Random Thoughts

People Want a Relationship but Don’t Want a Relationship

I’ve noticed something. More and more people want a relationship, but don’t want a relationship.

People, not all, love the title of boyfriend, girlfriend, husband, wife, lover, etc., but will bypass all of the necessary steps to build the foundation to have a stable relationship. During these quarantine times, people want company. To be honest, there are couples who’ve discovered how much they dislike each other, but that’s a different topic.

Social media is filled with #couplegoals, #marriagegoals, and who knows what other relationship hashtags. Nothing wrong with that, but there are a lot of people who want to be part of that hashtag so bad, they’ll seek relationships just for the sake of having them. Very few people aren’t interested in getting to know each other. They’ll date for a month, end up with a title, post their love on social media, then the relationship is over a month later. Yes, I’ve seen it happen. The same people wonder what happened or were shocked to see the person dramatically change once the “title” was implemented. It’s as if some are jumping into relationships for the gram.

I wrote a post about never feeling lonely. Some people hate being alone and seek romantic relationships to fill that void. The thing that strikes me is those same people will admit to not wanting to be in a romantic relationship with anyone because they only want company. Sad thing is, they don’t relay that vital information to the person they’re essentially using. The unknowing void filler wants to make things official resulting in the relationship becoming one-sided. In the end, the relationship doesn’t work and the one who didn’t want the relationship in the first place wonders why things didn’t work out.

I know people who have done these things. I tell them to stay single and concentrate on themselves, but they continue to have at least three relationships a year and can’t figure out what the issue is. Chill! Come up for a few breaths of air. Are they hopeless romantics? Do they constantly daydream of love? Do they want to imitate what they see in romantic movies, dating shows, and social media. Based on conversations, seems like it. Ironically, they say they don’t want to be in a relationship, but the invitation is too tantalizing to say no. I laughably don’t understand.

I had someone ask me to be in a relationship less than two months after dating. My response,

There’s a want versus need when it comes to relationships. You should never need a relationship. You want one. When I say want, make sure you have the time and space to allow someone to enter your life and travel down your path. If you don’t want to share that path with someone, don’t drag them along and possibly hurt them on the way just to fill void. Make sure you want to put in the effort to build a friendship that forms the foundation for a strong relationship. Stop worrying about whether or not your behind in the romance department because society is pressuring you. Stop looking at the lovey dovey social media posts of couples smiling and pretending they don’t argue or broke up at least three times before taking that picture.

I’m not a relationship expert. Relationships can be complicating because life happens, but if you go into an unwanted relationship, you’re just complicating things from the jump which is 100% avoidable. Some people only like the idea of a relationship. That’s the problem.

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Random Thoughts

I Never Get Lonely

2020 has been an interesting year. As people started to work on their New Year’s resolutions, they had no idea the world would come to a halt. We’ve read or watched historical documentaries about pandemics, but we’ve never dealt with one with this much magnitude. Many people lost their jobs resulting in extremely hard times financially and many discovered they aren’t physically or mentally able to handle being in “lockdown.”

It has been interesting to observe friends and strangers as they maneuver through not being able to socialize or freely travel like they use to. I’ve watched, through social media, people post more photos and videos because they needed the attention. They’re so use to receiving face-to-face recognition that they seek it out through “look at me” moments on social media. Some went from rarely posting to posting almost everyday. Basic selfies turned into rambling videos, nonsensical stories, seminude photos, and posts of them expressing their boredom. I could easily spot the extroverts who couldn’t handle not socializing.

I asked some friends how they’ve been coping with the year and the most interesting response is they’re lonely. This made me come to the realization I never get lonely.

I don’t require interacting with people. I’ve taken the the personality test online and I’m considered an ambivert. Maybe that plays a role in the way I interact with people.

I currently live alone and have been asked how do I cope. My response, “I enjoy my space.” That’s usually followed up with, “do you ever get lonely?”

No.

This reply bewilders them.

