Happy Cuffing Season!

Don’t let yourself get caught single this time of year…

It is that time of year again. Time for pumpkin spice lattes and fall foliage and slutty Halloween Costumes empowered women dressing in ways that exude confidence and feminine sexuality, and of course dropping your summer fling like its hot.

The lazy, hazy days of summer have now passed us. We are now drifting into the time of year when cuddling with bae by an open fire suddenly sounds far more appealing than a steamy hookup after a beach party bacchanal.

For those of us unfamiliar with the dating seasons of the millennial calendar allow me to introduce cuffing season. Summer flings are over and it is time to nail down a partner for the always romantic cooler months of the year. Sure a pumpkin patch with the gals is fun enough, but wouldn’t it better if there was a special someone to hold your mitten-covered hand as you strolled through throngs of preschoolers smashing pumpkins? Wouldn’t the holidays be much more enjoyable with a bae to take to family events so they can stop harassing you about settling down? Who are you going to drink mulled cider with after a long day in the crisp, cool air??? What is NYE without a special person to toast the new year with and enjoy a midnight kiss????

let’s be honest, these holidays were not made for single people, in fact they often mock single people. Mistletoe? Couple Costumes? What the hell am I suppose to be thankful for if I am alone on Thanksgiving???? What is Christmas without an expensive gift from a beau that you can exchange for store credit later on???? Valentines’s Day is often referred to as SAD or Singles Awareness Day….You get my point.

This time of year comes with couplings that change just as quickly as the leaves do and soon those summer hookups are ready to be replaced with their cuddling, monogamous counterparts.Even the baddest bitches and the most serial fuckboys are ready to accept commitment during this time. Something about the changing of the seasons makes us want to settle down and depart from our promiscuous ways even if it is just for a few months.

Now that I have everyone’s hearts beating a bit faster and their cheeks just a little flushed, welcome to cuffing season. It is time to get cuffed to the season’s latest fling for the months of October- March before you dump their ass for a spring fling. But hurry or else all the good ones are going to be taken and you don’t want to still be on the prowl come Veterans Day when everyone else has coupled off to enjoy their 3 day weekend in the warm embrace of their lover and you are left to help mom and dad put up their Christmas lights.

So what is a young millennial to do? How/Where do I find bae? What do you look for in a cuffing mate?

1. Bae doesn’t need to last the year, they just need to suffice for a few months, so don’t set your expectations too high. He just needs to be polite to mom and grandma, know how to decorate a tree and have an affinity for horror films. All other attributes are just bonuses.

2. Fuckbuddies are so last season. Now it is all about cuddlebuddies. If you want to maximize your cuddle experience I recommend the dad bod. He will have more cushion for you to rest your head on and will not guilt you into working out when you should be knocking back eggnog and eating a healthy dozen of grandma’s xmas cookies.

3. The dating apps are a pretty reliable source of eager young beta males ready to hold your hand on Candy Cane Lane and buy you the dreamiest Christmas gifts. He is also willing to do all the sappy, cheesy stuff with you that a fuckboi would have zero interest in. The way to find these desperate betas is easy, namely because most men turn into one this time of year anyways. What can i say the spirit of the holidays is infectious. Ask all your matches if they want to go to a pumpkin patch or a tree lighting ceremony or whatever holiday bullshit. Ugly Christmas Sweater parties are also good. Just remember that while summer was for hookups and one night stands, cuffing season is for mushy activities that last week’s no-strings-attached-fuckbuddy would not be interested in.

4. If you are a guy, avoid the party girls for a while. Don’t worry they will still be there when winter thaws into bikini season and mini skirts start showing up again (okay fine they were there the whole time). In the mean time, cuffing season is about finding “good girls” to bring home to mom so that your parents don’t think you’re a player who will never ever settle down and give them grandchildren. You need to assuage their anxiety for a brief few months with a nice girl who doesn’t hate her dad.

5. Another note for men, this is a good time to get some seasonal work. While the cuddling and Netflix as chestnuts roast on the open fire might sound like a breather for your wallet, expensive holiday events, Christmas presents and Valentines’s Day will be a burden on the ol’ budget. Be sure to not spend too much though. Remember she is gonna be gone by March anyways.

6. For both genders, gifts should stay in the under 20$ range. Don’t waste your money on someone that is gonna be old news by the time President’s Day rolls around. Also, lavish gifts wreak of “catching feelings” and “desperation” something that is to be avoided during this season. Remember, your beau is not meant to be long term, so don’t treat them like a long-term investment. You are just here for the corn mazes and the admiration of pleasantly surprised relatives who thought you were going to die alone.

