Now that the weather is getting nicer and the sun is finally making an appearance here on the east coast USA, the one thing everyone has on their mind is summer and vacation. I think one of the cutest things a couple can do is go on vacation together. However, this can also be a make or break situation. I myself have never been on a vacation with anyone I’ve been in a relationship with. I’ve had friends go on trips with their boyfriend/girlfriend, and it always seems like a good time. There are also those occasions where a vacation can almost seem like a test of the relationship.

To go on a vacation with a boyfriend or girlfriend takes a lot more than just booking a flight, a hotel and being on your merry way. From what I’ve heard talking to friends, it can be pretty stressful and testing. You both might not want to go to the same place for vacation. You may want to do one thing while on vacation and your partner may want to do another. You may want to go on a vacation after a few months of being together, but your partner might want to wait.

Like anything else, I think that going on a vacation and planning a trip takes patience and compromise. Since I don’t have too much experience in this department, I’d love to hear from my readers! When do you think is the proper time to take a partner on vacation? What does it entail? Do you see it as an escape, or a testament of your relationship? If you have any vacation stories you’d like to share, feel free to comment below!!

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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.

Napoleon-Dynamite-GIF-Kip-things-are-getting-pretty-serious

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!

Safety first

Let’s face it: whether we’re fantasizing about it, talking about it, thinking about it or even doing it, sex is a part of every day life. It’s nothing to be ashamed of; it’s in our make-up as humans. Whether it’s for pleasure or for it’s genetic purpose, sex is a big part of relationships.

Some people don’t believe in sex before matrimony or monogamy, some people don’t believe in sex for pleasure, some people believe that sex is sacred, and some people think, “sex is sex!”. No matter what you think or believe, one thing about sex is always true: you’re better safe than sorry.

When most people hear that, they think safety as in contraceptives such as birth control or condoms.  Both of these things are important in the lives of sexually active people who don’t intend on popping out a baby any time soon. However, a taboo on the taboo of sexual activity is sexually transmitted diseases, or STD’s.

I think being tested for STD’s is an important and smart thing to do for anyone who has been or is sexually active. It’s not only good for yourself, but for your partner to know that everything down there, whether you’re a girl or guy, is in good shape. It shows that you take care of yourself and that you care enough to keep both yourself and your partner healthy and happy. Whether you’ve had two partners or twenty, testing for STD’s is a good thing to do. I feel like the media and even other people make it out to be this terrifying experience that will leave you traumatized for the rest of your life. Don’t buy in to that hype. Yes, it’s a little nerve racking to imagine or worry that anything could be wrong that could affect you on such a level, but it’s better to know one way or the other for the sake of your health and your partner’s.

Contraceptives are also the most basic way to be safe if you are sexually active. I’ve heard of plenty of different methods, so I find it both annoying and somewhat pathetic when someone is like, “Oh, we didn’t have anything but we did it anyways”. In my opinion, if you care about your and your partner’s health and safety, it’s not that hard to keep it in your pants. But people are gonna do what they wanna do. I guess it’s tough in the heat of the moment sometimes.

So! There are plenty of methods of contraception to choose from, for example:

-abstinence (not engaging in sexual activity).

-masturbation. I had no idea this was considered a form of contraception! But I guess self love keeps you safe!

-condoms, both male and female. The male condom is placed over the penis, the female condom is placed inside of the vagina.

-birth control. For women, finding the right birth control can be a process. There’s pills, shots, patches, and now little devices inserted inside of the uterus called IUD’s that can release a steady flow of hormones to prevent unwanted pregnancy. These IUD’s can be placed and remain in place for 3-5 years and have less than a 1% chance of resulting in pregnancy when engaging in unprotected sex (neither the woman or man is wearing a condom).

-“The Morning After Pill”. If you and a partner have engaged in unprotected sex, there is a pill you can get (called ‘Plan B’) from a pharmacy that greatly lowers your chance of becoming pregnant. It’s recommended that it is taken within 72 hours of having unprotected sex, but obviously, the sooner the better.

