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Sex with an Ex

16 Dec
photo credit: jumer via photopin cc

photo credit: jumer via photopin cc

I’ve been trying to put off directly writing about sex since I have younger cousins reading Live & Love in L.A. but what would a dating & relationships blog be without that little three letter word? Boring.

Let’s face it. Dating isn’t just about wearing the right outfit on the first date and finding the man of your dreams– sometimes dating just leads to sex; the good, the even better, the bad and the ugly.

However, one kind of sex I do not recommend is SEX WITH AN EX. Some women become lonely and vulnerable when they’re single, whether they like to admit it or not. Sometimes the loneliness is even subconscious and we just happen to find ourselves typing this late night text to our ex-boyfriends, “Hey you. What are you doing?” We find comfort in the attention we know our exes are guaranteed to give us but when the innocent texting turns into steamy sexting, that leads to meeting up for a midnight rendezvous… there enters the problem.

photo credit: Jo Dasson via photopin cc

photo credit: Jo Dasson via photopin cc

If the sex is great and you rekindle the spark you once shared– you just had SEX WITH AN EX. This means that you have now taken steps back from moving on from the relationship and there was probably a good reason you two broke up in the first place.

If the bumpin’ and grindin’ was lame and slightly awkward—you just had SEX WITH AN EX. Now you feel stupid for being so desperate. Were you the one who originally dumped him? Now you have to go through being the jerk to break it off with him AGAIN. Even if you’re the one calling it off, hurting someone is never easy—unless you’re a heartless b****. Were you the one who got the boot from him before? Now you get to feel the rejection all over again? Oh, joy.

I have a girlfriend who is one of those girls who has been trying to recover from a tough break-up for almost a year now. She thought her ex was “the one” and still struggles with imagining life after him. He’s not exactly helping the situation by sporadically coming in and out of her life as he pleases. Even with just one phone call she falls head over heels back in love with him and holds out hope for a reconnection. This type of girl should especially steer clear from having sex with her ex. We women naturally become attached when we share our bodies with someone.

As sexually active as our generation is today, there is something to be said about regarding your body as your temple. Don’t worry, this isn’t the part where I go all Catholic schoolgirl on you and make you feel guilty for engaging in casual sex. I’m just saying, along with protecting your feelings, protect your body.

I have to admit I eavesdrop on customers’ conversations when I’m bartending,and I gotta say, way too many girls these days are so blasé about sleeping around. I know I’m a dating/relationships blogger (which kind of makes me a sex blogger, as much as I don’t like that title) but let’s get our priorities straight here—the single most important advice I can offer women is not how to find Mr. Right (that’s the SECOND thing), it’s how to respect and love yourself on your journey to him.

Be selective of who you let in—emotionally and physically. Ex- boyfriend or not.

AN EXAMPLE OF THE KIND OF TALK I HEAR TOO OFTEN… DO YOU WANT TO LISTEN TO THE “WISE” WORDS OF AMY WINEHOUSE? I THINK NOT.

photo credit: id-iom via photopin cc

photo credit: id-iom via photopin cc

The Blind Date Blues

8 Dec

I was at the airport in Eugene, Oregon coming back to Los Angeles from visiting my ex-boyfriend at the University of Oregon where he went to school. We weren’t a couple during my visit but he was that one ex that I always found my way back to whenever I was single. This ex was my high school sweetheart and our on-again-off-again romance lasted many years—but we’ll save more about him and our tumultuous relationship for a later post. Anyways, while waiting to board my plane, an insanely handsome man caught my eye.

photo credit: ~Oryctes~ via photopin cc

photo credit: ~Oryctes~ via photopin cc

This guy looked as though he literally walked right out of an Abercrombie & Fitch catalog, except he was fully clothed—6-foot-something, blonde, built and bright blue eyes. I caught myself staring and immediately looked away but I felt him staring back. Every time I’d look up from pretending to read my book he’d be looking right at me and smiling. As you can imagine, the second I saw in my peripheral vision that he got up and was walking towards me, I was silently freaking out. The next thing I heard was, “Excuse me, Miss?”

photo credit: André-Batista via photopin cc

photo credit: André-Batista via photopin cc

It felt like a hazy dream as the next thing to come out of his mouth was, “I apologize for interrupting your reading but I just had to tell you how beautiful you are.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! DOES THIS SHIT HAPPEN OUTSIDE OF ROMANTIC COMEDIES?? I stuttered to say thank you and babbled some nonsense and then the hazy dream snapped back to reality. He then tells me, “I have this friend back home in L.A. who would absolutely love to meet you.”

Ummmmm…. Come again!? Let me get this straight… Hot guy who caught me drooling over him came over to tell me I’m beautiful and DOESN’T want to take me out? Awesome. Not.

