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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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Breadcrumbing is not love

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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!

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You’re not dating

I hate to break it to you, but what you’re doing is not dating.

What you’re doing is distracting yourself, and that’s ok, but it’s important to take a second to recognise the difference even it’s just for your own acceptance.

When you’re not ready to date with a purpose, you can use the time wisely to distract yourself until you are. Distract yourself from the person you’re trying to get over and heal from until all of a sudden you realise that you aren’t thinking about them every day, they aren’t infiltrating your dreams anymore and you’re no longer using them as a point of reference when you’re talking about your love life.

If it takes a new body every weekend to erase the person you’re getting over, then that’s totally fine. But please for the love of god … do not call that dating!

 Dating means opening up and actually letting another person get to know you … the good and the bad (scary I know, because that means you have to accept that other people might think you’re not perfect 100% of the time).

To be honest, a form of pretending to date is going to hang out with someone for the first time with the intention of sleeping with them, because let’s be honest, you’re not that bothered about spending time genuinely getting to know them and understanding what makes them tick if you’re already planning to get them naked halfway through your ‘date‘.

When you’re ready and in your own time, you’ll find someone who’s worth dating and I mean really dating. Someone who you’re excited to get to know more about and you don’t mind hanging out with on occasions where you don’t end up having sex, but you see each other just because you want to.

But until then, go through your list of people who you want to get to know physically but not mentally, you might as well have fun while you’re trying to block the void of space that your last relationship has left.

Just take a second to remember, when you talk about how your dating life is going so unsuccessfully, it’s probably because you’re not actually dating.

When you’re mentally ready to date someone you’ll find everything happening a lot easier, a connection will feel less forced and you’ll feel like you’ve come away from ‘dates’ with something more than just an orgasm.

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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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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.