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I Know You’re Struggling So Here’s My Crappy Advice

Grief

1.The people that can handle the ugliest parts of life are the people that deserve to share your victories. Those people that can see you at your absolute worst and still say, “I’m here,” are the people that deserve to make up your inner circle. There are a lot of people that will want to use your momentum when you’re winning, but those people will ultimately quit when you aren’t.

2. Whatever you call your personal beliefs, should bring peace and comfort in difficult times, not add to it. If it doesn’t reassure you when everything is going wrong, it needs to be reevaluated.

3. Answers aren’t always necessary, sometimes we just need to verbalize thoughts to help show how untrue they really are. Many times our own heads are our worst enemy, specifically in difficult times. It’s easy to blow things out of proportion in our minds and we don’t always realize that’s what’s happening until we hear it out loud.

4. Terrible things are part of life, but without them we can never truly understand the beautiful parts of life. We can’t appreciate light without darkness, heat without cold, love without lack thereof. It is never easy to experience difficult times, but it brings into sharp perspective the incredible things in our lives.

5. One of the most authentic signs of a mature and wise person is that they know and understand what they are truly capable of. Someone once said to me that a person’s greatest strength is in knowing their greatest weakness and that kind of self-awareness speaks volumes.

6. Everyone is broken; the strongest people are the ones who can admit that and know it doesn’t mean they are worth any less. Brokenness is part of the human condition. We have all been dealt blows and wounds, but the best of us understand that and know that neither our self- worth nor our value is tied to that brokenness.

7. Surround yourself with people who are authentic rather than people who pretend to have it all together. It takes nothing to put on a façade of perfection; any person can say the right things or posture to an audience. Real growth and healing comes from people that can empathize with you, but also push you out of your comfort zone.

8. For every low there is a high, but that doesn’t make the low feel any less infinite. On some level we all know that pain and hurt is temporary. However that doesn’t change the feeling, in the moment, that this is just how life is now and it is ok to feel that way for a time.

9. Tragedy has a way of revealing our true character. How we respond to pain and tragedy is one of the most honest reflections on ourselves we will ever see. Be aware in those moments, but also be gracious with yourself

Heartache and grief have a way of burning away anything that isn’t essential.

Maybe someone you love dearly has died or your boyfriend — who you thought was the one — just dumped you. Everything changes when you’re in this sort of pain that makes it hard to breathe. You don’t have the energy to hang out with friends you feel lukewarm about or go to a job that’s sucking your soul. Instead, you see clearly for a moment what is absolutely essential in your life. Your best friend shows up to hold your hand. Your cat snuggles you. Your brother helps pay your rent. You realize what matters.

When you have a great deal of experience with pain, you are more equipped when it inevitably occurs again. Buddhists consider people who look pain squarely in the face to be warriors. They see the process of facing pain while still remaining soft, as useful, because when the world throws another curveball your way, you’re less likely to totally lose your shit again. Instead, you have some more ground under your feet to stand on.

Allowing pain to soften you means you bring more joy to the world. Ultimately, there are two ways to deal with pain: let it harden you or let it soften you. If you let it harden you, there will be grave consequences to your well-being.

Plus, you will be uniquely useful to friends in the future who experience pain. You experience a devastating breakup that tosses you into a deep depression for months. You know what it’s like to be unshowered, living in pajamas, and not wanting to see the light of day. Once you’ve healed from your loss, you now have this experience under your belt.

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He’s Not Your Forever Unless He Put’s Effort Into These 12 Things!

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1. He should make an effort to plan dates. He shouldn’t expect you to come up with ideas every weekend. Once in a while, he should take you to a new restaurant or shop that he thinks you’re going to love.

2. He should make an effort to text back. And he should remember to tell you where he is and what he’s doing. It’s the easiest way to build trust. If he’s always open with you, then there’s no reason to doubt what he says.

3. He should make an effort to flirt. I don’t care if you’ve been dating for decades. He should never take your love for granted. He should still try to woo you, even though he already has you.

4. He should make an effort to give you an orgasm. You don’t have to “reach your goal” every single time you have sex, but you should climax the majority of the time. That means there should be plenty of foreplay and oral.

5. He should make an effort to save his money. If he honestly wants to spend the rest of his life with you, then he has to prepare for the future. He should be resisting the urge to waste all his cash on alcohol and should be working alongside you to save up money for a house.

