So you’re seeing someone. Getting yourself a little on the side. I see you. And this guy is pretty cool, right? He’s cute, he’s not too shabby in bed, he’s easy to hang out with. Checks off a lot of boxes. A few weeks pass happily enough, then a month or two goes by. Suddenly you’re wondering when this guy became your boyfriend without being your boyfriend. You’re not totally exclusive, but sleeping together semi-regularly, and in frequent contact. It’s hookup quicksand—and you find yourself considering the possibility of taking things to a more serious horizon. This is a good time to ask yourself some hard questions, if there is such a thing as a good time to emotionally torture yourself. But before you start your pro-con list, Rory Gilmore style, keep an eye out for some red flags that what you’re getting from this guy might be all he’s prepared to give.
There’s a good chance that part of what intrigued you about this guy in the first place is his unpredictability. He’s just available enough to make you feel safe, and just unavailable enough to keep you wanting more. But now, his inability to be nailed down or tell you what tf he’s doing a week from now is less exciting than it used to be. It’s hard to move forward with someone if he makes it so you can’t let go, but you also can’t get any closer. Here are some more signs that this is going to be a guy who’s always the hookup, never the boyfriend.
He Never Makes Plans That Don’t Involve Sex
He brings food over to your place, but is noncommittal when you suggest grabbing dinner out sometime. A simple question about what he has planned for the weekend can send him into a tailspin since he tends to prefer making last-minute plans. Maybe he acts like he’d be down to see a movie or grab drinks at a normal time instead of around 1am, but he never follows through. The sex in general really seems to be enough for him. He’s content with the physical connection you’re sharing and isn’t acting like an emotional one is missing.
He’s Making You Work Way Too Hard
Dating guys in their 20s is an unpaid internship
— cecilia (@waple_cyrup) November 28, 2018
This is the kind of guy who keeps you in a perpetual attention tug-of-war. For every bit of effort you put in, he puts in half as much, so it takes more of your energy and time to coordinate with him than it should. When he does respond, he’s great, but the rest of the time you’re forced to debate a dreaded triple text just to get a simple answer. Plain and simple, this just makes your pseudo-relationship easier on him. The more effort you put in, the less he has to do, and he wants to keep the balance of power in his favor.
He Gives You Just Enough To Keep You Interested, But Never Enough To Actually Rely On Him
Just when you’re ready to write him off, he’ll call you or send a sweet text, and you’re reeled right back in. It’s hard not to respond to him when he’s being charming or asking if he can stop by later, and you always seem to give him another chance to prove himself. But then you wake up and he’s gone again, even though last night he swore you guys would grab breakfast, and you’re back to square one. He never fully ghosts you, but he’s not the first person you’d call if you got a flat tire on the freeway, either. He’s not interested in being the first one you call with your problems, because then you seem less like the girl he’s just sleeping with and more like a girlfriend.
He Doesn’t Ask You About Yourself
He doesn’t text back.
He breaks promises.
He doesn’t instigate conversation or check on you.
He only messages when he needs something.
— Tolly (@tolly_t) September 24, 2017
You know his siblings’ names, where he was born, and the sport he played growing up. Meanwhile, he still acts surprised when he brings over takeout and you have to remind him you’re allergic to onions. Again. He doesn’t seem to have any issue answering questions about himself, but he doesn’t really reciprocate—and if he does, he’s likely to forget what you told him the next day. The fewer personal things he knows about you, the easier it is for him to stay detached and keep things casual.
He Wants To See Zero Emotions From You
sex is cool but have you ever had someone give you so much emotional safety that you were able to break down & process trauma right in front of them without fear of being judged or ridiculed?
— Bruna, CPC & ELI-MP (@brunanessif) August 22, 2018
This is no Victoria F. on The Bachelor situation; if you cry on a date with this guy, he’ll send you home
in a limo stat. He wants you to be the cool, chill girl he hooks up with, and the rest is just “drama”. When you do get emotional, even if it’s as simple as you tearing up in the scene where Warner breaks up with Elle, he’s likely to bail or put up walls without seeming to be affected by the way you’re feeling. Your emotions are really seen as complications to him that get in the way of you two having a good time together, which at the end of the day, is a bigger priority to him.
