Editor's Picks

Our 21 favorite articles of 2021 from The Tempest fam

In recognition of the hard work our writers and editors have done this year, we wanted to highlight some of our favorite articles. These are the stories that resonated with our audience, fellows, and more importantly with each other. 2021 has been a rough year, but we can still find a silver lining within these cloudy skies.

1. Naomi Osaka makes a case for athlete activism

Naomi Osaka wearing a 'Breonna Taylor' mask while playing
[Naomi Osaka wearing a ‘Breonna Taylor’ mask while playing], via ABC Frank Franklin
This article proves that people are more than the basic stereotypes society expects them to live up to. Being an athlete is more than playing a sport. It can also mean utilizing your platform to speak about injustices that affect you to a wider audience. 

2. White supremacy is on display in the US Capitol

[Image Description: Rioters entering the US Capitol with Trump flags. The buildings is surrounded by a fog of tear gas.] Via Reuters.
[Image Description: Rioters entering the US Capitol with Trump flags. The buildings are surrounded by a fog of tear gas.] Via Reuters.
This admittedly embarrassing time for the United States, also reveals an ugly truth hiding in plain sight. White supremacists, in a state of insecurity of losing their privilege, are fighting for their voice to be heard in a society that is already made in their favor.

3. Bridgerton’s new leading lady Kate Sharma is here – and she’s South Asian

[Image description: Simone Ashley playing Olivia in 'Sex Education' looking to the side and wearing a red jacket. ] Via Netflix
[Image description: Simone Ashley playing Olivia in ‘Sex Education’ looking to the side and wearing a red jacket. ] Via Netflix
One of the most-viewed Netflix shows of all time, featuring a dark-skinned Woman of Color in the main character role? And it looks like it isn’t a pandering move for performative representation? Yeah, you know we have to talk about this.

4. Monique Coleman’s HSM story reveals a larger pattern of hair discrimination in the workplace

[Image description: A collage of Monique Coleman as Taylor Mckessie from Highschool Musical and Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz from Riverdale.] Via and
[Image description: A collage of Monique Coleman as Taylor Mckessie from Highschool Musical and Vanessa Morgan as Toni Topaz from Riverdale.] Via and
In a white-dominated society, it is easy to overlook something like hair. However, in the black community, hair has so much meaning and reveals a deeper story about identity. Having that not be taken seriously or being looked down on is something that needs to be corrected.

5. All the words I wish I could have told you

An image of a man and woman lying down in a field, her head is in his lap.
[Image Description: An image of a man and woman lying down in a field, her head is in his lap.] Via Unsplash
A very raw self-reflection of a failed relationship. It’ll pull on your heartstrings and will make you realize the impact people do have on our lives. No one is ever really gone even after they left.

6. Meghan Markle’s interview with Oprah reminds us not to romanticize the British Monarch

[Image description: photo captured from Oprah Winfrey interview with Meghan Markle.] Via
[Image description: photo captured from Oprah Winfrey interview with Meghan Markle.] Via
This is a commentary from our editors on the ground-breaking Oprah interview on what happened behind closed doors. Meghan proves how much mainstream media puts the British Monarchy in a lighthearted way, they are still a reminder of a colonial past living on present-day in a new outlook.

7. Corsets are finally back in style – here’s what you need to know

[Image description: a long-haired woman wearing a white corset]
[Image description: a long-haired woman wearing a white corset] Via Unsplash
One of the biggest fashion trends in 2021. Would you think twice about a garment that is a symbol of societal expectations of what a woman’s body should naturally look like just because you saw a celebrity you like wear it?

8. The jury finds Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts of murdering George Floyd

[Image Description: A protestor holding a sign that says I Can't Breathe] Via Unsplash
[Image Description: A protestor holding a sign that says I Can’t Breathe] Via Unsplash
A landmark decision that made everyone hold their breath. An event that sparked #BlackLivesMatter marches worldwide. This is only the beginning.

