Thought Catalog

Thought Catalog


I Know What I Want (And What I Want Is You)

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Mateus Lunardi Dutra
Mateus Lunardi Dutra

I want to be with you.

I want to stop chasing you. I'm sick of this Ross and Rachel will they won't they shit. I want you to turn around and say, 'That's enough now.' And I want you to hold your hand out for me to take so we can walk forward together from now on. I want to walk that road with you.

I want to feel your breath tickle my body. I want to run my fingers down the curve of your face and feel the stubble on your jaw.

I want to start and every day like that.

I want to go through phases with you. I want to go through the honeymoon stage with you and I want to get comfortable and spend recovering silences with you. I want you to be there to celebrate accomplishments and hold me through rejections. I want you to be the one to make fun of my shitty old hair cuts and to tell me you like me in that particular shade of pink.

I want to arrive at parties with you. I want to exchange glances in the language only we know that say 'Let's go home, I've had enough of everyone but you.' And I want to leave with you and hold your hand as we walk up the driveway to the car.

I want to see the streetlights highlight your cheekbones as we drive through quiet night time roads. I will see your face and fall even more in love with you.

I want to watch you watching the way home.

And, I'll be honest; I want to fuck. I want to feel your weight on me and under me. I want to lose the definition of me and you and get lost in the hot and sweaty mess of us. When I'm standing fully dressed by our bed, I want you to look at me like I'm already naked, make me vulnerable and quivering. I want to you to tease me. Nothing turns me on like the friction of your hips on mine. I want to fall into a deep and comfortable sleep with your arm over my chest, exhausted because we couldn't stop until our physical stamina ran out.

I want to be with you. I want to stop chasing you.

I want you to stop seeing her and come back to me.

Please. TC mark

How To Make Him Chase You

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Sophia Sinclair
Sophia Sinclair

If you can't get a guy to chase you, you won't succeed in today's dating world.

Like it or not, the chase isn't just something men enjoy. It's something coded to their DNA, fundamental to building and keeping attraction.

But before we all start ranting about how messed up that is, let's be honest. You love the chase, too. If a nice guy walked right up to you and served himself to you on a silver relationship platter, you'd be bored out of your brain cells.

It's coded into all of us. A law of the universe. That which has true value, requires work.

If someone walks up to your door and offers you a million dollars, you don't get excited.

If someone claiming to be Channing Tatum messages asking you out, you're not wondering when the date is.

And if an overseas 'investor' emails you about a rich prince's fortune you’ve just inherited, you don't start planning how to spend your share.

You just think "What's the catch?"

Everything obeys the law: That which has true value, requires work.

A man wants to chase.

He wants to feel like he's the only guy in the world that could have won you. That it was his unique blend of charm and charisma. It's how he feels secure that you won't totter off to the next guy with a hint of basic suave.

And if you're honest, you want to chase, too. You want to know he wasn't just looking for a relationship with anyone – that it was you, and only you – who turned his swinging bachelor ways into a committed partner. That's how you can feel secure with him.

Ok. So chasing is important. Now, how do you get the guy to do that?

I could give you tricks to spark his interest. I could show you how to passively fake disinterest.

And it will work. He'll chase you.

But it’ll be temporary. He'll chase you until he's got you, before he realizes it was all a fa├žade – that you're not really the high value woman you made out to be. He’ll tire and leave as that reality sinks in.

Instead, this is how to do it for real. It might be a little harder, but it'll be permanent.

Here's how – without playing hard to get – you can get a guy to chase you for all the right reasons.

Build a high-quality, exciting life.

Here's the deal.

You can ignore everything else I write in this article if you get this right.

Men chase and commit to women whose world they want to become a part of.

It's that simple.

The more passionate you are, the more exciting your world, and the more you are embracing the wonderful thing that is life, the more you can throw the dating textbooks out the window. Men will chase you, without you ever doing anything.

Almost every piece of good dating advice comes back to personal growth – and this one is the jewel in the crown.

Any woman can generate physical attraction and have a man want to sleep with her.

But the high-quality woman that men chase endlessly knows her real attraction isn't physical. She works on herself and builds a life she loves, rather than focusing on how she looks or how men perceive her. In doing so, she radiates the confidence of a woman who of a woman who knows any man would be lucky to join her as a boyfriend.

