Yesterday Robert grilled some hot dogs for lunch, and he actually asked me if I wanted mustard on mine. Gross! How did he not know I am not a fan of condiments, particularly bright yellow mustard? It got me thinking about how funny it is when you learn new things about someone you know really well. I really racked my brain to think of a few other things he might not know about me, and here is a short list:
When I was a preteen I had a bright blue bellbottom tracksuit. No, bell bottoms were not in style or cool in the 90s, but I loved the comfort and style of this getup, and it would be a miracle if I dodged getting pictures in this, because it was seriously my favorite thing ever at the time. This is to date my worst fashion faux pas, and I’m certain I’ll never be worse off than I was back then.
I. Will. Not. Try. Cottage. Cheese. I’m sorry, but the texture freaks me out so much that I cannot bring myself to try a bite. Why are there lumps in it? Is it more like cheese or yogurt? I’ll try pretty much anything, but cottage cheese is a no-go. I’m borderline scared of it.
I won the school science fair twice — once in elementary school, and then in the bigger pool of competition in high school. The first was testing out properties of bubble gum which were, in hindsight, not all very scientific, and the second was an experiment with photosynthesis. I don’t even remember what all the findings looked like, but I still have a medal from it.
Ryan Seacrest was my first celebrity crush. I thought he was charming and funny on American Idol, my favorite show at the time, and thankfully this was before social media so I didn’t have to be a Ryan stan defending him against Internet trolls.
I was a weird little kid. I’ve always loved the English language, but I also have made up words since I could talk. A name for something I love? Teedlehopper. That little dip that’s right below your nose and above your lips? Well, I’m glad you asked, that’s a Parison!
Now I’ll have to post this and wait to hear back from Robert if he knew any of this, or if I’m correct in thinking we’ve never discussed any of it before. I honestly can’t think of anything else he doesn’t already know, particularly about me now, but I’m sure there will be plenty more mustard moments in the rest of our lifetime together. ❤
Gosh, I never realized how little Robert knows about basketball until we watched one of the Celtics’ biggest games of the year on Friday.
Alright, alright. I mean me. Sadly, I am married to someone who loves watching sports, and I don’t keep up with them in the least. I made my first bracket for the NCAA March Madness tournament (College basketball, for those of you who know even less than I do) and failed miserably. I got 12th out of 13 teams — and the 13th person didn’t fill out theirs at all. Apparently, though, most of the people probably cheated, as there are little numbers telling you who is in what seed, but I didn’t know that when I chose my teams. So you can basically look at those and guess who’s going to make it pretty far. Instead, I had to choose based on who I had heard of in the past, what team sounded cooler, which mascot I liked best, or which had better colors if everything else was tied. Basically, I didn’t get the little cheat sheet that would have hinted that Gonzaga is actually a good team and shouldn’t just remind me of Gorgonzola cheese. I think I would have kept them past the first round had I known they were a one seed. The only plus was that I kept one bad team in that had an upset, so I got a lot of points for that. I don’t remember which team it was, so please don’t ask. Maybe a Texas or Tennessee team? Is one of them kind of bad but made it far?
Back to the Friday night game, though. I strongly believe in the “fake it until you make it” method, so I wasn’t about to seem like I didn’t know what I was talking about during the game. So in true Krista fashion, I joked my way though the entire thing. I either got a few good chuckles, an “I’m impressed with your extensive basketball knowledge” comment, or a look of complete horror that I could possibly be that unaware of what’s going on in the game. Each of these were completely worth it since we laughed a lot more and I felt surprisingly entertained during the whole ordeal.
Here are some tactics I used, and how well I think they worked in making me sound like a sports genius:
Rambling about the players’ personal lives. 8/10
“Yeah, he’s got several siblings, so I’m sure they’re proud of their brother for playing professional ball.” This statement gives me a ton of credibility. First, by giving a nonspecific fact that has a good chance of being true, you are building your credibility while not being questioned very much on the legitimacy of the fact. If Robert questioned me more I could Google the answer and would likely find that Jaylen Brown would have at least a sibling or two. Using more obscure players — perhaps on the bench — would give a lower likelihood of questioning, as people will be less curious about their personal lives. Next time I need to pay closer attention to the benched players and focus on them a little more.
Second, calling “Basketball” just “Ball” makes me seem like a super-fan. You can shorten a lot of different words to sound cooler and like you’re in the know with the sport. “Double dribble” suddenly becomes a “Double,” “Three pointer,” turns into shooting a “Three,” and so forth. Also, I have noticed a lot of moves in sports are shortened to just a few letters. “Touchdown” is “TD,” and “QB” for “Quarterback.” This tells me that saying something like, “Man, LeBron needs to work on his FT’s!” would be pretty cool. Maybe “free throw” isn’t typically called “FT,” but whoever you are watching with will surely not correct you because it just sounds legit, and they won’t want to risk look like a fool schooling you on something that may or may not be expert lingo.
