Yes, it feels awkward, because they feel awkward. As a shy person, making eye contact with a crush is like staring into the Sun. Everything in their gut is telling them to look away, which usually translates into a series of short glances in your direction.
2. They’re always willing to help out.
Any time you need a hand, be it picking up the food for the office meeting or moving into a new apartment, THEY WILL BE THERE. It’s an easy way for them to get some one-on-one time without the pressure of going on a date.
3. They post hints online.
When they’ve got something to say but have zero idea how to broach any type of subject with you, they’ll post something ambiguous online. So next time the shy person in your life posts a YouTube clip of Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me,” or lyrics to Carly Rae Jepsen’s new song, they’re definitely trying to tell you something without actually speaking words.
4. They ‘like’ most of what you post online.
Instagram post of your lunch? Double-tapped. Tweet about being in line at the DMV? Favorited. Checked in at the gym? Liked. Nothing’s off limits, they’re just desperately trying to show an interest in your interests.
5. They smile at you.
On any non-shy person, this would just be business as usual. Pass each other in the hall? A quick smile is normal. But for shy people, avoiding eye contact is an art they’ve perfected. So if you see each other and they actually look up and smile? They’re flirting, full speed ahead.
6. They turn into a normal flirty person when drunk.
Once they’ve gotten a few sips of liquid courage, they might actually send a few playful shoves your way.
7. They ask other people about you.
They definitely won’t ask you any personal details about yourself. Either you offer them up yourself, or they’ll ask other people that know you about your relationship status, etc.
8. They talk to you.
In person. They will start a conversation. Sure, the topic will be the weather or something else mundane, but in their mind, OMG WE’RE TALKING. TO EACH OTHER.
9. Substantial conversations happen via text.
Any confidence they have around you happens when they’re not actually around you. It’s much easier for them to be forward with you when they can send the text and immediately throw their phone across the room as if it’s on fire.
10. They bring up small details about you.
They try really hard not to sound creepy, but when they’re constantly the person that’s present for conversations but not talking, they pick up on a lot of small details. Yes, they remember that story you told about your vacation last year, don’t freak out if they bring it up later.
11. They recommend a book / movie / etc.
They probably won’t admit it, but that movie they just said you should watch is their all time favorite movie, and this is their way of seeing if you like the things they like. No pressure, this is just a huge make-or-break moment for them.
12. There’s sarcasm everywhere.
They can’t actually tell you they like you, so they’ll just casually drop a “God, you suck,” in your direction and call it a day.
“Stop letting idiots people on the Internet inform how you live your life.” This is the mantra we should all live by in 2015 and it feels insufferably impossible because the Internet is rife with eye-roll-worthy clickbait titles that you can’t even knock for trying. Like, all of these writers and #content #creators are vying for the number of hits that only a video of an infant — who’s recovered from some life-threatening thing and talking to a baby animal with a time-lapse of his bearded Dad who’s holding the hand of the beautiful Mom but like, in every country across the world and you can see all the sunsets — can collect.
The good stuff though. New music. Old comedy sketches and cartoons you gathered ‘round the PC to watch on YouTube in middle school. All the 90’s your nostalgia-craving brain and handle and all the Pinterest cooking tutorials your stomach will, let’s be real, probably never stomach. But whatever, because it’s fun.
The Internet is dope and there’s no question that it gives you good stuff. There is this question, though: how much of your life is URL and how much of it is IRL?
We let people on the Internet — friends, families, purveyors of listicles (the site you’re on now, hi!), randos on Twitter and Instagram, people who are funny on Vine, dumb celebrities who say too much — tell us how to live our lives.
We let the Internet take up the space that ‘real life’ should take up and you know what? That’s normal. It’s 2015, of course you need technology. I am not a high horse hater of technology and do not think life would be better without it. I don’t think you need to go on a retreat and if you can afford to do so, I think you should spend that money taking a class on something you don’t know shit about.
I also know that I don’t know much of anything, because I am 24 and can scarcely decide how much of what to buy at the grocery store so that I can feed myself for more than five days.
But I do know that hearing the Internet is bad for your mental health — constantly scrolling without actively participating and listening, without having someone to talk with in real life, to tell you about yourself and challenge things you think and be like “you’re crazy, get a fucking grip. Are you hungry? Should we get fries?”