Best of luck out there! I hope you all find your flannel-adorned hottie to snuggle up with this cuffing season! Most importantly remember to not catch feelings with your temporary fling! While the mistletoe and romantic renditions of “All I want for Christmas is You” might persuade you otherwise, just remember that nobody wants to be attached come bring break and this hoe is only going to hold you back.

Good luck,

Ellie xx

Do Chicks Dig Jerks Part 2

your cliche “bad boy”

I would like to add a female perspective to the rousing debate of whether or not women really do like bad boys and if so do nice guys in fact finish last??

Allow me to answer this as simplistically and eloquently as possible.

yes.
and yes.

We have zero interest in a push-over of a man who hopes that if he can just call us pretty or get the check at dinner we might bless him with a view of our tits.
Dating should not be a charity case alright?

Nice guys might be “nice” but they are not alluring or exciting or dangerous. Where is the thrill in “nice” ?

Apparently women have masochistic dating tendencies where they would much rather get fucked over by a jerk with a bad attitude than suffer through a date with a man who loves his mother and opens the door for her.

Men often bemoan this illogical predisposition of women. And frankly I get it. I would be frustrated too if I had spent my whole life trying to be nice to women, because duh morals, and then end up finding out that she wants a jerk instead. And what’s worse is that women will complain about the jerk incessantly. She will cry over this guy for years, but still run back to his lying, cheating, bitch- ass over and over again. I would be cynical towards women too if I too thought my two choices in life were to either be “the nice guy” who can’t score, or some sort of despot with zero respect for bitches.

But as a women myself, I feel like this is a cliché that needs some unpacking, not just for men, but for women as well. Because lets be honest, there is some truth to this. Girls do like bad boys and run from the so-called “nice guys.”

What is the problem with being “nice” you ask?

Women don’t really have a problem with guys who are nice, like yes please by all means open doors for me, treat me with respect, give me complements, but that CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be the way that you show initial affection or interest. A guy who shows his interest in a woman by simply being nice is boring as fuck. And we don’t want it. The guy who spends the first date telling you that you look pretty and bringing you flowers is predictable and lacks excitement. Any man can open a door. It is generic. You think you’ve done something meaningful and no other man can offer the same?

Are you following me?

“Niceness” is not the problem. The problem is men who think that being nice is enough. That “niceness” is deserving and entitled to ass or attention. Or that niceness is enough to warrant attraction. Wrong.

What is it about jerks that is so dreamy???

Yet, It is not that we want someone who is gonna treat us like dirt. Obviously I am not a masochist who cant wait to be with a guy that ignores me, cheats on me, is rude to me, and cannot commit. The idea of the bad boy as an aphrodisiac stems from a need for a thrill. Girls want a little bit of an adrenaline rush, hence why we love drama so damn much. Also:

  1. mystery surrounding an enigmatic, rebellious man
  2. confidence is sexy (even though its probably arrogance)
  3. jerks exude charm and charisma to get what they want
  4. knowing what they want and going after a woman is HOTTT
  5. the feeling that any love worth having should be earned
  6. the sexual tension that accompanies trying to beat a player at their own game
  7. the sexual tension that accompanies a man who cant be deciphered
  8. women love a broken man that they can “fix”
  9. a flawed man gives a woman something to work on and pursue
  10. the rush of emotions that accompanies being with a jerk, such as frustration, confusion, and excitement is an addictive thrill

Women like a little bit of the chase that accompanies being with someone that is just out of grasp. We like the drama that comes with “will he, or wont he” and the inevitable thrill of trying to lock down a man who just does not want to be locked now.  At the end of the day we really just want to be pursued by a man whom we thought was unattainable. Yes, we like the drama and the thrill and the rush of emotions that comes with a “bad boy,” yet the thrill does in fact wear off. The truth of the matter is that if you truly are that jerk you might get pussy for a while, but girls won’t stick around forever. At some point we will learn to respect ourselves, get the hell over you and go for someone who treats us better, even if it is a “nice guy”. Do not mistake that arrogance and bullying will land you endless pussy.

Okay, so if being “nice” is a turn off and morals still matter, how should men behave???

