About five weeks ago, I left school to head back to my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. As I speed-packed my whole room up, I tried to come up with a list of positives about this situation. The one silver lining I could think of was that we would be removed from f*ckboys. In fact, maybe f*ckboys would spend this time recovering, and just like nature, they too could begin the process of healing. They are the virus.
Fast forward five weeks and I swear to God, every fifth text I get from one of my friends is bitching about f*ckboys. Some have even gone as far as to pitch their stories to me as ideas for another article (and while I appreciate the help, I sadly have enough content from my day-to-day interactions). It seems like f*ckboys have taken quarantine not as a time to better themselves, but as a time to strengthen their ability to be the absolute worst.
Not to rip off Carrie Bradshaw, but all of these stories had me thinking, have the f*ckboys gotten stronger and bolder in the Q? Or, have they been like this all along and we are just now beginning to notice it?
Like the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Five F*ckboys of Quarantine have come riding in on pale horses, ushering in a new period of sh*ttiness in dating. But I would never dream of leaving you unprepared for navigating f*ckboys in these trying times, so here’s my guide to the five f*ckboys of quarantine.
The Ghost: Quarantine Edition
Definition: We all know what ghosting is, so you shouldn’t really need an explanation. The CDC is learning more about COVID-19 every day, and your f*ckboy expert (me) had the privilege of learning first-hand about how much of a blow to the ego it is to get ghosted while social distancing. Ghosting right now should be a felony—like, honestly it might be on par with murder. Here’s the thing, even f*ckboys know this, so ghosting in quarantine looks a little bit different than in real life.
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How to spot them: Unlike a guy who ghosts you like, in normal conditions, this guy is more of a flake than a straight-up Ghost. We all need attention, he just likes to float around and get this attention from different girls. Babes, I’m sorry to say this: but he isn’t too busy, he isn’t “bad at Snapchat,” and he certainly just “didn’t see your text.” Like all of us, he has nowhere else to go and nothing else to do. You know you’re being ghosted (quarantine edition) if:
⭐︎ Your snap is left on delivered or open for 20+ hours—he got the notification and is waiting for you to get the hint.
⭐︎Every few days, he comes back around. We call this haunting. You’ll exchange a few vague snaps back and forth. It’s because he wants to keep his options open. (I fall for this often, please be better than me.)
⭐︎If/when quarantine ends, he’ll probably try to resume his normal schedule of contacting you, as if he wasn’t shady for the entirety of this crisis, especially if you were talking before.
How to deal with them: As smart, self-sufficient, and socially distant betches, we have no time for being ghosted. As hot as he is, and as much as you enjoy texting him, all you’re doing by trying to keep the Snap streak alive is hurting yourself. It’s sad but very, very true. You’re locked inside and there’s no reason to make yourself more miserable than necessary. If you think you’re stuck in this pattern but can’t tell, stop initiating conversations and see what happens. You may not get the answer you want, but at least you know not to waste your precious emotional energy.
Definition: Quarantine has given us all a little bit of time to think about our behavior—even I have recently come to question some of the actions I have taken over the last few months. As someone prone to overthinking in normal circumstances, I know that the combination of stress + a lot of time alone can lead to regret and the urgent desire to make amends for past behavior. Adding in the fact that we are almost all drinking alone right now means that even f*ckboys (whom we previously thought incapable of remorse) want to repair what they have already broken. Enter: The Boomerang.
How to spot them: You know the guy who fell off the face of the planet and killed your Snap streak, but continues to watch your Insta story? This is him. All of a sudden, Mr. Disappeared-Into-Thin-Air is back, and more interested than ever—but don’t get used to his presence. You’ll know he’s a Boomerang if:
⭐︎ He sends you a text that says, “How’s your quarantine…” followed by one that says “I probably owe you an explanation” or any variation of that.
⭐︎ While initially it seemed like he was all in and willing to give round two a ton of effort (i.e., FaceTime dates, responding to you right away, ensuring that he is definitely not Snapchatting other girls), this behavior will change after a few days.
⭐︎ After about a week, the slow fade you’re familiar with may start, and this is how we know the cycle of ghosting is beginning yet again.
How to deal with them: Boomerangs are meant for mind games, and they absolutely aren’t meant to be around for a long time—that’s, like, the whole point of them. If this guy is someone who completely f*cked you over in the past, and you’re looking to start a little drama or you need some excitement, literally ask him why he ghosted you. Show him the receipts. Go the whole nine f*cking yards (and please send me screenshots). If he ghosted you and you didn’t really care, enjoy some light flirting, but as soon as you start developing feelings or this goes too far, send him on his way.
The Fake Boyfriend
Definition: As excited as I am for all of the rom-coms about our time in quarantine to be made next winter, we have to remember that our daydreams about meeting a boy over Ship in quarantine and falling in love are fiction. As lovely as it may be to have a pen pal or two while you’re stuck in the Q, there’s a slim chance that your new love connection will survive more than a week in the real world.
