Cleo's Dating Blog

Archive for the ‘Loving Single’ Category

What I Want

Posted on: June 27, 2011

A few days ago I had one of those, “what am I doing with my life?” types of days. Why do I sit in traffic on the 405, 10, and 110 freeways? Why do I spend 30 minutes looking for parking every time I go somewhere? Why do I listen to Ryan Seacrest on the radio? Why do I spend $14 on a cocktail? Why do I do all this without gaining a dime in my pocket?

These thoughts became so frustrating that I had to turn to venting in my kitten pocket journal. I was going to tackle the, “what do I want out of life?” question once and for all. As I sat at Berri’s Cafe by myself (love this place, btw!), I began to unravel the mystery of Cleo’s Dream Life.

1. What do I want? The answer to this question can either be simple or complex. I choose simple. I want to be happy, but not only that, I want to be the happiest person you know.

2. How do I become the happiest person you know? To answer this question, I have to think about all the happy people I know in order to see what they have in common. My ex-boss at the finance place is definitely one of them. The F&B director at the restaurant I work at is one. My little cousin is one. The blonde girl from my high school swim team. The round guy that works at the Starbucks across the street. My goddesses. My girlfriend that started her own kick*ss company. My friend’s roommate from Mexico. As I am creating this list however, I can not be 100% sure that any of these people are actually happy. The only way I can judge their level of happiness is by how I intuitively feel around them on a consistent basis, whether their eyes are happy more often than not, how frequently they laugh, and how they treat other people.

All of the people I mentioned have widely different financial statuses, live in different parts of the world, are of all ages, and range from married to single to everything in between. They are of all different zodiac signs, have extremely different professions, and some have a lot more chiseled abs than others. What is the conclusion?

1. Money does not make you happy.

2. A relationship does not make you happy.

3. Being a gym rat does not make you happy.

4. Living in LA does not make you happy.

5. Being a Taurus does not make you happy.

6. Your Gucci bag does not make you happy.

The common denominator between these happy people I mentioned and those I did not mention is not what they have in their life or what they do to fill up their time. What sets these few people apart from the rest is the outlook they choose to have on life, day in and day out. How happy you are is your own choice. You choose if you let that parking ticket ruin your day. You choose if you laugh at someone’s joke. You choose if you smile and if you genuinely mean it. You choose if you spend more money than you make. You choose if you walk with a spring in your step and your shoulders back. You choose whether you judge another person. You choose if you get jealous. Your outlook on life is all up to you.

This is an empowering concept.

Today I choose to do my best to have a happy outlook on all of my circumstances. I choose to declare that I am the happiest person you know, even though I may not be in reality… yet. I choose to pursue interests and people in my life that make me feel happy and supported. I choose to be as picky with my thoughts as I am with my food, my men, and my wardrobe. I choose to smile because it feels good (and everyone always tells me how pretty it is). I choose happiness because this means I will enjoy the journey of today as much as the arrival of tomorrow.

Luv,

Cleo

Lately, I really enjoy eating meals by myself. Breakfast at La Provence Patisserie, coffee at Starbucks, lunch at Mrs. Winston’s, dinner at Whole Foods, dessert at Yogurtland. Spending time with myself has become a priority and since making it a more regular occurrence, I have been having so many life revelations, moments of enlightenment, and periods of growth. I see crossroads in my life more clearly, recognize internal issues more easily, am more centered, and come up with solutions that make me feel confident, excited, and hopeful for the future.

Yesterday while in traffic (again), I began pondering the idea of love and its existence in my life and the world around me. Why, for the past few months, have couples on the street holding hands, anniversaries, PDA, love songs, and romantic comedies been grossing me out? I seriously get repulsed and think, “Wow, I do NOT want that. I am so NOT jealous. What a LIE that is. SUCKS to be them because that is going to hurt when it does not work out.” Can you say cynical??

If “cynical” were an inanimate object, I imagine it as black, sticky substance that clings to your clothes, skin, and hair, damaging everything that was beautiful and promising along the way. It’s ugly, undesirable, and infectious.

