It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken

26 Jul

Dear TLA,

I just wanted to tell you I loved your post about breaking up with an ex!! I just broke up with my boyfriend of three years a month ago and I am having such a hard time. I was always good to him and have helped raise his four year old daughter for the past three years. We also lived together and talked about marriage. He was great for the first two years, but this past year he stopped taking me on dates. There was hardly any communication and so much baby mama drama. ICK! Last month, he left his Facebook open on accident and I saw a bunch of messages he exchanged with other girls about hanging out, advertising that I just left for work for the night, etc. I was devastated!

Now he is totally playing head games with me and I can’t believe I am allowing it. He is either ignoring me or texting me about how much he loved me and how I “threw it all away.” He doesn’t want to see or talk to me right now because he doesn’t know what to say. Everyone has been to blame BUT him. It’s awful. And I’m even more mad at myself for allowing it and missing him. WTF?!

Sincerely,
Heartbroken

Hey girl,

Your message broke my heart. This guy sucks. I actually went through something similar in college, minus the whole kid part. I highly recommend reading “It’s Called a Breakup Because It’s Broken.” Every girl needs to read this – wifed up or not. It really put things into perspective and opened up my eyes. Stay away from the sappy love songs and tearjerkers for at least a solid three months.

Trust me when I say to cut it off now. Anyone who disrespects you like that – male or female does not deserve to be in YOUR life. You deserve to get what you give. It’s not easy and it might not be easy for a couple months or until you find someone that worships what you got. There is a guy out there searching for everything you have – you just haven’t found each other yet and that’s okay!!! It will be happen.

Your ex wants to have his cake and eat it too, but what you need to do is shove it in his face. Don’t respond. If you must, your messages are short. You’re busy. You really don’t have time for this dude OR to be sad. Life is short. When you’re on your death bed, you’re not going to be saying, “Man I really wish I cried a couple more tears over so-and-so.” (That always puts things into perspective for me.)

This guy feels super guilty – and rightfully so, but he wouldn’t be in this position if he didn’t screw up. He’s playing the blame game so the blow isn’t so hard on him. He’ll always hold a special place in your heart, but he’s not “The One.” Give yourself a huge hug for doing the first step – BREAKING IT OFF. You’re one month in. It’s time to walk away from good-enough, in search of can’t-live-without.

Xo,
The Lease Agreement

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

6 Jul

Hey there,

Love your blog!

I was in a 3.5 year relationship which ended two months ago. I still love him and he’s still kind of around…he calls and/or emails a few times a week and still says he loves me and wants to have kids with me. During our relationship I was a betch and we had a strong bond. He said he had more fun than he’d ever had before with a woman and that I was one of only two women he’s even loved.

My question is: should I continue to stay in contact with him? I really miss him and our relationship fell apart largely due to life circumstances (his health and job were in terrible shape and he had a bit of a crisis). Is this betchy??? I never initiate contact and am always warm and fun and responsive when he has something meaningful to say to me. He’s always trying to figure out what I’m up to and if I’m with someone. I just don’t know how to carry it at this stage.

Thanks,

Confused

Dear Confused,

Thanks for reaching out! It can be really hard to separate yourself from an ex after a 3.5 year relationship because that’s all you’ve known for those 3.5 years. You’ve built this attachment and starting over doesn’t sound all to exciting especially when feelings are still involved. However, you and your ex did break up, which tells me what you had was broken.

He sounds like he’s saying all the right things, but those are just words. What do his actions say?? That’s what you need to pay attention to. I strongly recommend separating yourself completely or things will get really sticky, as I’m sure you’re starting to see. This is a great time to be a little selfish with your own time, your own hobbies, and your friends. This time may lead you to the man you can’t live without. Imagine if you never find him because you’re still answering your ex’s calls and texts?

Whenever you’re confused, frustrated, or disappointed there’s only two things you can do: change your perception or change the situation. Luckily for you, you can do both in this case! You can separate yourself completely and you can stop feeling bad for him. It’s your year, girl. Don’t let an ex hold you back.

