Thought Catalog

Screw Resolutions – This Year, Just Go For It

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 07:00 PM PST


Every Year we make a trite and tired list of New Year’s Resolutions.

Lose weight. Change careers. Find love. Save money.

And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with making the commitment to better ourselves. Some years we really do make those steady, consistent changes that bring us to better places. But we know all too well what usually happens to our New Years Resolutions.

They fall by the wayside by February 1st. The slow, consistent alterations we planned to make turn out to be too much of an inconvenience to our day-to-day routine, and so we let them slide. We keep on as we’ve been, until the next New Year’s when the whole process repeats itself.

This year, I’m challenging us all to break the cycle.

This year, I’m challenging us to realize that the majority of our resolutions don’t need 365 days of work. Most of them just need one day – one hour, even just one blazing moment – of courage.

The sixty seconds that it takes to quit the job that’s wrong for you. The ten seconds it takes you to confess your feelings to that person you want to spend your year with. The moment it takes you to click ‘purchase’ on those plane tickets you’ve been meaning to buy for so long.

We like to think that it takes a full year for things to turn around but the truth is, it very often doesn’t. So many of our greatest changes occur within the span of a millisecond – even if all that millisecond brings is the firm, indisputable decision that you cannot go on this way any longer.

So this year, I hope that you just go for it – whatever ‘it’ happens to be.

Your dream job. Your dream person. Your dream lifestyle. I hope this is the year that you stop making excuses for yourself and finally decide that what you want is worth putting it all on the line for.

I hope this is the year when you cast aside the bullshit. When you stop telling yourself that you can’t have what you want because you aren’t smart enough or rich enough or thin enough or lucky enough. I hope it’s the year you refuse your limitations and decide that arbitrary rules you have always so diligently followed don’t have to be adhered to. Not this year. Not for you.

I hope by the time we count down to midnight on December 31st, 2016, you look back on the year and cannot believe how much has changed. How much is different. How much your life turned around because of the choices you made this year.

Not because you meditated four times a week or wrote your grocery budget down in a notebook, but because you tried. Because you battened down the hatches, cancelled your pity parade, honed in on exactly what you wanted and took actual, concrete action on it. No matter how scary it was. No matter how insecure you felt along the way. No matter how many times you had to fail along the way to achieving it. I hope that you never stop trying this year, because you owe that much to yourself.

You owe it to yourself to pursue the life you’d be living if fear were not a factor.

So in 2016, I hope that you just go for whatever it is that this post made you think of. That thing you're scared to acknowledge, but that you know is there. Because that thing is what you truly want.

That is the thing you’ve let too many years stand in the way of.

But not this year. Not for you.

2016 is the year where you finally fucking go for it. And no year is going to ever be the same after that. TC mark

This Is Why You Should Have Amazing Sex With Someone Who Is Not Your Soulmate

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 06:30 PM PST

Twenty20 / santiago__cervantes
Twenty20 / santiago__cervantes

Take a moment to imagine your perfect partner. What qualities does (s)he possess? What does (s)he look like? Is (s)he handsome? Smart? Funny? Successful? Loving? Amazing in bed?

Mine is passionate, sexy, well spoken, self-assured, and successful in his own right. He's happy, attractive and deeply in-tune with our intimacy. He touches me confidently like he's stroking the chords of a string instrument that he has already mastered, and he makes me feel secure and adventurous in bed.

In a perfect world, we are all living happily ever after with our dream partners; however, passing the time until we find this person can be long, lonely and arduous. For the majority of us, it takes years to find a person who possesses all of our desires, and in the mean time it's important for us to have other relationships and experiences to help us learn, grow and fine-tune our true desires.

If you're anything like me you have yet to find your dream partner, and you spend your time scratching off 'partial win' lottery tickets hoping each date, relationship or sexual encounter will get you closer to your perfect match.

Having sex with NOT "The One": A true story

Now, I want you to imagine having incredible sex with someone who you would never dream of bringing around your friends and family. But, the sex is good, oh so good, and you just can't get enough. You avoid dinner parties, social gatherings and basic outings, Essentially, you spend all of your time indoors, safely hidden away within the parameters of your house.

I have had this experience, and I enjoyed it very much. My fling was with a man I would have never in my wildest dreams envisioned bringing into my life experience, let alone my bedroom.

His name was Brian, and we spent three months working together during the summer of 2014. He was tall, dark and 30 pounds overweight. He was blunt and culturally rude. Having immigrated from Turkey 10 years previously, he believed in the superiority of men and submission of women.

Brian was 41-years-old and 14 years my senior. Black curly hair covered every inch of his body, including most of his face and head. His stomach was shaped like that of a woman in her third trimester of pregnancy, and his small dark eyes beamed intently, watching and examining each woman as she walked by. Although he would hardly produce a 1.5 on a scale of one to 10, he still had the confidence to grade women passerby's by society's rigorous standards of beauty.

