Thought Catalog

This Is How I Feel When I Wait For Your Call

Posted: 24 May 2016 08:00 PM PDT


I'm waiting for your phone call and I feel like it's never going to come. Apart of me is at peace with the fact that with every passing minute, every quiet moment

I realize slowly that I was never on your mind today.

I convince myself there's a legitimate reason why you haven't called yet. It's easy for me to make excuses for you while I wait. You were too busy, you lost track of time, your phone is out of reach and you've fallen asleep without realizing it. It happens, those things, but when I'm honest with myself I know none of those are true, none of those are the reason I'm waiting by my phone for your phone call.

I adore that feeling when I see your name pop up on my screen. The anticipation is killing me and as I watch the clock count down the hours and the sun sink below the horizon I can't help but think of you.

We never said we'd talk today. There was never any explicit conversation where you told me you'd text me or call me, but I didn't think we still needed that, I didn't think we'd became those people who needed to outline when it was appropriate to call one another, but I find myself hung up on being the one who cares less, the one who could go a whole day without hearing from you.

But I'm not that girl and I do care.

I care enough to spend my evening busying myself at the gym, in the kitchen, soaking in the bath just to take my mind off of how much I just want to hear about your day, send you a funny text, and talk about nothing in particular at all. I think about how sparsely I've talked to you all week and I wonder if the fact that I miss you plays a role in the fact that I'm waiting, just waiting, to hear from you again. You are like a long lost friend and the laundry list of things I want to share with you is too long to keep track of anymore.

I can't seem to remember when I started wanting to share so much with you. It was before I met you, before I kissed you, before the idea of just sitting together doing nothing sounded like my goals for a Tuesday night. And now I'm waiting, conflicted about grabbing the phone and calling you first. I could call you, I should call you, your voice echoes in my head that, of course, I can always call you, but I know that's not the point.

The point is I'm waiting for you to call, you specifically,

because the idea of sharing your day with me and hearing my voice sounds amazing to you.

I know that maybe those expectations are high but I'm a girl who can survive with less and this is the least of things I want from you. It's so sappy, it's such a perfectly mundane stereotype of the female sex. Imagine how you feel when I call, when I make you feel special, when I let you know you were on my mind and when you think of that my qualms probably don't seem so insane.

A call, a text, a sign of communication is timeless and classy. It's not naked pictures, or an outlandish meme, a Facebook like or a smile face emoji. In a generation that is always being reminded of how bad they are at relationships this should be the foundation. Being able to just talk to someone, about anything, about things you like and don't like – well, that's huge. I like having that with you, but it's not happening today and I can only blame myself. Because instead of waiting I should be calling you, I should be less afraid of how it looks and how it makes me vulnerable because I really want to.

I miss you enough to call you and tell you that. TC mark

To The Girls Who Feel Incapable Of Love

Posted: 24 May 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Brooke Cagle
Brooke Cagle

You've fallen too many times, involved yourself with too many people, and gave chance after chance. But now you're exhausted. You've been through unspeakable things and became so tired of cleaning up your baggage every time you left that you eventually stopped unpacking it altogether. There is much left within you that you can't let go of because you don't want, don't know how to talk about it just as much as no one wants to hear it. You want to be in love, you fall in love with people all the time.

But you distance yourself so no one finds out the truth.

Everyone seems happy, hopeful, and you pretend to be as excited as people who are in love. But your heart is breaking. Your heart is breaking and you've forgotten how to cry. Despite everything you just remember not to let the world make you hard, so you smile, hoping that you can trick your heart to match your face. Some days it works. Sometimes you reflect on things and when you speak them out loud you become dizzy because it feels like it happened to someone else. People think you are so strong and as much as you want to believe them, you still struggle to hold on to keep moving forward.

You question your ability to love because you were a child born as a result of lust. So maybe, just maybe that's who you're supposed to be, the in between, the broken, the other woman, friends with benefits, and so forth. However, you cannot bring yourself to accept this because you work hard, have passions, and are tired of being used for your outer shell when you have so much more to offer.

You've fallen for people who don't recognize your worth, whose minds are too small to understand the complexity of yours, the people who didn't have the endurance to carry your baggage.

So maybe, it's not your problem at all. TC mark

How Social Media Is Ruining Your Relationship Before It Even Starts

Posted: 24 May 2016 06:30 PM PDT

Ah, social media – a wonderful way to connect with former acquaintances (while crying because everyone has a better life than you), rekindle old high school flames, stalk your ex boyfriend, stalk your ex boyfriend's new girlfriend, stalk your potential new lover, stalk your potential new lover's friends, and…okay I'll stop now.

These days, thanks to social media, your potential new lover's reputation arrives before they do, often messing with your chemistry before you go on a first date. Below are the top 10 ways social media can ruin your relationship before you even get the chance to.

1. Instagram Status

Before date one, you have to ask yourself a critical question: Will pictures of you and your hypothetical new lover be a hit on Instagram? If the answer is no, how can he possibly be the one?


2. Instagram Stalking

Before meeting up for the first time, you do the rational thing and commit to learning all about your potential new lover…by cyber stalking, of course. It's all a blur but the next thing you know, you end up on his brother's girlfriend's best friend's cousin's maid's dog's page—and then you're back to his page accidentally liking a picture from 65 weeks ago because at this point you're totally delirious. You must then deactivate your account and start a new life in China.

