Blur Between Life And The Internet

Hello friends!

I just looked at my blog and the last time I posted was almost a month ago on November 13. The last time I posted something I really kind of cared about was in October. I used to write all the time and have a hard time figuring out which things were and weren’t share-worthy. I often decided to not really filter myself, and posted everything, which meant you had a few things to read every week.

Lately I’ve had a hard time feeling motivated to post. I have a bunch of things I’d like to write about, but I’m having a few issues. First, I have a problem with women not supporting other women. I will likely write a post about this one day, but I struggle with the fact that not everyone wants the best for others, and that there are people out there who would be absolutely fine hurting me in one way or another. Second, I always want to be 100% authentic and real with y’all. I have a difficult time doing this and also maintaining an amount of anonymity for those in my life who didn’t ask to be written about. I want you all to know that with the beautiful things in life there are still struggles, but I also don’t think the Internet is a productive place for each hurdle life throws at me. Lastly, I have realized that oversharing can help so many people, but it can also cause a lot of pain. I am trying to find a balance of sharing important life lessons and details with you all, but still protecting myself and my loved ones.

Luckily I have some old drafts I am going to work on until I want to start writing again. I really want more than anything to be the open book I love, but I’ve also grown wiser and more jaded with releasing my most inner thoughts to anyone in the world to read. I hope. I can get out of this funk and start writing from my heart again! In the meantime, if you’re still following this little blog, thank you. I hope to start offering more to you again soon.

Love,
Krista

Setting Up Your First Dating Profile

I think my friends are completely taking over the OKCupid scene in the DC area. It’s the first website I recommend for girls who are looking to start online dating because it’s super simple, free, and a little bit less of a hassle than other sites since the guys typically come to you.

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My best friend joined recently and asked for some advice on setting up a profile, and I realized I actually had a lot to say on the matter. Here are the first five things you should do when initially setting up a dating profile:

  1. When choosing a screen name, choose something that represents you, but doesn’t give away any personal information. Do not use your name, numbers that signify your birthday or area code, or the school you attend. An OKC profile is public, which means anyone in the world can see it. Some ideas for a username could include a sports team you root for, an activity you enjoy, or a pop culture reference. Something like TeamRavenclaw, RedskinsFan, or Swiftie13 could be a good start. The people you will potentially date don’t have to understand the reference, but it can be a good conversation starter for those who do have that interest in common with you!
  2. Answer only questions that are truly important you. OK Cupid has a nice little feature that shows what percentage you and a match are with one another, and this can be super-helpful if you’re trying to sort through your matches quickly. If you’re not looking for a hookup, smoking is a deal-breaker, and you only want to date someone who is neat and tidy, answer those questions so that the percentage will reflect what’s really important to you. Questions like, “Do you enjoy discussing politics?” or “Is astrological sign at all important in a match?” may end up messing up the algorithm if those questions don’t matter to you very much, whereas questions about religion and seriousness of a relationship have more importance.
  3. Use recent photos that reflect who you are. When I was on OKCupid I started off using some of the best photos of myself that I had — some of which were from modeling I did in college. I had a couple of “regular” photos as well, but quickly switched over to all normal photos of what I looked like in my everyday life. When I used the glammed-up photos I actually felt more insecure about my profile, as I felt like guys might think I was catfishing them when we met up and I didn’t meet the standard of my perfectly-lit, lightly airbrushed photos. I felt a lot better knowing people were looking at the girl who would show up to the date we had planned, rather than the more perfect version of myself.
  4. Change your location to wherever you’d like to meet up with your dates. For example, if I technically live in one city, but am closer to DC than most of the rest of my area, I might just say my location is DC to eliminate an explanation of why I’d like to go on a date there instead of in my own town. Plus this makes it just a tiny bit more difficult for someone to track you down on Facebook.
  5. Fill out the entire profile, but don’t write a novel. I think making your profile reflect your personality is important, but the messages you exchange with someone will definitely play more of a role in whether or not you want to meet up with someone. A profile is a good place to write about a few things that are really important to you and showcase your personality. Don’t be afraid to put one or two things that you want in a date on your profile, but be careful about crafting it in a way that doesn’t sound like you’re being demanding of your dates. For example, I always wrote that I wasn’t looking for a hookup in my profile, as I didn’t want guys who just wanted a very casual date sending me a message. That saves both parties time and energy that they can use on other people on the site.

