EX Files: The Date That Wasn’t

Investment Piece: Ex Files: Valentine's

It’s ex-files, where we stop chatting fashion for just a minute and talk dating horror stories. An attempt to be like Carrie Bradshaw? Sure. But let’s be honest, dating horror stories are both horrifying and funny. Names may have been changed to protect identities, some details moved about. Hungry for more? Try: Tinder on an Airplane, Jumping to Conclusions, and The One Who Asked for his Money Back. There are quite a few more when you search “ex files” in the search tab!” Also if you want to be written warmly about- behave better! xo RA

This month’s ex files may take liberty with the word ex- as it’s not like we are exes. BUT. Let’s admit that dating is supposed to be the process of seeing who might be compatible with you for a long term relationship. Or at least at short term meet up. So when the person you’re supposed to me (or are writing about!) throw red flags as if they were confetti what do you do- other than not go??

And to be fair? This dude may not know that he was giving off red flags. And in my 20s I would have politely bit my lip, met up and hated him. Now that I’m not 22– I just said no. Here’s what happened:

Ryan and I met in an alumni club. What may be my fault: he is in real estate. My sister and I do notary on the side so when he messaged me in an alumni local group I assumed that was what he wanted to meet up about. He never mentioned drinks or dinner- it was always “meet up”. SO – I would give our availability and leave it. This went on for months.

Then. Messages got to the point where I got that he was asking me out (aka all of the sudden he mentioned he was interested in meeting me and wanted to get to know me)– and yet when I let Ryan know when I was free he was either busy or didn’t respond. After checking him out (yes- the internet works both ways thankfully!) I was pretty determined Ryan and I weren’t a match.

Then. He messaged me letting me know he was desperate to meet me. HE would do anything. I gave him some times. We made a plan. He canceled last min. As I was raised to be over accommodating I let him know that I was fee for coffee all the next morning. He texted me at 4p that day asking what my day looked like. I let him know that at this point I was in, I had given him times and hadn’t heard from him, had an early morning the next day and that it wasn’t good timing for me.

Ryan responded by throwing a fit over text. Letting me know that he wanted to me. That he didn’t understand the time frame. That he was going out (although in a different city) and I should meet up. Whining when I said no. Whining more when I mentioned that was not where I lived (think- Manhattan to Brooklyn), and whining MORE when I said I had a bed time as I had an early call time. Essentially crying and pushing back at all my boundaries.

And in my 20s- I probably would have relented. I would have said yes. And met him and have secretly been mad. Or when Ryan suggested a drink after my early call time I would have said yes and made sure I made it. Great news for me? I’m not in my 20s!! I no longer care about what random Ryan’s think- because truly- if they wanted to they would make a plan. Ask you out. Take all your notes into the plan.

Whining at me. Blaming me for “not meeting sooner”, acting like a 5 yo when someone said the slightest no? Not something I want in a partner. And perhaps the difference in my dating now is that I’m not looking for a date- I am super happy at home with my closet. To get past that, I need a partner. And if you let me know from the get go you’ll be a horrid one- why would I get past “hi”?

AKA. The older I am the less I let red flags fly. What are some of yours? What was a sign that someone was not for you?


Your Ex Files

Investment Piece: Ex Files 6 types of boyfriends

I have LOVED sharing my dating horror stories with you the past few years. And don’t worry- there are still plenty of stories that I plan on sharing after the new year! But. I’ve been thinking. I know I’m not the only one with horror stories about dating and exes. Every month I get DMs and emails commiserating, telling me stories, laughing along! SO. I want to open up this space for anyone who wants to share. How will it work? You can write your own Ex Files (or send me the gist and I can write it up for you!), and then in our Ex Files segment I will share it!
-We can alter and protect every and any one as needed!

Interested? Have an idea about it? Reach out! I would love to hear your thoughts- and if you want- your ex files!!

In the meantime, I’m wishing us all a week of good exes and amazing shoes! XO RA

Ex Files: The Haunting

Investment Piece: Ex Files: The Haunting

We’re back!! That’s right it’s Ex Files, dating horror stories, my final attempt to live my life a la Carrie Bradshaw. (And let’s not pretend horror only lives in fiction. Some of my ex files: The Ghosting, Tinder on an Airplane, The One Who Wouldn’t Take No, and of course The One Who Asked for his Money Back. More can be found under “Ex Files” in the search bar). And because it’s almost Halloween, and nothing’s scarier than dating gone wrong, we’re chatting about Haunting!