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How to spot them: A Fake Boyfriend goes way too deep way too soon, and maybe this is because we legit have no choice but to get to know each other for our personality but also, like, maybe not? You know you’ve got yourself a Fake Boyfriend if:
⭐︎ Like a Boomerang, he jumps right in with the FaceTime dates, virtual happy hours, and, if he happens to be quarantined at home, you may even be ~lucky~ enough to meet his family. However, all of this will probably happen at a way faster rate than normal, because like, what else is there to do?
⭐︎ He ensures you that you’re the only girl who is getting the girlfriend treatment, and there’s a chance he’s not lying, but you never know.
⭐︎ We are nowhere near this yet, but as soon as quarantine ends, you’ll get an “I’m just not ready for anything serious right now” text. Shocker.
How to deal with them: Listen, none of us are in the position to be rejecting attention right now, especially if you’re as bored as I am. However, I don’t advise investing a lot of emotional energy in a fake boyfriend. Talking is fun, especially in times like these, but don’t put too high of a premium on his behavior. If this does happen to be a guy you think you can have a real connection with and you grow to really like, maybe try to go out together one or two times once we are allowed to, like, be around each other again and see if your relationship can withstand the test of human interaction.
The One Who Doesn’t Understand Social Distancing
Definition: We always knew that some f*ckboys were not as smart as the rest of us, but this guy takes the cake. He may acknowledge the severity of the situation, but he without a doubt thinks he is immune to COVID, is treating this as an extended vacation, and “is really excited about being back with the boys” when he returns home. Dude, no.
How to spot them: On the surface, you can tell he might be, like, kinda trying to practice effective social distancing. He sure is all about it on Insta stories, which we love to see. However, he doesn’t fully understand that now is not the time to drink with your friends in person, even from six feet away in your backyard, and especially not if you are doing this with a different group of people every night. Example behaviors are:
⭐︎ Posting a picture of him holding a Corona on his story, because he is really witty, and captions it, “day four of quarantine.” As a bonus, this picture got posted on April 15th which is, like, five weeks after your state enacted stay at home orders.
⭐︎ Even more bonus points if the previous slide on his story is a picture of him and his bros, and they definitely are less than six feet apart.
⭐︎ When he starts to talk to you it might just seem like the normal quarantine flirting… until he asks you to come over… and is serious… and doesn’t get the problem with the request.
How to deal with them: In the immortal words of Meghan Trainor, “My name is no, my sign is no, my number is no, you need to let it go.” Every time he invites you over, respond with an emphatic no and send a link explaining the benefits of social distancing. If this behavior continues, you may want to explain to him—very slowly—why he is part of the problem and how social distancing works. IDC how good the sex is, if you’re reading this you are way too smart to put yourself at risk over (admit it) a mediocre-looking f*ckboy.
The Aspiring Influencer
Definition: I get it, when the only other people you interact with are your siblings it’s easy to think like you really have your sh*t together, but this doesn’t make you an influencer. I honestly thought that only basic girls (myself included—I’m not not wearing a tie-dye set rn) and the boys who take mirror selfies at the gym would fall into internet traps during quarantine, but I was wrong. Guys who seemed relatively normal before this started are acting like they think they’re influencers. And, if there’s one thing our society does not need right now, it’s a ton of frat guys with Dad bods promoting their TikTok-inspired SoundCloud remixes.
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How to spot them: It starts with that Bill Clinton record challenge exposing their super basic music tastes, maybe they even do a push-up challenge (not complaining about that one), but all of a sudden their social media usage has spiraled out of control. Weird, he didn’t post a picture of you together from your last date party because he “doesn’t really use social media,” but all of a sudden he is the most active user you follow. You’ve got an Aspiring Influencer on your hands if:
⭐︎ He started posting lame oversexualized attempts at doing TikTok dances and challenges. Guys, if any of you see this, I need you to know that it’s an app made for 15-year-olds. Please stop thrusting your hips and commenting on underaged girls throwing it back. It’s creepy and problematic. Thanks.
⭐︎ He genuinely thinks his vlog-style Snapchat story bitching about how he doesn’t have lukewarm beer/Vat/or pot at home is the height of comedy. However, these posts would only be funny if he was being sarcastic and that’s just not something that’s in reach of his mental capacity.
⭐︎ He’s posting more thirst traps than a girl who got really hot after a breakup. No shade, I just want to know where these guys’ ability to look normal/hot in pictures was when I was trying to show their instas to my friends and the best option I had was a picture of them from 2017 holding a fish.
How to deal with them: These f*ckboys are blatantly on the hunt for attention in these trying times, and, honestly, aren’t we all? While they are ultimately pretty harmless and funny to sh*t-talk with your friends, if you’re talking to an Aspiring Influencer, know that they are likely talking to other girls and that this new persona they have adopted will probably live on past quarantine. There’s really no harm in continuing to talk to them, but just remember that their ability to be genuine is comparable to their ability to do the Renegade dance: abysmal.
These behaviors could all be adapted to the real world. However, the constant ability for f*ckboys to surprise us just confirmed what we already knew: the devil works hard, but f*ckboys work harder… that is, when it comes to screwing girls over.
In any other situation, I would advise against engaging with f*ckboys. However, these are not usual times and we all deserve a little bit of excitement and drama in our lives. Especially when we have run out of trashy dating shows to live vicariously through. As always, I am here to empower and validate your actions while still providing you with the information that will help you make smarter choices when it comes to f*ckboys.
