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    17 Unromantic Signs This Person Might Be ‘The One’

    Everything from the classic love affair in Pride and Prejudice to the will-they-or-won’t-they drama of Ross and Rachel teaches us that love is supposed to be extraordinary, make it impossible to sleep or eat, and always ends with a “happily ever after.” As much as rom-coms and the Twilight Saga would have us believe, romance is not actually always about flowers and love poems or grand gestures and public declarations when you find “the one.”
    In real life, the rom-com doesn’t end at the “I do” scene, but it keeps going: through paying bills and tax season, through toddlers and newborns preventing your sleep for days, and through terrifying health scares, boring daily chores, and deaths of the people you love.
    The one you choose to spend forever with is not just your personal romantic comedy—it’s the most important interview of your life. A happy life is about more than love letters and PDA, so you better make sure there’s more to your relationship too. Here are 17 signs the person you’re with might be “the one” that have absolutely nothing to do with butterflies, grand gestures, or romance.

    1. You don’t have to pretend to be interested in them or wish they would be more interested in you
    It’s likely that you and your partner will have many different interests—in fact, you should, or else dating another you would just be boring! You may not always be interested in their passion or hobbies, but you’ll want to learn more because you know how much it matters to them, and you’ll genuinely want to be able to share what they love. You also won’t have to pretend you don’t love broadway musicals as much as you actually do or feel like you can never talk about the latest fashion trends that you know your partner couldn’t care less about—they’ll want to love everything you love and talk about everything you want to talk about.

    2. Errands are kind of… fun
    Going to the grocery store, picking up prescriptions at the pharmacy, and cleaning the house are all part of the mundane routine we have to keep up with through the rest of our lives (sounds depressing, doesn’t it?). But when you do it together, there’s something inherently fun and enjoyable about the tasks that are usually mundane and tedious. Something about your partner makes even the boring feel fun and the average seem exciting.

    3. You don’t have to think twice about asking them for help
    Whether it’s to pick you up from the airport, unclog your drain, or give you advice on a problem you need their perspective on, you don’t have to think about asking your partner for help—you just do it. You trust their opinion, their advice, and their desire to care for you without having to question it for a minute.

    Source: @jessiebbernhardt

    4. They’ll pick up your slack without being asked
    Maybe you came home to your clean laundry that they just threw in with a load of theirs or they bought you a new face serum from CVS when you mentioned you ran out a couple of days ago. It’s more than just the household chores the two of you divide up—it’s the little things they don’t have to do but do just to make your life a little easier and your day a little better.

    5. You can share annoyance, anger, and doubt without worrying about their reaction
    There are absolutely no more deal breakers, and you know it—you can be in a horrible mood without feeling like they’ll think less of you or not want to be around you, and you know they’ll be supportive of your feelings before being defensive of their own if you experience any doubts along the way. You can be more honest with them than you’ve ever been because bigger than anything you’ll ever say or do, you both have a shared understanding that you’re in this life together.

    6. You both have your own thing
    Whether it’s Bachelor Mondays with the girls, painting classes, or hiking trips a couple times a year, you’re both supportive of the other pursuing their own interests and having their own time alone. Time apart doesn’t make either of you insecure, and you should feel like your partner supports you pursuing your passions over their own needs. Plus, you’ll be so excited to tell them about your time apart, whether it’s to rehash the latest gossip between your friends or what you learned in painting class (remember #1?).

    Source: Ron Lach | Pexels

    7. They’ll ask about your day every day
    Perhaps one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve ever received is to be with someone who will ask about your day every day and—wait for it—actually want to hear about it. If the first thing they do when they get home or the first thing they ask when they call is “how was your day?” every single day, you’ve found one of the good ones. Trust me.

    8. You can look at them and, for no reason at all, they make you laugh
    The best friendships are the ones that make you silly for no reason at all—where you just can’t stop laughing, right? If you’re going to spend your life with someone, it better be the best friendship you’ve ever had. If your partner brings out your silliest self and can make you laugh at nothing, you know they’re going to keep you laughing when things get hard, boring, or mundane. Life should be about enjoyment—make a lifelong commitment with someone who brings out the most fun in you.

    9. Bodily functions don’t make you blink
    You should be able to complain about your heavy flow or let out an *accidental* bodily function post-Taco Bell without it feeling like the end of the world. In fact, when you start doing gross things like shave their back or have them pop your pimples (it gets real) and you’re still just as turned on by each other as ever, that’s when you know.

    10. You can talk openly about money
    Besides just being a crucial conversation to have with the person you’re going to be spending your life with, if you’re able to talk about such a tough topic, it’s a good sign that you trust each other. While nothing is less sexy than the money talk (except maybe shaving that back hair), if you can share your financial past, goals, and current habits openly and honestly and you two share financial values similar enough that you don’t go into anaphylactic shock when you hear about theirs, you probably have a pretty strong foundation.

    Source: Ron Lach | Pexels

    11. They call you out when you need to be called out
    “The One” will be the person who is fully dedicated to helping you live your fullest, best, happiest life. This means that they will check you on your destructive habits and hold you accountable when no one else would. They’ll be honest with you—for the sake of making you better, not for the sake of putting you down. They’ll also stand by you, encourage you, and support you when you’re working through issues or going through hard times without any judgment.

