Thought Catalog

I Need You To Promise To Hold On To Me

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 08:00 PM PDT


Hold on.

I'm just starting to discover me, while I discover us. I'm a beginner in all of this. I don't know how to be. And I don't know how you want me to be. Don't tell me to just be myself – you can count on it that I will not masquerade as anyone else. I'm not afraid of you seeing who I am – if you don't like me, then I know I'm meant for somebody else. But I will admit I am afraid of showing you too soon. I'm afraid. Because you're the first one who hasn't left. People leave; and that's okay. Sometimes they're just not meant to go the full distance with you. Sometimes, you have to fly solo. Sometimes, they will point you away from where they're headed, and into your right direction. And you'll thank them much, much later.

Just hold on.

Hold on to me.

There are times when I want to grab your face with both of my hands and kiss the hell out of you. But I don't. I can't seem to make my body do what my heart is feeding it. My lips now touch yours with much more thought and caution than they did before. Because I didn't really care then. I guess what I'm saying is that now I do. I do care. I want to keep kissing you. And I want you to keep kissing me.

When you reach for my hand, you hold it with your heart. I can feel it. And I love that. But it also makes me nervous. I'm nervous to touch you, because my hands are so very new to this. I'm nervous that I might do it wrong. Or that I might do it too right, and make you want more than I can give you right now. I want to feel like I can be naked with you, in every sense of the word. I want you to know that I want that. Know that I really do want that.

Please hold on.

Hold on to me, because I'm a little unsteady.

There are also times when I am so very unsure. They say that when it's right, you won't have to question 'are they the one?', because you'll just know. But will we? Is that the truth? Does anyone ever really know? Because I sure as hell don't. I promised myself I would never be a girl who settled for a mediocre kind of love. They say it's about loving someone's flaws. Loving someone because they are a painting of beautifully unique imperfections. But when do you finally hear that their heart is the one that beats in harmony with yours?

Just hold on.

Hold on to me.

'Cos I'm a little unsteady.

I want you to feel like home. That's all I really want. I want to feel safe with you. I want it to be thundering it down with storms of rain all around us, and to be encircled in your arms, and not really notice or mind about all the rain. When it's dark out, and we're walking home, I want you to pull me in a little closer to you, and to know that you've got me. I want us to feel like family. The way I felt as a kid in my house growing up. No matter how hard of a day I had, I would step through that garden green door, and it was all okay for a little while at least. Until the next day when I had to walk back out again. Because through that door, I'd find people who I could count on for anything. A pep talk before a really big day. People who would listen to me, even when I was being melodramatic or whiney. A caring hand to wipe away my runaway tears. People who would always have my back, no matter what. Someone to say goodnight to; and someone to greet in the morning. People who I knew loved me; for ever and for always.

Will you love me like that? That's all I really need to know. Because I promise to never love you any less than that.

I will be your home.

Just hold on.

Hold on to me. Because right now, I'm a little unsteady. TC mark

From The Girl Who You Thought Didn’t Care About You

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Ryan Moreno
Ryan Moreno

The girl who you said didn't care about you cried for two hours solid today as she unpacked the bag she packed last week when you should have been coming to pick her up. It's been a week since you last spoke to her. You were only together for ten weeks. She still cries. It still hurts her.

The girl who you said didn't care about you had her bag packed for days before you were due to come. She bought those love eggs you talked about because she knows how playful you are. She planned to wear them for the journey to yours along with the new underwear she bought, underwear she knew you'd like. Didn't you say you wanted to see her in those cute white knee high socks? Didn't you say she'd look cute in a little cute lingerie set? She bought them too, she bought them for you. She also bought new slippers to wear at yours, and some new pajamas. She'd probably still wear yours because that's what she liked. They were too big for her but they made her feel safe. They smelled of you too. That's why she liked them the most.