If you want to consistently have high-quality men chasing you – push your comfort zone, confront your fears, and build the high-quality life you dream of. It's a rare woman who does that, and men know it.

Don't stop being single.

A lot of single women are in a hurry not to be single.

It's ironic that, as a dating coach, much of my time is spent teaching women NOT to jump into commitment.

Being single is the most empowering phase of your life.

When you're single, you can work on yourself, without interference. You have time to build your dreams. But most importantly – you can still choose your Mr. Right – the biggest decision you will ever make, period.

Women in a hurry to stop being single push for commitment – sometimes in just a couple of dates – with the first decent guy they find themselves attracted to. Not only do they give up the empowerment of being single, without adequate information, to a virtual stranger, they've now engineered a situation where they're doing all the chasing.

The guy asks himself, "Why would a woman who has built a high-quality, exciting life be so keen to escape it?"

His answer follows the law. That, which has true value, takes work.

In other words: "She wouldn't."

Men instinctively know women who are hard to get out of single life are women worth chasing.

This isn't playing hard to get. This is just being so damn happy in the life you've built that you don't want to leave it for a guy you don't know well.

Raise your standards for love.

Critics often tell me, "By telling women to stay single, you're telling them to go against their feelings for a man, which is the definition of playing games."

If your feelings are telling you to commit after a very short time, then those feelings are not in your best interest. Emotional maturity means knowing when your emotions are leading you astray.

But you don't have to change the feelings; just raise your standards.

We don't know a person in two dates. We barely know them in five.

Don't ignore your feelings. Just accept that they're not serving you in the long-term goal of finding the right partner, and raise your standards. Raise the amount you need to know about a guy and the investment you require before you consider him 'boyfriend material'

When you raise your standards, you're taking a 'wait and see' approach. You're saying that, no matter who he is and how many fireworks are going off inside you, the value and opportunity of being single won’t be sacrificed for a man you hardly know.

You're waiting for him to prove himself – to do more than the basics most women expect before you see him as ‘boyfriend material’. He'll be surprised by your emotional maturity and self-worth, and he'll chase.

Don't give him boyfriend benefits if he's not your boyfriend.

Contrary to popular belief, men love being in relationships.

They love the companionship. They love having an empathetic supporter after a bad day. They love the safety and security of knowing you're not out there playing the field.

But there's a saying. "Why buy the cow if you can have the milk for free?"

It's true.

But most people relate it to sex. It has nothing to do with sex.

If you think sex is the best thing you have to offer, you’re underestimating how much men love relationships.

What I'm talking about is much more important to men, and much more valuable.

It’s the comfort of your emotional support, as his girlfriend, when he needs it.

It’s the security of knowing you aren't seeing other guys.

It’s the excitement of you sending him some cheeky photos when he wants them.

And it’s the safety of knowing you're aren't getting wild on your Friday nights without him.

These are the real benefits of being in a relationship. Security. Intimacy. Comfort. And men know it.

Men love relationships because of the benefits they provide, and they'll chase hard to get them. Give these benefits away for free and you'll wind up being used for them.

Judge him only on his actions towards you.

Many women chase men who have done absolutely nothing to earn it.

(For the love of God, don’t get me started on The Bachelor.)

Don't get me wrong; these men are usually attractive. They're rich or they're successful or they have abs. General attractiveness is a good start. Worthy of a flirt – certainly.

But it's his actions towards you that make him worthy of chasing.

If you want high-quality men to chase you, judge them relative to their actions towards you.

If he's a tall, handsome doctor, who doesn't respond to your text message, then he's a tall, handsome doctor, who isn't worth chasing – period.

Too many women see the general attractiveness of guys like this and aren't willing to drop them on their asses the way they would ordinary guys. They judge his attractiveness irrespective of his effort.

If you want a high-quality man to chase, your attraction to him should be directly proportional to his effort towards you, no matter how tall, dark, handsome or wealthy he is.

Be willing to walk if he drops the ball.

Remember that high-quality, exciting life you built?

If you want to get chased, uphold your standards to the point you're willing to go back to it, even if you like a guy.

Not to say it wouldn't pain you to do so, but your self-respect, ultimately, always comes first.

