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Your girl is lovely, Hubbell

19 Apr

This weekend I learned two things: 1. Mr. Cute but Whiny did in fact read my blog (although he wasn’t the one to find it…) and 2. He has a new girlfriend. She’s 21. (A fact that he shared with me in the same sentence as, “I have a gf”).  At first, I was so annoyed. That’s 3 out of 3 of my past men who are dating 21 year olds:

  • D is “in a relationship” (but still texting moi) with a 20 year old – he’s 26.
  • Mr. Not Quite Right’s GF just turned 22 – he’s 28.
  • And now Mr. Cute but Whiny, who is only 25, but still, dating a 21 year old.

My immediate response was to think, what is wrong with these guys?!

But then I realized, the question isn’t what’s wrong with them. It is, what’s wrong with me?! To be quite honest, I think that this new GF is probably completely perfect for Mr. Cute but Whiny, and as much as it surprised me to realize this, I am actually quite happy for him. Even Mr. Not Quite Right, although I miss him (and have heard his 22 year old is a huge bitch) I still think this chick is probably more his speed.

So, the question remains, why do I keep dating guys who are better suited for 21 year olds? I thought about this a lot this weekend and I think the truth is, I’m still in limbo between Grown Up Cali and College Cali. For whatever reason, I am clearly uncomfortable with being entirely grown up, and am therefore attracted to men who are in the same boat. This would be all fine and dandy, except that then I try and have grown up relationships with these men and am left scratching my head when it doesn’t work out. It sounds trite, but this weekend I had an epiphany – I’m dating the wrong men.

Who I need to be dating is an older man who has his shit together. Like fully. This man is settled in his career, he’s done the party scene, he has hobbies, he’s not looking to move, and he is an all around happy and content person. He isn’t in the middle of a, “what am I going to do with my life” crisis and he thinks the idea of dating a 21 year old is laughable. Instead, he wants to date a woman who will challenge him, grow with him and, eventually, settle down with him. In short, he’s a ripe pear.

So how do I find this guy? Obvi, I am not attracting him right now, but the question is why. After quite a bit of quality self reflection, I realized the truth. No shit I am not going to meet this perfect guy when the lifestyle I just described above is not totally the life I am living. Clearly living in limbo isn’t getting me what I want and I think the time has come to say goodbye to College Cali and embrace Grown Up Cali once and for all. So, I came up with 3 “to-do’s” for myself to propel me to that next level of maturity and thus meet the right guy for me.

My 3 to-dos to meet a mature guy:

A. Start re-prioritizing my life. Partying and having fun are swell, but they shouldn’t be at the top of my list.

B. Re-define fun for myself. Fun can be blogging, running, ballet, hiking, going to the beach, wine nights with girlfriends and long bike rides. All of these types of fun don’t distract me from Grown Up Cali and still make me feel great about life.

C. Try dating a different type of guy. I need to start heeding the red flags as I see them pop up and keep my eye on the prize. There is a saying that I love – “If you are going to hunt elephants, don’t get off the trail for a rabbit.” The key to this little gem of wisdom is that there’s nothing wrong with the rabbit, but if it’s not what your looking for then it is just slowing you down in your quest towards what you want. No more rabbits for me.

Do I think this is a transformation that will happen overnight? Uh, obviously not. That’s not the way the world works. But I do think taking initiative with what I can change, versus expecting the guys I date to change, is a good start. So from this day forward, I vow to do my best to leave the “Hubbells” to their young, simple girls and just be comfortable with being a “Katie” girl. I’ll focus on me, and my growth, and hopefully this will push me towards a whole new set of guys. And if not, at least I’ll save some money and be in a lot better shape…

30 Responses to “Your girl is lovely, Hubbell”

  1. Ripper April 19, 2011 at 6:23 am #

    You want a settled down guy but you still want to be college Cali. How’s that work?

  2. Cali Bradshaw April 19, 2011 at 10:05 pm #

    Sorry friend, accidentally published the post before I was done writing. Read it now…. should make more sense.

  3. Jessica April 19, 2011 at 10:14 pm #

    FYI: older is THE WAY to go.

    I married older…as in 13 years, way past having his shit together, older.

    It’s…well…much better than the 20-somethings. I’m still a 20-something and couldn’t imagine being married to me…(I have no idea what the husband was thinking :) ).

    • Cali Bradshaw April 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm #

      Love it. Yes, are reconfirming my suspicions that older is the way to go. I’ve always dated like a year or two older, but that’s nothing. I need to embrace the 4+ year older guys. Thanks for your comment, Jessica!

