Monday 5: ‘Modern Romance’ & other things to be excited about this week

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I hope your Mother’s Day weekend was filled with quality family time and (if you’re a mom) some well-deserved rest. Friday night we met up with some friends at one of my favorite spots in Charleston, The Vendue Hotel, which has a sweet rooftop bar. My go-to drink there is called Takes Two to Mango which is yummy and just a little bit spicy.

Saturday entailed of some Mother’s Day preparation (and a long-awaited visit to the gym) as well as some volunteer work with the Charleston Food Bank.

Sunday was mostly dedicated to Mother’s Day celebrations, including waffles and a trip to the beach.

Regardless of whether you are ready for Monday or not, here are some things to be excited about this week.

Sally Hansen Insta-Dri Blue Away!

I borrowed this nail polish from my mom and loved it. The color is such a perfect summer shade and as someone who hates to sit around, I really appreciate the Insta-Dri part.

Article on self-compassion

One of my favorite sites for good reading is called Mind Spirit. Here they combine psychology with spirituality  with a really wholesome perspective. I get so much good advice and inspiration from this site and especially appreciated this recent article on self-compassion. As someone who can be pretty critical of myself (and sometimes others), I think this article really hit the nail on the head with the idea of self-compassion. It’s hard to extend kindness to others when you don’t show it to yourself first.

The Giver

This weekend we watched The Giver, a YA post-apocalyptic movie based on a book. It takes place in a ‘Utopian’ world where people can no longer experience emotions, see colors or have memories. I liked the movie because it depicted well the importance of accepting the good with the bad. With all the struggles, hardships, pain and suffering, there is also redemption, joy, beauty and of course, love. While sometimes not feeling anything seems preferable, life is good because it is an adventure, which includes adversity. I also appreciated that the hero was motivated by fatherly love for an infant he grew close to. He endured much suffering and gave up a lot to save the baby. This was a nice change from a lot of the other YA books/movies out there which focus on the romantic love a lot more. While not ground breaking cinematography, I thought the movie was well done and especially appreciated the message it conveyed.

White jeans

Saturday also included a trip to Goodwill during which I found a pair of white jeans which I’m really excited about. While I’m definitely more of a dress person, I think white jeans during the summer can be such a good look that is super versatile. You can easily dress them up or down depending on your top or shoes. And even more exciting is when they only cost you $5…right?!

Aziz Ansari’s ‘Modern Romance’

This book was loaned to me a while ago by a friend who suggested I might find it interesting (shout out to Mark if you’re reading this). He was right. Aziz poses a lot of good questions a lot of us have about dating today and his responses are definitely food for thought. While I don’t agree with some of his stances, I think he largely represents the average dating millennial today and it is always good to  know how people are thinking and feeling about a topic before confronting it.

What are you excited about this week?

xo

Miranda

 

 

 

 

 

What I’ve learned from my dating fast so far

What I've learned from my dating fast so farIn March I felt that I should go on a dating fast.

What is a dating fast? Well, its like when you give up a certain food or Netflix or makeup…except with dating.

Usually a fast is for a designated amount of time and has an underlying reason behind it. For example, you may fast from sweets to lose weight, you might fast from something else for religious reasons, or you may want to challenge yourself to give up something that you feel you have become dependent on/is preventing personal growth. (Like when I tried to give up coffee and then realized I was not interested in personal growth without caffeine).

To anyone who knows me well, a dating fast sounds like something of a joke. This is understandable as my dating life has essentially been nonexistent and the closest I’ve come to having a boyfriend is about as close as Pam Halpert came to dating Michael Scott. Not to say that I haven’t liked anyone, but only a handful of guys and it never worked out long-term. Being 20, this may surprise a lot of you, but the College Prepster didn’t have her first boyfriend until her twenties either, so I feel like I’m in good company.

Knowing my dating history, some people (and sometimes myself), questioned my decision. Isn’t my giving up boys for a year kind of like someone with celiac disease saying they’re giving up gluten? Well, yes. But also, no.

Here’s why: going on a dating fast wasn’t about giving up the (nonexistent) millions of boys that were lining up outside my door, it was about the position of my heart.

I felt that even though I didn’t have a boyfriend, I still let myself get too anxious about the guys I liked and it wasn’t healthy. Whenever I liked someone I felt stressed, insecure and consumed by the uncertainty of their feelings and by an urgency I felt that things had to work out.

I realized it wasn’t healthy and I didn’t want to enter a relationship with someone because I felt lonely or thinking that a boyfriend could solve all my problems. I wanted to be steadfast and confident in who I am before being with someone else.

But I also felt that it would be hard to focus on personal growth if I met someone I liked and became distracted (as I have repeatedly in the past) by the possibility of a relationship. On the other hand, if I knew I couldn’t date anyone, it would be easier for me to focus on things I want to work on. (Even if Zac Efron came knocking at my door).

It also seemed like a really good time to not be thinking about boys since I was in the middle of the super weird/scary/exciting transition from college to the real world. I had (still have) a lot of important decisions to make. The kind of decisions that shouldn’t be influenced by a cute guy.

Looking back over the past six months I feel extremely grateful that I made the decision to swear off guys for a year, I have learned a lot and grown from it. As I go through the second half of my dating fast I want to share some of the things I’ve learned so far.

Being friends with guys (even if you have crush on them) is a good thing.

To most people this is probably a no-brainer, but for me it wasn’t. I never had any interest in having anything to do with a boy unless I like liked him. I felt it would be dishonest and confusing to be friends with someone you wanted to date; and I thought that if you didn’t like them then they probably liked you and things could get awkward. But as I’ve gotten to know more decent guys, the more I’ve realized what I’ve missed out on. My guy friends are some of the funniest people I know and a joy to spend time with. Even more importantly, I’ve learned that its important to love men as brothers and let them respect you as a sister too. To see guys as just potential boyfriends is to sell them short.

They are people and not just a list of pros and cons. Not only that, but getting to know someone you like as a friend first can serve a firm foundation for a relationship or make you realize that an initial attraction doesn’t equal relationship material, avoiding a potentially messy and painful break-up later on. Of course it is never okay to lead someone on, it is important to set boundaries on friendships with guys and do what you can to avoid sending mixed signals. Honesty is always the best policy when it comes to your feelings about someone. On the other hand, don’t put yourself in a painful situation either, if you like someone and know they just see you as a friend, take a step back if you need time to get over them or if it is too painful to try being friends.

Maybe you already have a bunch of good guy friends, or maybe you’re like I was and not interested unless they meet your dating standards. In any case I strongly advise you to value friendships with men as the joyful and educating experiences that they are. Of course, as with any relationship/friendship, the guys you spend time with should be the kind that respect, honor and value you as the incredible person that you are.

This is just one of the few things I’ve learned from my dating fast so far, over the next few weeks I will share other lessons I’ve come to understand!