What To Wear On A First Date: Top 10 Style Tips

Going on a date is always nerve-wracking, not to mention the very first one. Here’s what to wear on a first date in order to leave a lasting impression.

Don’t worry if you don’t have it all figured out from the get-go. These things take time.

Apart from having to get your nerves under control and formulate a whole conversation in your head before even meeting, you also need to know the best fashion choices and tips in order to be as comfortable as possible and still look pretty darn beautiful.

It’s tough being a woman! There are so many factors that play into a first date that it’s near to impossible to get it right all of the time, wouldn’t you agree?

In fact, when choosing what to wear on a first date, you need to take into consideration the venue, the impression you want to leave, whether or not you think you might see him again, how excited you are about this particular first date, how to show a little bit of skin without going all out. It’s tough.

However, in order to help you out a little bit, we thought we’d add a checklist of first date tips in order to turn the first date into many more to come.
Below, find some obvious and plenty of helpful tips in order to get you through your first date experience; possibly turning it into the first of many.

Check the venue

It’s extremely important to scout the venue before showing up. Not only can this save you major embarrassment if you show up to a beach-themed restaurant in an evening dress, but you’ll prevent yourself from having to choose between numerous ‘what to wear on a first date’ styles; potentially wasting precious time and saving you plenty of frustration and money.
So before planning any part of your first date outfit, always have a look at the theme of the venue; restaurant or not.

Choose comfort, always

Despite how amazing you want to look, how you feel is much more important. Of course, you want to experience both, but that’s not always ideal.
The last thing you want is to be fidgeting with your clothing in areas that will make it seem obvious that you’re uncomfortable. Any man, when he’s interested in you, will notice your discomfort and you’ll feel even more self-conscious.
The best thing you can do when choosing what to wear on a first date is to choose an outfit that will allow you to do the one thing you’re definitely supposed to; have fun.

Leave most for the imagination

Depending on the type of man you decide to go on a first date with, he’s going to want you to be a little bit conservative. This doesn’t mean you can’t show off a little bit of leg or maybe a tiny bit of cleavage; as long it’s one or the other.
Don’t feel regret if you go out on a date with someone you end up really liking only to find out that he judges you based on what you wore. Sure, being judged is never nice but the fact of the matter is, that’s all someone has to go on if it’s the first date.
You have to ensure that you leave a positive lasting impression without coming across as cheap.

Thoroughly plan your outfit

There’s probably nothing worse than thinking you know what you want to wear for a first date only to realize last minute that what you wanted to wear really isn’t going to work.
It’s only about an hour before you have to leave for the date and you have nothing to wear. What to do? Well, it’s as easy as planning out your outfit thoroughly in order to avoid any surprises.
That way you have one less thing to stress about when it comes to the whole dating scene. It can be stressful so don’t add any more than you should.

Always take a light jacket

Always pack a light jacket or something to throw over your shoulder in case the weather decides to turn. If he’s a gentleman, he’ll offer his jacket, but you just never know.
Remember, always show up prepared in order to avoid feeling uncomfortable and cold as the night progresses. The weather can turn easily and you’d rather show up to the date with a little bit of extra coverage than not enough.
Wear comfortable shoes

Unless you can walk in them comfortably, don’t even attempt wearing uncomfortable shoes on your first date. The key to a successful date is being comfortable and leaving a confident impression.
Uncomfortable shoes will only cause you to walk funny and result in painful blisters that could’ve been avoided by wearing shoes you most definitely feel comfortable to walk in.
They say beauty is painful but you can look just as beautiful without the pain.

Choose an outfit you’d normally wear

Just because you’re going on a hot first date doesn’t mean you have to wear an outfit you wouldn’t normally be seen with.
You still want to feel like yourself, and you certainly want to show him the truest version of yourself. Stick to your own sense of style and flaunt what you were given. He’ll love it!

Can’t decide? Choose red

What happens if you’re stuck with numerous outfits, all different colors, and you simply can’t decide on one. If you happen to have a red choice amongst the lot, go with that.
Psychologically, red creates a moth to a flame type of effect. Men find red on women most attractive and seductive. So if the goal of the evening is to lure him in, always choose your red outfit.
Please note, in order to lure him in with red, your outfit also needs to have a fitting cut. No use wearing a sack.

