“What makes you nervous about your success?” “Not having time to chill in my apartment and play Call of Duty. I just moved to Brooklyn, and I’m paying rent, but I’m always on the road. I hope it slows down for a second – I’m freaking 19 years old.” -Ansel Elgort for The Hollywood Reporter
i have noticed a pattern that is so fundamentally disturbing to me, and has disturbed me for the last six years so much that i’ve been able to notice it, and i just gotta vent for a second.
99% of my female friends who are in relationships with a man - whether they’ve been dating them for 6 years or 6 months - will always bend to the whim of what the guy wants. tonight a friend of mine was hanging out at my apartment. her boyfriend wanted to meet her in brooklyn, but she wanted to stay with me in manhattan, so she invited him over. he refused and freaked out and said if she really loved him, she would go to brooklyn. she laughed it off. “it’s fine,” she said. “he’s just gonna throw a fit. he’ll get over it. it doesn’t get to me at all.” as the hours went by, though, i could see her becoming more and more restless and uncomfortable and uneasy. he kept texting. he tried calling. he literally called her a “selfish bitch.” she finally caved and went to brooklyn to meet him.
this sounds like an extreme example, but i can literally cite thousands of instances like this, where girls are made to feel guilty and threatened by their significant others; made to feel like their entire relationship is in jeopardy because they would like a late night out with their friends. i am so fucking sick of it. i have a ton of guy friends and i have never, EVER seen a guy do the same for a girl. i have never seen a guy, after several borderline-threatening calls/texts from his girlfriend, cave in and say “ok i gotta go meet her, she’s really mad at me.” they always say “ppffft fuck that” and they laugh and ignore her and crack open another beer. that is fine. as long as you’re not a douchebag about it, i think it’s important that you don’t let others dictate your life and who you spend your time with. but in turn, i know that those same guy friends would freak out if their girlfriend decided she’d rather spend a night with her mates than chill with him/have him on-call 24/7.
it goes the same way every time. she’s having fun. she gets a text. she quickly replies. she gets another text. she laughs, has another drink, says she’s ignoring him. but then another text. and a missed call. she makes that disappointed face and quietly clicks her tongue and says, “ugh. i should go.” they don’t WANT TO. but they feel obligated and guilted into it, and it isn’t fair. it’s literally so commonplace. i’m sure it’s happened to you - or maybe you’ve even caught yourself doing it. you must never inconvenience your man. you must never disobey him. you must never keep him waiting. you must never put yourself before him.
GIRL – FUCK. THAT.
it makes me so angry because my friends – my warrior queens whom i would take bullets for, and who i’ve seen conquer their careers and friendships and daily struggles with the strength of a hundred armies – cave so easily just because they’re summoned by the whines and threats of a boyfriend. it’s fucking stupid and it makes me so fucking angry.
yeah this has been a rant. i don’t know if it goes anywhere or means anything. but it’s something i’ve noticed that disturbs me deeply and i’m just really pissed off.
me and my twenty-one thousand followers share a posh apartment in trendy williamsburg brooklyn. we’re packed in like sardines and the rent is still atrocious. people are passing out from poor ventilation. it becomes a fight for survival
Steve enters darkened Brooklyn apartment. There are boxes everywhere so its good to assume that he moved in quite recently.He looks like he’s had a long day. As he locks the door, he pauses. He turns around slowly; his face looks guarded but his eyes are smiling.
He looks toward a darkened corner of the room and says, “Fancy seein’ you here” or something along the lines of that.
A figure moves from within the darkness. The scene end before you can see their face but what you do see is a glint of a metal arm.
When Steve is locking the door, he hears a gravelly voice behind him say “I thought I told you not to do anything stupid” causing him to drop his keys.
When my then-boyfriend Mark lost the lease on his Brooklyn apartment, moving in together made good sense. We were in our 40s, both battle-scarred from decades of romantic unhappiness, and had finally found the relationship we had longed for our entire lives. So even though the timing was bad (we had been dating for only six months), we knew where this was headed. Why wait?
