How to Tell When Someone Has Their Shit Together

There’s a spectrum when it comes to having your sh*t together. While it’s not fair to expect total perfection from someone you’re dating, it’s reasonable to want that person to fare pretty well on the highly evolved continuum. If you’re looking to verify that your significant other is doing okay at this whole adulting thing, here are some signs to look for:

They know what they like

Whether it’s their go-to cocktail or a favorite meal, they aren’t shy about their preferences. At the same time, they’re also willing to try new things. At this stage in the game, you don’t want to be with someone who only eats chicken fingers and slams Diet Mountain Dew.

They own a pet

When they’re able to care for another living being, it’s a good indicator that they have their sh*t together. They’re not afraid of responsibility, plus then that means you get to play with their dog and that’s awesome. Cats? Eh, to each their own.

Their car doesn’t look like a war zone

We all have days when our cars are more like storage units, but there’s a difference between “I should probably bring some of this stuff inside” and seriously disgusting.

They have a headboard and real bedding

This shows that they’re willing to invest money to create a space that is relaxing instead of blowing any and all extra cash on pizza and beer. Gone are the days of dudes with mismatched comforters and flannel sheets. You want someone who knows the value of generating a little Zen in their home.

They’ve picked out artwork that doesn’t include a Pink Floyd poster slapped on the wall

You know the one that’s a bunch of backs and butts painted in various Pink Floyd album covers? Totally chic when you were 19. Not as cool when you’re 33. If you can pick out art that means something to you and then take the time to get it framed, you probably have your sh*t together.

They have good manners

From tipping servers to the ability to make polite conversation at your work cocktail party that you dragged them to, a person who has basic manners is on the mature end of the spectrum. If your date is still showing up late to everything and texting furiously instead of talking to your friends, it’s time to reconsider some things.

Strong shoe and sock game

If you put thought into your shoes and socks, you’re a real, live adult. I fell in love briefly at the airport with a man who had on an understated yet stylish pair of dress shoes and socks depicting a crossword puzzle. You have a real career and you do the New York Times puzzle? Sold.

Dating in college is a rite of passage. You have to deal with sketchy people and even sketchier apartment bathroom situations. But since you made it through these experiences and out the other side, it’s time to let yourself start dating people who have successfully morphed into actual grownups. Trust us, you deserve it.

It's Time for the "Cool Girl" Phenomenon to Die

Playing it cool has been a dating concept since approximately the beginning of time. Endless amounts of romcoms, shows and novels instruct audiences on how to properly play hard to get:

– Wait x amount of time to return a call or text.
– Don’t make it seem like you’re too available when someone asks you out.

But somewhere along the line this concept of “playing it cool” morphed from a flirty game of cat and mouse to a creepy parallel universe where we’re all trying to pretend like we’re emotionless robots. Nothing bothers us! We’re the “cool girl/guy.” No matter what happens, we’re going to be totally chill about everything. As a result, we’re not saying what we want to say, and no one has any idea about what’s actually happening in their dating life.

Ali and I read this article in Man Repeller recently, which covers this new “cool girl” phenomenon and we yelled “YES EXACTLY” out loud so many times because it speaks volumes of truth.

Why have we forgotten that showing that you care is normal? Why are we so afraid of getting invested in our relationships? Why do we get squeamish about depicting actual human emotions?

The reality is you shouldn’t be “chill” if someone bails on you hours before a date. You shouldn’t be blasé if you really care about someone. And yet we don’t want to seem crazy or clingy so we continuously stifle our thoughts. No wonder why dating in 2016 sometimes makes us want to stick sharp, hot needles directly into our eyeballs.

Enough is enough. We’re so ready for the death of the “cool girl” and all of the nonsensical rules that accompany her. It’s time to welcome in a new paradigm: the honest girl. She recognizes that feelings are a normal part of dating. She wants you to know what’s going on in her head, because it makes dating less confusing for everyone involved. She’s okay with expressing what she wants and doesn’t want out of a relationship.

As we shift away from trying so hard to play it cool, let’s take a moment of silence to honor all of the times when we felt like we couldn’t say what we wanted to say, when we cheerfully chirped “No worries!” when we actually were bothered by someone’s behavior.

If you’ve been playing the cool game for a long time (trust us, we’ve been there) and need some tips on easing back into emotionally expressive life, here’s what you should remember:

– Telling someone you’re excited to see them again doesn’t make you a stage 5 clinger.
– Expressing your needs doesn’t make you high-maintenance.
– These are parts of being a mature, emotional, caring human, as opposed to this dating robot we’ve tried to become.

