Thought Catalog


Losing You Meant Finding Myself (So Thank You)

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 06:15 PM PDT

Mateus Lunardi Dutra
Mateus Lunardi Dutra

It wasn’t until I watched my ex finally move on from me that I realized how much I relied on him to fabricate my happiness. We had been fighting an uphill battle for awhile now and as much as we both knew it needed to end for good, we simply couldn’t. I took many things for granted that I assumed I would never have to live my life without and it took losing him to find what I have been looking for this whole time-myself.

“I cant figure out where I start because I always find my way back to you when I’m trying to find myself.” – Adrian Hendryx

For the majority of my life I have always known myself to be a profoundly independent and self-sufficient person. I genuinely enjoy doing things by myself and I don’t have a problem with being “alone”. Then I fell in love. Quickly, unexpectedly, head over heels, in love. I wasn’t looking for anything when I met him and I honestly think that is why it just felt so right. It felt real and that wasn’t something I had ever experienced before. You cannot go out looking for a connection, it just happens.

I discovered what it was like to let someone inside of my lonely heart and it was amazing.

One of the biggest realizations that he taught me is that I am worthy of love and I always had been. He came into my life to demolish the walls I had built up so high, manifest what I need to work on and emphasize what I’m good at. He loved all of my imperfect insecurities that I thought made me undesirable. Finally, someone had truly loved me for exactly who I am and I hadn’t even loved myself that way. Funny how that works.

I have learned that I am lovable, but it needed to start with me loving myself.

When I finally understood that I needed to close that door and leave it shut is when I realized that I cannot find myself in another person. This is a mistake among several others that I will never make again. I was forced to come to terms with the fact that the ending to my story would not include him anymore. When you go through life so sure of where you’re headed you might just wind up lost. But- it may end up being the good kind of lost because in the midst of the all the desperation and hopelessness you will finally find yourself again.

So although I have lost you, I have finally found me- thank you. TC mark

6 Steps To Protect All Men From Dating Feminists

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 05:15 PM PDT

Dave Hon
via Twitter

It's every man's worst nightmare: the date is going well. The girl is like a solid 8, the lighting is dimmed, the dinner was cooked to perfection. You've name dropped what company you've worked for at least three times (effortlessly) and she almost made eye contact with you when you spent 15 minutes explaining CrossFit to her. You're so getting laid.

But, oh. What's this? Did she just say something that could suggest she supports gender equality?

We all know feminism is an excuse for women to hate men. This guy posted about it on the internet, so it's gotta be true. So if your date mentions anything wild like wage gaps or consent, you know you're dealing with one of those crazy man-haters.

What, is she now going to tell you she doesn't wear bras too? Stop the madness, nipples make you uncomfortable.

1. Remind her of the facts. This one guy says he disagrees there's a wage gap. Did he analyze data or even talk to real life woman to get that answer? Hell no, he just watched a YouTube video. You sort of skimmed the comments section. Case closed.

2. Talk about how society actually fails men more. Brock Turner had a very promising swimming career. Maybe throw in the word "abortion" and let that sit and marinate for a while. Remember how from 1944 to 1950, only men were drafted? That's because of feminism.

3. Point out that women have a ton of privileges. They get free drinks at bars. Probably some other stuff too, you just can't sit there and come up with them all right now—but ~*~the boat goes both ways~*~.

4. Explain that sometimes feminists can be really, really mean. It's so unfair. And not just from your personal experience—show her a subreddit of all the men who support you in saying that women are only out to get your money and children. Because what else would women want other that those two things? A job? Equal pay? Rights?

5. Shrug and say it's really the feminists’ fault all women seem so miserable all the time. They're causing a rift! Marriages, the most important part of a woman's life and the only thing she lives for, are falling apart. Feminism is self-sabotage, and you, a man, will definitely not stand for it!

6. Write an article about how you will never date a feminist. Every woman across the internet is definitely wondering what type of woman you’re into—you’re a man from Missouri for goodness sake!—let ’em know! You’re not going to go after some educated woman who obviously had “a previous bad experience” that made her wonder why she wasn’t getting equal treatment or attention like her male counterparts. Stop drawing lines between us, women! It’s making romance hard! TC mark

5 ‘Anti-Empathy’ Traps That Are Blocking You From True Connection

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 04:15 PM PDT

Jean Gerber
Jean Gerber

Being seen and heard is one of my favorite experiences. There's nothing quite like that moment where you feel like someone is totally listening and making space for your feels. It's empathy in action.

