Ask Him Out! Here’s How.

The tables have turned. Women are in charge, there are now even dating apps that immediately put the ball in our court to open the conversation with a man of interest. So why not do it on the street?

I was 24 years old. One morning, I went to breakfast with a friend. I noticed a man with olive skin, and slightly longer hair that took my breath away. My friend said that I should say something, but I was too timid. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t eat anything; there was just something about this guy. My friend finally decided that she was going to say something. She walked over to his table and told him that her friend was interested in him. He asked “What friend?” She turned around and I had jumped the fence of the restaurant and was hiding in a clothing store next door. “Uh, she was just here, anyway, here’s her number…”

He called. We arranged to meet that night. He ended up coming to a Comedy Show I was performing at. He joined to grab a bite with all the comics afterwards and ended up picking up the entire bill. Thus began the passionate affair with a serious gentleman that lasted for the next three years. (I know this would be better if I said “ …and now we’ve been married for x years,” but it was a significant relationship and an experience that I learned a lot from.) He totally Pretty Woman’d me (except I wasn’t a prostitute, just a young, nerdy kid). Regardless, the relationship helped me bloom into the woman I am today.

That is an example of what can happen when you say something (albeit it, my friend spoke on my behalf). This was in 2006, it is now 2015, and fewer and fewer men have the gumption to approach a woman in public. The tables have turned. Women are in charge, there are now even dating apps that immediately put the ball in our court to open the conversation with a man of interest. So why not do it on the street?

How many times do you see someone in public that you find cute but are too shy to do anything about it? The next time you are on the elevator with someone that peaks your interest, or see someone at a coffee shop, just walk up to the guy and introduce yourself. What do you have to lose? It’s so easy to hide behind your computer screen or be glued to your phone that you could in fact miss an opportunity right in front of your face. Look up folks! There are men everywhere; who says we can’t speak to them? I know, it might seem super creepy and weird at first, but it’s actually not that bad. Turns out, guys are really easy to approach. THEY LOVE WOMEN and don’t mind talking to us!

I have since been helping friends have the confidence to approach men and have two relationships under my belt. Most guys think it’s sexy and a turn-on, very few feel “intimidated” by it and come on, who wants a guy that feels intimidated by a woman anyway? Confidence is always attractive regardless of gender. It shows that you aren’t afraid of failure, and that is a great quality to have in life.

How about you? Do you make the first move?

Hands Free Dating: Thinking Outside the App

I’ve had the absolute joy of meeting some of the most fabulous people in my life through my volunteer experience.

A few days ago I was having lunch with a girlfriend and we were talking about the technologically driven world we live in today, and as a result, how difficult it can be to find love. I initiated the conversation by telling my friend about an ad I saw while leaving the gym introducing a new dating app that allows you to connect with someone after seeing that person in real life. At first glance, I thought it was an ad for a new movie as the concept in relation to the dating world made little, if any, sense to me. So, you’re saying I have to pull out my phone, download an app, create an account, log in and search other members’ profiles all to be able to say hi to someone who I just crossed paths with in real time? This sparked a much longer discussion as we finished our lunch and then moved on to coffee, while we brainstormed all of the other possibilities we have for meeting people “hands free”.

I’m thrilled to report that we came up with a list of ideas (admittedly, we did make the list on our smartphones) which outnumbered the present selection of dating apps available to us. Of the multitude of ideas we discussed, paramount to me is the notion of meeting someone while volunteering. I love to volunteer. I do it as often and as readily as I possibly can. If I could do it and get paid…oh wait. Seriously though, I’ve had the absolute joy of meeting some of the most fabulous people in my life through my volunteer experience. Years ago, I joined an organization in New York that is so large they are able to break down their projects into several different categories so each person can be matched with the volunteer opportunity that she/he is right for. So, if you’re artistically inclined, love animals, or have a niche for health and wellness, you can choose to donate your time appropriately, and you will meet many other like-minded individuals.

