Thought Catalog

9 Painful Signs You’ve Completely Lost Yourself In Your Relationship

Posted: 18 May 2016 08:00 PM PDT


People act in really unappealing ways when they lose themselves in their relationships.

I know this intimately because I see it every day in my work, but also because it's happened to me.

I've been going through a rocky time in my own relationship. And after a LOT of rational self examination, I've come to the depressing conclusion that I've done exactly the opposite of what I teach, and that thing is…

I've totally and completely lost myself.

Now, "losing oneself in a relationship" is a trite phrase thrown around ALL THE TIME by relationship coaches— myself included. But I've noticed that while people might talk about it, they don't deal with it as it's happening very often.

I can look back on many failed relationships of my own and nearly pinpoint the exact time it happened, but this time, the terrifying realization has dawned on me in real time that I'm screwing up.

That's why I had to write about this— both to help you lovely readers AND to make myself a rough guide– a roadmap– so that this never, ever happens again.

Here are the 9 most obvious signs you have completely lost yourself in your relationship:

1. You've Lost Touch With Your Own Goals, Passions and Life Purpose

Remember when you were so full of hope? Feel like that's been crushed and you've let your life's purpose fall by the wayside?

That's a big red flag that you've allowed yourself to take the backseat in your relationship.

2. Instead of Speaking Up About Your Wants and Desires, Do You Consistently Let Them Fall by the Wayside?

I'm not sure why sometimes it seems so important to forgo what we want for what we THINK someone else wants in our relationships.

Do we do it in favor of… approval? Not rocking the boat?

Maybe because like hoovering down an entire bag of Doritos, ignoring what we really want feels great in the moment.

When we ignore things like our desires and wants that are messy and take hard work, we can put our head in the sand. We don't have to do anything about them. We can go on like it's all not happening, until we're so overtaken with regret and resentment that we just can't stand it any longer.

3. You're Going Through the Motions

For most, life goes something like wake up, take kids to school, go to work, deal with the kids, sleep. Rinse off. Repeat. Carve out a few minutes of "quality time" on the weekend.


This probably wasn't at all what you pictured when you were a kid and you plotted out the way you thought your life would go. If it wasn't bad enough, your sense of humor seems to be on hiatus as well.

4. You're Living a Worried, Hand-Wringing, Fear-Based Life

You've allowed the creepy "what ifs" to lurk around and rule your life. "What if" you die in that fiery crash? Better not buy that motorcycle. "What if" you never get famous and make doing your art? Better not even bother to sketch anything. "What if your spouse doesn't take the right exit on the freeway? You could be LATE!" The horror. "What if…" "What if…" "What if…"

It's exhausting, and it's a trap. Fear and worry tell us that we have control, when we really have zero control. That groundlessness is both terrifying and freeing, depending on the amount of joy you're allowing into your life. Right now, it's downright overwhelming.

5. You're Controlling and Perfectionistic With the People Around You

Even though the reality of your daily life is that you're bored to tears and working at half the level of joy you could be, you're weirdly attached to it all, so it's vitally important that EVERYONE ELSE act how you expect. Perhaps because you don't even know who you are anymore, but you're pretty convinced you're right about how everyone else is.

If someone else were to be happy or follow their own bliss, it would force you to consider your own lack of the same. Ouch.

6. You Attend to Everyone Else's Needs First, Which Is Silently Eating Away at You

Except it's not really silent, since everyone around you can sense the toxic resentment that seeps through your pores like sewage in a leach field.

To everyone around you, you come off like a long-suffering, put-upon martyr. Martyrdom might work for religious figures, but sacrificing yourself for your relationship isn't good for you and it's the death knell for your partner's attraction to you.

When you don't take responsibility for the fact that you've let your OWN light go out, it's easy to look around and decide that it's someone else's fault. This is both a cop out and a way to absolve yourself of responsibility for your own happiness.

