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Monthly Archives: November 2010

NEVER BUY ON SALE WHAT YOU WOULDN’T BUY FULL PRICE. That’s my Black Friday/Cyber Monday motto.  Well, there are exceptions, of course. Electronics one of them. Holiday gifts for others another.

But that’s my problem. I am NOT the savviest holiday shopper. Making the most of these retail boons requires a certain acumen for planning and scouring of deals that I just do not possess. Hey, I’m a REALLY generous gift giver during the Christmas season, but that doesn’t mean I already know what’s on my shopping list before I’ve had my Thanksgiving turkey. No way.

If I even let myself be tempted by all the sales, I know exactly what I’d do: buy for myself, and buy things I didn’t really want or need. (So kudos to you who made the most of Black Friday and all the online sales today, and thereby scored something you or someone on your holiday list really wanted. Me, I stayed home Friday!)

Well, I’ve found that the same holds true for dating and relationships, except WITHOUT any exceptions at all (as previously thought here at First Person Singular). Sort of like stand for nothing, fall for anything? Well, not exactly…

The problem occurs when you’re not really sure what you want in general, and you sort of take what comes since you’re not sure about paying full price (commitment, or at least something like it) yet. There’s no harm in window shopping, right? Great in theory, but bad when you encounter something specific. My unintended 2010 default has been to avoid commitment, or wanting commitment, or at least wanting commitment out loud, at all costs. Keep that game face, never let your emotions be known, emotions are a weakness! I held my cards tight to my chest and wouldn’t fold no matter what.

As I’ve said in previous posts, I’m not against seriouser-type relationships, it’s just that I have a bit of pride, and unless I am 100% sure of my, er, opponent’s stance, not an ounce of serious, genuine emotion will escape me.

But what happens when the cards have been laid down and you realize you might have had a winning hand if you had given in? You realize that maybe wearing your heart on your sleeve like you once did so easily might not have been such a bad idea after all. Because you can’t win if the game is over…

Have you ever regretted keeping your real feelings hidden? And on a more cheerful note, what’d ya buy on Black Friday/Cyber Monday?

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The nice thing about quarterlife crises (thanks BTW, to readers for all the advice, some more questionable than others! haha) is that they’re sporadic. Life is busy, especially for a late twentysomething, and the inevitable doldrums are oft buried in the whirlwind of another week – especially a 3-day workweek.

Thanksgiving chez Majumdar is always interesting. Three sisters, two dogs, and the parents. The food will be traditional, but spiced up Indian style, and after dinner we’ll likely take family photos, play some Super Mario monopoly (oh yes!), and watch The Polar Express tonight.

No exhaustive laundry list, but there’s MUCH to be grateful for…too many things to recount, in fact. I may overanalyze my life and decisions, but I’m very thankful that the choices are mine to make.

Taking it easy today, but don’t worry, First Person Singular analyses will be back soon. You know, my non-single friends tell me often that reading this blog makes them ever so thankful that they’re NOT single, because they get that the dating scene is quite a messy, complicated jungle. Hey, you’re welcome! 😉 And happy Thanksgiving!!!

You know what sucks about being single? For all that sweet independence, you are in fact, alone a lot. More time for all those thoughts to marinate in your head and work you up into a mess of what-ifs and what-thens and what-did-THAT-means. You have all the choices in the world, so you second guess every move you make.

Is it just me, or does it seem that in your 20s and 30s, all can be going quite well except for one thing? (Except for the days when nothing is going well.)

Or, one thing can suddenly make a huge leap of progress and after a short-lived respite of happiness, panic sets in that it was just a fluke. And that never-satisfied mind of yours, it only serves to pain you to remember there are some things that seem ever stuck in a rut.

Maybe that’s why I’m so terrified – there, I said it – to want a relationship or anything close to love. If what I want today is not what I want tomorrow, well—who am I to inflict the consequences of my uncertainty on another person? And I don’t mean that in a 100% selfless way…because I worry that what I might like/love today I might not tomorrow…

I read somewhere recently that the way to conquer these types of crises is to do one thing: “don’t focus on your emotions, only on your actions.”

Great. Now, how do I forget my emotions? And what if I can’t figure out WHAT to do? Is some sort of forward momentum better than no action at all?

Thoughts? Comments? Tips? I’ll take anything!
(Except comments along the lines that I should remember how blessed I am, etc. Duh. I know that. Quarterlife crises can’t be guilted out of…I’ve tried.)

I won’t call my friend K’s matchmaking that I mentioned Sunday a fail. First of all, and this is why I love her and forgive her—it wasn’t really a setup. She and I went out to a local pub and the guy and another girl friend of hers met us there. There was no awkward “this is the person I told you about” moment, thank goodness!

It’s not that the guy was a jerk or unattractive. My reaction was just “eh,” even after carrying on a few exchanges with him. The other girl whispered to me at one point, “My friend likes you. Do you think he’s cute?” I shrugged and that was that. A no would have been a lie, but a yes would have given the impression that I was interested in some sort of progression—and I wasn’t.

Not a red flag in sight, but I couldn’t fathom why K would think I might like him. (I totally love that she tried though!)

In case some more dear friends consider matchmaking for me, I figure I should outline some general guidelines:

If you aren’t attracted to him, don’t assume I will be.
Seriously. I mean, type shmype. Attraction is attraction. At the very minimum, I expect you to consider the guy a total catch!

No je ne sais quoi? Um, non merci!
Call it whatever you want—charm, a certain something… But I’m attracted to guys with an element of mystery that I get to see come alive, gradually. There are some people you meet and you just know that what you see personality-wise is what you get. All the time. Boring!

