To all the girls who “Love adventures”
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Need this kind of support in my life
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Me: *flirts with girl*
Her: *flirts back*
Me: *was not expecting that and am now panicking*
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Nobody is easy to date. Everyone has their insecurities, flaws, and certain ways of doing things that makes us who we are. Perfect people and relationships only exist on TV. The most important thing is finding someone who loves you on your worst days and will fight through the hard times.
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I’m going to tell you a secret that I wish someone had told me a long, long time ago:
If you’ve been in nothing but toxic and unhealthy relationships for most of your life, your first healthy relationship is probably going to feel boring.
I spent the majority of my teenage years and early 20s in a series of unhealthy relationships. My relationships were all unhealthy in very different ways, but there was one thing they had in common: they were unpredictable, and in a perverse way, that made them addicting. There’s something weirdly thrilling about a relationship that is off-the-charts intense all of the time, even if it’s often a bad intense. My stomach used to drop like I’d just gone down the first hill of a roller coaster every time I opened the door to the apartment I used to share with my ex, because I never knew what I was going to find inside. Maybe he’d be on the couch, writing a song about me with that big smile on his face. Maybe he’d be half-coherent and the entire apartment would be trashed, with all the shades drawn. Maybe he’d be gone altogether with absolutely no explanation, and no way of getting in touch with him. There’s a sick thrill to waking up every morning and not knowing if your day is going to end with an impromptu romantic 2 am adventure that involves kissing under the stars, or if you’re going to go to bed in tears because you just got screamed at in a dumb fight over paper towels. Maybe it’s both.
Often, it was both.
And after a while, when someone makes your heart pound every time you see them, your brain stops trying to learn the difference between attraction and fear.
Then in my final year of my master’s degree, I swiped right on the right person and got into the first healthy relationship I had ever been in. My new relationship was everything I could have dared to hope for, back in the days when I was begging my ex to tell me where he was because he hadn’t been home in four days, or getting woken up at four a.m. because he’d found a man’s name when he went through my phone while I was sleeping and didn’t believe it was my brother. My new partner is, at a very fundamental level, an incredibly gentle and thoughtful person. Regular “good morning” and “good night” texts became a regular staple of my day, instead of passive-aggressive jabs and so-called “silent treatments”. Encouragement was given freely, without any accusations that I was seeking attention or trying to out-do him. Birthdays and important dates were remembered without any reminders. Hugs were given out in generous quantities, small issues were laughed off instead of fought over, and male friends were encouraged instead of demonized. At long last, I had the relationship I had always wanted.
And to my absolute horror, I realized I was bored.
Without even realizing it, I had trained myself to think of relationships as battles, and being in a healthy relationship for the first time felt like I had suited myself up for an epic war, only to end up in an old ladies’ pottery class. The lack of unhealthy behaviours started making me antsy. Why wasn’t he going through my phone and looking through my social media? Did he just not care? Did it just not matter to him that other guys might be speaking to me? Why was I feeling so calm all the time? Where was the adrenaline rush? Why weren’t we clashing more? Did it mean that we just weren’t invested enough to even bother to fight with each other? We were - and are - deeply compatible people who have a lot of fun with each other, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the relationship just wasn’t intense enough. I absolutely knew that my past relationships were deeply unhealthy, but it’s hard to un-learn the idea that relationships should be high-stakes and constantly exhausting if both people truly care about each other.
It took a lot of time, but I gradually come to realize something: I’d never actually known love in any of my previous relationships. What I had known was obsession. My exes had put me up on pedestals, and ripped me down as soon as I failed to live up to impossible expectations. Over and over again. Everything was big and over-the-top: life was a series of grand gestures, big fights and enormous apologies. I had one ex comb through years and years of my social media photos, commenting on every single one, while another ex would make the hour-long drive to my house in the middle of the night several times per week, whenever he felt like seeing me, letting himself in through my bedroom window. When you’re young and don’t know any better, that level of obsession is flattering. It’s what we’ve been taught is romantic. But it’s not - it’s not a good basis for a strong and healthy relationship. And in the end, none of it was really about me. My exes were caught up in ideas about the relationships they’d fantasized about having, and the way they wanted people to perceive them, and I was more or less just there to play a part. And it always came crashing down.