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Bonus tip: Don’t take online dating way too seriously, and have fun with it! The more pressure you put on trying to find something meaningful, the harder it is to relax and let things fall into place naturally. I know online dating can get old quickly — and sometimes get frustrating — but instead of giving up on it, take a break, enjoy some time with your friends, and come back to your profile when you feel like you can take things slowly again. There are so many fish in the sea, which is great because you have a lot of options, but it also means you’ll probably go through a lot of people who aren’t right for you before getting to a good match. Breathe, pace yourself, and enjoy. You never know when you might meet someone who will put an end to your online dating days, so enjoy this season of your life while it’s still around.

Technical Difficulties

Ugh! Guys, this whole “technology” part of running a blog is beyond me. I like writing a lot, but the rest of having a lifestyle blog is a bit stressful sometimes. I have to keep things pretty bare bones since I need to get help for any extra computer use (Because of the pain in my arms and my inability to sit at a computer for very long), but I know I have a little bit of work to do to update things.

So I’m going to very  s l o w l y  be making some changes. This is a reminder that as soon as I can get help I will be changing my URL to KristaLauren.com, so stay posted!

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I’m excited about some little surprises I have planned for my Single In The Suburbs family. Y’all will definitely be getting some new little treats in the next couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to continue to walk through life with y’all by my side. Thank you for being patient and thank you for staying such faithful friends! ❤

He Wasn’t Part Of My Plan

This is a continuation of my last post.

As I mentioned, Robert and I met when neither of us really were looking for a relationship. We had one of those instant connections, but a few things that came up on our first date — namely that he was leaving for a deployment six months later — that made me think we wouldn’t really go much further.

After our first date, though, he texted me saying what a great time he had and that he wanted to see me again. I felt the same way, so we went on date after date until I finally realized his deployment was right around the corner.

When we first met I didn’t want a relationship, but by the time Robert was leaving to go overseas I had decided he was the only guy for me, and that I was going to do the 9-12 months of long distance with him, even though I knew it was going to be incredibly difficult. The day Robert left was easily the hardest goodbye I’ve had to say to anyone. The next ten months have been incredibly difficult, as I’ve missed him every single day, but he’s also put my heart at ease with how much I trust him and through the actions he shows that I am still a priority in his life — even from over 6,000 miles away.

It feels like a lifetime ago since he was here, but I haven’t wanted anything else since he’s been gone. I miss going on dates, but only with Robert, not in general. I miss having my partner in crime around, and I miss laughing at his goofy jokes, but I know the wait will be more than worth it.

I’ve been trying to think of the perfect way to welcome him home since the day he left, and this is it (Please watch the 30 second video and help me rack up views!). Here is my “THANK YOU” video to everyone who has watched and shared to try to make this happen. I appreciate it more than you know, and whether or not we can make it happen I know Robert and I will be the two happiest people in the world in January.

(I know I am incredibly goofy, but I am actually excited to have found something that makes blogging a little easier on the days my arms are really killing me and nobody is home to help me write!)

Secret Santa Grinch

Oh my gosh guys, I am so embarrassed (side note: how many blog posts have I started with this introduction now? I’m having a serious case of Déjà vu).

I made such a silly mistake that made me seem like the biggest jerk ever.

So basically my good friend Kalika and I decided to set up a snail mail secret Santa. Sounds fun, right?! It’s the same a regular one — you draw a name and that’s the person you’re giving a gift to, except it’s all done by mail! She and I both love care packages and snail mail, so it’s perfect. You’re welcome, USPS.

Anyway, Kalika found a cool website called DrawNames.com that does all the organizing for you. You set up a profile in your little group, which includes your first and last name, address, and who you are supposed to send a gift to.

I’m not necessarily technologically challenged, but I also wouldn’t say technology and I are absolute BFFs. I’d say we’re really good friends because he’s super cool and entertaining and a generally good guy, but he sometimes decides to stab me in the back… So I should just be extra-alert when we’re hanging out.

Anyway, I was really confused when I got a package from Amazon in the mail.

What the heck did I order? I wondered to myself.

I’ve been doing some shopping for friends online lately, but I couldn’t remember purchasing anything from Amazon. Especially an item that would come in a slim envelope like the one sitting on my porch! The only thing I could really reason was that Petzi, the present Robert had sent me from Amazon, had forgotten something in my first package.

