Browsing Category:

Relationships

7 Reasons Why Being in a Relationship is the Best

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

Photo by Almos Bechtold on Unsplash

A few weeks ago I had a post saying why being single is the worst. By popular request, I was encouraged to write about why being in a relationship is the best! For those of you who have your doubts about relationships or are hesitant of what they have in store for you, let me help put your mind at ease with 7 reasons why being in a relationship is the best. It’s also a list to help you understand why I missing being in a relationship as opposed to being single.

1. Be yourself

When you’re dating, you’re constantly seeing new people while on your best behavior. But in a relationship, you’ve been with this person for a while, so you can start to open up more and be yourself. You can now take your bra off and throw on a baggy hoodie with your favorite pajama pants and forget about putting on make-up! They already know you snort when you laugh hard and always get the lyrics wrong regardless of how many times you’ve heard the song. This is (arguably) the best part about a relationship because your partner loves you for who you are as a person and that’s beautiful enough.

2. Plus-One

You’ll always have friends that can be this as well, but now you always have a go-to for your plus-one for work events, weddings, or any other social events. The best part about having this person be your partner is that everyone is already expecting it! Now your friends won’t get butt-hurt if you choose one over the other, you have a default.

Related Reading: How to Handle Getting Hit on at a Bar

3. Feeling the love

Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash

One of the greatest perks of a relationship is the physical aspect, and you all know what I mean… Not only is sex fun, it’s good for you! All that dopamine in your brain is the ultimate high, but it’s even better when you’re sleeping with someone who appreciates you for more than your physical appearance. The entire mindset is altered, making the experience that much better. Not to sound like a love guru or preachy, but it is an experience where you’re selfless; you become a team in wanting to make each other feel good! It’s probably the best team bonding experience you can have.

4. Feeling appreciated

Dates are great, I will always be a fan of free food and movies, but being in a relationship is more than that. Once you’ve opened up and let someone in, they know your biggest dreams, fears and stresses. All those things become priorities to them too; they want to see you succeed, be happy and pick you up when you’re feeling down. I’ve bought flowers for guys before just because I wanted to, and they loved it! The little things can add up, even if it’s just a compliment on how you look that day or someone telling you they love you.

5. You always have someone to talk to

From my perspective, your partner should be one of your best friends. If there’s something on your mind, you have someone you can talk to about it and they’ll give you their honest opinion. They’re comforting or give you a reality check when you need one. But mostly, they’re there to listen. And that in itself is extremely important.

6. There’s someone to fill your time

Remember all that time you had to swipe left and right on those dating apps? Now you have time to spend with someone instead of doing that. Someone who will do whatever you want to; hike, go to dinner, a movie, a museum, or Netflix…and chill… You now have options to fill your time with more entertaining things with someone who values you and your time.

7. You learn

Photo by Kate on Unsplash

Something in you also changes. When you have someone you’re crazy about, and they’re crazy about you too, it bumps your self esteem, making you happier overall. When you’re happier, you also want the people around you to be happy, so you give more and it makes you feel good! Being in a relationship teaches you a lot about yourself: your interests, priorities, what makes you happy, mad, sad. But it also teaches you that about other people; and with that comes empathy which enforces honesty, trust and dedication.

 

There are so many things I miss about being in a relationship. I realize a lot of these things can also be fulfilled by friends, but it’s not the same. There’s that intimacy aspect to being in a relationship that is so special and makes you feel and think differently from others around you. I’m a fan of being in a relationship, but only when it’s with the right person. If you’re hesitant to enter into a relationship, you should think about all the benefits it has to offer before you dismiss the thought.

 

What are some of your favorite things about being in a relationship? Did I miss anything?

March 12, 2018
/

6 Reasons Why Being Single is the Worst

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

My love life is a mess. I was what people call “a prude” throughout (most) of high school. When I got to college I was still “prudish”, but open to trying new things. I didn’t go crazy, but I did figure out what it was like to kiss someone who didn’t try to suck my face off. I learned the difference between good and bad, right and wrong, big and small… One of the most important things that I’ve learned is that being single when you’re 25 sucks. Since we already have a post saying how being single is okay, I’ve decided to make one saying why being single is the worst.

Related Reading: 3 Reasons to Love Being Single

In the beginning…

I want to start by giving you a little history on my love life. I’ve had two serious relationships. One was my freshman year of college and we dated for about a year, long distance. Then I went four years just dating (a.k.a Tinder, Plenty of Fish, random guys at parties) where nothing really interesting happened; well except for that one guy. The guy who was sleeping with me, while patching things up with his ex (which I didn’t know) and gave me an STD. I stalked his ex and told her to get tested and he got mad and called me a bitch and yada yada it was all my fault even though it was all his and he was being a big baby who didn’t get his way, whatever.

After that, I got with some guy who was mutual friends with my friend. We messed around and had fun, but he was (and still is) too immature, so we stopped after about a month.

When I was 24, I started a new job where I worked closely with one other girl in sales. We became close friends and she invited me to her wedding. This is where I met the guy I would be in my second longest relationship with. He was a year younger than me and he treated me like a princess, up until he became paranoid that I was cheating on him and then he cheated on me… I still don’t understand how that makes sense AT ALL.

Related Reading: The Things He Said, My Toxic Relationship

Now

So I’ve been single for about a year now, talking with guys off of various dating sites (Bumble being in the hot seat right now) and mistakenly sleeping with the guy I had messed around with after college again (don’t act like you’ve never gone back to an ex). The thing about becoming single after a serious relationship is that I’m reminded how good it is to be in a relationship. And then, it’s over and I’m back to square one.

kaboompics_Blonde woman having a healthy snack at the wooden pier

Here are the worst things about being single:

  1. Starting over

    Dating is awkward because I have to learn people all over again. Especially online dating, because I can’t get a genuine feeling about someone until we’re face to face. So sometimes it feels like I’m wasting all that time messaging someone I just don’t feel a connection with when we finally do meet. That sucks.