7. Your Emotional Range Is Blunted— You Sort of Live in That Limbo Territory Between Neutral, Angry and Resentful

Joy and true happiness are fleeting. You might not be anxious and depressed (many are), but you're flirting with them at least. Unfortunately, your ability to experience anger is probably bubbling there right below the surface at any time, ready to jump out and hurt someone in it's path.

8. Anything to Fill the Void

Since real joy feels like such a long way off that it's practically unobtainable, it's tempting to look for something… anything to fill the gnawing hole in your gut and your soul.

Temporary relief, like losing whole days to Netflix marathons, eating yourself out of house and home, drinking and shopping is at least relief, however temporary it might be.

9. The Hopeless Feeling That You've Sold Yourself Out Weaves Itself Into Your Inner Dialogue

"This isn't all it's cracked up to be" is pretty much your mantra.

Remember those hopes and dreams I was talking about before? You wake up every morning with a vague sense that "it's not gonna happen." Real talk: if you keep going in this sleep-walk, zombie, half-life direction you're headed in, it's NOT gonna happen.

Unless you make a change. Now.

You know how on planes, when they do the safety demonstration, they tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first? You know, because you'll die if you try to help everyone else before yourself? Losing yourself is like throwing your own oxygen mask out the window and then trying to share your partner's mask.

Letting yourself get lost in your relationship is claustrophobic, toxic for both of you and impossible long term.

If you see yourself in this, it's time to make a change. Let this be your gentle wake up call. We'll do it together. TC mark

This post originated on Attract the One.

Here’s What Happened When A Frat Boy Paid Me For Gay Sex In College

Posted: 18 May 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Darshan Simha
Darshan Simha

The first time I got paid to fuck somebody was during second semester of my Freshman year at an Elite Small Liberal Arts College. The first person that ever paid me to fuck them was a frat boy.

One night I was minding my lonesome in my dorm studying Italian when I got a text message from P, the star football player with a monster cock. He wanted to know if I was interested in making some quick money. I told him yes because, well, who the hell likes slow money!? He gave me the details and begged me to come join him. Basically this closeted frat guy — call him A — was horny and messaged P begging to be pounded by several black dicks all at once.


I told P hell no — I wouldn’t do it. But he didn't like people telling him no, so ten minutes late he was banging down my door and after I let him in he spent the next thirty minutes trying to convince me to do it. He was my pimp and I was a scantly-clad prostitute new to the corner! P begged me to do it because he really needed the money to pay his frat dues funnily enough, and the white frat boy made it clear that he wouldn't pay the full amount unless two black dicks came over and fucked him.

At least I’d be getting compensated for this hook-up. I could definitely use $500 bucks right about now, and these funky Italian flashcards aren't going to magically turn into money. At the time I was working a couple days a week on-campus making around 100 dollars a week, so the premise of making 500 dollars in less than an hour for doing something I probably would be doing anyway was enticing enough.

We had a few drinks before heading over and because we were wasted when we got to his room we laughed the entire way up the stairs, in a state of disbelief. What would our mothers think if they ever found out?

The first person who ever paid me to fuck them was a frat boy.

We got to A’s room and pushed open his room door, which he had left slightly ajar. The room was dark and smelled of lube. He was standing by the window, naked and as soon as I saw him my jaw hit the floor, my body froze and my balls shriveled up to the size of raisins.

He was definitely NOT my type and I was so uncomfortable I blacked out for a few minutes. A, the frat boy, was bent over doggy style on the ground and P fucked him ferociously. I sat on the bed playing with A’s Fleshlight because I decided I wasn’t going to touch him in any way whatsoever.

Then, P let out a gasp, but not the "I'm coming" gasp. This was the "OMG THERE IS SHIT ALL OVER MY DICK" gasp.

We were horrified. A apologized to P but wanted to keep going. Ugh, no.

I left A’s place feeling disgusting but not too sad or regretful. P and I walked back to the other side of campus and laughed the whole way. When I got back to my dorm I put the 500 dollars in a drawer and went back to studying Italian.

