Thought Catalog

For The Girl Who Doesn’t Know Her Worth

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Maria Panayiotou
Maria Panayiotou

I have seen your forgiving heart.
I have seen your grace.

I have seen you be selfless so many times, giving all your love to the ones closest to you, and even to strangers. I have seen you smile on your worst days, and find the strength to keep on giving, even when you can barely lift your head.

You are incredibly beautiful, inside and out, never giving up on the ones you love, even when you’re exhausted by the world.

I watch you, day after day, pick up the chipped pieces of yourself and stick them together with a tape that's barely strong enough to get you through the next night.

Yet you continue.

You give your heart to people who don't see your beauty through the brokenness. You console and comfort friends who do not understand the power of your care, your forgiveness.

You surround yourself with people that you need to fix, with people that you must work to love. But even when you fall into your bed at the end of each night, you don't see what an incredible difference you've made.

You think that you deserve the cold words, the turned faces. You think you deserve friends that pull away and men who don't love you back.

You somehow turn everything back to yourself, and wonder if you'll ever be good enough.

Well you are good enough.
You're more than enough.

I wish I could tell you that you are noticed. That the wonderful, little ways you brighten people's lives are important. Are valued. I wish I could tell you that your eyes sparkle and bring life to ones' whose days feel dull and empty. That your smile lifts people from their anger. That your laugh makes those around you want to close their eyes and lean their heads back to bask in the sweet sound.

I wish I could tell you that God has made you perfect, just as you are—a fighter, a sinner, a flawed and broken and beautiful warrior of love.

I wish I could tell you to keep loving, even when the world looks the other way.

I wish I could tell you that sometimes you give your heart to people who don't deserve it, in love or in friendship, and it becomes a hard lesson learned.

I wish I could tell you that you must never accept a half-love, a love that is nowhere near the amount you give.

I wish I could tell you that you are a blessing to so many people.
And that you need to bless yourself sometimes.

I wish I could tell you that life will be so hard, but you must keep on living. That you must find reasons to celebrate, to pull strength, to stay pure, even when people hurt you.

I wish I could tell you that you will face so much pain, but you cannot let it break you. You must find a way to see yourself, your worth, and know that you are an important part of this world.

I wish I could tell you that you matter.
And you are loved. TC mark

You Tried To Mess Me Up But You Didn’t Know I Thrive In Chaos

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 04:00 PM PDT

 Jeff Isy
Jeff Isy

You didn't know that my mind was already a mess and it didn't have room for your words, and your opinions didn't occupy any space.

You didn't know that my heart was already crumbled and it didn't really feel a thing when you tried to smash it.

You didn't know that my body was already twisted and your touch didn't move me the way you think it did.

You didn't know that my eyes were already perplexed when you looked at me and they didn't only see you – they were swimming in a sea of their own confusion.

You didn't know that my soul was connected to a thousand different things and wasn't looking for one person or one home to settle in.

You didn't know that I'm messier than your mess. That your mess is order to me.

You didn't know that I thrive in chaos, you didn't know that chaos is all I know. You tried to mess me up but you got lost in all the mess you found and you realized that messy people are not be messed with because they can survive and because they know how to find harmony in turmoil.

You tried to turn my world upside down but you didn't know that I had already hit rock bottom a few times and I know how to turn my world around.

You didn't know that you can't wreck someone who's already wrecked and you didn't know that some people find solace in wreckage and they find peace.

You wanted to leave a stain on my heart but you didn't know that I'm full of pigments, colors and shades that will wash away any stain you ever try to leave. You didn't know that you can't blend in with my colors.

You wanted to leave me alone in the dark but you didn't know that darkness is my own light, I see everything in the dark and it doesn't scare me. You didn't know that when everybody gets lost in the dark, I find myself.

You wanted me to cry over you but you didn't know that my river has already dried up and the tears don't flow from my eyes anymore.

You tried to break me into pieces but you didn't know that my edges could cut you and you didn't know that when you try to make a mess of chaos, it will only leave you with ruins.

You didn't know that those who thrive in chaos also thrive on damage. TC mark

Forgetting Is Easy, Letting Go Is Harder

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 03:00 PM PDT

 Daryn Bartlett
Daryn Bartlett

When people tend to move past their relationships they usually do it the other way around. Letting go comes first, then forgetting comes next. But here's the sad truth:

Forgetting is easy. Letting go is harder.

Forgetting is easy — And though we always say we remember every single thing about them. And though we always say we see them in any places we go. And though we always say we hear them in every stranger we speak to. And though we always say we feel them in every hand we've slipped in… arms we've clung to… lips we've kissed; forgetting is easy. Because you don't really forget, well not at all.