Initially, I found myself totally turned off by him. However, one night after a particularly busy day at work he invited me out for drinks—something he had done several times before, but I always declined. Despite that, work had been long and hard, and I desperately wanted to unwind with a drink, so this time (much to my surprise) I accepted.

We ordered two glasses of Pinot Grigio and talked about work, society, our backgrounds and dreams. He was a basic man, happy with his life so long as it was full of submissive women and a comfortable amount of money. He exuded a special kind of confidence, the kind that dissolutions people into trying things they probably shouldn't and I found it engrossing and sexy.

As our conversation continued, I felt a shift in our sexual energies—they were aligning. I saw him reborn in a new light, and I could feel my libido throbbing– it was desperate for some action. I looked at him in all of his glory–the hairiness covering his body became a manly form of identification, his overweight belly suddenly represented years of free choices and the ability to act on his desires.

We went back to my place that night and had amazing sex. He knew exactly what to do—how to hold me, where to place his hands, how high to life my hips and exactly when to finish. I sat on my bed trembling in pleasure afterwards.

There was no future for us—of this I was certain. Brian and I had different goals and dreams in life. He believed in the submission of women whereas I believe in our equality. Physically, he was not my type, and while I could learn to get over that, outside of the bedroom he possessed absolutely zero of my desired qualities in a partner.

I knew I wanted to continue sleeping with him, but would avoid labeling our intimacy as anything more than two adults consenting to regular sexual relations.

Initially, he didn't press me to be more than his 'adult' friend. But, as the months passed and we continued to meet up at my apartment several times a week he did begin to question our future.

"What are we? Are you sleeping with other men?" He would ask demandingly.

"We are two adults who meet to have mutually beneficial relations, and no, I am not sleeping with anyone else." I would reply.

"But, I want to be with you. I want to be your boyfriend," he continued.

"I honestly just do not see us together. I am having fun now, doing what we are doing, but I am not ready for a commitment," I replied, trying to be honest without risking the end of our sexual relationship.

We continued in this manner for three months. We never went out to dinner. He didn't meet my family or friends (in fact, they didn't even know about him). Our public appearances were nonexistent as we only met in the late hours of the night. It all came crashing down when I quit our mutual job, and decided it was time to end our summer of fun because I knew in my heart it was time for me to move on.

The Benefits of Good Sex (With or Especially Without a Relationship)

Now, you may be asking yourself, what is the point? Why bother having a casual sexual fling with someone who you don't want to have a real relationship with?

Well, there are several reasons I encourage you (if you have not already) to experience what I did:

  • Good sex is good for you. Seriously! Not only is sex a good form of physical exercise, but it also helps your body to release prolactin which is a hormone designed to help your body relax and sleep.
  • It can reduce stress and anxiety. Sex allows you to channel your frustrations and feelings into a physical release.
  • It can regulate your hormones. Regular sexual activity keeps your estrogen and testosterone levels in balance.
  • Having sex with someone you would not normally consider to fall under your select "type" allows you to explore intimacy more in-depth. Sex with someone who you would never consider boyfriend material can take you outside of your comfort zone.
  • When you take the focus off of growing a relationship, and just focus on sex, you become more in-tune with what you like in the bedroom and feel more confident and comfortable to be assertive and adventurous. (After all, your friends and family will never meet this person and be in a position to judge, right?)

What I Learned

By having great casual sex with someone outside my normal type, I learned that life is not static, so why should our partner(s) be?

When I first ended things with Brian, I spent a lot of time thinking about the time we spent together. I asked myself, "was our time together a necessary stepping stone for the future of my love life? Or was it just good sex?"

Relationships aren't static—instead they are constantly evolving and adapting. It is part of our nature as human beings to learn, grow and change. Why should we expect our partners to remain unchanged while we spend our lives going through personal metamorphoses?

We need to be more flexible in regards to our expectations of others as we enter into relationships (or relations), and understand they have a need to change just as much as well do.

Remember, people come into our lives to help us learn lessons about ourselves, and our physical experience. They are our teachers and our guides. It's important to embrace those who can help us transform into a better version of ourselves. For me, that transformation happened with Brian. Thanks to him I am confident and sexually empowered (Shhh! Don't tell him. He would be devastated if he knew this! :).

I am also open to all types of men, so long as they possess my core requirements (happiness, love and kindness) and we have a true spiritual connection. I feel freer and self-assured in my choices. He released a part of me that I didn't even know was trapped.

Now, I am not saying you shouldn't have a list of certain core characteristics you want your partner to have. Some things are non-negotiable and that's okay.

What I am suggesting is that you open yourself up to being with someone who you can learn from. Perhaps your "Brian" is embarrassing like mine, or you feel a sexual but not a physical connection with him or her, and that's okay. Stepping outside of your typical "type" is not an easy thing to do, but it can help you discover who you want to be as someone's partner, and who you want your significant other to be as well. And hey, at the very least you will learn something about yourself, and maybe even enjoy yourself too. TC mark

This post originally appeared at Attract The One.