6. He should make an effort to make you feel like a major part of his life. He should update you on what’s going on at work. He should invite you out with his friends. He should make you feel important.

7. He should make an effort to get along with your friends and family members. He doesn’t have to go on one-on-one brunch dates with your mother, but he should treat everyone you care about with respect. Even if your disapproving father is a little rude to him, it doesn’t mean he should be rude back. He should be trying his best to make a good impression.

8. He should make an effort to come to compromises. If you two disagree on something, there shouldn’t be a big blowout that ends with only one of you getting your way. You should find a solution that benefits you both. Otherwise, the resentment is going to kick in.

9. He should make an effort to cook and clean. You’re not his mother. He shouldn’t rely on you to do all of his chores for him. He should be doing just as much housework as you.

10. He should make an effort to look good. He doesn’t have to wear a suit and tie during every date, just like you don’t have to wear a skintight dress. But he should at least look presentable. He should keep that beard trimmed and wear that underwear that he knows his butt looks amazing in.

11. He should make an effort to keep himself healthy. If he loves you, he’ll take care of himself, so that you two can have a long life together.

12. He should make an effort to make you happy. He should think your smile is the most beautiful thing in the world, and he should aim to see it as often as humanly possible. 

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If I Ever Saw You Again

 

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Getting over you has not been easy. The process of moving on has consisted of countless sleepless nights lying up at night wondering what went wrong. The journey of letting go has left me late for work in the morning while I snooze my alarm time and time again in hopes that the next time I wake up, you will no longer be the first thing on my mind.

However, the easiest part about getting over you has been due to not having to see you. No accidental run ins with you have played a huge role in my healing process. Not having to try and process the countless things I would say to you has made such a difference.

If I saw you again I would tell you how badly you broke me. I would let you know how much time of my life you took away from me while I tried to put the pieces back together that you tore apart.

If I saw you again I would tell you about the hours I spent crying in my car and on my bathroom floor. I would let you know the anger I have for you being able to break me down so badly.

If I saw you again I would tell you how badly you let me down. I didn’t know it, but you that you were my best friend and so much more than just the person I was dating. You were everything to me. I saw my life with you. I believed you were my soul mate. I genuinely didn’t think I’d ever have to figure out how to tackle life without you.

If I saw you again I would tell you how much you betrayed me. I would let you know how much it killed me to be lied to and manipulated by the person that I brought down all of my walls for. I trusted you. I believed in you. And you destroyed every single bit of it.

If I saw you again I would tell you how much time I spent missing you. I would tell you how many hours I spent evaluating and trying to figure out where I could have possibly went wrong. I would let you know how badly I wanted to believe that this person wasn’t you. There was nothing I wanted more than for you to come running back telling me that all of it was a mistake and that you’d never leave again.

If I saw you again I would tell you I don’t hold those feelings inside of me anymore. I would tell you I’ve realised how much better I am without you. I would let you know that I don’t carry the burdens you left me with. I would tell you that I am a better me, without you.

If I saw you again I would tell you I am happy. I am happy on my own. I am happy being completely independent, without you. I am happy with who I am. I am happy with who I have become. I am completely happy in knowing that I will never again have to settle for someone who doesn’t know my worth.

If I saw you again I would tell you I am free. I am free of all of the pain you caused me. I am free from trying to make you love me the way I now know that I deserve to be loved. I am free from every bit of baggage and toxicity that you brought into my life.

If I saw you again I would tell you that I am better off without you.

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The Dating ‘Apocalypse’

You’ve probably heard of the “Dating Apocalypse,” and how it leaves every single person out there frustrated, confused, and discouraged. But it’s is a lie, dating is alive and well. Dating is THRIVING, which contributes to said singles’ frustration. It’s dating exclusively that’s the frustrating part , or at least in this city. And while London might be an on-steroids version of the “Dating Exclusively Apocalypse,” anywhere with apps and liberal values will be affected.

Let’s first take a look at all the reasons why the system is broken (note: this is a handy summary to share with grand/parents, colleagues, and anyone else who “can’t understand how [you’re] single!!!”. We’ll then all laugh nervously and discuss how to maintain sanity while partaking in the social experiment that is dating. in. 2017.