Everyone is super #stressed right now, and honestly, we don’t need the added hassle of toxic d*ck. Have fun, but remember to avoid the f*ckboys who make you feel sh*tty. Just because your ex is hitting you up doesn’t mean that you’ll feel good after talking to him. And of course, under NO circumstances am I giving you permission to violate social distancing in order to see a f*ckboy!
Images: Thom Holmes / Unsplash
Have you ever been on a first date that was also a last date? I know you have, don’t even try denying it. It is my personal opinion that all first dates, no matter who they are with, are horrible. Because you’ve never met, there is so much to talk about, yet you’ve been on the subject of his family’s dog for a full 20 minutes. (And don’t even get me started on the whole “what do you do for work?” topic.) But every once in a while, the stars align and you end up on a first date with someone who doesn’t make you want to rip your throat out. Now, if you’ve ever been on a truly amazing first date (before you share your cute first date stories in the comments, don’t), you know that you’re about to be stressed af about securing that second date.
Because I am normal human being (and a woman), I am a feminist in every way, but that doesn’t mean I will be the first to text after a good first date, and it sure as sh*t doesn’t mean I’m going to be the one suggesting the second date. Why, you ask? Because dating—at least in the beginning—is a game, and if you want to win, you need to figure out who you’re dealing with and play at their level. And winning, my loves, is what women do best. For those of you rolling your eyes because you “don’t play games,” everybody plays games. I’m not talking about taking three hours to respond to a text or pretending you have plans to make yourself seem like a ~hot commodity.~ No, I’m talking about human psychology: if you are fully yourself with all of your “I want a relationship” intentions too early, you’re putting a lot of pressure on the dude to either fold or raise right then and there.
One more poker reference, then I’ll speak English. In life, putting it all out there is considered a bad thing, because doing so implies you have no more tricks up your sleeve, but in poker, laying all your cards on the table means you won the game. Dating is like poker: in order to get to a place where you show your hand, you have to play the game. If you want to score a second date, play to win.
How Much To Text Between Dates
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way first: This is a personal preference that doesn’t have a huge bearing on whether or not there will be a second date. You can usually tell right off the bat if guy is a texter or not. If he isn’t, don’t go out of your way to text him, because you will likely spend the majority of your downtime imagining the ways in which he mysteriously died and therefore, is not texting you back. Don’t get me wrong (I am a texter), texting is great and can be a good way to knock the stupid topics out of the way so you can get to the good stuff on the date, but if one or both of you are the kind of people who don’t like to text all day, just don’t do it. Tbh, I love when the guy I’m into texts me a lot because it gives me a little sense of security that he’s into me. But some people don’t like it because, I guess, they have jobs where they can’t be on their phones making small talk all day. Texting is all good and fine, but take the temperature of your situation in person because anyone can say anything behind the comfort of a screen.
However, if he takes like, days to respond, it’s probably safe to assume he’s not into you. Even if they’re “bad texters,” millennials f*cking live on their phones, so are these assholes really out here trying to convince us that they didn’t see our text until four days after we sent it? Bye!
When To Go On The Second Date
This depends on schedules. If you’re into finance bros (condolences), your first date could be on a Tuesday and the second date could be three months later. Those dudes are never free, but don’t worry, they’ll tell you all about how busy they are while they elusively avoid picking a date to see you again. However, if you like people with non-soul-sucking jobs, any time within a week is acceptable.
This may just be a me thing, but I think a first date should be during the week and the second date should be on a weekend. First dates during the week are clutch because if it sucks, you have an easy out (“oh man, it’s late on a school night!”) and if it’s fun, you both leave wanting a little more, which pretty much makes for a guaranteed second date.
How To Bring It Up
Honestly, acting like a second date hasn’t even crossed your mind is like the waiter putting warm bread on the table and no one reaching for it. In other words, it’s stupid. You both had a good time on the first date and are doing the whole back and forth of witty repartee, so why waste time skirting around setting a date for round two? If it seems like he needs a little nudge to get the courage to ask, guide the conversation there, but I wouldn’t be the one to straight-up say, “When are we hanging out again?” If you do that, it’s obviously fine, but just know that you’re basically taking on the role of date instigator for the rest of time. That’s a lot of work to give yourself early on.
But! That’s not to say you shouldn’t bring up the second date in some way. Women are nothing if not determined go-getters, so unless you and your date are texting about like, death, you can figure out a way to steer the conversation towards a second date. In my opinion, the easiest way to do that is to lightly reminisce about something you both like or talked about doing on the first date. If he’s not a complete f*cking idiot, he’ll pick up on what you’re doing and say something along the lines of, “Let’s do that. What are you up to Saturday?” To go back to my poker analogy, that is called winning the first hand.
When To Have Sex
This one is easy: whenever the f*ck you want. If you’re a woman circa the 1950s or Mike Pence circa now, I’d say to wait until marriage, but even then, probably just don’t do it because sex is dirty!! But honestly, it’s almost 2020 and we have bigger things to think about than f*cking before the fifth date. If you have sex with a guy on the first date and he decides he’s not into you because you’re a ~slut,~ then he’s a piece of sh*t and it’s good that your relationship ended before it even started. At the end of the day, if you have spent a few hours with someone and he thinks you’re cool, he’s not going to stop thinking that because you had sex with him. If anything, he’ll be pretty happy about it. I’ve never heard a guy whining to his friends about how disappointed he is because the really cool girl he just went on a date with put out. I mean, right?
