Get Your Own Clique

Did you know that laziness is contagious? What about success? Of course these are not actual biological diseases but sometimes, they spread like they are.

Think about your friends for a moment. How would you describe them? I would describe mine as ambitious, effective, generous, and open-minded. That might sound boring to you, but it is completely by design. I’ve surrounded myself with people who are similarly minded to me and who also possess characteristics I aspire to.

However, sometimes people surround themselves with friends and acquaintances that hold them back. Behaviors are contagious. If all your friends stay out late every night, how long do you think it will be until you start staying out? If all your friends hate on your ideas for self-improvement, you might not stick with it… And so on and so forth.

This is something important to note about ‘successful’ people. They surround themselves with people who are experiencing or actually striving for similar success. Whether you define success as having a family, a happy relationship, or a billion-dollar company, their friends possess similar mindsets and they actually feed off of each other’s energy and improve in their respective goals.

This isn’t to say that all of your friends must be exactly like you, nor that you should carefully select them based on how successful they might make you. What you MIGHT want to consider, however, is being truer to yourself.

How will this help, you might ask? When you are honest with yourself and what you want, and consistently act in a way that is aligned with your goals, you will automatically attract similar people. For example, I have a really good friend from my freshman year of college. We got along pretty well from the start but where we really got close was at the gym. We both loved working out and put a priority on being fit and that provided the platform to solidify our friendship.

In a similar vein, I LOVE TV and movies, and I will talk about them with anyone who will listen. Lo and behold, I told an acquaintance about the show ‘Suits’ and when we watched the first few seasons together, we became best friends!

The point is, it can be silly or small, but don’t be afraid to own up to all aspects of your personality. Because once you realize and pursue your interests and goals, other people will recognize bits of their own aspirations in you and you will start to draw people that have similar mindsets. And the best part? No one is exactly the same! So even though you will attract people with familiar goals, they will be just different enough to make the friendship interesting.

 

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I love you guys, don’t hate me for using this heinous picture 🙂

 

 

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TREAT YO SELF

You wanna know something Americans are terrible at? Politics. BOOM. Just kidding, I don’t have the energy to tackle THAT argument right now. But in all seriousness, Americans are terrible at self-care. Our way of life here in the states is completely inhibitive of active self-care, especially compared to many countries in the likes of Europe and Asia.

Why should you care about this, you ask? Well, I’d retort, don’t you care about YOURSELF? A typical working American’s week looks something like this: Work Monday through Friday, ideally from 9-5 but we all know those hours are creeping upwards with many people starting work as early as 7 and not finishing until past 6 pm. Then go home, take care of kids, or eat dinner, and watch TV. Then when the weekend rolls around, it is some variation of a Netflix binge fest, drinking and partying, or shuttling your kids to their activities. In short, the average American is not taking care of themselves at all. You might argue that watching TV at the end of a day counts as self-care, but while I binge TV with the best of them, vegging out in front of a screen is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about proactively partaking in things that improve your quality of life.

The factors of self-care I’m going to list below will sound like common sense to most people but how many of us are actually taking the time to do them? The fact that I know most of you are going to roll your eyes makes me believe that these aren’t new or original ideas, but that know-it-all attitude isn’t translating into DOING it all and people aren’t even doing the bare minimum to take care of themselves.

1.) GET MOVING. Like always, exercise makes a huge difference. But this time, I’m not even talking about lifting weights, intervals, or running. The healthiest countries in the world do not usually have a strong fitness culture, but they DO have a strong walking culture. People will always walk when they can and are generally active in their daily lives, and as we all know, movement is good for your heart, your brain, AND your body. Americans, unfortunately, are extremely sedentary so even short walking or dance breaks can make a huge difference.

2.) EAT A GODDAMN VEGETABLE. Now I KNOW people are rolling their eyes at this one because I sound like everyone’s mother. Remember what I said above: we are talking the bare minimum here. But not only am I encouraging people to add some leafy greens here and there, it is also important to make sure you’re eating well, and regularly. Don’t skip breakfast, don’t work through lunch, and definitely don’t binge because you skipped a meal. Eating regularly and including as many food groups as you can, will help regulate your metabolism and keep your energy levels up!

