Couples Running

I don’t often like to get too much into my personal life here, but I am going to take a quick pause from my usual policy of “NONEOFYOURBUSINESSLEAVEMEALONE” to tell you something cool about my significant other.

Sometimes we actually go running together.

As some of you may know, I haven’t been competitively running for a long time. I two-children-running-on-beach_70368391changed my focus a while back to more weight training and whatnot. But we’re doing a little dual-motivation challenge with each other that’s making both of us hop back on the running horse. (Metaphorically, of course. He actually hates horses so this can only be a metaphor.)

It’s not easy to find a running partner in any capacity. I tend to like to run (and usually just workout) alone. And I still like to do that. But having someone else along for the jog is surprisingly nice. Especially when you genuinely enjoy that person’s company. And I genuinely enjoy his. Which makes my genuine frustration for getting back in shape ease up a little. And makes me look forward (even just a little bit) to going running. Because it means I get to hang around someone I enjoy being around. Even if we’re both doing something we both aren’t super excited about.

It’s nice.

As nice as running can be for be for me at this point I guess.

Anyway, I could talk about it more but that already feels like an over-share for something I tend to stay very private about so I’m gonna go hide in the shade in the corner and wait until you forget all about this and we can all go back to staying quiet and not talking about my personal life because it’s “NONEOFYOURBUSINESSLEAVEMEALONE.”

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Why I’m Monogamous

Monogamy-SWANSI grew up in a family with a mom and a dad in the traditional-valued Midwest who are still married after over 35 years together. Every relationship I knew and saw growing up I took for granted that they were monogamous. Of course I didn’t know the in’s and out’s of other people’s business- because it wasn’t my business so I certainly didn’t need to know- but it was the underlying assumption. It was the culture I grew up in. I heard stories of my grandpa doting on my grandmother. I saw my father doing the same to my mother. Every healthy relationship I saw in and out of my family was on based on monogamy.

For those of you salivating right now thinking, “My god! She’s gonna delve into details of her personal life! She never does that! I can’t wait!” Sorry. No go. No details. Generalizations and philosophy only. I don’t like other people knowing my personal business. Because it ain’t yours.

Though I do like talking the juicy details of yours. Feel free to dish because I genuinely love that shit.

But here’s what I will say:

A couple years ago, I got thrown into a loop. I was introduced to the notion that monogamy might be an unfair cultural expectation that we force upon our relationships and thereby nearly doom them to fail because in many ways it’s unnatural. I read the book, “Sex At Dawn,” which is an extremely interesting and fair assessment of how we’ve become what we’ve become in terms of our cultural expectations of our traditional relationships. It makes a strong case for reevaluating how we view the nature of our relationships and how they can better serve our own innate human sexuality.

And over the past couple years, I got to really evaluate and asses what that means to me. Like the good student I am, I was willing to question completely my own belief systems and challenge them. I had a number of first-hand experiences where I got to learn and question and be open to different lifestyles that what I was accustomed to. I willingly tried on different values to see if something fit me better or enhanced my lifestyle in unexpected ways. I challenged myself, grew, and learned a whole lot about what I truly want in life.

I learned, at my core, that I’m still monogamous by nature. Or maybe it was by nurture. Either way, that’s the path for me.

I challenged it. I pretended I wasn’t. I tried to be the chick that strings along a lot of dudes. I tried to be the person who didn’t care about certain things and cared a lot about others. But no matter how many ways I stretched it, my mind always snapped back to the basic ideas I grew up with. I wasn’t my best self. I was weirdly insecure and indecisive. I sacrificed too much of my basic wants and needs and ended up losing myself. And learned from the process.

But the biggest reason why? I’m too busy for anything but monogamy.

