Monthly Archives: April 2014

Things We Can Learn from Reality TV

I often get mocked for my trash-TV fixation. I just can’t help it! I love really horrible reality (and not-so-reality) TV shows, from cooking contests like Chopped or Cutthroat Kitchen to those that follow people attempting to grow and change like My Strange Addiction to the ever-popular relationship-based shows like Southern Charm and Bridezillas. I don’t care how sensationalized some of these shows are, I love them.

Lately, I have been hooked on Marriage Boot Camp. My mom and I watch it all the time, much to my father’s chagrin. He sleeps through it and sometimes even outrightly makes fun of us (read: me) for tearing up during the show.

The thing is, I feel like I’m learning a lot about relationships and how to make them healthy just by watching Mai-Lee, Tomas, Blanca, Julian, Gloria, Mark, Sofia, Shaun, Tasha, and Jeff try to navigate their feelings, failings, and futures with Jim, Elizabeth, and interchangeable co-director set #2 (okay, these guys are cute but I can’t remember their names and, like the ones on Season 1, they serve limited functions and are totally replaceable, so. . .sorry?).

I didn’t get into MBC until season 2 started, really, so I’ve recently binge-watched the first season, as well. My mom and I spend a lot of time talking about what we can actually learn and take-away to our own relationships. Some of their advice is definitely very partner-based (like how to make sex happen), while other parts are more centered on an individual and can help viewers to improve themselves regardless of whether they are in a relationship.

Forgiveness. Image from Krexy.com, used under Creative Commons license.

Continue reading

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Love Life Introspective, #2

I stay in bad relationships because I like to prove people wrong. Of course, I don’t realize that this is what’s happening at the time. When I think about some of the less positive relationships I’ve been in, though, I realize that this is definitely the case.

The only woman I’ve ever dated, The Girlfriend, had so many hang ups that centered on my not being “gay enough” for her. Regardless of how much I showed her I cared about her, she was concerned that I was going to leave her for a man. My feelings for her didn’t really matter, no matter how many times I explained how I felt–that I was attracted to her exactly as she was for exactly who she was. It didn’t have anything to do with whether or not I was previously or still attracted to men, at least for me. But eventually the desire to show her those feelings became something else, and the competitive side kicked in.

Instead of saying, “Listen, Girlfriend, I really love you and care about you, but if you can’t accept who I am, I don’t think this is going to work,” I would say or do whatever it seemed would make her feel better. I didn’t lie to her–I told her how I genuinely felt at the time. But in hindsight, those feelings might not have been motivated by our happy relationship, and that relationship became not so happy for me.

What did I feel the need to prove otherwise? Was I really convincing her of anything when the reality was that we simply weren’t right for each other, and these arguments were just symptomatic of that problem?

This is. . . not an isolated event. The Grad School Boyfriend was often verbally abusive. Among his favorite lines were “you said x to every guy you’ve dated!” or “If we break up, you’ll just go back to  being a slut and sleep with the first guy you can.” These weren’t one-time comments but frequent insults flung at me while inebriated. But I stayed with him to prove. . .that I loved him? That I wasn’t a slut? That he wasn’t the same as every other person I’d ever dated?

This is, simply put, a horrible practice. I didn’t prove anything. No matter what I said, it didn’t assuage his concerns or ease his paranoia. Instead, it just made me miserable. I was constantly trying to prove stuff to him because he was insecure and needed to be reassured, but any reassuring just led to more questions and more insecurity.

Sometimes, these situations lead to sacrificing who we are, and especially when that shouldn’t be the end result. I’m a big believer that the people in a relationship should grow and change together, but one person should not do all of the changing just to satisfy another person. With The Grad School Boyfriend, things became “I’m going to become who you want me to be in order to prove to you that I’m not who you think I am.” Why did that ever sound like a good idea?

This isn’t something that will be changed easily, unless I figure out how to identify it when it’s happening. But I can say that this isn’t healthy, and if one person is constantly proving anything to the other person (who, in return, is proving nothing), then things just aren’t going to work out.

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Love Life Introspective, #1

After being in a long-term relationship for just short of two years, I find myself living six months single. Break-ups are hard, but I personally find the in-betweenness of twenty-something singledom to be frustrating.

I don’t know if “in-betweenness” is common post-break-ups at this age, but that’s definitely how I’m feeling. I no longer mourn my lost relationship, though I do occasionally get the urge to talk to the ex, The Grad School Boyfriend. This mostly happens when immersed in something I shared with him, like Game of Thrones.

At the same time, I am definitely not ready to be friends with him again. I would like to, eventually, but it’s just not something I’m sure we could ever do. Our relationship was, frankly, toxic. And how do you get over that toxic past to be friends who care about each other’s success and well-being without falling back into the toxic romance? Continue reading

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Hello, Sweetie.

Hello, Sweetie

Love this drawing of River Song by AgentBlackBloog at DeviantArt

So, I’m Zadie, and this is my blog. It’s looking kind of bare around here right now, but I’ll eventually get to adding more interesting stuff. I’m an aspiring novelist (aren’t we all?) hitting the ground running on a new WIP that I think will probably end up in the romance genre.

I currently live in Indiana, where I am reading, writing, living, and loving my way through my mid-twenties. I hope to share a bit of my life and my writing (my reading and my loving!) with you through this blog. I already have (what I hope to be) a fascinating read in the works for sometime this week!

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