Tagged with relationships

Kate’s Dates: On Jealousy

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by Kate Richlin-Zack

At some point in our lives, we’ve all been jealous. Someone has something you want or someone threatens to take something you have and the claws come out. Sometimes those claws are razor sharp and you flash them with the roar of a mountain lion. And sometimes you respond with a half-assed warning swat like some sleepy house cat. It all depends on the situation because jealousy is an emotion with a spectrum ranging from mild to red hot. Kinda like salsa. And where you land on that spectrum can depend on everything from the circumstances of the situation to whether or not you’re having a bad hair day.

Rawr.

On the more mild end, we’ve got undeniable but loving sibling rivalry jealousy. Like how your little baby sister has always been (and always will be) the hot, skinny, acerbically funny one with a great head of hair. You can’t compete but you love her anyway and don’t hold it against her that she often looks like she stepped out of the pages of an Abercrombie and Fitch ad. Genetics can be so unfair!

Moving along to the medium category, there’s the kind of jealousy that initially hits you with pang but simmers down within seconds. Continue reading

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A Dear Kate Letter to the Readers

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By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Readers,

Tomorrow, April 19th, marks the first anniversary of this column and my first year as an officially published writer. Over the past year, I have been included in some of your funniest, most moving and most honest moments, and every single one has been an honor and a pleasure to be a part of. Each of you let me into your lives and entrusted me with advising you on everything from whether you were too old for a bikini wax to coming out of the closet for the first time. You wrote in, tweeted, texted, emailed and commented with your own thoughts and advice. You made the column what it is and for that I am truly grateful.

When I first applied for this position to the fabulous Kate Torgovnick, I had no idea how much I would grow to love being your “Dear Kate”. I also had no idea how difficult it would be sometimes when I was thrown a truly hard-hitting question and had to be absolutely unbiased to give you the best advice possible. I did not ever take it lightly that your final decision could very possibly rest in my hands. I truly hope that I have done right by all of you – as you have done by me.

So – looking back on the best thing that happened in my life this past year I wanted to share some recaps of my favorite seven columns of the last year with you and how they helped me in my own life through writing each of them. (Also peppered in will be some of my favorite graphics from the whole site over the past year)

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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 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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Kate’s Dates: Five Guys You Shouldn’t Date

By Kate Richlin-Zack

My parents always warned me not to date starving artists, bartenders, and guys who don’t pay their bills on time. I know, I know. We shouldn’t stereotype but there’s a reason the stereotype exists in the first place. I was instructed from an early age to always check the guy’s bank book (does anyone even have bank books anymore?) and to assess whether he’s kind to the wait staff. But despite the sage advice, there are a few other types that blindsided me and unfortunately I had to learn the hard way. Here are five guys you shouldn’t date.

The Perfect on Paper Boy

How to spot him

He’s extremely well educated. Comes from a good family. He knows just how to make you laugh. He sends you flowers and buys you gifts for no reason in particular. He’s a good looking guy. Not like he stepped off the pages of GQ but he’s certainly no slouch. He works out often and is in great shape but secretly loves junk food as much as you do. He has a promising career and reads to blind children in his spare time. If relationships were like jobs and we had to submit resumes and provide references, his would be pristine and his ex-girlfriends would gladly pick up the phone to lobby on his behalf citing their own inadequacies as the underlying cause of their respective breakups.

Why he’s tempting

Well, he’s pretty much “perfect” (however you want to define that) so you’d be an idiot if you weren’t interested in this guy. But that’s precisely the problem; he’s so perfect he’s boring. There’s no chemistry. No excitement. We need some spice! And that’s what sucks the most about this guy. On paper, he’s perfect; in reality, he’s a snooze fest. Plus I’m convinced that anyone who is THAT perfect has to be hiding something.

How to get rid of him

He’s not going away easily. Even if you start dating someone else, he’ll be carrying that torch around for a while. He’s devoted to you 100% — so nothing you say can change that. Try faking mental illness and he’ll offer to drive you to the clinic. He’s so persistent that you may end up the victim of an encore appearance. He’s perfect on paper, you SHOULD love him. Just remember that you don’t. Continue reading

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Kate’s Dates: Some Handy Tips For Meeting The Family

By Kate Richlin-Zack

The holiday season is upon us, so for those of us currently in a relationship it’s time for you to meet the family, assmuing you haven’t already.  I always thought of meeting the parents as a job interview. You want to look your best and be on your best behaviour because these could be your future in-laws. You want to like them and you want them to like you. Unfortunately, you can been horribly unprepared for it and as a result blow your shot at a good first impression. Having been through my fair share of disatrous meet-the-parents scenarios — you’re shocked, I know — allow me to provide you with some tips on how to win them over.

