Cast Blog: #MISSADVISED

Wake-Up Call

Just Say Yes

Self Sabotage?

Breakdown Breakthrough

How Soon is Too Soon?

Changing for the Better

Dinner Date

Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde

In Treatment

Prom!

Blindsided

Threesomes Please Apply

Witchy Woman

The More the Merrier

Fear of Rejection

Fire Away

Great Lake State

Your Love is My Drug

Never Initiate

Horrifically Brutal

Stripped

Carrie Bradshaw Complex

You've Been Advised

No Exceptions

Wake-Up Call

Julia Allison shares what she's learned about herself from watching the show and reveals her current relationship status.

And so we’ve come to the season finale. As I wrote in my final ELLE column this week:

“For me, this moment is a long time coming, a process that started when I was twenty-one years old, a junior at Georgetown, and I made the choice that would change the rest of my life: to write a column about dating.

They say you teach what you yourself need to learn. Perhaps I knew then (subconsciously) that I didn’t have the tools for a healthy relationship, and my subsequent decade of dating -- and writing about dating -- grew out of that.”

Watching myself on this show was certainly a wakeup call, but the real growth came DURING the show from the experiences I had battling with my own demons, from asking for help from people whom most of us would label “unconventional” if not full blown “woo-woo.” Whatever you call them, they worked.

The episode begins with me sitting on the couch with Peter Crone, the “mind architect.” I was devastated because I had both gotten dumped by Andrew and just learned my grandmother was in the hospital, dying. (The latter was the primary reason for my anguish.)

The end with Andrew was painful mostly because of what he represented -- all of the rejections, all of the failures, all of the endings I had ever experienced in my life. So I was grieving the imminent loss of my beautiful grandmother and the lack of anyone in my life who loved me as much as she did.

And yet, from our greatest pain comes our freedom. When we hit rock bottom is when we begin to change the patterns that most hurt us. As I said to Peter Crone, “I don’t know what I want to do with my life. When everything you thought would make you happy doesn’t make you happy… what the hell do you do?”

His answer was brilliant; he told me to stop trying to CONTROL everything. Because ultimately life cannot -- will not -- be controlled. You cannot say when your loved ones come into and leave your life, whether that be through rejection or death. And if you think you know better than the universe, than God, you will be proven wrong, again and again and again.

“It’s really lonely,” I told Peter that day. God, I was lonely.

Let me give you a little glimpse into who I was before this show. I was asked to answer this question, back in September of 2011: Are you happy? What does happiness look like to you? What makes you happy?

Such a fraught question! Am I happy? Yes and no. Depends on the moment. I have almost complete physical freedom -- to travel when I want, to work when I want -- which I think is incredibly necessary to my happiness. I’m not as financially stable as I would like, I’m not making quite as much money as I would care to make, but I am working on it.But I also think I’m lonely, despite having incredible friends. And it’s not because they aren’t GOOD friends -- they are. It’s just that I’ve set up a life in which I hesitate to settle down for whatever reason (I have theories), and that leads me to feel disconnected from a community, which is something I crave more than I would like to admit. I love being part of a loving community, a loving group of friends, a loving family, a loving relationship. I have many loving communities in my life in New York, in San Francisco, in LA, and in Chicago, but what I really wish is that everyone I loved were in one place.

I also don’t feel that my career is necessarily where I want it to be. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished, but I also want to make an impact -- specifically upon young women, girls who struggle with the same issues I did when I was a teen and in my twenties (and even now). Issues like a severe lack of self-confidence, never feeling attractive, putting too much stock in what others think, in what boys think, not trusting their intuition, not taking enough risks, not being entrepreneurial enough. When I talk to friends or to young people about their lives and making meaningful career and romantic decisions, THAT is when I’m happy.

I’m happiest having deep, fascinating conversations with people I care about, people I can learn from, people who I can teach and people in whose lives I can make a difference. I’m happiest when I’m engaging fully with another human being.

And yes, my life does feel incomplete without a life partner, without a teammate. I love being in love. Doesn’t everyone?

