I Took Note Of Every Mean Thing I Said To My Boyfriend For A Month, And This Is What I Found

I don’t think of myself as a mean person. I am human, and I can get angry or bitter from time to time, and I don’t deny that — but I wouldn’t consider myself overly mean. But as with most people, I know that I have a tendency to take my frustrations out on the people closest to me, because on some level I take for granted the fact that they’ll always be there. For me, there is no one closer than my boyfriend, and the fact that I love him more than anyone else in the world doesn’t stop me from snapping at him, making sarcastic comments, or arguing for no reason. In fact, it probably makes it more likely.

I Took Note Of Every Mean Thing I Said To My Boyfriend For A Month, And This Is What I Found

So I decided, without letting him know, to start taking note of it. Initially I thought I would only do it for a week or so, but the results were pretty significant, so I decided to keep going. And despite my initial hesitations, taking note didn’t stop me from actually doing it. It was a mental tic that I didn’t really think about, and I didn’t realize I was being mean until I had already said something. To keep track, I got one of those (well-hidden) tickers that bouncers use (you can get them for a couple bucks online), and I did my best to write down the things I said once I got a second.

Now, it wasn’t a perfect science, but I think I got a good idea of how mean I could be to my boyfriend (whom I see approximately four days a week, sometimes more, sometimes less). These are the results I got from keeping track of myself to the best of my abilities.

On average, I said something mean between five and ten times a day when I saw him. To be honest with myself, I counted “mean” as any time I responded sarcastically, rolled my eyes, snapped, nitpicked about something that wasn’t important, or was genuinely mean-spirited. if I counted only the directly mean stuff, it wouldn’t have been nearly as high.

I was by far most likely to be sarcastic. Without realizing it, I had a tendency to respond in a flippant, aggravated way, even when I didn’t really feel that angry. This was especially common when it came to do with anything about chores or general daily tasks. Errands were a big one as well.

When it came to saying directly mean things, I did it less than once a day, but I did it more on days when I was upset about work. When I was angry about work or something else in my personal life, I had a tendency not to talk about it directly, but I would say more directly mean things. It was a way of subverting my anger into something easier to manage, that gave me immediate release.

Often, when I would engage in small arguments, I wasn’t actually angry. In fact, when I took note of when I was doing it, the most common emotion I felt was boredom. It seemed like I was nitpicking or feeding arguments simply to have something to do.

Almost every time I received a compliment, I said something negative. I decided to count self-deprecating or sarcastic responses to compliments as something mean, and I found that nearly every time, I responded that way. It was easier for me to dismiss a compliment than to accept it head-on and understand that he genuinely believed it.

When I look at the facts, I’m ashamed of myself. There’s no escaping fact that the old expression “we always hurt the ones we love” is very true. I know that it is, now more than ever, because I’ve monitored myself and confirmed it. After seeing this stuff head-on, I talked to my boyfriend about it, and we were both pretty shocked. He told me that he didn’t view me as mean at all, but that he can tell when I’m stressed out from work, and he wishes I would ask him for help instead of getting angry at him. It broke my heart, the level of understanding he showed, even in the face of my clearly mean behavior.

But then again, I think most people, if they carried on this little experiment honestly, would find similar results. And honestly, it’s a very important thing to do, because now that I have this information, I know how to make it better. And I know what I was like before. I will make myself be gracious for compliments, and be honest about my frustrations (instead of turning them into anger), and to take a second to breathe before starting a petty argument for nothing. I’m glad I was able to look at this side of myself, because it is clearly something that would have gone on forever (and gotten worse) if I didn’t.

But how would you fare if you tried this? And what would you do to be better about it?

And why aren’t you doing that already? TC mark

It’s 3 AM And He Texts Me

It’s 3 am and my phone dings. My heart lurches in my throat and I curse myself for not having it on silent. Not because it woke me up, but because I already know it’s him. I know that it’s him and that my fingers will betray me, just like they do every night. This night, I say that it will be different. I tell myself I was never this girl. I watched my father disintegrate before my very eyes. I stood through my traumas. I held my own heart night after night. I never asked for anyone to stitch back together my broken pieces. I always did it on my own. I was the strong one, even when at my weakest.

But now, in my bed, texting back nonsense to a boy who tells me time and time again he will never give me what I willingly give him, I am a shell of my former self. I lie to my roommates when they ask the last time I talked to him. I repeatedly have epiphanies and announce with complete certainty, “I’m done.” I throw “fuck hims” around and put on my damn freakum dress. I dance until his lips on my forehead aren’t even a memory anymore. I dance until his name is just a name.

And then he reaches out. I think it must mean something, that I must mean something. And I go back on every promise. I go back on every word I’ve ever written. I convince myself he has to feel this too. I allow for his excuses.

