Chat

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.

Chat

THAT feeling

Do you know that feeling, the one where someone else suddenly tears your life apart, destroys your self-worth and although you don’t know it yet, they’ll also be responsible for keeping you up at night for the next good few years wondering why you just weren’t enough (yay bedtime anxiety).

It’s a feeling you get in your chest, like you can actually feel your heart breaking but worse, it feels like there’s suddenly so much pressure on your lungs that you can’t breathe, everything you thought you knew and trusted is gone, just like that. The air feels like its been taken from your body by the same person who told you they’d die for you and yet ironically here you are feeling like your dying AND IT’S BECAUSE OF THEM.

That’s not love. And now here you are, convincing yourself that you’re the reason it all went wrong. It’s your fault they chose to give someone else the same affection they we’re giving you. You pushed them into the arms of someone else, someone who isn’t even better than you.

Maybe amongst all of this, that’s the part that is hurting the most, the fact you know you’re better than the person they risked losing you for.

Oh, did you know that scientists have proven that heart break can invoke physical pain? Yeah so next time, before you do something shitty to the person who’s fallen in love with you, just remember that not only are you mentally scarring them, but you’re actually causing them physical pain by shattering their heart with your selfish immature behaviour.

You know what sucks even more; you’ll never forget a feeling like this. Once someone has crushed you in the worst way possible, you’ll never really forget that, yet somehow, you’ll eventually find it in yourself to fall in love again. Scary right, how being human means, we have so much emotional vulnerability, heartbreak I guess mimics getting a tattoo or having a baby, at the time it hurts like hell but you’d do it all over again just as soon as you’re ready, as if your brain kind of forces you to forget quite how bad it was because the intoxicating feeling of falling in love is worth risking getting your heart broken for.

I know what the worst part of all of this is, it’s the fact they’ve walked away from this unscathed, unbothered and with the whole thing not really causing any knock of effect to their own future. They’ll carry on as if nothing ever happened, while you’re here in pieces trying desperately to find something to hold together mixed bag of broken fragments that make up your trust, self-worth and heart.

The next time they do this maybe they’ll use a different excuse for their behaviour, maybe the next person won’t have to hear them say ‘in my head we broke up a long time ago’ or maybe, they’ll be as narcissistic as ever and blame anything but themselves for their own shitty behaviour.

Just know that you’ll heal, it will take time and you’ll have to be selfish if you want to try and forget that feeling of having your heart broken.

But you’ll get there, because a good heart will always heal.

Chat

Our first date

How it should be:

I want to remember our first date as something special, a story that can be told to our children and grandchildren.

I want the story of our first date to make people say “aww how romantic, it must have been nice for someone to have made that kind of effort” and for me to smile back with pride knowing that it was special.

Our first date should be something that will stick in my mind, even if we don’t work out. I want our first date to be the one that I compare all the next first dates I go on too, despite the fact that I’ll secretly hope I’ll never have to go on a first date again.

I want you to put in effort to get to know me on our first date, I don’t want the plan to be something rubbish and boring, something anyone could suggest. I won’t remember going for dinner ten years from now, that would just be something that gets pushed to the back of my mind and lost in amongst all my other throw away memories.

No, on our first date you should want to try and impress me. And this doesn’t mean you have to spend a ridiculous amount of money, it means I want you to put some thought into it. Try and find something you’ll think I’ll enjoy doing.

I want our first kiss to come with a cute story that makes up part of our first date. There won’t be many first kisses that you remember, but you’ll remember ours.

After our first date I want to spend weeks telling my friends about it and when I introduce you to my family, I want them to be impressed by how much effort you went to to impress their daughter, especially since they always go on about how ridiculously high my standards are.

We won’t have met online so our first date won’t be weird and awkward, I won’t have to scan crowds of people to find your face. We’d have already met before this, so before our first date you can spend less time worrying if I’ll look like my pictures and more time thinking how to show off how romantic you can be when you’re trying to impress the girl you fancied at the first time you saw her.

I want to be able to get butterfly’s when I tell people about our first date, because it will still get me nervous and excited even just reliving the memory of it.

But most of all, our first date should make me feel excited about how the rest of our story is going to unfold…..

