I know famous exes JLo and Ben Affleck just got married, but I’m about to make the argument that, no matter what the media tells you, you don’t want to get back with your ex.
You’ve either already seen Netflix’s Persuasion, and have processed your feelings about how it’s not like the book, or you’re not going to see it because you don’t care or love the book too much. Either way, SPOILER, it’s about getting back with your ex. Lots of movies and sitcoms are. Don’t fall for it.
It goes like this: Meet cute. Chemistry. Will they? Won’t they? They do! They break up, usually because of something the guy did. In the end, they get back together, usually because of a big speech or at least show of love from the male lead.
The big climactic scene often (but not always) takes place at a wedding, when the female romantic lead is engaged to a clean-shaven asshole. Our hero crashes said wedding and either loudly (“Elaaaaaaaine”, The Graduate) or vulnerably (Owen Wilson, Wedding Crashers) professes his love for the bride-to-be, who ditches her swiss army knife groom and runs off with our hero. Roll credits.
Most well done, of course, is in When Harry Met Sally. Some time after they sleep together, he slinks away, they have a big fight at a wedding that does not end in reconciliation (maybe because Nora Ephron is a good writer), and then on New Year’s Eve, he says all the right things, she cries, they get married.
Heck, Shakespeare started it, with his will-they-won’t-they comedies—most notably Much Ado About Nothing, which has a stubborn man finally telling the woman he loves that he does, in fact, love her to bits, at a wedding, despite his ego. And while The Taming of the Shrew maybe doesn’t fall into the category, 10 Things I Hate About You, the arguably superior adaptation, has a bad-boy-gone-good plot to swoon over.
TV shows do it constantly, too, usually at airports. I don’t need to list them here, but you know how they go: he’s gone or she’s gone for good, but NOPE, he’s back or she’s back and they’re sorry and they love each other again and it’s all fine. “I got off the plane,” she says, and the studio audience goes wild. Series wrap. Fans are happy.
This is not my life.
First of all, as amusing as the new George Clooney/Julia Roberts “exes at their daughter’s wedding” movie (Ticket to Paradise) looks, I’m going to be lucky if both of us are even invited to our daughter’s wedding or, when our daughter comes of age, she even wants to attempt marriage after witnessing the train wreck her parents demonstrated.
And, after my last breakup, for weeks after I rounded the corner to my house and saw a white sedan, my stomach would drop a little because I was worried it might be my most recent ex, who was less likely to come to my house and apologize for breaking up with me in a five-minute phone call and more likely to come over and yell at me for the essay I wrote about it.
Face Your Reality
If you’re not like me and Scott Pilgrim with vengeful exes to battle, it’s still unlikely you’re going to have a Persuasion-like reconciliation with your ex, no matter how much time has passed.
First of all, your ex is far too stubborn in real life to even attempt an apology of cinematic proportions. They’re not sorry. They don’t want you back. They have convinced themselves that you are at fault for anything that went wrong in the relationship, and their mothers agree.
Secondly, your ex doesn’t have a female writer telling them what to say to you to make you forgive them for the horrible things they said when they broke your heart. Shonda Rhimes’ staff is not there Cyrano de Bergerac-style feeding them lines. They will not magically say the thing to make you believe that they won’t hurt you again.
Thirdly, and most importantly, why should you forgive them? Even if your ex delivered the perfect speech in the rain, at your wedding, which is at an airport, you still are exes for a reason, and that reason might be very, very valid.
Don’t Go Backwards
The feeling I get when I round the corner and see the white sedan—which, by the way, is always one of the three my next door neighbor owns—isn’t hope, it’s nausea. Dread. I don’t want him to come back and make me hear his little unprofessionally written speech.
He loved me because I’m lovable, damnit. I gave my love to someone who took it and threw it on the ground like a toddler discards unwanted food. It shattered and, should he want to pick it up and put it back together, it is not one of those Japanese pieces of pottery that can be forged back together with gold, more beautiful than before. No. It exploded into dust and was gone in the wind, thrown in the trash and unable to be picked back out again.
In Persuasion, the couple broke up because her family convinced her to dump him, which is a flimsy reason befitting the times. It does not apply to you and, if your ex didn’t think you were “good enough” to date at the time, you probably shouldn’t forgive them if they think you’re worthy now.
