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Minor set backs (we’re all good though)

A while ago I decided to write a post about relationship break up levels, how one person will start at level 10 and the other will be clawing themselves up from the lowest of lows and it’s all a process?

Well. Recently I’ve been thinking about how much easier life would be if that process was linear. But it turns out it isn’t.

You want to know why you cried over them today but yesterday you were excited to find someone new? Because falling out of love isn’t linear and as much as we’re taught how to love, we’re never taught how to stop.

We’re raised around the idea of once you fall in love it sticks, there’s no need to learn how to unlove someone. You never get taught to prepare yourself for someone walking out of your life when they were the ones who chose to be in it in the first place.

Why aren’t we taught how to walk away when we feel unappreciated, or how to stop loving someone who tells us they don’t want us? It isn’t an easy process. Your heart will always hold onto hope.

That’s why sometimes you don’t talk to them for weeks and then fall into a drunk slip up. But it’s ok, it happens. Own your s**t and move on.

You keep going back because your heart hasn’t yet caught up with your head and in most cases your head is the sensible bit, it’s the part of you that knows you’re better off without them. So when your heart does catch up you’ll be fine, but it’s a slow mother f***er. So please bear with it.

There’s a song I keep thinking of recently because there’s a line in it that goes like this “if you’re going to break my heart, do it right, don’t leave me holding on like the last time” I listen to it and I’m like, yeah you know what, if someone tells you they don’t want you, but they only partly mean it so basically, they’re saying it to push you away while they try to figure it out, how is that fair? You’re in or you’re out dumb ass. Because it isn’t helping the whole linear break up situation if you’re not sure that they’re sure, you know?

But it’s true and it’s another reason why our hearts hold onto people, because if someone hasn’t broken it properly then it just sits itself in limbo. Which is super annoying.

I don’t even know what classes as proper heartbreak either, is it being cheated on by the one person who was your whole world? Is it seeming them move on with someone you considered a friend? Or is it when you’re sat in front of the man you love and having to listen to him tell you that he doesn’t feel anything for you? All these possible heartbreak situations are pretty f***ed but is one more legit than the other? Like on a scale of having your heart broken, does one of these ending versions make the most sense when we think of what proper heartbreak is?

Because personally, I think all versions of a break up will hurt just the same. It doesn’t matter what scale of trauma they fall on, to you, it’s horrific.

So next time you pick your phone up and you’re about to message them, try to think what the outcome will be. Are you doing it just because you’re drunk, or because you want them back in some way, maybe it’s just because you like knowing you have access to them still? Whatever you want the outcome to be, just have it clear in your mind.

But whatever the way. Healing will never be linear, you’re allowed to be sad some days and happy the next. You’re allowed to cry because you miss them one minute and pick yourself up and go out on a date the next.

THERE ARE NO RULES. STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP!

P.S the song I mentioned can be found here for whoever wants to listen to it. Enjoy!

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Therapy session 1 – it’s a process

Sending yourself to therapy, does that make you crazy? Maybe it makes you attention seeking? Like you’re looking for a problem that maybe doesn’t even exist. You’re looking for something or someone to blame all your out of character actions on perhaps?

But your brain is an organ, and just like your liver or your heart it can get sick when it isn’t treated with care, right?

We know all about the things we should and shouldn’t eat, we know how much water to drink, we even know how many steps we should be doing a day and how many times a week we should be hitting the gym. So why do so many of us seem to falter when it comes to looking after out minds, like we don’t know how to care for that part of us or like asking for help from people to give it the care it needs we feel weak and damaged.

Would you call someone who’s constantly suffering from heart attacks that they’re crazy for trying to go to a professional for help? Doubtful. so maybe more of us should shut the f***k up when it comes to giving an opinion on someone and their need to give their minds some more care and attention.

You know what the sad fact is, the people who take themselves to therapy are in most part there to deal with the people in their lives who should be in therapy. Ironic really.

