Alternative Pet Names for Your Significant Other

Have you ever been hungover at a weekend brunch sweating out alcohol from the night before when idle conversation at the table next to yours cuts through the haze and you find yourself suddenly and inexplicably filled with disgust for total strangers?

It’s just that when you’ve made the hideous mistake of sitting down next to a table of four very chatty couples and you generally don’t have the easiest time thinking over ambient noise, you best have your wits about you. Otherwise, it’s easy to get sucked into couple A’s dilemma about letting their parents pay their rent for them and couple B’s cat’s digestive problems. Anyways, that’s not really what this article is about.

This article is for all the people in relationships who don’t want to rely on “babe” and “sweetie” to express their affection for their significant other — who want something just ever so slightly more tailored to the unique qualities of the person they love (or like, matched with on Tinder or whatever). Because let me tell you, there’s nothing more irritating or confusing then (mostly) involuntarily eavesdropping on eight people who keep using the word “babe” when you can’t turn around to see who each person is referring to. Here are some suggestions based on your partner’s personality.



Look at these two adorable croissants spooning. Much like these croissants, your beau is warm, comforting, and a little flaky.



Annoyingly trendy but ultimately very good for you.



Some of the best nights of your life have been spent eating midnight Micky D’s with this person, although it’s hard to remember exactly what anyone said. Not so long ago there’s no way you would have been able to bring this person home to meet your parents, but times have changed, and now the appeal of your only slightly stinky SO is universal.  



Being with this person is relaxing. Whatever the stressor, this person knows all the right words to say to calm you down. Maybe you’re a high-strung Type A personality who instinctively and compulsively plans ahead. Your lil’ Xanax’s extreme chill factor reminds you that there are few things a good nap can’t cure.

parking meter

Parking meter

You paid your dues and now you’re celebrating the minutes as they go by — you’d been circling for what felt like years and grabbing this spot was no easy feat.



Started out tough but you patiently nurtured this person and your relationship — and now your hunk of meat is pliable and smells great.


Just the tips | Dating with Bumble

Thank God!  Bumble is here to save lonely guys from online rejection.  No more wasting time thinking of the best pickup line just like guys have been doing in bars/parties/the grocery store since puberty.  The girls have to talk to you first! Oh how the dating tables have animated GIF

In order to help lonely guys everywhere, here are some areas to focus on to maximize your Bumble experience.

The Profile Picturepitch perfect animated GIF

Bumble is 95% pictures and 5% everything else. You NEED a good profile picture, and I’m not talking about a picture with you and your bros bro-ing out at a BroBQ.  The speed of the app caters to headshot style pictures.  She isn’t going to spend time looking at your bio like Tinder. 

A simple picture of your face will most likely be your only chance…so hope you’re good looking!  Just kidding…kind of.  Case and point, my roommate (good looking dude) has a headshot of him and his friend, Kelly (the most attractive man I have ever laid eyes on), as his profile picture.

He gets probably 30 matches a day.  Now no offence to Harry here, but I’m betting that none of these girls took the time to figure out which of the guys in the picture was him.  But they always message him. Always.  So props!

The Initial “Hey”

online animated GIF

HAH! Jokes on you, entire male population.  As much as Bumble planned on turning the online dating game on its head, most girls are still uncomfortable/apathetic about crafting perfect pick up lines to woo us stallions.  90% of the time, the most you are going to get is a “Hey” (or if you are really lucky “Heyyyy”). 

Accept it.  Own it.  Or don’t? The girl of your dreams would probably make a clever remark about one of your adorable pictures right? I don’t know man, the jury’s still out for that one.  Just realize you are essentially at the same place as Tinder or Hinge in terms of wooing your match. App based dating is still a new concept and the rules are still being written. One thing is for sure, however, people already know what they don’t like when it comes to dating.

The Responsedating animated GIF

This is what it all comes down to.  She gave you a “hey” with a few extra “y”s at the end, so you already know she is down for Taco Tuesday. There is a lot of pressure in responses on online dating, but with Bumble remember one thing: She hit you up first, man.  She totally digs you!

Well maybe she thought you were actually the other guy in your profile picture, but still.  Even though you have to come up with the conversation topic or a funny line, she at least took the time to acknowledge you right?  And honestly, that feels pretty good.  Maybe Bumble actually has figured it all out…

How to Have Sex But Not Get Fucked

Let’s go over all the actual important lessons that you missed in high school health class.

gif Mean Girls coach carr you will get pregnant and die

55th exit you’re already home, you’re ready to bone, etc.