How it probably will be:

After a few days of conversation after meeting on an app …. we met for a drink. I won’t remember where we went or what we drank, in fact, a year from now it will be totally lost in my mind completely.

The end.

Chat

You’ll know she’s falling for you when….

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

Her face lights up every time you walk through the door. You’ll notice that she spends longer looking at you but she’s just taking in her favorite parts. Her smile is bigger than it was a moment ago when you saw her laughing with her friends, as though seeing you was the best part of her day. And although she won’t admit it, it probably is.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

The sound of your voice captivates her. Her attention immediately grasps onto your words, and she can listen to your stories and silly jokes for hours, even if she’s heard them all before she won’t tell you, just because she enjoys watching how you come alive when talk abut things you love.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

She looks away and laughs slightly when you compliment her. She’s not great at accepting compliments from people and each time you call her beautiful it makes her heart skip a beat, although it may not be the first time she’s heard the word used to describe her, it just means so much more coming from you now.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

She laughs at things you do and say like you’re are the only ones in the room. Her insecurities fade when she’s with you, she knows you won’t judge her, you’ve got her singing out loud and going after her dreams like no one else has ever had her do before.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

She talks to her friends about you. They’re probably sick of hearing your name repeated so often throughout each conversation and the weekly updates of how things are going, but she can’t help but be reminded of you. She’s happy and wants those closest to her to know it, it’s been a hot minute since she’s spoken about anyone to the people closest to her the way she speaks about you.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

You’re the only guy that consumes her texts late at night. At the end of a long day, it’s you she can’t wait to talk about it with. You’ve become the only Instagram story worth watching and the top of her tag list on Facebook from all the ridiculous stuff she keeps sending you.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

Staying in on a Friday night watching Netflix with you sounds more appealing than going to a bar with friends. She doesn’t want to go out and drink until she doesn’t remember her night, she just wants to be with you.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

She thinks about her future and begins to factor you into her plans. Where you will live and the family you will create is what she now envisions. She’s no longer thinking only of herself and where she sees her life taking her, but she’s considering the life she will build with you and she’s there motivating you to push forward with your goals and ambitions too, she’s going to make sure you’re doing everything you want to do with her right by your side.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

She lets you pick the restaurant you go to for your not as often as she’d like date night, even though she isn’t crazy about Indian food, but she knows you love it. She turns up the volume when your favourite song starts playing, just to hear you sing.

You’ll know she’s falling for you when:

She’s confident in accepting the fact that she’s not perfect and neither are you. The flaws you both have aren’t going to scare her off, if anything it makes her want to stick around longer and investigate them more. But you’ll just know when she’s falling for you because you won’t feel unsure anymore, once you’ve got her she’ll give you everything.

Chat

The importance of love languages

First question, do you know your love language? If you do …. does the person you’re dating know your love language? Because this is weirdly quite important to a relationship and let me explain why.

Your love language is how you like to receive affection from another person, for example if your top love language is words of affirmation, someone telling you how proud of you they are and being there to give you verbal support will be what makes you fall for them, a love language is literally the way you communicate love.

If your love language list looks the same as the person you’re dating (which is quite rare) then thats a pretty easy ride because it means you both want to give and receive love in the same way.

However, if one of you has your top love language of words of affirmation and the other has acts of service, it isn’t necessarily an issue but more of a situation where you can make sure you show your love to them in the way that you know they’ll respond to best.

It’s easy to assume that the person you’re with wants to be loved in the same way that you do, but that’s where things can go wrong.

If you like someone doing things for you and they like someone telling them they’re proud of them once they’ve done things for themselves you can see how this has the potential to go wrong.

There are only five love languages (according to psychology and behavioural science) and of course, just as any behavioural analysis, your love language will have been influenced by your childhood and how your parents displayed love not only to you but also to each other, we grow up on learnt behaviour but influences over the years of old relationships will alps guide your love language and what’s important to you.

So for those of you who are curious and want a quick overview on what the five love languages are, allow me to get into the basics.

1: Words of Affirmation

This love language expresses love with words that build up your partner. Verbal compliments don’t have to be complicated; the shortest and simplest praises can be the most effective.

“That dress looks incredible on you!”

“You always make me laugh.”

“I love your hair today.”

