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Thursday, October 30, 2014


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Rules of Engagement

How to (really) enjoy being single


By Geoff Preston, Olivia Dimmer          Last updated: 10/28/14 5:50pm         

When it seems like everyone and everything is telling you you're not complete without your other half, it can be hard to fully embrace being single and even harder to enjoy it. 


Olivia Dimmer

First off, ignore what others say

Advertisements and TV shows are rooted in trying to make you feel incomplete. So don't. Ignore whenever some one or something tells you to be in a relationship. You're just fine without one. Being in a relationship is a choice some people make, but is by no means a requirement for happiness or "whole-ness."

Go on dates with your friends instead

Being single is a great time to spend your time and energy cultivating friendships instead of relationships. Significant others are liable to come and go, but friends will be there for you in your times of need. Go out to dinner, the movies or do other social functions with your friends and take the time to get to know them better.

Enjoy being the center of your own universe

One of the greatest things about being single if you don't have to compromise for anything. You can wear what you want, go where you want, and eat ice cream in bed while watching Netflix with no one around to judge you. Make yourself happy before anyone else, and enjoy the time you get to be selfish with your own happiness. 


Geoff Preston

Who needs love anyway?

I mean yeah, eventually you should try to go ahead and find that person who doesn’t repulse you enough that you can reasonably wake up next to them every day.

It’s just that this thing called life is a sprint not a marathon, and we aren’t even at mile 10 in college.

So should you settle for settling down for someone not worth settling for? Not in college you shouldn’t.

Laziness

Being single now is awesome! And I’m not even going to pretend it’s like I’m some player who who has women knocking on my door every night. I like being single because, well, might as well say it, I’m lazy.

I have to worry about one person everyday, and that’s my star player. Me, myself and I.

When I wake up every morning I’m not too concerned with what people think about my appearance or general behavior. I used to, but as a senior it’s hard to care what other people think.

Because who cares? This campus is so big that if a girl sees you looking not awesome chances are you won’t see her ever again.

Drinking is more fun

When you’re going out to drink you don’t have to think about your girlfriend, you can worry about hanging out with your guys and you don’t have to be a super awesome, eligible dude.

The game is on? Guess what single you is doing? Watching the game. Girlfriended you isn’t. The bottom line is most of us change when we commit ourselves to another person. It isn’t a bad thing or even a sign of weakness. You care a lot about this person and you want to change yourself for them. Single you just doesn’t have to do that.

No time

Think about how busy you are right now. Relationships take time, effort and an entire part of yourself to make work. Do you have any extra time, effort or parts of yourself to exert? If so, good for you, I don’t.


Fall date ideas


By Geoff Preston, Olivia Dimmer          Last updated: 10/15/14 6:24pm         

It's starting to get colder, so now it is time to become creative with the date ideas. Picnics by the lake are out, and so are barbecues. You have to think outside the box. So throw on some layers and get the body warm with some coffee. It's fall date time. 


Liv

The cider mill

Yeah it's basic, but basic can be fun. Indulge in some doughnuts and cider with your hunny. Uncle John's Cider Mill also has a trampoline-type contraption that makes for wholesome fun. 

A haunted house

Hold on tight and get ready to get scurred. Prepare for some ultimate hand holding and hope post-traumatic cuddles will ensue.

A hayride

Go for a roll in the hay. Literally. Or just hold hands while rolling in hay. Either way, we won't judge.

A picnic amongst the autumn leaves

Pack up portable Pumpkin Spice Lattes, pumpkin break and anything else that makes your tastebuds tingle with fall joy and find a colorful place beneath the trees to have a picnic.

In the frigid fall waters of Red Cedar River

Haha. Just kidding.


Geoff

Watching football

Fall means football! And football is pretty awesome. Not only is football awesome, but it's part of our sacred guy time during the week when women are not supposed to bother us. Now, before women start to come at me with statements that you know more about football than me, I don't disagree. Football is not a sport men know specifically about. However, like shopping for dresses, it's something we prefer to do with other guys. So if your man asks to watch football with you he is hooked something fierce.

Foliage walks

One of the best parts of fall is how awesome the leaves look when they are changing colors. Everyone likes that, right? So grab your girl, hold her hand and get those legs moving. No one got injured looking at stuff. I think.

