JShu on the Journey

A Kansan takes on Missouri

Archive for the ‘Single Lady Life’ Category

Things fall apart: January edition.

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It’s 10:30-ish on January 31. I’m ready for a new start already, again, so I’m pretty thankful that February 1 is upon us.

It’s funny. December 31 included work and a date with a boy, the new year beginning with a kiss, a tradition I had not yet ever actually taken part in. A little over a week later, the boy became my first boyfriend. We were boyfriend and girlfriend, a label that felt a little foreign, but right.

Then, less than two weeks later, we weren’t. The words “We need to break up” tumbled out of his lips as we sat in a low-lit Crossroads bar. It all happened so quickly and took me by such surprise, I couldn’t form words to respond.

It feels a lot less raw now, thankfully, but I still am struggling to suddenly write out a guy who had been part of my daily life for the last three months or so, much less get my head around the reasons for our uncoupling.

So anyway. Here I stand on the other side, trying to press forward. I’ve done a decent job of doing that, I think. I think I’m going to pick up watercolor painting, pick up my knitting again. Eventually I’ll rejoin online dating again (reluctantly, again) but for now I need a little space.

Anyway. I don’t want to sound depressed, because as a whole, I’m really not. I’ve been grateful for the kind words of friends and time with them. I have a decent life that stands on its own, apart from being attached to a man.

Oddly enough, between this guy and the last guy I saw, I have this growing feeling that if it’s not him, there is a man out there who will be right. It’s a weird confidence, but it feels true in a way that it hasn’t before.

I just wish he’d hurry up and get here already…

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Written by Jessica

January 31, 2016 at 11:48 pm

On unrequited crushes

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So, recently I had a love-life epiphany.

This guy I’ve liked for a long time recently started seeing someone else. I kind of had a glimmer of hope that *something* could happen (it’s a long story, with more details than I care to divulge), but that seems to be gone now.

Surprisingly, my reaction was a lot less emotional than I anticipated. But it made me think, and I realized that I deserve more than an (as far as I know) unrequited crush, the is-he/isn’t-he interested dance.

I deserve someone who is not only interested but acts on that interest — otherwise, I need to stop giving head/heart space to men who don’t show that they are in fact interested and do something about it. Because frankly, I don’t have time for the guessing and overthinking. It’s just not healthy. Plus, why waste time on a mirage of a thing, you know?

Maybe this shows that I’m in a better place than expected when it comes to my love life? I don’t know. I didn’t really get into it much when it started, but my best friend challenged me to take a six-month hiatus from online dating.

I was burned out and getting pretty bitter about it. It’s hard to take when the only people who are messaging you (very infrequently) are people you’re not interested in, and the people you are interested in don’t return that interest.

My friend likes to say that maybe I’m just not cut out for online dating, that maybe I possess some sort of quality that doesn’t show online. I don’t know if that’s true or not. I don’t exactly have people coming out of the woodwork to ask me out in real life — in fact, the only dates I’ve ever been on have been through online sites.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, other than, if you know of any single, Jesus-following young men, can you send them my way?

(I’m only half-kidding).

Written by Jessica

June 30, 2014 at 3:00 am

Let’s talk about Tinder.

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So, if you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you will know that I’m usually up for trying new online dating sites/apps/etc.

I’ve done eHarmony, OkCupid, Cupidtino (yes, that would be an Apple fangirl/fanboy dating site) and I’ve flirted with the thought of trying Match and Christian Mingle.

But a friend told me about Tinder a few months ago and I finally took the plunge and downloaded it. I hear it’s mostly a hookup app, but I wanted to check it out and see if people were using it for anything more substantive. To be clear, I’m not using it seeking hookups. I’m more interested in dates with likeminded people that could lead to a long-term relationship.

So, moving forward. I have yet to go out on a date, but I think it’s interesting in concept. If you are uninitiated, here’s how it works.

You create an account that’s linked to your Facebook. You select photos for your profile from your Facebook account, put in a snazzy couple lines of text to say anything you want, from a description of yourself to lame things like “I’m willing to lie about how we met.”

Then the fun begins.

You get one match at a time after you hone in your age/geographic radius requirements.