When you put your standards and your self-respect first, something magical happens. You filter into your life men who abide by them, respect you for them, and make a life's work of living up to them.

And you filter out guys who can’t manipulate you into doing things their way.

Believe me. Men can sense this stuff.

Even if he's that tall, attractive doctor, who put in the work to chase you and win you, he should still feel deep down that if he were to ever cheat on you, abuse you, mistreat you, or otherwise take advantage of you, you'd be willing to walk back to your gifted single life.

It sounds easier than it is. Could you do it?

If you can, then you've found the secret to getting a guy to chase you.

Build a life you love. Raise your standards. Judge him on his efforts directly and don't give him boyfriend benefits he hasn’t earned. Ultimately, men chase quality women, who set themselves apart in every aspect of their lives.

Be that women, and you’ll never have to play hard to get again. TC mark

30 Fun Questions To Ask On A First Date That Start Conversation And Keep It Going

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Thought.is
Thought.is

1. If you could invite five people, dead or alive, to a dinner party, who would you choose and why?

2. When you were little, where did you think you'd be by now? Are you there?

3. What was the last dream you had?

4. If you could start a band, what kind would it be and would you name it?

5. Were Ross and Rachel on a break?

6. What was the first album you bought, and why did you buy it?

7. It's your 75th birthday. Where do you see yourself?

8. What is your favorite mistake?

9. Who do you look up to of the same sex?

10. Who is your role model of the opposite sex?

11. It's New York City in the 1920's. What are you doing?

12. What is your favorite book?

13. What is your guilty pleasure song?

14. What was a situation that you initially thought was terrible, but ended up being a blessing in disguise?

15. What's your favorite word?

16. If you could choose a decade to grow up in, which would you choose?

17. What was your first concert?

18. The stupidest thing you've ever spent money on?

19. What would your superpower be?

20. And your superhero name?

21. If you could live in any city, which would you choose? Why?

22. Could you spend a day without your phone?

23. What about a week?

24. The Rolling Stones or the Beatles?

25. If you could be a type of beer, which would you be? Why?

26. If you could live in any fantasy world, be it Hogwarts or Narnia, where would you choose? Why?

27. What is the last book you read? Did you like it?

28. If you could have any talent, which would you have?

29. What was your AIM screenname? Why did you choose it?

30. Would you like to go out again next week?
 TC mark

11 Reasons He’s A Dick (But Only Because You Let Him Be)

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Kessy Silva
Kessy Silva

Guys are simple. Guys are easy. And it’s time for us girls to wrap our head around this. Guys will give us respect if we demand it; if they don’t, and choose not to pursue us then it’s more than likely their loss anyway. However, if we continue to allow guys to act a certain way toward us then we’re enabling them to act like dicks because we’re simply implying that no matter what they do we’ll always be there.

1. He Calls You At 3am, You Answer

Unless your intentions are to be his booty call, I would advise you not to answer. I know it seems cute that he’s thinking about you at 3am, but there’s a very good chance you’re not the only one he’s thinking about. However, if you answer, you might be the only one that does, so just don’t. Don’t answer and most definitely, for what ever reason, don’t invite him over.

2. He Calls You A Bitch, You Break Down And Cry

If he ever partakes in the use of derogatory language when upset or angry with you, don’t respond. Don’t allow him the satisfaction of knowing you care. Your best bet is to shed a few tears in the dark underneath your covers and not contact him until he gives you a worthwhile apology.

3. He Talks About Other Girls Around You, You Listen Even Though It Makes You Insecure

For whatever reason he thinks its cute to talk about other girls around you, please shut it down. It is the most disrespectful thing a guy could do to a girl. So, instead of feeling insecure, grab your phone, contact people that actual enjoy spending time with you, and tell him you have to go.

4. He’s Wishy-Washy About His Feelings For You, You Believe He’ll Come To His Senses

If he can’t or won’t be straight up about what he feels or wants from you then don’t bother with him. Never wait around for someone that wouldn’t wait around for you.

5. He Takes You Out To Dinner, You End Up Paying

Being a girl and paying for a date isn’t a bad thing, but when he’s the one asking to hangout or take you on a date and then you end up paying for him…that’s a huge red flag; he’s using you.

