Thought Catalog

6 Toxic Beliefs About Love That We Need To Stop Romanticizing

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 07:00 PM PST


1. You shouldn't have to work at it.

Whoever coined the phrase 'with the right person, it's easy,' was probably about three days into their seventh-grade relationship.

Real love is work – it always has been and it always will be. It's work to figure out what makes someone tick. It's work to figure out how to compromise. It's work to plan a future with somebody else and it's work to resolve every argument you hit along the way.

With some people it will be harder and more consistent work than it will be with others – there's definitely something to be said for finding a partner whose values are aligned with yours. But it's never going to be easy 100% of the time. Love has to be worked at, if we want to make it last.

2. The right person will intuitively know how to love you.

No, no, no, no, no. Also, no.

People are complicated and varied and we have all been brought up with slightly different ideas about what it means to give and receive love. We need to talk explicitly about those things in order to make love work – even when it seems unsexy.

If you are too caught up with the romantic idea of someone showing up with a bouquet of flowers and the exact words that you need to hear when you're upset to actually put work into communicating what you need to your partner, then you aren't ready to be in love. Plain and simple.

Because real, adult love isn't about the flowers and romance. It's about being open and honest and making it work, even when it's tough and unglamorous. If you want a fantasy romance, pick up a Nicholas Sparks book. If you want a real, long-lasting relationship, start voicing what you need from your partner, and listening to what they need back.

3. Love is all you need to make a relationship work.

Love is a great starting place for a relationship. But what takes it the distance is deliberate, conscious action on behalf of both parties.

In reality, you need a lot more than love to make a relationship thrive. You need stability. Understanding. Compromise. The willingness to grow, both individually and alongside one another. If any of these components are missing, the only thing love will do is keep you trapped inside of a toxic relationship.

4. We can hold other people responsible for how we're feeling.

Though I love much of what Louis C.K. has to say, there is a particular phrase of his that drives me up the wall and it is, "When a person tells you that you hurt them, you don't get to decide that you didn't."

This is an incredible misconception we have about love – that it is in no way subjective.

Yes, we have to listen to what our partners are saying and be aware of how our actions are affecting their emotions. But there are also a great deal of unhealthy, manipulative and toxic people out there who are more than willing to exploit this idea. If you are constantly being told that you are the root of someone's problems – and yet they continue to be with you, chances are you're dealing with an emotionally unhealthy person.

At the end of the day, all emotions are subjective. If the person you're dating has a fundamentally different idea of what is hurtful in a relationship – and what isn't – than you do, it's your own choice to either stay with them and continue to feel offended, or to leave and find someone whose subjective experience of love is more closely aligned with yours. Unless your partner is specifically and deliberately intending to do you emotional harm, it's unfair to place endless blame for your own discontentment on their shoulders.

5. It is other peoples' responsibility to break down your walls.

Almost everybody out there has been wounded by love, in some way or another.

Most of us have been heartbroken. Most of us have been betrayed. Many of us have even been in toxic or abusive relationships, which made us hesitant to pursue love for an indefinite period of time afterwards.

And all of that is horribly unfortunate. But the responsibility to heal from these pains falls on nobody's shoulders but our own. If your walls are up and your heart is guarded because someone else hurt you in the past, then you need to be alone until you can figure out how to bring your guard back down.

It is nobody else's responsibility to heal the wounds and make you trust in love again – if you aren't ready to give and receive love openly, you aren't ready to be back in a relationship. Period.

6. We can save each other through love.

Love is an incredible force – there's no denying that. It can inspire us, guide us and invigorate us. But what it absolutely cannot do is save us from ourselves.

When someone is not ready to help themselves, no amount of love is going to change that. If someone is mentally or physically ill, no amount of love is going to restore them to health. Love is a wonderful thing but what it's not is a substitute for professional help. Love won't fix all of your problems and giving love away won't fix someone else's.

Sometimes the biggest, bravest thing we can do in love is to admit that it's not enough. That somebody else needs so much more than we can give them. And that all we can do is love them on the path to recovery, as they learn to fight for themselves.TC mark

Why Character Is More Important Than Personality (And 3 Underrated Qualities All Of ‘Your People’ Should Have)

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 06:15 PM PST

StockSnap / Ian Schneider
StockSnap / Ian Schneider

The playwright, novelist, and short story writer William Somerset Maugham once said (or wrote), “When you choose your friends, don’t be short-changed by choosing personality over character.” When I think of this quote, I am often moved to assert that the two – “good personality,” and “good character,” are not mutually exclusive.

Still, when we’re young(er), I believe that while the two are related, there is a distinct difference between character and personality. Character is about our moral compass and ethics perspectives – some of which are personally and culturally specific; some of which are universal. Personality is more about outward manifestations of the individual self, based on how you see yourself and how others see you.

The insistence of personality’s definition entailing “manifestations of how you see yourself and how others see you” is one way to distinguish it from character in a pure sense. Character, may be visible to others and may be largely influenced by others, but it is not as outwardly obvious as personality.

Perhaps then personality is always known to others but character is not; perhaps personality is what we show in the light, while character is what we are in both the light and the dark.

If the above is true – personality is outward, while character is inward – then it makes for a strong argument that personality is secondary to character in evaluating any person. Neither of these concepts are easy or simple or narrow. But I think if you ask most people which they want to value more between the two – most people would say character.