3.) GET YOUR BEAUTY SLEEP. This is the sin that most Americans fall prey to whether you’re a middle schooler or nearing retirement. We are not getting enough sleep. While the amount of sleep you need varies based on your age and other factors, seven to nine hours tends to be the recommended amount. But what’s more, is that people don’t keep regular sleep schedules. We wake up for work at a regular hour but then sleep as much as we want on the weekend which totally messes up our body’s routine. Going to bed and waking up at the same hour can do wonders for your energy, your mental clarity, and even your skin.

4.) TAKE A VACATION. A real vacation. If you’re working, or even going to school, chances are you have some kind of vacation time or arrangement. Especially for my working folks out there, TURN OFF YOUR EMAIL. Too many Americans just don’t take advantage of time off, whether it is a weekend or a full on two-week trip abroad, most of us never disconnect. We are always keeping an eye on our email and that can really take its toll. We are one of the countries with the longest work days and the least vacation days, so when you do have the opportunity to unplug, DO IT, or eventually all that work will just burn you out.

5.) RELATIONSHIPS. Nowadays we have all sorts of relationships right at our finger tips, we go to parties, work events, and social commitments all the time. However, something that can get lost in the shuffle is working on a couple quality friendships. Ideally, these friends can be found close by so you guys can go to coffee or hang out, but if they are long distance that is fine too. Relationships need love and they ultimately feed your soul. Everybody always claims to wish for more time to spend with family and friends, but somehow it ends up low on the priority list from day to day. But if you carve out a little bit of time to catch up with friends at least once a week, it can be truly calming and rejuvenating.

And that’s it! Five simple things. FIVE. We all know that these are things that we should be doing, but somehow it is just so easy to get caught up in the lifestyle of work and commitments, and when we do have some time to ourselves it is perfectly understandable that we would just want to sit around and sleep or do nothing. But carving out a little bit of extra time and effort for your own personal wellness can do WONDERS for your overall attitude and peace of mind. All those little pockets of time focused on self-care can really add up and ultimately, if you take care of yourself, everything you touch will also be much better for it.

 

 

Be Naked

We are born naked. That moment lasts a second before our tiny bodies are swaddled in blankets. As we age, we start dressing to flatter our bodies. You’re on the shorter side? Wear shorts and skirts that cut above the knee to elongate your body. You have a bit of a tummy? Wear floaty fabrics that don’t draw attention to it. We are all about covering and reshaping. But what if I challenged you to stand in front of your mirror naked? Just stand there and look. No floaty fabrics, cling in the right places, or spandex. Just you and your skin.

For a lot of people, this would make them uncomfortable. For whatever reason, their naked body makes them blush. This is a concept I never understood. I have never been able to fathom why their own nudity makes some people so uncomfortable. I must assume it is from familial or cultural traditions that I was not privy to.

Maybe my experience with nudity has been a bit different. Ever since I was little, nudity was never a big deal. I’m from one of those families that doesn’t close the door when we shower. When we were on vacation, my mom would make my sister and I strip down so she could spray every inch of us with sunscreen before we put on our swimsuits for the beach. That was just normal. I quickly realized when I would go to my friend’s houses that this behavior was not typical. My friends were horrified at the idea of seeing their family members naked or anyone seeing them naked. They made sure to close the door to the bathroom and it was completely unacceptable to walk in on anyone, for any reason (Luckily, I was an observant child and never made that mistake). But at my house, my sister and I would honestly have full on conversations while one of us was peeing. And if my mom was in the shower, I would be in the bathroom doing my makeup. My parents never made it a big deal and consequently, I never treated the naked body as anything out of the ordinary.

Then, when I joined swimming, nudity and exposure just became even more commonplace. Locker rooms twice a day, swim meets on weekends – eventually, you just lose any sense of modesty purely because it’s inconvenient. Furthermore, speedos and competition suits don’t really leave much to the imagination. I’ve been around nearly naked guys and girls since I was nine and even though we all obviously hit puberty, the nudity was already part of our lives. Swimming is just an exposed sport, and it was never a big deal.

