The social media influencing medium has grown exponentially over the past decade. What was once looked upon as a joke for ridicule is now a booming billion-dollar industry. (Now who's laughing?) One thing it proves for certain is that literally anyone can be famous, for absolutely nothing.
Although, to be fair, even content has grown and many of these "influencers" have turned small talent into fortune. In this new form of celebrity you can't help but wonder, as with most celebs, who these individuals are when they turn the camera off. If they turn the camera off, even just for a moment.Redditor u/superfuncity wanted to hear about the people who have the inside track on the social media "stars" of today by asking... IRL friends of social media "influencers": what is it like?
I can't imagine knowing and intertwining my life with someone who is constantly giving their attention away to literally everyone else but the person in front of them. Relationships, romantic or platonic, personal or business, are hard enough to keep in tact already without extra stress. But when one's entire life in consumed by garnering "likes," what kind of bond are you forging in reality?
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I dated one. Not super popular but followers in the 100k range last time we spoke.
I remember a lot of getting ignored and only receiving nice gifts/acts of kindness when they could post about it. Asking me to go to nice places (they didn't drive) only to leave me on a bench somewhere while they took pictures. Huge strain on the relationship, especially when they started to get bigger and there was more demand for content.
For the business...
She hasn't come to anything I've invited her to in 5 years because she only goes to events that "further her business." Regularly says things like, "we're all using each other for something." Sometimes she texts me the same exact thing word for word over a couple of days, and it's obvious she just copy/pastes the same thing and sends it to all of us and then forgets who she has sent it to.
She still reaches out to me multiple times a year and claims I'm one of her best friends, but it sure doesn't feel like it. I've told her as much, but she just says "this is my life now, my business comes first and if you can't accept that, then I guess you're not a real friend."
In the Fire
I'm from a small town and a family vlogger moved here a few years ago. a while back we there was a bad wildfire about 20-30 miles away from us. this fire was particularly bad (people were dying, losing homes, etc) but luckily it was pretty far from us and we weren't in any danger. you could smell the smoke but that was it.
However, this family posted a total clickbait "wE hAd to EvAcUaTe, tHeY tOld us to LeAvE, WiLDfiRE VlOg." this really pissed off everyone who lived here, since they were exploiting and profiting off a lie when people are actually losing everything. they were called out on all their platforms but would delete those comments.
This whole business seems built on the brand. Not a person's identity but their BRAND. I can relate, knowing tons up and coming actors, writers, musicians, etc. We're all told constantly... what's your style? What's your "brand"? How do you sell? Where do you fit? We've only ever had to fashion that brand on paper and present it in proper settings, our leg of the industry has never had to expose it on loop... until now. That sort of constant barrage can certainly influence a person's personal day to day. Depends on who they are really.
"I've come to believe..."
My partner has a little over a million on IG (around half that on her TikTok)
I had expected a lot worse from stories I've heard of in the past (especially on Reddit) but in our situation, it doesn't play that heavily into our day-to-day life as I had anticipated. Sure there are a few photo requirements if we've been invited to visit a hotel or eat at a nice restaurant in exchange for some PR but they're agreed in advance so we go in with a level of expectation - get the necessary photos then just enjoy the experience.
I've come to believe quite strongly that it really does depend on the individual. I've seen plenty of her friends with similar follower numbers obsess over ridiculous levels of detail, whether they look fat, capturing every single thing they do - but it does seem those with smaller numbers (10k to low 100s?) are the most likely to take to the platform with this level of obsession, whereas a lot seem quite relaxed over the million mark because they're considered to already 'have it made.'
She will sometimes use environment filters to adjust lighting and colour, photoshop elements to remove the odd pimple or people in the background but that's really about it. She's got quite solid and grounded self-confidence so very rarely will she modify any of her anatomy given that she's generally very satisfied with the way she looks (and granted she works very hard for it putting in the effort around healthy eating and fitness), again I'll often notice it's her more insecure influencer friends that feel the need to modify or god forbid even use face filters or photoshop away any evidence of fat or wrinkles - which is a great shame because so often they look beautiful until the modifications just eliminate their 'x-factor'.
A lot of the culture is definitely toxic - setting unrealistic expectations for beauty standards, the standard of living, relationships, etc, but I'd say I'm one of the very lucky ones.
We get quite a bit of engagement in the media (I've got a solid business reputation in my home country but it's tiny, whereas where we live in Southeast Asia I'm a total nobody without her). Said media regularly shares our 'pre-wedding' romantic photos and videos, writing articles about how amazingly in love we are, etc (Asian media tends to heavily over-dramatize their writing on the subject of celebrity relationships) however it's been quite refreshing that she's a very straight shooter in interviews - when asked what our relationship is like she's brutally honest. We fight plenty, we get in heated debates, our cultures are so different, English is her second language and I'm very limited in speaking hers so communication requires a LOT of patience and energy, at times we consider is it worth continuing our relationship at all, etc.
I was apprehensive at first about her raw honesty publicly, but her immediate response to me was "As long as we still want to be with each other, why should we care about keeping up a facade to the public? Our relationship is with each other not them, so whether they react positively or not it won't influence our feelings for each other."
And indeed it turned out to be a very positive choice both for the public's reaction, but also for our own relationship in recognizing that we don't have to stick to some imaginary guidelines set by social media all the time, that it's healthiest and actually more popular that we just be ourselves.
That last one was insightful.
