Friday, July 29, 2011

Stayover relationships

OK, now I'm confused. For years, we heard about how young people are delaying marriage and simply living together for an extended period of time.

Now, young people are apparently still delaying marriage...while embracing "stayover relationships."

Those couples spend at least three nights a week together, but live in separate homes. This article describes the phenomenon:

Having both convenience and independence is a major draw for young adults who choose to stay over instead of cohabiting, Jamison found through interviews with 22 college-educated young adults in committed relationships.

And getting out of a relationship is easier for couples in "stayover relationships," since they don't have to worry about a shared apartment lease or other major elements of their lives that are bound to each other.

I've been in a "stayover relationship" for about five years. The setup has drawbacks, but it's also kind of awesome at times. Such is life.

What do you think about the setup?

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Men, decoded

Still trying to understand the male brain? Peruse the results of the 2011 Great Male Survey, courtesy of AskMen.

Here are some highlights from the survey results:

*74 percent of men think "sexting" is cheating if you're in a relationship

*Among men, Superman is more popular than Batman

*Just 1 percent of men conducted their last breakup via Facebook message

Do these surveys make it any easier to understand the opposite sex? Probably not. But the findings often serve as good conversation starters, which is always a plus.

More Sex and the City films?

I would have been OK with one "Sex and the City" film.

In fact, I went into the first film convinced I would hate it. I was pleasantly surprised. I went to the second film with similarly low expectations. I wasn't so pleasantly surprised.

My only consolation: "At least the franchise knows when to end its time in the movie world."

That might not be the case.

Check out this report of a possible "Sex and the City" prequel starring actresses like Blake Lively and Selena Gomez. The film would follow the four main characters through their teens into their 20s, but the report says no contracts have been signed.

If this film moves forward, it would give "Sex and the City" a distinctly different fan base than the 20- and 30-somethings who have long embraced the series.

At the risk of sounding selfish, I'm not ready to share "Sex and the City."

I don't want it to be discussed in the same context as Justin Bieber and former Disney stars. I want "Sex and the City" to remain an example of wit and sophistication in pop culture, not the film world's version of a cheap cosmopolitan made with house vodka.

Am I overreacting?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Weight gain causes breakups?

Half of the men interviewed in this slightly unsettling poll said they'd break up with a partner who gained weight.


We've all dealt with weight fluctuations, and I don't think it's fair to assume that a temporary 10-pound weight gain means you've embraced a life of Big Macs.

That said, it seems like weight gain is rarely "just" weight gain.

Significant weight gain often coincides with changes in someone's lifestyle and/or mood. Those elements are definitely likely to spur a breakup.

Under what circumstances, if any, would you break up with a partner who gained weight?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Oatmeal. Discuss.

Is oatmeal romantic? You decide.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Drag queens and Bootleggers

Wow. Where do I begin?

It was an interesting Friday night, one of those party experiences that makes you glad you haven't totally resigned yourself to life in sweatpants.

My boyfriend and I started our night at the "Rocky Horror" screening at Benning Brew Pub. It was fun, but I'd love to see a bigger crowd next time. Anyway, a chance conversation at the movie led us to the Goetchius House, 405 Broadway, in downtown Columbus.

Or, um, perhaps I should say the building formerly known as the Goetchius House. It's now called The G-House of Columbus, an 18-and-older club.

We arrived just in time for a drag show, which was pretty awesome. The last time I was inside the G-House, it had a formal dining setup. My, how things change.

I'd definitely come back. It reminded us that we're not living in an entirely close-minded city after all.

After the G-House, I headed over to the grand opening of Bootleggers (1039 Broadway), formerly known as Daileys. The new venue is billed as "a mix of modern country acts and an attitude that resembles that of Wild Bills in Atlanta."

The biggest change between Daileys and Bootleggers: "Let there be light." Yes, the new bar is much lighter than Daileys, which often resembled a dark abyss. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Design-wise, a major addition is the tire swing inside, pictured above. The girl riding the swing asked me to get on there with her for a picture, but I declined.

