Ready for the next issue of Single Is The New Black? Good! I slacked heavily on cross-posting it and I apologize. Big things in the works (that’s for another post) have kept me busy. Without further delay, here is Bailey’s perspective. And go give Ce some page-clickin’ love for putting this series together!

*This is a guest post by Bailey Connell*

It’s been a weird week of awkward dates, uncomfortable conversations, and just some straight up crazy situations. Frankly, I’m spent. So let’s cut to the chase of this post: I’m single. It’s not something I wish to be the rest of my life, but the process of finding someone to not be single with can be quite hilarious if you know how to be proactive about meeting people and enjoying life.

As a single, working 26 year old girl, I am committed to not taking the good things in life for granted. My bills get paid. I have a roof over my head. I’ve got family, some friends, and I’m relatively healthy. Of course, my attitude is not always this positive about being single.
It’s a treacherous cycle of meeting someone, getting excited about the possibilities, beginning to fall for them, and then getting disappointed or hurt. Sure, lots of these cases of hurt and disappointment stem down to my date and I not connecting on important values that I will not waver on—my conservative qualities do tend to limit the dating pool. So inevitably, I am set up to fail, over and over again, at dating.

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But you know what I’ve realized? That’s okay. Bad dates and failed relationships are absolutely necessary. If I always had good dates, what would make me move on? Nothing. I’d end up marrying my date if nothing ever went wrong, right? Dates have to keep going wrong because there’s only one guy that it has to go right with. That’s all. I just need one good date! I’m beginning to think that God sabotages my dates because it’s like, “Nah….you can enjoy this experience, but at the end of tonight I’m going to have this guy show you his nipple when you try to have a serious conversation with him so that you realize I’ve got something better waiting for you on down the line.” Well played, God. Well played.

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Like I said, it’s been a weird week.

Furthermore, if I never experienced loneliness, I may never properly appreciate having someone who is there for me. So I’ll just bide my time while God guides me through all these terrible dates and occasional spells of loneliness; I’ll happily accumulate the funny stories, the dates turned friends, and all lessons learned from broken relationships, because I’m holding out for whoever/whatever it is He has planned for me.

Oh, I’ll also enjoy being alone while it lasts, because right now I don’t have anyone telling me to shut up when I wake up at 5am and jam out in my kitchen.

Bio:
Bailey
Bailey is a nurse, and a sort of adult child. She dabbles in writing, music, and making youtube videos. You can find her blog at baileyconnell.com, her videos at youtube.com/baileyconnell, and on Twitter as @bailofrights.

Crossroads

Posted: October 15, 2014 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Alliances come and go. Jobs come and go. Friends come and go. Life comes and goes. It’s all a cycle. Picking and choosing which alliance, job, friend, bit of life is most important- or advantageous- is the tricky part of it all. One more time I stand at a crossroad, unsure. For the sake of those involved I’ll be intentionally vague about the details. But each crossroad is more or less the same, the circumstance is the only part that really changes. So here I stand, sooner than I’d like and sooner than I though and with more complications than I’d like. That’s kinda how it goes, though, right?

I come here- to my page and you, my readers- to clear my head and organize my thoughts when I can’t get to my kitchen. It’s been a crazy ride, one I wouldn’t trade for the world, but I can’t tell if I want to turn right because the current path is the wrong one, turn left because I’m too exhausted to keep going, or hunker down and continue on the road ahead. Each direction is a valid choice, but WHICH choice is the right one? To keep with the theme, I’ll try to ambiguously break each road down.

Turning right: Finagling my way through a situation I’ve never been through before to situate myself into a place more comfortable and closer to what I’m used to. Pros: Less stress (in theory). More support (not that I’ve reached out much on the current road). I’d know where each person’s alliances lay. Cons: It’s not a definite. It requires maneuvers I know nothing about. It’d be one more change and adjustment that I’m not sure I’m ready for or can handle at this point. It could burn bridges I very much don’t want burned.

Turning left: Basically this looks like me walking away from everything, whether permanently or temporarily. Pros: Freedom; sweet, sweet freedom. Less stress (again, in theory), more free time to do life stuff. More money to do life stuff. Cons: It’d probably drive me crazy.

Keeping on the current path: Suck it up, buttercup, and keep going in the current direction. Pros: The least amount of resistance. A chance to grow outside my comfort zone. Other doors could open because of and in spite of staying put. Cons: I could continue questioning every step I take. Watching alliances rise and fall and having to choose sides. The possibility of compromising my own principles and standards.