How other cultures might feel about influencers isn't necessarily the way influencers are regarded in the West. Fascinating.
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It's annoying AF. One of my buddies is constantly filming everything we do and posting it. It's to the point where people walk up to me on the street and ask me about him because they've seen me in his posts...
I have no idea who they are.
It dominates everything he does, and has severely impacted his personal relationships. He can't keep a GF and it's clearly related to this obsession of his. He does occasionally get some cool stuff out of it though.
After pretty much kicking him out of my life because I do not want to be continually posted online, we've come to the understanding that when he's about to take a pic or video, he hands me the phone so i'm not in the shot. Works OK for me.
That was sad to read.
But isn't necessarily the norm. Let's continue and see what else is in store.
"Not a friend..."
Not a friend, but a past colleague. She would bring multiple outfits in case there was a good photo opp that day and quickly change. She'd ask whoever was with her to take photos. I made the mistake of saying yes once and realized I signed up for a 300 photoshoot that lasted over half an hour. The worst part is she then proceeded to ask me which photo was the best between two agonizingly similar options. I have an eye for detail but even this was extreme. I couldn't believe how much time was wasted.
But to her, it was normal and even productive. In hindsight, seeing as her social media could also be a source of income it would make sense that she'd work that hard. But she was and still is a micro-influencer at best (less than 5000 followers) who didn't have that many brand deals. She was also very self-conscious of certain parts of her body and seemed to lack healthy self-esteem. It was one of those cases where I truly felt sorry for her and definitely cared for her well-being, but felt it was best to leave to professionals to address that.
Depends on the position...
I worked with Youtube influencers in my last job with an agency that paired sponsors with these 'celebrities'. I basically did the grunt work like ensuring hotels/plane tickets, getting coffee, running errands and meeting with the talent to ensure they were where they needed to be (e.g., events, conferences, trade shows, parties or whatever).
Over time you make friends with others who are in those positions, especially when you're running errands for some entitled pseudo-celebritiy.
The nicest Youtubers were the animators - always calm and understanding.
The worst were the family vloggers - I've met all the big ones & I never met one that wasn't a completely different person off camera. The kids are always spoiled and no one disciplines them so they're running around breaking things or acting like idiots, and no one can yell at them lest their influencer parents find out.
Close second is makeup Youtubers.
"Being an influencer..."
My roommate is a minor one in the tech field. He's very forward-thinking and doesn't have a lot of patience. Legit ADHD, doesn't read books, works 24/7. He's a nice person and we're friends, though
Being an influencer is not important to him, it's more like the marketing division of his many money-making schemes. He doesn't give a sh!t about anyone he interacts with online.
Friends with a high profile athlete who is pretty popular on insta.... he is always on the phone... never lives in the moment. If we are doing anything fun? Well, it basically didn't happen unless the world knows about it. Its just annoying... I can't imagine living for the approval or satisfaction of others.
It doesn't look like the influencing game is for everyone though. Plenty of people have tried and failed. I have a friend, God love her, who continues to believe everyone wants to see her cooking, cleaning and bathing in champagne while reading Dickens, yes that is a thing. But she just can't get to that special 100K number that apparently is a golden ticket moment. She is desperate on the daily. I try to tell her, not everybody is meant to spread joy through the influence or while sitting on the toilet singing "Wicked."
Living through the phone...
My ex gf. I couldn't eat before she took a dozen picture. We went hiking and had to turn around less than a mile in since she spent an hour taking videos and posting photos. Service connection wasn't good enough so we went to the trail head. She had to post or else "people are going to think I'm broke or depressed and they need to know I'm traveling." She lived her life though her phone.
"She religiously preaches..."
I don't speak to her anymore but she was one of my closest friends. She religiously preaches about being a 'girls girl'. I know that a few years ago, she was willingly and knowingly the 'other woman' for ages. He had specific days that he saw his girlfriend, she saw him on the other days and she actually got jealous when she knew he was with his girlfriend. The whole hypocrisy makes me cringe.
I've got a close friend who became an influencer late into the friendship.
She's great. Things changed a little and sometimes the "let's take a video/pic" thing gets annoying but it doesn't bother me too much.
I'm not very ~aesthetic~ or Instagram hot but she's never treated me differently or poorly despite her ever-growing platform.
I also don't think her personality has changed at all. She's dope. I get why people want to follow her.
I was with a guy at Coachella, he has a pretty good following on IG. He posted something while we were watching a concert and could not look away from his phone. I asked him when he'd eventually put his phone away and he said he would when he got over 1,000 likes.
I couldn't believe it.
Not too surprising, however.
How many times have you been at a large event only to see some people who can't seem to just be present at the event without looking at their phones constantly.
One wonders if they're doing the same thing.
The 2020 Brand...
I post travel photos and have about two hundred followers. 200, not 2000 or higher.
My friend somehow thought that was influencer status and decided to copy me - except she quit her job so she could travel more and "grow her own brand". In 2020. She lost her apartment, her car, and still hasn't found a job, but calls herself a professional influencer all the same.
"It definitely was a strain..."
I am married to one. He didn't start out on YouTube when we first started dating. He's doing really well and it grows everyday, he's currently in the 350k following range. It definitely was a strain on our relationship at first and work/life balance has been a work in progress. Being open and honest about expectations has made a great difference, and now that this is a full-time job for him, he's able to have a better balance. Yes, he is definitely on his phone more than most for sure, but he's really great at being present in the moment. And thank goodness he's not one of those that just start filming randomly walking down the street, I would go running.
