Open Topic

Impact Of An Almost Relationship.

We ran in these same circles for years. The appearing and vanishing act like it wasn’t such a big deal. And every time he entered my life, I listened to my heart instead of my head holding onto hope that maybe this time would be different. Maybe this time we’d get it right.

I held onto the one day and the maybe and the promises I wanted to be real. But I think in my heart, I knew it would never end the way I envisioned it.

Still, every few months I’d wake up and look at my phone. “Hey.” As if months didn’t pass since the last time we spoke and conversations that went from talking to screaming to swearing we hated each other. To another ending to a relationship that wasn’t one.

But every time I caved.

A conversation turned into likes and follows even though we blocked each other.

It was a vicious toxic cycle and I hate how much I loved it.

Pining after someone who was so close, but kept me at arm’s length like love was something to be won over.

I swore it was love but what it really was, was infatuation for something I wanted but he was also the last thing I needed.

And every night I swore I wouldn’t answer, but the text or call would come in late and I’d whisper into the darkness. We each said everything we wanted to hear as if we were in a play we didn’t need to practice.

It was almost a relationship, but only the bad parts. The parts where I’d stare at my phone when I’m out and I pretended it wasn’t fazing me that he wasn’t answering. But in my mind, I wondered who he was with.

Moments where he’d switch the read receipt on and off just to fuck with me.

Moments when he knew I was out and who I was with, and he knew exactly what to say to stop me in my tracks. And I’d stare at the guy in front of me then look back at my phone, every night ended alone.

Blowing up my news feed and looking at every story just to remind me he was there.

The coming and going as he chose as if I was some choice he got to make.

And every time he left I was the one hurt and mourning a pain I grew so used to.

And when it finally ends, like really ends, and you look at each other and you realize you can’t keep doing this. There are two emotions you are overcome with, sad because it didn’t work out the way you wanted. And relief that it’s over.

It’s the little things.

Texting shouldn’t leave you so paranoid, but it does.

You shouldn’t go into a date expecting them to cancel, but you do.

Ghosting shouldn’t be what you expect, but you suddenly do.

You shouldn’t have to try so hard, but you are. Because the past taught you love was something you had to prove you earned.

Love and relationships shouldn’t be something you fear, but you do.

Expecting the worst of someone shouldn’t be where your head is at, but it is.

Milestones shouldn’t leave you taking a deep breath, but you do just that.

And someone treating you well all the time shouldn’t be so foreign, but it is.

It’s needing that reassurance in someone and you feel guilty for it.

It’s not trusting someone even though they’ve given you no reason to.

It’s wanting to explain to someone new I continued to choose someone who did nothing but hurt me.

In making that choice it turned into a pattern of going after people who were emotionally unavailable.

And instead of walking away with self-respect, you tried to find validation in others like their approval and a relationship label would heal you.

It’s the fear of a relationship ending that hasn’t even begun yet.

It’s your inability to take things slow because someone taught you in the past, it’s not about who you are, but rather what you can do for them.

You think all guys want is something from you and begin to not only not trust them, but you don’t trust yourself either.

It’s the social media games you let them play and you fall into it even though you know that game better than anyone.

It’s subconsciously messing things up because endings and relationships not going your way are what you’re used to.

It’s that moment someone says something genuine and they don’t have motives and you are questioning everything about them.

It’s crossing paths with really great guys and growing so afraid of it.

It’s looking at yourself in the mirror and doubting what you see. That someone could want you the same way because all you knew in the past were series of people who made it all about the chase.

Almost relationships aren’t a step towards getting actual relationships it puts you a thousand steps in the wrong direction when you finally meet someone good and decent because you doubt them.

Getting out of the cycle of an almost relationship isn’t the hard part. The hard part is when you have to recover from it.

It’s an old habit that dies hard.

It’s realizing yeah, you chose someone you shouldn’t and part of that is on you.

But it’s also walking away from that realizing what you actually deserve and being brave enough to let someone in and give that to you.

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Open Topic

The Ghost From Room 314.

It was about 1997 when my family and I vacationed in Mount Washington. To this day one of the most beautiful hotels in New Hampshire sitting right alongside a river in the middle of the mountain.

“There was a big fire here in the early 90s,” the concierge told us.

“Did everyone survive?”

“No,” he replied. “We get a lot of reports that ghosts are still walking around this hotel haunting the place. I wouldn’t go up to room 314 after dark if I were you.”

I walked away asking my dad about it. You tell a nine-year-old something and they believe it.

“He’s just trying to scare you.”

“Well, I don’t believe in ghosts,” I replied.

But for that week it sat in the back of my head. What was in that room after it got dark? Probably nothing I thought. Another ghost story.

Days later, I entered the main elevator and a man I hadn’t seen all week was working it.

“The Second floor please.”

“Yes ma’am,” he replied.

“You know the man working told me there were ghosts in room 314 that came after it got dark, is that true?”

“Only one way to find out isn’t there?”

I nodded. “I’m Carla.”

“I’m George, nice to meet you.”

I exited to my floor. And thought about what he said.

The next night before dinner, I looked twice at the hotel’s old elevator not many people used. I thought for a minute about using the main one but instead, I used that one. A couple exited and I stepped on alone pushing three.

Level Two.

Level Three

And just as I approached the third floor, the lights went out and the elevator stopped. Lights flickering on and off, I continued to push the lobby button but it was stuck. Then I started to cry, reaching for the red phone.

“I’m in the elevator,” I said screaming into the phone. The woman on the other end told me to remain calm and it would be okay.

Moments later the lights went back on and instead of going to the third floor like originally planned, I got redirected to the lobby.

Walking off the old elevator in tears, I ran to the main lobby towards the elevator, where I had once met George, only he wasn’t there.

I then went to the receptionist.“Excuse me, do you know where the man who works the elevator is?”

She looked at me puzzled.

“Sweetie, no one has worked in that elevator since the early 90s. Is everything okay? You looked like you saw a ghost.”

I walked away heading to dinner, believing every ghost story I ever heard from that day on.

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Open Topic

Wanting Something More.

Late night whispers and slurred words turn so quickly into waking up next to a stranger like the night before didn’t happen at all.

A look across the room thinking maybe it could be more.

More than where is this going later?

Will this be just another goodbye?

And numbers exchanged and you’re staring at your phone.

Waiting.

Talking, but is anything actually being said?

Because no one knows how to listen anymore when all anyone cares about is what they are going to say next.

We are all a little jaded when it comes to love.

I know who burned me but I wonder who did the same to you.

Because there was once a time where all of it didn’t scare us so much.

A time when commitment beat not caring.

A time when problems were talked about and worked through and you came out the other side together.

Now the first mistake you make is a goodbye without the word and a compilation of stories ending at another dead-end.

Watching others get it so right wondering where you went wrong this time.

Kissing strangers in a club because that’s what you are supposed to do.

The word relationship stings a lot more for people who want it badly.

When did a text grow to mean so much and a simple answer leaves you feeling less anxious than before.

Because the excuse I didn’t get your text doesn’t work anymore.

And you are staring at your phone every five seconds wondering did you word what you just sent correctly.

When a reply makes you look back at how long it took them to answer.

And you gauge that on when you’ll send the next text.

When you post a story or a picture in hopes just that one person sees it or likes it.

When social media adds validation to how people feel about you simply because everyone is afraid to say they care.

When everyone is so afraid of getting hurt they don’t give people chances.

When you jump too far ahead because you’re afraid of something going wrong, the natural progress of relationships doesn’t happen when you’ve slept with a person so quickly. But that’s become normal.

When first dates turn into job interviews because everyone judges each other a lot more harshly now.

When you cancel, but stay home alone only you keep talking to the person all night.

When running into one another in public is this awkward silence that somehow says everything it needs to.

When rejection paralyzes you so much you fear even making any move.

When they say chivalry is outdated but hope and pray to God it isn’t.

When you want something more than dating that’s become casual.

When wanting to meet someone you have an emotional connection with seems foreign.

When you want someone you wouldn’t be afraid to bring home to your parents.

When staying in with someone on a Friday night just watching T.V is more appealing than going out and blacking out for shits.

When you finally bring someone around during the holidays and your heart beats a little faster because every year before you wondered when that would happen.

When patience and faith that one-day things would change becomes your reality.

When you begin to heal from the past because this person taught you it’s okay to have skeletons in your closet.

When you put your trust in someone and finally they don’t let you down.

When suddenly you are telling this person everything you’re too afraid to say out loud.

When they become a part of your routine.

And you begin leaving things at their place.

When “I” turns into “we” so easily. And you swore you’d never be one of those people.

But with them you are.

When the words I love you don’t leave you empty because there’s comfort in hearing it back.

When you suddenly have another gift to buy at Christmas.

And someone to kiss on New Years.

You look at them and realize it’s okay to have wanted something more.