1. The “Paradox of Choice”
A decade ago, Psychologist Barry Schwartz gave a seminal TED talk on “The Paradox of Choice.” If you haven’t seen it, watch it. It’s still one of my favs. The gist: when we’re faced with too many options, we become paralyzed in our decision-making process. Should we actually make a choice, we end up feeling dissatisfied because we question whether we made the “right” one. For example, you go to buy a box of cereal and have 30 to choose from. Overwhelmed, you labor over which cereal to go home with, finally choosing the Cornflakes fifteen minutes later but stressed AF throughout the decision-making process. You get home and wonder if you should’ve chosen the Cheerios instead. The next morning you eat your bowl of Cornflakes skeptically, resentful to them for getting soggy faster or being less social at parties than you imagine a bowl of Cheerios would. And a couple days later when you pop into Tesco to pick up toothpaste (which also take 15 mins longer than it should), you pick up a box of Cheerios

Now replace “Cornflakes” with “David” and “Cheerios” with “Charles” and “the cereal aisle” with “Your relationships” and you understand the destructive effect of dating apps on commitment and satisfaction. AND imagine you could access the cereal in Germany or L.A. or Brazil as well (coughTindercough)!

Once upon a time, proximity was the primary way people met: we lived in the same building, ran in the same friend circle, or worked in the same office. Now, we not only have access to an endless supply of options in our city, we truly can date anywhere in the world. A weekend visit to Paris? Put it on points! That Aussie guy you met surfing in Bali? Skype sex!

2. Phantom daters in the online pool
If someone’s on an app, it means they’re committed to trying to find someone, right? Wrong. Apps are an emotionally unavailable person’s dream. You can titrate your vulnerability (yep, yours truly over here), seek distraction from your uncomfortable feelings, and instantly find reassurance of your desirability…then forget the app exists when you feel whole again. So for those of us who are frustrated because we don’t know where that girl we had that long talk about politics with disappeared to, or that guy we matched with who won’t respond, they’re probably still getting over their ex or are now busy with work or are seeing someone else or just aren’t that into you but wanted someone to talk to when they were feeling lonely that night.

These “phantom daters” create the intermittent reinforcement that keeps us mind-fucked and “dating defensively” (which I’ll explain shortly). We become conditioned to feel anxiety, distrust, and pessimism around dating because the “phantom dating” experience creates the illusion of connection–that inevitably unravels and leaves us a little more disconcertingly unfazed each time.

3. “Defensive Dating” out of uncertainty that actually perpetuates the cycle
The strategy is to date multiple people at once to protect oneself from the anxiety of “all your eggs in one basket” abandonment. We used to assume a mutually identified connection with someone meant things would progress. Now, because we have limitless understudies at our fingertips (literally), there’s no security in said connection; thus the defensive dating strategy diversifies our portfolios.

The problem with this strategy, though, is it perpetuates the cycle. Why? GRE refresher time! “If Megan is dating three people, and each man Megan is dating is dating two other women, how many people stand to get hurt should things progress to an exclusive place with any of the individuals involved?” And what does each rejected party take away from the experience? Anxiety, skepticism, guardedness, and… yep… more “defensive dating” as a way of navigating the minefield.

4. Other-oriented perfectionism (unrealistic expectations)
Because we’re a generation of individuals who’ve been taught to “never settle,” we’re all waiting for unicorns. We might meet someone with whom we have an amazing connection, similar values, and unbelievable sex, but their grammar isn’t perfect or they’re a terrible cook or they have an itsy-bitsy freckle next to their nose that you find suuuper distracting. Not only does this prevent deepening of the “situationship,” it has a boomerang-back-to-the-unlimited-supply-of-alternatives effect.

5. Dissolution of religion
Organized religion is so last century, and anxiety, divorce, and ambivalence about marriage are totes on-trend. Some studies actually show divorce rates are higher in Christian marriages than atheist ones, but that’s because you have to actually get married to get divorced (and atheist couples are less likely to get married than Christian ones). Religion is rarely the sole impetus to seeking an exclusive relationship, but there’s no denying its influence.
6. The liberation of women
I’m not complaining about this over here, but it’s worth mentioning. While the wage gap and many other forms of inequality are DEFINITELY STILL A THING, women are no longer forced to marry to survive. We’re now allowed to earn an income of our own, both legally and culturally, thus one major “need” to partner is now irrelevant. And this allows us to be choosier and less committal.