I’ve realized I enjoy my own company and not many people can say that. I’m fully comfortable by myself. Granted, I’m not going through anything depressing at the moment, but even when I was, I was still comfortable being alone. Quite sure it will vary depending on the situation, but let’s focus on a healthy state of mind.

I wake up, enjoy the silence, zero interruptions, the freedom to do whatever I want, listen to my own thoughts, feelings, and relaxation. This may sound basic, but I appreciate all of this. To some people, this isn’t enough. They need someone else to be physically present. The idea of being alone scares them while I feel at ease.

I can’t put my finger on the exact reason, but maybe it’s because I’m an only child and don’t require attention. Maybe I appreciate my intimate space more than others. Maybe I’m comfortable hearing my own thoughts and communicating with myself. Yes, I talk to myself. Judge me. I’ve always felt like a solo person, but 2020 has really pointed that out to me.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy interacting with friends and having a romantic relationship. I do miss going out for happy hour and mingling, sporting events, traveling, etc. Social events are amazing, but it isn’t a necessity for me. When I go out, it’s because I choose to and not to fill lonely void. I don’t require the energy of others to boost my mood. Remember, I’m basing this off of a healthy state of mind.

I never get bored or lonely with myself and I appreciate that quality. Even in a relationship, I enjoy “me time” versus wanting the attention of my lover 24/7. I love being an individual and not being codependent.

It’s ok to be alone and never feeling lonely. People may look at you in disbelief, but there’s nothing wrong with it. Everyone is different. I don’t knock those who require attention. We simply rarely hear about those who are fine alone. Maybe it’s because we’re in our own world minding our business enjoying stillness and peace.

Do you never feel lonely or bored of your own company? Has this year made you reflect on your personality and how socializing played a role in your life?

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Entertainment, portfolio

‘After’: The Dangers of Lust and Idolized Fictional Romance

Should We Really Be Excited About After We Collided?

Tessa and Hardin’s relationship shouldn’t be admired as ideal love.

After follows college freshman Tessa Young (Josephine Langford) as she meets and is swept into a whirlwind of lust over tattooed British bad boy Hardin Scott (Hero Fiennes Tiffin). The film is adapted from Anna Todd’s enormously popular After series, based on her Harry Styles fan-fiction. The series has racked up 1.5 billion views on Wattpad and sold 15 million print copies. 

After masks the problematic dynamics of Tessa and Hardin’s relationship under a blanket of passion. They aren’t #relationshipgoals or #couplegoals, yet die-hard fans of the fiction are obsessed with the pair. 

Tessa and Hardin’s attraction to one another stems from the concept of “opposites attract.” This form of lust can be dangerous, as it’s idealized and can blind individuals to some obvious reasons they should not pursue a relationship with a potential partner. Many people are attracted to the “bad boy” in hopes of proving they can get the guy, play therapist, and mold them to their liking. Some simply love the extreme highs and lows of the relationship as if it’s a drug and they need their daily fix.  

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Hardin has a lot of emotional baggage due to his upbringing with his father. If you’ve read the fan-fiction, you’ll recognize that his fluctuating emotions are going to be psychological torture and exhausting for Tessa. The film didn’t include all of the arguments the pair had in the Wattpad and novels, including Hardin wanting Tessa to stay away from basically everyone in her life and only sees him. He is often nasty and disrespectful towards her and admits that he’s “just an a**hole.” 

When you’re young and inexperienced in love, Hardin’s behavior is easily dismissable, as it’s viewed as him being emotional or even romantic because he wants Tessa all for himself. But that’s not the truth. A lover should never attempt to dictate their partner’s life. That’s obsessive, manipulation, controlling, and mental abuse – and it isn’t cute.

Hardin displays his emotions by breaking glass and punching walls. In the novel, Tessa describes one instance where she thinks Hardin will slap her. This behavior is dangerous, and its magnitude is unpredictable. If you’re in a relationship and fear your lover will hit you, you need to end that relationship for your safety and sanity. 

