Just ask already

Last year’s “Because He Asked” blog was inspired by a conversation I had with a guy. This follow up is no different. Actually, it’s inspired because I spoke with 2 guys.  At the beginning of my latest trip to Boulder, Colorado, my fiancée and I met up with a friend of his for coffee. Although we had not met before, within 15 minutes of meeting he tells a story about his 30 year high school reunion.  Apparently, when he was in high school he had the biggest crush on a girl. She was a good friend of his all through school. But, he never asked her out.  She ended up dating and marrying another school friend of theirs who Did ask her out.  Fast forward to their reunion and she sees him. First thing she says is “why didn’t you ever ask me out back in high school?”

 Enter the second man in this story.  At the end of the Boulder trip, my fiancée, Brad, and I had lunch with another friend of his.  Relationships being in the air, this friend told us the story of how he and his new relationship began. They met at a show. Exchanged numbers and then nothing happened. Two months later he was still thinking of her. He reached out and asked her to grab a drink. Her response “I thought you’d never ask.”

They’re about to go on an amazing trip together next month.

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My dears, we have to stop waiting for life to happen. Stop worrying what someone will say. Start being honest with ourselves and what we want.  If you like someone and you’re both single: ask them out!  The worst thing that could happen is they say “No.”

So, how can you ask someone out:
Start by being direct: Hey, want to go grab a coffee/juice/tea this weekend?

Be specific. Say when you want the potential date to be. This allows this askee to say yes, no or suggest an alternative. It also shows them you’re seriously interested in the date. Their response will show you how serious they are.

Where did you meet this person? Karaoke? The gym? On you way to work? Suggest meeting at that same place on a specific date and hanging out before or after. It’s a common safe and easy ground. Both of you will feel comfortable there.

Another idea is to buy two tickets to something. Something ideally you enjoy. Invite them to come.  I used to make coffee for 2 every morning. I wanted to hold a space for the man I would eventually meet and marry. Today, I make coffee for two and none goes to waste.   Like I said in the first blog about this. You will not die from rejection.  The odds are better than any other form of gambling. You ask them out you have a 50% chance they’ll say yes. You don’t you have a 100% chance they won’t.

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The business man at the beginning of the blog was given a second chance at dating the high school friend. They’re having lunch this week. He wasn’t going to let the opportunity to ask her out pass by this time!

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Share your risk-taking-date-asking stories with us. We’d love to hear them!

Xx~LL

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

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Back to School Blog Party! Aug 21-23

Its August and its that time again!!  We have always loved fall, even though summer is ending, it always feels like a new start!  So come on over, share a favorite blog post or three, and favorite things about fall with us!

Here’s what you do:

  1. In the comments, say hey and post a link to one of your favorite blogs, or even one that has to do with fall!
  2. Let us know if you have a favorite thing that has to do with fall (Clare loves the changing of the leaves and buying school supplies.  LL loves when the air gets crisp and she can go for runs in the changing leaves!)
  3. Go explore other blogs–reach out to your fellow bloggers, visit THEIR pages, and let them know you stopped by in their comments!
  4. Invite more bloggers to party with us!!

Lots of love,

–LL and Clare

Labels are for soup, not people

I have fallen into a trap.  I have measured my value in a relationship.  Many people go through this when you’re at a certain point in a relationship and you’re trying to decide if its time to put a label on what the two of you are.  You know what I’m talking about; you’ve been seeing someone for a while, you do like each other a lot, but is it time to go to that next level?  Do you put a label on the relationship?

But really, what is the point of a label?  As humans we need to know what we are dealing with.  We love a definition.  We love a regularity.  We automatically lean towards anything that can delineate life and quell the questions.  But in reality, a label gives us a false sense of security.  Humans should be called Questionables, because we constantly question what we are and what we’re doing and where we are going.  Inversely, we dislike change, but we are continually changing.  The thing is, someone you are close to can completely surprise you one day because they have changed or are showing you a side you have never seen before.  We truly never know anyone.


Humans should be called Questionables because we constantly question.


