Thought Catalog


Read This If You’re Not ‘Wife Material’ And You Really Don’t Care

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 07:00 PM PST

Jean Gerber
Jean Gerber

You don't want to settle down. You find comfort in not being comfortable with someone.

There is no "you complete me." You already feel fulfilled and finished and done. There is no half heart wandering the earth looking for you—you're already whole.

You're brave. The fear and terror of being alone has never crossed your mind.

You exude a specific brand of confidence—in everything but romantic relationships. It's intimacy that robs you of confidence in who you are, what you do, and everything you want to be.

Intimacy is scary and strangling and not at all what you've been looking for. Because you never felt compelled to look for anything outside yourself in the first place.

Yes, you've seen the movies. You've seen the romantic comedies—from John Hughes to Judd Apatow—and you know how they’re all supposed to end.

But you also know that that happy ending isn't your Happy Ending.

You're told by your mother that it's instinct. You're supposed to innately crave a partner before your biological clock runs out.

You're told you're wrong, that you'll change your mind. Every woman goes through the phase where she thinks this is what she wants before she comes to her natural senses.

But not you.

You're not broken, confused, or unlovable.

You're not a late bloomer, a difficult daughter, or a repulsive being.

You're not wife material. And you love that about yourself.

You thrive in the freedom of pursuing any obscure opportunity that might present itself. You fall in love with places and people and stories and potential.

You are the star of a new romantic comedy—one where the ending is ambiguous the entire time and everyone actually pays attention to the plot.

You're enthusiastic about everything and never feel the need to compromise.

You love love. But you love yourself the most.

And when you're told repeatedly that you’ll miss out on one of the most important and critical experiences a woman can live through, you know in your heart they’re wrong. Because you’re just not cut from that cloth. TC mark

15 Seemingly Ordinary Details That Shed Light On Who You Really Are

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 06:00 PM PST

Dustin Adams
Dustin Adams

1. The color you wear most often.

Color psychology is something that businesses use to appeal to customers, therapists use to create a certain feeling in their offices, and something you're probably using without even realizing it. Color perception (especially when it comes to clothing) usually reveals something about your personality (people who wear black feel self-empowered; red is indicative of sexuality or aggression; green correlates with intelligence, love, and nature, and so on).

2. What makes you laugh.

As most people know, humor is only humor when it reveals a bit of truth. Whatever makes you laugh is a clue to that which you subconsciously acknowledge to be "true." While on the surface this probably seems obvious and unimportant, everyone's sense of humor is distinctly unique, as no two people have the exact same perspective on "truth."

3. The five most common things you do each day.

Aside from the basics (eating, sleeping, and so on) the things you do each day are more indicative of who you are than the overarching ideas you probably have about your life (your job title, your familial status, etc.) Who you *really are* is better represented by the five things you do each day than the five things you'd tell someone about yourself during an "elevator speech."

4. What you don't want other people to know about you.

The things you don't want other people to know about you are controlling your life much more than you probably recognize. When we have to go to any length to hide or manipulate an outside perspective of ourselves, we suffocate a greater part of who we are in the process. Regardless, the things you want to keep private are the things that you ultimately recognize to be in some way true. Otherwise, they wouldn't scare you.

5. What you daydream about.

When your mind wanders, where does it go? Are you a celebrity, are you a parent, are you a millionaire? Are you with the love of your life? Are you on TV for an accomplishment? Dissect the nature of your daydreams – most of the time, they are mechanisms for self-soothing. If you can determine what makes you feel most at peace, you can determine what's disturbing you in the first place (the opposite of it).

6. Who (and what) you suffer for.

If "suffer" is a strong word, then swap it out with: what (and who) you sacrifice for. What in your life do you place before your comfort or preference? Is it your work? Your ego? A special someone in your life? What you believe is worth suffering for is linked to what you feel your life is really about in the grand scheme of it all.

7. The nature of what you're entertained by.

Is it gossip about other people, fiction books, crime shows, celebrity news, self-help books? What you find most entertaining is what you find most consuming; it reveals a lot about what you're inherently interested in. And if you find that what you're most intrigued by is less than flattering, don't worry: being interested in celeb gossip, for example, indicates that you are fascinated by the dynamics of how people relate to one another more than it does pettiness.

8. How you self-soothe.

We all comfort ourselves throughout the day, even if we don't realize that's what we're doing. Even the simple things, like food or sex or liquor, are forms of self-soothing. Your drug of choice (literally or not) says a lot about who you are in that it reveals what makes you feel most understood, or related to.

9. What you perceive "failure" to be.

Is it not living up to your parent's expectations? Going broke? Not becoming a bestselling author? Your perception of "failure" says so much about who you are, mostly because it's the thing you're always working to avoid. If your idea of not failing is just keeping a roof over your head, you're going to be a lot less driven than if something else were the case.

10. How you describe yourself to others.

Everyone's self-perception is warped to a degree, and that's normal. But the way you see yourself at any given moment in time says more about how you feel about yourself than it does how well you can communicate your identity.

11. How you treat people who are in need.

When homeless people ask for money, or a friend asks for advice, or someone in your family needs emotional support, do you feel empathetic and lend yourself to them, do you brush it off because "they got themselves into that situation?" How you treat people in need is a projection of how you treat yourself when you're hurting. The more open-hearted you are to them, the more accepting you are of yourself.

