Tagged with love

Dear Kate: I’m Single in NYC and I hate Valentine’s Day. What should I do to make it less annoying to be alone tonight?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

I am single, I live in New York City and Valentine’s Day is the only day of the year that I hate this city. What do I do to avoid the awful crowds of kissing couples everywhere I go this year? If I see one more stuffed bear and chocolate rose I’m going to throw up on someone.

Sincerely,

Out of Love Lucy

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Dear Our of Love Lucy,

Girl. I hear ya. Even though I have now joined the hoards of vomit-inducing love couples – I was single for a very long time before that and every year I dreaded Valentine’s Day. It seemed like everyone I knew was married, engaged, had a boyfriend or already had a date. I found myself thinking, “How is this possible? Where do they all find each other? Am I the only single person left in the WORLD?”

Of course I wasn’t, there were droves of other Valentine’s singles brooding about the holiday the same as I was. There was also another group, a group I hadn’t yet been introduced to, the “I Hate Valentine’s Day So Let’s All Get Together and Party” party. This bunch was awesome. A whole other mindset and approach towards this Hallmark holiday.

So awesome, in fact, that there are now super events organized all around the city just for them!

Here are some ideas for how to spend your Valentine’s Day in the big city without a date:

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Kate’s Dates: On Valentine’s Day

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by Kate Richlin-Zack

Truth be told, I love Valentine’s Day. I shouldn’t considering the crappy ones I’ve had in the past. But I do.

The problem with admitting it’s one of my favorite holidays is I’m in the minority and more importantly, no one gives a crap. Sadly, most people are pretty jaded when it comes to Valentine’s Day. But it wasn’t always that way. If you think about it, there was a time when Valentine’s Day was fun and it was exactly what you wanted it to be. Granted, it was in elementary school but you have to admit you enjoyed it.

We dug up an old shoe box, wrapped it in red construction paper, and adorned it with heart shaped doilies and stickers. Lots of stickers. I remember my mom helping me cut a slit in the top – apparently my father couldn’t be trusted with an Xacto knife and let’s just say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The week leading up to Valentine’s Day, we’d all secretly put our Charlie Brown or My Little Pony themed cards into everyone’s boxes. And you had to make a Valentine for everyone, even the smelly kid because that was just the right thing to do.

Can we just go back to that? Forget the elaborate heart shaped boxes of chocolate, the long stemmed roses, and the barrage of jewelry commercials. Not everyone is getting engaged, Neil Lane!  And seriously, what’s the deal with Cupid? Who let’s a little kid run around half naked wielding a bow and arrow? Is someone calling child services?

The problem with Valentine’s Day is there’s entirely too much goddamned pressure for no good goddamned reason. You’re almost guaranteed an awful experience. But fear not, there are ways around it. Continue reading

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Kate’s Dates: On Long Distance Relationships

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By Kate Richlin-Zack

For anyone who’s ever tried it, you know exactly what I mean when I say long distance relationships suck.

Even with advances in modern technology, geography will challenge the strength of your relationship—not to mention your internet connection—when you’re physically separated. People give you tips on how to make it work: schedule Skype dates or phone calls, send each other text messages or emails throughout the day. Blah blah blah. It’s a load of crap. Living apart and spending every third weekend together is not sustainable. Skype and Whatsapp are not adequate substitutes for physical intimacy.

To put it simply, long distance relationships don’t work; either someone moves or you break up. Let’s leave the financial burden of travelling aside for the sake of argument because airline tickets alone are enough to make you bankrupt. If you’re trying to do an international long distance relationship, hopefully your boyfriend is the Sultan of Brunei because I don’t know how the average person can afford to fly halfway across the world on a consistent basis. But like I said, let’s leave the financial aspect out of this because I would like to believe, however naively, that true love conquers all.

Let’s start with the logistics. There’s a lot of planning and coordinating schedules: time off from work, booking airfare, whose turn is it to travel. And the packing, which may be the absolute worst part, because of course you’re going to forget something stupid but essential. Like the stilettos that go perfectly with the cocktail dress you plan to wear to dinner on Saturday and I guarantee you there are no Louboutin outlets or even a Payless wherever your boyfriend lives because his current job relocated him to Bumblefuck and modern conveniences like strip malls and chain retail stores are reserved for civilization. Every last detail needs to be planned. The ability to just stop by his place on your way home from work is nonexistent. There are no last minute spontaneous plans. You can not, under any circumstances “play it by ear.” Physically you are trying to be in two places at once which means emotionally you’re also in two places at once.

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Dear Kate: I think I’m in love with my best friend. Should I tell him?

Dear-Kate-column-identityBy Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

There’s this guy that I have known for quite some time. Actually since primary school and we’ve always had a very special friendship. Just a little while ago I started to realize that I felt more for him than just friendship and I think he maybe feels it too. Should I tell him how I feel and date him? Or is dating a good friend a bad idea?

Sincerely,

Mixed Feelings

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Dear Mixed Feelings,

I have been in your shoes, and boy are they hard to walk in! Kudos for thinking it through before making any rash or hasty decisions though.

In my (humble) opinion – this could go one of three ways.

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The strange, very twisted love story of Catherine Greig

By Kate Torgovnick

Catherine Greig, the longtime girlfriend of notorious gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was sentenced yesterday to eight years in prison for helping her love disappear in 1995 and spend more than 16 years atop the FBI’s most wanted list. Greig was found guilty of harboring a fugitive, identity fraud and conspiracy to commit identity fraud. But while many criminals tearfully renounce the actions that changed their lives and landed them on the wrong side of the law, Grieg holds that she doesn’t wish that she had walked away from Bulger when he called for help in the mid-1990s.