6. You Buy Him Something For His Birthday, He Doesn’t Even Know When Yours Is

You care about him and you pay attention to his interests, so of course you’re going to buy him a gift. Unfortunately, he probably won’t hangout with you on his birthday let alone ask, text, call, or even hangout with you on your birthday.

7. His Friends Don’t Know You Exist, Your Friends Know Exactly Who He Is

If you spend a good portion of your time with your friends talking about him, when he’s never invited you to hangout with his friends then, they probably don’t know you exist. It’s possible they might, but I don’t think they know you by you name, but probably more along the lines of "booty call."

8. You Tell Him You Love Him, He Reminds You That You’ll Never Be His

You constantly remind him of your feelings for him as if that would change anything. He knows how you feel, and yet he doesn’t care. He’ll avoid telling you he doesn’t love you back because he probably doesn’t want the drama, it’s not because he doesn’t want to hurt you. However, when he gets bothered enough he’ll be right there to remind you that you’ll never be his.

9. He Takes You For Granted, He’s The Apple Of Your Eye

He doesn’t see how great you are because you give him everything he wants. You give him everything he wants because you want to make him happy, but what you don’t realize is your giving 150% when he’s giving you none.

10. You’re Up Late With Him Running Through Your Mind, He’s Sound Asleep

You’re tossing and turning in your bed, frustrated because all you want to do is sleep, but you can’t get him out of your head. You might even write an article about him, yet all knowing he’s sound asleep in his bed…or maybe…someone else’s and he doesn’t give a damn about you.

11. You Waste All Your Time On The Idea Of Him, He’s Out There Living His Life

You’ve hoaxed in your mind for so long that he’s the one for you. Not realizing you’re only wasting your time on someone who isn’t wasting theirs on you.

Just remember you have to be accountable for yourself. You can’t allow someone to walk all over you like you’re yesterdays news. I guarantee if you stop enabling this behavior by focusing more on what you want and less about what he wants he’ll stop being such a dick.

So, do what he’s doing and go out there and live your life. TC mark

What Your Ex Boyfriend’s Name Says About His Personality

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 04:00 PM PDT

blaireblackmon
blaireblackmon

1. Chris: The one who got away and you’re so happy he’s gone.

2. Matt: The one who made out with your best friend. In front of you.

3. Richard: The type of guy who thinks he is way cooler than he actually is.

4. Luke: The guy who everyone secretly thinks is gay because he is just that perfect.

5. Pete: The guy who always sexts you even after the breakup.

6. Charles: The type of guy who only talks with pick up lines.

7. Larry: The guy that professed his love to you on your second date.

8. Dylan: The type of guy who has a list of all the girls he has been with.

9. Joe: The guy who hooked up with your best friend the night after you broke up.

10. Nate: The guy who still sends you happy birthday texts with a wink face emoji.

11. Brad: The guy who loved his mom more than you.

12. Robby: The guy who you dated out of pity.

13. Dan: The sweetheart who you will always love.

14. Randy: The guy who always made up the worst jokes and said them at the worst moments.

15. Paul: Too. Much. Hair. Gel.

16. Ethan: The guy who everyone wanted to date. An Ethan is always going to be prom king.

17. Kelly: The guy who keeps asking you out to dinner years after the break up happened.

18. Miles: The guy who left you to travel the world and ‘find himself’.

19. Travis: The bad boy who smashed your heart into a million pieces.

20. Tom: The guy who still is in love with you.

21. Ben: The guy who had the personality of a rock.

22. Alex: The frat boy who will never grow out of his college phase.

23. Will: The guy who will forever have your heart.

24. Alan: The guy you dated just to help you with your homework.

25. Tim: The guy with the hot tattoos.

26. Anthony: The guy you were with for a month. He probably broke up with you because he wanted to ‘explore other options’.

