The Most Dramatic Bachelor Finale Of All Time

Okay, so Chris Harrison gets a lot of flack every year for hyping The Bachelor(ette) finale by saying, “This is going to be the most dramatic ending of all time.” I didn’t roll my eyes as hard when he said that this year, though, because I decided on day 1 that I needed to change things up a little and read the Reality Steve spoiler before the season even began. I knew that Arie was going to pull a Jason Mesnick and choose one person, only to later change his mind, and I knew that Lauren would be the real final choice.

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Becca K, left, Lauren B, right.

I didn’t know, however, that the ending would be this bad. I’ll be honest in saying that Arie has never been my favorite Bachelor. I didn’t feel like he was particularly emotional, and I felt like he wasn’t sympathetic enough to the girls when he was letting them go. I hated how he picked up roses and held them close to the contestants only to say, “You are such a fun girl, but I can’t give this rose to you today.” He didn’t seem particularly aware of the feelings around him, and I didn’t feel like many of his words were thoughtful and genuine. It just felt like he was reading off a script of things he thought were appropriate for the lead of The Bachelor to say.

Part of the fun of watching The Bachelor is seeing people have real feelings and get invested in one another. Throughout the entire season I just didn’t see it with any of the girls. Maybe, just maybe, Bekah M had a real connection with Arie, and he seemed to like Becca K enough throughout the season. I just didn’t see him connect emotionally with any of the contestants on the show.

Even though I knew that Arie would go back on his proposal and choose someone different than the finalist he proposed to, I didn’t really imagine it being a complete disaster. I figured they maybe just didn’t get along in the real world after filming ended, and that Arie would quietly end the engagement and ask his ex, Lauren, for a second chance. Needless to say, I was absolutely disgusted with the outcome of the show yesterday.

Something I don’t understand at all is how Arie could be okay with dumping Becca like that. He clearly had to talk to the producers and agree with breaking up with her in a very public manner, and trick her into going to a filming location so that she could be dumped on camera. First off, this is a terrible idea because breakups are emotional and tough enough without having an entire production crew on site. If he cared about her heart in the least he would have seen why this was a bad idea. Second, I don’t understand how he thought this was a good idea for his own image. Like, jumping at the chance to break up with your fiancée on national television doesn’t scream “Hero” to me, plus it shows that you just want to be on TV at any chance you get if you’re willing to share such a personal moment with millions of viewers. Third, how do you think Lauren is going to feel when she watches you completely blindsight one of the girls on her season, just to “have a shot” at winning her back? Sorry to be harsh, but Arie had absolutely no class when he thought about this decision and chose to hurt a girl he loved on national television. This could have easily been done in private, and I still wonder what the heck his motivation to do all of this on camera was. There wasn’t a chance that he’d come out of it looking good, and then the way he disrespected Becca and refused to leave after she asked him to several times really made him look bad.

I’m curious to see what Lauren has to say about all of this tonight, and whether or not she is dating Arie now, but I am happy to announce that Becca is a true winner of The Bachelor this season. She doesn’t have to marry someone who will only keep wanting what he can’t have and can’t make a decision if his life depended on it, and she now has the world at her fingertips to find a kind, thoughtful, and compassionate human being to spend her life with. I really do hope Arie found/finds whatever he is looking for, and I wish him the best. I would imagine the next several weeks will be really tough for him on the Internet, so hopefully he’ll be able to get past all of this and return to a normal life soon enough.

To The Creatives Of The World

Your work matters too.

Having a chronic illness makes me so, so thankful for people who are different than I am. I appreciate the people who can handle blood and unhinged joints, and those who have brains that work for chemistry and biology. I’m not wired like that; I enjoy using my hands to write and create stories. I like painting metaphorical pictures for people, and I love resurfacing feelings from my heart and putting them on paper for others to read and relate to.

Something that really kept my spirits up when I first got sick with POTS was watching The Food Network and reruns of The Office. Laughter is often some of the best medicine, and despite not being able to do very much physically, I was able to laugh and dream. I learned as much as I could about food and health, and I lived each moment in the present as the room spun in circles around me.