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Anna Todd – Photo Credit: BBC

While writing After, Anna Todd told Refinery29 she was upset with how Hardin treated Tessa and didn’t want them together, “I was like, ‘He should just be alone forever and be miserable.’” Todd added, “I don’t know if I wanted them to end up together. I just wrote it, and they had to be.” 

Does the pair have to live happily ever after? No, but since this is fiction, fan service is required. The problem is, people invest in these characters as if they’re real and start to seek a Hardin of their own. Therein lies the danger of someone assuming the turmoil in their relationship is normal – because Tessa and Hardin went through the same thing.  

The one thing After gets right is that young love is complicated by naivety and driven by hormones. We can’t blame every bad decision on hormones, but they can contribute to illogical decisions that make you wonder what exactly you were thinking later.

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Let’s not forget Tessa had a boyfriend named Noah. The writers made their relationship seem vanilla so fans could obsess over Tessa and Hardin getting together and dismiss the fact that Tessa cheated on Noah…TWICE. If things were reversed and Noah cheated on Tessa for a bad girl, would he be considered a jerk? If so, what does that make Tessa? Or did fans see Tessa leveling up so cheating on Noah wasn’t a big deal? This double standard is ideal for another discussion.

The sequel, After We Collided, will be released in 2020. If you haven’t read the fan-fiction, from the sound of the title, you know more drama is coming.

**A freelance movie review completed for Wishbone.**

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Fitness and Health, Health & Lifestyle, portfolio

It’s hard to combat stress and anxiety in a world that can drive you insane. It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious about situations that make you feel frustrated, nervous and uneasy. When it starts interfering with your daily life, that may indicate a more serious issue.

How to Manage Stress and Anxiety

Eat a Well Balanced Diet
When it comes to appetite, stress and anxiety can either make you eat more or less. When I’m stressed, all I want to do is eat and sleep the day away. It may be difficult, but you have to continue to fuel your body with a well-balanced diet. Never skip a meal, eat energy-boosting foods and drink plenty of water.

Discover Your Triggers
Something in your life is triggering your stress or anxiety. Family, work, school, relationships, or friends may be the cause. Keep track of when you feel fine and when you become irritable, nervous or experience any other physical symptoms. Try to avoid stressors if possible. Writing in a diary and keeping track of your emotions will also help.

Exercise
Exercise helps increase the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. Physical activity allows you to focus on getting through your workout which results in a better mood. For me, it is hard to feel motivated enough to work out, but once I force myself to get up and start moving, the workout takes over and I’m proud I did it.

Talk to Someone
Keeping in feelings is never a good thing. Open up to friends or family that you trust. Simply expressing yourself can relieve stress. Talking to someone can also lead to advice you can utilize. I find this difficult to do for myself because I feel like I’m going to be judged or my feelings will be tossed to the side. Choose who you talk to carefully. Don’t talk to those who are self-centered and wouldn’t care about your thoughts. Choose someone who is empathetic.

Sleep
Stress and anxiety are exhausting on the body. Getting at least eight hours of sleep is important for your body to properly get rest.

Time-Out
Listen to music, go to the movies, take a hot bath, meditate, do yoga or simply go for a walk alone. Do something for yourself! Step away from the stressful moment to mentally breathe and clear your head.

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Avoid the “I need a drink” mentality. Caffeine stimulates your nervous system. This can result in a rapid heartbeat and high blood pressure. Sipping on a little alcohol may seem nice, but alcohol stimulates the production of the same hormones that produce stress. A study at the University of Chicago revealed alcohol and stress feed each other.

Keep a Positive Mindset 
If the only thoughts running through your head are negative, your outlook on life will be negative. Our minds can generate so many negative thoughts and scenarios. Positive thinking just means approaching situations in a more positive and productive manner. Self-talk, the little voice in your head, is the most damaging of all. Learning how to shift your thoughts will allow you to cope with stressful situations.

Don’t Be Hard on Yourself
Many times stress and anxiety are caused by an individual trying to be perfect or live up to certain expectations. Everyone is different and being perfect isn’t possible. We live in a social media world where everyone only shows the good in life causing a false image of their lifestyle. This causes envy or jealousy. Be the best you can be. Perfection doesn’t exist. Everyone is struggling with something regardless of how pretty that picture is.

