"I'm in love with my straight best friend. She is perfect. WHAT THE FISK DO I DO?!"
-Question submitted by Anonymous
We get this question all the time, so we wanted to revisit because (1) helping people (2) FISK. LOLOLOOL.
Anywayzzzz. I was 100% head over heels, ready to lay in front of a bus for, could have been married that second, spend your life together, in LOVE with my straight best friend in college. What did I do? I asked her to date me almost every day. She said no almost every day. This story does not end in ‘turns out she was gay and we are in love now” at all. In fact, it was a helluva journey.
I didn’t tell her for a while that I was into her because I was afraid it would make things weird or uncomfortable or she would think I was an idiot or whatever. I just couldn’t do it. BUT Y’ALL. It was already weird and uncomfortable because I FELT WEIRD AND UNCOMFORTABLE. Once I finally told her and she was like ‘I’m not gay, tho’ things were a lot easier. I still totally wanted to date her, but I could make jokes about it, talk to my friends about my feelings, and I wasn’t obsessing over it in my head.
When I was obsessing over everything in my head, nothing made sense. I was convinced that when she said, “ooh i love this song” what she meant was “this love song represents how I feel for you.” Spoiler: SHE JUST ACTUALLY LIKED A SONG, THAT’S IT.
Also, what happens if she has feelings for you, too? If you don’t say something, you will NEVER KNOW. You will CONSTANTLY wonder. You will literally be thinking ‘what if’ for the rest of your life. And trust me, that shit will ruin you. I think you should totally say something.
Yes, there are two main things to remember when you are in love with your straight best friend. Since almost all of you are, have been, or will be in love with your best friend, pay attention:
1 - Things will, almost always, be weirder in the long run if you aren’t honest about your feelings. Bottled up love-feelings make you act in ridiculously strange ways, make you feel more and more distant from your friendship, and just turn your brain-head into general, all-around mush.
When I was in college, and in love with my straight best friend, I didn’t tell her for years. For YEARS I would think about what it meant when she’d ask me to come watch Felicity, I would be filled with enormous amounts of hope when I was asked to sleep over, and I would go out of my way to be present at any party that she attended (“what if THIS IS MY NIGHT?!”). Eventually, after my love-feelings were gone and I was in a long-term relationship with another lady, I told her about my past feelings. Her response? “Yeah, I knew all along. There was one night where I almost did roll over and make out with you.”
SHE KNEW ALL ALONG. WE’D ALMOST MADE OUT ONE TIME. LIFE, YOU GUYS.
2 - It will be okay if you have feelings and hers are not the same.
You don’t have to pull a Dannielle and ask her to date you everyday (tho, you can and it works pretty well if you’re of a similar personality type). You can explain that you have some feelings and that you know she isn’t into ladies, but that because you value your relationship so very much… you just had to be honest so you could work through things.
Sure, if she says “I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR YOU TO SAY SOMETHING,” and then romantic music swells in the background, and you kiss and flowers spring up all around you while a choir of angels descend… that would be wonderful.
If, however, she seems a little weird, or things feel a little wobbly, that is okay. If your heart feels like breaking into bits and you believe you’ll never love anyone like you love her: your heart will mend, and you will love other people. I can promise you that from over here on the other side. Be patient with your own feelings and remember that even if things are weird for a bit — a friendship, like any relationship, goes through ups and downs!
Your friendship will carry you through if things get a little wonky, and there’s a good chance that being honest will help you move through the feelings in a much healthier way.
Plus, WHO KNOWS YOU GUYS MAYBE YOU’LL EVEN MAKE OUT OR WHATEVER.
"I have recently discovered that my grandfather is gay. He has no idea that I know. The members of our family that also know have been very cruel. I can see that he is afraid to say anything aloud. How should I broach the subject? He deserves to know that he is still loved and appreciated."
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I think you just put yourself out there. I don’t know what’s up in your family or if you even talk about stuff like this, but if your grandfather is getting only negatives from the rest of the fam I can almost guarantee your positive vibes will be welcome.
If you’re nervous and you don’t know what actual words to say, maybe use an example. Perhaps one of your aunts asked your grandfather not to come to a family gathering because of his “lifestyle,” bring that up. You can LITERALLY SAY “Hey grandad, I just wanted to let you know I thought it sucked that AUNT CALCULATOR wouldn’t let you come to PIZZA NIGHT, I thought it was super unfair.”
That way, you’re pointing out an incident but not saying ‘HI I KNOW THAT YOU ARE GAY’ because that might be difficult for you to say without feeling uncomfortable.
Again, everyone’s situation is different, but the one thing I want you to take away is how amazing it will feel when your grandfather knows that he has you on his side. That feeling is something incredible. That support is incredible. You are incredible.
Agree, agree, agree. Goddammit. Your grandfather is going to be so happy that someone in his family is loving and supportive of him, no matter how you express it - and regardless of how you may have come to “know.”
I also want to say this: There have been some people in my life who, when I first came out, wanted to show their support but couldn’t say the exact words that they meant. In the months after my extended family knew (and many of them were NOT pleased), I had certain relatives who would shakily pull me aside at family functions. They didn’t know the words to say and felt intimidated or confused, but they’d give me a hug, tell me they loved me, that they would always love me, and that if I ever needed anything to just say the word.
Those family members didn’t need to explain that what they meant was that they supported me and that they loved me as a gay person. It was so present in my mind during that time, because of all the lack of support, fear, and anger I was facing. The simplest motion of love spoke so, so many words.
If you feel brave enough on the first pass to call out a specific incident, or to say ‘Grandpa, no matter who you love or how you love them, I will always love you,’ then do it. There is only love in those actions, and it sounds like your grandfather needs all the love he can get. If, however, your words fail you and you don’t say exactly what you mean… know that he still knows exactly what you mean.
Stand by him just by standing by him, by loving him fiercely, and by being his granddaughter.
"I've had a pretty weird life. A shitty childhood, strange family, lots of anxiety and stuff that I've had to work through because of it. And while I am pretty whole and healed from the whole ordeal now, I can't seem to shake the feeling that no one could ever really know me and my history and love me. I have this heavy feeling that I'll never find someone and it makes me feel like shit more often than not. Do you have any reassuring words?"