Look touchable

If you’re into your date and he’s into you, you most certainly want to be touched, right? So as much as you want to keep skin exposure limited and come across as a little bit conservative, you also want the best of both worlds where you look touchable.
Don’t be afraid to play around with outfits and accentuate your best features. If it’s your eyes, wear eye make-up. If you have curvy hips, don’t be afraid to wear a pencil skirt. Wear what fits you best.

Don’t purchase new shoes

Whatever you do, don’t wear new shoes when choosing what to wear on a first date. Sure, we all want to look brand new and shiny, which includes purchasing a brand new outfit.

However, you’ll end up with blisters before the night has even begun which will cause you to walk funny and feel extreme discomfort. As one of those things you want to avoid, rather choose one of your regular pairs of shoes. Choose pretty but don’t necessarily go with a brand new. You’ll thank us.
We understand how crazy and stressful the first date can be, for both parties. It’s really more of an understatement. So don’t let not knowing what to wear on a first date add to the pressures of life and the overall dating scene.

Let your hair down a little bit, go with the flow, add a whole lot of confidence, and know that you’re in good hands if you follow the above-mentioned first date fashion tips.
Remember, when it comes to deciding on what to wear on a first date, always leave enough room for preparations in order to give yourself enough time to change your mind if you wish to do so.

You simply can’t end up not having enough time to get ready; especially if you think this date can turn into something serious.
First impressions really do count, so make wise choices when choosing what to wear on a first date and you may end up going on continuous dates for a long time still to come.

 

source:youqueen

Family Issues: How To Get Along With His Sister

This is the complete guide on how to get along with his sister. It can help you not only to get along with her, but to become best friends as well!

Family introductions are so awkward, and it is stressful enough pleasing the parents. No one thinks about pleasing his sister.

It seems like her emotions aren’t up for debate because the parents are the main people to please. Unbeknownst to you, her feelings do count.

She might pick up things his parents cannot, and those flaws could cost you the relationship or cool points with his parents. Many don’t understand how to get along with his sister. Luckily, we’ll show you how.

Is there a perfect time?

one man and two women sitting at the table

The moment you and he morph into a couple, the next step is to meet each other’s family. This is where couples take the next step and announce exclusivity.

After all, a family interaction after one or two dates becomes pointless if you’re not serious about him. When it’s his sister’s turn to meet you, it should be in person not over the phone, Skype, or social media.

Face-to-face interactions provide a personal touch not found online or over the phone. The sister has connections to the immediate and extended family. Learning how to get along with his sister can influence how his family perceives you.

Free consultation

It never hurts to chat with your boyfriend about his sister. A great first step in learning how to get along with his sister, consulting the boyfriend about his sister in advance is critical.

The answers to questions such as pet peeves, sensitive topics, interests, and behavior will provide an idea of how to approach her. Discuss this once more before seeing her in person.

How to get along with his sister

Don’t enter this encounter in interview mode, date mode, or parents’ mode. This is his sister, so relaxation is necessary.

The conversation should flow smoothly taking turns speaking about various things and asking each other questions. Begin with basic questions like name, school, and hobbies, and let the conversation steer itself. Likewise, being a good listener is worthwhile. The goal is to find common interests.

Consequently, the boyfriend cannot be present when the girlfriend-sister conversation occurs. While you’re at it, don’t let him be a topic of conversation either. This meeting is about the two of you and discussing your great boyfriend won’t impress her. She knows him as her brother, and the outpouring will seem fake to her.

Attitude

Multiracial group of friends having a coffee together

A great first impression for his sister doesn’t equal making a great first impression for his parents or your boyfriend. If you dress up, use dinner etiquette, and say the right things, the sister won’t buy it.

She can smell fakery a mile away, and this will send her senses into overdrive. Instead, impress her by acting like yourself. A nice, genuine attitude showcases an appealing nature. Don’t turn into a doormat, but don’t turn into a diva either.

Clothes

Casual clothing is the best approach to winning his sister over. Tread carefully with graphic tees; some tees are offensive.

Select tees with safe choices such as animals or positive quotes. Business clothing is fine if you are visiting her after work. Otherwise, business attire displays ‘high society’ or ‘stuck up’ attitudes.

Clothes showing the butt, belly, and cleavage must remain in the closet. These clothes are sure to become ammunition to break you and him up.

Next step

After talking, it should evolve into action. Spend some time with his sister away from the home environment. A different environment brings out a different side to her.

Try the mall, the gym, the restaurant, the store, the movies, the park, the spa, or a sports event as an example. Continue to search for common interests. In the same vein, she will understand your habits.

