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Here’s what I would have said

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If we’d have sat down and had the conversation that I wanted us to, so I could walk away from this feeling like I’ve had closure, because you’d have been able to look me in the eye and tell me why you did things the way that you did, here’s what you would have heard me say.

You’d have had a chance to listen to me tell you that I’ll never hate you, not even one bit. In fact, it makes me sad that you even think I could. There’s no malice here, I hope you find everything in life that makes you happy, I’ll always care about you and you deserve the best. I mean it.

I know for a while I was something that was making you happy, but then that changed and you know what, that’s ok. It’s ok to get rid of things that no longer serve a purpose in your life. You should be surrounded by things that help you develop and grow. I’m sad that I was no longer doing that for you. But it is what it is.

I hope you succeed in everything you set your mind to in life, and I hope that if you learnt anything from our relationship it was that above all else, honesty and communication between two people who care about each other is THE most important thing.

I’ve sat down numerous times and tried working out why you handle things the way you do, and I think I may understand now.

Your sensitive personality stops you from telling people you care about information that you think could hurt them, you don’t want to be able to see how your words are actually affecting them so your ability to deal with difficult conversations in person seems slightly insufficient.

But just know this, you’ll end up coming off as the bigger person in future if you can deal one fatal blow of shit information to someone face to face rather than tiptoeing around it and never actually getting it off of your chest.

Not wanting to hurt people is a lovely trait and it’s one of the reasons I respect you the way that I do. But for the love of god ….. understand that sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind! You’re a good person with a bad communication style (no offence).

I want you to know that we’re not on bad terms, there’s no ‘he deserves whatever he gets’ mentality. None of that, that’s a game for children who can’t respect another persons decisions. I want you to be happy and I hope that in the future I’ll still be a part of your life to see you succeed and smash all your ambitions, not as a lover or a girlfriend, but this time as a friend who’s always in your corner encouraging you to keep going when you lose sight of what you want.

I think you’re pretty bloody special and you taught me some very valuable lessons that I’m glad I learnt from you and no one else. Like the fact that I’m calm and not crazy when I’m with the right person, or that you don’t have to constantly be naked with someone to get to know them (although the being naked part was very fun too).

Vulnerability comes from deep conversations over a Sunday morning brunch, or from doing face masks together and winding down from a days work, or even from leaving your comfort zone to do activities with them that there is no way you’d normally do, but you do it because it would make them happy.

So this is me, putting down in writing everything I would have told you if you’d have given me the chance.

I want you to know that respect you and your decisions way more than you’ll ever understand. I think you’re an amazing person who deserves all the happiness in the world and I’ll always care about you, no matter how much you’ve annoyed me, or put my back up.

You’d have understood that I’m not going to convince you of reasons why I’d be good wife material. Because I’m way too stubborn for that, b my eyes I’m either enough for someone or I’m not and someone is going to love what I am so much, they’ll never want to let it go. But I’d be lying if I said I’m not gutted that wasn’t you.

I’d have explained that honesty is my dealbreaker. Once I feel like someone hasn’t been honest with me I find walking away from a romantic situation pretty easy, if I feel like someone doesn’t respect me enough to be honest then I know I need to find someone else who does.

But amongst all of this, I guess what I’m trying to say is that I hope you’ll keep a place in your life for me just as I’ll always keen a place for you in mine.

Once all of the emotion fades we’ll be friends ….. eventually, right?

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The secret to lasting love

Why are you with just one man? Why is it that the guy you can call yours has prevailed over all the others who came before him?

Well, obviously, each failed relationship that has happened up till now has had its own unique defects that lead to the break ups.

So maybe a better question is, why can I believe the love that is offered to me this time is different?

Loving someone is a unique ability only humans can create awareness around. It’s an art because we can improve upon the skill, sort of like a craft. The more we feel it, the better we become at understanding it and how we handle ourselves when we feel it.

I once read a quote that’s always stuck with me, “Falling in love is easy. Staying in love, that’s the challenge.”

But to even consider staying in love, we have to make a choice: At the low points, in the time of doubt, will we keep choosing love? And are we willing to do so even if the person may not choose us one day?

The uncertainties in love are quite frankly bloody terrifying, the thought of the person we’ve chosen above everyone else one day not choosing us scares a lot of people away before anything has even really begun.