Sally shouldn’t marry Harry: they do not communicate their needs well. Rachel and Ross are a very bad couple and pretty irresponsible coparents. We know those crashed wedding couples have regrets. The Much Ado couple probably died young or of the plague, and, while I admit I do rather like the 10 Things couple, they likely broke up once she went to college—and that’s okay.
We can feel hurt that we never got a proper goodbye, never got the big speech, the true, epic love Hollywood promised. Did you really want to wake up every day next to Ross Geller when you could have been in Paris, though? Do you want to be legally shackled to the worst Batman?
So, even if your ex calls you on New Year’s Eve and tells you they love the little crinkle you get when you’re looking at them like they’re nuts, remember that they were nuts for leaving you, they made you nuts while you were getting over them, and nuts is an ableist term. Your therapist and future self will thank you.
Image: Nick Wall / Netflix
Dating is a massive part of the college experience, but all cards come off the table and excuses start flying when long distance is mentioned. The key to long-distance dating is as simple as this: if they wanted to, they would, and when you want something to work, you’ll make it work. Mary Mary said, “nobody told them the road WOULD be easy”. I’ve been in a relationship for nearly four years, and two of those years have been long-distance. I’m here to tell you the road won’t be easy. However, the road can be enjoyable and spontaneous—if you do long-distance right. When you think about it, being in a distant relationship is just like being in any regular relationship but with the perks of having space. And if I’m being honest, your partner can cheat whether they are three or 300 miles away, so that excuse is dead.
Most long-distance relationships, in general, suffer from communication issues. We’re going to skip the “communication is essential” lecture; everyone knows that much, and we’ve heard it all before. You and your partner should discuss your boundaries and your likes and dislikes. In my first semester of college, my partner and I suffered from establishing our boundaries with friends of the opposite sex, which caused a lot of unnecessary disagreements. When we finally established our comfort level and boundaries with opposite-sex friends, the issue never arose again. It really is that simple. Whatever your boundary may be, it needs to be communicated with your partner. After all, ladies, men are not mind readers. And not to burst any bubbles, men, you all are horrible communicators through the phone and in real life.
Along with communication comes syncing schedules. Communicating is not only about expressing feelings and solving problems; communication is also simply speaking. If you want your relationship to work, you have to make time for your partner, especially when you aren’t granted the luxury of physically being with them. I mapped out my whole schedule for my partner. He knew exactly where I would be and at what times, and it helped get our schedules in sync. Whenever we both had free time, we would FaceTime, catch up, have dates, etc. Sharing your schedule with your partner also gives them peace of mind because they know what you are doing.
I mentioned that my boyfriend and I would go on dates; creativity adds spice to your relationship. There’s a computer app called Teleparty that we use to have movie dates. It allows you to watch Netflix movies with your partner and use the chat box to chat. When one person pauses the show, the other’s gets paused as well. We pop popcorn and have a grand ole time. Order the same food, get dressed up, and have a dinner date via FaceTime to take things even further. Doing these things is absolutely obnoxious, but that’s what keeps your relationship fun and spontaneous.
Although you may not see your partner every day, make use of your holiday breaks. If possible, take turns traveling to see one another over these breaks. When you visit, be sure to spend a significant amount of quality time with one another to make up for the time lost. As someone whose love language is physical touch, I appreciate and enjoy every second I get to spend spooning, cuddling, and… read between the lines. Distance increases anticipation and appreciation; every moment spent with your partner feels like falling in love all over again.
I know, I dropped some gems, but ask yourself, doesn’t everything I just mentioned apply to regular relationships as well? There you go, there’s your answer. The same rules that apply to a long-distance relationship apply to a regular one; therefore, long-distance being hard is a myth.
Images: Natasha Hall / Unsplash; Giphy (2)
I’ve been on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge and OkCupid—as well as the epic dating app I like to call “All of Them”—for a significant amount of time. (How long? you ask, rudely. Long enough to know what I’m talking about!) So you have to trust me when I say: lately, something seems off.