I’ve seen several Celtics games now, so I know that Al Horford seems like a really nice guy, and that he’s a married man. I don’t know anything about his wife, though I should probably begin studying because I do actually like learning about the players’ stories, and am much more interested in that than their stats on the court. I took what I knew and ran with it. I talked about what a nice guy Horford is and how cute his family is. I wondered whether his kids would eventually be pro basketball players, and Robert completely tuned out as I rambled about generalizations you could probably make about most good families. I wouldn’t say he was impressed by my knowledge, but it definitely didn’t hurt being an expert on something that he knew nothing about.
Making observations based on the players’ appearances. -2/10
As soon as I saw Brian Scalabrine, I had a sneaking suspicion he was Irish. There were a few standout features that gave me confidence, so I went for it. “Did you know Brian Cabrini is Irish?” I asked without letting on that I had never seen this man in my entire life. Sadly, I misheard his name, but Robert didn’t seem to notice. He was just slightly unimpressed and more interested in watching the game than talking about one of the announcers. Noted.
There was a man playing basketball with something that looked like a delicate fabric cast on his left arm. It looked like it would be for managing sweat, but why wouldn’t he be wearing it on both arms then? That logic is pretty good, so it must be for an injury of some sort. I decided to call it a broken elbow, even though it didn’t even touch that part of his body. For some reason I found this to be more entertaining because I figured it would be funny if Robert didn’t notice that and it would just be hilarious for him to think I was that much of a noob. I had to keep going with it to sound legit, so I said, “Yeah, it’s great he’s recovered so well from the break. I was afraid he’d be out all season!” I got a look of complete confusion, followed by a, “No he didn’t, and that isn’t even touching his elbow.” Darn! The reaction was worth me looking like an idiot, though.
I’m going to go ahead and give this method a negative two because if anything it hurt my credibility. I talked too much about people that didn’t matter and made inaccurate observations. I think if I had taken it a little more seriously I could have actually made myself seem like a basketball nerd, but I wasn’t in the mood to be serious. I’ll try it again next time.
Changing the subject if you don’t know something. 4/10
My methods must have worked pretty well, because Robert quizzed me on things during the game. Some of the questions he asked were insultingly easy. “He’s wearing green shorts,” I answered. “The sky is blue.” Okay, so none of them were that easy, but it basically on that level, as I know the very basics of basketball. After all, I was the knockout champion of gym class my sophomore year of high school. Anyway, he realized I knew random facts, so figured he would quiz me on the game more. When he asked me what an “and one” was, for example, I mumbled something too softly for him to hear and changed the subject.
“Wow! I forgot that Kyrie might get MVP this year!” Apparently, they don’t have an MVP for each team, though, and there’s only one for the entire NBA. That makes his chances of getting it really slim, and I can’t remember for sure, but I don’t think he’s really in the running for that right now… It would have been wise to have memorized a few facts ahead of the game, but I’ll remember that for next time.
Unfortunately, my plan might have worked if I had a more interesting fact in my pocket, but it just hurt my credibility. He asked again what the “and one” was, so I said it was Michael Jordan’s basketball clothing line. Sadly, I should have kept it a little less specific and I think that would have impressed him. Apparently Michael Jordan’s line is called the “Jordan Brand,” and is a part of Nike’s collection. And One is its own basketball brand. They claim to be “the greatest basketball brand EVER,” and I believe them. There is a move in basketball called “and one,” though, and it means you get an extra free-throw shot after you make one while getting fouled. I hope I explained that well, I just learned about it on Friday.
I gave this method a 4 out of 10 because I think it could have worked better if I had some real facts to throw out during the game. Changing the subject is a little annoying, but if you have something more impressive and more important to say, why not? This will go better the next time around, I just know it.
What are some good basketball facts I should know for the next time we watch? Where did you study to learn more about sports? I think I’m learning just from watching the games, but there is a lot to remember and are a lot of players who look like they’re doing the same thing on the court, even though they have completely different jobs.
Ideas for blog posts come from all different places. Today, my inspiration comes straight from the gynecologist’s office. I initially called in to ask a question about an annoying little symptom of my birth control, so the receptionist had a nurse give me a call to chat. I told her what was going on, she asked what kind of pill I was taking, and I mentioned that the only other thing I noticed with it was that I had gained a few pounds. We both jinxed each other when we said, “Well, maybe that was just getting married, though.”
So accurate! Even if I wasn’t on the pill, I think I’d have gained a little bit of weight from moving in with a guy and trying to keep up with a healthy diet. We laughed a little and she reasoned that I was probably eating a little more now that I was living with a man. Yep. Not only am I eating more, but I’m also not eating as well. Salads with grilled chicken used to be a pretty big staple in my diet, now I order Dominos enough to get a free pie every other month from the rewards we’ve collected. Basically, almost every Friday I like to take the night off and get delivery. I think the pizza joint has figured out this pattern, because every Friday evening like clockwork a notification pops up on my phone saying, “Let us make dinner for you tonight!” with a little pizza emoji and “swipe to open” to the Dominos app, where I can just go ahead and click two buttons to order our favorite things. I’m sorry, but I’m not going to refuse someone else cooking dinner. Also, I’m not insane, so I absolutely love pizza and it’s probably a good thing for my emotional wellbeing to have it once a week. A couple of pounds is a small price to pay for this new lifestyle.
