How To Talk About Finances With Your Significant Other

If you’ve already made the big step of deciding to move in with your significant other, congratulations! I can tell you that living with your boyfriend, girlfriend, or partner is one of the best things in the entire world. Unfortunately, you probably won’t be smoothly sailing into Bed Bath & Beyond together just yet. Before you move in together, you need to discuss your finances. Which, according to every advice column ever created, should be 100 percent transparent (!), easy (!), and totally NBD! Well, that’s bullsh*t. Money is a big deal, and you should treat it accordingly. You don’t have to make a ton of money in order to feel empowered and in control of your wallet, but you do need to be strategic. 

Moving in together, right next to getting engaged, is one of the biggest commitments you can make in your relationship. Don’t do it unless you’ve flushed out the logistics. Super romantic? Not so much. But necessary? Absolutely. You have the most leverage and the best opportunity to set the tone for your new living situation before you move in together. Here are the best ways to go about talking about your finances with your significant other: 

Set Aside A Specific Time To Have The Conversation

Most people, no matter how much money they make, get a little uncomfortable discussing it. Try to coordinate a time with your partner when you know the both of you won’t be as stressed out (read: avoid doing this Sunday night before the work week) so you can be entirely focused on the conversation at hand. Set aside a good 30-minute window to really review everything about your new arrangement. Make an agenda and sample expense list of what the both of you anticipate to spend month to month. Treat it just as you would a work meeting. If you don’t come up with an exact cost or answer for something, be sure to follow up. 

You should also decide on who will be listed on contracts or leases as the person responsible for each expense and how/if you’ll go about splitting certain costs. Will one of you cover cable while the other handles internet? Is Venmo your go-to? Or will you open a joint credit card to share expenses?

Figure out your money personalities. Is one of you more into going tit for tat? Or is one of you a Virgo and needs to split everything down the middle by the penny? Decide now and be clear with what you choose. It pays, literally, to be meticulous now versus later when one of you starts holding a grudge for being the sole purchaser of your apartment’s toilet paper.

You Don’t Have To Tell Your Partner Exactly What You Make Or Go Into Details About Unrelated Spending

Unless you two are tying the knot and have decided to share 100 percent of your finances, you actually don’t need to divulge exactly how much you make or exactly how you spend your money. Realistically, you two have been together for a long enough time where you have some idea about the other’s paychecks. If you’re clear with what you can afford or are willing to contribute with your monthly expenses, then whatever you have left over is your business. It may seem like a great idea to be super transparent because it comes off more trustworthy or open about your relationship, but it’s not required. In fact, you may even be a little relieved to have more independence over how you spend your money. Your boyfriend need not know that you accidentally spent $250 at Sephora when you were tipsy after happy hour. (Heh, sorry babe.) If you want to, that’s cool too. But if you’re not into that idea, don’t feel like you have to.

Be Prepared To Negotiate 

As any couple who lasts longer than two weeks can attest to, relationships are all about compromise. You exclusively watch reruns of Law & Order: SVU on Hulu. He needs every single sports channel known to man. All of a sudden your single girl binge watching expenses have blossomed from a cool $11.99 to $100. Find the middle ground. There will be some expenses on both sides that one of you won’t want to cough up for. (I mean, do we really need 20 different channels of ESPN?) And if you can’t reach an agreement for something the other person wants, then be prepared to pay for it on your own. 

What If Your Salaries Are Completely Lopsided?

Whether you make a lot more (I love living in 2019) or your partner does, I’m a big believer in paying your portion. If your partner is making a quarter of what you do, or vice versa, again, negotiate. Just because you’re sharing a space does not mean you have to share expenses 50/50. There are also other factors to consider outside of just income. Is one of you more inclined to clean? Is one of you the dedicated pet parent? While some of these things aren’t factorable into an Excel spreadsheet, they do matter when it comes to sharing a space. 

Bottom line, the most important thing to do when talking to your partner about sharing your living expenses is to be honest and realistic. The more you can stay in front of your finances and any additional expenses or problems that might arise, the less likely money will ever cause a problem in your relationship.

Images: Joshua Ness / Unsplash; @ashh_olmsted/Twitter;@LaLaDessie/Twitter; @natatruthh/Twitter

4 Ways ‘Broad City’ Made Me A Better Person

Well, fam, it’s time. The greatest show on earth is finally coming to a close. That’s right, Broad City is ending. I’m not crying, you’re crying! If you haven’t watched, just stop reading now because this article is going to be an epically long essay detailing every reason Broad City has truly changed me for the better, starting with the goddess co-creators and stars, Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer. This amazing pair started pure television gold. I mean, just take a look at the people who have guest-starred on the show for proof: Fred Armisen, Rachel Dratch, Amy Sedaris, Seth Rogen, Kelly Ripa, RuPaul, Patricia Clarkson, Whoopi Goldberg and, lest we forget, Hillary f*cking Rodham Clinton. There have also been about a million other notable guest stars, but I didn’t want to give myself carpal tunnel trying to list all of them. 

