Anyone who has participated in wedding planning can agree that it can be so damn stressful. Whether you’re the bride, groom, MOH, MIL, or bridesmaid, there is a to-do list longer than a CVS receipt. First, you need a budget, a date, and a venue. You also have to make these decisions fairly quickly and pray your venue isn’t booked by some un-engaged girl already planning her fairytale wedding. Next, you have to coordinate vendors, the dress, your bridesmaid dresses, invitations, honeymoon… I think you get the point.
We’ve all heard the term bridezilla, and there’s a reason for it. Weddings are a lot of work, and they can bring out the worst in people. I, myself, have been in a handful of weddings and have witnessed couples fight over the most trivial things. Really?? We’re getting pissed over linen patterns or up lighting?? I’ve seen these spats over decor turn into a scene from Fight Club.
As a former bride and also as someone who has called off her wedding, I’m familiar with tension before the big day. My ex-fiancé and I bickered about the guest list, venue, flowers, you name it. These wedding quarrels morphed into us going to war about everything from finances to family to our careers. Before I called it off, I would constantly question if everyone who plans a wedding struggles with this or if I was just in the wrong relationship. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t normal.
So, the question is: are these normal pre-wedding disagreements, or are these serious warning signs that this person isn’t your ‘til-death-do-us-part? Read on for some signs that your wedding disagreements are an indicator of unhappiness to come.
Why Did You Get Engaged In The First Place?
Social media has really changed the game for engagements and weddings (I blame Laguna Beach for starting prom-posals). There’s nothing wrong with it, but today it’s pretty much the standard for people hire photographers and plan over-the-top engagements, which they then post over and over again on Instagram. Same goes for weddings. Every part of your wedding day is documented by friends and family on social media. Let’s not forget about the teaser pics right after the big day that only warn of a few weeks later when your IG feed will be inundated by wedding shots.
Wedding Stress: It’s normal to overthink your hashtag or worry about selecting the perfect photographer. You’re paying a TON of money for these services, so you have the right to be picky. But ask yourself: if you took away the fancy dress, flowers, and glam squad, would you still want to marry this person and spend the rest of your life with them? One of my best friends was so over her family’s BS that she and her now-husband canceled their 300 person extravaganza and had a surprise wedding with 40 people instead. This didn’t stop her MIL from wearing a white gown to the event, but at the end of the day, it was about their love for each other—not the fancy ballroom.
Red Flag: If you answered no to the above question, you might want to reconsider this engagement. If all you care about is how your wedding will look to others, this is not a good sign. If you can’t imagine this day without all the bells and whistles or if it makes you cry inside thinking about someone posting an unflattering photo of your venue on, take a step back to reflect on why you actually want to go through with this. After I got engaged, I posted a picture of my proposal on Instagram within an hour of it happening. I remember being annoyed by the caption my ex used for his post (something along the lines of “she said finally”). While it’s normal to share your engagement on IG, looking back, I should have been more excited to celebrate our engagement with him and less concerned with the perfect filter or caption.
How And Why Do You Fight?
It’s expected to have disagreements about venue location or booking a band vs. a DJ. Everyone has a vision of what this day will look like. I’m sure you’re also getting forceful opinions from your family or future in-laws. You might bicker about your guest list—should you invite your creepy uncle or your future father-in-law’s clients? Does your fiancé’s #foreveralone bestie get a plus-one? There are a million and one scenarios that can have you and your SO at each other’s throats.
Wedding Stress: No matter what the argument is about, you want to feel heard by your SO. Relationships are about compromise, and you should respect each other’s opinions when there is any type of disagreement. There shouldn’t be any blaming or name-calling when things go wrong. You should move on quickly after an argument, and fights over wedding favors shouldn’t turn into screaming matches about what religion you’ll raise your future kids. Also, an important point to keep in mind: a lot of arguments stem from family drama. It’s important your SO puts your feelings before their family’s and always listens to you first. Here’s a good example of this done right: My friend’s husband’s family paid for their entire (six-figure!) wedding, but every decision was made together. He never once held the money over her head to get his way. Wedding disagreements should not come between you and your fiancé. On the flip side, my ex always told me he would choose his family over me any day. If he went to his mom to question my flower choices, what made me think he wouldn’t talk sh*t to his mom about my parenting style when we had kids?