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Every chapter of my life has included a soundtrack. I hear an old favorite song and it takes me back to a memory. I often do my best writing while I am listening to music, and will play a song on repeat until I have spilled old feelings on the pages in front of me. Despite not having the same ones anymore, I have a perfect memory for feelings. I know them all so well and even though I can’t remember dates, numbers, or physical details, I always remember how my heart felt about something. The best part about my writing is that it strikes a chord with people. With each blog post I get messages about how someone could relate to my own thoughts and feelings, and I take a lot of joy in knowing I can make others feel less alone by sharing my life with them.

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There are a lot of people in the world who get credit for their practical work, but I think creative people sometimes get left out of the thankfulness. I’ve written posts about how great I think people like doctors, physical therapists, nurses, and researchers are — without them I would be a complete wreck — but I’ve conveniently left out the people I understand most. The artists, the writers, the actors, and the comedians who all make life just that much brighter and more beautiful. The world is a really cool place because we have such a vast mix of humans who care about all of the other kinds of people. Without the left brains we wouldn’t be able to fix painful everyday problems, and without the right brains we wouldn’t have all the entertainment options we do. Both types of people bring more joy to the world, and we are all are a piece of the puzzle that makes for a happier society as a whole. No matter what your talent is, use it to make the world a better place.

Today’s lesson: Just because you can’t cure sicknesses or fix things doesn’t mean you aren’t important to the world. Laughter and bringing joy through the form of creativity and entertainment is a very important job. Keep practicing what you do best and giving back to the world with your own unique talents.

I’d Like To File A Complaint

Do you ever find yourself really annoyed because you find yourself complaining about something really trivial like being stuck in traffic or not having any milk keft in the fridge?

That’s how I feel today. I went to a concert last night at my alma mater, and my lower back is k i l l i n g me. I think I hurt myself from standing too long and not wearing the proper shoes (read: sneakers), which sounds ridiculous but is life with EDS in a nutshell.

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Really, though, my brain is functioning well, it’s rainy and I don’t feel super symptomatic, and my heart is content. My main issue is that I am medium-grumpy today. The pain is getting on my nerves, and I feel frustrated that every time I do something fun and different I have to take it easy for a few days after, while my friends can keep going and going without any problems. I am annoyed at my body for not just being normal — the way it used to be — and I hate feeling like a grandma at 27. Everything takes so much planning, and I turn down certain plans that I want to do, just because I have to weigh how much I have going on the entire week, rather than just a single day.

So, since I am bitching about a million and one things right now, I want to take a minute and realize what I should be thankful for.

I can get up off the couch and walk around. I have feet, legs, and arms that all work. My heart works twice as hard to keep me alive, but it’s pumping and keeping me going! Most of my organs are a bit goofy, but they are all working overtime to make sure I can keep living, and I am so, so thankful for that. I have a wonderful family who loves me, the best fiancée in the world, and amazing friends. I am doubling my family this fall, I am not allergic to chocolate (I count this as a blessing, as I developed a bunch of food sensitivities as an adult), and I have a roof over my head and never go hungry.

I could go on and on about more beautiful things in my life. Dogs make up a great number of blessings, and sunshine, birds, butterflies, and heat are just a few more. Candlelight, snuggling, soft blankets, The Office, country music, buttercream frosting, gentle massages, writing, decaf coffee, warm memories, Pinterest boards, glitter, loved ones’ sweatshirts, snail mail, flowers, dog tags, and a diamond are just a few of the beautiful blessings life has given me.

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As much as I want to complain today, I am going to allow myself a minute of being annoyed, and then just let it go. My pain isn’t an 8 or a 9 today, and I can handle everything that I have on my plate. I just have to turn my frown upside down and enjoy the simple pleasures until I can go out into the world again and take on the next adventure.

Today’s lesson: The next time you want to punch a wall because you’re frustrated about something, take a few seconds to count your blessings. It helps put life into perspective, and makes you realize it’s an enormous waste of time to be grumpy when you can learn to be content instead.