It’s the kind of show you can LOL at alone. Do you know how funny something has to be to make me laugh out loud with no one else in the room? V f*cking funny. Over the course of five seasons, I learned a lot about myself, New York, relationships, and more from this show, so if you haven’t watched and need a couple hundred reasons to start, read on.

1. Living In New York

Like most shows, Broad City takes place in New York, but not the New York we know and hate from Sexy and the City, Gossip Girl, Friends (which was actually filmed in L.A.), Girls, Seinfeld and every other white-washed sitcom and drama wreaking havoc on our televisions since the ’90s. The gals of Broad City live in Astoria, Queens and Gowanus, Brooklyn. If you don’t live in or near New York, neither of these places are in Manhattan, which is revolutionary for a show about New York.

Something else Broad City def got right are Abbi and Ilana’s apartments, which are neither inexplicably huge nor decked out in beautiful decor. If you don’t know what I mean, let me explain. Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City is a writer for a weekly newspaper. She writes a column about like, sex buddies and funky-tasting spunk (deep stuff!). Ok, so how, on a writer’s salary, is she living in a gigantic one bedroom in the West f*cking Village? I can’t even afford to get dinner there, and she’s living in a sea of Manolos in a rent-controlled apartment! I’m calling bullsh*t on this. Unless a Presidential motorcade hit her and the government is sending her monthly disability checks of $2 million, Carrie’s townhouse makes no sense at all. The way Abbi and Ilana live, with roommates and in reasonably-sized apartments, is a pretty accurate representation of what living in New York is like when you’re neither dead broke nor rolling in cash. Thanks for giving me a realistic preview of what living in this godforsaken city is actually like, Comedy Central!

2. Dating

In so many shows, the female character is always galavanting around the city on the hunt for a boyfriend, which like, same, but there are some women in New York (and elsewhere) who don’t really subscribe to the idea of monogamous relationships and just want to explore other options, like casual dating with no expectations. Throughout Broad City, Abbi and Ilana have wildly different dating experiences, but they have one thing in common: they represent female sexuality in a totally bold way, and for that, I love this f*cking show. Neither of the ladies apologize for her sexual or romantic inclinations, whether it be Abbi’s obsession with Jeremy (#pegged) or Ilana’s refusal to uproot her life for a man, even if he is the most perfect specimen to grace the Earth, Lincoln. I love the dating scene on this show because it’s nothing if not completely realistic and representative of dating in New York as a twenty-something. Almost everything that happens to them has happened to me: I’ve had a crush on a neighbor, I’ve been broken up with by my FWB because he met someone, I assumed a guy and I were dating after a week, etc. They tackle these situations in such an accurate and hilarious way that it makes me approach these epic f*ck-ups in my own life with a sense of humor.

3. Female Friendships

I am a ride-or-die betch, so I have like, nine friends who I’d do literally anything some things for. Aside from all of the obvious things that define a friendship, Abbi and Ilana just really get each other, and refuse to let any disagreement or situation dictate otherwise. They will drop anything to help out the other and they support each other like it’s their job. It’s really a beautiful thing. Look, Gossip Girl is another favorite show of mine, but like, come ON with the pettiness and backstabbing, y’all! As women, we need to support each other in this f*cked-up Trumpville we call America. We need to make each other laugh and remind each other that we is kind, we is smart, and we is important because who else will? Mitch f*cking McConnell? I think not! Honestly, my favorite thing about this friendship is the way Ilana feels about Abbi’s butt, which is perfect and Ilana makes sure Abbi knows it, because what else do we have if not body positivity? If you can’t accept your body and face on your own, find a friend who will make you see yourself for the hot motherf*cking queen you are. We can’t all live like the Kardashians, who treat the traits they were born with like jumping-off points for plastic surgeons, so find a friend who will give you some body-positive confidence like Ilana does for Abbi. 

4. Identity

These girls know who the f*ck they are, and I’m about it. Their characters evolve, of course, but they remain true to their nature throughout the course of the show, and that’s important to note. As a twenty-something in New York (how many times have I said that now?), I feel so much pressure to keep up with all of the cool new fashion lewks, workout spots, trendy restaurants, exclusive clubs, etc., but Abbi and Ilana don’t let that sh*t affect them. They just do what they want, like walk from the top to the bottom of Manhattan for Abbi’s 30th birthday. Watching that episode made me realize that I don’t really need to be doing all of these “cool” things (like spending $75 at dinner) because I feel like that’s what I should be doing, even though I’d rather order Domino’s while watching The Act with my roommate. The bottom line is that these women are proud to be who they are and want everyone else to follow in their footsteps, but in like, their own unique way, of course. 

