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On Being Self-Aware…Without the Self-Destruction [Dear DBN]


When you feel wronged it’s easy to slip into sadness, but in order to move forward, you need to slip into something a little more fierce.  This week, how to be self-aware enough to not be self-destructive.

My quandary is this – When someone (read: your 7 years older family friend/recent date) stands you up but attempts to cover it up and you are pissed, done and sick of their antics, what do you do? Do you reply to the apologetic voicemail with nothing, a curt “I’m unavailable” or something entirely different?

You know when your parents got pissed at you and instead of yelling they’d be like, “We’re just so disappointed,” and you’re all “NO, CHEAP TRICK!  I’M SO SORRY!”  Why doesn’t anyone employ that tactic in their dating life?  Can you imagine how sweet and mortifying revenge would be if you were like, “I appreciate the apology, and I’d like to remain acquaintances, but it seems you need time to focus on yourself before you would make a good partner.  Good luck with everything.”

You’re the University.  You don’t reject students by saying, “Are you kidding? You could go to high school another four years and still not get in.”  No, you reject them by saying, “Thank you for applying, unfortunately we will not be accepting your application.  We will review applications again next fall.”  Sure, a good ole “f$#& you” can pack a punch, but eloquence packs it with class.

Okay so I’m torn. Been hanging out with this guy for a few weeks. We had sex and it was great! But now he’s stopped calling. I like to think of myself as an independent woman and free to decide when to have sex and with whom, obviously. But I feel like sex changes the way a guy sees you and it becomes no longer a challenge. Wtf!

Those first couple dates are like a cover letter.  It’d be awesome if you could be straight up from the get-go, but that rarely secures the job.  I’d love to be like, “Hey, I’m always on time, I make suspiciously good coffee and I’m very discreet about hangover symptoms, so hire me,” but that’s not how it works.  It’s ridiculous that there’s still a double standard for sex, but it’s also pretty ridiculous that an employer cares if I got a C+ in the Archeology of Egypt.

There’s always going to be the one employer who loves your wacky cover letter and is like, “This is so awesome and out of the norm!” but most of them are going to read it and dub you irresponsible and an ill-fitting candidate.  Unfortunately, that’s also what a lot of dudes think.  Is it fair?  No, but what is?  Yes, I want a company to hire me for who I am, but the truth is, most of them won’t.  It doesn’t matter how good of an employee you’d be because you gave them something to judge you on, and judge you they did.  The fact that they’re a poor judge of character shouldn’t affect you, but it does.

I don’t want my life to be stock photography.  I want to wear lingerie and make deadlines.  I want to bake pies and kick ass.  I want to swear like a sailor and smile sweetly.  And I want to have sex the first night and be treated like a queen every night after.  But what I want and what you want and what we most assuredly deserve doesn’t, and won’t, always align with cultural stigmas.  A lot of boys lose interest when you sleep with them, but some of them don’t.  Be aware of the landscape on which you wage your war.  There are a thousand ways to fight a double standard, but they all feel the same kickback.  Be independent, be free, be strong-willed and rebellious, but be aware – we haven’t won this battle yet and there will be consequences, undeserved and otherwise.  No one wins a war without a few bloody battles.  This time, it’s his loss.

CollegeCandy is excited to announce that we’ve partnered up with one of our favorite Tumblrs, DateByNumbers, to bring you some of her very best advice. Each week she’ll tackle your questions. Life, love, sex, the real world…nothing will be off limits. To submit a question of your own, visit her “Ask” page and keep an eye on CollegeCandy every Thursday afternoon!

    I've written for Teen Vogue, Thought Catalog, Leveled Magazine, College Candy, How About We, and have been featured on several HuffPost Live segments. Creator and leader of Bold Moves October featured on xoJane and Neil Gaiman's blog. Both Neil and Jane appreciate boldness. I specialize in pep talks, very long bike rides, and matching my lipstick to my heels.