“He’s scared.”

“He’s not ready.”

“He’s not over her.”

“He’s going to realize what he has one day.”

I plead with my own ego. I play Russian roulette with the little dignity I have left. I look at this crumbling figure back in the mirror. I can’t even remember when I used to love her so much.

I used to love her so much. She lies to me and tells me, one day, he’s going to see me for everything I am. I won’t be his emotional pillow. His selfish comfort. I am placeholder. I am temptation, something to ease the lonely. I am a girl he never wanted to begin with.

But the truth is, I can’t figure out how to make any of this sound pretty, or artistic. This is irrational, and dirty. This is ugly and a time I will look back on and feel pity for the foolish 22 year old woman I was. I am so goddamn lost and keep hoping his body will be the compass that leads me the right way. His eyes are lighthouses, but his hands sirens. I am shipwreck.

But before I know it, it’s 3 am again and my phone dings. TC mark

Why You’ve Already Met Your Soul Mate

Love is love. No love is better than the other. The love of a family member is the love of a friend is the love of a lover. It’s all love. We look for love, but we have never not had love. We are surrounded by love. It is in every small detail and every grand moment.

In a way, a soul mate completes you for a time. A soul mate is, perhaps more directly, a soul match. Your soul finds another soul and that soul match creates something necessary and important. This can be romantic love, friendship love, familial love, or any other definition of love that is not necessary. All love is love.

We can have a soul match with many people. In fact, we do. There is not just one soul mate. There are many. And, they join us on our journey of life for an undetermined amount of time and they allow us to grow. They challenge us. They show us where we need to heal.

To me, a soul mate is someone who breaks down the barriers we have to love. They come in and disrupt our lives in various ways. They are that new friend we meet who feels like a friend we’ve reconnected with, not someone new we just met. They are that cousin we share a bond with that far transcends any other relationship in our family. They are that person we can call after months of not talking and pick up right where we left off. They are that lover who brings out the anger we need to heal, the insecurity we need to face, the parts of us we hide away that need the light.

It’s all important. It’s all love. There’s no distinguishing. We cause our own suffering by distinguishing it at all. We see our lack of love constantly. We think we are without love, without a soul mate, but they are there, all around us. We simply don’t know how to see it. We have a narrowed version of love, of soul mates, and, in our desire to fill that narrow version up, we lose the chance to see that we are provided the chance to love at any moment.

At any point in our lives, we are trying to get back to the purest love. We want that transcendent love. Yet, we think that kind of love exists in one person that we must find and commit to forever. The point here is that we can experience pure love with any relationship. We can experience humility, vulnerability, trust, and defenselessness in all various forms of relationship. We can stand open-hearted with anyone we choose and especially those that float into our lives as soul mates.

A soul mate is a soul connection between two people. And, it’s challenging in that it will bust open our hearts in ways that we will not comprehend until we’re in the throes of it. We cannot cheapen any relationship that is soul binding just because it is not romantic love. We will grow and heal from any kind of soul love, soul match, soul mate. That’s the point. We are all one. We all come into our lives at various stages for reasons that we don’t know at the time, but of which reveal themselves over time.

If we continue to approach each relationship with this idea, that our soul has chosen this person for a time, then we see new meaning. We see that no love is better than another love. We see the fragile, beautiful soul match that is in front of us. We learn to appreciate and be grateful for the love we have right now, this moment, and focus entirely on that. We surrender to the bigger picture of our lives, that we do not know what is leading to what, but that if we put our time where our love is, then we will be led. We will need not feel in lack, because we will always be in abundance. TC mark

I Will Love You When

I will love you when you’re beautiful enough for the image I have in my head of how you should look. I will love you when you have lost your excess weight and when you look like someone that could be on a magazine cover. Until then, I will punish you and hate you and I will say vile things about you from the moment you wake up until the moment you fall asleep. I’ll keep you up at night—not out of pleasure—but because I will feel a paranoid need to run through your mind all your flaws on repeat, on zoom. You’ll toss your body around the covers and your heart will beat, beat, beat out of your chest and you’ll make lists of what you should do the next day to be deemed acceptable in my eyes and I will say yes, do those things, keep going. While you’re at it, do more and push yourself more. Stress. Keep stressing. I will love you when you are perfect.

I will love you when—and only when—you are skinny.

I will love you when you are wealthy and surrounded by opulence. I will compare you mercilessly to other people who I perceive to have more than you. I will constantly and endlessly find reasons why you are inadequate in my eyes and I will use those inadequacies as motivation for you to continually change your life. I will hand you a list of what you need in order to be acceptable and loved by me and I will hate and loathe you until you complete that list. Then, I will hate and loathe you when you complete the list. I will add more to the list, because you will never be good enough for me. You will never be happy.