Real love, on the other hand, is not about the grand gesture. It’s not about non-stop “dialed-up-to-11″ intensity. It’s about being there, day by day. My boyfriend has never gone through my social media for six straight hours or broken into my house because he couldn’t wait a moment longer to see me, and he’s never screamed at me for having male names in my contacts list or for not texting back fast enough because he’s just so afraid to lose me. Instead, he is patient. He is kind. He listens to what I have to say and he doesn’t get upset about the small things and he always remembers to make my coffee exactly how I like it. I know that he will be there for me when I need him - whether I need to vent about a bad day at work or build a bookcase or double-check that I added enough salt to the soup - and I do the same for him. It’s a kinder, gentler kind of relationship, and now that I’m used to it, it’s anything but boring.
Don’t get me wrong - sometimes a relationship can be healthy and not be right for you. If you don’t have anything in common and you don’t enjoy doing things together, that’s probably not the relationship for you. It’s important to have fun with your partner and enjoy their company. But it’s also important not to mistake obsession for romance, or mistake a lack of intensity for disinterest.
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What is this? a crossover episode?
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please don’t ever think that you can’t talk to me about something
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Getting and giving consent doesn’t just happen when things are starting to get sexy — it’s got to happen the whole time, every time. That means checking in with your partner to make sure everything that’s happening is still okay. And if they pause or don’t say yes, it’s time to stop and check in with your partner.
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the signs as girlfriends 👩❤️💋👩
aries - teases you all the time, makes you laugh, random screaming 📢, your #1 supporter, tons of compliments, needs a lot of love and understanding and patience
taurus - homey, thinks of a future with you, wants to sit down with you and a cup of tea and listen to your hopes and dreams, can seem shy or unsure but they will want to take the lead sometimes, food as love language
gemini - introduces you to all their friends, *been inseparable for six months* are we in a relationship?, wont tell you but they’re in love with you, breaks all their rules for you, takes you out on fun dates
cancer - low maintenance but demanding with cuddles and kisses, loves affection, good morning and good night texts, loves to cook for you, knows all your favorite songs
leo - demands affection, there for you through ups and downs, if they like you you’re special, dominant, has many interesting qualities, love you passionately and wholeheartedly
virgo - shows you new songs, great kisser, always has good advice ready, best friend type of a gf, someone you can trust with anything, very understanding, good date ideas
libra - small gestures, very thoughtful and caring, asks how you’re feeling, worries about you, good listener, remembers small details about you
scorpio - a passionate lover, very cute with you, silly, stares at you then looks away, loves to make you smile, puts in the effort, intelligent and funny
sagittarius - leaves love notes in your apartment for you to read and smile at after a long day, bakes you heart shaped cookies, wants to travel the world with you
capricorn - tries to play it cool when they’re in love, needs a lot of validation, shows you that they care through actions instead of words, lowkey wants to marry you asap
aquarius - intense eye contact, closeness, supports you 100%, always has your back, shows you their weird side, surprises you with creative gifts, inappropriate jokes
pisces - writes you love letters, texts you constantly, wants to tell you everything, dreams about a future with you, passionate and over the top kind of love
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This. Is. Abusive.
Men need friends. Men need acquaintances. Men need peers. Men need people to cheer them on and notice their accomplishments and tell them that their hair looks good. Men need inside jokes with their coworkers and friends they can turn to after a hard day. Men need rich social lives and platonic hugs and emotional support from people they aren’t dating.
Men need to be treated like human beings who are capable of honoring their commitments, and not like misbehaving dogs who can’t control themselves unless they are carefully supervised.
As a culture, we’re pretty good about recognizing how important it is for women to have an emotional support network outside of their partner, but we’ve almost gone out of our way to deny that same social support to men. It’s socially acceptable for straight men who maintain close platonic friendships with women to be constantly accused of “cheating”, and yet straight men who form intimate and emotional bonds with other men are still accused of being “gay”. We’ve created a culture where many straight men rely only on their female partner for emotional support, leaving them nowhere to turn if their female partner becomes abusive, controlling or cruel.
A man who isolates his female partner and controls her social media is quickly marked as an abuser. A woman who does the same to her male partner is shrugged off as “just jealous” or even cheered on for “protecting her relationship”. And it’s wrong.
If the thought of your straight male partner having female friends makes you overwhelmed with jealousy, you aren’t ready for a relationship. If you can’t handle the thought of not having access to your boyfriend’s phone, passwords and social media accounts, you are not ready for a boyfriend. If the idea of other women following your boyfriend on social media or complimenting his appearance fills you with rage, you are not ready to date someone seriously. Loving someone means placing trust in them, and wanting to see them happy and supported in all areas of their life.
Love is not control.
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