  2. No excuse

    When I go out with girlfriends to the bar, I can’t say that I have a boyfriend at home. Which, granted this can (does) work in my favor sometimes. I have such a heavy guilty conscience that I can’t lie well. So now I have to say I’m not interested and gamble him following me around the whole night or leaving it at that.

  3. Dry Spell

    You know exactly what that means. Toys are great, hook-ups are risky and repeats are frowned upon. There’s just no winning with this one. It’s just not the same.

  4. I have to buy things myself

    Yeah, I know how that sounds, but it’s the truth. Everyone likes getting spoiled by someone else. Personally, I enjoy being treated to dinner and a movie. I especially like getting flowers randomly. Sure, friends and family can do this, but it’s a different feeling when it’s from your boyfriend/girlfriend.

  5. It’s lonely

    I’m used to texting someone constantly throughout the day, and now that’s gone. No one to tell me they can’t wait to see me or tell me how beautiful they think I am. Not just that, but my boyfriend was my best friend; the one I could talk to about anything and not worry about being judged. I could be goofy, and he would never call me anything that would make me feel stupid or ugly. I always felt wanted.

  6. There’s a lot of free time

 It is a strange thing to complain about, but I like being busy. When I’m by myself, I think too much; I want to constantly be working to distract myself from how sucky life is (the 9-5 job, trying to plan days out with friends with a $5 budget, being a 5th wheel etc.). When I feel really down I think about all the things that I can do to change myself: being more patient, less pushy, less critical, put in more effort (tangent: I once had a boyfriend that asked me why I wasn’t wearing make up on a Sunday, saying he was always trying to look good for me, so why wouldn’t I reciprocate…). There’s a lot of dark thoughts I started to think about myself and my worth when the person I thought could be my forever bangs someone else.

Related Reading: How to Handle Getting Hit on at a Bar11 Messages You’ll Get on Plenty of Fish

This isn’t to say that there aren’t any good things about being single, there are. But let us not dwell on all the good things like actually having time for your friends, hogging the whole bed and farting without embarrassment in the comfort of your own home. It’s okay to say how much things suck sometimes.

 

What are your thoughts on being single?

 

February 21, 2018
/

National Sex Day: A.K.A. Valentine’s Day

 

Valentine's Day

 

Valentine’s Day, A.K.A. National Sex Day, is celebrated on February 14th. Why force love on one day, how about making any other day of the year as your Valentine’s Day? If you’re not ready to break from the traditional Valentine’s Day, then Cheers! Let’s enjoy a chocolate Cherry Cha Cha Cocktail. Chocolate Covered Cherry Cha Cha is a wonderful cocktail that you love that has both cherry and chocolate in it. The recipe is available at the end the post.

 

There is a holiday coming up called Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it there is no escaping the hearts and Cupid’s that pop up in the stores. In fact, we see this red decor love fest displays right after Christmas.  The hearts and cupids are all around in the stores reminding you about February 14th.

Valentine's Day

What is Valentines Day? A day to profess your love to someone with chocolate and roses? Let’s not forget all the lingerie that men buy their sweethearts. My sister calls Valentine’s Day national Sex Day. Why? Well give a woman roses, chocolate and sexy panties, and they expect to get lucky. So as a woman, we are expected to shave our legs, don these panties and give our men this wild night of passion. All because of some little Cupid with an arrow says it is Valentine’s Day. In reality, that scenario just feels forced.

 

Valentine's DayI don’t know about you, but sex feels better when wild and passionate and unplanned. When it’s planned nothing seems to go right, either you are so stressed out, feels routine and boring, you’re just simply not in the mood. Now, these chocolates and fancy panties are supposed to make all that stress and not feeling in the mood stop for 20 minutes of sex? I say celebrate Valentine’s Day on a day you’re not expecting roses, like March 3rd. Why? Because it isn’t forced, and if it is, sex that day it would be mind-blowing!

 Pick a day and own it, be the sex goddess and enjoy YOUR Valentine’s Day.

Now some of you will say, “but I have kids”. Yeah, I get it, wild, passionate, spontaneous sex with kids might not work. Well, when the kids are in bed, go to your room, put on some hooker shoes and surprise your man.

 

Tonight you are not a mom, instead, you are some wild and exotic woman turning Valentine's Dayhour man on. Don’t come up with an excuse like, “I can’t wear those shoes”. Look, you’re not walking in them, just put on, sit on the bed and call him in. If you do it right honey, those shoes will never see pavement. It’s called the art of illusion. If your man asks what you’re doing, say “I’m giving you a surprise for Valentine’s Day”. When doing something unexpected and out the normal; you’d be surprised at how much you really enjoy it. It’s good to step out the little box we are in. It is all about the illusion, own some shoes that will never see pavement!

Bottom line is, sometimes it’s better if we call the shots when comes to National Sex Day, oops I mean Valentine’s Day. Don’t settle for the forced gratuity of pleasure in exchange for flowers and chocolate on February 14th. Pick a day and make that your Valentine’s Day. Pretend you are a teenager and do something out the ordinary and most of all, make something you enjoy. Trust me, tune into your inner sexy goddess, we all have it within us, and own Valentine’s Day, on any day you want to celebrate it on.

