Two to Tango

What’s life without learning?

I’ve learned a lot about men, myself and relationships over the last few years. I’ve 100% learned what I don’t want — I’ve learned some of my deal breakers {no they’re not crazy girl deal breakers – like physical attributes or material things, instead big things like abuse, cheating, jealousy and smoking}.

I’ve learned what I value — and perhaps, need, in relationships.

I used to date or be in a relationship because of convenience. I was single, he was interesting. Ok! Let’s go! I honestly didn’t put a lot of thought into the whole process. I didn’t do the — OMG. I am like totally in love with you. OMG. You won’t believe what he said. HE TEXTED ME. OMG. Ahh. I can’t believe this. This is like MAGIC. My life is COMPLETE.

It’s not you, it’s me? Perhaps.

I can’t blame the guys… {ok some were total douchebags and deserve full blame}. But at the end of the day, I really didn’t put in the effort.

It takes two to tango.

Before you knew it — the relationship would crash, burn and die. I would be left with battle wounds — and probably baggage of a relationship gone wrong. These relationships were transactions. I was arm candy and someone different than he was used to dating. He gave me routine. The relationships were one-sided and I was always apologizing for not being around/available/attentive enough.

I had lost interest before the relationship even began.

As I aged — and perhaps matured — my new approach was keeping everything hidden away inside and forcing a guy to break down the walls. FYI – such a bad idea {Any guy who has ever had to deal with a girl like this knows what I’m talking about}. It wasn’t about playing games — it was a way to protect myself.

By breaking down the walls, it showed me that he cared enough to go to battle. It was all about trust.

People fuck up relationships all the time. They get too friendly with a cute something something at the bar, fall out of love, spend more time on wealth than health and the list goes on. Forcing a guy to break down walls and you being a pansy little girl fucks up relationships too.

Soon enough — I was broken again. But this time in a way that I actually cared. I had given my heart to men who I trusted. That’s a totally different ball game then transactional dating you didn’t really give a shit about.

So I know what you’re thinking? … Get over it. Every other girl is broken-hearted. Life happens right?

Here’s what I know…

If you pretend it didn’t happen, it still happened. 

Everything in life shapes you into the person you are today.

Forgive — but don’t forget. {So easy to say, so hard to do.}

There have been many things happen in my life that I’m not particularly proud of.

Life happens. Shit happens.

You make a mistake — just don’t make it again. 

If I kept everything that has happened over the past few years bundled up inside me, I’d be a total nut case. 100% balls to the wall crazy. Instead — I openly talk about my past, I write and spend time reflecting on relationships asking myself what I learned. It’s easy to focus on the bad… aka I learned that you’re a total douchebag! But what good does thinking about the bad do for your mind? Nothing at all. One of my exes taught me a lot about music — and one taught me the importance of sleep and worked with me to get from 5 hours to a solid 8 a night for a year {huge feat!} — another who taught me that I don’t have to be ‘on’ all the time and I can just be me.

All of those things affected my life and years later still affect my day-to-day. And you know what? I’m totally grateful. Yes, I’m grateful for the douchebags! Ha. Who would have thought!

About a week ago I was chatting with a good friend {and mentor} of mine and he said — “How’s the boys?” My immediate reaction was to laugh. And then I said — “I’m bored to death by nearly every guy in my dating life.”

I didn’t even pause, I just said it. Whoa. Did that just come out of my mouth? Cover your ears. Cover your mouth. Who does this girl thinks he is? 

I immediately said — “That’s bitchy isn’t it?” And he said — “It’s self-respectfully specific.” Ha. And then he changed the topic. :)

The conversation left me with a lot to think about.

Questions that went over and over in my head… Is that the truth? Do I really feel that way? I wondered if I was setting the bar too high… if I was creating expectations that someone wouldn’t be able to achieve.

Well guess what! I figured it out.

All I want is to be challenged. I don’t want to be bored. And I think that’s fair game. 

I’m tired of:

  1. What is HR again? I don’t really understand. {… The management of an organization’s workforce. People. I work with people.}
  2. How’s recruiting going? That’s what you do right? {… HR does not equal recruiting, but sometimes yes, I recruit.}
  3. Why do you work so much? Your boss must be an asshole. {… I love what I do. I also like my boss.}
  4. What’s this ‘board’ thing you’re doing? It takes up so much of your time. {… Board of Directors experience provides me with an opportunity to develop my skills, become a better leader and give back to the community. Obviously.}
  5. Why are you volunteering again? {… If you have to ask, you should probably get out their and find a charity to work with}.
  6. I can’t wait to watch TV and do nothing for the next 5 hours. {… Really? I’d rather nap. Can I nap?}
  7. OMG you won’t believe what happened to Britney. {… This question is made up, but I think you get the point.}

This isn’t about ‘Are you smarter than your girlfriend?’ — this is about being on the same page as someone, understanding why they do what they do, and why it matters. I don’t have the faintest clue about Hunger Games, the world’s obsession with macaroons or why people watch basketball. I tend to talk in hockey games. I know more about pogs {throwback} then I do the latest video game.

