This week at lunch, I spent some time talking to my colleagues about love and relationships. My colleague is a male in his early twenties and he has brought to my attention that there are so many myths on what the men think women want and we have touched on the subject of fear of rejection, fear of letting someone in and being hurt. This made me think that we live in a world of assumptions and are not taking nearly as many chances and risk, as we probably should when it comes to love. So, there we were two single people with two absolutely extremely opposing understanding of relationships.
The first thing that struck me was that he said "women love money, all you have to do as a man, have shitloads of money," Hmm, what a thought. I respectfully disagree. Whilst having stable financials may make life a bit more glossy, money cannot buy attention or care. As a woman, what I'd say we want more and appreciate more is attention. We want to feel cared about, it is all in details. When you dress up and get complimented on your look, or when you feel down and your man just hugs you, or when he travels and suddenly you get a text with a photo of something that he saw and it reminded him of you - these little things are worth much more than money. In fact, when I meet a guy who starts bragging about his mercedes or life full of luxury, I start looking the other way. Being someone rather active and realistic, and imperfect - definitely not looking for a perfect show off arrogant person. It is also to be said that sometimes, you'll meet someone wealthy who is still discrete and has other values, yet that is super rare.
Also, when we women say we like to receive flowers, we are not asking for a bouquet of 100 roses. In fact, some of us do not even appreciate roses and prefer other flowers. All we want is a small gesture of love and romance. So, next time maybe think what would make her happy, or what would make her feel special and remember it is quality not quantity that matters.
The other thing that we talked about was fear of rejection. Euh, we all know that feeling. So, he was saying that he'd rather not take the risk to come up to a girl even if she caught his eye because he is afraid she'll turn him down. Yes, clearly that is a risk and a hit to your ego but is it going to get in between you and a chance of meeting someone amazing? And then even if you take that risk, are you feeling afraid to let the person into your life?
I mean we can all chit chat about anything and everything and even sometimes we may drop in a line with a personal story but to get through that wall of personal insecurities and stories, usually takes a lot of time. The thing is, it is a super scary thing in the moment but when you fully let someone in, you are building your relationship and before you know it your interaction becomes that much more amazing. In any relationship, you've got to be willing to get naked literally and metaphorically with a window to your soul.
Being single in 21st century is an experiment, like a social case study that is being evaluated under microscope daily. Of course, we are no lab rats and there are no injections that transform us, but we are subject to societal pressure and heartbreaks hurt like hell. Let's have a look at a few scenarios:
At the end of the day, it is not the society that we try to please, of course, it is your inner peace and mind and what really matters is what you are looking for. Yet how can one be sure of what they want when all we have today is choices?
The list of choices, options and doubts is limitless and yet ironically, when it comes to love these days we are more limited than ever. Perhaps this is why the circles of people who are actually looking for the same thing in life have gone narrower thus making it harder for us to meet. Could it be?
The looks and personality remain a trigger for an initial connection and yet it is no longer enough. I used to think that when you find the person who makes you laugh, who makes you comfortable to be yourself, with whom you connect emotionally and physically --> you won a jackpot. Look no further kind of a situation. Recently I was proven wrong on numerous occasions, because he was not ready, or he did not have time for anything serious but happy to meet up non-exclusively. And that's where it begins that false hope:
They say love find you, you do not find it and it happens in a moment of serendipity. They also say love is about taking risks, letting your hair down and feeling free, I do not know if the lockdown has made more sceptical and sentimental at the same time or whether these thoughts are just flowing from within, but I am just really trying to feel hopeful for love not being lost in translation and for love to find its way to all the single hearts out there in whatever shape or form that it may come to you, accept it.
Today's post is inspired by the upcoming Valentine's Day and although the occasion is completely commercialised, and has somewhat become obsolete - it has still inspired me to share with you my thoughts on the matter. Despite the fact that I am usually the last one to notice if someone has a crush on me, I have grown to recognise a few signs here and there, though sometimes these are also misleading. So here goes my try at recognising the signals and signs when someone has a crush on you.
First of all, I haven't been this inspired since April 2018 and I was going through a tough break up then, which is definitely not the case today, as I am single and have been for a while now. The inspiration for this post came partially from the recently watched screen version of the "Little Women" and partially from talking to a friend this morning. Aside from the fact that "Little Women" has now made the top of my reading list, it has inspired me to connect and see the various characters in light that is both scary and beautiful at the same time.
