Archives

Top 10 reasons why Being Single on Valentine’s Day is the Greatest!

CheapCandy

1. CHEAP CANDY DAY – I actually think this needs to become a real holiday that happens twice a year.  Once on February 15th and then again on November 1st.  I know the candy makers will figure this out and find a way to screw us, but for now they are both splendid days indeed!

2. No gifts to buy! –  What does a woman  buy a man for Valentine’s Day? Most just want sex, and well that’s usually going to happen anyway….anything else just seems silly, yet the expectation is there.  For men the whole gift/night to remember situation is not only daunting but expensive.  In New York City a couple could blow $1,000 on an ice cream sundae, and that doesn’t include the Broadway show tickets!

3. No pressure to act like you’re having a great time when you’re not – We’ve all been there.  Our partner’s plan out some elaborate event and absolutely everything is dreadful.  The restaurant is too crowded, the waiter is mean, the food is lousy, the concert is terrible, the moonlight carriage ride is smelly and the driver is rude.  Meanwhile you have to pretend like it’s the greatest night of your life, because you don’t want to her anyone’s feelings.

4. No poorly timed monthly visitors – There’s nothing worse than planning a big romantic evening only to have Ms. Flow show up early.  Sure you can work around it but she really does ruin the mood, especially if she brings along her friend – Ms. Cramps.

5. No annoying flower battles at work – I don’t have a traditional job, but I remember when I did how the never-ending bouquets would come pouring in the office all day long.  It seemed like the bigger the flower arrangement the more precarious the relationship. Sure the married women with 20 years under their belt would get a sizable display but the couples that kept breaking up only to get back together again always included several mylar heart-shaped balloons.  Then there was always some sad sack in the office who had a boyfriend but who didn’t get anything.  She’d tell everyone it was waiting for her at home, but we knew that her boyfriend would break her spirit as much as her soul-crushing job did every day.

6. No expectations of some life-changing event – No one is going to propose to me! I’ll never have a joint bank account again!!!  I won’t have to worry about checks bouncing because my husband just blew several hundred dollars on something stupid!  I’m sure plenty of divorced men can relate to this one.  Blowing money on stupid purchases is a universal human trait!

7. No awkward sexual experiences – Sometimes couples like to push the envelope on the big day and take things too far, only to find themselves in compromising or embarrassing situations.  The porn actors make it look so easy, but they’ve got multiple takes, a crew to help them with angles and lighting. Ask anyone who works in film or television production, it’s all about good lighting.

8. No drunken crying spirals of despair – With expectations so high, also comes disappointment.  Anything could happen. What if you happen to find out  that he’s cheating on you?  Or that you’re NOT getting engaged even though he’s been hinting at it for months?  Or what if in the middle of the salad course, you just look into his eyes are realize you can’t stand him, he can’t stand you anymore and you’d both be better off on your own.  These things happen.  Then you end up slamming a few back, and wind up calling your best friend at 3 AM to tell her that everything you believed in was a lie and that the universe is collapsing in on you.

9. No forced emotion – There’s nothing worse than hitting Valentine’s Day with a guy you’ve just started dating.  Should he send flowers or will it make him look overeager?  Should you make big plans, even though you haven’t even been to his apartment yet?  Should you buy him something or will it make you look like a stage 5 clinger?  If you’ve only been on three dates or less, just act like February 14th is a day like any other and skip right over it.

10. FREEDOM – You can REALLY just watch Netflix and chill.  Throw on a onesize, order some Chinese takeout and watch a marathon of Breaking Bad, The Making of a Murder, or maybe season 2 of Orange is The New Black again.  Everyone knows season 2 is the best season.  You don’t have to get dressed up, impress anyone, fake an orgasm, or act like you care about some dumb ass chef’s special that you know is overpriced and overrated.  You can dance around in footie pajamas and stuff your face with General Tso’s Chicken if you want. (I eat the vegetarian version)  It’s your day!  LOVE IT!

Related Articles:

My website www.julietjeske.com

Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/JulietJeske

Add me on Facebook Juliet Jeske Facebook Fan Page

When Love Poetry, a Sex Shop and Bloggers meet for Lunch

IMG_1537

A couple of weeks ago I got in invitation by the good people of Adam&Eve.com, a one time sponsor of this blog, to attend a love poetry workshop taught by local writer, Suzannah Weiss.  I debated if I should go, since poetry and me aren’t really a thing.  I dig poetry and all but I would hardly call myself a poet.  The idea of writing a love poem really left me at a loss.  Could I write a love poem about the despair of abject loneliness? Could I pen a sonnet about how much I hate dating in New York City, or the profound narcissism of my ex-husband?  It might work if they let me write about dick picks and magical vaginas, but then I noticed they were giving out gift bags and the deal was sealed.  How could I not go?  I had to get my gift bag of swag from a sex shop, just to see what they’d give me.