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I know a wannabe influencer. She will reply to her own posts from her husband's account praising herself. Then she will reply to those posts as herself thanking him, it's hilarious, like inception for Facebook.
Do wannabe influencers count? My buddy is constantly posting and sending workout Snapchat and Insta posts, and tagging himself in nutritional shops. He's constantly looking for something to film or photograph himself doing stuff. For example, we were walking on a trail last summer, and he threw his tank off and asked me to take a photo of him doing a pull-up on a tree. I started laughing and took the photo. Does he continue working out? Nope. Throws his tank back on and we continue walking. I'm like ok what was the point of that...
"I know an influencer..."
I know an influencer that literally got herself into debt trying to live up to the role! All for a few free items of clothing that she tries to flog once she's posted a pic in them. Even staged her engagement. So sad.
My cousin has a YouTube channel he does for a living. Not huge, has like 20k subs but he does other side stuff with it he can live on. For the most part, he's still the same besides constantly documenting stuff (he did that beforehand anyway since he's a photographer too). Some stuff is ingenious but he still acts the same for the most part as far as I remember.
"One was a clanmate of mine..."
I know a bunch of these!
One was a clanmate of mine from 15 years ago who went from top-level talent in a game with a niche competitive scene to the top streamer of a mainstream game. His personality on stream is actually like 90% close to reality, he's just more elitist in private. Still a cool guy, and I wouldn't be surprised if he has an 8 digit bank account, really happy for him. Don't talk to him too much but we spark a conversation like once a year by sheer coincidence (meeting by chance on matchmaking in the newest game) about new gaming topics and whatnot. He confessed to me that he really misses focusing on competitive playing but there's no money to it and competitive-worthy games either don't exist or are too late to get into.
One is a Twitch streamer girl who averaged 300-500 views and is sponsored by a gaming clan at any given time. She's actually pretty good in one game in particular, but not at a pro-level. I met her twice in person with my brother and it was insightful. I don't care for esports at all so I kinda tuned out 90% of the conversations while enjoying my food, but it was amusing hearing her express her true feelings about her viewers. These are guys that are donating thousands of dollars just to be able to group with her in Discord and Overwatch matchmaking parties. Meanwhile, she asked to play and meet with us with $0 investment on our end. Why do you guys do this to yourselves? Donating actually lowers a girl streamer's opinion of you, they reluctantly put on a smile to play with your creepy clinging self because hey you donated a lot of money. They don't want to shatter your fragile sense of entitlement and ego since it means you may stop donating.
One guy went from obscure sub-20 viewer counts to millions in Tiktok. He was a tenuous friend of a friend and I already had my reservations before meeting him (this was pre-TikTok). Guy was actually quite funny, but came off as a talker-but-no-walk. He was heavily into PUA and macho topics like joining the Navy Seals. Now he makes embarrassing content catered to tween girls across the globe and took down all his old content which included the likes of "How to train like a Navy Seal", "A women's place in the world and gender roles", "How I became a chef and fighter", "How I dealt with being homeless", "Fist fighting with my dad" (he farms views with skits featuring his dad today). This is the guy who's claimed to be in over 2000 fights. All in all, it was an interesting shift in content to witness!
Last is the guy I know least about, some guy I met in college. Honestly, same vibes as the previous guy but with less humor. He hasn't had the breakthrough success of millions of underaged girls following him on TikTok yet.
"But hey, that's life."
My boyfriend is actually a newly popular horror Youtuber. With him recently gaining over 700K subscribers in the past year alone. I've been with him for a year and a half. Known him for almost 2 years. When I met him he had just a little over 1000 subscribers.
Honestly, he hasn't changed at all with his increasing popularity. If anything he has just become more passionate about his work. Spending hours and hours making sure that his videos are perfect. It's also nice because he shows me his videos before he posts them asking for honest opinions. I always give him honest feedback and try to help out. One of my favorite things though is helping him find good video ideas, figuring out a good title, and judging his thumbnails.
I even booked us a night at a haunted hotel for his birthday just to support his channel. He told me he had always wanted to film a video at that specific hotel. So obviously I thought it would be a nice gift. Just seeing how excited he got made it so worth it to spend the night at a creepy hotel and explore it after midnight. I would honestly do anything to support him. It's his passion in life and he works so hard to keep it up. He makes me so proud. So honestly, it's not bad.
The only downside is sometimes people will find my social media through him and send me nasty messages. His ex is in some of his older videos from when he first started out his channel. So people will also randomly message me saying that I don't deserve him or question where his ex went and why I'm with him and she's not. Its sad because people don't know the full story and just assume things. I've had people message me asking why I broke them up when in reality she was really manipulative and cheated on him. (I do not really tell my boyfriend when people message me because it makes him feel bad).
But hey, that's life. I don't really let it bother me anymore, just people trying get a reaction out of me lmao. Other than that thing I'd say it's pretty great having my boyfriend as an "influencer" and I'm here to support it. It's amazing seeing your partner thrive and achieve success.
Okay, that was pretty sweet.
See, it's not all bad.
"Had known them both for years..."
Two well-known animal YouTubers/influencers. Had known them both for years not really personally, but casually in the community. Enough so I guess I survived the facebook drafts when they got "too big" and removed most non-personal acquaintances.