I had become cynical because I stopped believing that real love exists. The themes that marriage fails, men cheat, and love is an illusion are all around us. What led to this mindset? Getting hurt. Being hurt. Carrying hurt. Hurting others.

But then I realized, how can hurt exist if love does not? Is it possible to suffer or experience heart ache without first experiencing love?

If you never climb a ladder, you will never fall. If you never eat peanuts, you may never have an allergic reaction. If you never drink coffee, you may never feel awake. If you never leave Beverly Hills, you may think the whole world is shallow and fake. If you never challenge yourself, you may never grow.

Usually everyone is willing to try something once, and love is no different (except I do not see myself trying heroine). We have all tried to love another human being and 99% of us were heart broken. From here is where the real decision must be made. Do we decide that the heart ache is too much to bear ? Are we too afraid or weak to try again? Or instead do we decide to take the risk, knowing that nothing of great success was ever met without obstacles?

One of my new favorite quotes is: “Failure is the absence of effort, not results.”

There fore I have decided to believe that love is all around (sounds like a quote from Love Actually!). I feel love inside me while writing this. I feel love when eating lunch, when driving, and when chatting with my goddess friends. I feel happy knowing that I have love to give and that I am not afraid to get hurt again and again. However, to be honest, I do not think I am ready for real love. I’m growing too fast and learning too much everyday that I am way too selfish for love right now! But I definitely believe I will have that love story one day, although it may not be a fairy tale. I believe if you are willing to keep giving love than you will find more happiness that you could imagine. I believe the most important thing is loving yourself and those around you and that the rest will fall into place. Be brave!

All my love,

Cleo

I never thought being sexy would have a downside. The grand vision of being sexy comes only with perks… 1. greater self-confidence, 2. better pick of a love mate, 3.  making everyone jealous, 4. better looking friends, 5. free stuff, and the list goes on.

Despite the perks, there are definitely some downsides.

First, women can be catty. Often women do not expect a pretty girl to be genuine, sweet, or caring, but honestly, most good-looking girls in LA do NOT remotely come across as any of these things, so I can understand the misconception. However, if shown respect, women typically get over this initial hostility and allow camaraderie to take hold. <3

More importantly, a huge downside to being ridiculously sexy is dealing with ignorant men. Ah! If you are too sexy, most men stop thinking altogether. Self awareness and perception of reality go out the window. All they want is to touch, bribe, and persuade. What ever happened to two people getting together because of mutual feelings?? It is tunnel vision focused on physical gratification. If I can just get her to my place, if I just tell her I miss her all the time, if I just get her a little drunk, if I just tell her she looks beautiful, if I just trap her in the bathroom, if I show her how horny I am [all true events]… then she will let me have my way. Wrong! A highly intuitive and observant woman, such as myself, will not be fooled by these ploys (again- we have all made our mistakes). Frankly, it is repulsive. There is nothing quite as unattractive as a man with no self-control or respect, and these men are a dime a dozen. I have actually started telling them, “you are just like every other guy.” Shockingly to me, they get offended. If my honesty offends you, you definitely need to take a long look in the mirror.

Not only is their behavior repulsive, but often these men are physically disgusting to the point where I am personally offended that they think I would even consider naked dancing in their sheets. Where did they get the nerve? Your advances are making me feel dirty and ugly. I would rather never have sex again (or for the first time, wink*) than see you naked.

I used to wonder if maybe I was doing something to lead men into thinking I was interested. Sometimes I catch myself, but most times, I could not be more blunt. “No, I am NOT interested” could not get more clear to me. If I want you (and assuming you are thinking coherently), you will know. If you are not sure, than I am probably not sure either.

Overall, I find that I am increasingly more interested in finding ways to be left alone. An invisibility cloak would be amazing! I hate being touched, talked to, stared at, or pursued if I do not want to be. What I once interpreted as flattering is now obnoxious. It’s not like I walk around with plastic boobs, glitter shorts, and stripper heels

Oh the journey of dating is so much fun. Single for life!

