Thought Catalog


Totally Doable: 50 Simple Sex Tips For Couples That Want To Have Fun Together In Bed Forever

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 08:00 PM PST

Twenty20, andreeas
Twenty20, andreeas

1. Throw a two-person kissing party. For a minimum of thirty minutes, forbid yourselves from doing anything other than kissing. This will force you to get creative with your lips and to kiss body parts that are typically neglected during lovemaking. A kissing party also turns an otherwise benign sex act into something undeniably naughty.

2. Go “third hunting” together. Even if you have no intention of orchestrating a threesome, checking other people out and trading notes about what attracts you is a captivating exercise. Plus, merely addressing the possibility of inviting a third party into bed can be exciting.

3. Practice the art of fucking first. The next time you attend a special event or head out to a fancy, celebratory dinner, make a point of having sex before you leave the house. That way, you can get drunk without worrying about passing out too soon or failing to get it up later. Sober sex is generally better anyway.

4. Create your own sexual position. The Kama Sutra's great, but dreaming up your very own sexual position and naming it yourselves is way more conducive to sexy memory making. Go ahead and bend this way and that until you're tangled in a certain kind of body knot that deserves its own label. Et voila!

5. Play the penis game in public. It's such a simple game (you just take turns uttering the word "penis" louder and louder somewhere in public), but the payoff is great. Why? Because it's embarrassing and silly but also hilarious. Plus, it’ll make you feel like kids again.

6. Swap favorite pornos. You can trade links via email, or sit down for a double feature at home together. Either way, you'll get a peek into your partner's solo sex routine, and their innermost desires.

7. Draw each other naked. In Titanic, when Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack sketches Kate Winslet’s Rose naked, the moment seems equal parts precious and sexy. Even if you can’t scribble the human form for shit, it’s fun to set the scene and get artsy.

8. Trade dirty jokes. Look some up online, or make some up on your own. The act of setting up a naughty pun and delivering a racy punch line essentially forces you to talk about sex, which is invariably arousing on some level.

9. Go wild with public displays of affection (PDA). Be "that couple" that hugs and touches and loves each other like no one's watching, even if only for one carefree afternoon.

10. Go to third base at the movies. If the theater isn't too crowded, sit in the back row, throw a jacket over your laps, and let things escalate from thigh rubbing to full on fingering and/or jerking off. You’ll feel like you’re taking a risk without being too lewd since it’s dark anyway.

11. Dare to have sex in public. There are tons of public places that are actually quite private, so you don't have to risk getting arrested for public indecency to enjoy the thrill of pushing a boundary. Find a bathroom stall at a restaurant that locks and execute a quickie, or park your car in an alley or a sparsely populated lot and go crazy in the back seat like teenagers desperate for a sex sanctuary.

12. Leave the curtains and/or bedroom door wide open. If getting busy in public is too much of a stretch, create the illusion of letting strangers watch to start. Tapping into voyeurism even just a smidge can be hot.

13. Pledge not to have sex for a week. Yes, regular sex is awesome, and it's one of the many advantages of being in a longterm relationship. But by swearing off masturbation and sex for a week, you position yourselves to thirst for each other so you can then reap the rewards of pleasure delay.

14. Shop for lingerie together. Underwear elicits sexy thoughts, so include your partner in the process of selecting it. Buying bras, panties, and even sexy nightgowns is more fun when you can share a changing room and ask your partner for input. You don't even have to buy anything to make a joint lingerie excursion rewarding.

15. Stage an inter-relationship sexting challenge. Agree to sex at least hourly throughout an entire day and see who creates the raciest, sauciest naked photos. (If you're paranoid, just crop your head out of the shots.)

16. Compete in a couple’s word-based sexting challenge. Sexts don’t have to include images to be effective. Some people are more verbal than visual, and some erotic vignettes are more powerful than dick pics and photos of naked breasts. So limit yourselves to words and emojis and swap illicit messages on the hour one day.

17. Arouse each other with voice notes. If you’re more into auditory stimulation than words or pictures, you can always use voice notes to create auditory sexts. Determine to turn each other on by narrating all the things you're desperate to do to each other later.

18. Make a sex tape. You don't have to be fame hungry to enjoy the process of shooting a sexy video starring you and your lover. Just position your phone so it's pointed towards the bed, seduce each other, and roll around between the sheets. The only thing better than making a sex tape is watching it together later.

19. Have the loudest sex possible. Sometimes, spicing things up is as simple as turning the volume up. Make a point to vocalize your every move in bed, and scream your faces off as you go at it because noisy sex is hot. Promise.

20. Surprise your partner by welcoming them home totally naked. Just lie on the couch casually watching television or reading a book and await their return. Whatever troubles they faced that day will surely melt away as soon as they spot your naked body on display.

21. Cook and eat a meal together naked. Consuming delicious food is satisfying to the senses. When you throw nudity into the mix from start to finish, the pleasure factor more than triples.

22. Read erotica out loud. You can either draft your own erotic stories based on shared experiences, or search the Internet for free material. It's mostly about your tone of voice, anyway. Sexy reading is uniquely arousing.

23. Perform a striptease. You don't have to dress up to make the act of stripping your clothes off appealing. On a whim one night, surprise your boyfriend or girlfriend by making a spectacle of the act of undressing and watch how grateful they are for the impromptu show.

24. Give each other lap dances. Lap dancing might not come naturally to everyone, but it's really not that hard. Just gyrate your hips, shake your booty, and wiggle your boobs. No matter how coordinated you are, the effort will be appreciated.

25. Masturbate for each other. For a lot of people, masturbation is a very personal thing, entirely separate from the sex life they enjoy with their partner. That’s exactly why it’s so special to let someone into your solo sex routine. In addition to the intimacy factor, it can be a great learning experience to watch your significant other touch him or herself.

26. Spank that ass. You don't have to get aggressive to enjoy a good spanking session. You don't even need any special instruments. Just grab a ping pong paddle or a use the palm of your hand. Be gentle to start, but don't be afraid to take it up a notch, either. As long as you check in with each other regularly, you’ll be fine.

27. Blindfold each other. Whip out a couple of silk scarves or repurpose some men's ties as eye shields. Together in darkness, you'll fumble around a bit, but being deprived of sight will also prompt you to be more cautious and tender in making contact.

28. Tie each other up. Handcuffs can be somewhat intimidating, but when fastened in such a way that you can easily wriggle out of them, scarves or shoelaces provide the sensation of being restrained without compromising your ability to move entirely.

29. Join the mile high club. The bathroom stall will be cramped and it won't smell great, but having sex on a plane is one of those couple’s activities that's worth every inconvenience along the way.

30. Practice orgasmic meditation (OMing). OMing involves a kind of genital massage that leads to a prolonged climactic experience. You can watch instructional videos outlining how to do it online and then give it a whirl. There’s really no way to fail.

31. Try making her squirt. There's a lot of debate surrounding whether or not women can ejaculate, but the very act of attempting to make a woman squirt is fun in and of itself.

32. Skinny dip. The next time you're near a pool or the ocean or a lake or some other body of water, strip down to nothing and dive in. Swim around, body surf, and hold each other tightly beneath the water. You don’t have to have intercourse for an aquatic romp to be memorable.

33. Prepare an aphrodisiac centric meal. Many foods, including bananas, pomegranates, avocados, asparagus, oysters, salmon, chocolate, and strawberries, allegedly contain ingredients capable of triggering the human libido. So toast Mother Nature with a glass of red wine (also an aphrodisiac), eat up, and expect to get hornier as you indulge.

34. Play human platter for your partner. You can order takeout sushi and lay it all over one person's naked body, but other foods are conducive to the human platter thing, too. Choose your cuisine and eat it off each other already.

35. Paint each other with chocolate syrup. All you need is an old sheet or a towel to lay on the floor so you don't make too much of a sticky mess while you go crazy decorating each other's naked bodies in between licking up traces of syrup or other condiments.

36. Shower together. Yes, shower sex is overrated. But it still provides a nice, wet change in pace. And it's especially helpful as a follow-up to food related experiments.

37. Bathe together. Set the mood with bubbles, candlelight, and scented oils. Then relax together in the tub until you're good and wrinkly. When you're ready to get it on, dry each other off and head to the bedroom as quickly as possible.

38. Eat "miracle fruit" before sex . Your significant other's scent and taste are magnetic, but a twist on the familiar can be titillating. There’s a natural berry that tampers with your taste buds in such a way that sweet can suddenly taste sour, so procure some and see if it makes your partner taste any different.

