A Love Letter to My Boyfriend’s Beard

Dear Beard,

I miss you. Ever since you’ve departed, I’ve had to deal with rough and scratchy kisses. An unpleasant sensation during any mildly intimate situation and if I’m being honest,  is mildly a turn off from any personal contact with him. I’m sorry he shaved you off. I know we’ve had our differences in the past and even I admit, I’m shocked we’re both here today, with me writing you a love letter.

When I first met him, you were full and vivaciously alive on his face. Because of you, I thought he was, in fact, homeless.  I overlooked him in the line of potential future boyfriends and spent months chasing clean shaven men in bars and apps. But you, you remained for that long winter. Always on his face and always convincing me that nothing could ever make me date him, the wild bearded man who always wore a beanie and blue button up shirts. I thought, ‘I bet he roasts his own coffee (he doesn’t) or  recycles EVERYTHING (he does).’ Your presence prevented me from ever giving him a chance because he just wasn’t my ‘type’.

Then, one brisk day in June, it was warm and the sun was shining. There was a handsome smooth-faced man staring at me, and as I did a double take, I realized it was him. You, beard, were gone, shaved off for the summer, after a long and cold winter. Without you, I realized, he was really cute (I know, I know, I was really vain back then okay, I admit I wasn’t perfect). And I gave him a chance.

Days turned into weeks and weeks into months. we had date after date and I met his family. One day, as the air got crisp again, he declared, “I can’t wait to grow my beard back!”

Groan.

But you came back quickly, very quickly, as you do. I’m not sure when it happened, but I fell in love with him, and eventually, you too.  Once grown in, you were soft and fun to play with. You didn’t scratch my face like his stubble had done all summer long. You were nice and fluffy and you made him…him. Now when he shaves his face, I don’t recognize him without you. His perfect self, to me, includes you. I can’t describe it, but my favorite version of him is with wild curly hair and with you, a wildly unkempt red beard.

But oh Beard, I’m sure you’ll be back soon, we both know how flaky he is with shaving. Until then, I’ll think of you fondly, and remember a winter spent under blankets, watching HBO shows and eating lots of ice cream.

Capture

Always,

Sara

Adventures in Bumble Dating: Pt.2

Note: This is a continuation from a previous post, please read part 1 here. This post was originally written in May 2016; I found it in my drafts and felt it needed to be shared. I am currently in a relationship, praise be I don’t have to swipe right and left, but to all my single ladies, this is for you.

hearts
Source: Pinterest

Week 3

I was back in the city and it was my oyster…except it wasn’t. I got freakishly afraid of swiping right on any guy for fear of having to talk to them and eventually go on a date. It’s been YEARS since my last date, YEARS since a guy has even held my hand. After a chat on Friday night with another single lady friend, she commented that most everyone on dating apps was looking for something casual, someone to talk to, and maybe it could go to be serious. Hm. So, on Saturday, I started swiping again (no matches). I tried not to be picky, but I am who I am.

List of things on a Guy’s Bumble Page that usually make me swipe LEFT:

  • Photo of a child (when left undefined as his own or not), sorry I’m not ready for that. AT ALL.
  • A nice photo of him doing a keg stand. SWOON.
  • Any sort of laaame joke in the description; I know you’re trying to make light of an awkward situation, but I know to know something about you!
  • Is he holding a dead animal, fish, or any other creature?
  • No description AT ALL. (Bonus, he only has 1 photo that either a. is very close up of his face  or b. is a whole group of guys, in addition to no description)
  • He has his arm around other girls in photos. Is that his ex? She’s so pretty. Like how am I supposed to compete with that? Even if she’s not his ex, he has really pretty friends, why aren’t they dating. HM….

 Week 4

I got a few matches; however, I either chickened out when time came to message them or I couldn’t think of a witty opener. I mean, how do you send something that’s interesting and makes you stand out among the 15 other matches he probably has? SO MUCH ANXIETY. To all men that I expect to make the first move, I’m sorry, it sucks to be you, truly.