-Question submitted by Anonymous
Hey guys I submitted this question… I mean, I didn’t, bUT I MAY AS WELL HAVE OR WHATEVER.
The fact that you are in a whole/healed place right now is so huge. Because you have reached a place where you understand yourself, you 100% have the ability to share yourself with another human.
Will it take time? GOD YES. Will it take practice? FOR DAMN SURE. Will it be hard as fuck? YA.
This won’t be easy, you’re in a situation where you’re like ‘bUT ALL OF THESE THINGS’ and you feel weird talking about them because it all seems so dramatic and like such a burden to place on another person, but that is not the case. We have all been through some dramatic shit. It’s took me LITERALLY 15 years to get up the courage to openly talk about my alcoholic mother. One step at a time, you guys. You don’t have to spill all your guts in one sitting and you don’t have to tell every single person every single thing. Talk to your friends about some stuff, talk to your luvR about some stuff, talk to your cousins about some stuff. Slowly but surely, one foot in front of the other, just try.
I just started reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids (finally, and dear god if you haven’t read it go do yourself a favor), and so I’ve been thinking a lot about relationships that we have with other people. The first bit of this book is an incredibly gorgeous account of two (unique, struggling, somewhat lost people) finding that their nuances, their struggles, their curiosity, fit together perfectly.
That relationship - just like all relationships - changes across time, of course… but the point is that we find people to connect with based on the things that make us, us. That includes the broken bits and pieces, it includes the habits and caveats and dips and bends and whistles and clanging bells.
Sure, if your past is troubling you in a way where you cannot connect to the person you love, you are going to have trouble, and you are going to need to work on those bits first… but it doesn’t sound like that is where you are at all. It sounds (to reiterate Dannielle) that you feel capable of loving and receiving love. That is all you need.
There are very many people out there who will be able (and very willing) to fall in love with you (all of you) - and part of the process of falling in love is peeling away those layers, learning the truths (dark and light!) about each other, and exploring how that affects and informs your love in different and ever-changing ways.
"How can I stop acting like a dork-waffle and a half in front of people I find attractive?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
sigh. I have no idea. bye.
JK. I mean… real talk I don’t have an idea, but I will regale you with some words that will maybe help. First of all, I am a born-n-bred dork waffle. I can’t NOT be a dork waffle, so I spent a long time learning to accept my dork waffliness. The fact of the matter is, I AM WHO I AM and who I am is a dork full of waffles (??) and when I like someone, I want them to like me back because they actually like me back, not because I played it super cool around them for a while and they thought the fake super cool version of me was the real me…
Second of all, accepting your dork waffliness is difficult. HOWEVER, it is possible. Think about it from the opposing POV. If a girl walked up to you and was like “heeyyyy sooooo you’re cute i’m leaving bye ttyl that paper has my phone number haha bye” one of two things would happen (1) you would think “holy shit that was the cutest thing on earth” OR (2) you would think “that was bizarre, I’m not at all attracted to that kind of human interaction.” If you’re not into it, you’re not into it, AND THAT’S OKAY. But if you arrrrre into it, good lord everything just got so awesome.
My point: Do you. Be true. Fall n Luv.
You guys. I love dork waffles.
I am like the Leslie Knope of Dorktown.
Get it? Bc Leslie Knope loves waffles and in Dorktown they would be Dork Waffles so if I am her it’s like a metaphor for loving dork waffles.
*drops mic* *picks mic back up*
Seriously, though. All the things Dannielle said. Who ever told anyone that dorkwaffles weren’t totally attractive?
If you want tips to keep your cool a little more FINE, plan a couple of things to ask about, make eye contact, keep breathing, say goodbye one time instead of four times, blahblahblah. There are your tips. You know what you’ll do with them? You’ll make a plan to ask her about where she got her jeans, and instead you’ll say “Jeans! HAHA!” and instead of making eye contact you’ll accidentally look at the zipper on her jeans bc you were going to say something relevant but your eyes will get stuck there for a second too long and then you’ll be all “OH GOD I WASN’T LOOKING AT YOUR CROTCH I’M SORRY. It was your zipper. I was thinking about jeans. Because I like your zipper. I mean your jeans. Anyway…” (At this point you will have forgotten to breathe and you’ll gulp air like you are preparing for an underwater challenge) “…HERE’S MY NUMBER IF YOU EVER WANT TO TALK ABOUT THINGS BESIDES JEANS.” Then you’ll run away and forget to even say goodbye at all.
It’s. Fine. EMBRACE YOUR DORKWAFFLINESS. Being a self-proclaimed dork waffle is a beautiful thing. Don’t fight it. Lots of us out here really like our dork waffles just the way they are.
"I don't think I'm a lesbian, but who knows what the future holds haha. Anyways, I think lesbians are really cool but the problem is that I don't have any gay/lesbian friends (I want some...). I've always wanted a gay best friend who I can hang out with and talk to, because I think heterosexual people are a bit boring (no offense to them). What do you think about my wish? Where can I find friends who are gay?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
This question sort of makes me feel weird. I don’t think it comes from a negative place, but something about the idea of someone befriending me simply because I’m gay makes me feel like an accessory. Which, I know is NOT what you mean. HOWEVER, being gay is not a huge defining part of who I am and when I hang out with someone who MAKES it a huge defining part of who I am, I feel like they don’t care about me as a human, they care about me as a gay.
NOW. There are certainly cool ways to involve yourself in different communities and I also think dialoging / learning / growing are all VERY important steps to helping our society move forward. So, involve yourself in LGBTQ activities. There are community centers in a lot of cities that tell you about where and when you can help fight for human equality, or support local LGBTQ groups, or take classes, or see shows.
These are all great ways to start. If you’re at school or have a place of employment ask about their diversity group and if there isn’t one, START ONE. You don’t have to identify as LGBTQ to stand up for what’s right in the world and that is honestly the best way to meet well-intentioned people from different backgrounds. That’s all this is really, you want to me good people with big hearts who have different life experiences. Why not do that WHILE changing the world!?