    12. Your PDA is less PDA-y
    You don’t necessarily need to go make out on a park bench like you’re teenagers or feel the need to post collages on Instagram with paragraph-long captions about your oh-so-perfect relationship to celebrate every monthiversary. Instead of overt PDA, you display affection by mere accident—exchanging smirks across the room or holding hands under the table. Instead of the public make outs, fondling, or displaying your love all over social media, you publicly tease each other, brag about each other’s accomplishments, and maybe steal a kiss or hug when you don’t think anyone is looking.

    Source: @sassyredlipstick

    13. Date nights out are great, but you have the most fun at home
    When you can sneak away for a night out, of course it’s fun to dress up and go somewhere new or exciting. But if we’re being honest and if we’ve found The One, the most fun “date nights” are sitting at home with a bottle of Trader Joe’s wine, laughing at The Office, talking for hours, or playing the same card game—again. The things that would sound boring to anyone else are the things you find yourself preferring over those fancy dates.
    Anyone can get in the mood for romance when fancy clothing and candlelight are involved, but when it’s just the two of you, with sweatpants and take-out, and it’s somehow the best night ever, you know you could do it for the rest of your life.

    14. You’ve developed your own language no one else can understand
    If your daily conversations are laced with inside jokes or you consistently refer back to movie quotes or moments that will have you both dying with laughter, this person will certainly have you laughing the rest of your life. You share more than the same life and relationship—you share the same humor, and that can make all the difference in the length of a lifetime.

    Source: @hikarimurakami

    15. At the worst times, you want them there
    For most of your past relationships or crushes, it’s likely that they’re the last person you would’ve wanted to be present when you’re hunched over the toilet with food poisoning or crying in your room with a bad panic attack—so embarrassing! But if this partner is the right one, you’ll find yourself calling them when you’re having a panic attack or wishing they were there when you’re really sick (and not just because you know they’d clean up your vomit). Maybe you’ve even considered putting them down as your emergency contact—you know that when anything bad is happening, you’ll feel more comforted and protected with them there.

    16. You don’t question or second guess how they act when you’re not around
    When a friend’s Bachelor/Bachelorette party in Vegas comes up, you don’t feel a pit in your stomach or worry they won’t behave; you’ll just be excited to hear the funny stories when they get home. You also don’t doubt that as nice and wonderful as they are to you is exactly how they act when you’re not around too. You believe with all your heart that however they act, out in the world—whether it’s to other girls or people they don’t have to be nice to like waiters or servers—they treat all other people with the utmost respect and graciousness and will always do you proud.

    17. No matter what mistakes you make or how bad you look, you know they’ll still think of you the same
    In the end, you can be your truest self knowing that’s the you that they love the most. You can make a mistake or say something mean, and they’ll still think the world of you. You can wear second-day leggings and not wash your hair for four days and know they’ll still look at you the same as when you’re in a fancy dress with a blowout. The most romantic moments of our lives are often what happens in the most unromantic times—the bad times, the hard times, the gross times, the lazy times, and the boring times. The One will still see you in those times just as they would in the best times.
    Find the person who loves you for exactly whatever you are—good, bad, grumpy, bloated, messy, scattered, anxious, unfiltered—and to use the quote from Juno that taught me the most about love: “The right person will still think the sun shines out your ass.” Now that’s romantic.

    10 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Relationship Right Now More

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    6 (Non Awkward) Ways To Approach Someone You Want To Be Friends With

    Making friends when we’re kids can be as simple as sharing a toy or deciding that we’re suddenly “best friends.” But the older we get, the significantly less straightforward it becomes and the more friendship changes. It’s probably been a while since many of us had to put ourselves out there; we might feel out of practice and, at the very least, a little confused about what we should actually say to someone we’d like to get to know better (are we coming off creepy? Desperate? Weird?). While there isn’t one right way to make new friends as an adult, here are six ice breakers that can help.

    1. Highlight a similarity
    The root of friendship is often an underlying similarity, whether it’s a shared interest, hobby, or sense of humor. That’s why pointing out something you have in common is a great way to approach someone you want to be friends with. Commenting on your shared love of camping, sushi, or rap music shows that you’re paying attention to and are interested in the other person. Plus, you can set the stage for future plans more easily when there’s something in common (“I’ve been dying to try the new hiking trail! Want to check it out together?” or “There’s a great sushi restaurant nearby if you want to go sometime!”). The key is to not force it. Avoid exaggerating and don’t try to be someone you’re not just to find something in common. Noticing and highlighting genuine similarities will not only make you both feel more comfortable, it’ll also help you come across as authentic and increases the chances the two of you will connect.

    Source: @hauteofftherack

    2. Ask them questions
    We often think that to win people over, we have to be impressive: we have to have interesting things to say, be well informed about the topic, or be hilarious and entertaining. But the secret to winning friends and building connections is actually the opposite: make the other person feel like they are impressive and they’ll like you. People like talking about themselves—it’s just fact. So focus on other people and genuinely care about what they have to say. Come up with thoughtful, open-ended questions (forget boring small talk).
    If it’s a brand new friendship or you’re just meeting, ask for a restaurant recommendation, a new workout class, or the best nearby cafe to work from. If it’s someone you know a little bit, focus on getting to know them better instead of stating your opinion or talking about yourself. For example, if they’re talking about balancing a career and a side hustle, ask them how hard it is or what they’re most passionate about instead of stepping in with your experience right away. Asking questions shows that you have an interest in the other person’s opinion, and feeling comfortable opening up will make them want to build a connection with you.