All of these characteristics don’t necessarily add up to this guy being a bad person—for the most part, you probably enjoy yourself around him, and he’s not hard to be around. And as long as the two of you are on the same page with that, it’s all good. But the key thing to remember about his actions is that they don’t indicate he’s feeling any of the necessary things that normally work to move a relationship forward. And this is a situation where actions really do speak louder than words. Especially if he’s a sweet talker, ignore what he’s saying and look at what he’s doing. If he wanted more with you, it would be pretty clear and straightforward. He’d make it easy for you to reach him; he’d make plans further in advance than one night; he’d remember the little things you tell him about yourself. (Granted, he’d still probably get freaked out by how easily you cry at commercials with dogs in them, but chances are he’d think it was endearing or at least handle it with a reaction other than panic.)
Bottom line is there’s nothing wrong with wanting more, Anastasia Steele, and there are guys out there who genuinely want to get to know all of you, even the version of you who consistently blacks out on bottomless mimosas. This particular person, on the other hand, is keeping a certain amount of emotional distance between you two. It could have nothing to do with you at all. He could have hangups from an old relationship, or just be skittish about the commitment game. That doesn’t make him a bad guy, necessarily. It just makes him a bad guy to try to turn into a boyfriend. So, be honest with yourself, and make the decision to do to him the same thing he does to you: take him as he is, at face value, or not at all.
Images: Brooke Cagle / Unsplash, Giphy; @brunanessif, @tolly_t, @waple_cyrup / Twitter
Sincerest apologies that this list, which usually comes a day or two before the upcoming month, is arriving two weeks late, but I’ve been very busy trying to force the guy I’ve been hooking up with to date me so that I can do something other than shrivel up and die on Valentine’s Day. No such luck, so here I am with the February edition of must-watch movies and shows on Netflix. You’re welcome.
Some months, I can’t wait for my flaky-ass friends to cancel our weekend plans so I can stay in and binge all of the newly added movies and shows I once loved and had since forgotten about, but other months, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that a bunch of interns pick movie and show titles out of a hat and put them on Netflix. This month is the latter. Before you decide that nine different anime shows are not worth 13 of your dollars and cancel your subscription, know that there are plenty of classics and goodies coming to Netflix this month, so if you, too, have no plans on Valentine’s Day, this list is for you!
‘To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You’
The only time I ever felt like I have become my mother was when my editor suggested I add this movie to the list and I had no idea what she was talking about, so I gave it a Google to find out that it is the sequel to like, the biggest and best rom-com of 2018. Great. Already missing out on pop-culture references. So, if there are any others under the age of 54 who don’t know what this movie is, allow Netflix to explain. “When her secret love letters somehow get mailed to each of her five crushes, Lara Jean finds her quiet high school existence turned upside down.” Yikes! So apparently this is the sequel to that cinematic masterpiece, and it bears the same name plus “P.S. I Still Love You.” Sorry, but is the girl naming this movie the same person naming nail polishes? However, the cheese stands alone (I am the cheese) because everyone else seemed to love the first one, and will prob love the sequel. Lmk how it is, k?
‘The Stranger’: Season One
Based on the best-selling novel by Harlan Coben, this dark thriller will keep you guessing until the end. One day, a mysterious stranger shows up in Adam Price’s life out of nowhere, and she spills a secret that could have some major consequences for everyone involved. The book is one of the best thrillers to come out in the last few years, and the show has also gotten rave reviews. Maybe don’t watch this alone in the dark, because you will want to stay up all night to finish it, and then you won’t sleep for a month.