Because you look them in the eyes and realize…

Every disappointment.

Every letdown.

Every heartbreak.

Every moment of confusion.

Every tear.

Suddenly became worth it as they kiss your forehead saying goodnight and not goodbye.

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Open Topic

Why She’s Single.

You call her jaded when it comes to love but it’s hard to get excited about anyone or anything when the outcome seems to be the same.

You tell her to try harder when it comes to love but every time she does, she comes on too strong and it pushes people away.

You tell her she’s different, but it’s still not enough to appease you.

You tell her not to change, but you still don’t choose her.

You tell her she’s beautiful but what she hears is, not beautiful enough.

You tell her to care less when it comes to love but in a generation of casual hookups, if it means never speaking to the person ever again after leaving the next morning, she’d rather wake up alone.

You tell her she chooses the wrong people but every one of them has her fooled saying and doing all the right things to get her to fall, only they have no intention of catching her.

You tell her to not be so on edge, but how can you not be when ghosting without an explanation has become her norm.

You tell her she’s too guarded, but every relationship she gets herself into is another reason why she needs to watch her back.

You tell her she needs to change and every time she does it’s still not enough. She changes herself so much she forgets who she is.

Fixated upon her reflection, analyzing every flaw. Wondering exactly what it is about her they don’t like.

You tell her to focus on herself, yet all the accomplishments and awards and areas of her life that should attract someone, doesn’t. So she pines after achievements because at least that’s consistent.

You tell her she needs to be more confident, but how is she supposed to when across the board it seems she has everything going for her?

You tell her to not fear love but she looks at the guy standing in front of her who she gave everything to and he broke her.

‘I love you’ slipped out of her mouth only to be met with silence followed by explanations.

She’s tired of people having to justify why this thing that looks and feels like a relationship, will never actually be one.

You tell her she needs to stop thinking so much but when every move she makes is judged harshly, she goes from making moves to be frozen.

You tell her she needs to move on from the past and skeletons that dance with her. But when every step forward leads to them somehow knowing, then she takes three more back because suddenly when she’s not available, they grow more interested.

You tell her she needs to trust more but all she’s learned is the only person she can trust is herself and even in those moments, she questions that.

You tell her to be happy alone but is that bad to want to share a life with someone?

You tell her she needs to put herself out there more. So she downloads apps and goes on dates only to realize very few people’s standards and ideals of what dating actually should be, align with her own.

You tell her all these things and she’s just left confused and alone and not sure what to do.

You tell her to be patient and wait, that the right person will come, so that’s what she’s doing.

Waiting for someone she doesn’t know even exists, but hopes and prays he comes soon.

Lying there alone at night wondering when someone will lay next to her and want to stay.

Standing alone in a bar, making eye contact with strangers. Hoping maybe it clicks. But in a sea of people, she feels more alone, it’s ironic how company can do that to a person.

The truth is, maybe there’s enough alcohol to change her for the night but when she wakes up she still has a heart that’s different than all of them.

So she stumbles out alone as passer-by’s drop lines to ears that are mute because she’s heard it all.

She’s believed it all.

And she learned.

But she holds onto a faith that’s growing weary, as walls build up hoping just maybe someone will care enough to show her it was all of them before who were flawed, not her.

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Open Topic

I Hope You Choose Someone…

I hope you choose someone who never stops picking you first.

I hope you choose someone who makes you feel a sense of wholeness even if you never felt empty before.

I hope you choose someone who answers every text you send, immediately.

Someone who calls you right back when they’ve missed it.

I hope you choose someone who builds you up in such a way they make you feel like you’re the most beautiful person in the whole world.

Someone who looks at you and says, ‘I’m the lucky one,’ even if it feels like you’re the one who lucked out.

I hope you choose someone who meets you halfway and never makes you feel like you have to try that hard.

Someone who reciprocates everything you have to give.

I hope you choose someone who compliments you in such a way you’re the best version of yourself standing next to them.

Someone who simply brings out the best in you and pushes you to achieve more.

I hope you choose someone who takes care of you. Physically. Emotionally. Mentally.

Someone who doesn’t judge you too harshly when you aren’t at your best, but steps up when they need to.

I hope you choose someone your friends like because they see how happy this person makes you.

Someone your dad respects, even though he’ll never think anyone is good enough.

I hope you choose someone who respects you. From opening doors to pulling out chairs to taking your coat.

Someone who shows through the little things they care.

The person who takes the time to learn about every scar in your past and runs your fingers over it showing you there is a beauty to the things that hurt you. Because it made you who you are.

I hope you choose someone who would make sacrifices for you.

Someone who understands and respects relationships are about give and take.

I hope you choose someone who cares about the little things, like you getting home safely, you putting your seatbelt on and if you’re feeling better after a cold.

Someone who will send you flowers and knows exactly which ones you like.

Someone who shows effort and caring is okay and this is what you deserve.

I hope you choose someone who doesn’t want to change you, but does help you to see your full potential and what you can amount to.

Someone who genuinely wants you to be happy because you being happy makes them happy.

I hope you choose someone who doesn’t make you question your self-worth or if you’ve done something wrong.

The one who isn’t afraid to apologize when they are wrong and makes it up to you.

I hope you choose someone who still makes you a little nervous when you see them.

But at the same time, there’s confidence to everything about you two together.

I hope you choose someone who makes you realize they are the only choice that makes sense in your life.

Because the day you met them, was the day you started feeling alive for the first time in a long time.

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Open Topic

I’m Always Going To Be…

I’m always going to be that first text.

The one doing double takes looking at my phone.

The one who answers quickly regardless of how much time you let pass.

The one who sucks at hiding emotions.

You look at my face and you see every emotion across it.

I’m always going to be the one making the plans.

The one investing more time, emotion, and effort if I think you’re worth it.

I’m always going to be the one who falls a little too fast and hard.

No matter how many time I crash at the bottom.

The truth is, there isn’t a painful enough ending that’s changed me.

Sometimes I wish there was.

I’m always going to be the one that tries a little too hard for someone.

And it isn’t that I don’t know my self-worth or I’m overcompensating for things I lack.

It’s just who I am. Even when I wish I was someone else.

Someone who puts 110% into everyone and everything.

And when you tell me to care less, I’m not going to know how to.

Trying too hard to please people has always come very naturally to me.

To me, it doesn’t seem like much of an effort at all.

I’m always going to look at others before myself.

My greatest attribute is also a shortcoming.

Selfless over selfish.

When maybe sometimes it should be the opposite.

Giving my best, but always expecting the worst.

The one who constantly tries.

The one who is tired, but still finds the energy and time to not let people down.

Even though so many people in the past have let me down and disappointed me.

I hate being asked the question “would they do the same?”

Because most the time they wouldn’t.

But I’ve never based my life on keeping score but rather what value do I add to someone else’s life.

And it isn’t just romantic relationships, it’s every relationship.

Every friendship.

Every family relationship.

Always being the one who takes care of everything.

And even when it’s hard, I make it look easy.

Even when I’m tired, somehow find energy.

Running myself thin is what I’m used to.

Even when I need to be in two places at once, I somehow make it happen.

And if I let someone down, I take it very personally.

Wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Doing everything I possibly can to make others happy.

Hoping and praying it’s enough.

And thank you’s get replaced with silence.

Appreciation turns into expectation.

And people ask why I try too hard.

And sometimes I wonder it myself.

Sometimes I wish I had a heart that cared less.

A brain that didn’t constantly over analyze things thinking maybe it’s me.

Someone who didn’t take things so personally.

A heart that cares too much seems to be the one that always gets hurt the worst.

But somewhere on the verge of faith being shaken, I think and hope and pray someone sees the value in a heart that’s soft in a world that’s tried so hard to make it hard.

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Open Topic

Comfortably Numb.

The almost relationship.

The casual consistent hookup that never turned into more.

The emotional connection where you each knew something was there, but you left it ambiguous.

The what if.

The hardest relationships to get over will always be the ones that don’t meet the definition of what a real relationship actually was, but everything felt the same.

To sit here and tell anyone what they felt wasn’t justified or acceptable just because it didn’t turn out how they hoped it would, would be like telling every person who has ever been dumped they aren’t allowed to be sad about it.

The only difference between these two types of relationships was some label.

But justifying how someone feels based on labels, is complete and total bullshit when I love you means the exact same thing.

Sometimes we end up loving the people who weren’t entirely ours more than we did those who gave us that title. Pining after the person we wanted, even if they were the last one we needed.

The what if factor. The maybe. The one day.

They leave you with a hope you don’t ever truly let go of.

It’s people who haunt us years after the fact.

The moments we wonder could something still happen.

You hate yourself for admitting it but if they one day wanted you, you let them have you even with the pain they’ve caused.

When real relationships end, there’s this odd comfort with a start and finish.