But what people say and what they do are not always the same. So, in thinking about personality and character, consider the traits that we might use to describe each. Using the popular Myers-Briggs test for example, one might have a personality that is introverted or extroverted, or be more of a thinker or feeler. There is really no moral hazard that is possible with most personalities. (I say “most” because we have to leave room for outliers – sociopaths, for example.)

Certainly one may find a personality boring. But finding a personality boring, or a type that doesn’t compliment yours, is a matter of taste. Character, although culture and society must be accounted for, has a much more universal agreement as to what constitutes a good one. Honesty, loyalty, temperance, prudence, etc.

Of course if we only consider the character of our family, friends, significant others, and all the rest of “our people,” and render their personalities unimportant, we miss a huge part of what makes them, them.

But in choosing the people we’re going to share our lives and time with, like Maugham, I think we ought not to choose personality over character. I would say it differently from Maugham though; I would say when it comes to choosing your friends, remember that personality matters, but character matters more.


In thinking about the importance of character and how we choose “our people,” I thought about three qualities that are particularly underrated, but are actually some of the best qualities to look for in a person:

1. Reliability

The older I get, the more I truly appreciate this often overlooked virtue. Reliability is about doing what you say you’re going to do. It encompasses honesty but goes beyond to include dependability. It may sound like something that should be common but if you think about it, from small things such as last-minute cancellations, to entirely not showing up when people really need you, reliability is not as common as it should be. But when you can rely on someone, hold on to them.

2. Purposefulness

You’ve probably heard that phrase, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” I take that phrase very seriously in my relationships. I like to have friends who are doing things. Motivated, self-actualized people are often the most confident too, and it is all contagious. Purposeful people walk alongside purposeful people, and oftentimes during failures and disappointments, they are there to lift each other up. Make sure your people have purpose.

3. Kindness

No matter how many times its importance is stressed, kindness never seems to be taken quite as seriously as it should be. By kindness, I don’t mean “niceness” – that’s often a mistake people make. “Nice” people can be unkind. Kind people may not be “nice.”By kindness, I mean empathy, generosity, “love in action,” and helping people in need. (We are all in need.) Kindness in so many ways, is the one quality that if someone has, it almost redeems them from any negative quality they might also have. Be kind, and look for kindness in the people you want around you in this short lifetime. TC mark

14 Newlywed Women On How Their Wedding Was Different From Their Parents’ And What They Hope That Says About Their Marriage

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 06:01 PM PST

Flickr Parekh Cards
Flickr Parekh Cards


"Unlike my mom, I married a woman. My parents got hitched back in the 1980s, and the very definition of marriage has changed since then—not only culturally, but legally. I guess one advantage my mom had is that no one had to argue over which one of us wore the wedding dress! But yeah, we're now living in a rainbow-colored world, whereas my mom lived in a black-and-white world. Actually, a grey world was more like it. That doesn’t necessarily mean me and my partner are going to get along any better than my parents did, but it helps knowing that we live in a more tolerant world. "

—Liz, 27



"God was not mentioned once during our entire wedding ceremony. Contrast that with my parents' lavish, overwrought Catholic wedding with all the trimmings, all the priests and nuns, and all the sexual repression in the world crammed into one crazy room. Plain and simple, I don't want God in my bedroom, so I didn't want him at my wedding, either. I'm sure God has plenty of other things with which to occupy his time. But no, my wedding was God-free. We didn't even send him an invitation. So I hope my marriage is based on love and open communication rather than hate and superstition."

—Kyra, 29



"Haha, the difference is that I eloped. That's right, I fell in love quick and hard and just ran off in the middle of the night to another state where it's easier to get a marriage license. We slept in a Motel 6 and ate breakfast at Waffle House, and I wouldn't change it for the world. I always wanted to elope. Ever since I was a little girl it seemed like the most romantic thing in the world to me—like, Romeo and Juliet's love is so strong they just say 'fuck it' to their families and run away together. I never got the sense that there was any sense of danger or romance in my parents’ marriage, so I hope mine won’t be as dry and empty and bleak and barren as theirs was."

—Alli, 28



"The main difference between my wedding and my parents' wedding is that mine wasn't a shotgun wedding. I wasn't pregnant and the busybodies in our small town weren't forcing us to get married. My parents lived in a time when it was a tremendous shame and stigma to be a single mom. So I like to think I got married for love rather than necessity. And when we choose to have a kid, I know it will never have to struggle with the pain and rage of knowing you weren’t planned."

—Jessa, 29



"My mom got married to my dad in Vegas, which is actually kind of cool. I like the novelty of that…but her second wedding was on the beach, super lame and cliche. I had what to me is an ideal wedding—alone in a courtroom. I didn't like the idea of a wedding where I'm put on display. My mom is still on Facebook all blunged-out with salon tans and fake nails acting like a teenager. And her second marriage is already in shambles. So I like to think that the way I did it suggests that married life for me will have a little less drama and be a lot more stable."

