things men do that make women lose interest

The most common things men do that make women lose interests have to do with taking things for granted and not working on being the best possible version of themselves. Women do it too, but below you’ll find the particular twists men add to table in regards to these very simple, yet crucial behaviors in a relationship.

how to break up gracefully

I’ve mastered the art of ending relationships badly. No pride in that. I’ve also managed to learn from past experiences and bad choices while finding my peace. Breakups are never easy. Not even when it’s the right thing to do. Here’s how to break up gracefully and end a relationship that is no longer fit for you.

make the most of your 20s

When thinking about my 20s and how I’ve spent them, the mistakes were the first to pop in mind. A smile followed. While the regrets vs lessons balance is definitely tilted in the right direction, here are some issues I’ve faced in my 20s.

dating an engineer

Dating an engineer? This is just up your alley! While we love their restless minds and logical approach to everything, there are a few things you need to know about how engineers wheels are turning when it comes to relationships. Check out the cheatsheet!

expectations

If you’re always waiting for him to jump out of a bush, with a rose between the teeth while he’s doing the laundry, check to see if your expectations are in sync with reality.

I’ve been wanting to say this for so long, but I never could find the right words, so I just stopped looking for them. I know you forgave me then & there, but I still haven’t forgiven either of us. At least, there is some kind of peace between us, and I have a tranquillity that kept me going, that comforted and deceived me so many times, we became related.

My happiness comes calling for you

I need you to know that I miss you, constantly, quietly, and mostly when I am happy, never when I am sad, down, angry or bitter. I have mastered the art of being alone, not needing anything from anyone. I am independent and strong, always was, I like being by myself, I enjoy spending time on my own, I like it and I am proud of it. I don’t feel the need to fill up my schedule with people I don’t want to meet and conversations I don’t want to hear, I don’t want to spend my nights being someone else’s dream. This was long overdue since most of my younger years were spent with the wrong person out of sheer fear of being alone when the truth was I was fine all along. Maybe this is some kind of silver lining to losing us, maybe it’s just how things happened.

I never think of you when I have a bad day, when I am battling my own monsters, when I am at weddings without a date, when hearing our song, or when something sad happens. I deal with all of that and more, in the best possible way. I’ve learned to reach out, ask for help and open up about problems. I stand tall and am still as stubborn as you left me.

I miss you the most when I am happy and something great happens because I want to share it with you. A promotion, a compliment, a good day, a funny video, an awesome movie, a sunny afternoon, a book, a lazy Sunday, a good deed in traffic, a flower from a stranger or a cute doggie that crossed my path this morning…everything, anything was better with you.

I miss you laughing at my PJs and my morning hair, I miss having you around when I do my makeup in the mirror before going out. I miss being all dolled up, feeling like a million bucks, and having you there to tell me that, even if you’ve been waiting forever for me to get ready.

I never once wanted you there to stop my tears, but to catch my smiles

In my darkest times, I am the strongest, I’ve learned that the hard way, but even then, I talk to friends, myself & God. That keeps me pretty occupied. We often tell ourselves that though times are even harder when facing them alone, but that is not true. Though times are just as though, and the only way to get through them is to get trough them. I know by now, it’s ok not to be fine, not to have it together all the time, to be confused and hurting. Yet, I never once wanted you there to stop my tears, but to catch my smiles. Never needed you to pick me up from the floor, but to take me on to dance floor. I miss your silly moves.

I miss us laughing together, telling you the good news, or the good joke I just heard since you always had a better one ready. I don’t want you when I am tired, but when I am full of energy and making plans. I liked the possibility of us and all the possibilities that came along with that.

I’m still trying to make sense of everything that happened, still learning, still making mistakes, still growing…still loving and missing your love.

I am starting with the disclaimer this time, saying that I love my parents, I am deeply grateful to have them in my life and thankful for their support and struggle.

This being said, all lawsuits and family bickering well absorbed, I need to get personal about this decision. It is high time I took it, it is long overdue, especially since I am in a threesome for almost 30 years, and it’s not the one to raise an admirable eyebrow for.

I say I want to divorce my parents because they didn’t make this decision when the music stopped between them, nor did they make the other sane resolution, meaning to fight for their relationship and change whatever is not working. Compromise? Not the case, it is some kind of alien form of subjugation, a form of slavery and the absolute acknowledgment that the other is right, which of course, is by itself, pure suicide. Letting go? Error – concept not found. Only thing worth living for: find a new way of arguing better than the other one does, or remembering exactly what went wrong on that dinner night, 20 years ago.

Why is this my problem?

When it comes to family, there is not an easy way out, no magic shutdown or sleep button, no ESC, no scrub or cleanse system that will work wonders, although I’d love a “sort your family problems” smoothie. You just know it, accept it, live with it, try to do better and hope for the best. Family is like a nasty E- Coli infection, that just sticks to you and is a part of who you are for good, showing up when you least expected it, bringing a mess, creating a bigger one every time. Sure, don’t get me wrong, it could be a beautiful emotional mess, heartwarming, loud and lively, hot and cold, and it’s a sweet kind of mess we long for, especially during the holidays. After that, we can regroup and miss them until we are eager to go through the madness together, once again, with bells on. Blame holiday cards from Hallmark for this, but it’s actually true.