Dress appropriately
One of my exes showed up in cutoff jean shorts, construction boots, and a t-shirt with the sleeves torn off. I’m still not sure under what circumstances this outfit would be appropriate. Maybe for doing yard work or laying roof tile? Honestly, I don’t know but I can assure you it did not make a good impression when he showed up at my parents’ house. My sister actually asked him what happened to his sleeves. Priceless.

Gentlemen, don’t show up dressed like a handyman. Ladies, don’t show up dressed like a hooker.  Short skirts, plunging necklines, lucite stilettos, and anything that suggests you just got off the pole should be left at home and if you have to ask yourself the question, “is this appropriate?” the answer is always no. Do yourself a massive favor and err on the side of caution with your outfit. The same is true with make up. Tone. It. Down. You want to look fresh, polished, and put together; not like you just applied a coat of spackle.  Your overall look should communicate  ”classy, future daughter-in-law” not “I’m a phase your son is going through.”

Prepare to be grilled
Every guy I’ve ever dated has been subjected to some intense interrogation. While my father has never actually utilized a lie detector test, he may as well have. It probably would have been less invasive. He could always see right through the bullshit so some of these spindoctors didn’t stand a chance.

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Kate’s Dates: The Things I Wouldn’t Do For Love

By Kate Richlin-Zack

When it comes to relationships, I’ve put myself out there on several occasions. I called up the hottest guy in my high school class and asked him to go out with me; he politely declined. I got on a plane and flew hundreds of miles to determine if a friendship could be a relationship; it lasted three magical months before he dumped me unexpectedly. I ignored my instincts and dated someone geographically undesirable; we’re currently living happily ever after. I guess you could say venturing outside my comfort zone in hopes of finding true love eventually paid off.

But there were quite a few times that I was simply not willing to push my limits. There were some things I simply was not willing to do and, in thinking about those crazy requests, I came up with my list of the Things I Wouldn’t Do For Love.

1. Dye my hair blonde and wear more makeup
For those of you who know what I look like, you’re well aware this is a ridiculous request. For those of you who don’t know what I look like, I have dark brown hair, a deep olive complexion, and low tolerance for bullshit. So when Flaxen-phile Phillip told me I’d be so much sexier with bleached blonde hair, my immediate response was, “So basically you want me to look like someone else? Why don’t you just date someone else?”

Are you shocked that this same guy also requested more makeup? I’m a far cry from a tomboy. I love spending the day at the salon and look for any excuse to get all dressed up. That being said, I’m also practical. I’m not going to slather on eye shadow like it’s war paint because, quite frankly, looking like a hooker isn’t my style. Plus, if you don’t think I’m sexy enough in sweatpants sans makeup, you’re not the right guy for me.

2. Pay for his drugs
Perpetually Unemployed Patrick was a part-time student/part-time bartender who gave up a lucrative career in finance to pursue his dream of becoming a veterinarian. I’ll admit I was impressed by his willingness to pursue his passion rather than stay in a career that stole his soul, but it also meant he was broke. It started out with seemingly insignificant requests to like “do you have any cash on you? I’m low on gas,” or “would you mind paying for dinner? Things at the bar have been slow the last few nights.” I rationalized that it was a temporary situation. Soon enough, he’d be finished with school and be financially stable. But it started to snowball and, eventually, in addition to my own expenses, I was paying his rent, phone bill, cable bill, car insurance — you name it, I paid for it — under the false pretense that he would “pay me back, I promise!”

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Kathryn: the one-who-got-away in this weekend’s Modern Love

By Kate Torgovnick

This weekend’s Modern Love column in The New York Times was, as it often is, a tearjerker. Written by Kevin Farrell, a specialist in the Army who is currently deployed in Afghanistan, it tells the story of his proverbial one-who-got-away, Kathryn. Farrell met Kathryn several years ago, when he was just 20-years-old.

“We went to the beach and swam, held hands at the Fourth of July fireworks, went on roller coasters at Six Flags, ate Thanksgiving dinner with each other’s families, exchanged gifts on Christmas,” says Farrell of their relationship. “When I got back from basic training a couple of years ago, I felt different, as if I was doing things with my life and Kathryn wasn’t. I wanted something more, something bigger, and it didn’t seem that she did, so I broke up with her.”

