Hooking Up Is Easy

Dating is easy, hooking up is easier.

In a world that finds sex before it looks for love, we find ourselves settling for mediocracy. I can’t tell you how many young women I have spoken to who feel broken and confused from the dating world. They have tried desperately to find “the one,” but keep getting chewed up and spit out by the vicious cycle that is the hookup culture.

Neither men nor women are solely to blame for what dating has become. We have both played an integral role in shaping this new reality. If you want to have sex, you can download an app. Maybe the first few matches won’t oblige, but there are endless possibilities of people who are looking for the same casual encounters.

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Something that bothers me is the way people don’t have to work for intimacy anymore — at all. You can find someone you’re attracted to and swipe right. If you have a match who is on there for the same reasons, you have a near immediate hookup. People don’t have to court each other or even know each other to use each other to have a few minutes of pleasure. Our generation has been conditioned to want things quickly and with ease. When it comes to sex, we have both of those things. Whether it’s at the tip of our fingertips with porn or a “dating” app, this generation knows that sex is accessible for anyone at any given time.

You know what sucks about all of this? Something that is common and easy to get isn’t special. 

Sex isn’t special anymore because our virginity isn’t something that’s cool to hold onto, and because we’re taught that watching men and women have an intimate moment on a computer screen is normal and okay. We are taught from movies that even the goofiest of comedians who make a living on playing “social outcasts” on the big screen can get in bed with a sultry actress. Instead of alluding to the fact that couples have slept together, we watch it all play out on screen. We watch drunken hookups, naked women prance around the bedroom playfully, and lots and lots of casual sex.

When did this kind of media become the norm? Why does something with a story line as incredible as Game of Thrones feel the need to fill it’s airtime with nudity and excessive sex scenes? Like I’ve said before — it’s because sex sells. People lust over the flawless bodies they see on screen and are desensitized to this being an intimate, special act. Instead of sex being saved for someone you really care about, it’s thought of as a purely physical act of making both parties “feel good” temporarily.

Having sex so available in the world hurts real life relationships. Instead of seeing your partner for how perfectly imperfect she is and having eyes and a heart only for her, other bodies are tossed around like confetti. They are stuck under the glow of faux candlelight, flaunted in front of a captive audience, and teach that it’s okay to look and lust, just not touch.

I strongly believe your body is your own, and you should be able to do what you want with it. I’m not buying the bullshit that casual sex isn’t hurting the greater population, though. I think it leaves us brokenhearted, confused, and hurt more than anything. Casual sex might not be something that you think hurts you until it’s already affected your life. Whether you meet someone you love more than anything and wish you hadn’t given so much of your own body to others before, or you realize that sleeping with someone didn’t fix the problems in the bond you have with someone, regret is often a symptom that comes with casual sex.

I want to encourage you to make decisions for yourself. Don’t buy in to the fact that “everyone” is hooking up, don’t listen to the man who tells you that if you were into him you would want to give him pleasure, and hold tight to your own morals — even if everyone around you appears to be doing the same things. It isn’t easy living differently in such a sex-saturated world. I promise you, though, at the end of the day you will never regret not having a casual encounter with someone, whereas the regret that can come after a hookup can be life-changing. Our hearts are built for love, they’re created to attach, and it’s normal to want to have a personal connection with the person you’re sleeping with. Don’t let society tell you that you’re weird for wanting these things. Sex is such a beautiful thing, but if it’s given away at every fleeting desire, it becomes something that, by definition, isn’t special anymore. How different would life be if we thought more about the really incredible person we are going to end up with, rather than giving in to the temporary desires of our bodies? What would the world be like if instead of saying its “just” sex, we taught the next generation that it’s actually an incredibly intimate and special action that should and does have feelings attached to it? I might be in the minority, but this is something I think we should start teaching our children and encouraging in our peers. Sex is a special thing, and you aren’t wrong in saving it for someone who means something to you.

Wait Up

Why are incredible people who are so ready for a relationship sometimes single for a lot longer than they’d like to be?

This is a question I don’t really have an answer to. I can tell you, though, that finding the right person is worth the wait. That you’ll never regret deciding not to settle. I know deep down to my core that being the most amazing version of yourself is the best way to continue making a difference in the world, and that your future partner in crime will absolutely love you for it.