He sells me on this friend who is a restaurateur, young, available and looking for love. I figured super hot guys hang out with other super hot guys, right? So I gave him my number and permission to have his friend call me. His friend called and we talked and texted for a week before actually meeting up. I was so skeptical of blind dates that I tried to put it off as long as possible but the day finally came.

texting

My blind date, Christian, asked me to meet him at the restaurant he owns at 8pm. I arrived a little early so I went straight to the bar to liquor myself up and mentally prepare myself for this mystery man. The bartender asked if I was Joyce—apparently Christian prepped the staff for my arrival. He escorted me over to our table and made small talk to keep me company. The bartender’s first question was, “So, you’ve never seen Christian?” I thought that was odd. Should I be worried?

Too late to turn back now. Christian arrives and he is…. the… exact… opposite… of super sexy airport guy. Again, does this shit actually happen outside of chick flicks? Yes, it does– to me anyways. I was a good sport about it and enjoyed a two-hour six-course meal with him and listened to his descriptions of the bitter tannins in our Cabernet Sauvignon and the intricate preparation of the tender foie gras. It felt like I was in a bad porno that starts with the food connoisseur sexually describing the pleasure of his taste buds—except our date ended in a hug… not a tug.

photo credit: ulterior epicure via photopin cc

photo credit: ulterior epicure via photopin cc

TIPS TO AVOID A BAD BLIND DATE:
— Be careful about who is setting you up. If someone isn’t a good friend of yours, they probably don’t know the type of guys you’re interested in.
— Don’t let it be a “blind” date. With today’s social media it seems like everyone has at least one picture that is easily accessible by a touch of an iPhone. Ask whoever is setting you up or even your date to send you a photo first. Let’s face it, as much as you don’t want to admit you are shallow, NOBODY wants to go out with someone they aren’t physically attracted to.
— Don’t let them pick you up! Always meet a blind date wherever you guys are having dinner or drinks. The last thing you want is to be at the mercy of a guy you don’t like in order to get back home—or just bring cash for a cab!

photo credit: Sylvain_Latouche via photopin cc

photo credit: Sylvain_Latouche via photopin cc

My one blind date experience didn’t go exactly as planned but I don’t regret it! I’m glad to be able to say I’ve tried it once and it’s not for me. Although, I believe there is something to be said about taking a chance on the unknown. As much of a control freak as I am about knowing what’s coming next, I enjoy the thrill of the dating world’s uncertainty. Not everyone has to be Mr. Right or nothing at all. Going on dates is a good way to make new friends and have more connections. As most Los Angeles natives know, networking is key to success in this city. My blind date, Christian, and I are still acquaintances two years later. He sends me e-mails every now and then to see how I’m doing and if I have any new yummy cocktail recipes to send him. I text him whenever I plan to eat at any trendy L.A. spots since he’s a great person to name-drop if you want the 8:00pm reservation at those impossible-to-get-a-decent-time restaurants.

Blind date or not, if you’re single and looking, keep putting yourself out there and be open to meeting new people! You never know where a blind date will lead.

24 Things I Know At 24

2 Dec

I just celebrated my 24th birthday last Wednesday and I had the most incredible time! I am the typical 20-something girl who likes to stretch it out as a “birthday week”. I’ll find any excuse to go out every night of that week with a different group of friends, get all dolled up and toast to another fantastic year.

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Although, I have to say, this year felt a bit different than past birthdays. When people greet me on my birthday and jokingly ask, “So, do you feel older?” I normally laugh and respond, “Of course not. It’s just a regular ol’ day.” But turning 24 actually had me a little “emo” in the sense that I reflected upon my life and how it has drastically changed in the past years. Things that I used to feel were so important just don’t stand anymore. Certain aspects of my life I used to put in the back of my mind are now some of my biggest priorities. Heck, I really can’t believe I’m so into saving money and couponing now when I used to blow through hundreds of dollars shopping on Melrose on a weekly basis! *cringe* What a complete waste!

So, this week’s Live & Love in L.A. post is a list of 24 things I know at 24. I’m sure there are 2,400,000 things left to learn in this life but here’s a shorter version of what I’ve learned from living and loving the past 24 years of this crazy/wonderful life.

1. Don’t drink to get drunk. Enjoy the taste and experience of a great cocktail! Way more enjoyable than shooting back some dirty shot that tastes like rubbing alcohol. Plus, you won’t end up being the annoying, belligerent chick everyone wants to shut up!