In contrast, observe the boyfriend and his sister’s interactions. While this is a different take on how to get along with his sister, the interaction displays their harmony.

It also speaks volumes about how highly the boyfriend respects his sister’s choices about his dating habits. The answer will reveal another layer about how to manage his sister.

How to get along with his sister’s concerns

Portrait of two beautiful young female rivals sitting side by side on bench and looking at each other with challenging expressions

In case the girlfriend-sister relationship gets shaky, it’s vital to understand her concerns. She has to share her brother with you, and she might feel you’re coming in to break it up.

Communicate those concerns to her and assure her that you won’t tear them apart. Prove it by giving your boyfriend space to hang out with her.

A second concern may deal with skepticism and negativity toward you based on her brother’s past relationships. Encourage open-mindedness to her so she can give you a chance.

Other concerns include not being good enough for her brother and/or taking her personal problems out on you. Likewise, she should understand your concerns too. Communicate your concerns to her. Besides, communication is a two-way street.

The don’ts (if you want to get along with his sister)

Besides the don’ts previously given, do not trash your boyfriend in front of his sister. She can use this information to break you and your boyfriend up.

In addition, keep the flirtatious attitude in check. Flirtations around the boyfriend make him and his sister uncomfortable.

If flirtations are unacceptable, making out in front of her is definitely a no-no. Show respect and not do this. Finally, arguing with the boyfriend in front of her is disrespectful. This forces the sister to choose sides. Regardless of which person, she chooses, someone ends up mad. The argument escalates instead of reaching a conclusion.

When you chose to date him, you chose his sister too. Her significance isn’t diminishing as the relationship grows. If the boyfriend turns into a husband, she will evolve into your sister-in-law.

Likewise, it’s unlikely the boyfriend won’t cut her loose because you can’t stand her. Therefore, give the relationship a chance to blossom by learning how to get along with his sister. She won’t be your bestie overnight, but at least she will appreciate considering her emotions in this situation.

Do you boyfriend’s sister drive you crazy? Does she like you? Do you like her? Talk about your frustrations in the comments section.

Regardless of whether you comment, take this helpful information to your social media channels. Valuable information such as this deserves widespread commendation across all social media platforms.

source:youqueen

Happy Ending

Unfortunately, love doesn’t always give you the happy ending you want in the end. Sometimes you can be madly in love with someone and still know in your heart that, that person can never give you the kind of love and effort that you know you deserve. 
One of the hardest things to accept in life is knowing that sometimes you were only meant to make the other person better for the next person. When some people don’t appreciate having a good person in their corner, sometimes that ended relationship is like a wake up call for them to get their act together for the next person. It doesn’t mean that something was necessarily wrong with you, it just means that they really didn’t have the tools to help maintain a healthy happy relationship with you like you wanted. 

Sometimes that is the only reason why you cross paths with certain people. You were never meant to be together, you were just meant to make them better for the next person. I know it’s a hard pill to swallow but at least room was made in your life so the next person could love you like you deserve to be loved.

By Frank Paul
Have a Nice weekend Ya’ll. 

Things To Do Before Marriage

Give yourself the mental, physical and emotional foundation you need before taking the plunge. This will give your marriage unshakable strength.

There are some things that all women should address before getting married. This will ensure that you have your head on straight and are equipped with the tools you need to have a positive long-term relationship.

We have the potential to create consistent and loving relationships if we know ourselves and work on ourselves; without that, it’s easy for the challenges that life throws you to knock you out of your comfort zone and shake up your marriage. Having these habits and emotional coping skills will help you through the challenges you might face.

1. Work on your self-esteem

Girl smells sunflower in nature

Since we are talking about love, we first really need to look at how much we are looking to our partners to make ourselves feel good. This can be dangerous because they then have control over how you view yourself. This can lead to codependency and jealousy.

What we need is to really know who we are, what we feel our purpose is and to be proud of it. When we are overly obsessed with our looks and rely on that for the basis of our relationships, we will constantly worry about aging and losing our sex appeal. However, when we know that we are a good person and we know that’s what our man loves about us, aging won’t be scary and we will feel more secure.

2. Develop a healthy relationship with your body

If you are constantly obsessing over how you look, calling yourself fat or looking at photos and wishing you looked like someone else, you’re not ready to take the plunge. We have been programmed by marketing companies to be insecure and think that men like skinny girls.