Marriage has been great. I love living with my best friend, and doing nothing together. We often watch Judge Judy or Family Feud while eating dinner, and enjoy shows where we can solve crimes and show off how smart we are to each other. I do notice some funny differences between both of us, though, and I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are a man and woman living together. I always laugh when I say that I think that God must have a pretty twisted sense of humor since He made the existence of mankind based on men and women getting along, living together, and reproducing. Like, think about it. We have to get along with the opposite sex and have made it a practice of living with them, even though sometimes it feels like they’re a different species. It’s kind of hilarious and must be so funny to watch from the outside. If one couple isn’t having a complete misunderstanding, you just tune in to another and BAM, hours of reality TV-style entertainment.
Okay, so the first thing I’ve noticed from living with a guy is that men and women are scared of different things. I am terrified of bugs. I freaking hate them, and as much as I love animals, I want my husband to get rid of them by any means necessary. I just don’t want them in my house. The creepy crawly legs — especially on centipedes — freak me the heck out. I always picture them crawling on my arms or down my spine and shiver. It reminds me of the one time I actually tried to catch a spider to get rid of, and he decided his best escape route was diving deep down into my shirt. I will never forget the bone chilling scream that came from that incident, and how it felt having a bug violate me like that; I just can’t handle having it happen again. Men, on the other hand, have an irrational fear of laundry baskets. I don’t know if it’s the polyester fabric that freaks him out or the fact that we have two — one for whites and another for colors — but my husband’s clothes rarely touch the inside of the basket unless I place them there. If we’re lucky they’ll go right next to the correct basket instead of in the monstrous pile in the corner of the master bedroom, but 10 times out of 10 they don’t make it in the proper receptacle. I hear this is a very common thing amongst males, and seems to be a number one complaint of wives everywhere. I don’t really understand why I’m afraid of bugs that are a million times smaller than I am, and I bet he doesn’t really know why he’s afraid of the laundry basket either. It’s just something that’s wired into our genetic makeup I guess.
Another funny thing about living with a man is the emotional aspect of it all. I am going to make another big generalization and say that guys don’t really get what it’s like to be a basketcase of emotions once a month for absolutely no reason. Unless you’ve gotten a visit from good ol’ Aunt Flo firsthand, you probably have no idea what it’s like crying over literally nothing and feeling cranky for two days straight. Sure, part of it is the horrendous cramping of your uterus, but the other part is just the sudden influx of hormones that overtakes your body and dictates your emotions for a few days. Remember how Karen from Mean Girls can tell whether or not it will rain by *ahem* how she feels? Our periods are the exact same way. I’ll feel really funny and off for a few hours, maybe snap a time or two, and then realize it’s because my uninvited — and frankly, unwelcome — Aunt will be there any day now. The funniest thing about it all is that I think he’s starting to catch on and sometimes can sense when this is coming before I even know it. This is either because he’s become in tune with my feelings, or it’s the one time of the month that I actually sometimes snap about the previously mentioned laundry basket. Either way, men will never completely understand women, and I think this is a pretty big reason why. The one thing I am thankful for is that I am the one who has a monster overtake my body for a few days, so he’s the one who really has to deal with tiptoeing around the beast, while I just ride it out.
Having to guard my food at all costs is somewhat new territory. I grew up living with two men — my dad and brother — so I know that writing my name on the box of leftovers is a must, but I am not used to living in a space where every room can be infiltrated by a hungry man. I will tell you my secret to keeping chocolate stocked in the house at the risk of my own husband reading this and learning my secrets. It’s a big sacrifice, but I hope it helps other women out there figure out how to keep their daily chocolate stash safe. I hide my dark chocolate in my desk drawer, under a pile of really boring bills. I know, I know, when you get married everything is supposed to be “ours” now, but in all honesty this is just a base for a healthy marriage. I get very rage-y without my chocolate fix, and it’s just best that we always know that there is some emergency chocolate close by. You never know when you might need it, and if I kept it in the kitchen where it belongs it would just get eaten up as soon as I brought it home. I need. My emergency. Chocolate.