—Riley, 26



"I just realized that when my mom got married, everyone thought Bill Cosby and OJ Simpson were the nicest guys in the world. Now with social media and the fact that the entire world has its nose up the rest of the entire world's ass, it's not nearly so easy to skid through life pretending everything is hunky-dory. So either the world is less innocent now, or maybe it's less ignorant. But it's harder to hide from your faults. I'm not sure if that's a good thing, but it's the way it is. You make any sort of move these days, and it's like the whole world is watching. So if everyone’s watching, I guess that’s an incentive not to mess it up. With all the people who attended and gave us money and wished us well, I’d feel like a total failure if I ever had to change my Facebook status to ‘Separated.’"

—Joyelle, 25



"At my mom's wedding reception, the music was all bad 80s hair bands—Poison, Bon Jovi, Cinderella, etc. That was also the music I chose for my wedding reception, only this time around I played the music ironically. So my mom sincerely enjoyed bad music whereas I ironically enjoy bad music, and I'm not sure if that makes me better or worse than her. Maybe it's all a defense mechanism on my part, you know? If the marriage doesn't work out, I can just say I was kidding the whole time. Sometimes postmodernism has its advantages! Basically, though, it just shows that me and my hubby have a good sense of humor, and that’s crucial for making a marriage last."

—Cassie, 28



"Um, the main difference is that when my mom got married, there was no Internet. There were no smartphones. She had to pay some shlub close to a thousand dollars just to walk around filming people on some old-ass VHS recorder. People were Facebooking and Instagramming and tweeting at my wedding. They were so buried in their digital devices, no one noticed one another. Still, it makes me feel better that I’m in a world where everyone’s more connected to one another."

—Rhonda, 28



"There was no meat or alcohol at our wedding. Nor smoking. And all the old people bitched to high heaven about it because they couldn't poison themselves at our expense. Sorry, but my wedding was designed to reflect my values, and I value all lives, animal as well as human. I hope this means that we’ll live longer than either of my parents, both of whom died of cancer."

—Andrea, 29



"I think the main difference between my wedding and my parents' wedding was that they lived in a time when no matter how dysfunctional your life was, you kept it quiet and painted on a happy face. So even though in private everyone at my mom's wedding may have been fighting and arguing and cheating, you never would have known it from the wedding pictures—everyone had a smile plastered on their faces. Mine was this whole constellation of broken families, divorcees, miserable single males, and people who officially aren't speaking to one another but are forced to sit at the same table. But in some small way, I took it as a challenge not to mess up this marriage. You look at all that misery, and the last thing you want to do is repeat it."

—Heather, 28



"Back when my parents got married, that's simply what heterosexual couples in their 20s were expected to do. You were a freak if you didn't. Now the tables have turned and marriage is far more rare, but I think that's a good thing, because if you get married it means you really love that person and want to be with them for the rest of your life, rather than the fact that you're going through the motions just because it's what's expected of you."

—Thami, 25



"I'm not a virgin. Not by a looonnnng shot! When my parents got married, they both were virgins, which is insane! So basically they signed onto a deal where they'd have to eat the same Jack in the Box Jumbo Jack burger every night for the rest of their lives, completely fucking oblivious as to what Thai food and corn dogs and jambalaya and quesadillas taste like. Isn't that one of Dante's seven levels of hell? So both me and my husband sampled every restaurant in the city before deciding to spend our lives with one another. There will always be a little bit of curiosity, and I'm sure both of us will each have a bit of a wandering eye, but that's still worlds better than going into it blind like my parents did."

—Robin, 29



"I guess the main difference between my wedding and my parents' wedding is that my grandmother wasn't in jail for trafficking meth when my mom got married. For the first two decades of my life I watched my parents eat each other alive and crush their three kids’ hearts with their substance abuse and shouting and screaming and slamming doors. My mom taught me everything not to do in a marriage. Any other questions?"

—Erica, 26



"I come from a traditional Indian family where marriages are arranged with all the clinical dispassion of a real-estate deal. My parents were chosen for each other by their respective families and were married before they even kissed. Even though it makes me a little bit of a traitor to my culture, I refused to have someone choose a husband for me like a health insurance plan assigning me a dentist. I married the man that I fell in love with, not the man chosen for me through some ancient cultural lottery system."

—Rana, 26 TC mark

The Real Reason Why Over 400 People Have Committed Suicide At The Prince Edward Viaduct

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 06:00 PM PST

Flickr / Danielle Scott
Flickr / Danielle Scott

This actually happened years ago, before they installed suicide barriers at the viaduct, but I can still remember it as clearly as if it had happened yesterday. Every single word I said to him, and he to me. It’s branded in my mind as a constant, sharp reminder: be careful who you let in. Funny thing is, I thought I was being a good guy. I'm not even the kind of person to go out of my way to help others, but when I found Mason standing on the parapet of the Prince Edward Viaduct, I felt compelled to say something.

His face was stark white, as cold-looking as the Toronto weather. I remember his lips shaking as he held onto the concrete behind him. I've never even known someone who had committed suicide before, but I could tell he wanted to. I could see it in the mesmerized way he looked down the hundreds of feet that would swallow him whole. So I stepped out, and I spoke as softly as I could:

"What's your name, friend?"

"Mason," he said, still staring down into the empty space below.

"I don't know you, Mason," I said as gently as I could. "I'm not even from Canada, but I can tell that maybe you're having a rough time."

That got me a look, but only fleeting enough for me to realize that he was sneering at me. He looked like he was in his mid-20s. Not poorly dressed, but not too expensively either. He wasn't homeless, or at least it didn't seem like it.