How Did You Pull That?! What I Learned from Dating a Male Model and You Can Too.

There is a special sort of prestige that comes with dating a model.

When I first moved to New York a couple of months ago, I matched on Tinder with a guy who listed his occupation as “male model”, and judging from his photos he wasn’t lying. Even Ray Charles could have seen the man was beautiful. I was intrigued he found me as attractive as I found him attractive, but did my best to not let my insecurities get the best of me. So I allowed Model Boo (his nickname to protect his identity) to get my number so we could get better acquainted.

I showed his photos to several close friends of mine (both male and female) and the consensus was “HOW DID YOU PULL THAT?!” Honestly the answer wasn’t being myself because Model Boo would always tell me how he thought I was hot, but I still said it was my sense of humor. “Keep him around as long as possible,” my friends would urge me. Even Model Boo would tell me to not let him get away.

It was all rainbows and butterflies in the beginning. We’d see each other often, and he’d text me all day long. I model myself, so I’d constantly talk about the industry with him. It was good to talk to someone that knew and understood some of the things I encountered on a regular basis. And even though models have reps about being terrible in bed, Model Boo really knew how to work his love muscle. I was definitely satisfied.

But then, things started changing. I started hearing from him less and less. He started to be less and less generous. And then he did something to me that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Model Boo had asked me to spend the night at his place so we could have morning sex the following morning. I didn’t have any plans, so I agreed. The morning after I slept over, I am in his bathroom showering and I hear the sound of cooking commencing in the kitchen. I’m thinking to myself “Oh how great he is making breakfast for us!” Well, I leave the bathroom and come out to find a dirty dish and pan in the sink. No food in sight. Apparently, Model Boo thought only he was worthy of nourishment in the AM. I was nothing short of seething. This is one of the top five rudest things I have ever been on the receiving end of. How does one have the heart to do this? As I left his apartment I just knew that this was unforgivable and I was never talking to him again. So as soon as he was out of my sight I blocked his number.

Why Speed Dating Is Working for Me Today

About six months ago, I was hired to be a host at a speed dating event. As someone whose prior (and sole) experience involving speed dating was based on the movie Hitch (moment to swoon over the thought of Will Smith please), I was more than a little apprehensive when I agreed to take the job. Call me crazy but I just don’t love getting involved in things I don’t fully believe in. But it was a job and it paid, so I convinced myself to give it a shot. I figured if all else failed, it would make for an interesting story, and that was enough incentive for me.

As the event neared, and I had spoken in great length with the organizer (who lives out of state, hence hiring me to represent her business) I became even more skeptical. Here we had close to 30 participants registered, and then me, slated to run the whole thing, even though Will Smith hadn’t returned my calls and by the looks of it, wasn’t going to attend. Bummer. As prepared as I was to host the evening, I didn’t know what to expect.

A Delightful Dating Surprise

Cut to the event and the delightfully surprise ending it had. In the end, less people attended than had registered (I’m sure the pressure got to them, which I understand!) Yet of the people who were in attendance, these were some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. Everyone was so open to the idea of meeting someone, which led to some of the most genuine and kind conversations I’ve yet to witness. Also, as all participants were in the same boat as they arrived and no one really knew what to expect, it was really easy to find common ground and connect with each other.

The event turned out to be a pleasant surprise for several reasons. One, it went off without a hitch (see what I did there- Hitch?) and everyone really enjoyed themselves, so from an organizational standpoint, it was a success. Two, as we had more men than women registered, I was happy to chat with the extra man each round and make sure he felt comfortable. In doing so I found myself involved in really interesting conversations with some wonderful men. And three, it helped me to see that I truly had nothing to be skeptical about, and left me with a really great impression of speed dating. I’ve hosted two since, and will continue to host as it fits into my schedule.

