So you’ve finally found The One (or at least The One For The Foreseeable Future) and you’ve committed to a serious relationship. Now what? In our new weekly column, Life After Dating, we’ll discuss the unique joys and challenges of coupledom.
Dear Single Friends,
We haven’t seen a lot of you lately. And when we have, there have been strained exchanges and tense subtext. We can see you stifling an eye roll when we bring up our S.O.’s name. So we stopped bringing up his name because we didn’t want to make you feel weird. That only made us feel weird.
Single friends, we’re not dead, we’re just coupled. Everything has changed, but at the same time, nothing has changed. That sounds really esoteric, but it’s not. All the little things have changed — like, we now spend Sunday mornings snuggling instead of getting a pedicure and we’re not going to be around to do orphan Thanksgiving this year. Sorry. And no, we can’t be your single wingwoman on Saturday nights. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want to hang out on Saturday night. We do. Because despite our relationship status, everything else is the same. Our friendships, especially. Keep reading »
Relationships are the most unique and nuanced thing in life. So why does Facebook only have a handful of options to describe them? This doesn’t make sense to me. Between single, civil union and divorced there are a zillion shades of relationship situations, which are all supposed to fall under the “it’s complicated” category. That’s ridiculous. I think the label of a relationship should reflect the complexity of the thing. So, I’ve come up with some new statuses that include everyone — from those who got dumped three days ago to those who have the benefits without the friendship. See where you fall on the real-life relationship status spectrum and stop trying to fit your romantic life in a box. Keep reading »
Here is a example of something that happens to people in relationships: we strive for perfection at all costs. Things go well, things are proceeding according to the path you created in your head. Things feel perfect. Your relationship is a glorious jewel of correctness, shining in a world where nothing is right. There have been no arguments, you disagree on nothing and appear to have everything in common. The success of your relationship is a kick in the teeth to all your other problems, it’s the one thing that you can really and truly do right. It’s a contact high of the best kind and you never want it to go away. The problem with this feeling? The first crack in the veneer sends you into a roiling, spiraling panic. The truth: Perfection is impossible, it is unfeasible, and the struggle to achieve it will be the death of the relationship. Instead of striving for it, try infusing your relationship with some wabi-sabi. Keep reading »
It’s a universal truth that men get freaked the fuck out when a woman utters the phrase, “We need to talk.” (It freaks women out as well, but not to quite the same extent.) If you want to get a guy quivering in his boots, those four words will always do the trick. But WHY? From what men tell me, “we need to talk” signifies extreme relationship danger. To a guy, it’s the verbal equivalent of being hunted by a bear. It’s talk of marriage, babies, cheating or whatever thing you know he doesn’t want to talk about. It makes a guy feel trapped. Boxed in. In trouble. It sends him into an automatic anxiety spiral. I’ve personally retired the phrase at the behest of my boyfriend. “Don’t announce the major convo, just get into it,” he requested. Noted. Keep reading »
According to some new research, the unknown enemy of many a relationship is psoriasis (that skin disorder that Kim Kardashian has). Who knew? I mean, once a guy canceled a date by telling me he “was itching all over.” But I’m pretty sure that was just lie because he ghosted after that. And he definitely didn’t have psoriasis. Anyhow, the research found that a staggering 25 percent of all psoriasis sufferers claim they were dumped at some point because of their scabby, scaly skin. Of course, the dumpers could have been trying to sugar-coat things when they said: “It’s not you, it’s your psoriasis,” but it’s such an dick-ish things to say that it seems unlikely.