To conclude, Broad City is the funniest show ever and everyone needs to watch it. If you’ve seen it and ~it just isn’t your humor,~ please delete my number because we can’t be friends anymore. I hope Abbi and Ilana, who are real life BFFs, will make another show or podcast or SOMETHING together because the world is not ready to say goodbye to the most iconic duo of all time. 

Images: Matthew Peyton / Comedy Central; Giphy (5)

Stop Saying Millennials Are Killing Dating—We’re Not

If there’s anything you absolutely do not need to read today (or ever), it’s another entry in the (depressingly bloated) collection of essays about how millennials are killing dating. But because the world we live in is a nightmarish trash fire, I’m sorry to report that the genre is alive and well. In the past, it’s been attributed to everything from our need for instant gratification to our supposed preference for honking it to porn over real life intimacy. The latest entry, however, takes an interesting (if not exactly new) angle: Young people—are they boning enough?

That’s the premise behind a ghastly column about how millennials are killing dating in the Washington Post by Arthur C. Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, a notoriously sh*tty conservative think tank. Fittingly released on Valentine’s Day, the column reads like erotic fan fiction your baby boomer relatives would have written if they knew how to use computers for anything other than Facebook. Brooks believes millennials are killing dating because young people aren’t horny enough. No, that’s really it! Look at all of these horrifying statistics he cites:

– While 85 percent of Generation X and baby boomers went on dates as high school seniors, the percentage of high school seniors who went on dates in 2015 had fallen to 56 percent.
– From 1989 to 2016, the percentage of married people in their 20s fell from 32 percent to 19 percent.
– The percentage of 20-somethings who had no sex in the past year rose by half over the same period, from 12 percent to 18 percent.

That’s not all, of course. If some relatively meaningless statistics don’t convince you that millennials are killing dating thanks to people getting married a little later, he pulls out some incredibly choice anecdotal “evidence,” making sure to cover all the old hits in addition to his concerns about coitus between adults under 40:

I asked my son, a junior in college, if this matched his experience. His matter-of-fact reply: “No one dates.”
Something tells me the son of a guy like Arthur C. Brooks isn’t exactly in a position to speak with authority on the college hookup scene. Nevertheless, way to point out that people are much less likely to go on formal dates when they’re a) broke and b) already presented with ample opportunities to hang out in less formal settings.

 

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My parents messed up.

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But it continues with even more dubious proof:

places a great deal of the blame on a dystopian social media culture, where virtual interactions substitute for face-to-face human relationships. It is not a shock to see research emerging that links heavy social media use with loneliness and depression.
God, this is so f*cking tired. Yes, social media use and being too extremely online is probably bad for all of us. But it doesn’t somehow make us incapable of love, and it’s pretty disingenuous to passively “link” heavy social media use with depression. Sure, being online can be depressing. But maybe has anyone considered that people who are *already lonely and depressed* could be more likely to retreat to the solace and anonymity of social media?

A fear-based culture among young people will make romantic love impossible to cultivate. And mounting evidence suggests that this is exactly the culture being created by today’s hyper-protective approach to life.
The idea that people are more afraid of rejection now than in the past is nonsense; fear of rejection is literally the thing upon which all romantic overtures hinges on and always has been. He only brings it up to shoehorn the phrases “trigger warnings” and “safe spaces” into the article. I’d say it was for SEO purposes, but there’s zero chance Arthur Brooks knows what that is. There’s more, of course, but you get the gist. Millennials are killing dating, just like we killed buying houses, Applebee’s, and other staples of American life that, let’s be honest, weren’t really that great to begin with.

The thing is, people have been beating this same drum for years, and yet somehow the wedding industrial complex continues to thrive. Here’s someone making the same exact claim that millennials are killing dating two years ago. Here’s another. Can we go back even further? Friends, you know we can. In fact, if you’re up for it, you can check out the entire 2,500 year history of old people blaming younger generations for more or less the same things they complain about today.