Another big change is this outdoor patio, which has lots of potential. Friday's biggest drawback was the extreme heat inside the bar. I later learned that the A/C was broken. Awkward.

Nonetheless, I have high hopes for Bootleggers and I'm interested to see how much the bar sticks to its country vibe. Country music venues have had a mixed history here.

What do you think?

Monday power anthem

Come on, you know I had to post a tribute video.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Little Pony, The Hangover

Savor entertainment bliss with this mashup of "My Little Pony" and "The Hangover." Total gem.

(via Jezebel)

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Is "pre-engagement" a valid relationship phase?

The celebrity gossip world seems to think so. Perhaps you've seen headlines that Jennifer Aniston and new fling Justin Theroux are "pre-engaged."

What does that mean?

Well, it seems like a more advanced version of the good old promise ring. If you're familiar with Greek life, I'll compare it to lavaliering.

I doubt many real-life adult couples call themselves "pre-engaged."

For starters, the concept likely intimidates men. Also, if you're going to go through the trouble of creating a pre-engagement milestone, why not just get engaged?

Embracing a pre-engagement phase might better prepare some couples for marriage. I'm just not sure what pre-engaged couples "do."

Couples already live together and share finances without promising to get married. I imagine pre-engagement life resembles, well, regular life.

What do you think?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Story pitch of the day

Imagine my reaction upon receiving an e-mail that began with this sentence:

It’s the reason your sex life is stuck in a rut, and it’s the same thing holding you back from advancing your career, your friendships and everything else you dream of getting out of life.


My problem is "approval addiction," apparently. I can get back on the right track with this book, according to the publicist who sent me the e-mail.

But of course, the pitch wasn't specifically directed toward me.


Sale alert!!!

I'll take a quick departure from the dating world to tell you Columbus boutique Pursona, 6501 Whitesville Road, is having a massive sale today (Wednesday).

As in, like, 50 percent off some items.

This was extremely exciting for me because things were actually within my budget. The store closes at 6:30 p.m. tonight and the sale is one day only.

I went during lunch and bought an awesome clutch for about $30 (after discount). What does it look like? You'll find out in the September issue of Her Magazine.

Finally, my boyfriend deserves a special shout-out for accompanying me on the adventure and putting up with my "shopping personality," which isn't always pretty.

True love...and arson

Glamour asks an awesome relationship question: If you could burn three of your significant other's possessions and he/she would never find out, what would you choose?

In some alarming evidence of my inner pyromaniac, I answered this question all too quickly.

No. 1: A certain shirt

I won't reveal too many details, because we work together and this shirt often surfaces in the office environment. I will, however, say that this shirt bugs me beyond belief and I don't know why. Ready, set, burn.

No. 2: The couch

My biggest problem with hanging out at my boyfriend's place is that his couch is only designed for one person. Serious comfort issues arise. Long story short: I often end up sitting on the hardwood floor on a beanbag. If only some "accident" would require him to purchase a new two-person sitting device...

No. 3: Photos

Yes, I'm one of "those" girls. I hate seeing photos featuring my boyfriend with an ex. Go ahead and judge. You can also say I'm a walking contradiction, since I have one of my boyfriend's high school prom photos in my purse right now. Long story.

Your turn. Discuss your arson fantasies in the comments section.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Advice from The Bachelorette

This week's episode of "The Bachelorette" inspired TresSugar to create a handy collection of tips for "meeting the parents."

I don't watch "The Bachelorette," mainly because I know I can always rely on my colleague Dawn's recaps.

The hometown visit episode usually prompts discussions of etiquette for immersing yourself in someone else's family.

It's hard to exhaust the topic, mainly because every family is different. And even though few of us live a Montague/Capulet existence, we generally want our family members to at least tolerate our love interests.

