Thought Catalog


23 Ways To Make Him Cum Fast And Hard During A Blowjob

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 08:15 PM PDT

Twenty20, nikalitvinova1
Twenty20, nikalitvinova1

1. If you don’t want to go down on him until your jaw gets sore, the key is getting him as hard as you possibly can before putting your lips against his cock. So try giving him a hand job first or straddling him and grinding while you make out.

2. You can also try grabbing his hand and sucking on one of his fingers. Make him think about how good it’s going to feel once you unzip his jeans and press your lips against his skin.

3. Or, if you’re in public, you could tease him by texting him about how you’re going to suck his cock the second that you get home. You can even start running your hands over his bulge in the car, so that he’s ready to go once you walk through the door.

4. When it’s actually time to work your magic, start by kissing his stomach, his legs, his thighs. Kiss all around his cock until you see it twitch.

5. Then, once you’re ready to end the teasing, you can move on to kissing his cock. Don’t feel bad about leaving wet, sloppy kisses. The more saliva, the better.

6. Now it’s time run your tongue across his shaft, from the base to the head, to get it even wetter. Make movements that are nice and slow. Put on a real show for him.

7. Then it’s finally time to put your lips around him. Start by taking in just the head, then take in a little bit more, and then a little bit more until you’ve reached your limit.

8. If you can’t deep throat (and really, who can?) then use your hands along with your mouth. Just make sure that they’re both moving in the same direction with the same rhythm. Otherwise, it’ll feel bizarre for him.

9. You should also make sure to twist your wrist as you move along his shaft instead of just going up and down. If you can twist your head a bit too, that’s even better!

1o. Whenever your mouth needs a rest, stick to using your hands and take the time to talk dirty to him. Tell him how much you love feeling his cock harden in your mouth and how you can’t wait to swallow his cum.

11. Don’t forget to look up at him as you’re sucking him. The more he loves you, the crazier the eye contact will make him.

12. If you need to rest your jaw again, let go of his dick to remove your shirt and jeans, so he has a nice view. He certainly won’t mind the intermission.

13. If you can multitask, play with your tits or your clit with your free hand. Give him something sexy to watch.

14. Even better, move into a position that’ll allow him to touch your pussy. That way, you’ll be able to get off while he gets off.

15. Of course, you could always 69. The only thing that feels better than his hands against your clit is his tongue.

16. Get a little rough. You don’t want to dig your teeth into his shaft, but you can always dig your nails into his thighs.

17. Fondle his balls or play with his ass–with permission. Every guy is different. Some will get turned on by those moves, and some will immediately get turned off.

18. Moan while his dick is still in your mouth. Show him that you love sucking his cock as much as he loves getting it sucked.

19. Don’t forget to use your tongue. Move it up and down. Swirl it left and right. Run it all around his cock.

20. If you want to make him cum harder than he ever has before, then stop touching him when it looks like he’s about to finish. Give him a few seconds to cool down and then go back to doing what you were doing. It’s delayed gratification at its finest.

21. In your most seductive voice, ask him where he wants to cum. Or, if you’re worried about his answer, just tell him how badly you want him to cum in your mouth or on your tits or on your face.

22. Don’t stop as soon as he starts to orgasm. Keep going until he’s officially finished. And when he’s done, squeeze out the last drops of semen and lap them up with your tongue.

23. If you have trouble making him orgasm, and can’t take the aching in your jaw anymore, then instead of admitting defeat, climb on top of him to fuck him. Act like the blowjob was just foreplay and that you’re finally ready for the real deal. TC mark

Here’s Why You Need To Forget Your Second Thoughts And Just Go For It

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 08:00 PM PDT

JC Fernandez
JC Fernandez

At some point of our lives, we have doubted – probably ourselves but also the choices we make. We have thought things twice before actually doing it. For a time, questioning our decisions wouldn't even make the situation any better. In fact, it might actually make things worse.

Here's just to wrong the notion "Don't do it if you're having second thoughts." I say, "Do it if you have enough courage to battle your own thoughts and wisdom to realize that in every decision we make, there'd be a justifiable consequence."

1. It's YOU who actually came up with the idea in the first place.

I know going with your gut feel doesn't always imply certainty and guarantee good outcome. That's truly a fact. But for some reasons, it works. Sometimes, it's actually easier to follow what you got first rather than giving more time to ponder about it.

2. Overthinking is same with Karma.

It's a b*tch. You see, over-analyzing things is like saying why 2+2 is 4. I know there must be a kind of a logical explanation for that. Otherwise, it didn't need to be explained further just to get the answer. The point is overthinking does no good. It just literally eats you up.

3. You need to walk the talk.

I'm pretty sure that most of us hate a person who says a lot and does a little. And I bet you wouldn't want to be one. So if your original plan involves individuals, I suggest you push it through. Stick to your plan.

4. Life is literally about taking risks.

"If you want it, go for it. Take a risk. Don't always play safe or you'll die wondering." This may sound the most boring or the most cliché but we'll have to give it to it. Somebody told me, "If you always do something you are a little not ready to do, that's when and how you grow. When there's that moment of uncertainty of accomplishing things and you push through that moment, that's when you have a breakthrough."

5. If it’s meant to be, it will be.

After I followed my gut to go on a trip, I felt the universe was conspiring for me not to go anymore – my leave being rejected at first, having to book another flight, not having enough budget for it. Then I got stuck and realized, this trip isn't really for me. After some time, a surprising turn of fate went on my side. My leave was considered. My friends booked me a one-way ticket. And my I recently got my pay from my part-time job. Soon, realization kicked in. "Awwww, Fate finds its way."

6. Whatever it may be, just enjoy it.

Enjoy the choices you make and live it up with the chances you take. TC mark

21 People Share The Time ‘Truth Or Dare’ Got Completely Out Of Control

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 07:15 PM PDT

istockphoto.com / Yuri_Arcurs www.istockphoto.com/photo/passed-out-in-the-bathtub-gm509...
istockphoto.com / Yuri_Arcurs
www.istockphoto.com/photo/passed-out-in-the-bathtub-gm509…

1. More Than You Bargained For

At a sleepover in junior high we dared our friend to strip down to his underwear…you know, homoerotic pubescent stuff. He comes out from the other room completely naked and gyrating, saying “You got more than you bargained for!”

2. What A Wild Ride

This girl asked her friend to dare someone to have unprotected sex with her. When he received the dare he literally just got up and walked out the house. Then the girl gets drunk, tries it on with a few guys there (to which they all rejected), confessed her love to another guy there, threatened to kill herself, then fell asleep.

3. And He Finished

When a guy I didn’t know was dared to jack off under a blanket and finish while everyone watched. Everyone watched…

4. An Truth Nobody Wanted To Know

At a party someone asked “Who gave you the best blowjob ever?” hoping to get a compliment. Instead, we found out that the man had received a BJ from every woman there and one of the men. That started a long chain of “Wait Bob had sex with Sally? When?” etc. Names changed, feelings were hurt.

5. The Making Of A Serial Killer

My friends little brother (9 or 10 years old) came in and dared one of the girls to slit her finger open, put a paperclip into her finger then stick that paperclip into an electrical outlet while it was still in her finger. After we told him no he offered a replacement dare, which was to go down the street and burn down the church.