If I am being honest i think that many a man has lost the art of the flirt in this generation. Where is the teasing? The witty banter? The rapid-fire back and forth? That is the stuff that stokes the embers of the slow burn! Women want to be teased! That roguish sense of reckless abandon and self- sufficiency is the secret ingredient in the “jerk” or the “bad boy” that gets women hot and bothered, and why women yawn when a man puts all his romantic hopes in opening doors and being merely polite.

Flirting should always error on the opposite side of polite. Polite is boring. Manners are boring. You know what is not? Teasing. Witty banter. Heated discussions. Testing the boundaries that women actually want you to test. We want you to cross the line and say something bold, or act rashly, or take charge. It demonstrates strength. Be a little controversial. Do not ask for permission. A man who acts with unabashed confidence is the one women want.

This is inter-connected with what my friend, Luke explained in his post on the subject. He makes the claim that what girls like about so-called jerks is their strength, both mentally and physically. It is not their sinful ways that get women excited. It is that they go after what they want and are not dependent upon the fickle whims of others to fulfill their needs. They are masculine brutes who do not beg. They do not ask for permission. They do. They act. They look out for themselves and their best interests and they hold their own. Women are interested in men who look out for their own needs and by association her needs, not a man who hopes for handouts.

The thing a woman most desires in a man is his strength, whether that be self-assurance, physical strength, strength of characters, fortitude, confidence, and/or the feelings of security she feels with him. These are the masculine traits in which she is attracted to and ones which her desire for him hinge upon.

When a man puts a woman on a pedestal he relinquishes his power, the one thing a woman is attracted to in him.

This element of strength is what is missing from a man that feels somehow entitled to a woman because he showed some bottom-feeder kindness. When a man acts out of hopeful “niceness” it can wreak of desperation, a scent that women are repulsed by.

Women want to be dominated, not in a cruel, subordinate sort of way, but in a masculine, strong, controlling sort of way that has her best interests at heart. When a man does not demonstrate strength, women subconsciously interpret this as a lack of dominance. They see that he will not dominate them in the way they desire to be. Technically the opposite of dominance in a man is desperation. He is either dominant or desperate. The two are mutually exclusive.

Now for the ladies screaming at their computer screens with indignant rage that I promote such an idea as dominance in any other area besides BDSM, hear me out.

There is a huge difference between a male that dominates women out of controlling, manipulative insecurity and a man who takes charge and demonstrates strength in his relationship and always makes decisions with his woman’s best interests at heart. That is the true difference, it is really whether he had her best interests at heart or not when he takes control. This is what women truly want and are attracted to.

You know that sit-com trope of the nagging wife who bosses her dead beat husband around? Well, pro tip here but that is not a healthy relationship and it is not at all what women are interested in. We want to be able to trust our partners to take control, but to do so in a respectful way that manages our best interests and those of the relationship. We do not want to be the bosses! We do not want to nag or be bossy! Only one person can be dominant at a time in a relationship, and if a woman has to be dominant it means her man is lacking the very qualities that draw her to him.

Treat her well, but DO NOT make her your whole world

Men looking to woo and seduce women, Do: treat her well, with respect and kindness and affection. Do NOT: make her your world. Frankly women do not want to be a man’s world.They just want to exist in it. Women want to be let into your personal, private world. They want to be made privy to a space that you have not let other women into. That is what makes us feel special and unique and desired, but we do not want to be your whole world. We want to cheer for you and encourage you, but making a woman the focal point of your existence is a good way to scare one off. It says to the woman that I have no other life goals or priorities in my life, and her, knowing full well that that is a pathetic life achievement, will become skeptical of your strength and therefore your attractiveness.

This is the secret sauce that jerks know and nice guys fail at. A nice guy is desperate enough to make a woman his whole world, while a so-called jerk never puts all his eggs in the basket of one woman.

So what is the takeaway?

The thing about “jerks” that chicks dig so much is their strength and their confidence, their sense of self that dissuades them from timid gestures and polite conversation and instead emboldens them to take charge and act with entitled recklessness. This is the man that will keep a woman holding on and coming back for more.

Good luck,

Ellie x

Do Chicks Dig Jerks?

You’ve seen it all before.

The band dork who has to conceal his boners in class everytime the seating chart puts him right next to Sexy Samantha.

The beads of sweat that form upon his upper lip when she asks him what the teacher said, or if she can borrow a pen.

And that nervous smile he sheepishly cracks at 6’3″ Football Quarterback Chad as he watches Sexy Samantha hop on the back of his motorcycle after school–even after listening to her moan in class about what an asshole he his!