Men love confident healthy women who are comfortable in their own skin, not women who are trying to be something they’re not. Tell yourself that you are beautiful, that you love your body, and if there’s one thing, you’re self-conscious about, tell yourself that you love that part about yourself, too.

3. Have strong friendships

Before you enter a marriage, you need to have women who you can discuss anything with—and I mean anything. You also want to be there for them. Women need a support group of grounded and mature females to share their feelings with. We can’t look to men to be our only support, and we really do need to spend time with other people, too. When you hear about the internal struggles in their relationships and how they deal with things, it will help you understand your own.

Plus, we need to stay involved in our friends lives so that we don’t live on an isolated island and lose touch with society. Remember those couples who start dating and suddenly you never see them again? Don’t be like that; be there for your friends and make time for them.

4. Address your addictions or obsessive behaviors

Beautiful young woman in white dress flowers walking in the shop

This is what no one wants to talk about, but it’s very important. Are you spending too much money? Are you drinking too much on the weekend? Do you need to curtail your obsession with changing your hair color?

If you feel out of control of your behavior in anyway, it’s not yet time to get married. Luckily, with the help of counsellors we can address these issues and overcome them.

If you want a long-lasting marriage, look at any substance abuse you might be dealing with and take the time you need to heal that. You will feel so much better walking down the aisle if your mind and body are healthy, and it’s only fair to your man.

5. Work on peaceful communication

If, as a couple, you are having fights where you say mean things to each other, you’re not ready to get married. Marriage is about loving each other, supporting each other and offering consistent patient communication. Iron this stuff out before you get married. You can take a peaceful communication class and really make it a focus to communicate in a calm and loving way.

Once you have that in check, you will want him to treat you with respect even when you’re stressed. You both need to be able to do this consistently before you walk down the aisle. This will allow for mature conversations instead of childish blowouts. Often, our insecurities are triggered with our partners but based on an experience we had growing up. It’s important to learn how to own your own stuff and not project it onto your partner.

6. Learn how to budget

Don’t get into a marriage if you’re still wild with your money. You want to know what your bills are, when they are due and how much money you have coming in.

You need to have a handle on how much you’re spending on food and other things so that you won’t be stressed about finances in your relationship. Why not deal with this now so there’s one less thing that could be draining or cause disagreements in your marriage?

7. Have a stable career and life goals

Focused businesswoman working at desk in creative office

This is also extremely important. You need to have momentum in your life so that you don’t lose your identity. You want to have goals that you active pursue and are excited about. Let’s be real: this is something many women need to work on.

You can work with a life coach to help you figure this out before you get married. Remember, this is a new era, we can be leaders in our communities and mothers. Don’t just throw your goals out the window because you’re getting married; you need to keep your passion going.

8. Feel like you can stand on your own

This is a hard one to know for sure, but let’s say that you need to know that you would still be happy without your man. You would need to feel satisfied with the life you’re living and be able to support yourself. This ensures that you don’t have power struggles or feel less important than your partner.

If you were miserable before your relationship and looking for a relationship to save you, you’re not ready. If you don’t feel happy on a daily basis, you’re also not ready.

If you think that getting married is going to make the problems go away, slow down: you need to work on the problems and get to the root of the negative patterns before you tie the knot. This is also to protect you. It’s a big decision, and you want to make sure your man has communication skills, emotional coping skills and a strong sense of self as well.

9. Have techniques to keep your mind positive

Do you have a way to stay positive? Maybe learn meditation or work with setting an intention in the morning. Being able to keep a positive frame of mind will help you to get through the sad and stressful situations that will happen.

Imagine having kids together and the things that will be out of your control. You will need these tools in order to keep things positive and optimistic. There are good books and videos about this. Start now, and you’ll realize how fun life can really be.

10. Trust yourself

If you don’t trust yourself, you’re not ready for a relationship. If you find yourself thinking about being with other people and wondering if you would be happier with them, you’re not ready for marriage. You need to be all in and be able to be yourself. If you worry that you will hurt your partner, you need to work on why you’re not able to fully commit.

You also will not be able to trust someone else until you trust yourself. This means that you need to have complete transparency with him—no white lies. Don’t lie to him about where you’re going, what you buy or anything. It’s a bad habit that can cause a lot of problems.

Hopefully you found this helpful and will share it with your friends as it’s the advice any woman should have before getting married. We want to hear that your marriages last and are very happy!

Do you always want to be in a relationship?

Wel all know someone who always needs to be in a relationship. If you are a girl that suffers from love addiction, you have to know that you don’t need a relationship to validate yourself.