My most treasured friendships have this feeling in abundance, but I recognize that empathy can be a scarce resource in many people's lives. Some people tell me that when they are having a rough time and need empathy the most, they're often greeted with anti-empathy. Like anti-matter destroys matter, anti-empathy obliterates the feelings of empathy that most of us want to experience.

Here are the five classic anti-empathy strategies.

1. Advice

It looks like: "You really should talk to HR about that right now." 

There's a time and place for advice: When someone requests it. Advice can be a wonderful and transformative thing when it's wanted. But when you tell someone about the crappy thing you're experiencing and they immediately tell you how to fix it, it usually doesn't land.

When we have big feelings about something, we need to have those feelings acknowledged before we're really open to strategies for how to shift things. Asking my favorite question my loved ones ask me can be a good start.

2. Comparison 

It looks like: "I totally understand what you must be going through with your grandmother's death. My dog died last year and I was so sad."

Don't get me wrong – animal death can be traumatic and is totally deserving of our grief. But grief experiences, and most other big feelings, are like snowflakes. They are unique. When we compare our experiences to someone else's, it can make them feel decidedly un-empathized with.

Even when the grief is shared, like you've both lost a parent or been fired from a job, the specifics are going to be different. Don't assume you know what someone else is feeling – ask and be gently curious instead.

3. Cure Evangelism 

It looks like: "Oh my God, Kate. Have you tried essential oils for your migraines?"

If I had a nickel for every time I heard this (or some variation of it), I would have a seriously annoying trip to the Coinstar machine on my agenda.

Cure evangelism is when someone champions a cure for someone's physical or mental health issue without much regard for what suggestions the person actually wants. It doesn't take into account that this person probably thinks a lot about their health issues and has probably considered this "cure" already.

It also tends to be a natural segue for the evangelist to launch into a story about their own experience, taking the focus away from the other person. Instead, be gently curious about what they've tried and when they've found helpful to manage their condition.

4. Cheering up

It looks like: "The best way to get over a disappointment like this is to go have fun. Let's go to this party!"

It's so tempting to want to brighten someone's day. But like advice, cheering up is only welcome when it's wanted. Sometimes we just want someone to make space for our feelings. We want it to be OK that we aren't OK.

So try empathy first, then ask if someone wants to be cheered up. Have those hilarious corgi GIFs cued up just in case.

5. Sympathy

It looks like: "I'm so sorry that happened to you. Oh, God I feel so bad."

Sympathy is the feeling of pity for someone else's crappy situation. It's when you feel sorry for someone or feel bad that they experienced something unfortunate.

