Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog


13 Stages Of Realizing Just How Much Better Off You Are Without Him

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 08:00 PM PDT

lauren rushing
lauren rushing

1. Please stop saying "You're better off without him." I love him, so why would I be better off without him? Yes, I know he broke my heart and you think he's a jerk, but it could still work out.

2. He just needs some time away to think things through. The timing's really bad. He's busy with work. With family stuff. With friend stuff. Everything’s about timing, right? I'll give him some space and he'll come around. I still think we'll have the most beautiful babies together some day and it'll all work out. Everything happens for a reason. We're in love.

3. It's been a couple of days since I've heard from him but I know he'll be back. I just have to be the one to hold out longer. I miss him. Like really really miss him. Sure, he said it was over, but that was just his stubborn side talking. Eventually he'll come to his senses and try to win me back.

4. He looked me straight in the eye just a few weeks ago and said, "I love you," so how could he change his mind so quickly? He couldn't have. The kind of connection we had isn’t an everyday thing you can easily find in someone else. I'll never feel that way again with anyone else.

5. I slipped and called him. It had been a whole week since we'd spoken and I couldn't take it anymore. I missed him too much and couldn't play it cool anymore. Once I heard his voice, all those feelings that I tried to stash in the back of my brain came rushing through my chest all at once and my heart was pounding. He admitted that he missed me! But he didn't want to see me. Then he started talking about the things that led to our falling out. And those things hadn't changed. So we rehashed them and hung up aggravated, agreeing not to speak.

6. I woke up angry. Mostly because I caved first after we agreed not to speak. Recalling our conversation from the night before got me thinking that we are on totally different pages. Who does this guy think he is? That I'm supposed to wait for him to realize that I'm the perfect girl for him? I thought he loved me. Why is he being so cruel?

7. I'm soooo sick of thinking about him. And having my mental outlook on life be controlled by him. I need to get out. It's like I can't sit still. I'm going out tonight. Screw sitting here and wondering when he'll stop by with flowers and an apology and beg for my forgiveness. I'm not someone who should be waiting around for someone to realize they're in love with me.

8. My head hurts. Way too much fun last night out with my friends. I need a coffee and some greasy food. Where did my friends say they were going to brunch? Maybe I'll call back my other friend who wanted to hang out today.

9. Wait, I just spent the whole day out and didn't even think of him. I've been trying to keep busy. I've stopped checking my phone every hour to see if he contacted me.

10. It's been a few weeks now, and I might sign up for one of those dating apps to practice for when I really start dating. Not that I'm ready yet. My friends are dragging me in 20 different directions to keep my mind occupied—it's actually helped a lot.

11. I'm starting to recall some exchanges between my ex and me that I probably should have questioned earlier. All the red flags I chose to ignore. Like his flirtatious behavior with other women in his life. And his disappearing act on certain nights when he'd never answer his phone and claim his cell phone battery had died. He had so much potential and it was so nice being in an actual relationship that I was willing to overlook those character flaws but I probably should  have been concerned.

12. I met a guy through a dating apps and he's CUTE! We hung out at casual bar in the neighborhood to get a drink and ended up chatting for hours. He asked me to go out again right there and then! Wait, I think I might actually be attracted to someone other than my ex. Is that even possible?

13. Several months later, I'm walking to work with a full schedule ahead of me, followed by happy hour with friends and dinner with Cute Dating App Guy. I realize that none of this would be possible had I stayed with the ex. I'm living again. On my own terms. I'm so much better off without that other guy who really didn’t deserve me. I’m looking forward to whatever comes next! TC mark

KNOTTHEONE-final-revised

10 Simple Ways Healthy Couples Can Make Their Sex Lives Even Better

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 07:00 PM PDT

 Twenty20, ElkinsEye
Twenty20, ElkinsEye

1. Have sex in pitch-black darkness.

As lovely as it is to stare into each other's eyes, depriving yourselves of sight during sex can be extremely satisfying. In absolute darkness, you're forced to move more slowly than usual, and to rely on your hands and bodies to guide you in the process of seduction without incurring too many injuries along the way. So buy some blackout shades or shut off every single light in the house, tie a bandana around your eyes, and see what transpires.

2. Try staying completely silent.

Whether or not you’re into dirty talk and porn star esque sensual screaming, it's tough to stay completely silent during sex. Which is why it can be so much fun to attempt total quiet while you get it on. By challenging each other not to make a sound, you'll realize just how powerful the sense of hearing is as far as pleasure triggers go. You’ll also set the stage to tickle and tease each other into losing the sensual silent game, and playfulness in the sack goes a long way.

3. Keep your clothes on.

Yes, the naked body is beautiful. You want to tear your partner's clothes of and feel their skin rubbing up against your own. But sex with clothes on can be equally gratifying. Since mastering the act is necessary to executing most quickies, especially those that go down in public, it feels inherently naughty. As you attack your lover passionately while you're both still dressed, fumbling with zippers and clasps as you go, it will seem as if you have no choice but to fuck this way. It's also a great exercise in imagining your partner's naked body, which is helpful to partner focused masturbation.

4. Leave the door and/or blinds wide open.

Maybe the idea of inviting a third party into your sexual routine freaks you out. There's still a way to appreciate what it feels like to involve someone else in your sex life, even if the outside party is entirely imagined. Just leave the curtains and/or door wide open as you get busy to establish the sense that you may or may not be seen or heard as you do the deed. While you touch each other, think about what you're doing through the eyes of a hypothetical stranger passing by or watching through binoculars from afar.

5. Take turns narrating the action.

Starting with foreplay, take turns describing exactly what you're doing to each other. It's hot to hear your partner articulate their every move, and when either person stumbles or says something ridiculous it’s a great opportunity to laugh together naked. This is also an excellent way to practice naughty talking. From kissing and caressing to aggressive petting and humping, listening to your significant other narrate their exact approach to turning you on adds another layer of intimacy to the experience of sleeping together.