‘A Little Princess’
Before you skip this blurb because of the dumb movie name, wait! As a 26-year-old woman, I am proud to admit that A Little Princess is one of my favorite movies. I used to watch it with my grandfather every time I went to visit my grandparents and then I started to feel like eight viewings was seven viewings too many, so we stopped watching it. However, I saw it for the first time in like 13 years when it appeared on my Netflix homepage a few days ago, and let me just say, it’s still a great f*cking movie.
It’s about a little girl, Sara Crewe, who is quite possibly the most beautiful child in existence, but that isn’t important, I guess. Anyway, she and her dad (who are both American and f*cking loaded) are forced to leave their amazing life in India so that her dad can fight for his country in WWI and she can attend the world’s scariest boarding school. Anyway, her dad allegedly dies and she is left penniless, so bebe Sara becomes a servant at her boarding school. I’m already crying.
‘Love Is Blind’: Season One
Guys, this show sounds so stupid and I cannot wait to watch it. If you thought The Bachelor was unrealistic, just wait until you get a load of this sh*t. Netflix says, “Nick and Vanessa Lachey host this social experiment where single men and women look for love and get engaged, all before meeting in person.” Sooo it’s a Married At First Sight rip-off? There is so much to discuss in this very short sentence, so let’s start with the hosts. Is this Nick and Vanessa Lachey’s attempt to become relevant again? Based on this description alone, I assumed the
psychos participants getting engaged before meeting were at least, like, skyping before tying the knot, but no, I assumed wrong! I watched the trailer to discover that the men and women are locked in what Nick and Vanessa are calling “pods” and talking to each other on telephones. Alrighty. I would never marry someone who calls me on the phone. Like, are your fingers broken? No? Then f*cking text me.
Just because all five of my friends were either out of town or had plans last Saturday night, I spent that time online stalking the cast to find that they are all local Atlantans and ~aspiring~ Instagram models. I kid you not, every male on the show has a fitness account on Instagram and every female concludes her captions with “use my name as the promo code for 20% off!” Here for the right reasons, though, right?? Lol.
‘Elizabeth: The Golden Age’
If I relate most to any member of the royal family, it’s OG Elizabeth. That bitch ruled a kingdom without assistance or permission from men. Slay, Queen. Anyway, there have been and will continue to be many biopics about our girl Liz, but this one is by far the best. It stars Cate Blanchett, who makes a serious case for elaborate collars and red hair. A lot happened during her lifetime and reign, but this movie’s main focus is how she handled the Spanish Armada and her complicated relationship with Sir Walter Raleigh. It’s a good watch if you’re in the mood to learn something.
‘Who Killed Malcom X?’
What a question. Three people were charged in the human rights activist’s murder, but no one really knows who actually did it. This docuseries explores what happened when an activist “embarks on a complex mission seeking truth in the name of justice,” says Netflix’s description. I’m definitely intrigued because I live for true crime documentaries and this is one of the country’s biggest mysteries. Sold.
‘Sex And The City 2’
This movie was so horrible, but I mean that in the best way possible. The clothes are as amazing as Samantha’s dried-up one-liners, and it’s worth your time if you haven’t seen it. To sum it up in one sentence: Carries wrote a few books, Samantha hasn’t changed, Charlotte is still a whiney hag, Miranda’s taste in clothes has improved, and they all go to Abu Dhabi. The end! It’s a good movie if you’re expecting it to be pure garbage, but it definitely didn’t get robbed at the 2010 Oscars, if ya know what I mean.
‘Narcos Mexico’: Season Two
I’m going to keep this short since I did not watch season one, but I did watch the original Narcos and it was great. This spin-off is probably even better because it explores the drug wars in Mexico during the 1980s. Also, Jason Bateman isn’t in this one, which I count as a plus. It’s a show about Felix Gallardo, who heads the fictional Guadalajara cartel, and DEA agent Kiki Camarena, who moves with her family to Guadalajara. Sounds cool; I’m officially interested.
