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Closer to 30

Officially turning an age that means I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20 seems even more significant that turning 21.

It’s as if all of a sudden, your decisions should start becoming sensible … as if the steps you take from here on in are actually going to have an impact.

21 to 25 is like a trial, a sneak peak into adulthood. Because although you’re working and paying a few bills, no one expects you to know what you’re doing and have your shit together.

But when you tell someone you’re 26, they start asking about your career and where you live and who you live with, it’s as if all of a sudden conversations become 10x more invasive because everyone expects you to have locked down what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with ….

I hate to break it to people fresh out of university ready to start their “adult life” but you will now just start to look for adultier adult in situations where you forget that you are in fact an adult yourself.

Most of us are still here making exactly the same decisions that we did when we were at uni or in our teens, constantly seeking attention from the opposite sex, texting our ex’s, getting drunk more than once a week, ending up in our overdrafts … the only difference now is that our hangovers last three days instead of three hours.

Getting older isn’t as exciting as I thought it would be, I can remember thinking in my teens that 25 was OLD, can we all just laugh at that together? Now I’m here just pretending to know what I’m doing.

But you know what, once you figure out that everyone is out here doing the best we can to not die of alcohol poisoning or undercooked food, you’ll feel better about your life. Everyone is at different stages and doing different things, especially in your 20’s. Some of my friends and married with kids and some of them are traveling the world, either of which is totally fine.

We’re all on our own journey and we shouldn’t be comparing it to other people’s.

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The ‘ick’

Now I’ve got the ‘ick’ it isn’t going to go away.

I suddenly realised about 4 minutes into having sex with you that I really wasn’t into it, I felt like I’d made a mistake and I hadn’t felt like that before, at least not with you anyway.

You kissed me and I felt absolutely nothing, for once I didn’t want to rip your clothes off, normally I’d be dying to feel your body on me as soon as you touched me. But it was different this time.

But I done it anyway … I acted as if you kissing my neck and pulling my hair was turning me on, but i wasn’t sure it was and yet I still let it carry on, probably because I wanted to find out where my head was at.

I think I realised as soon as you kissed me that I didn’t like the way you tasted anymore, I didn’t want to run my nails across your back and through your hair. I realised I didn’t want you, I wanted him.

I this what using someone feels like? If it is, then it’s awful. How guys can do it with no second thought whatsoever I really don’t know.

Right then and there you were literally just a body to me, for that brief 5 minutes I didn’t even think of you as someone I’d known for years, I was looking at you as if I’d never have to see you again and that isn’t how I want to see my best friend.

Our movements were awkward and disjointed, I wonder if you felt what I felt. Is that why it was so bad? The connection we normally had just seemed to have disappeared.

Maybe you knew I wasn’t responding the way that I normally do.

Maybe it’s because a week ago you had me convincing your girlfriend you’re not cheating on her and now here we are again naked in your bed, but it’s not cheating right? No of course it isn’t.

Well you know what, now I’ve been put off there won’t be another time. Maybe now I feel like you’ve lost the respect you had for me this isn’t what I want.

Once us women get the ‘ick’ it doesn’t go away. It’s something that happens suddenly and sometimes for no reason at all, but once our head switches into ‘ick’ mode there’s no saving that (sorry guys)

Someone who we’ve been craving for weeks can suddenly seem like the most off putting outcome and we can’t do anything to change it.

The sexual chemistry has gone … but I’m talking like 1000 miles down the road kind of gone.

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I’ve missed your name on my phone

When I see your name pop up on my phone my stomach does this weird flip thing … it’s not the same reaction as I used to have, when I used to see your name come up on my phone I’d immediately smile. You’d be messaging me because you’d be thinking about me during the course of your day and that was cute.

Now I’m not sure what the point is. What’s the point of these occasional checks in’s you do? It’s as though you still want contact with me, but only on your terms, or just when you fancy it. We’ll go months without speaking and then you’ll come back again as if nothing has happened.

Was taking to me all day every day too much for you? Did you get bored? These days I’d be happy to leave you on read and not rush to respond, but that’s not how it used to be. I’d be dying to respond to you immediately, because I’d love our conversations.

A lot of the discussion around messaging people these days caters to the exact opposite of what it actually is, which is just a digital form of communication and communication happens when we want to build or salvage a connection.

Nowadays it seems more like a sort of zero-sum game where the winner is the one sought-after and the loser is the one doing the seeking. This is a game measured by empty arrows, read receipts, time stamps and so on, which, make no mistake, the creators of these messaging apps are well aware of.

I don’t want to be a winner or loser in this situation, to me there is no game to be played here. Are you messaging because you’re questioning how you feel and you want to somehow reaffirm something? Is it just a message to see if any response is achieved? And once you get a response …. then what? Will you go back to your own life again, the one where I’m not a feature.