I find it so sad when I see a woman who can’t bare to be by herself, is always seeking attention from others and needs to be in a relationship. Women who feel as though they are nothing without a relationship need to realize that they are so much more than the relationships they are in or have been in, and are much more than they attention they seek.

Read on to see why it is okay to be by yourself.

1. Being alone does not mean being lonely

girl enjoying time alone

Let me get one thing straight: this article is not trying to bash anyone who loves being in relationships or who has been in quite a few relationships. This one is a message for the women who feels as though they are nothing without one and who suffers from so called love addiction.

Even if you are single, that does not mean you have to be lonely. You should learn to become your own best friend. Love yourself and spend time with yourself.

Spend time with your friends and, if you are the type to ditch all of your friends for a significant other, then try harder to maintain friendships. Spend more time with your family as well.

Just know that even if you are alone, that does not automatically mean you are lonely.

Learning to be alone with yourself is extremely important. At the end of the day, who do you have? Yourself. It is never guaranteed that you have someone else. You have to learn to be okay with that.

You do not always need someone to give you attention and affection. Learn to give that to yourself.

2. You are more than a relationship

Beautiful caucasian sexy brunette young woman lie on the bed in bedroom

I know some women who truly believe that they are nothing if they are not in a relationship or even just “talking” to someone. Yes, a relationship can add a lot of positivity to your life and make it more special, but how could someone feel as though their life is so empty without one? There is more to life than that.

Don’t fill up your life with attention from the wrong people just to feel validated. That will just make you feel so much worse in the long run and shatter your self-confidence.

Someone right will come along, but, in the meantime, you need to learn that even if you are not in a relationship or with someone, it is okay. It is more than okay; in fact, it can be wonderful.

Take the time to learn about what you really want and gain independence. Feeling like you have to be dependent on someone else can make you feel even lonelier in the long run as well. You can shine all on your own; you are so much more than any relationship.

3. Changing your ways will gain you respect

girl sleeping alone

In all honesty, people will know if you are desperate for attention and a relationship, and it can really attract the wrong kids of people. There is a reason why you maybe have gone through a lot of people.

The kinds of people you attract are the people that will just give you that short-term attention and then drop you like nothing. Or, they know that they can mistreat you because they know that, no matter what, you will stick around.

Don’t be that girl—the one who stays with someone just because they don’t want to be lonely. If you respect yourself, love yourself and do not allow yourself to be mistreated; it will attract someone that will not do you wrong.

If you show that you do not need someone, it will make someone else work even harder to be with you. Nothing is more attractive than a woman who is confident within herself.

What you start to work on the inside is what you will attract from other people. Know your worth, and then someone who is worthy of you will come along.

If I have to end with one thing, it would be that it really does break my heart to see women who suffer from love addiction and who feel as though they are nothing without attention.

I just want to hug them and tell them that they are so much more, and I wish they could see that. Let this article be that hug and message from me. I know you are worth more than you may think you are.

Do you have any other pieces of advice for someone that feels as though they are not validated unless they are in a relationship? Comment below!

Hunger Games

When I woke up in the morning my mouth tasted like blue cheese and my brain felt too big for my head. Groaning, I found my phone and silenced the alarm. It was 9am—I’d deliberately set it later than usual, planning on going in late. It was close to 4:30 AM when I finally crawled into bed, whimpering like a big fat baby whose toy had been taken from her. I wasn’t taking the day off like William said I could, but I figured I could at least let myself sleep in a little. I sent Megan an email giving her the heads up I was running late that morning. I’m usually the first person in the office at 8:45 so hopefully she would cut me a break, especially since she knew I had a work related event the night before. Plus, what William had said about her—was she getting fired? Moving to a different department? I was dying to find out what the deal was.

I made coffee, chugged water, showered, chugged some more water, drank my coffee, got dressed and made my way to the subway with a pit in my stomach. I had no idea what to expect from Richard when I saw him, no idea how to handle the situation with Kate, and was angsting so hard I half-wished a cab would run over my foot so I would have a legitimate reason not to go to work. How sick is that?