6. Kiss each other everywhere but the lips.

When you pledge not to touch lips, you’re bound to kiss body parts you don't usually visit with your mouth and to discover fresh methods of stimulating your lover. By plastering kisses all over each other, you also temporarily transform an innocent act into a titillating one. It's rewarding to explore new territory as a couple and doing so is sometimes as simple as committing to less traditional smooching.

7. Ban kissing altogether.

By agreeing to a temporary no-kissing policy, you invite experimentation. Stranded together in a make out vacuum, you'll both have to find ways to replace kissing with other intimate gestures. You might just happen upon a slew of other strategies for arousing each other through physical contact.

8. Repurpose a regular household item as a sex toy.

You don't have to invest in fancy harnesses, handcuffs, whips, or chains to make sex electrifying. There are sex toys all around you. So many typical household items such as feathers, boas, hairbrushes, toothbrushes, and scarves are lying around waiting for you to see them in a whole new light and incorporate them into lovemaking. Save yourself the money you'd spend at a sex shop and look around the house for objects with unique sensory potential. The beauty is that each item you repurpose automatically holds new meaning, and will forever remind you of its secret secondary purpose.

9. Have sex before you go out.

This is a good rule for any evening you have plans together, and especially special occasions. Why? Because by the time you get home after a serious night out, one of you will probably be too exhausted or too wasted to have great sex. If that isn't the case, great! Fuck again. But always fuck first. An orgasm is energizing and will position you to take on the night with enthusiasm (and that special glow!). Plus, checking sex off the list before heading out means you can eat and drink your face off without fretting about compromising your ability to pleasure your partner later.

10. Commit to post sex debriefing.

Take turns asking each other a slew of questions immediately after making love. If you want to get better at pleasuring your partner, you absolutely have to ask them what works for them and what doesn't, and the best time to check in is when the experience is still fresh on your minds and you're both feeling cheery on the back of climax. As you share your thoughts and feelings, you'll learn about your partner's innermost desires and grow closer along the way. As an added bonus, discussing a sexual encounter is sometimes as good as reliving the entire glorious experience. TC mark

26 Awesomely Terrifying Horror Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 06:30 PM PDT

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

About six years ago, I was sitting in the house I shared with three (messy) dudes wallowing in a post-college-graduation funk. The three messy dudes were out for the day and I was alone, which meant I had free reign of the television — something that NEVER happened. I turned on Netflix instant streaming (which was fairly new at the time) and decided to look for the one thing my roommates would never want to watch with me: horror movies.

What I found in the scant selection Netflix offered in 2009 was the often-ignored Showtime gem of a series: Masters of Horror. These hour-long films first aired in 2005 but if you didn’t have premium cable chances are you missed them. Directed and written by some of the greats in the genre, Masters of Horror has become an October tradition of mine. You can watch both seasons on Hulu, and after I blew through them in less than a week I thought I’d share them with you!

“Incident On and Off a Mountain Road”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

A fun slasher thriller featuring post-“Can’t Hardly Wait” Ethan Embry!

“H. P. Lovecraft’s Dreams in the Witch-House”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

All I have to say about this one is RAT WITH A HUMAN FACE.

“Dance of the Dead”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Post-apocalyptic punk rock fun plus a non-Freddy Krueger Robert Englund MC!

“Jenifer”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

My personal favorite where Steven Weber (who wrote the teleplay) suspiciously gets to touch a model’s boobs a real lot.

“Chocolate”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

A recently divorced man starts experiencing senses via a strange, unknown lady who likes chocolate (so, like, any of us).

“Homecoming”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

You can TASTE how salty these filmmakers were in 2005 with Bush in office because ZOMBIE SOLDIERS WHO WANT THEIR RIGHT TO VOTE!

“Deer Woman”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Probably the funniest one on the list from comedy filmmaker John Landis, featuring an A+ set of boobs.

“Cigarette Burns”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Spooky cinematic mystery with a clean-cut babyface Norman Reedus (who doesn’t mumble for once)!

“Fair Haired Child”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

A girl gets kidnapped by the paranoid schizophrenic from Orange Is The New Black and has a terrible time in the basement.

“Sick Girl”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Lesbian love triangle between Angela Bettis, a former soft-core porn actress, and a bug (I’m not kidding).

“Pick Me Up”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Fairuza Balk gets chased by a truck-driving serial killer and hitchhiking serial killer in the worst road trip ever.

“Haeckel’s Tale”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Two words: undead orgy.

“Imprint”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

SERIOUS WARNING: this one was originally banned from television and is chock-full of EXTREMELY gruesome violence — I couldn’t make it through more than once.

“The Damned Thing”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Something sinister haunts a man and his family in this distinctively True Detective-esque story.

“Family”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Easily my second favorite, another darkly funny one from John Landis and also featuring NORM!

“The V Word”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Sort of like Twilight but with bros.

“Sounds Like”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

This dude can hear super good and it TOTALLY SUCKS.

“Pro-Life”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Ron Perlman-dad really hates abortion which in this case isn’t a great idea because the Devil is involved.

“Pelts”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

SURPRISE STRIPPER-ASSAULTING MEATLOAF!

“The Screwfly Solution”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

If MRA, Ted Bundy, and ebola had a baby, this is what would happen.

“Valerie on the Stairs”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Seth Green’s wife’s boobs and also Christopher Lloyd is there.

“Right to Die”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Hell hath no fury like a horrifically-burnt-on-the-brink-of-death-with-murder-powers-wife scorned.

“We All Scream for Ice Cream”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Sort of like IT but if Stephen King wasn’t trying very hard.

“The Black Cat”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

I’m still not sure what happened in this one but Edgar Allan Poe is CRAZY.

“The Washingtonians”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

I don’t want to give away the twist to this one but honestly it’s just silly as fuck.