The morning of the event, I had a fiasco with one of my day jobs that I absolutely had to deal with so I arrived fashionably late to the love poetry-sex shop-soiree.  Once there, I felt a bit like the slacker who showed up tardy for class, but I was quickly forgiven.  Our teacher, Suzannah Weiss was kind and patient and even had me read a poem I had written on the spot.  I openly admitted I wrote it about my cat Schatzi, since I have no other inspiration in my life.  If you knew Schatzi, you’d write poems about her too.

IMG_2080

Nearly all of the other bloggers were women, and many of them cat owners so it turned into a flurry of cat photo sharing and stories about our feline companions..

I met a lovely woman who named her blog New York Cliche, because much like myself she was just owning her single, professional, artistic, cat-owning, independent woman persona. I also connected with a long-time Facebook friend fellow writer and general overall badass Yolanda Shoshana.

Then we finally got the goody bags…..and this is what they contained!

A sexy feather duster, you know for all of your sexy feather duster needs…

featherduster

 

A BDSM mask, although honestly I could use this on trips in rooms with too much light. It’s comfy, and thicker than most.

EyeMask

A tiny cock ring, and another vibrating cock ring type of device.  Free condoms – that’s usually a given as everyone should practice safe sex!

CockRings

A water based personal lubricant! – We could all use some more lube in our lives.  A silver bullet! BATTERY INCLUDED! – Most ladies know this is a very special thing indeed.

Lube

I admit I was hoping for a dildo, not because I wanted to use it, but because dildos are comedy gold.  They’re probably too expensive to give away to bloggers, and a bit forward.  “Here’s a fake penis for your enjoyment” is coming on a bit strong I guess. Overall I thought the entire experience was amazing!  I don’t think I’ll become a poet any time soon, or write a love sonnet to anyone besides my cat.  A woman working for a PR firm called me a journalist, which was sort of wonderful.  I also got to meet fellow New Yorkers who have also found their voice online.  Although I am not a huge consumer of sex toys or adult products I have heard wonderful things about www.Adam&Eve.com, so if you are in the market for some sexy stuff for Valentine’s Day or any day, check them out.

Here’s my Valentine’s Haiku (At least I think it’s a Haiku, again, I’m not a poet)

I don’t want dick pics

I’d like a piece of your soul

or just a kind word

Related Articles:

My website www.julietjeske.com

Follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/JulietJeske

Add me on Facebook Juliet Jeske Facebook Fan Page

 

Dating Online: The Coward

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful...

The Cowardly Lion as pictured in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This particular problem is not relegated to any gender, sexual orientation or age group.  Cowards  in the dating world are sadly universal.  I would bet that even prehistoric men and women scratched their heads over this dating archetype.   What is a coward?

A person who asks someone out on a date, only to then:

  • Cancel last-minute
  • Stand-up a date
  • Constantly reschedule
  • Make themselves consistently unavailable
  • Claim they never made the date in the first place – Act as if it was somehow a misunderstanding

I want to emphasize the distinction here, a coward is the person who sets up the date in the first place, and then blows it off. That is a huge difference, because plenty of people might bail on a date for any number of reasons.  Life is complicated, misunderstandings are common and people really might need to cancel.  They may also not be that interested and bailing on a date is a passive aggressive way of saying as much.  However if a man or woman asks someone out on a date, the need to do everything in their power to follow through.  A coward sends the mixed signal of

I want to go out with you, only I DON’T actually want to go out with you.

I hear these stories all the time from both men and women.  It has happened to me more times than I can count, and I will admit that one gentlemen strung me along like this for months.  I didn’t quite have my post-divorce self-confidence back yet so for reasons I still don’t quite understand, I put up with it.

Over half the men that ask me out on online dating sites do this.  The scenario goes something like this:

  1. They send the first email asking me to go out.
  2. I respond saying I would love to go out with them.
  3. Then they either cancel at the last second, blow me off completely, or never get around to actually planning anything.

