How to Slow Down a Relationship That’s Moving Too Fast

SDRMTF

When you meet someone that seems to be everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more, it can be hard not to fall head over heels. Hold off on your “future wedding” board on Pinterest, though. The phrase “good things come to those who wait” is especially true in a relationship; if you feel like things are moving too fast, they probably are. Take these steps to slow things down and avoid ruining a relationship that could have great potential. Continue reading “How to Slow Down a Relationship That’s Moving Too Fast”

Advertisements
No Boyfriend. No Girlfriend. No Problem!

No Boyfriend. No Girlfriend. No Problem!

No Boyfriend. No Girlfriend. No Problem!

Let’s cut to the chase. I’ve been single for a fairly long time now and I’m okay with that. Of course there have been those moments at 2 A.M. where I can’t sleep and think too much and have cried for no reason at all, but 99% of the time, I haven’t been bothered by it. I haven’t lived these past several years thinking “Oh no! I’m single!”. Instead I’ve been focused on a thousand other things. Being single didn’t define me, it was only one of several hundred words that could be used to vaguely describe me.

However, 24 was a turning point for everyone having something to say about my singledom. Apparently, 23 had been the last year I could be single without it being an area of concern. When I turned 24, that age brought with it a heightened interest in my love life. Too many friends and family members had something to say. “You’re too picky!” “There’s someone, don’t worry.” “Aren’t you lonely?” “Don’t settle, my niece didn’t meet someone until she was 45.” “Let me go through all of my friends to see if there’s someone who might be interested!” What the hell? Each new and uninvited comment from some friend or stranger about me being single led to a type of thought process I had never had before.

Everyone’s opinions started swaying the way I viewed my own love life. For a few months, I was in panic mode. I downloaded a dating app. I tried to work out why I was single with whoever was willing to listen. Maybe I had been single for too long, maybe I was too picky. Worst of all, I was starting to feel bad for myself. However, I wasn’t actively working on trying to change my relationship status. There was still that little inner voice screaming at me that I really did like being single and that I wasn’t looking for a relationship right now. When I started to write this article, it was supposed to be about the important benefits of dating yourself. The longer I thought about it, the more I realized that wasn’t sitting right with me. This piece would have come out as yet another article trying to provide validation as to why it is ok to be single. Being single is a choice, not something forced upon you. That right there is the catch to society’s view of singleness. It’s treated like a disease that needs to be cured. I’m writing this for all my fellow single people in the hopes that you will realize this is not the case, and you shouldn’t have to justify why you’re single to other people.

Like I’ve already said, being single is an active choice. If I really wanted to be in a relationship, chances are pretty high that I could be. But I don’t want to be. People write that off as me being picky. I call it going with my instinct. I don’t decide to hang out with someone based on some list of factors I’m trying to check off, I go with what my gut is telling me. If something doesn’t feel right to me, I say no. And I’m sure this is the way for many other single people who are being told they’re too picky. You’re not being picky, and you don’t have to defend why you are being picky. You know you better than anyone else, and you know what is best for you better than anyone else.

There’s also the slight chance that people just aren’t actively seeking out a partner. On my current list of priorities, finding a guy is not near the top, and I’m even less interested in trying to make something happen by force. People are all about organic these days. Eat organic, use organic soap, wear organic clothing, take organic medicine, blah, blah, blah. We’re a society that is so focused on organic products, yet when it comes to relationships, we’re so quick to turn to apps and asking for set ups in order to find some type of relationship instant gratification. What happened to the organic relationship? One that occurs naturally without the assistance of a distance locator and the option to swipe right or left? A better question, why should you have to tell people that’s what you’d prefer to happen? An even better question, why is everyone so focused on other people’s lives and relationships?