What the hell?

“So is it true? Do chicks really dig jerks?”

Do they prefer the fuckboi who texts them “u up?” at 1 am on a Friday night instead of Eagle Scout Andy who would do all her homework in a heartbeat, and make her a duct tape rose to boot?

While on the surface it may appear that, “acting like a jackass,” is what is at work here, something else is at play.

Let’s take a closer look.

At the end of the day, all of our biology and behavior is driven towards reproduction.

Women’s bodies are specifically designed to give birth to and subsequently care for children.

Their equipped with additional fat stores to tide them over during a pregnancy alongside two oddly attractive milk jugs that will keep any baby well fed, even in the harshest of winters.

And men?

They’re born with testosterone levels that are significantly higher than their female counterparts: increased levels of muscle mass, a preference for riskier behavior, and of course their most beloved desire to stick their phallus inside any woman who is willing.

“So what’s this got to do with chicks, ‘digging jerks’?”

Everything.

In ancient times, if a woman became pregnant, she risked her entire livelihood to carry the pregnancy to term.

Possible depiction of an ancient mating ground.

She’d be vulnerable, unable to care for herself at times (especially as she got closer and closer to birth), and most likely in need of protection and resources from another individual.

And what better protector than someone who has higher levels of muscle mass, goes after what they want, and selfishly believes their desires are more important?

A nice guy?

Nope.

Chad.

“Wait a minute, wouldn’t she prefer Eagle Scout Andy who’d do anything she’d ask, versus 6’3″ Chad who’s just using her for sex?” 

That’s what you’d think.

But since her sexual attraction is driven by these primal desires–who’d be a better provider–she opts for Chad.

If selfish Chad had impregnated her, she would rest assured that his selfish desire to get what he wants–i.e. protecting her and gathering resources to ensure the safety and birth of his future child–would be far more effective than Nice Guy Nathan who gets pushed around and does what anyone else says.

“So they do dig jerks!”

Not exactly.

This dichotomy never was between jerks and nice guys.

That’s just what it appears to be.

It’s between strong men and weak men.

And not necessarily physical strength either.

Rather, it is because strong men make women feel safe and secure.

So in a sense, you can still be a friendly guy, but you must also be strong.

The definition of a “Nice Guy”–the one we all think about–is someone who only behaves in a nice manner because they want to be liked by everybody and likewise not have anyone think badly about them.

A firsthand account of a girl rejecting the helping hands of “nice guys.”

Is this you?

If so, it’s time to unchain yourself from the shackles of “nice-itis.”

Don’t make the mistake that acting fearful and weak-minded makes you “nice.”

Returning to our story…

A man who unapologetically goes after what he wants (Chad) is demonstrating to women that, if he impregnated her, he would do whatever it takes to make sure she and his baby would be safe.

By the same token, Nice Guy Nathan is illustrating that he’ll let others walk all over him and let them get what they want before he does.

In layman’s terms: his “nice” behavior is intuitively letting women know that if she gets impregnated by him, he will most likely NOT do whatever it takes to take care of what’s his–her and the baby.

Food shortage? You best believe Nathan will be the last in line. But not Chad.

Recession? Nathan’s unemployed. Chad owns a business.

Sinking ship? Chad and his family are already on the lifeboat. Nathan gave up his seat.

While women don’t consciously come to this conclusion, they believe it.

They’ll most likely say something along the lines of, “He isn’t my type.”

Or, “He’ll meet a nice and sweet girl one day and make her happy, but I just see him as a friend.” 

“So is that all there is to it? Act strong?” 

There is one last important element in this game.

A man’s sense of entitlement.

“Er.. what?”

The way a man treats a woman ultimately reveals what he thinks about himself and her.

In other words, if he is treating her like a princess and worships the ground she walks on, she’ll most likely think he is of lower value than her.

She’ll wonder, “If he’s so great, why is he going to such great lengths to please me?”

“Clearly, he must be below me, right?”

By the same token, if he treats her like she’s no big deal, then he is demonstrating that he is of higher or equal value to her.

“He only got me a Snickers bar for my birthday!? Is it  because he could do better than me??”

“I better stay with him!!”

Make sense?

No?

Human Sexuality 101.

Stay tuned for more.

Your Pal,

Luke

How to Tell if you just got Lucky or you are Actually a Total Stud

Congrats you just scored last night. You have a bad bitch in your bed and you are feeling like a total stud right about now. But wait.

