Thought Catalog

13 Men On The Qualities About Their Girlfriend That Made Them Settle Down

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Wendy Liu
Wendy Liu

1. “She made me feel like what I gave her was enough, like I was enough.” —Alex, 25


2. “She thinks for herself. She doesn’t laugh at all my jokes, or pretend to constantly agree with me. If my jokes aren’t funny, she says so, and if she disagrees with me, she’ll make sure I know. I like that about her.” —Mike, 26


3. “When I realized she was willing to do things for me just to make me happy I was like alright, maybe I’ll stick with this one.” —Cal, 23


4. “She barely even talked to me at first. I think she actually hated me in the beginning, or at least acted like it. She basically seemed completely disinterested, and that caught my interest. Not saying the chase always works, but it definitely made me want her more. I think a girl just wants to know how much you really want her, and I really wanted my girlfriend, and yeah maybe it was because she didn’t want me…Now she loves me.” —Vince, 26


5. “Honestly, she’s amazing in bed. The first time we slept together I just thought, no way I’m letting her go anywhere.” —Ryan, 25


6. “She’s completely secure with who she is. She doesn’t yell at me for looking at another woman and she doesn’t beg me for compliments like her life depends on my approval.” —Nick, 27


7. “She’s just as weird as I am, and I absolutely love it.” —Paul, 24


8. “She’s extremely motivated, all on her own. There’s nothing more attractive than a girl with motivation.” —Lucas, 25


9. “She’s not a whiner. Any other girl I’ve been with is always complaining, either about me or something I did. She’s not like that.” —Bailey, 27


10. “She makes more money than I do…Just kidding, but it does help that she has a job and can support herself.” —Jay, 26


11. “She didn’t pressure me to be with her. We never had to have the ‘so what are we’ conversation because she didn’t rush me into a relationship that I didn’t want to be in. It was just simple with her, there was no guessing, or games, we knew we liked each other, and that was that. I wouldn’t want to be with anyone else, so that’s why I’m obviously with her.” —Peter, 24


12. “She’s just genuine. She’s genuinely a good person, and she has a good heart, and I could see that from the moment I met her. You’ll never see a fake smile on her face, and I love her smile for that reason, it’s real.” —Daniel, 26


13. “I think it was just timing. I met a great girl at a time in my life when I was clearly ready for a relationship. Before that, I was either meeting the wrong girls, or just not ready to be with one person. Timing finally worked in my favor.” —Jack, 25 TC mark

You Dont Have To Be In A Relationship To Feel Whole Again

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa

Can I tell you a secret?

You don't have to be in a relationship.

I mean it. I know they force it down your throat until you choke on it. Girls aren't pretty unless they're wanted. Boys aren't men unless they're having sex with someone. People aren't lovable until they're dating each other.

Can I tell you another secret?

A relationship won't always make you happy.

As wonderful as romance is — it isn't the only love that exists. It is not the answer to everything. I constantly hear the words "nobody loves me" escape from the mouths of people who are single. It always hurts me because if you ask them: “Where are your parents, your teachers, your classmates, your pets; they love you, do they not?”— they say, yes, okay, but it doesn't count. Why doesn’t it count? Of course it counts. Love doesn't diminish just because someone doesn't want to have sex with you. In fact, it makes that love more real. It makes it into something that surges beyond physical attraction and surface level companionship. It makes it unique.

Listen, I get it. It is pretty to be in love. It's magical, I'm sure. However, it's also wonderful to stop for ice cream in your prom dress with six other girls. It's also wonderful to go visit the world with nothing but a bunch of buddies who are really excited about learning.

Stop trying to find "the one" as a means of filling the gaps within your heart. Have you ever stopped to think that maybe "the one" is just you — loving yourself, having fun, and being happy beyond measure? Maybe instead of looking for our other halves, we should be piecing ourselves together.

Maybe I wasn't born unfinished.

Maybe I am the one who makes myself better. TC mark

I Thought My Free Tattoo Was A Stroke Of Luck, But I’m Terrified Of What’s Been Happening Since

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 06:15 PM PDT

Flickr, malik
Flickr, malik

I turned eighteen this year — in May, the month that I graduated high school. By coincidence, the majority of my friends turned eighteen about that time. All throughout high school we had celebrated "Birthday Month", a time where one of our birthdays happened to fall on each of the weekends. When we turned sixteen, we each bought packs of cigarettes. At seventeen, we watched every R rated movie in theaters, two times each. And at eighteen, we decided we would each be getting tattoos.