12. How you argue.

Do you lash out whenever the impulse strikes you? Do you fight with insults or do you argue with points and evidence? What do you argue about? Your most angered, heightened state of emotion is a preview of what your dark side is like (and it's just as important and crucial to the whole of you).

13. How you treat people who are unkind, unfair or judgmental of you.

You know how they say your character is how you treat people who can do nothing for you? Well it's also how you treat people who actively are unkind to you. Do you dislike people only when they dislike you? Are you only kind to people who are kind to you? Is your impulse to want revenge or to forget about them entirely? Do you use their behavior as a means to justify your own?

14. How you want to be remembered, and for what.

Do you want to be known for your intelligence or your attractiveness or your heart? It's usually one of the three that people think is their most significant contribution (though they aren't always correct). Regardless, what you want to be remembered for is what you want your life to be defined by.

15. How you spend your lazy Sundays.

Alternatively: who you are and what you do when nobody else is around. TC mark

No, Not Everything Will Work Out (And That’s Okay)

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 05:00 PM PST

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“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

I’ve heard the above idiom a handful of times. The internet seems to point to John Lennon as the first person to say it, but frankly, who knows? You could claim Marilyn Monroe said, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” on GoodReads and someone out there will nod in agreement.

Personally, this quote never did much. It wasn’t the blanket of You’ll Be Just Fine that people expected it to be. To me, it sounded like a person who hadn’t experienced much. A person who was still swimming in the safety of naivety.

I always recognized when it came from a good place and did my best to smile, thank whoever the well-intentioned person was for the (misplaced) inspiration. I held back my eye rolls. Because I know what works for someone else doesn’t translate into working for me. I wouldn’t expect it to.

There’s actually something I’ve always found charming about people who turn to quotes for comfort. It’s really no different from seeking solace in one’s favorite book, movie, television show, etc. We’re quick to make fun of Pinterest boards and cheesy lines stenciled on planners. But why? Who cares? If it works for them, great.

So what if you’re like me? You hear,

“Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.”

and you just think, “Lie. Lie. Lie.”

What are you supposed to do? Are you expected to buy into every bit of perfect cheerfulness and chalk it all up to “God’s plan” when you don’t even know what you believe? Do you plaster a permanent smile and agree that, yes, everything will always be okay?

No. You don’t. You don’t swallow your own emotions and experiences. You don’t squish yourself to fit into whatever the proper image of grieving should be. You don’t allow others to dictate how you will be okay. When you will be okay. If you’ll be okay.

It’s taken me a long time to learn some things don’t work out. Sometimes, no, things aren’t alright in the end. And that’s the end of it. There isn’t a grand crescendo, a light in the distance that illuminates how everything came to be.

Every now and then, something bad happens and that’s just it. It happened.

Is it shitty? Of course. But accepting that is one of the more morbid parts of life. But morbidity doesn’t mean it isn’t important. There is a strange peacefulness that can come with it.

Realizing shit happens, and you will still find a way through it, is weirdly beautiful. No, you don’t need to find a reason. No, you don’t need to search for the silver lining if you don’t want to. Maybe it’s there. Maybe it’s not. You shouldn’t beat yourself up if you can’t see it.

It might not be there to begin with.

I’m sorry if you wanted this to be an #inspo piece you could print out and look at when things feel tough. I’m sorry if you Googled a question and this was nowhere near close to the answer you hoped.

But I guess, I’m hoping if there are people out there like me; people who have seen the underside of the beast and can’t bring themselves to believe there’s a beauty in such things, I want you to know it’s okay. I want you to know not everything bad needs explanation. I want you to know you’re not alone. And you can survive. But not everything does work out. Still, I think you’ll figure it out. I think you’ll find a way. TC mark

14 People Share Their Cringe-Worthy Valentine’s Day Stories (That Will Make You Feel Better About Your Own)

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 04:15 PM PST

kimasch3
kimasch3

1.

“It was about to be my first ‘single on Valentine’s Day’ in a really long time, and I was not stoked about it. It’s not that I even cared about the holiday, but it felt like this giant reminder of my break up everywhere I went. Like Hallmark was mocking my sorry ass. So, I did what all miserably sad people do. I decided I’d download Tinder. I started messaging back and forth with this one dude. From his pictures, he seemed cute and athletic. We shared a love of paddle-boarding and other aquatic sports. It was a fun, flirty distraction. I didn’t even have an intention to meet up with him, but then he asked if I wanted to hang out on Saturday. And Saturday was Valentine’s Day. We both kind of laughed about it, said it would be low-key and not a big deal. He said he and a bunch of friends were going out to a bar, and that I should join. This was my first date since I’d split with my ex and I was trying not to freak out, but I was. I get to the bar, see my date, and yes, he’s very cute. But guess who I see sitting next to him? My ex. Because apparently they are friends.”

— Viv, 26

2.