9. Celebrities are not activists, but they play a role in the public perception of Palestine

Group of persons gathered for a protest in a city with Palestinian flags
Group of persons gathered for a protest in a city with Palestinian flags

You should not take a celebrity’s opinion as law, but they sure as hell have the influence to turn their followers on to a certain issue. Society gives a lot of spotlight to A-listers so when they start talking, it will bring a lot of attention to an issue. However, their silence can speak volumes as well.

10. Let me tell you about Wu Zetian, China’s only empress and most hated woman

An image of Wu Zetian from "An 18th century album of portraits of 86 emperors of China, with Chinese historical notes".
[Image description: An image of Wu Zetian from “An 18th-century album of portraits of 86 emperors of China, with Chinese historical notes”.] Via Encyclopædia Britannica
Wu Zetian may appear controversial in some circles, but her placement in history should be recognized. She made great advancements despite the drama that riddled throughout her reign. But in the end, she is still human and a damn great ruler.

11. The problem with ‘nude’ in the fashion and beauty industries

Seven body luminizing tint tubes in various shades
[Image Description: Seven body luminizing tint tubes in various shades] Via Fenty Beauty on Instagram
The fashion and beauty industries still have a long way to go to become inclusive to their audience. “Nude” was always catered toward white people, not POCs. Here we call out this problem and suggest some great business to look at who reclaims what nude means.

12. Compulsory heterosexuality is yet another thing I had to unlearn from my youth

[Image description: Happy couple relaxing on bed together.] Via Pexels
[Image description: Happy couple relaxing on a bed together.] Via Pexels
Breaking free of what you have been taught is not an easy task. It takes a lot of questioning and recognizing those ideas you grew up with can be wrong and in turn hurting your development. This article will leave you questioning influence other things that were considered normal, and that’s a good thing.

13. Here’s everything you need to know about the controversy around NFTs and artists

A still from the Nyan Cat YouTube video
[Image description: A still from the Nyan Cat YouTube video] Via YouTube
One of the biggest things to come out in 2021 was the rise of NFTs. We lay down what they are and their place in the artist community in an easy-to-understand read.

14. My female friends are the reason why I know true love

[Image description: Photo of women laughing.] Via Pexels
[Image description: Photo of women laughing.] Via Pexels
Platonic love gets overlooked, but it is truly one of the best relationships a person can have. Remember, you can find love in other people – and it doesn’t need to be romantic.

15. Canada continues to violate the rights of Indigenous people

[ Image description: A white teepee.] via Erikawittlieb on Pixabay
A heartbreaking revelation of Indigenous people being wrongfully treated and a worthwhile read. Talking about these atrocities is important and we can no longer allow Indigenous people to have their rights be ignored.

16. Fashion can thank feminism for its leading magazine

[Image description: Hélène Gordon-Lazareff, an early cover of Elle, and a contemporary issue of Elle with bottles of nail polish.] Via,, and Unsplash
[Image description: Hélène Gordon-Lazareff, an early cover of Elle, and a contemporary issue of Elle with bottles of nail polish.] Via,, and Unsplash
The core progressive principles of Gordon-Lazareff live on in Elle Magazine. It’s more than a fashion magazine, it is a symbol of women’s empowerment.

17. How I video-gamed my lockdown away 

A screenshot from Animal Crossing New Horizons, with the main character smiling in front of her house.
A screenshot from Animal Crossing New Horizons, with the main character smiling in front of her house.

If you weren’t the group of people who decided to take up a side hustle during the lockdown, did you end up playing video games instead? Sometimes you don’t need to make money to feel like you need to accomplish something. Sometimes you just need to go fishing on your animated island with all of your animal villagers and smile.

18. Is freelancing a risky or necessary career move?

[Image description: Person sitting at a computer.] Via Pexels
[Image description: Person sitting at a computer.] Via Pexels
This isn’t a simple yes or no question and it wasn’t designed to be. Capitalism robs us of feeling like our artistic passions are only meant for a paycheck and not as the form of expression it was meant to be.

19. Chloé Zhao admitting she still writes fanfiction made my 2021

Chloe Zhao sits in front of a yellow background
[Image description: Chloe Zhao sits in front of a yellow background] Via Oscars
Doesn’t get as relatable as this. All those nights reading amazing fanfiction to only realize one of them was made by an Oscar-winning director? Isn’t it great to imagine you got a glimpse of success so early before their breakout moment?