Congratulations on hooking up with your consensual partner(s) and making it to the homestretch. You’ve made it through the DFMO 1, the OTPHJ 2 and now it’s time to GTFO 3 and rip each other’s clothes off. Whether this is a one-night-stand or someone you’re seeing consistently, you should have a quick convo: how much have you talked about sex?  How many sexual partners have you had?  How many sexual partners has your partner had?  When was the last time you were tested for STIs 4?  Do you/your partner have a condom? Are you/your partner on birth control?

No matter how short/long/embarrassing the list of your partners may be, you are now exposing you and your partner to every person either of you have ever had sex 5 with.  Read: 100s of strains of sexually transmitted diseases  and the risk of unplanned pregnancy. Ready to get your freak on? Great! Ever been tested for gonorrhea, genital herpes, or HIV? Didn’t think so. Here’s how to have sex but not get fucked.

B is for Barrier

Barrier methods create a physical barrier between your genitalia and your partner(s):

Barrier methods can help prevent the spread of STIs and significantly decrease your likelihood for unplanned pregnancy.  These can be found in your local grocery/drugstore, picked up for free at local clinics. Check out this website that even tells you where to find free condoms in your are!  

Safe sex is great sex, you better wear a latex, cuz you don’t want that late text, that I think I’m late (or have a rash “down there”) text.  Stock up, my friends.

B is also for birth control

These are different methods that are focused on preventing unplanned pregnancies.  NONE of these protect against STIs:


Use a barrier method to prevent against the spread of STIs and a birth control method to prevent against unplanned pregnancy.

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Get tested

 Sex should be amazing and sex should be safe: keep you and your partner in the know by getting tested early and getting tested often.  Blood tests or urine tests will tell you pretty much everything you need to know about your current STI-uation. Check out this website for the quick & dirty on testing for those who do the nasty. 

Get tested after every new sexual partner

These tests are cheap, can be done at free clinics or at your doctor’s office, and will save you from a world of hurt in the long term.  Alright, rabbits/humans, enjoy yourselves. Be safe.

What are your thoughts on sexual health? What lessons did your teachers/ parents never tell you?

happy sex bridesmaids cum jon hamm

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  1. dance floor make out

  2. over-the-pants handjob

  3. get the fu*k out

  4. sexually transmitted diseases

  5. oral sex, anal sex, genital-to-genital contact, or vaginal sex

Tinder Tips: Looks That’ll Get You Laid

Ever struggled with the decision about what outfit to wear when meeting someone from Tinder? Yup, me too. As a person who initially engaged with her current boo on the app, it was a question that needed answering…for science. I asked 50 people, “if you were on a Tinder date with a hard 9, what could they wear to boost themselves up to a soft 10?” The responses were weird, wonderful, and insightful. Here are the answers, straight from the horse’s mouths.


If they put effort into their look for a Tinder date it could mean they are excited to go out with me!” – Ruben C.


“I’m really into guys wearing cuffed pants with socks and Vans, it’s so effortlessly cool without being stuck up! The other day I saw some dude wearing a bowling shirt that said “Dak”, but that wasn’t his name and I was like, BOING! (P.S. Flip flops are an automatic minus 12!) (P.P.S. I think I’m into mechanics, I just realized.) – Gaby L.


“A random colored lipstick.” Pat R.


“Take a layer off! Sometimes I feel like they over-accessorize – a hat, a watch, a jacket and kicks. Too much! Keep it simple.” – Caroline H.


“ Nothing. Wear nothing” – Nicole W.

“Nothing is sexier on a man than a cool button up or graphic tee, some skinny distressed jeans and statement boots with a cap. That’s a solid 10 right there…but they can do without the cap too.” – Cecelia P.


“Muscled guys look better in simpler outfits. Something that shows off their active/fit lifestyle and personality with well-fitting quality jeans + a simple colored shirt (bonus points for a quarter sleeved button down) + a nice watch and…oddly enough, flip-flops or boat shoes. I like casual wear. Some sneakers can work. Like Forrest Gump says, “shoes are very important.” There’s no quicker way to kill a good dude outfit than with ugly dad barbecue running shoes. As for girls, same rules apply. If you’re the sporty type, wear sporty. If you’re the cinephile hipster type of lady, go dapper.” – Bella R.


