Thought Catalog

You Have To Experience The Wrong Kind Of Love, In Order To Appreciate It When It’s Right

Posted: 05 May 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Jeff Isy
Jeff Isy

When I was sixteen, love was hidden within pain. It was the knowledge of something so real, and so big, a little too early, before love even knew how to react to a girl who felt so deeply. So instead, love was "You're ugly" and "I'd never date someone like you." Love was "You have fat thighs" and years of verbal abuse. Yet love was something I still felt through the torment, it was an immature heart playing with my own, and years later even an apology wouldn't scrub away the confusion of its game. Love was hurt.

When I was nineteen, love was a boy with too many options. Love was cancelled plans, and one sided effort. Love was convenience and a different bed in every city. Love was apathy, until the options went away. Then love was an abundance of determination, a sudden knowledge of how valuable my heart was. Love was "Now that I don't have anything else going on, I can commit to you." Love was "Now that you are growing into your own, now that you have attention, I am finally ready to claim you before anyone else does." Love was selfish. Love was too little too late.

When I was twenty-three, love was a spontaneous unknown; a need to believe in two people beating the odds. Love was contradiction. It was turbulence and nights under New York City. It was "I miss you, but I don't have the time to call you right now." It was "I can't wait to see you, but until then I'll fill my time with other prospects." It was "You are the woman who inspires me, who makes me want to be a better man, but I am not going to fight for this." It was "You are everything to me, but I am busy." Love was always busy.

And then, when I was twenty-four, love finally introduced itself to me. It said "I am sorry for what you have been through, but you needed to experience everything I was not, in order to appreciate everything that I truly am."

Suddenly, love was mornings spent laughing until I cried. It was having someone make time for me. Love was airport gates, until it turned into "I am moving across the country to be with you." Love was "After work I'm driving for two hours just to fall asleep in your arms" and "I want to give you everything you deserve; I want to show you just how much someone can adore you." Love was whole. It was assured, it existed within certainty and ruthless declaration. It wasn't built on the foundation of empty promises, it wasn't bred from pain, or confusion, or apathy. Love was bred from choice. From maturity, from presence. Love was suddenly more beautiful than I had ever imagined, something that blew every old feeling and past name away in the path it was forging. Love was peace.

After all of those years, love was finally peace.
Love was finally real. TC mark

What I Realize Now That I’ve Let You Go

Posted: 05 May 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Imani Clovis
Imani Clovis

I was wondering how our fire burned out. Last time I remembered, I was shouting at you saying "keep the fire burning". You did keep the fire, but then we catch fire, we burnt ourselves. Both of our souls are dangerous. B L A C K is our color. Where did this fire go?

I was wondering if we could last a lifetime. But lifetime has run out for us. We could have been the best team, the best buddies, the best warriors. How come we ended up like this? All choked up with the miseries in life. We forget to see what beauty awaits before our very homes. We were too much at the same time not enough.

As I slowly take a step in breathing the same air with you, again, I've seen you change over the months.

I realized I also changed for the better. Despite the longingness from the past months, I haven't felt the stars shining around you like you're some sort of my prince charming. You aren't my hero anymore. You lost a battle that holds the last line to keep us hanging. Where did it go?

How empty must I feel knowing you're here again. Yet, I don't remember those memories that will lit me again. I see your smiles again. But I never felt the same effect you brought to me before. Those were the eyes that locked my soul, "never again" I said. It came true, you were my love… but never again, kid. Never again.

I promise you this, you'll always have a space in my heart.

And as I say this, I whisper to myself, “Never again…” TC mark

This Is The Kind Of Fuckboy A Guy Will Be, According To His Zodiac Sign

Posted: 05 May 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa


(March 21st to April 19th)

This guy will spend more time in the bathroom than you, looking at his face in the mirror and perfectly styling his hair. He has you as an emoji in his phone, he always asks you for nudes, and he’s that dude who “dabs” in every club photo he is photographed in. Yes, really, he’s that dude.


(April 20th to May 21st)

This guy is the douchebag embodiment of “Fuck bitches, get money.” All he cares about is sex, cash, and food, but not you. He will never care about you unless you smell like a stack of one hundred dollar bills or a cronut.


(May 22nd to June 21st)

This guy brags so much you’ll want to climb out a bathroom window just to get away from his ego. He will literally talk about himself twenty four hours a day. By the end of your first date you’ll know about all of his sex tapes, every girl he’s hooked up with, and that one time Lindsay Lohan smiled at him in a Whole Foods. Oh, he will also leak any nudes you send him. Just a heads up.


(June 22nd to July 22nd)

This guy will ask you to call him “Daddy” in bed. ‘Nuff said.