Alternate headline:
Y’all fucked up the economy so badly that we can’t focus on marriage and kids because we’re struggling to afford to live https://t.co/ps9LESPADZ

— Kelly (@kellyblaus) July 7, 2017

In the case of this latest nonsense, realize that this is Arthur C. Brooks’ job—ensuring frightened old people that The Youths are weird and scary and baby boomers are right to be afraid of them. He’s reaching into an extremely deep well, one that tells old people that younger generations have disregarded the romantic norms of the past and are thus poised to end up sad and lonely without (most importantly) ever bearing your grandchildren. The real tell here is that Brooks never really bothers to explain why any of this is bad; it’s just assumed that his intended audience will accept that it is. It’s kind of funny to see a powerful conservative complain about things like more focus on education, later marriage, and less promiscuity—in other words, more conservative behavior—but then again none of this was ever meant to make sense beyond sending the message of “young people are rejecting our values.”

Look: Besides the fact that our dating customs are so deeply ingrained in our culture, gender identities, and politics that the most they could ever do is evolve, not die, people choosing to explore love, sex, and romance in more comfortable ways that are outside of rigid and arcane norms is a good thing! Fewer teens dating means fewer teenage boys obsessed with “getting a girlfriend” and all the ugly itinerant sh*t that goes with it. Later marriage can’t possibly matter to anyone but social scientists and old people waiting on grandchildren, and anyway, waiting until you’re not completely broke to get married can’t hurt, if you do it at all. Less sex means there are more people out there exercising their agency and making choices about what’s right for them, and not caving into societal pressures or using sex as a form of self-medication.

 

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How romantic

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All of this is good, and a sign of a healthier society moving in a positive direction regarding how we view ourselves, our bodies and other people. Just don’t bother trying to tell that to your aunt on Facebook when she complains that millennials are killing dating.

Head Pro will never yell at you to get off his lawn. Ask him your burning dating and relationship questions at [email protected], and follow him on Twitter and Insta at @betchesheadpro.

7 Romantic Movies To Watch With Your S.O. This Valentine’s Day

I have to be honest, I’m not a huge Valentine’s Day person. It probably stems from spending 19 Valentine’s Days as single as it gets. But regardless, I now have a boyfriend (yay me) and have no excuse to shove my face with chocolates and cry alone in my bedroom every day of the year on February 14th. But even if you’re ~boo’d up~ Valentine’s Day kind of blows. You need to get gifts and shave your legs, and it’s a whole production I’m just not so down for. But staying in and watching the best Valentine’s Day movie with your SO doesn’t sound half bad. So I’ve done the research of rounding up the best romantic movies to watch with your SO. Or your galentines. Or by yourself. The point is, these Valentine’s Day movie choices will probably put you in your feelings and make you believe in the ~power of love~ or whatever.

Disclaimer: Titanic is not on the list because I’ve never seen it and I don’t need to ugly cry this time in front of my boyfriend right before we are going to bang.

1. ‘How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days’

This rom-com is the perfect Valentine’s Day movie because it’s a great balance between romance and comedy. Kate Hudson stars as a magazine writer (honestly, did any other job exist in 2000s rom-coms? And do they exist anywhere else, like in the real world? Asking for a friend) who’s tasked with dating and subsequently getting rid of a guy for an article. Fun, right? Not to mention Kate Hudson’s character will make your SO think you are way less crazy than you are. That is, unless you also decided to buy a dog to raise together after less than a week of dating, in which case I can’t help you.

2. ‘Definitely, Maybe’

The heartwarming story about a father telling his daughter about his slutty days how he met her mother is adorable. Definitely, Maybe was also originally released on Valentine’s Day, which basically means Universal Studios agrees with me that this is the perfect V-Day movie. Even though the suspense is lost after you watch it for the second (or twentieth) time, it’s still a great movie and I’ll take any excuse to watch Ryan Reynolds, even if my boyfriend is next to me. Lol.

3. ‘Friends With Benefits’

Justin Timberlake, Mila Kunis, and lots of sex. Something for everyone, right? Friends with Benefits centers around the age-old question: can friends sleep together without someone developing feelings? (Spoiler alert: they can’t, at least not in Hollywood. Your sh*tty FWB, Tyler from SAE, does not apply.) But what’s great about this Valentine’s Day movie is how it’ll make you appreciate the uncomplicated nature of your relationship. I hope. Sidenote: I just realized Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher both starred in movies about being friends with benefits in 2011. Commence conspiracy theories here.

4. ‘What Happens In Vegas’

When Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher drunkenly get married in Vegas (as one does), and then one of them wins a ton of money, it makes for a hilarious Valentine’s Day movie choice. They need to remain married for at least six months to keep the money, which doesn’t seem like that long (especially for a cool $1.5 mil), but also Kim Kardashian only lasted 72 days with Kris Humphries so what do I know. This also results in a great conversation with your SO—what would you do with a ton of money? I said shopping, my boyfriend said to invest it. You can tell we are very similar people. However, I do NOT recommend asking your boyfriend what he would do if he won the lottery, unless you’re trying to have a fight on Valentine’s Day.