Valentine's Day cocktail

Chocolate and cherries in a bubbly cocktail! Oh, My!

Ok so maybe you’re not quite that ready to break from Valentine’s Day Traditions. That is okay, but the thought is in the back of your head, and that is good.

So let’s relax now with a wonderful cocktail, the Chocolate Cherry Cha Cha:

What you’ll need:

  • 1 ounce of Cheery Rum
  • 1/2 ounce of Whipped Cream Vodka
  • 1 ounce of Chocolate Vodka
  • 1 ounce of Club Soda

 

Meet the Author

Guest PostPour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick, and pull yourself together.” – Elizabeth Taylor

Deanna Samman (Dee) is a native to Pittsburgh, living in Cleveland, OH. Her first blog, Seduction in the Kitchen, has built Dee’s appearance on the internet in the blogging world. When she discovered she had a niche for lifestyle and relationship posts, she decided to create a Wine and Lipstick, a blog meant for bringing single women together over cocktails. We are honored to have Dee as a guest author and hope you look into her blogs in the future!

 

February 12, 2018
/

13 Ways to Celebrate Galentine’s Day

Neon signs reading "girls" are lit up behind the overlaid article title "13 Ways to Celebrate Galentine's Day"

Regardless of if you’re single, in a relationship or dating, we highly encourage you to celebrate a once fictional, but now very real holiday, Galentine’s Day. Galentine’s Day is a day to celebrate friendship with all your lady friends! The holiday was invented by Leslie (played by Amy Poehler) in the T.V. show, Parks and Recreation. You can learn more about this “holiday” here. If you’re unsure how to celebrate Valentine’s Eve, we’ve come up with some ideas to share with you and all your girl friends, with some recommendations on items that one or both of us personally use!

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, we will earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. 

 

1. Ladies’ Wine Night

Everyone brings a bottle of wine and you have your own exclusive wine tasting in the comfort of your (or your friend’s) house! To make this into a competition, go out and buy something cheap (like this!) that’s related to wine and have that be the prize for the best wine!

Galentine's Day

 

2. Old Fashion Slumber Party

Screw looking cute, peel off those skinny jeans or even tight leggings and throw on your comfiest pair of pajama/yoga pants, hoodie, no make-up and hair in a messy bun. This is the judge free zone, where you can finally try that black face mask going around Facebook and YouTube that literally peels the outside layer of your face off (this one is the similar, cheaper brand Charcoal Peel Off Mask). Have a chick flick playing on the T.V. like Mean Girls, eat crap food and drink wine, and paint each other’s nails while one person reads aloud the humiliating stories in the back of Cosmopolitan.

 

3. Cookie/Cupcake Decorating

Forget the diet: bring me some sugah! Though you may need to prep this ahead of time (Elena’s mom’s recipe says to make sure the dough is refrigerated at least four hours prior to baking) you can roll out some dough and make heart shaped cookies (because these are your girlfriends and you love each other) and frost them with some white, red and pink dyed cream cheese frosting (because cream cheese is the best frosting and if you don’t think so, no cookies for you). Also if you aren’t into cookies, you can do cupcakes or even cake cookies! Elena’s sister makes these and they are the perfect balance between a cupcake and a cookie and are so moist and delicious!

 

4. Go to the Bars…in your sweat pants

Because this is about the girls, not getting the guys! And getting drunk. Cheers!

 

5. Get a Couple’s Massage (or a couple’s date package), but go with your BFF!

Take advantage of them sales! Especially ones on Groupon that give you an even better discount.

 

6. Paint Night

Go out to a place like Pinot’s Pallet, or host one at home. Belle bought some paint-by-numbers canvas paintings that we will be working on for months, that would be fun to start! Elena went to a friend’s house where they painted wine glasses (while drinking wine from a separate glass of course). Elena also had nights were she went out and bought water color or drawing paper in bulk and we drank wine, painted and watched Friends in the background.

Galentine's Day

7. Makeover Night!

Do like what we used to do in our mom’s bathroom (or older sister’s make up collection) as a kid and play with your make-up for new looks! Now is the time to share how you do your eye-shadow, what colors you use and what kind of primer helps all that glitter stick to your eye and not get in it. Now’s your chance to learn how to get that perfect smokey eye! Or maybe you have that friend who knows how to do the perfect liquid eyeliner wing that you’ve been wanting to learn for months. Just remember, don’t share mascara and probably eye-liners to avoid diseases, cause gross. For even more fun, finish a bottle of wine by yourself before attempting a make-over on your BFF and making her “beautiful” with blue eye-shadow and pink blush that’s been under your sink for three years.

 

8. Host a “Tupperware” Party

Yeah, that’s what our mom’s call it, but we all know we’re referring to a sex toy party, or make-up I guess, but mostly sex toys. It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve hosted a Pure Romance party, and what timing having Single’s Awareness Day the very next day! Or Valentine’s Day if you’re in a relationship, they still have some fun S&M things that could make your night even more special.

 

9. Photoshoot!

Get all the gals together, get glammed, and have a photo shoot! Or just gather random things around your house and buy some cheap accessories that are normally in a photo booth to create your own, boas, glasses, hats (on your phone with your selfie stick).

Elena and Belle pose within a hung empty picture frame. Belle holds up a paper crown and Elena has a prop plaque that reads "still single!"

 

10. Craft night!

Learn to knit, cross stitch, make a collage… with wine, of course.

 

11. Gift your Bestie some Flowers and Chocolate

And get some for yourself, too, because let’s be real, you’ll be eating it together anyways, might as well get two containers so you can avoid fighting over the last piece. Then that way you have someone to complain with when both your stomachs hurt because you ate two whole giant heart boxes full of questionably flavored chocolates.