That’s basically it. I’ve got too many other passions and projects on my plate. If I have a partner help me, support me, and delight me as I sail through these adventures, that’s all I want. I don’t need anything else. I appreciate the people who explore other lifestyles because it’s obviously important to them. And I appreciate that my choices aren’t for everyone. If I’m happy and satisfied, I’m too busy nurturing and caring for and investing in my partner to worry about what’s out there that I might be missing. I actually like working through things. I like being challenged and growing. I don’t believe in our constantly upgrading culture that seems to think our happier self is outside of the world we have access to right now. As long as I got a guy who wants the same things in life, and we’re bringing out the best in each other, that’s all I need. And I’ll save the rest of my energy for the millions of other elements of this life that I’m passionate and curious about.

Let me be clear- if you’re not happy in a relationship and it’s not salvageable, certainly move on. I don’t believe that we all have to mate for life and resign ourselves to whatever fate we chose in a partner when lives and people and wants and needs can change in dramatic and unforeseeable ways. You have to be true to yourself and your own happiness. So you have to be willing and open to whatever that means for you.

It’s just for me, I have a tendency to go all in with anything I’m investing in. Whether it’s a project or a person, I get focused on making the most of any opportunity. And if I spread that focus out too thin, I don’t feel like I’m giving it my best. And it’s not everything it could be. And then I regret it. And wonder what it could have been if I had just been more willing to focus on it.

So that’s what I do. I focus. I get tunnel-visioned. I invest. I care. And I’m willing to take whatever emotional blows come with actually caring about the outcome of something. I’m willing to go this distance and fight to the end of the line. If it ends, so be it. But at least I can know I gave it my all.

Plus, romantic relationships are just one element of life. There are so many wonderful things to experience and learn and create. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

And by nobody, I mean me.

And by dat, I mean dating multiple people.

But different strokes for different folks. My own values and choices are certainly not meant to threaten or judge anyone’s lifestyle. You do you, honeybear. What you do in the privacy of your own home between consenting adults is none of my business.

Unless you want to make it my business and tell me about it. In which case, like I said before, I’ll totally be into because I’m a sucker for listening to other people’s love lives.

Though sharing the details of my own isn’t my thing. Nor is sharing in general.

So if you’re the lucky suitor who wins my affections- you my boo, my bae, my mans, my babymomma- good luck and may God have mercy on your soul.

Prince Charming

prince charmingIncredible news, everyone.

For those of you who have ever followed this blog in any capacity, you know that I make up relationships in my head with men I see regularly at the gym. (Click here and here and here for some samples.)

For those of you who have never read this blog before, I’ll clarify. Yes, I’m a friggin weirdo.

Anyway, I have big news. I saw the most perfect human being you could ever see. And he was at the gym. And he was beautiful.

He wore all black. He looked like a male model. And this is LA, so he probably is a male model. If I were a creepy old man with a “modeling” business and business card, I totally would have approached him to model for me.

Who am I kidding. If I had my business cards on me, I would have approached him to model for me anyway.

Of course I didn’t talk to him. That’s not how these things go. Instead, I stared silently from a distance.

I actually lucked out. He chose a spot in the gym that was near where one of the stretching mats is. I stretched for much, much longer than I normally do because I could steal looks at him.

He was beautiful. I know if I see him again it’ll totally be meant to be and true love and we’ll ride off to a magical castle together and live happily ever after forever and ever.

 

 

Actual Gym Boyfriend!

Ask and ye shall receive.gym couple

You guys… I have a gym boyfriend. One more meeting and he’s basically a gym husband at this point.

I’m so excited I can hardly stand it!

Here’s what happened: I got a late night workout in last week. I was doing stuff on the bench press. I remember because I remember thinking how lucky I was to snag a bench press. Little did I know that was only the start to my luck.

I was doing combo moves, one of which included using the bench press to step up in like a horizontal lunge.

Two guys were not far from me on another machine. I didn’t pay attention to them. How could I know one was my future gym boyfriend? We can’t always tell these things!

So I’m between sets, resting for a minute and magic happens. A guy comes up to me and says, “I like your shoes,” and smiles. I was like “Oh… yeah… thanks.” I wore my ridiculously bright shoes. I didn’t even realize I was like a bird in the wild with my crazy colors attempting to attract the opposite sex. But that’s exactly what I did.

