The Conversation Women Are Having In Secret

Over the past few years, much of the debate about women’s lives has centered on our roles in the workplace. We have been coached to Lean In, assume the Power Pose and balance career and family in Unfinished Business. While the approaches differ, they share one essential call to action: Women must fight for greater acceptance, equality and leadership roles in our chosen careers.

With the rise of Tinder and the hook-up culture, much has also been written about how women are owning their sexuality in a similarly independent manner. But when it comes to actual romance, many women appear far more conflicted. (Yes, this is a big generalization, to say nothing of assuming hetero-normative roles. For the sake of argument, work with me here.) The truth is, we are not there yet — and many women are struggling not only with their own behavior but conflicting messages from men.

I co-founded Jyst, the crowd-sourced anonymous relationship advice app, to give women a place to open up about their lives in a supportive environment where we can share, ask, advise and help each other out without judgment when it comes to some of our most intimate concerns. One of the biggest surprises has been how many women struggle to break free of traditional roles, even self-proclaimed feminists. A few representative questions: “I’ve been dating this guy for the past four months, but he hasn’t asked me to be his girlfriend yet. Do I wait or ask him?” “Does it ever work out to ask a guy out first?” The answers are split between ‘You go, girl’ pep talks, admissions of similar insecurities, and shared experiences that men do not always react positively when women take the initiative. For women who pride themselves on being assertive in other areas of their lives, this is an uncomfortable dialog to have in broad daylight.

While issues of women’s rights in the workplace and controlling our own health must be central, it is also time to have a more open discussion about the stereotypical roles we continue to play in relationships. After all, the personal truly is political — and the political is more personal than ever. (Just ask Hillary.) The dialog must include men as well as women for we are all participants and we will all be the beneficiaries of change. Relationships are clearly in a state of flux, and if we are to come out of it in a better place, it’s time to be honest about our desires, confusion and vulnerabilities. As with all matters of the heart, that may just be the hardest thing of all.

How to Deal with Your Ex During the Holidays

You caught your partner texted with his ex. Should you be worried???

You can’t stop thinking about your ex. Should you give it one last shot?

The ex you thought was out of your life just reappeared. Do you answer?

“The holidays exaggerate whatever you’re feeling — loneliness, regret, desire, nostalgia. It’s almost impossible not to start thinking about an ex,” says Jyst co-founder Emily Listfield. JystBustle, and relationship expert Laurie Davis Edwards, founder of eFlirt and author of Love @ First Click, partnered to explore the drama with exes during the holidays.

Because ExMas can be year-round problem. Find what other woman and experts advise on Bustle and post your questions on Jyst for more.

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We Like Never Liked It Anyway!

Who needs to hang on to baggage – real or psychic – after a break-up?!?! On Never Liked It Anyway, you can sell of the bad memories, get advice on how to move on, and find support. Our kinda community! Excited to, to have a change to speak with the brilliant founder, Bella Acton. Here’s part of the interview; find the rest here.

Emily is an all round star; she’s a prolific author, with 6 novels under her belt, and recently founded the app Jyst. An incredible platform that offers women dating advice, in real time, in ways that really support and help women. Emily is a founder with spark; she believes that when women help each other out, magic happens. Here’s what she has to say about all things love, breakups and dating.
What do you do and why do you do it?
I am the co-founder of Jyst  a crowd-sourced, anonymous dating advice app for women. I started it because I was dating again after a long time and was sending a million questions (and yes, men’s texts) to my friends – and co-founder! –  for opinions. Every woman we met was doing the same. But friends aren’t always available or objective. It seemed a natural to create a supportive, snark-free environment where women could help each other through the confusion of modern relationships.
What’s the best gift you ever got?
When my (then) husband and I were first dating, he made me a copper flower with one petal. (He was an abstract sculptor whose works were in major museums.) It hung on my wall for years before he mentioned that the petal was symbolic of  “She loves me, she loves me not.”  I never realized that – and he never realized I didn’t get the symbolism. Talk about subjective reality.

Dating Coach Answers All!

At Jyst, we are all about women helping each out. But let’s admit it, sometimes there’s nothing like getting a guy’s POV. We asked celeb dating expert Evan Marc Katz to answer a few questions on Jyst. He’s a whizz at interpreting men and dating for us! Be sure to follow him for more great dating tips at @evanmarckatz.

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I went on a 1st date & liked him but we have really big religious differences. Should I go out with him again or move on?

I’m a Jewish atheist. My wife is a Catholic who believes in God. Neither of us is “religious.” Our common religion is respect. The question is whether you can respect each other in spite of your different backgrounds.

 My boyfriend and I don’t fight that much but when we do he always get sick of talking about the issue before we really resolve anything or he wants me to bring it up another time. But when things are good, I don’t want to raise issues. What should I do?

It’s not what you say; it’s how you say it. Instead of having a “talk,” tell him something he’s doing inadvertently makes you feel bad. Then offer a solution he can buy into. A good boyfriend doesn’t want you to be sad.

My boyfriend is choosing between a job offer in my city and another country. We haven’t been together that long and I’m not sure we’d survive long distance. I feel like he’s choosing between being with me or not. Am I wrong?

You’re only wrong for taking this personally. If the roles were reversed, you’d want the freedom to do what was right for you, which may or may not be right for him. Back off and let him choose.

Guy I dated 5 years cheated on me and spent a year accusing me through his mom of harassing the new girl (it’s not true). They broke up and now strangely, I still care about him over a year later. Should I reach out to him?

No. (And if that answer wasn’t long enough: Noooooooooooooooooo!)

Started dating again (dated a few years back) and told him I wanted it to be exclusive before intimacy which he agreed to. But he has a hard time expressing his emotions/feelings from. I need communication and he has a huge wall. Do I stay or do I go?

It’s not your job to climb men’s walls. It’s your job to find a man with no walls, healthy communication, and makes you feel safe, heard and understood. If you don’t have that, it’s over.

 

 

Need a guy’s POV?!?

Look, we all know that guys think a little bit differently.(Um, understatement?) That’s why we asked dating advice guru Evan Marc Katz to answer questions on Jyst this week.

He will be answering the first five questions – and answers will appear in the app on Thursday.  So go ahead, ask a guy: Post your questions on Jyst!

 

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Ask the (Love) Expert

At Jyst we’re all about women helping each other out. After all, the best advice often comes from other women – we think of them as friendly strangers – who have been through similar situations and will tell you the truth. But we also know there are times when it pays to call in an expert. We asked celeb therapist Dr. Jane Greer to answer a couple of questions from Jysters. Be sure to follow her for more tips at @DrJaneGreer – and stay tuned for more surprise guest experts!

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Q. My boyfriend broke up with me two weeks ago but he keeps texting me casual things almost every day. It’s making it hard to move on. What should I do?

Tell your ex that as much as you’d like to stay in touch, the constant contact is making it hard for you to let go. Ask him to stop texting you, and let him know if he continues, you won’t respond in order to be able to honor his decision to end the relationship.

Q. I’ve been ‘ghosted’ by a guy I went out with for four months and it’s making me insane. How do I get over it?

This is very difficult to cope with – the sudden disappearance without explanation is hard to process. Know that this guy is only able to do beginnings, but isn’t able to stay involved for the middle or future. It’s not about you; it’s a statement of his limitations. Don’t take it too personally, and move on by getting out of the house and filling your time with friends and new opportunities. Give yourself the chance to find someone who will stick around.