Many times, "tolerate" is the key word. Women in particular often go into a "meet the parents" scenario hoping their date's parents will soon send them care packages and birthday cards.

Things don't always play out with that level of affection, but that doesn't mean you've failed the parent test.

Likewise, bonding with someone's parents hardly means your relationship is destined to succeed.

Share your tips for meeting the parents in the comments section.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Museum of Broken Relationships

Relationship goddesses Em & Lo offer some good news: The Museum of Broken Relationships now has a permanent collection of items in Europe.

So you can now dream of donating those gifts from your ex -- all in the name of furthering cultural research.

I've written many times about the "stuff" that's leftover when a relationship ends.

I generally err on the side of throwing it away -- or, um, donating it to a worthy cause -- but many people savor those tokens even when they hate an ex beyond belief.

It seems like members of my generation have become more likely to hold on to mementos from the past, including failed relationships. I blame it partially on the scrapbooking craze that surfaced during my late high school/early college years.

I assume eventually, we'll look at all these "keepsakes" and have a revelation: "I don't need all this stuff."

But we still want to believe we've led extraordinary lives, which could lead to the creation of venues similar to the Museum of Broken Relationships.

Would you buy a ticket?

Monday power anthem

Warning: You might get a little emo after listening to this song. Emo in a good way, that is.

Anyway, I'm really obsessed with this new tune from Demi Lovato. Don't call it a comeback.

The song, "Skyscraper," totally defines power anthem. Enjoy, and seize the day!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Rewarding your boyfriend

Thanks for washing the dishes, honey. Do it three more times and I'll let you have a boys' night out.

Sound crazy?

The mentality isn't too distant from this idea of giving your husband/boyfriend "points" for doing household tasks. Those points can eventually be redeemed for permission to do guy-friendly things like a day at the bar.

One Jezebel blogger isn't too keen on the idea. She writes:

It only plays into the (evidently not) antiquated notion that men should be rewarded—whether it's with sex or "mileage points"—for lowering themselves to the same meager chores that are expected to be performed by women as some sort of responsibility that comes with having a vagina.


But I have to agree. Sure, compromise is an integral part of all relationships. When you're dating/married, you're going to do things you wouldn't do while living alone. But that's part of life. It shouldn't require any special recognition beyond "thanks."

And the whole "point system" thing extends beyond household tasks. I know a girl who rewarded her boyfriend for not hitting on other girls during nights at the club.

Really?!? The dating world is rough, but it certainly hasn't gotten so bad that you must use a reward system to build the man of your dreams.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

I would if I could...

This week's nightlife column is about the art of declining a party invitation.

I don’t know if technology has made it easier to turn down an invitation.

Yes, you can now attribute your absence to a missed e-mail. You can avoid previously unavoidable awkwardness with an impersonal text message.

But technology’s benefits come at a time when we’ve become more skeptical of the declined invitations we receive.

Many hosts and hostesses have grown so accustomed to last-minute lies that they regard every "I can't be there" as a phony excuse -- even when that’s not true.

When a guest declines your invitation, do you accept his/her explanation at face value, or are you immediately cynical?

What's the worst way to turn down an invitation?

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

PMS. Discuss.

Listen up, ladies. Don't you know men are the real PMS sufferers?

Calm down. That's not my personal opinion.

I'm simply inviting you to discuss a new ad campaign designed to "encourage open conversations between men and women about an awkward subject," according to a source interviewed in this article.

The ad campaign, which focuses on PMS, doesn't come from a medical association or women's advocacy group.

Instead, it comes from the California Milk Processor Board -- the group behind the "Got Milk?" ads.

See, the dairy group believes calcium could improve PMS symptoms. So it's encouraging men to buy more milk for their wives and girlfriends.

You know, because we're not capable of curing our own maladies.

The campaign's end result? Billboard ads with men beside messages like "I'm sorry I listened to what you said and NOT what you meant," or "I apologize for not reading between the RIGHT lines."


