moved out of his parents’ basement within the past year.

“Next time we’re going to have to go to [the notoriously cheap local Mexican restaurant],” he said after I ordered my third drink (I did mention we were there for six hours, right?).

“Why?”

“I won’t be able to afford your hollow leg!”

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Well I need SOMETHING to drown out the memory of first dates #1-8.

At the end of the night, I insisted on paying, knowing I’d racked up an impressive tab with my multiple martinis and tuna tartare compared to his two beers and burger. As with most first dates, I left feeling both energized and drained, and still very much on the fence.

We texted incessantly, and by the end of our second date, I found myself saying, “I reallllly like you” before kissing him. He had been so nervous, I was surprised by how naturally he reacted.

On our third date, we got lost in the subway.

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Sign you don’t want to see when you’re supposed to be IN Manhattan.

Still, I wrestled with my resolve to keep dating. Meeting strangers and immediately auditioning them for Future Life Partner, or at the very least, Tonsil Hockey Teammate, seemed…WEIRD to me. Maybe because my dating life didn’t begin in earnest until 31 – after my divorce. I had married my first real boyfriend, someone I’d known through work for almost two years before we’d started dating, and we had been together for over ten years.

Nevertheless, in early 2014, newly single, I dove headfirst into two back-to-back relationships via eHarmony, eventually burned and defeated by both. “Gotta get back in the game!” was the conventional wisdom, and since I’d yet to become the baller, independent thinker you see before you today, I went with it. “10 First Dates in 10 Weeks,” I called it.

Big mistake.

Really big.

Just…no.

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I cannot believe how many pictures I have from this phase that never before made it on this blog.

After that, I entered one more relationship courtesy Match.com that was nice, but not right for me. It was mid-2017 by then and I realized I needed a break. I needed to finish grad school and focus on my passions. I dove headfirst into my thesis, met amazing new people, and lined up an exciting array of adventures for 2019 (heh, stay tuned).

Is that the reason I’m glad I’m single this Valentine’s Day? …Kind of. Have I noticed that I haven’t gone on a date in almost two years? …Sorta. Am I EVER going to date again?

…No.

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And not just because I want to mainline leftover french fries in peace.

That’s right. You heard me. At some point in 2018 it occurred to me that I wasn’t getting the results I wanted because I was following someone else’s rules. No wonder I was burnt out, frustrated, confused. I thought I just hadn’t found the right app, or tried hard enough, when in fact I was simply looking in all the wrong places. It was so obvious I couldn’t believe I’d missed it:

The only men I’d ever loved were friends first. Including my ex-husband.

Real friends. Friends for the sake of being friends. We weren’t trying each other on to see if we fit. We weren’t grilling each other over craft beer with sweaty palms and sky-high stakes.

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Or to get a blog post out of it. (…Who, me?)

We connected over shared laughs, common interests and similar goals. Our paths crossed naturally, and over time, we confided in each other, deepened our trust and developed genuine love. Now that’s what I’m talkin’ about.

So did Adam become a real friend? No. But he certainly was the closest to one I found during my 10 9 First Dates in 10 Weeks, and he reminded me of what I really wanted. He reminded me that I need to see someone’s heart and soul before I feel comfortable sharing my most vulnerable self.

I admire those who can bare it all sooner, who can meet new people and embrace the uncertainty. I have girlfriends who relish getting to a new city and firing up Bumble. To them, it’s fun and exciting. For me, it’s a fate worse than death a chipmunk-less world.

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Wait, what?

The choice to never date again probably sounds dramatic and sad to those folks. When I made the decision last year? I’d never felt more relieved.

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Meet my Valentine’s Day plans.

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How do you feel about dating? About being single (or not) this Valentine’s Day?

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Chipmunks Forever

Wall of Love

A few blocks from my suburban New Jersey apartment there’s an eye-catching display of hundreds of pink and purple hearts dangling from a fence.

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Each heart carries a message, and even though I’ve walked by it almost every day since I moved into my new tiny digs, I’ve never stopped to read them.

This past weekend, I decided to change all that.

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Quickly, I realized the Wall of Love was constructed in response to a certain president’s logical and compassionate desire to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

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Reading each of the hearts, I couldn’t help but think of a recent revelation. For most of my life I’ve considered success in love to mean having a perfect, romantic love. Single? Rocky marriage? Divorce? Dry spell? Unrequited love?

FAILURE.

But.

*record scratch*

That’s f*#%&@ bonkers!

