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beanthinking

….welcome to my thoughts

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dating

chivalry is not dead…

…it’s just severely injured.

I have had conversations with my guy friends on this topic, and one of them asked if women notice or appreciate chivalry. Now, I can’t speak for the rest of my sister-kind, but I can say wholeheartedly that I do indeed notice, and appreciate, acts of chivalry. I notice it from random strangers, friends, and of COURSE, men that I date. I also duly note the lack thereof from the latter category. I am disinclined to say that I judge on this, but the fact of the matter is that I do, at least to some degree. I am not going to write a guy off because he didn’t open a car door for me once in a while, but it does not go unnoticed. And to note, I try to always say thank you. Polite deserves polite. It’s not like I’m going to stand at a closed door, and give stink-eye until it’s opened for me. My arms aren’t broken, I can open a door. However, if chivalry steps in and you open the door for me, I will notice. I have opened many a door for people, and personally, it’s gratifying for me when I get a smile out of it. It makes me feel great to do something nice just because.

It wasnt’ until the mid to later half of my 20’s when I was dating somebody who was extremely chivalrous, and I really got to liking being treated that way. Feminists at ease – put down the bra and lighter. I am not out to turn back the clock on women’s rights or anything here, but dammit I like it when somebody thinks to open a door for me, or gestures their hand to let me walk out of the elevator first. So sue me, I think it’s nice to be treated like a lady, even if I don’t always act like one.

I have also been in the opposite situation when dating somebody, where never is there a door opened, or the hand is out in “you first” style. I have also on occasion encountered not only a serious lack of chivalry, but consideration, and have said to myself “seriously?”. Now, this is not to say this person may not be courteous in other ways, or isn’t a nice person. Maybe they weren’t taught that skill. Or maybe it really is that they don’t give a shit. I guess that’s a call that has to be determined in the course of getting to know somebody. Maybe if you mentioned to them that you like that, then perhaps a shift will occur. Or perhaps not. Who knows. Personally, I tend to link chivalry with a general consideration of other people and the space around you.

But it also stands to reason, that if a guy goes out of his way with even as small a gesture as opening a door that it’s more likely that I will make a point to do something thoughtful in return to show my appreciation (get ‘yer minds out of the gutter). And then guess what!? We may just develop mutual kindness and respect! Imagine that.

But at the end of the day, it really shows that it doesn’t always take a grand gesture to show you care. After all, it’s the little things that make up the bulk of life anyway, why not put effort there too? I’m just sayin…

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I blame my parents

When you’re a little kid, your parents encourage you to do your best and achieve, and they try to instill their values in you and make you a good person.  My parents were no different.  I recall a particular time when I was sick with the flu, and I barfed on the couch.  Not entirely part of the story, but still a vivid memory.  I recall lying on the couch feeling like death, but when my dad got home from work he came over to me and he had brought a rose and box of popsicles for me because he knew I was sick and he knew this would cheer me up.  He always used to refer to those popsicles as “medicated popsicles”, and I’d be all over them.  My dad always treated my sister and I like princesses, and he’d always bring us a box of chocolates at Valentines Day.  We knew we were special, and I have never forgotten that.


As we got older, he was just protective enough, but just short of being intimidating to boys when they came to pick us up.  He and my mom were always gracious and welcoming, don’t get me wrong.  But they would never say “that guys a dick”, they would always trust us to figure that out.  Of course, I do remember my mom saying something to me once about a boyfriend that snapped me out of my deliriousness and I broke up with him shortly thereafter.  Again, not part of the story, but still a good memory of my mom telling me in her own way that this guy was not good enough for her daughter.  My parents gave my siblings and I a long leash for the most part, and allowed us to learn from our own mistakes.  Don’t be mistaken, when we crossed the line, you knew it, that’s for sure.

But I clearly remember my dad saying to me one day that “if you are not number one in your partner’s life, then something is drastically wrong”.  This is something I have carried with me since then.  I’ve strayed from that a few times, and have taken second place, but only to learn that there’s a reason it’s second place.  Perhaps this is a main reason that my expectations in a partner are so high, but really, is that a bad thing? I expect to be important to my partner.  Doesn’t sound so ridiculous, does it?  I don’t think so, but it’s surprising to find that this isn’t as important to a lot of other people as you might think.  Now, I’m not saying that I am a daddy’s girl and want to find somebody just like him.  That’s not it.  I see my parents as people, friends even, and they have faults just like anybody else.  But it’s these things that they have taught me that remain important.  That I am important, and I deserve to be important to somebody else, and if I’m not, then something is wrong.  Everybody deserves that.  Everybody.  That also means that if I’m with somebody who I’m not willing to make more important than everything else, then it’s not right.

So, you can choose to take the backseat to somebody’s career, or just be second place because you feel that’s okay with you.  Maybe you don’t think you deserve better, or maybe you don’t see a problem with that.  But I do.  I’m just sayin’.

there’s no crying!

