All posts by Ellie Holt

The Before-You-Date Checklist

Alright let’s take it a step back here. Before you get blisters on your thumbs from swiping on Tinder, it is time for some #realtalk. Are you actually ready to date?

I know this seems like an impertinent, verging on condescending question to ask, but one that is altogether necessary in this new dating climate of casual dating and flings and hookups.

If I am being honest i do not think that many Millennials are truly ready to enter the dating game. I think dating has a bit of an entitled aspect to it in this day and age, where we think that because we are attracted to the opposite gender or have a sex drive or are older than 15, we are ready to go on dates and be in relationships, when in fact you are probably still just an immature, selfish kid. And that is okay, but as long as you are able to own up to that.

What happens is we jump into situations and relationships that require a lot more emotional maturity and self-honesty than we are prepared for and suddenly we have a trail of broken relationships and broken hearts in our baggage. I will tell you a lot about the sorts of people you should stay away from, but it is not always the other person who is a mess. Sometimes we are the mess. We are quick to blame others for relationships that did not fit the Disney images in our heads, instead of confronting our own flaws and irresponsibility.

An uncomfortable truth for many is that a relationship/dating requires a lot of self-honesty about your flaws. And then taking responsibility for those flaws. So no Karen, you don’t just get a free card to be a bitch “because you’re a Capricorn.”

Choosing to be in a relationship/date while still exhibiting irresponsible, manipulative, selfish behavior without any actions to change is careless. Do us all a favor and get the fuck off dating apps.

Contrary to popular practice, dating and relationships is not about fulfilling all your needs and wants or about finding an accessory to your life. If you are looking for an accessory try Claire’s at the mall. It is not about getting everything you want all the time. It is not about getting to sit on pedestal of adoration and fawning. It is not about getting expensive gifts or a piece of arm candy to make you feel good/look good. Frankly, I am sorry we live in a culture that promotes this idea. That the people you date are the problem and not you.

When in fact, it is actually about being selfless and humble.

*And you know what, if you are complaining that you actually are “too selfless” and “give too much of yourself” in a relationship and that you always get burned, you are doing it wrong or for the wrong reasons. Because being selfless should not be exhausting or damaging. it should be life-giving and encouraging. You should never have to give away part of yourself to give to someone else.

Wayyyy too often we are quick to push blame onto our “crazy exes” or those “fuckboi commitmentphobes” instead of taking responsibility for our own inabilities and shortcomings. Sure they probably were a little crazy, but did you push them to act that way? Maybe they did make a huge mistake, but could you have prevented it? Relationships are two-way streets and as burgeoning adults it is high time we start taking some responsibility. Don’t be like T-Swizzle, victimizing herself over and over again, blind to the fact that she is the common denominator in all of her broken relationships and maybe her next single should be called “maybe I am the problem.”

Figuring out where a relationship went amiss begins with taking a good look in the mirror, wiping the bullshit off your ego, and giving yourself a proper dose of humble reality.

First of all, you are probably not as attractive as you think you are. Second, your annoying habits are not always charming and quirky. Third, not everyone is going to think the sun shines out of your ass the way your mother does. Fourth, you are not entitled to some idealistic, fantasy Prince Charming or Victoria Secret Angel. However, If you can take responsibility for your own shortcomings, see where you went wrong and then take steps to work on yourself, congrats you are now a contributing member of society and are now ready to date.

If you are not ready to take the paper bag off your head and stare at your raw, naked self in the mirror, flaws and all, you are probably not ready for a mature, healthy relationship.

Too often we get far too caught up in the shortcomings of our partners, whether they are getting their ass to the gym, whether they are listening when we speak, if they are being ambitious enough, whether they are satisfying us, etc. instead of evaluating our own contributions to the relationship. Because guess what, the only actions and attitudes you are in control of in a relationship are your own.

Here is a quick checklist in order to see whether you are ready to be someone’s significant other. (please read as a job posting with the hours being full time and salary being a lifetime of emotional fulfillment and great sex)

1. Has the ability to think of someone other than yourself
2. Able to successfully communicate(initiate and respond) with another human being using a variety of mediums such as face to face, texting, calling and snap chat.
3. Is aware that their potential significant other is a living, breathing, flawed human and not an accessory, sex vending machine or sponge in which to listen to all of your bullshit
4. Demonstrates a level of emotional intelligence that allows for introspective thought, discussion and development and can be expressed without screaming, crying, manipulative tactics, silent treatments, or any other forms of childish drama.
5. Can successfully articulate one’s feelings
6. Is not looking for a distraction or to fill the empty void in their life
7. Is able to take responsibility for one’s own actions without having to blame, antagonize or justify
8. Capable of handling criticism without falling apart
9. Has a desire to improve one’s self
10. Willingness to do things that are inconvenient, difficult, or no fun for the sole purpose of making someone else happy
11. Has a proven track record of being able to set aside pride and be vulnerable when necessary
12. Can handle not getting their way all the time without storming out of a room, throwing a tantrum, or being an attention whore in any capacity.
13. Has zero desire to punish or seek revenge against people who have wronged you or not treated you the way you wanted to be treated.

