The Guys’ Guide to Tinder.

I am very happily in a relationship, but I love Tinder.

I certainly don’t love Tinder for its intended purpose, but rather for its entertainment value. Rick has one too, and we’ll swap phones, match each other up with some weirdos and laugh about it until 2 in the morning. It did backfire when I jokingly swiped yes to a classmate (I thought it would be ironic, but, no…) and he not-so-jokingly swiped yes to me. I don’t even think he knew we had class together. Aaaawk-ward!

I never thought too much about the whole process until I was a bored-to-death insomniac swiping through Tinder in the wee hours of the morning. That’s when it hit me that some of these guys aren’t trying to be funny- they’re actually trying to impress girls. And that’s also when I started screen-shotting. A lot. Of guys. That’s why we’re here: I’m giving you boys a rundown of what does and does not impress the ladies. Of course, it’s just my opinion, so some girls might love that you’re taking a shirtless bathroom selfie in a towel. (Keep scrolling down for that eye candy. Ugh.)
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Sex, Love, and Marriage

Some light topics to discuss at your next dinner party, eh?

Or never. Never at all. We tend to shy away from topics like these (in general small-talk conversations, at least) because they’re personal. Sex, love, and marriage are all major, life changing subjects: they reflect the most intimate parts of your life. So it makes perfect sense that we hesitate to share our thoughts on the matter, much less our own personal experiences. I did exactly that. Until I signed up for Honors Seminar 370: Becoming Sexually Healthy.

There were great reviews about the professor on ratemyprofessor.com, students said it was a good class, and I needed those three honors credits. So, indeed, I signed up for a sex class at Towson University. Right now, you’re probably doing what I did before class started– reducing it to that tiny box of “physical sex.” The class has been so much more than just that (thank goodness…it can be preeetty uncomfortable talking about some of the topics we discussed– I won’t even go there.)

We’ve talked about sex, love, and marriage, along with parenting, body image, gender roles, and more. It’s been enlightening, to put it in a broad term. Luckily, I’ve had a wonderful counterpart for more than 4 years now, so the lessons I’m learning about relationships and, most importantly, marriage, are not falling on deaf ears.

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Define Friendship.

In true Carrie Bradshaw fashion, I am pondering the truths of real friendships.

In an age where sending a text is infinitely easier than meeting for coffee, what defines our friendships? Are people that we see once every six months and shoot an occasional text our friends, or our acquaintances? Or our pen pals?

How much about a persons life do you need to know in order to categorize them as a “close friend”? Is it just the person you call when you get a promotion at work, or can it be the person you talk to via text message once or twice a week?

I’ve struggled with this one for awhile, with friends going off to college and relationships being drastically altered. I’ve struggled with being the only person trying to sustain a friendship, and I’ve been on the other end of the spectrum as well. It can be so hard to be someones closest friend, and then 6 months down the road realize that you aren’t even a top 10 priority anymore. Maintaining friendships is easy when you see each other everyday- when you live far apart and have jobs, school, and other relationships, it isn’t exactly a cakewalk.

The hardest thing for me was understanding how much and how quickly relationships change, and once I figured that out,  I assumed it would get easier.

TIP OF THE ICEBERG, PEOPLE.

After you realize that friendships change, you have to continue evolving, communicating, and figuring out how to keep that friendship candle burnin’! That can be one of the most draining tasks in the world, especially if it’s one sided (or if you feel that way). There are some people in this world that either don’t care, or don’t admit that they do. For me, if you don’t admit that you want to work on having a friendship and staying close friends, then you  just must not care. You don’t care. In my mind, it’s pretty simple.

Reality isn’t the same as how it works in my head.

I’ve learned over the course of the past 2 or 3 years that not everyone is as expressive as I am. It’s been a humbling experience, to be honest, and it’s been a very emotional ride. Understanding that I am not someones first choice, or even that they don’t have time for me at all, was a tough pill to swallow. Not that I expect to be #1 on every person’s speed dial. Please. How unrealistic. But after getting accustomed to a certain lifestyle with someone, you assume that they will always want to hang out with you and talk to you. You’re friends, and that’s what friends do, right?

WRONG. I am not (nor are you) the center of the universe.

You get over the “friendships change” hurdle, and then life throws “you are not the most important thing in your friends lives” straight at ya. Yet another hard lesson I have learned. This is my advice to you: never care about someone more than they care about you. That will just make everything so much harder, and will make this realization much more painful.

Try to keep your feelings right about where theirs are, or care about them less than they care about you. Just like any other healthy relationship, always have the ball in your court and keep the power. (Is it now making sense why I don’t have a dating and relationship blog?) Okay, yes, this paragraph is a bit exaggerated, but the principal behind it is true: being the vulnerable one in a long-distance friendship is difficult. It’s been difficult and it has been painful. But it’s also led to learning a lot of lessons, especially one in humility that was much needed.

Wow, what a perfect segway into my next bullet point- being replaced. I cringed as I typed it. Yikes. No matter who you are, when your ex gets a new significant other, you stalk them on Facebook. (Do guys do this too? I’m 99% sure. They have to, it’s human nature.) You want to see how your replacement measures up to you. It’s not a bad thing, people! It’s understandable. And the same thing happens with friendships.

The hardest thing (I feel like every part that I’ve talked about I’ve said has been the hardest thing) for me has been seeing my friends develop other close friends and bonds. This is NOT saying that I’m upset or angry or whatever. Jealous, yes. It’s natural to feel jealous, and it’s okay. Or so I tell myself. Lol. Because I care about my friends, of course I want to be someone they go to with their problems and their achievements, their excitement and their sorrow.

But I’ve recently realized that even if I’m not that person, it doesn’t make me useless in their lives. (Unless I actually am useless in their life.) The most important thing is that they have that person. Greys Anatomy, anyone? Anyone? Tough crowd tonight. Just because a friendship changes, doesn’t mean it ends. And just because we feel like our friends are closer to someone else, doesn’t mean they don’t love us just as much as we love them.

So basically, I don’t think I can define friendship as a general term. I can’t even define all of mine. I just know that it’s hard work, and it pays off in the end. This post has actually been very cathartic for me, and I probably just bored the poor souls that read it to tears. My apologies.

XOXO.

^^^^Gossip Girl….Just kidding. Damn. It has been such a long day.