Shutterstock / Kotenko Oleksandr
Shutterstock / Kotenko Oleksandr

If you have ever been in love you know the feelings involved when you first fall in love. Everything seems to be a little better, the sun shines a little brighter, your coworkers don’t seem to bother you as much as they used to, that obnoxious man at Starbucks doesn’t seem to get to you quite as bad as he did before. Everything is amazing when you fall in love. I like to think that it blurs the negatives of life even just for a second.

I think every girl knows the feeling when just a touch from him sends a chill through your whole body and it’s something that you begin to crave. Hearing his voice on the phone makes you melt, and seeing him makes your heart beat a little faster. Is it selfish of us to want this to last forever?

I want to believe that there is a way to make the “honeymoon” stage last in a relationship for longer than just a few months. From the time when you first profess your love to each other until the end.

How do you fall in love over and over again?

1. Set time aside for each other.

You don’t have to make this date night every night, but watch a movie together. Talk on the phone if you can’t see them. Let them know that you can’t get them off your mind.

2. Don’t focus on the negatives; focus on all of their positives.

When you only focus on the negatives of a person or relationship you forget all the positive things. Like the way he knows all the right things to say when you are upset. The way he can make you feel better just by telling you he loves you. These are the things that can be forgotten when you are the middle over a fight. Don’t throw all the great times away for something insignificant.

3. Remember what made you fall in love with him in the beginning.

What made you say those magic 3 words the first time? What made you decide that they were the one you plan on being with?

4. Flirt with them

As much as men hate to admit it, they love getting flirty text messages in the morning to wake up to. Tell him how sexy he looks in his uniform before he goes to work in the morning. Tell him how much you love being able to call him yours. Tell him you can’t think of spending one day without him. It will make him for sure happy and fall in love. Men love being complimented, and something as easy as a good morning text, or a sweet comment will make him fall in love, again.

5. Learn to forgive and let go

Yes, we all make mistakes. But we are human! We are going to fall short of expectations sometimes, but that’s what this about. You are meant to be his cheerleader. The person he can come to when he had a bad day. Men, you are meant to be her shoulder to cry on, her rock to assure her that she is always going to have someone to fall back on. So maybe he will forget to tell you your new outfit is stunning on you, but the other 30 you bought he remembered to tell you just how lucky he is to have you as his own and how gorgeous you are. Sometimes men need a break and we all know they aren’t the best at noticing things. (Eh-hem, that hint you dropped about that really pretty necklace you saw at the mall last week.)

6. Let them know you love them, every time you can.

I get it, sometimes you think they just know that you love them and you don’t have to tell them all the time. Come on, we all love hearing it. Just make sure not to just say it out of habit, but every time you say it, you mean it. If you don’t get that spark when you say you love him, you need to rethink why you are saying it. It is so easy for us to just say something we know they want to hear and take it for granted. But when you truly mean something, you should feel like you mean it. You should feel the butterflies in your stomach, see that little twinkle in your eye. That is what love is all about. TC mark

Thought Catalog

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Hello november</p>
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They Came Together
They Came Together

Well, here we are again.

For the second Thursday night in a row I am left home alone with plans that fell through as unexpectedly as the stock market crash of 1929. All dressed up and nowhere to go, other than the grocery store, conveniently located just a few blocks away and fully stocked with late night snacks. It took several indecisive minutes to narrow down my choices of frozen yogurt, ice cream and gelato. Low-fat, Greek, natural – it really didn’t matter, the only real goal was making it out of there with some form of frozen, chocolate flavored something. As I made my way to the checkout stand the cashier eyed – and no doubt judged – my purchase: three separate containers of ice cream and gelato. He asked if I was taste testing. I half lied and said I had a friend coming over later. She won’t be here until tomorrow and two of the containers were meant for my consumption, though if history truly repeats itself I will be guiltily eating the third container in the dark and apologize for it later, but he didn’t need to know that.

Just a few hours beforehand my makeup was running down my face after a decent workout, and my hair was a sweaty, matted mess – with remnants of Jell-O in it from the night prior, no doubt. With the aid of makeup and a few optical illusions I had transformed the sweaty, boyish coed into an edgy-looking CoverGirl, complete with septum piercing, only to slip into a comfortable t-shirt, an old pair of sweats, and my specs. Usually I would have Santiago, the beta fish, to come home to, but sadly this morning I found his lifeless body floating about in his tank. So, without anyone to talk to, I turned to the froyo and laptop for some good ole TLC.