You see photos, first names, ages, mutually liked Facebook pages and mutual friends. You have the decision: going on the very limited information that I have, do I click the heart button or the X button.

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Screenshot, yo. Dale has a nice smile. No snark here. 

X-ing gives you a satisfying “NOPE” stamped over the person’s profile and you get the next person. If you like them, hitting the heart, you don’t see anything with that person again unless it’s a mutual like and they’ve liked you, too. Then you can message. Or in my experience, not message, because people like with abandon sometimes and then go silent.

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Noped.

So, I’ve only been on it for a few weeks, but I think it’s interesting. The sheer number of men on it is impressive. I’ve only seen a very few amount of people who are also on OK Cupid. Which is good because I’ve kind of exhausted the local area on there. You tend to see the same five people you aren’t interested in and after awhile that gets old.

On the other hand, I’ve noticed a few things:

  • Tinder is exceedingly bro-ish. I never realized there were so many fratty 20-somethings in the Kansas City region. It seems like they are all using this app, in all their 20-men-in-a-shot, red-faced binge-drinking, popped-polo glory. There are a lot of references to The Chive. I have a strong ‘Nope’ reflex for these types.
  • You get a lot of people moving through the area who aren’t from there, since it’s a location-based app.
  • Every once in awhile you get a guy who is obviously married (like, wedding photos are all his photos). Which is kind of sad.
  • You don’t get much context for a person. Who they are and likes and dislikes. You have to screen through messaging before you meet.
  • There are a lot of people using photos showing photos of questionable judgement. It amazing that these people actually have these photos on their Facebook pages and think they will help them find someone. Exhibits:
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I can’t even with this photo. Thanks for the nightmares, Randell.

And:

What kind of girl is this intended to attract? Former drum majors?

What kind of girl is this intended to attract? Former drum majors?

But other than that, it’s refreshing to require mutual interest to get in touch with another person. That’s definitely a problem on other sites.

I dunno if it’ll go anywhere (lately I’m pretty solidly anti-online dating because it doesn’t seem like it’s doing me any favors), but there you go. Do what you will with what you’ve read.

Written by Jessica

March 15, 2014 at 9:47 pm

A Single-lady Christmas letter

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It’s the most wonderful time of the year, again.

Today I got my third Christmas card of the year and the first Christmas letter was tucked inside. It got me thinking, maybe instead of doing my Top Things list that I’ve done thelast few years, I might just do a quick overview of the year instead. Since single ladies don’t usually get the chance to do splashy year in review letters with their photos and all that jazz. 

For the most part, 2013 feels like it’s been another in-between year. A year where a few exciting things happened but no major life changes (moves, job changes, etc.) did.

My year started out with a bang, toasting with coworkers at a party here in Joetown. 

I feel like I’m kinda awkward in this photo. Yay for hanging out with near-strangers and being way out of my comfort zone.

Then, I decided at the very last minute to go to D.C. for Obama’s second inauguration. I found out about a week ahead that a good friend was going to be in the region and we went together. It was so fun and not too cold and we even heard Beyonce lip sync. But that is the first time to my knowledge I was within a half-mile of Queen Bey.

There was kind of a lull through the next few months, but in March, one of my old friends/roommates got married. I’ve known Dawn since my freshman year at MNU, pre-Olivet transfer. I’m really glad I could go, since it was just over the state line in Kansas.

Yay, D-Dawn!

A month later, I made my TV debut, producing a package at work for my newspaper’s adjoining TV station. The same day it aired, I met an author I’ve long admired: Anne Lamott. It was great. I wish I could have seen her talk that night prior to the book signing but work held me up late.

A photo of me and Anne posing for a photo. Creeper shot by my friend Matt.

A few weeks later, I did my first (and only to-date) live shot with the aforementioned TV station. I was standing on the narrow shelter of a two lane highway talking about a crash and it was kind of traumatic, but hey, it was over pretty quickly.

April was kind of a crazy news month, actually. A big story I worked on about a kid peeing a teacher’s lounge coffee pot went big locally and was poised to go national until the Boston Marathon bombing happened a day later.

June saw two great weekends in Illinois, partying it up at my best friend’s bachelorette party and then going to her wedding.