I never saw or spoke to A again but according to Facebook he is now a Director of Youth Ministries at a Methodist Church in Tennessee. I wonder if he is still paying young college boys for sex.TC mark

I Am A 20-Something Who Doesn’t Drink And Literally Nobody Understands

Posted: 18 May 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Flickr / iulia Pironea
Flickr / iulia Pironea

In health class we were drilled with the words: "Not everyone is doing it," and; "You don't have to if you don't want to" and; "Just say no" — as if these were our own personal teenage anthems.

What they don't teach you, however, is how to react to the relentless peer pressure when someone says "You're going to regret that," or how to bounce back when you're met with unfounded criticism — feeling like a complete outlier. How do you teach a group of highly impressionable kids that it's okay not to drink and it's okay not to do drugs when the exact opposite is the norm? How do you ask a teen to challenge a peer to fight the "norm" during a time when they are quite literally trying to manage how to fit in.

In high school, choosing not to drink was a bit easier. There were more excuses: “my parents” or “I'm driving.” I thought that's how it would be in college. I thought that I would just continue to say no and go about my life as normal.

What I didn't realize is that I would not encounter peer pressure in its entirety until my first college party. Every person who belligerently offered me a drink responded with confusion and disbelief, to my seemingly rehearsed "No thanks, I don't drink." Most people didn't think I would last through the semester and a few even told me it would be the "biggest mistake of my college career."

But here I am three years later, at one of the biggest party schools in the nation and still sober.

If I'm being honest, my first semester was a true test of my inner principles. I had to really consider why I chose not to drink and if it was even worth the ridicule. It was.

My reasons for not drinking are not religious, it's not my family or a significantly poor decision that turned me away, I just don't. Not having a common answer, is a whole other realm of explanation and sometimes it's easier to say "yeah I had a bad experience" and move on with it. But it shouldn't be like that.

Everyday I wake up with the intention to be my best self, and drinking does not fit into the mix.

In order to take care of myself, I need to take care of my body in all aspects that I can control. Over the last few years I've had to reestablish that principle time and time again, especially when I feel like I'm on this path alone. There is great strength in being able to say no and it's important to talk about it.

Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, or just one night that you're not particularly feeling it, but feeling pressured, it takes strength. People continually say to me, "I don't know how you do it" but I don't really know any different. I've found myself justifying my decision to new friends with, "but I'm still fun" — as though my decision has suddenly made me socially inept.

Very recently, one of my childhood best friends lost his life to drugs and I can't help but think that over three years of “No's" and "I don't drink's" are meant to resonate deeper than the individual offering me a drink or any other drug, for that matter. If my experience as a substance-free college student can reach at least one person, that will make a difference. I want to give people the courage to say no, to recognize that you have to take care of your body, not be in this constant war against it, in a miserable cycle of blackouts and hangovers.

Our bodies are resilient as hell and rather than putting that to the test, why not honor it?

It takes an immense amount of strength to have the courage to want to take care of yourself, to say no, to stay grounded in who you are as a person.

There is a fear in not having an excuse, not having a justification for making mistakes and being unapologetically unique, to find where you're supposed to fit without the mask of drugs and alcohol. Because in any case, these are the experiences, the principles, the personal convictions that define your individuality.

Being in the business of finding one's self does not correlate to blurry thoughts and unaccounted for nights. Make actions with intention, not substance. A stripped version of who are to the core, is the most powerful.

There is a Greek expression “Sophrosyne” which means "a healthy state of mind and a deep self-awareness for one's true self that results in true happiness.”

This full version of yourself requires care and kindness. This version is honest and grows with every sober experience, both good and bad. It is a product of self-reflection and embracing your whole self; A self that does not need to abuse drugs and alcohol; A self that is willing and able to say no.

To be perfectly content without altering your chemical makeup, whether it be for one night or your whole life. There's clarity in being able to say that you like yourself and to recognize that you fit in exactly where you are already standing. Who you are is enough without the bullshit. TC mark

Be The One Who Loves With Abandon

Posted: 18 May 2016 05:00 PM PDT


In the rules of love someone always cares more.

