Posts Tagged: love

Lady Tip: You Never Know What’s Going on In Someone Else’s Relationship

Have I ever told you guys about my friend Dan? He is, truly, a fount of wisdom. He is a champion singer, a world-class hugger, and really good at creating joke Pinterest boards to cheer me up when I was stressed out about wedding planning (H’s and my wedding date was NOT INTENTIONALLY 4/20 and it was the subject of much hilarity for everyone).

But also, he gives some killer advice. A few years ago, he offhandedly said something that really stuck with me: You never know what’s going on in someone else’s relationship.

And what did he mean by that? Well, we probably all have a friend who’s dating someone we just don’t get. Maybe your BFF’s boyfriend is super boring, and you don’t know why she isn’t with someone funnier. Or maybe the most motivated person you know is married to someone who has seemingly no ambition. These are both made up examples, for the record. I’m not trying to out anyone’s relationship through my blog like a weirdo. Anyway, you might look at those relationships and think, “Why are they even together?”

But the thing is, you never know what’s going on in someone else’s relationship. Not everyone wants the same things as you! Maybe to you the most important thing in a romantic partner is a sense of humor. But to your friend, that might not matter at all. Maybe the most important thing to her is stability. Or, even though you might not ever want to marry someone who isn’t a hard worker, your friend might be way more concerned with marrying someone who’s good-natured. Or good-looking. Or rich. Basically, you’ll never understand what other people see in each other, and that’s okay. It’s easy to look at a couple and think, “Why in God’s name are they together?” I mean, I’ve totally thought that before. But love is strange, as the music of the past tells us.

Of course, this goes both ways. Sometimes the people you think have the best relationships actually have the worst ones. Something I’ve discovered is that the people who are the most demonstrative on social media are usually the one with the most problems. For example, I once knew a guy who was always writing over-the-top sweet things on his girlfriend’s Facebook wall. They were a totally cute couple, and I figured they had a perfect relationship. I even felt bad that my boyfriend didn’t write sappy things on my Facebook wall. But then one day I heard him arguing on the phone with his girlfriend, and I found out that he only wrote those things because they got in constant fights and she wanted public validation to make their relationship seem healthy. Which is, obviously, messed up. Facebook should be a place to post pictures of your pets and confuse your relatives with sarcastic statuses, not a place to stabilize your relationship.

Basically, you never know what’s going on between two other people. It might not make sense to you, but it makes perfect sense to them. And if you need any more great advice about relationships…get your own Dan. I’m not letting you have mine.

Lady Tip #17: NEVER Get Involved in Someone Else’s Dating Life

When I was in junior high and high school, I didn’t have boyfriends. Like at all. Ever. My friends, however, were absolutely gorgeous girls who always had boyfriends. As is the way with these things, I was the one they called when they had problems. Never mind the logic involved with asking the one girl who’s never had a boyfriend to dish out advice about love. I actually did give some great advice, in my not-so-humble opinion. I like to think this is because I’m innately wise, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because I’d watched a lot of TV, read a lot of books, and skimmed a lot of advice columns, which all prepared me to deal with just about any sort of love trauma. I’d dash off a few quick lines of counsel via AIM (this was the early 2000s) or email and my friends would type back, “You’re so good at giving advice!” before going off on their Saturday night dates and leaving me home alone with my constant dates, Louder Than Bombs and my journal.

Even now that I’m an adult with my very own love life, people still come to me with their problems a lot. And you know what? I love it. I’m relatively sure it isn’t my sublime wisdom that keeps people talking to me–instead, it’s my genuine interest and concern about their problems. I can’t help but love drama–it’s the writer in me. So, naturally, when a friend asks for my advice in matters of the heart, I’m all too happy to give it. However, I’m here to tell you just how easily that can blow up in your face.

On multiple occasions, I’ve been approached by both halves of a couple or would-be couple and asked for advice. For a amateur therapist and egomaniac like myself, this is some sweet, sweet nectar. How flattering! I’m so trusted! you’ll think to yourself. And then you’ll kind of feel like God. You know everything about how two people feel about each other, but they don’t know! It’s like watching a romantic comedy that only you know about.

Well, hold your metaphorical horses, missy, because the heart bomb’s a-tickin’. Sure, everything seems great now, but when this coupling doesn’t work out (as it inevitably won’t, because if these people were truly right for each other they probably wouldn’t need your advice), you’ll be left feeling guilty, stupid, or both.

