Thought Catalog

8 Women Reveal What They Learned Through Cybersnooping In A Relationship, And What They Did About It

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 08:00 PM PDT Mintyminmin Mintyminmin


"My college boyfriend and I had been seeing each other for quite some time. He had come down to visit me for the weekend and had gone up to take a nap. As per usual, he had brought some laundry for me to do, so I ended up picking up his jeans too, which were on the floor. Suddenly, his jeans' pocket started buzzing. Someone saved as 'Boo 2' was calling. I answered the phone, only to speak to his 'girlfriend' from back home! She was as surprised to hear my voice! Both of us talked about what was going on, and mutually decided to dump his ass!"




"I was really bored one day and started reading my boyfriend's Facebook messages. There was a string of e-mails between him and some guy from…such a cliché…the gym. It was basically friendly, but a little flirtatious. It rubbed me the wrong way, but there was no concrete evidence of anything. Plus, I have a wild imagination, so I blamed it on that. I never said anything. We broke up for other reasons, but three years later, guess what? He's gay."




"I had just had our second child, and my husband was acting really strange. I had never snooped before; it never crossed my mind. My therapist actually suggested that I poke around and see what was up. So one day, I asked to borrow his iPhone. I was standing right there so he wouldn't have one moment to erase anything. He actually tried to say, 'One second, babe, let me just finish a few things.' But I was like, 'No, NOW.' The second it entered my hands, he got a text from a woman, that read, 'See you tomorrow' with a kissing-lips symbol. I demanded he show me everything from her—immediately. And that's when I found out he'd been cheating on me for a year. I read it all. Right there in front of him. Snooping led to our divorce."




"I started a Twitter account for my ex-boyfriend's bar. He didn't really know how to use Twitter, so I managed the account for him, updating it every few weeks. Eventually, I realized he had a bunch of direct messages. I was excited, assuming they were from fans of his cocktails! I opened the messages and…almost all of them were from women he'd met at the bar. One said something like, 'Thank you for the after-hours tour ;)' Another said, 'Sorry I couldn't meet you out…how about a rain check?' I was sick to my stomach. These messages were the beginning of the end. Without mentioning anything to him, I started snooping obsessively on everything—his e-mails and texts—and I uncovered things that still haunt me today…. It took about one year for me to really walk away, but I just could not trust him again, and it was making me crazy to the point of psychotic. I found so much shady shit while snooping and snooping (something I became an FBI-like expert with), that nothing was ever pure between us again. Leaving him—which I recently did—was the hardest thing I’ll ever do. He wants me back and still denies ever cheating on me."




"I double-tapped on a message from that morning at 6:14 a.m. … Tammy, I miss you. Can you meet me? I know we shouldn't have crossed that line but I am falling in love with you. We need to talk. … My lips parted, and a gasp too exaggerated to be mine came out of me. She was his classmate, a fellow doctor in training. I'd met her. She'd always been warm to me. I baked cookies for her Christmas party. I knew her well. [I printed dozens] of conversations…onto the floor, each page more agonizing to read than the one before. In messages starting with nicknames for each other and ending with love, he confided in her about our relationship….By the last page, I knew he wasn't cheating on me; he was leaving me. Time crept, the sun tagged in the moon, but I sat paralyzed in pajamas. Until the front door slammed and his heavy boots bounded up the stairs.….I pitched the stack of pages at him. Screams, sobs, slammed doors. Then silence. That night our marriage was over. An affair I could forgive. A betrayal of his body, I could forget with time. But when he seemed so comfortable lying, I knew I'd question everything if I stayed."




"I admit it: I've stooped to snooping on boyfriends on many an occasion. Most recently, it was one guy's personal journals, which he'd conveniently left in an unlocked trunk (how cute, he trusted me). We'd been dating long-distance for a while and I'd just flown in to see him, but still wasn't sure how seriously he took our relationship….As I flipped through each notebook, scanning for my name—and, of course, any girl's name—there was one that popped up again and again. Mia said this. Mia and I did that. Which would be fine if my name were Mia. But no….Soon after my diary-diving turned up an alarming lack of attachment to me, I extricated myself from the relationship. Peeping on his private musings, I reasoned, had no doubt saved me a lot of time, energy and eventual heartbreak…or had my surreptitious behavior blown any chance I may have had of making things work?"




"I checked my boyfriend's work phone one day and realized that he was having an affair with one of his colleagues. I was so angry at the time that I didn't even think twice before screen-shotting their conversations and sending them across to his boss. I'm sure there were repercussions. I didn't stick around to see them, though!"