(July 23rd to August 22nd)

This guy is an insecure, cocky narcissist, which basically means that you should run the hell away as quickly as you possibly can so your brain doesn’t explode from the confusion. He will always be right, and if you don’t validate him enough he will call you “a hater” and probably cry about it alone in the dark when you leave. He’ll also flirt with everything that has a pulse, so all of those “Babe, you’re the only girl Im texting” messages are hilarious fallacies.


(August 23rd to September 22nd)

This guy basically needs to be pristine at all times. Everything about him is vanilla. He probably bleaches his socks, and showers in Axe body spray. He is about as interesting as a saltine cracker, but he’ll never admit it because he is trying too hard to come off as deep during a riveting game of 21 Questions (which was his suggestion on your date).


(September 23rd to October 22nd)

This guy is a snake. His diet consists of chicken and broccoli to ensure that his aesthetic is always on point, and he gets turned on by anything that costs a small fortune to own. He has at least four girls on the go at any time, but he’d probably choose to marry himself if it was legal.


(October 23rd to November 22nd)

This guy will always send you dick pics. It will never fail. It could be Christmas day, you could tell him you’re watching the Nativity Play with your grandma at church, and I guarantee you when you open up his message a dick pic will pop onto your phone followed by a wink face. I guarantee it.


(November 23rd to December 21st)

This guy is smooth; he is like a fuckboy Pokemon that has taken on the ultimate fuckboy form. He will get your pants off just as quickly as he will leave in the morning. He will slide into your DMs just as quickly as he will slide your name out of his phone and reply to your messages after a week with, “Sorry, new phone, who is this?”


(December 22nd to January 20th)

This guy is probably a lawyer or a banker, working 200 hours and constantly complaining about his life while catering to a sex or pill addiction. He will never open up to you, never make time for you, and will literally exhaust you emotionally before he gets what he needs and leaves you to fulfill his goals.


(January 21st to February 18th)

This guy doesn’t have a heart. Literally, put your ear to his chest and you’ll hear the ocean or elevator music.


(February 19th to March 20th)

This guy is the fuckboy you will probably fall for because you feel bad for him. He has seen some stuff, and he carries that baggage perfectly to induce fits of pity within you. He is a sad, misunderstood manipulator, and he will manipulate his way right into your heart. TC mark

22 People Describe Their Creepiest, Most Unexplainable Childhood Memories

Posted: 05 May 2016 05:45 PM PDT

Flickr, Incase
Flickr, Incase
Found on AskReddit.

1. Laying in bed one night, it’s pitch black apart from the light creeping under the door from the landing. My mum was actually with me in the same room as we had only just moved in and she was sleeping on the floor.

I look up and the door slowly creeks open and slowly an oldish women peers around the door looks at me and goes away.

I just thought I was in a nightmare and turned around real fast and went under the covers, hoping I would wake up.

hen I will never forget my mum whispering to me ‘Did you just see someone peer round the door?’ Safe to say we didn’t sleep a wink that night.


2. Not really creepy but it bothers me still because wtf.

Me and my friend were hitting each other with pillow cases (why? idk) we swung at eachother, both hold tightly onto our cases. We hit eachother simultaneously and at the end of the swing we look at our hands and we’re holding eachothers cases. They just switched, neither of us left like anything was ripped from our hands or that there was any exchange or anything. They were just suddenly swapped.

I have no idea how it happened it doesn’t make any sense. If I could see a recording of anything in my life it would be that moment.


3. My sister and I were having a prank war for like a week straight. Well, we agreed to a cease fire since my birthday was in two days. I just turned 11, and later that night I hear my closet door open.

Oh so my sister wants to prank me on my special day, eh? I’ll show her i thought. So I know she snuck in and forgot my door squeaks. So I had an idea, I would get up and push her! Hahahaha im a genius kiddo.

So I slowly get up and she steps out of the closet. Wasn’t my sister, because my sister doesn’t have long black hair and scars on her face and isn’t as tall as a grown woman. I wanted to scream, but instead I just froze and silently started whimpering and crying.

She puts her finger up to her lips and let’s out a “shhh”, and opens my window and crawls out, slowly closed my window never to be seen again. At first I thought it was a ghost.
Now I’m convinced it was a crack head or something.


4. When I was younger (no idea how old) I had a dream that my aunt came to visit me.

I was named after her husband who died a few months before I was born so she always loved me. So after the dream I went into my parents room and told them that Aunt Liz came to see me and she told me to say goodbye. A few hours later they got a call that she had passed away. A few years later my grandfather’s friend Mary got brain cancer and she lost her ability to speak and her face was paralyzed. The last time I saw her I told my mom I just wanted to see her smile one more time. A few nights later I had a dream where she was smiling at me. Few hours later, parents got a call that she had passed.