7. Children-of-divorce with resultant attachment issues and skepticism around relationship longevity/monogamy (I am a guilty party in this one)
The aforementioned dissolution of religion and liberation of women skyrocketed our parents’ divorce rates and produced a millennial generation of attachment issues, marital disenchantment, and relational skepticism. Not every child of divorce is going to be insecurely attached, and not every child from an in-tact family is going to be securely attached, but the correlation is real.

Well, this is bleak. What do we do about it?
Similar to the psychological struggles people bring into my office, knowing the “why” doesn’t necessarily equate to resolution. We can’t easily revert to a time when we didn’t have a date vending machine at our fingertips – to a time when people weren’t so disposable.

But there are a few things we can do. And trust me, I highlight these “best dating practices” to cultivate integrity in my own behavior alongside a call to action for my fellow singles. Self preservation-driven or not, it’s up to us to fix the broken system:

Make it clear on your profile and in-person whether or not you’re looking for a relationship in the near(ish) future. If you’re healing a broken heart or a workaholic or emotionally unavailable and not looking for anything “real” for another reason, no judgment, but be explicit about it. You’ll prob still attract a bunch of people on a mission to “change” you, but at least they’ve signed the waiver.

Recognize beyond a certain point, more choice=greater frustration and less satisfaction. Sure, you may wanna keep a couple prospects around in initial stages for comparison (and diversification) purposes, but after a few dates with someone with whom you see potential, stop swiping for everyone’s sake.

Accept that everyone has flaws. You’re looking to be with a human, and humans are imperfect. Anyone who’s been in a long-term relationship knows there are times when you feel so annoyed or repulsed by your partner you can’t imagine ever having sex with them again (don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about). But remember the idea that you’re always going to want to tear each other’s clothes off or never need time apart is just another lie media tells us to believe we’re failing at life. So stop focusing on flaws and keeping yourself chronically dissatisfied.

Remember: It’s not you, it’s the system.
Accept that people will ghost you. They won’t always look like their pictures or be as witty as they were when they had several minutes to craft their banter. They’ll bail last-minute, take forever to respond to texts, and date multiple people unbeknownst to you. You will feel anxious, rejected, jealous, disappointed, and pissed off. But try. not. to take it. personally. None of this is about you, and we’re all experiencing the same shit-show.

Get therapy. Everyone should get therapy. Yes, usually none of this is about you, but we all try to heal our childhood wounds in our relationships. I, for example, tend to sabotage or run from things before they progress into a place of seriousness where I could hurt or be hurt.
I love to date seemingly unbreakable assholes on whom I’ll never fully rely, or “wounded” peeps by whom I feel needed and can trust will NEVER LEAVE ME.

When you experience the inevitable anxiety or rejection of dating, try not to react mindlessly (i.e. jumping back on the apps or throwing yourself into work). If we wake up to it, dating can actually be an opportunity for serious spiritual and emotional growth.
Taking advantage of these “opportunities for awakening” allows us to dig into some of our unresolved shit and practice different ways of coping with uncomfortable feelings (for example, self-compassion vs. numbing).We have the power to change the culture of dating, but in order to do so we have to learn how to wake up in these moments.

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Dealing With Poor Relationship Manners  