Despite the Andie Anderson title of this story, there’s no way to micromanage your way into a second date. The only thing we can control is the sh*t we do and say, but no matter how charming, funny and/or smart you are on date #1, that doesn’t mean date #2 is a done deal. After all, science has already proven that men’s romantic preferences are confusing as f*ck, so don’t waste your time trying to be someone you think the guy you’re with may find more attractive than the person you actually are. At the end of the day, we can’t control how people we’re interested in respond to our vibe, so your best bet is to watch Clueless for tips! Just kidding. I hate to say it, but just be the most normal version of yourself and hope for the best.
Images: Wiktor Karkocha / Unsplash; Giphy (4)
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and with it comes the insurmountable pressure of doing something but not something that’s too something that would terrify someone so they run away screaming from you and then you die alone with a bunch of cats. That later eat your corpse. Just me then?
Like, obviously we all want to have some kind of plan for Valentine’s Day besides watching Bridget Jones’s Diary for the 40th time and eating all the chocolate your mom sent in one sitting. But depending on how long you’ve been dating, you don’t want to put too much pressure on the situation. So what should you do with your significant other, or your not-yet-significant other, on Valentine’s Day? We figured it out. Here’s what you should do based on how long you’ve been seeing each other.
Less Than 1 Month
Congratulations, you met someone you really like recently and have been on a couple dates. Good for you! It’s exciting and you want to hang out with them more, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you don’t know how to handle it. At this stage? Don’t. It’s way too much pressure to expect someone to come with a fun plan for this day when they barely even know you. Instead, tell them your availability that week and do not include Valentine’s Day at all. If they ask if you have plans that day, then you can figure out something to do, but don’t be the person to bring it up. Sorry, I know it’s 2019 and all, but asking to hang out on Valentine’s Day before you’ve even DTR’d is not going to help your cause of not appearing desperate.
“What are you getting for Valentine’s Day?”
— sarafcarter (@sarafcarter) January 28, 2019
Okay, so you’re a few months in, probably even dating exclusively by now if you’re really into each other. WTF do you do for Valentine’s Day? At this point it’s totally okay to mention that you’d like to do something casual for V Day. Suggest getting tacos or going to a bar that will definitely not have some kind of insane pre-set menu. Spending time together is expected, but you still don’t want to go over the top. If you exchange gifts, make sure they’re small and inexpensive, i.e., a cute baseball cap, not concert tickets for a show half a year away.
6 Months – 1 Year
Now we’re getting into “okay, if you forget V Day you’re dead to me” territory. It’s definitely expected that the ridiculous holiday is acknowledged, but make sure you actually tell the person you are dating that you’re interested in making plans. They may not know you even care about this stupid holiday (which like, I don’t care, but also, you have to celebrate with me). Plan something classic, like dinner at a moderately priced restaurant and maybe even a movie, or just Netflix & chill afterwards. You can also get real presents without fear of looking too invested.
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After a year, you’re fully committed, you hate the way they breathe sometimes, and you can do pretty much whatever you want for Valentine’s Day. This is when it’s appropriate to get nice gifts, flowers, the whole thing, if you’re into it. If you have the cash, it is totally fun to dress up and go to a nice restaurant with the prix fixe menu, especially if you never do that kind of thing. You can also do that whole “purchase sexy lingerie as an added present to keep the romance alive” thing. Literally, it’s whatever.
You’re basically married, you have done the pre-set menus, and let’s be honest: Valentine’s Day is one of the worst days of the year to go out. It’s like New Years Eve—days that are supposed to be fun but end up way too overpriced and crowded. Once you’re really settled in, forget the dinners and expensive menus, and do something casual at home together. Cook a nice dinner, have some wine, and save your cash that would be for presents on booking a trip together later in the year. Valentine’s Day is really so overrated, and once you’ve done it a few times, you guys have a right to be totally over going out.
You when you get the check for the pre-set menu:
If you’ve been dating for 3+ years, then the only thing you should be doing on Valentine’s Day is getting a ring. I’m (mostly) kidding, but you should know enough about your significant other at that point to not be scouring the internet for Valentine’s Day ideas. Just saying!
Images: Jakob Owens / Unsplash; Giphy (3); betches / Instagram
It’s finally that time of year to “fall” in love. Summer flings have ended and cuffing season is in full swing. Here are my top five “Brunch Boys approved” date recommendations. You’ll notice there is no apple picking on here, because I promise you nobody wants to see those Instagrams.
Rooftop Cinema Club
Instead of Netflix and chill, switch up your movie watching routine at Rooftop Cinema Club at the Skylawn Embassy (Hilton) Suites in midtown. Here’s the deal: $26 per ticket without popcorn, although you might opt to spend a few extra bucks for an unlimited bucket. Outside food and drinks are a no-no, but the Skylawn rooftop bar opens at 5pm daily, so definitely go early to get your food and drink on.