But anyway, how can I be a such a big advocate for something and be out here telling people around me that they’d benefit from going without actually trying it myself. Seemed hypocritical.

All I can say on a verdict on session one is this – we all have issues. Therapy actually takes a lot of mental strength. Most of us go into defence mode when someone points an issue in us, so get ready to battle some demons that you’ve hidden down VERY deep. Get ready to have memories triggered that you didn’t even know existed. And for me, quite possibly the worst part …. get ready to cry in front of a stranger who’s managed to trigger an emotional response in you just by talking about what’s currently happening in your life.

Something no one knows really is this, you’re going to actually feel worse before you feel better. As memories and experiences get dragged up out of the gutter of your subconscious.

If you’re going to therapy to look for other people to blame for your issues, then you’re probably not going for the reasons you should be, and if you come away with a victim mindset, then you’re not ready to do the growth you should be either.

Therapy isn’t there to give you an out for being a shitty person. It’s there to help you understand all the things that go on in your head when you don’t understand them yourself. It’s there to give you valuable tools so you can stop falling into recurring toxic patterns and making the same mistakes.

But above anything. I think the most important thing to understand is this: therapy is not for the weak, it’s for people who want to understand themselves and are ready to stop making the same mistakes they always do.

It takes a lot of mental strength to voluntarily go through a process like this. And I’m still very much a big advocate for it, but only for those who I think have the mental competency to hack the journey it takes you on.

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Confirmation Bias and a serious case of regression

Did you know our brains are there to protect us from things that we register as dangerous? Like it will literally send chemicals around our body when it senses danger.

And you know what we register and scary and dangerous? – the unknown. And what gives us the biggest sense of “the unknown”? Well … a break up.

When a relationship ends we enter into the biggest unknown phase that we’ve been in for a while, so we tend to go into flight or fight mode.

We start going over things in our minds like, what will I do without them, how will I fill my time, what will my future look like. Etc. Etc. But all of these questions open us up to the big scary “unknown

To our brains …. regression is the biggest form of self protection because it’s taking us back into a sense of known behaviour and our brains associate that with being safe. Our brains will literally play neurological tricks on us to make us feel like the sun shines out of someone’s back side and they can do no wrong, just because dating someone new seems too scary.

So wether you’ve just been dumped or you’ve just dumped someone, keeping a good check on your brains need to regress to your former person because they represent safety is something I would definitely recommend.

Before going back to someone you need to ask yourself these questions because another neurological issue we can be facing is falling into a state of confirmation bias.

What is confirmation bias I hear you asking?Well … you know that saying about rose tinted glasses? It’s kind of like that. It’s when our brain goes looking for memories to back up our own views and in the case of a break up, our beliefs are that the person we aren’t with anymore was the best person in the whole entire world because our desired outcome is to believe that we won’t ever find anyone that compares to them.

When we feel ourselves missing someone our brains will literally search for reasons as to why this is true, so suddenly all we can think about are the positives in an ex just so our brains can back itself up for missing them.

So when the need to regress tricks your neurological systems into a state of confirmation bias, remember that everyone has a flaw. Seriously … everyone does and I can guarantee that for every one thing you miss about someone, there will be two things that make you better off without them.

So here are the questions I like to ask myself to make sure I’m not being tricked by my own love confused brain post break up.

1. What did they bring to me that I can’t bring to myself?

2. What was a deal breaker I was happy to overlook while I was with them but not now?

3. Did they do as much for me as I done for them?

4. What traits that they have are actually irreplaceable?

Dig deep when you think about answering these, because I can guarantee that when you really think about it, you’ll see that your brain has probably tricked you into a right f***ed up confirmation bias situation!

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What’s with the three word rush?

Three words. Eight letters. Say it and I’m yours.

Sounds simple. But timing is everything apparently. Some of us will say it too early and sadly some of us will say it too late.