More Than Just A Super Bowl Win

If you’ve been following along this blog for a little while now, you’ll know that I’ve become quite the Patriots fan since I met Robert. He did a great job converting me to root for all things Boston, and I think I have some good tips on how to bring a significant other to whatever your dark side is.

Despite being disappointed about not winning the Super Bowl this year, I was quickly intrigued by the Eagles’ quarterback, Nick Foles. I saw stories about his wife plastered all across my newsfeed, talking about how she was diagnosed with POTS in 2013 — the same year as me. Something I think is fascinating about POTS is that so many of us were athletes before we got sick — most of which were actually even more active than the typical person. I ran distances longer than the majority of the US population, ate really well, and jumped on any opportunity of athleticism that was offered. Along with running, I was almost always involved in some sort of club or intramural sport and had friends who would play pickup games with me. Tori Foles was a setter for the volleyball team at University of Arizona, shortly after graduating, she had to spend a month in the Mayo Clinic trying to figure out what made her suddenly get sick.

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My first year with POTS I had to go through the airport in a wheelchair.

It gives me chills how similar our stories are, and how many other young people have the exact same details in theirs. Athletic, young woman with career ambition gets sick right after graduating college — when she’s supposed to just be starting life. It also looks like we both reached for God in our time of hardship. God is still Someone I sometimes struggle with understanding, however having POTS has made me realize how much I need Him. There are things in life that we sometimes have no control over, and our only options are to face the obstacles alone or choose to lean on God for help. Although I sometimes complain about not having a normal life, I also realize what an amazing blessing it is to have healed as much as I have. Instead of fainting every time I stand, I just get dizzy or my vision blacks out for an instant. I don’t go through the entire week with a migraine anymore, and I am able to be in upright positions without having a million different symptoms to control. I still deal with the pain from my Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, but having a brain that actually gets enough blood to it is an enormous blessing.

Something that makes the Foles’ story so beautiful is the fact that Nick and Tori decided to get married just a month after she got diagnosed. This makes my heart so, so happy because POTS is such a life-changing and frightening illness, particularly in the beginning when you’re still learning about it and how to manage your symptoms. There is a reason wedding vows have the line, “In sickness and in health,” because falling ill is one of the most difficult things life can toss at you, and you want to be sure the person you commit to spending your life with will stick around even during hardships. Perfect weddings, fun vacations, and nice things are all fun, but what is really beautiful is seeing how two very imperfect people come together and choose to love each other every single day.

I am not an expert on marriage by any means, but I think when you decide to take someone to be your forever, you are committing to choosing them each and every time. You won’t always have a picture perfect life — you may fight, be annoyed at your forever roommate for making the kitchen a mess, or in my case, or just have a downright bad day — but you will absolutely always love each other. At the end of the day you’ll have someone next to you who has your back no matter what, and that is what I think is the most beautiful thing life has to offer. True selfless love. 

An English Major’s Love Language

Who else was excited that Ed Sheeran got engaged this weekend?! I was super excited for a few reasons. First, I absolutely love love. I want every single person in this world to be happy, and falling in love is something I think can really add a different element of brightness to your life. Second, I am stoked to hear all the new music he comes out with now. One of my favorite things about listening to artists I really enjoy is knowing who songs can be about. Taylor’s breakup music is fun, but the tracks about being in love and spilling her heart out in words is incomparably beautiful. I am excited to learn more about Ed’s fiancée, Cherry. Lastly, I like having a face to put to his song Perfect. The lyrics are some of the sweetest I’ve heard, and I absolutely love that he wrote such an amazing song for the girl he wants to spend forever with. That is just the “cherry” on top of the most wonderful words that have been put together.