I will love you when someone else loves you. I will see the way they look at you and kiss your cheek and I’ll look at you like maybe now you are lovable. It will take the love of someone else to supplant the love you lack for me to see that maybe you are good enough. Yet, if that person’s love fades and falters and vanishes from your life, I will stop loving you. It will be your fault. You drove them away. You are not good enough as you are. I will love you only to the extent that someone else loved you. Once that person’s love has gone, so will my love. I will only see your goodness and beauty and light when someone else sees it. Once the light of their love extinguishes, so will your own light. I will love you if their light flickers back. Or I will love you only when another person notices you again.

I will love you when you change everything about you and make yourself flawless and faultless. I will love you when you are more intelligent, when every answer is correct. I will love you when you’ve read the ten books you have stacked up on your nightstand. I will love you when you contain who you are to the point that who you are is acceptable enough for the world. I will love you when you’re not too much of anything, when you’re normal, when you’re not emotional, when you stop caring so much, when you get more likes on your Instagram, when you have more followers on Twitter, when you have more reblogs on Tumblr, when you’re viral on YouTube. I will love you when other people love and admire you. I will love you when you are famous. I will love you when enough people love you that your life feels worthwhile and valuable.

I will love you when you stop being the wonderment and uniqueness of who you are and, instead, step into who the world thinks you should be. I will love you contingent upon a list of attributes that you must always exhibit. I will love you when you are okay and small and acceptable and just like the people who other people love. I will love you when you do not stand out or do anything weird or be someone that other people are not.

I will love you when you are not you anymore. I will love you when you change. I will love you one day, but not today. Today, you must be miserable. Today, you must suffer. Today, I will say vile things to you until you are motivated—finally, motivated—to change into someone else who is worth loving.

I will love you when you are not you, when you are perfect and skinny and perfect and wealthy and perfect and contained.

This is how we regard ourselves now. This is how we see ourselves. This is how contingent the love we give ourselves is. We wouldn’t allow this from others, yet why do we allow it from ourselves? TC mark

This Is How We Date Now

We don’t commit now. We don’t see the point. They’ve always said there are so many fish in the sea, but never before has that sea of fish been right at our fingertips on OkCupid, Tinder, Grindr, Dattch, take your pick. We can order up a human being in the same way we can order up pad thai on Seamless. We think intimacy lies in a perfectly-executed string of emoji. We think effort is a “good morning” text. We say romance is dead, because maybe it is, but maybe we just need to reinvent it. Maybe romance in our modern age is putting the phone down long enough to look in each other’s eyes at dinner. Maybe romance is deleting Tinder off your phone after an incredible first date with someone. Maybe romance is still there, we just don’t know what it looks like now.

This Is How We Date Now

When we choose—if we commit—we are still one eye wandering at the options. We want the beautiful cut of filet mignon, but we’re too busy eyeing the mediocre buffet, because choice. Because choice. Our choices are killing us. We think choice means something. We think opportunity is good. We think the more chances we have, the better. But, it makes everything watered-down. Never mind actually feeling satisfied, we don’t even understand what satisfaction looks like, sounds like, feels like. We’re one foot out the door, because outside that door is more, more, more. We don’t see who’s right in front of our eyes asking to be loved, because no one is asking to be loved. We long for something that we still want to believe exists. Yet, we are looking for the next thrill, the next jolt of excitement, the next instant gratification.

We soothe ourselves and distract ourselves and, if we can’t even face the demons inside our own brain, how can we be expected to stick something out, to love someone even when it’s not easy to love them? We bail. We leave. We see a limitless world in a way that no generation before us has seen. We can open up a new tab, look at pictures of Portugal, pull out a Visa, and book a plane ticket. We don’t do this, but we can. The point is that we know we can, even if we don’t have the resources to do so. There are always other tantalizing options. Open up Instagram and see the lives of others, the life we could have. See the places we’re not traveling to. See the lives we’re not living. See the people we’re not dating. We bombard ourselves with stimuli, input, input, input, and we wonder why we’re miserable. We wonder why we’re dissatisfied. We wonder why nothing lasts and everything feels a little hopeless. Because, we have no idea how to see our lives for what they are, instead of what they aren’t.

This is How We Date Now

And, even if we find it. Say we find that person we love who loves us. Commitment. Intimacy. “I love you.” We do it. We find it. Then, quickly, we live it for others. We tell people we’re in a relationship on Facebook. We throw our pictures up on Instagram. We become a “we.” We make it seem shiny and perfect because what we choose to share is the highlight reel. We don’t share the 3am fights, the reddened eyes, the tear-stained bedsheets. We don’t write status updates about how their love for us shines a light on where we don’t love ourselves. We don’t tweet 140 characters of sadness when we’re having the kinds of conversations that can make or break the future of our love. This is not what we share. Shiny picture. Happy couple. Love is perfect.

