Thought Catalog


The Girl Who Is Always Single Won’t Be Easy To Love, But She Will Be Worth It

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 08:00 PM PDT

@zubeyda.ismailova
@zubeyda.ismailova

She might be hard to read at first because she is unsure of you, but bare with her.

There are days she might blow up your phone and days she might not reply to your texts. There are days she will want to be cradled in your arms and days she doesn't want you to touch her. There are highs and lows, there are mixed signals and there are endless worries running through her mind because she's the girl who's used to being on her own.

She wants to allow herself to commit and open up to you, but part of her questions whether or not you will leave. She is used to being on her own so the last thing she wants is to allow herself to open up, to become comfortable and vulnerable to have you walk away.

She knows what it feels like to have someone walk out on her, she knows what it feels like to have someone turn their back when things get hard, she knows what leaving feels like because she's felt it one too many times.

Loving the girl who's always single can be a challenge at first, she's built her walls up because they've become here home and her comfort. She hasn't built a home out of anyone but herself because she's learned that the only person who will always be there for her is her.

She's spent a lot of time investing in herself, investing in creating her own happiness and investing in her own hobbies that allowing you into her life is scary.

It's scary because for so long she's been used to doing things on her own. When she has an itch on her back she's the one to scratch it. When she needs something from the top of the shelf she's the one who stands on a chair to get it.

She's mastered living on her own for herself, but you coming into her life would completely flip her world and that's scary.

She's probably thought about love for a while, but the idea always seemed so far out of reach. She probably thought that love wasn't in her deck of cards, but then you came along and it's scaring the hell out of her. Because as much as she wants you in her life, the only thing that scares her more than you leaving is you staying. She can handle leaving, she's mastered the art of picking herself back up and moving on, but she doesn't know what she'd do if you actually stayed.

She's become so comfortable on her own that the thought of you scratching her back or the thought of you reaching for the top shelf makes her a little uneasy because as much as she mastered it on her own, once you come in and start doing those things for her she won’t want you to stop. After she becomes comfortable with you in her life she won't want you to leave and that's the hardest thing for her to grasp.

The girl who's always single knows how to be single and she knows how to deal with getting back up on her own, but she doesn't know how to deal with you staying.

Bear with her because the girl who is always single will love the hell out of you, but it just might take her a little more time to get comfortable with you.

She will love the way you're so tall you don't need a stool to stand on, she will love how you scratch her back, she will love making you morning coffee, she will love you giving her a hand in the kitchen, she will love you sleeping by her side. She will love every second she has with you because once the perpetually single girl gets comfortable with you, she will open her heart to you and let you in, so please don't abuse that.

Falling for someone she gave her heart to and having him leave after she opened up would destroy her, so please be kind.

She might not be easy to love at first, but I can promise you she will be worth it once you peel back the walls she's built around her and you prove you're in this for the long haul.

She will make it all worth it. TC mark

The Truth About ‘Almost Relationships’ (Because I’ve Had More Than A Few)

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Pexels
Pexels

As someone who dates a lot but never actually ends up in a relationship, I often come across what I like to refer to as the "almost relationship." This happens when you meet someone and there is intrigue and attraction. You can tell this isn't going to be a one-date deal. You start to get into a routine. You talk almost every day and see each other a few times a week. It definitely seems like it's leading to something and then after a few weeks or a couple of months, it starts to fade. Plenty of times nothing is actually said to end the "almost relationship." You just start to talk less and less.

I am the first to admit that the majority of the times my "almost boyfriends" have turned into someone that I used to know (try reading that without singing, I dare you) is because of me. A huge part of it is my insane fear of commitment. I always think I want to be in a relationship and I genuinely don't want to wind up alone for the rest of my life, but the second I see things starting to get serious, I put an end to it. I'll usually find something about the guy that I don't like. Something that I just cannot put up with so clearly I have to put an end to this whole thing before it gets serious. Most of the time it's a completely superficial thing. It's just my way of ending things before they get into territory that scares me.