How do you deal with controlling, clingy, sadistic and selfish tendencies in people, without losing your own mind? How do you escape from conflict without victimizing yourself or turning into a monstrous mirror of the person who pushed all your buttons?
How do you remain pristine, unaffected and zen-like?
By being emotionally intelligent.
The importance of developing emotional intelligence has been grossly undervalued in our society, which prioritizes conventional notions of success. The result of this is a huge population of emotionally immature people who simply do not take responsibility for how they feel. They have not learned healthy coping mechanisms as children, which extends into adulthood and even old age.
As a result, they are not accountable for the consequences of their actions.
How can we learn to become more emotionally resilient, and develop a strong sense of integrity that is not dependent on external circumstances? By making our own decisions, and letting other people live with the consequences of their own.
Anyone can snap their fingers and retaliate, but it takes a rare strength to exhibit grace under pressure. Be calm, collected, polite and dignified. Sometimes people will instigate or provoke you on purpose even though they are at fault, so that they can turn it around and blame it on you. You are the only one who has power over your own mental and emotional health. Learn to be emotionally and mentally independent.
If a person is being manipulative, insidious or emotionally abusive, to get you to do what they want, then don’t get mad and play their game, simply call them out on it. If your ‘bae’ is telling you that he or she doesn’t want to be in a relationship, or stands you up or doesn’t return calls, then give them what they want, and walk away.
Truly secure people don’t explain why they want respect; they simply remove their attention from those that don’t deserve it.
Most people are unable to talk with their actions, because they were simply not taught this as children. So surprise the little tantrum-throwing child in them, and let them bear the consequences.
If you don’t react to their volatile behavior, then it will hit a blank wall and ricochet right back to them. If you take a deep breath, simply state why you are displeased, and then disengage by communicating with your actions, this will get to them so-much-more than screaming, arguing, crying and convincing them to see your point of view. This is beneficial for the both of you as a valuable lesson. You learn to get comfortable saying no and develop stronger boundaries; and they learn to take responsibility for their own erratic actions.
The only way to escape this vicious cycle of action-reaction is to step out of the line of fire, and let them walk through it instead. If you let them walk through their own blazing inferno, they will realize that they are just as painfully human and prone to imperfections, and they will change. This is because they have been forced to solve their own problem, rather than expecting someone else to do it for them.
Everyone wants to change other people, and everyone’s ego keeps getting in the way. Instead, change your own approach, and give them the freedom to let them change themselves. If you don’t do this, you will have to suffer the consequences of their bad behavior, by your own bad decision of not making them responsible for it.
You will end up feeling like the dysfunctional, unstable and irrational one. You will be giving them a justifiable excuse to drag you into their emotional turmoil, and blame it all on you. Your self-esteem will suffer, and you will start to doubt your own sense of self-worth.
Don’t play a cheat at their lousy game. Leave them to it.

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You’ll Either Be Forever Or Never 

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What if we’re scared to start because it might never end? Timing is everything and it is also the one thing that we don’t have on our side right now.

Our hearts can make us do the craziest of things, but here I am … already crazy for you, but this isn’t something I can sit and endure by myself forever.

Falling for your, is something truly terrifying and I’m sat here only just about to admit it to myself. I’m trying to disengage from my head because it’s telling me to do things that my heart won’t agree with. It’s like I’m being pulled by strings that you’re in control of … But you have no idea.

It’s funny how everyone around you sees things before you pick up on them for yourself, do you know how many people have told me that you’re in love with me? I’ve lost count myself.

Is it wrong that all I want is to feel your lips on my neck again, I can’t help but think of it when I’m with you, I want to be close to you but we both know it isn’t a good idea.

I won’t sit here and wait for you to make your mind up. I’m going to carry on as normal, like we have done all this time, taking about pointless things and pretending not to have chemistry, as you lay on my sofa with me or while we’re watching films together … While you tell me I’m your type of girl and that I have a perfect body and that I deserve more than what anyone else has ever given to me before … But I want you to be the person who gives me everything.

Hurry up … Before our opportunity slips away again and before another three years slips away.

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Right Now 


You cannot choose who you love but you can decide on how you love them.  And you know how I think, me and you are meant to be together. You being with anyone else is just a waste of your time. 

We will find our way back to each other, once we have finished growing. 

I would do anything for you, but what if that’s wrong right now. I never thought It was possible to love you as much as I do. 

What we have is a great love, and no matter what we do or how much we fight it keeps pulling us back in because we know it’s not over and I can’t even sit here and pretend I don’t like being pulled in by you and us, we’re magnetic and I know you feel that too, every time we are together. 

All I’ve ever done is love you and no matter what stupid things we fought about I still always loved you and you told me you wouldn’t go anywhere. But you have. And as I’m sure you can see, I’m surviving without you being mine. People aren’t supposed to give up when things get hard but you did. 

I love you, I’m in love with you. And as much as I’ve tried to stop I can’t and I don’t want to. I never want to stop loving you. You are without a doubt the love of my life and I can’t stand the thought of you with anyone else. 

I know you care about me and I know you love me, but you don’t want me enough to keep me to yourself. And I deserve better I’m sorry. 

I hope three months from now we can look back at this together and realise how crazy it all was because we have found our way back to each other after growing separately. I love you with all my heart and you are always supposed to be with me, just not right now.