 

12. Go Braless!

Let the girls be freeeee! You’re with your girlfriends anyways, and likely they all have boobs too and know the struggle of the wired bra. For 10 hours a day. At LEAST. Whip that thing off!

 

13. Themed Potluck

If you’re having a girls night and you’re a little tight on money, host a potluck! The best part about this is that you can choose whatever theme you want, related or unrelated to the holiday: mexican food, italian food, your favorite recipe your mom makes etc. Or you could be like, okay, we are all girls and there are no boys, so let’s make this like a bachelorette party and have penis-pun food: little wienies, hot dogs, popsicles, banana split (you get the idea).

 

Regardless of what you decide to do, make this a friend’s day for you and your girls and have fun!

February 8, 2018
/

My Toxic Relationship

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

A blond woman lays on a couch beside the window. It's grey and muted, her hair and her hand covering her face. A sense of sadness and loneliness is captured by photographer Benjamin Combs. The title "My Toxic Relationship" is overlaid.

There are plenty of people in my past that I wish I had never met. Or that I had stood up to. Or that I didn’t keep in my life for as long as I did. But the aliens/government/my future self aren’t sharing their time machines, so I’ve just gotta keep going with those black marks in my past.

The biggest stain on my people report card was my relationship. The relationship, singular, one, uno, can’t be confused with the other one because the other one doesn’t exist. That’s a tangled web of psychology and chaos to unwind at a later time, although it does likely have something to do with what that relationship was: toxic.

What is a Toxic Relationship?

As a kid, I heard all about abusive relationships that involved one partner hitting and beating and threatening the other. It wasn’t until I was describing my situation to my college roommate that things started to connect. Here’s the truth: an abusive relationship can exist without any physical harm. It’s called emotional abuse.

In some cases, emotional abuse is more obvious: “you’re stupid”, “you’re worthless”, “you’re ugly and lucky I love you because no one else would”. In others, its less: “I don’t want you to go out”, “you make me sad”, “you don’t do enough for me”. If your partner–or your friend or a family member–makes you feel worthless, that’s the toxin in your blood that they put there. If your partner makes you feel guilty about going out with friends, or wants to know every detail of the plan, s/he is trying to control you.

It can be subtle. It can develop slowly. Have you heard the story about the frog and boiling water? If you put a frog into a pot of boiling water, it will immediately jump out. If you put a frog in water and slowly raise the temperature to boiling, the frog will stay and die. No one is hit on the first date and thinks “s/he might be the one!” In the same case, no one is made to feel worthless and unloveable on the first date and instantly falls in love. In the beginning, everyone is happy. Everyone is falling in love. Then, a year later, you wonder why you’re so miserable. But the darkness of emotional abuse is that it’s so subversive that it often draws the victim closer to the abuser.

Underwater, people are swimming. There's a sense of drowning as only the shadows and limbs are visible. Overlaid is the quote "If it's destroying you, then it isn't love, my dear." Photo taken by Tim Marshall.

How it Happened to Me

Disclaimer: Every story is different. This is mine. Whatever comments I make about myself, my decisions, my mentality, the things I perpetrated, do not apply to anyone else that may or may not have been, are in, or will be in an abusive relationship.

I was not popular in high school. My dates to dances were groups of friends and my run-ins with admirers were guys I had zero interest in (and were also at the bottom of the food chain. It was high school. Stop judging). As a result, once I got to college I got a bit…desperate. Not desperate for a date or willing to take just anyone, but I was all about finally being in a relationship and not being the ugly duckling any more. I dated. I hooked up. I had a good time. But no one was willing to commit.

Until Jon*.

He had admired me from afar when we lived in brother and sister halls in the dorms (unbeknownst to me. I had never seen him). Then it turned out we were living in the same apartment complex. A passing hello and a few group events later, we started dating. He made me happy: he spent time with me, was interested in me and everything that made me me (even the dark parts. In retrospect, especially the dark parts). He fixed my flat tire, taught me how to drive stick, cooked me food, and invited me over every day after class. We’d talk for hours. We talked about a future.

Jon turned 21 before me. He went to the bars every now and then. About every Thursday. This will be important later.

We moved into different apartments when the leases ended, but I spent the majority of my time at his place. We’d talk: about our dreams, about how he wasn’t happy in the ROTC program he was in, about what it was like having divorced parents, about his fears of being cheated on, about how hard and confusing life was. About how he was scared I would cheat on him. About my rising depression. About feeling like we wouldn’t be loved by anyone else. Around the seventh-month mark, the conversations were mostly somber, dark, usually involving one or both of us crying. We talked about wanting to be honest with each other and doing everything we could to make the relationship work. That turned into criticizing each other over the tiniest things: “you don’t say thank you enough”, “you don’t listen to me”, “I love you more than you love me”.

I turned 21 and was excited to finally graduate from house parties to bar crawls. Suddenly, Jon was “over” the bars and didn’t want to go out. Since he and his friends were pretty much my only friends by this point, it meant that I didn’t go out. And it was okay, because I was spending time with him.

Right?

Related Reading: The Things He Said

I was formally diagnosed with depression. He started looking through my phone in the middle of the night, waking me up to ask who Eric (a project partner) was or why I was having coffee with Jeff (an old friend, whom he had met on several occurrences). We started fighting. I was always made out to be the bad guy. I stayed because I was determined to do everything I could to make things work, both of us insisting that I could do more, should be doing more.