How do you know whether it was you and your endless charisma, defined jawline and impeccable humor, or if you just got lucky? Did she see you from across the room one moment and the next she is wondering what happened to her clothes? Did she leave the house with a plan to get laid that night, or were you a great force of testosterone she just couldn’t deny? Was it your dick she wanted, or would any dick have satisfied? Here are the questions to ask yourself:

1. Are her legs shaved? I am talking freshly shaved, smooth as a baby’s ass. If so she probably shaved hours earlier with the intention of a man’s touch.

2. Is her whole body shaved? You know what I am talking about. Now I don’t mean she got a bikini wax a week ago, I mean are their red bumps because she just shaved that night and was in a hurry to do so??

3. What kind of underwear is she wearing? Lacy or cotton brief? Thong or saggy, beige monstrosity? Does her underwear match? This is probably the most telltale sign. If her bra and underwear match ding ding she got dressed with the intention that someone else would be doing the undressing. However, if you are a man you might not have a clear idea of what a matching set is. Let me make this simple. If she is wearing a black bra with black underwear, it’s matching. If she is wearing a hot pink bra with black underwear that is not matching.

4. Does her outfit allow for easy access? What I mean is not whether she is wearing a dress with no underwear (although that is probably a telltale sign right there) But like is she wearing spanx or biker shorts under neither? A complex romper with thirteen buttons and a padlock on the zipper? All of the following are difficult to remove and are not worn with the intention to be effortlessly flung from her body in a heated moment of passion. Unlike men, women do not just throw on any old thing. What they wear is very intentional and comes with a complex thought process. A cute outfit to go out with friends is very different from what Beyonce calls a “freakum dress.”

5. Is she wearing a padded bra? No woman wears that for any other reason than to lure a man’s gaze. Although she might not be too forward thinking, because once he gets that bra under closer inspection its all gonna be a hoax when those D’s are really A’s.

6. Did she come prepared?? You know what I am talking about. I mean is that black-hole-of-a-purse of her’s stocked with all the necessities. Condoms? Tooth brush? Extra pair of panties? Phone charger?

7. Is she wearing perfume? This is a bit tricky because she might have worn it as a part of her dressing up routine. However since perfume is not visual, it means she intended on being close to someone and not merely a beautiful woman whom you saw from across the room. Perfume is worn with the intention of seduction in the closest vicinity.

8. What did she eat before hand? If you were with her when she was eating what did she choose to eat? Was it a taco or a salad? A woman who is planning to have sex later on does not want to be bloated and will choose her meal carefully.

9. Does she smell clean? Is her breath fresh? Such are indicators of getting up close and personal with someone. I am not merely referring to whether she brushed her teeth that morning or if she washed her hair in the last few days, I am talking about whether she made a recent attempt at being extra clean such as brushing her teeth in the last hour or taking a breath mint. These all mean she came prepared.

10. If you are in a group setting and her friends are present, do they seem surprised that she is leaving with you? Girls gossip and gas one another up, and so if she wanted to get laid that night you better know that all her friends knew about it and that they won’t be surprised when they see her head home with you. On the contrary, if they did not know about it expect some confusion, darting glances and furtive questions being asked before she slinks away with you. Girl groups are like KGB body guards and trust me they will notice you leaving with her and they will want to know what’s up. Pro tip: There will be giggling.

11. Does she have somewhere to be in the morning? If you’ve been chatting with her and she mentions that she has somewhere to be in the morning and sex has not even become an option, she was not planning on winding up in your sheets. But if she seems without hesitation to stay up all night with you and there is no mention of any activities she must dart off to in the morning, then she planned it that way and she planned on doing you.

Men often make the assumption that they are big studs by wooing a woman into bed with them, however if she meets any of the above criteria it was her who planned on getting laid and you just happened to be in the right place at the right time you lucky dawg. Women have needs too you know, and it all depends on whether you are in the crossfire when she does. She probably woke up that morning and thought “tonight I am getting some dick” and proceeded to shave her legs and pick out sexy underwear.

Men need to understand that sex might be initiated by them, but it is chosen by a woman. If she does not want to get fucked, no amount of coy humor and well-coiffed hair or sensuous cologne is going to persuade her otherwise. Once again, I think Beyonce said it best when she said “my persuasion can build a nation” and she was not wrong.