If you want an antidote to Sex and the City 2, definitely give The Pianist a watch. This is by far the saddest movie I’ve ever seen and it’s so factually accurate that we watched it in my AP European History class in high school. It’s about Wladyslaw Szpilman (played by Adrien Brody), a Jewish Polish radio station pianist, and his story of survival throughout the course of the Holocaust in Germany. It’s truly heartbreaking, but it’s done so well that you’d be remiss to skip it.
Believe it or not, there was once a time when Tom Cruise didn’t absolutely suck, and that time was in 1996 when Jerry Maguire came out. If you don’t know, this is a rom-com starring Tom and Bridget Jones. Long-story-short, Tom is a sports agent who gets himself fired by having a conscience. He teams up with a single mother and together, they start their own management firm, but not before they swiftly fall in love. Simpler times, amirite?
I am pretty sure Nicholas Sparks wrote all of his sappy male leads for Channing Tatum, and I’m 110% here for it. Not only did I read this book, but I saw the movie…in theaters. Obviously, it was terrible, but it did way better than I thought it would on Rotten Tomatoes, scoring a whopping 29%. Honestly, that’s pretty impressive. Just watch the trailer and you’ve basically already seen the movie, minus a subpar sex scene that takes place in what looks like a barn. K. It’s Channing Tatum at his hottest, so this is another good reason to cancel your plans.
Images: Bettina Strauss / Netflix; Movie Coverage, Movieclips Classic Trailers (2), Netflix (2), Movieclips, End Time News, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Movies & Shows, Sony Pictures Entertainment / Youtube
Ah Valentine’s Day. It happens every year, and yet it still somehow always surprises you. Whether you’ll be celebrating the holiday by posting unnecessary PDA with bae, or spending it commenting “HAPPY NATIONAL SINGLES AWARENESS DAY” on people who post unnecessary PDA with bae, you’re gonna be spending it some way. So why not do it in a way that aligns with what the stars have in store for you? Especially since you let your horoscope dictate every other aspect of your life. Here’s how you should spend Valentine’s Day, according to your zodiac sign.
Single: You’re in luck, single rams. This Valentine’s Day, the stars are aligned for you to meet someone new, but that will require you to leave your apartment (bummer). Spend V-Day checking out local bars with your single girl crew and scouting for hot bartenders. At the very least, you could get some free drinks out of the deal.
In a relationship: Your House of Partnerships is electrified this Valentine’s Day, basically turning you into a commitment freak. You’ll have the most fun celebrating your love by doing something that really lets you enjoy your partner’s company, so opt for an intimate home-cooked meal (or take-out) over a crowded restaurant where you can’t hear anything and every couple nearby is getting engaged. Spare yourself.
Single: Look, being single on Valentine’s Day can be hard, but don’t try to force Valentine’s plans on someone who doesn’t deserve your famous heart-shaped brownies just because society tells you to. Screw society! You’ll have a better day if you lean into your own independence, and spend the day doing sh*t you like solo. Not saying you have to go full Emma Watson and start describing yourself as “self-partnered,” but also it couldn’t hurt?
In a relationship: You’ve been feeling pretty independent lately, which is kind of tough for a holiday that is literally all about being obsessed with another person. Take the pressure off by keeping your Valentine’s plans low-key (dinner at your favorite local place, movie night at home), over things that sound fun in the moment but are ultimately stressful (dinner at the fanciest restaurant in town, any activity they do on The Bachelor).
Single: This is a great Valentine’s Day for single Geminis, as your flirty self will be driven toward a deeper love connection. You’re tired of sending the same five emojis to the same five guys, and are looking to move into the “expressing real thoughts and emotions” phase of a relationship. If there’s someone you’ve been feeling particularly drawn to these days, don’t be afraid to reach out. Though maybe don’t reach out on Valentine’s Day. That could be a little much.
In a relationship: You’re willing to take your commitments to the next level this Valentine’s Day, which can be hard for a sign whose wants and desires change approximately every .5 seconds. Use the holiday as an opportunity to show your partner you’re ready to go the distance maybe with a heartfelt note, text, or with the age-old trick of showing up at their house with a dog and being like, “THIS IS OURS NOW!!!”