6. Vick’s VapoRub

It was around 1998 or so. My buddy had gotten kicked out of his house, and had emotional issues stemming from living with narcissists, Tourettes Syndrome, and being an introvert. He was also having “girl trouble”, as he was the sort of guy who would fall HARD in love with any girl who gave him the time of day, let alone showed any interest in him.

Anywho, my family took him in and let him crash there for a few weeks while his folks came to their senses. He’s laying on the floor of my room, and I know he wants to talk about his issues. But he’s the sort of person that wants the cover of it “being a game” in case he says something that someone is put off by. So, in order to let him get something off his chest, I asked him “Truth or Dare?” and it starts probably 3 or so hours of him talking about his shit.

Now, I’ve gotta work in the morning, and by this time he’s just rehashing shit he’s already said. So in an effort to attempt to get some sleep, I tell him “either you pick Dare, or I roll over and ignore your ass”. Still to this day, I don’t know why he did it… But he picked Dare.

I had just gotten over being sick, with bad bronchitis. Sitting on my nightstand is a jar of Vicks Vap-o-Rub. Trying to think of something that would end this, without blatantly telling him “I dare you to STFU so I can sleep” I spy the bottle on my little nightstand and I backhand swat it to him.

“I dare you to rub this on your scrotum.”

He looks at it, unscrews the cap, and sniffs the bottle. Dunno if it was to verify it was genuine Vicks, or if he’d never used it before, but he did. Then he asked me how much to use.

“Two fingers in the jar, run them around the inside.”

He does so and comes up with an amount equivalent to a golf ball. I see his hand disappear down into the sleeping bag and see motions that are indicative of someone playing with their balls. He pulls his hand out, sniffs it again, and asks “What’s that supposed to dooooAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

His eyes go wide, he clutches his junk, and curls into the fetal position. I’m burying my face in my pillow because I’m laughing so hard I can’t breathe. I don’t want to wake up my parents across the hall, so I’m muffling as much laughter as I can while my friend lies in agony.

Finally I get enough air in my lungs to tell him to go wash it off. My friend proceeds to stand up in the sleeping bag and bunny-hop down the hall to the bathroom. I hear the sounds of the faucet being turned on full-blast followed by a very relieved “AHHHHHHH” come from the bathroom.

About five minutes go by and my buddy comes back into my room, sleeping bag over his shoulder and hand around his crotch. He’s taking baby-steps as he comes back to the spot on the floor he was at before, lays down, and mumbles softly “It didn’t help.”

Many, many years later I force him to revisit this particularly shameful incident when I make him a Vicks Cake for his 30th birthday.

We’re still friends. He’s like a brother to me.

7. Is There A Problem, Officer?

There was a time we were playing truth or dare in a hot tub. A girl friend of ours had dared me to get hard in front of everyone. So I get up out of the tub and start playing with myself. Then from around the corner of the house I get a flashlight in my face.

That was the time I masturbated in front of a police officer.

8. An Indecent Proposal

Friend got dared by his girlfriend to have sex with her in the other room and finish inside her (no birth control). He refused, they broke up, we found out it was a setup she had planned to get herself preggies and force him to marry her. Strange night.

9. Hold My Beer

“Bet you can’t jump that ditch.” Four hours later the guy had dislocated one of shoulders the doctor told us.

10. Jealous Times At University

In my first or second year of UNI my group of friends and I were having a get together after finals ended. Considering finals had just ended and it was only about 7 of us, consuming alcohol seemed like the go to activity.

So once the buzz started to hit us one of my friends tried to start a game of spin the bottle, but being a group of three couples and one single guy we decided to play truth or dare instead.

Like all truth or dare games it started out pretty innocently (Take more shots, who’s your celebrity crush, ect), but eventually things turned a bit weird. Our one single guy decided to dare one of the girls to lick whipped cream off of his schlong, and with a reluctant nod from her boyfriend she got to action. Or…at least tried to.

Once she took off the dude’s pants and saw his (well) hung appendage she yells “Damn I’ve never seen one this big!” And before she could even uncap the whipped cream her boyfriend was swinging full force at the guy.
Me and my other friend had to get in between a half naked guy and a drunk ape, and by the time we split them up everyone was uncomfortable as hell.
After we resolved it and me and my girlfriend started leaving I just remember her leaning up to my ear and telling me “She knew her boyfriend was self conscious about his dick.”

11. At McDonald’s, In Your Underwear

Probably 20years old at the time. Gf her sister and girl cousin from Germany were in the car. Cousin says let’s play and so we all said OK. All fun and games till we pull over into a McDonald’s parking lot and I get dared to walk in and order fries in my underwear. They drove off and I had to borrow the phone to call my gf to make them come back for me. Saw all the tits though, so it was worth it.

12. It Just Became A Giant Orgy

I found out my fiance’s bachelorette party was basically an orgy. I found out years later from someone who was in attendance. I think the fun began as a Truth or Dare game. A co-worker of my wife’s ate her out. Two men staying on the same hotel floor fucked my wife-to-be and her friend. I had no idea until after our divorce. It’s funny…my bachelor party was so tame. We grilled and walked downtown to a couple bars and were back by midnight. Who knew?

13. Why Not Both…Or All?

At my first job, back when I was a teenager, about 6 of us were playing this mid-shift. 3 girls, 3 guys. It was barely starting to get risqué and one of the guys is asked “have you ever masturbated to thoughts of a coworker?” And he says yes.

This is as juicy as it’s gotten, so we latch onto it. The next time around, he’s asked if he’s masturbated to anyone else playing. He says yes. Next round, he’s asked to name which of us he’s jerked it to. He looks at us one by one, then says “all of you.” The guys all got flustered as hell, they’d never even realized they were on the roster.

14. It Was All He Had

I think my most exciting game of truth or dare was cut down in its prime when a guy dared his girlfriend to flash everyone and then broke down crying because now everyone had seen her bikini zone and he no longer felt special.

15. The Wrong Hole

When I was 17, I was “studying” with a girl who started a game of truth or dare with me. I hadn’t kissed since 4th grade, and we were clearly into each other. The game started with me as the asker. She chose dare. Me being the naive, socially awkward individual that I am, dared her to touch the bottom of my family’s shared toilet (which was actually really clean). She resisted, but eventually did it. When my turn came around I chose dare, it was only fair to do so after what I just put her through. She dared me to finger her. At the moment I was ecstatic. As we made our way to the sauna adjoining the bathroom a rush of terror came over me. I had no idea how to do what I was about to do. I’d basically never kissed, and now I was about to finger this chick. Anyways, we get into the sauna and its pitch black. I feel around and find her pelvic region. As I work my way down I try to recollect the very few pornos I’d seen to that point. I start feeling around and wiggling my finger side to side. She jerked her whole body back and exclaimed, “too low!” I quickly realized that I had fingered the wrong hole. And slide it (the same finger) up to her vag. After about 10 seconds she said I was doing it too hard, and about 20 seconds later she stopped me completely. Needless to say, it was a short lived study session.

16. She Went Above And Waaaay Beyond

We told her she had to kiss the dog, we didn’t think she was going to use tongue. After that we just didn’t want to play anymore.