When I was 11-12 I had a dream my dad died. He was shitting bricks for weeks. 14 years later he’s still alive though.


5. When I was a kid, I remember waking up in this room with my mom holding me down and this older Somali lady, and I remember that I was screaming and crying the whole time and I remember peeing blood the days after that memory and being in pain.

But that’s all I remember. My mom said that it never happened but I know something did. I lived in Kenya and my mom was always gung-ho about fem [female genital mutilation] but my dad refused to go along with it.

Also the fact that I have little to no memories of my life before the age of 14.


6. When I was younger I used to think I was having dreams of an old woman in a blue dress and cat-eye glasses sitting at the end of my bed singing to me.

She’d always sing the same song and then leave. One night I followed her into my brothers room (he is younger than me and was around 5) instead of singing to him he woke up and they began talking. After like 20 minutes my mother came in and asked what we were doing. My brother said ‘I’m just talking to the lady in the blue dress.’ She made us go back to bed. I woke up still thinking it was a dream. My mom told me the next morning she didn’t want me sneaking out of bed anymore in the middle of the night to play with my brother. I asked her what she was talking about and she gave me her version of what she saw the night before.

To this day I believe that was real and that every night that old woman would sing to me. I get goosebumps just thinking about it. She stopped singing to me soon after that, though people in my family still caught my brother speaking to nothing on numerous occasions.

A while later an aunt came to visit from down south and refused to come in to our house after seeing an old woman in cat glasses standing in the upstairs window. She came in asking who was upstairs then freaked out when my mother told her no one and let her search the house.


7. I remember almost nothing before the age of 12, and that’s kind of creepy on its own.


8. When I was around 7 I was lying down on my bed with a recorder in hand. Then my hand with the recorder suddenly closed in and the recorder was gone, never found it again. RIP recorder.


9. When I was in pre-school, my parents put my brother and me in a posh school.

We live in South America, where the majority of the population is brown but in that school, since it was for rich kids, it was mostly white kids. I’m quite brown, my brother is white. I got bullied a lot there by my classmates. The only kid who didn’t bully me at all was this Christian boy named Cristian. He was really blonde with curly hair and pink cheeks, he looked like a cherub. Somehow he got bullied too, I think because of his accent? His parents were american or something, not locals for sure. Anyway, one day at recess we were playing and this big bully from our class came to pick on us. Cristian was up in the slide and the bully somehow pushed him to the floor and started pinching him while Cristian asked him to stop.

I remember very clearly the bully was pinching Cristian’s shoulder. After recess we had to go to a dance rehearsal and Cristian spend the entire time complaining about how much his shoulder hurt. Next day he didn’t show up, nor did the next weeks. Last time we all saw him was when his dad brought him to the class, telling us he had to go back home and they were smiling and seemed cheery but guess what: Cristian was missing an arm. He had nothing below the shoulder, the same shoulder the bully had pinched. His dad explained to us, smiling like a catalogue model the entire time, that Cristian had had an accident and had to get his arm amputated. I turned around to see the bully’s reaction and he seemed as shocked as anybody else.

It really messed up with me and I became very afraid of bullies and didn’t let anyone touch my shoulders until a few years ago. I know it’s irrational to think a simple pinching from a 5-year-old can do so much damage but this couldn’t be a coincidence.


10. When I was a kid, my dad would take us to a giant lake, with a big sandy shore, like a landlocked beach for hillbillies.

I was wading in the shallow end, when I felt something brush through my fingers. Being 7, and wishing it was a real beach, I thought, ‘Maybe these are sea plants!’ Then realized that was stupid. As I squeezed the tendrils that were brushing my hand, they squished and sunk, and I felt bones through the soft, squishy mass. Finger bones like I was holding the hand of a child my age. I got out of the water, sat on the shore, and told no one. Year later, my sister said she thought a boy had been kicking her under the water, but when she grabbed at the foot, it felt cold and squishy and she also told no one.


11. I have this bizarre memory from my childhood.

I was four when this happened (about 1989). I remember being locked in an empty bedroom in this house. No bed, no curtains, no nothing. And I know I was there for a long time, over two days. I recall peeing in the empty closet and I remember being scared when it got dark and the room being partially illuminated by the orange light of a street lamp (street lamp light still creeps me out). I had a box of crayons but no coloring book. I ended up melting the crayons on the radiator that ran beneath the window. The smell of melted crayon and pee is a detail that I’ll never forget. I remember that I was too short to look out the window, even standing on the radiator.
I spent all my life in foster homes until I was fourteen so it’s hard to remember where I was supposed to be.