If you can confirm that you are taking active steps to work on achieving the above criteria, then congrats you are not a piece of trash person and can pass go, collect 200$ and feel free to date to your heart’s content. Otherwise, please go find the nearest mirror and have a serious chat with yourself about needing to grow the fuck up and act like a mature adult. Do I sound harsh? That is probably because I am tired of living in a world of entitled dating where it is all about YOU. I am tired of a dating culture that is nauseatingly self-serving, and completely void of any sense of accountability or integrity. Go ahead ignore people, pump and dump, fuck the flavor of the month, whatever you feel like because life is all about doing whatever you want 24 hours a day anyways.

Wrong.

The truth is that if you are not actively pursing the above criteria you are going to spend a lot of time in shitty relationships feeling shitty. Now I get it we all make mistakes. I am a shitty person, you are a shitty person, we are a world full of shitty people, but the difference is how we fight it. Don’t succumb to your own shittiness.

Fight the urges to be selfish and prideful and arrogant and vindictive and petty. Fight it because they only hurt you in the end. Only looking out for yourself results in an empty, lonely life full of people who don’t want to spend any time with you. The decision to fight your own selfishness every single day is a step that will be far more gratifying and fulfilling, oh and will probably contribute to some much better dating experiences. If you don’t feel ready to do this, okay that’s on you and at least you know where you stand, but don’t be confused when you have a trail of broken relationships in your wake.

Begin by taking responsibility for your own actions and recognizing your own shittiness. Call yourself out. Let others call you out. Instead of trying to justify your own behavior and make excuses and defend yourself, or blame your astrology sign, take the criticism, understand the other person’s view point and apply it in some way to your own behavior. Become a discerning consumer of criticism, knowing what to listen to and what to not let bother you.

Once you can master this…well you’ll probably be dead because this takes a lifetime to master, but now is a great time to get cracking.

Too often relationships become very selfish matters, absorbed in our own personal needs and egos rather than the person we supposedly “care” about. Don’t let this be you. Rise above the masses of those seeking selfish sexual experiences and trying to push all their insecurities onto another person. Be a step ahead of the rest of this ego-centric generation and catch your bullshit before you weave yourself into a web of bitter nihilism whom you loudly berate your exes for. Be better than that.

I am not here to seek perfection, in fact I want to recognize the inherent flaws in us all. Rather, I am tired of being apart of a dating culture that is so use to getting what they want and instant gratification that they are willing to give up the transformative experience of self-development in favor of a cushy life as a selfish dick.

Good luck,
Ellie xxx

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Swiping Right vs. The Slow Burn: A quick guide to sexual tension

 

In 2018 we really like to get things immediately. And fortunately for us the advent of technology allows us to have it all as close to instantly as possible. We get to binge all 7 seasons of Mad Men at once without commercials. We can have our fave restaurant delivered to our door step. We can order a pair of shoes and have it arrive later that day via drones. All in all 2018 is pretty sweet.

But if I am honest I don’t think the whole instant gratification thing translates to romance. Yeah sure, Tinder allows for us to have a hookup arrive in 30 minutes or less like it’s a fucking pizza delivery, but where is the sexual tension? Where is the building of anticipation? What happened to the development of chemistry? Even if you’re just after sex and not a real connection with someone, the whole instant gratification of the Tinder model deprives us what actually makes romance great!

I am not out to bash Tinder, it has it’s purpose, but if your goal is to develop real chemistry with someone, dating apps are going to leave you frustrated, exhausted and probably cynical about love.

Tinder has reduced attraction to something that can be measured within seconds, when in reality, true, authentic attraction builds over time. On Tinder, sexual chemistry is rated right away and expected to exist instantaneously. You can start sexting or sending pics with someone whom you have never even met. You meet people under a preconceived notion that there is an already existing sexual attraction because you are a “match.”

Swiping forfeits the developmental portion of attraction where you get to know someone and then decide through conversation, interactions and body language whether you find them attractive beyond outward appearance. Initial, physical attraction is close to meaningless for women. Women do NOT date for looks. Yeah, we like a nice man to look at, or strong arms to throw us up against a wall, but that is not why we are attracted to someone. Hence, men should understand the value in the slow burn approach when it comes to seducing women. Tinder very much abides by a shallow perception of attraction in which attraction is purely visual. While visual attraction is obviously a component, it is ridiculous for anyone to think that real attraction can be judged from a static image.

Tinder operates under the assumption that you are already attracted to one another before you even say hello and so you can skip the first few steps of relationshional development. Lots of Tinder users utilize this format to get right to sexual intimacy before the relationship has had any time to mature or for any chemistry to truly develop. Instant gratification reduces relational development to first impressions and a shallow façade.

