Tag Archives: millennials

A few things I wish someone had told me before I went to college

Aw college, the hallowed halls of higher education, molding the great minds of our next generation…. 

I think it is safe to say that college has evolved over the last few centuries, from esteemed halls of prodigy, to a holding zone for young adults between the ages of 18-22, who aren’t quite ready to become responsible adults yet, but have also outgrown living at home and curfews.

The focus has shifted from being a space for the most brilliant minds to congregate and build careers and more to that of a four year long social gathering focused on fun, personal exploration and social programming. 

That in mind, I loved college! But as we know, college is certainly not all about education and learning. Today’s college experience is now embedded with social traditions, cultural norms, and hegemony surrounding the types of experiences you shouldbe having. The college experience has absorbed lots of ideas about dating, sex, lifestyle and relationships, some of which are downright harmful. The truth is that the college experience is going to be different for everyone and what might be really fulfilling for one person might not be for someone else. 

Yet there are definitely a few things I wish I had known, and can now look back on with a new appreciation and understanding of: 

  1. Most college guys, no matter how awesome, will probably not make good boyfriends 

Most college guys are in party/hookup/selfish mode which is pretty much mutually exclusive to the boyfriend/ selfless/ commitment mode. And trust me I know that every girl out there thinks she can “change” him, or “he just hasn’t met the right girl yet,” and while there certainly are some diamonds in the rough out there, most college guys just aren’t ready to be good partners. They are in a self-centered phase of life where most guys are still maturing and figuring themselves out. Yet, while they are still in college surrounded by booze, hookup culture and irresponsibility, most college guys are just simply not in the frame of mind to be good boyfriends or even boyfriends at all. 

The moral of the story is that for the most part college guys need to be taken with a grain of salt, and don’t be surprised when that cute guy you’ve been seeing every weekend for three months “doesn’t want anything serious.” 

2. Be okay being alone/ single  

If most college guys are simply not commitment material that means that girls need to learn the fine art of being single. And an art it really is, especially when the culture is constantly telling us that we need a relationships status to define us. Ladies, learn to be comfortable being on your own, and being your own identity independent of another person.

On the other hand, lots of girls feel that college is a time to experiment or to not be held back by a relationship, and so they turn to hookup culture to meet their physical needs while also maintaining independence. And yet, sex is almost always messy, even if you think you are just keeping it casual. Pair bonding and hormones and old-fashioned feelings are a very real part of sex we cannot and should not ignore. 

3. Hookup culture is not for everyone and that is okay

Hookup culture is a vast and ingrained part of the college experience, in which most college freshman step onto campus thinking they are going to get laid every night of the week. The media in particular has promoted such an idea in TV and movies, and magazines. College students are left with the impression that not only is hookup culture a significant part of university, but that it is necessary to a fun, fulfilling collegiate experience. While yes, lots of college students are going to have casual sex it is A. Not necessary to your college experience and B. No, you won’t be the only one that feels that way. In fact most students will actually not be partaking, or at least not partaking to the extent you think they are partaking. I feel like many students participate because they feel like it is what they oughtto be doing or that if they don’t they are missing out on the sexual revolution. Sex is a very personal choice, and one that should not be molded based on the peer pressures around you or the social stigmas attached to what collegeshouldlook like. 

4. Wild partying and abundant drinking is not an indicator of how fun and fulfilling your college experience is

As with sex, the college experience is convoluted with images and connotations about what sorts of debauchery you ought to be partaking in in order to be living your best collegiate life. The truth is that while college will certainly be filled with fun and late nights and wild adventures, don’t believe the lie that alcohol must be the catalyst for all your best college stories. Some of your best college memories will be cooking dinner with your roommates, or going for a long heartfelt walk on campus with you bff, or a spring break road trip, or renting kayaks at the local lake or hiking with your dorm floor. College doesn’t’ have to be hedonistic to be fun or satisfying.  


5. Get involved in activities and find a tribe 

Again, this is pretty cliché advice, but the college experience is fueled by finding groups of like minded people with similar interests. Whether it be clubs, sports, teams, the arts, or student government find something you enjoy doing and a group of people you enjoy doing it with. This is a great way to make lifelong friends as well as pursue passions and interests in a particular niche, something that becomes harder to do after college when life gets in the way. 