I Am Not Going To Miss You In 2016

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 06:00 PM PST


I spent every day of 2015 missing you.

That’s the sort of thing we’re not supposed to admit out loud: that we can spend entire years caught up in the memory of somebody else, even when our lives are expanding and taking off around us.

We’re supposed to be stronger than that.

We’re supposed to be people who bounce back: from pain, from rejection, from loneliness, from hurt. I spent every day of this past year trying to be stronger than that hurt. But for so much of it, I was not.

I missed you while we were still together. I missed you in each moment I felt you pull away, in every memory that passed of the way things used to be, in every scarcely uttered ‘I love you’ that felt more like a plea from a desperately sinking ship than a genuine expression of affection. I missed you while you fell asleep beside me, I missed you when I woke up alone.

I missed you for so long after you left.

I missed you on the lips of every other boy I kissed, inside the bodies of every other person I tried to love. I missed you in the dead of night with all the blinds drawn and in the middle of the sunniest days, when the entire Universe was swelling and expanding around me.

I spent three hundred and sixty five days without you and I missed you with one hundred percent of my heart, every day for one year.

But I will not do so for a year and one day.

2016 marks the end of me missing you.

I know it’s not as simple as that – that loving someone doesn’t disappear because a clock strikes twelve and a year ends and a new one begins. I know that feelings take time to work themselves out of our systems and that it may be a very long time before you no longer cross my mind. But here is what I can claim: 2016 is the year where I finally stop enabling my own pain.

2016 is the year where I stop picking at your scab, begging it to bleed because it’s easier to keep patching that wound up than it is to actually heal it. It’s the year where I stop comparing everyone else I meet to you, because it’s easier to let them fall short than it is to actually try to invest in someone new. It’s the year where I cancel my pity party, even if it’s easier to attend it than it is to show up to my life and try again.

2016 is the year where I finally accept the hand that I was dealt so long ago and I choose to move forward with it, instead of constantly dwelling on the way things should have gone.

This is the year where my triumphs belong to only me. Where every challenge, every conquest, every victory I encounter is not tainted with the absence of somebody else. It’s the year where I accept my own glories and failures alone – the year where I know that I’m strong enough to handle both.

This is the year where I’ll be present.

Where I’ll kiss new lips and not compare them to the lips of past lovers. Where I’ll start new projects and not wonder what someone else would have thought of them. Where I’ll plan for the future in an unconstrained way, because I’m the only one I have to plan it for. It’s the year where I finally let the present take whatever form it may, because the present is good enough for me. Because I’m ready to let it expand into something incredible.

And so as the past year draws to a close and the new one begins to unfold, I hope that you’re happy as well. I hope you come to life and find your way and kiss someone incredible and learn to let me go in the year that comes, too.

I hope you’re happy in 2016. Because I'm finally ready to be so on my own.

And I don’t have any time left to waste on being unsure. TC mark

12 Ways To Refresh The Love In Your Relationship When You’ve Been Together Forever

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 05:30 PM PST

Twenty20 / jesmcro
Twenty20 / jesmcro

You're both stuck in a rut, aren't you? You come home, eat something vaguely nutritious, plop down on the couch in old, not-quite-clean sweats, and binge on Netflix before passing out on the couch. Where's he? Right next to you, of course.

You're more like roommates these days. Okay, so maybe there's some sex but it's the same old thing you've been doing for years. Same time, same position, same few "oh yeah, that's it" and "did you get off, too?" Bor-RING!

I get it. Really, I do. Back in the day, one husband ago, we only had sex on Saturday nights, around 9 o'clock. I put down my book, he pulled down the covers, and bam, there you go.

No, we're not married anymore – not just because of the sex, but that was a big part of it. You don't have to become symbolic roommates randomly bumping up against each other at night. There are plenty of things you can do to get that spark back, to feel as lusty and ready to go as you did in the beginning – you know, when you tried harder and actually cared if you had wine stains on your yoga pants.

1. Communicate.

Sounds pretty basic, doesn't it? Intimacy isn't just about the bump and grind between the sheets. It happens when you share the smallest details about your day. It builds when you share the biggest ideas in your mind.

The more you talk about the mundane things in your life, the easier it becomes to talk about everything else – including your needs and desires.

Start small with a chat about your day over dinner. Do it every day. Make it a priority. Once you start communicating, you'll find it's easier to keep going.

2. Small things matter

Remember when you looked for reasons to touch each other? Think back to the days when you couldn't keep your eyes off of him. You need to get back to that place.

Hold his hand in a store. Lean against him while you watch a movie. Find reasons to touch each other – and no, I don't mean just sexually, but don't be surprised if that doesn't follow.