Or maybe your name is popping back up on my phone because you’ve missed the communication, maybe you miss me? Maybe you want to know if I miss you too?

But you know how I know I’m no longer bothered? I’ll double message you …. when I actually care I get so worried about someones opinions and them thinking I’m needy, I avoid sending two messages in one go at all costs, like excessive communication with someone you genuinely care about is a bad thing (how ridiculous) but surely it’s good to feel needed?

So yes, I’ve missed seeing you name pop up on my phone, but now it’s back again I’ve realised I didn’t actually miss it in the way I thought I would at all.

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Narcissistic Millennials

It seems like we all just pass the time by finding someone to waste our time on these days.

We’ll scroll through Hinge or Bumble or any one of the many dating apps we have available to us and find that one person who’s name will fill our phones for the next few weeks or months and then just as modern dating has taught us is acceptable, it fades out and we take on our “thank you, next” approach.

I don’t even think we bother taking the time to process the impact each of these fleeting people have had on our lives for a little while …. but we don’t need to, there are thousands more just like them at the tap of our finger.

Us people in our 20’s and 30’s seem to be happy when we have someone to go back and talk to when we’re bored, we’re like creatures of habit. Having constant attention off of one person makes us feel good and wanted, but we’re not phased if the source of that constant attention keeps changing, as long as we have someone making our phones go off like we’re wanted. It’s when our phones go quite that we realise we’re bothered ….

Having the ability to speak to as many single (and some not) people as we want to makes us feel good. Like we have a lot of power by being able to pick and choose who we speak to based on not knowing them at all, but maybe this whole practice is just turning us all into narcissists?

We’ve been give the ability to decide within a matter of seconds whether someone is worthy of us having a conversation with them purely based on the way they look and if that isn’t narcissistic then I don’t know what is!

If no one has slid into our dm’s following our recent selfie, we get offended, but for the people who do slide into our dm’s … well we ignore them obviously. Why would someone try and contact us just based on our “fire” selfie? How rude, they don’t know us like that.

Seriously … what is wrong with us all. It seems like no one can do anything right when it comes to trying to speak to the person they like the look of. We laugh at people for putting themselves out there and “trying” but at least they haven’t been sucked into this narcissistic lifestyle where no one is good enough.

If online dating has taught us all anything … it’s how to have egos bigger than our hearts. It hasn’t taught us any valuable lessons about love.

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The Almost’s

The hardest thing about loving ourselves is that we’re letting so many people have the power to give us reasons not to.

So many times we’ve given other people the ability to make us feel not quite good enough and we’ve ultimately led to our own downfall, even if we try blaming others.

But what if we took that control back? What if suddenly the power we thought other people had to make us feel wanted and valued actually belonged with us, we wouldn’t lose sleep over how we were impacting others because all we would be focusing on is how we’re impacting our own lives.

We all still seem to be healing from an almost relationship, a friend with benefits, a three night stand, or a summer fling. We keep searching for closure and looking for answers from the person that broke our hearts, when really we gave it to them before they even deserved it. A lot of us are struggling to move on from an old love like we were dumped, even though we were never given the label of boyfriend or girlfriend.

So what are we actually struggling to move on from? Because an almost relationship isn’t worth getting heart broken over and it definitely isn’t worth losing your sense of calm.

A very wise person in my life said something to me recently which has resonated:

It’s bad enough that people we spend years with have an impact on our lives, but letting somebody I’ve known for less time then I’ve owned a toothbrush affect me, that’s not ok

How many of us have been on dates that result in that person choosing not to reply to your messages, but will stalk your social media? All of a sudden it seems to affect your head way more than it should do, why has someone who’s relatively a stranger suddenly got the ability to control your state of mind? Let’s be honest, a month from now you probably won’t even remember their name anyway.

Or even that person you’ve been “dating” for a month or so, it was never official so you shouldn’t really have invested that much of your mental energy into it. But yet here you are wondering if you should message them, hoping they’re bothered by that picture you uploaded with another guy etc etc …. ultimately the only person who’s thinking about it loads, is you.

We spend hours deciphering texts, ranting to friends and over thinking message responses over someone who just doesn’t care. They’ve never introduced you to their grandparents or bothered to learn when your birthday is or in some cases even bothered to make plans with you more than once. So what’s the big deal?

If you take a second to sit back and think about it, it seems as though we’ve stopped entering serious relationships, but we haven’t stopped getting our hearts broken, or at the absolute minimum, we haven’t stopped letting it having a serious affect on the way we think about ourselves. It seems a shame that we’re letting others around us control our energy that much.

And on that note, I think we all need to try and focus more on our own actions and how they impact our moods rather than focusing on how other people are making us feel. Especially people who ultimately end up playing a very unimportant role in the story of our lives, people who are fleeting and unimportant, people who ten years from now when you recall the most memorable and important events of your life ….. won’t even make the top 100 things to reminisce about.