Finally, I was reaching the end of my rope. No matter what, I wasn’t good enough. Things weren’t getting better. He left work in the middle of the day to come talk to me about it. We both knew what was coming. While I waited, I talked with my roommate, who was busy painting the kitchen. I told her about the things that annoyed me and why I was unhappy: he didn’t like me going out, he constantly put me down, I felt like I wasn’t allowed to be me and life my life. That’s when she said it:

“That sounds like abuse.”

Cue the sound of shattering glass. Everything clicked into place. Everything made sense. Holy shit, I had fallen into a trap and been too blind to see it.

We broke up. He made me be the one to say it, insisting that I be the bad guy.

My only regret is telling him that he was still a good person.

*Names may or may not have been changed to protect identities. 

A couple sits in a car, not touching. They seem stiff and uncomfortable with each other. Overlaid is the quote "You'll never really see how toxic someone is until you breathe fresher air."

How to Recognize Abuse and Toxicity. And What to Do About It 

Maybe it’s happening to you. Maybe it’s happening to your best friend or your sister or your brother-in-law. Look out for yourself; look out for the people you care about.

Notice the signs: unhappiness, pulling away from other people, feeling guilty about little things, second-guessing things.

It is okay to want to spend time with your friends without your significant other. It is okay to dance the two-step at a country bar with someone that’s not your partner. It is okay to have drinks with a friend of the opposite gender (or same gender or non gender or anyone that is not your partner).

Talk about it: with your partner, with your BFF, with your sibling, with your parents, with your hair dresser, with a therapist. Speak as honestly as you can. Listen to what they have to say. If you think you’re seeing signs of abuse towards someone you love, bring it up with them.

Don’t accuse or pick a fight: abusers are skilled in turning everything onto you. If you attack, they’ll attack back. Things might escalate, get ugly, get worse. Victims, likewise, often don’t view themselves as victims. They’ll have something of a Stockholm syndrome: they’ll defend their attacker, insist you don’t know what you’re talking about. I found that phrases like “I’ve noticed x and y, can you tell me your take on it?” are much more effective and help people come to their own conclusions.

Be present and active: the worst thing to do, as a victim, is to fall deeper into it. Keep your friends and family that are outside of the situation, whether you talk to them or not about it. Make a point to have some control over your own life. If your talks with your partner isn’t doing enough, get outside help. If you think someone you love is being abused or is in a toxic relationship, don’t let them pull away: invite them out for drinks or activities, text them, call them, let them know you’re there for them. You don’t have to talk about the abuse all the time (or at all), but make sure that they feel safe with you. Because if they get out of the relationship, they’re going to need someone around to help them rebuild.

 

A blond woman lays on a couch beside the window. It's grey and muted, her hair and her hand covering her face. A sense of sadness and loneliness is captured by photographer Benjamin Combs. The title "Recognizing Emotional Abuse" is overlaid.
January 30, 2018
/

11 Messages You’ll Get on Plenty of Fish

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

Yes, it’s that time again, where I’ve reactivated or downloaded a new dating app. I read an article about online dating saying that you’re doing it wrong unless you’re on multiple sites. Therefore, I’ve upped my game by downloading two more apps on my phone. Call me crazy for trusting some random person’s advice on the internet, but hey, I have dating apps, you should already know I’m (partially) desperate.

I’ve tried online dating in the past, my first actually being Tinder when I was in college. Since then, I’ve used Plenty of Fish, as well as tried Coffee Meets Bagel and Bumble. I tried using a few others, but I’m too cheap to pay a monthly fee.

For your amusement, or perhaps caution, here are the 11 types of conversations I’ve had through my go-to dating app, Plenty of Fish:

 

Horses

Wow, that’s it? Not even going to ask how my day is or tell me you think I’m a person you’d like to get to know? There is literally nothing in this statement that tells me anything about you. What it does tell me is: “I’m too lazy to think of anything else to say”, “I’ve already put in the effort into another conversation”, “I’m boring as hell”. I hardly ever respond to these unless the guy is extremely attractive (yeah sounds snobby, but it’s online dating, you have the freedom to pick and choose what you want).

 

A Loss for Words

I can’t tell you how many messages I’ve gotten where it’s gone something like, “I don’t know what to say, but I think you’re cute and would you like to talk”. Clearly you know what to say, just take out that first part! I’ve had my moments where I’ve had the same intro “hey, I don’t know what the f*** I’m supposed to say, but here’s a dad joke, I hope you laugh. P.S. I like your dog, what type is it?” The difference with mine is that I’m actually leading into conversation. I get how awkward it is to start a conversation, but it’s also a big piece of how I judge the kind of person you are. Like how do I even reply to this? “Thanks” (??) and then what?…

Related Reading: How to Handle Getting Hit on at a Bar

A Beggar

It’s admirable for those who actually want to know about me, but I cannot tell you how many terrible conversation starters I have created. “Yeah I hate one night stands too”, “I want the same things you do”, “I’m a genuine person giving this a genuine go”.  At the same time, it just sounds like he is more desperate than me. Don’t tell me what you are, just be it! One time, I set my bio to “I’m impressed you read this far down” and I swear the messages came in like fleas: “Are you impressed?”, “Hey I can read”, “Give me a gold star for reading your profile”…. I have no one to blame but myself.

 

The Persistent 

Sometimes I wish there were “read receipts” on these messages. I felt bad for not responding, and not to sound conceited in any way, but I get a lot of messages! I’ll respond to the ones I’m interested in, which means the ones I don’t respond to result in either this, or having a guy throw a fit. I know it kinda makes me look like a brat, but it’s online dating. We’re both already judging each other by looks first, sorry if I don’t like yours.