The easiest way to let someone know you want them is to get close to them. Okay, so you might fall asleep snuggling on the couch, but at least you're doing it together.

3. Say nice things to one another.

Show you're paying attention to each other. The longer you're with someone, the easier it is to take them for granted. There's nothing wrong with thanking each other for the small day-to-day things.

Yes, it's his job to clean the kitchen when you cook, but commenting on it shows your appreciation. When he tells you he likes your dress or your hair, don't demure. First of all, high-five that he noticed. Second, take the compliment gracefully. Those nice, warm fuzzy feelings you're building now make for some nice, warm feelings when you're naked, too.

4. Schedule your time together.

I'm not talking about the kind of schedule that helped kill my marriage – I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. This is about picking a time when you're both available and doing something with that time. It sounds boring but it works. We make time for the things we value.

Make a date night. Schedule sex if it's been a while – no, not in the boring, rote way of knowing exactly what time and in exactly what position. Make your time together a priority. It's simply another way to show each other that you matter.

Keep your time together sacred – even if that time is binge-watching The Walking Dead together. Know that this moment is for the two of you. Sure, it would be nice if you wound up in a hot, sweaty mess on the bed. The point is to create intimacy together so there's room for more romance and lust in your life.

5. Foreplay begins hours before sex.

Anyone who believes foreplay has to start once your clothes come off hasn't been having the right kind of foreplay. The build up should start much earlier in day. Hell, it should be an ongoing thing, but let's start small and simple.

A soft kiss on the neck while he's getting ready for work, a hand on your waist while you're brushing your hair, a simple caress on your hand, thigh, or arm as you walk by – none of it is overtly sexual, but when it happens at the right moment, it's electrifying. Find excuses to touch or kiss one another before you head off to the bedroom, and you might be in danger of melting the sheets once you get there.

Best of all, the more foreplay you have, the longer sex lasts and the bigger the orgasms. If that's not a reason for longer, better foreplay, I don't know what is.

6. Meet again for the first time.

It sounds crazy, I know, but try it. Pick each other up at a bar, go on a "blind" date – yes, it's a form of role play but one that doesn't require sexy costumes (unless you're into that sort of thing).

Introduce yourself to him. Let him buy you a drink. Just the anticipation alone, knowing you're playing a game and everyone else is clueless might amp up your desire and help you move along to the next step.

Hopefully, you won't have a Claire and Phil moment but even then, you've made a memory.

7. Sext each other.

This one could be classified as early foreplay but sexting doesn't have to lead to sex, either. It's a good way to share your desire, even when you're doing mundane things during the day. Before you freak out that I'm suggesting you send naked pictures of yourself, start small with little things like "I want you" or "I can't stop thinking about you."

If you're feeling brave, put into words exactly what you want to do him or what you want done to you. When you want to get really bold, send a dirty picture or two.

Pro tip: warn each other first so you don't show off London and France in a department meeting. No one you work with needs to see that much of either of you.

8. Create a sexual bucket list.

This is the time to go a little wild and crazy. List the things that you've secretly thought about but were too afraid to try. What can be on the list? Anything.

Pick a sexual position you've heard about. List a few toys – vibrators, dildos, handcuffs – you've heard about. Add a destination to the list – nudist colony, sex club, you name it. Get creative and ignore your normal inhibitions.

It's just a list. You don't have to show to anyone else, and there's no rule you have to do everything on the list. Start small and add to your list as you get more comfortable with your wild side.

9. Watch porn together.

Porn gets a bad rap. Yes, people become addicted to porn. Yes, it can tear couples apart when that addiction becomes more important your relationship. Yes, there's some porn that's just uncomfortable to watch and so unrealistic it's almost scary.

There's more than hardcore porn to choose from in the world.

More women are making porn, putting a decidedly different spin on things. Hell, it's okay to admit you like the hardcore stuff, too.

The point of watching it together isn't to make anyone feel bad or use it as a template for what you expect to do together. It's simply a way of sharing intimacy in another way. Watch what turns you on and then get down and dirty in your own way.

10. Watch each other masturbate.

Masturbation isn't just for lonely men living in their mother's basements, or newly single women who name their vibrators (although, there's nothing wrong with naming your toy. Just sayin'.) It's hot and you learn something about your partner when you do it together.

You're teaching each other what works for you. You're sharing an extremely intimate and private moment. And you're learning new skills.

See how he holds himself? Try that next time and get him to make that little groan you like so much. Show him exactly how to get you off and you'll find there's no need to fake another orgasm.

Masturbation doesn't just benefit your sex life, it's good for your health, too.

11. Try a toy together.

Just like masturbation, there's no rule that says you can only use sex toys when you're alone. And no, sex toys aren't replacements for your partner. If that's what you're using it for, you have bigger issues to deal with.

Pull out your old stash or make a date to shop online (opens in a new window) or in a store together to buy something new. Choose a toy that intrigues you both, and play together, making it a very adult playdate.