Reached out to them to ask for help sharing a GoFundMe when my dog fell ill. Didn't ask for money, just use some of that power to help spread the word. I'm not in the habit of asking people for anything but I'd swallow my pride to help my dog when I've burned through all savings and the bills were piling up still. Both left me on read. Felt like a slap in the face as I had shared their content for years but this was somehow too big an ask.
That's just sad.
And says quite a lot about who these people are.
I know two in real life— one who, while she is not massively successful yet, has about 20k followers, and the other who is trying to build her brand.
The one with 20k was a roommate of mine, and quite irritating to be honest. Very "fake" as you'd expect, and obsessed with money, despite struggling to make our $383 rent. She'd bash her then-boyfriend for not having Apple products or caring about his "status," would regularly pose with expensive sports cars, and did everything she could to fake wealth.
The other is one of the most sincere people I've met, and aside from some photoshopping of her photos, seems quite genuine. We work together in retail and she of course doesn't include that aspect of her life, but she's trying to build a lifestyle brand. I get it. At least she isn't obnoxious about it, and promotes affordable clothing.
This last one though...
This last one is a doozy.
A Frightening Turn of Events
Around 2008-2009, my 14-year-old cousin created a Facebook account and started posting photos of herself. Very quickly her page became a beauty blog and was reaching thousands of unique visitors a day. For a 14-year-old girl from a town in the middle of nowhere, managing to make something out of what she loved doing and on a fledgling social media website, it was a phenomenal achievement. She started getting sponsors of all kinds. Make-up, skincare, hair products, clothes, eye contacts, and all sorts of accessories were being sent to her home, which would later become a problem. Meanwhile, her parents didn't know what to make of it.
Being immigrants in a rapidly growing technological world, they didn't know much about the internet themselves, so they couldn't really offer her much help, let alone protect her from the terrible impending events. With all the attention she was getting and a growing base of followers and visitors, she started getting a lot of haters as well. People were just saying the nastiest of things on her page and in her DMs, and grotesque men were constantly trying to hit on her. When she rejected them or tried to ignore them they would blow up on her, calling her fat and ugly. That did some real damage to her confidence and self-image and she developed anorexia and depression and started to become estranged.
Despite all that, she managed to start dating a boy who was close to a family friend, and everyone considered him a very respectful, mature, and patient young man. He was just a year older than her and he was very understanding and was supportive of her but suggested they keep their relationship private and known only to family and close friends. The boy was a godsend, she was the happiest she's ever been with anyone and he got her to stop her anorexia, and she was slowly healing.
Unfortunately, her online fan base and haters caught wind of their relationship and it seemed like half of them just turned on her. The harassment worsened and the threats worsened, her anorexia was back, as well as the sponsors were beginning to drop, and since she was using her real address to receive products from sponsors, she got doxxed. Strange people started stalking her to and from school and were messaging her details about her private life and family. She was receiving death threats towards her and her family and she started to become paranoid and fell even further into depression.
That was the final straw, and my aunt and uncle called for an intervention for her. All of our family came together to show her our love and support for her and unanimously agreed it would be best to have her step away from Facebook or any other kind of social media. My aunt and uncle moved them far away across the country and started being more careful about the internet.
Today, she's a happy and healthy woman with a love for the outdoors and traveling. She has a Facebook but only uses it to keep in touch with close friends and family. She's finishing up her schooling at a State University and she's been married to the same boyfriend that helped and supported her through those dark times. They are expecting to buy a house and starting a family soon.
I frequent a gossip blog that has a handful of crackpot commenters who (savvier members claim) have created multiple accounts to start drama and argue with themselves and others.
The same individual has been accused of this multiple times and the accusers seem pretty positive about it - it's a MAJOR disruption and pain in the ass for those of us just there to read the blind items and guess the celebrity or talk some standard trash.
At one point the sitemaster had to rejigger the whole site to implement a new commenting platform so we could self-regulate. It's a shame, we lost almost ten years of historical comments (with accurate juicy details) as a result.
Hey don't judge me we all have our weird little communities, right?
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To be honest it's really crap. I feel like I've been completely forgotten about and like I don't matter anymore. I think that's just some weird misguided jealousy but it still hurts because I miss talking to my friend.
Sad. In the beginning they started because they got offers from brands because they were so popular on Instagram and it was a lot of fun for them.
Now they don't ever post pictures or videos without a filter. Rarely ever like a picture on the first try and don't you dare post any pictures of them without getting their approval for it. Imagine trying to get a group picture with all of your friends for your birthday but having you take almost one hundred shots to get one that your influencer friend is happy with.
Also in the beginning I would like and comment on all of their posts but now that's not enough. They expect me message it others, share it on my stories and my page (something about new rhythms and likes not being important anymore). I hate posting stuff to my page but I do it any way to be supportive.
It is so tiring. They do get free things sometimes though that they sometimes share with me. Not worth it imo.
Lord these people are a handful. Some of these stories could be an E True Hollywood story.
Let's take a trip...
Pretty mundane, honestly. My friend is conventionally attractive, and if you look at her social media, you'd think she were a supermodel millionaire who goes on tons of trips.
She's actually chronically unemployed, and has an income of less than 10k/yr. Her boyfriend makes about $60k/yr which is enough to afford them a very nice 3 1/2 bedroom apartment, and she has tons of props she uses to make each room look different from day to day so it seems like she's always in a new, exotic place. They take two trips a year to fun, tropical places, in which she takes many photos, and posts them as different places throughout the year.