Here’s the thing, the people who are focused on you being single are solely focused on what you might be lacking as a single person. Please, dear concerned friends and family members, ease up on the concern. We singles do not want your pity, or sympathy. In fact, it’s almost insulting. You may see your intentions as helpful. You may think that finding me the perfect setup could be a top notch good deed to add to your list. But here’s the thing, unless we’re asking for your help, do not assume we need your help. Stop focusing on the empty space next to us when we walk into a room. Again, that’s an elected empty space. It doesn’t mean we are sad or lonely. It just means we’re doing our own thing.

And that’s a good thing! Being single means really getting to discover who we are. It may sound cliche, but it’s true. In my case, I see my twenties as a precious and valuable time of life. They’re a time to begin a career, nurture your hobbies, discover what types of people excite you, find out who you are and aren’t compatible with. Yes, you can do this with a partner, but you can also do it on your own. The friends I seek out and enjoy spending time with definitely have the qualities that I’ll probably hope to find in someone someday. Because I’m single, I have the time to invest in all of these areas. But again, I’m not here to provide validation for someone else, we’re only validating it for ourselves.

I’ve come back to a point where the only person I listen to when the topic of me being single comes up is myself. I appreciate the people who want to find someone special for me, but if I’m not worried about it, they shouldn’t be either. I’m embracing this time for what it is: a time to explore, to create, to dream, and to do whatever the heck it is thatI want to do. I’m selfish, but I’m ok with that! There will come a day when I’m ready to stop flying the single flag and I’ll readily give up my time for the sake of someone else, but  for right now, I’m enjoying it for all it’s worth. I hope all my fellow singles are as well. Don’t worry about what others say or think- they were all single at one point too, and as I’ve said, that was anything but a bad thing.

How to Make Long Distance Friendships Last

How to Make Long Distance Friendships Last

If there is one expression I have found to be true over the years, it is “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” Getting older means that your circle of friends broadens and goes from those friends you grew up with to friends from college, friends from work, friends of friends, and a thousand other unique situations. This is both a wonderful and difficult thing. Adults are far more mobile than childhood friends. Some of us move far from our hometowns. Others travel, or get relocated for work. The likelihood of some distance being put between you and some of your friends is most likely, unfortunately, inevitable. Continue reading “How to Make Long Distance Friendships Last”

Why I Love Being Single

SFD_108

I was born to write this article. I’m confident enough to even say that this is something that should be written on my tombstone. I love being single. Of course, I get those “Oh, aren’t you lonely?” “Don’t you want a boyfriend?” questions and remarks. Trust me, I’ve dedicated a whole YouTube video to it, which I suggest you watch if you haven’t yet. Anyway, do I care? No. Is it annoying? Yeah, but you live with it. I always anticipate questions or concerns coming from left and right since it seems to be most people’s life duty to find a mate in life. YOU DO YOU, BOO BOO. YOU GO GET HER/HIM, GLEN COCO.

But for me? I’m living and enjoying that single life for as long as I can. I’ve dated, sure…in high school. I’ve had multiple crushes in life but never did anything about it because I’m a wimp. TBH, I’ve been single for pretty much all my life. Are we going to include middle school relationships? No, because are those REAL relationships? Not really. Those are the relationships where you’re like: “Alright, see you at school tomorrow. I’m awkward and in my growing stage. OK. Let’s hold hands.”

The thing that gets me the most is that people think that being single is a curse or you’re just so unhappy. News flash! I’m 99.9% sure I wouldn’t be able to do so many things in my life if I had a significant other. I’m enjoying making my own decisions, learning how to be OK with going to things alone and accepting the fact I’ll always be the third/fifth/seventh wheel in any dating situation.

Being single lets me have FUN. I can go talk to whoever I want without the necessary feeling that someone back home is judging me because I’d be considering cheating on them. My friends pass me to the cute guys since they know for a fact they can’t go after them. (Cue the How I met Your Mother: “Haaaaave you met Ashley?) You could be that one friend who is able to go places while your coupled friends respond, “Oh, I wish I could but we already made plans with so and so.” WELL, your loss.

