An open letter to my future spouse

Dear future husband,

I know I haven’t met you yet, but I hope you are learning all the lessons you need to shape you into the perfect match for me. It takes enduring many heartaches, successes, and failures for a person to mature and become wise. I always wanted to be at least 27 before I got married; I knew it would take that long for me grow wise enough to make that decision, and mature enough to understand that level of commitment. I still have quite a way to go, but that’s okay. Although I wish I would find you tomorrow, I will patiently wait until our timing is perfect.

I’m learning to be happy on my own, but it’s often lonely without you. It will be so nice to someday have you there all the time, to share a home, enjoy meals, go for walks, watch TV, go to church together. I’m tired of doing everything solo, but I refuse to settle for anyone who’s not…well, you. (By the way, I hope you love running as much as I do, because I need someone by my side at all my races.)

Please don’t worry about whether you’re tall, handsome, athletic, rich, or successful enough; I don’t care about those things. Instead, focus on your character and integrity. I care about how you treat me and how you treat others (particularly those less fortunate than you). It also matters that you can take care of yourself and can take care of me. I hope you make the effort to eat right, exercise, enjoy nature, and see to any of your medical needs. How can you take care of me if you can’t take care of yourself? I also don’t care what you do for a living, as long as you can provide for me in hard times. And I will try to do the same for you.

I hope you’re not out there breaking too many hearts. I also hope you’re not getting your heart broken. You must be Catholic, because that’s my number one dating requirement; I hope you’re staying true to your faith and keeping your relationships pure. Don’t fall into the hookup culture of our generation. Keep your standards high, and don’t settle.

Hopefully by the time we finally encounter, I will meet your standards. Everyday is a step toward self-improvement. Just please know that I’m not perfect–in fact, I’m far from it. There are some days when I can be jealous, cold, and distant. But what makes you special is that you love me in these times, just as much as when I am happy and cheerful. Because that’s what unconditional love is, and I can’t wait to find that in you.

Love,

Cori

Wanted: Prince Charming

While sorting through some old notebooks tonight, I fumbled upon an amusing personal ad I wrote a couple years ago. Since it still rings true today, I thought it was worth sharing:

Shy brunette seeks single bachelor in his 20’s. Must love dogs. High school degree required, bachelor’s preferred. The ideal candidate will be tall, thin, and athletic. Kindness, respect, and generosity are musts. Candidate must be Christian, humble, and not clingy.

Applicants who participate in smoking, drinking, clubbing, promiscuity, or related activities will not be considered. Before being selected, applicants will undergo a social media check (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

Interviews will be conducted at Starbucks over coffee. Interviewee must be able to cover his own transportation and expenses (plus mine). Use of any 4-letter word, crude gesture, or snide remark may result in your application being rejected.

Desired qualifications: musical talent, athletic abilities, 6-pack, interesting talents or hobbies, nice family, cooking skills, computer skills (the ability to fix my computer when needed).

Duties will include buying me dinner, taking me to movies, treating me to ice cream, walking with me at the park, listening to my ideas and offering input, and telling me I’m beautiful. On occasion, candidate may be needed to act as a personal bodyguard. Candidate will be responsible for planning and executing fun and creative date ideas.

This listing is part of a career progression series. If candidate fulfills duties, he may be eligible for promotion to fiancee.

Please send resume, love letter, and links to 3 social media sites to ccormier@my.centenary.edu. This position will remain open until ideal candidate is chosen.

Cori is an equal opportunity dater.

Karma

As a Catholic, I never really believed in karma nor did I relish the idea of seeking revenge. Jesus turned the other cheek, and so should we. Maybe the person who wronged you will eventually regret it, or maybe their life will turn out fabulous. Maybe a little bit of both or none of the above. But it shouldn’t be your concern. The best thing to do is forgive them, let it go, and focus on your own life. Success is the best revenge.