 

A True Gentleman

Clearly I dodged a bullet by not responding…. I understand why he was upset, but that’s not fair for him to judge me solely off of that. If he had responded with “hey I’d really like the chance to get to know you, please give me a chance to get to know you” maybe things could’ve been different. But don’t accuse me of not being interested in a “true gentleman” who “respects” me. Sorry, but calling me conceited or mocking me doesn’t exactly make me feel respected… And yes, I do know I spelled “conceited” wrong, I was too fired up to care. This is exactly why this site is called Plenty of Fish…. *flush* moving on.

Related Reading: Dating 101: 7 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore

 The Defeated

Yeah, I realized I used the same message (which resulted in same spelling for “conceited”), but it was the nicest way I could say I wasn’t interested, but thanks anyway. This guy just wanted a response, although  his frustration is clear to me (I’ve had my fair share of no replies, too). I actually received the message above and the one before that (the butt-hurt) in the same DAY. What are the odds of two guys asking why I won’t give this (a.k.a them) an actual chance in the same day? Greater than someone actually asking me out to dinner, sadly.

 

A Sugar Daddy

Uhhhhhh, yeah you tell me how you would’ve responded to that. Either this guy was making a hilarious joke or a American Psycho offer… I’m okay with never knowing which.

 

The Grey Zone

You know they make sites for people like you right? Yeah I watch 50 Shades of Grey, doesn’t mean I want to live it! Next!

 

Just WTF

Spoke too soon… Really?! First I get a Dom request now a Submissive? I’m out.

 

Prince Charming

This is the best part about this site. The odds are pretty decent for meeting someone I may be interested in! These guys are the ones I want to plan something with and that I give my number to. I only do this if I can see myself going out on a date with them in the first place. Like having things to talk about, clicking. There may be a lot of interesting guys on dating sites, but there will always be good guys that make me remember why I have it in the first place.

Related Reading: The Things He Said

Plenty of Fish: worth your time?

I’ll say this for any sort of online dating: it’s worth it to try. There are so many people out there and if you’re like me, you don’t meet new people everyday. Online dating is something that can help you do just that. And hey, at the very least, you’ll have some interesting stories to tell your girlfriends later!

January 25, 2018
/

The Things He Said

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

what he said

 

I’ve been in the dating game for far too long. So far, I’ve had two “real” relationships that went beyond the dating realms: commitment, ‘I love you’s, meeting the family etc. That’s not to say my dating life has been complete failure; I was close to that relationship status with a couple of guys. But there was always something that wasn’t right, something off that my gut knew better than my head. Looking back, it seems clear why those relationships never turned into ‘my forever’. The way he would respond to what I said or wanted was degrading and would make me feel stupid at times. I decided to write a post about a couple guys I’ve dated recently and what they said in different scenarios.

Here’s a list of all the things he’s said to me while we were dating:

 

The Bad

When he wouldn’t commit to spending time with me and my friends and I ignored his call:

“You are a child”

When I invited him to my birthday party two weeks in advance and he said he would come, then backed out the night of:

“You all pissy now”

When I told him I was over it (the first time)

“I know I f***** up.

But I’m ready to grow the f*** up and stop being that person to you.
I really am going to try and not being that total f*** up..”

When I said I didn’t see this working out:

“Trust me, I know this won’t really work. And I know 100% cause I feel like I don’t care.”

When I started not to care and had little effort:

“I hope you grow up”

When I stopped responding:

“I’ll f*** someone else

When I told him to stop sending me stupid, pointless snapchats:

“Someone’s pissy. Have fun doing nothing at work” 

When he accused me of cheating on him:

“I was blackout drunk

You never let me know that I made you happy. You never let me know you.”

 

Related Reading: Dating 101: 7 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore

 

kaboompics

The Good

When I was gone on vacation for 5 days:

“I MISS YOU”

When he realized I was serious when I said I was done:

“I f***ed up

I’m ready to grow the f*** up

I just want to hold your hand.”

When I remembered his birthday and got him something:

“You are too nice to me”

After we met for the first time and he found me on Facebook:

“I thought you were really cute last night and had to remember to somehow get a hold of you”

When we were both home alone:

“Stay with me”

When we had “pillow talk”

“You’re so beautiful”

When we were driving to dinner

“How did I get so lucky”

 

 

After I Broke Up With Him:

 

kaboompics

 

“I will only love you

You are what matters to me

I will do anything for you

You are the one I’m supposed to be with. 

I’m losing everything that matters to me.

You are my forever.”

 

Weeks after I broke up with him:

“I hope you know I care about you a lot

I will always love you

I’m sorry”

 

Those things made me feel good for a time, and like the good could outweigh the bad. Ultimately, I knew things wouldn’t be the same, and I was tired of being called crazy or a b****. So I made the decision to walk away. Turns out it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but it was the right thing to do.

 

Related Reading: 3 Reasons to Love Being Single

 

January 11, 2018
/

How to Handle Getting Hit on at a Bar

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

getting hit on

 

Ah the legal drinking age, where for some people means “more people I can casually hit on in public”.  The one liners usually start when I approach the bar with credit card in hand waiting for the bar tender to notice me. It’s that moment when I hear the: “Interesting drink choice”, “What a stereotypical white-girl drink”, or, my favorite, “You want a shot?”.

Not to sound conceded in any way, but this happens on a regular basis when Belle and I go out. This is mostly because we look like a power couple- a blonde and brunette. She’ll deny it, but the majority of the time we get free things, it’s because of her (the power of blonde hair). As flattering as it is to be offered a drink, sometimes it’s uncomfortable. So, if you’ve found yourself in the position where someone is swooping in and breathing their whisky-on-the-rocks-breath in your face, you’re not alone.