6. Know the different between when you are better off going to sleep and when to stay up 

I feel like puling all-nighters and wild nights spent staying up into the wee hours are portrayed as staples of college, but I am here to tear that myth apart. Sleep is important. There will be some nights where staying up is necessary, like having an important conversation with a friend or a fun night out that you know will make a really special memory. However, most nights rest is essential, and you are better off going to sleep. Your future self will thank you. 

7. Never take everything you learn in class as the gospel truth, always be a discerning consumer of information 

Yes, for the most part your professors are intelligent, worldly, experienced individuals who are probably smarter that you, but the difference between the mass hordes of students who get pushed through the college system, and truly wise students, are those who ask questions, analyze what they are told, and are discerning consumers of information. Anyone can sit in a class and take notes like a robot, but the best and brightest will question what they are told and go deeper. Remember most universities have an agenda in regard to what they want their students to walk away with after four years, and it isn’t just a degree. It is your job to figure out what that agenda is, and then judge it to see how well it correlates with your beliefs, values and judgements about the world. 

8. Going to college is not for everyone- there is no golden ticket to success! 

In light of the college admissions scandal, please note that going to a four-year university is not the golden ticket that we have been programmed to see it as.   It is also not the straight and narrow to success.  And yet, all students are different and everyone is on a different path, in which a 4 year degree is not necessarily the best path for every student. Likewise, your college experience is what you make of it. whether you are at Harvard of a poorly ranked state school, your college experience has the potential you allow it to have. We put way too much of an emphasis on pushing kids through a college system that doesn’t work for everyone and pressuring them to enroll at “prestigious” institutions rather than places that fit who they are and their goals. 

9. Use all that free time wisely!

Never again will you have as much free time as you do in college. Class from 11am until 2pm! Then afternoons and weekend free! Oh you don’t have Friday classes? What a paradise of irresponsibility! Partying every night! Sleeping until 2! But not so fast! All this free time is a precious gift not to be squandered on drunken bacchanals and sleeping until 2! After college it is 40 hour work weeks and days where you wished you just had 2 extra hours in the day to do something other than work, exercise, laundry and sleep. While you’re in college use all that time to pursue passion projects, start a business, get a side job and start saving money, join an inter-mural league, pick up a new hobby, learn a new language, exercise, the list goes on and on. Trust me on this one! Make sure you make it worth it! Never again will you have that kind of free time to pursue your dreams and goals. 

College is a tricky time full of expectations and hazy glimpses of an unclear future, and there are loads of things I wish I had known and can see clearer, now that I have left the dorms and dirty frat alleys behind. College is a time to explore and experiment and pursue, and yet life is too short to make all the mistakes yourself, sometimes you just have to learn from other people’s mistakes. 

Good Luck,

Ellie xoxo

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Millennial Money Matters : Live off of Less

Money. Money. Money. Must be funny in the rich man’s world. Ahh the lyrics to another lit ABBA bop that also happens to be relate-able af. 

I know that this blog has primarily been about Millennial dating with splashes of culture critique here and there, but I want to chat a bit about money. Trust me I can make this relevant. You see money is a huge concern for millennials and ends up affecting their dating lives in many ways, whether they avoid it because they cant afford to take their Tinder hottie out to drinks, or girls looking for sugar daddies, or perhaps a man does want to propose because he is yet to get his finances in order. See I just tied it back to dating didn’t I? Money can actually have a huge impact on our dating lives whether we realize it or not. Truth be told money is the number one thing that couples fight about. If you can get your finances and debt in order now you will a. make yourself a more appealing mate and b. save yourself the trouble of entering into a debt ridden, financially unstable hot bed of resentment when you eventually want to settle down. 

The point is that money is a rather pressing matter for most Millennials, mostly because we are often caught in a dichotomous relationship with money and what we are suppose to be doing with it in our early twenties. On one hand the culture is rather adamant in telling us to “treat yo self” and that self care is comprised of luxury skin care purchases and manicures. We are often instructed that little luxuries are a right and not well…luxuries. On the other hand, we can’t seem to escape the deluge of news telling us how financially screwed millennials are, that we can’t afford homes due to our insatiable appetites for avocado toast, and we are drowning under student loan debt and that we are the most over educated and underemployed generation of all time. The two conflicting messages are confusing and daunting. One side of the story is telling me I am irreparably poor and the other is that I am entitled to constant frivolities. 
Where is the truth in this stream of messaging????