Single: Take Valentine’s Day into your own hands and use it as a time to finally let go of that “ideal” person you’ve been holding out for, or that ex you’ve been waiting to realize was a f*cking idiot. Perfect people don’t exist, and exes never realize they were a f*cking idiot because they’re f*cking idiots. Use this day to symbolically shed the dead weight, and yes, that does mean deleting their number.
In a Relationship: Is your current relationship serving you? If it is, your heart will let you know. If it isn’t, this Valentine’s Day could be the thing that forces your eyes open, Clockwork Orange style, once and for all. That doesn’t mean your dinner date is going to be an epic disaster, but if you find your eyes wandering to the hot server two tables away, pay attention to what your mind is trying to tell you.
Single: You’re looking for love in all the wrong places, in that you’re looking for people who live near you, when really you’re looking for the Paolo to your Lizzie McGuire. Set your dating app range and start a long-distance correspondence. Preferably with someone rich so they can fly you out to meet them eventually. Like Paolo.
In a Relationship: You want to shake things up this Valentine’s Day, so don’t you dare make a reservation at the restaurant where you had your first date for the third year in a row. You and your partner will have way more fun by going outside your comfort zones and bonding over the experience. Try checking out a new restaurant, skipping town, or heading to the local IKEA and seeing if you can make it to checkout still a couple.
Single: Have you been stuck in a type, Virgo? This Valentine’s Day, open your eyes to the plethora of possibilities the human form can take. If you only date tall guys, open your heart to the short kings of the world. If you only date ripped guys, give the scrawny emo kid in the corner of your coffee shop a chance. (Summer Roberts did, and look how that worked out for her.) And if you only date finance bros, please, for the love of God, try literally anything else.
In a relationship: Release yourself from the need to have a “perfect” Valentine’s Day. Your partner is not a magician, this isn’t a rom-com, and nobody has fun while trying to meet your sky-high standards. Remember, a “successful” Valentine’s Day is one where you and your partner enjoy a meal, don’t fight about that thing you always fight about, and have sex at some point. Anything else and you’re just making it hard on yourself.
Single: All the heart-shaped decor has you ready to go deep with someone you’ve only been casually interested in before now. It could be the candy hearts talking, but it might be time to take a look at your back burner bro (or babe) and see if he/she/they might be worthy of bringing to the front. Provided you haven’t been a complete sh*thead to them up until this point. After all, everybody is somebody’s f*ckboy.
In a relationship: You’re ready to go all out this Valentine’s Day, which is f*cking awesome for anyone lucky enough to be dating you. Lavish gifts, extravagant flowers, impossible dinner reservations are all on the table as you just can’t wait to show your partner (and the world) how f*cking obsessed with them you are. Just be sure to check they can actually take the time off work before splurging on surprise tickets to Bora-Bora.
Single: Don’t despair! Things might feel bleak this Valentine’s Day for single Scorpios, but someone who sparks your interest could be just around the corner. When they pop up, don’t spend your time fretting over whether or not it has long- term potential, just focus on the fun, and whatever relationship develops is the exact one you were meant to have.
In a Relationship: Make sure you let your expectations be known this Valentine’s Day, or you could find yourself disappointed. Valentine’s Day is about both people in the couple, so don’t just sit back and let your partner plan a romantic dinner at Crab Shack when you don’t even f*cking like crabs (and also who wants to have a romantic dinner at Crab Shack?). People aren’t mind-readers, so if you want dinner and a movie, just go ahead and tell them that right now. If you want a flashmob, tell them that too, but also realize that the amount of choreo your family members can learn in 24 hours is limited.
Single: You’re all about the fun part of romance right now, aka meeting new people and deciding whether or not you want to see them naked. Lean into the #singlelyfe by spending Valentine’s Day out on the prowl. Connect with your inner Love Island contestant and just go out there and hit on some people. In a respectful way, of course.
