THE GUY WHO'S CHECKING THE BOXES

In contrast to the guy in An Option, Not a Priority, there is a guy the proved to be much more intentional. The first date, he took me to an amazing hole-in-the-wall sushi place and proceeded to order the finest sashimi cuts and catches... we had various types of raw fish and crunchy delicious prawns. The typical rainbow roll was nowhere to be seen. This was an experience. I liked that he liked sushi, I liked that it was healthy, and I liked his impressive knowledge of types of sushi. It was so special, and we topped it off with a large sake to share.

We hooked up on this first date, and then I cried. Because I still wasn't fully over my last breakup, and I told him not to ghost me. To which he replied not to ghost him. A couple months passed of periodically seeing each other, some dates and some hanging out at his place. Then I didn't make as much effort to track him down because another guy came into the picture who showed maximum initiative - take meeting my parents and family at Christmas last minute. That was bold. However, sushi guy reconnected with me, texting where did he go wrong? And I could tell he still had a desire to get to know me and spend time with me.

I responded though, with candor. I said it is the guys that make plans and take me out on a Saturday that I fall for. Also the fact that he had called his ex-girlfriends crazy and his mom and sister needy made me wonder if I wanted to be a woman in his life. He told me it was only one girlfriend and I later made him confirm this - its true she did attack him to some extent and spread rumors about him. He said he really does care for his family and texts them all the time. I decided to give him a further chance, and he proceeded to make plans to take me that Thursday (a dinner date), Saturday (another cute dinner date), the following Wednesday (a casual but healthy dinner date), Sunday (because he was in LA Saturday)(him cooking dinner for me), and Tuesday (Valentine's Day).

To these actions I approve. Then he sent me a text the other morning. What languages do you speak, he asked me. French and little Spanish, I said. He said he was just looking at vacations for us to take, because, and here he included some article, if you can travel with someone then you should marry them. I couldn't agree more; in fact, traveling just may be the number one requirement I have in a partner. It is partially why I don't get all on board with the guy with the sports season tickets - because I would rather be traveling somewhere lovely that spend my whole weekend driving to and from the stadium.

The other thing about this man that I am really attracted to is the way he encourages me to work out. He works out three times a week. The guy I saw briefly in the interim of meeting this sushi guy never worked out, and it ultimately became the deal breaker of an otherwise promising relationship start, where I liked pretty much everything else about the guy but his weight and personal care.

I told sushi guy I have very little to no motivation to work out by myself. I need a trainer. He thought about it and recommended to me a place called The12, which holds one-hour long circuit training classes with about twenty participants and one instructor/trainer. I went on my day off and found it to be super motivating! I totally gave sushi guy credit for the great recommendation. I like that this guy leads in this realm.

To recap, sushi guy put effort and expenses into us starting at the very first date, and he plans dates twice a week. Even if it started at my mentioning it, the fact that he went for it says something. He wants to travel with me and sent me that article that if you can travel with someone you should marry them. And he keeps me fit and eating healthy. Oh, did I mention he's also stylish. We spent a good half hour Wednesday night discussing what outfit would be best for his important Thursday meetings... I love styling men, they are just so good looking when they wear well-fitting clothes. He showed me some of his collection of gorgeous leather shoes and some of his leather bound watches... and some things on his wishlist online... expensive shoes that run around $800. Hey, a guy can dream. But I love all these about him - they are all healthy things in a relationship, none of these are harmful or destructive in any way, and they are things we share in common and enjoy doing together.
xoxo

AN OPTION, NOT A PRIORITY

Following up with that boy that I was waiting on from this post Don't Go All The Way... Yet, he still struggles to nail down plans. Part of what kept me from going all the way was our first two dates... the first one was to a generic sushi place, and the second to the Huntington Beach street fair on Tuesday nights to get tacos. We rode on his motorcycle and that was a blast. But none of it required THAT much effort or was THAT special or THAT hard to do. Nothing required much sacrifice of time, energy, or schedule. The first date took place on a Sunday night, and the second on a Tuesday night.

He texts me time to time, but manages to never make real plans. I cannot attribute this to the fact that we didn't hook up. If we hooked up, it would not change things drastically. He is still considering me as an option, not a priority. It is his actions I see, not his Christian Bale good looks. A man will not respect you giving it up to them if they do not feel they did anything to earn it. It is not about how long I wait, it is about what he has done to show me that I matter to him.

To me, Saturday night is the true test of whether you matter to a guy. It means you are his weekend. As my dear guy friend confirmed: guys are not just looking to "get laid" or "hang out with girls" (whichever you prefer) on Thursday nights; any guy who just texts you on Thursday is texting someone else on Saturday. He's thinking about girls on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday too.