20. The good fortune of being a nobody

A woman stands in front of a camera. Via Unsplash
[Image Description: A woman stands in front of a camera. Via Unsplash]
Life leads us to the path we were meant to be on. This is a scary moment of how a brush of success can be a major turning point as to where your life can lead.

21. When you need a break from the news, it’s okay

A group of people protesting.
[Image Description: A group of people protesting.] Via Unsplash
It is important to stay informed at to be on top of news as it happens, but it is equally important to check in with yourself. When the news gets too much, you need to know when to step back. This article is a great way to remind yourself to do so.

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Did you like what we picked? Which was the article that spoke to you the most?

We want to thank you all for a wonderous 2021. It’s been a wild year, to say the least. Thanks for making us part of your corner of the internet. Here’s to another year of great content to consume. Much love from The Tempest Fam!

Feel-Good Love + Sex Love

Why Halloween is the OG romantic holiday of the year

Looking for more spooky stories? Check our Halloween series here!

2020 is truly the year that’s changing life as we know it. If you had told me a few years ago that Halloween had more romantic traditions than Valentine’s Day, I wouldn’t have believed you. But with spooky season creeping up, and Halloween crawling thick into the October air, I’ve been falling deep into a Halloween romance spiral.

Who would’ve thought it was the key romantic holiday of the year?

If you look back, Halloween was considered a way for people, especially women of ‘marriageable age’ to enjoy flirting, romance and the opportunity of love in a way that society approved of. Pretty interesting, right? Some even claimed that this romantic holiday was the time for women to flip the script and take control of their destinies. Talk about fascinating!

Halloween was once considered a holiday that was entirely about couples, dating games and romantic traditions that resulted in long-lasting unions and fruitful courtships. Who would have thought that?

No sir, not me. 

Which is why we did some digging and uncovered five very interesting traditions and sayings around this much overlooked and underrated romantic holiday:

1. Till World War II, Halloween was *the* Beyoncé of romantic holidays

[Image description: A GIF of Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze from the romantic thriller movie Ghost] Via Giphy
No, we’re not joking.

It was one of the most happening couple holidays and people celebrated the whole night by turning it into a huge matchmaking marathon but with costumes and spirits.

Sima Aunty gasping in our midst.

According to old lore, hordes of young, singles would set empty places at their dinner tables and light lanterns on their doorsteps or leave treats for spirits on windowsills, all in hopes that members of the afterlife would show them their future bae and that they too, would be married by next Halloween.

I’m low-key wishing I found my Patrick Swayze from Ghost, right about now.

2. Halloween is celebrated very uniquely in Ireland

A gif of multiple rings floating into water.
[Image description: A gif of multiple rings floating into water.] Via Giphy
Samhain, as the holiday is referred to in Ireland and few other parts in the world, is celebrated by practicing a very interested Halloween divination ritual.

Involving a meal of colcannon, mashed potatoes, parsnips, and chopped onions, it’s said that if a ring was buried in the colcannon, the one to find it would be married within in the year. And if the person who found it was already married, they would have extremely good luck.

I could really use either of that, about now. 

3. Apples have played a huge role in Halloween traditions

[Image description: A GIF of a dark-haired man saying this is a little kinky, even for me] Via Giphy
One game in particular, Snap Apple, challenged participants to use only their teeth to bite a hanging apple from the ceiling by string or a ribbon.

The catch? The first to succeed would be the first to marry.

How do you like them apples? 

4. This one’s all about apples (again)

[Image description: A GIF of the witch from Snow White saying ‘Bon Appetit’ while holding a basket of apples] Via Giphy
And no, an apple a day doesn’t quite keep the doctor away.

But this tradition, hailing from good ol’ U-S-of-A sounds like something straight out of a Charmed episode. Apparently, if people cut a long strip off apple skin and tossed it over their shoulder, the landed peel was said to resemble the first initial of a potential suitor.

This would really make my dating life much simpler.

Brb, trying it out for science. 