I don’t know everything. Shock. Awe.  

If you tell me that you want to understand what I do — like you really want to understand. I will tell you — and you will get it. It’s not that complicated. But half listening means you probably don’t want to understand and will never get it. Resistance and distance in relationships grows when you’re not interested in learning. If you care for a person, you should care about what matters to them.

I think that your partner should push you to grow — and vice versa. The two of you together should be even more of a powerhouse then when you were flying solo. You both brought something to the table — so put it to use. Teach each other. Improve each other.

Be better together.

For the most part I have zero tolerance in my life for anyone who doesn’t have a quality or trait that I respect and look up to. It’s not a matter of — FRIEND DELETE. WE ARE DONE. It’s more like — You’re awesome, I’m awesome, but we’re headed in two total different directions. I wish you the best of luck. I have no time of day for negative Nancy’s, evil robots and cry babies.

Life happens. Shit happens. Figure it out — and move forward. 

Focus on quality over quantity. How many people have your back? How many people would call if you needed them?

I’m black and white when it comes to friendships, but I haven’t been with men in my life. I let them sit in grey area. I tolerate behaviour that I normally wouldn’t put up with in friendships. They want to spend the weekend doing the usual, but I’d rather learn about a new part of the city, try a new restaurant or go on an adventure. They shut the door on work at 5pm on Friday because ‘thank god the week is over’ — if you love what you do, you should want to talk about it. I go on a date and the subject of conversation is drunken expeditions, my friends are drama and I’m so tired of my job. All I really want to be talking about is what’s going on in the community, global change, the latest travel blog and how we’re going to change the world. I leave the conversation more stressed out then when I arrived.

These types of people aren’t bad — they’re just not me. I want more.

Surround yourself with who you want to become.

You should be able to look at your partner and say — I love that they’re like that. I respect who they are as a person. I can’t wait to see what we will create. You are full of love. You give more than they take. I love the good — and the bad. You are my world.

At last, it’s time to close a chapter. A chapter of transactional dating, brick walls and bullshit.

So here we go:

I’m done with games.

I’m done with being #2.

I’m done with waiting until you figure it out.

I’m done with being bored.

I’m done with wasting my time.

It’s not you, it’s me.

I’ve moved on.


  1. jennifer Gracey April 6, 2012

    You go girl! Glad to see you are chalking up some of your dating experiences as learning experiences. It’s the only healthy way to look at them! Life is a continual process of learning experiences and personal improvement. Some people just don’t get it. You do, and that puts you on the happy track while most everyone else struggles to find their purpose, their place of happiness and method of living a fulfilled life! You are a special person. Don’t settle for anything or anyone less than someone who has the same great outlook on life. If they are like you, they will understand your passion, your vision and they will also have their own! That is one of the most attractive qualities. A good friend once told me he thought the whole “you complete me” crap was for the weak, the dependent, and the truth is that you are already complete! You will know when you find someone who “complements” you. We shouldn’t be looking for dependency, we should be embracing our independence as females and not settling for d-bags who treat us like crap. Thanks for the great post. I thoroughly enjoyed it and love that you are willing to share your personal journey! :)

  2. Pippa Martin-St. Onge April 7, 2012

    You are very irritated….take a deep breath and exhale…..yes that’s it

  3. Cecilia Nilsson April 7, 2012

    Love this post! Four years ago, I was there. Understood my fallbacks and all of à Sudden the love of My life entered the stage. And gosh am I happy bout that!? He’s loving me challenging me, supporting me and being a complete role model to me – and vice versa. So, love your honest and truthful words and agree with Jennifer, your special buddy is out there, sometimes there’s just more lessons to learn before you find him!

  4. Jillian Walker April 7, 2012

    Exhaled. All good Pippa. Thanks for the nudge. ;)

  5. Jonathan April 8, 2012

    I was really interested to find out about what YOU think about relationships. I am not disappointed! Great post, Jill.

  6. […] this year I blogged on men, relationships and trust. Two to Tango was the topic… and I touched on dating, […]

  7. […] I’ve been there. I’ve done that. In 2012, I vow’d to never do it again. […]

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