But I had a problem.

Of my three friends, I was the poorest — my parents had kicked me out a few months before when they found the vodka in my closet, and I could just barely afford to pay rent with the waiter job that I had picked up on nights and weekends. I'd managed to graduate high school with low marks- but I had graduated, which mattered to me, though I knew I wouldn't be heading to college.

And now, my three other friends were leaving to start their futures.

"I think I'm going to get a benzene ring," Said Amy, the nerdy but cute asian girl who hung out with us, and probably had more potential than us all together, "Behind my right ear. That way my parents won't see it under my hair."

We were sitting in the back of Brent's truck in the school parking lot, watching as the rest of the school let out. Brent was my best friend at the time, though he was planning on attending school three states away.

"Aw, that'd be so cute," Said Mary, clinging to Amy's shoulder, "And I think I'll get a bible verse right here. Something about purity." She gestured to her ribcage, and Brent snorted. The previous year his relationship with Mary had come to an end when she cheated on him with two other guys. They'd made up, and she'd cleaned up her act, but her reputation remained.

"Uh, I'm not sure yet." I answered, staring at the pavement below. I considered asking them for money, but my face turned red at the thought, and I already owed Brent a hundred dollars that he had pretended to forget about, "I think I'll have to think on it."

"Well decide quick!" Said Mary, "We're going next Friday!"

By my estimations, I'd be able to save up at least two hundred dollars by then, but it'd be tough. I'd be eating Ramen for sure, and picking up some extra shifts serving tables. It would be worth it, though- after all, I wouldn't be seeing them for quite some time.

But that night when I went into work, my name wasn't on the schedule for the next week. In fact, no names were on the schedule – Burnette's Bistro had recently experienced some competition from an Applebee's that opened across the street, and Burnette's Bistro was now shut down.

So I was officially broke. By the time Friday came, I had applications in for several new server jobs turned in, though none had answered yet. So I skipped lunch and went to the parlor that afternoon, and spoke with the artist.

"What can I do to help," He asked when I entered the empty shop, his eyes narrowing. I looked young for my age, and I was just barely old enough to enter the shop alone.

"I just turned eighteen, and want a tattoo. I was wondering though, I'm a little short on cash- can I pay you later?"

"Don't you think we could work something out? It doesn't have to be anything big, or nice. Come on, man, please?"

"Out! And come back when you have cash, or don't come back at all."

"Damnit," I said as the door shut behind me, and kicked the fire hydrant outside the shop, sending pain up through my toe.

"Bit of an ass, isn't he?" Came a voice from behind and I turned, seeing a man standing on the sidewalk and leaning against the building, a binder under his arm.

"Yeah," I muttered, starting to walk away, but his next words stopped me.

"You know, I'm trying to open my own shop. And I've got pictures of my own art that you can look at. It's, well, it's a bit different, so I'm looking for someone to try it out on. Maybe advertise it a bit for me, show it off a bit. And I'll do it for free."

"Free?" I repeated, raising an eyebrow.


"Let's see those pictures."

He handed me the binder, and I opened it, viewing them. There were ten or so, and they were good. Heck, they were great. The type of art that I should be paying heavily for.

"Thoughts?" He said, waiting.

"I'm in," I answered, "But what's the catch?"

"I just want my talent to come to life," he said with a smile. "It's hard to get started in the industry. So tonight then? You can meet me here."

"Deal," I answered, and that night I returned with my friends.

"Aren't you coming in Copi?" said Brent, holding the door to the shop.

"I, uh, I got my own guy. Scheduled some personal art, you know. I'll meet you guys after."

"Sure man," said Brent, "but we were supposed to do this together."

Already I could hear the voices of Amy and Mary from inside as they started talking to the artist, and I withdrew slightly so that I wouldn't be visible through the window.

"Trust me man, it'll be cool. I want to surprise you guys."

"Whatever you say," Answered Brent, and walked inside, holding a sketch of the globe that he wanted for his own tattoo.

I waited outside, and a few moments later the man from earlier appeared, touching my shoulder from behind.