Why Speed Dating Is Interesting to Me

Fashionable interracial couple drinking wine during date sitting at restaurant having romantic evening and nice conversation raising glasses to love at first sight. Hipster man proposing toastNow, should I try it myself? Here’s why I think speed dating is a really interesting concept in today’s world. With technology as predominant as it is in every single facet of our lives (I just downloaded a meditation app this morning) we are ultimately trying to make the most of our time, right? I, for one, constantly find myself telling people “there’s an app for that”. Our time is so precious, and we’re all simultaneously trying to hold down a job (or two), maintain a fitness regime, a social life, run errands, prepare meals, etc. We have so much to do that meeting new people can become really daunting. After a day of working two jobs, fitting in a workout and going grocery shopping, I personally, just want to crash on the couch and binge watch Master of None.

Two Months of Dating in One Night

With speed dating, in one night I can realistically do two months worth of dating in one night. I don’t have to feel the guilt of “stacking” or “double booking” dates because the event is literally designed for that purpose. And there’s no pressure of sitting through an entire meal, worrying about who’s going to pay at the end, etc. I could very well go on 15 different dates; even if I connect with 2 of them, that’s great! I can still make it home for the 10 o’clock news! I didn’t have to make a plan, gather a group of girlfriends, research a good bar for singles and then spend a bunch of money only at the end of the night to discover that the night was a total bust.

It’s been a happy accident that I’ve been able to participate in the speed dating events as more than just a host, one that has even resulted in four dates (with three different guys). My experiences have totally changed my opinion on speed dating and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it or has been holding out. Even if the “date” is going really poorly, it only lasts 5 minutes. And who knows, maybe the next guy to rotate in will be Will Smith. If you’re lucky!

I Went on a Date Every Day of the Week. Here’s What I Learned.

7 Dates in 7 Days? I’m older, wiser (and exhausted).

Monday was Dr. Corey from Bumble. Tuesday was Grant, a setup from a fellow comedian. Wednesday was Kevin, a super hot Tinder dude from Chicago. Thursday was Chris, another Tinder guy who worked in Marketing. Friday was writer James AND creative director Logan, a Bumble & Bumble. Saturday was Sean, a guy I met at a local bar. Sunday, I rested. JK! Sunday was a coffee date with a producer. I work for YOU!

So, in the spirit of sex, romance and everything in-between, here are seven things I’ve learned about people (especially myself) after going on seven dates in seven nights (and sometimes more). You’re welcome!

Drinking Dates Are Great (But Be Careful)

romantic dinner

According to doctors and any non-alcoholic, I drank way too much last week. Way too much. And no, it was not healthy. I’m a big fan of the happy hour date (cheap, and I love a cocktail to ease any awkwardness) but if you’re going to date a ton, stagger those date activities! I’m a gal who can definitely handle her booze, and even I was negotiating what I’ll lovingly call “Pinot Fatigue” by Thursday.

Be Aware Of Repeating Yourself (Or Forgetting What You Said)

Couple Dating

There’s so much backstory and chat built into a date- when you meet, when you text, the lead up, the conversation after- if you’re going on a bunch of dates all at once or just one every once in a while, review your text chain before you meet up to make sure you know exactly what they know about you, and what you know about them. Believe me, it can be embarrassing when you say, “So, what was it like growing up in Jersey?” When they’re from the Bay Area. Cool move, Rebecca. Cool move.

Be Thorough About Hygiene

Beautiful woman standing at the shower. is washing her hair.

I know you’d do that anyway, but when you’re meeting a bunch of new people in such little time, you’ll want to be hyper-vigilant about this. Depending on who you are, you probably wear makeup, or product, or something when you go on a date. Well, if you’re going on one date a day, you’re going to be doing a lot of prepping, making up, eyelining, cologne-ing, etc. So it’s really, really important to shower regularly and make sure you get ALL the makeup off upon the conclusion of your evening. Nobody likes to show up to a date with the person looking raggedy AF. Am I right?

