Ten Dudes on Tinder

In the beginning…

Los Angeles is filled with a lot of people who think they are somebody. I moved here with stars in my eyes looking for a job in entertainment a couple months after I graduated college and I quickly found that there are talented, beautiful and interesting individuals everywhere you look who have stars in their eyes just like you. I went from being a big fish in a small pond to a plankton in the ocean. If you’re the dreamer type, the hungry type, and want to be surrounded by greatness, it’s an exciting and humbling place to be.

For the past year I had been the student body president at my university and spent a lot of time in business attire and conference rooms, so I took advantage of the opportunity to change things up a bit, tap into my creative side, and be whoever I wanted to be in a new city where no one knew my name. I died my hair red, started wearing overalls, and frequenting farmer’s markets, art shows and museums.

This year (LA) vs. Last year (not LA)

I was working two jobs at the time, so I didn’t have many hours in the day to meet new people and since I was also newly single as a pringle, a few locals advised me to hop on some dating apps as they are a quick and easy way to meet people. One night after a glass of wine and some serious ab workout laughs, my best friends and I completed my dating profiles (yes, I joined more than one). This is what my bio read:

“Looking for a temporary boyfriend to wine and dine me/answer my calls at 2:00 am and tell me I am pretty at all times. I like talking about feelings and ordering salads at dinner. If you like cats better than dogs, swipe left. Sugar daddies welcome.” (I am so sorry if you are reading this mom and dad.)

You can tell I was taking this dating game very seriously… Just a short while after I swiped right on a few guys, BEEP BEEP! Notifications of men who had also swiped right on me started popping up on my phone. (FYI- on most of the popular dating apps I’ve used, each person has a profile with a few pictures of themselves and a place to write a short bio. Swiping left on someone’s profile means you are not interested in them. Swiping right means you are. If you both swipe right on each other, it’s a match, you are notified, and it is up to one of you to start a conversation).

I was shocked over the next few days at how many matches I was getting and I was also somewhat disappointed, because I started to realize that any dude who swipes right on a statement like that clearly isn’t taking the dating game too seriously either. My only hope was that some quality guys would hear the sarcasm in my words and get a good chuckle.

Meanwhile, on one random Saturday morning, I woke up and decided to go to the Broad, a very trendy museum in downtown Los Angeles, by myself for the day (queue Celine Dion’s, All by Myself, song). With an all-black turtle neck, dark lipstick, clear-framed glasses and an overly priced latte in hand, I stood in the will call line, people watching downtown as I waited for entry into this local hotspot.

I found myself in a conversation with a couple of girls who were in line in front of me and decided it would be fun to convince them that I was a famous writer. It seemed like an easy sell, because famous people seem to be on every corner in LA and I said I wrote with a pseudonym, so they couldn’t look me up and find out I was only joking. I told them I was on assignment and when they asked what I was writing about, the first thing that came to mind was- Ten Dudes on Tinder: A Snapshot of Your Average Girl’s Dating Life in Los Angeles. So, this is what I told them.

They gasped and I was pleased with how excited they became about my existence, so I kept the ball rolling as we walked around the museum until I had to “excuse myself to meet up with my date.” I had a great time telling them tall tales of men I’ve never met and they ended up being so kind to take wonderful photos of me “for my blog.” I told them this painting below was a perfect illustration of how my dating life was going so far…. That part, was not a lie.

Why did I decide to put on this little show? Well, if you know me, you aren’t surprised. First of all, I earned a BA in Communication and I get a kick out of social experiments. Secondly, I have been a performer my whole life. I love to act, sing and I’d recently left the world of politics and I missed feeling important. So, when I saw the chance to have a little fun, I jumped at it.

I’ve always said that if you’re an actor, you must be a politician and if you’re a politician, you must be an actor. In both professions, you need to put on a show. You need to think fast. You need to convince people of stuff. You need to be good at telling stories and they need to be stories people like.

I missed the excitement of meeting new people and having to sell myself to them along with a big idea within seconds and I missed being in a position of influence where people were curious about what I had to say and that is exactly why two innocent girls somewhere in this world now believe wholeheartedly that they met a famous writer that day.

I have also always said that the trouble with actors and politicians is that the ones with integrity are few and far in between. Since I do believe myself to be a woman of integrity, after leaving the museum, I knew I couldn’t’ live with myself if I didn’t actually accomplish what I told those girls I was doing that day and this remained my main motivation for finishing this project. So thank you little girls for all of the nights I have stayed up late writing this and for all of the strange experiences I’ve had with men since then.

On a more serious note, writing this has become more to me than what I thought it would be after my moment of inspiration at the Broad that day. Ironically, a few weeks later, I was tasked to do a competitive analysis of all the most popular dating platforms and through my research I found that millions of people collectively use them each month. Later, I took a poll from my family and friends asking what they wanted me to write about and this topic won by a landslide of votes. I was surprised at first, but now I understand why.

I share stories because I believe humans are made for connection. I believe the most powerful connections are made when people get vulnerable and what’s more vulnerable than love? We all want to be loved. It’s a huge part of our lives. Therefore, I know that whether you’re a love bird or a lone wolf, someone out there can benefit from what I’m about to share and I really hope that’s you- enjoy!’

“Girls are crazy” — dude

I made it a goal to swipe left or right on at least 100 profiles a day. My swiping led me to have an average of 20 matches a week and of those matches, I would only choose to start a conversation with a few guys who I really felt interested in after taking a better look at their profiles.

If I genuinely connected with one of them through conversation and we talked over a long period of time, I wrote about him. Sort of like how Taylor Swift writes about all of her guys in her songs. (queue Blank Space by T-Swizzle). I had no idea what would come of what I was writing. I just took quick short hand notes about things I wanted to remember and these notes became the back bone of this story. Here is one of my favorites:

7/29/2016

He stared deeply into my eyes and said, “You’re such a breath of fresh air. You seem so…normal. Girls are crazy.” In that moment, Ten Dudes on Tinder flashed into my brain. I almost burst out laughing. I wanted to say, “You’re looking at the craziest chick of them all, dude! I’m about to write a story about you!” But I kept my cool and I stared right back at him with my best poker face that I had mastered during my year in politics and replied, “Aww, you’re so sweet.” He smiled and I smiled back with a grin as big as the Cheshire cat. The devil on my shoulder was laughing, “MWHAHA”. I’m surprised he didn’t hear it.

Each week, I would go to my best friend’s apartment, and spill every detail about the flavor of the week and we’d laugh at the craziness of it all. I would show them the funny videos and pictures different guys sent. We would analyze the syntax of their texts and try to guess what they were thinking or doing.

I think my friends were impressed by how quickly I was moving from guy to guy and I was loving the thrill of it. I’ve been in relationships for the majority of my life and it was liberating to feel so unattached for the first time, in a long time. After all, wasn’t I just…dating? Sort of? Yes! Dating is fun! I was just dating and documenting it.

Before you start pointing fingers at me and calling me cold hearted and cruel, know that I never went so far as to lead anyone on in this experiment. I would learn pretty quickly if I was not into a guy, and if I wasn’t, I ended it all right away. So if anyone ever got hurt in this process, it was me.

I did catch some feelings for people along the way and my ego did get a bit bruised from time to time. There were a few moments my friends became worried about me and encouraged me to stop all the nonsense. However, they knew and I knew that I am an all in or all out, extra hot-hot sauce, jump in the freezing ocean, go down swinging in the ring kind of girl and I would not stop until I had a good story to share.

I talked to hundreds of guys throughout the process but it took me about six months to meet ten guys worth writing about. I hopped off the apps after I met my 10th guy. The timing couldn’t have been any better because my fingers really had become sore from all the swiping and I had become emotionally burnt out and needed a bit of a break. After reading about my ten dudes, you’ll understand why.

P.S. When I began telling friends I was writing this, I had a guy friend tell me that I’m every man’s worst nightmare and the reason men are afraid to date. My response? Well behaved women rarely make history.

The ten dudes

(Names changed simply because I try to be a good person)

#1 The Artist Dude: Think Director/Musician/DJ/Producer/Actor/Photographer/Writer/ or Chef

Many people come to LA to pursue their dreams in some field of art or entertainment, so these guys are everywhere and I met this type the most throughout my journey. He will most likely have more social media followers than you and prettier pictures than you, so now you feel a strange pressure to do a photoshoot of yourself in a denim jacket with big hair somewhere in a downtown loft. He will write in his journal at coffee shops, so you may think he has a lot of emotions, and perhaps is even in tune with them, but he’s probably just making his shopping list or doodling his fantasy football team. He has a “head in the clouds” personality that allows him to forget important things like the fact you had a date two hours ago, but you find it endearing and somehow excuse it as “he’s creative and different.” He lives in a bachelor pad with an awesome view and you’re not sure how he affords it, because he works strange jobs, odd hours, you have no clue what he really does during the day and the only pictures you see of him are either hiking with his dog or traveling with “the boys.” He acts very interested in your life over text message, but when you are at dinner, he actually just talks about his the whole time, and even though none of his goals or ideas make sense and add up, you don’t care because you’re enjoying staring at his impeccable jaw line. Then BOOM the check comes and you leave wondering if he even knows your name. P.S. The girl glaring at you during warrior 2 in yoga class? She’s not jealous of your new lulu sports bra, he is talking to her too… and lastly, his agent most likely knows how many times you’ve viewed his IMDb, so just quit while you’re ahead. Let the curtains close on this one and give yourself a round of applause for hanging on to your dignity.

My story:

Vince was one of the first guys I matched with and for me, it was lust at first sight. He.was.beautiful. It had been a while since I had been so instantly attracted to someone and the more we exchanged words, the more fascinating he became. It was a heart skips a beat when they text you, go buy a new outfit when you meet them type thing.

He seemed intelligent, athletic, mysterious, and kind with a quirky sense of humor. Like me, he was career driven, but he also had a passion for the arts and was an actor on his free time. He had a smile that could sell ice to eskimos and blue eyes that sparkled through his glasses. He sent me poetry, we liked the same music and yes, our horoscopes were compatible.

Days went by and we talked from time to time, but still had not met. One of us always had very important plans or was out of town. I told myself I liked this at first because, “finally someone is as busy as I am!” I’ve always cherished my independence and if you try to cage me in, oh will I fly. I am intrigued by a man who lets me have the freedom to do my own thing, because it makes me think he trusts me and is secure in himself. (Little did I know I was already making excuses for him.)

When he said he was busy, he meant it. Every hour of his life was filled to the brim with his passions because he was already established in LA. When I said I was busy, I was only fooling myself. Just a few months earlier, I was a full-time student getting ready for graduation and running a 26.8-million-dollar non-profit. During my first few weeks in LA, I was getting pedicures and scrolling through Instagram. I was not busy.

The wait got old after quite some time. He wasn’t solidifying plans with me, so I thought it was a good idea to drive almost an hour out of my way to go meet him on my Friday night even though he didn’t make it very clear that he wanted to see me at all.

I obviously did this because my ego was already bruised by his luke-warm interest and I wanted to prove it wrong. “Wait until he meets me in person, he will definitely like me then!” (WRONG… chemistry doesn’t work that way, honey.) I guess the stubborn Aries in me needed to figure it out the hard way.

The meeting went well and I liked him in person just as much as I thought I would. We talked more after that, but he did not put any more effort in than he had shown before and I became frustrated. At this point, I wanted to be singing Beyonce’s “Why You So Obsessed With Me,” but Celine’s “All By Myself” seemed even louder than it had before.

I may have been bored, I may have been feeling insecure, probably a bit of both, but I continued talking to this dude even though it only became clearer and clearer that I was building a bridge to nowhere, fast. He blew me off a few times, he sent me “good morning beautiful texts,” we went on a date, he went radio silent, he told me I was “the whole package” and was “only talking to me.”

Then, one night my best friend’s jaw dropped as she shoved her phone in my face and there he was in his perfectly weathered leather jacket smiling back at me on the dating profile he told me he had deleted. I confronted him about it and all that came of that was the “just friends” talk. To make it even worse…

8/20/2016

Note to self: “Just friends” does not work when one person likes the other person and the feeling is not mutual. Tonight I went to a party Vince was at and while I was trying to be “just friends” with him, I overheard someone tell him how great I was. His response was that he agreed but that “the spark just wasn’t there.” That stung. Tears welled up in my eyes, my throat tightened, my ears rang, my cheeks flushed and my stomach burned. I attempted to gulp a couple breaths of air, faked a smile and said goodbye, then drove home asking myself on repeat, “How could I be so stupid?” Tonight was the first time in a long time I’d been slapped in the face with some real, raw rejection. I hate the feeling, but I think I need it to snap me back into reality. I am smarter and better than how I’ve been acting. Wasting my time on someone who doesn’t care about me is just that… a waste of time.

Looking back, it is obvious why “the spark” was not there. I kept saying stupid things like “I don’t want to play games,” “I am being myself,” and “I am real” and used those excuses to be at Vince’s beck and call at all times. I replied to all of his texts, answered all of his calls, bent over backwards to see him and put way too much thought, time and energy into my interactions with him each day.

I did this because I liked him and I wanted his attention and to be around him. But there’s a major problem with this that I think many (way too many) people refuse to accept… In fact, if you hear yourself saying, “THAT’S NOT TRUE! CURSE YOU BLAIRE. YOU’RE WRONG.” Then, MISSION ABORT! S.O.S! You may be one of these people.

Here’s one of the oldest rules in the book: anything that gets chased will run away. SORRY but it’s true. My friends and I have a Flying Fish Theory: Men will sit on a boat all day in the sun bored, hungry and sweaty just to catch a fish. When they catch it, they are very proud because they earned that fish and that fish is now theirs to show off.

For a lot of men, the excitement is all in the waiting game and the chase. If a fish came flying out of the water and smacked them in the face, they may think it was cool for a second, but then they may start to wonder what was wrong with that fish and then not want it on their boat anymore. Even if they kept the fish, they would probably never value it as much as they would if they had caught it on their own (if they are a quality dude of course). With Vince, I had been the flying fish.

It may be a sad truth, but I’ve found that the power is in the hands of the person who seems to care the least. Let me rephrase that- the POWER is in the hands of the person who is more independent, does not throw all of their eggs in the relationship basket and is confident that they will be completely fine without the other person. Therefore, they operate and exist in a place of strength…not fear.

Strength= Confidence. Confidence= Sexy. Sexy= SPARK. Do you hear me? I hope I didn’t sound too much like a self-help book there and if I did, sorry! But please… HELP YOURSELF.

Here’s a personal example of what I’m talking about: I’ve been in two relationships in my life. I completely ignored the first guy’s existence the day we met until he actually threw a football at my head to get me to notice him. When I finally talked to him, he followed me around like a love sick puppy for the rest of the day. The second guy met me, then preceded to text me every day for a month even when I did not respond, before I agreed to go on a date with him. They were both good guys and I enjoyed very long lasting, romantic relationships with each of them.

But take note- I really wasn’t “playing games” with those guys. I actually was “being real” and “being myself.” I was passionately living my own life in a place of strength and that allowed me to let those guys prove to me they were quality dudes before I put them on a pedestal in my heart and mind so quickly where they could easily control my emotions.

In both of those periods of my life, I felt so fulfilled that if someone didn’t want to be in my life, then they didn’t deserve to be in it and it was no sweat off my back. This mentality left these dudes wanting a piece of whatever I was having (let me repeat- Strength= Confidence. Confidence= Sexy. Sexy= SPARK). I’ve always found that when two people are the best version of themselves and come together, they have the best kind of love.

I consider myself a confident person, but I was not in the most confident period of my life when I met Vince. I saw him living a life he was passionate about, I was attracted to that because I missed when I had that too and I wanted him or someone to fill that void. But my experience with him simply became a reminder to me that so often we date because it’s comfortable, not because it’s right.

None of us should ever depend on others for our happiness, entertainment, comfort, self-esteem, confidence or anything else for that matter. It’s not fair to put that pressure on others and it’s not healthy to lack the ability to do those things for yourself.

I believe God and the universe gives you exactly what you need when you need it and they decided (against my will at the time) that I did not need Vince. I was not happy about this then, but I am now! I needed to create a new fulfilling life in Los Angeles that I loved and I needed to do it on my own and I am so happy I did just that!

In the weeks to follow this awakening that I had, I found a church, started dancing, writing, singing, and filling my free time with new adventures and experiences that I was proud of. The next time a guy asked me to hang out in the months to follow, chances were I was doing something much more exciting than getting my nails done… Blaire the busy bee was back in business buzzing around whichever way she liked.

#2 The Ghost Dude

This is the guy who you thought you really clicked with, but now you’re thinking you may or may not have been hallucinating. I met a few of these guys and it was always a trip. You talked non-stop for days since the first witty pick up line he messaged you and the meme he texted you made you laugh out loud and spit out your water a little, so you just had to tell your coworkers all about him on your lunch break. You introduced him to your friends, he introduced you to his dog and you started imagining what your Instagram captions would say when you’re a couple… (Oooops wait, too far? Never mind). He tells you how adorable your freckles are, and how excited he is to take you to his favorite (fill in the blank) then POOF- he is gone and nowhere to be found. He’s not responding to you over any of the social media platforms that you’ve reached out to him on, NOT even when you accidentally *cough *cough sent him the snapchat of you looking close to flawless in the club last night and he hasn’t posted anything on his social media for days (or maybe he’s even deleted it…that sketchball…) BUT THE POINT is he’s vanished and you. have. no. idea. why… All I can say is that if there is one thing I’ve learned from watching late night paranormal activity shows with my dad over the years, it’s that when the ghost hunters mess with the ghosts, it doesn’t look like a whole lot of fun and they rarely get the answers from the ghosts that they were looking for anyway. Also, ghosts are not cute… I don’t know about you, but I have absolutely no attraction to Casper-no matter how friendly he is! Neither should you. He’s basically clear, which means he probably lacks substance and is totally shallow. Be the leading lady ghostbuster in your own life and run away screaming like your life depends on it from these spooky dudes and this dating graveyard!

My story:

After talking to so many people on the dating apps each day, it became easy for me to tell within the first few words exchanged whether or not I would have chemistry with them if we were to ever meet in person. I also have ADHD and lose interest rather quickly, so unless you literally, “had me at hello,” I most likely ended the conversation and would not respond. No matter how many times someone kept reaching out.

Unfortunately, with all of these dating apps, abruptly ending conversations with people becomes a rather normalized thing. When you’re not feeling it with someone, you simply stop talking to them because what are you supposed to say?

Sorry, you’re boring the living daylights out of me- got to go. Sorry, I just matched with someone significantly hotter than you in my book, so your face no longer excites me. Sorry, I can’t even give you a proper explanation for my lack of interest, I just don’t feel like talking to you anymore, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t make this anymore awkward than it already is and just stopped talking to me. Thanks.

NO. You don’t know the person, so the easy thing to do is to just stop responding. Here are some personal examples of what I am talking about:

Exhibit A- Dude whose interests include and are limited to: ex-girlfriends and animals:

Exhibit B- Dude who feels the need to assert his place in the top tier of the social hierarchy of Los Angeles within first five seconds of speaking to me and also has the conversation skills equivalent to a Neanderthal:

P.s. Okay LA people, give me a break…I was still new to La la Land back then and did not know what the Soho House was yet. But now I know and for those of you who don’t, let me enlighten you- It’s a club that only super cool, super important and most likely super wealthy people or friends of those people can get into.

One day, I hope to go to the #SOHOHOUSE and I now wish that I continued messaging Neanderthal man, because it may have been worth talking to a brick wall for a couple hours just to see what it is like. Wow… I really just got off track there. #ADHDforlife. Also, I’m not shallow like that. I was just kidding.

Devil on my shoulder: You are not “just kidding”… MWHAHAHA

Me: Not you again! Shut up!

Look- it’s clear the guys above didn’t light my fire, so no matter how beautiful they looked on the outside (they were both models hehe) Vince (artist dude #1) was proof in the pudding to me that beauty is only skin deep and I was looking for a SPARK.

I didn’t want to waste either of these dude’s time or mine, so I stopped talking to them. Is that a sin? No, their egos may have been a bit bruised (highly doubt it as they were rather inflated) but then they got over it and I am confident they didn’t run to their mama crying, “ouch it hurts!”

But I’ll tell you what does hurt- GHOSTING. Ghosting happens when you’ve hopped off the apps, into the dating world where you did actually make a personal human connection with someone and have invested your time and energy into them and then all of the sudden they decide to cowardly vanish from your life and not respond to your multiple attempts to reach them, in the hopes that you’ll just give up, so they don’t have to do the dirty work of being a responsible, respectful human and giving you a proper goodbye. (Ms. Brooke, my beautiful English teacher and friend would vomit if she just read that run on sentence. I am so sorry Ms. Brooke.)

My dude #2- Daniel, did just that…

Daniel was the first guy since Vince who caught my attention on the dating app right away when we began talking. Let me remind you what my bio said on my dating profiles:

“Looking for a temporary boyfriend to wine and dine me/answer my calls at 2:00 am and tell me I am pretty at all times. I like talking about feelings and ordering salads at dinner. If you like cats better than dogs, swipe left. Sugar daddies welcome.”

I’ll never forget Daniel’s response:

“Hey, you’re pretty. Temporary? Sounds fun, but not my style. You will absolutely not order a salad when I take you out to a nice dinner. You’re pretty. Feelings are fine. I’ll admit I cry sometimes. Love wine, also hate cats… but…I’m a starving actor, so I can’t afford to be your sugar daddy. Not sure things will work out between us Blaire…it was a nice try though. Also, you’re pretty.”

I caught myself smirking when I read that. I could tell we were off to a good start. We only shot a few messages back and forth and since we were enjoying our conversation so much, he actually called me that night. We stayed up until 2:00 am laughing like the babies in the Gerber commercials.

Our conversations flowed freely and were night and day from the ones I would have with Vince where I thought out every word and would sweat over my response time/ if I should include an emoji or not. I found that this is a good sign folks. Love shouldn’t be that hard.

The second night, we hopped on facetime and talked again for another hour. I loved how light –hearted and quick witted he was and he had the best crooked smile. When he winked, I felt my heart drop to my stomach and when he ran his fingers through his hair, it made me think of one of those bad 80’s movie when the hot football player smiles, takes off his helmet and does that in slow motion. Do you know what I’m talking about? Please tell me you do.

I also noticed that he had a striking resemblance to the Prince Charming Flynn Rider in the Disney movie, Rapunzel. (I put their pictures side by side once to show a friend. I have an incredible talent with pic-stich. If I was a freak, I would’ve posted it on here, but I’ll just let you use your imagination.)

Since we were were clicking so well virtually, we decided we should meet in person on day three of our interactions. Day three was unfortunately on a week night, so I felt the need to perform a secret talent many women have to whip out once in a while- I had to transform myself from office nerd, to Victoria secret model within less than ten minutes.

I’ll never forget frantically pulling on my black skinny jeans, pumping up the mascara, standing on a toilet to see myself full-length, then burning myself on my curling iron as I tried to make some serious just rolled out of bed/I’m on the red carpet waves in my hair. Typical Blaire. I still have the scar. So not worth it…

As all confident leaders do, I stood in the power stance, stared into my reflection and recited a quote from one of my favorite books, The Help: “You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” Then I took a deep breath, and walked outside to find him waiting for me by his car door, ready to open it for me.

(He’s a gentleman. Noted. I am pretty sure he is wearing Old Spice deodorant. Yum. Also noted.) We went to a roof top bar/restaurant downtown and continued our conversations filled with chemistry as we watched the sun set in sherbet hues of LA smog.

