If you’re more likely to be celebrating Single’s Awareness Day this February 14 than you are gushy, mushy, Valentine’s Day, it’s time to treat yo’self. Whether you choose to sit around in a face mask and eat chocolates or hibernate under a weighted blanket and sniff candles, we’re here for you being your best and most single self. After all, the only person who can take care of your lonely ass is you. So, in the interest of treating ourselves, we present a round-up of self-care splurges we’re 100% in favor if you blowing your paycheck on. Sure, you could spend your money on the half-off Valentine’s Day candy on February 15, or you could spend it on some self-care that will actually help you and make you not feel like garbage the next day. Totally your call, though!
A Weighted Blanket
A lot has been said recently about weighted blankets and their ability to curb anxiety. What better time to test that theory out than Valentine’s Day when you’re single and your mom just reminded you that she isn’t getting any younger and why can’t you just give her the grandkids she so desperately wants?? Anyway, the Comfitude weighted blanket comes in heavy to soul-crushing (in a good way, not the actual terms) and several trendy colors (see: 50 shades of grey). I hung out under one while writing this list and, let me tell you, I feel smothered in a cuddly, warm way.
A Good Body Scrub
If you’re trying to scrub away the stench of
failure Valentine’s Day and couples sh*t, the Sheamoisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Hand & Body Scrub is amazing. It replenishes necessary oils (and love) to your sad dry winter skin while exfoliating. Plus, it’s made with certified organic and anti-inflammatory ingredients to help soothe your body. Praise be.
I’m not even sorry. If you want to sit around and shove amazingly delicious artisan chocolate into your mouth come Valentine’s Day, you do you. Luckily, you don’t have to resort to trekking to your local Walgreens and buying yourself a big ugly red cardboard heart. Dandelion Chocolate, Dick Taylor Chocolate, Maverick Chocolate, French Broad Chocolate, Raaka, and Ritual Chocolate all create delicious, incredible, bean-to-bar chocolate that you can feel good about indulging in. They also all ship said goodies, so there’s no excuse not to order some.
An Adult Candle
I know that perusing the $5 deals on the outer rims of Target is appealing, but in the interest of adulthood and treating yourself to something really nice, it’s time to invest in a good candle. We love NEST Fragrances because they’re clean, they smell like what they’re supposed to smell like, and they’re just expensive enough for me to feel fancy when I light one.
Fancy New Clothes
You know when you find an online boutique and you’re all, this sh*t gets me? That’s me and Sezane. All of the clothes are beautiful, and although they can be a bit pricy, they come packaged in the cutest, prettiest, most amazing boxes complete with stickers and postcards and a little linen bag. I highly recommend any and all of the dresses; just be sure you get your measurements right, as those European sizes can be a bit tricky.
A Pamper Box From Winston Flowers
Drop major dollas on yourself because you f*cking deserve it. The Spa Indulgence box from Winston Flowers includes Formulary 55 bath bar in sweet pea and clover, paired with a rosehip and clay facial mask. There’s also an exfoliating Sasawashi towel, plus a skin brightening citrus and lavender body polish and a smoothing monoi and jasmine body cream by Birchrose. But wait, there’s more. They’ve also included Bee Raw’s white peony tea and orange blossom honey which you can drink in the natural clay mug from Pigeon Toe Ceramics. It all comes in a gorgeous crate that’s likely going to be reused as decor in your apartment (not mad about it). There’s even an air plant for you to kill, and a hand-poured Winston Flowers soy candle.
A Comfy Pillow
I’m not going to ignore the need for throw pillows and general coziness when self-care is the topic. Seriously, upping your comfort game with cute pillows, blankets, and soft sh*t can do wonders for your mental state. The Betches Gangsta Napper pillow is honestly one of my favs, since it’s super cute, super soft, and goes nicely with my decor.
Images: Roberto Nickson / Unsplash; Comfitude; French Broad Chocolate; Amazon; Sezane; Winston Flowers; Shop Betches
Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content
If you’re heading out for a nice dinner with your sort-of-bae-but-doesn’t-know-he’s-my-bae-yet this Valentine’s Day, or you’re going on a first date with a guy your friends found from you on Ship, there are a few things to avoid. Sorry, but “be yourself” really only applies to displaying accurate and recent photos on your dating app profile. Otherwise, dating is a delicate dance where you try to put your best face forward even though you blacked out the night before and are struggling to keep your eyes open—metaphorically speaking of course. So, like I said, there are things you’re going to want to steer clear of on a date. First, don’t bring up anything you’re likely to fight about (politics, religion, watching The Bachelor on Mondays). Second, there are certain foods not to eat on a date. I don’t even mean like, “if I order a burger instead of a salad he’ll think I actually eat to subsist and I can’t have that”—f*ck that. It’s 2019, live your truth. I just mean you might want to avoid some foods that may cause bad breath and/or ruin your outfit.