I went to the kitchen and opened it, only to find this note and Amazon gift card enclosed:

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What in the world?! I thought to myself. Who could have possibly known I would want a Kylie lip kit? Yes, I have been more into makeup lately — especially lip products — but I don’t remember talking to anyone about this particular item.

My first thought was Robert, as he’s always great at giving gifts randomly, and even better at reading my mind (As you will see in my next post!). I thought about it a little more, though, and there were too many things that didn’t add up. First, he wouldn’t have a clue what kind of makeup things were “trendy” right now. These lip kits are kind of for makeup (Or KUWTK) fanatics. Second, he’s probably never in his life purchased any sort of lip products, so wouldn’t realize that some of these kits can get very expensive compared to others. Third, how the heck would he ever pick out a color for me?! Girls would know that I’d be into the “Candy K” or “Kristin” shade, but Robert might think trying something risky like “Dead of the Night” or worse — “Trick” would be cool. Yikes.

I sat down and thought really hard. Then it all hit me at once.

Oh my gosh, my brain went into panic mode as I rushed to my laptop. My fingers thought faster than my mind, and swiftly typed “Gmail” into the browser. Then I searched, “Secret Santa” and clicked on the last email link we had been sent. It took me to the group page and I clicked the blue “Krista.” This is what I was met with:

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Everything clicked all at once as I had a flashback.

The day we created this page I was offered to “create a wishlist” for what I wanted. I remember thinking how stupid this option was, as you shouldn’t ask your Secret Santa for exactly what you want. What’s the point if you’re just going to request something? I still clicked the link, though, because the “Kylie Lip Kit” suggestion caught my eye. I scrolled through the page of recommendations, and clicked out of the page, never to give it a second thought.

Until now.

I seemed like such a jerk to some girl I don’t even know! Everyone in the Secret Santa group ended up being Kalika’s friends, most of whom I hadn’t met. I immediately felt like a moron, as any of my friends would understand this was just another goofy “Krista story,” but this person just had the impression that I demanded Kylie lip kits right and left. I looked back at the incredibly sweet note she had included and felt even worse. Most people would be so annoyed at someone demanding something that was more than twice the amount we were supposed to spend for this gift exchange, but this girl was so sweet and genuine about her gift that I really felt bad. I quickly texted Kalika with a rant about how embarrassed I was, and sent this message to the Secret Santa group:

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Luckily the person who gave me this sent me a message and was so kind about the misunderstanding, but it was still lightly traumatic for me. I hate being high maintenance or making other people feel uncomfortable, which is so unfortunate considering the person I am and how often I make goofy mistakes.

Today’s lesson: I should not be allowed to try new technologies — at least if they can affect another person!

You. Are. Strong.

I was just watching the final episode of Ben And Lauren: Happily Ever After? (Can we all please just act like I’m supposed to watch things like this since I write primarily about dating?) and it inspired me to write a new post.

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Photo Credit: Jose Perez/Splash News

Don’t settle for someone who isn’t certain of you. It broke my heart when I heard Lauren say that she felt like she wasn’t sure what she’d do without Ben, that she couldn’t imagine a life without him, but that she still wondered whether or not he thought she was good enough for him. This comment hit me hard because I’ve been there before, and it sucks. The overwhelming feeling that you have wondering if you really could go on without your partner while simultaneously realizing they may not want you in their life is one of the sharpest pains your heart can possibly feel.

You know what I learned in my life, though? I can survive without him. I can survive without the next him, and the next. Of course I want a man who I don’t want to live without, but the reality is that I am a strong and resilient human being — even when I am hurting — and I can absolutely walk away from a relationship if I am not being treated well. If someone is treating me poorly or stepping out of our relationship, I have a wonderful support system of people who will get me through the breakup and help me back onto my feet until I do find the guy I’m supposed to be with.

It took years for me to learn so many of these life lessons, but now that I’ve realized all of this there is no way in hell I am going to stay with a man who is unsure of his feelings about me once he really knows my heart. The beginning of a relationship is the time where you get to know someone and after you get comfortable with them you see whether or not you really are compatible in everyday life. No, I wouldn’t want every single guy I date to be sure he wants to marry me right off the bat, but once we decide we do want to spend forever together, statements like, “I love you, but I’m just not sure if we are right for one another…” are a really, really big deal.