Finding my strength

Break-ups are one of the most painful things you’ll ever go through—especially if you’re the one being left. Two weeks ago, I was left behind by someone I loved truly and unconditionally. I would have done anything and everything to make it work, even if it meant compromise. I tend to be fiercely loyal in relationships, and if I want to be with someone, I’ll give up anything not to lose them. But in this instance, it still wasn’t enough.

Losing someone you love is a real test of your inner strength. The temptation is to be weak and let it get the best of you; to stay in bed all day, to become bitter, to beg them to take you back, to drink yourself into an oblivion. It takes a strong person to get out of bed, get dressed, go to work, get homework done, take care of themselves, and not seek revenge on or contact with the one who hurt them.

I had no choice but to be strong over the last two weeks. The night my ex broke up with me I was writing a paper for my group research project. I had two classmates counting on me to do my part, and I stayed up till 4:30 am getting it done, crying the whole time. The next morning I had to open the campus food pantry. I tried to get out of work, but no one could replace me. So I showed up, running on two hours of sleep, trying to keep myself composed, and helped people. One sweet student who came in and saw my eyes thought I was sick; he made some recommendations on how I could get better. I couldn’t help but cheer up from his kindness. Later, my boss graciously gave me the afternoon off, and when I returned to work that night there were cookies on my desk.

When I had woken up that morning, I felt as though my world had crumbled. What would I do in my free time? Who would I share meals and stories with? Who would I turn to if I needed to talk or if my car broke down? My world seemed so empty and lonely. But throughout the week, I saw my mom, my grandpa, lots of college students, my classmates, and professors. All of whom showed me nothing but kindness.

I lost not only a companion, but an entire community of people surrounding him. I spent so much time with them, I neglected my own friendships and stopped making new friends of my own. The loneliness is almost too much to bear, but I have to learn to make it on my own. I’m looking forward to new adventures in travelling, making new friends, and jumping back into the world of dating. My mom sent me this picture to remind me that around every river-bend, a new adventure awaits.

creek

In the meantime, if anyone reading this has advice for me, please comment below and/or leave me your email address. I’d love to have someone new to talk to!

My break-up playlist

When you’ve just gotten your heart broken, listen to this (and stay away from those sappy love songs!):

  1. Before He Cheats, by Carrie Underwood
  2. Tornado, by Little Big Town
  3. You Lie, by The Band Perry
  4. A Little Bit Stronger, by Sarah Evans
  5. I Hope it Rains, by Jana Kramer
  6. Cheater, Cheater, by Joey and Rory
  7. Jar of Hearts, by Christina Perri
  8. I’m a Keeper, by The Band Perry
  9. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, by Miranda Lambert
  10. Good Girl, by Carrie Underwood
  11. Undo It, by Carrie Underwood
  12. Done, by The Band Perry
  13. Trailer For Rent, by Pistol Annies
  14. Baggage Claim, by Miranda Lambert
  15. Redneck Crazy, by Tyler Farr

And last but not least, my personal favorite: Gunpowder and Lead by Miranda Lambert! Download, sing along, drink some wine, and go find someone who actually deserves you 🙂