After dinner, we walked around the city streets aimlessly with nowhere to go, lost in conversation and sipping on Starbucks mint tea. He grabbed my hand and pulled me from window shop to window shop, asking me what I thought of this or that and threw his jacket over me when it got cold.

He drove me home, walked me to the door and asked if he could take me on his favorite sunrise hike that Saturday. I went to bed and felt all warm inside. It was refreshing to be treated well for once. For the next few days, we were in communication every hour and I was truly enjoying the experience.

Then, Thursday night came and miss independent me realized I needed to go out of town for work, so I asked if we could reschedule our Saturday morning hike. He said it was fine, we continued to talk like usual, but then the weekend came and our messages became shorter with more time in between them.

The last text I sent was on Sunday afternoon, but I never received a response. I reached out a couple more times, in a few different ways, but all I got in return was silence (queue crickets.) Two weeks went by and my hopes of “maybe his phone broke,” “he’s busy,” or “he’ll call” (or any of the other ingenious excuses we love sick fools can come up with) were gone with the wind. Until…

9/6/2016

I was just in the hot tub with a few of my best friends when I got a snap chat from Daniel. It was the first time I had heard from him in a couple of weeks, so we all crowded around my phone to see what it could be. YES! I thought. He misses me! HAHA! But when when I opened it, all I saw was Daniel and… another girl? “What? That’s weird…why would Daniel send me a snap chat of his sister? Why would his sister be sitting on his lap? Wait a second… Daniel does not have a sister.” Luckily, my friends were right there by my side to make sure I REALLY understood that the Barbie looking chick giggling on his lap and shoving a sweet potato fry into his mouth was definitely not his sister or even just a friend. I am pretty sure Daniel and Barbie are dating and I’m pretty sure that’s the bold and brave way he just decided to let me know.

After I wrote that journal entry, I spent the next 30 minutes lying like a helpless, beached star fish on my bed, glaring at my ceiling and running through all the reasons in my head of what could’ve gone wrong. It was only a short amount of time ago that he was making me laugh the way Barbie was in that snap chat and I was also annoyed because he told me he was going to take ME to get those sweet potato fries.

It was not fair. I wasn’t the flying fish this time…I didn’t know what I did wrong. Things were going so good. We were so good! Those fries looked soooo good. How could all this good go so bad…so fast…

After those sad and sorry 30 minutes of my life, I had two realizations: The first was that I was hungry. So, in honor of my independence, I went and got the sweet potato fries. THEY WERE BOMB!

The second, was that I had just wasted 30 minutes of my life thinking about someone who clearly was not thinking about me (not to mention, if I hadn’t been thinking about the fries so much, I probably wouldn’t have wasted those 300+ calories either) when I could have been doing something I loved like watching the Bachelor or reading Megyn Kelley’s Settle for More book (OH THE IRONY OF THAT TITLE).

So, I made a promise to myself that night to SERIOUSLY settle for more when it came to all relationships in my life. Not just with potential partners, but with family and friends as well. I was not going to invest one more second of my time or ounce of my energy into anyone who was not doing the same for me.

I know it can be really confusing when you think you felt such a powerful connection with someone and… you were wrong. When they don’t give you any answers and just walk away, it’s hard not to ask yourself, “What did I do wrong?” “Am I not good enough?” Or the most dangerous question of them all, “Why couldn’t they just give me some sort of closure?”

But sometimes, you didn’t do anything wrong! Sometimes, the person just sucks, or the chemistry just was not there. But there’s no point in sitting around trying to figure it out! So, that’s why I am here to tell you:

a) CLOSURE IS STUPID! If someone, anyone- once had a connection with you, then decides you are no longer their cup of tea and walks out of your life without giving you a proper goodbye, that’s one of the ultimate signs of disrespect and should be enough closure to last you a life time.

Trust me, I’ve been the girl who has begged on my hands and knees for closure from people who did that to me because I thought I needed it for some reason, but when I finally forced it out of them, all it did was remind me in a different way that I was being rejected and it did not make me feel any better than before because they were still moving on and I was still going to hate it.

Daniel taught me that no closure, is enough closure that I or anyone could ever need. Call me a hopeless romantic, but I don’t believe love walks away or gives up on someone and in the wise words of the band Lany, “if that’s love, then I don’t want it.”

and…

b) GOODBYE CAN BE GREAT! I hate writing this, and many people reading this will be angry at me for saying it, but if someone is able to walk away from you, you beautiful human you, there could not be a more obvious sign from God telling you that it wasn’t meant to be with that person (at least for now) and that you need to get the freak over it and move on.

I know this is easier said than done, but the longer you dwell, the longer it’s going to take for you to meet your soul mate who is so excited to get to know, love and cherish someone like you.

Lastly, instead of doing what I and others have done in the past, (aka turn into a raging lunatic and lose every ounce of your dignity through self-sabotage by doing things such as:

Stalking their social media, calling them fifteen-billion times, sending them Harry Potter novel length text messages, crying into a gallon of ice cream while watching the Notebook or refusing to wash the t-shirt they gave you because it still smells like them. UM GROSS… but we’ve all been there so I’ll give that one to you…

Learn to let go gracefully. Mourn for a while, let yourself feel the feelings, then stop allowing yourself to think about it and start doing things to get your mind off of it. At the end of the day, YOU are in charge of how you feel.

Plus, the most attractive thing you can do when someone walks out of your life is to politely hold the door for them, smile and wave (queue Bye, Bye, Bye by NSYNC.)

Character is measured by how someone acts in crisis and if you’re still not listening to my advice and dreaming of the day that this person crawls back to you on their hands and knees begging for you to take them back (because clearly they realize you are the best mega babe they’ll ever have and they totally regret their decision) then the best way of ensuring that happens is by holding your head high and acting gracefully now

If you act like a crazy person now, when they see you in the future, they will most likely run in the opposite direction. Please just trust me on this one. haha…

When Daniel first ghosted me, I was shaking my fist to the sky saying, “Why God, Why!? I wanted to be the one to shove sweet potatoes into his charming smile!”

But a few months later, I connected with him and found out that the weekend he stopped talking to me, was actually the weekend he met sweet potato fry girl and last I checked, I am pretty sure he sees a future with her…like a marriage- forever kind of future.

I would be lying if I said that I am even remotely close to being ready for anything like that and he knew that the moment he met me…See? Everything happens for a reason.

The next time I was ghosted, rejected, or someone simply made the decision to stop putting effort into me, I did not take it as hard. I actually started to see it as more of a positive thing. I found that letting go of these people actually opened up more space for the good people in my life who could never imagine doing something like that to me.

I began to trust in the timing of my life and I began to believe that all rejection does, is simply point you in the right direction. This gave me the courage to dust off the feelings of my bruised ego from Vince and Daniel and move on quickly, excited to meet dude #3.

#3 The Enlightened Dude: think hippy, surfer, yogi, vegetarian, life coach type-fellow.

This guy will want to take you on a spiritual journey to the above and beyond. He will want to unlock your deepest darkest secrets, know what your purpose is, what your passion is and who you “really are,” because apparently he is more than sure of the fact that deep down you are not truly fulfilled or happy, so he wants to help you sort that out. He will do this by taking you to meditation classes and ridiculously long treacherous hikes that you weren’t prepared for and now you’re furious because you’re wearing your white Nikes and apparently he’s “one with nature” so he has no understanding of why that might suck. Or he just doesn’t care… He may have been pursuing a PhD at some point, but the stress of it all made him realize there’s so much more to life, so he moved to the beach to surf all day and smoke a ton of Mary Jane instead. He has dabbled with one too many drugs and feels the need to express how he sees the world differently than most people, often in a whispery voice that contains way too many “dudes” and “bros” and with squinted eyes that look like eyes do when you’re about to sneeze. You’re not quite sure how you feel about him possibly being under the influence of some type of substance every time he hangs out with you, but you’re just going to forget about that for a second because you find his man bun/the fact that he’s not afraid to do some serious stretching in hot yoga class quite fascinating and exotic. He will buy you strange local jewelry, essential oils, crystals, and let you name a plant in his backyard. FYI- he’s not going to be a good texter. He values real, human connection. So you’re not going to hear from him unless it’s in person, a phone call, or a video of himself talking into the camera with his shirt off. Also, if you’re not sure where he is during the day, I can help you out- he is either a-) sleeping, b) surfing c) at an authenticity workshop or d) having powerful bonding moments with his rescued dog. Lastly, if there’s one mantra I think you should keep telling yourself on repeat when you’re dating this guy it’s, “palaayitum hemadri yuvanh shalabhah” which in the ancient language of Sanskrit (according to google translate) means “run for the hills, young grasshopper,” from this dude before it’s too late… before he re-names you Butterfly and convinces you to drop everything, quit your job and move to Bali and forget that you have a responsibility to yourself…and others… and life in general.

My story:

Some of you may have just read that and said… Wow, that sounds great. Sign me up! I have to be honest, that’s exactly what I said when I met dude #3, Liam.

A little background… I am from Santa Cruz- land of the Board Walk, the Mystery Spot, banana slugs, organic food, art, weed and weird people. I absolutely love my home #keepsantacruzweird. It made me who I am, which is a very complex human. For example, a typical day was spent at the beach in a bathing suit, eating Hawaiian food and listening to reggae music. At night, I would wear a flannel and head into the mountains to listen to country music around a bonfire. I grew up having multiple layers to my identity and the place taught me to have a deep appreciation for the planet and people. All in all, I headed off to school as a proud hippy.

When I moved to San Diego and ran for Student Body President at SDSU, I felt the need to switch my wardrobe from flannels and florals to red and black business wear (apparently my tie die rompers were not going to win me an election). I also became a bit more serious and stoic as any woman CEO in politics would and learned to talk about the stock market and how to drink my coffee black.

Now that I’m in LA working in entertainment and corporate America, my wardrobe is almost completely black and so are my photos (because I feel more serious, duh.) I’ve mastered the the soft smile and sometimes, I sport a dark lip or clear frames. Not because I need them, but simply because they make me feel cool…only God can judge me. On my free time you can find me at comedy/music shows or blogging all by myself in cafes. Emphasis on the all by myself part.

As my lifestyle has changed, so has my wardrobe and so has my personality. When people meet me now, it throws them off a bit when they find out I am secretly a huge Beatles loving, peace sign throwing, flower child at heart. That side of of me rarely comes out anymore besides a few times a year. Usually those few times are day one, two and three of Coachella.

At the time in my life that I met Liam, I had actually almost completely forgotten about this side of myself- as I often times do. I admit it- I am a self-proclaimed worker bee, so sometimes if I am not careful, I can fall into the dangerous habit of becoming a crazed lunatic and filling every hour of my day with work, work and nothing but work.

I was also still new to the L.A. fast-paced, city life and it made it even harder that I was adulting hard- core for the first time (aka paying my bills and stuff. Doing taxes and stuff. Getting a 401 K and stuff. Finding it harder to button my pants after eating a burger. Finding it harder to drink more than one glass of wine without getting a headache. Finding it harder to walk up long flights of stairs (out of breath help). Meal prep, wake up, work out, work, sleep, repeat) I never felt like I had a moment to breathe. Until Liam came unexpectedly into my life, like a wave that knocks you out when you accidentally turned your back to the ocean.

My conversation with Liam was another one on the apps that caught my attention from the start. He told me that he believed in love at first sight and that I was it, so we could skip all of the temporary boyfriend stuff. He was okay with me ordering salads at dinner because he was a vegetarian. He was playful and I found myself smirking at every message he sent.

Unfortunately, we began talking the day before he was about to leave on a month long surfing trip. He said he felt like we really made a connection and he couldn’t wait to meet me when he got back. I responded “Me too. Have fun!” Then rolled my eyes, stopped replying and mentally gave up all hope on that one. With the way things had gone with ghost dude just a few weeks before, I had become a bit of a skeptic towards love and didn’t believe for a second that this guy would be any different.

Well, I was wrong. The week he got back, he messaged me and asked me out. He said he had thought about me multiple times while he was away. Whoh, he doesn’t even know me. I must be irresistible. I’m joking, but that was a good line and I was flattered. Our first date was one for the books. He picked me up and took me to get the best vegan poke bowl in town.

His eyes were green like the jungle, he had long wavy hair and wore a few rings and bracelets that he collected from all of the places he had traveled. He loved the ocean and surfed, and seemed extremely cool and down to earth. Both of the guys I was in long term relationships with were sort of like this, so the horizon was looking bright.

We decided to spontaneously go to a music concert after dinner. We danced and acted like complete weirdos. The trying to impress each other on the first date thing flew out the window and it felt like we had been good friends for a long time. I didn’t care that my hair was a mess or that my makeup came off. He told me he preferred the natural look anyway. Such a breath of fresh air from most of the men in L.A.! This guy and I were vibing and I was just enjoying my time. I wasn’t worried about whether he would ghost me, what he was thinking or anything else for that matter. I was just living in the moment. Something I forget how to do a lot.

After that night we talked every day. He didn’t text, he hated texting… So do I and everyone knows that I seriously struggle with it…It’s actually a problem. I am texting inept. So I could have not been more excited about this. But, he did call. He called a lot to tell me what he was doing and to talk about our days. I really enjoyed this at first, but after a while I started to realize he lived a rather simple life and mine was rather complex. He talked about the same thing and I couldn’t keep track of all the things flying through my head at once. Opposites attract? Maybe he grounds me? I wasn’t sure. But I liked him, so I kept answering the calls.

He lived far away, so I didn’t see him for another two weeks, but I’ll probably never forget our second date:

11/4/ 2016

Tonight Liam and I went to the beach and sat under the stars with our phones away. All we could hear were the sounds of crashing waves and ripples of water bubbling on the sand in the distance. He never tried to make a move like I believe most guys would do in that setting. He just sat there in silence at some points and then talked with me about the universe and life. He pointed out the different constellations and asked me to sing for him. It felt like I took a full, deep breath for the first time, in a long time. I will probably never forget this convo we had:

Liam- What are you passionate about?

Me- Lot’s of things.

Him- But what makes you feel so excited that you might explode?

Me- People. Inspiring and helping people.

Him- Then do that.

Me- Haha… I wish it were that simple.

Him- It is. If you have a gift to give, I think you should give it.

That night surprisingly impacted me a lot. When things get crazy, I often think of it and remind myself to not take life too seriously. We have friends for reasons, for seasons and for life and I seriously believe Liam was put into my life to bring me back to my carefree roots for a moment and remind me of who I really am in this big city of Los Angeles. Liam looked at life in a way that I used to years ago. He lived by nature’s rules. He did what he wanted, when he wanted and where he wanted without any worries in the world, beyond global warming and where he would travel to next. Every time I was with him I felt very… free.

Devil on my shoulder: You are so cheesy… it’s annoying.

Me: Wow.

Sadly, no matter how I didn’t want this to be true, and even tried to convince myself for a while that it was not, I found that “free” was the only feeling I ever really felt with him. As we continued to talk, I realized our conversations did not go much further than the the direction of the winds and the tide and his desire for all 50 states to legalize marijuana. I really enjoyed his company, but one night during our third and last date at a hole in the wall Thai restaurant, it just hit me…

This may sound shallow, but as we were knoshing on our Pad Thai, he mentioned some statistic about the economy that was completely inaccurate. It wasn’t the first time he did this and the peaceful feeling I usually felt with him turned to one of incredible discomfort. I right then and there knew that there would not be a future with us. I felt the kind of disappointed feeling you get when the food you ordered turns out to be terrible, but it’s too late to take it back. I felt my throat tighten and I couldn’t help but to stare blankly off into the distance because all I was thinking about was… the Wall Street Journal.

Uh- curve ball. Excuse me, what? Blaire, you’ve lost your marbles.

Actually, not really. Listen: I tell people that I knew I loved the last guy I dated when instead of buying me flowers, he bought me a subscription to the Wall Street Journal. That guy was an Econ major and spent hours teaching me everything I knew about supply and demand. I looked up to him. He added value to my life, in more ways than one. Liam’s comment made me remember that I hadn’t picked up a copy of the WSJ since the day I broke up with that guy. How could I have gone so long without reading it? What information had I been missing out on? That night, I went home and bought my own subscription and cut things off with Liam a few days after.

Some may call this ending a little ridiculous and dramatic, but hindsight is a beautiful thing and I think this was actually a powerful moment in my dating journey. Although walking away from him was not an easy decision (after all, I did like him and it’s not like he really did anything wrong) it was evidence to me that I was raising my standards. Liam was good for me, but not great for me. I was getting better at recognizing when something was no longer serving me and unapologetically walking away from it swiftly and gracefully because in the long run, that would be the right move for everyone involved.

My experience with Liam made me realize two things:

1. WE ARE LOOKING FOR THE WHOLE PACKAGE!

When you’re hurting over someone you’ve loved and lost, have you ever said things like, “When/Where/How am I ever going to find (fill in the blank) again?” For example, I’ve personally found myself saying, “When am I ever going to find another guy who is driven and smart, but can also take his shirt off and interpretive dance to Hans Zimmer with me at Coachella again?” Wait a second…where is the logic there? Did I seriously just say that? Do I seriously believe that thousands upon thousands of men go to Coachella and not one of them is hungry for success or reads the Wallstreet Journal? Well no… Then why am I being a crazy person and thinking that way?

It’s because I want the “whole package.” The whole package is hard to find and it makes letting go of people who we believe to be the whole package super hard…

Notice that I wanted this AND that. Each person has some sort of idea of what their ideal partner would be like and it usually is a combination of things. Beautiful AND smart. Outgoing AND down to earth. Funny AND serious. Responsible AND wild. Classy AND sassy. Stubborn AND open-minded. Socially liberal AND fiscally conservative. Alright I’m done.

Liam seemed very one- dimensional to me. He added an immense amount of value to one area of my life and nurtured a part of my soul that really needed nurturing at the time and I will forever appreciate him for that. But he did not really add many more pieces to the complex puzzle we call love and it made me feel like something was missing. I needed more.

You: SO… Liam was clearly not the “whole package” for you.

Me: Thank you Captain Obvious.

You: So what do you suggest we do to find this “whole package” you speak of?

Me: I KNOW I TALK A LOT, BUT JUST HOLD ON BECAUSE I WAS GETTING TO THAT! This is what I did and what I highly recommend everyone do:

I wrote down a list of qualities that I wanted in a partner, then I asked myself if I had those qualities as well. This became my list of standards. I promised myself that I would look for them in every guy I dated, until I found my whole package and I would hold myself accountable to them as well.

I wrote down that I want to be with a man of faith, who is in good shape, is a leader, is grounded, ambitious, intelligent, adventurous, generous, funny, mysterious, list goes on. Likes art, likes hikes, likes traveling, knows about politics. Will listen to me sing, will try my weird recipes, will wake up at the crack of dawn with me to chase sunrises, has the patience of Job to listen to me ramble on for hours about absolutely nothing, etc.

Notice how I wrote down a lot of things? I did not just say I want my partner to be hot. I want him to be THE WHOLE PACKAGE. We’ve got to be careful about letting one part of ourselves become our whole identity. We should constantly be working on building different areas of our lives.

For example, work is a strong part of my identity. I LOVE to work. But I’ve learned with Liam how imporant it is to actively build other areas of my life as well because if I lost my job, what would be left? Well.. I am a singer, I am a writer, I am a leader, I am a friend, I am an athlete. Among other things. But sometimes, when I work too much and I don’t invest any time into those things, my voice gets weak, my writing gets messy, I become content with following, my relationships get strained, and I get out of shape.

Same thing goes for relationships. If you make the other person your identity and you lose them, you’re not going to know who you are and you’re going to need to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix and re-create yourself from scratch. That’s tough. So take my advice now and work on being the whole package to prevent that stuff from ever happening.

I had to take a good hard look at myself in the mirror and ask myself if I was all of the qualities that I wrote down on my list. My answer was…no. Not yet… I had some stuff to work on. So I knew I wasn’t going to find my whole package just yet. The reality is, that if you’re not in your best shape, you’re most likely not going to attract someone who is in great shape. If you’re a negative person, you’re most likely not going to attract a positive person. Yes, opposites attract, yes everyone has their baggage. But don’t you want to put the best version of yourself out there so you can attract the best you can get?

The moment you believe you are the whole package, is when you will get your whole package.

Unless you are a narcissist… then, I can’t help you.

Get it? Got it? Good. Here’s a new mantra for you- BE THE BEST. EXPECT THE BEST. Life is too short for anything less.

2. THE TIMING NEEDS TO BE RIGHT!

Sometimes I still think about Liam. He is a good person and I know that through time he will definitely obtain more of the qualities that I need in a guy I’m going to date. In fact, last I checked, he already has. However, when I was with him, he seemed very content living the simple life he was living and he had no intention on changing it any time soon. Nothing is wrong with that, because he lead a beautiful life, but it just didn’t fit with mine. I was educated, he had dropped out. I worked a 9–6, his job was surfing. I was trying to learn the guitar, go to grad school, do volunteer work. He wasn’t trying to do anything…literally…When I was sleeping he was awake, when he was awake I was sleeping. Our day to days didn’t really line up. It wasn’t anyone’s fault, the timing just wasn’t going to work.

We also shouldn’t waste our time falling in love with someone’s potential and spending our lives hoping and waiting for it to be reached. I’ve spent years doing this before. “I know they’re so smart… they will eventually apply themselves.” “I know they’re a caring person at heart, they will eventually start treating me right.” “I know they will eventually get sober or get a job.” “I know they will eventually GROW UP.” The worst is when your loved ones have no clue why you’re with the person and you throw out the, “You just don’t understand. I am the only one who truly gets him/knows their heart.” or the, “But they need me.”

Eventually, eventually, eventually, … NEWS FLASH: If someone isn’t pushing you to be better, challenging you to be the best version of yourself, then you may stop growing and become stagnant and that sucks. Also, WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU WANT TO SETTLE FOR SUB-PAR LOVE? Because you’re scared you won’t find anything better? How will you ever know if you never try? Chances are, if you leave the loser and never find anything better, they will take you back anyway, because hopefully by then they realize nothing will ever be better than YOU.

I ran into Liam a few months later and found that he decided to go back to school to pursue the degree he had dropped a while back. He also stopped smoking and looked healthier and happier than ever before. I’m really not sure if that would’ve been the case if I was still occupying so much of his time doing careless things together like spending our days at the beach and our nights at concerts.

When he was on his own again, he most likely had many nights in his room where he sat alone and thought “Hmm… what should I be doing right now?” Noone was there to answer that question for him, so he figured it out himself and made the decision to invest his new free time into his health and school. That, right there- is the magic of being alone.

No matter how much I find that people hate to admit it, relationships are big time commitments. They require taking time away from yourself and focusing it on someone else. If there are areas of your life you need to build on, sometimes it is simply better to commit to doing that on your own, first.

Liam asked me for a bit more closure on why we had stopped talking and I was just honest and told him it didn’t feel right anymore. I would never be the girl who dropped everything, ran away with him and traveled the world in search of the perfect beaches to sit on looking pretty in a bikini and drinking out of a coconut. (no matter how good that sounded and how tempting it was to do at times). I was looking for other things and the timing was not right. To my surprise, he laughed a little and agreed I was right. We were’t “on the same wavelength,” is how I recall him describing it. We hugged and parted ways on good terms.

I know he is going to do great things with his life and maybe one day our stars or chakras or auras or whatever he likes to call it will align, but for now- I have goals and dreams to pursue, so I am not looking back. I learned to let go of being sad when things don’t work out with someone rather quickly. Chemistry and timing is no one’s fault. It’s just the God and the universe telling you it has a bigger, greater plan for you ahead and although it’s hard… you should trust it.

