17 Ways You and Your S.O. Can Be Total Couple Goals This Holiday Season
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'Tis the season for happiness and love—and who better to spend the holidays with than your significant other? There are countless opportunities for you two to proclaim your affection for one another in a festive fashion. But if you're stuck and uninspired, here are some suggestions for how to make this holiday season the most romantic one yet:

1. Wear matching ugly sweaters to a Christmas party

Go for some cringeworthy couture and attend a party wearing some matching ugly sweaters! You'll be the talk of the night in your cute, provocative, and even sexy corresponding outfits—not to mention you'll have plenty of photo opportunities.

2. Go to each other's family parties

If you're close enough with your sweetie to consider yourself part of the family, why not make it official and join them in their festivities? You and your boo can take turns attending each other's get-togethers and learn a little more about the people that raised the person you love most. Don't forget your table manners and perhaps a small gift for your host, for these little gestures truly go a long way!

3. Book a night or two in a "honeymoon suite" 

Instead of splurging on cute, but unnecessary gifts, turn your savings into an unforgettable night spent together in luxury. Book a stay in a nice hotel and get cozy between the sheets as the snow falls outside the window. Order up some room service, share a bottle of champagne, or inquire about a couple's massage if your location has a spa.

4. Take adorable photos together at a lights festival

A lot of amusement parks, zoos, and even towns organize seasonal lights festivals to lift everyone's spirits in time for the holidays. And the beauty of thousands of twinkling lights definitely calls for some romantic snapshots with your S.O.

5. Bake cookies and other holiday-themed desserts together 

Shortbreads and sugar cookies and pumpkin pie…fall in love all over again with the sweet, enticing smells of oven-baked treats still heavy in the air. Feel free to keep your culinary confections as basic or as complicated as your combined skills can handle.

6. Offer to host and cook a dinner for your family or friends

If you've got your own place together or can convince your parents to lend you their kitchen, let your family and friends kick back and relax while you and your boo do all of the cooking. Hosting your first holiday can be intimidating, but if you're working alongside the person you love, a task you once feared could very well become your next tradition.

7. Start your own holiday tradition

Make a plan to always watch the same Christmas movie on the 24th or to make the same hot cocoa recipe all winter long. Decide to wear your favorite sweaters on Christmas Day or cook a certain dish on the first night of Hanukkah. Whatever you celebrate, forge some family traditions with your partner that you both can keep up for years to come!

8. Wear matching pajamas on Christmas Day

Invest in some soft and adorable onesies to keep you and your honey warm and stylish as the cold months arrive. There is truly nothing better than curling up with your lover on the couch in some winter-themed PJs and under plenty of blankets.

9. Send out "family" Christmas cards with you and your pets

Practice for when you tie the knot and get your Christmas card game up to speed! Bring in your puppy or kitty for some adorable photos you can send to your closest relatives and friends. Let everyone know how in love you are with your little family and preserve your favorite holiday moments in a yearly keepsake!

10. Take pictures in front of the Christmas tree

Whether it's Rockefeller Center or right in your living room, your Christmas tree is the perfect backdrop for stunning shots with your sweetie.

11. Start collecting ornaments for your very own Christmas tree

In a lot of families, a solid ornament collection is a testament to years' worth of shared memories, love, and laughter. You and your partner can start your very own collection this season and decorate your own tree! After enough time, you'll look back on the mementos you've gathered and see just how much you've grown together.

12. Go holiday shopping in the nearest big city

Bust into your bank account and get started on that shopping list! Transform a chore into a lovely outing by bringing your boo along to help you purchase gifts for the amazing people in your life.

13. Take a day trip to a ski resort 

Hit the slopes for the day (or the weekend) and embrace your zest for adventure side-by-side on the trails! Whether you're a natural or a nervous beginner, make the most of the outdoors and know that you'll always have your love to help you up if you fall down.

14. Dress up your pets in festive outfits

Run around Petsmart together in search of the perfect festive kitty or puppy costume! Bond (and even argue) over the outfits you pick out for your furry children and get them ready for the celebrations to begin.

15. Make each other homemade gifts 

Browse through Pinterest for tutorials or shop on Etsy for personalized gifts that no other could take credit for. Not only do these options tend to be more affordable, but they also come from the heart and will never fail to take your sweetheart's breath away.

16. Make a personalized ornament for your tree

Again, Pinterest is full of ideas for personalized ornaments! You can press your house or apartment key into some wet clay for an "our first home" memento. You can also surprise your lover with an ornament at the very top of the tree holding a picture of you both or with an inside joke written upon it. Or you can work together to craft the perfect representation of your relationship to display on your tree.

17. Have a date night for wrapping presents and drinking hot chocolate

Turn yet another holiday-themed chore into a date night by inviting your boo over for some gift-wrapping and homemade hot chocolate. Sing along to your favorite Christmas carols or watch your favorite holiday movie as you work to make the time go by even faster.

The holiday season presents the perfect opportunity to rekindle a love connection between long-term partners. This time of year, remember that just because you've been dating for a while doesn't mean you have to put out your spark! And for all of the new lovers out there, focus less on expensive, material gifts and concentrate more on making the most of the time you have together.

Literally, so hot RN

Literally, so hot RN

8 Qualities That Still Hold Up When Looking For The 'Perfect Guy' In 2019

He hasn't come along yet, but I'll know him when I see him.

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Ah, the mythical "perfect guy." Technically, he doesn't exist.

But there are guys that seem perfect to the people who love them despite their flaws. Over the years, I've compiled a mental list of things I look for in a guy. The list has changed over the years as different things became important to me. It's probably as complex and comprehensive now as it'll ever get, but I can't be sure.