My dating standards

  1. A laid-back personality. There is nothing I hate more than someone yelling–at me, at other people, or just yelling over a football game or something stupid like that. My guy can absolutely not be short-tempered. If there’s one thing I won’t tolerate in a relationship, it’s someone picking fights, starting debates, and getting worked up over petty things.
  2. Kind, compassionate, thoughtful, and caring. Not just towards me, but towards other people. Especially the poor, hungry, and powerless. They say your character is how you treat those who can’t do anything for you. My perfect man should have great character.
  3. Sweet and affectionate to me. And only me. I can’t stand guys who flirt with everyone. He shouldn’t give me any reason to doubt the relationship or feel jealous. It’s that whole trust thing.
  4. Crazy about me–but not literally. Sure, I want someone who wants to spend all our time together and is always thinking about me. But sometimes guys overdo it. They become obsessed: calling ten times a day, sending text after text even when I don’t respond (“hey”, “what are you doing?”, “Helloooo?”, “????”, “r u alive?”), wanting me to give them all my time and energy. The ideal guy will not develop an unhealthy obsession with me.
  5. Open-minded to my faith. I’m not too picky when it comes to religion. I’m Catholic, but I won’t try to convert whoever I date. I just ask that they do the same. Like, don’t question what I believe or try to convince me that organized religion is wrong. I want to get married in the church, and if, when the time comes, he isn’t willing to go along with that simple request, maybe he’s not the right one after all.
  6. Tasteful. Not just in the movies they watch, the music they listen to, and the clothes they wear. But also in their behavior and rhetoric. I find foul language extremely distasteful. My ideal won’t be obnoxious, foul-mouthed, listen to the likes of Miley Cyrus or Chris Brown, like idiotic films like The Hangover, or drive around with rims and a deafening muffler. Bleh!
  7. Fun to talk to. A pet peeve of mine is when a guy texts or IMs me and doesn’t bother to form complete thoughts or sentences. I have no interest in texting someone who sends me the following messages: Wyd?, Hey, Sup, How r u? Is it really that hard to type out a whole word?! And if I text you something and you reply “whatever”…oh no. That word is so rude and lazy. I’m a writer, I like words. Use your words!!
  8. On the same wavelength as me. I can only connect with someone if we think alike when it comes to what really matters in life. For example, if a guy is driven by money and power, he won’t mesh with me because I value the simple joys in life (which are usually free).
  9. Humble. It seems like a lot of guys I know are conceited and arrogant. They always talk about themselves, and never fail to mention how many degrees they have, how much money they make, how many girls they’re going out with. Newsflash: I’m not impressed by any of it.
  10. Then there are the usual things: must love dogs, athletic, sense of humor, no drugs, within 5 years of my age, honest, loyal, not a player. And the deal-breakers: bad hygiene, immaturity, frat boy, judgemental, overly suggestive.

5 easy steps to get over someone

  1. Cry. It’s your initial reaction, so just go with it. Why do we always try to suppress tears? Whether they’re tears of joy, tears from laughter, or tears of sadness, we always try to stop them from flowing. And what for, so we won’t smudge our mascara?! Never be ashamed to feel emotion. I believe that it’s much easier to wear your heart on your sleeve than bottle up your feelings–plus, others will admire your transparency.
  2. Run. Lace up those sneakers and run away from the pain. Run as far as you need to. When you can’t feel the pain anymore (or when the physical pain has taken precedence over the emotional), head home and proceed to step 3.
  3. Indulge in back-to-back romantic comedies while drowning your sorrows in ice cream. The wonderful–though perhaps unrealistic–relationships depicted in the movies will renew your sense of hope that true love exists. And that maybe someday, out of the blue, you’ll bump into someone on the street and your very own predictable, adorable romantic plot will unfold from there. In the meantime, at least you’ve got this pint of ice cream.
  4. Listen to music–but not love songs. From Survivor to I Will Survive, there are lots of songs out there that speak to the strong, independent woman. I personally enjoy Miranda Lambert’s album Crazy Ex Girlfriend. She’s sitting on her front porch with a shotgun and a cigarette. And to think, I thought I was crazy!
  5. Find a creative outlet. Writing, drawing, music, photography…so many possibilities. These provide distraction from a break-up (or a crush gone terribly wrong). But eventually they become more important than the thing they were distracting you from. You’ll find yourself caring less about that person, and more about your art. Prove to yourself that you can create something beautiful, and you’ll inspire others as well.

Can’t hurry love

The other day in the YMCA locker room, I overheard an older lady telling another lady that she’d attended two weddings this summer: one for a nephew, the other for her sister. “My sister’s engagement was a big shock,” she explained. “She is 64 and has never been married; he is 69 and has never been married. And get this–they’ve been going together for 40 years!” I thought, this has Golden Girls written all over it! (In case you didn’t know, it’s my favorite show. Christopher Lloyd is brilliant.)

One of my favorite aspects of Golden Girls is that these four women are still dating in their 50s, 60s, and beyond. I especially love Dorothy’s story. You see, Dorothy had married a schmuck named Stan at a young age because she was pregnant, and eventually divorced him when he cheated on her. I love that she gets her chance at true love on the final season of the show, when Blanche introduces her to her uncle Lucas and the two get married.