Some other details that are less clear: There was a black woman in a beige trench coat and maybe she left me there (I’m white, if that makes any difference). Though I don’t recall who came and got me. I have the vaguest recollection of sitting with a woman in some kind of lounge that had a small deli. It may have been the lobby of a large auditorium. I was eating a tuna fish sandwich. I remember we were waiting for something. I recall fiddling with a metal box on the wall, the kind with those pull-tab games that bars have. There was a cab at one point. And that’s all I remember.

One last thing, and this one is to me the weirdest. I was living in Tacoma, WA (USA) in 2002 and I used to takes walks down to the waterfront daily. On those walks I always passed a house that gave me intense creepy vibes and I am 87.5% certain that this was the house I was locked in. I am not psychic or even that intuitive so I think that I remembered it.

My theory is that the black woman was at one point, my case worker and she just left me in this empty house so she didn’t have to fuss with me. In any event it left a faint but eerie scar that will always be there. At least until I get old and forget everything.

My best friend once told me that it sounds like I was part of a state sponsored experiment that focused on isolation or something like that. I don’t believe that at all. But it sounds creepy.


12. I had an out-of-body experience during one of the many episodes where my mother attacked me when I was really young.

When I got flashbacks to these attacks, there was one in particular for which I had a very clear, very accurate, out of body experience where I saw my ten year old self being attacked by her.


13. I woke up in the middle of the night and I looked in the corner of my room and saw a hooded figure next to my dresser.

At first I thought it was just some clothes hanging off my dresser, but then it turned and I saw red eyes staring at me. I immediately jumped out of bed and turned on the lights. There were no clothes hanging off my dresser. I would have just brushed it off as a bad dream, but then I saw my dog staring at the corner.

I was outside of the room and I kept calling her to come out, but she would not stop staring where I had seen the hooded figure. She did not react at all to me calling her, and so I finally just went back in my room and yanked her off the bed. I slept in the living room the rest of the night, and my dog slept in my parents room for the rest of her life.


14. I was about 4-5, and was laying in bed, either reading of playing with my toys when suddenly, the other end of the kind of lifted up and dropped back down.

That was fucking terrifying. I still don’t know what happened. The only thing I can think of to maybe explain it is that I somehow started to fall asleep.


15. Part of my dad’s job when I was younger was to go around a very old house that was falling apart and check these dowel things in the walls every 6 weeks and basically replace them and package the ones we took out and send them away to find out how the building was drying out after years of rain leaking in.

This is a listed building and the company wanted to bring the house back to its former glory but as far as I’m aware since my dad stopped working for them it’s back in complete disrepair.

Basically I would go along with him on a Sunday morning to do the changes of these dowels since I loved being down there and have always been interested in history. So off we went one morning and turned on the generator and my dad got to work, I’d normally wander around playing Indiana Jones by myself since this was a huge manor house. It was a construction site but I was old enough to appreciate the rules and knew not to go near any holes or find a way to fall through the floor.

So my dad is busy getting to work on the first dowels when I’m playing upstairs in one room I always liked because it was a child’s room and had claimed it as my own play space whenever I visited. I played for about 5 minutes when I felt someone was watching me and I turned around to see what looked like a long skirt follow someone along the hallway so I sneaked out and tried to see who was there and saw the back of a lady walk into another room wearing a floor length skirt and tried to follow her but when I went into the room literally 2 seconds after there was no one there. I called my dad and we checked every room in he house and no one was there. The only way to exit would have been passed us so I have no idea what I saw.


16. When I was really little some man used to call the house and say really fucked up sexual things.

It was probably the same guy who stalked my mom and babysitter. Once I found a hunting arrow in the backyard maybe five feet from a window. I don’t really remember anything before fifth grade.


17. I used to sleep in the basement of our house from when I was 10-17 years old which had a staircase going down that would overlook where I slept.

My step-dad was a verbally abusive alcoholic and on these nights he would lecture me or my sisters on just crazy nonsense for hours (no joke), but after we went to bed my step-dad would stand on the staircase and watch me sleep, there were multiple times a week where I would wake up around 2-3am and see his figure standing on the stairs watching me.


18. Age 11, I was walking to our downstairs bathroom in the middle of the night and passed a soldier on the way, should mention that I’m schizophrenic so I normally just brush unusual things off.

I passed by him, while I was washing my hand I heard a girly screech and watched my 19-year- old brother throw himself down the stairs and out of the front door. He moved out the next day, mum asked him what happened and everyone laughed at him when he said he woke up to a soldier pulling the duvet from his bed. Maybe I should mention that our houses were old army barracks from WWII which is why our bathroom was downstairs as it had to be built onto the house because back when they were first built toilets were outside.