You know what they say, the best things in life come to those who wait. Call me old fashioned, but it is all about the slow burn. I am not just talking “3 days before texting rules” and “waiting until the 3rd date for sex,” I am talking about the importance of building sexual tension and chemistry over time in order to not only keep things spicy, but to build a better foundation for the relationship. Here is what to know:

  1.  In the slow burn flirting happens over the course of weeks, months or even years as opposed to days or hours, and produces greater intimacy and intensified longing- both are integral parts of romance.
  2. Eye contact, body language and interpersonal flirty banter over a period of time deepen levels of chemistry and mutual sexual attraction in which feelings have time to marinate and mature and intensify. These components are absent from dating apps. So if you are going the dating app route it is imperative to keep the texting minimal and meet up as soon as possible. The error many people make with dating apps is that they ‘try and get to know one another’ before meeting up, and while this seems prudent it diminishes the window in which you are both interested. People often lose interest very quickly over dating apps because the relationship fizzles before the two people have even met. Meeting up is the chance to install humanity in the experience and connect via body language and interpersonal communication cues. Both are imperative to truly “getting to know someone.”
  3.  Sexual seeds are planted with mental stimualtion such as debates and intellectual conversations, passionate rants, and witty reparte, rather than the small get-to-know you talk that occurs in the early stages of a relationship. Deeper, more meaningful conversations take time and come as a result of prolonged time together. They emerge as both parties test the waters of vulnerability and compatibility.
  4. Prolonged tension is good for a relationship – without tension and rising action there is no climax (literally and figuratively)
  5. The slow burn always anticipates that there is somewhere more for the relationship to go because not all the cards have been shown. This is what keeps both parties interested and wanting more. This means if you are into a woman do not play all your big cards right away. You should never take a woman on a fancy date or buy her an extravagant gift prior to being in an actual, exclusive relationship. If you show your cards too soon it diminishes the value of your commitment and appears desperate. A woman should feel like she is being seduced for a long period of time where the relationship just gets better with age. Like wine. Or cheese.
  6. Long-term seduction produces satisfaction because nothing good ever comes easily. Women especially feel that any love worth having should be earned.
  7. The best sex involves emotion on both accounts, in which stimulation is derived not from just physical pleasure but from feelings of frustration, longing, tension, love, joy, thrill etc. Therefore the best sex is going to be with someone you have an emotional connection with. And while the whole stranger thing can be hot, I am guessing it does not have the same satisfaction as with someone whom you have real chemistry and intimacy with. Very few women orgasm during a one-night stand (20% i believe) because there is absolutely an emotional component to sex that is imperative to satisfaction.
  8. The slow burn is sort of the equivlevent of the farm to table movement or the slow food movement (rebuttal to fast food) or to a hand stiched garmet- it is far more valuable and satisfying and will last a hell of a lot longer because it took time to be prepared.
  9. Chemistry and romance are dishes best served in a 10 course meal, not from the grab-and-go counter

Obviously Tinder has it’s time and place and we all know that ridiculously happy couple that met through a dating app, but my point is not that dating apps are bad, only that the model of instant gratification does not work for romance or relationships. The best relationships are the ones that build tension and chemistry and intimacy over time, always smoldering, in need of constant stoking.

Perhaps this is why so many Millennials are dissatisfied with the current dating climate, we have lost interest in the thrills of the slow burn because we have been socialized to want and expect instant gratification. We want companionship NOW. We want a relationship NOW. We want a hookup NOW. But waiting and tension and suspense are healthy and lead to far more satisfaction physically, emotionally and mentally. And its hot. It’s way hotter.

good luck,

Ellie xx

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Millennials vs. Vulnerability: Who is Really Winning??

 

 

What scares Millennials most in the world? The rising cost of housing? Looming student loan debt? Net Neutrality? No wifi? Negative. A Millennial’s worst fear is the prospect of vulnerability. I don’t merely mean talking about your childhood, I mean having to tell a guy you like how you really feel about them. Double texting someone that has not responded to you in four days. Having to ask someone “what are we?” *cue music from Jaws* You know what I am talking about. This sort of “put your dignity on the line” honesty is what instills fear in us like nothing else can.

To be specific, unreciprocated vulnerability is what scares us most. It is being too accessible to someone who is not accessible to us. It is crossing oceans for someone who would not cross a puddle for you. Unrequited vulnerability says I am giving more than I am getting. I am being manipulated and extorted and used. I am the only one who cares. As a result, vulnerability feels weak and exposed and helpless.

We are so terrified of being someone’s number two that we are willing to play any number of exhausting games, say any number of lies, and sabotage our own relationships to reduce vulnerability, or at least the appearance of vulnerability.

That is the thing about vulnerability in Millennials, we are far more concerned with the façade than we are what’s going on in the inside. We would rather look perfect on the outside and be a mess on the inside than vice versa. We would rather let someone we care about think that we don’t give a shit about the relationship, and its all casual and “no string attached,” but be in emotional turmoil on the inside, than tell someone what we are really thinking. We would rather make someone else feel lesser, than have to feel the pain of unrequited vulnerability. Heaven forbid someone think that we care more than they do.

As a generation, we are pretty okay with physical vulnerability like nudity and sex, it’s that emotional vulnerability that frightens us. Ironically, emotional vulnerability and physical vulnerability are deeply intertwined, although we would love to pretend that they are not. We love to separate them as estranged entities when in fact physical vulnerability is often a direct ticket to “catching feels.” From there, emotional vulnerability is the first stop on a long road trip of heartbreak and crushed self-esteem.

