I have an obsession with pasta, I mean obsessed. So of course when I was in New York recently, it was my duty to visit Eataly. Ever since watching Masterchef, I had made it a goal to eat at Eataly and it did not disappoint. I had the Calamari con Sugo di Mare and my friend who is not a big fan of pasta (I know!!!), fell in love.

I plan on organizing a trip back to New York solely to eat more pasta at Eataly and bring back some of the fresh ingredients they sell on site.

Have you been to Eataly? What dishes would you recommend?

 

 

Again. That was all that was going through my mind when I went on my third movie date and I realized that getting a man to buy me some popcorn was a feat equal to climbing Mount Everest. There I was sitting across my date, who had this annoying clownish grin on his face and I was itching to know what had him smiling that way. At that point in our date, there was nothing that could have been that amusing. So, Braveheart finally uttered: “I love that you are so independent and you buy your own popcorn.” I stared at him for a full five minutes waiting for him to tell me he was joking, but all I got was that grin. He was lah-ving it! He was on a date with an independent woman, what was there not to love? A 21st century girl who had her ‘ish together; she works, pays her own bills and obviously she can buy her own popcorn – an extra-large at that. I didn’t know how to remind him that he was on a first date (which would also be his last). Although I may be independent, I forgo a bit of my independence during the first rendezvous.

This was the third movie date in a row where this had occurred and I made an executive decision to no longer allow first dates at the movie theater.

Exhibit One

My co-worker asked me out and I was psyched! This man was H-O-T! I mean c’mon, I hadn’t seen such sculpted arms since Arnold Schwarzenegger in “The Terminator”. So, he pulls up in his brand spanking new car (he probably bought it to impress me) and I step in looking hotter than necessary for a movie date. Everything is going well, he opens my door like a true gentleman, grabs hold of my hand and we enter the movie theater. We’ve gotten our tickets (so far so good) and he literally zips me past the concession stands. He definitely let me know that I would not be getting any candy and ripping my arm was his way of ensuring that I didn’t look in that direction. In the theater, I examined my arm which, surprisingly, was still intact and no ligaments had been torn. My date was enjoying himself, he kept asking “Did you see that?!” – uhm no, I am focusing my attention on your hand which appears to be holding mine. Isn’t it funny how many things you’re able to do with your hands when they are not holding a bag of popcorn or a drink?

Exhibit Two

After that major fail came date number two with baby daddy. What’s not to like about baby daddies? You get to see them in action taking care of their kids so you know what kind of father they will be to yours and having a child builds character. We’re in line and I am staring at him adoringly; I am super excited for our date. We get our movie tickets and we ACTUALLY head to the concession stands. He looks at me, I continue to stare adoringly and he asks: “Since I got the movie tickets, you got the popcorn and drinks right?” Deeeath stare. I mumble, “Yeah sure, why not?” I may be getting our snacks, but you mister will not be getting a second date. He had the guts to add, “It’s cool that you said yes because most women have an issue and an attitude about it.” Ya think?! How completely shocking that a woman who says yes to a first date expecting to be treated like a queen is not pleased when she is instead treated like a second class citizen. I mean I wonder why she would give you so much attitude – so, another fail.

Exhibit Three

I gave you a little taste of date three earlier. It went down like this: we arrived at the movie theater and he bought our tickets. I was less than enthusiastic to be there so rather than waiting for him to offer to get some treats (which I didn’t think would happen anyway), I went and purchased my necessities. That’s when he hit me with that one liner: “I love that you are so independent.” I honestly think that I only agreed to the date because I really, really wanted to watch the movie since that should have been my cue to get up and leave.