  4. Ripper April 19, 2011 at 10:32 pm #

    You are so candid in your posts it’s awesome. I think your on the right track, but don’t be too worried about being a “big grown up” and enjoy your youth (you’re in your twenties right). Enjoy the dating process now and your mate will thank you down the road. :) and besides you don’t wanna change your blog to “grownupgirlwithsteadyrelationship” just yet do you?

    • Cali Bradshaw April 19, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

      HA! Touche. That made me laugh out loud. No, I don’t want to be blogging at oldandboring.com just yet, but I just want to put myself pointing in the direction. I anticipate it taking a while for me to fully get there… Thanks for reading and the comment :)

  5. Alicia @MommyDelicious April 20, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    I am right >HERE< with you about dating men who are grown up. Like really grown up and mature, not just simply older than me (I'll be 27-years-old next week). My last relationship was not good (although we have a 3-year-old son together) and moving forward, I've learned so much. One thing being is that I need to be with men who share my interests in growing together and settling down together.

    • Alicia @MommyDelicious April 20, 2011 at 2:24 am #

      PS: I’m a total SATC fan and totally loved this episode. All 582 times that I’ve seen it. “Ca-ca-ca-curly.”

      • Cali Bradshaw April 21, 2011 at 1:45 am #

        I know, I love love LOVE this episode. I like when Big goes, “I don’t get it.” and Carrie says, “and you never did…” Everytime I watch it I think – STORY of my life!

    • Cali Bradshaw April 21, 2011 at 1:44 am #

      So glad to hear I am not alone in this, Alicia! You are so right that we need people who share our interests. It sounds trite, but I have been wanting to date a fellow runner for sometime. Not because I want to run with them, but because then they will understand my passion for running and they will get me wanting to stay at home on a Friday to run on a Saturday. Not that I need to date a guy who is exactly like me, just a guy who, like me, has hobbies outside of partying.

      Thanks for your comment!

  6. Aubrey April 20, 2011 at 10:36 pm #

    Wow! Did I write this!? Because it’s everything I’m thinking and struggling with myself. Thanks for sharing; you’re an amazing writer.

    • Cali Bradshaw April 21, 2011 at 1:46 am #

      Aw thank you, Aubrey! So glad you liked the post and it is nice to know that I am not the only one in this limbo state. I suspect there may just be a few of us :) Thanks for reading!


  7. sauerkraut April 21, 2011 at 2:20 am #

    If you take up running, join a running club. There are plenty of nice people running, setting goals and not acting like total jerks. And many of these folks are very supportive of what you do as a runner and as a person. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet that special person. I have plenty of friends who met and married thru the shared experience of running together.

    • Cali Bradshaw April 22, 2011 at 10:04 pm #

      Thanks for the comment! I already am running (just finished my second half marathon!) and have tried the running route before with no success. However I only tried one club and only went to two runs before I decided it wasn’t for me. So, perhaps it is time to give it another shot! And you are right, I know quite a few people who have met through their love of running as well.

  8. Simmarah April 21, 2011 at 5:34 pm #

    I JUST QUOTED THIS the other day!! Ahh!! I know exactly what you mean, guys who want the 21 year old girl (heck I was there not too long ago), who are simple, who don’t have anything other than surface conversation to offer.

    AND trust me, guys at 35, STILL NOT GROWN UP… You have to at least look into the 40 year old guys.


    • Ripper April 22, 2011 at 8:00 am #

      Simple is good… And a 21 year old can have more to offer than surface conversation. An intuition like a fox, a sense of humor, a presence!…all the things I look for in any woman.

      • Cali Bradshaw April 22, 2011 at 10:00 pm #

        For some, yes, simple is good. Just not for the right guy for me. I am far from simple – obvs.

        And while I agree, a 21 year old can offer more than surface conversation, it is undeniable that there is a difference in the level of maturity. A 21 year old is just entering the bar scene and is most likely still in college. I hope to date a guy who values a higher level of maturity.

    • Cali Bradshaw April 22, 2011 at 10:03 pm #

      Haha I am not sure I am ready for 40 year old guys just yet, but that trend does seem to be picking up in popularity. Quite a few of my 25 year old friends have dated men over 40. I’m thinking 30-32 would be a great range for me right now. Of course, age means nothing if the guy isn’t mature, so I should amend that to say I am thinking a mature 30-32 year old would be perf.

      And seriously, I love that episode. It is in my top 3 faves for sure.