“In high school, I was very stupid (as most teenage boys are.) I was hanging with a bunch of friends because one of my buddies was dumped the day before Valentine’s Day. We were underage, so we didn’t obviously have a ton of access to alcohol. But we were determined to get drunk and lament over our sad love lives. One of our friends found a gallon of mint extract in his house and told us all it had methanol in it, and therefore we could probably get drunk of it. We drank it. It was disgusting. We did not get drunk. And we spent all night throwing up.”

— Brandon, 21

3.

“In 7th grade I wrote a Valentine’s poem for my crush about wishing I could ask him to be my Valentine but I was too shy and signed it ‘anonymous.’ I left it on his chair before class when no one was in the room. When he found it he was with a popular girl. They read it together; she yelled ‘Gross, I bet Annabelle is the one who wrote it!’ They both proceeded to ‘eww’ and he threw it in the trash can.”

— Annabelle, 29

4.

“An hour before going out to a fancy V-day dinner, I found out my boyfriend had been cheating on me for more than 6 months. His phone rang. I answered it because he was in the shower and it’s not uncommon for us to do that. I thought we had no secrets. It was an unsaved number and a girl wondering who the hell I was. Needless to say, I canceled our reservations for the night.”

— Fatima, 25

5.

“One time I made Geoff Bird a homemade Valentine’s Day card and he gave it back to me and said ‘No thanks'” I was 9.”

— Catherine, 24

6.

“We had tickets to a Broadway show. I ate something that disagreed with me and shit my pants while running to the bathroom. And to make matters worse, I was wearing a thong.”

— Lisbeth, 27

7.

“Freshman year of high school dateless me designed and printed up a bunch of ‘badges’ with Spike from Buffy The Vampire Slayer on them. They read ‘Love Bites.’ I tried to give them out to other single people. They were not popular.”

— Maya, 28

8.

“Last year I spent a few hours excitedly waiting for my bf to visit me on Valentine’s Day. I made him chocolate covered pineapple and wrote him a card telling him I loved him. When I asked what he got me he replied- ‘nothing.’ Thinking he was kidding, I start laughing like a maniac along with my sister. After that, just dead silence and awkward glances were exchanged. Then he asks ME to make dinner reservations for us. Glad we broke up.”

— Tina, 20

9.

“It was amazing…until she switched it up and tried reverse cowgirl, totally overestimating her abilities. We ended up in the ER all night because I was convinced she broke my dick. We soon stopped seeing each other after.”

— Christian, 32

10.

“I was stood up. Not the worst thing in the world, but there’s something extra-cringey when it’s the one night you are SURROUNDED by lovey-dovey couples and the waitress just keeps looking at you like you’re a wounded puppy.”

— Kenny, 29

11.

“My ex came to visit me at work at my old restaurant job one Valentine’s Day with an adorable teddy bear and Russell Stover chocolates. I made some kind of remark about how I didn’t like Russell Stover chocolates because they’re too sweet (in retrospect, I think I was also thinking of Walt Whitman chocolates — great poet, crappy chocolate), and like wildfire my terrible reaction to my boyfriend’s sweet gift turns into the laughing stock of the entire restaurant. A decade later, old work friends still bring up to me what a snob I was. I’m always like, ‘I’ve repented enough, guys, okay!?’

And I still have the teddy bear. I’m really not a jerk, I swear.”

— Skylar, 26

12.

“Last Valentine’s Day I was single and I was like, ok this day will suck but it will be fine. So I decided to have a treat yo self day and just do what I felt like doing. I got a giant bottle of wine and some snacks, lit some nice candles, and laid on the couch reading Twilight. I had an agreement with my roommate (who was newly in love) that she wasn’t going to come home that night because I didn’t want her shoving her awesome relationship in my face. WELP. I am just settled into Twilight when her and her hot af boyfriend pop in to see how I am doing. and I was like, ‘Hi, I’m a loser reading Twilight and drinking alone.'”

— Maureen, 28

13.

“For Valentine’s Day I wrote my boyfriend of three years a song about us growing old together. The next day he Skyped me asking to be in an open relationship.”

— Deena, 24

14.

“I take Ambien to sleep, and on Valentine’s Day I had a few glasses of wine. It was a pretty average day. I was seeing someone, but casually. We had a good date. I went to bed, took my Ambien. I guess the alcohol + Ambien was not my best idea because I woke up with zero memory of calling my ex boyfriend 5 times in the night. Oops.”

— Lola, 31 TC mark

16 Reasons Why Having Your Life Turned Upside Down Makes You Infinitely Stronger

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 04:00 PM PST

unsplash.com/Verne Ho
unsplash.com/Verne Ho

1. It makes you realize who's really there for you.

It's easy to be there for someone when the sun is shining and the sailing's smooth. But the people who really matter are the ones who'll stick around when the water gets choppy and you need to be thrown a life raft.

The people who stick by you during the worst of times are the people who will matter for the rest of your life – and there's no way to find out who those people are without first going through those tough times and seeing exactly who disappears and who stays.

2. It gives you the opportunity to finally make the uncomfortable changes you've been putting off.

When the majority of your needs are satisfied, there's little motivation to make any significant changes – even if those changes would be highly beneficial in the long run. When the stakes are down, look at it as an opportunity to finally take the chances you've been too afraid to take for so long – you have so much less to lose and therefore so much more to gain.