Conclusion

After awkward chats with a few guys that never went anywhere, I decided to stop swiping right and left. No, I didn’t delete the app entirely, as what else am I supposed to do on a Saturday night when I’m half a bottle of wine deep? DUH. I just realized that dating apps might not be for me, in any serious manner anyway. Will I give up on dating? Possibly, I did Google search local cats in the area to adopt as I’ll need to start one of these days. I do know that whether I’m single or in a relationship, I’m going to be myself and I’m going to be happy, because my happiness depends on me and my love for myself.

If you’re thinking of using Bumble, I would say go for it. Just because it wasn’t for me, doesn’t mean it might not be for you. Having the control of which guys were able to chat with you was nice for a change. Who knows, maybe you’ll try it and after 4 weeks realize it isn’t for you either, or you could find the love of your life. You do you, and just be sure not to forget to love yourself in the process.

2nd note: I started talking to my boyfriend three weeks after I wrote this. I would like to thank my lame Bumble experience for allowing me to still be single when he finally made a move on me. I guess some things just happen for a reason.

 

Adventures in Bumble Dating: Pt. 1

Note: This post was originally written in May 2016; I found it in my drafts and felt it needed to be shared. I am currently in a relationship, praise be I don’t have to swipe right and left, but to all my single ladies, this is for you.

hearts
Source: Pinterest

Single. I have always been single (or at least, it seems like I have). I’ve never had a Valentine, or a kiss on New Years. My mom is my emergency contact and I have dozens of cat names saved in a file on my desktop, you know, for the inevitable. This past year, I said screw it, and I embraced being single. I rocked being single. I was like THE ultimate single girl. But recently, I realized I was a little too comfortable in my singleness and thought I might dabble in dating (this was a result of a glass of wine…or 4).

Obviously, in this day and age, my immediate reaction was to go to my app store. Tinder? Eck. Hinge? Ehhh. Bumble? Hm Bumble. I got the power to choose who I talked to. I liked that. Bumble it was.

Week 1

I created an account on a Sunday night when boredom set in and yet another episode of New Girl started to roll. I choose a few pictures from Facebook, just my A game selfies and a few pics with work friends. I like to have fun! they exclaimed to the eye of the beholder. Then, it prompted me to give a description. I hate descriptions, loathe them entirely. I don’t find my self as nearly as exciting as others do; I once described myself as vanilla to my coworkers and I was nearly crucified for being that self deprecating.

In that moment, I skipped the description. I then settled in, swiping left and right, evaluating pictures and descriptions…not getting a single match. I will add here that I am a bit picky and my left to right swipe ratio was probably shifted much more to swiping left.

Four days later and still no matches. Was I doing this right?

Week 2

Finally, matches! Now I have to add that I went home to my small hometown on Thursday and spent the weekend in that pool of Bumble users. This could have affected my results, as the pool of dating is smaller in my hometown and surrounding area so guys may or may not have lower standards. Not saying I’m low standard, but choosing out of, say, 70 girls versus choosing out of 300 girls, there’s a big difference and one can afford to be more choosy in a big city. That is just fact (Also, I’m like a solid 9 in my hometown, current city I live in, I’m a 6, sometimes 7. Just another fact).

While I was home, I also had time to think (and think and think) of a description, hooray! I personally  think it read that I was easy going, enjoyed the little things, and didn’t mind admitting I was a basic bitch.

Doughnut enthusiast, sometimes painter, and unapologetic Starbucks lover. Kindness is my favorite quality and laughing is my favorite hobby. 

See list of also incredible, but unfortunately rejected one line descriptions below:

  • Netflix enthusiast
  • Lil Sebastian fan
  • I probably drink too much pink wine
  • Basic AF
  • Naps are better than people
  • Future Cat Lady
  • Sometimes shopaholic
  • Real Life Woo Girl
  • I work in Men’s underwear, let’s chat.

‘….Did her witty description work? Did the mass incoming flow of matches crash her phone? Did she find love on Bumble?’

‘…..Tune in next week for part 2!’

Oh Screw Beautiful.

I like Meghan Trainor, but I LOVE her new song, ‘NO.’

Beyond the obvious feminist undertones, there’s one lyric that just speaks volumes to me and I want to scream it from a mountain top (to almost all guys, but especially one in particular).

“Call me beautiful, so original…”

Oh, you think I’m beautiful? Great. So does my grandma and my best friends and 89% of the guys I’ve ever encountered, big deal. When did guys get lazy? No, I’m serious, in this culture of ‘Swipe Right,’ guys have become so unoriginal and uncreative.