Someone I once thought was going to be my forever finally told me he loved me, but wasn’t sure whether we were really supposed to be together, and instead of leaving I stayed… And stayed… And stayed…

By this point in our relationship we knew each other like the back of our own hands and honestly, in hindsight, he was very right. We weren’t right for each other. I still respect this person and want nothing but the best for him, and I do hope he finds a girl he never has to wonder about. That’s the kind of love I am going to wait for, and I know I’ll have it one day. No matter how hard things get it won’t be a question over whether or not we want to be in each other’s lives, rather it will be a matter of how to get over the hurdles life throws at us together.

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Today’s lesson: Once we take anxiety about being alone out of the equation I believe we can often think so much more clearly. Instead of settling for someone because you just want to find “your other half,” wait for the person who will be your partner in crime and a costar in your story. Until then, learning how to be strong while you’re single will help you wait for the love you really deserve.

Boyfriends And Birthdays

I think by now I’ve written enough that you all know I am a flawed human being. I make mistakes on a regular basis, and I sometimes own up to them on here.

Today I am going to write about something I actually am kind of ashamed to admit. I used to measure how much my boyfriend loved me by what he would get me for my birthday… Or Christmas, or Valentine’s day. Yep, that’s about it.

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You see, I haven’t dated the right kind of guy for the way my heart loves in the past. I’m someone who feels loved when someone spends time doing something for me. Some of the best gifts I have given and received from loved ones have included scrapbooks, beautifully written letters, and such perfectly tailored “Krista presents” that I just know the person spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to get me. One of my biggest love languages is gift giving, and it’s never about the money spent, but it’s all about the thought put behind the gift (Or — my favorite — the words written in a card).

This year is different, though. This year I am with someone who I absolutely positively know from the bottom of my heart cares about me and loves me to my core. He shows me in his actions and tells me every day how much he cares.

Instead of (cringe) having my best friend “help” my boyfriend pick something out because he didn’t know my style or would wait until the last minute to make a Target run otherwise, I was 100% genuine when I told Robert that he didn’t need to get me anything this year, and that I just wanted him to come home. Even though he did end up mailing me something (Which I will still wait to open until tomorrow!), I would have been completely happy getting a Skype call and a sweet note on December 3rd. My heart has never felt so content with someone the way it feels with him.

I’ve learned that if you’re with a person who really gets you and knows how to make you feel loved, that the whole “love language” thing isn’t such a big deal anymore. It still matters, but doesn’t dictate the entirety of your relationship because you feel safe and secure. You know your person is thinking about you, even if you can’t talk every single day or do the whole “good morning” and “goodnight” texting. I used to think that I needed a man who would do those things for me every single day. After all, sending a text only takes about a minute, I would reason to myself. My boyfriend should certainly be able to do that for me every day!

Holy crap is it amazing not worrying about little things like that anymore! Until I started writing tonight I haven’t realized in the fourteen months we’ve been dating* Robert doesn’t typically send me those texts — yet I know that every morning when he wakes up he’ll think of me, and the same goes for falling asleep at night. I no longer need a set routine to feel loved, and I don’t  read into every little thing my boyfriend does or doesn’t do to know that he cares about me. I just know. No matter what happens, this is the kind of relationship I want for my future. I want someone who makes love feel easy, and someone who makes me feel secure in our relationship so that when little things fall out of place they don’t rock us. Life is long, messy, and has its fair share of ups and downs. Why make something like love more complicated than it needs to be? Forget about the rules Cosmopolitan creates to “make your relationship fulfilling,” and find someone who makes love seem so easy that when times do get hard you have a solid foundation to stay afloat on.

Today’s lesson: If little things like not getting a “good morning” text every day bother you immensely, please take a minute really think about your relationship. Is he treating you the way you would like your best friend to be treated? Is he treating you the way you treat the people you love? Do you feel loved in this relationship — not just on holidays and special days, but on sick days, and on Mondays? If the answer is “No” to any of these, sit down and take fifteen minutes to really think about whether or not this seems to be a satisfying relationship. This is one of the scariest things you can do when you love someone and are attached to them, but if they’re not the right person for you letting them go sooner rather than later opens a door for the kind of love you do want in life. You never know when your person might pop into your life. Don’t be taken by someone who won’t be in your future to miss meeting someone who would be great there.


*I don’t know how long to say I’ve been dating Robert! Our first date was fifteen months ago, but we weren’t exclusive until a few months after that.

Lessons Learned In Love

I’ve had my heart broken a few times and it always feels like a small piece of you goes away that will never heal. At first this seems discouraging. After all, I don’t want to lose any of myself in a relationship. Then I think about what I have gained.

