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1. The amount of matches you receive has no correlation to your value. Just because someone hasn’t swiped right on you in a while doesn’t mean you’re unattractive. Just because someone hasn’t asked you for drinks in a while doesn’t mean you’re going to end up alone. Dating apps can be a great way to boost your confidence when you’re in a rut, but you shouldn’t let them kill your confidence.

2. Change can be a good thing. Maybe you need to change the settings on your dating apps to look for someone who’s a little older or lives a little further away. Or maybe you need to delete whichever dating app you’ve been using and switch to a different one. If something isn’t working, remember you can always try a different route. Or just take a break from dating apps altogether. If it’s causing you more stress than excitement, press that delete button.

3. A relationship isn’t the most important thing in the world. Your career, your friendships, your passions, and your soft heart are far more important than your relationship status. You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to make you feel special. You should give yourself all the love you need.

4. Not everyone sucks. Sometimes it might seem like you’re running out of options, like there’s no one out there who will fit your specific brand of weirdness, but that’s not the truth. You have to stay patient. Not everyone is going to disappoint you. Not everyone is going to ghost you, lie to you, and shatter your heart. Some people are going to see your worth and appreciate your beauty.

5. Failure is a beautiful thing. Don’t get discouraged. You should think of your failed matches as a good thing. The more people you weed out, the easier it will be to spot the person who is right for you. Besides, it’s good to figure out what kind of person you admire and what kind of person annoys you. Each one of your matches is teaching you something.

6. You’re not falling behind. You shouldn’t rush into a relationship because you’re the last one in your family or your friend group who hasn’t settled down yet. You shouldn’t feel peer pressured to reach such an important milestone. You should reach it at your own time. You should be more concerned with finding someone who makes you happy, not someone who might make you a Mrs.

7. You don’t have to meet someone over a dating app. You can date the old fashioned way — by introducing yourself to complete strangers in person. This weekend, try going out to a different restaurant than usual with your friends. Buy someone a drink. Ask someone to dance. Or simply compliment them as you walk past them to use the bathroom and see whether they come up to your table later with their phone number. You don’t have to stick to finding love over the phone. You can find it in the real world too.

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The more chances you give the wrong person, the more opportunities you’re giving him to repeat history, to hurt your heart even worse than the first time.

Even though he’s looking you in the eyes and promising you it’s going to be different this time, there’s no telling whether that’s the truth. He might be saying exactly what you want to hear. He might be manipulating you into forgiving him. You have to be cautious with your heart because second chances aren’t always a good thing. They don’t always lead to a happily ever after. Sometimes they lead to you saying I should have known better, I should have walked away the first time this happened.

Don’t get blindfolded by love. Before giving him a second chance on instinct, take some time to talk through the situation with him — and to think through the situation on your own. Ask yourself whether fighting for your relationship is the right move or whether you’ve moved past the point of problem solving. Ask yourself whether your love is worth the effort or whether it’s become too toxic to salvage.

The more chances you give the wrong person, the more leeway you’re giving him. There’s a chance he isn’t going to learn from his mistakes. There’s a chance he isn’t going to change his tune in order to convince you to stay in the relationship. There’s a chance he’s going to repeat the same bad behaviors again and again in the future. Since he got away with them in the past, he might assume he can get away with it an unlimited amount of times in the future too. After all, if you forgave him the first three times, why wouldn’t you forgive him the fourth or the fifth? That’s the mindset he could develop if you let his mistakes slide, if you let him do whatever he wants without repercussions.

The more chances you give the wrong person, the less time you’re giving yourself to move on, to heal from your heartache, to search for someone who would never screw you over.

The longer you hold onto a relationship that is clearly not working, the more time you’re wasting. You could be single right now. You could be out, exploring your options. Or you could be working on getting to know yourself again, getting to love yourself again. You could be placing down the stepping stones you need in order to walk toward a more beautiful, bright future.

Instead of thinking of a breakup as a waste of your past years, start asking yourself whether prolonging the relationship is going to be a waste of your future years. You shouldn’t stick with someone simply because you invested X amount of time into them. You should stay with them for deeper reasons than that. Because they love you, they respect you, they encourage you, they inspire growth within you. If that’s not the reason you’re staying together, maybe you should rethink that second chance.