There is the person who always puts in more effort; the person who goes the distance. The person who finds counseling worth the effort when a divorce seems like the easy option. The person who will let the argument go rather than continue to fight. The person who takes that extra step for someone else's happiness despite their own. The person who has cracks in their heart but refuses to give up because they just know that it's worth it.

We've all been in each of those positions. There has been a time when you've only had a mild attraction for someone who completely adored you. There has also been a time when you were completely out of this world attracted for someone who never really acknowledged you. And that sucks.

Being the one who is openly desperate and consumed is the worst thing. All of a sudden you need this person who you never did before and you don't get why they don't feel the same way. You'll feel uncomfortable and unfulfilled and want them so bad you can feel it in your bones. And as a response to this lack of interest you will try to mirror that. You'll send banal texts as an attempt to sound distant. You'll say no to seeing them even though it's what you want more than anything. You'll build up a wall because you're tired of the same damn thing happening every time. You'll feel stale and empty but cool nonetheless.

Don’t ever do that, don’t ever become that.

Because the person who is distant can seem cool, but that's all they'll ever be.

There's a magic in being driven crazy, being head over heels for another human being. There is an appeal to throwing yourself without fear in the pursuit of what you want. There's an exquisite pain in wanting to spend all your time with someone even if its impulsive and no one understands and no one can.

There's a beauty in passion. There's a beauty in reckless abandonment. We need more of it, more people full of it—the world doesn't have enough of it.

There's a beauty in loving recklessly, wholly, and openly. The pursuit of love opens you up to endless opportunities, moments, and places that you would never have reached otherwise. Being brave opens up your life, being brave opens up your heart.

Openly loving someone who lights up your eyes isn't crazy, it's brave.

By being indifferent and shutting yourself away you will only lose. It's not something to desire to be and it doesn't make you better to be that person. If you don't feel the same way move on, and if you do care, show it.

Don't water down your life because of the possibility of rejection. Don’t let people slip by because of your own fear.

Life is infinitely more fulfilling when you never have look back on it and think of all the could-have's and should have's. When you have a bruised and battered heart but one full of love. When you can look and back and see the loss and hurt but know you are infinitely stronger and better because of it.

I would rather be trampled and have lived then stood on the sideline without any scratches.

Because the only thing that comes from loving recklessly and being open to the possibility of pain is learning to pick yourself up, love yourself, and the life you've created by doing so. By loving with abandon you're already more successful than half the people out there.

And there's nothing more beautiful than someone who has tried, fallen, and gotten back up with just as much love in their heart as before the fall.

Because at the end of the day all we have is the love we created, the passions we pursued, and the dignity we maintained.

And one hundred times over I'd rather end my day with a bruised, battered, and worn out heart that loved too much and too fiercely than think of all the love I missed out on in fear.

So find that person that makes your stomach flip and your heart feel like it has wings, love with reckless abandonment and never look back. TC mark

You Have To Be The One You’re Looking For Before You Find Them 

Posted: 18 May 2016 04:00 PM PDT


Sometimes you look for a partner with certain qualities that you probably lack yourself and that is perfectly fine but to find a healthy kind of love that has the potential to grow and last, you often have to embody the same qualities you're looking for in someone else.

If you want stable love, you have to be stable yourself.

You have to know what you want from life even if you're not there, you have to understand what you want out of a relationship even if you've never been in one and you have to be consistent with the love you give to others to receive consistency from those who love you.

If you want a passionate love, you need to have a passionate life.

You have to be passionate about your life, your work, your friends and you have to put your heart into everything you do. You have to love others  fiercely and fearlessly to receive that kind of love. You shouldn't be afraid of saying too much or feeling too much or being the one who cares more. Let your passion attract people who are equally passionate — if not more.

If you want real love, you have to be real with yourself.

You have to be true to yourself and what you want, what you can offer and what you can't, what your faults are and how you are working on them and you have to be real about why you want to be in a relationship; is it because you're lonely or is it because you are emotionally ready and available to love someone and let them love you.