My problem with this question is similar to Dannielle’s - and mostly exemplified by your statement that, “I think heterosexual people are a bit boring.” You shouldn’t be classifying personality traits by the way we identify our sexuality, our gender, or anything else. Who we like to make out with, how we like to make out with them, what pronouns we use, or however else we identify does not determine how “complex” of a person we are.
I’ll be the first one to tell you that there are a whole shit-ton of LGBTQ-identified people out there who can be exceptionally close-minded and one-dimensional, and just as there is variety in “our” community, so it is with heterosexual (and all other) human beings.
You aren’t looking for “gay” friends (if you are, I need you to go back to the drawing board and figure this out… bc most of “us” really don’t want to be befriended solely bc of how we identify). What you are looking for are friends who are open-minded, critical thinkers; friends who will allow you (and others) to explore your own interests and desires without judgement.
Dannielle is correct: the way to find people who are pro-equality and more fluid in their understanding of the human experience is to volunteer at organizations that support those ideals, find community centers in your area that have activities or programs you can sign up for, read more books and see if there are any local book clubs or discussion groups, or even look to see if there are any appealing classes offered in your area. If you can’t find anything like this, again like Dannielle said, start something.
I want to repeat: looking for open or like-minded individuals to befriend is a wonderful thing. Aligning specific sexualities or gender identities as specific personality traits is just as dangerous as saying that all gay people are “promiscuous” or “flamboyant.” Whether meant negatively or positively, we must always be careful about generalizing any group of individuals.
"How do you know when you're holding onto something for what it used to be and not what it is?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I think it happens right around the time you’re asking yourself this question. I’ve been in your position before. I remember asking myself if I was with the person because it was what I wanted or if it was because I didn’t want to lose everything we used to have (feels that weren’t 100% there anymore). It was a tough spot.
I also think there are many different situations and there is no possible way that your situation is exactly like my situation. Be real with yourself. Are you looking for an easy way out? Do you feel at a loss and unable to fix the issue? Have you tried? Have you REALLY put in the work that a relationship requires? Do you WANT to put in the work?
There’s this Miranda Lambert song where she’s talking about how things USED TO BE and she says, “…Staying married was the only way to work your problems out." I think it’s pretty interesting because I do feel like people give up pretty easily these days. We think "this doesn’t feel amazing every second, so I don’t want it," but relationships take a lot of fucking work. If you don’t want to put in the work, you absolutely don’t have to, and if it doesn’t feel right, it just doesn’t.
I think what I’m getting at here is, neither one of us will be able to tell you. You have to tell you. So, ask yourself THIS: What do you REALLY want and what do you need to do to get it? Now, follow suit!
Oooph this is a DOOZY of a question.
In all honesty, sometimes you can’t easily or completely distinguish between these two places… which is why this is so specific to you, your needs, your goals, and your knowledge of yourself.
I have stayed in relationships far, far past their breaking point because, in thinking about the end of something I had once loved so dearly, the pain was too much for me to face. I have stayed at jobs for far, far too long because, in worrying about my future, I wasn’t willing to take important risks. At this point in my life I think the landscape would be a bit different, because I know myself much more than I did when I was 22 or even 27, but that struggle would still exist.
I think the best way to look at this is to look at yourself as truly and deeply as you can. How do you feel on a day-to-day basis? Are you still doing the things that you love? Are you happy until this person or this thing you are holding to comes into the picture? We all know ourselves… and we all do a wonderful job at trying to convince ourselves that we are FINE, when we don’t want to face the truth.
You have to challenge yourself.
Letting go isn’t normally a cold-turkey, all-at-once situation. You start, like Dannielle said, by asking yourself this very important question. You then have to examine your heart. Next, you must take small steps forward. Sometimes you’ll have to trip and fall and reevaluate. Ultimately, though, you have to do the thing that is hardest for many of us: you have to listen to your heart and your head in equal measure and be honest with yourself… even when it hurts like all hell.
"Every year, the Shorty Awards honor the best content producers on social media. Some of the stars from this year’s nominees join HuffPost Live to discuss the 6th annual ceremony and how they got this far."
Watch Kristin talk with her mouth through her computer screen to yours via HuffPost Live, tomorrow at 10:35am ET!
"So a little while ago I went this super awesome conference and there were heaps of gay folk. Fast forward to Saturday at the stroke of 12, and I'm gettin' jiggy on the dance floor. Next thing I know, I find myself in a lip lock with a lady who IS NOT my gf. I shut it down in no time flat, but I feel awful. So my question is, should I tell my girlf about the incident, or should what happened at Creating Change stay at Creating Change?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I think you should tell your love the truth.
I know you’re like “it meant literally nothing, I didn’t even want it, and if I tell my girlf it’ll just upset her for no reason.” HOWEVER. If you don’t tell her and she finds out in two years from someone else, you will have officially lost her trust for EVVVVAAARRRRR.
Maybe not forever, but it’s a lot harder to believe that something was ‘insignificant’ or ‘meant nothing’ or ‘didn’t even matter’ if you went out of your way to keep it hidden. At least that’s the way I feel about it. If it was an honest mistake and you were under the influ’ and stopped it immediately, the two of you can have an understanding conversation where you work to build that trust back up. Hell, it might not even take that long.
The longer you wait, the longer it takes to build trust. Honesty is the best policy, yall.
Oh god. Now every single person whose boo went to Creating Change is going to be like DID YOU LIP LOCK ANOTHER LADY AND NOT TELL ME AND THEN WRITE TO EVERYONE IS GAY.
Happy Monday! *rings bell in wrestling ring*
My advice is in line with Dannielle’s: honesty is (almost) always the best policy. Yes, it is going to be unpleasant. Yes, you will potentially be misunderstood. Yes, you may have to deal with the aftershocks of this conversation for awhile… but the reality is that you got swept up in something bigger than you, you made a mistake, and you know that it didn’t mean anything. If you keep that to yourself, it will likely weigh on you, and then if you tell your boo in a year it’s going to be SO much bigger than it needs to be.
Explain what happened. Apologize. Give your boo space and let her get upset. Let her be mad and let her misunderstand. Stay strong in what you know happened, and have faith that you’ll be able to work through and build back that trust. We all slip up sometimes, and the best thing for you to do is own up to that mistake, apologize, and work through to the other side.
