More

This guy's response to his friends pressuring him to date is on point.

Love being single? Don't let anyone talk you out of it.

This guy's response to his friends pressuring him to date is on point.

When it comes to romance, I've been through just about every page in the book.

I've stayed in happy, long-term cohabiting partnerships that lasted years. I've had summer flings, one-night hookups, and long periods of serene solitude.

Each one of these experiences has been fun, fulfilling, and meaningful — solitude included.


When I say “solitude,” I don’t necessarily mean turning off my phone and escaping to a cottage in the mountains — though I’ve done that, too, and it can be wonderfully refreshing.

Photo via iStock.

What I’m talking about here is the simple choice to live a life free of romantic encumbrances, for as long as you want.

Everything in our culture screams out against singlehood, and it can be really frustrating.

Before we’re even old enough to understand what romantic love is, we’re bombarded with the idea that everyone has a soul mate just waiting to be discovered. Even as our friends reassure us that it’s important to be a healthy, self-contained person on one’s own, it’s never long before they’re asking: “So ... are you seeing anyone? What about that one guy or girl?”

We can’t avoid the stereotypes: the “crazy cat lady,” the “40-year-old virgin,” hinting that we can never be truly happy without That Special Someone to complete us.

And that’s just the pressure on the long-term romance level, too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten incredulous looks from certain male friends when I say I have no interest in grinding up on that cute girl across the club. Yes, I can see she’s attractive. If I met her at a party, I might ask her to join me for a cup of coffee. We might hit it off. We might have great sexual chemistry and fall totally in love and move in together. Or we might not.

Photo via iStock.

But none of that makes a lick of difference to me right now because at this moment I am here to get loose on the floor — so leave me alone and let me dance.

Don’t get me wrong. Dates can be fun sometimes. But right now, I don’t want to spend 20 hours a week micromanaging my personal brand on dating websites.

I already have a full-time job. Managing a dating profile feels like tweaking marketing copy and handling a brand’s social media conversations (which is pretty much exactly what it is). You know what I’d rather spend my free time doing? Almost literally anything else.

I don’t want to meet hot, sexy singles in my area. I don’t want to booty-call a complete stranger. I don’t want to have lame hookup sex where the communication is terrible and we keep trying and failing to get the rhythm right, and then afterward we talk awkwardly only to realize we don’t have any interest in each other as human beings.

If that’s what you love, then more power to you. I really mean that. It’s your world, baby.

And for all I know, tomorrow I might make eye contact with a stranger on the street, get swept completely off my feet, and return to the Couple Zone full time. It’s not likely, but hey, quantum physics tells us there’s a theoretical possibility of anything happening at any time. I’m always open to new experiences.

But if you DON’T want to be in a relationship right now, then know that someone else is on your team.

Be proud of that choice! Own it. It’s yours.

Photo via iStock.

If you don't feel like having a one-night stand, don't. If you don’t feel like making a move on that cute guy or girl in the club, don’t. If you don’t want to spend time filling out a dating profile and swiping left and right for hour after hour — you guessed it: don’t. And be proud that you didn’t.

Don’t let your friends, or your culture, or anyone else tell you what you want. You’re the only person who knows. And if what you truly want is to be single right now, that’s damn awesome.

Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
True

This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

Keep Reading Show less

The Schmidt family's Halloween photoshoot has become an annual tradition.

Two of Patti Schmidt's three sons were already well into adulthood when her daughter Avery was born, and the third wasn't far behind them. Avery, now 5, has never had the pleasure of close-in-age sibling squabbles or gigglefests, since Larry, Patrick, and Gavin are 28, 26, and 22, respectively—but that doesn't mean they don't bond as a family.

According to People.com, Patti calls her sons home to Point Pleasant, New Jersey, every fall for a special Halloween photoshoot with Avery. And the results are nothing short of epic.

The Schmidt family started the tradition in 2017 with the boys dressing as the tinman, the scarecrow, and the cowardly lion from "The Wizard of Oz." Avery, just a toddler at the time, was dressed as Dorothy, complete with adorable little ruby slippers.

The following year, the boys were Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Chewbacca, and Avery was (of course) Princess Leia.

In 2019, they did a "Game of Thrones" theme. ("My husband and I were binge-watching (Game of Thrones), and I thought the boys as dragons would be so funny," Schmidt told TODAY.)

In 2020, they went as Princess Buttercup, Westley, Inigo Montoya, and Fezzik from "The Princess Bride."

Patti shared a video montage of each year's costume shoot—with accompanying soundtracks—on Instagram and TikTok. Watch:

Keep Reading Show less
True

When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."