Yes, dating apps can perpetually feel like an inauspicious hellhole—that’s not news. And yes, swiping is a subjective experience, contingent on geography, orientation, app of choice, etc. But since the start of the New Year, the buffet of straight men has been particularly bleak, lacking more potential than ever—less effort put into conversations, excessive unmatching, fewer on-your-level options overall, more guys putting up a picture of a dog with a “just ask” bio and calling it a profile. Even throughout the pandemic, I’ve had a fairly fruitful swipe life, with my phone routinely presenting me with someone to get a little excited about (for at least 2-3 days). So, I pose a very simple question: where did all the quality matches… go?
You might be reading this and thinking, “maybe it’s just you?”. First of all, ouch. Second of all, I’ve heard it firsthand from many others who are all saying the same thing: something is up! And it’s not our match count. Here are a few theories about why that might be.
The Valentine’s Day Theory
Is there a Hallmark greeting card for men who believe dating near Valentine’s Day is an indication of being “too serious, too fast”? Because I would absolutely buy one if it said: IT’S NOT. If men are scared of the perception around the holiday, or just trying to avoid buying someone they went on two dates with an $11 bouquet of flowers from Trader Joe’s, then we don’t need those jokers on the apps anyway. But this theory, as it applies to The Drought, doesn’t hold up because, as evident in previous years, January is when more people than ever join dating sites—new year, new romantic interests. I rate the validity of this theory 2/14.
The Dating Fatigue Theory
The pandemic has definitely intensified our general exhaustion and courtship tolerance, but if “dating fatigue” is at play, then why is it mostly women saying how bleak it seems right now? And men are saying, “Everything’s fine on my end”? We know why—and we’re the ones who should be tired, buddy. So “fatigue,” while fair and relevant, cannot be the sole reason the apps are bone dry. I rate this theory 3/10.
The Supply Chain Theory
Listen, we all know the entire globe is struggling to keep up with consumer demand right now. Inconsistent delivery, delayed packages, unreliable transportation options—perhaps the same applies to dating apps. The goods are simply not being delivered fast enough. 9/10 theory.
The Cuffing Season Theory
Cuffing Season is always a good excuse as to why it feels like there are fewer singles eagerly looking for love (or something like it) in the winter. Mutual hibernation is at its peak. And with everyone vaguely traumatized by the idea of another looming lockdown, it makes sense that this past fall even more people rallied for seasonal monogamy and (temporarily) deleted their apps. Personally, I’m looking forward to Uncuffing Season, when everyone comes out of hibernation to kiss me. This theory is 8/10.
The “You’ve Reached the End” Theory
You’ve officially moved your dating-distance criteria from 2 miles to 82 miles and the apps still say, “Game over! You’ve successfully eliminated all the men in your town and every town nearby.” This is less of a theory and more of an evergreen fact. It means you’ve kept your standards high, and it means you may have to move soon. 2/10.
The Blackhole Theory
All the decent men have been zapped into a mysterious black hole (marriage? death? alien abduction? a Grey’s Anatomy binge?) and they may never return. This is the only reasonable explanation—10/10.
Image: Eliza Alves /Stocksy.com
The holidays elicit all types of feelings: joy, gratefulness, a burning desire to get cuffed. And if the latter is something you’ve penned in your daily manifestation journal, there’s a strong chance you’re a resident member of a dating app or two.
For those of us who are on dating apps, it’s around this time of year when you may have an urge to throw in a Christmas pun or festive pickup line here or there. Or, for those of you with restraint, you may be on the receiving end of such a one-liner.
And sure, holiday themed things can be an absolute delight. Starbucks holiday cups, Michael Bublé’s Christmas album, what’s not to love? Well, there’s a fine line between what’s festively tasteful and what’s just plain icky, cringy, or overdone.
As my holiday gift to you this year, I’m here to help you dodge a bullet. Below are holiday themed dating app lines that come off as red flags (or even deal breakers), whether you include them in your dating app bio or someone uses it in conversation with you. I’ve made the list, be sure to check it twice before making any adjustments to your apps this winter.
“What’s The Naughtiest Thing You Did This Year?”
