Almie Rose is a writer from Los Angeles. She has a blog, Apocalypstick. In addition to Dating & Hookup she also writes for Hello Giggles, The Frisky, Thought Catalog, and Genlux Magazine. Her book, I Forgot To Be Famous, is out now. You can follow her on twitter @apocalypstick. Her favorite pastime is eating and drinking and sleeping and then eating again.
Ladies! We’re busy, on-the-go, I’ll have a Diet Coke in this hand and an iced coffee in the other, gals about town aren’t we? (Yes, yes we are.) So sometimes it’s so easy to forget simple things. I’ve put together this list of advice so practical, it’s practically stupid.
Curious about the latest marriage statistics? According to Bowling Green State University’s National Center for Marriage and Family Research (via Huffington Post), the average age of women getting married for the first time is now 27. Thank God. This is the highest this number has been in over a century. In 1960, the average bride was 20, and almost half of 18 to 24 year-olds were married (LA Times).
So why do I say, “Thank God?” Learning this released a sense of pressure I didn’t even realized I was feeling. And then I looked around at my friends and on Facebook, and I realized that, yup, those stats seem about right. Only one of close my friends is engaged. She’s 28. As for the rest of my friends, way less than half are in serious relationships and the rest aren’t even close. And that’s totally okay, and statistically, totally normal.
Remember in Sex and the City (the show, obviously, because they never made movies out of the show, ever) when Carrie finds “Big” (her ex’s) wedding announcement in The Times? Or rather, her friend Charlotte finds it and tries to hide it from her, but Carrie grabs it and she reads it out loud and her heart breaks in a million pieces? Here’s the scene, just in case:
Ray J made a sex tape with Kim Kardashian and wrote a song about it, titled “I Hit It First.” I do not think Ray J knows that the word first is not the same as the word before. But, okay Ray J. You hit it first. Yeah. Sure. And Dick Sargent was the first Derrin.
Some lyrics from “I Hit It First”:
I hit it I hit it I hit it I hit it I hit it I hit it first
I hit it I hit it I hit it I hit it I hit it I hit it first
Really. No exaggeration. That is the chorus.
This song made me realize what love is.
Really. No exaggeration. Here’s why.
I would like to get married one day. I would like to marry someone I am in love with and actually really like as a person. And he feels the same way about me. And beyond loving each other, we’re friends. We have something. There’s a “we” and it’s not the eye rolling nauseating “we” that is the basis of so many godawful romantic comedies. It’s the “we” of David Bowie’s “Heroes”, the:
And you, you can be mean.
And I, I’ll drink all the time.
‘Cause we’re lovers. And that is a fact.
Yes we’re lovers. And that is that.
I want to marry someone (again, far into into the future) who actually likes who I am, all the weird bits and pieces that create this stubborn, bizarre, sensitive, silly personality of mine. I want them to be silly sort as well. And I want them to have their own weird bits and pieces. And we look at our pieces and we say, “You know, these don’t have to fit. We don’t have to complete each other. We just have to be with each other. Because if we don’t, our lives will be unhappy. And that is that.”
Nicki Minaj gave us all some relationship advice on how to handle men in the latest issue of Marie Claire. Here’s what she said:
Don’t chase any man. Put your school first. Men love independent women. You don’t have to be a bitch, but there’s nothing wrong with it at times. And: Men are kids at heart. They want to be nourished and pet like a dog.
I think this is some pretty decent advice…but oh man. We’re doing the “men are like dogs” thing again? That old thing that’s been going around forever?
I’m not saying, “Won’t somebody PLEASE think of the men!!!” because as a society, we do, every day. But is it not just a teensy bit insulting to relate men to dogs? The kid at heart thing, okay. I don’t see how that’s exclusive to men though. It’s another old “boys will be boys” type of thing. How many commercials have we seen where a hapless husband is playing video games and ignoring his wife or accidentally spilling or knocking something over because he’s playing football indoors? And the wife shrugs and holds up a bottle of detergent? Okay admittedly I don’t have cable anymore. So the only commercials I see are on Hulu and most of those are for skin lotion and cars. I guess what I’m saying is that maybe we should give men just a little more credit.