We all have an ex that won’t die. There’s a reason they call it “I miss you season”; every once in a while, an ex who’s been gone makes their reappearance. Then trick can be deciding if you should give them a second chance or not! Here are just a few of my stories of exes that came back to Haunt me!

What’s up, love?
Mario went on 2 dates over a few weeks. It was clear from the beginning that neither of us were really looking for anything serious. He was lovely–but there was no click. So when things fizzled out, I thought nothing of it. However, like clockwork, every 2 months I get a text. Everything from “what’s up, love?” to “I miss you”. At first, I thought these were a little sweet. But, as this trend has continued, it’s become annoying. We didn’t really have anything. And no matter what he’s coming back for, it’s not here.

The One I Haven’t Met
There’s always that group text you can’t really get out of’ mine involves people from college. And in the group, I don’t know everyone–but everyone is friend’s of someone I do, so I thought nothing of Dave began occasionally texting me outside of the group, it was mainly about our college team, and it was fun. However, over time, it was clear that he thought there was a connection above football. I gently let him know that I was seeing someone, and wasn’t interested. Dave was lovely and we went back to being “group text” friends. Yet, at least once a month I get sent a random meme/thought/suggestion we get together.

U Up?
Raise your hand if you’ve been haunted by an ex. We all have. From the “I miss you” text to the un-orginal “U Up?”, there’s always a feeling when someone is about to reappear. (Apparently the kids now call it “Zombie-ing”) These pop-ups can be pleasant, or down right scary (depending on the ex). I have a friend who has a theory, they all come back. And most of the time, she’s right.

So, I would love to know : who’s an ex that’s haunted you?

Wishing us all a haunting free week and amazing shoes! XO RA

Ex Files: The One Who Argued about Football

a purple TCU flag flies on a patio with hanging crystals, sliding door and wooden fence

It’s ex-files, where we stop chatting fashion for just a minute and talk dating horror stories. An attempt to be like Carrie Bradshaw? Sure. But let’s be honest, dating horror stories are both horrifying and funny. Names may have been changed to protect identities, some details moved about. Hungry for more? Try: Tinder on an Airplane, Jumping to Conclusions, and The One Who Asked for his Money Back. There are quite a few more when you search “ex files” in the search tab!” Also if you want to be written warmly about- behave better! xo RA

Without further ado I bring you:
The One Who Argued About Football

We know that I love football (my feelings on football are ever fluid, aka mainly I’m mad about some coaching changes, and as my schedule changes I can no longer prioritize football, or use it as time alone, but that’s a convo for another post). Yet, I was raised on football, know football, and do love it. And so when that is recognized- I LOVE it.

A few years ago (or more, my sense of time is so off lately!), I got a message from one of the best football coaches of all time (and the head coach of my alma mater at the time. Yes, you probably know but as I didn’t ask for his permission to use his name, we’re protecting him!) sent me a message stating “It’s nice to see someone who knows so much about football”. As you can only imagine, this message made my day, month, year, and if at one point you heard a happy yelp that might have been me!

So, you can also imagine my defeat when my boyfriend at the time, when told about the BEST message ever was blasé. In fact, I think his exact words were “It’s not a compliment”. Note- it was a compliment. And -at least to me- it was a big deal. Yet, never wanting to rock the boat, I didn’t argue at the time.

However, a few weeks (maybe months) later, a football fight happened. We rooted for different pro teams (which can work, as long as there’s respect). But. There was a call in the game that this ex and I had different views on. He said:” You need to calm down, it’s not like you get football.”

And when I tell you I was mad. When I tell you how I hated that comment. When I tell you the joy I felt when I got to say : “Oh Really?!? According to (redacted hall of fame coach) I do get football. And I think he knows more than you!”

This was not the fight that broke us up. But I won’t lie and tell you that someone I was in an relationship to essentially poo-poo my knowledge and interests didn’t influence the rest of our relationships. I don’t think that we have to agree on everything, but I do think us thinking highly of our partners- and all of their interests is key.

Has there ever been a fight that changed how you saw partner? I would LOVE to hear about it!

Ex Files: The Friend Break Up

two women- one in red pants and a black top with red hair and one in a pink skirt and white top with black hair stand on either side of a broken pink and red heart

It’s my monthly dating horror stories, my attempt at being Carrie Bradshaw, and hopefully a bit of cathartic release for us all. If you’re in the mood to really suffer I recommend My ex’s Friend, Dumped Before an Event, and The One Who Asked For His Money Back. You can also search Ex Files in the search bar. A friend of mine let me know that he spent a day reading all of these back to back- and that it was funny and horrifying! Of course, all names have been changed to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent. Be careful out there!