Toys create different sensations than your hands, mouth, or other parts ever will. When used as an accessory to your sexual moments, you enhance the experience.

12. Experiment.

Before you start admitting your deepest, darkest desires, let's assume you've built up some basic trust and intimacy. You've had a bit of good sex, and now you want to take it to a new level. Now it's time to experiment with something new.

A word of warning and a rule: keep an open mind. You don't have to like an idea or be interested in what's being proposed to respect your partner's desire for it. Make your bedroom a judgment free zone. Now that we've cleared that up, the rest is easy.

Name a kink, a game, role play, something you saw in the porn you watched together, or in one of your steamy books hidden on your Kindle. If he's game, try it!

The worst that might happen is you decide it's not your thing at all. The best is that you might have your eyes opened to a whole new world of sexual fun together.

Depending on where you're at in your relationship and just how bad the routine has become, you'll either need to start small and rebuild your intimacy or you can jump right in and tell him you want to tie him up and smack his ass. But the first thing you have to do is be honest about what's going on, what you really want, and what you need to do in order to bring back the spice and sizzle to your relationship.

The first step is always communication. It might be difficult at first, but keep your eyes on the prize and stay focused. The end result is a stronger relationship, warm and fuzzy intimacy, and hopefully, steamy hot sex that makes people wonder if they should call the cops. TC mark

This post originally appeared at Attract The One.

25 ‘Mini-Resolutions’ You Should Make For Yourself This New Year

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 05:00 PM PST

Flickr / Tobias Zils
Flickr / Tobias Zils

1. Start getting enough sleep. Sleep is for the dead, right?? HARDY HAR HAR!! Actually, by not getting enough sleep you are likely to be less productive and less happy. Most people need between 7 – 8 hours a night to operate at peak performance, and you deserve it!

2. Cut toxic people out of your life. Ya know that friend who constantly talks shit about you behind your back and all your conversations are basically, “omg BABE can you lend me some money” or “OMG so much drama in my life bb! let me try to find a way to suck you into dis shit!” Yeah, it’s time to just cut loose. You shouldn’t waste any of it on people who aren’t worth it.

3. Learn something new. Practice cooking, take a yoga class, do something that expands your horizons.

4. Take a spontaneous trip. Spend an afternoon on the other side of the state, or go on an impromptu hike. It will break you out of the same old blah and make you excited about life.

5. Tell someone “no.” Stop always overloading yourself and agreeing to do whatever anyone asks. It is awesome to be a selfless person, but cut yourself a break! It will feel awesome.

6. Make your bed daily. It will be one thing you accomplish everyday and make life seem more organized!

7. Resolve to take a social media holiday. Whether than means just for one day or longer, give yourself time to unplug and recharge.

8. Stop yourself from judging people too often or too quickly. It can be easy to think in your mind “he’ s ugly!” to the guy chatting up your bae or “what an idiot” to someone who cuts you off on the highway but really people are complicated and deserve a second thought.

9. Always try to assume the best in people. Yeah, you will be disappointed from time-to-time, but you’ll find yourself smiling more often.

10. Learn to love what you can’t change. Soooo I have natural love-handles on my sides. I hate them. They are awful. No amount of cardio can make those f*ckers go away. You know what? It’s okay, even if I don’t know it yet. You probably have something about yourself that you dislike too. It’s okay, try to change what you can, but come to peace with what you can’t.

11. Start a piece of “positive gossip.” Gently rebuke the negative rumors around your company break-room with a positive one! Talk up someone who did something cool, it will make their day and maybe create a more positive culture overall!

12. Don’t let social media upset you. Those Facebook proposal posts making you moody too? Let’s try to ignore them together.

13. Give someone a second chance if they deserve it.

14. Forgive yourself for that thing you’re still holding onto.

15. Pay for someone’s Starbucks order when you’re driving through. You might just make someone’s day.

16. Find reasons to say “yes” to the next big thing in your life.

17. Explore your spirituality. Maybe that means your religion, or maybe just your human connection with nature. Let yourself meditate on the condition of the world.

18. Listen. Give yourself the time and space to just hear the birds chirping or the people around you. Let yourself feel connected.

19. Do at least one big thing outside your comfort zone. Force yourself to talk to that person at the bar, or the mutual friend who you think is cute.

20. Save up for something, even if it is small-ish. If you’re anything like me, you struggle with saving money JUST A LITTLE BIT. So maybe set a goal of setting X dollars aside for something special. This will help you gain confidence in your ability to manage your finances!

21. Eat an extra scoop of ice cream without feeling bad. Let yourself enjoy good things without feeling guilty.

22. Listen to a new music group or genre. You could be missing out on a whole world of epic music by pigeonholing yourself!

23. Actually use your health insurance. Boring, right?? We are all young and free 20-somethings that NOTHING could ever go wrong, right? Nah, actually get your physical this year, go to the dentist, and the eye doctor.