“Dream Cruise”

Masters of Horror
Masters of Horror

Pretty solid Japanese horror about ghosts who are never going to forgive and that’s bad because they go all Grudge-style with their hair in their eyes and crawly limbs. TC mark

17 Women Share Their Brutally Honest Thoughts On Dating Men For Their Money

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 06:00 PM PDT

Twenty20 / ashleyartidiello
Twenty20 / ashleyartidiello

1. “If they have a lot of money, they probably did something to get that money, and motivation is attractive. When a guy works for what he has, it’s hot, and I like that.” —Anita, 24

beetlejuice

2. “I would never date someone for the amount of money they have, but if a guy has a lot of it, it’s definitely a plus.” —Rachael, 23

beetlejuice

3. “Okay, well let’s think about this. We’re in our twenties, and what do we do on the weekends? We go out. If a guy can’t afford to buy me a drink, then it’s probably going to be awkward when I have an empty glass in my hand and a bartender asking if I’d like another. So yes, money matters to some extent.” —JoAnna, 25

beetlejuice

4. “Money buys men nice things. Cars, luxury apartments, nice furniture, a sexy wardrobe, it’s all extremely appealing especially to women, but I think what really matters is who he is with no money at all. If I’m dating a guy who has a lot of money I ask myself that question. Do I only like him because of what he has and not because of who he is?” —Vanessa, 27

beetlejuice

5. “No offense, but I don’t want to date a guy who’s broke. I already don’t have enough money as it is, so I definitely can’t be buying him dinner.” —Cindy, 24

beetlejuice

6. “I’m at that age now where I can’t help but think about marriage potential. When I start seeing someone I definitely take his profession into consideration, and with that profession comes his salary. I want a guy who will be able to take care of me.” —Elina, 26

beetlejuice

7. “It’s hard enough to find a descent guy out there, so if I find one and his bank account balance is below average, I’m not going to let it be a deal breaker. Money is not the most important thing on my priority list. Give me a guy who is kind, caring, and can make me laugh…And preferably good in bed, and I am a happy woman.” —Laura, 27

beetlejuice

8. “I think it all has to do with how he earned the money. If he’s living off of Mommy and Daddy’s salary, no thank you. I don’t care if your dad is a heart surgeon and your mom is a psychiatrist, if you have no ambition to do anything for yourself, I’m not interested.” —Ella, 25

beetlejuice

9. “I don’t need a man to support me, I can do it myself. I need a man for other reasons, and money is not one of them.” —Kate, 26

beetlejuice

10. “I like a man who has money but isn’t boastful about it. I don’t want a show off, but stability is nice. You don’t need to tell me that your jeans cost 600 dollars, but if you want to buy me a pair that cost that much, I’m totally fine with it.” —Heather, 24

beetlejuice

11. “There is nothing worse than a guy who thinks he can buy my affection. That Chanel bag is not going to convince me to sleep with you. This is not Pretty Woman and I am not Julia Roberts.” —Amanda, 24

beetlejuice

12. “Money is such an insignificant way to judge a partner. I’m looking for someone to share my life with, and someone that would stick around if there was nothing left, money included. When money is gone, you should still have love.” —Caylee, 25

beetlejuice

13. “I am definitely a girl who appreciates the finer things, but when it comes to dating, I don’t need a man to give me that. Yes, I love dinner at a fancy restaurant, and can appreciate a gifted piece of jewelry, but I think good chemistry can give you that same satisfaction no matter how much money they have.” —Gia, 23

beetlejuice

14. “Of course life is more comfortable with money, but as long as he’s not lazy and indifferent, I don’t care how much money he has. Money can’t buy him passion.” —Julia, 26

beetlejuice

15. “I think that money most of the time gives guys confidence, and that confidence is often attractive, but when he’s a rich, cocky, jerk, that is not attractive, at all. —Brittany, 26

beetlejuice

16. “If he has a nice car, it’s a total turn on. If he picks me up and his front mirror has duct tape on it, that’s not exactly getting me in the mood.” —Mollie, 24

beetlejuice

17. “I don’t think money is that important. I think if he loves what he does, and is good at it, then that’s all that matters. Well, and if he loves you, that’s important too.” —Denise, 25 TC mark

What You Want Is Killing You

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 05:15 PM PDT

Twenty20 / sarahannahansen
Twenty20 / sarahannahansen

A few weeks ago, a friend of mine said something that has been consuming my thoughts almost daily. Perhaps intending to be profound, perhaps not, my friend said something that forced me to wonder and ponder about who I am and what I want. What did my friend say? He said, “What I want is killing me.”

The context for this statement as I recall, was that my friend had been thinking about what he wanted versus what he needed. He realized or maybe re-realized – as many of us often do in adulthood – that our needs are actually quite small. It is our wants that are endless. Economics 101, right?

We’re warned from a young age to not want many things. It coincides with universal values that most of us are taught regardless of culture and economic position. Values such as prudence, gratitude, and indeed even the ever-coveted happiness is communicated as intrinsically related to wanting less. It makes sense. Have you ever been happy while thinking about wanting more? Rarely.

So what are we to do with our wants? Popular (and brief and partial) interpretations of religious theologies and philosophies may provide some assistance here. Buddhism, as I understand it, tells us that with enough persistence in meditation and in understanding one’s state in this world, our wants will diminish. Islam offers that God who is all-knowing has decreed all and allows all; but also that as we have the willpower to want, we can have the willpower to stop wanting. Judaism insists that ultimately material desire must be broken because it distances one from God.

The religious theologies I am most familiar with however, come from Christianity, of which there are many. There are those who preach what has become known as the Prosperity Gospel. Often conceptualized in a pejorative way by those who do not subscribe to it, the fundamental idea is that God blesses an individual with material success as with anything else. (So it’s okay to want material things.)