    3. Give them a compliment
    Compliments from strangers or people we don’t know well can be so powerful. Since they’re unexpected, they might even be more appreciated; one compliment to a potential new friend could be memorable enough to be the start of a strong connection. It might feel easier to compliment the things that are obvious, like physical appearance or style, but if you feel up to it, make it something a little more personal. Compliment their work ethic, creativity, or great laugh. These kinds of genuine, perceptive compliments are the ones that stick with us. Plus, moving beyond the superficial (“cute top!”) can make people feel seen and heard in ways that really foster connection and friendship. No need to go overboard and base the entire conversation around various compliments: one thoughtful compliment will come off much more genuine and lay the foundation for the conversation to flow from there.

    Source: Colorjoy Stock

    4. Offer help
    One of the main things that separates good friends from casual acquaintances is emotional, practical, and social support. That’s why letting someone know that you’re available if they need help is a great way to approach them and subtly let them know that you’re interested in being friends. For example, if they mention that they’re moving to a new building, offer to move some boxes on moving day or help them pick out furniture. If they’re stressed about a work presentation or an exam at school, offer to drop off a coffee later or go through flashcards together. This can work especially well if you’re able to work together toward a common goal (like if you’re both training for a marathon or trying to meal prep more often). Offering tangible support or having a concrete goal for you to both help each other can form a connection and let the potential friend know that you’re trustworthy, supportive, and thoughtful. 

    5. Use humor
    After all, what’s the point of friendships if not to have a good laugh? Humor is actually an important basis of friendships, but it’s not about knock-knock jokes or trying to show off your wit and charm (remember #2!). It actually has very little to do with impressing someone else and everything to do with trying to make both of you feel more at ease. Sharing a lighthearted joke or making a humorous comment about the situation you’re in lets the other person get a glimpse of your personality. Plus, you’ll both be able to relax and get to know each other when you’re not taking everything so seriously. Just remember that humor shouldn’t come at anyone’s expense because it might come off mean-spirited and uncomfortable instead of funny (if you ever have to say “It was just a joke,” it wasn’t). Bottom line: be your hilarious, fun self, and at the very least, it can be a helpful test to see whether you share the same humor or not and if you two have friendship chemistry. 

    6. Be upfront
    While this strategy might feel the most vulnerable, it can also be the most impactful. It’s hard to put yourself out there when there’s always the possibility of rejection (yes, even with friendships). If you’ve had only brief interactions with someone you want to get to know better, it’s absolutely OK to share that you’re looking to meet new people and you’d love to get coffee, drinks, or [insert other amazingly fun friendship date here]. Being direct doesn’t have to come off as creepy or clingy. In fact, it typically comes off confident and flattering.
    To try this strategy for yourself, invite the potential friend to get together in a different context (“I really enjoyed meeting you! Would you be interested in grabbing a coffee sometime?” or “I actually just moved here and don’t really know anyone. I’d love to find a time to go for a walk together.”). The truth is that making the first move is scary in friendships, just as it is in dating, so the other person will likely be relieved that they know where you stand.  More

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    10 Simple Ways to Improve Your Relationship by the End of the Day

    Grand romantic gestures often get all the credit, but it’s usually the minor, daily ways in which we express love and connect with each other that set the tone for a healthy and happy relationship. Even the best relationships can still find new ways to connect. All relationships take work, but to quote the movie One Day (you know you love it), “Affection is when you see someone’s strengths; love is when you accept someone’s flaws.” Here are 10 things you can do to improve your relationship, today. 
    1. Make them a cup of coffee.
    Small acts of kindness can mean all the difference in a relationship where people, especially in long term relationships, can feel unappreciated or unattended to. Small acts that show you going out of your way to do something nice for your partner will make them feel cared for and thought of. Try making them a cup of coffee in the morning before they get out of bed. It will set the tone for the rest of the day of being thoughtful to one another.

    Source: The Creative Exchange | Unsplash

    2. Say “thank you”
    Especially in relationships that have gone on for years and fall into routines, we get so comfortable in our relationships that we expect our partner to meet all of our needs, whether it’s in how they treat us or the daily chores they do. Saying a simple “thank you” for cleaning the dishes after dinner or giving you a compliment enforces their good behavior and makes them feel appreciated, as well as making you remember why you love them. It’s also important to express appreciation and gratitude for them being in your life and how much they mean to your life, not just what they do for you.

    3. Work out together
    I know, I know: your hot yoga flow or spin class is typically your escape from all of the people in your life. But try heading over to your partner’s gym with them or bringing them along to your barre class. Activities that get your heart rate up release endorphins, which are like feel-good chemicals in your brain, making you both feel happy, energized, and excited. It’s also a new way to bond!