And to bring a whole different level to this post, I’ve tried to label a friendship.  Its a terrible rabbit hole… because it shouldn’t matter how important you are to your friends… but for some reason quantifying it matters.  Its kind of like sitting around asking yourself if you and your significant other are ready for the label “boyfriend/girlfriend”… it kind of just happens.  and putting a label or a measure on something only creates pressure on that relationship to be a certain way.  Its like putting “best” in front of “friend” requires a whole separate list of needs/wants/desires/requirements.

Sometimes I think the only point of Live ClareLesley is so I can air my ridiculous notions out for the blogosphere to see, to suffer through with me, and when I get the realization then we can all walk away changed or at least inspired to stop wallowing.  I feel utterly ridiculous that I can’t get this one off my mind.  Its been weeks that I’m walking thorough this.  I have five people in my life that I consider my “best friends” and usually reach for the phone to tell one of them, if not all when something happens to me.  Recently, I went into a really dark place, and wondered if I was the one that people reach for the phone to tell me something.  I’ve been thinking about this, and belaboring the topic with several friends, trying to work out my feelings on the subject… and the answer that is continual is: why does it matter?  Why do I need to be “the first” or “best friend” or any label of friend?

The whole point of labels is security.  But what we don’t realize or remember when we demand a label is that it is a false sense of security.  Why does it matter if a person has a definition in our lives?  Tomorrow they might not still fit that definition.  Tomorrow you might not want them to fit that decision.

So, the thing is, I want, no actually I need to solidify that other people feel the same way about me that I feel about them.  The same is true about any relationship:  in a friendship, you want to get to the level of dependability and achieve that “best” title;  in a romantic relationship you want “boy/girl” in front of friend; in a job you want a title of importance to show your co-workers and other people in your field that you’re capable of the job, and should get the respect that goes with it.


We label because we need to solidify how we feel about others, and how they feel about us. 


Here’s the thing… we only want a label because we are human.  We want parameters for ourselves and others, to understand and realize what we are and what we mean in the world.  A label on a can of soup, or a bottle of water, or a box of crackers leads you to believe that something is of better quality.  But a lot of times, in taste tests, you don’t taste much difference, or you might even prefer the lower quality.  The point is a label only leads us to believe a different set of truths.  It requires a different set of rules.  We should rejoice in the time we don’t have a label—it requires so much less pressure.

The new roommate and I are spending a lot of time together.  We have been going on walks and cooking together, and many times, I pick up my phone and she is one of the people I want to tell my breaking news to… but I don’t consider her a best friend… but in a way, she is.  Our relationship is easy because we don’t have a label on it.  If I forget to tell her something, its fine.  If I text her too many times in a day, its fine.

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I need to treat all of my relationships like this.  Live day by day.  If I offend or hurt or damage something, I’ll make amends and do my best to fix it.  If I am upset, I just bring it up.  Relationships of any kind, are so much better when they are easy, and have no pressure.  Labels create a sense of false security.  It’s a person, not a can of soup.  Love the person, leave the label off, and let your expectations and demands on a relationship fall away.  You’ll be much happier.  Really, you’ll be much happier.

–Clare

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Be careful the things you say: Your brain is listening.

Ok, I know that sounds slighly new agey and bizaro. However, it’s pretty darn true. Your brain (which takes up about 5% of your body matter) can be thought of as it’s own entity. It’s own being. But, this “being” your brain, is controlling you; your steps, your breath, your reality.

I was listening to an interview with the brain guy himself Jim Kwik. He is the famous “speed reader” and gives presentations on how to read faster, remember more and other tricks for using the full capacity of your brain. I promise I won’t bore you with brain details here. However, I have to share this simple mantra of his with you:

Be careful what you say: your brain is listening.

You have probably heard that you should not talk down to yourself. That negative self-talk is destructive. It’s because it is true. Pessimists are more accurate at their abilities than optimists. But, optimists try new things, learn from them and try again! I am not saying you have to walk around being so glass half full you’re in denial of life. I am merely asking you to observe how you speak to yourself. How you speak about yourself to others.

Often I wonder if we played back a recording of our own thoughts if we would still be friends with ourselves? Think about it. You wouldn’t be friends with someone who constantly berated you!

