Maybe romantic films, ballads and poetry are to blame, but the desire to be not only loved but to be celebrated and honored becomes more intense as we get older. All of a sudden in our mid-late 20′s “I love you” isn’t enough anymore. We’re all walking around with so much baggage and so much evidence of relationships past, we require a level of reassurance that’s sometimes hard to satisfy. Not to get too Carrie Bradshaw but, is it possible to feel confident in a relationship without constant affirmation? Do we need our partner to pledge allegiance to our love in order to accept it or can we put aside our insecurities and notched bedposts and receive love as easily as we give it? If you struggle with this, some of these are probably on your list of things you wish you heard from your partner:
1. I love you more deeply than anyone I’ve ever loved before.
2. I like you the best with your hair wild and your face bare.
3. You’re my best friend.
4. Just, hi.
5. Let’s plan a trip.
6. It’s important for you to get to know my family and friends.
7. I’m not going to be the person that (re)breaks your heart.
8. I love the way you touch me.
9. I still get excited to see you.
10. I’ll rub your back until you fall asleep.
11. Let’s be Facebook official.
12. Thank you for being so considerate, it doesn’t go unappreciated.
13. I’m my best version of myself when I’m with you.
14. You’re funny.
15. Now that I have you in my life, I don’t ever want you out of it.
16. My mom really likes you.
17. You feel like home.
18. I’ve had a rough day, seeing you will cheer me up.
19. I need your advice.
20. You’re the one.
Parking. Parking everywhere. Parking wherever you want to. DRIVEWAYS. GARAGES.
While I thank my zip code for making me a skilled parallel parker, the rush of joy I feel whenever I’m in a suburb and there is endless parking never gets old. You can go to a friends house and just park on the street in front of her house! There’s no competition with hundreds of other cars vying for that spot, or no parking during this or that hour. The suburbs are a vacation for your car and from the maybe-I-should-go-home-before-all-the-parking-spots-are-gone anxiety present in the mind of every city dweller with a vehicle.
Sure, there’s sweet fire pits at rooftop bars on top of fancy restaurants–but that’s its own pleasure. There is nothing quite like city in a crappy lawn chair outside with your friends starring at a fire and getting deep and/or drunk.
3. The stars
You can actually see them!
4. Housing prices
In the suburb I grew up in I could live in a brand new 2 bedroom apartment for what I pay for my half of a 2 bedroom in a building built in 1910. No dishwasher, drafty windows in the winter, no air conditioning in the summer. It seems insane until I think about all the places I can walk to from my apartment that don’t even exist in suburbia.
5. Hosting is much easier
Suburban apartments and homes are spacious. You’re more likely to have a guest bedroom, a large kitchen, and a big living room with multiple couches so you can host a big group of your friends without feeling crowded. It’s easy to pregame at someones apartment in cities because inevitably one person lives close to the cool bars so it’s convenient to meet up there and have a few drinks. In the suburbs, however, hanging out can be the main event.
There’s city quiet in which you lull yourself to sleep with the sounds of cars and people and the occasional siren–and then there’s actual quiet which can only be found outside the city limits.
7. High school football
There’s nothing like a crowded stadium on a Friday night. It’s like an IRL Norman Rockwell painting. People are excited, kids are running around with glitter paint on their faces, a group of teens is invariably trying to get drunk off Boone’s Farm under the bleachers. It’s a comforting experience.
You have a yard. This makes owning a dog approximately 100x easier. In the cold winter you can just open your door and let it out, you don’t need to get dressed yourself and follow it around with a plastic bag.
The city is where all the action is. There’s this perpectual subconscious thought of “what else is going on?” because so much else IS going on. Suburbs are sleepy, there’s an opportunity to finally turn your brain off because there’s physical space between you and the business of life.
It’s one thing to schlep yourself around the city and another entirely to bring kids alone. Kids have a lot of appointments. They have to go to school and soccer games and piano lessons. They need backpacks and snacks and toys to be carted around with them. They need play rooms and space to run around and quality schools to attend. All this is why most people move to the suburbs when they have kids. You can raise them in the city, it’s just a whole lot more work.
11. Townie bars
There are great dive bars in every city, but the best kind of dive bar is a townie bar–a bar in a small town where 80% of the clientele are regulars. They’ll know you don’t live nearby the second you walk in but after a few beers you’re all friends and by the end of the night you’re dancing to ‘Friends in Low Places’ on the jukebox. This is the premium bar experience and it’s escaping the grasp of city living.
1. “Distance is hard.”
No freakin’ duh. The sky is also blue, in case you were wondering.
2. “I was in a distance relationship once.”
While some people say this because they were actually in a long-term long-distance relationship, way too many folks think the one week-long business trip their boyfriend/girlfriend went on gives them insight into distance relationships.
3. “Don’t you wish you could date/party/mess around?”
Le Sigh. Some of us actually value having an interesting, sympathetic, committed partner, rather than needing to sample every dish that comes along.
4. “How does sex work over a distance?”
Seriously? Go to http://www.skype.com, bro. I’m not going to spell it out for you.
5. “It won’t work out.”
I’m sorry, when did you become a prescient version of Dr. Phil? Just because you don’t have the strength of will to stay true to someone over time and space doesn’t mean other people share your weakness.
