I Majored In Flirting In College

Some of you read the title of this post and went, really there’s a course for that? How did I miss that one in the college curriculum? It wasn’t offered in the books, it’s just a lesson you learn while trying to figure out how to get people you are attracted to, to your bedroom. Personally, I think this is just the right age and environment to start exploring your sexuality. 

Before entering college, you’re still transitioning from childhood to adulthood. You’re borrowing your parents ideas and words and using them as your own. You’re awkward about your appearance and developing your view of the world. It’s already a time of a lot of pressure, growing up is hard. So yeah, let the sexual exploration wait until you’re mature enough to handle it. This is just my advice, and something that I would have done then if I knew what I know now.

Why do I think college is the best environment to unleash the hot monkey, kinky, freaky dealio phase of a person’s life? Well, it’s probably the first time you’re out from under your parent(s) thumb. If you opt to move into the dorms rather than living at home consider yourself free. That’s right, you’re free. The parental shackles are no more. Most people take this time to experiment, figure out who the hell they are instead of who their parents have been telling them they are. Parents are well meaning, completely loving in their intent, but this is probably the leading cause of teenage rebellion in my opinion. 

Anyway, so you’re out, your free, go nuts, run with scissors and leave that mini-fridge wide open. Stay up until six am talking with your roommate about who you think you are and listen to them tell you who they think they are. You may think you know from their Facebook profile, but trust me, that’s only part of their story. So get to know the first person you’re going to live with outside your family for the next 7 to 8 months. This will cut down on that useless and overly dramatic inevitable argument that occurs where she said, he said and you two change rooms with a quickness to find someone else more to your liking to live with.

Back to Flirt 101. So you’re out there, living in the world away from home for the first time...Exxxxxxxxxxceellent. You’re dumped into a group of people that are just as awkward and socially stunted as you are, now what? Well, statistically 75% of  college students meet their first spouse in a college environment. 

I learned a long time ago, quite by accident that I don’t like being in relationships. Don’t get me wrong, I love sex. Yes, please and thank you. But all that boyfriend/girlfriend, wife/husband and all the kinds of relationships in between are not for me. When I announce to people I’m single and the other person is in a relationship of some kind they tend to want to feel sorry for me. Thanks for your pity face, ‘oh you poor dear and what the hell is wrong with you' face, but I’m a single lady by choice, so no need for concern.

I guess when you say you’re single the person remembers when they were single and probably spent a lot of time feeling lonely and depressed about that status. I’m not depressed about it and in fact I enjoy alone time a lot. I tend to isolate, shut out the world and crawl into my head. It can be unhealthy if I let it go on too long or if I’m hosting hourly pity parties about crap that really shouldn’t matter and stuff that just happens to be a part of the living experience.

I guess my perspective would never of come about if I didn’t have a truly amazing woman in my life, K.D., whose first reaction to my single status was, “OMG! Lucky you!” about 10 years ago when we first met. She envied me my status and assumed it was my choice. At the time I was in the mindset, but I just haven’t found my Mr. Right. I was fresh out of college, in my twenties, isn’t this the time in my life where I’m supposed to be settling down and getting married?

It was her assumption that I choose to be single that kind of tossed me for a loop and started me down a path to question my thinking on my relationship status. Was it my choice or was there something really wrong with me? I mean, I showered and everything, shouldn’t men find me attractive? Yadda, yadda, yadda. 

K and I would often hit the bars on the weekend. She hosted single meetup groups in her spare time and gave me every opportunity to check out potential mates. At the end of the day, I sat back and watched and listened at these gatherings, some participation but mostly doing what I’ve done all my life, observe human nature. Numbers were exchanged, pelvises were pressed together, but as a whole I never walked away in a relationship for the most part. Friendships, sure that happened, but I didn’t find my Prince Charming among any of the men.

So what the hell was my problem? What was I doing wrong? When a pattern arises in my life, situations that feel similar to one another, but are slightly different, I take a long hard look at what it is I’m doing to find the fault, so I can correct the behavior and break the cycle.