So first and foremost i want to unpack where these messages come from. They come from the media, an institution hell bent on keeping poor and miserable so that we look to them for whatever antidote they are selling. Obviously a “treat yo self” mindset is great for business! The spa business must be thriving! Likewise, financial consultation and so-called “get rich quick” schemes are big businesses in the western world, and the poorer people are, or at least feel (a la social media comparison) the more likely they are going to seek out solutions to problems that are perhaps not even real problems. Yeah, millennials have debt, but I wouldn’t exactly call them an impoverished generation with their fancy college degrees, North Face jacket collections, and Amazon Prime addictions. Yes, their 12 TV show subscriptions and weekly bottomless brunch routines might be irresponsible, but it doesn’t exactly scream financial struggling. All I am saying, is that it is possible the vague entity called the media is exaggerating/creating the “crisis” of millennials finances for their own benefit… Wouldn’t be the first time…

Now that we have called into question the legitimacy of millennial wealth or lack there of, lets get to my actual point. Millennials do have a lot of irresponsible money mindsets that i want to challenge. Regardless of where we rank on the salary totem pole, Millennials have an often negative relationship with money. They don’t know how to spend responsibly or save carefully and are unsure where to draw the line between the two. Moreover, most millennials just want to know how they can “live their truth” and follow their passions while also not going broke. 

The truth is that regardless of what you make you can still accumulate wealth. 

1. Change your mindset to live off of lessThink about how much you spend each month. Where does it all go? if you were to strip down that spending to the absolute bare bones necessity how much could you truly live off of? 
I want to challenge millennials to take a hard look at what really truly constitutes as necessary spending in their lives. When we make more we often spend more, but what if your expenditures did not change with income and your lifestyle remained the same no matter how much your salary increased over time? You would save a ton right!? Well that is the kind of mind set I want to encourage. Increasing our lifestyle every time we make more money keeps us enslaved to the system and creates wealth dependence not wealth Independence. When your lifestyle is independent of your income you are free from living paycheck to paycheck and your wealth is free to grow at increasing rates. So what does this look like? Reduce your lifestyle to bare bones necessities with a few splurges for priority items here and there and watch as you find yourself free from financial burdens. it is all about creating a more sustainable lifestyle, and not I am not talking about composting. It is about creating a lifestyle that doesn’t require much financial upkeep and leaves plenty of room for saving, rather than spending. So ditch the expensive habits and brand loyalty and treats in favor of a lifestyle that need only a minimum salary to maintain. 

2. Make sacrifices 
There is no such thing as wealth without sacrifice. It is a necessary component. What this means is that while you should treat yourself now and then and have a few splurges in which you enjoy your life, note that you will never accumulate wealth without making sacrifices in your spending and lifestyle choices. Shop at cheaper grocery stores, use coupons, drive a shittier car with cheaper insurance for a a while, delay gratification until you can actually afford it outright, say no to frivolous spending, live at home for a while,  say no to things you know won’t make you happier to add value to your life beyond a fleeting moment. I am not saying to quick eating out, but when you eat out that $30 meal lasted an hour, while the same 30 dollars could buy groceries for the week, or fill up your gas tank, or purchase a new dress that you wear for years. Be mindful of value and the value of the dollar. Recognize that sacrifice does not mean living worse with no benefits, it means making changes in which there will be more benefits in the future, such as a fatter savings account and the freedom to make bigger purchases when you are ready. Wouldn’t it be worth it to live at home for a year longer if it meant you could buy your own home 5 years sooner??? 

3. Become addicted to saving 
Saving money doesn’t sound like much fun, but once you start meeting those savings goals it is hard to not get excited watching that number in your account grow.  Soon making that account transfer is a source of endorphins and helps re-prioritize your spending. Perhaps that purchase you were saving up for does not really mean so much? Maybe it is more fun to keep your savings and keep growing it! 

