Mean Girls

Social media has been around for a long time now, but something that feels like it’s more recently become popular are the little subgroups on Facebook where you can interact with complete strangers about some sort of common interest. For example, when I got engaged, I joined some of the wedding planning groups to get advice from other people who were in the same boat as me. I am also in several fan groups for pop culture topics — such as entertainment podcasts or groups that talk primarily about The Bachelor. 

Something I’ve noticed most of these groups all of a sudden have in common, though, is that mean girls are running rampant in these little corners of the Internet. At first, it was really cool to have a place to talk to people from all around the country — or even the world — about something we all had in common. It was fun finding common ground discussing movies and new television shows and how excited we were about Taylor’s next concert. It was entertaining debating whether or not we were excited about having Colton as the next bachelor and listening to each other’s well-thought-out points. This part of the world just felt light and carefree, and was a nice little escape from the more difficult and depressing headlines in the news.

These groups were a safe space to ask for advice on boyfriends, bridal parties, friendship, school, work, and everything in between — until they weren’t. I have read horror stories of people screenshotting pictures of brides’ dresses and sending them to the fiancé that could easily be found by searching her Facebook. The girl who was asking for our opinion on which dress to wear on her wedding day suddenly had her fun surprise ruined, and trust completely violated for absolutely no reason other than someone intentionally being cruel. One girl asked for advice about some issues she had been having with her husband, and a girl from the group screenshotted it and sent it to him. Another girl was going through a breakup and asked for some support, only to find out that a day later one of the girls in the group slid into her ex’s DMs because she thought he was cute. The ex was turned off by the behavior and notified his the original poster, but it’s still so messed up when women do not support other women.

Mean girls apparently exist in our twenties and thirties too, and some people just refuse to grow up. I don’t understand the joy some humans get in hurting other people. It’s twisted, sick, and really really immature. Your brain keeps growing up until you turn 25, and maybe some of that is the empathy part, but these people I see being inexcusably cruel are often fully-developed adults. When you’re a kid and people are mean to you, you figure at least one day you’ll be grown up and all of that will be behind you. Then you go to college and might have a bad roommate or something, but overall have a wonderful experience with the people there. There always seem to be a few people who are just downright mean for sport, though, and the Internet is a place they absolutely thrive. Anonymity is a perfect Cloak of Invisibility for the mean girl, and she wears it everywhere she goes. Whether trolls use fake profiles or merely hide behind their keyboards, they don’t care or even consider the feelings of others.

I have seen girls get attacked for having different opinions or life experiences than others. People fight to the death defending or attacking celebrities that they don’t even know, and then blame others for being unkind or insensitive. People who claim to be trying to make the world a better place by “educating others” are just being flat-out mean, and those who preach tolerance can ironically be some of the least tolerant people because they won’t accept people who think differently than they do. The biggest way to change someone’s mind is to respectfully disagree but still show the person love, even if you don’t agree with their opinion. By having calm discussions and connecting to someone’s heart, it is so much easier to help them realize how they might be wrong. It’s also a great way for you to learn and grow too.

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We know how hard life is already without any unnecessary drama, and yet there are still people who think it’s their job to ruin other people’s days. These groups are filled with moms, nurses, teachers, and everything in between. It’s mind-blowing to me to see people who are this inappropriately mean, and it definitely makes trusting strangers far more difficult. After feeling safe and happily trusting people I didn’t know on the Internet, I no longer have that luxury, thanks to the little groups of mean girls that have ruined it for the rest of us who just wanted to have friends from all around the world. I think the majority of people in these Facebook groups are kind and good people, but the ones who are brutally cruel make it too much of a risk to even post anything in them anymore.

One of the most interesting parts about the Internet bullies on Facebook is that you can see what their personal pages look like. One girl who was using name-calling as a tactic had a profile picture that was captioned with one of Martin Luther King Junior’s most famous quotes about love. Another had a profile picture with her two toddlers. People post inspirational quotes about loving your neighbor, but then go and bully others like it isn’t being hypocritical. It makes absolutely no sense, and I am so tired of people resorting to cruelty instead of just loving one another despite our differences. I also think we are at a time where people do not know how to handle being bored. Instead of doing something productive or creative, people decide to entertain themselves at the expense of others. We not only need to learn how to sit with our thoughts, but it is also more important now than ever to practice self control and think twice about how our words and actions make others feel. Posting an opinion online is easier than ever, which means we can have an enormous impact on others through what we choose to write. I hope that everything takes another turn for the better, but I have a feeling that this is just the beginning of the trolling in what are supposed to be safe spaces on the Internet. All we can do right now is hope for moderators to keep things kind, and be picky about who they accept into these little groups.


