How to Spend Valentine’s Day If You’re Single

Whenever I read a self-help article that advises women to “put yourself first,” or “cultivate self-love,” I want to throw my laptop out my fourth floor apartment window in despair. (I don’t actually do it, of course, because laptops are expensive.)  Often, these seemingly empowering pieces of advice come with subtle directives about what weContinue reading “How to Spend Valentine’s Day If You’re Single”

How to Tell if Polyamory is Really for You

No matter what love style you choose, all relationships have one common denominator: They’re super-complicated. First, society imposes rigid definitions of gender, sexuality, and love. Add that to the personal baggage we pick up along the way, and you’ve got one explosive cocktail.  Polyamory is no exception. Based on the belief that we can be sexually andContinue reading “How to Tell if Polyamory is Really for You”

What You Need to Know About Dating an Intimate Partner Violence Survivor

During the relationship, I felt like a cardboard cutout of myself: thin, flimsy, a printed-on smile plastered on my face. After I left, I was a different person. I flinched at loud noises and the sound of footsteps behind me on the street. I cried unpredictably and often. But I was also more intuitive, moreContinue reading “What You Need to Know About Dating an Intimate Partner Violence Survivor”

11 Things That Are Way Cooler Than Texting Your Toxic Ex

YOU! Yes, I mean you. You, who are seeing holiday engagement photos and getting teary thinking about what might have been. Watching kids ice-skating and remembering the names you had already picked out for your future children. Hearing jingle bells and thinking of her phone jingling with your text. Your fingers twitch toward the phone. Should I text my ex? youContinue reading “11 Things That Are Way Cooler Than Texting Your Toxic Ex”

How to Emotionally Prepare Yourself for Your Next Relationship

I’ll admit it: when my Talkspace editors suggested that I write about how to overcome harmful relationship patterns, my first thought was “Hey man, I wish I knew.” I, like most of us, have had my fair share of bad relationships, from “it’s complicated,” to “it’s really complicated,” to abuse (and there’s no Facebook status for that). I, like mostContinue reading “How to Emotionally Prepare Yourself for Your Next Relationship”

Piece on Toxic Masculinity Reposted at The Good Men Project

With the #MeToo movement dominating the headlines over the past few months, many of us have had to ask tough questions about our own experiences of gender, power, and relationships. While women have taken the forefront of the movement, it’s also been a moment of reckoning for men. The movement has not only provided anContinue reading “Piece on Toxic Masculinity Reposted at The Good Men Project”

How To Survive a (Friendship) Breakup

“A friendship between college girls is grander and more dramatic than any romance.” So says Hannah Horvath, Lena Dunham’s character in the hit TV show Girls, which follows four women in their twenties through romance, career — and most importantly, friendship. It’s not just college women who have grand and dramatic friendships. While friends tend toContinue reading “How To Survive a (Friendship) Breakup”

Dating as a woman: Balancing a desire for intimacy with the threat of violence

“Why don’t you date?” My therapist’s comment took me aback. After a difficult relationship, why didn’t I put myself back out there? After all, meeting new people would be a healthy distraction, enrich my social life, and build up my confidence by reminding me how ridiculously charming and attractive I am. Okay, maybe I don’tContinue reading “Dating as a woman: Balancing a desire for intimacy with the threat of violence”

My abusive partner promises they’ll change. Will they?

“I promise I’ll change.” These are four words most people in a relationship with an abusive partner have probably heard. Longed-for yet dreaded, the words can offer both hope and disappointment. Hope that things really will get better this time, and disappointment when, inevitably, the abusive behavior—whether emotional, physical, or verbal—begins all over again. We’ve allContinue reading “My abusive partner promises they’ll change. Will they?”