The Blowout Is Your Friend

Young man paying a compliment beautiful woman

That being said, one distinct hair style for dates will cut your anxiety-laden prep time in half! I’d suggest a blowout or a flattering go-to ‘do to have in your back pocket (mine was wavy, my hair’s natural texture, with a cute, high ponytail) so it’s one element of the date you just don’t have to think about or roll the dice with. There are lots of decisions to be made on dates- place, time, how many drinks, what to wear, if you should drive…your hairstyle doesn’t have to be one of them!

Dating Is Expensive (Even With Gender Norms In Place)

Young man and woman drinking something at a cafe

I’m definitely a pay-my-way kind of gal, and while most of the men I went on dates with paid, there was definitely a financial cost to this “experiment.” Drinks, some of the time, of course. And food after you got a little too drunk (cough cough, Bumble & Bumble Friday, cough cough), and gas if you’re driving across town or worse, taking Lyft, Uber or a Taxi. There’s also data charges on calls if a date is really into texting (though admittedly that was less of a concern than my 3 am Taco Bell run). So if you’re going to date and not go full diva by demanding the other person pays or always drives your neck of the woods, prepare to take a hit to the ‘ol Wells Fargo.

The Cream Will Rise To The Top

couple picnic date

When you’re dating a bunch of people, it’s really, really easy to compare conversation, humor, behavior, attractiveness and kindness. You’ll know right away which people are worthy of a second date much better if you’re dating a LOT, and if they’re proactive enough to keep the momentum going. Keep inventory of this! Don’t second guess your gut. You have many options when you’re going on seven dates in a week or some such crazy dating binge (who would do that? An insane person!). In this case more than others, you should never feel desperate. Ever. People are everywhere and you, my friend, are a queen!

People Love Questions

Cute Couple Feeling Curious While Choosing Some Desserts

If the date is going super well or becoming a trainwreck (that was hyperbolic, I mean, if it’s REALLY going that badly, just leave!), a quick way to not feel horrifically awkward is ask questions. Turns out, people love this, it always keeps the convo going and it will take you from treading water conversationally to back into the game. It’s a no-fail way to seem desirable, social and in control. Sexy qualities, grasshopper!

Four Times My Emotional Intelligence Helped Me Make Smart Dating Decisions

Because sometimes your IQ isn’t enough.

Dating in 2018 can be tricky territory. Between getting ghosted, fielding unsavory Tinder hookups, and a whole gamut of other things, it’s hard to remember how to date healthily. By dating healthily, I mean being open to building new relationships and meeting new people. I also mean knowing when to end a situation that won’t give you what you want.

Emotional intelligence is a buzzword these days. While I won’t call myself an emotional genius, I can think of ways that my emotional intelligence guided my decision-making in the dating realm.

1) Be a good judge of character

On Tinder I met this man, once. He had a beautifully bushy beard and was extremely attractive. On our first date we met at a bar in December, sitting near an open fire. We talked, but really, HE talked. A lot: about his daughter, about his Ph. D program, about his undergraduate experience, about his studies in Afrocentric thought. All that talking he did should’ve been a red flag. We met subsequently after and he literally charmed the pants off me. The physical intimacy was a stellar encounter that I replayed in my head for weeks. But something clicked the fourth time we met – this guy was a self-involved asshole. All he cared about was talking about his life and trying to prove me wrong at every turn. Trying to undermine my intelligence because I was, in his words, “a baby” (we had an eight-year age difference).

It’s easy to get caught up in good sex (“dickmatized” is one of my favorite words). But I do consider myself a solid judge of character, even if it takes a few dates. I read the tone of his voice when he was about to say something condescending. I read his barely-concealed sighs when I would retort with my own rebuttals. It was the body language of someone who didn’t take me seriously.