Wait for the man who has been praying for you. He’s dated around, he knows what he wants, but he just hasn’t met you yet. I know it might sound goofy, but I have been praying for my future husband since I was a teenager. I knew whoever I was going to end up with must be pretty special if I’d eventually fall for him, so I wanted the best for him — even before I was a part of his story. I didn’t think of specifics when I thought about my future spouse, but I did think of life experiences. I hoped that before he met me he would have traveled a little, dated around, and gone on a few neat adventures that he could one day tell me about. I hoped that he was making good decisions and thinking of me on occasion, too.

There is someone, somewhere who is praying for you — or at the very least to find you. Prayers for your future spouse often include just actively looking for them, but I would like to encourage you to take it a step further and start praying for him. Pray for his well-being, for his relationships, and pray for his heart. Pray that he is learning more about himself, bettering himself, and learning how to have an empathetic heart. The way he is living his life today and what he’s doing for his future will one day be a part of your story, too.

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I know it can be difficult and frustrating when you’re still single looking for the right person to spend your life with, but remember that even though you might not be able to control when you meet him, you can still pray for him and hope that wherever he is in this world that he is building the best life he can and being respectful of your future relationship. Your future spouse is learning lessons about life, and finding out what he isn’t looking for in a relationship and getting another step closer to you. Prayer is always an action you can take when you feel helpless in a situation. At the end of the day, God has control over the things that seem uncontrollable anyway. Isn’t it comforting knowing that He is working for your best interest, even when it comes to finding the person you will one day marry?

Dating can be difficult when you’ve done it for a long time and haven’t met that special someone. Human hearts are created to love and be loved, and I believe many of us are wired to desire that one incredibly special relationship, especially as we get older. If you haven’t found your person yet remember that there is someone out there just waiting to meet you and looking for the amazing qualities you have to offer. When you feel down or frustrated about the way dating is going, try to look at the big picture and realize that your twenties will likely just be a very small part of your entire life. You might feel confused, lost, or frustrated sometimes, but one day you’ll be able to share these feelings with someone you know will be around for the long haul and look back on them as just a very normal season of life.

Shifted Dreams

It’s funny how dreams in life change with the circumstances.

Ever since I was teeny tiny I’ve wanted to be a journalist. As a kid I made my own little newspapers, magazines, and short stories. I was homeschooled for a few years, and I always begged my mom to let me get ahead on my English homework. We had these little editor workbooks where I got to find and correct grammatical errors, and I would take them to my room to play with when I was done with my schoolwork.

When I finally went to college it was really easy picking my major. My school didn’t have a journalism program, but we did have communication with a concentration in journalism, so I declared my major the very first semester of school. In my free time I still enjoyed writing, and kept several different blogs throughout my college career. I took writing classes as my electives, and I worked for the school newspaper — both as a reporter and as an editor. I went back and forth from wanting to do television or print journalism, and held internships in both fields. My first was with FOX News’ national network, and my second was with Seventeen magazine. I was never very interested in politics, but these internships made me realize how in love with writing I was. I had a fire in my heart to help teenage girls feel less lost and alone in the world, and I worked extra shifts at Seventeen just so I could make a greater impact during my time there.

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Living in NYC was such a dream to me. I am someone who absolutely loves the energy it gives off, and every day felt like an adventure.

Little did I know, the internship that segued into a job would be very short-lived, because I got sick just a few weeks before moving back to the city.

After the initial shock of getting sick quieted down a little bit I realized my life had just changed forever. Four years later I know my dream of moving to New York isn’t going to come true, but I’m really grateful for the months I did have there. New York will always have a tiny piece of my heart, but the rest of it goes to my loved ones… Which brings me to today.

My dreams today are so much more simple than they’ve been in the past. I don’t want to be on television or be famous, and I don’t care deeply about whether or not I get to live in New York again how often I get to travel. My heart is with my family and loved ones, and I have accepted that my career path has drastically changed. I don’t have the strength or stamina to be a journalist — or even work a “normal” job — so I’ve improvised. I’ve actually been really happy working as a consultant for Rodan + Fields. it still fulfills my dream of building other women up and helping build their confidence, and I love that I’m making new friends in the process. I joke to my friends and family that my dream now is to be a stay at home dog mom, and it’s kind of incredible that this dream is quickly becoming a reality.