Living with a man keeps life interesting and has had some of a learning curve, but we do have some things in common, too! A big similarity we have is the fact that we both lose things on a very regular basis. In male and female fashion, though, we lose things very differently than one another. I keep a messy purse. Between my chapstick, snacks, my wallet bursting with gift cards I’ll probably never even use, and an abundance of other “necessities,” I can never find my car keys or drivers license quickly. It takes a good purse overturn to retrieve anything, which in turn, messes up it up even worse for the next time I go in there to find something. You would think I was a descendant of Mary Poppins with all the junk I keep in there! It takes just under an hour to find anything, and this can be irritating when it’s below freezing out. My husband, on the other hand, loses everything at home. I laugh at how often I see women posting memes on Facebook about the way their husband looks for things. “Krista, have you seen my (insert item here)?” This is often quickly met with a, “Never mind, I found it!” Most of the time the shouting from the other room indicates that said item was in the exact place it was supposed to be.
Luckily, all of these silly scenarios help keep life lighthearted and interesting. Getting married has given me a whole new world of things to write about, and made me realize just how similar of experiences we all have to one another. That’s why memes and relatable posts on Facebook go viral. How boring would it be if we lived with an exact replica of ourselves?! Plus, having different strengths and weaknesses is super helpful, especially when there’s a bug in the house. Instead of having 2 people jumping on furniture and screaming, one of them is able to keep calm and take action.
What do you think is a funny difference between men and women? I know some of these were silly generalizations, but I think — generally — generalizations have some truth to them! At least when it comes to marriage they do. I have yet to meet a wife who has not brought up the laundry basket when they ask me how life is as a newlywed.
My favorite holiday is this week! I am so excited that we only have two days until Valentine’s Day, but I am well aware that a lot of people are either dreading the day or just not looking forward to it. Valentine’s Day has always been one of my favorite days of the year — despite being single for many of them. It’s great having a holiday that’s just meant to show how much you love the people in your life.
Here are an few fun ideas of things to do if you are single this Valentine’s Day:
1. Treat yourself to a massage. Couples massages are great, but you don’t need a date to have a relaxing day. If anything going alone just means you can take your time and enjoy the sauna and other amenities a spa has to offer before your treatment.
2. Binge watch a show and order delivery. This was one of my favorite things to do to relax when I was living on my own in New York. I loved watching Gossip Girl with a pizza from Joe’s and top it all off with a cupcake from Sprinkles. Now, there are a million different murder mysteries on Netflix,The Office and Parks and Rec both have great Valentine’s Day episodes, or there’s always The Hallmark Channel for hopeless romantics.
3. Splurge on expensive truffles. One of the best things I’ve gotten for Valentine’s Day was an enormous box of Godiva truffles. I used to think they were overpriced (And I mean, they totally are), but it’s worth it for a one-time thing.
4. Go dessert hopping by yourself or with a friend. Check out Yelp for the highest-rated places and taste a few things from each of them. Bring a box to keep the leftovers for the next day!
5. Deliver Valentines to your friends and family. Valentine’s Day has always been a day to celebrate the ladies in my life. My mom and I have always gone all-out for this pink and red holiday, and several of my friends like celebrating it with me, too! I usually celebrate a few different days to get all of my Galentines in, but it’s also a lot of fun to see friends’ faces when you deliver something on February 14th.
So whether or not you have a date this Thursday, make it a day to just love yourself and splurge a little. It’s always so much fun to have things to look forward to in life, and Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to just be excited about all of the love you have in your life. I hope you all have a fantastic day, and feel free to tell me what you’re going to be doing in the comments!
We only have two posts left about 1 Corinthians 13, and today’s is going to be a little lengthy, so hang in there!
“Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.”
Sadly, there is a lot of evil in the world, some of which isn’t even thought of being that way. We are going to keep this post a little simple, though, and focus on the Bible by remembering the seven deadly sins. Pride, envy, gluttony, sloth, greed, wrath, and lust are categorized as the “seven deadly sins.” These are all things that can possibly kill beautiful relationships. I could have a lengthy conversation about how each of these can completely destroy two hearts that are bound together, but today I am going to focus on the three that feel the most prevalent.
We don’t really use the word “gluttony” very often, but according to Dictionary.com it means, “Excessive eating and drinking.” When we think of this word, we think of someone who cannot stop eating, and Bruce in Matilda* comes to mind as someone who eats to the point of being gluttonous. Instead of using the traditional definition of gluttony, however, I want to dig deeper into the reason gluttony is considered one of the seven deadly sins. The key word in the definition is, excess. “Eating and drinking” is in no way a harmful behavior. We need to eat to survive, and a glass of wine can be a great treat at the end of the day. Anything in excess can be incredibly damaging, though, especially to a relationship. The most prominent things I can think of today that people enjoy to excess would be videogames, television, alcohol, or even work. It is heartbreaking just how many girls I see in wedding groups talk about how their future husband won’t pay attention to them because he is too focused on Call of Duty or another game of the sort. I have seen countless people asking for advice on how to get their loved one out of the house and to take care of them half as much as they do their Playstation or Xbox.
