Is there ever the same kind of love more than once?

I think there are lots of ways to love and to be in love. My very first love was when I was 16, and I feel confident that that was real love while it lasted. But when I experienced a much more adult relationship later in life.  it caused me to reevaluate if what I'd felt for my high school boyfriend actually had been love.  


Did I even know what romantic love was?


I had been in love, but it was first love love. That's just as real as any other kind, but I believe it takes a little less for us to get there. Down the line, we hesitate and evaluate where we're at and where we're going much more. Puppy love happens because you're not overthinking, you're probably not thinking much at all past how nice he smells or how cute he looks handing you your red solo cup with cheap ass beer he bought for you. How sweet. You're just so in the moment and so aware of the fact that how you feel is just how you feel and you don't really care about the consequences of that. That makes first loves so pure. 


As you grow up (or at least grow older - LOL), it takes more to fall in love because your brain is constantly telling you that maybe you shouldn't:  you live in different places, it doesn't make sense, your best friend liked him in middle school, you don't much as much in common as you think you should, he's younger than you, he's too short, blah blah blah. You overthink it all. So when you finally get to a place where you can admit to yourself that you are in love with this person, I think that makes love stronger. It took you more effort to get there. You had all these reasons and thoughts that could have held you back, and you still decided it was worth it. 


Then that guy breaks your heart, or you break his (go you), and you think there will never be another. You could never love someone like that again. Guess what, you won't. You'll love someone else and you'll love them for different reasons. You'll love them because despite the fact that you thought you could never go through it again, they help you see that you don't really have a choice. You'll love harder, you'll love more. And maybe you'll be broken harder and broken more too.


But think about this.  Each piece of you that breaks off from each person that you've loved before leaves a spot for someone else's love to fill in.


Okay, that’s deep.  But true.



What is the hardest lesson you've ever had to learn through a relationship?

I think the hardest lesson anybody learns in relationships is that the person you thought you liked or were in love with either isn't who you thought they were or isn't the person that can give you what you need for the rest of your life.


I mean, at a certain point you start looking at "dating" and relationships as much less casual. It's not just about holding hands and passing notes in math class so he'll ask you to homecoming. It's about do I think he'll be a good father, is she capable of selfless love, can he be supportive of my goals, will she be the kind of wife I need? It's shitty and scary, but it's true. You have to start thinking big picture. Think globally, act locally by scoping out your townie bar for Mr. or Mrs. Right, right?


At this point, all of the significant relationships I've had thus far have ended because I'm not married. This issue contributed to two of these endings in different ways. When I was nineteen I ended a two and a half year high school based relationship largely because I realized I wasn't with someone who would last in the long run. He wasn't motivated, he wasn't strong (mentally), he wasn't the kind of person I'd ever want to start a family with. Post-breakup, I then realized some of the things he was: sleeping with a large portion of our hometown while I was away at college, pathetic, and manipulative. I mean, this guy would take money from my uncles to take me out to dinner and Easter baskets my mom would make for him. Clearly, my instinct that this guy wasn't husband material (he was barely human material) was right no matter how heartbreaking that was in the moment.


The second relationship I'll bring up for this example was also ended for a variation of this reason. This guy was great and totally worthy of a future. He was smart, family and goal oriented, thoughtful, and romantic. At least that was who he projected to me for a period of time. Then further into our situation, I pulled the classic, "So what are we doing here?" My mistake. He told me he considered us an "open relationship" and not exclusive; even though as far as I could tell he was spending all of his time with me or talking to me, so if there were other girls in the picture they weren't getting a ton of attention. So I ended it, and weeks later he told me he thought everyday about how stupid he had been and how he hadn't meant what he said. It was too late for me. Soon as I got a whiff of a non-committal, selfish person I knew who he had the potential to so easily be. It was not who I thought I had gotten to know so well. And he really is a good guy with all of those qualities I had initially been attracted to; he just wasn't ready to utilize them the way I needed him to to show me he was worth sticking around for.  


That lesson is definitely heartbreaking; it shatters your sense of the world for a minute or two. How could you have been so wrong? How could you have been so tricked? But it causes you to re-evaluate, as every breakup, ending, or closure situation should. What happened that I don't want to happen again? How can I make sure I get what I want next time? Each time gets easier to bounce back from and each time gives you another bullet point to add to your list of "non-negotiables." Tough lessons give you tougher skin; we can't survive and we definitely can't thrive without learning (from) a LOT of them. Get your heart broken, it'll do you a world of good.





How close is Let's Try This Again to your real life experience?  

Let's Try This Again definitely has some similarities to my own life: I moved to California, I went to college in New York City, Josie and I share opinions on lots of things (like a love for Britney Spears). The story was shaped by some of my dating experiences, sure, but like a lot of the characters, most of the book is compilations of experiences of mine and other people I know and even just things I've seen or heard. Some of it is just totally made up or wildly embellished from said experiences.


I've certainly dated plenty of emotionally unavailable people as well as very sweet guys that I didn't necessarily treat as well as I could've because the spark wasn't there. Josie and I share that in common; Josie shares that in common with lots of people. While I wrote LTTA with snippets of my own experiences in mind, I think a lot of people will find similarities to their emotional inner workings as well (since most of us haven't dated a celebrity, let alone a childhood celebrity crush — myself included). 





What is the craziest date (event or guy) you've ever been on?

I don't really have one huge crazy story. I went on a date with a guy who burped in my face, which I was horrified by. I went on a date with a guy in high school who tried to brag to me about his class ranking (before he realized mine was higher). My first boyfriend sent me on a scavenger hunt once for a Valentine's date which was cool, but he ended up (and honestly started out and even throughout the whole middle there really...) being a total loser. 


Actually, I did take one date detail that really happened to me for Josie. I did go out with a guy who found out what my favorite candy and movies were before our date and after taking me to dinner, he made me a Twix milkshake with three of the movies for me to choose from for us to watch. But looking back on things like that, when a guy seems too good to be true he usually is. So I was probably the crazy one for believing it was genuine.






Who's better to date/sexier - east coast or west coast guys?

This is a hard question to answer. East coast guys look so cute in beanies and flannel because Fall is the best season. But west coast guys are tan and laid back, a lot of the time with great bodies since they're shirtless so often.


When I was dating east coast guys, I was a little younger and it took very little to impress me. If a guy was showing interest in me, I was hooked. So I didn't date anyone that impressive at the time. I only dated a couple west coast guys, but they were more established, more serious about their lives and their careers. On paper, definitely better to date than the guys I'd been seeing on the east coast. But that's very much influenced by the time in our lives we were all at.


I think dating on the east coast is a little less pretentious (excluding New York City, dating there seemed like a nightmare in college). A lot of the dudes aren't sleazy guys name-dropping just so they can buy you a $13 vodka soda. East coast guys have to be a little more genuine I think, there's less bravado to hide behind. Though I can attest that plenty of them are just as douchey as any of the greaseballs I run into on an LA night out. East coast guys are a little less prissy, west coast guys are a little more confident. There are pros and cons to both.


Now, I'm dating someone from the east coast who I definitely could seeing fitting in easily on the west coast. He's chill and athletic so I could see him picking up surfing pretty easily, but I know he can rock a flannel and get his hands dirty. Maybe I just always needed someone with qualities of each coast. I love both coasts, so I need the best of both worlds.

More to come!