Oh my gosh, this really gets the waterworks going. As if I needed any other reasons to love this song, knowing that each and every word written is real and raw makes me so, so happy. Something I enjoy most is knowing that the feelings in Perfect are real and raw. Being a fellow writer — though far less eloquent — I know exactly what it’s like to feel like your heart is about to burst and overflow with all the love it’s trying to contain. I also know very well that the only outlet for us to really express a deep love is putting pen to paper. Even though I don’t really know Sheeran, I feel like I’ve gotten a peek into his heart, and he’s been able to bring up my own feelings and experiences, despite being really descriptive about his own, too.



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Me interviewing Sheeran at the Jingle Ball in 2012. If you click the first link in this article you’ll see a picture of Cherry wearing this sweatshirt. I guess when it comes down to it we all love stealing our guy’s clothes.

I know that there’s significance behind “dancing in the dark,” and that they’re not just meant to be carefully crafted lyrics.  I know that there was a night where he whispered, “darling you look perfect tonight,” and I can picture him blushing happily while dancing with his sweet new fiancée.

These memories bring up my own. I think about dancing to Sheeran at a friend’s wedding with my own significant other. I think about how perfect that moment was, and going home to write this in my journal:

“Our first dance together was magical. We smiled at the newly wed couple happily, and our eyes danced as they met one another. We knew we were thinking the exact same thing; we are similar in so many ways, and we both feel touched deeply by true love — though Robert might not as openly admit that.

We swayed back and forth and I got lost in the twinkle in his eyes. For a moment I felt a little self-conscious that we were having such a moment in front of other people, but my nerves were quickly put at ease when I realized how comfortable Robert was. The way he was looking at me I knew he was peering deep down into my soul, and our two moving bodies became one. My heart hadn’t ever felt so warm, loved, and bright as it did in that very moment. It was as if all the love that had ever been in our relationship was piled into this one dance, and I didn’t want it to end.

‘I guess our first dance is to Ed Sheeran,’ Robert observed. His eyes were still smiling at me, and the twinkling lights in the barn around us were just background noise; he was the star of my show. ‘I don’t hate it.’

We continued to sway to the sweet lyrics until the song ended. I didn’t want it to come to end, but I also knew in a way it wouldn’t. I would have this in my heart forever, and that dance will be one of my favorite memories of us for the rest of my life.”

I remember having a feeling of pure bliss because of how innocent and special sharing a slow dance with the love of your life is. I think further back to being pulled close in the kitchen and listening to his heart beat while we swayed back and forth to silence. I wonder if he remembers this too, or if these moments are only preserved in my own heart and journals from before the deployment.

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Writing, to me, is the most beautiful love language. Words of Affirmation aren’t listed as my #1 love language, but they are the most special to me in so many ways. They can make my heart sink or soar, and I use them to share my deepest thoughts and feelings with others. I have screenshotted text messages from years ago that made me so happy that I couldn’t imagine just letting them disappear into thin air. I save every note someone who is special in my life sends to me, and I treasure certain words that are said in my heart forever.

I want to collect thousands of “I love you’s,” and hearing about what I mean to someone is the best gift that could be given in this world. I look at words as being sacred pieces of the heart, and despite using the “L” word freely, it also means very different things to each person in my life. When it comes to romantic love, there is only one person in the world who hears “I love you” in the giddy way that will always signify true love, and for me, that person is Robert.

Congratulations to Ed and Cherry; they’re definitely going to be people I ‘ship while wedding planning and thinking about how beautifully special two people coming together to create a life with one another is. I can’t wait for the next sweet single to come out, and in the meantime I’ll continue gently taking words from my own heart to keep writing about the things I love in this life.

Single And So Ready To Settle Down

Do you feel lonely this winter? Are you sick and tired of being single and seeing a-million-and-one proposals, weddings, and budding new relationships all over social media?

You are not alone.

I know it feels like it sometimes, but something I think is so important to remember is that the people who are super-single, frustrated with dating, or ready for marriage and a family but still looking for their partner in crime are not posting on Facebook about this. They are actually likely the majority on your friend list, but they’re a silent majority.