How can we know someone will make a great partner? Father? Or even a bingo teammate well into retirement? Yes I know that’s a lot of forward thinking but it’s worth considering to save yourself some heartache.

How can we know we won’t be betrayed? Our hearts not crushed? Our love not taken advantage of?

And the answer is plain and fucking simple: We don’t.

We don’t know how our lives will play out, and that runs true, especially when it comes to love. We can plan and analyse as much as we want, but we will never know for certain how things are going to go.

But just because we can’t be certain doesn’t mean we can’t try.

Loving someone is a choice. You find a person that makes your heart flutter, whose company you thoroughly enjoy and who you have amazing chemistry with. You understand each other; you could see yourself growing old with them because you can wholeheartedly be yourself around them.

So you choose them; you choose to try and make a life with them. But it won’t be the only time you’ll have to choose them.

Because the doubt will creep in. They’ll eventually hurt or disappoint you, you’ll start thinking about the negative things and even at this point, you’ll still want to choose them. Even over all the hurdles.

And the choice really comes down to your capabilities and willingness of working through the inevitable low points, because being with them surpasses everything else. You don’t mind riding out the lows with them because experiencing the highs is worth it every time.

If they choose you and you choose them then that should equal, I hope, lasting love.

You have open and honest communication, regularly checking in on one another. You both have the ability to speak our emotions, fears, and appreciations of one another. You acknowledge the hard times will come, but you’re certain you have what it takes to get through them.

And when you wrap all of this up into a package, that love seems like it will withstand time.

But all because we are both making a choice. A choice to stay in love and work through the highs and lows together because you know that being together is worth it.

Recently, I came across a Ted Talk by a woman that did a questionnaire with a man that led them to fall in love. That woman, Mandy Len Catron, wrote the initial article which consists of the 36 questions to ask your partner to fall in love.

Readers wanted to understand the magic of Catron’s relationship’s success; everyone wanted to know if the two were still together.

But Catron was wary of answering because the success of their relationship wasn’t based on 36 questions designed for creating love.

The success of their relationship hung on one main thing: a choice.

The two chose to love each other, every single day.

Sure, love is a bit more nuanced. But lasting love, I believe, is not.

You’ll never find a perfect person who won’t disappoint you at some point, it’s just human nature, none of us are perfect. Every single relationship is going to have its low points.

And when those lows come, you’ll have to make a choice, a choice to stay in love or not.

But in the end, I believe that’s the secret to lasting love. Choosing to love the person you’ve chosen no matter what, through all the tough shit and all the amazing stuff that you wouldn’t want to be experiencing with anyone else.

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100% Kind of Love

 

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If someone doesn’t love 100% of you, then you need to politely tell them to f**k off.

No seriously, hear me out on this one…

If you don’t in some way love every single, quirk, annoyance and weird habit of the person you’re dating, odds are that you’ve fallen in love with the idea of them rather than the real them.

It’s easy to fall in love with ideas, but falling in love with reality, now thats a hard task.

If you’re looking at the person you’re with and thinking ‘yeah you’re great, but if you didn’t do XYZ you’d be even better’ STEP AWAY!

They’ve been working hard to make that version of themselves since the day they were born and the last thing they want or need is some temporary, mismatched (to them) individual coming along to alter them, because ultimately once you up and leave them once you’ve reshaped them into the thing you think you want, not only are you leaving them heartbroken, you’re also leaving them wondering who the hell they are.

Once you’ve redesigned the end picture of the jigsaw of their life, by removing pieces and jamming in pieces that really don’t go where you’re trying to make them fit, you’ll leave them questioning a lot of things.

And the thing is, they’ve let you alter them because they love you, no demand was too big or too small, you wanted them not to hang out with certain people? Fine, those jigsaw pieces are gone. You weren’t a fan of that weird hobby they had at the weekends? Cool, they’ll drop it to fit into your lifestyle better, another jigsaw piece gone.

Originally, before you came along, the image they were working towards on their jigsaw of life, the one they had been working on since the day they were born, was a dog. Now, since you’ve been in their life, the end image is of a bucket …. they don’t even like buckets, but you do, so it’s fine, because they want to make you happy.