There’s a three-way tie for the honest answer to this: 1) eating spaghetti with marinara sauce on my white bed sheets; 2) maxing out my credit card by ordering Uber Eats everyday for a full month straight; 3) pirating the Paris Hilton documentary. AKA, I have nothing to share that’s even remotely “naughty” in the way you want it to be when you ask that question. I’m just a girl living her best mid-to-late 20’s life, with a 17-step skin care routine and Google alerts set up for Ben Affleck. If you want dirty and flirty, this section of Santa’s workshop is closed.
“‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ Is My Fav Christmas Song”
When you make this statement, what you’re really saying is that you haven’t logged onto Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or even looked at your Apple News in the past five years. I mean, what other explanation is there for you being clueless that this song has been canceled by society? NGL, I’m looking for someone who’ll have an intelligent debate about whether Lindsay Lohan’s career can make a comeback or whether Kim and Pete are actually dating, not someone who’s stuck in 2012 and thinks J.Lo is still dating her backup dancer.
Using a Family Christmas Photo As One of Your App Photos
This isn’t a pickup line, but it’s worth a mention. Don’t use your family’s annual holiday photo as one of your profile pics, because nothing screams your net worth like five adults dressed in $$$$ white and red outfits. If you don’t take this warning and your fam looks Onassis-level status, don’t be surprised when your match on the app is expecting a pre-pandemic Bachelor-level date. I’m talking about private plane rides, lavish shopping trips, and solo adventures to Instagram-worthy waterfalls. Going dutch is not an option.
“I Listen To Christmas Music All Year Long”
Personally, by January 1 I feel so overdosed on Justin Bieber’s prepubescent voice singing Mistletoe that I feel like writing “never listen to Xmas music again” on my New Year’s resolution list. I mean, c’mon. From December 1 onward, a version of “Christmas Pop Songs!” is all you hear blaring through the mall speakers, is apparently the only playlist your gym is able to find on Spotify, and is clearly the only music underlay option available for IG stories. If you feel differently, we’re diametrically different people… so get out, and take your eternal cheer elsewhere.
“I Wear My Ugly Christmas Sweater At Non-Ugly Christmas Sweater Parties”
The only person pulling off “bad” fashion is Adam Sandler. End of story. If the invite says “semi-formal”, “casual”, or doesn’t specify that you’ll be banned from the open bar unless you wear an ugly sweater, there’s absolutely no reason you should be wearing a holiday themed eye-sore out of the house. And please don’t follow up this comment by saying you throw an annual ugly sweater party… unless you instantly want me to report you for inappropriate behavior on the app.
“‘Home Alone 3’ Is the Best Home Alone”
As much as everyone loves a hot take, having an opinion that bears absolutely zero truth screams that you just want attention. And let’s get real: if someone in our potential future relationship is going to have the spotlight on them, it’s going to be me… at all times. But back to Home Alone… not only is U.S. national treasure Macaulay Culkin not in Home Alone 3, I’m pretty sure I saw a petition floating around Twitter asking for this film to be banned from certain countries (for good reason). So all in all, just keep in mind that the only acceptable response to ““Home Alone 3 Is the Best Home Alone” is an unmatch.
“‘Elf’ Is Will Ferrell’s Worst Movie”
There’s a reason that when you Google “Christmas images”, the first photo that pops up is the meme of Buddy saying “So, good news… I saw a dog today”. And not to mention, haven’t you noticed that when the clock strikes 12:01am on December 1, Elf doesn’t stop streaming on loop on the USA network? So buddy (pun intended), get on board and start contemplating getting quotes from Elf tattooed on your body like the rest of us… or, refrain from using the apps all Christmas long because you’re a walking red flag.
Images: Oleksii Syrotkin /Stocksy.com
We’ve all been there: a few weeks/months into dating someone and you aren’t quite sure where things stand. You’re ready to be exclusive, and he’s ready to introduce you to one of his friends. You’re ready to delete the apps and he’s ready to take you to dinner before inviting you over. You’re ready to ask “so, where do you see this going?” and he’s (probably) ready to run. But how can you be sure unless you send a risky text?
You simply cannot. So here’s a helpful step-by-step guide of how best to craft the perfect risky text and subsequent emotional spiral.
Date an emotionally unavailable man that has admitted to being “bad at texting”. Know, in your gut, that that means he’s “bad at commitment”, but ignore the bright red flag and continue on your path toward self destruction.