You build a thicker skin when you’re single. You’re gonna have to learn how to go to things by yourself and not feel like the ultimate loser in the room for not bringing anyone with you but it’s the price you pay. Heck, some people will look up to you for being so confident about yourself which is something I would never take back….Unless Chris Evans changes the game and suddenly wants to date me, but I digress.

Another reason being single is awesome is knowing the attention I would have given to someone I was dating is solely going to my family, friends and dog. My dog gets his own category. I’m focused on building my bonds with my close ones and I’m okay with knowing I’ll be the shoulder people cry on when they’re going through a hard time with THEIR boyfriend or girlfriend. I probably give the worst advice ever but at least they know I’m there to just listen.

So don’t think the single life is the worst life. Go by my motto: SINGLE LIFE IS THE BEST LIFE. But again, if Chris Evans knocks at my door, I’ll drop all of this in a heartbeat and marry him right then and there.

How to Make New Friends as an Adult

Friends

For a large portion of most people’s lives, making friends comes easily. As a child, your parents can set up play dates with your peers; when you get to be a bit older, you can explore friendships and social circles on your own in school to see where you fit in; and in college, you probably have a roommate or two that act as automatic friends, at least until you meet others. After this point, though, forming new friendships doesn’t always come easily. Unfortunately, many people already feel secure in their social circles and don’t necessarily go out of their way to meet new friends, making it difficult for the ones that do. However, there are also a ton of adults out there who are in the same boat and are eager to form new friendships; you just have to find them! Continue reading “How to Make New Friends as an Adult”

Accepting that Not Everyone is Going to Like You

As a woman navigating life in my late twenties, I find myself constantly excited by new experiences and relationships. I haven’t quite settled into any monotonous routine. My weeks are governed by school and work, I still have a fair share of freedom to roam wild at my leisure, and my weekends are still open to spontaneity. However, the unique challenge is that so much open space gives rise to opportunities for meeting new people and having relationships that often times leave you baffled or even heartbroken.

So, how do we come to accept that not everyone is going to like us? It’s a tough task that might dumbfound even the most meditative of minds.

There are so many different kinds of relationships, so I listed two major types to dissect in the hopes that we can attack issue at hand: accepting that we are not everyone’s cup of tea.

Romantic Relationships: It’s all in the Science of it

This is probably the relationship most folks think of when they think of someone not liking them, and while it might be the most personally painful, it also might be the least damaging in the long run.

I come from the perspective that independence is crucial to my happiness within a romantic relationship, but eventually vulnerability creeps in and the walls come crashing down. So how do we move forward from love that’s lost? What happens after you realize that your partner no longer cares for you?

Many of us have been in several relationships that have ended on these terms, but while the result is inevitably a breakup, the cause of the split varies dramatically. This takes me back to high school chemistry, as I find people and relationships as functioning formulas. Sometimes the elements combine and run smooth as water, but sometimes they combust, burning down a house filled with love within their licking flames.

The important thing to remember is that we all love differently. While my Romeos loved me to their capacity, our goals and values didn’t add up to what either of us wanted. These partnerships are no judgment of these people, but rather an assessment of the danger when our elements combined.

Relationships ultimately teach us something about ourselves: that high school chemistry does come in handy in the real world, that we are valuable as an independent source outside of that association, and that we can survive and thrive when relocated amongst other elements.

It’s also OK for your previous partners to move forward. Jealousy is natural, but just remember that one man’s fire is another man’s water, both necessary for life, so share the warmth and quench your thirst.

Friendships: Sticking with the Pack

It can be argued that this category is the umbrella term for many different kinds of relationships, but I personally find the term “friendship” much more intimate that that. It is the only term that combines two interpersonal statuses. Both “friend” and “relationship” work to create a new experience that differs from other connections. This becomes a pack interested in the well-being of the whole.