Unless you are in a relationship with your sexual partner, you for sure just got lucky. No it was not your “game” or suave technique in impressing women, you just happened to be in the vicinity of a woman who wanted to get laid. Perhaps she had many choices to choose from and she chose you, great. But it was still all on her terms and had a lot more to do with how horny she was that night, or if she wanted to get back at her ex, or what have you, and a lot less about your manly musk.

good luck,
Ellie xx

Types of Relationships only Millennials can Relate to

Millennials have been blamed for ruining romance. We get all the shit because we love ambiguity and hate commitment. “We aren’t dating, we are just talking” or “we are just fuck buddies, we don’t have feelings for one another.”* cue huge eyeroll* In order to alleviate some of the burden that comes with that daunting “what are we” question, I have compiled a list of terms that refer to the equally confusing and ambiguous pre/not quite-exclusive relationships that Millennials are so famous for. Here is a comprehensive list of the vernacular.

“Friends with Benefits” a mythical land where purely “platonic” friends use each other for sex with no strings attached and no one gets their feelings hurt. Both parties mutually agree to pretend that things wont get too complicated or that their friendship will not be ruined. LOL.

“On Going Booty Call” a long term relationship that occurs only past the hours of 12am and the only activity is sex. Conversation and personal information is kept to a minimum. Please leave within 10 minutes of finishing.

“Talking” “We are just talking” is code for: we text a lot and may have hooked up a few times, but we aren’t really committed to anything happening. “Talking” is usually a plethora of gifs, emojis, and empty, vapid conversation to fill in the space until you meet (again) in person.

“Dating” Aka you go on dates, but are also going on dates with other people as well.

 “Hooking up” awww yes the most vague expression in the millennial dictionary, and one that almost always needs clarification. Does hooking up mean sex? Making out? Everything but sex?? Who knows! It’s truly a modern mystery of our time. It is the equivalent of dating purgatory between meeting someone better to have sex with or actually deciding to commit to the person whose bed you end up in every time you go out. *strong likelihood that alcohol has influenced this tryst.

“Seeing each other” is more committed than “dating”, but definitely not exclusive. You are probably both seeing other people, but the number of others is dwindling and things are a bit more serious. Careful, you might be getting dangerously close to having “the talk.”

“Sex with an ex”is pretty self-explanatory. You weren’t right for each other at the time, but your bodies are right for each other now. There were reasons you broke up, but the sex was not one of them. You are both under the spell that this couldn’t possibly have consequences or end badly. So young. So naïve.

“Pretty much together” You are basically dating-except not. This is a term that girls will use around their gal pals when their friends ask “so how are things with that guy?” ( as if those bitches don’t know his name after 6 straight months of deciphering every text with you). Girls will say “oh we are pretty much together” in order to not lose face in front of their friends who can probably detect her bullshit a mile away and know perfectly well they are just fucking and he is not going to commit.

“We’re just friends” Tricky. This is something that is said when trying to explain to a third party why you are not having sex. It is either said because you would be embarrassed to be mistaken as together, or you want a get-out-of-jail-free card for why you are not hitting that.
“We’re not exclusive” 1. The last words on your lips right before your partner throws a fit, makes an ultimatum and manipulates you into becoming monogamous. 2. A man’s way of explaining to his bros or potential hookups that he could still fuck if he wanted to.

“Internet affair” Not sure what to call this, but this is when the relationship exists solely in that rectangle in your pocket. You do not hang in rl, but your DMs are flooded with flirty messages, a few illicit photos, and no real commitment.

 “He/she is not ready” what this means is that you are waiting on someone’s back burner to go from B-list to first string. They are seeing others, but keep you hanging around with the promise that “someday” you could be together. You are delusional enough to believe that with a few choice words, and opportune actions you could move up the ladder and actually be their priority. You are likely to get caught saying bullshit things like “now is not a good time for him/her” or ” They are not ready to be with me.” No sweetie, and they never will be.

Unfortunately in Millennial-land it’s a pretty big risk to have the whole “what are we convo”- what if one person is more serious than the other? What if labels are not PC? What if one person has commitment issues? (don’t we all lol). Everybody wants to be the “cool” person in the relationship that does not give a fuck if the other person hooks up with a someone else. Alas, most of us are not that cool, but dammit if we won’t do anything in our power to trick others and ourselves into thinking we do not give a fuck.

As a result, relationships can exist in limbo for weeks, months or even years, never classifying themselves as anything more than a flirtation, and certainly not a real relationship. With this anxiety in place, committed relationships start to resemble a modern Camelot. Do they even exist?