3. It makes you realize how much you can truly withstand.

None of us really know how much we're capable of until we're forced to find out. And the truly difficult periods in our lives teach us exactly that – how resilient we really are, in ways we never previously expected.

4. It provides you with a sense of compassion toward others who are struggling.

The most empathetic people are the ones who've been through the most themselves. And once you've seen your life get torn apart, you will forever remember what it feels like to be in that position. It provides you with an immeasurable sense of compassion and patience towards others who find themselves in the same position.

5. It forces you to rely on your core strengths.

Aside from all of the strengths we learn and build on, we have a core set of natural skills that never leave us. And the more chaotic our lives become, the more those core strengths rise up to meet the challenge. If there's anything our times of greatest struggle teach us, it's the ways in which we're naturally, almost unintentionally strong.

6. It challenges you to face up to the worst parts of yourself.

Just as our greatest strengths rise up to meet us during times of struggle, so do our greatest demons. While it's never fun to face up to the parts of ourselves that are wholly unglamorous and raw, it's a confrontation that sometimes needs to be had before we are able to move forward with greater awareness and wholeness.

7. It makes you realize how much you still have left when you lose everything.

The cool thing about losing most of what we have is that we never end up truly losing everything. At the end of the day, you're always left with a few core strengths, virtues and – if you're lucky – relationships. And it turns out those things take us much further than we may have expected.

8. It strips the unnecessary bullshit from your life.

When shit truly hits the fan in life, all of our petty day-to-day problems seem to consequently jump ship. We are left to deal only with true, genuine issues – and in some ways, that is a wholly refreshing change.

9. It gives you the opportunity to rebuild from the ground up – on a foundation of what's important.

Nobody ever wants to have to start their life over from scratch. But the brilliance of doing so is that you get to build the strongest, firmest foundation imaginable, based on only what truly matters. You're old enough and sure enough and strong enough to actually know what you want by now. And there's no reason to not make that the basis of everything you do moving forward.

10. It brings you closer to the people who really matter.

If hardship has any silver lining it's that it brings people together immeasurably. The people who see you through the worst and messiest periods of your life are the people who will forever know you in a deeply intimate way. And the bonds you form during these periods will be simply unmatchable.

11. It gives you a greater appreciation for what you have during the good times.

There's nothing more humbling than knowing that at any given point in time, all that you have could fall apart. Though it's an anxiety-inducing thought in some ways, it's an incredibly liberating one in others. After a period of struggle, you learn to appreciate the good times in a way you never did before – because you know that they won't necessarily last forever.

12. It forces you to advocate and fight for yourself.

When the stakes are down, we are forced to become our own greatest advocates. No matter how much help we have from others, at the end of the day it's always going to be up to us to put our broken lives back together. And the resilience we foster in the process is something that never truly leaves us.

13. It hands you a new perspective on the life that you've been living for so long.

We so rarely stop to examine the lifestyle we're living and whether or not it serves us. But when everything else is falling apart, we are offered the unique opportunity to step outside of our regular routine and evaluate it for what it is. We realize all that we can survive without, and the ways in which we've been holding ourselves back all along.

14. It forces you to grow into a new, bigger version of yourself.

When our lives are thrown into a form of chaos that we've never encountered, we are forced to grow into people that we have never been. And those new versions of ourselves are stronger and better and more capable than we've ever had to be in the past – no matter how much it hurts to grow into them.

15. It makes you realize just how little you can survive without.

The truth about our lives getting turned upside down is that it makes us understand how little we truly need to build ourselves back up. All of the money, toys, tools and means of validation that we normally rely on turn out to be a lot less necessary than we thought they were.

16. It provides you with a sense of inner confidence that never goes away.

The beauty about having everything turned on its head is that you eventually, inevitably turn it right-side-up again. And once you realize that you're capable of doing so, the fear of your life falling apart again mysteriously disappears. You know that you can deal with the worst and so you don't have to constantly prepare for it. You can live your life boldly and confidently – harnessing a newfound inner strength that never truly leaves you. TC mark

Cyber Snooping Can Save You From Choosing The Wrong Partner (But It Can Also Make You Crazy)

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 03:00 PM PST

iStockPhoto.com / Ondine32
iStockPhoto.com / Ondine32

Back stiffened by intrigue and fright, 24-year-old Maggie glances from computer to bedroom door. It’s 7am, and her boyfriend Nigel could emerge at any minute to find her seated at his desk, staring at his laptop. Quickly, she types her name in the search bar of Nigel’s Gmail account, which he never bothers signing out of.

Immediately, a trove of what every snoop covets—information, of course—pops up. Except that what Maggie learns through scouring emails and chat threads for the next fifteen minutes straight is incredibly disturbing.

In Gchats with friends, Nigel brags about "plowing" several other women during the time he'd sworn exclusivity to Maggie. When he bothers discussing his long-term girlfriend and roommate at all, Nigel's tone is alarmingly crude and disrespectul. He references "last night's punishing" on more than one occasion, and brags about sending Maggie to bed "bowlegged" after “banging her brains out.”

"He made me sound like a pathetic bimbo," says Maggie, who admits that cyber snooping “isn’t the coolest thing to do,” but also claims that the morality of her behavior is “beside the point.” Nigel has since moved out, and Maggie has moved on.