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It’s the feeling of diving in headfirst when nothing is promised. When even after years of back and forth, you never fully know if you’re finally ready. You aren’t a hundred percent sure what love feels like anymore, and you worry that any good feeling will be synonymous with that.

So we have this moment, with no certainty of tomorrow, to wonder what we do with all this good feeling that exists between us.

We both know how the feeling right before the drop, and we’ve both been on the other side of it. We remember every memory between us this far- all the first nights, the distance, the promises with good intent, and the things we did follow through on. We compile all of this in our minds and it’s some sort of lovely supercut, some kind of Lorde song, some sort of story that we tell everyone someday when they ask where we began.

We remember the night we kissed for the first time, how it was the first in a long time either of us felt something electric and something safe. How despite our desires for personal space, sitting close to each other didn’t feel like some kind of invasion. Holding hands didn’t feel like a surrender.

We remember the moments we looked at each other and saw all sorts of possibility, and the moments we walked away from it. How we didn’t want a feeling to change us, how we didn’t want to be the people so caught up in each other that we forsook everything else. How we walked away never knowing if we would have another chance again, and trying to make peace with that. We remember how good life was to us and did give us those chances- second, third, fourth.

We remember how we took each other for granted and pushed the universe to its limits, daring it to push us back together again. We claimed rebellion and found other mouths and hands to latch onto. We made temporary homes in hearts we weren’t sure of, and we told each other about them. We claimed we knew better. We claimed if we were supposed to work, then we would have by now.

We know now that neither of us truly know anything about life or love or every way it can choose to manifest. How it will take the rest of our lives to even remotely scratch the surface of all we are and who we are capable of becoming. We know now that pretending that we know exactly what will happen to us it just some sort of fallacy that we say in hopes that it gives us the courage to try.

So, in full honesty, we admit that we don’t know where this ends up, but that we know this is something worth believing in. We would rather take this leap together and drown in soft truth than pretend we’re going to land on something solid and permanent when we have no proof.

So, in this moment, we say “I love you” like we’re trying to be brave.

We say it again like an act of defiance against uncertainty.

And we whisper it under our breath like a hopeful promise to the people we will be tomorrow.

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The truth about highly ambitious people is that they have a hunger in them that nothing can quite fill.

The truth is that they are driven beyond reason. They arrive at one peak, but they cannot stop there and savor the view. Their constant need for more makes them run through the course of their lives.

People who are most incentivized to prove themselves, at their core, do not feel they are quite enough. They have a passion and a love for life that has not yet been reciprocated. Their tunnel-vision seems aspirational. In reality, on their way to the light, they are surrounded by dark.

The truth is that ambitious people are not quite what they seem to be.

Just beneath the inspirational quotes and milestones and achievements exists a person who is not so much fueled by a desire to do good, but a desire to be better. You might think this is a net positive, because in many ways, it is. But it is also an Achilles’ heel. It is also often their downfall.

To be truly successful, you need to have purpose, not just passion. You need to have vision, not just an idea. And you need to have dedication, not just blind faith.

The truth is that for many highly ambitious people, they have one, but not the other part of the equation. They have trouble balancing different parts of their lives because they are putting so much effort into compensating for another, more invisible part, that is eating them alive.

They are characterized as heartless, but really, they are just trying to find their hearts. They are known for being singularly determined to build a big life, but they are really just trying to have a good one.

At the end of the day, these are the people who, at some level, believe they must supersede their circumstances so radically, so rapidly, that they could finally get to be as worthwhile as anyone else.

For all the height that an ambitious person dreams of climbing, exists an emptiness that they are trying to get out of.

Of course, this is not true of everyone.

Of course, having goals and dreams is essential to being a thriving human being.

But the dark truth that nobody wants to admit is that highly ambitious people are often compensating for something, and it is often in direct correlation to the exact way they were made to believe they were not quite worthy enough.

