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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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She just wants you

The last time you asked her, “What do you want?” She wasn’t really sure how to answer you, so she stayed quiet thinking for a while. It felt like a big question, and she knew she didn’t want to mess up the answer.

But secretly she knew what she wanted, she was just way too afraid to say it. It seemed silly to say it aloud, and she wasn’t ready to admit it to herself anyway just out of fear of getting hurt by owning up to her own feelings.

But now she would know that she should just give the answer she could feel on the tip of her tongue. So ask her again and this time she won’t hesitate. She won’t stay quiet even though she’s still afraid, but she knows this is bigger than her fear. If it means she has to stop being scared and take a risk, she’ll do it.

Ask her again and she’ll tell you. She just wants you.

Although she’s scared to admit it, she wants you in the unfiltered moments, where you’re both still half asleep but you reach out and pull her close towards you in the mornings, with her hand on your chest and you breathing in her hair while you’re sleeping, that’s what she wants. She wants you when you nestle in closer just to be near her as she runs her fingers through your hair.

She wants to wake up next to you, she wants to know that you’re safe, that you’re hers and you’re not going anywhere. She wants the safety she feels when you’re beside her, because one’s ever given her that sense of calm and safety before.

She wants the dark days with you, she isn’t scared to sit with you on the days when the sun has fallen from the sky and light ceases to exist.

She wants you in the moments when you can’t figure out why she would even want you because your life feels like a mess sometimes and you think she deserves better but she wants to always be there to reassure you that you matter and that you’re doing the right thing. She just wants you to always believe her when she tells you how valuable and amazing you are.

She will even still want you when you break her heart, when she walks away crying and wondering if that’s the last time she’ll see you. She wants you when you push her away and shut her out because you’re scared because she’ll still want you when she does the same.

She wants you even when you’re working through difficult periods of life together. When shit gets real and struggles become almost too much, she will still want you.

She wants you on the good days when you make her laugh so hard at your stupid jokes that she can’t remember what the silence sounds like. She wants you when you smile at her just because you’re happy to see her.

She wants that lazy Sunday morning feeling with you. That feeling when the sun is moving through the sky but time is standing still for the two of you, waking up in each other’s arms with not a brief care in the world for that short period of time.

She wants you when she see the hope in your eyes, the hope that the two of you might make it. She wants you in the midst of the uncertainty, because nothing in life is guaranteed, but she seems not to mind it so much when she’s with you because she’s excited for the two of you to figure life out together one crazy step at a time.

She just wants you.

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It’s different to what you thought (but that’s ok)

When most of your life you’ve been the person who pushes everyone away who tries to get close to you, you already fully understand why people leave and give up on you. You’ve come to terms with the fact that it’s just been that way for you for the longest time and you’re unwilling to change now. You tell yourself that it’s exactly why you built all those walls up, not allowing yourself to the possibility of vulnerability.

You have fully convinced yourself that love is a game of mind. And a perfect relationship is maybe a myth but it’s also thinking ahead about every single thing that will or won’t work. You want to address it with well-thought-out plans, like how it should be or how you expected it to be. You think about all possible scenarios of how a date will and should go and come up with an endless amount of action steps depending on the scenario you formed in your head, because you’ve already assumed it’s not going to end well.

You pride yourself with the ability to manipulate a conversation to get what you want. And you’re certain that you have your head above your heart, keeping yourself constantly in-check in crucial romantic moments everyone else warned you about. Because you’re smart and will never lose your senses in situations you can’t control.

But suddenly, with one of fate’s playful attempts to catch you off guard, you see yourself attracted to that one person who showed efforts, who never gave up in pursuing you, and who made it seem like you matter enough for them to be persistent. You know, the one you least expected. They sometimes cross your mind in the middle of the day. You look forward to their good morning and good night texts even if you tell yourself you don’t care, and if they didn’t happen you wouldn’t be bothered. Yet behind all that, you know you don’t want them to stop trying.