Now we are a generation that is ridiculously cynical when it comes to “catching feels.” And rightly so, “catching feels” is the worst. Like I would rather have my naked body dragged across hot coals and thrown into a pool of gasoline than catch feels. Catching feels is the ultimate gateway to vulnerability, and once you’ve opened the door you can’t go back. You either have to get over this person (an often long and arduous process) or dwell in emotional turmoil for an indefinite period. Yippee. Dating is so fun.

As a result, we have become a generation of defensive daters. It is all about protecting our own dignity and hearts no matter the costs. It does not matter if we ghost that guy or reject that girl and never speak to her again, as long as our own dignity is intact. As long as we have protected our hearts and minds from actually falling for someone. We don’t mind hurting someone else’s feelings as long as our own feelings are not hurt.

It is okay for someone else to be vulnerable, as long as we get to remain aloof and apathetic, because the person who cares the least is the person with all the power in the relationship. Control is power. The ability to manipulate a situation. The feeling of supremacy. The capacity to influence. For Millennials, vulnerability is a roadblock in our ability to remain in control and possess power.

Now apart from being wrapped up in a culture that tells us to care very much what others think and to groom ourselves to be perceived a certain way, being guarded is also a matter of self-respect for millennials. We see it as dignifying to be stingy with our vulnerability. We feel that our self-worth is somehow wrapped up in how much we have exposed of ourselves.

For Millennials, vulnerability is a currency, and you want to be as frugal as possible. To some extent this isn’t wrong. You wouldn’t go in the middle of the street and yell your deepest darkest secrets, not because they define you, but because you respect yourself more than to just bare your secrets to anyone. Yet, there is a fine line between self-respect and being emotionally stingy.

We have somewhat misguidedly deemed self-respect to be only investing in a relationship where we are sure to get a return. While there is truth in guarding your heart and protecting yourself, there is no such thing as a relationship with a 100% probability of investment growth. Most often a gamble is necessary. If we never take the risk there is never the reward.

This imbalance of investment that we fear so much is pretty much the root of all relational conflict. I first realized this when I was upset with a friend who I felt was avoiding me. There was no conflict. Yet I felt the distance growing between us even though we lived together. I would ask her about her day and ask her to hang out, but she was always aloof and “too busy.” It felt terrible. It took me a while, but I realized that what I was really truly upset about was not that she was not hanging out with me or spending time on our relationship, it was that I felt that I cared more about her than she cared about me.

Think about it. Whether romantic or a friendship or family relationships, relational conflict is derived from one person caring more than the other person or at least a perceived feeling of such. I think this realization was a huge step in gaining perspective about conflict. Rarely are we really upset about an unanswered text or showing up late or a failed promise. Rather what’s truly bothering us is a fear that we care about someone more than they care about us. Being on the non-reciprocated side can really hurt. It feels degrading. And as Millennials, this is a pain we are willing to do almost anything to avoid. We would rather come off as cold and aloof than lower ourselves to tell someone we care about them if we feel that it won’t be reciprocated.

I remember back in good ol’ 2003 watching Lizzie McGuire, and in one particular episode Lizzie was going to tell resident hottie, Ethan Kraft, that she had a crush on him. I remember watching in horror as Lizzie bared her soul to a guy who was nice enough, but clearly did not feel the same way about her. How could Lizzie be so stupid? Didn’t she respect herself? Didn’t she care about being embarrassed?? I remember the horror my 9-year-old self felt as I watched Lizzie throw caution to the wind and embarrass herself in font of him. Even then I saw such vulnerability as something to be avoided like the Bubonic Plague. I carried this mantra with me for the next 15 years. I would never tell anyone that I liked them unless I was sure that they felt the same. The alternative, was not just humiliating, it was a degrading shot to the ego, and totally avoidable. I couldn’t understand why Lizzie had wanted to share that info if she did not have to. No one was making her tell Ethan!

But that is the thing about Millennials. Millennnials are total control freaks. We are obsessed with trying to control and manipulate our circumstances. And when it comes to feelings and dating we want to control that too. Everything is a power play with us. Perhaps it has something to do with trying to combat our role as the world’s scapegoat. Or perhaps it is that nasty sense of entitlement we are so often accused of having. Or maybe it has to do with us being socialized to have control over everything in our lives the same way we exhibit control over other instantly gratifying things like Netflix and Uber. Either way we view control as a necessary means of achieving success and happiness. We feel that if we can just master our emotions and minimize our vulnerability then we will have total control and no one can hurt us.

The truth is that the path to successful and fulfilling relationships is paved with heartbreak and embarrassment, and yes, lots and lots of vulnerability. Maybe Lizzie McGuire had more emotional intelligence than we did back in middle school after all.

Vulnerability is what relinquishes us from the prison of perfectionism and having to maintain a façade. Vulnerability is what prepares us to be authentic and honest and communicative with one another. Vulnerability is the framework behind growth and development and self-awareness. Without vulnerability we remain stagnant. Vulnerability drives us out of our comfort zones and into our truest potential. Vulnerability doesn’t mean not caring what other people think, it is seeing the bigger picture beyond the temporary feelings of fear and anxiety. Vulnerability can be a worthwhile, calculated risk. If we never take the risk, we will certainly never get the reward.

