DTR: The Conversation of the Century

I would like to take a moment and talk about one of the scariest conversations you can ever have.

Defining the relationship.

I am by no means a relationship expert. Honestly, you don’t even want to know all my previous relationships and where they went wrong. But there is one thing I do know: you have to define the relationship eventually.

Pretty common sense, right?

Wrong. People just expect the person they’re seeing to magically read their mind and know what they’re thinking and how they feel. That’s just totally unfair and that’s how you potentially ruin something that could be wonderful.

Relationships are a lot of “what-if’s” and there’s no point in making it even harder on you. That’s why you have the DTR, the defining the relationship.

Adam and I matched on Tinder like so many of our 21st century, Millennial, counterparts. We matched on February 27– four days after my 21st birthday– and we set our first date for the following weekend on March 4 (I only remember these dates because I wrote them down for Adam in a little anniversary book). He wound up staying the night because we got back late and slept on my couch. We woke up, ate breakfast together and he left to go back to Bragg. I kind of thought that would be the last time I would ever see him and went on about my day. Well, an hour and a half later I got a text from him asking to see me again soon. That Wednesday, I drove down to Fayetteville and we met up for dinner. I got back to Raleigh, texted him, and he asked if we could go out again this weekend.

I know, it all seems like it went so fast but stay with me here. While, yes, we had our first three dates over the course of a week, it didn’t go this fast for long.

For the entire month of March, we went back and forth between Raleigh and Fayetteville seeing each other. He would come on a Friday and leave on Saturday and I would come down on a Wednesday and meet up with him for dinner. Eventually, he told me that he was going to be doing a training exercise in the month of April and we might not be able to see each other as much while he was doing this. Right after he said that, he told me that wanted to be an exclusive couple and wanted to keep seeing just me. I didn’t even need to ask, he told me to just think about it.

Did I mention he also dropped the bomb that he was deploying in August that night, too? No? Yeah. He did. He gave me all the information I needed to make an informed decision.

We kept seeing each other after that and he never asked me for an answer. He was never pushing me to say yes and he never even brought it up. Around the end of April I texted him and said, “When you come over tonight I have some good news.” Sometimes I wonder if he knew what I was going to tell him but, to his credit, he didn’t push me to tell him right then and there. When he came over, we had the talk about what we were, what we expected from each other and that’s when we became an exclusive couple.

It has seriously been a wild ride with him. There’s been so many ups and downs and differences, I can’t count them all. The moral of this story is: don’t let anyone push you into doing anything you’re not ready to do. If you’re not ready to be in a relationship, tell them. Don’t make them read your mind because they can’t. I don’t know if anyone told you but people can’t read minds. Sorry. You need to speak up at every step of the process and let them know your thoughts, feelings, concerns and expectations.

In other words, don’t be Ross and Rachel.

 90s friends break ross geller break up GIF

Long-Time, No-See

I mentioned in my last post that it had been a hot minute since I had written anything and that I was going to write a life update. Well, it’s here!

Relationship

Adam and I recently hit our double digit day! What that means is we hit 99 days until he comes home– hence, double digits. I don’t really want to say when we hit it for safety reasons (I’m still not totally sure what falls under OPSEC and what doesn’t) and just personal security reasons. We’ve kind of been preparing little-by-little for him to come home and making plans for what we want to do.

We’ve bought tickets for several little things after he comes home around the state. We’re going to a second chance prom hosted in Greensboro in early September and I’m so excited. I already have the dress I’m going to wear when we go and I know exactly how I’m going to do my hair and makeup. I really need to find some gold shoes or something similar to go with my dress. I wore it to my best friend’s sorority formal when Adam and I first started dating and he’s been wanting me to wear it again.

We’re also going to the Fayetteville lantern festival in October. I’m a little nervous about this one because it’s going to be a big crowd and it might be a little boring waiting for the lanterns to take off. It’s supposed to have live music, foods and things to do. So, basically, it’s concert meets state fair. The State Fair is also in October and, since he’s never been to a state fair before, I think we’ll get tickets and go this year. I went my freshman year of high school and even though my college was literally down the road from the fairgrounds (I could have walked or taken a bus to the fair), I don’t really enjoy the fair so I haven’t been in seven years.

I gave Adam his birthday gift early but he can’t enjoy it until November. In November, we’re going to the Legend of Zelda symphony in Durham. I had to tell him what was going on so he wouldn’t A) buy tickets for himself and B) make plans for that weekend. He also needed time to ask for a weekend pass or put in for leave. I have it so we’ll get off work, meet up at wherever we’re living and go. I’ve booked a room at a hotel in Durham for the evening so we’ll get dressed there. If there’s time, we’ll go out to dinner before the show. If there’s not, I’m taking him out to brunch the next morning. I think it’ll be a nice evening and it’s a very adult gift. It’s not us going out to a bar and getting blackout drunk to celebrate his birthday. I feel bad it’s having to wait until November when his birthday is in early July, but it is what it is. I’m sending him a little something for his birthday to tide him over.

Everything is going really well with us so far and I’m really happy with where we’re at. Unfortunately, we haven’t had much time to talk since he moved to night shift but we’ve been making it work. I think we’re both ready for him to come home. We’ve started making a list of apartments to check out when he comes home and I’m really excited to see where the world takes us.

Career

I started a new job but I’d like to remain rather tight-lipped about it right now. I haven’t even updated my LinkedIn with where I’m at now because I want to keep a lot very very private. I have my reasons for keeping it private and it has to do with personal security. I don’t want to really get into what I do, what my job title is and I’m definitely not telling where I work at.