Though I am a big fan of action films and crime dramas, nights alone are often spent shamefully watching romantic comedies – RomComs for short. RomComs are my true guilty pleasure, though I will go to my grave telling everyone that my only vice is frozen yogurt. Since my newest health kick, eating a pint of frozen emotion feels a lot less guilty than intentionally subjecting oneself to a binge of cinematic material that is solely created to turn one’s heart, mind, and soul into cathartic mush.

I don’t know what it is about the genre that is so captivating.

Wait, that’s a lie based on a staunch attempt to avoid thorough introspection.

I know why I watch sappy RomComs for hours on end (thank you, Netflix). It is because deep down – really, really deep down – I want some part of the plot to be true, if not for me, for someone, anyone.

Blame it on picture books, fairytales, or Disney, we all want that “happily ever after” everyone has been harping on about since preschool. I think we’ve been conditioned to expect that everything will work out perfectly in the end, but reality is a far cry from Walt’s brainchildren, which have since become a cornerstone of the film industry, and every childhood dream.

That is, of course, not to say that happy endings do not exist. We’ve all got that friend, or cousin who has a friend, who found their soul mate. And through some elaborate series of dramatic and equally whimsical events they ended up in the yellow house with the white trim and the picket fence with the dog and 2.3 children running around the yard.

I could care less if I ended up married with a house and a car payment, but a harmless, “magical romance” (I am physically controlling my gag reflex at this point) couldn’t hurt, no matter how cliché it was. That’s the thing about romantic comedies – they are horribly predictable BUT I STILL WATCH THEM, all the way through the credits, even going so far as to replay a few scenes or the whole movie entirely. The RomCom formula goes something like this:

Two unsuspecting people from (a) totally different, or (b) completely similar walks of life meet in what can only be described as (a) fate, (b) a bet/wager, or (c) some ridiculously benign interaction in which the two see or feel sparks, fireworks, or some other flammable phenomena. They get to know one another in the frozen food aisle, over coffee, or through instant message during the days of dial-up. Then there is the conflict – a bunch of really dramatic stuff happens here: an old lover comes on to the scene, a new lover comes on to the scene, someone has a really big secret, you name it. For a second, the audience believes the two may never end up together, and then shockingly enough, they do. Roll credits.

So I just ruined the art of romantic comedy for you, but you had to see that one coming.

Even still I will subject myself to emotional upheaval for hours on end in order to fulfill some need to prove that love does exist, albeit in a totally scripted alternate universe where everyone is strangely attractive and no one ever seems to wake up with morning breath. It is the false sense of hope that RomComs instill in their viewers that influence socially awkward twenty-somethings like myself to purchase things like popsicles in hopes of meeting someone, or anyone really.

Stay with me here.

It was about a year ago that I moved across the country to go to a school where I knew absolutely no one and had zero friends upon moving in. Left alone for several days in my apartment and suffering at the hand of unfamiliar, east coast humidity levels, I purchased popsicles hoping that one day I would run into someone in the hall or elevator. We would strike up a conversation about the ridiculous weather and the stresses of moving in and I would offer them a popsicle, and thus, a friendship would be born. It goes without saying that no such event ever occurred and I ate nearly the entire box by myself. Personally, I blame my lack of a romantic storyline on my own naiveté and the blindly hopeful, misguided advice of the RomCom industry, but I digress.

If my popsicle misfortune taught me anything, it is that life – especially one’s love life – rarely goes as planned. Going for someone who you perceive to be “out of your league” seldom ends well. It’s nothing like Sixteen Candles or Pretty Woman. In reality, self-worth and personal respect take a backseat when you place someone on a pedestal. Maya Angelou said it best when she stated: “Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.” You truly are worth more than you often give yourself credit.

Oh, and don’t even get me started on the whole friends with benefits (FWB) thing. Well, while we’re here we might as well have a cynic’s version of a heart-to-heart on the topic. Sure, casual canoodling with no need to DTR (define the relationship) sounds great in theory; and movies like Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached would have you believe so. There’s about to be a spoiler, so you’ve been warned. Basically, the premise of both films is that two extremely attractive, consenting adults agree to engage in a non-binding carnal contract, completely void of emotions and labels. Eventually, one or both of the parties involved inevitably develops feelings, creating more than just sexual tension. So a bunch of stuff happens and then the two realize they liked/loved one another all along, and they end up happily ever after, blah blah blah. You can clearly see just how enthusiastic I am about this technique. In the real world, however, there are many more outcomes, none of which is as exciting as Hollywood would have us believe. The first, of many possible results, is that the two adults in question both end up having feelings for one another, and trade in the FWB relationship for one with an emotional component. This scenario is extremely unlikely, as the two of you decided to forgo the conventional style of relationship for a “less complicated” one. Scenario two is a bit … anti-climactic: one or both parties become involved with someone else, traditionally or otherwise, and your once care-free romping about is now sadly over. The third: someone contracts feelings, and much like a terminal disease, you deny it to the death until it finally eats you alive while you allow the non-relationship to fizzle out. Moral of the story: it’s looking pretty damn bleak.