Do you think the good that comes from social media outweighs the bad? Have you noticed that things have gotten progressively worse, or is this just something I hadn’t experienced very much until more recently?

Where Do I Begin with Dating?

Ask Krista


Hi Krista, how would you respond to someone who doesn’t know where to begin with dating? It’s a big, scary world, and there aren’t any manuals on starting at square one.

Oh my gosh, I loved this question so much that I wanted it to be the very first of my new “Ask Krista” series. So many people reach out with dating questions that I decided I need to start featuring the ones that I think might be more common and could help others.

The dating world is so big that it’s hard to figure out where to start and can feel overwhelming. Starting all the way at square one, I’d say you should first give yourself a mini pep talk. Or better yet, I’ll write one out for you.

Dating isn’t very different than any other interpersonal interaction you have with someone on any given day. It’s all about getting to know people on a deeper level and figuring out whether or not they’re someone you want to keep seeing. Don’t overthink it too much. Enjoy putting yourself out there and realize that there are so many people in this world that if a date goes poorly you’re just going to move on to the next person. You are unique and special in your own way, and someone out there is going to absolutely love you for that.

After you’ve given yourself a little push it’s time to figure out where exactly you want to start. There are apps, websites, and networking events that are all dedicated to finding love. It’s difficult to sift through the dozens of options, but it’s definitely not as daunting as it seems. My advice is to start small. Begin with one or two dating techniques. For example, choose two dating apps that seem to be good for you. You could do one swiping app like Bumble that is built for more casual dates, and add one profile app such as OK Cupid. I’d refrain from spending money on a site at least the first few weeks so you can just adjust to how the online dating world works, then you can better navigate the other sites with a little more ease.

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Be yourself online. Don’t worry about being “cool” or impressing your suitors; you’ll have more long-term success in the dating world if you don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. If you aren’t naturally witty or clever, don’t try to come off that way on your profile. One thing I noticed when I was dating was that everyone seemed to love camping and the outdoors. I haven’t been into that since I got sick with POTS, so I actually made a joke about how much I hated hiking and that didn’t know a lot about sports. Guys messaged me and thought my transparency was funny. I also met more people that I actually got along with since I was open about the fact I am not into hooking up, I am a Christian, and I have a natrually silly personality.

When you’re talking to people to go on dates with proceed with confidence and know that you are a great catch. Realize your worth and know that you are doing an amazing thing by putting yourself out there and trying to find love! You are brave, you are a catch, and you are doing your best to find the relationship you are looking for. At the end of the day as long as you are trying you are being productive in your dating life.

Lastly, don’t let the dating world get you down after one — or even a dozen — bad dates. The odds of you meeting someone to settle down with after just a few dates are so incredibly slim. If you really don’t hit it off with someone or do something to embarrass yourself (it happens to the best of us! See hereherehere, and here), just laugh at the situation and move on. You probably won’t have to see your date around again, so don’t even give it another thought!

The more you date the closer you are to finding someone who is right for you. In the meantime you will learn so many different things about yourself and other people. Just keep your heart and mind open, and don’t give up hope. Dating works differently for each individual and sometimes it takes people kissing a lot more frogs to find their Prince Charming than others. You can be excited and think about what you are working towards, but don’t forget to enjoy each day of your life. One day you’ll be married and settled down and might look back on your twenties as being one of the most confusing and lonely times, but you can also make it one of the most adventurous and freeing times of your life. Make the most of your youth while it’s still here, and create fun and beautiful stories to tell your spouse about later when you meet them. Good luck, and remember that persistence pays off.

Someone For Everyone

I strongly believe there is someone for everyone in the world. No, that doesn’t mean I think that everyone should — or will — be in a relationship or get married, but I do believe if you want to have a romantic partner there is someone out there who will be a good fit for you.

There are so many amazing examples I’ve seen of people who thought they would never find true love because they were too quirky, too sick, too old, too tall, too short — the list goes on. I would like to argue, though, that the only thing that would ever really hinder someone from finding true love is being too picky. None of the other “too’s” are going to deter every single person in the world from dating you.