The day she shunned "heart-pounding guilt" to invade Nigel's privacy, Maggie recalls being driven by a distinct sense that something was seriously wrong with her eight-month relationship. Some would argue that by breaking her boyfriend’s trust, Maggie deserved the bleak but truthful awakening she got. Others would say that she was smart to trust her gut.

Whatever the case, curiosity often trumps impulse control for many of us. And our biology might be to blame.

* * *

According to Dr. Helen Fisher, PhD, a Research Professor at Rutgers University, snooping has been prevalent since humans were hunter-gatherers. "In our modern world," Fisher explains, "where people can really be autonomous, we're probably seeing it much more." Fisher also notes that there's an anthropological term for doing whatever it takes to ensure that your partner is right for you: mate guarding.

Essentially, snooping can be viewed as a self-protective measure that prevents you from committing to the wrong life partner. So in a way, by investigating whether her boyfriend was a trustworthy, eligible mate, Maggie was merely following her survival instinct.

The same goes for Kim, a 28-year-old financial analyst who decided to comb through on-again, off-again boyfriend Johnnie's phone one afternoon. Kim uncovered similarly upsetting news: a string of intimate messages Johnnie had sent to a Mystery Girl expressing how much he missed her.

"I wanted to vomit in my mouth when I read those texts, but I never bothered confronting Johnnie because I knew right then it was over," says Kim.

* * *

Neither Kim nor Maggie's story surprises relationship expert Rachel Sussman, LCSW, who believes that "if something smells fishy, it's in our DNA to find out what's going on." That said, Sussman is troubled by the idea of couples insisting on total transparency.

"In order to have a good relationship and a good sex life, you shouldn't know everything about each other," Sussman says.

poll conducted by Virgin Mobile echoes this sentiment, showing that 73 percent of cellphone users who reported checking their partners' phones "found out things they later wished they hadn't."

Indeed, many who have made unpleasant discoveries through cyber snooping now stand by the “just don’t go there” philosophy.

Take Sammy, a 33-year-old hair stylist engaged to a 40-something chef. One year into dating, Sammy felt compelled to poke around after listening to her boyfriend reminiscence a little too fondly about his playboy past. At first, Sammy was bothered to learn that her fiancΓ© was communicating inappropriately with other women. Ultimately, though, she decided that she could live with what others might view as a betrayal.

"If it meant that he'd leave me alone instead of begging me for sex all the time, I was fine with it," she says.

Veronica, a 25-year-old in business development, embraces a similar doctrine. Three months into her relationship with Gary, Veronica received a phone call from Gary’s ex-wife, whom she didn't even know about at the time.

Since Gary had kept his first marriage a secret, Veronica was inspired to dig further. Whenever she got the chance, she would comb through Gary’s texts and emails. Five years later, however, she had a revelation: "I had to ask myself: Do you want to have a bad day and find something on your significant other’s phone, or do you want to stay oblivious and have a good day?" A few months after pledging to abstain from snooping altogether, Veronica and Gary married.

Taylor, a 30-year-old writer trying to repair a relationship with a girl who once read his text messages constantly, agrees wholeheartedly with Sammy and Veronica.

"If anyone reads something they're not intended to see, it can really sting," he warns. Taylor urges couples to communicate directly before resorting to prying on the sly.

* * *

Regardless of what’s “right” or “wrong,” when it comes to cyber snooping, there are always repercussions to consider. After all, you can't unlearn whatever you discover. Plus, Dr. Fisher cites that the novelty and fear inherent to detective work can increase testosterone levels, which in turn drives up our dopamine count. So in addition to the relationship stakes, remember that the behavior is potentially addictive. TC mark

16 Guys Explain Their Take On What ‘True Love’ Really Is

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 01:00 PM PST

istockphoto.com / AleksandarNakic
istockphoto.com / AleksandarNakic

1. It’s never forced.

Only been in love once. Real love takes a while to get started and you have to know the person as a friend first. It’s never forced. It just comes naturally. And if you let it mature accordingly, it gets to the point where if you’re feeling it, odds are she is too. It happens when you both mentally take notes on eachothers’ qualities so you can surprise each other with how much you’ve retained when you talk, do special things for them, and use it to make the relationship stronger.

Puppy love is something that happens quickly and with little effort. Usually in the summer months when everyone feels like getting their romance on. You go 98% on mutual attraction and it tends to dissolve as suddenly as it started.

— Randall, 25

2. It’s when she’s your soulmate.

The real deal LOVE is what you want now and forever, it’s what makes you whole. She’s your soulmate, someone you cannot see yourself without. Yes, it can be physical and sexual and mostly emotional but puppy love is like the honeymoon of the real deal.

— Ryan, 22

3. Love is complete honesty.

You know it’s is real love when you are willing to do ANYTHING for the other person. It is real love when you introduce that person to every aspect of your life and you are completely open to them about everything and don’t hide anything. Falling in love has become more complicated in our generation because to many people don’t stay loyal. Too many people are in love with the idea of being love, which leads to just a fling.

— Ernie, 23

4. Love is when she doesn’t wear makeup.

If you can't have a conversation with her at 7 in the morning, when she has no makeup on, it's lust.