“Ermm, a nice shirt and good shoes. Oh, and jeans or trousers that show off their sweet ass. S’all bout dem cheeks.” – Kelly T.

“I would say I like a button up short sleeve shirt that has a fun tiny print, buttoned up all the way.” – Hannah K.


“Funny t-shirt, jeans, converse. Bonus points for a beard.” – Mandy S.


“ I would say a man bun, but I guess that’s technically not clothes?” – Amanda B.


“Dungarees. Was that a bad answer?” – Ricky W.


“In my opinion? I love manly men. They would be simple – wear fly boots, sexy jeans, and a casual tee shirt” – Carly L.


“I went on a date with a guy who was completely cute, but I think what solidified his first impression was his button up. I remember it clearly. He had the sleeves rolled up, but it was this casual, sexy, didn’t-try-too-hard top that just impressed me so much. It made him look effortless. That’s just so sexy.” – Emily T.


swag parks and recreation aziz ansari tom haverford swagger



“A blazer and nice jeans, that would definitely push him up to a soft ten. With girls it’s harder because a girl’s personality can outshine anything she’s wearing. Honestly, though, if a girl is wearing a beanie that would bump her up. I love girls in beanies!” – Emily M.


“Hair is the most underrated characteristic for girls. Nice hair is important to me.” – Brendan W.

“I definitely prefer guys who dress simply and cleanly. It’s more about the fit of clothes. My ideal outfit on a guy would probably be a Henley tee, well-fitting slim black jeans and nice shoes like the Clark desert boots, preferably in black leather or suede. My experience says that this combo makes guys seem taller!” – Nicole A.


“Some really nice jeans that make the booty look good.” – Hannah S.


So there you have it. Keep in mind that what is most important when getting dressed for a Tinder date (or any date for that matter,) is feeling good for you. Everybody likes a little something different, so you might as well wear what you like and worry less about impressing your date. You never know, they might find that new scarf pretty sexy. Happy swiping!

We Tried Some Obscure Dating Apps So You Don’t Have to

We’re all familiar with the online dating scene and the various apps that are most frequently utilized: Tinder, Grindr, Hinge, Bumble, and so on. These apps rely exclusively on radial proximity, and otherwise don’t filter out individuals besides their gender. “But what if I want to get more specific?” Fear not. There are far more niche (sometimes obscure) apps out there, and I’m going to try out a few and report back. This is Part I.


General gist: Ever cross paths with someone cute in a coffee shop? Well now, if you’re both on Happn, you’ll pop up in each other’s feeds. The app is based on immediate proximity within a certain time frame.

This guy nailed it when I asked him what he thought of this app:



Pros: The page continuously refreshes as individuals move throughout your area, so you’re never short of potential matches.

Cons: YOU ARE LITERALLY SO CLOSE TO EVERYONE. I downloaded the app at work and was then terrified of going out to lunch because I saw dudes whose locations were steps from where I wanted to get a salad. The chances of running into someone you match with are high. It shows you how close/far away you are from the person…in FEET.


You get your usual weirdos.


And then some occasional worth-while conversations. But the whole proximity thing makes it way easier to meet up with someone. Maybe that’s a pro?

Best match: this guy




General gist: This app targets two specific niche groups: men with beards, and other individuals who enjoy stroking beards. The guys’ beards on this app range from that sexy week-out scruff to full on Dumbledore beards.

Pros: If you’re into beards, you’re in the right place.

Cons: So many cons. The app itself operates as though it’s somewhat of a beta version. It’s slow and under-developed. Additionally, when you sign up for an account, you’re given a username that only sort of closely resembles your actual name, but chances are you’ll have to ask your match their name.

I understand the appeal of a niche dating app, but with such a new, relatively-unknown app such as Bristlr, why would one want to so drastically limit their potential pool? I guess if you’re REALLY into beards….

One more pro:


Clearly this guy was going for a “spray and pray” method, and I actually kind of really liked that the app alerted me to the fact that he was doing this. Although he only said hi, I’ve encountered other guys who go for an instant conversation-starter such as…

7How do I know I’m not the 29th girl he’s tried this line on? I just wish some guys would be as honest as this dude…


I should mention that I set myself up for some conversation starters in my bio, detailing that I love $1 slices of pizza, cats, and drinking red wine through a straw. The responses that followed were…interesting.