I'd say sympathy is the least offensive of the anti-empathy strategies. But as with the others, it can take the focus off the anti-empathy recipient, and put it onto the giver – in this case, by emphasizing how the recipient's situation is making the giver feel (whether it's sadness, pity, or anger on someone else's behalf). With empathy, there's a deeper engagement with the person who needs it most.

~~~

With all of these anti-empathy strategies, there is a time and a place. These tactics are not "bad" – they're just not always helpful. And they're going to be a lot more welcome after empathy has happened, if they're welcome at all.

So sharpen your empathy skills and get good at asking permission before you employ anti-empathy. I promise your relationships will be stronger for it. TC mark

Why Our Generation’s Obsession With Hookup Culture Makes Me Want To Punch Myself In The Face

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 03:15 PM PDT

NickBulanovv
NickBulanovv

I am 23 years old and I absolutely hate the hookup culture our generation seems to be obsessed with. And sadly in some ways, I have given in to parts of it. I’m good at going to bars and getting free drinks. I’m good at sitting in a lonely bed swiping right and left on guys I will never meet. I’m good at stealing a kiss every now and then to boys who I will never see again. But I wake up every morning asking myself, “what the fuck is the point?”

I guess the point is immediate gratification. You get to feel high a few seconds when you get a match on your phone. You get to feel high when you catch the eye of a guy who will gladly buy you a glass of Pinot. And you get to feel high for a few minutes when you kiss a complete stranger.

But, I don’t want immediate gratification anymore. I don’t want to feel high for just a second. I don’t want to have a lead up to the beginning of something that will never last. I don’t want to have false hope anymore about a potential relationship that crumbles the second he says to me, ‘I just want to have fun. I don’t want anything serious’.

It is absolutely heartbreaking to think that some people believe this is how it should be. Or maybe they think that this is the only way to feel something. I know people are lonely. I know they crave something more than just a kiss from a stranger. I know we all want more than that.

Maybe we have all given in to it. Maybe we all have lost hope that things will ever change. But, I am so tired of trying so hard. I am tired of hooking up with people thinking that it will change their mind. I am tired of thinking that they will see me as something more than a body.

So, I am done. I have deleted my dating apps. I’m done trying to find love in overcrowded bars in the city. I’m done trying so hard. I’m done feeling let down.

I have hope for our generation. I have hope for love. I have hope for me. I know we are all smart enough to know that this is not how it’s supposed to be. I know we are all smart enough to see that this isn’t the end. And maybe it’s ok for some people to keep doing what they are doing. Maybe it’s ok for some people to find some gratification in their hookups.

You are all allowed to do what you want. You are allowed to do what makes you happy. But it doesn’t make me happy. And I think if you look deep inside of yourselves, it probably doesn’t do much for you either.

I’m not giving up on love. I’m just giving up on this culture that we have made to be the ‘norm’. I’m done trying so hard. I’m letting love come to me when I least expect it. I’m letting love do its thing, instead of trying to force something that will never be there.

I’m letting love take in charge. I’m letting life take charge. I’m not looking for anything that is instant. I’m not looking for anything that is temporary. I’m looking for forever. TC mark

There’s True Freedom In Falling, So Please Let Go

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 02:15 PM PDT

Derrick Freske
Derrick Freske

You're standing on the inside edge of the airplane, leaning out over the open door to see the houses and grassy fields and people milling about like ants. This is the moment, in skydiving, where they tell you to trust, where they tell you to have faith, where they tell you the reliability of man-made machines and experts and statistics and all the things you're supposed to have faith in, even though the ground is 1,000 feet below.

You're at the Skydeck ledge of the Chicago Sears Tower, clutching your best friend's hand and reaching your toe over to the glass-bottom viewing area that you know is reinforced by layers upon layers of thick glass, but you still can't quite pull your hand away.

You're staring into a man's eyes, a woman's eyes, the eyes of someone you've suddenly found yourself admiring a little too much, suddenly found your heart skipping a beat over, suddenly found yourself daydreaming about, thinking about a little too often.

These are the moments of adrenaline, of fear, of excitement, of dizziness.
These are the moments were we decide whether to cling to the familiar, or let go.

These are the moments where we realize there's freedom in embracing every fear then tossing each of them aside. These are the moments where we discover there's true freedom in falling.

And then we let go.

So often we're terrified of what will happen next. What will happen when we jump out of the airplane? What will happen when we let go of everything we know and trust? What will happen when we give into something dangerous and unfamiliar and scary and new? Will we survive?

These are natural fears we all face—the fear of change, the fear of getting hurt, the fear of failing, the fear of falling.

We're terrified of ending up face-down in the dirt with nothing to say for ourselves and nowhere to turn. We're terrified of becoming empty, with no strength left to get back up on our feet.