"Ready?" He said, and I nodded, following him down the street. Night had begun to fall, and his shadow melded with the dark as he tucked into a side alley, and led me down some stairs. And there we came to a door, with a fresh sign over the door, and he led me inside.

"Apparently," I answered, looking about the room. There was a chair, some equipment, and three hanging lightbulbs, but little else. A few boxes in the back, still packed and resting on concrete soaked with water leaking through the foundation. And a ceiling tile was cracked next to them, where it had fallen to the floor.

"Go ahead and take a seat," The man said, and I hesitated. Then I swallowed, and took the chair. It was free. I couldn't complain about free. And I didn't want to be the only one of my friends without a tattoo.

"Alright, this will take a bit. I'll need you to stay still." He said, "How does your lower shoulder blade work? I have a design in mind, if you will. Something special."

"That works," I said, and removed my shirt. And he began, the buzzing filling my ears as I gritted my teeth. When he finished, he held up a mirror for me, and I looked at the work.

Damn, I was happy. And damn, did it look good.

It was a design of sorts, a looping that turned in upon itself, with stands that lay unfinished as the tattoo fell away. "In case you ever want to expand it," He said, pointing to them, "Free of charge, since you're my first customer. And I think you'll find they're quite addictive."

Then he led me back to the surface, and to the original shop, where Brent was already waiting outside.

"Thanks," I said, turning. But the man was already walking away in the direction of his shop, his form already a shadow in the night.

Brent lifted his shirt when I approached, showing me the patch covering his own tattoo, though I could see the globe through it.

"Came out sweet, man. Better than I thought."

Then Mary and Amy came out of the shop, each with their own patches.

"I hear you have a surprise for us, Copi" Said Amy, "Go on, let's see it."

So I turned, and lifted my own shirt. For a second I heard silence, and I held my breath. Then Brent spoke, his voice drawn out.

"Shit, man. How much did you pay for that? You know you still owe me a hundred dollars right?"

I laughed, and turned to see their eyes wide, and eyebrows raised. Mary's mouth was open, and Brent shook his head.

We walked home together, and when I woke up the next morning the tattoo was sore. Not just in the area applied, but above it too. And when I looked in the mirror, it was just a tad higher than I remembered.


But that was months ago, and now my friends are gone. I work at the Applebee's that shut down Burnette's Bistro as a bartender full time now, for lunch and dinner shifts both. And I eat there all the time, considering the hefty discount – sometimes having three or four meals throughout the day. It's not a health problem yet though, since I'm losing weight, not gaining it. Must be all the extra work I'm doing.

I've gotten a few new tattoos since my friends left, all connected with my first one. The problem with having a with a lazy manager is I walk home drunk. Sometimes, even blackout, with the entire last hour of my shift a blur. And my tattoo artist was right, tattoos are addictive- during those nights, I must have stumbled back into his parlor, and had more done. I can't remember, but I'd know when I woke up with sore skin. They were still free, though, since I never lost any cash, so I saw no problem with it. Plus the new tattoos were just as impressive as the first, and he'd even touched up the first a bit. Made the lines a bit darker, more pronounced.

But it became a problem once my entire back was covered, and the ink started spreading to my arms. The other tattoos were of a wide variety of styles too, some colored, some not, some pictures, and some designs. All expertly drawn, but it was getting to be too much.

"Damn it," I said one morning, glancing at my bicep. It stung, and there was a copy of my original tattoo, the swirls and lines staring back up at me. So I left home, and I walked to the parlor – even though it was months before, I still knew the way. But no one answered when I knocked on the door, so I entered and looked around the inside.

It was empty – the chair was gone, along with the equipment. The hanging light bulbs were removed, a few additional ceiling tiles had fallen through, and a layer of dust coated the floor. I stood there, frowning, looking for life where there was none. But on the floor there was still the mirror from my first visit, so I picked it up, and inspected my back to see if there was anything new.

I choked, and shivers ran down my spine when I looked into the glass. For my original tattoo had not been copied on my back. It had been moved there.

The next day I woke up to a stinging sensation, and cursed. There, on my left bicep, was a picture of a swastika, connected by thin lines to the tattoo network of my back.

I called in sick that day, and I turned on the television. I shook on my couch, and couldn't focus as I flipped through the channels. I considered calling my parents, but they'd think I was just trying to get money. And I considered calling my friends, but they'd think I was going crazy. So I settled on the news, something I almost never watched. And I learned about the incident the night before.

