My Boyfriend Chris on what makes a perfect girlfriend

  Hi, all! Do you remember my Rulebook for Guys post on the attributes of a perfect boyfriend? Well, I've asked my boyfriend Chris (read his fabulous blog here) for his opinion on it. And he's done me the favor of writing a list of tips for how to be the perfect girlfriend. Here's what he has to say:
Hello everyone,
My beautiful girlfriend KT asked me to come up with a list of tips on how to be a good girlfriend. So, I came up with a list of eight, and I believe these are essentials for a woman in any relationship. Here are the tips! 
1) Let your boyfriend know when it is "that time of the month": You should at least drop him a hint other than being moody! Most guys can guess when their girlfriend is PMSing, but he cannot be entirely sure. Unless your boyfriend knows for sure, he will not rule out you being mad at him or something being wrong with you. It is also in your best interest to tell him. It will give your boyfriend enough information to deal with the situation and informing him will lessen the chances that he will do something stupid to set you off. If you just vent when you PMS, then your boyfriend will think that you just like getting mad at everyone and everything during "that time of the month". Resultantly, he will distance himself from you.
2) Don't invade a man's cave: When you walk into a man's cave remove your sandals because you walk on holy ground! Guys greatly value their alone time, especially if your boyfriend is introverted. Guys need time to work on something, whether it be working with their hands or with their mind. They need time for a hobby. So when your boyfriend wants to do something other than spend every day with you, let not your heart be troubled. It is perfectly normal, and I think you should actually be worried if your boyfriend does not want alone time or time to do something with his guy friends. That indicates he has an unhealthy emotional attachment to you because of self-esteem issues. He's trying to merge himself with you.
3) Dress like a lady: Unfortunately, most women do not how to dress in a way that makes them beautiful. This always baffles me. Girls put so much money and time into trying to make themselves look good, but most of the time they make themselves look worse. Many girls, for example, load up on makeup but look like they are about to apply for a job at the circus. The caking on of makeup also indicates self-esteem issues. Now, girls do get attention when they wear skimpy clothing, but it still does not mean guys will think that you actually look good. You will attract guys only because hopping in bed with you looks easier than with other girls. Honestly, when I see a women wearing very little clothing, I think that she looks uncomfortable and her mother never taught her how to dress. So dress well while making yourself look beautiful and sexy! 
4) Don't curse or talk trashy: I may be a minority in this category, but girls who talk trashy come across as trashy. I would find it particularly embarrassing if my girlfriend cursed and swore in front of other people too. Furthermore, do not talk about sex and related topics like they are no big deal. It makes you sound like a floozy. 
5) Don't be a feminist: Don't be afraid to let your maternal side show through. Our society has created a taboo on anything that resembles a traditional mother. Remember that if you are dating a good guy, he wants to know that you will be a good mother and a good wife. I do not mean to sound overly traditional or create the impression that you should act like  a Stepford wife. However, saying things such as "I don't like children" or  "women are not naturally mothers" will score you negative points. I am still trying to figure out how a woman could not be a natural mother... 
6) Show off your I.Q.: Don't be afraid to challenge your boyfriend in debates about various issues. Show him that you are intelligent! At the end of the day, a guy neither wants to marry nor date a stupid girl. Girlfriends who lack knowledge and an interest in something that stimulates lively debate come across as boring. A guy worth dating wants a strong, independent woman. A guy wants to know that his girlfriend will also be doing something meaningful with her life.
7) Guys cannot read minds, especially a woman's mind: I know most girls know this one already, since guys usually do a terrible job at reading their girlfriends' emotions. Similar to the advice on PMS, tell your boyfriend when you are upset with him if he asks. You should also just tell him when something is really bothering you. We want to help you! Guys like to be problem solvers. If you do not open up to your boyfriend, he will feel as if you do not trust him. Resultantly, he will feel emasculated because he cannot fix the problem. If you do not tell your boyfriend, he will either think he did something really wrong or that you are just a moody individual. On the other hand, he may think there is nothing wrong and might continue to act in ways that bother you. 
8) Malls and clothing shopping: Sorry girls, but 99% of guys who go clothing shopping with their girlfriends do so only because the guy knows it will make his girlfriend happy. However, do not expect your boyfriend to go clothing shopping every time you go to a mall. He will get bored, and he will forever dread going to the mall with you. 
I hope these tips have helped. Please, leave comments if you have any questions, think I've left something out, you totally disagree with me. 
-Chris Witrak

  I guess this means I'll have to stop making him try on cute jeans at H&M...