So we hide. So we give up. So we push things away that make us vulnerable. And in doing this, we slowly destroy ourselves.

See, the real freedom is in trusting, is in throwing our caution to the wind, is in embracing what we cannot plan or know or even understand, is in allowing ourselves to be vulnerable.

The real freedom is in letting go, letting go of every doubt, ever fear, every worry and embracing the moment. The moment of standing on the edge, the moment before pulling your hand away to walk fearlessly on your own, the moment before tilting your head to kiss that person you haven't stopped thinking about since the day you met them.

The true freedom is in falling.
So please, take a deep breath and let go. TC mark

5 Ways To Get More Out Of Your Workouts (So Hitting The Gym Feels Like Less Of A Chore)

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 01:45 PM PDT

Dominik Wycisło
Dominik Wycisło

Correct me if I'm wrong, but these days everyone is about maximizing their time and efficiency. So if I were to tell you there are a few ways to get more out of your workout to increase your fitness levels and weight loss ability – I'm sure you would be keen to find out more! Are you ready to take your workout to the next level?

1. Limit Distractions

How many times have you finished your set of BBG circuit at the gym and then picked up your phone, messaged a friend, checked your social pages or a combination of the above? I'm sure, we are ALL guilty of this at one point or another!

While you may be taking a much needed rest from your workout, generally the amount of time spent resting will be much larger when you allow those distractions to creep in. Not only can this be a massive time waster, but it also means that your attention is scattered and you might not be giving your all.

Depending on how you like to train, a typical workout will last 30-60 minutes. If you think about it, this is such a small amount of time and I'm sure you can last without checking your social media or replying to those non urgent texts. An easy way to ignore these unwanted distractions is to switch your phone to silent or "Do Not Disturb" and make your workout your priority. 100% focus can make ALL the difference when it comes to an okay workout and a great one!

2. Put Together An Epic Playlist

To me, there is NOTHING worse than working out in complete silence!

One of my biggest tips is to put together a decent playlist. This can literally make or break your motivation levels in your workout, especially if you are completing a tough circuit.

Make sure that you pick songs with a tempo appropriate for the type of training that you're going to do. For example, when I'm doing one of the resistance sessions from my Sweat with Kayla app, then I'll listen to upbeat songs that are going to inspire me to push through those tough circuits!

As well as helping you get through a tough workout, having music playing may also help you ignore distractions. You know the ones I'm talking about – the two girls having telling each other their life stories or the noisy weightlifters grunting like there is no tomorrow.

3. Use Active Rest Breaks

If you want more "bang for your buck" with your workouts, try swapping your passive rest breaks (such as sitting down) for active ones. Some of my favourite examples include skipping or holding a plank. Doing this can help keep your heart rate elevated and increase the number of calories burned during your workout.

In saying that, remember to have a sip of water and take a few big breaths if needed. If you are really struggling, don't feel bad about using your rest time for rest. Just make sure to keep it quick and stay off that phone!

4. Try Using Ankle Weights

If you're in a scenario when you don't have access to lots of equipment and are wanting to add a little bit of extra intensity to your workout, try incorporating using ankle weights! You'll be surprised how much harder your body has to work when you add a small amount of resistance. They are also a fun way to add resistance at home, without needing to buy bulky weights that take up heaps of room.

You can purchase my ankle weights here.

5. Train With A Friend

Training with a friend, especially someone who is of similar fitness level, can give you that little bit of extra motivation. There's nothing like a bit of a healthy competition, but alternatively they can also help to keep you accountable. Finding someone who is as serious about their health goals as you are will mean that they can push you when you are feeling weak or struggling to pump out those last few reps.

Let me stress how important it is to find someone who is willing to put in as much hard work as you. If they are one of those training partners that encourage you to take extra long breaks, or quit early, then they may not be the best fit to get the most out of your workout.

As you can see there are a few simple things you can do to get the most out of your workouts, but they can really make a huge difference (especially if you don't have a lot of time to spend exercising). TC mark

25 Thoughts Only People Who Completely Hate Their Jobs Will Understand

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 01:15 PM PDT

1. What could I do to not be here tomorrow? Oooo, I could get hit by a cab!

2. Prostitution isn't wrong. Is it?

3. I could always marry for money. I'd probably literally do anything.

4. I wonder if I could still donate my eggs for cash. Does it matter that I've become an alcoholic since I started working here?

5. I would say "Good morning to you, too!" but it worries me that "Fuck off. You're annoying me" might come out, instead.

6. Good thing I'm such a great liar. Just in case anyone asks if that was me crying in the bathroom before I took a three-hour lunch break to see my therapist.

7. Office Appreciation Day? I hope you choke on those cakes that look like sushi rolls.

8. I know I should be productive this weekend, but I'll probably just drink my face off to pretend Monday through Friday doesn’t exist. Again.