2. I’m allowed to treat myself. I’m big on saving money. Let’s just say, Suze Orman is one of my idols. But sometimes it’s okay to splurge on yourself if you feel you deserve it. Drop the guilt trip and buy yourself a shiny new iPad if you can afford it. If I’m feeling burnt out from work and realize I’ve saved way more than I thought I would that month, I’ll buy myself some new M.A.C. make-up or a fancy mani/pedi and not feel bad about it. Plus, having an occasional splurge gives you incentive to keep up the momentum of working hard for your next treat!

photo credit: axelsrose via photopin cc

photo credit: axelsrose via photopin cc

3. No matter how drunk I am, I have to floss and brush my teeth before knocking out. I’m a dental hygiene addict and it’s okay. First step is admitting you have a problem.

4. Stop charging it! I can’t understand how some young women are in so much debt! Stop using plastic thinking you are buying that new handbag with the magical money tree in your backyard. If it helps you to budget your money more effectively, carry cash. You physically see and feel you’re spending. Charging it on a card can be the financial death of you. Since the day I received my first credit card at 18, I have paid off my credit cards IN FULL every single month. I never buy anything I know I can’t pay off at the end of the month. This doesn’t mean withdrawing from your Savings account to swing it. If you don’t have the money in your Checkings account, step away. You should use your card to build good credit, not bad debt.

photo credit: Stargazer95050 via photopin cc

photo credit: Stargazer95050 via photopin cc

5. Saving for a rainy day is critical. On the topic of finances, saving money at our age is serious business. Mid-twenties isn’t too young to start thinking about your future, especially in this uncertain economy. Your job is never guaranteed and tomorrow is never promised. Also think about how much a down payment on a condo or house is. Now think about it if you don’t have a roommate or significant other to share that cost with. Saving such large amounts of money takes YEARS. Start now.

6. I’m not missing anything. Staying in on a Friday night because you’re exhausted from work or school is A-OKAY in my book. From ages 18-21, I used to feel like if I stayed home on the weekends I was missing out on all the fun. But now I’m just too freakin’ tired sometimes to wash my hair, put on make-up and struggle in uncomfortable heels all night. Picking up a Redbox movie, staying in my PJs and popping a bottle of bubbly sounds like the perfect night and, not to mention, keeps you out of trouble. As my sister and I like to say, “I got shit to do tomorrow!”

photo credit: thart2009 via photopin cc

photo credit: thart2009 via photopin cc

7. Accepting things I cannot change is an ongoing battle I have with myself. This rule applies to SO many things in life I have spent years struggling with. I’m kind of a control freak in the sense that I like to make things happen and do what I can to make sure it gets done right. But there are some things in life you have to come to realization that its fate is not in your hands. Let go. Example: Being appalled or hurt when people don’t deal with situations the way you would. Accept that everyone has their own way. The faster you accept, the faster you’ll forgive.

8. Stop prolonging the inevitable. So many girls in their twenties stay in miserable relationships with guys because they are afraid of being single, they think they’ll eventually change him, or they just want to wait it out and see if the problem fixes itself. Wake up, ladies. These are your prime years and you’ll never get them back. Do you really want to look back knowing you wasted time and emotions on some jerk? I’d rather be happily single than unhappily taken.

9. It’s better to fill up my gas tank the whole way every time. Gas prices always seem to go up on my next visit anyways.

photo credit: Jason Drury via photopin cc

photo credit: Jason Drury via photopin cc

10. Throwing out or donating old clothes is better than keeping them in the closet for another 2 years hoping to one day sell them on eBay since “they were so expensive”. Get over it.

11.  What’s the woman-version of “Manscape”? Take care of yourself. I’ll be the first to admit I hate painting my nails as often as I do and having to shave my legs every couple days feels pointless in the winter, although we’re at an age where some things are just unacceptable. You shouldn’t be 24 going on job interviews with chipped nail polish and tangled hair. Put your best foot forward as much as you can. You never know when you’ll be meeting your future boss or your future fiancé.

12. My parents were right when they taught me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Sometimes my opinion isn’t solicited or wanted.

13. Constantly watching reruns of Sex & The City, Will & Grace and Friends is doing nothing for me. I did NOT say I’m stopping anytime soon. I’ve just accepted I’m wasting brain cells every time I do it.

photo credit: Jellykat via photopin cc

photo credit: Jellykat via photopin cc

14. I’m too school for cool. I am no longer ashamed of turning down a girls night invite if I have to study for midterms. I’m a typical overachieving Asian student and I’m proud of it! Getting Bs makes me cry. There, I said it.

15.  It’s okay to walk out of a store with no bags. I used to shop just for the thrill of bringing home something new that day– leaving with nothing felt like such a let-down. Now I mentally high-five myself when I step away from unnecessary purchases. Suze Orman has me brainwashed.