I used to give these types the benefit of the doubt, but now I don’t.  If they can’t get it together for one date, they probably aren’t going to get it together for much more.   I used to think it was due to my blog, so I stopped using my name in any correspondence online.  Multiple friends of both genders have said this exact scenario plays out with them repeatedly.  Why do people do this?  I am not sure why but it might be

  • Fear of Failure – They are worried they will be ultimately rejected so they avoid the date, thereby avoiding rejection.
  • Fear of Success – If your date does actually go well, then they might have to deal with some type of dating situation this freaks them out, so they self-sabotage.
  • Intimacy Issues – They would rather have some type of fantasy of you than actually deal with another human being.
  • Seeing someone else – It is all a game to them, you are merely a pawn for their ego.
  • Ego Boost – They asked a person out just to see if they would say yes, never intending to go out with them.
  • Living in a Virtual Reality – A person becomes so accustomed to relationships online social networking etc, that a real one is just too much for them to handle.

Faking out dates is almost rampant behavior nowadays.   It seems completely irrational as asking a person out on a date is a bold move, and makes a person quite vulnerable.  It is such a problem with online dating, I could almost bet half the guys who end up in my inbox will never follow through with an actual date.

Actions really do speak louder than words.  If a person is not making you a priority in their life, then they are letting you know that you are not really that important to them.  Asking you out, only to then flake is rude, inconsiderate and downright baffling behavior.  If someone really wants to see you, they will move heaven and earth to make that happen.  Don’t waste your time on a coward.

 

Dating After Divorce: He’s Just Not that into You…no really he is just not that into you.

Cover of "He's Just Not That Into You: Th...

Cover via Amazon

After I left my marriage emotionally scarred and damaged, I have discovered that I am the world’s worst dater.  No really…I am the world’s worst dater.  I am terrible at it.  I talk too much, reveal too much, ramble on and on…and I think I come across as a neurotic idiot.  No, make that a desperate neurotic idiot.  If I am not into a guy I get bored and can’t really hide it, I stop asking him questions and just blather on about any nonsense.  Somehow my brain tells me if I just keep going then maybe something will click, when instead I should just make up an excuse and get out of the situation.  If a man is rude or insulting to me, I don’t think to just get up and leave, even though there were many times when I should have done just that.  And on those rare occasions someone sparks my interest, all I can think of is

“Please like me…please don’t think I am a weirdo…please don’t run away”

And call me crazy, but I think my inner monologue might be projecting…because so far the ones I seem to fancy…run away.

In my never-ending search for dating advice I turn to self-help books.  Books have always been my go-to when I need information about anything.  I own a couple hundred books on various subjects and have an entire shelf dedicated to the subject of “DATING”

One best-selling tome promotes a simple premise “He’s Just Not that Into You” by Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo.  From what I know of the back story, a male comedian and writer came up with the premise for an episode of “Sex in the City“.  The episode was so popular that the concept transformed into a book and then a movie.  Millions in sales later it remains as a classic for women to turn to when we get so damn confused by men.

The wisdom contained in the book is simple

  • Men really aren’t that complicated
  • If a man wants you, he will stop at nothing to get you.
  • Don’t chase a man, or pursue them
  • Don’t waste the pretty if a man is treating you badly don’t put up with it.
  • If a man doesn’t want to commit, cut him off, don’t look back
  • There are quality men out there, but it may take a while to find one.

All of this is great advice and will help any woman to stop obsessing about every little move a man makes.  It also helps women to stop giving inconsiderate men second and third chances.

This is all great medicine, but like any medicine it comes with some side effects.  For instance, I have desperately tried to live by its ideals but I rarely go on second or third dates…I am starting to believe that “No one will ever be into you”  I have had to deal with…

  • Men I barely know try to booty call me even though I gave them no indication that I would be game for that
  • Ignored text messages, emails and phone calls
  • I have sent invites to my shows – only to have them ignored
  • Dated men that rarely if ever gave me a compliment
  • Been blown off completely – countless times
  • One man decided an ex-girlfriend was more important to follow on twitter than I was, even though he was emailing me every day…for months.