Then, we see these other happy, shiny couples and we compare. We are The Emoji Generation. Choice Culture. The Comparison Generation. Measuring up. Good enough. The best. Never before have we had such an incredible cornucopia of markers for what it looks like to live the Best Life Possible. We input, input, input and soon find ourselves in despair. We’ll never be good enough, because what we’re trying to measure up to just does not fucking exist. These lives do not exist. These relationships do not exist. Yet, we can’t believe it. We see it with our own eyes. And, we want it. And, we will make ourselves miserable until we get it.

So, we break up. We break up because we’re not good enough, our lives aren’t good enough, our relationship isn’t good enough. We swipe, swipe, swipe, just a bit more on Tinder. We order someone up to our door just like a pizza. And, the cycle starts again. Emoji. “Good morning” text. Intimacy. Put down the phone. Couple selfie. Shiny, happy couple. Compare. Compare. Compare. The inevitable creeping in of latent, subtle dissatisfaction. The fights. “Something is wrong, but I don’t know what it is.” “This isn’t working.” “I need something more.” And, we break up. Another love lost. Another graveyard of shiny, happy couple selfies.

On to the next. Searching for the elusive more. The next fix. The next gratification. The next quick hit. Living our lives in 140 characters, 5 second snaps, frozen filtered images, four minute movies, attention here, attention there. More as an illusion. We worry about settling, all the while making ourselves suffer thinking that anything less than the shiny, happy filtered life we’ve been accustomed to is settling. What is settling? We don’t know, but we fucking don’t want it. If it’s not perfect, it’s settling. If it’s not glittery filtered love, settling. If it’s not Pinterest-worthy, settling.

We realize that this more we want is a lie. We want phone calls. We want to see a face we love absent of the blue dim of a phone screen. We want slowness. We want simplicity. We want a life that does not need the validation of likes, favorites, comments, upvotes. We may not know yet that we want this, but we do. We want connection, true connection. We want a love that builds, not a love that gets discarded for the next hit. We want to come home to people. We want to lay down our heads at the end of our lives and know we lived well, we lived the fuck out of our lives. This is what we want even if we don’t know it yet.

Dating In The Digital Age

Yet, this is not how we date now. This is not how we love now. TC mark

This Is Me Letting You Go

This is me accepting that you’re leaving. It’s my acknowledgment that there’s no further argument to make, no angle left to take, no plea or bargain I could wager that could get you to change your mind and stay. This is my subtle resignation to our downfall. This is the crack running between our two hearts that turned into a valley and engulfed us. It’s my acceptance of all I couldn’t bridge.

This is me knowing that we don’t get a do-over – not on the last night I spent asleep beside you or the last time I told you I loved you or the first moment I felt us start to drift apart. I know we don’t always get second chances. I know I do not get to go back in time and kiss you slower, love you stronger, linger five extra minutes in bed every morning that I woke up beside you. This is me knowing that I can’t rewind history and ask you what was wrong each evening that you came home with a puzzle in your eyes but no answer on your lips. This is me knowing we don’t get to go back.

This is my acceptance that I’m going to miss you. That there are going to be nights where I curl up in bed with a novel and a warm mug of tea and your absence on the left side of the bed is a chasm that swells and envelopes me. That for a long time I am going to see you everywhere – in second floor windows, in the faces of strangers, in the photos and memories that tear on my heartstrings for months after you’re gone. This is the realization that missing you is going to become a second heartbeat in my body, strong and thrumming inside of every place where you lingered and then left. These are my weakened vital signs, beating out of sync with yours for a while.

This is my knowing life goes on. Knowing that someday I will not think of love as a feeling that’s exclusive to you and I, as crazy as that seems to me right now. That eventually I’ll meet someone new – someone who loves the foods you hate and laughs at things you don’t find funny and appreciates the parts of me that you once left undiscovered. That some days, in the early morning hours, I’m going to wake up beside them and forget – just for an instant – that it is not your body tangled in mine. This is me knowing that those moments will defeat me – that I’m going to need to practice standing at the edge of your abyss without falling in completely. This is my hoping the discrepancy shrivels with time.

This is my conceptualization: That someday I’m going to have a wedding and that you will not be there. That the ring that gets slipped on my finger will be picked out by somebody else and that the people sitting in the front row with eyes brimming and hearts bursting will not be your family members. This is my acceptance of the finite absurdity of knowing that I’m someday going to promise my life to someone who is not you and that I may even be happy to do so. That one day I’ll see changes and beginnings in a way I never saw them with you.