As a Millennial myself, I totally get it. We’ve all been hurt one too many times and the wounds of our previous experiences with vulnerability still sting. We promise ourselves to be miserly with our vulnerability in order to protect our fragilie hearts. We never want to get hurt again. Yet, at some point we are going to have to humble ourselves just a bit, and go out and catch some damn feels and not expect anything in return. No 100% probability of texting back. No games. No favorably calculated circumstances. No tit for tat dating rules. No playing hard to get. No facade of nonchalance.

Maybe #livingyourbestlife does not have to always mean sipping sangria on a yacht in Spain, maybe it can also apply to scary moments of telling someone you care about how you really feel. Maybe it could even be a choice to text someone back immediately or call them instead of texting. Maybe vulnerability is not a plague to be avoided, but an opportunity to be embraced.

 

good luck,

Ellie xo

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Dear Men, here is the fool proof way to see if a girl is worth of your time

I know there is this stigma out there that animosity exists between women with different sexual choices, like hoes hate virgins and nonpermiscuous women despise “sluts” and that’s why there is so much “slut shaming” and bullying that occurs. That women are threatened by women who make different choices, or that they are unaccepting, or jealous, or insecure. The truth is that most women are not concerned with another woman’s sexual choices unless she herself is insecure which is more telling of her than the so-called “slut”( or if the woman’s sexual choices directly affect her or her romantic life). But contrary to MTV and Bravo most women do not go around stealing each other’s boyfriends.
When women choose to antagonize other women based on their sexual choices it is just fuel to an already smouldering fire of stereotypes and judgement. When women judge one another for sexual choices that differe from their own, they reinforce the idea that virgins are snobby, prudes or that promiscuous women are shady and disloyal. It also creates spaces for men to say the same things to and about women. Girls that insult and belittle other women are indirectly training men to do the same. If we don’t play nice with each other why would we expect them to?
I myself have many a friend who I would say are “hoes” in the sense that they have received a fare share of dick in their day and are proud of it. And guess what, this might come as a big shocker but I don’t give a shit. I do not feel threatened, insecure or disgusted by their life choices that differ greatly from my own. I do not reprimand them or judge them or criticize them. You know why? Because their sex life does not impact our friendship one bit. They are good friends to me. They call me up out of the blue to ask how I am. They support me and listen to me. They are fiercely loyal.
Dear men, who think that a woman’s sexual history is an indicator of how good a wife, mother, girlfriend, etc she will be, it is irrelevant. My best friend has slept around quite a bit and is one of the most loyal women I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. I often joke that if I was stranded in the desert and called her up to come drive 20 hours in the middle of the night to rescue me she would be like, “I am sorry I have to get gas first, is it okay if you wait 10 min longer?” She is sincerely compassionate and empathetic and a truly wonderful human, and men would be LUCKY to be with her. I know as her best friend I might be biased, but my point is that sexual promiscuity does not discredit a woman’s loyalty.
I am sorry to all the men who have been hurt by promiscuous women, but you have to stop generalizing blame and jumping to conclusions out of your own insecurity. I don’t know if anyone has told you this but we women are not homogenous in which certain chracteristics define the whole group. For my worsmiths out there that is called stereotyping and prejudice and it has never once helped anyone on the planet ever to negatively stereotype categories of other humans. Please see any history book ever for evidence and examples. It also inhibits you from meeting some truly awesome people out there.
Sexual choices fall into the category of “ correlation not causation” in which there is a correlation between sexual choices and characteristics, but it is not a direct causation meaning you cannot draw definite conclsusions based on a woman’s sexual history. Sexual history is a messy way to define women because love is so fucking messy itself.
Love makes people crazy, it makes you rash and irresponsible and desperate. It turns responsible women into drama queens and strippers and private investigators. Meatloaf said it best when he told us he would “do anything for love” and that is wildly true in the sense that love and hormons and sex drive people to inconceivable actions. Therefore, it is not a controlled variable in determining a woman’s worthiness of your investment. It is also important to factor in other uncontrollable variables such as her relationship with her parents or a history with sexual assault and so on that impact that body count. It is just not a good item to bet on okay?

 

But I am here to tell you what you can use to draw conclusions about a woman, and it will tell you whether she is loyal, trustworthy, compassionate, and worthy of your time. Look at her friendships. This is the goldmine of comprehending a female. Serisouly throw out any other indicators because they are worthless in comparison to taking a hard look at her friendships. Here are some questions to ask:

