The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project

1. You never have “textual anxiety” — the creeping suspicion that the person you’re texting with is playing games with you. Even if they don’t LOVE texting they don’t keep you hanging for hours and hours when all they need to do is confirm a time to meet, or say they’re busy at the moment, or type a simple response to your last message.

2. He makes you feel the best you have ever felt. This isn’t unrealistic romantic comedy happiness — it’s just your same everyday life, but better. Because he’s in it.

3. You’re proud to bring him around your family and friends instead of avoiding it or being nervous he’s going to embarrass you. This is partially because he knows how to introduce himself and act around people he’s trying to make a good impression on, but also because you have an adult relationship so your calls to your loved ones are about all the good things about him instead of briefing them on the fights you’re having or how unhappy it is to be with someone who doesn’t want a real relationship.

4. When he says he’ll be there, he’s there. There’s no drama or doubt about it.

5. When a friend breaks up with her boyfriend and sobs that she’ll never find someone better you can actually help her through it confidently. You can’t believe you used to be the same way — mourning dudes who were sooooo not worth it. Now the things you put up with seem ridiculous, there’s no way you’d deal with that now, and you don’t have to.

6. You aren’t cynical about men. You have proof they can be great right next to you.

7. You know what he likes about you because he tells you. He doesn’t do it because he wants a favor (or sex), he just cares about you and wants to communicate that to you.

8. Nagging doesn’t happen. You have no reason or desire to do it. You trust him to do what needs to be done, because he usually does it.

9. He always looks out for you in every situation. Whether it’s putting his hand on the small of your back to guide you to your seat at a restaurant, or warming your car up for you when it’s cold or voicing frustration about the people who treat you badly — he genuinely wants what is best for you and he goes out of his way to help you get it.

10. He’s not afraid of commitment, but he’s not rushing into it either. He’s rational about it and you know you’ll do what makes sense together, neither one acting out of fear.

11. You know for a fact he doesn’t share your bedroom secrets with his friends. His life is not a locker room.

12. He doesn’t talk about his exes but on the rare occasion he does it’s neither vicious nor overly-complimentary.

13. You know that he has your back when you’re not at your best. Everyone makes mistakes and we all have high and low points in our lives, and it’s truly a relief to find someone you know won’t leave you when the low parts happen.

14. He makes you feel like a woman.

15. The most shocking thing about your relationship is how simple it feels. It feels like it was always supposed to be this way and you realize all the petty insecurities and immature personality flaws of your past relationships caused a bunch of unnecessary drama you no longer have to deal with. Thank god. TC mark









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Neil Krug
Neil Krug

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









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Fear
Fear

1. John, 24

We were getting ready for our one year anniversary, I had gotten her some gifts, planned to take her out for dinner and dessert. 45 minutes before we went out, I was tweeted at by a girl who said “hey.” Instantly, I received a text from my girlfriend yelling at me and probing me about who this girl was and if I was cheating on her. 45 minutes before our 1 year anniversary. Talk about insecure, should have broken up with her right the and there.

2. Samantha, 23

During our first fight, he went completely silent and refused to say anything.He just kept pointing to his arm. As it turns out, he had written all of his feelings in permanent marker under his sleeve so that he could dramatically reveal them mid-fight. The worst part? His handwriting was totally illegible.

3. Megan, 25

We were dating and I was at his house. I know this isn’t a real excuse, but I had a file for school saved on his computer and couldn’t find it. As I started to poke around for the file, I stumbled upon a treasure trove of files full of pictures of all my female friends from Facebook. But it wasn’t like these were just cute pictures of me and my friends, they were pictures of my particularly busty friends, some cropped so that you could just see their huge tits. My boyfriend’s spank bank was made up almost exclusively of my best friend’s boobs. And they were all saved in one mega file entitled “Good Picz.”

4. Ahmed, 28

I was dating a girl for a couple months and I knew she had a weird ex-boyfriend, so I pulled a psycho move and checked her texts one time when she asked me to hold her phone. It turns out that they had been texting for a while, and most of those texts focused on how bad he wanted to “fuck her thighs.” Her thighs! The crazy part was that she responded with even weirder stuff, like saying that she wanted to “break his dick” and “make him raw.” I couldn’t look at her as anything but a chafing enthusiast after that.

5. Samantha, 25

I was seeing a very naturally funny guy who also liked to drink a little too much. He was a freshman in college at the time and we were super broke. One time, we all got drunk in our friend’s dorm and he started laughing and saying that he used to whore himself out on Craigslist when he was strapped for cash. Everyone egged him on, and he ended up telling us all the details about these gross middle-aged women that he would charge 0 to get his “full treatment.” The worst part was that he was such a rookie that he forgot to charge up front, which resulted in one of them paying him with two bottles of Vodka. He accepted it.

6. Lucy, 20

One time I saw my ex got a text from his ex-girlfriend, who I knew was a little on the full-figured side, but never thought anything of it. When I went to check the message, I saw a text that red “oh, yeah?” Obviously I was curious and had to see what that was in response to. I went on a crazy search and found a love affair with his ex girlfriend, 600 messages long. He kept telling her how he couldn’t wait to grab her belly and…well, a lot of other shit I won’t get into.

7. Ryan, 22

This was only a first date, but it made it clear to me that she could never be my girlfriend. One time a girl i was on a date with told me that she would trade favors with guys (like, in exchange for stuff she did for them, both sexual and non-sexual) and keep their passports as collateral. She showed me one of the passports. It was so the guy could borrow her car.

8. Cristina, 27

I realized my ex’s cocaine mania was out of control when I caught him trying to sneak snorting lines while he was in the same bed as me.

9. Alex, 19

If sending naked pictures that I didn’t ask for mere hours after we exchanged numbers wasn’t enough of a red flag for me, telling me about how she killed her ex boyfriend and his girlfriend in her dream definitely was.

10. Jeff, 23

We were having sex and she looked me right in the eyes and said “I want to have your babies.” I pulled right out of there, literally and emotionally.

11. Kristin, 26

One time we were driving to the movies and Nirvana came on. He looked at me and said, “do you know why I find you so sexy? Because you remind me so much of Kurt Cobain. I always knew that he would come back to be with me.” I laughed. He didn’t. I told him to pull the fuck over and let me out.

12. Oliver, 20

She revealed that she obsessively watched the entire The Gilmore Girls series, the whole damn thing, five times through. She made me do the same thing at least once, but then refused to watch the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy because she found it “boring and repetitive.”

14. Tyler, 23

She scratched my back so hard during sex that I bled, and when I pointed it out, she said “just put your back against my wall tonight while you sleep so that I have the dried blood to remember you by.” Yeah. I don’t know if she wanted my DNA or if she was a weird vampire, but either way, I wasn’t sticking around to find out.

15. Stephanie, 22

I was dating a guy for six months and we were really happy together. He spent a lot of time at my house. One time, I picked up his wallet to pay for our delivery and instead of finding money, I found a wallet sized picture of my mom that he stole from off my dresser. The truly creepy part was that it was a picture of my mom and I of us together, be he folded it so that you wouldn’t see my face.

16. Jibril, 21

We were fighting in the car and pulled up to a stop light. We’d only been dating for a month, but she demanded that I tell her “I love you.” I said I didn’t feel comfortable yet. She put her hand on the door handle and said that she would jump out when the light went green if I didn’t say it. I locked the doors. She then threw the car into park and said that we were not moving until I said it. That was a fun traffic jam to explain to everyone in the cars behind us, including two police officers who asked if I needed to get a restraining order.

17. Elizabeth, 26

Everything was fine until I Googled his name. I found at least 100 videos of him singing show tunes alone in his bathroom, each of which had less than 50 views. I’m sure 45 out of 50 where him watching himself, since he clearly loved to hear his own voice.

18. James, 23

She told me she wanted me to come over so that she could cook for me. When I arrived, she had cooked a meal that included a bunch of dairy stuff. I’m so allergic to milk that I could die if I consume it, so I was like “what the fuck?” She said she thought my reaction to seeing it would be funny. It wasn’t funny, it was basically a death threat.

19. Lara, 28

I was seeing a guy but we were totally casual and I thought we were both seeing other people. We went to the same party one night and he left before me with another girl. I ended up hooking up with the guy who threw the party. About 30 minutes in we hear something, I turn around and there is the fucking guy I was ‘casually dating,’ watching us and crying. Apparently he was stalking me, which was not casual at all. TC mark









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2014 has brought us to a place where half of our most read and shared headlines and stories are about revolution and rallying for equality, acceptance and justice, and the other half are media rosters of television shows ripping apart women for the dresses they wore to the Oscars.

Not all humor is equal. Jokes that are made at other people’s expense, even in private, (especially in private) are not acceptable, and we need to start rallying for this kind of kindness too.