In honor of my enlightened dude, here’s a quote by Buddha that he absolutely loved and is very fitting to end this story:

“In the end, only three things matter- how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.”

#4 Ivy League Dude: Think- trust fund baby who is living the most privileged life.

This young fellow comes off as your typical prince charming at first. He probably rides horses, smells like Christmas and wears questionable scarves 360 days out of the year. He is clean cut. His hair is always trimmed. His beard is always shaved, (although we all question whether or not this dude would be able to grow one if he wanted to). His shirts are always pressed and his shoes are always shined. He knows how to sail. He knows how to fly a helicopter or plane. He knows a different language (he taught himself in two months with Rosetta Stone). He knows the purpose of all the utensils at those dinners where there are 50 different kinds of forks and lastly, he knows Obama- they smoke cigars and golf together at least once a year. So yeah… you are convinced he’s the ultimate American Dream boat. He probably is getting his MBA, going to law school or running his family business or all three. On his free time, he hunts or fishes in the wilderness, reads novellas (does anyone actually know what the difference between a novella and a novel is? Give me a break,) volunteers places and he definitely has a picture of himself doing something congenial on his social media like feeding the homeless or building a school during his trip to Africa. He will open doors and pull out chairs for you, buy you lavish things and swirl you around the dance floor as you try not to step on his feet. “Stop leading!” He scolds. He’ll somehow slip in the price of his new watch during conversation and open up to you that he is emotionally distant and afraid of commitment because he is scarred from the relationship between him and his ever-critical father. “It’s not my dream dad, it’s yours!” He shakes his fist. “Oh! He’s so gallant!” You swoon. Then, a few days later, you see a pic of him hunting with his father and they’re acting like the best of best friends. So, you begin to think he’s completely full of the turkey that he just shot. BUT you’ll take his dumb excuses because his crooked grin is too charming to pass up at the moment and you haven’t gotten sick of the surplus of champagne and chocolate strawberries just yet. His family and friends are obsessed with him and so are you, but you can’t figure out why, because he doesn’t even seem to be that good of a person come to think of it. Oh wait.. it’s because he buys them first class plane tickets and box seats at their favorite sports games. Okay. Got it. That’s very noble of him. “But not noble enough for me!” you exclaim. I will not tell you whether or not keeping the Tiffany’s he gave you is the right thing to do, but I will tell you to get your little hiney onto your white sparkling talking pony and ride away from this dude into the sunset as fast as it can gallup. You’re a real Princess. Real Princesses know they don’t have time to lose sleep over peas in their sheets or slimy frogs. They’ve got a kingdom to run- their own magical life. So when you come across these dudes, do as Marie Antoinette did- “let them eat cake,” then run.

My story:

I actually didn’t really meet Chad on a dating app. I got a message from him on Linked-in (fitting). He said he saw my profile on one of the apps and swiped right on me, but didn’t want to wait to see whether or not I would swipe on him, so he took a chance and reached out the “classy way.” What does that mean? Linked-in is now the classy social media channel to hit on people?

I’m not sure about that… But his profile picture of him in a suit and tie with his crystal blue eyes that would pierce any soul staring back at me was enough to get me to shoot him my number and tell him that, “I don’t date potential coworkers or business partners, as I like to keep things professional. Please text me instead about any non-work related matters.”

Here is how our first few texts went:

Chad: President/CEO at the age of 21 huh? Maybe I do want to be your business partner. Can I take you out to coffee to pick your brain and hear your thoughts on a few of the start- up’s I may want to invest in?

My response: I’m very busy. I’ll have my assistant reach out to you with times within the next few months that I’m available.

Him: Okay. Please tell her to check your calendar for this Saturday at noon.

Me: If I remember, I’ll let her know.

(next day)

Me: This is Blaire’s assistant texting you off her phone. She is busy running the world, but I’ve freed up some time so that she can meet you Saturday at noon. Where shall I have her driver drop her off?

Him: Tell her I want to take her ice-skating downtown. Thank you.

Him again: Am I seriously talking to an assistant? Haha

Me: Lol no. I wish. That would be SO COOL. Okay I will meet you there :)

Him: Alright. Are you sure you don’t want me to pick you up?

Me: Nope. I don’t get in cars with strangers. See you Saturday!

That Saturday was rainy and cold. I put on a sweater and boots and headed out into the brisk winter air, excited to meet this guy and terrified to go ice-skating since I never had before. I met him there and he asked where my assistant was. She was on her lunch break.

We laughed, he grabbed my hand and we went directly to the ice-skating rink where he began to teach me how to skate. Did I mention he was wearing a cable-nit sweater? That’s adorable. Reminds me of my dad. Hi dad- I know you are reading this. Anyway…

I wasn’t that bad at ice-skating, surprisingly. I started to get good and made him chase me around the rink. I took the whole Flying Fish theory to the next level, by literally MAKING him chase me. The huge dorky smile plastered on his face made it seem like he was really enjoying himself and I was as well until… I flew face first at high speeds into the edge of the ice rink. Game over.

I laid on the ground like a fallen snowflake laughing until I couldn’t breathe. Or maybe the wind was just knocked out of me, I will never know. I stared up to the sky as my vision started to blur… I knew it was my time to go. The heavens began to open up… HAHA I am kidding. That did hurt though.

Moments later, Chad picked me up and we both laughed hysterically as we hobbled out of the rink while everyone looked our direction. I had a bloody nose and he had a new crush. His eyes sparkled as he told me that that was the cutest fall he had ever seen. BOOYAH BABY! No flying fish here! Mission accomplished and I wasn’t even trying.

After the ice rink phenomenon, we went to a coffee shop nearby so we could relax and enjoy each other’s company. I blushed as he walked toward me with hot chocolate. Sort of because I noticed how incredibly handsome he was for the first time… (he had a very chiseled jaw and warm smile) but also because I was thinking about how I couldn’t wait to share the story of me collapsing in an ice rink in my 10 Dudes on Tinder article. That was too good. I wish you could’ve seen it. So embarrassing. I am still laughing as I write this.

We talked for a couple hours and I guess the best way to explain Chad is by saying that he was the complete opposite of my Enlightened Dude #3 Liam, in every single way. Nothing about him was care-free. Chad cared about EVERYTHING. A little too much… but I would be lying if said I didn’t find his dedication to education, hard work and the American Dream rather admirable.

I mean, I lost track of how many majors, minors, certificates, masters and doctorates this dude was trying to collect within the first few minutes of him telling me about them, but I did calculate that he realistically wasn’t going to finish school until he was in his 80’s. I told him and he said he was okay with that.

He was a way-too-long-of-book-reading, I know how to code and hack the Pentagon, I will build bird houses for my kids, my head hurts when I talk to him for too long-nerd. He was calm, cool, collected, and reservd. He seemed like a stable, grounded person. I was impressed.

What did throw me off a bit, was that when I was passionately expressing my political opinion, he interrupted me to tell me that I was “cute.” I stopped sipping my hot chocolate and raised my eyebrows. Call me cute when I’m wearing your baseball cap.

Call me cute when I try to impress you and do something very unlike me- like baking muffins. Call me cute when I am not actually feeling cute and could use a compliment. But last I checked, no 2017 millennial woman likes to be called “cute” when she’s letting you know how she feels about the elections and Donald Trump. So needless to say, that was a red flag.

Beyond that little hiccup, it was nice to be around someone who challenged me and who I felt I equally challenged in other ways. He definitely read the Wallstreet Journal. He encouraged me to take salsa-dancing classes. He asked if he could take me sailing. He asked if he could take me to his vacation home in the Hamptons. He told me he would help me learn French and apply to graduate scchool.

The value he was adding to my life was already obvious: Thanks to his impressive vocabulary, I finally know how to use the word “ubiquitous” properly in a sentence. For example: Men in LA with exceptionally large egos seem ubiquitous. I hope that’s right. If not, then I guess I should’ve dated him longer…

The next Friday, I let him pick me up. We were going to his friend’s Ugly Christmas Sweater Party. I wore this. It was the only thing I could find last minute. I lookd like a ball of tinsel.

When I got in the car, he noticeably glanced over at me a few times times in a row…This was our convo:

Chad: I’ve got to admit it… You’re the first girl who hasn’t made a comment about my car within the first few mintues of me picking her up.

Me: That’s probably because I have no idea what kind of car this is…haha.

Chad: It’s a porsche…

Me: Cool. Is it yours?

Chad took a slow slip out of his water then laughed a little bit.

Chad: You’re also the first girl who has ever called me out on that… No, technically it’s my dad’s.

Me: Well, I always try to be one of a kind! But that’s what I thought. There aren’t many 25-year-olds in law school who have a porsche and bought it on their own…

He laughed.

Chad: — You’re right… and I do believe you’re one of a kind, Blaire. That’s why I’m trying to get to know you! I think we will be hanging out for a while…

I smiled. A while? He says. Hmm. Things were going well with Chad.

Until about twenty minutes later when we arrived at the party….

Then the night took a turn for the worse, rather quickly.

The first thing that bothered me was that his friends were not good people. I like almost everyone. I swear… but they were bad. They walked around with a sense of entitlement… with a holier than thou personality… in a way that looked like they believed whole heartedly that their poop does not stink… or in a way that looked like they really had to poop and were trying to hold it in. The cold, blank, uncomfortable expressions on their faces made it hard to tell.

The whole party I watched the miserable people in ridiculous sweaters, ornament jewelry and big hair cast judgmental glares at each other as I sat in the corer judging them for being judge-y. I’m kidding. I was busy scarfing down the delicious gluten-free, vegan chocolate mouse cup someone handed me. Thank God for chocolate. It is always there for us single people… not… get your hands off the chocolate and go on a run. Seriously. (I am typing this as I eat some.)

Anyway, finally someone made an incredibly rude comment to the person standing next to me. I don’t really remember what it was, (probably something about body weight) but I do remember that it was rude enough for me to want to spit out my chocolate pudding… and that is never a good sign. I had had enough. I was officially in a bad mood.

In the past, I’ve gotten myself in trouble for speaking up in situations like this. People get offended easily, you know. So, I backed away slowly with my spoon still in my mouth (almost as if it were the only thing keeping the pudding and my comeback words from spewing all over the rude lady) and I started moving toward Chad with an excuse brewing in my head about why I had to leave.

If these were Chad’s best friends, what did this say about him? You can learn a lot from someone by their friends and family members. When you’re dating someone, remember you’re also dating his loved ones in a way. You’re also the sum of the people who you spend the most of your time with and whether you like it or not, the people around you affect the way you think, act and feel… choose these people wisely.

Unfortunately, the moment I made it over to Chad, he said, “ready to go?” Then he draped his coat over me, grabbed my hand and pulled me out the door. The spoon was still in my mouth, so I didn’t have time to yell no. So off I went holding (already drunk and fading-fast) Chad’s hand, as we skipped under the stars and began our bar-hopping shennanegans.

Alcohol can make people do weird things. Chad became a weird belligerant baboon and he really revealed his true colors. He began bullying his friends and putting them down just like they all had been at the party. When someone puts someone else down, it’s just a reflection of how they feel about themselves and to me, nothing is more unattractive.

Then, he began slurring his words and saying very degrading, innappropriate things about woman that will not be repeated on this PG13 blog. He told me I said, “pretty stupid things, for such a pretty girl” and kept shushing me when I talked. I am not going to lie, I was still a bit taken back and hurt during all of this so I had not left yet.

I sat on a chair by myself at the bar for a few minutes, still in disbelief that the smart, sweet, nerdy, Chad I thought I knew was saying all of these things. Or that he was currently trying to salsa dance by himself to 90’s rap music in a old speak-easy dive bar. I’m not going to lie, I sort of felt bad for the dude- no one was going to dance with him.

As I sat at the bar finishing up a glass of water and calling my uber, he came up to me and asked me how a cute, pretty little girl like me came from such a dirty, ugly place like Santa Cruz. If you read my last blog, you know I love Santa Cruz and I was royally offended.

I accidentally lost my cool and splurted out something about how popped collars were no longer in style, I could tell his rolex was fake and that him and his friends were all bullies. I actually said “You’re all bullies.” Yeah, I am not good at comebacks. It was lame. We were both a bit disgusted.

After I said that, he looked deeply into my eyes with one of the best immatations of drunken Jack Sparrow’s gaze that I’ve ever seen and although he was absolutely plastered, I know his soul and mine both completley understood that our time together was over.

He said “let’s go” in a voice deeper than it ever was before (sort of Darth Vador-ish) and we both walked downstairs. I walked. He swayed and wobbled. He mumbled that he needed an uber along the way, so I grabbed his friend and he called them a car.

As we waited together in silence, Chad of course, stumbled off into the alleyway and started to throw up everywhere. I waved goodbye to his unfortunate friend, got in the cab and headed home. It was definitely another moment in my journey when I seriously asked myself, “What am I doing?”

As I reflected in my journal that night, I remembered exactly what I was doing. 10 Dudes was helping me learn things…things I could share with others so maybe they can learn things too…and yes, we can even learn things from everyone. Even the most shallow dudes, like Ivy League/Trust Fund Child Chad.

12/14/17

  1. Money and status do not buy love.
  • Or class…or happiness… Some of the wealthiest/most affluent/ most “successful” people I know, are also the most miserable. They live with a constant need to impress, to do more and to have more and it can get exhasuting. (queue Money Can’t Buy Me Love) Don’t get me wrong, of course it is fun to hang out with people who are doing cool things. Of course money is great and it can make life extremley pleasurable and comfortable. I was not complaining about the Veuve I was sipping on at the Chrismas party or the heated seats in the Porsche I was riding in. But just because someone has a lot of soemthing doesn’t mean they should walk around like they’re Kanye and start treating others less than. Doing this is a serious character flaw. It’s called narcissim.
  • Secondly, there is a differnce between being confident and cocky and according to my cousin, I am very guilty of confusing the two often. But now I know there is a difference and when a man starts bragging to me about his accolades or all of the money he has, it’s a huge turn-off for me because it seems to me like he is overcompensating for his insecurities. Guys- trust me. Girls are smart. You don’t need to brag about your money or power. They will figure it all out on their own and if you’re pursuing a quality girl, hopefully she won’t care once she knows…
  • It’s sobering to remember that at the end of the day, everyone poops and trust me when I say that it’s better to have someone who thinks you’re the world than have someone who can give it to you. When all the glitter fades, all you’ll be left with is a dust ball… and we have brooms for a reason…

2. Being drunk or under any other influence is still not an excuse to treat someone badly.

  • The person you love should never treat you badly. Simple enough. Why are you making excuses for bad behavior for a sad and sorry drunk person? “But they don’t remember,” you say. Well… they also, didn’t remember how much they cared about you when their sober self was starting to down all of those shots. “But everyone makes mistakes,” you say. Okay… but not everyone makes stupid drunk mean mistakes. I promise you… there are responsible people out there who know how to hold their alcohol and even when they do drink too much they don’t turn into complete barbaric neandrathals. Do you want the person you love to be an irresponsible, mean, drunk person? Are you serious? No… you don’t. You deserve more than that.
  • Lastly, a note to the drunk person puking in the corner if you are reading this: Okay I get it… that has happened to the best of us. I reccommend taking a shower, drinking some water, apologizing to the person, getting better at learning how to be an adult with your alcohol, then walking away from the situation as well. I think something deep down in you knew you weren’t supposed to be with this person… if you really loved them, you would’t have done this. You would’t have put yourself in that situation. I know you are mad at me for saying that… I am even mad at myself for saying that… but sorry, I am not sorry because it’s true.

The beautiful thing about my experience with all of these dudes is that each time, I had an opportunity to learn, grow, and raise my standards and I hope that each of the men I met took something away from my experience with them as well. Hey.. I know that some of them have, because ever since posting this, I’ve been receving the kindest phone calls and texts :)

Out of all of those guys, Chad is one of the few I have not direclty heard from. But a few months later, I did hear from his friend and apparently, he hasn’t been out to the bars for a while…Maybe, just maybe, we both learned a lesson that night that will last a lifetime.

#5 The Monster Dude

WARNING: I would rate my whole blog PG13. In that case, this post may be rated R. I don’t leave details out. This is for a mature-reading audience.

It pains me to say that this guy exists, but he does and he could be anywhere. You never think this stuff is going to happen to you, but it can. I was only on the dating apps for a few months before I found one! A sexual predator can come in any shape or size; he’s not always the creepy man in the white van offering you candy or the felon in the mug shot wearing a white tank top who you see on the news. A lot of the time, actually most of the time, he is your average looking Joe, even someone you may know and you never would’ve guessed until it’s too late.

My story:

I started a conversation with a cute entrepreneur/start-up type guy named Andy. You know, the kind who wears polos and khakis with a million-dollar smile and charismatic personality who will give you high fives, always have the newest gadgets, send you online articles about things you don’t care about- like how new life was discovered on Mars- and bring you to up and coming hipster restaurants where he’ll proceed to crack dorky dad jokes the whole time that are in no way shape or form funny? That was him. Or at least a part of him.

We met on a dating app when I was home over the holidays, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to see him until I got back to Los Angeles. During that time, he was a big flirt, and made me laugh a lot by sending me weird memes and videos of his family and friends doing silly things like baking Christmas cookies into weird shapes (use your imagination) and getting into snowball fights. I found out we had some mutual friends and they all told me he was the life of the party, Mr. Social and super nice. He seemed normal enough.

Further, his social media made him look harmless. He had beautiful crystal blue eyes and a bright smile. I would say he was simple looking, but handsome and I am sure he didn’t have problems with the ladies. They also made him seem like the biggest dork and I found it endearing.

He had pictures of himself at football games with his buddies dressed head-to-toe in spirit wear. He had a picture of himself picking up his 90-year-old grandma in the air, and his profile photo was his family’s Christmas card with him and all his brothers smiling in matching sweaters holding their cute, fluffy dog. It warmed my heart to think that good, wholesome- looking guys like him still exist.

The second day I got back from vacation, I went out on the town with my friends in Santa Monica. I wasn’t planning on meeting Andy that night, but it just happened to be that we were in the same place, at the same time. He texted me saying he saw from my social media that we were in the same area and that we should all meet up.

So, my best friend and I took an Uber to the bar he was at. He was friends with the bar owner and snuck us past the large line of people through the back door. Everyone in the bar knew who he was.

They assured me he was, “the greatest guy.” We walked up to the bar, and the bartender made us whatever drink we wanted. Of course, since Andy and the bartender were buddies, I watched closely as the drinks were being made. Then I held the drink close to my body all night as I sipped slowly.

This is something I always recommend you do. You never know who may be trying to slip something in there when you’re not looking. “You’re even cuter in person” Andy said. “I am so happy I finally got to meet you. I’ve been looking forward to it.” I had too.

We danced the night away and he had the worst dance moves I’ve ever seen, so I was laughing until my stomach hurt the whole time. He was hilarious. If anyone has ever seen me dance, you know that I will always whip out a good old disco, shopping cart, sprinkler or lawn mower move any time, anywhere. So I was digging this.

The fact that Andy didn’t care what anyone thought about him in the room was attractive to me, because I read it as confidence (little did I know it was because he was actually just a sociopath). At one point, he even lifted me up in the air like I was Simba in Lion King and everyone on the dance floor stopped to point and laugh. “You guys are too cute!” They said. “This is great,” I thought. “He’s so weird like me… I could like this guy!”

Andy left the dance floor and headed toward the bar to get another drink. He asked if I wanted another, but I declined. Like I said, I don’t really drink. One drink is usually enough for me and I am really happy I chose to not have another that night. When he walked away, I asked my best friend what she thought of him.

She was well aware that the last few guys I had dated had not ended up well and she was happy to see that I was enjoying myself. “You are way out of his league and he’s a huge dork… but you are a dork too. You both complement each other and it’s really relieving to just be around a nice, normal guy for once. It makes me happy to see you this happy and laughing this much. This is how it should be.” She said, I agreed.

I was having a good time and did not want the night to end. Andy had a sweater tied around his neck, (Wow. That should’ve been my sign right there.) was very attentive toward me and was buying drinks for everyone with a permanent smile plastered on his face, so I was under the impression he was a sweetheart.

His friends were also all very kind and courteous. They shot looks at each other the whole night with raised eyebrows, cheeky smiles and side-smirks like guys do when they meet a girl they like. “You’re cool!” They said. “It’s been a long time since Andy has talked to a girl. You must’ve really caught his eye. He’s selective about who he spends his time with.” It seemed like the whole crew was on the same page about Andy being a man of value. So naturally, I believed he was too.

When it turned midnight, I am a grandma and decided it was time to go home. My best friend is also the coolest girl I know and although she is a supportive and loving best friend, I started to feel bad that she had spent more than enough time with people who were not her cup of tea fist, pumping like Pauly D to middle school throwback songs.

Her blue hair, and all-black mesh Los Angeles look, made her stick out like a sore thumb in the crummy old dive bar we were in and when the sweet smile on her face began to turn into a blank stare, I knew the time had come to say goodbye. Sure enough, she let me know she was calling an uber. I told her I would be a minute and pulled Andy out of the crowd to politely let him know I was leaving and say goodbye.

This is how my conversation went with him when I told him that I was heading home for the night:

Andy: No! Don’t go! You’re so fun! Want to come back to my place and hang out?

ALERT! ALERT!- BLAIRE BEING BLUNT (what’s new?): I don’t recommend going home with someone the first night you meet them. I really don’t…I am a big fan of getting to know someone first if you like them. I don’t judge the way anyone chooses to develop their relationships, but I’ve seen that most of the time, good relationships don’t start with the people going home with each other that night. To me, that’s just another way of being a Flying Fish. Just sayin… Not that it can’t work out, but it’s hard to come back from this. Whenever I share my opinion on this topic, people get super sensitive and mad. “I can go home and just hang out with him!” “We won’t do anything inappropriate.” (yeah right haha) “I can go home with him and blow his mind!” “We connected so well and were so passionate that night, I just wanted to spend more time with him!” You argue…Cool. Well after you’re done being passionate, the immediate thought that will go through his head is, “does she do this with all the guys?” If you tell him the golden line, “ I never do this.” He’ll think, “I’ve heard that one before.” Then, you’ll get attached to him while he’s probably sprinting in the other direction and you’ll be left sad wondering what went wrong OR you’ll be left with a low-quality guy who will never respect you as much as the guy who earned you and cherishes you! Ouch. That hurt. Sorry…but this has been confirmed by multiple sources. How many times do I have to say that guys want a chase. They want to know they’re the only one that can have you. Also, a woman who respects herself and has self-control is a bit more intriguing than a woman who throws herself at a man. Go home… leave him wanting… and waiting… and wondering… be mysterious… be more FUN. HELLO!? Isn’t it so much more exciting when a guy walks you to the door and kisses you on the cheek then walks away leaving you with butterflies falling alseep smiling that night thinking about when the next time you’ll see him is instead of the guy who shoves himself through the doorway and yells HONEY I’M HOME!? C’mon ya’ll… Just think about it. “But Blaire,” you wine… “You’re just saying this because you’re a Christian and religious.” Nah… this has nothing to do with that. This is FACTS presented to you by mother nature. Besides- lot’s of Christians would probably be annoyed I’m bringing this up and think it’s inappropriate that I’m talking about it. But I think it’s better to address this stuff straight on than bat our eyes, shove it under the rug and pretend hormones and temptations don’t exist. By sharing this opinion I am not trying to please ANYONE HERE. I am just SPEAKING THE TRUTH (my truth). I write what I believe is in the best interest of whoever is reading. So argue with my all you want. I won’t budge on this one. You can have your own truth. You don’t need to like mine. P.S. I just read this to my best guy friend who is beautiful inside and out. He gave me a high-five and yelled TRUE! This is beautiful quality dude confirmed content people. Take it or leave it.

