College Dating Crutches

In an effort to procrasinate from studying for a final that I have absolutely no interest in because I’m bound to get a B in Spanish, I stumbled upon “Sex and Dating Tips from Seniors to Freshmen.” This particular piece of advice stood out for me:

“It can be easy to get caught up in classes, extracurricular activities and partying, and most people forget that hooking up drunk at a party isn’t how normal people act. It can be good to go out on a date every once in a while, get dinner and see a movie your friends would make fun of you for seeing. After all, you’ll have to start dating after college, no use forgetting how to while you’re there.” – Travis Hanes, Salisbury University.

I need all of my seniors to throw in one big collective sigh. Please and thank you.

College is supposed to do a lot of things for us. Help us land a job, give us life long friends, all that jazz. College also cripples us in a lot of ways (i.e the panic attacks I’ve been having at the thought of waking up at 6am for work in a few weeks after having class at noon every day.) Apparently, one of the main ways a lot of us are crippled is in the world of dating.

The other day, my best friend and I had a brief conversation about our adult dating fate. “At least in college,” I told her, “people know you’re just looking to get laid.” And, it’s true. There’s usually a mutual understanding between two college-aged adults that they’re in it for one thing and there’s no need for the flowery extras. But, I’m not sure how it works for post-college adults. Now, of course, post-college adults are still mammals and they’re looking for one thing, too. But, after college, are we expected to be ready for full blown dating? (That question was very Carrie Bradshaw of me.)

Because I can pull the college card for a whole ‘nother 4 days, I’m going to say I don’t know. I can’t speak for what it is to be a real adult. I’m certainly not ready to trade in my irreverent approach to the opposite sex just yet, but maybe I can disguise it better as an adult?

Well, Travis Hanes of Salisbury University, I will agree with you on one thing: normal people don’t just get drunk at parties and hook up with people. I remember when my ex started working and he referenced one of his co workers as “that girl who always got effed up at parties in college.” It might be cool or funny to be that girl in college, but in adult life, it just comes across as sad and pathetic. So, perhaps we all should aim a wee bit higher in adult life. Just a wee bit. We may never be respectable and credible adults when it comes to dating, but the least we can do is fake it till we make it.

Love freely,

tY

Unfinished Business

In one week, I’m going to don that oversized and overpriced cap and gown and walk across the stage into exhilirating (pronounced monotonous) adult life. As a result, I’ve been flooded with an array of emotions, one of which is reflective.

I’ve started thinking a lot about the idea of closure. Many times, people reunite with exes in hopes of getting “closure.” But, what the eff does that even mean?

Today, I got some closure of my own with a friend whom I may or may not have made a bad decision with. We sat down and talked our way through a situation that had absolutely no business happening and, at the end, I felt better because of it. I’m actually sad to say that if it weren’t for him prompting the situation, I would’ve just never contacted him again.

I realize, that’s often times my way of ending things. I just ignore, dodge, and avoid by any means necessary, hoping the person gets the hint sooner or later. I let time do the dirty work for me and I now see that is a true mark of immaturity. Of course, it’s easier to do that with someone whom you aren’t that close with but people do it all the time. It goes against everything I stand for as the girl who only listed “confrontational” on the ”tell us about yourself” section of my roommate form.

But, there’s something to be said for having the cojones to contact someone, whether it be an ex of 2 years or a hookup of 2 weeks, to wrap things up and leave things on a solid note. I think the issue is sometimes people mistaken closure with “What if” or “let’s try this again” and that’s when ish gets ugly. But, if you’re honest with yourself and with the person, closure is awesome and often times very necessary. Without true closure, resentment and unresolved issues just fester and you’re left having to find closure within yourself (cough my ex cough.)

But, when you go into something truly hoping to just clean it up and leave it in a good place, that’s when you’ve really made that cross into adulthood.

Love freely,

tY

“Absolutely All Of It.”

Over the past 2 months or so, I’ve upped my nerd factor and have become an avid reader of Ellyn Spragins “What I Know Now” series. It’s because I’m all into inspirational shit now, hoping that absolutely anyone, from a novelist to my advisors to my dope ass comm professor, can dish out some last minute advice before I head into the big bad world.

Anyhoo, the premise of these books is that famous women write letters to their younger selves, now that they are grown up and know a thing or two about life.

Now, that my undergrad career is drawing to a close and I’m surrounded by graduation rhetoric, I think it’s only fitting to write a letter of my own. Usually, the letters begin with a bio of the person (you don’t need that from me, I’m not that cool) followed by giving some sort of context as to why they are writing to themselves at a particular age.

So, I’m opting to write to myself during the second semester of my freshman year of college, when I was convinced I was only average-looking and boys would never notice me. (Yes, I was once that pathetic.)