Here are some examples of negative self-talk:

  • I can’t
  • I’m not
  • He/She is better than me at___
  • I wish I was more____
  • I’ll never
  • It’s too late___
  • I’m too___
  • almost any phrase with TOO

I have been trying for years to do a handstand in yoga. Literally years. My fiancée, Brad, has been doing yoga less than 2 years and within a few months of regular practice got up into one. Is he perfect at yoga no but he was “beating” me at my own self-challenge. It was frustrating. How was that possible? I have been doing Yoga longer. I workout more than most people. I should be strong enough.

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After I broke my leg I started a new regime for myself:  LL 2.0.  I wanted to get back into shape, however, I realized I was not rewarding myself on successes I was making. I would finally do a pull up, but because I could only do one, it wasn’t good enough. I would do more reps of a certain exercise, but because I needed assistance, I felt I wasn’t strong enough. My self-chatter inside my head and outside was terrible. So, after I was allowed to walk again I made a declaration. I would check my negative chatter at the door. I was going to talk positively, especially to myself, during my workouts.  I would acknowledge areas that might need more practice. I would celebrate the wins.

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It was not easy. I have had moments where I caught myself saying “I can’t.” Then of course I could go down an entire negative spiral. But, now I am focusing on following that “I can’t” with “YET!” Then replacing the “I have to’s” to “I get to!”

I am still working on my handstands in the middle of the room. I can hold one at the wall for 2 min or longer. I am strong enough. One day I will handstand. I promise to share that with you when it happens!

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Here’s some replacement phrases for you to try:

  • I get to
  • I got to ___ (goal, achievement, level)
  • I am working on
  • Soon I will
  • I am practicing
  • I am training

Think about some instances in your life where you find yourself saying “I can’t” or “I wish I were better.” Is it at work? Do you compare yourself to co-workers accomplishments? Do you spend your precious brain time thinking all the things someone else can do better?

Maybe it’s your own friends? You go out for drinks, dancing or karaoke and you compare yourself to them. Maybe you think they can flirt better, joke easier or have the confidence you might wish you have? They are friends with you because of how awesome you are! Ever think about that? What if they heard the things you said about yourself?

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It’s time to stop the bullying. Remove “can’t” and replace with “get to.”  If your brain begins to hear that you “get to do” something rather than “I have to” do something it will prepare for the occasion in a positive way. If it’s feeling that it has to do something. Well, it’ll prepare for surviving but not flying.

What self-talk do you hear on repeat? Share your thoughts with us. We’d love to help you change that thought from foul to favorable.

xx~LL

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!

8 Tips to survive your friends wedding announcements

I just returned home from a shopping trip to Whole Foods.  Even though I’m happily single, the essentials were needed:  beer, cheese puffs, and, caramel gelato.  This trip was spurred because I was on the phone with one of my best friends who gave me the good news that he is going to propose soon.  Yesterday, I got a text message that my littlest sister is getting married. A few weeks ago, I got a similar text from LL that she, too, was engaged. I’m excited by the news of all three, but also this concentrated injection of bliss reminded that I’m still single…no wedding bells in earshot for me.   In addition to all of this good news, I had a conversation with my new roommate about the social imperative to get married—she is recently single, and feels that urge to “get back out there” and is disappointed in her recent dating outcomes.

As a single person, it feels like we’re only getting older, and time and opportunity are slipping through our fingers as each day pass. WHY is this?!? Yes, my biological clock is ticking. Yes, I only have a certain number of years that I’m able to have children. But, there is still time for my roommate, for me, and for any other single person out there to find someone and achieve “wedded bliss.” There is no timeline that says: by the 28th day of the 32nd year of life, a person needs to be married.  So what is the rush and the big deal over being married/in a relationship/single by a certain point in time, ESPECIALLY if you haven’t found the right person?

In this day and age, we value love and compatibility above most things/aspects in relationships. We like the superficial stuff: money, good looks, proximity, etc. But when it comes down to it, we look for someone who has similar interests that will make us laugh, and that we can live with for many years to come.