She's a very kind, considerate, sparkling personality, but whenever we hang out, I tend to be a shoulder to cry on as she laments about her lack of success in life. It's quite sad, honestly. But with her creativity and personality, I think she'll achieve her dreams eventually.
Cutting the Aesthetic...
So incredibly annoying. I actually ended up cutting her off because everything had to be a photo opportunity. We could never just go out to lunch, or see a movie without it turning into a photoshoot. She never did anything with our friend group unless it was 'aesthetic', and even then, she was so focussed on getting us to take photos that a. she didn't get to enjoy the activity, and b. it started bringing everyone else down because they couldn't participate either.
And this sounds so petty, but she could never just show up in a t-shirt and leggings (because photos, obviously). Like even sleepovers and movie nights had to be a big production and sometimes you just need to stuff your face with popcorn and look like a slob! It's good for the soul!!
She'd also complain a lot about how hard her job was... Our friendship group at the time consisted of an EMT, two nurses, a teacher, and me who was juggling university, tutoring, and working retail. Lile, I'm sure she had challenges and all jobs are hard sometimes, but... girl.... you get paid to take selfies with free stuff, and show up at events looking pretty.
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Exactly as fake and staged as you imagine it to be, the on-camera moments are completely non genuine. It is in the end just an acting/modeling job and not their real personality.
Do these people even know who they are anymore? Did they ever?
A girl in my homeschool group in middle school was always bragging about how her parents had a youtube channel with thousands of subscribers. she was really arrogant about it and i didn't enjoy spending time with her because she was a brat. the funny thing is nobody ever believed her (including myself) until one day i stumbled across a video of theirs while scrolling through youtube. sure enough, they had thousands of subscribers. she hadn't been lying and i was shocked. now they have well over a million. they don't upload very often anymore though.
Got a friend with 75k subscribers on Youtube in a language other than English. It used to be about their weekend getaways with nice drone shots. It was interesting.Then, gradually became about their lives (how interesting /s). She's get her phone/camera out at sometimes random moments, which could get annoying.
She got pregnant. Baby everything now.
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She is annoying... there's no other word to describe her. Feel sorry for her because she is a person that needs attention all the time. (We are not friends but we live in the same house).
I sold my place to one a while ago. One of those newly green, sustainable, body - positivity types. Pretty much everything about what this person projects as her social media image is fake as it turned out. It was quite a sobering experience.
I'm thinking about becoming an influencer. Just a for a quick million or two. And because I love free things. It's an actual obsession. If it's free, it's for me. That screams to be on a shirt, doesn't it? Hint hint to my followers reading. I mean most of these people above are doing well. Sure their crap humans who value fake attention over authentic contact but... they get free stuff. I'll keep y'all updated.
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If you're looking for your soulmate, it can be hard to really gauge who is truly “the one", especially if they've had back luck in the past. Trust me, it took many attempts to figure my romantic life out before finding my husband. But when you know, you know--and once you do, everything just beautifully falls into place.
Anyone that has found their soulmate usually can pinpoint the moment they had this realization. Here are a few real-life stories.
Sometimes it’s truly the usually mundane things that lights up your romantic life. In the words of the musical Company, “it’s the little things you do together that make perfect relationships.”
The true test of any relationship.
When I found myself enjoying the little things - just because I was doing them with her.
Grocery shopping, running errands, just the mundane stuff that makes up every day.
My husband will wander off in the grocery store and then peek around the corner of an aisle at me and say weird stuff like "hey lady" or "looking good" or just nonsensical screeching. Or he will come up and smack my butt and run off. It's so immature but I always crack a smile.
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I realized that if I happened to be doing or experiencing something fun, I always wanted her around to share it with. That, and we argue well and don't hold grudges.
I love the fact that me and my GF resolve arguments like mature adults and we never stay mad at each other.
You feel like an old shoe.
Everything feels effortless.
On my 2nd date with my now wife I told her 'You feel like an old shoe.' Comfortable and familiar, easy to get along with, happy to talk with for hours or enjoy hours of silence together. When the fights happen they are brief and uncontentious, and there's no lingering bitterness. Also, she totally understood and accepted the romanticism of being called an Old Shoe.
Chemistry is one of the most important elements of a relationship (accidental pun there).
There is always hope.
Initial chemistry. I was doing the on-line dating thing, and had been on a dozen+ dates of varying degrees of awkwardness and disaster. I was fed up with it.
I logged onto the dating site to delete my account and embrace the Billy-no-dates life, when this woman gave me a nudge. I was kind of blunt and said I was done with it all, and didn't want to go through another 2 to 3 weeks of on-line chat only to meet up and have nothing to talk about.
I said if she wanted to meet up and name the place fine. If she found that too forward and a red-flag then also fine. She said she'd also experienced similar problems and also wanted to skip straight to the IRL meet.
I am not that chatty. But we met up at about 2pm at a local pub. We were there until kicking-out at 11pm. It flew. I had a sore throat by the end of it.
A few weeks ago we celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary.
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The chemistry between us was unreal, my wife said the first time she met me she had the overwhelming urge to hug me. 18 years later we're still awesome together.
She just always says as soon as she first saw me she knew we were meant to be together. We often read each others minds, I can heal her with my hands when she has pain and the sex even after 3 kids and 18 years together is still like being a pair of teenagers.