RIP “cool girl.” You won’t be missed. It’s time to say what’s on your mind and take the unnecessary mystery and stress out of dating.

The Proper "Textiquette" for Text Messages

There are a few key classes you should be required to take during your freshman year of college. These courses would limit the amount of time you spend utterly confused when you enter the real world. “Adulting 101” should definitely be a thing. Taxes? Making friends as a grownup? Help. We also believe a class on Textiquette (texting etiquette) would be an endlessly useful course of study that you could carry with you for years to come.

While texting is straightforward in most situations, it has a unique way of making dating even more convoluted than it already is. Here are some of the foundational principles of textiquette we would cover if we were tapped to teach this course.

Give someone the benefit of the doubt

Some people love texting. Some people would go days without it if they could. When you’re dating someone new, you don’t know where they fall on the continuum. Are they not texting because they don’t want to talk to you or do they just hate slamming their fingers onto a little hunk of metal and glass repeatedly? Are they sending you paragraphs because they’re a stage-five clinger or because they’re bored?

Before you automatically assume that a person’s text strategy points to unappealing real life behavior, give them the benefit of the doubt.

Remember that you can get on the same page about textiquette

It seems ridiculous to have to verbalize your preferred text style, but this is 2016 and this is a thing we have to deal with now so let’s just embrace the insanity of it all. I have a friend who really liked a new guy she was seeing, but she was aggravated that it would take him a full day to respond to her texts. When they talked about the issue he became much better about checking his phone. They’ve been together for a year now.

Don’t let texting make you overly invested

Texting can give you a false understanding of your chemistry with the person on the receiving end of your emojis. I’m guilty of being fully invested in someone because we had great text banter, only to meet for the first time and think, “Why did I set myself up for carpal tunnel later in life for this?”

Use texting to verify that this person isn’t a total creepmaster, but then meet up ASAP to see how you connect in real life.

Give it some breathing room

We’re used to our best friends answering our messages within 15 minutes, so if someone takes a few hours to reply it can feel insulting. Before you fire off something semi-passive-aggressive wondering where the object of your affection is, give it some breathing room. Maybe they’re swamped at work. No one likes the person who texts “hello?” after a half hour.

It’s amazing how that little dot-filled bubble can inspire such feelings of anxiety, confusion, and anticipation in even the most rational people. By standardizing some textiquette basics, we hope to eliminate the mind-numbing frustration caused by texting.

And no, you can’t take this class pass/fail.

When Someone's Just Not That Into You

First posted on CharlotteFive: http://www.charlottefive.com/when-someones-just-not-that-into-you/

We’ve started a new segment on the podcast called the Cuervo Corner, where listeners can submit questions/comments/concerns and Ali and I address them. This past week we had a question from a listener who’s been seeing a guy who says he’s “not ready for a relationship.” Our listener is slightly stumped and wanted to know what to think of this. Is it a legitimate excuse? Is it worth it to stick around?

At some point or another we’ve all been in this situation, and it’s a tricky one. There are certainly well-meaning people who are commitment phobes and need time to get adjusted to the idea of being in a relationship. On the other hand, there’s a difference between wanting to take it slow and not wanting to take it anywhere.

Dating in 2016 leaves a lot of room for interpretation, though, and it’s not always easy to tell where someone falls on that spectrum. However, one would assume that even if this gentleman was a little gun-shy, if he truly knew that this was a person he wanted to be with then he would find a way to make it happen. Based on this fact and other details that the listener provided us (check out the episode to hear the full scoop), Ali and I agreed that this guy appears to be using a feeble excuse to get himself out of any sort of formal commitment.

If you’ve seen the movie or read the book “He’s Just Not That Into You,” these ideas are familiar and apply whether you’re dating men or women. You can try to conjure up all of the reasons in the world why someone hasn’t contacted you. They just got a promotion at work! They were tapped by President Obama to be the next Supreme Court justice!

In reality, if they wanted to reach you, they would find a way. The same goes for relationships. If they were desperate to have you in their life, they would find a workaround for their commitment phobia. This is a crappy realization, especially if you’re invested in the person. But while it hurts to come to terms with the fact that your feelings on your would-be relationship aren’t the same as theirs, understanding this frees you up to seek out someone who would love nothing more than to go all in when it comes to a relationship with you.

Though it can feel like the world is a wasteland of Tinder bros who just want to hook up, we know (with some encouragement from our coupled up friends) that there actually are single people who are interested in finding something real. It just takes time and energy to sort through and get to them.

So rather than try to make someone commit when he’s not invested, it’s best to hold out for someone who appreciates you, no hard sell required. I know this sounds like something your mom would tell you, but we really, truly believe it.