As I am sure you have already noticed, I am really only capable of communicating through dry humor, cynicism and unadulterated sarcasm. And if you, the reader, are truly as wonderful as I imagine you to be, you are so cunning you have deduced that my true talent lies in totally overanalyzing every little event, no matter how benign. You, you remarkably intelligent patron of this page, determined this based on the fact that nearly the entire basis of this blog is to overanalyze day-to-day occurrences. My predisposition for hyper-analytical thought makes those quintessential cinematic scenes a bit problematic. You know the scenes I’m talking about, the ones we all wish would happen, but in reality they would never truly play out the way they do on the silver screen. Quick-witted one liners exchanged between two aesthetically pleasing protagonists? Yeah right, I can’t even have a conversation with myself without sticking my proverbial foot in my mouth. Locking eyes from across a crowded room? When such a phenomenon occurs the first thought that pops into my mind is typically: “What do you want?” That or I immediately think they are most certainly a serial killer, take your pick. Oh, and the whole kissing-in-the-rain scenes? Please. I would be too preoccupied calculating the probability of being struck by lightning to fully enjoy the moment.

As fanciful as the RomCom industry’s illusions are, we still continue to hold out hope – I say we because I am simply too proud to stand alone as the subject in this sentence. I have never been one to expect something as elaborate as a synchronized, Glee-style flash mob to ask for my hand in “happily ever after” (and honestly, a hoard of people smiling and leaping is really quite terrifying). Nevertheless, I am still waiting for the day that ink and highlighter stained fingers are charming. So I’m just going to sit over here in the corner, holding out for the person who happens to find combat boots, cargo pants, and Clubmaster specs alluring – a Patrick Verona to match my Kat Stratford persona, if you will.

At the end of the day, you may not be the director in the story of your life, but you do get to choose the cast. My suggestion: use your best judgment, don’t go for the stock characters, and give yourself the best lines.

Cue music. Pan out. Roll credits. TC mark

Thought Catalog

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Hello ♥
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Shutterstock / VGstockstudio
Shutterstock / VGstockstudio

When Americans venture out of the states, we have a hovering red, white, and blue flag indicating “foreigner.” Whether it’s wanderlust from first time travelers or naively ignoring cultural norms, it takes no genius to spot an American abroad. With this being said, we need to take extra caution to avoid being scammed and squandered. I don’t know all the tricks or treats out there, but a little research will help avoid trials and tribulations.

1. Know the dress code.

To avoid sticking out like a sore thumb or offending any cultural par, try to blend in. In Morocco it’s still unacceptable for many women to expose their body. Sporting shorts or short sleeves will peg you as a rich westerner. You’ll be overwhelmed with locals offering to guide you to your destination, luring you into their shops, or any other service for an expectedly generous compensation. I’m not saying to buy a Djellaba or a head piece, but respect their culture, and make yourself seem less naive by exposing less skin.

2. People watch.

Take time to observe how people interact- you’ll notice some patterns. Pay attention to details- what areas or interactions do they avoid or attract to? A friend ventured to Paris for the first time was intrigued by a gambling game on the street near the Eiffel Tower. A woman playing was up by a good amount of money, so he took his chances only to lose 0 a half hour into his voyage. A vender later told him they’re scam artists. A humbling experience to say the least.

3. Know the public transportation.

When arriving into a new city, it’s overwhelming and easy to get lost. Instead of hopelessly hopping in the nearest cab and spending several times what you’d save using a bus or metro, plan ahead and seek out the most common and efficient way to commute. Many places will overcharge tourists thinking they’re rich and ignorant. Download a metro or bus app on your phone, or screen shot google map routes. You’ll be less of a target.

4. Know some common phrases in the native language.

While English is spoken sufficiently in many cities, approaching everyone in English is perceived as rude and arrogant. We expect foreigners to speak English when they come to the states, so don’t be a hypocrite. It’s also unrealistic to expect everyone to speak English, so know some common phrases that can help you get by combined with some hand and facial gestures. When abroad, you’re an ambassador for your native country. Make us look good!