But I am a cradle Catholic, and like most cradle Catholics, not getting what you want is sometimes seen as Divine Intervention. And if you really wanted it? Well, you’re told to “offer it up”- which is Catholic-speak for “quit bitchin’.” (This is of course after the “God helps those who help themselves” lecture you’ll get when you express your wants. Often coupled with a “faith without works” speech.) What did Jesus himself say about wants though? Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matt 6:33)

For all intents and purposes, I do want the kingdom of God. But I also want other things. Some of these things are even holy. But many of them are just human.

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting things. In fact, I think sometimes wanting things is good. It shows that you have hope and faith and plans for the future – and those are all good things. But I do think why you want what you want is of utmost importance. Who you think you might become because of these things is something you may want to consider. And what you are and aren’t willing to do to achieve these things is vital.

For me, I know that “things,” and most certainly visible things are probably not the best description of what I want. My wants are often invisible and intangible; experiences, achievements, success, significance, etc. The things that money cannot always buy – those are the things that keep me up at night. To have gone through life ordinarily, never doing what I believe I am capable of doing with all the gifts I’ve been given, and the sacrifices that have been made – this, my friends, sometimes terrifies me to the point of paralysis.

I know how to want less stuff. I know how to live with less stuff. But like my friend, what I want is killing me. But I’m okay with that sort of death because the truth be told, when it comes to at least some of my wants, I’d rather die trying. Death, to me, is not as bad as a mediocre life that never tried for anything because one was much too afraid to want anything.

There is a happy medium though – I’m certain of it. That place where our desires can meet goodness; a place of virtue. That place where our wants do not drive us to death or to a life where we feel like we are dying because of our desires. Perhaps this place, more than anything else, is the thing I want the most. TC mark

18 Women Explain Exactly How They Feel About Dick Pics

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 05:00 PM PDT

via Flickr - kick_start
via Flickr – kick_start

1. “I hate them and guys just don’t seem to get it. Whenever I receive one now I send back a pic of the hugest, veiniest one-eyed monster I can find as my reply. Don’t. Send. Me. Dick. Pics.”

—Janice, 23

beetlejuice

2. “I find it sort of amazing as a phenomenon. Before Snapchat and smartphones you couldn’t really do this. Like, the equivalent in the 1980s would have been just pulling your dick out in the middle of a conversation with a woman aka flashing them. People used to get arrested for that.”

—Loretta, 31

beetlejuice

3. “It can be hot if there’s chemistry between me and the guy and we’ve already had sex because he’s telling me he wants me. But from a stranger it’s juvenile and offensive. It shows me you don’t have an ounce of creativity in you.”

—Irene, 24

beetlejuice

4. “Dicks look weird and I don’t think guys understand that. Dicks aren’t attractive all on their own.”

—Michelle, 28

beetlejuice

5. “Outside of sexting, a dick pic is literally the worst thing you could send a woman second only to a picture of you having sex with your ex.”

—Natalie, 22

beetlejuice

6. “If you want to send me a sexy picture then send me one of your whole body in your underwear. That’s sexy. A dick in and of itself just isn’t sexy no matter the size or shape. Be proud of your junk but don’t make me look at it when I didn’t ask to.”

—Amber, 24

beetlejuice

7. “Men and women get turned on by different things and it seems that neither men nor women understand this sometimes. Guys are visual so a picture of a vagina or a boob is going to do it for them but it’s not going to be a turnon for women since most women aren’t primarily aroused visually. It’s all a terrible misunderstanding on the part of dudes who send these.”

—Faith, 30

beetlejuice

8. “I hate dick pics but even worse I hate flaccid dick pics. A dick pic itself is lazy enough but if you can’t even be bothered to get aroused prior to taking it then you’re a double nope. First guys stop opening doors for women then they send sleepy ass pictures of their dicks. This is how civilization ends.”

—Sara, 25

beetlejuice

9. “Dick pics are offensive but the impulse behind them is just hilarious to me. I can’t help but picture the guy who sends it sitting there on his bed thinking ‘maybe she’ll sleep with me if I do this, maybe she’ll affirm me!’ No, you just made yourself look like a thirsty idiot.”

—Sabrina, 24

beetlejuice

10. “The only way a dick pic could ever be attractive is if the dick is included in a larger picture of the man it’s attached to and if that man is attractive to me. Of course then the dick just becomes a part of a picture of his body and not the focus. So, it’s a question of composition. If there’s a hot guy in the picture with the dick then I’m a lot more likely not to block your phone number and never speak to you again.”

—Valerie, 31

beetlejuice

11. “They do nothing for me. Occasionally my boyfriend has sent me one or asked to send me one and I’ve pretended to be all excited about it. I’ve even asked him to send me one when I could tell he was turned on and wanted to but that’s all for him.

In my perfect world, cameras are technically unable to take pictures of dicks, like mirrors and vampires.”

—Miranda, 28

beetlejuice

12. “Obviously I don’t want them from a stranger. I do have a running joke with a girlfriend where we send one another pictures of dicks as a joke every few months. I find that hilarious but I don’t want to receive them from dudes.”

—Leah, 22

beetlejuice

13. “I like them if I like the dick that I see. None of my girlfriends do but I’m a fan of a nice thick cock.”

—Jessica, 28

beetlejuice

14. “Not interested, dude. If I’m interested in you then I’m interested in you, not your dick.”

—Sherry, 26

beetlejuice

15. “If you send me a dick pic you’re going to get a two word answer in reply and that word will be ‘had better’. They’re disgusting and the men who send them unsolicited are thoughtless.”

—Vera, 26

beetlejuice

16. “I’ve asked my boyfriend for one before when one of us was out of town. This is usually followed by dirty talk and mutual masturbation on the phone or a quick and dirty Skype call. But unsolicited from someone I’m not seeing? No, no thanks, creeper.”

—Erin, 25

beetlejuice

17. “Two things guys need to understand about dick pics. If you’re not my boyfriend and you send me one then I’ll be grossed out both by it and you. Secondly, it will get shown around to my girlfriends and they will also think you are gross. You’re really just setting yourself up to be made fun of.”