You just keep on remembering and remembering and remembering all those pieces that still visit your mind. You just keep on remembering and remembering all those memories that still float within your heart.

You just keep on remembering everything until you lose every single bit of them in all the new places you'll go to, all the new people you'll speak with, and everything in between.

Which is why forgetting is easy — Because you never really did force it to happen. They will stay with you until you slowly lose them in the process of letting go.

Letting go is harder.  We've come up to this belief that ending things also means overcoming this stage. We've convinced ourselves that that's it. We've already jumped off a massive step and that the following pain that will haunt us afterwards would solely rely on remembering and forgetting them all at once. But here's the sad truth:

Forgetting is easy. Letting go is harder.

Because ending a relationship or setting someone free does not totally mean you’ve finally let them go. That's just you trying to convince yourself that you're actually moving on when in fact you're not. Because how does one really let go of someone that easily? Here lies the very problem, you never really let go, well not at all.

Which is why letting go is harder. Because the truth is there will always be a part of you that still thinks you will end up together. You still hold on to your idea of how things will turn out if only things did work out. You still keep on romanticizing that things will change. For the better. For the best.

You protect that tiny little string which somehow still connects you to her, to him. Because you never really let go. It's not that easy.

And while people often mistake moving on to the idea of letting go first, then forgetting comes next. It's actually the other way around.

Because it's only when you finally forget, that you've truly let them go. TC mark

There’s A Reason Why You Love Who You Love

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Drew Wilson
Drew Wilson

Have you ever stopped to consider the possibility that when it comes to romance, there is an actual formula behind who you find yourself attracted to? You may consciously be aware that you prefer a mate who is funny, intelligent, physically appealing, or ambitious, but what if I were to tell you that there is so much more to this formula – and the majority of it is hidden deep in your psyche.

In actuality, there are numerous ingredients that go into determining who sparks our interest and who we pick as partners. Love, attraction and pheromones are certainly key components, but there are countless others that dictate the choices we make. Exploring this subject matter has always fascinated me and over the past several years I have tenaciously focused on solving this mystery.

For example, consider Barbara's predicament. A beautiful and lively woman, she was left by her husband several years ago after he revealed his involvement with another woman. Her husband was a demanding guy with many acute narcissistic qualities that other's regularly noticed. But to her, it didn't resonate. She was devastated when he left. Is it simply an accident that today she is involved with a man that is even more narcissistic than her ex?

My client Rita is sharp and savvy, yet she continually struggles to make sense of her marriage. She and her husband argue better than they get along, and both are experts at pushing each other's buttons. She is often frustrated and angry at her circumstances. She is also oblivious to the multi-layered dynamics that are at play between them, which contribute to their problematic relationship.

Time and again I encounter really smart women and men who find themselves in complicated dating patterns, difficult relationships, and disastrous divorces. And most are completely unaware that there are actual circumstances that merged together which lead them right smack into these unfortunate situations.

There are many coincidences in life, but few coincidences in love. You might have met your mate by chance, but there is a reason you chose him/her among others, and there are other reasons yet that determined the trajectory of your relationship. Through my research I discovered that from the beginning of life, countless little nuances merged together to influence our dating, romance and breakup behaviors. In order to explore these crucial factors I created a revolutionary exercise called "creating your personal love map." From the moment you were born, your personal love map was formed. As you grow, this informative map accumulates data that is unique to you, and deciphering the massive chunk of information will help you both understand and deeply enhance your romantic relationships.

A love map examines four aspects from your earlier life that influenced the formation of your personality and the creation of your self-worth. A love map forces you to ask yourself a host of questions and enables you to engage in self reflection.

Biological – What part has genetics played in the development of your personality?

Cultural – What part has society, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic class, and the culture in which you were raised played in the development of your personality

Social – Self-reflect on how your self-esteem was formed vis a vis how you were perceived or perceived yourself as a child through young adulthood.

Psychological – How you were raised and how you "attached" to your parents has enormous influence on how you.

Through evaluating and understanding these fundamentals, you will be able to have a much clearer picture of your relationship motivation and behavior, and you'll be more proficient in conducting a fuller assessment of your partner's or ex's motivation and behavior. Decoding this information is a critical component in the creation of emotional intelligence and relationship proficiency.