Once in high school, two friends of mine liked each other and came to me for advice. “Go for it! You’re perfect for each other!” I gleefully advised. Well, turns out they weren’t, and when they broke up, they both ended up hating me (one for a brief period, the other for a significantly longer period). One of them accused me of hacking into their emails, which is laughable for a lot of reasons, mainly that I can’t even figure out how to download albums, let alone hack into an email account.

You’d think I would learn, but I rarely learn from my own mistakes.

A couple of years ago, one of my best friends (let’s call her Rachel) realized that one of her friends (let’s call him Ross) had a thing for her. She talked to me about it and I was all set to live vicariously through her. Then I got an e-mail from Ross. Ross and I weren’t friends, per se, but we were friendly. He poured his heart out to me via Gmail, and it was like the arc of a sitcom. In my expert opinion, they were perfect for each other! I mean, yeah, sure he had a girlfriend, but big deal. This was going to work out and never have any problems, ever!

Okay, back up. Here’s where I should have pumped those breaks. It is super, super inappropriate to give romantic advice to anyone, let alone both halves of a couple.

To my credit, I steered clear of flat out telling Ross what to do. But I did tell him that he should do his girlfriend a favor and break up with her, because yikes.

Anyway, you can probably guess what happened next. Yep. His girlfriend read his email because this was, obviously, a relationship with some trust issues. And his girlfriend read all those things I said about how he should really set her free instead of emotionally cheating on her.

And this coupling did not end up working out. It was for the best. Rachel’s now engaged to a great dude, and Ross is still with that girl. You know, the one I’ve never met who probably hates me. So that’s a thing I have to feel guilty about for basically forever.

Now, when people tell me about their romantic dramas, I generally just listen and share my own experiences. And if both halves of a would-be couple ever try to talk to me again, I’m going to politely but firmly remove myself from the situation, because damn girl! Inappropriate! Sure, I love love and hearing about people falling in love and getting those heart flutterings vicariously, but it really shouldn’t go any further than listening.

And just in general, “You should probably talk to him about this,” is always good and neutral advice to give a lady friend in any relationship situation.

Playing matchmaker almost literally never works out, so just save everyone around you some heartbreak and keep your opinions to yourself. And even if it’s just one of your girlfriends asking for advice, tread carefully. You never know when she’s going to get in another argument with her dude and mention that YOU told her he’s being a total dick. That doesn’t tend to go over well. I’ve had friends’ boyfriends hate me just because they thought I was giving their girlfriends advice.

What about you guys? Have you ever been involved in a situation like this? How did you handle it? And, most importantly, did anyone ever accuse you of hacking into their email account? Let me know in the comments!

*Picture of Steve Harvey because he’s someone who can get involved in other people’s dating lives and make bank. We are not Steve Harvey, so we shouldn’t try to be Steve Harvey. We ESPECIALLY shouldn’t try to wear Steve Harvey’s suits.

Happy Anniversary!

You guys! Today H and I’s 7 year anniversary! 7 years of dating, that is. We’re getting married very, very soon (H. says we had the longest dating period and the quickest engagement), so then we’ll have a new anniversary. I’ll share it with you when it’s set in stone, but yikes, it’s like the worst anniversary you can imagine. No, not September 11th, although that is H’s birthday (true story), so he’ll be the king of celebrating happy things on weird days.

Anyway, that picture above is the first picture of the two of us. I’m wearing pigtails and a little boy’s hoodie from Wal-mart. He’s wearing an MC Esher t-shirt. Our styles have changed a little (I wear a lot of yellow and leopard print now; he wears mostly J. Crew), but we’re still basically the same weirdos.

When H. and I started dating, I was only 19. I had no idea what I was doing, and I certainly had no idea that H. was the man I would marry. Did I know he was the best boyfriend I’d had? Yes, I did, and I told him that in our first few weeks of dating because I don’t know how to make conversation. Being in a long-term relationship has been one of the best things I’ve done with my adult life. It’s made me less selfish and more patient, and I’m not even that selfless or patient now, so imagine how terrible I’d be otherwise.

I’m very thankful H. is in my life. He encourages me, pushes me out of my comfort zone, and makes me an all-around better person. I feel blessed that I get to marry him.