She's my best friend, my soul mate and my lover. I would love to be a millionaire then I could just spend every minute of every day with her forevermore. I'm blessed.
Sappy, but sweet.
I can fall asleep when he's cuddled with me. As someone that hasn't had the best relationships, it's the first time I've felt safe enough to just let myself be at rest. The first time I saw him (we were long distance for 6 months), my whole being felt at peace.
Yes it's sappy as heck, but honestly this is the first time feeling this way.
That’s how you know.
Meeting my spouse felt like seeing a loved one after they'd been gone on a long trip. I felt the same way when our child was born. No magical Disney moment, just 'oh, there you are. I've missed you and I'm glad you're back.'
Not to mention the bigger gestures that truly blow you away as their partner.
Thrown into the deep end.Introduce Season 2 GIF by The Bold Type Giphy
I am extremely lucky, as my father and I are absolutely best buds. He was diagnosed with cancer and it quickly spread throughout his body. He has been slowly declining over time. I know I found the one when my then-boyfriend (now fiancé) came to meet my parents.
Low and behold they were throwing me a surprise party and he got introduced to 30 family members. He was thrown into the deep end! He was kind and respectful to everyone. But what really took the cake was he sat down and talked to my otherwise very gruff, but long-winded dad. He talked to him for 2 hours, about life, love, my dad's experiences and I saw my dad give a few loud long laughs. It was rare those days.
He's remained close with my father as he nears the end and his constant effort to create memories and bring my dad joy speaks so much about who he is as a person.
We are getting married next week and I couldn't have found a more goofy, kind, loving and respectful man.
What an amazing person.
I knew she was the one when my best friend who was a father figure went to the hospital and his organs were failing. They gave him 2 days to live and it all happened to fast that I called her and said we'd have to cancel our dinner plans with her mom (I was crying on the phone explaining why) all she said was "which hospital" and I told her the location.
I got there before her and held my dads hand. This diamond of a woman comes in with a chimichanga and large Fanta orange soda, no ice (my favorite) she sits right next to me and feeds me as I am holding my dying friend's hand crying hysterically. While he was loaded up on morphine she made a smart ass crack to me and actually made him chuckle. It was a half chuckles but he heard her! I will marry this woman. Mark my words.
A good partner always does this.
Knowing this person passively inspired me to be a better person, try harder in my efforts, and take risks to push myself as well as enjoy my life. I realized they were "the one" when they felt the same way.
As for me, I knew my husband was the one when I realized I never got sick of his company. Usually, I get exhausted being around people, and I need a break. I never have with him--he's just such a delight to be around.
And if you haven't found the one and this article is making you sad, don't lose hope. Everyone's timeline is different, and you never know when you will meet your soulmate. Don't lose hope--it'll come when you least expect it
Life is expensive without the extras. However, if you want to do things to enrich your life they don't always have to be costly.
One Redditor that goes by Goatonaflyingpancake brought out some great ideas when they asked:
“What is something people don't realise is actually affordable?"
Seriously, renter’s insurance though!
“Renter's Insurance. Especially if you bundle it with your car insurance. Usually covers replacement of contents and loss of use, so if you rent and right now could not afford to repurchase all of your clothing, furniture, housewares, electronics and medical equipment if you have any, as well as pay for a hotel until you find a place or get back in the one where the fire was, get you some. And take the time to accurately valuate the replacement cost of your possessions to make sure you get enough.”
The internet (and local library) is filled with free learning tools.Read Open Book GIF by INTO ACTIONGiphy
“Learning -- you don't need formal education to increase your skillset. YouTube is free and there are plenty of other free platforms and tools available. Using YouTube I learned to solve a Rubik's cube, whittling, basic embroidery, and cross stitch in 2020.”
“Many US libraries also give you access to Libby to borrow thousands of free ebooks and Audiobooks. I paid like $30 for a secondhand kindle and have never once paid for a book for it.”
“My library lets you borrow other things, like tools. I've heard of some letting you borrow video games in other cities. Libraries are the best.”
“Don’t buy birds of prey.”
“Birds of Prey in Britain. Sadly, predatory birds are extremely affordable in the UK. A barn owl is around £25. This leads to idiots thinking that owning a bird of prey is a good idea when in actual fact they take a huge amount of work to train and maintain."
“This then leads on to them escaping into the wild and negatively affecting the natural ecosystem. Don't get me wrong, birds of prey are beautiful and seeing them in the wild is an incredible experience however, they will continue to munch their way through all of our small rodents and animals.”
“Alternatively, because they may have been raised by humans from a chick, they fly off into the wild and die of starvation because they haven't had the parental hunting training. Don't buy birds of prey.”
Having decent shoes.
“For people that can't afford high quality shoes-Shoe sole inserts. The cheapest ones at Walmart are made of memory foam-like material and make a world of difference for me!”
“When I first started working as a cook I bought a $25 pair of non slip shoes at Walmart. I did one shift with them and KNEW I needed better shoes, however I could not afford them. I decided to try the inserts out and I ended up wearing those shoes with a $12 pair of inserts for 3 years.”
Don’t wait due to money issues!GIF by INTO ACTIONGiphy
“The Covid vaccines are free. You don't even need insurance. Seriously, if you haven't gotten yours because you're afraid you can't afford it, go get it today.”
Supporting local artists...