To save you the work of actually reading through the menu and weighing your options, here’s our list of foods not to eat on a date.
Nothing says “do me” quite like watching your date shove the roasted and sauced bone of a dead animal into their mouth hole. (I know, I’m really fun at parties.) The fact is, there’s no graceful way to eat ribs. Your makeup will be ruined. Your hands will smell like barbecue sauce (not always bad, but, in this case, not amazing). You may end up wearing a bib and getting grease in your hair. Additionally, if you try to be cute and use a fork and knife, you’ll just look like a maniac. There really is just no winning.
Pho can seem like a great idea for a date. It’s inexpensive, it’s super delicious, and it’s amazing to eat when the weather decides to sabotage your life by not being inexplicably warm in the dead of winter. However, trying to navigate a bowl of broth, torn herbs, meat stacks, and long noodles with chopsticks is pretty difficult if you aren’t into the idea of splashing yourself directly in the eyes. How’s it gonna look when you ask him how his giant project at work is going while you fumble to hang on to one godforsaken noodle? If you think you’ll be smart and use a fork and spoon to navigate this Vietnamese delicacy, good luck. It’s still a mess. Plus, there’s the inevitable slurping sounds you’ll be making, which are most likely not cute.
3. Wedge Salads
Sawing through a dinosaur-sized hunk of iceberg (the worst of all lettuces) is gonna do nothing but frustrate you. First of all, there’s no dainty way to eat a wedge salad, what with the bacon flying everywhere, the blue cheese crumbles crumbling down into your crotch (oh no), and the tasteless, water-filled leaves doing nothing for your date but letting him watch you chew. If you’re going to order a salad, just be a normal person and order the kind that comes with the leaves separated. Or you could order something with substance and stop lying to yourself. Either way!
Remember how cute it was when Lady and the Tramp shared that spaghetti then kissed and wandered around without leashes? You’ll never be that cute and you’ll never adorably eat spaghetti. You may think you’ve got it down to a fine art until a rogue noodle jumps up, splashes your nose, and leaves red sauce all over your face and new low-cut dress. The same goes for fettuccine, tagliatelle, or any other long noodle. Opt for more manageable noodles, like penne or bowties.
Hey! Make out with me after I eat this bowl of fermented cabbage dotted with hot chilies and vinegar! Hard pass. Definitely eat this, though, if you’re looking to ward off would-be Valentine’s Day assailants.
Corn likes to hang out in your teeth, gums, beard, and cleavage. If you’re going to eat corn, do it the American way: on the cob and at 4th of July barbecues only. That’s it. Corn is never appropriate for a date. It’s also kind of random, I feel like. What kind of establishment are you patronizing that is serving corn on the cob? I can only think of two options: a steak house and KFC, both equally inappropriate for a first date.
Garlic may be an aphrodisiac, but unless you and your date are both eating a metric ton of it, it’s not gonna do sh*t, so don’t be that person. It’ll not only stick up your breath, it’ll seep through your pores, into your clothes, and wiggle its way out of your very being over the next day or two.
8. Anything Using Raw Onion
I’d venture to say that nothing, nothing, NOTHING smells worse than someone who’s just eaten a sandwich full of raw red onion. Not to mention, if you even came within an inch of touching the onion, that smell is going to linger on your fingers for the next 40 days and 40 nights. It’s a no from me. And it’s gonna be a big no from your date.
As a wise random person I follow on Twitter once said, dating is figuring out more information about a person until you realize you don’t like them anymore. So don’t do yourself a disservice by ordering one of these foods not to eat on a date and putting your date off forever—just wait for your personality to do that! Kidding. Sort of.
Images: Giphy (4)
One Thursday night, my friends and I went to happy hour, as we often do, setting our sights on a douchey sports bar in the hopes of finding the slightly overweight frat alumni of our dreams. On the way to the bar, we were discussing the post apocalyptic wasteland that is dating in 2018. You know what I’m talking about— “I’m never getting married,” “I’ll be single forever,” “I might really kill it in the second round, when everyone has divorced their first spouse and is looking for their second marriage.” Just me on that last one then? Whatever, see y’all at the altar in 20 years when I’m looking fresh-faced and youthful because I haven’t had a husband stressing me out for the past two decades.
“I’m 29,” remarked one of my friends who’s as single as the rest of us. “You guys can’t complain until you’re actually pushing 30.”