"The scene before you has been blurred out," said the blonde reporter standing in front of a gas station, "due to its graphic nature. Experts are still trying to discern what occurred here last night, though it is currently being attributed to some sort of wild animal yet to be identified. The victim's body is covered in lacerations, as if caused by wires of some sort, the wounds culminating above his chest where the skin was ripped clear. And here is the footage."

The screen flickered, and I saw the inside of the gas station, the man at the counter tapping his fingers as he waited for customers. The framerate was low, and the screen jumpy and somewhat out of focus, but the door opened and a dark shape entered.

It crawled along the ground, propelling itself forward with a single stump like arm attached to a greater mass of black, similar in shape to a man's torso. The attendant pulled a gun from under the counter and began firing, bullets gouging into the floor, but the dark shape leapt onto him, swirls of black shredding his shirt in seconds. Then the camera blurred out, censored by the news team, but not before I saw what had been on the man's chest.

A tattoo of a swastika.

I shut off the television, staring at the tattoo on my arm. My muscle spasmed slightly, and it twitched, making me jump backwards. And in my panic I began to drink, downing a fifth of whiskey before I could think it through. But before I passed out, I remember doing one thing.

I set the camera of my laptop so it could view my bed, and I pressed record. Then I took four more shots, until I couldn't remember slipping away.

And today, I watched the footage. Watched as the dark swirls of ink peeled from my skin, and twisting away until they formed an imitation shaped like my own body. Watched as it limped from the room, now as a torso with two stumpy arms, the collection of pictures and designs moving together in a single mass.

It returned with the light of dawn, holding a flap of skin with a tattoo on it up to the camera on my laptop so I could see the picture. Then it then pushed the skin onto my bare chest until they meshed together, and I had a new tattoo. A tattoo of a globe, one that I knew too well.

A warning.

And I wonder what would happen when all my skin is covered by ink, and its template is complete. TC mark


This story originally appeared on /r/NoSleep.

You’ve Wandered Off Too Far, You’ve Forgotten Who You Are

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Look Catalog
Look Catalog

You’ve wandered off too far,
you’ve forgotten who you are;
you’ve let down the ones you love,
you’ve given up too much.

You once made a deal with time,
now it’s slipping by too fast
you can’t borrow from the future,
to make up for the past.

You forsake all that you hold dear,
for a dream that is not your own;
you would rather live a lie
than live your life alone. TC mark

10 Reasons Why Couples That Party Together Are The Happiest Ever

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 05:00 PM PDT / svetikd / svetikd

1. Parties let you remember that life isn't just one long to-do list.

When you're in a long-term relationship, you eventually settle into a routine of sorts and your everyday lives are inevitably defined by a certain amount of domestic drudgery and copious logistical headaches. It's important to let loose once in a while so you can remember that life isn't just a series of doctors appointments, trips to the grocery store, alarm clocks, and other necessary frustrations. If you can make sure to punctuate all the boring stuff with a few carefree, joyful moments, you'll be much better positioned to stay together.

2. Getting drunk together is so much better than drinking alone.

There's a reason why booze is an integral part of almost every party. Drinking generally leads to fun when you’re surrounded by friends and the person you love. It’s liberating to get too tipsy and engage in ridiculous conversations, play stupid games, and act like a fool once in awhile. Unless you're one of those angry or weepy drunks, inebriation can be the root of lasting memories you can rely on when things get too serious and you need a good laugh.

3. Joint intoxication also leads to dirty sex.

There's no doubt that alcohol strips of us inhibitions, and that's generally a good thing for long-term lovers. Getting freaky in bed together and experimenting sexually can be incredibly intimate, and if a little booze helps you get there, so be it! Drink up, get naked, and have naughty sex already.

4. Being hungover together is surprisingly awesome.

Compulsory laziness is an opportunity to bond. Sometimes it's nice to lay in bed together all day and watch movies in between binging on pizza, slugging water, and complaining about just how bad your heads hurt. Hangovers might suck, but sharing any experience is rewarding on some level, even if it's a painful one.