Once, I stalked a potential lover's page by combing through the list of people he was following (yes, people do this). When I discovered his ex's page, I felt like I hit the goldmine! I spent the next four straight hours stalking her. Unfortunately, since I was half asleep, I accidentally followed her! Then I freaked out and unfollowed her. But then I freaked out AGAIN and re-followed her because maybe she'd already gotten a notification that I'd followed her. Then I felt creepy and unfollowed her again. Next, I threw my phone on the floor and sat quietly on my couch, staring at the wall and screaming internally while processing what had just happened.

3. Sluts on Instagram

Modeling contracts have officially been replaced by self-congratulatory Instagram bios, which not-so-subtly boast titles like "fitness model," "fashion connoisseur," "lingerie model," and so on. Thanks to Instagram filters, plenty of Photoshop apps, and numerous amateur photographers, anyone can now be an Instagram model (something I totally aspire to until I put a bathing suit on and then I'm like NVM). These Instagram models are ubiquitous, so rest assured that your boyfriend (or someone you consider your boyfriend even if he doesn't know it yet) follows them all. A perfect example is Jen Selter:

"Butt" who cares, right? Guess what… your boyfriend does.

4. Not Liking Your Pictures On Instagram

You've been talking for a week now and you really feel like he might be the one. You decide to spice things up by posting a fire selfie so he knows just what a beautiful trophy wife you'll make one day. You take 75 pictures and narrow it down to the perfect shot and then Photoshop that shit, slap 13 filters on it, and run it by all your friends for approval before posting.

You're ready for that key like from the guy you're seriously dating (even if he doesn't know it yet). If you're lucky, you might even get a comment. So now you wait (you're patient like that). And wait. But nothing! He doesn't like it, and he doesn't comment. You question whether you should have chosen another picture, but then you stop yourself and laugh it off because he's probably busy and hasn't been on Instagram that day. Two minutes later, you throw that optimism out the window and decide to stalk him to see whether he's liking anyone else's pictures, which brings us to the next topic.

5. Likes And Comments On Instagram

Just when you think everything is going swell with your potential new lover, you open up Instagram, click on the activity page, and boom—you see that your future baby daddy has been liking pictures of Instagram models and commenting that Margret 'sure looks wonderful in her undies' instead of liking your picture. WTF! Obviously, the next logical step is to stalk Margret, cry for two hours while shoving comfort food down your throat, and send screenshots to your friends weeping over what a cheater your man is (even though you haven't even gone on your first date yet).


6. Not Posting Pictures With You On Instagram

You've now been on two dates with your potential new lover, and you think he'll do just fine. You actually don't even know if you like him yet, but hey…it's the holidays and it sure would suck to spend them alone. You notice that Janet has a ton of pictures on Instagram with her boyfriend (granted, they've been dating for five years, but so fucking what!). It's not about Janet, it's about you…and you're tired of only posting pictures with your cat.

You start stalking the pages of anyone who's ever appeared in a photo with your potential new lover because you happen to have five hours to spare. Five hours later, you've convinced yourself that he's slept with any girl he's ever posted a picture with, including his third cousin, Becky. What is he hiding? Why hasn't he posted any pictures of you two?! The obvious, logical next step is to text him a 10-paragraph essay about your feelings, because you have every right to be upset… right?? Right!

7. Not Texting You Back But Being Active On Instagram

You and your guy have managed to move past some of the Instagram obstacles, but for whatever reason he's not responding to any of the last 12 texts you sent, all of which are photos of your cat taken at slightly different angles. It's been three minutes and he hasn't confirmed your pussy's adorableness with 12 emojis. I mean, if he's not going to appreciate your cat, what's the point of all that wedding planning you've been doing via Pinterest!?

Sure, he could be working or sleeping but you don't have time to think so sensibly, so you take matters into your own hands. You pray, for his own health and safety (and your sanity), that he hasn't been active on Instagram. But nope, he just followed some girl. Your heart drops, your day is ruined, you post 10 sad quotes on Instagram, Tweet a breakup song, cut your hair, and pledge to revenge fuck his brother (he only has a sister, but fuck it, she'll do), all within the span of 5 minutes. You even text all your friends that it's over and you hate him. But wait….OMG! He just responded! False alarm, everyone.


8. Is Chivalry Dead?

Dating is super tricky in an era in which most guys consider texting a girl "sup" at 2AM a romantic gesture. It's hard to connect when people would rather hit you up on social media than pick up the phone and call you like they did in the good ol' days (remember landlines?!?! LOL)

These days, dating goes like this: Your crush hits on you on a dating app, so you add him on Facebook; he "pokes" you, so you add him on Instagram; he DM's you for your number, you wait 10 minutes and nothing happens, so you add him on Snapchat and watch his Snap story; then he retweets you, so you watch his periscope to see what he's up to; then he sends you a message on Whatsapp to Skype or Ichat later but you accidently miss his Skype call so you get his email from LinkedIn and email him apologizing but he doesn't respond, so you stalk his activity on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Linkenin to see if he's ignoring you. At this point you're exhausted but just as you're about to give up on him altogether, you notice that he Snapped you. You're so excited you could shit yourself but you don't. Instead, you open up the snap with your BFF Linda to see what romantic message he's sent. It's his dick. He sent you a dick pic. God bless 2016 romance.

