Entertainment

Latinas Say Don’t Get Married Until You’ve Confirmed These Things

When it comes to getting married, just about everyone has opinions and advice. Of course, while input on dos and don’ts of considering marriage can be overwhelming, they’re also so important to listen. Recently, we came across a Tweet by Twitter user @cxkenobxkery⁠ who posted a thread called “Don’t get married before…” We reposted the question and asked our FIERCE readers what advice they had for other Latinas who were considering marriage and the answers were pretty eye-opening.

So here goes, if you’re thinking about getting married consider pumping the breaks unless you’ve…

Worked out your parenting styles

Too strict? Too soft? Balance and teamwork is crucial. It comes down to what kid of little humans do you BOTH want to raise.” – ramfamfour

Discussed mental health stuff

“ANY mental health issues. My ex husband was not verbally or physically abusive, but his mental health issues were at the core of our marriages demise. I would also add to pay attention to how compatible you are when the ‘feeling’ of being in love isn’t tinting your glasses. He hated new foods and I loved to cook. He didn’t understand hyperbole, sarcasm, analogy, humor, etc. And those are all native to me. Otherwise, this is a great list.” – dinneronmylap

Learned how you plan to grow together

“I think asking how a person plans to continuously seek knowledge during their lifetime is important.” – lachullavida

Have underlined your boundaries

“Speak about the boundaries you plan on having with your families as you create one of your own. TRUST ME, you don’t want a spouse who doesn’t know or understand how important this is. Nobody wants their in laws overstepping. If their parents or yours are doing this now, it will only get worse once you are married and it will create so much drama. People have divorced over this.” – taialvarez

Talked about credit scores

“And CREDIT SCORE, family health history, twins?”- liani9

Seen them when they’re angry

“Other tips: See how this person reacts when angry, see how this person treats strangers, see how this person faces a difficult dilemma. This will tell you a lot about a person.” –mariar09_

Have self-appreciation on both sides

“Don’t get married before you truly know, love and have appreciation for yourself.”- moni.gram

Know their family

“You absolutely need to know about family, how they were raised and around who… she’s wrong on that one.”- your_phoenix_

Have the age experience

“Don’t even THINK about it until you’re in your 30s.” – arlee_la

Sorted out cleaning habits

“The cleanings habits.” – nancyesquivel

Know how their parents fight

“Parenting / disciplining! Questions about in laws expectations. Alone time vs quality time – are you someone who needs a lot of time away or close to your partner? How fairly do you fight? How did your parents fight growing up? How do you negotiate with one another?” – melmor

Lived on your own

“The best thing I did for myself: Live away from family. I had a whole year to live with roommates and I learned so mhch about myself. If at all possible, consider doing this!!!” – dj_enamoured

Asked how their prior relationship ended

“Always ask how the prior relationship ended, been almost marry for 5 years and I never asked and I found out that he got 7 women pregnant and all of them got an abortion, also ask about mental health issues with the family I never did and found out his mother was bipolar without treatment now I know why he is the way he is cause he is bipolar… I thought things would changed but nothing has changed and don’t marry a men that has a lot of guy friends cause his priority are his friends… Yes I know don’t need to tell me to get divorce I m already working on it.” – suequte_yoginyc

Figured out how to spend time alone and apart

“Date/Outing expectations – is one a home-body vs outdoorsy? This made for some very uncomfortable situations for both if us in a prior relationship. Would lead to full on arguments. But if both aren’t comfortable with group dates or don’t consider a quiet dinner at home as romantic then someone is going to become resentful.” – rosanam1978

Been genetically tested

“On having children, it best to get a gene-carrier (gene disease testing) before marriage. It makes me so angry when hearing that married couple… MARRRIED, do it after marriage. What if both of them are carriers? Then having a kid with their gene disease is on its way, if they have 1 biological.” – officialdarlin

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Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

Culture

Have A Virtual Hot Date? Here’s How To Make Sure It Doesn’t Suck

MixMedia / Getty Images

For the single introverts among us, lockdown might seem like the perfect opportunity to re-charge our social batteries and have some much needed alone-time. But no, thanks to the wonders of technology and just how damn adaptable human beings are, virtual dating has totally become a thing. 

For better or for worse, people are dating just as much as ever – albeit through a screen. So if you’re using dating apps during lockdown, arranging video dates and looking for virtual date ideas, here’s a handy guide on how to stay safe and how to ace virtual dating.

Make a damn effort

Act as if the date was in person and get ready accordingly. Shower if you haven’t already that day — it’ll make you feel a lot better — and put on your favorite outfit. Even if it’s not seasonally appropriate, who cares? Wear the sundress pushed all the way back in your closet. Put on makeup if that’s your thing, and do your hair. 

It makes all the difference not only in how you present yourself but by how you perceive yourself. You’ll feel better on the date, more like your “usual” self. 