The following are in order of importance, at least for me. Here are the best qualities to look for in a man in 2019:

1. Having strong faith.

This is crucial! I'm Christian, so for me, that means if he's not a Christian, it's a dealbreaker. My morals and beliefs are very strongly linked to my faith in God, and I just can't be with someone who doesn't share that conviction. I wouldn't marry a man who's not a Christian, so why even bother dating one?

"Imagine a man so focused on God that the only reason he looked up to see you is because he heard God say, 'That's her.'"

2. Kind

This is also very important! I've liked guys in the past who had some of the other qualities I looked for I but weren't kind. A relationship without kindness is toxic. Everyone deserves someone who treats them well, but that person should treat everyone well. They shouldn't discriminate with their kindness.

3. Funny

I need a guy who can make me laugh! He also needs to be able to understand my sense of humor, which is mostly sarcasm. I find a lot of things funny: jokes, puns, memes, no matter how seemingly stupid. If you've got those, you're golden.

4. Smart

Intelligence is attractive. It's true. I want a guy who's smart but isn't conceited. He knows he knows a lot but he doesn't think he's better than everyone else. He doesn't have to be a genius. He could be really smart in one subject, or kind of smart in many subjects. I just want him to know a thing or two about a thing or two.

5. Hardworking

My guy needs to be ambitious. He needs to have goals that he works toward. He can't be lazy. I believe that it is primarily the man's duty to financially support his woman. This is most applicable in marriage, but it works in dating relationships, too. I don't want someone who is unable to provide for me. In order to do that, he needs to be able to provide for himself.

6. Cute

You knew I'd get to this! I'm not blind, after all. Trust me, I think it's important for a guy to be attractive. But it's not as important as everything listed above this. I've been told I have weird taste in guys in terms of looks. What I see as cute doesn't always line up with society's definition. The important thing is that I'm attracted to him. Physical attraction is important in a relationship. To be picky: I don't like facial hair or too much muscle. I do like chest hair and back muscles.

7. Creative

This can mean a lot of different things. He could draw, paint, write, sing, play an instrument, etc. As long as it shows that he's inclined to use the right side of his brain. I'm a writer, so I'm naturally more drawn to people who prefer creativity over logic.

8. Interested in Me

Despite being last, this is extremely important! Without this, none of the other things matter. It's just like every other crush I've ever had. Nothing different. Nothing special. While I've been able to find guys who exhibit the first seven qualities, the eighth has been much harder to come by. I've never been in a relationship, so I imagine it will be really wonderful when I eventually find someone who reciprocates my feelings.


Some people may think my standards are too high, but I refuse to lower them. I believe that God has someone out there for me who lives up to these standards and even exceeds them. I just have to be patient and trust His timing.

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The Friend You Like Romantically Doesn't Owe You Anything

The friend-zone can be escaped, but not in the way you might want
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We've all heard the story of the "friend-zone." Boy is in love with his best friend, she dates all the wrong guys and fails to notice how perfect he is, then eventually realizes how wrong she was and they live happily ever after.

I used to think that the friend-zone was a myth that lonely men created to feel better about themselves. But then I got friend-zoned myself.

Yes, it sucked, but the second I realized I had feelings for a friend (that I knew had no such feelings for me), I decided to suppress the feelings. When that wasn't enough, I cut them off for a bit, then, slowly, I felt OK. I could communicate with them without having unwanted romantic feelings pop up. I had escaped the friend-zone.

Having gone through that, I had more sympathy for someone I had to friend-zone a little while later. I had been friends with this guy for a few months. I didn't have many college friends yet and I was really lonely, so having his company really meant a lot at the time.

This caused me to not be able to see what should have been clear: he had a crush on me. When I finally made the realization, I immediately let him know that I didn't feel that way about him. He said it was OK, but I could tell it wasn't.

We didn't talk at all over the summer and when we came back for the fall semester, he would barely look at me. I had started dating his friend, which caused an even bigger rift between us.

Though I understand where he's coming from, I was also really mad at him for a long time.

It was as if he was only nice to me because he wanted romance in return. But people are not vending machines. You can't put in your "nice guy" coins and expect love, sex, or whatever the hell it is you want in return.

It hurt me to know that he only wanted romance and once that was off the table, he no longer wanted anything to do with me.

But then I thought back to the friend that had friend-zoned me. Unrequited affections really suck, especially when they're for someone that you spend a lot of time with. But the key is to work to escape it.

Yes, liking someone you're friends with and them not liking you back is a real thing, but people tend to treat the friend-zone like this mythic hell dimension that can never be escaped. But you can escape. Just maybe not in the way you'd like to.

Now there are three ways you can escape the friend-zone:

The first option is to confess your feelings and try to win them over. Now, this isn't completely unheard of. I've had friends that have dated people who had previously friend-zoned them, but it's extremely rare and risky. You have to risk your entire friendship in order to do this. If it doesn't work out, it could strain the friendship or sometimes break it beyond repair.

You can also do what my ex-friend did and completely cut the person off. If you're being a love-zombie and only doing nice things for the friend because you expect romance in return, leaving the situation might be the most healthy decision for you. I understand now that my friend might have stopped talking to me out of self-preservation. But it still hurts the people involved.

The third and final option is to just get over it. It's harsh, but it's real. Why try something you know is going to fail and cause pain to both sides? Yes, getting over crushes can be really difficult, but getting a normal friendship back rather than being stuck a love-zombie for them is worth the pain.

Whichever one you choose, just remember this: Your friends do not owe you any romantic affection. The work you put into making them happy should just come out of the goodness of your own heart. If you expect romance in return, you're not being a good friend to them. If you really care about them, don't put that kind of pressure on them. They don't want a mindless love-zombie that does their bidding for the hope that they'll get a tiny love kernel out of it. They just want a friend.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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