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Sunday, April 21, 2024

The Dirty Bird: #winning: national relationship championship

HAPPY GAMEDAY, BADGERS! Today, we’ll be talking about a lifelong competition we all face: how to find the ideal mate. While I’ve covered this topic in the past, today I’m going to give it a little... spin.

Before we really begin, let’s break down the ways the team we most adore embody what national relationship champions look like: 

First and foremost, let’s all try to be a little more like our national hero Nigel Hayes. He’s respectful, smart and good with balls! Just kidding, kind of, but Nigel uses big words to his advantage and calls women “beautiful.” #winning

Frank “the Tank” Kaminsky is a similar all-star who takes criticism like an adult and knows when not to beat a dead horse. When asked about Kentucky’s Andrew Harrison insulting our loveable center, Kaminsky and Harrison apparently talked over the issue and Kaminsky reported being “over it.” In a real relationship, once an argument is over, it’s over. Frank knows that! 

Finally, let’s look at the team as a whole. Those boys have a lot of star power, and if they were lesser players and lesser people, they would try to claim the glory for themselves. However, Bo  Ryan taught them well, and their training in being humble and sharing responsibility paid off. Look who is laughing all the way to the championship bank. 

Moving on from my shameless fangirling, I’ve been getting some emails (real emails!) from readers asking what I like in bed and in relationships. According to the emails and conversations I’ve had with likeminded column enthusiasts and editors, I “owe” everyone some insight into my love life.

Because of the ethics of journalism and future dating code breaking (trust me), I am most certainly not going to write in public what I like in private. My columns constantly encourage communication between partners, but that doesn’t mean my goal is to push anybody to share things they aren’t comfortable sharing with large groups of people—or that I owe you anything. In fact the logic behind that is inherently flawed, but I digress. Use your brain, plz. 

However, if you want me to get a little personal, I won’t deny anyone the opportunity to learn a little more about what I think a healthy relationship looks like, if not sexually then at least interpersonally. 

First, a little history:

I’ve had one boyfriend in college and our relationship was pretty brief. He was handsome and involved on campus. I liked him a ton and we had a semester of fun together before it became apparent we weren’t right for each other. Our communication styles clashed and we had different long-term priorities. A good experience, and again, he was very good looking, but not right in the end, although naturally I was pretty hung up on him after we stopped seeing each other.

For about a year after that, I had a string of one- or two-week flings until I met the most significant guy who had been a part of my life up to that point. We were never much more than friends but we meant a great deal to each other. Unfortunately, he had a lot of personal problems he refused to deal with and reveled in misery. He ended up shutting me out emotionally after almost a year, all while wanting to “stay friends,” which was simply not an option for me. 

Since then I’ve been able to find healthier and healthier relationships, and while I think all people look for different things from their significant others, I do believe there are certain commonalities we all share when looking for potential partners.

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Most people look for edgy and exciting, and in some cases that comes at a loss. People who are often brooding can be beyond self-centered, which can lead them to be less considerate of others’ feelings. While many people can handle being more of a caregiver than  receiver, the egotistical geniuses can only last for so long for those of us with more emotional needs.

I understand how many people are selfish, people of all genders. I’d say I’m selfish most of the time. But in a relationship, it’s imperative to find someone who isn’t. Does that mean the person we settle down with will be more of a pushover than we’re used to? If we can exchange strength for kindness, brooding for consideration and creativity for communication, we should welcome it with open arms.

Those people are out there—the guys who go the extra mile to comfort their partners when they’re sad, to shoot a nice (or even regular!) text every now and then, to put in effort even when both people aren’t in the same room. Everyone should hold out for someone who treats them the way they want to be treated, whether it matches what I’ve described or not. Settling for less is like, literally the worst. But actually.

I don’t think what I’m looking for is impossible. In fact, it’s as attainable as anything when we look in the right places. There are people who balance being unique and funny with understanding the needs of others. Who want to make themselves and other people happy instead of feeling forever misunderstood by society. Wait for one of those, and you’ll never go hungry again! You know, for love. Just like Scar. 

Wish Alex would write more columns that make her sound like an Elite Daily staffer? Email to encourage her misbehavior!

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