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What I’m doing with my life isn’t as wild and crazy, but it’s actually turning into a bigger blessing than I could have ever created for myself. If I hadn’t gotten sick I wouldn’t have met Robert. I wouldn’t have found an opportunity to be my own boss and have time to spend with him during the week. If I hadn’t gotten sick I wouldn’t have thought outside the box and found a job working from home with the two sweetest puppies on earth. None of what makes my heart so joyful today would have materialized, so in a very strange way I feel blessed that my own dreams didn’t end up working out. God truly does have a greater plan for me than I ever did for myself, and I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me next.

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You Are Meant To Be Here

You know what’s such a mindblowingly amazing thing? There are 7.4 billion people in the world, and God decided He still needed you here. That’s how absolutely special you are.

Like, He thought about it and decided that we need a “Krista” somewhere on this earth, and He has a great purpose just for me. I can’t even really wrap my mind around that, other than the fact that I try my best to make a positive impact on those I come into contact with every day… Because maybe part of my purpose of being here on this earth is to help touch an individual — or a group of individuals. I don’t know what my big purpose in life is, but I do think I have a bunch of small reasons I am here and valuable to others, which are just as important.

There is absolutely a purpose each and every one of us is here, and my hope for you is that you realize that and continue to work toward whatever it is that makes your heart beat fast. I know for me that some of the scariest things I have done have been the most rewarding. The writing that makes me the most nervous to post on here is what really moves people and makes them feel less alone in the world. At the end of the day, I believe that’s one of the biggest reasons God created me — to help others realize their heart might feel a little broken sometimes, but that our Creator can heal them and put them back together again. It’s okay to feel lost in a broken world and as long as you keep pushing forward something beautiful can come from heartbreak.

Keep going, and never forget that you are loved, and that YOU MATTER. I can’t say that enough. You matter, you are loved, and you belong here.

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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.

Busy Bee

Ahhh guys, I have an exciting announcement I will be making next week!

There are two projects I’ve been working on, and I will be writing about the second project incredibly soon. I have put a lot of thought and work into it, and I really can’t wait to share.

I feel bad that I’ve neglected this blog a little lately, I’ve just been so darn busy and only have so much arm strength to push forward. My POTS symptoms have gone haywire lately too, so I’ve needed a lot more rest and recovery time for everything. Thank you for still visiting Single in The Suburbs, and I will update you all SOON! ❤

Leave Signs Where They Belong

If someone is nice to you, don’t automatically take that as confirmation that they like you. Know someone is into you when they tell you so, rather than gathering a hundred “signs” and making an assumption. Signs are intended to indicate whether or not a ski slope is one you would like to attempt, they are to keep drivers safe on the road, and they are created to make sure people refrain from littering the beach.

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Now, I know this all sounds so harsh and like I’m not being very sensitive… I can so empathize with those who think someone is into you, only to learn they just have a naturally flirty personality. On the flipside, though, I’ve also had people think that I like them when I’m only trying to be nice or make a new friend. Both scenarios are really tough, but I have a little advice that I think might be helpful for dealing with either.

Some people are incredibly great at reading others, but they still can’t possibly have a completely foolproof system at knowing what other people are thinking. One person is different from the next, so the best way to know for sure how someone feels about you is by having an open conversation and asking them.

This does get tough, though, because you don’t want to be creepy about it or come on too strong. There’s a time and place for conversations like this, and having one with someone you don’t know very well will almost surely scare them off.

A good rule of thumb could be that if you feel like someone is taking over your entire dating life — without being exclusive with them — you might want to take the leap and ask what they’re thinking about your relationship. You definitely don’t want to waste a ton of time on someone who isn’t ready to be exclusive if that’s what you’re looking for, but it also does takes some time to build a foundation and get to know someone before jumping into a relationship. Next week I am going to be talking a little bit about how to determine whether or not the person you like could be worth pursuing, and how to think with your brain even when your emotions try to take the lead.