"I just broke up with my boyfriend yesterday out of anger and frustration because he couldn’t quit logging into the dating website where we met each other a year and a half ago. We are both 27. Three months into the relationship, I found out he put up a new photo in his profile. I confronted him about it and he agreed to delete it. He later closed his profile, but my trust in him has been deteriorating since then. I keep checking back on that site to see if he has set up a new profile and I am sure he has used at least 2 different ones since the day he closed the old account. He didn’t put up any photos in those profiles but I was sure that they belong to him because the profiles just fit him perfectly."

June TC mark

16 People On The First Time They Ever Fell In Love

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 07:00 PM PDT


1. “I was on a long car ride with my then-boyfriend, and I just felt so happy. The area we were driving through was boring, the music was barely on, and we weren’t talking about anything, but I remember feeling like I had won the lottery to be on a boring road trip with him. We’ve been married for three years now.”

— Krista, 29


2. “In sixth grade, I had a class with this really cute girl with an amazing laugh. Every time she laughed at something, I fell a little more in love. But yeah. I loved her; she had no idea I existed. Some things never change.”

— Sam, 24


3. “I have a really big, loud family, so whenever I invited boyfriends to meet them, I never expected too much because it can be really intimidating the first time. I brought my current boyfriend home for Thanksgiving last year, and he fit in perfectly. The moment I saw him cracking jokes with my dad, I knew I was in love.”

— Jane, 27


4.“We were just friends at the time, but I had just been rejected from this big internship that I had had my heart set on for years, and she stuck by me all night, just trying to cheer me up (and making a complete fool of herself most of the time). By 3am, I realized that I was crazy about her and by 3:10am, I asked her out. It’s been seven years now, and I’m just as madly in love with her now as I was then.”

— Brian, 28


5. “I was at Chipotle and the cashier gave me free guac. I was so overcome with love, I almost cried.”

— Kevin, 21


6.“Last summer, I went to South America for three months as part of a med school internship. My boyfriend dropped me off at the airport, and when it was time for me to go, the thought of not seeing him every day actually broke me. I told him I loved him right there in the airport.”

— Irene, 27


7. “I’ve been in a lot of really casual relationships, purposefully avoiding anything too serious. But when I saw my girlfriend break down crying during The Land Before Time, I knew I was done for. I was in love with her and I was terrified. Love is f*cking terrifying.”

— Joshua, 23


8. “I was at a concert the first time I fell in love. He was onstage and doing these really dorky dance moves. I couldn’t take my eyes off of his gorgeous smile and frosted tips. Oh yeah, I guess I should mention that my first love was Justin Timberlake circa 2000.”

— Sarah, 24


9. “The first time I fell in love was in high school, and he was my boyfriend. We did everything together, and when we broke up I never thought I would feel that way ever again. I sort of still think that’s true, because even though I’ve been in a loving relationship for two years now, it’s a different kind of love. The love I feel now is more stable and less full-body-I-must-see-you-now devotion. I’m not sure which is better.”

— Cameron, 25


10. “My boyfriend really isn’t a very talkative person, but when I saw him light up while talking about his passions (he’s a writer), I was putty in his hands.”

— Hannah, 26


11. “I don’t think I have yet. I’ve been in committed relationships, and I’ve cared very deeply about all of them, but everyone talks about that moment when they realize they fell in love as this struck-by-lightning feeling, and I just don’t think I’ve found that yet.”

— Michael, 27


12. “It was the first time I held my daughter after she was born. I have never, and will never, love anyone as much as I love her.”

— Taylor, 25


13. “I moved across the country for a job, and my girlfriend still had a year of school left. We didn’t have any money to be able to afford cross-country trips to see each other, and it was really hard. We talked all the time, but it just wasn’t the same as actually being there with her. I knew I loved her within a week of missing her so much it hurt. I applied for a transfer back home as soon as I passed my six-month probation.”

— Rosie, 28


14. “My grandfather who I was very close with passed away suddenly, and I pretty much shut down. I was drinking too much, wouldn’t go to class, and pretty much ignored everyone around me. My girlfriend stuck by me through all of it, even though I was being a complete asshole to her. When I finally started to regain control of my life, she was there every step of the way. I proposed three months later.”

— Dave, 32


15. “In high school, this girl offered to give me a blow job in the bathroom. She was the first girl to ever touch my dick, so yeah, I was madly in love with her for the five minutes we were occupied in the handicapped stall. No idea where she is now.”

— Nathan, 27


16. “I guilted my boyfriend into reading my favorite book (it’s not a genre he enjoys very much). When he was about half-way through, I could tell that he wasn’t enjoying it and told him that he didn’t need to finish it, but he insisted on reading to the end and telling me the things that he DID like about it. I think it was just seeing the amount of respect that he had for something I really liked that did it for me. I was in love.”