19. I’m not really sure how creepy it is, but when I was little, my brothers, myself, and my mom all slept in rooms near each other.

My stepdad still tells the story of us having conversations late at night in our sleep. Not normal sleep talking, full group conversations. He never specifies what they were about.


20. I was doing a project late at night, say around 12:30 pm and the house was dead quiet.

I was finishing up the project and I just wanted to finish it so I can have the day off. When I hear a noise behind me and I see a round shadowy figure with the whitest eyes I’ve had ever seen in my life it was the type of eyes you see on those ghost related tv shows. We just stared at each other for a bit when I turned around rubbed my eyes, turned off the computer, slowly get up and turned towards the stairs said good night and ran upstairs like there is no tomorrow which I thought there wasn’t for me. Even today I’m still afraid to turn around in the dark.


21. When I was around 5, I would catch glimpses of shadowy figures moving around in my peripheral.

Around the same age, we had a very creepy basement. My brother was down there while I was at the top of the steps, so I flipped the light on and off to scare him. Thing is, when I stopped it kept going.

I saw our dog that had long been dead go to where his food bowl used to be to eat.

When I was 8, I had a pretty lame dream about going to the laundry mat with my mom. The next day, the EXACT same events happened, even down to us running into one of my classmates and how dirty his knees were.


22. When I was 4 or 5 (I’m 28 now), my older 10 year old brother and I were rough-housing in the basement.

I remember this very distinctively because I still can’t explain what happened. It was just my brother and I in the house (mom went to go grocery shopping with my brother babysitting). We were rough housing in the basement when all of a sudden a closet door just swung open. We both stopped and stared at the closet when a dark/black entity floated out of the closet and floated towards us. My older brother took off upstairs and left me by myself and I remember just staring at this black mass and I had no idea what it is. I blacked out and when I came too, I was crying on the stairwell with my mom asking me what was going on… I was crying saying there is a ghost downstairs and she didn’t believe my brother and I. Til this day, my brother and I swear a dark entity/ghost floated out of that closet.

The weird thing is, my brother slept downstairs in one of the rooms, and at night he claims he could hear someone walking around outside his room. One time his friend stayed over and slept on the floor, and his friend claimed there was something staring at him from underneath the bed.
A cousin of mine stayed over one night and claimed he saw a black/dark mass roam from room to room in the basement, he got up to check it out and found nothing in the rooms, so he sat down in the rumpus room (where my brother and I were rough housing), when he claimed he saw a dark mass staring at him at the end of the hallway. He ran upstairs.

We all sat down and talked about these experiences, and came to the conclusion that someone was possibly murdered because the house had a really big crawl space. The crawl space entrance was located in the closet that the entity came from. No idea how to explain it, so we decided on someone being murdered.

TC mark

Here Is What Good Sex Actually Looks Like

Posted: 05 May 2016 05:00 PM PDT

 Konstantin Kryukovskiy
Konstantin Kryukovskiy

The languorous roll of the eyes, the racing pulse, the sweat stained sheets, and the fire kindled in your lover's eyes – this is the sex we should be having according to modern media. The truth is that sometimes my sexual scandals are erotic novel worthy, but often they are wine fueled bumps, clashing teeth moments, stiff mechanical routines, or five minutes of laughter rather than hours of orgasmic fun. And I have to remind myself that this is fine.

I have lost count of the number of nights I have fretted into the pillow questioning whether I was having good sex, how many times a man has apologized for being a little too swift in the sheets, and how many moments I jerked back from wondering if the backwards cowgirl was the most flattering position to be in. As if some director was going to dive from the cupboard shouting 'cut there's cellulite in the shot!'.

I have to remind myself that sex should be less about ego and more about actual adult play.

There is the argument that we put sex on a pedestal, that it's the ultimate event, and this can be damaging to the whole experience. Hollywood loves to oversexualize, the male gaze is never far from our screens. The women are slim lined and stunning, the men slick and handsome, the lighting tender, and the missionary position or woman on top a go to vanilla favorite. No one is laughing, everyone's mouth is arced into a soft O, and there is this intense solemnity locking the whole thing in.

I hate that Hollywood and modern media are writing the scripts for my sex life, forcing us to be competitive, cinematic, and falsely close in our sexual endeavors. In some ways I think this stops us from giving ourselves to the moment, losing our inhibitions, exposing our true and naked vulnerable selves, and having a powerful experience as opposed to something distant, mechanical and made for the invisible cameras.