Something to remember in the world of online dating and infinite choices is that nobody is perfect. You will never have a partner who has every single quality checked off on your “list,” or who doesn’t sometimes get on your nerves, but that’s normal. The most important thing to remember is that if your relationship is overall a really big asset to your life, the little annoyances you sometimes have are so tiny in the grand scheme of things.

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Luckily we aren’t all attracted to the same kind of person. That would make life pretty boring, and the journey to find love way too competitive — kind of like an ongoing episode of The Bachelor. People have different “types” that they’re into, and just because you are rejected by one person doesn’t mean the next one who comes around won’t like you.

I don’t know why it takes some people longer than others to find a partner when their heart is ready. Sometimes I think it really is because dating is a numbers game. The more dates you go on, the more people you meet, and the more likely you are to find someone you really click with. Other times, I think people get in their own heads about dating and can take things too seriously too quickly. I know how hard it is to want the beautiful, loving relationship that you picture in your head, but remember that love and trust take time to build and you can’t force things.

Writing people off without getting to know them is another thing that can really hurt your dating life. Whether it’s because you don’t think you’re good enough for someone or because you don’t think they’re the right fit for you, sometimes it can be really beneficial to give people who have the important things in common with you a chance. When I first became single my motto quickly became “It’s just a date.” By having this attitude I was able to chat with guys, get to know them, and give them a chance. If you really dig deeper into my own life, did it make sense that I went on a date with a soldier who was getting ready to leave for a long deployment? It doesn’t seem like an ideal situation — especially for someone who isn’t keen on doing long distance — but going on that first date with Robert and giving him a chance was one of the best decisions the best decision I have ever made. Seriously, I could not have known two Octobers ago that going out to a little Italian restaurant with someone I met online was going to be a life-changing moment for me, but it was, and despite all the hard times we had during the deployment he was worth every single one of them. Giving this cute, funny stranger a chance gave me one of the most important things I have in my life — us.

Regardless of how dating has been for you, the only way you can find what you’re looking for is by putting yourself out there and trying again. I hate heartbreak so much, but the great thing about loving and losing the wrong person is that you are another step closer to finding the person who is right for you. Hearts are fragile, but they’re resilient and can heal, even when it feels like they are smashed into a million different pieces. Hang in there, and be gentle with yourself.

Setting Up Your First Dating Profile

I think my friends are completely taking over the OKCupid scene in the DC area. It’s the first website I recommend for girls who are looking to start online dating because it’s super simple, free, and a little bit less of a hassle than other sites since the guys typically come to you.

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My best friend joined recently and asked for some advice on setting up a profile, and I realized I actually had a lot to say on the matter. Here are the first five things you should do when initially setting up a dating profile:

  1. When choosing a screen name, choose something that represents you, but doesn’t give away any personal information. Do not use your name, numbers that signify your birthday or area code, or the school you attend. An OKC profile is public, which means anyone in the world can see it. Some ideas for a username could include a sports team you root for, an activity you enjoy, or a pop culture reference. Something like TeamRavenclaw, RedskinsFan, or Swiftie13 could be a good start. The people you will potentially date don’t have to understand the reference, but it can be a good conversation starter for those who do have that interest in common with you!
  2. Answer only questions that are truly important you. OK Cupid has a nice little feature that shows what percentage you and a match are with one another, and this can be super-helpful if you’re trying to sort through your matches quickly. If you’re not looking for a hookup, smoking is a deal-breaker, and you only want to date someone who is neat and tidy, answer those questions so that the percentage will reflect what’s really important to you. Questions like, “Do you enjoy discussing politics?” or “Is astrological sign at all important in a match?” may end up messing up the algorithm if those questions don’t matter to you very much, whereas questions about religion and seriousness of a relationship have more importance.
  3. Use recent photos that reflect who you are. When I was on OKCupid I started off using some of the best photos of myself that I had — some of which were from modeling I did in college. I had a couple of “regular” photos as well, but quickly switched over to all normal photos of what I looked like in my everyday life. When I used the glammed-up photos I actually felt more insecure about my profile, as I felt like guys might think I was catfishing them when we met up and I didn’t meet the standard of my perfectly-lit, lightly airbrushed photos. I felt a lot better knowing people were looking at the girl who would show up to the date we had planned, rather than the more perfect version of myself.
  4. Change your location to wherever you’d like to meet up with your dates. For example, if I technically live in one city, but am closer to DC than most of the rest of my area, I might just say my location is DC to eliminate an explanation of why I’d like to go on a date there instead of in my own town. Plus this makes it just a tiny bit more difficult for someone to track you down on Facebook.
  5. Fill out the entire profile, but don’t write a novel. I think making your profile reflect your personality is important, but the messages you exchange with someone will definitely play more of a role in whether or not you want to meet up with someone. A profile is a good place to write about a few things that are really important to you and showcase your personality. Don’t be afraid to put one or two things that you want in a date on your profile, but be careful about crafting it in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re being demanding of your dates. For example, I always wrote that I wasn’t looking for a hookup in my profile, as I didn’t want guys who just wanted a very casual date sending me a message. That saves both parties time and energy that they can use on other people on the site.