— Connie, 29 TC mark

I’m Sorry It Seems Like I Hate You: 10 Things I Wish People Knew About Not Being ‘Bubbly’

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 06:15 PM PDT


1. We (falsely) associate being outgoing with being a good person.

The world loves bubbly, outgoing extroverts who can make small talk with anyone and instantly make you feel like you’re old friends. This is a great personality trait! But it’s one not everyone has and in its absence they have other gifts. Humans don’t have one size fits all personalities, it’s okay if your talents don’t knock people over the head the first time you meet.

2. Like ‘resting bitch face,’ sometimes the way we come across doesn’t mean what you think it does.

But people will assume that if you aren’t overly friendly and joking with them that you don’t like them or that you’re uptight or bitchy. It doesn’t matter how far from the truth it is, we seem to have a cookie cutter idea about what friendly, nice people are like to interact with. Bubbly people light up the room with their personality, and ours inevitably seem harsh because they are less immediately expressive.

3. Random people like hairdressers and taxi drivers will think you hate them.

It’s not you… it’s just that some people (like me) need to take Small Talk As A Second Language classes. I don’t know how to get joy out of relating to people in tiny little surface level conversations. I’m an all or nothing person in this regard, if we can’t or won’t have a meaningful conversation about something interesting, I’m totally fine basking in the rare luxury of silence.

4. It’s okay to be focused on what you are doing.

And sometimes, like when I’m at the gym, I’m just not in the mood to joke around. I’m here to work and then leave. This ain’t a tea party for me. I hate when instructors poke and prod me to ‘lighten up’ or cheer or do anything other than what I feel like doing, which is be focused on the task at hand.

5. Some people simply aren’t as light-hearted as others.

I will joke around with my friends, and I appreciate humor when I’m in the mood for it. But if you’re trying to joke around with me while I’m working or in line at the grocery store, it’s going to fall flat. People love to call this being uptight. I like to think of it as having decorum. People like Steve Jobs and Hilary Clinton aren’t known for their ability to chill, they’re known for what they’ve accomplished.

This is how differing human personalities come together to work as a team. Some people are there to entertain, and some people are there to get shit done.

6. Our affection means more, because we do it deliberately.

Because I’m so serious about the things that are important to me, I focus on making people in my life feel special instead of counting on my non-existent charm to send the message. I send Christmas cards and thank you notes religiously. I tell people when I think they are gifted in a particular area. I show up to support friend’s events and buy people’s books/art when they create something. Though fewer and farther between, I put more thought into the way I affirm people.

7. We have excellent manners.

Taking things a bit more seriously includes being a stickler about showing respect. We won’t be late when we say we are going to meet you at a certain time. We will RSVP ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and never ‘maybe.’ We’ll follow through and do the thing we said we’d do. We aren’t going to blow something off because we got swept up in the moment or a better offer came along.

8. As slow as we are to humor, we’re even slower to anger.

I can’t think of the last time I rose my voice in anger. It’s not something I ever do. It just seems so unnatural and uncivilized but it’s the same perspective we have from our emotional reactions that make us bad at being bubbly that make us great at not flying off the handle.

9. We don’t do ice breakers.

I think I speak for a good chunk of the population when I say I hope the person who invented ice breakers died a slow and painful death. People should be introduced through a well thought out introduction made by the mutual party. They shouldn’t be left on their own like a bunch of animals.

10. We don’t think we are better than anyone else.

People with more serious personalities are often viewed as stuck up. But seeing how appreciated bubbly people are, we know we simply have different (and complimentary) strengths and weaknesses. If we’re running a business, we need to partner up with someone who can woo clients as much as they need a partner who could sit quietly at a desk and power through days worth of work in one sitting. Grace always works better with gravitas, and vice versa. TC mark

What Happens When You Start To Fall In Love (Again) And You’re Scared

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 06:00 PM PDT


It always starts in the same cliché way — you don’t see it coming.

Because you weren’t looking for it. Really! You weren’t! You made bold statements that you were done. You were so content with being President of the HASHTAG FOREVER ALONE club with permanent solo Netflix and chill sessions. Melodramatic? You bet. But you were okay with it. You decided things could be far worse.

That’s what happens when we have our hearts broken so tragically. We never want that kind of devastation again, even if the love that came before it was so good. No, that doesn’t matter. Not right now.

When you feel like your chest was ripped straight down the middle, you can’t possibly fathom letting someone near it again. You are ready to invest in iron walls. You will never lower them.

This, you promise yourself.

But the universe has a funny way of making us look like fools. We end up eating our words. Remember? Remember how sure you were? Now you are looking at someone wonderful and trying to not admit just how wonderful you find them. You can’t. Because you made yourself a promise.

You will not fall again. You will not open yourself up to the potential of hurt and pain and unfulfilled forevers.

So, you’ll try to take it slow. You will deny how you feel. You refuse to admit how much your body thunders and aches for them.