I don't know about you ladies, but I want to live something real. I want to be aware of how I feel. To laugh and bump noses with someone in bed, to moan unabashedly, giggle freely, and slumber happily afterwards.

I don't want to lie awake wondering if I ticked all the boxes, if they ticked all the boxes, or to associate what should be an act of pleasure and play with anxiety and neurosis.

Because really, how the hell is it even possible to climax with those complexities running through your head?

I've been making a real effort to switch off the invisible cameras, to forgo those Hollywood moments, and to forget about what I'm told good sex should feel / look /sound like. My motto becomes think less and play more in that moment. The giggling, the clashing teeth, and even the awkward fumbling has since only added to the sensuality I feel in the moment, because at least
that's real.

I'm having fun, we are laughing, throwing caution to the wind, being downright ridiculous at times, but we are free and unashamed. This isn't just notches on the post, it is a true authentic experience, and this makes it wonderful.TC mark

12 Things That Happen When You’re The Short One In Your Family

Posted: 05 May 2016 02:09 PM PDT

Screen Shot 2016-04-30 at 12.10.04 PM

1. Everything gets put away at a height you can’t reach. When you want to grab that plate that somehow always ends up on the highest shelf, you either you have to ask someone for help, or you’re forced to crawl up on the counter like a goddamn animal.

2. Unless you’re put in the very front, you’re eclipsed in family photos by your taller relatives. Picture time becomes a carefully choreographed dance to make sure you’ll be visible in the photo.

3. You get lost in crowds. Like, literally. You’ve gotten separated from your family and, because of your short stature, it wasn’t easy to locate you.

4. You get stuck sitting in the middle seat. Because you don’t need as much leg room. Aka you’re forced to be in the most uncomfortable spot ALWAYS.

5. Jokes. Alllll the jokes. “Did you not get fed the same thing as everyone else? What went wrong?!” Oh hahahahahah hahaha hahahaha 😑

6. You have perfected the art of tippy-toes down to a science. It’s truly impressive. You’re like a not-as-graceful ballerina. But instead of it being a beautiful dance move, you’re just trying to see.

7. You have to walk extra fast to keep up with everyone else. They put in half the effort and still cover more distance with those longs. Meanwhile you’re trailing behind like, WAIT UP! I’M COMING!

8. You like shoes with a little something extra at the bottom. Oh, yes, I am taller today. No, it has nothing to do with these 3 inch platformed shoes.

9. Everyone assumes you’re the youngest. You still get carded while your younger (but taller) siblings stroll in with no problem. Um, excuse me?

10. You’re always called “the cute one.” Gee, thanks.

11. Concerts are your Hell. If someone doesn’t let you go on their shoulders, you’ll enjoy an awesome show of the backs of people’s heads while everyone else gets to watch what they actually paid for.

12. You can’t borrow clothes. Things just awkwardly hang on you. Oh, this is supposed to be a shirt and not a maxi dress? Cool, cool, coooool. TC mark

What You Learn From Navigating Through The Tinder Trenches (As A Woman With A Disability)

Posted: 05 May 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Erasmus Student Network
Erasmus Student Network

Dating at age twenty-two is carefree, fun, and frustrating as hell for any millennial trying to find any trace of decency in an ever-growing hookup culture. This is especially the case when you're a woman in a wheelchair. In a fairly large city. On an app originally made for easy hookups.

Nowadays, everyone and their mother is on Tinder. It is used for hooking up, yes, but it's also used for dating and even making new friends. On an app where the basis of connection rests upon whether you swipe your thumb left for "no" or right for "yes," I always knew it wasn't a promising way to meet anyone extremely down to earth, but I figured it's worth a shot. And if anything, it wouldn't be boring. I was right.

Most guys are creepy. Some think it's a joke. Most ask me how many souls I've stolen (because my bio is hilarious and mentions the well-known fact that gingers are only out to steal your soul.) I cannot begin to count how many times someone's asked me, "So, how does sex work?" As if my vagina is as dysfunctional as my muscles are. Being the smart ass that I am, it's always been entertaining to think up a witty reply and never talk to these men again, but after awhile, it just gets old.

I think most men are afraid to date me. I get it; a 400 lb. chunk of metal under my ass isn't the sexiest thing, and my anatomy isn't out of a Playboy magazine. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that it's frustrating sometimes. Joining Tinder definitely didn't help my frustration with the dating game, but it taught me a few things.

It taught me that no matter how immature, creepy, outrageous, and downright weird the men of the world and the men of Tinder are, I still believe that I am worthy.

If anything, going on creepy dates only amplified this belief of mine more. I had one guy be a true gentleman to me on our first date, and then continue to ignore me after things got a little awkward, physically, on our second.