One guy has literally texted me some variation of, ‘hey what’s up?’ every week for the past 3 months. SO ORIGINAL. Nothing like a, ‘Hey what’s up?’ text to get me foaming at the mouth and running to meet up with him. There’s probably one thing better than a ‘Hey what’s up’ text, and that’s a ‘your beautiful‘ text. Grammatically incorrect and all.

Sometimes I think I’m picky and sometimes I’m definitely convinced I was born in the wrong era. What happened to flowers and dates? Yes, DATES. Guys used to call and spend hours on the phone, or take a girl dancing. They’d write letters, long letters to their loves. When did men get lazy?

And if I get one more comment about my face or my ass and how beautiful I am, I might scream. In the words of Christina Yang,

“Oh, screw beautiful. I’m brilliant. If you want to appease me, compliment my brain.”

Yas, Yang, YAS.

 

Wild Hearts and Locked Cages: Things I Never Knew

I read an insightful article the other day and quite honestly, it was a slap in the face (a good one, of course). It woke me up and made me look hard in the mirror so that I could better understand something that I had been keeping from myself. The article, which I highly recommend, discusses how many females are becoming unable to be vulnerable with others, especially in relationships. If you’ve read anything else I’ve written about my personal love journey, then you know that I am one of those females.

This is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. I have been known to Google the phrase, ‘how to be vulnerable.’ I just thought I was born without a vulnerable or emotional bone in my body. I felt sorry for overly sensitive friends and always wondered how they could allow themselves to be so open to things that would only hurt them in the end. I searched high and low for tips and tricks to learn how to become vulnerable.

Only that wasn’t ever the problem.

In the article, the author, Zara Barrie, kindly points out a fact about herself, that I couldn’t help but relate to,

I’m an extremely vulnerable entity. In fact, most days when I wake up, I feel like the most vulnerable creature ever to grace the planet. But that doesn’t mean I want to let you know that.

She continues,

The more deeply sensitive you are, the further the knife cuts when pain is inflicted upon you, so you take great measures to ensure your walls are extra high…

There it was, my slap in the face. I thought I was coldhearted, aloof and terribly unable to feel emotion. My problem all along has been that I am, in fact, a terribly vulnerable and sensitive person who has built sky high walls to protect that deep sensitivity. Though some people are sensitive, they still wear their heart proudly on their sleeve. I just keep mine in a cage behind a 72 ft wall maze. For years, I thought the stone walls I built were to keep the vulnerability and emotion out, but all along, the vulnerability that I need in life has been trapped inside, locked away with my perfect heart. I have always related to Holly Golighty in Breakfast at Tiiffany’s because she never wants to be put in a cage. Isn’t it funny, though, that exactly where I’ve been for the past few years.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

So, how do I go about letting my vulnerability out? I guess when the right guy comes along, I’ll force myself to do just that, bit by bit. But my perfect heart? Well, I am a perfectionist and I don’t like things to get all ruined. Mine has never been broken, or even scratched. It’s really quite ‘just like new’ and even as I type that sentence I feel a bit sad. I want to experience love, but getting hurt and no longer having a perfect heart? That doesn’t sound so fun.

However, if I’ve learned anything in the last year, it’s that being perfect doesn’t do much in getting you anywhere in the world. Life experiences, skills and knowledge will get you where you need to go though. So maybe I’ll take my own advice and try to take my heart out for a spin. Hopefully after a wild ride, it’ll still be in tact.

How about you, Reader? Have you ever struggled to be vulnerable? Let me know in the comments!

Love, B.

Read Barrie’s article on Elite Daily here!

How do you protect the ones you love?

I wish I could make a cocoon to keep them safe,

or give them a soft blanket to wrap around themselves

Because the world has not yet made their hearts hard.

They’re still naive and see the world full of wonder and love.

Not like me, cynical and hard to love,

running away from feelings any chance I can.

They take chances, with their heart on their sleeve for the whole world to see.

I watch in awe, jealously, sorrow.

I know what’s coming for the unguarded heart.

How do you protect them, keep them safe, keep their hearts whole and untouched?

Like mine?