Also, to the forty other people who now wind up having to ‘fess up… SORRY BOUT IT.
"I'm almost positive my best friend is in love with a catfish. How do I 1) be absolutely certain and, if he is, b) convince him to GET OUT before he's even more crushed. I don't want to make him feel dumb or like the love he feels isn't real or valid."
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I am of the mindset that currently everyone is being catfished. Clearly, I’m wrong.. not everyone on the internet is a fishcat- fishcat is way cuter than catfish- BUT the bottom line is SOME PEOPLE ARE FISHCATS.
I think it’s cool to talk to your friend about your fears, but make sure you aren’t being accusatory. If I were your friend and I met someone on the internet and fell head over heels and really felt like I could be myself and finally thought someone understood me and EVERYTHING WAS PERFECT, I would be really defensive of my internet lover. And if you approached me by saying “your internet lover is probably a fishcat,” I would be mad at you. HOWEVER, if you said “are you ever afraid INTERNETLUV might be a fishcat,” I would be more willing to have a conversaysh.
I would advise against trying to Veronica Mars / Harriet The Spy / SVU Detective Name the situation, ONLY BECAUSE if you are wrong, you will just be a creep. OH maybe you can suggest being a detective team to make sure internetluv isn’t a fishcat? If you do it together it isnt’ that weird… I think?
You must, must, must, approach this from a position of your own concerns, and not from a place of “you are being stupid and I know more than you.” Yes — you probably do have the upper hand on the knowledge end of things because love makes people’s eyeballs and heartballs all wonky and less reliable. HOWEVER, with the slightest suggestion of “i know more than you,” your friend’s ears will close and their feeling meter will instantly flip to angry/defensive.
I agree with Dannielle’s suggestion of a team effort — and this doesn’t have to mean a team spy effort, exclusively. Your friend is in love, which means they make not be entirely up for the idea of digging around with a spyglass and such (although that does sound like a total blast). Your team effort might just mean that you position yourself as the proud yet worrisome friend who needs a little more reassurance because you care about your friend’s heart so very much.
Just say something like, “I am so, so happy for you and I can’t wait until we both get to meet Juan Benjamin.” Then your friend will be like, “What do you mean when WE get to meet Juan Benji??” Then you’ll be like, “LISTEN, I WORRY ALL THE TIME AND IM SURE THAT EVERYTHING IS FINE BUT I’VE SEEN A LOT OF MOVIES AND YOU MEAN THE WORLD TO ME SO I JUST WANT TO BE THERE TO MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS FINE AND MAKE SURE YOU ARE MEETING IN A PUBLIC PLACE AND PLEASE DON’T HATE ME DO YOU HATE ME CAN I JUST BE THERE FOR TEN MINUTES THANKS OKAY PHEWF.” Then collapse in a heap of friend-effort.
I don’t even know if your friend plans to meet Juan Benji anytime soon, but this will at least open up the conversation that you love your friend, you are happy for them, and you want to make sure they are safe (and that their heart is safe, too!).
If this is a situation where only feelings are at risk, be as supportive and as honest as possible without getting too involved.
IMPORTANT: If this is a situation where addresses or personal details are being exchanged, or they plan to meet, you either have a conversation with your friend explaining why that cannot and should not happen until they can be sure of this person’s intentions OR you immediately talk to someone else and make them aware of the situation.
"i just had sex for the first time and im having anxiety does it ever go away?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I’m about to get REAL OPEN, so get ready.
I was not into sexitime for a very long time. It made me uncomfortable and anxious and I felt like everything was wrong and I wondered why I even did it bc like even if I was dating the person I WASN’T IN LOVE AND SEX WAS FOR LOVE AND BABIES. It made me feel bad about myself and I knew I was doing it because it’s what the human I was with expected. I wasn’t really doing it because I wanted to and tbh and I didn’t want to. So basically I was ruining myself and my feels inside.
It took a long time for me to be comfortable with what I wanted AND a big part of that was accepting the anxiety that came along with it. Once you figure out why it is that you’re feeling anxious, you can work through that. For me, it was not knowing why I was “getting jiggy with it” AND feeling like I was doing everything wrong. I felt stupid on all counts and figuring out that I wasn’t stupid was what got me to a place where I could just let go.
Sex is a complicated thing in our society because we’re brainwashed from birth as to what sex means and stands for and how much you should want it and when it’s okay. You have to find your sexy feelings for you, which is a lot of work. But you will get there, recognizing your anxiety is the first step and you’ve done that, so you’re headed in the right direction, promise.
I want to first highlight the fact that Dannielle say “getting jiggy with it.”
I want to next highlight the fact that if you are feeling anxious about having had sex, the very first thing you should know is that you don’t have to have sex again unless you are feeling like you’ve worked through some of what’s happening on your insides (figuratively, not literally, although in this case the two are possibly related).
There are a whole ton of reasons why you may be feeling anxious.
Maybe you had built up in your head that sex was going to be life-changing, and in reality you just felt self-conscious and confused and then it was over and you’re like WHAT THE HELL.
Perhaps you weren’t really ready to connect with someone on that level, and you just went along with things because you weren’t sure what to do, and that feeling of being physical with an emotional disconnect isn’t for you.
It’s possible that you had sex and it was SO overwhelming in great ways that your brain will NOT stop replaying every moment and you’ve never been so all-consumed before and you’re like omg what is with my brain and body someone help me calm down WHAT’S HAPPENING.
Maybe you didn’t like having sex, period - whether or not it came with an emotional connection - and you aren’t sure what to do with those feelings.
It is up to you to start to sift through the anxiety and try to pinpoint where it is originating — just like Dannielle said. If you have someone in your life who you can talk to about your feelings, that would be a wonderful place to start. If not, try writing out your feelings. It may take several passes at writing things down (or talking with a friend) for you to start to uncover what’s going on with you, specifically. Once you start to learn more, you will have a bigger understanding of the path forward.
