Welcome to my first advice column :). I’m so beyond THRILLED, over-the-moon, jumping-for-joy!!! about this and hopefully I can stick with it, because the overwhelming number of questions I got blew my mind. Thank you all for entrusting me, allowing yourself to be vulnerable, and asking for help because we all need it sometimes! Let’s get into it <3
two for love…
Q: Hi Mina! I’m 20 and I’ve never been in a relationship or even been close. Most of my friends have in one way or another. I can’t help but feel really down about it, especially as I’m in my second year of college, where all these ‘life experiences’ are meant to be happening. I often feel very left out and can’t help but ask ‘what on earth is wrong with ME that isn’t wrong with all my friends ?!’
Hey queen (gender neutral), I know how hard it is to be the only single friend and to feel like love will never come your way. I got into my first relationship after college when I was 22 and up until that moment, I thought love was just not meant for me. I would go peruse all these Reddit threads and relationship forums, commiserating with other lonely hearts. I would compare how I looked next to my friends all. the. time.
But now I’m a (little) older and I know nothing was ever wrong. And nothing’s wrong with you either! You have your entire life to live, and sometimes milestones will drop in when you least expect it. It sounds extremely cliche, but think of it this way – I’ve been with my partner for 3 years. He’s emotionally mature, a good communicator, supportive, and overall, I’m unbelievably happy! Before meeting him, I had only met crusty mattress-on-the-floor television-sitting-on-a-cardboard-box scrubs and sometimes I think, you know what… I could’ve dated one of these losers in college and I would’ve gotten that Relationship Badge on my girl scout sash… but I can’t say whether or not that experience would’ve been fulfilling in the long run. For instance, I also don’t have any preconceived relationship trauma because thankfully, I was never in a relationship with someone bad.
So, I think it’s worth considering the good things. Quality over quantity, always <3. And I know it’s so hard, but trust me, you’re not going to end up alone. If you want to feel more active in the process, try online dating through Hinge, Bumble, whatever is popular in your area! Even slide into someone’s DMs on Instagram/Twitter if you’re extra bold! Internet dating is a hit or miss and boils down to luck mostly, but you’ll at least get a sense of who’s on the market. And if all else fails, it will at least reaffirm that there are plenty of people out there who would want to date you/find you attractive. It’s just a matter of you finding the right person that you want to be with.
Q: My bf cheated on me and i just found out it has being going on for a while. Once i confronted him about it he didn’t seem to care until he found out that the girl he was cheating with also has a bf and her bf has threatened to hurt my “bf” (ex now) if i send him proof (which i do have)! I don’t want anyone getting physically hurt and my now ex has said he’d sell his entire game collection and give me the profits (over $5,000) if i don’t send the girl’s bf the proof. I feel bad because if i send the proof he’d get hurt (but he did me so dirty) and if i don’t and take the money that’s also mean bc he’s being collecting for years and that’s his favorite hobby. I feel like I’m too nice! What should i do? Should i take the money and walk away? Or just walk away altogether with no money in hand? Thanks! For context we were engaged and had been together over 2 years! And now i have to restart everything!
I am so, so sorry. This man sounds like a TOTAL dick and he deserves his comeuppance… and it WILL come for him. I’d argue it’s coming for him now, since he’s clearly psychologically tormented enough to give up his prized game collection.
For mental health reasons, even though a cash bonus would be the least he could give you for your troubles, I believe you should walk away from the situation. Think about it this way – this man has already caused you so much strife already… do you really want to stay involved in the drama? Personally, I would want my new life to start right now! If he forks over the $5,000, I think it would weigh on your conscience. Every time you looked at your bank account or spent a dollar of it, you’d be reminded of him. Of course, there’s also no guarantee that this transaction will help your ex out either – the girl might confess on her own out of guilt or the other boyfriend might just decide to beat up your ex anyway.