This is me knowing that we’re going to grow old. That your life is going to be huge and important and chockfull of love but that it’s all going to transpire without me. That I am not going to be there to toast to your 50th birthday or cheers to your timely promotion or crawl in beside you on the nights when the world’s weight is too heavy to bear. That your losses and gains will not be lined up with mine. That someday when you hold your first-born child in your arms, it’s not going to be me who placed her there.

This is me knowing that I have to let you go. That no matter how much I love you or how hard we work at this or how badly we both want each other to be happy, we are never going to be the right partners for each other. This is my acceptance that the best things are never straightforward and that I want you to take whatever crooked, twisted path you need to take if it will lead you towards your dreams. This is me knowing that I have to do what’s right. That sometimes the best thing you can do for someone you love is to let them go – to do more, feel more, be more than the person they ever could ever have become by your side.

So this is me unclasping my fingers.

This is my parting, my reluctance, my heartache and my final gift to you.

This is me letting you go. TC mark

This Is How I’ll Miss You

I’ll miss you in the morning. Waking up alone is hard to get used to.

Fighting, and avoiding each other is a comfortable place. Even when we’re dodging the other person’s affection, pretending to be asleep when they wake up, it’s nice to know they’re there.

Now I’m overly aware that you’re not here.

I’ll wake up panicked and because it’s morning and I haven’t heard from you yet. Then I remember I won’t.

I’ll miss you when I pick up my phone because I know I can’t reach out.

I’ll miss you without you knowing. In a sea of pictures that are show how much better I am without you. Pictures that show some glorified version of myself that doesn’t actually exist.

I won’t ask about you. I will skirt around your name with mutual friends to an almost noticeable degree. I will tell them about how good it feels to be on my own. It’s a relief, I’ll say.

I’ll erase your number but it won’t do me any good because I can still type the numbers out faster than they come to mind. So I’ll draft a three paragraph text to you and consider sending it. Read it. Reread it. Change it. Sleep on it. Erase it the next morning.

I’ll try to forget to your schedule. Try to forget that I know exactly what you do and where you are at certain times of day. I’ll distract myself enough to stop remembering your friend’s birthdays, or your sister’s graduation. I don’t want to be reminded of all the milestones I was supposed to be a part of.

I’ll miss you when I make decisions I know you helped push me toward. You’ll hear about it one way or another, through the tangle of social media and mutual friends and you’ll know that I took your advice.

There won’t be tears. There won’t be tangible evidence that your gone – other than the empty closet space. There will be occasional anger, because it’s easier to be mad than to surrender and just be upset.

I’ll miss you by retreating. Purposely avoiding parties you’ll be at. Wanting to see you enough that I will take extra care to make sure I don’t.

It’ll get easier, and that will somehow make me feel worse. Time eases the pain, but it’s also a blatant reminder that what we had will end up being a faded memory. I’ll hate that I’m supposed to take solace in that fact. But I’ll pretend it comforts me, hoping at some point it actually will. TC mark

This Is The Moment When Your Heartbreak Will End

It’s fascinating how much of a strong filter that heartbreak can have on your life. What was beautiful and perfect and colorful yesterday or last week or last year is now dull and empty and meaningless and ugly to look at.

Heartbreak is powerful. And at some point, it stops becoming an emotion, a feeling, a phase that you’re just going through right now.

Instead, it becomes like a gas that fills up your entire body. There’s no end in sight. It always seems to be expanding. Getting stronger. Filling up the space in your veins and your stomach and your head.

You wake up with it, you go to bed with it, and in the hours in-between that you have to fill, it’s your constant companion. Sitting with you when you drink your coffee in the morning. Vibrating behind your eyelids while you’re sitting at work trying not to cry. Tapping on your brain every time you try to open a book to get away from it, just for a second.

Heartbreak, when it’s strong and severely crippling, can take on a life form you’ve never seen before. It affects the way you look at the world, it affects the way that you have fun, it seeps into the light moments that you try to have with your friends and reminds you that, no, laughter is not something that belongs in your life right now. You should be sad.

You’re mourning right now. It’s absolutely different from the sadness that you feel during a tragedy, or during the loss of a loved one. But it is still sadness in its own way. It is still a loss in its own way.

You’re mourning the loss of what could have been. You’re mourning the fact that, at least for a little while, you thought you had found your person. You felt so happy and filled up and peaceful and you thought, this is it. This is what everyone was talking about.