Twice I have found myself on the other end, and the second time came last night. Let me just say that it's a horrible feeling. It's not so much losing the person. Sure I liked the guy but three weeks is a short amount of time. I'll easily be able to get over him and move on. The worst part of these "almost relationships" ending is the way it makes you feel. This person is just getting to know you. They've only seen the preview of you and have already decided that they've had enough and need to back away as fast as possible. That is a really shitty feeling. It doesn't matter how nice the guy is about it and whatever reason he gives, you will wake up feeling like assballs. At least, assballs is what I felt like this morning when I woke up.

Coming to terms with the ending of an "almost relationship" is never fun but having been on both sides, I have learned a few things. When someone ends something with you before it even starts, you're going to feel like it's all your fault. Clearly there is something wrong with you. And here's the thing, a part of it is you. This person did decide that they don't want to be with you. But it doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you.

Overall, it is all about the other person. There can a million reasons that someone decides they don't want to be in a relationship. There are plenty of guys I've let go that were great guys and would make great boyfriends. They just weren't right with me. Actually, I've had to deal with the regret of ending an "almost relationship" prematurely. There is one boy in particular who I always regret ending things with. And there is nothing I can do about it now because he's in a relationship with someone else. See how that works. He was the one who probably felt crappy at the end of our relationship and now he's doing fine and I'm pining away.

For anyone dealing with end of an "almost relationship," I know it sucks. It's a major blow to your ego and you're going to need a few days to wallow and feel sad. Do it. Complain to your friends all you want. But remember that you're going to move on very quickly. This person wasn't in your life long enough to even make a dent. Moving on will be easy. And you have to realize that there is nothing wrong with you. Think of all the people that you came across, lovely people, who you realized that you didn't want to be with. We're not going to want to date every person we meet. There'd be no fun and excitement if that were the case. One day you're going to find yourself in an "almost relationship" that will seamlessly flow into an actual relationship. It may just take a little longer than you hoped for. At least, I know it's taking a lot longer for me. TC mark

I Love You, But It’s Time To Close This Chapter In My Life

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Manik Rathee
Manik Rathee

I thought I was prepared to see you again. It's been about a month since I've seen you last and that was a train wreck in itself. It's been a few months since we've spoken and that ended up with me in tears.

The girls and I were relaxed, having a few drinks and dancing to the music. I didn't even see you first, I saw your friend, and I knew that it was just moments until I saw you, or that you were alerted that I was around.

Then it happened.

I saw you on the other side of the bar. Though it was a quick look because I didn't want you to notice me looking at you. I instantly thought you looked cute and my friends quickly tried to think of things to say to distract me from those thoughts. Next thing we know you're not even three feet from our table, and we knew that was on purpose.

You did a great job of proving your point that you've moved on and that you're happy being the single guy. Minus the fact you were caught staring over at me umpteenth times, though I was guilty of glancing at you as well. Though you caught me a few times and it made my heart race, while your facial expression didn't change.

I couldn't take watching you flirt with other girls so I left though, but I waited a few moments outside for my friends. You walked right past me without batting an eyelash and that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks.

You really just don't care about me at all anymore, and I've really been fooling myself all this time thinking anything could ever be different.

The girls found me and I broke down crying because I didn't think it'd actually come to this. I thought I was ready to see you but I guess I was wrong.

I didn't want to face the reality of the situation, which is that you've moved on and I'm just a distant memory in your life. I've been fooling myself thinking that I've moved on as well and that seeing you would be a piece of cake.

It's time for a blunt reality check in my life, and if I put it in writing maybe it'll finally stick with my stubborn heart.

So here's what I need to remind myself when I start missing you, wondering what you're doing and why we couldn't continue on how we were before everything went downhill.

I deserve someone who isn't afraid to commit to me, and open themselves up to the opportunity to be loved, and that doesn't put the idea of getting hurt in the forefront.

I deserve someone who won't make me feel like a terrible person for caring about him or her. I deserve the love that I am always trying to give out. I don't deserve to hear endless excuses, and then be ignored until I’, lonely. I don't deserve to cry myself to sleep some nights because my heart and head are in a constant battle.

I won't settle for mediocre love, for one-night stands or friends with benefits. I am worth so much more, and if I can't stand up for myself and believe that then how can I expect someone else to do that for me in return?

So here's a final goodbye, at least for now. I can't force myself to stop loving you, just like I can't force you to love me. I can't control my feelings and I'll have to learn how to deal with it in a productive way.