I am super happy there. I enjoy my work, I enjoy doing what I’m doing and I enjoy going to work every day. I’ve been there officially for a month and I couldn’t be happier!

The Odyssey

I thought I was going to quit The Odyssey in May but I was talked into staying a little longer. I was getting burnt out, I had very few ideas left and I just didn’t have the time to devote to being a good contributing editor. Well, an amazing opportunity came up that I couldn’t pass by.  The Wake County Odyssey group was among the top 10 percent on The Odyssey. We had a healthy and active community since September 2016 and we’re still going strong!

Sidenote: if you want to apply to write with us, follow this link and look for Wake County North Carolina and join our team! My Editor-in-Chief or a contributing editor will reach out to you! 

As you may or may not know, NC State, my alma mater, is in Wake County. Our managing editor (basically my bosses boss) came up with the plan to merge Wake County with NCSU and make a new Odyssey group. The thinking was that while everyone in the Wake County group has ties to Wake County, not everyone has ties to NCSU. Well, this merge created a new executive board. My EIC was planning to leave in May because she was taking on a new role at her university and I was planning to follow. When we merged with NCSU, one of our star writers stepped up the the plate and said she would take on the Editor-in-Chief position. So what ended up happening was Blair took on the EIC job, Carey is now the secretary (meaning she keeps track of who is writing, who isn’t, what their topics are, ect.) and I took over the social media director position since the previous girl left. Our recruitment head stepped down to focus on her schoolwork and so the NCSU EIC stepped into her role and the strongest writers from NCSU are now the contributing editors. Confused? So is everyone else.

I now don’t write every single week; I turn in an article when we need just one more to be healthy and I have a few fun ones waiting in the wings when they’re needed. As much as I loved writing for The Odyssey, I just couldn’t keep up with everything I had going on. The social media director position is much more suited to me because it’s what I’ve done before in previous positions and I’ve been enjoying it so far. Also, if you want to read some amazing articles by some amazing writers, you should like our Facebook page. Just search @WakeOdyssey in the Facebook search bar and you’ll find us!

I think that’s everything that’s been going on recently. I’m feeling great, I’m sleeping well, I enjoy everything going on. For all intents and purposes, I’m happy!

 

19 Things You Should Never Say to a Military Girlfriend

Originally published here.

As Adam and I are coming up on our one-year anniversary, I’ve taken some time to reflect on our relationship — particularly the things people have tried to “tell” me about dating someone in the military.

I don’t let my identity revolve around making myself a military girlfriend and the military isn’t my life — it’s just his job. But it’s a job that helped bring us together and, for that, I’m forever grateful. However, I like to identify myself through my own actions, accomplishments and challenges.

But some people just don’t get that.

This is an actual compilation of things people have said to me over the course of this year.

1. “So you’ll be getting married soon? That’s what everyone in the military does, anyways.”

While I can’t refute the statistics, it’s really none of your business what I do or do not do.

2. “How do you feel about resigning yourself to a life of being underpaid and underemployed?”

http://giphy.com/search/eye-roll

Holy none of your business, Batman.

3. “People don’t want to hire someone they’ll only have for a few years — max.”

I cringe at this one.

4. “But you never see them.”

http://giphy.com/search/designing-women

Well, yeah, while he’s in another country. But the rest of the time he has a normal job so I do kinda see him on a normal schedule. That’s how jobs work.

5. “Long distance relationships never last and you’re no exception.”

This one in particular hurts and I probably will never forget this person saying it to me.

6. “Wow. It must be hard being apart.”

It’s not exactly walking in a winter wonderland and a barrel full of monkeys.

7. “I just don’t think you’ll be together very long.”

This one also still hurts.

8. “So… like, that show ‘Army Wives’, right?”

claudia

I wish. Have you seen Claudia Joy’s sense of fashion? Amazing. She’s also a lawyer. Beauty, meet brains. But that’s a TV show.

9. “Don’t worry about him cheating on you, there’re no pretty women in the service.”

Thanks for the concern.

10. “Have you cheated on him?”

Thanks for at least being blunt about asking.

11. “Aren’t you afraid he’ll be killed?”

I don’t even respond to this anymore.

12. “It stinks he’s missing Thanksgiving/Christmas/New Years/Graduation/insert holiday here.”

He’s not missing it, he’s just not here. Life is all about how you look at it.

13. “I just don’t know how you do it.”

I get up, I walk out the door and I live the life God intended me to live — man or no man.

14. “What do you do to keep yourself busy while he’s gone?”

It’s different if you’re asking because you’re trying to figure out how to occupy your time. It’s another story when you’re just trying to be nosy.

15. “Well, in my opinion…”

Halt. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. I didn’t ask for your opinion.

16. “I would never let my boyfriend be in the military.”

Lemme break this down for you. A) this was his choice before I came into the picture. B) this is a choice that he has decided on for himself. And, C) would you let your boyfriend be an accountant? A reporter? A professional video game player? Do you not realize how bratty you sound?

17. “Are you just going to live off him and his income?”

Hi, yes, I work. I have a great job. Two, in case you were wondering. Two that I love very much. Ask me about them because I’d love to tell you what I do for a living.

18. “You will be OK” or “are you sure you’re OK?”

The mileage on this one varies but don’t ask people you don’t know if they’re OK because some, like me, will hate you for it. I’m not OK when I look you dead in the eyes and say that I’m not.

19. “It’s just all so romantic.”

He’s romantic. Not his job. Romance is in the person, not the career.