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This Is the End of ‘It’s Complicated.’ We Can Still Be Friends, Right?

It's not you, we promise.

Listen, we need to talk. When we started this thing, we made some promises: We told you we'd laugh, we'd share some advice, and we'd figure out what the kids are really up to these days. And we did! We had so many great times: We improved our vocabulary, we mixed things up in the bedroom, and we got some answers from the stars. Along the way we took a few trips, we contemplated bad decisions, big life choices, and the road not taken. But you knew from the beginning that we came with an expiration date. We could try taking a break, sure, but it'll probably just prolong the inevitable. Hey, hey, don't cry. It could be so much worse — at least we don't have property to divide. Breaking up will always be rough: Some people choke on chicken, some have to join support groups, some even steal your sex toys. But we know you'll bounce back in no time — whether it's with a co-worker, a bartender, or at one of these amazing spas. Let's really keep in touch, though, okay? Thank you for everything, truly. It's been real.

15 Amazing Personal Ads From the ’90s, Presented With Commentary

Can the post-teenybopper prattle; let's talk turkey.

Before everything became digital and Tinder-ized, personal ads were a way of telling the world beyond your immediate social group that you were single and looking to mingle or perhaps even settle down. For many years, such ads ran in the back of magazines like New York, where they were collected in a column called "Strictly Personals," written and paid for by folks on the lookout for love. In those analog days, you had to call a 1-900 number to "hear the voice behind the ad," after entering the four-number code at the end of their listing. You could also send a handwritten letter of response (and photo) to a P.O. box; the recipient would decide what to do with you after reading your note and gazing upon your studly/sultry visage. (So many more steps than swiping left or right!)

Must be over 5'10" and know who Neil Young is. »
  • 12/12/14 at 1:00 PM
  • Diets

I Ate Only Aphrodisiacs for an Entire Day

Who doesn’t want more romance in their food?

For many years, people have been eating aphrodisiac foods in order to experience heightened forms of love. How do I know this? Because I saw a slideshow about it on the website of Reader's Digest“19 Aphrodisiac Foods Proven to Spark Romance.”

I am a person who loves slideshows. It’s such a great way to show a dramatic list of different objects. In my career as a journalist (!?), I have made many slideshows. I even made one called “Presidents Who Have Pet Rats: A Slideshow,” and it only had two slides! (The comments on it were all from rat owners.)

I am also a person who has always been intrigued by aphrodisiac foods. What are they? I literally didn’t know until I read a slideshow. Once I did, however, I realized that I loved them. Who doesn’t want more romance in their food? We should all be on a diet of only aphrodisiacs.

I realize halfway through dinner that perhaps the aphrodisiacs are working. »

After Getting Divorced, Men Get Fat

Dudes who eat their feelings.

Marriage makes people fat: This is an unfortunate epidemiological truth confirmed by study after study. But so does divorce, Ohio State University sociologists reported in 2011, and that's especially true for men. The researchers analyzed data from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979, tracking more than 10,000 individuals in the two years following a marriage or divorce. They found that men were 63 percent more likely to gain weight after getting divorced, when compared to the men who had stayed married; women's chances of post-divorce weight gain, however, were about half that. It's a reminder that marriage is associated with all kinds of health advantages for men, while divorce seems to take an especially hard toll on men in terms of health. Their risk of heart attack, stroke, and suicide increases after a marriage ends, research has shown, as does, apparently, their risk of eating their feelings.

I Love Men, But I’m Thinking of Having a Baby Without One

Sex and the single girl in the time of the ticking clock.

On the best days of my life, and the cruelest hours of the night, I have always had an inner-meditation: I am excited about the future. However, this summer, when I turned 37, while licking the wounds of yet another rough breakup, my mantra didn't seem to be working. I suddenly felt a lot less poised about the one thing that had always mattered most: motherhood. Nothing could change the fact that I would never be a young mom like my own — one of the million things I worshipped about her and had hoped to emulate; but, much more disturbing, as I took a relationship inventory I realized that as my longing for motherhood had grown over the years, my taste in men had apparently gone way off-script. None of my boyfriends had ever wanted children, or wanted children with me; they were often children themselves, or did not safely belong anywhere near innocence.

"I convinced myself that wanting kids ruined everything ..." »

25 Love Songs to Soundtrack Your Breakup

Sads, from Dum Dum Girls to Whitney Houston.

Sure, the majority of pop hits are about love troubles. But when I started remembering the music that got me through being dumped, I realized it wasn't necessarily about heartache at all. In high school, this ridiculous Eurodance track one dude had introduced me to soothed the self-pity, and after a guy I dated in college disappeared, the catchy, feel-good Devendra Banhart number we'd sung along to once played on repeat.