Carve a pumpkin

Actually don't do this. You're probably not an awesome artist and your house will smell like rotten pumpkin. Unless you're a pumpkin Picasso, just stick to watching football. 


How to turn your summer love long-lasting


By Geoff Preston, Olivia Dimmer          Last updated: 10/09/14 4:38pm         

Winter is coming. And you need to prepare.

You've been gone all summer with your late-night friend with benefits, and now that fall is practically here, you're looking to lock that special someone down to keep you warm for the long, cold winter. 

It's time to turn your smokin' summer lovin' into a gentle autumn smolder, and The State News Love Doctors have got you covered. So here's a step-by-step on how to turn the booty call into the bae.

Olivia:

Invite them over for shenanigans — in the daytime 

Nothing committed and long-term happens past 9 p.m. on a Monday, unless you're working on a paper due the next morning. So call your sex pal over for a nice dinner, movie, game of Scrabble — whatever floats your boat. Doing activities with them outside of the bedroom will help you transition to doing couple-y things. 

Talk to them more

Dirty talk during hanky-panky time doesn't count. Ask them about their interests, hobbies, childhood memories, all that junk. Get to know them down there— in their heart.

Make plans for the future

I'm not talking about marriage and baby names, but dropping subtle hints like "Hey, we should go do that thing sometime," will make your future cuddle buddy think you're in it for the long haul.

Straight up tell 'em

Tell your romantic interest that you're looking to settle down. If they stayed with you throughout the summer, they probably liked something about you or they wouldn't have kept coming back. Tell them about all your mushy gushy feelings about wanting to be in semi-serious relationship — but leave out the "I don't want to be alone all winter when I get fat from all the holiday food" part.

Geoff:

Let them hang around in the morning

You did what you did. You prayed for forgiveness about what happened last night. She missed the cue where she was supposed to leave and stayed over. To avoid the awkwardness of her hanging around your place you're going to have to take her out. She has to eat, you have to eat, might as well eat together.

Hang out without sex

I know this goes against the nature of what you're trying to do, but try it out. Maybe you really like this girl, take her to coffee, or go on a picnic (women love picnics), and hey, maybe you'll have sex later. You dog, you.

Go on, like, a real life date

Denny's the morning after your wild night of getting it doesn't count. You might have to really shell out some money on dinner here. I'm talking appetizers and stuff. Again this is the feeling out phase of your romance, see if it's fun, see if you like her, and then...

Invite her over to watch football

This is how you know it's real. If a guy is willing to put up with a girl asking dumb questions about what team you're rooting for during the three and a half hour block of time every week that's supposed to be about you and all these grown men you've never met then she's special. Ladies, throw on your sweats and football jersey. You've been cuffed  officially. 


How to handle beach season


By Geoff Preston          Last updated: 04/22/14 11:21pm         

GEOFF:

The weather is starting to warm up, and that means one thing: it's almost swimsuit season.

If you have a romantic partner there are few things better than going to the beach, both looking great in your swimsuits because you worked out and ate right and all that stuff... unless you're normal, and the six-pack you know has to be there is buried under as much body fat from the weekly McDonalds than inches in snow we got this year.

You want to look good, anf you also want your girlfriend to look good. She's a reflection on your choices, right? So if you tell her that maybe she doesn't need half of the Hot N' Ready pizza she'll understand, right?

Nope.

Not even a little.

If you learn one thing from this blog, it is to not tell your girlfriend it is time for beach season. When body image or weight comes up at all it is your job to zip it, not even to change the subject, press that mute button.

There are some no win conversation topics and body image is one of them. If she is having self esteem issues and you try to help by saying she is beautiful, she'll get really inexplicably mad at you. I don't know why it happens, but it does. If you play the honest card and say you've noticed a little more of her, she might kill you. That's not a joke. Or hyperbole. I'm talking never see your mom again death.

There is a body issue among women that we men helped create (I know, if you are a dude you 100 percent contributed to this epidemic, you've probably heard it), sarcasm aside it is real and is serious. One of the reasons I would not trade being a guy for anything is girls will talk to us if we let ourselves go a little because we're "cuddly" instead of fat (sometimes), but girls do not view themselves like that, so the topic has to be approached with a lot of sensitivity.