9. Snapchat Screenshot

One night you have seven drinks too many and decide to spice it up by sending your future ex husband a nude. It's only fair that he gets to see your titties after that aggressive dick pic from a few days before. Plus, Snapchat pictures get erased after a few seconds, so what could possibly go wrong?! The next morning you wake up as hungover as @daddyissues_ on any given day, with a notification that a screenshot was taken by no other than your bae.

10. Tinder And Other Dating Apps

If the screenshot of your bare nipples wasn't bad enough, your friend Jennifer decides to rain on your parade by revealing the fact that she saw your man on Tinder and seven other dating apps with a quote in his description that says "Two things I'm good at: Fucking and fighting." You are now officially one fuckboy away from getting 79 cats and calling it a day.

The truth is… you're gonna die alone.

Just kidding! The truth is, whether we like to admit it or not, we've all fallen victim to this social media cycle. We no longer have the ability to get to know each other naturally and let things take their course. Instead, we let social media take the driver's seat and we're at its merciless control, just like Charlie Sheen in his tiger blood days. If that isn't bad enough, social media makes it so easy for us to meet new people every second of the day that it's virtually impossible to stay in a committed relationship once you manage to weasel your way into one. Maybe sitting at home in our pj's every Friday night swiping left perpetually is what life is all about.

Cheer up, buttercup! Because we're all in the same boat, and there's a place for people like us! It's called the bar, where you can drink till you feel loved. Join me! TC mark

This story originally appeared on DaddyIssuesLA.

What I Mean When I Say Wanderlust

Posted: 24 May 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Micah Camara
Micah Camara

We are the travel generation. And it’s so easy to be with social media these days. We see pretty, perfectly filtered pictures of girls on the beaches of Bali, soaking up the sun in Santorini, casually relaxing in Costa Rica. We envy them, want to be them. And for a lot of people this is what they think of when they think of wanderlust. They think it’s being jealous of those pretty pictures, and wishing that’s the life they could have.

But not me.

See, I don’t think that wanderlust is the idea of looking at what someone else is doing and wanting it. I think we’re born with wanderlust. We’re born with the need to explore and have adventures. And when you’re born with wanderlust, with the need for travel and exploration, there is constantly adventure in your hearts and something in your mind that just keeps repeating, “Go.”

And when I say I have wanderlust, it means I won’t be satisfied until I go.

I want to learn new things, see new things, fill my life with new things until my cup runs over and my mind is blown with all of this new.

I want to touch every grain of sand on every beach and swim in every ocean so I can tell you how different the waters are. I want to learn to say hello in every language and sleep under different skylines so I can tell you how different the stars are. I want to the hear the magic that I know is in the air that is never the same in two places. I want to get sunburnt and lost and find my way so that and the end of the day, I can tell you how wonderful being lost really is because it means you get to find your way back.

I want to never be committed to one place, one routine. I want to wake up with different sunrises and say goodnight to different moons. I want to find the magic, the mystery, the beauty in every difference.

When I say I have wanderlust, it means I just have to know what those differences, what those new things are. It means I’m never content if I’m not being a student of the world and paying attention because I know how much the world has to teach me. I mean that I need to have the answers, and I know that going is the only way to get them.

And when I say I have wanderlust, it means I want to share it.

So I go. I explore and I jump, I adventure and I get lost. I soak up all this knowledge, all these experiences, all of this magic. I learn and I take notes about all of this beauty and all of these incredible people, places and things. I make sure to drink in as much as I can so when I hear someone say, “What’s that like?” I can answer, “Let me tell you.”

I go and I go not only to satiate my wanderlust, but to help to fuel and feed yours too.

Because the beauty of wanderlust is that it is never ending. And the beauty of wanderlust is that we need each other to keep it. The beauty of wanderlust, is that it’s for all of us.

So when I say that I have wanderlust, it means I’ll never stop going.

And I hope you never stop too. TC mark

Maybe In Another Life Our Hearts Would Intertwine

Posted: 24 May 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Milada Vigerova

Maybe in another life our paths wouldn't have just crossed, but intertwined. Maybe I would have been able to love you the way you loved me.

Maybe there is a life where I want what you want.

Maybe there is a life I want to graduate college with you and move back to your hometown. Maybe I'd want to start a family with you and buy a house. Maybe I'd love to decorate a baby's room with you, with wallpaper and cute little d├ęcor everywhere. Maybe you'd be the one to make me want to settle down and set a foundation for my life.

But it's not in this life.

In this life I don't want to settle down, I don't want to stay in one place, I don't want a relationship yet and I surely don't want a family.

Maybe in another life you would be everything I hope for, everything I dream about at night when I'm lonely. Maybe you'd be the one I'd love to come home to after having the worst day imaginable. Maybe you'd be the one I'd crawl into bed with and never let go of. Maybe you'd be the one whose shoulder I'd be burying my face into when a scary movie is on.

Maybe in another life you'd be the one I'd be planning family vacations with, instead of just planning solo trips for me. Maybe in another life I would want that, to go with a family, my own family. Maybe I'd love to pack my kids a suitcase and help situate them in their car seats. Maybe I'd enjoy seeing their faces as we board an airplane and maybe I'd love taking pictures with them at Disney.

But I've never been a kid person and those plans don't fit into my five or ten year plan. As much as you care about me and as many nice things you do for me, I just can't love you back.

Maybe in another life I wouldn’t be so unsure of everything. Maybe I wouldn't spend so much time overthinking and wondering what my life could be like if I traveled here or moved there. Maybe if I knew what I wanted I could settle down; but I don't, not in this life anyway.

