Tag Archives: relationships

Moving on from AWLOB

A few weeks ago, I sat in my therapist’s office, talking about my most recent crush.

“It’s probably because I’m economically advantaged,” I said. “He was a labor organizer, so he’s probably not interested in me because I can’t relate to the class struggle.”

“It makes sense that you’re searching for a reason,” my therapist said. Over the past few months, she has listened to me talk on and on about what happened with this guy – who in this post I will refer to as AWLOB (Attractive Writer Labor Organizer Boy) – why he broke up with his boyfriend, said he felt into me, then said he did not feel ready to talk to me without an explanation.

Though I do not care at all about men finding me attractive or what men think of me in general, for some reason I kept searching for reasons as to why AWLOB wanted space from me. Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society

The State of Friendship Affairs

About six months ago, my close friend S and I broke up. I felt and still feel good about our breakup. Our friendship had run its course, and I ended it early enough that when I think about me and S, I still recall all our loving memories – fending off fleas at our Airbnb in New Orleans after my college graduation, watching UnReal and The Bold Type in my apartment while eating tons of takeout from Silver Diner, teasing each other about our respective trust issues and laughing because despite our issues, we trusted each other.

After my friendship with S ended, I started grew closer to another friend, L, an iconic queen with radical vibrant energy who went dancing with me in Philly. I did not realize this until early October, but in many ways, L fulfilled for me all the things S did not. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Personal

An Iconic Friendship Weekend

This weekend I visited my close friend Natasha in Charlotte, North Carolina. Our society often glorifies the nuclear family and romantic relationships so I want to share about this wonderful weekend filled with love and food and friendship. Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Personal

People can Value Social Justice and Still Lack Emotional Intelligence

Sometimes I conflate passion for social justice and actual emotional intelligence. Take for example, a crush I had about three years ago on this attractive Asian man who went to an Ivy League school. He worked or volunteered supporting survivors of interpersonal violence, he could articulate the costs of racism and colonialism on people of color, and he said he valued empathy and compassion on his LinkedIn profile, which I may have read a dozen times. “Oh, my goodness,” I thought to myself while listening to Ariana Grande’s “Into You” in 2016, “this guy is like, the one. This is a hyperbolic re-rendering of my thought process at the time for dramatic effect but like, we’re totally going to date, get married, have two kids, and conform to heteronormativity in at least one other way, like buying a house with a white picket fence.”

But it turned out that this guy had not come out to his conservative Asian family yet, which bled into his inability to form a connection with me. Continue reading

8 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society

In a World with Couples Therapy, where is Friendship Therapy?

I have always loved my friends with my whole heart, even more than I love Jeni’s ice cream. My friends and I in elementary school traded stories about our abusive parents. We Facebook messaged each other after our parents yelled at us or hit us and took comfort in our shared pain and support. I first came out as bisexual, and then as gay, to my high school friends, who loved me all the same. We talked about boys who never stood a chance with us anyway. Today, my friends and I still talk about our shared trauma, we rant about the racism we encounter at work, and we roast the men who have wronged us with the most eloquent rage.

But like every relationship, sometimes friendships suck, too. Continue reading

9 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society

Real but Not True

Have you ever wanted to believe a lie so much that it hurts, even when you knew it to be untrue? About a month ago, while ranting to my therapist about my most recent crush – did he ever like me, did he ever mean what he wrote to me – she told me that maybe his words were real, but not true. At the time, I nodded and went along with it, but I thought to myself, okay, what the heck does that actually mean, just tell me if he liked me even if it’s like, clearly impossible for you to do that.

Over the past week, I did more research about real but not true, an idea coined by Buddhist teacher Tsoknyi Rinpoche. The phrase captures how sometimes when we encounter powerful or challenging feelings, we often experience these very real emotions and thoughts, even though the conclusions we draw from those emotions and thoughts are not true. An example Rinpoche often uses includes crossing a high glass bridge in Malaysia, how even though the fear and anxiety he felt was real, once he honored those emotions, he recognized the truth, that he could indeed cross the bridge safely.

tsoknyi rinpoche an icon we had to stan

Tsoknyi Rinpoche, the icon who coined real but not true. We had to stan. Image via tsoknyirinpoche.org

Because two of my hobbies include relentless introspection and over disclosing that introspection on the internet, I wanted to write about three instances of real but not true in my own life. The first instance that comes to mind includes my experience with anorexia. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under Personal

I Love Myself, I Love My Friends, I Love My Life Without Romance: Thank You to “Against the Couple Form”

Last weekend, I sat in the Chicago O’Hare airport sipping a Caribbean Passion smoothie from Jamba Juice when a friend sent me the essay “Against the Couple Form.” I opened it, expecting an okay analysis of living life without a romantic partner, but instead, I found one of the most radical, validating pieces of writing in my entire life.

As anyone who reads this blog knows, I care a lot about finding, cultivating, and maintaining love and connection outside of romance, in particular outside of romantic relationships with men. But fighting the patriarchal, heteronormative narrative that I need a man to complete me – the story sold to us by Disney movies, dating apps, and the wedding industrial complex – can feel lonely. It feels lonely when the majority of students in my graduate program and one of my feminist book clubs heavily prioritize romance and/or their romantic partners. It feels lonely when people post about their weddings and engagements and no one comments or adds a disclaimer about the problematic origins and implications of marriage. It feels lonely when people view my anger about the over prioritization of romance as a symptom of some unresolved internal pathology, as opposed to a justified emotion that acts as a reaction against the oppression of femmes, women, and all those who want to thrive outside of an antiquated social more.

But when my friend sent me the essay “Against the Couple Form,” I felt so validated and happy. Continue reading

13 Comments

Filed under Personal, Society