16. I can’t pick my family but I can pick my friends. I’ve had many girlfriends come and go into my life for one reason or another, mostly just because we lost touch if we stopped working at the same job or stopped having Anatomy class together. However, a couple girls have been dear friends of mine for several years and I really felt myself growing apart from them. Sometimes girlfriends just find themselves in completely different places in their lives and the reasons we were friends years ago just don’t relate today. There were also instances where I more dramatically had to make a decision whether the relationship was healthy anymore. If a “girlfriend” brings you down in any way, doesn’t share the same ambition or morals as you, or is no longer positive and fun to be around then it’s probably best to gradually distance yourself from them. It’s okay to grow apart, cherish the friendship you once had, and wish them well. A handful of truly great girlfriends are better than a whole lotta so-so fair-weather friends. Quality over quantity, for sure.

photo credit: Whiskeygonebad via photopin cc

photo credit: Whiskeygonebad via photopin cc

17. You are who your friends are. You can’t expect people not to group you into a generalization when you surround yourself with bad people. The few very close girlfriends I have (and a lot of them are my cousins) are women I aspire to be like— smart, college graduates, loving moms, good hearts and trendy fashionistas. They are people I’m proud to say influence me.

18. I’m in the driver’s seat—basically, I’m trying to convey that I’m in control of my own destiny while trying to use as few clichés as possible. There are countless horrible things that happen in life that you have no control over like diseases, traumatic accidents, etc. So why not take the FEW aspects you do have in your control and change them for the better? I stayed at my last bartending job for a difficult 2 ½ years. The owners were great family friends, the staff was as sweet as can be but most of the customers were awful. I won’t go into too much detail but they’d treat bartenders poorly, get pissed when you’d charge them full price for their $7 drink, expect you to “hook them up” since they’re regulars, and bad mouth you to other patrons if you didn’t. Not a normal bar establishment, to say the least. I was averaging $300/night on tips, sometimes even more, so it was a hard place to walk away from. BUT I dreaded going to work, came home crying more often than not, and would constantly complain about my job. So I finally DID SOMETHING ABOUT IT. I QUIT! IT WAS THE MOST LIBERATING FEELING EVER! I quickly found a new bartending job where the respect of the staff is #1, the money is good, and it is the most positive, friendly environment I’ve ever worked in. No one can fix your happiness but you. Boom.

19. Stand for something or you’ll fall for anything. Reflecting on your values in your twenties is important because of how fast pace life is at this age. There are so many influences everywhere you go with friends, co-workers, boyfriends, girlfriends, etc. Figure out what morals you hold dear to your heart, stick to them, and never apologize for it—no matter what anyone in your life has to say about it.

20. I’ll never look like Kate Upton in a bikini—and that’s okay. I struggled with my body image when I used to do promotional work for Hooters Restaurants in 2008. A group of us selected girls would go on television appearances, celebrity golf tournaments and swimsuit competitions to represent the brand. I’d find my 5’0” self standing next to my gorgeous 5’9” friends with long legs and fake boobs, and I’d constantly obsess over why I didn’t look quite like them and I’d torture myself by spending 6 days a week in LA Fitness. But over the years I’ve grown to kind of like my body. I no longer have super toned abs, I have slightly more curves than some of my friends, I enjoy eating healthy but allow a couple cheat days a week, and I still feel good naked! So, whatever!

photo credit: loop_oh via photopin cc

photo credit: loop_oh via photopin cc

21. I’ve got a lot to lose. I think twice now before driving my car even after I’ve only had one beer. Realizing how severe consequences are for stupid decisions scares the living crap out of me—and it should.

22. Stop and take a moment to spend time with and appreciate your parents.

23. Who cares if you’re not engaged, married, or a mom yet?! This isn’t the 1800s where 24 years old is the half-point of your life. You are young!

photo credit: foshydog via photopin cc

photo credit: foshydog via photopin cc

24. When you meet the right guy, you just know. I’ve mentioned in almost all my posts so far that I have this sort of amazingly wonderful boyfriend, Nathan. He is exactly what I always hoped my husband would be like and I really feel in my heart he’s Mr. Right. BUT there’s no way of telling for sure if this will end happily ever after. All I know is that he is so right for me at this moment in my life and I can’t imagine our feelings for one another and our future plans ever changing. The way I know he’s good for me is because he genuinely makes me want to be a better woman. Don’t get me wrong, I like to think I’m pretty awesome already and just as amazing of a girlfriend to him but I mean he makes me want to be greater than I am– for myself, not just for him. I look up to how kind, loving, driven, forgiving, considerate, present, and successful he is and it makes me feel so fortunate to wake up next to this man every day and know he is a huge influence on me. I think it’s important to feel your man doesn’t complete you but he complements you in the best ways possible.*On the other hand—you know when someone is wrong for you. Listen to your gut. Or just listen to your mom.*

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5 Signs Of a Bad First Date

25 Nov

One thing many women struggle with while on a first date is being able to tell if the date is going well. We obviously can’t read our date’s mind (although that would be awesome) so we are forced to draw our own conclusions based on some subtle hints. It’s especially important to pick up on the not-so-subtle giveaways that the date is heading downhill. These five red flags are indicators that your date is either an a**hole, he doesn’t believe in chivalry or he’s not really into you—regardless, don’t plan for a second date.