This brings us to the conclusion... don't get stuck on a guy because he's hot. Get stuck on a guy only after he got stuck on you, and showed it. Oh, and a guy who texts last minute really doesn't respect your time. And if he doesn't make plans, how much does he respect you..

FALL 2016 STAPLE WARDROBE

I have come to a realization that one's wardrobe should support one's lifestyle, and that one is best suited to have something to wear for every occasion without having to agonize about what to put together at that very moment. This is why I focus on creating staple wardrobes, ones that support the every day wear, as well as those special outings, ones that are readily available for use, fit well, in good condition, and in season.

Here is my Fall 2016 Staple Wardrobe, one that I can wear every day for casual outings, and pieces that work great for dates as well.

First, the jeans: Abercrombie & Fitch renew jean leggings

Next the boyfriend flannels, gorgeous for any day: Abercrombie & Fitch

The fitted v-neck pullover sweaters, perfect for looking sleek or for a date: Express

The shoes, booties and block heel, on trend and more practical and comfortable to walk in than high heels: BP. Trolley Bootie, Steve Madden Saffron Sandal, Steve Madden

The accessories: kate spade & a.v. max

Wishlist: Paige denim, more express fitted sweaters, and Dolce Vita black booties and sneakers

Let me know what your favorite pieces for fall are currently, especially those you keep going back to xoxo

DON'T GO ALL THE WAY... YET

I am here to conduct an experiment... Is it possible to get a guy I really like into a relationship by not getting too physical too quickly?

And by too physical I mean going all the way. Sure, there's chemistry, tension, and a lot of making out and then some.. But IF I put the brakes on having sex now, will this pay off later.

If something like this is a deal breaker, then the relationship never would have succeeded in the first place. Instead, it is more important early on to try and assess, outside of mere physical chemistry, whether or not the two of you are truly compatible and would enjoy each other's company in a number of activities outside the bedroom. For instance, this guy is super athletic and I am only somewhat so. Will this come between us as he jets off to mountain activities on weekends and I stay at home, or will we be able to find some outdoors activity that we can enjoy together.

Listening and Matthew Hussey's tips for how to handle this type of situation got me thinking. It is so important to make the guy not just feel rejected, but to let him know that I am still attracted to him, but that it's just too soon, or that I need to get to now him better. Letting him know I am still hot for him lets him know that I want this to work, and that I still need him.

The right guy will respect this, because now it makes him take a look at me in another light. Instead of just a hookup, I can also be a friend, a support, and comfort, and fun partner in other activities. It puts our young relationship in the framework of discovering compatibility on all other levels than sex. The goal is that with more time to consider these areas, a deeper bond will form, one that is formed on diverse experiences and conversations. This then will add more value to his life, and also to mine, along with saving me the heartache that may come from a physical relationship started too early only to end too quickly.

His reaction to this shift will also reveal his character and his propensity for patience when life doesn't go as planned. Maintaining a level and understanding head will prove valuable in any future relationship. On the reverse side, this is not meant for me to play a tease, but to balance the kind of interactions that we have. If I'm setting boundaries, then I should not just lead us up to that point all the time only to keep rejecting his advances at a certain point. This happened once, so the next time we hung out it was a lot more mellow and reverted mainly to head scratching.

Hopefully this relationship grows in diverse areas of compatibility. Until next time!

DO NOT TALK YOURSELF DOWN

One of the most important things to do if you want to maintain good mental health is to not talk yourself down. If you can't finish as much as you thought you could in one sitting or one day, do not talk yourself down. If you are feeling human and tired and run down, do not blame yourself. If you are worried about your accomplishments thus far and your value in life, do not despair.

Instead, you must learn to both use these areas of discontent as motivation for future action, while also focusing on the positive lights. If you didn't finish all that you wanted to do, make a list and then forget about it until tomorrow when you can check off a few more things, but realize that you did some of them and be glad that you have made a step in the right direction. If you feel physically weary and incompetent, focus on when you can next get some good rest and know that simple things like lack of food or sleep are great harbingers of heightened stress levels. If you feel that you have not accomplished enough with your life at large, call out the good things you have done and know that each path is right for each person, and then be easy on yourself in the sense that you can forgive, accept, love, and live with the path you have walked on. For only then will you then be able to positively look toward the future and make more steps into what you hope to be.

Please find joy. Please find kindness and peace, for yourself and then for others. Just know that there's a world out there that vibes with what you are doing, that wants you to succeed, and that will draw closer to you as you draw towards it. Hold on through your struggles, because I've seen that life can be beautiful.