 2) Have Self-Awareness

To be a good judge of character, one must know thyself. Which means knowing strengths, weaknesses, what you want and what you definitely don’t want. B was someone I went out with two years ago. He was a sweet and chivalrous type, always opening doors and insisting on paying when we went out. He treated me and my body with respect. The problem was that we had different ideas of how often we should see each other. Once every three-four weeks was enough for him. I could have gone out with him longer, had I been looking for a noncommittal situationship. With age, I’ve learned that I’m not a casual type of girl. And I hate gray area. That sealed my decision to end things at the three-month mark.

Being alone is better than settling for what you don’t want. Having a clear idea of who you are and the things you find important should always be at the forefront of your quest for romance.


3) Know when to apologize

The learning curve was big when I was in my first relationship. He was a friend first, one that I had intensely crushed on for months before mustering the courage to tell him my feelings. I thought that would be the hardest part. Nope. The hardest part was managing expectations. Even together, I felt like I was still pining for his attention. All I could think about was the attention he wouldn’t give me. I didn’t stop to think how he might feel until we talked things out (right before he dumped me, but it was useful nonetheless). He felt like I pressured him at times. “You just think about what you want, and not what I might want.”

A light bulb came on. He was right. I apologized for my lack of consideration. Our dating was new for him too; he had never gone out with a woman before. I think about that first relationship a lot, as brief as it was. Not being able to relinquish the ego holds you back from a lot of lessons.

4) Don’t Hold Grudges

Feeling like someone wronged you hurts. I get that. My summer 2017 wasn’t the best, partially because of an almost-romance gone sour. I say “almost-romance” because we weren’t dating per se, just two friends exploring what it was to be more than friends, living in the gray “friends with benefits” territory. The things that happened between us made me see him in a different light. I found him flaky, unreliable, and sending mixed messages left and right. The tipping point was when he abandoned me at a time I needed a friend the most.

It would be easy to resend him forever, to fall into a victim narrative of how he treated me badly. Of how much he sucks and how I’ll never trust him again. But a) that’s exhausting and b) serves no one. He was dealing with some personal turmoil, and nobody’s at their best when they’re trying to keep their head above water.  I understand that. Most importantly, I understand how much lighter my soul is when I forgive him and move forward with my life.

trust him

6 Things Successful Couples Do to Appreciate a Significant Other

How do you show your partner that you appreciate them?

In a long-term relationship, feeling taken for granted sometimes is an easy trap to fall into. Most long-term couples find that occasionally the balance seems to shift, and one person takes on more of the labour, be it due to work commitments or a more gradual move into bad habits which become routine. We set out to find out how couples in long-term relationships stop their partners from feeling underappreciated by asking them “how do you show your partner they matter to you?”

“I do the chores they hate”

Far and away, domestic chores took the medal for being the most common demonstration of partner-appreciation. From taking the bins out, to doing the washing up, to changing the cat litter, household tasks were the biggest response. Not just any household tasks though; specifically the ones their partner most hated doing.

“I cook for them”

An unsurprising runner up – the way to everyone’s hearts, it seems, is through their stomach. Cooking a nice dinner when they’ve had a bad day, making breakfast every Saturday morning, and giving them the best bits of a meal all popped up as answers. It’s not just meals though; people also love buying chocolates for their significant other, or baking loaves of bread at the weekend, or making lunches for them to take to work. In the same vein, there’s also getting a takeout, and having someone else bring the food!

“I take them out on a date”

Ah, date night. This can fall by the wayside in a long-term relationship, especially as the weather cools and it’s nicer to stay indoors. But putting in a little bit of effort can go a long way. Some people said that they planned meals out – a date night with the added advantage of no dishes to clean afterwards. If there’s a film they’ve been wanting to see, you can have a couple of hours distraction-free instead of waiting for it to hit Netflix.

romantic dinner dating

“I take care of them”

Letting the other person sleep in was a popular one, especially with new parents. An extra hour in bed in the morning might be more necessary than it seems, and helping out by getting up and taking care of the kids is a hugely symbolic gesture of appreciation. Imagine this doubled with breakfast in bed too! Care-taking gestures also included running them a bubble bath after a long day, and giving them a foot rub. Looking after someone is a great way of making them feel like they matter, and even more so if the gesture is acknowledging that they’ve had a bad day, or that they’re feeling a bit tired or run-down. Reminding them that they need to take some time for self-care is thoughtful, but going some ways toward carving out that time for them is even better.