5. Partying forces you to exit the relationship cocoon.

One of the perks of dating someone seriously is that you have a permanent on-demand hangout partner. It's easy to get comfortable staying in almost every night watching Netflix and eating takeout with someone you really like who's not going to reject your sexual advances. But you can't live in your relationship cocoon forever without getting bored of each other. Going out together forces you to socialize, and to rely on others for intellectual stimulation for a change. Even if the main takeaway is that you love your significant other so much more than every other person in the world, it's a worthwhile endeavor.

6. Going out together reinforces the feeling that you're on the same team.

A certain amount of planning goes into executing a successful evening out. As you get dressed, you probably seek advice about what to wear, or how you look. En route to your destination, you probably touch base about what to expect—where you’re you’re going, who your host is, what you’re supposed to know about certain guests you’ll encounter. If you're smart, you also concoct a potential "out"—a story you can both lean on to extract yourselves from any potentially annoying situation. Partying as a couple enhances the feeling that you're in it together. Even if you have a shitty time and you end up pinching your partner on the sly to say "get me the fuck out of here already," you can laugh about that together on your way home.

7. It's sexy to watch your partner work a crowd.

The longer you date, the more enlightening it can be to watch your partner work a room. At a certain point, when your interactions become so familiar and automatic that you forget how your lover engages with others, it becomes a treat to witness them wield their A-game outside the relationship. Observing your significant other tell a story or deliver a punch line to a group is a good way to remember just how attractive they are—inside and outside the relationship—and how lucky you are to call them yours.

8. Compliments about your better half will make you beam.

Maybe you know in your heart that you're with the right person, and you don't need any relationship reassurance. Still, positive reinforcement is always welcome. When you earn people’s approval as a couple, you’re bound to hear about it—if not directly from the source, then through the grapevine. When you do, you’ll feel prouder than ever about your togetherness. It's lovely to field compliments about how wonderful your significant other is and how well suited you are to each other, even if you already know it deep down.

9. Debriefing what went down is always fascinating.

There's only so much you can tell your significant other in whispers and covert texts as an evening unfolds. As soon as you're out of earshot from all the other guests, however, you get to exchange notes about everyone you talked to and the impressions you formed—all the important stuff, like who made a weird confession, who acted like an asshole, who was way too obliterated, and who asked a borderline offensive question. Trading tidbits gleaned from your individual experiences of the same party is often the best part about a wild night out.

10. Couples that play together stay together.

Being able to set aside your troubles and have a good time in spite of everything else is an underrated life skill, and it’s just as important to personal happiness as it is to relationship fulfillment. If you can shelve your worries and take a timeout to celebrate life, you’ll end up more satisfied than otherwise. Happy people know how to have fun, and so do happy couples. TC mark

30 Little Known Facts About Your Breasts

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 04:01 PM PDT

1. Your left boob is probably bigger than your right one. No one really knows why, but it probably has something to do with your immune system.

2. Dudes have nipples because all fetuses begin female.

3. The L cup is the largest bra size available.

4. About two million women in the United States have implants. Most women tend to get implants after they have children, and they don't go up too much in size.

5. A D-cup breast weighs about one pound.

6. Implants are pretty safe, but sometimes scar tissue around your implants can get tight. This hard breast is called a capsular contracture, and it can be serious, requiring another stop at the doctor's office.

7. Like 80% of women are wearing the wrong size bra. Go get fitted at Nordstrom by the real pros and see how your life changes!

8. The most popular cup size around the globe is a B cup. In America, it's a 36C.

9. Your boobs are at their most symmetrical in the middle of your ovulation cycle.

10. Your boobs basically stop growing after you turn 25. Unless you gain weight or get pregnant, they're probably not gonna get any bigger after your mid-twenties.

11. A woman named Annie Hawkins-Turner has the world's largest natural breasts. They're a V CUP. WHAT THE HELL. She started wearing a bra in third grade.

12. When men are hungry, they prefer larger breasts. Biology is weird, man.

13. Nipple and breast play releases oxytocin, the chemical released during orgasm.

14. About six percent of people have a third nipple, including Harry Styles and Mark Wahlberg. And Chandler Bing!

15. It's a crapshoot as to whether your chest size and shape comes from your dad's side of the family or your mom's.

16. Your nipples get dark when you're pregnant because infants are colorblind when they're born. A darker nipple makes it easier for them to nurse.