27. Billy: The guy who you never ever trusted.

28. Sam: The guy who you thought was a gem, until he told you he only wanted to hook up with you.

29. Toby: The guy who was TOO nice.

30. Greg: The guy who showered you with gifts every time he saw you, and then ghosted you out of the blue.

31. James: The guy who cared more about his looks than you did.

32. Steven: The guy who cared more about seeing sports than seeing you.

33. Jose: The cuddle bug who snored way too loudly.

34. Doug: Your first love who you still can’t get over.

35. Roy: The guy who broke up with you over a fight about what you two were going to have for dinner.

36. Wayne: The guy who you only dated because your parent’s loved him so much.

37. Louise: The guy who always got way more excited than you did about  pedicures and manicures.

38. Eugene: The mama’s boy who brought you a single red rose on every one of your dates.

39. Russell: The guy who dated the gym more than he ever dated you.

40. Carlos: Your best friend turned boyfriend, who broke your heart as to not ‘ruin your friendship’.

41. Zack: The older and more mature guy who had a thing for red wine.

42. Keith: The jokester who always said inappropriate things at family dinners.

43. Philip: The one who got away.

44. Ronny: The tough guy with a big heart.

45. Isaac: The one who broke up with you because he didn’t see a future with you.

46. Ian: The guy who you always had a crush on, and never expected to finally be able to date him. Turns out, he wasn’t all that great.

47. Bruce: The guy who had a love affair with protein powder.

48. Ray: The guy who you broke up with because his older brother was way hotter.

49. Jarrett: The guy who’s heart broke when you ended it.

50. Kurt: The guy who treated you like a princess, and to this day you still wish you were together. TC mark

The Totally Annoying Personal Traits That Drives You Nuts, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Credit Thought Catalog (www.instagram.com/thoughtcatalog/)
Credit Thought Catalog (www.instagram.com/thoughtcatalog/)

Fire signs such as Aries and Leo are notorious for their fierce tempers. However, anger and angry outbursts are not exclusive to the fire signs. Every zodiac sign has some rage in them, it is just a question of what triggers it and to what degree. Here is a rundown of the things that anger each zodiac sign the most.

1. Aries

Obstructions and Fake People

Aries are proud and assertive people who express themselves with authenticity and candor. They expect this from others as well and being the keen and perceptive people they are, possess a special radar for spotting and seeing through disingenuous facades. Fake people are seen as cowardly, but the charade is also taken as an insult to Aries' intelligence because of the implication of being taken for a fool. An Aries will have little patience for this and will find it hard to resist the urge to humiliate and expose such people and subject them to public ridicule. In addition, Aries is the most impatient of all the zodiac signs and nothing triggers them more frequently than a jam in their plans. Stalls and delays of all kinds frustrate their need to accomplish and make progress. When their expectations are not met the ensuing outburst can be devastating.

2. Taurus

Poor quality

Taurus people know quality when they see it, hear it, smell it, feel it, or taste it. Taurus' sensual sophistication is manifest in their refined tastes and preferences. Shoddy service, and cheap materials and ingredients are among the things that will offend Taurus' standards and sensibilities. They are good at judging the value of things, and anyone who tries to scam or cheat them is bound to invoke the wrath of the raging bull. Fortunately, Taurus is not as quick to flip the lid the way Aries does. This is fortunate because when they do finally lose their temper, it can be an eruption of epic proportions.

3. Gemini

Negative People

Gemini is typically an upbeat and non-malicious sign. While they can be two-faced and inconsistent at times, they are generally not one to rain on other people's parades. On the contrary, they are often enthusiastic and jubilant cheerleaders of friends and family and tend to carry positive energy that earns them popularity and social esteem. Even though Geminis love people, they have no time for sour pusses and salty crabs. Haters and hypercritical people will fall back when Gemini snaps, because their way with words is unmatched. Few can insult and verbally accost as wittily and creatively as a Gemini can and afterwards, the unfortunate naysayer will likely wish they'd kept their mouth shut.

4. Cancer

Betrayal

Cancerians are kind of territorial people. They take their relationships seriously and they expect anyone they've let inside they're inner circle to be loyal and trustworthy. Cancer people will stick up for, defend and protect their loved ones to the ends of the earth and are very generous, caring and nurturing of them. They expect their people to reciprocate more or less but woe to him/her who commits treachery! Hell hath no fury like a Cancer scorned. Just look at O.J. Simpson and Jodi Arias (both Cancers born July 9) and what they did. Cancer's are over represented in crimes of passion so you might want to be upfront with them and give full disclosure before trying to screw them over. It might save your life.

