Archive | September, 2012

Live and Love in L.A.

28 Sep

There is one thing all women have in common. No, it’s not that we all like to shop or that we’re all crazy (well, maybe) but the one thing I’m talking about and the one I know for sure is no matter what walk of life we come from, we all want love; deep, honest, cloud nine, smile-for-no-reason, brag-to-your-girlfriends love. Now let’s think of one of the worst places to find true love. Oh, I know! Right here in Los Angeles, CA, also known as home of the Mr. Wrongs.

 That’s where I come in. I’m Joyce and I’m a 20-something student-by-day/bartender-by-night Los Angeles native living in sunny Southern California, and I feel like I’ve been on the never-ending search for Mr. Right.

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My blog or weekly rants (whatever you want to call this) is to help guide you through the scary world of dating in this city, how to flag the bad ones, spot the good ones and lock them down! My “street cred”, you ask? What makes me so qualified? I’ve had TOO MANY BOYFRIENDS and gone on TOO MANY DATES to not know how to answer any question you’ve got! As my girlfriend Rachel jokingly said, “Joyce is a professional girlfriend!” Don’t get me wrong, this is nothing to brag about. Dating a lot clearly means I’ve made poor decisions on picking the right guys but that’s the whole reason for this blog. I’m writing this because I feel it’s important to share my stories and let single women close to hopelessness and committed girlfriends with boyfriend troubles know that they are not alone.

I don’t know about you but I’m tired of reading material from some “expert” who spent the last 10 years studying ancient dating rituals and watching Carrie Bradshaw hold a $1,200 Fendi purse climbing into her financier boyfriend’s limo. I’m a girl with real stories involving the good, the bad, and the ugly and I need to read about people like me. With all of today’s social media, we need one of those ‘Facebook Translations For Dummies’ guides (e.g. he posted a picture with another girl on Instagram- what the F&!# does that mean?!). We are running out of current and reliable dating resources that keep up with the times.

It seems like everyone knows about my relationship blunders via “Joyce went from being ‘in a relationship’ to ‘single’” Facebook updates that are embarrassing but are the reason people feel comfortable asking for my advice. My friends turn to me for all sorts of relationship dilemmas, from should-I-text-him problems to Sally-told-me-he-cheated scenarios. We’re not just talking about my girlfriends but even acquaintances on Facebook, coworkers, cousins, friends’ parents, etc. They know if anyone has gone through it, I probably have. Every e-mail, phone call or Facebook message seems to begin with, “I know this is random but I figured you were the best person to ask.”

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I knew it was time to write my little heart out when my MALE friend messaged me (via Facebook, of course) about his lady problems. Guys? Really? They never like showing their vulnerability. I must be doing something right! And his letter started off with, “I knew you were the right one to ask because you’re always helping your girlfriends by being brutally honest…” And that I am. I’m here to be your unbiased honest girlfriend, not the one who tells you what you want to hear. For example, he just texted you for the first time in three days after a first date? That’s because he doesn’t like you that much, you weren’t in the forefront of his mind, he didn’t have the decency to call to hear your voice, and he just remembered to text you in case he wanted to keep you as a back-up plan. If a guy likes you, no matter how busy he is… HE. WILL. CALL. Barack Obama has the nation’s well being riding on his shoulders but I’ll bet you he finds time to hit up Michelle during his busy day. Next question, please!

I write this blog while being very much out of my comfort zone but just eager to help. Life really is too short not to try anything and everything you’ve always wanted to do. I just see and hear too many girls investing so much energy in wondering why guys won’t call them back and where they went wrong. Here’s the kicker, ladies– the answers are much simpler than you’d think. I realize dating blogs aren’t for everybody but if anything, it will help the small group of you who have asked for my advice. Dating sucks sometimes. It’s a world full of confusing mixed messages, awkward getting-to-know-each-other conversations and heartache—but not to worry, we’re in it together to find the humor and the silver lining.

So, here’s my story. I’ve dated since I was 15. Back then in high school I’d dream of my knight in shining football jersey to sweep me off my cheerleading feet and now I’m a little more realistic dreaming of someone kind of nice with at least a good credit score and hopefully owns a car (not a 2-foot-mobile). Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating but I have seen my girlfriends date total zeros who don’t pick them up for a first date and make them go dutch on the dinner bill! God, does that actually happen?! Fortunately, I’ve dated great guys who adored me, were actually NICE (yes, that calls for some wow factor here in LA), they had ambition and promising careers, they just.. weren’t.. quite.. right. However, there is also the juicy side full of douchebags and assholes which is unfortunately too common in this city.

The humor? I can’t help but laugh at some of the guys I’ve been involved with and after so many years, you have to be able to look back and find it hysterical. So here goes nothing… I dated the career-obsessed real estate agent who overcompensated with material things (a luxury apartment and couture shopping sprees to name a few) instead of being emotionally present. The firefighter that my girlfriends swear was gay (you don’t know how much I hope that’s not true). The metrosexual who told me what shampoo would work better for my hair texture and after a year, gave me the ultimatum of converting to his religion or bust… I busted. Then there was the emotionally unavailable struggling waiter who won me over with his Midwestern charm only to later leave me for the Midwest. Oh, but who can forget the college football player who I later found out cheated on me a grand total of 4 times but who’s counting?! Charming bunch, really. We’ll save the rest of them for another time when you want a good laugh.

The silver lining? After alllllllll that, I think I’ve found my Prince Charming. Mr. Oh-So-Right also goes by the name of Nathan and he’s 34. You read that right, a whole decade plus my senior and I’ve never loved or been loved like this before. For the first time in my life I’m not afraid to dive face first into his words, his promises and his arms. On top of being an awesome boyfriend, he’s a hardworking business owner with a true passion for his work and believes in putting his clients’ best interest above all else. Oh, and he loves my dog and calls him his son. Swooooooon. If there is a boyfriend jackpot, I’ve hit it, baby! I never thought I’d meet such a genuine, loyal man and when he says he wants this forever, that is exactly what I want to be—his forever.

Our visit to Turkey in 2012

Our visit to Turkey in 2012

After years of failed relationships, uncomfortable first dates, and few-month-flings, I’ve acquired so much knowledge about men and their complicated ways. Even more importantly, I learned things about myself I never knew. Discovering and defining who I am and what I stand for before being anyone’s girlfriend was the best thing I did for myself. I was never fully ready for real love until I loved myself. I know there are tons of single girls out there struggling with a similar path and I am more than happy to come out and say, I’ve done it, I struggled, I got back up, and I’m okay.

Dating in L.A. has been a rough journey but I remain an eternal optimist of love and finding the ever so seemingly unattainable Mr. Right for myself, my girlfriends, and now, you. So join me in exploring all of dating life’s awkward situations, the dos and don’ts, how to differentiate Mr. Right and Mr. Right Now, what NOT to post on your Facebook status that makes you look too desperate, which L.A. hot spots are perfect for a first date, the undying question, “Joyce, where do I even FIND good guys?”, and everything in between! Think of it as a real-life Sex and The City episode minus the Manolo Blahniks because I’m way too frugal to spend $800 on shoes… I’ll tell you all about how I live and love in LA.