How to Survive a Trip to Ikea with Your Boyfriend

It's the night before Earth Day and I'm currently sitting on the couch, nodding my head at what feels like the hundredth set of patio furniture my boyfriend has made me look at. Don't get me wrong, your girl loves to shop, but giving my opinion isn't very fun when it's the exact opposite of the person making the final decision.

I've been meaning to write about how to survive going on vacation with your significant other, but since I'm currently mentally preparing myself for what's about to go down tomorrow, this post took precedent.

Ikea is known as the furniture retailer that is most loved by broke twenty somethings and has won most likely to cause an argument every year in a row. Well, not really, but I'm sure it would if we all took a vote. Tomorrow I have to navigate holding my tongue, my wallet and my temper all at the same time. If you're nearing a trip to Ikea soon, or homeware shopping in general, this is how to survive with your relationship still intact.

You might also like: Everything That Happened When I Stopped Following All the Dating Rules

**update: we went, we had an argument, but we survived. Then we argued some more while we built it but it's all good, cause he bought me a Magnum ice cream, so we're even now.**

Go with a plan

Unless you're visiting Ikea just for the fun of browsing, you're better off making a list of the things you're looking for than wandering around and hoping you grab everything. Since we were visiting specifically for patio furniture, our plan was down to the item number. For smaller purchases, I recommended just making a list of the small items you don't want to forget to purchase. Our lack of a smaller list meant we left without grabbing the baking sheet we desperately need!

Everything That Happened When I Stopped Following All the Dating Rules

Here's the thing, I'm a very by the book kind of girl. I use crosswalks, read direction manuals and always make sure to follow the guidelines on every assignment. The same applies to my dating history, with me getting to know each guy slowly, not texting him too quickly and generally playing the game we all call dating nowadays.

Then this thing happened at the start of 2016, I was dumped on New Year's Day. On my way to see Sisters no less! (Great movie by the way.) After having the typical post breakup meltdown for a while I realized all my work in getting to know a guy left me where it always did, heartbroken, crying on the bathroom floor, wondering what I did wrong. And that's when I realized what exactly I'd been doing wrong, I'd been following this imaginary rule book as if my dating life was a game of Life. Except in this case the mess left afterwards didn't neatly fit into a box when it's all over.

You might also like: My Secret Weapon to Finding Love Online

Once I was done mourning the end of my relationship and feeling comfortable on my own, I decided I wasn't going to waste any time trying to meet someone new. I did something completely new to me, I tried online dating for the first time in my life.

5 Reasons Why You Should Wait Before Going to Grad School + Why I Didn't

Senior year of college was a whirlwind of events. Between interning in Washington DC and planning for graduation, the thought of attending more years of school was the furthest thing on my mind. Then it happened suddenly, grad school was all anyone was talking about.

Whether it was a genuine interest to advance their education or a desire to avoid the real world, people left and right were filling out graduate school applications and talking about it like it was the only possible option. In a moment of panic I too submitted a few applications, just in case I needed a back up to my plan to take a year off.

Two months at home made me realize a year off would feel like an eternity, which is why within a week I accepted an offer at my current university, bought a plane ticket and signed the first lease I could find. Was it a rushed decision? Yes. But without it I wouldn't be where I am today. With all that said, it's been a complete rollercoaster, and I'd be lying if I said I haven't wished I had waited a bit before jumping into more years of school.

Below are the five benefits of not entering graduate school immediately after college graduation, as well as my reason for doing it despite the reasons below.

You might also like: The 8 Important Lessons My 2nd Year of Grad School Taught Me

Thinking about taking a year off before grad school? Read why I didn't take a year off before graduate school, plus the five reasons why you should wait before applying to graduate school.

Gain work experience

It can be scary to graduate from college and begin to job hunt, especially when you have minimal work experience and no real clue of where to begin. As someone who had to get a job immediately after graduation I can completely relate, and trust me when I tell you that it's not impossible. Don't be afraid to take a job you feel your overqualified for, because some experience is better than nothing. Spending time in the workforce will give you skills you can't get in any graduate program, so don't minimize the benefits of skipping school and going straight to work.