    Source: The Creative Exchange | Unsplash

    4. Give them a hug
    It may seem like the most basic and simplest of acts, but physical touch goes a long way in keeping romance and connection alive in long term relationships. Try to avoid physical touch routines, meaning the only physical touch in your daily life is a kiss goodbye or a hug hello (though these are also important gestures). In addition to your hellos and goodbyes, hug them unexpectedly, hold their hand in the car or while watching TV, or even just pat them on the arm to feel close. Physical closeness can translate to emotional closeness.

    5. Send them an unexpected text message
    If you are apart from morning until dinnertime, sending a text in the middle of the day that feels a little out of the blue will surprise your partner and make them feel some of the excitement that comes from a new relationship. Try sending them a message to tell them something you love about them, something you’re thankful for, or a romantic/funny memory you share.

    6. …But put away your phone!
    Try to have at least some quality time together every day where you put away your phones — trust me, Instagrams and emails can wait for you to be done with dinner. While this may feel like a hard goal in our busy lives, it is an extremely important aspect of a happy relationship. Many studies have found a direct correlation with heavy-phone-usage and relationship wellness. And if you’re angry, try to limit texting. It might be easier for you to resort to texting when you’re angry about something, but try to always talk through issues in person, or at least over a phone call. Texting fights only create distance.

    Source: Mathilde Langevin | Unsplash

    7. Go to bed at the same time
    While this may seem like an impossible feat for the couples whose schedules or preferences require different sleeping time, bedtime is a crucial time for a relationship. It’s a way of reconnecting from a busy day, a moment of quietness, and alone time before the busyness of the next day. For many couples, it’s the only moment of alone time all day. Even if you’re a night owl and your partner gets to bed by 8pm, at least try to stay in bed until they fall asleep. It’s an important and easy way to reconnect and feel close.

    8. Schedule a check-in
    Scheduling might not seem very sexy and spontaneous, but making sure you’re regularly checking in with each other will keep your relationship strong. It can be easy to let annoyance after annoyance build up until it gets to a full-blown fight, so checking in means fewer fights, more communication, and better connection. After all, a relationship is just two people trying to get their needs met. Use a check-in to discuss any recent triggers, problems, and even all the good things (which deserve recognition too!). Try monthly, weekly, or even daily (like at the end of the day), and put it on your calendars so you don’t forget or skip.

    Source: Tallie Robinson | Unsplash

    9. Laugh together
    Relationships are just friendships with exclusivity; while loving each other is crucial, liking each other is important too. While the life-partner stuff (like dividing chores) or the romantic stuff (like holding hands) might be top priorities to improve your relationship, remember that the friendship stuff is just as important. Laugh together at least once every day, whether it’s sharing a funny story that happened to you at the grocery store, bringing up an inside joke, or watching the show that makes you both LOL. Laughing not only bonds us, but helps us remember that the point of being in a relationship is to enjoy the person we love. 

    10. Make time for yourself
    While me-time might sound counterintuitive when the goal is we-time, how you feel about yourself is how you’ll act in a relationship. If you depend on your partner for fulfillment, you’ll expect too much from the relationship, and if you don’t love yourself, you’re probably worried your partner doesn’t truly love you either. Spending time alone not only ensures you’re living the most fulfilling life possible, whether that means indulging in self-care or pursuing your own interests, but it also means you’ll be able to show up as your best, truest self when you spend time together. And just as an added bonus, there’s nothing more attractive than confidence.

    What daily things do you do for your partner or relationship? Which of these ways would you try today? More

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    What to Do If You’re Not Happy With Your Sex Life in a Relationship

    Whether it’s the honeymoon phase or you’ve been together for five years, people expect us to all have our sex lives on lock. We’re all having sex every other night, and our partner always satisfies us. No problems, no questions — everything is peachy keen.Wrong.
    Being unhappy with your sex life is an issue many of us face, regardless of where you are in your relationship. It’s hard enough to talk about sex in general, but how do we deal with it when we’re not happy? Sex is such a personal part of our lives, but it can help us bond and better understand our partners. (Not to mention, it’s a real blast, huh?) When sex isn’t the booming, exciting part of our relationship everyone says it’s supposed to be, what do we do? We’re here to help with that! We’re going over everything you can try to make sexy time better than ever, from what to try in the bedroom to how you can talk to your partner about it.

    Talk to each other
    They’re not making stuff up when they say communication is key! You and your partner might be having issues not talking to each other in your day-to-day (when was the last time you really asked each other how your day was?), or you might not be discussing what exactly you need from them sexually.
    If the relationship itself is struggling beyond your sex life, this might call for a little different conversation. Understand your own needs and what is working for you and what isn’t before talking with them about what is going on.

    Ask for what you want
    Simply put, they won’t know that something is wrong if you don’t tell them. If you want more foreplay, more dirty talk, more touching (or less of something!), let your partner know. Don’t be embarrassed to ask for what you want. Sex is a two-way street, so always remember your pleasure is 50 percent of the fun too.

    Keep finances and family out of the bedroom
    When there’s something weighing on our minds (money and family or friend issues especially), it can be difficult to get in the mood, let alone to have sex and not worry about those other things. Do your best to leave those thoughts out of the bedroom. This can be done by not doing work in your bed or using your phone in bed. You can also try to talk to your partner about these issues, so they’re not taking up so much space in your head.

