On my mind and on my heart…

1413990_i_heart_retroLove has really been on my mind lately, and I don’t even think it’s because of Valentine’s Day. I’ve just had a lot of moments of clarity lately when it comes to love and what I expect from it. Here’s what’s been on my mind and on my heart:

I really am OK without romantic love… for now.

Of course I don’t want to be alone for the rest of my life, but I really am OK being alone right now. It’s easier to feel that way when I see so many loveless marriages, so many marriages falling apart, people so unhappy with their situations in marriages, and friends going through divorces. I don’t desire that, and I thank God that I haven’t settled for anyone who isn’t the one for me.

In love, I know what I’m looking for.

32 years into my life and I think I finally know what I’m looking for in a guy. I thought I knew before, but for some reason I kept dating guys who were nothing like that. I’m done with the party scene. I want a guy who is done with it, too. Don’t read this wrong, I’m not passing judgment on anyone still in the party scene. All I’m saying is that I have a preference, and I want a guy who would rather rent a movie than go to the bar, a guy who would rather go bowling than to the club. Of course I still like to have a good time, and every once in a while I like to go to a bar and have drinks or to the club and dance, but every weekend? Even every other weekend? No. I’ve got to stop dating guys who do that, because clearly that’s not what I want. And I’m over trying to change guys into what I think they should be.

1413989_i_heart_pinkGod sure saves my heart from a lot of unnecessary pain.

Sometimes I get these crazy feelings. It’s easy to romanticize something that happened years ago. It’s easy to look back and only see the good, to remember how it felt at first, to think about how perfect you once were for each other, and to completely overlook the reason it didn’t last. Sometimes I get caught up in that. What’s awesome is that each time I start to feel nostalgic, God reveals something to me. Might be something as simple as a tweet that tells me, “Oh yeah, Natalie. THAT’S why you will never go down that road again.”

This might be the first Valentine’s Day that I actually love myself.Bday

I’ve always been a pretty humble person, and I think for most of my life I thought that if I was happy with myself, it meant I was vain. So the opposite kind of happened, and I had very low self-esteem. To say I’ve come a long way in the past four months is an understatement. I’ve learned to love myself and everything God created me to be. I’m not perfect, but I’m OK with who I am. That has made all the difference in my life- living for God and living for me, not other people.

God’s love is the only perfect love.

No love is greater. God’s love NEVER changes for us. He will never forsake us. Who doesn’t want a love like that? We aren’t guaranteed anything in love with another human being, but with God we are. His love is perfect. No matter what happens with another person in your life in any sort of relationship, God will always be there loving you.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! Remember that today is about love of all kinds. There are lots of people who love you, and above all else, God loves you. That’s really all that matters.

The “disease” people just don’t understand…

Hello. My name is Natalie. I suffer from a disease known as “Singleitis.” I have had Singleitis for 32 years. While most people are rid of the disease at this point, I still carry it with me. I am single.

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“Singleitis” is a serious disease that many people suffer from and others find confusing.

People view single women at my age in one of two ways: the spinster or the party girl.

The spinster’s only social interaction is with people at work, anyone she talks to in line at RedBox, and her cats: Taylor, Alanis and Adele. Hobbies include knitting, reading the classics, crossword puzzles, and playing Jewel Quest until the wee hours of the morning. It’s really no wonder why she’s single.

If a single woman isn’t a spinster, everyone sees her as a party girl. The party girl just wants to have a good time. Her social interaction is with anyone at the bar, anyone on the dance floor, and any guy she brings home with her. She is a drunk who wears little to no clothing even in the dead of winter. It’s really no wonder why she’s single.

So that’s it. If you’re a single woman in your 30’s, you must be one of these two things, right? You’re either a loser with no social skills and that’s why you’re single, or you have too many social skills and are a partier, and that’s why your single.

I see these stereotypes made of single women all the time! Sure there are spinsters and party girls out there, but not all of us fall into one of those categories.

When I was a high school English teacher, if my students asked me what I did over the weekend and I said anything along the lines of, “Met up with some friends for dinner, we went bowling and saw a movie,” they would give me a blank stare, and someone would say to me, “You do stuff?” To which I would respond, “Yeah…. do you think I sit at home and knit on the weekends?” They would all nod in agreement.

On the flip side, when I mention wanting to live in a bigger city because there’s more to do there, some people in my life hear, “I want to live in a big city so I can get drunk and party and make poor decisions that will keep me single for an eternity.”

I am not a spinster, and although I had my fair share of party-girl years, I am not a party girl. I am single, and contraire to popular belief, that doesn’t mean I have a terrible disease. So why do so many people treat it that way?

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Strapless dresses?! Martinis?! Single girls?! Clearly Kim and I are about to be drunk sluts in downtown Indy. (Note: Not the case at all!)