You might also like: How I Got a Job Right After College Without a 4.0

Things I Wish I Could Claim on My Taxes

Today's the day, Tax Day. If you're anything like me you're currently freaking out because you can't find your W2 or have completely forgotten what password you chose for your Turbotax account. Breathe girl. Me last year waited until the very last day to file, which led to a lot of cursing and frantic calls to my sister.

2017 Rubi? She did her taxes over a month ago, mainly because my boyfriend wouldn't stop nagging me to get it done before the deadline. Early or not, I can always relate to someone who leaves it to the last minute.

As I ate my dinner I did what I always do, scroll through my Bloglovin feed to catch up with new posts from all my favorite blogs. One of my new favorite websites is Twenty Something Living, organized by three badass women in their twenties. Their post, Other Things I Wish I Could Claim On My Taxes, inspired me to draft my own post. I definitely recommend you check out their post and website overall, and follow them on Instagram at @twentysomethingliving.

You might also like: How It Feels to File Taxes as a Twenty Something

Tech support to my mom

I'm writing this post immediately after getting of the phone with my mom. In one phone call she managed to have to reset her password twice, hang up on me once, and raise my blood pressure. Anyone with a mom who doesn't use technology much knows the stress that comes with trying to teach your mom how to use a new feature, bonus points if you do it over FaceTime.

Feeling Safe When You Live Alone in Your Twenties

At the age of eighteen I transitioned from living with family to sharing a room with two strangers on a college campus. From there I moved off campus with a few friends in a house we all rented together. My first experience of being truly alone was Christmas 2011. For whatever reason I chose to not go home for the holidays. Okay, real talk, I didn't go home to avoid running into my newly ex boyfriend. It was stupid, I was stupid.

After having spent over three weeks alone, as in no human contact, I learned my level of comfort with keeping myself feeling safe in a home alone. I continued to live with roommates on and off for the next few years, until I made the ultimate decision to get my own apartment in Washington DC in 2015.

Getting my own apartment symbolized the beginning of the life I had always imagined myself having in the city. Once I was done celebrating I had to come to terms with the fact that I no longer had anyone to depend on, whether I needed a ride to the store or someone to blame a strange noise in the middle of the night. As a twenty something living alone in the city, here's what helped me feel more safe about living without roommates.

You might also like: 10 Lessons You Learn Living Alone in Your Twenties

Living alone in your twenties can feel scary, which is why it's so important to make sure you have a plan for those days you feel unsafe. Click to read the things I do to make sure I'm always safe in my apartment and neighborhood.

Research your neighborhood

If you are currently looking for a new place to live, I always advise my friends to research their neighborhood for the types of crimes that are more likely to occur in the area. Another way to learn what it's really like to live there is to visit the location at various times of day, with my recommendations being mid afternoon, evening and late at night. Those three times of day give you a good estimate of how crowded the streets are, the type of people that frequent the area, and the overall feeling of safety in the neighborhood.

My Secret Weapon to Finding Love Online

My boyfriend texts a girl named Anastasia at least once per day. He's been talking to her for months and I don't see him stopping in the near future. He regularly checks up how her day is going and asks if she wants anything from the grocery store while he's there. It would bother me more if not for one thing, Anastasia is me.

You're probably like thinking you've stumbled upon some weird ass post where I'm about to give way too many details about my double life, or our love for role play or some TMI shit like that. That's not what's happening, I wouldn't do that to you. What I will do is let you in on the thing I did that helped me date multiple people I met online without running the risk of them knowing anything about me I didn't want them to know. Which is extremely hard in 2017. Okay, here's the story.

About a year ago I came to the realization that I was never going to meet someone who I was compatible to with my current lifestyle. Since lifestyle was a big factor in the type of person I was looking for, I knew that if I was going to find someone similar to myself it was never gonna happen on a Friday night. Unless Mr. Right had a part time job as a pizza deliver boy.

Reasons I Didn’t Like Your Instagram Photo

Regular me wants to dive right into this post and start listing all the reasons why sometimes I purposefully keep scrolling without double tapping that screen. Then more clearheaded me reminds myself that if I don’t throw in a disclaimer everyone will think I’m a bitch who finds joy in not liking my friends photos.

