“Don’t Settle” Isn’t Always Good Advice

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.

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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. 

Date Smarter, Not Harder

Dating is something I would definitely say I was super-good at. I’m not the best mathematician, I am terrible at remembering everything I learned in history class, and I don’t know anything about camping or surviving in the wilderness, but I’m really good with people and feelings.

Just because you’re great at feeling things and reading others, though, doesn’t mean dating will be easy. There are a million different things that go into this process, some of which is circumstantial and just plain luck. A big part of dating is being able to control your emotions and think logically. When you can sync your heart to your brain and make them work together, you become so incredibly efficient in weeding out the people who aren’t right for you while keeping around someone who might be a good fit to be your forever and always.

Getting into a healthy relationship is so much easier if you have the right tools and cut out the bad habits that are holding you back from meeting people. So if you feel like you’ve had a hard time dating and letting go of crush after crush, I am going to give you a little dose of tough love and list a few behaviors to give up for 2018.

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  1. Realize that most people are not the exception to the rule. Sure, sometimes a bad boy can make for a great husband, the guy who plays hard to get can be a good catch, or the one who ghosted you on Bumble only to message you five weeks later on OK Cupid actually did just make a little mistake, but for the most part you can take things at face value and trust your gut. Stop trying to force things or make a crummy situation less painful by telling yourself stories that justify bad behavior. There are too many fish in the sea to pardon the ones who aren’t swimming in the same direction as you!
  2. Cut out the commitmentphobes. If you’ve been “talking to someone” for months with no signs of settling down, stop waiting for them to change their mind about the status of your relationship. A guy will know if he likes you pretty soon after y’all have started dating and if he doesn’t see what a great catch you are it’s his loss. Don’t try to show him what he’s missing out on or try to create scenarios where he’ll begin to fall for you. Your time is absolutely valuable, so move on to find someone who will recognize your worth without even trying.
  3. Stop chasing after indecisive guys. If you’ve been seeing someone for a little bit and he is still conflicted about how he feels about you versus another prospect, make up his mind for him and let the other girl have him. You do not want to be with someone who can’t see your worth, and it’s not your job to make him miss you once you’re gone. Block him everywhere and get excited about eventually meeting a guy who only has eyes for you and can’t wait to try to steal your heart.
  4. Don’t settle for behaviors that don’t show you respect. Yuck! People who aren’t respectful of other humans make me feel sick. If he pressures you physically, exhibits any signs of emotional or physical abuse, or throws cruel words at you, get rid of him. I hate hearing people say that gentleman don’t still exist because they absolutely do. Look for role models in your family or friend circles and remind yourself of them when you’re feeling a little defeated in the dating world. Even though these are all platonic examples, they will be great partners for another girl one day, which means there are people out there for you, too.
  5. Steer clear of people who don’t have the same values as you. If you want to date someone who is the same religion as you, wants the same kind of family, and prioritizes the same important things in life, don’t date the guy who is a polar opposite. This is wasting time on both ends of the relationship and will only end in heartbreak. Unless he changes his views — which is unlikely (see #1) — your heart will either be crushed by a breakup or a deep sadness in the relationship. It’s worth holding out for someone who will be your partner in the important parts of life.

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If you give up these five little destructive thought processes I promise your dating life will become much more bearable and efficient. Getting rid of duds seems tough in theory, but when you know what you’re looking for it becomes quite a bit easier. I always like having logical and practical actions to follow in the dating world because it can be really easy to let your heart take over and run away with your brain. By having a certain standard set for yourself, you eliminate some of the unnecessary heartache that comes along with dating the wrong guy. This may not be the most romantic blog post in the world, but it is so, so important and is definitely some of the best advice I’ve given on here. Let me know what your biggest dating frustrations or victories are, and I’d love to write more about that in my next post!

Texting Templates

Ask Krista


I swear I should have a job replying to people’s romantic interest’s texts. I love that my friends trust me with something as important as using words for communication, and I have become a pro to texting guys back. Today I decided to write about some of the most common kinds of messages my friends need help replying to and how I would answer them.


What do you text a guy after he tells you he had a nice time on a date and asks when he can take you out again, but you aren’t into him?

It’s important to be respectful but honest about your feelings so he can move on. Something simple like,

“Yeah, thanks so much for dinner, Steve, it was great meeting you. I actually don’t think things are going to work out for us, but good luck and I know there’s a great girl out there for ya!”

is perfect because it’s gracious, yet firm. If you try to be too nice you aren’t doing your date any favors because he might keep reading into your words and wondering whether he still has a chance with you. By saying something like, “Take care!” or, “Things aren’t going to work out with us,” you are making it crystal clear that he should move on and find someone more compatible.

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How should I reply if someone I met online wants to pick me up for a first date? I don’t feel comfortable riding in the car with a stranger.