In my case, my parents have two opposite personalities and I am sorry to disappoint you, but they do not attract.

Growing up, I was used to patch things up, make them better, shift focus and come between them. I was entertainment in an area where gadgets and tv shows did not exist, their witness at every fight, the official referee and personal side taker, professional buffer, translator and peace maker officer since I was 5, so it’s not such a big surprise that I became a very talented multitasker – all corporates love that.

I didn’t grow up in a constant toxic environment, yet their sometimes flawed dynamic got to me far worse than I could have predicted and the fact that I am still in this broken place, trying to fix that instead of solving my own issues, is rapidly consuming all my resources.

“I’m turning into my mom” = scariest words ever

My late 20s brought me close to this dark revelation about myself and to the fact that I might turn into my mother, especially when I am extremely pissed – please embrace the scientific term which combined with a very specific F word, can best describe the different stages of annoyance I reach sometimes.

I easily become the queen of ice cold treatment and isolation – sorry Elsa – I walk away from any argument, I am really critical and sometimes use emotional manipulation to get my side of the story across. My mom is the only person that can get me worked up and ready to go to war with Zeus, in 2.3 seconds max. Not feeling good enough, while constantly trying to explain ordinary things, not feeling accepted and valued for who I am, are always working in the corners of my mind. The funny thing is, I only got the most annoying traits, the ones I truly hate about her, and not the awesome legs, out of this world metabolism or skin type, nor de drive and restless nature when it comes to working and striving ahead. Nope, I just got the things that I don’t like about her, or any other human being, for that matter. That is just plain stupid. The things we reject the most about our parents or any other loved ones are the ones we are scared to manifest ourselves. I fear that I am that person sometimes, and, so when I see it others, it just makes me that much angrier.

“My dad used to be my hero” = saddest words ever

That moment, when you realize your parents, whom you saw larger than life, kinder than the Pope and better than Superman (and I am talking about Chuck Norris standards here), are limited humans and actually seeing what those limits are, is extremely painful. It shouldn’t be, I agree, but it is. When you see that what was in your mind has little or no reflection in real life, combined with the lack of desire to improve or change, all this related to your hero, it’s just excruciating, especially since I am talking about every little girl’s hero, her dad – I know, I know, cliche alert!

The tendency to please and make him proud ruined my self-esteem for years.

Then you realize you are a grown up and should be acting like one, by accepting, not judging and just responding with kindness to all earthly limitations. This is a battle you won’t win any other way, but that you still keep on fighting in the background. I guess many of us are fighting their kid version of ourselves, that is mostly disappointed of us and of how things turned out, and what kind of an adult have we become. Stop fighting and start listening to the kid could be an interesting idea, don’t you think? He might have some answers or at least a few good points to make!

Also, since we are already here, maybe we should stop fighting against the version of us that was in the mind of our parents. Of course, they wanted you married with a doctor, having kids and a postcard house by 25, but that is at the end of the day, their definition of happiness, so they are actually wishing you the best, in their terms. Stop rebelling against good intentions! Instead, try searching for your own truth and definition of the happier you, and start living it, that being the ultimate victory for both you and them!

“Parenting your parents” neceser

I know, by now, that I can’t fix their relationship, which actually, is not that bad since they made it together for more than 30 years, which is a whole lot more than I can say about my own romantic experiences. However, I need to stop trying or hoping to do so.

I know and want to be there to help them in any way, but not at the expense of my own activities and responsibilities. I have to set some boundaries and stop feeling bad for the few times I can’t respond to their needs firstly. I don’t have to go above and beyond for a thing they can easily manage themselves. Stop the guilt!

I need to stop spoiling them, or enabling their dependent behavior, that is not allowing them to be fully responsible for their actions and reactions. Also, it is not allowing me to have more patience and be more available for my partner, and it might have something to do with my not wanting kids soon – since I am feeling like a babysitter for my parents – but this is another story:)

I need to stop feeling responsible for their mistakes or choices. People choose to fight, to disagree, may even like it or are used to it, so much so that it’s not a life altering thing for them.

I have to stop trying to make their relationship work as I would like to see it and start focusing more on my own. After all, they did a fabulous job raising a great kid, they were amazing parents, really awesome people that went through so much along the years, overcoming problems and always finding new resources to make it another day.

I have to stop worrying that my own relationships will turn out as theirs did. This fear is stopping me from living, loving, feeling. Our own past does not equal our future, so why would others past have that much of an influence?

If you find yourself in any of the cases above or remember a younger you struggling with them, please know that our parents are a huge part of who we are as adults, they shape our personality, principles and draw the outline of our existence, doing everything with effortless love and caring. They did the best they could, at that moment in time. This is not about pointing fingers, making up excuses or finding them responsible for who we become. We all have to choose to learn from their mistakes and make our own as well, to honor their best teachings, yet find our own path to happiness. There is only so much we can blame them for, the rest is on us!