And let's be honest: if I had a girlfriend and told her to lose a few pounds to fit into a bikini the first thing she would have to do is point to the fast food wrappers on by floor and my stomach to make her point. If you are going to go there, you better be doing steroids.

And really, if you are with your girlfriend I would hope you aren't repulsed by her. Physical intimacy is a lot of times what separates a friendship and a relationship. Might sound shallow but it's true. So who cares if she gained a few pounds over winter break? That shouldn't make her unbearable to you.

So there a lot of words above this paragraph but really all you needed to read was this: there are absolutely no situations when telling your girlfriend that bikini season is around the corner is a good idea. She knows, and you sure won't be seeing her in one if you open your mouth.

CHRISTINE:

With summer around the corner, everyone this time of year is trying to get in their best shape yet to look great by a pool or beach. Both college guys and girls face this struggle almost every day with the temptation of eating non-stop due to stress of finals and just finishing out the school year.

Now, if your boyfriend or girlfriend needs some help in the getting in shape department, there can be some ways to let them know they should hit the gym before things get out of hand. I’m sure guys are seeing this and thinking “No way am I telling my girlfriend she needs to lose weight!” Fellas, don’t worry, there are ways around this without looking like a jerk.

Before you say anything, NEVER tell anyone they need to lose weight because they is just plain rude and no one should have to alter their body to please someone else. This is more of a reminder that summer is near which means minimal clothing and more skin. Everyone wants to look their best so if you think your boyfriend or girlfriend would feel much better about themselves, there are ways to go about talking to them.

For guys and girls, maybe the best way to approach this is to suggest doing healthy activities together, whether that be going to gym together or a walk around campus or even recommending you head to Leaf for a healthy salad for dinner instead of 5 Guys. Doing these types of things together will not only get both of you in shape, but it will help strengthen your relationship if you are both working towards a common goal.


Some major “don’ts” in trying to get someone to talk about getting more exercise is saying straight up that the person should put down a certain type of food or saying they should consider going for a run. Guy or girl, this can get you in big trouble because that can give your significant other the wrong idea and not understand where you are coming. 


Sharing social media passwords with your significant other


By Christine LaRouere, Geoff Preston          Last updated: 04/08/14 7:59pm         

GEOFF:

I usually try to make very clear in these posts that I am not a relationship expert. I've found things that work, and things that don't work (the things that don't work come mostly from experience) but I try to make one thing very clear: everything is situational. Not all men and women are the same and what works for me won't always work for you and vice versa.

This is true except for a few universal issues, and we're gonna tackle one of those topics today. Under no circumstances should you have to share your social media account passwords with your partner.

What do I have to hide? Absolutely nothing. I am of the crazy notion that you should wait to be mad at me until I actually give you a reason. Some people are so insecure that they think somehow catching you in the act of fooling around with someone else and having that "Ah! I knew it!" moment will soften the blow of being betrayed. It doesn't matter if you catch them in the act and cure cancer in the same day — it is still going to sting knowing that person was with someone else.

So it makes more sense to trust someone from the start. If you don't trust someone you shouldn't be with them in the first place, but if suspicions arise, talking about it with the person is a better course of action than hacking into their Twitter account and reading all of their messages. First of all, you're going to feel awful if you find something, as previously stated, and how stupid are you going to feel if you don't find anything?

This goes for phones as well. There are plenty of ways for a guy to go behind your back and talk to other shorties. But that does not mean your man is. You are going to live your life with much less stress if you trust your boyfriend enough to operate on the assumption that he isn't cheating. And if he is, a Twitter password will not soften the blow.

On principle alone I don't believe there is a situation where a couple should share each other's social media passwords. It's the classic "What do you have to hide?" vs. "Why don't you trust me?" debate and I will always side with the person who is trusting enough to refuse to ask for passwords to personal accounts.

Plus, my Facebook doesn't need a women's touch. I have a picture of Joe Biden at the State of the Union as my cover photo and I won't even run the risk of that getting changed.