The girl who you said didn't care about you bought those shortcake biscuits she knew you loved. She deliberately bought two packets – a packet she could eat as she daydreamed of you at home, and the second for the two of you to share, wrapped up on the couch together and watching something crappy on TV. She packed those biscuits alongside that gadget you told her you wanted, the gadget she waited for weeks to arrive. She was excited to give them to you – those biscuits and that gadget. She couldn't wait to see the look on your face when she gave them to you. She also bought you those socks you said you wanted. Do you remember the ones you sent her the link for? She remembered them. She ordered them too. She couldn't wait to see you. It felt like she hadn't seen you in so long, and she had so many goodies to give you.

The girl who you said didn't care about you didn't come and see you that one night during the week because she was working her ass off. She had been offered a project that paid a ridiculous amount of money, money she had intended to spend on you when you picked her up. She wanted to take you to the butterfly place you kept talking about, and that wildlife place too. She wanted to show you how much she cared for you. She wanted to put her hands in her pocket because it seemed to always be the other way around. She wanted the two of you to have an amazing time, make memories, and laugh until you thought you could pee your pants. She wanted to take you out for dinner. She wanted the two of you to get dressed up. She wanted the opportunity to dress up for you, to wear her pretty dresses and nice heels, do her hair real nice and put on a little extra mascara. You didn't get the chance to see her all dressed up. She couldn't wait for that opportunity. That opportunity never came. She put in all that hard work, all those hours, earned all that money and for what? You ditched her. You said she didn't care about you, she didn't love you enough.

The girl who you said didn't care about you booked a wax. You know how much they hurt yet she did it for you anyway. She wanted to be baby smooth. She wanted to feel your hands all over her body, she wanted you to marvel at how soft and smooth she felt. She wanted to feel sexy for you. She put herself through that pain for you. She couldn't wait to get between the sheets with you, and she hoped the two of you would stay between them for as long as possible, nakedly intertwined. It was her favorite place to be. It probably always would be.

The girl who you said didn't care about you cried for three hours straight when she blocked you. The last thing you said to her was that you didn't want to be with her anymore, and that you were going to go back on Tinder. Was she going to be a bunny boiler about it? You said you loved her. She loved you too. How could you get over her so quick? How could she mean so little to you that you could move on so fast? How could you even say those things to her? How could you ask her that question? She gave her all to you, she bared her soul and told you truths she'd never told anyone else, and you threw it all back in her face. That one line felt like a knife stabbing into her heart, like she had been winded and couldn't breathe. Reality had hit – you didn't love her. You didn't care about her. It wasn’t the other way around. It had nothing to do with her – with the amount of love she showed or gave you.

The girl who you said didn't care about you, didn't love you enough, didn't show how much she loved you, she really did care about you. She really did love you enough. She really did show you how much she loved you. She showed you every day. She showed you when she told you how hot she thought you looked in those new jeans you bought. She showed you when she smiled at you from across the room, tapping away at her laptop while you scrolled away on your phone. She showed you when she always stayed one or two extra nights just because you asked her to. She showed you when she did the dishes even though she'd cooked dinner too, or when she did your laundry when you were working on your van because she liked how 'housewifey' it made her feel and she could imagine what it would be like if the two of you really lived together. She showed you when she daydreamed about a future you could have, toying with the idea of you being a long-term person in her life, and resounded herself to you staying around when she whispered those three little words in your ear – "I love you"

The girl who you said didn't care about you really fucking did care for you. You fucked up. You shouldn't have let her go. She was a girl who loved you so quickly, so violently, so loyally and so passionately, there was very little she wouldn't have done for you. You'd only been dating for ten weeks yet she was prepared to cater to your every whim. Or at least as many of your whims as possible. Of all the things you asked of her, how many did she decline? How many times did you NOT get what you wanted? You wanted gadgets, she got you your gadgets. You wanted new shoes, she bought you new shoes. You needed electricity, she bought it. You wanted gas in the van, she paid for it. You wanted dinner and she cooked, you wanted sex and she undressed, you wanted hugs and she cuddled you to sleep.

The girl who you said didn't care you? She really did. And she showed you. Perhaps you should have opened your eyes? TC mark

You Don’t Need To Sweep Her Off Her Feet, You Just Need To Ask Her Out

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 06:00 PM PDT


I'm so over Netflix and chill. I'm so done with being asked to watch a movie. I have zero interest in being asked to hangout. I don't want you to ask me when I'm free or if I'm bored and want to do something. I don't want any of that.