I have recognised myself in Jo March, a fierce and determined young woman, striving to defy any social standards and moving forwards to succeed as a novelist in a world, where it seems that everything is against her. She fights a battle that society tells her she'd loose and yet she never gives up. She is tempered and emotional and beautiful mess, and she does not see how all that energy around her and her creative mindset attract the men around her, so she declines the offers of marriage until she meets someone so unconventional as herself. Jo March though distant from some of her family members cares so much for her sisters, that she is willing to give up her happiness for them. And yet there is something that she said that stuck in my mind:
“Women have minds and they have souls as well as just hearts. They’ve got ambition and they’ve got talent as well as just beauty. I am so sick of people saying that love is just all a woman is fit for. I’m so sick of it! But—I am so lonely.” - Jo March (Little Women, 2019 film)
This speaks to so many women out there. It is like on one hand we are expected to find love and that the love we find will define our future, This makes me so angry because as Jo so rightfully put, marriage won't define who you are. Marriage might help financial troubles, might resolve the problem of having to find a friend for life but it will not define you. And yet without a long term partner that understands you, speaks the same language and finds you so incredibly beautiful inside out is almost needed to us like oxygen. Not because we will then follow in the steps that society wants us to but because we need to feel that human connection, that touch and that reassurance and comfort that can be only found in the right partner.
This then brings me to a conversation that I had with a friend asking me "why do women fall for men that are not right for them and treat them badly?". Well, we do not fall for men that treat us badly, actually we do not even fall for men at all. What we fall for are the details:
Often when we talk about heartbreaks, we think of relationships with the significant other. What we should be thinking about are the relationships in general: with our managers, colleagues, friends, family, and ultimately ourselves. Heartbreaks came into my life in many different shapes and forms and one thing I've learned from these is the ability to bounce back like nothing happened; some may even argue that this helped me become more resilient. Our heart is exposed to a very wide spectrum of emotions, which sometimes, and I admit, might be challenging to control. For instance, disappointment is a major feeling that we experience, which also can be argued is brought onto us by our own expectations, and find it tough to forgive. Forgiveness, on the other hand, comes with a lot of courage and acceptance, none of which are easily given to anyone. So, tonight's post is about 27 heartbreaks that made me who I am today:
This post is definitely inspired by the film Deux Moi (Someone, somewhere) directed by Cédric Klapisch that was just recently released in the cinemas in Switzerland. Aside from the film being beautifully filmed with the perfectly timed silent scenes, the idea behind the film is multilayered and so very much relatable to daily lives of humans in 21st century.
Without truly giving away the plot, I'd like to elaborate on a couple of key topics highlighted in the film:
Blindness: or perhaps a better word would be ignorance. We go through life focused on our jobs, our smartphones and social media, we sometimes pass by someone without really noticing the person because we are too much in our own heads. Sure, we all have issues be at work or in personal life and we sometimes get tangled in the thinking of trying to find a solution and get out of the web, but we ran around so much that we forget to stop and look up for a minute. Some of us do not even know their own neighbours, because let's face it aside from being blind we are all so very busy and there is never the time to make an effort. But what if the person you need to meet is living right across the street? or what if the next big break you are going to get is going to come from a stranger you smiled to at the coffee house and who would be then happy to help you advance in your professional career? why is it easier to stick our noses in the phones and then complain that there is nothing happening around us? Why don't we just open our eyes and souls to the world instead?
Loneliness: sadly, we are all familiar with this feeling. Loneliness has nothing to do with the fact whether or not you are in a relationship because you might be surrounded by thousands of people and still feel lonely. In fact, a relationship is not supposed to fill the emptiness in your heart completely, on the contrary, it is supposed to make an already whole person be the best version of themselves and for two people to be together, each should be a person on its own. Some of us get a pet to fulfil that void and actually, someone once told me that I should get a dog if I wanted to learn about love. Perhaps, they were right, the feeling of loneliness comes and goes in waves and we either choose to find creative ways to feel less lonely at times and prioritise ourselves or we give into that feeling, which is then, more often that not, followed by the feeling of self-pity. So, if you are reading this and you are feeling lonely - go out there and find a creative solution. Drinking or casual sex will only stop that feeling for a certain amount of time - find something that makes you happy - a hobby, a sport, make a new friend - but go out there and do not be afraid to feel vulnerable.
Fear: In the past, I have written a lot about fear and it is still the biggest enemy that stands between you and your dreams. Embrace your fears, face them and let them know that you are ready to strip down and feel vulnerable but you are a fighter and are ready to tackle the insecurities one by one - until the fear is a minor spot in the corner of your mind that does not influence your actions. If you love someone - pick up your phone and let them know, if you are unhappy at work - write that resignation letter and feel relief, if you are scared of heights - take a piloting class, you name it. Jump into your next adventure, and if you are lucky, your friends and family would be there by your side to make it happen. After all, what is the worst case scenario that could happen? As long as you are not putting lives in danger, you will survive the consequences, trust me.