5. ‘The Proposal’

I think Ryan Reynolds may replace my boyfriend as my Valentine’s Day date. But anyway, this movie is phenom. Picture this: Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. Green card marriage. Oscar from The Office as a stripper. Have I sold you on it yet? The Proposal is equally funny and romantic with its fair share of nudity—in not always the most romantic way (see below). Plus, Betty White singing “Get Low—can any other Valentine’s Day movie top that? I think not.

6. ‘The Princess Bride’

I’m hoping by watching this movie with my SO that it’ll teach him to use the phrase “as you wish” from now on. This fantasy romance movie will definitely pull on your heartstrings and make you feel all warm and fuzzy. It is filled with torture, massive rodents, and suspense, while still remaining light-hearted and romantic. I know that sounds like an oxymoron, or the plot of a true crime podcast episode, but trust me, this movie is a classic! It’s also full of countless iconic lines, like “My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,” which is surprisingly easy to slip into a conversation. This movie is perfect for the couple that can never agree on a genre, because The Princess Bride is like a comedy, romance, and action movie all in one.

 7. ‘Crazy Stupid Love’

One of my personal favorites, partly because you see Ryan Gosling topless. (Can you tell I have a thing for Ryans?) About a just-divorced man who begrudgingly finds a guide to single life, this movie proves that Steve Carell’s game has come a loong way since The 40-Year-Old Virgin. These intertwining love stories are hilariously dramatic, between Steve Carell rolling out of a moving vehicle and Gosling’s egotistic mentality. Crazy Stupid Love also provides hope for any person who has forgotten how to date. Rule 1: a tiny straw in your drink makes it look like you’re sucking on a tiny schvantz. Inspirational.

Images: Gipgy (7)

The Weirdest Celebrity Couples You Never Knew Dated

Celebrities, they’re just like us. They eat, sleep, and have questionable dating pasts. Celebrities constantly break up and get back together, making it hard to keep track of who dated whom. Just like your friends who never fail to bring up your relationship mistakes, I am here to remind you of the weirdest celebrity couples you never knew dated (or you completely forgot).

1. Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin 

I think this is probably one of the weirdest celebrity couples on our list, if not the weirdest. Not only did Mila Kunis and Macaulay Culkin date, but they were together for eight years! I know, right! Their relationship ran from 2002 to 2011, starting when she was just 19 and he was 22 years old, taking up a major chunk of their adolescent lives. Although their relationship may seem random af now, it wasn’t so strange when it began. Culkin was still ridiculously famous from his Home Alone days, while Kunis was staring in That’s 70s Show. They were basically teenage royalty, a celebrity power couple if you will. But tbh, it’s hard to imagine a time when The KuKus weren’t a thing.

2. Tom Cruise and Cher

Oh baby, this couple was a strange one. Back in the 80s, these two (with a 16 year age difference, might I add) had a fling. Cher has said that Cruise is “one of top five former lovers,” so good for you, buddy. But I can’t help but wonder if that got his ego going, resulting in his downward Ross Geller-inspired spiral of marrying, divorcing, repeating? But hey, who am I to judge? At least Cher got Tom pre-Scientology.

Tom Cruise

3. Ryan Gosling and Sandra Bullock

Another odd that made it onto our list of weirdest celebrity couples is Ryan Gosling and Sandra Bullock, with another 16 year age difference. Why is 16 the magic number?? Anyway, back in 2002 these two had a year-long relationship before Gosling married Eva Mendes in 2011 and Bullock married Bryan Randall in 2015. Though their fling was short-lived, Gosling did say that Bullock was one of the best girlfriends he ever had. Aw.

4. Jennifer Aniston and Paul Rudd

Rachel and Mike? WTF. Girl code specifically states that “one should not date their best friend’s past or current boyfriend or husband” (or something like that). The fact that Jennifer Aniston dated Phoebe Buffay’s husband is soooo not okay. The two dated while filming The Object of my Affection in 1998. Although Phoebe and Mike didn’t start dating until 2002 (Season 9, episode 3), it just seems wrong for all us Friends fans out there.

Jennifer Aniston Paul Rudd

Images: Giphy (2)

2018 Love Horoscope: What This Year Has In Store For You

Happy Valentine’s Day, betches. Whether you’re in store for roses and chocolates from your beau or pizza and excessive amounts of wine with your Galentines, it’s time to forget about all that shit and get down to what really matters: your yearly love horoscope.

Sure, you probably already know how the events of today will unfold, but what about next week when you ghost the guy who sent you flowers today? Or next month when you get drunk and accidentally text your ex? Or this summer when you decide to Eat, Pray, Love your way across Europe in the hopes of finding a foreign summer fling? Don’t worry, we’ve got your year in romance on lock. Here is what your love horoscope has in store for your sign.