5. Our last one is by far the most romantic but also the most cheesy

[Image description: A GIF of the original Addams Family adaptation with Morticia and Gomez talking to each other] Via Giphy
It is said that if there’s a proposal on Halloween night, the couple would have an everlasting love. And that is why it is believed that people who fall in love on Halloween are said to never be broken apart.

If you’re looking for some fun this Halloween, here’s your chance!

Head out to those socially distant Halloween gatherings and let love and lust guide the way forward. After all, the universe is rooting for you and your bae.

Now, while we did a little look into how Halloween and romance tie together, we truly can’t deny that Halloween has also given us ample excuses to spend the spooky holiday, boo’ed up (pun intended).

From giving us romantic ways to spend the holiday, turning dressing up into a couples activity or even letting us fall in love with the dark side (*cough Twilight cough*).

Think Dracula and Mina Harker, the Phantom and Christine, Morticia and Gomez Addams.

We’re huge fans of this romance-heavy but scary holiday!

Do you have any interesting Halloween myths or sayings you’ve heard of? Let us know on by mentioning us on social media! And if you’re still looking for a costume to spice up the holiday, look here.

Get The Tempest in your inbox. Read more exclusives like this in our weekly newsletter!

Love + Sex Love Life Stories

Have you ever felt unrequited love?

Usually when I think of unrequited love, I think of something great. Some sort of grand story full of catharsis. Unrequited is generally special.

A type of love that demands to be talked about for an eternity. Something electric, with compulsive wavelengths. Something like the movies that comes with its own playlist attached to it.

Something with late and long nights spent together in a damp minivan twinkling and spitting out dreams on a whim. Something with vicious fights fueled by our own desire. Something that makes my soul open up just as swiftly as it gets torn apart. And, somehow I wind up bursting at the seams yet feel completely unsatisfied. I always want more. 

Why do we long for the type of love that hurts so much it imprints our hearts? It is difficult to locate the line that separates struggle and triumph, as nearly every love story in popular media blurs the two. But unrequited love is so unbelievably magnificent and sad at the same time that it becomes all encompassing.

Unrequited love is an entire body, overwhelming, feeling. I have broken hearts before and I have had my heart broken, so I can tell you that the feeling never fades, one way or the other. It feels as if you are running fast, and for a long time, yet making no distance at all.

One time I waited two months for a guy to message me back before I realized that he just wasn’t going to. Ever. Again. And that entire time I couldn’t help but wonder why I cared so much. What we had wasn’t at all special, but I still was left longing for a distraction from the heartbreak. I was showered by his passivity instead of his kisses and I wanted him to know how much his absence hurt me, but he was so equally careless and carefree that none of it mattered.

Not even for a second. 

I felt unrequited love again while in a long-distance relationship. This kind of unrequited was different. It wasn’t one-sided. Instead, we felt tremendously for each other. It’s just that our bodies weren’t able to be physically together for some time. We were only long distance for the few months that I would be studying abroad, but it felt like an eternity. I remember being there and using all of my senses to try to gauge what his touch felt like.

Somedays I would wake up and watch the sun from my window, silently knowing that that same sun wouldn’t bounce to him for another six hours, and I would recall how that same sun looked dancing across his back at dawn. I’d lay in bed at night and want to tell him about my day, but I knew that I couldn’t. I was constantly reminded that he no longer took up the space in between my arms when we slept. But I was, and still am, fascinated by the immediate consumption of these moments. I am so grateful to have given him my heart. He still has it. 

The extent of passion is practically boundless. We should feel like we can fly on a whim, or scream and dance, when we are in love. Unrequited love just forces you to confront that intensity, those struggles and triumphs, head on. Some of it is beautiful; some not so much. I like to remind myself that love doesn’t need a reason, love just is. 

Unrequited love is messy, but worth it. It is a collection of fleeting moments. It teaches us that all love should be leaking, dripping, through every difficulty yet also a thread that is continuously weaving through and connecting our bodies and our souls. The whole point of longing is to continue, because there will always be potential to love someone rather than to have loved someone. They can’t be the one that got away if they weren’t the one in the first place.