So why is there SO much pressure to tell someone that you love them? I’m sure most of us have heard it before ‘you guys have been together for months, why haven’t you said it yet?’ – maybe it isn’t right for anyone around you to judge the timing of your relationship.

I’ve known people who will tell their boyfriend/girlfriend that they love them within the first month of dating and I’ve also known people for be dating for almost a year before they’ve uttered ‘I love you’. There’s no right or wrong with this, every relationship is different and we all move at our own pace.

Maybe those people who say it early aren’t scared of being hurt, maybe they’re more open and not afraid of letting their heart lead the way instead of their head.

But I can say with total certainty that I am not one of those people, I’ve always allowed my head to drive my decision making. It keeps me out of trouble, when my heart is careless, my head is there putting it back into check and reintroducing logic to the minefield of relationships.

Most of us will feel it way before we say it. There will be moments you’re with your person and you look at them and think, ‘I love this stupid face in front of me’ but does loving all their weird quirks and little things that make them who they are mean that you’re actually IN LOVE?

I’m going to play devil’s advocate and say no. I believe it’s possible to love things about someone before being in love with them. I think it’s the step before realising that your head has lost the battle of control and your heart is now running the rule book and controlling how you are in your relationship.

When I hear it, I want it to mean something, I want the person in front of me to mean it. I want them to be sure, I don’t want an ‘I love you’ thrown at me just because in that moment it feels like love.

I want him to have felt it for weeks, like a slow build up, I don’t want him to tell me straight away, I want him to make sure that what he feels is love. I don’t want him to have fallen for me because I’m perfect, I want him to have fallen in love with me because my weirdness and imperfections make him smile, I want him to fall in love with me because I make him and his life better. I want him to feel that with me he can be exactly who he is.

Because that’s what love is right? Looking at someone on their best days, their worst days and everything in between and saying …. this is it. This is what I want and there’s nothing anyone else could throw in my direction that wouldn’t make me want to end my day with you.

To me telling someone that I love them won’t happen within weeks. It’s going to take me a while to realise my heart is all in. But it means that when I do say it I need the person in front of me to know just how much I mean it.

While thinking about the next person who’s going to tell me they love me will always give me butterflies because I’m a hopeless romantic … I’m also in no rush for it to happen because I wouldn’t ever want someone to say it without being sure.

So just know, when I say those three words, those eight letters …. that I’m without a shadow of a doubt ALL YOURS. There isn’t a part of me that would even consider leaving.

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Emotional intelligence

10 emotional intelligence tips from the masters | The Enterprisers Project

Being self-aware emotionally can both be a good and a bad thing, while being able to recognise how you feel and whats triggered it is always good, the not being able to do anything about it part is where it sucks. It’s like being given flat packed furniture with the end image and no instructions.

Maybe ignorance is bliss when it comes to emotional intelligence?

Because now you’ve become aware of that feeling in your chest, the one that’s telling you someones moved into a small space in your heart and ever so slowly they’re making renovations and expanding the space they’ve unknowingly claimed as theirs.

You know what this is going to mean, so you’re internally screaming at them to stop with the extensions they’re trying to build because falling in love is one of the scariest things you’ve every experienced in your life. To you, falling in love means a feeling of loss of control. Your emotions don’t entirely feel like your own and you’ve spent years priding yourself on the fact that the one thing that you have total and utter control over are your own emotions.

But you can feel it changing.

You can feel it changing as you make them laugh and their smile brightens up your whole day. You can feel it changing when they’re laying their head on your lap while you run your fingers through their hair. You can feel it changing in those moments of emotional vulnerability that the two of you share, the moments that belong to no one but the two of you.

You feel it when suddenly you’ve realised you’re preplanning things in your head with them that won’t be happening for months.

And you’re scared, I get it.

This is one of the times when you wish you couldn’t feel every emotional change thats happening inside you, because right now these heightened emotions are screaming at you and you can’t even try and ignore them. But the whole ‘I can’t even do anything about this‘ is whats making things worse.