You won’t say the words; you won’t tell anyone how much you want to just jump back in. You can’t verbalize the way it hurts when you say goodbye. Even when it’s just for the night. You don’t want to say you’re falling again. You aren’t fresh to this feeling. You remember what happens when you fall. You bruise. You scar.

But you can try to resist as much as you want, they will continue being wonderful. You almost want to tell them to stop. Cut it out! You shouldn’t be this great and amazing and cute. It’s not right! You weren’t looking to feel butterflies again. But you can’t deny the swarm. You sit on the verge of an avalanche and everyone can predict what will happen next. Who will be the first to admit it? Do you have the strength to weather another storm?

Sometimes, we don’t always get a choice in the matter. Sometimes, life comes at us so fast and unexpectedly, we just have to figure shit out along the way. You wanted control, but that’s not how things unfold. You wanted a life of ease, but that’s not what happens when two people get involved. Hearts have a way of finding each other. You can’t fight something as powerful as love. But you can try.

You can try.

Eventually, you will decide to lower the shields. Perhaps this time, it won’t hurt so much. And hey, even if it does, you will walk into the unknown. You can’t pretend you’re resistant. I hate to break it to you, but babe? You are not stone cold. You are burning and full of passion. Let it happen.

See where you can go. I promise, you can survive it. No matter the outcome. TC mark

14 Things That Happen When You Love Adventure But Hate Traveling

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 05:00 PM PDT


1. You love exploring. You love discovering new cities, cultures, and ways of life. You have an ~*aDvEnTuRoUs HeArT*~

2. But getting to those new places is the worst. You’re either claustrophobic, or you hate flying, or you find airports and train stations stressful. So you’re torn between wanting to be grateful, appreciative, and thankful for the fact that you can travel, and also wanting to knock yourself into a 5-hour, NyQuil-induced coma until it’s all over.

3. Usually, you go with both. You appreciate the experience you’re having, and resolve not to take advantage of the fact that you get the chance to explore new worlds. But in order to get there, you’re never without a stiff drink, a Xanax, or a hearty shot of NyQuil.

4. You always stop in the airport to admire the businessmen and women who have their shit so unbelievably together. The compact suitcase with the computer bag attached. Every single thing fitting into a specific pocket. The ability to move briskly around slow travelers. The casual elegance they emit while drinking a glass of wine and waiting for their flight.

5. Meanwhile, you can barely make it through security without losing everything you own. While they are breezing through, you’re getting pulled aside because you keep beeping, all the while praying that your bag of Combos doesn’t spill all over your purse and that you remember to grab your laptop.

6. Every time you have a trip coming up, you spend weeks, or even months, thinking about it. While you’re riding the subway or making it through the awful 4 o’clock hour at work, you’re daydreaming about all the cool things you’ll get to do, all the delicious food you’ll get to try, etc.

7. …But you’ll still wait until the last damn minute to pack. And then you try to leave on time but then you forget something. And then there’s traffic. But somehow, by the skin of your teeth, you arrive at your gate – sweaty and stressed out and the complete opposite of what you imagine a suave wanderluster looks like.

8. For some reason, you and PreCheck were just not meant to be.

9. You frequently get nervous on flights. And occasionally, a kindly seat neighbor will ask you if this is your first time on a plane.

10. You have to reply, “No, I actually travel a lot.” And then they just awkwardly smile, tell you everything is going to be fine, and look away for the rest of the flight.

11. You’d love to say that you’re a pro at handling jet lag. But in reality, the way you handle jet lag is by getting super cranky, having a meltdown, and then crashing for a 6 hour nap after someone tells you that you need to go ‘sleep this off.’

12. You always buy postcards with every intention of sending them home to friends and family. But then you forget because you’re too busy trying to be alive in another city. Which is why you have an embarrassingly large collection of postcards sitting on your desk in your room.

13. Ideally, since you travel fairly frequently, you would have developed a nice little routine for when you return home: unpacking your suitcase, doing laundry, getting everything back in order within a couple of hours, etc.

14. But you’d rather sit on the couch, catch up with your roommates, and look through all of the pictures you took on your trip. Some call it being lazy or disorganized, that’s fine, you kind of agree. But you prefer to think of it as ‘soaking up the last bit of your adventure.’ Because your unpacked suitcase isn’t going anywhere. TC mark

#WhyIWrite Or Why I Write

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 04:46 PM PDT

StockSnap.ioDaria / Nepriakhina
StockSnap.ioDaria / Nepriakhina

For most of the afternoon, #WhyIWrite has been trending. Lately, I’ve unfortunately been busier with the other things that entail being a writer in the modern-day – things other than writing. But I stopped for a brief moment to look at why others write.

From Orwell – whose initial essay is the reason for this trend – to the many brave souls I know personally and digitally who write for a living, for a hobby, and for both, I have been reflecting. People write for many of the same reasons; people write for different reasons.