“I buy flowers”

Everybody loves flowers, right? The problem is that they’ve come to symbolise apologies for wrongdoing, so flowers are sometimes a fraughtly given gift and have fallen out of favour a little bit. However, ‘Just Because’ flowers always go down well, because who doesn’t love a delivery of fresh blooms? Extra points for knowing their favourite flowers and including them in the bouquet. There were also people buying little gifts for no reason, too. Surprising someone with a gift they aren’t expecting, but that you know they’d love is a nice way of letting someone know that you value them, even if it’s something small.

Man Giving Woman Roses

“I send a text”

In our age of technology, we’re almost always connected, but an unexpected SMS or email is a nice gesture to let someone know that you’re thinking of them in that moment. Having someone pop up on your phone to randomly tell you that you’re on their mind is never a bad thing. It’s nice to be reminded that you’re thought of when you aren’t physically in the same room.

Overwhelmingly, though, it was the thought behind the gesture that meant more than the gesture itself – as much as foot rubs and flowers are lovely to receive, the feeling of being appreciated was far bigger than the action itself, and went much further.

What about you? Do you buy flowers, or are you more of a breakfast in bed person? What little things do you do to show someone you care?

How to Date When You Have an Anxious Attachment Style

Because playing hard to get isn’t an option.

“You don’t need someone to be happy.” I’ve heard over and over from my friends but I’ve always felt the exact opposite.

When I’m alone I feel incomplete in some way and I know that’s not healthy. And worse than that, I’ve always clung to partners, even partners I know are not good for me because I convinced myself it was better to have someone — even if they don’t care about me — than to be completely alone. It’s a vicious cycle that I keep allowing to repeat, like my existence is useless without someone to share my life with, and friends just don’t do it, I need that ‘romantic’ connection, even if it’s just me begging for attention and feeling validated every few days.

I never knew this had a name until I was asked, “do you know what an anxious attachment style is?”

I didn’t.

So, I bought (and completely indulged myself in) Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel S. F. Heller and my world changed.

I realized I wasn’t the only one who felt this gross, off-putting clinginess and I felt more understood. I felt like I had answers and was more aware of what I was doing. I felt like I might finally be able to change my behavior.

Standard dating tips don’t work when you have an anxious attachment style. You can’t pretend you’re uninterested, unavailable or that you don’t want a relationship because that’s total bullshit.

Here’s what I’ve learned about dating with an anxious attachment style:

1.  Wait before reacting to small things.

People with anxious attachment styles are more in tune to changes in others’ emotional expression and can have a higher degree of accuracy and sensitivity to other people’s cues. This essentially means that we tend to jump to conclusions very quickly and can often self-sabotage our relationships. I once dated a guy who lived two hours from me and I invited him to come camping for a weekend and he said yes. I was thrilled! Then he texted me shortly after that he couldn’t make it because he got called into work. So we adjusted and made plans to hang out on Sunday since I was driving back past his town. When I started driving Sunday morning I had a three-hour drive ahead of me to get there. I hadn’t heard from him so I texted him to tell him I was excited to see him only to find out he couldn’t hang out because he got called into work, again. I was convinced he was lying and that he just didn’t want to hang out with me before my (much more reasonable) friend told me that I was going to self-sabotage the relationship if I started acting short or accused him of lying.