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Bonus tip: Don’t take online dating way too seriously, and have fun with it! The more pressure you put on trying to find something meaningful, the harder it is to relax and let things fall into place naturally. I know online dating can get old quickly — and sometimes get frustrating — but instead of giving up on it, take a break, enjoy some time with your friends, and come back to your profile when you feel like you can take things slowly again. There are so many fish in the sea, which is great because you have a lot of options, but it also means you’ll probably go through a lot of people who aren’t right for you before getting to a good match. Breathe, pace yourself, and enjoy. You never know when you might meet someone who will put an end to your online dating days, so enjoy this season of your life while it’s still around.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice To Say

Taking the plunge and making a YouTube channel actually taught me a lot about the importance of kindness and offered a peek into a new corner on the Internet. I feel fine about everything now, and learned that I can handle some not so nice criticism, but it also made me think a little about people who get nasty comments on a regular basis. It has to be so incredibly draining, so I hope to help people realize how much their words can influence another human being, and choose to use them to create more positivity in the world.


When I first started my quest to get Robert to meet Tom Brady I was all kinds of nervous. I hate being the center of attention. I don’t mind putting myself out there when it comes to my heart and feelings, but there’s something that scares me about putting my face and everything out there. I think it’s because I know I can really be clear in my writing, while public speaking hasn’t always been my greatest strength.

I knew some people would be rude about my reach to Tom Brady, but I didn’t anticipate the way I would feel when I did read something nasty. 99.9% of the people who said something about it were so kind, encouraging, and enthusiastic. The ones who weren’t, though, were either incredibly rude or mean, and most of the comments were really unnecessary.

Reaching out to Tom Brady asking him to do something nice for someone I love was not hurting anyone or taking anything away from another person. IF on the very off chance he had been able to do something like this, it would have been because he wanted to take some of his own limited free time to do it. I do understand that a quarterback of a successful team like the New England Patriots is busier than you or I have ever been, but it definitely isn’t up to me whether or not he responds to a video like this. I have seen celebrities do nice things for all kinds of people, even just “big fans” who don’t really have a rhyme or reason. My intention for making this video was lighthearted, and driven by love.

Moving forward, I would love to offer a checklist for people to consider before posting a critical comment online:

  1. Is what this person is doing hurting anyone?
  2. Will your comment contribute anything positive to the discussion, or is it just something snarky that you are thinking to yourself?
  3. How would you feel if someone said that to you?
  4. Finally, is this something you would say to someone in person, or is it just easy to say through a computer screen?

If you don’t have anything nice to say, think really hard about whether or not your comment is productive. Calling someone names, putting them down, or attacking them personally is never okay. Celebrities, models, comedians, and social media personalities all have feelings. There are very real people on the other end of the screen you are communicating through. I understand that they might not know you, but that means you also likely do not know their heart or what they might be dealing with in their lives. It is always safe to use the Golden Rule we all learned in Kindergarten: Treat others the way you want to be treated.

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Today’s lesson: When in doubt exercise self-control. There is a reason Hemmingway said, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” Words can hurt and do a lot of damage. Yes, there are absolutely things that I see online that make me angry and upset. People have opinions different than my own, but at the end of the day that’s okay.  It’s actually what makes the world a better place and able to grow; we can learn so much from people with perspectives different than our own. As long as nobody is being hurt — mentally or physically — if someone does something silly on the Internet that’s their own business. Go to the next website and move on.