I stopped and though for a second: Why do I write? Why did I choose this? Or did this choose me? It sounds really corny but my life seems to have pointed in the latter direction. But I also know I tend to give things meaning because I need meaning.

From a girl who seemed a sure thing to go into many things – from law to business – I often tell people in a self-deprecating manner that I sort of fell into writing; that I became a writer because I “failed at everything else.” It’s only half-true.

So I’ve been thinking about why I write today and although 140 characters can summarise it, it doesn’t really get to the heart of it. So as I sit in the bar that I’ve been working out of for most of the day, and contemplate why I write and why I want to keep writing, here’s what I’ve come up with tonight:

(i) I have a voice – a voice that I think speaks for so many who often feel invisible and underrepresented in the world. I think people who know what it’s like to feel different and who don’t know how to quite articulate it, connect with me the best.

(ii) I have a duty – I believe that each human being has a responsibility to other human beings. I have a special love for human beings who often go unheard, whose voices often get drowned by those who are loudest. And to these humans, I believe that my life has taken me to a place where I can advocate for them; for us. Never to speak for people – but to speak alongside them.

(iii) I believe in the power of words – I believe that work must be in the service of mankind. I believe that God gives people certain talents and experiences in order to fulfill, or achieve, or touch the human heart. And in the end, even if I’m only starting out as a writer, I believe that words have the power to change both you and I.

I write because I believe this is part of my vocation. I write because I have so much to learn in the world and with the world. I write to hear my voice and to hear the voices of others. I write to fill a void; to fill many voids. I write for release, I write to find a purpose, and I write because I can – because I must.

Because if I don’t write, who can I demand tell the stories that I want to hear – stories that the world needs to hear? I write because it is my joy, my pain, my fear, and my hope.

I write because it is my destiny. TC mark

6 Murderers That Posted Their Kills On Facebook

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 04:00 PM PDT

1. Man Murders Entire Family To End Daughter’s Migraines

via Facebook
via Facebook

Just this May, Randy Janzen of British Columbia admitted to murdering his daughter, his wife, and his sister on Facebook after doing the deed. His reasons were confusing but he stated that he shot his daughter because of the chronic migraines she had long suffered and killed his wife so that she wouldn’t have to live with the fact that he’d killed their daughter.

via Facebook

Janzen’s home was quickly surrounded by police using smoke bombs to get him to come out but he wouldn’t. Moments after, the whole place went up in a blaze that killed Janzen and burned the bodies of his daughter and wife.

2. Murder For Breakfast

via Facebook
Rebecca Aylward via Facebook

In 2010, 16-year-old Joshua Davies went to meet 15-year-old Rebecca Aylward to go for a walk together. The two had gone out for three months in 2009 before Davies broke it off and Rebecca is reported to have hoped he would ask her out again. However, Davies had something else in mind entirely and once the two young people entered the cover of a forest, Davies attacked Rebecca, first attempting to break her neck before finally smashing her head in with a rock.

He then went and got a friend to show him the murder scene because this friend had promised to buy him breakfast if Davies was willing to go through with his Facebook promise that he was going to murder Rebecca.

Rebecca’s family has since sued those friends of Davies who knew he was making threats against her but did nothing. Davies has since been convicted of the murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

3. “Rip Jennifer Alfonso”

via Facebook
via Facebook
via Facebook
via Facebook

In 2013, Derek Medina posted those fateful words on his Facebook feed along with a photo of his wife, dead, and a murder confession. What began as an argument escalated to murder after the two began fighting and Medina pointed a gun at Alfonso. Declaring she was leaving him, she then went downstairs. Medina put the gun down and followed her at which time he claims the she began hitting and punching him. So, he went back upstairs to retrieve his gun and came down to see Alfonso holding a knife. Managing to take the knife away, Alfonso began hitting Medina again at which point he shot her to death.

Medina is still awaiting trial.

4. Disabled Daughter Allegedly Murders Mother, Brags On Facebook

via Facebook
via Facebook

This June, 23-year-old Gypsy Blancharde and her boyfriend Nicholas Godejohn were arrested for the murder of Gypsy’s mother who the boyfriend allegedly stabbed to death while Gypsy, who was reported to suffer from leukemia and muscular dystrophy, waited in another room.

Gypsy, a Louisiana native living in Springfield, Missouri had met Nicholas online and possibly tried to make the murder look like it was committed by a robber since they also stole several thousand dollars from the mother’s safe.

via Greene County Sheriff's Office
Gypsy Blancharde and Nicholas Godejohn via Greene County Sheriff’s Office

Gypsy and Nicholas are currently awaiting trial. Police have alleged that Gypsy’s medical conditions are not as severe as reported (or even present) and that her and her now deceased mother falsely claimed to be Hurricane Katrina refugees in order to receive charitable donations.

