Should you have SEX on the First Date?

This is quite a controversial topic since everyone will tell you left and right NOT TO DO IT. To some extent, I agree. But on the flip side, there’s also that voice that tells you to QUIT PLAYING MIND GAMES and just do what you honestly feel. Women, in particular, are hounded by this. We women are always stuck with having to use our brain, our heart or our libido. Here, I will outline what you should consider before picking either option.

WHY YOU SHOULDN’T DO IT:

  • Because you have to get to know the person more before you decide to let him/her into such an intimate part of your life. For the ladies, you don’t want to give him a freebie for simply knowing you. You feel that he has to earn it. Besides, the chasing game can be fun, if you have a lot of time to spare.

 

  • Because sex comes with consequences. You don’t want to contract an STD (God forbid!) or get pregnant by/ father someone who is not invested in you or you’re not invested in. I know of a girl who slept with someone on her first Tinder date. She got pregnant and when she told the father of the baby, he completely disowned her and the child. This wouldn’t have been the case if he got to know her on a deeper level and really established (at least) a friendship with her. She’s now raising the child on her own, which is a brave thing to do… but also extremely difficult.

 

  • Because the age old adage may be true“Easy come easy go.” A lot of men I have talked to say that the easier it is to sleep with a woman, the easier it is for them to leave her. A male friend of mine said “If it’s easy for her to sleep with me, I can’t shake off the idea of how many others were there like me she had already gone to bed with on the first date.” The feminist side of me felt like arguing my way around this statement, but apparently, a lot of men agree.

 

  • Because you want to keep your reputation. If men sleep around, he’s branded as someone full of machismo. He’s considered as an idol among his male peers. But, put a woman in his shoes, and she’s immediately branded a slut. I am completely against slut shaming, but this is something that society hasn’t refigured yet. It’s just something we have to roll with, and protesting is out of the question.

 

WHY YOU SHOULD DO IT:

  • Because life is short and you wouldn’t want to waste your time. This is pretty self-explanatory. Who knows when you will meet this person again? By the time you do, you may not have the same feelings towards him anymore. Also, as some of my male friends point out, “Before you buy the car, you have to test drive it.” Same concept applies to sex. You don’t want to invest a whole lot of feelings for this person, and then find out months later that you’re far from being sexually compatible.

 

  • Because your attraction level is so strong and you just can’t help yourself. You may have known this person for quite a while, and you may be so physically attracted. When this happens, you chuck out the decision making struggle and just go with it.

 

  • Because you want to be true to yourself. Enough with the mind games. You want his person and you want him/her NOW.

 

  • Because it’s been so long. You’ve been out of the dating scene for awhile and the idea of someone coming on to you is just too irresistible. You tell yourself, just this once, like it isn’t gonna hurt in the morning.

 

  • Because you don’t care what people say. What you do is your business. Not theirs. In your mind, they’re just jealous because they’re not getting some. And you are!

 

A FINAL WORD. 

Whatever it is you decide to choose, just know that either option comes with its own set of benefits and consequences. Just always be SAFE. Wear condoms, take your pills, whatever floats your boat. At the end of the day, experiences, whatever they may be, influence our future in one way or the other. It’s all up to you what you make of it.

****

EMAIL ME: breakupcoachonline@gmail.com

How to Deal When Your Woman Earns More Than You?

As a female lawyer, I’m one of the lucky ones. I am blessed to have a partner who understands the career choice that I have made and doesn’t give me flak for it. He never makes me feel that I should tone down my intelligence and for me, that’s why our relationship works. Even though I potentially earn more than he does on a regular basis.

But when I was in lawschool, I dated men who just couldn’t deal. My ex boyfriend would constantly feel insecure that I would leave him for someone else more successful and stereotypically career-driven. He was a graphic artist you see, and didn’t make a considerable amount of cash since any project given was mostly based on referrals. While I understood his situation and only cared for how he treated me, my ambitions and his just didn’t match. He was happy where he was, and while I was fine with that, he constantly prevented me from reaching my own goals. Needless to say, that relationship failed.