CHRISTINE:

I don't know anyone who has given out their social media passwords. Obviously those accounts are very private, but what if you are dating someone for a very long time and are serious, and they ask for your passwords? Well shoot, it looks like a curveball has been thrown your way.

To be honest, this has never happened to me, but if it did, I’m sure I would be shocked. Probably because while this might not be common, it raises a valid question.

Not going to lie, if your boyfriend or girlfriend asks for your passwords, this can be a very sticky situation. If you say no, it looks like you are trying to hide something. If you say yes, your significant other could potentially abuse this privilege.

Personally, I probably would not give my boyfriend my social media passwords because this could potentially bring up some past memories that you regret. He could see something that you did when you were single and didn’t have a care in the world. Even if you have nothing to hide, your boyfriend of only a couple years just shouldn't have them.

However, later in life when I find someone who I plan on marrying, I don’t think it's wrong to give him your passwords because hopefully you will know everything about each other's lives anyways. I feel if my future husband were to hide his passwords I would feel very uncomfortable, like he was keeping something from me. 


Meeting the friends


By Christine LaRouere, Geoff Preston          Last updated: 03/18/14 10:48pm         

CHRISTINE:

When it comes to meeting your significant other’s friends, I cannot stress enough how important it is actually make the effort and try to become friends with them as well.

I think almost anyone can say that people are friends with each other because they are similar in personality and even lifestyles. If you are reading this and thinking about how much you can’t stand the friends of the person you are dating, I hate to break it to you, but there are probably going to be some issues in the future.

Friends are important to everyone and not getting along with them will cause fights and uncomfortable encounters that can easily be avoided.

Girls, it doesn’t hurt to bring over some BBQ wings during a football game and guys, your girlfriend’s friends would love you forever if you took them out for a cup of coffee and tried to get to know them. While I’m not saying you should bribe them, you should be willing to show your boyfriend or girlfriend that you are trying to make an effort to make new friends.

Talk with each friend one on one and let them know you are in the relationship with their loved one for the right reasons. I can promise you that a mutual feeling of respect will eventually develop and your significant other will breathe a sigh of relief.

On the contrary, if his or her friends happen to be a**holes, that may be a red flag for you to reevaluate your relationship. Because people are friends often for the things they have in common, it would be in your best interest to see if your boyfriend or girlfriend can act normally when their friends are around. Talking to him or her is a good start, but nothing changes after a couple times, it may be a sign to get out before the problem grows to something bigger.

GEOFF:

The phrase “Bros before Hoes” might be offensive to the legions of lovely ladies who read this blog (you’re out there, I know it), but it has more intellectual merit than you might think. In the perfect relationship you and your boo will all become incredible friends with each other’s friend groups and you’ll go on massive, twenty people deep group dates that leaves no one left out. I hope you find the perfect relationship one day just so there could be a little bit of hope for the rest of us, but it isn’t going to happen.

So we move forward. Like it or not, your friends are strapped in for the ride that is your relationship, and her friends are now a part of your life as well. So what happens when you can’t stand her friends? What if she thinks your friends smell and swear too much? The following will hopefully offer guidance:

If you hate her friends:

This is a tough situation to be in. You’re the new kid on the block, and this girl has a pack of lionesses that have had her back for years. They’re going to question you about everything from your career goals to what you had for lunch today. And guess what: they might suck. They might be catty, they might be annoying, they might be needy and too attached to your new girlfriend and they might be everything that can be bad about girls. It’s one thing to deal with a girl’s problems if you’re dating said girl. You did not sign up for a whole pack of issues.

If you do hate her friends, that is nothing to scoff at. We pick friends that might not be exactly like us, but most of my friends have the same overlying values as I do. Girls are the same way. She might not be catty in the beginning of the relationship but if she can sit through her friend talking about other friends behind their backs, there’s nothing from stopping her from doing it. If you hate her friends maybe take a closer look at who you’re dating, because the apple doesn’t fall from the proverbial, um, friend tree, I guess.

If she hates your friends:

This is another problem on a few different levels. See above, if she finds a lot of things wrong with your friends it probably won’t take her too long to find a lot of things that are wrong with you.

Secondly, guys can fall into the trap of being tremendously whipped. It makes sense, she can offer you things that you desire – sex, intimacy, a true romantic connection – that your friends just can’t. Of course you’re going to want to hang out with her instead of them.