17. A Disastrous Ending

This is a growing up pre-internet disclaimer. Seeing boobs was elusive if you had no access to a “porn stash”. I didn’t. So you’d see them in movies…and no pausing them mind you. No VCR. You’d see the boobs then poof their gone. So over my friends house when I was 13 his older stepsister and her friend were bored and actually talking to us. They were 15. It just started. I had never played before, but I knew the rules. We had a round of Truths. Then Dares. I dared my friends stepsister to flash her boobs. SHE DID!. Real boobs. It was magical. I got dared to strip naked. All the way naked. I did very reluctantly. I had a boner and out of nowhere the stepsister touches it and instant launch. It was awful. There were screams of “ewww” and gross. She shoved me and I fell backwards. It wasn’t a good ending to what could have been a spectacular evening.

18. Lucy And Kyle Break Up

A few years ago now my friends and I all decided to try and make jello shots for the first time. We added way too much vodka to them but we all felt obligated to finish them. We took the empty handle of Smirnoff and one of my friends decided to play truth or dare spin the bottle. With all of us pretty trashed already it seemed like a good idea.

For the first few rounds it was all fine, pretty normal stuff; take a shot, go outside and eat some snow (it was winter break). But then one friend, let’s call him Kevin, decided to dare one of the girls to take off her top. Now no one at the party was single, and everyone’s respective partner was in attendance, which will be important later.

The girl Kevin asked to take her top off decided to play along and that was fine. But her boyfriend, we’ll call him Kyle, seemed to get jealous because he then made it his mission to get Kevin’s girlfriend naked. Every time it was Kyle’s turn he would find a way to target Kevin’s girlfriend. The bottle pointed to me at one point and he dared me to take off Kevin’s girlfriend’s bra (of course I did it being a team player). It didn’t take long for Kevin to pick up on this so he started to target Kyle’s girlfriend for the same purpose.

I should also mention that truth became all but ruled out around this time because anyone who opted for it would be ridiculed for choosing the “pussy option”.

Eventually Kevin, Kyle, their girlfriends (call them Emily and Lucy respectively), and everyone else in the circle, 8 of us total, we’re down to nothing but underwear bottoms. Kevin gets a turn and dares Lucy to let him take off her panties. She blushes and and tries to say no but everyone begins to cheer for her to do it. Eventually she gets up, walks over to Kevin, and he just rips off her panties and immediately buries his face in her crotch and she starts to moan and stays on his face. The room goes silent, Emily gets up and storms out of the room.

Apparently Lucy and Kevin had been cheating with each other. Kyle had been suspicious but didn’t want to risk accusing Lucy without proof. Obviously this let the cat out of the bag and what followed were some very choice words and us never hanging out with Kevin or Lucy again.

19. Middle School Is So Awful

This was at a birthday party in middle school. A late-blooming boy chose “truth” and was asked if he had pubes. He was silent for what seemed like forever, then said “no” softly, causing the room to erupt with laughter. He began to cry and had to leave the room. He didn’t come out for HOURS. He had a girlfriend at the party so I’m sure it added to the embarrassment.

20. “It Was Terrifying”

We (3 guys and 3 girls) were all in the hottub at this chick’s house playing ‘Truth or Dare’, and I get dared to go mash my dick/balls up against her parents’ bedroom window. Granted, it’s like 1am, and the whole house is completely dark, so I thought it would be no big deal.

Get out of the hottub, run over to the window, drop my suit, and smash my junk up against the window for a few moments. Then, in the reflective light of the pool, I catch a glimpse of her parents sitting right inside the window, watching us from inside. They didn’t even blink, just just watched me. It was fucking terrifying. TERRIFYING. Like, I saw them for a split fucking second as the light passed over the glass, just inches away from my mashed up dick on the other side of the window. Something from a horror movie. I gasped and ran back to the hottub, got back in, and just sat there in complete silence.

A couple minutes later, her dad comes outside laughing, hands me a beer, and then reminisces with all of us for a minute about the crazy shit he did when he was a kid.

I’ve never felt a shock like I did when I saw their faces. It still haunts me sometimes, but it all turned out better than expected.

…I was 25.

21. The Lamest House Party Ever

I was at my first ever house party. I was pretty drunk, didn’t really know many people there and wanted to impress. So naturally, when we were playing truth or dare and someone dared me to strip to my boxers and run around the garden (fully expecting me not to do it and to instead take the forfeit of five tequila shots), I actually did it. Instead of cheers of “haha, he actually did it the madman” everyone just thought I was some sort of weird pervert and hardly anyone would talk to me for the rest of the party. TC mark

Do Not Lose Yourself In Love

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Helga Weber
Helga Weber

In love, there is compromise. In love, there is understanding. In love, there is a common ground where we learn to accept the other. We swallow our pride to avoid arguments. We stay mute at times to avoid the bickering and the nagging. We may even do something we don’t like – see a movie we never thought we’d watch, eat something our palate doesn’t appreciate, try dancing, go hiking, master a sport or even learn a new language. And through the course of what we call “building a relationship” we either find ourselves becoming better or questioning whether or not we made the right choices.

One thing that we ought to remind ourselves more when getting into a relationship is this: Do not lose yourself in the process of falling in love.

Sometimes, compromises we make takes out a piece of ourselves and it just gets lost in the wind, and that part – that part we may never get back forever. Sometimes, we furnish a new identity to match our significant other. But how much are we really willing to lose in order to gain love? Should we actually lose anything at all for us to be loved? What really is compromise? How much do you have to understand someone for them to also understand you?

The thing is sometimes we are so caught up with the idea of love, the idea of someone that we fail to see how much we actually have to work in order for it to be real. Some take the easy route with love. They just take out all the bad parts – parts they think their partners would not want – and replace it with something they believe their partners would love. Like taking out the seeds in a fruit – leaving it as it is and removing any opportunity for growth.

Others, on the other hand, go through the struggle by learning to love themselves first, by knowing what they love about themselves and letting their partners love it too. Some people gather up the courage to show who they truly are. They put their true selves in line because they believe that their partner does not deserve anything less than who they really are. They refuse to erase something they already love about themselves just so they can be loved.

Who would you rather be then? Someone who can claim that he/she has sacrificed everything even themselves for the sake of love? Or someone who refuse to put shame on who she/she truly is and accepts only the love their genuine selves deserve?

As for me, I’d rather be the latter.

Remember, that it will always be constant tug of war between “you” and “you in a relationship” if true love doesn’t work on both ends. It will be a continuous push and pull over who you really are and who you think you should be. And this, this can go on forever. It can take years and years from you.

So, wouldn’t it be better to just love and be loved without actually getting tired?

Yes, a hundred times yes. TC mark

100 Stupidly Simple Statements That Will Help You Get Over A Guy

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 06:19 PM PDT

kayschris
kayschris

1. You only lost something you never had. If he wanted to be with you, he would be with you. All that you lost was an idea you had about what one version of your future might have been.

2. You are now free to find someone better.

3. "It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world."

4. Don’t you feel free now?

5. You'll realize you weren't who you were supposed to be when you were with him, you were who he wanted you to be.

6. You can no longer rely on him to distract you from the person you know you need and want to become.

7. You have time and energy to focus on selfish pursuits that will improve your quality of life for decades to come.

8. Now you know that the things you choose to have in your life are there because you choose them, not because of how they look to another person, or what they like.