As much as I don't want to, I have to close this chapter in my life. I have to move forward and see what comes next, because if I keep rereading the same chapter of my life, it's never going to change and I'm going to be stuck in the same sorry situation, which I don't deserve. TC mark

When I’m With You, Everything Is Okay

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Twenty20, marn123424
Twenty20, marn123424

When I’m with you, my guard is down. You’ve caused the bricks in my ice castle to crumble. Even the sharpest edges became tender at your fingertips. You’ve calmed the raging seas within me.

You told me to look at you, to trust you, and to believe that everything would be okay. You reminded me that it’s okay to not have it all together, and that it’s okay to not always seem collected, even though I believed I had zero room for fuck-ups. You told me I was beautiful, but more than that, you made it your personal endeavor to show me the way that you saw me.

Some people spend days, months, years, trying to understand me. But you? You just get me. We do silly things, like put on your old timey music and slow dance around the living room while laughing. You bring ice cream over to my place, even though you’re not a huge fan of desserts. But you still buy them, because you know I love them.

We can stand in front of the bathroom sink debating over the length of my bangs and argue about silly things like which shoes go best with your black jeans. There are days where we try to do our work, but we get distracted and end up watching silly videos or just lying around doing absolutely nothing. Sometimes, we behave like actual adults, getting everything we need to do done, and other times we behave like children.

You teach me new things everyday and everyday, I find out new things about you. You taught me how to throw a punch in self-defense, even though you knew I’d end up using you as target practice. You taught me the correct way to cross the road (look left, look right, look left again) and how to cut veggies and fruits the right way so I wouldn’t end up chopping off my fingers.

We can sit in the same spot for two hours and have conversations that count. We can talk about what we’re afraid of, what makes each other tick, and how much we mean to each other. We can talk about topics that actually matter, instead of just engaging in superficial chatter.

We make lame jokes so often that all our friends just shake their heads and roll their eyes, accepting the fact that we have become a collateral unit. You respect my opinions, and I yours, but you give me the best advice, because you only want what’s best for me.

You always say that I'm drifting off and don’t listen to you, and today, mid-conversation, I did drift off for a bit. I looked at you and realized I've never felt this way or been this sure about anyone.

When I’m with you, I feel like we can take on the world. When I’m with you, I feel like I’m home. TC mark

50 Stupidly Simple Ways To Tell He’s Not Looking For Something Serious

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 04:00 PM PDT

@marcobertoliphotography
@marcobertoliphotography

1. Your contact in his phone is saved as anything that is not your proper name. For example, Susan Bar Redhead.

2. He says he’s moving in the next two months (somewhere far away).

3. He texts you at 3 am, “U up?”

4. He texts you, “Netflix and chill?”

5. He doesn’t do what he says he’s going to do. Simple things like, “I’m going to take you to this really good Thai restaurant.”

6. His tinder profile says Active a few hours ago.

7. He only wants to hangout at night.

8. He tries to have sex with you every time you hangout, even the times you say you’re ‘not in the mood.’

9. He hasn’t introduced you to his friends.

10. He hasn’t introduced you to his family.

11. He doesn’t ask you about any of your hobbies or interests.

12. He’s on his phone for half of your first date.

13. He tells you he likes to have open relationships.

14. He talks about other girls he’s ‘seeing.’

15. He pretends like you two aren’t dating when he’s with his friends.

16. He asks how long it normally takes for you to sleep with someone.

17. He gets annoyed when you don’t sleep with him on the first couple of dates.

18. He nudges you out the morning after the first time you sleep with him, saying something like, “Oh, I have a meeting for work at 9,” and it’s Saturday.

19. He gets obnoxiously intoxicated almost every time you hangout.

20. He blatantly tells you he isn’t looking for something serious.

21. He doesn’t remember important things you tell him about yourself and your life, like your job/profession, or how your dog died yesterday.

