Walking through the heart break.

It is actually okay right now I was so vocal about my last boyfriend. I couldn't believe the fairytale that brought him to me. I was sure he was my perfect match. We looked similar, had the same design taste and mutual friends. I had done all of this work in my personal life prior to meeting him and was finally in a place where I was happy as single woman. He came in and swept me off of my feet. I was smitten. happy and secure and then it was over.

I sobbed uncontrollably as he broke up with me (sorry to the man who had to experience that...) and even had moments of dark depression that I hadn't experienced in years in the following weeks. There were times that I didn't think the the actual ache of my heart would go away. But, I had put into place all of these really good habits prior to meeting him that allowed me to have a fairly quick turnaround and get back to my normal, happy, full life and open myself up again to someone new.

You can read my tips over on Verily today!

Latest on Verily: What I learned when I turned to dating classes instead of dating apps

what-i-learned You guys. I decided last year when I signed up for my first dating class that I wouldn't be ashamed of it. It took some humility to admit to myself that I actually may just not have known how to date. I wrote about being a 20-something recovering alcoholic, which led to me taking a year off of dating altogether. Then I wrote about how I was able to change my view of what it meant to be single and all the wonderful things that I implemented into my life during that time.

But then I told my therapist that I just didn't have a clue as to how to date anymore. So she sent me to find some classes on relationships and dating and I learned so, so much.

You can read the new article up on Verily today: What I learned when I turned to Dating Classes instead of Dating Apps

Not to mention the fact that the part at the end of the article that seems a bit hypothetical, actually happened back in November. Some new friends asked about my dating life. I told them about my classes and what I was learning. And one turned to me exclaiming that she had the perfect match and that was that.

In other news - we released a new print today with a quote by Saint Gemma: "“I shall love you, I shall love you always. When day breaks, when evening turns into night, at every hour, at every moment; I shall love you always, always, always." You can check it out in the shop.

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Letting go and Letting God - my journey as a single woman shared on Verily

226476_1026851384393_2809_n Last month I realized that my five year old self was still inside of me throwing tantrums about being single at age 27. 5 year old Erica only dreamed of a  handsome husband and a crew of children. She expected to be married by now and is not pleased that it's not all going according to plan. I had this huge epiphany about how that little girl's dream had not allowed me to find happiness in my current life - nothing was successful because I am unable to have a healthy, long lasting relationship with a man.

I got to have some sweet conversations with that little girl (am I the only one who does weird things like that??) and tell her that it's actually totally fine to still be single and that I've discovered in the 20 years since the age of five that life has so many beautiful experiences beyond relationships with men. We came to an agreement that we would approach love differently, we would loosen the reins on trying to find it.

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This in turn led me to contemplating the acting of letting go and in turn, letting God. No more tantrums about dates not going well, no more tantrums that life is not giving me what I want. Today, I got to write about it for Verily -  7 PRINCIPLES THAT HELPED ME GET OVER THINKING OF SINGLEHOOD AS FAILURE.

And as an added bonus, I present you with the powerpoint that I made at age 11 about my future life to show you really how much I love/loved to plan. (This was not an assignment for school - just done in my own personal time) Not one thing actually happened in that powerpoint - I went to a different school, have lived in many states, but never Colorado, studied a different major, haven't found that man to wear that tux and do not have any children. And that wedding I planned was atrocious. And the stock photos of babies.... oh my.

Grab the Let Go, Let God print in my shop as a digital download! I would love to hear your stories of enjoying single life, finding your partner, accepting life on life's terms and more!

xx, Erica

Why doesn't the guy at the grocery store ask me out?

Dating is my favorite topic to write about—I always have a lot of stories, thoughts, observances whirling in my mind about other things, but dating is the one issue that compels me enough to open a new document and write it out. It fascinates me. I think it’s because it’s something that I can’t just fix on my own, it takes another person. When my body feels unhealthy, I change my eating habits, when my spirit feels dull, I spend more time in prayer, when I need more money, I work harder. But when I desire a romantic partner, there is only so much I can do on my side of the street.