Aries

You’ve never shied away from a battle, Aries, so why start now? Your love life isn’t in shambles by any means, but it’s also not flourishing. The good things in life are worth fighting for, and this year you’re going to come face-to-face with that truth. Don’t let the things you want pass you by and definitely don’t sit and wait for them to present themselves to you. Get out there and fight for what you deserve; it’ll make the victory all the sweeter.

 

Taurus

It’s starting to seem like all the people around you are settling down and that’s because, well… they are. It’s a weird and confusing time, but guess what, Taurus? Ignore it. You’re a free spirit who has so much more living to do before you start Googling things like “couples’ calligraphy classes near me.” You won’t be content to settle down until you’ve seen and experienced everything you can, which is what your love horoscope and the next year have in store for you. Go on more trips than your PTO technically allows. Try different things. Meet new people. 2018 is the year of finding yourself (I already called Kylie Jenner to verify) so don’t waste it.

Gemini

After a couple years of romantic turmoil, you’re finally in the clear, Gemini. You’re in a good place, with a good person, and the only thing to do now is not self-destruct. I know, easier said than done. Your history has a tendency of creeping in and making you second-guess your love life at the worst of times, and you’re going to have to do everything in your power to ignore that. Don’t let the ghosts of shitty relationships past have any power over your happiness.

 

Cancer

Man, not to be that cliché Valentine’s Day love horoscope, but this just might be the year you find love, Cancer. In fact, it definitely is. Then again, finding love has never been an issue for you, has it? More aptly, this is the year that you don’t run away from the love that you’ve found. Sounds scary, right? Probably because it is. But you know what’s scarier? Ending up miserable because you abandoned things that made you truly happy. For the next year, take a deep breath before you consider ghosting someone, and remember why you’re with them in the first place. With any luck, they’ll still be around come New Year’s.

Leo

You’re going to fall in love with one person and one person only this year, Leo: yourself. Is that cheesy? For sure. Doesn’t make it any less true. This isn’t one of those “no one will love you if you don’t love yourself” situations, because that’s, quite frankly, bullshit. Your own self-worth has never been dependent on what other’s think and that’s not going to change. Loving yourself is about being happy and comfortable in your skin, something you’ve never quite mastered. So spend some time this year romancing the most important person in your life: you.

 

Virgo

This is a year for leaving your comfort zone, Virgo. You’re a creature of habit, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it means you may be closing yourself off from experiences that you’d otherwise enjoy. It may seem like you’ve seen and done and met every possible point of interest in your city, but you haven’t. Open yourself up to the idea of meeting new people, and you may be surprised by who wanders into your life.

 

Libra

You’re no stranger to love, Libra. It seems like you’re always in it, searching for it, or complaining about it. In light of that, this is the year that you ignore it. It’s hard to tell if a relationship is real and worthwhile if you haven’t been single since you were seventeen. It may seem outrageous at first, but 2018 is the year that you let your single flag fly. You’ll learn to love the freedom, which your free-spirited nature craves anyway, and you’ll learn more about yourself than you ever thought possible.

Scorpio

It’s time for some much-needed change, Scorpio. You’ve given up on love because you think it’s impossible to find, but in reality you just have shitty taste. Sorry, but it’s true. Yeah, it’s hard to hold a relationship down when you’re dating assholes with the emotional maturity level of a 12-year-old. This year, try pursuing people you usually wouldn’t. Literally anyone but the person that you’re instantly drawn to. Ignore your gut, try something new, and see what happens.

 

Sagittarius

This is the year that you start to take love seriously, Sagittarius. What has always been a fun pastime is about to become very real, and it’s going to be an adjustment that you might not exactly be ready for. It’s cool, being prepared is overrated. Catching feelings is rough, but it was bound to happen at some point. Our advice is to take it day by day and try not to overthink things. It’s going to feel weird not being the one with the upper hand for once, but the results just might make all the suffering worth it.

 

Capricorn

Is your love life starting to get stale, Capricorn? Not surprising. You’ve been out here mistaking contentment with actual happiness, which means you’re skating by but not living life to the fullest. Sure, it’s not the worst thing that could happen to someone, but it’s not the best either. This year, start demanding the best. If that means overhauling your relationships, do it. Life is short (getting shorter every minute that Donald Trump is in office), and you don’t have time for anything half-assed. It’s time to go all in, Capricorn.