Clearly, after that rant, you know that I told Andy I would not be going home with him.

Me: No. I need to go home. I am really tired. We can meet for breakfast in the morning if you want and maybe have a beach day?

This answer was not acceptable to Andy. He firmly put his hands on my shoulders…

Andy: No.. you definitely should come with me! Don’t ruin the night… Just come for a few hours. I don’t want to say goodbye to you yet…

He glared deeply into my eyes and his is crystal blue eyes began to look like creepy red lasers in the neon lights.

Me: No, I’m sorry, I’ve got to go home with my best friend.

Andy: She can come!

I looked over my shoulder and saw that my best friend was heading out the door. The uber had arrived.

Me: She’s already leaving. I’m going to go. I had so much fun tonight. Thank you for everything. I hope I see you soon. Bye!

As I turned away, Andy grabbed my left arm tightly and jerked me close to him.

The next few moments happened so fast, within a few minutes, that they all seem to blur together now. But I remember that while it was happening, I felt like everything was occurring in slow motion. We were toward the edge of the room where it was very dark at this point…

Andy: You’re coming home with me.

Then he shoved me up against the wall and it was then that I realized something in him had changed. Something was not right. The sweet dorky dude I thought I knew had turned into a monster. His face looked off. He had an animalistic look in his eyes. His personality had switched so quickly. It was shocking. He took a complete 360 within seconds. I was scared.

Me: Nope. I am not.

I tried to move past him and when I did, he grabbed me under the arms and drug me toward the bathroom that was only a few feet away in a dark corner where unfortunately, no one was. Music was blasting loudly. I began to scream, but my attempts were muffeled by the music.

Me: Let me go! Help! HELP!

He put me in a head lock and covered my mouth with the inside of his elbow and forearm. He began to take the sweater from his neck and use it as a way to stop me from making any noise at all. I still have no clue why no one heard or saw this happening. I did whatever I could in that position to bite his arm, scratch him, stomp on his feet and elbow his chest.

He was strong. Strong enough to shove me into the entrance of the dark bathroom and shut the door. Then, with the door safely closed behind us, he changed back to the character he had been acting out before: nice, kind, sweet. It was like a Dr. Jeckle/ Mr. Hyde situation. He was smiling now and seemed back to normal. I’ve really never been more confused.

Andy: Why do you have to be like this? I just wanted to spend more time with you. Just hang with me for a while… just a while… just a while… Come on Blaire. Just a while longer…

He kept repeating himself as he smiled creepily and moved closer to me in a coaxing manner. He was speaking to me as if I was his little child or pet. I still wake up to nightmares of him whispering, “Just a while.”

I am passionate about mental health and I’ve noticed through research and observation that when people’s brains are not functioning normally, they tend to repeat phrases like a broken record or like a robot that is shutting down, because neurotransmitters are simply not firing off right in their head.

It’s one thing to read about it, but experiencing a human act like this in person was like nothing I had ever experienced before. His repeating of words, soft smile and distant gaze in my moment of terror was a clear sign to me that I was alone with someone very sick; with a predator.

Luckily, I knew through my research exactly what to say and what to do in that particular situation. No one can be prepared for something like this. But you could say that I was as ready as I could’ve been. I spoke in a strong, definitive, commanding manner.

Me: Andy. I am going home. Let me go now.

Andy: No Blaire. You’re not leaving.

I pulled my phone out and began to call 911 but he grabbed it, shut it off and threw it across the room. I ran to it and called 911 again, as I simultaneously lunged toward the door to open it and get out. I began screaming out descriptions into my phone of where I was, what was happening and what Andy looked like (I learned to do this from the movie, Taken) until he found a way to press the “end call” button again.

He took my shoulders and pinned me against the wall. I remember his hands feeling heavier than cement. I was shocked at the force the rather skinny dude was exerting. He began to forcefully kiss me all over my head and neck. It hurt. I was wearing a onesie (leotard) and jeans. He grabbed it and ripped it off. As he looked down. I grabbed both of his shoulders and used his weight as an anchor to knee him as hard as I could where it hurts the worst.

He fell to the ground and winced in pain. I turned to run, but when I did, he grabbed my ankle and I fell onto my stomach. Although the wind was knocked out of me, I turned and kicked him in the face as hard as I could with my right foot (Thank God for the twelve years of soccer I played and the mean calves my father gave me. I sure do have a power kick. That must’ve hurt.)

He fell back. I got up to run toward the door again. I was almost out. I knew this was do or die. Adrenaline was rushing through my veins. As I reached for the door handle, he grabbed it and held it so I couldn’t get out. I screamed and pulled his hair, yanking him to the left. Then, although out of breath, I used all of my strength to punch him right in the nose.

I think that was the first time I have actually ever punched anyone in my life. Okay, my brother would argue that… but hopefully it’s my last. I grabbed my phone, opened the door and ran out. I knew he had followed me, as I heard him huffing and puffing a few steps behind me, but I was almost to the bar door when he stumbled out and it was too late for him to catch me without someone noticing us by then.

I found my friend outside waiting patiently in the uber. I ran into the back seat and sat in silence. My hair was a mess, my makeup was down my face and my clothes were partially off. I had lost a shoe and twisted my ankle in my heel. I was bruised and scratched up. I barley had the words to tell her and the uber drive what had happened, but my face must’ve given it away.

They were both extremely concerned. The uber driver wanted to get out and beat up the guy. I remember laughing it off and not making a big deal about it because I did’nt want to cause a scene, I didn’t want to talk about it and I didn’t want to believe it just happened. As we began to walk drive away, I glanced down at my phone and saw a text message light up my screen…

Andy: Wish you would’ve stayed to get dessert with us…

I honestly forget what I responded to him. I was dazed, dizzy, and confused and have a habit of deleting bad conversations that I don’t want to remember on my phone. But I believe I said something like:

Me: How could you do that to me? Are you not going to address what just happened?

Andy: I don’t want to hang out with you again… I only want to hang out with girls who trust me.

Me: You’re not going to get away with this.

Andy: Oh well, we tried. I thought you were a nice girl… I was having a lot of fun… I guess you’re not… It was nice meeting you, Blaire.

Me: I don’t want to hang out with men who attempt to sexually abuse and violate me. I hope you get serious help. Goodbye, Andy.

No response.

I read our texts over and over. Nothing he said made sense. I later found out that he was doing that to cover his tracks if I were to try to turn him in. There was no other reason for him to be sending those to me. If he had felt any remorse for what he had done, he would’ve made it right. But he just left it, just as I’m sure he’s done many times before.

Some days I wish I never responded. Some days I wish I said something different. Some days I wish I would’ve called the cops and waited outside the bar to get him arrested right then and there. Some days I wish I would’ve let the uber driver beat him up, but I was in shock and did my best for such a traumatic situation at the time. I felt like I handled it as gracefully as I could.

My time with Andy had left me stunned, but I was even more surprised by the places my brain went in the days to follow. You would expect that I would only have feelings of hatred and resentment for this person, but it was quite the opposite. I felt many more feelings as well.

I had built some kind of relationship with him over the past few weeks and he seemed like a stand-up guy. Not only did I like him, but people I liked, liked him. I would find myself thinking about how I was sad because of the way things turned out. I was confused why someone like him would do that to me. I was hurt at the rejection I felt when he did not try to make things right. I was angry, confused… I wondered if I had dreamed it all. But remember… I was sober, so I hadn’t.

I like to see the best in everyone, so sometimes I even felt bad for him…Maybe he had had too much to drink. Maybe he was hungry for love. Maybe he is socially awkward around girls and couldn’t handle being rejected one more time. Maybe he was minor Asperger’s and didn’t understand… He was off… maybe he was mentally unstable and it’s not his fault…He liked me and was showing me in that way…

These thoughts were seriously going through my strong, independent, be the best you can be, lady boss-Blaire brain and these thoughts made me have the deepest compassion for people who are sexually abused by their fathers, mothers, partners, family members, friends, and loved ones. I can’t imagine the intense mixture of emotions these people must feel. This must be one of the worst kinds of pain someone can experience.

I was shaken, violated and numb, all at the same time. Touching someone is supposed to be a loving experience. It’s a completely mind-altering experience when it’s used to cause pain. I still find myself shying away from even allowing others to hug me to this day.

Alas, you are what you repeatedly do. There is never an excuse for that kind of behavior. As I know plenty of people who have had the most severe forms of mental illness and who would never do such a thing to someone. Andy was a bad person through and through. I hate to believe that about people, but it’s true. I went home that night and went straight to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up and laid in bed in silence. I had scratches all over my body with a big bruise on my head, a twisted ankle and wrist and I ached all over. My friend picked me up right away and we drove to get breakfast, then sit by the ocean and talk about what had happened. I gazed into the water as I tried to re-cap the situation, but it didn’t make sense to me then and I stopped trying to explain.

Writing this is the first time I have ever put what happened into words. I never journaled about it because I didn’t want to think about it. The German in me tends to shove my emotions deep down and it’s only beginning to make sense to me now. I was very close to having something terrible happen to me that night that would’ve been life-alternating. Even so, this event was enough to leave me shaken up for a while.

I reported Andy on all of the dating apps and as far as we know, he can’t make a new profile. Sadly, I later heard through the grapevine that he has sexually assaulted a few girls in the past. I was just someone who got out…I also told my story to the police so that they could have it on record. However, I was incredibly frustrated that they can’t really do anything about it unless you actually have evidence that this person has raped you, harassed you, or hurt you.

Andy had a millionaire father in the Palisades who would take his word over mine any day and could hire the best attorney in town to protect him if I ever pressed charges. All I had was a story and no evidence beyond some cuts, bruises and a ripped shirt and since he didn’t actually sexually assault me, it was my word against the world. I felt hopeless and defenseless.

Andy was a reminder to me how important it is to stay safe. My outlook has changed a lot on dating since that night. My mom has always said that you can’t trust anyone until they’ve earned it. Boy… is that true. A lot of us wear our hearts on our sleeves. I’ve always been someone who is quick to give my love to others, but now I believe a heart is a home. People should not be allowed to stay in it rent free and I will never allow someone in again until they prove to me that they will be a good, respectful guest.

P.S. One of my favorite pastors says “Sex is like a fire. When it’s in the home, it’s warm and pleasant. When it’s outside of the home, it can start a wild fire and cause a lot of damage. Learn to protect your heart and protect your home…”

I am absolutely positive that if I did not take self-defense classes or get educated about sexual assault at San Diego State, I wouldn’t have gotten out of that situation. In the moment, I remember thinking, “He’s doing this… Okay, that means I do this.”

For example, “He just grabbed my wrist. Okay, that means I twist my wrist in the same direction he’s pulling it and lean toward his body weight, instead of against it.” I had to whip out some pretty bad a** Mrs. Smith/secret agent karate moves that required some thought and skill. A struggle and scream wouldn’t have done the trick and luckily, I was not under the influence of alcohol or drugs and he did not use a weapon. I am not sure what I would’ve done.

I didn’t tell my parents as I knew they would have freaked out and I didn’t tell anyone else besides my cousin and best friend, because I wanted to continue to use these dating apps. I wasn’t going to let one bad egg spoil the rest of the dozen. When you’re on these apps, you meet so many people. Some will be good, some will be bad… that’s life and not unique to a social media platform. What happened to me can happen to any random person walking down any random street.

What I forgot is that no predator wants to actually look like a predator. Everyone wants to put their best face forward. Many of us now mistakenly believe that you can learn a lot about someone over their social media… but you really don’t know them at all.

I have people tell me all the time that I am very different in person than how I come off on my social media and I try to be as transparent as possible! Some people meet me and expect me to be outgoing, but I am truly quite the introvert and like to keep to myself. Social media is the message we want the world to see. It’s not always how we truly are.

My story is proof this scary thing can happen to anyone. You can’t reall prevent it, but you can be prepared. Who knew a guy would try to pull something like this in a public bar with a ton of people in it? Predators will almost always try to catch you by surprise…because duh, they are predators and that’s what they do best. Even if I had gone to his house, even if I had consumed a lot of alcohol, even if I was wearing something revealing, it’s never someone’s fault when this kind of thing happens. This should never happen to anyone, ever. Period.

Would I stop using the app? No… More good has come out of using them than the bad for me. In fact, I would be lying if I said this was the first time in my life I found myself in a sketchy situation such as this. Life is life. You’ve got to live it. There are many more great guys out there than bad ones.

I am thankful for all of my amazing guy friends who I knew would’ve kicked Andy’s butt that night and who I know would never treat a woman or anyone else like that. One of my best guy friends even has a sticker on his bed that says, “Consent is Key.” You can judge that all you want, but to him I say- bravo. That’s genius…haha.

To all of the dudes out there who don’t want meanings and messages to get mixed up, use this as a rule of thumb: YES MEANS YES AND NO MEANS NO. If the girl has had even one sip of alcohol, YES MEANS NO.

I hope my speaking up today encourages you all to do the same. To share your stories that have more breadth and depth than my own. Sharing stories connects people. They make others feel less alone. I knew the story about my 5th dude would probably throw some people for a loop and it took a lot for me to put it on paper.

I actually wasn’t going to, until a week ago when I got feedback from a coworker who I respect. He told me he loved my writing, but wanted me to go a bit deeper. He knew that I was holding back from sharing all of my experience. If I was real, if I really wanted to empower people, I would share it all. My goal is to touch as many people as possible with this. So I took his advice. I hope someone feels less alone today after reading this.

Lastly, Chris- I am giving you a name. Your name doesn’t deserve to be protected or respected. So I will not call you Andy anymore. What you’ve done to me and other women needs to be put out into the spotlight. L.A. is big, but it becomes small quickly when you start to get to know people.

This blog has been read by thousands of people and I would not be surprised if it got back to you. I know there are plenty of Chris’s in Los Angeles, but you know who you are. So if you read this, know that I don’t hate you. I am not looking for revenge. But I will make sure you never touch another person again. I will make sure people know how important it is to speak up about people like you.

I feel sorry for you, because all the hate you’re carrying must be a heavy weight to bear. I pray for you often that something deep within your heart changes. I am not afraid of you and neither are the other people you hurt. Thank you, for giving me a story to share and empower others with. You’ve only made me stronger. I told you you wouldn’t get away with this…

…Be careful how you treat people, someone may write a story about you.

#6 The Nice Dude

When you think of these dudes, your heart hurts a little, like you just kicked a cute puppy dog. You want to like them and they seem like a great person. In fact, you can’t really think of anything that’s wrong with them. You go in and out of trying to convince yourself that it could work and you start to feel like your brain is split in half like Dr. Jeckle and Mr. Hyde because you can’t decide. All of your friends think you are crazy for not liking him and he’s probably the one your mom and grandma are rooting for, because he’s really good with the relatives and brought them flowers. He would be the best boyfriend to you and the attention is very flattering, but when you look at him… you feel nothing. “There just isn’t a spark.” (Cough cough. Sound familiar?) These are the guys who wear their heart on their sleeve. These are the ones who like you after you’ve only said a few words. They shower you with “you’re beatiful” and “you’re something else” texts. They message you back after ten seconds and never forget to respond. They give you so much attention that it is almost annoying and you wonder how they really, truly like you so much when they don’t even know anything about you… like the fact that Leslie Knope from Parks and Rec is your alter ego or that you sleep with a baby blanket still. Those details are important. They most likely will send you novel text messages and want to talk to you at all times. They will ask you on a date after two minutes and you are sort of worried that they may try to marry you after two days. Excuse me? Why do I remind you of your mother? To avoid life size teddy bears being sent to your work, seeing your name on a banner flying through the air attached to a jet, awkward flash mob proposals or run away bride syndrome, I would highly advise you to strap on your nikes and get a head start running away from this dude now… By the way, don’t give him any excuses for why this won’t work out such as “I don’t want to ruin the friendship,” “It’s not you, it’s me,” “I want to keep it professional,” “I need to focus on my career,” or “I am not looking for a relationship,” because I can tell you right now, Mr. Happy- Go-Lucky is not giving up and won’t understand that since apparently even though you’ve only known him for a hot second, he thinks you are the love of his life. You need to be bold and honest. “I’m not interested.” Smile and wave, then RUN!

My story:

Jack asked me to hang out with him within one minute of speaking to me. I’m not kidding… our first conversation went something like this:

Jack: You’re cute.

Me: Thanks! You are too.

Jack: Let’s hang out.

Me: Okay!

Jack: What are you doing tomorrow?

Me: Church.

Jack: Cool. Let’s go.

I met Jack for the first time at a small church by the sea in Orange County. I did drive an hour out of my way, but I was not being a flying fish, I actually just wanted to check it out. Church is an interesting place to meet someone for the first time. When you stand next to someone you don’t even know/are potentially trying to date and are worshiping with your hands in the air, praying, and sitting in silence with them, it can be a bit awkward… you get real intimate, real quick.

Yet, I’m weird and love that kind of thing. Getting out of comfort zones is what I’m all about! #alwaysbetheexception. We had a great time dancing to the music and laughing at all the pastor’s dad jokes. He whispered to me throughout the sermon about his thoughts on the message. He was well versed in scripture and I could tell he seemed to be very in-tune with his morals and values. He smelled really good too.

PSA-Guys should shower daily and wear Old Spice deoderant or some sort of light, musky cologne. Please only spray it a foot or so away from your body once or twice so you don’t end up smelling like Bed Bath and Beyond. That is all.

We went and got breakfast after Church by the beach. It was overcast and a perfect 70 degrees. My vegan breakfast burritto was spectacular. This was the first time I got to take a good look at him. He was as clean cut as you can get. He probably pressed, ironed or steamed all of his clothes. His shoes were shined. His mom taught him well. He must be a Virgo. He’s really clean looking. He has a lot of time on his hands. Speaking of time, that’s a cool watch. He tried very hard to look good today. Yes, I thought all of these things while noshing on my burritto.

To be honest, he looked like your typical pretty and simple All-American boy. The kind that was probably the quarterback on his football team, got all A’s even though he didn’t try because the teachers loved him and won Homecoming King because he’s so charismatic. He was muscular, had short blonde hair, a bright smile, dimples and was funny and kind. There was not a moment of silence between us. We both had a lot to say and sat there for a couple hours talking and people watching.

I really enjoyed my time with him, but sadly I had another moment like the one with the Enlightened dude Liam, when my heart dropped a bit, I stopped chewing the breakfast burritto in my mouth and stared in the distance again like That’s so Raven when he asked me:

Jack: So Blaire..Why are you on these dating apps? You seem like the whole package. You must have guys giving you attention left and right. How is a pretty girl like yourself single?”

I sat in silence for a bit. Then, I decided to throw the question right back at him.

Me: Well… why are you on these dating apps? I could say the same thing bout you. I think I am on them for the same reason. I want to meet someone.

Devil on my shoulder: LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE and you just went to church… This is blasphemy! #tendudesontinder

Me: Only God can judge me.

Let’s be real Satan. I actually was open to meeting people on these dating apps. I wasn’t just meeting these guys purely for the social experiement. If I found someone I really liked and if it worked out, I would’ve stopped this experiment all together. (You’ll have to keep following along to wait and see if I do!)

Along the way, I was hopeful when I met someone and I was sad when things didn’t work out, but each time I believed I was one step closer to meeting that special someone who would look something like, GREEN LIGHT. JACK POT. BINGO. WINNER. SCORE! In flashing lights and I think I was the most hopeful that Jack would be that guy. After my traumatic experience with the monster dude, it was so nice to meet a wholesome guy at church. CHURCH of all places… but it just… ugh. It didn’t end up that way…and here’s why:

Why was Jack on these dating apps?…Did he not think he was the whole package? Did he not think he was handsome enough to have a girlfriend or get attention from girls? After I threw the question back at him, he let an avalanche of insecurities fly out of his mouth in the minutes to follow that left me wanting to jump out of my seat and run.

He preceded to tell me how he lacked confidence when it came to women and dating and I was the first girl he did not have a hard time talking to. He admitted he didn’t find himself that attractive. He could be better at this, better at that. He said his low self-esteem was probably due to his absent father and alcoholic mother and explained his difficult childhood to me in depth.

I felt sorry for him. My heart hurt. He had been through a lot. He was clearly such a nice guy. But sadly, you have to be more than “such a nice guy” for a girl to want you to be her guy. Our day started out as a good time and ended as a counseling session, facilitated by yours truly. He left thinking that was the best conversation ever. I left feeling like maybe my life calling was to write a self- help book.

When I got home I received a long text message from him telling me how beautiful my soul was, how I was the most loving, kind, supportive girl he had ever met and how he felt such a deep connection and couldn’t wait for our next date. That made me smile. But…

Don’t get me wrong. I LOVE to be this person for people. I LOVE to support my friends, but when it came to this dude, all I could think of was, “I just met you. You don’t even know me.” I did not feel the same about him. I felt like he was going to be another really good guy friend and never anything more.

I sent him a short response back. Something like, “It was nice meeting you! Thanks for breakfast. Have a good rest of your day!” His lack of self-esteem and self-worth really threw me off, made me sad and made me look deep into myself as well.

Here’s what I wrote down in my journal later that day:

1/27/2017

Remember that you are a mirror- What you believe about yourself is exactly how the world will perceive you. Perception is reality. I’m making a promise to myself right now to stop putting my insecurities out into the universe. No more I’m not good enough, I’m not pretty enough I’m not bla bla enough… what is that? What’s the point? Why? I am a good person. I am strong. I am beautiful. I want to date someone who believes the same thing about themselves. (as long as they are not a narcissist of course).

So many of my guy friends complain about how girls only fall for the bad boys and my response is always that they should probably question why. When they can’t figure it out, I tell them 2 things:

  1. GIRLS LIKE bad boys BECAUSE CONFIDENCE IS SEXY.

There is a reason why people say, “Nice guy’s finish last.” There’s a reason why many girls are drawn to the popular football player jerk who knows he is way too cute for his own good, takes off his helmet, slowly shakes his hair and winks or the guy wearing a leather jacket on a motercycle with a tatoo who parties too much and compltlety ignores her existance.

There is also a reason why a lot of my guy friends are attracted to the totally mean, shallow, girl with fluff for brains who doesn’t seem to care about anything at all beyond her appearance and low-fat, gluten free, sugar free, vegan crackers. The people who fall for these low-quality people are simply confusing cockiness with confidence. People do this all the time because a lot of the time, they go hand in hand.

Although those low quality humans are most likely the most insecure of all, they choose to not show it. They will act loud, spontaneous, competitive, ambitious, adventurous, lively, active, light-hearted, funny, happy, angry, grounded, mean, anything but…insecure.

They don’t show the vulnerable sides of themselves. When they do, they give it in pieces. They open up slowly, leaving you feeling special that you were the person they confided in, leaving your hungry for more. In turn, people perceive their low quality ways as confidence and confidence makes us drool.

Nothing is more attractice than a person who knows (or seems like they know) that their value is not determined by someone’s inability to see their worth. Nothing is more attractive than a person who is secure in themselves and has a, “this is me and my glory, take it or leave it” personality.

A lot of us say, “I am a real, transparent person and I don’t want to play games.” or “My insecurities make me who I am, so I want to share them.” I’ve learned you CAN share the dark parts of your life, but there is a time and a place for that and it’s certainly not on the first few dates. When you’re dating, you’re sort of selling yourself, so why would you not want to sell the best version of yourself?