5. Shop local!

If everyone who came to New York only saw Times Square, they’d have no idea what real life is like in New York City. They’d be overcharged to drink, eat, and buy souvenirs and miss out on the best views. Don’t make the same mistakes! Find out the best local places by talking to locals. If you’re acquainted with someone living there, or meet people by attending a couch-surfing get together. You don’t need to invade their couch to indulge in their city. The only way to know a culture is to know the people who carry it. Sight-seeing a destination does not mean you’ve experienced it! You can sit on your couch for that.

6. Talk to other travelers.

Travelers are the hunters and gatherers of our world. Strike up a conversation and ask about their experience in the destination. “A smart man learns from his mistakes, a wise man learns from others.”

It’s easy to get wrapped up in wonder when in a new city, but don’t fall so much in love that you become blind. Yes, there are genuinely generous people, but remember don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Whether or not you end up enjoying a destination depends largely on your experience. While I can’t guarantee things going perfect, I can guarantee your reaction will be much more rational the more prepared you are. TC mark

Thought Catalog

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Shutterstock / Racheal Grazias
Shutterstock / Racheal Grazias

1. You will find “your people”

As you’ve heard, everybody finds that one significant figure in their life that becomes their “person” whether it be their boyfriend, girlfriend, or best friend. And as you may also know, field hockey is one of the few women’s sports where 20 some-odd girls can come together and become a family, so to speak, as if they’ve known each other for decades. Its an indescribable event and it’s one that can’t be taken granted of. Playing field hockey at the college level becomes life consuming and you find yourself spending countless hours with these girls you may have only met a month ago. These girls will, and i promise you they will, become “your people”.

2. You’ll be in the kind of shape you didn’t think was physically possible

One to two weeks doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you’ve been anticipating these one to two weeks all summer, you start to feel somewhat uneasy. Yes, I am talking about preseason. It is an unimaginable amount of exercise that your body has never faced before and you will be damn proud when you finally come out of it. And you’ll be amazed that you survived.

3. Sleeping becomes something you dream about

Ironically enough, dreaming about sleep will become a life habit. You’ll never be as tired as you are during season and I don’t just mean physically. I am talking about mentally and emotionally exhausted, as well. You will break down at some point whether it be after you fail the test you didn’t study for due to a late night game, or on the field when you miss trap one simple pass and it becomes a turnover. It’s okay, you can cry. We’ve all been there before.

4. You will make at least one mistake

This is college people, we are here to mess up. Nobody is perfect and people do make mistakes, believe it or not. However, the only way to fully recover is to learn from those mistakes and use them to prove to yourself and the people around you that you are indeed better than the person you have been. Your coach will be disappointed in you at some point of your career and that is okay! You are not perfect and you have room for improvement. Everybody does.

5. School becomes more stressful than you could imagine

Think about the amount of stress you had junior year of high school deciding which college you wanted to spend the next 4 years of your life at. Well, you’re here and you can multiply that stress level by 300 and there you have the life of a student-athlete. Balancing the 6 pm night game at a school 3 hours away, and the test you have the next morning at 8 am is a huge challenge. But you’ll manage and you’ll push through the class with a B because your professor will see that at least you were trying.

6. Some of your professors will be hard on you

It’s not easy to be a student-athlete and former student-athletes will understand. However, the grumpy old farts that only went to college to get a degree, will be hard on you and may treat you more harshly than other students because you might have to miss a class or two for a game. And then you might have to miss another class or two due to lack of sleep. The semester is only 16 weeks and they won’t even cross your mind after you finish the class. So don’t sweat it when he/she calls you out in front of everyone for not being in class last week.

7. Four years will go by in the blink of an eye

Freshman year seems like it’s never going to end until all of a sudden you’re looking for a house to call your own and you’ll think, “Where has the time gone?” It sounds cliche, but it’s the downright truth. Your days will be packed between classes and practice that you can’t even remember what day of the week it is and then it becomes next month and then the seasons change and it’s the next year. Suddenly, your senior day has come and you’re about to play your last field hockey game on your home turf for the last time of your career. And you won’t be able to think of a better way to have spent the last 4 years of your life. TC mark

Thought Catalog

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Anxiety, to me, is the tightness I feel in between the base of my neck and my shoulder blades. It’s when my mind runs a thousand miles an hour and I have to sit down and write to process my thoughts, it’s constantly tapping and moving, it’s staying up late at night because something has me nervous, or spooked, or worried. It is having trouble stepping outside of myself and seeing a situation for what it is. It is constant repetition and layers on layers of creating ridiculous situations that wont happen. Anxiety means not making sense, it’s having friends who struggle to keep up with rapid fire thoughts and statements. It’s reading this paragraph as fast as you can and stumbling over words but your mind wont let you stop.