Just then, a middle-aged couple walking in front of us turned around.
“I just turned 60,” the woman said to us. So okay, maybe they were a little past middle aged—somebody let me know when the cutoff is. She continued, “And we just got married last year. You have a lot of time.”
“Ohmigaaaahd, that’s amazing,” we all gushed simultaneously. I’d like to say we all were instilled with a newfound optimism about dating, but this is the real world (and New York City) that we’re talking about. As soon as we got out of earshot, we all immediately rolled our eyes and started commiserating about how fucking depressing that was. So we’re supposed to go on the same shitty dates and maintain unwavering optimism in the face of fuckboy after fuckboy for the next 30 fucking years? I’d rather set myself on fire.
If you read the above and are now checking over your shoulder to see if I was following you and your group of friends around, it’s time you pick up a copy of Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendships by Kayleen Schaefer. On the most basic level, it’s a book about female friendships. Don’t worry, when I first read that, I rolled my eyes too, but Schaefer quickly made me a believer. Have you ever introduced two friends who you both love, but who don’t know each other? And you know how hard it can be to explain why you just know they’ll get along, other than to say, “This person is literally the best, just trust me, you’ll love her”? That’s how I feel about this book. Nothing I can really say is going to sound like anything but a line ripped from a trailer for a Lifetime movie, so you’re all just going to have to trust me—you’ll love Text Me When You Get Home.
Schaefer’s book is for any woman who’s ever bragged about one of her friends to a complete stranger or had a girl crush or used the hashtag #squadgoals (whether ironically or not). It’s for any woman woman who has even one friend who is also a woman—whether that be your mom, your sister, someone you met in middle school, your work wife, whoever. It’s for anyone who’s ever watched a sitcom in the past 10 years and thought, “Those characters are just like me and my friends.”
In Text Me When You Get Home, Schaefer covers female friendships on every level: she chronicles the history of women being friends with other women (in Medieval times, for example, men literally did not believe women were capable of forming significant friendships with each other); she examines the portrayal of female friendships in popular culture; she recounts her own personal journey from Cool Girl to Girl’s Girl, and much more in between.
Text Me When You Get Home will restore your faith in your friendships, and maybe as a by-product, make you realize (again) that men ain’t shit. Kidding (not really), but odds are it will make you look around and realize you’re looking at things all wrong. It will make you grateful for whatever network of women you have around you, and if you don’t have one—if you’re one of those girls who “just gets along with guys better” because “girls are too catty”—you just might see the error of your ways. Kayleen Schaefer will (gently) school you on the myth of female cattiness and mean girls, not just through personal anecdotes, but through sociological evidence. You’ll finish the book and immediately grab your phone to text your closest friends.
Any woman who’s single on Valentine’s Day—or any day, or any woman regardless of relationship status, really—needs to read Text Me When You Get Home.
Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship is available here.
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.
As a clinical psychologist who works with 20-30 somethings, clients have been sharing how awful this moment in time feels. Sexism and women’s mistreatment is all over the news, yet guys on apps haven’t totally changed their ways. And now, Valentine’s Day candy is sitting on your co-worker’s desk. It can feel like problems in the world (dating disappointments) are colliding to make you feel worse about your love life. Here are some of the ways to feel freer from my new book How to be Single and Happy, since you’re awesome and it’s too risky to wait for the world to change.
1. Know That A Partner Is Not The Path To Happiness
Even if shows like The Bachelor or stories about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s engagement seem to suggest otherwise, social scientists who devote their careers to studying happiness explain that happiness has more to do with your activities and your headspace than your circumstances. In a study of more than 24,000 people, marriage increased happiness, on average, by 1%! I’m all for coupling, it’s just practical to remember that you can be joyful regardless of your relationship status, since having the mindset that you need a plus one to feel whole will depress you. Plus, happiness is attractive and charismatic. You don’t deserve to wait for another person to live best!
2. If You’re Worried About Ending Up Alone, Your Thinking Is Off
Imagine someone tells you that based on certain facts, you’ll probably end up alone, then asks you to complete math problems. How do you think you’ll perform? One of my favorite psychologists actually did this and found basically what you’d expect. As he describes: “Anticipating aloneness reduces intelligent thought.” No one can predict his or her future, and the moment you decide you’ll be by yourself forever, you are simply not being rational. The smartest thing to do when you begin to imagine isolation is to remind yourself, compassionately, that you aren’t thinking clearly. After all, ruminating and obsessing negatively creates suffering.