It’s as if all you can do is stand and watch a building burn down in front of you despite knowing where to get water, except you can’t get the water because all of a sudden your arms have stopped working. So that’s it, all you can do is stand there and watch the destruction unfold.

And the destruction is alarmingly beautiful, in a way where you want to walk away but you can’t because you also have a desire to see what happens at the end.

Being self aware can be a good and a bad thing, but when it comes to love emotional intelligence sometimes often leads to more confusion because you’re so in tune to not only your own feelings but also the feelings of your partners.

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Friends with all the benefits (kind of)

gif love Black and White mila kunis friends with benefits Justin ...

Let’s be friends ….. we could go for a coffee and spend time doing all the things we both love doing.

Let’s go to all our favourite restaurants and cater to our ‘foodie’ personalities while we talk about everything and anything, I’ll listen to you while you tell me about what’s bothering you and I won’t do it because I want to give an opinion, I’ll do it because I want to listen to you talk. I want to hear you talk about everything that scares you until it feels like it isn’t scary anymore.

Let me calm your chaotic mind while we sit in a quiet coffee shop watching the world go by, creating imaginary lives for the people who walk past us.

I want to get wrapped up in silly moments that turn into hours, which accidentally turn into days, because time fly’s when you’re having fun right?

Let’s go and lose ourselves in a stupidly competitive game of Mario Kart and then maybe catch a film so we can enjoy sitting near each other while not having to say a word.

I can see all the benefits to this friendship.

Let me talk to you about all the things I’m excited to do and about all the visions I have for my business, while you sit and admire my ambitious personality.

Let’s walk the city streets together and find all the hidden gin bars that no one else knows about because then they can be ‘our’ drinking spots, maybe we can sit and drink while day fades into night.

Or how about, Netflix … but it’s my choice of course, because my taste in shows and films has always been better.

Let’s lay on the couch together at the end of a long day or in the middle of a lazy Sunday afternoon and flick something on that can play in the background while we both drift in and out of sleep in the comfort of each other’s company.

Because we can do that and be friends, right?

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All the ways you ‘shouldn’t’ ask her out

I Have A Feeling... That We Should Kiss. GIF - AdamDevin ...

So guys, listen up. There’s some ways that work when asking out a woman and some ways that just totally and utterly …. make us screen shot your attempt and send it to our friends. So I’ve complied a list of ways in which you should most definitely NOT ask someone out.

1. We can go if you want to – why doesn’t this work, well probably because you’re making it feel more like a chore and less like you want us to go somewhere with you.

2. We should go for dinner some time – VAGUE. so very vague, you obviously must think we sit around waiting for men to make plans with us. No, we’re busy people so if you want to go on a date with us, pick a date and stick to it!

3. You wanna do that ‘insert activity here’ you spoke about – how about you be more proactive? If we’ve mentioned we want to do something, surprise us and just book it/plan it and then tell us when to be there. Be ballsy! Especially if you can’t come up with your own ideas.

4. Let’s catch up – erm, on what? If we haven’t seen you for years, one coffee date isn’t going to fill you in on all the events of my life. So again, suggest an actual plan.

5. We could grab a drink if you want – LOW EFFORT! If you actually want to impress someone, put in some effort. If you think she’s worth it then do it. We won’t remember all these first date drinks we go on, but we will remember the ones where actual effort was made.

6. I’d love to take you out, followed by ‘well where do you want to go’ – nope. You’ve almost done it right with this one! You’ve said you’d love to see us, but then throwing the control back at us. If you’d love to take us out, you should know where you’d ‘love’ to take us.

7. We could do something this Saturday, oh wait no I’m busy – if we didn’t ask you out on Saturday, you don’t need to ask us and then subsequently announce you actually have other plans. No one asked. Tell us a day when you’re free or actually free one up for us.