22. You two only hangout when he makes the plans. (He usually says he can’t make it when you try to plan something).

23. He calls you drunk all the time, and rarely ever calls you when he’s sober.

24. He only invites you over to smoke with him.

25. He’s already married or in a serious relationship.

26. He answers your texts 3 days later.

27. He talks about his ex constantly (more a sign he’s just not ready for something serious).

28. He avoids the, ‘so what are we?‘ conversation.

29. He’s been on bumble in the last two days.

30. He tells you he likes to keep things casual.

31. He tells you to meet him somewhere and never shows up.

32. He doesn’t ask to see you again after your first date.

33. He calls you the wrong name in conversation.

34. He repetitively cancels plans.

35. He becomes suddenly distant with communication early on in the (almost) relationship.

36. He has his read receipts on and is blatantly ignoring you.

37. You share way more details about your life than he does about his.

38. He constantly uses work as an excuse not to hangout with you. We’re all busy, but you make time for the people who matter.

39. He only wants to hangout when alcohol is involved.

40. You run into him while you’re out and he pretends not to see you (even if you made distinct eye contact).

41. He calls you babe within the first 2 dates (because he doesn’t want to mix up your name with the other 3 girls he’s seeing).

42. He never pays for you even if he asked you out on the date and picked the restaurant.

43. He makes excuses not to see you.

44. He barely looks at you when you’re talking, or he’s staring at your boobs the entire date.

45. He emails you instead of texting even though he has your phone number.

46. He says he’s not marriage material.

47. He is still in college, or acts like he is still in college.

48. He doesn’t seem to care about your problems when you ask for help, or advice, or just need to vent.

49. You feel like you’re annoying him.

50. You’re wondering why he hasn’t made an effort to see or speak to you.

You deserve to be with someone who loves you the way you want to be loved, go find them! TC mark

6 Effective Ways To Soothe Your Soul When You Are Struggling

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Jérémie Crémer
Jérémie Crémer

Anxiety, stress, and depression, amongst other psychological effects, are common side effects of what many perceive to be an intensifying and complex world. Many of us have to deal with obstacles of our own, of our loved ones, or of the outside world.

A ton of 'millennials' are struggling as they transition into the 'real world' after finishing their college programs, often with huge bills racked up from taking out student loans.

Some young folks are also becoming parents, sometimes on their own, and are experiencing difficulties in trying to support a new family after barely learning how to support themselves.

Many professionals experience work stress that comes in different forms, including feeling overworked, underpaid or, in the worst case, experiencing workplace harassment and discrimination.

People of color and from the LGBT community might be experiencing heightened sensitivity and prejudices in a continuously tense socio-political climate… and the severity of daily struggles only increases as you leave the 'Western' world and enter 'developing' countries.

 The list of potential stressors, trials and tribulations goes on…

Even if someone might not have many personal struggles, for many, just turning on the news these days can cause a lot of personal grief, stress, and fear.

In any case, many of us are faced with stress in some way, shape or form, and in the years that I've studied Psychology (for both university and as a hobby), I learned about a handful of effective tools and methods that are essential for coping with stress. I've also come to understand how beneficial it can be for everyone to build some emotional intelligence to better enable themselves to keep calm in times of crisis.

Similarly to other life skills, like networking and navigating relationships, a lot of young adults don't learn these skills in school and can end up grappling with the growing pains and hardships later in life as a result of being ill equipped. So, in attempts to help others 'Keep Calm and Carry On', I've compiled some of the most helpful tips and resources for how to cope when the going gets tough:

1. Breathe

As simple as it may sound, it's important to remember to breathe properly. One of the symptoms and causes of an anxiety attack is hyperventilating – and it can quickly become a chronic habit if it's not fixed. A helpful way to ensure that you take a deep, healthy breath is to practice 'belly breathing'.

2. Don’t let yourself burn out in anger (or drown in sorrow)

While it's healthy to practice empathy for the pain of others, or to allow yourself to experience your genuine emotions when personally upset, it's only good to do in moderation. Try to give yourself a five minute 'catharsis' limit to get your frustrations out of your system, then separate yourself from the stressful situation, detaching from the unpleasant feelings linked to them.

Dwelling for too long will only increase your stress and could potentially negatively impact your relationships with others around you if it's an on-going problem. 

3. Practice 'positive psychology' – Mindfulness, Gratefulness, and Positive Affirmations

Stay focused on you in the present moment, when you are ready, and center yourself. Peacefully work out in your mind what situations make you stressed and why. Be aware of your response to the source of pressure. Try understanding the importance of what you are worrying about and find positive ways to calm yourself when you are feeling apprehensive. Take time to reflect, genuinely, on the positive things going on in your life after processing the negative.

