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"I live with my girlfriend and we spend a lot of our free time together with friends or family, etc. We have been together for aaages and I want to propose to her... how on earth do I organize this without letting the cat out of the bag?!!"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

DON’T. TELL. ANYONE. I know, I know. You wanna like, get suggestions from friends and have family involved and yadda yadda cute stuff. I PROMISE I GET IT BUT IF THEY ARE A BUNCHA BLABBER MOUTHS THEY WILL RUIN EVERYTHING.

IDK i’m a hopeless romantic and all I want is to surprise the shit out of someone?!?! Is that weird? Maybe I’m wrong. Also, maybe they can be trusted bc proposals are sacred or w/e. I just kind of assume you don’t trust them to keep quiet because you asked us what to do.

I suggest keeping it a complete secret. Get the ring off of etsy or some shit so no one sees you go into a ring store. If people ask, you can say y’all have sorta talked about it, or you can say you haven’t made decisions or whatever. Surprise her, surprise everyone. IT’ll be so dope.

Kristin Says:


Here’s what you do. You join a THING. I don’t care what it is,  but let’s say there is a book club or a knitting circle or a cosplay group or a WHATEVER I DO NOT CARE, just find a thing that is moderately believable and tell your girlfriend that you are joining it. Say it’s something you’ve always wanted to do, and voila, you have a reason to go to a place without her or her family or your family or anyone else.

Now, part of this plan involves you actually going to the class or group or whatever — you can’t just SAY you are going and then not go, bc then she will catch you and think you are having an affair and comedic but stressful hijinks will ensue until Hugh Grant sweeps in and saves the day while Julia Roberts giggles. Oops except your life isn’t a romcom, so actually it will just be awful bc lying never works.

SO. You go to this class or group, but you etch in some time before and after to make the calls you need to make, look at the sites you need to look at, and plan this magical proposal of hers without the prying eyes of everyone else.



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"Every marriage I have ever witnessed has gone down in flames. Why do people continue to perpetuate the idea that marriage is essential to happiness when both people usually end up hating each other in the end? Why bother getting married?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

I mean, life is what you make it. Which is a statement that I believe applies to every tiny piece of life. School is what you make it. Your career is what you make it. Marriage is what you make it.

It’s funny because I know multiple people who were divorced at least once before the age of 25 and I also know a countless number of people who have been married for 15+ years. I chose to focus on the successful marriages because I think marriage is cool and it’s something I eventually want. HOWEVER, I have no interest in trying to convince others to get married because I think it’s a totally personal thing and something that is COMPLETELY okay to NOT want. If that makes sense.

There are certain (very ridiculous) things that go along with marriage socially/politically that are important to me, personally. I don’t want my partner to be in the hospital and I can’t get to her because we don’t have one piece of paper that says we’re together. I don’t want to have a child that isn’t recognized as my child in some states/countries. I don’t want to be in a position where a decision has to be made about my life and my partner doesn’t even get to weigh in. Those things terrify me. PLUS I really want a fun party with cute rings where people give speeches about my deep passionate love and tell stories about dumb things I did when I was 22.

Whatever you wanna do is right, and keep in mind that you are not the people around you, you are a product of your own decisions. Make the right ones for the right reasons and you’re good to go. The decision to get married does not make anyone better or worse, it’s optional for a reason, you know?

TO EACH HIS OWN – Hillary Duff

Kristin Says:

You are really asking a lot of things in this question… so I am going to try to break them down to their simplest pieces (though this is anything but simple):

First: Since all the marriages you witnessed have not lasted, does this mean that, should you choose to marry, you will also fail? No. It certainly does not. What determines the trajectory of your marriage is you and the human you marry, your communication, your patience, your faith (just as Dannielle said up there in her very wise words). My parents have been married for over thirty years, and some of those years were fucking horrible. They chose to continue working – which for them was the right decision. Marriages are like snowflakes. No two are alike. Not even close.

Second: Does marriage equate to happiness? Fuck no. Again, Dannielle speaks total truth. Marriage is important for some of us for a whole bunch of varying reasons, but that doesn’t determine happiness. Your choices, your actions, your knowledge of yourself and the world around you – those things determine happiness.

Third: Why, then, do people think that marriage = happiness? Well… have you noticed any themes in, say, Disney movies, magazine articles, news stories, popular music, romantic comedies, and on and on and on? Most places we look tell us that happiness means two rings, two kids and a minivan. Bravo on you for seeing through the crap and looking for the truth. (PS: That doesn’t mean your truth won’t include the rings, kids, and minivan.)

Fourth: Why bother? You don’t have to bother if you don’t want to bother! Get married if that makes sense to you. Get married if you want to have a monogamous relationship with someone that also carries with it a legal or spiritual component which you can find through marriage. Marriage doesn’t equate with happiness, and it doesn’t equate with hatred. Marriage is just one particular form of commitment. There are many others.

For me, marriage was spiritual and symbolic. It wasn’t full of glittery-love and fairytales… it meant that I was ready to be a witness to my own life and the life of someone I loved. It meant I was ready to work, every day, to try to become a better person for myself, and for someone else. It meant I saw my future, and this person was there with me in that future. That’s me, though.

You have to find you.