24. Ditch FOMO. Seriously, either do stuff or don’t do it. Don’t feel guilty or worried about passing up shit you didn’t want to do.

25. Dream. TC mark

7 Interesting Reasons We Choose To Marry The Person We Do

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 04:30 PM PST

Twenty20 / dakotah
Twenty20 / dakotah

Have you ever met someone that you seemed to click with and knew almost instinctively you needed that person in your life? Why do some people resonate with us so strongly while others fail to make any kind of impression at all?

In a piece on Bright Side, family psychologist and author Irina Chesnova explores why we react so strongly to certain people and what it takes to build a lasting relationship with them.

1. They trigger flashes of our past for us.

Deep inside our psyches we hold images of the people who played significant parts in our lives as we grew up. These people made us who we are today. The images of parents, neighbors and relatives are a combination of reality and how we remember it through our childhood imagination.

“We associate these images with love — the love we received and understood when we were children. We cannot pass and remain indifferent,” says Chesnova. “We are intrigued, worked up and very soon, in love.”

2. They remind us of our parents.

Sometimes a person that you connect with in a strong way reminds us of one our parents in a very specific way, either good or bad. If you didn’t get the love you needed from your mother or father, you may try to heal some of your childhood trauma at a subconscious level with this new person.

“We often choose [in our companions of life] the one who, we believe, will help heal the wounds of childhood, to [help] realize the psychological needs, expectations, hopes, and dreams, and find all the things we were once deprived of: love protection, recognition, admiration, and maybe even the independence, self-importance and perfection,” Chesnova explains.

3. They complete us.

When you find the right person, you feel comfortable and at home with them. They seem to give you something that you lacked before and the same is true for them.

Chesnova says, “He’s reasonable and she’s more impulsive. He’s reticent and you’re spontaneous. He’s tough whereas you are flexible.” Each person complements the other, fitting together like the pieces of a puzzle.

4. They’re in the same place in life as us.

We find people who are able to play a role in our play, and who instinctively know the plot and the themes. Yes, it’s a play that you write together.

5. Their relationship with us is constantly changing.

At the start of a relationship, people have a tendency to hide their real feelings and at the same time see a perfect version of their partners. Eventually, the rose-colored glasses come off, and one is able to see a regular person with their own set of weaknesses and flaws.

What does one do at this point? You either break up, go off in disappointment and find someone new, or you learn to accept and even appreciate their imperfections.

Chesnova says, “Learn to negotiate, to respect differences, and to recognize the right of everyone to not be the ideal.”

6. They don’t try to change us.

Don’t lose sight of all the good aspects of their personalities, because it’s these qualities you’ll be able to depend on during your life together (and it was those characteristics that attracted you to them in the first place). You want a relationship where each person supports the other. If you force someone to change, they’ll start to resent you.

7. They have what we need for a successful relationship.

The tools of a good partnership are communication, positive interactions, no blaming, no accusing, no manipulating, and having a mutual desire to compromise and speak about pain and conflict.

Relationships can be a tricky thing to get right. For some people, it seems to come easily; for others, they work and work and it remains challenging. In reality, no matter how easily a couple might appear to have it, there’s a lot of work going on that the casual observer can’t see. TC mark


This Is Why You Should Never Lose Yourself In A Relationship

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 04:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / pastaroll
Twenty20 / pastaroll

Love feels good, doesn't it? There's a reason why we call it "falling” in love, because we fall, we get lost — we get intoxicated with the high feelings that only love can deliver.

But this intoxication comes with risk. The danger of falling in love is falling to the point of losing yourself in a relationship. It’s the danger of inauthenticity, and when you aren't authentic in a relationship, you are essentially living a lie. You’re hiding. You don't allow your partner to see the real you. Inauthenticity prevents the formation of a true, healthy relationship.

Why do we lose ourselves in relationships?

The intoxication of love can make your head spin. The human brain releases chemicals that are designed to help you form an attachment to a partner, and these chemicals make you feel amazing when you're with someone you're attracted to. You probably feel relaxed, happy, excited, and preoccupied with thoughts of your partner. This process exists for a reason.

Scientifically speaking, it's nature's way of helping the human race survive.

When you combine the addictive high from the chemicals of love with any fears or insecurities you have, you become a prime target for losing yourself in a relationship. Here you are, open and exposed to someone to love and who has the potential to love you in return. This is, by far, one of the most vulnerable things we can do as humans.

Why? Because when we open to love, we open to the possibility that we could be hurt, abandoned, or rejected. It's likely you'll do anything to avoid that kind of pain, right? This fear can make you abandon your needs, your desires, or other characteristics about you that you may be afraid to share with your partner. You may fall into the trap of inauthenticity in an attempt to maintain a relationship and avoid pain.

How do you know when you've lost yourself?