Think of the amazing life experiences you had – whether it's reminiscing about travel or pleasant moments from childhood/adolescence. Consider how meaningful your relationships are; be grateful for your loved ones or even the kind strangers that may cross your path. Reflect on simple pleasures – you can even make plans to go out and enjoy them!

Use positive language and thoughts, acting as your own source of inspiration. Some studies show that using affirmations can boost your mood over time if consistently repeated. Some examples of empowering affirmations to repeat may include:

– I accept life's ups and downs

 – Obstacles do not define me, but how I approach and overcome them does

 – I grant myself calmness, positivity and gratitude

Applications like Momentum and social media outlets like Pinterest and Tumblr are also loaded with all kinds of inspirational quotes that can also help implement a positive narrative into your everyday life. Think of it as a subtle form of encouragement. 

4. Express yourself – Confide in a loved one, Journal or Create Art

Sometimes simply talking it out with someone you trust really helps. This can be to someone you have a close, intimate relationship with. Alternatively, if you don't feel comfortable talking to a friend about personal struggles and stress, there are a ton of regionally available therapists and support groups available and ready to help. In severe situations, hotline numbers/live chats (i.e. the national suicide hotline or Samaritans) is another alternative, which is available 24/7.

If talking about it is too difficult, try writing about it or channelling your emotions through some type of artistic outlet. Sometimes singing your heart out, dancing or drawing/painting can produce the same type of emotional release as verbally expressing hardships. 

5. Stay focused and organized

Sometimes when we are bombarded with a constant stream of information or other distractions, it is easy to lose sight of your own priorities and goals. It's important to never lose sight your purpose, commitments, and interests. Some tools enable the average person to keep these things efficiently organized so that our minds are a bit less cluttered. Some great tools include Google Keep and Momentum.

Make sure to always be true to your own priorities, avoiding distractions, procrastination or “spreading yourself too thin” to your best ability.

6. Get educated on Mental Health… and help others

Unfortunately, to this present day, mental illness carries a high stigma. However, Axis I disorders such as depression and anxiety are incredibly common (found in one of four people). If you haven't already taken up an intro to Psychology class in university, it might be a good idea to read up on some topics online, using reputable sources like the American Psychological Association. If you're really committed, you can skim the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) to understand a plethora of mental illnesses.

In getting educated about mental health and stress management, it's helpful to get familiar with resources for proactively getting help. If counseling is too costly or uncomfortable, like with anything, there is an app for that.

If a friend or family member is suffering from mental illness or other difficulties, resources like Active Minds can help as well – they provide educational materials and helpful hints of how to support a struggling companion.

Sometimes the world gets so intense, it can naturally make you want to retract into a child-like state, if not throwing a fit of rage. But, as the expression goes, 'life is tough, but so are you'. TC mark

Date A Girl Who Will Love You Too Much

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 02:19 PM PDT

Natalie Allen
Natalie Allen

Date a girl who loves too much because she’ll never settle for just ‘okay‘ love, she’ll want a love that’s life-changing, a love that invigorates the both of you, and when you’re with her you’ll know she’s found it.

Date a girl who loves too much
because you’ll never have to wonder, you’ll never have to dance around defining conversations, and you’ll never have to fear taking chances. Her love allows you to take leaps you’d never imagine taking. Her love eliminates fear, it allows you to enjoy the feeling of falling.

Date a girl who loves too much because love for her is not excessive. The girl who loves too much doesn’t measure love, she doesn’t see love as something that comes in amounts or quantity, she sees love in a different way, she sees love in many ways. She sees it in friendship, in romance, in family, she sees love in others, strangers and acquaintances. She sees love in places other people don’t, and the love she sees around her she wants to give back. That is where her love comes from, she loves ‘too much‘ because she sees love in so many places.

Date a girl who loves too much because love is something she’s not afraid to give. She won’t love with hesitation in fear of who will leave the other first. She’ll love you in this moment, and she’ll love you as though you’ll be in the next. She’ll love you like you’re going to stay.