Once you are ready to: take the next step, DTR, or be vulnerable, ask yourself, “has he shown me the same level of interest? Is he reaching out regularly, making plans, talking about the future?” If the answer to all of those questions is a resounding no, then it’s time to send your text.
Draft your text in the Notes app. Skipping this step may result in shameful grammatical errors or, God forbid, a sighting of a long-lasting typing bubble by the intended recipient. Don’t have an iPhone? Weird, but fine—still, draft your message outside of the text chain itself, and send it to at least two friends for review/encouragement. Choose those friends wisely though—they should be enablers, similarly insecure in their dating choices, and in no way the kind of friend that would say “you’re too good for him, don’t reach out”.
Take a deep breath, a shot, an edible, and send your heavily reviewed, perfectly crafted, vulnerable but not too desperate, flirty but not aggressively so, text. Check to see if he’s watched your Instagram stories, and then immediately step away from your phone!
Distract yourself. Go on a run, a date with another guy, get wine drunk—whatever it takes to stop you from checking your phone every five seconds for a reply. You know this will take awhile, you wouldn’t have had to send the text otherwise, so keep yourself busy. But if you haven’t posted anything to your Instagram story since sending the text, now is a good time to do so; you’ll want this data later in case he doesn’t reply. Did he watch your story after the text was received?
Spiral. It’s been at least two hours and half a wine bottle since you sent your text and he hasn’t responded, which means it’s time to lose your shit! There are a few ways you can go about this, sort of a “choose your own adventure” anxiety attack. Personally, I like to do the following:
- Re-read the text a few times, dig into each word and identify where I could have improved the message. This is good data for future risky texts that I will 100% be sending because I will learn nothing from this experience.
- Run through every interaction we’ve ever had, analyze the average time between text messages throughout our short-lived relationship, think about every mistake I’ve ever made, question my self-worth, swear off dating, and then text an ex for attention.
- Check to see if he’s watched my Instagram story (I told you this would be important).
- Decide that he has ghosted, tell myself that I’m better off without him, call the friend that will say “you’re too good for him, you shouldn’t have reached out”, schedule an emergency therapy session, but not before I re-download the dating apps and start looking for his replacement.
- Rinse (out my wine glass) and repeat sub-steps 1 through 3.
Closure. It’s been hours, maybe days, or perhaps he did in fact, ghost. It really doesn’t matter because the outcome is the same: he’s not that into you, he’s not looking for anything serious right now, he doesn’t feel a “spark”, or he… is kind of an asshole. But it’s okay, you’ve completed steps 1-6 and you were prepared for this. In fact, the second you sent this text you knew this would happen—I mean, isn’t that why you endured two-plus weeks of sporadic communication and canceled plans before asking the question in the first place? You were simply delaying the inevitable. Really, step 7 is a relief. It’s a blow to your ego, sure. It means watching your Instagram stories and liking your thirst traps does not equal sincere interest in dating you, unfortunately. It means your chances of getting married before your eggs start dropping like they’re hot are getting smaller, certainly. But it also means you know better now—you’ll watch for the warning signs with the next guy, you won’t waste your time on a man who isn’t pursuing you, and you’ll never have to send a risky text again… right?
Image: Natasha Hall on Unsplash
Raise your hand if you’ve felt personally victimized by the lack of attention given to your lady bean during any given sack sesh, because same. Ladies, we are SO much more than a freshly waxed b-hole, so now is the time to put an end to the nurturing of his needs and take control this summer. Saturdays might be for the boys, but we legit just got a whole season dedicated to us and doing hot girl sh*t, so suck it, Chad.
Speaking of douchebags, I once read an Instagram meme that said, “I chose to sleep with him not because I have no respect for myself, but because I have no respect for him,” and I truly felt that one deep down to my inner labia (don’t tell my husband). It’s 2021 and finally time to start giving your sexual needs the same amount of respect you give to your vibrator after faking it for the billionth time. Put the toy back in the drawer, because your pleasure is about to be served on a silver platter with these six femme-first positions.
Double The Pleasure
Hot take: Reverse cowgirl sucks (and don’t @ me). The amount of quad-inducing labor involved is my actual worst nightmare, and don’t even get me started on the awkward insertion angles. That said, with a few tweaks, you can perfect the task of becoming the Annie Oakley of your very own Wild, Wild West fantasy while riding yourself to completion.
