Alison Steedman is the editor at Dating & Hookup. She lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend and their histrionic cat, Charles Dickens, where she still carries on a nostalgic and long-distance love affair with her 20's in Brooklyn, NY. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @yosteedman, and you can also send her your writing at [email protected], both of which make her very happy.
I live with a guy I intend on marrying. Therefore, a wedding is very naturally a possibility for us. And given that, these days, looking at wedding stuff is getting kinda sorta a wee bit fun…
Not like back in the day, when I was non-dating, or dating someone I suspected wasn’t long-term potential, ’cause then, looking at wedding stuff was a little depressing. Not that I did it much, but well, occasionally… I have a thing for Tiffany’s Celebration Rings. My old roommate and I would use the “Create Your Own Stack” section. For fun. Occasionally. Why do I feel like I have to preface this with an “I am not a crazy person?” ‘Cause I am not a crazy person! Honesty makes me not a crazy person!
Also, BTW, wanting to get married is totally okay! Seriously, it is. It does not make you needy or crazy. Rather, it makes you emotionally available, which is a good thing. (Just wanted to point out that I got caught in a loop there…a totally unfair, retarded loop.) You know what’s also okay? Not wanting to get married. Bam. Don’t feel shame, ladies. Do your thing!
Now, speaking of things on the internet that can be either depressing or kinda fun, depending, I recently stumbled on Now I Do, Now I Don’t, an eBay of sorts for the wedding rings of the now un-betrothed….
Now, you probably know this, but in case you don’t, the markup on diamonds is GINORMOUS, like 200%. And, should you ever want to sell a diamond, you’ll take a huge loss. That said, given a divorce rate of about 50%, there’s gotta be an ocean of cheap, cheap second-hand diamonds out there in the world. Seems reasonable that a frugal gal / dude would want to tap into that, no?
And even if you’re not in the market — I Do Now I Don’t is kind of a strange, reality TV-like browsing process. There’s a form field for “story” behind each of the rings. Some of them are really nice and reasonable.
Some are kinda sad.
Some are lil’bit nuts.
Story: This was my wedding band, it is very cool looking with a awesome hammered look. I though my marriage would never fail, and if it did I would still wear the ring on another finger. Well, after 11 yrs together, she cheated on me (with a fing 50 yr old!!) she is 34! Even though it’s a killer ring, I want nothing to do with anything my ex-wife has touched! She has tarnished the ring for me! One man’s trash is another man’s treasure & karma is going to get her!!!
Maybe it’s the savvyness that comes from being a realistic / hard line modern lady; but I’d be all over buying a ring on this site. I mean, check out this classic Tiffany’s ring for 2/3′s the price. Crazy, right? It’s not like diamonds age or deteriorate. Think of it like adopting an abused purebred puppy. The puppy didn’t do anything wrong. You could give that puppy a new chance of living the dream!
How would you guys feel about buying a divorce diamond?
A viable baby daddy, “Mr. Gallo…presently maintains a distinctively full head of hair and at the age of 43 has surprisingly few gray hairs. Though his features are sharp and extreme, they would probably blend well with a softer, more subtly featured female.”
Except, “to be clear, the purchase of Mr. Gallo’s sperm does not include the use of the name Gallo. The purchaser must find another surname for the child.”
Or perhaps maybe just an escort for the bargain price of 50K?
Any Lululemon loving yogis out there? Cough, like me, cough. Well apparently its founder Chip Wilson has some pretty un-yogic opinions. In January, he stepped aside as CEO after the media ran a bunch of headlines about his bizarre beliefs. You know, in things like Ayn Rand and child labor and a generation of emotionally devastated divorced woman who have nothing to turn to but yoga….
W. T. F.?! Ass face.
The complete creepy list via Business Insider.
Also, I am literally typing this while dressed entirely in Lululemon. Argh!! Grody!!
Last night, Jeremy and I played a game and watched The Myth of the American Sleepover. Except, guys, we’re 30 and 31, respectively. So, what are we doing watching a movie about people (Gah, can’t believe it.) half our age?
Some of the same things that adult women who are reading the awesome Rookie Magazine are doing, I’d imagine. The lore of the American teenager has an accessible romance for audiences well beyond their sweet sixteen. Coming-of-age, is such a blithe concern, in retrospect. Remember when kissing was just kissing and not just a thing that you did on your way to or during the weightiness of sex? Remember when commitment wasn’t about obligation and the realities of sharing a life with someone, but instead about dreamily falling in love?