Date a girl who loves too much because her love restores hope, because when you think you’ll never find someone to love you the way you deserve to be loved, she will prove you wrong. She will give you more than you deserve.

Date a girl who loves too much because she doesn’t have expectations. She knows what she wants and what she needs, and she loves you ‘too much’ because she appreciates the person that you are and the love that you show her, and if she didn’t, she would give her love to someone else. The girl who loves too much doesn’t expect you to love her, she only gives her love to people that do.

Date a girl who loves too much because she’ll love every part of you. Her love won’t falter when you’re vulnerable, when you show her the parts of yourself you never wanted her to see. Her love makes you feel comfortable, comfortable enough to break down your walls with no regret once they’ve all fallen. She’ll cherish your most vulnerable moments, and you’ll be happy that you shared them with her.

Date a girl who loves too much because you’ll feel her love when you need to feel it the most. She knows when you need it, and nothing gets in her way when you do.

Date a girl who loves too much because she’ll show you it’s okay to feel. She won’t refute your emotions, she’ll encourage them. She’ll make you feel a love that’s real. She’ll open your heart to a love you thought you weren’t capable of feeling.

Date a girl who loves too much because her love won’t ever feel empty. You’ll feel sincerity in every touch, every laugh and smile, every moment will feel full. Every ‘I love you,’ will feel as real as the first. TC mark

9 Things Every Strong Woman Wishes Her Boyfriend Understood About Her

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 02:15 PM PDT

Grace Chung
Grace Chung

1. She doesn't want you to confuse her independence for a desire to be alone.

Her independence is something she cherishes, and wants you to cherish as well. She's not trying to be distant or push you away, she just wants to maintain the part of her life that is hers. You two share a life together, but every moment won't be shared with each other. She wants you to understand that.

2. There will be times when she will need your help, and want your help.

She is strong, but she can't do everything, not on her own. No one can, and she knows that. She wants you to understand that even though her independence is obvious, help is something she will need and something she is not afraid to accept.

3. Her decisions are hers to make, you won't force her to do anything.

When you think she's only doing something because you want her to, she's not. She might not enthusiastically enjoy every single thing you do together, but her decisions are just that, hers. She makes them, and she understands what comes from them. She will do things to make you happy, but she does them because she wants to, because seeing you happy makes her happy.

4. She's not making room for you in her life, you just fit into it.

A strong woman doesn't make room for someone she loves, because the people she loves are the people who just fit. She knows love can be messy and complicated, but she also knows that while love itself can be difficult, a person should not be difficult to love. Her love for you is easy, she loves you easily.

5. She appreciates everything you do for her.

Pride doesn't phase her gratitude. She's never too proud or independent to be thankful for all that you do, even the little things. Every time you take her dog out because she's too tired, she appreciates it; every time you put her wet clothes in the dryer when she forgets, she appreciates it; every time you tell her you love her after a hard day of work, she appreciates it. She appreciates you, and everything you do.

6. She admires your success.

She doesn't resent your accomplishments, and she doesn't compare them to hers. Success is something she wants for you as much as she wants it for herself. She doesn't want to be better than you, she wants the both of you to become better together.

7. She knows her weaknesses, but she has difficulty letting you see them.

She is willing to admit to the things she knows she isn’t good at, she just hopes you won’t judge her for them. She shows her strength willingly, and while her weaknesses aren’t something she keeps hidden very well, they’re something she continuously works on.

8. Even when she's busy, she still loves you.

When she's not there to say good night because she’s at work until 11 pm, she still loves you. When she has problems with family or friends that make her emotionally unavailable, she still loves you. When she is moving through life so fast she can barely catch her breath, she still loves you.

9. Even strong women are vulnerable.

Strong women cry, they regret, they wonder, they imagine. Their strength doesn’t make them incapable of feeling. They’re human, and they have their vulnerable moments. TC mark

You Have The Right To Remain Single

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 02:00 PM PDT

Chirobocea Nicu
Chirobocea Nicu

We live in a culture obsessed with the fairytale.