This lifetime wasn't meant for us to be together. Our stars didn't properly align and I know it might break your heart, but you wouldn't want to be with someone like me anyway. Someone so reckless and indecisive. Someone who constantly pushes others away. Someone who blacks out reality and doesn't allow herself to miss others because it's easier that way.

You don't want someone like me, you deserve someone who will love you forever and grow old with you.

And maybe there is a life where we grow old together, sitting on the front porch swinging back and forth. Maybe there is a life where we have spent a lifetime together, raising a family, pouring each other morning coffee and kissing each other goodnight.

If there is one thing I'm certain of in this life it's that I will always break your heart. I will never be able to intertwine my heart with yours. As much as I wish I could sometimes, I know it's better off this way.

You will find someone who loves you the way you love her. Maybe when that happens I will feel regret, because my heart breaks every time I know we won't end up together. But that is something I will have to live with.

Maybe in another life needing you would be the only thing that's on my mind, but in this life I just can't love you back. TC mark

The Truth About Sex In Relationships (Hint: It’s Not As Important As You Think It Is)

Posted: 24 May 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Twenty20, marishkakuroedova
Twenty20, marishkakuroedova

I get emails from people from time to time questioning if there is something wrong with their marriage simply because they aren’t having as much sex as they used to.

Now, it’s a perfectly natural thing to worry about …but if a reduction in sex is the ONLY thing that is “wrong” with your marriage, then there is really nothing wrong at all.

How can I be so sure?

Well a recent study conducted on reveals something about sex which the rom-coms would like to have you thinking otherwise on.

What did it reveal?

The study showed that on average, only 1 in 4 people would end a relationship because of “bad” sex. Which means that 3 in 4 people don’t feel “bad” sex is …well …all that bad.

…Which is something that at first thought sounds odd, but in actuality is perfectly correct.

Why does it sound odd at first thought?

Well, we have been conditioned from an early age (mostly from the media) into believing that a happy successful relationship should involve constant passionate sex. We believe we should be having sex every night …and that that sex should not only be good, but incredible.

And if it’s not…then something must be wrong.


That’s how we’ve been programmed to think. It’s not how reality actually is. The reality is that once you are married, after two or three years, the once passionate sex becomes …well …less and less passionate.

It’s still good …but we tend not to be as turned on by our partner as we once were.

And we see that even though the sex isn’t as good as it once was, we still care for and love our partner. In short, we begin to see (and accept) that the kind of infinite passionate sex couples are “supposed” to have (according to the rom-coms) …simply doesn’t exist.

And this is where REAL intimacy can begin to be built

When we realize that our marriage shouldn’t be a mirror copy of what we see on the big screen, we can truly look at our partner (and the relationship we have with them) as they are …and build the kind of intimacy that long-lasting relationships are made of.

Intimacy that is based on truth …and not a perception of truth that we have been wrongly programmed into believing we should have.

This article is not meant to be anti-rom coms. I like rom-coms. But I would class them as my old headmaster used to say “chewing gum for the eyes”. They’re meant to entertain you …not educate you about how life should be lived.

I Hope You Know How Grateful I Am I Got To Love You

Posted: 24 May 2016 03:00 PM PDT


Sometimes, I think about when we first met, and I laugh. Who would have thought that almost two years later we would be here? This place that is neither here, nor there? How do I even explain our relationship anymore? Better question: how do you, expert of avoidance, how do you explain any of this? In some ways, it feels like more than a relationship; in other ways, I remember the day you yelled at me through the phone from hundreds of miles away, how upset you were over one of my friends innocently referring to you as my boyfriend during your first visit.

I guess the mystique of our relationship is just how inexplicable it's always been, and always will be.

Sometimes I can't believe I've let myself allow you to irrevocably change me, and that I've changed so readily into something you can so malleably use. Sometimes I get furious at myself for all of the things, tangible and intangible, that I've wasted on you, on these last two years. Sometimes I think about all of the things I could've experienced – other adventures, other people, other loves. I wonder how much of myself I left in you, and the wake of us.

But at the same time, it thrills me that I’ve experienced someone – because you were an experience, not just a person to be met – that has made such an indelible mark on me. On those days, when my hindsight perspective is 20/20, I feel lucky. Those days are far and few between, though.

I think I'm having one of those lucky days. Although, it might just be me missing you yet again.

I once read a quote that said, “I spend my sleepless nights talking to God about you.” It’s nice to know I’m not alone in that, and that other people also have a “You” that they talk to God about. I’m just sorry that my biggest form of loving you these days is praying for you. I'm not an entirely religious or spiritual person, but God is the one person I can talk to about you anymore.

I’m also feeling sorry for God, because He must be really tired of your name and mine, intertwined, coming across His desk every day.

Sometimes, I truly wonder what kind of direction my life would’ve taken if I had never met you that night down by the water. I can’t decide if it would be better or worse, and that’s what scares me most about all of this. For all of the alternatives and potential situations I give myself about what could've happened had I never agreed to meet you that day the US team lost in the World Cup two summers ago, I still can't decide if I truly, truly wish I had never met you. I think there's a part of me, no matter how badly we hurt each other, that will always be so grateful to have had the chance to know you. For as much as you broke me, you made me whole in different ways.