39. Give each other sensual massages. A scented candle that melts into massage wax sets the mood just right, but you can also just dim the lights, grab some baby oil, and rub your partner all over.

40. Have phone sex. You don't have to be long distance lovers to appreciate the magic of a good phone sex session. By focusing on the auditory component of the sexual experience, you'll finetune your dirty talking capabilities and take your sexuality to a new place altogether.

41. Fake an orgasm. There's a reason that scene from When Harry Met Sally is iconic: It's sexy to watch a woman fake a mindblowing orgasm. Give it a try and see how long it takes you to hop in bed together in pursuit of the real thing.

42. Reintroduce yourselves. Role play doesn't have to involve costumes, or some complicated set up between a prisoner and his guard or a teacher and student. Simply pretend to be strangers and stage your first meeting so you can relive those early stage, lustful butterflies.

43. Dabble in power play. Take turns submitting to each other in whatever way you feel comfortable. That might mean complete submission during sex, or promising to sleep with your partner whenever they want for one week straight, which can be equally gratifying. Establish rules you’re both comfortable following for a set amount of time, then switch roles.

44. Try your best to "think off." Thinking oneself to orgasm is possible. How exactly one climaxes through the mind alone remains unclear to scientists. What's undeniable, however, is that trying to think off alongside the person you love is extremely entertaining, if not orgasmic.

45. Play the naughty version of Truth or Dare. You loved the game as a kid, but the grown-up version is even better because no questions or dares are off limits and you can get downright weird together.

46. Play Never Have I Ever. You think you know everything about your partner, but you probably don't. Pry deep into their sexual history by sitting down for a lengthy game of Never Have I Ever, in which one person says, "Never have I ever [insert weird sexual activity]," and anyone who's done it has to take a big slug of their drink. Hopefully you learn something, and get nice and tipsy along the way.

47. Pop some Viagra. The jury's out on whether or not Viagra impacts female arousal, but there's little harm in trying a small dose and seeing where it takes you. Who knows? You might just benefit from the placebo effect.

48. Experiment with a couple's app. Technology isn't just for singles looking to land a mate. There are a slew of apps (Happy Couple, Simply Us, Between, You & Me) designed to increase intimacy between couples and most of them are pretty amusing, even if you tire of them five days in.

49. Play with a remote controlled vibrator. Another great way to exploit technology within a relationship is to invest in a gizmo designed for dual pleasure. For example, Babeland's Ohmibod vibrator can be tucked between one person's legs while the other person holds the wireless remote, allowing them to buzz and tickle their partner's genitals on the go as they wish.

50. Draft a couple's sexual bucket list. Brainstorm all the sexy stuff you want to do together (using this list, maybe, plus your imaginations), and write all your sexual objectives down. Establishing a sensual bucket list will encourage you to keep tackling your various carnal goals together because crossing off to-do’s is perhaps more satisfying than anything. TC mark

10 Things That Women Over Thirty Are Too Damn Old For

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 07:00 PM PST

basiciggy
basiciggy

If you're a woman, chances are pretty high that you'll spend most of your twenties making mistakes and trying to find yourself. It's an era of insecurity and questionable decisions – a time of terrible internships, and bad sex, and confusing emotions. If you can escape your twenties without making any life-altering mistakes, like marrying a psychopath or ruining your professional reputation, you're doing pretty good.

On the flip side, however, your thirties are the time for self-fulfillment. By this point, you've established your career (yay, big-girl job!), you've become secure in your identity, and you're somewhat solid on the path you hope to create in life. You're at the point where you're ready to stop taking shit from others and start kicking ass. You're entering a pretty amazing era.

I'm turning 32 in a few months, and I now feel like I have enough solid years in my thirties to share the decade-appropriate life knowledge I've gathered with other women – hopefully to the betterment of everyone involved. I also solidly believe that one of the best ways to figure out what you want is to first be confident in what you don't want. Therefore, I've compiled a list of things that every thirty-something woman should refuse put up with – things that we all reluctantly dealt with in our twenties. This is a short list of things we should no longer accept or waste our precious energy on as grown-ass women.

Okay, here we go. Here are 10 things that women are too old for past the age of thirty:

1. Being underpaid.

This goes double if you know that you are being paid less than your male counterparts for the same types of positions. I have no idea how the gender-based pay gap still exists in 2015 in the United States of fucking America, but it does. If you feel like you are being underpaid, or you know you are, you need to take the appropriate steps to get that money, girl. Do your research, build a case for the value of your unique skillset, approach your boss, and let them know what you expect to earn going forward.

Don't accept the run-around or a litany of bottled corporate excuses. If they don't want to pay you what you're worth, it is time to clear the decks and move on. Let them pay the intern salaries to the actual interns. You're a grown-ass woman and you deserve to buy yourself something nice, or at least not struggle paycheck-to-paycheck. Get. That. Money.

2. Neglecting your body.

Okay, so everyone understands that metabolisms slow and weight shifts on every lady as time passes. However, the "I'm in my thirties" excuse is not a valid reason to stop taking care of your figure once you reach a certain age. If you're hating on your hips or missing your old waistline, hit the gym and reclaim that shit. You may not be a youthful size zero ever again, but you can certainly transform yourself into the best, healthiest version of thirty-something you possible.

Personally, I'm 5'5 and have gone from a waifish 118 lbs in my twenties to a healthy 125 lbs in my thirties, and I couldn't be happier about it. Mostly, because I'm exercising regularly and taking care of myself, and that's the best way for a girl to maintain her physical confidence. So get yourself up on that elliptical, girl. I hear the view is pretty great from the top of your physical game.

3. Apologizing for who you are.

I'm a writer. I'm ambitious. I'm passionate. I love with my whole heart. In my twenties, I would often apologize for myself when others accused me of being too much of a dreamer, too impulsive, or overly romantic. Now, I literally give zero fucks about others' opinions.

If you feel good about the decisions you make and how you treat others, that's really all you need at this point. Insecure people who feel lousy about their own behaviors or lack of confidence may try to pick apart your character or life choices, and that is completely their problem. You keep doing you girl. Live how you feel and let your freak flag fly as high as you want it to. If you know you're a good person, you've got nothing to apologize for at all.

4. Inconsistent dudes.

In your twenties, you have plenty of time to waste on guys who are super sweet toward you one night and then pretend they don't know you the next. Some guys are just not ready to handle a romantic situation with a grown-ass woman or willing to put forth the effort that you need from them. And that's okay.

If you have to guess what he's thinking, initiate every date, or wonder how many other chicks he's banging on the regular, it is time to show the bro to the door. You're an adult now, lady. An amazing smile and killer night moves are no longer adequate replacements for consideration and honest communication. If you've given that guy every chance to prove that he's worthy of your attention and he still keeps fucking up, it's time to move on. Your thirties are not the appropriate era in which to be putting up with romance-related bullshit. Regardless of how much you care about him, let it go. You are worth someone who puts forth a consistent effort to be a part of your life.

5. Being insecure about getting physical.

I have had countless conversations with my girlfrans who expressed concern over various sexual encounters in which they were worried about the way that their may have ass looked from behind, or if the bedroom lighting was ideal, or if their partner thought that their thighs were too fat. My advice to them, almost always, is: Who. The. Fuck. Cares?

If you're a woman in her thirties who is doing everything she can to keep herself 100, there is no reason to waste your time or energy stressing about whether or not your man is comparing your thigh gap to Taylor Swift's. Because if he is, he's probably an asshole. Your body is a temple and you are aging like a fine fucking wine, girl. Be proud of what you've got to work with.

6. Comparing yourself.

Fuck Facebook. I mean really. Fuuuuck Facebook. With my most recent Facebook event invite, I realized that I will be the only one of my college girlfrans to show up at the next engagement party sans husband. And I'm okay with that. While still-insecure girls in their twenties may measure their life statuses by how many of their friends are engaged, buying houses, traveling the world, etc – grown-ass women in their thirties pay zero attention to such comparisons. By the time you're solidly in your thirties, you're mature enough to realize that everyone on the planet travels their own, unique path to happiness. You're calm enough to just chill out and just enjoy the ride. It is pointless to compare yourself to the girls you graduated high school with, or your best friends from college, or that chick who dated your graduate-school sweetheart right after you did. Comparing yourself to others only leads to unneeded self doubt, and you are way too baller of a chick to waste your time with that, now aren't you?

7. Cheap make-up.

There's a reason that high-end beauty products cost four times as much as the drug store brands. If you want to escape Wednesday's happy hour without getting raccoon eyes halfway through – you need to splurg a little for the good stuff. The same goes with skincare, eye cream, and high heels. There are some indulgences in life that make a woman really feel like a woman, and at this point you have worked too hard and come too far to live without them.