While the above is true, this month’s ex files is a bit different, with a slightly off focus. We (us, society, media, literature, whoever) usually talk about love in the romantic sense. And romantic love is amazing and fulfilling- and makes for great stories. But it’s not the only kind of love out there. Nor is romantic love the only kind of love we should be prioritizing. I often think of a scene in Sex and the City (the original series) where Carrie is heartbroken again and the ladies are at a diner and Charolette says : “Maybe we could be each other’s soul mates. Then men are just things to have fun with”.

I love the spirit of what Charolette said. Because I think that often our platonic or family love stories get pushed aside so easily for romantic love- when so often our friends can be soulmates (the platonic kind) and our relationships with our friends are incredibly intimate and vulnerable. There is a part of me that would like to hope that our friends are what gets us through. Alas, I’ve also gone through some friend breakups.

This is where I clarify: I don’t mean friend breakups to be the kind where you grew apart or your schedules no longer mesh or you’re in different cycles. I have friends that I’m apart from but we can pick up. Friends that I don’t chat with regularly but if they needed me I’d be on a plane. Friends if I called – even if it’s been years- would be on a plane for me. The kind that reach out and care no matter what. With life, sometimes we don’t get to be with our friends as much as we want/ need. That’s not what we’re chatting about.

This about those friendships who ended (often without a “breakup” which may be part of the issue) and we’re hurt and sad and don’t have a societal language for the break up.

And here’s the thing friend breakups are often more heartbreaking than romantic breakups. I will share bad dates and breakups with you. I can’t write about my 2 most hurtful and life changing friend breakups as it’s too painful. Is it because friend breakups are often not “official”? There’s no “chat” aka ” I want kids and you don’t” or “My job needs me here and you don’t want to move”. Friendship breakups can be more painful and personal- feeling as if the person you trusted your secrets to just couldn’t stand you. Every time (there’s not been a lot!) with a friendship breakup I’ve been left wondering if I was just a horrid person; and at least with a romantic breakup there’s a clean line.

Often friend ship breakups are messy (I’ve read some articles that I can’t bear to link and read some texts and yet I still am grateful my friend breakups are not overt- I couldn’t bear to have someone I trusted lay my issues raw) – there’s no division of property. In a romantic breakup, your friends take your side. In a friend break up? They may not. Your other friends may still be friends with your now “ex”- and it’s much worse navigating social things with an ex friend. Especially when people you’re still close to are close to them.

Don’t worry about me. There’s no friend break up that’s recent or looming ( I hope!). There have just been things that have me thinking. We really are given no guidance to friend breakups – so how do we do them? how do we manage them?

If you have insight, I’m open!

In the meantime, I’m hoping you and your besties are chatting and happy! xo RA

Ex Files: The Top 7 Worst Dates I’ve Ever Been On

Loves! I’m thrilled to introduce you to Shelia Smires of SheSmilesAllDay, a fashion blog that I’ve just fallen in love with! (Make sure you give her a follow! Her Instagram/Twitter/Pinstrest is @shesmilesblog)
How I knew that Shelia and I would get along? This article The Top 7 Worst Dates I’ve Ever Been On. Here, we do ex-files (some of my faves include The One Who Asked for his Money Back” and Tinder on an Airplane ); another woman with great style and dating horror stories seems like a soul mate to me! So below, printed with persimission, is Shelia’s list of dates that are maybe just a bit forgettable!
Happy reading!

The Top 7 Worst Dates I’ve Ever Been On
Investment Piece: Ex Files: She Smiles All Day

I would like to start out by saying that this post is not meant to deter you if you’re a woman out on the dating scene whose interested in online dating. I have been on a lot of dates and the fact that only eight of them come to mind as truly terrible makes for pretty good odds.

Often times I find that dates are usually just…okay. Not bad, but maybe just not that great. And occasionally they’re really wonderful. So don’t let me scare you and prevent you from putting yourself out there because typically the worst case scenario is that you have a mediocre date and you go home and order a pizza afterward. No big deal.

However, if you do have a bad date let these seven awful stories give you a sense of comfort because you are definitely not alone.

Sometimes they’re bad because you don’t have any chemistry, sometimes you just flat out think they’re an asshole and sometimes they’re just plain creepy dudes. Whatever the case may be, hopefully, the exit strategies I’m sharing below can help you if you ever have the misfortune of finding yourself in the middle of a terrible date.