Love you,

Cleo

A couple months ago I submitted the following essay to the Modern Love section of the NY times and was REJECTED. And they decided not to tell me why…. I guess it was not boring enough. Hopefully you will like it better than they did! xx, Cleo

———–

*ALL DENIAL ASIDE, I AM CLINGY*

I try to be a glass-is-half-full type of person. However when you are chronically single, as I seem to be, remaining optimistic becomes emotionally and mentally tiring. Sulking with a tray of cookie dough and a bottle of wine sounds so much easier.

I have been dating since I realized that I could (sometime back in the 8th grade when I got my braces off), yet for the past year and a half, I have taken a whole new approach to the dating game. Refusing to take a back seat to my love life, I have been on what I like to call, a dating expedition. This journey is based on my philosophy that the sooner I figure out what is it that I want, the faster I can have it. At least, this is the hope.

This whole expedition stems from my inherent impatience and inability to sit around let things happen. I do not do well with passive. “Chilling” is not my forte. Of the role models in my life- Richard Branson, Lance Armstrong, Oprah Winfrey, Lindsay Lohan (just kidding!)- none of them are passive. They take calculated risks, persevere through set backs, and are ultimately successful. Yet, I would almost consider participating in the Tour de France than deal with some of the men I date- key word is almost.

Tall, short, rich, poor, old, or young men are… interesting.

First there was the ex-marine who had no car, confessed how he has gotten four women pregnant, been engaged twice, AND still thought that my early 20-something self would not be scared out of a relationship. Then there was the modern day, heartless tin-man who, after 9 months of commitment-free “hanging out”, admitted that he had never once had real feelings for a woman as he is only capable about thinking of himself during the day. He loves the mental and physical connection (of course), but when confronted about the missing emotional connection, had no comment or idea what I meant. Next came the 30 year old white male who grew up in an affluent community yet still refused to give up his baggy jeans, metal chain-link necklace (ugh!), and wanna-be gangsta mannerisms. In between these men was the hilarious guy from London who flaked on a weekend together 30 minutes before departure, the North Carolina sweetheart who promised to fly me to see him 100 times then fell off the face of the earth, my Miami love from Spain who did nothing wrong but could not combat the cross-country distance, and how could I forget, the couple of model-actors I threw into the mix.

But wait, there’s more. There was the young, successful attorney who begged me to send him pictures… of my toes. The Hollywood club bouncer who name-dropped like no other (as if I should be impressed?) and sent me pictures of him and his gut drinking Coronas. The New York stockbroker who, upon meeting me for the FIRST time, explained how he could tell I orgasm nicely. The security guard who told me everyday that he knew I was eventually going to break his heart… so I had too. The numerous “straight” bartenders that I met at gay bars around the world. The UCLA water polo player with no personality. The finance guy who was MARRIED. The french guy who bought me expensive gifts but never asked me on a date. The medical student who told me, “in a year I would be in love with you,” but never made a move. The loan officer who pursued me solely based on the sound of my voice. The CPA, who against my better judgment, was indeed boring. The twice my age and three times my weight celebrity attorney that sent me long emails about how enchanting I am. And possibly the most interesting, the three different couples throughout the year that were persistent about having a threesome with me (which I safely avoided).

All of this in less than two years is a lot to handle, and I’m sure I blocked out a few from my memory.

I have become what some call a “serial dater.” I usually try to keep between 2 to 5 guys going at one time and cycle through them as necessary. After all, it is never wise to put all your eggs in one basket and any experienced gal knows that most men are a disappointment. Until I find one great man worth committing too, I will continue to date around. However, this does not mean sleep around. My dating and life mantra is: always stay classy.

As my volume of dates shows, my skills at picking up men have grown exponentially. I have mastered the art of eye contact, flirting, and being approachable and have gotten increasingly better at knowing when to call it quits. With each dating experience I am learning how to better recognize the warning signs and having a solid pipeline of prospects makes it easier to cut out these losers and move on. Men are everywhere… I’m just not sure where the good ones are hiding.