  1. Does she have friends?
  2. How many?
  3. Are they close, intimate, soul sister friends or friends to socialize with?
  4. How often does she talk with her friends? How often do they hang out?
  5. How long has she been friends with her oldest friend?
  6. How much drama is there in her friend group?
  7. What sort of activities do her and her friends partake in? Clubbing? Binge drinking? Long walks? Travelling? A hobby? Shopping? Gossiping?
  8. How does she treat her friends? Are they priorities or afterthoughts?
  9. Does she complain about her friends or does she speak highly of them?
  10. Is she supportive of them?
The answer to these 10 questions will tell you exactly what kind of person she is and what she will be like in a relationship with you. There are no loop holes, no exceptions, no if ands or buts. A woman chooses her friends and if she chooses wisely they can encourage her to be her absolute best self, but if she chooses poorly that reflects a lack of discipline, clarity and maturity in her.
Women are the most relational gender and female friends are arguably the most powerful force on earth. I would die for my girlfriends. Nuff said. A woman’s friendships is a powerful source of love and encouragement and joy in a woman’s life that nothing else can replace, not even a man. It is a scientific fact that women have more friends than men and have stronger, deeper, more intimate bonds with their friends and that women live longer on average beause of the support of their girlfriends. The love of a girlfriend is some magic,elixir-of-life shit.
So how can those ten questions help a man to determine whether a woman is worth his effort? If a woman has had the same friends for many years it means she is loyal and trustworthy. This also means that regardless of whether she has sucked 100 dicks in her life, if she has had the same bestfriend since kindergarten you can guarantee that she is a loyal person.  I am here to tell you from 24 years of experience with female friendhips that if a girl has had a bestriend since they were kids, she is a dime piece and you would be lucky to have someone as loyal and supportive as her.
Friendship is hard, but if you can last over 10 years with the same girl by yourself you have proven yourself to be loyal and empathetic and compassionate and supportive in a way that no other characteristic can reveal so clearly. This girl loves fiercely and stands up for those she cares about, she invests in relationships for the longhaul and prioritizes others’ needs. If this is how she treats her girlfriends, it is direct depiction of how she will treat you. You want to be treated well and loved hard? Get yourself a girl with a posse of close soul sisters whom she has been friends with for the past decade.
However, if it looks like she is constantly cycling through friends it means she is disloyal and not particularly adept at relationships of any kind. This is the woman you want to stay away from, not the slut, not the whore, but the woman who can’t keep friendships. If she always has a lot of friend drama you can be sure that there will be ugly drama in your relationship too.
Drama is a choice. I hate it when girls complain that drama just “happens” to them all the time. No bitch you chose it. You chose to talk shit about someone else. You chose to engage. You chose to meddle. You chose to prolong conflicts. Everyone has conflict, but drama is the choice to enflate and extend conflict. If a grl chooses drama in her firendships be ready for some ugly fights, nasty words and poor conflict management in your relationship with her.
If a girl spends all her time with her friends drinking, partying and gossiping you better get your running shoes. Now I do not mean that it is a negative sign if a girl like to have fun, rather if that is all she does to socialize with friends it means she cannot have or maintain intimate relationships. It means that the extent of her ability to relate to others is limited to shallow, vapid, surface level interactions rather than true intimacy that comes with vulnerabile conversations and emotional contribution. If you end up dating this type of woman expect to be bored, unchallenged and unable to relate to her on a deeper level. She might be a good fling or a fun person, but she is not someone to spend your life with.
If a woman constantly complains abour or gossips about her friends just know that she is doing the same about you. A person who gossips and trash talks others does not need a particular reason to do so, they just do it and if you cross her path she will certaintly expel some illicit content about you to anyone who will listen. Now there is a difference between venting once in a while or the casual gossip that we are all guilty of, but if she is a chronic complainer, this is an inherent trait abscent of context. Know the difference and be aware.
So lets work to disband the eronious idea that a woman’s sexual past will define what kind of partner they will be. I have several girlfriends who have opened their legs for many a man, but that does not discredit them as wonderful life partners.
My best friend has slept with a lot of guys, many of which were one night stands or casual, drunken encoutners, but she has now been with the same guy for over a year and she is so good to him. But I didn’t need to see it to believe it. Neither is she some anomaly  because I know many more just like her. I have been friends with her for over 15 years and she is the kind of friend I would want beside me when I am hurt or elated, she is who I would tell my deepest secrets to or come to for advice and so it is no surprise to me that she is also an incredible partner to her boyfriend and that her sexual history is irrelevant. 
They say that you are the sum of the 3 people you spend the most time with, so if you want a clear image of what kind of woman you are getting involve with, look not just at her friends but how she interacts with and treats them. This is the BIGGEST most ACCURATE reading of her worthiness in your life.
There is no such thing as a woman without baggage, neither is there a man without baggage, it just looks different for everyone.
Good luck,
Ellie xx
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Millennials are all Closet Romantics