9. You have more money now, no more buying and feeding for two.

10. You have time to rebuild relationships with the people who will never leave you — friends and family members.

11. Not to be vulgar, but as Violet Benson says, “dick is free, you can get that shit anywhere.”

12. You can be anyone you want to be now. No one is attached to the old you requiring that you to remain that person they fell in love with.

13. You are now free to experience again the extreme pleasure of kissing a stranger.

14. You are now free to dream bigger than the very flawed person you were kind enough to fall in love with.

15. Nobody owns you now.

16. You could leave, right now, and drive for hours and not have to tell anyone. No checking in.

17. You can spend $30 getting a grilled cheese sandwich and a bottle of wine delivered to your house to be consumed while watching Sex and the City reruns for the hundredth time and wearing a face mask and getting a little buzzed before wandering around your apartment belting Jewel as loud as you want. No one will judge.

18. You can do whatever they hated to do. You can go out dancing or eat Indian food or let yourself be too messy (or too clean).

19. You have more options in your future now.

20. Every breakup and rejection is a second chance in disguise. You get to do better next time. You get to pick better next time.

21. You lost someone who didn’t want to keep you. Think about that hard and then say ‘good riddance’ while you look for someone who understands quality when it’s right in front of them.

22. You are now free to find someone who is as generous as you are: “I've had it with all stingy-hearted sons of bitches. A heart is to be spent.”

23. No one is ‘the one.’ Open your eyes and realize there are so many people around you with potential, removing one person from the list of prospects decreases the overall chances you will find love by an insignificant margin:

tumblr_n9st6pS64Z1qe0fxmo1_500
tumblr_n9st6pS64Z1qe0fxmo2_500

A Single Man
A Single Man

24. This advice can be found in song form here.

25. What if you spent the rest of your life fighting for him to love you instead of doing the brave thing and moving on?

26. What a great excuse to get off social media for a few months and take a breather away from other people’s opinions.

27. Now you can sleep diagonally across your bed.

28. And not deal with his snoring.

29. There is no greater time to listen to music than when you are heartbroken. Your situation right now is practically the whole reason music and art exist in the first place. Embrace it. Make a million playlists about moving on. Listen to this one. Sing out loud. Sing in the shower. Sing in your car. Feel like the baddest bitch in the world. Think about how everything exciting in your life is in front of you and everything you miss about your ex you get to experience again, soon, with someone new.

30. Think about who you were before you met him and who you are now. Thank him for being a teacher — even if you were the one that had to teach yourself not to love someone like him.

31. Struggle makes you a better person:

“The harder you slam a ball into the ground, the higher it bounces back up… A divorce, a breakup, losing a job, or just feeling seriously down can ground you, rough you up a bit, leave calluses on your feet and grit under your finger nails. But more than that, it leaves you wiser and stronger next time.” — Laurel House

32. When you meet the right person, you will appreciate them more — because you know how much you suffered to get to that point.

33. No one is as happy in a relationship as they lead themselves to believe when they want it to work out. Now you are free to see him without rose-colored glasses. Now you can see what wouldn’t have worked and adjust your standards for future men accordingly.

34. You have time to take a cooking class now. Or learn a new language, or get into fitness and get ripped.

35. You don’t have to cook man-friendly food anymore. Every night can be rice and avocado if you want it to be.

36. The only opinion you have to consider is your own.

37. The only permission you need to do something is your own.

38. 98. You know that he has it far worse than you do — he lost you.

39. Think about how exciting it is to sleep with someone new and how eye-opening it is to discover a whole new world of things someone else likes/is good at doing. You’re not tied to the guy who didn’t/wouldn’t do that one thing you like anymore.

40. You get to remember the incredible joy of hanging out with mostly women.

41. This could be the universe telling you it’s time to get a dog.

42. The worst has happened. You loved someone and they didn’t love you back. So what? You’re still alive. You made it. You’ve proven that you are not so easily destroyed.

43. You can pick up a job, or multiple jobs and spend your free time hustling to get closer to the life you’ve dreamed of.

44. There’s no pressure to go out, if you like to stay in.

45. There’s no pressure to stay in, if you like to go out.

46. Your best friend can sleepover in your bed again and you can wake up at 4am and giggle about nothing in particular.

47. You have the freedom to travel, no strings attached.

48. You no longer have to waste your precious time guessing:

“If you have to speculate if someone loves you and wants to be with you, chances are they don't. It's not that complicated. Love, in most cases, betrays the one feeling it. Don't waste moments waiting and wondering. Don't throw away your time dreaming of someone that doesn't want you. No one is that amazing, certainly not the one who would pass you up.” — Donna Lynn Hope

49. You don’t have to share your bathroom with a man.

50. No one steals the covers or your pillow in the middle of the night. No one wakes up earlier than you. No one suffocates you with their body heat. You can keep your bedroom freezing because you like to be a little bit cold and snuggle into the duvet.

51. You got shaken out of your complacent life. You’re forced to reimagine and reevaluate what you want. What a blessing. Now you can see whether you really want to be on the path you’re currently on.

52. It’s easy to think about your first boyfriend and realize that he was nothing to cry over either. You wouldn’t want him today, he wasn’t right but you were young and crushes make everything hard to be logical about. You’ll feel the same way about this guy in 10 years.

53. You now have time to work on yourself so you are worthy of the right person, when you meet them.

54. This is the universe holding onto your shoulders, gently shaking you, and saying “dream bigger.”

55. What if you put all the energy you put into trying to make the wrong person love you into trying to become the right person?

56. Maybe the point of dating him wasn’t to find lasting love. Maybe the point of dating him was to show how capable of love you are.

57. “If you can love the wrong person that much, imagine how much you can love the right one.”

58. The only person who will make you feel guilty is yourself.

59. Instead of constantly feeling like you are not enough, you get to prove that you are.

60. Imagine how much times you saved by breaking up with this person now and not in 6 months — or 6 years from now.

61. You get to realize that your self worth doesn’t depend on what you can do for other people, how easily you can find a home inside them. Your self-worth comes from how much you can give, not how much you can receive.

62. Going home for family events can be about family again, not about making another person feel comfortable.

63. You learn all the things you didn’t learn because you were with someone who could already do them. You learn to cook for yourself, how to update your professional website, how to do your taxes — you will become more self-sufficient because you have to rely on yourself. This means that when the next guy comes around, you have more to offer.

64. You’ll set better boundaries next time. Did you let him come over too often? Did you always drive? Did you establish a precedent that it was totally okay with you if you didn’t orgasm during sex? Whatever it is that you let slide — you’ll realize how to ask for what you need next time.

65. You can watch Anchorman or Zoolander and belly laugh and it will feel better than it’s ever felt before.

66. You’ve learned that love is something you can lose. When you find a love that’s worth not losing, you’ll fight like hell to keep it.

67. You will not, for the foreseeable future, EVER have to listen to anything in the car besides exactly what you want to hear.

68. No more Sportscenter ever, unless it’s because that’s what you want to watch.

69. You can work as much as you want to and no one will call you a workaholic or tell you they don’t see you enough or complain about your work life balance.

70. You can watch The Notebook or The Mindy Project or Keeping up with the Kardashians and no one will make fun of your choices.

71. It’s the perfect excuse to buy some really nice sex toys and learn how to give yourself the best orgasm of your life.

