How To Cope With Today’s 4 Worst Dating Trends

By Hannah Jane Thompson

Anyone who is actively seeking romance these days is almost certainly familiar with the rigamarole of online — and offline, TBH — dating that is par for the course for any single person in possession of a smartphone today.

In theory, two people swipe on one another, they chat, they date, and they either like each other or they don’t, and get on with their own sweet lives. Sigh. If only it were that simple. Continue reading

Feel It. Share It. Live It.

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By Kate Kole

I’m a habitual hider. It’s not uncommon for me to apply for a job and go through multiple rounds of interviews before even mentioning to my husband that I’ve thrown my name in the hat. I wait until articles are accepted for publication before telling my family that I’ve even submitted them for review. I withhold all kinds of personal and professional details about my life from the people I love, so that just in case things don’t work out, I don’t have to share my embarrassment, disappointment, and shame.

In other words, my go-to defense mechanism is avoiding vulnerability like the plague. Continue reading

Life > Our Bodies

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By Kate Kole

I went to the beach last week. And for the first time in 2 years, I decided to bare my belly in the sun. Because, I wanted to go into the water with my nephews and relax on our sprawled-out blanket. I wanted to listen to the soft waves roll onto the shore, and feel my feet sink into the sand, and watch the sunlight glisten on the water without giving my body as much as a second thought.

Mere moments after taking off my tank top, my desire to forget about my figure and focus on an afternoon with my family faded. I began studying my stomach, critiquing its imperfections and the way it folded as I sat down in my chair. I glanced around, staring at other women, feeling the all too familiar urge to compare my body to theirs. Continue reading

We Need to Stop Celebrating Mediocre Men

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By Jillian Stacia

Recently an Instagram post  by author Robbie Tripp went viral. It was a post about his love for his wife, despite her larger figure.

People were immediately drawn to the post, and congratulated Tripp on being so outspoken about his acceptance and adoration of larger bodies. Comments such as “I wish I could find a man like you” and “You are so inspiring” flooded his Instagram. BuzzFeed and HuffPost ran stories depicting the so-called insane level of cuteness.

And yeah, it’s always nice to see someone profess their adoration for their partner. Who doesn’t love love? But the reality is, there are MANY things wrong with Tripp’s post including his narrow definition of feminism, his ironic tendency to praise one body type over another, and his seemingly #humblebrag that he deserves a trophy for loving his curvy wife. Continue reading

4 Ways My Childhood Experiences Shape My Current Spending Patterns

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By Kate Kole

I grew up in a middle-class Midwestern family. My dad was a college professor, and my mom self-employed. While we never went without, we also didn’t live extravagantly. Many of our activities were of the free or budget friendly variety, hiking at state parks, playing basketball in the driveway, at home movie nights, and card games around the kitchen table. We carved pumpkins in the fall, decorated frosted snowman cookies in the winter, planted flowers in the spring, and fished on the lake in the summer.

My childhood shaped me in a variety of ways. It provided me with an appreciation for quality time with the people I love. I grew to enjoy homemade meals, library books, and using my imagination for entertainment. I came to prefer spending time outdoors and still opt for weekend afternoons spent on our deck or playing bags in the yard over ones spent inside or shopping at the mall.  My childhood also shaped the way I now view money. Today, I embrace so many of the same financial decisions my parents made while raising my siblings and me. Continue reading

Bringing Darkness Into The Light

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By Kate Kole

My biggest fear in ever sharing anything deeply personal is that it will be universally unreciprocated. That I will express my darkest thoughts or my biggest insecurities, and then I’ll look to the person sitting across from me for a nod of understanding as they instead gaze back with a bewildered expression. That I’ll lay it all out on a phone call and hear radio silence on the other end. That I’ll dig to the root of what keeps me up at night or disclose what holds me back from going after what I want in life and that I’ll be offered a sort of pitiful sympathy and the number of a good expert to see, rather than empathetic understanding and affirmation. Essentially, that I’ll come to discover my most isolating and unnerving feelings really are as weird, unnatural, and individual as I feared them to be. Continue reading

Dear Siblings…

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By Jillian Stacia

Dear Siblings,

It’s National Sibling Day, and I was going to write an essay about the importance of siblings or maybe a listicle about how to strengthen your relationship, but instead I decided to write you a letter. I’m not sure why, but it felt right.  And I’m trying to do more of the things that just feel right these days.

I don’t know where to begin other than, I love being your sister. Being your sister is the role of a lifetime. I say it often, but I truly believe we won the sibling jackpot. You are all such fantastic, deeply good people in your own ways, and it is a true honor just to know you. Continue reading