The problem is that many relationships end in heartbreak, and when that happens your friends aren’t going to remember all the fun times you guys had before you met her, they’re going to remember how often you ditched them to hang out with her. Look, you need alone time with your girlfriend. If you don’t want to spend time with her alone you guys probably should be just friends. The problem comes when you make her your life and forget who had your back when you were a single loser with no game.


When to make it Facebook official


By Christine LaRouere, Geoff Preston          Last updated: 03/11/14 10:06pm         

GEOFF:

Well look at you. All those texts and nights spent at an overpriced restaurant instead of out with your boys has paid off. You’ve popped the question, and you are now going steady with the girl you’ve been courtin’ for what feels like too long.

The question is: now what? Let everyone from your best friend to grandmother know about you two by broadcasting the relationship on social media? Or do you keep it a secret and let people find out when you ditch them to hang out with her?

This is a complex question that doesn’t really have a simple answer, but it’s not just a throwaway question either. The key is to think of the end and not the beginning. I know, I know, you and your boo are never breaking up. I get it. But it’s might hard to bat 1.000 in relationships, and more end badly than with the alter, or at least that’s the idea.

So if your relationship does end, do you want the messy breakup to be broadcasted as widely as the initial romance? When a relationship status changes people you haven’t herd from in months or years come out of the woodwork like Punxsutawney Phil with questions about how okay you are and what happened. When you break up with someone you’d rather be concussed than talk about what happened and how okay you are.

Guys, you’ll also be blamed for the breakup by people who don’t know what happened. It doesn’t matter if you did it or not. A lot of people haven’t come around to the idea that girls can occasionally screw up a relationship. If you have your Facebook relationship status up and public don’t look at hers. It might be the meanest thing in the world.

Of course there are positives to putting your love out there for the world to see. For one, if you guys like each other it should feel good to see your names together on the computer screen. That kind of viral intimacy isn’t for everyone, but if you like that it’s totally fine.

This is also a bigger problem for girls, but having your self taken on Facebook does warrant off some, not all, unwanted attention. If you say you don’t immediately check Facebook to see if someone is available if you become interested you are lying, guy or girl. Marking yourself as taken is a way to deflect some of your potential lovers.

So the simple answer is that there is no simple answer. It depends on the girl, the guy, and the situation. If it matters to you that the world knows of your love then you just go nuts. Just don’t be surprised if when it goes down in flames your Aunt Gladys calls you up and starts the conversation with: “So I saw something on Facebook….”

CHRISTINE:

When you finally define the relationship with the person you are seeing, deciding to put it on social media can sometimes be tricky. Personally, if I was in a relationship, I would probably put it on Facebook, but not right away. Just know there are a few things to keep in mind before you post for the world to see.

Before posting anything, talk to your boyfriend or girlfriend and decide if you both want to come out online or not. Miscommunication of changing your relationship status on Facebook can start drama with your significant other. If they think you don’t want to put it on Facebook, they could think you aren’t proud of the relationship or committed to it, which is probably not the case. If it really just doesn’t matter to you, let your boyfriend or girlfriend know that other people can find out through word of mouth.

Putting the status on Facebook can be nice to let people know you are in a relationship, but when you aunt and grandma start commenting, it can get awkward. If you are the kind of person who doesn’t really care what family members see on social media, go for it. If not, think twice if you really want to deal with those notifications blowing up your phone.

If you do make your relationship public, there are some simple rules. While an anniversary picture or a cute date picture is fine, there is a point where constant postings on social media can annoy the people who follow you or are friends with. Don’t be that obnoxious couple that posts pictures of each other making out on every social media platform.


Spring break protocol


By Christine LaRouere, Geoff Preston          Last updated: 02/25/14 10:43pm         

Sun, sand and bad decisions. In other words, it’s spring break time for MSU students. With break starting at the end of the week it doesn’t matter if you’ll be freezing in your dorm in East Lansing or partying somewhere tropical, this is the twilight zone for relationships. If something bad is going to happen that could ruin something good you have with a person this is the time when it is going to happen, so some rules really have to be observed or the consequences could be disastrous.