2. Don’t mistake the anxiety, obsession, and the short bursts of joy with love.

Mixed messages from your partner, or potential partner, often lead us to believe we are in love but it’s more often than not our attachment style activating. Every time you get mixed signals and you’re left guessing your attachment system is activated and you become preoccupied with the relationship. Then when he compliments you it creates validation and you tell yourself he’s into you after all. You’re activated attachment system is confused with passion. I never realized before why I was so attracted to people who mostly treated me like they wouldn’t have cared if I died, but now it makes sense. It’s the one little comment or gesture that makes it feel like they care. It creates that feeling of reassurance and makes me feel loved, even if it’s short-lived.

3. Acknowledge and accept your true relationship needs.

There have been so many guys I’ve dated who have made me feel “needy.” I always felt like I was asking too much from them or that I was the reason that things never worked out but I realize now that there is nothing wrong with me and that more often than not I’m dating guys who have an avoidant attachment style. These two attachment styles tend to cling to each other. I realized I didn’t need to change myself to please my partner, I just needed to find someone who is secure and can give me what I need.

sexy couple

4. Avoid dating someone with an avoidant attachment style.

Like I just mentioned anxious and avoidant attachment styles are often attracted to each other. I’m almost certain every guy I’ve dated has been avoidant. Now that I’m aware of my attachment style, I’m aware that I need to avoid avoidants. Avoidants typically send mixed signals, disregard your emotional well-being, suggests you are “too needy” or “too sensitive,” gives the indication that he’s still looking for “the one,” doesn’t care what you’re saying and ignores things you want/say that inconvenience them. If you have an anxious attachment style, avoid people with an avoidant attachment style at all costs because they’re never going to be able to give you what you need or change (seriously, it takes five years to completely change your attachment style, and it’s rare to do so).

5. Express your needs.

In so many relationships I’ve tried to be exactly who I thought the other person wanted without any regards to myself and what I wanted. I’d try to change, make myself uncomfortable to make them slightly more comfortable and I’d hide what I needed so that I wouldn’t get called “too much.” I wanted to be the cool girl, which doesn’t fucking exist, btw. I’d hide my wishes, wants and needs because I thought it would make someone else happy. Now that i say that it sounds insane, but for so long I did it and the sad part is I will probably still do it because I still have an anxious attachment style but I have got better at expressing my needs and wants without worrying about if they’ll think I’m needy or not because the right person won’t make me feel that way at all.

6. Give “boring” people a chance.

I’ve gone on a decent amount of dates and I walked away with the same immediate text to my friends, “he was SO boring!” I recently learned that those people I go on dates with who I find “SO boring” are usually people with secure attachment styles – the kind of person I should be dating. But with secure people, there is less drama so my anxious attachment style isn’t activated the same way that it is with someone who is avoidant. It’s typically to confuse the calmness and stability with boredom and lack of attraction. I’ve learned it’s important to give secure people a chance, especially because that’s the ideal partner for an anxious attachment style.

Understanding your attachment style, especially if you’re anxious, is really crucial for having healthy romantic relationships. Learning more about your behavior, why you do the things you do and feel the way you do when dating will finally make you feel not alone, which is exactly what I felt. Relief. Understanding your overall attachment style when you’re anxious will help you find that happy, fulfilling relationship we’re all longing for.  

Recommended next story: 8 Ways to Stop Letting Your Insecurities in Relationships Outweigh the Good.

I’m About to Celebrate 7 Years with My Boyfriend (and No We’re Not Getting Married Yet!)

This May, I will have been dating my boyfriend for seven years.

On May 10, 2012, I was sitting at a lunch I had to report on for work. I was high on life, having just started dating a really sweet guy. I was daydreaming during the event when I got a text message saying “Guess what?” from the guy. I replied with a simple “What?” and moments later got a response: “I have the best girlfriend ever.” After that, I don’t remember much else from that work lunch.

Now, almost seven years later we are preparing to celebrate another anniversary together. I am certain come May 10th, I’ll get multiple questions as to why we aren’t married yet.