"What the fuck do you want?" he said. "I've got a lot on my mind, man."

"Edward," I said, ignoring his frustration. "My name is Edward, and I can see you have a lot on your mind. Maybe you want to tell me a little of what that might be?"

"I've only been married for a year and my wife is cheating on me," he said, still looking down. "Every day I go to work and I come home and I can smell him on my bed. I can smell his cum in the air and the sweat and she doesn't even care enough to take a shower afterwards."

I was at a loss for words. It felt so sudden and harsh… yet so familiar for some reason. Why was that story so familiar?


"Did you ask her?" I said.

"Did you ask her?" he quickly replied.

"Did I… ask who?"

"Your wife."

The wind suddenly picked up, bringing with it a few snowflakes. The first of the year. As it whipped around us, Mason lost his balance a little and I instinctively reached out to grab hold of his jacket. Even there, inches from the edge and slipping, he still didn't seem scared.

"What do you mean by that?" I asked.

"I'm also taking a pay decrease," he said, ignoring my question. "The manufacturing plant I'm working at is threatening to close up and outsource to Mexico if the union doesn't agree to take a 20% pay decrease. I'm pretty much the only guy there who is saying that we should take the decrease rather than lose our jobs."

There it was, another familiarity. Only this time, I knew exactly why it was so familiar. Everything he was saying, all of his troubles were my troubles.

"Who the fuck are you, really?" I asked, trying to restrain myself. "Are you stalking me?"

"You came here and talked to me, Edward," he snapped back. "Why are you getting so upset?"

"Everything you're talking about has happened to me! That's my life you're complaining about."

"That's strange," his eyes were cold, and if he was getting any amusement from this, he betrayed none of it. "Coincidence, I guess. It is funny though…"

"What's funny?"

"That I'm standing here, looking down into the end of my future. And you're there, acting like everything is okay."

"It…" the words caught dry in my throat, like a wadded up napkin. "It is going to be okay. I don't know for sure…"

"You know goddamn well that that smell on your wife is from another man. You can tell every fucking time you press yourself against her unwilling lips that they have already been satisfied by someone else's."

"This isn't funny."

"No," he snapped. "It's not. This is your life. Our life."

I stood there, not knowing what else to say. Was this some elaborate game he was playing with me? I am from Florida, here visiting some distant relatives and suddenly I run into a man who claims to have the same problems as me. Was that even possible?

"Look at the color of my hair, Edward," he said, shaking the few rogue snowflakes out of it. "It's brown, as brown as mud, just like the color of my wife's hair. But do you know what color my youngest son's hair is? Fucking blonde."

"There could be all kinds of reasons…"

"Wake the fuck up, Edward!" he reached over the concrete divider and knocked on my head with his knuckles. Suddenly he was more engaged with me than the end of his life lying beneath his feet. "Wake up to what's going on around you. You are not 12-years-old anymore, you coward. You cannot just bury your head in your fantasies and pretend like your parents aren't fighting anymore."

"My parents. What do they have to do with this?"

"It's how you've always dealt with your problems, ever since you were little."

Now when I think back to it, I should have realized that the conversation shifted completely to focus on me. But at the time I was too shocked by the reality of everything he was shoving in my face. It was so sudden.

"Where are your wife and kids right now, anyways?"

"Caroline had to stay behind to take care of…"

"Caroline, blah, blah, blah, came up with a good excuse to go play with her fuck boy some more."

"If we don't take the pay decrease, we'll lose our jobs," I said, desperately. It was all closing in on me, like a wall of ice. All of it was right there, restricting my throat, filling my head with an insufferable white noise. And over it all, I no longer saw Mason as a stranger. It was look I was looking in a mirror. "They'll move it all to Mexico."

"What do the other guys call you, Edward?"

"They say I'm…"

"Spit it out!" He shouted, inches from my face. I hadn't even noticed at the time but he had somehow wound up on the other side of the divider, right next to me. How did I not even notice? "Spit it out you coward."

"That's what they call me. They say I'm a coward."

Suddenly I could hear all the guys from the union around me, berating me and telling me to leave the men to the negotiations. All the while my boss, Keith, would look at me with this silent pity, like he was trying to apologize and ridicule me at the same time.

Mason opened his mouth to speak to me, but the voice that carried his words belonged to someone else. It was Keith's voice that he spoke with, "Just kill yourself and leave your wife to me. No one wants you at the plant anyways."


And something broke inside of me. Something came lose and I felt the icy wind on my face, blowing up over the parapet. I looked down and saw a light at the end of a very long, dark tunnel. I saw a warmth that I never realized had escaped me so long ago. I felt the snow melting on my skin and I felt myself tipping.

But before I could fall, I felt a hand reach out and grab me by the collar. I twisted to find her looking at me with these big, emotional eyes. She looked like she was going to cry.

"You don't walk on the Prince Edward Viaduct," she said, with a hint of French in her accent. "You don't ever walk here."

I turned suddenly to see where Mason was, but he was gone.

"There was another man here! He…"

"No," she said, in that soft, feathery voice of hers. She pointed at the ground, where the snow was falling. "The only footsteps here are mine and yours."

I looked down. She was right. All of the hairs stood up on my arms as I stepped back over the concrete divider, onto the walkway. I glanced back to the sheer drop that would have carried me to my death, and I cried. I cried harder than I ever have in my life. I cried because I could no longer pretend like all of those things I had been avoiding weren't true.