And yet, even still, every single time I think of you, even on the good days, even right now, my heart is just like, “For the love of God, could you just fucking stop?”

I think this is me realizing that my broken pieces aren't so broken anymore. I think this is me finally realizing our inexplicableness had its time, and that time is over. There will be parts of me that cry whenever I think about how beautiful we once were – that first night, drinking a bottle of wine on the rocks looking out into the ocean, telling silly high school stories; the first time you told me your family asked about me; driving through beach towns at night with you – and then realize how doomed we inevitably always were: the day you left without any goodbye, only to call me from the Jersey Turnpike; the time you couldn't understand why I was drunkenly crying over my dog who had just died; or all of those times you simply disappeared without a word, much less an explanation.

All of those fragments have made up the incongruous, messy pile of memories and experiences of whatever we are, whatever we have been. However, as broken as it seems sometimes, as harsh and dangerous as it looks from a distance, there's a beauty to it upon closer inspection. Much as there is a method to the madness, there's a beauty to the destruction.

For in destroying me, I was given the chance to become that much more whole. In destroying me, I got to see the depth in which you can love someone, how close you can tangle yourself within someone, the ways in which love can inevitably change you, and how much someone can truly mean to someone. For as much as it felt like you ruined me, that 20/20 hindsight I talked about, has really gotten crystal clear.

I'm glad you were what broke me, so I can now be better.

You were a beautiful destroyer, but now I get to be better. For all that you stole from me, for all of the ways you ruined me, and the ways you so subtly hurt me, I get to learn from them. I can be better in the way I love, in the way I live, in the way I now know I deserve better. I get the chance to be whole again, because of the ways you destroyed me.

Maybe our love's purpose was designed to destroy, after all. The quiet, calming sense of peace found in some love stories was never meant for us. We were meant to be a love that ruined and wrecked, that inevitably led us to grow and change, though we fought it every step of the way. Our love went hand in hand with pain, masochism at its finest. Pain is the greatest teacher, as it shows what not to do in the future, so as to avoid that harsh experience in another, similar instance. And as much as the broken pieces of our love agonizingly drag across my mind and heart sometimes, it has still taught me the ways in which I can be whole now. How I survived this warfare of love, wherein I came out both broken and whole at the same time. It hurts to think about sometimes, but in hurting, that pain still teaches me, and heals me.

Even though it hurts, I will still keep those memories of sitting in your passenger seat, listening to Van Morrison on a summer night, close to my heart. The taste of vodka cranberry will always remind me of you. Exit 8 will never be just an exit off the highway. They break me, sometimes, thinking about them, but like I said, that pain of remembrance both hurts and heals.

If you've taught me anything, it's that loving you was both my destruction, and my salvation. You might have broken me into pieces, and destroyed part of who I used to be. But in the end, I saved myself. I put myself back together. I made a mosaic of our broken memories, and that's what I talk to God about now. This mosaic of contradictions and love and hatred is how I love you now, and the way was I able to heal. TC mark

I Want You To Break My Heart

Posted: 24 May 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Sophia Louise
Sophia Louise

You’re not as sure as I am that we should be together. I’ve had way more time to think about it, but for you, this whole "liking another girl" thing came as a complete surprise.

I can’t fault you for being cautious for your own sake. I needed a ton of time to figure that all out myself, so I totally understand why you’d want to wait and see to try to really understand what’s going on with you.

But please, don’t be cautious for my sake.

I’ll be okay, really, I promise.

We’re already doing all the things that couples do – besides admitting it. Pulling back from me now to protect me from some potential future pain isn’t going to help at all.

I like you. You like me. For whatever reason, we were supposed to meet.

If I’m being really, embarrassingly honest, I had a bit of a crush on you even before I found you on that park bench.

And that day, I felt such an immediate connection, like my soul was happy, that my slight crush ramped right up to full on wow-I-would-date-this-girl feeling.

After that, every time I saw you, everything we did together, just felt really right. And I feel like you know exactly what I mean.

Being around you, just laying around doing nothing, grocery shopping, going for walks, and drives, watching trashy tv – no matter what, it just felt a thousand times better to be alive next to you.

There was just that slight issue that you were pretty clearly into guys. So I was like, okay, that’s fine. We were probably just meant to be good friends. Really really good friends.

But then you tell me: hey so actually, this is really weird because I've never liked a girl before but… I might have a crush on you.

In the history of queer girls falling for straight girls, do you know how much that just does not happen?

It really does not ever happen.

So I feel like it would be a huge waste of luck and serendipity to not pursue this.

You’re worried I’m gonna get hurt when you eventually figure out this isn’t really what you want.

There’s a pretty good chance that will happen. And yeah, that won’t exactly be super pleasant for me.

But you know what’s super unpleasant for me right now- at this current moment?

Not being with you.

It’s fucking stupid not to, when I know it’s what we both want.

And it would bother me way more to never have the chance at all.

Cause there’s two options here:

1. We cut things off, tone things down. I stop kissing you whenever I get the chance and you stop making me mixtapes and breakfast in bed. We go back to pretending that we are just good friends. And then in three weeks when we graduate, we say goodbye for good.


2. We take an absolutely terrifying chance and admit that we might want to be together. And then for the next three weeks, we could figure out what that actually means – and what it feels like to be with someone whose soul connects to yours.

If at the end of that, you decide it’s not for you, it will definitely suck. Probably for both of us.

But Option 1 would suck WAY more.