Hope this helps makes things a little bit clearer!

Xo,
The Lease Agreement

Birthday Protocol

28 Feb

Hey Betch,

So here’s the story…my girlfriend has a guy she’s been on a date with about eight times. I think it’s worthy to note they have had two sleepovers, but no sex. She’s not crazy in love, but she doesn’t hate the guy. On the day before Valentine’s day, after four dates, he personally brought her flowers. But then on Valentine’s Day, they didn’t speak. I think he was trying to be nice and say, “Hey, I like you and want you to know I’m thinking of you, but we’re not there yet.” His 30th birthday is a few weeks away, and she wants to know what the protocol is. She assumes they’ll still be dating. She wants to acknowledge it and do something for him, but I really don’t know what to suggest. Naturally, I thought of asking you, doll. I feel like a gift is too presumptuous because she doesn’t know him that well. Help.

xoxo
MJ

Hello doll!

For starters, I’m proud of your friend for not sleeping with her new interest, especially if she is unsure about where her relationship stands. If you strike a deal too soon, you give up all your bargaining power.

It was a sweet gesture when he personally delivered her flowers, but as we mature, we begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts, and presents aren’t promises. I would chalk this up to exactly what it is: a sweet gesture. I think flowers have poor symbolism anyway. I mean, think about it. Men give women flowers as a token of their affection, but then they die less than a week later. What an awesome gift. It would have been way betchier if he gave her a cactus. They last forever.

So she assumes that they will be dating when he turns 30 in a couple weeks? Rule of thumb: Never assume anything you don’t have control over. At the same time, it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. There are a few contingencies that play into this one.

Scenario one. Things heat up and you’re practically attached at the hip. Birthday Fix: Tickets to a concert, beer festival, or sporting event so that you can enjoy a fun night together.

Scenario two. Things are up in the air, but you’re still somewhat talking. Birthday Fix: Send him an e-card.

Scenario three. You guys stopped talking. You’re bitter. Birthday Fix: Wish him a happy birthday on Facebook, but forgo the bday text. His birthday isn’t an excuse to rekindle the flame.

Keep a betch posted, and best of luck!

Xo,
The Lease Agreement

Sh*t, I Don’t Know What to Say

21 Feb

Have you ever had that moment when you’re on a date and it feels like someone literally took away your brain and voice box? Or maybe you’ve been dating awhile, but conversations have turned stale. You can easily improve your conversations by approaching everyday topics in an interesting way. If the following pointers don’t spiral new and exciting ways to get to know your partner, then at least you can say you tried. Looks can get you in the door, but intelligent conversations can build you a life with someone special.

Sh*t, I DO know what to say!
1. Scan Google news. Staying up-to-date on current events can spark healthy debates with your date. Talk about news in a category that actually interests you, but have a general consensus of what’s going on in the world as a whole. If you’re not a technology buff, then Microsoft’s privacy loophole won’t be a topic of conversation. However, if entertainment or sports is your forte, then Jeremy Lin is a perfect conversation starter. Maybe you’ll bond over basketball and even attend a game!

2. Fanatize…about places to travel, that is. If you could take a week and travel anywhere in the world, where it would be? What would you do there and why does that place interest you? These questions give you the opportunity to take a mental vacation, if nothing else. I’ve developed quite a long travel list on my Pinterest board.

3. Ask open-ended questions. Good example: What kind of projects do you work on? Example that needs improving: Do you like what you do? The more someone talks, the more you can contribute because you’ll naturally have questions or opinions to ask and offer.

4. Rely on body language. It may be hard to believe, but a large chunk of communication is body language. Posture, appearance, and movement can tell a lot about someone. If you’re not a natural born conversation starter, than this is a great one to focus on. If you have your body language on lock, conversation may flow easier because you will exude a feeling of confidence or relaxation that appears inviting to others.

