Leslie and Ben

Dating Advice as Told by Parks and Recreation

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, The Dating Game

Many millennials love Parks and Recreation (or, Parks and Rec, as it’s often referred to). Leslie Knope is a fan favorite character, but there are a number of secondary characters on the series who are relatable, for millennials and for truly anyone who has worked in an office. With a relatable sitcom inevitably comes relationships, and in turn, dating advice.

Without further ado, here’s a bit of relationship and dating advice, as told by Parks and Rec.


First of all, don’t camp out in a tent outside your ex’s home.

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Or…live in a dirt-filled pit when you’ve been kicked out of the once happy home you shared with your significant other.
Basically, don’t turn into turn into someone who sings Every Breath You Take on a regular basis.
When it’s time to go, it’s time to get out, move on and pull yourself together, even if it takes a while.


Don’t forget to celebrate Galentine’s Day.

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While dating is important, your friends are equally if not more important. Keep them close. Remember that you can always lift each other up when you’re down, that it’s okay to be single and to never settle. And even if you don’t have a significant other to spend Valentine’s Day with, you can always spend it with your friends.


Be with someone who you can say “I love you and I like you” to.

Because love and hate are often far too close for comfort.
That, and it helps if you actually get along and are compatible with your significant other.


Don’t invite your ex along to be the third wheel on a date, or… allow said ex to invite himself (or herself).

A lot could happen that you may not expect to happen…


Be with someone you don’t have to be an adult with.

Hold your wedding in your living room if that’s what floats your boat (with the groom wearing his favorite football jersey).
Go to Bed Bath & Beyond and purchase all of the utterly useless As Seen on TV items that you can together.
Embrace your inner child together. Know that it’s okay to be you.


        Encourage your significant other to pursue his or her dreams.

Even if that dream involves working on a political campaign in Washington, D.C. for six months, miles away from you.
If it’s truly love, you’ll figure it out.


If someone feels like he or she was the one, don’t avoid that person for the rest of your life.
You never know…you could end up running into each other, falling back in love, and setting off on an unparalleled adventure quest.

A Few Favorite Fictional #GirlBoss Heroes: The TV Edition

Author: Mary Grace Donaldson, Entertainment

I don’t know about you, but I’m in serious need of some girl power – not just this week, but all the time. There are a number of real-life boss ladies who I look up to, both in the public sector and in my private life, but since we’re keeping this light-hearted, I give you…my three favorite fictional (say that three times fast!) #girlbosses from the small screen (the big screen and the pages of good ol’ books may follow, you never know…).

Millennials (girls and guys too!), you’ll probably know of or at least have heard of the TV shows that these characters are from. They’re all relatively recent and part of our pop culture.

Warning: the below contains some spoilers!

Leslie Knope

LESLIE-KNOPE.jpgYou go, Ms. Knope…you lover of all things that smash the patriarchy…and of course, waffles. This Parks and Recreation leading goddess shows us that there is nothing wrong with local politics, excessive enthusiasm and always, always, always putting others before yourself.

Oh, and let’s not forget, she’s an all-star gift giver, and she started the Pawnee Goddesses to encourage young girls in her community.

A fan favorite Leslie quote reads as follows: “Waffles, friends, work. Or Friends, waffles, work. Doesn’t matter, but work is third.” That’s not to say, however, that Leslie wasn’t an inspiringly hard worker. She cleaned parks, she presented plans to higher officials for parks that no one ever thought could come to fruition, she planned one heck of a harvest festival…the list of her accomplishments goes on.

My cousin got me hooked on Parks and Rec a while back, because he claimed that I am “basically Leslie Knope.” And after watching, that’s a comparison I can be proud of. This week, I can be especially proud of the “letter to America” she wrote — well, her writers wrote, but is a big deal considering the fact that Parks and Rec has been off the air since earlier this year — that encourages all girls to continue working toward being #girlbosses.

Hildy Mulligan
I watched the first season of TNT’s Murder in the First for a grad school class on television blogging, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t watched the series since. But, one aspect of the show that stood out to me was Hildy Mulligan, a sexy single mom who moonlighted as a homicide detective.

Hildy solved cases –- many of which could have ended her up in life-threatening situations. She got her daughter up and dressed for school every single day that she was home. She dealt with men breaking her heart, but got right back up and continued living her life. And while I firmly believe that by no means do you have to dress stylishly to be a boss lady, I can’t help but point out that Hildy rocked every outfit she wore.


Veronica Mars


I’ve already spoken a bit about Veronica Mars, in terms of dating advice. Regardless of her love life or lack thereof, she’s still a badass. I mean, find me another character of any gender who decided to pursue the life of a private investigator after school at age 17.

Her reason for becoming a P.I.? Her best friend was murdered. As if that wasn’t enough, her father, who was the sheriff at the time, tried to implicate her best friend’s father for said murder – and all of her other friends turned on her as a result. Plus, she found out that her ex-boyfriend may be her brother (but he wasn’t, so yay!).

On top of all this, her mom abandoned her, came back, went to alcohol rehab on her college money, and then ran away again with $50,000 of her dad’s money. I’d probably pursue private investigation too…once I spent several weeks on the couch in the fetal position. Not Veronica Mars though. Together with her father, she solved the case of her best friend’s murder.

Veronica certainly had her demons, but she worked hard every single day to fight them. She took all of her rage and used that to fuel the cases she worked.

To my fellow boss ladies, there is inspiration for you everywhere – in real life and in fiction. Remember what you’re capable of. Believe.