About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Philosophy of Happiness

I try to live my life by the idea that happiness is a decision you make, not something you wait to happen to you.  With that in mind, I’ve made all sorts of decisions that, apparently, are difficult for many people.  Moving across the country to get a PhD in something I’d basically never heard of.  Starting a relationship/sex blog.  Most recently, quitting my job as a teaching assistant at the U and moving to another city to live with my boyfriend–without even having a job.

My best friend often says that my ability to pursue the path I think is right for me regardless of whether it’s easy or not is one of the qualities she admires the most about me.  However, I have to admit that this move has been fucking tough. I could really relate when I read Holly Hoffman’s post on Introducing a New Person Into Your Life, but I couldn’t help but think–what about when you’re the new person?  Because although we’ve been together over two years, I haven’t been trying to incorporate my man into an existing routine.  I’ve completely changed everything about my life and have been trying to build a new routine–in some ways an easier thing, but in other ways much harder.

The Problem

When I lived in Flagstaff, I had a totally cute apartment walking distance from practically everything.  I had a great group of women friends who met for brunch every Sunday.  I had job security (if you can call $12K a year secure) with supportive colleagues and supervisors.  Now admittedly since I started the 260mi/week commute in September (that’s roundtrip, thank goodness) I had to give up some of those things.  I worked only 3 days/week so that I could spend 4 days in Phoenix, so I had less contact with my colleagues.  In spending the weekends in Phoenix I had to give up Sunday brunches, so I didn’t spend much time with my friends.  But still, overall I was spending 3 days a week living on my own (without even my cats, which had moved to Phoenix when the BF did), walking over 2 miles on each of those days and eating fresh salads and dinners from an independent grocery store 2 blocks from my house.  Then I moved to Phoenix.  Full-time.

Phoenix is HUGE, and while freeways certainly beat surface streets, it’s been a tough switch for someone who was used to walking everywhere.  Plus it’s WAY hotter in Phoenix than Flagstaff (108 isn’t unusual here) so even driving somewhere I have to steel myself to get into the car.  I’ve been alone at my house applying to jobs all day and so don’t see anyone.  It’s very lonely, which has made it difficult to be sympathetic to the BF’s desire to go upstairs, play with the dog, and decompress from his day at work (spent around tons of busy professionals) before hanging out with me each night.

When I was single I was never clingy around a new guy (ha! the opposite), and in fact despised those girls whose self-worth depended upon being in a relationship and who were clingy to the point of annoying when they were with a guy.  And while I intellectually understood that moving to a place where I didn’t have a job and didn’t know anyone but him were part and parcel of the decisions I needed to make to move our relationship forward, I didn’t realize at first how much this was going to affect me–and thus, our relationship–in a negative way.  Not only was I depending on him for entertainment and intellectual validation (since looking for a job provides neither of those things), I was becoming possessive, needy, and moody.  What to do?

The Solutions

1.) Working out. We’d joined LA Fitness together in January but hadn’t been going very regularly.  And, to be honest, the gym had kind of become one of the sites of my neediness–doing all the same machines whenever we went and making excuses for not going if he wasn’t with me.  So I kicked that in the butt and started going to some cardio classes.  The Latin Dance class was a bust, but the Cardio Kickboxing was awesome, and they offer that class 4x/week.  I’m definitely the sort of person who needs company to exercise, but I’m realizing that there was no reason to put that need on him.

2.) Networking. My sorority alum club (go Kappa Delta!) has movie nights every couple of weeks over the summer while the club is on hiatus.  I’ve already met some women and seen The Happening (horrible movie–do not see!) and have plans for Wanted next week.  Usually the BF has to drag me to movies (I’m a tv girl) so he’s been kinda jealous that I’ve been making plans without him to see movies that HE was interested in.  Nice!  Beats him coming home and feeling sorry for me.

3.) Blogging. Lance and I have been brainstorming ways to move the site forward, keep a great experience for you all, and keep challenging ourselves.  Plus I love the virtual community we have going on.  Ironically, it’s a faster way to meet people I have a lot in common with than any in-person way.

4.) Otherwise getting out of the house. I had a job interview last Thursday that went well (I have a second round interview last week) and getting out of the house improved my mood so much that I have tried to run some errands every day that lead to me getting out of the house.  Whether it’s running to the bank to drop off my stimulus check, picking up the dry cleaning, or buying a new purse, anything that gets me showered and out of my pajamas is a good thing.

5.) Lowering my expectations. It’s one thing to have high expectations for his intellect, sense of humor, professional ambition, and talent in the sack.  It’s another thing entirely to expect him to acquiesce to my every whim, never do anything without me, and respond to my every story and statement in exactly the way that I wish he would.  I’ve been making an active effort to do things on my own and reach out to other friends for some things so that the burden isn’t all on him.

Perhaps it was the jump start I got when I finally had a job interview last week, but I’ve been happier, busier, and more independent in the last 6 days than I had been in the previous 6 weeks.  Lately I’d forgotten to decide to be happy, but now I have high hopes about what’s to come.

  • http://cheekiebacktalk.blogspot.com/ Cheekie

    Hey Honey, good for you!
    I, like you, have always had my own stuff going on. Always. I think work has a lot to do with it.
    When you are out of work, which is such a huge social thing for a lot of us – human interaction anyway, being at home alone and frustrated with the job hunt can really really get you down sometimes.
    I know, I am in the same place right now!
    I swear to god if I tweak my CV one more time I will lose it…I find myself calling old coworkers, ‘hey, whatcha doin?’ or sending stupid jokes to people who I know are just deleting them, or just plain annoying people via im…lol.