5. Get specific. Here are some engaging questions that will inspire something.

    What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve done lately?
    Who has influenced you the most?
    Where do you see yourself in five years?
    Describe your dream home.
    What’s your guilty pleasure?

So, what do you do when the conversation becomes a struggle?

Ways to Say I Love You on Valentine’s Day

13 Feb

You don’t have to break the bank to make Valentine’s Day memorable. You just have to put a little heart into it. Below you’ll find some creative ways to show him just how much you care.

1. Printable love coupons. I’ve seen these in stores, but making your own and tailoring them to fit what your boyfriend loves is insanely thoughtful. Need some ideas?
This coupon is good for…

Dinner on me at your favorite restaurant
One free car wash and clean out (by hand)
An hour long massage with no complaining
A pair of movie tickets to see a new action flick

Tatertots & Jello has a set that you can print here. Now it’s up to you find cool ways to give them! Hide them in his sock drawer, put them on the seat of his car, or even attach one to his key ring. Each coupon is its own little surprise.

2. Cook a delicious meal, the smart way. There’s no sense in pressuring yourself to whip up a gourmet meal after putting in an eight hour day in your cubicle of doom. This is where I’d like to introduce you to a very reliable friend of mine: The Crock Pot. If you don’t have one, I highly suggest you ask for one for Valentine’s Day. Select a recipe that you can start in the morning, or at lunch time if you work close to home. My favorite recommendation is by far the Angel Chicken. Disclaimer: Leaving things plugged in and unattended is dangerous.

3. Red Velvet Souffle. Making a gourmet meal may not be your forte, but there’s always dessert. This Red Velvet Souffle is holiday appropriate and a notch above the traditional chocolate covered strawberries. It would be fun to do an early date of appetizers and wine at a nice restaurant and then return home for the goodies.

4. Forgo the Hallmark verbiage. You don’t have to be a skilled writer to express your feelings in a card. It’s the thought that counts. The perfectionist in me sometimes types her cards in a Word document before putting it in the actual card. This extra step may sound a little crazy, but it may save you some scribble. There’s nothing pretty about opening a card and seeing scribble.

5. I love you because…This is such a cool gift. You’ll need a 8 x 10 frame, a dry erase marker, and your ‘I love you because’ print out. If you like the one pictured on the left, download it here.

For more handmade Valentine’s Day ideas, check out this site: Everything Etsy

Dating a Workaholic

1 Feb

It takes a special kind of betch to date a man married to success. Whether he’s a hungry entrepreneur or trying to work his way up the corporate ladder, it can be exhausting competing with something that doesn’t have feelings. In fact, a lot of relationships will end because “she just doesn’t get it,” a common quote from the man trying to balance both work and female. The unfortunate thing is that many women pretend to be okay with this type of circumstance when in reality, they can’t handle it. And that’s OK! It’s better to realize what you want early on, and then give in to what you want – AKA, finding a man who is a little less concerned about his career and a little bit more concerned about you. I have a hard time relating to the woman who complains about her man’s work ethic because I, too, am an entrepreneur at heart. Plus, I think it’s totally sexy when a man has drive and actually does something with it.

Of course, the best scenario would be for two awesome, like-minded entrepreneurs to get together on a romantic level, but that sounds way too perfect. Here are some tips for coping with your workaholic beau when it’s annoying, but not enough to make you say, “buh-bye!”

1. The name of the game is patience and you should be armed with a lot of it. Plans could change and dates may be broken. The more understanding you truly are, the better shot you have at making it work. If you continually cop an attitude, it gets old. He will feel pressured and end up treating you more like a task, just like all the other items on his to-do list.

2. Get a hobby. If your man is super busy, and you often feel bored or lonely, then you have some major free time on your hands – and that’s exciting! Join a networking group. They have fun happy hours and it’s a guaranteed opportunity to meet new people. Sign up for a dance class and finally learn some new steps. Or how about committing to a kickball team or running club? Staying active is always a good look.