When do you stop relating to those feelings? Perhaps when you have your own kids? Perhaps when you turn twenty? I supposed it varies, but perhaps you can continue to relate so long as you hold on to a sense of wonder.
The Myth of the American Sleepover is the kind of film that would have inspired in me a cult obsession at 14. Besotted, knobby kneed teenagers running around at night. I related to the all the characters the way I related to Sabrina in Dazed and Confused, a movie I watched probably 50 times.
I started writing this thinking that perhaps I’d aged out of movies like this, because I won’t watch it again and again, not like I would if I was 14. The fantasy isn’t relevant to me anymore. I’ve been kissed. I pay bills. I’ve grown up. But growing up is a terrible reason to forget the charms of navigating suburban streets at night in the rain, french kissing.
Verdict: Well worth a dreamy weekend-watch with a glass of white wine (You’re old enough now!) and a fluffy pillow on your couch. Nostalgia is potent, sweet medicine.
While the emergence of online dating in the last decade has made a lot of headlines, the concept of a matchmaking forum is by no means a new thing. In the Civil War, its equivalent was the lonely hearts magazine.
Below is the letter of a Civil War Soldier responding to a response he received to his post in one of those magazines. Cute. Funny!
Camp of the 11th NY Battery.
Feby 9th 1864
Pardon the affectionate familiarity but you know its all in fun. Your charming little epistle has just reached me, and I do myself the honor to answer it immediately, thus complying with your request to write soon.
Before proceeding farther truth and candor compel me to acknowledge that a little desception was used in the advertisement in the “Waverly.” In other words my true description differs materially from the one therein set forth, and may not please you as well as the one “fancy painted,” but I thought it was all for fun, therefore funningly gave a fictitious description as well as cognomen. Be it known unto you then, this individual is twenty-nine years of age, five feet and eleven inches high, dark blue eyes, brown hair, and light (ruddy) complexion. There you have it. How do you like the descripion? Me thinks I hear you answer. I dont like it so well as the advertised description. Well! I’ll admit it is not quite so fascinating to a young lady as the fictitious one, but it is a fixed fact, “like the laws of the Medes and Persians,” which altereth not. But enough of that topic for the present! The next thing, will undoubtedly be something else.
It is said, that a person’s writing is indication of their character, if so, judging from your letter, I take you to be of one that class know as “romps” – a class by the way, which I rather admire. Commend me to a girl who has life and animation enough to enjoy the harmless pleasures of this beautiful world, in preference to your “Miss Prim,” who would not dare to laugh in louder tones than a whimpering sentimental snicker, for fear of overstepping the bounds of etiquette.
No indeed! None of your “Miss Prims” for me. I love the gaily ringing laugh of true and gladsome hearts. Of course I would not have a young lady act in an imbecoming or unladylike manner, but I believe in giving free scope to thou joyous feelings, implanted in the soul by a wise and kind “creator” to cheer us through life’s checkered pathway looking over the —–. Could you have been within hearing distance when I read you letter, you would have heard a laugh that made this old tent ring, especially when I came to the sentence, “Sing Heigh Ho for a husband” – I just laid back in my chair + roared – thats decidedly rich! I don’t suppose that you entertain thoughts of Matrimony. Who ever knows a young lady that did? but if so you have my best wishes that your song may be speedily answered, on condition, that I have an invitation to the wedding.
You say you have returned from boarding school for a few months on account of delicate health. No doubt it is great treat for you, to again be, with the loved ones at home. I do not wonder at your hating boarding school, for as generally conducted they are about as injurious to girls health, as beneficial to her education. I firmly believe that hundreds of girls die annually from the pernicious effects of boarding school training. I presume the description given of yourself is partly fictitious. I aught not to doubt a lady word, but am aware that in correspondence of this character a great deal of description is generally used.
I promised on the honor of a gentleman and soldier that I have thus far given a true description of myself, it remains for me to add that I was formerly a private, but am now a Lieut in Uncle Samuel’s service and that my true name is signed to this letter.Enclosed please find carte-de-visites of your incognito, when you answer this which I hope you will do without fail – be kind enough to give a correct description and enclose a carte-de-visite, or Photograph, of your own sweet self.