8. I’ll let you know when I’ve chosen something – if you’re approaching us to ask us on a date you really should have already had a plan. This line makes us think we should carry on with plans with our friends, it doesn’t sound certain and we won’t sit around waiting for you to get your act together. Either get something set up properly or we’ll assume you’re going to bail.

9. We should go out – ok, firstly … said who? You’re not really asking me if I actually want to now, you’re just telling me, kind of like a caveman pointing at what he wants and thinking it will just happen. It probably won’t with this approach.

10. You wanna go on date then? – why do I feel like your mum who’s making you take her food shopping all of a sudden? I want you to want to go on a date with me …. I don’t want to feel like a chore. But thanks anyway.

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Roles in the bedroom – what we really want

Goodreads | Fear Me (Broken Love, #1) by B.B. Reid — Reviews ...

Two words, one question, dominant or submissive?

I bet when you read both you automatically placed a gender to each word right? We tend to subconsciously place men into the bracket of being dominant in bed and women as being submissive. But what if our prejudged ideas are wrong?

What if in reality more of us women want to choke our men in bed and watch them grit their teeth at the sheer pleasure of being controlled for once, rather than us seeming like the ‘weaker’ sex.

But more to the point, what if more men want that and just don’t own up to it?

Well, I had over fifty people take a sex survey for me to really delve into the minds of men and women and the role they prefer to take up in the bedroom.

After everyone had sent me their top three results from the quiz, I sat down to really analyse typically what roles both men and women were ending up with in their top three. It appears that while we all have a few ‘kinks‘ both sexes like to ‘switch it up‘ when it comes to the role they’re playing in bed.

When it came to the top three ‘roles‘ we like to take on in the bedroom, overall for men they were getting the results of ‘Dominant’, ‘Switch’ and ‘Vanilla’ while the most common top three for women were ‘Switch’ ‘Brat’ and ‘Submissive’

And for those of you who are curious as to what these bedroom personalities mean, I’ll put the descriptions at the bottom.

Unsurprisingly, Dominant was in the top three for most guys and submissive was in the top three for most women, what was quite surprising was how many guys had vanilla come up in their top three results, so I suppose despite guys saying how much they love doing weird and wonderful things in bed, it may not necessarily be as true after all.

But the overall vibe here was more that no one wants to have set roles, we want to be able to do whatever feels right in the moment, whether that’s laying there and taking everything that someones giving us (quite literally), or whether it’s pinning our sexual partner to the bed, or sofa, or any available surface (whatever takes your fancy), pulling their hair, grabbing their throat and taking control to get exactly what we want from them.

Switch: Switches like to… well, switch. Always taking a dominant or top position is not for them, neither is always taking a submissive or bottom position. Some prefer to switch with the same partner or partners, others have a dominant play partner and a submissive play partner, but in either case they do not fit on one end point of the spectrum.

The definition behind the top results

Dominant: Dominants like to be in charge. Some like to have their partner obey them without questioning, others like some resistance while taking it their way. Some are dominant only in the bedroom, others are dominant throughout their daily life as well (usually with limitations). Unlike the top roles (giving pain/bondage/degradation), being dominant is more about who decides what happens (and takes the responsibility that comes with it) than about the contents of what happens.

Submissive: Submissives like to follow. Some like to give the control away to their partner(s), some like to have it forcibly taken from them. Some are submissive only in the bedroom, others are submissive throughout their daily life as well (usually with limitations). Unlike the bottom roles (receiving pain/bondage/degradation), being submissive is more about who decides what happens (and takes the responsibility that comes with it) than about the contents of what happens.

Brat: Brats are, in essence, naughty submissives. They find disobedience a form of playfulness rather than letting their dominant down, and require a compatible dominant who will not only teach them a lesson, but also accept that any number of lessons might still not necessarily change this behavior.

Vanilla: Vanilla people enjoy regular, standard sex and relationship models. Nothing wrong with that, as long as you’re having fun!

