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Pop Culture

Writer causes stir claiming that 'intertwined' and 'paw' hand-holding mean different things

One means you're passionate about each other. The other, not so much.

eli rallo, taylor swift, travis kelce

Eli Rallo has some thoughts about how Taylor Swift and travis Kelce hold hands.

When two people in a romantic relationship hold hands out in public, it symbolizes their connection to one another and shows the general public they are an item. “It feels good to hold hands with someone we know because it’s all about wanting to be close to them,” Toni Coleman, LCSW, a psychotherapist and relationship coach, told Women’s Health.

As with kissing and hugging, “research shows that touch, like holding hands, releases oxytocin, a neurotransmitter that gives you that feel-good buzz,” Coleman added.

However, according to writer and social media influencer Eli Rallo, hand-holding can mean many different things depending on how you do it. She used a recent photo of musician Taylor Swift and her new beau, football player Travis Kelce of the Kansas City Chiefs, to demonstrate her point.


The couple was recently spotted in public with a tight interlocking grip. “I just want to make something abundantly clear: [intertwined finger hand holding] is something very different to [paw hand holding],” Rallo said.

Warning: Video contains mildly adult subject matter.

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@elirallo

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“[Intertwined] is giving ‘last night we said I love you for the first time now we can’t stop saying it,’ ‘we can’t keep our hands off each other,’ ‘we have both mutually agreed this is the greatest lay of our lives,’” Rallo continued.

“[Paw] is we hate each other, but we are still together because it is convenient.”

Rallo then went on to show some photos of Swift holding hands with different men, noting that she had an interlocking grip with her former boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal. “This leads me to believe two things, and this is a working thesis,” she continued. “Number one, hot men are always going to hold hands [with interlocked fingers]. Number two, men who are good in bed are always going to hold hands [with interlocked fingers]."

“You should never settle for one of these paw things,” she concluded.

Commenters on the video weren’t entirely on the same page with Rallo. Many say they choose the paw grip with their partners, not because of the lack of passion in their relationship but because it’s more comfortable.

"Intertwined fingers is awkward," Keetinamobina wrote. "Sometimes the intertwined fingers thing is painful for some of us," JSainte17 added.

While Tay noted that whether she “waffles” or pancakes” has to do with her relationship status. "I called interlocked hands waffle and the other one pancake—I must be waffled at all times—but if I’m mad, I pancake," she wrote.

Even though Rallo got mixed reviews in the comments, body language experts agree with her.

Celebrity body language expert Karen Donaldson told Women’s Health that the interlocking grip symbolizes a heightened desire to be and stay connected. “This is a display of a strong and deep bond in the relationship,” Donaldson said.

Those who enjoy the firm “but not interlaced” palm-to-palm action may have feelings for one another that are less intense or unequal. “Depending on where you are in your relationship, this handhold style could be a protective grip. But most likely, the person doing the tighter hold is the dominant one in the relationship and is aiming to take charge,” says Donaldson.

“Or, if it’s a newer relationship, the couple may be finding a way to stay connected because they aren’t yet ready to interlace fingers,” movement pattern analyst Alison Henderson added.

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From political science to joining the fight against cancer: How one woman found her passion

An unexpected pivot to project management expanded Krystal Brady's idea of what it means to make a positive impact.

Krystal Brady/PMI

Krystal Brady utilizes her project management skills to help advance cancer research and advocacy.

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Cancer impacts nearly everyone’s life in one way or another, and thankfully, we’re learning more about treatment and prevention every day. Individuals and organizations dedicated to fighting cancer and promising research from scientists are often front and center, but we don’t always see the people working behind the scenes to make the fight possible.

People like Krystal Brady.

While studying political science in college, Brady envisioned her future self in public office. She never dreamed she’d build a successful career in the world of oncology, helping cancer researchers, doctors and advocates continue battling cancer, but more efficiently.

Brady’s journey to oncology began with a seasonal job at a small publishing company, which helped pay for college and awakened her love for managing projects. Now, 15 years later, she’s serving as director of digital experience and strategy at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), which she describes as “the perfect place to pair my love of project management and desire to make positive change in the world.”

As a project manager, Brady helps make big ideas for the improvement of diagnosing and treating cancer a reality. She is responsible for driving the critical projects that impact the lives of cancer researchers, doctors, and patients.

“I tell people that my job is part toolbox, part glue,” says Brady. “Being a project manager means being responsible for understanding the details of a project, knowing what tools or resources you need to execute the project, and facilitating the flow of that work to the best outcome possible. That means promoting communication, partnership, and ownership among the team for the project.”

At its heart, Brady’s project management work is about helping people. One of the big projects Brady is currently working on is ASCO’s digital transformation, which includes upgrading systems and applications to help streamline and personalize oncologists’ online experience so they can access the right resources more quickly. Whether you are managing humans or machines, there’s an extraordinary need for workers with the skillset to harness new technology and solve problems.

The digital transformation project also includes preparing for the use of emerging technologies such as generative AI to help them in their research and practices.

“Most importantly, it lays the groundwork for us to make a meaningful impact at the point of care, giving the oncologist and patient the absolute latest recommendations or guidelines for care for that specific patient or case, allowing the doctor to spend more time with their patients and less time on paperwork,” Brady says.

In today’s fast-changing, quickly advancing world, project management is perhaps more valuable than ever. After discovering her love for it, Brady earned her Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification through Project Management Institute (PMI)—the premier professional organization for project managers with chapters all over the world—which she says gave her an edge over other candidates when she applied for her job at ASCO.

“The knowledge I gained in preparing for the PMP exam serves me every day in my role,” Brady says. “What I did not expect and have truly come to value is the PMI network as well – finding like-minded individuals, opportunities for continuous learning, and the ability to volunteer and give back.”

PMI’s growing community – including more than 300 chapters globally – serves as a place for project managers and individuals who use project management skills to learn and grow through events, online resources, and certification programs.

While people often think of project management in the context of corporate careers, all industries and organizations need project managers, making it a great career for those who want to elevate our world through non-profits or other service-oriented fields.

“Project management makes a difference by focusing on efficiency and outcomes, making us all a little better at what we do,” says Brady. “In almost every industry, understanding how to do our work more effectively and efficiently means more value to our customers, and the world at large, at an increased pace.”

Project management is also a stable career path in high demand as shown by PMI research, which found that the global economy will need 25 million more project managers by 2030 and that the median salary for project managers in the US has grown to $120K.

If you’d like to learn more about careers in project management, PMI has resources to help you get started or prove your proficiency, including its entry-level Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification program. For those interested in pursuing a project management career to make a difference, it could be your first step.


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