I had to sit and think of excessive habits before writing them on this page, and “work” was an interesting thing to include because many people would argue that if someone works hard, it can’t possibly be a negative attribute. A quote that has always stuck with me is,
“No one on his deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my business.'” -Arnold Zack
Living in the suburbs outside of Washington, DC has been an interesting way to grow up because so many people here prioritize status, money, and power above relationships. Even in school we were always pushed to take as many high level classes as we could manage without breaking — and then some. We were encouraged to play a sport every single season and maintain extracurriculars that would “help us get into a good college one day.” Even in the younger grades I had several hours of homework after spending all day at school. Never once did my high school mention that spending time with family was important, or that having close friendships would be what remained after school was all done with. Doing something meaningful and productive in the world is so important, however the influence you have in the lives of the individuals you come into contact with on a daily basis is just as important.
Greed is something that is a really obvious detrimental trait in a relationship, as it is linked to selfishness. A lack of contentment is the easiest way to lead an unhappy life, and constantly wanting more for yourself will secure a spot with all the other people who can’t focus on the present and always just want more.
Lust is one of the most obvious relationship-destroyers. When I think of “lust,” I think of Hollywood, and I think of society’s normalization of objectifying women. Movies are filled to the brim with sex, nudity, and innuendos, and whether you like it or not, we are conditioned to think that sex isn’t always a private moment between two people who care about each other. It is something that we see every day in magazines, on television, and on unsuspecting webpages, and it is no longer considered “shocking” when someone poses without any clothing on for millions of people to see. Relationships fall apart every single day because one — or both — parties believe they can do better and find someone new and exciting to pursue. Lust is one of the deadly sins because love cannot be sustained through lust. Love is fed through hearts and souls, and a beautiful body is never going to keep a relationship happy and healthy. If anything, love gives a beautiful new set of lenses to view your partner through, and gives a healthy physical component through knowing what is deep down in someone’s heart.
*Side note: When I was a kid, we saw Matilda in theaters and had to leave because I was terrified of the chokey. In hindsight this was a kind of sick movie, hahaha!
“Love rejoices in the truth.”
Two of my favorite words in the English language are “love,” and “rejoice.” They both make my heart flutter with joy, and always have something positive attached. Truth is the key word in this sentence about love, though. “The truth” is the direct object of the sentence, which means it is the reason love is rejoicing. Your love is able to be excited because of having an open and honest connection. Trust is the very basic necessity of a strong relationship; without it there is no foundation to build love upon. Something I really love about my relationship now is that I haven’t ever questioned whether or not I am being lied to. I know my significant other is someone who is always going to be upfront and honest with me, and that has given me such an enormous level of security that I want every single person to be with someone that they first and foremost trust. The world is not a perfect place, which means the truth can sometimes hurt or be difficult to deal with, however love becomes much easier when it is centered around truth. True love doesn’t keep secrets and can grow and really flourish with truthfulness.
We will dissect each of these, and talk about why I think it’s important the verse ends with, “always perseveres.” Thank you for keeping up with this little segment, and I can’t wait to finish this chapter about a beautiful favorite wedding Bible verse.
I have had a million different thoughts spinning in my head throughout the wedding planning process. I just got home from picking out my dress and finally sat to let it sink in that the first thing Robert will see me in as his wife is being created right now. All of the delicate details are being crafted for the one day I have dreamed about since I was a little girl, and I can’t wait to see the love of my life waiting at the end of the aisle for me. Writing that gives me chills.
Now that I’m home I’m listening to a few of our favorite songs and daydreaming about how amazing that day will be. One thought led to another, and I realized something kind of incredible about our story. Any heartbreak we’ve faced in the past worked out for the best. Oh my gosh, I cannot tell you how worth all of the pain it this is now. Humans are all the same, and we all face ups and downs in life. Adults know what heartbreak feels like, how hard it is to be rejected, how tiring dating around can be, and how incredible love is.
At 27 I don’t know everything, but I do know that even if your heart feels like it’s been completely shattered, it can be put back together again. I know that pain is often fleeting, as are lonely moments. I know that perfection doesn’t exist, but loving someone who is imperfect can be even more beautiful, and finally, I know that sometimes you may think you’ve lost someone you love, only to realize that you had absolutely no idea what love really is.
All of our heartbreak and dead ends along the way have brought us together, and at the end of the day, it really does only matter who we end up with. I can remember vividly what it feels like to be heartbroken, but at the same time I don’t ever think about it anymore. I am in such a different chapter of my life that none of that will ever be a part of it again.
The reason I wanted to write all of this is that I know so many twenty-somethings are still figuring things out and some have given up on love or others because of a few bad experiences or terrible heartbreaks. I want to keep cheering you on — whether or not you are dating around — and offer myself as a reminder that circumstances in life change greatly. We sometimes have our crazy ups and downs, but I promise you it is all worthwhile and you are never truly alone, even if it feels that way. Whether you’re married, single, engaged, or have completely written off dating, just remember that heartbreak fades away and one day you might just be lucky enough to realize why things didn’t work out, even if at one point you had hoped they would. God might laugh at the things we think are best for ourselves, but ultimately He knows what is best for us and wants what’s best for us. If we are willing to let go of the things that aren’t right for us, we make room for the beautiful and wonderful things that are meant to come our way.