Comfort: this is a tricky one. we are all looking for comfort but when it gets too close to comfort, we get scared. Maybe it is because we are looking for comfort in the unknown, whereas we should be finding comfort first of all in ourselves - learning to be at ease with ourselves, which will actually help to step out the comfort zone. and also look for comfort in friendships and our families - do not push the people that are close to you away.
Love: well this one is obvious, or is it? we often talk about love when we talk about loving someone else. we rarely talk about learning to love ourselves, maybe because there are more people that love themselves too much. or maybe because it is something that requires courage. we all look for love but see with time I am starting to realise that love is like happiness - it is not a destination - love is a state of mind, a choice that we make each morning and a journey that we take each day, and it is entirely up to us who we take with us on this adventure. People say that when you meet the one, you will know he is the one. And I am recently starting more and more to believe that this is the case. You feel it in the way they look at you, the shared touch and the silent moments, which say more than a thousand words - and it won't be about their weight or height, nationality or even their job. It would be about your heart connecting with theirs. Trust me, you'll see.
Self-awareness & Acceptance: I've grouped these together because often one leads to the other. It is often an introvert who would or could spend hours on self-analysis, which honestly, overthinking is not very useful - but being self aware is something that we should all be. Self -aware and self-accepted, being who we are and loving being that person leads us to more like-minded people and positive situations. In all honesty, I believe in the law of attraction and swear by it - so if you are not there, take time for yourself. Learn your likes and dislikes - do not be ashamed or afraid to be who you are and accept it as reality. Trust me - once you have this in your mind, great things are bound to happen to you.
ps: I am looking forward to Christmas hence the music below - not very related to the post :)
It is now somewhat a cliché that any single girl out there has her own perfect checklist, which she uses to identify if a guy she met will suit her for a long lasting relationship. While the cliché has been ironised and portrayed in various lights in all of American romantic comedies, most of the girls would deny the fact that there is a list. Well, the thing is that we all understand that the less you plan for love, the more unexpectedly it will hit you; and yet we somehow hopelessly hope for something magical. Perhaps, the fairy tales are to blame for the idealistic image that we have in our heads, or perhaps, we live in the world with so much drama, trauma and bitterness that we just pray for something sweet in our lives. Ironically, though men might not have a checklist, they also have an idea in their head of the perfect woman, and yet some settle for the next best thing, perhaps out of safety? Also, I may be terribly wrong in my thinking, so please do not take this post by the letter.
So what happens if you meet your perfect person, or who you think is your perfect person but they are already a) taken b) interested in you but only for one thing and c) not interested at all. Do you give up? Do you keep searching? Do your friends try and re-assure you that he was not right for you? Or is it option d) you both thought you were a perfect match until the day one of you breaks the trust? The thing is that in all of the above cases no checklist is going to help to resolve the issue and most importantly help you regain the trust in another person.
For the longest time ever, I have been doubting myself after the events that have accumulated in my life, and have been thinking that there is no way of turning the page and being able to let someone fully into my life and to be able to trust again. I knowingly chose people that were in my life, who I knew would sooner or later hurt me. This would mean that the events turn out as expected and no dreams would be shuttered, well at least at a lower cost.
All things considered and circumstances being as they are, personally, I am not sure to be completed ready to trust someone again but it is work in progress of course. Right now, I am just trying to give myself some space and most importantly time to heal and redefine what is it that makes me happy and what kind of person would make me be the best version of me. It is true that if one day I meet someone, I'd like to become a big part of his life, motivate and inspire him and so that we can be best versions of ourselves when we are together or apart. This of course, goes back to my initial purpose in life of making a difference in someone's life and leaving a meaningful footprint.
Recently, I have been asked to share my list, well not particularly this list, because I have many, but I have been trying to avoid this. Now that I do not really have much to loose or regret, here goes my perfect checklist:
Also a short list of my weaknesses:
Do we live in a generation where fear of commitment and responsibility slows down any chance of a relationship that can last for longer than 3 days? Is the reality of modern dating limited to one night stands and open relationships? Is the art of chivalry replaced by the art of seduction? Will the gallantry of 1920's make a comeback? Will it ever become "cool" to charm a woman again or will will our society just go downhill from now?
The true fear really should be that the answer to all of the above-mentioned questions might be "Yes". The society has a tiny percentage of people who want to settle down and sadly the chivalry is one of the rarest finds. Social Media is not helping in resolving this equation with numerous unknowns. Life that we see on Instagram is covered with filters and fake smiles. Yes, I am guilty of the social media phenomenon and I take part in the whole social circle of pretentious lifestyle - and yet for the most part I am doing this for me and not for anyone else (not that I am trying to find a justification for my behaviour). Occasionally, you would see an authentic post or two but the fact that it is on social media - makes it slightly less believable.