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Today’s lesson: Leave signs where they belong — on highways, hiking trails, and at subway systems. Start taking what people say — or don’t say — at face value and don’t let others play games with your heart. Communication is certainly key in a healthy relationship, so it is important that you don’t find yourself feeling like you’re constantly left in the dark with someone you like because they are sending mixed signals.

Once you take your power back you begin to realize that you may not be able to control whether or not your crush likes you, but you can control how you respond to the way he treats you in a way you’re proud of. If he doesn’t ever call or text you first to make plans, maybe it’s time you go radiosilent and spend that time you used to think about him meeting new people — until you find someone who realizes what a great catch you are and does call you to make plans!


IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: I’M MOVING!

In just a couple of weeks I will no longer be on this website. My dating life changed a loooong time ago, so I am finally taking the time to make some changes that reflect this and moving my site to KristaLauren.com (As I have mentioned before I would have done this a lot sooner, but I am technologically challenged and 10 times out of 10 prefer to write instead of work on my site). Make sure you sign up to receive emails for my posts, like my Facebook page, or bookmark my new site if you want to stay a part of my Single in The Suburbs family. 🙂

Your Least Important Love Language Is Still A Big Deal

I am currently taking the time to re-read Gary Chapman’s bestselling book, The 5 Love Languages. Whether you are single, in a relationship, married, or divorced I could not recommend this book enough, as it is all about how you can love the important people in your life in a way that is meaningful to them.

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“Gift giving” has always been one of my primary love languages, as I really enjoy taking the time to give people things that I know will make them happy, and it makes me feel really special when someone picks out something small just for me. Since I started dating Robert, though, I have noticed that “quality time” has become my top love language. I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that we did a deployment together and I wouldn’t trade time with him for anything.

Physical touch is tied with gift giving at my second greatest love language, and words of affirmation are right after that. Acts of service come in last with a measly 1 point. Instead of focusing on my greatest love languages, though, today I want to focus on my least — acts of service.

I think it’s so important to take this quiz and know what your most important — and least important — love languages are because they help you learn how to love the people around you even better. Something I realized when I took this quiz and saw how low “acts of service” is in my heart is that I don’t necessarily take note of the love in people’s actions when they perform an act of service for me. Having a chronic illness has really made a lot of my friends and family step up to try and make my life easier. Friends come pick me up at my house to go out for dessert (A few even drive over an hour one way to meet up with me on a regular basis!), carry my purse for me when we go out, and my parents drive me to countless doctors appointments with no complaints. These are all ways people are showing me that they love me through their actions.

I always really appreciate when loved ones take time out of their day to do these things for me, and I often feel bad that I can be such a big inconvenience. I haven’t ever thought of this as their way to show love to me, though. In the past I haven’t taken note of these actions as ways to love; I’ve just thought they were people merely being “nice” to me since I have a physical disability. From now on instead of feeling incredibly awkward that I am causing a problem for someone else, I am going to take a moment to realize that this is their way of showing me that they love and care about me.

I encourage you to find out what your most important love language is because you will be able to better articulate to your friends and significant other what makes you feel loved, however I think we should all go a step further and pay closer attention to the ways people give us the love we feel least connected to. Ever since I have decided to be more aware of the ways people give love to me I have actually felt more surrounded by love than I ever have before. Paying close attention to the little things people do for me every day has made me realize that utilizing your least important love language can still make you feel incredibly loved and will sometimes be the way people you care about will choose to love you.

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Macy lives to serve and does a great job making me feel loved each and every day. Here she is, prompting me to keep reading!

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.

Technical Difficulties

Ugh! Guys, this whole “technology” part of running a blog is beyond me. I like writing a lot, but the rest of having a lifestyle blog is a bit stressful sometimes. I have to keep things pretty bare bones since I need to get help for any extra computer use (Because of the pain in my arms and my inability to sit at a computer for very long), but I know I have a little bit of work to do to update things.

So I’m going to very  s l o w l y  be making some changes. This is a reminder that as soon as I can get help I will be changing my URL to KristaLauren.com, so stay posted!

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I’m excited about some little surprises I have planned for my Single In The Suburbs family. Y’all will definitely be getting some new little treats in the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to continue to walk through life with y’all by my side. Thank you for being patient and thank you for staying such faithful friends! ❤