 

I just don’t know right now. For now I guess it’s back to work and rumbling down this dusty road hoping a U-Turn is possible if I decide this isn’t right for me.

Are you ready for the fourth installment? Single Is The New Black: Patiently Waiting is from a young man’s perspective. You know the drill, show Ce some love on her page before or after reading the article below:

*This is a guest post by Cullen Williams*

The world is ever-changing. In fact, one doesn’t even have to look far to realize these are different times in which we all live. In regards to the political arena – parties, policy, procedure, politicos – they’ve all changed in the past twenty years. The Republican Party is shifting; the elite are trying to hang on to a dying message, and the youth are trying their best to revive a dying party. Unfortunately that isn’t the only hardship facing today’s conservative youth. Relationships. That word haunts me more than knowing that Jeb Bush and Rick Santorum have their eyes on the White House.

For a young, male conservative the dating game is shrinking faster than President Obama’s chance of saving his second-term in office; though I don’t view the latter as that much of a problem. You see, being a young, conservative male I have a list of requirements that I usually follow when it comes to whether or not I’ll take someone on a date.

  • Attractive
  • Politically conservative
  • Outgoing
  • Desire to have a family

 

Because of this list, dating isn’t as simple as going down to the ol’ watering hole and finding my way into a conversation. I mean… those conversations usually happen but they aren’t filled with small talk, the weather or sports. They’re filled with debates on foreign policy, information on up and coming politicians, and why issues like marriage and the drug-war should be on every Republicans’ mind. Trust me, your typical 20-something female doesn’t find this attractive.

However, once in a while I’ll get lucky and run across a female that does not mind politics. In fact, I’ve gone on a few dates where I wasn’t the one to bring up politics. Unfortunately, they usually wind up supporting abortion on demand or mentioning how they voted for President Obama, not once but twice! These are the type of dates that make me realize I should stick to my list of requirements.

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Though I’d like to one day marry and raise a family, perhaps the time isn’t right. I do find myself rather busy pushing up and coming candidates and helping out with numerous ballot initiatives. And while this may be my way of justifying defeat, I do have faith that conservative youth are on the rise. They just need a party to take interest in their ideals – liberty and less government involvement. Though until that day I may be single.

 

Cullen

 

Cullen is a political activist and writer. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri. He can be found on Twitter: @cullenwilliams_

The third installment of the series is my perspective. Being over 30 seems to automatically mean there’s something horribly wrong with me or I have unreasonable standards. Both are false. Remember to show my girl, Ce, some love at her site.

 

The conservative movement is supposed to be about each American living their own American Dream on their own terms (within the Constitution and laws). It’s an appealing way of life, but the movement is also centered on marriage and family. This puts me and those in my same situation of singleness in an uncomfortable spot. We are bombarded with family values and engagements and wedding invitations and baby announcements and glances of pity and sometimes fear- fear of the person catching this icky disease of singleness.

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As I sit down to write this it is late and I’ve completed a full day of work, played therapist to a friend on the way home, taken care of all the laundry for the week, cleaned the kitchen, set the coffee pot for the morning, put together my breakfast for tomorrow, held 11 conversations on various media platforms, ran the vacuum, and made my bed with the clean sheets I just washed. Some days it’s overwhelming to do everything alone then go to bed alone just to wake up alone and do it all over again… Alone.

I love what I do in politics. I love writing and following the news cycles. I love to travel across the country. I love the passion I see in those with whom I work online and in person. What I don’t love is being single. What I don’t love even more is the pity and condescension that comes from some of these people I love so much when they find out that yes, at 32, I am still single (single since *ahem* 2007 when I separated from my now late husband) with no prospects in sight. Sure from time to time there’s been a guy who’s almost piqued my interest but in the end it’s ended before it began. And occasionally some thug wannabe will try to approach me at the ghetto gas station near my home and try to pick me up with slurred English and pants hanging almost to the ground, but this girl does have some standards.

Ah standards, those pesky things keeping us from picking a complete loser. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I’m wrong for having my standards or that I should lower them or that I’m just too picky. For the record, I have exactly six standards. That’s it- six.

  1. We have the same faith. He loves God above all else and can be the spiritual head of our home and family.
  2. He loves me and is attracted to me.
  3. I love him and am attracted to him (he doesn’t have to be the world’s hottest man to be attractive to me).
  4. We have to be politically like-minded. He doesn’t have to be glued to politics like I am, but being aware, voting, and have the same basic ideologies is a must.
  5. He has to have a job, not live in his parents’ basement (or any part of his parents’ house), and have a car.
  6. Be- or be willing to become- gluten free (I’m not kissing someone who’ll make me horribly sick if we touch lips and he hasn’t done a full biohazard cleanse of his mouth after eating).