The woman took my arm and walked me back to the street where she hailed me a cab. I couldn't bring myself to tell anyone. Not my relatives nor my wife. When I got off the plane, Caroline was waiting there with our kids. One with brown hair, the other with blonde. And when she came in for a hug she smelled normal.

But sometimes I come home and she smells like another man. Sometimes I still hear Keith looking at me in that pitying kind of way, and I remember Mason. I can see him shaking his head at me like I was a disappointment. I can hear him whispering to me:

"You didn't even have the balls to end it." TC mark

10 Ways People Who Travel See The World Differently

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 05:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / anniepersson
Twenty20 / anniepersson

Living or traveling overseas won't be all glam and glitz. You will be in a different world, out of your comfort zone. But at the same time, you are going to are going to learn things that will later on be your guiding light through life. If you spend a couple of months living abroad and traveling to diverse corners of the world, like I did, you will gain a completely different perspective on many things, and some of them will surprise you. While the the following perspectives themselves may seem logical, surprises lie in the way you take them in and let them change you.

1. Nickels sometimes aren't "just nickels"

When you walk down the street and see a nickel or a dime that someone has dropped, think about how many times you ignore it, kick it away, or just don't pick it up because of all the germs it might be coated with. I spent a few months living in a little village in Mexico. One day, two teens were walking down the street I lived on and saw a 5 peso coin on the street. The one who noticed it first ran to it and claimed it, while the other was obviously disappointed that he didn't see it first. This made me realize that with two of these coins that I would have just left there, you could buy a liter of milk, or a gallon of water.

2. Better communication doesn't always entail talking

There is nothing more frustrating than needing to communicate with someone who doesn't speak your language. You will try different techniques and force yourself to get your message across. You will learn that in some cultures, certain words, mannerisms and gestures you use don't mean the same thing to the people in their country. When I trekked through a local village in China, I stopped in a store and asked for a small T-Shirt by pointing to the T-Shirt and placing my hands close together to mime "small." They didn't understand me. Shortly after, I realized that what I thought universal hand gestures for "big" and "small" are not used there. In fact, they don't even measure clothing in terms of small, medium, large. Things like this will stick with you for life and may even save you during everyday situations. For example, you may need to present something for school or work to people who live in or come from different cities.

3. How to really be spontaneous and crazy

In some places, people just embrace life and are not afraid to show that there are no limits to enjoying themselves. After work, they'll play sports, street games, or party like there is no tomorrow. One night, I was in a little bar in Mexico when the power went out because it was raining hard. Rather than letting everyone go home, the staff told everyone in the bar to follow them. About 50 of us locals and tourists walked down a couple of blocks and invaded another bar. The staff spoke to the the other bar's staff and started a drinking and dancing contest.

4. What it really means to date someone

In the little Mexican village that I lived in, I would see people on dates in the most unexpected places and hear people having real get-to-know-you conversations on sidewalks, and at the bus stops on the way to the city because they didn't own a cell phone or laptop that we rely so much on for communication. Abroad, you will see guys pick flowers from the side of the road because they can't afford to buy a $20 bouquet for their girlfriends. Maybe you'll let a local take you out and learn about how they have different ways of expressing love. You will remember this if you ever date someone from a different culture.  But above all, you'll see that dating takes more effort than a right swipe.

5. Material stuff isn't everything

I moved down south with one big luggage and one small one filled with clothes, cosmetics and even a blanket. I never used more than half of it. Over there, cosmetics and makeup were useless. It was so hot that they would end up running and making my skin look horrible. I stopped using them, and got a nice natural tan instead. The locals kept complimenting me on my skin color! Same with the nice jeans and brand name tops – I would feel way overdressed when wearing them. When I left to return home, I gave a lot of things away to locals who didn't own the items but would appreciate using them once in awhile. Not only was my luggage was getting heavy, but being around people who didn't value these materialistic things made me realize that there are more important things to value.

6. Your country's driving laws are actually decent

In some countries, lanes are useless as no one respects them. In Asia, I would often see a family of four or five people on a tiny scooter, and to see the occasional bike driving into oncoming traffic! I once got into in a five-passenger car with eight people. All I could think of that whole ride as I half-sat on one person and half-laid on another else was that we'd probably get stopped by the cops if we were in North America. Trust me, you will be thankful to be alive and miss the driving laws you had back home.

7. You can get comfortable with being uncomfortable

Things are different overseas. Sometimes, it only takes a slight change to make you realize that you aren't at home anymore, and value everything you have back there. In some places, everyday necessities like Tylenol, toothbrushes and batteries aren't always accessible because 24-hour drug stores don't exist in many non-North American countries. During a solo trip in Italy, I unexpectedly got my period and didn't have any pads. Of course, none of the drug stores or grocery stores in the area were open and I only found one two uncomfortable hours later. Then, like in many European countries, the closest public bathroom was one that required you to pay to get in.