Fast forward to today, and I am constantly being asked how my man deals.

Here’s our thoughts on the matter.

When the woman earns more than her man, the latter should just consider himself blessed. Society has always taught us to be inferior to men, but times have drastically changed and that isn’t the case. Men, on the other hand, have been bred to always be superior to women. But the truth is, we can do whatever men can, if not better. We can raise a family on our own without their help. We aren’t confined anymore to the four corners of a regular household. These days you see women in male dominated industries. You see women in the legal profession, racing cars, arguing with fellow politicians in the Senate, building businesses, or shooting guns at military camps.

So what does this mean for the man? If her personality trumps yours, you only have two options. Whether you stay where you are. Or go where she is going. If you have a woman earning more than you, you tend to be more inspired to hustle. You are now made aware that being inferior just won’t cut it. That being mediocre won’t pay the bills. Instead of sulking about your current situation, use the influence your partner has over you to motivate you and push you harder to achieve your own goals.

Real men are not intimidated by a woman’s success. They step up to meet it.

I have many female lawyer friends who are single but they are wonderful women. They’re gorgeous, smart and have an amazing sense of humour to boot. But they’re single because no man could ever deal with their ambitions. But here’s what I always tell them:

A relationship is a partnership and not a competition.

It’s okay to be single instead of being with someone who sees you as a competitor. From how I see it, when any relationship leads to marriage, having an intelligent, career-driven woman helps the man deal with managing the household more efficiently. The bills are paid and obligations are shared. As a bonus, since the woman has something going for her, there would also be less time for conflict. She won’t feel like she’s selling herself short and is less likely to start blaming her partner for not being able to go after her own dreams.

In my current relationship, we hardly ever argue. I chalk it up to the fact that because we have our own respective careers to think of, there’s just no room for negativity. Instead of berating each other and putting each other down, we lift each other up. Instead of blaming each other, we share the blame for any bumps on the road. Instead of arguing over any financial hiccups, we find a way to get out of it… together.

Train yourself to always see the positive and the good of every situation. If you’re with an intelligent woman, congratulations! You found yourself an amazing partner who won’t settle for mediocrity. Consider her a blessing to keep you on track towards making your dreams come true. And if you’re a woman reading this, never spread yourself too thin. The world is yours. And let no man tell you otherwise.

xoxo,

Cristine.

 

9 Tips For Surviving a Long-Distance Relationship

As someone who was in a long-distance relationship for two years and is now currently in another one, I know all the pains that come with being in an LDR all too well. Sure, distance makes the heart grow fonder, but it also downright sucks. It’s not the most frugal dating option, not to mention how difficult it is to not be able to see your significant other anytime you want. Although long-distance relationships aren’t the easiest, they aren’t impossible to survive either — as long as you keep these nine things in mind.

  1. Assume that it’s going to be really tough: Let’s just get this one out of the way. It’s great to have a positive attitude going into a long-distance relationship, but you should also expect to encounter many bumps along the way. Once you embrace the challenge, you’ll be better equipped to get through the more difficult moments and won’t be as tempted to give up when you’re put to the test.
  2. Always have your next visit planned: You need to give yourselves something to look forward to. Each time you reunite, discuss when the next time you’ll be seeing each other will be. Secure the date, add it to your calendars, and start counting down.
  3. Facetime as much as you can: Trust me, seeing each other face to face will help your relationship more than a phone call can — even if it’s just through a screen. It’s obviously not the same as being together in person, but it’s the next best thing you’ve got. It’ll also make you more focused on your conversation without being able to multitask as easily.
  4. Woo each other: Surprise each other with mailed letters, homemade goodies, or any other thoughtful things you can imagine. Think of how your relationship was when you two first started dating and pull out all the stops. Small and sweet gestures can go a long way.
  5. Make your visits count: You don’t get time together often so when you do see each other, take full advantage. This doesn’t mean you always have to have an extravagant plan on hand; being present is enough. Put your phones away and give each other the time and attention you don’t often get to enjoy.
  6. Celebrate the little things: And this includes cheesy holidays you’d normally skip if you were together. Celebrating personal accomplishments, relationship milestones, and even National Pizza Day together while apart will help you both feel more connected. Plus, it’ll also give you an excuse to make a visit or do something nice for one another.
  7. Get a travel rewards card ASAP: Spending money on visits can really add up, so you might as well rack up points you can use towards your next trip. Most credit cards come with bonus miles when you first sign up, while some come with companion fare tickets, so be sure to take advantage of all the perks.
  8. Make your visits a vacation opportunity: Instead of flying into their hometown, pick a city to meet in! It’ll allow you two to experience new places together and make visits even more fun.
  9. Be in it to win it: If only one of you is fully invested in making your long-distance relationship work, it won’t. Like any other successful relationship, it takes two willing partners. Make sure this is something you both equally desire because giving halfhearted effort just won’t cut it. You should also have a serious conversation about what you both expect out of this relationship. How long are you both willing to endure long-distance? Is relocating an option? Envision a future together and create a game plan to make it happen. If you both want it, you’ll make it work!