It taught me that I don't want to settle for someone shallow enough, immature enough, or blind enough to not see (or at least be open to learning) how awesome I am.

It taught me that I don't have to waste my time to be appreciated.

It taught me that I define beauty, and I am freaking beautiful.

It taught me that even amongst the sleaze, there are some really decent people out there, and we're all in the same boat when it comes to just how mucky the waters of the dating pool are.

It's been fun; but I think for now, I'll retire from Tinder—lest I end up on Buzzfeed again. TC mark

The Way We Hate The ‘Other Woman’ (And Not The Man) Is Totally Fucked Up

Posted: 05 May 2016 01:50 PM PDT

Seated in a comfortable leather chair in my therapist's office, an oasis from the chaos of post college life, I finally posed the question that had been nagging at me for months.

"Why don't you ever discourage me from seeing him? The man is still married, after all."

Without skipping a beat, the short, white-haired, 70-something psychologist I'd been visiting weekly for about a year, replied: "Because he makes you happy. And you’re not the one cheating, anyway."

A solid point, I thought. I wasn't the one breaking any promises, vows, or contracts. I wasn't the one violating any religious sacraments. My only crime was falling for a man who happened to be married. I wasn't attached at the time. I was entirely single—free to do as I pleased, even if that meant sleeping with a man who was stuck in a lousy marriage.

* * *

It's been almost almost a decade since I met that married guy, and nearly five years since his divorce became official—and our coupledom earned its quasi socially acceptable status.

Yes, we were secretive about our relationship in the beginning. Yes, we refrained from hanging out in public. Yes, he often left my place in the middle of the night, shortly after showering.

But I didn't seduce the man with secret sensual powers, or target him in some kind of plot to demolish his former life. I didn't lure him into any traps. And I never cheated on anyone. I simply followed my heart.

So why did I feel even the least bit guilty—until my therapist set me straight?

Probably for the same reason I've been called a whore and a home wrecker so often by people who disapprove of my relationship with my now divorced boyfriend. The same reason Monica Lewinsky was ostracized for blowing Bill Clinton, while he escaped the scandal with barely a bruise to his reputation. The same reason the Internet is obsessed with identifying and vilifying "Becky with the good hair"—the woman from Lemonade accused of sleeping with Beyoncé’s husband—while far less ire has been directed towards Jay Z, the alleged hip-hop philanderer.

* * *

I understand that we, as a society, have a complicated relationship with sex, and an even more complicated relationship with fidelity. I also understand that our anger towards cheaters stems from the all too relatable fear of being betrayed by our own partners one day. That stomach knot inducing stress we all experience when imagining our mate's limbs intertwined with another's is probably some kind of evolutionary adaptation designed to keep couples from straying so people stick around to nurture their hypothetical young, or something.

What's perplexing is that we always seem to blame the other woman disproportionately when love affairs transpire. I get why people are mad at "Becky with the good hair," but why aren't they at least equally pissed at Jay Z? Isn't he equally responsible for whatever went down? It's baffling that a man would skirt judgment in this scenario while the unnamed woman he slept with fields so much hate.

And yet, in the context of our attitude towards female sexuality, it all makes sense.

Our refusal to hold men accountable for cheating seems like an offshoot of our tendency to admonish women for being sexual—to slut shame them for the very same behavior that earns men "player" status. We have such a hard time accepting women as sexual beings with vaginas who deserve to orgasm. We teach Anatomy with despicably insufficient renderings of female genitalia. We consider movies depicting female masturbation highly offensive, while the sight of a guy jerking off on-screen barely warrants a headline. We have the audacity to suggest that some women "ask" to be raped by wearing "inappropriate" clothing.

When a man strays from his significant other, we're conditioned to blame the other woman. (We even have a special term just for her!) We cast her as a beguiling temptress—the oversexed seductress who manipulates her way into her victim's life. The home wrecker. The whore. The raging cunt.

But you know what? That's fucked up, and arguably un-feminist.

If you're going to hate on people who offend your sense of what's moral or just, at least divide the hate fairly. TC mark

You Were My Kryptonite

Posted: 05 May 2016 01:47 PM PDT

Everyone has that one person they can't quite turn their back on. He's the one we shouldn't want and sure as hell don't need. But we keep reaching for them in the darkness.

They are every text we don't ignore. It's them asking and we give even if the cost is great, even if it means giving part of ourselves along the way. They have us wrapped around their finger. And they know us for everything we are. They know us for our flaws and for our weaknesses. They too let us in like a luring aroma we can't help but follow.

