“How do you even do relationships? Like when do you hold hands, when do you send good morning texts? HOW DO YOU DO THIS.”
-Question Submitted by Anonymous
First, remain calm.
Next, keep a foreign passport and a wad of foreign currency in a secure safety deposit box. Inevitably, you will make a huge fool of yourself—autocorrect will change “good morning” to “good mounting,” perhaps—and you’ll need a swift getaway. Tuscany sounds nice.
If you’re both jumping out of an airplane, you should definitely hold hands.
As for morning texts, I like to send a solid string around 4AM:
*six coffee emojis*
‘… that means “seize the day” in Latin’
‘whatcha thinkin’ about?’
Truthfully, Anonymous, there is no reliable algorithm for a successful relationship. Hand-holding and text messages are great but, like any expression of love or affection, should come from a place of kindness and generosity.
In fact, decades of research by psychologist John Gottman demonstrate how kindness and generosity not only contribute to healthy, long-lasting relationships, but also to healthy, long-lasting immune systems. You can read more about his research in this article, published in The Atlantic, but here’s the gist: be kind, be generous.
And learn to be kind in small, regular ways. Keep an eye out for moments of gratitude… when they pretend they didn’t hear you fart, or when they pay for the Uber at the end of the night. Remind them that you’re grateful for those crappy days when they made you laugh.
Give the best of yourself: give some time, give your undivided attention, and sometimes, as much as it sucks, give them some space. It sounds corny, but it counts.
Yes, eventually you will make a fool of yourself, and you’ll be looking up one-way flights out of the country. But learn what works for you in a relationship, and take the time to learn what works for them. Kindness and generosity tend to double back, so it’ll come in handy when you feel vulnerable or uncomfortable.
Be kind. Be generous. Limit yourself to three texts before noon. Remain calm.
Shane Billings resides in Los Angeles, where his Master’s Degree in Screenwriting hangs next to a Jane Fonda Workout record. He has no cats, two plants, and many wigs.
"Hi, I recently went to a Rainbow Youth Night in my local area and saw someone I knew from school. The thing is, they introduced themselves to my friend with a different name than the one they are know by at school(with pronouns they,them). I would love to approach this person and ask which name they'd prefer me using because I'd hate to be calling them something they're not comfortable with, I just don't know what exactly to say. Also I've been working up the courage to ask this person out so.."
-Question submitted by Anonymous
Oh this is great, this is just GREAT.
You see, because you have two lovely, totally awesome questions to ask! Here’s how it’s gonna go:
YOU: Hi, I have two important questions to ask you.
THEM: Cool, I love questions.
YOU: What name do you prefer I use for you?
THEM: Oh! Thanks for asking. I would love it if you called me Todd.
YOU: Awesome. So, Todd, would you like to go on a date with me?
THEM: Did Kristin of Everyone Is Gay tell you how to ask me out, because this is SO ROMANTIC. Yes, yes I would. *heart eyes*
BOTH OF YOU: *in love forever*
~ end scene ~
"There's this girl that I like and I want her to know that I'm interested in getting to know her better. So I though about doing the whole "Hey, wanna get coffee sometime?" thing but I legit HATE coffee and like everything else (tea, Starbucks, you know). What is an acceptable causal meet up place for me and this super cute girl?"
-Question submitted by Anonymous
First of all, might I suggest that you begin by saying, “I have wanted to ask you to grab a coffee for awhile now… but I hate coffee. So in the interest of honesty, I was wondering if you’d like to NOT get coffee with me?!”
Then, maybe she will giggle or chortle or nervously tap her foot or roll her eyes. If she rolls her eyes, roll yours back and forget it. No one likes an eye roller. If she does any of the other things or signals in anyway that she’d like this dialogue to continue, then might I suggest:
– GETTING ICE CREAM or if you don’t eat dairy GETTING DAIRY FREE ICE CREAM. I think I may have started off too strong with my ideas here, because I cannot think of anything that would be better than an ice cream date. Please stop reading and go ask her to ice cream.
Okay so you either hate ice cream (WHO ARE YOU EVEN) or the only ice cream store in your town is owned and operated by your ex (BUMMMMMER), so here are a few more ideas:
– GOING TO A MUSEUM! Museums rule and sometimes they even have exhibits where butterflies land on you or where there are dioramas of moose (mooses?) and stuff. Come on. It will be so fun!
– WALKING IN A PARK! SITTING ON A PARK BENCH! SWINGING ON A SWING SET! ANYTHING PARK-Y! Spring is here and even if your city is still a snowy-tundra, having a fun park adventure is almost always a good time. If you time it right (post-snow), you can even buy soft pretzels (if you live near a park big enough to have soft-pretzel vendors), or buy a pack of skittles to share while you walk & talk. Eh?!
– LAZER TAG? Probably this is a little extreme but the thought of you being like “I hate coffee so the other casual activity I thought of that we could do is play lazer tag,” made me laugh really hard, so. You’re welcome.
– DO YOU LIKE BOOKS? HOW ABOUT A BOOKSTORE HANG? Sorry if this is too nerdy for you but like, I love bookstores and bookstores need people in them so this is a win-win for society. You have a place to go with this girl, you can talk about your fave comics or books, you can each buy something and help support independent booksellers, what could be better??!?!
– ICE CREAM. Ice cream could be better, probably, because ice cream rules. So, if she’s super pumped about ice cream you can make your SECOND date a bookstore and your third date a park and your fourth date going to a museum and then you can have your wedding at a lazer tag park.
I am so, so glad that we had this talk.
Best of luck / Invite me to the wedding,
“Any advice for online dating?”
-Question submitted by Anonymous
YEA. BE COOL ABOUT IT.
I feel like where we all fuck up with online dating is (1) not being totally honest, (2) trying to seem cooler than we are, (3) changing our own wants / needs so that we can just be GOING ON DATES.
(1) Be. fucking. real. This isn’t a job interview for something you want, but you know you’re not prepared for, you know? There’s no resume bullshitting. That will only put you in a position where you have to lie for the rest of your life. Imagine you went to Africa once and you told OKCupid that you go to Africa all the time? Then you fall in love with someone and you have to figure out how TF to tell them you actually only went once. And then they’re like WHAT ELSE ARE YOU LYING ABOUT.
(2) Calm. TF. Down. You are cool because you are you. Not because you are “a lot like Selena Gomez, TBH” … you know what I mean? You want someone to be into you because you’re being your very own dorky-cool self. You don’t want them to want a different version of you.
(3) If you want to be casually dating someone. CASUALLY DATE THEM. Don’t act like you’re looking for love when you’re looking to get laid. If you’re looking to fall in love DON’T ACT LIKE YOU’RE JUST LOOKING TO GET LAID.
Be chill. Be honest. Be dope. Be you.
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