******

By: Nicole Yi for Popsugar

10 Crazy-Simple Things All Guys Want During Sex

Sex is simple; It’s everything surrounding sex that’s wildly complicated.

And just because this is about the things all guys really appreciate during sex, sex is actually about two people (or hey, three or four) taking care of each other’s needs. You should be with someone who is willing (and excited) to give you the same respect and attention in the bedroom he himself wants.

1. An orgasm. Although this is not to say that sex can’t be awesome without one. But orgasms are kind of why you show up to sex in the first place, much the same way the only reason anyone goes to baseball games is to eat hot dogs. Sure, the game is fun, but if you don’t get a hot dog, why did you go?

2. Enthusiasm. Enthusiasm goes a long way, and hopefully you and your partner are both very enthusiastic in bed. That in and of itself is a huge turn on. The opposite end of the spectrum for anyone would mean just laying there while having sex done to you. And while there are probably some people out there that would… appreciate… that, most people would probably find it off-putting.

3. Ambient noise. Absolute and complete silence during sex usually means you’re not enjoying yourself or worse, you’re asleep. So by all means, be vocal. It’s the best barometer he has for knowing if he’s doing it right.

4. Foreplay. Foreplay is incredibly important. Without foreplay, it’s like a roller coaster without that slow climb to the top of the track. It’s just the drop. The anticipation is key. Granted, rides that are just drops are literally “Tower Drop” rides and (like foreplay) they have their time and place. But they’re not as good as roller coasters. This is a fact.

5. The lights on. Men are all about the visuals. So of course they’d like to have the lights on so they can stare deep into your boobs eyes during sex.

6. Compliments. It’s not like he needs to hear “good job! You’re doing great!” every thirty seconds, but a little bit of positive dirty talk goes a long way. Say some nice things about his penis if you’re ready to wrap things up.

7. Communication. Communication is critical to good sex. That doesn’t mean you need to be shouting out plays or stopping mid-coitous to make a pros and cons list of doggy style. Your foreplay doesn’t need to be trust falls. Communication can involve talking, but it can also be through wordless understanding. Or maybe expressing a desire to try new things beforehand so you can feel it out without stopping the action. Essentially, it’s about working as a team to get each other off.

8. Variety. Variety is always great. It’s why people love buffets. Using more than one position is never a bad thing.

9. A shared workload. No one wants to do all the work. Give each other a break from thrusting and grinding and all the other sex verbs you’re doing to get off.

10. A post-sex nap. Sex is exhausting. Sleep it off.

*****

By: Frank Kobola from Cosmpolitan

Things that POWER COUPLES do

You probably know a couple that you look up to. You know, you see them and wonder how they can keep their relationship afloat. Not only do they look good together and are successful, they also have a genuinely strong bond. They may not be perfect, but somehow, they manage to make it work. Think Jay-z and Beyonce. The following are the best practices that would make any couple great. Follow these to a T and you’re well on your way to taking over the world with your partner.