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1. You can have a good time with almost anyone. Don’t marry someone unless you know that you can have a bad time with that person. Marry someone who will have your back during disasters and help you clean up, pick up all the pieces and laugh together. Marry someone who will help you clean up puke, poop, and pee (especially if you plan to have pets and kids) and who will run you a hot shower when you’re done. Marry your “partner in disaster” and you’ll end up having a good laugh while you’re using the wet-vac to clean up an exploded fish tank together.

2. Remember that you are going into marriage not for funsies, but in order to be a better person.

Occasionally, this will happen because your spouse is inspiring you to greater heights of idealism and love.

Much more often, it will happen because your spouse is giving you ahem an opportunity to be loving. (Because she didn’t have time for dishes, or didn’t notice the milk on the counter, or really needs some sexy times tonight regardless of your headache, or is just in a bad mood tonight.) A great deal of marriage is sucking it up and doing unpleasant things lovingly, recognizing that you create plenty of ahem opportunities for your spouse as well (whether you notice or not)… and never, ever keeping score.

Once you’ve stopped keeping score and made your whole life about the good of the family, marriage ironically becomes a lot more fun than it is if you go in just expecting it to be fun!

(Obviously, there are lines to be drawn here. “Loving your spouse” does not mean tolerating abuse or failing to communicate your needs. But marriage is mainly about giving up your life to caring for somebody else — that’s what the vows say, after all — and I think we lose sight of that too often here in the early 21st century.)

3. The point of arguing is not to win, it is to understand where they’re coming from and why this issue matters to them.

4. Anger is neither a reason nor an excuse for bad behavior. You will get angry, you will fight, but you should never insult, indulge in name-calling, throw things, or hit them. If you cannot or choose not to control what comes out of your mouth when you are angry work on that first, get married second.

5. Someone once told me “once you get married your wife becomes your family and your family become your relatives.” Really helped me through any stressful family gatherings, knowing we had each other’s backs, being our own team.

6. Be prepared to date each other forever. The second you stop courting each other, it all falls apart. No reason to not go on one date a week just the two of you.

7. You can’t fix everything. If someone has a bad day, there may not be anything outward that can be done to fix it. Sometimes they just need time and to know you’re there.

8. Be weird with each other. Everyone is odd in someway. Stepping back from the stresses of life and being goofy is the best part of my day. Your spouse should love every part of you so be yourself and have fun! Marriage is not as serious as people make it out to be.

9. Humans are stupid – me and you included. Happiness isn’t getting everything you want. It’s the habit of being happy with what you have. Mad at your spouse for something stupid, like forgetting clothes in the washing machine? Stop being mad, make a cup of tea for both of you, then laugh at it.

It’s a habit – so you’ve gotta create that habit. But once that habit is created, you stop getting mad about stupid things. When you’re with someone for years and you get rid of stupid fights, it becomes quite easy to be happy (assuming overall compatibility).

10. Try to be mad at a behavior, not at your partner. Telling someone that this form of communication isn’t effective for you, can we try another way. This action creates a problem for me, leaving us unbalanced would this way work better. Communication is everything. You’re going to be together forever, please be comfortable sticking up for yourself, your marriage, and your partner.

11. It’s not a 50/50 partnership. Each partner has to be ready and willing to put in 100%, when the other partner cannot. Sometimes you have to give more and the books may never balance out AND that’s OK!

12. If you have any doubts DO NOT GO THROUGH WITH THE WEDDING IT WILL GET WORSE.

13. Have each other’s back. Be loyal. No shit talking the other person to outsiders, or ESPECIALLY to family. You need to be each other’s best friend. If you have a problem, work it out. Don’t go airing your dirty laundry to other people.

14. If you can do a little thing to make your spouse’s day better/life easier, do it. Bring them coffee. Buy that cheese they like. Remember to set up their favourite shows to record. Grand gestures are great, but little things daily remind each other why you’re together.

15. The marriage is more important than the wedding/reception.

16. Separate bathrooms. No, not kidding.

17. Stole this from Dan Savage: establish sexual compatibility early in a relationship. I don’t mean on the first date, but before you get married because it’s only going to get more difficult later.