Long story short, neither of these apps are A+ but if you find that aimlessly swiping left and right is an exhaustive process, consider narrowing your options, whether dependent on immediate proximity or facial grooming.

Next up… Tindog (Tinder for dog owners) and Align, based on astrological compatibility.

Getting Over Dating Fears When You Have Body Image Issues

The waiter placed what looked like a mountain of meat on a plate in front of me.

“Here is the pulled pork and brisket combo.”

I watched as my order went to my date “and the grilled chicken salad with dressing on the side,” gets placed in front of her. An awkward silence ensued.

“Fuck, not again”

I thought to myself. Unfortunately this mix-up wasn’t the first. When you’re only a couple months out of treatment for anorexia you’re faced with situations like these. In a way you can’t blame the waiter, he was going off what he’s experienced, the man gets the big platter of meat while the woman gets the low calorie salad. But this order was an exception.

My date and I gave each other an awkward smile and switched plates. I scream inside. She will just think I eat healthy. I almost break down and vomit up my whole life story.  Getting out of a treatment program which was filled only with  women for a disorder that is predominantly  found in women  means you aren’t too emotionally secure. Hell, I probably shouldn’t have been dating. You gotta love yourself first, right? We finished our dinner and ended with a hug.

On the drive home I was so lost in my own thoughts. I kept thinking, “what is wrong with me?” and “If I could just be leaner everything would be better”. The unfortunate reality of receiving treatment is that treatment doesn’t end when you’re ready for it to end, but once you’re at a “clinically healthy” weight, insurance will stop footing the bill, so it’s bye bye. You’re kind of on your own after that.

I remember coming home and seeing my parents. They were happy to see me going out, dating, and acting like a normal twenty-something. I walked directly into my room took off my shirt and looked in the mirror. There was still a little edema 1 from the re-feeding phase. Blurred lines of definition looked back at me.

Part of me saw a frail body and another saw a big body. Not fat, but big. At 5’9 and 130 I was far from “big”. I sat at the end of my bed and started crying until no tears were left. Eventually I slipped into sleep.

I have learned that situations like this are going to happen, and that sometimes eating that plate of meat isn’t such bad thing. And whether you’re a male or female the hurt, hate, and loneliness of an eating disorder or body image still feels the same.

Writing has helped, though. When I was writing “When Was Your Last Period” my professor, who suffered from a similar disorder many years ago said to me, “It’s always going to be there, but eventually other things become more important.” She was right. I started working and couldn’t deal with the low energy and terrible concentration that came with self-starvation. I met a girl that I’m head over heels in love with and would rather spend a Sunday in bed with her than go for my run (plus she cooks the most amazing food I’ve had). So yes things have become more important. Do I still wish I was leaner? Yes. Do I sometimes fall back into bad habits, yes. But am I now being more proactive about not keeping up with those bad habits? You bet your ass.

We naturally compare ourselves and criticize ourselves. Every magazine cover, especially those directed towards women, has some article or dedicated section to looking leaner, tightening your stomach, losing 15lbs, etc. Society tends to have this idea that we automatically become a better person if we have a certain waist size. We know this because we treat those people better for no particular reason, other than how good looking we think they are. And I might sound like every self-help book out there but YOU AREN’T THE NUMBER ON THE SCALE.

When you let that define you, and let it control how you define others, you’ve lost touch with what is important. I heard that again and again when I was losing weight and never internalized the lesson. It took a chicken salad (of all things) for it to finally click. So let me save you the trouble (and medical costs, if I can): love your body and love yourself–because if you don’t, who else will? And FYI, the dressing doesn’t always need to be on the side. You’ll live…

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  1. a general response of the body to injury or inflammation

4 Struggles of Being Single During The Holidays, and How To Deal

The holiday season is officially upon us, friends.

There is so much to look forward to this time of year, right? Limited edition coffee drinks, omnipresent images of a dude with a killer beard and lots of weird-looking deer, cuddle weather…etc. It’s almost universally considered to be a pretty fantastic time of year.

