In 2019, navigating the choppy waters of your love life was easier said than done. There's the endless tide of dating apps. The fear of getting ghosted (and sneaking temptation to return the favor) persists. Even giving yourself some one-on-one intimacy has become marred by surveillance and, in some cases, animal interference. Luckily, ELLE columnist E. Jean is here to wade through the relationship currents. She spoke truth on everything from moving in with a partner to moving forward in the #MeToo era. Below, some of her best advice of the year.
On How Soon to Move in With a Partner
"What’s the rush? I always believed a man should live a mile down the road. Then you can see each other at your most romantic, and yet can live independent lives. Enjoy him!" (February 2019 issue of ELLE)
On Dealing With Lack of Intimacy in a Relationship
"He fights. He fumes. He fizzles and fumbles in bed. Where’s the excitement? Where are the orgasms? It’s letters like this that get men so disliked in the Ask E column. He is surely not the man for you. I repeat: He is not the man for you." (January 2019 issue of ELLE)
On the Pressure to Be "Marriage Material"
"Who is 'marriage material' exactly? Someone who cooks, does the laundry, runs the vacuum, takes care of the kids, brings home the bacon, and asks how her lord’s day went when greeting him at the door wearing nothing but earrings and a feather duster? Bah! A woman wants to be CEO material. A woman wants to be Olympic material. A woman wants to be presidential material. A woman, in short, should want to be anything but an outdated, patriarchal version of 'marriage material.' Matrimony is an excellent model for many, but really, he just gave you a huge compliment!" (March 2019 issue of ELLE)
On What to Say When a Partner Asks, "Why Are We Even Together?"
"He wants you to answer, 'We're together because I can’t go on living without you, and because you are a god among men.' When you get bored of saying that, and if he can’t make an effort to hold a real conversation, you should respond, 'We’re not.' And accept his invitation to go." (May 2019 issue of ELLE)
On Combatting Jealousy
"He may be a fine chap, but I can safely assume his 'naturally flirty' BS would make most partners jealous. Explain that to him, let him know how you’re feeling, and ask him to cool it. Lord! I hate it when smart women are so quick to blame themselves." (August 2019 issue of ELLE)
On Dealing With a Stagnant Love Life
"Who said you must be in love with a man right this very minute? Leave that heart of yours in the freezer, girl! Revel in your liberty. It’s an Ask E. Jean law: One woman’s freedom from love is the next woman’s torment from love. This law, however, does not pertain to kittens. Kittens are alien geniuses. Kittens hold the secret to 'making yourself feel again.' And one is waiting for you at a shelter." (March 2019 issue of ELLE)
On Navigating Male Attention Post #MeToo
"The only 100 percent guaranteed way to stop men from 'crossing the line' is using a tranquilizer gun. In the #MeToo era, each woman has to decide where her own line is and how firmly she will prevent each boss, preacher, teacher, coworker, old friend, and stranger from crossing it. She alone determines which reaction is 'right' for her. And by each of us choosing for ourselves, we empower all womankind." (September 2019 issue of ELLE)
On Rejecting an Office Romance
"As for 'over-reacting,' woman! I'm all for love, but the rage boiling within your brain is righteous! This man is coming at you from all sides, defying your orders, destroying a congenial workplace, bombarding you with unwanted declarations again and again. You are his boss. You ask, 'Is this overreacting?' Own it! Honor it! Be angry! Be infuriated! Don't swallow it. Don't question it. It is confusing because beneath your anger, I'm guessing, is some sadness. He's risking so much to declare his love, and your rejection is causing him pain. I'm sorry you have to go through this. And I'm sorry for the poor chap, too. But we're living in a time of revolution. In the end, it will be angry women who change the world." (January 2019 issue of ELLE)
Read all of Ask E. Jean columns here.
Savannah Walsh Editorial Fellow Savannah Walsh is an Editorial Fellow at ELLE.com. E. Jean I write the ASK E.