A lot of people in their 20s feel as if they need to settle down and get married. Sometimes you find someone who brings you some mediocre level of happiness and you decide you might as well stick with them. I mean, they’re good enough, your biological clock is ticking, and all your friends are getting married. But sometimes waiting is good.

I recently stumbled upon this quote, which I saved because it is so accurate: “There are three types of people in the dating world: 1.) the players, 2.) those who are in a hurry to get married, 3.) those who are genuinely waiting for their shot at true love.” As a hopeless romantic (and I do mean hopeless), I definitely fall into the third group.

If you wouldn’t shout from the rooftops how much you love this person, if you don’t tell all your friends about them, if you aren’t proud to show them off to your family, then you need to think: do I really love them, or am I just settling for them? No one wants to settle, and no one wants to be settled for. It’s unfair to both parties.

I listened amusedly as the locker room lady continued, saying, “When I got the wedding invitation in the mail, I thought, ‘Is this a joke?'” I must admit that it’s a little strange to wait 40 years to propose to your significant other. Wouldn’t you know after the first, oh I dunno, 10 years?? But anyway, I’m happy they got their happy ending. 🙂

Love doesn’t have to happen in your 20s. You could find it in your teens, in your 90s, or any time in between. And when you do find the right person, you’ll want to shout it from the rooftops (as will they). Sometimes love takes its time, so you must be patient. In the meantime, have your own life and find out how to be happy without a significant other. By the time Mr./Mrs. Right does come along, you’ll have lots of wonderful traits to share with them.

8 reasons you don’t have a girlfriend

Bachelors, this one is for you! Ever wonder why you don’t have a girlfriend, even though you’re a perfectly nice guy? Well I’m no relationship expert, but I am a girl. And I’m pretty good at making observations. If you can’t seem to snag a lady, check out my thoughts on what might be holding you back:

  1. You don’t take care of yourself. Guys, we all know you want a girl who is fit, smells nice, wears clean clothes, etc… Well I have news for you: the saying “it hurts to be beautiful” is not entirely false. Girls hate plucking their eyebrows, running on the treadmill, and spending $30 on teeth whitening strips. If we go through all that trouble to impress you, we expect the same courtesy in return. If you’re a total couch potato with bad breath and a unibrow, spend some time focusing on self-improvement before you focus on a love life.
  2. You date every girl you meet. Do you update your relationship status so often that people don’t even bother to “like” it anymore? Do you begin dating someone new within two weeks of a breakup? Then I’m talking to you! The problem I have with guys who constantly jump into relationships is that they date without discretion. They will ask out anyone they meet, which makes them look desperate. I had a guy tell me that when he met his girlfriend, he wasn’t that into her–but since they were both single, he figured they “might as well date.” Um, what?! After they broke up, he immediately jumped into another relationship. When that ended, he had the nerve to ask me out. My response? No. I’m special, and I don’t want to date someone who would date anyone.
  3. You’re obsessed with us. For every text I send, you send four; if I don’t respond to those, you’ll call, leave a voicemail, send a Facebook message, read my blog, and check my Instagram. You want to know what I’m doing every second of every day. Even though I’ve repeatedly rejected you, you still try to woo me. Boy, please. Even if I did like you, it was over when you started smothering me. Guys, if you’re thinking about that special lady 24 hours a day, don’t let her know. Play hard-to-get, be a little mysterious. There’s a fine line between love and obsession. Don’t cross that line.
  4. You have a bad habit. No, I’m not talking about something as elementary as picking your nose or biting fingernails. I’m talking about habits like smoking pot, binge drinking, or lying–relationship deal-breakers. Nice girls (you know, the ones who are girlfriend material) won’t tolerate these kinds of habits. Take a good look at yourself: do you blow all your money frivolously? do you smoke? take drugs? use vulgar language? cheat in relationships? disrespect your parents? Whatever it is, fix it before Mrs. Right comes along.
  5. You’re too serious. Some guys are so afraid to say something politically incorrect, talking to them is like walking on eggshells. Others just have no sense of humor. Whatever the guy’s problem is, if he doesn’t smile or laugh on a regular basis, he will never get a date. I’ve seen this mostly in extremely intelligent guys with better-than-thou attitudes, the future PhDs amid my college science classes. News alert: as brilliant as you may be, you need to get over yourself.
  6. You ignore us. GIRLS LIKE TO BE PURSUED! Don’t wait for us to throw ourselves at you, because we won’t. We can’t read minds, so if you like us you need to give us a little indication. An invitation to a movie, a compliment…something to show your interest. I know I said don’t be obsessed with her, and I stand by that–but don’t ignore her either.
  7. You don’t listen. Ask me a question about myself. Now, shut up and listen! Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next. If I’m talking about my cat’s pink eye, you should remember to text me the next day and ask how Fluffy is doing. Thoughtfulness is an important trait girls look for.
  8. You don’t treat your mama right. How you treat your mom tells that eligible bachelorette a lot about how you would treat her in 20 years. Do you treat your mom to dinner, ice cream, movies? Do you say “thank you” when she cooks your meals or washes your clothes? Do you remember her birthday? If you’re in the habit of fighting with your mom, ignoring her calls, or expecting her to do everything for you… Either fix it, or warn your future wife to lower her expectations!