Anxiety is figuring out how to deal with it.

It means sitting down in the middle of the day with a notebook asking myself these questions about the things I’m worrying about:

1.What’s the evidence for the situation? Why do I feel this way?

2.What’s the worst or best thing that could come from the situation?

3.What would I say to a friend that came to me with the same situation?

4. Am I creating a worse case scenario and calling it “being realistic?”

It means planning out an extra half an hour before bed to think about my day and what stress can be dealt with and released.

It means doing yoga, focusing on breathing, and practicing visualization.

It means reading through the purple sheet my counselor gave me full of stress management techniques, and distressing just from laughing over the ridiculousness of some of them:

  • Watch boyfriend change oil (someone loan me a boyfriend..and a car?)
  • Square dance (no.)
  • Toilet Paper a house (illegal)
  • Hold a baby (anyone have a baby to offer me?)
  • Smoking (I’d probably get anxiety over the possibility of an early death)

It means doing things from the list that aren’t completely unfeasible:

  • Take a hot shower
  • Color
  • Mentor
  • Knit
  • Learn a new song on the guitar
  • Lay on the floor and focus on the music

Finally, having anxiety means working really really hard to remember, that at the end of the day you are okay, you have always been okay in tough situations, and you will be okay tomorrow. TC mark

Thought Catalog

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Shutterstock / Piotr Marcinski
Shutterstock / Piotr Marcinski
  1. Waiters that look like they are doing you a HUGE favor – bringing you the menus.
  2. Ticket salespeople who throw your money back at you.
  3. The man who pushes past you like he’s the only one in a hurry.
  4. Colleagues at work who seem to have no courtesies whatsoever in emails or phone calls, forgetting their please and thank yous or even hellos or good mornings.

Any of these situations sound familiar to you? Ever wanted to slam down the phone and just scream and shout profanities? Don’t. Not only will it increase your stress levels, it would make you become one of them! Read below on how to maintain your cool, in these frustrating situations. (Reactions from someone who has an allergy to rude people – seriously – my blood boils, my face turns red and I would almost break out in rashes of frustration – an unfortunate an easily triggered disease, I must admit!)

1. Assess the situation

  • Did you give them a reason to be rude to you? (ie. You yourself were rude and obnoxious?) If you were – please exit this page, this writer has no tolerance for people like you.
  • No? – sorry you had to experience this – kindly proceed to…

2. Do you need something from said rude person?

  • Yes – be patient, try to get what you need and try to avoid getting spit on your food or booked on a one way ticket to Alaska. There are many reasons as to why there could be tension – language barriers, bad weather. But only you are in control of your own actions – try to communicate clearly and firmly to get what you need. (Hint : hold that temper, and stress your Ts. (eg. That is noT The way I ordered IT) It’s a way of communication in which you tell people not to mess with you. – speaking with an exaggerated (fake) British accent sometimes gets me my way. I am not sure why, and I’m looking for someone to explain it to me.
  • No – Take a deep breath; and walk away. It’s not worth it

3. After receiving what you need (eg. Food / tickets/ answers to work related problems) – CHECK IT

  • Is it correct / sanitary? – say “thank you.” You asked for something, and you received it. It is the least you can do. More points to your conscience if you smile.
  • No? – time to change approach – look for anyone else around you – switch counters if you have to, ask for a different waiter. You are wasting your sanity on a person, for no reason at all. There is no one way of doing things – change your methods, and you might change you results.

4. The aftermath

  • After the whole incident, are you still fuming? That is okay. In this day in age you CAN express your dissatisfaction, passive aggressively. I am not encouraging this – However, it is a good solution for those of you who do not enjoy confrontation. This is where the beauty of the internet comes in. Write reviews! Give Stars! Rate them! Business thrive on their online presence, and if isn’t squeaky clean they can forget a visit from us millennials who are so eager to spread the word! – if anything you’ll be doing the world a favor. A shout out of gratitude to all you people who give honest reviews. Travelling would really not be same without you.

5. Finally

  • Breathe, count to three, and breathe again. You don’t know their story, maybe their dog just died, or they just got broken up over a post it. We cannot control the action of others, but we can control our reactions towards them. Smile, leave the minimum tip, and a gracious thank you. Show them, it does not help to be rude. And feel that much better – that instead of making someone’s day worse, you made it a whole lot brighter.

As the New Radicals once said, “You get what you give.” TC mark

Thought Catalog

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