In a relationship: You tend to find Valentine’s Day a little boring, so it’s up to you to inject the fun. Don’t give into the super sappy, super serious bullsh*t that HALLMARK and BIG VALENTINE’S try to push on all of us. Let your Valentine’s Day be silly. Get each other joke gifts. (And also a back up real gift in case the joke gift doesn’t go over so well…)
Single: You’ve been thinking a lot lately about what you want for yourself (total world domination), but what is it that you want in a partner? This Valentine’s Day is your chance to reflect on who you really see in the future Jay-Z to your Beyoncé. Starting with the fact that he won’t cheat on your like Jay-Z did to Beyoncé. Still not over it.
In a relationship: It’s audit time, and I’m not talking about taxes. Is your current relationship helping you grow? If not, it’s time for them to politely GTFO. Valentine’s Day has a way of letting you know which relationships are fleeting, and which can stand the test of time. All we ask is that you wait to end things until after dinner.
Single: You’re not looking for a relationship right now, Aquarius, but your fun, vibrant personality might bring you one anyway. There’s someone out there who has a crush on you (hint: it’s the guy who texts you “good morning” every morning), and it might be time to let them shoot their shot. You already know they have great taste in crushes, which is a pretty good start to a relationship.
In a relationship: Communication is key this Valentine’s Day. You want to go deep with your partner, and should use your Valentine’s Day date to learn more about them. Make sure you’re giving them space to talk at dinner, and never be afraid of asking probing questions like what the meaning of life is, or whether or not Jeffrey Epstein killed himself.
Single: You couldn’t be more ecstatic to have a night out on the town this Valentine’s Day, and tbh you feel bad for all the people who have to go on boring dates. This V-Day, you’ll actually be thriving as your single self, paper hearts and chocolates be damned. Honestly, the whole world is jealous.
In a relationship: Beware of going overboard and putting your partner on a pedestal this Valentine’s Day. It’s always good to make sure you’re both on the same page about holidays like this, so you can avoid awkwardly presenting your partner with a bubblegum sculpture of their own face when they thought you said no gifts.
Images: Laura Ockel / Unsplash; Giphy (12)
Hi, my name is Arianna Margulis aka @butlikemaybe, and I have been the worst at dating, so you don’t have to be. In my new book, But Like Maybe Don’t? I own up to all of my mistakes, so you can cringe, laugh, and most of all, relate. And with Valentine’s Day coming up, I couldn’t help but admittedly think of all the different types of girl I’ve been over the years on this glorious holiday. Don’t be like me.
1. The IG Perfect Boyfriend Girl
Her relationship is on the rocks, but she can’t and won’t let you know. Sporting her new Michael Kors watch and heart-shaped bouquet of roses, she’s ready to tell the world how HE DID GOOD. Still, nobody will be surprised when they break up less than two weeks later.
2. Still Believes The Flowers Might Come Girl
She stares at the door. She believes somehow he Googled her office address or secretly asked her best friend for it (even though he’s never even met any of her friends). “It’s only 5pm, there’s definitely still time,” she says every hour on the hour, while her hope slowly deflates like a balloon. Nobody has the heart to tell her.
3. Bitter Hallmark Holiday Girl
She rolls her eyes as she enters the candy aisle of CVS. She hopes you choke on your heart-shaped lollipop. Talks a lot about “society” and “capitalism,” but if a giant teddy bear showed up on her doorstep with a box of chocolates, you know she would post that sh*t on her Instagram story right away.
4. Lives For Galentine’s Sh*t Girl
She’s got tickets to the latest rom-com. A dinner reservation at 5pm because that’s all that was left. She can’t wait to post pictures saying how happy she is to finally #loveherself. Secretly, she’s hoping the Instagram likes on the picture of her naked ring finger with an ironic caption will make her feel better about the fact that all her friends had plans with their actual significant others on Valentine’s Day.
5. Too-Soon Girl
Very excited about her new relationship. Too excited. Couldn’t resist the urge to show everyone how happy she is, and sadly the jerk she’s dating will merely pretend he didn’t see it.