GEOFF

If you are in a relationship:

You know the things girls do when they say something and mean the exact opposite? Spring break is when that thing was invented. She can say you have a hall pass, you can set all the parameters you want, you can say you haven’t been dating that long or she’ll never find out because you won’t be in same country. Here is what all of that means: you sure as Hell don’t have a hall pass, the parameters are you better not touch another girl, you have been dating that and of course, you already know she’ll find out. I saw The Social Network, I still think Facebook had to have been invented by a girl to keep tabs on a guy.

But honestly, isn’t that what you want? If you’re dating someone, do you really want them to throw away your commitment to them because the weather is going to be nice for a week? It wouldn’t make me feel too confident in her commitment to me if she is so willing to give me a free pass. And really, if you have to ask yourself if what you’re doing with another girl on spring break is legit, it just isn’t.

I’m not saying if you’re cuffed to stay at home with her and watch netflix in your sweats and spoon feed each other treats or anything. Grab some of your close friends and get down to Florida, or Mexico, or where I went last year, South Padre Island off the coast of Texas (I’d take a hit from Shilique Calhoun to be back there next week.) It’s so important that you do this once in your life. I went with six of my closest friends last year and the best time wasn’t the girls we met, but the times we spent with each other. On the other hand…

If you aren’t in a relationship:

Go buckwild, and I do mean BUCKWILD. There aren’t rules when you are single on spring break. You’re meeting girls from other schools thousands of miles away that yeah, maybe you’ll talk to on occasion on spring break. The great thing is that it isn’t mutually exclusive on your end. Girls don’t travel thousands of miles and spend thousands of dollars to stay in.

There is a mutual understanding on spring break, and if you aren’t into hooking up with random girls on spring break that’s fine. The sentimental stuff I said earlier was fun too.

CHRISTINE:

If you are in a relationship:

If you are single, feel free to do whatever you want but make sure to keep it in reason. You’re single, so obviously you have free reign. But make sure if you sleep around a lot within one week, you will probably get a reputation. On spring break it doesn’t usually matter what you do, but it can be awkward when you come back and see the guy or girl you hooked up with in your ISS class.

However, I do think spring break is a time for single students to have fun. It’s a great way to meet new people and see who you could have a good time with the entire week. Who knows, maybe you could find a relationship out of it.

If you aren’t in a relationship:

When it comes to those people who are in a relationship, spring break can be a curse and a blessing at a same time. A curse because temptation can be everywhere, but a blessing because it can allow you to have some time away from your girlfriend or boyfriend and have fun without feeling you are being watched or on a leash. It can even test your relationship if you both can be apart and trust each other.

The problem is that sometimes it can be a bit tricky if something does happen that it can be tough to tell your significant other. Nothing is worse then being told you were cheated on during spring break.

If you are looking for an out, hey, what a better excuse to end something that you are not feeling. Remember to keep in mind what you are really doing though before you make any moves.


Meeting the parents


By Christine LaRouere, Geoff Preston          Last updated: 02/18/14 10:56pm         

GEOFF:

Masculinity is often linked to traits of bravery and sacrifice.

I don’t care if you’re an ancient Spartan warrior. There is no quicker way to terrify a man than his girlfriend saying a few simple words.

“Hey, want to meet my parents this weekend?”

No, for the love of God no, you do not. Why is that? Did you ever like studying for tests? If you’re one of the 10 percent of kids that said yes, Lord help you because there are more serious issues under the surface.

That’s exactly what meeting the parents is. It’s a test on 18-22 years worth of material without the safety net of a curve. Have you thought about getting married? Of course not! You’ve been dating for four months and you’re 21 years old. But guess what? You’ll be thinking about it this weekend.

All of the questions that you haven’t considered because it’s not that time in your life yet will come into the light for the parents.

I would wait to meet the parents, because not everyone is ready for the kind of interrogation that mom and pop could throw on a young lad.

As far as what to do when you meet the parents, as I said before this is a test. You aren’t going to waltz in and flash a smile to win over the parents. You are not that charming. The trick is to not be yourself.

Okay, that might be strong. But you’d better be the All-American version of yourself your parents always wanted you to be. I’m talking holding doors, shaking hands, making not creepy eye-contact and by the way, this is the best meal you’ve ever had. You tell the mother that.

