Monday, March 8, 2010

Love lessons for my 20 year-old self

I didn't date a lot before I met my current boyfriend. I'm just not the type of girl who thinks a free meal is worth wasting two hours of my life over a guy I have zero interest in. I'd rather rob a Burger King. Put the spicy chicken wraps in the bag. NOW! Whoa, anyway. Even so, I have learned a thing or two about dating and the opposite sex over the years. So here's what I would have told my 20 year-old self if I had known back then what I know now:

Love is not enough. Timing is everything. Any guy who doesn't feel worthy of you, doesn't deserve you. The right guy will admit that you make him want to "be a better man," and he'll actually be one. He'll push you to be better, too. If he looks like he's 23, says he's 21, he's really 19. (Whoopsie.) If your friends don't like him, neither should you. It's one thing if he's broke, but quite another if he's just a cheap asshole. Overtly cocky guys are incredibly insecure about...pretty much everything. If he requires constant fixing/mending/reassuring, he needs a therapist--not a girlfriend. Chest hair should not be a deal-breaker. Trust a European accent over a southern one. You still might get screwed, but you'll have much more fun. If he insults your intelligence and feels the need to constantly remind you how smart he is, he's a dick. He shouldn't have to be 20 beers deep to say those three little words. And you shouldn't either. If he wants to call, he will. So stop wondering if he knows how much you like him. Trust me, he knows. And if he simply just can't man the fuck UP, you don't need him anyway. He should always make you feel beautiful. ALWAYS.

So tell me: What lessons in love have you learned over the years?


  1. Ah! Those are some really worthy lessons to tell your 20 yr-old self- wish i'd read that 3 yrs earlier :(

    Lessons in love i learned- stop imagining "Sleepless in Seattle" or "You've got Mail" will turn real. These are MOVIES. THIS is life.

  2. LOVE IT! I think the best love lessons I have learned is that love is work but it work you like to do.

  3. At first I thought, "For shame...why trust a British accent before a Southern one?" But think there may be a little to that. But don't JUST go for the accent.

    I also like "chest hair is not a dealbreaker" comment. I mean, you could probably write a whole blog entry on chest hair - manly or gross - and we ladies would learn that we are in fact superficial beyotches and just as bad as men who judge boob-size.
    I am in the "chest hair = manly" camp for the record.
    Oh - and did you hear about a woman who wrote a book on "settling" that got all kinds of negative press. Her name is Lori Gottlieb or something. Apparently her actual thesis was that women needed to stop being superficial to find love. Poignant stuff.

  4. Nicely put ConStanc!!!! Timing is everything and opposites DON'T attract(for the most part).. No one is too busy to return a text or a phone call, NO ONE... Games are for Sports, Parties, and, Nerds, NOT DATING!!!!

  5. I like the comment about the accent - almost all of the European (particularly Celtic) accents make me melt. Gee, my Dad, had an English accent - anybody care to psychoanalyze that?

  6. My biggest lesson learned was this: If you make everything else a priority (before him) then you're really not that into it, it's not meant to be, and there's no point wasting his time (or yours).

    And that it's true - when it's right; when he/she is the'll know.

  7. So true, Warrior, everything is not all "Notting Hill" and "Love Actually." Sigh. We can have PARTS of the fantasy though.

    Glad you could relate, B :)

    So true MHP...anything good is worth working for.

    Shannon, I know it might sound strange as a girl from KY who went to college in SC, but I just never particularly clicked with southern guys. (Maybe I'm just bitter bc they never liked ME.) There are plenty of nice ones, but also lots of assholes who try to come across as a gentleman just because "No ma'am" and "Yes sir" is in their vocab rotation. And yes, I have heard about Lori. She has that book out about settling for "Mr. Good Enough" or something. Sounds interesting...hmm..I might have to check it out. Might be a good blog topic!

    Foster, if you could refrain from using my childhood nicknames on the blog, I'd really appreciate it :) Nice quote about game playing though!

    Lol, Anne...WELL, I have heard that girls tend to go for men like their fathers, so maybe it's not so weird!