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Never Date a Writer. You’ll End Up As Material.

Which isn't as flattering as it sounds.

More than five years had passed since Sam and I had last seen each other when he sent me an email with the subject line: "IMPORTANT." The email was sent to my work address. It was terse but portentous. "You might be in a position to help me," he wrote, "so I’m sending you this." Attached to the email was a manuscript. A novel.

I was a character, a central one. I had been given a pseudonym (as I am giving him here), and there were some elements of other women — fictional or real, I wasn’t sure — that had been grafted on. But there were also features that were unmistakably mine. The pseudonym he’d given me was more of an inside joke than a disguise. 

He’d turned me into both some kind of idol and a nag. »

4 Funny New Web Series About Dating to Watch Now

Jeans in bed, silent coffee shops, and a whole lot more dating-inspired hilarity.

As pretty much anyone with any in-the-field experience with modern dating can tell you, it doesn’t take long for encounters with romantic potential to turn into unbelievable comedy. As such, it’s no surprise that many up-and-coming comedians, actors, and directors have taken to mining their own dating experiences for new web series — à la Local Attraction, Connor Hines’s wildly popular and hilarious miniseries about Tinder disasters. From whispering in silent coffee shops to suffering while single during the holidays, here are four funny new web series about dating, perfect for binge-watching in bed on nights when you can’t muster the strength to get out there yourself.

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Both Sides of a Breakup: First Comes Pregnancy, Then Comes Cocaine

Everything was perfect until his addiction showed up.

Damian was a fun-loving Wall Streeter married to pretty and pregnant Michelle, until a line of coke and a tiny demon inside took hold and infected everything they cared about. This is their story.

MICHELLE: Damian and I had an excellent marriage. There was a lot of love, trust, romance, and laughter. No one ever would have predicted what happened to us.

DAMIAN: There was a line recently in The Affair, where the guy says, "When people say they hate being married, it must be because they chose the wrong wife." I chose the right wife. And I loved being married to her.

"What was the proper punishment for him?" »

Diary of a 20-Year-Old Breakup Procrastinator

A fictional account of a very real phenomenon.

Breakups aren't typically the times we show our best selves. But in my personal experience, the lead-up to a breakup can be just as bad. Very few people realize something isn’t working and dump their partner that minute; they sit on it for a bit. Some people — like me, for most of my 20s — would sit on it for as long as possible (once, spending almost an entire relationship in a state of wanting to break up). It undoubtedly sucked for everyone involved.

What follows isn’t a real excerpt from my diary, but a fictionalized version of how bad it can get.

We were eating at my favorite local and she didn't like her scallops. »

I Rebounded From My Boyfriend With 4 Women

In praise of the post-breakup friendship.

The whole thing went down in a way that was so awful and banal, it could only have happened in New York on a Monday. When I woke up, I was part of a couple, as I had been for years; by the time I went to bed, I was not. Not that I actually made it to bed. I never got past the couch, where I spent the night weeping and drinking vodka out of a mug and quietly reciting lines from “Landslide” to myself, while he went to sleep at his best friend’s place. 

A few months later, everything was new. New studio apartment, new subway stop, new insides (bruised and scooped-out most days, jittery the rest). I also had a new project: remaking my social life. When you’re in a couple, you never need to work to get your communing-with-other-humans fix. Coupled life comes with a built-in social pulse, a baseline rhythm of meals, movie nights, and joint trips to the grocery store. I did discover the greedy pleasure of dinner alone at the bar, particularly when the restaurant was crowded and the novel freshly purchased. But I’ve never really been a solo bird. I’m one of those only children who are destined to spend their lives seeking teams to join to compensate for the siblings we never got to take car trips to Disneyland with. I shifted my natural extroversion into overdrive. I hosted parties and went to parties and asked everyone I knew and liked in New York City to brunch at least once.

The formation of Single Lady Voltron. »
  • 12/10/14 at 1:00 PM
  • Diary

I Tried to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. Here’s What Happened.

It's not always like it is in the movies.

When I agreed to sabotage my shallow desert grave of a personal life by re-creating the morally reprehensible antics of characters played by Matthew McConaughey and Kate Hudson in the vaunted Robert Evans picture How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, I had not seen the film since 2004, when I was extremely drunk on an airplane. It's basically this: A writer named Andie Anderson thinks she is too good for women's service journalism. Instead, she wants to write a column about civil unrest in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan for the Cosmopolitan-esque magazine where she works, which is ridiculous. To please her editor, she accepts a creepy, nonsensical assignment: to lose a potential romantic partner in less than a fortnight by doing all of the awful things women typically do to make men flee from us. Did you hear that? That's the foghorn I blow when I want to signify that something very meta is afoot.