If you want kind love, you have to be kind to yourself.

You have to forgive yourself for your mistakes, you have to let go of past failures and past slip-ups. You have to be kind with your heart and kind with your thoughts and you have to be kind to others, you have to spread kindness like confetti so it can find its way back to you.

If you want deep love, you have to find your own depth.

You have to understand what moves you, what inspires you and what consumes you when you're quiet. You have to add depth into anything you do; your conversations, your work, your thoughts and your actions. You have to look through people and you have to look beyond the formalities and the masks they wear. You have to be able to love someone deeply with all their scars and their secrets and the stories they're afraid to share with the world so they can do the same for you.

If you want someone to be madly in love with you, you have to be madly in love with yourself.

You have to understand the qualities that make you unique and the traits that make you special, the love you're capable of giving someone without compromising who you are and how much you value yourself against everyone around you. When you value yourself, you will not let others get away with mistreating you and when you love yourself enough, you will not accept someone who doesn't love you just as much.

The love you get mirrors how you really feel about yourself; if you try to embody the qualities that you are looking for in a partner, you will eventually attract someone who is willing to give you exactly what you want. TC mark

I Don’t Need You But I Want You

Posted: 18 May 2016 03:00 PM PDT

 Scott Webb
Scott Webb

I don't need you to tell me I'm beautiful. I'm aware of how I look with my bright eyes and bushy hair. Not even to sound big headed, but I don't need your words to validate me. I don't need you to tell me you love me. Three words, that so simple, really don't mean anything if there aren't any actions behind it.

Trust me; I've fallen for those three words many times before. I don't need you to hold my hand. It's been involved with so many people that don't appreciate the language of physical touch, it would probably flinch at the graze of yours.

I don't need you to hold me at night. I've slept in my bed alone for years and I honestly don't even know how to share it. I don't need you to be there at the end of the day when I get home. I actually enjoy the peace and quiet of my little apartment and not having an obligation to share that with anyone. I don't need you for what you can do for me, in any way. I'm capable of handling my own and satisfying my needs. I don't need you.

I don't need you, but I want you. I want you to look at me in my bright eyes and see the smile come across your face. I want to receive a cup of tea from you after a long and tiring day, without being asked, and feel the love and care. I want to not have you just hold my hand, but reach for it because that's where it belongs. I want you to remind me what it's like to share my bed, my personal space, my sacred space with someone and feel completely comfortable.

I want you to be there at the end of the day, because when you are, it feels even more like home. I want you to add to the life I've built for myself, not create one for me.

There's a difference between a need and a want. I need Matcha Green tea, lemon water, and my journal to survive. I want a bigger apartment, a tea cart and specifically, a lifetime supply of strawberries. (I love strawberries). But I can live without those things. I am living without those things. Would they make me happier? Sure, they'll add some happiness. But is my happiness dependent on those things? No. It's not. I'm happy with the things I need and I'll always have those things(they better not get rid of matcha).

But that's what makes wants, wants. They're desirable for all the right and wrong reasons.

I don't need you to be there, just like I don't need a bigger apartment, but I want you to be there. I want you to be there for the good times, the bad times, the stressed out times, and the times when words can't even help. I want to experience what it's like to have a want fulfilled, to adapt to the changes.

I want to learn what it takes to now share and be involved with another person. I want to learn how it is to confide in someone and know days will come when we don't want to look at each other. I want to experience all of you. Not just the good, but the bad. A new experience is always desirable and while it's never perfect, the want for it is still there. Maybe when I get it I'll realize it's not all it's cracked up to be, but for now, I don't need you…but I want you. TC mark

Despite How We Ended, All I Want Is For You To Be Happy

Posted: 18 May 2016 02:00 PM PDT

 Fabian Blank
Fabian Blank

Life is held together by the simplest of moments that evolve into a story of cherished memories. Like the way you caressed my body under the covers. Like the way you would hold me in your sleep. Like the way you brushed the hair away from my face before you kissed me. Like the way you told me you loved me as my head rested on your chest, intoxicated on an overwhelming feeling of happiness and comfort, as well as the wine in our system. Like the sound of your laughter in the sunlight, as if the universe, which is not always so giving, had let this one moment slip through the cracks.