4. Create new channels of wealth and never become dependent  on one channel 
The key to true financial independence is to never become dependent upon a sole income. When you are dependent upon that one income channel you reduce your options to make changes and adjustments in your life whether they are voluntary or involuntary. Being a slave to one job and one income means you are unable to step away from that position if you so chose, or perhaps if life got in the way. More income and more savings means more freedom and more options to make changes in your life. Maybe you want to go back to school or move to a new city or country, or stay at home with your kids more, or maybe you just want to take time off and travel, or maybe you want to go to part-time instead? Without single income dependence these opportunities become more manageable and realistic. As with dating, don’t put all your eggs in one basket, rather create a multitude of opportunities and possible opportunities for yourself. So what does this look like? It looks like having at least one side hustle, which in this gig economy is more than feasible, it looks like making investments with your savings, and it looks like saving as much of your salaries as you can. 

I know Instagram is a huge source of information on how our generation lives, or at least how we think our generation lives. Often times the ‘gram makes us think that the majority of our peers are on yachts in the Maldives sipping rose while you are at your cubicle job. This is both unrealistic and a false comparison based on a curated highlight reel. As a result, Instagram creates a lot of feeling of jealousy, inadequacy and social comparison that can drive us to a. feel bad about our own lives and b. inspire us to make purchases we don’t need. I myself have never spent more on skin care than I have while following beauty bloggers! It isn’t even necessarily that i am buying what they are selling , more that I felt more like I needed fancier skincare after watching their videos. It made me feel like I was one step closer to achieving their seemingly perfect lives. 

I think too often we get caught up with living our best life today, rather than preparing for our best life over the course of the next 40 years. And trust me when I say it does not take a fat salary to become wealthy, being wealthy really comes down to making wise money choices with whatever means you have, whether that be limited or abundant. Even if you have a entry level salary you can still save and accumulate wealth by living off of less, making sacrifices. becoming addicted to saving and creating multiple channels of income. 

Good luck,

xoxo Ellie

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Getting it On: Millennial Edition

From the desk of Lucas Valentine
Subj: Are Millennials the True “Hook-up Generation?”

Warning: This Post may challenge your perception of reality. Reader discretion is advised.

Imagine this.

You’re sitting at home on a Friday night.

You’re bored.

You’re lonely.

You peer through your messages app and gaze at all the text threads you have between friends.

Unanswered messages. That you sent.

“Ah well. I guess I’ll just check WhatsApp,” you think to yourself.

Same story. Strike two.

“I’m sure everyone’s just tired from the work week. You can’t go out every weekend!” 

“I’ll just have a quick browse through Instagram…”

Your heart sinks.

Looks like you won’t have a happenin’ time this evening.

And everything that is happening, is apparently happening without you.

As you try and decide what to do with yourself for the night, a thought crosses your mind, painting itself into a vivid and colorful picture…

Oh no…

Young men and women frolicking into the street, skipping hand-in-hand, shrouded with joy after having just departed from a crazy and wild party nearby.

All the young, horny, adolescents soon begin to dart into nearby bushes, cars, and any other dark and dimly lit spaces they can find.

You observe–in horror–as their perfectly shaped silhouettes begin to move to and fro’, bouncing up and down amidst moans and groans of pure ecstasy.

Yet there you are.

Still at home.

Alone.

And worst of all…

Sexless…

“Oh God,” you think. “I’m a loser!!”

While this horrendous scenario of loneliness may represent your typical weekend night, this dry daydream horror story is nothing but fiction.

Contrary to popular belief, the younger generations in the United States are having less sex than their older counterparts.

Shocking. I know.

In fact, it was reported that 57% of men and 51% of women between the ages of 18 to 24 have not had sex once in the last year.

Once.

Good God. That’s HALF of us youngin’s that are apparently hopping into bed with every stranger we meet.

Likewise, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine has announced that the frequency of sex amongst the 16 to 44-year-old crowd has been steadily decreasing over the past two decades.

What initially was recorded as a sexual frequency of 6.3 times per month between couples and singles ten years ago has now dropped to 4.8 times per month.

Bummer.

Talk about getting labeled as the generation that hooks-up with reckless abandon.