I am old school in the sense that I believe men should pay for the first date. Not all of my friends feel this way; some are completely okay going dutch because they do not yet know if they’re into the guy, so they are not willing to allow him to pay for them. I think it’s a nice gesture to pay for the woman and it shows how considerate you are to have taken the time to thoroughly plan the date. I do not by any means expect them to pay for each consecutive date and I always come ready to pay my share. Also, I do not need the date to be over the top or overly expensive – a picnic at the park will do, it’s the gesture that counts and the fact that I’m in good company. Banning movie dates for the first rendezvous has served me well. It wasn’t the best first date idea anyway. How do you really get to know someone if you’re fixated on a movie the entire night? When I finally rid myself of “The Curse of the Movie Theater”, I cheered to better dates and even better company. Lest this serve as a warning, get the girl some popcorn – it’s the least you can do.

 

I’ve been on an NCIS binge as of late, I think I’ve watched all episodes from the first 11 seasons in a two-week period. Please, don’t state the obvious, I know I need a life. Believe it or not, I have learned some important life lessons from watching the show as well as had the opportunity to analyze the dynamics of the relationships between the characters. There are three scenes that stood out the most to me which all involved the complexity that plagues saying “I love you”.

Scene 1

In the first scene, DiNozzo’s girlfriend had already made her feelings very clear; she had told him she loved him on several occasions, but he had yet to utter those three magical words. She got fed up of waiting, but then he finally reciprocated. He was in love, but had been unable to be open with her.

Scene 2

Gibbs, a three-time divorcé, was confronted by one of his ex-wives who had come to understand that she had been the only person in love during their marriage. Rather than refuting this statement, he simply told her that he had “really, really liked her.” My heart just about tore out of my chest when I heard those words – I felt for her (and yes, I am very well aware that this is not real life, but honestly after my binge, I seriously felt as though I was a part of the cast. Note to self: this is sad, get a life!)

Scene 3

Ziva and DiNozzo had an undeniable attraction to one another and it had been an underlying theme that affected their relationship throughout each season. It was clear that Ziva loved DiNozzo and she longed to be with him. During an elevator scene she momentarily believed that he was finally ready to reveal his feelings, not only to her, but to their co-workers as well (the boss has a no dating rule within his team). As she began to say yes to the proposal, he walked out of the elevator leaving her there to realize that not only had she misunderstood the situation, but that it was very likely that he had no idea how she felt about him and that he may not feel the same for her.

Have you ever been in love? When you’re in love you want to shout it from the rooftops and you want the entire world to know how you feel about your special person. Feeling like you’re unable to do so or that you must hold back for the sake of self-preservation (aka refraining from setting into motion the mental breakdown that could ensue if they happen not to say it back), is crushing to the spirit.

The words “I love you” serve to reinforce the standing of one’s relationship whether that means that it leads to its demise or to long-lasting love. Some follow a rule before allowing themselves to tell someone they love them. I have girlfriends who don’t dare say “I love you” lest they hear it first, while others will gladly say it first hoping that it will be reciprocated. But if the person you are dating professes their love to you and all you can earnestly say at that moment is “Oh that’s nice!” is it cause for concern? Can you comfortably continue to pursue this relationship and pray that it will continue to be a “no-awkwardness” zone? Personally, I don’t believe so. I think after that point, the relationship is kind of tainted.

I attempted to say “I love you” once and I mean I really, really loved this guy, but he knew what was about to happen and he stopped me: “I know what you’re about to say, but please don’t say it.” He explained that he cared for me, but that he had not reached the point where he could tell me that he loved me. Then, he went on to explain that he had dated a girl who would constantly tell him that she loved him and his best response was to smile. Smile?! He might have as easily pet her head and said “That’s my girl!” He never did come around to saying “I love you” but just like Gibbs, he “really, really liked me.” I did respect him for not saying it if he did not feel it because some do blurt it out just to keep the peace.

Would I be the first to say “I love you” again? Honestly, I don’t know that I’ve mustered up enough courage to put myself in that sort of situation again. I do; however, wear my heart on my sleeve and there is never any guess work involved as to how I feel about my partner. For some, those words are the beginning of the end while for others, it’s the start of new beginnings.

 

Are you willing to say “I love you” first? If he/she does not respond would it be reason enough to end the relationship? How long are you willing to wait in limbo hoping to hear them say “I love you” before calling it quits?

Sound off below!