 

  1. They APPRECIATE each other. Now, you might think this is pretty obvious because hey, you’re WITH this person right? Of course you appreciate him/her! But not all people let their appreciation be felt. In fact, some of them don’t even know they need to show it, let alone act appreciatively. Most relationship problems actually often begin this way- when someone doesn’t appreciate the other. This could lead to unhappiness and an overall lack of drive to be productive. But showing appreciation makes a world of a difference in making your significant other have a healthy perception of himself/herself. We all have self-doubts but when your partner shows you or tells you that you matter, it suddenly gives you a little something more to live for. It makes getting up in the morning easier to do too- knowing that you matter to someone. It boosts their overall self-esteem and shows that you’re not taking them for granted.

  1. They give CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISMS. First of all, be KIND. You are with this person not to be mean to him/her. A relationship is supposed to improve your life and not destroy it. You’re supposed to feel good about yourself and not the other way round. But there are indeed instances when someone will mess up driving you into a rage where you start calling each other names. Not only is this unhealthy, exhibiting reactive behavior leads to words said that you may not intend. So before you start picking on your partner for a mistake made or a behavior that you simply did not like, assess first the consequences of opening your mouth and bite your tongue for 5 seconds. If you must, then be conscious of what you say. Instead of picking on him/her as a person, point out the ACT which pissed you off. He isn’t stupid, but the thing he did was stupid. Always remember that behavior does not necessarily equate to the individual as a person. Mistakes happen. Bad things happen. But deal with them kindly, calmly and as rationally as you can.

  1. They make GOAL SETTING a habit. My partner and I have this regular goal setting date where we sit down to give updates about our individual lives and what we want for the future. We even make lists of the type of businesses we would want to own and the countries that we want to visit. We have actually made some of those dreams come true! This works because you’re more encouraged to reach for your goals when you are with someone going through the same struggle. You are with someone who will also be affected by a failure. This gives you a bigger sense of responsibility as a couple because it’s not just about you alone anymore. It’s about both of you.

  1. They SUPPORT each other. This is one of the obvious factors, but not something that ALL couples realize. By simply telling your partner that you believe in him/her works wonders in boosting their self-confidence. By supporting one another, you are giving off the message that you will help your partner achieve his/her dreams, no matter how big and seemingly unrealistic they may be. Your presence and support means the difference when winning something as simple as a basketball game to building a company from the ground up. Behind every person we consider successful is a group of people who served as an inspiration. Be that inspiration.

  1. They are QUICK TO APOLOGIZE. You know what one of the most unproductive things a lot of couples do? They prolong fights. They don’t stop arguing in circles and usually about arguments that cannot be resolved. Chalk it up to human nature where we’re wired to want to always be right. While arguments are inevitable, wasting time is a choice. Instead of arguing about the petty stuff, why not put your energy into something mmore productive? Keep in mind that a relationship is not a video game where someone has to be the winner. The sooner that you can swallow your pride and apologize (assuming you’re in the wrong), the sooner can you spend more time building your empire.

  1. They continue to FLIRT with each other. Once you get comfortable in a relationship, you may tend to feel lazy, always trusting that your partner knows everything there is to know, so there is no need for surprise. But the lack of passion and romance proves to be an effective buzzkill that destroys the spark that was once there. Even when busy, never stop thinking, doing, saying what your partner fell in love with you in the first place. Show your adoration as much as you can. It never gets old.

  1. They have INDIVIDUAL LIVES. It’s easy to fall in the trap of only hanging out with your significant other and forgetting that there are other people in the universe. But this isn’t healthy. We all need to interact with different types of people. We need to have an extra activity that we can do outside of work that our partner may not be interested in. If he likes to play golf with his buddies, let him. If you want to go shopping with the ladies, he should also let you. A perfect relationship is one where you’re still yourself but with someone who complements who you already are.

 

xoxo,

Cristine.

 

17 Signs You’re Into Someone More Than They Are Into You

Finding out you’re putting everything into a relationship or casual thing, and the other person isn’t, can be utterly heartbreaking. It’s a truly horrible feeling knowing that you’re crushin’ on someone harder than they are on you. But do you know what? Figuring that out and accepting it is a whole lot easier, healthier, and better for you in the long run than flogging the dead horse that is your relationship.