    Don’t focus on the length of time
    You can have great sex in as little as 10 minutes, but sometimes, worrying about going too quickly isn’t helping you get anywhere. Take things slowly or let them come as they go (no pun intended!). It’s okay to take your time.

    Stop focusing so much on routine
    When sex gets routine (having sex on the same day every month/week, only doing the same positions, focusing on the end goal too much, etc.), it’s hard to get excited for the same thing over and over. Instead of trying to keep up with what you normally do, change things up a little bit. Have sex in a different location of your house (or go full nostalgia and get freaky in your car!), change up the time (in the morning, perhaps?!), or try a new position you’ve never done before.

    Try sex toys
    I’ll say it when I’m in my grave: sex toys aren’t just meant for alone time! Bringing a sex toy in the bedroom might be able to help you explain to your partner more easily what it is you like or help you learn what that is. It can also be an easy way to spice things up from your norm. Whether it’s a vibe, handcuffs, or something with a remote, there are so many options.

    Keep flirting
    Couples sometimes think that once they’re together, the flirtation doesn’t need to continue. Flirt with your partner just like you did on your first date or even kick it up a notch from the norm. Of course, you’re still attracted to your partner, but pretending you’re not totally dating bumps up the attraction just a little bit. More

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    25 Romantic Dinners to Make at Home This Weekend

    You might feel a little tired of your own cooking now that we’re nearly an entire year into staying at home, but date night cooking—especially with your partner—is way different than your run-of-the-mill weeknight dinners. Add candles and dancing in the kitchen, quick kisses and a cozy dining setup, and it all of a sudden feels like flirty fun instead of a tedious chore you’re just trying to get over with. Whether you’re the world’s greatest chef or usually more into ordering takeout, cooking together can make it feel more like an ~event~. Yes, it might be different from your usual V-Day plans, but that’s part of the fun.Pour a glass of wine or mix up a batch of your favorite cocktails, turn on your favorite music, and dive into one of these recipes for 25 romantic dinners to make at home this weekend.

    Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

    Source: Foodie Crush

    Source: Supper with Michelle

    Source: My Name is Yeh

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: Supper with Michelle

    Source: Whisk It Real Gud

    Source: Drizzle & Dip

    Source: The Salty Marshmallow

    Source: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

    Source: With Salt & Wit

    Source: Sweet Tea + Thyme

    Source: Sweet Potato Soul

    Source: Host the Toast

    Source: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

    Source: Chungah Rhee | Damn Delicious

    Source: Two Peas & Their Pod

    Source: Drizzle & Dip

    Source: Whisk It Real Gud

    Source: With Salt & Wit

    Source: The Salty Marshmallow

    Source: My Name is Yeh

    Source: Foodie Crush

    Source: What’s Gaby Cooking

    Source: Sweet Tea + Thyme More

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    The Best At-Home Valentine’s Day Plans

    No matter if you’re newly dating, recently single, have been in an LTR relationship for a decade, or if the longest relationship you’ve ever had is with your work wife, Valentine’s Day is historically stressful. Pricey menus, overbooked restaurants, or the shame of being single? No, thank you. And don’t get me started on that awkward phase when you just started seeing each other and aren’t sure if you’re at the buying-presents level or if you should keep it casual (for reference, I started dating my boyfriend around Valentine’s Day years ago. He got me a nice bracelet, and I got him a joke golf ball holder that looked like a pile of poop).It’s true: Valentine’s Day can kind of suck. But not this year! We’ve dealt with a hellish 10+ months and a crazy increase in stress, so we all deserve a little extra love on February 14. No matter what your relationship status says on Facebook, here are the best at-home plans to make your Valentine’s Day stress-free, enjoyable, and special. Overpriced restaurant menus and depressing nights alone need not apply.

    Order a hosting box to upgrade your night in
    If you’re looking to make your night special but don’t have the time (or energy) to figure out how, why not order everything you need straight to your door? Pass the Salt elevates your night in by delivering a box based on your needs and your night. Complete with seasonal cocktail fixings, tablescape accents, conversation-starters to help you reconnect, a playlist to set the mood, and an on-theme movie night rec in case your date night turns into movie night (it always does, right?). The best part? Pass the Salt works with small artisan brands and family-run companies, so not only will your date night in be filled with unique accents and interesting pieces that no one else has, but you’ll feel good about what you buy. Your significant other will be so impressed! 

     
    Have a picnic
    Because what’s more worthy of a romantic holiday than a picnic? If it’s warm where you live, enjoy the weather by spreading a picnic blanket in the backyard or nearby park, and enjoy dinner (and a bottle of wine) sitting under the stars. And if you live by a beach, lake, or forest? Even better. If it’s too cold outside, DIY your own picnic by lying a blanket on the floor in the living room. Make it extra cozy with a lit fire or candles, and enjoy a romantic evening that will feel more special than your average night in. If you’re long-distance, mail your partner candles, order pizza on Postmates (for both of you), and send over a Zoom link so you can have the same experience together from miles away.
     