“I’m ready to take it to the next level,” said Mark, while cooking chicken paprikash in his soon-to-expire apartment.
I watched this sweet, handsome man sauté onions, and my heart turned upside down. After two decades of dating guys who could barely commit to next week, here was a wonderful man who wanted to be with me, plain and simple.
I was thrilled — and terrified. Sure, Mark and I were having a glorious time: weekends picking apples in the Pennsylvania countryside, brunches at his favorite Mexican diner. But living together was different. Or at least I thought it would be. I couldn’t know for sure. Because, to my deep embarrassment, I was nearly 40 and had never shared a home with a boyfriend.
For most of my adult life, I was unattached. I spent my 30s with a slowly escalating fear that I would never find a partner. My anxiety wasn’t merely about getting older and supposedly less desirable in our youth-obsessed culture. I also worried that my single years were shaping me, hardening me into a woman too finicky and insular for a lifetime partnership.
I had noticed that friends going through breakups often took solace in the fact that they had learned from those failed romances. They had acquired important skills such as how to be vulnerable, how to set boundaries, how to listen and how to speak up. They had learned the art of compromise and forgiveness and how to love someone even when you don’t always like them. Through practice and repetition, they were mastering this exquisite, complicated dance, cultivating wisdom and muscle memory that could be successfully applied to future relationships.
I was glad my friends had found an upside to their heartache, but statements like those also made me nervous. If one learned how to have a happy partnership by trial and error, then I was missing crucial on-the-job training.
Even so, when it came to the particular question of whether Mark and I should move in together, I knew my concerns were valid. “It’s too soon, and for the wrong reason,” I told my friend Paul at a bar one night.
He shook his head, looked at the ceiling and said, “No wonder you’re single.”
I stared at the bar, furious. How dare he take my very reasonable reservation and turn it into a pathology! Soon we were having the kind of bitter argument that makes other patrons glance your way with wide, curious eyes.
Once we had cooled down, I explained how hard it is to be a longtime singleton, how people assume some deep psychological issue is preventing you from finding a partner, rather than allow that maybe you just haven’t met the right person.
Paul listened, apologized and we ordered another round.
Later, I thought about it. Paul may have been unfair, but he also wouldn’t have upset me if part of me didn’t think he was right.
So I took the leap: I asked Mark to move in with me. If I was truly an intractable spinster, I might as well find out now.
Mark said yes, and on a sunny May morning six weeks later, he moved into my small one-bedroom apartment. I sat on my — our — bed and watched him hang his clothes in the closet I had just cleared, feeling like someone who had talked her way into a job she wasn’t quite qualified for. I didn’t know what was ahead, only that it would be difficult, but worth it.
That was nearly eight years ago. I’m still waiting for the part where it gets hard, still waiting for the “work.”
O.K., that’s not completely true. Like anyone, we have conflicts. He has punched walls. I have walked out the front door and circled the block. But I can count those kinds of fights on one hand.
Mostly, I have been shocked to discover how easy it is to live with and, now, be married to Mark.
My husband and I didn’t calcify as we grew older. Instead, as I believe most people do, we became less selfish and more patient, quicker to admit when we’re wrong, more apt to notice when the other person needs some space. I understand, in a way I never could have in my 20s, that sometimes the best way to resolve a conflict is to go in the other room and read a magazine for a while.
And there’s nothing like two decades of loneliness to make you appreciate a spouse. Sure, we annoy each other sometimes. Mark has lost countless hours of his life waiting for me to find my keys, and I will never agree that it’s O.K. to use dish towels to mop up spills on the floor.
But Mark also makes me laugh every day, has fascinating insights about everything from 1970s cop shows to campaign finance reform, and he gives me his unwavering support whenever an editor rejects my work or an acquaintance treats me shabbily. Compare this with the stresses of longtime singlehood — the bad dates, the condescending relatives, the Sunday nights — and you can deal with a few stained dish towels.
