A Girl’s Guide to Dating on Tinder in 2018

Hey guys! I know I’ve been a little MIA lately, but college has been fun, eventful and everything under the sun! The need to blog and share with all of you has been eating at me and, quite frankly for the past couple of weeks, I was going through a major writers block. But I’m back and I’m ready to share with you guys!

So remember how awhile back I was on tinder for like 4 days and didn’t like it and then lived to tell the tale?

Well, let’s just say I’m back on tinder, but with a couple of cool new insights:

  • What I learned from the first time around.
  • How I gained clarity on the hook up culture.
  • Once I defined what I wanted, it became easier to meet people and have interesting conversations
  • Sometimes people aren’t all that and a bag of chips and I’ll tell you why.

LETS GET STARTED!

What I learned from the first time around

So I learned that Tinder is fun and all, but I wouldn’t completely bank on it as my primary source of meeting people. Like I’ve said before, I’m in this new chapter of my life where I’m still in the process of meeting new people, whether that be people in my classes or just people I meet in the club that I just joined. The thing is, there’s always going to be someone new that I meet every once in a while and that’s pretty cool.

For tinder and all other dating apps like it, you need to be able to find a quality about yourself and basically, market that to your intended group, whether that be guys, girls or even both! What is it that you are looking for in a person, what is it that they would want to know about you?  All of this is a matter of putting yourself out there and making yourself more approachable.

For example on my profile, I made the choice to not really write about myself. What I do instead is I have a really short, sweet and to-the-point bio, “Classy, never trashy, just a bit sassy💁🏽‍✨♀️” . Sassy is a quality that I would want to market to my intended group because who doesn’t like a girl who is quick, witty and Latina?

Another thing that I learned is this: Presentation is everything. So for all the photos I have up on the app, they’re photos that are definitely some of my best ones.

When you want to market to your intended group, you want to pick photos where it captures your genuine self.

For example, If you like being out with friends and having a good time, put up a cute photo of you with a drink. Make sure you make known who you are by putting up some photos of just yourself, followed by a couple of photos that capture you in action with friends.

What I would suggest is ask a really good friend to give you their opinion on what your best photos are.

Here are some of the photos that I have up on my profile as of right now:

 

A couple of these photos capture my sassy side, but the others capture my real self.

That being said, just be yourself on the app and don’t say something that’s out of your realm of knowledge. By that, I mean don’t use words or phrases you don’t know or mean, because that’s where communication and everything else in between gets a little messy. Be clear, say what you mean and mean what you say. And please, please, please do not do anything that is against your morals.

other important things to note:

  • Please, please, please meet up with the person at a public place
  • Stalk their social media and make sure they’re the real deal
  • Always carry pepper spray on you
  • Always let 2-3 people know where you are going to be.

Take precaution, loves!!!

How I gained clarity on the hook up culture

One day, I was walking up the stairs to get to one of my classes and I remember thinking about the reasons why I don’t see that many people my age, in relationships.

And it kinda just, hit me: College students, like myself, don’t really have time to give to another person, because of work, family obligations, school and/or other obligations whether that be to their clubs or fraternities and sororities. I mean we’re all working towards becoming better versions of ourselves, that’s not a bad thing. Not wanting a relationship right now or for the time being, is also not a bad thing either. What’s more is that some of us, don’t have the energy to devote ourselves to just one person for a period of time. And that’s okay too! We are young, for crying out loud! We don’t have it all together because we’re just starting out.

So I realized that the reason why there’s hook-up culture is because, well for lack of better words, we sometimes need to let off steam. We want all the physical components of a relationship, even if it is for a little bit, but not the emotional component. If you want to go down the casual route with someone, then tinder is your place. If after reading this you wouldn’t consider going down the casual route, then that’s fine too, but don’t judge people who choose the casual route for themselves. People can do what they want with their bodies, just as long as they’re okay with it and is within reason.

Once I defined what I wanted, it became easier to meet people and to have interesting conversations

The main question that’s asked on these dating sites is: What are you looking for on here? 

Your answer could vary. Maybe you’re looking for a strictly no strings attached type of thing. Maybe you want a relationship. Maybe you’re just testing the waters. All are fine answers, but keep in mind that you need to be vocal and honest with yourself and with the person you’re talking to.

Whenever I’m asked that question I always respond with “I’m just here to meet new people and seeing where it goes”

That response could go one of two ways:

  • I could be looking for something casual

or

  • I could just be looking for a relationship.