But hold on, let’s focus on that “cuddle weather” part for a moment, shall we? Cuddle weather means weather specifically for being with others. An entire weather dedicated to appreciating intimacy. Honestly, the holidays can be a lonely time, even for those of us that are pretty okay with being single the rest of the year.

movie girl sex la single

Although there are undeniably few struggles that can come with being a singleton during this time of year, there are also many ways to deal with them. Let’s take a look.

Awkward explanations at family gatherings

love parks and recreation kids leslie knope parents

The Problem 

Holiday season is prime-effing-time for a barrage of relationship-centered questions from well meaning family members. “Do you have a boyfriend? Are you still seeing that one guy? Are you seeing anyone at all? Are you dying alone, surrounded by cats named after your ex-boyfriends?”

“Um, no. I mean, yes, I’m seeing someone, but he goes to school in Canada. He can’t come down here, actually, ever. Yeah. I’ll probably end things with him soon, which is weird, because he’s so in love with me and perfect…anyway. Will someone please pass the mashed potatoes?”

The Solution

Bring your best friend with you to every family gathering. Drink copious amounts of wine throughout the night. Loudly proclaim that you are “just not even interested in a relationship at the moment” and talk about your career instead. (Unless that’s awkward too, in which case, just stick to drinking wine with your BFF.)

Holidays equal presents. Presents equal happiness.


The Problem

Look, we hate capitalism as much as the next person, but we also really like gifts, so it’s kinda sad that we’re going to end up with less of the meaningless objects that we so desperately desire.

The Solution

Put this spin on it: you’re saving money because you don’t have to buy your significant other a gift. Score, right? Alternatively: go buy yourself a gift. Treat yourself. (Unless, like a certain writer, you are incredibly, incredibly broke. In which case, do NOT treat yourself.)

No warm significant other’s outerwear to borrow/steal.

The Problem

Yes, an important aspect of a relationship is the fulfilling emotional connection, but hear me out on this: one of the best things about dating someone, hands down, is the feeling of wearing their hoodies/zip-ups/holiday jumpers. Being single is awesome, but also means that you cannot do that. Bummer.

The Solution

Eh, just buy your own, I guess. Step one: snuggle up alone and think about your meaningful connection to the deepest part of yourself. Step two: revel in the gentle warmth of self-love.

A cold bed is an awful thing

The Problem

That moment between crawling into bed at night and entering the frigid embrace of the arctic nightmare that is your cold bedsheets can be a sad one. There are pretty easy ways to warm up a bed that require another person to be there, if you know what I mean. (Read: forcing them to enter first and roll around alone for a few minutes to heat it up for your entrance, obviously.)

The Solution

Buy a heating blanket, they’re 100% fucking worth it. Or perhaps invest in an inexpensive space heater, if you’re scared of sleeping under the cause of a potential electrical burn. Target even has a guide to choosing the perfect heater! What a time to be alive.

snl yes kristen wiig celebrate target

But in all seriousness; being single doesn’t have to be a lonely struggle during the holiday season. A solid 75-85% of it can be fixed with a run to your local Target, so there is no reason to worry about it for more than a hot second.

Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments, and remember:

parks and recreation tom haverford finger gun treat yourself

Did you like this article? If so, let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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How To Not Get a Second Date

Is there anything more nerve-wracking than a looming first date with someone new? It is an event that is both thrilling and terrifying. The struggle to make a good first impression on a potential suitor never fails to flood the mind with a variety of questions.

Some of them are practical: it’s 2015, should we split the check? Some are delicate: should I invite them inside? Some are inane: should I tell them about my fear of elevators?

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And the list goes on. If you want to ensure that there’s going to be a second date, it can feel like every little thing you bring up could send the other person running for the hills. I mean, we want them to learn about us as people, yes, but we don’t want to shower them with all the bleak stuff about our lives just yet, you know?

Luckily, if you’ve already hit it off and are cruising through conversation sans difficulties, you’re probably going to be fine. But just as a friendly reminder – there are a couple of things that you should 100% never, ever do on a first date unless you’re trying desperately to get out of a second one.

Talking about your ex

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Don’t. Do. This. This is not the time to rant about how your ex-girlfriend “just didn’t get” you. It shows that you haven’t moved on yet, and is super off-putting. Force yourself to shut up and talk about how much you love The Wire or whatever instead.