I guess I can understand why people would be uncomfortable being naked in front of others. It’s an extremely vulnerable position to put yourself in. But sometimes nudity makes sense. We all have to change clothes, we all shower, and for the most part, we all have sex – all of which are activities that are made much easier by being nude. Yet some people will still painstakingly hide their bodies. They will only change in bathroom stalls, they will have sex under the sheets with the lights off, etc. But why are they afraid of their own bodies?

If you’re one of these people, I challenge you to stand in front of your mirror for a full minute, naked. Do it when no one is home. Lock yourself in your bathroom. I don’t care what you have to do to feel safe, but try it. Don’t focus on flaws or attributes, just take stock of what’s there and how everything fits together. I promise you don’t have anything that no one else has. This isn’t about body confidence or that whole positivity movement. This is about being aware of what your body truly looks like, and accepting that.

I’m grateful for the way I was raised and for swimming because they made me comfortable in my own naked skin. I was never made to feel that being exposed was bad, or that my nakedness was offensive. It was just there. I know from personal experience, the more comfortable you feel being naked alone, the less scary it is in front of others, and one day it might not even be a big deal to you at all.

WARNING: this confidence will throw some people off. My boyfriend is consistently afraid for my modesty when I strut around my own apartment nude. I assure him I don’t care who sees me naked. Surprisingly, that doesn’t calm him down 😉

 

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Photo Cred: Kiki Moussetis

 

 

Fight it Out

I argue with my boyfriend. I argue with him A LOT. And he argues back…and it’s AMAZING.

Obviously, fighting, crying, shouting, and generally being frustrated with your significant other is never a fun experience, but a relationship without those conflicts is even worse.

Conflict is necessary in a romantic relationship. There will be tons of things you disagree on or dislike throughout your interactions and the worst thing you can do is sit on them and pretend they don’t exist. And while every disagreement should not turn into a knock-down drag-out MMA fight, sometimes it’s healthy to lose your temper a bit.

Personally, I consider myself lucky. My boyfriend has the patience of a middle school teacher who runs an orphanage on the weekends, whereas I have the short-temper of  Yosemite Sam. Most of our disagreements are solved pretty rationally and quickly, but every so often we work ourselves up into a shouting match. These don’t happen too frequently but they do almost always result in extreme frustration for him and tears for me. However, we are never able to go to sleep unless some kind of understanding is found so there is a lot of talking, explaining, and listening, and ultimately we end up feeling even better about our relationship.

First off, as I’ve alluded to above, working through conflict can help you grow closer and can strengthen communication. Honestly, most conflicts probably stem from a miscommunication in the first place and figuring out where you guys misunderstood each other and working to better comprehend each other’s intentions can actually improve your communication skills and in turn, can improve your relationship. Every time you are able to work through one of these conflicts, you will be able to uncover another element of the other person and grow even closer.

Secondly, sometimes it’s one of the ways you can tell that you both care about each other. Nobody gets angry over things that don’t matter to them, but if you get frustrated or angry with each other you know that whatever the issue is, it means a lot to the other person, and it means a lot that you understand them and why they are getting worked up. Now, I don’t mean to say you should use fighting to show you care, but fighting is a by-product of caring a lot. It is also a by-product of feeling comfortable enough in the relationship to argue without fearing a breakup or something equally dramatic.

And sometimes, it is just plain cathartic. Maybe your partner has been leaving their clothes on the floor for the past couple days and you decided to give them the benefit of the doubt and ignore it but finally, you snap and say something snarky and pick a fight. Maybe both of you have had a rough week and it just feels plain good to shout at each other for a little while and then have great makeup sex. Sometimes, that is just what you needed.

However, even though I believe conflict is important in a relationship, I do believe there should be some ground rules

1.) No hitting. This should go without saying, but violence is never the answer and physical abuse is not something to be taken lightly. At no point in any conflict should anyone resort to violence to make a point or to get the other to give in. This is just plain unacceptable.

2.) No name calling. It’s like your playground days again, isn’t it? Once again, this does way more harm that it’s worth in a fight. Never call names or call out personal characteristics because they will probably only hurt or anger the other person more, making the fight harder to resolve. Calling out hurtful past experiences, or using intimate information against the person is also a huge foul.