    KT :)

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Break vs. break-up

  So in this post I'd like to address and define the difference between two similar and sometimes indistinguishable relationship matters: a break and a break-up. The first, of course, occurs when one or both parties within a relationship sever the romantic bond and end their courtship. The latter, as most of us know, is a little bit trickier. A break is typically a period when two people in a relationship take time off from each other to work on themselves and/or think about where the relationship is going. It does not necessarily mean that the couple is doomed or that it will eventually lead to a break-up (though that's what several people I have spoken to assume.) Rather, it should be a time of growing and learning. But hey, let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's start with the simple stuff first.
  Although I've never experienced a break-up myself, I've seen friends and family members go through it many times. And I must say that it doesn't seem to be very pleasant. Unfortunately, break-ups (especially divorces) are becoming increasingly common and often occur over insignificant reasons. Today's society prefers to end relationships and bonds instead of spending time and effort solving their (sometimes quite fixable) problems, but I'll save that idea for a later post. In my opinion, there are only four legitimate reasons to ever break up with someone. You should end a relationship if and only if:

  1) ...Your significant other is abusive. If the relationship is unhealthy and harmful to one or both parties, it's time to call it quits. Whether its physical or emotional pain, abuse should never be tolerated. A person who truly loves his or her significant other will have no desire to hurt his/her beloved.

  2) ...Someone has been unfaithful. Cheating is one thing that completely boggles my mind. Why are you with someone if you want to be with someone else? I don't buy into the whole "sex addiction/mental illness" garbage as an excuse either. What's wrong is wrong, regardless of the reason(s) for doing it. Loving someone involves loyalty and self-control.

  3) ...You find that you are truly not compatible. If you find yourselves to be so different from each other that you can't even carry on a normal phone conversation without huge pauses and awkward silences, it's a bad sign. I'm not saying that you should be talking over each other and fitting as many words as possible into a second. But there should definitely be mutual interests and a similar sense of humor.

  4) ...You are not in love. Okay, this is the hard one. Because how do you really know whether or not you're in love? I mean, there are signs and qualities about it you can pinpoint, but no one can ever tell you exactly how you feel; you have to figure that out ON YOUR OWN. Scary, right? Still, once you DO figure it out and you know with conviction that you're right, act upon it. Fact is, there are always going to be difficult times in a relationship because no one's perfect. But do the good times outweigh the bad? That's what you have to decide.

  So do any of the above reasons sound like you? Then, a break-up is probably in order. But if none of those match what you're thinking and you're still feeling like something's wrong, maybe you should consider talking to your boo and taking a break. So what exactly is the point of a break? Possible reasons can include:
     - Finding yourself
     - Reassessing your life and seeing if the relationship is working for the both of you
     - Taking time/space for yourself to think and just be you
     - Realizing how much you miss the other person
Of course, these are only a few suggestions. Breaks are not always fun or comfortable, but I've heard from a few friends that they are often very beneficial and can strengthen a relationship.

  Actually, I think that when someone in a relationship needs space to him/herself, the most loving thing his/her significant other can do is to just allow his/her beloved some time to work things out. And since you already know that I like using pop culture references to get my point across, I think I'll share with you what I consider the most romantic song in the world (please disregard the spelling/grammar errors, as I just found this video on Here's David Cook singing "Come Back to Me":

  Isn't that a great song? I think David Cook is awesome, and (confession time) I'm a little in love with his weird acorn-shaped head. Anyway, what I'm trying to say (in the form of Cook's amazing vocals and beautiful lyrics) is that there's always a way if the love is there. I firmly believe that if a relationship is meant to last, it will. And (here I go again with the cliches) "if you love something, set it free; if it comes back to you, it's yours to keep."

    KT :)

(image from and video from 

The Landon Carter Effect

  When I was little, my mom used to tell me that books and movies and stories could teach us important lessons about life and love. So in honor of her ideas about life imitating art (or vice versa, actually), I'm dedicating this post to one of my favorite movies that I think offers a bit of wisdom on the nature of relationships. Ever since I first saw A Walk to Remember at the age of 10, I knew I was in love. It's such a beautiful and powerful movie that attempts to define the difficult concept of true love.

  If you haven't seen it yet, then WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?! Just kidding. If you haven't seen it yet, the plot centers on Bad Boy Landon Carter and his falling in love with Jamie Sullivan, the pastor's daughter who just so happens to be dying of leukemia. It's a tearjerker, I must say, but not in a corny Lifetime-movie kind of way (at least I don't think so.) Throughout the movie, we see Landon transition from a hopeless troublemaker to a devoted boyfriend. So what exactly causes this drastic transformation?

   One of the most amazing things about a good and loving relationship, as per a conversation I recently had with a friend, is the way that being with the other person makes you want to be a better person yourself. As Landon says in the movie, "Jamie has faith in me. She makes me want to be different, better." He falls in love with Jamie and wants to mend his Bad Boy ways because he feels that she deserves a better version of Landon Carter. Although he has never found a reason to soul-search and make over his life before, his love for Jamie motivates him to take a second look at who he's becoming and try to be his best self. The result, of course, is possibly the most beautiful romance in movie history.