I went on a date with a guy (let’s called him Jeff) who was new to the city, doing the techie transplant thing and who lived out by the beach in the Outer Richmond. We met up on a late, sunny afternoon at a coffee shop in his neighborhood. When I arrived he came bumbling out of the restroom and told me he decided he didn’t want coffee after all and that we should walk down to the beach.

The entire walk there he asked me zero questions about myself but told me several stories about pranking his college roommate and how he sometimes doesn’t leave his apartment for a week straight. Fantastic.

Once we were at the beach we sat down in the sand and without saying a word, he reached over and removed my sunglasses and put them on. I had known him for 10 minutes (literally). He then insisted that I take my jacket off so I’d be more comfortable and if you’re from San Francisco and have been to the cold af beach you understand how absurd that is.

After all of 5 minutes, he decided he didn’t actually want to hang out at the beach and that we should walk back. He asked me for restaurant recs and I told him there was a great Chinese restaurant (RIP Shanghai Dumpling King) in his neighborhood. He suggested we go to it so we started walking in that direction.

Then he suggested we take it to go and go back to his apartment, to which I replied with a hard no (you can’t just take soup dumplings to go, wtf) which prompted him to oddly start babbling about how he “forgot” he needed to move his roommate’s car.

He then stopped walking abruptly and pointed to a random car across the street and said “that’s his car. If I don’t move it he’s going to kill me. But we should get food another time for sure”. Then he scampered off across the street towards the car without another word, looked around and then ran off in the opposite direction and disappeared down an alleyway. Goodbye Jeff.


You want to know how I knew this guy was adopted? Because he told me. Over and over and over. Not only did he tell me all about how he was adopted but he also told me about how his biological parents were involved in a murder case.

He then went on to detail every crime anyone in his adopted and biological family had committed, many of which included rape, incest, and murder.


When I was ordering a Lyft at the end of the date he kept looking over my shoulder and asking me where I lived. Then he awkwardly kissed me on the forehead (I’m sorry, what?) and I jumped into my waiting Lyft and started googling his name to see if he had recently escaped from prison for making skin suits out of his tinder dates.


I was probably around 21 when I met up with this guy who was 29. In my opinion, not much of an age difference but I’ve always dated older guys. He, however, found our age difference to be extremely fascinating and it dominated the conversation.

We were going to see a movie which is a terrible first date idea but I was trying to be easy going. On our way up to the movies, we saw a group of high school kids clearly on their way to prom since they were all decked out in frilly dresses and tuxes. My date could not stop staring at them and then whispered: “you look like you could be one of them”. Um, thank you?

I can’t really remember many details of the movie we saw since I was desperately waiting for it to end but I do remember it had a young teenage girl in it with blonde hair, which prompted him to lean over 3 times and whisper “you look just like her” to me throughout the film. I was beginning to realize he may have been hoping I was secretly 15 and I got the eff out of there.

Oh, and at one point he also spent 15 minutes telling me how he was currently in a feud with his roommate because he “didn’t want to be an animal” with him. Exsqueeze me??? What does that even mean sir??


Alright, so this one is partially my fault.

I had pregamed a little too hard for our first date and therefore was pretty fuzzy on the details when it came to you know, what he looked like and his personality. I do remember having a nice time and probably one too many whiskey sours.

Flash forward to our second date a few days later and I am horrified to see that the guy I was picking up was not, in fact, as cute or as charming as the picture my drunk brain had painted.

Listen, I’m not trying to be an asshole but I’m just not attracted to guys who can’t dress themselves. Call me shallow but I’m just not into it. No thanks.

He was wearing pants that were about 3 times too big for him, a bizarre baggy windbreaker and the most heinous glasses I’ve ever seen in my fucking life. His hair was slicked back and greasy with gel and I realized that I had made a very big mistake.

Now before you start thinking I’m a total bitch let me be clear that I was also not impressed with his conversation skills. He told me back to back rave stories, a long drawn out tale about an “epic” camping trip and how he considered himself a sommelier because he use to work at Whole Foods (what?).

We went to Golden Gate Park which was not an ideal date setting for me at the time because I was currently dealing with a bad arthritis flare up in my foot and wasn’t really up to taking a long walk. He ignored this fact when I told him and suggested we walk around the entire park and became irritated when I need to sit on a bench for a break. Charming.

He then suggested we rent a paddle boat and go out on Stow Lake. I really did not like the idea of being stranded at sea with him but he insisted. He told me he thought I should paddle the entire time so his legs could get a break and he kept trying to kiss me, only succeeding once THANK GOD.