3.) No dismissals. I admit, sometimes this one is hard for me as I have a mean sarcastic streak, but you cannot, I repeat, CANNOT dismiss your partner’s feelings. Don’t roll your eyes, or patronize them, accuse them of “just being so defensive,” or tell them they are being dramatic. Any of those actions show contempt and show that you aren’t taking your partner’s feelings and statements seriously. This type of feeling is relationship SUICIDE. Your partner is feeling a certain way for a REASON, just as you feel certain ways for your own reasons, and it is not your place to tell them that their feelings are invalid just because you don’t understand them right away. This is a relationship and it is your responsibility to listen to your partner and sympathize with how they are feeling. If you dismiss your partner’s feelings or allow your own feelings to be dismissed, the issue at the root of the argument will never be resolved and will only taint your relationship moving forward.

Fights can be tough, and arguments are not fun to start or to be a part of, but they are inevitable in relationships. However, if you both make an effort to avoid being actively mean to each other, then most of these fights can actually result in improved understanding, and who doesn’t want a wholesome, healthy relationship with mutual respect and love? NO ONE, we all want it, so fight and make up and love each other.

 

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He smiles to hide how frustrated he gets when I lose my temper at the drop of a hat…

 

 

“I would never let my daughter do that!”

Fatherhood is an interesting concept for me to think about because although I have a father, I can never become one. In the wake of Father’s day weekend, I’ve been thinking about why I appreciate my own father so much. While he’s done so many things for me that I can never be grateful enough, one trait, in particular, stands out.

My dad always made my sister and me feel capable. He always encouraged us to get out of our comfort zone, learn new things, and have new experiences. He rarely made us back off on a new opportunity because he was scared for us. This was prevalent when we were kids when he would push us to be better at our respective sports, or when he would try and get us to read books outside of class that pertained to classroom topics to increase our knowledge so we could get ahead.

Even as adults he never tries to pull us back for safety’s sake. A chief example is the nearly two-month long trip I went on by myself last summer. No family, no friends, just me! Most people, especially men who are my dad’s age, balk at this and say something along the lines of “Oh I could never let my daughter do that!” When I ask these people why, they always say something like “oh she’d get lost”, or “What if she’s attacked or taken”, or sometimes they don’t even have a reason! And I think to myself ‘Do you not think of your daughter as a capable person? Do you not think you’ve raised her to be smart and competent enough to be ok on her own?’ I don’t get it at all. When I said I was going alone, my dad barely batted an eye because he knew I was totally capable of handling any chaos a trip like that could throw at me. He has always thought very highly of my and my sister’s abilities and I’m only just now realizing how much it meant that he never underestimated us.

Nowadays, I work with a lot of men that are my dad’s age, and they sometimes develop this strange protective affliction. I say ‘affliction’ because they’re NOT my parents and shouldn’t be concerned with protecting me from work and should respect my ability to get the work done. But they sometimes end up treating me like their own daughters, but unlike my dad, they treat me as though I’m naive and fragile, and unable to do certain things on my own.

My dad NEVER does this. He would, of course, teach us new things or skills, but he never just assumed we needed protecting and for things to be done for us because we were incompetent. He EXPECTED us to know how to do everything for ourselves.

Surprisingly, and unfortunately, I’ve found that my dad’s behavior is a huge departure from how many fathers treat their daughters. Most tend to protect and worry about them more so than their sons and think them more at risk in the world, and less capable of handling that risk. Even if they don’t mean to do it, they feel their daughters are more fragile, and thus need more protection – from boys, knowledge, the world, EVERYTHING – but not my dad.

I could go on and on about everything else that makes my dad special, but he already knows he’s the best so I’ll leave you all with the thought that daughters should be expected to be capable, confident, and competent and any father who stands in the way of those traits, stands in the way of his daughter’s success.

 

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Me, My dad, and My sister all having a grand ol’ time in Mykonos last year.