Listen, I’m not a terrible person, I promise. Most of the time I’m actually very kind, but like all humans I have my moments, usually fueled by boredom and the fact that my boyfriend would rather stare at the FIFA game than into my eyes. So yeah, boredom with a dash of jealousy for a fake game of a sport I hate. And in these moments I usually turn to the one app I love most of all, Instagram.

Whether it’s the rejection or boredom, maybe the hangriness too, for some reason I find myself purposefully not liking certain friends photos. Do I love and care for these people? Hell yes. But the petty side of me refuses to give them my like when they pull any of the shit I’m about to list below.

At the end of the day my opinion matters 0%, and my ‘like’ should mean nothing to them. But we’re human and we like to post things online for self validation, I get it, trust me. If my cat gets anything less than 100 likes you might as well tell me you ran him over. It’s just not okay with me. And I’m sure I have been guilty of half of this shit myself, so let’s relax and enjoy roasting people for the crappy pictures they post online.

How It Feels to File Taxes as a Twenty Something

Last year was my first time filing taxes, and in true twenty something fashion, I waited until the very last day. What can I say? Old habits die hard.

As someone who has never earned an income that sends me a W2, I was completely clueless about the whole process. Because I waited until the last minute I ended up filing at work, as in during work hours when I was supposed to be doing probably a dozen other things. The process was brutal and with no one to call for help I was over it before it began, so I vowed this year would be different.

Bad Advice from Your Therapist

Recently after years of education and training I finally became a full blown therapist. Okay, technically I'm a therapist intern, but I'm trusted enough to have real life clients of my own. Basically I'm a therapist in training wheels, which makes everything about to tell you okay to say.

Anyways, I'm a therapist now. The majority of my clients are adolescents to early adults, either with mood or adjustment disorders. This means they have anxiety, depression, or are simply having trouble dealing with all the changes going on in their life.

Also, all of my clients are female. This one I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm not mad about it. Every week I get to spend up to an hour with these individuals, talking about their lives and seeing what we can do together to improve their quality of life. Most weeks I'm on it, prepared, and purposeful with the words I share. Others, shit like this comes out of my mouth.

The time I dissed God

One of my clients is 12 years old and experiences stomach pains due to stress. Together we've been working on loosening up and spending her weekends doing age appropriate things. Somehow we started talking about weekend events in the city, which is when I let her know the cherry blossom parade was this coming weekend.

Remembering that she attends church most weekends, my professional advice was to tell her, "yeah, you should just skip church this weekend. Honestly, I don't think God would even mind that much. What's one weekend, you know?" Since I obviously don't have a direct line to any higher powers maybe I shouldn't be speaking on behalf of her God, but hey, I'm just trying to get this girl to have some damn fun.

2 Trips to the Vet Later

I'm not a mom. I have no desire to be a mom anytime soon and I don't claim to know what it's like to have a responsibilities at that level, including keeping another human being alive. But I do know what it's like to be selfless for another living being, even when it requires I get my shit together and stop crying long enough to hear what the doctor is telling me.

I'm not like a regular mom, I'm a cat mom. I adopted Max exactly two months after moving to Washington DC, in an effort to give him a better life and bring some joy into mine. I'm dead serious when I tell you that for months Max was my only friend in the city. I worked two jobs to keep us both fed and healthy, mostly him really. Through moves, boyfriends and stressful situations, Max has been the only consistent thing in my life, so I get a little crazy when he so much as sneezes.

You might also like: Why I Don't Introduce Everyone I Date to My Pet

Last week I had the flu, which basically knocked me on my ass for a full seven days. On day five of the flu I noticed Max was walking around, like a lot. And no, walking isn't out of the ordinary for pets, but it was starting to feel like he was circling me or something. And that's when I noticed why he was moving so much, he kept going to the litter box. One Google search later and small breakdown, I realized my rock most likely had a bladder infection, which is a super big deal with male cats. So I did all I knew how to do, I broke down.