  9. Ripper April 22, 2011 at 11:27 pm #

    Oh you’re so mature aren’t you. And soooo sophisticated aren’t you. What does that even mean? You like to talk about the news and how mature you are. No thanks!

    • Cali Bradshaw April 23, 2011 at 1:52 am #

      Uh no. It has nothing to do with what you talk about. It’s about how much you know about life, yourself and your direction. Those things matter to some, but it’s fine if they don’t matter to you. That was the whole point of this post. There is nothing wrong with my exs who are dating these girls. They just aren’t in the same place as me.

  10. Ripper April 23, 2011 at 5:27 am #

    I sense a little hostility. I’m just trying to give you a guys perspective on this. But you probably know-it-all already.

    • Cali Bradshaw April 23, 2011 at 5:32 am #

      Honestly, no hostility. Thanks for sharing your perspective!

  11. Elle April 24, 2011 at 6:22 pm #

    Cali, this was an awesome read. Super thoughtful, well written, and bang-fucking-on. You go girl!

    • Cali Bradshaw April 25, 2011 at 4:47 am #

      Why thank you, Elle! I am glad you liked it :)

  12. NewlySingle April 26, 2011 at 5:32 am #

    I recently had the same revelation. Only men from now on. It’s liberating and inviting of them into your life!

    Us mid-twenties women have something on those toddlers, experience. And that is priceless.

    • Cali Bradshaw April 27, 2011 at 1:23 am #

      SO true. The trick is finding the guys who appreciate that… I’ve met a few. I know I’ll meet more. Thanks for reading, my dear!

  13. omg May 14, 2011 at 2:08 pm #

    You are far from being a Katie Girl. Who are you to call us younger girls simple, when you dont even have your own life figure out? Age is irrelevant to maturity. Dating an older guy does not translate into a better relationship; that might be your first mistake. Been there, done that. The key to be in a successful relationship is to be happy with yourself and stop complicating things. It’s about mutual respect and learning to put your own ego aside. It’s not easy, but you will figure out if the relationship is meant to be. You will do what it takes to make it work. Stop whining and figure out exactly what you want out of life and a relationship. Not to be trite, but things are easier when you know exactly what you want (career-wise and relationship-wise) — From a real 23 year old Katie.

    • Cali Bradshaw May 14, 2011 at 10:44 pm #

      Hi there,

      Thanks for the comment. Definitely don’t think dating an older guarantees a better relationship but its about finding someone who is on the same level as you. For me, I have the career of a 30 year old and the lifestyle of a 30 year old, so I am thinking I may have better luck dating a 30 year old. And I don’t disagree with you that the key to a successful relationship is being happy with yourself and respecting one another. But I do think it is naive to tell someone to figure out exactly what they want in life. You’ll never figure that out. Life is always evolving, and even when you think you’ve got it figured out, things change. I’m sorry you mistook my self-reflection for whining and took the post to be an attack on you as a 23 year old. It certainly wasn’t meant that way.

  14. Caligirl27 December 17, 2011 at 1:20 am #

    I was thinking about this post a bit, me having run into this situation over my dating life too. I think that guys our age (late 20s) date younger women because they don’t really want a committment that us older ladies are looking for. The guys are still trying to figure their shit out, yet want a warm body to go home to and a companion to make them feel good, so they date the younger ladies that the guys know most likely won’t lead to a marriage, as the younger girls will want to move on eventually, and if it does work out and they get married, then they have a younger woman and what guy wouldnt’ like that? When I was 23 I dated a 32 year old, I had no idea he was 32 when I met him, he seemed pretty youthful, I thought 27, but I totally freaked out when he wanted to get marriage-serious with me. I almost regret it, he was great. Now that I’m 27 I realize 27 year old guys are still teenagers in men’s bodies. I said that to a guy I was on a date with…oops..I think I ruined it for myself :-)

    And what is it with the west coast being never never land…guys just don’t want to grow up! In the midwest, you have people settling down left and right, and out here, you can be 35-40 and just be starting to think about giving up your surfboard for a real job :-)

  15. ann August 15, 2012 at 6:50 am #

    True..but you are only 26 yourself and in limbo. So dating an older guy might not be right since they might be too old for you. Maybe you are dating people your age for a reason. Like..your 26 if you date an older guy who is say..29…they are still not that mature at that age. Maybe when you are older…like.. late twenties..it will be better to date an older guy. For now..I think you should just enjoy yourself and have fun! It is hard to know yourself in the mid-twenties. (:

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