Then he smiled at me. Yes. You read that correctly. He SMILED at me.

So I put my headphones back in and looked down. Keep in mind, my last gym fling didn’t last. I don’t know if I’m ready for more gym commitment. I just didn’t know.

But he and his friend stayed closed. He made funny faces at me. I made my eyes wide and awkwardly looked around. He asked if I needed a spot. I didn’t have any weight on the bench press because I was focused on high reps not heavy weight. I said no but thank you. Then I started forcing myself to breathe because this is the most I’d talked to anyone at the gym in a very long time.

Then I went to a different section to stretch. It was by the stairs to go upstairs. He wandered around saying hi and bye to various people. Before he went up the stairs, he made a point to say bye to me. He made it a point, you guys. It was… exhilarating .

I mumbled bye awkwardly and continued stretching.

I haven’t seen him since. But I can’t wait until our second gym date. Maybe I’ll even make eye contact this time. WHO KNOWS!

New victim…er…gym boyfriend

the_avengers_and_the_justice_league_by_richrow-d6ger12I found him.

My new victim obsession person to creep out… I mean GYM BOYFRIEND.

I was at the gym during Magic Hour. Because I’m cool like that and have an active social life.

And there he was.  He had the body of Captain America. The charming smiles of Ironman. The perfect hair of Superman. The vocabulary of Thor. The patience of Hulk. The intrigue of Batman.

I wanna be his Wonder Woman.

Sorry. I’ve been watching a lot of superhero stuff lately.

The point is… he was beautiful.

He lifted next to me at one point. We didn’t speak. But anyone who reads this blog regularly knows that’s how it always is with gym true love.

Anyway… it was exciting. I’ll keep you updated.

It’s over

sad heartIt’s been almost a month since I last wrote about my gym boyfriend. When I wrote about it then, we hadn’t seen each other in quite some time.

As of today, I still haven’t seen him.

So I’m calling it. It’s over. I can’t even start obsessing over my rebound fling guy because I haven’t seen him, either. And there are no other guys at the gym who tickle my fancy. So I guess it’s over. I’m gym single. I’ll have to just go back to focusing on my workout and not giggling and pretending to stretch in the corner. Ugh.

Maybe they got cold feet. Maybe they really felt the connection between us and got by the intensity of our (my) eye contact. Maybe they just stopped working out. Or maybe they somehow found this blog and moved far far away from LA.

Whatever the reasoning, I’ve decided to let it go. Move on. You’ve gotta get rid of the old stuff in your life if you want to make room for the new. I’m not expecting a gym superhero to show up (my old gym boyfriend looked like Superman…). I’m just accepting that it’s over. And I’ll move on.

Maybe I’ll even start real relationships with actual people that I speak full sentences to.

I dunno. That seems like a lot of work and I don’t want to further stress myself during this already difficult time.

Femoir Podcast Episode 50: Love & Upgrades – Show Notes

In this 50th episode of Femoir: The Podcast, we discuss the state of romantic relationships in our world today. Let me know what you think of this new format and any topics you want to hear me ramble on about!

Not much to report this episode except this one quote:

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage. -Lao Tzu

love Upgrade Definition Magnifier Showing Software Update Or Installa

 

New Gym Boyfriend!?!??!

I need everyone to stay calm. This could be a passing fancy. But I’ve may have a new gym boyfriend.

It’s nothing official yet. It’s just… last week I went a little later than I normally do.  Though there were many people around, my gym boyfriend was nowhere to be seen. Probably already at his job saving lives. Because I imagine he’s in one of those life-saving professions.

So of course I just got in my zone and did my workout. I’m focusing on some new stuff, so I actually had to concentrate more than usual.

Then it happened.

I was doing squats on a squat rack and doing ab work on an incline bench in between my sets. And a guy came up and started using another squat rack near me. And my incline bench was kinda in his way. So I moved it so it would be more out of his way.