Watching movies outdoors is always a fun activity, but this particular venue provides wireless headphones to drown out the background noise. Hang out in your adjustable lawn chair (also provided) and remember to dress appropriately for the weather, as fall nights tend to get chilly, especially on rooftops. Come here for the iconic views—I’m talking about the classic films AND the NYC skyline backdrop. You can find the list of movie showings online, through October.
Jack-o-lanterns and Halloween decor are in all the storefronts setting the spooky mood. Time to have yourselves a Saturday date night scare! Located down on Varick St., Blood Manor is a haunted house that will have you gripping onto your partner for dear life as you move through the labyrinth of terror. Instead of the electronic vampires with red eyes and digital dead people, Blood Manor has real actors who read the room and jump out at you strategically to optimize the scare factor.
This would be a fun group date idea because you are guided through the maze in small groups of six. DON’T wear any clothing you might ruin, in case you back up against a wall and smudge the set. DO wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking through the corridors. Although it’s only a 15-minute affair, it’s worth the scare.
Breathtaking Breakneck Ridge is a challenging hike, comprised of both rock face and marked dirt paths. Now is the perfect time of year to peep the changing leaves with your partner! This particular destination is just 90 minutes north of Manhattan. Just hop on the MTA from Grand Central to Hudson State Park in Cold Spring, NY. The main loop is just under three miles and takes about four to six hours to complete, so be sure to wear comfortable and appropriate clothing—aka sneakers and layers.
There are multiple overlooks with awesome and unobstructed views of the Hudson. Make sure you stop at the lookout points for epic couple shots—totally Insta-worthy. There’s no race to the top, but it’s definitely a workout, so bring snacks and plenty of hydration. DON’T go on this trip with someone you are just getting to know unless you’re totally comfortable. It’s not like you can cut the date short and bounce…the trail itself is a few hours, tacked on to a total of three hours of travel.
SoJo Day Spa
If you’re in the mood to escape the hustle and bustle of NYC and hang out somewhere more peaceful, check out SoJo Day Spa with your partner. If you ventured on the hike suggested above, maybe you can spend your next day off recovering and relaxing at SoJo Spa in Clearwater, NJ. There’s a shuttle bus from Hell’s Kitchen/Port Authority in NYC that takes you directly to the facility. Enjoy all the amenities, including different pools and saunas, with your day pass, which are relatively inexpensive for a spa. $50 for weekdays and $65 for holidays and weekends! You’ll have to pay for any other treatments you might want to add.
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The lovely @misspinno enjoying those beautiful rooftop views ☀ We’re so happy we could treat you… come back soon! ❤ . . . #sojo #sojospaclub #nyc #manhattan #skyline #Hudson #nj #infinitypool #views #travel #wanderlust #spa #spaday #pool #swimming #poolside #poolsideviews #rooftopviews #nycskyline #mysojospaday #sojospaday #koreanspa #spacation #spalife #selflove #treatyoself #bliss #getaway #staycation #energizedlife
Upon arrival, you put your belongings in your locker and proceed to the bathhouse: clothing is optional indoors. The fall special currently being offered is the “Pink Champagne Couples Massage”. Here’s the deal: a one-hour couples massage, pink champagne toast, chocolate truffles, and complimentary admission for two ($395). Note: you can only book this deal through 10/31. Spend the entire day feeling fancy AF in your robes. You can’t bring your own snacks to the spa, but they do have a stocked cafeteria with Korean-inspired dishes and other healthy options.
Fall is a time to hibernate and be cozy. Bikini season is over, so no need to feel bad about indulging in a cooking class with your SO. Instead of your nightly routine of going out or ordering in, mix it up by playing house with your partner and learning how to cook a gourmet meal. There are many options of cooking classes available in NYC, but two of my favorites are Sushi by Simon and Sur La Table.
Learn the Japanese culinary art at Sushi By Simon. All classes include two drinks and a sushi mat you can take home with you to rice roll on your own. $110 per person for the fall special, running now through the end of October. Sur La Table has a bit more variety in food options. Each night offers a different cuisine, and the chance to make everything from scratch! The chef gives you plenty of tips along the way, so it’s a great start for beginners. It’s also a great refresher for those of you who are already cooking-inclined. Whichever one you choose, you’re in for a night of delicious food and drinks and an intimate few hours with bae.
Images: Alora Griffiths / Unsplash; skylawnnyc, sojospaclub / Instagram
With first dates come lots of nerves and pressure. You want to look cute, but not like you tried too hard. You want to seem interested so he asks you out again, but you don’t want to look desperate. With all these things on your mind, what you’re going to eat on the date is definitely the last thing you’re thinking about, but it shouldn’t be. What you order at the restaurant says a lot about you. But don’t worry, here’s a list of the worst foods to eat on a date so you’ll be prepared.
1. Side Salad
If you want to look like someone who eats like a rabbit, then go right ahead. Most restaurants have plenty of acceptable menu items for if you’re trying to lose three pounds, but just a side salad is not one of them. If you’re just ordering a side salad to go next to your water because you’re worried about the cost, then maybe going on a date at a restaurant isn’t for you. Besides, you don’t want to set expectations for your relationship that you don’t eat and you won’t cost him a lot. We both know neither of those are true.