I want to repeat again: sex isn’t something any of us have to do, or something that you should feel obligated to participate in, blissfully, for all eternity. Sex is about exploring, physically and emotionally and mentally, our bodies and how we want to use them. Listen to your body. Listen to your brain. Do what make you comfortable, and know that it’s okay for it to feel confusing. And yes, that anxiety, so long as you work to understand it, will certainly go away.
"I said "I love you" and she didn't say it back. She seemed really touched and didn't freak out, but now I feel like an idiot. What do I do?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
OMG LISTEN. One time someone told me they loved me for the first time while we were in a fight in my car and I was stunned and I said “well..” and then patted them on the shoulder… SO LIKE. WHO AM I, first of all. SECOND OF ALL, I totally loved her, 100% loved her and wanted to tell her, I just couldn’t get it out of my mouth. For like a week I was like ‘LOL HI’ and she told me she loved me again and I just smiled.
I’m just now realizing I’m the worst…
EVENTUALLY, I was curled up and feeling like I was gonna barf and whatsherface was like “are you okay” and I was like “no” and she was like “what’s wrong” and I was like “nothing” and she was like “are you sure are you okay” and I was like “just thinkin about how I love you that’s all” and she was like “oh really…” and then I think she rolled her eyes and started watching a Beyonce Music Video or something.
My point is… Some of us aren’t great with our words. AND some of us don’t know how to express ANYTHING. Your boo might be afraid and maybe also your boo just isn’t ready to say those words, which is totally fine. Love is an incredible gift. Putting yourself out there and being vulnerable is one of the most amazing things you can do. Don’t feel like an idiot, you’re amazing. So many people keep their feels tucked away because they’re afraid. I’m 100% certain your boo is so happy you didn’t do that.
The very first time I fell in love, I said I love you and didn’t hear it returned for many many weeks. I think, maybe because of how my entire body felt that it was flipped upside down, and maybe because I had never had a feeling like that one before… it didn’t even phase me to not hear it returned. I was like an adventurer standing atop a mountain that no one else had ever climbed, discovering what it meant to say “I love you,” and mean every fiber of that phrase. I was saying it to tell her, sure… but I was saying it because I had to say it - it was absolutely incredible and wonderful and terrifying and life-changing.
Eventually that lovely girl told me she loved me back, and then we dated for two years, and then we broke up, and then we remained friends, and then we became best friends, and recently she officiated my wedding. So, whatever, lesbian tangent.
The subsequent times that I fell in love I cared more about hearing it returned, because I was worried about all the things that you are likely worrying about right now. What if I was the only one who felt this way? What if she thought I was stupid? What if I scared her off?
I understand those feelings, sure… but I do believe that the truest way of saying “I love you” doesn’t hinge on the return of that phrase. Your perception that your words moved her are likely spot-on, and that is why we say those words to one another. We want to let someone know how very much we care. Now, sure, if you go another six months and she never returns the sentiment, you can absolutely have a conversation about how she’s feeling and how you’re feeling and how everyone’s feeling and feelings feelings feelings. Totally.
For now, though — for this initial period of maybe a few weeks or a month or so, just tell her you love her because you love her. Let her navigate her own feelings, and get to them as she gets to them. Feelings - and love especially - can be tricky, and hard to pin down.
I love that you didn’t specify this question in THE LEAST. I have no idea if you’re looking for romantic ideas, gift ideas, just generally what a friday should look like, how to have an “all the single ladies” night. I can literally say whatever I want bc you’ve left it open for me, and I appreciate that.
Good Ideas for Valentine’s Day:
1. Call it “ValenTIMES day”
2. Go to Target two days after V-Day and purchase candy 50-75% off
3. Watch rom-coms alone in your bedroom.
4. Make a playlist of slow One Direction songs and put on big headphones, turn it all the way up and sit on a park bench.
5. Cook dinner for your boo and put an engagement ring inside the vegan cheesecake.
6. SCAVENGER HUNT
7. Spin the bottle.
8. Take your cat to get groomed and place bets on how long she’ll hate you afterward.
9. Go to a musical show and propose during a romantic song. or go to a basketball game and propose on a jumbotron.
10. Make an entire weekend of the holiday. Go to all of the places you went on your first few dates and recreate the selfies you took together. Pledge to kiss each other every ten minutes on the 14th. Say “I love you” every ten minutes on the 15th. Make a list of your favorite things about one another and read them out loud on the 16th. Remember it’s a dumb holiday and doesn’t make a ton of sense, but the entire point is to do dumb shit like flowers and bears and candies for no reason at all, it’s just a stupid day to remember that you’re in love and your love is a very special love and while we should be doting on our loves all year round, we get caught up. Life gets out of hand and we forget to make one another feel special. So here’s your chance to do all the dumbest things to make up for the special moments that were forgotten.
Good Ideas for Valentine’s Day (cont.)
11. Buy yourself a new humidifier. We all need to stay hydrated.
12. Find a copy of Darren’s Dance moves and either invite over your friends, Skype your little cousin, or ask your boo to join you in learning the whole routine.
13. PILLOW FIGHHHHHHTS
14. Clean out your closet. Literally or metaphorically.
15. Pack a picnic basket with all the trimmings, and then layout the picnic blanket in your living room. Bonus points for creating a picnic FORT.
16. Rent a karaoke machine. Dear god, please rent a karaoke machine.
17. Go to the bank and get as many pennies as you can. Then, have a contest where you either a) compete for the best penny sculpture OR b) see who can stack the most pennies without them toppling. This, again, works for friends or boos.
18. Look up a new recipe. This one isn’t funny. It’s just nice to cook sometimes.
19. PILLOW FIGHHHHHHTS WITH MUSIIICCC
20. Work on your most incredibly creative Kristin & Dannielle valentine, and send it to us at: 237 Flatbush Avenue #153 Brooklyn NY 11217. We will totally put our favorites on the world wide web. Blamo.
"I NEED FUN/NON EMBARRASSING WAYS TO EXERCISE. I'm pretty overweight at the moment but because of the stupid thing that apparently fat people trying to lose weight (jogging, going to the gym etc.) is hilarious I'm way too embarrassed to full out exercise in view of other humans. Any advice you lovely svelte ladies?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I’m sorry but, in what world is “fat people trying to lose weight is hilarious” ???? That’s really fucked up and if people are saying things to you that make you feel that way, 100% report them. If, however, that is a thought that’s just in you head. GET RID OF IT.