72. You get to feel a weight lifted off your shoulders as you let go of the burden of having a man in your life. It doesn’t matter if he remembers to call his mom on her birthday, or whether he buys a gift for his sister’s baby shower, or whether goes to the doctor when he really should. It’s no longer your responsibility to worry about him.

73. Going out is exciting again. There’s potential everywhere.

74. There’s a reason people always talk about low points being the best thing that ever happened to them.

75. When you get dressed in the morning, you don’t think about what someone else will like. You just pick out what feels good. You’ll spend your whole day feeling happier and more *you* because your criteria is simply your own happiness.

76. As much as you feel sad, you also feel relieved.

77. There are worse things than being unhappy in love — like being unhappy with yourself.

78. Why would you want to spend the rest of your life with someone who was stupid enough to let you go?

79. You can’t do anything about the way other people feel on you. This breakup is forcing you to learn the one lesson that will have the greatest impact on your happiness for the rest of your life: the way other people feel about you is not your responsibility.

80. Think of all the doors you closed because you were with him. Consider which ones you want to open again.

81. You got to love someone. No one can take that away from you. Even a person who didn’t love you back.

82. You can do better:

83. Every ending is also a beginning. You get to decide what kind of beginning it is.

84. You can stop feeling guilty about making more money than him or whatever way he felt your shine took away from his.

85. Inevitably, you build your life around the person you are dating. When they leave, you get to build it around the things you actually like.

86. By saying goodbye to someone who doesn’t love you as much as you love them, you are closer to saying hello to someone who does.

87. Just because something ends doesn’t mean it was a failure. “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.”

88. Very few things in life will feel as good as deleting his number from your phone will.

89. It sounds like you have a very good excuse to have a very big party and make some very questionable decisions.

90. Breaking up with someone causes panic and sadness because we have been rejected. Our egos hurt. But we can’t confuse that with feeling panicked or sad about not having this person in our lives anymore. Our egos will heal, we will learn to let go, we will move on. Recognize the source of your feelings and just feel them without any self-judgement attached. There are worse things in life than an ego bruise — like ending up with the wrong person.

91. It’s much lonelier to be the person who can’t accept love than it is to be the person who can love someone who doesn’t love them back.

92. When you meet the right person you will look back at this rejection as the best thing that ever happened to you.

93. “This relationship wasn’t the very best relationship you can have, so why waste another fucking second on it.”

94. You showed yourself that you are strong enough to do one of the hardest things we do on this planet: open up to another person. That’s enough, to start with.

95. One day soon you’ll wake up in the middle of the night and everything in your life will feel like yours and you will be so happy and proud that you have gotten yourself to where you are. Your accomplishments are now completely your own.

96. All the energy you once expended making him happy can now be completely devoted to making you happy. If you’re like most women, this is a lot of fucking energy.

97. Every breath is a beginning. Breathe in and out. Breathe in your new life, breathe out your old one with him. Think about everything you are going to create when he is fully detoxed from your system. A newly single woman is a force to be reckoned with.

98. We think of forest fires as these devastating events that we need to stop, but they are actually vital to ecological health of an area. There are plants that require the heat of a wildfire for their seeds to burst open and plant themselves in the earth. There are others that are meant to be flammable, so that fires quells competition. As it turns out, forests are made to have a periodic cleansing by fire. Your heart is made this way, also.

99. Remember that time you got really excited about something you’re passionate about and then stopped yourself and said “sorry, this must be boring for you” and he didn’t correct you? Imagine what it would be like to love someone who didn’t make you feel like you needed to apologize for what you love.

100. You lost him, but you didn’t lose the most important thing, you didn’t lose yourself. TC mark

30 PG Things That Long-Lasting Couples Do In Bed Together

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 06:15 PM PDT

Twenty20, ana_lombardini
Twenty20, ana_lombardini

1. You stick your cold feet under their warm body in order to get yourself more comfortable, even if it means they’ll be less comfortable.

2. You purposely try to creep them out by staring at them when their eyes are closed or by breathing heavy in their ear.

3. You repeat compliments you’ve already given them a million times before about how comfortable they are and about how good they smell.

4. You try to cuddle, even though all of the pets are on the bed with you, and it’s hard for you to move without accidentally smacking one of them in the face.

5. You remind them to do little things that might’ve slipped their mind, like to take their medication and to remove their contact lenses.

6. You sing each other to sleep. But instead of cooing lullabies, you sing theme songs to shows you watched back in the ’90s.

7. You sit on your assigned sides of the bed and read separate novels, like an old couple.

8. You stay up all night talking about hypothetical situations, which is why you’re both prepared for natural disasters, alien invasions, and zombie apocalypses.

9. You climb under the covers so you can cuddle with them, even if you’re boiling hot and don’t understand why the hell they need to wear three blankets at once.

10. You pull them closer when they whimper in their sleep, because you can tell that they’re having another nightmare.

11. You set emergency alarms for them on your phone, just in case their alarm stops working, because you don’t want them to be late for work.

12. You play fight by throwing fake punches at each other and rolling around on the bed. Sometimes, you’ll even resort to tickling.

13. You fart, and you don’t even feel the need to apologize for it.

14. You help each other get changed in and out of pajamas without turning things sexual.

15. You complain about everything that’s bothering you, from the way your co-workers gossip to the way your mosquito bites itch.

16. You use their phone to check Twitter when yours is stuck in its charger on the other side of the room and you’re too lazy to get it.

17. You catch up on all the shows you have saved on your DVR that you pinkie promised you’d watch together.

18. You download random apps and play them, even though you realize they’re silly time wasters.

19. You listen to music on your iPod and drift off to sleep while it’s still playing.

20. You get pissed off when they sit on your side of the bed, because you have a silent agreement to stick to your own side.

21. You keep talking to them, even when their lids are half-closed, because you’re still wide awake and don’t want to be left alone.

22. You show them the strange text messages that your friends sent you and try to decipher what they mean.

23. You give them kisses in innocent places, like on their forehead and on the back of their hand.

24. You talk about your fun date plans for the next weekend, because you’re genuinely excited to spend more time with them.

25. And you make plans for far into the future. You’ll talk about what your wedding will be like and what you’ll name your twin children.

26. You share cookies and candy bars, even though you promised each other you’d never eat in bed.

27. You groom each other. For some reason, you don’t find it weird to pluck dandruff off of their shirt or to pop the zits on their back.

28. You use baby talk one second and speak like a sailor the next second, because you’re comfortable acting silly around them.

29. You remind them of how much you love them before you drift off to sleep every single night.

30. In the morning, you come up with as many excuses as you can to stay in bed just a little longer, because the last thing you want to do is move from their warm embrace. TC mark

15 Survival Tips For Anyone Living With A Mixture Of Anxiety And Depression

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 06:01 PM PDT

 Twenty20, Stanislove
Twenty20, Stanislove

I just finished my fifth year of high school (barely) and I am beyond excited for the next chapter of my life as I am truly curious to see what the future holds. This, however, hasn't always been the case. You see, I used to be afraid of the future. This fear was merciless, suffocating me from the inside out, and it dictated my entire life. Later, after many visits to doctors, therapists, and a psychiatrist, I learned that this kind of fear has a name.