1. Shallow Hal

If your date only shows interest in bragging about himself— HIS job, HIS car, HIS hobbies, HIS penis (just kidding) then he’s a jerk. If your date does not show any interest in getting to know you—he’s a jerk. Need I say more? Yes? Okay. So if a guy really digs you, he wants to size you up. Guys love getting to know more about women for the same reason we want to know more about them—they want to make sure you’re fun enough, interesting enough, smart enough, and nice enough to visualize being in a relationship with you. So if your date is totally disinterested in your life and what you do, it’s most likely because he isn’t feeling a connection to you or only wants to sleep with you so he could care less about your favorite Saturday morning yoga class.

2.  The Case of the Ex

Talking about past relationships is inevitable during a first date. Both parties want to know when your last relationship was, how long it lasted, and why it ended. Standard first date material. However, some unusual behavior and definitely a red flag is if a guy continuously brings up his ex-girlfriend… especially if you didn’t ask. Example: “You should get a Grey Goose Cosmopolitan. My ex, Ashley, drank those all the time.” This could be a sign that he’s not over the relationship or he has word vomit—either way, it’s weird.

photo credit: Enterprise Hotel via photopin cc

3. No Future Plans

If your date doesn’t mention any plans to see you again or ask when your second date will be, it’s not a good sign. This isn’t the end-all of the relationship but if a guy likes you, he’ll usually casually mention some fun activity or great new restaurant you guys should try the next time you see each other.

photo credit: pnoeric via photopin cc

4. Cheap Skate

Ladies, I don’t know how many times I’ll have to say this: YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE PAYING ON YOUR FIRST DATE. I do not care what anyone says to defend the opposite, they’re wrong. A guy that lets you pay on a first date is a loser. Whether he can’t afford it or if he’s just socially incompetent, there’s just no excuse. I know I’ll get some heat for saying this but I stand by the fact that men should properly court a woman by paying for her with no hesitation on a FIRST DATE. It’s not for me to say who should pay on a regular basis after that, although girls who always pay for guys on dates are a phenomenon I’ll never understand, but men treating women on their first outing together is a principle of basic chivalry. If a guy does not pay the bill or has you “go dutch” with him and pay your half, he’s not only not into you but he’s a jerk! Now this doesn’t mean a girl should pick BOA Steakhouse and order a $75 Filet Mignon; be reasonable, girls! But if you’re reading this and thinking how shallow, you are in denial. Every girl, and I mean every single girl, wants to be treated to a nice first date. The girls who have paid for you before were settling and probably turned around and told their girlfriends how lame the date ended.

5. Shortcut

If your date is trying to cut the night short by rushing dinner or declining your offer to come in for a drink (which I don’t recommend doing), this COULD BE a sign he’s not feelin’ it. Yes, he could have work at 7am tomorrow but what guy do you know would turn down an opportunity to get a little cozy with you after dinner? My boyfriend wondered why I was rushing off after our first dinner and asked if I wanted to come to his house to “chit-chat” over a drink or two. Are you kidding me?! Everything about that sentence screamed SEX! Guys want sex. They love sex. They don’t care about a 3-date rule… heck, they don’t believe in a 3-hour rule! So, if your date wants nothing to do with a cocktail-filled you, let’s just say it’s not good.

The Disappearing Act

17 Nov

In the past few weeks since I’ve started writing Live & Love in L.A. I’ve gotten so many girlfriends and guy friends reaching out to me about their dating dilemmas… and I love it! That’s the exact reason I started writing this blog! Men and women need somewhere to vent, a place to feel they’re not alone, and more importantly, a blog that can give you a good laugh about the crazy world of dating—and I’m so glad it’s serving that exact purpose. I wanted to create something light-hearted, candid, and easy to read because after all, it’s not that serious! Dating in Los Angeles is, more often than not, just a long funny movie… at least my dating life is.

photo credit: CarbonNYC via photopin cc

One dating topic that has been brought to my attention at least twice in the last couple weeks is guys going M.I.A. (missing in action– for all you newbies). My girlfriends date a guy—for let’s say, 2 to 4 months—and everything is going great! You’re spending a ton of time together, he tells you he’s totally falling for you, you’ve hung out with his friends, and one day… he just stops calling! You low-key freak out and text him but all you get is…. *crickets*….  Maybe you even go so far as to texting him a novel long angry rant about how he should just tell you if he’s over you! WHY?! WHAT THE F#!& HAPPENED?! EVERYTHING WAS FINE AND IT’S BEEN 3 DAYS SINCE HE’S CALLED!!!!

photo credit: zubrow via photopin cc

Ladies, this is what I like to call The Disappearing Act. Totally standard douchebag M.O. (mode of operation, come on people!) You can spend countless nights asking yourself why or bugging your girlfriends to death trying to make sense of it all OR you can get real and realize he’s just over it!