17. Women in ancient Rome wrapped fabric around their breasts while they exercised, creating the first sports bras!

18. Apparently the Milky Way was created by Greek goddess Hera, who was nursing a baby that wasn't hers. When she discovered the kid wasn't of her genetic material, she yanked him off her boob and spilled milk into the stars, creating the Milky Way galaxy.

19. The bra as we know it wasn't invented until the '20s. Maidenform, the brainchild of a husband and wife, debuted the modern-day bra and its sizing back when flappers were eschewing corsets.

20. Your breasts have very thin skin because, as they grew, the skin stretched. They're also susceptible to UV rays when you're laying out; your bikini top doesn't cover very much skin and it isn't a substitute for SPF.

21. Don't sleep on your stomach, because over time it can mess up your boob shape.

22. If you're a smoker, your boobs might be more likely to sag due to the chemicals in cigarettes, which can break down elastic in your body.

23. You can walk around topless in Hawaii – it's legal.

24. Ancient Egyptians were the first to report cases of breast cancer. There are cases in their medical writings that sound very similar to breast cancer, and they didn't have a cure.

25. Men who make more money prefer smaller breasts. In addition, men who aren't into the idea of having children prefer smaller breasts, too, since large breasts often subconsciously signal the ability to bear children.

26. Breast milk is supposed to be sweeter than cow's milk. I wonder who was first to compare the two.

27. When you breastfeed, it bonds you to your baby in more than a few ways. Breastfeeding actually makes a woman more attuned to the sound of crying.

28. There's a "study" circulating around the internet that says staring at boobs can extend a man's life by five years. However, we're pretty sure this study is a total hoax, considering the author doesn't actually exist.

29. Your nipples aren't the most sensitive area, contrary to popular belief. Many women say that the area above the nipple is the most pleasurable when stimulated.

30. Both Marie Antoinette and Kate Moss are said to have champagne glasses modeled after their breast shape. That's basically my dream life! TC mark

Somedays I Wish I Never Met You, Just So I Could Meet You Tomorrow

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa

I don't listen to music in the car anymore.
I listen to poetry so loud that the speakers,
bump bump bump at all of the saddest parts.

Today I saw a taxi driver cry as he checked his mail,
and I wanted to stop to tell him somedays,
I can't walk outside without crying either,
and somedays I feel like all I am is a taxi driver,
escorting old loves to their true destiny.

The day you left I wiped my tears on a white washcloth,
and my mother kept it in her hope chest so one day she can say,
Remember this.
Remember how far you've come."

Sometimes I write about how you broke my heart,
but I really think I am writing about how I broke my own heart.

I'm not angry at you.
I remember the years, the days, the nights,
that we danced by the water under the moonlight.
But I missed you when I was next to you,
and I missed you when you were in the other room,
and we tried so hard to make these plans hold firm.

I know you tried to keep a grip on reality,
but some mornings the birds forget to sing,
and the sun has to be reminded to rise and fall.

We set our clocks forward and back to make up for the days,
the sun sleeps in or stays out past curfew,
and darling our sun may have set,
but I still feel the burn on my back.
I still feel the burn on my back.

I hope my moonlight catches your eye as you're driving at night,
and I hope your sun shines so bright on a new love.
I hope you found a way to keep your tires from always popping,
and I hope you found a way to get better rest.
I hope the books on your shelf still excite you,
and when you hear that song,
I hope you think of me and smile.

But mostly, I hope you make yourself proud,
because you weren't proud of yourself,
as you tucked me in all those nights —
maybe it was because we ran into love full force.

I'm afraid a love like ours is a one-shot kinda thing,
but we fucked it up somewhere between casseroles,
and planning a wedding that I forgot to invite myself to.

After all those years together,
I can't remember how your voice sounded saying my name.

Somedays I wish I never met you,
just so I could meet you tomorrow.
I wish I didn't grow old with you so young.
I wish I could have saved you for later.TC mark

This post originated on Whispering Bones.

This Is The Purpose Of A Breakup That Allows You To Learn Your Own Way Of Love

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa

We spend our lives looking for answers, and at no time are we more desperate to discover these answers than in the wake of a breakup.

We expect the answers to relieve us so we question everything. We study our past, the minutiae of our relationship, and we beg to know what went wrong and how we could have avoided it.

We beg to know why the person we loved would ever let us go.