I leave that up to anyone’s interpretation. At the very least, I know what I want.

Once I was able to vocalize that, it made matching and talking with people easier because I know what I want. People like it when they’re around someone who knows what they want. I was able to eliminate the baseless conversations and actually have a chance to talk to people with substance.

Sometimes people aren’t all that and a bag of chips and I’ll tell you why

So on the app, I’ve come across some pretty douchey people. It’s not that they’re a flat out dick to me, but they have that douche aesthetic. Don’t waste your time on these kinds of people.

I just find it funny that they think that by just slinging around cockiness about them, they’re destined to get laid. Yeah, not happening with me.

So here are a couple of examples

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In this first photo, there’s no greeting, no compliments on my photos, just a humble brag about what this person says they are… I don’t know about y’all, but I was told to laugh at anyone who says they’re nine inches. MOVING ONNN…

 

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I decided to pull out the sassy card on this one and then this person proceeded to ask me for my snapchat. I used to give out my snapchat freely, but I feel that if you’re just talking for the first time, it’s best to go by phone number. Since tinder doesn’t allow you to send photos, I see the need in resorting to other means of sending photos and/or videos. But  the last thing anyone wants are unsolicited nudes…

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This one’s actually pretty clever… until I received another message with that same pick up line. I talked to them for a bit, but like I said before, I’d rather talk to someone who has substance to them, not someone who just wants to send nudes and text me whenever they feel like it.

Granted, I’ve had some pretty good conversations with some people on here. I hope this helps y’all and educates you on the do’s and don’ts of meeting online. If you have things that I haven’t mentioned here, feel free to drop a comment below!

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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Trusting The Process

Sometimes, I wonder what my life would’ve been like if I hadn’t gone to community college, if I stuck it out all 4 years at the same 4 year institution… I think about things like that a lot and quite frankly my life would be so much more different than it is right now.

Things happen for a reason and, quite frankly, we just don’t know why. We know it’s a series of things that lead up to it, but even that, we don’t even know why it happened. But in a way, I’m thankful and happy for where life has lead me.

In fact, there’s a quote that says:

“Life has a funny way of working out, just when you start to believe it never will”

In the beginning of my college journey, I remember transitioning from the out-of-state school and thinking “well shit, what now?”

But I started to see that life is crazy. It comes complete with its twists and turns. Essentially, what I learned was this: things are bound to get shitty before they get better.

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and that’s totally okay! That’s when you know you’re growing. A lot of times growth happens in your shittiest situations, those situations are a test to see if you’re willing to continue pressing forward. Your situation might not get better overnight, but over time you’ll see that it’ll help you see things in a different light.

I remember reuniting with my friends from Canada, this past Labor Day weekend, and just telling them a little bit about my college journey and one of them left me with a really simple phrase, it being: “life happened”

Yeah, life happened when I left my 4 year institution, maybe it was through fault of not knowing how to adapt to the dorm life or whatever the case was. Granted, I learned from then on, that at that point, I wasn’t ready to leave home.

Life happened, but I managed to get back up and learn from those mistakes. I realized that even though I’m a year behind in school, it allows me to have a little more insight on dorming and moving in that I could give to people transferring out and moving far from home.

I’ve been able to flip a negative to a positive.

As many of you have read in my previous post about my convoluted journey, my journey has been taken in stride. I’ve learned the value of an education, especially mine, that it’s a value worth struggling for. Unfortunately, I learned that the hard way, it took me going out of state to a school to coming to a community college to finally getting re-integrated into another 4-year university, to realize that I needed to put success at the forefront of my mindset. Wherever that may be.

I’m thankful that this whole thing happened because had it not happened, I wouldn’t have met the amazing people that I have had the pleasure of crossing paths with.

and for a while I thought that if I hadn’t gone to a 4- year university, that I would be missing out on a ton of worthwhile experiences, like studying abroad in a foreign country. But GUESS WHAT?!?!

I did that, I experienced that with an amazing group of people who came from different parts of the world to congregate in a town down under! HOW COOL IS THAT?!

The bottom line is, I thought I was going to miss out on a lot of things because I had gone off-course, with being a year behind and all, but I didn’t. I’m just moving through life at the pace that God and the Universe have set for me.

I can’t speed up this pace, because a) what’s the fun in doing that? and b) I prefer to enjoy life, just as it is.