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If you feel frustrated for being single, don’t beat yourself up. Just because your heart wants companionship doesn’t mean something is wrong with you. We are built to love and be loved. That desire is so, so normal. Sure, there are people who never get married and still feel fulfilled, but the reality of it is most people eventually find love with a romantic partner and decide to tie the knot at one time or another. It’s not wrong to dream about having a life with someone you haven’t met yet, and it actually is okay to be actively seeking a relationship, as long as it’s not taking over your entire life.

Did you know that this is the first time in American history that more women are having children in their thirties than in their twenties? Yup — and that’s not just me trying to be comforting — check out the facts right here. The mean age of women going through their first pregnancy is now 28, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is largely in part because they are also settling down later in life than they have in the past.

So if you’re reading this and in your late twenties or thirties and feel a little left out in the love department, remember that you are not running late, and you are not the minority. Often it’s the loudest people we notice the most, and that can craft an image in our heads of what we should be doing in our lives or what the majority looks like. Our perception becomes skewed based on the people who are making announcements, and we forget about those who are sitting in silence. People who are staying still or even struggling are far less likely to speak up about it. Those who haven’t yet found their special person just aren’t rambling about that on every Facebook and Instagram post.

I do think it’s important to keep up activities that you enjoy other than dating while you’re “shopping around” for the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, and it’s crucial to keep things as lighthearted and fun as possible in order to protect your heart until you know someone well enough to give them it one little piece at a time. You know how everyone always gives the annoyingly cliched advice that you’ll find the right person when you aren’t looking for them? This is often true — as I think opportunities pop up that we would never had dreamed up for ourselves — but I also think it’s great to keep putting a conscious effort into going after what we want, even if that’s a relationship. So go create a dating profile or sit next to the guy you’ve been crushing on from afar. Even though things often start happening when you stop worrying, it can never hurt to put yourself out there and be the very best version of you to prepare for the adventure of a lifetime with someone one day. Until then, though, remember that you’re never alone, and that there are so many people who can empathize with any struggles or frustrations that you have. Despite every human being incredibly unique from the next, our struggles are surprisingly so very similar.

Love And Pain

Pain and sickness are really difficult things to write about. Trying to describe things you’re feeling but  many people have never dealt with before is essentially attempting to put pen to paper about the way butterflies feel in the beginning of a relationship to someone who still has yet to experience it. You can use the right words, but they won’t really connect until they have something to relate it to.

For example, think about the way some of your first crushes felt, versus how actually being in love feels. They both have the same warm and fuzzy feelings as a base, but feel drastically different. That’s how I would compare temporary short-term pain, such as an injury or a broken bone,  to chronic, long-lasting pain. I’ve experienced both, and before getting sick I wouldn’t have had anything to draw from to compare to the new exhaustion chronic pain brings. You don’t ever get a break from chronic pain. Even when you can kind of ignore some of your problems on your good days, the bad days are right around the corner. I do a great job of not thinking too much about that when I am well, and I’ve gotten really good at living in the present when I can. Then, the bright side is that on bad days I know a good one just has to be right around the corner. Chronic pain is a vicious cycle, though, and wears you out to your core. Not only does everything hurt, but you also are always so incredibly tired from not being able to sleep. Whether your body is annoyed from being tense and having your muscles screaming at you all day long or your brain keeps you up thinking about the pain you’re feeling, you don’t get good rest. I don’t remember the last time I got in bed and just fell right asleep. It’s been years.

I’m constantly sending articles and trying to pull up scientific findings about my conditions to people I love because I want them to understand how I feel. God, I want to be understood. I hate feeling cranky because of my pain or having days where I can’t stand it anymore and just break down and cry. Granted, the latter are few and far between, but sometimes my body just can’t take anything else and needs some sort of outlet. Talking isn’t my best one because I want to help other people feel happy and good, so I don’t like to complain — or maybe I don’t know how to complain properly; I haven’t quite figured that one out yet. I love to write, but I don’t always have the strength, and frankly I don’t want to leave behind troves of essays on how much my body hurts.