To be honest, if you are in one of these areas for more than a few months somebody just flat out does not want to commit. Sorry, but they are being intentional about not solidifying the relationship. If someone wants to be with you they will take it to the next level and have the conversation that takes you from booty call to plus one at family dinners.

Obviously stuff gets complicated and I am not a big fan of the old standby, “if its meant to be it will be,” but at some point a lot of these grey area relationships need to take a good, long look in the mirror and get real about where they are headed.

It is not cool to lead people on. It is also not cool to stay in relationships that are not gonna give you what you are looking for. Or maybe you’re cool with them not going anywhere- more power to you- but for the rest of us not wanting to die alone, we will see you in therapy. Just remember that casual relationships are only casual if it is consensual.

If you are both cool with your no-strings-attached-sex-consort pact, good for you guys. But if you are unhappy with your relationship status it is imperative to figure out the situation and know when to leave. This is the necessary turning point and it is just not going to magically happen unless you suck it up and confront the situation. Be honest with yourself. Are you staying in a relationship that is not a relationship because the sex is good? Because you don’t want to be alone? Because you don’t want to confront issues in your personal life? You are afraid you will never find anyone better? Because you are afraid of change? None of these are good enough reasons to be complacent in an arrangement that is not giving you what you want or deserve.

Relationships are a total gamble, and frankly there is both dumb-luck and strategy involved. Maybe you both want the same things, but life is complicated and you were both too shy? Maybe they don’t want to be with you but they were enjoying flirting and hooking up? But always know when to walk away. Have the self-respect to step out of a relationship that is not going where you want it to go, if anywhere. But you certainly won’t get anywhere if you don’t take some risks and show your hand once in a while. Don’t be afraid to cut your losses and move the fuck on.

good luck,
Ellie xx

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

Not Interested? NEXT!

Learn your new favorite word: Next

While information overload, alongside having too many options in the dating market are common gripes amongst the Millennial generation–something both agreed amongst ourselves and pointed out by older folk–you have to admit, it has its benefits.

In other words, if all the chicks on Tinder are suddenly giving you the cold shoulder, don’t fret. Download Bumble instead.

If the girl of your dreams ends up with another man, assuage your worries, once you begin talking to someone else (or more!) she’ll be but a distant dream.

This mindset can potentially be unhealthy longterm (i.e. the grass is always greener), but it is absolutely crucial to your success when you first begin dating.

If you’re new to dating apps, sliding into DMs, and having to pay attention to a truckload of different smartphone notifications, it may come to surprise you that everyone you’re going out with has multiple nights planned out per week with multiple suitors.

The solution? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

At least, not yet.

While many love to bitch and moan about the cultural decline within dating–that having sex on the first date is normal, monogamy is dead, etc.–let’s face it: it’s apart of our reality now and it’s something we have to work around.

As you embark on your quest to find true love (or have flings) and step foot inside the dating jungle, you’d be a fool to keep the first rabbit you catch.

Maybe the way they nibble on your fingers is a little harsh, and it’s even made you bleed a few times.

Maybe they leave little droppings all over your bed and you find it annoying.

Maybe, yet, they’re cage is always a mess and you feel like you’re camping inside when you’re spending the night over at their place

All of these things can be problems, and you’d have no clue if it could be better (or worse).

You don’t want to end up with that hopeless feeling regarding “the one that got away,” while simultaneously not yearning for what else is out there if you choose to settle down.

While this may appear to be a contradiction of sorts, it’s not.

This doesn’t mean you need to fuck every stranger you meet just to see if you’re “sexually compatible,” nor does it mean you should be a celibate nun until you reach the grave–unless you happen to bump into your soul mate, of course.

Well, what does this mean?

Take your time.

If dating someone in a serious-relationship seems like a bad idea from the get-go, it probably is.

It won’t be worth the emotional hangover you’ll feel when it comes to an end.

Likewise, if you genuinely think you could see yourself going the distance with someone, then give it a shot.

At least you’ll know it wasn’t meant to be without having any gnawing “What Ifs” circling your head at night as you cry into your Starwars pillowcase.

However, if your mission is to simply bed as many lovers as possible, then you can disregard the above advice entirely.

But what is one to do after these situations?

Play your, “NEXT,” card as soon as possible, and get moving.

If you’re going to accomplish your goal of meeting the one or slammin’ as many members of the opposite sex as possible, it’ll be in your best interest to skirt around anyone who isn’t on the same page as you.