Here are several possibilities why your guy fell off the face of the earth:

-He’s seeing someone else

-He chose that someone else over you

-He’s freaked out feeling it’s getting “too serious”

-He’s in his young, party mindset and he’s too busy making it rain at the club with his fellow douchebag friends

-You’re not a big priority to him

-He lost interest because you gave it up too quickly

Notice I did NOT say:

-He lost his phone

-He lost your number

-He’s just super busy right now. Come on, he’s a doctor!

-He wants to play hard-to-get

-His dog died

-HE died

-His grandma is sick

-He’s going through a lot right now

Okay, I know this sounds a little harsh but it’s the truth. The truth your girlfriends are too afraid to tell you because they’re afraid of hurting your feelings. When men really want a woman, there’s virtually nothing that can come in between them and their chase. I often hear my girlfriends excusing this kind of behavior for him being “really busy right now” and “he’s going through so much”. All of these excuses could actually be legitimate but that doesn’t mean he has zero time in the day to shoot you a text and touch base with you. Nobody flips the script after weeks of blissful dating because they’re too busy. If a guy “goes ghost”, as my cousin Mariel says, it’s most likely because of you. NOT meaning you did something wrong, but it’s his feelings for you… or lack thereof. It’s part of a man’s primal blueprint to pursue you if he’s really interested in you. I’m not going to quote some weird Harvard study where I read that… I just know that shit is true. And you do, too.

Regardless of why he’s avoiding you, there’s really nothing you can do about it. A very important lesson I’ve learned from my crazy dating life is that when you’re in a relationship you cannot control anyone but yourself. We women waste so much energy trying to make sense of a situation we have no control over. We want an explanation and we want it right now!

So here it is. The explanation you’ve been waiting for. He is too immature and/or cowardly to meet face-to-face and properly break it off with you. He wants to avoid the confrontation of you being angry with him, crying to him or asking a million and one questions. A real man will communicate with you and a real man knows you are worth the explanation—simple as that.

photo credit: gogoloopie via photopin cc

Now you’ve read this… it’s starting to sink in…. and you’re kinda depressed. It’s okay! Totally normal! I know I write this sounding like it’s a cake walk to move on but I don’t mean for it to sound like a no-brainer. Of course it’s hurtful to be dropped by someone you really liked even if it was a short whirlwind romance. But what other choice do you have but to move on? Like I’ve said in my past entry “Cry Me a River, Build Me a Bridge”, break-ups suck no matter how you slice it!

Do keep in mind that all break-ups are hard but the one kind of heartbreak that shouldn’t consume one more second of your life is when a guy pulls The Disappearing Act… If he’s not that creepy David Blane dude, disappearing is SO not cool.

photo credit: tmolini via photopin cc

5 Hidden Date Night Gems in Los Angeles

10 Nov

Do you feel like you’ve done everything there is to do in Los Angeles? Ever find yourself planning a date with someone and wondering what you could do besides the same boring ol’ dinner-and-a-movie?

I was born and raised in this city and I feel like this all the time! I’m constantly trying to find out about cool, unique things my friends are doing for fun; like outdoor concerts, beer fests, food truck festivals, etc. Those things are all fun with a big group of friends but what about new ideas on where to bring a date in L.A.? As much as I enjoy being wined and dined like every other girl, I more so get a kick out of going on borderline cheesy and out-of-the-ordinary “day dates” or date nights. This post will help give you a few ideas for putting together a more memorable outing with your special someone.

Here are a few of L.A.’s best kept secrets (well, not so secret but definitely underrated):

CINESPIA CEMETERY SCREENINGS
Hollywood, CA
http://www.cinespia.org
Price: $10/person

I just had to place this as #1 because it is arguably my favorite thing to do in Los Angeles. Cinespia is a non-profit organization that puts on summer night screenings of old classic movies that are projected on the side of a building right in the middle of the Hollywood Forever Cemetery! Creeeeepy! Well, not really. Sure, famous celebrities’ tombstones surround you in the dark night but you’re there with thousands of fellow movie buffs drinking wine and feasting on your packed picnics. It’s the ultimate spot to get a little cozy with your hot date as you are encouraged to bring pillows and blankets to picnic on and cuddle in. My advice? Bring a few small candles (mood lighting AND helps you see in pitch black), pack light finger foods (sandwiches, chips, fruit), BYOB (they allow alcohol), and bring lots of blankets. My boyfriend and I came here on our second date which was perfect since our first was very let’s ask 100 questions and get to know each other, whereas our Cinespia date was let’s just drink, cuddle and kiss. Yeah, we were that couple. The one you wanted to yell “get a room!” to but you were kiiiiiinda enjoying it in a sick way, too. Anyway, I knew I liked him after our first date but after he held me at the screening, that’s when I felt the real chemistry…. Something about watching The Big Lebowski with a cute guy amongst the ghosts of The Ramones really got my blood flowin’!