This does not sound crazy at all, I actually feel sad for all the things I never got to live and call my own, all the memories I don’t have, all the experiences I don’t get to talk about, and the people I didn’t share my life with.

This is not about missed opportunities and misfortune. I feel sorry for the lives that were so vividly present in my mind, so beautifully projected in a future that might not happen at all. Maybe, in some way, I have already lived them there, in my imagination, and so they’ve become useless for this moment and for those waiting to come. Maybe, I stop believing in them, and so, just like childhood dreams, they’ve made room for a somewhat more corporate or IKEA like order of thoughts. Maybe, I just let them go and I now I get to miss them once in awhile.

Part 1: I feel sorry about the college experience I didn’t have.

This need some explaining because I did go to college, I have a Masters degree and I finished in the top 3 of my class, with ridiculous grades and meanings attributed to those achievements that were very far from my soul’s expectations, like some many other aspects of my life.

Branded T-shirt needs reveal more than fashion choices

The sadness hit me when I was visiting Berkeley and when I found myself frantically set on buying a branded college sweatshirt as if the world was about to end tomorrow and the only thing that could save it was a superpower logo on clothes. My mind found the perfect solution for my misery: if you buy a shirt, you’ll have a part of this great college experience, as if you actually lived it. We all do the same with celebs, that is why we are so interested in knowing what lipgloss they use, or what nail polish makes them feel special, so we can go & buy exactly that color and live the same experience as they do, thus making us & our lives feel as important as we think theirs are. Of course, our lives are small and insignificant compared to any Hollywood bubble, so far away that comparing is just a mean of self-torture most of the times, but in this one extremely specific and highly important area of our existence, the two worlds collide and are exactly the same: nail polish color! Sometimes, that is all you need in order to feel that you matter just as much, that your work is valuable since you can afford the same things and, above all, that you have something in common with the unreachable: same damn good tastes in color picking!

Back to my own sobby story, if we may. That was the precise feeling I wanted, for my own experience, to know that I have something in common with a great academic opportunity. The campus, the study buildings, the humongous library, the coffee shop, the park within, the town, that ice cream, the stories I don’t have of them. I was born and still live in a small town of Romania, so I am as far from the US experience as I can possibly be. I did not leave my hometown to go to college, I didn’t even consider the possibility at that time, I didn’t make that choice since I was buried in guilt and marrying the story that made me think that I didn’t deserve more. We are currently in divorce, hence all the writing.

I was visiting some friends in SF, and they were the ones that took me to Berkeley, on my request, because I needed to have a taste of it, and please feel free to replace this great college with any other one from the Ivy league, from US, UK, etc. Of course, I had the tourist version of it, but still, that triggered every cell in my body to want it more. I saw myself wandering the alleys, getting lost in the first year of college, seeking to find friends, deciding on where to sit in a classroom, trying to fit it, desperately making sense of the a colleague’s notes, writing papers, crying to my parents on the phone, living in a dorm, praying for an exam subject (aka for a miracle), not washing my hair for 1 week because I was too busy studying, always wearing the same undies for the toughest exams or writing with the same pen that got me my first A there. I always was a kid that used to stand out in school, but standing out at a prestigious college, having those kinds of opportunities, experiences, people & ideas around was something else. I felt sorry about the chances, the stories and the growth this would have brought in my life, mostly because I felt present there, more than I was during my own college experience.

Pay attention to what your soul says YES to

I consider that period an average one, although my results and commitment were far from average, although I have never felt average. Ever since kindergarten, I graduated at the top of my class, I had extraordinary teachers that saw the magic in me, gave wings to dreams and equaled potential to possibility. Somehow, I forget all that and my mind pulled a dark trick on me, deciding that I am not worthy. I picked Law School, but never decided on that, because my extremely smart & driven best friend knew she wanted that, and so, I adhered to a serious choice, trying to seem serious about my future. My soul said NO. I didn’t leave my small hometown for college because I wanted to feel righteously small too. My soul said NO. I had straight As because that made me feel that I was doing something important and everyone can see that. NO again.

My poor heart had enough after 5 years of studying something that was not related to my truth. I decided to leave home, to go the state capital, and pursue a career in an area I loved but had no preparation for. Took chances, worked hard, failed, tried again. Soul said YES.

I didn’t decide on my academic path, I wasn’t present in my life during those years, but I did what was expected of me and that is why I miss the higher experience of what could have been. I didn’t have it, so I still want it. In some way, it’s just the human need for more, for growth, change, new or unknown and I am not sorry for feeling this. It’s similar to the desire to visit Paris or any other lovely place that you’ve never seen before. That is what memories are: a place where you used to be and wanna go back to, from time to time, a place or a version of you that you used to know and love, if they are good ones.

It can be just like a funny little cab story:

Driver: where to?

Passenger: to ____ (insert dream of choice destination). I can’t wait to get there!

Driver: been there before?

Passenger: no, but wanted to, so many times before!