Your boundaries become blurred. You are not authentic. Your friends rarely see you because you spend all of your time with your partner or your partner's friends.

You lose your interest in your hobbies. Your interests are his interests. His interests are your interests. You let go of your routine, your structure, and your life.

Now don't get me wrong — a relationship requires a blending of lifestyles, compromise, and a lot of shared time together — but there should still be a maintenance of your own life. Your friends, your work, your hobbies should remain a priority. It may not be at the same frequency as your single days, but these things should still have a presence and significance in your life.

Living a lie and being inauthentic in a relationship can be subtle or obvious. Do you go overboard to please others so they like you? Do you agree with everything your date likes, says, or does, even when you really don't agree? You may do things that you don't like, agree with people just to avoid conflict, or live a lifestyle that doesn't fit with your inner beliefs.

Do you hide aspects of yourself out of fear you won't be liked? You may be afraid to "expose yourself", and allow someone to see the "real you" physically, emotionally, sexually, mentally, or spiritually.

Authenticity keeps you strong.

It simply means that you are being real. You aren't hiding who you truly are as a human. It means that you become transparent to the world, including your dates and partners, because you know that who you are is acceptable, and worthy of love and acceptance.

Authenticity requires fearless confidence in who you are. It requires that you believe you're OK, and if your date or partner doesn't like who you are, then it isn't a reflection of your worth, your appearance, or anything else on a personal level. It simply means that someone failed to recognize your worth, or your worth wasn't a match for their worth. It is not about you.

Self-acceptance is the key.

When you love and accept yourself, you won't run the risk of losing yourself in relationships. You must trust that who you are is imperfectly perfect. Your flaws and imperfections are a part of you to acknowledge, and never a part to hide. It is through loving and accepting yourself that you can learn to allow someone else to love and accept you.

Living outside of your truth builds walls between you and love. You must trust that by showing up in a relationship, or just a date, in transparency and authenticity will guide you to deep, healing, regenerating love.

It's simple. No lies, no hiding, no getting lost. Have courage to be you and trust that in this courageous authenticity, love will find you. TC mark


17 Essential Life Lessons You’ll Get From Dating Long Distance (Even If Your Relationship Fails)

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 03:00 PM PST

Spreng Ben
Spreng Ben

1. You are brave.

Brave for putting fear aside and attempting a relationship that people on the sidelines shake their heads at. Brave for facing things alone because you have to, with no one holding your hand and guiding you through. Brave for opening your heart, for trusting. And whether things work out or not, you will learn how strong your heart can be.

2. Patience isn't just for dealing with three-year-olds.

Adults need patience too.

3. Time is important.

And should always be valued, especially if it’s limited. But even if it’s not.

4. You're never in a relationship with just your significant other.

You are dating his mother who loves cooking strange Oriental foods, his brother who plays basketball, and her pothead cousins. They all want to be included in your lives. They all want to stalk your Instagram posts. They all want to be Facebook friends. And this will teach you the sometimes annoying, but definitely awesome, connecting power of love. But…

5. Your relationship will never involve your families/friends or their love lives.

You can (and should) let people in. But being long distance will always be you and your human's decision. Stressing about everyone else's thoughts and opinions and comparing yourself to other 'happily in love' couples will never do anything for your sanity or relationship stability.

6. Not everything needs to be a battle.

Not being face-to-face consistently will teach you what pisses you off, what is worth arguing about, and what really isn't a big deal. No text back for two hours? Not worth it. A Snapchat of her and her ex? Yeah, probably fight-worthy.

7. Never move in with someone before knowing their goals, future plans, and annoying bathroom habits.

This one's self-explanatory.

8. Sometimes you need to Facebook stalk the ex…and sometimes you don't.

A good creeping session won't hurt anyone…unless you let it consume your life and you start comparing yourself to every little thing he/she wears, does, or posts on Instagram.

Never be clueless about your bae's previous relationships. But becoming obsessed with the past to the point that it takes away from the now? Dumb.

9. You are a beautiful person.

Beautiful because you believe in love, no matter the obstacles. Beautiful in your Snapchat selfies. Beautiful over Skype. And beautiful, even if things don't work out the way you planned, because you will realize your beauty on your own. Which is the most important thing.

10. Little things do matter.

Like telling your significant other you're headed to the store, brushing your teeth, or eating Oreos while watching the news. These are all actually relevant and important to someone who isn't there for your day-to-day life.

11. Distance actually does make the heart grow fonder.

Contrary to the anti-LDR belief that a two people can't live apart or they'll grow apart, your long distance relationship will actually bring you closer. In ways you never even imagined.

12. Growing apart is a good thing.

You have your own set of friends, your own Friday night plans, and your own passions that are uniquely yours. You will learn to value your alone time. You will become more independent. And this is good, whether you end up together or not.

13. You will learn your self-worth.

And that it's not determined by your body, but by your intelligence, communication, and self-sufficiency.