Then one day, you start to believe that your strong facade was worth taking down a notch. And you realise that maybe a relationship and love isn’t always about being logical, analysing situations obsessively for reasons they’re not right and it won’t work out and ultimately pushing someone away before you find out their flaws or they upset you somehow ….. so you want to try and make sense out of it.

You still refuse to be the girl you realise you’re turning into. You whole heartily refuse to let yourself accept that all the cheesy feelings that are seeming to surface are actually happening. You still try to disregard the thought that maybe, just maybe, it’s the first time you’ve experienced feelings like this without your mind holding you back like all the other times because you’re scared. You repeatedly tell yourself that it’s nothing. Only it’s not the same as how you thought it would be, it’s different this time around and you see a whole new side of you that you never knew existed, this time it’s calm and not scary after all.

You refuse to believe that you’re this affectionate on the inside. You feel a hint of neediness, a feeling you recognise but want to keep hidden because until now, you thought you’d managed to stop being like that. You catch yourself on a lazy Sunday wanting to see them, but you’re wishing it’s just a phase in passing or your PMS acting up and this wanting them will go away. You think that it unless you ignore it, it would only mean you have succumbed to the idea of keeping yourself open to being hurt and that is the last thing you want.

You refuse to accept that you’re becoming the one who is feeling more because you always thought of it as a weakness. You do your best to make yourself believe that you’re not becoming too attached. You distract yourself by doing other things to get your mind off the fact that you’re thinking of them too much. You can’t help but think of them every second of every day and wonder if they feel the same way. But what makes it more difficult is that they can’t find out because you can’t let them feel like they’re smothered, or worse that they’ve got you, the strong independent woman, tamed and right in their grips.

You refuse to accept that all those walls you caged yourself in don’t matter anymore. You pretend that not talking to them for a day is okay and you’re totally cool with it. But in reality, you just want someone, them specifically (of course), to see past your strong exterior and denials, and tell you that it’s okay to be scared, it’s okay to feel emotional, and it’s okay now because they’ll be there for you and with you.

Suddenly “catching feelings” will affect you in all sorts of ways. But it doesn’t make you vulnerable nor susceptible to illogical reasoning (well, not all the time anyway) But rather it keeps you afloat, inspired, and you’ll actually remember what it means to be human and take someone into consideration when you’re making big decisions other than just yourself. It’s still something you’re learning, and it’s okay even if it’s very different to how you thought it would be.

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Catch the curve ball

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She’s the curve ball in the game you didn’t even know you were playing and you’ll realise eventually, that girl would have given you the whole world, you just had to be ready to catch what life was throwing at you.

But this wasn’t the exact plan I had, it isn’t exactly lining up with how I thought things would go” I get that, but hear me out…..

You know she’d have made you smile even after you’ve had a bad day, she would have sat and listened to you for hours until you’d spoken about it so much that you no longer felt stressed and you’d have felt safe because you know she’d have never judged anything you said.

You’ll realise eventually that when you find someone who’s only genuine concern is your happiness, you should hold onto them no matter what.

When you find someone in this crazy messed up world who still has kindness and good intentions in them for someone other than themselves, you’ll want to hold onto them for as long as you can, because they’re a rare breed these days which sucks!

When you realise that she was someone who bought out the best side of you, maybe it’ll be too late. Because you’ll have pushed her away not truly realising what you’re doing.

You’ll realise why honesty didn’t seem so scary with her, why you didn’t get the urge to tell her stupid white lies like with all the others before. It was because you felt like anything you told her wouldn’t be met with judgement and finding someone who accepts all parts of you exactly how they are without a sense of ‘yeah you’re great but if you done this I think you’d be better’ is rare.

Imagine being with someone who’s happy to accept you exactly as you, even though you both know you have flaws and you’re not perfect, but she doesn’t care because your flaws make you imperfectly perfect to her.

You’ll realise soon enough that there’s no one else you want to share your good and bad days with, someone who you want to celebrate your successes with and also sit down in a calm silence with when times have got a bit tough.

How long do you think you’ll have to look until you find someone who makes this whole ‘dating‘ thing seem as easy as she did?