But with the other relationship, you don’t get closure. You’re left with all of these feelings that didn’t exactly go away, you were just left to let them linger within you.

Real relationships get a goodbye and you heal.

But the other relationship, you just have to move forward and at any moment that person can come waltzing back into your life as they did often and those feelings resurface again.

You don’t get healing with the person you never dated.

You just learn to live with this pain that becomes comfortably numb.

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Open Topic

It Wasn’t Me They Loved.

There is nothing romantic about loving someone who loves someone else. And it never works out the way you want it too. Because the truth is, if someone is standing right in front of you and still choosing someone else, their mind isn’t going to change. And there isn’t a kind enough gesture or anything you can do to change that.

But the thing you have to remember, it isn’t your responsibility to change how someone feels about you.

It seems the ones we can’t have are always the ones we want the most.

Everything about it hurts though.

Here you are standing there with all of these emotions you can’t even control or know what to do with. So you try to hide how you feel only that makes it more obvious.

When you love someone and you try to deny it, it’s written across your face for everyone to see and when it’s someone you shouldn’t care about, it’s just awkward and uncomfortable for everyone involved. You don’t bother saying anything because you know nothing will come of it.

So you tiptoe around this elephant in the room no one wants to talk about or address.

But everything eventually comes out and when it does, it’s ugly and emotional and heartbreaking and straight up awkward.

And you feel guilty and ashamed by it. Because you shouldn’t feel the way you do, but you can’t help it.

You feel jealous towards someone you might not even know. This jealousy turns you into a version of yourself you hate. Because it isn’t like you to be like this. You end up almost ruining the relationship.

You feel like an idiot having feelings for someone who cares about someone else, and you blame yourself for all of it.

You walk away with your head down, everyone involved needing time and space, and you don’t even know if there is anything left to salvage in a relationship that wasn’t actually one.

This person goes from a friend to a stranger and there is a pain to that and there is guilt on each side. You feel bad for making their life worse, and they feel bad for hurting you.

But time does end up healing the situation.

And you realize if the worst thing about you is, that you loved someone you weren’t supposed to a little too much, that’s not too bad in the long run.

If you’re lucky, if you’re really lucky, you figure out a way to get past it.

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Open Topic

#RelationshipGoals.

When I meet the right person I don’t want everyone to know about it at first.

I want it to be a part of my life I can quietly tuck away. A part of my life people don’t have to know about. The part of my life I can just have all my own.

I don’t care about being Instagram or Facebook official as long as we are our own definition of what is real.

I don’t need flowers sent to my office that I Snapchat immediately, showing everyone what a good boyfriend he is.

I just need to know he’s good to me and treats me well.

I don’t care if we follow each other on anything at all. Because I won’t need to like something to show I support him and all he does.

I don’t need him to comment on pictures I do post telling me I’m beautiful if that’s something he’s saying every day.

Needing validation through social media shows an insecurity within myself and my relationship.

I don’t need to be texting him every minute of every day. I just need to be confident enough in him and us to know that I’m the only one he wants.

I don’t need a woman crush Wednesday (WCW) to tell me he cares.

I don’t want social media to tell me what my relationship is.

I don’t need others to define it.

I just need to know it’s real for me.

I don’t need to go pumpkin picking and take some basic picture when honestly I hate pumpkins.

I don’t need some picture by a tree in New York that will take up another picture in someone’s newsfeed.

I don’t want to be those people.

I don’t need some kiss at midnight to prove that the person standing next to me is the one I might want the rest of the year.

I just need their time. I need their attention. I need their effort.

I don’t need some social media accessory to get a few more likes because the memories that matter most are the ones undocumented.

Those times where it’s late at night and I’m telling him things I haven’t even said out loud.

Those times where I love you slips out of my mouth and before I can take it back, it’s his to have however he wants it.

Those times when shit hits the fan and he’s the only one who can make it better as I fall apart in his arms.

Those times when I wake up in the darkness and his hand is the one I reach for.

Those times where I wake up late and there’s a note with some inside joke.

Those times where I nervously bring someone home for the first time because I haven’t done that. And he reaches for me telling me it’s okay.

Those times where he can read my body language and knows exactly what to say or do.

When the relationship is real, I don’t need some filtered version of how it appears to be.

I don’t need relationship goals or a series of pictures taking everyone along with us. I just need someone real. I need someone honest. I need something raw.

I need to know love is more than what we’ve made it out to be in a generation where the goal is to be in a relationship.

My only goal is to be in the right relationship. A relationship that makes me better. A relationship that makes me more honest. A relationship that pushes me to become the best version of myself.

And when people look at me and say I’ve changed, the only relationship goal I need, is someone who has made me change for the better.

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Open Topic

The Best Girlfriends, Are The Ones Who Are Single.

When you’ve been single for a long period of time, that’s not what scares you. You might make the ‘I’m single’ jokes but in your heart you know that’s not going to be the case forever. Sometimes you get frustrated when another prospect doesn’t work out, sometimes you look at yourself and wonder is it something you’re doing? But you hold onto both patience and faith that your relationship status will change.

But it’s isn’t your priority. In fact, you’ve never understood people who couldn’t do the solo thing. You watch friends relationship hop and you think the only thing worse than a long period of being single, is that. Needing someone and not knowing what it’s like to be alone. That’s what you fear.

You fear someone robbing you of your independence. You fear a relationship taking over your life. You fear watching your other relationships dwindle. Because when you’ve been single for a long period of time, you don’t focus on some status, you focus on the relationships you do have in your life. The idea of losing those people isn’t something you could even bare.

But that’s why people who have been single for long periods of time end up in the best relationships.

They don’t need someone to be happy—

They don’t rely on someone else for their happiness, they know that’s something they have to find themselves.

They only enter relationships when they have something to bring to the table—

The people who are best in relationships are the ones who enter a relationship when they are ready, not when they are lonely. They know the best relationships aren’t the ones that consume you, but rather the ones where you each bring something unique to one another’s lives.

They aren’t clingy—

If clinging to the wrong people in the past and trying to force relationships that were never going to be one, taught them anything it’s that you have to give people breathing room. We think that the girls who are single have some flaw or there is something wrong with them, but that isn’t always the case.

They are honest—-

Being blunt and saying things like it is, is what they are best at. Girls who have been single for long periods of time have smoke blown so far up their ass, they almost have to come out of it laughing. (Well because they spent enough time crying.) They know what it’s like to be lied to and deceived and told everything you want to hear. Because of that, they didn’t turn cold, they became smart. They learned to believe what people do, not what they say. They’ve learned to be honest. These girls will never lie to you. They will never lead you on. They will never keep you in the dark. Solely because they know what it’s like to be there and they never want to make someone feel that way.

Unlike a lot of girls who want you to guess what’s wrong. They don’t play that game. They tell you what’s wrong, they want to work with you through it. In their past, guys have walked away at the first sign of something going wrong. But with them, they fight for you. They fight for the relationship. They believe in fixing things, not giving up on them.

They give you space because they need their own—

When she’s been single for a long period of time, relationships don’t automatically come to the top of her priority list. While it’s a priority, she doesn’t abandon everything else that was a priority before. Girls who have been single for a while, learn about independence. They learn to enjoy doing things on their own. They learn to walk into a room confidently without holding someone else’s hand. They are strong. They are independent. They don’t need anyone, so when they choose to be with someone, understand it isn’t because they need you it’s because they want you.

They know the difference between wants and needs—

This is important because understanding the difference between someone who is actually good for you and someone you want to be good for you is vital. These girls have given themselves completely to wrong people who didn’t deserve it. They’ve given their all to people who haven’t even met them halfway. They look at relationships not in hopes of filling some void, but rather who can add more to my life than I can add to my own.

They learn not to settle—

Girls who have been single for a while learned the hard way about settling. At one time maybe they chose the wrong people, people who gave them bits and scraps of what was left, while they invested their heart fully. From there, they learned. They learned about their expectations and if someone doesn’t meet them, it isn’t their job to prove they deserve his best. They simply move on to someone worthy and appreciative of it.

They learned to play smart—

Girls who have been single for a long period of time pride themselves on not playing games or messing with people’s emotions. But they also learn if everyone else is playing this game and they keep getting hurt playing by their own rules, they learn both the ins and outs of what is dating today. They hold true to their values and standards. They aren’t playing hard to get, they learn to walk around with a chip on their shoulder and standards so high that the person either steps up or they walk away.

They don’t fall fast or hard—

Everyone has this assumption the second you give attention to the girl who hasn’t been in a relationship, she’s suddenly gonna just fall for the first person who makes a pass at her. That’s not the case. She might have been too trusting in the past with whom she gave her heart too, but she learned to take things slow. Earn someone’s trust. Let them prove they deserve your best before putting those cards on the table. In the past, these girls might have overcompensated, but it was through that they learned. They learned they are enough. They’ve always been enough.