If you’re not looking to have a traditional marriage, here are 6 ways to find true happiness

Not everyone works the same way so why must we desire the same things from a relationship? Within it are options available for people who don’t believe in marriage, are commitment-phobic, LGBTQA, or just plain don’t believe in monogamy between two people. There are a lot of reasons that a person might not be interested in the traditional way of going about it, be it due to a lack of interest or opportunity, and there are options available for them to pick and choose from. Because that’s what marriage is, isn’t it? A choice two people make.

[bctt tweet=”Because that’s what marriage is, isn’t it? A choice two people make. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

1. Cohabitation

[Image description: a gif of a scene from Gilmore Girls. Jackson is saying to Sookie, 'Why would living together mess all that up?' Image source:]
[Image description: A gif of a scene from Gilmore Girls. Jackson is saying to Sookie, “Why would living together mess all that up?”] Via giphy
Cohabitation is when people in a committed relationship simply live together. They share their lives, and a home, and are privy to one another’s bathroom habits and bad days. Nothing but their will binds them together. Now, sure, they are not bound to one another by law, but does that really make it any less serious of a commitment? Who needs a piece of paper when you have plain ol’ love?

2. Starter Marriage

[Image description: A gif of two judges from America's Got Talent quickly placing their hand over a buzzer to say yes for a contestant.]
[Image description: A gif of two judges from America’s Got Talent quickly placing their hand over a buzzer to say yes for a contestant.] Via giphy
Maybe you don’t hate the idea of being married to your partner but you’re afraid it won’t last. The uncertainty is pretty normal, and nothing to be ashamed of. Starter marriages give you the chance to write your own marriage contract and put down an expiration date. If you still want to be married by the time your expiration date comes around you can just write up another contract or renew your current one. Then there is no what if to haunt you.

[bctt tweet=”The uncertainty is pretty normal, and nothing to be ashamed of. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

3. Parenting Marriage

[Image description: a gif from the movie The Back-Up Plan showing Jennifer Lopez telling a man, "Just give me your sperm." Image source:]
[Image description: A gif from the movie The Back-Up Plan showing Jennifer Lopez telling a man, “Just give me your sperm.”] Via giphy
This is a good option for someone who is aromantic and wants a family. An aromantic person may not have a romantic attraction to someone but that has no bearing on having a sexual attraction to one’s partner or wanting to share a loving home with someone. There is no shame in feeling this way. So if you want to have kids with someone without the pressure of a romantically-attached marriage, parenting marriages are just the thing for you.

4. The Living Will

[Image description: a gif of TV personality Chelsea Handler supporting gay rights on her talk show. She says, "Let gay people do whatever they want." Image source:]
[Image description: A gif of TV personality Chelsea Handler supporting gay rights on her talk show. She says, “Let gay people do whatever they want.”] Via giphy
Is romance dead? I don’t know about that. But lawfully allowing someone the right to make decisions on your behalf when you can’t, might be an important step. A living will is made when one is alive, in which one can name their partner (married or not) as their next of kin.

If you live in a country where LGBT+ marriage is illegal, then this can be a good way to work around an unfair and oppressive system. Just make sure to check out your national laws regarding this process.

5. An Open Marriage

Image description: a gif of Beyoncé being Beyoncé at a concert.
[Image description: A gif of Beyoncé flipping her hair.] Via giphy
There was once a time in my life when I was all raised eyebrows about this one. I thought that if you’re emotionally committed to one person, you wouldn’t want to have sexual or romantic encounters with anyone else. But some people don’t experience desire and love as purely monogamous and that’s completely okay!

Nothing dictates that an open marriage is a lesser marriage. Research dictates, however, that priorities and explicit communication are necessary for such an arrangement to work out. So as long as everyone involved is consenting and clear on the situation, then everything is good. 

6. The Happy State of Singledom

[Image description: a gif of a woman wearing elaborate jewelry and a red dress celebrating her single lifestyle. She says, "I'm as single as a dollar bill, and I'm loving it." Image source:]
[Image description: A gif of a woman wearing elaborate jewelry and a red dress celebrating her single lifestyle. She says, “I’m as single as a dollar bill, and I’m loving it.”] Via giphy
You can call me a Crazy Cat Lady for this one, but I don’t care. The fact is that you don’t need another human being to feel fulfilled. If someone tries to tell you that you’ll be miserable without a partner to share your life with, you tell them about the ways in which you aren’t on your own. On the contrary, you happen to be in excellent company! Tell them about Florence Nightingale, Coco Chanel, and Shonda Rhimes; all amazing women who didn’t need to be married to do amazing things with their lives.