Look at your first few dates like an interview. You probably wouldn’t show up to an interview looking like you’ve just rolled out of bed and we all know that when they ask you what your greatest weakness is, you’re supposed to disguise it as a strength. If they ask you to calculate the mass of the sun, you’re going to try to give your best answer instead of say, “Uh I’m not confident in my math skills, you should just go with another candidate.”

You build up your skills to get prepared for that job and you prep for the interview. When you walk in, you know you’re the best for the role. If you don’t actually know you’re the best for the role, you fake it until you make it. I know I am taking my examples to an extreme here and I don’t mean you should be a little miss perfect Barbie or a Robot, but I’m trying to make this clear:

You should be confident in who you are and what you have to offer. You should put your best foot forward and live in a place of strength. Don’t be cocky. Be kind, but leave a little mystery, make someone earn your trust and time and remember that we all have insecurities and at the end of the day they’re just a waste of your breathe. Why focus on them? Life’s too short.

One of my guy friends (who definitely was a bad boy at certain times in his life) told me on the phone tonight that he believes the most unattractive quality in a girl is desperation. I’m telling you if you’re desperate for love, guys can SMELL IT. Girls can too. Desperation for love is lacking confidence that you’ll be okay on your own; it’s a deep desire for something you feel you need in order to be complete.

So how do you stay confident and cool? A good rule of thumb is to put as much energy into the relationship as the other person is. When they send a long text, you send a long text. Take a step forward by calling them up and see how they respond. If they pull back, you pull back. Don’t throw yourself at them, giving them all you’ve got right out of the gate and overwhelming them. Play it cool.

Meet the person where they are at. When you hear about a couple that’s obsessed with each other and deeply in love, it’s most likely because the timing was right, they were on the same page, and they met each other half way. The second someone feels like you’re head over heels, and they haven’t reached that point yet, the chase is over and they’re over you.

Put your best foot forward. Live in a place of stregnth. Love yourself. Take it slow. Feel it out. Enjoy the process. Dont be desperate. Play it cool= confidence is sexy.

2. GIRLS LIKE bad boys BECAUSE THEY AREN’T BUTLERS

Blaire… a butler. Seriously? What?

Just hang with me here.

Jack was SO nice. He did some very kind things for me. He bent over backwards to make sure he treated me like a princess. My dad would give him 5 stars. I think my parents still want me to date him. It’s not going to happen so they should give up. I know you are reading this mom and dad. Love you.

Jack bought me flowers. He wrote me a poem and read it to me. He talked with me on the phone for hours. He never misssed a chance to tell me how great he thought I was. I thought I liked him sometimes, other times I didn’t. I let it go on a bit longer than I should have probably a few weeks too long and I finally had to tell him I just wasn’t feeling it.

Unfortunately, he didn’t get the message and kept pursuing me for weeks on weeks on weeks after that. Even though I rarely if ever responded, he kept obsessively calling, texting, reaching out to me on all forms of social media, double-texting me (STOP DOING THIS GUYS) and asking for more dates and more chances.

I must’ve told him in 20 different ways, 50 different languages and 100 different dialects that I did not want to date him. It was sad because from his point of view, he probably didn’t understand how things were going so great and then the beautiful love balloon just popped.

It’s hard not to be the nice dude when you have heart eyes for someone and are complteley infatuated with them, but the nice dude is just another version of the flying fish. You give the person your world without expecting an ounce in return. You think they’ll be impressed by how amazing you are, when in reality they are feeling and thinking quite the opposite.

Instead they will lose interest and ghost you or end things. They may string you along, dating you when they want to, crossing the line and flirting with you and soaking up your attention when they feel like it, then are nowhere to be found when you need theirs.

They will tell you how amazing you are and that you deserve the world but they have no idea that they are your world or they don’t care. You get friend zoned and there is no way of getting out. I’ve done this to people and I’ve had it done to me many many times…

I’ve talked to more nice dudes than I can count and no matter how big of a heart I believe I have, or how kind of a person I think I am, I hate to admitt it but I always stopped replying to their messages after a while.

It sucks for these guys because quality dudes have probably been taught to treat a lady they are interested in like a queen. AND YOU CAN… but you can still do it in a way that does not come off as desperate, overbearing, or that squashes the excitement, butterflies and mystery all together.

I’ll tell you how.

Just as there is a difference between cockiness and confidence, there is also a difference between when prince charming put’s on Cinderella’s shoe vs. when a butler does. When a prince charming hands her her his coat vs.. when a butler does.. When a prince charming asks her to dance vs when a butler does. Is that the right analogy? Am I making sense?

A great guy really close to me was confused about this Prince Charming vs. Butler complex I speak of and he mentioned something to me the other day that caught me off guard. He said he remembered I would always joke about how one person I dated for a long period of time and was very special to me courted me for years before I would even look his way. Wasn’t that what a quality guy was supposed to to? Treat the woman of their dreams like a Queen?

I thought about it for a second then responded…Well, shouldn’t she prove to you that she is the woman of your dreams first before you start treating her like that? You won’t know that she is just by looking at her. Getting to know each other needs to be a give and take. You can take her on fun dates, you can be kind, you can open doors and pull out chairs, but you don’t need to be sending her flowers, talking to her non-stop every day, writing songs about her and taking her to 5 course meals the first week you meet her.

The reality was that that special guy did pursure me for years, but it wasn’t until he went on a vaction for a weekend and I didn’t hear from him that I started to wonder where he was and what he was doing. When he pulled away and acted cool, he drew me in and sparked my desire for more. That’s when I started putting effort in as well. That’s when I stopped seeing him as a Butler and started seeing him as a Prince Charming.

Further, my guy friend recalled this guy always took me on the most extravagant dates at the beginning of our relationship. What he forgot is that I had known this guy for a very long time before he did any of that. If he had done that when he had just met me, I would’ve been scared, he would’ve come off way too strong and I would’ve pushed him right into the friend zone.

Looking back, I don’t really remember any of that extravagant stuff he did. I would sum it all up as, “Wow he spent a lot of money on me put a lot of effort in and we ate a ton of good food.” Okay? Nice! So what?

The moments that stole my heart were when he woke me up at 5 am to take me to watch the sunrise, when we looked across the table at breakfast and told me he, “loved to listen to me talk about what I was passionate about,” when we held hands and talked for hours on long road trips, when we laughed so hard we couldn’t breathe and when we danced to music under the stars.

Never going to forget that stuff…but already lost the Tiffany’s ring he bought me…(oops) Does that make sense? Months before the crazy 5 course dinners we were friends, doing fun things like going to concerts and the beach. He gave me time to get to know him before we did any serious “dating.”

You can be a Princess or a Prince Charming without being a butler or a maid to the person you’re dating. You can show them pieces of your world without giving them your whole world (or, time or energy or pocketbook). You shouldn’t feel like you need to try SO hard or like you should convince someone to be with you. Love shouldn’t be that hard. Love should come naturally.

Lastly, I really want to switch up our idea of what it means to “date.” That word scares a lot of us away. Instead, let’s call it- getting to know each other- from now on. Approach each person you’re interested in as a friend you’re trying to get to know. It will take some of the pressure off.

P.S. If it makes you feel any better, Jack and I are still friends. He brushed off his feelings for me and is actually dating someone else now. She rocks. She’s great for him. He was in a much more confident place when he met her. He had just been promoted and was in a low-stress environment with a group of his friends celebrating on a trip when they bumped into each other and since they were with a large group of people, he got to get to know her as a friend first.

She met Prince Charming Jack, not butler Jack. She met him when he was in a better place. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but you’ve got to love yourself before you love someone else. When you’re the best version of yourself, you’ll find the best complete and fulfilling love and THEN you’ll live happily ever after. Bibbity Bobbbity Boo:)

#7 Not-So-Single Dude

You saw it coming and I had to address it. Today, we talk about the Not-So-Single Dude. He doesn’t fall under one type of guy. He can be any guy and hopefully he is someone you have enough pride to walk away from. That is all. Case closed. The end. Kidding… I’ve got to share, my story.

My story:

I lost count of the number of men who I started talking to only to find out later that they had a significant other. It made me sad, but Jason- dude # 7- was one of them.

You know when dating someone feels like a comfort blanket of sorts? You’re excited about them, but it’s not necessarily sparks or butterflies… Instead, it’s the feeling you get when when you’re cuddled up in your bed with a warm cup of hot chocolate staring at snowflakes falling outside… Yeah, that was Jason. This guy didn’t set my world on fire, but spending time with him felt familiar to me.

He had a very down to earth personality and was a man of little words, similar to other guys I’d really liked in the past. I thought maybe we could develop more of a friendship at first and the sparks would fly later. After all, some of the best relationships start out as friendships. All I knew was that I enjoyed his company and honestly, I was simply curious to see how this one would turn out.

We met for the first time on a lazy, rainy Sunday afternoon with a few of his friends and a couple of mine and walked around an art exhibit. We clicked immediately and lagged behind the group as we made fun of art and tried to interpret all of its different meanings (a favorite hobby of mine).

He honestly looked like the type of guy Taylor Swift sings about in her Trouble song. He wore black, jeans and combat boots and had some scruff on his face and a strong jaw line. He wore bracelets and leather. He just looked tough. It was hot. But also trouble…

He was from the south, so he had a bit of an accent (Adorable.Drool.Dying.So cute.) He had long shaggy hair and eyes as dark as the lattes I buy every day. I ask for lot’s of almond milk in them, so I would say his eyes were more hazel-brown, but I was trying to provide you all with a bit of imagery in my writing. Ha ha…

Anyway, he had a distant gaze and not a lot of facial expressions. His face was hard to read. His friends were hilarious. We all had a good time that day. “I like her,” they said. He winked. I laughed. When we finished our time meandering around the exhibit, he walked me to the car and said he wanted to see me again.

The following week, I ended up getting sick and when he found out, he had Uber bring me my favorite food from the restaurant, Lemonade. That weekend, we went on a hike then to a breakfast spot and shared waffles. NOM NOM NOM. We enjoyed the same things, listened to the same music, laughed at the same jokes. I told my journal on February 23rd that “he just got” me. I wrote some pretty stupid things in that journal.

Two weeks in from meeting him and we were talking every day. I was getting the “Hey you,” “You’re pretty,” “When do I get to see you next?” texts and it was around this time that I thought to check out his social media for the first time. Usually, I do this pretty quickly after I begin talking to someone, but for some reason I didn’t think to with this guy.

He was from the country. Drove a truck and stuff. He didn’t seem to be the social media type and when I checked out his stuff, I wasn’t wrong. He didn’t really use it at all. He had posted about 5 pictures that mostly happened to be inside jokes with him and his friends or his dog and that was all.

One night, we sat by the beach after work and talked. I realized every time we hung out that I was doing most of the talking (shocker) and hadn’t asked him much about his life. He was quiet and a bit mysterious, so I wanted to know more. I was surprised when … he didn’t have much to say.

Not about his family, not about his job, not about his new life here in Los Angeles. I knew he wasn’t a boring person. He traveled a lot, had multiple hobbies, was pretty cultured. So I began to feel like he was holding something back.

Of course, us girls, when we get our mind fixated on something we start running with it. It’s like the CRAZIEST tunnel vision ever. He dodged a few questions and directed the conversation back at me.

I could tell he didn’t want me asking questions. His eyes were darting a bit on the beach that night and he didn’t sit as close to me as he used to. His phone buzzed a few times but he never took it out to check it.

Lack of social media. Lack of phone checking. Lack of sharing important details about life and emotional connection. Lack of inviting me to his work, or his home. Lack of responding to me most nights after around 8:00 pm. Lack of putting arm around me when I said I was cold while watching the sunset in public . When he did pull out his phone, I saw he deleted his texts. Sketch ball… That’s when I knew.

Uh oh…this guy was too good to be true. He was a playaaaaa…..

LET US PAUSE. I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE YOU ON A SHORT SIDE- NOTE JOURNEY:

The beginning stages of dating can be tough. When you first start talking to someone, you don’t know their past or even their present. Dating can be filled with blurry lines, and lot’s and lot’s of grey. When is the point you both stop dating other people? Is it okay that they are dating other people?

I mean being on these apps, you swipe on hundreds of people, so it’s not abnormal to talk to more than one person at once… But how much does he like me? Why would he still feel the need to talk to someone else? Am I not enough? What are we?

OH MY…THE “WHAT ARE WE?” I HATE THAT QUESTION!

The beginning stages of dating can be tough, but they don’t need to be. I find lots of people wanting to label something right away or have the “what are we?” talk. I challenge doing that a lot.

Why can’t you just enjoy your time together and see where things go at the beginning? There are only specific circumstances when I think that that talk is a good idea. Here is one example I heard the other day from my good friend:

She was dating this guy for about a month. She wanted to know what they were and he wasn’t making it clear, so one night at dinner she popped the question:

Her: I’m your girlfriend. We’ve been intimate, I’ve met your family, I’m best friends with your dog, we spent a holiday together, I have a toothbrush at your apartment. Are you my boyfriend?

Him: (Silence) Um.. I.. Uh… I honestly haven’t put much thought into it.

She told me that was her answer right there. She ended things with him and said walking away from that was more empowering for her than staying with him could’ve ever been. She had chosen to raise her standards and all along she knew she was only asking that question because she knew what the answer would be and she simply wanted it answered to her face. #RESPECT

My point is that if a guy likes you, he will tell you what you are. If he doesn’t, you already have your answer. So the “What are we?” stuff, is usually a waste of time.

OK, NOW BACK TO OUR STORY ABOUT JASON:

But because I am stubborn, and because sometimes we know what the right thing to do is and choose not to do it anyway, I did what I wanted even though I already had my answer and could’ve just dropped him like a hot potato… I decided to ask Jason almost two months into dating a version of the “what are we,” question.

My gut was telling me after a while that he was talking to other women and I had made a promise to myself a long time ago that if I met a guy and he still felt the need to talk to other people after he met me, I would want nothing to do with him. I’m the monogamous type.

and LET ME TELL YOU… a woman will always know deep down inside her (no matter how much she doesn’t want to admit it) if a man is looking in her eyes and thinking about another woman.

So I just knew: He was either not over an ex, was dating other girls or was dating me for the wrong reasons. Listen to your gut. LISTEN TO YOUR GUT. It’s always, always right. However, I didn’t know QUITE HOW RIGHT my gut actually was…Until….

I met him one day at our favorite coffee shop where we were going to hang out and do some work together and I decided to ask him the question only a few minutes after we had sat down and I had gulped down my latte.

P.S. I don’t recommend having serious conversations with people when you’re fired up on caffeine and already have ADHD. I probably looked like I had flames coming out of my ears and lazor beams coming out of my eyes. Poor Jason looked tough on the outside, but the little immature boy on the inside of him must’ve been peeing his panties.

Me: Are you dating other people?

He looked like a deer in the headlights.

Him: Haha. Why would you think that?

Dumb guy. I told him I worked in politics. He should’ve known that I am not thrown off when someone whips out Socratic practices and answers my question with another question so he can try to deflect me from my actual question…DUMB.

Devil on my shoulder: You’re crazy.

Me: MWAHAHAHAHAHAH

Me: Okay haha your answer could’ve been no. Which means you are. That is fine. Just not fine with me. That’s all. So I don’t want to continue whatever (this) is.

There was a bit of an ache in my chest and my ears were ringing. I was thoroughly annoyed. We had spent quite some time together and barf…. I didn’t like where this was headed.

I had bought his dog a toy. He had bought me a candle at the farmers market. We had facetimed his 90 year old grandma. How could he be doing this with other women? Another disappointment. Another one bites the dust.

I got up to leave because I had said all I wanted to say and I felt the urge to dramatically walk away through the door into the sunshine, turn around and give him a glare, flip my hair, then never look back. It would have also been cool if when I did that, a sad Johnny Cash song started playing over the coffee shop speakers.

Then, he would’ve whispered, “Blaire…come back…” in desperation then run his fingers through his lucious locks, when he realized he couldn’t yell across the coffee shop and that he was also watching the best thing he would ever have walk away from him (or more like strut away from him like a Victoria Secret model with major attitude.) He would proceed to whimper “no…” then hang his head and cry into his porceline coffee cup.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, he grabbed my arm and nudged me to sit down.

Him: Blaire! I was trying to find the time to tell you.

Me: Eh, no… I don’t think you were ever trying to find a time. I think you would’ve been just fine if I never knew. Look, it’s no big deal. I am just not about it!

Him: Blaire… I’m not going around dating all these other women… I like you… I am just in the middle of getting out of a relationship and it’s tough.

Me: HOLD UP….WHAT!

I sat back down.

Me: Um. Excuse me? Explain?

My head was spinning so I don’t remember details, but he started apologizing and said that he got caught up. He met me and really liked me and wasn’t expecting that this was going to happen at all.

He said things weren’t working out with who he was with and he knew he needed to break up with her but just didn’t know how or when. It was difficult. They shared a lot of things: A Hulu account, magazine subscriptions, a dog, a bed and saliva….

For a second, I started to believe him and think what he was saying made sense. Poor guy. He is stuck. I should just give him time, wait for the right moment for them to break up and then we can be together. After all, I know he likes me… Then my senses kicked it: WHAT BLAIRE? YOU ARE COLLEGE EDCUATED. THIS GUY SUCKS. HE IS LYING TO AND HURTING SOMEONE. AS A MATTER OF FACT, HE’S ALRADY BEEN LYING TO YOU! IF HE DID IT TO HER, HE WILL DO IT TO YOU. WHERE IS THE SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN YOU THOUGHT YOU KNEW? HE IS NOT HERE! HE COULD BE SOMEWHERE IN A DIFFERENT STATE. JUST NOT IN TEXAS…THAT IS WHERE ALL THE EXES ARE AT. BUT HE IS DEFINITELY NOT THE LOSER SITTING IN FRONT OF YOU.

That was the end of that rodeo with that cowboy and I let the devil on my shoulder take all control….

Me: What’s her name?

He was dumb enough to tell me (LOL) so I looked up her social media right then and there in front of him and pictures of him were littered all over her feed. He may have thought things were not going well, but as of 8 hours earlier, the pic of her, him and their dog told me a completely different story.

I asked him what his intentions were for getting on a dating app in the first place. To make friends? He ACTUALLY said YES to that. He said work prevented him from meeting more people. I laughed so hard! Okay, well join a sports team or a community service group… DATING APPS are not the place to go when you have a significant other, buddy! I was confused and hurt.

Also, women are crazy expert lurkers that have ninja skills they can whip out of nowhere at any moment that happen to be equivalent to someone trained by the FBI when they are determined to figure something out. How on earth could his girlfriend not know this was going on? She must have… or she must have really trusted him, which makes me sad. EW JASON SUCKS! (all the people scream).

I interrogated him with questions as I tried to make sense of it all. Since his girlfriend didn’t know about this, I whipped out the crazy girlfriend card for her. In my eyes, he deserved to be under my brightly shining, sweltering heat lamp of shame. He told me everything I wanted to know.

He LIVED with her. They had been together for FOUR YEARS. He hung out with me while she was at work. He told her other girls he talked to were coworkers or friends. He told me she traveled and was out of town a lot.

He told me they had been together a long time and they had trust issues that ran deep on both sides. They both knew their relationship wasn’t working, but were trying to fight for it. I was impressed I was sitting there long enough to have him explain all of this to me. This guy had a bunch of stuff he needed to deal with and I didn’t want to be a part of it.

Me: Okay… Well… all of this is shocking.

Jason: I’m so sorry. I’m a terrible person. I just really liked you.

Me: No. I am shocked you would think I’m dumb enough to not figure this out and that I would keep falling for your, “I really like you” sob story after I did. I’m a smart girl. People can make me feel a lot of ways, but stupid is the feeling I dislike the most. I am not going to let you make me feel stupid for one more second. Bye Jason.

(Hell yeah I said that. Aren’t you proud? BOOM!)

Then, I left. I was mad. I was angry for me but more so for the woman he was betraying. I didn’t want to play a part in causing someone else pain. We’ve got to have each other’s backs when it comes to that people!

A WORD (or many words because it’s me and I like to talk) ABOUT CHEATING:

FIRST OF ALL IT FREAKING HURTS!!! OUCH!!!

I’ve been cheated on before and dropped to my hands and knees then proceeded to lay by my toilet because I thought I was going to throw up, crying all night wiping snot on my sleeve saying, “Why God Why?” Yeah.. It wasn’t pretty. It’s because cheating is one of the ultimate forms of betrayal and batrayal is one of the most painful human emotions that one can feel.

I don’t think our bodies and brains are supposed to process this kind of pain. It feels like your dying, accept you’re still alive. It’s terrible, like you were struck with the black plague. I know I am melodramtic at times but I am not kidding…You can’t really understand it until it happens to you.

It also really hurts to be the cheater! You feel like a real scoundrel! You have one of those moments when you look in the mirror and think, “Who am I?” These moments are otherwise known as “rock bottom” and when the other person finds out, your life usually turns into shambles.So then you can’t even hit rock bottom.

You’re life is just dust in the wind. You were already feeling crappy in your crappy relationship and now you feel even more crappy because you have to deal with the after-crap. Like looking into the eyes of your loved one, knowing you just pierced their soul and probably ruined their life for a good minute. Or they don’t seem to care that you did it and that hurt’s even worse. HELLOOOO I THOUGHT AT LEAST THIS WOULD MAKE YOU CARE?! But nope. They must be a walking emotionless zombie and this must be the apocolyse. The outcome is just never fun.

So…we know there are negative consequences, but we still cheat… Why?

A) We cheat because we accidentally let ourselves get highly intoxicated to the point where we don’t remember that we did, but we were careless and irresponsible enough to let ourselves get there in the first place so sadly, it happened.

B) We cheat because we lack self-control and we like the thrill of it. Just like eating pink donuts or shooting up heroine. Not good for us, but most likely still thrilling.

C) We cheat because we know deep down the relationship is no longer right for us and it’s an easy way out. Maybe the cheater feels insecure, suffocated or vengeful, or they are not getting something out of the relationship that they really, really need anymore.

D) We cheat because of all the other reasons and excuses we’ve all heard before. Bla bla bla bla blaaaa…

There are a ton of more reasons why we cheat and each situation is unique and different, but I am here to make the big, bold statement that reasons A, B, C, And D should all = it’s time to tell the other person goodbye.

Again, this is a super controversial topic that people have strong opinions on (like most of the topics I write about). I’ve talked to many couples who have experienced cheating, have worked it out and claim to be completely happy with each other.

But I’ve got to tell you, a lot of them say it smiling through their grinding teeth. A lot of these people feel like they have to stay together for one reason or another, and learn to be happy again, but it’s never the same.

They tell me they worked through it because it was a mistake… or because they are committed to the vows they made on their wedding day… or because they are committed to their kids, jobs, friends, etc. Or because divorces are expensive.

Having a ring on your finger is a different story (like a real ring, not a promise ring) because you’ve signed a contract and under law (and for some of us, the holy law) you’re bound to that person for life. I have never been married, so I have no room to talk when it comes to cheating in marriages. I have formed ZERO opinion on that yet.

BUT IF YOU ARE NOT MARRIED TO THE PERSON (sharing dogs, homes, favorite football teams and tickets to a concert that is two months away, does not count) and if there is a way out…I would say find it and go fast. Because 99% of the time if you stay, you’re setting yourself up to be unhappy.

