Online Dating: Perks and Precautions

We’ve all heard of those websites that promise you’ll find the love of your life. Nowadays, they make finding a partner seem like going shopping at the grocery store. You have a list of the things you want, and you pick and choose the people who meet those criteria. There are all kinds of websites that cater to the type of relationship you’re looking for, whether you’re younger, older, or anywhere in between. I’ve even heard of a site for old farmers to find the right person to water their garden.

 

If you’ve considered the idea of online dating, I say why not give it a shot? I’ve tried it personally, and it worked well enough for me. You really can’t knock anything until you try it. However, just like anything else, there are upsides as well as downsides and precautions you need to take when setting up a profile on an online dating site.

Let’s start with the good, shall we? Perks of online dating: You can find a site that’s right for you that suits your desires. There are sites that are both free and sites that charge on a monthly basis. I’ve only ever experienced a free site. I guess it all depends on what you are looking for. If you are in hopes of finding something potentially serious, I would suggests avoiding the free sites. Often times, there are only people there looking for something not so serious or don’t tend to take it as seriously.

Another upside to online dating is that it’s pretty convenient. I know that many people are constantly running around, whether it’s for work or school or anything else life throws your way. With online dating, you can look at profiles of people who live in your area that you might not have met or noticed otherwise. You can browse and send messages at your convenience, and can pick and choose the qualities you’re looking for in a potential partner. The site will then match you with people with those qualities listed, as well as similar interests. It makes dating easier, quicker, and fits in with today’s technological culture.

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As with anything else, there are always precautions you should take if you decide to give online dating a try. First and foremost, do not post anything super personal on your page. Your address, phone number and social security number are all things that have absolutely no place on the internet. If a site asks for any of these things in your biography or warns that they will appear anywhere on your profile, it is probably bogus. Your safety and personal information is always what should be kept at the forefront of concerns when it comes to having any type of profile online, especially when online dating.

We’ve all heard of the hit television show ‘Catfish’ on MTV. Catfishing is when someone uses the pictures, Online-Dating-Statsinformation and identity of someone else to hide who they really are. Unfortunately, today this is a prominent and relevant issue on any type of social media site. There are plenty of hints and clues that may point towards someone not being who they say they are. Before meeting anyone you meet on the internet out in public, I would suggest that you ask them to Skype, FaceTime or Oovoo with you. In that situation, if they agree, you can be reassured that the person you are talking to online is the person who is really in the pictures. If the person constantly refuses or makes excuses as to why they can’t or don’t want to, it’s safe to assume that something is up. Also, if they refuse to meet up with you face to face, there is definitely something wrong. This could include outright saying no, or having them cancel consistently after plans are continually made. Try not to make the mistake of giving someone too much of yourself or your information before seeing them on Skype, etc. or in person. Once information about yourself is on the internet or in someones hands, they can do with it as they please. Like I said before, no matter what you are looking for, your safety and well being should always be a priority.

 

As scary as the precautions may sound, it’s not that hard to be safe and smart on the internet. If you’re curious about online dating, I say why not? It could be a new experience. If it works, great! If not, at least now you know. Just take the time to do your research on what kind of site may or may not work best for you, be patient, be careful, and see where things go. You never know!

Well…that’s awkward.

So enough with the heavy stuff. Jealousy, cheating and safe sex are all tedious things, yet they’re things I think are relevant and important. Let’s take a breather really quickly and try to lighten the mood.

I’ve heard horror story upon horror story from friends, both guys and girls, about things that their lover or partner have said in bed that has made them stop and go “…wait, what?”. For this post, I’ve selected the best of the best and composed a list of ten things (five for girls, five for guys) that would make anyone go:what

 

Ladies first! Here are five things women do not wanna hear in bed:

1. “Can we turn the lights off?”

2. “I thought you stuffed your bra!”

3. “Let me get on top, you’re too heavy.”

4. “You do that so much better than my ex!”

5. This is probably the saddest one I’ve heard: “You do that so much better than you sister!” (or friend or anyone you know for that matter)

After talking to a few guys, here are five things I’ve realized they don’t want to hear, either:

1. “Ew, you should probably shave down there…”

2. “When was the last time you showered?”

3. “My ex used to do it like this…”

4. “Don’t tell my boyfriend/husband about this!”