[bctt tweet=”The fact is that you don’t need another human being to feel fulfilled. ” username=”wearethetempest”]

So to all of you out there being pressured into marriage; you have other options. Don’t let anyone dull your shine, or try to tell you what you need to be fulfilled!

Love + Sex Love Life Stories

13 things you’ll only understand if you hate dating

If you’re someone who hates emotions, easily feels awkward, finds the idea of being shackled to a significant other panic-inducing, thinks that marriage is a trap, finds mushy couples nauseating, or just generally dislikes dating, I feel you. Dating is hard, especially in 2017, and some of us prefer to keep things lowkey and stick to casual hookups. Some of us don’t even go that far and prefer to have casual wine nights with the same four friends, weekend after weekend because meeting new people is exhausting.

Quite frankly, being in a relationship seems way too demanding for me. Relationships drain me and take up precious time I could be using to see my friends, explore new cities, research important social issues, and sleep. I’m not a particularly warm person, and I can admit that I have little interest in romance (gag) or PDA.

If you also find yourself emotionally estranged at all times or just really value your freedom, you’ll probably identify with these statements on a deep level.

1. You think flirting is hard

[Image Description: A woman sitting in on a chair, raising her hands while saying, “Maybe I like you, maybe I don’t.”]
I’m a very sarcastic person, so attempting to turn that part of my personality off and actually be nice to someone who is showing interest in me is difficult.

I’m often kinda mean and scare people off, but I can’t really help it.

2. You’re terrified of “catching feelings”

[Image description: A woman with a terrified expression screaming as the camera zooms on her face.]
This is especially true if you’re about as sentimental as a paint chip. Where did these feelings come from? Do I actually genuinely care about someone other than myself? How do I stop this?

3. You dread having the “What are we?” conversation with your fuck buddy

[Image Description: A woman wearing a dress waving her hands and leaving after giving a flying kiss with both her hands.]
We’re nothing because I’m about the dip-the-fuck-out-and-end-all-contact-with-you approach.

4. Seeing your friends in happy relationships and knowing you’ll never have that is a sad reality check

[Image Description: A sleeping hamster falling in a small hole on his face.]
Do you ever look at happy couples and feel a yearning for a significant other who isn’t a total fuck, only to remember the combination of your debilitating anxiety, tendency to cancel plans and general emotional unavailability that only perpetuates your relationship with wine?

5. Your response to nosy relatives is on point because you’ve said it so many times

[Image Description: A woman saying “Stay out of my business.” to another woman.]
For the umpteenth time, no, I’m not seeing anyone, because I avoid that shit like the plague. Nothing to see here, move along!

6. Listening to your friends’ relationship troubles is lowkey annoying because you just can’t relate

[Image Description: A man in a woman’s wedding gown saying “I know.”]
I want to be there for you, but nobody likes me, so there’s that. I don’t know what it’s like to enjoy being with someone else in the first place, so I probably can’t help you.

7. You make it abundantly clear to all your hookups that you’re NOT looking for anything more

[Image Description: A woman sitting on a sofa saying, “Nah!”]
So they won’t text/snap/slide into your DMs the next day! Be honest from the start so you don’t have to deal with their emotional baggage later.

8. You’re resigned to being the third (or fifth) wheel when you go out with your friends and their partners

[Image Description: A man and woman are holding hands on top of a table, looking at each other, when another woman comes and sits on one of the chairs of the table.]
But at this point, it’s not even weird anymore.

You’re no longer just tagging along; it’s more like you’re a part of a small family. And you’d rather hang out with your friends than a significant other, anyway.

9. You honestly wonder how TF people get married

[Image Description: A man in a pink snapback saying, “The fuck?”]
HOW? How do you decide you want to spend a lifetime with someone? How can you put up with someone else’s annoying habits, day after day, year after year?