I decided to make a list of what I’ve gained from my exes or even just people I casually dated. I encourage you to do the same, as it offers great wisdom with the way you want your future to look like.


My boyfriend in college taught me that I could completely open up to someone and be loved. He taught me that my flaws were okay, and showed me some of my strengths I didn’t even know existed. He also taught me a very important lesson on giving people a chance, and that a date is just that — a day on the calendar in which you make plans with someone to get to know him better. It doesn’t make you obligated to do anything after that.

The first guy I dated who turned into a jerk taught me that sometimes you can be great to someone who doesn’t deserve it, and that it isn’t always up to him to break things off when they become unfair. He taught me that I am so much stronger than I ever realized, and that just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean they have to be a part of your life. Through our unhealthiness, he taught me what a healthy relationship should look like. He also taught me to pay close attention to how a man treats his family — because that is likely the way he will treat his wife one day, too.

The first person I crushed on after a bad breakup taught me that I could feel butterflies around new people and that not everyone I like will like me back. He taught me that sometimes people are more interested in a chase than they are in a relationship, and he taught me that I needed to be more careful with my heart.

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One man I casually dated taught me that it’s so important to be with someone who you can have fun with just sitting on the couch, playing board games, or entertaining yourselves with music and conversation. He also taught me that you don’t have to have everything in common with a significant other, but it’s important to have some similar interests. I learned from our relationship that just because someone knows your heart and loves you for it doesn’t mean they’ll never hurt you. He taught me how quickly someone’s actions can change, and he taught me that I can respect myself enough to walk away as soon as someone treats me poorly. This was a big step up from where I began with dating.

My first deep and passionate love taught me that God often has different plans for you than you do for yourself. You can’t always control when or where you meet someone you’ll fall for, and you never know when an acquaintance might just turn into someone who changes your life forever. This man teaches me what it is like to be loved to your core and how to be selfless in a relationship. He doesn’t let a day go by without telling me how much he cares for me, but he also shows me this is true by making me a priority and spending time on me. He respects me, he loves me exactly the way I am, and he takes care of me, even when I don’t need him to. He has taught me what I want in a future spouse, and makes me want to be the kindest, most caring, and loving version of myself.

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Today’s lesson: None of your past was a waste of time. I have made so many mistakes that I sometimes wish I could take back, but they are what made me the person I am today. I am more empathetic, understanding, kind, and accepting because of what has happened in my life. When I really take the time to think about it, I wouldn’t change a thing; now I can write about things that have hurt me and I have done wrong so that others might escape from some of the pain I have endured in my own life. I also may not have the love in my life that I do today had my past not gone the way that it did, and I am infinitely thankful for that.

A Very Sleepy Friday

I’ve been really tired the past week or so. I think part of it is because I haven’t gotten my B12 shot in two weeks and I’m supposed to get them every single Friday. Whoops!

Having a chronic illness is exhausting in itself, but remembering to do everything to keep myself up and running is also a full-time job. I try to keep writing for my blog on a regular basis too, but life sometimes gets in the way.

I have, however, kept up with my Instagram account! I’ve been doing the “30 days of thankfulness” challenge, which has been pretty entertaining. It’s sometimes hard to come up with an idea and a picture. Today I decided to be a little silly but share a message that’s close to my heart. Being a teenager is one of the hardest things we do in life. You really could not pay me enough to be that age again.

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I think it’s important to share some of the things we’ve learned with people who maybe are still trying to figure things out. Whether that’s sharing your story of a struggle you’ve gone through or talking about how you became successful about something, we can all learn something new from one another. I think that’s one of the coolest things about life; everyone has their own neat little story and you can always find something new to take away from a conversation.

Anyway, this is my little ramble of the day because I wasn’t really feeling any of the drafts I have saved and I’m not in the mood to write about anything super-feelingsy today. Can this just be an acceptable post since this is, after all, a lifestyle blog?

Failing The Stress Test

“Oh no!” he cried from the passenger seat. “That was our exit!”

“Hey, now we have more time to spend together,” I said as I looked at him slyly. I am directionally challenged, so making mistakes on the road wasn’t a new thing for me.

I took the next exit as we laughed cheerfully about some of the details from our date. We finally got back to campus, and he walked me to my dorm before saying goodnight.


A year later things had changed a little.