Things happen for a reason, but that doesn’t mean we should get discouraged and give up when things get hard. We pick up from where we left off and press on. So just because life isn’t going the way you want it to, right now, doesn’t mean that it’ll always stay that way. Things change, people change and time doesn’t stop. Each person is on a path that is so different and at their own pace.

The twenties are a weird age, like there are people who are already married-with children, working, or just going to school and lemme tell ya… THAT’S ALRIGHT. Like I said before, people are going at their own pace in life. With that being said, here’s my advice to you!

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So relax, take a sip of positiviTEA and rest on the hope that things will get better.

Sending loads of love and light your way,

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Cycles and Patterns

In life, we’re always in patterns we can’t shake, cycles we can’t break and it’s like Charlie Puth says in his song, “The Way I am”:

I’mma tell ’em all
I’mma tell ’em all that you could either hate me or love me
But that’s just the way I am… 

I get that and I totally feel the same way, but sometimes there are things we should learn for the better. If anything, what I’m trying to get at with this post, is that it is possible to break unfathomable cycles and learn a different approach to things we swear we don’t do.

So when I talk about cycles, I mean relationship cycles. About a couple of nights ago, I dug up my old journals from high school and some keepsakes. In a startling discovery, I noticed that a lot of the things that I went through in my adolescence has been an interesting cycle, that it was so telling of the situation I was in recently (more on that here).

Upon making this discovery, I was perplexed and shocked that I didn’t realize this sooner. Now I’m not going to go into too much detail here, but I do feel like these experiences that I have had with my relationships really helped me to grow, to learn from myself and from the people involved.  The thing with this cycle, however, was that some part of me felt that it was my fault that these relationships ended, that there was something I wasn’t doing. As I read and reflected on these experiences, I realized that I did all I could in a given situation: I communicated how I was feeling, I tried making the relationships work, etc. In the end, I realized, the problem wasn’t me, it was them.

I also noticed that for a while, that I was pretty lenient and gave out second chances like it was candy. As strong as I portray myself on here, I have been really lenient when it comes down to relationships, because I simply believe in the phrase:

“If you love something, let it go. If it comes back, it’s meant to stay” or something to that effect.

But I guess what I’m trying to say is, there are exceptions to that phrase. What if the person you loved was someone who only comes into your life only when he/she/they feel like it?

I’ve realized, that that is not love. The way I see it, they’ve either loved you or they love you and are willing to be better the next time around. But keep in mind that not everyone gets a second chance, so even if you do think they’re better, but you don’t feel right about the person, you’re not obligated to give them a second chance.

The tough thing is though, there is no way to tell if said person is going to make a positive impact in your life.

You. Just. Don’t. Know.

Sometimes it’s better to rely on that, than on something that you’re so sure of happening (with little basis of knowing).

And I learned that, it’s okay to say that I’m not ready for another person to come into my life. It’s okay to say, after finding all of this out, that I still have a lot to learn about myself.

So far I’ve noticed that in a relationship: I’m the kind of person who will give you the literal time of day. If I fall for you, I fall hard. I’m broke half the time, but if I see something that makes me think of you, I’m buying it for you. Going on an adventure? No problem, I’ll bring blankets, my phone charger, and my camera. Essentially, I try to go the extra mile for those that I love.

But like I said before, I’m a work in progress. There’s still a huge chunk of my life that I want to experience that doesn’t involve a significant other, for the time being.

Why It Matters…

So you’re probably reading this and thinking, “what’s this gotta do with me?”

IT HAS EVERYTHING TO DO WITH YOU. I mean, if you think about it, each and everyone of you reading this probably has a cycle, a pattern that you need to break. Whether it’s letting too many negative people into your life or pushing away the people you really care about, this isn’t just about you. It’s about you and the cycles that you engage in, subconsciously. A lot of times, it’s really hard to break something that is so common to your everyday being.

We pick up ways in how we react to things, because it’s so essential to us. It’s a coping mechanism, so that we have expectations going into a situation and the same outcomes from it.  To take it a step further, it makes us feel immune to getting hurt.

We don’t even think about the cycles that we engage in until someone tells us about it or in my case, stumble upon it while reading and reminiscing the fast times at high school.

It’s all about unlearning a thing that is so deeply rooted into the way that we are. It’s hard, but I promise you, it’ll be worth it.

The more you are able to re-evaluate something, the more you are able to grow and become a better person.