5. Filipino Man Murders Daughter, Posts It On Facebook

Mark Alvin Manliclic via YouTube
Mark Alvin Manliclic via YouTube

In the Spring of 2014, after his wife who was away on work in Canada refused to return home and stopped answering him on Facebook, Mark Alvin Manliclic allegedly took a knife and stabbed his seven-year-old daughter Angel multiple times in the back and neck until he’d killed her. He then took a photograph of her body and posted it on Facebook, presumably for his wife to see.

Angel Mark Cathlene Manlicic via YouTube
Angel Mark Cathlene Manlicic via YouTube

The 31-year-old man was arrested on charges of parricide.

6. Bored Woman Commits Murder Because She Was “Unfriended”

30-year-old Jenelle Potter of Mountain City, TN, trolled the hell out of Billy Jean Hayworth and her fiancé, Bill Payne as well as harassing and stalking them prior to convincing a male relative that kill them both.

It all began when Hayworth and Payne unfriended Potter on Facebook. Before long, Potter was stirring up trouble under three different pseudonyms and eventually convinced her father to shoot Hayworth and Payne in 2013. Hayworth was a new mother at the time of her death Her body was found still holding her child who survived.

via MySpace
via MySpace

Jenelle Potter and her mother have since both been convicted on two counts of 1st degree murder. Jenelle’s father was also convicted of two counts of murder. TC mark

14 Things That Inevitably Happen When You’re Dating A Pop Culture Junkie

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 03:00 PM PDT


1. The movie quotes. Never. Ever. Stop. It’s almost a condition. Half the time they aren’t even aware it’s happening. And frankly, my dear, they don’t give a damn.

2. They’re going to obsess over forgetting the name of that ONE ACTOR IN ALL THOSE SHOWS. Sure, you’ll be ready to let it go within two seconds, but ohhhhh, not them. They need to immediately IMDB that shit or it will haunt them for hours.

3. Prepare for their utter disbelief when they discover you haven’t seen/heard that movie/TV show/song they absolutely adore. “WHAT? Oh my god. We’re changing that NOW!”

4. And when they do show you, they will be a huge nervous mess hoping you love it just as much.

5. Halloween is a big effing deal.

6. Actually, any event that involves the possibility of dressing up as their favorite character or Hollywood icon is a big effing deal.

7. But good news! You’ll never be in short supply for costume ideas when you’ve got them around.

8. Two words: Trivia. Night.

9. Don’t be surprised if they get a little weirdly jealous when a musician they feel they discovered (even though, lol, they didn’t) starts becoming really popular. They understand it’s petty and stupid, but…but…THEY LIKED THEM FIRST!

10. Do not even try to talk to them in a movie theater. This is a cardinal sin. Like, what are you doing anyways? SHHH. THE MOVIE IS PLAYING.

11. Award season is pretty much their Super Bowl — complete with predicted winners, high-stake bets, and cheering/booing/maybe even some crying. It’s not their fault those speeches can be so emotional…

12. They are constantly finding celebrity doppelgängers. Your best friend’s girlfriend? Looks just like a young Gwen Stefani. That man in the suit behind you in the grocery store? Dead ringer for Alec Baldwin. Probably even have some ideas about who you slightly resemble.

13. They always reference moments from TV shows in real life. Want to test it out? Try moving a couch together. Very good chance they’ll start shouting PIIIIIVOOOOOT.

14. They go into a very serious mourning period when their favorite TV show ends. It’s a death in the family. And they don’t understand why their boss doesn’t seem to agree… TC mark

11 Women Share How They Prepared For Their First Solo Trip

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 02:00 PM PDT

Twenty20 / freemanlafleur
Twenty20 / freemanlafleur

Have you always wanted to take a solo trip but can't seem to find the guts? It can be nerve-wracking, for sure, to do it alone. But it's doable and you don't have to be a helpless damsel out there. Here is how 11 women prepared for their first solo foray.

Dinner + Movie

“I was really nervous about being alone, yet my whole life I'd wanted to try a solo trip. So I started small, taking myself out to my favorite local restaurant and then a film. At first, I was sure everyone was staring at me, wondering if I was lonely or stood up by my date. I half-hid behind my menu. But then I realized the people around me were immersed in their own story. Slowly, I emerged into my experience. It was an amazing feeling, actually.” –Meredith


Car Mechanics 101

“I had a weekend road trip planned, just me and my SUV. But aside from infrequently checking my oil, I really knew nothing about my car. I did an online search and found that a local auto shop offers classes tailored for women. The only thing I can say is that I wish I'd done that class years ago. I'm still no master mechanic, but at least now I know how to change a flat!” –Shannon