You are the silent prayer, where the mind wanders when it finds respite. You are the miracle that unveils the wonders of life. You are the rain that streams through the clouds and the sun that blankets the sky. You are the sound that dims the noise we don’t want to hear. You are the light that intimidates all evil. You are the silent observer who transpires every now and again. You are always there.
Belief sways between contemplation and closure. You are omnipresent and unbiased, but mostly because you are inaudible. You don’t announce your presence through words, but let the tale unfold slowly instead.
Sometimes, it seems you unleash your wrath when we are caught off-guard. At other times, you astonish us with marvels we never expected. You dim the lights and urge us to trudge through the blinding darkness, only so that we can reach the illumination. And when the twilight of life consumes us, your ubiquitous influence radiates through the murky path.
You watch us thank others, but you never seem to mind not being thanked. Perhaps it’s because you don’t view any of us as distinct from yourself.
You grant us the gift of discovering who we are. You ask no questions and you give no answers. You only envelope us in the fortune and doom that we create for ourselves.
You forgive us although we always forget to forgive each other. You are that unforgettable smile that warms our hearts. In our pursuit of seeking the answers, you are the tranquil pause between the question mark and the first word. You are the cloud that bursts when we’re not ready. You are the wings we discover when we must learn how to fly. You are what drapes adversity, you are what helps us go on.
You don’t say things as we like to hear them, but you link us with people who don’t let us forget. You are an unseeable force ironically personified. You are the glorious truth juxtaposed against lies.
I never believed that you send reminders of your presence, until you really did. The biggest miracle isn’t that we make a choice to believe in you. It is that you send messengers to us every day, who we can recognize only if we look closely.
They say it takes 21 days to make something a habit. Good or bad, it doesn’t matter. A habit is what a habit is. In my quest to come back from crazy to classy, I decided to deactivate my Facebook account in December 2013. Inspired by an article I read about a social media junkie who decided to go 10 days without social media, and motivated by personal reasons, I took to reality what I read on print.
Initially, it was tough. I mean, what is life today without Facebook? That’s where we connect with people and get updates from ex-lovers to acquaintance gossip. It seems that no business can be taken seriously without a Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram account as well. I admit I am just like anyone else, checking Facebook to “look busy” or to pass time, and in the online world, social media was the go-to activity.
In the days that followed post Facebook deactivation, there were so many things I wanted to share, only to realize when clicking on the Facebook share button that, “Hey! You don’t have Facebook anymore!” It got frustrating not being able to share the little gems of what I deemed newsworthy to all of my 300+ friends.
I started thinking, “Man, what a waste, I can’t share this!”
Then I started questioning myself:
WHY do I wanna share this lil nugget? WHO cares about what I share? To WHOM do I want it to go out? Does it ADD VALUE to the experience?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that at some point, sharing everything just became a habit in itself. Though I try my best to curate what I share, a force of habit given my past life as an editor, I became aware that I was sharing stuff to put ME on the radar. It mattered not what was already on my radar, so long as I was on it. With Facebook apps deleted off my phone, and my Twitter and Instagram apps pushed to the back, it dawned on me how seeing those apps on the first page of my home screen felt like an obligatory thing to go into. Like homework.
As I grew accustomed to not checking and posting statuses, I found that people who do matter will know when you’ve fallen off the tech grid and people who don’t, won’t. Let me state my sincerest apologies to those who’ve come up to me or texted me — What happened to you? Why did you deactivate your account? — I’m sorry for the inconveniences, y’all.
As much as I don’t want to participate, Facebook is going to be a part or our lives today, with so many things made easier to share because of it. But I feel that using this platform has made us somewhat less humane. I do not doubt that it makes checking for updates on events a lot easier but what is it doing for actual human relations? Without Facebook, I’ve been forced to proactively seek out my friends. Re-ignite real connections. Make friends and maintain relationships the old school way. Is that really bad? No. Troublesome? Maybe. Real? Definitely.
I admit this much: it’s actually quite nice to receive a text with links when an article wants to be shared with you. I mean imagine the hassle: read article — copy link — open up What’s App — paste link — press send versus read article — Facebook share — but imagine the impact on the recipient. To have someone go through all that trouble to share something with you means that you matter. Your reading the article and feedback matters. That’s basic human nature, to feel like one matters, to be acknowledged.
So in my life without Facebook, I’ve begun to pick up reading again, actually listening to the words in my music and taking notice of everything else but my phone. Actually feeling the world around me, how clear the sky is, how sunny it feels, how cooling the breeze is on a warm day. Want to see real magic? Look up from your screen and smile. Maybe they’ll smile back, maybe they won’t, but it doesn’t matter. It took me a while to get used to doing it. It’s so much easier to sink into our phones and act busy so we don’t have to participate in human connection.
In our desire to stay connected, we’ve become disconnected in the world we live in. We don’t live in the internet. I’ve actually noticed how sad it looks on the train, everyone looking down into their phones. When shuttling from one location to the next, most people are plugged in. Even I find myself plugged in… into nothing really. I just have my earphones in even without music! Why is that? Force of habit I suppose. Wake up, plug in. Wake up, plug in.