That’s it. Anything else I might like on top of those six things is just bonus. And yet here we are. I appreciate my family and friends being all concerned, but there’s only so many times a person can be asked if they’re seeing anyone yet before something akin to the climax of a horror movie happens*. It seems as though they don’t understand how much it hurts to be reminded I am apparently deficient in some fashion for being without a partner. Never mind I have crawled my way out of some pretty catastrophic situations to a point where I’m thriving. Never mind I have a good job with good benefits, my own place, a reliable car, I travel all over the country, and I’m living my own dream of writing. Forget all those wonderful things that make life so amazing, all that is nothing in the dark shadow of not having a significant other.

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I’m not delusional, I have my issues and quirks and hang-ups, but I’m also fiercely loyal, loving, intelligent, adventurous (get that mind out of the gutter, I love to travel and be spontaneous), faithful, hard-working, funny, generous, forgiving, and I’m a magician in the kitchen. Yet when I get together with other conservatives at conferences, I see a not-so-secret secret hook-up culture winning out over making any real connections beyond one-night stands, business, and networking. I don’t sleep around. I firmly believe I am worth the wait- his and mine. But while I wait, I get discouraged. Is there really little more than a random hook-up in a hotel at a conservative convention all that’s left for us single folks? George Iles said, “Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark.” For now, I’ll hold onto hope there’s more.

*This statement is in no way a threat to any person or persons in my life.

Bio:

Ruth is an adventurer, writer, and baker. Her work can be found at www.newsninja2012.comand on her blog Conservative and Bacon (www.missruth1021.wordpress.com). Ruth can be found on Twitter and Instagram @MissRuth1021. All American Blogger thanks her for her contribution.

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I met Meredith (Mere- pronounced “mare”- to me) at a conference in Las Vegas in 2012. It seems like we’ve known each other much longer than that, but it’s only been two years. We’ve roomed together in three different states and logged countless hours on Skype, Google Hangouts, texts, and phone calls. We have internet friend dates where we watch Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Once More With Feeling together and sing along even if we have our copies out of sync. I adore my friend and want the best for her even when we vehemently disagree.

Mere’s story is installment two of Single Is The New Black. I’ve posted it in its entirety below but head over to All American Blogger and show my girl, Ce, some love. She’s the creator of the series and an amazing woman.

I have been single for that last two years. Before that I was single for nearly a year. Before that… well let’s just say there is a pattern.

Make no mistake, I’m not defined by who I date and I don’t need a relationship to complete my life. I have plenty of great friends that I would not trade for the world, but friends can’t fill in every gap left by being single.

I’m not talking about sex, get your mind out of the gutter. Y’all need Jesus.

There are so many ways that a romantic relationship is beneficial to a person, but for some people it’s really hard to find “the one” that we were promised by every Disney movie we grew up with.

I’m not single by choice, I would certainly like to have a long term relationship, but being a conservative has really killed my love life.

I guess the problem is that I am consistently looking for a long term relationship, rather than just part time dates to pass the time. If I want someone to take me to dinner and a movie, I have my best friend.

So I remain single while I keep looking for “the one.”

I’ve probably spent just as much time looking at dating profiles online in recent years as I have spent looking at houses in the last 6 months and I have found that there is a lot of similarity between looking for a healthy relationship and looking for the house you want. Both are long term investments (in either money or time) and both involve a certain amount of compromise.

If I had unlimited money or an unlimited pool of dating prospects, there would be no reason to compromise on anything. I could find the absolute perfect match for me and never have to worry again.

Unfortunately life does not work like that for most people.

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So here’s how I look for a house. I made a list of everything I wanted in a house and then I took a long hard look at it and cut away anything that was negotiable, which left me with a pretty short list of “absolutely must haves”. Which included a pool, at least a 9,000 square foot lot, at least 1900 square feet of house, and 3 bedrooms. Anything else I can work on and improve, but some things are just necessary for a home to be livable from the start or are just impossible to change later.

I have done the same thing with relationships. Though how much you want to listen to me is debatable…after all I am single.

My list is short and to the point.

