6 Signs you’re ready to date after a break-up

This article appears on the Andrew Christian website. Click here to be taken to the full-length version.

Our culture seems to think we can get over a bad break-up just by re-entering the dating pool. “Get back out there,” they say. “The best way to get over someone is to get under someone,” they say. But when has that ever been the case for matters of the heart? Relationships linger in our thoughts well after we say goodbye, and for most of us it’s actually a bad idea to jump back into another person’s arms (or bed) right after a break-up.

Of course, if you’re able to separate sex from emotional intimacy, hooking up with someone can be harmless. But when are you ready to actually date again?

#1 YOU AREN’T HUNG UP ON YOUR EX

One sign to pay attention to is how often you talk about your ex. If it has been weeks since you’ve spoken of or alluded to your ex, you’re probably moving on from him (yay!).

#2 YOU DON’T HATE BEING SINGLE

Some of us prefer to be in a relationship—which is not necessarily a bad thing. However, if you find yourself playing the role of a serial monogamist, it’s time to take a break and figure out why past relationships don’t seem to stick. Serial monogamists often feel uncomfortable being single, which can lead them to jump into new relationships without resolving the emotional baggage they are carrying from their last relationship. A general rule for anyone after a break-up is to wait until you’re comfortable being single before actively seeking a new partner.

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Is he taking it slow or just not that into me?

This article appears on the Andrew Christian website. Click here to be taken to the full-length version.

It has become a true talent to know whether the guy you’re seeing is serious about dating you or just killing time. As with most innovations in dating culture, this has a good and a bad side to it. The good: you don’t have to prematurely jump into a relationship just to lock it down before someone else does. The bad: a lot of guys take advantage of the gray area between “friends” and “more than friends” just to keep a full social calendar.

Sooner or later though, you get tired of the chase. How many dates can you go on without a clue as to where things may—or may not—be heading? If you’re to believe TV dating tropes, three dates is the benchmark, or at least that’s when sex is supposed to occur (if not earlier). But what if sex hasn’t happened yet and it’s date number six? Or, what if sex has happened but you can’t get a read on how he feels? You still like the guy, but according to all your friends (both real and imaginary), he probably isn’t as into you as you are into him.

Is this where modern daters are stuck? We either have to bench a guy for not being interested enough or be his bench warmer until he finds someone better.

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Date ideas for the cash-strained Millennial

This article appears on the Andrew Christian website. Click here to be taken to the full-length version.

Are you low on cash? Are you also a Millennial? Well, you’re in good company. Millennials are less well off than members of earlier generations when they were young, a recent study by the Fed finds.

Unfortunately, couples who are trying to save money tend to get fixed in a pattern with date nights, sticking to the same low-cost ideas they’ve enjoyed in the past. And for singletons, the same first date spots become a crutch anytime they meet a potential match.

But just because you’re on a budget (or trying to be) doesn’t mean that romancing Mr. Right is out of reach, nor is keeping things fresh by enjoying a variety of new exciting date night experiences. You just have to get a bit creative to keep costs down while keeping romance high.

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Is it time to get a dog together?

This article appears on the Andrew Christian website. Click here to be taken to the full-length version.

Lots of things can test a relationship’s strength: becoming exclusive, moving in together, negotiating finances. But nothing quite compares to the trials of raising a dog together.

I take this stuff, perhaps, too seriously. (Tack up to the fact I research relationships all day.) My boyfriend, on the other hand, not so much. He always wanted a dog; from day one he talked about getting a little fur ball, “I’m thirty now, it’s time,” he would say.

I was apprehensive: What if he loved the puppy more than me? Could I change my free-floating lifestyle to one of routine? Would we crack under the stress of training breaking, medical bills, and obedience training? And if we broke up, who takes the dog?

It took me three years of dog induced anxiety to feel comfortable—no, excited about getting a puppy together, and soon thereafter we welcomed our dog, MJ, into our home. I would love to say MJ fit right in, that suddenly our relationship just felt complete. Instead, I must be honest: MJ almost derailed us…permanently.

Don’t get me wrong, MJ was and is an incredible addition to our family, but she was also a long fuse, setting off a chain of explosions in our relationship as we whittled away at each other’s patience. To make matters worse, all the self-help articles online were all for single people who were trying to date while raising a new dog, not for couples trying to housebreak a dog without breaking themselves.

So, being a relationship researcher and going through the process myself, I figured I would give my two cents on what it’s like to raise a dog with a partner for any couples out there thinking about adopting a pup of their own.

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Dating slang you need to know

This article appears on the Andrew Christian website. Click here to be taken to the full-length version.

The dating market is becoming increasingly demanding of its participants. We can’t text back right away in fear of looking desperate (“I don’t want him to think I’m alllllways available”). Are we friends with benefits or just prolonging a bad match with good sex? And now, we need a dictionary for all the tech-jargon that people use on dating apps.

Luckily for you, I study this stuff and I’m here to break down 2018’s most memorable additions to the modern dater’s lexicon. Let’s start reading:

CURVING

To reject someone in a very subtle, usually protracted way (e.g., “He says he wants to hang out but always has a convenient excuse to get out of it”).

DTR CONVERSATION

Pretty self-explanatory, DTR stands for “define the relationship”. Some of us just call it “the talk,” but hipsters love acronyms, so DTR it is.

GHOSTING

Are you even a Millennial if you haven’t been ghosted? Ghosting is shorthand for suddenly dropping out of someone’s life—like entirely—without a warning or excuse as to why. (Hint: he’s over you.)

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This is why Valentine’s Day matters, even if you’re single

This article appears on the Andrew Christian website. Click here to be taken to the full-length version.

No holiday has garnered as much skepticism as Valentine’s Day. And I’ll start out by saying I have no disillusionment about changing that fact with a blog post. Nonetheless, as someone who has dedicated their career to studying love and relationships, I do think we’re a bit too down on what is supposed to be a day dedicated to romance.

If people aren’t griping about expenses, then they’re protesting commercialism. And god forbid you’re single on Valentine’s Day!

A (FALSE) FIGHT AGAINST CAPITALISM

Truth is, these protests demonstrate America’s confusion regarding something as impractical as love. After all, our culture demands efficiency, practicality, and putting yourself first. On the other hand, love demands vulnerability, putting someone else first, and delving into unfamiliar emotions. Celebrating Valentine’s Day, it could be argued, is more rebellious than disliking the holiday based on your own capitalist biases.

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When to take him home for the Holidays?

This article appears on the Andrew Christian website. Click here to be taken to the full-length version. 

So you want to know if you’re making the right decision: to bring him home or to put it off. Fortunately, we live in a time that we can actually ask ourselves whether it’s time for our bf to meet the fam. It wasn’t too long ago that most gay couples knew the answer was almost always “no.”

Even still, we live in an era of blurred lines where “dating” can mean anything from casual bed-buddies to long-term lovers and the point where us needs to meet them lies in murky waters. For the sake of your holiday season sanity though, let’s try to break this down.