Here are some simple ways I’ve handled being hit on in a bar:

Being Smart

A stranger just offered to buy me a drink, so I need to be smart about accepting it. Sometimes I’ll say no if I’ve already had enough to drink or I’m just really not interested. In the case I do accept, I make sure I get it directly from the bartender and watch them make it to avoid the chance or getting drugged. There are already a couple of things out there that can detect drugs in drinks (coasters, straws, cups). However, these are not out or very popular yet. There is a nail polish you can wear (even if it’s just on one nail) that can detect common date rape drugs. Although it’s not available to the public yet, you can keep up with it’s status by visiting Under Cover Colors website.

 

Politeness

If a stranger is offering to buy me a drink, I say “thank you”, regardless of their reasoning for buying it. I’m plenty grateful, they just saved me ten bucks. I’ll usually converse with them for a while, however if I’m really not feelin’ it, I’ll say so and peace out.

 

Conversation

I never know when a connection will spark unless I engage with the other person. I may not be physically attracted to the person offering me a drink, but they could have an interesting story. Honestly, half the time someone is offering a drink, it’s just to talk. There’s so many stereotypes people think about while out, but I try not to jump to conclusions. If I am absolutely not into it, I won’t accept a drink.

Drinking in a bar

Photo Credit Michael Discenza

 

Honesty

If I am interested in this stranger who has offered me a drink, I take action: flirt back, give them my number. However, if I’m really not feeling it, I just say so. I know myself, and if I know this won’t go anywhere, I tell them that and excuse myself.  If I’m in a relationship, that’s also important to mention. I say this while I accept the drink (because free is free): “I am in a committed relationship, but I’d be happy to accept this drink and get to know you. What’s your name?” People appreciate honesty and being upfront rather than realizing later I’ve just been using them for a free drink. It’s okay to accept, as long as I don’t lead that person on.

 

Share A Drink

 If this stranger brings up a topic that seems insensitive or annoying, I let them know I’m getting uncomfortable. If they proceed to push the conversation further, I always remember that they did buy the drink… It’s only right to give it back. Some options worth considering:  I either hand the drink  back, stating that I’m not interested (honesty) or I set the glass down on the closest bar or table, and if all else fails or I’m in the appropriate setting, I can choose to dump it on their hot-head. If they are going to be pushy and persistent after I’ve already said no, that calls for a different tactic to get my point across.  

October 18, 2017
/

Dating 101: 7 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

Don't ignore

 

Dating is fun, it’s exciting, and if you’re a girl, it’s really nice on your wallet. But what happens when you start to notice certain traits that could cause issues later? Or things friends or family mention they are noticing that are worrisome? I know myself best, my family and friends know me well and this person I’m dating is just getting to know me. So when I start to hesitate, or friends and family are bringing negative things up about this new person, I know I shouldn’t ignore them.

 

Here are 7 red flags I’ve faced:

 

He won’t spend the night

We all have busy lives, but if my date decides getting up a little earlier to head home in the morning is more of a hassle then throwing his pants on and leaving right after sleeping together, it’s been a casual encounter. This shows lack of interest in investing their time into developing a relationship with me. Spending the night after sleeping together says more than the sex did. It means they still want to spend time with me afterwards, and weren’t just looking for a good time. 

 

Not communicating after spending the night

As petty as this may seem, this is the biggest issue I run into. I usually send out a text a day or two after that to try and plan another get together, and although he may say he’s game for that, the ball is in his court. If there’s no response with a plan to meet up again, it’s safe to say I’ve been duped. A person who doesn’t put in the effort now, won’t put it in later.

 

Always making the plans

I’ve had guys who have driven 40 minutes to 2 days to come and take me on a date. I always thought it was fair of me to choose where we went, since I was familiar with the area. After doing this nearly every time though, that gets boring and it’d be nice for that other person to take initiative with what we do. If I’m constantly making the plans  and getting that iconic answer of “I don’t care”, well guess what? I just stopped caring too. I’m doing all the work without it being reciprocated, I can only imagine what a relationship would be like.

 

Not offering to pay the bill

If my date asks me if I want to split the bill, my first instinct is to think of this as not a date. Call it selfish or rude, but if you ask me out, I expect to be taken care of. You wanted me here, you showed and interest and now I want you to be polite. However, on almost every first date I’ve been on, I’ve always offered to at least split the bill. Sometimes I’ll offer to tip, not because it’s polite, but because I want to. You still took the time to take me out and drive to meet me, and although I do expect my date to pick up the check, I will always offer to contribute.

 

No apologizies

Dating someone who won’t take responsibility for even the smallest mistake tells me a lot about their character. If it’s apparent that I’m upset, or bothered by something they did, that should be addressed sincerely. This means I need to communicate and say what is bothering me of course, but if the response is “I’m sorry I upset you” vs. “I’m sorry you’re upset about this”, I see that as them either accepting or not taking responsibility that they made me upset. If issues are addressed and still not resolved or give me an uneasy feeling, I don’t ignore it. Either there is something deeper that isn’t being addressed, or my feelings aren’t being acknowledged. 

 

Lying

I don’t mean telling a little white lie, it’s natural for someone to tell you you look nice even though that shirt may be unflattering. I mean the big lies, the kind that can alter a future relationship: “I didn’t get your text”, “I was busy with *insert BS excuse here*”, “I’m just not in a good place right now”. If he gets defensive about the topic, there is something else going on, even if the story is consistent. I always trust my gut; if they can’t explain something with a cool head, it’s probably a bigger deal than I think.