They are loyal—

Once you do get them in a relationship you don’t have to worry. Being single for a while makes them value you and the relationship more than anything. They value you. They respect you. Because it isn’t that no one wanted them, but rather it took a while to find the right person. Being single, they learned to be really selective and in that time, they established standards for themselves through every person in the past who fell short.

They won’t hold back loving you—

When someone has been single for a while they have all this good to give to someone who deserves it. In the past, they always gave their best to the wrong people. But finding the right person not only enhances their good qualities, it shows them they weren’t doing it wrong this whole time. 

Because girls who have been single for a while might be bad at getting to a relationship, but they are good at keeping them once they get there.

And when you don’t have something you learn to appreciate finally getting it.

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Open Topic

Closing The Chapter That Was Us.

So this is me closing a chapter of us.

And I’m sure you can feel it too.

It’s like we are talking, but no one is actually saying anything or saying what needs to be said.

It’s like we are going through the motions like we are supposed to, but everything is different.

We look the same. But what’s changed is us and who we’ve become in all this.

And I hate saying goodbye. Goodbye is supposed to be a word exchanged for anyone but us, so why is that the only word that fits right now? Goodbye is a word for strangers, but that’s kind of what it feels like we’ve become lately.

I don’t want to let go, but I can’t keep holding onto what isn’t anymore.

When I say I love you, I mean it.

When I hug you and I want to hold on a bit tighter and not let go.

Everything about us has become so comfortable. Maybe too comfortable.

How is it that people who were once so good for each other suddenly aren’t? Because when we fight, it’s about little things that don’t matter. Things that used to not bother me suddenly do. Things I used to look past suddenly I can’t shake anymore.

And if this is what falling out of love feels like, it hurts like hell to look back at where we were and where we thought we were going only to discover sometimes it’s best to just walk away.

I don’t know what a life without out you would even look like or feel like. But I do know this might be better for both of us.

What hurts isn’t goodbye or that final kiss, it’s everything after I know will bring me to my knees.

It’s staring at my phone waiting to hear from you, but knowing I won’t. It’s waking up in a bed that you used to sleep in and I have to get comfortably numb getting used to sleeping alone. It’s looking for you in a crowd of every place we used to go remembering how you used to take my hand and no one else mattered. It’s looking back at pictures where everything in those moments were perfect.

I can’t explain when or why or who changed exactly. But maybe it was both of us. Maybe we outgrew each other.

When I say I love you, I want you to know I mean it. Or rather meant it at one time. I don’t want to say words because we are supposed to or do things because that’s how we’ve always done them.

I want to know what it’s like to look in someone’s eyes and feel something again.

I want to know what it’s like to kiss someone and feel it on every inch of my body.

I want to know what it’s like to be next to someone and not have them feel like a stranger.

But that’s what we’ve become, ghosts in each other’s pasts afraid to let go, but being struck with the reality there’s nothing left to hold onto anymore.

So I’ll say it one more time for old times sake.

I love you. I think part of me always will.

I’ll say it because I mean it.

I’ll miss you.

And I’ll end it with a final few words.

Thank you.

Because I look at myself in the mirror, and I’m always going to see pieces of you there looking back at me. You made me who I am.

Open Topic

Forgiving Yourself & Trusting After A Toxic Relationship.

Toxic relationships aren’t something that just happens. Most of the time it starts off like any healthy relationship. But over time the combination of you two becomes toxic. Suddenly you end up in this emotionally abusive relationship where you don’t even realize the damage that’s been done simply because the damage occurred over a period of time. When one is in a toxic relationship, you don’t see how bad it is. You don’t see how much it hurts. You grow numb to the pain. You dismiss the bad parts while clinging to the good parts that act as a highlight reel.

You think it’s love but what it really is, is loving half of one person while being in denial of the toxic parts of them that project onto you. Whatever it is, they take it out on you. You’ve become an easy target because you forgive easily. You don’t take it too personally. But the emotional toll it has on someone to constantly be treated poorly, impacts every relationship you have afterward.

To end a toxic relationship is hard in itself, but to recover from one is where the real challenge begins.

You suddenly become skeptical of everyone. Someone shows you their best and you expect the worst. You enter every relationship not just lacking trust within another, but you don’t even trust yourself anymore.

You associate relationships with control and not something mutual where you meet halfway.

You think your best isn’t good enough because every time before this person looked for any mistake you made, any excuse to lose it on you, any reason to go after you, and they did.

You learned to tip toe and walk on eggshells because you never knew when they’d lose it.

And maybe it wasn’t physical abuse, but emotional abuse does just as much if not worse damage.

When you mess with someone’s head and you blame them for everything suddenly they second themselves, suddenly they question their choices, suddenly they doubt themselves and they seek the approval of those around them.

Overthinking. Overtrying. So much effort towards someone who doesn’t deserve it. But you don’t see it that way. What you learn to is, you see yourself through their eyes.

And along with them picking you apart, they groom you so much that the things they used to say to you, you’re now saying to yourself. A negative stream of blows they turn into self-destruction.

They are constantly striving to be good enough but when your best was never enough, you learned to point at yourself and not the other.

Because in toxic relationships, you learned kindness came with strings attached. Favors came with ownership. Gifts were used for blackmail and manipulation.

Toxic relationships are more about what you do to boost someone else’s ego or how you make someone else look. You are never your own person but rather an extension of someone else. Through that, you fail learning your own identity thinking all you are good for is what you can do for someone else. Your own self-worth begins to be defined by someone else and through someone else’s eyes.

Then you begin to believe everything they say. They manipulate you so much even if you did pull away or leave, they don’t even have to say anything to get you to come back. You do so on your own.

Toxic relationships are just running in these circles that never really end. Your emotions are some game to them. And how you react, gives them this high because they have this influence on you.

You never really feel free from someone toxic because even when you walk away, they hold you without touch. They’ve conditioned you and impact you even in their absence.

You look at yourself and see them.

So even after goodbye, they are a ghost that haunts and turns you into your own worst enemy.

Walking away isn’t the hardest part it’s, reteaching yourself what you deserve in a relationship.

It’s learning to forgive someone who will never say sorry, but also learning to forgive yourself for letting the relationship linger.

It’s learning who you are at your worst and making a choice to never be that weak or vulnerable again and allow someone to control you like they did.

It’s repeating over and over again good things about yourself, when the voice that’s on repeat, says something negative. It’s being able to distinguish whose voice that really is.

Toxic relationships teach you what love actually is and what it isn’t.

Love isn’t control. Love isn’t manipulation. Love isn’t blackmail. Love is not being someone’s property. Love is not taking all the blame. Love is not being someone’s punching bag. Love is not circles you run in. Love is not liking only half of one person and tolerating the bad sides of who you are. Love does not criticize you. Love does tear you down to build themselves up. Love does not need I’m sorry, I still love you after tearing you apart.

You learn about the love you want. You learn about the love you need. You learn that this will never happen again.

Toxic relationships destroy you from the inside out, but a toxic relationship doesn’t mean that’s all that’s in store for you.

Healing from toxic relationships starts with taking responsibility for your own actions, but also understanding you aren’t responsible for someone else’s.

It’s not your fault.

When you realize that your relationships change.

You’ll meet someone good, kind, and genuine, you might not believe it at first, but there’s something about the person who pulls you in when you are afraid to get close to anyone, there’s something about the person who teaches you you didn’t deserve any of this and I’m going to be the exception.

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Open Topic

Letter To My Best Friend. This Is What You Deserve…

If you ever forget what you deserve, I’ll be here to remind you. I’ll be here to pick you up every time you fall. I’ll keep watching as you give the best you have of yourself to people not worthy and I’ll always be the arms you can run to. I’ll be the one wiping your tears when you think it’s you who is flawed or not good enough. I’ll continue to remind you how beautiful you are. How special you are. How it takes a rare person to see that. Appreciate it. And be what you need.

I’ll never stop reminding you of these few things.

You deserve someone who never stops choosing you and only you.

You deserve a love that heals you.

A love that keeps every secret you tell.

But doesn’t keep you a secret.

You deserve someone who doesn’t try and change you but shows you, you’re enough.

Because you’ve always been enough.

You deserve someone who realizes they are the lucky one.

Someone who never stops trying to prove they are the one who deserves you.

You deserve someone looking at you and seeing a future ridding you of heartbreak in the past.

You deserve someone who truly thinks you are the most beautiful girl there is.

Because you are.

Someone who never stops respecting you.

You deserve every door to be open.

You deserve every chair to be pulled out.

You deserve someone who is willing to pay.

Because they know it’s not about money, but rather what one is willing to invest in you.

You deserve someone who takes your hand and wants to show you off to everyone.

You deserve someone who is proud to stand next to you.