"Sarah, meet Anxiety," the world of medical personnel declared. At first I was intrigued, happy to be able to finally call this intruder by name. Maybe we could get to know each other better. Maybe we could learn to coincide instead of constantly indulging in disputes over whether or not people liked me or how I failed to meet my ridiculous expectations of perfection once again.

Anxiety, unfortunately, had other plans in mind. Continuously coming over uninvited and completely ignorant to social cues, Anxiety became infamous for overstaying its welcome. Neglecting all duties of an acceptable hostess, I tried to make it obvious I wanted this houseguest to leave. This made Anxiety lonely. Vengeful. It had to do something. It needed back up.

"Sarah, meet Depression." I tried to tell the world of medicine that I didn't need any more friends. I told them that I already had plenty. This, however, was obviously a lie as I had become a recluse, refusing to leave the familiar four walls of my bedroom. Many saw right through the twisted web of lies I had carelessly woven. I'm not going out anymore, because I'm sick. I'm not trying in school, because I don't care. I'm honestly fine. I think I knew that these were not believable but one of my other acquaintances, Apathy, reminded me that it didn't really matter if I lied. It didn't really matter if anyone believed me. Nothing really mattered.

I never got along with Anxiety, but my relationship with Depression was a whole different story. We despised each other. It was a deep loathing I had never felt before. We had formed a brutal rivalry, the only casualties on my side. It was every man for himself. Depression was a lot worse to me than Anxiety ever was. I think it's because Depression had me brainwashed, kind of like the older guy you date in high school who you’re madly in love with, but he has you believing the entirety of your self-worth is dependent upon what he says.

I was hopeless, worn out, and at times suicidal.  This dynamic duo was relentless. I began to fail classes, lose friends, and become fixated on self-sabotage. I even went as far as taking an overdose that landed me a two-week hospital stay in the mental health unit at the local hospital, but that's a story for another time.

My point is, I didn't just finish five years of high school. I just finished five years of high school with an all-consuming mental illness. As mental illness affects everyone at some point, I'm sure many of you already know how big of an accomplishment this is. I am proud of myself, and to everyone who has also graduated or who is currently attending school with a mental illness, you should be proud of yourself as well.

Fortunately, I am currently in a safe and stable spot in my recovery and would like to share some wisdom. Mental illness needs to be talked about. If I was in the hospital for some kind of physical ailment, you would all know. So, I think it is only fair that you know about this as well. I hope by sharing these pieces of advice someone will feel a little less lonely and a little more hopeful.

1. You do not have to be at rock bottom or have something horrible happen to you to receive help. Mental illness affects many people for different reasons and how you feel doesn't always have to have an accompanied explanation. In fact, you don't even need to have a diagnosed mental illness to justify wanting to talk to someone or needing help. Remaining silent is how mental illnesses fester and turn into something unmanageable. Life is hard. Everyone needs help. Heck, even therapists have therapists.

2. Do not procrastinate getting help. Yes, it is possible to recover from a mental illness on your own, but it is extremely unlikely. It usually doesn't get better without help. Please reach out before things continue to get worse.

3. If the first person you reach out to doesn't give you the response you want or need, don't give up. Friends and family can be a great support system, but you have to remember that they are not professionally trained. I would encourage you to speak with a professional as they will be able to provide you with the tools and resources needed to begin your recovery.

4. Educate yourself. You should talk to as many professionals as you can and do as much research as possible. The more you understand about your mental illness and how it affects you, the easier it will be for you to recover.

5. Mental health services can be extremely expensive, but please don't let that discourage you. Many places will offer a sliding scale where you can talk to people who are still trained, but do not have the exact same credentials as a seasoned therapist. They will still be very helpful and be able to provide you with similar tools and resources.

6. Nobody will ever be able to understand exactly what you are going through. Mental illness is extremely individualized, so sometimes you have to take what people say with a grain of salt, because the same thing that may help them may not help you. It is also important to note, however, that even if someone doesn't completely understand, they may be able to relate to some of your symptoms or experiences, which can make them a great form of support.

7. Do not feel bad for communicating your mental health needs. If you break your arm and are unable to physically write a test, you receive extensions or are given the opportunity to illustrate what you have learned in a different way. Therefore, if you need extensions on assignments, or need to write your test in a different room to help direct your concentration, just ask. Guidance Counselors are often great advocates when it comes to your mental health and its corresponding educational needs.

8. You often have to indulge in a game of trial and error, and that's okay. If you opt to be on medication, it will often take a few tries to find the right kind and dosage that best suits you. This also applies to finding a counselor as sometimes you may have to see a couple before you find one that you are comfortable with. Always keep going until you are content with your treatment plan. You will find what works for you. It may just take time.

9. Although mental illness can be fueled by external factors, it often is more internal than you think. You often cannot completely cure a mental illness by moving to a different environment or changing who you hangout with. If these changes are positive, they definitely can help you along your recovery path, but they may not fix everything like you had hoped for, so don't be discouraged.

10. Talk about your mental illness openly if you can. You’ll be surprised by how many people you are secretly helping to feel less alone. You may even be surprised at how much talking about it helps you.

11. There is still a massive stigma surrounding mental health. With this in mind, you have to recognize that many people will talk about mental health ignorantly and inappropriately and will not be empathetic or understanding to what you are going through. These people have not been provided with enough information (or the correct information). Don't let this stop you from continuing to get help. You have to recover for yourself not for other people.

12. You are the only person that can save yourself. Don't get me wrong, there are so many people that can help you along the way, but you have to want to get better and you have to be willing to put in the effort.

13. Try and find something to believe in that is greater than yourself. This doesn't always have to be a religion. For example, I am not religious, but I believe that everything happens for a reason, and with this in mind, I find it easier to remain hopeful.

14. Create a crisis plan. It is easier than you think to reach rock bottom and when you are at rock bottom, rationality is not often present. With any mental illness, thinking is distorted and when you are at your lowest point this is magnified even further. It is helpful to have a plan you can refer back to when you are in this state so you can reach out to the right people and remain safe. There are many people you can talk to who can help you to create this, and you can even find outlines of these online.

15. It gets better. It really, really does. Four years ago, or even last month, when I heard people say this I thought it was ridiculous. I thought that my situation was different and that there was absolutely no way that it would get better for me. I always wondered how other people could say this not knowing my situation. How do you really know it will get better for me if you don't even know me? How do you know I'm not the one person that it won't get better for? You can always rework how you think, or find a solution to improve how you feel. Sometimes this takes a long time. It may even feel like it is taking forever. You must know though, that the mind is a very, very powerful thing, and it is capable of so much more than you even realize.

Keep going. TC mark

Why The ‘Bad Boy’ Is Now The New ‘Prince Charming’

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 05:45 PM PDT

Isabell Winter
Isabell Winter

Have you ever noticed that women are always complaining that "they can't find a nice guy" and when they FINALLY meet one they lose interest in him because "he's too nice"? LOL.

There's no easy way to say this– but women don't want a nice guy. They finish last. Every. Single. Time. Now, don't get me wrong, women like to be treated well, they enjoy being pampered, they long to be romanced. But they really want this experience from a "bad boy", not necessarily from some nice guy. And it's very important to understand this.

If you're a nice guy who is always willing to do favors (without her reciprocating), always at her beck and call, always willing to go the extra mile, she'll begin to take you for granted.

And when someone takes you for granted, your value depreciates.