3. Plan ahead. Plan around BOTH of your schedules now that you just picked up a hobby. Set play dates in advance so you have something to look forward to after a long week of work. Check the paper to see what cool events are coming to your area and attend.

4. Speak out. Talk to him about his workaholism. Share why you think it’s amazing and then share some not-so-fun things. After all, relationships are all about compromise. Maybe he’s oblivious and is willing to make a couple changes to his schedule. FYI – Asking your lover to spend more time with you is cool, but asking your date to find another job is so-not-betchy.

5. Learn. You can learn a thing or two from this workaholic. If you don’t take anything else away from it, at least you learned what it means to put yourself first. That’s what he’s doing and it’s not necessarily a bad thing. You’re turn.

First Date Dos and Don’ts

24 Jan

First dates are intimidating. Combine the pressure of a job interview with the artificiality of plastic flowers and voila – you’re nervously sipping a martini across the table from a near stranger. I’m not going to toot my own horn or anything (okay, maybe just a little), but I’ve mastered the dating game. Time to channel your inner betch and secure the basics: what to wear, what to say, what to avoid, and how to turn a first date into a full-blown romance – should he make the cut. After all, he’s on the chopping block too. No need to thank me when you score a second date. ;)

1. Don’t dream up your date. Guilty as charged. I hate doing this! When you don’t set realistic expectations in the dating world, you’re bound to be left disappointed. Try to go into the first date with no expectations at all. If you can do this, then you may be in for a pleasant surprise.

2. Do feel comfortable with your attire. When you look good, you feel good and that translates to confidence. Confidence is sexy. There is no shame in preparing ahead of time. Buy a new shirt or accessory, but it’s not required. Your date most likely hasn’t seen your wardrobe and even if he has, you could probably wear the same thing two days in a row without him noticing.

3. Don’t rehash the past. If he asks you why you’re single, don’t lament about your ex and how he cheated on you with some girl who you swear is “actually ugly.” It’s in poor taste. Keep it simple with, “I haven’t found what I’m looking for yet.” That puts it on him. Now he’s thinking, “Shoot, I wonder if I can be what she’s looking for.”

4. Do be witty. If you do one thing on this date, please be witty. It’s hot and guys notice. It also shows you have a sense of humor. Witty isn’t something you can teach so don’t look like an idiot trying to be clever if you’re truly not. Do find a witty friend and start hanging around her if you’re unsure.

5. Don’t complain. About ANYTHING. No one likes a complainer. If you hate your job, put a positive spin on it. Example: “Do I like my job?? HAHA what a joke. It sucks.” vs. “I’ve gained a lot of valuable experience in my current position, but looking to make a career move sometime in the near future.”

6. Do be an active listener. We listen to learn. This is your first opportunity to actually hear your date and decide for yourself whether or not you like what he’s saying. Learn to find out if you’re compatible!

7. Don’t act too materialistic. Men view materialism as a turn off because it breeds ulterior motives. He’s left wondering, “Is she here for me or the money?” “If I lost it all, would she leave me too?” A man wants a woman who can hold their ground on their own two feet financially. They’re less of a liability.

8. Do be yourself. This is the best asset you have. If you put up a front and he falls in love with someone you’re not, you’re both going to have a rude awakening when the truth comes out. I’m pretty silly and I own it. It turns out that guys actually like silly.

9. Don’t be a creep. Don’t add him on Facebook or stalk his tweets immediately following the date, unless you want to freak him out of course.

10. Do act like a lady, but think like a BOSS. It’s your first date. You don’t need it to last until the A.M. for it to go well. After all, you don’t want to put all your cards on the table the first night. What would be the point of the second date…or third?

Got more DOs and DON’Ts? Add to my post by commenting below!

Cheers.