NO. THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT FINE.

If you don’t love 100% of the person you’re dating without wanting to change them, leave them alone so they can find someone who loves 100% of them, there’s over 7 billion people in the world, so odds are they can find someone better than you and you’re not as special as you think. Sorry, not really sorry.

Maybe you’re reading this thinking, yeah I’ve done that, I’ve changed my life to please someone else. Well stop it, you don’t need to, if you love 100% of you, someone else can as well, but thats the key thing here, you need to love all your weirdness before you can expect someone else to.

We all have flaws, but few of us can actually own them and stand in front of someone and go, this is me. Yeah I’m not perfect, but neither are you so lets be perfectly imperfect together and I’ll love you anyway.

I’m not asking you to love your partners snoring when they lay on their front, or the way they can’t eat toast unless it’s basically burnt, but all those silly little things make up what is them and if you love them, you’ll get used to their weird quirks.

Don’t place yourself into someones life if you’re wanting to change it, you could just be a temporary part of their life jigsaw, all the other pieces they’ve spent years finding the right places for are the foundations they’ve created with their friends and family and if you try and change those just to fit what you want, well to be honest you’re just a crappy manipulative person.

So love someone 100% or don’t bother loving them at all.

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Office romances

Maybe you guys like each other so much because work is like a bubble.

You’re in this place that gives you a common ground, there’s no weird awkward first dates and there’s no hoping that despite the fact you work in totally different industries you’ll have something in common.

Working in marketing and dating someone in finance for example is always going to have its struggles, because it will be hard to understand each other’s work, there’s no mutual understanding of what that other person has experienced mon – fri, and we can try and understand the stresses each other go through but how much can we really get it?

When you work together you know what each other have been through that day, you can go home and discuss the trials and tribulations of your joint workplace and job role and there will be no “fake understanding” of how each other’s weekdays have panned out.

A work place romance can provide you with just the right amount of distraction, what was once a boring 9-5 is now full of secret back and forward messages and inside jokes that no one gets apart from the two of you. You get to sit at your desk just metres apart knowing that while you’re having conversations with everyone around you, you also get to message each other and talk just the two of you and that fills you with a sense of excitement.

Maybe no one else around you knows? Or maybe you think they don’t … but then that’s the problem, because people around you will be able to feel the tension between you both just as much as you can. As if something is bubbling just under the surface waiting to happen.

You spend more time with your work colleagues than anyone else, so maybe that’s why it’s so easy to get caught up in an office romance? Maybe it’s just something that you’ve got used to giving your time to?

Office romances can provide you with an escape when your day gets tough, you can message each other back and forward without worrying that one of you won’t understand because both of you have been there and lived it.

But how do you ignore it when you know it can’t be real romance, how do you squash sexual tension with someone you’re with constantly and most of all how do you pretend like you don’t get on and enjoy being around each other?

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It will be worth the risk

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I think you can feel it you know, when it’s right with someone … you can just feel it in your bones.

Doesn’t matter how hard you try and run from it, you always find your mind wandering to them, even when you wish it would wander in the complete opposite direction. Maybe you don’t want to feel it, maybe you’re trying to avoid it because you’re scared. But deep down, you know you’re right for them and they’re right for you too.

That’s the thing with love though, just when you least expect it, it will come up and bite you. Sometimes (and this is the worst) love will bite you twice. You think you’re already in love with one person and then it comes up and reappears in almost a surprise attack kind of like it’s saying ‘ha, you though that was love before, well that was just a preview, this is the one you’ll really fall for’ and that’s when it’s the worst.

When you fall out of love slightly just to fall back in love again but differently and with someone else, that’s when it’s the worst, because despite what we’re taught about how love shouldn’t hurt, sadly it always ends up hurting someone, especially when more than two people are involved.

But when you can feel it in your bones, then it will be worth the risk. Love isn’t designed to be a straight road, its supposed to be an unforgettable journey and I’m not being funny … but a simple straight road is only there to be forgotten. The ones you remember most are the ones that have been the most dangerous, the ones with all the corners that each reveal another surprise, the ones that offer the most spectacular views after climbing epic hills. That’s the journey you want to take. Even if it seems scary when you start.