Of course, who do I run into the second I step off the elevator? Richard, accompanied by his boss. We exchanged awkward hellos, Richard’s boss making some crack like, “Good morning, or should I say afternoon? Party was fun, I take it?” Richard looking like he was in just as much pain as I was. They stepped onto the elevator as I stepped off it, and I slunk to my desk. Sitting next to my keyboard was a large iced coffee and a sausage, egg, and cheese bagel from the good coffee place. I assumed it was a peace offering from Richard. It was sweet, but the more I thought about what he’d said to me the night before the angrier I got. Who calls a girl a cocktease in 2013 because she doesn’t want to go home with him? I don’t care that I kissed him back—I have every right to stop it when I want to and any guy who would give me shit for that is just gross and manipulative. That was just one of the bones I had to pick with him. The other had to do with what he said about Peter. This morning, with a clear(er) head, I no longer thought that there was even a shred of truth to what Richard had said about Peter using me. Richard’s only reasoning was that because he’s relationship-adverse, every other guy must be too. Which they aren’t or I wouldn’t have a dad. God.

Now I was all riled up again, and I seriously considered throwing that breakfast sammie in the trash just to make a point! But I was hungry. Also, I heard on The Today Show that this country wastes a third of all food produced, so I didn’t. 

As I tore into my bagel, which I begrudgingly admit was delicious, I checked my email. I had an email from Peter, asking me how the party went. See? I imaginary-argued with Richard in my head, He doesn’t just want to screw me or he wouldn’t have asked. Then I instantly felt guilty because it was nice of Peter to ask and if he really knew what I did last night he would probably be sad. Or maybe not? Maybe he was off doing the same thing? He was single and had every right to, even though yeah, it would bum me out if I heard he was making out with another girl. I’m human. But I wouldn’t be mad at him because I have no right to be. I’d rather just not know, which is why I’m not telling him.

I wrote Peter back and asked him what he was doing later. Just as I clicked send, my phone rang. I recognized William’s cell on the caller ID.

“Hi, William,” I said.

“What the hell are you doing?” William rasped. He sounded like he had been up late, doing no good very bad things. “I told you to take the day off.”

“Then why are you calling me?”

“Because I knew you would come in any way,” he said. “You’re such a goody two shoes.” I wanted to tell William that if I was his version of a goody two shoes, I never wanted to meet his version of a bad girl. “What’s going on there today?” he asked.

“Nothing, it’s quiet.”

“Have you seen Megan yet?”

“We’ve just emailed,” I said. Megan had written me back just one line, “Okay.” I used to freak out when she’d send me terse replies like that, but then I realized it’s just her way.

“Hm,” William said. “Okay, well, I’ll call back later.”

“Wait!” I said. “What did you mean when you said that”—I lowered my voice—”she wasn’t long for this world?”

“Huh?” William said. “I can’t hear you.”

I repeated myself, slightly louder this time.

“I still can’t hear you!” William yelled. “Connection must be bad. I’ll call back later!” He hung up. My ass, bad connection. Something was going down today, and I was so not in a state to handle it. I was very weak and emotional. I eyed the other half of my sandwich in the trash. I’d only eaten half of it (portion control), but now I was thinking I might need more sustenance. I looked around to make sure no one was watching, then reached into the trash can and wolfed down the second half. Judge me all you want. I deserve it.

“Hi!” I nearly jumped out of my chair at the sound of Kate’s voice. She was standing behind me, looking well rested. I wish I’d just gone home when she had.

“You scared me,”I said, putting my hand over my chest.

“Sorry!” Kate stepped further into my area and leaned against the wall of my cube. “How late did you stay out last night?”

Ugh, too late,” I said. “I’m hurting.”

“Yeah, I think Richard is too,” Kate said. “Were you out with him?”

“Kevin was there too,” I added, quickly. Too quickly. Kate gave me a weird look. I tried to change the subject. “Want to have a carb fest for lunch?” I asked.

Kate wrinkled her nose. “I was thinking salad. But maybe.” She turned. “I have to get back to work.”

Ok. That hadn’t gone terribly. I didn’t know whether or not to tell Kate. I wouldn’t tell her without first telling Richard, because that would be unfair. And I knew a confrontation between us was inevitable. I was kind of looking forward to it, which is unusual for me, because I’m not a big fan of confrontation. I had things to say to that guy.

I decided to stop in Megan’s office to see if she needed me to do anything for her, but she wasn’t there. On my way back to my desk, I ran into Richard again. This time he was alone.

He put his hands up. “Don’t shoot.”

I didn’t smile. “This isn’t funny. Not to me.”

Richard sighed. “I was out of line for some of the things I said last night,” he said. “But I’m not going to apologize for kissing you.”