According to Jen Landa, M.D., author of The Sex Drive Solution for Women, Double The Pleasure is god’s gift to maximum female stimulation because, hi, it’s about damn time. Here’s the gist: Start off as you would in typical reverse cowgirl, but stretch out one leg while the other knee is still bent beside your partner. Have them bend one leg up so that you’re basically straddling the raised leg with a thigh on either side and voilà, you’ve got a prop to stabilize yourself while rocking their world.
Best part of all? Their thigh also doubles as your own personal cat-scratching post. Landa dubbed this position “reverse cowgirl with a twist”, which allows for optimal clitoral stimulation that will 10/10 make your actual kitty purr with satisfaction. I swear, that’s my last cat pun.
The Edge of Reason
If I had a dollar for every time my husband whined about his stiff neck as a result of oral sex, let’s just say I wouldn’t be praying to the big man upstairs every night for a fourth stimmy check. The Edge of Reason is the G.O.A.T. of oral sex that allows you to keep an open mind, but mostly open legs, all while giving your partner’s neck the mobility of an overactive bobble head doll.
It’s as simple as laying on your back at the edge of any surface of your choosing. Depending on the height of the surface, this gives them the option to kneel, sit, stand… hell, they can even strike a yoga pose. With their face buried in your bed of roses, this gives their hands the freedom to roam about the cabin.
Pro tip: Prop your feet up on your partner’s shoulders for more balance, clitoral accessibility and a one-way ticket to Climax City.
Ladies, it’s time to take back the power we were legit never given at any point in history and take charge of this MFing ship. You may not be working with the spatial capacity of an actual ship, but thankfully this oral sex position doesn’t discriminate against small spaces or dumpy studio apartments, so really, as long as you’ve got an empty wall—or, IDK, a door that closes—you’re good to go.
While in a standing position, lean your back against a wall/door/for the love of god, just something sturdy. Have your partner kneel in front of you, and if I have to explain what comes next, we’ve got bigger issues here. Once the show starts, let the curtains fully open by resting a leg comfortably over your partner’s shoulder. This gives them much more room for work and a straight shot to the buried treasure.
The Good Ex
At the moment, the only person on the planet capable of having a good ex is probably J.Lo, but you’ll soon believe in miracles after the formation of two bodies into an X shape leaves you with more satisfaction than your ex ever could. For this position, sit up facing each other with your legs forward. This is where it gets tricky: Bring your right leg over your partner’s left leg and leave your left leg under their right leg. Both of you lie back while your legs naturally form an ‘X’ as you come together.
The female orgasm is not a sprint and is definitely not achieved by attempting to bust down the gates of the cervix with a goddamn tree trunk. With the combination of slow gyrations and the ability to rub against your partner at the pace of your liking, your arousal will build, and the sensations will triple in intensity. Trust me, the likelihood of having regrets from this particular X are slim to none.
The Ommm, typically pronounced with a drawn out ‘mmmm’, is more commonly known as the Lotus, but with one minor adjustment that’ll hands down result in one major zen. Leave the jackhammering in the junkyard for this tantric joyride position that’s all about vibing with your chakras (or simultaneous orgasms, if chakra talk isn’t your thing).
In order to achieve prime peak, have your partner sit cross-legged as you secure yourself onto their lap with your legs wrapped around their body. While hugging each other, rocking is key as you take full control and allow the spiritual energy to flow between you and your partner. K, enough of the yogi talk, if you wanna ho it up a little, give them a full show by grabbing their hands and taking turns leaning back and forth while grinding against each other. With the different angles, your g-spot will surely namaste in its happy place.
There are times where I truly don’t know which is more pleasurable, sex or food (again, don’t tell my husband), but this position basically gives you the best of both worlds. To achieve this delicacy, lie on one side while your partner kneels facing you and straddling your leg that is resting on the bed. Bring your opposite leg across both your bodies and curl it around their body.
The Pretzel Dip is the perfect appetizer for female pleasure because it gives doggy style-like penetration while still being able to maintain intimate eye contact. Plus, with your legs slightly more ajar, it allows for ample clitoral stimulation, toy usage, and/or casual grinding. Ok, so food technically isn’t involved, but you’ll probably work up an appetite after that mind-blowing orgasm, so there’s that.