Figure out your camera setup beforehand

Pro-tip: Do all this the day before, or at least an hour before, the date starts. That way you’re not scrambling and worrying about your angles. Decide if you’re going to use your phone or computer. Put it at eye-level, if possible. If you’re using a laptop, you can place it on a stack of books, but you can also DIY it by leaning your phone against your laptop screen (which can have its own book stack setup) or anything else you can find. 

And…lighting…lighting….lighting! Set yourself up with some good, flattering lighting before you start the call. Find a place that’s the most flattering in your house. Be sure you’re not backlit by a window which can wash out your face.

Simulate real date ideas

Credit: Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

Although you obviously can’t “grab a drink” together, you can simulate that. Text before the date and decide if you’ll be drinking wine, coffee, or eating dinner “together.” You can even do a twist on “Netflix and chill,” simultaneously using Netflix’s “party” function; if you go that route, choose something campy or that you’ve both seen before so you can chat easily during it.

Trust your instincts

“A nip slip may not be appropriate for a date with a new person,” Moraya DeGeare, a licensed marriage and family therapist, joked to Refinery 29. “It’s modern times, so I think there will be the temptation for people to be really bold and ask about FaceTime sex. People are horny and trapped in their houses. On one hand, that’s okay, but on the other, you’re risking someone taking screenshots,” she cautions. “Listen to your intuition and don’t do something you don’t feel comfortable with.”

She adds that you shouldn’t take the call from bed, because “you’re immediately sending all these other signals unintentionally.” Generally, she says you should conduct the date as you would in person.

Expect awkwardness to happen, because it will happen

Credit: Peter Dazely / Getty Images

Awkwardness isn’t necessarily a bad thing and, when dating is involved, it’s inevitable. First dates in real life have their own clumsy moments, so don’t beat yourself up if your camera freezes for a moment, or if you talk over the other person. It’s going to happen! Just laugh about it and move on.

Stay safe and comfortable

Although it may seem like common sense, being cooped up inside for so long has left many of us lacking some of the most basic people skills. Remember to not give out any of your personal details – think home address and bank details – and watch out for any suspicious links that might come through in the chat.

Before the date, it’s also a good idea to do some recon on your date’s social media to make sure they are who they say they are. Also, don’t show your face on camera if they’re not showing theirs, that’s a serious red flag.

And lastly, know that you can end the date whenever you want to. You don’t owe anybody anything and it’s totally fine if you’re feeling uncomfortable or in danger to just end the call. But remember, basic dating etiquete also still remains so don’t just close your computer screen without saying goodbye because you’re just not feeling the vibe.

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The Dominican Republic Finally Outlaws Child Marriage After Years of Campaigning by Girls’ Rights Activists

Fierce

The Dominican Republic Finally Outlaws Child Marriage After Years of Campaigning by Girls’ Rights Activists

Image via Getty

Outside of the U.S., some good news has occurred amidst a week that has otherwise been full of mayhem and chaos.

On Wednesday, the Dominican Republic’s Executive Branch approved a law that unilaterally bans child marriage in its country.

In the past, children younger than 18 were allowed to marry with a special exemption from a judge. These exemptions happened often. Now, no woman or man under the age of 18 are allowed to marry under any circumstances in the Dominican Republic.

This move is significant because the Dominican Republic has the highest rates of child marriage in Latin America and the Caribbean. Official government figures show that 36% of Dominican girls and adolescents marry or enter into “unions” before the age of 18. In 12% of these relationships, the female partner was less than 15 years old.

More informal “unions” where a girl simply moves into an older man’s household are also common in the DR. These are very common in higher poverty communities where many girls are considered a financial burden on their families. Unions like these will be harder to penalize because there is no formal documentation of their partnership.

There are multiple factors that play into the Dominican Republic’s high child marriage rate.

One of the main factors is the culture of machismo that informs the way that young men and women approach relationships.

According to research conducted by Plan International, 81% of Dominican girls said they preferred men that were five years older than them. This statistic is in stark contrest to 39% of Dominican men who prefer their partners 18 or younger because they found them more “obedient” and “adaptable”.

Not only that, but there is also a strong cultural expectation for girls and women to become mothers and wives. These cultural beliefs have simply stoked the practice of child marriage.

“Child marriage and early unions are seen as normal in society. It is driven by machismo that sees the role of a woman to be just a mother and wife,” said Rosa Elcarte, UNICEF’s representative in the Dominican Republic, to the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “Ending early unions will require years of work to change cultural norms.”

Feminists and human rights activists consider this law a win after many years campaigning to put an end to this practice.

But on a bittersweet note, many advocates realize that one law doesn’t dismantle the patriarchal structure of their culture that enabled this practice for so long. There is still a lot of work to be done.

“Our girls and adolescents will be protected … and cannot be forced into marriage in their childhood or adolescence, which in the past was often carried out by parents and legally allowed,” said Sonia Hernandez, an associate director of the International Justice Mission, in a statement to NBC News.

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