It’s a fairly safe assumption if you date somebody that they have dated other people prior to meeting you, and that maybe some of those past experiences are less than stellar. However, it’s a bit of a red flag for me when those past experiences creep into the present. People are shaped by their experiences, and that’s to be expected. But when the person on the couch across from you is shedding tears about an ex-girlfriend who wasn’t so nice and they want to talk to you about it for hours on end, or they go quiet and broody at hearing a song that reminds them of her, then I gotta realize this is not going to bode well for me (see my previous reference to NOT wanting a fix’er upper). I don’t want to see a guy cry to me about his ex-girlfriend. Sorry, I just don’t. I’m not saying I have any problem with a guy crying, in fact, it shows that he’s human, and has emotions (which is a good thing). I just don’t want to see the waterworks and have to be a counsellor for your past relationship problems. Nor, should you want to be mine (it’s gotta go both ways!). And I can guarantee that I’ve been no poster child for doing the right thing here, I’m sure I’ve scared somebody off with the same thing!

But it is a symptom of a bigger problem, called “Not over it”. If you’re really not over it, but still want to get out there and get back on the dating train, then that’s great, you’ll be doing yourself some good to go be social, and get back on the proverbial horse. But keep the waterworks for your close friends, not a new date. Nothing will scare off a potential new mate, or make them want to chew off their own arm to get out more than that, or maybe that was just my reaction. And besides, nobody wants to live in the shadow of your love gone wrong.

single or settle?

Single and lonely, or in a relationship and miserable? Okay, that sounds pretty bleak, but sometimes people make choices in life to satisfy what is important to them.

Anybody who really knows me knows that I love the feeling of being in a relationship. Not to be misunderstood as “I need to be in a relationship”, that’s not the case at all. I have an amazing family, great friends, a job I enjoy, live in a city I love – I am happy. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get lonely on occasion, I do, just like anybody else. Especially when you see those adorably cute couples doling out PDA at random. Now, I’m not talking about seeing a couple nearly making a porno in the street, you know the kind – when it makes you have to bite your tongue to not say “get a room!” I’m talking about something that some people wouldn’t even take note of, something seemingly insignificant – it could just be a certain look. Makes me gag a bit, but in that “aww, that’s so sweet” kind of way, you’ve just witnessed a random beautiful moment between two people who actually care about one another. It tends to make me feel a wee bit lonely inside, but also makes me all warm inside at the same time, to see people happy. But I don’t “need” a relationship to make me whole. I have a bit of trouble with the “you complete me” notion. It somehow makes it seem like maybe some part of you was not right until somebody else fixed that for you. I feel good enough on my own, I want somebody who complements my life, and I would expect that I would do the same for them. I don’t want a fix’er upper.

I’m meandering a bit, but the point I’m trying to make is that feeling that somebody can give you just with a look is to me the epitome of that relationship feeling I like so much. To me, that’s very important, that connection. Without that connection, for me, I tend to think “why bother”? Let me explain. Anybody can meet somebody and form a relationship, but without that connection, you’re just two people existing in the same space. Maybe it’s happy, and comfortable, but without that spark, that feeling that melts your insides, then to me, it’s not right. But for some people it’s enough. Is that settling? Maybe, maybe not. Depends on the person and if you feel like you are with somebody who is merely “good enough”. Because, let’s be honest, that spark, the butterflies don’t roll with you 24/7, I understand that. But if you’re with somebody who just fills space for you, then what’s the point? Companionship? Maybe. I tend to look at it from the point of view of what if I was with somebody who thought I was just “good enough” for them? If you think about it, that really wouldn’t be fair for either party. By them choosing “good enough”, they could potentially be holding themselves back from meeting that person who really rocks their world, and vice versa. Because maybe what’s just good enough for me, is the person of somebody else’s dreams.

If all I wanted was to just be with somebody, I could have had that by now. If I wanted to accept “good enough”, but for me just the basic companionship is not enough. I want the gushy insides. Maybe I’m chasing a fairy-tale, then so be it. But I also appreciate the fact that relationships are work at the best of times, and just because somebody may make you feel like you’re floating doesn’t mean that it won’t also take effort with them. So, whether your choice is to continue on with the search until you find somebody that makes you melt, or to form a relationship with somebody who provides a warm body nearby, I just hope at the end of the day that you’re happy about the choices you make. If you feel that you’ve had to give up your ideals along the way, then maybe there’s a problem. I’m just sayin’.

the search for perfection – check!

Have you found it?  Would you know it if you came across it?  Could you describe it to somebody if they asked you to?  Perfection.  It’s so vastly different to each person.  What’s perfect to me might make somebody else run for the hills.  What it is to you?

I’m sure a lot of people keep a checklist, if even a mental one of what their perfect is, of their perfect match, their perfect relationship.  But what happens if you get so caught up in what you think is perfect, you totally miss the boat?  I admit it, I have a checklist – of sorts.  It’s not a very rigid one mind you, just a smattering of preferences I have as well as some show-stoppers, compiled from past experiences, mixed in with some girlie fairy tale wishes (I know, gag!).  It’s not like I have anything written down, just things that, over time, have made me say “hmm, note to the file on that one” when I’ve encountered something a bit nutty, or something spectacular.  Mostly it’s about knowing myself, and what works best for me, or what hasn’t worked previously. I try to be as open-minded as I can, so I don’t paint myself into a corner, but let’s be honest, there are just somethings we each know we don’t want.

What is perfect anyway?  How do you know?  By checking off items on a list, a gut feeling, what?  And is perfect really perfect, or is it just having somebody who doesn’t drive you nuts on a consistent basis?  I’ve found snippets of perfect here and there, but not in one overall package.  If only I could do some Frankensteining to mash those bits together.  But I do know this, perfection is solely in the eye of the beholder.  I don’t actually expect “perfection”, just perfect for me.

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