Someone who will proudly introduce you to his parents.

You deserve someone whose friends already know you.

Because he can’t stop talking about you.

He can’t stop thinking about you.

You deserve someone who surprises you.

Someone who wants to keep things exciting.

Who never stops trying to make you smile.

You deserve someone who takes the time to learn you.

Learn why you are the way you are.

Someone who wants to learn about your past so they don’t repeat it.

You deserve someone who remembers every little thing.

Someone who takes the time to learn you.

You deserve someone who makes you laugh so hard it hurts.

Someone who truly makes you the happiest best version of yourself.

You deserve someone who texts you first.

Someone who makes plans that he keeps.

And not someone who is good at making excuses and lying.

You deserve to be treated well all the time.

But there are the things you don’t deserve that I know you’ve tolerated in the past.

You don’t deserve someone messing with your head because they are uncertain of themselves.

You don’t deserve to wait because he keeps saying one day.

You don’t deserve someone who comes and goes as he pleases.

You don’t deserve someone ignoring your texts then liking your last post or viewing your story.

You don’t deserve someone taking advantage of your kindness.

Someone taking you for granted.

Someone taking all you have to give and not returning it.

Someone who looks at your beauty only on the outside.

You don’t deserve to give your heart away to someone who is unsure.

You don’t deserve to be their last call.

The morning with a headache as they wonder how this happened.

You don’t deserve someone asking you to leave after the fact.

You don’t deserve to stare at your phone for hours.

Analyzing if you said something wrong.

Because you haven’t done anything wrong, it’s them who isn’t right.

You don’t deserve to wonder if he’s talking to other girls.

You don’t deserve to feel like you’re in some competition you’re losing.

You don’t deserve to be in limbo about how someone feels about you.

You don’t deserve to have a relationship that looks and feels like one, but he won’t call you his girlfriend.

You deserve something so much more than sex.

You deserve something so much more than emotionally being what he needs.

You don’t deserve a love that doesn’t love you back.

It’s hard sometimes to watch you with these people and know you’re settling. It’s hard to not hate them. It hurts me that you are choosing someone when you deserve better and deserve more. Sometimes I wish you saw yourself through my eyes. If you did, you’d realize how truly incredible you are.

It’s my job as your best friend to say those things, but I won’t sit back and watch you end up with someone who isn’t worthy of you.

I know what you deserve. And I think you know it too. But I’ll never stop reminding you. I’ll never leave your side. And until I’m standing next to you on your wedding day, I won’t give you away until it’s with someone who deserves you. Because you are the best, smartest, kindest, most beautiful person I know and one day, you’ll see that too. But until then, I’ll keep holding your hand until we get there.

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Open Topic

I’m Slowly Learning To Be Happy.

To take steps forward even if that means some back.

I’m slowly learning mistakes don’t have to define me if I choose to learn the lesson in them.

I’m slowly learning to fall with a little bit of grace and feel no shame in asking for help.

I’m slowly learning to forgive myself. Forgive myself for the things I can’t change. The things I don’t do well. The moments I need to stop and slow down.

I’m slowly learning to forgive myself for the people I might have hurt. The people who might have deserved better but in those moments, I was still learning.

I’m slowly learning it’s okay not be liked, but that shouldn’t dictate how I feel about myself.

I’m slowly learning it’s okay to not be perfect. And in striving for unrealistic expectations, I’ve looked past anyone who has ever told me I wasn’t good enough.

I’m slowly learning to appreciate everything. That includes everyone past and present.

To say thank you a little more. Even if it’s under my breath.

Thank you to the people who have forgiven me.

Thank you to the people who helped me to learn.

Thank you to the people who have made me smile and have seen me at my worst.

Thank you to the people who have given me their time. Given me their attention. Trusted me with their secrets. And given me someone to turn to.

The people who continue to choose to want to be in my life and let me be a part of theirs.

I’m slowly learning appreciation isn’t being grateful for getting what you want, but learning that what you already have, whether it’s people or things, deserve some acknowledgment.

I’m slowly learning that happiness has so much more to do with how I perceive the things in my life than it does finally getting somewhere or getting something.

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Open Topic

You’ll Regret It, If You Hurt Her.

Know she thought you were different.
She thought you were one of the good ones.
She thought she could trust you.

So as apprehensive as she was, she took one step forward.
Then two.
Watching her back with every move.
Carefully analyzing everything.

Caught somewhere between her heart and head.
She had to repeat over and over again.
Don’t fall too fast because he might not catch you.

Before you lead her on, know this.

Know how many guys did before you.
Know whatever she might have given you, was her best
Regardless of how she got hurt.

Know that when you told her everything she wanted to hear.
She believed you.
And she was honest.

Before you text her when you’re bored, know this.

Know she’s happy to hear from you.
In fact, it probably made her day.

When she’s asking you questions and keeping the conversation going,
She’s remembering the little things you say.

And she might answer too quickly.
Or care too much.
But it’s a flaw in you for not seeing that as her strength.

Before you cancel on her last-minute, know this.

She’s probably already dressed and ready.
She’s probably been looking forward to this all week.

She’s probably reminded herself don’t get your hopes up yet.
Just in case.

But hoping you might surprise her.

Before you make up some excuse, know this.

She’ll believe your excuses because she wants to be right about you.
She’ll give you a second chance to prove maybe you’re worth it.
She wants you to be worth it.

She’ll say it’s okay, when you say I’m sorry.
But what she isn’t saying is, I’ve heard this before.
I’ve seen this play out.

Before you ignore her, know this.

Remember how she never ignored you.
Even when she was busy.

She’ll stare at her phone every few seconds.
Wondering what she might have said or done wrong.
She’ll contemplate sending another text, even though she won’t.
She’ll try and keep busy just to keep her mind off it.
But it’s consuming her.

Because when the only attention that matters
is from the person you’re not getting it from,
it sucks.

Before you use her just for sex, know this.

So many guys have before you.
And when you’re done she’ll lay there hoping this time it’s different.
Hoping maybe this time it’s more.
Hoping that when she leaves, she’ll hear from you again.
But she won’t expect to.

Before you ruin her day, know this.

Whatever bomb it is you’re going to drop on her, she doesn’t deserve it.

Know she’s going to reread what you said over and over again.
Holding back tears.
She’s going to analyze it to the core trying to see where you came from.
She’s going to talk to her friends and feel horrible for days.
She’s going to blame herself.
She’s going to say sorry.
She’s going to try to make it right.

Without realizing at first you were wrong, not her.

Before you end it, know this.

If you end it with an explanation.
Or not explaining yourself at all.
Whether you tell her to her face or not.

She’s not going to hate you for it.
She’s not going to say anything mean back.
Even if you deserve it.
But she’ll accept it.

And in time, she will get over it.
She might crawl up into a ball and cry.
But she will get over it.

She might hold back tears at work
Pretending things are fine when they aren’t.
But she will get over it.

She might turn red when you run into each other.
Trying to play it cool.
But she will get over it.

She might want to text you.
But that feeling she’ll let pass.
And she will get over it.

And she might want an explanation.
But she knows sometimes even when you deserve it.
She won’t get that or the closure she needs.

Before you decide you made a mistake, know this.

When you decide enough time has passed and she might have forgotten.
Know she hasn’t.

When you’re bored and alone and you miss her.
Wondering if she feels the same way.
She might have at one point.
But she doesn’t anymore.

When you run into her and she looks prettier and happier.
And you suddenly want her.
Don’t.

When you meet someone else and you look at them and see her.
Realizing how different she was.
Don’t tell her that.

And when you get drunk and you draft a text and contemplate sending it.
Don’t.

Because you left her analyzing every mistake she could have made.
Only to realize she really didn’t do anything wrong other than care.

You’re the one who made the mistake, not her.

And she’s going to walk away not remembering you at all.
Just add your name to another list of people who wronged her.
But remember how you were exactly like everyone else.
And she was made the fool for thinking you were different.

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Open Topic

The Girl Who Fixes People.

She sees the good in everyone.

“I can see beauty where others see ugliness. That either makes me an artist or a person with very poor taste.” – Unknown

She’s always going to look for the best in people. She’s always going to swear she sees something under the surface. And sometimes she is true. Sometimes she tries to pull it out of them. But when you have to try that hard, it isn’t that the person isn’t worth it, but these people end up draining any light and all the good energy from the best parts of her.

She likes the challenge.

She gravitates towards these people because she likes projects. She likes complexity. You give her a guy who is simple and normal with no baggage, she’s going to get bored. She likes the people who have an edge and chip on their shoulder. She likes people who are guarded. She likes people who push her away. Because when she finally earns their trust, love, and loyalty, she knows it wasn’t easy but worth it.

He likes seeing how far he can push her and she pushes him too. This becomes toxic when they fight. They are constantly challenging each other like it’s a death match. Eventually, they realize they just keep hurting each other.