At this point I was so unattracted to him I considered diving into the smelly gooey lake just so I could escape him but before I could he pulled out his phone and said “let’s take a picture!”.

Ugh. I did not want to be associated with him or his hideous glasses in any way so I was not excited, as is made evident by the photo we took below. Look at my face. That is not the face of a happy woman.

After our date, I drove him home and he asked me to come inside, an offer I firmly declined. I texted him as soon as I got home to let him know (as nicely as possible) there would not be another date.


This date lasted a whopping 6 hours and was terrible from beginning to end. Alas, I was 18 and had no idea how to get out of terrible dates and so instead endured it until the last minute. In order to spare you the long, unfortunate details I will just list some highlights that I believe do speak for themselves.

-We started at a sandwich shop where he told me he forgot his wallet and asked if I could spot him.

-I was ready to leave after this but then he suggested we go to the movies so we hopped on the Muni to head downtown. He purchased a child’s ticket (he now all of a sudden had found his wallet) even though he was most certainly not a child.

-A BART cop stopped us at the Powell St. Station and asked to see our train passes and then issued him a $100 ticket for using a child’s pass. He screamed at her and then spent 20 minutes calling both his mother and his father asking them to pay for the ticket for him. Yikes.

-He all of a sudden had a sweet tooth and dragged me into an ice cream shop where he purchased a giant sundae that was clearly not meant for one person and then yelled at the cashier because he thought $7 was an outrageous price and after they had already made the gargantuan sundae decided he didn’t want it anymore.

-When we got to the theater there were two movies that were starting soon and he asked me which one I would like to see. After I told him my choice he said: “Okay cool, we’ll see the other one”.

-When we were paying for the tickets the cashier asked if we were paying together and he cackled and said: “I’m not paying for her!”.

-He talked throughout the entire movie and had the worst breath of all time.

-When we were leaving he told me how he was thinking about auditioning for The Voice and then began performing a Bruno Mars song, loudly and VERY badly, in the street. I walked ten feet ahead of him.

-He asked me if I could look up the bus times on my phone and then asked me to wait with him. I finally stopped being a pushover and said “that’s going to be a no for me” and raced down the steps to the BART station and got the hell out of there.


This date lasted an entire 40 minutes and honestly, that was 40 minutes too long.

I met up with this guy who had my ex-boyfriend’s name, which honestly should have been a red flag from the start. He was new to the city, having just moved here for work from New Jersey (another red flag. Kidding! Kind off…). He also had this absurd Johnny Bravo-ish hair that I could not stop staring at. How did he get it so high up? How long did that take him?

He was immediately very cold and unfriendly. I asked him about his job and New Jersey and how he was liking the city. He went on and on about the company he was working for, told me some very dull stories about his hometown and said that he hadn’t really gone outside of the 4 block radius of his apartment since he got to San Francisco. Basically, he was a real thrill.

When we got to the bar he “shhhed” me when I asked him what kind of food he liked and said “can you wait until we sit down away from everyone?” as if I had actually asked him how much money he made and if I could have some.

He clearly was not into me, which was made evident by the way he didn’t ask me a single question about myself and often times stared off out the window with a dead look in his eyes. I tried making conversation but he basically answered everything with a yes or a no. Awesome. So fun.

I guzzled my drink so I could leave and he said he would close out, so clearly he was ready to go as well. When he came back he pointed to my top (an amber colored sweater) and said “oh hey, your shirt matches your drink glass” (I had ordered a Moscow Mule) and I said “Yeah, I planned it that way” jokingly and he just stared at me with his mouth agape looking horrified for a reason that was not clear. “I was joking…” I told him. OBVIOUSLY. Did he think I spent hours coordinating my outfits to the future vessels that would contain my next alcoholic beverage? Did he think I could see the future? Honestly, that would have been very useful as I could have skipped this date entirely.

Then I started to go outside and I told him my lyft was almost here which apparently surprised him because he said: “you already called one?” YES. OF COURSE.

Finally, once we were outside I began putting my jacket on and I looked back at him and saw him doing that bizarre staring thing again, this time just looking off blankly into the street. I asked “Are you good?” and he glared at me and snapped “Yes, I was waiting for you to put on your jacket, god”. Okaaaaaay.

I saw my lyft was approaching so I said goodbye and started walking towards the street corner, which happened to be in the same direction he was walking in and he laughed and said “Um…you don’t need to walk me home” LOLOLOL. Okay. Right.

Then I laughed (too hard) and got into the lyft waiting for me at the corner and turned back and said: “I would never”.


I’ve saved the grossest for last. You’re welcome.