Love mapping will enable you to discover intriguing knowledge about yourself. Some particulars may emerge that may surprisingly show you how strong and emotionally healthy you actually are. Others may surface that will enable you to identify and then break any dysfunctional dating or relationship patterns you may have. Identifying this information and pledging to modifications will allow you to go forward engaging in healthier relationships in all areas of your life. TC mark

You Didn’t Have To Play Me

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 01:00 PM PDT

Damian Borja
Damian Borja

You didn’t have to play me. Nobody said you had to be looking for a relationship, or wanting to date someone. Nobody came in with judgments, or wanting to shame you for having sex. You could’ve told me you were looking for a hookup, a quick thrill — it would’ve been fine. You could’ve been honest about that.

You didn’t have to pretend to want to be something more. You didn’t have to offer to call me, or take me out on dates. You didn’t have to pretend to be interested in my life, or the minutia of my day.

You didn’t have to look me in my eyes and tell me that I was beautiful. You didn’t have to give me soft smiles, and invite me into your life. You could have told me what you wanted. It would have been okay.

You didn’t have to keep me as a pawn in your game, week after week, month after month. You just didn’t have to.

You didn’t have to keep doing this just to get sex out of me.

But you did.

And then you cast me aside, like a piece of garbage. You ignore my texts, and my snaps, and my tweets. You put me behind you, finding some other more beautiful, or more cool, human to give you their attention and their body.

So you forget about me, and I try to forget about you.

And, months later, you didn’t have to try to slide back into my life. You didn’t have to pretend to want to be friends. You didn’t have to invite me to get coffee, and try to apologize. You could’ve just left me alone. You could’ve just let me heal.

But you didn’t.

And so you slid back into my DMs, and back into my life. You wanted to fuck my body and then my mind. You only text me at 1:00am, until I stopped responding.

You didn’t have to treat me this way. It didn’t have to end this way.

But it did. TC mark

All The Things You Should Have By 25

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 12:00 PM PDT


You should have the ability to recognize when your fear is disguising itself as ‘good judgment.’ When your brain is trying to convince you that it’s a smart idea to not apply for that job, or move to that city, or go on that trip, or to sign up for that extracurricular activity after work – when in reality, you’re just subconsciously afraid of failing, or being judged, or being rejected.

You should have the ability to tune in carefully to your thoughts, to your stream of consciousness, and to figure out the difference between a rational, well thought-out decision, and a decision that’s simply made out of fear.

You should have the knowledge that fear never goes away, that there will never be a point in which you’re not scared. You should hold on to the understanding that no soul on this earth – not the most successful business mogul in the world nor the most beloved celebrity that comes to mind – is free of doubt, free of judgment, free of the fear of failure. You should clutch onto the notion that every person you know (or know of) is just as uncertain and scared and doubtful as you are. But that what separates the doers from the people on the sidelines is just that – the ability to do and to keep doing, the resilience to keep showing up, in spite of how terrified they are.

You should have the mindset of running to things, instead of away from others. It was a lesson I learned at twenty-two, when I word-vomitted on the phone every night to my dad about how miserable I was at my job and how badly I wanted to leave. One night I’d say, “Maybe I’ll just quit and move to California.” The next night it would be, “Should I just go back to school and try to figure something else out?” And each time he’d say, “You should quit your job when you know, or have a very strong inclination, of where you want to go next. But don’t quit tomorrow just to get away from it. Run somewhere, not away from something.”

You should have the capacity to be both hard on yourself and loving towards yourself. To expect no less than the best of yourself every day, but to also be able to forgive yourself when you’ve screwed up, to go easy on yourself when you’ve had a bad day. You should be kind to yourself, and gentle and understanding and supportive – while still getting out of bed every day and reminding yourself that you’ll never get better at anything without a little sweat, a little blood, a few tears.

You should have the freeing realization that the quality of your friends truly matters more than the quantity. It’s a hard transition to make at first, especially after coming out of college – where it often felt like you were making a new friend every five seconds. But by this age you should understand that there are people you talk about ‘doing drinks’ with seven times without it ever happening, and then there are people who show up to your place within ten minutes and hang out with you in pajamas and see you ugly-cry and make you feel more understood and more heard and more seen than most other people you’ve ever met.

You should have the desire to nurture and care for these friendships, to know which ones are worth your time and energy, to give to each of these people as much as they give to you. To be there for them when they need you, knowing that it’s a never-ending process – that someday soon, maybe in three days or five months or two years, that you’ll be on the receiving end of this love, that you’ll be the one who desperately needs the encouragement and warmth, until it’s their turn all over again, because this is adulthood and bad things happen and that’s the way life works.