So when I apply the “He’s just not that into you” philosophy it leads me to the conclusion

  • There is something wrong with me
  • Who marries a gay clown? – A freak does
  • I repel men
  • I am a total weirdo and no one wants to stick around
  • I am a liability or an emotional wreck
  • They saw your blog, videos or stand-up and have decided your are not dating material

These are irrational fears that swirl about in my head, completely untrue but persistent nonetheless.  The more I seem to stick my neck out in the dating pool of sharks, the more I seem to get bitten.  I have honestly given up trying to figure this out, and I think I am finally done with online dating.  We are after all commodities on any dating site, and any potential suitor might think they can always find a shinier less damaged version out there.  I have had friends find the loves of their lives on online dating websites but whatever reason most of my dates end in tears.  If not immediately afterward I usually end up crying days later when I realize I am not going to hear from the guy.  Either I walk away somewhat disgusted or discouraged by the men that I meet or become crushed when I thought there was a connection and then I never hear from the guy again.  I have met some lovely men who were nice but I didn’t have any chemistry with or felt were more compatible as friends, but then that happens to everyone now doesn’t it.

I think I am going to throw the books away, get off the dating sites and hope that the universe releases me from this undeserved penance.  In a fit of self-protection I can feel a thick emotional callous forming around my heart and I don’t like it.

 

Unconditional Love – Why it is such a bad idea

unconditional.

Image via Wikipedia

I have a feeling this post might upset some people.  But I have thought that before and it hasn’t stopped me yet.  As Valentine’s Day approaches I think of the cliché line that is often uttered in Victorian novels, romantic comedies and tales of epic romances.

I will always love you, unconditionally

I find this statement not just unrealistic but downright dangerous.  The only vessels on this earth that should receive unconditional love are children and pets.  For one adult to pledge to unconditionally love another adult is a little fantastical.  As we all have conditions on lovers and their behavior.  Many a lifetime has been destroyed trying to live up to this myth that true love will conquer all, or that somehow no matter what the obstacles love will live forever.  I would agree that if the obstacles and stresses are external that this type of love should be striven for in every intimate relationship.  For instance, if one is stricken with a horrible disease it is noble and inspirational if their partner stays by their side through thick and thin.  That kind of unconditional love is a beautiful thing that we should all hope and strive for in this life.

But what if one partner begins to abuse, damage or hurt the other partner?    What if they have sexual relationships outside the relationship without the other partners consent?  What if one repeatedly puts their own needs before their partners?  What if one weaves a tapestry of lies and deception living a secret life without their partner’s knowledge?  Is it right to love them unconditionally despite this extremely destructive and hurtful behavior?  Abusive behavior should not be brushed aside due to some vow of “unconditional” love.  We should never become a doormat to an idea or notion that is unattainable.  I stayed in my marriage years longer than I should have because I thought that if I loved my husband enough, that it would save the marriage.  But my marriag,e constructed of lies more than anything else, was not salvageable.  I had no hope in keeping it together no matter what I did.

I know of some relationships that take great pride in the length that they have survived as a couple, yet some of these relationships are no more than two co-dependent toxic people who cannot live without each other.  I think of the example of the play Who’s Afraid of Virgina Wolf  in which Martha and George, have been together for over two decades in a relationship of constant bickering, fighting and mutual destruction.   The main forces keeping them together being fear, co-dependence and alcoholism.  Is that “unconditional” love?  We all know couples in our real lives that exist this way and they are nothing to envy.

I also used to find it romantic when a spouse would lose another due to death and then never remarry.  After my divorce I find that notion horribly depressing and sad.  Sad that the surviving spouse was never able to make that same kind of connection with another human being.   They should still love and honor their deceased partner, but with enough time to grieve should try to find someone new to let into their life.  As most partner’s would not want their surviving spouse to remain lonely forever.

Unconditional love  is ultimately self-destructive unless it is unconditional love for ourselves.  I am not saying that we should love ourselves in such a way that we don’t see our short-comings, poor choices or mistakes.  We should never see ourselves as anything but the flawed human beings that we are, but if anything we should have so much love for ourselves that we don’t allow another to treat us in such destructive ways.   And to hell to the silly novels, lame romantic comedies and articles in Cosmopolitan that tell us otherwise.  A healthy adult relationship should have boundaries and conditions.  To love someone who is abusive to you is not love, and it is nothing noble it is a form of self-loathing if nothing else.

Dating After Divorce – Dating Online – The Liars

I should really call this more adventures in NOT online dating because I am online, but I am not really going on any dates.  Why?  Well most of the guys that email me have what I would call not so desirable profiles, live way to far away or are way out of my age range .  Then the men that I send quick “Hey I would love to go for coffee” emails don’t email me back.  Most men and women go through the “email blow off”, I have learned to let it roll right off of me, as it is just part of the game.  But I just had a few men email me in a row that had such crazy profiles I felt the need to share them with my regular readers.