— Jack, 30

5. When the guy makes a decision.

When a guy sees a girl that he finds attractive, it is like a conquest or a trophy to him. He does as much as he can as fast as he can because he is not sure how long this new fling will last. Its all about new fun sex, and seeing her aggressiveness and having fun in all new positions. He will do everything he can to experiment with his new girl toy and its like an accomplishment for him. Sure there is some feeling to make her happy too, but the thought of long term relationship or marriage never really enters his mind. As long as the girl keeps giving him the milk without paying for the cow, things will continue just fine.

After a few months and when complacency starts settling in, a few arguments, some bickering, maybe one big argument, and the girl starts looking for answers on the long term plans of the relationship is a where the crossroads of stay or go come into play.. Its at that point where the puppy love is over and the guy needs to decide if he really wants to fight for his prize or move on to the next challenge or a better trophy.

At that stage, the guy usually disappears to figure out his plan of attack for a week or two. That’s when a guy knows whether he is in love or if it was just lust. After that stage, if the guy has decided to go all in, that’s when he figures out that he is falling in love. But just like the old adage, guys use love to get sex, and girls use sex to get love. Its that simple.

— Jack, 30

6. Love is being able to talk about poop.

I was in a relationship with someone whom I can say I really did love with all my heart. I remember one time we were in bed together and at one point she got up and said, "I have to take a sh*t." We were at a point with one another where I was able to just say, "Let me know if everything comes out ok." Normally that would be a disgusting thing to say but when she came back, I still saw her as the angel she was.

Real love for both men and women comes after pieces of the real you starts to become revealed; real love is when you are both so comfortable with one another that almost nothing that the other person does bothers you anymore.

— James, 24

7. It’s when we show emotion.

Men typically tend to shove their emotions away and we seem like we are cold and do not care. The reality is that nearly all we are huge emotional wrecks on the inside, but because of society saying that men are not supposed to show emotions, we hurt every day and it is not something that anyone will see. If a man is showing you his true emotions, it is because he is comfortable and feels truly safe with you. He loves you.

— Rick, 27

8. It’s intoxicating.

I think puppy love is much more readily available. Minor infatuation is a good driving force for getting to know people, it’s what makes things exciting. But when you’re really in love you feel their presence and it’s intoxicating.

— Stephen, 20

9. When it grows from the puppy love stage to the ‘oh sh*t, this is real’ stage.

Puppy love is infatuated love. It’s when you first start. But I know from experience that puppy love can turn into the real deal.

I think everyone gets to a point in a relationship and says oh sh*t if I keep going, this is for real. A lot of people flake and let go. But what’s sad is that they aren’t afraid of that person that they’re with, they are afraid of the commitment.

There is always going to be that moment of fear. When that time comes you just have to embrace it. And remember how it was when you first met that person. There are 7 billion people in this world and odds are you can fall in love with many of them. But to be able to say I love this one and to say I didn’t leave is what real love is.

— Ben, 22

10. It’s when you realize that you will always have this human being.

Puppy love is the feeling you give a person when they give you copious amounts of attention and you feel wonderment for the first month. True love is the idea that you will always, truly have another human being, regarded as a significant other, to back you up and support you in all aspects of life.

— Quinn, 19

11. It’s a mix of puppy love and enduring love.

Puppy love is irrational, spontaneous, and being a little kid. But no one should lose the little kid in them: the building forts, the dreaming together, the walks, the small things.

Real love is all of that, plus accepting the person for who they are, who they will become, and who they want to be. To be the one that’s there for the successes, the failures, the joys, the sadness, the little kid things, and the big things.

— Zeke, 26

12. True love is feeling whole.

True love is when all you can do is think about that person because every aspect of your life reminds you of them. They make you feel whole, complete, like nothing else in this world matters as long as you have them. True love is when you honestly wake up and go to sleep and they are the first and last thing on your mind. It’s when someone ask you how you feel about someone and you can explain ever detail regardless how long it takes. It’s when you can’t think about being without them because it scares you. True love is when you find a friend and a significant other all in one.

— Tavion, 23

13. Real love hurts.

I think that puppy love is not real love at all, it is just an intense affection. A puppy can love a human unconditionally, but if forced, can love another human just as unconditionally and intensely as another.

Real love is much harder to come by…yes, it can be felt more than once, but it’s not easy. Real love takes a tole on you, it drains you and takes a huge piece out of you to the point where you are not going to get over that person in a small, or even extended amount of time. You may even think about that person, or love that person while in a relationship with another.

Puppies miss their owner whenever they leave, and cannot fathom being without them for any amount of time, but if they don’t come back, the puppy will eventually move on and almost forget their previous owner. With real love, you can miss someone when they leave, and it’s okay to be apart for a little amount of time, but if they never return, it takes a chunk out of you. You’re okay without them, and eventually fine if they leave, but you’re never really whole.