Looking for something? Sorry, I don’t work at the lost and found.
Anyone openly and actively looking for love around every nook and cranny is NOT for me. Some people are, and that’s cool–I guess. But right now, I can take it or leave it and if I even get a hint that there’s a vacancy just itching to be filled, my fight-or-flight instincts start going crazy.

Which leads me to the #1 caveat:

I don’t fall fast and fall hard.
I’m open to possibilities of commitment, but not at all craving it (not the way I crave sushi on a daily basis). It doesn’t mean I want something meaningless, just that I’m gonna take my sweet time figuring out if a guy is what he seems to be. If a guy is used to a girl falling in love and going gaga and call-each-other-daily-ish in anything under six months to a year’s time—I’m NOT your girl…

And oh yeah: I’m a sucker for dreamy eyes.

I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the best at reading people at first impression. What major qualities and indicators should I keep an eye out for?

“There’s someone I want you to meet.”

That’s what my friend K said to me yesterday. Really, is there a more loaded statement you can hear from a friend?

Aside from feeling pressure to like someone that your friend thinks highly of (you hope), when someone thinks they’ve found a match for you, they’re judging you to some extent. You get to find out exactly what kind of person they imagine you’d be attracted to.

K’s description: a really nice guy, and someone she didn’t find that attractive, but I might. (Laugh out loud, yes she did say those words!)

Lucky for K, we’re new friends, so I wouldn’t judge her too harshly on her judgment. And I know she’s honed in on a very specific type for herself (X-colored hair and X-colored eyes), so that last remark I will let slide.

Aside from the indirect judgment call a friend passes when they want to introduce you to someone, what if you don’t like the person at all? Awkward…

Do you trust your friends’ judgments on finding you a match? Or family, for that matter?
(First Person Singular’s response: sometimes and NO.)

It’s the 21st century, but I know a lot of women definitely feel like the guy should pay for dates. On a first date, if the guy asked the girl out, I agree – that’s a given. But how much longer till the girl insists on paying or insists on a split check? And when I say insist, I mean like for real, not as some sort of hoop-jumping test to see if the guy lets her.

Personally, until and unless there’s exclusivity or some regularity of seeing each other, I think the girl and guy should pay their own way. I’m not a hardcore feminist, but I always feel like there’s some sort of indebtedness if I don’t pay my way almost all of the time…it’s just a feeling, but I hate it. And shouldn’t all relationships end up in a 50-50 split anyway, both financially and emotionally? (Ideally. Humor me.)

What do you think? Are there are any hard and fast rules you follow?

And on that note, being one in the “Go Dutch” camp as much as possible, how does one finance a dating life these days anyway? Drop $30 bucks for dinner here, $10 for coffee or a drink there – just for the sake of getting to know someone a tiny bit better? SHEESH!

Welcome to the real world. This isn’t “Some Kind of Wonderful”, and you can’t offer a smooching lesson in your friend’s garage (no matter how hot the scenario) to get you out of that Friend Zone you’ve dug for yourself. See this girl? Yeah, me. I’ve been there–countless times. But not since post-grad. I might be way off the mark, but I think once you reach adulthood and you don’t share a bus, five classes, or a dormitory with someone every single day, the Friend Zone is largely a relationship myth. Really, by now, what mature adult is THAT clueless about someone right in front of them? Either the attraction just isn’t there and you’re in denial…or maybe you’ve managed to create a Friend Zone without knowing it. Can you cross over to the other side? Don’t ask me! But you can be proactive…

How to Stay Clear of the Friend Zone:

Don’t Facebook him/her.
If you’re REALLY interested, don’t click the ‘Add’ button too soon. The 24/7 contact that is social media is about as close as we can get to the shared bus ride. If it can’t be helped, minimal wall-decorating and status-commenting is best to keep the mystery from becoming the predictable. You always want what you can’t have, right? Those stuck in the Friend Zone always harbor that hope: “maybe if I remind him/her that I exist…” Nope. Keep your distance!

Don’t divulge or accept too many details on your/their love life.
This can be tricky. I admit I sometimes drop a casual reference to see if the guy cares or, er, to get even for an especially annoying reference from their end. However, if I frequently get into a nitty-gritty play-by-play and you’re on a first-name basis with guys you don’t even know…you’ve dug yourself real deep. Gloss over the topic and move on. This isn’t an easy “in” to someone’s heart, it’s an out. Because guess who they’re thinking about when they talk in details about their love life? Not you!

Don’t expect him/her to “wake up”
High school/college is one thing; we’re all figuring out who we are. By now, we know what we’re doing (at least somewhat). Odds are, your object of attraction just isn’t interested. If they really have a lot of growing up to do before you, their reason-for-being, would become obvious– why are you so interested, anyway?

Don’t woe-is-me the situation
Yeah, you’re SUCH a good friend that you’re the answer to all his/her problems? You know what’s best? But real healthy love is not that in-your-face. The funny thing about the Friend Zone is that you are way into the other person and totally self-absorbed at the same time. Do you frequently have “Why doesn’t he/she SEE it?!”-ish thoughts? It may seem innocent enough, but constantly reminding the other person how compatible you are and how much you have in common in not-so-subtle ways just prevents them from seeing the genuine, non-crazy, non-selfish you.

Be a REAL friend
You know, one that can be counted on but isn’t a 24-7, at-your-service standby. Unless you’re that saintly and save-the-day-ish to everyone, inner resentment (you know you harbor it!) will shine through when you don’t get your anticipated reaction.  If you have any hope of moving this thing forward, don’t pay any more attention than you would to an actual ‘friend.’

The Friend Zone is like the Catch-22 of relationships, in my opinion. The harder you try to get out of it, the deeper you find yourself in…

Am I wrong? Is the Friend Zone fact or fiction in the adult world? Have you ever navigated your way out of one?