I can’t even decide if I like these tacos enough to eat all three.

10. You scoff at the idea of soulmates

[Image Description: A man laughing with a hand over his mouth.]
Lmao, excuse me, what?

Yes, I’m clearly jaded, but also, soulmates aren’t a thing. When people use this term I’m caught between laughing hysterically and vomiting, and sometimes I’m not polite enough to keep this reaction inside.

11. You feel legit nauseated at the prospect of long-term commitments

[Image Description: A woman saying “Everything hurts and I’m dying.” while smiling into the camera.]
Surprise, those aren’t butterflies in your stomach, it’s just your stomach churning.

12. You’re pretty sure that if you ever are married, divorce will absolutely be part of your future

[Image Description: A woman standing with the door of the room half open, saying “I want a divorce.”]
I hate to be super pessimistic, but it’s true. If I get tired of people after dating them for only a few months, how will I survive a marriage?

‘Till death do us part, no thank you.

13. You have constant crushes but know none of them are serious

[Image Description: A woman sitting on a sofa in a red dress smiling while saying “Look, he’s cute!”]
You see attractive people, admire them from afar, but since you’re awkward, you never approach them or make any serious moves. This aggravates your friends to no end, but you’re content to stay in your reclusive bubble.

Will I ever find a life partner? Probably not. Dating simply isn’t enjoyable or worthwhile to me.

Plenty of friends and family have told me that I just haven’t met the right person. News flash: men are terrible and I’ll probably never meet one I can stand. But my aversion to dating goes beyond my hatred of the patriarchy.

I genuinely value time to myself. I don’t see anything wrong with going through life without a partner; in fact, traveling, living, and making life changes by yourself can be incredibly fulfilling and even relaxing.

If you’re like me and dating isn’t for you, don’t let anyone tell you that it should be. Keep doing what you’re comfortable with and living your best life.

Love Advice

Am I wrong to be attracted to guys of different races?


Gulnaz, known affectionately as Gulu, is The Tempest’s newest advice columnist. We get a lot of bang for our buck with her: in each response, Gulu pulls in the unique perspectives from her close friends, sisters and mother to give the feel of brunch with your best gals (and, occasionally, your mom). Here’s her first column.

Hey, Gulu,

I recently realized that my soulmate could be from anywhere, and I’ve started noticing guys of different backgrounds standing out — white guys, Japanese, Pakistani. I’m not totally sure, though, if I should pursue relationships this way. Am I wrong to be attracted to men based on their ethnicity?


Really, Really Hoping She’s Not Racist in Love


Hey, Not Racist!

I took this question to the people I go to with most of my own questions: my sisters Arshia, Sana, and Soha, as well as my mother. I’m going to preface this answer with an important disclaimer from a recent law school graduate (proud of you, Arsh!).

Arshia, 27, almost-lawyer: We wouldn’t be answering this question if it came from a white dude asking if his fetish for Asian women was okay.

Gulu, 29: That said, there is absolutely nothing wrong with being attracted to people of different races and ethnicities. I’m not personally convinced in such a thing as a soulmate, but it is possible to connect with someone with a different heritage than yourself — I’m married to a man of a different ethnicity and it’s never been an issue. That’s the simple answer.

You have a problem, though, if you’re attracted to men because of their race.

Arshia: It’s okay to think people from other ethnicities are hot, but that’s not a specific reason to date someone. So as long as you’re not exoticizing men of different ethnicities, it’s okay.

[bctt tweet=”You have a problem if you’re attracted to men because of their race.” username=”wearethetempest”]

Sana, 25, science nerd: I’m going to repeat an important point here, and this one is for the dude with a thing for Asian women who is angrily reading this: race or ethnicity is not a specific reason to date someone. Likewise, race or ethnicity is not a specific reason not to date someone. You cannot be attracted to “Mexican men” or not be attracted to “Mexican men.” That would be racist, and, like racism always is, inaccurate. Mexican men look all sorts of ways and Mexican men behave all sorts of ways.