2. The Most Expensive Thing On The Menu
Being overly cautious about what your meal will cost your date (assuming he’s paying) isn’t the best way to go about ordering on a date. But also, purposefully ordering the most expensive thing on the menu as some sort of test is not a cute look either. Unless you’ve already talked about ordering some famous special dish, don’t go for the most expensive item. You don’t want him to know how high-maintenance and pricey you are. Keep that on the DL until at least the third date.
3. Ribs Or Wings
I don’t think there is anyone on planet Earth who can come out of a dinner after eating ribs or chicken wings without looking like an animal. My boyfriend admitted to me that he still won’t eat ribs in front of me because he’s afraid I’d be so turned off. In my opinion, there are some things that you don’t need to share with your SO, and the murder scene you leave behind after a rib fest is definitely one of them.
Specifically, maki rolls are the worst foods to eat on a date. Either the roll is too big to fit in your mouth, so you end up biting it in half and it falls apart, or you stuff it all in at once and look like a chipmunk. Both options are less than ideal.
I don’t think I have ever left an Italian restaurant without some sort of pasta sauce on me. Similar to ribs, there is no ladylike way to eat spaghetti that will make your date think “Damn, I want to sleep with her rn.” How one is able to eat pasta without the slurping noise *gag* is beyond me. If Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray Love couldn’t take a mouthful of spaghetti without looking like a slob, then you definitely can’t.
Images: Giphy (2)
I don’t know about you, but this heat wave is seriously fucking me up. After spending all winter becoming one with my couch, I was really ready for another four months on my couch to get back out there this summer. Instead, I’m finding myself yearning for the days when lying under a blanket didn’t feel like entering a sweat lodge. SO: even though we all get a pass on going outside this week, summer should be your most social season—and dating is no exception. Sunlight makes people happy, happy hours make people drunk, and drunk, happy people have more fun on dates. It’s basic math. Of course, not all summer dates are created equal. So while you’re fielding texts from Hinge matches, keep in mind that many invitations are still worth ignoring. Here’s what these date locations say about your date’s intentions.
Their Local Coffee Shop
In non-summer months, this has potential to be a fine option if you’re on antibiotics. It’s easy to cut short, requires minimal dressing up, and is overall a low-cost alternative to meeting for drinks. And going to the guy’s usual local spot can give you a sense of his overall vibe, though the implication that he’s hoping you’ll go home with him obviously stands.
During the summer though, this invite is all kinds of sus. If they’re trying to meet you at 2pm on a Saturday down the block from their apartment, they likely haven’t left their apartment in six weeks and will be rolling out of bed, wiping Cheeto crumbs off their shirt, and contemplating cancelling five times before they finally walk down the block. Oh, and they’ll probably try to steer the “date” back to their place to continue whatever TV show they were binging within 30 minutes of meeting you. With all the outdoor options and day-drinking venues summer has to offer, if the best they can do is a non-alcoholic beverage in their zip code, they either don’t give a shit about this date at all, have no social life to speak of, or both.
Picnic In The Park
Whether or not this is a red flag is kind of subjective. If you’re a fan of watching ants climb all over your food while dodging Frisbees, enjoy! (Yeah I hate picnics. Sue me.) The plus side of a picnic invitation is that it’s (meant to be) romantic, so the person who suggests this is definitely making an effort. The downside is that they require a ton of work to pull off effectively. So in Scenario A, your date shows up with a small suitcase worth of supplies (coolers, something to sit on so you don’t get grass stains, etc). While sweet, it also makes it painfully evident how much effort they put in and could be a turn-off early on. It also makes it impossible to continue the date afterward because they’re carrying around 10 pounds of picnic supplies.
In Scenario B, your date brings two 99 cent cans of Arizona iced teas and nothing else, you’re both covered in sweat and grass stains within 10 minutes, he gets embarrassed and tries to act like you’re too high maintenance to cover up that he planned a shitty-ass date. Ultimately, inviting you to a picnic means they’ve thought about this date way too much (and have probably done this exact date with their ex) or way too little. You can appreciate the gesture, but I do not recommend going on this date.
^The last time someone actually enjoyed a picnic.
Rooftop Bar With Their Friends
This is also kind of a mixed bag, but for different reasons. If they invite you to this a few days in advance, it’s ideal. It likely resembles the weekend plans you would have made for yourself anyway, and it means they want you to meet their friends. Win-win. If they invite you to this while they’re already there, it’s a very different story. This means they got drunk and horny, and are too awkward to actually meet someone at the bar full of equally drunk singles. Instead, they started going through their phone and messaging their last week of matches. While the commitment to not meeting people is admirable, you’re better than this. Being available on-demand for whenever they’re done with the social part of their night and just want to get laid is never a good look.*
*If you’ve been on a few dates already, this could be a cute “had a few drinks and started thinking about you” type text. But keep an eye on whether they actually introduce you to their friends when you show up, or if they just try to hustle you home.