Everybody’s different and has totally varied relationship expectations. So just because your bae is guilty of a few signs, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not into you (it could be their personality that makes them not touchy-feely or romantic). But if you’re consistently finding a lot of the below signs to be spot-on, it’s best to have a long hard think about whether the feelings you have are truly requited.

  1. When they don’t answer right away when you call them, you find yourself trying again before they return your call.
  2. They seem unenthusiastic to hear from you (or are always preoccupied) when they do pick up.
  3. When you do speak, they either keep it short and sweet or don’t seem engaged in the conversation. Maybe they’re happy to talk about themselves but switch off when you’re talking.
  4. When they consistently take ages to reply to texts on a regular basis and offer no excuse or apology.
  5. When you meet up, it’s slightly awkward and almost cold when they greet you.
  6. Your attempt at a passionate “hello kiss” when you greet them is returned as a peck on the cheek.
  7. Your PDA attempts are always met with a side swerve of the lips or hands, or they never initiate physical affection. Obvs, some people are just not into PDA, so don’t rely on this too heavily.
  8. The natural warmth and easy-going vibe you put on when you hang out seems to be returned with a stilted and somewhat awkward attitude.
  9. When you go to sleep at night and reach out to show affection, they consistently don’t respond or they show a lack of interest.
  10. They do little to participate when you’re having sex and it feels like you’re merely going through the motions. The obvious physical and emotional distance creates an overall lack of intimacy.
  11. While you’re willing to be generous with your time, money, and resources, they’re cold and stingy.
  12. You show your partner off and include them in family and friend gatherings but they seem reluctant to include you and it feels like they’re keeping you at arm’s length.
  13. When you express your feelings about them, it’s either returned with little to no enthusiasm, or awkwardness.
  14. They don’t show much (or any!) interest in you and your world, but you have all the time for them no matter whats going on in your life.
  15. When it comes to special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, you make an effort with the present to make them feel special. But they make little or no effort, and nothing about their attempts screams attention to detail.
  16. You’re happy to be romantic, but they treat and talk to you like you’re a friend—doing things like talking about their attraction to others when they’re around you.
  17. Your gut instinct tells you they aren’t as into you, but rather than raise the issue, you ignore the feeling because you’re afraid of what they might say or that you’ll lose them.

****

From Cosmopolitan UK by Paisley Gilmour

Why Surprises Will Never Get Old

My partner knows I love anything sweet so it was such a surprise to see him pull out two boxes of chocolate cupcakes and butterscotch fudge from the passengers’ seat as soon as I sat in his car. It was just unexpected and it really made a difference in changing my week! (I had been working extra HARD!) It was a small gesture that radiated with so much thoughtfulness, which I’ve been told tend to be rare in long term relationships. Has being thoughtful become so underrated?

It got me thinking of my clients and friends who share that their significant others have become complacent after dating for awhile. And I always tell them that this isn’t a problem (unless you make it to be) but it does make a world of a difference in keeping the spark alive. The little things go a long way in securing happiness. Taken together, it gives you a little something more to live for.

To me, when you do little surprises for your partner (it doesn’t have to be grand), it gives the message that when you’re apart, (or even when you’re together), you’re thinking of him/ her. It’s a win win situation because the receiver has an opportunity to show his/her appreciation towards such a pleasant act. The real problem in most relationships, especially coming from the men, is that they complain that their wives aren’t appreciative enough. This is usually the reason why they seem not to care anymore. It’s a sad situation but it doesn’t mean that it can’t be fixed!

