Tag Archives: fifty shades of grey

Having It Both Ways: Dating is Hard

Having It Both Ways: Dating is Hard

weird first dateTo read more about the Having it Both Ways project, turn around three times and spit.  Or just click here.

After the unfortunate experience with Mr. Crazy Pants I’ve been much more turned off by the idea of dating men.  I realize this is me being reactionary to the worst fears and anxieties I have of dating someone I’ve met online.  Still, it turns out my fears were actualized sitting on a bench on the top floor of the Pentagon City shopping mall.

Having had five first dates since I began this project one thing is certain, first dates are exhausting.  If you work in politics you know all about going to political events and having to be “on.”  Candidates have to have the perfect smile, the eagerness to shake hands and hug, the super friendly outgoing personality….. essentially the best version of themselves.  This is how every first date must be.  The best version of yourself.  After three of these dates in one weekend it can get to be a little too much.  After two weeks of staying up until midnight to live tweet the RNCC and DNCC and getting six hours of sleep… the idea of pulling out the nice dress, straightening my hair, and spending three hours trying to be perfect is quite simply exhausting.  Sometimes I really just want to come home and dust things while looking up recipes for things I shouldn’t be eating on Pinterest.

Geometry of a first dateThe one reason I hated doing fundraising so much for electoral campaigns was that need to constantly be “on.”  The perfect version of yourself in the nice outfit and the beaming smile might be a version of yourself, but the strength of the V-Chip filter is tuned up to the max.  Don’t talk about the crazy ex-girlfriend who was a pathological liar.  Leave out the fact that the love of your life was a cat that died in your arms two years ago.  Probably shouldn’t mention you occasionally play with men until the… second date?  But then you end up not being completely honest about who you are and letting yourself go.

Does that fear come from a need within all of us to be accepted and liked regardless of whether or not we are interested in the person across the table?  My first Mixology date I was absolutely myself, and she wasn’t interested in me.  To be truthful I wasn’t exactly interested in her either, but it’s always nice to be the one to say “no thank you” or ignore the email.  The second Mixology date I was much more guarded but there was something about her that made me feel comfortable and safe and more willing to express who I am.  She turned out to be the best so far.  So the standard becomes that there is no standard.  The rules don’t always apply.  The same ingredients don’t always get you that nutella cheesecake you saw on Pinterest.

So in the end, dear reader, I’m left rolling my eyes the night of the next first date.  Wondering if this one will be another distraction from a night better spent doing laundry.  But the most powerful of emotions keeps me going out:  the hope that the next will be just as perfect as Sophia… or even the infrequent Fifty Shades of Grey has become.


Having It Both Ways: Never go to the store when youre hungry!

Having It Both Ways: Never go to the store when youre hungry!

Read more about the Having it Both Ways project here.

You’ve heard it before, right?  Never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry.  Don’t do it.  Have a sammich or grab a cappuccino … but if you go when you’re hungry you’ll end up with $150 of Cheetos puff balls, wine, several pounds of deli meat, frozen pies, not to mention the things you’ve somehow convinced yourself that you’re going to cook throughout the week but then realize you probably won’t really.

This is a lot like sex.  No, seriously, go along with me, here.  When you’re hungry …. don’t go to the grocery store.  See what I did there?  Because ultimately you’ll end up with a crazy dude you met off the internet that is throwing up all sorts of red flags, but your libido is saying “oh … yes… right there… right there….”  Why?  Because it’s hungry. You don’t need the cheetos.  Put the pie down.

This is exactly why I have the all too infrequent Fifty Shades of Grey.  Fifty came into my life at a particularly difficult time in my romantic journey when I needed a distraction.  Our sexy repartee and his sexual puns provided hours of email and gchat enjoyment.  And now that we’ve taken it offline, it’s kept me from making any additional bad mistakes.

It serves as a lesson for everyone but also a question for those too uncomfortable with the idea of someone only serving that role in your life.  Is the expectation that you’ll end up in the happy endings you get with “Friends with Benefits” or “No Strings Attached?”  Because, I’ve long held that Hollywood’s interpretation of relationships like that are sensationalized for the “chick flick” viewing audience who longs for the music to swell and the lovers to be together forever…. awwww…  But its not always going to end up like that, and it’s unrealistic to believe that it will.

This is why I assume I keep getting comments from my girlfriends telling me to “cut him loose.”  I always ask why and the answer is always – “There’s no relationship in it for you.”  My question becomes…. So, whats wrong with that?  That’s not what I want either, that’s not what I’m striving for with this person.  That isn’t our relationship now nor am I hoping it will be.  So… why is it not ok to have a “friendship” or “relationship” that isn’t going to end with marriage, 2.5 kids, a house with a picket fence, and a dog?  Are we so conditioned as women to think that our relationships should end that way that when we see them taking a different path we cut the line loose?  What would happen if the end game wasn’t a long-term, traditional, monogamous, marriage?  How might we do things differently?  How might dating or sex change?  How might we as people change?  Food for thought, dear reader, food for thought….

Having It Both Ways: 50 Shades of Grey Without the Relationship

Having It Both Ways: 50 Shades of Grey Without the Relationship

Fifty Shades of Grey Without the RomanceCheck out the first in the series: Having it Both Ways to learn more about the dating project.

When I first moved to Washington, Dude #2 suggested that I find a hot girl to date or be with so that we could have some wild crazy times together.  Ahhh straight men, gotta love the way they think.  While I was certainly interested in a nice new lady friend, I was open to the potential of another gentleman as well, and started a profile on a personals site that links people based on, let’s just say, their adventurous inclinations.

Dude #3 did not approve of this and considered finding sexual partners based on their emails from a blog or site such as that to be dangerous.  He was concerned for my safety.  It was just a few months later and I was falling in love with him, so the personals site sat dormant for 9 months and racked up all sorts of interesting men (and no women) who wanted to give me detailed descriptions of what they’d like to do with me.

When I returned to the site following the fallout of Dude 3, I began wading through the messages and replying or, quite frankly, just giggling.  You have to give men credit, the fact that they’re willing to message a stranger and say “You’re hot, want you NOW here’s my number” takes a lot of guts.  I replied 9 months later and said “Be right over” just to mess with them.

About 150 similar invitations followed, including many from people that were going to be in Washington for conferences and wanted to “meet up.”  Yeah.  I’m sure you do.  Delete.  But among the mess were a few people that were interesting or I decided would be fun to poke fun at – electronically speaking.  One was 26 year old Tyler who had a complicated understanding of capitalization of proper nouns.  We’ll assume this is because Too Young Tyler typically types one handed.  The next gentleman is not too young 50 and began our conversation by complimenting me on my tumblr that features nude black and white images I find beautiful and sexy but with a lot of class and elegance.

Fifty and I struck up an email conversation for about a week and he seemed to have a good balance of being able to articulate complex political philosophy and some very hot conversation.  I decided he must be a kinky Senator or Congressman and we should absolutely meet.  We set a date for later in the week having coffee early one morning near my office.  Indeed he was delicious, but not an elected official.  Tall, lean, a slight smirk, beautiful eyes, and hair 50 shades of grey.  Still, I learned, incredibly well connected, professional, smart, and extraordinarily private.  He was looking for a hot young thing to play that would allow some of his more adventurous side to be expressed.  He was not looking for a relationship.

Thus began the complicated thought process in my head.  Fifty could provide me with a lot of much needed adventure while I try and uncover the dating scene in Washington.  The point at which I find a suitable person to date exclusively Fifty and I could be buds.  In the mean time …. I could have 50 Shades of Grey – just without the long term relationship.

Am I ok with that?  I guess we’ll see.