I’d be a fool not to see the magic in these moments. It was not the way you look, which is incredibly handsome, but the way you are. I could have fallen in love with you with my eyes closed.

But you never loved me the way I loved you.

One day, you just stopped holding me close to you under the covers. You stopped brushing my hair away from my face and kissing me. You stopped letting me sleep on your chest. I guess you figured we were better off as friends, and that’s okay; at least you were still a part of my life, a friend who would grab a coffee at a moment's notice, who would sit and talk with me about philosophy and religion, music and culture, your story and my story, anything and everything. And I was happy.

But then you fell in love with her.

You would ask me to coffee, and spend hours talking about her. You would invite me out and then have her come along, making me feel like a third wheel. It hurt, it did, but not as much as not being around you. So I let this cycle continue. You may think you have to be a little more cautious around me when you speak about her, but I just want you to know this.

Despite what happened with us, all I want is for you to be happy.

You may think that’s not possible, that I’m biased and I want you to be as hurt as I am, but it’s not true. I love you enough to want you to be happy, and if it’s not with me, that’s alright; you are the only person whose happiness I have ever wanted to put before my own.

And so I wish for patience, grace and the strength to let you love her. I don’t want to alter your life and your joy because of what I feel and what I want.

So don’t think I’m jealous. Don’t think I have ulterior motives when I ask you to hang out. You’re still one of my best friends, despite how we ended. Our friendship is the most tangible fairy tale I’ve ever experienced.

So I will continue to sit and listen as you tell me how you love her. I will smile when you tell me kissing her sends a spark through your body, despite me still feeling the sparks on my lips when you once kissed me. I will gladly help you find the perfect gift for her “just because.” Because seeing you happy makes me happy, and isn’t that what love is? TC mark

7 Telltale Signs You’ve Found ‘One Of The Good Ones’

Posted: 18 May 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Micah Camara
Micah Camara

1. He is not afraid to tell you how he really feels.

PLEASE don't get annoyed by this. It's a compliment. Take it!

The dating game rules of today say that being direct is never the answer, and we should beat around the bush and try to pick up on subtleties until we're sure of the other's feelings. It can be exhilarating in the beginning, but it gets old FAST (especially if it's a one-sided game). For this reason it's easy to get embarrassed and awkward when someone conveys strong emotions toward you. To make it even worse, if someone is willing to put themselves out there it probably means the two of you are close. Do the both of you a favor and take their words gracefully. If you don't want it to go anywhere, just say that. It may be awkward immediately afterwards, but I promise it will pass if you don't let it come between you.

So many "men" these days are so hung up on their masculinity and this modern dating game that they're too scared to open up and risk looking vulnerable (ironic, huh?). While he may still want to portray his "masculine" image to the world, the right guy sees that you are different and therefore worth the risk. Heck, if he's a really good one, he won't see it as a risk at all, but more like an investment. What good can come of a relationship started with masks on and walls up, anyway?

2. He doesn't set deadlines.

Okay, asking you not to be 3 hours late for your 7:30 date night is one thing, but if it seems like it's always a now-or-never kind of decision with him, the answer definitely needs to be never. This kind of behavior just means you're dispensable to him, or as Queen Bey said, "[he] could have another you in a minute." Why would you want someone who is impatient or a constant flight risk? First and foremost, Love is Patient. This is especially valuable in the beginning, but it sure comes in handy for the rest of the relationship, too! Patience shows you're special to him, and trust me—you ARE special.

3. He tries to better himself for you.

This one here is the sign of a true man. The epitome of Prince Charming. Who doesn't want Prince Charming?! The right guy shouldn't have the "take it or leave it" attitude when pursuing you. He knows you deserve only the very best, so if he sees a flaw in himself, he will work to fix it! Now, do NOT confuse this with a guy changing who he is for you. No one should ever change who they are for another person. Here, we are talking about positive adjustments to their life. These are things that probably need to be done anyway, he's just doing them with you in mind.