Without that IRL connection to sift through the URL bullshit, the Internet can be mad useless. It can be a constant feed of the stuff you’re already fed via all the other media around you, just positioned in the most obvious way. It’s like your mom nagging at you to do the thing you know you should do, the thing you will do: “honey, 25 Signs You’re On The Right Path! Dinner’s ready! Don’t Forget To Do This One Thing Every Day! Clean Your Room!”
You feel cynical and ungrateful and shitty for hating the fact you even have to hear it, because all the good you get from mama Internet compensates, right? After all, this shit raised you. But dude, it didn’t. The Internet raised you and it still does, but it’s not your mother. It’s not your friend. It’s not even your shitty ex. It’s just a college campus, a dorm room even — it’s a place with seemingly infinite resources and you can fill your tiny part of that place with whatever you want. For better or worse.
So avoid the shit that makes you feel shitty without making you think anything or question anything. Seek out the stuff that makes you feel good and leaves you with questions, or the stuff that gives you chills and leaves you with questions, or like, the pictures of naked humans that make you feel like you wanna see naked humans IRL instead of just gaze at more on a sad screen. Seek out stuff that keeps you seeking. Avoid everything easy, as often as you can. Avoid me. Do whatever you need to do to stay bright and shiny and buzzing, because if not?
You’re dead. In need of a charge.
Effectively useless. And baby, you were not born that way. Not even close.
1. “As a kid, I hated garlic, and refused to eat anything with garlic in it. I was in college when I finally gave it a chance, and it was like a miracle exploded in my mouth. I regret every moment that I could have spent eating that wondrous food.” –Sara, 23
2. “Not asking a friend of mine out. We got along really well, but I was too scared to mess up our friendship. Now she lives across the country, and I rarely talk to her. I should have just gone for it.” –Mark, 27
3. “I should have told more people that I loved them and often. I was such a closed-off person well through my thirties, and looking back, that was very foolish. It’s such a simple thing to let people know that they’re loved and appreciated, but it makes all the difference to them.” –Jean, 68
4. “I don’t regret anything. I think it’s a waste of time to play the ‘What If’ game. If I didn’t make the mistakes I did, I wouldn’t be where I am today, and I’m pretty happy.” –Beverly, 34
5. “During one of the breaks between Game of Thrones seasons, I googled spoilers from the books. I knew immediately it was a mistake, but couldn’t stop reading. I’ve ruined my favorite show.” –Dylan, 20
6. “In my early twenties, I was in a relationship with this girl for like three years. By the second year, we were having some real issues, but we kept trying to work things out. Long story short, we couldn’t make things work, and we both cheated on each other. If we had read the signs when they first appeared, we could have saved ourselves a lot of trouble.” –Jake, 30
7. “I half-assed my way through high school Spanish, and now I actually need it for the job I have. Oops.” –Luke, 25
8. “I worked too much. I was so concerned about making sure my wife and I would be financially stable through retirement, that I missed out on a lot of stuff. Now, we’re more than comfortable in retirement, but I missed countless recitals and football games, and don’t have a strong relationship with my kids.” –Frank, 75
9. “I ate these leftovers a couple months ago. I couldn’t remember exactly when I got them, but figured I would be fine. Ended up shitting lava for three days.” –Cyrus, 23
10. “When I was in middle school, one of my friends would tease this quiet kid in our class. I never egged my friend on, or contributed directly to the teasing, but I never had the courage to stand up to my friend and tell them to stop either. The kid is a successful business owner now, and appears to be doing well, but it still eats at me all the time.” –Max, 35
11. “Not travelling. There was a point right after college when I had enough spending cash that I could have bought a plane ticket somewhere, but instead I got a nicer TV and some other dumb shit. It was so stupid. The TV wasn’t even that great.” –Josue, 37
12. “I regret not swallowing my pride and apologizing to my dad when I had the chance. He passed away a year ago, but I hadn’t seen him for a good three years before that. If I had just let my petty grudge go, I could have had so much more time with him.” –Roger, 32
13. “I wish I had learned the piano! I’m trying to learn it now, and I’m seriously struggling. If I had just taken lessons when I was five like my mom wanted me to, I could be a master by now.” –Abbi, 22
14. “I took a job I knew I would hate because the pay was halfway decent. I was miserable the entire time I was there, and could have been finding a job that actually made me slightly happy.” –Russell, 40
15. “I had tickets to see Amy Winehouse, but sold them to study for a midterm. The class wasn’t even a graduation requirement.” –Penny, 28
16. “I did that super cliché thing of getting a tattoo of my boyfriend’s initials. Now he’s my ex, and I have to explain to everyone why I always have a Muppets band-aid on my ankle.” –Arielle, 24
The longer we ride the train of time, the more people we encounter and the more romantic partners we acquire. But there’s something inexplicably enticing yet simultaneously comfortingabout our first real love. It’s a double edged sword — if you end up with your first love in the long term, people will say “you don’t know what love is, you’ve only been with one person,” but if you end up with someone else, they’ll always be the One That Got Away.Allegedly, John Mayer’s sexy love song “Your Body Is A Wonderland” was about a girl he lost his virginity to, which makes sense since she knew him before he was a world-famous musician carnally wanted by every women on earth. At that time, he was a just a boy she slept with. I think it’s a pretty universal truth that the newness of love makes it impossible to shake from oneself fully, regardless of how old we are. Although I don’t personally identify with any singular, monotheistic religion, I do believe in karma, and that life is designed to be full circle. Therefore our first love will also be our last because:
i. They knew you before you knew who you were gonna be. At an event for your parent’s work, wearing a pink t shirt with indecipherable, possibly even fake Chinese symbols and a denim skirt. You remember what they were like pre-haircut, pre-mission, pre-war.