No one wants to be asked to casually hangout at someone's house the first time they're hanging out alone. That is sleazy and not appealing. I don't want to sit awkwardly on your couch or lay in your bed to watch a movie; if I wanted to do that I could sit on my own couch in the comfort of my own home.

Men, is asking her on a date really that hard to do? Is it that difficult to say, "Would you like to go to dinner with me?" or breakfast, or get coffee, or literally anything that involves plans and going out.

All I want is to be asked out on a proper freaking date and I refuse to think that is too much to ask.

If I'm spending my time talking to you, obviously I'm interested in you. I don't do it to occupy myself, I don't do it because I'm feeling lonely or bored. I'm not doing it for any reason other than I find you interesting and I want to get to know you better. So, yes, I obviously would like to spend time with you.

When did it become so difficult to pick a time, a date and a place to meet? We could get ice cream, or lunch, or a beer, or go bungee jumping, hell I'm open to anything. I just want to actually do something.

Hiding behind a phone screen or computer screen all day sending witty messages back and forth just isn't good enough for me and it honestly shouldn't be enough for anyone. That isn't a connection; it doesn't allow growth or a relationship to form. The only thing that does is start the process of games and prolonging the far-fetched idea of face-to-face communication and a proper date.

And if you don't want to take me out on a date, don't talk to me! Holy shit, a brilliant idea.

I don't want to waste my time and energy trying to seem appealing to someone who doesn't have interest in me. I don't want to try and come up with conversation and interesting topics to talk about. I have other things I'd rather be doing if the relationship is going no where in your mind.

Don't think you're doing me a favor by talking to me instead of ignoring me. Man up and tell me you're not interested, it's as simple as that.

And if you actually are interested, ask me out on a D A T E. It's not that hard. Most girls are laid back, they are down to do most things, they just want to know what to wear, how to prepare and they'll be excited you actually took initiative. All they really was is to spend time with you, they want to get to know you and see the kind of person you really are.

Games aren't fun, texting isn't fun, but getting to know a person face-to-face can be really fun. You can build a way stronger connection in person than you ever can over messaging.

No one wants to be asked to hangout. In all honesty, what does that even mean? Ask us out, tell us a date and time, if we can't make it we will ask you if we can move it. Being asked out is an amazing feeling, when someone properly does it. It means he is serious, it means he is actually interested and he has confidence. Which is AMAZING.

I'm not asking you to buy me a house, I'm not asking you to cook me a gourmet meal, or show up doing back flips.

All I'm asking is for you to show up, to ask me out on a date.

If it doesn't go well, you move on. If it goes well, great, we can see where it goes. Either way a date isn't going to kill you.

No one likes rejection, but I can almost guarantee if she has been spending time talking to you and throwing hints out, there is almost a one hundred percent chance she will go out with you. So, man up and ask her on the date already! She will automatically think more of you. TC mark

There Is No Right Time, Just Your Own Time When It Comes To Finding True Love

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Jason Corey
Jason Corey

So you have a career, an incredible group of friends, a place you call home, and yet are unable to figure out why the dating gods have somehow punished you and deemed you "undateable.” Before you know it, you realize that you are one of the last ones left out of your group of friends who is still single. Although you are optimistic, one bad date after another leaves you with a sour taste in your mouth. You begin to question your past, your present, and your future all because for some odd reason, you’re still alone. And thus you now believe that your life is in shambles because you've reached a certain age and you have not found a person to share your life with yet.

Slowly you begin to wake up and go to work with less motivation and drive, given that you have no one to share your successes with. You lose sight of the important things that matter such as the luxury of being fortunate enough to have a roof over your head and food on your plate. As the weekends roll by, you go out with a burning fire and desire to meet a potential partner, so much so, that your friends become a back-thought, and you lose sight of the real meaning of friendship.

Before you know it, you are here: lost, alone, confused, and wondering how time got the best of you.