I just don’t feel like anyone I’m incredibly close to has been in a situation quite like mine, and it’s minorly heartbreaking knowing that yes, I always have a shoulder to cry on, but I don’t have anyone who really gets it and can tell me that they know how I feel. That’s why I am motivated to write about my struggles. 

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Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want anyone I love and care about to ever understand chronic pain or any other kind of difficulties in life. One thing I’ve always been thankful for is that I’m the one with this problem. I would gladly take every pain away from the people I care about if it meant they didn’t ever need to face it themselves. Not only do I feel like God gave me a strong heart and will to keep pushing forward, but I think He gave me a beautifully optimistic outlook on things, and I’m really grateful for that. I think I’m handling the hurdles I’ve been thrown the best I possibly can, and I actually think that despite being a painfully average twentysomething, I am exceptional in accepting the negative things in life as a reality and then figuring out how they can turn into a blessing — or at the very least, something that doesn’t consume me. I have always said that I may have POTS, but POTS doesn’t have me. The same goes for my chronic widespread pain; it’s a big part of my life, but there’s no way in hell that chronic pain is going to take my entire life from me. I will count my blessings until the day I die, and today those are my loved ones, dogs, chocolate, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, and each and every one of you. 

What Is Micro Cheating?

Apparently this is a new phrase that has been coined because of the dozens of tiny behaviors that some people turn to so that they can still feel loyal, but have fulfillment in one way or another outside their romantic relationship.

Cheating is wrong. Always.

I consider cheating an absolutely unforgivable offense, but I know certain couples can get past it. What about micro cheating, though?

Any kind of serious flirting outside a relationship, having a desire to be physically or emotionally connected with someone who isn’t your partner and forming a special place in your heart for someone else all constitute for micro cheating. Here is an example given from The Skimm, 

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With the rise of social media, there are a million small components that go into relationships. I speculate that one of the reasons divorce is becoming more prominent could be due to riffs with social media and being so connected to the rest of the world. I keep hearing that social media sites are often cited in divorce court, as it gives another place for infidelity and a place for indiscretions to occur. There are endless options of people you can meet online, as well as the perfectly crafted images that come along with them. Whether it’s an irresistibly funny personality or beautifully enhanced photos, there are so many options for wandering minds and eyes to go to when a marriage feels like it’s failing.

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Sadly, I feel like this is only the beginning of using loopholes to seek attention outside a committed relationship. When you start going to outside sources for some sort of fulfillment, you are severely hurting the process to repair the broken pieces of your relationship. Every single couple in the world is going to have some sort of disagreement or problem at one time or another. In fact, the longer you are with someone, the bigger the chance is some sort of issue is going to come up. It’s just a fact of life that people are all unique and going to make different decisions and mistakes. Dealing with them openly and directly with your partner offer opportunities for growth and compromise in a relationship, and can ultimately actually strengthen it.

Relationships are interesting because there isn’t a lot that is completely black and white; a lot of topics are more of a grayscale. There are definitely things that one person may uncomfortable with that others find totally fine in a relationship, and vice versa. What’s most important is that your significant other cares enough to work through every little bump in the road together. If you feel like micro cheating is a part of your relationship, there is still hope to get back on track.

If you are the micro cheater, cut the person you cross the faint little lines with out of your social life. If this person is at work with you, keep things professional and don’t find little reasons to be alone with them. Reevaluate your relationship and ask yourself why you don’t feel fulfilled in the romantic department, and seek couples counseling if necessary. The other alternative is always breaking off the relationship if it isn’t the right one. I actually don’t believe every single person in the world is cut out for a monogamous relationship, and if you fit that category, don’t settle down or get in a relationship. There’s nothing wrong with being single, and you won’t hurt people who’s hearts are built for monogamy.

If your partner is the micro cheater, decide whether or not you are comfortable with the behaviors they exhibit that you thought of when you read this article and make sure you’ve communicated to your partner that you aren’t comfortable with the way they’re treating someone else. Once they’ve been made aware of the problem you should begin to feel more comfortable with the way things are being treated moving forward. They should always make your feelings valid and care about your heart, even if you perceive something wrong. It’s a big red flag if your significant other doesn’t take your concerns seriously. This doesn’t mean they’re cheating per se, but it does mean that they don’t feel like it’s their responsibility to help take care of your heart, and that’s not what a serious partnership is about.