“Thank you,” I said. “I wasn’t looking for an apology for the kiss—we both did that. But you didn’t have to be such an asshole. I stopped it for all the reasons I already gave you and I wish you could just respect that instead of bringing Peter into it. They’re valid reasons on their own that have nothing to do with him. You point blank told me you lose interest in a girl the second you sleep with her and—”

“I wouldn’t,” Richard said, louder than he meant to. He looked around the hallway to make sure no one else was around. But we were alone. “I wouldn’t with you.”

“You would. I’m like a boyfriend pusher. I’d try and make you my boyfriend because I don’t know any other way and you’d hate me and then we wouldn’t be friends andthat would kill me.”

Richard sighed and leaned against the wall. He tilted his head back. “You won’t even give me a chance and I haven’t even done anything to disappoint you yet. But you give him a second chance after he broke your heart.” He was talking about Peter.

 “He didn’t break my heart. The timing was off. It just didn’t work and it wasn’t necessarily any one person’s fault.”

“I’m just asking for a chance,” Richard said. “Just give me a chance to prove to you that you’re wrong about me.” He took a step closer. “Tell me you didn’t feel anything for me last night. If you honestly didn’t, I’ll leave you alone.”

I couldn’t tell him that, because I did feel something when we kissed last night. Of course I did. Richard is hot, and even better than that, we get along like bandits. We have a similar sense of humor, and I like that he pushes my buttons, and that he calls me on my bullshit. But I didn’t want to be his little experiment, and I didn’t want him to make a fool out of me. I don’t know—maybe he wouldn’t? Every girl says this at one time or another—it will be different with me. And it never is. So why was I even entertaining this?

Richard opened his mouth to say something more but we heard footsteps behind us. As they grew closer I saw they belonged to Kate. She looked like she was about to cry, and I felt a flash of panic. She’d heard our whole conversation, hadn’t she? “You guys, something is happening,” she said.

“What?” I asked, my heart racing as my overactive imagination roared to life and landed on the only possible conclusion: Terrorist attack! Evacuate the city!

“I don’t know,” she said. “Kim from rights was just let go, and so was her assistant. And Richard, I think your boss is with HR now.”

“Oh my god,” I said. This had to be what William was talking about. This was why he didn’t come in today. We hurried back to our desks. On the way, I glanced into Megan’s office. It was still empty. She had to be with HR too.

It was like the goddamn Hunger Games. One by one, various editors and their assistants were called down to HR. When they returned to their desks, they were either crying and/or fuming, tossing their things into boxes that the mail guys had delivered to their desks while they were downstairs.

“Hey.” I turned. Richard was behind me. “I just got a call to head down to HR. It’s been nice knowing you.”

“What?” I gasped. I fumbled to say something to make him feel better. “Maybe they’re promoting you?”

Richard laughed. “You can be really sweet sometimes.” With that, he walked away. Kate and I locked eyes from across the office, and she shook her head sadly.

My phone rang. It was William again. “William,” I said when I picked up.

He sighed. “Okay, do you know now?”

“Yes. What is going on?”

“Downsizing,” he said. “Sales aren’t doing as well as they’d hoped. But you and I—we’re fine. They need me,” he laughed, cockily. “And I need you. Therefore you are safe.”

“Who’s getting fired?”

“They’re not being fired, Josie. They’re being laid off. This isn’t about performance. It’s about money. Money that the company doesn’t have.”

“Fine, fine. Who is it?”

William listed a bunch of names. Megan was one of them, but Kate wasn’t, and neither was Richard. I felt hopeful for a moment before he said, “Oh! And your friend. What’s his name? He was at the party last night?”

My heart sank. “Richard.”

“Yeah, Richard. Listen,” William said. “It’s nothing personal. It’s purely a business decision. They overshot their load when they built the team for this imprint. They just have to get rid of some of the fat. HR will help everyone land jobs elsewhere, and they’ll be fine. You’re young, so this is new and traumatic for you. But I’ve been through this a million times before. I’ve been your friend Richard, and look at me now. He’ll be fine.”

I closed my eyes and leaned my forehead up against my fist. Of all days to be so hungover I could barely function it had to be this day. “Okay,” I said, quietly.

“This is why I told you not to come in,” William said. “Just shut your computer down and go home and have a glass of wine and relax. When you wake up in the morning it will be like it never happened.” Have a glass of wine? It wasn’t even noon.

We said goodbye and I placed the phone in the receiver. I was near tears for Richard. 