As of June 30, 2016 – no girl wants a guy who's too nice. Maybe they did in the 1950s, but the whole social dimensions have changed. Nowadays, IF YOU BROUGHT A ROSE FOR A GIRL ON YOUR FIRST DATE, SHE WOULD THINK YOU'RE SOFT (and, funny enough, you may even ruin your chances).

Women are drawn to bad boys – it's natural for them. They like the idea of thinking they can change a guy. LOL. Yeah, I'm serious, women think they can change a man. They like the challenge – the thrill of knowing that Joe changed his bad ways for her. And, of course, this never really happens, but it keeps them engaged – in fact, it keeps them interested indefinitely.

In the same breath, women like men who are confident.

Not an insecure man, who's trying to find his way. They like men who are rough around the edges – a man who doesn't take crap from her or anyone else for that matter.  They respect a man who knows how to calm them down when they're acting up. Not some guy who will say "sorry dear" even when she's clearly in the wrong.

Now, it doesn't matter what women say, that's the type of guy they really want.  A strong man who can also be understanding, compassionate and romantic. Simply put, you have to be bad and good. So, once it's clear that you're a bad boy (so to speak), then you've earned the right to be "too nice". And that's when your gestures will become even more meaningful to her.

Remember, women love the idea of trying to change a guy – it's exhilarating for them. When a "bad boy" begins to open up his sensitive side to her, she'll embrace every moment of it. She's worked hard to "change" him and he likes her enough to compromise. When the bad boy goes out of his way to make her happy… she's not going to think "he's too nice"… she's going to think it's the sweetest thing ever.

When the bad boy looks into her eyes, pulls her closer, pauses and kisses her passionately, she'll melt in his arms. And when he decides to give her a rose, she'll cherish every single petal on the flower.

In fact, she'll put it in some water, and try to keep it alive for as long as possible. TC mark

When She Finally Realized How Much More She Deserved

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 05:00 PM PDT

istockphoto.com / borisyankov
istockphoto.com / borisyankov

There were two ways he said, "fuck you" to her.

The first was his favorite, and it was said hard and fast, with a clear emphasis on the "F." It was as if the look in his eye said it for him. The second was said nonchalantly, and it was accompanied with an eye roll.

They met at a party in the Valley. Their mutual friend, John, turned his parents' Victorian home into a free-for-all during a house-sit. The houses on the block were all closely built together, and it was on a winding road that allowed no room for plush, green lawns. When she walked up to the door, she saw a group of boys through the front window. Some stood while holding beers. Others sat on the couch, glassy-eyed, as they nodded their heads and laughed.

The front door opened straight into the living room. The house was perfumed with cigarette smoke, and she followed the green carpet that had two parallel lines of silver in it as she lapped the party. She stopped in front of the window and looked outside, but she watched how the house's lights reflected the party off its black backdrop instead.

"Horrible carpet, right?" a male's voice asked. He had a beer in one hand and used the other to run his fingers through his thin blonde hair. "I'm Austin."

"Reasonably the worst," she said as he took a swig. "Sophie."

They sat on the stained, woven fabric couch and laughed as the faint sound of Led Zeppelin's Physical Graffiti played in the background. Even though Sophie didn't drink, she accepted his beer when he offered her some, and took fake gulps, placing the bottle up to her mouth and stopping the flow with her lips. She watched his blue eyes looking at her. They were sweet. She liked him.

Austin and Sophie were on-and-off throughout their four months together. The fights started when she came home and noticed him sitting on her couch. He was a graphic designer, but hadn't had steady work, so she found him eating snack foods.

"What did you do today?" Sophie asked.

He dropped a handful of popcorn kernels into his mouth. "Stuff."

He was most unattractive when eating popcorn because he'd chew with his mouth open. One piece would go rogue and end up beneath the couch, next to the cashew he dropped and never picked up weeks prior. Austin would never look at Sophie when she asked him questions, and it infuriated her. He'd finish chewing and then he'd use his tongue to lick the salt from the creases of his lips before responding with a vague answer.

Sophie constantly sought out his affection. The only time she would get any attention from him was when they would fight. The break-ups started when they went to Café Med off Sunset Plaza Drive. They stared at the gilt-edged menu before deciding to split an order of Pizza Messicana. Sophie noticed his eyes follow a pale woman wearing a green floral dress with capped sleeves and no back to the table in front of theirs. He raked his hair, as if to look more presentable.

"The way you look at other women bothers me." She blotted her mouth with her white napkin and dropped it on the table.

"I won't lie. I do look." He rubbed his palms together over his plate so the semolina from the pizza crust left his hands. "It's not a big deal."

She stared at him as he placed a new slice up to his mouth. He used his finger to grab the minced piece of cilantro that was stuck on his lip.

"I'm not going to put up with it." She grabbed her purse and hit the table with her hip as she walked out, causing the silver pizza tray to jolt.

"Fuck you," he yelled out, rolling his eyes.

The make-ups started when Austin showed up to her yellow duplex and climbed the stairs up to her unit. He held a bouquet of white tulips that had a soaked paper towel fastened to the stems with a rubber band, and knocked on her door.

"What do you want?" she asked. Her thin muscles flexed as she placed her left arm against the doorframe.

Austin put his hand in his pocket, and walked back far enough so his back was touching the iron railing.

"I'm sorry," he said. His eyes moved between the ground, the stucco wall, and her. "I realize how horrible I acted, and I know I don't deserve another chance, but I hope you'd reconsider."

She crossed her arms and squinted her eyes. She breathed out of her nose heavily and reached for the tulips.

"Thank you," he said. He pulled his hand out of his pocket and ran it over his shirt, smoothing it down.

When Sophie would take Austin back, she'd let him stay at her place.

She woke up early one morning because they'd planned on going to the beach. She watched as the sun came through her window and revealed the acne on Austin's back. The clusters looked like constellations. She leaned down and inspected his skin to figure out if Cassiopeia had turned into Orion that month. It hadn't, and a sudden release of air from her mouth caressed his back, causing him to wince, and she quickly got out of bed.

In the bathroom, Sophie applied sunscreen to her face while looking at her reflection in the vanity. Remnants of toothpaste and dried water droplets covered the bottom portion of the mirror. She pulled her hair into a high bun and heard the door creak from Austin walking in.

"We should get going before the freeway traffic hits," she said.

Austin nodded and yawned, and he used one hand to wave her off and the other to lift the toilet seat. "I know."

Sophie walked back to the bedroom to put on her bikini. She reached for the white tunic folded over the desk chair, and slipped it over her shoulders. Her orange bandeau and yellow bottoms were bright and visible through its thin fabric.

"Austin, come on," she said. She sat down cross-legged on the edge of the unmade bed.

Austin walked into the bedroom with a granola bar resting in between his teeth and his hands tying his swim trunks.

"Can you relax? I'm ready," he mumbled.

He slipped on his blue Vans halfway and struggled a bit using his fingers to get them to cover his heels.

"Fine," she said. She let out a deep breath.

The freeway was packed with Friday early afternoon traffic.

"Christ," Austin said. He weaved his body around to see how many cars were ahead of his.

"I told you to wake up early," she said. "You never listen to me; nothing I say gets through to you."

When they merged onto Kanan Road, the car picked up speed.