5. Leo

Jealousy

Leos are unapologetically confident and often pompous individuals. This type of grandiose bombasity can either engender admiration by others or contempt. Leos crave attention but when they receive it, they are genuinely magnanimous and warm in return. People who feel threatened by a Leo are often not comfortable with themselves. Leos are naturally compelled to be at the forefront in some capacity and will not tolerate insecure haters trying to steal their thunder. Beneath their superficial grandiosity, is a noble persona and the righteous wrath of an angry lion king is not something you'll want to be on the receiving end of.

6. Virgo

Arrogance

Virgo is modest and shy and yet they are very opinionated and judgemental. They are particularly critical of people who showboat and they may be the type of people who would hate on a Leo. Even though Virgoans are not inclined to express their anger in spectacular outbursts like an Aries or Taurus might, they will definitely make a fuss about it and crank up the passive aggression levels to the max. They will instinctively try to throw water on someone's fire and knock them off their high horse just to bring their confidence levels down a couple pegs.

7. Libra

Rudeness

Libras love harmony and when discord arises they instantly scramble to smooth things over. They are the social butterflies of the zodiac and they know the formula that makes people like them: affability + confidence + wit = charisma. Their charm is their bread and butter, their social currency to get what they want: status, money, romance. Dressing nice and physical attractiveness are part the equation too, but that's besides the point. Libras are actually genuinely nice people, and rude people violate their perfect little world of harmony and cordiality. Disharmony destabilizes Libra's emotional balance prompting their mood to swing from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde until they can restore world order again.

8. Scorpio

Lying

Scorpio is not a sign to be crossed or screwed over and lying to them is definitely a bad idea. Scorpios have trust issues as it is and if someone attempts to lie to them, chances are it will come back to burn them. The shrewd judges of character they are, Scorpios can detect untruths and deception like a sixth sense. When a Scorpio knows they've been lied to, there is no telling what lengths they'll go to exact revenge, because revenge and retribution are their middle names.

9. Sagittarius

Political Correctness

Sagittarians are not known for mincing words. Although friendly and humorous, they are blunt to a fault and require the freedom to express themselves honestly and with authenticity. Any attempts to censure them will likely arouse their rebellious temper. Sagittarius is the broad minded philosopher of the zodiac and Political correctness to them serves as a nuisance and an impediment to honest epistemological discussion. Mark Twain and Ann Coulter are solid examples of the bold sagittarian unorthodoxy.

10. Capricorn

Laziness

Capricorns are the workhorses of the zodiac. They'll put in over-time all the time and let their home life wither to nothing. They're disciplined, reserved and responsible so naturally, inanition and slothfulness is liable to irritate them especially when it's done at their expense. Team members or employees who don't pull their weight are liable to invoke the harsh criticism of a Capricorn. Capricorns don't respect moochers and loafers and if they sense that they are being exploited or used by one they are capable of going over the top with their fury.

11. Aquarius

Oppression

As the rebel and inventor of the zodiac, it is no surprise that Aquarius is not a fan of restrictions and suffocating authority. Aquarius is also weird and superstitious which probably contributes to their paranoid tendencies and irrational fears. Aquarians are highly independent and self sufficient and they prize their freedom above all else. Any attempt to limit or constrain them will be perceived as a threat against which they will fight with both tooth and nail until their dying breath. They will not accept a denial of their sovereign liberties because death is better than that.

12. Pisces

Criticism

Pisces are sensitive souls who are prone to depression and emotionally dire straits. Because they live in a murky haze of fantasy and idealism, they often lack an objective perspective of themselves and their self image. However, there are always individuals who readily share their tactless opinions and many of those opinions will be like pins piercing the Pisces' idyllic balloons. Initially this may send Pisces into a downward spiral during which, Pisces may wallow in self-pity. But, if it happens enough times, the despair will turn to fury and Pisces will eventually learn to fight back and may do so with startling volatility! After all, it's been said that at the center of all angry outbursts, is someone who's feelings have been hurt. TC mark

34 Times Tumblr Managed To Be F*cking Hilarious

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 02:00 PM PDT

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22 Longterm Couples Summarize The Key To Lasting Love In Two Words Or Less

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 01:00 PM PDT

unsplash.com
unsplash.com

1. “Effort.”

–Cole, married [10 years]


2. “Communication.”