I refreshed my email. Peter had written me back that he didn’t have any plans, and did I want to do something? I was just about to respond when I spotted Richard, back from HR. Kate and I ambushed him at the same time.

“What happened?” Kate asked. She’d gotten to him first.

“Take a wild guess,” he said.

Kate covered her mouth and her eyes filled with tears. “Come on,” Richard said, pulling Kate in for a hug. “I’m fine. They give you a surprisingly good severance too.”

“I’m really sorry, Richard,” I said. He held my gaze over the top of Kate’s head, which was buried in his chest. He reached out and squeezed my hand. “Thanks,” he said.

Kate and I helped him pack up his desk. It was 4 in the afternoon by the time he was done, and Kate’s boss told her to take off as well. Everyone who had been let go had gathered at a bar around the corner, so we decided to go there.

I texted Peter to tell him about the bloodbath, and that I was lending my support by having a drink with  the victims.

“Want me to come meet you?” he wrote back. I wanted to see him, but that would be like rubbing salt into Richard’s wound, so I told him no.

Everyone but Megan was at the bar. I found out that she had just gotten up and walked out when the HR rep told her they were letting her go. She didn’t even pack up her office! Megan had been icy, but she’d been good at her job and I learned a lot from her. I was going to have to send her an email or something—surely we’d cross paths again.

The last thing I wanted to do was drink after the night I’d had, but when I tried to order a club soda, Richard got all pouty. “I just got fired, and you can’t have a drink with me?” I ordered a beer, and nursed it for an hour, gagging on every sip. Meanwhile, I think Richard had at least three Jack and Cokes, and one whiskey shot. I had to turn away when he slugged it, afraid I would vomit vicariously through him.

The drunker he got, the handsier he got. But not with me—with Kate. And she was eating it up. At one point they were in the corner, him with his hand looped around her waist, inches from her ass, whispering into her ear. I watched him kiss her neck—the same way he’d kissed my neck the night before. When Kate turned around to order another drink at the bar, Richard looked pointedly at me. He took a sip of his drink, raising his eyebrows, as if to say, What are you going to do about it?

Nothing. There was nothing I could do about it without coming off like a real asshole. It really was an evil genius move on Richard’s part—if I told Kate not to hook up with him tonight, and I told her I thought he was just trying to make me jealous, I would look like a raging egomaniac. Plus, I’d have to come clean about what had happened the night before, but it wouldn’t look like I was telling her for pure reasons. It would look like I was telling her so that she wouldn’t hook up with Richard, because I was jealous or something. And maybe I was a little. But I was also outraged—a few hours ago you were telling me things would be different with me, and now you’re nuzzling my friend’s neck right in front of me. People who have just been fired deserve a lot of slack, but the scene in front of me was literally reason numero uno why I shouldn’t listen to a single word that comes out of Richard’s mouth. He’s so full of bullshit. He will say anything to get in a girl’s pants. God knows how many others he’s used that line with—”Just give me a chance to prove to you that you’re wrong about me.” What a crock.

I waited for Richard to go to the bathroom and I approached Kate. “Hey,” I said.

“Hi!” she said. She was glowing.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked, gently. “Remember how he was the last time?”

Kate rolled her eyes. “He just got fired. The guy deserves to get laid.”

“I just,” I stopped. Richard was coming out of the bathroom, and making his way over to us. He saw me close talking Kate and picked up the pace. Quickly, I said, “I just don’t want to see you upset like that again.”

Kate laughed. “Don’t worry, mom.”

“What’s going on?” Richard asked. He was practically out of breath from having rushed over to us.

“I’m taking off,” I said, giving him a look. “I’ll see you guys.”

Richard hooked his arm around Kate’s waist and pulled her into him. “Cool,” he said, narrowing his eyes at me. “See you.”

I turned on my heel. You have no right to be annoyed, you have no right to be annoyed, I chanted to myself as I made my way out of the bar. But I was annoyed! Why is Richard messing with me like this? And why was it bothering me when it shouldn’t? I needed to re-focus on Peter. Peter, who has been straightforward with me and isn’t playing games like Richard is.

I decided to chalk the last twenty-four hours up to the fact that it was the eve of Friday the 13th, and everyone was acting like damn fools. Myself included. I was also exhausted and needed to go to bed and get a good night’s sleep. In the morning, with a head that wasn’t throbbing like a discotheque,  everything would be clear. I wouldn’t have these conflicting feelings for Richard. I was sure of it.