Unfortunately, way too many women learn it the hard way. Even a guy with everything going for him – a high paid sports career, pop stardom, a governorship, the Nobel Peace Prize – can turn out to be a disrespectful/lying/cheating/hypocritical scumbag. Hence the WTF?! Wall of Shame.
As the young generation, we’re optimistic about love, and we’re re-defining the rules of courtship and relationships, but around every proverbial, pop-cultural corner there’s another failed marriage, another woman scorned, another embarrassing sexual revelation, another tragic fall.
So what to make of the idea that – maybe – we don’t need men at all?!
On this site, we generally try to avoid the kind of repetitive celeb-stalking gossip coverage that overruns the rest of the internet (okay, you’d do best to take that statement with a substantial grain of salt). But when I write for The Huffington Post…it’s all fair game! There are tons of tabloid-style “news pieces” featured over there. In that home away from home, the guilty enjoyment that I feel in following the dramatic ups and downs of the bold and the beautiful no longer needs to be denied.
But even when I have my nose buried in the latest issue of Us Weekly (or more likely, on the fourth page of The Superficial), I can’t help but think of the post-dating world, and of how these images and stories with which we’re being bombarded on a daily basis can help us all to further understand our own romantic quandaries and confusions.
Do we commoners have something to learn from Mel, Bristol, Jude and Katy? I’d like to think so. So in this week’s Huffington Post piece, I attempt to sift through the botox and beaches and bring these love lessons back down home for all of us…
What We Can Learn From This Summer’s Newsworthy Celeb Couples
We started WTF?! because we were f*cking confused about our f*cked up love lives. And it turned out, so were you! Dudes AND ladies. Apparently the post-dating world does NOT discriminate on the basis of gender. Our empowered generation would never allow such terrible bias.
Even though there’s 17,000 books by “experts” telling you what 10 steps you need to take or all the things you need to change about yourself to make a guy (or gal) like you, the fact is that NO ONE is an expert on romance and love in a world where traditional expectations need not apply. All bets are OFF.
But the GOOD NEWS is we’re all figuring this out. And the EVEN BETTER news is that we can have FUN in the process. Case in point: a WTF?! fave blog and addicting read: CAN I GET A MAN WITH THAT, where anyone and everyone can share their tragi-comic dating and non-dating stories. Let’s stop being pessimistic and terrorized about love and start living and loving our love lives. TODAY.
We hate to be screaming at you in all CAPS, but sometimes excitement runs away with us. And we’re still cracking up about the wacky, weird, wild stories that CIGAMWT asked Jess to weigh in on for today’s Ask a Blogger: Dating & Hookup Edition.
Check it out HERE.
Apparently, we here at WTF?! – and all you readers, guest bloggers, contributors, and commenters – have been providing a public service. Who knew?
When Becky and I began this project, it was intended for women. Two women, writing about being women, and what exactly that meant in this day and age. With a focus on the romantics of it all, of course. And, by and large, that hasn’t changed. We’ve always heard that you write what you know, and we are two girls who know (AKA are in the process of figuring out!) how to make sense of the post-dating world and come out in good shape on the other end.
How should guys handle all the romantic ambiguity around us, you ask? Well, we’d love for some guy to start that site! I guarantee that you’ll have at least two loyal readers. But we have been focusing on the ladies.
Yet over the past year, I have been consistently surprised by the interest and discussion and introspection that these ideas (Non-Dating, Techno-Romance, Dating & Hookup) have elicited among those most stoic of creatures – GUYS. From bowling teammates who debated the ins and outs of modern love week after week, to the enthusiastic requests from men who want to guest blog about their experiences, to the male entries and comments in our Date or Non-Date? section, to the fact that I have thus far received an equal number of Ask Jess queries from confused members of both sexes, to the daily emails and texts and Facebook messages from guys looking for guidance or excited to share their latest stories…it’s crazy and unexpected. Guys love talking about this stuff!
Why is this so surprising? Because game-changing Millennial or not, I’m still a product of the cultural expectation that guys would rather talk about sports, work, movies, drugs, video games, dogs…anything…rather than have to talk about love. And this may be true. But according to a recent study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, this tendency to clam up about matters of the heart is bad for guys, leading to a host of unhealthy psychological and behavioral effects.
Like what? Like intense emotional suffering during breakups and rough patches – more suffering than that which is experienced by women in these situations. Yes, you read that right. Men apparently get more upset over relationship difficulties than women. Presumably because they don’t allow themselves four-hour brunches and Gchat conversations during which they dissect life, love and their own intimate existential crises with their boys.
(but don’t worry, WTF?! to the rescue!)
It’s August, which means I’m more than halfway through my deployment. By July I’ve already been shipped to New York, Colorado and Maine. Each time I buy the dress, surf registries, RSVP for one, and long for September, the unofficial end of wedding season.
Last weekend I attended a wedding so beautiful, so intimate and so full of love that it affirmed my belief that it’s always worth the wait. In the short-term, however, it reinforced my conviction that I’ll need to go AWOL for the remainder of this season, lest I have a complete and utter meltdown.
As I get older the gap between “me” [Disaster] and “them” [Happily-Ever-Afterturds] gets wider. Where there used to be a cabin full of single guests, now there are only two of us (and the only reason she’s still single is that she lost a lot of time due to a long stint as a lesbian). And after 30, each wedding season becomes a Darwinian dwindle of single. And at last weekend’s wedding I was one of the few people left, holding my ground in single.
