Relationships

Why it is Okay to be Single

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Dating…oh the joys! As many of us singles are navigating through our 20’s, we are bound to face the inevitable question of, “why are you still single?” I believe that this societal pressure to find a mate has inadvertently pushed the idea that being single is unfavorable, so it’s easy for us to fall into that habitual line of thinking.
 
But aside from outside influences, there is the fundamental human need of companionship. The idea of being alone, can seem like an uncomfortable thought.
 
During the demise of my past relationship, the thought of being alone scared the hell out of me. I had shared every moment with that person; the good, the bad, and the ugly…how would I be able to manage all that life throws at us, without him?
 
The thought of starting over again, almost scared me into staying in an unfulfilling/toxic situation. And as ridiculous as that sounds, I know I am not the only one who has considered this. I’ve met countless of individuals who have admitted to staying with their partner for convenience and emotional security.
 
I mean, there are so many benefits of having a companion in life. A true partnership can enhance quality of life, giving more meaning to one’s existence. One of the best feelings in the world is knowing that you have someone you can rely on, someone with a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on. But what happens when that partnership is no longer fulfilling or compatible?
 
I went into singlehood extremely reluctant and bitter. I loved being in a relationship. But I made a decision early on. I could a) feel bad for myself or b) use this time to discover who I am as an individual and figure out what gives my life meaning and purpose. I decided on the latter.
 
And it was in that moment that my perspective on singlehood shifted. This is where the quote, “Don’t be bitter, be better,” applied to my life. I began to embrace and enjoy my solitude, realizing that in doing so, I was more likely to make better choices about who I decided to spent my time with.
 
I now had the time and energy to invest solely on myself. Over a year later, I can honestly say that I have thoroughly enjoyed being single. I am a much more fulfilled person today, than I was a year ago. I think in order to sustain a healthy relationship with another person, you must first, create one with yourself.
 
I also think it is important to remember that we can also find companionship outside of romantic means; whether that may be in relationships with friends, family, pets, and most importantly, yourself. Learn to be your own bestfriend. Learn to love your time with yourself.
 
So next time someone asks you, “why are you still single?”… I say to embrace that freedom. Personally, I’ve responded with, “because I can be and it is actually a lot of fun.” IT IS OKAY TO BE SINGLE. In fact, I encourage it! 
 
This is our time to be selfish. Make yourself a priority! Nurture yourself and your energy, explore your interest and passions.
Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe in soul mates and in time, we will all find our person – but until then, learn to fall in love with yourself! 
Relationships

Uncensored Guide to Understanding Women

With the surge of mobile dating apps, looking for love in this digital age, can seem utterly impossible. I mean, when there are a plethora of options just waiting at your fingertips, it’s no wonder that we encounter so many individuals who make a piss poor effort in creating real relationships. And although there are plenty of us who aren’t on dating apps, I argue this culture of convenience and the paradox of choice has influenced our dating experiences in some adverse way. On the contrary, when we meet someone who puts forth the effort and time, it likely feels like a breath of fresh air.

In fact, I’d go as far as saying there is this general lackadaisical dating ideology. Why put forth true effort into a person when there will always be more options? It’s almost as if this burden of choice has taught us to treat each other like disposable objects, rather than beings who feel.

My girlfriends and I are constantly sharing our experiences, discussing what we like and don’t like when it comes to dating and often times we find ourselves saying, “If only we could make a PSA about this!”

Well….this post is by no means intended to bash on men, but rather a guide into women’s dating preferences.

I can’t even count the amount of times, I’ve heard men say, “Women are so complicated, what even pleases you guys?”

So, I conducted a small survey to gather varied responses from ladies my age.

The question posed: Based off of your dating experiences, what male behaviors do you appreciate/can do without?”