“Sweetheart, that was the exit we were supposed to take,” he scolded me harshly.

I rolled my eyes to myself. “Oh, it’s not a big deal, I’ll take the next one and Siri will re-route us,” I said calmly. It was strange that this seemed to be one of the many things we fought about lately. We weren’t on any sort of time constraint to get anywhere, so I didn’t understand the severity of my mistake. I was human, after all. He ought to know I am bound to mess up some… Right?

Why was it that every time the word “sweetheart” came from his lips I felt so low? It was supposed to be a word said with kindness for someone you love…


It was raining, but we decided to go out anyway.

“DAMN IT,” he cried in frustration. “You were supposed to turn there! Why weren’t you paying closer attention?”

The word “You” seemed to only be uttered when it was paired with harsh criticism. Sometimes “You are beautiful” would slip from his lips, but I had trouble taking the compliment. Did he think my heart was beautiful, or was this just lust? The timing of it always seemed too strange to be genuine.

Tears hid behind my eyes, but my body was used to working without my heart now. I knew how to turn off my feelings and shut everything down until I was home alone in my room and could cry if I still had the energy to. After all, I knew I would get scolded if I cried in front of him. It was the same cycle over and over again. I would make a mistake — even as simple as missing an exit or a turn — he would scold me harshly, and I would hold back tears. In his eyes I couldn’t do anything right anymore. I didn’t know why he still stayed with me, but he told me that I was lucky to be with a man who respected my boundaries — though I didn’t even feel this rang true anymore. I didn’t think our relationship was normal, but he claimed that we never fought and that most couples had far worse arguments than ours. A small piece of me believed him. That’s what made me stay.

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He didn’t understand why I didn’t feel good when I was with him. It didn’t matter, though, as long as I could pretend I was okay. If I held it together just enough to make it through the day at least he had a chance at being happy. I would rather watch him be happy than feel that way myself anyway. I would do anything to make him happy — even when it was completely wrecking the cheerful girl who used to be so full of life.

I felt so empty; saying I was a shell of my former self would be an understatement. Calling me a robot might be a little more accurate, but at least they can be charged to have energy. I went through the motions every day, but wasn’t really living. Every decision I made was at a sad attempt to make him feel good. Why did he seem so miserable still? Why wasn’t anything I was doing for him making his life any better?

He told me how to make him happy. Sometimes it would be letting him live his life without me by his side, other times it would be compromising my values or my dreams for him.

“Compromise: Noun. An agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions.”

What the hell was his concession? I followed him to work toward his life goals. I was ready to give up all the people I loved in my life to start a new one with him. I gave away my happiness and I gave away pieces of myself for him. And what did I get in return? Scolded.


“Let’s say your best friend was dating your boyfriend and you knew how he treated her. What advice would you give her?” A close friend finally asked me.

“I would tell her to break up with him and find someone who would treat her so much better,” I replied without hesitation. My best friend deserves someone who loves her more than anything in the world. Someone who will take care of her heart and her well-being as best as he possibly can. He will hurt when she hurts, learn all of the little things that make her smile, and plan a future with her that they are both excited about. He’ll look at her the way my boyfriend once did — like she’s the most beautiful person who has ever existed — but her guy’s love won’t burn out like ours had.

Holy shit. It hit me like a ton of bricks. Instead of feeling pain from the blow, I felt like a heavy weight was lifted from my chest. This was a moment that changed my life. I knew I deserved the same kind of love I wanted for my best friend. After all, I consistently told her when she wasn’t treated right that she would find a guy who would be her best friend and love her the way that every human being deserves to be loved. What kind of example was I setting to the women in my life about what love should look like? To be fair, they only saw the nice little snippets of my social media with him, which consisted of few and far between #TBT pictures or dates, but most of the time the smile in those pictures was only painted on my face. It wasn’t the genuine light that used to shine from my soul.

After months of dealing with so much, this moment showed me exactly what I needed to do. Break up with him.

And that’s what happened. I broke up with the guy who didn’t care about anything except his own happiness and satisfaction in our relationship. As soon as I realized it wasn’t my job to make the most selfish human in my life happy, joy rushed back into my body. I could feel again, I could breathe again, and I even learned to love again.

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Today’s lesson:
Never, ever settle for someone who makes you compromise who you are for them. Be with someone who genuinely cares about your well being — and until you find that person, you can certainly be happier staying single and loving yourself than dating the wrong person.