Photo: as one of the hotel stayers says..."heaven must be on recess" bahahah

I spent both weekends seeing my grandparents, too, as well as my good friend Rachel (she was my +1 at the wedding) and great friends from Morris. It was the first time in Morris since I’d left. It was weird being back (felt like nothing had changed in a way) but it was fun getting together with my friends there and laughing so hard. I really am blessed to have amazing friends, wherever they are in the world.

July…I went to see the Postal Service. Mates of State opened, but didn’t play any songs I knew. Ben Gibbard=amazing. I went to yet another wedding-related event (the 5th of the year): a wedding reception for another old friend.

The rest of the year has been a blur. Basically it’s the following:

August…I turned 26!
September…I started covering a federal case involving a local police detective. And found myself a federal inmate penpal/source.
October…I covered a national story happening in our backyard. It got kinda crazy.
November…I went on a last-minute business trip to D.C. for a story. It was amazing and a such a God thing the way it all worked out. Even when I didn’t think it was going to come together. Going back made me realize how much I miss it…and also how maybe I might be able to come back one day. I’m kind of coming up with a new dream. Stay tuned for 2014.

I also went “home” to Indiana for Thanksgiving and it was a much-needed trip/time off.

And now it’s December and I have hit my one-year at work and my apartment and I’m really not sure where the year has went. It’s kind of crazy.

The other day, I was wasting time on Pinterest when I saw a pin quoting Zora Neale Hurston, “There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” For me, this was a year of questions: What is God’s purpose for my life? What’s next? How can I live in my dream city? When will it be my turn to find a significant other? I’m hoping 2014 will be a year of answers, of feeling more settled and a little less restless.

Here’s to hoping, at least!

Whoever is reading this, wherever you are, I hope you’re having a lovely holiday season and have a wonderful, healthy, adventure- and love-filled 2014.

Written by Jessica

December 17, 2013 at 4:24 am

eHarmony: Why I’m not a fan

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I’m a sucker for discounts. Thus, seeing a $14.99/mo. discount for a three-month subscription to eHarmony, I decided, why the hell not? I have $45, no dignity and no dating prospects currently.

Oh yeah, and my best friend met the love of her life on there and they got married two months ago.

Me and my friend.

Me and my friend.

I’ve been on the site twice before. I had a subscription for one month about three years ago, then another month a few months ago.

It’s only been about a week and I’m already hating it again. Here are my hangups about the site.

1) From log-in to the help screen, there are couply-couples coupling it up.

You can’t avoid them.

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They’re everywhere, parading their coupledom.


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If you’re a little burned out on online dating and harboring some bitter feelings about love, it is more obnoxious than inspiring.

2) Free weekends.

I’ve been warned that this weekend is a free one. I’m battening down the hatches. I get that it’s all about showing off the service and trying to get paying members, but it is kind of shitty to be matched with people without photos (freebie weekenders can’t upload) and who can’t see yours. The first time I was on the site, the only people messaging me were the ones who couldn’t see my photos. It sucked.

3) Physical preferences don’t come into play at all until the profile.

Unlike sites where you can search for your niche, eHarmony delivers matches to you based on your answers to their questionnaire. Now, I filled this out three years ago, but I don’t really remember looks factoring into it.

Since you can’t actively search other matches, you see a lot of people emphasizing how fit they are and how they are super athletes and yadda yadda yadda, presumably to make clear that’s what they’re looking for, too. I know I’m never going to be the apple of their eye — I’m a recovering couch potato who is just now embarking on being more fit and my BMI is off-putting to those who care about that. I get that. It seems like this type is ALL of my matches lately.

On the subject, one thing that I’ve discovered as a thing is that a surprising amount of men put “physically fit” in the section “My friends describe me as,” as if physical fitness is a character trait like the other options, like “intellectual” or “hard-working.”

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I’ve decided that these guys are douchebags. Surely you are more interesting than that and have other character traits? And who describes their friends on their physical fitness? I sure don’t. Must be a fit person thing.

4) Profiles don’t offer much space for creativity

Unlike OK Cupid, which I’m also on, the essays tend to elicit short responses. Instead of “What I am doing with my life” and “On a typical Friday night I am,” you get prompts like “The most influential person in my life has been…” and “The most important thing I am looking for in a person is…” and “The one thing I am most passionate about…” (note that the latter just ask for one thing).