    Relive one of your favorite trips
    After almost a year of staying at home, Valentine’s Day might feel like just another milestone cooped up at home. The answer? Bring vacation to you. If you had a magnifique trip to France a couple of years ago, look through pictures, play French music, and cook some croque monsieurs. If you were planning on taking a beach trip this year that got canceled, make some piña coladas and put on a sundress. You can also recreate the trip you’ve always wanted to take together: make sushi if you’ve both been dreaming of visiting Japan, or set up a DIY poker table to transport yourselves to Las Vegas. And if you’re in different locations this year, reminiscing about experiences and reliving happy memories will make your Facetime date feel more special. 
     
    Recreate your favorite restaurant or hotel at home
    Do you miss fancy date nights out? Get takeout from your favorite date-night restaurant (bonus points for supporting local businesses), or mix it up by ordering a few different kinds of food for a buffet of all your favorites (eggplant parmesan and spicy tuna rolls? Yes, please!). Light candles and get out a nice table cloth to create a romantic atmosphere. Make it extra special by dressing up in nice clothes or even just spritzing on your nice perfume. You’ll feel like you’re at a fancy restaurant, but without the expensive prices and sometimes weird food (who likes escargot, like really?). Oh, and if you miss romantic sleepovers at hotels, change your sheets, hang up fancy robes in the closet, and leave all distractions outside of the bedroom. 

    Create your own spa experience
    Breakups are never easy, especially when the month of love comes along to remind you. The fix? Put all your energy and love into self-care with an at-home spa experience. First, set the atmosphere. Dim the lights, light candles, diffuse essential oils, turn on relaxing music, and put on a cozy robe. Stock up on all the luxurious products you love, whether it’s a CBD bath bomb or a high-quality hair mask, and get ready for a full day of pampering. Take a bath, indulge in dry brushing or exfoliating, give yourself a facial massage for relaxation and de-puffing, and finish off with a manicure or pedicure in your favorite color. End the night with a glass of champagne or a cup of tea.

    Have breakfast in bed
    Sure, breakfast in bed is typically for mornings, but why not make it a nighttime thing? Breakfast for dinner is always fun (scrambled eggs, anyone?), and eating it in bed (with a mimosa or two) will feel like you’re at a luxurious hotel or on vacation. Trust me, you’ll be thrilled you don’t have to go out for date night when you’re relaxing in pajamas, eating pancakes, and bingeing Sex and the City for five hours straight (without anyone telling you to change the channel). 

    Do all your favorite traditions for yourself
    If you love typically love Valentine’s Day, carry on with all the same traditions. But this year, dedicate the traditions to the most worthy relationship: the one you have with yourself. Buy yourself your favorite flowers, indulge in a fancy box of chocolates, or treat yo’ self to that splurge item you’ve been wanting. Write yourself a love letter, cook your favorite meal, and light some candles for some romantic NSFW time (thank god you don’t need two people to orgasm, am I right?). While it may sound cheesy and feel silly, spending the money, time, and energy on yourself that you would normally spend on someone else will remind you that self-love is truly the best kind.

    DIY a wine and paint night
    Wine and painting classes are all the rage these days, so why not recreate them from the comfort of your own home? Order some cheap canvases and paint supplies online, look up a Youtube video for step-by-step painting, and pour a couple of glasses of wine for your friends. You’ll have a lot of fun, get your creativity on, and maybe even come away with new portraits to hang up in your homes (or you’ll laugh at how bad they turned out, but either way, it will be a great time). 

    Host a tasting
    Since you can’t take a girl’s trip to Napa Valley this year, bring Napa Valley to you. Host a simple wine tasting by sampling a few local wines (#supportlocalbusinesses), or get more detailed with cheese or chocolate pairings. Don’t forget an Insta-worthy cheese board, which is always a crowd-pleaser. And if you want to step up your game, create cards for the titles or origins of each wine, the different notes in each sample, and what foods they pair well with (so bougie). If beer or whiskey is more your friend group’s style, sample a few different types for a DIY flight. Pair with pretzels and beer cheese or takeout from your favorite brewery. This is your important reminder that a box of chocolates pairs well with just about any alcohol. 

    Bring the sports bar to you
    If your group of friends is more the “screw Valentine’s Day” type, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have fun on February 14. Forget the fancy foods and elegant wine; opt for something a little more casual and enjoyable by turning your home into your favorite local sports bar (every friend group has one). Turn on a pre-recorded game, ESPN Sports Center, or any past-season highlights to set the scene. Grab some beers and make (or order) all of your favorite bar appetizers like wings, pizza, or onion rings. If the night breaks out into a game of good old-fashioned beer pong, we’d call you genius. Loungewear attire required. 

    Have a party for one
    Because you don’t need to have company over to have a dinner party, plan a special night in for just you. Hang up string lights, make some mini appetizers, pop the nice champagne, turn on jazz music, and dress up in your favorite dinner-party attire. Why should you dress up your home (and your OOTD) just for other people? After all, celebrating yourself is the best possible occasion to bring out the nice silverware. Oh, and if your idea of a “party” looks more like beer kegs and loud music, why not throw one at home for yourself? A beer keg might be excessive (no judgment, either way), but pour yourself a cold beer, turn on the playlist that makes you want to dance, and snack on your favorite party food. Rager for one, please!

