At first glance, twenty-one-year-old Jan Weston has it all: a gorgeous boyfriend, fun friends, and wealthy parents who take care of all those pesky credit card bills.
Then her boyfriend dumps her, her friendships fall apart, and her parents cut her off. Suddenly without money, without a man, and without a plan, it’s time for Jan to grow up.
Determined to get her life back on track, Jan decides it’s time to make it on her own. Can she find her way as a single lady in San Diego? Can she fix her friendships, her job prospects, and her hair? And can she keep her vow that she’ll never date again, even after she meets a guy who just might be perfect for her?
BETWEEN BOYFRIENDS is a sexy, hilarious story of living life, finding love, and growing up… but not necessarily in that order.
“So, what happened with Mike? Are you okay? Did you get dumped again?”
Jan knew it was obvious. She might as well go down the street to a tattoo parlor and have “reject” permanently etched into her forehead.
“Yes, but I’m over all that. I’ve given up dating. I’m focusing on—” Oh no, I have to say something, “—school. And my health. I’ve started working out.” Jan hated lying to Raven, but rationalized that it was already tomorrow somewhere.
Raven cocked her head to the right like a curious puppy. “You’ve given up on dating?”
“Well, I’ve just realized that dating is a ridiculous concept and is better left to people without hearts.”
“Like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz?”
Jan took a drink of her iced tea. It tasted delicious after she had spiked it with three Splenda packets she had kept in her purse.
“No,” Jan answered. She began to feel confused again. She just didn’t know how to explain her logic. “It’s just that most relationships end in either breakup or divorce. So why bother? A lot of girls seem to jump into them even when it’s obvious that it’s not going to work out.”
Raven nodded. “Yeah, I know a lot of girls like that. Some guys too. They want someone to tell them they’re attractive, take them out, and to keep on reserve for weddings and parties. Sometimes, it’s worse though. They need a guy to give them an identity. If they aren’t someone’s girlfriend, they feel lost because they don’t know who they are.”
I wonder if she ever thought that about me? Jan fidgeted with her straw.
“It’s weird, isn’t it?” she agreed. She thought back on times she had panicked because she couldn’t find a date for a social event. “If you believe in soul mates, then there’s only one person out there for you, so why stay with someone once it was clear they weren’t the One?”
“Well, define ‘clear’,” Raven challenged kindly. Jan couldn’t. “Besides, if a girl doesn’t know who she is, then she won’t know what she wants out of a relationship. I hear things all the time in the salon from girls who date guys that never take them out, flirt with their best friends, blow them off consistently, and forget their birthdays or anniversaries. But these girls make up excuses instead of seeing the obvious truth that their boys just aren’t that into them.”
Jan opened her mouth to rant about what jerks those men were, but Raven cut her off.
“But it isn’t only the guys’ faults. These girls let them get away with it. They may verbalize to their guy that it’s not okay, but they stay with him no matter how many times he screws up. Their actions say it’s all right, so why would the guy change?”
Jan was stunned. It had never occurred to her that men may notice her actions and draw assumptions. She counted on people to listen to her words and forgive her tone, body language and actions inconsistent with what she said.
“But shouldn’t guys be considerate and loving to their girlfriends irregardless?”
Raven raised an eyebrow. “Why would you date a guy that wasn’t considerate to begin with? Why agree to become his girlfriend when his actions say that he doesn’t love you?”
Jan’s perception jumped to a new height. She felt like someone had switched on a spotlight and an iceberg had appeared in front of her. She choked on the emotions, ideas, and opinions clamoring for attention. She’d never really considered having a choice in becoming someone’s girlfriend, or that there should be a prerequisite for monogamy. Obtaining a boyfriend was the point of dating, wasn’t it? Why bother otherwise, and why take it slow if it was what you wanted? Then again, she had to admit that a lot of the guys she had dated had been jerks, some from the moment she had met them. So, why had she pursued them?
“I guess that makes sense,” Jan answered. “I’m not sure that people care so much about finding a great person that treats them well as they do about finding someone who’s attractive and willing to spend time with them.”
Raven shrugged. “Personally, I’m much happier spending time with my friends — male or female — that make me feel good, rather than with a boyfriend that brings me down.”
Jan couldn’t help but wonder, Is there any other kind?
Sárka-Jonae Miller is a novelist and freelance health writer. She has more than 4,000 articles published on topics such as fitness, sports, martial arts, yoga, nutrition, travel, spirituality, and natural health. Her work has appeared on websites such as LiveStrong.com, NaturalNews.com, WeightTraining.com, and MethodsofHealing.com, as well as in the “Post-Standard” newspaper and both the New York and Washington Home & Garden online magazines. Sárka-Jonae is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She is as a former personal fitness trainer and massage therapist. She is also an avid traveler, having spent time in Costa Rica, Canada, England, Mexico, and Paradise Island. She has also been to France and Thailand researching her next books. She lives in San Diego with a menagerie, including two cats, two dogs and a horse.