Every single person I’ve talked to who has been cheated on, is happy they left, or wish they would’ve left sooner. Every single person I’ve talked to who has been the cheater, wished they had not cheated, had been honest and then had not begged the person back, because deep down, they knew it wasn’t right and they carried the pain out way longer than they should have.

I can vouch for that..Coming from someone who has been cheated on and stayed with the guy years longer than I should have, all I can say is I caused myself a lot of unnecessary pain and really wished I would’ve walked away right then and there.

I heard from a mutual friend that Jason’s girlfriend ended up finding out he was cheating. Mind you him and I didn’t do ANYTHING physical, but for a woman… this still counts as cheating. He was going behind her back consistently seeing, talking to, liking another girl.

They broke up and now she’s dating someone new who she is happier with. However, they stayed together a while longer after she found out and tried to make it work and I heard from our mutual friend that things just got real ugly, real quick. She slept in the same bed with him for a while, while she knew he was with other woman. Owwww.

The days that used to be full of “I miss you” and “Can’t wait to see you,” texts turned into desperate and frantic phone calls yelling at each other, playing the game of whose words can cut the deepest.

She began over compensating for what she felt she was lacking by wearing less and saying more. Her personality turned jealous and bitter (an ugly look on anyone) and she was no longer the girl Jason fell in love with in the first place.

She became extremely paranoid and controlling, so he resented her and acted the same way, because he felt as if she would try to get him back. He felt more trapped than ever. It was never the same and after one drunk night of screaming, fighting, throwing things and tears, he never heard from her again.

His friend says Jason cared about her so much and hated how bad things had gotten between them. He wished he would have just been a man and ended it when he started questioning whether being together was the right thing anymore. That should’ve been his answer right there.

When I hear about other couples who get back together after cheating, the stories are never much different from Jason’s. One person starts resenting the other person. One person feels trapped. One person sweats over when it’s going to happen next. One person feels like they are walking on egg shells. Both people feel terrible. Neither are in a space to experience the freeing, liberating love that everyone deserves.

Yeah… there are some people who make it work… but I think that’s pretty rare. The ones I’ve seen that have worked took a long, long, long, break from each other (I mean years) and even then, I question whether these people are really being honest with themselves that the fear of the other person cheating wouldn’t be in the back of their minds. If you’ve ever had this fear, you know it’s consuming and paralyzing. Not worth it.

My situation with Jason taught me how strongly I feel about loyalty. I want a partner in life who is loyal to a fault. I know if I trust the other person, I’ll trust myself. If I know they would never hurt me, I would never hurt them.

I want a partner who would take a bullet for me and who would rather tell me the truth and lose me then lie just to keep me, simply because they respect me that much. I want a person who can’t imagine putting me through that kind of pain.

My situation with Jason also taught me how to see cheating from all sides for the first time. I had gotten to know Jason more than some of the other guys. I felt for him a bit later on when my adrenaline died down. He was so distraught the day I found out. I knew he liked me.

I knew he wasn’t proud of what had happened. I knew he was a 24-year old boy (remember the brain isn’t even fully developed until about 25–30) stuck with a shared dog, home and car and I can’t even claim he was a bad guy.

Our mutual friend told me his life was a mess when she found out, but that there was also much more to the story I didn’t know. She had a few of her own messes and had broken his trust many times before.

In fact, when his friends told me they liked me that day at the museum, it was because they believed I was a bit more of a class act than his girl. Apparently she was a big flirt, with a wandering eye and undeniable need for male attention at all times. She was rude and mean to Jason. No one wanted them to be together anymore.

After hearing this, I thought long and hard about Jason’s relationship. At times I thought she was right and at times I thought he was right. Then I realized they were both a little bit right and a little bit wrong and I also figured out where things went awry.

I wish I could’ve put a bun on my head and sat on a couch across from them with a notepad and my clear frames on pretending I was a famous couples therapist. Maybe I could’ve helped them. Raise your hand if you think I would make a great couples therapist? I think that is what I will be for Halloween as I think I would really enjoy a night where I was entitled to tell people what to do and how to love. I do it often. See below.

Here’s what I found:

Cheating for women- it’s an emotional thing.

Cheating for men- it’s a physical thing.

Here’s an example of what I am talking about:

One guy constantly talked to other girls, hung out with other girls, got other girls numbers, lied about other girls, and liked other girls throughout his relationship but never actually touched one of them. In turn, he was very controlling of his girlfriend because of the fear that she would do the same thing back to him, leaving her feeling suffocated and insecure in a relationship where the trust was clearly broken. One day, she went to Vegas, had one too many drinks and kissed another guy. He ended the relationship the minute he found out.

In his eyes, she was the one who cheated. She broke the trust and ruined the relationship.

In her eyes, he had done all of that long before her kiss.

Most girls I talk to are on the girl’s side.

Most guy’s I talk to are on the guy’s side.

In my eyes, neither of them are completely wrong… Why?

LET’S GET BACK TO CAVEMAN BASICS FOR A SEC:

Women= Primarily emotional

Men= Primarily physical

A woman is instinctively nurturing and maternal. Nothing will hurt her more than the emotional pain that is caused by her mate desiring another woman and acting on it even if it is not a physical act. That rocks her to her core, because she is supposed to be a mama and reproduce. If she’s monogamous and her mate desires another woman, that lessens her chances to reproduce to her full potential. It lessens her chances to have a strong mate as a provider. What if her mate wants to bring food to other women’s babies and not her own? To her, her man desiring another woman is as painful as if her child called another person “mommy,” instead of her. It’s a pain only she can understand, so Vegas girl was never going to look at Sketch ball boyfriend the same the moment she found out he was pursuing other women.

A guy wants to think you are his and only his and that he is the only one who can have you. It’s in his competitive survival instincts. He is supposed to lock you down and sew is wild oats. When another guy touched Vegas girl, it was like one dog peed on another dog’s clearly marked fire hydrant. Sorry for the graphics, but I want you to understand… Sketch ball boyfriend was never going to look at her the same, no matter how much he loved her and wanted to. She was peed on. By another dog. The smell would never really go away…

JASON AND HIS GIRLFRIEND BOTH CHEATED. VEGAS GIRL AND HER SKETCHBALL BF ALSO BOTH CHEATED. At the end of the day, no matter who is right and who is wrong, cheating is cheating and whether or not it happened is really in the eyes of the beholder.

What cheating does is break trust and it’s up to each person to determine when their trust is broken or when it is in-tact. No one can tell you they did or didn’t break your trust. If they did by kissing someone or if they did by getting someone else’s number, they did. Simple as that.

For me, trust is like glass. When it’s broken, you can put the pieces back together, but they’ll never be the same. But what if he’s your soul mate? What if it meant nothing? What if you love each other so much. You ask? Easy. I wouldn’t walk down the aisle to a man who could ever dream of putting those kinds of tears in my eyes. My soul mate and the person who loves wouldn’t cheat on me. Those are my standards. Period.

IT SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS:

I was talking to this one guy on the dating apps for a while. He met a girl he was interested in, deleted the apps, and let me know right away the next time I reached out. We had undeniable chemistry but still to this day, if I were to reach out, he would be short and kind or ignore me all together. He’s not going to mess around when it comes to losing the woman of his dreams. He is not going to even put himself in a situation where his male instincts could take over and that could maybe happen. He’s a quality dude.

I told my parents the other day that when someone finally comes to them and asks for my hand in marriage, I want them to ask him what is the most important quality to him in a relationship. If his answer is not first God… then trust or loyalty, I want them to tell him no.

I want my partner for life to be on my team, to have my back through everything, to stand up for me, to fight for me, to believe in our love more than anything else. If I find myself in anything besides that, I won’t settle for it.

I really don’t want you to either. Each week I tell a story and I try to make it super clear that no matter how many times I’ve fallen down in this process, I still believe in love, I believe everyone deserves it and I want everyone to raise their standards for the type of love they are going to have.

My last words on this topic…

To the cheated: I’ve heard from the people who’ve found it, that love is supposed to be liberating. It’s supposed to set you free. Once you’ve been cheated on, you’re probably feeling anything but that. Love yourself, and leave. Please.

To the person who is dabbling with the idea of cheating: It’s not worth it. It’s not worth the heart racing high feeling heroin addicts get. Most heroin addicts admit heroin feels really good in the moment, but they also wish they weren’t addicts and the aftermath sucks. They turn into drooling angry loser zombies. Not fun.

To the person who is the other person:I hate to break it to you, but no matter what excuses the person is giving you, they are not into you if they’re still dating or with someone else. The classy thing to do is to not be a homewrecker and to bow out gracefully. All you’re doing is letting your self-respect meter take a blow and settle for less than love. Come on… Believe you’re more than that.

To the cheater: We know you can probably fire off about 20 reasons to us about why you did what you did. We know you’re not a bad person and we all make mistakes, but what you did was a mistake and now is your chance to do the right thing. Do all of us a favor and come clean and or leave the relationship you’re in right now.

If you ever cared for that person even one bit, then you should know that they deserve the truth, they deserve respect and they deserve for you to walk away from them and allow them to move on so they can find the love of their life who would never do something like that to them. Maybe doing this will open a door for you to solve some problems in your own life and meet the person of your dreams as well.

You never know… But you won’t ever find out if you stay in this mess of guilt and shame. Also, please don’t cheat again. I currently do not believe in the phrase, “once a cheater always a cheater.” Please don’t be the reason I change my mind.

We are human. We have temptations. We have instincts. But what separates us from animals is that we don’t have to act on them.

Let’s not be animals….

Let’s be human.

Can I get a hallelujah, Amen.

INTERMISSION, IF YOU WILL…

I took a break after posting about the first five dudes to relax for a week, as well as do some more outreach and research in regards to my writing. As I’ve stated before, I had no idea what would come of this while I was doing the 10 Dudes on Tinder social experiement over the past year. Maybe it was just for fun. Maybe it was healing for me to write about. Maybe a bit of both and more, but I have to say that ever since I posted about dude #1, I’ve been shocked at all of the feedback I’ve received.

Hundreds of people have reached out saying Ten Dudes on Tinder has become their favorite Tuesday past time, has made them laugh, made them think about things differently, made them step away from unhealthy relationships and even develop a healthier relationship with themselevs. Some messages I’ve recieved have brought tears to my eyes (I’m not a big crier) and I couldn’t be more grateful for those of you who are religiously following along, reading and sharing my posts, because as of yesterday, we’ve reached 11,000 reads!

This is incredible because even the fact that one life has been positively touched by this writing is (maybe selfishly) priceless to me. You participating in this project with me is the greatest gift. THANK YOU! You are now the reason I stay up all night writing this because I want to deliver some good stuff to all of you and of course, we can’t forget about the random girls I met that day at the Broad who helped me come up with the whole idea. P.S. I FOUND A PICTURE OF US AHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH:

After finishing each post about each dude, I would listen to the feedback people were giving me and use that as amo for my blog the next week. Texts, phone calls, and messages came in from people asking for more, telling me what they liked and didn’t like; what they needed to hear. I soaked it all up (please keep it coming). Guys and girls were asking me anonymous questions on my Instagram and Facebok live events and 10 Dudes on Tinder has beome a side hussle for me now.

Therefore, I did what any business person would do… I didn’t just want to keep creating by only going off of my gut, I wanted to make sure I was serving my audience the best I could. So, I did some research during my week of downtime and completely tilted my head to the right like a confused puppy when I found out that my primary audience is males ages 18–34 in big cities around the U.S!

To be honest, I wasn’t expecting even.one.guy to read this. I thought it would be my mom and a few of my girlfriends. But it all makes sense now… DUDES want to hear what women are thinking about DUDES! Why was this shocking to me? It should’ve been so obvious!

Fun Fact: I am a girls girl through and through, but I’ve also been incredibly blessed with some of the greatest guy friends a girl could ask for in life. I was a bit of a tom-boy growing up and even ended up being the sweetheart of my favorite fraternity when I was in college. I LOVE my dude friends. I have relationships with tons of guys, who don’t make it weird, treat me like their sister and have never crossed the line.Their girlfriends are my friends, I’m invited to their weddings and I am confident that I am an expert third-wheeler.

Further, when I moved to L.A., joining the dating apps allowed me to make and meet a TON more guys friends. Often times, I would meet the friends of the guys I was dating and I am still in contact with them today. I have a wide variety of close guy friends. They’re from all walks of life when it comes to abilities, culture, poltical views, etc. I also have a brother. Brothers teach you so much. Love you brother. At the end of the day no matter their differences, dudes are dudes. Gotta love em.

My point is, I’ve had the opportunity to be around men and get in their heads A LOT. More than most. I’ve watched my guy friends cry about girls, I’ve been by their sides through tough relationships, I’ve unforutnatley heard a fair share of locker room talk and they’ve all been super generous to tell me exactly what they’re thinking when I’ve asked them for their imput about women along the way.

However, I never really tell them what GIRLS are thinking and nor do they ask (often)… Probably because dudes just don’t talk about that stuff as much with girls…They would much rather read this kind of thing alone at night in bed when noone is around (I’ve had a handful of guys admit this to me. I am loving it).

So after seeing numbers that prove my dude friends are loving all this women/dating enlightenment I’m writing about just as much as all of the other genders out there, I thought there couldn’t be a better time for me to introduce dude #6… The Nice Dude. When I think of all my incredible quality guy friends out there, I think this next story is the one that is going to be pretty controversial, but also benefit you the most.

#8 The Athlete Dude

He will invite you to his games and to the super exclusive after parties of his games. His friends will say hi and be super nice, but no one will call you by your first name. Instead, they’ll call you his “girl” because he’s brought so many girls to those things that they’re afraid they’ll get it wrong so taking a stab at it would cause more trouble than what it’s worth. Take note that just because they call you that, just because he gives you signed paraphernalia, just because you wear his jersey every night as a night gown with tall socks and just because you met his mom while sitting in the box, front row or court side, does not mean you are actually his girl. He has a lot of people he calls “fans” who live in the different states he’s traveled to and a lot of them wear his jersey at night too. He will make it clear that his sport comes before you, so you spend all your days feeling like a second place trophy, but you’re okay with it as long as you’re still considered a trophy. You may have a few moments when he force feeds you a hotdog or way too much alcohol even though you are vegan and don’t really drink. Their egos also require an abnormal amount of fluffing. And they also do an abnormal amount of farting.. Smoking. Drinking, chew, and sunflower seeds are not going to be removed from their daily routine, so stop trying and since they travel often, the creepy shirtless selfies of them after they’ve hit the gym will not stop coming. Once you realize this dudes not a home run, tell him GAME OVER and keep running girl… far, far away until the bright lights and scoreboard are far off in the distance and a distant memory.

My story:

If there’s one person I know well… it’s the athlete. I don’t believe I’ve ever dated a guy who didn’t play some type of sport. I was an athlete myself growing up and I tried almost every sport and stuck with soccer, track and cheer for years, so I really respect the disciplined, competitive, toned, hot guy with his name in lights. Also…Who doesn’t?

I grew up in a small town. #Murica. In high school, I was a very innocent gal, but I may or may not have put on my cute workout clothes to do wind sprints up hills with the football team. I may or may not have tanned on top of the baseball dug outs before practices.

I may or may not have bought one too many Starbucks grande nonfat mocha fraps and sat in the bleachers under the hot summer sun watching cute boys catch balls while giggling at them from the side lines.

I may or may not have been way too excited when I got to wear a jersey to homecoming and it was routine for me to steal my guy friend’s sports attire and wear it with pride (my poor brother).

My first kiss was to our high school’s running back when he was sweaty in his jersey with his shaggy Justin Bieber hair and glowing green teenager boy eyes listening to Billy Currington on Homecoming behind the bleachers under the stars. Our teeth hit and I was embarrassed so I ran away. I was a huge nerd. It was awesome.

A year or so later, I was running track during a football practice, ran a little too hard, puked in the trash can and a football player came up to see if I was okay.

A few weeks later, the same one “accidentally” threw a football at my head to get my attention during his high school Fright Night.

I ended up being the cheerleader that dated that football player who happened to go to our rival high school and I never missed one of his games for the two years we were dating, even if I was mad at him.

He wrote me a dramatic Valentines day note once that said this is how he knew I was one of the most loyal girls he had ever met. That meant a lot to me. I never forgot that!

It made me realize just how important it is to me to show up for the people you love, no matter what. To support them. To root for them. To protect and defend them. To be on their team.

Therefore, if you were to ask me what one of my biggest regrets in my last relationship would be, I would tell you #noregrets because I learned so much.

Then I would say if I had to choose, it would be the fact that I missed the one game I ever had the chance to see my guy (who is an incredible athlete) play in after he had graduated college, was no longer playing sports and was asked to sub- in for his injured friend one day.

We had just started getting serious and were about to go on a road trip, so I was nervous and wanted to look pretty for the eight-hour car ride. I spent too much time getting ready and packing and I missed the game.

I made up some excuse and he brushed it off as if it was no big deal, but I know that nothing is more important to an athlete dude than knowing his lady is there rooting for him in the stands win or lose.

He would’ve rather had me come looking like a slob then not come at all, but a lot of time’s an athlete’s girlfriend feels a strange pressure to look super cute while watching him in the stands. She’s representing him in a way. So sue me.

I never told him and he probably wouldn’t remember or care, but knowing I missed that game hurts my heart. Mostly because looking back on it, one of my favorite things about that relationship was that we were always so incredibly supportive of each other, almost to a fault. We made a great team.

We were each other’s #1 fans and I know for a fact he would’ve never missed mine. Let me take this sports analogy on a little bit longer of a tangent because it sounds so good..

NOW…I believe in showing up for the people you love. But when someone chooses to take you off their team, it’s time to stop showing up. Remember you’re a great player with lots of value to add. So that’s their loss.

Stop reaching out. Stop calling. Stop texting. Stop following up with mutual friends. Stop making them relevant in your life. Please. Just play it cool… Don’t talk badly about them, don’t cry, beg, freak out, and ask to be put back on their team. Remember… rejection, is just God pointing you in the right direction.

Instead, take your pride and what you’ve learned through the blood, sweat and tears and go play better for someone else. Remember this person at one time was exactly the teammate you were proud to stand next to and respect your time with them.

It wasn’t a waste because you grew and you learned something. Remind yourself of this and choose to be better, not bitter. That’s what good sports do…and that’s what winners do.

Okay I’m done… back to dude #8

Now that you understand my history with sports, I need to throw you a bit of a curve ball (pun intended)… Love athletes? Yes. Love being an athlete? Yes. Love sports?

Not so much. I do not follow them at all and the only reason I do from time to time is so that I can whip out some fun facts in a male dominated business meeting.

The girl who beats herself up for missing ex-boyfriend’s no big deal sports game is also the girl who threw a fit when he took her to watch a basketball game on their anniversary. Yikes.Girls can be complicated.

Let me get something straight: I said I like play sports. I said I like to support the ones I love doing what they love and the ones I’ve loved have always happened to be athletes.

But when people are playing sports who I have no connection to, I see absolutely no point in sitting in close quarters with passionate, sweaty people who drink beer and eat meat (two things I don’t do often) watching people run around and or hit each other with their bodies or balls or sticks.

Okay…that was dramatic and someone told me I embellish my stories too much the other day so I am trying to tone it down… (not).

I do actually enjoy watching a sports game from time to time with good company and have a lot of respect for sports people, but I’ve just got to be honest with myself and admit that I’m never going to care enough to completely understand what is going on.

I have ADHD and have been to one too many super bowl parties where I find myself watching the puppy bowl in a corner on my phone by myself instead because I came to the conclusion that the puppies were cuter than any of the players that game…

I’ve always refused to pretend that I am the cool girl who follows sports, knows the stats, knows the athlete’s names and stands and screams at them like her life depends on it. I wish I was her. I think it’s cool. I respect that. But I’m just not that. Take it or leave it.

Adam, dude #8 took it. His sport (which I will not name because the industry is small and I don’t believe he deserves to have his dating life jeopardized) was his whole world and he said it was nice to have someone in his life who was almost an escape from all of that; who brought a new and unique perspective.

He was used to having girls swoon over him and put him on a pedestal quickly just because of the bells and whistles that were attached to his job and luckily, I’ve dated guys like him, so it took more for my swoon-dar to go off.

I met Adam for a casual lunch after one of his practices on a hot day under the sun. We ate at this really good sandwich shop. I think I will go back to that place tomorrow. He was a bit sweaty and wore athleisure stuff with a backwards hat. SOMEONE FAN THE FLAMES.

He was in great shape and all I could think of was how I really needed to hit the gym. So I did later that day. I am grateful for him because he totally remains an inspiration for me to get in better shape. He was DEDICATED. He did not miss a workout. Even it meant waking up at 4am. It was admirable.

It was refreshing see how humble Adam seemed. He was definitely one of the best players in his league, I knew this because I was a creep and looked it up, but he talked less about the stats and more about his passion for the game. He didn’t have the whole I’m too cool for school complex.

When guys brag too much about their achievements it’s a big turn off. It’s better to drop hints about things here and there and leave some mystery. Seriously.

He came from the mid-west. He was raised in faith, and had a strong moral compass. He had long-ish hair, hazel eyes and the most adorable crooked smile.

When I looked at him, he made me feel that high school cheerleader crush thing again. Our sandwiches were good. Mine was vegan and gluten-free. I am so LA. He told me so. When two worlds collide. So cute…

He started trying to explain ha sport to me, but after a while, I simply smiled and admitted to him I had no idea what he was talking about when it came to the games. All I knew was that he probably looked good doing it.

He laughed and told me he appreciated I wasn’t like all the other girls who jumped up from their seats screaming and arguing about the game with his friends like they knew it better. I was different than what he was used to.

I went to his next game a few days later by myself to watch him play. It was a practice game and we were going to hang out after, so I didn’t really think to invite a friend. As I sat there, I began to feel weird and this was a defining moment for me in my 10 dudes journey.

In the past, I would’ve sat in the stands wearing the guy’s jersey with pride, watching his every move and being as supportive as I could. I spent years doing that for the guys I dated..But this felt different.

At this moment, I was simply thinking about all of the other things I needed to get done and could be doing instead. I remembered how much time commitment a relationship takes. It’s a commitment you’ve got to take seriously and be ready for because it will change your life.

It had been a while since I’d been in one. I forgot that the truth holds- no matter how much you love someone, time with them is time away from yourself and it was at that game that I began to feel like I was at a place in my life where I didn’t want to date anyone…besides myself.

I wanted to be selfish with my time. I had seriously never felt that feeling before. I had dated people on and off since the 7th grade. I was usually scared to be alone. Now… that’s all I wanted. I wasn’t scared at all. I was excited. And shocked.

The weirdest part of it all was that Adam was great…he was actually as close to everything I was looking for out of any of the guys I had dated thus far. He checked off so many of the boxes on my list.

I started to wonder if there was something wrong with me, but that’s when the “it’s not you, it’s me” thing comes in. I had been told that line before and always thought it was absolute bologna. I still think it’s a dumb excuse to break up with someone. But now…I at least empathize with the people who have had that thought before…

As I sat there, I felt like I was wasting time watching someone else pursue their dreams when I could’ve been using that time to chase mine. It made me not want to be with anyone… Adam had nothing to do with it. I just felt an overwhelming need and desire to be by myself and do my own thing.

I deserved that time and I should not be made to feel bad about that. I thought in that moment that even if my ultimate man crush Eddie Redmayne was on his hands and knees begging me to marry him, I would tell him that I would have to think about it…That’s when I knew I was serious.

Here is a pic of Eddie. You’re welcome.