 

How to Travel as a Couple without Killing Eachother

I recently went to Peru with my amazing boyfriend (travel guides coming soon!) and I have to confess, I was a little nervous to travel with him. We had met while traveling separately but we had never really done a trip together as a couple and this was an important step for me. Traveling to new places is a passion of mine and I knew I couldn’t be with somebody who was a terrible travel partner (not that I’m a saint but you know what I mean). However, after doing this trip I realized that there are some lessons we BOTH learned about traveling together that make things a lot easier.

If you’re bringing drugs, bring lots: It is not unlikely to feel under the weather or even get sick while traveling. If you know you always get indigestion, for example, and bring medication for it, bring twice as much because you never know if you’re significant other will need some. This came in handy multiple times throughout our Peru trip. I knew I would need Alka-Seltzer for my stomach but I brought a lot and lo and behold, my boyfriend ended up getting food poisoning towards the end of the trip and needed something to calm his stomach. Likewise, my boyfriend gets headaches so he brought a lot of Advil, and I ended up needing a few for an untimely sprained ankle.

Recognize each other’s limits: Each of you will have different capabilities and limits when it comes to traveling and it is important to not push your partner too hard, and also to be vocal if something is too much for you. My boyfriend and I were pretty good at this but only because we were both outspoken about when we were struggling. For example, I cannot sleep on airplanes or in airports and my boyfriend can sleep anywhere. So after traveling for over twenty-four hours, my boyfriend knew I was zonked and we took it easy that day. On the flip side, while we were hiking Macchu Picchu Mountain we ran out of the water and it hit my boyfriend way harder than it hit me so I knew to be quick about pictures and get him water as soon as possible. It is extremely important to be aware of what your partner is feeling so you can make sure you both can enjoy yourselves.

 

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Macchu Picchu of course – this day took a lot of prep and compromise

 

Be Decisive: There will be endless decisions to make on a trip, even once you’ve already planned it. Where should we eat? Should we go to those ruins today or tomorrow? How should we get there? Is this too expensive? And on and on and on. Nothing wastes precious travel time like being indecisive. We ran into this issue a couple times, especially where food was concerned. Tourist towns often have a million different restaurants that all serve the same thing. This should make it easier to choose, right? WRONG. My boyfriend and I would go back and forth with the whole ‘I don’t care where we eat…actually no not this place…’ type dialogue until one of us [ME] snapped because they were so hungry they couldn’t take it anymore. We had to actively have a conversation about when we actually mean we’re indifferent to certain decisions as opposed to speaking out immediately if we have a preference. This smoothed things out considerably for the rest of the trip.

Be open-minded: This one should go without saying, and most people who are love traveling in the first place possess this quality, but every so often you end up traveling with someone who sticks their nose up at everything and would rather order room service than go exploring a new place. This person SUCKS to travel with. Don’t be that person, don’t date that person, and don’t go on a trip with them if you can help it. If you’re enamored with traveling and experiencing new things, this person will kill your vibe SO FAST. Neither my boyfriend nor I are like this, so it wasn’t a problem for us, but we witnessed other couples with this dynamic. The worst kind of travel partner is the one that says ‘no’ too often. When you travel you should open yourself up to what that place can teach you, and those with a bad attitude have no interest in learning and you should not let them ruin your fun!

 

Ultimately, traveling with another person, especially a romantic partner, should be tons of fun. However, in order to make it an amazing trip all around, you both have to go into it with open eyes and a willingness to compromise. Sure you can plan down to every last detail if you want, but I can assure you that attitude will EITHER kill the energy of the whole trip, OR something will go wrong and your plans will have been for naught and you’ll have to work together anyways. And to be really frank, if your trip sucks, maybe you just aren’t right for each other. Awk. (Luckily my boyfriend and I rocked it and realized we are more perfect for each other than ever! Sickening, I know.)

 

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Exploring Sacsayhuaman

 

 

Ladies, buy a vibrator. Just do it.

I am honestly embarrassed by how long it took me to buy a vibrator. I started speaking out about female sexual empowerment years ago and yet I’ve only had a vibrator for a few months.

This topic can be a bit, ahem, personal for some. Vibrators are usually purchased for masturbation which is a topic some young women are still uncomfortable talking about. Buying and using a vibrator can be intimidating for a couple reasons, but I’m going to share how to get over those and why it is ultimately SO worth it to purchase one and to learn to use it.