–Gail, married [19 years]


3. “Humor, always.”

–Simon, married [3 years]


4. “Patience.”

–Grant, married [12 years]


5. “No ego.”

–Alejandra, married [5 years]


6. “Compromising.”

–Roman, [married 14 years]


7. “Apologize.”

–Alice, married [11 and a half years]


8. “Talk.”

–Laurence, in a relationship [2 and a half years]


9. “Truth.”

–Tasha, married [6 years]


10. “Keep dating.”

–Derrick, married [8 years]


11. “Be self-aware.”

–Brenda, married [1 year]


12. “Say thanks.”

–Levi, married [6 years]


13. “Partnership.”

–Desiree, married [2 years, 8 months]


14. “Pay attention.”

–Ross, in a relationship [3 years]


15. “Be forgiving.”

–Jace, married [4 and a half years]


16. “Don’t judge.”

–Jessie, married [4 years]


17. “Be appreciative.”

–Marj, married [13 years]


18.  “Eye contact.”

–Karl, married [5 years]


19. “Understanding.”

–Elizabeth, married [3 years, 4 months]


20. “Staying humble.”

–Elsie, married [4 years]


21. “Be honest.”

–Kristy, married [5 years]


22. “Joy.”

–Johnnie, married [16 years] TC mark

The Cruelest Part Of Having An Abortion No One Talks About

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 12:00 PM PDT

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"I'm not saying you're going to hell, but you're in deep," a woman my age tells me, as we stand between two parked cars, a sympathetic smile spreading across her face.

It's a Saturday morning in Northern San Diego and I'm standing in the parking lot of a reproductive health clinic. The woman, an anti abortion protester, walks away, but not before handing me a little plastic fetus.

I'm sweating beneath my bright yellow shirt that reads, "Patient Escort, Escolta Paciente." Many women come to San Diego from Baja, Mexico, where abortion is illegal.

At the end of my shift I will return the shirt to Family Planning Associates, a reproductive health clinic in dire need of volunteers to walk patients into the building because of anti-abortion protestors who inhabit the parking lot.

A car pulls into the parking lot and seventeen pairs of eyes follow as it parks. It's like watching an animal stalking its prey from afar.

Doors open and two women emerge from the car, immediately swarmed by people.

"We just want to help you. Don't go into the clinic," says a middle aged man in a Yankees cap.

They carry signs that read, "I am not a protester. I want to help. A woman almost died here. Can we talk."

Some women yell back at the protesters, some listen to their sermons, but many just stand silently, deer in the headlights, unable to speak.

I feel bad even approaching cars, thinking of how frightening it must be, to wake up on a Saturday morning to get an abortion, unable to eat or drink, only to have people run at your car like a bull charging a patron in a red shirt.

One particularly disturbing day, a car with Baja plates enters the parking lot, a husband driving, and his wife hunched over in the passenger seat. Protesters surround the car, and he rolls down his window, eager to speak to them. We identify ourselves as volunteers from the clinic, citing our ability to escort them inside, but the husband tells us he wants to hear what the protestors have to say.

Someone tries to go around to the passenger side to pass this information along to the woman, who remains in her seat.

Click.

The husband has turned on child-lock, so the woman cannot roll down her window. She looks on the verge of tears, but never makes eye contact with us.

An hour and many pamphlets later the husband drives the both of them out of the parking lot.

The protesters celebrate their victory, giving each other high-fives.

It's the type of thing I'd seen in movies or read about in feminist literature, but I never assumed it was happening so close to me.

Next to Family Planning Associates sits another "clinic," the Pregnancy Resource Center. They're referred to across the nation as pregnancy crisis centers but it can offer nothing more than an unlicensed ultrasound. The owner, who knew I was a patient escort for the clinic next door, gave me a tour. I was shown rooms with two chairs, a television, and a painting of a fertile looking woman posing with a lotus flower.

The back room was particularly disturbing, filled with baby clothing, toys, and nursing supplies. The owner explained to me that the clinic operates on the point system, wherein women who, "are getting an education, have a job, or are setting personal goals and reaching those goals" are given points and can in turn use those points to purchase the materials in the back room.