It can be something as simple as, sex isn’t that important to either of you. It can be talking about what’s acceptable in terms of dealing with fantasies and fetishes. Heck, just finding out if you’re both willing to have an honest conversation about it is worth knowing.

18. You don’t have to blow $30k for your wedding. That’s a down payment on a house! No one is going to remember what color your brides maids dresses were, or what flavor your cake was. They’re going to remember how much fun it was, who got the most drunk, who had the worst dance moves, and how happy you (two) were that day.

You are going to want to strangle each other during the planning process. Just relax, have a glass of wine or something, and talk it out.

19. Make sure you agree on the big stuff

Do you want kids, how many?

Who is going to be a stay at home parent if any?

If we both get the job of our dreams and both require moving, what do we do?

What is okay in case of unplanned pregnancy?

How should our money be set up and spent?

Is religious belief important? If so what religion? What if one of us changes/gains/loses religion?

20. Have separate blankets. Nothing builds resentment like a freezing butt at 3am.

21. Admit when you’re wrong. Ask open-ended questions when you’re right.

22. Don’t cheat. There is pretty much no coming back from that. Something will always be lost.

23. Assume nothing. Your spouse is not in your brain, cannot read your mind and cannot interpret passive aggressiveness with the intent that you’re trying to deliver.

24. You are your own self. When you’ve been together a long while, its easy for all your hobbies, interests, values and beliefs to become exactly the same. That doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to do things for yourself or have a differing opinion. Have at least one ‘thing’ that is your thing to keep yourself sane and interesting.

25. Never rush marriage, at the end of the day it’s really nothing more than a piece of paper, what really matters is in your heart.

Second piece of advice, they better be your best friend or it most likely won’t work out.

This is someone you’ll be spending the rest of your life with(if all goes as planned). And the older you get, the less friends you’ll have and the more you’ll spend with your significant other.

26. Disagreements happen. Find a middle ground. There is always a middle ground.

Ignore the people who say, “never go to bed angry”. A lot of times the middle ground presents itself after a good night’s sleep.

Have two comfortable places to sleep. It will come in handy during disagreements but they’re a god send if someone is sick, has allergies and snores.

27. You’re a team. Act like it. Especially in front of the kids.

28. When fighting, think of your entire relationship and ask yourself, “Is this going to matter over the course of the relationship?” Probably not.

29. Fucking clean up after yourself.

30. Gratitude is key. This sounds easy, but let me explain.

The key is that gratitude is not a balancing test. Don’t just be grateful the ‘extra’ things your spouse does, be grateful for every.single.thing.

If you shop for food, then prep it, cook it, then clear the table, then load the dishwasher, then clean all the pots and pans – and then later your spouse empties the dishwasher, thank them for doing that, and feel it.

To me, this is a hard thing for people to do, and it is such a huge part of the happiness in marriage. It leads to a feedback loop of appreciation for the little things as well as the big.

It makes it more likely that your spouse will appreciate you and (unless you married a terrible person) far more likely that they will do more.

You will also see more of the things they do.

This isn’t just ‘stuff,’ but anything. Grateful for listening, for sharing, for sitting on the couch, for having your child etc. etc.

31. The biggest transition is if you weren’t living together before. Getting used to sharing everything can be difficult for some but good communication is key to making things work.

Discuss finances, once married you take on each other’s debts and responsibilities. It’s important to know what those are before the wedding. Finances are one of, if not the, biggest reasons for failed marriages, so get on the same page early and stay there.

32. Create a budget before you merge finances and make sure you’re both on the same page.

33. Do a lot of those “questions to discuss before marriage” quizzes. You may find trigger points you never would have thought of on your own. It’s better to hear these things in a theoretical, not in a time you need to make a decision or are under emotional stress.

But most importantly: MAKE SURE YOU AGREE ON WHETHER TO HAVE KIDS! Don’t assume he/she will come around to the idea. If you’re pushing your significant other to have kids, you will basically be a single parent. They won’t feel responsible for the child because they didn’t want them to begin with and were being nice to you in having a baby. On the flip side, if you convince your significant other NOT to have children, you’re setting yourself up for a lot of resentment if they had to choose between you and a future they’ve probably built up in their mind for most of their life. The decision of whether or not to have children impacts Every. Single. Moment. of the rest of your life. Don’t try to convince someone they really will come to love the opposite outcome.