She doesn’t give up easily.

Even when it’s someone who might not deserve her effort, she doesn’t give up on him and they run in these toxic circles of him pulling away and coming back and them never really having a functional or stable relationship.

He likes someone who cares that much and she truly believes from the bottom of her heart its love. But sometimes girls who like to fix people, give love without demanding it to be reciprocated, and that’s when it becomes toxic.

She plays the role she needs to.

The girl who tries to fix someone always tries to be what someone may need, even if it means compromising her self-respect to appease him.

And he gets in the habit of using her. Maybe it’s emotionally. Maybe it’s physically. But the girl who tries to fix people, let toxic men get away with it. And in return, she might be what he needs, but he will never be the rock she can rely on and needs herself.

She’ll try and heal him.

But toxic men have things in their lives and in their past they can’t heal from. They just learn to live with what happened to them. They hide the pain like it didn’t happen.

This becomes toxic because she tries to make him address things in hopes that talking about it will heal him. But even he if trusts her enough to tell her what happened, she’ll never truly understand unless she experienced it herself. And that’s where the line will always be with them. She has a heart of gold with the best intentions. And he’s dark and complicated and sometimes heartless when he wants to be.

She thinks she can change him.

You can’t go into a relationship looking to change someone or think you’re the person who has that ability.

While she might have the best intentions. She learns the hard way people have to want to change on their own and the more you try to fix someone, the more they might end of resenting you for it.
This becomes toxic when he claims she’s trying to make him someone he’s not. When he says I can’t be what you need and she truly believes he can be. They end up resenting each other a bit.

She’s not afraid of him at his worst.

She’s seen every dark side to who he is. She’s chosen to stay. She loves him regardless of how bad he might be for her.

But it becomes toxic when the worst part of who he is takes it and projects his anger and repressed emotions on out on her. When he chooses to hurt her because he thinks she’s best without him, she ends up heartbroken and he ends up losing the only person who truly loved him.

While she might forgive him and never give up on him, he believes she deserves better.

These relationships end not because love isn’t there, but because the girl who fixes people deserves more, and even after putting her through the ringer and challenging her every which way and watching her pass, he realizes he does care about her. He cares about her enough to let her go and be with someone who deserves a heart like her.

She becomes heartbroken by the person she would have given everything too. She walks away a little more guarded not trusting people as easily.

He seems to come out of it with the upper hand. He learns that love really can happen in his life. But he has to change if he wants it to. He takes the lessons she taught him about love and relationships, and applies it to his next relationship, and it works.

The girl who fixes people is best at relationships. She’s the one that changes him. The one that gives him hope in a life he thought he’d be alone in. And it takes a really strong person to teach a toxic person that and not be one to reap in the benefits of that lesson learned.

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Open Topic

That Almost Relationship, Wasn’t Real Love.

Don’t you dare let anyone tell you the things you feel aren’t justified or allowed. Don’t let some label or lack there-of make you convince yourself it wasn’t real. Because no one can rewrite the history you have with someone. And when it’s a physical or emotional relationship that has been lost, it’s okay that it still hurts. It’s okay to replay that final goodbye like it was a breakup, even though you were together. Because something did end. Even if there isn’t a name for that something.

When people told me, “well, you didn’t even date…” Under my breath I told those people to go fuck themselves because how dare they tell me how I was supposed to feel, put that in some box.

When you fight for someone for however long you might have. When you pour your heart out to them. When you never stop giving up even when they are the ones who ask you to. When you’re screaming and fighting and tears are streaming down your face because things aren’t good between you and it physically hurts. When the thought of them just makes all of these feelings so simple. Wanting them to just want you. Hoping one day they turn around and say “okay let’s do this.”

When physically, it’s the relationship that ruins you for anyone else who touches you. When emotionally, you look for that familiarity in someone knowing you better than you know yourself. Looking for them in the eyes of strangers hoping you find yourself there. That’s love.

When someone walks away from that and you lose whatever that relationship was, it’s okay to still mourn it. Even if you aren’t those people anymore. It’s okay to still wonder. It’s okay to play the what if game. Because at one point, you truly believed it could have been something more. Looking at them and seeing a future you wanted so badly to become a reality.

Someone who knows you. Someone who knows to call you back when you hang up. Someone who can look at you and tell what type of day you had based on your body language. Someone who can hear it simply by the tone of your voice. Someone who knows when something is off and knows exactly how to respond to it. Someone who knows you to the core of who you are.

They know your habits and corks. They notice little things like how you look away when you’re lying or how you always like standing on their right side. They know your triggers, but don’t use it against you. They know your secrets, but keep them in confidence. They know your vices, and don’t judge you for it. They know when to show the fuck up when something is wrong, even if they are angry and you’ve been fighting.

The one who pulls you in close and you can feel it in every inch of your body, even if you don’t know what that it is. And you know it’s always going to be there.

That’s what you’ve been looking for in everyone else.

When they are someone who has learned your past because they’ve lived with you through it. Someone who has seen every version of who you’ve become up to this point. Someone who knows you because they made you who you are.

That first look. That first kiss. That first touch. That first I love you. That moment you realized you could trust them with everything. Even your heart.

That moment someone you cared about asked you to choose between them and you. And you would have walked had they let you. And in the back of your mind, you thought how dare anyone ask that of you because that person never would make you choose. That’s when you know they are the right choice.

No one can take the history you have with someone away. No one can rewrite it. And even if they forget some parts, it’s okay to always remember.

That pain you feel guilty for because “you didn’t date,” is just an indication of how much you loved them. How much you were willing to sacrifice.

People spend their entire lives looking to love someone that much. And when you’re lucky. When you’re really lucky, they choose to love you back.

But someone choosing us is never within our control.

Sometimes we find ourselves in these stories where the love is there but someone says goodbye because they realize they can’t be what you need or deserve. Even if you still think they can. That isn’t up to you to decide.

We can spend our entire lives hoping and praying someone can turn out to be who we know in our hearts they are. But waiting for someone like that is a prison sentence with no end in sight.

Sometimes the people we love say goodbye because they are ridding you of that waiting. They know you would have never quit them. You already proved that. And them quitting you is just a testament of them loving you the best way they can by letting you go.

By letting you be with someone who deserves you more than they do and can be what they weren’t able to.

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Open Topic

She Wants Someone Who Makes Her Feel Safe.

She’s guarded for a lot of good reasons.

A lot of people she let close to her hurt her.

A lot of people she loved didn’t love her back the way she needed.

They took what she had to give with a thank you and a nod and went on their way.

Making themselves feel whole while leaving her to fix herself. But not even knowing where to start.

She learned to trust herself.

She learned to look out for herself.

She learned to watch her steps.

And protect her heart

She learned to not believe the words of boys in the dark. The one whose kiss tastes like alcohol.

She’s learned a lot of them leave.

She’s learned a lot of them backtrack.

Telling her what she wanted to hear until her ears became mute. Her eyes saw everyone jaded. Her touch was everything they needed, but she, herself, the last thing they really wanted. Learning to play this role that left her numb, replacing emotional connections with physical connections, still not understanding how you can feel so close to someone, yet so far away. How someone can learn every curve to your body, but still not know you.

She needs to feel safe.

She needs you to be the one to grab her hand first in public. Because everyone pulled away. There was a time and place for affection, but never where people could see it.

She needs a love that doesn’t leave.

She needs consistency.

She needs someone who will listen to the things she doesn’t say.

Someone who takes the time to learn her.

She needs someone to teach her needing someone does not make you weak because she’s been standing strong alone.

She needs someone who will be patient.

Patient enough to follow her lead.

Patient enough to not pressure her.

Patient enough to wait when she takes off.

But smart enough to know she’s testing you to see if you’ll come after her.

The way she did with so many others.

She needs the same effort she put into everyone else who wasn’t worth it.

She needs someone to be the one to tell her meet me here this time and this day.

She needs you to be the one waiting, even if that means showing up 30 minutes early.

She needs to hear I love you without the word ‘but’ following it.

She needs arms that will hold her when she wakes up in the night.

Someone who needs her too.

Someone to show her vulnerability is not a sign of weakness.

But more than that she needs someone who will stay.

Someone who will make her feel safe again.

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Open Topic

Living With Dermatillomania.

It’s as ugly as a word as it is a habit. Dermatillomania. A form of compulsive skin picking. A skin picking disorder. It’s the constant picking at pieces of skin, no normal person would even notice. But to me, the moment I realize there’s something there, I dig into my skin. The moment a cut begins to heal I reopen it.

The most common is the skin around my fingers but more obvious than that which I do when people aren’t watching is picking my lips.

It’s something I’ve lived with my entire life. The common phrase sounds like a parrot to everyone who knows me, “stop picking Carla.” If only it were that easy. But I’ve been doing it since I was four.