Um, that’s because you’re smart! There are very few things that haven’t changed in your life since you were five, but the stranger danger factor still remains in place for a reason. I was always very jokey in my texts back to guys, so I would always say something like,

“Sorry, but I don’t know that you’re not a serial killer yet. Meet there at six?”

Any rendition of this is great, but hold your ground and don’t hop in the car with someone you can’t trust. I found out recently that one of my mom’s friends was hitchhiking when she was young and got in the car with Ted Bundy! She realized he was a dangerous guy when they stopped at a gas station and she saw a giant knife and rope under the backseat, but she didn’t know exactly who he was until she saw his face on the news later that week. YIKES! 


I had such a great time on a date, but the guy isn’t asking me out again! I’m tired of making smalltalk, and I don’t want to have another virtual pen pal. 

That makes complete sense. To find what you’re looking for when it comes to a relationship in online dating, you have to be quick to decide whether someone is looking for the same things as you. Dating can become exhausting really quickly, as there are so many different options and a lot of people who aren’t ready for a relationship or even to casually date on apps. If you went on a date with someone and aren’t getting asked to go on another but he keeps messaging you mindlessly, move on to the next person. If he realizes he wants to see you again when the texting thread dies off, great! You can make a decision on whether or not you want a second date then. In the meantime, there are so many other people who will be straightforward with their feelings and ask you out in a timely manner after your first date. Look for people like that who will be trusty and reliable.


What do you tell a guy who says something disrespectful to you?
Absolutely NOTHING. Block and delete that sucker! He doesn’t deserve your time or energy, and silence speaks volumes. You don’t need a clever response and it’s not your job to put him into his place — it’s your job to leave him and find someone who will treat you right. 


What do you think of my texts? Guys, how would you feel being on the receiving end of these messages? Girls, what would you do instead? Sound off in the comments!

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.

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.

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.

Valentine’s Day With A Player

As I’ve mentioned before Valentine’s Day is my favorite holiday. I’ve been prepping for the big day for weeks now. I made a million cards and heavily assisted in keeping the USPS in business this year. Sadly I gave Robert his present early — a New England Patriots jacket — as I felt like he needed as much gear for the Super Bowl as possible, but I’m still going to give out a few presents and cards on Tuesday. My boyfriend is always my official Valentine, but I usually have a dozen others (I bully my friends into saying they’ll be my Valentine); and my mom is always my #1!

Since I’ve been slacking a little on posting lately I decided to do a kind of different pre-Valentine’s Day post. I chatted some with one of my good friends, Will, as he has a great head on his shoulders when it comes to love and dating, but is also kind of hilarious. As much as he talks the talk about being a player, he is actually one of the sweetest guys I know, and I kind of can’t wait for him to eventually get a girlfriend, as I know he’ll treat her really well (Yes, ladies, he is currently single!). Read more to get the scoop on what basketball superstar “Will The Thrill” is up to tomorrow.

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Single In The Suburbs:
What are your plans for Valentine’s Day?

Will The Thrill:
Well I’m taking out a lucky lady after work, then quickly dropping her off so I can take out another girl I’m talking to.

SITS:
How many girls will you take out?

WTT:
I will take out two on Tuesday. I took out one on Friday and two on Saturday. I might take out a few the following weekend as well; it depends on what I feel like doing at the time.

SITS:

How do you keep your dates from finding out about each other? I would hate to see you stuck in a John Tucker Must Die scenario.

WTT:
Ideally you’d want the women to live at least some distance away from each other so they won’t find you with another girl at a nearby restaurant when they’re out with friends. If anyone wants to employ this dating strategy, I’d highly recommend getting a car with great gas mileage.

SITS:
How do you keep their names straight?

WTT:
Fortunately for me, I’m pretty good at remembering names. I guess being an attractive female helps in that regard as well… And if you’re not good with names, you’ll learn quick.

SITS:
Are you bringing your dates anything special for Valentine’s Day?

WTT:
I’ll bring a box of chocolates to my last date on Tuesday, since that’s the girl I’m most interested in. It’s basically like a professional sports team and the ladies are fighting for roster spots. The girls who don’t go out with me on Valentine’s Day are on the bench, the ones that do are the starters, and my favorite girl (who earns the prestigious title of “Baby Girl”) is the star player.

SITS:
Aren’t you afraid the other girls will think you’re a cheapskate if you don’t bring them anything for Valentine’s Day?

WTT:

Well, some of them are going to be first dates, so that would be weird. If I’ve been talking to a girl for a while I guess I’ll bring them some chocolate too. I am a nice person.

SITS:
Any tips for those who don’t have a Valentine yet?

WTT:
Keep grinding. Go to the gym, watch some funny movies, and hang out with other friends without dates. I had plenty of Valentine’s Days where I didn’t have one, it’s not that bad.

will
Will is known for his killer charm, stunning good looks, and wicked sense of humor.

Disclaimer for those of you who know Will:
This is for humor purposes only and Will the Thrill does not really endorse playing women like that, as he loves them all too much.