You Can’t Control Everything
Being able to accept things that are out of your control will help you manage stress. There are times when you have to stop resisting and embrace the lesson. There are times when you can’t change things and that’s OK. It’s hard, but it needs to be done. Put things into perspective by asking yourself, is it as bad as it could be?

“Of course there is no formula for success except, perhaps, an unconditional acceptance of life and what it brings.” ~Arthur Rubinstein

Though you can use these tips for stress management on your own, if you feel as though your stress and anxiety is unmanageable, please seek professional help or ask others to help you find the support you need.

Utilize the helpful tips above to live a happy and stress-free life that you deserve.

10 Stress Busters to Live a Better Life

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Health & Lifestyle, portfolio, Random Thoughts

Build Your Character

“Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action.” – Helen Gahagan Douglas

There is a myth that nobody can change their character. Your character isn’t permanent. It has a tendency to adapt to certain actions and situations.

So, how do you build character? Let’s start feeling strong-willed and firm.

Do the Right Thing

What exactly is doing the right thing? Well, that’s up to you. There are people who have the right values and will usually do the right thing, but they can still be unpleasant. Do you have a clear set of values and beliefs? These core values and beliefs will often stem from how you were raised, but as you get older, you have the power to change those values and beliefs to become a better person.

Continue reading

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Random Thoughts

Open Your Heart

We unknowingly go through life closed off to people, the environment, and social situations. Yes, we interact with people on a daily basis, but are you truly yourself 100 percent of the time?

Life is constantly tossing us challenges and the results will often change us, for the better or worse. Happiness is a state of mind and a choice. Regardless of what challenges you’ve had, it is time to choose happiness. Yes, it can be hard, but it starts with opening your heart.

Opening your heart starts from within. It will allow you to eliminate sadness and unforgiving thoughts of others and ourselves. Absorbing positivity will generate a sense of mental freedom and clarity.

Appreciate who you are and be yourself. Many people wander the earth without knowing who they are. Do you? Are you simply going through the paces of life like a robot? Stop and take a moment to discover your true self.

Be open to receiving anything and everything. It’s great to be independent, but even the most independent person needs help. Instead of rejecting help, take it. Take some of the weight off of your shoulders. Accepting help will not devalue your independence or strength.

Open your heart to past mistakes, accept them, learn from them and move into the future with newfound knowledge. The past can eat at us. Don’t lose sight of who you are now and how you can better yourself.

Do something you love every day. For me, it’s writing. It is sometimes hard for me to organize my thoughts because my brain is constantly churning. Writing helps me focus my thoughts and express myself. Sometimes, reading my own words is therapeutic. 

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Health & Lifestyle, portfolio, Random Thoughts

The Power of Sharing and Generosity

Sharing or generosity is an undervalued attribute in society. We live in a world where people feel as if sharing will minimize their opportunities, time or money. Some people will only give when the opportunity suits them or when they want something in return. What happened to genuinely wanting to share?

When you’re open to sharing, materialism will have less of a grip on your life. You will be able to shift your focus from yourself to the object of your generosity. You won’t be the center of attention for that moment and that’s OK. Even a meager dose of generosity can change someone’s life.

Studies have shown that people who are generous, feel happier, more fulfilled and confident. This psychological change helps people to discover their purpose and can lower their sense of selfishness.

The mindset of competition in everything we do is a false premise. If you are a successful artist, business person, musician, or any other form of expert and have the knowledge to help someone else, share it. People who are truly generous know that life is short and they only have a small amount of time to leave an imprint on this earth.

When you genuinely share, people will recognize you as a helpful resource. Let’s face it, this can be negative and positive. You do have to be careful with people who are grateful for your help but will try to take advantage of your generosity down the road. Hopefully, you’ll encounter more people who will never forget the generosity you provided and will be there for you in your time of need without asking.

This world needs more generous people! 

Do you consider yourself to be a generous person?

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