So go on, girl. Take yourself to Ulta and go crazy. Save up and buy yourself those Monolos. You deserve it, and besides – it should be easy since you've already taken charge and demanded equal pay in step one.

8. Dwelling on the past.

In the words of life coach Amy Young: "I have always done the best I could."

Sometimes, it's easy to get caught up in the choices you could have made, or what your life might have been like if you hadn't done this or that. The truth of the matter is: You did do this. You did choose that. And life does not have an rewind button. There is no sense, at this point, in dwelling on your past mistakes or missed opportunities. Your sad feelings will do nothing to propel you into the future you want. More than likely, dwelling on what could have been will just drag you down. You've got to make like Frozen and let that shit go, girl. You need to trust that you have, in fact, always done the best you could for yourself with the knowledge you had at the time, and that's all anyone can ever do.

9. Pretending to be okay.

So, I'm not saying that you have to let your emotions rule your actions at all times. However, if you're going through something rough, it's okay to take some time to yourself and deal with your shitty feelings about it. Who cares if other people don't think that the thing you're hung up on is a big deal? You do, and it's got you down, so give yourself the proper time needed to heal.

This past summer, I was thirty-one and went through a terrible break-up with my boyfriend of over three years. He made some really bad decisions regarding our relationship, and my friends urged me to "get over it" as quickly as possible on the merit that "he didn't deserve me." While that may have been true at the time, I was the only one who knew how I felt about the situation, and therefore I was the only one who could decide what I needed to do to heal. If you're going through something tough, listen to your instincts and take care of yourself. You owe that to you.

10. Boys without real jobs.

Okay, so I while totally respect a guy who has dedicated his life to a worthy cause or is currently leading a major peace-core effort or something, our thirties are the prime time to be working towards our futures here in the good ol' US of A. If I meet a dude who is around my age and still living in his parents' basement, trying to finish his bachelor's degree, that's a deal breaker. He could have a face like Gerard Butler and all I would see when I looked at him was the word "unemployed."

Work ethic and ambition aren't only sexy, they are key factors in determining the kind of future we might have together should we ever become a couple. Thirty-something gals, don't settle for a guy who wants to sit at home watching Netflix with his hand down his pants and make you his sugar mama. You'll only end up resenting the dude. Life is just too short to date boys who don't know how to man up in the career department. It's time to find yourself a go-getter.

I hope this little list inspires you to take charge and live the most amazing decade of your life in your thirties. And I promise to take all of the hate comments from the unemployed male readers in stride when they start rolling in.

The bottom line is: Enjoy your thirties, lady. You've earned the right to keep your standards and head high while marching to the beat of your own drum. You only have ten years to enjoy this perfect blend of youth and experience. Make the most of it. TC mark

Love, Jobs, And Communication In The Time Of The Instant Message

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 06:15 PM PST

StockSnap / Wilfred Iven
StockSnap / Wilfred Iven

Communication is fundamentally about connection. Connecting to people, connecting to places, connecting to ideas, etc. I’ve written this often: it’s one of the first things we learn as babies. We learn to communicate our wants and needs – mostly through crying.

Children will probably always be among my favorite people to communicate with because they are straightforward. If they need something, want something, or have a problem with something, you’re going to know – they’re most likely going to cry.

As we get older, we inherit the communication of those around us, and through nature and nurture, most of us develop our own communication style. Some styles are better than others. Or at least more effective than others. But from the young age of socialization at home (hopefully), at school, and in our communities, the importance of good communication is emphasized.

As we get older, we inherit the communication of those around us, and most of us through nature and nurture, develop our own communication style.

But what is good communication? If you ask many people, they might tell you that good communication is situation-specific. I agree. But I would add too, the importance of culture in communication.

For example, power distance between you and other(s) when communicating may be of greater or lesser importance depending on where you are. Also, if you are in a high-context culture (collectivist culture), in-group understanding is valuable; specific words are of great importance as is what is left unsaid. In low-context cultures (individualist culture), communication is less ambiguous and more explicit.

This above mentioned is part of Hofstede’s cultural dimensions theory which defines cultural communication by power distance, individualism vs collectivism, masculinity vs. femininity, uncertainty avoidance, long-term orientation vs short-term orientation, and some places include indulgence vs. restraint. It’s an imperfect model for understanding cross-cultural or intercultural communication but it’s a good place to start.

What appears to be culturally universal (even when specificity according to each culture must be considered), is that communication is less about the words that you use, and more about your tone, and to a greater extent, your non-verbal exchange. What does this mean in the world of instant messages and what does this have to do with love and jobs?

beetlejuice

Bold statement: A lot of people are poor communicators. And that, I think, might be culturally universal too. I say this from firstly the personal experience of perpetually living in multiple cultures in my identity as a third culture kid. I also say this having had exposure to conducting research in work cultures, school cultures, and media analysis. Then there is my observation of (and participation in) interpersonal relationships in all the ways they come.

Bold statement: A lot of people are poor communicators.

One of the proposed advantages of the digital culture is assisting us in all forms of communication – from the interpersonal to the public dissemination of messages. And indeed we have more means of communication currently than we’ve ever had. We don’t often appreciate how amazing it is to be able to call, text, video call, etc. someone who is on the other side of the planet.

Yet people still complain about communication. Of the many complaints, I find two particularly interesting: 1.) The notion that with so much information consumption, it gets hard to really understand anything. 2.) Our digital communication has adversely affected our interpersonal relationships.

So it seems that in the world of the instantaneous message, which I characterize simply as the instant message, we’re having problems of sincerity, and we’re having problems with connecting to our parents, partners, friends, and colleagues. In other words, we’re often failing to connect. Or at least we’re failing to connect in the ways we want to in our homes, in our jobs, and elsewhere.

beetlejuice

Consider the reality that e-mail, text, and other forms of digital conversations consume most of our lives in this part of the world – the West. How many times during the day do we actually come into contact with people and communicate in person?

We use workplace platforms to instantaneously message the co-workers sitting right next to us. Or like many of us – we live far away from our coworkers so we have to do this. We g-chat and text our friends and family throughout the day probably more than we actually see them. Romantic connections over instant messages are built. The communication compatibility in texting is seen as crucial in datingSocial media is a factor in divorce.

Social media is a factor in divorce.

A misunderstanding in tone in e-mail between a parent and child. An unreplied text between significant others. A communication exchange that is unclear in the workplace platform. These are all things that happen, and they happen regularly. And it affects everything from our support systems to our job performances. We have access to each other but our connections are not necessarily better. They leave many anxious, worried, misunderstood, and oftentimes, tired.

We’re communicating more than ever during the time of the instant message but we’re not necessarily doing it better.

beetlejuice

What is the solution to our communication problems in the time of the instant message?

We already have to account for situation and culture – and with the influence of many individualist cultures over collectivist cultures, that changes cultural communication altogether. Every individual too, within any culture, must be met wherever they are at.

Every individual too, within any culture, must be met wherever they are at.

We also have to account for personality style – from the passive-aggressive persona to the overly confrontational, and everything in between. And building our relationships that are “love-based” or “work-based” if we’re truly conscientious and concerned about it, becomes another task of the day.

I know for instance that I’m a direct person. It’s a blessing and a curse. Sure, I come from a culture that’s collectivist and know how to operate in that setting, and depending on language too, I change my communication.

But as for my specific personality and certainly the self that is most apparent in this part of the world, I am simply straightforward. Thus, I tend to suffer most in communicating with passive-aggressive people. (I think most non-passive-aggressive people do.) But I also know that direct isn’t everyone’s approach, and it isn’t necessarily always the best approach. Not even in the age of the instant message.

I do think in this age, it is absolutely vital to take extra care in our communications. Depending on culture of course, I think being as precise as possible in each communication, and what each is trying to achieve, reduces many of our problems. It is also of utmost importance to be a multiple-style communicator. By this I mean take into consideration every individual you must communicate with instantaneously.

Ask yourself: What’s their communication style? For example, I know that one of my brothers is very unlikely to respond to a text unless you ask him a question. So even if a question ordinarily wouldn’t be asked at the end of a message, I’ll still attach one at the end such as, “What do you think about that?” It doesn’t cost me any extra pain to do this and it works.

Ask yourself: What’s their communication style?

We’re having to build part of our relationships with people – close relationships – via instantaneous messages. We’re learning about them, learning about ourselves, and forming parts of our identity in the time of the instant message, and we’re all new to this. So even when we have to consider the situation, culture, personality, style, and what seems like an endless list of things to remember, we also have to often be reminded of the basics.

