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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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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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That look she gives you

You know the look I’m talking about, the one she’s mastered especially for you, she doesn’t even consciously do it but when she hears you say “don’t look at me like that” she realises that her eyes are giving away how her body feels and all it does when she hears you say that, is make her want you even more.

She’ll lock into a crazy level of eye contact with you and slightly bite her lip with a slight smirk. And you know exactly what she’s telling you without her even having to vocalise it.

There’s no one else in the world that she looks at like that. It’s all for you. So when you’re not together and you’re going about your general day to day activities, remember that look she gives you that tells you she’s craving your body and wants your hands on her.

When she’s looking at you as if she’s about to eat you, consider yourself lucky. Because she doesn’t want anyone else like she wants you.

You know that when she looks at you like that, it drives you crazy and it’s one of the reasons she does it, because she loves to make you want her so much that it drives you mad.

That look she gives you will make you do a double take, it will make you not want to walk away from her in a room and most of all it will be one of the things that pops up in your mind when you think about her years from now if you’re not lucky enough to have her in your life anymore (that must suck).

There’s no one else who she’d rather be sat in front of giving this crazy amount of eye contact to than you. Her closed book don’t touch me approach means she never really wants anyone like this, but yet here the two of you are.

And once you finally give in and give her what she wants, each kiss you plant on her lips and her neck gets her groaning under her breath because she’s finally got exactly what she wants. You.

So think yourself lucky, that she’s mastered this look just to drive you crazy. She’s mastered it so that you know exactly what she’s feeling without even having to speak to you, she’s given the two of you a new level of connection and she won’t give that to anyone else.

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You’re not perfect. But it shouldn’t matter (here’s why)

Have you ever felt like the world expects perfection from you? Have you ever hidden away behind a mask of having every single little aspect of your life 100% together because you were afraid it would push someone away? Or have you ever downplayed your own pain to avoid being a burden to the people you love?

We have a problem in modern-day relationships. Today, we live in a world where our eyes gravitate towards false perfection. You see ideal couples on Facebook who look happier than you’ve ever been. You see influencers on Instagram who somehow seem to have it all together, better than you do. There is an endless stream of backup options at the tips of our fingers on a daily basis too. The second that something goes wrong in a significant relationship, it’s all too easy to jump online and welcome in whoever is next in line or go out and look for someone who’s convincingly faking it.

The bottom line is that we can’t make ourselves happy this way. Everyone has their challenges and faults, and part of life is trying to work through those and helping the people we love work through theirs. That doesn’t mean you want to change someone, it means you want to build with them.

What happens though when we start to feel like the perfection mentality has painted a big target on our backs and our lives? What do we do when the person we want to impress the most is the same person who picks us apart and puts us under a microscope? They’re under pressure to find someone who fits this bracket of perfect and never steps a foot wrong and with that comes a sense of holding onto and minor flaw.

The truth is that none of us are easy to handle by any means. We make stupid mistakes, but as long as we only make them once, then it’s just a valuable lesson. We can hurt each other, and we can also tend to be selfish in our relationships sometimes by being so focused on what we want to get out of it, or we come with some baggage. Whether it’s from our childhood, our mental health struggles or even the last loser who broke our hearts, we all have painful things we carry with us. If I can tell you one lesson that I’ve learned, it’s that life is too short to stay tied to a person who treats you like you are too hard to love because of your challenges.

You deserve to be with someone who sees past your flaws and is willing to help you overcome them. If the person you love expects you to be perfect at all times and never shows compassion for your struggles, you’re with the wrong one. The only person that deserves you, is the person who accepts your challenges and openly acknowledges that they have their own faults too and as a couple you work on those together.

You don’t deserve to lay awake at night feeling like you just can’t measure up to what your significant other expects. Shallow love will always float lazily at surface level, where you need to be poised and uncracked to keep them around. Pretending to have it all together can only keep a shallow love going for so long. The illusion will always fade.

What you do deserve, is an ocean deep connection that will not wither away at the first sign of trouble. If you run the risk of your partner walking away forever during the smallest of disagreements, that’s not a solid relationship. You should be able to face your challenges without having to constantly worry that your person isn’t going to stick around. The worst kind of relationship is the one where you have to repeatedly look back over your shoulder to make sure your partner is still there. Instead, you should be able to feel that your person is next to you, keeping up, and ready to face challenges head-on together. Life is about building together and pushing each other up. Life gets hard sometimes, that’s just how it is. But if you’re strong together it’s rewarding to push thorough it and come out the other side.

You deserve someone who accepts every bit of you, flaws and all. You deserve someone who would never hold your past against you, or treat you like you’re damaged goods or just not quite good enough. The relationship you should be in is the one that makes you finally feel safe to open up and be your imperfect, honest self. You may think that you are a lot to handle, but with the right person, you will never have to feel unlovable.

You deserve someone who sees you for who you really are, and doesn’t cower away to look for other options when things get rocky. You deserve honest commitment without strings attached. You should never have to beg someone to love you and be loyal to you. Having flaws is not an excuse for someone to discard you and move on to the next person until that person inevitably starts showing their flaws too. Because they’ll soon realise that they’ve gotten themselves into a pattern they can’t get out of. Constantly going after something that doesn’t exist, whether that’s to please themselves or others around them.

The only one you should give yourself to is the person who witnesses your chaos and willingly chooses to stay anyways. Don’t waste time chasing someone who wants you to be surface-level perfect. Wait for the type of love that remains strong no matter what glitz and glamour pass by you both. That’s something solid.

Most of all, save your heart for the one who is up for your challenges and is excited to build a future with you based knowing that there will be shit you have to work through together.

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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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It’s his fault you know

It’s his fault that I love you so badly, I don’t mean to do this wrong, you know this whole love thing.

But honestly, it’s his fault not mine I promise. I never intended to set us up on the wrong path like that. But setting myself up for failure is just how I work, I like pushing myself in the wrong direction with someone until they pull away. I think I tried pushing you but the only difference is, you stayed.

When someone teaches you to love with the worst of intentions you get used to it, used to constantly walking around on your tiptoes around someone who’s pretending that they love who you are while trying to change 80% of you.

It’s his fault that I tell people I don’t trust them as a defence mechanism. Trusting someone is the scariest thing I feel like I can do, or at least admitting that I trust someone is scary, because as long as I don’t say it out loud then maybe I can pretend like I never gave them my trust in the first place when they break it.

Did you notice how I said when and not if? Yeah, well that’s his fault too. All these weird conclusions I jump to, as if everyone has the worst of intentions just like he did. I hate that I let someone turn me into someone who almost seems broken when it comes to loving someone else.

But if someone paints a beautiful happy ending for you, why would you ever call them a liar? Why would you think they’d painted a lie, well you wouldn’t.

I’m sorry that he made us start off on bad terms and I’ll try and spend forever making sure everything is right from here on in, because you’re already showing me what it’s like to be loved in a way that’s easy and untwisted.

It’s his fault that I was the way I was, but you’re the reason that I feel like I’ve learnt what a normal love is like, you’re the one that’s reminded me what it’s like to be passionate and peaceful at the same time.

You’re the one that’s made me feel like I’m not as broken in this kind of game as I first thought.