Being with someone who understands that family time and down time are as important as the time alone the two of you have. How many people are like that in the world, who don’t make you feel guilty for not making them a priority in your life even though they’ve just come into it, who are selfless enough that they want you to go and do all the things that are important to you, because that makes you who you are and she’d never want to change that.

You’ll realise you miss her when silly things happen throughout your day that you wish you could tell her about, or you’ve thought of something funny on a tangent that you know she’d laugh at even if she didn’t want to because she loved how your mind works.

When you figure out that you’re supposed to be with the girl who makes you feel like you’re good enough just the way you are. It might be too late.

The one who wants to encourage you in every step you’re taking in your life, who wants to help you be better if that’s what you want. Who’s excited to do this whole weird thing we call life with no one else but you. The two of you might have known where you’d end up but the middle was blurry and that’s ok because you were going to figure it out together.

You’ll realise eventually that the girl you’re supposed to be with may not tick every box off of your ‘what I wanted in another person‘ check list. But she doesn’t need to, because what you needed was actually what you never thought to expect, so maybe the universe knew exactly what you needed, but your ideas had become a bit confused.

Life works like that sometimes, it will throw you a curve ball when you don’t want it to, you’ve just got to be open to the idea of catching it … especially when it could win the whole game for you!

 

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How to date someone with an anxious attachment style

Have you ever dated someone who freaked out when you didn’t call them back right away when you said you would? Perhaps you fell asleep, only to wake up to 15 missed calls and an assault of text messages.

Or perhaps you’ve dated someone who got upset that you didn’t give her enough attention and so she punished you by ignoring you, or broke up with you as a reaction to her feeling unloved. If this sounds familiar, chances are, you’ve dated someone with an anxious attachment style.

Our attachment system is a mechanism in our brain responsible for tracking and monitoring the safety and availability of our attachment figures. Many attachment theorists believe that by the age of five, we develop a primary attachment style that will more or less define the way we emotionally bond and attach to others in our adult lives.

There are three primary attachment styles and 90% of us will be able to associate with either one or two of them: secure, avoidant and anxious.

None of which are bad or good by the way, there isn’t one in particular that you should aim to fall under. But this post is about how to love someone or be in a successful relationship with someone who has an anxious attachment style (whether they know it or not).

People with an anxious attachment style crave intimacy, are often preoccupied with their relationship, and tend to worry about their partner’s ability to love them back. They have an inherent fear of rejection and abandonment. Even a slight hint that something is wrong will activate their attachment system, and once activated they are unable to calm down until they get a clear indication from their partner that the relationship is safe.

If you are dating someone with an anxious attachment style, you just have to understand that their wiring is different from yours, and that they require higher levels of intimacy and closeness than people with secure attachment styles. You can learn what their what triggers are, and how to best respond to make them feel loved and supported. Here are some tips on how to date someone with an anxious attachment style:

Be consistent

Lack of safety is the underlying baseline that subconsciously rules an anxious’s way of perceiving their relationships. Many theorists attribute an anxious attachment style to inconsistent caregiving, where the baby/child never knew if they would have their needs met. Therefore, their attachment system goes haywire as a means of survival. Being hot and cold and mirroring the inconsistency they received as children will be one of their greatest triggers and cause them to react in a destructive way – so be consistent, opt for balance versus extreme peaks and valleys in your attention and energy.

Let them know how you feel – on a regular basis

Anxious types have difficulty believing that you actually like them and without clear signs indicating your interest, they will convince themselves that you don’t. They need reassurance that you care about them, that you’re sticking around and won’t abandon them. Sounds exhausting, but it’s really not that hard. A simple “I’m thinking of you” text or a phone call to check in can go a long way. If you assume they know how you feel, think twice. They don’t. Proactively tell them how you feel instead of holding it in.