Of all the men I have dated in the past year and a half, I have had genuine feelings for about five. And when I say genuine, I mean genuine. I thought about them all the time, wanted nothing more than to be by their side, and wished them well in all areas of life. I was open with my feelings, thoughtful, sexy, fun, listened without agenda, and could honestly see commitment in my future (at least on my end). Initially, being vulnerable does not scare me and the potential of suffering for love has yet to hold me back from diving in. Yet once these feelings develop, I have found that the confident, easy-going woman that I try so hard to be starts to become a hopeless romantic, hanging-on-every-word, love struck kitten. I get soft. Why? Because deep down I am a relationship, all or nothing kind of girl. I melt easily. I love cuddling. I let my guard down before they do. Unfortunately, all five of these men did end up hurting me in some way or another.

Sadly, my naturally loyal, self-sacrificing attitude toward men that I genuinely care for is often interpreted as clingy. Although I have only ever been called clingy (to my face) by one guy, I find the adjective extremely undesirable and derogatory. Thus, I am constantly fighting my instincts in order to survive in this cold, hard world of dating. I force myself not to call. I force myself to be busy. I force myself not to care. I force myself not to give too many compliments or be too sweet. I force myself not to think too far into the future. I force myself not to believe what a man says but to go by actions instead. I force myself not to equate sex with love. I force myself to continue to pursue new prospects even if I do not want to. Force, force, force.

The good thing is, practice makes perfect. I really do live a busy life. I really do think rationally when it comes to men and do not live in a fantasy land. I really am independent. I really do go by actions and not just words. I really do not need or even want a phone call everyday. I really do love myself. I really do believe that I deserve nothing but the best. All I want is to be treated well and, from time to time, shown that I am thought of, cared for, and valued. I want security and consistency. I think this is more than reasonable yet so far, very difficult to find.

Why do so many men associate commitment as analogous to prison? Is love really that suffocating? Maybe I get too excited.

Although I have and continue to battle my naturally lovey-dovey, hopeless romantic, “clingy” behavior, there are some things I still cling to that I will not compromise. I cling to the idea of love and the idea of one day having my own fairy tale. I cling to never settling for less. I cling to good first kisses. I cling to the belief that not all men cheat. I cling to the hope that marriage is not just hard work, as most couples make it seem like, but a beautiful partnership. I cling to true love lasting a lifetime. I cling to my perfect man being out there somewhere. I cling to waking up smiling everyday. Yes, I am clingy and I always will be.

We all know that our physical appearance is important- if not for your health, at least for your sex appeal! Thus we go to the gym, we eat mixed greens instead of a bacon burger, we switch our ice cream to frozen yogurt, we get non-fat milk in our white chocolate mocha, and we check ourselves out in the mirror while poking at the jiggly spots.

Why is what we look like so important? Especially in Los Angeles, the land of aspiring models and actors, there is significant pressure to be attractive. Not only that, I find that I want all of my friends to be attractive to0 (which they are)! Sure, personality is important, but the way I screen men has also become increasingly more “looks-based.” If you look like you are carrying around your weekend binge nights on your body, please do something about it before talking to me.

The problem with becoming more picky is that the pool of candidates for dating goes way down. Its almost as if I have a grocery store scanner attached to my brain and I can instantaneously tell if I am attracted to you or not before you say one word. Factors considered include but are not exclusive too, the way you dress, how your body looks under your clothes, the way you carry yourself (i.e. the way you walk, sit, your body language), the way you smile, and your eye contact. If one of these is lacking or missing entirely, you may have no chance- even if you open your mouth and diamonds come out.

Let’s assume somehow this stage is passed. Next is conversation. Unfortunately from my experience, the pretty people are not so good at this step. Some of the most attractive guys I have ever dated or talked to have been so boring, uninteresting, and painfully immature that I would rather have a Polaroid of them than an actual conversation. You know it’s bad when you begin to think of escape routes mid-conversation instead of actually listening. Often, I think these men must not listen to me either. If they did, they would recognize my blank stare, glancing at my cell phone, and short responses as complete uninterest. Sadly, after a few repeated attempts at producing a decent connection, the shoulders, chest, and cheek bones lose their flare.

Therefore, we reach my point. Why do we spend so much time at the gym improving our bodies but so little time improving our personalities? This is one reason why I tell myself I will never date a “personal trainer.” Where is your spunk and your charm?? You may want to look like you did when you were 23, but you do not want to have the same personality!! It is good to think about who are and what you want to be. It is good to recognize your weaknesses and why you are insecure. It is good to grow, to mature, and to learn.