The mother will be easier to win over. It’s not her little girl you’re dating. Well, it is, but it’s different with fathers. Some evolution thing I don’t understand but have discovered to be true.

So to summarize: don’t meet the parents too early, but when you do suppress any urge to act like a college-aged male.

Easy enough, right?

CHRISTINE:

“I want you to meet my family” may be one of the most intimidating sentences a person you are dating could say, but when it’s been about one to two months, it’s about that time to see where your boyfriend or girlfriend comes from.

A million thoughts usually run through your head about what their parents are like, will their siblings be nice to you and what will you wear? While meeting your boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s family can be tough, just know that their parents have done this before when they dated, so don’t be so freaked out.

Meeting the family almost always involves food whether that means going out to dinner or going to their house. Either way, be prepared to show off great manners.

Most of the etiquette when meeting family tends to be common sense but it’s sometime the easiest things that people seem to forget. Shake hands when you are first introduced, take off your shoes at the front door, look presentable, say thank you and offer to clean up or pay when dinner is over.

When you are at the dinner table, don’t swear and don’t bring your phone out. Also, it’s probably not the best idea to bring up how you are still hungover from the party you were at the night before or bring up sensitive topics such as politics or religion.

If you are sometimes awkward like me or tend to be quiet when you meet someone new, it’s not a bad idea to have some questions in the back of your mind to ask the parents. Ask your boyfriend or girlfriend beforehand what their family or parents do in their free time so it is not a one way conversation with only the family asking questions. By making it interactive, the parents will feel like you care about them and what they are interested in.

I know this sounds corny, but ultimately just be yourself. Stay positive and don’t try too hard because parents somehow can always sense when a person is being fake. If your boyfriend or girlfriend decided to date you and introduce you to the family, the family will know you’re important and will hopefully treat you well.


Valentine's Day is overhyped


By Christine LaRouere, Geoff Preston          Last updated: 02/11/14 10:01pm         

GEOFF:

Alright men, buckle up. We are about to embark on a journey through the mother of all non-holidays. I actually think Flag Day has more merit as a holiday than Valentine’s Day. This is the one day of the year when people who have no confidence in their relationship bask in the glow of their eternal love by a night out to dinner and a quickie. It’s a day that means absolutely nothing.

Why can I say that? Because I’m single. I have no one I have to impress on Valentine’s Day. This might sound like a not-so-quiet cry for a meaningful relationship, and honestly I am a relationship person. That being said, at least my bank account can appreciate a dateless night this Friday.

If your relationship is as good as your Facebook claims, you shouldn’t need Valentine’s Day to prove to yourself that what you have is the real thing. That should be something that happens daily.

Is Valentine’s Day a great excuse to take your honey out to dinner and probably get some action? Of course, and if that’s all your using it for more power to you. The problem comes when the guy is expected to Notebook a girl because the calendar says it’s February 14. If that’s what you need to make your relationship feel real, try the single life for awhile. If you need me, I’ll be at the bar.

CHRISTINE:

Valentine’s Day. The day most widely known as an opportunity for single people to hate those couples that ramble on about their wonderful relationship.

While I do find it cute for couples to do nice things for each other, I find the Hallmark holiday undermining the fact that these couples should consistently tell each other how much their relationship means to them rather than just on the one day out of the year when they are obligated to.

Getting a girl’s favorite flowers can be nice, but I find the buying of candy, jewelry and stuffed animals to be extreme. To that couple who obnoxiously walks around with a teddy bear bigger than me, just don’t do it.

I also sometimes feel bad for the guys because society expects them to buy their girlfriends gifts and then go on to take them out for the night and pay for that too! This is when I don’t think Valentine’s Day deserves the hype it has, because celebrating a relationship should not be about the gifts.

And while I do think some couples could tone down the PDA, single people shouldn’t be giving the stink eye every time they see two people holding hands on their V-Day date. It’s good to not be bitter and use the day to treat yourself rather than as a chance to mope.

When you think about it, of course it would be nice to have a valentine, but heck, at least get excited for the 75 percent off bags of chocolate on February 15. It’s almost a win for everyone.