    So, I decided to do some things for me, that I used to do before the job hunt became my life.
    Like go for long walks to the beach. Go to the bookstore. Daytime things. Nighttime is easier, there’s always someone who wants to grab a drink or a movie, but it’s the day that’s killer!

    Have fun, and thanks for the heads up on The Happening, I wanted to go see that..I trust your opinion…

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Thanks, Cheekie! I just got back from an hour and a half from the gym and the BF was home, which means he’s already decompressed and ready to be social.

    Oh, and The Happening. Basically everything cool was in the preview. Unlike his usual stuff (which I find overplotted), this had a very simple plot. Unfortunately, it was kind of a) boring, and b) public service announcement for my taste. However, if you appreciate truly gratuitous violence, there are plenty of scenes that didn’t make it into the trailer, so it might be worth it for that. Me, I can skip watching people get run over by tractors.

    Honeys last blog post..Philosophy of Happiness

  • http://www.hotalphafemale.blogspot.com Hot Alpha Female

    Hey Honey,
    I love this post and i like the last thing that you say about making the decision to be happy. Sometimes it hard to do, when it seems like everything around you is going to shite. But at the same time i guess its at those times where we have to have the strength to choose what we are focusing on.

    In regards to the movie “The happening” dammit that was the crapiest movie i have ever seen in my life. The ending really pissed me off … i was like is that it?? what have i been waiting for this whole time!!!!!

    The only person that need to see it, is someone who wants more ideas in which to kill themselves.

    Im def in agreeance with you in seeing “wanted” though, that looks HOT. “Hancock” looks fun too, don’t know whether it has already been released over there in the states =)

    Hot Alpha Female

    Hot Alpha Females last blog post..Stop Exisiting And Start Living

  • http://cheekiebacktalk.blogspot.com/ Cheekie

    I highly recommend ‘Kung fu Panda’ lol…
    No seriously. It’s funny funny shit.’my enemies will be blinded by my pure awesomeness’…cracks me up.

    See, that’s the best part about having a kiddo, going to the kid flicks…

    Hey Honey, I thought of something else too, volunteering. I am sure that there are some really interesting org’s down there. I do it occasionally and it’s just a great way to help, get out of the house, learn some new skills and network too!
    Arts festivals are always looking!

    cheers!
    :-)

  • http://www.worklovelife.com Holly Hoffman

    Way to get into the solutions! I’d be so f*ing depressed if I stayed at home by myself. It took a year before I found an apartment that I *loved* before I was OK with going straight home after work. I need people or I get uber-lonely.

    You might try taking a ‘simple’ job in the meantime, like working at a cafe or something you would find fun and not stressful. When I first got sober (that’s when I was the new person… but in my whole LIFE), I took a part-time job at a cafe because I loved coffee and it was an excuse to sit around and talk to people all day. I actually only got paid in tips. That’s how desparate I was.

    I totally hear you on the clingy thing. Being in my first adult relationship, the thing I’m coming up against is how I maintain who I am independently of him. I feel like a wet painting sometimes, afraid of getting smudged, or worse – that I’ll be willing to entirely paint over it. That’s my shit, though. And that’s what I’m working on. I think there’s probably a post in there somewhere…

    Finally, gotta love the blogging! In the past 6 months since I’ve started the blog, I have met the coolest women. It’s unfortunate that we’re all over the country (and world, HAF!), because it would be so fun to hang out. In spite of that, it’s really awesome to (at the very least) know that we’re not alone and that other successful, intelligent (and sexy!) women have been there.

    I’ll say this to you as much as to me, have some patience and be courageous! Do some daring shit, and maybe treat it like dating. Look up some Myspace or Facebook folk in your area and e-mail a bit, then meet up for coffee. Be honest. A girl once messaged me through Match.com with the subject line “I’m a chick on Match not looking to date you.” She just wanted to chat about our experiences. I thought that was cool.

    Holly Hoffmans last blog post..Gen Y isn’t unique; we’re just a bunch of bursty workers

  • http://honeyandlance.com/contact Lance

    I don’t understand why people are hating on The Happening so much…I really liked that movie. Didn’t love it, but it was certainly passable entertainment. I thought it had good tension and some genuinely suspenseful moments. It reminded me of a well made Twilight Zone episode or Hitchcock film. There was violence, but it doesn’t even compare to a regular slasher or war pic.

    Anyway, off topic. I moved to a new part of the country about a year ago and faced these same issues, except I didn’t have a SO to keep me company. I got a roommate and adopted her social circle, which was key. I even started dating one of the girls in her circle. I started hanging out with work friends a bit, played ultimate frisbee 2-3 times per week, worked out a lot, and joined Rotaract, which is like rotary for young professionals.

    Of course, the thing that kept me really busy was going in-field and trying to pick up chicks all the time. That’s like a little part time job. Blogging helped too.

  • http://dadshouseblog.com dadshouse

    Honey – love your approach! For me, cycling has been the thing that kept me going post-divorce. I get on my bike and ride for hours. So your workout/cardio-kickbox resonated with me.

    Movie nights sound great, too!

    dadshouses last blog post..Flirty Text Messages on Craigslist

  • Stacey

    You are so right about choosing happiness!

    I am divorced and currently live alone.I am not in a LTR, but certainly do date a bit and am blissfully satisfied w/ my life as it is at the moment.

    I spend my “me time” mostly hanging with vastly diverse groups of friends, running, kayaking, horseback riding, gardening, practicing archery and reading.I also dabble in multitude of other hobbies that help me stay busy and happy.

    I wake up happy every single day-because it is what I choose to do.I don’t need a significant other to be happy, but if one happens come along at some point he will only add to my joy for life, not become the pivotal point on which those positive feelings are dependant.

    Awesome post.:)Thanks.

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