— Brian, 22

14. It’s when you become second in your own life.

It may be vapidly clichΓ©, but I absolutely knew from the very moment I met my wife that I was meeting someone I would love for the rest of my life, indeed truly forever. It's difficult to identify, much less put into words, look at how many have tried over our history – artists and poets, songwriters and novelists, etc. I can only describe it like this: If you could combine the feeling you get spending time with a lifelong friend, your closest best friend that you can share anything with, and couple that tremendous feeling with the sort of love you have for others in your life, but even greater – more than you love your mom or dad, more than a sister or brother, different and yet greater in intensity – that's when you know it's what you are terming "true" love.

Maturity certainly is a factor in how you perceive and subsequently react to these feelings – often times you are overwhelmed by them in the "puppy" love phase because they are so new and so powerful. For that "true" love, from the male perspective anyway, you don't really think about the instant gratification that is driven hormonally. You don't worry about the superficial things as much, such as perfect appearance or what tremendous date activity you must come up with to impress this girl. Your thoughts are different, deeper certainly, and longer in range and in scope. Put simply, you have finally, without really knowing it or deciding on it, become "second" in your life.

I have never really found a better way to describe true love other than to say that when I met my wife, I willfully, happily, became "second" in my life…. And when our three children came along, I willfully, happily became "fifth" and wouldn't have it any other way…ever.

— Jeff, 52

15. It’s a commitment to forgive, to accept, and to work at loving.

Real love requires real forgiveness and real compromise. Real love requires that you work with one another one each other's flaws instead of always accommodating them. With the longevity promised by real love there has to be a commitment not only to one another, but also to forgive, to accept, and to work with one another going forward. To me real love has permanence, and with that permanence comes new challenges and responsibilities that aren't there in the puppy love/infatuation phase. You have to respect your partner for who they are, good and bad, and embrace all parts of their individuality.

— Chris, 27

16. It’s when you see their flaws, but look past them.

A fling to me is merely based on physical attraction. You care for the person but in a way you care for material things, and most of the time it is what that person can do for you/to you.

Now the real deal is when you’re completely infatuated by the person, you want to devote most if not all your time to them because they make you happy. There’s also a sense of admiration for that person because you love who they are, but most of all you love who you are while with them. You do anything and everything to keep them happy. You deeply care for that person and your relationship because you want it to last for a really long time/forever. But most importantly the real thing is when you can look at that person notice all their flaws and insecurities, but look past them. Put up with the fights and arguments because at the end of the day they’re who you yearn for and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

— Derrik, 22 TC mark

What Different Cultures Can Teach Us About Modern Love

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 12:16 PM PST

TheCoffey
TheCoffey

In my first year of graduate school, my Intercultural Communications professor told a story about traditional coupling practices that historically took place in some Native American cultures. According to folklore, when a couple was to be engaged, they would spend time together in silence. The idea was to see if the couple felt a comfort with each other naturally, and without the reinforcement of words.

In Japan, kokuhaku, which literally means “confession,” refers to the declaration of love made by a person for another, when they wish to make a relationship commitment. It is usually performed by men, although it is not uncommon for women to also make the declaration. In a culture where public displays of affection are not common, its significance should not be taken for granted.

In many African cultures, including mine (Urhobo people of Nigeria), distinctive cultural practices about love, mainly entail marriage. A common practice is the idea of the bride price or dowry. This involves a formal request to a daughter and her parents, to enter into a marriage, from a son and his in-laws, who may speak on his behalf. The son and his family usually offer the daughter’s parents gifts and libations during this traditional engagement process. It is important to note that in many cultures, after the first visit (the “proposal”), the daughter’s permission has to be granted (the “acceptance”) for the process to continue.

In a world that is largely influenced by Western and especially (mainstream and white) American exports – including perception and practices of love – how other cultures traditionally exhibit love and commitments can be deemed everything from “weird” to “backward”. But I would wager that how a culture practices love and commitments is not only something to learn from, for the mere sake of knowledge; but in our modern times of Tinder, hook ups, the commercialization and commodification of the dating process, etc., different cultural practices can allow us to see our dating practices in a new light.

beetlejuice

When my grandmother was alive (she passed away less than two years ago), I would half-jokingly tell people I couldn’t use modern dating apps because I would never be able to explain it to her. Quite literally, I am uncertain whether the Urhobo language could accurately describe that process of dating. Of course, this was mostly my way of trying to avoid the modern dating technology altogether, and feeling justified in doing so.

It would be disingenuous to say that my grandmother would have been against modern dating technology. I don’t know. Cultural practices of arranged marriage was something that she might have understood. Explaining that the technology was sort of like, “arranged dating” might have made sense to her. But I do know that modern experiences of feelings-free physical intimacy, love without commitments, and what often feels like the tyranny of choice (of potential love), would definitely not have made sense to her. They barely make sense to me.

My personal convictions aside, as a mere servant of cultural phenomena, modern love, for all its proclaimed freedoms from the chains of societal structures and traditions, hasn’t made modern people any happier. It doesn’t appear to have made the commitments we make more steadfast – our societal marital failures are evidence of that – and I would feel confident in proposing that if you ask most young adults whether “traditional” dating and finding love was easier in their parents generation compared to their own, they would say “Yes.”

Of course, the rise of women’s rights and women’s entrance into the modern workforce has to be accounted for in any analysis of modern love. Many women simply don’t have to make romantic commitments in order to participate adequately in society. For the sake of career, and perhaps as a result of the decline of the closeness of physical communities, romantic commitments take longer to formalize. In the final analysis however, many people if not most people, still might say that they want a romantic commitment at some point in their lives, even if it might look and actually be different from their parent’s and/or grandparent’s commitments.