Talking exclusively about yourself

everything animated GIF

Do people know that they’re doing this? Because it’s legitimately awful and eye-roll worthy. It doesn’t matter if you’re the most interesting person on the planet, if you don’t occasionally shut the fuck up and engage with the person sitting across from you, you’re never going to get a second date. And you probably don’t deserve one.

Being rude to the waiter/bartender/anyone

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Stop. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Seriously. Being a dick to someone just trying to do their job is uncalled for and a massive red flag for deeper issues. Until you acquire some basic manners, please do everyone else a favor and remove yourself from the dating pool.

Using your phone constantly

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Why do people think this is okay? Unless you’re texting emojis to Dominos to get you and your date a large pizza or showing them a picture of your cat, put away the goddamn iPhone. Checking your friend’s drunken snapchats can wait.

Making ignorant statements about sensitive/important topics 

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From vaguely sexist comments to Donald Trump-level declarations about race and gender, there is nothing worse on a first date than the moment where it dawns on you that the person sipping on an overpriced drink in front of you is kind of awful.

On the plus side, now that they’ve shown their true colors, you can feel good about never going on a second date with them and forever ignoring their texts.

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In short, to get a second date, you’re gonna want to aim to not be a terrible person on the first one.

So, do you think you can manage that?

Grown-up Things | Moving in Together

Maybe it’s been months, or even years that you’ve contemplated moving in with your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner. But there’s a whole range of reasons and fears that prevent you from doing so. Your parents, friends and colleagues think you’re too young. Or maybe you’re just not ready to give up all of your gross habits. I am twenty-one and have been living happily with my boyfriend for almost two years. We both have busy schedules, so sharing an apartment makes it easier to hang out. If the thought of moving in with your significant other feels exciting, and even a little scary, go for it! Our culture makes this seem like such a grown-up marriage thing, but it really doesn’t have to be. We all need a home. Here’s what you should consider before making the move:

Observe their current living habits

I know you might be unconditionally in love with this person, but you have to treat them like a roommate for a second. If you’re a neat and tidy person and your partner is not, this will cause serious issues. You’ll end up resenting them for never washing the dishes and may take this frustration out in other damaging ways. Harmony in habit = harmony in the relationship.

Splitting up rent & other expenses

Figure out how much income is being made between the two of you and decide on a proportional rent budget. It’s best to make things as fair as possible. If your partner makes more money than you do per month, they should pay more rent. Then look at other expenses, like water & gas, internet, and electricity. Split the most expensive one and divide the others. Do your grocery shopping together – it’s fun and cheap(ish)! You can split the bill according to your grocery budgets.

You will share literally EVERYTHING

You’re going to sleep in the same bed, share all your groceries, use the same shower products, pee in the same toilet, you name it! Unless of course you buy something ridiculously expensive and/or personal and want it all for yourself, which is totally understandable. You’re also going to be sharing emotions. We all have our fluctuations of happy and sad, and you might see a side to each other you never knew before. But if you create a support system and separate the effects of the day-to-day grind from your love life, the relationship will prosper.


Have a life outside the home/relationship

Let’s be real – we all get annoyed with each other eventually. She hates the way you talk to her, and the way you cut your hair. You hate the way she drives your car, and you hate it when she stares. But 99% of the time, you both just need some space. It’s healthy to miss each other every once in a while. Go to the club with your girlfriends, sing-a-long with Taylor Swift, talk shit. Wake n’ bake with the bros and play FIFA all day. Whatever. By the end of the day you won’t care that she forgot to get quarters for laundry. Again.

Credit: 10 Things I Hate About You

Clarify your intentions

Moving in with your significant other means different things to different people. For some, it is very serious and considered a pre-marriage step. For others, it can be fun and casual. Communicate why you want to live together. However, if you are considering the move strictly for financial benefit, I would suggest holding off for a while. This next step in your relationship should be based on the love and passion you have for each other, not temporary financial convenience. It is also important to note that uncertainty about the future is ok. We are young, and most of the time life does not go according to plan. Just make sure you communicate a mutual openness to the changes that will come.

Have a plan for when shit hits the fan

You made an adult decision to move in together, so you have to act like adults if you break up. Put both names on the lease so that you are equally responsible for rent. That way neither of you will get screwed over with all the costs later on. Have a back-up place to stay while figuring out your next move, otherwise it’s going to be pretty awkward sharing the same bathroom and kitchen with your ex. Also, be aware of who paid for what possessions so that you can take what is rightfully yours upon moving out.