I am such a girlfriend girl. I love dinner dates with my girlfriends because I don’t have to worry about saying the wrong thing or nervously sweating through my dress. I would always prefer a night in watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s and binge eating ice cream with a cheap bottle of wine to free drinks from scheming creeps in the club. I crave the laughter that accompanies their validation of my emotions when a date goes awry and the comfort they offer when life gets hard.

Nothing compares to a tried-and-true friendship. So, how do we reconcile the devastation that occurs when a friendship is lost? People are constantly changing, and sometimes the bond breaks. How do we move forward from a friendship that ends because the two of you have grown in different directions, and your friend ceases to like you?

I have found that life is unpredictable. It has taken me down paths and introduced me to people that I never thought I would care about, and more strangely, enlightened me to the importance of my ability to occasionally stop caring for them.

As someone who puts great stock in my friendships, there have been times when I have had to decide if I was going to let a person continue to damage my self-esteem or move forward in life to pursue my dreams and aspirations without them as a confidant.

People throw punches because of their personal unhappiness. They find ways to make others feel poorly so they can feel like they’re better than someone else. That’s simply human nature. It’s a power game, and once I was awakened to the strategy of confidence, I realized that it is fine with me if someone doesn’t like me, because the truth was that they might not even like themselves.

If someone chooses to not like me for other reasons, like the fact that we grew apart, share different interests, or don’t talk as much, then their friendship is conditional and not worth being upset over.

In this respect, accepting someone isn’t going to like you as a friend is like harvesting a pack of dogs down to the strongest few. I have a group of friends that, regardless of how long it has been, are my true loves. I tell them that all the time because it’s true! Friendship, much like a partnership, is a relationship that you enter unconditionally, otherwise we’re all stray dogs fending for ourselves in a sometimes harsh world. I find I survive much better in my small but adversity-tested pack.

And They Lived Happily Ever After:

That’s the point here, right? The ability to like ourselves becomes paramount because it helps or hinders our relationships with others. At the end of the day, we have ourselves to thank for the life we live. By losing the unproductive relationships that weigh us down, both romantic and friendly, and instead focusing on the relationships that enrich our lives, we are able to travel so much further.

I hope I have explored the ways different relationships lead to disappointment, while others infinitely benefit our lives and ourselves. By knowing the difference, we progress in new and exciting ways. It’s OK that not everyone is going to like us, because focusing on those that do, those who celebrate our successes and prove push us to be better, life gets so much more interesting and happier. Leave a comment below on a time you accepted that not everyone was going to like you.

What Your Astrological Sign REALLY Says About You

Horoscopes. Some people love them, some people put no stock into them. Sometimes, though, they are scary accurate. So there has to be some truth to the traits applied to us all based on our zodiac sign, right? Eh, maybe. Sometimes those descriptions are just a bit too sugar-coated…Cancers are the best cooks! Libras are the best lovers! Leos will perform the best in a marathon! And blah, blah, blah. What if horoscopes told us the downright truth? Well, if your horoscopes were like a blunt, bitchy friend, this is what they would have to say. Only continue if you can handle the truth. You’ve been warned.

Continue reading “What Your Astrological Sign REALLY Says About You”

Don’t Let Family Bully You

(Image Credit: Olly)
(Image Credit: Olly)

Imagine this: you and a longtime friend are hanging out, getting coffee at Starbucks because that’s what you do. You are talking, having a great time, when all of a sudden you say something that wasn’t entirely the smartest thing you’ve ever said. It happens; it’s what you do. But your friend? They lash out. They look at you with disgust, they tell you that this is why America is going to hell in a hand basket and put you down. Then, in an instant, they laugh it off as they see your face contort in confusion and hurt. “I’m just joking; gosh can’t you take a joke?” They smirk and move on, as if nothing even happened. Continue reading “Don’t Let Family Bully You”

Social Media, Anxiety and YOU

(Image Credit: ViewApart)
(Image Credit: ViewApart)