I met this guy at a brewery downtown and he was nice enough. At first. He told me about how he was in dentistry school and how he was new to the city. He was friendly and made good conversation so, so far so good. This was the first fifteen minutes.

Once we got our beers we sat down and continued chatting. He had asked me about my name and I was telling him how it’s my grandma’s name when he all of a sudden completely interrupts me and says “I really want to kiss you right now”. I was so taken aback because while this could have been a romantic line if I had say, known him for more than a handful of minutes, it was the most absurd timing. A few minutes into our first date, while I’m talking about my grandmother. Ew. It was all downhill from there.

I made a joke about how I had literally just met him moments before and that he should cool his jets and he said “I just can’t stop staring at your mouth”. Ew. Ew ew ew. Nope. No thanks.

After our beers he suggested we move onto another bar and I really didn’t want to but at that point, I had only been there for 30 minutes and I felt like I shouldn’t be a total asshole and bounce.

So we walked a few blocks to Local Edition, a speakeasy-style bar downtown, and we get another beer. The entire walk there he was trying to hold my hand and put his arm around me. I told him that I was not down with that and he said: “I guess you’re just not a very affectionate person”. Um, I do not know you, sir.

Once we got to the bar we grabbed another round of beers and he continued to be creepy af. He kept trying to massage my neck and kiss my cheek. I told him repeatedly that I did not know him like that and that I didn’t want him to touch me. He laughed it off as if I was being flirtatious. No, bitch. I think you’re gross. Go home.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore and I told him I was taking off. He seemed so genuinely puzzled by why I would leave so soon and STILL tried to kiss me goodbye, a move that I dodged with such agility that my lyft driver who saw the entire exchanged applauded when I got into the car.

So the date was gross but it gets worse you guys.

The next day he texted me saying he had the best time (what?!) and that we should grab coffee soon. I typically try not to ghost dudes because I obviously don’t love it when it happens to me, so I usually will just text someone and let them know if I don’t see us going on a second date. But this guy was foul and deserved a proper ghosting so I ignored his text and all of the other ones he sent me that week.

Until that is, he sent me a novel about how much of a bitch I was and how I had just used him to get free drinks. He’s referring to my two extravagant beers by the way. He then started blowing up my phone with links to events in the city that had free drinks and food. How sweet!

…that last sentence was meant to be sarcastic but also, it was kind of useful info. Just saying!

So I replied and told him his behavior had been wildly inappropriate and that I had no idea he was so strapped for cash and that I could venmo him the $10 for my beers asap. Then I blew up his phone with 20+ links to debt relief websites. And that, thankfully, was the last time I heard from the creepy dentist.

I hope my bad date stories have given you a laugh and a little comfort in knowing that girl, you are not alone. Tell me your dating horror stories in the comments below!

Xo, She

I’m so grateful to Sheila for sharing her stories. The good news? It’s CLEARLY not us. It’s them.

Wishing us all a week of good dates and amazing shoes! Xo RA

Ex Files: I’m the Problem

a white and black and red name tag reading " It's Me, Hi! I'm the Problem It's me

We’re back!! That’s right it’s Ex Files, dating horror stories, my final attempt to live my life a la Carrie Bradshaw. (And let’s not pretend horror only lives in fiction. Some of my ex files: The Ghosting, Tinder on an Airplane, The One Who Wouldn’t Take No, and of course The One Who Asked for his Money Back. More can be found under “Ex Files” in the search bar).

This is usually the part where I state (correctly I think) that if people want you to write (or remember or talk about them) warmly, they should behave better- but, what happens when it’s you that should have behaved better? OR more succinctly (and on trend)- it’s me, I’m the problem (in this one instance!).

Complete sidenote- my mom hates when I I quote the song where I got this title (AntiHero by Taylor Swift), but like a lot of people, I sometimes relate a lot to the lyrics, because sometimes we are the problem. The good thing is that we can see it, right?

SO. Recently I was chatting with a girlfriend about ghosting (which again I’ve written about here), and which usually I would agree that ghosting is not the best. However, upon reflection, I realized I recently ghosted someone (that does make me the bad guy). And I got to thinking about ghosting and hard conversations and what we do when we’re the villain.

Normally I would say that there’s not a reason to ghost. That we should all be aok with being honest about not wanting to see someone or seeing the relationship go anywhere or wanting to end things. Of course, like all rules, there are exceptions, and if you’re in danger or dealing with a volatile person I can absolutely get behind silence as the way to communicate. But, what about the times in between? And what do you you do when you catch yourself being the problem?