Red Flag: It’s a MAJOR warning sign if your SO gaslights you every time you fight. You shouldn’t feel unreasonable, crazy, or unheard when you’re just trying to get your point across (this also holds for arguments outside of wedding planning). I spent a long 6 years with my ex where I was always justifying my feelings. His favorite line when we fought was, “I think your parents dropped you on your head as a baby because you’re crazy”. I know, awful right?
Another major warning sign is constantly walking on eggshells around your SO. You should never have the mentality that it would be easier to keep something to yourself in order to avoid a fight. My ex and I fought a lot—I eventually stopped bringing things up to him because I was afraid of setting him off. It got to the point where I secretly planned our honeymoon because I couldn’t mentally handle another battle. Not a good sign.
Does Your Future Spouse Make Planning Easy Or Difficult?
How did they react when you scheduled a tour of 10 venues the weekend after you got engaged? Did they freak out when you told them the florist was $10k over budget? Did they ditch a cake tasting or black out when you went to see a band showcase? I might sound like a broken record at this point, but how your partner deals with the planning process is a huge indicator of what type of relationship you’re in.
Wedding Stress: It’s OK if your groom doesn’t want to be involved in every single detail of wedding planning. You probably have better taste in European-style flower arrangements, anyway. I went to every vendor meeting with a friend for her wedding, and we had way more fun picking out color schemes and candle holders than she would have had if she’d brought her then-fiancé. The difference is, her now-husband is an awesome guy and would always praise her for having great taste—he just didn’t have a vision for envelope liners and calligraphy styles. If he’s taking the backseat, your SO should be happy to let you plan and be appreciative of the effort you put into it. If he’s willing to be your hype man over classic hand-tied bouquets, imagine how supportive he’ll be for the important stuff.
Red Flag: If your SO makes every part of the planning process a challenge, you’re in red flag city. This could look like anything from delaying you from making decisions to a complete lack of interest in the planning process, not showing up to things, or being overly critical once you make a decision. For instance, my ex would call me impulsive for moving forward with any stage of the planning process. I had to wait three months post-engagement before we were even allowed to talk about venues or setting a date. And, while being completely uninterested in planning, he still managed to be highly critical of every decision I made. His response to when I picked our invitations: “those look like funeral announcements”. Tbh, he made planning so miserable it kind of felt like I actually was planning a funeral!
At the end of the day, you know yourself and your relationship better than anyone else. If you don’t feel supported or if the arguing is spiraling out of control, talk to your SO! Communication is clutch while wedding planning and it will continue to be important throughout married life. It may feel like it, but you aren’t trapped or committed to going through with your marriage. There are plenty of people who have called off an engagement, and they are better for it!
Images: Petr Ovralov / Unsplash, Giphy
It’s said that friends are the family we choose, and I couldn’t agree more. My girlfriends are some of the most cherished people in my life, and there’s no one else in the world I’d rather talk sh*t have several glasses of chardonnay with than them. But is it realistic to expect that all friendships will last forever? I’d argue no, especially now that the average life expectancy is in the 70s instead of, say, 35. While no one wants to dump a friend, there are certain signs that indicate your friendship may not be long for this world. Here’s how to tell it’s time to break up with your BFF.
1. The Dynamic Has Become Toxic
You’ve likely chosen your friends because they make your life better in some way. (At least, I hope so.) While it’s natural to fight occasionally, if every interaction is fraught, this is a good indication that the friendship may not be worth maintaining. Your friends should lift you up and be your biggest supporters. If instead, your friendship is making you feel worse about yourself, whether as a result of jealousy, competition, pettiness, passive aggression or some other form of negativity, it might be time to move on.
How To Handle: Think about whether the friendship can be saved by addressing the problem head-on with a direct and honest conversation. If it can’t, the friend in question won’t cop to her behavior, or you simply don’t want to bother anymore, it’s time to cut the cord.
2. You’re The Only One Giving
Friendship should be a two-way street. Of course, at certain times, one party may be giving more than the other, but neither party should be expending all of the effort on a consistent basis. While a friend who dominates the conversation with their drama might be exciting in high school or college, the novelty wears off once you enter the real world. If your friend only seems to contact you when they need something, but isn’t there for you when you need support, it’s time for you to sashay away.
How To Handle: This type of friend usually lacks the self-awareness to change their ways. If you want to get off the roller coaster, a slow fade is usually the best approach.