And suddenly we are hooked. But we don't see it's kind of killing us. We don't see what it's doing to us. But it's killing us like kryptonite. They keep us on the edge. They keep us walking on eggshells because at any moment, this game were playing with fire leaves scars immediately. It's staring at a phone and the texts have been read. It's every call that rings once and goes to voicemail. It’s plans that get cancelled right before. Its promises we know can't rely on.

It's everything we want to believe because our heart is so invested in this. And once they have our heart they have us, and they toy with our emotions like it's a game we're bound to lose. And no matter how we try and keep up, they keep changing the rules and redrawing lines. They look at us with this coy smile because they know how badly we want them. They know we'd do anything to have them. So they take what they can of us to make them whole, even if it only leaves us broken.

But it isn't all bad. They are experts at sorry and we forgive them each time. There are perfect moments, like comets in the dark night sky we want to hold onto. The good stuff. The moments that do make us fall in love. We hope it's that person that will reappear. We hope it's that person who gives us love and maybe for once doesn't take it away. We enjoy the conversations. We enjoy the time spent together. Even though it feels like they are right next to us, we've never known what it's like to feel so apart from someone who’s lying right next to you. Because no matter how close they are to us they are never ours.  

No matter how much we don't want them to hurt us, they do.

They are our kryptonite and they'll keep taking from us until we have nothing to give. They'll keep hurting us until our pure heart turns black. They'll keep luring us in until we know the world of darkness that they not only live in, but thrive in.

So to person whose my kryptonite

There's a difference between wants and needs. And clearly I don't need you even in those moments I think I do.

Because yeah I might have loved you and maybe you might have said those words back to me at one point or another. But you don't hurt the people you love. You don't destroy the people you love. You don't change them or make them into something else.

You and I both know there isn't a call I wouldn't answer or anything I wouldn't do for you. But the cost is complete self-destruction. It feels like I'm the one crumbling and you're using me to fix yourself. But you can't go around hurting people just because you've been hurt. Hurt for hurt only causes more pain. So if you really wanted to stop hurting the way to do that is through love. So the choice is yours. Because I've spent so much time loving you, even at your worst, that I deserve love too.

But it breaks me to know I might never get what I deserve from you.

Because there are things I need too.

I won't let you keep destroying me, as I deteriorate bit by bit, what I will do is take what is left of me and rebuild myself. There are pieces of me you have I'll never get back and part of my heart will always be yours. But I'm loving myself for the first time more than I've loved you. TC mark

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For Honest People Seeking Love In A World Afraid of Rejection

Posted: 05 May 2016 01:14 PM PDT

Ines Perkovic
Ines Perkovic

This is for the people who are trying to be honest in a world filled with rules that makes loving someone honestly impossible. Where hiding what you feel about someone is important because you don't want to feel rejected. Where 'don't text him yet' and 'if you call now you'll seem too keen for her' and 'what did he mean when he said that' and 'she really meant this because of her body language' is now more important than what a person is actually saying to you. Where subliminal meanings take precedence over love, and not ever compromising on your ego is more important than love has ever been.

This is for people who still believe in things like speaking to someone face to face is better than decrypting their every little message, move and idea behind their backs. For people who are brave enough to tell someone the truth, no matter the outcome. For the people who text "Today was wonderful, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did" rather than trying to play it cool and text something 'appropriate' after an 'acceptable' amount of time has passed. If you're the kind of person who tells someone you love them before they do because that's how you really feel, and your ego matters less than how you feel about someone, then thank you.

We need more of you in the world.

You see, the world has become a place where we are so afraid of rejection that we have forgotten how to be real, all in an effort to protect our feelings. But think of it this way, wouldn't you rather have someone tell you exactly how they feel about you and be honest with them in turn than play this game of 'look who crumbles first?'. It's ironic how every single human being out there is looking for, and is in dire need of love, but we're all so afraid to tell each other how we truly feel that we will never know.

And sometimes, we leave it too late. Sometimes we spend days, hours, months waiting on the other person to call, for the other person to message and let something beautiful go, just because we're too afraid of what the other person may perceive us to be. And then we lament and dream in what ifs and what could have beens. We end up in the same place where we were before we lost this beautiful thing, tired and feeling a little more broken, a little more jaded in love. We forget completely that we have brought this on ourselves by not being honest about how we feel.

So please, if you are the kind of person who is honest with the people you love without thinking of how hard the consequences may be on your heart, please don't change that about yourself. Don't allow your heart to be hardened into playing games just like everyone else. Don't let the world fool you into thinking that you're doing it wrong. Keep being honest. Because you're one of the few who is getting it right. Keep looking for a love who is just as honest back.

And you deserve the kind of love that is honest, and true and good to your truthful, gentle heart. TC mark