I'm sure things could be worse. But I'm not sure if the dairy world will gain fans by focusing on a male responsibility to rid the world of PMS.

And while I'm all for openness in relationships, I don't know what couples gain from having in-depth discussions about "that time of the month."

What do you think?

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Christian dating in Atlanta

Atlanta is one of the top five cities to meet Christian singles, according to research cited in this article.

The research comes courtesy of, a Christian dating site.

Am I surprised? No. In fact, I saw the headline and immediately thought, "OK, a Georgia city HAS to be on this list."

Not like that's a bad thing.

Plenty of people pursue dates based on similar values. As a relationship progresses, there's a strong chance you'll eventually discuss faith issues.

But do you think the term "Christian single" carries any stigma in the dating world? Even if you have a strong level of faith, would you use the term in an online dating profile?

Online dating: Hot or not?

Have some time on your hands? Read this in-depth history of online dating, courtesy of The New Yorker.

The article offers lots of great nuggets for analysis, including this excerpt:

Good writing on Internet dating sites may be rare because males know that the best way to get laid is to send messages to as many females as possible. To be efficient, they put very little work into each message and therefore pay scant attention to each woman’s profile.

The come-on becomes spam and gums up the works, or scares women away, which in turn can lead to a different kind of gender disparity: a room full of dudes.

In blog posts and columns, I've pretty much exhausted the topic of online dating. I can't offer many new insights to the discussion.

That said, I'm not sure if online dating has lots all its stigma. I think it's a viable option, but you must go into the experience with the same safety concerns that occupy the traditional meet market.

What do you think?

Monday, July 11, 2011

Photos: iLLUSiONS grand opening

The folks at iLLUSiONS, 6499 Veterans Parkway, were nice enough to invite me to Friday's VIP night. It was a pre-party for Saturday's official grand opening. Remember, this is the north Columbus hot spot formerly known as H2O (and before that, Muldoon's).

The bar's new owner didn't change much in the two-story nightclub's interior. Good move. Design-wise, it's one of the best bars in town. There's tons of space, and the lighting and sound systems are on par with what you'd see in much larger cities.

Our drinks were extremely affordable, and the employees -- women dressed in schoolgirl uniforms -- were all super nice. The challenge, of course, is getting customers to come back. Repeatedly.

Bars like iLLUSiONS face an added obstacle because they don't sit directly beside other nightclubs. Thus, patrons likely come with the expectation that they'll be there all night.

That's a mixed blessing. On one hand, you're not losing money to other bars. On the other hand, patrons are less tolerant of a bad experience at your venue.

Friday's VIP night included this snapshot-worthy moment: a bartender pouring a shot into a patron's mouth. Thirsty?

The bar's future depends on promotion. Too often, nightclub owners operate on a "build it and they will come" mentality.

Um, no. Flashing lights and a good sound system aren't enough to ensure a loyal customer base. You have to promote yourself and make patrons believe they're enjoying something they can't find anywhere else.

I'll definitely visit iLLUSiONS again. Maybe I'll even wear my schoolgirl uniform next time. Kidding.

(Thanks to Alan Riquelmy for taking the excellent photos!)

Monday power anthem

Happy Monday! I'm having one of those days that goes from a bad day to a good day in 3.5 seconds. I can't complain.

Also, it's my dad's birthday! Woo hoo!

So in honor of my dad's birthday, I've chosen the closest thing to "our song." My dad used to serenade me with this tune when I was a kid.

No, he did not sing the ska version. I just picked that rendition because, well, who doesn't like ska?

Friday, July 8, 2011

You light up my life

I've never dated a smoker, although I'm embarrassed to admit I once feigned a smoking habit to impress a guy.

Wow, that confession was painful.

Anyway, I never considered specific etiquette rules for dating a smoker -- until I found this advice column. A reader asks what he should do when a date takes a mid-dinner cigarette break.

Does he have to join her outside, even though he's a non-smoker?