The enclosed picture is not as good as it might be – they eyes are too light, the features however and general expression of the countenance are natural.
You ask for a description of “camp life,” but I have written so much other stuff I will defer that until another time, suffice it to say the “Blue Jackets” are pretty comfortably situated – for soldiers – in winter quarters, where they will probably remain until the time comes for then sally forth to me – the traitorous “grey back” in battle array. When that time shall
[The letter ends abruptly and without a signature. This perhaps was continued on another page.]
Civil War love letters are compiled online by the Virginia Tech Library, here.
A list from Glamour Magazine in 1997, printed below, became an email forward and early internet meme most often titled “Maya Angelou’s Best Poem.” Except Maya Angelou had nothing to do with it. It was written by this woman, Pamela Redmond Satran.
The list has remained a phenomenon, and so the editors of Glamour Magazine have turned it into a book, featuring advice essays from many famous women, such as Katie Couric, Taylor Swift, and Portia de Rossi. It releases today.
Having turned thirty recently, I can tell you, it really is a milestone. And in a good way.
By 30, you should have …
1. One old boyfriend you can imagine going back to and one who reminds you of how far you’ve come.
2. A decent piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone else in your family.*
*Except, why does advice from fashion-y mags always involve ladies buying something slightly superficial?
3. Something perfect to wear if the employer or man of your dreams wants to see you in an hour.
4. A purse, a suitcase, and an umbrella you’re not ashamed to be seen carrying.*
5. A youth you’re content to move beyond.
6. A past juicy enough that you’re looking forward to retelling it in your old age.
7. The realization that you are actually going to have an old age — and some money set aside to help fund it.
8. An email address, a voice mailbox, and a bank account — all of which nobody has access to but you.
9. A résumé that is not even the slightest bit padded.
10. One friend who always makes you laugh and one who lets you cry.
11. A set of screwdrivers, a cordless drill, and a black lace bra.
12. Something ridiculously expensive that you bought for yourself, just because you deserve it.*
13. The belief that you deserve it.*
14. A skin-care regimen, an exercise routine, and a plan for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30.
15. A solid start on a satisfying career, a satisfying relationship, and all those other facets of life that do get better.
By 30, you should know …
1. How to fall in love without losing yourself.
2. How you feel about having kids.
3. How to quit a job, break up with a man, and confront a friend without ruining the friendship.
4. When to try harder and when to walk away.
5. How to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next.
6. The names of the secretary of state, your great-grandmothers, and the best tailor in town.*
7. How to live alone, even if you don’t like to.
8. Where to go — be it your best friend’s kitchen table or a yoga mat — when your soul needs soothing.
9. That you can’t change the length of your legs, the width of your hips, or the nature of your parents.
10. That your childhood may not have been perfect, but it’s over.
11. What you would and wouldn’t do for money or love.
12. That nobody gets away with smoking, drinking, doing drugs, or not flossing for very long.*
*Ask me how many hours I’ve spent in a dentist’s office in the past four days. Brush three times a day you guys!
13. Who you can trust, who you can’t, and why you shouldn’t take it personally.
14. Not to apologize for something that isn’t your fault.
15. Why they say life begins at 30.
A study published in Scientific Reports has culled the cellphone data of more than three million people to examine how intimate relationships evolve, and some interesting things about long-term human partnerships – and the role women play in them – has emerged.
1) The behavior of women (meaning, who they call and speak to most during certain points in their life) can largely be attached to reproduction. Women of reproductive age are intensely focused on their partners, but then, after about 15 years, their focus begins to shift to a younger female, often their daughter, right around the time grandchildren could arrive.
2) Men call their spouse the most for the first seven years of their relationships, then they shift their focus to their friends. Their spouse moves into the second place at this point.
3) The data shows men are more superficially involved in their intimate relationships, and therefore, because women focus more on intimate relationships, they become the driving force of relationships.
4) Many anthropologists assert that society is patriarchal, because in most communities men remain where they are born and the wives move to join them. However, this is only true in agricultural societies, and now that we live mostly in a modern, industrial age the demands of an agricultural life are no longer relevant. Relationships, instead, are more of a focus. And since women determine those, we live in a matriarchy.