  • intelligent
  • conservative or right leaning libertarian
  • doesn’t do drugs
  • attractive (in my opinion)
  • sense of humor
  • wants kids

Everything else is negotiable. I don’t care if we like all the same books or music or movies, as long as we can agree on a few things we enjoy doing together. I don’t need them to always agree with me or like the exact same food or tv shows. That stuff is negotiable. We will find things we have in common over the course of a relationship and find interests we both enjoy, even if I have to order anchovies on her half of the pizza or she can’t stand that I actually likeLove Actually.

I’m willing to compromise on just about anything, just not those 6 things, because without those 6 things a relationship could never be long term, unless I was prepared to be miserable.

You would think that my list, as short as it is, would be easy to find. I should have dinner invitations all the time, after all I am a fairly attractive woman. I’m smart, can hold a good conversation, and I clean up nice.

Unfortunately I am also a lesbian, which makes this list a little harder to fit to my small pool of dating applicants.

Less than 3 percent of the U.S. population identify themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Tuesday in the first large-scale government survey measuring Americans’ sexual orientation.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/health-survey-gives-government-its-first-large-scale-data-on-gay-bisexual-population/2014/07/14/2db9f4b0-092f-11e4-bbf1-cc51275e7f8f_story.html

Let’s just think about that for a second and do a little math.*

The population of the United States is around 313.9 million.

3% of that is about 9.4 million.

Since around 51% of the United States population is female, that leaves about 4.8 million who are lesbians in the United States.

Now while the percentage of conservatives in the United States is pretty good, within the minority of the gay community the percentage seems to be pretty small. I’ll be generous and assume that 25% of my fellow gay women are also conservative.

That leaves me with 1.2 million gay, conservative women in the United States and the likelihood that I’m attracted to all of them is pretty low. I’m probably going to find around 50% of them attractive.**

600,000.

That’s what I’m left with. In truth the number is fairly low and given that I only get along with about 50% of the conservatives I meet and, while I consider myself attractive, that does not mean that every woman I’m attracted to will also find me attractive. For various reasons, the true number of women in my dating pool just gets smaller and smaller.

Meredith

What’s a gay conservative to do? Especially a gay conservative that is naturally introverted and politically outspoken.

Basically…I’m screwed.

Even at CPAC, a place that is almost literally crawling with conservatives (many of whom fit all 6 of my specifications), I’m dateless.

Gay conservatives, female or male, are basically Unicorns.

I was never the type to announce my sexuality when I was younger. I didn’t do the whole “I’m here, I’m queer” bit and I certainly didn’t have any pink triangles or rainbows in conspicuous places on my person, but now I feel like I need to wear a sign that says “lesbian, conservative, single, please apply here to date me”. It’s not about shoving my sexuality in anyone’s face, it’s just a slight tinge of desperation.

Maybe it would easier if I just didn’t care about the politics of who I dated, but I want to date someone who I can see a future with and there is no future with a liberal for me. I spend my free time mocking liberals and doing my best to prove how absolutely wrong they are and that does not sound like a healthy relationship to me.

The last time I made the mistake of dating a liberal, she told me that my political beliefs were “embarrassing” and this was before I was as far right as I am now.

I’ve had people say that I have unrealistic expectations and I should just lower my standards just a little, but why should I do that? I know what I want and respect myself enough to know that I’m worth the kind of person that I am looking for.

The thing about being a conservative, whether you are gay or straight or male or female, is that we know that lowering our standards is never the answer.

What is the answer then? I ask myself that same question every day and I’m beginning to think the answer may be cats…lots of cats.

_____

*This is highly unscientific, basically I’m just throwing numbers at a wall for effect. Whatever.

** Again, I’m being rather generous here.

* Meredith is a writer who is addicted to politics, legal jargon, and logic. When not frustrating others with her pragmatic, yet sometimes idealistic, approach to politics she loves British television, fantasy novels, and crime dramas.

You can find her online at The Snark Who Hunts Back, Elementary Politics, A Convenient Cook, or on Twitter.

You can find Meredith on twitter as @MeredithAncret, and read her personal political blog atwww.thesnarkwhohuntsback.wordpress.com* All American Blogger thanks her for her contribution to our blog.

My friend, Ce, has begun a series we’ve titled Single Is The New Black. Each article is authored by a single conservative navigating the waters of a movement centered on marriage and family. I’ll be cross posting all the articles, including my own. Go check out the first one:

“It’s a well known fact that conservatism and marriage go hand in hand. Unlike the left, we seem to have an understanding that families need to be headed by a 2-parent household. Yet, there is a growing (and at times frustrated) minority on the right whose voices are not being heard and no, I’m not talking about blacks.”