What are these basics? The best communicators are sincere, self-aware, other-aware, and reliable. Instant message will not change this; but failing to remember this can destroy or save many of our relationships in love, in jobs, and everywhere else. TC mark

27 Real Honeymoon Sex Stories From Men And Women Who Stayed Virgins Until Marriage

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 06:00 PM PST

via twenty20/jullymalynovska
via twenty20/jullymalynovska

1.

“We were both pretty giddy and a bit nervous. She made me wait in the bedroom while she got changed. She came out wearing bright red footie-pajamas. It broke the tension and we proceeded to have sex twice. I was nervous so I lasted longer than I do now. Then we went to Wendy’s and ordered chicken nuggets. It was a good night.”

2.

“Well, we found out about her mild LATEX ALLERGY! No joke. Also, no one told my wife to pee after sex, so we got to go to the ER on our honeymoon for a kidney infection.

Other than that, it was super duper.”

3.

“It was totally awesome.

The day was total crap. Got married in the middle of winter. Everyone in the wedding party, her parents, my parents, and most of our guests all had the stomach flu. I’m talking stuff out both ends every twenty minutes, can’t even keep down medicine, headache, backache, the whole works. It was like my insides had been invaded by a demonic poo-flinging chimp with a chestburster sidekick. I was sure I’d end up in the hospital. I didn’t though, and we made it through the ceremony with the bag in my pocket unused. God, she was beautiful.

So we were both sick and weren’t really sure if it was even going to happen. But it did, and it was awesome. It was awkward too, and that really didn’t matter to us. It didn’t need to be perfect, you know? We were happy because we had gotten through that terrible day and were going to be together for a good long time, and it was only going to get better from there.”

4.

“Our wedding night was actually pretty great. We both knew going in that there was likely to be some pain for me, but i also knew a lot of it was going to be psychological. He was awesome, the whole thing lasted a few hours. It took a few tries before we were able to get things going all the way, but we both thought it was pretty great for a first time. We definitely had fun with the foreplay. there was a hot tub in our room (vegas, baby) and there may or may not have been a wheelbarrow attempt. A few weeks later, though, we really found our groove. I think the biggest thing is just communication and having a partner who is interested in meeting your needs. If you’re both looking out for each other, then everyone ends up happy.”

5.

“We were as prepared as we probably could be. Weeks (maybe even months) before the wedding, my wife went to her OBGYN and talked about preparing for sex. She was given a series of tubes (ha) of varying size that helped stretch her out. They basically looked like cheap dildos. They start out small and she would insert it like a tampon. This helped stretch her out.

We planned a simple wedding day: wedding ceremony and a luncheon afterwards. We went straight to the hotel after the luncheon. We weren’t really tired at all, but we were both extremely excited. She slipped into some lingerie, and instructed me to wait on the bed. We started out by simply exploring each other….pretty normal foreplay. We decided to try our first time without any lube.

Honestly, everything was great that first time.

I was delicate with her, and she had no problems with her tightness. She loved it (even though she didn’t orgasm), and I loved it too.

We ended up having sex three times that evening, and then she woke me up at 4am to do it again.

We’ve both gotten better as we’ve better learned what pleasure the other.

But that first night was great. We have amazing memories of it.

I wouldn’t have done it another way for myself.”

6.

“It was actually pretty terrible. It hurt her a lot, I barely got the tip in before she was crying and begging me to stop… So we did. We had a bath together instead, and fell asleep holding each other.

Tried again the next night and it was a little better.

Real sex didn’t happen until night 4, and I came in about 4 minutes. She enjoyed it, but didn’t have an orgasm until about 4 months later.

Young awkward sex is bad. Being married doesn’t magically make it good.”

7.

“I was married to my high school sweetie at 19 and we were both virgins (very much her idea) and our wedding night was fucking awful. In cases of dual virgin hook ups I think there should be a coach present.”

8.

“My wife and I waited until marriage. It wasn’t at all awkward (for me). We got up to the hotel room, and our room had a jacuzzi. We were really nasty from our July wedding, and so we hopped in and were naked around each other for the first time. We cuddled in the tub for awhile, until moving to the shower to rinse off/fool around. Once we got out, we went to the bed.

The sex was… interesting. I think people tend to think that sex is going to be like porn right off the bat. We weren’t naive, and we knew it would be something to work into. We started with oral sex and foreplay and worked our way up. Plenty of lube later, I was able to ‘get it in,’ but she was tight, and I wasn’t planning on hurting her in the process. We called it quits after a bit when it got painful, finished each other off, and fell asleep cuddling (because let’s be honest, it was a LONG day).

Two days later we left for the honeymoon, and with a couple of days of stretching and such under our belt, we had some awesome sex, several times a day. Then came a terrible UTI that put a damper on that for awhile…

Moral of the story, regardless of when it happens, don’t think that the magical act of intercourse is just going to come easy. It takes time to really get to a point where both parties can physically handle it. Be willing to take it slow and laugh, don’t set goals, and just do what you can to make your partner as comfortable as possible.”

9.

“Me and my wife both waited. First time was in a hotel on the way to the honeymoon cabin. We were both really tired from the wedding and drive. We broke out the condoms… and it took a bit to figure it out. Slightly painful for her… but she ended up finishing (which I was surprised about). I didn’t finish actually… which is like the opposite of what I was expecting… and she was really upset by it. She thought she had done something wrong but I told her not to worry and that night was just about getting her used to it more than getting me off.

Honeymoon went on and we got better… and before we knew it… we were enjoying sex.

We’ve been married about 5 months and our sex life is getting really good. It’s not that the first night was bad… but man does it get better once you get used to each other and figure out what the other wants.

I’m not upset that I waited… because I like the idea of just having that one person to be intimate with. I like not having to compare her to past flings and relationships.”

10.

“For me (F), it was extremely painful. Apparently my hymen was pretty thick. It felt like trying to poke through my ear, to be honest. My husband is rather girth-y, so that didn’t help. Didn’t actually break my hymen until a week later. I cried I was so relieved.”

11.

“My wife and I divorced about 3 years after getting married, having never consummated the marriage. It was really, really weird and nothing like anything I ever expected.

We were exhausted, but that was to be expected. She has fibormyalgia and Chronic Fatigue syndrome, so I figured the odds of us having sex on that night were low. That’s fine. Then, when we did try the following day, we ran into some of the predictable problems that other posters here have: lots of pain for her, me not really being prepared to hurt her. So, we set to work with gentle stretching exercises as best we could to try and get it to work.

But then, she started to get really critical of everything I did. This was gradual. About two months in, she told me she didn’t want to try anymore for a while, because every time we were doing anything, I’d get ‘too desperate’ that it would lead to sex. The problem was, as I explained, I was sort of desperate. For moral reasons, she wasn’t open to doing any sort of head/handjobs anything like that–in either direction. She’s Catholic, but had agreed during premaritial counseling that it would be okay to have oral sex once we were married, even though it wasn’t 100% compatible with her beliefs. That went out the window in this case, because she wanted to be sure ‘we got the basics right’ before moving onto the immoral part she didn’t agree with. Fuck. Every time we try to have sex, she freaks out that I’m hurting her, and that I’m doing it wrong. It becomes nervewracking to even try, but we keep trying. Sex within our loving marriage is something we’ve both wanted all our lives.

Let’s fastforward a year. She’s positive that she’s got vaginismus, which is a pretty raw deal. I am trying to help her, but she won’t go to a doctor, because she’s embarrassed by our lack of sex and how long it’s been. Eventually, we go to a FANTASTIC doctor who is caring, smart, sex-positive, and good. She gives us a lot of hope. She also says she’s about 95% sure my wife doesn’t have vaginismus. She gives us some vaginal dilators (yep, they’re dildos. But stark Jonny Ive-designed dildos that don’t look like dicks, so as not to make my wife feel bad for having a dildo) and they graduate in size from small to about 2 inches smaller than my dick (I should add here, to be both fair and self-aggrandizing, that my dick is above average, and the lady is small. So that’s just a thing we’re going to work on.)

Then, she refuses to use the things. Says they feel cold and foreign. I suggest we just get tipsy and make out and play with them, with no commitment to firm plans of inserting them. Just get COMFORTABLE with them. Be familiar with them. She doesn’t want to. She says lately, I don’t seem to know how to kiss her anyway. I suggest that, some time when I’m not around, she just take a hand mirror and get a look at her private parts to see how they might be inserted. She says that sounds offensive, patronizing and disgusting. We continue living like roommates.