3. The Connection Feels Forced
Because life circumstances constantly change, certain friendships that emerged at one particular point in your life might not go the distance. These divergences become more apparent in your twenties and beyond as priorities start to shift. While it was easy to bond with Janine when you were downing Natty Lights during sorority pledging, it might be harder to relate when you’re climbing the ladder at work and navigating the veritable cesspool that is the New York dating scene while she’s preparing to pop out baby number three. History is great, but it shouldn’t be the only thing keeping you together. If every conversation feels like work to try to find some common ground, it may be time to put your energy elsewhere.
How To Handle: Chances are good that if you’re feeling a lack of connection, your friend is feeling similarly. In that case, you may not need to do much to create distance. If neither party wants to put in the work to keep the relationship going, it will likely dissolve over time.
4. They’re Constantly Bailing On Plans
We all have moments where we just don’t feel like socializing with sentient beings other than our dogs something unexpected arises and we can no longer stick to plans we previously scheduled. However, if your friend is regularly bailing on plans with little to no notice or explanation, this is likely a sign that something is off with the friendship. It’s also highly disrespectful of your time. I knew I had to consciously uncouple from a friendship when the other party thought it was acceptable to cancel plans without excuse when I was already in a cab en route to meet her.
How To Handle: Unless you’re willing to write this person off immediately (same), this warrants a direct conversation. Be honest about how your friend’s actions are affecting you. If she is able to own her behavior, there may be hope. If not, it’s time to bid her adieu.
5. You’re Not Eager To See Them
Your time is precious, especially as you get older and are juggling different priorities. It’s important, then, that this time is spent with people who are adding value to your life and who you genuinely enjoy seeing. If a friend reaches out to make plans and you feel a sense of dread rather than excitement, this may be an indication that the friendship has run its course. Think about whether your reaction is stemming from something temporary, like a friend who is negative because they are going through a hard time, or something more permanent, like a friend who simply no longer shares the same values. If it’s the latter, it may be time to phase out the friendship.
How To Handle: This one is tough. Ideally, the hope is that with enough excuses, this friend will get the hint that you no longer want to invest in the friendship and the problem will solve itself. If, however, this friend won’t let you off the hook so easily, you can let them know that your priorities have changed and you no longer feel as close as you once did. It’s uncomfortable, but sometimes it’s best to simply rip off the Band-Aid.
Ultimately, it’s up to you and the friend in question to determine whether the friendship is salvageable. The idea is to assess whether or not both parties can or want to invest in the relationship and to act accordingly. If the answer is to move on from the friendship, there’s nothing wrong with that. Honor your feelings and do what makes you happy. I know I didn’t cover every sign, so share your stories in the comments!
Images: Korney Violin / Unsplash; Giphy (5)
For whatever reason, fall has been decreed cuffing season. You scroll through your phone and you’re inundated with images images of apple picking dates, complete with the requisite cider donut and a ~casual~ candid featuring some autumnal plant and maybe bae looking cute in some flannel. Eventually it will snow, which conjures up images of drinking hot chocolate and binge-watching Netflix together in front of a cozy fire. Or something else equally sickeningly sweet. Idk. Anyway, even though it’s super tempting to want to dive into a relationship as it gets cold, you don’t want to date just anyone. Being single is better than dating the wrong person, and honestly you never want to sell yourself short. Like, whoever is reading this right now, you’re totally random and I legit have no clue who you are, but you deserve someone amazing!! Seriously. A little saccharine, but true. You could totally end up playing yourself if you ignore red flags, or signs your guy sucks, early on.
There are def some major red flags to look out for when you first meet your potential someone. I polled my sister and she claims the only red flags are:
- He doesn’t play a sport
- He wears jean/cargo shorts
- He wears a beanie
- He uses this emoji ????
However, I’d consider all of these totally fixable problems (gentlemen, if you’re reading this, do throw out said clothing items and consider picking up lacrosse, though).
In all seriousness, there are some serious red flags that indicate your flirtation or hookup really shouldn’t lead to a relationship, even if it could be heading that way.
Is He Aggressively Pushy About Hooking Up?
There’s nothing worse than just wanting to grab dinner and having to ward off a handsy guy, or worse: being with a guy that doesn’t seem to get that NO means freaking no. Like, nope, sorry, the mood hasn’t changed in the past two minutes since you asked me, BRETT. Again. Ew, ew, ew, moving on.