-withdrawl (or “pull and pray”). This method can be extremely risky. When a man is about to ejaculate, he pulls out before ejaculating inside the woman’s vagina.

These are just a handful of the options you can choose from when it comes to safe sex and contraceptives. There are also plenty of websites you can visit to answer any questions you may have, or clinics, such as Planned Parenthood that provide resources and answers to any questions you may have.

When it comes down to it, we only have one body for the rest of our lives. I’m a big believer in being healthy and taking care of the one body we have. Sex is a big part of life, especially when in a relationship. For the sake and health and safety of yourself and your partner, discussing safe sex methods and even contraception are things that, as weird as this may sound, bring you closer together. It’s a way of showing each other that you care and that you want what’s best for each other and for your relationship. It can be awkward bringing it up, but once the conversation is had, it’s almost like a weight is lifted off your shoulders and you can enjoy sex with your partner that much more.

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.

is-he-cheating

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.

There’s ‘space’, and then there’s ‘distance’

Here is an example of space:

“I think we need to spend a little bit apart from each other and just do our own thing, because frankly, you’re getting on my nerves.”

Here is an example of distance:

“I live in New York, and my boyfriend goes to school in Chicago.”

Sometimes, space is essential in a relationship. You can’t always be all up in your boyfriend/girlfriend’s business (unless you have the patience of a saint and are okay with it). From my experience, space can be a great thing. I was dating a guy who I went to high school with for a little over a year. In the beginning, we would spend every day at school together, then go home and hang out after school till dinner time, and then see each other first thing the next morning. Weekends were always spent together doing some sort of thing, and then the routine would start again on Monday when we went back to school. I was all about my boyfriend at the time, but I had to admit…he was getting annoying. We would fight over petty, stupid stuff and make up and do it all over again. After one ridiculous fight in particular (he was mad because I was late to school, I was mad because he didn’t call to say good morning. Sad, I know), we realized we were getting sick of each other and needed some time apart and to generally stop suffocating each other. In other words, the honeymoon phase was over. We eventually cut back on the weekend activities, the after school dates became more special, and we still walked hand in hand to every class, except this time we didn’t feel like ripping each other’s heads off. Space made our relationship more bearable and made our time together seem more special.

Anyways, we proceeded to break up after that because he cheated on me. Guess I gave him a little too much space.

Now there’s distance. Long distance relationships are hard. They require a lot of hard work, extra communication without feeling suffocated/suffocating, and patience. Honestly, patience is the key. Having been in two serious long distance relationships, I’ve come to realize a few things about them. I’ve grown to find them much more special in certain ways. Being apart from the person you love teaches you how to be a better communicator. It’s important to tell your significant other about your day, how you’re feeling, and most importantly, how you feel about them. ImageSince the physical contact isn’t there as often, the importance of emotional and mental attraction becomes greater. It’s not always about having sex at any given moment because you can. It’s more about letting the other person know that despite the distance, the love and attraction are always there. You don’t end up taking time you have together for granted; instead, you learn to cherish and make the most of it. Sex isn’t just a thing to do because you can, it’s something that becomes much more powerful and exciting and even more loving because you don’t get to have it all the time. You look forward to hearing their voice on the phone or seeing them on Skype or FaceTime when you can. I’ve given more of myself and put more of myself into long distance relationships because it’s not about the petty stuff when you only get to see the person you love for a couple days for weeks at a time. You grow as a person and as a couple in ways that are so much different than in a relationship where you’re together all the time. Don’t get me wrong, being together all the time is great and has its advantages and disadvantages as well. But personally, as trying and as difficult as distance can be, I’ve experienced that they create a bond so much more different and even so much more special than any other relationship I’ve been in before.

First Thing’s First…

I solemnly swear to (attempt to) avoid the cliche relationship/sex/love talk. This blog is going to be about those things and how I’ve experienced them, how I see them, and how I feel about them. Hopefully(or hopefully not, I guess it really depends), you’ll manage to relate and enjoy.