You know how it is. When you meet someone and it’s good and you start dating and you feel like you’re in an indie rom com; that if you looked hard enough, you’d see the director filming you and you’d hear the soundtrack playing over your sunny day, as the two of you walk around your neighborhood searching for brunch and garage sales. And that’s just wonderful.
But there’s downsides, too. It’s all part of the journey. Which reminds, me: don’t stop believing.
Here are the best and worst things about dating someone new. In gif form!
There’s still some mystery.
And that’s good because no one knows yet that you spend your free time on the internet looking at wedding blogs. It’s assumed that you have a real life.
You’re not sick of each other.
You could spend the day running errands together and it would be like a magical mystery tour.
First, I must say that I would prefer to title this “3 Favorite Female Writers,” as the sort of blogging I’m discussing is no different from what one thinks of as traditional “writing.” But that could be confusing. I would also prefer “3 Favorite Female Internet Writers” only because the term “blogger” seems to lack the promise and sturdiness (and, yes, perhaps impressiveness) of “writer.” People think that anyone can be a blogger. And they can. But, that also means that anyone can be a writer. And they can. The key is to be a very good writer, and to be a very good blogger. Here are 3 of them — 3 fantastic female bloggers I think you should start reading.
Simone of her blog Skinny Dip. (pictured above.)
Simone writes with her entire heart stories about “life, love, sex, relationships, and everything in between.” She’ll candidly discuss sex and educate her readers about the latest sex toy gadgetry and she’ll also inspire her readers with tales of relationships gone almost right. Simone’s getting it all together and she’s showing us how, by telling us her mistakes — but also her triumphs. My favorite piece from her was about her determination to date an older man who wasn’t prioritizing her time the way she was his. “I was really looking forward to spending some quality time with Fitness Guy over the long weekend…I received a text from him on Thursday about hanging out with him over the weekend and it said: ‘I’m going running tomorrow morning. You can come if you want’ Frustrated, I burst into tears. I’M EXHAUSTED FROM RUNNING AFTER YOU ALL THIS TIME, AND NOW YOU WANT ME TO PHYSICALLY RUN AFTER YOU?!” So right, so good, and yet so funny.
Taylor Swift. Taylor, Taylor, Taylor Swift. Swifty ole Tay-tay.
Dear, sweet Taylor Swift. You’ve taught us so much about men and break ups and bleachers. But you still have so much to learn — as do we. And we’ll all figure it out together. Don’t dismay, dear Taylor. We get you. Lots of us have been there.
I’m eating melted cheese on bread and watching The Bachelorette because when you’re an adult you get to make stupid decisions all on your own, and the lovely bachelorette, Desiree, was telling one of her dates about why she broke up with her ex boyfriend. The issue, Des said, was that he wasn’t upfront with his affections. He wouldn’t tell or show her how he felt. I can understand that.
But then she said, (and I’m paraphrasing), “For example, he wouldn’t say, ‘I love you’ first.” Her date nodded sympathetically.
In a male-female romantic relationship, is it automatically assumed that the man will say it first? Is there something defeatist about a woman saying it before the man does, the same way that it seems odd for a woman to propose marriage to a man? And by the way, why doesn’t the Bachelorette propose? On The Bachelor, the bachelor proposes to one of his two choices at the end of the series. But on The Bachelorette, it’s up to her last 2 remaining choices to propose to her.
I guess the problem is that I’m watching The Bachelorette. Obviously, in “real life” women make those first moves that are traditionally made by men — the first I love you, the proposal — and it’s fine. There’s nothing shameful or wrong in any of it. It shouldn’t matter who says “I love you” first. What should matter is that there is love, and that it’s shared, and present. And yet…
Every major romantic movie we’ve seen has that big moment where the lead male says to the lead female, “I love you” in some grand and/or beautiful way. When he says it, it advances the story. It’s expected.