However, I am here to lift your head up and tell you that just because you have not found a partner at a particular point in time of your life does not mean that you are any less than those who found it sooner.

I promise you this is all a part of the process, and to find the right person you need to learn to love all the things about you that make you, you.

From your perfectly perfect imperfections to the way you smile, to your aspirations and dreams, and all the things in between, I know that everything about you is amazing. But do you? Please take the time you spend worrying about what has yet to come, and instead appreciate all the beauty that surrounds you. Appreciate your beauty.

Learn to love yourself first and put yourself first so that your energy from within you radiates outwards, and so that the universe can attract the person you so rightfully deserve and crave.

This is not a race.

There is no ticking time bomb. There is no golden age by which you need to fall in love.

Silence the clock and learn to be alone. For learning to be alone builds a tremendous amount of character and even though from a young age we are taught that time is of the essence, there is so much time and so much about yourself that you have yet to discover.

Don't let your fears cloud your dreams, but rather trust that when the time has come, you will find the person who will teach what it truly means to love. TC mark

I Want The Kind Of Love That Makes Me A Better Person

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Emily & Steve Photography
Emily & Steve Photography

I long for the love that is written about in novels with the pain, heart ache and happy ending. A love that is built on hardships and overcoming triumphs together. A love that is beautiful and real. A love that is passionate and honest, not a love that is easy and comfortable.

I don't want perfect love, but I want a motivational love. A love that is founded on desire and hope, a love that makes me certain that together we can truly do anything. I don't want love that is only great at the beginning, but continues to be great and growing until the end.

I want the kind of love that makes me want to be a better person.

A love that is filled with passion and erases some of the self-doubt I have in my mind. I want a love that inspires me to wake up before the suns up and go to the gym. I want a love that inspires me to eat healthy to better myself. I want a love that has me swimming in novels, reading all the best lines put together in a masterpiece. I want a love that makes me feel alive and peaceful, not drained and worthless. I want a love that inspires me to be kinder and more generous to the world around me just by looking at the person by my side.

I want someone who will make me feel more alive. Someone who will push me out of my comfort zone and make me aware of things I've never seen. I want someone who is like the other half of me, who we can bounce ideas off each other to reach the best possible outcome. I want someone who is always down for adventures and decides to actually make plans, instead of just saying he will get around to it when he has time.

I have big hopes and big dreams, but that is because I know that kind of love exists. I know that a love that inspires and gets better with time exists because I've seen it. I've been inspired by it and I want it.

I know it won't come easy. I know I can't just snap my fingers and have it there. Building relationships takes time and being in relationships takes work, but I'm willing to put my all in for a love that inspires me to be better.

The best love is a love that makes you want to be better, without changing who you are to make someone else happy.

Because true love makes you better, it makes you more alive. It makes you more of who you are, not less.

I'll admit I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic, but it's because I know what I want. I want someone who dreams as big as I do. Someone who never wants to live comfortably, but is willing to take risks because they believe that is the way life is supposed to be lived.

I want someone who wants to help me accomplish my goals because I will do that for them. I want someone to challenge me and push me. I want someone who makes me get lost in them. I want someone who makes me dream bigger, who completes the plans in my head, who doesn't make me feel like I'm missing out on anything better and who generally inspires me to be a better person. And I honestly and completely believe in that type of love. TC mark