I’d much rather try and fail, than always be wondering whether it might have worked out if we’d just taken that risk.

I am very aware that taking that risk might end with me getting my fragile little heart beaten with a club.

But ya know… I’m supposed to be a writer; a little angst will be good for me.

Am I supposed to live my whole life avoiding love just because I might get hurt?

I’d really rather get my heart broken, but thanks for asking. TC mark

Learn To Love Yourself And Loneliness Won’t Be Something You’re Afraid Of

Posted: 24 May 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Lissy Elle
Lissy Elle

I’ve fought too often for relationships to last. For one more time together to get it right. I’ve fought with, I’ve fought for and, mainly, I’ve fought against myself. My intuitive side. The side that’s bidding in my favor. That's pushing hard for growth. What I’ve been fighting, of course, was never what it appeared to be a fight for. It was never a fight over something that was present in my life or belonged to me. It was never a fight over the feelings I had and which I was so afraid I'd lose. Perhaps that’s why it was often excruciating.

Because the fight has always been over the absence of something. Over what I wasn't feeling.

Over the feelings I had already lost. My fight came from this, from the sadness in just what wasn’t there, from the heartache for all that was missing. I can now be honest about this. Now that I'm over it. I can be transparent about the way I have loved. Now that I'm not dependent on love in a way that is frightened and pained.

I can be so transparent that it is almost cruel. Here's the truth. I've been afraid, usually, of loneliness, of becoming empty without intimacy, empty without having one person whom a mutual commitment to share myself deeply with has been promised. I've feared what once happened to me when I was without love, a friend and confidant. What happened to me when I was without romance, without a person with whom I could be emotionally daring. I've been afraid of the trauma which came from losing those experiences. The depression I fell into. The deprivation that seeped into my days, my years.

The misery that became an entire period of my life. This is why I’ve latched on to romantic partners.

This is why I have fallen into love. So I could guard myself against the trauma of my past,

against my own paralysis and spiraling down. I sought out commitment, a partner who would "be there" for me, who in many ways had to be there for me or at least was expected to. The harm was I became dependent on this person's presence in my life. How? Because I didn’t feel comfortable in the world without them. Because I would wait to “live,” to really even feel alive until they were around and at my side. The person I was waiting for was always a boyfriend and, ironically, always a long-distance boyfriend.

But waiting for a single person to arrive was one of my worst mistakes. Because the comfort I felt was always an illusion. You see, any aliveness I gained through a boyfriend was impossible to sustain. It was also an enormous expectation to put on a person. It was selfish and unfair. Using my boyfriend as an emotional bodyguard feels insincere just writing it but it is the truth. The truth is no boyfriend could ever protect me long enough, could ever guard against the pain that went so deep. And experiencing that reality—the reality that no one could provide for me like I needed to provide for me—left me with something more than sadness. It created a panic in me. A hopeless and hysterical dependency. I cried more around the men I loved than, God, I don’t even know. But they know. They have to know.

The men I loved had to know that I was sad, that something was seriously wrong, that something essential was missing. Severely, blatantly missing. But because my relationships were always long-distance, I often leaned on the idea that what was missing was them. And it was easy for my boyfriends to think so too, to believe I was crying because they were gone or always close to leaving me. Not true. My love was conditional. My enjoyment, circumstantial.

I was a sad girl looking to be made happy, looking to be, well, saved.

I wanted out of love the promise that I'd be carried into the world, protected, and never alone. That maybe I had to make myself happy and that not doing so was the trouble was never an option I let myself consider. That was the trouble. The trouble was in everything I was avoiding. I was avoiding being responsible for myself. But, then, you have to understand that seeing things as they really were and as they needed to be was tremendously complicated. I mean, how could I possibly even approach such a concept when I had already fallen out of touch with myself, with who I was and what I needed at the very core? It’s hard to look at problems and be resourceful when you are a problem.

It just felt like a mountain I could never scale. When I think back on myself I remember how impossible I felt, how hopeless and strained I was for love. I had convinced myself that if I lost my boyfriend, I would digress and crumble. I would lose my potential, my future. I would have no one to be in conversation with. I'd lose my sanity. Myself. Without any one to confide in, I’d lose my voice all over again. I'd become again what I was terrified of being. A woman who had lost her capacity for sensitivity, for understanding, for disagreement and realization and experience. A woman entirely on her own. Invisible. Forgettable. Forgotten.

I was petrified of that. Petrified of losing access to what I honored most: emotional intimacy, insight, connection, and personal growth. This sounds ironic, I know. How could I have been achieving growth, let alone insight, through a medium wound up in so much denial, desperation, and dependence? I guess I didn't really see that part of it then either. Evidently, the irony was a lot to miss. What I didn’t catch onto was that, because I was in such denial, the only way I actually ever managed to grow was by facilitating a boyfriend’s growth—the understanding of his own life and the clarifying of his own dreams. You see, by focusing so deeply on a boyfriend or on fixing the relationship between us, I was continuously robbing myself of my own needs and evolution.

I was using my boyfriend and our relationship and the “issues” embedded in both to distract myself from myself and the scale of my own issues. Now that I can see this for what it was, I'm recognizing why my feelings weren’t changing and why my life was never progressing. Basically, I'm coming to understand why I wasn't getting any better or becoming any less afraid either.

I was stuck. I was stuck because I kept repeating myself. I kept doing the only thing I knew to do.