I had my journal in my purse (I obviously had an inkling I was going to be bored that day) and took it out. This is what I wrote:

3/4/2017

There are 365 days in a year and the average lifespan of a female in the U.S. is 81. This means I have 30,000 days (more or less) to follow my dreams. And we think we have time…

P.s. I just read this quote to my best friend Abby (who is an aspiring lawyer/real life Elle Woods and top of her class in law school aka a very smart person) and she said that this is inaccurate because life expectancy actually changes throughout your life.

I don’t really know what that means, but I am going to pretend I didn’t hear that because again, apparently my writing is dramatic so that sounds like something I would do.

The my writing being too dramatic thing could also be a valid point. But I am going to pretend I didn’t hear that either because the 15k reads make me think it’s working and people may like it. So I am going to keep it that way.

I’m slightly kidding (dramatic me haha) I really do appreciate all of the feedback. Thank you for those of you who are sharing! Seriously.

On with the story…

God’s timing is funny. That night at dinner, Adam told me he would leave that Monday to go to a different state to play there for a while. He told he liked me and would like to continue talking. I gave a half smile and said “why not.” I knew things were not going to work out.

My last relationship was all long distance and I realized I really didn’t want to enter into a situation like that again at that time. The different time zones, the phone calls, the money, the flights, the falling asleep with each other on facetime all of the missing each other. It’s too much and I just wasn’t up to it.

When he left, we were at a strange point where we weren’t ready to take the next step, but we also weren’t ready to cut it off. So we left it in the grey zone and we were both really okay with that.

It was nice to end something off on good terms for once and a few weeks later, I started seeing him doing what many young professional athletes do on off season…

Going to bars and clubs, and making guest appearances on way too many snap chats with girls all over them. When I saw a few of them, I was annoyed for a minute, but then I took a deep breath and was thankful that I didn’t have to deal with that again.

He called once or twice, and then through time, our text messages became shorter. I remember looking down at the last text I sent him telling him about my day- “it was good!” I knew he wouldn’t respond to that and I didn’t really want him to.

He reached out to me recently to ask if he was one of the 10 Dudes. I told him no… just like I have to all of the other guys who have asked. But since I now know that he’s an avid reader of this blog, I know he’s going to know… so HI ADAM!!!!!(Adam is not his real name, relax).

Adam would like everyone to know that I was a great girl to date and that if we weren’t half way across the country, maybe things would be different (blushing). He also wanted me to tell everyone that he’s been reading my blog and he agrees with everything I am saying. He hopes it encourages more people to raise their standards and go for quality gals and dudes. WHY THANK YOU!

I’m happy we can catch up as friends and that nothing feels weird. Even though I am sure it must feel weird to have a blog written about you… most of the guys have not seemed to mind and have been following along. Soooo… Yolo. :)

I think my time with Adam was proof that when things end with someone, it’s best to play it cool. If you’re the crazy girl, you’ll ruin all chances of anything happening in the future and that’s a big bummer.

(Trust me. I could tell you stories… but we will save the “AHHHHH HEARTBREAK FREAKING HURTS: AM I GOING TO DIE? OR AM I ALREADY DEAD? ASKING FOR A FRIEND” stories for a different blog post)

Look… If it’s meant to be… it’ll be. I could’ve been upset with Adam and said things to him like, “Uh you say you want to stay in contact and then we stop talking and I see you in snapchats with girls all over you so clearly that was a lie and you suck…”

Or something like that ( I’ve seen these txts sent WAY too many times) but I didn’t because I’ve learned that being the bigger person and letting go of things gracefully feels so much better than when you lose your cool out of anger, pain,etc.

You want to be getting these…

(A message I received a couple months ago from one of my 10 Dudes)

Not sending these because they’ve stopped responding to you or even blocked you…

(A message very similar to one of the many Harry Potter novel length sad and sorry text messages I’ve sent in my life time)

Okay maybe that’s kind of funny. Now I am laughing….I know we all deal with pain differently…

But seriously…it doesn’t feel good knowing that most can say you’re a pretty cool person, but also knowing there are a few people out there who would say “Umm….well…Let’s just say I’ve seen her at her darkest…” You don’t want that. You just don’t.

With that being said, when the Adam thing ended, I was in a good, strong and transformational place in my life. Letting go of stuff is hard, but it’s always harder to deal with crap when you’re already feeling like crap.

So although I felt hopeful about where things were going with him for a bit and although I was bummed when I figured out they were actually going nowhere fast, letting go of stuff with him wasn’t really that hard because I was feeling great. I just told myself to forget about it and stop thinking about it. And I did. The power of the mind is incredible.

I had learned a lot of stuff I did (and didn’t) want to learn in the past year dating all of the dudes. I was taking charge of my health, my career and my life. I was working on 10 Dudes along with a few other things I was very passionate about. I was excited about where my life was headed.

I had done a lot of hard work in a lot of places in my life that so desperately needed it and I wasn’t done just yet. I wouldn’t shut off the idea of dating if another guy came around and it was convenient to date him, but I simply didn’t feel like I had the time and energy to give to a guy right then.

I hate to admit it… but I don’t believe I had every truly been so happy and content on my own until around March of this past year. The feeling was exciting and liberating. I was just getting started and I was not ready to give that up yet.

Lastly, sort of like with the enlightened dude, my dreams and Adam’s dreams just didn’t match up at the moment and at the end of the day, if we were both really so taken by each other, we would’ve made it work.

That’s why the it’s not you it’s me excuse is BS. That may be true, but it’s Just another way to tell someone you’re not that into it… They say if there is a will, there’s a way. Don’t know who “they” is, but I believe them.

Sometimes, there doesn’t need to be some big huge lesson about why something did or didn’t work out. It just didn’t and that’s okay. That’s what dating is…Trying it out until you figure it out.

Sometimes it’s okay to be selfish; to focus on yourself. Don’t let someone tell you it’s not. This is your life. Demand time to be alone. Sometimes it what you need to be the best version of yourself and I always say when you’re the best version of you, you’ll find the best love.

For example, I used to be in a long distance relationship. Every day I would wake up, work out, work from 9–6, eat dinner, then FaceTime him until I went to sleep. No matter how much I loved him and our FaceTime sessions, that was time away from me.

When we broke up, I had a whole lot of time after work that I was forced to fill. I had to sit in my own thoughts. I began writing, journaling, meal prepping, writing 10 Dudes… finding other hobbies.

None of that would’ve happened if we were together. I am a completely different person now and I love who I’ve become. I think everyone needs a point in their life when they’re simply alone and fall in love with themselves first. It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

A relative called me around my birthday, April 2nd and asked me if I was dating anyone. I told them no. They asked why and I said I simply didn’t want to. I was really happy on my own and it would take someone who absolutely blows my mind and blows my standards out of the water in order to get me to even think about wanting to settle down again.

After that phone call, I laughed, because I realized I was only two dudes away from completing my promise to those girls at the museum that one day. My Ten Dudes on Tinder dream was becoming a reality.

Adam was great. But if things kept going with him, I would’ve never met dudes 9 and 10. I may have never finished this crazy social experiment/story that has ended up touching many people’s hearts.

I may have never discovered I loved to write. I didn’t know people would enjoy my writing despite the typos, sarcasm, lack of structure and vulnerability or that it would make people laugh, cry, and make decisions that would change the course f their lives for the better.

Let go of things gracefully… because when one door closes, another opens. It’s funny how life works that way…

#9 The C-List Celebrity Dude

C-list means sort of famous, but not super famous. These people aren’t household names, but they are well-known in many households…if that makes sense. This dude can be the artist, ghost, enlightened, monster, ivy-league, nice guy, not-so-single or athlete dude, a combination of a few of those or a completely different type of dude. But for some reason, he’s a dude people want to know. OR he could be a dude people don’t want to know and are perhaps forced to know for some reason or the other (how some of you feel about the President). Maybe he exists because a picture of him surfaced high fiving the president. Maybe he exists because he made a funny Youtube video that went viral. Maybe he exists because his dad is a famous scientist. Maybe he exists because he is somehow the CEO of a company at the age of 21. Maybe he exists just because he’s really rich and looks pretty. The options are endless, but the point is, mass amounts of people know that he exists. Therefore, he has thousands of social media followers with a check mark by his name. He has professional photos of himself doing things that shouldn’t require professional photos…aren’t you just eating pizza? He is asked to promote products and partner with companies and then they send him gifts in the mail and he takes pictures of himself opening them. He doesn’t wait in lines. Not even for his green juice at whole foods. He gets tables and bottle service wherever he goes, first class tickets wherever he flies, and people hit him up all the time to ask him what he is doing. Because he. is.where. it’s. at… No one even knows what “it” is, because a lot of times we just wait for him to tell us. That’s because he’s the coooool dude in the “in” crowd. He is first to go to every new event. You’ll see him at every premiere and party and is socializing at all times, but he will still somehow convince you that he leads a quiet, mysterious life. He wears all black, dark shades, and athleisure and is probably friends with Justin Bieber. They’ve taken an Uber black together a few times and stuff. It’s whatever. He dedicates his free time to some charity and looks great on paper, until you realize he may not be that great on the inside. I would say run from this guy like I do about all the other guys, but you can run all you want… you’re not going to be able to hide from the paparazzi and weird scene fans after they find out you’re his girl. So instead, I would say be proactive and back away slowly from this guy the second you meet him, He’s trouble (just like T-swizzle’s song…)

My story:

The first line at the beginning of this 10 Dudes on Tinder Story says, “Los Angeles is filled with a lot of people who think they’re somebody.” I say that because it’s true. The dreamers and the doers from all walks of life come here. I lived in beach towns most of my life and although I love them so much, I’ve always felt like I needed to be somewhere where people move as fast as I move. I’ve always wanted to be in a place where I thought people were doing big things so that I would stay challenged.

I was born in Santa Cruz and went to college in San Diego (because I didn’t get into UCLA) and also because I knew people there (aka my best friend, my boyfriend and his sister). So when I moved to LA… I was finally in a place I could make my own. I did it for me because I wanted to be there. No one influenced me to make that decision besides me, myself and I and I’ve been here for a year now and could not be more in love with the place.

Ever since I can remember, I was drawn to the Hollywood sign, the walk of fame and the hustle and bustle of the entertainment industry and although I quickly figured out like everyone else that hiking up a super steep dusty hill to see the Hollywood sign is not really worth ruining your white nikes for, that the walk of fame smells like pee, that you may have an asthma attack if you go on a run due to all of the pollution, or an anxiety attack if you get stuck in rush hour on the 405, I guess that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure because this place makes my heart beat.

When I need to think, I’ll take a long drive up to PCH. When I’m happy, I’ll go walk on the beach. When I’m sad, I’ll go drive to one of my favorite spots where I can see all of the city lights and stars. When I need to feel inspired… I can go anywhere.

I see people hustling, living pay check to pay check pursuing their dreams everywhere I look. It’s a shark tank here and since my Gallup Strengths profile says that my #1 strength is competition, it’s obvious to me that being around people like this really fuels my fire.

I take a work out class and see a fitness coach who has mastered their body. I go into a coffee shop and find someone working on their startup to change the world; the transient on the metro is a spoken word artist selling water bottles to pay for their rent, my Uber driver is a music composer/ law student and the guy I meet on bumble is a celebrity.

Say what?

Yes. It’s true. I will not tell anyone who it is. I really don’t want him to reach out. I don’t want to be famous because I was the girl that wrote the story about the famous dude- ya hear me? I want to be famous on my own. I want to be more famous than him so that he will write a story about how I once knew him. Over a dating app. For a month or three. That would be cool. So please support me in this crazy dream. If ya’ll keep sharing this blog with people you love and on social media maybe it will happen. Okay…I’m sort of kidding.

Devil on my shoulder: LOL not.

Anyway…after things ended with the athlete dude #9, I came to the conclusion I didn’t want to date anymore. I didn’t know that during this social experiment I would learn so much about myself and gain such strong opinions on dating, life, love and relationships.

I wanted to be alone because I was really happy that way for the first time, in a long time. I actually became scared of meeting a potential dude I really liked, so I decided that I would stop using the dating apps and that I would change my blog to “Boys on Bumble” or something of the sort, so I didn’t have to live up to my 10 guys goal.

BOOOOO! NOOOO! You cry.

YAY I HAVE FANS!

SO cool. I’m such a nerd. I love whoever has stuck this out and read this all so much. You know who you are- I can’t say it enough. Thank you.

FURTHERMORE…

On Monday I took a walk during my lunch break (got to get that cardio in) and pulled up my dating apps up to delete them. The second I did, I mean… THAT SECOND my phone buzzed. I got a new match! This guy was a beautiful human and I had hoped that he would match with me when I first swiped right on his profile a few weeks ago.

Okay… I told myself, I’m just going to give this one last person a go… Then if it doesn’t work out, I’m done. LIFE IS CRAZY. It’s like the universe was like, “NAHH BLAIRE YOU’VE GOT TO FINISH 10 DUDES! DON’T LET DOWN THE PEOPLE.”

So… I didn’t life… I didn’t.

After we matched, I took a look at his other pictures. He looked familiar. Where had I seen him before…? In my dreams…? No. I saw him on/in/at (FILL IN THE BLANK) wow I want to blurt it out and tell you so bad but I can’t. WHOH I said… It’s (BLA BLA BLA!) I totally knew who it was!

I won’t describe him at all because I just can’t, but this dude was well known among people in the entertainment industry (it seems big, but the world gets small real quick) and I had just matched with him. He made for a perfect dude #9 story. Bingo. Let the games begin.

I know it sounds evil that that was my first thought after we matched, but I’ve got to be honest: There were so many times I wanted to change my dating app bios to, “If you’re an actor or model -swipe left.” (but that’s not a good idea because I recommend keeping your bio’s short, positive, warm and welcoming with a dash of your personality whether it be sugar or spice).

So I didn’t do that. But I did get real tired of talking to the semi-famous dude with the inflated ego who is entitled and rude or the semi-famous dude who pretended he had an inflated ego but was actually the most insecure of all who is also entitled and rude.

I swear to you that sometimes it seems like all of them live in Los Angeles and that the majority of the time I swiped, that’s the type of person who would pop up on my screen. I will admit this is me being A BIT dramatic here. But still. Ego is ruining this world. Ego needs to go. I’m gonna Leggo my eggo. You leggo your eggo too. Im done.

Moving on-

Why, good day. Welcome to Interpersonal Communication class, students! I am one of few Communication scholars who took my education seriously and actually paid attention in class. You’re welcome. Here is a quick social science lesson on Attraction. Pay attention please. This is not a class any of you should want to fail in:

A lot of times once you know someone is famous for one reason or another, you treat them differently from the start because you admire them. The word Famous literally means “known about by many people” (dictionary.com) and when someone is well known/well liked, it’s like we immediately have rose colored goggles on when we look at them compared to anyone else in the world.

It’s what we Communication majors call the Attraction Theory (dun dun dun)- The really annoying theory that claims most of us naturally tend to like people who are more attractive than most other people due to their looks, status, wealth, education, relationships, etc. It’s survival of the fittest, baby.

Better stop eating all that chocolate and start doing double days at the gym. I am partly talking to myself, but if I just inspired you to go on a run- cool. Either way, no one ever said the world was fair. Let.me.tell.you.

Further, Communication scholars believe every social interaction, verbal or nonverbal, is an exchange of some sort of information. A relationship is a continuous social interaction where couples are exchanging information about value. A relationship will last as long as each individual believes that they are receiving more or an equal amount of value from their partner in one way or antother:

Stay with partner= My partner is adding more value to my life or an equal amount of value to my life compared to how much value I am adding to theirs.

Leave partner= My partner is adding an equal amount of value to my life but I want more or they are adding less value to my life compared to how much value I am adding to theirs.

I found a letter a guy I dated wrote to me a long time ago. One of the lines said this:

“You are the object of my desire, the brightest light in my life and the strongest love I’ve ever felt.”

When relationships end and we are crying like chewbacca and snorting like pigs with mascara on our pillows hugging our blankies, we read old messages like these and think HOW COULD THEY HAVE BEEN SO IN LOVE WITH ME ONE MINUTE AND WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH ME NOW? AHHHHHH!

Well the answer is simply because they do not believe you are providing enough value to their life for them to stay. People value different things. Maybe their values changed, maybe yours changed. But you are no longer their object of desire or their brightest light or the strongest love they’ve ever felt anymore because of it.

Like a shiny car that gets too many miles on it, somehow, some way, you’ve become a debt and not an asset to them. That should be enough of a slap in the face for you to walk away from them. Ouch that hurts.

BUT LISTEN UP- NEW GROUND BREAKING DISCOVERY YA’LL:

YOUR VALUE, IS NOT DETERMINED BY SOMEONE’S INABILITY TO SEE YOUR WORTH!!!!!

TAKE THAT COMMUNICATION THEORIES!!!!! BOOM!

You’ve got to remember that. You’ve got to keep those words close to your heart. You’ve got to build a strong set of values and build up your self-worth so that when someone walks away, it won’t be that hard for you. You’ll be sad… totally. But you’ll be more sad for them, because they don’t know what they’re missing.

BOOM (again)!

The problem with the Attraction Theory, is that it may cause you to believe someone has more value than they do, or you may believe that your worth is less than theirs because you’re basing their value on stupid things that our culture idolizes such as how many Instagram likes someone has, how many friends they have, how many rows of abs they have, or how many credit cards they have and comparing it to your lack of all that shallow stuff. Comparison is the thief of joy people. Stop doing that. STOP IT.

But now that you are aware of the attraction theory, hopefully you can be aware that just because the person is famous or rich or hot doesn’t mean he’s your soul mate or the best human out there. Now that you know the theory, you will know to check yoself before you wreck yoself and make sure the person earns a place in your heart first and adds value to your life first before you start putting them on a pedestal and looking at them with stars in your eyes.

Anyway, I won’t lie, when I matched with Kyle the Attraction Theory was in full affect for me. My first thought was “Whoh… he matched with…me? I must be being cat-fished.” But then I heard myself saying this and changed my thinking to, “Of course he matched with me. Smart guy.” Positive thoughts people. It takes practice being a positive person. If positivity were easy, everyone would be it. I knew after my first incident with dude #1 Vince way back when, that I should not place high value on someone for no reason, so I decided I would treat Kyle like a normal human.

That’s how you should treat everyone. You treat them how they want to be treated and anyone dating you definitely wants to be treated like a normal human. Unless they are an alien. In that case, I don’t have advice for you. I don’t date those. I am simply not attracted to E.T.’s.

Never have been, never will be. Didn’t even pick up the home phone when he called. Although men seem like super extraterrestrial beings at times and don’t make sense to most of us, this blog is still not called “Ten Guys from Different Galaxies” “Ten Martian Men,” “Ten Space Men,” or “Ten Little Green Men” okay? So cool it.

(Picture of E.T. Telling you to cool it)

If I hadn’t known about the attraction theory, or gone through this whole ten dudes experiment the past year and been in a really strong and confident place in my life, I probably would’ve been a giggling, blushing little girl every time I got a message from this dude on my phone.

But I actually wasn’t her at all. I reminded myself that although it was cool I was talking to a semi-famous person, the next one was right around the corner in LA. His famous-ness meant nothing to me. If we don’t have an equal value exchange… it’s not going to work out, dude. Period. These thoughts grounded me throughout my conversations with him.

I know that it was this attitude that kept him reaching out for so long too. His conversations with me didn’t change anything in my life. I went about my days as normal, I didn’t always respond (I’M THE WORST TEXTER) and left him room to prove to me that he was deserving of my time just like I would do with any other guy.

He kept reaching out to me, for weeks and weeks and weeks. Probably because he was used to girls throwing themselves at him and I just wasn’t’ and that left him wishing and wondering. Who is this mysterious girl who isn’t famous and doesn’t care that I am? What a trip. He thought. She must be special.

I mean I don’t know if he actually thought that, but just let me have my fifteen minutes of fame here. Okay.

Anyway, Kyle’s fame allowed him to be well seasoned with the ladies, so he really knew how to use his words to put the charm on. I didn’t even believe it was him at first, until he started sending pictures and videos of things he was doing and until our mutual friends confirmed it. He was that good! Almost every message he sent made me smile. He was an expert at playing the super nice, sweet gentleman who could never do anything wrong.

He got my number quickly so we could get off of the apps and he invited me to hang out within the first few days of talking. That’s the way I think it should be. When a guy does this it’s a sign to me that the guy isn’t playing games. It’s a sign he understands you can’t get to know someone over an app and shouldn’t want to. I found the guys who spent too much time trying to get to know me virtually were either too insecure to meet me in person or up to no good. There was usually never an in between.

Kyle was really persistent about wanting to see me. Within the first weeks of talking to me, he invited me to come out with his friends, but I took a road trip up to Santa Barbara to see my family instead. He invited me out to drinks, but I had to stay at work late that night and he invited me to church and my heart melted a little bit because that’s so cute, but I was volunteering at a different church that day.

The Blaire a while back would’ve said YES to all of those things instead of doing my own thing, but I know now that I VALUE my family, work and Christ a lot and was going to protect what was important to me instead of give my time with those things up to a virtual STRANGER at first.

I did really want to see him. I was inviting him to do different things with me the first week were were talking too, but our schedules just didn’t match up yet. He traveled on the third week of us talking and I didn’t think we would talk again when he got back. But sure enough, the first day he landed back in California, I got a text.

Kyle: Hey I just landed. When can I see you?

Me: Welcome home! Tomorrow?

Kyle: Yes please. I’ll take you to dinner in Venice. See you at 7.

I was excited.This would be fun!

The next night after work, I got in my car and started heading to the restaurant to meet him. I got a text from him at 6:30 cancelling our 7:00 pm date. My throat tightened up and I felt numb for a second. Really? I didn’t respond. I rolled down my window, blasted music and drove straight home staring into the orangey brown LA sunset full of smog and went to sleep.

My mom and friends said he pulled that because Miss independent me had already cancelled a plans a couple times with him. I disagreed because I never did it 30 minutes before and it was never on purpose and for legitimate reasons. But who knows. I didn’t get an apology from him until the following afternoon.

It was a stupid apology that I don’t even remember, but I didn’t respond.He continued to reach out to me. I kept the conversations casual and light, but was not as interested after that happened. He let another week go by then asked if I would hang out again. This time I responded, “Hmm how can I be sure you won’t cancel this time?”

He said he wouldn’t bail this time around. Well, this time around came and yup… You bet ya, he bailed again. He texted me saying he had to attend an event and that he was sorry. I would have totally understood that if he would’ve called. I am super busy myself so I understand plans change. But cancelling the second date via text? After we had been talking a lot? That’s lame. I didn’t respond. I was royally annoyed. Silence always sends the loudest message.

If you haven’t already noticed the pattern, I didn’t respond to him a lot. I really wasn’t in the mood to waste any more time. Kyle is bold. He didn’t get the message. He thinks he can get whatever he wants, I think. Too bad that person was not going to be me! He decided to text me again a few weeks later. Probably when he thought I had cooled off, but I hadn’t. Oops.

Despite a lot of my friends pleas for me to go out with him “just because” and despite their jaws dropping in shock when I told them I didn’t care who he was and that I didn’t want to, I had already made my mind up about not wanting to date him anymore.

I used to read that “object of my desire” letter I mentioned earlier and get sad. But last time I saw it, I just got mad because the note ended with, “I promise to never forget that.” Well, the dude forgot that and I don’t want to date someone who doesn’t do what they say they’re going to do.