HUNTINGTON LIBRARY, ART COLLECTIONS & BOTANICAL GARDENS
San Marino, CA
http://www.huntington.org
Price: $20 weekdays/$23 weekends per person

Get a little culture in ya! The Huntington Estate is perfect to explore on a beautiful afternoon after a nice brunch with your hottie-with-a-body. I mean, don’t you want to make sure your date has a little more substance to them than being a good drinking buddy the night before? Take a free guided tour around the grounds and witness the most jaw-dropping gorgeous Chinese & Japanese gardens and learn all there is to know about Henry Huntington’s life. He was like, the creator of all things Pasadena– kind of a big deal. His impressive collection of fine art and the featured exhibits are educational and surprisingly really fun to see! I’m a member at The Huntington since I visit so darn much (it’s like a Disney annual pass, you gotta buy one if you’re a frequent customer or else you’ll go broke) and everyone I bring, date or not, loves it! Check out their website for their one FREE DAY a month if you’re a recessionista!

photo credit: EJP Photo via photopin cc

PALM READING AT TAMARA PSYCHIC READINGS
6429 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA
Call Tamara at (323) 937-5294 & tell her Joyce’s blog sent you!
Price: $25-$50 *Varies with reading type; cards, palms, etc.*

I just got off the phone with Tamara asking her permission to post this since she performs her readings out of her cozy West LA home, and she was more than happy to be part of this week’s post! My girlfriends and I do “girls night” here every six months or so just to be slightly creeped out and laugh together. Tamara is a sweet woman who has a true gift and can give you a light-hearted enjoyable card reading or really help you do some serious soul searching if needed. But in this case, taking your date for a palm reading would be the ultimate wow factor after a nice dinner! I mean, how’s that for memorable?! When’s the last time a guy asked you to get your future told with him? Kind of dark and twisted but sexy! Tamara performs couples readings and asks first if you only want the good news… which is probably a good idea because if her psychic joo-joo is telling her he’s a total douchebag, this might not be the best way to find out—in front of him! Tell her Joyce sent you and you’ll be taken great care of! Happy reading!

PICNIC AT VISTA HERMOSA PARK
100 N. Toluca St.
Los Angeles, CA
Price: Free 99

Vista Hermosa Park is truly a hidden gem. When my ex-boyfriend got me a beautiful Downtown apartment for Valentine’s Day, I had a perfect view of this quaint park. The first time I ran here with my dog I had no idea I’d get to the top, turn around, and see a breathtaking view of the Downtown LA skyline. This view isn’t the typical overly photographed, everyone-drives-by-it sight of the buildings. It feels so untouched since there are hardly ever people around and it’s so quiet you can hear your thoughts. My ex and I never made it out for a picnic like I always wanted (refer to my 1st intro post—he was the workaholic that provided an opulent lifestyle to distract me from noticing his absence), so I did the next best thing with this insane view…

I threw my puppy his first birthday here! Hopefully you’ll have better luck and have a gorgeous hunk share a glass of vino and a charcuterie & cheese platter with you while watching the sunset. Cheers!

 

 

 

HIKING AT EATON CANYON FALLS TRAIL
1750 N. Altadena Dr.
Pasadena, CA
Price: Blood, Sweat & Tears (kidding, free and easy hike!)

Everyone wants to date someone fit and athletic—so, what better way to put them to the test than a hike in beautiful Pasadena! Don’t worry, ladies, it’s a pretty mild trail so you won’t be constantly anxious about him seeing you sweat up a storm! Going on a hike after waking up next to him just feels so right. Exercising together is a great way to bond for new and not-so-new couples because it gives you a chance to designate time to do nothing but talk and give each other your undivided attention. This trail leads to an awesome famous waterfall that many take photographs in front of to say, “I conquered!” Be sure to bring lots of water and your dogs if they’re physically fit! Avoid the weekends if you can—Eaton Canyon pops off on Sunday mornings!

 

 

Tick Tock

3 Nov

That’s the sound of my biological clock ticking…

photo credit: Βethan via photopin cc

Just kidding! Well, kinda. I know everyone is ready to tell me to shut up! I know, I know… I’m barely turning 24 this month but I oddly feel a little pressure to start putting my big girl pants on and begin to take some serious steps towards my future; my career, marriage and KIDS…. kids?! Yiiiiikes.