5) You can tell when people reject you.

I guess this is true of all dating sites, to some extent, but it still REALLY sucks. My thing lately is when I find a normal, non-marathoner guy I send him a message through the guided messaging (you send questions, they send questions, etc.) and he disappears from my matches. Yup. I’ve been hidden (or blocked, if they disappear from your communications feed, from what I understand of blocking). It’s demoralizing.

So anyway. I’m not sure if I am just terrible with rejection (it’s possible), I’m getting terrible matches (Thanks, eHarmony) or I’m just a social leper, but it’s really bumming me out, man.

It’s a sad thing when a dating site makes me think that OK Cupid isn’t so bad.

Written by Jessica

August 30, 2013 at 1:38 am

Life, lately

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This space has been quiet for awhile.

To be honest, I’ve not been sure what to write about.

In the time since that last angsty post, I’ve spent time with coworkers and old friends and my family and it’s been good.

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Last week, I turned 26. Processing that new number has been kind of weird. It feels…not so new. Like my 20s are slipping away.

Honestly, people always say time goes by so quickly, but once you are out of school, the passage of time seems to pick up like the speed of light.

My friends who had babies a few years ago now have kindergartners and preschoolers and second (or third or fifth, in the case of a friend with multiples) children.

It’s a weird, and somewhat unnerving, feeling to realize the clock is moving much faster than you realize at a given moment.

I’ve been dealing with intermittent existential angst and questions about who I am and what my purpose is and what I should do with myself (aka, what is my backup plan when journalism is no longer tenable).

I’ve also broken my two year, no-date streak. I went to lunch with a nice boy who hasn’t asked me out for a second date yet but texts me a lot and seems to be a pretty decent person. It’s a small step, but who knows?

I feel like I’ve made a lot of silly Google searches about it (I’ve suddenly realized dating, and relationships, are uncharted territory and mildly terrifying) but I’m going to try to not freak out about it and just let it be. Which is so not me, but maybe that is space for growth?

That’s pretty much all of what’s been happening as of late. I’ll have to post more often. And do some better post brainstorming. 😉

Written by Jessica

August 13, 2013 at 4:28 am

If life is a highway, I’m stuck in the parking lot.

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You know you are a writer (or at least a reader) when an every day occurrence, or statement, suddenly strikes you as a metaphor for your life.

This happened to me today. After lunch. I was attempting to exit a parking lot onto a busy four lane road.

The car ahead of me was taking forever to exit, which is pretty normal. It’s busy both directions and sometimes it takes awhile.

“I’m gonna be stuck in this parking lot forever,” I thought.

That was followed by: “This parking lot is a metaphor for my life.”

Truth is, lately I’ve just been in a funk over being single. I’ve written a little bit about being on and off online dating sites (and failing at them), but lately I’ve been feeling, very strongly, that I would like to find someone to settle down with.

I don’t want to be married THIS INSTANT — I would just like to feel like I’m somewhere near the path of actually seeing marriage in the future. I don’t see getting married as a fix-all for being lonely occasionally and I don’t believe it automatically makes you a real, arrived, validated person (although those messages are out there).

I guess I should preface this by saying: aside from a kindergarten boyfriend, I’ve been single my entire life. It hit me like a ton of bricks this week that I’ve been on Facebook for nearly eight years of my 25-year-old life. I’ve never been able to click on the “In a Relationship” bit. Sigh.

After awhile, you start thinking, “What the hell is wrong with me?” And, “Why am I not being chosen?” And, “Where is God?” A whole lot of stuff (/baggage) can be wound up in our relationship statuses (or lack thereof).

I don’t want this to sound so melodramatic, because for the most part, I’m not broody. I know I’m pretty awesome (Hello, I’m great at what I do, I didn’t have 5 children before turning 25, I have a college degree, I love Jesus, I have a weird sense of humor), so please don’t let that be the takeaway from this.

I guess right now I’m just kind of in a waiting mode right now. Just hanging out in the parking lot of life.

Written by Jessica

June 28, 2013 at 8:08 pm