When in a fight, reassure that you’re not leaving them

Studies show that people with an anxious attachment style are more sensitive and quicker to perceive offset emotions. They have a unique ability to sense when their relationship is being threatened. They have a tendency to think worst-case scenario because unconsciously, they deeply fear rejection and abandonment. When in a fight, they’re instinctive reaction is to think that the relationship is over. Their heightened alert system will make them think you’re going to leave them, so they will prepare for rejection and may even try to break up with you first. It’s important that you assure them that just because you’re in a fight, it doesn’t detract from how much you love and care about them and that a disagreement doesn’t mean the end.

Follow through on the little things

If you say you’ll call, do it. If you say you want to go out, make it happen. Follow through on promises – small or large. It’s extremely important to build trust with anxious types, who are used to being let down or disappointed. Since anxious types are more sensitive to cues, they pay more attention to the things you say and will remember the promises you make.

Don’t invalidate their feelings

So if you’re wondering why you’ve been drawn to someone like this it’s likely for an array of reasons, one being that they are very heart and feeling oriented and you like that, you like that they show that they like you. They have needs for intimacy, availability and security in a relationship that are necessary for them to feel safe so that they can trust and love with reckless abandon. Know that with the light, comes the dark, and the emotions that you love are also the emotions that become challenging for your logical, busy mind. Do not shame or judge them for feeling and instead show compassion. Understand why they’ve been feeling unsettled or upset by something without making them feel like it’s not important.

While it may sound challenging to date someone with an anxious attachment style, the good news is, through support from their partner and their own self-work, they can move from anxious to secure. Once they realize that they are safe, a healthier narrative becomes reaffirmed through time and experience, and they gradually rewire their baseline, so basically once they realise you’re in it for the long haul. They’ll calm down and just remain content. It’s the early relationship stages that freak them out.

While there’s a lot of information there. Hopefully it will help someone understand their relationship better.

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So you’ve created a fake account (or you’re thinking about it)

So you’re sat there at home and you’ve talked yourself into a point where you feel like it’s totally fine and acceptable to create a fake social media account to stalk one of your ex’s. Sorry I mean to stalk ‘THE’ ex, the one you can’t seem to get over.

First of all I think we should all agree that you probably needed some kind of intervention before it got to this point, but never mind here we are.

Question number one in this situation will always need to be why you couldn’t just give them a follow on your actual account is already raising some serious alarms, so let’s consider some options as to why this could be shall we ….

  1. You cheated on them and now they’re doing better than you
  2. You’re the one that got cheated on and don’t want to seem pathetic
  3. They’ve been ignoring all your other methods of attempted contact
  4. They hate you (for whatever reason)
  5. You’re with someone else but still obsessing over them because you have an inability to be by yourself
  6. The shame of having them know you still want to see what they’re up to kills you inside
  7. Your actual profile just shows how shitty your life is without them

I think that’s enough reasons for now.

But lets revisit point five, you’re with someone else. If you chose to jump into a new relationship straight after the last one ended well it’s no shock that you’re in this position. Did you know on average it takes someone at least six months to get over a relationship as a minimum? But of course, this all depends of how intense and involved your relationship was.

If you’re still obsessing over what your ex is up to, then maybe you didn’t give yourself enough time alone to figure out who you are without them and replacing them with another body probably wasn’t the answer.

Ultimately, whatever your reason for creating a fake social media account for the purpose of stalking an ex, I think it’s safe to say you probably need a bit of help rather than the ability to see their life sprawled across your phone screen.

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Breadcrumbing is not love

Image result for breadcrumbing

Breadcrumbing, the latest trend sweeping across our dating lives.

But you know us modern day lovers, we have to label every action to justify why we weren’t good enough for someone, so here lays the reasoning behind the latest trend …. breadcrumbing.

The likelihood is, you’ve either been responsible of doing it or you’re constantly a victim of it if you dabble in online dating. Or, you have a habit of retreating back to an ex because they promised they’d be different this time.

Breadcrumbing is the newest form of ghosting but slightly more savage, so if you thought being ghosted sucked, you’re going to want to prepare yourself for this one.

The act of breadcrumbing is when someone is sending you just the right amount of flirty messages or empty promises without any real life action or commitment just to make sure you can keep them as a sideline option.