I think about 90% of working out is related to your brain. I know you have to do the physical activity blah blah blah. BUT you have to convince yourself to put the clothes on, to go to the gym, to not feel embarrassed, to keep going when you’re tired. It’s all one giant mind trick. The best way to push through is to switch your way of thinking.
I’ve spent countless years not going to the gym because I was afraid people were judging me. They were TOTALLY looking at me and thinking about how I was lifting weights wrong or not running long enough or they noticed I hadn’t been in a week.. you guys no one is lookin at you, nor do they care how you’re doing things and how often you’re there. SO KEEP THAT IN MIND. Also, taking classes is a great way to get your work out over with and be with a bunch of people in solidarity. No one can do every single move in every single class perfectly. Spin class, especially, it’s pitch black and you’re basically just bouncing, PLUS cheating is simple and EVERYONE DOES IT. aaaaaannnnddd the goal isn’t to get it perfect every time, it’s to get a little bit better every time.
Working out, like many things, is for you and you only. F what everyone else thinks and says, it’s not about losing weight, it’s not about looking cool, it’s about you wanting to feel good. The best way to feel good about yourself is to drop all those negative thoughts surrounding what others think about you. I promise, they’re not thinking about you.
HEAR ME OUT.
While I agree with Dannielle about the fact that people need to back the fuck off and that you should NOT have to feel embarrassed about your body for any reason… I also know that there are a lot of broken people out there who do really stupid and hurtful shit when they feel people are “different” from them. So, if what will make you comfortable right now is working out in privacy, you should one million percent do so.
LUCKY FOR YOU, I WORK OUT IN MY HOUSE AND IT IS MY NEW FAVORITE THING AND I CAN TELL YOU ALL ABOUT IT.
I recently downloaded an app called Sworkit Pro. It is nothing special… it’s just a list of exercises with a British lady-voice who tells you which exercise is next on your list. I am sure I know all the exercises in my own brain, but setting a time and having structure is critical for me to get shit done… otherwise I’m like, “Eh I lost count maybe that was 15 sit-ups whatever where are the cookies.”
In Sworkit, you choose what kind of workout you want (they have settings for streching, for yoga, for strength, for cardio, etc), and the time you’d like to spend on your workout. You can also set weekly goals and such. AND WHAT’S MORE, you can play music from your phone while the British lady barks at you, so when you are doing burpees you also feel powerful while Katy Perry is telling you to Roar.
I have to be very, very disciplined and make sure to do this every day before I shower. After I’ve showered I am hopeless bc by the time I finish working I want to eat and then I want to relax and I can’t motivate to jump around the house. You figure that part out for you, but do it at the same time every day, and be as strict with yourself as possible.
Lastly. Yoga & breathing are essential for me. My “routine” as it were is as follows: I do three rounds of breathing (my preferred breathing is the breath of fire). Then, I do three sun salutations, very slowly. Then, I do 15 minutes of Full Intensity Cardio via Sworkit. Then, I do 5 minutes of Head to Toe stretching via Sworkit. When I can, I add on a little more yoga time at the end to do particular poses (shoulder stand, headstand, tree, and twists are my favorites).
Now everyone knows all my secrets. Happy SWORKING.
I think there are a few kinds of loneliness. There is physical loneliness, where you’re totally fine most of the time but GOOD LORD do you want someone to cuddle. There is the kind of loneliness based on a previous codependency, where doing shit alone just FEELS WEIRD BC NO ONE GETS IT. And then there is I-Don’t-Love-Me-Most-Of-All loneliness.
The last one is the hardest to deal with and, in my opinion, the easiest to slowly fix. When you don’t think you’re the best thing on earth, you have a hard time being with just yourself. I spent a lot of my life like that, I would fill every possible second with a hang out sesh because being around people was the thing that made me feel good. I didn’t feel good when I was alone. WHICH YOU GUYS TURNS OUT means I wasn’t actually feeling good when I was around other people, I was just distracted.
I did a lot of reading. I read a lot of those self-fulfilling books about success and passion and finding what moves you and your inner beauty, etc. I did a lot of walking around by myself and noticing tiny things like flowers and puppies and cool buildings. I did a lot of writing. I have about 20billion half-written essays, short stories, and even the beginning of a young adult novel about the end of the world (NBD). I spent hours getting to know me and why I am awesome. I have so many amazing things to offer the world and I recognize that now, which makes being alone with me a lot more fun and interesting.
It’s a hard process, learning to love yourself. You have to get rid of those moments when you think you’re less than. Stop comparing yourself to others because you will never be someone else. You are you. The greatest most amazing you. The only you. The fucking coolest you. As soon as you figure that out for yourself, all the kinds of loneliness will be a helluva lot more manageable.
She’s right. Not a big surprise, I know, because Dannielle tends to be right a whole bunch, but still. Loneliness is an inside-to-outside feeling. It starts on the inside, and most of us do the only thing we know how: we take the feeling and we say, “If I just had (fill in the blank), then this feeling would go away.”
Now, that doesn’t take away the validity of needing and wanting things like having someone to hold you, or having someone to go grocery shopping with you, or having someone who is there to see that your cat just fell backward off the headboard like a total goon. Those moments of wanting human companionship are real, and true. Many of us want that companionship, and want someone to be there to witness our lives with us.
That said, you have to remind yourself that you have time. You likely have a lot of minutes, a lot of hours, and a lot of years to walk around this planet. You are going to have times where you are with someone you love, and feel lonelier than you ever imagined possible, and other times when you are totally alone and feel full of joy at how non-alone you are. You’ll have times where you have someone beside you and you feel safe. You’ll have times where you are alone, and you feel horribly lonely. None of these experiences negate the possibility of others. Your feelings do not mean that you can’t ever feel another way, and they don’t mean that the only way you will feel differently is to have a specific thing that you imagine will be the “fix.”