(Also I’m running out of fake generic names for Ex Files- a me problem- but if you have any suggestions I’m all ears!)

I’ve known Pedro for a few years. We’re not friends, and not quite colleagues, but run into each other at a side hustle I occasionally do, as well as on errands. He’s not a bad guy- but I have to say he’s not someone I would seek out to spend time with. Pedro has never made me uncomfortable, but there’s just something – I don’t see us being close. However, on this side hustle gig, Pedro does (sort of) have some power over me. A few months ago, I went to work a shift for this side hustle gig and there was not enough product for me to complete my shift- meaning I got to go home with full pay. Pedro was the one who signed off on this. Completely normal and happens. I was asked to leave my cell number with Pedro-JIC- which I was happy to do! Then, I started getting texts. Nothing creepy, nothing awful – mainly just wishing me a good day and asking generic questions. At first, I didn’t mind the banter back and forth.

Then, he started calling me beautiful a bit much (I like compliments as much as the next person but it felt like a bit much). And I started getting questions like: “What’s your address?” Which I don’t answer. These, of course, were mixed in with other comments, etc. But. I just stopped responding. At first, it was an honest mistake – I got a late text that I simply forgot about, but then he texted again. And again. I still haven’t answered.

I completely own that I could have just set my boundaries (no address, I’m not really interested, etc), but once I let a text go- it was just easy to let them all go. It’s me, hi, I’m the problem, it’s me. This is not me asking for understanding- I get what I did- and am still a bit nervous about running into Pedro again! Sometimes we are the villain, the problem, the one who will be written about- and I’m dealing with that.

How do you deal with being the problem when you recognize you are? Do you have great tips on setting boundaries so you don’t have to ghost? I’m open to hearing it all!

Ex Files: The Cheat

Investment Piece: Ex Files: Valentine's

Yes, it’s that time of the month where I plumb all the dating horror stories from both my past and people I know (a friend of mine recently let me know that he had spent an afternoon reading all of the Ex Files here on site- and he found it both hysterical and painful. While I don’t recommend doing it all in one session, feel free to search Ex Files in the side bar! It’s a lot. And yes, I have no idea if we’ll ever run out of stories! Xo RA

The Cheat

The only thing that might be worse than being cheated on? Being the other woman- without knowing it!

I began dating Jeff in a whirlwind. We met through a mutual hobby, chatted now and again when we saw each other, and while he continually asked me to coffee I thought nothing of him.
Then, one day we ran into each other while we were doing errands, which lead to lunch, which lead to drinks, which lead to dinner, which lead to us dating for months.
Was it ever serious? Not really. There was no major talk of the future. But we met each other’s friends, talked every day, and had date night every week when we weren’t traveling.

Since then, I have thought about every minute of our relationship, and looking back there were some red flags. There were days when Jeff was hard to get a hold of, and very evasive about what he was up to. We never posted pictures together, and his entire social media were pictures that could have been dates- or could not have been. I did feel like something was off, but every time I brought that up, or mentioned that if he wasn’t very into me we didn’t have to date, Jeff would insist that he really cared, nothing was amiss, and that I was being sensitive about things.

I believed him.

Until- one day Jeff simply went silent. No texts, no calls, no returning messages. The first day? I didn’t really think about it. A week later? I was pissed that someone I had dated so long had been so awful in the ending. Two weeks later? I got a call from a Lisa, letting me know that she was Jeff’s long term, live in girlfriend. She had gone through his phone and found texts- not only to me, but as Jeff traveled for work, in every city that he worked in. It appeared that Jeff led different lives in every single city he worked in. He would sublet apts, pass off AirBnBs as his own, join gyms, take classes, have friends, and girlfriends in EVERY CITY.

Was I upset? Yes. I was horrified (and also curious how he could afford it?!?!?)
I apologized profusely to Lisa, blocked Jeff, and tried to forgive myself for not adding it all up.

So. What do we do? Check IDs and addresses?

Wishing us all a week of single identities and amazing shoes!

Ex Files: The One Who Stole a Dog

Investment Piece: The One Who Stole a Dog

It’s my monthly dating horror stories, my attempt at being Carrie Bradshaw, and hopefully a bit of cathartic release for us all. If you’re in the mood to really suffer I recommend My ex’s Friend, Dumped Before an Event, and The One Who Asked For His Money Back. You can also search Ex Files in the search bar. A friend of mine let me know that he spent a day reading all of these back to back- and that it was funny and horrifying! Of course, all names have been changed to protect the innocent and the not-so-innocent. Be careful out there!