And a miracle.

He looked at me, smiled, and said “Thank you.”

So I smiled and looked down. The continued my workout.

The next day, he was in the weight room again. He was doing an exercise near me. We totally made eye contact. He had a glimmer of recognition in that fleeting moment of eye contact that made me realize he recognized me just like I recognized him.

Then! The next Saturday, I was at the gym again and this group of big dudes all hang together and gossip like school girls. And who hangs out with them? The same guy! And get this- he saw me again! We totally made legitimate eye contact.

Now… I don’t want to rush things. I know that relationships like this have to move slowly. And I know I’ve already made an intense emotional commitment to another man I’ve never spoken to at the gym.

But this guy actually makes eye contact with me. My other boyfriend never did that. He said something to me once. My other boyfriend never did that. He works out near me. I always had to creepily workout near my last boyfriend.

I’m not going to be hasty and just end things with my old gym boyfriend because some new guy spoke almost a full sentence to me. I’m not crazy.

Besides, the old gym has finally reopened and I’ll probably be headed back there in the mornings. So there’s a good chance I won’t see this new guy anyway. Plus he works out later in the day during a time I typically can’t get to. We have a lot of things working against us right now. I just don’t know if we’ll make it.

But maybe…just maybe… I’ll see my regular gym boyfriend at my regular gym at my regular time. Then on the weekends, I’ll run into my fling. That’s what I’ll call him. My gym fling.

A girl can only dream.

It’s healthy to date lots of people at once. It’s even more healthy to actually talk to them and have them know who you are. But one step at a time, people. One step at a time.

Gym Boyfriend

You guys. I totally have a boyfriend. A real one.

At least… he’s totally real. The boyfriend part might be a stretch. At least in his mind. Since he doesn’t really know I exist.

Let me explain.

I’ve been trying to go to the gym at about the same time every day in an effort to create a better routine for myself. I started going around the same time every morning. I did this before my favorite gym closed. While I was over there, I noticed a guy who was getting personal training around this time of day. I mostly noticed him because he boxes and does intense exercises with his trainer in the same room where I’m trying to stretch, relax, and act like I’m bettering myself. He made me feel bad for working so hard, so I didn’t like him. But isn’t that how every great romantic comedy starts?

I probably saw him twice before my gym closed down and I had to start going at the same time  to another nearby gym.

And you guys… He’s made the move to this gym, too.

I was so excited to see a familiar face from my old gym that I think I may have started thinking we were closer than we are. Because now while I’m doing my stretches in the other gym’s multi-purpose room and he’s working really hard with his trainer, I feel like we’re bonding. Like it’s a date or something.

He’s like super strong and sweaty. I like a man who works hard. He doesn’t look up much from his workout because he’s so focused. But I like a man who can focus. He usually wears the same outfit or variations on it. I like a man who keeps his style simple.

I even told my girlfriends about him. I told them that we meet at the same time every morning for our gym dates. So far it’s Monday through Thursday. I’m not sure about Fridays. I’ve missed our last few dates. Shame on me, I know. I’m sure he has been like totally heartbroken.

One day, I walked to the women’s locker room and accidentally caught him as he was walking out of the men’s locker room right across the hall. I smiled and blushed. I didn’t want him to think I was following him! But I couldn’t miss out on my opportunity for contact! He made eye contact with me then looked away. I marked the date on my calendar because I know he’ll appreciate me keeping track of stuff we need to celebrate like that. You know, once we’re married and everything.

I saw his trainer last Saturday when I was at the gym. I think his trainer may actually be starting to recognize me. Which is embarrassing… though I’m not quite sure why. But it is. He was not training my gym boyfriend that day. He was training some other lady. We made eye contact, but I quickly looked away. I didn’t want him telling my gym boyfriend that I’ll just make eye contact with anyone! I’m totally taken, dude. Back off.

I highly suggest everyone get a gym significant other. It’s great motivation to get yourself to the gym. Then you, too, can be as happy as I clearly am in my delusion.