“Catherine Greig fell in love with Mr. Bulger, and that’s why she was in the situation she was in,” her lawyer, Kevin Reddington, said while asking the judge for a softer sentence of two years in prison for his client. “He’s the love of her life and she stands by him. Of course she doesn’t regret it … Miss Greig did not believe that Mr. Bulger was capable of these homicides.”

Yes, homicides. Plural. Did I mention that Bulger, the guy who Jack Nicholson’s spine-tingling character in “The Departed” is based on, is awaiting trial for 19 murders?

But let’s back up a little bit. Who is Catherine Greig?
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Kate’s Dates: Kate’s Dates: Why living together before getting married isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, Part 2

Kate's Dates: On CohabitationBy Kate Richlin-Zack

Last week we covered the worst case scenario when it comes to cohabitating: it doesn’t work out and you ultimately break up. In short, it’s a mess. I strongly advise against it.

But what about the best case scenario? Let’s say it DOES work out…

Let’s say the two of you have every intention of spending the rest of your lives together and even the Psychic Friends Network is predicting happily ever after. Then what? Should you move in before you’re officially engaged or married? I still say NO.

Based on my own experience, I personally think it’s not worth it for reasons that didn’t occur to me until it was too late. When my now-husband-then-boyfriend-not-yet-fiancé discussed moving in together, I was hesitant even though I knew for certain that getting married was a matter of “when” not “if” for us. I had been down this road before—you remember all the crying, vomiting, and stealthy escape planning, so you can understand why I’d be gun shy. Even after living through the worst possible cohabitating scenario and fully understanding what I could possibly be getting myself into, my husband made a great case with all those pesky “advantages.” I figured, “This time it’s different. This relationship is going to work out, so maybe he’s right and it DOESN’T make sense NOT to live together.”

Wrong.

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Kate’s Dates: Why living together before getting married isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, Part 1

Kate's Dates: On CohabitatingBy Kate Richlin-Zack

You meet a great guy. You start dating. At first you’re seeing each other once or twice a week and after a month it’s up to three or four. You start having sleepovers and pretty soon there’s “the toothbrush discussion.” Then one day you wake up and can’t remember the last time you actually slept at your own place; it’s just an expensive unkempt storage unit and you have the dust bunnies and dead plants to prove it.

Considering that you spend almost all of your time at your boyfriend’s place, moving in together is just easier. And there are some pretty logical advantages:

  • Convenience—we were already spending so much time together, logistically it doesn’t make sense to keep living out of an overnight bag most of the time.
  • Financial—what’s the sense in paying double the rent? I spend all my time at his place while all of my worldly possessions are housed in another. It’s fiscally irresponsible not to live together!
  • The Spouse Audition—what better way to see if we’re truly compatible than to live together. If we can’t live together, then I’ll know for sure that our relationship wasn’t meant to be. Besides, playing house is going to be fun!

Downsides? What downsides? This sounds like a perfect plan! And if it doesn’t work, we can always just move out.

Not so fast…

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On online dating, the genders, and the spreadsheet that launched 1,000 blog posts

The infamous dating spreadsheetEarlier this week, Katie J.M. Baker of Jezebel.com posted a cautionary tale, for both female and male online daters alike. A New York banker charting the waves of Match.com came up with a novel way to keep the women he was talking to on the site straight—he made a spreadsheet of the eight women he was corresponding with. He included their name, a photo, his initial impressions after viewing their profile, the dates when they’d exchanged winks, the dates of when they’d exchanged emails, and impressions of their first date. He color-coded the women according to who he wanted to “monitor closely ASAP” and who he wanted to “monitor casually.” He, of course, gave each woman a numerical score based on her appearance, getting so specific as to dole out three 7.5s and a 9.5. For one woman, he wrote, “Ok girl, but very jappy; one and done for me.”

Apparently, during a great date on April 4th with “Arielle,” a woman described on his spreadsheet as “very pretty; sweet & down to earth/great personality,” this guy let it slip that he had been keeping said spreadsheet. Arielle, of course, wanted to see it. He obliged.

He emailed her the spreadsheet after their date saying, “Well…this could be a mistake, but what the hell. I hope this e-mail doesn’t backfire, because I really had a great time and hope to hang again soon :) .”

Backfire doesn’t even begin to cover it.

Arielle sent the spreadsheet to a few friends. Who presumably sent it to a few friends. Soon, it landed in Jezebel’s inbox. From there, it went viral. As newspapers picked up the story, people stopped being satisfied with identifying the spreadsheet maker as “a Match.com member,” and revealed the poor dope by name—one David Merkur, 28, who works for a real-estate finance firm on Park Avenue. He now says that making, and sharing the Excel spreadsheet, was a “serious lapse in judgment” and that he is “deeply remorseful.”

While many, many on the internet have bashed Merkur, and a few others have applauded his sense of organization (like Jessica Wakeman at The Frisky), I think Merkur’s spreadsheet points to a larger sociological phenomenon here.

Not to get all Mars/Venus on you, but I think this spreadsheet is symbolic of the ways men and women approach online dating differently.

Here’s what I mean.

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Warm fuzzies: Couple ties the knot after 64 years together

Couple weds after 64 years togetherJohn Spofford, 94, and Louis Halsey, 88, met at a bar on May 17, 1947. They have been together ever since. Finally, after 64 years, they were able to get married last month.

“It was love at first sight,” says Lou in an adorable story in New York magazine‘s “Reasons to Love New York” issue.

“Was it?” says John. “For me, it was slower.”

The two opted not to get a domestic partnership when it became an option in 1997. But when gay marriage was legalized in New York this year, they decided to go for it. They had a small ceremony in their Greenwich Village apartment on November 11.

“He started to cry,” said Louis.

“Did I?” responded John.

Can I get a collective, “awwwww?”

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