    Movie marathon
    For a special night at home, don’t settle for the same Netflix show you watch every night (Bridgerton can wait until tomorrow). Switch it up by planning a special movie marathon. Watch as many movies as you can get through of your favorite franchise like Harry Potter or Star Wars, or pick a genre you love (’80s teen movies or historical dramas are both classic choices). Get all your favorite movie snacks, put your phone away, and snuggle up in your coziest sweats for a movie marathon. The best part about being solo with no one else to disturb you is that you can fantasize about Mr. Darcy, John Cusack, or Gal Gadot all night long (whatever tickles your fancy). 
     
    Create a self-love night
    Not to sound like a broken record, but the most worthy kind of love is self-love, whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not. Spend February 14 getting to know yourself, wooing yourself, caring for yourself, and prioritizing yourself. Plan out a schedule in advance of all the things you want to do to practice self-love. For example, revisit a childhood hobby, make a playlist of all your favorite songs, create a vision board, make a list of what you love most about yourself, cook an indulgent meal you love, and watch your favorite movie. For some more reflective self-love, try journaling prompts dedicated to getting to know yourself better, or squeeze in as many activities as you can from our Self-Love Challenge. 

    What are your Valentine’s Day plans this year? More

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    Grab Our Photo Editing Course + 110 Other Online Courses for Just $75

    The dreary winter months at the beginning of the year always feel like the perfect time to do a little reflection and check in with yourself. From cultivating new hobbies to pursuing mindset shifts and overcoming personal roadblocks, it’s a great time to work toward a more content and revitalized you. Which is why we’re so excited to have partnered with The Bundle Co. to offer our popular Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone course as part of a pack of 111 (!!) online courses full of self-improvement-focused classes on everything from overcoming imposter syndrome to financial wellness. The full bundle is an incredible value, worth over $20,000 (seriously, $20,000), and on sale now for just $75.90. This is the biggest bundle they’ve ever offered, at the lowest price, and we’re so excited to be included. 
    Claim all 111 courses now (an over $20,000 value) for just $75.90

    Our popular course, Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone, is included! 

    About Mastering Photo Editing on Your Phone
    We start the course with our best tips and tricks for actually taking your photos. Even though editing can cover a lot of sins when it comes to photos, it always helps to set yourself up for success when shooting. We go over how to create balance in the composition of your shots and our process for taking our fave photos—like outfit flatlays, exterior shots, and interior vignettes. 
    Next, we take you through all the edits we routinely make on our photos—from brightness to contrast to removing imperfections. With guided video tutorials and pro tips from our guest instructors Lauren Taylor and Ali Stone. 
    You’ll learn our favorite apps for making specific edits—like Snapseed and Tezza—as well as the order we make our edits for the best results. Playing with filters is fun, but sometimes you need to overhaul a photo and a filter just won’t cut it. In this course, you’ll learn the separate core elements of photo editing, so you can edit any photo with ease. All you need to take the course is a phone with app capability. 

    Plus, 110 other amazing courses, all for $75.90 (!!). Here’s a quick look at a few of the courses included in the bundle that we can’t wait to dive into: 

    Taught by Tatiana O’Hara, this course is for anyone who has struggled with having the tough conversations in a corporate role. It covers everything from how to prepare yourself for the conversation to conversation scripts to how to communication after the conversations are finished, and so much more. If you’re in a leadership role, this course is essential. 

    A holistic health coach and registered nurse currently working toward a doctorate in integrated medicine, Kate Eskuri was one of our expert panelists for our 6-Week Self-Care Challenge and we love this goal-setting course she’s created to help you manage your productivity and get sh*t done. The course includes guided worksheets, journal prompts, and a six-step ritual to help you put all your planning to action and achieve your goals. 

    Are you a small business owner having trouble moving or marketing your inventory? This is the course for you. Dani Brown takes you step-by-step through her unique strategy to selling out your launches or restocks every. single. time. A great tool for business owners, including bonus material and a workbook to help you implement her advice every step of the way. 

    Imposter syndrome can stop you in your tracks and prevent you from achieving your goals or feeling like the best version of yourself. Learn how to shift that mindset and start thinking differently with Erika Cramer’s in-depth guide on overcoming imposter syndrome and reclaiming your confidence. 

    Get the full scoop on every course included here. Be sure to claim your bundle by Sunday, February 7, because this amazing price is on the table for this week only. 

    We can’t wait to see what you create with these powerhouse resources! Follow us over @theeverygirlcourses on Instagram and share which course you’re the most excited to start. Plus, more info on future course releases from The Everygirl—we’ve got tons of amazing content in the works for you. More

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    9 Sexy Must-Haves for a Cozy Night In with Your Significant Other

    For some couples (I call them the “unicorn couples”), staying at home together 24/7 with nothing to do means doing the nasty more than you did when you were first dating. But for most couples, staying at home means a lack of motivation, an abundance of takeout, and a disregard for basic hygiene. In other words, your sex drive (and overall intimacy in the relationship) has been on the lower side these days.But with chilly temperatures outside and a stay-at-home order still in effect, you’ve got nowhere to go. It’s the perfect time to reignite that spark with a little cozy night at home. Whether you’re newly dating or have been together for decades, consider this the comprehensive checklist of everything you need for the romantic night you deserve (BTW, the same rules apply if you’re indulging in a night of self-love too). Get in the mood, light a candle (more on that below), and have a romantic night in, thanks to these spark-igniting must-haves.