Living with your sig. other will be tough at times, but mostly (hopefully) it will be a blast! There’s nothing better than creating unforgettable memories with someone you love, and sharing a home is just an extension of that.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, and difficulty.”                  – Theodore Roosevelt

Started From the Gram Now We Here

“So how did you two meet?” he asked.

We smiled self-consciously, unsure of how to answer his simple question. I’ve become quite familiar with this awkward moment, but I still didn’t know how to answer.

“Social media,” I blurted out. 
He gave me a puzzled look and I tried to explain how Marissa and I technically “met” on social media over 6 months ago, but had only been dating for 3 months once we’d actually y’know met met… like in person.

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Marissa and I met on Instagram to be exact, but I don’t think Lon has an IG. In fact, Lon definitely doesn’t have an IG and he may only have the vaguest idea of what Tinder is.

We were visiting he and Doug, close family friends of mine, at their house on the cliffs of Mendocino, CA, and here I was trying to explain the logistics of dating and social media to a man born long before the internet was a thing.

The funny part is, I don’t even know how to explain dating someone you “met” on Instagram, and yet it’s what happened to me.

Come, follow me down the social-media rabbit hole of our relationship and see if you can explain it:

We connected on IG, but I first came across Marissa on Tinder. I was up in Tahoe at a friend’s quiet lake house, and we were Tindering for shits and gigs, as one does. I thought Marissa, 19 was cute so I swiped right. But before I did, I peeped her IG—which she included in her Tinder profile. I even took it a step further and decided to leave a comment on one of her photos on Instagram. It was incredibly dull, something along the lines of “swipe right when u see me – Jasper.” I know, smooth… And I went back to Tindering without giving it much thought.

Long story short she followed me, I followed back, and we went about our business occasionally liking one another’s photos for a few months without exchanging a word or a text.

Literally, we did not know each other, we had mildly piqued one another’s interest for a few brief moments on 5-inch screens, and we continued scrolling through the void…

Then, one day, I posted a selfie – one I got a good amount of grief for from coworkers and homies, but I thought it was a good photo so why not? Apparently Marissa agreed. She liked it and commented on it as well—some of the only cues we can read into on smartphones, so I took it as a good sign.

“Her,” I thought. “What’s her deal, again?…”flirting animated GIF

I didn’t know. In fact, I had no clue who she was.

I DM’ed her with the unfiltered version of the selfie I posted—Y’know, to be sure she liked the real me.

We chatted for a bit, exchanged numbers, and texted for a bit longer. This is when I got to know Marissa, or at least felt like I did. I still had never laid eyes on her, but we played a catfish-type game for a few weeks, texting and flirting, and there may have been some phone sex thrown in there too.

Then one day I found myself driving up to Sacramento to meet her.

“Nice jeans,” I said.
“Thanks,” she replied.

We’d joke beforehand about who would make the first move now that we’d taken our relationship from DMs to texting to an actual date. So I went for it.

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Fast forward 3 months and here we are in Lon’s kitchen overlooking the rolling pacific. Our first mini-vacation as a couple – a few nights camping in the tall California trees and days spent doing couple-things like going to farmer’s markets and kayaking with the seals along the coast. And we really like each other. A lot.

General studies from the last few years suggest more than one-third of US relationships start online. I assume it’s considerably more than 30%, and a significant number of those start on social media. I don’t have the exact figures on how many of those relationships begin on Facebook, Instagram, Tinder, Bumble, Happn, etc, but I would expect these numbers are higher the younger the demographic.

Marissa and I, though unique, are not uncommon. We are not the first to find each other on Instagram. In fact, it’s apparently a common occurrence amongst Celebs, Athletes, Models etc., at least according to the tabloids.

Think about it, if you have a big presence on social media (ample followers, frequent posting, multiple platforms), you’re going to attract a lot of attention. There are people who are literally Instagram famous. The attention they receive, both negative and positive, can be engaged with or not.

We’re a lot further down the food-chain of the social media masses compared to those whose IG relationships are actually considered news items. However, our story is pertinent and must ring a bell for many our age.. even if not everyone Started From The Gram like us.


hoppip animated GIF

Anybody else have some insight?