If you don’t know me and dont’ know my life, don’t make assumptions. If I post a picture on Facebook and I’m holding a glass of wine, don’t assume it’s my fifth glass. If I put up a new blog post, don’t assume I sat at home all weekend by myself writing it. If I am tagged at a dance club in town, don’t assume I’m wasted and going home with a guy. Maybe me and my girls just wanted to dance!

I know we all make assumptions, but let up on the single people a little bit. It’s not easy out here. And if you think it is easy for a single gal in her 30’s to find a man in Fort Wayne, Indiana… you find some guys and send them my way. I know of a few great girls who are looking, and would love to get rid of their disease! 😉

Good fun in 2012…

I had a lot of fun with my friends in 2012. Here are some of my favorite moments with friends from 2012:

Being in Indianapolis the weekend of the Super Bowl was one of the best weekends of 2012 by far!
Being in Indianapolis the weekend of the Super Bowl was one of the best weekends of 2012 by far!
Becca was a wonderful host when I stayed in Indy for the Super Bowl festivities. We had a blast!
Becca was a wonderful host when I stayed in Indy for the Super Bowl festivities. We had a blast!
In May I went to my first Indy 500! It was the hottest Indy 500 on record, but we still had fun while we were melting.
In May I went to my first Indy 500! It was the hottest Indy 500 on record, but we still had fun while we were melting.
One random summer night I went to Cheddars with Ashley, Automne and Bender. We had a blast with drinks and girl talk!
One random summer night I went to Cheddars with Ashley, Automne and Bender. We had a blast with drinks and girl talk!
Nikki's bachelorette party in Indy was a great time! Especially meeting some of the new Cotls!
Nikki’s bachelorette party in Indy was a great time! Especially meeting some of the new Cotls!
Ken and Nikki's wedding was a good time- probably the craziest night of 2012!
Ken and Nikki’s wedding was probably the craziest night of 2012!
Went to a lot of Snider and Northrop football games with Nikkie and Daylan in 2012! The Green family even came out for a Snider game!
Went to a lot of Snider and Northrop football games with Nikkie and Daylan in 2012! The Green family even came out for a Snider game!
More than 20 people showed up at Flanagan's for my 32nd birthday! I am so blessed to have so many amazing friends!
More than 20 people showed up at Flanagan’s for my 32nd birthday! I am so blessed to have so many amazing friends!
Pretty much any time spent with Nikkie was a great time in 2012! We had fun out for her 30th birthday, but we have just as much fun at home playing Sorry with her son Daylan!
Pretty much any time spent with Nikkie was a great time in 2012! We had fun out for her 30th birthday, but we have just as much fun at home playing Sorry with her son Daylan!
Tawny's birthday was quite a night! Love this girl!
Tawny’s birthday was quite a night! Love this girl!
One of the best things about 2012 was getting closer to my cousin Laura. She's the best! We had some good times in 2012!
One of the best things about 2012 was getting closer to my cousin Laura. She’s the best! We had some good times in 2012!
One of my favorite weekends of 2012 was the women's conference I went to with my friend Ronna. Not only was it spiritually uplifting, but I got to meet Lisa Welchel from The Facts of Life and more recently, Survivor!
One of my favorite weekends of 2012 was the women’s conference I went to with my friend Ronna. Not only was it spiritually uplifting, but I got to meet Lisa Welchel from The Facts of Life and more recently, Survivor!

In defense of the guys…

I am by no means a “man basher,” and today I’m actually going to defend them a bit. I think females put guys through a lot of unnecessary garbage and that we often judge them too soon.

The other day I was talking with two of my good friends. One of them had been on a date last week. She’d heard from the guy every day, and he said he wanted to hang out again. They made plans for after he met up with some of his friends for a drink. He said it wouldn’t be long. It got to be past 10:30. He hadn’t called or text. She went ahead and told him she was going to go to bed and that they could reschedule. My other friend jumped in, “Wow, if he REALLY liked you, he would have let you know he was going to be there longer than planned.”

You know. All that “He’s Just Not That Into You” crap.

Yes, the guy should have text my friend and said he was going to be out later, that’s an issue of respect and common courtesy. But it’s by no means a reason to totally dismiss the guy. And why on earth would he “REALLY” like her, if they had only been on one date? There’s no rule that says you meet someone once and have to decide at that moment how you feel about them. Some things take time.

I understand the intentions of the book “He’s Just Not That Into You.” But face it, if we applied that principle to any guy who made some silly mistake and took it as, “Oh he’s just not that into me,” then NO ONE would ever find someone to be with. Ever. It’s like hanging your own heart if you strictly follow that principle.

Granted, if a guy hasn’t called in two weeks, if a guy ignores you or if a guy is a flat out jerk to you, well then, duh. He’s NOT that into you. But women seem to take that book to extremes:

“He was only over for two hours? He’s just not that into you.”
“He wanted to play Call of Duty with his boys instead of watch a movie with you? He’s just not that into you.”
“He didn’t text you before noon? He’s just not that into you.”

