Wearing Whatever I Want

What I Wear Is My Choice, How Other People React To It Is Their Choice

My own parents don't tell me what I can and cannot wear -- neither can you.

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My ex-boyfriend used to get mad at me for wearing revealing clothes. We'd get into arguments all the time, especially during the summer, when it's hot and completely appropriate to wear less.

It was a constant battle of, "It's my body. I wear what I feel like wearing." It's not my fault if other guys stare or make comments. It's not going to stop me from wearing whatever I want to wear.

And no matter how many times he'd tell me he "wasn't mad at me, but mad at the guys for staring," he'd often imply that if I wasn't wearing such revealing clothes in the first place, those guys wouldn't be staring.

To this day, it still irks me that this was even an argument in the first place. Why should I have to watch what I wear because it might attract attention from other guys?

It's fairly similar to victim-blaming. Maybe if she wasn't wearing what she was wearing, right?

Wrong.

What I — what anyone — decides to put on their body is their choice. What anyone decides to do with their body is their choice. Respect that.

I still know girls who can't wear a certain article of clothing because their boyfriend told them they can't. There are also people out there who glorify this kind of thing. "It's cute because it shows that he cares."

Since when was controlling cute? How does that show that he cares about you?

What you wear is your own decision, how someone reacts to it is theirs. Wearing a crop top and high waisted shorts doesn't make you a slut. Nor does it give men the right to treat you like a piece of meat either.

My own parents don't tell me what I can and cannot wear — and neither can you.

Cover Image Credit:

Lacey_Spalding

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle: Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay.

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying. What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense. I've heard it all, "He was cute, why didn't you like him?" "You didn't even give him a chance!" "You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous; however, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do. I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well. Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

THIS IS CRUCIAL FOR FINDING A NICE GUY. It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault. If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs." Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him. If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it. He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush. Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling. :)

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Four Ways Jess & Gabriel Conte Taught Me About Relationships

Jess and Gabe, thank you for teaching me much more about love than any romance novel or television program ever could.

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1. You Don't Have To Do Anything Physical on the First Date

Honestly, with how television and films shape your knowledge on how dating in high school and college is, I am surprised there are boys in this world that know that "hooking up" and having sex isn't a requirement of the first date. Having Tinder and Bumble at the swipe of your fingertip isn't of any assistance with preventing that idea, however, you would like to think that more than two percent of the male population understandings that the physicality of a relationship isn't the entire relationship. Gabe, however, is a perfect example that there are men in the world that accept and respect that you may not want to even kiss on the first date! Coming from a girl with very little experience in the dating and romance area, I really respect and have a lot of gratitude for boys, men, like that, because I feel much more comfortable going out and building a real connection with them. I think more boys should be learning this idea.

2. Dating is Something You Do Forever

We have this idea that you "talk" to someone, you "date", and then you're official with the person and you have your titles or relationship status and move forward from there. One aspect of relationships that Jess and Gabe taught me is so important is that you date forever. We see on television shows and romance movies that two people will go on dates until they become an "official" couple, and then the date nights are rare and made for special occasions or if there is a rift in the relationship. Going out on dates and having date nights with your significant other will only build your relationship and your friendship (which is so important) and allows you to learn more about your partner to better love and understand them. I think that if you are only saving a date night for an anniversary or if there is an argument, you are going to set your relationship up to fall apart because then you are settling into behaviors that aren't going to bring you closer to your partner - you're going to stick yourself into a plateau and that is where problems arise.

3. Have Faith and Remember That God Has a Plan

Jess and Gabe have taught me a lot about my faith. College hasn't always brought me closer to my faith and my belief in God (understanding His plan for me and why things went amuck sometimes made me question my faith altogether - What was I believing in if what I tried to do and what I really wanted never happened?). It's hard to see the bigger picture when relationships and dating and sex are all around you, and your morals and desires in life don't include half of what most (or how it appears to be) boys our age want. Add your family into the mixture asking why you haven't had a boyfriend or why you don't like anyone at school, and the pressure to have a relationship now - whether the boy is a respectable one or not - is overwhelming.

Understanding all of that and every other pressure influencing my ideas on a relationship, I started searching and searching, coming up empty handed every time, and I felt really discouraged. I couldn't understand how everyone was having relationships or seeming to find a person that was the perfect fit for them, and I couldn't find a boy that would talk to me for more than a week because he learned that I wouldn't have sex with him after knowing him for all of five minutes.

Jess and Gabe taught me that God has a bigger plan for me and my life. All of these boys that I have come across, all of the ones that have been rude, or disrespectful, or not cared for me, are all one more closer to the person that will respect me and my beliefs and my wants to have in a relationship.

4. Good Men Exist, Even If They Are Few and Far Between

Peace Out,

From Caitlin (and the Conteam).

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