Well, career is a given! If you’re approaching mid-twenties and not motivated to work on achieving your career goals, then you’ve got bigger problems than I know how to answer. Refer to my 2nd blog post. I’m a strong believer in women staying educated and independent (yeah, you heard me, Mitt Romney). I definitely don’t mind the career pressure, in fact, it excites me! I got the most awesome news this weekend when I received an acceptance letter to nursing school! Ahhhhhh! I had one school in mind as my top choice, the one I “knew” I would never get accepted into… and sure enough, they were “pleased to inform me of my acceptance”. I know health science is my passion and nursing is my calling. I couldn’t be happier that a prestigous institution believes that I’m the right fit for the job! Never give up, girls. It took me what seems to be forever to find what I love, but it will come to you. And as the saying goes, if you work hard for it you shall achieve it.

photo credit: Millzero Photography via photopin cc

Now, let’s talk wedding bells. Everywhere on Facebook I’m bombarded with my friends getting engaged and photo albums from their beautiful weddings; which I love seeing, don’t get me wrong! I’m such an emotional woman and I always tear up out of complete happiness for my girlfriends. Deciding you want to spend the rest of your life with a completely amazing person is absolutely beautiful. I trip out on the fact that some people aren’t fortunate enough to experience that in their entire lives. Simply beautiful. But I wonder if it’s weird that I’m not thinking about marriage just yet…

photo credit: Caucas’ via photopin cc

I’m such a worry wart. I constantly worry about what’s coming next and I panic that I’m not close to getting married because that means I’m not close to being a mom…. fast forward to me being the oldest un-sexy mom at PTA meetings. My boyfriend, Nathan, and I discuss the marriage topic quite often. It’s kinda crazy how we discuss our future wedding’s details (string quartet for the cermony, an a capella group for cocktail hour, and a big band for the reception…. no big deal! haha!) as if it’s just another average conversation. Well, I really just throw out my ideas and he just says, “whatever you want, baby”. His mom taught him well, clearly. Happy wife= happy life. I will say though, that I love it. We both talk about it as if we’re both 100% sure that we’re with the person we’re going to marry. Sure, I am confident that I’m with Mr. Right and I have every wedding detail decided, down to the napkin holders and centerpieces BUT I’m really not in a rush to walk down the aisle right now. 

photo credit: JustinLowery.com via photopin cc

This isn’t because I’m afraid of the commitment or being “tied down”, which by the way, I hate when people in relationships use that excuse to stall marriage– your girlfriend/fiance should already tie your ass down! Anyways, I’m more worried about finishing school first and starting my career. I’m going to say this but I really want to preface with saying: I’m so not judging stay-at-home wives or moms; you all are severely underappreciated and I know how much you do even if you’re not on payroll. Although, a PERSONAL big fear of mine is not having a great career or having my own money. I want to make my own money, which I do now but I’m talking BIG money… registered nursing money! This isn’t to sayI couldn’t do all this while being married but I know myself and once I’m a wife I’ll want to just bake cupcakes for my husband and start working on babies; not study for a midterm! Maybe I need to just have more balance in my life. Not be at one extreme or the other. There’s gotta be a happy medium between excellent student and dedicated wife. I know a lot of my girlfriends are so great at doing both! Luckily, Nathan is not pressuring me for anything more than I’m ready for. Although at the rate that I fall more in love with him every day, I’ll probably want it sooner than later!

Here’s a photo my boyfriend took of me joking around with a Baby Bjorn at our yard sale. I freaked out when he showed me because it was like a look into my future; no make-up, sweatpants, and disheveled with baby in tow.

Kids are what scare me the most. My best friend, Jenny, is the most incredible mom to handsome little Jayden but she was rather young having him at 20 years old. I remember when she came over my house to tell me the big news and we both cried; tears of happiness and worry! I know her love for her son and I know for a fact she would never do anything differently if it meant Jayden would be anything but the special guy he is today. However, she often tells me to wait to have children. And I agree! I commend her for jumping into action unlike many young mothers and she really is a better woman than I am because I’m just way too selfish right now to be a mom. I think I’m a kickass mom to my dog but let’s be real, I can leave the little guy for hours at a time… totally different!

This is my bestie’s son. The little man who stole our hearts 4 years ago, Jayden Kalvin!

But I often worry that I’m too selfish. Like I’m putting all of life’s special gifts on pause while I get my shit together… Well, it is what it is. I figure I’m 24 and if there’s a “good” time to put me first I think it’s now. I’ve fantasized about my future husband and children my whole life. I know when the time comes, I’m going to be so committed to my family. But until then, I’m enjoying a little “me time”.