 

Aquarius

Aquarius, this is the year that you try and be honest about a single emotion. Any emotion at all that isn’t amusement or apathy. The bar is so low, and yet you’ll still struggle to surpass it. If 2018 teaches you anything, let it be that you’re allowed to admit to feelings, even when you’re sober. I know, it’s a revolutionary thought. But it’s true. The aloof, intimidating vibe that you’ve so diligently honed is great for fending off creepy guys at the bar, but it’s pretty detrimental to establishing any kind of functioning relationship. Start peeling back those layers, you ogre, before you find yourself stuck with a (metaphorical) donkey for the rest of your days.

Pisces

Love is a crazy thing, Pisces. It makes us think that we’re happy and content when in reality, we may not be. It’s time for you to take a good, long look at your current relationship and decide if it’s something that you actually want. Yeah, heavy shit for Valentine’s Day, but it’s about time we injected some honesty into your situation. Don’t let the illusion of love convince you to stay in something that is, quite frankly, draining you. Stepping away may be hard, but living a lie is harder. Sorry for the dose of truth, but you need it.

Images:  Jared Sluyter / Unsplash, Giphy (5)

A Ranking Of Rachel Green’s Boyfriends From Worst To Best

In honor of Jennifer Aniston’s upcoming birthday, I’m here to celebrate one of TV’s betchiest characters: Rachel Green. If you have any idea what you’re doing in life, you watched Friends and immediately knew several things: you are the Rachel of your friend group; there’s no way she actually cut her father’s credit card in half; and she absolutely could have done better than Ross (or, like, at least gotten someone richer). That being said, Rachel dates who she wants, and I’m not here to make judgments on a certified player. I am here, however, to judge the caliber of the men she dated. Here’s a ranking of Rachel Green’s boyfriends from worst to best.

Barry

 

In Rachel’s defense, Barry was her fiancé before she really became Rachel (aka left the suburbs, got a job, and learned what rent is—all of which sucks but really frees up your dating options). Barry was short, sweaty, and a cheater, among other flaws like dipping his hands in children’s spit as a profession. (Picture the average day of an orthodontist and tell me I’m wrong.) Zero stars for Barry, one million stars for Rachel for figuring out that he looks like Mr. Potatohead and getting TF out.

Paolo

 

Paolo is unfortunate, but forgivable. Rachel is still highly impressionable and new to the city when she encounters Paolo, and it’s easy to confuse a foreign accent for true love. (No? Tell that to the string of exchange students you hooked up with your freshman year of college). Of course, Rachel eventually figures out that he’s not all that into her when he grabs Phoebe’s ass, and she promptly ends her annoying but obligatory Foreign Boyfriend phase. Also, does anyone else think he definitely spoke English and was trolling all of them?

Danny

 

Danny, the downstairs neighbor Rachel mistakes for a Yeti (I love this show), is cuter than Barry but just as weird. Once Rachel discovers that he’s cute under the beard, she demonstrates her interest by talking about Danny’s giant, obvious crush on her every time he leaves the room. Since he largely ignores her, this is great insight into Rachel’s worldview. Ultimately, though, Danny was already sus for not asking her out and only got more so when he started wrestling with his half-naked sister. Ew.

Joshua

 

Joshua, the recently divorced client whom Rachel hooks up with a new wardrobe, was good on paper but that’s about it. He takes forever to ask Rachel out, then handles her Ross-induced crazy with all the humor and emotional depth of a paper towel (I’m not saying he should have married her, but he clearly couldn’t keep up with her). There’s not a single moment where Joshua thinks to himself, “Hey, how would an adult man handle this?” and that includes when Rachel goes to dinner with his parents wearing nothing but lingerie.

 

 

Joey

 

I’ve never totally understood the raging Joey v. Ross controversy. They offer two completely different things, and if this show were set in present day then Rachel would be dating them both at the same time and thriving. As two conventionally hot people who have never let intellectual standards hold them back from proving that they’re cooler than you, it was inevitable that Rachel and Joey would hook up at some point, and just as inevitable that they would recognize they’re better off as friends. Joey was an itch Rachel needed to scratch, and my only regret is that it turned into a tortured love story rather than a series of drunken one-night stands.

Paul

Paul initially seems like the best catch Rachel’s ever landed. He’s hot (young Bruce Willis, who knew), he’s a lawyer, and he’s excellent at making fun of Ross. But because Rachel is used to dating whiny little girls Ross, she pushes him to open up about his emotions. She’s hit with a tidal wave of tears and very unsexy childhood grievances, and discovers a sad truth. Behind most “strong and silent” types, there is a screaming baby who will expect you to fix him. Rachel isn’t on board and jumps ship back to the Ross type: guys whose neuroses are right on the surface. 