9. I could totes live off of unemployment. Hmm, who's the best person here to harass so I can get fired, like today?

10. Team outing? Seriously? Didn’t we just have one last year? Fuck!

11. Die, emails, ya stupid whore, die!

12. Mmm, Xanax.

13. Well, I'm glad I went to college for NOT this.

14. A promotion? I can’t. I’m allergic.

15. I'm convinced half this office is employed by the zoo.

16. How is it only 9:27 a.m.?

17. I avoid eye-contact for a reason here, people.

18. Wow, you actually care about this? I’m sorry.

19. Bob got fired? Who the hell is Bob? (Pretends to care.)

20. Damnnn. That Foot Fetish job on Craigslist was a scam? But that was my latest escape plan and they paid in cashhh!

21. I know that project was due Tuesday, assholes. Today is Tuesday. Ohhhh wait, you meant Tuesday of last week?

22. This meeting is stupid AF. I have to leave. I have so much work to do after this.

23. If only these fools knew what I was really doing for half the day.

24. Half-day Fridays sure would sound better if I had a soul to nurture. Unfortunately this job has killed it.

25. There has to be another option in life.

22 Generic Female Indian Names And What They Say About Her Personality

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 12:45 PM PDT

Ayyappa Giri
Ayyappa Giri

Tara

Almost always an English major, almost always a little overweight. Product of two snooty parents and more than one snooty live-in maid. Usually loses virginity in college, a little too willingly.

Smita / Smitha

A real tightass. If she is Smitha, she wears flowers in her hair right through University. Forget losing virginity, her boyfriend is not even allowed to hold hands till they are married. Wear white saree and lots of jewellery to bed in wedding night.

Kavita

Usually dark skinned, usually liberal, without fail the biggest slut in her college. Girls named Kavita usually help cricket team captains lose their virginity in college gyms and spend a lot of time protesting against governments. Parents support them till their fortieth birthday, after that usually parents die.

Deepika

Athletic, good looking, help mothers in kitchen and debate intelligently. They remain virgins through college, mostly because guys are too scared to f**k them.

Sanjana / Riaana / Rheeya

Even parents can't tell what their names mean. Usually belong to a household where the father does the dishes at night and mother participates in televised debates. Girls with these names usually dream of becoming TV anchors but end up working in call centres with a fake American accents.

Jyoti

Bright, enthusiastic. Uses lot of hand gestures while talking. Tells favourite movie is "Breakfast at Tiffany's "but in reality it is "Basic instinct" mostly because she daydreams about facing a police interrogation commando.

Latha

From South India, loves literature, loves beer and a good fuck. Hard to keep up with her voraciousness in bed. About 25 % of men with penile fractures have lovers named Latha.

Anita

Big boned, social studies major. Usually remains single through life and lives with more than one pet. Owns at least three dildos with fresh carrots in Fridge when she feels a little old school.

Barkha

Overweight with lot of attitude. Usually majors in journalism or gender studies in college and spends lot of time discovering the hidden sexism in songs, short stories and puppets. Likes a blue collar type guy for lay, invariably pays for sex.

Sarika

Hearbreakingly beautiful and knows it. Sets high standards in life and often surpasses them. Settles with nuclear physicists or captains of national cricket team or national award winning playwrights. Never has sex without planning. Flaunts a youthful waistline even in her forties. Last simple carbohydrate consumed was when mobile phones were not heard of.

Reena

Good looking in a girl next door way, guys love her because she is gullible. Drops out of college to support boyfriend's ambition to become fashion model. Needless to say the boyfriend never amounts to anything.

Nikita

Short hair, thin, can wear a training bra beneath her wedding dress. Often works in advertising industry and writes a screenplay before age forty.

Mohini

Most common name of girls who grow up to become dancers in bars. Often take a size 36 D and bigger. Often look at their ta-tas in mirror and compare themselves to Madhuri Dixit.

Reeta

Bengali, a little overweight but carries it well. Follows Football well enough to name Arsenal's five best midfielders apart from Thierry Henry. Likes Rock and Roll, has read Janice Joplin's autopsy report on some sleazy website. Can tell good weed from bad by the texture. Loves anal sex.

Neha / Sneha / Prachi

Nerd, grew up in a household with too many brothers who play football and join armed forces. Can have a two hour phone chat with girlfriend about waxing her intimates. Boyfriend gets to kiss and fool around a bit but often has to leave with blue balls.

Sonia

Cold, aloof and condescending. She refers to her husband as 'the man' and her child as ' the offspring'. Has been charting her ovulation cycle since age twenty. Husband often has to make appointment through email to have sex.

Seema

Big breasts, big rear. Wears tight clothes but is pretty shy. Works in IT companies, dreams up of a fling while abroad, experiments with female colleagues. TC mark

27 Calming Rituals You Should Try When Everything Is Going To Shit

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 12:15 PM PDT

missawbrey
missawbrey

1. Make a bunch of iced tea with fresh mint leaves. Just trust me, fresh mint is worth the splurge.

2. Floss. It’s like a massage for your gums.

3. Organize your bookshelves by color. All color-coded errythang.

4. Cut up a t-shirt. Show that side skin, baby. You know you got those cute bralettes for a reason.

5. Give yourself an at-home DIY facial. Like this one.

