The Unappreciated, Accidental Romantic Upside of Being Solely a “Freezer” and a “Fawner”

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Image by osseous / CC BY

I recently wrote an essay called “It Was Terrifying the First Time I Dated Someone Who Was Really Good to Me.” Here’s an excerpt:

I was used to being self-reliant. I had been conditioned my entire life to never ask for help because it meant being sharply criticized by others or told that I was weak for asking.  » Read more

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I Can’t Tell You What Kind of Partner I Am, and That’s Okay

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Image by hobvias sudoneighm / CC BY

“You write an awful lot about other people, how kind they are to you, and how much you appreciate them. I find myself thinking that I hope you are as kind to them back. I hope you make an effort, too. And I wish you’d write more about what kind of partner you are, because I don’t like wondering about it.”  » Read more

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Don’t “Lower” Your Dating Standards. Examine Them.

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Image by Margaret W. Carruthers / CC BY

Look, I’ll just say it. Some people are really bad at picking romantic partners. What drives interpersonal attraction is often mysterious, hard to pin down. Perhaps it’s pheromones. Maybe it’s something within our genes deciding that we’d make good offspring with THAT PERSON OVER THERE (a phenomenon that strangely occurs even when it’s not biologically possible to bear children with a partner for whatever reason).  » Read more

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It Was Terrifying the First Time I Dated Someone Who Was Really Good to Me

an abstract 3D rendition of a white tower on a blue background. The white tower has a bunch of holes arbitrarily punched into it, as though it had been attacked by a hole puncher
Image by Pixabay / CC 0

I remember being scared a lot when we first started dating. Suspicious. Worried.

Not about you. Not about us. Or our fit. No, we always made sense to me.

I was worried because you kept doing nice things for me. Completely unprompted. You paid close attention to me, and you saw the areas of my life that were unwieldy and offered to help.  » Read more

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Does Abuse Require Bad Intent or Can It Be the Result of Simple Incompetence?

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Image by I am R. / CC BY

I didn’t think of myself as being a survivor of anything — much less abuse — until I was in my 30s.

The news was delivered to me in my therapist’s office, spoken as an casual aside, quickly, as though she assumed the information was obvious to me.

“Well, that’s pretty common for people who have had abusive childhoods,  » Read more

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