The One Who Stole a Dog

Note: this happened to a friend of mine, it’s not my story. Turns out I’m a cat person! This is told with her permission but details changed to protect everyone involved (yes, he’s famous which makes it even funnier. I can’t tell you who it is, but I can tell you if he wanted a dog he could get a dog!)

Stephanie met Jeff online, and clicked right away. From hobbies to sense of humor they seemed to be meant for each other, at least for a few months. Slowly, things began to be not as shiny as they seemed. Stephanie was obessed with her dog, a mini terrier, and Jeff had begun to let it come out that he was not as big a dog fan as he originally let on. As it also turned out, Jeff was not as successful and liquid as he led Stephanie to believe. And while that wasn’t a “problem”, Stepahnie was beginning to resent being asked out to drinks and meals with his friends so that she could foot the bill.

Things came to a head when Stephanie asked Jeff to watch her beloved dog while she attended a work event. The plan was for Stephanie to leave her beloved dog at Jeff’s one afternoon, attend her work event, and return late at night. She would then spend the night with Jeff, and she and pup would go home in the morning. Of course things went perfectly till they didn’t. Stephanie’s event went late, she ended up getting a hotel room as the drive to Jeff’s was over an hour. Jeff got upset and threatened to break up via text for not “putting him first”. Stephanie asked to table things till the morning when she would come get her dog.

The next morning, when she arrived, Jeff told Stephanie that he didn’t have the dog- that Stephanie’s assistant had already picked up the dog. Yet, when Stephanie called her assistant, her assistant didn’t have the dog. Then Jeff wouldn’t let her back in his house. Then, Stephanie’s sister sent her a picture of Jeff on a dating app posed with Stephanie’s dog, claiming the dog as his own. The pictures were also on Facebook captioned “Look at my new dog!”

Stephanie banged on the door to no avail. Then she got her lawyer on the phone, put him on speaker and refused to leave Jeff’s property till she got her dog back. Which she finally did, after TWO HOURS!

Needless to say, the break up stuck and hopefully no one has trusted Jeff to watch their pets since!

Moral of the story? Don’t leave your pets without a contract?


Ex Files: The Shoes

Investment Piece: Ex Files

It’s that time of the month when I attempt to be Carrie Bradshaw, aka my own personal dating horror stories. If this speaks to you (or you just love the drama!) you can search ex files over in the search box for more, or may I suggest The BreakUp Text, Dudes and Nudes, The One Who Got Married. This month is a doozy- and sadly I didn’t break up with the dude over this (in my defense I was 23), but without further ado may I present The One Who Lied About a Party. Got Dating Horror Stories? I would love to hear them! Maybe we can even chat about you being featured! Xoxo RA

The Shoes

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I have a thing for shoes. And it’s not that I expect anyone I date to feel the way I do about shoes, or buy me any, but I do want my feelings and passions to be respected. So, when I started dating Ray I thought we might be a perfect fit. Not only did he seem to love that I love shoes, he would get excited about them with me. I had been saving for years-literally 2 years- to be able to afford Valentino Rockstuds. Ray and I didn’t live in the same city, and I thought (because of the love of shoes) that it would be fun for Ray to go with me to buy the Rockstuds.

I know, I know- but it was the first time I was really in a place to save up and buy myself something luxe I wanted. Rockstuds were such a staple, I thought getting them would announce that I was a “real” fashion woman. Even through everything, including this story, they still mean a lot to me, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to get rid of them.

Ray was on board and we went to the Valentino store. I was so excited I was bouncing up and down like a 5yo on Christmas. This is where the story gets a bit sad. Instead of being supportive and happy for me, Ray began to cut me down a bit and put a damper on what, to me, was a big deal. I had wanted the kitten heel in the nude- Ray told me I was dumb not to get the higher heel as it was sexier. Did I mention I was like a kid on Christmas morning? Ray told me that I was embarrassing and I was acting “low class”. Did I mention that I had saved for 2 years to be able to afford these shoes? Ray told me that it was ridiculous for me to save for them and for shoes to matter to me. After I paid, he let me know that he should have bought them- I told him that he could buy me the higher heel. Ray told me that was gold digging and completely unattractive.

Buying these shoes meant something to me, and I wanted the purchase to be fun. Instead, I felt like nothing I did was right, I felt critized for being who I am, and I saw a side of Ray that I didn’t like. Needless to say, things with Ray didn’t work out. As I mentioned, I still have the shoes.

Perhaps today is a good day to put them on and remind myself that good shoes are worth it (and so am I!).