Despite cheating — micro or otherwise — being a pretty prevalent part of today’s society, all hope is not lost. I know my own heart and that I can’t have any of the feelings that I do for Robert for anyone else, and that I would never consider straying from the wonderful partner in crime I’ve committed myself to. This gives me hope for anyone who feels stuck because I know there are other “Krista’s” out there who think the same way as I do. Robert is one of them, as are so many of my friends and family members. Don’t give up your dream of having someone who only has eyes for you just because of one crappy experience. There are people out there who would be so, so excited and lucky to get to love you, and only you, so please don’t settle for anything less than what you deserve. 

Date Smarter, Not Harder

Dating is something I would definitely say I was super-good at. I’m not the best mathematician, I am terrible at remembering everything I learned in history class, and I don’t know anything about camping or surviving in the wilderness, but I’m really good with people and feelings.

Just because you’re great at feeling things and reading others, though, doesn’t mean dating will be easy. There are a million different things that go into this process, some of which is circumstantial and just plain luck. A big part of dating is being able to control your emotions and think logically. When you can sync your heart to your brain and make them work together, you become so incredibly efficient in weeding out the people who aren’t right for you while keeping around someone who might be a good fit to be your forever and always.

Getting into a healthy relationship is so much easier if you have the right tools and cut out the bad habits that are holding you back from meeting people. So if you feel like you’ve had a hard time dating and letting go of crush after crush, I am going to give you a little dose of tough love and list a few behaviors to give up for 2018.

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  1. Realize that most people are not the exception to the rule. Sure, sometimes a bad boy can make for a great husband, the guy who plays hard to get can be a good catch, or the one who ghosted you on Bumble only to message you five weeks later on OK Cupid actually did just make a little mistake, but for the most part you can take things at face value and trust your gut. Stop trying to force things or make a crummy situation less painful by telling yourself stories that justify bad behavior. There are too many fish in the sea to pardon the ones who aren’t swimming in the same direction as you!
  2. Cut out the commitmentphobes. If you’ve been “talking to someone” for months with no signs of settling down, stop waiting for them to change their mind about the status of your relationship. A guy will know if he likes you pretty soon after y’all have started dating and if he doesn’t see what a great catch you are it’s his loss. Don’t try to show him what he’s missing out on or try to create scenarios where he’ll begin to fall for you. Your time is absolutely valuable, so move on to find someone who will recognize your worth without even trying.
  3. Stop chasing after indecisive guys. If you’ve been seeing someone for a little bit and he is still conflicted about how he feels about you versus another prospect, make up his mind for him and let the other girl have him. You do not want to be with someone who can’t see your worth, and it’s not your job to make him miss you once you’re gone. Block him everywhere and get excited about eventually meeting a guy who only has eyes for you and can’t wait to try to steal your heart.
  4. Don’t settle for behaviors that don’t show you respect. Yuck! People who aren’t respectful of other humans make me feel sick. If he pressures you physically, exhibits any signs of emotional or physical abuse, or throws cruel words at you, get rid of him. I hate hearing people say that gentleman don’t still exist because they absolutely do. Look for role models in your family or friend circles and remind yourself of them when you’re feeling a little defeated in the dating world. Even though these are all platonic examples, they will be great partners for another girl one day, which means there are people out there for you, too.
  5. Steer clear of people who don’t have the same values as you. If you want to date someone who is the same religion as you, wants the same kind of family, and prioritizes the same important things in life, don’t date the guy who is a polar opposite. This is wasting time on both ends of the relationship and will only end in heartbreak. Unless he changes his views — which is unlikely (see #1) — your heart will either be crushed by a breakup or a deep sadness in the relationship. It’s worth holding out for someone who will be your partner in the important parts of life.