I’m aware that this isn’t a life-changing revelation and that most of us have come to terms with this phenomenon in some way or another, and before we dive too far into this, let me be perfectly clear: No, this isn’t going to turn into a diatribe about the damage Disney has done to young girls everywhere by convincing them they deserve a One Great Love with a Prince Charming and a Happily Ever After. I’m actually all for Disney and their lovely tales of captivating characters who sing their way into our hearts, and believe their charm adds some soothing balm to the state of the human soul if we take it at its intended purpose, which I see as to entertain and inspire and transport us for a brief moment in time.

I think the fairytale has an important place in child development (and, um, adult optimism) and serves a lovely, whimsical intention of bringing happy-ending stories to life and giving us hope in all the right things: in wonder & community & family & connection & adventure & self-exploration & love. Most of us are well aware that life was never promised to be a blissful, coming-up-roses occasion at every twist and turn, but it’s sure nice to have stories of love and strength and the belief in the resilience of the human heart to give us a hope for humanity and our own little lives, isn’t it?  I'm not naïve enough to be claiming that our lives will follow fairytale trajectories; please don't misunderstand me. I'm simply saying, a little hope and idealism never hurt anyone.

So yes, then – I support fairytales. I believe in love, and hold out hope that people can learn to dig deeply enough within their souls and allow themselves the heart-wrenching, glorious struggle of true self-realization to set aside their insecurities of what others will think and learn to live authentically, chasing whatever passions serve as the ships they sail in their wildest dreams. What these tales of finding love and fulfillment don’t show us, however, are the other side; the aftermath of the honeymoon stage, the day-to-day reality of doing life with another person and putting the words “through thick and thin” through every test in the book. This is the second part of the story, and it is ours to write from our own points of view; ours to narrate and re-narrate how we see fit; a glorious unfolding of romance & heartache that lies at the center of our burning world.

Like I said, I was always a fairytale-chaser. I sought after the ideal relationship; the perfect-for-me guy who set my soul on fire and just “got” me; who treated me with the utmost compassion and respect and made me laugh till my stomach hurt and wanted to sign up for a life of unparalleled adventures with me, only me. I was raised by wonderful parents who instilled a healthy self-concept within me at a young age, and I believe my own security in my sense of self and the fact that I genuinely liked who I was and what I had to offer further cemented the truth in my mind that I would absolutely never settle for someone who did not stack up to my version of an ideal guy.

Yes, I was the girl who made a list of everything she wanted and believed God would one day give me my him, undoubtedly, and I wouldn’t waver in my knowledge that I’d found my person. I knew he had to be incredible and beautiful and completely set apart in my eyes, and that it would all just be and look and feel that much different. I was resolute in my belief that this would happen for me; that my life would include a great love, a passionate love far surpassing any of the impostors I waltzed through along the way. I believed, somehow, that I was different; that my story would be indelibly, uniquely ideal. I believed I deserved a love that was rare.

And so, armed with this idealistic, sky-chasing affirmation of the soul, I set out into the world of dating – and made a blustering, dramatic, chaotic mess of it all. Not exactly what you thought I’d say, right? But alas, it was the sad truth. I spent my 20s dating randomly, almost blindly, stumbling into relationships as though they were unforseen shelters into which I bumped while bumbling around in a blackout blizzard and decided I might as well stay for a bit while attempting to get my bearings and face the wildness of nature again.

I put little thought into why I chose many of my short-lived boyfriends and it was not until years later that I realized I’d adopted quite an alarming pattern: I had assigned myself the script of the girl who never wanted anything serious and played hearts as though it were a numbers game, all silliness and fun, and so I subconsciously dated people with whom I knew I was in no danger of ever truly falling in love. Sounds ridiculous, I know, but it aligns perfectly with my commitment-averse mentality, for it would always be easier to lose someone to whom I was never fully attached or committed.

In my heart of hearts, I knew these boys weren’t My Guy, that Mr. Everything for whom I’d told myself I would eternally wait, so I approached dating the way one approaches drinking wine: with a mind open to dabbling in different options, compiling a short-list of what seemed to work for me, and adhering to a consistent favorite for a time now and then with the assurance that I could always be persuaded to change my mind should I find something else that better suited my palette. I had not, at this point, fallen completely enamored with a certain cabernet. That day had yet to arrive.

