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Latinas Shared Their Best Bits Of Marriage Advice And The Comment Section Got REAL

Recently, a FIERCE reader posed a pretty poignant question on Twitter: “If you could give me advice on marriage, what would it be?”

Married folks and mujeres that were once married offered up their best bits of advice! Check them out below!

View marriage as a bonus not the piece to a missing puzzle.

My advice: don’t do it!! JUST KIDDING. my mom says, view marriage as an additional bonus to your life not as a completion . You’re an amazing complete woman on your own.” –pelucaazul

Beware the red flags.

“As someone going through a divorce: make a list of all the red flags (small and big) and play each one out and truly determine if any are problematic. The small red flags now always come back up later. Some can be worked on, some can be communicated through , but some are a sign of unsettled trauma/machismo/addictions/narcissism etc.”- _ashlyndarling

Keep up the dating game.

“Never stop dating each other!”-mariaelena34

If you’re getting advice about your life, get it from the right people.

“Its between you two!!! . Dont try to fit your relationship into stereotypical molds… what works for you may not be what other ppl say! Also, dont bad talk your boo even if you’re mad and frustrated. What you feed, grows. And always remember to flirt with your husband lik y’all still dating. And, if you turn to someone for advice, make sure they understand healthy marriages. Soooooo many ppl in the world giving advice but dont have a healthy successful marrige…. be open wi th your boo, be honest, nd hve fun! Best wishes&blessings – AH.”-autumnhype

Don’t compare yourself. It’s not a tit for tat game.

“Never compare yourself to other marriages or your parent’s marriage. Your marriage is whatever you want it to be and cultivate together, this is completely up to you and your spouse. This is the most freeing thing I have ever heard and made me appreciate my marriage more!”-cathrinemolstad

Don’t put up with behaviors or treatments within marriage that your instincts are telling you are wrong.

“Married 20 years and my best advice is to trust your instincts. In my marriage what has worked is respecting my partner and expecting that same level of respect, that reciprocity goes for kindness, compassion, patience, and forgiveness too. But, ultimately, this is big, don’t marry someone if your instincts are telling you it’s wrong, don’t put up with behaviors or treatments within marriage that your instincts are telling you are wrong, and don’t stay if those same instincts are telling you it’s wrong. You know you, what you want, need, can and can’t handle. That’s the voice to defer to – not your friends, society, or family. The union should bring you and the other person great personal growth. I realize that all sounds like a high bar and it is. People get and stay married, settling for far less than they should, because there is (or they perceive) external pressures to do so. Resist this. Marriage is not for everyone and not every partner is a commit your life partner. Finally, though, it’s 2020. Marriage isn’t irreversible. If it’s not working, that’s okay and don’t take it as a failure, but an awareness of your worth and growth.”-sheexistshere

Grow with each other.

“Grow with each other. Ive been with mine for 8 years (married 2). We started dating at 16 and 19, and man have times changed. If we didn’t make mistakes, keep each other accountable, help each other figure out what we each wanted to do, we won’t be together after all this time.” –danielaherreranyc

Communication is key

“Always communicate even if it sounds like something silly and always find time for each other no matter how busy your day can be.”-lauraelnasser

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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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