Sending loads of love and light your way,

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A Letter to My Younger Self

Lately, I’ve been in a reflecting mood. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but never really had the right words for it or the content that I needed to create this nice and down-to-earth post that I wanted to make for my readers (i.e you guys!).

I remember a lot of things from my adolescence, like where I went to high school and basically the gist of what I had experienced, but I couldn’t really tell you what happened during what time in my high school career. Thankfully, I dug up some photos from facebook and my old journals because writing has been a constant outlet for me since I could even remember.

Being older now, I see more things in a positive and realistic light. I am more motivated than I have ever been in my life. I am just starting out in my adulthood, I am paving the way for myself goal-wise and I have surrounded myself with the right people to make my goals happen, as well as push other people in the direction of their goals. I look at things now and how they will affect me mentally, physically, and emotionally in the long run. I’m so much more independent and happier.

However, when I was 15-16-17, I saw things differently. Now what you will see in this post is me talking to my younger self. Using the journals, that I have read through (somewhat), and looking at it now, as an older, wiser Karen, I’ll respond to the themes that I have seen play out through my adolescence. The whole purpose of this post is to shed light on somethings that I was going through and what I would say now, in response to the situations I was in.

so sit back, relax, and let’s get this show on the road…

Dearest Karen,

I read your journal and I had an idea of what you were going through, but thank you for going into detail about your everyday life and what your emotional states are, they definitely help me understand you as a person. But, I’m gonna be honest with you girl, I was blown away at what you wrote. At times, I noticed that you were doing things then, that should have been left alone. It was hard to read about your experiences at times because, while they were simple and small, I see that they were very significant and made you feel like complete and utter shit. But, I see you, I understand you, and I’m writing this because you’d probably be in awe of the person typing up this letter.

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Karen, you are amazing person, with this huge heart, beautiful smile and long hair. You deserve everything that is great in this world, and never settle for low-lives who make your world a living hell. I love you and these are things I wished you knew, growing up.

Surround yourself with people who see great potential in you.

Girls and guys alike. You are a fucking gem, who would go the distance for anyone and everyone, you open up your heart so easily to people, (quite frankly, I still even do it to this day!) because you want to be as honest, genuine and authentic as possible. KEEP DOING SO AND DON’T BE AFRAID. You are destined for greatness, but only if you surround yourself with the right people and the people who are going places, like college and beyond.

You are destined for greatness, so climb for your goals

In order to accomplish your goals, you have to work for them. Karen, you are capable of making your dreams happen. Don’t ever let anyone tell you or dictate to you that your goals are out of your reach, because anyone who says that, can leave. Be in the pursuit of what sets your heart on fire and your mind ablaze with vital life skills. You are in control. If you want to go after getting straight A’s, GO FOR IT, KID! The only person stopping you, is you.

You are Colombian, dammit, use that to your potential!

You have a good head on your shoulders, kid. Don’t waste your energy focusing on pointless things, like boys. You are strong, you are independent and you do whatever makes you happy.

Don’t go where everyone else has been, go down the road less traveled

You strive for originality, girl. I see it in your writing and it’s amazing to see. Follow through with it. You’re just as capable of paving new ways for yourself and if you have to go alone, THEN SO BE IT.  Learn to be okay in standing alone in your goals, you know that there is always a person beside you, in front of you and above you. Rest on your faith and on your morals and you’ll be okay.

You are so, so, so Loved

Karen, do you see the people in your life? THEY ARE IN YOUR LIFE FOR A REASON. They are your family, friends, mentors, instructors, they care about you. They see something in you, you’ll see that your friendship and loyalty to people are what matter in this world. You go the distance for the people who mean the most to you and that is a beautiful quality, Karen. Don’t waste your energy on petty bullshit, because in the end, no one really wins an argument, you’re just stuck in a hole with the person you were at odds with. You know who you are, so hold your head high, because you’re a boss.

Boyfriends and Friends, alike, will come and go

If it’s something I’ve noticed in your writings, amiga, it’s that you drive yourself mad overthinking about people who could care less about you. I get it, but you have to realize that as much as you’re growing, maybe you’re growing in a different direction than your friends AND THAT’S TOTALLY OKAY. GROW AWAY, learn all there is to learn about the things that you are interested in. You are what you attract. So continue to have good vibes, learn as much as you can from people. The people who really do care, will come into your life and the ones that don’t are better off not even staying in your life.