Trust in the possibility that life can surprise you. Trust in the possibility that you may find solace in ways you can’t yet imagine. Trust in the possibility of finding what you are after, and trust that this world often gives us things in an order we didn’t anticipate.
It’s okay to feel lonely. Just don’t give up hope, and don’t focus on only one “solution” to your problem. This is a very, very big world. Take risks, surprise yourself, have patience, and remember that loneliness takes many forms and is never permanent. Hell, none of this is.
"how do you properly react when someone comes out to you?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I always think being honest is best. BECAUSE YOU GUYS. When people try to act like everything is cool it just makes EVERYONE FEEL SUPER WEIRD.
Things that people said to me that made me feel weird: "oh yea, I kinda figured" "Jesus still loves you, he just doesn’t necessarily love your choices" "ohhhh is that why you always spent the night with Carly?" "I don’t care, I know lots of gay people"
Now, some of these were well-meaning, but anytime someone said “I don’t care” it made me kind of sad bc like… I DO CARE. You know? It took all my guts to figure out how/when to say I’M A GAY (or whatever I ended up saying) and then PERSON was so dismissive about it, you know?
I don’t think you should act fake surprised and I don’t think you should make everything super dramatic and say things like “OH MAN ARE YOU GONNA BE OKAY?!!?” I think you be the good friend you are, and be honest. Whether you were expecting it or not, simply saying, “So, if I have questions should I ask or are you not there yet?” can be an AWESOME way to open up the floor and make the conversation more inclusive of your friends feels without making a big statement that might make the whole convo weird. You know? If they’re open to questions, ask if they’ve talked to family, how that went, their thoughts on being out at work, if they’re dating someone, stuff like that so they have the floor to talk about anything and feel totally supported and comfortable!
Agree, agree, agree.
Also, I am sorry to break it to you, but 8 out of 10 coming-out moments are totally awkward. IT’S JUST THE WAY THINGS ARE. Unless the coming-out moment is part of a larger conversation, ie: “Oh my ex-girlfriend used to LOVE One Direction,” there is really no way to react that will make the conversation seem like your everyday exchange (btw in that exchange you obviously reply, ‘omg who’s your favorite member?!’).
Coming out has a tendency to be awkward, because not many everyday exchanges include announcing our identity categories. “HELLO LISA, I AM DOMINICAN, JUST SO YOU KNOW.” “HELLO TODD, I AM A COMPETITIVE SWIMMER. DIDN’T WANT TO KEEP ANYTHING FROM YOU.” “HELLO MOM, FYI I PREFER TO WEAR BOXER BRIEFS.”
If the coming-out moment is an announcement (as many are) rather then part of a larger conversation, then what I recommend is to say, “Thanks for sharing that with me. I know coming out is a big deal for some people, and for others its really easy… but whatever it was for you, I just want you to know I care about you and I appreciate you trusting me enough to share a part of yourself. Also, so long as this doesn’t affect your affinity for pizza, do you want to go to the dining hall with me?”
Then, you’ve not only said, “I care about you,” but you’ve acknowledged the moment as important, AND you’ve given them the opportunity to just grab some pizza and move along if that’s what they need/want/etc. On the way to pizza-town you can then follow up with, “Also, if you ever want to talk more about anything I am all ears.”
Blam. Boom. Best friend award goes to YOU. Thank you and good day.
"How do I ask someone out in a way that makes it clear that I would be happy being friends too? I'm worried I'm going to alienate someone super cool if I say the word 'date.'"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I think the answer to this is not in the ASKING OUT, but in the RESPONSE ONCE THE HUMAN HAS ANSWERED.
Let’s say, for example, I’m gonna ask out Demi Lovato. I’m super calm, cool, awesome, fun, etc. So, I say, “Hey @ddlovato, can I buy you dinner sometimes…I said sometimes with an s bc I want to do it more than once, in fact, I would like to do it often and for a long time also will you marry me bye.” TWO THINGS COULD POTENTIALLY HAPPEN (1 - aka most likely) she might say yes and now we’re married (2 - i guess it could happen) she says no.
IF SHE SAID NO (again, not very likely, we are meant2b), I would make a joke immediately. I would probably say “You’re not going to be weird now are you?” and we would giggle and things would be fine. BUT IF WE’RE BEING HONEST… Things would be weird for a few days and I’d text her after a while and say “hi, you’re being weird and I’m being weird how do we fix it bc I’m totally cool just being friends and it’s been THREE DAYS so now I FRIEND MISS YOU… wanna watch New York Minute later??”
That is how I would handle the situation. That is what we call A SLICE OF LIFE.
A Slice of Life by Famous Celebrity Dannielle Owens-Reid should definitely be a new column. Right?
As for your question, I think that this is all about being bold and clear and honest and probably a little embarrassed bc when we like people we tend to get embarrassed. Here are some options:
#1: “I would love to go on a date with you but I am also extremely flexible NOT IN A SEXY WAY I JUST MEAN IM ALSO HAPPY TO BE FRIENDS WHATS YOUR SIGN.”
#2: “I’d love to get dinner with you and if at any point you feel that you’d like that dinner to be a date, order a Sprite so I know where we’re at.”
#3: “Do you think I am pretty cool let’s go on a date it’s fine don’t panic pick you up at 8 or we can just be friends up to you” *run away*
#4: Hold up a sign that says COFFEE DATE or COFFEE AS FRIENDS, hand them a laser pointer, and ask them to choose without saying anything at all. Discuss after the results are in.
Bottom line: Just be you, and if you want to be clear just be clear. Sure, it’s probably humiliating… but it’s also adorable and you’ll know right away what the deal is and not have to wonder. You’ve got this. Good luck!
"Every marriage I have ever witnessed has gone down in flames. Why do people continue to perpetuate the idea that marriage is essential to happiness when both people usually end up hating each other in the end? Why bother getting married?"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I mean, life is what you make it. Which is a statement that I believe applies to every tiny piece of life. School is what you make it. Your career is what you make it. Marriage is what you make it.
It’s funny because I know multiple people who were divorced at least once before the age of 25 and I also know a countless number of people who have been married for 15+ years. I chose to focus on the successful marriages because I think marriage is cool and it’s something I eventually want. HOWEVER, I have no interest in trying to convince others to get married because I think it’s a totally personal thing and something that is COMPLETELY okay to NOT want. If that makes sense.