Appreciated behavior:

  1. When plans are made 
    • Whether it be a formal dinner date or even a casual hang out, taking the initiative – shows us that there is interest and direction in the “relationship”
  2.  Manners, chivalry, compliments
    • “Please” and “thank yous”  – aka basic etiquette can go a longgg way.
    • It’s actually quite refreshing when doors are opened, the meal is paid for, and when pleasant comments are given.
  3. Tons of eye contact/ not easily distracted
    • It is especially appreciated when phones are kept tucked away during the date
  4. Remembering the little things 
    • This is just a simple indicator that you’ve taken the time to listen.
  5. Reciprocity 
    • Returning the kindness in any capacity is so attractive!
  6. Common courtesy/open communication
    • MAJOR KEY!!!
    • Letting us know if you can’t make it out for dinner or whatever the plans are, totally okay!
    • Expressing your feelings and intentions towards the “relationship”…yaaas!
    • Being vulnerable and open in sharing personal details/struggles

Behavior we can do without:

  1. Surface level conversations
    • Regardless of the extent of the “relationship,” this is a huge red flag. If you’re not concerned with getting to know who your “partner” is on a deeper level, then that’s a clear indicator of your intentions.
  2. Flakiness
    • Don’t be that person who commits to something, then changes plans last minute. What is especially infuriating is when it is done without notice. If you can’t make it, don’t commit.
  3. Not responding in a timely manner 
    • THIS! THIS! THIS! The way you communicate with someone is very indicative of how you prioritize them in your life. If you’re into someone, you’ll find the time to respond to them, appropriately.
    • And if you’re going to be tied up throughout the day, a simple text will suffice.
  4. Lack of self-awareness 
    • This can be so apparent in literally the first minute of a conversation.
      • (e.g.) Mentioning your ex on the first date
        • Taking up the entire conversation
        • Speaking as if you’re hanging out with the boys
  5. Insecurities
    • We all know that people who are insecure tend to sabotage a healthy relationship…
    • I’ve met multiple men who have openly admitted to suddenly ending a “relationship,” solely because “it was going toooo well.”
  6. Social media etiquette
    • If you are single and dating, there is no reason why you should still have posted pictures with your ex…not cute
    • Liking and commenting on other girls’ photos while actively seeing someone else

Whoo! Fellas! Now that you’ve heard the ladies’ input, my hopes are that you’ve somehow been enlightened. You may disagree with some of the points listed, and that’s totally fine, but the aim of this post was to visualize the dichotomy of dating behaviors. Hope this helps 🙂

Relationships

How to End a Toxic Relationship

Toxic relationships come in many shapes and forms. I’d say, it’s pretty safe to assume that many of us have been in one at some point or another. They are destructive and poison our health and well-being from the inside-out.

I’m clearly not a relationship expert but from shared experiences with friends over the years, there is the commonality that we often times stay in certain relationships longer than we should. There seems to be great difficulty in acknowledging/recognizing that we are in an unhealthy situation. I think the reason for this is because we like to minimize and justify the current state of the relationship while we fixate on what was. I mean, “love” in any capacity has the potential to be blinding. Thus, walking away is the hardest part.

It’s only natural that we have the desire to sustain any relationship that we’ve invested time, emotion, and effort into because the thought of letting go of all of that can be intimidating. But what I’ve learned is that it is okayyyy to admit that a relationship has run it’s course. The most liberating feeling is breaking free from the toxicity and starting fresh. But of course, there is no “easy” way around this.

I think there is this blurred line (which could be called denial) between a relationship going “through a rough patch,” and a relationship turning toxic. Once you find yourself feeling emotionally exhausted more often than not, this is a clear indicator of the relationship’s demise. Not to mention, it is very likely, you too, are dishing this same negativity onto your partner.

I found it helpful to journal those days where I felt down and look back as the week progressed.

I would ask myself, “am I a happier person since this individual has came into my life?” And most importantly, “Am I a better person because of this relationship?”

I had the hardest time answering these questions. But I had to be honest with myself.

I’ve noticed, we like to romanticize the relationship and our partner with hopes of tricking ourselves into believing we should stay and that we are fulfilled.

 Life is so damn short! Why waste time with any person who is inhibiting us from true happiness?

Cutting off a relationship can feel like an amputation, but it is very likely both parties will be better off .

As my mom likes to sing to me, “Let it go, let it goooo.” (Frozen Version)