With all the perfectly good reasons to dump someone — they’re untrustworthy, they bore you to tears, they’re life dream is to become a nudist and live off the grid — psoriasis is not anywhere near acceptable. Emotional incompatibility. Fine. Different visions for the future. Sure. Psoriasis. You suck, psoriasis shamers. This gets me thinking, if so many people are getting canned over a totally treatable auto-immune disorder, others must be getting dumped for even stupider reasons. Below, I’ve started a running list of some reasons that are NOT valid for breaking up because I feel like we ought to have one. You’re gonna have to come up with something more substantial, people… Keep reading »
Here’s the conundrum: the person who you love most in the world wants to talk about an issue. You’re honored, of course, that they’re coming to you with their dilemma, but at the same time, it’s challenging because you know them so well that you can cut straight through the BS and tell them that this isn’t really about their boss, it’s about their control issues with their father and they better address those first. But you can’t say that because they’ll probably want to punch your in the face for being so right. Being right — rather than empathetic — can be awfully annoying when your partner is having a vulnerable moment. But they need your input. What to do? Tread lightly and carry a tiny stick. Meaning, it’s all in the delivery. Here are some tips to help you master one of the most important relationship skills: how to give your SO guidance without pissing them off. Keep reading »
I think we can all agree that when you’re ass-deep in online dating process, the one and only thing that would make you feel better about this digging-through-profiles farce that has become your love life would be to meet an actual, human person you’re attracted to IN REAL LIFE. I’m not saying you should delete your profile — just that it might be nice to throw real-life dating prospect into the mix every now and then. Chicken soup for the single soul. So, where does the man who goes by the handle Tacos4Two go when he’s not “surfing in South America” or “curling up with his iPad”? Where might you find NetflixLdy when she’s not “watching live-streaming wildlife documentaries”? I mean, she must leave the house every now and again. Keep reading »
Say you’re in a new relationship, and things are going well. There are dinners, there is coffee in bed when you want it, there is sparkling conversation and wit and banter, there are all-consuming exchanges of emotion that leave you revitalized and ready to seize the rest of your lives together. You’ve reached a state of happiness that leaves other relationships in the dark. Finally! A thing that works for me, the way I want it, the way I need it. What have I done to deserve this giant treasure from the universe?
Then, the change comes, like it does in all new relationships. Sun-soaked afternoons in bed are slowly replaced by tense mornings in which every conversation is a power struggle. What was once light and sunshine and butterfly kisses is now a relationship fraught with calculated moves to gain the upper hand. What happened here? How did something that seemed so easy become so complicated? Keep reading »
Here’s what’s easy:
Sitting in your apartment, doing things that you like to do, justifying this behavior by saying that because it is what you want to do, it is absolutely correct. Rejecting new experiences because they could fail, because you could embarrass yourself or fall on your face or loose a tooth or a shred of dignity. Staying in a rut because it’s comfortable, it feels right, and it’s easier than putting on that pair of pants or wearing those new shoes or doing anything other than the path you picked out for yourself as the only way for you.
Dating is not fun. It’s not easy. If someone came up to me and told me in earnest that scrolling thru the depths of OKCupid is a fulfilling and mentally engaging activity, I’d gather my things and back away slowly. It feels like work because it is work. Scrolling through matches taps into the muscle memory of the aimless looking for shoes on Zappos or searching your work email for that thing you got last week that you just can’t find. Scroll, scroll, scroll. Click? Scroll. Repeat ad nauseam until you find something that you think might work, with some jiggering, a little tailoring, a tiny nip and tuck. Add to your cart, finish your wine, close your laptop, go to sleep. Keep reading »
It’s Halloween and everyone is gearing up with their spookiest stories. Maybe you’ve never experienced a bonafide haunting, but there might be a ghost in your midst and it could be wreaking more havoc than you’d imagine. We’re talking about the deep, dark issues that haunt your relationship — the kind that pop up and scare the crap out of you and your partner on an otherwise uneventful Tuesday evening. From unresolved crap with mom and dad to the emotional affair that’s been eating away at you, no relationship is safe. Happy couples know that the only way to deal with these phantoms, is not to hide in fear, but rather, shine a light on them. Unfortunately, there are no proton packs that will turn your issues into green slime — if only it were that easy! — but here are a few tips for scaring your relationship ghosts out of the dark corners where they lurk. Keep reading »