4. He consistently pursues from a comfortable distance.

Balance and grace are key here. Being wooed and followed day after day can be annoying, and if it's out of control, he's probably confusing love and infatuation. We definitely don't want that. We want to be equal partners in our relationship! The right guy reminds you of his feelings as much as you need him to, and he does so with dignity. After all, he doesn't want to push you away!

5. You feel comfortable with him.

No brainer, right? Wrong!!! You know that girl who started dating that one guy and she's actually super cool but she acts TOTALLY different when he's around? We all have known her. Don't be her. You should always be yourself no matter who you're around, but your significant other is one of the most important. If you can't be yourself with him, you're practically setting yourself up for failure! Chances are, he already sees the real you and knows what he's getting into. Why disappoint by giving him something else?

6. He encourages you to be the best version of yourself.

Similar to #5, he knows you. He knows who you are and what you are capable of doing. He wants so badly to see you shine, and even better, he wants to be a part of the journey. He will be your #1 fan if you let him (next to, like, your grandma). He may not yell and scream in the crowd when you get an award or rock your performance quite like Granny does, but you can guarantee he's doing it in spirit. Tell him your plans and wildest dream and let him boost you up higher and closer to reaching them. Bonus points if he's tall.

7. You know you can trust him.

This one is vital. The others are great, but this one is an absolute must. Whether this is going anywhere or staying like it is, there has to be trust. The right guy trusts you, which is why he's chasing after you and consequently your trust. It's extremely difficult and miserable to love someone you don't trust, IF you can ever love them at all. The right guy understands this fact. He will do everything he can to gain, respect, and cherish this trust. Don't ever take this for granted. Relationship or no relationship, this is special and shouldn't be lost. TC mark

You Deserve To Love Yourself

Posted: 18 May 2016 12:00 PM PDT

Jati Putra
Jati Putra

We live in a world that works tirelessly to convince you that you are something less.

You aren’t beautiful until you buy this shirt, or purchase this make-up, or get this shiny car. You need this, that, and the other before you can be “somebody.” You need to travel to the most exotic places. You need to grow the best career. You need to bring in the best salary. You need to have the most attractive partner. You need more Instagram followers, more attraction, more, more, more. Then you can be pretty. Then you can be happy. Then you can be popular. Then you have worth.

We live in a world where we can look upon a screen and see all the people who seem “better” than us. We can, with the movement of a finger, see all the people who are prettier, smarter, and more accomplished than us. Our overwhelming inadequacy is packaged to us in perfect little boxes, called profiles, just waiting for us to see; quantified for us in numbers of followers, friends, and likes.

We never feel good enough. How could we?

And so we live our lives avoiding mirrors, because we don’t want to see ourselves. Avoiding commitment, because we aren’t the best we can be yet — tomorrow we will have more money, better clothes, and a better life. Avoiding love, because everybody is convinced that they aren’t good enough. We walk with our heads down, because every message around us seems to be that we are inadequate. Because there is always someone prettier, someone cooler, someone better, someone…else.

This is how we love ourselves. But this isn’t the love we deserve.

You are a unique collection of cells and energy that will never again be recreated on this planet earth. In that way alone, you are worthy. How could you not be? You are the most unique person to ever be created. And so am, and so is the next person to read this. That is how you deserve to love yourself.

You deserve to appreciate yourself for what you are. Don’t ignore the awesome things that you have in favor of the things you haven’t. You have great talents, amazing skills, and a unique story that nobody else will ever be able to experience.

You deserve to stop comparing yourself to others. We are all the same — in that we are all infinitely different. A fish wouldn’t think it is very smart either if it judged itself on its ability to climb a tree. The progress you have made in your life, in your story, has no relation to the stories and life adventures of other people.

You deserve to forgive yourself. For everything.