Please, do me a favor and do some personality exercises. My dating pool is looking dried out…  help me!

xx,

Cleo

Conceited

Posted on: April 8, 2011

I want to be conceited. I want to be completely obsessed with myself and no one else. Maybe I could even take myself on dates! Is that wrong? Before you answer, allow me to explain…

I realized over the course of the past year (or ten!) that I tend to have a problem with caring too much. It’s actually very sweet of me but, in a world of survival of the fittest, it does not fly and instead of sweet, it is often referred to as naive. Many times, especially in dating, I instinctually put the feelings of others before mine- what the other person wants becomes more important and their happiness becomes a priority of mine. This is fine until it becomes self-destructive and I begin to ignore my own thoughts and feelings. My reasoning is that I want to avoid a fight and salvage happiness. Not healthy. I’ve said this before but, once I become “attached”, I get all mushy and soft and totally not Wonder Woman like I usually am.

What is with the transformation?? I mean, I am totally a baller and completely amazing, so why do I habitually forget that once attachment sets in? I think it’s a girl thing. A mothering thing. Or maybe it’s just a Cleo thing. Regardless, that is going to change.

1. I am not going to take shit from anyone, man or woman, ever again. This is tricky territory because there is a fine line between being caddy and irrational and sticking up for who are you are what you believe in. I want to steer clear of being a mistaken as a cast member on The Bad Girls Club. The sad thing is, I can’t think of a really strong female role model in today’s society that I want to live up to be. I mean… Rhianna is kinda koo-koo,  Lady Gaga is totally koo-koo, and don’t get me started on Britney, Paris, or Lindsay. Honestly, I only like Selena Gomez but she may just be too young to have messed up yet.

I have made this oath to myself and I say it with 100% conviction. If I feel offended or disrespected, I will vocalize my opinion (always striving to maintain professionalism and class, of course!). An Audrey Hepburn way of handling conflicts. I will not first think, ” I am overacting or being too sensitive?” Whatever! I am not going to be subject to someone’s moods, issues, insecurities, or immaturites (the list goes on…). I can still be sensitive and empathetic to others, but I will not be talked down to, bossed around, or insulted. I am not afraid to be feisty and stand up for my individualism.

2. I will day-dream about myself. When I get bored, I day-dream. I day-dream about anything, but usually about men… eww why?! This needs to stop. I need to think about myself and be a lot more selfish with my thoughts. I am young, charming, and beautiful and I have a ton of things that I would like to accomplish in life. I need to utterly adore myself. Ironically, it is always when I do not care at all about meeting men that I get a bunch of almost stalkers (not that I want stalkers).

I have a lot of beautiful, down-to-earth girl friends and I think we would all be a happier if we were more conceited. Often, we overlook how phenomenal we are and down play our accomplishments. .. let’s not do that anymore. Let’s be Wonder Woman all the time!

Goddess of Power,

Cleo

I haven’t looked in the mirror in awhile.

I mean, truly looked at myself.

I get too busy looking at the world around me sometimes.

But today, I looked deep into my reflection…

and damn girl, you fine.

How did you get so beautiful?

I could just stare at you all day.

And then I worked out, got my sweat on, and I looked at myself again.

Wow, you are toned.

If naked were socially allowed, that would be your best look.

And then I thought about my day, and all the people I made smile and laugh.

I am so charming and sweet and creative.

I am lucky that I get to be me.

But then,

I began to wonder why is it, more often than not,

that I do no actually believe any of this?

How did I get so strong and lovely on the outside,

yet so soft on the inside?

I started to get very disappointed in myself.

Why have I let so many people get me down?

Why do I believe anyone’s opinion about me?

Why should anyone get to dictate even a portion of my thoughts?

But then, I forgave myself.

Because I love me.

And I’m amazing, and sweet, and cute.

And just because I messed up and let you change me for a moment,

does not mean I will ever do it again.

And then I smiled,

a very beautiful smile.

And I hope you do the same.

Love,

Cleo