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The following essay is a guest post written by my friend, Emily Morris, whose previous guest essays can also be read here and here.

It’s been annoying lately seeing various starlets and famous women going (seemingly) out of their way to announce that they aren’t feminists, how they have a problem with “the word,” or rambling on and on about why feminism just isn’t for them because: “I love men!”

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what feminism MEANS. I hear a lot of women saying, “Well, what feminism means to me is…” Nope. Feminism is a word with a definition. It’s not a vague idea with no clear meaning, or a dream you had that you can’t put into words. It’s like any other word with a definition: monkey, cheese, coffee, chair. No one is walking around going, “What the word CHAIR means to me is…”

I remember sitting in my living room when I was twenty-two with my roommate who was a Polish guy working on his PhD. We were talking about feminism and he was adamant that he was not a feminist. I got out the dictionary and read aloud to him. Feminism is defined as “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities.” He looked confused for a minute and then said, “Oh! I guess I am a feminist!” And when you hear that definition, really, who ISN’T a feminist?! (Susan Sarandon, Lana Del Ray, Shalene Woodly, I’m talking to you.)

So, obviously, I’m a feminist, and sometimes I am still conflicted about how being a feminist affects my personal choices as a person in the world. This especially comes up for me when I start thinking about possibly getting married some day soon, being a wife, and what that might mean for me. [click to continue…]

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This week in the forums, we’re discussing:

Looking for a Puppy Name

Ring Shopping

How many previous relationships do you want your potential partner to have?

The Best Option

That’s what makes you beautiful!

FYI: The New York Times Calls For Marijuana Legalization (!)

Party Favors

Sex and dating someone new

I am Miserable in My Marriage

loving to hate dating/hating to love dating

Skin care

MEETUPS:

Northeast Ohio?

Boston — August 29

Minnesota — maybe dessert on Cafe Latte?

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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Hello Wendy! I came across your website while Googling if it’s normal to feel sick after inhaling helium… just in case you were wondering and have lost your common sense, yes it is! Anyway, I read through some of your columns and decided to share my problem: I’m in love.

I’m 20, and I’ve heard the “You’re too young to know what love is!” lines as well as the, “Fuck love, you’ll just get hurt” lines. But I know what I feel and I know this is real. You see, I love this amazing, wonderful, smart, down-to-earth guy. I look at him and I see my future. But…my parents won’t get over his past. He’s 24 and he dropped out of high school, got into heavy drugs, and drank his life away. But that’s the past. He went to rehab, sobered up, went back to school and is doing something with his life! We’ve been planning our life together for a while now and are starting to discuss kids.

We’ve known each other since we were kids and grew up in the same community. His family has a bad rep in the community, mostly known for drugs, rape, etc., so our two families were, for the most part, not close. We dated previously when I was 18 for short while. Now, we’ve been dating for the past couple months.

I know I’m a big girl now and can decide whom I want to be with, with or without my parents’ blessings, but I don’t want to do anything knowing I don’t have their full support. Is there any way I can convince my parents that he is the one for me or to at least persuade them to give him a chance to prove himself? — In Love with a Recovering Addict

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Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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Online dating

Last year OKCupid launched a short-lived app that set up blind dates. (They spent a year and a half working on it, but it was gone from the app store within six months). To celebrate the app’s release in January of last year, OKCupid removed all the pictures from their site on launch day, calling it “Love Is Blind Day.” They discovered some things — some obvious and some maybe not so obvious — about human behavior and dating when their users weren’t able to see what each other looked like for the seven hours that the photos were removed. [click to continue…]

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open relationship

While I was in Chicago last weekend, I caught up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a year or two. We talked about the usual — work, family, pets, our hair, and our love lives (although as an old married, there’s not much for me to catch people up on — still married, still happy, still annoyed that he balls up his socks when he throws them in the hamper, yada yada). My friend told me she’d been dating a guy for the last year who just ended their relationship a few weeks earlier.

“He was in an open relationship,” she said, “but I wasn’t.”

“Wait, what?” I said, confused.

“He was in an open relationship with another woman and I was his main girlfriend on the side,” she explained. “So, he obviously saw other people, but I didn’t.”

“Wow,” I replied, “How did that work exactly?” [click to continue…]

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