35 Hilarious Ways To Tell That Fuckboy How You Really Feel About Him

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 03:30 PM PDT

Daniella Urdinlaiz
Daniella Urdinlaiz

1. It's really too bad your dick isn't anywhere near as big as your head.

2. Remember all those amazing times we had? Me neither.

3. The best part about sleeping with you is knowing that it can only get better from here.

4. You're, like, the best argument for abortion ever.

5. On behalf of vaginas everywhere: No, that's not where it is.

6. Thought of you earlier—thanks so much for the reminder to take out the trash!

7. Were you born like this, or did you have to study to become such a spectacular asshole?

8. Thanks for all the practice faking orgasms!

9. Congrats—you have a dick. Doesn’t mean you have to act like one.

10. If you're going to be two-faced, at least make sure one of them's nice to look at.

11. Your head is so full of air, I worry you'll put balloons out of business.

12. Remember when I said I cared? I lied.

13. Remember when I said it was bigger than average? Lied again.

14. Don't worry. I hear penis pump technology's getting better by the day.

15. I just wish the sex had been good enough to justify the mistake I clearly made.

16. By the way, I'd love to interview your parents about how to overcome making a major life mistake.

17. You realize Halloween isn't until October, right? You can take the fucking mask off for now.

18. Anyone ever tell you how adorable it is when you talk about things you clearly don't understand?

19. I'd give you a nasty look, but you've got so many already.

20. It's not that you're stupid. You just have really bad luck at thinking.

21. Sex with you is like fast food. It seems like a good idea until you realize the little pleasure you get from it is really short lived.

22. If laughter's the best medicine, your face could probably cure every disease in the world.

23. I'm guessing your mom cries herself to sleep most nights.

24. I'd smack you, but you're just not worth the effort.

25. Whatever makes you an idiot works REALLY well. I’d stockpile that stuff.

26. If I were you I'd sue my parents. It's just not right that you exist.

27. I've seen your type before, but I had to pay admission.

28. You're such an intelligent, amazing, handsome guy. Kidding!

29. I can’t stop thinking about you—every time I pass by a dumpster, a sewer, a gutter, a piece of roadkill…

30. Anyone ever tell you how much your dick reminds them of Tiny Tim?

31. I'm sorry, was I meant to be offended? The only thing that really irks me is your face.

32. Scientists say the universe is made up of neutrons, protons, and electrons. Not sure why they always forget to mention all the morons.

33. I love to shop, but you couldn't pay me to buy the bullshit you're selling.

34. How does it feel, knowing that you’re destined to disappointment every single woman you ever manage to bed?

35. Unfortunately for you, most girls will only forgive stupidity if you’re good bed too. TC mark

5 Things Not To Do In Your Relationship If You Want It To Thrive And Last

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 03:15 PM PDT


1. Don't wait for them to treat you like royalty.

Don't wait for that to happen just because that's what the articles are saying, and that's what the guys out there are supposed to be doing. I mean, of course you should be treated like royalty, but don't wait for it. Because expecting just that may or may not lead into disappointment. Take a step back, and re-evaluate how you have been treating your partner. It kind of starts within. How are you expecting to be treated like royalty if you treat your partner like a slave? Handle your partner with care and don't neglect them, what you give is what you get.

2. Never forget about your passions and your dreams just because of your partner.

Never. Please, ladies and gentlemen, never let your dreams and passions die just because your partner doesn't seem to support what makes or what might make you happy. This is for yourself, for your own good. Don't let them hinder your growth. Your passions and your dreams have a lot to say about you and the person you want to become, and if they start to find ways for you not to attain what makes you glad you are alive, are you sure they're the one for you?

3. Don't be afraid to try new things.

I don't just mean to try new adventures and escapades, but also, don't be afraid to try to make a few adjustments. A lot of us ladies haven't tried to make the first move. I say this with confidence and full recommendation, do it. Trying it might make a huge difference. In case of a fight, try lowering down your pride – low enough to really and fully understand what your partner seems to be saying because you might realize that they also have their fair share of valid reasons.

After all, losing the fight is better than losing your partner under the right circumstances anyway. Don't just listen to your partner when they are telling you about their good days, their plans and their dreams, listen to them more when they are hurt or frustrated, that's when you'll know and understand them the most.

4. Don't be afraid to tell your partner how you really feel.

Some of us feel too much, and sometimes, other people feel too little. Don't be afraid to let your partner know that what they're doing is bothering you. They might have failed to recognize that you are bothered, or offended. If their love for you is true, they wouldn't take offense and start making adjustments – same goes for you. Don't be taking any offenses when it's their turn to tell you how they feel. Listen, absorb, heal, forgive, and compromise.