A woman saying “I love you” first doesn’t mean that she’s weaker, or the guy doesn’t love her as much, or she’s desperate. It doesn’t mean anything like that, and it shouldn’t be grounds for a break-up. So why is it that I can’t think of a single example among my group of friends who said it before her boyfriend did? Maybe because when we saw Princess Leia say it, that handsome dick Han Solo responded with, “I know.” (You don’t have to tell me, “It’s just a movie and actually Harrison Ford improvised that line” — I know.) I haven’t said it first, and honestly I don’t ever plan to. It’s hard enough for me to suggest a restaurant. (Key word though is “plan”. I don’t plan anything and that doesn’t stop life from happening.)
Who said “I love you” first in your relationship? Did it matter?
Photo by Nickolas Muray via Flickr.
Kate Middleton, as hip and young a royal as we’ve seen, is still abiding by some old traditions regarding her birth plan. NY Mag, via the Telegraph, gave us some info about her birth plans. For example, Middleton wants to have a “natural birth”, meaning that she would like to avoid having a cesarean section. Because I guess a cesarean section isn’t natural? Does the term “natural birth” bother anyone else? Is birth not natural all by itself? For even happening?
Anyway. Kate and William (ha! There he is!) do not know what the sex of their baby is, because they opted to be surprised. Prince William gets 2 weeks paternity leave (so modern!). And they will announce the birth of their baby via…parchment. No, really. From NY Mag:
No information about the birth will be shared until an aide is dispatched from the hospital with the baby’s sex, weight, and time of birth written on a piece of paper. Said paper will be hand-delivered to a driver, who will then take it to Buckingham Palace, where it will be placed on an easel for the public to see.
A piece of paper. On an easel.
Much like earthquakes or Voldemort attacks, running into your ex happens when you’re not expecting it. No one ever really expects to run into your ex, unless you live in the same neighborhood and you’re in that territory where you’re not sure if it’s “your” area or “theirs”. Then you feel like it’s Halloween night, the hair sticking up on the back of your neck, as you look around every corner, wondering which spirits will jump out at you. Even if you had a good breakup, running into your ex can be jarring. Especially if you’re running into them with your car, which hopefully you are not, but hey, things happen. It’s Vegas.
How to handle these run-ins can depend on how your breakup went and what sort of mood they’re in when you see them. Only you know your relationship history so use some of your discretion when deciding how to approach. These are suggestions, not laws.
If you see them, and they see you, don’t pretend you didn’t see them. Unless your ex is an abusive jerk or if saying hi to them would be very upsetting for both of you, it is incredibly cruel and immature to pretend that you didn’t see the person whose tender arms you used to fall asleep in, or did hand stuff with, I don’t know your relationship. Acknowledge them. Sometimes all you need to do is wave. But if it’s the kind of situation where you can go up to them and say hi, you should.
Dating, work, family, love, and money: all common stressors. Having written about dealing with anxiety, it may seem odd that I’m writing about how to relax, but it’s probably because I have so much experience being stressed out that I know how to best calm the eff down. The trick is REMEMBERING to do this. I’m hoping that some of my tips can inspire others, and you can share your tips, and we’re all more relaxed than Roger Sterling at a pool party.
– Light a candle. I know, how silly does this sound? “Thanks, Almie, do you want me to play George Michael’s ‘Carless Whisper’ as I do this?” No, you don’t need to. Something about lighting a candle triggers something in me that signals my brain to settle down. I turn off all the lights, light the candle, look into the flame for a few moments, and I feel better.
– Actually stop whatever it is you’re doing, inhale deeply and strongly, and exhale the same way. I know, I know, another well-worn piece of relaxation advice, but I’m sharing it because it works. Sometimes when I’m working for hours on end, fingers jumping around my keyboard, keeping an eye on the clock trying to meet all deadlines, I suddenly feel like I’m holding my breath. I say to myself, “Whoa, slow down”, stop everything, and breathe. The brief change in pace really helps.
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