6. What Are We? Girl
She’s been dating someone for about a month. They text every day, but he hasn’t said anything yet about the big day. Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year, so they’ll probably hang out anyway. Does she mention it? Would it ruin things? Does he secretly want to mention it too? Does she get him a gift?! The stress of it will cause insomnia, hair loss, and breakouts.
7. Ice Cream Sorrows Girl
She has given up on love. You can find her drowning her pain in $60 worth of bodega goodies, not answering any texts, and blacking out her windows until tomorrow, when it’s all over.
8. Who Cares Let’s Drink Girl
Valentine’s Day is on a Friday this year. So um who the f*ck cares, let’s drink.
For more of my relatable dating advice, pick up a copy of my new book, But Like Maybe Don’t?, out now!
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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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.
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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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.
If you’re in a relationship, Valentine’s Day is really the one day of the year when you have a free pass to be obnoxious on social media. As a single person, it’s fun to complain about everyone posting their flowers and chocolate, but I get it. But while you were posting a throwback photo of you and your SO with a cheesy caption, some of our favorite celebrities were out here getting truly wild yesterday. Here’s a rundown of some of the most extra celebrity posts this Valentine’s Day, and most of them are exactly who you’d expect.
Less than one week after Stormi World broke the internet, Kylie Jenner is back with another over-the-top holiday display. Travis Scott is currently away on tour, but that didn’t stop him from arranging a series of heart-shaped rose arches that probably cost more than I make in a year. Actually, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kylie coordinated these herself, because she seems like the kind of woman who would want to be in control of her Valentine’s Day. It’s unclear if there was a gift or something waiting at the end of the display, but it was probably something else I can’t afford.
If the name “Randall Emmett” still doesn’t ring a bell for you, he’s Lala Kent’s fiancé, thus he’s better known as “Rand” or just “My Man.” As we know, Lala is currently filming a new movie, and she got surprised on the set with a very large vase of flowers. Like, she’s sitting in the courtroom set in costume in full WWII Germany-era clothing, and they bring the flowers in. I guess this is romantic, but I’m pretty sure you’d get fired for pulling this sh*t if your man wasn’t the one financing the movie.
We can always count on BachelorNation’s most annoying couple to bless us with dumb content. Earlier this week, we learned that Jared and Ashley are writing a children’s book (yikes), and if Ashley’s V-day caption is any indication, we’re in for a real treat. While posting the sappiest photo of her and her fiancé, she writes a nice caption about how if you’re a lonely loser, you should still have hope! Thanks so much Ashley, your support really means the world. Can’t wait to preorder the book!
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To the single people who are feeling lonely, left out, or longing for a special someone while scrolling on Instagram today. I promise you will be with your right person when it’s meant to happen and then you’ll realize you shouldn’t have stressed so much about it because the wait so worth it! I know this is cliche, but it’s also true and it take from someone who was single for almost 30 years. It just takes one person to change everything! I love you more than I could ever express, @jaredhaibon.
Considering that Kanye West rented out an entire baseball stadium to propose to Kim Kardashian, it makes sense that he goes way too far for Valentine’s Day. First of all, if I went anywhere near that room, there is a 100% chance that I would accidentally shatter all those vases. Cute gesture, but I’m f*cking clumsy. Also, where is all of their furniture? Did Kanye have a moving company take away all the furniture just for the afternoon? Also, Kim K loooooves Kenny G, and I can’t think of anything that turns me on less.
NO BIG DEAL KENNY G IN MY LIVING ROOM!!! Happy Valentines Day ??? pic.twitter.com/A1GD0UlEwu
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) February 14, 2019
There’s nothing more eye roll-inducing than a Valentine’s Day engagement, and it’s no big surprise that it came from Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom. They’ve been together for a long time (not counting the period when they were broken up), so it makes sense for them to finally be engaged. I’m not so sure how I feel about that ring (actually, I’m sure, it looks like a Ring Pop), but I’m definitely not feeling this weird closeup angle or Orlando’s greasy-looking hair. Whatever, I’m happy for them I guess.