14. Phone calls will tell you a lot about a person. More than you think.

You will learn the way your human's voice sounds when he's sad, the way she texts when she's busy, or the best time of night to chat. You will learn his fears, her honest thoughts, and his happiest moments. You'll be forced to engage in your absence, and not cover your feelings with small talk. And you'll see and understand more than you would standing right in front of the other person.

15. You have a purpose outside of your love life.

And that is discovering who you are, which is equally, if not more important.

16. Long distance should never become 'normal.'

No matter how long the timeframe of being apart may be, you will learn that the end goal is togetherness. And you will end up together, or realize that it's better to end things before anyone gets really hurt.

17. And finally, will discover that you and bae are actually legitimate bad a**ses.

For doing this. For loving each other despite distance, no matter if you succeed. Because love is always worth the battles we fight, no matter the outcome. TC mark

Being Alone Doesn’t Mean You Have To Be Lonely

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 02:00 PM PST

Flickr / Leo Hidalgo
Flickr / Leo Hidalgo

Being alone doesn't necessarily mean that you have to feel lonely. In fact, being alone can feel just as rewarding, if not more than being around other people.

Losing a great friend or significant other can make it seem like being alone is the absolute worst thing in the world. You want to immediately seek comfort in your friends and in other desires.

But being alone will not only help you gain more independence, it will make you stronger and happier too.

Spend some time going over what it is that makes your heart light up like a glow stick at a Taylor Swift concert. Is it art? Is it volunteer work? Is it music? Then go and do it. Learn it. Perform it. Embrace it. But don't invite anyone else to the party. This is a party just for one and it's the best kind of party.

Study something you have always wanted to but never had the time for. Go out dancing by yourself in your favorite clothes. Go on a long drive and belt out your secret guilty pleasure songs. Eat your favorite types of food and smile because no one gets to judge you about it. Dance around your room like a maniac and laugh like one too. Take a walk by yourself in your hometown. Treat yourself to a very large chocolate milkshake and don't feel ashamed when you drink the whole thing. Cook yourself a huge meal and relish in the fact that you don't have to share it with anyone else.

Be the person you want to say hello to in the morning and goodnight to in the evening. Be the person you want to look in the mirror at and smile because you are glorious. Be the person who will take care of you when you're sick and love you when your heart hurts. Be your own caretaker. And be your own hero.

Because at the end of the day, you only have you so you might as well be the best you that you can be. And it's about damn time you started loving yourself. TC mark

9 Reasons I Am Absolutely Done With Modern Dating

Posted: 03 Jan 2016 01:00 PM PST

Tania .S.
Tania .S.

I'll be honest, I can be a bit of a pessimist sometimes, but when it comes to modern dating? I'm not even trying to be optimistic anymore. I suppose I've finally come to accept how things are in the age of never ending social media, and to be frank, I'm not really okay with it. So I’m done with modern dating, and let me tell you why.



I’m done with having fragile relationships (if that's what you can call these “things”) with no forward momentum. There is no point in texting me every day if you don't intend to do anything other than have the same conversations.


I'm done with the term "talking" as opposed to "dating." It doesn't necessarily mean that anyone expects to have you change your relationship status immediately, but would it really kill you to say you went on a date rather than you just "hung out" with someone?


I’m done with finality being hammered into shattered egos even harder with being unfollowed and unfriended. As if it isn't enough to be strung along and had your time wasted.


I'm done with seeing numerous articles on my newsfeed written about what to do and what not to do in regards to dating. Aside from common sense stuff, a lot of this drivel is just written for people who are too afraid to be open and honest from the get-go. Why complicate things when generally, you just know who you do and don't vibe with?


I'm done with the ridiculousness of making guys feel creepy for approaching a girl. Here's how it goes: a guy approaches a girl, if she isn't interested, she politely declines, and they both move on. It's so simple, and it works both ways. It isn't creepy to let someone know you're interested.


I'm done with the entire concept of a person who wears their heart on their sleeve being the "loser" of this asinine game. So what? She approached a guy and got rejected. Unlike you, who missed out and will never know. The earlier you know, the sooner you can move on.


I'm done with guys and gals alike feeling like they can't be sad when someone ghosts them, because you can't lose what you never had, right? Wrong. You are allowed to be upset, you are allowed to be angry and sad, you're even allowed to reach out and politely ask for an explanation. Just don't hold your breath on a legitimate response.


I'm done with games. I texted you back immediately because I like you, I'm genuinely interested in what you have to say, and I'm not insecure enough to feel like I need to wait 20 minutes when I'm not busy.


I'm done with people putting up with all of the aforementioned things, despite the fact that almost everyone is tired of dealing with these things. This is why I quit. No more modern dating for me.

If you need me, I'll be over here, enjoying my life until someone comes along and wants to be a bit more realistic with me. TC mark