ii. They know the childlike version of you, which is essentially the purest version of your true essence.
iii. They’ve seen you go through everything and vice versa, and they still like you and you still like them.
iv. You can dissect Harry Potter together for days. (That just doesn’t happen anymore!)
v. They liked you when you hated yourself.
vi. They were your friend before they were your lover.
vii. Because they were the one you shared your dreams with before you started acting on them.
viii Because all roads lead back home, and home is them.
As a woman, nothing is more important to me than female friendship. It’s hard for me to remember a time where I didn’t relate to other girls. My mom still tells the story of my first day of Kindergarten and my goal to make as many friends as possible. My first target, a crying little girl named Lauren, became my first friend. My mother says she saw me walk up to her, kneel down, and say, “Hi. I’m Courtney. Don’t cry. Do you want to be friends?” She instantly brightened up and stopped crying. We then made our rounds and introduced ourselves to everyone else in the classroom.
Fast forward to years later, in high school, where all girls seem to think that other girls are trying to steal their boyfriends. All of these friendships that were probably thriving in middle school are now over because your crush asked your friend to the dance. Who are you mad at? The girl. Why? Because you now see her as competition. Even if your friend says no, you will still probably hate her. You might not truly hate her but you will find your reasons.
This is still happening. It happened in college and it’s definitely still happening now. You despise the girl because she got the job instead of you, you can’t stand the friend who just got into a happy relationship, and you might have problems with the pretty girl that one of your guy friends brings to a party. Why? Jealousy. It’s a bitch.
My favorite place in the entire world is the women’s bathroom at a club. Everyone is dressed up, drunk, and feeling nice as hell. I’m serious. Go into a bathroom at a club and at LEAST one girl will compliment something about you. Why can’t we be like that all the time? It really is a strange phenomenon. If I was to meet these girls in any other circumstance, I don’t know if I would get the same treatment. But seriously, God bless the bathroom at the club.
Instead of comparing yourself to literally every woman you come across, get to know her. I guarantee the beautiful girl you are intimidated by is not that different from you. She probably looked in the mirror that night and wondered if her winged eyeliner looked like shit. She probably has a guy who isn’t texting her back that she went on a date with last week and she’s upset about it. We all have insecurities so never forget that.
Oh, another thing. You know the girls who say they only have guy friends because girls are “too much drama?” Just stop. Last weekend, I was introduced to a girl who said this and I tried to open up to her. I couldn’t. She wouldn’t let me. That’s when I realized where the truth lies.
Let’s stop seeing other women as a threat and more as an ally. We have a lot more in common than you realize.
It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, connected sex has lasting, transformative powers. It starts with playful touching, followed by a prolonged session of gentle caressing. You hit every foreplay note you know your partner responds to. You make eye contact whenever possible, and every time you inhale, you remember how much you love the way your boyfriend or girlfriend smells. You might even giggle a few times out of pure joy. When penetration happens, it seems like your parts fit together so precisely, you wonder if the other person was custom built just for you. Your hole is his home. Your bodies don’t rub against each other so much as they glide, your limbs and torsos covered in a delicious layer of his-and-hers sweat. You switch positions a few times and you moan and groan as often and as loudly as this truly awesome manifestation of your most basic instinct demands throughout. If your orgasms don’t arrive at exactly the same time, they definitely overlap, one person’s climax beckoning the other’s.