Words mean a lot if your partner has this love language. Compliments and an “I love you” can go a long way. On the other hand, negative or insulting comments can hurt your partner and it could take them longer to forgive than others.

2: Acts of Service

Your partner might have this love language if their motto is “Actions speak louder than words.”

This love language expresses itself by doing things that you know your partner would like. Cooking a meal, doing the laundry, and doing a little job they might not get time to do in a busy day are all acts of service. They require some thought, time, and effort.

All of these things should be done with positivity and with your partner’s ultimate happiness in mind to be considered an expression of love. Actions out of obligation or with a negative tone are something else entirely and if you’re secretly loathing the fact that you’re having to do it …. it’s probably best not to.

3: Receiving Gifts

This love language isn’t necessarily materialistic and I want to stress this partly for my own justification (this comes second on my love language list) It just means that a meaningful or thoughtful gift makes your partner feel loved and appreciated. Something as simple as picking up something during your day that made you think of them can mean a lot, and I’m literally talking anything!

This is different than Acts of Service, where you show affection by performing actions to help your partner.

4: Quality Time

This love language is all about undivided attention. No televisions, no smartphones, or any other distractions. If this is your partner’s primary language, they don’t just want to be included during this period of time, they want to be the center of your attention. They want their partners to look at them and them only.

This doesn’t mean that you don’t curl up on the couch to watch Netflix or HBO; it just means that you need to make sure to dedicate time together without all of the distractions. That will help them feel comforted in the relationship.

Every time you cancel a date, postpone time together or aren’t present during your time together, it can be extremely hurtful to your partner as it can make them feel like you care more about other things or activities than them.

5: Physical Touch

To people with this love language, nothing is more impactful than the physical touch of their partner. They aren’t necessarily into over-the-top PDA, but they do feel more connected and safe in a relationship by holding hands, kissing, hugging, etc.

If Physical Touch is your partner’s primary love language, they will feel unloved without physical contact. All of the words and gifts in the world won’t change that. They want to feel you close by, not just emotionally, but physically.

So there you have it, a quick overview into the love languages and I’m sure you’ve read one that makes you think … “that definitely sounds like me“, but if you fancy putting both you and your partner to the test, you can both find out you love languages here.

Chat

It’s ok to be scared

giphy-3

It’s ok you know, to be scared of opening up to the possibility of someone being able to hurt you.

It’s ok to try and protect yourself in any way you know how, and actually it’s ok to sometimes take a step back and evaluate if you’re ready to give something your full attention or not. If the answer is no, then take comfort in knowing it’s ok to step away. But if the answer is yes, then you just need to get ready to ride the wave of uncertainty for a while.

Everyone will tell you how exciting those initial months are of dating someone, how the first parts are the most interesting, you’re finding out likes and dislikes, what’s ok and what’s not, things you have in common and things you’ll differ on opinion on and with that also comes the 10,000 opportunities the other person has to leave without even feeling slightly disheartened by it all, because in those early stages theres also no need to explain why you’ve done a disappearing act and theres no need to apologise for not giving someone a reason behind why you’ve decided they’re not for you anymore.

It’s ok to be scared of the moment that just as you’ve decided to give more, they’ve decided that they’re going to walk away.

It’s ok to feel nervous and worry that they’ll decide they don’t want you even though you want them.

It’s ok to get scared that they’ll be exactly like all the others and wonder off just as you want them to pull closer.

It’s ok to sometimes worry that you aren’t good enough, or that you aren’t brining enough to the table, we’re all human and sometimes we can over think things, but we shouldn’t be sacred of someone seeing us in a way that isn’t accurate, because if they do, then they aren’t the right person for you anyway.

But remember, in your initial exciting phase of dating, you have to remember you aren’t going to slot straight into priority number one on someones list, they aren’t going to know that you need a phone call at the end of each day to feel secure in your relationship or a few texts during the day from them saying they’re thinking of you and they miss you to make you feel like they’re still interested in you (they won’t know that you’re secretly needy AF), so instead of spending time fretting about it all, just embrace it and know that they’re getting to know you just as much as you’re getting to know them, it’s fine not to get everything right straight away!