A few weeks later, we’ve been out with friends and are organically tipsy and kissing in the front room of the house. I get playful and say ‘c’mon, come get naked with me.’ I lead her to the bedroom and we start fooling around on the bed. I convince her it’s a good, fun time to try to escalate past fingers and onto one of the dilators, if she’s comfortable with giving it a try. She consents. I grab some lube and the box with the dilators in it. This is the first time she’s looked at it since we got it home. There’s a bulb-shaped lube applicator in the box, along with some diagrams and stuff. I take those out to get to the smallest dilator in the box, and she freezes. She points at the lube applicator on the bed and asks with …I mean, just terror…’What are you doing to do with that?’ and she’s just totally freaked out. I explain what it is and she starts to cry and says she doesn’t want to do this anymore.

We never did make it. She told me eventually that she never loved me, and that she thinks I never loved her, either. Now, she’s dating a fella who was my best friend until about a year ago when she decided to switch from me to him, and she’s got him all excited and ready to wait for marriage with her. Again.

I should add, and I do feel shitty about this: He bullied her into sucking him off in a matter of weeks. When he told me about that (fairly nonchalantly), that’s when we stopped being friends. Though, he swears he didn’t mean me any harm by telling me about it.

I’m divorced now, and I’ve had sex now. I abandoned the idea that I should wait and slept with a really lovely girl on our third date. It’s actually easy and fantastic. It’s actually everything I ever thought it could be.”

12.

“My wife waited, I didn’t. I had never had sex with a virgin, and sort of thought the whole bleeding thing was a rare phenomenon of sorts. The sex went well, and was good (as it always is). She also had a good time, or at least she says she did :) Unfortunately, though, the hotel bed sheet had a bad night… it looked like we had ritually killed a small Mammal or something. Luckily, it was a hotel so we just pulled it off (top sheet not the stretchy underneath one) and threw it in the corner. Never got charged extra, mission accomplished.”

13.

“It was awkward. How do you move? How fast? Ok, gotta take a breather. Slower? Where do my hands go? Am I too loud? Oh god oh god oh god this rocks.

And I’m done.”

14.

“We were both in our early 20s. When we got to the bed and breakfast we awkwardly laid on the bed after unpacking and said ‘Sooooo, what do you want to do?’ ‘I don’t know, what do you want to do?’ back and fourth 7 or 8 times. Then we kissed and she put her hands on my chest with me on top of her and told me that this was a lifelong gift she was saving to give to me and didn’t want anyone else to have it. It was the fastest five seconds of my life. We had sex seven times that night, on every surface imaginable. The bed a couple times, the jacuzzi (sorry people who rented room after us), the shower, bathroom counter, floor and in the car. We’re still married 8 years later.”

15.

“From my husband:

‘A little rough, a little dry, but we got through it like champs. And now, I make her squirt all over the bedroom regularly.'”

16.

“I was 23 and my wife was 21. It was extremely hard to wait but I would say it’s worth it. We had both talked to friends and my dad gave me some really awkward but useful advice. After the wedding we got to our suite in the hotel. We started with oral and foreplay and such. Mostly because we were a little nervous. We started and I put way to much lube on. We laughed and it wasn’t overly painful for her. I don’t even remember how long it lasted, but the night was amazing. I would say the best part about having each other as our “first”, was learning about the how-to sex together. It has been a lot of fun and very comfortable. We’ve been together now for almost 5 years.”

17.

“Both of us waited.

It was tough, took several hours to achieve full penetration (oral, massages, showers, wine, jacuzzi kept us busy) but totally worth it. Sharing the first time was really nice, can’t imagine doing it with someone I did not know well. It created such an emotional bond.

Still married years later and really glad we waited.”

18.

“It was awesome and awkward and funny and loving! We laughed and groaned and eventually came.

I don’t think my hymen fully broke that night. It hurt and I tensed up and asked/screamed for him to stop. There was lots of oral sex though.”

19.

“Horrible. Neither of us had ever had sex and didn’t really have realistic expectations. The next morning he informed me that it wasn’t very good for him and he felt maybe he loved me more ‘like a good friend’. Honeymoon over. Due to strict, religious upbringing we lasted 17 years before I had to just go.”

20.

“Started in the hot tub. Bad idea. Water is a shitty lubricant. Decided to move to the bed. As she was getting out of the hot tub she slipped and fell. Laughed it off. Got to the bed. Finally got it in. Came after one thrust.”

21.

“It was terrible. I had waited, but he had one partner before me. He had downplayed how much of a freak she was when we discussed his previous experiences. So, on my wedding night when I thought I would be able to shower, get relaxed and romantically ease into things with my new husband, he was ripping my veil off and rushing me into the sack. Less than an hour later he was trying to masturbate me with various wedding gifts (and they weren’t vibrators).

I definitely wouldn’t wait again. He turned out to have such diverse sexual tastes from myself that we were never able to get past it. After eight years, we’re divorcing.

His first experience was with a bi-sexual woman who was heavily into BDSM, so he pretty much started out at an advanced level. Once they broke up, he decided he really liked that sexual lifestyle and (as has been revealed throughout the divorce process – he’s finally being honest) thoroughly explored it through porn and self-experimentation. He’s now in a relationship with someone who loves that kind of thing. And I’m in the market for someone who can give me a little more fire and a little less pain.

Make sure you’re compatible, people!”

22.

“Wife and I waited until marriage and it was a long time. Started dating at the end of ’02, got married in the summer of ’08. It was a choice on both our parts that I do not regret for one second!

Anyway, it was not awkward for either of us, but it was very painful for me (believe it or not, I’m the guy, not the girl in this story). We were best friends and very comfortable with each other since we had known each other so long.

Anyway, we were headed in a limo to our hotel after the wedding. After some friendly chatting with the limo driver and then some champagne toasting, we made the decision to put up the privacy shield and start having some fun! We were doing some fooling around and I guess you could say that I lost my virginity there, but I really wanted to wait until we got to our hotel room for the amazing, romantic explosion that I always imagined it would be.

Worst. Mistake. Ever.

In VERY little time I knew I couldn’t really handle any more of just fooling around, and we decided to stop until we got to the hotel. Within minutes of stopping, my balls started to ache something fierce! I had heard of blue balls, but I never thought it would be like this. It felt like my nuts were slowly being crushed in a vice and this wave of pain started in my yamsack and slowly spread through my lower abdomen. My then bride, in all her wisdom, said that it might be better to just finish then and go again when we got to the hotel, but I was pretty stubborn about being in bed the first time. It was a horrible 45 minutes to get the rest of the way to our hotel.
When we got there, I was aching so bad that I was literally hobbling into the hotel. My poor wife was carrying more and bigger bags than I was where I had just one wheely bag (I had also accidently stepped on her bare toe earlier in the night dancing… she’s a champ!). The concierge looked at me funny when checking in, but I really could not have cared less at that moment.

We get up to the room (I couldn’t carry her across the threshold, much less one measly bag on wheels and another very painful bag in my pants). We immediately go at it. It’s over in about 2 minutes. Biggest, most painful load of my life. She was amazing and sympathetic and about 15 minutes later I was ready to go again and we had a much longer, funner (it’s a word!) sexy time the second time around. The next two weeks were bliss and I very much made up for my 22 years of virginity.”

23.

“Both virgins, dated in high-school, got married after college at 22, and been married for 5 years. Honestly, we didn’t have sex. I mean, yes we had sex later, just not that night. We cuddled, made out, and did things we had already done. We got completely naked (for the first time). Within a few nights, we were on track. Yes, it took time for both of us to build up some stamina but things are pretty damn solid now.

Moral of the story? You are going to have to ‘learn’ how to have good sex no matter what. Why not do so with someone you love and have a real commitment to? This is not to say that pre-marital sex is a “bad” thing. Just that people hype random shit way too much.”

24.

“I was married previously and had a daughter, but he was a virgin. He was my college sweetheart and we got back in touch a couple years after I got divorced. He was still a virgin. He wanted to wait until marriage to have sex and I was totally fine with that because that’s what he wanted.

After a year of a wonderful sexless relationship, the wedding night rolls around and I can’t wait to get me some and…his penis is upside down? Not really upside down, but pointed strait down while hard. It hurt him to have sex missionary style. I’m a pretty blunt person and stupidly said ‘I don’t think it’s supposed to do that. You might want to get that looked at.’ Poor guy. He was probably so excited to make love to his wife for the first time in his 28 years and I tell him there’s something wrong with his wiener.

He left me after 5 days. True story.”

25.

“We were too tired to do anything after the wedding. We kinda planned not to until we actually went away on our honeymoon. Even then, when we finally got to do it.. It was okay. Uncomfortable for her, and difficult for me – a bit different than we had hoped, since we waited so long.