2. Detached intercourse
On the other end of the spectrum, you’re both exhausted and/or highly irritated with each other. But you’re also both incredibly horny. So you commit to going through the motions even though neither of you is exactly present, or inspired. You bop up and down robotically, barely touching each other’s familiar bodies, driven towards separate but equal orgasmic goals. It’s not that you don’t care about your partner, but you’re definitely more invested in your own satisfaction in this scenario.
3. Naughty nookie
There’s no better way to forge an unbreakable bond than to get blackmail worthy weird together. If you can do this without the help of everyone’s favorite social lubricant, more power to you, but booze is generally helpful in actualizing devilishly dirty fantasies. Whether you say yes to that extra cocktail after dinner, or you decide there’s no reason you can’t play several rounds of beer pong at home just because you’re not in college anymore, getting wasted as a duo can be a great way for both of you to get what you secretly want in bed. The alcohol lets you say and do all the things you’ve been pining to since the last time you got so inebriated. Just be sure to nominate one person to play Buzz Patrol, lest you get too drunk and pass out before the fleshy fun can start.
4. Christening coitus
This is not the type of sex you have in the confessional chamber at church during your nephew’s baptism, though it can be if you’d like. Christening sex generally refers to the act of marking your new territory as a couple. You can’t move into a new home together without having sex on the floor, on top of the kitchen counter, or in some odd little nook that will soon be occupied by a large piece furniture, making fornication in the area a special, time-sensitive opportunity.
5. Whoopee on the sly
You’re bound to face a few situations when copulating seems virtually impossible. Family reunions, theme parks, group camping trips, and daytime picnics all pose a threat to your ability to have sex whenever you want. But if you’re equally resolute about making it happen, the challenge can prove rewarding. Together, you seek out the one tree on the opposite side of the field that provides just enough cover, the one room with a door that locks at your grandparents’ house, or the single unoccupied tent. You keep most of your clothes on if necessary, but it’s glorious regardless.
Like instant coffee and packaged frozen meals, quick fix sex usually pales in comparison to its time-consuming counterpart. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t necessary on occasion, or that it can’t be satisfying. Sometimes, it’s okay to think of your partner as a drive through window for sexual fulfillment. You can’t always be bothered to let the soup simmer for hours on end.
7. Milestone necessitated mating
Some moments call for sex, whether you’re in the mood for it or not. For instance, on the day you get engaged, married, or discover you’re pregnant (assuming you want to be), it’s wise to fit sex into the agenda because most events are instantly more memorable if you can associate them with some naked play. EVery job promotion, school acceptance, and noteworthy holiday is also worth adding to the list of sex necessary occasions.
8. Make-up sex
The battle is over and you’re definitely wounded, but mostly grateful to be alive—as an individual, but more so as a couple. You’ve gotten through one more struggle together, which proves just how well you’re suited to each other. The only thing to do with the residue of aggression is transform it into passionate sexual energy. So you attack each other, tear each other’s clothes off just as ridiculously as they do in the movies, and engage in rapturous lovemaking, thereby resealing your undying commitment—at least until the next major issue arises.
9. Pity driven boinking
When one person in a relationship is having a particularly terrible, no-good, very bad day (because they’re injured or they failed a test or they tanked during a presentation at work) and the other is having an average-to-spectacular day, your mindsets are destined to be misaligned temporarily. In this case, the contented party faces two options: 1.) They can wallow in defeat right alongside their partner, eating junk food while watching movies you’ve both seen so many times that they require zero brain power to follow, or 2.) They can fuck the sad right out of their boyfriend or girlfriend. Sex happens to be a great way to lift a person’s spirits. It might take some coaxing, but you’re likely to get a good reaction eventually, no matter how resistant to affection your partner seems at first.
10. Long-lost lovemaking
Sure, absence makes the heart grow fonder. It also drives your libido into a serious state of frenzy. The longer you deprive yourself of something altogether, the more you thirst for it. Once you experience the awesomeness of mind-blowing sex (or chocolate), you can only abstain from it for so long before the intense cravings set in. Any reunion between lovers following an unexpected or prolonged absence should be marked by sex as gratifying as that first bite of red velvet cake after a lengthy spell of eating way too healthy.