The Liar – A man or woman who is clearly making stuff up out of whole cloth and sticking on their profile, although sometimes reading these profiles are highly amusing.

  • No photos
  • Photos where you can only see body parts or slivers of their face
  • Wearing sunglasses in every single photo
  • Their occupations or history seem fantastical
  • Their profile it is essentially blank

To be more accurate there are two kinds of liars on-line.  The ones who lie by omission in that they tell you nothing (probably married) or the who create fantasy profiles.  I am going to focus on one of the craziest profiles I found the other day.  This guy was so out-there that I was actually laughing out loud when I read it.

I will change some specifics to protect the man’s identity but he was average looking and claimed to be 30 years old and 5’9″ in height.  He also had photos that looked like professional acting headshots.  The problem was that the headshots appeared about 15-20 years old.  His hair, clothing and the style the photos screamed early 1990’s.  He also had one heavily photo-shopped image of himself dressed as a pilot with no explanation given other than “I am a patriot”. But here I will just breakdown his other ridiculous claims on his profile

Worked as a professional actor for 16 years having done multiple shows and films – OK, so he was some type of child actor since he would have had to start acting at age 14 if that were true or even younger if you believe what he later claims is his current profession.

Worked as a professional model having done several major magazines – Again as a person who knows a thing or two about the modeling industry that is complete horse shit.  He “might” be able to model at 5’9″ if he had an absolutely perfect ripped muscular body, and then he would do underwear or possibly commercial print.  But here is the thing the minimum height for a male model is 5’11”.   Not to mention the guy was hardly good-looking, and he was slightly stocky.  And his terminology was way off, a model wouldn’t say they have done major magazines unless they have done the cover…and how often do you see male models on the cover of magazines?  They are usually on mens magazines and look a lot like the fitness type model I described earlier.  In fact nowadays most magazine covers feature actors and athletes, not models.  If had really booked work modeling he would say ad campaigns, catalog, print work or runway.  He obviously inventing all of it!

I currently work as a Federal law enforcement agent….I wish I was kidding…but no, according to him being a major model and actor for 16 years somehow qualified him to work in federal law enforcement.  I am not sure how you get that lucky break?  Getting a job in federal law enforcement isn’t exactly easy, and there is some training involved that would take time.  So when did he quit modeling/acting?  And wouldn’t it be a huge pay cut?  I mean if he was so successful as an actor/model why quit?  And what is he anyway a SPY?  How daring and bold.

Trained in martial arts for over 25 years…OK so he may have started at age 5 but that seems a little far-fetched given the rest of his profile.

Professional Reflexologist – Which is a person who massages and applies pressure to feet….and then he added that he had a foot fetish.  OK, OK, OK…..gross that he mentioned the fetish ON HIS PROFILE but come on dude, if you really get sexually aroused by women’s feet, then wouldn’t it be sort of impossible to do that for a living?  I mean if it is an actual profession for you, in addition to federal law enforcement and modeling blah, blah, blah…wouldn’t getting an erection all day long make your job kind of difficult.  And again, that would take some training…and how could it fit it in with all the martial arts, modeling, acting and federal law enforcement he is doing!?!  And all at the tender age of 30?  AMAZING!

I am betting this dude lives with his mother and wouldn’t even follow through on a date…and I don’t think it was a joke profile because the email he sent me was very long and equally ridiculous, plus it was on a paid site.   I can’t imagine anyone would spend money for that kind of humor when there are so many free sites out there.   I did send a response as I blocked him basically telling him his entire profile looked like a farce and he might want to try telling the truth if he wants to get a date.

If nothing else these sites are comedy gold.  I just wish they were dating gold!  HA!!!

Life After Divorce: Some Basics I try to remind myself of every day

IMG_0123_2

This is a blog post from another blog that I used to write, that due to confusion with this blog I am shutting down and moving my better articles over here.  🙂

So I was sort of acting as impromptu counselor for a friend who is facing a separation/divorce.  And I will repeat what I have said numerous times.  Divorce is much different from a regular break up.  You stood before your entire family, you committed your life to another person, you had legal and financial obligations, you had to go to court to actually break up, you have a wedding ring, and on and on and on.   There is just such a perceived permanence to marriage, even with a 50% divorce rate.  If you were betting on a horse, a 50% success rate wouldn’t be so bad, so thinking you might stay together forever isn’t really that far-fetched.