—Anna, 21

beetlejuice

18. “It better be the most gorgeous penis the world has ever seen. Like, it better be a religious experience unparalleled by all others. Otherwise, you’re just a creeper sending me a photo of a sweaty dick in the desperate hope that yours is the greatest looking penis ever made.

Those odds aren’t in your favor.”

—Maggie, 27 TC mark

12 Things You Need To Know About Dating A Partner Who Doesn’t Show Affection

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 04:00 PM PDT

freemanlafleur
freemanlafleur

Partners who don't show an abundance of affection to their significant others (or children, friends, and family members) are typically Thinking (T) types on the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. These partners view the world from a logical (and often impersonal) perspective and relationships are no exception. Not surprisingly, it can be difficult for their caring, warm, and more sensitive Feeling (F) counterparts to understand lovers who rarely show emotion, let alone affection.

It can be tricky to navigate the meaning of the subtle signs that these partners leave like bread crumbs on your dates, but once you understand how this type of partner shows affection, you will find an abundance of love in those crumbs.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Holding hands is out of the question. Holding hands is not practical. It slows people down, throws people off balance, and forces couples to walk in cadence. If you try to grab your non-affectionate partner's hand while walking, expect your grasp to be broken within 10 seconds.

2. They are as cuddly as a cactus. On the rare occasions that these partners want to cuddle, their embrace is perfectly warm, loving, and peaceful. For the other 9 out of 10 times you try to cuddle with this partner, it's chaos and not worth the fight- they are too warm, they are uncomfortable, they can't see the TV. Try putting a hand on their knee for physical affection.

3. They are a physical affection camel. That one night of snuggling will have to last you several weeks until your next movie date night. This partner only has so many 'movie date night snuggles' in them and they just reached their quota for the month.

4. A hand on your leg means a lot. You may not get a full cuddling session for several weeks, but you will get small moments of affection, like a surprise hug or a kiss on your forehead. These small signs of affection have big feelings behind them. Appreciating these little moments will help you understand your partner's feelings towards you.

5. They don't need to talk about their feelings. Even on your wedding day, you and your partner still won't have a long, heartfelt discussion about your feelings towards each other. You will likely have the same 5 minute, straight forward conversation about your practical future together that you had when you got engaged.

6. There will still be passion in your relationship. Dating someone who is pragmatic doesn't mean that all the passion is going to be leaked out of your relationship. Partners who don't show affection often will make up for this emotional void by showing their love through gestures- like bringing home flowers, or cleaning the house on their day off, or cooking a candlelit dinner.

7. Public displays of affection are out of the question. As you sit in the café, watching couples kiss and sit on the same side of the booth, whispering sweet nothings to each other, you and your partner are sitting on opposite sides of the booth-where you can have a discussion face to face (like adults) and not make the waitress uncomfortable.

8. Tenderness is only shown privately. You will likely need to repeat to your friends over and over again "he really is different when we are alone." And like most mythological tales, your friends just won't believe your tale of the formidable boyfriend who is a soft, cuddly bear at home.

9. Sometimes, you have to sneak in your affection. There are ways to get extra moments of tenderness when you really need it. Try giving your partner a backrub or scratching their arm while you're sitting on the couch. They'll be suckered by your pampering and will let you crawl into their nook.

10. If you want to snuggle, make them come to you. Give this partner the space to show affection in their own way. If you force your love on them or try to force them to show you love, then your partner is going to feel overwhelmed and stifled.

11. They still have feelings of love and affection, they just don't need to show it all the time. Stoic men and pragmatic females feel feelings too, they just show it in different, more simplistic ways. The trick is to appreciate these moments (and the meaning behind them) when they happen.

12. When they say "I love you", they mean it. The best part about dating this type of partner is that they don't waste time trivially saying "I love you." They say it when they mean it. And there is nothing more powerful than hearing those three words and knowing that your partner means it with all their heart. TC mark

What A Time To Be Addicted To Cough Syrup: Why Drake And Future’s New Mixtape Is ‘Just Alright’

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 03:45 PM PDT

Instagram / Future
Instagram / Future

If you’ve had access to any form of social media in the past month, then you've inevitably been privy to the release of Future and Drake's combined effort, a mixtape entitled What A Time to Be Alive. 2015 has been a hot year for both of them: Future dropped like 65 albums/mixtapes and broke Ciara's heart, while Drake released a surprise mixtape, had his authenticity questioned by a jealous clown from Philly, and emerged the victor of our generation's first and only real (?) rap beef.

With all this considered, I don't think it's an overstatement to say that the announcement of this project on Drake's Instagram set it up to be THE rap happening of an already eventful year for the genre. Unfortunately for Future, Drizzy, and their millions of fans across the world, the tape is just alright.

Let me begin by explicitly detailing my bias: I am a Drake fan. I am not a Future fan. It might even be a bit of an understatement to call myself just a "fan" of Drake; the way my life depends on Drake's music is akin to the way a stripper's life depends on her ability to clutch to that pole when she's climbed all the way to the top. (Slightly unrelated, but in the interest of continuing the stripper analogy, I'd like to mention that if you threw money at me, I'd probably take my clothes off too.)

Saying that Future's music is “a little hard to understand" is like saying that "giraffes are kinda tall" or that Kylie Jenner's lips "look a little fake."

While I'm not a Future fan, I don't dislike him at all: "Fuck Up Some Commas" is exactly the kind of incoherent rumbling that I like to bop to when I'm drunk and surrounded by my equally turnt comrades. I just have trouble calling myself a fan of his because I literally can't understand what he's saying.

Saying that Future's music is “a little hard to understand" is like saying that "giraffes are kinda tall" or that Kylie Jenner's lips "look a little fake." Giraffes are tall as fuck, Kylie's lips are about as real as her dad (mom?) (dad?) (ugh) Caitlyn’s boobs, and by the same token, Future is straight up INCOMPREHENSIBLE.

