Assooo... (as germans say + serious sigh) There's a time in each relationship - any real relationship - when a talk needs to be had. Talks are tough. I had three this week and, after one of those talks, I was so drained that all I could do that night was cuddle my blankets while rewatching comfort movies.
The talks I had this month; tricky interpersonal dynamics I've worked really hard to rewire; and the perspectives I've had to change all inspired this blog, in which we are about to break stuff down! Ready? My arms are akimbo, and I've got a serious look on my face, which means I am definitely ready.
 We do not know each other. You're a stranger to me.
I mean that for everyone, and I mean it optimistically. No matter how fond I am of someone, no matter how excited I am to have met this one stupendous human out of all the 8 billion souls populating this world, I basically consider someone a familiar stranger until we've known each other for at least five years. I may know your name. I may know your middle name, if you have one. I might know your job and if you have a food allergy, but that's surface information. There is always more to discover about a person, about the dynamic you share. My emphasis is on the process of growing close with someone, in the most appropriate context, a bonding process with potential to be so wonderful and so enjoyable. Why rush it? Plus - assumptions are usually inaccurate, and they only make an ass out of you and me.
For folks I met over these last few months, don't worry. This phase is the fun part, before things get enmeshed and complicated or plateau out. I'm here for hikes, tea dates, texts during the day, to learn your hobbies, to hang out. If you keep calm and be kind, that's the best way to get to know each other.
 Not my boo, until I say you're my boo. ¿Me entiende?
So much to say here. In this regard, people become primal and weird, and it makes me shake my head.
A. When I look in a mirror, I see an afro puff hairstyle that stopped being popular back in the 1970s. And I stare at my teeth, thinking "I really need to get braces." So it's always a nice (and appreciated) surprise when I meet someone who genuinely wants to get involved with my outdated and fusty fashion style. BUT - and this is a message for anybody who, in the future, might want to date me - until we have a talk explicitly discussing the start of a romantic relationship, there is no romantic relationship.
B. Over the last few years, my romantic preferences has become unquestionably clear! I gotta say, this is one of the top things I most value about my 30s. I know what the heck I want. I walk into Starbucks, "a small flat white with a pump of vanilla, only one, and caramel if you don't have vanilla." I call to get my hair did, "I need the person at your shop who won't pull at my roots too much." Negotiating shared resources, "I'm going out tonight, so can I use the washing machine around 2pm?" The same goes for what I need within the intimacy department, "So this is actually happening. I'd like two date nights a week, for one year. I don't need to meet family, and I'm not ready for your friends. I just want to get to know YOU - twice a week, dinner, blankets, fun pillow talk, for the next year."
Of course, it wouldn't be that mechanical. I'd be feeling excitement and a sparkie for this special cutie pie. However, I want to make clear what my nonnegotiable baseline is. If that baseline cannot be met, then I repeat that there is no romantic relationship. Next summer I turn 35 years old. I know my mind and heart, and I cannot fool around anymore. It must be two nights per wk for a year, or it's nothing.
To anybody interested in dating - before approaching me, please be available for that amount of time.
C. I am both friendly and friends with males, and my gregarious personality does not mean I want to have sex with these men - especially not the married ones. So it's been since preschool, when my best friend at daycare was a super sweet and smiley boy named Oliver Cherry. In grade school during recess, I usually played tag and other games with a Vietnamese classmate named Khan. At some point in high school I remember my mother questioning me, "Are you really just friends with these boys?" To her credit, when I said that I was just friends with these boys, she simply said "Good, that's great. I'm proud of you, because I can't really do that." I complain alot about my mom, but she instilled in me an acceptance of all - male and female - and I'm grateful for that, and I stand by it. I repeat that I have always been platonic friends with men. I imagine I always will be. Just friends, and that's it. Period.
Socially and emotionally, Jan 2018 turned out to be both exhilarating and exhausting. To everyone in my life, whether I've known you for 2 months or 20 yrs, I'm here and I like you a bunch. Let's just keep cool and calm, and be thankful that we get another day when we can say "Oh hey! How're you doing?"
Deal? (a wink) Thanks for the talk! (and a smile) xoxo