You had someone to come home to at night. Someone to think about when the days were long and you were nervous about your job or your future or your grad school exams or your family troubles. This person didn’t get rid of your problems for you. But they helped you deal with them. They were like an energy around you – difficulties could still creep through the shield, but they were less terrifying when you knew you had someone by your side.

And then in an instant, that all evaporated. Whether it was your choice or theirs or a mutual decision, it stings and consumes you and convinces you that this is all you’ll ever be able to think about for the rest of your life. This is your story – a happiness and then a breakup and then a never-ending bout of loneliness and depression that you’ll never get away from.

You try to move on. You do the things you see in movie montages where the sad person is “fixing” themselves – you go on runs and you show up at happy hours and birthday parties and maybe you even go on a few dates. You try to smile, and to let out breaths of “satisfaction,” and to do anything else you’ve seen on a screen that supposedly signify that you are now okay.

But none of it works. And you’re still heartbroken.

That’s because this is real life and there is no switch. There’s no audience planted in seats with bowls of popcorn, watching your movie for an hour and fifty-two minutes. Your life is not going to follow a setup:problem:climax:resolution storyline.

You will not have an aha, I’m all better now! moment because those don’t exist in real life. We don’t heal in one perfect scene, on the top of a hill overlooking a city skyline.

We heal in little moments that we don’t even notice. One night, you fall asleep without dwelling on the fact that you didn’t say good night to them. You don’t even realize this happened, because you’re back at it the next night, tossing and turning and reminiscing on the times when you used to kiss each other good night or murmur sweetly on the phone. But still, that other night happened. The one where you just fell asleep without any sadness or dwelling. And another night like that will happen soon. And eventually, at some point, the “normal” nights will outweigh the sadness nights.

You will put yourself back together in bits and pieces. You will learn to enjoy your hobbies again. You will find new hobbies. You will watch the old shows you two used to watch together, you will watch new shows. You will still have days where you want to cry at work, and you will have other days where you’re too busy to even think about them.

Little by little, you will be okay. But that’s why heartbreak is so hard – because it’s little by little. So little, in fact, that it often feels like you’re not making any progress. It feels like heartbreak is your fate and you might as well get used to it, because nothing is apparently changing.

You cannot go to bed each night wondering if tomorrow is THE DAY – the day where you will wake up and be okay again! That’s not how it works, because tomorrow is not a plot point in your character arc. Tomorrow is just tomorrow.

But tomorrow is also another tiny piece in the little by little way that you are healing. It’s not noticeable, it doesn’t cause any significant change in your life. But it’s another day that you will wake up, and do stuff, and talk to people, and keep on living. It’s one more piece of proof in the argument that your life will go on without them.

It’s okay to feel shitty for a while. Just as long as you don’t get caught up in the idea that it will be like this forever. Because it won’t. Things will change. You will begin to become happier. You just won’t notice the change happening.

And then, one day, you’re sitting in your office chair, and there are no longer tears vibrating behind your eyelids. You don’t even notice this fact. All you know is that you’re doing your work. And you’re going to happy hour later. And you’re going to laugh without feeling weird about it. The world is still moving. Your life is still happening. You’re okay. You will be okay. TC mark

The Last Time Kind Of Sex

Everything I owned was outside and in the truck, ready to be driven across three states. The only thing left inside of the home I spent two years calling “mine” was a couch I was going to sleep on and cleaning supplies for the next day. I planned on wiping away everything right as the sun came up. Fingerprints on the windows, my DNA in the shower, it would all be as gone as me.

I was and have always been fiercely independent; I don’t need anyone because I can take care of myself. But I would still bring boys home and see if any of them would try and fight through and stay. There have been numerous boys who went in and out, no pun intended. Some tried to make their mark, some couldn’t find the front door fast enough after they came.

But he’s there. Even though he tells me he doesn’t believe in love, doesn’t trust women. Even though he’s a little more country, I’m a little more rock and roll, he’s the only one who ever came close to making me say, “Yeah, this could work” again. Even though this is something we both say we don’t want, he’s there.

He came to say goodbye, came to wish me “Bon Voyage” in his own, Montana-boy way. We sat on my floor, drinking PBR and crushing cans while he made fun of my inability to adequately fill in nail holes on the walls and tried in vain to fix the staircase that never sat totally level.

And then in a second we’ve gone from eating pizza on a floor that’s not really mine anymore to being on top of each other. His hands are ripping my clothes away, pawing at me in a sort of desperation. Neither of us say it out loud but we both know that this will be the last time he gets to explore me, to do whatever he wants with me, for an unknown amount of time. We have no where to go, no bed to fall onto, so the floor is all that’s there to catch me when he turns me over.

I had rug burn on my knees for a week.