You deserve to live every day to the fullest. Don’t spend so much time looking backwards that you trip over the opportunities right in front of you. Let the ride carry you through the good times, and the bad.

You deserve a confidence in your walk, a smile on your face, a spring in every step. You get to be you! You’re the only one who will EVER get to be you! That’s exciting!

You deserve an extra piece of cake for dessert, a partner who will love you, and a fair shake to all your wildest dreams. That doesn’t mean they will come easy, or that everything will work out, but you owe it you yourself to take the world that has been given.

And yeah, there are people who won’t buy it. There will be those who try to sell you short — especially yourself. But that’s not the love you deserve.

You are worthy of everything you have, and everything you dream of. Don’t let any person, any advertisement, any pessimistic thought tell you otherwise. You are whole, today. You are enough, today.

And it’s easy to believe this when life is going great; when things are hitting on all cylinders, when you feel in a good groove — maybe you can believe in your own beauty. But you deserve to love yourself fully, without conditions or reservations. Your adequacy is not contingent on getting the next promotion, or a second date with the person you got dinner with last week. So long as your heart beats, you are enough.

And what do we do on the days we can’t make ourselves believe this? When you are at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. You deserve tomorrow, and tomorrow will be better.

This world is a beautiful place in which you are one integral, invaluable, in-substitutable part. That’s how you should treat yourself. That’s how you should love yourself. TC mark

I Hope Someday We’ll Meet Again

Posted: 18 May 2016 11:00 AM PDT


When that day comes, I sincerely hope there will be room for you and me.

I hope someday we get to share more of our lives than just exchanging glances and catching smiles. I hope you will discover that I am more than just a pretty face and I will learn that you are more than just that guy behind those nerdy glasses. I hope we get to grab that coffee I have been thinking about and just simply spend the whole afternoon actually laughing at each other's stories because we didn't realize how good a cup of coffee could get until we had that coffee with one another. I hope you get to learn the nicknames my friends call me and that I could just make one exclusively for you.

I hope someday I'd have the chance to bring you to dinners with my girlfriends and they'll talk about how lucky I am to have caught you. I hope someday you'll bring me to one of your family parties. I'd be dressed up in a nice cocktail dress and you'd be suited up in that tuxedo, and your cousins would tell us how good we look together. And you'd just spend the entire night telling me how proud you are of me.

I hope someday we get to spend time instead of wasting it.

I hope we get to spend it on a travel trip and get to create new memories we could look back and smile upon. I hope we could spend those time on late-night texts and chats and we'd fall asleep on each other because we're too busy enjoying the conversation, neither of us would want to say goodnight first. I hope I get to spend time with you, knowing you, your friends or your family. Particularly, anything about you. I hope someday, I'd get to know how wonderful your soul is and by that time, I hope I could stop myself from falling madly in love.

But someday isn't prime for us right now. Someday is yet to exist. Someday is like a forever ago or a forever to go. Someday may or may not happen at all.

Because what we have now, is today and today has been drastically rude to us.

Today never gave us the chance to converse, let alone talk. Today never gave us a chance to call our names the way we wanted to be called. Today never willed us to have that cup of coffee. Today wanted us to waste time. Today meant us to be strangers.

Today, you are someone that I just know by name and not fully by heart and soul.

Today, you are just like a memorized song, I know your lyrics but I don't understand your meaning.

For now, I will leave you be. I will leave you to how happy were and you still are. I'm glad to have bumped into you for the littlest time we passed by each other. It was a small bump, a minor one. But you shaped a little dent in me, a dent I won't easily forget because that dent didn't leave me as I was before I traversed your path. For now, I am walking a different pavement, a different crossroad. I look back and I see your shadow. It's my only reminder that you were real, that somewhere, somehow our lanes intersected.

When everything else is well, when the universe finally conspired for "us", when our souls are finally ready, when arrows are finally shot between those two little hearts, I hope I can finally get to call your name and I hope that's exactly how you wanted it to be called. Then, we will be ready. Then I will realize that someday has finally come for us and we have met again. TC mark