Never settle for someone just because they’re safe or familiar. Marry your best friend, your partner in crime, your ride or die. This doesn’t guarantee life will always be easy for the two of you, but it does mean that you can be absolutely certain that no matter what comes your way, you’ll have something that is constant and someone who will be there through thick and thin. In the meantime, if you haven’t found your person yet, embrace the single life and find other things to be joyful for. There are so many wonderful love stories in the world, and not all of them are built through romance. Cultivating beauty in other aspects of your life will make the love you find just that much richer when the timing is right. Hang in there, and remember that you are so loved. ❤
I think something we’ve all heard from our friends and family is don’t settle for a mediocre relationship. Some of us have friends who haven’t really been in a relationship before because they haven’t found anyone worth spending time on dating. I was that girl for close to two decades. Granted, I don’t think the first thirteen years of life are typically reserved for dating, but you get it — I was definitely a late bloomer.
Today I’d like to play the devil’s advocate, though, and pose a different argument.
Could you possibly be too picky in the dating world?
I am a firm believer in not dating someone who clearly goes against one of your deal breakers. I am also a firm believer in only having a few of those, though. Things that you absolutely cannot live with — or without — constitute as deal breakers. Religion, priorities, lifestyles, and location are all things that are very real deal breakers.
I have seen some really amazing people pass over potential dates for really superficial or minuscule traits. Whether it’s a hairstyle and something about a person’s looks, or an unrelatable hobby, I see great people get ditched for small differences all the time. I’m a huge advocate for the “it’s just a date” philosophy, and I think you are far more likely to miss out on a wonderful person by being incredibly strict with your dating criteria, rather than being open to going on a few potentially bad dates.
The reality of the world is that you are never going to find someone who is absolutely perfect. Every single person on this earth is going to be different than you in one way or another, and if you say “no” to everyone who has some sort of quirk, you’re never going to find anyone who is exactly the same as you are. To be honest, if I met myself I think I’d be bugged by plenty of things. I am chronically late (but working on it!), I can be high-maintenance — especially with my medical needs — I need words of affirmation to feel like my work is valid, and I have a fairly sensitive heart with the people I love most. When you can overlook my flaws, though, I have a good heart. I am patient, I love deeply, I know how to put someone else’s needs above my own, and I try to be there for anyone who needs a friend. My purpose feels like it is to make others feel less alone in the world, which is why I write so often about my honest thoughts and feelings.
I want to encourage you to look at your deal breakers and reevaluate what you find is important in a relationship. If you swipe left on people for their fashion sense or because they seem to have one or two different interests, I challenge you to change your ways for just one month. Give guys you ordinarily wouldn’t a chance, and go on a few dates with people who aren’t quite “your type,” and just treat dating as a fun little activity with no pressure to find Mr. Right. There’s a reason people so often say they met their significant other when they weren’t looking — it’s so much easier to date when you don’t feel pressured to find your perfect match. Your heart becomes open to finding beautiful love when you don’t have your guard so high up and when you can just relax, be yourself, and have fun.
If you decide to start dating around, please let me know how it goes! I love hearing all of your stories.
Wow, the past few months have been crazy in the best way.
Robert and I got engaged in November and I had plenty of time to breathe and enjoy our new titles as “fiancée” and “fiancé” (Side note: did you know that the word differs in spelling for a man and a woman? Two “e’s” mean the word is for a female, and just one makes it male). Now that I’m in month five of being engaged I want to tell you all how everything has been and what kind of advice I have for people when they first get engaged too.
First, one thing I did that I would absolutely do over and over again is that I kept the engagement off social media for a little over a week. It was so special having this little secret with Robert and all my loved ones, and it made that time so memorable and easier to live in the moment. Rather than getting hundreds of calls, texts, and well wishes online, we were able to hold hands and be quietly excited at the thought of getting to marry each other one day in the near future. It felt a lot more intimate and all of the new changes had time to sink in before announcing our new status to the world.
Second, I recommend actually searching for venues after taking a few weeks to let everything sink in. My initial response to the dozens of “Have you set a date?!” question was, “I am just taking some time to enjoy being engaged.” While that is all fine and dandy, I knew I wanted to get married in the fall. We got engaged in the winter, and wanted a fall wedding. Had I started right away I would have had about a year to plan, whereas I knocked off about a third of that to just sit back and relax. Luckily, everything on that front has worked itself out and I’m really happy with the way our plans are materializing, but the Washington DC area is super competitive, even in the wedding industry. If you want to get married on a certain date or time of year, you should keep that in mind while figuring out how long you are going to be engaged and when to start planning.