At the end of the day it boils down to you and how you feel about something. The only people here to stay is your family. Family is an integral part of who you are and be thankful that you have a family that cares and is willing to go the extra mile for you. Your parents are your biggest cheerleaders and will always be there giving you much needed advice.  Be patient and learn from your parents, they’re almost always right.

Learn that it is better to let go of someone and the situation, than actually staying in it. I noticed that you stay in situations that aren’t ideal and they declined your mental health.

Love yourself enough to walk away. The right people will come in due time.

Life is a long journey and there should be no rush, control what you can, and let go of what you can’t.

With much love, light and better days ahead,

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The Importance of Goal Setting

With the summer winding down and the excitement for school starting back up again, I thought today’s blog post should be about something surrounding the idea of goals and setting them, lol.

All jokes aside, this has been a post I’ve been meaning to do for a while, but haven’t had the right time, like now to go forth and talk about it.

We are more than halfway through 2018 and by now we have set goals, changed goals or given them up just because… life happens. And that’s totally okay, life has a way of diverting our focus away from our goals.

I don’t know about you, but my goals have been at the center of everything I do, everything I’m working towards. Goals are what keep us motivated. I mean, if you think about it, the concept of goals is so embedded into our lives, that we don’t even realize it.

In fact, the word ‘goals’ is often masked by other words like:

goals

Anytime we get a syllabus, the first part of it is always, “Objectives for this class…” and then the list commences.

But goals aren’t just things made to keep us motivated, they’re also things that help us see the big picture. With each goal or task that we accomplish in our lives, we are essentially paving the way for our future. Our dreams are what keep us moving, they keep us mindful, grounded even.

But the thing about goals, is that they have to be SMART goals. What I mean by that, is your goals have to be Specific Measurable Attainable Reliable and Time-bound.

A lot of times when we make-up our goals, we have a tendency to be super vague in what we want. It’s almost as if we want the end result, yet not wanting to put the work into said goal. I mean there’s always the possibility that we want to accomplish a goal, but we have no idea how to go about completing it or where to even begin.

Recently, I signed up for a 5k. I’ve never done a 5k before, but it’s been on my bucket list for a while.

I was doing an event one morning and there was this lady who was standing in the next table over from me, she was a representative of this foundation called the “Aubrey Foundation”. I asked her what the foundation does and she said that it was made in memory of a school teacher, named Aubrey Pappas, who taught sixth grade English at a North Brunswick school district. In 2014, Aubrey died in a car accident and was also pregnant at the time with her second child.

From the way this person told me the story, Aubrey sounded like such a sweet woman, who motivated her students to become better people and how becoming a better person is a huge key to success. She touched so many lives in her time as a teacher and as a person.

Aubrey’s husband is a cop for the town of North Brunswick and shortly after she died, he found her bucket list and saw that one of the things she wished to accomplish was a 5k. So from that moment on, with the help of family and friends, they vowed to #LiveLikeAubrey and The Aubrey Foundation was born. You can read more about what they do here.

It was really cool hearing that story and it even motivated me to get back on that 5k training grind! The thing about goals is that they can either be short or long term goals.

Short term goals are goals that are short (obviously lol) and easy to achieve in 3 months time. These kinds of goals can be anything, like waking up earlier in the morning, working out 2-3 times a week, going on more walks, etc. Smaller goals keep you accountable, they keep you on your toes and are a lot easier to accomplish, if you work towards them.

Long-term goals are more than short-term goals

and they often involve a life change or a change in mindset. Long-term goals could be: to graduate either magna, summa, or cum laude from college, to work for a well regarded company, to become a doctor, actuary, digital marketer, to live in a specific area, etc. Long term goals are normally things that you are working towards. Funny enough, long term goals need at least a couple of smaller goals to reach the ultimate goal!

An example of goal setting is meditation! Whenever I start a meditation practice, I make a rough list of all the goals I want to accomplish through meditation. Essentially, it’s a compiled list of internal changes I would want to work towards, like becoming more patient, losing weight, becoming more tolerant, etc. Then, out of the list of things I’d want to get out of the practice, I’d pick one that has been of high importance.

The more you focus on that goal, the likely it is for you to accomplish it. Meditation is made to help keep you at ease with the stresses of everyday life as well as making it easier for you to accomplish any aspirations you hold close to your heart.

With all that said, celebrate the small wins. If you’ve done something that gets you even an inch closer to completing your dream, then CELEBRATE!!!

What are some of your goals? Leave me a comment below!

Sending a ton of love and light your way,

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