While that might be true in some cases, there’s no reason to assume it applies to every guy.

Ladies, can we please lighten up? Everyone is so jaded and cynical! I, too, have been through a lot. I’ve been through a lot of things that most people don’t even know about. But that doesn’t mean I have decided that all guys are jerks or dogs.

Poor guys (yes, I feel sorry for them) can’t even say something nice to a girl without one of her friends saying, “Wow. That’s such a line.” I hear this CONSTANTLY.

One of my friends had a guy text her and say, “Good morning gorgeous!” and she said, “Can you believe he said that? That’s a little much.” Don’t we claim to want a guy who compliments us? Should he have said, “Whats up ugly monkey?”

It seems anytime I tell any of my friends that a guy  has said something sweet, they are quick to respond, “What a line!” or “I’ve heard that before. So-and-so used to tell me that all the time.” So, can a guy never say the same thing another guy said? Guys NEVER mean it when they say something nice? I find that hard to believe.

My friend might not ever hear from that guy again, and if a few days go by and she doesn’t, well then yes, he clearly wasn’t into her. But to decide off of this one instance that he clearly doesn’t like her is definitely jumping to conclusions.

Stop over analyzing his every move. Let’s give the guys a break. I see a lot of good guys out there suffering the consequences for what men before have done to a woman. Stop being so cynical. Start expecting GOOD things to happen in your life and they will. Sure some guys ARE jerks and full of crap, but don’t assume they all are or you’ll never find the happiness you desire.

Is the new diet a broken heart?

“Wow she’s lost a lot of weight,” I thought. “She must be working out. Must be eating better. Maybe she’s on Body by Vi.”

Not the case at all. Some people’s stomachs are tied directly to their hearts. Their hearts break, and it’s like their stomachs do the same.

There are a few women in my life right now who have recently lost a significant amount of weight in a short period of time. Not because of eating habits, not because of exercising, but from simply not being able to eat because of a broken heart.

Unfortunately, none of my broken hearts have caused me to lose weight. Recently I had my heart broken, but I didn’t think, “Boo. I hate food.” I guess the good thing is, I also didn’t think about buying out the entire section of Ben & Jerry’s at Kroger. Needless to say, I’m clearly not an emotional eater.

These women who have lost weight look phenomenal, but it’s not healthy. It’s really got me thinking that the new diet is a broken heart. And I find it difficult to tell them how great they look when they lost the weight in such an unhealthy way.

My recent experience with a broken heart led me to join the YMCA and start working out. But to me that’s a healthy way to handle heartbreak. I figured out that working out was how I would deal when one day I was upset, went to work out anyway, and afterwards I felt AMAZING. It was like I didn’t even care about what had upset me earlier.

I hope my choices continue to be healthy. Maybe it’s an age thing, a maturity thing. Dealing with heartbreak as a 32-year-old is definitely different from dealing with it when you’re 23 (whoohoo let’s get drunk!). I just hope these ladies know that once they get back to actually eating, they will gain the weight back unless they make some lifestyle changes.

A broken heart is sad enough as it is, ladies. Don’t destroy your bodies by not eating, or by excessive drinking or any type of drug use, just because of a breakup or some other heartbreak. Get through the heartache with prayer, exercise, and surrounding yourself with great people.

When did class go out the window?

Sure I’ve had my “unclassy” days- my days in college where my shirt was a little too low-cut, I drank a little too much, and swore a little too often. And while I’m not the perfect lady at all times, somewhere along the line, I grew up. I found class and most of the time, I think I exude it.

What is class? “Elegance of style, taste, and manner” according to the dictionary. To me, class is not advertising the fact that you’re a slut. It’s not dressing like a whore and yet walking around complaining that guys only want one thing. Having class is having confidence, it’s being funny without being vulgar, it’s being sexy without being trashy.

From my experience, I’ve seen that class is NOT a desirable trait in women for most men around here.

Most of my female friends understand what class is. They are beautiful, educated, smart, funny, driven women who would make any man happy. But that’s not what most men appear to be looking for. I see guys being attracted to trashy, potty-mouthed women who wear next-to-nothing anytime they step out on a Saturday night.

I’m not hating on these women- that’s their choice if they wish to act like that and dress like that. No one should hide who they really are. I’m just curious as to why men are no longer attracted to a woman with class. A woman with class isn’t always a prude. Women with class can be sexy without being trashy- isn’t that desirable?

Apparently not. I see who I thought were smart, classy men chasing girls who post half-naked pictures of themselves on Facebook and tasteless Twitter updates.

If having some class is what is keeping me and some of my friends single, then so be it. We’re not a bunch of no-personality-having prudes or anything. I’d guess I’d rather wait around for a man who desires a woman with class than worry about the ones chasing women with none.

Ladies- what do you think? And guys, feel free to shed some light on this. If guys are going for women with no class, is it because they are only looking for fun, and not a serious relationship? Or is it something else?