34. Fuck first. If there’s an expectation or hope of sex after a wedding, birthday, arbor day, Valentine’s day etc… Do the sex part before to avoid getting too tired, full, or bloated to have sex after.

35. Just keep doing what you’re doing, marriage is really no different, it’s just paper. Keep doing what made you two fall in love in the first place, continue to be honest, and open, loving.

36. If you have a problem with your partner, no matter how small it is, talk to them about it. They may not realize they’re doing something that bothers you (like squeezing the toothpaste from the middle of the tube not the end, like some kind of savage).

37. Feelings fluctuate. Some days you won’t want to look at them, other days you’ll wonder how you found such a wonderful person. It’s normal and the bad times will pass as long as both of you actively want to make things work.

38. It’s gonna get boring. Remember that your spouse is probably as bored as you. Just tough it out.

39. Always be polite: Clean up after yourself. Say “please” and “thank you.” Remember that your spouse is a whole person and not a prop in your life.

40. Give each other at least 30 min a day without phones/TV.

41. Even if you aren’t having troubles, going to marriage counseling of some sort can be a solid idea. It can help to have a voice from outside of the relationship giving perspective to potential issues that can arise.

42. Treat your spouse better than you would a casual acquaintance. For example you would never tell Betty from the office she looks fat or Joe your bowling buddy his new haircut is ugly. Basically be kind. You and SO are the home team. Take on all comers and have each other’s back.

43. Pick your battles! Who cares if they never put on a new roll of toilet paper. Just do it and move on. There are much more important things in life than nagging your partner for menial shit.

44. Accept that you will change. They will change. Change is growth and growth is human.

45. You are a team. Either you both win, or neither of you do.

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I’m not going to text you because you made your priorities perfectly clear. You made it obvious your feelings weren’t as intense as mine. As much as I want to change your mind about me, to get you interested in me again, I’m not going to beg for your attention. I’m not going to scream and cry until you acknowledge my existence. If you can live without me, then I can live without you. There’s no reason for me to chase after someone who has already run so far away.

I’m not going to text you because nothing I say would make a difference in the long run. We can’t turn back time. We can’t erase all of the horrible things that have happened between us. Sure, we might have a nice conversation, but we wouldn’t be able to go any further than that. We wouldn’t be able to resurrect our relationship. It would be a bad idea. It would cause pain for ever party involved. At the end of the day, we’re better off apart. We’re better off keeping our distance.

I’m not going to text you because I’ve been learning how to control my impulses, how to listen to my head over my heart, how to take a step back and ask myself whether I’m doing the right thing or the most tempting thing. I’m smart enough to realize reaching out to you would only bring me more heartache in the end, which is why I’m going to resist the urge. I’m going to let you slowly fade in to the background of my life, no matter how long it takes.

I’m not going to text you because it’s something I would regret in the morning. I might even regret it seconds after I hit send. There are a million things I still have to say to you, but I have a feeling you’re not going to respond the way I’m hoping. You’re not going to give me any form of closure. You’re only going to reopen wounds that are on their way toward closing. You’re only going to make getting over you more difficult.

I’m not going to text you because there are other people in my world who are showing me how I should be treated. They’re making it easier to forget about you. They’re making it easier to see how unbalanced our relationship really was and how I should never aspire to be in a situation like that again.

I’m not going to text you, because quite honestly, you don’t deserve to hear from me again. You lost your chance to date me. You even lost your chance to be friends with me. I gave you a dozen chances and you squandered each and every one. You’re the reason why we don’t keep in touch anymore. If you change your mind and decide to text me one day, I might answer you back, but in the meantime I’m not going to be the one reaching out to you. I’m not going to put myself through that kind of pain again.

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Aries

You assume they don’t let anything get to them because they act like they DGAF, but beneath their hard exterior they’re soft and vulnerable. They cry more than you think.