A behavior associated with anxiety, OCD, boredom and weirdly pleasure. There’s a strange comfort in pulling a piece of skin you think is a blemish. But it goes from bad to worse when that small piece of skin turns into a scab.

“Does it hurt even anymore?,” my friend said. As we drove in the car heading to college watching me as I looked at the window picking my lips. He knew me my whole life and with that came knowing, accepting, and failing to help me want to change this habit. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to help themselves.

“Eventually you get used to it,” I replied.

Self-inflicted pain isn’t something you should get used to.

“It’s a form of self-harm,” a therapist told me.

“You can’t honestly tell me picking skin can compare to someone cutting themselves. You can’t even compare those two things, that’s ridiculous.” I yell.

But I learned self-harm didn’t have to be that extreme. Self-harm was only causing yourself pain on purpose when it’s within your control.

“You strive for perfection. That’s why you pick at any blemish…A form of control when you feel there are other things in your life you can’t.”

A lot of people pick their skin, you can’t tell me they all have issues, can’t anything just be a habit?

At four years old was there psychology behind it or just a habit? Was it foreshadowing the anxious person I’d become as an adult or the struggle in balancing a healthy relationship with myself? There was no way anyone could make that correlation or prediction at such a young age.

When I was a kid my grandmother let me wear her lipstick in hopes that covering my lips would prevent me from stopping.

My mother would smother my lips in vaseline at night, that I resented and the first chance I got I’d wipe it off.

I’d wake up with dried blood on my hands screaming for my dad in the morning and he’d take me into the bathroom. Wipe the blood off. “My poor angel.” Then tell me it’s okay.

Teachers would pull me aside in grade school asking why I did it.

All I could come up with was it was a habit I never really had an intention of breaking.

In the house, my mom always made sure I had band-aids.

I could go from fine to my fingers covered in blood in minutes without realizing. That was the thing, it became such a bad habit I didn’t realize I was even doing it most the time.

Most girls in high school went for manicures and I hated to because the alcohol hurt my cuts and I’d get another lecture from some stranger how I shouldn’t pick.

My boyfriend in college sat with me as we watched a movie. He grabbed my hand. “You’re digging into your skin, Carla. Stop.” He grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let it go until the end of the movie.

I sat on a bus heading to my job in New York. We were stuck in traffic. I was bored. I anxiously looked at my watch over and over again. Without realizing I was picking my lips until I could taste the blood. The stranger next to me handed me a napkin, “Stop. It will be okay.” He said.

In a meeting with my boss, I hid my finger that was bleeding as I picked listening to him speak.

Having coffee with a friend, he grabs my hand. “Your fingers look good.” As if it was a sign I was emotionally healthy… at least for now.

At 44 it’s still something I do. It’s still something I struggle with. But I live with it even if it’s not proudly.

I look at my fingers almost looking for something, anything that’s not there. Any reason I can pick. Any scab I hate. I wake up and before I even open my eyes I’m pulling the skin off my lips until they are bleeding and hurting and there’s nothing left.

Lip gloss burns in the morning as I apply it to the open wounds.

Skin begins to heal every 12 hours and that’s when I start picking again. It’s kind of sick that I know that.

It annoys me how much it controls me, but it doesn’t annoy me enough to stop.

There isn’t a day in my life I haven’t picked at my lips of pulled at my cuticles. And I can’t imagine a day there will be.

Accepting this is the only way I’ve learned to live with it. And learning when I do it and why it’s still something I’m learning about myself.

“You can get really sick or get an infection,” doctors tell me every visit.

I know.

The human body continues to amaze me because no matter how many times I cause myself pain, my body heals it.

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Open Topic

Slowly Learning.

I’m slowly learning that goodbye doesn’t have to hurt. But what hurts is clinging to the past.

I’m slowly learning to let go of the things I need to. The people no longer meant for me.

I’m slowly learning to stand still when someone walks away instead of chasing them. That the right people will, in fact, be the ones that stay.

I’m learning to not analyze my reflection, thinking maybe there was something I lacked. Or something I did wrong. But rather understanding the difference between being good enough for someone and being right enough for them.

I’m slowly learning to stop revisiting my past because I can’t change anything that happened there. And sometimes I won’t ever get the answers of why things happened as they did.

I’m slowly learning to not stare at my phone hoping maybe this will be the day I hear from you. That maybe you changed your mind.

I’m slowly learning there are some mistakes I can’t change. Some people who might not forgive me. But that shouldn’t influence me forgiving myself and trying to move forward. That sometimes the best thing to do is learn.

I’m slowly learning to not waste any more time then I have.

I’m slowly learning to take responsibility for my happiness.

I’m slowly learning to wake up and start my day on a good foot even if it still hurts sometimes.

Even if they still meet me in dreams that feel like nightmares.

I’m slowly learning to not let other people’s actions control how I’m feeling. Because yes, it sucks it’s over but I can’t change it.

I’m learning to not focus so much on the things I don’t have, but rather appreciate what I do.

That one person might be gone, but so many others aren’t.

To stop putting my happiness in the hands of someone else. Because I did that and they left.

I’m slowly learning what it’s like to really live alone and try to be happy with it.

And knowing that it’s okay when there are some days I’m not there yet.

I’m slowly learning to not rely on someone so much.

I’m slowly learning what it’s like to sleep alone at night even when I’m used to someone next to me.

I’m slowly learning what it feels like to wake up to silence and not hear or read on a scream, “good morning beautiful.”

I’m learning to cheer for myself when something good happens.

And learning what it’s like to be the one to pick myself up when I’ve fallen.

I’m slowly learning what it feels like to walk into a room alone confidently.

That I don’t need a plus one.

I’m slowly finding again the things I like to do even if it means doing them alone.

I’m learning to find comfort in silence.

Company when I’m alone.

And happiness looking back at me in the mirror.

I’m slowly learning that letting go doesn’t mean I’m weak when it’s someone who brings me to my knees.

I’m learning what it’s like to be alone.

And I’m learning that I like it.

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Open Topic

Learning To Let Go Of People Who Aren’t Sure Of Me.

When I’m with you, I’m happy or at least I was.

But when I’m not with you, I’m sitting there flustered wondering how you’re feeling. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to want to be confident in someone. I’m looking at a phone and a text I know you read, but you’re choosing not to answer. And even when you do, I wonder what you’re feeling towards me.

Is it just a conversation when you’re bored? Am I someone you actually think of throughout the day? When you do something wrong are you saying sorry because you know you know you’re supposed to or out of genuine guilt for hurting me?

I want to believe in you. Maybe too much that I look past every red flag flying in my direction. I want to be right about you. Maybe too much because I only pay attention to the things that justify that and back it up. But I ignore everything else.

I hate being the one to try too hard. The one who is constantly left waiting. The one starting every conversation and saying goodbye because you haven’t answered in an hour.

I want to believe this isn’t just another thing to write off, as I add your name to a long list of those who have hurt me. I don’t want you to be on that list.

But I can’t make you care. I can’t change the way you may or may not feel about me.

I can play every game I’m supposed to. I can ignore your texts like you do me. Keep you on the edge. And keep you wondering. Not answer when it gets too late and put you in the shoes of wondering where I am and who I’m with. I can walk by you in a room like we’re strangers, if that’s the game you want to play.

But I don’t want to play that game.

And maybe I come on too strong. I answer too quickly. I show you exactly how I feel and maybe that deems me as less attractive. Play hard to get is what they say.

But I don’t want to have to play some game to get you or keep you interested. That’s too much work.

And maybe that’s what you’re used to. That’s what everyone is used to these days. Playing games and fucking with each other’s head and pretending not to care, even when you do.

If it’s a battle of who can care less and make the other person feel worse, that’s a game I don’t want to participate in. So if that means I’m going to lose, then so be it. I’d rather lose someone being myself, then change who I am to seem appealing. If I have to pretend to not give a shit about you to get you to like me or fuck with you like you’re some pawn, then everything everyone has ever done to me in the past will be the effect to their cause.

So if it’s unattractive and unappealing to you to admit I care and I’m not afraid to show that, maybe you aren’t who I thought you were.

Because it isn’t just about you, this is to every person who gets caught up in what dating is today even though it doesn’t make sense to any of us. Even though we all swear we hate it, we keep playing.

But I’m taking myself out of this game because it’s not one I’ve ever liked.

So I’m walking away not because I don’t care but because trying to prove to you, you should and that I’m worth your time is compromising my self-respect. And the more time I spend waiting for you to figure out how you feel as I decipher texts at 2AM, is time I’m wasting that could be invested in someone who is right there with me and tired of this shit.

I like you. But not this much.

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Open Topic

Depressed Days.

When there really isn’t much in your day you’re looking forward to. When the day hasn’t begun and you already want it to be over. You feel a sense of guilt for having that mindset. Like you should appreciate things more. You should be grateful for the things and people you do have.