There are certain (very ridiculous) things that go along with marriage socially/politically that are important to me, personally. I don’t want my partner to be in the hospital and I can’t get to her because we don’t have one piece of paper that says we’re together. I don’t want to have a child that isn’t recognized as my child in some states/countries. I don’t want to be in a position where a decision has to be made about my life and my partner doesn’t even get to weigh in. Those things terrify me. PLUS I really want a fun party with cute rings where people give speeches about my deep passionate love and tell stories about dumb things I did when I was 22.
Whatever you wanna do is right, and keep in mind that you are not the people around you, you are a product of your own decisions. Make the right ones for the right reasons and you’re good to go. The decision to get married does not make anyone better or worse, it’s optional for a reason, you know?
TO EACH HIS OWN - Hillary Duff
You are really asking a lot of things in this question… so I am going to try to break them down to their simplest pieces (though this is anything but simple):
First: Since all the marriages you witnessed have not lasted, does this mean that, should you choose to marry, you will also fail? No. It certainly does not. What determines the trajectory of your marriage is you and the human you marry, your communication, your patience, your faith (just as Dannielle said up there in her very wise words). My parents have been married for over thirty years, and some of those years were fucking horrible. They chose to continue working - which for them was the right decision. Marriages are like snowflakes. No two are alike. Not even close.
Second: Does marriage equate to happiness? Fuck no. Again, Dannielle speaks total truth. Marriage is important for some of us for a whole bunch of varying reasons, but that doesn’t determine happiness. Your choices, your actions, your knowledge of yourself and the world around you - those things determine happiness.
Third: Why, then, do people think that marriage = happiness? Well… have you noticed any themes in, say, Disney movies, magazine articles, news stories, popular music, romantic comedies, and on and on and on? Most places we look tell us that happiness means two rings, two kids and a minivan. Bravo on you for seeing through the crap and looking for the truth. (PS: That doesn’t mean your truth won’t include the rings, kids, and minivan.)
Fourth: Why bother? You don’t have to bother if you don’t want to bother! Get married if that makes sense to you. Get married if you want to have a monogamous relationship with someone that also carries with it a legal or spiritual component which you can find through marriage. Marriage doesn’t equate with happiness, and it doesn’t equate with hatred. Marriage is just one particular form of commitment. There are many others.
For me, marriage was spiritual and symbolic. It wasn’t full of glittery-love and fairytales… it meant that I was ready to be a witness to my own life and the life of someone I loved. It meant I was ready to work, every day, to try to become a better person for myself, and for someone else. It meant I saw my future, and this person was there with me in that future. That’s me, though.
I’ve always wondered the SAME THING because pretty much nothing makes me jealous, but if I say I’m not jealous people automatically assume I am and I’m being defensive… it’s so weird.
I have now defaulted to say YES I AM JEALOUS KISS ME - if it’s in a luv situation- or just laughing - if it is not a luv situation.
Also, you guys. I have this problem with a lot of feelings. People always think I’m feeling something that I’m completely not feeling at all. And for some reason, simply saying “I’m not mad” or “I’m not upset” or “No, I promise, I don’t care” infuriates the general public… It’s like because I don’t feel something the same way another person feels it, I am THE WORST.
I’ve found, through years of making people angry, you just have to keep being honest. I don’t know if this is just your boo trying to get you to say you’re jealous so you can have a jealous-fake-mad-make-out-sesh or if it’s ACTUALLY about feeling like your feels are invalid. BUT I AM HERE TO TELL YOU THEY ARE NOT. The fact that you don’t feel jealousy/anger/frustration or whatever as often and as hard as other people does not mean your feels are invalid. They are real and they are you. As long as you’re being honest when you DO feel something, you’re doing all the right things.
I agree with Dannielle, and I think that this is a situation where your consistency and honesty will win the race. If you are asking your boo or your friend about a person or a thing and they decide to lay over the feelings they think you have, then all you can do is remain calm and explain the reason for your queries.
If they persist and continue to insist that you aren’t being honest, explain that a relationship (ANY kind of relationship) is built on many foundational elements… trust being one of the BIGGEST. Tell your boo/friend that their insistence that you are lying hurts your feelings, because it makes you feel like they do not trust you, or think that you are being honest. Say again how you actually feel, ensure them that if you are feeling jealous you will share that with them fully, and ask them to please trust in what you are telling them.
It is hard for most of us to understand feelings that don’t align with our own — and Dannielle is right, this is probably where your boo/friend is coming from. They likely understand jealousy in a particular way, and they know how they would behave if they felt jealous. Since this is the only thing they have to go on, they are making assumptions about your behavior.
State again how you truly feel. Ask for respect and trust. You deserve that, and you cannot have a relationship without it.
Also, I now want to call someone my boo-friend. DANNIELLE CAN I CALL YOU MY BOOFRIEND?
The eye contact and smile is what really kills it, bc then everyone knows you’re having fun. I think a good way to start dancing sexy is to isolate, move just one part of your body, like this:
Hips = great choice. Also, get on YouTube and look up dance moves. Practice ONE COOL MOVE over and over, you can just sort of move your shoulders a bit and then bust this out every so often:
When all else fails… INVOLVE YOUR FRIENDS —
The fact that you have come to us for lessons on sexy dancing is PRETTY incredible. That either means that you truly believe that we can dance sexily and/or teach others how to dance sexily OR that you want to stand in solidarity with two people who are as foreign to sexy dancing as they are to understanding calculus.
If you REALLY want to dance sexy in a club, my advice is to clamp on to another person like one of those teddy bear backpacks, but on the front, and just hold on while they move. Why does it have to be your responsibility? PUT IT ON THEM.
If you want to stand in solidarity with fellow humans who do not sexy dance on purpose (who can help an occasional accidental sexy dance, right?) — then here we are, with you. Dance using Dannielle’s aforementioned steps, and become an instant heartbreaker.
ALSO, NEWS ALERT, BREAKING, THIS JUST IN. SEXY DANCING UPDATE 2014: