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Closer to 30

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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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Thank You Next

 

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If you can’t imagine introducing him to your family then honestly, what are you wasting your time for?

You might really like him, the sex might be great but when you think of him being around your family you suddenly get a sinking feeling, as if you know that he isn’t what they would want for you. You know your family would want you to be with someone who isn’t afraid to be soppy with you around them, because you know they would be happy to see that someone loves you as much as they do.

So if he’s afraid of physical affection in any way shape or form, is he really the one for you? Don’t get me wrong, PDA is massively off-putting, however, its nice to feel wanted. Even if it’s just in private. If you don’t feel wanted, how can you think that he’s for you?

As someone who is massively family orientated, I will always care about what my family think of my significant other. Which is why I avoid introducing them to anyone until I’m certain about how I feel and I know who they are. No one likes explaining to their parents why someone they were with a week ago at the family BBQ has now done a disappearing act.

So seriously, if you can’t imagine him stood beside you with an affectionate arm around your waist at family events, from BBQ’s to children’s birthdays, from weddings to funerals, then WHY ARE YOU WASTING YOUR TIME?!

You might not be able to focus your attention on anyone else right now, because although he’s a twat, you’re a little bit lust obsessed. But that’s ok, as long as you can acknowledged he is not someone that you should even imagine a future with.

You might love sleeping next to him, but if he isn’t rolling over to spoon you every now and then, or to put your head on his chest to make sure you’re still laying there with him, then you might as well be sleeping alone, because despite him being there, you feel as though he isn’t.

If you’re revelling in the fact that he’s been giving you undivided attention for the last few months (since his last disappearing act) make sure you remember how you feel when he does go back to his old habits … you know, the ones that you’re mysteriously missed out of. Because as nice as his attention is, someone who will be consistent for you, will be better in the long run.

So enjoy him while you can, because he’s not the one you’re supposed to be with forever.

He’s not the one you want to introduce to your family and he’s not the one who treats you how you expected the love of your life to treat you. But he’s fun and he’s easy to talk to, you have things in common, but not enough to make your parents approve of him.

He might be good looking, but if he isn’t willing to show you any affection in front of his friends or your friends, then you need to find someone better, someone who doesn’t want to keep their hands off you, but who knows you well enough to understand that you’re not a fan of PDA, so all they have to do is tell you they cant wait to get you alone later and that will make your day.

If he isn’t loving you the way you want him to, it’s probably a blessing in disguise.

So when he ghosts on you again, remember he is not the one you want forever. So you might as well let him disappear, as long as you’re not going to let him come back again (for the fourth time).

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A Backwards Step Isn’t Always Bad

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Sometimes, we have to take a backwards step to realise just how far we’ve come and recently (annoyingly) that’s what I’ve done. It’s made me realise that something thats been left in my past, isn’t what I want in my future and if figuring that out while staring it straight in the face isn’t growth, then I don’t know what is.

Growing as a person establishes itself in many different ways and normally after a particularly difficult break up, we push ourselves to move on and grow at a faster pace than we’re necessarily ready for. When we’re so focused on pushing ourselves forward, we can become distracted from what we were moving on from in the first place, but when we go back to the root of the problem … sometimes it can really show us that the ‘convincing’ ourselves we no longer want it wasn’t actually necessary at all. When we’re face to face with our past, we can really see that it just isn’t for us anymore, without any fake convincing at all.

If you look back on the version of yourself from five years or so ago, you realise that back then you thought you were so established as a human being, that your views and thoughts on things were set in stone and that was it. Shall we all laugh at that together?

I can say with the utmost certainty, that what I wanted at the age of 21, would most definitely not tick my boxes now. Sometimes we can’t move on from the sensation of familiarity and I’ve realised now that for the last few years, that’s whats been happening to me. I got caught up in the idea that all I ever wanted from life had walked away from me and I would never find anything to compare to what I used to have, but god was I wrong!

The fact that I decided to drive myself all the way back to what I thought was square one of a situation, was honestly the best thing I could have ever done . It helped me to realise how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown but above all else, it really showed me how much the things I want from life have changed.