New Lease on Love

4 Jan

Happy New Year, betches! There is something refreshing about a new year. We’ve all adapted this “new outlook on life” mantra thanks to TV ads, blog posts, and E! Entertainment. I’ll be honest. I don’t hate it. I like the feeling of a new start even knowing that the only difference is a number: 2012. Imagine if the media hyped up the start of every month. We’d have 12 opportunities to actually accomplish our new year resolutions. Speaking of resolutions, last night I realized that I’ve had the same resolution for the past three years: to drink more water.

This is a great opportunity to do a relationship self-evaluation. This doesn’t apply to just the wifed up. This applies to everyone: single, taken, or confused. First, ask yourself, “Self, am I happy where I am in my relationship with myself or with my significant other? What are my relationship goals this upcoming year?” If you are 110% happy with either yourself or your relationship with a significant other, CONGRATULATIONS! As sad as it is, many people are settling for something they don’t necessarily want. They may not know they don’t want it, but in time they will see. When they do, a lot of time may have been wasted.

If you aren’t happy, it’s time to pinpoint why and decide if you need to better yourself or walk away from good-enough in search of can’t-live-without. If you have an ounce of that “I might be able to do better feeling” than you CAN! 2012 is all about being honest with yourself so do it. I dare you.

Ask yourself these other great questions & then apply them to your current situation:
Do I like who I am?
Am I being treated the way I always imagined?
How do I like to be treated? Write them down.
Do I want to get married?
Do I want to have kids?
Does my significant other want the same things I do?
Am I a betch or am I a nice girl? (I hope this was a no-brainer.)

If you’re single and interested in dating or meeting The One, stop thinking about this mystery man and take action. Join a networking group. This is a great place to meet new people to swap not only ideas, but maybe numbers with a couple hotties. Check out Match.com to see if that is something you might be willing to sign up for. Although I’ve never joined a dating site, it’s a smart idea if you think about it and can save you time. It’s especially great if you just move to a new city.

Time to go drink some more water… :)
Xo,
The Lease Agreement

Alone for the Holidays

23 Dec

All my single ladies put your hands up! Being alone this holiday season doesn’t mean that you have to be lonely. The holidays can sometimes be nauseating or dreaded for the single betches who don’t have a ring on it – or they can be embraced. Let’s talk about the positives. First, you don’t have to stress yourself out thinking of a present to get your beau. After all, the male species is harder to shop for. Second, you get to take that moolah and spend it on yourself during the 12 days of Christmas (see below). Third, you don’t have to try to coordinate what family your going to see when and risk the chance of disappointing one of your beloveds who can’t wait to leave a red lipstick mark smeared across your cheek.

On the 12 Day of Christmas, Myself Gave to Me:
1. Mani/pedi. Whether you’re celebrating in the north or south, there is no reason why you should be parading around with a chipped mani or pedi. That would be trashy. Bring your color or purchase the one you end up getting incase you (OOPS!) get a chip! If you mess up your nails, refrain from cutting someone and just fill it in yourself.

2. Massage. This is the perfect time of year to work out your kinks and wind down. Let your wifed up besties navigate the crowds at the mall searching for the perfect gift for Mr. Right while you give yourself what every betch needs: a freaking massage.

3. Facial. Put your best face forward this holiday season and into 2012. Make a pact with yourself to get on a skin care regiment if you’re not already and stock up on make-up remover wipes. Keep the wipes in a drawer close to your bed so there’s no excuse not to take off your make-up no matter how tired or buzzed you may be.

4. Blow out. Every betch dreads blowing out their own hair. Find an awesome stylist (like Hollison if you live in Tampa Bay) and get a blow out that lasts at least three to four days. Don’t forget the dry shampoo, which is a great product to use in between washes.

5. Cocktails w/ fellow betches. What could be better than getting together and gossiping about your friends’ messed up relationships? Just kidding. Betches might love talking trash, but put away the gossip and spend some quality time with girlfriends you don’t typically get to see all year long.