The sex was usually rough, the kind of sex that girls who wear a-line skirts and pink crop tops aren’t supposed to like. I would go to work in pigtails not because I wanted to look fetishized but just hoping that the way they fell would cover thumbprints on either side of my neck. Fingers in mouths, slapping, the kind of stuff that made my tamer friends tell me to “be quiet” about if I brought it up in public. But I ate it up and was never satisfied; I couldn’t get enough.

But this sex was different.

He was fucking me, and it was good, but instead of forcing my back to slope the way he wanted it when he pushed me onto all fours I felt his fingers graze my spine in a way I to this day cannot describe. Instead of strong-arming me around my neck the way he’d done many times before I found a hand just resting between my voice box and my sternum. Was he trying to feel my heart?

Was this his way of saying goodbye? Instead of leaving me with bruises, with muscle aches, to remember him by I now remember him searching for a pulse, reading me like I was braille.

Maybe he knew it was the last time he would ever really see me. TC mark

How To Use Psychology To Make Someone Fall (And Stay) In Love With You

John Alex Clark explains the psychology of love and in particular how to make someone fall in love with you.

Do you believe that love can’t be controlled?

Do you believe that if a person doesn’t love you from the outset, there’s no chance?

Do you believe that it’s impossible to make a person fall madly deeply in love with you?

If you’ve answered yes, it’s also highly likely you believe in chance and fate. Its ok, a lot of people do! The majority of people are under the impression that love is something that can’t be changed, and they also believe it’s something that can’t be manipulated.

I guess I was also guilty of this once.

But extensive research carried out over the years has proved that you can indeed control love. And it can all be done through the power of the mind. It’s all a matter of learning how to use your mind correctly.

You see, love is no different to other psychological emotions that you might experience on a day-to-day basis such as:

• Fear
• Stress
• Jealousy
• Self-pity
• Anxiety

The above emotions can be controlled, and as love falls under the category of “psychological emotions,” it can also be controlled. Controlling love as an emotion is just as easy as controlling fear, excitement or stress etc. The problem lies in what we’ve been taught to believe. Over the years, we’ve been conditioned to believe that love is something that “just happens.” It all depends on “fate.”

The reality however is far different. With the right knowledge, you can use the psychology of love to make him or her fall in love with you and never look back. Now, nothing’s foolproof, which means this won’t work 100% all the time, but you’ll improve your chances dramatically. If you could triple your chances at making someone genuinely fall in love with you, why wouldn’t you try?

1. How we fall in love and the psychology behind it.

Before even thinking about going down the road of learning how to make a person fall madly in love with you, you need to take a look at the psychological aspect of it, and no, it has nothing to do with magic potions and midnight under the moon chanting sessions.

Without even realising it, you and everyone else you know has a checklist stored in the back of your mind. On this list there’s a set criteria, a criteria that your potential love interest must meet before you will be able to fall in love with them. Psychologists call this list a ‘Lovemap.’

If someone doesn’t match one or more of the points in this list, they’re automatically disqualified as a potential love partner and they’re likely to just remain your friend, this is why you might fall in love with one person while others will just be your “friends.”

Of course each person’s checklist is different and unique. The items on your list depend on your:

• Values
• Beliefs
• Past experiences
• Background
• Previous relationships

This is also the reason why your friend might fall in love with a man that you consider ordinary and nothing special. This man matches her own unique ‘Lovemap,’ not yours. Calculating matches to see if a person lives up to our checklist is not a conscious action on our part, it’s done subconsciously, without thinking about it. The mind does it all on its own. Just like your mind is telling your heart to beat as your reading this page …even though you weren’t consciously aware of it. This is why it’s possible to fall in love with a person and have no idea why you fell in love with them in the first place. Your subconscious is responsible.

This is why love is such a “mysterious phenomenon” and many people put it all down to their own personal destiny. But in reality, it has nothing to do with fate, it was all related to your subconscious, which was quietly figuring out whether the person matches your checklist or not. The truth of the matter is that if you’re able to grow more aware of your subconscious mind’s specific criteria, you’ll be able to quickly determine why you fall for some people and not for others.

Below is an example of Jamie’s checklist. Jamie is a 26-year-old man with a couple of serious girlfriends behind him. He’s been out of university for 2 years and works in London. He’s tired of dating women on and off and is looking for a more serious partner. Jamie’s checklist begins with the following 4 conditions:

1. She must have the same level of education as me.

2. She must be a brunette (Jamie’s was once dumped by a brunette he was in love with and as a result his subconscious has included it in his checklist to help him make up for his past relationship failure with brunettes).

3. She must be close to her family and family-orientated. (Family and children are important to Jamie, and he’s looking for someone who would potentially make a great mother. You see, we’re attracted to people who have what we want and need, which is why Jamie included this in his list).