So, Millennials don’t actually hook-up?

Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa.

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.

There is definitely some merit to this label.

Before I go on with this discussion, it is worth noting that while this aforementioned data is revealing that millennials do indeed have less sex than any other generation before them, the evidence suggests that the number of partner’s one has over their lifetime has actually increased dramatically.

In other words, while sexual encounters per year have decreased, the number of partners that make up those sexual encounters has increased.

So then what’s the deal?

Too much Netflixxin’ and not enough chillin’?

While the sheer amount of sexual imagery around us has seemingly increased tenfold, it’s odd to think that the sexual activity surrounding this imagery has subsequently decreased.

A quick google search will reveal that today, many millennials prefer the ease of screen-based entertainment like watching YouTube videos than going outside to look for a date.

Even then, with uber-packed work schedules and the desire to pack their resumes with as many things as possible,  there may not even be enough time in the day to squeeze in a little romance.

So if you find yourself in a job working 40+ hours per week with 1-2+ hrs of commuting, it’s not too surprising that vegetating in front of the couch and watching some Hot Game of Thrones nooky sounds a helluva lot better than getting rejected by your crush at the bar.

Hopefully not your average Game of Thrones viewer.

Moreover, what’s the point of even leaving the house when you can swipety-swipe-swipe on your convenient smartphone apps versus having to put yourself out there?

So yes.

There is a bit too much netflixxin’.

I could go on, but you get the point.

People aren’t having sex.

Especially the younger generations.

Hell, if you’re having sex on average 3 times per week, you’re most likely in the top 5%-10% of humanity.

And Westerners?

Probably the top 1%.

To me, 3 times per week isn’t even that much.

So, if you and your bed buddy are hitting that 5-7+ times per week sweet spot (or 7-14+ times for us perverted folks), you’re basically apart of the sexual elite.

In fact, I think elite may even be an understatement.

Perhaps even royalty.

A photo of sexual royalty captured on a hidden camera.

Usually, when your average person is having sex 3+ times per week, this is almost always only a temporary state.

Mr. or Mrs. average stumbled into a sexual relationship by chance–probably by just saying the right things down at the ol’ watering hole while on the search for their next rebound–and they’ll enjoy this fling for the next 4-10 weeks.

Or however long those things typically last.

And once that fling falls through, once again, your average person finds themselves facing yet another sexual famine.

Oh, the horror!

So if you’re able to keep up your sexual frequency week after week and year after year, you’re quite the special person.

It’s sad to say that, historically, the regularly sexxed man or woman was a common element in society.

Monogamous relationships lasted throughout one’s lifetime and frequently people paired up early.

But now?

They’re an anomaly.

Indeed, it is quite rare.

What’s all this mean?

Millennials have ditched long-lasting and sexually filled monogamous relationships for short-term thrills. Which, ironically, are even shorter than we’d like to think.

Instead of having that one special person in your life whom you get to know extremely well, coupled with getting laid every week and weekend night you desire, a trade has now been made.

A hot and fast fling lasting several weeks–possibly several months–followed by dry-spells which seem to last upwards of 6-12 months.

Is this better?

Worse?

You decide.

I’m just the bearer of facts.

Maybe you’re one of the few that none of this data applies to. If so, keep doing what you’re doing!

One thing this does mean though is that there is probably even less competition than you initially thought.

Close to none.

As always, It’s worse than you think.

Pour Conclure

The millennial generation has ditched a regular sexual frequency with one partner for sporadic, short bursts of sexual pleasure with different partners, followed by depressingly long dry streaks.

While we like to imagine that the young folks of today are ‘bumpin’ uglies’ with everyone they meet, that’s probably just a select minority in the spotlight of all the drama.

So if you like regular sex, a girlfriend or boyfriend might be your answer.

Pro Tip: You probably won’t find your perfect partner on Tinder. Just sayin’.

But if you’re the lone wolf type, just remember, most people haven’t gotten laid in 6+ months, so you’re bound to make someones day if you stay persistent.

Just be sure to make use of your dating apps and approach every hottie you see on the street.

You’ll probably be the most exciting thing that’s happened to them in quite awhile.

Have fun out there.

Your Pal,

Luke

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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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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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