But we slowly got better at it. We have the rest of our lives together to get better at it. She ended up getting pregnant just 4 months after we got married. We’re at 2 and (about 1/2) years now, and its infinitely better.

I’ve always heard that there’s some sort of rule that you’ll have more sex your first two years of marriage than you will the rest, but unless one of us dies, that’s a lie. We have more sex now than we ever did before. It took time and practice, but we understand it a lot more than when we first started, and its very enjoyable.

The biggest thing waiting did for us was help us set our priorities straight. We waited 7 years to get married, and it allowed us to learn a lot about each other before we got married, had sex, or moved in together. We know each other as well as we do ourselves – I can answer her questions before she finishes the sentence, and I usually know what she’s thinking, simply based on all the time we’ve spent together.

Doing what we did was difficult, but many things in life worth it are difficult.”

26.

“My wife and I waited until marriage. I was actually my wife’s first kiss.

I expected to not last very long, but quite the opposite happened. Maybe it was the shock of the moment, but it took me a solid 20 minutes of thrusting to finally orgasm. I was on top of her for so long that I injured my shoulder. She had read some books and stretched the hymen before the wedding so there wasn’t any blood.

Honestly, I’m happy that we waited until marriage. She enjoys it much more than I thought she would, and I’m happy to not have anyone competing against me in her mind.”

27.

“First thing we did? Counted the money given to us at the reception. We felt rich for like 24 hours.

Second? We tried to make a sexy time on the pile of cash (of course my idea). Didn’t really work. Got in the bath together and things were still rough. I asked her if she had lube. Nope. Guess who went to the corner store at 2:00 AM for some lube (and from my wife, “Ooh get some Pringles too!”)? After that we had successful sexy time.

BONUS: She got a UTI in Cancun a few days later while honeymooning. Good thing the meds are cheap and on every corner.” TC mark

What It’s Like When The Person You Love Is Dying

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:17 PM PST

It takes fourteen minutes and twelve seconds to walk to your home from mine every day. Your mother never fails to smile at me when she opens the door. I never fail to notice that it doesn’t reach her eyes anymore.

You always leave your door open an exact two point three centimeters. I don’t think you do it on purpose. There is something wrong with the wood that has left it that way. I pause one foot outside the door and listen to you cough, trying to determine how sick you feel today. I hate that every time I think you are particularly ill, I am always right.

Six months, seventeen days and fourteen hours. That is how long its been since the doctors told us you had an illness. I sat there with your parents, listening to a man who said words like ‘terminal’ and ‘leukemia’, and counted the number of times he said ‘patient’ as if it were your name (I never hated the number seventeen more).

The blood bank says one unit is four hundred and fifty milliliters and I watch as they put the needle into my arm to pump out the blood into a little plastic bag. It takes five minutes twenty one seconds, because I’m holding my arm so tight. If I could give you all my blood so you could feel better for just a day, I would.

It has been seven days, twelve hours and fourteen minutes since the ambulance came for you. Six days, fifteen hours and seven minutes since the doctors told us they couldn’t help you anymore. I am counting the dots on your hospital gown, my body wrapped around yours, trying to pretend this is a bad dream, that we are going to wake up and your skin will no longer be paper thin, and your eyes will not be so hollow…so empty of the thousand colours I once counted in them.

You say noisily, a laugh escaping your parched mouth, that I am obsessed with numbers as I count out . I want to tell you you’re wrong. My obsession isn’t the numbers. My obsession is you. I say nothing. Because this is the first time you have laughed in one month, three weeks and two days.

thethingswecantletgoof (2)

Did you know that there is a theory which states when someone dies their body weight drops suddenly? It is not really noticeable unless you have held them close whilst they are dying, praying to every God listening that you won’t lose them. It is just a touch. The weight of three pencils. But it’s there when they leave you.

21 grams. That is the weight of a human soul. TC mark

10 Qualities A Man Will Have That Make Him Perfect Husband Material

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 05:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / alexander.kikis
Twenty20 / alexander.kikis

A lot of women write to us begging to understand why their relationships always fail… why guys treat them badly…why they always get hurt…why they can't get a guy to commit. The common thread in most of these cases is these women are choosing men who clearly are not husband–or even relationship– material and hoping by some chance he'll suddenly transform and be the knight in shining armor she wants.

This type of situation doesn't exist anywhere aside from cheesy romantic comedies. If you choose to pursue a relationship with a guy who clearly isn't relationship material, then you're setting yourself up to fail before you even begin.

Trust me, I know all too well how enticing those damage cases can be. Sure, he's has emotional issues, he's jaded, he's struggling at work, he has no direction, he still acts like a frat boy even though his acting like a drunk idiot and getting away with it days expired years ago, but there's a really great guy underneath all that and as soon as we deal with all this other stuff, then we'll have an amazing relationship. I'm sorry but no.

The problem with these damage cases is that they often have a lot of the qualities we want, but not the ones we actually need. There is a big difference between wants and needs when it comes to relationships, but it's not always easy to make the distinction. You might think you need a guy who is tall and strapping and charismatic and a CEO of a major company, but a guy with those credentials might have a host of other qualities that wouldn't be good for you, that wouldn't fulfill your fundamental emotional needs.

Whether you're single, dating, or in a serious relationship, these are the 10 qualities you need to look for in a man, the ones that tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that he's the one and this is it and he

1. He loves your good qualities, and accepts the bad.

Without making you feel guilty for having flaws.

You don't need to hide your true self from him and put on a front in order to be what you think he wants. You can share your true self and be vulnerable and feel safe doing so, knowing that if anything it will make him feel even closer to you.

2. He is there for you when you need him, even if it's inconvenient for him.

A partnership will sometimes require sacrifice and compromise. Life is unpredictable and unexpected. You can't predict what will happen and nothing can possibly go as planned 100% of the time. A guy who is husband-material will be there for you when you need him, he will be in it with you, he will be your partner in whatever happens and will weather the storm with you, even though he might prefer to stay in the sunshine.

3. Considers you when making decisions, both big and small.

A relationship is a partnership, not a dictatorship. Factoring you in shows that he respects you, that he wants to create a life with you, not simply envelope you in his world. Our worlds can be comfortable, it's not always easy taking someone else into account, factoring in their wants and needs and preferences, but that's what a relationship is.

4. He is growth-oriented.

No one is perfect, we all have flaws. And these flaws aren't black and white- usually a person's greatest strength is a hint to their greatest weakness. In a relationship, his behavior affects you (and vice versa) and sometimes his less developed traits will have a negative impact on you. A growth oriented guy will want to strengthen his character and work on it. A guy who isn't growth oriented will say your problem and this is the way he is and you need to deal with it.

For example, let's say you're dating a guy who can be insensitive at times. Maybe he doesn't give you emotional support when you've had a rough day and instead just gives you matter of fact advice in a direct way. His no nonsense approach to solving problems might be useful to him in the workplace, but it might be hurtful to you sometimes when he doesn't empathize with what you're going through and instead just tells you what to do about it, or gets impatient by the fact that you're upset over something he doesn't consider to be that big of a deal.

You want a guy who will accept that his tone can be harsh and hurtful and who actually tries to work on it, not one who says it's your problem and you need to deal with it. He probably won't get it right every time, but if he's growth oriented he will at least try.

5. Common beliefs and values.

This one seems so obvious yet it's so often overlooked. If he is going to be your life partner, you have to make sure you both are on the same page when it comes to issues that matter. And if you aren't on the same page, then make sure he respects where you stand (and vice versa) and that you both are willing to work together to reach a mutually fulfilling middle ground. This can refer to religion, core values, lifestyle preferences, where you want to live, whether you want to have children.

6. He views you as his partner.

The relationship is something more than just you and him… together, you and him are a team. And as that team, you are both individually stronger than you could be on your own. He sees you as his equal, as someone of great value who he can grow with, not someone who is there to feed his ego, give him validation, be his emotional crutch, be there to satisfy his needs.

He respects everything about you- your thoughts, ambitions, opinions, the things you say, the company you keep, your job. He doesn't make you feel bad about your life circumstances and he appreciates the person you are and the choices you have made.

7. He is willing to put effort into the relationship.

If there is a problem, he wants to find a way to solve it, he wants to work harder, to be better, to be his best self. The important thing to keep in mind is that people have different ideas of what it means to put effort into a relationship. He might believe that working hard and being good at his job is putting in effort because he wants to provide for you and give you nice things and a comfortable lifestyle (I use this as an example because it's a classic point of contention between men and women because she will often view him working too much as him putting no effort into the relationship and being married to his work).

