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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.

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"My girlfriend of almost two years wants to get married, like, next year. She’s serious; she even wants to buy rings, etc. I want to be with her too and marry her some day, but I think it’s too early for me to get married (I’m 23, she’s 26), and I think it’s too early in our relationship to get married. So I keep telling her that it’s too early blah blah, but she thinks I’m rejecting her! What do I do? Please help."

-Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

ALMOST TWO YEARS. That’s it?!!? You guys, that’s like 1/40th of your lifespan.

Okay, I’m being dramatic, that’s a fine amount of time to talk about marriage and get rings etc. But here’s my feeling on the situation… What’s the rush? The two of you want to be together forever, right? You’ve had the conversation, you feel the same feels, you don’t want anyone else, THAT’S AWESOME… Why do you have to put a ring on it right this second?

Also, it’s really hard to explain to someone “I want to be with you forever and ever and ever and I want to wear a ring but like i don’t want that ring right now because… ” I DONT KNOW.

I would ask your boo why she’s in such a rush. SERIOUSLY ask her, though. Don’t just say it in a backhanded way and then stomp off to your room with a box of cap’n crunch. Ask her and listen to her. Acknowledge what she’s saying and tell her why you’re uncomfortable.

I had no fucking clue who I was when I was 23 years old. I mean, I thought I knew everything and I felt okay about where I was, but I’ve changed so much. I’ve grown so much. I would feel WAY more comfortable sharing my life with someone as I am now. Getting married isn’t just about saying ‘hey i love this human’ you can do that with a necklace and a trip to Florida. Getting married is about so much more and if you’re not there, you’re just not. It doesn’t mean you love her any less.

Kristin Says:

I know I just quoted Dannielle yesterday but, you guys, remember how you can tell someone you love them with “a necklace and a trip to Florida”? Dannielle is my favorite person.

ON TO ADVICE.

Getting married really is a totally huge deal. I am 32 years old and only within the last handful of years did it start to feel like, “Okay, this life thing is still pretty nuts, but I know myself and I know this person, and I am ready to take this step.” That didn’t mean I didn’t love the people I was with before being able to take that step, it meant that I respected myself and my relationship enough to know what we were ready for, and what we were not. You are making the right decision by waiting until you feel more comfortable.

I would say something like, “I love you and I want to be with you, and I want to be with you forever. The thing about forever, though, is that it can start now without us getting married, and that the journey we are going to go on together is going to have a lot of dips and bends and curves… I want to be able to grow more before we take that step, so that I can feel more prepared for those things. I want to work to prepare for our marriage, and I want to work together to be able to communicate that to you in a way that lets you know I love you, always.”

Be patient with her frustrations, and be reassuring. The bottom line is that, if she is able to be patient with you and work to understand where you are coming from, then you will be able to grow with her to a place where you are both ready to take those steps together, at the right time for you both.

ALSO TELL HER PLANNING A WEDDING IS RIDICULOUS AND SHE DOESN’T KNOW WHAT SHE’S GETTING INTO AND SHE SHOULD THANK YOU FOR MAKING HER WAIT.

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"what is love? what does it feel like?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

It feels like pooping out cupcakes…

basically… give or take.

Love… it’s so different for every human. i mean, on the one hand, it feels like having a best friend in the world who also is a good maker-outer and makes you giggle so hard you wanna punch ‘em. On the other hand, it feels like having an annoying little sister who makes you wanna cry bc she forgot to pick up toilet paper on the way home. On the other other hand, it feels like christmas and your birthday all the time. It’s scary, it’s confusing, it makes you wanna throw up 30% of the time, makes you wanna sleep 40% of the time and makes you wanna skip down the hallway of your school the remaining 30%.

It starts as one feeling that you’ll never be able to explain and it grows into another feeling you’ll never be able to explain. Love, you guys. It’s that stuff you talk about constantly and you don’t know what you’re saying. It’s the stuff that makes you over think everything you say and do. It’s the stuff that drives you mad and makes you feel completely calm at the same time.