“Did someone like my status? Or see my newest picture on Instagram?” “I know I didn’t get a notification, but it won’t hurt to check just to be absolutely completely sure that nothing new happened on Facebook.” Yes, I’m one of those people. Someone who checks his social media accounts periodically, even when he knows decently well that nothing has happened. Rationally, I know it seems like borderline insane behavior – or at least the behavior of someone who is very anxious. But, at the same time, I know plenty of people just like me… Is social media making us crazy? Continue reading “Social Media, Anxiety and YOU”

Love, Anonymously: Stop comparing yourself to the new girlfriend

(Image Credit: Elnariz)
(Image Credit: Elnariz)

What does she look like? It was the first thing I wondered when I heard that the guy I’d been crushing on forever was actually seeing someone. He was the kind of guy that a lot of girls are enamored with- easygoing, witty, great with kids, outdoorsy and adventurous, and good-looking in that Nicholas Sparks boy-next-door kind of way. Seeing that he was one of my best friend’s older brothers, I’d known him for a long time. As the years passed and the age difference stopped seeming like such a big deal, he went from being a silly crush to someone I was seriously interested in. And some stuff happened there, but it was never substantial. I knew it was just for fun and that to let myself get attached would be dumb, but- SPOILER ALERT- I got attached. When it didn’t lead anywhere, I was sad, but the dude was perpetually single. Naively thinking he would be single for pretty much ever made the blow of knowing we would probably never really get together much easier to handle. Continue reading “Love, Anonymously: Stop comparing yourself to the new girlfriend”

Life in the Linz Lane: Lessons Learned from Goodbye

(Image Credit: Kasto)
(Image Credit: Kasto)

It was only a couple of days ago; I sat on the tarmac waiting for my plane to take off, clutching desperately to a one-way ticket. I looked out the window and searched for a sign, a revelation, if you will. I needed to know I was doing the right thing. Yet desperately as I searched, I was only comforted and briefly saddened by the hazy New York City skyline and the familiar noises of a plane gearing up for flight. While the flight attendants prepared for departure, I scrolled through my text messages one last time. Just then, a message lit up across my screen. I don’t understand why you’re moving so far. Do you really need to leave? Continue reading “Life in the Linz Lane: Lessons Learned from Goodbye”

What it’s like being an Anxious Optimist

(Image Credit: Michael Spring)
(Image Credit: Michael Spring)

There are two things in life that I know for certain: I am an eternal optimist and I have anxiety. I am a walking contradiction; I always hope for the best, but I’m always assuming the worst. It’s a tough world for an anxious optimist like me. Continue reading “What it’s like being an Anxious Optimist”

We All Have A Different Path

(Image Credit: Narstudio)
(Image Credit: Narstudio)

Imagine you’ve spent all this time pouring over a map; its hundreds of routes crossing and intersecting in a tangled web of possibilities. After much deliberation, endless nights of tossing and turning, and having finally learned how to distinguish a passing cramp from your gut’s instinct, you’ve actually managed to pick one path to brave. You feel relieved! Excited! And maybe a little bit nervous. But that’s okay. Feeling all there is to feel, you set out on your chosen route with an awesome playlist queued up and the sun shining through your car windows, going at the pace which makes you happiest. All of a sudden there’s someone running out into the middle of the road. You slam your breaks and realize it’s…your fifth grade science teacher holding a “wrong way” sign? Continue reading “We All Have A Different Path”

Life In The Linz Lane: The Spiritual Retreat (I Never Took)

(Image Credit: JenkoAtaman
(Image Credit: JenkoAtaman)

(Image Credit: JenkoAtaman

A couple of months ago, while lying in a bathtub listening to Bon Iver and drinking a glass of cheap wine, I received a phone call from a spiritual retreat “camp” in Hawaii. Continue reading “Life In The Linz Lane: The Spiritual Retreat (I Never Took)”