“Grocery delivery. I don't have a car, and to take a bus would require walking 10+blocks and then getting off and carrying all my groceries back the same ten blocks. And the bus will cost 3.50. Delivery with instacart (and I'm assuming similar apps) costs about 8 dollars. So I order from them for 4.50 more than what it costs to go to the store, and save myself 4 hours of time. It's great.”
“Side note: I've been experimenting the past few months. Instacart, ubereats, doordash, lyft, all these services for the past 6 months I've been offering the choice between a monetary tip or a gram of some good weed. About 85% of the time they pick the weed. It all started when I was taking a lyft home from the dispensary and the driver commented on how good it smelled. It's been a fun experiment it seems like they've enjoyed it.”
“I used to think camping equipment was very expensive (i would always browse the LLBean catalog growing up) so i would always borrow a tent, sleep on the ground etc, then i looked at the tents at Walmart and got a tent for like $30 and an air mattress for $7.”
“I've tried telling my friends this a million times. You can bring all your food and cook everything cheaply over a fire or a propane stove. Hell you can pack only hot dogs, chips, and a veggie try and have a complete meal right there for an entire family for less than 20 bucks.”
“There's also way more state parks than people think. This might be because I live nearby a ton of them, but I'm willing to bet that most people live within an hours drive of at least one. County parks are even cheaper but I prefer having the guarantee of flushing toilets.”
Spice does NOT mean extra mayo and raisins in the potato salad...Giphy
“AAA membership. If you own a car it's the best $55 you can spend.”
“Ask for the triple A discount everywhere you go once you get your card. The hotel I work for, it can save you $7 to $21 a night, depending on room type. It's one of the best discounts we have for non-members of the hotel rewards program. If you only stay a few nights a year, it's a good deal. You'll definitely get your membership fee back in discounts alone.”
Thankfully while the economy recovers there are still lots of inexpensive things people can do.
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First dates are extremely hard to get right.
We're all trying to put on the best possible version of ourselves when we date. We wear our best clothes, try to pick a unique spot to show how interesting we are, and hope that there's some kind of real connection.
Anyone who's ever been on a first date, though, can attest this does not always go according to plan.
What's your worst first date story?
It's almost impossible to not be awkward on a first date. You're getting to know someone, opening up, and suddenly you say something you maybe shouldn't have. Don't worry, though, because if you play it right you can adapt, own up to it, and bond over the brutal honesty.
These are not those situations.
Setting Yourself Up For Failure
"The guy insisted on paying for everything, wouldn't let me pay my half."
"At the end of the date, he raged out when I wouldn't stay the night, saying "You women are all the same, you want us to pay for everything, but never give anything in return."
"Never called him again."
Why Would You Even Say That?
"I invited a guy over I met online. When I opened the door, he told me he could kill me if he wanted, and to never meet anyone off the internet again."
"My two male roommates were in the kitchen and heard him. They were not impressed."
Getting An Insider's Reference
"She spent almost the entire time asking me about what I thought about various messages and conversations she was having with her ex and how they could be interpreted."
"She kept apologizing for talking about her ex... only to return to speaking about him two minutes later. She was asking for a male perspective on why her ex didn't want to get back together."
Speaking Your Mind Early On
"Guy came to pick me up at my place and drive us to dinner. On the way to dinner, there was an overweight man jogging on the side of the road. The guy laughed and used a horrific slur regarding his weight AND his skin color."
"I made the guy turn around and drive me home right after that and was prepared to walk home if I had to. He then proceeded to berate me and tell me how ridiculous I was as he took me back to my place."
"Grade A Douch"
Taking What's Not Yours
"I had just got back from backpacking around Europe and needed a ride home from the airport so this guy who I had a crush on and said he had one on me agreed to pick me up. He greeted me with rootbeer and we went to the local diner near my apartment where we had pancakes. We then went back to my place. He said he had a really great time and wanted to see me again. I believed him."
"He actually stole two Beatles records I bought at the Beatles museum in Liverpool that night and ghosted me."
The world keeps happening, even when you're out on a date. Unfortunately, the world can be a cruel place, expanding its tendrils into various aspects of your life. Be ready, as a first date can be halted abruptly by truly tragic circumstances.
"I was on a date with a girl and halfway through getting some dinner her mum phones her, didn't really think anything of it until she started crying get eyes out... The mum had phoned to tell her she had breast cancer."
"My dates crying her eyes out and saying she needs to go everyone's looking at me like I'm an a--hole because they assume I've just broken up with her and I'm sitting there with a blank expression on my face because I'm so confused/ don't know what to do in this situation"
Maybe Clean It Out First?
"Oh this is one of my favorite stories to tell. In my early 20s, I had just moved back home and didn't really know anyone in town anymore. I decided that I would go for someone outside of my "usual" type, and approached a guy. We arranged a date a few weeks after we started talking, and he didn't drive so I was supposed to pick him up at his grandmother's house, where he lived."
"He pretty much ghosted me when it came time for the date, and later explained that he hadn't felt up to it because his ferret had died. I figured that a second chance would be fine, and we made arrangements for the next weekend."
"I showed up at his house, and he showed me to his room. His room consisted of a single full-size mattress on the floor, no sheet, in a sea of empty Dr. Pepper cans. I was hit with the foulest odor I had ever encountered in my life, and he said 'don't mind that smell, that's just my ferret.'"
"Yes, the dead one. From the week before. He left it in the cage, in the corner of the room. For a WEEK."
"The date did not occur, I took myself right on home."