To reach out for a boyfriend. To make a pattern out of long-distance relationships and serial dating, of not letting go and not focusing on myself.

Back then, I just wouldn’t let myself do it. I wouldn't let myself discover whether I had even an ounce of power to look after myself. An ounce of power to see that the trauma of my past didn't have to control my destiny, let alone the reality of the day. The saddest most debilitating part was I didn’t believe I could teach myself or learn my way into strength. So, consequentially, I couldn’t see the end of my pain and co-dependency. I couldn't see through all the tears. I couldn't see the reality I had created for myself or the potential I had to overcome it. And that’s because I had my back turned away from it the entire time. I never faced in the direction that could really ever even offer me anything new, that could challenge and uplift me.

Today, I am not in a relationship and this is a big deal. It’s been a year and a half since I broke up with my fifth long-distance boyfriend, and I have never been so single, so grounded, and so in love. These days I am allowing opportunities as well as people to come into my life and leave my life as they may, as maybe even they “should.” I’ve been trusting in their duration, that people come and bare their purpose, and to not fight them on that. To not fight them or my own feelings that suggest that I must, at least for now, let go. More than anything, I've been trusting in the timing of my life.

And, as a result, I’ve been able to recover from my impulse toward latching, of staying fearful and blind, oblivious to my feelings and what I know is hurting and holding me back. As I let life happen, I'm finding that what I’m also allowing for is life to simply play itself out. Now that I’m not trying to desperately control and convince myself of anything, I’m seeing that life does change, that days do build on themselves and create a grander reality. I’m understanding that feelings do come and go—and because they transform, they enable us to expand. But for us to expand, we must allow our feelings to transform.

This, of course, goes against the nature of how I was living my life. Now every time I let go, I open myself to the unpredictable. And, you know what? The unpredictable has, so far, never let me down. What I mean is the unpredictable has often been exactly what I need. It's always been worth being open to. I see now that once we let go of one thing, something else truly does come into our lives and by being available to welcome it, our lives are able to advance. Opening myself to the chances I would have otherwise missed before feels like a miracle. A blessing. I'm convinced that this is the way to live. At least, this is the more rewarding way.

You have to let go and let in.

You have to let life be. This is the only way growth works. The single way we evolve. That’s the formula: Let life in, let life go, let life be. The order doesn't necessarily matter, only the principles do. What's becoming clear to me now is that freedom is contingent on one's capacity to take care of themselves. To be with themselves.

That is freedom. Freedom is the ability to feel alive and cared for when you are alone. Freedom grows with our capacity to live our life less and less fearfully, to live our life without waiting until someone else shows up to accompany us as we tread the waters and tiptoe into the world. Freedom is no longer tiptoeing. Freedom is finding our own rhythm to dance through life with. What this change has given me is peace of mind and faith which, combined, gives me a great sense of presence and optimism. Mind you, none of this means I've lost my capacity to cry. I still cry a lot but rarely because things are bad. And never because I'm stuck. Never because I’m breaking down.

These days, I cry because life fascinates me and moves my heart. Because I appreciate all that has gotten me here. Yes, even the pain. In fact, especially the pain. I appreciate the pain because it has been the catalyst for all my strength today. It has generated this wisdom of mine that empowers me through life. And you know what I've noticed? Pain is how we become relatable to others. This is so important to me. The kinship. The camaraderie. The contact with people which I have always been so starved for. Guess what? I am able to receive it now. I don't know why I was ever limiting myself to one person to take in all this with. Why I would ever wait for someone else to arrive when I have the universe exploding with life and lessons and love all on the other side of my apartment door. That's what brings me to tears.

I cry because now that I'm open to life, life is able to touch me.

And that makes everything feel so honest. This feels unreal. Today I can say I finally feel honest, especially about the relationship I have with myself. This is really what all of this culminates to, this lesson right here: By letting go of my old storyline, by letting go of my compulsion to latch and depend significantly on others, I’ve been able to release myself into a life where my choices, my mindset, my relationships, and my moments all feel honest. That's why I’m happier. This is also why I'm not so afraid anymore. Because I’m living honestly with myself and through honesty I'm able to finally take care of me, too. TC mark

Introverts Need To Be Understood, Not Fixed

Posted: 24 May 2016 12:00 PM PDT

Jake Melara
Jake Melara

I've come up against some bad old conceptions of introversion recently. I thought we had done a good job spreading awareness about what it really means to be an introvert and why our nature is valuable, but the misconceptions still remain.

Jenn Granneman of Introvert, Dear ran into someone at a blogger's workshop who, once they found out she writes about introverts, asked if she teaches people not to be introverted.

A female student in the Netherlands told me that during her research on introverts as leaders, she ran across two other personal coaches who help people undo their introverted traits. Their goal is to make introverts more extroverted.

My own son declared (again) recently that introverts are weird and he can't see why anyone would want to be one. And he is one! Clearly my message is not transmitting with him.

Yes, the old biases are still in place and ever pervasive.

These notions do not do much for the introvert's self-esteem. I've felt the sting of being passed over or underestimated because I'm quiet and contemplative. I've felt the exhaustion of acting counter to my nature for too long. I've made it my mission to show introverts there is nothing wrong with them. As a personal coach and fellow introvert, I work to empower introverts. What I've found is it's not about teaching introverts to be more outgoing, but teaching them how to be fully themselves and more resilient in an extroverted world.