Third, there is no right or wrong timeline. Some engagements are short, others are long, and there are a million in between. Figure out what you think is right, then just go for it! Planning such a big event is definitely a new and unique challenge, but it’s also a lot of fun once you stop dipping your toes in the water and just jump into planning. Luckily, all of the research I’ve done in college and assignments I had at Seventeen are really paying off, because it takes a lot of work to find the right vendors to create a big event like this.
Finally, enjoy second of being engaged and make sure to still go on date nights and do things outside of planning your wedding. Time goes by so fast, and before you know it you’ll be a husband or wife instead of just a fiancé(e)!
There is something in this world that I call “magic hands.” It’s essentially someone who has a gentle, healing touch. I think that this can often come from someone you really care about transmitting love through their hands, but I also think certain people are just gifted with healing hands. Using physical touch as a love language seems super obvious; kissing, hugging, massages, and intimacy seem to be pretty simple concepts to grasp. Someone with physical touch as a top LL, though, will tell you that it’s even more than that. Here are a few ways you can make your partner feel loved through the gift of touch:
Hold their hand when you’re out and about. Showing affection in public is actually a really special thing to most people with this as a primary love language. Whether it’s putting your arm around them or grabbing their hand, these are both ways to make someone feel really taken care of while you’re running errands or having a date night.
Another reason some people love physical touch in public is because it connects with the affirmation part of a LL, and makes your partner feel like you are proud to be out with them. By gently holding hands with your significant other you are showing that you are connected to them in a romantic way, and that you have given up pursuing anyone else for the joy of being with them.
Putting your arm around your partners shoulder or waist while you’re watching a movie is a subtly sweet way to show love. Being together is the most important thing about physical touch — it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing, as long as you are close.
Massage is a form of physical touch that can bond a couple, but it can even be healing in a platonic relationship. A massage from a romantic partner, however, is a great way to show your other half that you love them and are able to be selfless in your relationship.
Kissing is a great way to show someone you love them. Different spots make you feel a different kind of love, though. A kiss on the lips is passionate and romantic, while a kiss on the forehead is sweet and tender. Kissing someone on the hand is more submissive and adoring, and a kiss on the cheek is a friendly way to show love.
Everyone has different ways they feel especially loved through physical touch. Some people really enjoy hand holding, others want hugs and kisses. Regardless of your physical touch style, it is a very important part of a romantic relationship, as it isn’t as common in other relationships in your life. It’s a way that can make people feel safe and taken care of. By implementing these practices in your everyday life, your romance will blossom even more and both of you will reap the benefits of this love language.
The first Love Language I want to touch on is “gift giving” because although it seems incredibly simple and is arguably the “easiest” of the five, anyone with this as a top LL will tell you otherwise. It’s not at all materialistic or about the amount of money you spend. Gift giving as a love language is never about money; it’sall about the time you put into thinking about your partner for picking out something you know they’ll love.
I would definitely argue that nurture plays a large role in developing your Love Language as an adult. Ever since I was teeny tiny my mom has always loved surprising me with little goodies and treats. When I was a kid I would sometimes crawl into bed at night and feel something fuzzy against my feet. I peeled back the covers to find a little stuffed animal with a note attached, telling me that I was special and incredibly loved.
When I reached high school she still loved me this way and often left little cookies and notes scattered in the kitchen for me to find when I got home from cross country practice. I still have some of those cards to this day, and I have a really hard time throwing away letters because they are one of the most special things to me.
Even at 26 I will sometimes come home to find a little tube of lipstick or another fun cruelty-free beauty item on my bed. It makes my day every time, and the notes always give me a smile and my heart joy, too. Just knowing someone is thinking about you when you are away is a really special feeling.
Since I feel well-versed in gift giving, I wanted to come up with a little list to help people who might not be fluent in this love language yet. Just because one of the LL’s isn’t important to you, doesn’t mean it isn’t to your partner! It’s great taking this quiz and knowing your significant other’s results, as it can be hard to use LL’s that feel foreign to you. Working on speaking your partner’s language, though, can be a really rewarding task. I highly recommend reading the 5 Love Languagesbook if you haven’t! It teaches how to love on a whole new level.
Ideas for Guys to implement this LL:
Flowers. This is the answer to so many of life’s relationship problems. If you get in a fight flowers are great to say you’re sorry, but they’re also amazing for anniversaries, birthdays, sick days, and even “just because.” When gift giving was my top love language I used to always say that someone could go outside and pick me a bouquet of dandelion weeds and I would still find the gesture incredibly sweet. As I said before, it’s not the price sticker on the bouquet that we find so charming, rather it’s the sentiment that goes behind the gift that really matters.
Bring her favorite dessert home. This is one of the most underrated things, but I’m going to give my mom props in this post for always bringing me a new dark chocolate bar to try. She keeps my “chocolate drawer” (Yes, this is a thing in my household) stocked with my favorite Trader Joe’s 73% dark chocolate, and often brings home little treats from trips to the grocery store or when she goes to the neighboring town that holds the best gluten-free cupcakes around. The chocolate is great, and it always makes my heart so happy that she thinks of me even when I’m not around.