5. Don't be afraid that your partner might not be the ‘perfect’ one.

Most of today's trending articles seem to be saying that your partner should be this, and your partner should be that. That you should look for this in a partner, and that. The thought of that might make a few of us doubt that we are in love with the wrong one, or that we are in a wrong relationship.

I think everyone is capable of change. You can change your game together. If you think you are with the wrong one, then do whatever it takes to make it right. Again, if the love is true, change will come in handy. I believe that when you really love a person, a little change can't hurt. A little drift in your usual ways might probably do the both of you some good. TC mark

Be With The One Who Scares You (In A Good Way)

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 03:00 PM PDT


Be with the one who makes you feel like no single day will ever be similar to the last. The one who makes you feel as though you can sense the blood running through your veins for the very first time. The one who speeds up your heartbeat and makes your hair stand on end when you spend time with them, because you can sense your worldview expanding by the second, because you can sense that being with them means everything is going to change.

Be with the one who makes you feel alive, in whatever way that means to you. Maybe it means skydiving, maybe it means bungee jumping, maybe it means cliff diving. Or maybe it just means challenging your brain to understand concepts that are outside of your comfort zone. Maybe it means allowing this person to encourage you to apply for that job that seems out of your league, or to ask for a raise when you know you deserve it, to finally travel to that one place you’ve always wanted to go but that has been put off by a million excuses.

Or maybe it’s even less dramatic than that. Maybe it just means being with someone who makes you go outside on a beautiful day, when all you feel like doing is hiding under the covers and mindlessly bingewatching Netflix for hours. Maybe it just means being with someone who convinces you to join a sports league with them, or a weekly trivia night with a lot of people that you don’t know. Maybe it means being with someone who read a lot of books and inspires you to do the same, someone who makes a conscious effort to stay informed about the world, someone who tries to be kind to those who are cold and warm to those who are judgmental.

Sometimes, being with someone who scares you just means choosing the person who refuses to let you sleepwalk through your days, your months, your years. It means choosing a partner who you know is going to hold you accountable, who can look into your soul and know that allowing your growth to plateau right now would be a waste of so many things that could have been. It means being with someone who absolutely loves you for who you are, who would never want you to change your very essence, and yet still believes you can always push yourself further than the very spot you are in today. And maybe that means windsurfing and scuba diving and a lot of other “daredevil” activities. But maybe it also just means living your own life instead of watching it happen from the couch.

Be with the person who makes you think about them even when you’re not with them. And not just in the typical, daydreamy, head-over-heels type of way. But also because you can’t help but reflect on the conversations you’ve had, the realizations you’ve come to simply from having them in your life, the opinions you’ve traded back and forth and how being with them has caused you to hold more firmly onto some opinions and to completely let go of others. Be with the person who lights a spark in your brain every single day and only makes you more curious about the world and your own responsibility within it.

Be with the one who scares you every day. Because they make you want more for yourself, more for your relationship, and more for the world. Because with them, you’re not sleepwalking. Because with them, you are very much alive. TC mark

This Is What My Silence Really Means

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 02:15 PM PDT

Paige Marie
Paige Marie

Silence doesn't always have to be so bad or full of resentment. Silence can be peaceful and it can be full of love.

It means I'm giving you the space you need to grow, the space you need to become who you want to be and the space you need to think about what you want from life and what you want from me.

It means I'm fine, I'm content and I have faith. Faith that if we were meant to be, time will bring us closer and if we're not, we will meet the ones we deserve along the way.

It means I miss you but I won't tell you because it won't change anything and because you already know.

It means I'm here if you want to reach out and I'll still pick up the phone when you call.

It means you're on my mind but in a quiet way; in the early morning when everyone is asleep and late at night when no one is up. I think about you with my mind at ease.

It means I'm surrendering to our fate. Surrendering to the different paths we're on and the different visions we have and surrendering to the present because that's all I can guarantee.

It means I'm happy with what we had even if it was short, it means it didn't leave any scars and didn't cause any damage. It was short and sweet but there is really nothing left for us to talk about.

It means I'll remember you and smile. I'll remember the jokes, the laughter, the looks and the secrets. I'll remember the simplicity of it before life got in the way.