Jump cut to the credits for this finale, about ten months later, as I read the additions to my now infamous 73-point checklist. Have you read my checklist yet? If not, it’s here.And here is Part II:

1)    Be open and creative and encourage me to be the same
2)    “Say YES” should be his mentality
3)    Protect my individuality, freedom, and autonomy
4)    Encourage personal growth and the full development of my authentic self
5)    Create a satisfying, experimental, open sex life (!)
6)    Dedicate our relationship to learning, growing, evolving, and contributing
7)    Be excited to work on creative projects together with me
8)    Create an unconventional life with me
9)    Experiments with everything
10)   Deeply intuitive
11)   Is a MAN
12)   Sexually delicious
13)   Loves fully
14)   Sees my mess and loves me for it

Did you expect me to throw it away? Hahaha, no way! You don’t know me very well then. Any good scientist experiments with her hypothesis, but that doesn’t mean she tosses it if it isn’t proven immediately.

If anything, I needed to expand my theory on love and partnerships. And here it is -- I can’t think of a way to say it better than quoting from my final ELLE Guinea Pig of Love column:

“Here it is, my new theory on love and relationships:

I believe that you receive the partner best suited to whoever you are, whatever lessons you need to learn, whatever stage of development you’re at, and however you see yourself. If you don’t believe you’re deserving of love on a deeper level (I’m not talking about what you SAY -- I’m talking about how you FEEL inside), you will be met with unavailable, disinterested or non-committal partners -- or you’ll find men who love you, but whom you don’t find to be a good match, for whom you feel those little doubts -- like, “Is this it?” You will feel frustrated, like you’re banging your head against a wall. That’s because you (metaphorically) ARE.

The real issue always lies in you. Always. Every time. It lies in you to make the changes that you need in order to have the relationship you want.If I sound like I’m espousing some sort of self-help doctrine, well, perhaps I am. All I know is that when I look back at my relationships over the years, I’ve gotten exactly -- EXACTLY -- what I deep-down, in that secret place in my heart thought I deserved. And sometimes I didn’t feel I deserved very much at all.

So earlier this year, the question shifted from “How can I find a man who embodies the 73 points on my checklist?” to “How can I become the woman my Checklist Man would want to marry?”

Would my Checklist Man want to marry a woman with low self-esteem? Of course not. Would he want to marry a woman who didn’t love her body? No. Would he want to marry a woman who is frantic or stressed all the time? No. A woman who is desperate? A woman who is frequently defensive? An uptight perfectionist? Absolutely not.

So I evolved myself, and in the process, a miraculous thing happened: I stopped caring about the end goal, this future husband, this future marriage. It isn’t that I stopped desiring a life partner. It’s that I started loving myself, and I felt... enough. I felt whole. Prince Charming wasn’t coming, and that was actually OK. Instead I choose to focus on creating a life so full of adventure and love and growth that I was fulfilled without such a man. I stopped looking outside myself for validation and started knowing (not thinking, knowing, on a deeper level) that although I am not perfect, never will be, I am lovable and I am enough.

And of course, of course, the minute I gave up -- truly gave up -- and started loving myself, guess what happened?”

Well, readers: I found him. And he is EVERYTHING on my checklist -- both of them! Our first date happened (I don’t believe in coincidences) to be on the very day my Grandmother died. And that, I think, sums up life. Love and pain co-existing, inexorably linked. Because of course you cannot love without risking pain. In fact, pain isn’t just a risk -- it’s an inevitability. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t love, with your whole being, with your body, with your soul.

So I’ve embarked upon a relationship that feels fundamentally different than every other I have had before it. It feels...healthy. It feels good. He watched the entire series with me, next to me, supporting me.What does HE have to say about it?

“On the show, you say you’re looking for your husband, but in real life I never saw that side of you. You have a more balanced head about it. You’re positioning yourself with knowledge and experiences that you understand will lead you closer in that direction, but you’re not grasping for it. You’re positioning yourself to be receptive when the right person arrives.

You’re so much stronger and mature in real life. That just seems like a less experienced, less mature version of you. You seem all over the map on the show and in real life you’re marching in a straight line. You seem a little Miss... Advised on the show.”