Based solely off of the title, WATTBA appeared to be marketed as a call to my generation, a generation that is slowly usurping the position of our parents' generations as the leaders and content creators that dictate the flow of international discourse. The time that we're living in is certainly a unique one. These days (*Drake voice*), I can order a pizza just by texting an emoji to Domino's – that phrase itself is one that would've sounded like gibberish to anyone 100 years ago.

Gone are the days where children actually had to interact with one another in person. Now, 5-year-olds have iPhones and can Snapchat their friends sitting right next to them to talk about peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and dirt, the most pressing of 5-year-old issues.

Don't even get me started about how hard it used to be to cheat on your wife or to have an affair with the milkman (I see you too, ladies). These days, people have the choice of having sex via phone, Skype, text, Snapchat, Google Hangout, Instagram DM's – the options are endless. What a time to be alive indeed!

Despite all of this potential material, Drake and Future instead chose to discuss topics that we've already heard them touch upon ad nauseum: money, women, fame, and Future's outrageous drug use.

Despite all of this potential material, Drake and Future instead chose to discuss topics that we've already heard them touch upon ad nauseum: money, women, fame, and Future's outrageous drug use. Seriously though, someone needs to force this man into a 12-step program because he's clearly addicted to Robitussin. As if the title of Future's most recent album, Dirty Sprite 2, wasn't enough of a cry for help, he spends the majority of WATTBA discussing his affinity for both pills and lean – a drink composed of a mixture of prescription cough medicine and soda. Originating in Houston, the drink is popular amongst rappers and rapists alike.

The album was executive produced by up-and-coming producer Metro Boomin', who was similarly instrumental in the production of DS2. This is the basis for my biggest criticism of the album: it sounded like a Future mixtape that simply featured Drake heavily, as opposed to being a real collaborative effort. And in the places where they did combine their talents, the execution was monotonously formulaic: Future does a verse, Drake does a verse, then they alternate who sings the chorus for each song. Rinse and repeat.

Don't get me wrong: “Big Rings" is hype as fuck, and “Scholarships”, “I'm the Plug”, and “Change Locations” are all absolute jams. “Diamonds Dancing” is sure to have black girls bouncing in clubs for much of the foreseeable future. "30 for 30" should serve as Meek Mill's resignation letter to his managers and producers, because if that horse wasn’t already dead, Drizzy just put 6 (God) more bullets in its head.

The mixtape is undeniably GOOD, and only gets better the more you listen to it. But at this point, I think we've come to expect good music from both of these artists, so that no longer suffices. Satisfactory music does not solidify one’s status as a “legend”, and unfortunately this mixtape was composed entirely of 10 satisfactory songs… and "30 for 30".

For all that it was, WATTBA's major fault lies in what it was not. It was NOT, Watch the Throne, the collaborative album precedent that may have set the bar impossibly high for future artists' joint efforts; it was NOT a smooth blending of both artists' styles, but instead a rough amalgamation of sounds that blatantly catered to Future's style more than Drake’s; and most importantly, it was NOT Views from the 6, Drake's yet-to-be-dropped-but-constantly-mentioned fourth studio album for which he has yet to confirm a release date.

WATTBA tried to do what If You're Reading This It's Too Late succeeded in doing (if only briefly): pacifying us fans and distracting us from the fact that he hasn't released a real album in almost two years. As grateful as I've been to hear new music from my favorite artist, I can't pretend I'm not feeling a little let down by The Boy. He's promised an album for over a year now, and with no release date in sight, all I can think to say at this point is…we're waiting. TC mark

10 Children Of Convicted Criminals On What It’s Like To Have A Parent In Jail

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 03:00 PM PDT

pixabay
pixabay

1. I HAVE A MOM THAT'S GONE

"What I miss about my mom the most [is that] I don't get to touch her and
I don't get to feel her, and I don't get to see her with my own eyes. Yeah, I get to hear
her voice, but that's it! I don't get to see her breathe. I don't get to do the things I used to do when she was here. I used to hug my mom and kiss her all the time and now I can't do that. I only see her every four months….Almost every kid at my school has their mom and dad, married. And they have their mom and their dad right by their side when they need them. I'm not like that. I have a mom that's gone."

—Bella

beetlejuice

2. HE STOPPED BEING MY DADDY

"One of my first memories is of my dad throwing an alarm clock at my mom's head. They broke up when I was two or so….By the time I was a teenager, he'd been in and out of jail regularly: possession of various substances, indecent exposure (this got him discharged from the military), grave robbery, assault, stalking, and a handful of DUIs. He tried to touch my breasts once when I was 16. He said I was starting to look like my mother. It was around this time that he stopped being my daddy and, instead, became a man I didn't want to be left alone with….My father died alone, handcuffed to his hospital bed. There was no one to comfort him; no goodbyes, no closure, just a million questions left unanswered. He was 45 years old….I want to be clear that my father was not a parent to me. He didn't raise me. He didn't feed, clothe, or discipline' me. He didn't help with my homework or come to my various band concerts. And he certainly didn't contribute to my belief system or principles….He was 50 percent of my genetics — little more — and yet, I was (and occasionally still am) struck with grief at his loss."

—Dese'rae

beetlejuice

3. I ALWAYS FELT A SENSE OF ISOLATION

"It was 1998 when my mother died of a brain aneurysm, my father was in jail, and I was a helpless little five-year old suddenly without a home. My maternal (and single) aunt instantly filed for full custody of my younger brother and me; I was five and my brother was only three….I always felt a sense of isolation and otherness when my friends would be talking about their 'mom' and 'dad' and I had to say 'aunt' in its place and then explain the complexities of my home life to those who looked at me with confusion. It was an interesting journey growing up without both parents in my life. Though in retrospect, I was blessed by not having them around."