  Landon teaches us quite a bit about love and a healthy relationship. Love is about growing with another person, certainly, but it is just as much about change. And I don't mean "change" as merely adapting to your significant other's tastes and patterns. "Change" here refers to the desire and the attempt to improve yourself for your beloved. Now, I'm not saying that two people in a relationship should pick at each other's flaws and call one another out on their respective issues. Rather, you should be inspired to fix your ways and change yourself on your own out of love.

  So what is it that's maybe not-so-great-but-still-fixable about you? An attitude problem? Laziness? Are you just a bad listener? As for me, I know that I'm DEFINITELY not perfect. And fortunately, my boyfriend understands this. But despite my human inability to be perfect, I want to be the best me I can be for the man I love. And no, I'm not always successful. But I try. And I think that's what counts.

  What about you all? Agree or disagree with what I like to call "The Landon Carter Effect"?

    KT :)

(image from

City girl meets nature: when your boyfriend is the outdoorsy type

    So anyone who has ever met me can probably guess that I'm not exactly the kind of girl who likes to get up close and personal with the natural world. I hate bugs, I'm not a fan of wearing sneakers or hiking boots, and I feel much more at home in a shopping mall than in a forest. But this weekend, I got in touch with my inner nature girl. My boyfriend, who loves the idea of finding himself in the middle of the woods surrounded by nothing but trees, planned a hiking date for the two of us. I initally believed that we would be having a picnic at a nice little place just outside suburbia, since my bf called it a "park." And yes, I must say that we did have a lovely picnic - but only after we hiked three miles to get to the area.

  Hiking with my boyfriend turned out to be a great experience, although I wasn't too crazy about the idea in the beginning. I managed to discover quite a bit about myself and my relationship with the amazing guy I call my own. So what sort of life lessons does an up-tight city girl like myself learn from such an encounter with the great outdoors, you might ask? A lot, really. Like, for instance:

  1) Always be prepared. This is super basic. Ever since I was a little kid, my mom trained me to be a good girl scout and "always be prepared" (although it still stings that she never actually allowed me to be a girl scout due to whatever inexplicable and often half-crazy reasons my parents had for not letting me do things. I just wanted endless supplies of Samoa cookies, though, so my motives weren't exactly pure anyway.)  I had packed a (hot pink) lunch bag with sandwiches and snacks before leaving, so we managed not to starve. And Chris had water bottles in his backpack to prevent us from dying of dehydration. So it worked out well. Oh, and I can't forget to mention sunblock. As greasy and gross as it is, both of us did not so much as even turn slightly red. That equals success in my book. And whether it's hiking or studying in college to get a good career or planning financially, it's ALWAYS a good idea to be prepared for the unexpected.
  2) Capture the memories. It isn't every day that I get to climb a fire tower with my love and see 80 miles of the beautiful New York landscape all around us. And I'm not just referring to cameras in this case. Taking pictures is all well and good (as talentless as I am at not cutting people's heads out of photos.) But the best  part about times like this one is the fact that I'm experiencing a moment worth storing in my memory bank forever. And that applies to everything in life. How often do I take my phone out to post a Tweet instead of enojoying the moment I'm experiencing? Technology helps us all stay connected, yes, but it can also distract us from living in the here and now.

  3) Let everything else go and just take it in. Working in superbusy Manhattan every weekday, it's hard for me to simply slow down and take a moment for myself. Hiking with Chris reminded me that it's healthy to take time out of my fast-paced life to stop and breathe in the fresh air. For a whole day, I felt truly free from the stress of taxis whizzing by and people pushing each other to get a seat on the subway. Not that I don't love the City and my amazing job (I absolutely do), but it's nice to forget about doing and just concentrate on being.

  4) Explore different interests. As a typical girly girl, I initially assumed that I would completely detest the outdoors. But you know what? I actually liked it. I thought it was the most fun I've had in a while, and I can't wait to do it all again. I think what I'm trying to say here can be summed up in a couple good ol' cliches: "nothing ventured, nothing gained" and "you never know if you don't try." It's great to discover something completely unexpected about myself, especially since it was with Chris's help. One of the most important factors in a relationship, in my humble opinion, is that you learn about yourself through your significant other. There are so many things I've realized about myself that I wouldn't have figured out without Chris. I like to think that we bring out the best in each other, and that's what makes for a healthy relationship.