If you want to take the test yourself you can find it here.

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A classic waste of time

Do you know what the one thing is that people freely give away but yet only we only have a limited amount of? Time.

And annoyingly someone can either make it feel invaluable or as a disposable asset, as easily replaceable as a battery. But it’s not. Time is precious. YOUR time is precious.

You need to be with the person who makes you feel as though the time you’re giving them is the most precious thing in the world.

Don’t tolerate people who waste your time and behave as if it isn’t a big deal when they dip in and out of your life.

Your time is one of the most valuable things you can give to another person. So pick the person you’re giving it away to very carefully.

But also, a very valuable piece of advise is this. Just because the last one was a waste of time doesn’t mean the next one will be, so don’t let previous experiences alter your perspective of the next people who walk into your life. You should give everyone the opportunity to start on the same grounds, no holding grudges from the past.

Imagine it like this. When we’re born, we’re given a watch with a set amount of time, like a really long timer. Once the timer runs out that’s when we die, would this change how we lived? Probably.

We’d probably take more risks and put up with less s**t from people who we tolerate.

We’d probably spend more time around people who inspire us and make us happy, the ones who encourage us to be the best versions of ourselves.

But yet because we all act as if we have endless amounts of time, we tend to be careless with it and we don’t behave as if our time is precious.

And if we don’t see the value in our own time, how do we expect others to see the value in it?

So remember, stop letting so many people be a classic waste of time in your life.

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When and how to have ‘the chat’

So here you are, suddenly enraged by the thought of the person you’ve been dating (for however long) seeing someone else … so how are you going to approach the ‘I don’t want you to see anyone else’ chat before someone’s feelings get hurt?

I’ll always stick to the opinion of communication being the make or break factor in a relationship, but yet when it comes to brining up conversation topics that have the potential to hurt us, we try and avoid them at all costs.

If you’re the one bringing up the conversation, and you ask the person you’re seeing if they’re still dating/sleeping with other people. Do you think you have the right to be hurt by the the answer (if it’s a yes) if you haven’t had ‘the chat’ with them before this point?

Difficult one to answer right?

Like surely you can’t just assume that there is some unspoken agreement between you guys when you’re in an early stage of your relationship?

So maybe do it slightly differently, maybe instead of asking them if they’re currently entangled (dating or shagging) with anyone else, you should simply state what you want, whether that’s to stay casual or get serious.

You want to be exclusive? Ok cool tell them … of course they could say they’re not on the same page, but is it not better to know that rather than going along with someone assuming they’re all in with you when actually they’re only all in with you when you’re in front of them?

What happens if your friends come across their online dating profiles and you guys haven’t had ‘the chat’ yet, do you really think you can be annoyed that they still have them if you haven’t been upfront with what you find acceptable or unacceptable?

So ‘when’ should the chat happen?

Well this isn’t a single answer question. Maybe don’t proposition them after your first date, but if you guys have spent two consecutive weeks together after date one, maybe having a ‘what are we’ conversation is ok to happen earlier on.

Basically, I can’t give an opinion on this because every relationship is different and not one has a single set of rules.

But if you’re really stuck on ways to approach the subject and you’re feeling a bit vulnerable, here’s some ways you could initiate the conversation.

1. We’ve been seeing each other for a while and I just want to make sure we’re on the same page in terms of exclusivity.

2. I’m a bit nervous in bringing this up, but I wanted to ask if you’re still seeing other people, I just want to make sure I know where I stand.

3. I want to make sure that we’re clear with what’s happening here, because I’m not seeing anyone else and I want to make sure you’re ok the same page as me to avoid any issues in the near future.

4. Hey I wanted to ask, because my friend came across you on a dating app, are you still seeing other people? I want to make sure we’re being as honest as we can be about what we want.

5. I want you to know that I’m not seeing anyone else, but I wanted to find out where your head was at and if you’re in the same position.

Good luck!