Divorce is hell, I am still over a year from separating from my husband and I still have dark nights of the soul, crying fits for no reason, insomnia, and the occasional panic attack.  I am doing a MILLION TIMES better than I was just a few months ago, but it is still a daily struggle.

But I try to live by these very basic rules every day.  Sometimes I succeed, and sometimes I don’t, but I try and, trying is half the battle. This is sort of what I was telling my friend tonight (who shall remain nameless) and I thought it would be good to write it down.   I get a lot of “Think Positive and I think that is a lame way of saying “Be Happy for me there is a bit more to it, and I am breaking it down.

1. Don’t Dwell on what You cannot control – Like it or not, we cannot control other people.  I can’t control the main factor that lead to my divorce, so I have to let it go.

2. Get Rid of Crazy People in Your Life – Not exactly crazy people, but people that make me crazy or encourage crazy behavior, especially self-destructive behavior.  Sometimes this is impossible if it is a family member or a roommate but if you can avoid people who make you do crazy things, do it!  They might not even know they make you crazy or are actively trying to make you crazy…..but it doesn’t matter.  People that put you into CRAZYTOWN, should be avoided.

3. Do Not Hurt Yourself – Avoid the trappings that seem like an easy fix to a complex problem, drugs, alcohol, sex with people if it is in a self-destructive way, lashing out at loved ones and friends.  I don’t do any substances and for the most part have avoided dating, but I definitely find ways to mess up my life…..trust me.

4. Surround yourself with supportive people – This one is hard with my crazy schedule but I try, I wish I could do this more often.

5. Focus on the Future not the Past – I think it is important to know your past, but not to dwell on it.  This is HARD especially while in therapy, because in therapy a therapist is usually trying to find a cause to the core problem.  I actually saw my future as a black hole when I left my husband.  I am still extremely uncertain what lies before me, but it is a little less black and more gray now.  🙂

6. Forgive yourself and others for past mistakes – This one is also very difficult for me especially.  I won’t get into it, but because of childhood issues, I have difficulty letting go of things and especially with forgiveness.  My biggest problem is forgiving myself.  I tend to beat myself up over things that I cannot go back and fix.

7. Ask for Help when you need it – This one is beyond hard for me.  It always has been, but I tell myself that I am a weaker person when I DON’T ask for help.  No one is perfect, everyone needs help sometimes.

8. Stop Saying “What if?” –  What if I had not dated so soon after leaving my husband?  What if I had left him earlier?  What if I had never married him in the first place?  Do these questions really do me any good?  NO, they just make me crazy.  And they will never stop, so I have to stop them…..I will never know the answer to WHAT IF?  So I have to stop asking!!!

9. Don’t ignore reality – When I start to spiral I say to myself, I have a great apartment, I am working, I am healthy, I have the best friends, supportive family, and the two world’s greatest cats, and compared to how a lot of people live in this world I have it pretty good.

10. It is going to get better – This has become a mantra I say to myself nearly nightly, although it is usually “It is going to be OK, It is going to be OK”  Life has a way of constantly changing, and even though things are bad now, they could very easily get better soon.

11. Find something that makes you really happy and do it – For me that is performing and more specifically singing and music.  One good thing that has happened through this whole mess is that I have re-found my love for singing that studying music had sort of beaten out of me.  🙂

12. Try to throw away the bad advice and take the good – I can’t tell you how much well meaning bad advice I have gotten.  It is extremely difficult at times to just let this stuff roll off of me, especially comments about my Ex-husband and judgments on myself and my marriage when the people giving the advice are uninformed.

13. When in doubt find my cats – They are pure love, they are furry, they purr, and they never let me down.

Dating – The Old Carrot and Stick Approach

Carrot & Stick, is an idiom that refers to a p...

Carrot & Stick, is an idiom that refers to a policy of offering a combination of rewards and punishment to induce behavior. Türkçe: Havuç ve sopa, İngilizce deyim. İyi davranışı ödüllendirme, kötü davranışı da cezalandırma anlamına gelir. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

So if you are not familiar with the phrase “Carrot and Stick” I don’t know the origin but it refers to the act of getting  a donkey to move by placing a dangling carrot on the end of a stick near his nose to temp forward motion.  The act is somewhat cruel in that the donkey keeps thinking it will get the carrot, but no matter how hard it tries, the carrot is always just out of its reach.