6. Watch a comedy special. You know who makes everything better? Hannibal Burress. John Mulaney. Ali Wong. Bo Burnham.

7. Work on your handstands or headstands until you get dizzy and need to lie down.

8. Find a farmer's market and get your produce for the week there. Eat a piece of fresh fruit every day for a week. And beyond that, try going sugarless for a week.

9. Get rid of all the random shit in your wallet, purse, and on your key ring.

10. Sort through the entire contents of your closet, donate shit, and then go thrifting for things you actually need (instead of just random junk you “want”).

11. Visit an animal shelter. Spend the day among the pups. Try not to adopt them all.

12. Make an old pair of jeans into a new distressed pair of jeans. You’ll need: kitchen scissors, a serrated knife, Google, and a slightly reckless spirit.

13. Take inventory of the entire contents of your fridge, and write down things you can make from your random-ass assortment of foods this week. Look up some recipes, and make yourself a meal plan using what you already have.

14. Find yourself a go-to affirmation, and repeat it to yourself 15 times whenever you commute.

15. Watch a very shitty reality TV show and judge everyone in the cast.

16. Then creep the people on said reality show and gain fashion and makeup insight from their Instagram because, hey, you're only human.

17. Find new music instead of listening to the same three monotonous playlists you've had on repeat. Make a bunch of new playlists that actually excite you.

18. Take a boxing class. Getting aggression out in a productive way? What a novel idea!

19. Talk shit on someone with one of your best friends. Catharsis. Getting aggression out in a not-so-productive way is good too.

20. Stop asking yourself for permission. This isn't necessarily a calming ritual, but it's a necessary for keeping it together when everything else feels like it's going up in smoke.

21. Make a fire and grill on top of it. Or if you don't have any means of stoking a fire, but you have a grill, maybe go that route. Buy some s'mores fixings and go to town.

22. Watch a YouTube tutorial about learning an instrument that you abandoned once upon a time.

23. Buy a beautiful potted plant or flower for your apartment. Actually water it every day.

24. Do three stretches every morning — the same three stretches. You can even pick three yoga poses. Try a butterfly stretch, child's pose, cobra pose, or downward dog.

25. Once a day, make a concerted effort to smile. It doesn't matter whether you're a smiley person, or you have ~resting bitch face~, just take the time and remind yourself to smile. Coaxing your lips upward really can improve your mood.

26. Write your friend across the country, or across the world. Don't even tell them you're writing them, just buy some stationery and stamps and send the letter.

27. Redecorate a wall in your apartment. Paint an accent wall, hang a tapestry, or do a mood board with framed quotes and images. TC mark

I’m Going To Love The Hell Out Of You

Posted: 17 Sep 2016 11:45 AM PDT

edric
edric

Oh she did a real number on you. I can tell every time you look at me. I can see it in your eyes when you pretend everything's OK. But everything's not OK. It hasn't been alright since she destroyed the pieces of your heart that made you feel like you were worth something. But because you think you need to be strong you won't let me in to see the real damage she caused.

But I'm me. She is her. We are two completely different people who have loved you in very different ways. While she looks at you as someone who was temporary. I look at you as my forever. So I'm not going to give up when it gets hard. I'm not going to be the person that will ever misuse your trust. She is who she is but she is not me.

I can see it in the way you say things a little too harsh sometimes. That you're not actually talking to me but the girl before. She has done things to you that I wish I could erase. She's put pain in your heart that I wish I could heal.

But also I don't want to change that. As crazy as it sounds, it's led you to me. It's hurt you but because of that hurt we've ended up right here. And I wouldn't change that for the world. Because without you, I'd never know what real love is.

Because this is love. This is what we've both been through heartbreak for.

The girl before me made you think that you weren't special. That you were like every other guy. That you were easily replaceable. But you're not. You are one of a kind. You are the puzzle piece that fits with me. And I'm so happy with you.

So that was her but this is me. I am going to be there in those dark hours when you just want to throw in the towel. I'm going to be the strength to get you back to you. I'm not going to quit on you or find someone better. Because you are the best for me. That was then but this is now. And now is so much better than then. Even if you still go back there and wonder what exactly you did wrong. Why it didn't work out. Know that I won't ever make you question us.

I can't promise you perfection but I can promise you something real. Something that won't feel like a chore. Something that won't make you feel like you're second. Because you'll always be my first. My first choice. My first priority. My first real love.

But you have to trust me. You have to fully give me your heart and know that I'm not going to break it. Just like I've given you mine. Just like my future is with you, you have to have faith that yours is with me.

Because I'm not going anywhere.

You're kinda stuck with me.

I'm never going to let you down. I'm not going to feel like I'm ever missing out on someone else. I'm not going to turn my back on you and tell you to kick rocks. I'm going to love everything about you that she made you feel like was unlovable.

Because she is definitely her but I am me.

And I'm going to love the fuck out of you. TC mark