For example, I got fired from a lot of jobs in my early twenties. Over and over something would happen and my temper would explode all over the nearest authority figure. It became so commonplace, that my friends loved to call me up and ask for the story of why I got fired.

They had to know what pearls of snarky sarcasm landed on my ex-boss’s ears. How had I told the person off? How exactly had I told my former boss to kiss my ass as I walked out the door? I told the story, sometimes creatively edited versions, but mostly what had happened to my audience of friends and family.

There was laughing, heated debates of what a bitch or asshole my boss had been and this went on for quite a few years until finally one day I had an epiphany. The only thing these many firings had in common was me. The cast may have changed but I was the only player who’d been in the same situation over and over again. So maybe all my bosses weren’t the tools and douchebags in my tired repeated scenario, but in fact me.

As I identified this pattern in my life that was a painful repeating cycle that I was probably making happen over and over again, I asked for help to stop it. Enter my aunt’s suggestion that I take the adult extension class offered at LCC ‘Eliminating Self-Defeating Behavior’.

What I took away from that class was yes, indeed I was the common denominator in my holding down a job problem. I'd had a successful interview and had been offered the job the week before I started the class. I was determined to keep that job, no matter what. I was fresh out of college and things like rent and food were kind of important to me. So I listened, learned as I started breaking my bad habit.

The first item, the hardest one on that list of things I was doing wrong, was my temper. I’d been rewarded for going off, blowing my top, by my friends and family ever since the first time I’d done it. When the situation was retold from my perspective, people in my life often laughed and gave me positive attention for doing it. That’s how I formed that particular self-defeating behavior in the first place. And the consequences for that action, had to get too high to pay for me to continue.

So I learned to control my temper. Those beautiful snarky remarks that would have flown out of my mouth at a moments notice remained behind locked lips and never found their way to my new boss's ears.

Guess what happened? Consequences I rather enjoyed, like raises, and sideways promotions. Hey that was new and I rather liked it. Awesomeness. I liked those results even more than unleashing my angry little comment that would have landed me on the unemployment line. I wanted more of that. So I continued to control my anger at that job for a full year.

It was a first for me. I didn’t exactly hate my boss, however, it wasn’t like everything was so perfect and heavenly with that secretarial job. There were things I really disliked about corporate settings in general. Office politics and in that situation there was a ‘good old boys’ mentality. One of the men in charge said to myself and few other secretaries, “Well, sure you can attend the golf outing this coming weekend. What are your beer wench skills like, darlin’s?”

That’s almost verbatim to what this dickhead of a boss said, I shit you not. He wasn’t my boss, thank Goddess. Then to add insult to injury the bosses invited the part-time admins who only worked the weekends that happened to be male to attend the golf outing. Guess what? They got to play golf, not fetch beers. My boss was a female, she supervised all the secretaries in our office, so when that whole thing went down and even though she played golf she wasn’t invited on the outing either. That was the beginning of the end for me and that particular job.

It took a full six months later and I maintained my temper almost fully on my way out the door. I kicked a door open on the day I decided I was done. I didn’t take off my boss’s head in the process. I ended up handing over a letter of resignation (granted two seconds before I would have been fired) and did an exit interview, another first for me. 

The beauty of this was my year and a half reaped another unexpected and new to me reward. I had a previous employer that I could put down on resume and a supervisor willing to do a letter of recommendation. Oh my Goddess, it was so much easier to find employment when those things happened. Consequences of  handling the situation better was an even better reward that telling off my boss. Wow, who knew it could be that way.

So you would think I just needed to identify what self-defeating behavior I was doing in my relationships to fix the problem, right? Find it, shut it down and then my world would be perfect. Surely this great knowledge could be applied to relationships? Well, yes and no. Not to be a big old tease, but I don’t want this post to get too long so I’m going to save the rest for next week.

To Be Continued...

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