Relationship Advice from Fashion Blogger, Kathleen Harper
If you are a fan of fashion and style blogs, you might have heard of Kathleen Harper, the woman behind Kat’s Fashion Fix. Recently, I had the chance to ask Kathleen a few questions about fashion, long-distance relationships, and interracial dating. Her answers were both honest and full of good advice. Check them out!
1) Short Bio:
Hi everyone! My name is Kathleen and I’m a 22 year-old fashion blogger from Chicago. I’m currently a senior at Elon University, which is located in North Carolina. Although I’m presently living in the South, I’m a city girl through and through. I love Chicago and I’ve also lived in LA and New York City for a short period of time. Obviously fashion is a huge passion of mine and in LA and NY I was lucky enough to get internships in the industry. In fact this past summer I worked for The Daily Front Row, the official magazine of New York Fashion Week, and it was a blast. I got to attend movie premiers, red carpet events, interview movie stars, and even go to a ball – how cool is that? In May I’m moving back to The Big Apple to pursue a career in fashion journalism – wish me luck! I started my beloved blog, Kat’s Fashion Fix, in 2012 as a creative outlet for me to be able to share my love of fashion with friends. Sharing my style and my life with my followers has turned out to be a very rewarding experience and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
2) How did you and your boyfriend meet?
I always have so much fun telling this story! I can give you the long version or the short version, but in the interest of not making everyone read a novel, I’ll make this short but sweet . So my boyfriend, Antonio, and I are high school sweethearts. We knew each other since freshman year but we never actually spoke until senior year. I like to compare our story to a movie or some cheesy tween romance novel. I always thought he was the hottest guy in school. At the risk of sounding cliché, I admired him from afar and never even dreamed that we would ever be anything more than schoolmates. He was, of course, the star athlete of the school; varsity football, varsity basketball, and captain of the varsity track team. It’s safe to say that he was one of the most popular guys in our high school of 3,000. And then there’s me. It’s not like I was unpopular by any means, but I definitely was not at his level. We didn’t hangout in the same crowds and for the longest time I didn’t even think he knew who I was.
So that was our situation for three years. My close friends knew I had the biggest crush on him but I never pursued it because in my mind it was like having a crush on a celebrity – you know nothing will ever come of it, it’s just fun to dream. I was also a dancer in high school. I was on our varsity dance team, the Starlettes, and every homecoming the dancers perform a dance with the senior football players for the big pep rally. Us seniors got to pick our football players and of course I thought about choosing Antonio but convinced myself that it would be so weird and creepy because we had never talked. So I settled on choosing a guy that I took French class with. Enter my best friend, Amanda. She said I had to dance with Antonio because it’s senior year and hey, YOLO. She made a good point – no regrets, right? So long story short (this is getting lengthy), Antonio and I practiced together and performed our dance together in front of the whole school and it was nothing short of incredible.
Again, I’m so cheesy but it’s my favorite high school memory! I knew right away that he was special and I couldn’t have been more right. We talked for a while after the whole pep rally thing but nothing really developed until basketball season rolled around. As dancers we had to decorate a basketball player’s locker, and although I was assigned someone else at first, as fate would have it, I eventually ended up with Antonio (I think Amanda had something to do with that). So I started decorating Antonio’s locker on Fridays, and in February I finally had the guts to really go after what I wanted. On a whim I asked him to our Sadie Hawkins dance. After the best high school dance of our lives, he asked me to prom. And we’ve been together ever since. I knew this was the real deal just from the fact that I was never nervous around him. I always completely myself and felt 100 percent comfortable.
3) What’s it like to be in a relationship with someone from a different race in 2014?
Antonio’s black and I’m white. And honestly, I think interracial dating is more common than people think. Based off of where we went to school and where we’re from, it was not unusual at all. We grew up around a lot of diversity and it’s just something that we didn’t pay too much attention to. Coming to school in the South though, a lot of my friends were surprised that my boyfriend’s black. I’ve never had an outright negative reaction though. It was just kind of like, “Woah, I didn’t expect that.” But when we lived together in New York this summer it was really great because there are so many interracial couples in that city. Neither of us has ever felt uncomfortable. I think in 2014 people are a lot more accepting, and that the negative stigma attached to interracial dating isn’t as strong as it was in the 20th century. I mean hey, love is love! A lot more people get that now.
4) Can you give advice for other gals doing the long distance thing?
Oh man. Long distance is so hard, but that’s not to say it’s not worth it. It definitely is worth it, but only if you’re with the right person. It takes a very strong couple to be able to handle it. Antonio and I have been doing long distance on and off for over three years – I go to school in NC and he stayed in IL. After two years I got frustrated with our situation so Antonio transferred to my school. That definitely earned him the boyfriend of the year award! But after only one semester he had to go back to his old school because things didn’t work out financially. So it’s been a long and hard road and I’d say that you shouldn’t enter a long distance relationship unless you can truly see yourself with this person for life. Obviously things can change and there’s no need to make a lifetime commitment so soon, but at the same time you do need to be committed. You need to be serious and you need to be patient and to have lots and lots of trust. Antonio and I Skype regularly – even while we’re both doing homework. We text every day and we talk on the phone a lot. But we also write each other letters; we send love notes back and forth every week. And although it sounds cheesy, we text each other goodnight every single night and I always wake up to a “Good morning beautiful” text. Just last month when I was having a rough week, he sent me an entire vase of fresh flowers and it completely made my day. Nice things like that make a big difference.
5) What’s your recipe for a good relationship?
Communication all the way. Talking to each other about everything, every concern or worry. It makes things 100 times easier. Respect is also a big one for me. Don’t put up with anyone who doesn’t treat you right. And you need to be honest with each other too. Honesty is essential. But so is laughter and having fun. Spontaneity is the spice of life! I’m also a firm believer that you need to be with someone who knows just what to do when you’re having a bad day. Antonio likes to make me dinners when I’m exhausted from work or school. And he’s always willing to give me a foot massage. Ladies, a guy who gives you foot massages is a keeper!
6) What’s your favorite new fashion trend?
I am all over leather right now. But not just leather jackets and boots – I’m talking leather detailing on dresses, leather sleeves on a T-shirt, or leather trimming on a skirt. The material gives even the most ladylike pieces a major edge and I love that juxtaposition.
7) What’s your favorite way to de-stress?
This is bad, but I de-stress by shopping. Lately that’s been taking the form of online shopping. There’s just something about that rush, you know? But to be fair, my number one way to de-stress is hanging out with Antonio – there’s honestly nothing I’d rather do than just be with my best friend. Popping in a movie, making dinner together, and cuddling on the couch sounds like the perfect day to me.
To hear more from Kathleen, head on over to her blog Kat’s Fashion Fix. She can also be found on Twitter (@KathleenHarper6), Pinterest, Instagram (@katsfashionfix_blog), and Facebook.