That dangerous road is going to be the best route you ever take and trust me when I say it’s worth the risk. You just need to believe you can conquer it (and there’s no way you’ll fail). If you’re heart is set on something enough then bloody well go after it!

You know that palpable tension you can feel with someone when you both look at each other? You know one of you should look away but neither of you really want to. You can literally both feel how much sexual tension is there but neither of you can do anything about it. Well it’s worth taking the risk even just to see what can be made from that tension you can both feel!

Before a big storm, you can almost feel pressure building in the atmosphere, waiting for something to be unleashed and for the sky to make way for the surge of built up energy. And that’s what it’s like when you meet someone you have the right sexual chemistry with.

You’ll be able to feel something between the two of you that no one can see, but every time you catch each other’s eye you’ll feel it, the pressure building between you creating the impression that something impressive is going to happen, just like an electric storm.

You’ve found yourself dreaming about them and you can’t figure out why, well maybe because you know you want to see what would happen if you walk down life’s road with them rather than the one you’re currently on, so much so that now even your subconscious is dropping you subtle hints.

We’re not bought into the world to live our life without taking risks that could possibly turn out to be the best decisions we ever make, so don’t live with a load of ‘what if’s’ live a life full of ‘I tried’s because trying will always be better than never knowing.

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He’s Just A Friend

He’s just a friend you keep telling yourself.

You aren’t bothered when he doesn’t immediately respond to your messages, you aren’t bothered when he compliments someone else over you, you aren’t bothered by the fact you don’t know where he is or what he’s doing.

He’s just a friend, so why would you be bothered?

Because he’s your friend your stomach doesn’t flip when he messages you, you’re used to seeing his name on your phone, you message each other every day out of routine, not because your worlds would fall apart without each other.

You two being friends means you don’t get jealous when he’s talking to you about the new girl he’s seeing, you don’t care. As his friend you care about when it’s going wrong with someone who loves him, you don’t want him to get hurt because you’d do anything for him … but that’s how everyone feels about all their friends right? You’d go to the ends of the earth for them and back again, if it meant they wouldn’t have to get hurt by someone.

As his friend, you know where you stand. There are no crossed boundaries or blurred lines. You stand on one side and he firmly stands on the other. Everything is just easy and uncomplicated.

Because you’re friends, you know he loves you and you know that anyone you date will see that too but remain undeterred, it won’t bother them because they’ll see that your friendship is straight forward and they never need to get jealous.

The two of you being so close means that you can run to him when the other guys you trust hurt you. You know that when he wraps his arms around you and holds you that there’s nothing in it, because the two of you are just friends.

You don’t wish that he was the one you’d been with in the first place, because you know that he would never hurt you the way some of the others have done, because you’d never cross a line like that. Complicating things is messy and no one likes messy.

Except …..

None of that is true. Not a single word.

And trust me, no one will get it, because it’s complicated.

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Closer to 30

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Officially turning an age that means I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20 seems even more significant that turning 21.

It’s as if all of a sudden, your decisions should start becoming sensible … as if the steps you take from here on in are actually going to have an impact.

21 to 25 is like a trial, a sneak peak into adulthood. Because although you’re working and paying a few bills, no one expects you to know what you’re doing and have your shit together.

But when you tell someone you’re 26, they start asking about your career and where you live and who you live with, it’s as if all of a sudden conversations become 10x more invasive because everyone expects you to have locked down what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with ….

I hate to break it to people fresh out of university ready to start their “adult life” but you will now just start to look for adultier adult in situations where you forget that you are in fact an adult yourself.

Most of us are still here making exactly the same decisions that we did when we were at uni or in our teens, constantly seeking attention from the opposite sex, texting our ex’s, getting drunk more than once a week, ending up in our overdrafts … the only difference now is that our hangovers last three days instead of three hours.

Getting older isn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, I can remember thinking in my teens that 25 was OLD, can we all just laugh at that together? Now I’m here just pretending to know what I’m doing.

But you know what, once you figure out that everyone is out here doing the best we can to not die of alcohol poisoning or undercooked food, you’ll feel better about your life. Everyone is at different stages and doing different things, especially in your 20’s. Some of my friends and married with kids and some of them are traveling the world, either of which is totally fine.

We’re all on our own journey and we shouldn’t be comparing it to other people’s.