If you have lived alone for two decades, it also means you can’t subconsciously (or directly) blame your partner if your professional or creative life hasn’t worked out as well as you had hoped. Whatever career and financial mistakes I’ve made (and there have been some doozies) are mine and mine alone. When you meet your partner at 40, there’s no mental backtracking: “I could have been a senior V.P. by now if we hadn’t moved to Tucson for his job,” or “I could have been a rock star if I hadn’t had to cover everyone’s health insurance.”
Most important, I’ve realized I never needed a long boyfriend résumé for the experience. In the 20 years before I met Mark, I learned a lot of hard lessons: how to be a self-respecting adult in a world that often treats single people like feckless teenagers; how to stand at cocktail parties while my friends’ in-laws asked me if I had a boyfriend; how to have warm, friendly dinners with strangers I had met online, as we delicately tried to determine whether or not we could possibly share our lives together, and how to come home to an empty apartment after a rotten day at work.
I realize these less-than-giddy examples may conjure up those deadly words: “desperate” and “pathetic.” But I wasn’t desperate. If I had been desperate, I would have settled for a relationship I felt ambivalent about because I was afraid to be alone. Instead, I learned to relax into the open space of my quiet home and unknown future. I also learned there is a difference between feeling something unpleasant (loneliness, longing) and being something shameful.
Being a single person searching for love teaches you that not everything is under your control. You can’t control whether the person you’ve fallen for will call. You can’t force yourself to have feelings for the nice guy your best friend fixed you up with. You have no way to know whether attending this or that event — a co-worker’s art opening, a neighbor’s housewarming — will lead to the chance encounter that will forever alter your life. You simply learn to do your best, and leave it at that.
Relationships are work, but so is being single, and I became pretty good at it.
Even though Mark and I don’t fight much, several years ago we had one that made me wonder if this was the end. It began as an innocuous argument over vacation time, or lack thereof, but it somehow unleashed long-brewing resentments that escalated and culminated into two harsh, staccato syllables. It felt like a car crash: plunging into darkness, time stopping. I sat up straight on our bed, heart thumping, wondering if the life we had built together was going to come tumbling down.
In that moment, the future was vast, black, unknowable. But I wasn’t afraid. Splitting up would be awful, but I would manage.
I didn’t panic or try to make the moment any different from what it was. I simply sat in that untethered space, two angry people not speaking to each other, without any knowledge of what was on the other side.
After a time, it could have been minutes or hours, Mark took my hand and squeezed, and I squeezed back. We would get through this one, and most likely others. I didn’t have relationship experience, but I had life experience of another kind. That has turned out to be just as good.
I know what it’s like to be the son of an immigrant. We grew up in a rent-controlled apartment in Brooklyn, New York. My mother’s dream, she died very young, but she wanted a home of her own and never lived to see it. But my parents were able to send both of their sons to college. We were the first ones in the family, which is why I I understand the economic stress….Which is why I pledge to bring about a political revolution where millions of people finally stand up and say enough is enough, this country belongs to all of us, not just a handful of billionaires. Thank you very much.
We like to make music in spaces where people hear music. The idea of making music on $100,000 studio speakers that project frequencies that no headphones can even reproduce is hilarious. We were in studios together, but my favorite experiences with her were in my apartment in Brooklyn, just hanging out with a laptop and a guitar. It starts to lose the excitement when you’re in a studio and there’s all these producers.
My time in my room alone or in the apartment with Taylor – [it’s] this little human thing which is no different than a 15-year-old kid writing songs in their room.
I’ve thought for a long time – people don’t want to be people, they want to be around people. You have all these artists that are built to make you want to be them. But Taylor is someone you want to be around. That’s the connection I want to have with the audience and not create some sort of synthetic situation.
my mom and i just got approved to sign the lease on this new amazing apartment and i’m so happy because ziggy and i are going to have such a nice room and it’s just such a beautiful apartment with floor to ceiling windows and my friend is working in brooklyn this summer and her subway stop is the same as mine and the building has a gym and a pool and finally it seems like everything is working out!!