Tag

 

Honestly, I wanted to put Tag as #1, but he has to be demoted for the fact that Rachel can’t remember his last name a year later. For those of you blasphemous enough to forget, Tag is the uber-adorable assistant Rachel hooks up with and proceeds to dump because she’s turning 30 and needs to focus on a long-term plan, which I guess never involved him. Is he a little simple? Sure. But is he also sweet, devoted, and an endless supply of eye candy? YES. Again, a more modern Friends would have let Rachel freeze her eggs, focus on her love of fashion, and live happily ever after with Tag the house husband.

 

 

Gavin

 

While Ross’s paranoia knows no bounds, he was actually dead-on with his Gavin suspicions and should have been afraid. Gavin was sexy, charming, shared Rachel’s interests, and handled himself with confidence. Even though Rachel’s first impression here was yelling at Gavin for “stealing her job,” he doesn’t let her failure to understand how companies work, or the father of her child standing next to her, prevent him from forming a crush on her and pursuing her—proving he has good taste and the game to back it up. Gavin would have pushed Rachel to become the best version of herself, starting with that job in Paris.

Ross

 

I know. I came in heavy with the Ross hate and I stand by it, but this is a list of Rachel’s best love interests, and Rachel ultimately gets to decide. In her defense, Ross did have almost a solid decade of crushing on Rachel before they ever got together. It’s hard to find that kind of devotion somewhere else. For this reason, he can never be accused of not knowing what he has in Rachel. (Though obviously, he handles every chance with her terribly.) Ultimately, their new parent moments later on are undeniably cute, and they do kind of improve each other. AKA Rachel becomes more responsible and Ross becomes less of a loser. If Rachel’s happy, I’m happy.

 

That’s it for me—happy birthday again to the incomparable Jennifer Aniston. May we continue reading fictional accounts of your reunion with Brad Pitt for years to come.

Images: Netflix; Giphy (9)

Valentine’s Day Date Ideas Based On How Long You’ve Been Dating

It’s almost Valentine’s Day, which can mean any of the following: it’s time to frantically Hinge your way to a date by February 14th, you’re dropping not-so-subtle hints to your bf about what he should get you, or you are just really excited about the availability of heart shaped Reese’s at CVS. But for those that are in a relationship or just started dating someone, it also means that you are stressed af about what is a great way to celebrate vs. what is entirely unrealistic to expect out of a Wednesday night.

<pWondering what to get him for v-day based on how long you’ve been dating? We got you, fam.</p

If you are hoping to avoid another night of Netflix and Chill (I don’t know why you wouldn’t want to spend a Wednesday on your couch but whatevs), I have some ideas on how you should spend V-day with your beau based on how long you have been together. Because fuck gender stereotypes, if you want to plan a date, you should plan a fucking date (unless you just met, then don’t—see below).

Less Than A Few Months

Look, I’m really glad you met someone and dating is going well. Like, maybe you have already hung out three whole times, but you should not, I repeat SHOULD NOT, necessarily plan spending the most “romantic” day of the year with your new fling. I’m not saying there isn’t potential, there totally could be—there’s a difference between dating a guy for two weeks and being a couple for two months, after all. But if you plan a Valentine’s Date for the two of you, you might just be ruining those chances. So my advice: grab your girls instead, because you don’t need a man to have a good night (not yet, at least).

Three To Six Months

I hope one of you is a good cook, because nothing says “this is an appropriate way to spend Valentine’s Day with someone I just DTR’ed with” like a home cooked meal. But if you both consider grilled cheese a culinary masterpiece, perhaps consider a cooking class (with wine).

Six Months To One Year

If you’ve been together for over six months, you have my permission to get fancy: Pick a few romantic wine spots and go on a city “wine tour”, and top it off with a nice dinner. But don’t drink too much wine, because it’s still too early to end the night without sex. You should also expect flowers, candy (I hear those heart shaped Reese’s are delicious), or both.

One To Two Years

By years 1-2 you should step up your expectations game and go straight for the romantic getaway. I know Valentine’s Day is on a Wednesday this year, but that’s what sick days weekends are for. Find a cute Airbnb with a hot tub and get out of town for a night—because by year two, you’re probably tired of all the local date spots anyway.

Over Two Years

First of all: congratulations, you’ve made it. Secondly, this Valentine’s Day would be a great time to revisit one of your favorite relationship memories. Go to the place where you first said I love you, or the restaurant where you first kissed. Or you could go all-out cheese and make one of those Shutterfly memory books. Oh god, I went too far. Anyway, it’s been a minute—so go back in time and bring back the butterflies of an early relationship. And if you still have the butterflies, then again: congrats.

Read: 5 Valentine’s Day Gifts To Buy Yourself