8. Letting go of people is part of life

When I lived in Mexico, I used to drop by a little photo lab to empty my camera's memory cards. The store clerk didn't speak much English and would always ask me how to say certain things. He would give me discounts, expose me to local music and tell me about how he would love to go to college in North America. The last time I went into the store, he wasn't there, and no one seemed to know where he went. When traveling, you will meet people everyday, and everywhere. They'll stop you on the street because they have never seen you, or any other foreigner in their neighborhood before. You'll start conversations in stores, asking about local things. They will tell you their stories and about who they are, and what their dreams are. Sometimes you only meet them once; sometimes they become local friends for a few months. Then, you never see or hear from them again. You learn that people come and go all the time and that this is just part of life.

9. You'll become more empathetic

I was in cab in Mexico suddenly, the driver said he had to stop for gas…and asked if I could pay for it! I didn't have any change, but I felt bad that he couldn't afford to pay for it himself, so I gave him way more money than I should have. Being abroad can be frustrating, and at times, embarrassing. You may find yourself wishing that you were back on familiar grounds. But upon further reflexion, you'll understand that difficult situations are simply an everyday aspect of many people's lives. By being in their shoes, you'll come to empathize with the marginalized population and see life from the other side of the lens.

10. You will experience thunderstorms, hurricanes, sunrises and sunsets and take in the views

I was walking through in a little run-down village in Brazil, trying to make sense of how anyone could live there. Then I looked up and saw the most spectacular sunrises I've ever seen. Weather is beautiful. But you most likely don't appreciate it when you're in the comforts of your own home, staring at your cell phone. A rainstorm in Europe adds to the views and makes for dramatic photo-ops. Seeing frost in Africa is mind-blowing. And when you return home, you'll realize that your journey isn't over; rather, it is ongoing. Nature will call, and through a raindrop or a ray of light, you'll be reminded that your journey is now part of who you are. TC mark

14 People On The First Time They Had Their Heart Broken (And How They Recovered)

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 03:01 PM PST


1. “I had feelings for one of my close friends for like 2 years, and finally gathered the courage to tell her. She didn’t feel the same way. The only way I could move on was by not talking to her. It really sucked for a long time, but I can see now that it was completely necessary.” —Nick, 27


2. “It wasn’t a prefect system, but when my girlfriend of a year split, I got right back out there. I knew she was going out and having a good time, so I didn’t see the point of moping around. It was mostly a lot of first and second dates that didn’t go anywhere, but eventually I met a girl that made me forget all about my ex.” —Marshall, 24


3. “My relationship of four years just started falling apart at the seams. Neither of us were happy and the whole thing went up in flames one night when we both had had too much to drink. I threw myself into my work as a distraction. I wrote a book and all of the things that kept me from sleeping spilled onto the pages, pretty much acting as my therapy. One year later, I’m dating someone new and have a manuscript I’m trying to get published.” —Annie, 30


4. “I was head-over-heels for this guy, but he didn’t want a relationship because he still wasn’t over his ex. We did this really weird on-and-off hooking up for a while, but when he still wouldn’t commit to anything even slightly serious, I had to remove myself. I moved to a different city, but was still totally hung up on him. We would text every once in a while, and one day he thought it would be funny to send me a picture of his shit. Like, his ACTUAL poop. That pretty much killed any lingering feelings I had for him right there. 10/10. Highly recommend as method for getting over someone.” —Jill, 24


5. “My wife divorced me, and I tried everything to move on from her. I tried online dating, meaningless sex, hypnotherapy (I know), but ultimately the only thing that worked was time.” —Jeremy, 35


6. “About half way through college, my girlfriend broke things off because she met someone else. So I slept around. A lot. I was so angry and thought that I could ‘get back at her’ by sleeping with everyone she knew. Long story short, she didn’t really care (or show that she cared), and I had to rethink who I was really hurting in the process. Once I stopped trying to hurt her, I started to actually move on with my life.” —Neil, 22


7. “I’ve always been lucky that I was the one breaking hearts for a long time. It wasn’t until my fiancé broke off our engagement and moved to a different state that I ever really felt torn apart. That happened last year, and I wouldn’t say that I’ve recovered much at all. I miss him every day, but I try and miss him a little less each time. It doesn’t always work, but yesterday I only thought about him once, so I’m pretty proud of that.” —Gwen, 28


8. “My first boyfriend broke up with me a month before graduating high school, because he didn’t want to be attached when he went off to college. It broke me. He had been my first everything, and while I didn’t know how we would handle being apart during college, I thought we would at least attempt to make it work. I refused to go to school for that first week after he broke up with me. Eventually my parents forced me out of the house. I didn’t really start to get over him until I went off to school. The whole college experience was so overwhelming at first that I sort of forgot to be sad.” —MJ, 20


9. “It was fifth grade. I passed Samantha J a note asking if she liked me, she checked ‘No.’ After a lot of soul searching and many tears, I moved on when her best friend Caitlyn sat next to me at lunch and told me that she liked me. We were together for two whole days.” —Skyler, 21


10. “I went to therapy. My boyfriend left me for someone else, and I fell into a serious depression. It took quite a few sessions to realize that my depression was linked to some much more personal insecurities than my ex. I’m doing better than ever now, so really, breaking up with me was the best thing my ex ever did for me.” —Maria, 25


11. “I’m not gonna lie, my friends did a lot of the heavy lifting when my college boyfriend cheated on me. They’re an amazing support system, and there was always someone available to talk through everything with me. They kept me from doing anything too stupid, but supported me when I inevitably texted him. Without them, idk where I would be.” —Brittany, 21