    1. The right scent
    Candles not only set a romantic ambiance thanks to dim lighting and flickering fire (there’s a reason the sex scenes in every rom-com include candles), but sensuality is about awakening each of the senses, and that includes smell. While some scents might be arousing based on a personal memory (like rose from the perfume you wore on your wedding night or vanilla from a lotion you used on your first trip away together), other scents might act as aphrodisiacs. Look for candles with spicy notes like cinnamon and sandalwood, luxurious scents like vanilla and ylang-ylang, or relaxing scents like lavender and sage. 

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    2. Bath (or shower) essentials
    Getting “in the mood” is not just about the 10-30 minutes leading up to sex; it’s about building the anticipation throughout the entire day. Set yourself up for feeling your best by indulging in some self-care in the bath or shower. Try dry brushing, exfoliating with bath salts or body scrubs, and massaging in an oil. Oh, and don’t forget to check yourself out in the mirror (confidence is the #1 best sex hack!). Plus, a relaxing bath or steamy shower can be part of the romantic night if you want to bring your significant other with you. After all, sex is self-care. 

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    3. Luxurious beauty products
    Speaking of confidence, how much pleasure you feel is not determined by how you look to your partner, but it can be determined by how you feel about yourself (your partner is going to think you’re smokin’, no matter what). Invest in products that make you feel good, whether it’s a full face of makeup, a brightening facial treatment, a spritz of perfume, or a texture spray to DIY bedhead. After all, beauty is not about what we think we have to do to look good; it’s about indulging in ourselves (because we’re worth it) and remembering how attractive we are (from the inside out). Get your glow on with the beauty products that make you feel your very best.

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    4. Music to set the mood
    It’s no surprise that music dictates the mood. How else would we know to feel hopeful and excited if the rom-com didn’t include Why Can’t I by Liz Phair, and would we even burst into tears if My Heart Will Go On didn’t play at the end of Titanic? Would Jaws be so scary without the daunting theme song, or would the rose ceremonies on The Bachelorette feel as dramatic without the suspenseful soundtrack? Music tells us how to feel, and that goes for getting in the mood too. Make a playlist of the songs that make you feel confident, sexy, and romantic, or turn on our “Get Sexy” playlist, filled with all the songs 13-year-old you were scandalized by (in the best way). 

    5. Lube
    At The Everygirl, we are big advocates for the fact that everyone (yes, everyone) should at least try lube. Our editor, Beth, even went so far as to say, “Personal lubricant is not a choice in my book; it is a necessary tool for sexual pleasure and health. Lube is the best sex toy you could ever add to the bedroom.” If that’s not convincing enough, I don’t know what is. Pick a lube that will not only increase pleasure, but will be good for your vagina, thanks to non-toxic ingredients, nourishing formulas, and treatment-like benefits. 

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    6. Something pretty to wear
    Disclaimer: if you feel your very best in your birthday suit, you go, girl. Feel free to skip this point and go on with your bad self. However, if wearing some pretty lingerie or wrapping yourself in a silky robe gets you in the mood, you deserve to treat yourself to something indulgent and luxe. If full-on lingerie isn’t your thing, even a pair of new underwear or a pajama set that makes you feel sexy can completely revamp your sex life (yes, really). After all, remember that your pleasure directly correlates to your confidence, and if a lacy bra helps you feel like the badass you are, it’s well worth any price tag.

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    7. An activity
    You may not think you need another activity than the activity, but experimenting with conversation-starters like a couple’s journal or question cards could not only break you out of your routine but could also help you learn new things about your partner and even inspire you to try new things (yes, even if you’ve been together ~forever~). Especially if communication in the bedroom is not your strong suit or if you’re still figuring out what you like and don’t like, prompted questions can be a fun, relaxing way to open up communication. 

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    8. Vibrator or sex toy
    If you feel stuck in a sex rut or have trouble orgasming with your partner (AKA 75 percent of women), the answer might be incorporating a vibrator or sex toy. Experimenting and trying new things is always important, but it’s also a good idea to have a go-to vibrator or sex toy that you both enjoy using (and that you also enjoy using alone). If you haven’t found a favorite or are interested in exploring, we have many helpful guides on vibrators and sex toys for partners (hint: there are lots of options). Bottom line: talk it out together, explore some options, and figure out what you would both like. 

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    9. Luxurious bedding
    Sex is better on vacation, right? Sure, maybe it’s thanks to the stress-free attitude, exciting new experiences, and the lack of kids/long to-do lists/daily chores you would normally have at home, but I also wouldn’t discount hotel bedding. Whether crisp pillows and clean sheets are turn-ons to you or not, upgrading your bedding can switch up your environment, and just a small change can make sex feel new. Some couples even switch out their bedding just for special occasions (a cozy night in counts as special), but you can also try a few simple upgrades like satin pillowcases, a linen duvet cover, or fur throw pillows.

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    What are your essentials for a romantic night in? More