Finding That Sweet Spot

“For my first solo trip, I wanted to go somewhere where I was alone, but not remote, you know what I mean? So I searched online for retreat centers that specifically offer self-directed experiences. There are actually a lot of these around the country. I picked one that made me feel calm just looking at the website, and when I got there, it felt great to have comforts provided, like a cozy room and healthy food. This allowed me to focus on what I wanted to get out of my time away—rejuvenation.” —Maya


A Talk With My Partner

“My boyfriend is the type who likes to spend every free moment with me, which is awesome, but it also makes me feel guilty, and maybe even misunderstood, about wanting to do stuff alone. I'd been needing to finish some poems and required space to do that, so I found a cabin I could go to alone for a week. At first when I told him about my plans, his face dropped, but then I was just really honest, telling him that this is an important part of who I am. Because it's not who he is, he didn't get it completely. But he did say he'd support me. That was kind of a big deal for not only my trip, but our relationship.”–Natasha


Straight Up, Self Defense

“It's hard to ignore the media with their stories of women being kidnapped and hurt when traveling solo. It actually totally freaks me out. The thing that made me feel more confident was taking a Krav Maga class, although I'm sure any self defense class would be useful. It was helpful in ways I didn't even expect, like teaching me to be aware of my surroundings and making me practice techniques so many times that I began to believe I'd be able to react in a tough situation. I also got physically stronger. I took this confidence with me on my first solo trip to Europe, and it was invaluable.” –Sarah


Entering The Right Head Space

“I'm a mom of two little kids, and leaving was really hard for me, even though I knew my children would be completely fine at home with my partner. But man, the guilt! Before I even left (and it was only for two nights), I acknowledged the tidal wave of emotions that was sitting at the surface of my mind. And I committed to not letting this get in the way of my experience. I decided that if I felt lonely, fine, I'd accept that and let it pass. Same thing with sadness, guilt, fear. It really helped me get focused, so that I could make the most of my rare time away.” –Beth


Planning Versus Spontaneity

“I'm a last- minute type, so when I travel with my friends, we usually don't have an agenda. But solo, I felt like I needed a plan. I normally wouldn't carefully book my lodging and transportation well in advance, but when I went to Antigua, Guatemala, I did. And honestly, it was so freeing, to arrive at the airport in Guatemala City and know that I didn't have to hassle with shuttles and hotels, all in my limited Spanish. There was already enough to think about, and having the basics covered was a great feeling. It was definitely the smart thing to do.” —Devi


Hallo, Hola, Ciao

“I decided on Germany for my first solo trip, but I didn't speak any German, so I decided to take a language class. My trip was planned five months in advance, and I'm glad about that, because this allowed me to take both an in-person class, and then continue learning online. I used Rosetta Stone, but I've also heard good things about Duolingo. When finally I got to Germany, I felt a lot more confident traveling alone because I could communicate my basic needs, and I think locals also appreciated that I at least tried to speak their language.” –Kat


A Safety Tool Belt

“My biggest concern, honestly, about traveling alone, was safety. So I bought some things that boosted my confidence. Like a money belt and a cross-body purse. Since I was heading out of the country, I also put my phone on an international plan, and I bought travel insurance, which was so inexpensive, considering the coverage.” –Christy


Simple Things, Like Sleep

“I've now done more than 10 solo trips, but I still remember that first one so clearly. I was going to NYC (from my little town in the Midwest) for the weekend to visit some art museums. I was so excited, because I wouldn't be obligated to anyone else's agenda. But deep down, I knew I needed to bring my A-game. I made lot of preparations, but honestly, some of the simple things, like getting good sleep in advance so that I'd be alert, and making sure my mom knew where I'd be at all times, and getting to know the neighborhood where I'd be staying by looking at a map, were some of the best ways to prep.” —Lisa


Explaining To My Children

“I'm not the type who wanted to backpack alone across Southeast Asia when I was 22, and I'd never thought much about traveling solo, but then, at the age of 33 with two kids (ages 4 and 2), I saw an ad for a retreat center in Mexico, and I really wanted to go. The hardest thing about leaving was hearing my kids ask, over and over, "Mommy why do you have to go?" It broke my heart open every time. And then finally, I decided to be totally honest with them and tell them that I needed a break, and that this would be good for all of us, because I'd come back full of energy. I used some examples that made sense to them. On a little-kid-level, I think they got it. It was like their first lesson in self care.” —Bridget TC mark

7 Things Successful People Do To Stay Motivated

Posted: 20 Oct 2015 01:00 PM PDT

Twenty20 / RoseMorales-Badlani
Twenty20 / RoseMorales-Badlani

The top performers and learners in the world were rarely born with natural talent.

What propelled them to the top of their field was their ability to form essential habits that empowered them to learn skills faster than anyone else.

Rather than focusing on only the outcome, world-class learners focus on the process.