This one takes a turn for the worst.
Settle In For The Worst First Date Story Ever
"We went to the mountain because she's never been and we have an amazing time together! On our way back down, I decided I wanted to get some water from the mountain (best tasting water I've ever had in my life!) for the ride back down and into town. Seeing as how cool and refreshing this water was, I decide to chug about a fourth of the bottle. Mmmm so damn good!"
"It wasn't until we came back down from high elevation that the bubbling in my gut happened. I was gonna sh-t my pants in front of this girl and there was no way for me to stop this brown disaster from happening. At all."
"She sees my face and asks if I'm okay and of course I try to play it off and say I am, but we both know what's going on."
"I stopped at two different places and they didn't have a bathroom (to this day I think they were full of sh-t...semi pun intended) so I drove like Dale Earnhardt trying to get to the next town...but I never made it."
"I could feel the seal breaking. I had exactly 0.3 seconds before I shat my pants so I pulled off the side of the road, opened the doors and did what I had to do...right in front of her. In the middle of this brown betty, I apologized profusely... I was so embarrassed. The look on her face...I will remember forever."
"I asked her for wipes (she has kids so I figured she had wipes in her car for messes) and she gives me the package."
"3 minutes later, I get back in the car. The radio was off and we drove in silence for what seemed like an eternity. I mean, what could I possibly say? Sorry I took a sh-t right in front of you...let's get sushi? I figured I have to say SOMETHING so I look over at her and she has this big a-- grin on her face. She breaks out in hysterical laughter and tells me nobody has EVER done that before. I'm super embarrassed at this point and I tell her. She tells me she would've done the same thing and it's a lot better than sh-tting your pants. She asked me what would I have used if I didn't have wipes and I told her, most likely my socks. She laughs and then replies, "I dunno...that was a LOT of sh-t. I dont think your socks would've worked very well"
"That was almost 2 years ago and we're still together. We still laugh about this as if it happened yesterday."
Open yourself up to someone, try to make a real connection, and understand that everyone is doing their best to come across as best they can. A slip-up or two is forgivable.
Violent, racist, misogynistic language is not.
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The best-written characters are the ones with complex origins stemming from violent histories and broken families.
Villains are often misunderstood and eventually snap when they reach a breaking point after constant ridicule and mockery.
For them, the only way out of an unfortunate situation or deep despair is to take matters into their own hands – at all costs.
To have a nemesis who is just evil in nature and exists for the sake of providing conflict for the protagonist is just lazy writing.
But to have someone you can actually relate to and understand their motives – regardless of their violent methods – is more compelling to watch.
"What villain do you actually agree with/get?"
Comic book villains did not always start off with evil intentions.
"I don't agree with Magneto, but I understand why he would feel the way he does."
"I have the most sympathy for this villain."
A Flawed Perfectionist
"Dr. Doom. He saw all possible futures and the only one that didn't end in humankind dying out was him ruling the world iirc."
"Mr. Freeze, now that Batman: The Animated Series has given him a legitimate backstory. Look, if you're a scientist and your wife is suffering from a rare condition, but you know you can save her if you just have more time, doesn't it make sense to put the love of your life in suspended animation while you do everything imaginable to save her?"
Anyone is capable of giving in to the darkness, especially like these characters who were dealt with unfortunate circumstances.
Sucks Being Widowed
"Dracula in Castlevania. They killed his wife and he said they had a year to get out. It's on them for murder and not believing a murderous vampire."
"Baby Doll from the animated Batman series."
"The way her entire life is ruined based solely on her physical appearance. Her career and relationship with Killer Croc in particular, but the way you can clearly see the mental effects of looking permanently like a child."
Kung-Fu Panda Antagonist
"All he wanted was to impress his adopted father."
": You knew I was the Dragon Warrior! You always knew! But when Oogway said otherwise, what did you do? What did you do? NOTHING!"
"Shifu : You were not meant to be the Dragon Warrior! That was not my fault!"
"Tai Lung : Not your fault? Who filled my head with dreams? Who drove me to train until my bones cracked? Who denied me my destiny?"
"Sandman in Spider-Man 3. There's little I wouldn't do for my kid."
These mean toons have a likeable quality in spite of their nefarious tendencies.
That "Phineas and Ferb" Scientiest
"Dr Doofenshmirtz - come on man, those inventions are awesome!"
"It's his parents who are the real villains."
The Powerpuff Girls' Tetartagonist
"My man was straight up abandoned"
"There's an episode where he actually wins and when he finally rules the world he... Archive the world peace, reverse the climate change, and things like that. So yeah, totally agree with Mojo."
The Mean One
"The Grinch; he just wanted his annoying neighbors to not play their loud holiday music at the crack of dawn."
"The Grinch didn't hate Christmas. He hated people. I think we can all get behind that."
Not So Despicable
"Gru from Despicable Me."
"I too, dream of stealing the moon."
"I might put it back, I might not. Haven't decided yet."
Redditors found a vast number of wicked characters who possess motives they agree with to excuse for their bad deeds.
We all have suffered challenges and obstacles – some we never overcome – but we don't necessarily go on a killing spree because of unresolved issues.
Maybe that's why some of these villains resonate with us on various levels.
Watching these misunderstood or wronged characters wreak havoc on society could be a manifestation of something hopefully most of us aren't inclined to do but feel a sense of satisfaction after watching destruction take place in worlds of fantasy.