Why Y’all Are The Best

You guys are so kind and never cease to make me feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. If you haven’t ever looked at the “comments” section on my blog, they are always filled with positivity and sweetness. I really feel like my community on Single in The Suburbs has become a nice little family, and I couldn’t ask for better people to have met on the Internet.

I wrote something awhile back about my very short experience of dealing with very mild cyber trolls, and will be sharing that in the near future, as I think the world needs more people like you who are kind and supportive. I also found a million and one rough drafts I have written, so don’t be too surprised if some people from my past come up in the near future.

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Lastly, I just realized I never shared the final story about what the Patriots did for Robert, so I’ll be posting about that this week too. He and I have been enjoying a lot of quality time together since he’s been home, as soldiers are required to take time off when they get back from a deployment. We haven’t had any crazy adventures, but it has been really nice just having a normal dating life and I’ve even had him chauffeur me to a few of my doctors appointments. Wooo!

Anyway, I hope you all have a fantastic Sunday, and I can’t wait to share more of my dating posts with you soon!

Behind The Scenes Vs. Highlight Reels

One of my last posts was all about comparison when it comes to body image, but today I want to talk about comparing your love life to others’. Valentine’s Day was just a few days ago, and I absolutely loved seeing all the posts with pretty things, sweet words, and romantic gestures. I also always look forward to the single posts about treating yourself or having friends as Valentines. It has been my favorite holiday since exchanging little notes and mini candy bars in grade school, and I prepare for the holiday the same way many do for Christmas.

This year Valentine’s Day fell on a really bad day for me. I had a bunch of doctor’s appointments, including an evening one that went until 7:30, and I didn’t have much of an idea of when I would be finished beforehand. Since I knew I would be absolutely exhausted, I told Robert I wanted to keep things low key and that we’d just have to play things by ear the evening of and do something for Valentine’s the following weekend.

As the day went on, though, and I kept seeing how people were celebrating I couldn’t help but feel a twinge of jealousy. Ahhhh, no, I thought. Am I really starting to compare my day to what I am seeing on social media? I’ve always been pretty level-headed when it comes to taking everything I see with a grain of salt, but I guess my deep love for Valentine’s Day was beginning to get to me. It didn’t help that I had gotten bad news in the middle of the day (I have to protect the privacy of the person involved so will not be talking about it), so I was kind of cranky.

Poor Robert, I thought as I realized there wasn’t much of a chance he’d win the day.

I regretted my decision to not celebrate on Tuesday, and although I was genuinely happy for my friends who were going on super-fun dates that night, I wished that would be me too. I wished I would have canceled one of my appointments, and I wished I would’ve just chosen to have a normal day of celebrating, rather than feeling sick after my physical therapy appointment. I had become the girl we all giggle at — the one who says not to worry about doing anything, but doesn’t really mean it. Yes, I had meant it at the time, but who would have thought my mind would change so fast?! Oh, that’s right. Anyone who has been in this situation before would have known. Now I know what that “crazy” girl feels like and why people always advise guys to ignore whatever they say. There was a hilarious episode of The Kane Show on Valentine’s Day about guys who listened to their girlfriends about not wanting to celebrate this year, and then regretted it because the girls all of a sudden flipped a switch and wanted to do something. Apparently I was not the only one.

Anyway, I wanted to talk about this because my Valentine’s Day post got over 100 likes (Which is a decent amount for my social media accounts), and everyone knows I have a boyfriend and am not celebrating alone this year. From an outsiders perspective, I have it all going for me, and I was one of the people who had the “perfect Valentine’s Day.”

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The problem with our generation and social media is that we are comparing our own “behind the scenes” moments — hardships included — to other people’s highlight reels.

We have these expectations of life that are completely unrealistic because we are so used to seeing perfection in the online world around us. Life is not perfect, nor is love. They are both beautiful, but a big part of that is learning to love one another through the imperfections and rough patches.

Now, just to be clear, Robert did take me out to dinner and did give me a very sweet Valentine’s Day present. One thing I do really love about him is that he treats me so well every day of the year, so I do think he’s hard to beat for a special occasion. This post isn’t at all bashing the evening we had together, rather I am trying to make a point that you absolutely cannot compare your own very real life to the lives you see crafted online.

Today’s lesson: I said it in my last post, and I’ll say it again. “Comparison is the thief of joy” (–Theodore Roosevelt). The more you can live in the present and focus on yourself, the more you will learn to feel content with what you have, rather than longing for things you do not have.