My square one didn’t make me feel how I remembered, in fact, it made me think more of my future than my past, I was concerned that going back would resurface all the feelings I had years ago, but actually it didn’t, instead it made me open up more to the person I’ve been keeping at arms length, because I didn’t think they could compare to what I used to have and ultimately what I thought I wanted.

However, what I thought I wanted, was wrong. I partly craved familiarity, to be close to someone who at one time, was everything I ever wanted. But being close to them three years on, didn’t bring back the feeling that I thought it would. It didn’t hurt to leave, in fact, when I walked away I felt like I could finally breathe. It had given me closure, something that I’d been searching for in others for years.

It took this action, to finally realise I was better off where I am right now than where I was when was 21, when I thought I’d found everything I ever wanted. I no longer want the same things and to be honest, I’m bloody relieved. It was also a great feeling knowing how much I’d changed but my past had remained exactly the same.

It made me realise that I’ve let go and that I don’t need to keep making comparisons between something I had and no longer want and something I want but haven’t given myself the opportunity to fully have yet.

As cryptic as that sounds, ultimately, going back to square one was the best thing I could have done for myself.

So after going against the advice of all my friends, who told me going backwards was the biggest mistake I could ever make, I can say that although my friends are normally right, in this case my stubbornness to go after what I want, paid off.

Thank you square one, for being everything I no longer want.

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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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You Deserve Better (This Was Not Written By James Arthur)

He’s treating you like an option and you deserve better than that. You know it, I know it and let’s be honest, he probably does too.

But you’re letting him get away with treating you like a disposable nappy, you are not disposable and you are most definitely not a nappy … the only one full of shit around here is him. You think you’re done and then you’ll get a message from him saying he misses you, or that his current girlfriend is ok but she’ll never be you.

On that part, he’s right, she never will be you … you’re a whole different person to her, made up of totally different atoms, but that doesn’t mean that you’re better than she is (sorry). If you were everything he wanted, he would be with you. But he isn’t is he? The only time he’s really ‘present’ for you is when he wants to have sex with you.

You guys might have history, but it’s just that, it’s history. And do you want to know what the definition of history is?

History: the study of past events, particularly in human affairs. Or in our personal lives, we can view it as the whole series of past events connected with a particular person or thing.

Your history is your past and it’s what makes you, well …. you. But your history has no right to define your future. You do not need to keep letting your past come back and bite you in the arse, or in this case grab it. We learn wonderful things from our past experiences, they shape us into wiser people, even when those experiences are difficult and maybe suck. Ultimately you’ll always grow from what you’ve been through so try and embrace it.

So, to my beautiful friends who find themselves reading this and thinking ‘oh god she’s writing about me’ maybe I am, but only because I want you to know that everyone who is currently in your life brining positive elements to you, love you in a way that he never will do.

Don’t text him back just because you feel lonely and he gives you a sense of familiarity, don’t get upset when you see pictures of him with the girl who has taken your space … you didn’t want it remember? If anything, you’re looking at the girl you gave your space to because you outgrew it. You outgrew him and you’ll continue to do so, through the things that you experience that have nothing to do with the version of yourself you were when you guys were together.

Getting over someone is hard, but it gets easier. I’ll be honest, years down the line you may suddenly be struck by some painful memories of being with that person and normally this happens when you least expect it, when you’re with someone else, happily getting on with your own life. But … you’re no longer thinking about them every day, you’re no longer wishing you were with them and you sure as hell don’t wish you were still together. The person they were when you first fell in love is no longer there, they’ve changed as well and trust me, you don’t want that person. The one who no longer adores you and treats you with respect. Memories can be bitter sweet but everyone has them!

So here’s a tip I’ve used repeatedly when trying to get over someone who I never thought I would:

1.Think of 5 negative situations you were in with them at some point during your relationship, this should be situations where they’ve made you feel less yourself, or angry or hurt.

2.Think about the whole event that made you feel like that and replay it in your head.

3.Think of each of those five situations three times over and again. Any time you feel yourself missing them, try this!

It will gradually reprogram your brain slightly and those rose tinted glasses that you were seeing them through will suddenly become much clearer.

You’re welcome!