This Movie Is The Best Movie: While You Were Sleeping

It’s hard to say what makes the difference between a good romantic comedy and a bad one. The believability of the situation has little to do with it; I love a ridiculous high-concept, and While You Were Sleeping definitely has one. It doesn’t really take creativity–after all, a rom-com always has to be kind of the same story. I think the two things that are most necessary are a) chemistry between the two leads and b) a lead character who wants something besides love. I do not want to watch a character desperately fling her/himself at potential romantic victims for an hour and a half. That’s what my Facebook newsfeed is for. What I need from a romantic comedy is a yearning for something; a family, a baby, a job, a passion, something. While You Were Sleeping definitely has that.

It has a lot more, too. Like Bill Pullman. Let’s get to it!

Anyone who’s ever taken a creative writing course knows that adage, “Show, Don’t Tell.” Well, this movie shows us, repeatedly, just how lonely Sandra Bullock is. She lives alone. She’s working on Christmas in the token booth for the Chicago train station. She has a cat. She talks to her cat. No friends are ever mentioned. Oh, and both of her parents are dead. Such a lonely girl, our Sandy. The one ray of hairy sunshine in her life is Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows.

She sees him everyday as he goes to work, but they never talk. UNTIL! Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows get pushed onto the tracks by some hoodlums who then run away and are never heard from again. Sandra Bullock immediately springs into action and jumps onto the track.

All the while, a train is speeding towards them while deceptively lighthearted music plays and Sandra Bullock says things like, “Please wake up! There’s a train coming toward us! It’s going very fast!” Like, duh, Sandra Bullock, and also move. Finally she rolls both herself and Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows to safety, and that’s where her trouble actually begins.

She goes to visit Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows in the hospital, and through a mix up that could be easily avoided, people start thinking she’s the fiancee. Although she could correct them at any time, she doesn’t, because the 1st rule of Romantic Comedy Club is Never Tell The Truth (Even When It Would Be Very Simple). She ingratiates herself with his family, and no one suspects a thing. Until Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows’ brother Bill Pullman bursts onto the scene, lookin’ like a million bucks in his reversible denim/khaki jacket and his all flannel, all the time shirt collection.

He wears the most unflattering jeans. That jacket is silly (just buy two jackets, Bill. Seriously). He’s old enough to be, if not my dad, at least significantly older than me. And yet I really do not think I’ve ever seen a more attractive romantic lead, ever. Do you need another picture?

Anyway, Bill Pullman and The Jacket are the only ones who suspect something might be up. This is Bill Pullman’s suspicious face:

But you know it’s only a matter of time before he falls in love with Sandra Bullock. Who wouldn’t? America’s Sweetheart, that one. And of course Sandra Bullock falls in love with him. He wants to start a chair making business (OF COURSE HE DOES), he’s wearing the hell out of those jeans, and he growls, like, 95% of his lines. They fall over in the snow!

And then they have what is my FAVORITE romantic comedy moment. It’s the thing where two characters are joking around but then ALL OF A SUDDEN they end up with their faces just an inch apart! And then some drunk guy or inappropriate old man or precocious child says something and they break apart, but it’s too late. They already Had A Moment.

It’s called tension, you guys.
But of course their love can never be, because Sandra Bullock is fake engaged to Peter Gallagher’s Eyebrows. In itself that doesn’t make much sense, but it all comes back to Sandra’s desire. That is, her desire for a family. Because Bill Pullman/Petey’s family has already become her family, and she doesn’t want to give that up, even if it means fraudulently marrying some dude who was just in a coma.
Some other stuff happens and blah, blah, blah. The point is things work out with a ring being tossed into a toll booth and oh my God I think I just had a heart attack. Why are we not still talking about how attractive Bill Pullman was? I can’t be the only one who thinks so, right? I get it, Lost Highway was the creepiest movie any of us have ever seen, but damn if he didn’t pay a mean jazz sax.

Yes, Bill Pullman, I WILL marry you.

And I’d say the same about you, Bill.
You can watch the whole thing on Youtube.
It’s a romantic comedy where no one poops on anything or has sex with an animal. Simpler times. Just a guy in a coma and a girl pretending to be his fiancee.

Previously:This Movie Is The Best Movie: Valley Girl

Celebrity Crush: Bill Murray

At any age, Bill Murray is fantastic.

A mustache AND a flannel shirt? I can’t even handle it.

I really and truly think that Groundhog Day is the most romantic movie ever made.

Aside from Lost In Translation, that is.

IF ONLY, amirite, ladies? Ladies??