Being a Traditional Person in a Long-Term Relationship

Growing up, I was always a very traditional person. A self-described hopeless romantic, I couldn’t help but adore a good love story. I loved (and still love!) movies like When Harry Met Sally and Sleepless in Seattle.

I always thought I’d grow up and get married and have a couple kids by now. Granted, I still definitely want to marry and have children—just maybe not the five or six I wanted when I was 13!

From Year Two On, Everyone Bugged Us About Marriage

Since I’ve been dating my boyfriend, within about two years we started getting the question: “when are you two going to get married?”. We’ve brushed it off since then every year. People always preach individuality and doing things on your own time, but I can’t tell you how many people have wondered why we aren’t married yet.

I usually post a collage of photos of the two of us on social media every anniversary, mostly for the memories I can look back on when they pop up each year. Now that I’m about to celebrate seven years with my partner, part of me does not want to post a said collage as I know I will get the inevitable ring emoji with a question mark or another questionable comment about marriage.

The funny thing is, those questions often come from acquaintances or friends I’m not particularly close with. My best friends and family, they have every right in the world to talk to me about it (mostly because I occasionally chat with them about my relationship anyway).

People who I haven’t seen in person since high school? Slow your roll. Trust me, my boyfriend and I– We’ve got this.

African American Couple Dating

Being True to Who I Am AKA Not Giving in to Marriage Pressure

To those who are going through something similar, it’s important to remember to be true to your own relationship. Things take time and what’s great for another couple may not be the right thing for you.

I’ll admit from about years four through six, I was that person who bombards me with questions. The self reflection I constantly had made me wonder why I was the “odd one out” and not getting married just yet. My anxiety about the issue climbed as friends and siblings started getting engaged, married and then pregnant.

Within the past year though, I started to realize that if or when my boyfriend and I do get engaged, it needs to be the perfect timing. The spark has to be perfect, the place we are in our relationship, and within ourselves, needs to be right. Without it, the engagement is bound to fail. Call it my romanticism mixed with a bit of maturing realism, I know that things have to feel right for a relationship to work. I used to be all about trusting with your heart—now I have a little bit of my head thrown in too.

Why I’m Waiting to Get Married

I am waiting to get married for a few reasons. First of all, I am still traditional—I am waiting for that magical proposal from my boyfriend. It doesn’t need to be fancy. I have literally told him that I wouldn’t mind if our dog came in with the ring around his harness.

Some have questioned why I’m still waiting. It’s simple: I love my boyfriend. I think there will be a point where I’ll need to make a decision about our future, but for now things are wonderful. We have our own little “family” together with our dog, we share a spacious apartment, I love my job. Why shake things up when I love life so much right now, at this very moment? Not to mention, I shouldn’t (and you shouldn’t!) have to answer to anyone when they ask you why—why are you not married, why don’t you have kids yet?

Happy Young Couple

Learning that It’s Okay to Wait

These days, we have so many pieces of technology easily at our fingertips. Do you want to order falafel from your favorite Mediterranean spot? Click on Uber Eats on your phone—boom, ordered. Our decision making is often split-second in today’s times.

Basically, what I’m saying is, getting engaged is a huge decision. It’s not something to be taken lightly, so if you are dating for enough years you can count on a whole hand (or more) that’s perfectly okay! It’s important to really get to know the person and to make sure you want to spend the rest of your life with them.

If your best friend is married and expecting her first child, just take a deep breath. Remember, that’s great it works for her but it might not work for you at this particular time. I’m glad my boyfriend and I are taking our time with things. It’s part of what makes our relationship unique and special. That is why I’ve decided I may just have to put those hesitant feelings aside and embrace my annual collage again this year.

Who cares what other people think, right? Just be you, enjoy life and have fun doing it—I know I plan to.

Feeling single and frustrated? Take a deep breath and read this.