These are the tiny transgressions that go unnoticed. These are the things that pass us by with a giggle. It isn’t social protocol to say to someone: “hey, that isn’t cool” because their response would be: “I’m only joking.” It seems we’ve deemed any and all laughter worthwhile, and there are few things more selfish than that. Hurting you is okay if it makes me feel better. 

We’re taking something that’s so light and lovely and wonderful and essential to the human experience and turning it into something dark that can be wielded against one another. We all know the sting of a joke that wasn’t a joke at all. The root of humor is truth. You can’t make a joke at someone’s expense without acknowledging something that’s real, something that makes them different from you, and therefore, “beneath” you. Less than you.

The insecure mean girl (or guy) who takes out their inferiority issues on other people doesn’t always grow up after high school. There is a specific kind of person who perpetuates the idea that it’s okay to make fun of people under the guise of humor, their crippling insecurity so thinly veiled behind jabs and jokes at people they do and don’t know.

How do I know? Because I did that. I’ve done that. I remember distinctly the seemingly healing quality of getting a laugh out of people – of being the funny girl who elicited a response from people. Who got attention and felt wanted.

But I wasn’t healing a damn thing. I was easing the symptom. I would still go home at the end of the night worrying about how my thighs looked in my jeans and whether or not my friends really wanted to spend time with me. Yes, that’s petty and small and sad and the pinnacle of deep insecurity. I share these thoughts and experiences for that very reason.

We believe our children should attend school without fear of being bullied, and yet, we’re okay with them walking by the grocery store magazine racks that pick apart somebody’s 10 lb weight gain. Parents punish their children for being rude to others, and then sit with their friends and make fun of the weird mom in the PTA over a glass of wine. We can no longer associate or trust with the people who speak negatively of us behind our backs, but it’s hilarious when we’re just joking about our weird coworkers. The joke is funny when we make it. It’s not okay when it’s about us.

Our job is not to demand these people change. Our job is not to heal their sense of inferiority (only they can do that.) But our job is to stop encouraging it by laughing along. The second they aren’t getting what they’re starving for (acceptance, acknowledgement, admiration) they’ll change their narrative. The second we consciously, actively stop clicking and tuning in and buying the magazines and papers and stories and articles that rip people apart for the sake of “entertainment,” the entertainment industry will change. Ratings will drop, sales will plummet, and editors, writers, producers, people will adjust accordingly. Capitalist society runs on the whim of the consumer. We have more power than we think. TC mark

image – Star Magazine









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Éole Wind
Éole Wind

Ok I know what you must be thinking. How in the world could I possibly not know I was being abused as I covered up the bruises with makeup?

How could I think everything was just fine as I lay in bed with an ice pack on my stomach to ease the pain from the blows?

Well, want to know the answer? I did not know I was in abusive relationship because he just loved me soooooo much. Or at least that is what I thought.

I wish my story had a happier ending. Cheers coming from the imaginary crowd as I finally left my abuser. No, I was not a strong woman who took hold of her life and made a change. Truth is I did not know I had been abused until the day after HE left ME. Crazy right, that the abuser leaves the abused?

Now I must clarify, I am primarily a victim of emotional abuse. I was hit three times by my abuser but for three years I was emotionally abused. I was called ugly, stupid, slutty, and worthless on average once a day.

As I have been reading the story of ex-NFL player Ray Rice punching his then-fiancée, I want to share why I stayed. Now I do not know why she did, but I can speak for myself. I stayed because he loved me soooooo much. I stayed because he only called me slutty because I deserved it for cheating. OOOOH, the other C word. I cheated after one year of dating, for reasons that are irrelevant. The abuse, both physical and emotional, started after I admitted to cheating. So, do you understand yet why I stayed? I thought I deserved it.

I thought he deserved to call me every insulting name in the book because I had cheated on someone who did not deserve it. I thought about leaving, but I thought I owed him more. I convinced myself that he emotionally abused me because I had hurt him. I felt so guilty every day for hurting him that I assumed this was my punishment.

So I stayed with my abuser until the day he finally left for good. I wish I could say that I left him on my own, because I should. I wish I could say that I would have eventually left if he had never left me. Some nights, in the darkest part of my mind, I wish I was still with him. I stand strong behind the point that emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse.

I mean, look at me, wishing I was still with my abuser some times? I believed he loved me and only hurt me because I hurt him. I did not realize until after he left that there is never an excuse for hurting people. They always say “hurt people, hurt people” but that does not make it right.

Listen to my story. Do not convince yourself you ever deserve to be hurt. Be stronger than I was, and remove the toxicity out of your life before it is too late. TC mark









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