Aside from the "fake lives" on Instagram, social media gives the endless pool of opportunities for dating and there is always going to be that lingering feeling over your head to find out if there's someone else out there. In one way, the feeling is natural and I guess you would always doubt your decision no matter what - but you'd like to come home at the end of the day to the person who when you look in his eyes and he hugs you - you feel safe and you feel home: and no social media posts matter anymore.
I find the human behaviour rather fascinating and it is only by the observation that you make some interesting finds. How does one act in a situation tells a lot about their character. Sometimes, when you are on a bus and you see someone stare out of the window and smile - they are smiling when no one is watching, and in that moment you know they are happy. All these little details they matter, how does one act in anger - is also a tell: do they remain respectful or do they loose control?
Apologies, we went slightly off topic. The point is that the society today is shaping our behaviour and the way we interact with people. We go through life with the ups and downs and make a few mistakes along the way and then question every step you take. Is this because we are constantly in a race against time or in a rush to compare our lives to the others? I guess we just live in a generation of fear.
The list is endless and relevant to anyone out there. Some people say that I am simply overthinking but then am I? --> share your thoughts in the comments below.
A week ago, a friend of mine suggested that I do a post or better yet create a blog purely dedicated to dating, which would result in higher traffic and might be slightly more popular. I thought of it and after a careful consideration, I decided to vote against this. Dating is rather personal and in 21st century, dating is already so publicised via dating applications, and online status updates - that I feel like there should a be a little bit of intimacy and privacy left to the concept. So, I won't be doing a series of 100 Tinder dates, or series of ex-boyfriend experiences, trust me the exes do not want me to or they do not know that they do not want to be mentioned here yet.
It is, however, true that there are other single girls out there that are looking for their one big love, like Carrie Bradshaw once did. I understand their struggle, insecurities and the fear of societal pressure of not fitting in. When you get to the age, where every second weekend is reserved for a wedding, as a single twenty something, you start thinking and evaluating your life and although, you won't admit it publicly, you secretly wish for what your friends' have: a stable relationship, a family, and a life outside of work that does not require meeting someone new each evening and tell the same story of your life all over again. Ever feel this way?
Well, there is a lot to be said about dating in the 21st century, but I decided to talk about something rather generic and fun. So let's talk about the 10 types of guys you are bound to meet on Tinder.
I've been on and off Tinder for a couple of years now, and had both good and bad experiences with the app. Being someone who is looking for a serious relationship each time, the irony I KNOW, I am very careful with whom I actually meet in person. Anyway, there is my list - comment below if you can relate:
Today, I have really been inspired and I wanted to share my thoughts with you on friendships. We go through various stages of our lives and make friends as we go along on the journey of life. Sadly, or as life would have it - we do not always get to stay in touch with the friends that we have made in elementary school, high school or even college. All we get is an occasional Facebook notification to congratulate XXX on their wedding or on a birth of a child. In some ways, this makes you re-asses your own life and makes you want to reconnect with the friends from your past to catch up and reminisce about the good old days.
However, there is that slight minority of people, with whom we stay in touch for years, decades and we know we will have each other in our lives no matter the distance nor the time zones. Being surrounded by friends is what keeps us going every day: having a shoulder to count on, someone who has our backs. If you have the circle of friends that you have created for yourself - appreciate them, do not hurt them and take care of them.
So, today, I would like to talk about friendship between men and women. The endless question is this even possible? In my 20 something years, I have been through this one too many times to know the challenges of such friendships.
So, as I am the walking example of relationship mishaps - I've been there as well. I've become friends with someone, who ironically today is a very close friend of mine, and when we became friends, for a moment there was a spark and we went for it. Yes, it was great while it lasted but then when it was over our friendship was a fly at risk - and for me to be able to keep up this friendship is a sign of maturity on both of our parts.
As someone wise once said, any kind of relationship should not be complicated, as soon as it gets weird or tense - turn the other way. And just as any relationship - friendships take time and effort and need to be maintained, it is a two way street so to speak.I am thankful to have the people in my life that I can call friends and thankful for all their support over the years.
The question remains however: what do you do if you are in the friendship - friend zone limbo? Do you act on your feelings and put the friendship at risk? Can you overcome the break up if that happens and still be friends? Do you have friends in common - would that have an impact on them? Or do you just screw everything to pieces and take a shot - because if you do not kiss the person you will never find out what you may be missing out on?
As a hopeless romantic, I would say go for it. And yet as someone who has been there, I would say boyfriends/girlfriends come and go and friends they stand by our side forever.
What inspired me to write about this? Well, I think that it is a subject of interest for many of us out there - I am myself in no way involved in any friendships of such kind, the past is in the past and the page must be turned over. You learn from your experience and keep only good memories for the future chapter of our lives, right?
*I do not own any rights to the picture below - it is used for the blog post only