The tide has turned, and I should have known it the moment I arrived. I showed up at the lodge with a grocery bag full of Gatorade, Advil and late night snacks (I’m the ultimate provider where orange carbs are concerned). One of the Happily Ever Afterturds turned to me confused and asked, “What’s that for?”
Jess – I get the logic of your argument from last week’s Ode to Ugly Guys. Ugly guys are more fun and interesting than hot guys. The gargoyles from The Hunchback of Notre Dame also make the point rather well.
But what if I don’t want to have sex with that ugly guy?
Or, to put it visually.
These naked ugly guys are brilliant and funny (and for all I know geniuses in bed):
But, at the end of the day, I want to have sex with this hot guy (and so do you):
Such, evidently, is the predicament of the modern woman.
I just got back from the most beautiful wedding. The bride wore white. The groom’s minister father performed the ceremony. The wedding took place at an old pilgrim church in New Haven. Vows were made “before God and these witnesses.” And at the reception – on polished, creaky, historic floors, sipping specialty (strong) cocktails – we danced to jazz standards and toasted the happy couple with the Mory’s song. Did I mention the Best Man was really cute?
It has been about two months since I started the experiment of my WTF?! Summer Challenge, and now comes the time when I have to check in with myself and see how this whole crazy, adventure is going. I guess you could call it a personal midterm review?
I was never one for midterms in high school. Teachers called it a “point of reflection,” but I thought of it as just another opportunity to stress about grades. Well, thank goodness I am no longer the same person that I was in high school. My hair has greatly improved, my insecurities have shrunk, and my positive attitude has been revitalized to nursery school naptime levels.
So in the spirit of, dare I say, “reflection,” I’m going to divulge some post-dating lessons that I’ve learned at this linear midpoint in my personal experiment. (Yes, that was a semi-humorous math joke…)
WTF?! Summer Challenge: Midterm Review
“Single, San Diego-based Marketing Genius Creates Infomercial In Bold Quest To Find True Love…”
Sounds like the tagline to a horrific romantic comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Jennifer Aniston, right? One that ends with the guy falling in love with the girl who helped him make the infomercial, waaaay back before he became famous and desirable?
Luckily for the women of San Diego, it’s not a tagline. It’s real. It’s the true story of a man who got fed up with the traditional and online dating scenes (sound familiar?) and decided instead to use technology, a tried and true sales technique, and his unique brand of humor and charm to find the woman of his dreams. Tim Goggin, a 32-year-old entrepreneur (and improv comedy performer!), has created a professional informercial and accompanying website to sell….himself.
Just call him TimWOW.
Tomorrow in NYC Happenings, The Bowery Poetry Club is hosting Basseyworld Live! at 7pm. Brought to you by 5 x Def Poetry Jam Poet Bassey Ikpi, the night will feature an illustrious panel discussion about pop culture, politics and relationships (intertwined with Bassey’s poetry of course!).
Two women – as opposite to one another as humanly possible – gathered on a rooftop with their significant others and a small group of friends for a birthday party on a warm, clear Sunday night in New York City. The first, a dark-haired artsy rebel type covered in ink, said hello and then proceeded to ignore my presence completely while nervously watching her sort-of boyfriend suspiciously glare at me in the distance. The other, a busty, bubbly and blond All-American girl, nearly bit off her tongue trying to explain what she and her man were doing there, since they usually reside across the country.
Having spent nights in bed with both of them, it was an uncomfortable scenario to encounter. Yet I couldn’t feign surprise. Somehow, in less than two years of living in New York, I’d managed to hook up with a good portion of my friend (we’ll call her Betsy) Betsy’s social circle. Betsy works in fashion and surrounds herself with cute women. And I’ve been told that I happen to be one of the only straight and ‘normal’ guys that these women encounter in a city full of snobs, slobs and men not interested in the opposite sex.
Circumstantially, I wasn’t set up to date either of the women on the roof when our attractions became physical. In one case, there was the issue of her being in a sort-of relationship (the artsy girl). And in the other, the issue of 2,000 miles (the All-American). These were safe scenarios for knowing that I would have a night’s companion without risking a life’s commitment.
Being single in New York has become a constant analysis of that same risk and reward. Let me be clear – I am not the type of person to endorse cheating, simultaneous sexual partners or sex without emotion. I have had a single one night stand that involved a complete stranger in my life, and it occurred on vacation. Sure, I’ve had plenty of single nights spent in bed, nearly rounding third. But I’m not into counting homeruns or the other macho shit that guys do. I don’t walk around comparing one lay to the last or keeping tally, either.
To be completely honest, I am a hopeless romantic caught up in the mess that is the Manhattan dating scene. Luckily, I’ve learned a few things along the way.
PROP 8 – THE MUSICAL
We were about to continue our conversation about that ugly guy you should be dating, but we wanted to take a moment to send a WTF?! Shout Out to US District Judge Vaughn Walker, who ruled Prop 8 in California unconstitutional today, as well as to all the activists who have been working hard to overturn this prohibition of gay marriage in America’s most populous state.
You can read the historic ruling HERE. An appeal that goes all the way to the Supreme Court seems likely, and a stay is possibly going into immediate effect, but nonetheless, couples are already headed to the altar.
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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