Why waste your time and energy on someone who isn’t crazy about you, or at least somewhat interesting in getting to know you? Or who at least wants to see you in the nude at 2 am?

The sooner you say NEXT, the sooner you’ll realize that the ol’ cliche, “there are plenty of fish in the sea,” rings true.

So if the room you walked into sucks, simply walk out, open a new door, and keep exploring.

Your Pal,

Luke

How do you get a Girlfriend?

In short–you don’t.

If a girl isn’t foaming at the mouth to lock you down and become your Mrs. “[Insert name of ‘hopefully-a-stud’ here], then you wouldn’t want her as your girlfriend anyway.

And if she doesn’t pester you about your relationship status, why bother? There’s no point in giving up your singlehood for a woman who isn’t throwing herself at you.

Yet, with that in mind, it is worth discussing why girls don’t seem interested in making you their boyfriend, as there are probably one of two different factors at play.

First and foremost, you may be portraying yourself as boyfriend material too much.

“Too much?!?”

Yes, too much.

At Putting Out and Putting Up we are in tune with reality, and this means that we recognize what each sex is truly after.

Men seek sex, women seek commitment.

The inverse of this is that women are the gatekeepers of sex, and men are the gatekeepers of commitment. More on this later.

“Okay, I see where you’re going with all this, but what does this mean?!”

This means that–as a man–commitment is, in essence, your pussy.

So if you’re far too willing to give it up, women will experience that same instinctual, gut-reaction telling them that something could be, “off,” that men also experience when a woman is far too willing to hop into bed.

On the flip side of this, there’s a chance that you’re depicting yourself as too much of a player.

In other words, she is perceiving you as someone who doesn’t have any relationship potential whatsoever and therefore won’t even try to lock you down.

If you present yourself as too much of a player, or “douche,” as some like to say, you’re probably not the type she’d want to bring around her friends and family anyways.

So, what’s a millennial man to do?

Your goal should be to illustrate boyfriend potential.

It’s in your best interest to not paint yourself as Mr. Safe who will provide her with a house in the ‘burbs, a white picket fence, and a moderate income salary to support 2.5 children.

While at the same time, you also want to avoid depicting yourself as Mr. One Night Stand. It’ll be tough to get her to come around for seconds if you present yourself as a total gangbanger. In addition, If you are ultimately seeking a long-term relationship, this probably won’t land you any hopeful prospects.

There’s a sweet spot to be had.

What does this mean?

You yourself should not have the end goal of having a relationship. You should only be open to the idea of one.

If that confuses you, allow me to explain.

If a girl was willing to immediately have sex with any guy who showed her the slightest bit of interest, I’m sure you’d find this odd, and for good reason.

On the flip side, if a guy is willing to immediately ‘wife-up’ any girl who shows him the slightest bit of interest, you’d probably find that odd as well.

Namely, that they’re both clearly demonstrating that they do not value what they have to offer.

If they’re such a great partner, why would they so willingly give-up what they’re able to use as leverage?

They wouldn’t.

Now, here’s the deal.

This isn’t to say that a woman who has sex is a slut, nor is it to say that a guy who accepts a relationship offer is a soft-pussy who is afraid to be alone.

What it does mean, however, is that you must pay attention to who is given permission to enter the gates–so to speak–that they hold the keys to.

If a girl lets any and all men enter her gates, you’d probably be best avoiding her for a long-term relationship.

By the same token, if a man lets any woman enter into his gates, you’d also be advised to avoid him as a potential relationship partner.

She slept with everyone on the football team? Avoid.

He’s committed to one skank after the other? Avoid.

Obviously, there will always be exceptions to this rule due to life circumstances, etc., however…

You get my point.

Just as you cannot control if a girl is worthy for a relationship, she cannot control whether a man is worthy for sex.

However, if you’re the one who is after a relationship, you really need to ask yourself, why?

If life is treating you right, you shouldn’t be so willing to give up your hand, unless convinced otherwise.

In my experience, if a man is desperate for a relationship, this typically indicates that something else in his life is lacking.

Most men don’t take the time to really ask themselves what this is before they commit to the next cute girl that gives them a bit of flirty attention – allowing them to divert their focus onto something else once more rather than address the issues in their own life.

Don’t let this be you.

Instead, focus your attention on developing and addressing your own life first (alongside dating for fun), and the right woman will come along at the right time.

Your pal,

Luke

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

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