I go through waves of not wanting to deal with the difficulty of dating and happily go about my normal life, which is full of other kinds of love. But then I recognize that if my ultimate goal is to in fact get married, I am going to have to tread the waters of modern dating. What does that even mean?

You see, I’ve lived in Los Angeles for a year now and only one man has asked me on a date. One. And it was at a bar, which is a place I do not frequent. For the sake of making a point, I will say some things that I rarely admit. I am a pretty woman, a kind soul, a smart business owner, a God centered human, I speak fluent Portuguese, lived in a place where I was the only English speaking person for a year and a half, have lived in three major US cities and only one man in an entire year has asked me on a date.

(editor's note: I have had a few complaints from men who claim that they did ask me on a date in the past year. They have. Maybe I didn't make it clear enough. I mean aside from online dating. Online dating--I have been asked on dates)

A few years ago, I would be asked on plenty of dates. Men would give me their numbers on the train, ask me to go out in the line at the grocery story or at Chipotle, pursue me after meeting me in a group of friends. And now only one. So what gives?

I am going to fully out myself here. I made a Tinder profile. And I swiped. I swiped 1,000 times or more. I was in New York on a work trip for a few weeks and my friend was on Tinder. I felt comfortable signing up because I was “safe” in the fact that I didn’t actually live there so it wasn’t “real life.” So many men. So many handsome, employed men. At first it gave me hope because I sometimes feel like I’m the last one standing.

But then, it became overwhelming. So many men were interested in me. I have try to be very direct and honest when it comes to any online dating so I state some things that are quite counter-cultural. I write that I am a sober, Catholic woman looking for a loving and committed relationship. And they are usually still interested. I also tell the funny story of a recent occurrence: 

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I have people giving me their numbers, asking me to go for donuts, to dinner, for a walk, for a drink, to grab some coffee.

I’ve been contemplating why it is that men are so quick to ask me out on online dating apps, but no one ever approaches me in real life (I’ve done some polling with my friends to see if they think that I am unapproachable and they have all said that no, I put off a very kind and welcoming aura). Anyway, I think I’ve figured it out. No one asks me out in the grocery store any more because they are too busy swiping on their phones. They are too busy messaging with their latest match. (I just looked up how many matches I have—166 currently—and don’t think that I’m not picky. I probably swipe right on every twenty men). That is a lot of distraction.

So I pass a handsome guy, maybe we make eye contact and linger a bit, and then his phone buzzes in his pocket with a new message and he returns to the hyperreal dating world (throw back to my sociology degree where I took some classes on hyperreality). I must add here after some thought today, I, too, probably am doing the same thing.

There is much less risk, less vulnerability on Tinder. You can’t talk to each other unless you have equally shown interest. By showing interest, I mean, in the half a second that I looked at your picture and noticed if you had a nicely shaped nose and happy smile. The rejection blow is lessened because if she doesn’t respond, there are 165 others.

I can’t blame them, really, but I would like to make a case. If Tinder has shown me anything, it is that there are so many people looking for companionship. For those of you who might argue that Tinder is only for people looking for a casual hook up, I will say that there a few sub groups of users—I happen to live with two men who use the app to look to meet a woman with whom to develop a relationship.

Okay for the case—look up. Look around. Be open, ask each other out, even if it seems like the scariest, most awful thing that you have to do. There is risk. And where there is risk, there is potential for great reward. I'm telling this to myself, as well.

Disappointment over rejection.

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Photo by Marylouise McGraw

I am honored to be published, again, over on I Believe in Love where I talk about one of the best lessons I've had this year on the subject of dating.

And what I didn't say there is that it translates to all parts of my life--not getting a job I interviewed for, or never hearing from a new client that I quoted for a project. These things never send me into the tailspin of wondering what I did wrong, what I need to change, or how I could be different. Instead, I feel disappointed and then shrug it off.

Anyway, check the article over here!

Love,

Erica