 

Jumping into a relationship

The first date went great, he spent the night and we’re cuddling and everything is good. Then comes the “I think that went well, does this mean I can call you my boy/girlfriend?”. There’s a lot more to dating a person than what we’ll learn in one or two dates. When I was asked this, I was surprised and said no. If we’re going to be official, it should have everything exclusively- honesty, loyalty, arguments, dinners, flowers, etc. If he’s already this eager to start a relationship, just think how fast the rest will come: moving in together, marriage, kids… It’s okay to take things slow, better even. 

 

Conclusion

There are probably more red flags that you’ll identify in your gut that I haven’t mentioned here. Don’t ignore that gut feeling, listen to your friends and don’t let the flags pile up.

October 17, 2017
/

3 Reasons to Love Being Single

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

Single love yourself

Grow up, get a job, get married, have kids, retire, die. Sound familiar? Sound bleak? Maybe, maybe not.

Life is all about growing: growing in, growing out, growing up. You grow up with certain ideas and concepts, that you either grow into (faith, politics, family values, styles, mannerisms, etc.) or out of (faith, politics, Santa Clause, etc.). The idea that a relationship was an important part of life is something that I grew out of.

This is not to say that I don’t think relationships are important! Or valuable! They certainly are for different people (think: those that want kids). My point is that being single has it’s own importance, whether you find yourself single for a few weeks, a few years, or the majority of your life. It’s a time to embrace and utilize, rather than a nightmarish storm of pessimism and self-pity.

Three years ago, I left the one relationship I’ve ever had (a three-month long “relationship” in high school barely counts), which had lasted almost a year and a half. It should have ended sooner, but that’s a story for another day. I’m definitely not a relationship expert, and I’m not even an expert on being single: what I am is an optimist. So much so, that I haven’t even pursued a relationship these past three years (note: I also have not avoided it or turned down possibilities for reasons other than it (he) wasn’t right for me).

Want to be an optimist of your current, unattached lifestyle? Here are the top three things I like to focus on to make every day feel purposeful and wonderful.

1. Your time, your way

SomethingI absolutely love about my current, unattached lifestyle is being able to do anything at the drop of a hat. A friend needs a last minute date to a wedding? I’m in. Flights to Vegas are only $50 this weekend? Sold. Someone Snapchats Disney’s Tarzan through a wine glass and you invite yourself over? That’s the story of how I became best friends with Elena. Because I’m single, I don’t feel the pressure to attend someone else’s work events, family events, or any other sort of event just because I’m in a relationship with them. I can leave as early or stay as late at a party or dinner as I want to, go to bed and wake up when I want to, and plan my entire schedule around my needs and wants.

And there’s no guilt attached to it! I can have as many girl’s nights a week as I want to, without having to exchange for his guy’s nights. There’s no edging out of conversations or turning down an offer for a dance or a drink because my partner might be jealous or I’m giving off the wrong vibes (which, in my opinion, is an issue all of it’s own, but that’s neither here nor there). The way I decide to spend my time and energy is entirely my own, and that’s a freedom I love.

2. Self-Sustainable

When you’re single, you often have to do everything yourself: do your own chores, kill your own spiders, pay for your own movie ticket, pick yourself up when you’re down, and satisfy your own needs. Doesn’t sound like a benefit? Hear me out.

I have become a much stronger, better, and more confident person in the time that I’ve been single than when I was in a relationship. Because I’ve had to. I don’t have anyone telling me I look beautiful or giving me other affirmations, so I have to do that for myself. I had to figure out how to build furniture, take care of my car, and pay for my solo vacations by myself. When I’ve had a bad day, I’ve had to calm myself down, build myself up, and  carry on by myself. Yes, I have amazing friends and family who have and always will be there for me, so I’m not really on my own, but there’s something empowering about doing things for yourself. It took time, but my self-confidence is ten times stronger than when I had a boyfriend.

Another hidden benefit from this? When it does come time for me to have a relationship again, I’m not going to settle for anything less than awesomeness, because that’s what I am. I don’t need anyone, so I won’t settle for just anyone. Also, I’ll be able to offer more than I take: I can have fun and be happy without taking payments of affirmation or support along the way. In short: I’m a strong, independent woman who don’t need no man.

 Single woman wearing strong black clothes sits on an orange barrier fence next to the lake.

3. Be YOU!

Everyone is constantly told to “be yourself”, but it’s often a lot harder than it sounds. When you’re in a relationship, you often find yourself doing things for your partner (especially in the beginning stages) that aren’t what you would do on your own. You might dress up or dress down a little more when going out, shave more often, wear your hair a certain way, or disguise your disgusting, yet natural, bodily functions. When you’re single, you only have to worry about your own self-loathing when settling down in pajama shorts that don’t hide your unshaven legs for an all-day Netflix marathon, next to a mountain of snacks that taste so good but are bound to make you gassy. There’s no having to put on a happy face for someone else or hanging out with someone else’s friends when you don’t share the mutual interest. It’s an unencumbered paradise.

Also, no more worrying about living out of an overnight bag or a drawer! When you’re single, you get to shower in your shower and sleep in your bed. You know exactly how the towels have been used, how recently the sheets have been changed, what that smell is, and how to turn on the hot water. You don’t have to differentiate between how to load their dishwasher versus yours, sleep only on one side of the bed, or listen to their music playlists. Finally, you get to unapologetically be yourself.

 

Life and happiness are about perspective. If you perceive your romantic situation or lack thereof as good, then it is! I’d love to hear your thoughts and reasons for loving singlehood, so comment below or send me an email at belle@twofeelswrite.com.

October 15, 2017
/