12. “The break up was pretty standard. We were together for 10 months, then she didn’t think we were working out. I spiraled, did a lot of crying and drunk texting. Only truly got over her when I met someone else that I’m completely crazy for now.” —Lauren, 25


13. “The guy I dated all through college broke up with me A WEEK before graduation. My short term recovery? I broke stuff. Nothing too valuable, but ripping up old posters he liked and burning/deleting any photos that existed. I smashed his favorite coffee mug that he left at my apartment. Once I let out all of the anger, I cried every night for about two weeks. After that, I had this sort of dull pain that followed me around for a while. Over time, it faded until I was able to think about dating again without cringing.” —Katie, 23


14. “My boyfriend of three years broke up with me out of the blue, and I didn’t handle it well. I spent a good six months trying to get him back, but it was pretty pointless. I was refusing to acknowledge that we had been growing apart for months and a break up was inevitable. In the end, I had to accept that the person I had fallen in love with didn’t exist anymore. It sucks.” —Anna, 26 TC mark

Ben Carson Made A Rap Radio Ad — And It’s As Magically Horrible As You’d Imagine

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 02:08 PM PST

Albert H. Teich /
Albert H. Teich /

This is not a drill. Ben Carson’s campaign made a radio ad, where someone raps, “Ben Carson 2016 / Vote and support Ben Carson / for the next president he’d be awesome.”

Doug Watts, a spokesman for the Carson campaign, told ABC News that the ad was aimed at “reaching [young black voters] on a level they appreciate and follow and see if we can attract their consciousness about the election. They need to get involved and express their voice through their vote.”

Considering Ben Carson spoke out earlier this year against Hip-Hop music, claiming it was “deteriorating” African American communities, this seems like Grade A pandering on the presidential candidate’s part.

Twitter is responding in wonderful and hilarious ways:

We can all go back to bed now, because this is as good as our day is going to get. TC mark

25 Important Things To Remember When You’re Not So Thrilled About Turning 25

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 02:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / thompsonlxs_
Twenty20 / thompsonlxs_

My year of 25 has been a transitionally interesting yet challenging one. With 26 right around the corner, I've experienced a unique sense of growth over the past year; one that has allowed me to feel more confident in my own skin and optimistic about the future. It's led to an insane amount of reflection and a compilation of 25 insights and lessons learned that my fellow peers who are going through the mid-life crisis thang may be able to relate to.

1. Never underestimate what you're capable of. Most of the time, it's a lot more than you think. We're all insecure at times, but it's important to work through that doubt, no matter how hard it might be.

2. Never settle. This is a tough one that I've battled with for a while. At some point you realize your true potential, which makes you look at life from a different perspective, which leads me to my next point…

3. Choose your company wisely. I find this to be more crucial the older I get. There are far too many negative people who get pleasure out of manipulating their way through life. And the unfortunate thing is that they'll do pretty much anything to take you down with them. Do your best to steer clear of them; it'll save you emotional agony in the long run.

4. Don't trust easily. This is probably the one thing I personally suck at, but am slowly learning. It goes back to my last point about letting the right people into your life. If you open up too quickly, there's a chance you'll get taken advantage of. It's never a bad thing to keep an air of mystery until proven trustworthy.

5. Never stop exploring. If you're able to travel, do so as much as possible. Even if that means adventuring to a new part of the city you live in. It'll bring a new perspective to everyday life and will open new doors and opportunities in ways you never imagined.

6. Dating will probably suck. Most (at least some) of the time. Especially in a big city. You'll probably date more assholes than not, but the upside is it'll really help you understand yourself and what you're looking for. Don't let it discourage you, but rather spin it into a positive learning experience.

7. Never take your family for granted. You'll come to realize this after going through certain experiences where you find you need someone genuine and trustworthy to turn to. No one will be as honest (and loving, even if tough love) as your family.

8. Never take life for granted. Take time to look around and reflect on things to be grateful for, rather than what's missing. Truth is, we "Never understand how little we need in this world until we know the loss of it."

9. Be excellent. No matter the task at hand, aim to be the best. Others will take notice. And remember, it's never too late to be better than you were yesterday. As Aristotle once said, "We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit."

10. It's important what others think, but only certain people. And when I say this, I'm talking about mentors and those who will help you grow and improve. Forget the rest.

11. Quality over quantity. Always. No need to elaborate.

12. Have a plan. It's important to have some sort of plan in place when it comes to the future. Whether it's saving money to buy an apartment/house, or even your next travel destination. It's imperative to set a goal and work toward it every day.

13. "Comparison is the thief of joy." Theodore Roosevelt is absolutely right. It's important to constantly be in a state of self-improvement, but it becomes dangerous when you start to compare your life to others. Find your purpose rather than living vicariously through someone else's.

14. Never lose your childlike curiosity. This is the secret to long-term happiness. There are so many amazing discoveries to be made in this world and we should never stop pursuing them. There's always something new to learn, a new place to see and new people to meet. It's literally a never-ending journey.

15. Never judge others. As cliché as it sounds, you honestly don't know what they've been through. At any given moment, your life could take a turn and put you in a situation you've never imagined, negative or positive.