4. She must like to travel.

If Jamie’s currently single, but looking for a partner, and met a wonderful woman with red hair, the chances are he’s not going to fall in love with her. Although he might think of her as nice, he’s not going to really understand that the thing that’s stopping the attraction …is his subconscious list of different criteria he’s looking for.

It’s only when another person ticks the boxes on the majority of the criteria (which are usually the most important points on your criteria list) will you be able to fall in love with that person. Your subconscious will then help you to remain in love with this person to ensure you get with them and maintain a good relationship with them. Because your subconscious attaches itself to this particular person like this, that’s why it’s often so difficult to forget a person you’re in love with even years after you’ve separated from that person.

2. How to manipulate the mind to ensure they love you back.

Here are a number of tried and tested methods that can help make another person fall in love with you:

1. Meeting the different criterion. We all have this list (or Lovemap) in our minds. This list has all the basic criteria what we expect to be met before we even think about falling in love with someone. It’s not a given that if a person does meet these criteria that we’ll fall in love with them, but if they don’t meet any, it’s almost certain that we could never fall in love with them. Some examples of such criteria could include: “He must love dogs,” “He must be active,” “He must be educated”, and so on. Before trying to make a person fall in love with you, do some research.

Find out all the basic information about their background and interests – the more you know the better, and then try to meet their criteria this way.

2. Fulfill their unmet need. When people are looking for a new partner, they’re trying to look for another person who’s similar to them in many ways. They look for their own personal strengths in a person, and also the opposite of their weaknesses. For example, a person who tends to feel inferior, but is also smart, will look for a partner who’s also smart, but instead of inferiority, they’ll seek confidence to help create a better balance. If you were trying to make someone fall in love with you who you know has an inferiority complex, making yourself appear confident to the person would be very effective at inducing feelings of love in them for you. When you take on the role as the more confident person, you’re subconsciously sending them a message telling them “I’ve got what you need!”.

3. How hard do you try? Many people often wonder whether persistence and constant chasing actually works. If the person you’re chasing is externally dependent, it’s highly likely chasing will work. Being externally dependent means that a person relies on something or someone to make them feel better or to escape a bad place in their life. If a person falls into this category, it’s highly probable that they’ll jump at any opportunity to get into a new relationship. In this case, the chances of making the person in question fall in love with you are much greater. In short, when people are more vulnerable and need being cared for, there’s a greater chance they’re going to fall in love with you quicker.

4. Use your mutual friends. If you and your heart’s desire have friends in common, you can and should use this to your advantage. The main reason behind this is because the subconscious is programmed easier when trusted sources (such as friends) are backing up what they are being programmed with. If their friends think you are great, chances are they will agree. If their friends think you’re an idiot, chances are they will agree. In a way it’s a subtle form of brainwashing – the more your mutual friends talk to them about how wonderful you are you’ll have a greater chance of establishing a place in their mind.

5. Manually wire their mind. The more you repeat something to someone, the more likely you will manipulate the person into thinking that particular thing. Why? It’s simple, continuous repetition can influence greatly the subconscious mind into accepting something. This by no means gives you license to call them every ten minutes – that would just suffocate them and essentially scare them off. You can easily programme their mind by subtly reminding them of your presence. Stay within sight, allow them to see you as much as possible, it doesn’t matter if you rarely talk or not, just stay where they can see you and you’ll be able to enforce your position on their mind.

6. Associate yourself with positive things. When your name is mentioned in a crowd, what’s the first word that’s likely to come to peoples’ minds? How do they see you? Do they think ‘strong-willed’, ‘happy’, ‘confident’, or is it something more negative like ‘needy’? The better you position yourself in peoples minds, the better people will perceive you. It doesn’t matter what you are (we all have negative qualities), it’s all about how they perceive you. And you’ll only want them to perceive you in a positive light.

3. Is there really such a thing as love at first sight or is it just a myth?

Love at first sight does indeed exist. If someone manages to meet your criteria that are on your subconscious list from the beginning, you’ll most likely fall in love with this person at first sight.

“Wait a minute though,” you say to yourself, “If I’ve never spoken to them ever, how can I possibly know whether they meet my criteria or not?”
It’s easy. Your criteria may include things like the way they stand, walk, talk or even interact with others. This might occur if the person’s mannerisms, actions, appearance or something else reminds you of somebody else.

The classic example is if the person reminds you of someone you once loved before. We usually follow a pattern and fall in love with the same type of person that we loved in our past. So if someone reminds you of someone you once loved before, but you weren’t consciously aware that they were reminding you of someone from your past …you might find yourself falling in love at first sight with them and not really knowing why. You’ll then just think it was “fate” that you fell in love with them. TC mark