I’ve lived my entire life thus far resigned to the excuse that I am simply incapable of saying “no” to people. I’m a pleaser. I’d rather run away to a new country and change my name than adult-up, face someone, and tell them something they don’t want to hear.

That’s 22 years of “oh, I don’t care where we eat!” and “yes, I can give you a ride even though it’d be COMPLETELY out of my way and quite inconvenient” and “no, really, we can leave the concert early even though one of my favorite bands hasn’t taken the stage yet!” and, most recently, “yes, despite my entire gut telling me it’s a bad idea, I will date you.”

This approach to interacting with others has left me unsatisfied, frustrated, annoyed, and taken advantage of. I have voluntarily taken the passenger seat of my own life for far too long. I’ve felt too afraid, and perhaps a little unworthy,  to grab the wheel and steer for once.

But the thing is, I know exactly what I want, in 9/10 situations. I do not resign myself to passivity due to uncertainty.  I definitely care where we eat, and I’ve probably been thinking about it for hours. No, it’s not okay with me if we leave the concert early-I paid money to be here and want to see the damn show. And lastly, I know EXACTLY what i’m looking for as it pertains to a significant other, yet I find myself accepting gentlemen’s advances, due to the mere fact that they are, indeed, gentlemen.

The problem is that I lack the voice to assert myself.

However, yesterday, thanks to a little push from my best friend, I did one of the hardest things I’ve probably ever done in my life. I confronted someone face-to-face about what I wanted.

And it was nauseatingly horrifying.

I broke off the situationship-turned-boyfriend that I’d found myself involved with for the past few months. In person.

You see, my default approach would be to shoot him a text saying that I was breaking things off, provide little to no explanation, and then hit the “block” button as fast as my little fingers could move.

However, I chose to take this opportunity to grow as a person, and decided to handle it face-to-face like a big girl.

Let me be clear, there was nothing particularly wrong with him. He’s a fine guy-nice, smart, well-mannered. Has his shit together. Pretty good “boyfriend material”, objectively speaking.

We hit it off in the beginning. We had plenty to talk about, had all sorts of fun together, and he treated me better than I probably deserved. But we just never had a “spark.”

I’d expressed this to him bluntly when we were deliberating whether or not to take our relationship to the level of exclusivity. I told him that my gut told me that this was a bad idea, and I didn’t think I’d find what I was looking for in a significant other in him.

Alas, he persisted. And so I gave in. He’s a nice guy-he deserves a shot. Right?

And I gave it a shot. I gave it my best shot.

He became increasingly clingy-freaking out when I hung out with a member of the male gender, needing to be in constant contact with me, declining to give me space when I deliberately asked for it.

Enough was enough. I panicked, and shut the whole operation down.

I invited him to my place, and explained to him that this relationship isn’t working for me, and that no, there was nothing he could do to fix it, and that I saw no reason to continue to see him, as it felt disingenuous of me to do so without having developed the feelings for him that he professed to have had for me.

I won’t speak for him, but I could visibly tell that I was hurting him with every word that came out of my mouth. And that was devastatingly hard to watch, especially as I watched him walk away from me for the last time, with his head hung, and his eyes down at his feet.

Hard as this experience was for me, I feel that I really learned a lot about dealing with confrontation and being honest and transparent about how I feel about things. It was uncomfortable, heartbreaking, and scary. But I’d rather feel all those things and say what I need to say than keep my mouth shut in the interest of not upsetting people because I don’t want what they want.

From now on, I’m the driver. I have a voice, and I am fully capable of using it. And I intend to.

I’m in charge of my life, and the direction it takes is up to me.





How To Lose A Girl’s Interest In 4 Seconds

I recently quit my job of two years at the local trampoline park, which has given me an abundance of this thing called “free time,” which I have been using to expand and strengthen my social circles. 

I began hanging out with some of my old guy friends from high school again. These fellas are a year younger than me, which makes them seniors in high school. (May I just say, the difference in maturity level between a high school student and a fresh graduate is unreal.) These friends have been their own exclusive group for who knows how long, but I have only known them for about four years. 

All was well, and we started hanging out all the time again just like the “good old days.” I had dated the majority of them throughout the course of my high school career. Never seriously, but my prom dates were always members of this clan. What I’m saying is I’ve had history with one or two of these gentlemen. 

With me graduating a year before these boys, we had become more and more distant, and I had assumed that I’d left all this “history” behind me when I obtained my diploma. But apparently, I was wrong. 

One night, we were all hanging out at this one boy’s house. Let’s call him Tom. We spent maybe an hour listening to a couple of us mess around on the piano and guitar. Once we all grew bored of that, we migrated downstairs to the basement to watch a select handful of them play video games. Yes. Video games. 

I was reminded rather quickly why I had allowed myself to “grow apart” from these kids. They play video games. A lot. And when that stupid controller is in their hands, they develop the personality of  a brick wall, and about the same ability to converse. 

So there I was, bored out of my mind and laying hopelessly on the couch, listening to the sound of fake gunshot from the TV, when Tom decided he’d come and “cuddle me.” 

I moved over and gave him a little space to lay next to me. Once he was situated, I laid my head on his chest and continued to stare blankly at that blasted television screen. I didn’t think much of it, and decided that Tom made a great human pillow. Him and I began to chat a little and before I knew it, his face was right up in my grill. And he was doing that thing where a boy stares at your lips while you talk and then you just KNOW you’re about to get kissed. 

Over my dead body. 

I pulled away fast and whipped out my phone and pretended to be deeply engaged in an SMS conversation to avoid his gaze at my mouth. That went on for a while, and eventually, the rest of the group decided they were as bored as I was with those video games, so we decided to drive to Krispie Kreme for a late-night pastry. 

After consuming our donuts, we slowly made our way to our cars. As I was approaching my own, one of the boys drove his car right up to me. Tom was sitting in the passenger seat with the window down.

“Give me a kiss.” He said bluntly.

The kid driving the car smiled and said, “Yeah, you owe him.” 

Um. WHAT. What does he mean I OWE him? And how dare he TELL me to kiss him in front of his bone-headed friend? 

I realize these kids are stupid high school boys with a significantly lower IQ and maturity level than a sophisticated lady like myself, but at moments like these, all I can think is “What the hell?”

He pulled my arm down toward him and put his face really close to mine again and attempted to kiss me, to which I politely refused.

Haven’t talked to the chap since, and we’ve been friends for four years. 

What makes him think that’s okay? If I wanted to kiss him, i’d have done it already.  I was livid. So angry. All I wanted to do was punch him square in the mandible. 

Boys, have some class, and use your brains. Nothing makes a girl lose interest faster than ASKING HER TO KISS YOU IN FRONT OF YOUR STUPID FRIENDS. Furthermore, he had already presented me with the opportunity to mack out earlier that evening, and I had declined. 

I know your ego’s a little damaged now, but rejection happens, psycho.