16. Take care of yourself. Mentally, physically and emotionally. Protect yo heart.

17. Stop explaining yourself to others. Those who truly know and believe in you won't ever ask you to.

18. Good things never come easy. Take time to acknowledge the importance of patience when working toward a goal. This applies to jobs, relationships, weight loss, etc. If it's too easy, it won't be worthwhile.

19. It's never too late to pursue your passion. As Lao Tzu once said, "The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step."

20. Less is more. Working toward a minimalist lifestyle can help maintain a clear head and will help you focus on things that really matter.

21. Question everything.

22. Always step out of your comfort zone. It's what makes us grow and keeps us resilient. After all, resiliency is what gets us through everyday challenges. After all, "Life isn't about finding yourself, it's about creating yourself."

23. Everything (okay, most things) is in your control. Of course unexpected shit happens that we can't control like death or loss of a job. But, the way you react to everyday life is within your control. From the moment you wake, you have the ability to decide how you'll react to every encounter that day.

24. Embrace the unknown. More likely than not, if you talk to someone 15-20 years older than you, they'll admit that they're still figuring it all out. Truth is, life will always remain a mystery and as mentioned before, there's always something new to learn. Embrace the thrill of uncertainty and run with it.

25. Never get ahead of yourself. No matter your achievements or level of success, it's important to stay humble and remember where you came from. Remember, "Talent is God given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful." TC mark

5 Reasons You’re Better Off Not Dating In College

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 01:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / sincereli
Twenty20 / sincereli

Today's college relationships get so many different nicknames, its impossible to discern what's happening behind closed doors with just a word. From "hooking up" to "seeing each other" to "a thing," a third party can only assume that you're having sex and that you like it. In the frenzy that has become the college version of dating, antiquated "dates" no longer hold the same appeal. Here's why you should quit the title, and just stick to the "fooling around" you're used to.

1. Dating isn't the same anymore.

Traditional courting used to be valuable when 20 year olds were getting ready to settle down and start a family. Now that people are no longer waiting to get married, it seems unnecessary to start looking for a potential spouse in college. Your grandparents may have met as kids, but your peers will likely meet their significant others more towards their thirties.

2. College is a time for individualism.

Moving away from home and starting life on your own is supposed to be an opportunity to discover yourself, not someone else. Everyone has that friend who completely changes after finding a significant other and denying themself the college experience.

3. Hookup culture is accepted in college.

When you get to the real world, one-night stands become less and less appreciated while relationships become more popular. In college, the "walk of shame" gives way to the "stride of pride" allowing young people the opportunity to embrace hooking up with less shame and concern. Though hookups don't appeal to the entire college population, those in exclusive relationships don't get the option to try the "college" way of life.

4. Dating can be a distraction.

College is a stressful and busy time for students between self-discovery, challenging academics, and finding jobs or internships. All these new obligations are a full-time commitment and leave very little room for balancing a real relationship. You may be better off waiting until you have more time and effort to devote to another person.

5. Traditional dating enforces gender norms.

While modern society has acknowledged fluidity on the gender spectrum, there's a lot of stigma that goes along with the original courtship process. Guys are expected to pay for dates and initiate plans while girls are expected to be docile and polite. These social rules are antiquated and unreasonable, but are sometimes still expected on dates. TC mark

14 Things All Chronically Late People Know To Be True

Posted: 05 Nov 2015 12:00 PM PST

Raúl González
Raúl González

1. You’ve perfected the art of lying about why you’re running late but only because you think a dramatic excuse will lessen the late-shaming. Cut to you running into the bar soaking wet, one sock off, crying and apologizing about being an hour late.

2. You dread the guilt-trip/tension of showing up late, so you say something funny to break the ice.

3. Everyone knows that “I’ll be there in 10” means nothing and is actually code for lol I just woke up and it will take me 45 minutes to get there, not to mention the hour I need to get out of bed and become a person.

4. No matter how large the buffer between right now and the time you have to be there you will still be late. Kanye shrug!

5. Chronically late drama queens don’t TRY to be late out of disrespect. They love you! It’s just that they just always think they have time to do that one last thing

6. Without fail a real disaster happens that makes the chronically late drama queen even later than they would have been. Great, you were originally only going to be like 5 minutes late (reasonable) but now you’ll be at least twenty five minutes behind because the damn subway sat in the tunnel for 10 whole minutes, your bus never came, or just before you were about to leave the house you get explosive diarrhea and just ugh. Everything’s the worst.

7. People get annoyed and think you’re being rude or self-centered when really you’re just slow and have exceptionally poor time management skills!

8. Your friends get you gifts like watches and date books for your birthday. SHAAAAAADE.

9. The horror of already being late and then your phone dies so now you can’t even communicate or give live updates. Your phone dying is not the reason you’re late, buddy. But still. It’s the text that counts.

10. For the chronically late drama queen there’s no better pleasure on earth than having someone “push back” a meeting (YESSS!!) or when they tell you they’re going to be late, too.

11. Welp, if you’re already late you might as well stop and grab a coffee, take your time getting there.

12. Arriving on time is one of your greatest pleasures, right next to having a meeting you’re already late to pushed back or cancelled.

13. Air travel is terrible because you definitely can’t be late to your flight…though you’ve made many flights by the skin of your teeth.

14. You freak out when you have a dinner party and people show up five minutes before you told them to arrive. Who shows up early to a dinner party? Girl you’re only just now going to the store to pick up groceries…TC mark