Looking back, I can clearly see how naive and immature my logic was, if I can be said to have displayed any logic at all; how underdeveloped my relationship was with myself, which was the one to which I should have spent those windstrewn years attending. I am eternally grateful that I made no drastic or permanent decisions and was protected in that sense, but I do wish I'd prevented myself and others from unnecessary heartache by doing more soul-searching and discovering what the purpose of dating and relationships really meant to me rather than choosing to keep at least one datable option around at all times as a distraction from the uncertainty of how to go about starting to get to know myself on a deeper level and the fear of not liking everything I discovered once I did.

But you know what they say about hindsight, and about youth being wasted on the young, and about living and learning, and all those other clichés that we adopt to validate our behavior…and such is life. We simply must do the best we can and hopefully learn to one day reflect on the past that it might help us as we play out our futures.

I often think about how various people are put into our lives for a reason; how long after our paths divert, memories of times with them or words they said linger on and impact us in indelible ways. A few years ago, when I was living in Upstate NY and experiencing a late-20s identity crisis and was wildly unhappy rather frequently, someone spoke these words into my life that have stayed with me in a very poignant way (and come out of my own mouth not infrequently in the past year as well, as I’ve begun practicing as a psychotherapist and have wonderful, soul-searching clients into whom I desire above all else to impart hope and confidence and self-love):

"You know, it's okay if you're not done being single. Relationships can be wonderful, but if you're not quite ready to be in one, don’t force it. There's nothing wrong with that. One of the best pieces of advice I can give to young adults is to listen to your heart and know what’s right for you, and if you’re not done being single, that’s okay. You’re allowed to feel that way for as long as you want.”

And with those words, the squeaky windows of my soul began to pry themselves open bit by bit and allow some sunlight to start to stream through into the darkest of corners. It was not an overnight epiphany, but rather the start of a gradual realization that continued to bloom over the years as I came to terms with the empowering truth that I could, in fact, serve as the defining author of my own life and choose exactly how I wanted my story to unfold. I began to understand that while there still very well might be a prince & a storybook romance – that my life could absolutely contain those magical, whimsical elements that the little girl within me believed she deserved and thought she would still want one day – that I had every right to determine when and how my little heart was prepared to let another in, and that nobody could write that plot twist for me.

Until then, how glorious, how utterly freeing, was the privilege of dictating the status of my own heart & my own unfettered steps, and allowing myself to say that I was simply not done being one; that I had more sky-sailing and universe-discovering and me-shaping to do entirely on my own, for so long as my pair of wings so desired – and that was a splendid thing to finally come to fully comprehend.

And yes, if you're wondering, I allowed myself the luxury of doing just that, and stayed simply me until I felt the genuine desire to have another trail of foot prints link their steps to mine.

And he was more than worth the prince-believing wait. TC mark

Here’s Why We Need To Trust In The Magic Of God’s Perfect Timing

Posted: 14 Sep 2016 01:00 PM PDT

ethermoon
ethermoon

I have always questioned the truth and reality of "God's perfect timing," but what I've realized is that His timing is exactly that—His timing.

And we must trust it.

One day we will all meet a person who could instantly change our mind regarding how things work in this world and let us believe that 'timing' could be exceptional, how it could always happen for the greater good.

And despite of the countless days that we thought we were never enough for the people who left us without any explanation, it was truly because someone was getting ready to take over and show how we deserve to be loved.

Somewhere along the way, someone will teach us how patience and a leap of faith could lead to better and brighter beginnings, how we shouldn't keep our walls up too long and high because something good is coming. Eventually, we have to learn how to accept people because not everyone is meant to hurt us, some are still meant to love and take care of us; some are meant to hold our hands and utter words such as "I'm glad I found you" or "I am never letting you go".

They may come at the least expected time or maybe we've already met them. Maybe it was the stranger who sat right across us for hours in a coffee shop or a person whom we said sorry to while rushing on a sidewalk.

Wherever and whatever circumstance we may encounter them, keep in mind that it happened for a particular reason. And over the long haul, we would be amazed how things unknowingly worked right for us.

So, regardless of how unpleasant the past was, we just need to find the littlest piece of courage we've got to trust the magic of perfect tim_bing. Though it was deteriorated through time, it will always be the best source of hope we have to fully understand the purpose of why people come, and why people go. TC mark