Stacie Halas, the eighth grade teacher / former porn star who must have exploded the minds of every adolescent boy ever, has been fired.
Six years ago she starred in such amazing features as Big Sausage Pizza, but has since retired from the porn business.
Do you think she should be allowed to teach?
Her NSFW perfomance, here.
I don’t know about you, but I read headlines about conservative sex-ed curriculum, and I am exhausted, immediately.
That said, in the newest conservative v. liberal teeth-grinding headlines, Tennessee is seriously considering a law that would expand its abstinence-only sex-ed curriculum to include “gateway sexual activity.” The bill is already approved by the state’s senate. This in response to recent controversy about teaches mentioning in class that there are alternatives to intercourse. (Don’t want to shock anyone, but I think they’re talking about, gasp, oral sex.)
Perhaps Tennesse is missing something in their sex-education strategy, because they’re a top 10 state for unplanned pregnancies. The stars may lie, but the numbers never do. Just saying.
America is a place of such extremes. Crazy amounts of porn. But no sex before marriage! It blows my mind. We talk about an evolved romantic landscape here at WTF, but basically, it’s about defining what’s actually out there today, realistically, not what we “should” be and how it “should” happen.
There is a New Yorker article from 2008 (written on the heels of Bristol Palin’s pregnancy) that I regularly cite in conversation, still, titled “Red Sex, Blue Sex.” It talks about the effects of religious views on sex and pregnancy. I highly, highly recommend it. A highlight:
Religion is a good indicator of attitudes toward sex, but a poor one of sexual behavior, and that this gap is especially wide among teen-agers who identify themselves as evangelical. The vast majority of white evangelical adolescents—seventy-four per cent—say that they believe in abstaining from sex before marriage. (Only half of mainline Protestants, and a quarter of Jews, say that they believe in abstinence.) Moreover, among the major religious groups, evangelical virgins are the least likely to anticipate that sex will be pleasurable, and the most likely to believe that having sex will cause their partners to lose respect for them.*… But, according to Add Health data, evangelical teen-agers are more sexually active than Mormons, mainline Protestants, and Jews. On average, white evangelical Protestants make their “sexual début”—to use the festive term of social-science researchers—shortly after turning sixteen.** Among major religious groups, only black Protestants begin having sex earlier.
* The idea that having sex is shameful for women. So. Sad.
** How contradictory is this? And also, not only are they having sex earlier, they’re having unempowered, unprotected, shameful sex.
Go Tennessee! Facepalm.
P.S. Have you watched “The Education of Shelby Knox?” It think it’s on Instant Watch right now.
Why do I find Nick Offerman to be so attractive? Probably because he plays with archetypes in a way that both humanizes and debunks them. CEREBRAL.
The Crisco, The BeBe, and The Daddy.
According to a study “Online Dating: A Critical Analysis From the Perspective of Psychological Science,” by UCLA social psychology professor Benjamin Karney, the “science” behind online dating isn’t science at all.
This blip via, LAWeekly. OUCH.
Though he received a Ph.D. in psychology from University of Chicago in 1967, eHarmony founder Neil Clark Warren admitted in a 2006 article in the Atlantic, “I hated doing research.”
No big surprise there, as Warren has not published scholarly articles or studies on marriage, dating or relationships, though he has a few self-help books. The “35 years of clinical experience and rigorous relationship research” advertised by eHarmony seem, then, to amount to nothing more than Warren’s untested observations working with couples in therapy and a study (mentioned in the Atlantic article) comparing 800 marriages … the results of which have never been published, vetted or replicated.
Note, this doesn’t mean that we should all stop online dating right now. I have two close friends who are happily married / engaged off of dating sites. And online dating can be a great way to meet people if say, you’re stuck in a social or professional rut, or in a new city, or just looking to try something new. That said, don’t go into it thinking it’s a lifesaver…or that it’s science.
Also, I gotta agree. I don’t think eHarmony should be allowed to make claims to extensive scientific research if they’re unwilling to publish it.
datingandhookup.com is a website that explores modern romance in the Millennial era – which, let’s be honest, looks nothing like we were taught to expect. We feature essays, advice and social commentary with humor, compassion and brains, and we vow never, ever to publish a piece called “The 10 Best Ways to Satisfy Your Man in Bed”. Do click to submit your work to us. We love you.
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