—Samantha

beetlejuice

4. A LONG VACATION

"My 'dad' is in prison. He has been in prison for the last couple years….He has been a constant disappointment in my life and being in prison right now is no different….My dad throughout my life has been in and out of trouble with the law; he has wrecked soooo many cars from driving drunk I can’t even count.…I have been writing to him for the past 2 years, and none of my letters are blasting him. They are all about how I went to prom last weekend and that I am graduating high school soon. But what I really want to say is how mad I am that he was not here when my prom date picked me up or when I am walking across that stage at graduation and I look into the crowd he will not be there. Those things hurt me so much. And he just acts as if he is off on a LONG vacation."

—Ace

beetlejuice

5. IT FELT LIKE MY HEART HAD BEEN RIPPED OUT OF MY CHEST

"TV portrays drug dealers as menacing tough guys—thugs. My dad is more like a giant teddy bear. He's the most generous guy ever. Everyone knows him, and if you need help he is always there….The first time my father went to jail, it felt like my heart had been ripped out of my chest and thrown in the road. My fear for him intensified. On visiting days, he would smile and joke around through the thick glass, but his eyes told a different story of his life inside….It's been two years since I set foot in that cold prison. I see the fear in my dad's eyes every time he talks of his future. He knows the world is already set against him."

—Anonymous

beetlejuice

6. I SPENT A REALLY LONG TIME BEING ANGRY WITH MY FATHER

"I spent a really long time being angry with my father. I was angry he was in jail. I was angry I wound up in foster care and bounced around to family members who didn't want me. I was angry at not having and angry for wanting. I was angry about having to be responsible around people who weren't, and most of all I was angry that no one else seemed to realize that my circumstance wasn't right."

—Charell

beetlejuice

7. HE BROUGHT IT UPON HIMSELF

"When I tell people about my father's situation, it often causes jaws to drop; then I get looks of shock and wonder, and finally the predictable: 'Oh, I'm so sorry. For what? If you don't mind me asking?' I'm a pretty open book, and now that my father's been in prison for over a year, I am even more so….I do not mean in any way to undermine the perspectives and feelings of victims of crimes, because in this case, there were victims, and people's lives were shattered….Of course it was difficult to have my dad miss Christmas and my sister's high school graduation and prom, and it's even worse because he brought that upon himself—but the message I want to convey is that holding it over his head forever is detrimental to everybody."

—Spencer

beetlejuice

8. HE WROTE ME EVERY WEEK

"Over the years, the weekly commutes to visit my father became rituals. Eventually, after several years, we were allowed real visits when he was moved to a lower-security facility. The kind of visits where you can hug and tickle, where a conversation’s connection doesn’t depend on the distorted and crackly voice coming through the telephone, where words can be freely exchanged without the clock ticking, reminding you that time is slipping, moving faster than it should, faster than you’d like….He wrote me every week, and I often go back and read what’s left of the folded, disintegrating letters. He’d tell me stories and I’d draw him fashion designs and mock-up magazines….As a child, the word jail means nothing, and this proved itself when my stepmother broke the news to me a few months after my father’s arrest. She took me for an ice cream, and as we sat in her car in the parking lot, she explained why the police had been at our home, what it all meant, how my father would not be returning any time soon. Yes, I cried. But only because I thought I was supposed to. I couldn’t comprehend the magnitude."

—Milena

beetlejuice

9. AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, I HAVE BEEN MAD AT MY FATHER

"I am 31 now. My father, the prisoner, is 59. He started shooting heroin when he was 14 and coming up in Watts. He met my mother while cruising unsuccessfully through a Job Corps program in Texas. At age 26, he was sentenced to 20 years-to-life for murdering another human being….And for as long as I can remember, I have been mad at my father, have wanted to punish him for making me a prisoner's child. With the laser focus on prisoners in our society—on the people they harm, the institutions they disrupt and their collective drain on the rest of us—the gazillion children of prisoners often become Invisibles….With me and my father, there is love and heartbreak and resentment and love."

—Shareka

beetlejuice

10. A CLOUD HUNG OVER ME

"I was four years old when my dad went away, and my younger brother was two years old. He was convicted for trafficking in cocaine and sentenced to 15 years in prison. At the beginning of his absence, we maintained contact through letters, although I was not aware of where he was. Every time I wrote my father, I'd carefully write his department identification number, thinking that it was a code for an apartment complex mailbox, until my mom informed me that my dad was in prison. I began to cry, but even then I remember questioning my tears; what does it mean to be in prison? For any parent, breaking the news to a child that their father is in prison is difficult. At that age, I didn't know what it meant; I just knew I wouldn't be seeing any more of my dad….Despite my childhood being a positive one, a cloud hung over me at times filled with doubt and anger of whether I was worthy of love or not. I dealt with the awkward conversations of 'so what does your dad do for a living?'…Children with incarcerated parents are a group ignored by society. Our government puts a great deal of energy into locking up nonviolent felons, yet offers no reconciliation to their families, and those most innocent, the children."

—Ifetayo TC mark

My Friends And I Found A Mysterious Hole On My Property And We Decided To Explore Its Depths

Posted: 21 Oct 2015 02:00 PM PDT

Twenty20 / NickBulanovv
Twenty20 / NickBulanovv

I need to have my story heard. I need to write this down. If I don’t, then I fear I’ll end up as mad as everyone thinks I already am. I’ve spent the past 11 months trying to find meaning and answers at the bottom of a bottle, but it never helps. Every night I wake in a cold sweat, shaking uncontrollably and gasping for air in the wake of the memory of the things I saw. Even now, I cannot venture past my door after dusk for fear of what lies beyond. Every bark from my dogs is a warning; every flicker of the floodlights that surround my house has me running for the generators. I have no idea what future awaits me past this moment, but I know I can’t stand the thought of another day where my experiences are not recorded in some way.