In learning of the way different cultures – ancient and modern – practice(d) love and commitments, there are lessons that might enable us to rethink our modern love and commitments in contemporary American culture. The most notable observation, as described in the cultures that were cited at the beginning of this essay – Native American, Japanese, and some African cultures – is that there is a particular kind of attention given to the time taken to do love.

In the folklore example of Native American tradition, spending time in a deliberate and conscious manner is important in getting to know the other person. But in that cultural space, it’s not a defined time, or a set time, it a time that is. (Native Americans view time circularly rather than longitudinally.) In Japan, there is the act of declaration or kokuhaku, and prior to it, involves taking the time to fall for someone, and then working up the courage to publicly ask for a commitment. In African cultures, there is time spent between in-laws in seeing how the lives of not only the son and daughter fit, but how the families fit together.

In many cultures, including the ones noted here, we see that time is of the essence. But what time really represents in these examples is effort, and effort is the factor, I would argue, that is greatly lacking in modern love. Not just effort in the sense of taking time to get to know people in the ways that matter, but also in the effort of ultimately choosing someone intentionallyand the subsequent effort that arises from this choice. Perhaps even more than the sometimes misguided nostalgia attached to love in different eras, it is the showcasing of effort in love that this generation longs for.

In the midst of modern love, where desire often meets satisfaction perhaps too quickly, learning the language of love and commitments of different cultures can teach us that love, and oftentimes lasting love, is not an effortless choice, but a matter of sacrifice. Knowing this, I think, and admittedly, I hope, can allow us to rethink what we want from love, but also what love wants from us. TC mark

17 Badass Pictures Of An 88-Year-Old Who Is Still A 20-Something At Heart

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 12:15 PM PST

1. Taking It Back

why not? πŸ˜‡ top @omweekend

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

2. On FIRE

being a lil slutty in NYC πŸ’

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

3. Just Chilling At Home

jus hanging out

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

4. ALL The Boys

my favorite kind of milkshake is chocolate πŸ˜‰ what's yours?

A video posted by @baddiewinkle on

5. They All Wanna Be Her

2015 has been my best year yet, can't wait for 2016 πŸ’ž Happy New Year everyone πŸ˜‹

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

6. Even Kylie Jenner

Galore X Complex

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

7. Step Back, Miley!

thinking of @mileycyrus today!!! happy birthday ❤️πŸ’›πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’œ

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

8. Smoke Weed, Every Day

πŸ’š check out @dollskill for the holidaze

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

9. Seriously Glamorous

PEACHY AF πŸ‘

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

10. They Hate Me Cause They Ain’t Me

HI HATER

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

11. So Badass

is a caption really needed?

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

12. The Ultimate Belieber

love you justin

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

13. Making Goth Relevant Again

Michele Lamy #OriginalGrit @gritcreative

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

14. Bye #Basic

bye basic πŸ’…

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

15. Joint Replacement, Spark It

baddiewinkle gets a joint replacement πŸ₯

A video posted by @baddiewinkle on

16. Lock Up Your Man, Basic Bitches!

i'll hang this up at my funeral ✌️

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

17. Fat Stacks For Days

wiping tha tears away

A photo posted by @baddiewinkle on

40 Deep Questions To Ask If You Really Want To Get To Know Someone

Posted: 12 Feb 2016 12:00 PM PST

 iStockPhoto.com / teksomolika
iStockPhoto.com / teksomolika

1. What's your philosophy in life?

2. What's the one thing you would like to change about yourself?

3. Are you religious or spiritual?

4. Do you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert?

5. Which parent are you closer to and why?

6. What was the best phase in your life?

7. What was the worst phase in your life?

8. Is what you’re doing now what you always wanted to do growing up?

9. What makes you feel accomplished?

10. What's your favorite book/movie of all time and why did it speak to you so much?

11. What is a relationship deal breaker for you?

12. Are you more into looks or brains?

13. Would you ever take back someone who cheated?

14. How do you feel about sharing your password with your partner?

15. When do you think a person is ready for marriage?

16. What kind of parent do you think you will be?

17. What would you do if your parents didn’t like your partner?

18. Who is that one person you can talk to about just anything?

19. Do you usually stay friends with your exes?

20. Have you ever lost someone close to you?

21. If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?

22. What’s an ideal weekend for you?

23. What do you think of best friends of the opposite sex?

24. Do you judge a book by its cover?

25. Are you confrontational?

26. When was the last time you broke someone’s heart?

27. Would you relocate for love?

28. Did you ever write a journal?

29. What are you most thankful for?

30. Do you believe in second chances?

31. What’s the one thing that people always misunderstand about you?

32. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?

33. What did your past relationship teach you?

34. What are your thoughts on online dating or tinder?

35. What’s on your bucket list this year?

36. When have you felt your biggest adrenaline rush?

37. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done and would you do it again?

38. If a genie granted you 3 wishes right now, what would you wish for?

39. What's your biggest regret in life?

40. What do you think about when you're by yourself? TC mark