Ok so first things first, the most intimidating factors that prevented me from getting a vibrator for so long are: an overwhelming amount of choices, cost, and fear of not being able to use it.

There are a million different vibrators out there and the best way to narrow that down is to get a recommendation. I put off getting one for years until I had a great discussion with a close friend about which ones she had found and liked. So, if you feel comfortable talking to your mom or your friends, ask them what they use! If not, go straight to the biggest sex store you can find and the sales people are usually amazingly kind and helpful. It is their job to make sure you find what you need. And as far as cost goes, you really don’t have to spend much to get a high-quality product. Check out this one from Amazon to see what I mean. Lastly, if you’re afraid you won’t know how to use it, I promise you will be fine. This is a personal purchase which means you have tons of freedom to figure it out on your own without any pressure. You never have to feel insecure or weird because you’re the only one in the room!

The reason I think these are so vital is because the return on an investment in a vibrator is twofold. And we are talking twofold in a big way.

First off, purchasing a vibrator allows you much more freedom to explore your sexuality in a solo environment. Although this could take a sec to get used to, adding an extra element to your personal sex life could give you a much wider range of sensations to experience and can help you figure out what kinds of things you especially like. Factors such as pressure and frequency are easily regulated in this situation and can help you pinpoint what it is that your body responds to the most. This knowledge is vastly helpful when you add in a human partner to the mix because then you know EXACTLY what you want and feel way more comfortable being able to ask for what you want instead of being unsure or confused.

The second major benefit to owning a vibrator is that it can help put you in control of your own pleasure. For example, I have a long-distance boyfriend, but I should not be limited to only having an orgasm when he’s around. The vibrator allows me to have one whenever the fuck I want, just as guys can come whenever they want. Furthermore, some sex positions aren’t really conducive to an orgasm for me, but if I add a vibrator it makes things WAY more interesting.

Female anatomy can be confusing to figure out in the pleasure sector and some ladies might not even need a vibrator to achieve those elusive O’s. But I for sure did. In just a few months of owning one, I have discovered so much more about what I like and about my body and I consider that kind of knowledge ABSOLUTELY INVALUABLE. So if you’re unsure about what you like or are having trouble reaching that next level of satisfaction, maybe look into getting one. There’s no harm in at least checking them out 😉

 

Talk to Me, Baby

Awhile ago I did a post about asking for what you want in a relationship. I went over things like not getting angry at someone when they can’t read your thoughts, getting space, or asking for a little extra love and care. What I did not really touch on was asking for what you want in bed.

I’m not talking about dirty talk. That’s a whole other ball game– Fuck me harder; I want you inside of me– Those aren’t what I’m referring to. I’m referring to the simple act of making sure you get what you want in bed.

I won’t embarrass my boyfriend too much by oversharing, but I will say that we were trying something new in bed the other day when he used a phrase that threw me off. It wasn’t anything mean or unusual, but it totally got in my head and killed the mood for me. As any chance of my orgasm slipped away (not forever, just in that moment, jeez), I told him that I didn’t think I could come, and that I thought what he had said had affected the outcome.

It was literally that simple. I said, “I don’t think I’m going to come” and then I said, “When you said _______, it really got in my head and then I couldn’t get past it”. We talked about why it may have put me off and then we agreed to make note of it in future instances.

I can name tons of instances like this one. Smaller ones like, “Can you shift your weight to the right side?” or bigger ones like “IT BURNS, NO, STOP”. Just kidding…

I’ve known tons of friends that let these small things go. They either pretend to be really into it, or they passively allow it to continue. This goes for girls and guys as many feel awkward about these small, unsexy moments. But EVERYONE has those things they really like or really don’t like. Maybe you hate someone’s tongue in your ear, maybe this position strains your back, maybe there’s like one little hair down there that is being pushed around the wrong way. NOTHING IS TOO SMALL.

So let me put it this way. In most situations, sex should be a consensual, mutually beneficial affair. Which means, not only do both parties (or more, I’m not judging) want to enjoy themselves, they want the other party to enjoy themselves. Half the fun of having sex is being able to literally have influence in the pleasure for another person. So if we think about it this way, by bringing up these small requests you will enhance your own sex life, as well as your partner’s.