Taurus

You assume their relationships are perfect because they only have good things to say about their partners, but you’re missing all of the nasty arguments they keep hidden behind closed doors.

Gemini

You’re jealous of them because they always seem to live in the present and enjoy the moment. But you don’t realize how much it stresses them out that they don’t have a plan for their future, they don’t know what they want.

Cancer

You assume their life is perfect because they never complain about anything, but really, they internalize all of their pain because they don’t want to be a burden to their loved ones.

Leo

You’re jealous of how much they seem to love themselves because you don’t realize they’re only putting on a show. In private, they’re just as insecure as you are.

Virgo

You assume they have all their shit together because of how organized and professional they act, but really, they spend most of their time scrambling around trying to get everything on their to-do list done.

Libra

You’re jealous of them because they always look so perfect, but you don’t realize how much time they put into their appearance. It takes them hours to leave the house. Their looks don’t come as easily as you think.

Scorpio

You assume they don’t have any problems because they’re always joking around and smiling, but they’ve been lying about being fine. They don’t air their issues. They keep their suffering private.

Sagittarius

You’re jealous of them because they’re always spending money on fancy clothes or flying across the country on vacation. But you don’t realize how long it took them to save up for those luxuries. They didn’t get their earnings handed to them.

Capricorn

You’re jealous of them because you assume nothing bothers them, but you never see how fired up they get when they’re alone. You never see how many emotions are hidden behind the mask they wear in public.

Aquarius

You assume they’re successful and living the good life, but you don’t realize how much effort they have to put in every single day in order to maintain that life. You don’t realize how close they are to burning out.

Pisces

You assume they have the perfect life because of the way they portray themselves on social media, but you don’t know the stories behind the pictures they posted — or how long it took them to pose and edit those pictures. 

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You might think playing hard to get is mysterious, intriguing, sexy — but it’s not doing anything for me.

When you take an hour to answer my texts, it’s not putting me on the edge of my seat, making me wonder what you’re doing and whether you’re with another woman. It’s not making me want you even more. It’s doing the exact opposite. It’s giving me incentive not to text you again.

I don’t want to be treated like a backup plan. I don’t want to be pushed to the sidelines. I don’t want to feel like I’m bothering you with my affection.

If you’re going days without answering me, I’m going to assume you don’t feel all that strongly about me. Your lack of interest isn’t going to convince me to double my effort. It’s going to convince me me to stop trying, to leave you alone, to search for someone else who seems excited by me.

It’s the same when you cancel plans with me — or keep talking about how we need to make plans soon and never actually set a date to see me. If you aren’t putting any effort into getting to know me, I’m going to assume you have someone else. I’m going to assume your priorities are placed elsewhere. 

I’m sorry, but your flimsy compliments and Instagram likes aren’t enough to keep me interested. I have better things to do than chase after hearts who don’t seem like they want to be caught.

I’m not going to waste my time trying to crack through your shell. I’m not going to make it my mission to get you to love me. I would rather be with someone who sees my worth from the start, who doesn’t need a push in order to agree to date me. 

The more mixed signals you send, the more you mess with my head, the faster I’m going to lose interest. Your unanswered texts and fickle hangout sessions aren’t making me want you more. They’re making me like you less. They’re making me wonder why someone like you caught my eye in the first place.

If you answer my texts within a reasonable amount of time, set plans to hang out with me, and generally treat me like you actually give a damn, then I’m going to return the favor. I’m going to spoil you rotten. I’m going to make you feel handsome, loved, and appreciated.

But I’m not going to fluff your ego by chasing after you when you don’t seem interested in me. I’m not going to play detective and try to figure out whether your mixed signals mean you want to date me or you only want to string me along.

I like you — but I’m not going to follow you around like a puppy, begging for your affection. I’m not going to get down on my hand and knees, pleading for you to give me a chance.

If you don’t pay attention to me, I’ll do the same.

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If you’re going to cheat on me, I don’t want to be the last person to know. I don’t want everyone around me to look at me with pity, thinking if she only knew… I don’t want to be the laughing stock of the town. I don’t want to be heartbroken and embarrassed at the same time. I don’t want you to make me look like some poor, pathetic person who couldn’t see what was right in front of my face.