"Fuck you," he said, hard. "We're going to the beach, aren't we? It doesn't matter when we leave."

Sophie stared at him. A school bus shot by, swaying the car.

Austin zigzagged through tight turns and stopped at a red light on Pacific Coast Highway. The sound of the turn signal and breeze filled the car. He turned right, and Sophie glanced at the ocean through his window.

"It's twenty dollars for parking," Austin said.

"So?"

He inched closer to the beach's entry. "So, going to the beach was your idea."

Sophie followed Austin's eyes as he gazed at two girls walking up the steps from the beach, his focus on the one with blonde hair. The pink material of her bikini bottom was wedged into her ass, and she had sand stuck to the left side of her upper thigh.

"What?" he asked. He gave Sophie a double look that meant he didn't hear her.

"Take me home," she said. Her voice was firm.

"What the fuck, Sophie?"

"Take me home now."

Austin waited until the car in front of them pulled up just enough for him to turn out of the parking line.

Sophie watched him as he snaked in and out of two lanes of traffic.

"You rely on my affection too much," he said as he stared out the windshield. "The more you want, the less I want to give."

“You don't show me any affection." She pushed her body against the seatbelt. "How else am I supposed to feel?"

Austin's face was flushed, and he moved his sun visor to the left to stop the sun from shining on it.

"I don't know what more you want me to tell you," he said. He flipped through the radio stations because all the presets were on commercials. "If you don't like how I treat you, then you can leave."

Sophie pulled her visor down and stretched her torso straight against the leather seat to avoid the sun.

"How you don't realize how hurtful you are is an issue," she said. She looked at herself in the visor's mirror and used her finger to wipe the lines of sunscreen from one corner of her eyelid to the other. "I'm leaving on that fact."

Sophie moved hair out of her face, but the wind from the open window blew them back. "Slow down."

"Don't tell me what to do." He had shifted gears and floored a left turn through a yellow light, and she felt her seatbelt press against her chest as her body slid closer to the door.

The southbound freeway traffic was sparse, and the air that flew through the car blew through Austin's strands, causing his thin hair to separate and make the pale of his scalp visible. Sophie knew his concerns about his premature hair loss, and she enjoyed watching him from her couch as he'd lean over the bathroom sink to get closer to the mirror to touch his hairline. He'd use both hands to style his hair, but the only thing that ever looked good was the look of concern on his face as he did it.

Austin pulled up to the curb a few duplexes down from Sophie's. He kept the engine on, but clicked the radio off.

"I need my apartment key back," she said.

He shifted forward and rummaged through his center console, and Sophie saw the acne on his back. The clusters were red and resembled a rash. She wondered for a moment if they hurt.

Sophie held out her hand, but he threw the key through her open window onto the sidewalk instead.

"Thanks a lot, baldy," she said.

Austin's eyes shrunk half their size, which made his mouth go crooked and a heavy breath sound escape his lips. "Fuck you."

Sophie opened the door and peeled her thighs off his leather seat. She felt nothing but the sweaty sting. Austin's car sped off the curb and picked up speed down the street.

"No, fuck you," she said.

She picked up her key and smiled. TC mark

Eating Disorder Recovery: More Than Simply ‘Loving Your Body’

Posted: 28 Jul 2016 04:00 PM PDT

 Kira Ikonnikova
Kira Ikonnikova

I've been there. I lied awake at night planning my meals for the next day. I planned my schedule around when I would eat and how many calories it would cost me. I exercised and exercised until my joints hurt. I refused invites to spend time with my loving family and friends, because spending time with them would clearly interfere with my eating schedule.

I planned eating times as if I was my own pet. Worse, even. At least I actually feed my cat. I ran to the nearest mirror every time I ate, just so I could take another glance at my stomach in private. As if another 300 calories in my body would cause a visible weight gain.

I was a freshman in high school when it all started. Was I insecure? Maybe. Were my hormones completely out of whack? Most likely. Did I feel like I had to look like the girls in the magazines? I really don't know. What I do know, however, is that I was mentally sick. And this mental illness was causing me to become physically sick.

My knees ached. I couldn't fall asleep at night. My chest burned, and I lost my period. The scary part was, it never occurred to me that I could be jeopardizing my chances of ever having children. Not once. I didn't even think to get it checked by my doctor. It wasn't until I noticed my exponentially growing hair loss that I decided to turn to google. Google told me I had an eating disorder. Google.

Don't get me wrong, my family and friends looked out for me, but I think some people were too scared to ask. And some were in denial. I instantly cried. I finally truly saw what was staring back at me in the mirror. I told my parents I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I remember my dad hugging me every night as I thought, "What if I don't wake up in the morning?" I had read horror stories online.

Too many lives taken too quickly from something that can be fixed, prevented, cured. This is how I learned that recovering from an eating disorder is much more than simply loving your body. It's about being happy with your own life. It's about discovering your destiny.

The part everyone understands is that you must start eating again. You must stop denying your body of what it needs. I read an article online and someone said, "just eat again." They simply said, "do it." I thought it was ridiculous. I thought they didn't understand that it was so much easier said than done, but I knew I had a problem. I knew I needed that push. I needed to "just do it."

So I did. I began eating again. I would relapse. I would still stare at my stomach in the mirror. I would count calories, and I would isolate myself from the ones I loved. These things take time, but I pushed away the negative thoughts as much as I possibly could. I began to recover.
The part that most people don't understand is that you lose your identity when you develop an eating disorder. I lost who I was. It had caused me to become depressed, withdrawn, and mentally unstable. I didn't know what my hobbies were anymore.

All I did all day was count calories and use whatever energy I had to get through another day of school. Finding myself was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I had to learn to think abstractly again. I had to learn to love art all over again. I had to force myself to pick up a guitar. Activities that use to define me suddenly frightened me. I had to force myself to sit down and read books. I wasn't able to concentrate before because food consumed my thoughts.

Learning to love and appreciate my family, friends, hobbies, and nature again was such a long, strenuous, but ultimately, incredible journey.

I went to field hockey camp. I felt strong. I even ordered a milkshake. Ordering pasta at restaurants wasn't so scary anymore. I played my guitar and I started painting. I played music and I picked a college. My job at the movies became more exciting, and I felt happy with lazy Sunday afternoons with my family. I hiked, I swam, I fell in love. My new passion for living suddenly distracted me from my horrific thoughts regarding my body and calories. I learned that mental illness is stronger than I realized, and I developed a passion for helping others. It made me understand the world better.

I will not sugar coat recovery in any way. I did it, but it's in no means easy. I cried until my period returned over 2 years later. I laid restless at night wondering if I ate too much that day. Some nights, I wondered if I ate too little. I had to learn how to eat again. Talk about going back to being a kid.

It was so much more than simply accepting my curves. It was about loving my body, but even more so it was about loving my personality, my hobbies, my education, people, and my future.

So ignore the people that say, "that girl needs to eat a hamburger." They're just ignorant and uneducated. Forget about the people who view anorexia as a weakness. Trust me, you will become stronger and more compassionate after recovery than they ever will be. I hope whoever reads this takes away the idea that eating disorder recovery is so much more than loving your body. It's about finding yourself again and learning what you're passionate about. It's about rekindling relationships.

It's about taking every last drop of happiness out of this crazy life we make for ourselves. TC mark