The thing is relief doesn't just depend upon our receiving answers, relief depends upon the quality of our questions. It depends upon our questions focusing inward.

Knowing why X did Y to us, will not give us the relief we so desperately expect it to. Because you see, the questions surrounding our ex—their intentions, behavior, and thinking—aren't actually the source of our pain.

In the wake of our breakup, the pain we are experiencing is created by the uncertainty surrounding our own whys and our prolonging that discovery.

This is what devastates us: our tendency to hunt down answers to the least empowering and pertinent questions.

This is what is so exhausting: expecting relief to come to us "if-only" we could know the reason X did Y.

This is what pains us: having that answer, only to feel no substantial alleviation in return. So, what do we do? We begin hunting down big enough questions.

We invest our energy and our understanding in what can actually make a difference in our own lives, motives, intentions, histories, needs, wants, and behaviors.

To lead ourselves into a different kind of future, into a greater one, we have to give-up resolving the questions surrounding the whys of an ex and begin taking up interest in our own whys alone.

We have to begin answering the questions that center within our own being.

How do we start? We start by becoming more self-involved. You read me right. Consider this a hall pass. After a breakup, our recovery depends upon the extent of our own self-involvement.

I'm telling you, you've got to become the expert of your own heart.

You've got to answer your own whys.

Like, why was this particular person in your life? Was there an initial void you imagined the relationship might fill up and replace? Where did that void come from? In the beginning, what were you hoping love would relieve you of?

Often times, we aren't dating what compliments us but what is convenient for us. Knowing this, though, is not enough. We have to understand why we've been seeking convenience.

You have to ask questions directed inward, like what was your relationship giving you? What did it take away? Having had this relationship, what do you now know about life and people,
about love and yourself and your capacity to give? These are important questions, and their answers will make a dramatic difference on your experience of pain and your purpose, in the future, when seeking out greater love.

Your breakup is calling you. Do not ignore it. Your own why is a requirement to moving on and, better yet, moving upward. It's what a breakup is all about. It's about giving yourself time to be self-interested. That's why it happens. A breakup happens so you can become more deeply involved with your own heart. TC mark

35 Questions I Would Ask You If We Ever Meet Again

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 12:00 PM PDT

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa

1. Are you happy?

2. Do you know why things ended the way they did?

3. Are you different now?

4. Did you ever love the same way again?

5. Are you settling?

6. Do you still think about the possibility of us?

7. Do you still ask your friends if this was the right decision?

8. When did you realize that 'we' just don't make sense anymore?

9. Did you mean what you said?

10. Do you regret it?

11. Did you ever truly love me?

12. Did you ever truly love yourself?

13. Did you push me away on purpose?

14. Was I too much to handle?

15. What's the one thing you miss the most about us?

16. Do you think if the timing was different, we would've made it?

17. What comes to your mind when you hear my name?

18. Does your mom still ask about me?

19. How much have I changed now?

20. Do you ever wish we tried harder?

21. Do you forgive me?

22. Do you wonder if I forgave you?

23. Do you still think of me when you listen to our song or do you skip it?

24. Will you tell her why we broke up?

25. What is the one thing you really wish you could tell me?

26. What took you so long to say it?

27. Do you sometimes wish we were still together?

28. Can we really be friends?

29. Was it hard for you to move on?

30. Will you come to my wedding if I invited you?

31. How long were you willing to wait for me?

32. Was it me or was it you?

33. Do you think we'll ever feel this way again?

34. Did you want to ask me these questions too?

35. Would you do it all over again?  TC mark

Dear Lena Dunham: Here’s Why, As A Feminist, I Am Not Voting For Hillary Clinton

Posted: 22 Mar 2016 11:45 AM PDT

Lenny Letter
Lenny Letter

Hey Lena,

We do not know each other at all, and frankly, I bet we never will.

You are a multi-million dollar, money making machine and globally celebrated author and screenwriter. I am a girl who makes jokes online for a living with around 900 twitter followers (a lot of which are porn bots but hey, beggars can't be choosers). You have a hit show on HBO, and I just ate pretzel sticks I dipped in Trader Joe's Pesto whilst hoping my computer was charged. You go to the Emmys in Zac Posen dresses, and I wear the same Forever 21 sweatpants several days in a row without washing them.