6. Buy a To Me From Me. You definitely deserve a a gift (or five) this holiday season! Who said you can’t buy them for yourself? I always find inspiration from Pinterest. Make an account, create a couple of virtual bulletin boards, and pin away. Click on the photo of the item you love and you can find exactly where to buy it.

7. Volunteer. Do something nice for someone else. Whether you volunteer your time or donate to a family in need, it’s nice to give back. Toys for Tots is a great foundation to get behind. Visit Toys for Tots to see how you can get involved.

8. Plan out your NYE. NYE is almost as important as a betch’s birthday. This means it’s time to get GLAM. Nail down your plans ahead of time so you only have to worry about booking appointments for your nails, hair, spray tan, makeover, and of course…purchasing that sexy dress that makes every man go, “Wow!” Think of some new year’s resolutions while your at it.

9. Bake a cake or pick up a camera. I am blown away by decorative cakes and photography. Although I haven’t really dabbled in either, I would like to soon. If you have the time, this is a great opportunity to try a new hobby. Elise Garcia gives me inspiration every single day. Check out Elise’s Pieces on Facebook.

10. Bikram. Sweat yourself sexy – literally, in a room that is 105 degrees. Bikram is a form of hot yoga that keeps you healthy and fights stress, diabetes, and other bad stuff, I’m sure.

11. Make a photo album of 2011. Upload your pictures and print. In a world where everything is on the Internet, it’s nice to be able to hold something tangible. This might also be a great gift idea for friends or family members depending on how many memories you captured this past year.

12. Sign up for Match.com. Yes, you heard me. If you’re single and want to truly meet the man of your dreams, online dating is a great option. There may be some creeps, but a smart betch knows how to weed them out. I recommend signing up with a site that requires a monthly fee. A$$holes not really looking for love are less likely to sign up for something they have to pay for.

Note: The 12 Days of Christmas requires $$$$.

Keeping It Interesting 101

15 Dec

You know that saying, “When it’s right, it doesn’t feel like work?” It’s a lie. A relationship takes work and they can be tough, so don’t be misled. In your relationship, there are going to be periods of boredom and speed bumps. That’s life. The most important thing is to be aware of the inevitable lulls or moments of doubt, and to make a plan to counteract them. Just because you’ve been together a long time doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun being in the relationship.

Your mission: KEEP IT INTERESTING.

Keeping it Interesting 101
1. New places & spaces. Introducing a new experience to the relationship is fun. Think: Vacationing to a new city or trying a new activity. Groupon and LivingSocial are great websites that help you plan fun things for less! By trying a new restaurant, staying in a new hotel, or visiting a new city, you’ll be opening yourself up to new memories and conversations. And as we all know, communication is key.

2. Alone time. Maintaining your independence ensures that you have some sort of freedom. Plus, it will make you miss each other more. Even if you’re living together or married, it’s nice to set aside a time where you can just do YOU. Happy hour with the girls or a weekend at home with mom and dad is a great way to maintain other relationships. Not spending every second together keeps an air of mystery. Mystery is what keeps them around and the fact that they don’t have 100% hold on you.

3. Group Dates. Throwing dinner parties or going out with a group is a fun way to spice things up. It may seem normal to some, but many couples get in a rut of just hanging out with each other. Try new restaurants or activities with a group. It is what I like to call the Multitask Date – catch up with friends, still be with the person you love. Feelin’ a little crazy? Plan a group vacation!

4. Surprises. Show her you care by cooking her dinner or bringing her flowers. Surprises don’t have to be extravagant. Small gestures go a long way. Show him you care by picking up his favorite action flick, candy, or ironing his work shirts (permitting that you don’t RUIN them like I did once).

5. Set Goals Together. Setting a goal together strengthens your long-term commitment. Sit down and decide what you both see in the long run. Do you both want to travel to an exotic country? Start your own company? Or maybe save money for a home? Ask for advice. Two efforts are always better than one.

Have more ideas on how to keep it interesting? Add to my post by commenting below!