Go with the flow, not an empty platitude to get you to act like others.

Two of the first questions I ask new clients are: "Where do you feel most alive?" and "Where do you feel most at home?" I want to know where they lose track of time and where their inner critic disappears.

If the client is an introvert, their reply is often: in solitude, in nature, with a special person or while doing something creative. I tell them, "That's great. Do more of that." Those experiences take place in the "flow state" a phrase most often attributed to psychologist, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.  It's an optimal state of consciousness where we feel and perform our best.

As I learned in my course on Flow Fundamentals through The Flow Genome Project, deep thinkers enter flow through stillness and uninterrupted concentration. Our nervous systems relax during times of  creativity, reflection and soothing repetitive work. Safe, non-judgmental spaces allow inspiration to enter. There are other triggers for flow, like high consequence (risky behavior like extreme sports, bungee jumping) and deep embodiment (breath work, zero gravity experiences), but I've found many introverts enter it through uninterrupted concentration. The outer world is so noisy, we need quiet time to luxuriate in our beloved inner world.

The flow state connects with intrinsic motivation. We actively seek out activities that bring about this state of consciousness. We get energy and contentment from experiencing the flow state. This kind of bliss fortifies us. Its presence makes us more resilient to outside stimulation. We have so much light and power coming from the inside. We can deflect irritations and overcome obstacles longer because we know we can return to flow when needed.

You would be surprised how much clients perk up when I grant them permission to play in their flow state. It's like a treat they deny themselves because it may not feel productive or accepted by others in their lives.

Time to grow.

To balance our time in flow, we need to spend time working on our growth function. I use the Myers Briggs Personality Type Inventory as a system to determine an individual's type. The dominant function in a Myers Briggs type is what puts a person in flow. Our time in flow is effortless. It's the perfect blend of challenge and skill. It usually involves a skill we've been honing since we were little. Not surprisingly for introverts, it involves internal processing.

When it comes to growth, we have to step into the outer world. This may sound like a request to extrovert, and in a way it is, but it's in a manner that naturally suits you. If you practice your growth function your development is more balanced. You work internally and externally, in your head and out in the real world.

For example, if your Myers Briggs personality type is an INFJ, then your dominant (flow) function is introverted intuition (Ni). Which involves recognizing patterns and answering the question, "What's really going on here?"

People who love research often have Ni as a dominant function. The second favorite or auxiliary function of an INFJ is extroverted feeling (Fe). Extroverted feeling (Fe) involves getting everyone's needs met. Seeking and creating a harmonious atmosphere. Where many INFJs need help with their growth is including themselves when they strive to meet everyone's needs. They often take care of others first and neglect themselves. Fostering the inclusion of their needs, helps them expand.

We all have channels for introducing the world to our thoughts and gifts. It just may take a little extra courage and encouragement for introverts to put their inner world on display.

The safe haven.

A safe haven gives an introvert the non-judgmental, unconditional support they need to flourish. A safe haven can be a place or a person but in this post I'm going to focus on the person(s). There are two components to a person's safe haven:

1. Secure relationships

2. A reassuring tribe.

A secure relationship is responsive, fosters growth and allows the introvert to be authentically herself while participating in an interdependent relationship. Responsiveness is showing empathy, understanding and emotional support in response to a partner's request. For example, if a man calls his wife and says he's had a horrible day at work and he's really stressed and she says, "I'm sorry to hear that. Would you like some time to yourself after work?" She is being responsive. If she says, "Yeah, that sucks. We have Jon's ball game tonight and the yard needs mowing." She's dropping the ball. He isn't going to feel heard. A secure partner makes your concerns their own and tries to help clear them. There is interdependence, versus two completely self-reliant or dependent individuals. They rely on each other AND keep their integrity.

A mature partner encourages their mate to be the best they can be. They don't try to make them in their likeness. They work through disagreements so they both learn and feel a level of success. I help partners understand their mate's personality type by giving them a neutral language to use. I explain how their different preferences cause miscommunication between them but can be used to enrich the relationship. If one or both of them has an insecure attachment style we work toward security.

In my own introvert experience, the reassuring tribe I found through music and writing, definitely gave me the energy and courage to let my guard down and stop pushing myself to live like an extrovert. I have a hard time explaining the feeling of relief and resonance I felt when I started inserting myself into introvert friendly environments. I admit, part of the resonance and self-recognition was due to a common intuitive way of learning as well.

Suddenly, my resolve and emotional guard softened. I was home. I felt safe. I could relate to others. I talked and talked.:) Their nodding and metaphorical examples validated my way of being. I could move forward on my path of development. The gate had been unlocked.

My most fulfilling work allows me to do that for other people. I reassure, validate, support, challenge and form secure relationships with my clients. I try to be, as personal development author and entrepreneur, Michael Hyatt says, a high voltage person with batteries included. I want to energize, not drain others.

You don't have to recover from introversion.

We don't have to recover from introversion or convert to extroversion. We get to glow in our own way. We get to treasure our beautiful inner world. We get to share ourselves with the world in ways that honor who we are. We often perform best in a solitary version of flow. We stretch ourselves by interaction with the outside world. It's not our most comfortable realm, but it balances us and helps us grow. We do it for growth, enjoyment and resiliency not because we think there is anything wrong with our more natural way of being.

So, turn your introvert light on and let kindred spirits find you and let others see how a contemplative soul shines. TC mark