  So there you go. Not bad for a girl who considers walking on the concrete floors of High Line Park in New York City a real nature experience, huh? These are my insignificant musings on my hiking trip with Chris. I hope you've enjoyed reading this post, but I also hope that you get to go out yourself and be one-on-one with the awesomeness of nature (if only for a few hours.)


P.S. Chris and I just celebrated 7 months together. So happy anniversary, love! :)
(image taken by yours truly - isn't the view beautiful?)

How to write a love letter

  If you haven't yet surmised from my previous posts that I am a hopeless romantic, I think this short piece will convince you. Recently, one of my close friends helped me discover the lovely art of letter-writing. And I must say that I'm obsessed! In an age of technology where any message can be sent in a split second or less, it's so refreshing and special to take the time to hand-write and mail a letter to someone you care about. Nothing says "I love you" quite like a tangible manifestation of the words in your heart arriving via snail mail at the home of your beloved. And you're pretty much guaranteed that it won't accidentally be delivered to your junk mail box or be cut short because it exceeds 140 characters. Now I know that most people are not exactly as eloquent or as gifted with words as, say, John Adams. But the point of a love letter is to express your deepest and most intimate feelings of affection for your significant other. So just in case you're romantically challenged, I've come up with a few tips to help you in your letter-writing endeavors:
  1) Buy pretty stationery. Pay close attention to the presentation of your letter. Remember that this is something your beloved may keep for quite a long time (if not forever.) So it's important to make it look as lovely as possible. I do have one warning, though: ladies who love pink and glitter and all things pretty, refrain from using overly cutesey and girly decorations. They can distract from the heartfelt nature of the letter.

  2) Write out your thoughts on scrap paper (or in a Word document) first. Keep in mind that hand-written letters are more personal, so it's a good idea to make sure your penmanship is spot-on and there are no scratch-outs throughout the letter. Also, it's best to organize your words and thoughts first so that you say exactly what you mean and don't hop around from one idea to a completely unrelated thought in the next sentence.

  3) Find the perfect balance between lovey dovey and direct. Yes, love letters are famous for being superfluous and almost too sugary sweet. That's all well and good. But what's the use in sending a letter that really has no substance to it? No one wants to read marshmallow fluff. So while you shouldn't completely neglect the traditional overflow of affection in your love letter, remember to make your point. Share how you feel and tell your beloved why you love him/her.

  4)  Be honest and genuine. Don't promise your beloved the rest of your life if you don't even have plans for next week. Most importantly, be yourself. A lot of people get caught up in what they think is romantic and try to write about and copy what they've seen in movies or read in books. Here's something you should know: you and your significant other are NOT Romeo and Juliet, nor should you want to be. You have a unique love story that's all your own. So write the words in your heart, not the ones you think would be deemed appropriately romantic. Be YOU because that's who your beloved has fallen in love with.

  5) Add personal touches to your love letter. Spritz the note with your favorite perfume or leave a lipstick kiss mark on the bottom of the page. My trademark is that I always seal my envelopes with pretty stickers (mainly because they look nice but also because I can't stand licking the envelope flap.) A love letter should be very personalized and special. It should make your beloved instantly think of you when he/she opens it. If you adorn your letter with elements of you and your love story, your significant other is bound to love it.
  So there you have it. I really hope this has helped you create the perfect love letter. If you follow these tips, you'll turn into an instant John Keats (well, not really, but you get the idea) and your beloved will treasure your letter forever (or until you break up, but hey let's not be negative.) (Just kidding about that last part.)

KT :)
(image from

Kitten and Doctor Flash on what makes a good significant other

  Hey, all! Remember my Rulebook for Guys post?

  Well, my friend Kristina has written her own list of qualifications for a great boyfriend. Check out her suggestions (they're really good!) here: What Makes a Good Boyfriend.

  And let's not leave the guys out of this - her boyfriend has also composed a list of things most guys look for in a girlfriend! Read it here: What Makes a Good Girlfriend

KT :)

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Things that make me happy

  In the chaos of New York City and the hectic/stressful hours of work, it's easy to get caught up and lose yourself in the rush of minutes and faces. Therefore, I've decided that I'm going to write down and savor the small joys of my day. Here goes my first try.

  Today I smiled because....

  - I got a seat on the train! Granted, it wasn't until most of the passengers had cleared out after the fourth stop. But still - yayyyy!

  - Starbucks brought in more food selections! I'm usually stuck getting the same turkey-and-cheese sandwich, but today they had - drumroll, please - pesto pasta!!! It's my favorite!
  - I had lunch in the park with a friend. A fellow intern and I bought food and took a walk through the beautiful High Line Park. It was such a nice day, too!

  - My friend texted me to tell me that Owl City wrote a new Christian song, Galaxies. And I heard it on the radio this morning - so good! Listen to it here:

  That's all for now, you guys!

  KT :)

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