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What We’ve Learnt From Previous Relationships

Looking back at past experiences where love was once involved can sometimes be quite daunting. It can be scary thinking about the past and how it’s lead you to where you are now.

I’ve seen a countless number of my friends go through break ups that have had them crying their eyes out but ultimately ending up feeling stronger at the end of it. I’ve known the person who has walked away and I’ve also known the person who’s been walked away from and seeing it from both sides makes it easier to understand why people do what they do. One thing I have learnt is that no one ever breaks someone’s heart spur of the moment, normally it’s been lots of little events that have driven them to that defining point (either that or one of you has just been a total prick to the other person)

I’ve been in relationships where I feel unsure about whether or not I should stay or leave. I’ve had to ask myself if I should I stay just because I feel like it’s the right thing to do, or if I want to stay because I love them despite the fact I know they’re not treating me how they should.

We’ve all learnt things from our previous relationships and here’s a list of things people have told me they’ve learnt from their ex loves. Some things that may help others and some that they just wanted to get off their chest when it comes to talking about the shit part of a relationship… the end:

1. Even when you don’t want to walk away, you should always listen to your gut instinct … sometimes it’s telling you things your heart doesn’t want to hear.

2. A cheat is always a cheat, it doesn’t matter how much you believe they will change for you. They won’t.

3. Your friends will see their flaws way before you do. Sometimes you should try and see things from their point of view. Being blind sided by someone fucking sucks.

4. If they move on quicker than you after you break up, it isn’t something you should take personally, just shows their true colours.

5. Sometimes people want to be in a relationship so bad they will become an altered version of themselves to please you. But that charade won’t last forever!

6. Getting under someone to get over someone is perfectly acceptable! Never feel ashamed for wanting to experience other people.

7. Be with someone who’s also your best friend. They’ll never be the person who keeps you awake at night worrying about what their doing.

8. Attraction alone won’t keep two people together for very long. A relationship needs to be so much more than that.

9. Without having both trust and communication within a relationship you’ll never be able to grow together and if you can’t grow together, where’s your future?

10. Ultimately love must be ABSOLUTE trust. A relationship without trust is like a phone without signal, all you end up doing is playing games.

11. Trying to change the person you’re with is a pretty big red flag that you’re probably not with the right person in the first place.

12. Hustle together! If you’re both driven towards goals for a shared future, very few things will be able to shake that.

13. A mutual respect for each other as individual people is very important. You don’t need to be glued at the hip 24/7 to show you love each other.

14. Ultimately, if they’re going to cheat. Nothing you can do or say will stop them. You can check their phone if you want but it won’t prevent their actions.

15. Make sure you love yourself before you try and love anyone else. Sounds cheesy, but the more you care about others opinions the more it can effect your relationship.

16. You think you know love, but that heartache you get when they leave. That’s the love, sucks but it’s true.

17. Lust is NOT love. Infatuation is not long term and that fire will burn you at some point.

18. There is no right way to handle a break up. Do not let your friends or family make you feel bad about how you’re processing your own emotions. You wanna shag a dude …. you shag a dude!

19. Feeling lonely when they’re sat right beside you is far worse than actually being alone. If they make you feel like that, you’re better of by yourself.

20. Women talk. If you upset them their whole circle of friends will know. Be prepared to apologise to more than one female when you’re in a relationship.

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Next Year

Next year I’m not going to chase anyone.

I’m not going to let arse holes walk in and out of my life as and when they please. If you want me stay, if you don’t then leave. Don’t ghost for a month or so and then pop back up on my phone like nothing happened, I’m not down for that kind of attitude thanks.

I’m not going to stand for anyone giving me half assed efforts, either give me all of you or just sod off. I won’t be standing for time wasters, or people who aren’t sure what they want. Don’t be a cop out. Be sure about wanting me and if you are sure, then tell me there’s nothing sexier than confidence. I know far too many people who have told me too late how they feel, don’t wait for tomorrow or the next day. If you have something to say, then say it.

In all honesty, deep down everyone does really know who they want and who they don’t. They just get scared to tell the truth. But if you can’t be honest with me then I don’t want to know, honesty is what builds the solid foundations of a relationship, something which I didn’t learn from my last experience of being with someone.

Next year I won’t be going on second dates with people I don’t instantly feel a spark with, I won’t wait around to see if it’s something that could build into being beautiful or not, I won’t be wasting my own time like that again like I’ve done this year.

Next year, I’m going to try not to put the nice guys as second best, the ones that treat me with respect. I will not go back to dating fuck boys.

Next year will be different, next year will be a me year. When I get back into my fitness regime and looking after myself better, I’ll replace Wednesday night dates with Wednesday night PT sessions and late night last minute plans to early nights and more time spent at home chilling out.

I can’t wait for next year year.

*insert ironic standard new year new me quote here, not really … I’m not that person*