We are lucky, because it was only a few generations ago that love was not an option. Marriage was a business transaction.   And in some cultures and religions, it still is. Some people don’t get the choice or opportunity to choose who they date and who they fall in love with. Well, most of us don’t get to choose who we fall in love with—love just happens. We are only get the choice to follow through; to say yes to the opportunity.

I am single. Most days I’m happily single. Other days, I’ll admit, I would love to have someone around to wake up to, or to open the jar that is stuck, or to see on the sofa when I walk in from work. I have lots of friends and two roommates, and although I love them, they just don’t quite fill the need I have. And this need seems to grow a little more when I hear that one of my friends (or relatives) has found a match. Please know I don’t begrudge my loved ones their happiness. I love that they have gone out and caught the illusive love bug. I’m so excited for my little sister, I can’t wait to celebrate with the bestie, and I’m daily watching for flight prices to dip down to buy my ticket to California to see LL get hitched! But I can’t help but sit here and wonder: why not me?   Why hasn’t it happened to me yet? What is wrong with me?

I know I’m not the only one to have these thoughts—I’ve had several conversations with friends over the years about the same issue. I also dodge the questions of: when are you getting married? Why don’t you have a boyfriend? Do you like being single? Bridget Jones answered this question so well: “perhaps its because our bodies are covered in scales…” My answer isn’t as brilliant, its simply, “I don’t know.” I no more have answers to these questions than I have to the mysteries of the universe. The only concrete answer is: I don’t know, because it’s not my time yet.

It’s a weird feeling, because I feel like there is something that isn’t working, but I don’t know how to do anything differently than I already have. I’ve tried dating apps. I’ve tried going out to bars and clubs. I’ve tried having friends set me up. Ive tried being single and focusing on me.  And I’ve done a whole lot of “when I’m not looking for it…” And hey—I’ll be going to at least two weddings in the next year, although that has failed me in the past, too. Its actually ok. I’m not blissful being single, but I’m not tragic about it either. Someday I’ll reach the married chapters of my life. Just not now.

So, how do I survive it?

  • I’m happy knowing that my friends are happy.   Depressed and angry people rarely start new relationships… so share in your loved one’s happiness.
  • Date so you learn about yourself. Stop dating when you obsess about it. Yup. Simple. Dating is a hobby. When it stops being fun, don’t do it anymore. There are ways to meet people without dating. If you need more tips go to Duty Dating, Changing Your Dating Game, or Straightforward Dating.
  • If you build it, they will come. Dating is great and its needed to figure out who you are, but don’t make it EVERYTHING. Focus on your own life. Find activities, groups, clubs, outings. Make your life full.
  • Don’t make your life about one thing. As in: don’t spend all your spare time trying to bag a significant other. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, especially from RomComs—manipulation of their life or yours, never makes a good match.
  • Mix up your company. I LOVE my gay men, but I can’t always hang out with them because I’m not going to find many straight men hanging out in gay bars. I love my single gals, but again, a gaggle of gals absorbs a lot of men. Go out with different groups to different places. Don’t be afraid to go out on your own!
  • Read a book in a bar. Ok, well you don’t have to do that if you’re not a fan of books, bars, or both… but if you do something out of the ordinary, by yourself, you’re bound to attract a different populous—its not foolproof. You might attract unwanteds.  But why not try something different?
  • Understand you are not on a timeline/time crunch/expiration. No matter what you want out of a relationship (companionship/wearing the wedding attire before you retire/having a baby) ANY OF THAT is possible. I know it feels like it’s a handful of bullshit, but really when you are ready for it, your match will appear.
  • Know that NOTHING is absolute. Tomorrow is a different day.  Tomorrow is a fresh start.  (And a scoop of ice cream, a bite of chocolate, or a bottle of beer might get you through til then.)

I know that wedding announcements aren’t always easy, but remember what they are about: a celebration of love and family. If you’re being told about it, you’re considered part of the family and you are loved. Put on your brave face to answer the questions about being single, and then go have fun. You never know what is around the next corner!

–Clare

If you have a comment scroll down past the tags below (or up, if you’re on the main page), or email us at liveclarelesley@gmail.com We LOVE your feedback!! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for DAILY inspiration!