 

I have really been out of the dating pool for almost a decade, and I can’t say I am doing well in my attempts at dating in any capacity.  I attract lots of age inappropriate men, both too young and too old.  I also attract plenty of men who just want to have a sexually based relationship with as little emotional attachment possible.  And I attract stalker types, which are the most distressing.

 

But since I have been out of it for so long, one change that I have seen since my twenties is the “carrot and stick” approach so many men use when trying to win me over.  Sometimes there are subtle and sometimes they are not so subtle.

 

  • I could get you voice over work
  • You know I could open up some professional opportunities for you
  • I could get you a job in my office
  • I could record your demo in my recording studio
  • I would be your sugar daddy (And yes, that was the exact phrase )

 

Now as someone who has worked in the entertainment industry, I can assure you the casting couch is alive and well.  Sometimes it is subtle such as

 

  • “I think we need to spend some time together before I take you on as a client, can I take you out for a drink?”

 

and sometimes not so subtle

 

  • “If you sleep with me, I will make sure you get a part in my next project.”

 

Most of western culture has been set up this way for centuries.  Up until recent history women were relegated to little more than another piece of property to barter and trade.  So since women are in some ways still viewed as a commodity, some men think they need to offer up something in return for our companionship and loving devotion.  And women do this too, not only do they play into these informal bargaining agreements, they also openly sell their wares in the form of prostitution or they many variations of relationships that have some direct monetary incentive involved.  Straight women, gay women, gay men, straight men, bisexuals and transgendered there are examples of this across the spectrum.  I don’t judge others actions or life choices.  If this type of situation works out for both parties, then it really isn’t my concern.  But this is not what I want in a relationship.

 

For me I just see it has a profoundly insecure thing to do on the part of the man.  I mean when do these situations work out well?  And wouldn’t they want a woman to like them for who they are rather than for what they may or may not give them?  Some guys go out of their way to become sugar daddies, thinking that the more money, power and influence they can throw around the more USDA prime pussy they can attract.  But to most of the outside world, the older man with the much younger and more attractive woman is something to pity, not envy.   Even men will comment on how pitiful some of these situations appear.  We can never say what is actually going on in any relationship like these because maybe the woman is indeed attracted to man’s winning personality.  A twenty year age difference? Maybe.  It really does depend on the specific individuals.  But a thirty or forty year age difference?  Isn’t it just obvious that the younger party is in it for something more than the sparkling personality, charm and sex appeal of the older partner?

 

Typical scenarios include the young widow suing the rest of the family for a larger share of her inheritance, the much younger bride openly carrying on with the pool boy, the younger wife murdering her wealthy husband for the insurance money and inheritance.  The stepchildren annoyed and humiliated by the new spouse who is only a couple of years their senior.  The gold digger who publicly degrades the entire families reputation.  And then there is the celebrity or wealthy businessman that keeps trading in wives every few years for the younger version.

 

What is a relationship anyway?  Just another extension of our capitalistic based religion of free markets and constant never-ending growth?  Are spouses and partners merely an extension of how well we are doing in the world?

 

I was briefly what is commonly described as a “trophy girlfriend” many years ago.  At first it was exciting to date someone with a high paying fast-moving career, but then the shine wore off.  After all a trophy is just supposed to sit on the shelf and look pretty.  It isn’t supposed to have a point of view, or talk, or decide its own future, its own destiny or have any obligations whatsoever except to the person who put it on the shelf.  So after that brief relationship I adopted a new rule, a person doesn’t have to be overly ambitious or well off.  My only criteria is that they not be as bad off as myself.  And I make next to nothing, so that includes nearly every man I know.  🙂

 

I don’t trust the “carrot” and I wish men would stop pulling this crap on me.  I want to make my own money, and control my own life.  Right now I am in a bit of a funk and maybe that is what is really causing this phenomena.  They see a weakness and pounce.  I would rather meet someone who just liked me and supported what I did, and didn’t try to win me over with promises of materialistic and monetary glory.   Don’t we all want that?  Someone who will support us, not overly judge us, and not try to change or mold us into some idealized version of perfection?  Maybe I am just naive in thinking that this isn’t just how things go, or maybe guys in their twenties simply didn’t have anything to offer, and that is why this is all new to me.   In any event I find it rather sleazy.  I want to grow my own carrots and eat them when I feel like, and have a partner that is perfectly OK with that situation.  Is that really so crazy a concept?