Laken Howard
I'm an alum of NU/Medill who recently returned to Chicago after a three-year stint in Brooklyn. Also a new cat mom to Lil Beeb, a grey tabby who has no idea how paranoid I am about accidentally causing her death!

Why You Shouldn't Feel Guilty About Not Giving Gifts This Holiday Season

Giving and receiving gifts during the holiday season is such an integral part of our culture that the idea of not exchanging holiday gifts might seem unthinkable — especially if you worry about being perceived as a holiday-hating figure like the…
By Laken Howard

13 Sex Toys To Give Your Partner For The Holidays If They're New To Using Them

Now that the holidays are nearly upon us, 'tis the season for gift shopping — something that's typically much more fun in theory than it is in practice. As easy as shopping for yourself might be, the pressure to find the 'perfect' gift for everyone…
By Laken Howard

Here's Exactly How To Handle Your Partner's Toxic Family Members During The Holidays

As magical and heartwarming as the holiday season can be, it can also be pretty stressful — especially if you're dealing with toxic family members at your holiday gatherings. And, while you might have become adept at handling your own family issues…
By Laken Howard

Here's Why We Need Rethink The Idea Of "Marrying Up"

Historically, the notion of "marrying up" — aka getting hitched to someone who is better-educated, earns more than you, or both — has been something that's largely associated with women. Nowadays, though, it's actually men who are more likely to…
By Laken Howard

How To Get On The Same Page As Your Partner About Exchanging Holiday Gifts

Whether you're ready to admit it publicly or not, everyone can at least privately agree that getting and giving gifts is one of the best parts of the holiday season. But even though shopping for someone like your best friend or mom (or yourself)…
By Laken Howard

Here's Exactly How Your Childhood Affects The Way You Date, According To Experts

If you've ever wondered why you tend to behave a certain way in your relationships, figuring out your attachment style can give you a ton of useful insight. To put it in the simplest terms, attachment theory — first developed in the 1960s by…
By Laken Howard

Yes, Having A Partner Who Won't Stand Up For You Can Be Detrimental To Your Relationship

In order for a relationship to be a happy and healthy one, it's crucial for couples to have a foundation of mutual trust, respect, and support — but when you have a partner who never stands up for you, it's difficult to feel truly supported in your…
By Laken Howard

How To Talk To Your Partner About Money When Your Incomes Are Mismatched

It can be challenging enough learning how to your manage your money as an individual, and if you're combining finances with a partner, things only get trickier — especially if there's a sizable inequality in your incomes. According to a 2018 study…
By Laken Howard

Why Are Women Still Doing More Emotional Labor Than Men In Relationships?

We're living in a time where women and men are viewed and treated much more equally than in generations past, but there are still plenty of gender stereotypes and norms that are ingrained in us as a society — and these can have a big impact on how…
By Laken Howard

How The Culture Surrounding Condoms Is Changing — Thanks To Women

Although condoms have certainly already come a long way from their earliest iterations (linen sheath condom, anyone?), there's still plenty of room left for innovation in the condom industry. As our sexual culture evolves, so do our needs when it…
By Laken Howard

Hooking Up With Your Ex May Not Be As Bad For You As You Think, A New Study Says

It seems like there's one piece of post-heartbreak advice that's more common than any other: 'whatever you do, don't sleep with your ex!' While this admonition is typically given with the best of intentions, what works for one person doesn't…
By Laken Howard

So Cuffing Season Is Actually NOT A Good Time To Get Into A Relationship & Here's Why

As the days start getting shorter and the nights start getting colder, that can only mean one thing: the beginning of cuffing season is upon us at last. Cuffing season is that time of year when singles start desperately searching for a partner to…
By Laken Howard

HR Managers Reveal The 9 Questions You Should Always Ask Before You Accept A New Job

When you're focused on getting out of your current job and landing a new one, it can be easy to forget that job interviews are a two-way street. Yes, your would-be employer should be asking all the right questions in order to get to know you as a…
By Laken Howard

We Need To Talk About Why Women Still Don't Propose To Men

The wedding industry has clearly gone through a lot of changes in recent years — and not just in terms of the now-omnipresent wedding hashtag. Now more than ever, folks are embracing the nontraditional when it comes to their nuptials, likely due in…
By Laken Howard

Taking Control Of My Finances Changed My Life — And Ended My Relationship

As much influence as money has over our lives, it’s one of those subjects that’s just not easy to talk about — especially for young women. According to a 2015 survey from Fidelity, eight out of 10 women said they don’t discuss finances with friends…
By Laken Howard

7 Tips For Making The Most Out Of Living Alone For The Very First Time

When you're about to take the plunge into living alone for the first time, it can be both exciting and a little scary. On the one hand, it can be nerve-wracking to think of being completely on your own when it comes to some of the less fun stuff —…
By Laken Howard

Here's Why We Need To Change The Conversation Around Virginity

Even though it's 2018 and our collective view of sex is evolving — thanks in large part to the feminist, LGBTQ+, and sex-positive movements, of course — there still seems to be a lot of judgment surrounding sex. Whether we're telling them when, how,…
By Laken Howard

Here's How My First Breakup Taught Me To Embrace My Single Status

For most of my adolescent and young adult life, I was pretty much the textbook definition of the perpetually single girl — and honestly, I hated it. My always-solo relationship status wasn't for lack of trying, either: during college I swiped…
By Laken Howard

How To Tell If You Have "Grass Is Greener" Syndrome In Dating — And Ways To Overcome It

At some point or another, you've probably heard the old saying "the grass is greener on the other side" — and it's pretty likely that you heard it used in the context of dating and relationships. But what does it mean if someone is suffering from…
By Laken Howard

13 Fun Date Ideas To Try This Month If You Just Can't Wait For Fall

As we get closer and closer to the end of this sweltering hot summer, it's hard not to look forward to the slightly chilly fall months ahead — especially because there are so many great date ideas for fall, from pumpkin or apple picking to scary…
By Laken Howard