5. This has to be the most painful thing for a guy to hear… “Is it in yet?”

 

Granted, we may not always think before we blurt something out along those lines. It can create some of the most awkward situations, either pre or post hook up, whether it’s with a steady partner or a one time fling. If you have any words or phrases that have completely shattered a sexy situation, comment them below to be added to this post!

Cheaters never prosper…

Cheating is probably the worst thing that can happen to a relationship. I’ve been cheated on, and quite frankly, it sucks. Then again, I can’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t.

I’ve heard multiple definitions of cheating, ranging from your significant other texting or talking to other people to them actually going all the way with someone else. To me, cheating is when a guy or girl takes advantage of your feelings and acts in a way with another person as they would with you, whether it is on an emotional or physical level. The ways that I have been cheated on were both physically, as in my boyfriends went and had sex with other people. Good times.

I’m a firm believer in the saying “Once a cheater, always a cheater”. If the person you’re dating has a history of cheating on their boyfriends or girlfriends, your odds honestly aren’t looking so great. Everyone wants to be the one to change the bad boy or bad girl into a loyal loving companion, but as they say, it’s hard to turn a hoe into a housewife.

If you’re suspicious that your partner is cheating on you, you have every right to either confront them or have some kind of sit-down conversation. The last thing you wanna do is go snooping through your partner’s things and get caught, because that makes you look sketchy and somewhat crazy. I’m a terrible snooper. I have this wonderful habit of either getting caught or admitting to have snooped. I’m the type of person to want to sit down and talk and try to figure out what’s going on in the relationship and why one or the other person might have the suspicion that the other is cheating.

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Now, finding out that your partner has cheated on you is probably one of the top five worst feelings in the world. It feels as if your heart has been pulled out of your chest, and your boyfriend/girlfriend is taunting you with it in front of your face. It’s a devastating emotional sequence that goes from shock, to sadness, to despair, to anger, to “REVENGE”. It’s okay to be sad, it’s 1,000% natural. You would never expect the person you love and have invested all of your emotion and time into to hurt you in such a way. The more you think about it, the angrier you get. The angrier you get, the more you want to get even. As great as that sounds in your head, revenge is probably one of if not the worst way to deal with being cheated on. Honestly, it makes you look desperate for attention, pathetic for stooping to that level, and it’s just not cute. Don’t do it. You have a support system, whether it is your friends or your family. Being the bigger person can be hard and draining and the opposite of what you wanna be doing, but I guarantee you won’t regret moving on as much as you would regret doing something like sleeping with your partner’s best friend and having everyone think you’re a spiteful bitch.

What if you’re not ready to let go of your partner? What if you want to fight to save your relationship and you’re willing to forgive and forget? I’ve known plenty of people who have been in relationships where their boyfriend or girlfriend has cheated, and then decided to take them back. Love is blind, I guess. Anyway, I could understand where my friends were coming from. They had been with their partner for years and were so in love that they would rather rebuild with their partner than start over with someone else. In the relationships where I had been cheated on, the relationships had been one year, and the other a few months. I personally refuse to take someone back who has cheated on me. I have zero time for that, and I find it both demeaning and embarrassing to be seen with someone that everyone knows has been unfaithful to me. It’s hard to see my friends in relationships where their partner has cheated on them multiple times as well. You can only do and say so much for so long when your friend comes to you and cries on your shoulder because their significant other has cheated on them for the tenth time with another random person. My advice in this situation would be to just be as supportive as you can and remind them that you’re there for them, but it’s not fair to you or your friend to see them so upset all the time. Everyone deserves someone who makes them happy and who brings out the best in them. If your partner has done the opposite on a consistent basis, especially if they’ve cheated, it may be time to think about what’s best for you. 

All my single ladies!….and gentlemen

This is an article I wrote for my university’s newspaper, The Pauw Wow, for the Valentine’s Day edition. It’s just simple advice as to how to deal with being single on Valentine’s Day. I figured it would make for a good post on here:

All My Single Ladies!…And Gentlemen

            Are you one of those people who dread the sight of all the pink hearts, giant teddy bears, and copious amounts of chocolate around this time of year? Does being single on Valentine’s Day put a damper on your day? If that’s the case, leave the chick flicks and boxes of Kleenex behind, because there are plenty of things to remind yourself of and to do on February 14th.