8. You're able to communicate with each other.

Even about tough issues and even if one person is upset with the other.

With the right guy, you won't be afraid of brining up certain things for fear of rocking the boat. You know he respects you and will see what you have to say as valid and important. Every relationship will face its share of obstacles. There will be fights, miscommunications, arguments, and also times when one partner isn't feeling loved. The only way to emerge from the tough times better and stronger is to work through them together and this starts with open communication.

9. He's trustworthy.

You feel safe being open and honest with him and are not afraid of him violating that trust or using anything against you. You trust that he won't leave you unexpectedly, that he is genuine, that he does mean what he says. You don't feel an underlying sense of suspicion, like he has some ulterior motives. You trust that he cares about you deeply and would never intentionally hurt you.

10. He wants to marry you.

Ahh, it seems so obvious but yet, it's not. A guy can have all the qualities on this list but if he doesn't want to marry you, or maybe doesn't want to get married in general, then he is not your husband. When a guy is ready to get married and meet a girl he thinks he can spend his life with, he knows pretty early on. That's not to say they get engaged right away, but he knows this is it and she knows it too, maybe he tells her or maybe it's just so obvious and he doesn't even need to. It might be the wrong time, maybe he wants to wait until he's more established in his career, more financially stable, but he will still convey his level of commitment, she won't be left hanging and guessing and wondering.

If he still feels like he has wild oats to sow and is still drawn to the single, bachelor, party boy lifestyle, he is not marriage-minded and you are setting yourself up for disappointment. If what you want is a serious, lasting commitment, make sure he is on the same page before you do anything. When a guy is ready for a serious commitment, it's usually pretty obvious. And if it isn't, then bring it up and discuss it with him. If he's husband material, he'll understand. If he isn't… then at least now you know before it's too late! TC mark

This post originally appeared at A New Mode.

14 Shy People On Their Go-To Move When Flirting With Their Crush

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 04:00 PM PST

Joshua Resnick
Joshua Resnick

1. "I’ll give him a playful shove, maybe touch his arm, and then overanalyze everything and hate myself for the rest of the evening."

— Juliet, 23

beetlejuice

2. "I’m basically volunteer for anything and everything they need help with. Ride to the airport? I’m there. Moving a couch? I’ll bring my truck. Need a doormat? I mean, yes. That would be me. The success rate isn’t great, but that’s how I got my wife. It only needs to work once."

— Doug, 32

beetlejuice

3. "Is alcohol a move? I drink something strong and then talk to them."

— Brian, 24

beetlejuice

4."I’ll text my crush about really dumb, but funny things. I pretty much try to move from being a really funny girl that he knows to a really funny girl that he hangs out with, and from there I make my final move: get drunk and kiss him. If he’s not interested, then so be it. I tried."

— Lisa, 23

beetlejuice

5. "Fake it til you make it. Pour every ounce of outgoing energy you have into flirting with them, then go crawl back into your shell once you’re home. Repeat forever until they love you."

— Gina, 27

beetlejuice

6."Flirting? LOLOLOL I’ll make awkward eye contact until they either approach me or decide I’m a serial killer and run away."

— Pamela, 21

beetlejuice

7. "I make sure I’m the best f*cking listener they’ve ever encountered. I ask about their family, their career, everything. When their birthday rolls around, I make sure that my present is super thoughtful and refers to something that she told me about a while ago. My friends give me a hard time about all the effort I put into one woman that I’m not dating, but whatever. It works."

— Hugh, 26

beetlejuice

8. "Being a woman makes it really easy, I’m not gonna lie. I just have to look hot and guys will approach me. From there, I can kind of turn my shyness into a cute, mysterious thing. Guys actually love it."

— RenĂ©e, 25

beetlejuice

9. "Generally I just alternate between liking Facebook photos and faving tweets in the hopes that they’ll get the hint and talk to me. ‘Tis a lonely life I lead."

— Olivia, 23

beetlejuice

10. "Laugh at everything they say. I kind of had to make this my move because when I’m nervous I laugh like a maniac. Guys like it though, it strokes their ego a bit. When we’re dating I’ll kindly let him know which jokes are actually funny."

— Sara, 22

beetlejuice

11. "My major crush at the moment is a barista, so flirting generally consists of living in a constant state of over-caffeination. I’m there all the time. At this point, I pretty much know his schedule. It’s sad."

— Kara, 20

beetlejuice

12. "I become friends with her friends. If her friends already think I’m awesome, it’s like being pre-approved for a credit card. Half the work is done already."

— Paul, 21

beetlejuice

13. "I have a habit of crushing on coworkers, so I’ll usually bake something delicious (that I know they love) for the office and casually mention that I can make all sorts of yummy goodies. The best way to a man’s heart is through the stomach, right??"

— Abby, 25

beetlejuice

14. "Just be genuine. Be interested in their interests. Sadly (but lucky for me), it’s the easiest way to stand out from the crowd."

— Mark, 26 TC mark

beetlejuice

15 Simple And Affordable Ways To Combat Your Impending Winter Blues

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 03:00 PM PST

Svitlana Sokolova
Svitlana Sokolova

1. Invest in a few solid pairs of warm socks, and/or a decent pair of slippers. Have something comfortable on your feet at. all. times.

2. Get out of the house as much as you can. Even if it’s just to sit at the nearby cafe, being in a place other than your own home – where there are other people are nearby – can make you feel much less lonely.

3. String up fairy lights in your home. They’re cheap, easy, and they have a really pleasant and positive effect on the atmosphere of your home.

4. Use a wax melts, wall plugins, or automatic air fresheners to make your place smell consistently cozy and inviting each time you walk in the door. They’re available at any convenience store and are extremely inexpensive.

5. Embrace the Danish art of hygge, which is about “taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things”

6. Drink a lot of tea. Coffee is a great way to stay warm and perk yourself up too, but tea is better when you’re just trying to relax and calm your system. (Ginger tea is particularly helpful when dealing with stomach aches or cramps). Here’s one of my favorite brands.

7. Consider getting a light therapy lamp. I haven’t personally tried one yet (the price is not ideal), but I’m most likely going to get one this winter anyway – partially because countless people have recommended it to me and said it’s really helped them, and partially because I live in Chicago and I’m desperate, girl.

8. Pick a new tv show that you can binge watch with a friend, roommate, sibling, or significant other – especially if you live by yourself. It’ll give you just one more reason to make (easy, lazy) plans with somebody.

9. Speaking of which, force yourself not to cancel plans with people. A rain check is understandable every once in a while. But with the short days and the cold nights of winter, everyone is going to feel tempted to bail every time they make plans. But as soon as you make it out of the house and meet up with your friends/family/coworkers, you’ll enjoy the fresh energy it brings back into your life.

10. Buy a lot of candles. Sign up for the emailing list of whatever candle company you like best. Although they can get spammy, they frequently send out really great buy-one-get-one deals or even half-off sales.

11. If candles from companies like Yankee or Bath & Body Works are outside your budget, pick some up from your local convenience store. Places like CVS and Walgreens have a ton of options under $10, and from my personal experience, a lot of them smell delicious.

12. Spend time in front of the fireplace as much as possible.

13. And if, like me, you don’t have an actual fireplace, use “Fireplace for Your Home” on Netflix. It’s just what it sounds like. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you become obsessed with it.

14. Listen to Spotify playlists designated to improve your mood. They have just about every option you can think of – Good Vibes, Feel Good Indie Rock, Afternoon Acoustic, and a dozen more that will take you out of the dreary days of fall and winter.

15. Use this hibernation-focused season to read all of the books you’ve been putting off. If you don’t know where to start, let Goodreads do the work for you. They have recommendation lists for just about every genre, sub genre, and category you can think of. TC mark

10 Harrowing Accounts Of Life In The Witness Protection Program

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 01:56 PM PST

pixabay
pixabay

1. YOU BASICALLY FEEL LIKE A CAGED ANIMAL

"Being in this program is hard because you’re isolated. You can’t see your family. You have to cut loose your friends. You basically feel like a caged animal. I feel my life is still in danger. I will always have to look over my shoulder."

Nancy

beetlejuice

2. WE FEEL LIKE WE’RE IN A NIGHTMARE

"We feel like we're in a nightmare. We're trapped, isolated, we haven't been allowed to work, we haven't been able to function properly. So everything that we had is now gone."