But depressed days put a skewed lens on the way you see everyone and everything.

I’m not going to tell you to go and pretend to be the happiest person in your class or office. I’m not going to tell you to go do something like meditate or run and workout like that will change everything. And maybe it will. Maybe it can lift your spirits a bit. But I know having days like that and trying to be happy, only makes you feel worse when it doesn’t succeed and work. Then you get even more frustrated with yourself because you hate how this is consuming you.

But depression has a way of doing that. It’s turns everything it touches dark. Including you sometimes.

While you want to reach out to people asking for help, you also don’t want to burden them with it. You don’t want to bring them down, so you choose silence that consumes you and you get lost in your own head of negativity.

And I wish I could tell you to just change that switch in your mind. You think back to the days you were good and happy and you envy that just wanting to get back to that point.

But sometimes you have to feel through the really ugly emotions and painful events just to rid yourself of it.

So stay in bed if you can. Sleep, even though you’re emotionally tired and not physically. Take a mental health day off. Cry as hard as you need to, even if you can’t explain why you’re crying. Even when you can’t make sense of it yourself. Feel through the bad stuff and once you do, then you can step away from it. Then you can just put it behind you.

The hardest part about living with depression is knowing that day will come back to you. Those days will creep up unexpected wrapping their arms around you until you can’t breathe anymore.

But you’ve fought through every other tough day before this. You’ve overcome so much.

Don’t let that skewed lens that is depression deceive you. Don’t let that voice and negativity win.

Because yes this might be a bad day and things might be bottling up and nothing might not be going your way. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t going to change.

Stay strong until they do and know even though you feel more alone now than you ever have before, you aren’t actually. It’s just a feeling. And it’s a feeling that will pass.

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Open Topic

The Part Of Myself.

You ask me the least favorite part of myself and I’ll always respond with the mental health aspects of my life I feel I can’t control sometimes.

Anxiety is a part of it. The part I try to hide. The part I try to live with as gracefully as I possibly can. The part of myself that doesn’t seem to go away.

The part of myself that explains why I don’t sleep at night. Why I’m always picking, tapping something, or biting my lip nervously. Why I always doubt myself and can’t make decisions. The part of myself that looks like I’m always busy. Productive. Always achieving something. Appearing perfect on the surface, but mastering an act because I always feel like I’m not good enough.

The part of myself that doesn’t think I can have a normal relationship because I’m going to need so much.

I need someone who will answer texts quickly.

It seems really silly. I know this. But in the past, I’ve seen relationships completely change through simple words across a screen. Silence. Delays. Pauses turn into ghosting, that turns into endings all the while I’m rereading everything wondering what I might have said or done wrong.

I’ve watched people play the texting games in relationships and above everything else, deliberately being ignored really fucks with my head.

It’s something really simple. And as much as I wish I could change not putting so much of an emphasis on this, it’s important that the least someone can do is answer a text message quickly.

I answer texts maybe entirely too quickly, but that’s what I hope for in others.

I need someone who is going to follow through with plans.

I’ve learned to never get my hopes up. Hope for the best, but expect the worst. And to me the worst is showing up and waiting as I’m staring at my phone or analyzing my reflection as I get ready only to find out I’m dressed up with nowhere to go.

When you have anxiety you are someone people can rely on simply because you hate the feeling of being let down yourself.

I need someone who is going to be okay with over-explaining things.

Before I jump to a million conclusions that are unjustified, just explain things to me. Even if it’s little details that don’t seem important. You don’t have to tell me everything, but I appreciate the things you do share.

Even if it’s something I don’t want to hear I’d rather you be the one to tell me. I watch things really closely. I listen even more attentively. And it’s not like I’m looking to catch you in a lie, I’m looking to protect myself from getting hurt. Protect me from being deceived. So many people in the past have lied and I’ve caught them as they backtrack. And it hurts like hell.

I don’t trust myself enough with every thought that runs through my head. I want to trust you, I just need you to be honest with me.

Tell me when you’re unhappy with something I’ve done. Tell me when something is not okay or I shouldn’t act a certain way. I’d rather get hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie.

I need someone who will talk me through my doubts.

I drew this conclusion because of XYZ and it led me to think this. I need someone who even if you don’t understand where I’m coming from, try to.

I’m going to doubt you. I’m going to question you. I’m going to test you. But more than anything, I just need that reassurance.

Counter the ridiculous things I might come up with and make me feel like the fool for every doubt. But don’t make me feel like I was a fool because the things I was anxious about became reality.

I need someone who will accept my apology.

I’m going to say sorry for things that might not even cross your mind. But I’ve created this whole story behind why you could be upset. Even if you aren’t upset, just tell me it’s okay.

Tell me it’s okay when I wake up feeling guilty and hung over. Tell me it’s okay when I say the wrong thing and I feel horrible about it.

People who have anxiety are the most considerate people in the entire world, and if there’s even a chance they could have done something to upset you, they are going to want to make it right.

And when I actually do something wrong and we are fighting about it, there isn’t anything you can say or do that will make me feel worse than I’m making myself feel. Know I’m going to beat myself up for days. Know I’m going to think about it too much. Know even if you forgive me, I’ll struggle in forgiving myself.

When you have anxiety you are your own worst enemy.

I’m always going to show up early to things. When you have anxiety you hate being late to anything. The thought of someone waiting for you makes you feel guilty.

I need someone who is going to show up on time because if you don’t, I’m going to be sitting there thinking you stood me up and that’s the worst feeling in the entire world.

I need someone who is consistent.

Consistency is everything to someone with anxiety. Knowing I can rely on you and you can be there when I need someone and trusting you enough, is huge for me.

I need someone who is going to show me they care, not just tell me everything I want to hear.

Show you care through little things. Maybe it’s something I told you in passing, you remembered. Show you care through gestures. People with anxiety pay attention to the smallest of details. We’ll remember your favorite drink and make sure we have it the next time you come over. We’ll watch that movie you told us you liked on Netflix.

Don’t just tell us the things we want to hear that sound nice. Because anyone can put together words. Actions will always mean more than words ever can.

I need someone who is going to sit down and listen.

Listen when I’m going off. Listen when something isn’t right or I’m upset. Even if I have no reason to be. Sometimes I just need someone to project all this onto so I can make sense of it myself.

I’m not always looking for a solution. Sometimes there isn’t one. Sometimes you won’t be able to fix the problem, but sometimes it’s enough to just have you there.

I need someone who is going to know how to read me.

When I’m thinking too much and talking, even more, I need someone who is going to get me to shut up. To calm me down a bit.

When I’m upset and pushing you away and maybe saying things I don’t mean, that’s probably when I need you to stay the most.

When I’m quiet and it seems like something is off and I’m in my own world, I need someone who will pull me in and bring me back to this moment.

Someone who is going to let me take the lead. Someone who isn’t going to pressure me. Someone who understands we will get there, wherever there might be it just is going to have to be slow.

I need time to know I can trust you.

Because so many people in the past I’ve let lead and all it’s left me with was giving them what they wanted then ending up alone.

When it comes to anyone with anxiety, don’t rush things.

I need a confidence boost every once in a while.

It’s obvious there are things I’m insecure about. There are parts of myself I doubt. But if you heard every ugly comment anxiety said about me, you’d get it.

Throughout the day I’m counting this voice that tells me a stream of lies. “You aren’t pretty enough, smart enough, good enough, successful enough.” I hear things like, “you’re going to fail, this good thing you have going is gonna end, you’re going to get fired, you’re going to lose everything you worked for.” The phrases are on repeat. “Nothing you ever do is going to be enough. None of your friends like you. You’re a burden.”

And there are days where I believe these things.

I find myself in a healthy relationship and I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop and for something to go wrong.

Tell me the thing you like about me even if I dismiss it, know even if there are moments I don’t believe that I look beautiful or I make you so happy, I want to believe it and I’m working on it. I really am working to be someone you deserve.

Sometimes though it takes someone else to get you to a place you can’t get to yourself.

I need you to be the confident one.

I’m never going to be the confident one. Not in myself. Not in you. Not in us. That’s going to be your most important role. When doubts are running through my head. When things seem perfect. When nothing seems to be going wrong. In my head I’m going question it. I’m going to doubt it. I’m going to wonder when this might end and knock the wind out of me, if it does. I need you to be the one who is sure. Because I never will be.

I’ll love you unconditionally and honestly and as best I can but regardless of how strongly I feel, I’ll never be completely sure just based on my feelings. My feelings have led me in the wrong directions. So I don’t trust myself, I don’t know if I ever will fully.

But my lack of confidence has more to do with the fear of losing something good than believing in you. Because I want to believe in you. I want to be the partner you deserve. There are just going to be some moments where you carry me to get there.

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