Gulu: So you’re scoping out your options, and let’s say a white, blonde, blue-eyed man stands out to you. It’s okay that you find these features attractive, you just have to remember that, 1) we live in a society where we’re often conditioned to like these specific features at the expense of others, 2) that these features indicate nothing about this guy’s personality or relationship potential, and 3) you’re not attracted to him because he’s white, but rather because these often-occurring-in-people-who-appear-white features are put together quite nicely on this specific man.

Sana: You’re fine as long as you’re open to whomever, rather than ‘oh, I’ll only date white guys’ or something.

Gulu: Now, for An Aunty Opinion on this, roughly translated from Hindi:

Mom: Generally, I agree with — there’s nothing wrong with getting to know (Gulu: not dating, because obviously) or marrying someone of any background, so long as you have shared values. But, if your parents are uncomfortable with you marrying outside of your own ethnicity, you don’t want to do anything that makes them upset.

Gulu: So I don’t really agree, because your parents aren’t the ones marrying this person. But I’m guess I also get where that sentiment comes from. We do have to acknowledge that from many parents’ experiences as immigrants or who are otherwise marginalized, it’s difficult sometimes to see your children make choices that lead them away from the culture they were raised with.

[bctt tweet=”It’s hard to see your kids make choices that remove them from the culture you raised them in.” username=”wearethetempest”]

I’m not sure if your parents are part of the issue here, but it is possible that maintaining a cultural or ethnic identity is important to you after you get married. Speaking from personal experience here, I don’t see my marriage to a non-Indian as taking me away from my culture. In fact, I think it makes me more strongly identify with my background, and reflect deeply about what about my parents’ culture I’d like to maintain and pass on to my children someday. If you were raised in a way that suggested you should look for partners from among your own community, I’d recommend discussing it with your family.

Soha, won’t-share-her-age (Gulu: <eyeroll emoji>), attorney: It doesn’t matter if you end up with someone who others are uncomfortable with. You do you. Forget the haters.

Gulu: Words to live by.

Gender & Identity Life

Witnessing Black love changed my life forever

Growing up biracial, a large portion of my life has been in trying to steady the seesaw between both of my cultures, while trying to get a firm grasp of what my Black and Mexican cultures can teach me. This past weekend, I had the pleasure to attend the wedding of one of my closest friends, experiencing black love in all its glory.  I can honestly tell you that, up until the Obama’s sprang into pop culture and history, I had little to any knowledge of what black love was or could be. It wasn’t a definition I could look up, a picture I could find online, or something I could see in a hashtag on social media, but the love between Barack and Michelle Obama was a love I had not witnessed in my life so far.

My parents, along with the majority of the men on my father’s side, had an interracial relationship, so black love was not accessible to me – except in pop culture. For the longest time, I merely thought it was simply when two black people were in love, but I know now that’s barely a fragment of the bigger picture.

I’ve gotten to experience different weddings of every kind, but none were as memorable as this one. Experiencing a wedding through a cultural lens that I could truly connect with was something I had personally never been a part of. While my black side is still a map I’m deciphering and hoping to understand, I’d never anticipated being so impacted merely as a witness at a wedding I identified with. Seeing the couple make their vows at the wedding felt like meeting them for the first time – and felt like getting to know a side of me I had never known before.

This was the only time I attended a wedding in which the love was celebrated by all who knew the couple in such a deep, respectful and passionate manner. Guests and family member were so moved by this beautiful couple who exhibited mental, physical, and spiritual growth that could be felt by anyone in their presence. People who spoke on behalf of the couple were moved to tears and gripping speeches rejoicing in the bond they had together, and it was beautiful. Outside of how wonderful they were as individuals, their relationship was loved by all who expressed sentiments of memory, faith, and reverence for what they had built between them. The ambience was powerful and moving in a manner that you knew you were in the presence of something rare, this wasn’t just any other wedding.

Many guests who spoke on behalf of the couple praised their Black love, which was met by cheers, applause and tears from fellow attendees who acknowledged the couple represented marriage for all it could be. For the first time, I began to understand that Black love was not something to be defined, but that it was inherent in the couple: an embodiment of their strength, unification and intimacy on all levels. It could be felt deep within me, and it humbled me in a way I cannot truly define.