What are you afraid of?

-That it’s not sexy to ask? Well does being uncomfortable feel sexier?!

-That the other person will be mad? Kick them out then, they sound horrible.

-You’ll kill the mood? The mood is clearly already dying for you anyways, so do what you can and SAVE IT!

This topic honestly kills me because the reasoning against asking for what you want or what you don’t want are so small in the grand scheme of things. And hey, if you’re in a relationship, look at this as a long-term investment. You mention something once, and it might cost you a bit of awkwardness, but you won’t have to worry about it again! And if you’re not in a relationship, it’s good practice for all the different kinds of sex you’ll be getting. However, I will say there is one exception to this. It can be awfully hard to ask for what you want, if you don’t know what you want and I will definitely be covering that soon!

 

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Happy banging….

 

How to Survive Long Distance

I never thought long distance was a sustainable way to have a relationship. Hell, I don’t even want to drive across town to see someone much less fly or take a road trip! But sometimes there are extenuating circumstances and your heart says “do it! You love him!” even though your brain says “really? This is going to be expensive, and time consuming…is he worth it?” However, I have now been in a pretty great long distance relationship for about nine months now and there are definitely some pros that outweigh the cons.

I live in Los Angeles and my boyfriend lives in Calgary, Canada. So right out of the gate I had to decide if this was something I wanted to be serious about. You don’t start flying around the continent for someone you only kinda like. He and I had to really talk about what this was going to be and by virtue of those discussions we cut the bullshit pretty fast because we just didn’t have the resources to waste with the whole – don’t want to look like I’m trying to hard—phase that usually comes at the beginning of modern dating.

Secondly, having a long distance relationship creates a weird sense of balance for me. Because we only have limited time together, when we do have that time, we make sure it is quality time. Lots of going out and doing things together, quality cuddles, and of course sex like three times a day. But when we aren’t together we are each able to focus a lot more on our own lives, our own careers, and our own friends. There’s not that weird tug at the back of your head that questions how much time you should be spending together. You already have a fixed quantity so it’s like a decision has been taken off your plate by the nature of your circumstance.

Lastly, I believe it improves communication. My boyfriend and I are lucky enough that we really only spend a few weeks apart at a time. However, during those times apart, we FaceTime almost every evening and text sporadically throughout the day. As great as technology has gotten, there are still miscommunications and other flaws of wifi-only communication, but this isn’t always a bad thing. I think having to navigate the communication challenges has made us trust each other more and make a much larger effort to discuss things that feel a little off.

I won’t lie, there are a lot of negatives to being in a long distance relationship. To be frank, it costs more money and time. As I write this, I’m on the second leg of a flight up to Canada. Secondly, and this is perhaps the biggest negative in my eyes, is that you miss all that interim space that is so important to relationships. You know when you’re just hanging out in the same room and you manage to get yourselves into this great conversation about life, or something? You can’t really have that when you’re doing long distance because all your time together is scheduled. We can’t just decide to have a great conversation every night on FaceTime. Sometimes we don’t really have much to say.

In the end, I now believe that long-distance can work, both parties just have to be willing to put in the effort. There are two things that I believe are most important if you are in a long distance relationship or are considering one:

  • Communication! As I said above, this can be hard, but it is vital! You basically have to make up for all the time you don’t get face to face time, so having clear and frequent communication will make you feel much better about where you guys stand as the relationship progresses.
  • Trust. If you don’t trust the other person, stop right now. You’ll drive yourself nuts worrying about what the other person is doing all the time. There will be stretches of hours, or days, or even weeks, when one person is super busy or just not very responsive. You have to be able to deal with that and trust the relationship or you’ll stress out and probably cause the relationship to implode. You can’t have any relationship without trust, and while doing long distance, it is imperative.

It’s been really interesting to explore doing something I thought was only for love-struck romantics (what have I become?!) or for the movies and it’s nice to see that in today’s globalized society, not only are these types of relationships becoming more common, but they are becoming much more fun.

 

 

longdistance

Me freezing my ass off for my Canadian boyfriend…