Does He Overuse Social Media?
Yes, we live in a time where Snapchat and swiping apps seem to drive modern relationships. However, if you’re talking a lot over an app whose genesis came from a need to facilitate easy hookups and/or sending nudes, you should be concerned.
The worst, the very worst, red flag is if he talks to you all the time via social media but ignores you in person. That’s weird. Imagine what it would be like to go on dates with him. Would you carry your entire conversation via Instagram DMs over dinner too? Would you make plans for the aforementioned apple picking date via Snapchat because nothing is ever going to be concrete or, like, traceable? At the very least, you can keep up with all his happenings because he’ll still be updating his story 24/7, even if he’s never talking to you besides to maintain your #streak. Oh, and to hit you up with a “u up?” snap at 1am when he’s drunk and alone.
Seriously, don’t keep hooking up with him. He’s either insecure, not interested, or seeing multiple girls at once because talking to people solely over an app that doesn’t save past messages is sketchy af . Seriously, run in the opposite direction. Runnnnnnn.
Will He Not Let Go Of His Exes?
Maybe you figure that once you start dating, he’ll stop hooking up with his ex-girlfriends. And hey, maybe he will!! Maybe you’ll also win the lottery and star in your own reality TV show. I mean, it could totes happen!1!1
Seriously, if he still hooks up with old girlfriends, especially old girlfriends that were super into him and are obviously still super into him, then steer clear. One, it’s kind of an asshole move to keep hooking up with a girl that’s crazy into you when you’re not into them. Secondly, there’s no way of knowing he won’t do the same to you one day. Even if he claims he never hooks up with his exes but hangs out with them, keep your head on a swivel because that’s a red flag—a smaller red flag, but a flag nonetheless.
Is He Weirdly And Hypocritically Judgmental?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t date someone with different opinions than you. Debate is healthy and mind-opening. But I’ve met guys before that are like “don’t wear that it’s not even a shirt, it’s a bra blah blah blah I’m a conservative white dude…” when they’re freaking only wearing, like, boxers or something because it’s a stupid themed party. I’m sorry it’s heaven and hell themed and so all the girls are dressing up as lust. Like, I’m not going wear a nun costume? And it’s literally so annoying to have a guy gripe about drinking when he likes to disappear in the bathroom to do some lines. Like, please spare me the double standard.
Does He Like To Hook Up In Weird Places?
And I mean weird, like really disturbingly unsanitary. If his history with his exes/past girls includes hooking up in weird, illegal, and/or unsanitary places, then kick him to the curb unless you dig getting some weird disease and/or arrested. Last time I checked, a dumpster isn’t for hooking up in. Though maybe if he’s total trash… Seriously though, I’ve heard some pretty disturbing stories and I’d really like to believe that they aren’t true.
Do You Just Not Like Him?
This seems stupid and really obvious, but sometimes I watch people head into relationships where they literally don’t even like the guy and I just sort of wonder…why? Is being single seriously worse than being forced to spend time with someone that kind of bugs you? Ladies, it’s seriously not worth the cute Instagrams.
If none of the above applies, then I wish you everlasting happiness!!! Good luck trying to break up in the spring when you want to be single for summer!!
Image: Toa Heftiba / Unsplash
I’ll be the first to admit it—anyone still watching Bachelor in Paradise and expecting to see anything but the contestants at their absolute worst is a fool. And most of the time, I’m fine with that. But Leo talking to Kendall on last night’s episode absolutely made my blood boil. I never understood why Becca kept him around as long as she did. And I understood even less when I started seeing the DMs Bekah was getting about him. As if it weren’t enough that Leo’s presence is breaking poor Grocery Joe’s heart, Leo now decided to go off on Kendall in the most f*ckboy-ish way I’ve seen since Dean. Leo: you’re not pretty enough to pull that off, and even Dean barely got away with it. Here are all the things Leo said to Kendall that should make you run far, far away.
“You’re A Really Good Actress”
So (spoilers, kind of), let’s remind ourselves why they’re even having this fight. Kendall found out that Leo kissed Chelsea, and is understandably taken aback. Not even really because of the kiss—Leo’s right, to an extent, that everyone’s talking to everyone—but because he went out of his way to keep it a secret from only her. Doing that takes away any credibility that you’re actually looking for a relationship. Kendall would obviously see that on TV when it aired. So, keeping it a secret proved that Leo just wanted to get a rose, not pursue a future with her. Color me shocked.