Images: Alexey Kuzma / Stocksy.com; Giphy (3)
I get it. The weather is warming up, the vaccine is starting to course (at least halfway) through many young people’s veins, and it feels like maybe, just maybe, we might get able to get back on track and start making the necessary moves to advance our life plans. I’m talking, of course, about meeting people—specifically, prospective romantic partners. What, you thought my life plan had to do with career advancements or personal accomplishments such as buying a house? Ha. Well, I mean, the pandemic probably fucked that up too, but my mom’s not hassling me about when I’m going to finally buy property. Anyway, this isn’t (really) about me. With the beautiful weather and vaccine rollout lulling us into a sense of something approaching normalcy, you are probably feeling some urges. Urges to, in the immortal words of Coach Carr, take off your clothes and touch each other. If you’re not feeling an indecent exposure charge, then maybe you just want to make out with a hot person in public. It’s completely natural, what with the whole being-cooped-up-with-no-company-but-your-thoughts-for-a-year thing! But before you go exchanging mRNA with the first person you set your eyes on, ask yourself: do you actually want to make out with them, or are they just a person you haven’t set eyes on in 13 months?
Below, a few factors to consider before getting your usually-masked area up close and personal with their usually-masked area.
Do You Know Their Name?
Not like it’s mattered before, but I suppose for contact tracing purposes it might be helpful to keep some identifying information on hand. A phone number, at least? Fine, an email address. A Snapchat handle? Make sure your carrier pigeon knows where to deliver your most recent test results, at least.
Close Your Eyes. Can You Recall Their Face?
You can’t use the darkness of the club or your inebriation as an excuse, so be honest with yourself. If your life were somehow dependent on it, could you actually recall this person’s face other than “uhh… they have eyes and… a nose”? Didn’t really think so. He’s probably not Mr. Right, or even Mr. Right Now, since he’s not even making an impact in your short-term memory.
Have You Exchanged Any Words With Them?
Any at all? Note that “hi” is only one word, and I specifically asked about words, plural. Maybe back in the club, one carefully placed eye-f*ck would be all you need for you and your mystery person to gravitate towards each other as if propelled by an invisible magnet and start sucking face. But in times where we don’t even see our own friends without making them verbally fill out a detailed health questionnaire, prolonged eye contact is no longer enough to initiate a public makeout… that is, unless you have them fill out a physical detailed health questionnaire. Is that HIPAA compliant?
Are You Confident They Haven’t Been To A Super Spreader Event In The Past 2 Weeks?
Do they seem like the type of person who has friends? If so, that could be a risk—one of those friends could have gotten married, or had a birthday, or just wanted to watch football on Sunday. What are the odds they’ve been to Florida within the past 14 days? Are they drinking a Red Bull vodka, doing a line, or wearing Bermuda shorts? If so, best to not take those odds. Make the sign of the cross with your fingers and stay far away (six feet).
Seriously, Do You Know Anything About This Person?
Do you have an eye color? Blood type? Just kidding, I don’t even know my own blood type (should I?). What color shirt are they wearing? Are they wearing a shirt? Can you identify a single element that attracted you to this person, or did your brain just immediately fire off, “PERSON!” when it detected a human life form in the vicinity?
Okay, Does Their Body Temperature Seem Within A Normal Range?
Are their cheeks flushed? Do they appear to be sweating or having the chills? No? Then you’re clear to approach them cautiously. Does their forehead feel warm to the touch? If you’ve already tried testing it with the back of your hand, try doing what your mom would do when you were a kid and putting your cheek to their forehead. Just my mom, then? Well, now that you’ve thoroughly made it weird, a makeout shouldn’t be too out of the question.
If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, I’m pleased to inform you that you meet the minimum requirements for a summer 2021-approved spit-swapping. Congratulations! You might want to take a little sniff inside your mask to make sure you don’t need to pop a mint or anything. Actually, scratch that—just get a mint either way. As far as how to kiss, a skill that’s no doubt been long forgotten, I can’t help you there. Best of luck, and try not to do anything weird.