Does our obsession with casual dating stem from actually being hopeless romantics?
We are given so many choices and therefore so many more opportunity for the perfect date, the perfect partner, the perfect hookup, the perfect sex, the perfect night out, the perfect conversation. Is keeping things casual a coping mechanism in which to experience it all without having to diminish choices and commit to any one opportunity? Is casual dating actually indicative of being hopeless romantics searching for something ideal but ultimately unrealistic???
I think there really is some truth in it. I mean let’s look at the facts, based purely on the sheer amount of romantic media available to consume, our generation has been drowning in the stuff since the early 1990s. We grew up with Disney. We witnessed the boom of the rom com in the 1990s and early 2000s. We were #blessed enough to See Titanic in theaters. We were the generation in which other people’s relationships became public a la social media. We can creep on any relationship we want. We can compare and compare until we want to throw up. We can have any amount of romantic content right now all day every day.
More so than any generation before us, we have been privy to more romantic saturation than ever before. And if I had to guess we have been influenced by it. We have been conditioned to expect love. That there is someone special, “the one” if you will, out there for us all. And when we meet them it was will be instant fireworks, chemistry, mind-blowing sex, feverish, all-consuming love. Perhaps we would not admit these standards quite so blazenly, but admit it, this is what we are hoping and yearning for! This is the fantasy we have all been crafting in our heads in some way or another. We are all just waiting for our “meet cute.”
Likewise, we are a generation who has been given so many relationship/dating choices it is like going to a Vegas buffet and telling someone they can only pick one thing for the rest of their life. We millennials want it all and we want it now. This is not a nasty symptom of entitlement, it is normal response to a generation who has been fed a steady diet of instant gratification and Disney since they were children.
Via dating apps I can have sex in 30 min or less like it’s a fucking pizza delivery! And if he is not the one I can peruse no less than hundreds of dating sites and applications and filter through any number of specifications. I could date a black, Muslim, communist if that was my thing. Or a virgin, lion tamer if that got me off. And if that didn’t work we have so many communication tools and transportation networks that literally anyone on the planet could be a possibility. I could date someone in Mumbai via skype. I could whatsapp with my foreign lover in Geneva if I wanted to.
The world is literally our oyster and while this is an incredible testament to advancements in technology its got us a little fucked up. When given so many choices the worst thing we could seem to do would be to settle, especially not when there are 7 billion people out there who might be “better”. It is an anxious persons’ worst nightmare!
Why on earth would we settle down with the seemingly average bloke in front of us when there could be someone cooler, smarter, funnier, more attractive just around the corner! It is unnerving! And worst of all, we are more likely to be dissatisfied with our partner with the knowledge that there are loads more where they came from who might be better in bed, or more attentive to our needs, or make more money or be better listeners!
So what is a privileged millennial to do!? Casual dating starts to make sense when we factor in how many choices we have to sift through. Would it not be better to sample many options and keep all our burners a lit while we weed our way through the crowds of elgible, young singles? And it is better to keep things casual and free of commitment in order to alleviate ourselves from the impending damage of a broken heart while we look for “the one”.
Unfortunately this system too closely resembles a broken HR process. We sift through the choices like job applications, reduced to physical features and career choices and universities. Yet, the people we date are not resumes in a pile for an entry level job. The staggering amount of choice leaves us unfulfilled and entitled. We begin to take other humans for granted, feeling that for every hot girl out there, there are at least a hundred more with bigger tits and cuter friends to rebound with. And so the options begin to lose their humanity.  
All the while our search for “the one” revolves around our needs and wants, rather than partnership or sacrifice. And while we should not settle, our list of deal-breakers grows and grows. We need to stop and ask ourselves whether we are looking for an idea or a human being.
When our list of deal-breakers starts to outrun the things we really want and value in a life partner, it is time to ask ourselves whether we are the ones interrupting our own search and who is the search for love really about? Is it about our happiness and self-actualization, about finding an accessory to our lives, or is about finding another deeply flawed human in which to share life with? One in which we can sacrifice for and love unconditionally and root for despite a laundry list of flaws?
I recently saw this film where the characters talk about why they loved someone and they said that you like someone “because,” as in you liked someone because they were cute, charming and funny, but you love someone “in-spite,” as in you love them inspite of their annoying habits, their lame jokes, and their bald patch. This just hit me right, smack in the feels. How refreshing to see love as seeking out a flawed person instead of the perfect person, because that is the view we all need to take.
The perfect guy or girl doesn’t exist, so give up the chase now. Seriously. And the longer you continue the idealized chase, the harder it becomes to loosen your grip on those pre-determined ideals to fit your fantasy. The carousel of casual dating actually decreases our ability to be content or fulfilled by a mere mortal. 
We all claim that casual dating is “just for fun” and “nothing serious.” But frankly I don’t buy it. I think casual dating is more a defense mechanism in which to safely search for THE ONE without the fear of a broken heart. The sheer amount of choices offer a buffer to stifle a fear of ending up alone with 27 cats. We date like it is a race to get from one choice to next, lest we miss someone “good.”
Somehow we think we have beaten the system, that we really can have it all, but we are all really still just a bunch of kids hoping for a happily ever after. We pretend like casual encounters and speed dating and random hook-ups are enough to satiate us, when we are all just hopeless romantics yearning for someone perfect. When are we going to figure out that perfect does not exist???? 
good luck,
Ellie xx
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First post: We are all fucked… and not in the good way

 

Welcome to 2018 where everything is easier and more accesible than ever before! Not only are movies, TV, music, food and fucking all instant, but it is now easier than ever before to hate yourself! In the mood to be objectified and manupulated? Tinder and it’s breeding ground for fuckbois has you covered! It should not take longer than 10 seconds after sending a simple hello to receive an unsolicited dick-pic! 