All it takes is a little bit of creativity and thoughtfulness to bring joy to your relationship again. Pay attention to what your significant other likes and doesn’t like. I have a friend who is terrified of clowns. When her husband sees a clown walking or if he sees a clown trailer/movie coming up on TV, he covers her eyes or leads her the other way. It’s a simple gesture, but it shows that your partner that you feel he/she matters. If she likes chocolates… get them for her. If she likes wine… get her a bottle to drink at the end of a long day. (The wine is always a good idea! Trust me). No matter who is pleasing or surprising who, don’t forget to show your appreciation at the end of the day!

xoxo,

Cristine

Here Is How I Knew It Was Time To Let You Go

Nobody wakes up and thinks today will be the day they say goodbye to someone they love. It’s never like that. In fact, we tend to spend a lot of time forcing something to work so we don’t have to say good bye. However, every once in awhile we get pushed to a point where we have to decide what’s best for ourselves and unfortunately, it can include saying goodbye.

I know for me, it was similar. The first year was nothing short of incredible. We spent so many hours talking. I had never met another human being, especially a man, who I enjoyed sitting and talking with like I did with him. I remember the first time we had dinner; we closed down the restaurant and didn’t even notice. We were lost in each other’s company. Something I had never experienced before.

Soon enough, we spent close to every hour we could together. We went to dinner, movies, Seahawks games, beach trips, and that’s just to name a few. We shared things with each other we never thought we could. I understood you and you understood me. You always knew how to make my day. I remember the night you surprised me with a walk through Peacock lane and dinner at a restaurant I had been dying to try. I was always trying to get you to go to new restaurants but you had your favorites and didn’t like to stray from what you knew. We just spent the evening talking and enjoying each other.

I remember the drive home that night was quiet. Except for the Taylor Swift Pandora station you kept on the radio for me. You kept asking me about what was going through my head because I was being so quiet. I may have said nothing, but in reality I was just thinking about how badly it was going to hurt when it all came crashing down. I knew deep down we weren’t meant for forever but that didn’t stop me from loving you with everything I had. I would have taken a bullet for you and even though I play it off as if I want nothing to do with you now, I still would.

I know I’ll always love you, I just learned it has to be from afar.

We continued this roller coaster of us for nearly two years. There were times you pushed me so low, I couldn’t pull myself together. I couldn’t function. You had made me feel so disrespected, but, I realized at that moment it was me that didn’t respect myself. If I respected myself, I would have walked away so much sooner instead of accepting the treatment that was given to me.

You see, you once brought happiness when I saw darkness. You were the reason I smiled in the morning. You made me feel special and as if I was worth something to you. However, between your fears and my wanting more, it turned toxic. I found that where you once brought light, you now brought sadness. You haunted me and I knew you were going to be the first man to break my heart.

So how did I know it was time to let you go?

I knew once you stopped adding to my life in the positive ways you once did, that it was time to say goodbye.

I realized that being around someone who made me feel so low, was not the kind of people I needed in my life. As hard as it was, it was the best decision I have ever made.

***

From: Thought Catalog by Jules Martin

Love Isn’t About Chasing Perfection, It’s About Finding Something Real

I’m tired of contemporary dating—quick, easy, convenient, swipe left, swipe right. We judge someone’s character by a picture on a four-inch screen. We jump from person to person, never satisfied. We buy into the hookup culture, thinking that people only want us for our bodies, for what we can give. So we give and give and just end up empty.

We don’t know how to love anymore. We think that love is returned text messages, romantic kisses, a little effort, and someone who doesn’t try to sleep with us on the first date.

We skip past the butterflies, the nervous dinners, and the awkward should-we-kiss-or-not moments. We don’t get to know people, really know them. Know the way their nose crinkles when they laugh, what gets them fired up, the way they like their eggs, or their favorite quote.

We don’t take the time to understand the inner workings of one another’s minds, the quirks, the interactions that make the relationship truly special.

We see each other’s bodies before we know each other’s hearts. Then we frantically work backwards, trying to make up for all we’ve lost.

Dating has become this terrain to navigate. And love is this glorified, semi-unrealistic thing we fall into by accident. We’re supposed to weed out people that aren’t compatible and not looking for the same things, and somehow in all that mess, we’re supposed to find ‘the one.’ This lover who will complete us, melt into our lives in all the right ways.

But love isn’t like that.

There isn’t this magical man or woman who will complete us, whose heart will fully interweave with ours without conflict or doubt. We don’t just find this person—there is no perfect person.