Legally, pregnancy crisis centers must post a sign in their lobby informing patients that they are not a medical facility, but many don't comply with this law and remain unpunished. Instead, the lobby is filled with pamphlets similar in text, graphic, and tone to the ones the protesters push onto people in the parking lot below.

These pamphlets are catered very specifically to each gender. Pamphlets for young women are pink, littered with phrases like "They don't make condoms for a broken heart." The men's pamphlets, true to stereotypes, are blue and warn men that "women who have sex will likely want to get married."

When asked about their services, the woman who owns the Pregnancy Resource Center tells me that their abstinence-education teacher recently left.

She also claims they aren't affiliated with the protestors, but many can be found sitting in the lobby, taking a break.

Out in front of the "clinic" sits a box of home baked donuts, and a case of bottled water, all of which they offer to the women, knowing that if they eat or drink, they can't have their procedure.

There are two types of protestors: those who pray, and those who prey.

Some kneel on the sidewalk outside the parking lot besides a seven-foot tall Virgin Mary painting that they wheel in and out of a van every Saturday. Others patrol the parking lot, they run in front of cars, they offer women "a pill that can reverse the abortion" they hand out pamphlets, but most of all they preach.

One man drives his car around the parking lot, his stereo at full volume, blasting a sermon. This is the same man who went up to a fellow patient escort and said, "How did it feel when you slid warm out of Satan's c**t?"

However, most of the protestors carry themselves with an air of unsettling condescension. "I'll pray for you," they tell me. I've learned that responding often leads to a conversation somewhat resembling me speaking to a brick wall, so I say nothing in return.

Every day hundreds of people drive by the parking lot, oblivious to what's happening just a few feet away. Behind a row of shrubs is a completely different world, one where women are intimidated, talked down to, and led to believe that they don't have control over their own bodies.

It's a world where women's oppression isn't just talked about and heard, but rather becomes visible.

It's on this asphalt, warmed by the San Diego sun, that women cry, yell back, and make some of their hardest decisions. But between the white and yellow lines, I know that a difference can be made, as women reclaim their bodies, making choices for themselves and their futures.

As one young woman leaves the clinic she is approached by a protester. The protester begs her to undo the abortion she's just had, telling her it isn't too late. The woman, obviously angered, yells back, "I'll undo my abortion if you pay for all the diapers, the daycare bills, the food, all of it." The protester insists she will, and gives the woman her phone number. "I'll hold you to this," the young woman shouts, slamming her door shut. The car peels out of the parking lot past the seven-foot-tall Virgin Mary. The protester watches, gripping her bible and pamphlets, and then murmurs, "I hope she calls." TC mark

Soccer Star Megan Rapinoe’s Defense Of Kaepernick Is Something We All Need To Read

Posted: 06 Sep 2016 11:30 AM PDT

Nicole Miller
Nicole Miller

As most of you are probably aware, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick began a national protest last month when he chose to sit during the national anthem during a pre-season game.

Kaepernick received a lot of criticism for his decision to sit but continued his protest saying that he would not honour or "show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour." He has continued his protest since, but has decided to kneel instead of sit in order to "show more respect for men and women who fight for the country."

Although he has received a lot of backlash and criticism for his protest, Kaepernick has made it clear that his intention is not to insult or belittle the police, the military or the country. He would like to use his protest as a way of bringing attention to the unfair and unequal treatment of racial minorities in the United States.

Yesterday, US soccer star and Seattle Reign Megan Rapinoe knelt during the national anthem before her team's match against the Chicago Red Stars in a show of solidarity with Kaepernick. She told American Soccer Now that her decision to knee was a "little nod" to Kaepernick. She said,

"Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all your liberties. It was something small that I could do and something that I plan to keep doing in the future and hopefully spark some meaningful conversation around it. It's important to have white people stand in support of people of colour in this. We don't need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that's really powerful."

Although she is not the first athlete to show solidarity with Kaepernick, she is the first white athlete to take a stand following his protest.

Other athletes that have shown solidarity with the quarterback are Eric Reid, Kaepernick's teammate who knelt beside him before their game against the Chargers, and Seattle Seahawks cornerback Jeremy Lane who also sat during the national anthem before his team's game against the Oakland Raiders.

"It's the least I can do. Keep the conversation going," Rapinoe tweeted. TC mark