Steve

beetlejuice

3. I’M BEING PUNISHED WORSE THAN MY RAPIST

"I couldn’t give anyone my phone number. I had to be careful. I couldn’t phone my mum and say ‘Oh mum, they’ve moved me’. I wasn’t allowed to do that. From being around the corner from your kids to being hundreds of miles away from them. It’s not nice. How to explain that to your kids?…It’s not glamorous. You don’t get put in a nice big house somewhere and get loads of money in your bank. That’s what a lot of people think that happens when you go into something like this, but you just don't….My sentence, my punishment that I’ve had to live with for the last few years, is worse than what [my rapist] had to do. In jail you get to see your family. You get to have family visits every week. I didn’t see my parents for ages….I only got to see my kids for a few hours."

Carla

beetlejuice

4. I’M IN IDENTITY LIMBO

"It's not like the movies. They do not give you money. They do not set you up and help you out. I see us more as being dumped….It seems like we've fallen through the cracks. I want a passport. I want a birth certificate. I want to be able to go to Mexico on vacation. I want to be able to get my marriage license in Yellowstone County. It's just been nothing but problems. I've always felt like I'm in identity limbo. My Social Security number isn't my Social Security number. My name isn't my name and there's no way to be who I really am….I've never heard of anybody being happy in the program."

Jackie

beetlejuice

5. YOU HAVE NO PAST

"Once you have located an apartment, it is very difficult to get an apartment because you have no past. You have no banking account. You don't exist. You are going to lie on the form, and you are going to say that you are from out of state and nine times out of 10, even if they check, you are going to give a bad phone number, it's not going to come back right. They ain't going to get no history on you….I was flying out of Chicago once and I got on the plane and saw two hit men get on right after me. One guy looked at me, he couldn’t believe it either. He was in a state of shock. They sat five seats in back of me. And I got off that plane, went back inside and stood behind a pole. They followed me off the plane and I could hear them talking. One guy was telling the other guy, ‘Forget about it. Let’s get back on the plane.’ And they left. That was close—I could have gotten whacked."

Frank

beetlejuice

6. IT MAKES ME SICK

"Once in police custody, every promise these people made as far as being safe after being relocated and how long we would be in a safe house has all been a lie. Once you are at the mercy of them and the state’s funds you are stuck. We will not get new names and they even took our vehicle and they’re telling us that whatever money they do give us we have to spend within two days while they are they doing the relocation so there’s no value shopping. They supervise everything with the money they give you. It’s like you feel like you’re the criminal once you’re stuck dealing with them because that’s the way they treat you. As I speak, we are stuck in a safe house and until the state has the funds to put us in a normal house, we are stuck here, kids and all. This is sad. This what you get for helping the police. It makes me sick."

Anonymous

beetlejuice

7. THEY WILL TRY TO DESTROY YOU

"A witness is generally given a standard allowance. You get between $1500 and $2000 dollars a month, living expenses. They give you $5000 dollars to buy a car. They give you $6000 dollars for the furniture for your place. They pay for your medical, your dental, they pay for everything. This is another tool that they use to keep you in line in case they need you to testify in something else. So if they don’t have…fifty years hanging over your head…then they have this little bit of money that they use hanging over your head. ‘You get out of line, we take your money away.’…The majority of people who cooperate aren’t really doing it willingly….I was afraid at some point in time more of the people who were supposed to be protecting me than the people who were trying to kill me, because they will leave you out to dry in a hurry….They will set you up with the apartment, they’ll give you the funds you need to start living and then overnight they’ll call you up one day and say, 'I'm sorry, your funding has been cut.' … They will try to destroy you [when] you try to make progress in your life."

Tony

beetlejuice

8. YOU SUDDENLY FIND YOURSELF BEING FORCED TO LIVE A LIE

"Without this program, my two daughters and I would be dead. There is no question about it. But in giving up our pasts we paid a heavy price, because what you are as a person is based on where you came from and the people who love you. If you are honest, you suddenly find yourself being forced to live a lie, and you feel ashamed, even though you did the right thing in testifying, because you are now being forced to lie by your circumstances. You are not a criminal, but you are treated like one and made to act like one."

Anonymous

beetlejuice

9. THIS IS THE HARDEST EXISTENCE I CAN FATHOM

"I did not leave my friends and loved ones willingly….Short of a jail cell, this is the hardest existence I can fathom. Imagine sitting in a Sleepy 8 motel room for months when your only social contact is the Domino's delivery man. Since January, I think I've lived in six cities, give or take. Last week, after the settlement, I saw my girlfriend for the first time in almost four months. We were allowed to embrace for 15 minutes, with six federal marshals standing nearby."

Anonymous

beetlejuice

10. I WAS SUPPOSED TO DISAPPEAR

"The fact is that twenty-three years ago I went into the Federal Witness Protection Program. I was supposed to disappear. I was supposed to change. I had to. I didn't. I honestly thought my life was over and I had to live like a schmuck. I accepted it. I really did, but only for a little while. That revelation didn't last. It was like trying to stop a train, an out-of-control train. I was so used to this lifestyle; I mean, I couldn't sit still. They (the feds) expected me to just accept my role. Well, one you did what I did for so long, you are conditioned to hustle, to find the loopholes and scores, the excitement and danger. I just couldn't shake that—not even close."

Henry TC mark

I Am Not A ‘Netflix And Chill’ Kind Of Girl

Posted: 04 Nov 2015 01:00 PM PST

gggg
gggg

I am not just a 'Netflix and chill' kind of girl. Not the 'Hey babe, come over now that it's 3AM and I'm bored and lonely.' Not the 'close the door and make-out with me during this entire movie.' Not the 'let's sit and watch thirty-five back-to-back episodes of Orange is the New Black and share this box of pizza' type. No.

I am the kind of girl that wants you to take me on a crazy adventure… to the backyard. Push me on the tree swing and tell me about your life, your hometown, your high school best friend. Let's take a walk around the block. Let's skip rocks on the pond. Let's get in your car and go to a playground, take turns sliding down the slides. Let's just play music and drive.

Entertain my mind. Tell me something that makes you happy, like when you hit that two-run triple that won the state championship or when you taught your little brother how to fish. Let's build a campfire. Let's play cards, write a bucket list, compare or the size of our big toes.

Take me somewhere. On a vacation. A trip to South Beach, a flight to Miami for Ultra Music Festival, a ticket to the Minnesota State Fair. Spoil me. But not always. I'm not a needy girl.

Take me to the little hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurant on 53rd and James. To the drive in movie theatre thirty miles out of town. I want adventures with you. I want memories. I want us to look back through albums of pictures, me on your lap, your one hand on my hip and the other pointing to the photograph of us on the ledge of the Grand Canyon, my smile stretched across my face like a little kid's.

I don't want your money. Not always. I really just want your time. I don't mind cuddling on the couch for a movie. And I don't mind pizza, especially when it's pepperoni, sausage, and onion, but I don't want the same routine. I don't want the TV over the sound of your voice.

Some days I am content just lying next to you. Not saying anything. Just feeling your heartbeat and mine, letting my mind wander to future dates, future memories, future adventures. I don't always want something crazy. Some nights I just want to be around you and friends, laughing and throwing back beers.

I'm not the kind of girl you can call when you're lonely. The girl you know you can text and she'll always pick up. The girl that you can hold until you fall asleep then do the same thing tomorrow. The girl who will just sit and watch shows with you, day after day, night after night.

No, I'm not just a 'Netflix and chill' type of girl. I want to hear about the little things that make you, you. Your biggest regret, how dandelions make your nose itchy, that your favorite season is fall, or the time you broke your toe riding your best friend's bicycle in fuzzy slippers.

I want you to challenge me. Change my view on politics, on religion. Teach me how to fix a flat tire, how to say 'hello' in six different languages, how to dribble a soccer ball.

I don't want to be bored by you. I want to spend my life making adventures with you. Carving our initials into tree bark and mountain sides, buying fifty-cent post cards from every gas station in the U.S. and mailing them to ourselves, trying beer in every country, collecting sand from each beach we've walked on.

I want to go to bed every night exhausted. Wake up every morning renewed. I want to chase dreams with you. I want to be the reason you feel young, the reason you love life. I want to be more than just the girl you've seen every television episode with.

Don't get me wrong. I will watch movies with you, a bucket of caramel corn between us, my head snuggled against your chest, our legs intertwined. I will build forts in the living room, dress in my comfiest baggy clothes, have marathons of Breaking Bad and consume copious amounts of junk food. These things will make me happy, too. But not as exciting as living our lives. Not the same as sharing memories and moments as good—even better—than what's on the television screen.TC mark

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Thought Catalog writer Heidi Priebe explains how to manage the ups, downs and inside-outs of everyday life as an ENFP in her new book available here.

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