On the bright side, at least you won’t be marrying this man, because he’s clearly so below your level. You deserve someone who will prioritize you and at the BARE MINIMUM, not cheat. It’s hard now because the wound is still fresh, but try to focus on how this was a blessing in disguise. You’re not strapped down to this loser asshole and you have the rest of your life ahead of you! I’m sending all my love <3
one for style…
Q: Mina, you sweet dove! Because of the pandemic my aesthetic feels a little lost. Then I gave birth to my beautiful baby and a lot of my pre-covid clothes don’t fit me anymore. When I’m looking for clothes I don’t even know where to start. I want to find clothes that are kind to my continuously changing body, environmentally sensitive, and not overly expensive (willing to spend a bit on some really versatile long-term clothes). My life is a lot different than before the pandemic. I used to wear beautifully made vintage statin camisoles and blouses with utilitarian work pants. But with baby, satin isn’t very practical or comfortable. I want comfortable clothes so I can be active with baby that are still very pretty. Do you have any advice for getting started? Any activewear brands that aren’t terrible?
First of all– Congratulations Mama!
Girlfriend Collective is a crowd sustainability favorite that offers a lot of comfortable, simple loungewear/activewear in basic colors. Groceries Apparel colors their clothes with in-house vegetable-dye and Pretties sells frilly, romantic tank tops and shorts. Sleeper also makes comfortable clothes in feminine cuts – they’re on the pricier side, but I find secondhand deals all the time on TheRealReal. Sporty & Rich has loungewear with cheeky slogans if you’re looking for something even more casual.
I also would prioritize cotton, linen, or other organic fabrics because they’ll feel better on your skin and are relatively easy to clean.
My favorite casual look is actually just a fitted cotton t-shirt and a pair of jeans that flatter my shape (for me: straight legs from Levi’s). It’s a classic look, very James Dean. I was never a big jeans fan, until I discovered the treasure trove of vintage 70s denim. The 70’s in general was a time that championed the loose, relaxed silhouette that I think could work for you. Here are some of my favorite casual outfits from the era:
But overall, I think the simplest way to feel put-together is to wear matching sets + a few jewelry pieces if you can get away with the baby not gnawing on them! You don’t know how many compliments I get from just wearing black yoga pants and a matching black camisole – it’s très chic if you add a little pearl choker and put your hair up in a messy bun with a little hairclip.
Otherwise, you can still get fun with it - incorporating leg warmers, arm warmers, “subversive basics” aka basics that have fun cut-outs and details. Colorful/patterned tights are very in these days and can spice up a basic dress.
For athleisure inspo, I’d look into balletcore or 80s aerobics! I’m also a fan of Princess Diana streetstyle à la vintage oversized sweatshirt + bike shorts + sunglasses combo.
one for friendships…
Q: how do you navigate the borders of platonic and romantic love? sometimes i feel that my boundaries between them are much looser than most of my friends - i love showing affection through holding hands etc. but i think they find it awkward? any help would be much appreciated :)
I think fixating on “platonic” vs. “romantic” can sometimes feel stifling, because at the end of the day… love is love and what’s important is respecting people’s boundaries as we find ways to express that love! I have some friends who I hold hands with, some friends who I kiss on the mouth… and some friends who I don’t touch at all except for a hello/good-bye hug, because I know that’s what they’re comfortable with. The best way to navigate this is to have conversations! Ask each friend individually what their boundaries are and clarify how you like to show affection and what it means for you. E.g. “I just want to check in and ask how you feel about hand-holding. I like to hold hands with my friends, that’s how I show my love, but I want to make sure you’re comfortable with that.”
Sometimes people are uncomfortable by physical touch – that’s okay! Sometimes people love to receive it, but don’t know how to give it themselves – that’s also okay! Human relations are so complex and messy, and should be individually tailored per person you’re involved with, romantically AND platonically, so just chat <3.
Something my close friends and I do is actually discuss our love languages so we can make sure to show love to each other in the way that each person wants.
Thank you all for writing in! If you have a question that’s racking your brain, you can always write into the submission form here.