Moving on to the actual comment here—this is a classic move from a guy who’s done something shady and doesn’t want to deal with the consequences. Kendall isn’t even outright pissed—she literally just questions him about it. But he immediately turns it around as though she has something to prove in this conversation instead of him. He acts like she could never have liked him at all if she’s doubting him now, and tries to force her into the position of fighting for his affection. It’s a classic bully move: she expresses unhappiness with one action, and he holds their entire history and relationship hostage unless she drops it.
This is how sh*tty guys get out of ever changing anything or apologizing. They constantly force their partner into considering their concerns too minor to risk the relationship over. But the fact is, the relationship should never have been at stake—and they wouldn’t be putting it at stake if they really cared about it.
“You Really Tricked Me”
At this point, Leo has invented an entire drama where Kendall was only pretending to like him. Casual reminder that Kendall has said literally nothing to suggest this. Second casual reminder that they are having this conversation because LEO went for someone else. Just in case anyone else feels like they’re taking crazy pills. Anyway, Leo spins all this bullsh*t at Kendall just to divert attention from his own messed up behavior, and try to make it about his own hurt feelings. Not only that, but to make Kendall feel like crap in the process if at all possible.
By refusing to even address what she came to talk about, Leo is being so dismissive that it’s hard to believe he sees her as human. His only interest is in walking out with the upper hand—whether that’s by manipulating her into coming back to him, or trying to make her seem like a crazy b*tch and walking away. This. Guy. Is. Garbage.
“I Don’t Know How You’re Still Single”
This moment in his tirade disappointed me, because Kendall responded by saying “you’re making me feel wonderful.” Admittedly, in the context of “you’re also making me feel like crap,” but still. Kendall, do not let this backhanded swill make you feel wonderful!!! Also included in this section of Leo’s commentary were “I don’t know how Arie didn’t pick you” and “I don’t know how you haven’t found someone.” All of these “compliments” are just a way of reminding her, when she’s already vulnerable, that she is, in fact, still single. That Arie didn’t pick her—which I’m sure was painful. That she hasn’t found a guy, or been picked by a guy. All very real insecurities for anyone who’s single and unhappy about it, let alone someone who has gone on two TV shows to find a boyfriend.
By negging her in this way, Leo is trying to chip away at Kendall’s confidence. He’s trying to make her less secure in her value by reminding her of times when she hasn’t been chosen. And he’s doing all this while responding to her saying “why did you secretly kiss another girl” with “I guess this whole relationship was a lie” and acting like he’s over it already. He’s hoping if he dangles the threat of being alone hard enough, she’ll just say “never mind forget I said anything please just take me back!” Again, “I don’t know how you’re still single” is a terrible “compliment.” “I’m so glad I met you” is what good, normal guys say. Good guys respect you enough to treat your relationship status as a choice, and not imply that they’ve failed at something by not having a boyfriend.
I’m sure I could go on, but you get the idea. Never, ever let guys get away with invalidating your concerns, redirecting every issue back to their own feelings, threatening the relationship every time you try to have a conversation, or actively trying to make you feel insecure. I am more than ready to see Leo go home tonight—Kendall, please girl, dump that hairy man-child and make it as cruel as you can manage.
Images: Giphy (3)
As someone who’s braved the streets of New York for several years now (someone please buy me a medal), I can confidently say that living in New York certainly has its perks. Like, waking up every morning to the smell of fresh garbage and urine or slowly losing the will to live one MTA train delay at a time. Also, I guess we have some good bars too. How else are we to cope with 50 percent of our paychecks going to 20 feet of cubic space in an apartment in the shittiest part of Brooklyn than by drinking our sorrows away with $11 Bud Lights? The city! It’s magical here! If you can imagine, not all bars are as great as I just made them out to be. While some bars have hot AF clientele (re: hot husband material, beautiful douchebags, generally attractive humans), other bars have bigger red flags than my Hinge suggested matches. Luckily for you betches, my standard for bars pretty much begins and ends at “is it open?” So here’s a list of all the trashiest NYC bars you should f*cking run from should anyone suggest it. Learn from my mistakes. I’m super giving like this.