An excerpt from the columnist's response:

Your date should not leave you at the table to enjoy a smoky treat in the middle of dinner. You sound like a tolerant guy, and so you may not recognize rudeness when it's blowing smoke in your face.

Have you faced a similar dilemma? Do you agree with the advice in this example?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Power couples

This Marie Claire piece caught my attention, thanks to its headline: "The new American couple."

It focuses largely on couples whose relationships are defined by "commuter marriages" and career pressures that extend beyond a typical 9-5 schedule.

I think more couples have accepted the often sad reality that your job often becomes an unwelcome third wheel in your love life.

There's just one problem with the Marie Claire article. The majority of couples in the profile have salaries that seem distant from the average dater's reality.

It's easier to navigate the pressures of a high-tech, fast-paced lifestyle when you can afford luxuries like nannies and assistants.

What do you think of "the new American couple"?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Military homecoming kisses

Confession: I got a little emo while perusing this photo gallery of soldiers' homecoming kisses.

I've never greeted someone directly after a deployment. However, I've heard many friends talk about the rush of emotions accompanying that moment's embrace.

I imagine there must also be a little stress and pressure -- to seem happy enough, excited enough, grateful enough.

Probably my closest parallel is when I greeted my boyfriend at the airport after he'd been in Thailand for two weeks.

I know a two-week vacation hardly matches a months-long deployment, but it's all I've got.

Anyway, I got all dressed up and planned this massive embrace...only to wait around for two hours because his flight was delayed. Then, when his flight finally arrived, he was too tired to care about what I was wearing.

Looking back, I blame the inevitable stress of traveling.

In the moment, however, I was incredibly frazzled -- mainly because I thought the "I missed you" message wasn't coming through clearly enough.

I guess in any homecoming, it's best to remind yourself that the moment is, well, so much more than a moment.

That's why you're so happy, right?

Seven minutes in heaven

Unfortunately, my dating history is devoid of spin-the-bottle memories. Same goes for seven minutes in heaven.

My teenage friends were, like, totally above those games.

Just kidding.

The more likely explanation is that I simply wasn't cool enough to be invited to parties where kissing games were on the agenda. Four years at an all-girls school probably didn't help, either.

Anyway, I felt a little out of the loop after reading the lessons this writer learned from spin-the-bottle.

I never knew a seemingly innocent game could so profoundly affect your love life.

Tell me: Should I lose sleep over a lack of spin-the-bottle memories?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Rolling in the Deep

Listen to Adele's newest CD for a sense of female empowerment...or a heightened shot at finding a really hot date.

The Washington Post cites data from a dating website that suggests "people who listened to Adele were 20 percent more likely to receive a message than those who like Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, the Beatles and Metallica."

The site,, connects daters based on music taste.

The article prompted me to wonder if I hate any bands enough to immediately discard a date because he's a fan.

I'm all for diversity in the music world. OK, that's not entirely true. I really hate Dave Matthews Band. However, get me in the right mood and I'll tolerate a little "Ants Marching."

Anyway, if you asked me if I'd date my boyfriend based solely on his CD collection, my immediate answer would be "hell no."

But I've adapted. Likewise, anyone who dates me should be able to tolerate at least one Beyonce song a week.

That's just how I roll.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Can I have an affair?

How do you feel about this assertion from a recent NY Times Magazine article?

Treating monogamy, rather than honesty or joy or humor, as the main indicator of a successful marriage gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners.

I learned about the piece from a recent Jezebel post, where a writer notes:

It seems obvious — partners should talk about their expectations for sexual exclusivity or lack thereof, and work out an arrangement that works for both (or all) of them. And yet this ridiculously simple message frequently gets lost in useless debates about what women want, what men need, what's right, what's wrong, and what's normal.

Why can't we just accept that every relationship is different and everybody should negotiate fidelity on their own terms?

I assume you have an opinion. Ready, set, share!