People are flawed and difficult. Even in the most wonderful person, there will be ways he/she doesn’t measure up. Our relationships will still be challenging, frustrating, and downright hard. So we can’t expect this ideal because it will pull us away, keep us wishing for something we’ll never find.

We need to stop chasing this idea that there’s a ‘Mr/Miss Right’ out there. We need to quit bringing one another’s faults into the light. We need to stop seeing people as stepping stones to our ‘one true love’. And we need to stop giving ourselves away to people who don’t deserve us, just because we’re trying to desperately to fall in love.

Love isn’t found on a phone screen, or in the small-talk on a date. It isn’t found bouncing from person to person, from seeing someone’s naked body.

It isn’t found by chasing perfection. Because perfection isn’t real.

Love and perfection are two different things. Love is real. Finding someone who will drive you crazy, but still make your life wonderful—that’s real. Learning someone’s inner fears, discovering what makes them laugh, finally working up the courage to kiss them—that’s real.

That’s what dating and what love are supposed to be about: finding a person whose mind and heart connect with yours in strange, fun, new, and flawed ways.

Finding something real. Something beautiful, rather than perfect.

***

From Thought Catalog by Marisa Donnelly

We Don’t Always End Up With The Loves Of Our Lives (And That’s Okay)

 

I believe in Big Love.

I talk and I date like I don’t.

I don’t have frivolous expectations for romance. I’m not looking to get swept off my feet. I am one of those rare, perhaps slightly jaded individuals who actually likes hookup culture and is happy to live in an age in which monogamy is not necessarily the norm.

But I believe in big love because I’ve had it.

I’ve had that massive love. That all-consuming love. That ‘I can’t believe this exists in the physical realm of this planet’ kind of love.

The kind of love that erupts into an uncontrollable blaze an then simmers down to embers and burns quietly, comfortably, for years. The kind of love they write novels and symphonies about. The kind of love that teaches more than you thought you could ever learn, and gives back infinitely more than it takes.

It is the ‘Love of your life’ kind of love.

And believe it works like this:

If you’re lucky, you get to meet the love of your life. You get to be with them, to learn from them, to give the whole of yourself over to them and allow their influence to change you in unfathomable measures. It’s an experience like nothing else we have on this earth.

But here is what the fairytales won’t tell you – sometimes we meet the loves of our lives, but we do not get to keep them.

We do not get to marry them, to pass our years alongside them, to hold their hands on their deathbeds after a life lived well and together.

We do not always get to hold onto the loves of our lives, because in the real world, love doesn’t conquer all. It doesn’t resolve irreparable differences, it doesn’t triumph over illness and disease, it doesn’t bridge religious rifts or save us from ourselves when we’re corrupting.

We don’t always get to hold onto the loves of our lives because sometimes love is not all that there is. Sometimes you want a tiny country home with three kids and they want a bustling career in the city. Sometimes you have a whole, wide world to go explore and they are scared to venture out of their backyard. Sometimes you have bigger dreams than one another.

Sometimes the biggest, most loving move you can possibly make is to let each other go.

Other times you don’t get a choice.

But here’s another thing they won’t tell you about finding the love of your life: not ending up with them doesn’t disqualify their significance.

Some people can love you more in a year than others could love you in fifty. Some people can teach you more within a single day than others could teach you over the entire course of a lifetime.

Some people come into our lives only for a particular period of time, but make an impact that no one else can ever quite match or replace.

And who are we to call those people anything but the loves of our lives?

Who are we to downplay their significance, to rewrite their memories, to alter the ways in which they changed us for the better, simply because our paths diverged? Who are we to decide that we desperately need to replace them – to find a bigger, better, stronger, more passionate love that we can hold onto for a lifetime?

Maybe we just ought to be grateful that we got to meet these people at all.

That we got to love them. That we got to learn from them. That we got to have our lives expand and flourish as a result of having known them.

Meeting and letting go of the love of your life doesn’t have to be your life’s single greatest tragedy.

If you let it, it can be your greatest blessing.

After all, some people never get to meet them at all.

***

From Thought Catalog by Heidi Priebe