In the interest of expanding my social circle, I willingly signed up for summer kickball when my friend, Juliana, was putting a team together. For 8 weeks, I’ve committed to playing the game with my co-ed team against a new team every week. It’s fun, light-hearted competition that makes socializing with different people every week inevitable. We chose to play kickball because basically everyone who went to an American elementary school knows how to play the game, meaning anyone can play. It gives us all a reason to get out after work, enjoy the outdoors and laugh – get a bunch of your friends together over a playground game like kickball and you’ll laugh a lot! What I discovered is that meeting men in this setting is so easy. The games are fun and the atmosphere is playful. Best of all introductions are expected so the pressure is off.
Austin Sports and Social Club offers a variety of sports at varying skill levels from which you may choose. If meeting great guys is your objective, start a team with a handful of your girlfriends and have them recruit male friends for your team from their social circles. Instantly, there’s a new group of guys for you to get to know in a place where it’s easy to do so. Eight weeks means 8 games and 8 scheduled opportunities to meet someone new. Go out and play!
I don’t mean to write about so many restaurants, but when I find a great Hot Spot I’ll share it. Think about it, though. When you’re single and you’ve got a lot going on, you eat out a lot because you don’t have time to cook – at least that’s how it goes for me. My haunch that single guys eat out more than they eat in.
24 Diner is yet another eatery. The best part of this place is not the food, it’s the counter. When I was waiting with friends for a table, we were standing near the counter waiting for a few minutes. During that short period of time, my friend Kelley and I struck up a conversation with 3 different single men eating breakfast for dinner at the counter, two of which were complete strangers and totally handsome. Had I not been with 4 other friends, I would have joined them. Oh, well! Next time I’m hungry, I’ll definitely belly up to the counter at 24 Diner and go it alone. By the way, Kelley met one of those guys for a bicycle ride. We’ll see. . .
A friend of mine recently got me hooked on the PBS series Downton Abbey, which takes place in the early 1900’s. The parents of three daughters are often host to potential suitors for their oldest, Mary. The heir to their vast estate is Matthew Crawley and seems a logical match for her. Yet upon arrival to Downton his ungentlemanly, unrefined behavior is unattractive to her. Over time, Matthew embraces the aristocratic culture in Downton, befriends Mary and she begins to genuinely fall in love with him. One night at a dinner party, the family was entertaining another potential suitor for Mary, Sir Antony. Only Mary wasn’t interested in him. So, she turns her full attention to Matthew while her sister, Edith, engages in conversation with Sir Antony. After dinner, in an arrogant act of impulse, Mary insists to Edith that she could get any man. To prove it, Mary at once turns her back on Matthew and begins to flirt with Sir Antony. After being snubbed by Mary, Matthew promptly leaves the party. From the window, Mary watches Matthew walk away, clearly regretting her actions toward him. Watching all of this unfold from the sidelines, Mary’s father says quietly to his wife, “She thinks if you put a toy down it’ll still be there when you want to play with it again.”
I’ve played the role of Mary countless times in my own life. What Mary’s father said about her was true about me too. I had been operating with the selfish notion that the men in my life were at my disposal and I had infinite chances to “blow it” with them. My wake up call came when I actually had someone in my life with whom I could see having a future. Instead of nurturing the relationship, I broke up with him with little explanation. Six months later, he gave me another chance and I did it again. Time went by and he gave me yet another chance. At this point, I had destroyed any trust he had in me. Our relationship, or even friendship, was never the same. While Mary acted in her arrogance, I acted in my insecurity. Call it “the grass is greener syndrome,” sabotage or whatever. We both had our reasons, but the reasons don’t really matter. The bottom line is that I took him for granted. I didn’t appreciate having him as my boyfriend until I had lost him. There was no recovering from that – the consequence being I killed the relationship.
What would I have done differently? I would have:
- Acted on the vision of my future with him, not my past with other men. Stated differently, I would have dealt with my baggage. By treating him as if he were every other guy who had hurt me, I was making him pay for their wrongs. This was a new relationship with someone who loved me, therefore deserving of a clean slate.
- Shared with him the issues with which I was dealing at that time. He was a very tender-hearted man and told me at one point that he could tell I was dealing with something. I didn’t tell him because I didn’t want to be v-u-l-n-e-r-a-b-l-e.
- Appreciated everything that he was for me, rather than indulging in my insecurities. I was admittedly obsessed with what could go wrong in our relationship. How could I possibly enjoy being with him with that constantly running in my head?