You should have the belief that there is no right way to do this, no specific timeline that your twenties must follow. That as long as you’re working hard, challenging yourself, fostering your relationships, and walking through your life awake, that you’re doing your twenties right. Some people you know will travel. Some will focus on their careers. Some will get married, some will have kids. Some will stay single, some will date around. Some will reside in the same town they grew up in, some will move across the world. None of these choices are right, none of these choices are wrong. What they are is a series of milestones on an infinite number of life paths. One of them is yours. Go on. TC mark

Date Someone Who Doesn’t Fuck Around About How They Feel

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 11:00 AM PDT

Twenty20, Mate
Twenty20, Mate

I don't want someone who vaguely asks me to hang out without defining what the hell that means. I want someone who bluntly tells me they want to take me out on a romantic date where we'll talk about our feelings and then feel each other up.

I don't want someone who pretends they don't give a shit about me to gain the upper hand. I want someone who admits that they can't stop thinking about me and that they had a naughty dream about me the night before.

I don't want someone who hesitates to call me, because of society's damn three-day rule. I want someone who will text me at any time of day or night, because they can't stand the thought of being away from me for more than a few hours.

I don't want someone who pretends they're fine when they're actually pissed off at me. I want someone who will scream at me until we work out the situation and can grow from it.

I don't want someone who will laugh at me behind my back, because they're afraid of being labeled as "whipped." I want someone who will brag to their friends about the time we went apple picking and then baked a pie in the kitchen, even if it'll make them seem less manly somehow.

I don't want someone who will push me away, because they’re scared of being in a real relationship. I want someone who will be open with me about their fears, and agree to work on them alongside me.

I don't want someone who flees the room whenever they get upset. I want someone who will cry on my shoulder, and let me see every tear that drops from their eye.

I don't want someone who hides their past from me, because they're scared I'll judge them. I want someone who will tell me awkward stories about their exes, so I can understand why they have the baggage that they have.

I don't want someone who fucks me without letting their gaze leave my chest. I want someone who will look me in the eyes while they thrust and will tell me how much they love me in between moans.

I don't want someone who pretends to be perfect. I want someone who will let me see their flaws, no matter how embarrassed they are over them.

I don't want someone who uses cliché lines on me that they’ve heard in a million different movies. I want someone who speaks from the heart, even if it comes across as corny or pretentious.

I don't want someone who kisses me in place of telling me they love me. I want someone who says those three little words, even if a group of people are around to hear it.

I don't want someone who sends me mixed signals, because they think it's a necessary part of the dating game. I want someone who tells me how they feel when they're feeling it, no exceptions.

I don't want someone who just nods along when I tell them about my day. I want someone who enjoys hearing me talk about what’s going on in my life, because they actually give a shit about me.

I don't want someone who pretends that life is all sunshine and roses, even when they're falling apart. I want someone who exposes me to the darkest parts of their mind, so I can help show them the light again. TC mark

16 Women On The Piece Of Advice That Finally Got Them To Walk Away From A Bad Relationship

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 10:00 AM PDT

Sophia Sinclair
Sophia Sinclair

1. “You’ve become a shell of yourself since you started dating him and if you stay with him that’s going to be your life.”

–Amy, 27

2. “How can you not see that if he’s already lied to you once he’s just gonna keep lying to you?”

–Frances, 25

3. “You’ve cried more since you started dating him than you have in the last five years. That’s not normal.”

–Lace, 24

4. “There’s no way to be absolutely sure about him, but there should be something in your gut that gives you some sort of inclination. And if you don’t have that, I’d walk away, now.”

–Claire, 28

5. “He should make you feel even more sure about yourself and all he’s done is make you feel more insecure. That’s not right.”

–Trina, 27 

6. “Take a break from him, give yourself some space. If you really think in a few months from now that you made a mistake, he’ll still be there. If he’s not, he wasn’t right for you anyway.”

–Krystin, 26

7. “Maybe now it doesn’t feel like settling for him, but in like 10 years when everything’s a lot more complicated with kids and bills and stuff, it’s gonna feel a lot more like settling if you’re not with the right partner. And I really don’t think he’s that guy.”

–Candyce, 25

8. “Smiling and laughing should be a lot easier and a lot more natural than it seems to be between you two.”

–Kate, 23

9. “Not a single one of your family members or friends has a good vibe about him. Doesn’t that tell you something?”

–Alyssa, 30

10. “It’s like he’s sucking all of this energy and joy out of you, and a partner that you love should be adding that to your life, not taking it away.”

–Lynn, 28

11. “Doubts and worries are normal and they happen in every couple, but yours only seem to be multiplying with no sign of stopping. Imagine how many more of those you’ll have even in a month or two from now.”

–Carey, 24

12. “It sounds like you apologize to him every time you need to talk about something emotional or vulnerable. Apologizing for having feelings sounds like a pretty bad sign to me.”