 

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The change from March 2013 to July 2013

 

I haven’t previously publicly written about my weight-loss journey. Sure, I talk about it on Facebook, but that’s definitely different than opening up myself to complete strangers. It’s not a spectacular story. There’s no epic catalyst that pushed me to change. But there is a story and there is a catalyst.

The weekend of May 13, 2013 I was in Dallas for BlogCon. If you’ve never heard of it, imagine a conference at a beautiful resort hotel, going to panels, trading advice, business cards, phone numbers, and stories, heated debates, staying up til near sunrise only get up two hours later, impromptu karaoke in the hotel lobby at 2:00 a.m., too much caffeine, more pictures than a person would care to count, and the greatest people you’ll ever have the privilege to meet all crammed into a weekend. THAT is BlogCon. It was an amazing weekend. Without exception one of my favorite trips (and I travel 1-2 times a month).

A friend of mine gave the keynote address and then had to hop on a plane to attend a funeral on Mother’s Day. She’d lost several close friends and family members in a 12 month span. She and her husband began their own journey to become and stay healthy. I bake for them a couple times a year and had already begun modifying and creating recipes to accommodate their new, paleo lifestyle. In her speech she urged everyone to do whatever it took to get and stay healthy. She said she was tired of burying her friends and family.

Monday was the last day we all spent together in Dallas. A bunch of us were having dinner and laughing and enjoying one last meal together. My friend, Chad Kent, took a picture of me that ended up on a poster highlighting the weekend. Everyone loved that picture. I hated it. All I saw was fat. All I saw was misery. There I was in a beautiful city, in gorgeous hotel, with people I love, and I looked miserable and miserably fat in every picture. I was heartbroken.

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I decided to try this paleo thing. May 16, 2013 I went through my kitchen and kicked out all processed food, grains, and refined sugar that weren’t ingredients for baked goods my friends regularly ask me to make (I’m the go-to gal for certain baked goods and need to keep certain ingredients in-stock). My biggest hurdle was the bread. I still miss bread. So very much… But I digress. I began working out. I searched YouTube for videos so I didn’t have to darken the doors of a gym and embarrass myself. I cried through the first couple of workouts because my body wouldn’t move the way the perky instructor on the screen was instructing it to. I was mortified to tell people I was exercising and eat healthily. Clearly all my fat was still in place so, in my mind, how could I expect people to believe me?

As many times as I’ve been told the psychological journey in losing weight is the hardest, I never fully grasped the concept until I began my own journey. I refuse to own a scale for this fact alone. If I had a scale, I’d obsess over the number and not focus on being healthy. At 32, I’ve never been healthier- my doctor and I even found out I have a pretty intense gluten intolerance that was causing nearly all of my health issues, but have been able to manage it by staying paleo and being a control freak about every piece of food put in front of me.

I’m not at my goal yet. I’m closer today than I was yesterday. I’m within view of it in a way I never thought I’d be. I actually see the size I’d like to be as a reachable size. I’m even seeing smaller sizes as possible. But every time I look in the mirror I still see that same fat face from Dallas. I still see every roll, pound, bulge, and jiggle that was there before I began. That almost triple chin I had still haunts me with every turn in the mirror and every candid picture I don’t control. This past weekend I bought a skirt from the “normal people” section of the store. It’s not a small or anything, but I didn’t have to search in the plus size area for it. I was so excited. Until this morning when I put it on and looked in the mirror. Again, I saw every tiny imperfection showing. Chances are, no one else does, at least not to the extent I see it all. But from my point of view I only see that 300 lbs. girl in the mirror, mocking every victory I’ve had in the last 365 days.

I haven’t kept 100% on track in the past year, but I keep going back any time I deviate. I continue to push through the setbacks and personal disappointments. Some days I cry because I want to taste “real” bread again. Some days I buy a bag of peanut butter M&Ms and eat only that for dinner. Those days are rare, but, I might as well be honest: they happen. I’m not perfect. I still have fat. I still get winded walking three flights of stairs to to the top of the parking garage at work where I eat lunch on the nice days. Some days I want to just call it quits and give in to cheesecake and cupcakes and biscuits and cookies (I have an intense sweet-tooth), but those days pass and I drink my fruit and eat my salads and chicken and remember I’ve never felt better, I’ve never been healthier. Maybe this time next year I’ll have reached my goal. Maybe I won’t have yet. Maybe I’ll have a new story. Maybe there will be a huge change to my journey. Who knows? But for now, I’ll keep going.

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May 6, 2014