One thing you shouldn’t be sacred of though, is ending up with the wrong person, because you’ll get a lot of people walk in (and sometimes out) of your life for reasons you can’t understand sometimes. So although you can be scared of getting your heart broken, don’t spend too long worrying about it. The one you’re supposed to end up with would never break your heart anyway.

Chat

How to get over a narcissist

These past few months have been difficult. Trust me, I know.

You wake up each day with the intention of moving forward, but you are unavoidably reminded of him when your Spotify shuffles to that one song. Memories flood back of that time in his room, gazing out the window at the sun, feeling the most calm you’ve ever felt. He was your serenity and then he took it away.

You can’t help but think of him when you’re telling all these new people you’ve met about the story of why you are where you are. It’s these moments when you can’t help but recall how difficult it was to not fall in love with his seemingly flawless charm, how hard you fought against liking him for months on end just for his perseverance to pay off in the end when he had you fall for him harder than you’ve ever fallen for anyone.

You’ve never felt things that deeply for another person and as he was pulling away it just made you want to delve into the intricacies of his mind to see what was going on. You wanted to see what was beneath that outgoing, arrogantly confident persona because I mean after a while, he did in fact seem perfect to you, all you wanted to do was workout how you became so obsessed with someone who initially you had no interest in. Why was he the way he was.

The thing is, you assumed that everyone’s good and kind and open, like how you were. And so it was impossible to see the reality behind his deliberate façade. You couldn’t have known the truth at the time. Even if everyone around you was trying so hard to point it out.

He lured you in little by little, making sure to carefully conceal his numerous flaws. He was strategic with it all. And then, surely, when he had you securely in his palm, his utter sense of superiority inevitably began to creep into his comments or behaviour. His self-absorption would always find fault in you when things were clearly lacking on his end. In difficult moments, his demeaning and self-loathing side would berate you while embracing his victimhood. He was always perfect, and you were always flawed.

But you made excuses for him, I know. And please don’t beat yourself up over this, because the truth is, you’re a good person and you want to give people the benefit of the doubt. Even when your friends were telling you you’d changed. You always wanted to see the best in him. You wanted to believe he was who he portrayed himself to be in the beginning. The guy who was there ready to give you everything, including his future.

You wanted to understand him and be the one woman who could keep him in his stage of being physically obsessed with you, so he didn’t get tempted by all the other women he could lure in with the arrogance and charm he gave off when he went out.

His power trip obsession meant he always needed to be in control, especially over how others saw him and felt about him. And you were just the biggest challenge he’d come across. The first one not to fall at his feet immediately

And despite the sheer devastation he caused, you’re still standing, you’re still here. You’ll find someone with the same heart as you, but he’ll stay wounded and will keep damaging others who happen to come across his path. Sucks to be them.

Just remember, it’s okay to not assume the worst in a human being. Most people in this world aren’t that horrible and even though this may seem difficult to believe right now, there’s nothing you could have done differently that would have changed how it ended. In typical narcissist fashion, he lured you in and spat you out. Leaving you as a shell of who you were before him.

But please know that this has nothing to do with your worth or value as a human being and everything to do with his deep-rooted insecurities and past. It has everything to do with the fact that he knows no other way to be, he needs to feel wanted and needs to get attention off others in any way he can, you were only providing love and affection but you would never have been enough forever. He didn’t know how to only get attention from one person.

So right now, just scream and shout as much as you want. Throw shit if you have to, because almost nothing compares to the pain you’re feeling. He took off his mask, and in the process of doing so, he left you broken. You’re probably still trying to process everything that happened, to make sense of everything and actually you know what, it will take a while.

But you know what, there is no “processing” with a person like him. There is no sense in his actions, and there is not one single instance that caused him to walk away. There was nothing you said or did that caused this.

So take all the anguish, the ache, and go for a long run until you can’t feel your legs, sit outside, spend times with genuine people who care about you. Care for yourself and pick yourself up, because you’ve been through a rough time. Repeat this each and every day until you feel like yourself again. Yes, the scar is very deep, but you’re a strong person, and you will move on. It hurts so badly because you gave everything you had in you, and that alone is a beautiful thing. Even if right now you’re sat thinking you never want to do that ever again.

But trust me, you’ll find someone eventually who makes you want to fall head over heels again, someone you get excited to give everything to.

It just takes time.