- Given him credit for being an adult. That means trusting him to be able to handle bumps in the road with me. Of course, to do that requires communication. He didn’t know because I was unwilling to share it with him. In hindsight I can see that he’s dealt with plenty of issues in life, many were just as difficult as, if not more than, mine. He could have managed it. Also, being outside the situation, he probably would have done so more skillfully than I.
- Moved on after breaking up with him the first time. To repeatedly go back and forth with him served only me – selfish. It kept him in limbo, fueled his insecurities because he never knew where he stood with me and completely ruined his trust in me. I wasn’t respecting him or his heart.
Having a love worth keeping really is like winning the lottery – it seldom happens and doesn’t happen for everyone. Playing games like Mary or I did, regardless of your reasons for doing so, will always have its consequences. I’m not saying that there are no second chances. Plenty of people get married after a second chance. What I am saying is appreciate your first chance in a relationship and treat it as if it’s your last because it could be exactly that: your last chance.
Forgive me for stating the obvious but, yes, the gym. Ever since I was in high school, I had a membership to my local gym. To be completely straight about it, I was so intentionally aloof that I wouldn’t make eye contact with anyone while I was there. Any man who dared to strike a conversation with me was met with my own version of the Heisman. In fact, to many of them I was outright rude. Yep. I was that girl. Nice, huh? My goal was to work out and then get out.
My goal now is still the same, but my attitude is much different. When I went to Pure Austin with my friend, Jane, I was far more aware of my surroundings than I have ever been. As I was looking around, I noticed a lot of guys there working out too (I know, I know. Big surprise!). It made me ask myself, why wouldn’t this be a great place to meet a nice guy? Then, I remembered all of the men who had tried to talk with me and I didn’t give them the time of day. The reality is the gym is a great place to meet a nice guy!
So, this ends up being a Hot Spot and Relationship Tip rolled into one. The Hot Spot is: ladies, join your local gym and go work out there. Although I love the place and know a ton of great guys who work out there (hint, hint), it doesn’t have to be Pure Austin. If you don’t already have a gym membership, pick one that’s convenient to either your home or office (except a place like Curves that’s for women only). Then, go.
The Relationship Tip is: be approachable. Actually, I already wrote about this (see Relationship Tip #6). I’m taking my own advice, by the way, but that’s a post for another day.
No, I wasn’t really dead. Last summer I completely stopped writing. While I could give you an endless list of reasons why, I won’t; it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things. Just like that very first workout after a lengthy break, the hardest thing to write is that first sentence. I call it, “Breaking the spell.” That’s what I’m doing right now.
Within the past couple months, I’ve pushed myself out of my comfort zone. . .a little bit. I’ve done some new things, spent some time with new friends and visited new places. The result was a renewed inspiration to write again. So, here I am back again and I’m looking forward to sharing these things with you.
As always, thanks for reading.
If you were a subscriber to my blog last week, you received an email for my post (published formally today, in fact) Keep Your Pants On. . .All The Way On. Actually, I had forgotten that I had it scheduled to post automatically last week, July 13, and I was not done editing it. I found out that it had been published when it simultaneously posted a notice to that effect on my Facebook page. Surprise! Immediately, I pulled the post off the worldwide web; I could not take it back from your email boxes. So if you tried to access the post that way, you probably saw a message that post could not be found.
I hope you’ll forgive the oversight that might have caused you some confusion. The post is ready for reading now. Enjoy!
Keep Your Pants On. . .All The Way On.
Whenever I go to Rudy’s I get their jalapeño sausage (They call it a “hottie!” How appropriate!). So far, it’s the best I’ve ever had. I never thought of it as a Hot Spot. Yet, there for a business lunch with a bunch of guys, I probably shouldn’t have been so surprised to find that I was really outnumbered by the men at the Rudy’s on 620. Every table in this place is a long, family-style, picnic table with lots of chairs or picnic benches if you sit outside. What that means is that you’ll likely sit beside someone you don’t know. That’s okay though because the atmosphere is really homey, comfortable and social. You can’t help but notice the noise level when you eat here for lunch. It’s easy to take a seat at any table and make friends with the people around you. In fact, there were plenty of folks walking around introducing themselves to people at other tables and saying, “Hi!” to friends they knew. Keep in mind, if you’ve never been to a Rudy’s before there’s a beverage and condiment hub, of sorts, that makes conversation inevitable. I’ll tell you, make this your next stop for lunch if you happen to be in the neighborhood during the week. This is a terrific lunchtime Hot Men Hot Spot.