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If you give up these five little destructive thought processes I promise your dating life will become much more bearable and efficient. Getting rid of duds seems tough in theory, but when you know what you’re looking for it becomes quite a bit easier. I always like having logical and practical actions to follow in the dating world because it can be really easy to let your heart take over and run away with your brain. By having a certain standard set for yourself, you eliminate some of the unnecessary heartache that comes along with dating the wrong guy. This may not be the most romantic blog post in the world, but it is so, so important and is definitely some of the best advice I’ve given on here. Let me know what your biggest dating frustrations or victories are, and I’d love to write more about that in my next post!

Taylor Swift Is My Spirit Animal

I’ve never been able to relate to the whole spirit animal thing. I don’t think there’s really an animal that I can compare my personality to. I wish I could just make it simple and say a dog, but I don’t think anyone can really say that; dogs are just too good for us.

Taylor Swift is someone I can completely relate to in so many different ways, though, so I’ve adopted her as my spirit animal.

That’s such a funny sentence because if you look at her life compared to mine it couldn’t be more opposite. She is in the public eye and has 105 million followers on Instagram, compared to my account just scraping the surface of 1,000; far more people read the songs that journal her feelings than these blog posts. Taylor has all the money in the world to spend on whatever she wants, owns my dream apartment in Manhattan, and gets to utilize the best makeup artists in the world for anything from red carpet events to just going to the gym. She has celebrity BFFs and can meet whoever she wants, but her heart still beats like a normal human being’s. She still has the exact same feelings as us, and articulates them so darn well that you forget what her reality is. Love or hate her, you have to admit Taylor is the queen of feelings and can bring them out in our lives despite living in very different circumstances.

I listen to Taylor Swift to get inspiration for different blog posts and they help me bring back feelings when I need to describe how I felt at any given time in my life. If you asked me about any of my experiences, I could tell you which Taylor song I was obsessed with in any significant chapter of my life.

For my first breakup I listened to, “All Too Well” on repeat — mainly because I loved one of the last lines of the song. It reminded me that broken promises aren’t something that make for a lasting relationship, and even though the song didn’t sing the tune that I would fall in love again, I knew that there was something bigger and better to come. “Begin Again” was the song that offered hope that I would one day meet someone who loved me despite the hardships that life might throw our way, and that I might not actually know what true love is yet.

Meeting Robert and falling in love with him confirmed that to me, and “Enchanted” soon became my new favorite song. He doesn’t know it (Until now, that is), but sometimes when I feel like my heart is going to overflow with love I’ll dance around my room and sing it at the top of my lungs. I think about the countless times he picked me up before he went overseas and drove me to and from his little apartment in the city just to have a little bit of time together. I remember how I felt when he wondered aloud how he met someone so compatible to his own heart, and I remember thinking about how he didn’t know quite how strongly I felt about him because I had my guard up. I blushed when he told me how he felt, and I tried my best to bottle up the words, “I love you” that were just dying to spill out. I remember the day I couldn’t contain myself anymore and decided to tell him how I felt. There hasn’t been a day we haven’t said those three little words since.

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When we started doing long distance for his deployment, the song “Ours” really touched my heart. I remember driving to my favorite local coffee shop one day and pulling to the side of the road to cry when that song came on the radio, as it brought up so many of the delicate feelings I had been having since he left several months before. I still can’t watch the music video without tearing up a little.

The really difficult feelings from my past have disappeared, but I can still remember them all so well. My heart remembers feelings the same way minds keep track of numbers, dates, or formulas. I don’t try to; I’m just programmed to rely on my heart more than anything. This is why I want so badly to reach out and let other people know that the hard emotions that you want to forget will disappear one day and be a distant memory. I want to share my experiences about falling in love and caring deeply about people because that’s what makes life so worthwhile, and we can all have those kind of feelings in our lives if we’re willing to put ourselves out there and risk getting hurt. Love is the one thing in the world I think is worth risking everything for, and when you find the person who’s heart beats to the same rhythm as yours, all the pain and heartache from your past begins to disappear.