Images: @kyliejenner / Instagram; @randallemmettfilms / Instagram; @ashley_iaconetti / Instagram; @kimkardashian / Twitter; @katyperry / Instagram
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)
Valentine’s Day is coming up, and with it comes the insurmountable pressure of doing something but not something that’s too something that would terrify someone so they run away screaming from you and then you die alone with a bunch of cats. That later eat your corpse. Just me then?
Like, obviously we all want to have some kind of plan for Valentine’s Day besides watching Bridget Jones’s Diary for the 40th time and eating all the chocolate your mom sent in one sitting. But depending on how long you’ve been dating, you don’t want to put too much pressure on the situation. So what should you do with your significant other, or your not-yet-significant other, on Valentine’s Day? We figured it out. Here’s what you should do based on how long you’ve been seeing each other.
Less Than 1 Month
Congratulations, you met someone you really like recently and have been on a couple dates. Good for you! It’s exciting and you want to hang out with them more, but Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and you don’t know how to handle it. At this stage? Don’t. It’s way too much pressure to expect someone to come with a fun plan for this day when they barely even know you. Instead, tell them your availability that week and do not include Valentine’s Day at all. If they ask if you have plans that day, then you can figure out something to do, but don’t be the person to bring it up. Sorry, I know it’s 2019 and all, but asking to hang out on Valentine’s Day before you’ve even DTR’d is not going to help your cause of not appearing desperate.
“What are you getting for Valentine’s Day?”
— sarafcarter (@sarafcarter) January 28, 2019
Okay, so you’re a few months in, probably even dating exclusively by now if you’re really into each other. WTF do you do for Valentine’s Day? At this point it’s totally okay to mention that you’d like to do something casual for V Day. Suggest getting tacos or going to a bar that will definitely not have some kind of insane pre-set menu. Spending time together is expected, but you still don’t want to go over the top. If you exchange gifts, make sure they’re small and inexpensive, i.e., a cute baseball cap, not concert tickets for a show half a year away.
6 Months – 1 Year
Now we’re getting into “okay, if you forget V Day you’re dead to me” territory. It’s definitely expected that the ridiculous holiday is acknowledged, but make sure you actually tell the person you are dating that you’re interested in making plans. They may not know you even care about this stupid holiday (which like, I don’t care, but also, you have to celebrate with me). Plan something classic, like dinner at a moderately priced restaurant and maybe even a movie, or just Netflix & chill afterwards. You can also get real presents without fear of looking too invested.
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After a year, you’re fully committed, you hate the way they breathe sometimes, and you can do pretty much whatever you want for Valentine’s Day. This is when it’s appropriate to get nice gifts, flowers, the whole thing, if you’re into it. If you have the cash, it is totally fun to dress up and go to a nice restaurant with the prix fixe menu, especially if you never do that kind of thing. You can also do that whole “purchase sexy lingerie as an added present to keep the romance alive” thing. Literally, it’s whatever.
You’re basically married, you have done the pre-set menus, and let’s be honest: Valentine’s Day is one of the worst days of the year to go out. It’s like New Years Eve—days that are supposed to be fun but end up way too overpriced and crowded. Once you’re really settled in, forget the dinners and expensive menus, and do something casual at home together. Cook a nice dinner, have some wine, and save your cash that would be for presents on booking a trip together later in the year. Valentine’s Day is really so overrated, and once you’ve done it a few times, you guys have a right to be totally over going out.
You when you get the check for the pre-set menu:
If you’ve been dating for 3+ years, then the only thing you should be doing on Valentine’s Day is getting a ring. I’m (mostly) kidding, but you should know enough about your significant other at that point to not be scouring the internet for Valentine’s Day ideas. Just saying!
Images: Jakob Owens / Unsplash; Giphy (3); betches / Instagram