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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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How to date someone with an anxious attachment style

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be consistent

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

Let them know how you feel – on a regular basis

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

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

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

Follow through on the little things

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

Don’t invalidate their feelings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I think that’s enough reasons for now.

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

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

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

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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.

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Clear intentions

Have you ever watched He’s Just Not That Into You? There’s a scene where one of the main characters Alex states this: “If a guy treats you like he really doesn’t give a shit, then he really doesn’t give a shit.”

Mind blown.

Sad thing is, we don’t date with intention anymore (unless your only intention is an orgasm, in which case, be safe and have fun). Dating with intention is envisioning your emotional wants and needs and finding a partner who shares that same goal. However, we’ve ended up in a chaotic mess where the marriage-minded are dating individuals who want to play the field. And what happens when we discover our intentions don’t align? It’s excruciating. It is a real, staggering pain inside our chest, yet another one that you’re going to have to let go after you’ve spent time imagining how your families would combine.

Millennials long for companionship that’s more than platonic, without the cynicism of “friends with benefits.” So we end up in almost relationships, settling, because we think that’s all that’s out there, people who are only willing to give us half of what we want and deserve.

But really all we want is someone who gives a fuck about us and doesn’t make us confused. We want to cuddle up on the couch and watch movies. We want to complain about someone’s snoring. We want someone to make breakfast for us, because it’s the small things that have the biggest impact. We want someone who texts us goodnight and good morning, IS THAT REALLY TOO MUCH TO ASK?!

What we don’t want however, is confusion and anxiety which is really all we get from our almost relationships.

When we end up settling for the almost it’s because we don’t want to be viewed as needy or demanding. We’re taught to be the cool girl who doesn’t require higher standards as can always be independent AF. How did we talk ourselves into a dating culture where we don’t value connections, but we swipe right? One in which we ghost each other because conversation and honesty seems too scary and difficult?

But what happens when you meet someone who doesn’t make you feel scared for being honest with your emotions and stating that you want them in your future? How do you react?

You’re so used to acting in an IDGAF attitude pretending that you’re not slowly getting feelings for someone who has no intentions of drafting you into future plans with them, that having someone tell you they’re not here to mess you around sounds like the worlds weirdest concept …. but how refreshing!

So maybe after all the shit you’ve been through with everyone else, it’s ok to think that this one could actually be into you and it’s fine to let your guard down and actually be honest with what you want.

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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.

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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.