Valentine’s Day is not for the faint of heart. It’s the type of day that makes you examine the love in your life for all of its good, bad, and ugliness — and in the year 2022, all its mystery, too. When it feels like nothing is as easy as you’d hope, you’ve come to the right place. This year, NYLON recruited Snail Mail’s Lindsey Jordan to answer your burning love and relationship questions. After all, who better to spew Valentine’s Day advice than the woman who released a critically acclaimed album called ‘Valentine?’
First, a disclaimer from the singer: “I'd like to start by publishing that I am by no means a love expert, but I'm happy to use the experience that I have to help you guys in the name of love and Valentine's Day! XOXOXOX”
Without further adieu, Jordan answers your questions, right here.
How do I say goodbye to a FWB-never-lovers situation?
Sadly, I have a lot of experience in this area, and no matter what it can be very difficult. I've gotten through this before by reminding myself that you can't squeeze orange juice out of an apple, no matter how confident you are that you can change the person. They may seem like the one right now, but they can't give you what you need, so the best thing you can do for yourself is to stop expecting that they will change and go find someone who can meet your needs! I know it doesn't seem like it, but they are out there. :) Good luck.
How do I stop simping for a guy I met at a club, who I had a one night stand with?
Don't get down on yourself for falling in love at the club! It's easy to romanticize people you just met because you haven't seen their gross habits, how they react under stress, how they treat their mother, how often they wash their pillow cases, etc. Right now, he's a total fantasy that you know nothing about, and you may come to find he isn't even who you thought he was! You could potentially keep having fun with him, if he's down for that, but let yourself go on dates with other people and keep putting yourself out there because someone will simp for you, too, and you deserve that.
What are green flags in a new relationship? What do you look for in a partner?
Learning my wants and needs in my relationships has been an ongoing process. I've been in some terrible ones, and after working on identifying what it is that I need, what to look out for, what to work on within myself, etc. I have been able to work towards a healthy relationship, where my needs are being met :). Some of the things I look for are good communication skills, boundary setting skills, a willingness to work on one's self, loyalty, kindness and gentleness towards others. Sometimes green flags can be misleading, but a couple early indicators of a keeper could be that they listen to you, that they remember things about what's going on in your life and ask questions, that they are open to calmly talking through conflicts and working through them together as a team, and so many more. Make sure that they are emotionally capable of treating you how you deserve to be treated.
Any advice on how to force yourself forward when you can’t stop looking back?
There is no forcing yourself, really! Keep letting yourself be sad about the past until you get bored of focusing on it. That grief may always be there in some capacity, but it absolutely gets easier with time. It sounds cheesy, but come up with things you like about yourself and repeat them to yourself every day or start journaling about it. It's easy to get frustrated with yourself for taking a long time to heal, but these things can't be rushed. Treat yourself with gentleness and understanding, like you would a child.
How do you start a conversation with someone who has no idea you exist?
I like to be up front and just tell them I find them attractive or just ask them to get a drink or coffee or whatever, but if that doesn't feel comfortable, you could try going up to them and starting conversation with a polite compliment! Everyone likes to be complimented!
I love my partner but sometimes I feel suffocated by them, is this normal?
Totally! I think the key to this is to experiment and get as familiar with your boundaries as you can. Try out hanging out for only three days in a week and see how that feels, and extend it to four or shorten it to two or one or whatever! It may be that you need more alone time than you thought, or maybe you need more time with your friends or family and it's up to you to figure that out and communicate your findings to your partner! Time away from your partner is equally important in the relationship as time together!
How do you get over a breakup?
I'm so sorry! Breakups are awful and there are no one-size-fits-all solutions to getting through them because the only way to do that is to let yourself grieve properly. The worst thing you can do is try to stuff the feelings down because I guarantee they will only come back stronger. Let yourself cry, surround yourself with loved ones, allow yourself to be annoying and talk about it as much as you want, listen to the songs you listened to together, and feel everything! It's also helpful to immerse yourself in your projects/passions, exercise, and fill your days with routine self-care.