So let’s look at this from an online dating perspective. Think about the person who lands in your online dating inbox with a few smooth one liners and you’re thinking wow great, this one has looks and a personality, we could be onto a winner.

And it may be a bit premature of you, but in your head you’re already deleting all your dating apps and imagining what your insta posts will look like with them beside you, then they drop you the line you’ve been waiting for ‘We should definitely meet for a drink next week when you’re free‘ but what you don’t know is that this is the first of many breadcrumbs heading your way.

The next logical step is of course to trade numbers, and after that comes the exchange of flirty text messages back and forward for a few weeks, which of course is a nice welcome distraction for anyone. A new name and a new number feeding your little ego with lots of compliments.

Now cue the missed dates and the excuses. They’re ‘really’ sorry that they’ve had to cancel again but this project at work has kept them super late and they’re really annoyed they’re going to have to reschedule with you … again *eye roll*

But you’re a self respecting human being, two chances and that’s it, you don’t owe anything to someone you’ve never met, so you take the moral high ground, tell them it’s cool and not to worry about it because we all know these things can happen sometimes, but no messages that will encourage them to keep talking to you.

But a few weeks later here comes the next breadcrumb ‘hey stranger, how have you been doing, I know I still owe you a date, what are you up to on Friday after work?’ ugh, well I guess you can give them another chance right, you guys haven’t spoken in a few weeks but everyone gets busy with life right?

And so plans for the next date attempt commence.

The date comes around, you’ve been looking forward to it. Friday afternoon hits and you haven’t heard from them. But you’re pretty chilled, you wait until mid afternoon to check in, but guess what, you don’t get a reply …. until Sunday.

SUNDAY?! Your date was supposed to be on Friday …. ‘I’m so sorry about Friday, I’ve had a lot going on and it slipped my mind, but I’m gutted I missed out on finally seeing that gorgeous face in person’

And that right there is yet another breadcrumb they’ve tried to feed youYou know who likes breadcrumbs? Birds, and maybe ducks, but not people.

This breadcruming exchange will go on for as long as you keep replying, which will be for quite a while because who doesn’t love unprovoked attention and compliments from a total stranger, or from the person who once upon a time broke your heart? Well, us narcissistic millennials sure as hell love it!

Or if were looking at this from the ‘what we could expect to get from an ex‘ point of view, we could guess it would go something like this – After months of them not responding to the last message you sent in your previous exchange, all of a sudden you’ll look at your phone to see that they’ve sent you something like this ‘I was thinking about you at work today and how good your body feels, I need to see you this week it’s driving me crazy how much I want you. I’m missing us together‘ You get a little excited because subconsciously, this is the text you’ve been waiting for, the one you’ve wanted for months (since the last one they sent you) and this time, well this time you’re going to make sure you’re as available as possible for that dick head ex of yours who treats you like disposable underwear, you know the kind you get given in hospital? Yeah … that’s how bad this is, you’ve downgraded yourself to disposable underwear status.

And of course you exchange a few sexts back and forward, because you love hearing about all the things they say they’re going to do to you. But ultimately when it comes to actually seeing them, guess what? IT DOESNT HAPPEN! Because they’ve just fed you some breadcrumbs and f****d off.

I’m just hoping we can get over this sudden intolerance to gluten everyone seems to have because it seems we’re happy to let people feed us a lot of bread.

At least with ghosting you know you have to go cold turkey, like you’ve had lots of someone until they no longer want to give any of themselves to you and then it’s done, they leave your life and that’s that.

But breadcruming is the equivalent of someone saying ‘I don’t actually want you, I’m too busy with someone else right now, but I’ll keep you warm on the sidelines incase I decide I want to trade in for you at a later date, could be weeks, could be months, who knows, but if you could just wait there that would be great’

And I’m sure reading it out like that makes it sound bad, but I’m glad it sounds bad.

I hope it’s made you reconsider your self worth, or if you’re the person who’s responsible for breadcruming, I hope it’s made you realise how shitty it is!