Who knew that being on a reality TV show about being misguided in love would teach me how NOT to be?!

P.S. He kissed me first. No begging whatsoever.

Social Media Cheatsheet:

Me: @JuliaAllison / Facebook.com/JuliaAllison / www.JuliaAllison.com / JA@JuliaAllison.com -- email me!
JP: @JuliaPriceMusic / YouTube.com/JuliaMusic1 / Facebook.com/juliapricemusic / www.JuliaPriceMusic.com

 

How Soon is Too Soon?

Emily Morse shares her thoughts on how long to wait before sex.

Have I mentioned that I love what I do for a living? I mean, I really do. For so many reasons, but I’ll pick one for now: one of the best parts of my job is hearing from my listeners. I read all your emails and try to answer all your questions during my podcast and radio show Sex With Emily on my website. One of the questions I most commonly get asked is: “When should I sleep with him?” This question has come up several times over the past few episodes of Miss Advised and again tonight.



“Are you going to sleep with David?” Correct me if I’m wrong, but I was asked this question by every single person I encountered on tonight’s episode. So I figured you probably wanted to know as well. Well, I can’t tell you until next week’s finale episode, but I can tell you this about the notion of sex and timing: it’s always best to wait as long as you can. Sure, we all get attracted to people and want to sleep with them. It’s human nature. While I don’t believe in the stereotypical dating rules, I do believe that when it comes to sex, it’s best to wait. Here’s why.

There are emotional consequences involved when we sleep with someone too soon and not all of them are particularly desirable. Sex does change the relationship dynamics by nature of, well, nature. Meaning we immediately get biologically hooked on the sex. When we start having sex with someone too soon, specifically women, we immediately become attached.

The “love” drugs (including oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine) fire rapidly, bathing our brains in these “feel good” hormones. Which is exactly why they say love is blind: sex can literally shield us from seeing our new partner as they truly are. This is especially bad during a time when we need to see them most clearly, so you won’t miss major character traits (for example those pesky red flags). These crazy love drugs are released after we have sex with someone and can sometimes prematurely attach us to the wrong people, because we are really attached to the sex.

Making the decision about when to sleep with someone should be taken with greater mental acuity than just following what feels good in the moment. Take the time to get to know someone, see if you’re on the same page about what you want out of your new “connection,” and take it from there.

Talk about where the relationship is going before you sleep with someone. Even if the “relationship” is a one night stand, you should speak up ahead of time. Sex does change the dynamic. There’s no way around it. Tonight’s episode also highlights the age old question, “Do you believe in the one?” I believe there are many “ones.” People come into our lives for different reasons. They can teach us lessons about ourselves and our world if we choose to pay attention. Some of those people are in for a lifetime and others for a few days.

The notion of finding one person to fill all our needs is what’s most troubling. There is no “magic bullet” of a perfect person. No one can fill all our needs, it’s just not possible. So the belief that goes along with “the one” has potential to be a giant fallacy or disappointment sending legions of women on wild goose chases to find their soul mates.

There are people who mate for life. In fact, I’m in awe of these couples. But just because there are happy, lifelong couples doesn’t mean there is only one person for them.

For example, think about divorce or death of a loved one and finding love again. Does this mean the past partner wasn’t really the one? I believe there are many ones for all of us. We might only find one person, and that sure saves a lot of time, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t others out there who could fit the bill.

I’ve found in my life that I’ve had many meaningful, intellectual, playful, sexual, and non-sexual relationships with people that have felt soulmate-esque.

You know, those people that you connect with on another worldly level throughout a lifetime who come and go. I believe that love is infinite, and we have the ability to truly love many people. Oh and what's with Menace’s interrogation of my date. “Have you masturbated to Emily yet?” he asks David over drinks. Did I really just hear that? I thought they were going to get out a ruler and measure their um... feet after that conversation.

You can always email your sex and relationship questions to me, through my website, on Twitter @sexwithemily, Facebook, or feedback@sexwithemily.com. I love hearing from you. You can also listen and subscribe to all of my podcasts here.

Can’t wait to hear what you think about Miss Advised and tonight’s episode.

xxx,
Emily