“It’s that can’t-eat, can’t- sleep, reach-for-the-stars, over-the-fence, World Series kind of stuff.” – It Takes Two starring Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen

Kristin Says:

It depends on what kind of love you mean, really.

Falling in love with someone, in my opinion, happens so many times during the course of a relationship. The way we love people grows, expands, shifts, and bends around the paths that our lives take, and it is never, ever constant.

Recently I have been thinking about love as an onion. So romantic, I know. But like, here is how I feel: When you begin to fall in love with someone, it happens through getting to know who they are and how you fit together. That kind of love feels like all of the things Dannielle said up there; it feels like a rollercoaster, it makes you sweat and cry and laugh in places that aren’t even funny, it makes you unsure and more sure than you’ve ever been, and it gives you tunnel vision when your eyes settle on the other person’s sweet, perfect face. That kind of love is the very middle of the onion.

Love is tricky, though, and just when you think you’ve captured it in your hands and you finally understand it, something in the universe will shift. Things will look different. You will realize that even though you know everything there is to know about the person that you love, you only know those things from one angle. You will get scared… sometimes you will run away. Sometimes, though, you will hang on through the shifts and bends and confusions and begin to fall in love all over again. The center of the onion is still there, but now you are forming another layer.

Every layer will have it’s doubts, fears and insecurities… and every layer will teach you new things about yourself and about the other person. The one thing I can tell you is that love is never just one thing, and you won’t ever have to wonder if you’re falling… because there is simply no escaping when it happens.

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"I have been with my boyfriend 3 years.. Any cute ideas on how I should propose?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

1. Line the hallway with teddy bears.

2. Ask on the JumboTron at a KNICKS game.

3. Plan a cute vacation and don’t propose while you’re there, but when you get home be like ‘oh yea btw, will you be my man-wife’

4. Use the term ‘man-wife’

5. Tie the ring to the collar of someone else’s dog and then pretend you’re being attacked by said dog, your boyf will come to the rescue and damn WILL HE BE SURPRISED!

6. Get a semi-local-celebrity (think car dealership owner or future city councilman) to propose on your behalf.

7. Bake the ring into a pie.

8. Give him a mood ring and say ‘can we be bff’ and when he looks at you like you’re a goon, be like ‘JAYKAY YALL and give him a sparkly ring for marriage time.

Kristin Says:

1. HAHAHAHAHA BAKE THE RING INTO A PIE. BAKE. THE. FUCKING. RING. INTO. A. FUCKING. PIE.

2. Be like, “Hey want to hear my new rap?” and then have your friend pop out of the bushes and start beat-boxing and then be like, “Hey yo boy, you’re my toy, but now I’d like, to take a hike, down the aisle, for all the mile (s).” Then get down on one knee.

3. Scream really loudly like this: “AHHHHHHHHHHH OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOOOOOODDDDDDDD!!!” and when he’s like, “omg are you ok what’s going on,” be like, “Everything is fine, I just thought that would be a fun way to start a proposal story,” and when he’s like, “What?” … get down on one knee and do your thang.

4. Take him cliff diving and just as he takes his jump shout down, “WILL YOU MARRRY ME THOOOOO?”

5. Ask him while he’s pooping.

6. Take him to dinner and then for a walk around the park, and when no one is around and all you can hear is the crickets, take his hands into yours and ask him if he will spend forever with you. When you get home, show him this post and tell him he should be really happy you didn’t chose option #5

7. Cut and paste all of your and his favorite celebrities heads on a piece of paper with the heading, “People who want you to say yes.” Hand him the card and when he looks confused, ask him to marry your fool ass.

8. When you get into bed and you are spooning him real good, wrap your arms around him so that you are holding the ring in front of his face in bed. From behind him, whisper into his ear, “Will you please marry me?”

The end.

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