–Tara, 27

13. “If he’s not the first person you think of when you’re having a really hard day and need to talk to someone, I don’t know what you’re doing with him.”

–Lenny, 28

14. “I don’t trust him. Dad doesn’t trust him, Mom doesn’t trust him. And you don’t trust him. Run.”

–Hannah, 26

15. “Please, for the sake of everyone who wants you to be happy, don’t be with him.”

–Dana, 29

16. “You are a light to everybody around you, except when you’re with him. You’re a completely different person with him, and not in a good way. It’s like he takes your whole spark away. And it makes [your friends] all really sad. And frustrated. You’re so much better without him.”

–Madyson, 25 TC mark

12 Ways To Enjoy A ‘Friends With Benefits’ Relationship (Without Ever Getting Attached)

Posted: 04 Jul 2016 09:00 AM PDT

Joel Sossa
Joel Sossa

1. Lay the ground rules out up front and make sure you both agree on them.

Don't coyly play it out and see how it goes. If all you want is a FWB relationship, then that's what you're agreeing to. No one likes getting hurt, so if FWB isn't something you think you're capable of because you get attached too easily, don't put yourself in that situation. It isn't worth it and it isn't for everyone. But you need mutual agreements from the start if you want it will work out.

2. Be careful who you choose your FWB relationship with.

Obviously don't go for someone who you know has feelings for you, or you get a slight clue that they have feelings for you. And don’t agree to be FWB with someone you have feelings for. That's surely going to lead you to trouble. Go for someone who might be more open about sexuality so it doesn't seem like he could easily be attached and hope it could lead to a relationship down the line. Men might not seem like they want relationships, but they are just better at hiding their feelings.

3. Your FWB shouldn't be involved in your social life.

He should only be there when you need him, sexually. Don't invite him over to dinner with your roommates, don't make plans with him on a Tuesday afternoon. FWB are meant to be in your life for a short period of time, don't extend the invite and bring them into your social life because then you start making memories and it's easier for feelings to start developing.

4. Don't show pictures or messages from your FWB to your friends.

You don't want your friends to start saying things like, "aw, he's so cute." No, that's not what you want to hear because even if you think so yourself it makes it worse when they start asking questions and giving you their input on him and the situation. Keep the relationships as distant as possible.

5. Only have sex with your FWB.

Keep your relationship to the bedroom, or the car, or wherever it is you hook up. Don't think you should switch it up and go get dinner, that’s a bad idea. You honestly want to know as little about them as possible to keep the emotional level of your relationship to a minimum. Keep it purely physical.

6. Do not sleep over.

Sleeping over just makes things more awkward. After sex cuddling or laughing or touching hands or whatever it is you do after sex is for relationships. Not your FWB. Kick him out or you leave his place because all that other stuff is going to start making you become attached. Plus leaving after sex eliminates the awkward morning walk of shames and you get to sleep in your own bed, so that's a win right there.

7. Don't read into his messages.

I swear, don't do it. If he gives you a compliment don't run and tell your friends what he said. Simply let your eyes skim the words and let it go. You can't cling to compliments because he is just being polite; he isn't saying he wants to date you. Don't twist his sentences and dissect his words because men are generally not very deep humans. Plus you agreed to no feelings or attachments so he definitely isn’t doing it to try to win you over.

8. You don't have to always be there at the flip of a switch.

If you don't feel like hooking up one night, then you don't have to. That's the thing with a FWB it supposed to be for both of your pleasure and fun so if you can't be bothered one night, you don't have to agree.

9. Don't get mad if he's out with another girl.

This is crucial. You are not dating, he is not your boyfriend and he is not cheating on you. You are friends with benefits. You are solely sleeping together. You can date other people too, in fact I almost encourage it so you keep your feelings away from your FWB.

10. Don't stalk him on social media.

Seriously, don't. Don't scroll through his tweets hoping that maybe he subtweeted something nice about you and what you did last night. Don't stalk his Instagram pictures and Snapchat story to see who he's with and what he's doing. Again, he isn't your boyfriend. He has his own life outside sex with you, so let the man do his thing.

11. Communication is key.

If something is up you have to tell them, no matter how awkward it might seem. You agreed to certain boundaries from the start and you have to be open about them. If you want to try something new, talk about it. FWB is the key time to experiment because you should be comfortable with each other and judgment shouldn't be a thing.

12. If you start developing feelings because you just can't control them you have to stop and you have to end the FWB relationship.

You can't make feelings disappear especially if you're regularly sleeping with the person. You have to tell them and you have to separate yourself because you don't want your feelings to get any stronger, especially if he doesn’t reciprocate the feelings. It’s best to move on because you made your relationship clear from the start. TC mark