I farm a sizable piece of land, some several thousand acres in size. What I farm isn’t important, just the location. Upon my land occurs a unique land formation — a type of rock that bears in a pattern unique to this area. In all the world, there is always something similar, but never quite exactly the same. Imagine a type of rock used by the early peoples to make paints that they would apply to their faces — colors of orange, tan, red, white, and blue — and embedded within these rocks are numerous geodes. It was always my plan that, should I fall upon financial hardship, I would sell these geodes at local stores or flea markets to the more “spiritual” people that frequented the larger towns near my home. Now however, that is no longer an option.

beetlejuice

Until last year, I would allow hunters onto my land each winter to hunt deer and elk, occasionally joining them, as one elk could feed me for the better part of a year. They were my friends — men I had hunted with for years and whom I had come to depend upon. I can still remember crawling through the brush of my property some year ago, only to came face to face with a mountain lion that appeared just as stunned as I at the encounter. I scarcely remember un-holstering my sidearm, a Beretta that had been gifted to me some years ago, and unloading half a clip into its still startled face as the panicked hands of my hunting buddies tore apart catclaw and mesquite branches alike to reach me before the second gunshot had rung out.

I still hold fond memories of how we laughed at the encounter that evening as they applied hydrogen peroxide to their bloodied hands in-between sips of beer. None of us went back for that mountain lion carcass. I think we honestly believed it wouldn’t be there if we looked, as if it had shrugged off several 9mm rounds fired point blank and was laughing off the encounter with its own buddies in much the same way we were. Sometimes I can still think back on that evening and smile at the image of all of us, wearing our beanies and fatigues, rifles slung over our backs…. The only two things that saved me in the end were my sidearm and the men at my back.

It was supposed to be a good year for hunting, the weather had been kind to us over the months and the uncharacteristic amount of rain for the area meant there was more grass to graze. Already I’d begun seeing elk lying dead on the side of the road. Unfortunate for the driver, but hopefully a sign of greater numbers that season. It was a more humid year than we were used to and it seemed like the winter would be harsh, but for us, it only meant buying more firewood. I’d been keeping the corn feeders stocked throughout the year and keeping a mental checklist of every deer and elk I saw. Even the javelina were starting to become a nuisance, although a decent source of meat provided you got a clean shot before they could musk.

DEMO_92jhah21

I knew every inch of my property like the back of my hand, or at least I thought I did. It wasn't until two weeks into the season that we encountered it. We were on a night hunt, trekking through a part of the property I’d taken to calling “Paint Rock Canyon,” due to the abundance of the unique rock formations in that area. It had needed no descent, just a brief 45 minute drive to the area situated between two mountains that sat almost directly in the middle of the property. We were all outfitted with LED headlamps and Maglites and most of us had outfitted our rifles with night-vision scopes, save for Anthony.

Anthony was not a large man, but he did seem to carry luck on his side. His medium length hair was usually tied back into a small ponytail and he had an almost ill-informed love of his neatly trimmed mutton chop sideburns and mustache that had earned him the nickname “Lemmy.” He couldn’t be considered lanky, nor could he be called overweight. On the whole, Anthony was quite normal, which many mistook for “average” — brown hair, brown eyes, and a tanned complexion shared by the rest of us (the result of a life lived working outdoors). He had brought his AR-15, something he won in a local rodeo raffle, equipped with a thermal scope. While the others had found the rifle enviable, I was less impressed. Admittedly, I was disappointed that I didn’t win the second prize, which was a lever-action rifle with a custom saddle holster, provided by my favourite, local saddlery. I’m ashamed to admit it in retrospect, but I took a small comfort in the fact that Anthony was limited to featureless black-and-white as opposed to the rest of us.

Apart from Anthony, the hunting party consisted of Markus, Forrester, and myself. Markus was a heavy set Hispanic man who I turned to whenever I needed help with any of my vehicles, which was typically one per month. Auto repair was his family’s business and he'd taken over the shop from his father after his passing. Forrester on the other hand was a pious man, a devout Baptist, and the only one among us who could honestly say he'd never known the taste of liquor in his life. While the rest of us would set up the satellite to watch the game and drink to the point where we felt 10 years younger, Forrester could always be found over a smoker or grill that he'd welded together himself, a root beer in one hand and a cooking utensil in the other. He was the shortest of all of us, but the only other farmer apart from myself, and my main source of hay when it came to animal feed.

That’s how I will always remember them before we found that damn hole under the light of the full moon. It was impossibly large and dug into the base of one of the mountains where the Paint Rock began. The hole was larger than any one of us and seemed like it was freshly dug. It certainly hadn't been there when we'd last passed through the canyon scarcely two days prior. We stood in front of it in confusion for several minutes, questioning what could have caused such a thing when an elk came sprinting out, startling us all. Anthony was the quickest on the draw, bringing his rifle up and letting off several quick bursts as the gigantic animal bound towards us. The rest of us dove for cover, all but Anthony who, with his unbelievable luck, pierced the animal’s heart, bringing it crashing to the ground as he finally dove away from the falling body of an animal that weighed enough to total any vehicle unfortunate enough to collide with its form.

After calling to ensure that everyone was unhurt, we quickly turned our lights on the elk's corpse, which turned out to be a cow rather than a bull as we'd all assumed. Bullet wounds marked its body and I could have sworn the wounds on its back looked far too large to be caused by the 5.56 rounds fired from Anthony's rifle, yet I dismissed them as exit wounds despite being able to vividly recall no upward angle to his shots.

DEMO_2unsb2h

We were all thoroughly shaken by the experience and yet, for some unknowable reason, our curiosity was piqued. What was this hole? How deep did it extend? I recalled no one else on my land and doubted border-jumpers could have made something large enough to conceal an elk in less than two days. For reasons I will never fully know, none of us contested the idea when Markus suggested venturing inside the tunnel. We readied our night-scopes and light sources, pocketed some extra ammunition and abandoned what little light was offered by the night sky and made our way into the darkness.