Weeknight Dinner Reservation
Like the coffee date, this is normal/fine other parts of the year. But IMO, scheduling an 8pm dinner on a Wednesday is a little formal for a summer date. Has he never heard of happy hour? And is he just expecting you to waste prime drinking hours just to exchange information about your siblings and hometowns over cloth napkins? This date option implies that they’re highly traditional, operate by a strict schedule, and are probably not that much fun. This holds especially true if the restaurant they choose also offers a happy hour menu and they purposely choose not to do it. Who hurt you????
Their House In The Hamptons
This date is the easiest to decode. If they invite you to their house in the Hamptons, MARRY THEM. Seriously. Lock that shit down before the next heat wave rolls through.
Ultimately, dating in the summer is easier than dating in the winter. But because we can’t have nice things, that doesn’t mean some red flags don’t apply. Summer is the time to be your most fun self, taking advantage of long summer nights and half-off drinks. If their best self doesn’t crave margaritas after 12pm from June-September, think carefully whether this is someone you’re interested in dating. And maybe give your number to the people you see out at your favorite summer bars instead. At least you know they have good taste.
Images: Giphy (5); Jelleke Vanooteghem / Unsplash
First dates are rough. I mean, I don’t even really date, so I wouldn’t know. I’m assuming they are rough. They are especially rough if you’ve been in long-term relationships for most of your life and you’re used to the people you date knowing (and loving) everything about you without you having to put in any effort. It’s not like that when you first meet someone, though, and sometimes it can be difficult to find the line between “this is who I am” and telling someone “I come with an airport terminal’s worth of baggage”. You need to save that for when they’re already invested (#lifehack). It’s not that you should hide parts of yourself, but there are some topics that can wait for date five instead of date one. Here’s a non-comprehensive list of first date topics to avoid.
1. Family Drama
Look, if things work out and you bring him (or her) as your date to your cousin’s wedding, he will absolutely see that your mom was two hours late, showed up drunk, and threw a wine glass at the wall. Again. You don’t need to tell him this right off the bat. Family drama is obviously something you will need to confide in your partner about, but it’s just not really a fun topic when you first meet someone. Plus, it takes away from him getting to know you. You also don’t want him to think that you’re a shit-talker, disloyal to your family, or even worse, that you’ve inherited the wine-glass-throwing genes. He can find that out later when he already likes you.
2. Mental Health Problems
You have no idea how much I love talking about mental health. I’m so glad it’s open, honest discussion now, and we can all lean on each other through depression, anxiety, and whatever else. I am an open book about my own struggles, and I love when others are too. HOWEVER, I don’t start with this on a first date, and I wouldn’t recommend you do so either. Your mental health does not define you, and you do not have to lead with how Zoloft made you gain 20 pounds in six weeks and made you stop sleeping for a while. Yes, you’ll have to talk about it eventually. But on the first date, try to just get to know each other and save the heavy topics for when you’re more serious.
3. Anything About Children
This goes for both men and women. Do not say anything, and I mean anything, about children on your first date. The one exception is if you’re talking about ones you already have, in which case you should definitely tell them, but leave out the part where your deadbeat ex refuses to pay child support (see Family Drama above). Not speaking about children means you cannot ask them if they want kids, how many kids they want, if they plan on raising their children Jewish (and would they expect you to convert), or even how adorable your best friend’s kid is and how you can’t wait to have one of your own. No. These are important questions, but not for date one. It’s just not attractive if you seem like you want kids with anyone and don’t care who—the person you’re on a date with probably wants to believe you fell in love and want to reproduce with them specifically. He won’t be able to get to know you if all he can hear is your ovaries exploding all over the place. Save this talk for later and talk about happy hour deals or your awesome PhD dissertation instead.
Do not, and I mean DO NOT, bring up any insecurities of yours. And tbh, with this one, I don’t think you should bring it up ever to anyone except maybe your therapist. Don’t beat yourself up to people. If someone is on a date with you, they find you attractive. Do not talk them out of this. Don’t say, “Oh, I’m sorry, I don’t normally look like this, I typically wear more makeup,” etc. It really doesn’t matter what you look like, confidence alone is sexy. Telling him about your rigorous diet plan to drink only spicy juice for the next week to lose your love handles makes you look awful and insecure. If you do feel bloated or you’re broken out, don’t address it. He probably doesn’t care or notice. On that note, if you’re dating online, also make sure your pictures actually look like you. If you have creative angles hiding your body, or all your photos are of you at weddings with full makeup, straightened hair, and gowns, but you normally don’t wear makeup, leave your hair as whatever, and wear leggings every day, you run the risk of someone showing up and being disappointed in your appearance. Don’t lie about who you are. He has every right to like straightened-hair girls, just like you weed out anyone under six feet tall. Save yourself the heartache by making sure your pics show you IRL.
5. Fate, Astrology, Etc.
Don’t say it’s fate you met him. Do not say you’re so glad he’s a Taurus, because your last three exes were also Tauruses and also your best friend from college, and you know that is most compatible with your sign and when the planets line up and blah blah blah. And for the love of God, do not ask him the exact time he was born so you can chart his moon sign. If your date brings up their love of fate, astrology, whatever, then go ahead and talk about it. Otherwise, save this sort of thing for a later date. It can come off badly, like you’re not all there, but mostly it puts a lot of pressure on the situation. Telling someone you’ve just met that this is destiny and written in the stars makes it seem like you want to keep them locked up in your basement. I don’t make the rules here, it’s just how it is. Even if you genuinely believe this, there is no harm in keeping to yourself until he’s already invested in other great things about you.