3. Don’t Wait For Cupid To Say OK
Take a moment and make a list of how your life will be different when you meet someone you cherish. Now take that list, and start taking action! I know this is easier said than done, but you don’t need to feel like you’re spending your life in an airport waiting for a flight to your dream destination, especially if you’ve been waiting a long time. Creating a schedule of activities that give you pleasure and a sense of accomplishment increases your well-being. It can be tempting to imagine how these plans may be more fun with someone, but when you notice that trap, observe it and come back to participating in whatever it is your doing. If you haven’t been lucky (and yes, a lot of coupling has to do with luck), you still deserve to savor opportunities. And when you meet someone, you don’t want to regret missing moments of your life. People joke about FOMO, but you will miss out IRL if you’re watching and waiting rather than committing to experiencing.
4. Appreciate That A Lover Doesn’t Solve Loneliness
Amazingly, and in the most respectful way, experts on the topic of loneliness have found that feeling uncomfortably alone has a lot to do with you. Telling yourself you’ll never make close friends, judging yourself as separate, or others as not worth your time can close you off from meaningful connections. By thinking less judgmentally (and considering that someone may have forgotten to text you back, rather than writing him off as a flake) and avoiding the conclusion that you’re a loser, you’ll feel more motivated to get close to people. Of course, it’s hard to meet people and not everyone is going to become your dream tribe. That said, being kind and acting easygoing can make you feel friendlier. I see many people in fulfilling relationships who feel lonely. I also see people who are uncoupled who feel fulfilled in their lives. Researchers clarify that a single person can’t remedy loneliness—most people need roughly five close friends to experience a sense of fulfilling intimacy. It’s not too late to connect, especially since satisfying relationships extend your life and make your life worth extending.
5. Think About Ways You Can Give Love
Habitually, we often focus on our goals, or what we hope to achieve (think a perfect person, job, and body) rather than on our values, or how we show up in our lives (think being a good friend, working hard, and making healthy choices). When people think about coupling, they often imagine all the ways they hope to receive love. But interestingly enough, to feel the emotion of love we also need to offer love. And there are so many ways to give love. Amazingly, self-compassion and contributing to others can create loving feelings and remind you that you can experience real love. I’m willing to bet that kindness meditation, practicing gratitude, and volunteering (all of which I expand on in more detail in my book) will improve your life more than a hot Valentine.
For more information visit Dr. Jenny Taitz’s website.
Images: Asdrubal luna / Unsplash; Giphy (3)
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and if you’re planning on spending it alone for, let’s say the 23rd consecutive year in a row, you might as well get prepared. If staying in alone surrounded by takeout boxes and glasses you keep forgetting to take out of your room isn’t your idea of the perfect night, you’re doing it all wrong. Here are a few super fluffy pieces you can order (like, let’s not get drastic here and take a trip outdoors) to ensure your Valentine’s Day outfit is comfy AF.
1. UGG Australia Miranda Robe
I don’t care what anyone says; I still really love Uggs. If Cardi B says they’re still okay to wear, they’re still okay to wear. This is actually just an Ugg for your entire body, which even if slightly basic, is the most wonderful thing ever.
2. A New Day Faux Fur Lined Footless Tights
I know Blair Waldorf said tights aren’t pants, but in this case, I could not give less of a shit. I wear faux fur lined footless tights as frequently as possible, because they are the greatest invention ever. I mean, they will make your legs look a little thicker than they really are, but that’s definitely better than throwing on a pair of basically see-through leggings to run downstairs to meet the delivery guy.
3. Onepiece Original Slim Onesie
Celebs are literally obsessed with Onepiece onesies (and we are too), so you should def treat yourself to one. I mean, even Kris Jenner has a few. This onesie is way better than the stupid unicorn alternatives that have been popping up everywhere, because a) it doesn’t have a fucking unicorn horn on it and b) if you were going to throw a parka and Uggs on over this, it’s not immediately obvious that you’re wearing a onesie.
4. UO Fuzzy Crew-Neck Sweatshirt
Don’t have a bae to buy you an adorable oversized teddy this Valentine’s Day? I mean, whatever, where were you going to put that anyway? Just buy yourself this sweatshirt and wear it for like, three days straight while you binge Black Mirror alone.
5. Aerie Sherpa Baseball Hat
While you’re trying to beat your personal record for most consecutive episodes watched, you really don’t want to worry about doing your hair. But, on the off chance that you want some kind of food that cannot be delivered, you can just throw on this hat, dip out for a few minutes, and hope you don’t run into anyone you know. (Sidenote: If every single type of food you want to have delivered isn’t constantly available to you at the push of a button, you need to move. Seriously.)
Image: Mc Jefferson Agloro / Unsplash