If you’re going to cheat on me, at least don’t make me look like an idiot. Don’t make me look clueless. Don’t make me look gullible. Don’t make me look blinded by my happiness, blinded by my feelings for you, blinded by my desire to make a relationship work with you.

If we’ve been dating, that means I’ve been pouring all of my love into you. I’ve been telling everyone what a good person you are. I’ve been bragging about our relationship every opportunity I get. That’s the way I treat the people I care about. I spoil them. I give them everything I have to give. So if that’s what I’ve been doing for you, don’t make me look like an idiot by sneaking around my back. Don’t embarrass me by making me look oblivious. Don’t ruin our relationship while my back is turned, while I’m not paying any attention.

If you’re going to cheat on me, do me a favor and come clean about it before someone else breaks the news to me. I would rather have you admit what you’ve done wrong than hear about it from someone else who caught you in the act. I would rather have you respect me enough to tell me what you’ve done to my face than wait for your cheating to get around to me.

I don’t want to look like an idiot who had no idea her relationship was in the toilet. I don’t want to come across as the girl stupid enough to stay with a cheater. I don’t want my reputation ruined and my intelligence questioned simply because you couldn’t do the right thing.

If you’re going to cheat on me, at least be honest about it. And when you come clean about your bullshit, don’t lie to me about how the other person meant nothing to you. Don’t lie about how you technically didn’t do anything wrong because you didn’t initiate things or didn’t cross extra boundaries and do even worse things. Don’t lie to me about how you’re going to change, either. Don’t try to wriggle out of the toxic situation you put yourself in. 

If you’re going to cheat on me, at least give me the honor of deciding whether you deserve another chance or whether you deserve to be kicked to the curb. At least do me the courtesy of knowing what’s been going on behind my back so I don’t come across like a complete idiot for falling for someone like you.

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Relationships aren’t supposed to strip you of your freedom. You’re not supposed to feel like you’re trapped, like your social life has taken a hit, like everything has changed now that you’re dating someone.

The only thing that has actually changed is your relationship status. You’re still supposed to have friends, a career, hobbies, a life outside of your relationship. You don’t need to sacrifice everything else you love in order to make room for your person. There’s enough room in your heart for everything that matters to you.

If your person is the right one for you, they’ll encourage you to go out with your friends on weekends. They won’t guilt trip you into staying home with them because they want you all to themselves. They won’t get angry at you for leaving the house without them because they’re jealous and insecure. They won’t make you feel like you have to pick them over the friends you’ve known for years, like it’s some sort of competition.

If your person is the right one for you, they’ll encourage you to follow your career aspirations. They won’t get annoyed when you spend a few extra hours working when you could have been spending time with them. They won’t try to convince you to give up on your dreams because it’s a waste of time and you’ll never succeed. They won’t make you feel like you have to choose between having a successful relationship and a successful career.

If your person is the right one for you, they’ll encourage you to wear whatever you want. They’ll want you to feel your most beautiful, your most confident. They won’t make backhanded comments about how you look. They won’t accuse you of cheating on them simply because you chose to wear tight jeans or a low neckline. They won’t shame you based on what you chose to do with your own body.

If your person is the right one for you, they won’t make you choose between them and someone — or something — you love. They won’t ask you to make sacrifices in order to prove your love for them. They won’t expect your entire world to revolve around them and what they want while putting aside what you want.

Just because you’re in a relationship does’t mean you’re supposed to dedicate every waking hour to your person. You’re still supposed to have nights where you go out without them and days where you don’t see them as much. You’re still supposed to have hopes and dreams of your own. You’re still supposed to think for yourself.

Healthy relationships have boundaries, not prison bars. You shouldn’t need permission from your person to leave the house. You shouldn’t need permission from your person to go about your day. They’re supposed to be your teammate, not your boss, not your leader.

Relationships are supposed to broaden your world, not narrow it down, so don’t lose your independence once you get into a relationship. Don’t lose your friendships. Don’t lose your passions. Don’t lose your sense of self.

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