Having some trouble shedding those extra pounds?Not to worry! You can effortlessly peruse your Facebook page and find yourself face to face with a nauseating assortment of horrendous current world events and the obnoxious opinions and grammatical errors of your 599 closest friends and family! That ought to have you puking up your lunch in no time! 
Fancy feeling like a fat loser? Instagram is a quick, painful way to see how size zero, narcissistic twenty something models are spending their days and their parent’s money in ways that will have you wondering why on earth you are at a lame-ass nine to five instead of Soul Cycle. 
But the dating scene…*cue nausea *I find myself caught in between an aloof, self-righteous stance toward it and a full-on melt down. Okay I get it, the 50s are over. Men don’t take women on dates any more, likewise women don’t wait to put out anymore. Gender norms have been cancelled. Feminism and fucking are in and virginity and housewives are out. Times have changes. We are progressive now. Women are sexually liberated. The problem is that neither gender has a fucking clue how to respond!
 
Never before have the rules of dating been so undefined, so murky. Never before could you send a stranger a digital picture of your genetalia. Never before could you so easily get a woman to sleep with you, it is almost as if she too wanted to get laid! Amazing! Never before was it so socially acceptable for both men and women to meet and bone all in the space of three hours. It’s time to throw out the Juicy Couture tracksuit (jk these are totally still comfy af), say goodbye to Blockbuster and settle into 2018. Welcome to the jungle. 
And yet people are confused, scared, and disoriented by all this social change in gender roles or their lack-their-of. There is no longer a protocal or hegemony to keep us in check. The only rules are that there are no rules. Women can ask a man out. Men can be stay-at-home dads. Relationships don’t have be defined. You can have regular sex with your platonic friend and no one has to expect anything more. 
Yet, with so much confusion the dating terrain has become infested with scapegoats. Sluts. Fuckboys. Nice guys. Bitchy women. They are all to blame for an impossible dating climate. So we cope with this new, rugged landscape by blaming others, denying responsibilty, clinging to plausible deniability, creating impossible standards, criticizing other lifestyles, calling irresponsible behavior “empowering,” and claiming victimhood.
 As women, when we get what we want we are “empowered bad bitches,” but when we don’t get what we want we are vicims of a shameless dating culture. Without parameters, immature, hypocritical behavior abounds. But it is also a natual response to a dating scene that is basically a free-for-all fuckfest. 
Likewise, men don’t know how to respectfully repsond to a culture where women can have casual sex and don’t have to get married or have kids, and women do not know how to handle this new found freedom in healthy, responsible ways. So we end up with a culture that points fingers and whines and cries victim because they don’t like to lose a game with undefined, ever-changing rules. 
And I am there too, in the thick of it. I’ve played the sadistic texting games and swiped right and left and ghosted my fair share of decent people whom I was “bored” of. I answered the phone when my girlfriends have called in tears to tell me about getting pumped and dumped. I have listened to my fratty guy friend tell me about the “hoes” that have screwed him over and which types of vaginas he thinks are gross without a hint of irony. 

And the conclusion I have come to is that we are all fucking confused and insecure. We are hurt and scared and fumbling in a dark room where the only logical resposne is self-preservation at all costs.

So now that I’ve got you all nodding your heads fervantly, picturing all the fuckbois that did you wrong and the crippling insecurity that drove them to behave like monkeys, lets take a minute to discuss. We are all both perpetraitors and victims in this aggressive dating world.
This blog is a disucssion of dating in 2018 as we know it, why it is the way that it is and how we as responsible, respectable, mature, bad-bitches can respond to it. I am so glad that we live in a world where it is okay to be different and do life differently. I am eccsatic that women can have jobs and marry for love, and not because her parents picked out the farmer nextdoor. I have goosebumps thinking about women being more highly educated than men and being able to vote and have sex without having to wear scarlet A’s, yet this privllege comes with repsonsibilty, for both men and women. It comes with responsibilty for both the women who forge these new paths in dating and the women who choose not to. It also comes with responsibility for the men who dare to evolve with the new culture and for the men who choose not to. 
I am not here to sugar coat anything. Nor am I here to abide by any warm-fuzzy, political correctness to assuage our fragile egos. My advice is to lean into the wild diversity of dating in 2018- don’t fight it, don’t complain about it, don’t bemoan the bygone era of the 1950s and dates to the Soda Shoppe. 
Know what you want and go after it, but embrace the challenges and the opportunities that no other generation before us has ever encountered. Save the complaints for a retrospective night 50 years from now when you tell your grandchildren that they are doing romance all wrong and it is just isn’t like the good ol’ days of Tinder anymore.
As we embark on and continue in this confusing jungle of “u up” texts and “we are just talking,” let’s just all admit that this is mostly a mystery to all of us and we are really all just playing it by ear. Please don’t take yourself too seriously. 
Part of being a mature adult is understanding how much you don’t know and how much more there still is to learn. I always say that the wisest person is the person who says “I don’t have all the answers” and really means it. I would be lying if I said I was some kind of dating guru, I don’t have a fucking clue. I get nervous in front of people I find attractive. I have serious trust issues with men. Frankly I am just here offing unsolicited advice. 
But before you set your Ipad down, roll your eyes and go back to stalking your ex on Instagram, allow me to grasp at the strings of your broken, cynical, millennial hearts. Let’s discuss this crazy, new dating universe with a new dialogue, void of how we wish dating could be, and instead focus on how we can be better members of this new culture.

 

Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor,
Ellie x
 
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