Hair Of The Dog
Location: East Village
Biggest Red Flag: That it’s patrons think it’s socially acceptable to dry hump ON THE FLOOR
I literally wish I made this up. I’m telling you rn the things I have seen at this hedonistic den of sin cannot be unseen. This establishment is what the kids these days call a “trap house” disguised as college sports bar. Located in the East Village, it doesn’t matter what time of day you show up at at this place, you can always find at least one person vomiting in the bathroom sink and/or belligerently dry-humping in the corner. I’m not even exaggerating when I say that I’ve seen a couple start hooking up by the beer pong table, topple over onto the floor AND CONTINUE HOOKING UP. Look, am I saying I don’t frequently hang out at this establishment? I am not. But I
like to sabotage my life and happiness can never say no to a place that sells $12 pitchers. We all have our crosses to bear!
Biggest Red Flag: The line for the bathroom
The Woods is fine during the day, but at night this chill hangout spot gets sketchy AF. Like, watch your drink sketchy AF. The crowd shifts from Brooklynites searching for some sliver of outdoor space to people who think that visiting a bar in Williamsburg will up their street cred. Think: the place where frat bros come after they’ve been kicked out of every bar in Manhattan… before midnight, and girls who think it’s “edgy” to drink ciders. If you like to get propositioned with coke in line for the bathroom then you’ll probs love this place, but if you like drinking literally anywhere else in an environment that’s not filled with literal sea creatures, then maybe try someplace else. Idk.
Location: Greenwich Village
Biggest Red Flag: That there’s a stripper pole in the middle of the bar
Where do I effing begin with this place? First of all, Greenwich Village is one of my favorite areas in the city, and the fact that this establishment dare bring A PIRATE THEME to this otherwise chic AF environment is a crime against humanity. Yes, you heard me right, this bar is entirely pirate themed. And while that in itself should be a reason for no human with working eyes and ears to ever step foot in this abomination, there’s actually even more disturbing sh*t that happens here. Like the fact that there’s karaoke and A STRIPPER POLE in the middle of the goddamn building. There’s also beer pong in the back! You know, in case you didn’t already humiliate yourself enough with your belligerent rendition of “Baby Got Back” while using the stripper pole as a prop to showcase your immeasurable talents. So, what I’m saying is, I guess there’s something for everyone here.
^^ actual footage of things I’ve seen go down at this bar
Location: Midtown East
Biggest Red Flag: Its patrons
I generally try and stay below 34th street, because upper Manhattan is about as easily accessible from my Brooklyn apartment as the Moon. That said, every once in a while I’m forced into going out in that area by my one friend who’s always telling me how “fun” midtown is and how all the “hot guys” frequent those bars. First of all, I’ve never felt so betrayed in my life than when I showed up to her beloved Turtle Bay only to be surrounded by what can only described as a mix between a 30-year-old frat bro and a Jersey Shore club extra. (I must have come on a good night, because any other night it’s literally just college kids with fakes.) These are the kinds of dudes who show up at happy hour and immediately start pounding shots of Jäger before they have to catch the last train back to Jersey. Charming. If you’re into meat heads, then by all means
ruin your life hang out at this bar. The free happy hours you can “win” (by just showing up one time and being female) are tempting, but just be aware that there was a recent stabbing—STABBING!—at this cesspool of an establishment earlier in the summer. Literally the NY Post agrees with us on this one—please just stay away.
Images: @mdisc /Unsplash.com; 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
What’s up, the three friends I harass into reading my articles fans. Sgt. Olivia Betchson here. I’ve recently taken the plunge back into online dating, or as I like to call it, waiting to see how long before the man I’m talking to inevitably disappoints me. I know, I’m so upbeat it’s a wonder I’m still single. Anyway, I like to consider myself somewhat of an expert at online dating—not because I’ve found a lasting relationship off a dating app (if I had, I wouldn’t be here), but because I’m very good at judging people and I’m also very arrogant. I like to think I’m extremely good at spotting fuckboys based off their dating profile, before I even swipe right and have to fend off a dick pic. It’s a gift, really. So because I’m like, such a good friend, I’m going to impart this wisdom on you. If you see these common fuckboy dating profile lines, swipe left. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. I promise, only dick pics and heartbreak will await you if you don’t heed my warnings.
1. “Good Vibes Only”
Translation: I want a doormat.