Image: Lisanto 李奕良 / Unsplash
All of my friends who’ve been dating their significant other for five or more years always say to me, “Being a twentysomething single girl in New York must be so fun!” I’m sorry, but why does everyone think that being single in New York is like being in Sex and the City, running around on a writer’s salary in my brand new Manolos trying not to spill my $17 cosmopolitan? I have more in common with Tony Soprano than I do with Carrie Bradshaw. The only SATC episode that my single New York life is kind of similar to is that one where Carrie makes dinner plans with her infamous f*ck buddy, full-well knowing she’ll never speak to him again. In other words, ghosting. This, married friends, is what being single is nowadays.
If you haven’t already guessed, I’m a big believer in breaking up with somebody using your words, but honestly, sometimes these clowns don’t even deserve that. For instance, a few years ago my boyfriend of two years (repeat, two years) broke up with me via Facebook Messenger. WHAT?! I was so mad that I didn’t even respond and we literally just never spoke again. Two years! Anyway, technically he broke up with me, but I guess you could say I ghosted him and, guess what, I didn’t feel bad about it. So, even though conventional wisdom says ghosting is always bad, there are plenty of times where it’s actually okay to just stop responding to their texts, and doing so doesn’t make you the asshole. Let’s talk about times it’s okay to ghost someone.
1. It Feels Creepy
I mean, this should go without saying, but if you’re ever in a situation that makes you feel either unsafe or uncomfortable (the two usually go hand in hand), you can safely fade away into the night guilt-free. Maybe you gave him your number off a dating app and now he won’t stop texting you sexually explicit things, or you went on a date with him and he kept aggressively trying to get you to come back to his place even though you gently tried to turn him down a few times, or he is calling you nonstop even though he knows you are working. Whatever the case may be, if this is a person whose behavior is ringing alarm bells, you do not owe them a response. And, in my opinion, the types of people who repeatedly stomp all over your boundaries are the same kind of people who take any response, even an explicit “I’m not interested”, as encouragement to continue. In cases like these, the best thing to say is often nothing.
2. They Only Reach Out After 2am
This should also be obvious, but in case it’s not, keep reading. You should not feel obligated to respond to a late night “u up?” text unless you’re down to meet up. If you aren’t, just don’t respond. I feel like people, myself included, think it’s such bad form to just ignore a text, but if that text is a booty call at 2am or later, do not feel guilty for not answering it. The dudes sending you those texts aren’t looking for witty banter, they’re looking for a yes or no. They don’t care about you not courteously texting back to let them know that, while you are in fact up, you’re quite tired and are going to have to politely decline. None of that sh*t is necessary. So if a guy you aren’t into texts you after you’re already in bed, feel free to not respond without any pangs of guilt.
3. They Ghosted You First
You went on a few dates with someone who, out of nowhere, disappeared from your life…like a ghost. Ya hate to see it. You may text him a few days later to check in or put a dinner on the calendar, but he doesn’t respond
because he’s an asshole so you kind of give up and move on. Then, like a Dementor coming down from Azkaban, he hits you up. He was 110% seeing another girl when he was also seeing you, but then he decided he wanted to focus on her, so he ghosts you. Then things with her don’t work out so he comes crawling back to you as if five months of silence didn’t just go by. Yeaaaaah, no.
If this sounds familiar, please ghost this arrogant prick. Does he think he’s being subtle when he pulls sh*t like this? Are we expected to just respond as if we didn’t just fully get ignored for half a year? Please, someone tell me. You have permission from everyone to ignore him.
4. They’re In A Monogamous Relationship
I know this sounds beyond f*cked up, but I have been propositioned by not one, but two men in serious relationships within the past six months *throws up*. They both texted me later in the evening to meet up for a drink, which I didn’t think was a big issue until they said, “don’t tell anyone.” And then I obviously told all of my friends. I don’t owe them discretion when they are clearly asswipes who don’t deserve their girlfriends. Anyway, after I realized I was being hit on, I just stopped answering their texts. Again, I don’t give a sh*t about ghosting them—if anything, I feel gross for being the object of their attempted infidelity, even though it wasn’t my fault. If gross guys in relationships prove that they are, in fact, skeazy, it definitely qualifies as one of those times it’s okay to ghost their ass.
Images: Shutterstock.com; Giphy (4)