I want to date a man of his word. A man with integrity. A man who values me. This c-list celebrity dude clearly wasn’t valuing me or my time-evidence by him bailing on our plans hours before TWICE then acting like it was no biggie and frankly acting pretty rude about it. A guy doesn’t do that to the girl of his dreams. So I knew he was just a waste of my time and I was over it. I don’t really have patience for that kind of behavior anymore. I’ve raised my standards.

I messaged him back something firm and a bit sassy. I forget what it was. But I think I am purposefully forgetting what it was because in heinsight I wish I just didn’t send anything at all. I am still of the belief that it’s better to leave off gracefully with everyone you meet, the best you can. He went silent for two months and I laughed so hard when he reached out to me again a few months ago. Dating me wasn’t going to happen… but we made peace. Then stopped talking again. That ship had sailed, we were both very over it and I really didn’t care. That’s the best part. I was sad for a minute, then I actually didn’t care!

When you see the value in yourself, letting go of others who don’t seem to see it is a bit easier of a pill to swallow. You see the value in yourself when you actively build your self-worth. You build your self- worth by surrounding yourself with people who love and support you, by creating a life you’re proud of, by doing things you’re passionate about and by leading a life of purpose. When you know you have purpose, you’ll live unapologetically. You’ll be the a-list celebrty of your own life.

#10 The Best Friend Dude

Guys and girls can be “just friends.” I swear. Here is proof:

Once upon a time, I moved to L.A., hopped on some dating apps, came up with a cool story and decided to spend the next year doing a crazy social experiment in order to make it real. For the past three months, I’ve shared a story per week, made Instagram and Facebook Live videos, answered anonymous survey questions and received hundreds of phone calls and messages from people talking to me about this blog, love, dating and life. I don’t really know which was better-living the story or writing about it, but I’m so happy that some of you cared to listen.

SPOILER ALERT: Dude #9 the C-list Celebrity, was actually the last dude I dated from the apps. When I stopped communicating with him, I had arrived at a moment in my life history where I didn’t want to date anyone, but me. I was completely content on my own and still am. When I got to that point, I had way more time on my hands and began drafting my stories from my journal entries and thinking about what had happened.

I spent hours pondering, writing, reading, talking and crying about my experiences (some of which didn’t even make sense to me at the time I was living them) in order to make them palatable in fifteen minute reads for all of you. I didn’t know it then, but I was also inadvertently taking myself through a sort of self-taught ten-step therapy program at the same time. This has all been very cathartic for me.

I broke all rules of writing and wrote this blog with bunch of typos and absolutely zero structure. I originally wanted to make Ten Dudes on Tinder a book and I still might (HOLLAR IF YOU THINK THATS A GOOD IDEA!) but I question whether anyone in their right mind would publish something like this, because my writing style does not have any rhyme or reason. But guess what? I don’t care. I want this to be real. As real as if you were reading my scribbled words in a journal or talking over a cup of coffee with me at a café. I want you to be in my head.

When I read some of the stories back and find mistakes, it is a reminder to me that I was passionately lost in my writing and not paying too much attention at that moment. It could’ve been a moment I shed a tear. It could’ve been a moment I laughed, but it all adds to the tone and I think it tells my story better for you.

I want to illustrate how our minds aren’t linear with outlines. Feelings and logic don’t go hand in hand. We think in circles and webs with lots of flaws and mistakes in our processes. So when all is said and done, I could claim I didn’t write a story or a blog or an article at all. I basically published a journal of my love life for the past year for the world to read about and frankly, it’s been terrifying.

I took a lot of risks. I opened up about a side of myself I had rarely if ever shown before. I found out that I wasn’t just writing a funny romantic comedy story (which is what I sort of though it would become) about people on a dating platform. I was writing about some serious stuff…People, relationships, and love. I shared a lot of good humor, but I also talked about my insecurities, my vulnerabilities, my pain. That was tough.

I stepped away (more like flew away) from my serious and stoic, careful and cautious business woman brand I had established while I was president in college and have redefined for myself what I think it means to be a lady boss. A lady boss does not let others define her; she embraces who she really is and lives unapologetically-passionately living and loving.

(I also risked never being asked out on a date ever again because I was thinking, “What guy would want to date a girl who they thought would write about them?” But so far I can tell you that is hasn’t been a problem for T-swift and it hasn’t been a problem for me. So whatever!)

I opened up about things I’ve never told anyone before it was posted, with no clue how people would react. I simply hoped someone else would connect. I was overwhelmed when you all accepted this with open arms. THANK YOU so much. I think we all learned something from each person I wrote about and you can see how it’s complteley changed my way of thinking about love as the stories progress.

Further, the lessons I learned and the questions people have asked me have forced me ask myself some tough questions… Why did I continue to go back to him when he was hurting me? What was I overvaluing in him and undervaluing in myself? Why did I lose my cool with that person? Why did I stay with a person who was bringing out the ugliest side of me? Where do I feel incomplete? Where am I investing my time and energy? What do I like about myself? What do I want to change? How do I feel about this and that and

Devil on my shoulder: I can’t wait until this blog is over. Can you STAWWWWP babbling and just get to the POINTTTTTT!

Me: It’s so funny because this whole time, no one has ever asked for your opinion. So no. This is my last time talking to these people and I’m on a role so you STAWPPPPPPP…

Anyway, I really commend people who voluntarily do this deeply insightful work in therapy or in their journal, because it’s good stuff- you grow and become strong, but like a new diet or working out, no one ever said it’s always going to be fun or easy. If you read the whole blog, you know I’ve experienced a lot in a short amount of time. I put myself through a love boot camp of sorts and it was crazy.

This process was emotionally exhausting to say the least and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without having the most amazing support system. There are some key players in my life who were by my side every step of the way supporting me by talking with me for hours and hours, laughing with me, crying with me and most of all, believing in my idea. When you find people who think your madness it magic, keep them close.

So, with that being said, I think I actually knew deep down who my #10 dude would be all along and the more I wrote about the guys who didn’t work out, the more I secretly got excited to write about the one who did.

LET’S REWIND…

It’s CRAZY how things come full circle. Listen to this:

Remember when three months ago, I introduced you to the Artist dude #1 Vince? Well… there is more to his story. Like I said, he talked to me on and off before we we ever met in person for months…

So I continued to date other guys as he continued to pop in and out of my life whenever he pleased to remind me he was alive or something and since I was still learning and had not reached lady boss BEAST MODE yet, I totally let him do so.

In the midst of him painting his way in and out of my dating mural and my swiping frenzy, I swiped on a cool looking dude named Zane. He looked very L.A….Tan, hazel eyes, dark brown hair, man bun, tattoo sleeves and way too much swag complete with combat boots, ripped jeans, and professional photos way prettier than mine.

Zane and I talked for a few minutes until he added me on social media, I took a peak and saw that he had an abnormal amount of pictures posted with… You guessed it…Vince.

Me: Who is that blonde guy in your pics…

Zane: That’s my cousin.

Me: Oh. I am pretty sure I matched with him and talked with him for a bit.

(I knew I was sure, we had been talking and for longer than “a bit”. Haha)

Zane: I don’t think so… he doesn’t even have a Bumble.

(I sent him a screen shot of a video Vince had sent me of himself)

Zane: Oh. Haha Well. I guess he does. You’re right. That’s my cousin, Vince… lol

Me: What a trip! Well this is weird! It was great talking to you, going to sleep. Goodnight Zane!

Low and behold, the next day I got a text from Vince who magically missed me and wanted to talk to me again and a few Fridays later, was the Friday I drove myself over an hour out of my way to go to a house party to meet him for the first time.

(It’s pretty sad I put that much effort into a guy who was clearly not that interested in me and that’s why I am really happy I started the story with this unfortunate tale and am circling back around now to end it right).

When I went to the house that night, I met Zane as well as TWO MORE of his cousins who I realized I had also come across on the dating apps while I was swiping and perhaps matched with. It was kind of awkward. They all recognized me.

HAHA and they probably thought, “Wow, I wonder if her fingers are sore from swiping? That girl’s got a lot of time on her hands.” (pun intended). In my defense, this family is full of stunning people. None of them look alike, so I know for a fact that more than one girl in L.A. has matched with all of them. I bet you there are girls reading this right now screaming I KNEW IT!

I’ll never forget that night. Even though we were all strangers, we danced like dorks in a garage, listened to weird music and had a bunch of deep life talks about the universe and such. I felt like I could let down my guard and be myself around this group of people.

They were super positive, super funny and super kind. They were the kind of people who give you hope in humanity again. They told me I was the coolest girl they’d met and that they knew I would be in their lives for a while. These guys strangely ended up being my first real friends in Los Angeles.

Over the next year, they played a significant part in making this big city feel like home for me. Although we did not hang out all of the time, I knew if I needed someone to be there for me, they were the ones I could call during that phase of my life.

Since that night and even after Vince and I ended things, we’ve had many more dance parties and long talks. We’ve gone on road trips and to music festivals, have supported each other through big life adult stuff and since I was interested in Vince, I got to know Zane really well just as a friend.

I love most people. I LOVE to love. But I keep most people at an arms-length and the people who I let in, I love hard. The thing I hate the most about break ups is that you aren’t just breaking up with that person, you’re breaking up with their tribe.

I’ve been in two long relationships (both for yeaaaars) and to this day, I get a bit sad when I think about about how much I love and miss both of their families and friends. A lot of my time crying over the breakups was spent crying over losing THEM! We shared years together and they became an insta fam. It sucks. It does. I get it.

But the good thing about my situation with Vince is that we were never even close to being in “a relationship,” so when (whatever it was) ended with him, I got to keep Zane in my life. Vince didn’t care (I don’t think he ever cared about anything haha) and it wasn’t weird at all.

YAY! Because if I lost Zane, I would’ve been so sad. I’ve learned that Zane is by far, one of the best people I’ve ever met. He has an inspiring life story. He’s been through stuff. Stuff that may cause someone to be bitter. But he has an absolute heart of gold and challenges me to be a better person every day. If you were to meet him, you would probably walk away like most do wondering how he is such a good human? I want to always surround myself around people like that.

Zane added an immense amount of value to these stories. We were in a unique position where we were both new to L.A., were each other’s only friends, had zero feelings for each other and didn’t have anything to lose, so we told each other everything.

I told him about every dude I met and since he was also using the dating apps, he (probably haha) told me about every every girl he met. We talked for HOURS about all of the topics I discuss in this blog and crafted our opinions on them and he totally (unknowingly) became a sort of business partner to me in this whole ordeal.

It was SO cool for me to be able to hear about how a dude processes love and to compare notes. He clarified and confirmed so many things for me about men that I was previously confused about; he helped my heart heal a bit by giving me closure on some things I never understood and couldn’t seem to get past until I had another guy I respected take the time to explain them to me.

For example, what kind of cheating cuts deeper for a male? Emotional or Physical? The answer: Physical. Why does the guy still feel the need to stay in touch with your family and friends and poke his head back in your life just to remind you he’s alive? The answer: Not love, ego. What drives a man to want to date you and abandon his single life? The answer: Longing and desire. Why does it seem like men get over the break up so much faster than women do? The answer: They don’t always. But they do stop talking/thinking about it and making it relevant earlier on, because men typically (and sadly) don’t usually support emotioanl expression in our culture, but for many women it’s a way of life. Whats the most attractive kind of woman to a guy? A woman with confidence. Whats the best way to get your dude back? By not acting like a raving lunatic when he says goodbye. What color should you wear on a first date? Red or black. (Okay- that’s a lie. But Zane would’nt disagree. Those are our favorite colors. They are power colors.) Veryyyy enlightening young grasshoppa..Okay I’m done.

Although it was cool to hear THE REAL DEAL from A REAL QUALITY DUDE, we came to the conclusion at the end that we all experience the same things when it comes to love, we just express it in different ways. AND we all WANT the same thing when it comes to love- the whole package. That just means something different to each of us. We are all simply human.There’s not some crazy code to crack.

As I write this, it’s been exactly a year (this week) since I met Zane. I can’t thank the dating apps just yet for introducing me to the love of my life, but I can thank them for introducing me to my best friend. The dude has come with me to family events, helped me move, hangs my friend’s curtains, gives me life advice, goes with me to Church, listens to me babble on the phone for hours and things have never been weird.

We are super dee duper on the same page about our friendship. There are friends for reasons, for seasons and for life. I hope we are friends for life, but I can also say I don’t know what I would’ve done without the kid in my first season in crazy Los Angeles. I went through some tough stuff this year and he was one of my rocks. I’m forever grateful that the dating apps and this experience brought me that.

With that being said, Zane, I know you’re reading this and I know you probably wouldn’t care if I said your name on here, but whatever. Zane is a cool and very L.A. ish name so I thought you would like it and be bummed if I didn’t give you a pseudonym too.

I want to thank you for being so open with me and for showing me that being vulnerable is truly what makes a man… a man. Or rephrased- vulnerability is not a weakness, it’s strength. I think you’ve drawn a lot more vulnerability out of me and have influecnced me to not be so closed off or hard. Thank you for that.

I’ve had too many women reach out to me over the past few months, some in tears, telling me they don’t know if they’ll ever find love or a quality dude. It just may not be in the cards for them. When I smile at them and tell them to not give up, because I know quality guys are out there, I’m thinking about dudes like you.

(AND my grandpa, dad, brother, and amazing best guy friends of course(all happily taken and one about to be married next week WOOOOO!)

PSA: Ladies… My grandpa is dead and my Dad is still happily married to the hottest mom alive, but my brother Blake Ward and Zane are still very single. So if you’re interested, just give your girl a ring.

And she lived happily ever after…

At this point in my life, here are my truths about love: I’ve come closer to knowing what love is by learning what it is not. I believe the heart is something you should protect and something someone should earn. I believe trust is like glass- once it is broken, you can put the pieces back together, but it will never be the same. I believe that if you desire specific qualities in a partner, it is only fair to ask yourself if you obtain those qualities as well. I believe shared values are the foundation of a strong relationship. I believe the healthiest kind of love is between two people who know how important it is to love God, then yourself, first. I believe the most passionate love is between two people who live their own passionate lives, and decide to invite each other along for the ride. I believe if you raise your standards, the right person will rise up to meet them. I believe in so many more things, but these are the ones that are currently sticking out to me as I write this in a slightly delusional state of mind at three in the morning but OH YEAH- most importantly, I believe fairytale love exists for everyone and I think if you begin to follow some advice from myself and others in this blog, you may come closer to finding it!

Oprah walks out onto the stage. Blaire’s 10 Dudes on Tinder loyal readers earnestly sit in the audience.

(queue Oprah)

Oprah: and…. YOU GET FAIRYTALE LOVE, ANDDDD YOU GET FAIRYTALE LOVE AND YOU GET FAIRYTALE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Confetti canons fire off and the crowd roars.

You’re welcome.

Over the past year, I’ve meet some pretty bad guys…and I’ve also met some really great ones! I have learned and confirmed more than I could imagine. I loved Vince’s confidence. He reminded me to care less and own how I am more. I loved Daniel’s sense of humor, he reminded me laughing is medicine. I loved how grounded Liam was, he reminded me of the importance of taking a chill pill and allowing myself to breathe. I loved Chad’s ambition. He reminded me of how you should never stop finding ways to create and invent yourself. I loved Jack’s kindness. He reminded me how important it is to love hard when you find it and treat everyone with respect.

The monster dude taught me people should earn your trust. You can throw kindness around like confetti, but throwing around trust is like throwing around broken glass and being surpised when someone gets hurt. Jason taught me loyalty is the #1 quality I value in a relationship. Adam taught me it’s important to be your partners #1 fan and have their back no matter what. Zane continues to teach me things every day.

These dudes gave me insight into what I wanted and what I didn’t want out of a partner. I decided that the next dude I dated would have to be pretty extraordinary (meaning they would probably have to absolutely blow my mind) for me to want to open up my world and let them in again.

If they’re anything less than that, I would rather be content on my own. Love should make you better. If it’s not making you better, you’re wasting your time and probably preventing yourself from meeting the love of your life… or being in love with your own life… so yeah.

Right now I’m not on the apps and I may or may not be dating people. You may never know mwahahahah. But I’m happy! I am just doing my thing and taking things as they come. I only have good things to say about the dating app experience, though. I think we all would prefer to meet someone organically, but I see nothing wrong with trying different ways to be proactive about your love life if you want one.

It’s all a numbers game. The more people you meet, the closer you get to meeting your “one in a million”. So join groups, change jobs, travel, hop on some dating platforms and put the best version of yourself out there. Everywhere you can, arrive as your best you.

Alas, now is not my time for a dude. I even had a survey I took on Facebook tell me that. I took the survey THREE more times and got the same result. My roommate was rolling on the floor in tears laughing. I was awkwardly giggling. Hehe. I secretly did not think it was that funny, because it was right after I had been ghosted by dude #2, and I snap chatted my friend telling her I was going to be #foreveralone but now… it’s kind of funny:

So, at this moment I sit here on my bed cuddling with my stuffed animal elephant as I write this on a Monday night. I am sore from my post-work yoga class and am eating a huge salad right out of the mixing bowl. I have deep conditioner in my hair and a face mask on my face and am rocking my student government sweatshirt from college. Did I forget to mention I am wearing non-prescription glasses because I’m so LA like that? I look like a huge nerd. What’s new?

Devil on my shoulder: Nothing

All of my candles are burning. My room smells like a pumpkin and I am currently listening to, “Just the Same” by Bruno Major on repeat, because it adds the perfect dramatic touch to the end of this dramatic love story. I also may or may not have created an interpretive dance to it a few minutes ago and I actually caught my neighbor watching me do this from their window across the way. LOL

Since I have a green face mask on with a bunch of candles lit and since it’s October, I can only imagine they must think I’m a witch and was trying to cast a spell or something. That’s going to be an awkward encounter when I see them at our tandem parking spots tomorrow morning… How does one explain something like that?

But yeah. Anyway… right now, on this beautiful fall evening, no one is bothering me. Mostly because my phone is on airplane mode, (since I’m an antisocial FREAK) but THE POINT IS, that in this moment, I am very physically and emotionally alone.

I love to be (physically) alone. Always have. I’m a crazy closet introvert. But I’ve never liked being emotionally alone until now and finally… I’m okay with that. I spent most of my life in relationships, so I forgot what it was like. The unknown is scary right? A lot of my confidence came from having a significant other there to remind me of my value- “You’re beautiful.” “You’re smart.” “I love you.” I can’t tell you how incredible it’s been for me to learn to say those things to myself.

I am not a fan of the whole, “I don’t need a man” thing. I do want a man eventually. I do want to love and be loved. I do want to find my partner in crime and other half! So I am a fan of the, “I don’t need a man to give me purpose” thing. Those things are very different and I am happy I distinguished them now.

Oh looky here, my last journal entry:

10/18/2017

I finished writing 10 Dudes on Tinder. Dang. I’ll miss it! That was fun. How has so much changed in a year? I took charge of my health, my finances and my relationship with Christ. I’m blonde. I’ve moved. I’ve cried more than I ever have in my life (I’m German. Emotions are uncomfortable. I don’t know. So I think crying is proof I’m getting better at letting myself feel things.) I booked a trip to Australia with my best friend. I’m writing and recording songs. I’m writing this blog. I am beginning to help others do some of these things too. I never knew I loved road trips so much. I never knew I liked to hike so much. I never knew I was capable of doing push-ups. I never knew my life calling may be different than what I had originally thought. LIFE IS SO COOL and I’m excited to figure out who I’ll eventually share mine with:)

I’ll close by saying before I moved to L.A. and started 10 Dudes on Tinder, people knew me as Blaire- a non-profit’s first female President and CEO in fifteen years. I live to empower and inspire others, so I did my best to project the image of being a strong, powerful, independent, female leader who had it all together at all times.

I wanted to set an example for all of the other females out there that they too could be the CEO of their own lives. I preached about what it means to be a kick a** lady boss in all areas of your life. I wanted people to step up and think, “If she can do it, I can do it” and I think I did an OKAY job of encouraging people to think like that at the time.

The problem was, I wasn’t being completely authentic, because I wasn’t really, truly leading in all areas of my life. Especially in one of the most important ones - my love life. When I went home at night, my stuffed animal elephant and pillow with mascara marks on it knew a different Blaire. The Blaire they knew would come home, stare at her ceiling and try not to cry.

She was not as strong and independent as she lead on… A lot of her confidence and self-worth was determined by what her guy thought of her. She did not command respect in her relationship like she did when she was running a meeting. She didn’t feel brave enough to walk away from what she knew wasn’t serving her.

She settled for less because because she truly didn’t believe there was more and she was too afraid to take a leap of faith just to see if it was out there. She prioritized her dude at all costs above herself just to keep him around out of fear. She wasn’t practicing what she preached. She wasn’t being strong. She was timid and inescure.

I did not know what life was like without a dude, in fact I told my best friend at the time that without my boyfriend I was, “A blob.” (I know… that is so embarrassing.) But I’lll never forget when she smiled back at me and said, “But Blaire, you are so much more than a blob. You are a leader in every other aspect of your life…You need to be a leader in your love life too.”

The best part of this blog was having people reach out to me and tell me that they’ve gone through this stuff too and that these stories have made them re-think about love/dating/relationships in a completely new light. Since I discovered and declared what I believe, what I deserve and what I want for everyone else, this blog has in essence held me to a higher standard of authenticity.

I’m not going to date a low-quality dude and let you all down! I want to set an example so I continue to inspire. I want people to know its OKAY to be picky and YOU SHOULD. You’re the sum of the people you surround yourself with the most, so you should only date the best of the best. I think if more of us expect respect in our relationships, more people will start to give it to us. So let’s raise the standards of what it means to be a quality person, together.

When all has been said and done, I can truly tell ya’ll that I’ve taken my advice, so have others and it’s worked. I’ve been through tough stuff, learned a lot, let it change me for the better and if I can get through heart shattering breakups, crazy dating experiences, raise my standards, and change my life… Than so can you.

I hope this blog has encouraged and inspired you to take charge of your love life, lead a better life and never give up on fairytale love! I believe you’ll find it! and I can’t wait to hear about it when you do:)

XX

-Blaire, Author of 10 Dudes on Tinder

OTHER ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

God- Thanks for creating humans. We are such complex human beings. My brain is so complex. My dating life was so complex and you turned these beautiful complexities into an incredible story that I could use to make people smile with and grow from. My service is all for you. If that mean’s embarrassing myself on a blog, so be it. You’re the real MVP. Much love to the creator of the universe and the creator of love. You are love and I love you, the most.

The 10 Dudes Team: My roommates, my family, my best friends, my coworkers and everyone who has been following along reading the blog, participating, tuning into my live events, asking me questions, reaching out to me to share your feedback, sharing my posts and encouraging me with your words, I love you. There is no I in team-meaning none of this would be possible without you. I hope I can make more of this stuff that makes you happy!

Mom- Listened to me go onnnn and onnnn about my crazy dating life on the phone for the past year. ALMOST EVERY MORNING as I drove to work. First reader of each story, first person to repost my posts, first viewer on all live events and #1 fan. She is a lady with class and a woman with sass- the ultimate role model woman of value. Love you mama.

Dad- Thanks for being the first man I loved and for showing Blake and I what it means to be a quality dude.

Papa- You too. I do everything to make you proud!

Lastly, to the little girls at the Broad who gave me this idea: I fulfilled my promise. WOOOOOOOO. I hope someday you get to read this and I hope you both dumped those guys who weren’t treating you right and went to college like you said you might. You and I both know you’re made for better things. Look at what you’ve been a part of creating and you don’t even know.

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