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It’s 2017, and we live in a relentless era of fuckboys. Thanks to a society that lets men feel like they rule the world (Google: The Patriarchy), guys generally suck. Dating is a minefield of trying to avoid the worst of them, and this has all been put on steroids by the prevalence of social media. Now, there are entire websites dedicated to the worst in fuckboy pre-date behavior (@byefelipe), but what about when an IRL meet up is already scheduled? It’s important to keep your guard up from the first moment, and analyzing his first date choice is a crucial part of this. Like, don’t assume everything is all good just because he didn’t send you an unsolicited photo of his erect penis. That is not the standard of good behavior we want to promote. It’s not even the bare minimum. It’s like always shitting in a toilet, as opposed to a hole you dig in the ground—just expected as a productive member of society. Here’s how you can tell what kind of fuckboy you have on your hands based off that very first date.
Fancy Cocktails: The Wall Street Fuckboy
He’s got a great job, so you might want to keep him around for a while. Just beware that along with the job, he probably also two other girlfriends who won’t be afraid to get territorial. Conversely, he’ll def get jealous and think you’re “flirting with the waiter” wherever you go because he figures you’re always on the prowl for a hookup, just like he is. Get him to buy you some nice shit, but don’t get too involved, because he knows how to play the game just as well as you and def has one of those rich guy inferiority complexes you read about in Gossip Girl.
Tailgate/Sporting Event: The Frat Fuckboy
No matter his age, he will show up wearing a frocket tee or a polo, and you will hate every minute of it. Quit acting like a chill girl and demand better for yourself. Sorry fellas, but if we have to drink out of a fucking red solo cup on a first date, that’s going to be the last date. Ever. Dating is cancelled. And unless we’re sitting courtside at an NBA game, we don’t want to watch sports with you.
Bowling Alley: The Fuckboy Who Lives At Home
If your Uber pulls up at a fucking bowling alley, run like the last Lululemon store in the world is having a clearance sale. He absolutely still lives with his parents, maybe even by choice, which makes it even weirder. As a semi-functioning adult with your life semi-together, you have absolutely no time for date ideas that are just repurposed from the birthday parties you attended in second grade. (Also includes: mini golf, ceramics painting, etc.) Also, he’s probably sober, and not for a good reason like, “suffering from alcoholism,” but for a stupid reason like “I wouldn’t want to disappoint my mom.”
Live Music Club: The Hipster Fuckboy
He might not seem intimidating at first, but the hipster fuckboy will constantly judge you for not knowing about rando “jam bands” and not being a vegan. Sorry dudes, but we’d rather eat meat and dairy than hang around to “hear music” until 3am. You guys will barely be able to talk at all because of all the noise pollution around you, and that’s probably a good thing because this fuckboy has very little to offer outside a good IPA recommendation.
Casual Hangout: The Fuckbuddy Fuckboy
If you are going to his house for the “first date,” then call Ashton Kutcher because you’ve been punk’d. This is not a date, it’s a glorified booty call that he felt too awkward to be honest about. Even if he seems cool, he’s obviously not interested in anything serious. That’s not necessarily a problem, but don’t lie to yourself. Being delusional went out of style in like, 2013.
Dive Bar: The Has-Been Fuckboy
This man may be 24-30 years old, but mentally he’s still stuck in college. He could clearly afford to take you someplace nice (or at least someplace without sports memorabilia on the walls), but instead he chose this. He probably still drinks shitty beer because it makes him feel young. You know what your future will look like, and this is not it.
The Movies: The Antisocial Fuckboy
We like going to the movies as much as the next person, but why pay $11 to not talk to someone for two hours when you could just stay in bed and do a face mask? You deserve a man who can hold a decent conversation, so seeing a movie before the third date is a major red flag.
Coffee: The Cheap Fuckboy
If a guy suggests coffee as a first date, just cancel immediately. Is this dude Mr. Krabs? The difference between a cup of coffee and a beer is like, $4. This guy thinks he’s being casual by setting up a coffee date, when it’s obvious he just doesn’t want to “invest” in you so early on by buying you a cocktail like a goddamn adult. If you go out with this fuckboy and don’t put out or agree to a second date, he’ll probably send you a formal invoice for the vodka soda he bought you. Sure, it will be fun to roast him in your group chat, but it’s going to come at a price. Literally. Not to mention, anyone who drinks coffee after like, 5pm is a psycho. You don’t have to date the poor; you can just donate to Unicef or something.
Nice Restaurant: The Too-Good-To-Be-True Fuckboy
You know what they say: if something seems too good to be true, it usually is. But you can at least let it buy you dinner first before you find out? If a man offers to take you to a restaurant with 3 or more dollar signs on Yelp, make sure you show up with a pointed list of questions designed to show his flaws. Whether it’s chronic bad breath or he’s got bodies hidden in his freezer, you need to get to the bottom of these things.