Being lucky in love isn’t about partnering up with Prince Charming Harry (although you go, Meghan Markle) or never experiencing heartbreak. Being lucky in love isn’t about romantic love at all! It’s about an abundance of love, period.

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And guess what? We can all have that.

Happy Valentine’s Day, Chipmunks. I love you!

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back to Googling “Meghan Markle’s new hat collection.”

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Food, humor, Just For Fun, New Jersey is breathtaking

Neighborly Lovin’

Unlike my mom, Babs, whose neighbors string up deer carcasses 30 feet from her back porch, Peppermeister (Husband #1) and I have a decidedly pleasant rapport with all of our neighbors.

We’re pretty spread out here in western New Jersey, and there’s a kick-ass balance between “what you do is your business” and “but I am curious about that package, so I’ll help you carry it inside.”  Our next door neighbors, Dave and Judy, threw us a welcome party when we first moved in, complete with a homemade banner, and, more importantly, Sangria.

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Our neighbor around the corner, Linda, dropped off a bushel of apples from her orchard this fall, while the ones across the street gave us a discount on our Christmas tree (yes, there’s a Christmas tree farm across the street! It’s amazeballs out here, Chipmunks, I’m telling you…even if you do lose power every time an owl sneezes).

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As if that wasn’t enough, then there’s our neighbor, Jeff. He’s close to our age, and lives behind us in a gorgeous house. He’s the quintessential neighbor: He owns every power tool under the sun and knows how to use them all, helped us clear trees post Hurricane-Sandy, and leaves delicious food in the mailbox. Peppermeister doesn’t even mind the pepper-growing competition, with Jeff’s garden in plain sight.

This Valentine’s Day, I thought it was time to show Jeff how I really felt. It started with my famous homemade double-chocolate cookies:

My BFF, Jenn, gave me those sweet-ass Ziploc bags.
My BFF, Jenn, gave me those sweet-ass Ziploc bags.

And ended with this note:

Dearest Jeff,

I must be quick, for Peppermeister does not know of this!

Jeff-cookies-bagYour seafood sauce was the greatest thing I’ve ever tasted. Bestill my heart!

I’m slowly poisoning Peppermeister.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

-Go Jules Go

Psst…between you and me, Peppermeister is looking a little worse for the wear. It’s only a matter of time, Jeff.

What’s the nicest and/or creepiest thing a neighbor has ever done for you?

humor, Marriage

Happy Valentine’s Day! I Love the Cool, Sexy Way Your Body Moves.

Dear Peppermeister (a.k.a. First Husband),

***Spoiler Alert***

I found the most perfect Valentine’s Day card for you. In fact, words cannot express how perfect it is (other than the words in this card), so, I made you this video. (Sorry about the swearing; I’m just so damn passionate about our relationship.)

I know you remember how I feel about greeting cards.

You can thank me in champagne chocolates cheese champagne, chocolates and cheese.

Love,

Go Jules Go

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So, what kind of greeting cards do you go for to express your deepest sentiments?

Animals, Just For Fun, Lists, Uncategorized

Why You Should Be My (Guilty Pleasure) Valentine

Oh my god. I love peanuts TOO!!!

I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me until yesterday morning to blog on Valentine’s Day.

What’s more of a guilty pleasure than an over-hyped, commercialized, pink-frosted holiday?!

C’mon.

Chocolate.

Flowers.

Stuffed animals (dressed as other animals).

Love.

Duh!

So, will you be my (guilty pleasure) Valentine?

Hmm. You’re not convinced. Tell you what. If you don’t feel like the ooey, gooey, warm and fuzzy Sir Schmoopie Bear of Snuggleton to my Madame Chocolate Bon-Bon of Cuddlesworth by the time you’re through reading this post, I will eat my weight in candy hearts (and everyone knows candy hearts blow).

Why You Should Be My (Guilty Pleasure) Valentine

1.) I made you this someecard:

2.) Uncle Jesse says so.

3.) I bake things…

...from scratch.

4.) Upon request, I will gladly summarize the “Breaking Dawn: Part 1” special features for you. With drawings.

Here’s a sneak peek:

It rained a lot.

5.) This video:

And finally…

6.) Because I love you almost as much as I love my husband my second husband myself.

So, what do you say? Still no?! What the deuce is your real Valentine doing that’s better than that kitten video? I love you a nine!

Photo Credits

#1 (chipmunks) – http://sodahead.com

#2 (cats) – http://roflmouse.com

#3 (candy heart) – made at http://acme.com/heartmaker/

(All other photos are mine! Just like you want to be! Admit it!)