Whether you want to acquire business knowledge or learn a language, here are 7 proven habits of successful people and world-class learners.

1. Set Specific Goals

Having the fastest car in the world doesn't matter if you don't have a final destination to arrive at.

The most successful people have insanely focused goals that they can break down each of them in detail.

An average goal:
Become fluent in Spanish

Focused goal:
Ability to have a 30-minute conversation with a native Spanish speaker from South America in 90 days

Notice the difference?

The first goal is a general outcome that doesn't define what fluent means nor does it have a deadline to achieve the goal.

The second goal is focused to the point where we can mentally visualize the 30-minute conversation in our minds.

All successful learners can mentally visualize the outcome in their minds.

2. Plan of Action

If focused goal setting is the final destination, then having a strategic plan of action is the map that will get us there — ideally faster and most effectively.

Let's take our first goal for example.

Focused goal:
Ability to have a 30-minute conversation with a native Spanish speaker from South America in 90 days.

Plan of Action:
Memorize 30 of the most common Spanish words everyday to have 2,700 words memorized in 90 days.

This action is specific, measurable, and small enough that you won't feel overwhelmed.

*Why 30 words a day? If you have 2,700 of the most common words memorized, you'll understand 60% of all occurrences in most languages.

3. Schedule it

One of the biggest obstacles that hold us back from learning anything is time constraint.

We already have difficulty finding time for friends and family, how are we supposed to find the time to learn something?

The trick is — scheduling.

Despite running a multi-billion dollar empire, Warren Buffett still manages to schedule time to read over 500+ pages everyday. This is anonymously the habits of successful people and top performers across all industries.

"I just sit in my office and read all day." — Warren Buffett

The way to schedule something is not a task management app, but a tool most of us already use — our calendar.

"What Doesn't Get Scheduled, Doesn't Get Done."

Here are 3 simple steps to maximize your scheduling:

  • Block off as little as 30-minutes a day to complete your task


  • Share your calendar with an accountability partner or a friend


  • Practice your daily task for 66 days

There will undoubtedly be days where you simply do not feel like practicing or following your schedule. This is normal for anyone.

Unless you're on the "Rob Ford" drug, it's rare for any of us to be on our best game everyday.

When it comes to forming a habit, it's important to focus on the process, not the performance.

If you're able to make it through 66 days, researchers have done studies that prove that's the number of days to form a new habit.

*Recommended: Download the mobile app for your calendar to send you reminders. This will significantly increase your ability to stick to your schedule.

For Google Calendar, you can download CalenMob:
Google Play

4. Embrace Failure

The best lessons in life come from failures, not immediate success.

This is why Silicon Valley has become a hub of innovation, because they have established a culture and community that celebrates failure.

Out of all the key habits of successful people, one of the most essential habits is that they are constantly experimenting with what works and what doesn't, while intentionally embracing the failures.

In our monthly journal entry, we share all of the new ideas and hypotheses we experiment with at Rype, and out of the 10 ideas we put out there, only 1 or 2 will work out.

But it doesn't matter that 8 of your ideas failed.

All you need is 1 to succeed.

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." — Thomas A. Edison

5. Have a Coach

If there's one thing that all world-class learners, successful people, and top performers have in common, it's that they all have a coach.

According to, coaches:

  • Create a safe environment in which you see yourself more clearly
  • Identify gaps between where you are now and where you need or want to be
  • Ask for more intentional thought, action and behavior changes than you thought you could accomplish
  • Guide the building of the structure, accountability, and support necessary to ensure sustained commitment

This applies to athletes, business owners, language learners — the list goes on.

If you want faster, sustainable, and more effective results, you need a coach to take you to the next level.

"Accountability breeds response-ability." — Stephen Covey

6. Know How to Listen

Without the ability to listen, we lose our ability to learn.

Successful learners have the ability to learn everywhere they go, because they always have their ears open.

"Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can, there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did." — Sarah Caldwell

In today's day and age, information is power and a competitive advantage. Why not spend your time acquiring more of it?

What's the appropriate breakdown? I recommend the 80/20 approach:

  • when you're on a date: listen 80%, and talk 20% of the time
  • when you're in a meeting: listen 80%, and talk 20% of the time
  • when you're at a networking event: listen 80%, and talk 20% of the time

7. Understand Your Best Learning Style

In Peter Drucker's book Managing One Self, he states that the most important skill you can learn is self-awareness.

This means:

  • Understanding how you best learn: audio, visual, and kinesthetic
  • How you best work: alone, with others, as a subordinate, or as part of a team.
  • Your best learning environment: at home, classroom, lecture halls, small groups.

Here's a short summary of the book, and the questions Drucker poses. TC mark

"I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion." — Billie Jean King

This article originally appeared on Rype Academy.