  8. I grew up also watching Nora Ephrons madness onscreen...wishing and hoping that one day my modern day fairy tale of him: walking off the plane in the rain to run to catch me driving away/leave his job on a whim to surprise me in my apartment so I could discover him when I got home upset and feeling my world had ended onl- You get the idea.
    None of that ever happened but my real true life love story that happens every day- Thats is more magical than anything out of Hollywood or Nora Ephrons brain.
    It happens between the arguments about who's taking up more space on the couch, or who should wash the dishes. It is in the way he brings home my favorite food, or calls me in the middle of the day to say how he laughed remembering something I had said. We are both far from perfect, and we are not settling either...

    I say rather than settle...stop looking and live your life. And not everyones fairy tale needs a prince charming right?

    GREAT blog entry! I LOVE it!

  9. I love this!!! How's my girl? I've been away from reading & writing a bit. You are so damn witty! Just saw a tweet, that led me to that beautiful booty I never had and on to here.

    I married a REAL southern gentleman. He has a VA Middle Peninsula accent, and I have an eastern NC/VA accent. It's about the only thing we have in common! I never believed in "opposites attract" and I still don't as a rule, but we are opposites. We've managed to balance each other out without much conflict over our differences.

    I would tell my 20 year old self...Girl, geeks are cool!!! Don't waste your time w/ commitment phobic alchoholics. Of course, I wouldn't have listened! You know how we Sag's have to try everything out and learn lots of lessons the hard way!

    Thanks for brightening my day, Ellen! I love your writing.



  10. I second your post. Everything is so true.

  11. I've learned that it's very important to be as unselfish as you can, without being a doormat.
    But most importantly to let the other person know how much you love them every day. This doesn't necessarily mean buying them things but doing an equal amount of stuff at home without being asked, sending a phone text with the three words out of the blue, and never stop just telling them that you love them.
    Basically don't take them for granted.

  12. I would probably tell my 20 year old self to quit slutting it the long run it doesn't do you any good. At all. Not that I was anywhere near as slutty as a lot of girls I went to college with but I was slutty enough that the atholic guilt really ate at me.

    I love all your lessons. Nice little reminder for us single ladies :)

  13. I remember 20 year old Ellen! What a beautiful women you have become. You didn't need that advice then... you were on the way to figuring it out by yourself just fine!

    Miss you friend!

  14. Love it! So true, so true! We all needed our 29 year old self at 20...and sometimes I might need my 35 year old self now (hopefully, she has it figure out!). I do love a British accent over Southern accent. Can we add to that if a guy openly states "I'm a gentleman" you should immediately run in the opposite direction!

  15. Thank you Ellen, I agree, I do not need him!
    Nice blog <3

  16. YES!BABY YES! (in my best Mo'Nique impression).

    You hit it right on the nail.

    Oh how I LOVE your blog...LOL

    I can't even remember how I found it, but I'm glad I did.

  17. Totally agree, Eatgrass. I met my bf after about a year and a half of living in NYC when I was more focused on figuring out my career than I was with meeting boys. It always good to not be looking, but I do know how hard that can be, too! Like how are you not supposed to think about it?!

    Hey Julie! Great to hear from you! Geeks ARE cool. My bf loves the History channel and has quite a collection of WWI and WWII pieces under his bed. Coool. ha. And yes, there is a difference btwn a REAL southern gentleman and one who just says he is. I agree, Al, if a guy has to call himself one, he most likely isn't! Like, just bc you're from the south and have "manners" doesn't mean you're not a player? I don't think so!

    Don't worry, Berryfine...everyone has their phases :) Ya gotta get it out of your system!

    Aim!! Miss you ol' roomie! My goodness, you probably saw the WORST of the 20 year-old Ellen, ha

    I totally agree, Gary. The little things are the MOST important. I left my bf a little note by his computer the other day and he was more excited about that than I have seen him about any present I have given him.

  18. This one's not just for love but life in general:

    When someone tells you who they are believe them.

    I would have saved myself so much trouble in the long run had I heeded that!