As a special treat girls love jewelry, but we know it’s expensive. Robert happens to be the best guy I’ve ever known about picking out beautiful jewelry. I’m always wearing something that he gave me, and it makes me smile and think of him when he’s not around. When we first started dating I wondered if this was Robert’s LL, as he always seemed to have a new little present for me. Two favorite stories come to mind with Robert. First, was a journal he bought and gave to me on our fourth date. It was a really beautiful leather journal — the kind I had always dreamed about getting, but could never justify buying for myself. I wrote in it the entire time he was deployed, and I just recently finished the last page. The second was actually a really goofy gift. I told Robert about someone calling me a mean name on my blog when I first started writing it, so he got me a book called, “Insults And Comebacks: Lines for All Occasions,” and told me to flip through it the next time someone got nasty with me. I’ve never actually used it for that purpose, but it made me laugh and cheered me up — and prepared me for the very few nasty comments I got during the Tom Brady YouTube video going around (Listen, I’m sorry I don’t watch football and had no idea I was “interrupting playoff season — I was just trying to do something nice for someone I love!). I still keep this book on my desk as a reminder that I am loved by the people who truly know my heart, and to write about things that scare me, even if I know everyone won’t be a fan. I’m still working on that.
Leave a sweet note on her pillow. This melts any girl’s heart, and whether she goes to sleep before or after you, it’s great to fall asleep with a smile on your face or wake up to a bright “good morning” from a loved one.
Ideas for Girls to implement this LL:
Since I feel very familiar with gift giving as one of my love languages, I’m going to use all personal examples. Please feel free to sound off other ideas in the comments! I am always looking for new ways to love, and would appreciate your tips.
“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” There is a reason this is such a popular idiom that is thrown around — because it’s so true! I am going to make a massive generalization and say that 95% of men love to eat. Bringing him his favorite dinner, surprising him with a treat, or packing a Snickers or Almond Joy (Yuck! That’s Robert’s favorite and I always feel funny buying it; I wish we were friends when we were younger, as he would have been the best person to trade candy with after a giant Halloween haul… “Here, I’ll trade you all my Almond Joys for your Peanut M&Ms and Junior Mints!”) in his lunch is a fantastically simple way to show him he’s on your mind. Add a note for extra sweetness!
Guys are so darn hard to shop for — at least the men in my life are — because they seem to buy the things they want. Pay close attention to what might be old or worn. I gave Robert a gift from Tom Brady and the Patriots on his 30th birthday this year (Oh gosh, I need to tell this story soon! I can’t believe I keep forgetting), but it was so darn hard to figure out what I wanted to buy him this year. I treated him to dinner and gave him a present 4 months late because no matter where I looked, I couldn’t find anything that screamed “Robert” to me. I ended up realizing the answer was right in front of me when he pulled out his worn leather wallet to pay for a toll to Boston. In that moment I smiled widely and decided that I needed to get him a nice new leather wallet. Not only would he think of me because he would see it every day, but he deserved to have nice things that were used as often as a wallet. I think this is hilariously enough one of the proudest presents I have purchased, as it took me such a long time to come up with it.
An experience can be a great gift to give a guy who is difficult to shop for. Whether it’s tickets to a football game or concert or an impromptu date night, he’ll be excited that you took the time to come up for a special day just for him. This is a great gift for guys who really value quality time as another love language.
Jerseys, event tickets, and video games are all nice presents, but they can be expensive to do on a really regular basis. Instead of getting frustrated and giving up, get creative and make little surprises that he’ll love. Whether you go back to my #1 tip about food and decide to bake his favorite food or put together a nice picture frame for his room, you can always get creative with your presents.
For girls and guys:
Let’s mix 2 love languages and add a pinch of “Words of Affirmation” to gift giving. Cards and letters are incredible everyday gifts, as they hold a little piece of someone’s heart inside. I have an enormous box next to my bed that holds some of the most special letters I’ve received from friends, family, and Robert. I call this box my “happy box,” and will sit on the floor and read a handful when I’m feeling lost, sad, or just want to smile a little before bed. Several of the letters have become worn from use, but they are some of my most prized possessions. Each card couldn’t have cost more than $5, but the words painted on the page are what really hold value for me. This is the perfect example of gift giving not being about the money spent, rather the thought put into the gift that really matters.
Lastly, pay attention to the things your significant other loves. This is the easiest way to choose a gift, whether it’s a food or drink or a gift from their favorite store. People who have gift giving as a primary love language don’t care so much about the item you give to them as they do about the thought you put into the present. Instead of spending a lot of money on something just for the heck of it, feel free to choose several small tokens of love to spread out through the month. Giving to your loved ones won’t just make them happy, but I find that giving the perfect present makes my heart even more joyful than receiving things.
This is my first post about The Five Love Languages cheat sheet. Come back tomorrow for tips on using another LL. 🙂