Only, after some time, Farrell realized he’d made a terrible mistake. He won Kathryn back … briefly. Their relationship barely lasted two months and, this time, she broke up with him.

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Dear Kate: I got married but we haven’t told our in-laws yet. How should we approach this?

Dear-Kate-column-identity1By Katharine Luckinbill

Dear Kate,

I married my husband February 29th in a very small ceremony. It was just our parents and siblings and very impromptu. We’re happily married except for one issue — my husband has yet to break the news to his paternal grandparents. My whole family learned through Facebook and phone calls. My husband doesn’t have a relationship with his father but he lived with his grandparents for a year while in school! I have no idea what the appropriate way to break the news to his side of the family without giving them heart attacks, hurting feelings, and ruining relationships.

Signed,
Living in Guilt

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Dear Living in Guilt;

Congratulations on your nuptials and sorry to hear that there is absolutely anything putting a damper on your happiness during your first year as a married couple.
My answer to this one is simple and blunt:

Just tell the truth.

Honesty Dog

But not just that you got married. The truths are this:

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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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Kate’s Dates: On Love and Money

By Kate Richlin-Zack

Someone asked me the other day if salary was ever on my list of dating criteria. Truth be told, it’s in the top five. But it’s not because I had visions of  being a trophy wife who spends her days sipping martinis over lunch with my girlfriends or attending back-to-back pilates classes (though that does sound nice). In all my previous experience, money has always, on some level, caused problems in my relationships. The severity of the problem was often directly proportional to the amount of money we didn’t have at the time and I don’t think I’m the only one who’s had that experience. Living paycheck to paycheck is never fun.

Before I go any further on this topic, there’s an important point that I need to clarify because I if I don’t, I just know the hate mail will be flooding my inbox. There’s a difference between being broke because of a temporary hardship and being broke because of a pattern of lazy behavior.

Guys who are broke because of a temporary hardship are not the type of guys I’m talking about here. I’m not referring to guys who are broke because they went back to school to better their career or took time off from their job to care for their dying grandmother. These are actually the kind of guys you should hitch your wagon to because not only are they going places but when you’re sick and dying, they’ll feed you soup and read you stories, like something out of The Notebook. Bonus points if he looks like Ryan Gosling. Let me reiterate: I’m not referring to these guys.

This entire column focuses on, for lack of better terms, freeloaders and deadbeats who are broke because of a pattern of shoddy employment. You know exactly who I’m talking about and hopefully you’re not dating one of them (for my guy readers out there, I hope you’re not one of them): The 30-something happily unemployed college dropout with bad credit who lives at home with his parents and owes an obscene amount of back taxes.

Those are the guys I’m referring to here. If you find yourself dating someone who falls into this category, I strongly suggest you do yourself a favor and get rid of him before you end up living with his parents too. Here’s why…

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Kate’s Dates: On those annoying relationship Facebook posts

By Kate Richlin-Zack

Facebook really pissed me off last night.

This reaction is actually highly unusual for me since I spend an exorbitant amount of time on the site. I love keeping up with old friends, watching everyone’s funny YouTube videos, and I even get a kick out of the effervescent political rants that are becoming more and more popular recently.

But for some reason as I was scrolling through the newsfeed reading a bunch of inane status updates, I suddenly thought to myself, “Who gives a crap?!”

Facebook is incredibly self indulgent. It’s a way to let everyone on your “friends” list know who, what, when, where, and how you’re doing. Also known as a way to make them jealous of all the awesome things you have and do and all the fascinating people you hang out with. Barf.

Look at my Instagram photos. I can turn everyday objects, like the EZ Mac I had for lunch, into art thanks to a filter and a border. And my ironic captions serve as social commentary.

Here are 27 webcam photos of me. I’m really really ridiculously good looking. Check out all the interesting faces I make.

All of my friends are really really ridiculously good looking too. Here’s a photo of us at a trendy bar. It’s trendy because you’ve never been there. I even check into my apartment, which is also trendy because you’ve never been there.

Here’s a picture of me making kissy face with my cat. She rescued a child from a well last year.

And if that wasn’t irritating enough, then you start dating some former-model-turned-nuclear-physicist who’s so gorgeous he looks like he’s from another planet. So now in addition to all the usual obnoxious posts, every relationship milestone is documented online and the status updates reach a whole new level of irritating.

For example…

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