Dear Tyece,
You’ve traded in your pumps for plain colored t-shirts because you believe that’s what college kids wear. Without being adorned in matchy outfits everyday, you’ve convinced yourself that you’re just not that cute and getting attention from the opposite sex isn’t going to happen.
I’m sorry…what are you smoking?
I’m not going to tell you that you’re beautiful. Not going to tell you that your sharp tongue, quick wit, love for libraries, and Laker fandom are a good complement to the outside things God gave you that you have absolutley no control over. I’m not going to tell you those things because only over time, through highs and heartaches, will you come to realize this. Then, you’ll start to like yourself. And, then, with some hard work, you’ll love yourself.
And, so, around your sophomore year, when you start wearing 5 dollar aqua colored keds from Walmart and spraying something called “Very Sexy Hot” (which will become your favorite scent), that love you have for yourself will radiate. And, guys will take notice. You’ll make mistakes along the way and think too hard and long about situations that just don’t matter. You’ll fall in love with someone, convinced that you two are meant to be together forever, only to find out that your convictions were not quite on target. And, in a few years, when you’re a big bad senior, you’ll make a host of spontaneous and questionable decisions with men whose names you probably won’t recall in five years.
Do it. Absolutely all of it. And, if you could return and do it again, do it the exact same way.
Because every tear you’ll cry over someone who isn’t that important, every song you’ll put on repeat when someone fucks with your emotions, every conversation you have with someone whom you won’t care about in a week, every date you go on with someone who will break your heart, and every night you spend with someone who, the next morning, you’ll only half remember, will build you. These are the moments that will start to shape your views about love and how ridiculous, life-consuming, and wonderful it is. These are the moments that will teach you that people do not deserve judgment for their life choices because behind every one-night stand, there’s a genuine person who is a conglomeration of so many other important things. These are the moments you’ll relish, relive, and never want to relinquish.
You are so much more than average. I just can’t wait for the moment when you realize it. Don’t worry…it’s coming.
Love freely,
tY

Mentiras

“I don’t really like him; I just want to get laid.”

“I’m over it.”

“I’m not looking for a relationship.”

Do these phrases sound familiar? They should…because these are just a few of the millions of lies women tell themselves every day when it comes to guys.

After a short BBM convo a few minutes ago with a friend of mine juxtaposed with JoJo’s “Not that kinda girl” popping up on my Pandora, I had to openly admit the lie I’ve been telling myself for almost a year now: “I’m not about that relationship life; I’m just looking for a good time.”

OK. So perhaps it’s not a complete lie. I have been focused on getting my life together, both personally and professionally, and having a good time in the midst of it while remaining single. And, sometimes, you just have to be that girl. You have to give yourself that relationship timeout and get your stuff together. But, I’m not really that girl. Not perpetually at least. I’m not just about the good times, the random nights, and the bad decisions. And, really…who is?

At the end of the day, doesn’t everyone believe in the importance of having that one special person? Maybe we crave it at different points in our lives because we certainly find it at different points in our lives.

Let’s face the facts: I’m an imposter in the world of random hookups and irreverence. And, I’ve played the part well and have enjoyed doing so but perhaps the only person I’ve fooled is myself. Because, I know that at the end of the day, I won’t ever want to cook a boyfriend dinner or do his laundry (I am certainly not about that life) but I will want to invest myself wholeheartedly into the right person. The bottom line is we tell ourselves things to make ourselves feel better. We believe things that aren’t true to assuage the pain of a broken heart, the reality of loneliness, or the pang of a situation gone wrong. These lies make us human.

But, at the end of the day, they are still lies.

Love freely,

tY

The Million Dollar Question for May

Today one of my friends asked the million dollar question: “Well, what are you gonna do if you get a boyfriend in Boston and then have to leave 8 months later?”

Good question. Damn good question.

To debrief those who are out of tune with my shenanigans, I am leaving. In a month. To move to Boston for 8 months for work. After 8 months, off to the next place. And then after 8 months…the next place. My life is a traveling corporate circus show for the next 2 years. This thought brings me both anxiety and excitement all wrapped into one.

My friend even went so far as to say “What if you meet your soulmate in Boston?” which kind of just made me have to keep down the bile that I felt rising up in my stomach. My soulmate? I’m just trying to master Kanye’s verse in E.T right now. I can’t think about soulmates. Come on, now.

Ok, ok, so maybe I have thought about my love life come June 1-5 when I move. Maybe a little. And, yes, I’ve thought how terrible it would be to meet someone and know that my time had an expiration date. Yes, I have experienced first hand the pain and pang of long distance relationships and have contemplated whether or not I would dive head first into that again.

But, here’s the thing: at 21, the only thing really constant about my life is going to be the fact that I am going to have to grind for the next few years. Work hard, play hard, work harder. That is the only thing really constant about my existence and I don’t think that’s too out of the ordinary for most 21 year olds. The idea of someone my age having the convenience of just living in the proximity of their significant other is not always possible…at least not if you want to use this time to explore yourself and the world around you.

I guess my idea is that I’m open to anything and if I meet a beau, he’ll have to understand that my life is not stationary for the next 2 years. He’ll have to understand that plane rides and Skype sessions might just have to be normal should a long distance relationship ensue. And, yes, I get that’s a lot to throw to someone but ohhhh well. This is my life and I’m going to be the primary focus of it for the next few years. But, I do think shutting yourself off from love is just as dumb as looking for love when you’re single.

If you’ve ever met life, you know she has a way of completely effing up her timing. Nothing works out when it should and we just have to deal with it, roll with the punches, and remain open to the loops and craziness.

So that’s my answer to the million dollar question.

Love freely,

tY