It means I need some time alone, to understand why beautiful people come into our lives and leave too soon, to try to unravel the mystery of timing and if there is such a thing as timing and to understand that I only have myself because people may not always stay.

It means I'm letting you go, I'm letting you shine away from my galaxy, I'm getting you out of my heart and out of my mind, it means I'm getting myself used to your absence and living  my life the way I did before you came along.

It means it's not the end. It means I'm close but I'm far away, I'm here but I'm not, I'm paying attention but I'm also oblivious and it means that it's goodbye not farewell. TC mark

Why We Need To Stop Obsessing Over Finding The Love We ‘Deserve’

Posted: 26 Jun 2016 02:00 PM PDT

 Sarah Loven
Sarah Loven

Internet culture has developed a ravenous obsession with finding the love that we deserve.

You can spot the phenomenon everywhere – articles list '10 Signs You Deserve Better Than The Guy You're Dating' and online commenters urge one another to hold out for the person who is worthy and meriting of their affection.

And here's the thing – I get the desire to be appreciated. There's nothing worse than finding oneself in a one-sided relationship where you are constantly giving and rarely receiving anything in return. There's nothing admirable about staying with someone who treats you like a human doormat.

And yet I can't help believing that the phenomenon of demanding what we deserve has gotten a wee bit out of hand.

We've moved beyond the realm of 'Stand up for yourself' when it comes to relationships, and we've moved into the realm of 'See yourself as a prize to be won, rather than an active participant in your own relationship.'

Because there's only one real truth about the kind of love you deserve: it is whatever kind of love you're prepared to give out yourself.

If you want someone who will text you immediately after a date, initiate hangouts, reach for the check every time and offer you a drawer of things at their place, you'd better be ready to do the exact same.

If you want someone who pursues you relentlessly, showers you with compliments, likes every Instagram photo you post and brags about you to his or her friends, you'd better be braced to make a few first moves yourself. You'd better be genuinely, hopelessly excited to make the person you're dating feel special.

And it can't come from a place of give-in-order-to-receive.

You know which place I'm talking about.

The place of 'I'll like his posts so he'll like mine.'

The place of 'I'll tell her she looks great so that she notices the next time I do something different.'

It has to come from a place of genuine appreciation for who the other person is. The same kind of appreciation that you want from someone else.

Because here is the problem with the 'wait for what you deserve' obsession: It implies that the main purpose of love is to receive.

To receive praise, attention, adoration and acceptance from another human being.

And this is an entirely backwards mindset.

The point of love – real, genuine love – should be to give. To appreciate another human being, for much more than the attention that they pay you. The point is to learn from them, grow with them, to let them know that you're ridiculously excited to be their person – you know, the one who gets to text them when they're sad and compliment them when they're insecure and take their pants off when they're looking particularly saucy or cute.

The point of entering a relationship isn't to have someone who'll worship the ground you walk on. It's to find someone who you think is the motherfucking cat's pajamas. And then to love on them with absolutely everything you have in you.

And that love doesn't get to be conditional.

It can't be 'I love you the way I want to be loved, so if that's not good enough, you're useless to me.'

It has to be patient. It has to be flexible. It has to be 'Love to me means liking an Instagram post, but love to him or her means hanging out with their friends or running errands for them or laying off and giving them alone time on the weekends if they need it.'

Love can't be about projecting your definition of affection onto somebody and then being angry when they don't return it exactly in kind.

Love is an ongoing process of meeting one another's needs. And if your primary concern is whether your needs are being met, you're probably looking for a relationship for all the wrong reasons.

At the end of the day, there's a simple rule for finding the relationship you want and it is this: you have to first be the kind of partner you're looking to find.

The one who texts first. The one who doesn't play games. The one who shows the hell up for another person, even when they're being a little bit unreasonable or difficult.

Because the only kind of love any of us deserve is the kind of love we're openly and freely giving out.

And if you aren't ready to be the one who loves a little bit harder, don't expect to find someone who's willing to do the same.

Because quite frankly, if that person comes along, you might not deserve them.TC mark