Straight men, feel free to jump in and disagree with me here, but I see “good vibes only” on a LOT of profiles, and not in a “we’re at a music festival” kind of way. Since I’m not swiping through at Bonnaroo, I can only take “good vibes” to mean that this guy wants a woman who’s always “positive.” But I don’t mean it in the way regular people say it, I mean it in the way my ex-boyfriend used to say it, i.e., any time you try to (rightfully) call the guy out on his bullshit (like, for instance, actively trying to pursue your friend while still very much being in a relationship with you, or again, totally made-up example here, saying you “used to be a fatty”), gets met with an, “I don’t know why you’re being so negative all the time, you’re just taking everything the wrong way.” The “good vibes only” guy can do no wrong in his eyes. He could literally cheat on you and it would be your fault for “harshing his vibe” or “being a downer.” Remember, you agreed to only put out positive vibes, and this douche will hold you to that like you signed a legally binding contract. Also, it goes without saying that this guy will never truly commit. Do not put yourself through this. Swipe left.
2. No Bio
Translation: I’m hot, you know it, and I know you know it.
Fuck this guy. He’s probably super hot, which is the only feasible excuse for why you would not have to rely on your personality AT ALL. But he’s also probably full of himself if he thinks he’s so great that he doesn’t even need to TRY to convince you to swipe right. Especially guys who do this shit on Bumble—like, I have to message you first. Give me something to work with here.
3. “Adventurer/Travel Enthusiast/My Goal Is To Visit 30 Countries In The Next 2 Months”
Translation: *Insert lyrics for “Tie Me Down” by New Boyz feat. Ray J*
Any guy who’s this into traveling is just not going to be in one place for any substantial amount of time, so good fucking luck trying to nail him down with a date. First it’s “I’ll be in Thailand this weekend for the next two weeks, so when I get back we’ll hang out.” Then you might be able to get one date in before he jets off to Ibiza. And then you have a good second date, only to have to wait nearly a month before the third date because of his constant travels. At best, he’ll fit you in for one-hour coffee dates in between trips to the airport, and who wants that? I’m not a granola bar; you can’t squeeze me in between meals on your way to do other shit. Also, is this guy a drug lord? Who has that kind of money? What’s his company’s PTO policy? Are they hiring?
4. Just An Instagram Handle
Does this guy actually want to meet people or is he only on here for the followers? Spoiler alert: It’s the latter. If you have under 2,000 followers on Instagram he’ll probably unmatch you, and if you do go out with him, prepare to spend the majority of the time watching him taking pictures of his food and then taking pictures of him with said food. And he won’t even tag you in the photos you took. Bastard.
5. “GOOD HYGIENE ONLY PLEASE GO SEE THE GYNO”
Translation: I have never smelled a vagina before.
Y’all think I’m making this shit up, but I literally saw this in my Tinder queue yesterday. LITERALLY YESTERDAY. I understand if you don’t believe me, but this was literally real.
^I cropped out his photo entirely because I felt bad. I’m such a bleeding heart liberal.
Fucking Chad. Of course his name is Chad. Anyway, this is all kinds of fuckboyish nonsense. First of all, CHAD, you are not a doctor. Don’t be out here on Tinder trying to dispense medical advice without a valid degree. How can you tell through a smartphone app what’s a normal vaginal odor and what’s not? Second of all, fuck guys who say this (not literally—keep your pussy very far away from them). The types of guys who complain about vaginas not smelling like roses are the types of guys who invent shit like My Sweet V or that bullshit Sweet Peach startup a few years back that literally tried to make women’s vaginas smell like peaches. I shouldn’t even have to tell you that douching can cause infections that will cause bad odor IN THE FIRST PLACE. Vaginas are not supposed to smell like roses or peaches; get used to it. Dicks don’t exactly smell like a picnic, either.
Which brings me to my next point. You KNOW the same guys who complain about women’s vaginal odor rarely wash their dick. Just trust me on this; sadly I know it too well through my own market research. Do you think Chad shaves his ball hair, or even trims it? Do you think he really scrubs his shaft and in between his testes? NO. Chad probably will force your head down towards his lap after his workout and then refuse to go down on you because you have 1/4mm of pubic hair. I know your shit smells like sweaty gym socks; do not come at me and try to tell me about my pussy. If you’re really that concerned for my hygiene you should send me a gently worded text, not sub-Tinder-bio your future victims.
I obviously recommended Chad to all my friends.