            First of all, Valentine’s Day is just that. It’s a day; one out of 365 this year, just like every other year (aside from leap years, of course). There’s no reason to focus on the fact that everyone says it’s a day for couples to flaunt how in love they are with flowers and giant teddy bears. If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, the last thing you should be doing is feeling sorry for yourself! It’s just like any other day, so get up, get out there and do you, girl(or guy)!Single

            Next, you may find yourself in a situation where most of your friends are in relationships, and you’re single. This one can be tough, because you want to be happy for your friends, but at the same time, don’t lie…you want that box of Godiva chocolate covered strawberries. And that’s okay! It’s natural to feel a little jealous. In this case, my suggestion would be to let your friends have their day. That makes it easier to focus on you. Show yourself a little love by going out to the mall and treating yourself a bit. Maybe go to the salon, get your nails done, spend that extra bit of money on that dress you’ve been eyeing lately. Guys, I’m not too sure what you do to treat yourselves, but I’m assuming it has something to do with sports or your other guy friends…so go do that.

            This year, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday. Who wants to stay in on a Friday night?! Get yourself all dolled up, call up your other single friends, and have a night out with your friends. Hoboken and New York City are all minutes away and always have things going on Friday nights. There’s no reason why you should be sitting in bed watching romantic comedies on Netflix alone(unless that’s your thing!)! Grab your girls, grab your guys, and have fun. Chances are there will be plenty of other single people out and about, so who knows. You could end up meeting someone. If going out isn’t exactly your thing, have your friends all come over and hang out in your dorm room or apartment, pop in a movie, grab some popcorn and a box of wine (only if you’re of age, of course) and relax with your friends.

            No one says that Valentine’s Day should make those of us who are single feel bad about ourselves. Yes, it can be difficult when you’re seeing so many couples getting mush on each other with gifts and public displays of affection all day, but who’s to say that that won’t be you in the near future?! Don’t ever allow yourself to think that just because you’re single on Valentine’s Day, you’ll be forever alone. I can guarantee you that is not the case. Just go about it as if it were any other day, hang out with your other single friends, and love the person that deserves it most: yourself!

The green eyed monster

Jealousy is a dangerous thing, yet I’ve heard some people call it a healthy thing in a relationship. I’m not too sure how I feel about that. I can and have seen jealousy as more of a detrimental quality than a healthy one in both relationships I’ve been in and relationships my friends have been in. But, I like to give everything the benefit of the doubt, so first let’s talk about the excuses OH…forgive me, I mean reasons why jealousy is a good thing in a relationship.

I’ve been told that “jealousy is a sign that the other person cares about you”. I’ve also heard that it’s healthy because it keeps your partner in check. I guess I can see how these things are true. If your partner is jealous when you decide to go out for a drink with friends of the opposite gender, I could see the jealousy being part of worrying about you, and usually when you worry, it’s because you care about someone. As for keeping your partner in check, I feel like that term of phrase is a little intense. If you’re going out for drinks with friends and your partner is jealous to the point where he/she tells you not to go, that’s a little more like controlling. And that, my friends, is a whole different story.

Honestly, I have never failed to see or be in a relationship where jealousy caused unnecessary arguments or even break-ups. To me, jealousy is a sign of insecurity. I have been on both sides of jealousy, being the jealous one and being the one dealing with a jealous boyfriend. I will admit, the times I have been jealous are times I have seen other girls approach a guy I was with. When I first start dating a guy, I know that it’s a new thing not only for us, but for people around us. The trust may not be entirely built, and the relationship obviously isn’t as strong as it becomes over time. In those early stages is when I have seen and felt the jealousy kick in.

Here’s a nifty little example of what I mean. In my last relationship (which was also long distance, previous post plug-ins for the win), my boyfriend would often become jealous when I went out with friends on the weekend. He would ask a dozen questions like, “Who are you with?”, “Where are you going?”, “How long will you be out for?”, and my personal favorite, “Will any guys be there?”. Not only would this piss me off more and more over time. it made me feel as if my boyfriend didn’t trust me and made me think, “Whoa, maybe I’m not a trustworthy person..”. Essentially, he was projecting his insecurities onto me and it was affecting the way I felt about myself and our relationship. As time went on and the trust was built and the relationship became stronger, the jealousy faded away and the questions became a thing of the past.

 
If you know you’re a jealous person, it’s okay. It’s normal and natural. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you. However, when it starts to affect your relationship, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you make your partner feel, that is when you need to take a step back and bring yourself back down to earth. Remind yourself that your partner loves you and is with you for who you are, and that you’re with them for the same reason. Jealousy is natural, but an excess can be detrimental to yourself, your partner, and your relationship.