“Describe the perfect man,”

said my health teacher on our last day of class as she handed us each an index card. I was silently celebrating the end of the most awkward class of my high-school career: sex ed. Our teacher was a spunky, tell-it-like-it-is kind of lady. And we were a bunch of Catholic-school girls in blazers and plaid skirts (some shorter than others, a measurement which was directly correlated with social status). The assignment was to list traits we wanted in a future husband. “You need to start thinking about what’s important to you. You need to set standards,” she lectured. The little cogs in my under-developed brain began turning. And my 15-year-old self concocted the following list, word-for-word (prefaced by the statement “I want to be an independent woman! But if that doesn’t work out, my man has to be…):

  • tall
  • handsome
  • pale
  • black hair
  • conservative
  • well-educated
  • not a slob
  • funny
  • laundry-doing
  • non-jerk
  • likes animals
  • polite
  • loving
  • no drugs
  • no more than 7 years older than me

Okay, okay. So some of these items are negotiable–like, I’m not sure why I thought paleness was an important trait; maybe because the Twilight series had me in a vampire craze? However, I like my list and I’m sticking to it! (Er, for the most part.)

Since I wrote that list, I’ve been on a few dates here and there and I’ve had one long-term relationship. But none of those guys quite fit this description. At the age of 22, I’m starting to see many of my peers get married, and–I’m not going to lie–it’s putting me in a mild panic. While I’m sitting around waiting for Prince Charming/Edward Cullen to come along, all the guys my age are getting snatched up. My pool from which to choose is dwindling.

I know, I know, I’m being a little melodramatic. But dating can be a daunting thing for today’s young adult. Many young people are already divorced. Many already have children. Even in their 20s, singles come with baggage that complicates their relationships. Furthermore, in our increasingly promiscuous society, people have varying ideas of what a relationship entails. Finding a gentleman who isn’t already taken or emotionally unavailable is not easy. And where to find them? I don’t go to bars to meet guys, because I don’t want the kind of guy who hangs out at bars. Nice guys have the same problem with meeting people. I can only imagine they struggle to find a girl who isn’t catty, spoiled, gold-digging, or “plastic.”

It’s taken a while, but I think the lesson my health teacher taught us that day has finally sunk in. We shouldn’t settle for someone who doesn’t meet our standards, even if it seems like that ideal person will never come along. As you mature, dating becomes more than just a fun game; it’s the journey to finding your life companion. Everyone you date will have flaws. You have to consciously think about which flaws you’re willing to live with (it’s okay if Prince Charming/Edward Cullen doesn’t have black hair, but doing drugs is a deal-breaker). I believe the trick is finding someone whose flaws only make you love them more.