Clearly this is not the first time a woman has tried to lose this guy in ten days. »

Sleeping Up: Why I Had an Affair With My Female Boss

A cautionary tale.

In those first few weeks after moving to Chicago, when part of me already knew I was going to end up sleeping with my married boss, I tried to distract myself by walking around the city. I didn't have a car, or a license, or even an idea, really, of why I'd moved there, except for a job. So I walked across a lot of bridges and ended up in a lot of bars. Every booth was filled with another season's hopeful fans, the waitresses saying: "Don't count on it, but what're you having?"

I’d spent the past few years in New York at an office with a Jaegermeister slushy machine, a bumper pool table, and a rug that was woven to resemble the editor’s face. But in Chicago, my office was staffed by adults who had mortgages and commutes, children and failed marriages. The accounts director was dating the manager of a sports team. The sales rep, I’d heard, had lost a spouse to a mysterious accident. And my boss, she had an estranged husband and had been working there for over a decade. I guess you could say it was like starting to watch Friends in the fifth season: You don’t know the characters, but they all have backstories, and they’ve all slept together. And one of them used to have a monkey. But of course, it was more complicated than that.

"When you’re a man, and you sleep with your boss, you’re checking off a fantasy..." »

What It’s Like to Be a 58-Year-Old Virgin

Years and years of loneliness.

Such statistics are notoriously slippery, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventionthe average American loses their virginity at age 17 (here, virginity is defined in heterosexual terms as penetrative vaginal intercourse). But there are those who hold out, making it to old age without ever having “done the deed” — while it’s dangerous to imply that there’s a “normal” age for first sex, therapists generally agree that you’re a "mature-aged virgin" if you haven’t had penetrative sex by age 30. Rumor has it that Nikola Tesla and Isaac Newton were members of this club (Tesla apparently believed such hedonism would distract him from his work), and if he doesn't get married soon, the famously virginal-for-religious-reasons Tim Tebow will also become a member in a few years.

Read More »

The Old Person’s Guide to Sexting Like a Teen

Take out that mobile device and GYPO.

Whoa! Have you heard of this sexting thing that's so popular with kids these days? It's a message containing sexual content that is transmitted from one cellular device to another. Sometimes sexts are sent by people who are actually having lots of sex — but most often not. Now, olds, you may know all about the birds and the bees, but that doesn't mean you know how to compose an effective sext. CNN, of all places, wants to make sure you're all up on it, so they've published an extensive glossary of fun and sexy acronyms teens are using to initiate sextual exchanges. Let's dive in. 

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Find Your Happy Place in the Shower

Hot, but not bothered.

A shower is no longer just a shower when the calming fragrances of chamomile and neroli play a leading role. With Smith & Vandiver's De-Stress Spa Shower Tablets, the basic shower becomes an elevated aromatherapeutic experience. Placed on the tub floor, the tablets deliver a steady stream of soothing scents before disintegrating after about five oh so relaxing sessions. It's a calming and Zen way to end the day, and the perfect excuse to switch to a nighttime bathing routine.

Smith & Vandiver De-Stress Spa Shower Tablets, $7.50 at Drugstore.com.

Must We Call It a ‘Serious’ Relationship?

What's wrong with good, nice, fun, or even solid?

Each week on It's Complicated, we'll be helping ourselves improve our couplings by looking into the linguistics of romance.

I can't even count how many times it's happened in a lifetime of dating. I'll be catching up with friends over drinks, or maybe home for the holidays, seated around a dinner table, and someone will ask, "So, what's happening with your love life?" Maybe I'll grimace and stab the turkey or maybe I'll smile and say, "Actually, I've met someone really great." Nine times out of ten, the response will be something along the lines of: "Oh, is it serious?"

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Accept It, the #FirstDateSelfie Is Kind of Sweet

Digital documentation is the new souvenir.

L'Oreal Thompson Payton, 27, took a #firstdateselfie back in 2011, before hashtags were even a thing. She wanted to document a first date at the Pittsburgh Zoo, but since no one was around to hold the camera, the couple took the picture on her point-and-shoot camera. She recently shared it in an Instagram countdown to her wedding. “It’s something we’ll show our future kids,” said Jeff Payton, who takes up half the frame of a photo that they call a favorite.

Read More »

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.