You and I couldn't be in more different places, yet, we also couldn't be more of the same person.

You are a person who has dealt with body image and weight issues, I have too. You are someone who has very publicly said 'fuck you' to society about their expectations about women, and I eat and say whatever I want no matter where I am or what I'm wearing. You have gotten a lot of hate for being who you are, and on a much smaller scale so have I. You very openly discuss your anxiety, and I'm currently in therapy to get mine under control.

And for what it's worth, I'm so, so sorry you went through that. And I hope you're okay.

But (going back) also, you are very excited and passionate about the upcoming Presidential election. You are very vocal and involved in it and are clearly making it a priority.

And so am I.

I think it’s great that you are so involved politically and are so passionate. I really do. It would be so easy for someone of your social status and place to just chill until November 8th, but you haven't. I think that's very admirable.

You've been incredibly involved and astronomically vocal about your support of Hillary Clinton and Lena, as a fellow American who is excited about politics, I feel very inspired by your activism.

But, Lena, as a woman who has observed how adamant you are about women sharing their stories centering around sexual assault, I feel conflicted with your political backing and your choice.

Let me explain my thinking.

You yourself came under an enormous amount of scrutiny for sharing your story of sexual assault so publicly and unapologetically in your book last year. And not only as a fellow survivor but as a WOMAN, I so so so SO applaud you for that. I applaud your bravery, I applaud your candidness, I applaud your willingness to share such an uncomfortable story in an attempt to make other women MORE comfortable in sharing their own.

What I can’t applaud though, is your unapologetic and unwavering support of a candidate who on numerous occasions, has attempted to silence or simply not acknowledge women for the very same act that you demanded attention for in Not That Kind Of Girl.

In your piece for Buzzfeed you said that you felt "inspired by all the brave women who are now coming forward with their own experiences, despite the many risks associated with speaking out." Lena, were you not inspired by Juanita Broderick? She has been nothing but brave and spoken about how she was assaulted, attacked, violated, silenced, and shamed by the same people you stand behind. And she has been continually treated that way simply for doing what you said inspired you: speaking out.

Weren't you inspired by Paula Jones? Paula was so adamant about getting justice for herself she took it to court. Did you know that 74% of assaults go unreported and never make it to a courtroom? That means Paula was so desperate for justice, that she was in the minority for actually talking about what happened to her.

Were you at least inspired by Gennifer Flowers? The affair, the relationship, was one that he even ADMITTED to. After both he and his wife tried to lie about it, tried to cover it up, they no longer could hide it; they COULDN'T silence it. She is living forever now as the girl who had an affair with the President, and we just get to stare. Weren't you even a little inspired by her bravery to publicly shame herself in order to tell her story?

You have to accept sometimes that people you think you know, are not deserving of the pedestal you place them on.

And a woman like Hillary Clinton, who has statistically not supported women in telling their stories like you so claim you are behind, does not deserve that pedestal.

Lena, you said it best when you said, "Survivors have the right to tell their stories, to take back control after the ultimate loss of control." And that's exactly what those women were attempting to do. What they CONTINUE to attempt to do. When you use your celebrity status to back a political personality/candidate who does not share the same ideals, you are silencing these women.

Maybe not directly, maybe not with your own palm, but make no mistake you are absolutely silencing them.

You are saying, here is how unimportant what happened to you is. You are saying, I do not care. You are saying, this is not relevant. You are saying, I'm over it and you should be too. You are saying, let it go because I said so.

Lena, I think you are probably a good person, and a good feminist. But your support of Hillary Clinton, despite her own lack of support for women who are victims of sexual assault, is one that I cannot accept.

Why can't I accept it?

I feel that you are trying to silence those women, that you are trying to ignore their stories. And I worry that if you find it so easy to ignore their stories, it would be equally as easy for you to ignore mine.

I hope that I'm wrong, and I hope that you have answers.

But when you support a woman who does not believe in people telling their stories, when you say that she is "everything you want for this country" that scares me.

Because Hillary Clinton does not just have no support for Juanita Broderick, Paula Jones, or Gennifer Flowers. She doesn't have support for other survivors of sexual assault. When she silences one, she is really silencing us all.

And that, Lena, includes you.

Kendra Syrdal, Survivor. (No matter what anyone, political or otherwise, says.) TC mark